British Collusion with Loyalist Murder Gangs in the North of Ireland

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Tomorrow on RTE at 9.30pm there will be a showing of a new documentary that will focus on British government collusion in the north. The documentary makers conducted interviews with many high profile members of British policing in the north from over the last three decades.

One such witness, a high ranking RUC officer, brought up the issue of paramilitary collusion personally with Margaret Thatcher, the British prime minister at the time, but the RUC officers concerns were ignored.

The head of special branch at the time, Raymond White said he got message from the British Government on the use of agents in the dirty war, “carry on just don’t get caught”. There are also claims from a member of the loyalist gang that was responsible for the Dublin and Monaghan bombings that the intention of the bombings was to foment civil war in Ireland.

There have already been credible allegations made stating members of the British security forces were involved in the bombings, which includes members of the Glenanne gang. The Glenanne gang was made up of a coalition of Loyalists, British soldiers and RUC officers. Altogether 25 members of the RUC and British army have been named as members of the gang. A book published in 2013 called “Lethal Allies: British Collusion in Ireland”, goes into great detail about the gang. The book claims up to 120 people were killed by the gang, just about all of the people killed were catholic civilians with no links at all to Republicans armed groups. The Cassel Report investigated 76 of the killings, the report found evidence that RUC officers and British soldiers were involved with 74 of the killings. A soldier that was a member of the gang claimed his superiors knew he was working with the gang and allowed to continue. Another high profile attack by the gang was involved with was the Miami Showband killings

In the documentary Hugh Orde former PSNI chief Constable says that he believed “justice would have been better served if Gordan Kerr” the former head of the British armys top secret Force Research Unit (FRU) “should have been put on trial”. Kerr was the commander of the FRU from 1986 to 1991. In 1987 Kerr recruited former British soldier Brain Nelson to infiltrate the Ulster defence Association (UDA).

Nelson rose through the ranks of the UDA to become its intelligence officer. In the early 90s an inquiry was opened up to investigate allegations of collusion between the British security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries. Nelson's information led to the killing of many catholic civilians and also the killing of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane. The investigators found the finger prints of Brian Nelson on security forces documents. When Nelson was arrested he claimed he was working on behalf of the British Military.

The head of MI5 in Belfast told the inquiry that Nelson had worked for the FRU. Over two months of questioning Nelson claimed he was recruited for the task of making the UDA a more effective killing machine. Nelson had use of the FRU's intelligence which included personal backgrounds, address, movements, and photos of people that Nelson then passed on to the UDA leadership for targeting.

Former police ombudsman Nuala O’Loan investigated collusion between the British security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries. She said that “in 2003 the British government was still trying to hide levels of collusion”. She describes the Loyalist death squads as “serial killers”. The report found that special Branch officers “gave the killers impunity and officers ensured the murders were not caught”.

The interviews are shocking to say the least. It shows the sickening level of depravity and murder the British state will sink to keep order, to keep rule and to ensure the continuation of partition. Not too long ago in 2003 the British Government was still trying to hide the levels of collusion from the police ombudsman. This was just six years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. This shows the sneakiness of the British establishment and proves they cannot be trusted. It makes one wonder, what else they are hiding; and are they still using dirty tactics in Ireland?

WORDS: Joe Conlon

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