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23 March 2000 Edition

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New collusion revelations

BY DEIRDRE FEEHAN

Sinn Féin Assembly member Michelle Gildernew is today in Dublin to hand over to Irish government representatives the contents of a wallet handed into her Dungannon office which contained a list with details of 23 republicans taken from crown forces files.

Gildernew said that the information, written on an A4 size page, was in a wallet left anonymously at the Sinn Féin office. The names of 23 republicans from the North Armagh, Dungannon and South Tyrone areas were listed alongside the makes and registrations of 24 cars.

``There was nothing in the wallet to identify the owner as a member of the crown forces,'' said Gildernew, but local sources say the man named on bank cards in the wallet is a member of the Royal Irish Regiment.

``Clearly this person has access to security files, whether or not he is a member of the RIR,'' said Gildernew. ``Either way, there are questions for the Ministry of Defence to answer.''

Sinn Féin has informed all those whose names are on the list.

The disclosure came just days after an RIR man was charged with possessing arms and explosives and membership of the LVF.

William Ian Thompson (28), was charged on Thursday 16 March, with possessing an Uzi sub machine-gun, a sawn-off shotgun and 30 shotgun cartridges. He was also accused of possessing an explosive substance.

Thompson, after his arrest from his Hamilitonsbawn home outside Armagh City, had been questioned in connection with the assassination of human rights solicitor Rosemary Nelson.

According to Sinn Féin Assembly Member for Upper Bann, Dara O'Hagan, this adds weight to calls for an independent inquiry into the Nelson killing.

``The fact that a member of the RIR has been charged with loyalist activities in the Upper Bann area as part of Colin Port's investigation into the killing of Rosemary Nelson underlines the need for an independent inquiry into the event,'' she said.

``How can one branch of the so called `security forces' investigate another? The only way to gain justice for Rosemary Nelson will be through an independent international inquiry which can fully investigate the role of the state in this brutal killing.''


CORRECTION

Due to a transcription error, it was reported in last week's issue of An Phoblacht that the bomb discovered behind the newly opened offices of Republican Sinn Fein on Belfast's Falls road was found on March 3.

The correct date of the discovery was February 25. We take great pains to be accurate at all times in our reporting and sincerely apologise to our readers for any confusion or inconvenience caused.
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