6 December 2012
Plot to kill Adams to feature in report out Wednesday on murder of civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane
‘Whilst the focus of my report is Patrick Finucane’s murder, it was appropriate for me to examine it in its proper context. Among the surrounding key issues is the role that was played by the British Army agent, Brian Nelson.’
THE 1987 murder plot by unionist death squads to assassinate Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams will feature in the report to be published next Wednesday on the shooting dead of Belfast civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane at home, in front of his family, in February 1989.
Collusion between British state forces – responsible to the British Government – and the death squads has always been evident.
Gerry Adams – now a TD in the Dáil – has called on the Irish Government to “insist, as the family does, that the British keep to their commitment and hold a public inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane”.
Pictured right: Seamus Finucane, brother of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane, wants answers about alleged RUC collusion in his brother’s assassination by a unionist death squad
The plot to kill Adams arises because, as the report’s author, Sir Desmond de Silva QC, says to him in a letter:
“Whilst the focus of my report is Patrick Finucane’s murder, it was appropriate for me to examine it in its proper context. Among the surrounding key issues is the role that was played by the British Army agent, Brian Nelson.
“Accordingly, I wanted you to be aware prior to publication that my report touches on the plot by loyalist paramilitaries to attack you in May 1987.”
Gerry Adams said this development is really no surprise to him as collusion between British state forces and unionist death squads was a matter of institutional practice by successive British governments throughout the decades of conflict in the North.
“It played a part in the attack in March 1984 in which I and three others were shot and it has already been reported that the British were aware of the planned to kill me in May 1987,” Gerry Adams said.
“The role of Brian Nelson and in particular of Brigadier Gordon Kerr (Colonel J) – pictured right – is particularly important.
“Nelson was a British military intelligence and Special Branch agent, controlled by the Force Research Unit (FRU) run by Kerr. From 1987 Nelson was also the UDA’s senior intelligence officer. He had responsibility for gathering the information on which UDA/UFF gangs acted and killed Catholics.
“It is now a matter of public record that Nelson was given information by his British handlers who also reorganised his intelligence files.
“But he wasn’t the only British agent operating within the UDA. The leader of the UDA group that carried out the killing was a Special Branch agent; the man who was convicted of killing Pat Finucane was a Special Branch agent; the UDA man who supplied the gun used was a Special Branch agent; and Nelson, who provided the information, was working for [the British Army unit] FRU.
“The Finucane family have demanded a full independent public inquiry to get to the truth of what happened to Pat Finucane. This was agreed by the Irish and British governments at Weston Park in 2001.
“The Irish Government should insist, as the family does, that the British keep to their commitment and hold a public inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane.”
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