'WE DESERVE THE TRUTH ON COLLUSION'
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness
MP yesterday met the Irish Prime Minister, An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
and Foreign Affairs Minister Brian Cowen in Dublin to discuss ongoing
revelations of collusion and the need for full disclosure from the
A dossier titled 'Who sanctioned Britain's death squads -- Time for the
Truth', detailing the involvement of the British government through its
agencies -- MI5, British Military Intelligence and RUC/Special Branch
-- in the murder of its citizens was presented by Mr Adams to Mr Ahern.
In the last four weeks, the spotlight has fallen on Britain's
undercover war in Ireland with the publication of only a limited
summary of the Stevens report, the revelations regarding the bugging of
Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness, the briefings by British
Intelligence of unsubstantiated allegations in respect of an alleged
British agent in the IRA codenamed 'Stakeknife', and the report that
unionist paramilitaries had a spy network which colluded with military
and police personnel to kill.
Speaking following the meeting, Mr. Adams said: "It is clear that
of these agencies are continuing to operate and that they are intent on
destabilising the entire peace process. The lid needs to be lifted on
this issue and there needs to be full disclosure. The people of
Ireland deserve to know the truth and the people of Britain have a
right to know what was done in their name.
"The response of the British government has been to continue business
as usual ie wall of silence, obstruction of inquiries, failure to make
full disclosure, refusal to investigate, destruction of evidence and
ultimately failure to prosecute.
Mr Adams pointed out that Mr Ahern had voiced his concern at the
activities of these agencies, but the fact was that he had been unable
to get clarity from the British government.
"It is time that the British government took responsibility for the
activities of its agencies over the last thirty years. It is time that
they stopped obstructing the work of the Saville Tribunal and the
Barron Inquiry. It is time for the truth."
During the meeting they also discussed the need for the Irish
government to move speedily on their commitment to northern
representation in the Oireachtas and the crisis in the peace process.
In relation to the peace process, Mr. Adams said the cancellation of
the elections by the British government had made things even more
difficult for everyone on the island, particularly the Irish
"We need to work this mess out. We need to get the British government
to undo the damage that they have done and the first step in all of
this is the setting of an election date."
Meanwhile, the temperature is rising at sectarian flashpoints in the
North of Ireland as the summer marching season gets underway. A spate
of drive-by ball-bearing attacks on Catholic homes on Thurswday night
are thought to have been sectarian, while a number of windows were
broken in homes on the Whitewell Road in North Belfast last night. A
floral memorial to a deceased teenager was damaged.
Republican community leaders have appealed for calm in Belfast
following the disturbances overnight. This [Sunday] afternoon's
football games in Scotland, in which Glasgow Rangers won the Scottish
Premier title ahead of Glasgow Celtic, could provoke clashes this
Conscious of the dangers to the peace process of a summer of political
stalemate and unrest over contentious marches, Mr Adams this morning
said that, in the immediate short-term, steps must be taken by all
sides to ensure that the marching season is peaceful.
"Everyone has the right to live free from sectarian harassment and
every effort must be made to prevent a reoccurrence of the disturbances
which makes life insufferable, particularly for communities on
He said nationalists wanted to see no-one treated as they had been,
pointing out that some loyalist and unionist communities had been
"politically abandoned and in some cases left to the mercy of sectarian
gangs, which are now engaged in wholesale criminality".
Mr Adams vowed to continue to reach out to unionism, not only to move
beyond the current crisis but also as part of a genuine process of
Mr Adams said: "Despite the difficulties we all currently face due
the collapse of the political institutions, the cancellation of the
Assembly elections and the failure to implement the Good Friday
Agreement, I strongly believe that republicans and nationalists need to
approach northern Protestants in the language of invitation.
"This should be reflected in the words and political concepts we
daily. Sinn Fein's engagement with the unionist community is a sincere
effort to listen to and understand unionist concerns.
"I am aware of the gulf of mistrust that exists between republicans
unionists. I know that 30 years of conflict makes it difficult for
unionists to hear what I have to say but I would ask them to listen to
and accept my words as my personal attempt to address their concerns.
"I would also ask that unionists, in the same spirit, recognise and
address republican and nationalist concerns about unionist intentions."
Mr Adams said he was convinced more than ever that the only way forward
was through dialogue, reconciliation and accommodation. He said Sinn
Fein appreciated the difficulties recent allegations of IRA activities
had caused for pro-Agreement unionists.
These allegations had been used by those opposed to the peace process
to subvert and undermine political change.
"Republicans must rise above that narrow agenda," Mr Adams said.
"We must recognise that unionists do have real concerns and republicans
must genuinely address these concerns.
"I also believe that the IRA recognises and accepts those
difficulties." He said the IRA had, in its recent statements, made
sincere effort to address unionist concerns.
"That is how it should be. Republicans at all levels must reach out
unionists as part of a process of national reconciliation."
But he said the constant stalling of the Good Friday Agreement,
particularly in the areas of equality and justice, had undermined the
peace process and the process of reconciliation.
"Unionism presided over a system of institutionalised sectarianism
over 50 years. The refusal to face that fact and accept that there must
be change disturbs nationalists."