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25 May 2006 Edition

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Collusion cover-up

The early release and spiriting away of British Agent Ken Barrett and revelations by former RUC member Trevor McIlwrath concerning the involvement of RUC Special Branch Agents in the murder of nationalist civilains with the full knowledge and support of their handlers, highlights an increasingly clear British state aganda. That agenda aims to protect state agents within the unionist death squads and those in Special Branch and MI5 who ran them.

The British state continues to operate a policy of concealment and cover-up. Further evidence of this policy is the British government's plan to give primacy in intelligence gathering in the Six Counties to MI5, one of the organisations implicated in the murder of citizens there.

As Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly reminded people this week, nobody believes that the murder of Pat Finucane was solely planned, organised and carried out by Shankill Road loyalists. Barrett was himself a self-confessed British Agent, as was William Stobie the man who supplied the murder weapon, along with Brian Nelson the man who supplied the intelligence that enabled the murder to be carried out. The UDA leader in West Belfast at that time Tommy Lyttle was also a paid British agent.

It is clear therefore that the Pat Finucane case goes to the very heart of the British state policy of collusion with unionist paramilitaries. That is why successive British governments have sought to conceal the truth by continuing to stall the type of investigation demanded by the Finucane family.

Tony Blair made public commitments on this issue after Weston Park. He has yet to deliver on them. But the Irish Government also has responsibilities in relation to this issue. Apart from is obligations to Irish citizens in the North, British collusion with unionist paramilitaries has taken a heavy toll in human lives in the 26 Counties.

In March the Dáil unanimously passed a resolution calling on the British Government to establish a full, independent

public inquiry into the Finucane murder. The British rejected that call. It is now time for the Irish to internationalise the issue, to place it on the agenda of the European Unnion and the United Nations. In this regard Sinn Féin has called on Bertie Ahern to call a special summit meeting with the British Prime Minister on the issue of collusion and to use that opportunity to demand, before the world's media, that a fully independent inquiry be established into the murder of Pat Finucane.

The Irish Government also has a responsibility to establish full public inquiries into notorious cases of collusion in the 26 Counties such as the Dublin/Monaghan bombings and the murder of Donegal Councillor Eddie Fullerton.

An Phoblacht
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