Kearney welcomes launch of RFJ report into murder of Peter Gallagher
Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA, has welcomed the launch of a Relatives for Justice report into the murder of Peter Gallagher in 1993.
Speaking after the report's launch in Toome today, the South Antrim MLA said:
“I was honoured to speak at the launch of the Relatives for Justice (RFJ) report into the murder of local Sinn Féin member Peter Gallagher in 1993, and have this opportunity to pay tribute to my friend and comrade, who remains fondly remembered and sorely missed by his wife Bernie, their seven children, seventeen grandchildren, large family circle, and wider community of Cargin and Toome.
“I commend RFJ for this very comprehensive report into Peter’s murder. It is especially poignant that it was launched today in the village of Toome, and only a stone’s throw from his family home in Trea Gardens, from where he set out for work, for the last time 26 years ago.
“This compelling report provides a very personal insight into Peter’s life. Importantly, it also details the wider context of his murder by a unionist death squad at his place of work in Belfast early on the morning of 24th March 1993, and raises important questions which remain unanswered by the British state.
"RFJ report that Peter Gallagher's details featured on RUC security montages supplied to unionist paramilitaries. He was a victim of the UDA's Belfast based 'C Company', which was a specific death squad heavily infiltrated with British military agents, and directed by the British army's notorious Force Research Unit.
"They also conclude that Peter was in all probability killed with a Browning pistol imported as part of the consignment of South African weapons organised by British agent Brian Nelson.
“Organised collusion between British state forces and unionist death squads, and state sponsored assassinations defined British state policy in Ireland during the 1980s and 1990s.
“Between 1989 and 1993 fourteen Sinn Féin members, including three councillors, were murdered. Peter was one of those assassinated during that period. Other family members were killed and dozens with connections to Sinn Féin were injured.
"The Gallagher family and RFJ have asked the Police Ombudsman to investigate specific circumstances relevant to Peter's killing, and any relevant RUC association to these circumstances.
“Behind every loss in the conflict, there is a human story: There is a person, a family, loss, and grief.
“Peter Gallagher was a devoted family man who lived to work, and worked to provide for his family. He was a much loved and highly regarded personality in Toome, and he was a deeply committed republican.
“Peter Gallagher's family, and so many others deserve truth and justice.
"It is an indictment of the British state that powerful elements of the British political and military establishment continue to deny these families maximum information disclosure about what happened their loved ones.
“The blocking of legacy justice rights by the British state, and refusal to implement the Stormont House Agreement legacy mechanisms has created a new momentum for truth. Today’s launch of the RFJ report into Peter Gallagher’s murder is the latest example of this unstoppable momentum for truth and justice.”