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McGuinness addresses collusion families

12 October, 2004

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP today addressed a meeting in Stormont organised by families of those killed yhrough the British governments policy of state sanctioned murder.

Mr McGuinness said:

The British government's response to the demand for an independent inquiry into the death of Pat Finucane has been denial, cover-up and concealment. This is in itself clear evidence that the British state was involved in the wholesale assassination of citizens through a policy of collusion. The British government's declared commitment to a truth process is starkly contradicted by the determination of their efforts to hide the truth about collusion.

The reality is that collusion was a policy employed by the British state in Ireland through which it employed loyalist death squads to wage a dirty war against the nationalist and republican people. That reality is now widely accepted. In fact, the head of the Metropolitan Police, John Stevens, has already said that British state agents were involved in collusion - including involvement in murder. Judge Cory, during his investigation, uncovered reports prepared for the British cabinet. The collusion policy went to the top of the British political system. It went right up to Margaret Thatcher.

British Intelligence recruited, or placed, large numbers of agents in the loyalist paramilitaries.

Loyalist paramilitaries were armed with modern weapons. In December 1987 over 300 weapons were brought into the north of Ireland, with the full participation and knowledge of British Intelligence, and distributed among the loyalist death squads.

British Intelligence updated and organised loyalist intelligence documents to ensure that targeting by the loyalist death squads was, to quote a British intelligence report, 'more professional'.

The British state created an efficient sectarian murder machine and set it loose on the nationalist community in the north of Ireland.

Hundreds of people were killed, and many more injured and maimed, in a vicious campaign of state-sponsored murder.

No member of the Special Branch of British military Intelligence has been indicted for these crimes in which they were centrally involved. No political leaders have been held accountable for this policy. Indeed, the policy of collusion has never been reversed. It remains intact.

The British agencies, which executed this policy, remain in place today.

The truth has to be told about collusion. The families of the victims deserve the truth." ENDS

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