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12 August 2004 Edition

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Collusion relatives march for justice

Sinn Féin Assembly member for South Belfast Alex Maskey, was the main speaker at last Sunday's rally in West Belfast, which highlighted the collusion between the British government and unionist death squads in the Six Counties.

Sinn Féin Assembly member for South Belfast Alex Maskey, was the main speaker at last Sunday's rally in West Belfast, which highlighted the collusion between the British Government and unionist death squads in the Six Counties.

The photographs of hundreds of people killed by loyalist killers during the conflict were carried by friends and relatives of the dead, who came from all of the Six Counties.

A float depicted the burning of Bombay Street in 1969 was also part of the parade. In 1969 loyalist mobs attacked the Clonard area of West Belfast and attacked houses along Bombay Street, Waterville Street, Cupar Street, Percy Street Dover Street and in their attempts to raze the district to the ground burned hundreds of homes out.

As the loyalist mobs carried out wave after wave of attack the RUC in some cases stood back and allowed them free rein. However more often than not the so-called police force joined the attackers.

During the fighting 16-year-old Fian Gerard McAuley was shot dead. The young Fian was in the front line of the fighting when he was killed as he defended his people from the loyalist gangs who were allowed free by the RUC.

Indeed, the RUC shot dead nine-year-old Patrick Rooney and, ironically, the first British soldier to die in the conflict, Trooper Hugh McCabe, when, on separate occasions, they fired indiscriminately into Divis Tower.

During his speech, Maskey commended the work put in by those involved in the An Fírinne campaign to expose the extent of the collusion between the British crown forces and unionist death squads.

He went on to point the finger at the British Government and called on them to accept the demand for the truth about collusion to be exposed to allow the families of those who were killed to get closure.

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