15 February 2007 Edition
Lift the lid on collusion
This week marked the anniversary of the murder of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane by unionist paramilitaries acting in concert with the British state. The Finucane family continue to seek a full, independent inquiry into the murder. An inquiry held under new restrictions imposed by the British Government cannot get to the truth behind his death. Those restrictions underline the fact that the British state still covers up the extent of its collusion policy with unionist paramilitary death squads in Ireland over several decades.
Sinn Féin continues to confront the British Government over its collusion policy. Republicans will not let up on the campaign to get to the truth behind the deaths of hundreds of Irish people through a policy of state-sponsored murder.
On Friday, Sinn Féin will raise this issue directly with PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde. The party will continue to stand with the families of the victims in their demand for the truth.
The Irish Government has a huge responsibility to help lift the lid on collusion. It has to confront the British state, which directed the collusion policy and which continues to conceal the extent of its activities. Within the next week, Sinn Féin will put forward a Dáil motion calling for a British/Irish governmental summit on the issue. It is also time the Irish Government publicly backed demands for an international inquiry into collusion.
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has given a commitment to schedule a Dáil debate on the upcoming McEntee report on the Dublin/Monaghan bombings of 1974, one of many horrific incidents in the 26 Counties involving collusion between British state forces and unionist paramilitaries.
Relatives and friends of collusion victims fear that the extension requested by Patrick McEntee before he publishes his report will mean there will not be a Dáil debate this side of a general election. The Taoiseach needs to guarantee that this will not be the case.
Any Dáil debate must be free from any restrictive Government guillotines as were applied in previous debates.
There are very serious questions, with potentially far-reacing consequences, to be answered by both British and Irish governments, including those Fine Gael and Labour Irish Government ministers at the time of the Dublin/Monaghan attacks.
It is time for the truth from those who sponsored state murder, from those who covered it up and those who did nothing even when they knew what was happening.