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24 January 2008 Edition

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Belief strengthened that securocrats direct RIRA

Sinn Féin’s Daithí McKay has called for a fully independent investigation into the collapse of a ‘Real IRA’ bomb trial this week.
Charges against four RIRA suspects from Ballymena were dramatically dropped on Monday, 21 January amid allegations that a British agent within the so-called republican micro-group was being protected from prosecution.
RIRA suspect Paddy Murray was not charged with the explosives find in Ballymena in 2005 and in an unusual move prosecution barristers in the case sought a public interest immunity certificate to prevent him being revealed as an informer.
During the time in which it is believed he acted as an agent for the crown forces, Paddy Murray inveigled many people into involvement in sectarian conflict in Antrim and was a leading figure in that part of the country in attempting to undermine the Peace Process and specifically to damage Sinn Féin. Daithí McKay has rightly asked the question: “ Who was ordering him to do this and why?”
This week’s dramatic development comes at a time when the issue of the British state’s role in the conflict of the past 30-odd years has been the subject of some public debate. The role of the informers and agents has been a huge feature of Britain’s war in Ireland and has led to many deaths. British agents were also to the fore in attempting to prevent a political resolution of the conflict.
The British state is still covering up the murderous activities of its forces in the North of Ireland over many years. There have been several recent attempts to derail the search for truth behind the controversial role that state forces played in the conflict, including their involvement with and direction of the unionist paramilitaries. The events of this week however also throw a light on to the involvement of British intelligence within pseudo republican groups such as the RIRA.
The collapse of the RIRA trial this week highlights the fact that British securocrats are still around and are still working to an anti-Sinn Féin and anti-Peace Process agenda and that they are using micro-republican groups to do so.
It has long been clear that groups such as the RIRA have no popular support whatsoever; that they have no strategy for the achievement of republican aims and that their methods are counter-productive. It has also long been believed that such groups were heavily infiltrated by informers and agents and that their activities were directed to suit the agenda of elements within the British system that opposed the Peace Process. The collapse of the Ballymena bomb trial lends further weight to these beliefs.

An Phoblacht
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