15 May 2003 Edition

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DUP blocks collusion motion

Sinn Féin councillor Philip McGuigan has accused the Democratic Unionist Party of not being interested in truth or justice after unionists rejected a motion he tabled in Ballymoney Council calling for an independent inquiry into the 1989 killing of IRA Volunteer Gerard Casey.

Tabling his motion on Tuesday 6 May, McGuigan called for an inquiry into the killing of the Rasharkin man and three other men from the South East Antrim and South Derry area.

Speaking to An Phoblacht, McGuigan said: "In light of the release of the Stevens' report, which confirmed there was collusion between the crown forces and loyalist death squads, I called on Ballymoney Council to back an independent inquiry into the killing of local republican Gerard Casey. However unionists rejected the call, with the DUP in particular defending the crown forces. According to the DUP, collusion is a figment of the nationalist imagination.

"Fourteen years on, questions still remain unanswered about the killing of Gerard Casey, as they do about the killings of Danny Cassidy, Tommy Donaghy and Malachy Carey. The families deserve to know the truth about the collusion that existed between the British crown forces and loyalist murder gangs".

In October 1988, Gerard Casey, who was not widely known to be a republican, was arrested by the RUC and brought to Castlereagh Holding Centre in Belfast. At that time, his legally held shotgun was removed from his home while members of the RUC raiding party drew up a sketch map of the man's home. He was shot dead by the UVF on 4 April 1989 at his home in Rasharkin, County Antrim.

Two years later, in August 1991, Tommy Donaghy was killed by the UDA, while Danny Cassidy was shot dead in Kilrea in April 1992. Both men were threatened by members of the crown forces before they were killed. Also a crown forces photo montage with Cassidy's photo and personal details was passed to the Antrim Guardian newspaper. The details of another 19 people were contained in the montage.

Malachy Carey, a former republican POW and Sinn Féin election candidate, was shot dead in in Ballymoney in December 1992.

"The families and friends of these men and the wider nationalist community want answers to the questions that surround these killings," said McGuigan. "Only 20 pages of the Steven's report were published and the report itself concerned only two deaths."

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