Sunday 11 December 2016

Dublin/Monaghan bombs 'intended to foment civil war'

Published 16/06/2015 | 02:30

Passers-by help a victim of the Talbot Street bombing in 1974
Passers-by help a victim of the Talbot Street bombing in 1974
Margaret Thatcher: no legal framework for agents

A member of the loyalist gang linked to the Dublin/Monaghan bombs and other atrocities has claimed that their intent was to foment a civil war.

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He also said they had been confident they could "crush the other side" because of their tactics.

Meanwhile, it has emerged, that former Taoisigh Jack Lynch and Liam Cosgrave were met by strong denials whenever they raised with the British government the question of alleged collusion between the security forces and paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland during the 1970s and 1980s.

An RTE documentary aired last night - entitled 'Collusion' - claimed that a senior RUC officer was ignored when he raised the issue personally with then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

A former head of the Northern Ireland Special Branch, Raymond White, told the programme the message he received from the government on the use of agents in the "dirty war" was: "Carry on - just don't get caught."

It was reported that one British army general said in a secret memo: "It may be necessary to turn a blind eye to UDA arms."

The programme alleged the British army decided early on it "could not fight a war on two fronts."

The army instead concentrated its efforts on "destroying" the Provisional IRA, while at the same time saying publicly it was dealing with the conflict in an "even handed" way.

A former head of the RUC Special Branch also said he personally asked Mrs Thatcher for a legal framework for the handling of agents within paramilitary groups, but this did not happen.

Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said the Irish government must not let the British government "walk away from their role and responsibility in the conflict".

The Cavan-Monaghan TD called for an independent inquiry to be established to investigate collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and British security forces.

"There is clear evidence that points to collusion being not only practice but policy; it was planned and directed with full political authority," he said.

"The Irish government must secure the right to truth for all citizens, and ensure the mechanisms agreed as part of the Stormont House Agreement are implemented."

Irish Independent

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