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Maskey attacks Durkan over Collusion comments

10 November, 2005

Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has reacted angrily to comments made the SDLP leader Mark Durkan accusing republicans of being involved in collusion with the British government in covering up the past.

Mr Maskey said:

" As a victim of the British State policy of collusion I am angered by Mark Durkan's insensitive and ill-informed remarks yesterday.

" Unlike the SDLP Sinn Féin has always supported the victims of state violence and collusion. Many of our party members were among those targeted, injured and killed. I have personally lost close friends and comrades and have been shot myself. Sinn Féin continues to stand beside these families as we have done for years.

" The hypocrisy and barefaced dishonesty of the SDLP in claiming that we are in collusion with the British government in covering up the past has caused great offence to many victims families who I have spoken with today.

" During the long years that our party was targeted by unionist death squads controlled and directed by the British State and RUC Special Branch, the SDLP dismissed our assertions of collusion. When the families of those killed through the collusion policy lobbied Westminster the SDLP MPs ignored them. When they travelled to Stormont for a similar lobby the SDLP once again snubbed them.

" Sinn Féin will continue to challenge the British government for the truth about their activities in our country and we will continue to support the families in their campaign for justice. The SDLP on the other hand will continue to sit in the British parliament attacking Sinn Féin and Irish Republicanism while trying to score cheap political points." ENDS

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