Recent revelations regards collusion between the British state and loyalist death squads, contained in the BBC Panorama programme ‘Britain’s Secret Terror Deals’, will have come as no surprise to republicans, who’ve long considered the relationship between both to be axiomatic. The matters at hand are a reflection of the true nature of British rule in Ireland and the chilling extent of the ‘Dirty War’ inflicted on the people of this country.
For those confronted by this for the first time there would no doubt have been shock and horror in equal measure, but for others, like Galbally woman Siobhan Nugent, whose brother Malcolm was among those murdered in a 1991 loyalist gun attack on Boyle’s Bar in Cappagh – an attack bearing all the hallmarks of Britain’s state collusion strategy – there is no surprise in any of this. Indeed the revelations in question, as disturbing as they may be, are considered no more than the tip of the iceberg.
Speaking to the 1916 Societies, Siobhan expressed her anger that despite the vast amount of collusion-related material now in the public domain Britain remains:
above reproach, determined to whitewash the past and prevent the full extent of its terror campaign from coming to light, determined in effect to get away with murder.
She also spoke of how:
the PSNI should be seen as part of the problem not the solution, yet another state agency participating in cover up, determined to sweep away the toxic legacy of its murderous past, its role as an integral feature of the British war machine conveniently set aside.
The fact that PSNI continues to obstruct the investigatory procedure into dozens of murders demonstrates how they too – even if we are to separate them from their predecessor – are colluding in covering up state killings. This is a form of collusion in its own right. The PSNI is not an acceptable policing body and remains little more than an organ of the British occupation system, controlled in key areas, those that matter, by British Military Intelligence. The idea this represents ‘a new beginning to policing’ is farce and those insisting otherwise, despite what has already been publicly revealed, can only be ignoring facts for fear of their impact on their own political position.
There has never been adequate investigation or admission made regarding the role of the state in collusion-murders such as Kathleen O’Hagan’s, Roseanne Mallon’s or those carried out at Boyle’s Bar in Cappagh – likewise the Ballymurphy and Bloody Sunday massacres, as well as a host of ‘shoot-to-kill’ operations, as those witnessed at Loughgall, in Gibraltar, Drumnakilly and Dunloy. These are not isolated examples but rather a few of many. In all instances the truth has been kept from the families involved, serving only to add to their pain.
The clandestine activities of British Intelligence remain beyond effective scrutiny. Information regarding Dublin-Monaghan, the revelations of Holroyd and Wallace, the Stevens and Stalker-Sampson reports, the killing of Pat Finucane, Omagh, all of that and more, has been swept under the carpet, Britain’s record in Ireland suitably cleansed. When even former RUC believe MI5 allowed police officers themselves to be sacrificed it’s clear the situation is as bad, if not worse, as what republicans have claimed it to be for years. The British government, and the security forces employed in its war here, have sunk to the depths of depravity, the grisly violence employed in pursuit of their aims the terrifying reality of British rule in Ireland.
It’s long past time for those who overseen a 30-year campaign of terror to own their actions and do the honourable thing. So obscene are Britain’s crimes its claims to power in Ireland are untenable. The state is without legitimacy when it resorts to the deliberate murder of those it claims as its own citizens. Given the black deeds of its intelligence apparatus, security forces and even the government itself, the idea of Britain governing the decent people of Ireland, no matter their hue, is simply outrageous. Britain should withdraw immediately, leaving the Irish people in peace to work out their differences and determine their own future.
We in the 1916 Societies extend our full support to the victims of collusion and stand by the families of those murdered under these gruesome circumstances, by what were paid agents of the Crown operating with impunity. We stand with them in their quest for truth and justice for their loved one’s. The centrality of this issue to a meaningful peace in Ireland, which we all desire and pledge to pursue, will not be swept aside by those who fear the appalling vista a proper investigation into their actions will open up.
Regardless, the fight for truth and justice will continue until the last facet of the British terror machine has been exposed and restitution made to its victims. Those who attacked and terrorised the people of Ireland should disclose the full extent of their heinous crimes, admit their responsibilities and end their occupation of our country. The violence they have induced can never again be permitted, the people here have suffered enough as it is.