BRITISH STATE-SPONSORED TERROR IN IRELAND
If then, why not now?
CLEAN OUT THE STABLES, NOW!!
Butchered By The Brits -
Their Role In Irish Terror
Daily Mail via NewsEdge Corporation
British security forces were last night accused of widespread collusion with loyalist terrorists in 'acts of international terrorism'.
It was the most categoric indictment to date of the role of undercover British agents on both sides of the border in the 1970s.
In an official report, a joint Oireachtas committee said 'the spectre of collusion' at the height of the Troubles was ' widespread'.
Damningly, they accused British security forces of involvement in 'the butchering of innocent victims'.
The committee said it was 'fully satisfied' that there was collusion in a whole series of loyalist gun and bomb attacks - including several south of the Border.
Among the atrocities identified is one of the most shocking mass murders of that era - the Miami Showband massacre of 1975.
But the committee also found evidence of collusion in a number of attacks in the Republic, including a bomb attack on Dublin airport in 1975 and pub bombings in Dundalk and Castleblayney.
Equally damning is the committee's finding that the British cabinet of the day knew the full extent to which its security forces had been infiltrated by loyalist terrorists but failed to respond. It comes less than two weeks before publication of a separate official report into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings - that is expected to be just as outspoken in its condemnation of British collusion.
Relatives of some of the 18 terrorist victims whose deaths were investigated led calls last night for a full public inquiry.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern called for 'full and unfettered British co-operation with the ongoing investigations and inquiries'.
There have been repeated claims that a previous investigation by Mr Justice Henry Barron into collusion allegations, upon which the committee based its report, was hampered by a British refusal to cooperate.
Mr Ahern said that the report's findings were 'deeply troubling and a matter of most serious concern'.
And the committee itself said there was no valid reason why British authorities should not play their part in uncovering the full extent of collusion.
It said: 'We are horrified that persons who were employed by the British administration to preserve peace and to protect people were engaged in the creation of violence and the butchering of innocent victims.
'We are of the view that these matters cannot be swept under the carpet,' it insisted.
The committee of five TDs and two senators also had some harsh words for successive Dublin governments, which it accused of ignoring clear evidence of collusion at the time.
'The fact that little or nothing was done to address this is, to put it mildly, alarming,' the report stated.
The committee based part of its research on official British files recovered from the national archive in London, including documents about loyalist infiltration of both the RUC and the UDR, the reserve force that replaced the notorious B Spemitteecials. The document, entitled 'Subversion in the UDR' and written in 1973 by military intelligence, estimated five to 15 per cent of UDR soldiers were linked to loyalists, and that the 'best single source of weapons, and only significant source of modern weapons, for Protestant extremist groups, has been the UDR'.
A memo from a civil servant recording a meeting in September 1975 between Mr Wilson, Mrs Thatcher, and then Northern Secretary Merlyn Rees, shed further light on the issue.
It concluded that 'there were certain elements in the police who were very close to the UVF, and who were prepared to hand over information, for example, to Mr Paisley'. Meanwhile the com-yesterday called for a full debate in the Dil and Seanad on the issue of British collusion.
Margaret Irwin of victim group Justice for the Forgotten said: 'I think the findings are absolutely brilliant and powerful. Nobody could have asked for more and I want to congratulate the committee on doing that.' But she went on to criticise the committee's failure to call immediately for a public inquiry.
Jeffrey Donaldson, a Democratic Unionist MP who served in the UDR, last night attempted to defend the since-disbanded organisation and the RUC.
Although he accepted that rogue elements were involved in atrocities such as the 1975 Miami Showband massacre, he insisted it did not prove that systematic security-force plotting with the loyalists took place.
He said: 'There's no evidence that these individuals were acting under the direction of anyone within the security forces.
'It could also be claimed that there's evidence of collusion between security forces south of the border and the Provisional IRA. I would say to the Irish Government, you should be very cautious about pointing the finger at the security forces in Northern Ireland.' Comment - Page 14
DUNDALK PUB BOMB HORROR
SHORTLY after 6.15pm on Friday, December 19, 1975, a car bomb containing 150lb of explosives was detonated without warning outside a popular pub in the centre of Dundalk, Co. Louth.
The explosion at Kay's Tavern resulted in the death of two men and injured 21 people.
Hugh Watters, a tailor, died instantly while lorry driver Jack Rooney died three days later. Both men were in their 60s.
Mr Watters was believed to be enjoying a drink after work in the bar at the time of the explosion, Mr Rooney to have been walking past the pub.
Shortly after the incident, it was claimed the bomb was planted by the outlawed 'Red Hand Commandos' - a branch of the paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force.
Justice Henry Barron, the retired Irish judge who in 2003 published the Barron Report into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, had in 2001 requested the publication of a British bomb disposal expert's report on the Kay's Tavern incident.
The report was commissioned by the Justice for the Forgotten, a Government-backed group for the victims of the Dublin-Monaghan Bombings. It stated IRA methods of crystallisation for extracting nitrates when making bombs were not learned by Loyalist groups until the end of the 1970s.
Controls in 1973 on the nitrate content of fertiliser had made the traditional method of mixing it with fuel oil impossible.
The report found the bomb detonated at Kay's Tavern was most likely made from explosives seized from the IRA. A second bomb which exploded on the same day outside a bar in Silverbridge, Co.
Armagh, killing three people, was found to contain similar materials.
The British bomb expert concluded that only five people, all British soldiers, would have had access to both the seized explosives and the Loyalist terror groups.
No one was ever brought to justice over the atrocity and after the publication of the Barron Report, victim Mr Watters' daughter Margaret English accused the State of neglecting the victims' families.
FARMER BLOWN UP OUTSIDE BAR
PATRICK MONE, a 56-year-old farmer, was killed when a loyalist bomb exploded in Co.
Monaghan in March 7, 1976.
He was standing outside the Three Star Inn in Castleblayney when a car bomb went off without warning at 8.20pm. The 200lb bomb caused severe damage to the street and many buildings had to be demolished.
Mr Mone and his wife Anna had been married for six years. She witnessed the horrific incident sitting in their car nearby.
No one has ever been convicted for the crime. In January 1999 a former RUC sergeant, John Weir, claimed to have information that the Castleblayney bombing was carried out by a fellow RUC officer and a UDR officer. He said the explosives were provided by another UDR officer.
JOHN Francis Hayes, a father of three, was killed in a bombing at Dublin Airport on November 29, 1975. The 38-year-old from Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, was in the toilet adjacent to a public bar.
The UDA claimed responsibility, claiming it was 'retaliation for the murder of members of the Security Forces by the PIRA'.
In July Judge Barron said allegations of collusion between the British forces and loyalists could not be proved.
His wife Monica expressed her disappointment. 'We've all been ignored. I had a threeyearold boy and 11-year-old twins and I had to bring them up alone,' she said.
FAMILIES KILLED IN THEIR HOMES
THE Oireachtas committee's report looks into a number of killings by loyalist gangs, including: Father of three Trevor Brecknell, 32, bar owner Patrick Donnelly, 24, and 14-year-old Michael Donnelly were murdered in the gun and bomb attack on Donnelly's Bar in Silverbridge on December 19, 1975.
Mr Brecknell had just visited his new-born son in hospital before the attack.
Joe O'Dowd, 61, and his nephews Barry, 24, and Declan, 19, were shot dead in their home in Ballydougan, Co. Down, on January 4, 1976.
Declan was due to return to work on an oil rig following the Christmas holidays, and friends and family had gathered to see him off, before UVF gunmen entered the house.
After shooting Declan in the hallway, they entered the sittingroom and opened fire.
In a suspected coordinated attack, just 15 minutes later - and 20 miles away - a UVF attack left three members of another family dead. Brothers John Martin, 24, Anthony, 17, and Brian Reavey, 22, were all shot dad in their home at White Cross, Co. Armagh.
Six men armed with automatic weapons burst into the Reavey home and shot John as he sat in a chair. They then opened fire with machineguns on Anthony and Brian.
Anthony survived the initial attack but died of his injuries on January 30.
Catholics Elizabeth McDonald, 38 and Gerard McCleenan were killed in a loyalist bomb attack on the Step Inn in Keady, Co.
Armagh, on August 16, 1976.
SHOWBAND MASSACRED IN STAGE CLOTHES
IT WAS an otherwise routine night of shuttling from gig to gig for the Miami Showband, one of Ireland's most popular touring cabaret bands of the Seventies.
The band was returning from a gig in the Castle Ballroom in Banbridge, Co.
Down, on July 31, 1975 when their minibus was flagged down on the outskirts of Newry in what appeared to be a routine military roadblock.
The Dublin group was travelling in two vehicles and was making its way back to the Republic in the early hours of the morning.
Road manager Brian Maguire was first on the road with a van stocked with equipment while the second vehicle was driven by the band's lead singer Fran O'Toole.
He was joined by band members Tony Geraghty, Stephen Travers and Des McAlea.
The drummer, Ray Millar, had left in his own car and was heading north to Antrim to spend the night at his parents' home.
But on this occasion it was not a regular roadblock that stopped the Miami Showband at 2.30am.
Instead, a gang of UVF gunmen intended to frame the band as members of the IRA by planting a bomb in their vehicle.
Still in their stage clothes, the bandmates were ordered to line up in a ditch near the roadblock.
However, the bomb exploded prematurely, killing two UVF members, Harris Boyle and Wesley Sommerville, in the process.
The remaining gunmen opened fire on the band.
Three bandmates - O'Toole, Geraghty and Brian McCoy - died at the scene.
Guitarist Stephen Travers and Des Lee survived the attack, and the latter vowed never to return to Northern Ireland.
The following year, three men from the Ulster Defence Regiment were each jailed for 35 years in connection with the Miami Showband killings.
At the time, the judge said he would have imposed the death penalty had it not been abolished.
The soldiers were members of the outlawed UVF and received the longest life sentences in Northern Ireland history.
Rodney Shane McDowell, James Somerville and Thomas Raymond Crozier remained in jail until they were released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Omagh families: we need inquiry
FAMILIES of victims killed in the Omagh bombing called on the Irish Government last night to launch a full cross-border public inquiry into the atrocity.
Survivors also attacked the publication of an edited version of a report investigating claims by a garda that officers ignored crucial intelligence which could have prevented the 1998 bombing.
The Nally Report found the allegations by Detective Sergeant John White were motivated solely by concerns about his own career.
The families' spokesman Michael Gallagher said: 'The families are deeply concerned by the timing of the censored report into Garda intelligence and John White's allegations, in the light of court proceedings involving John White.
'We believe this report is of limited value and now call on the Government to hold a full cross-border public inquiry into the full circumstances of the 1998 Omagh bombing.' The Real IRA attack on Omagh on August 15, 1998, killed 29 people and injured around 300 others.
The Nally Report concluded there was no foundation to Det Sgt White's claims that a Real IRA informer told him in advance of the 1998 attack about a car which was to be used in a bombing but that on passing this warning on to a senior officer, it was never passed to the RUC.
'Indeed it is clear from what he said to the group that he made no allegation or mention whatever of his concerns to any person, not even his wife, until after his arrest on 21 March, 2000,' it said.
The report states that there was a direct connection between the difficulties he found himself in with his superiors in the force and the making of his allegations concerning the Omagh bombing.
Meanwhile, Det Sgt White was challenged about the validity of his health claims before the Morris tribunal yesterday.
Det Sgt White has been suffering from acute depression since the publication of three tribunal reports in August, and sought relief from giving evidence on the grounds of illness.
Paul Coffey SC, acting for the Tribunal, voiced doubts over this.
'The Tribunal was told that the applicant was falling asunder and would not be able to answer questions. However, we have seen in the course of these court proceedings that Det Sgt White is giving specific and detailed directions on his phone to his lawyers.
'This does not suggest he is in fact falling asunder as he has led us to believe.'
Copyright 2006 Daily Mail. Source: Financial Times Information Limited - Europe Intelligence Wire.