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19 October 2006 Edition

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The Mary Nellis Column

British inquiries protecting state agents

History is littered with reports and inquiries set up by the British for their atrocities in Ireland. All have been cover-ups of state terror. We should have learned way back in the days of Cameron and Scarman and Widgery and Bennett, that murder, torture and character assassination are nothing new in the context of British rule in Ireland.

John Stalker, who headed up an inquiry into state collusion, believes that the British Government decided to get rid of him after he presented his interim report and that his removal from the enquiry gained valuable ground for the RUC to cover up what he concluded would become a major police scandal.

The brother of Michael Kelly shot dead on Bloody Sunday, is convinced that the Saville Inquiry which has so far failed to publish its findings, will never unearth the truth behind the murders on that day.

The Stevens inquiry, mark three, which presented the British Government with the 'appalling vista' of the role of its military intelligence services in hundreds of murders, was censored. Only 13 pages of the 3,000-page report were published.

The dirty war in Ireland is still being played out, through the delaying tactics of enquiries to protect the spooks and spies of the intelligence services and their informers. Like kept women, the informers are getting increasingly nervous that their lucrative lifestyle may end, as we move towards a political settlement. The agents of the dirty war are now reduced to propositioning male prostitutes, or hiring ghostwriters to produce books about their inglorious past. But their day of reckoning is coming thanks to the persistence and desire for truth by the relatives of those they set up to be murdered.

As the political parties were deliberating at St. Andrews, Catholic and Protestant victims of the conflict joined together to call for the British Government to come clean on the role of the informer in their dirty war and the cover-up of reports that allowed the state to literally get away with murder.

As more and more cases of suspected and proven collusion emerge, the relatives claim that a pattern is emerging placing informers at the centre of a number of murders involving trigger men employed by RUC Special Branch and British military intelligence.

Jean Fegan, the Mother of Sheena Campbell, a member of Sinn Féin, who was shot dead 14 years ago this week, shared her memories of her daughter's death with those from the Protestant community, who acknowledged that in the past they had dismissed talk of collusion as republican propaganda.

The message from the relatives gathered at St. Andrews last week is very simple. Any political agreement that secures peace through political progress has to acknowledge the role of the state in the murder of people from both communities. Mark Thompson of the Relatives for Justice believes that dealing with this matter will strengthen the process.

Enquiries by the British Government are only delaying that day and prolonging the agony for the relatives of those murdered.

An Phoblacht Magazine


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