19 October 2006 Edition

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DUP MPs insult collusion campaigners

An Fhirinne spokesperson Robert McClenaghan has accused DUP MPs Sammy Wilson and Jeffrey Donaldson of insulting the relatives of people killed by the state.

A number of relatives had gathered outside the St Andrews talks venue in Scotland last Thursday 12 October to highlight the issue of collusion and the deaths of people killed by the crown forces when both DUP MPs aimed a tirade of abuse at them.

The two DUP men singled out Paul McIlwaine, a Protestant whose son Robert was killed by the UVF outside Tandragee, County Armagh in 2000.

McIlwaine maintains that the UVF killers of his son were lead by a Special Branch agent and that Special Branch protected him from prosection.

McClenaghan explained that people representing both An Fhirinne and Relatives for Justice had gathered outside the St Andrews talks venue in an attempt to highlight the role of the state in the deaths of hundreds of people.

"We discussed the issue with a Sinn Féin delegation who had come out of St Andrews to meet us. This was at about 12 noon", said the human rights campaigner.

McClenaghan went on to say that as DUP representatives Wilson and Donaldson left St Andrews both he and Moira Casement, whose uncle Barney Green was shot dead by the UVF in Loughinisland, County Down in 1994, asked them to take press pack they refused.

Indeed when Casement asked the pair, "are you going to ignore us"? Wilson replied, "of course".

Then when Paul McIlwaine, who identified himself as "a Protestant from a loyalist background", asked if the DUP would take the press pack from him Donaldson shouted at him: "You've got into bed with the Provos, you need to watch what company you're keeping. You're running with the IRA".

Responding to the incident Sinn Féin's Caitriona Ruane said the DUP members use of, "abusive language", was an insult.


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