The Week in Review
02 – 09 September 2016
Collusion was a ‘deliberate and concerted’ policy – Pat Doherty MP
On Wednesday 7th September, Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty hosted an Public Briefing titled: ‘The Loughinisland Massacre: A Policy of Collusion‘ inside Portcullis House, Westminster. The Public Briefing was addressed by Niall Murphy, the solicitor and Human Rights Lawyer for ‘KRW Law’ currently representing the Loughinisland families and survivors.
Mr Doherty stated that Loughinisland was not an aberration, but rather it formed a part of an immediate military and political objective, set by the British security services, to try and frustrate the potential of an unilateral IRA ceasefire and the, then emerging, Irish Peace Process.
Mr Doherty stated that collusion was not just a series of isolated incidents. Collusion was, and is, a systematic, deliberate and targeted policy. The West Tyrone MP stated that the recent Ombudsman Report produced by Dr Michael Maguire revealed a shocking scale of collusion between the British Security Services, the RUC, and loyalist paramilitaries.
Mr Doherty conveyed his condolences with the victims and survivors of Loughinisland.
A brief excerpt from the ESPN Documentary ‘The Ceasefire Massacre’ was then shown.
Following the clip, Mr Niall Murphy delivered a detailed briefing on the Police Ombudsman report by Dr Michael Maguire. Mr Murphy stated that the report showed that it was “paid RUC agents who pulled the triggers and it was the RUC who failed to investigate the atrocity, with houses not searched and no arrests made for a month, despite having names within a day. Alibis weren’t checked out and evidence was persistently destroyed by the police.”
Mr Murphy added that “The absence of the Rule of Law and the perfunctory and cosmetic nature of investigations as evidenced in this report, is akin to the state endorsed death squads, which operated in Central and Latin America at the same time.” Niall Murphy’s full briefing can be read here.
His address was followed by an engaging Q&A. In the region of 60 people turned out for the evening’s discussion.
The Loughinisland Massacre. “Liverpool Says: Time For Truth, Time For Justice”
Mickey Brady MP was also in Liverpool, on the 3rd-4th September, to support the Loughinisland Justice Group.
On the Saturday he joined a march for Truth & Justice through the City Centre. This was followed by speeches and a rally.
On the Sunday he attended a ‘Community Briefing by Relatives ‘ held in St Michaels Irish Centre.
Mr Brady said it was important to hear first-hand accounts from the families and survivors of Loughinisland. He stated that: “Sinn Féin will continue to stand by the relatives of victims of collusion as they campaign for truth and justice.”
Time to begin the debate on the future – Declan Kearney MLA
Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA has said a wide-ranging debate on what a united Ireland would look like is required. Mr Kearney was speaking after the publication of a MORI poll.
Mr Kearney said; “This poll is significant because it shows that a quarter of the people of the North support a United Ireland before the debate has even begun. I believe this underestimates the true level of support given the current vote of SF and SDLP.”
Mr Kearney continued, “The reality is we all now live in a dramatically changed political and economic context, and the British state is in Constitutional and institutional crisis, and a debate needs to take place about the future. Sinn Féin believes the future for all our people will be best guaranteed in an agreed, united Ireland emerging from an inclusive national conversation, and new accommodations and compromises. No one wants a future in which Tories in Westminster dictate to the people her.”
Mr Kearney called on parties in the south in favour of unity to “join the debate on the shape of a new Ireland and how we bring it about.”
Mr Kearney called the Brexit decision “a watershed for the entire island” and stated that “all the old certainties have been swept away. Let’s begin the debate about the future.”
Liadh Ní Riada MEP briefs trade union delegation in the European Parliament
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has met with a delegation from the IMPACT Trade Union in the European Parliament in Brussels this week, where she briefed them on a range of European affairs including the TTIP and CETA trade agreements and the fall out from the Brexit Referendum and budgetary affairs.
Liadh Ní Riada said: “Sinn Fein stands for a just, prosperous and social Europe in which Ireland can take her place as an independent, united and prosperous nation. Unfortunately we are a long way from realising that vision.”
She noted that Sinn Féin MEPs work alongside MEPs from progressive and left political organisations all across Europe in advocating for decency and fairness at work, for the defence of social services, and in combatting the neo-liberal agenda.
Ms Ní Riada added “This weeks meeting with IMPACT was very positive and we had the opportunity to cover a wide range of issues from CETA, TTIP, Brexit and the introduction of a living wage.”
She called the trade union movement “the driving force in much of the social progress in Europe over the decades. In the months and years ahead trade unions such as IMPACT will once again be called upon to stand up for workers across Europe and oppose destructive trade deals such as CETA and TTIP. I will stand with IMPACT and the trade union movement in opposing these deals, and in defending the rights of workers against big businesses and their backers in Government.”
Decision to block candidature of Arnaldo Otegi undermines democracy – Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, following the announcement of a decision by the Spanish Constitutional Court to disqualify the Secretary General of Sortu Arnaldo Otegi from seeking election to the Basque Parliament in upcoming elections in the Basque Country, has said the decision is “unhelpful and undermines democracy”.
Teachta Adams said: “I am disappointed to learn that the Spanish Constitutional Court has chosen to uphold a decision by the election commission to deny Arnaldo Otegi the right to seek office in elections taking place later this month in the Basque County. It’s an unhelpful decision that undermines democracy and the Basque peace process.”
Mr Adams continued, “since the 1990s, Arnaldo has been acknowledged as the leader of the Basque pro-independence political movement, and is also undisputedly the leader of the Basque peace process. He has faced unrelenting political persecution by Spanish authorities, and this latest decision is just another example of that treatment.”
The Sinn Féin President concluded by extending the party’s continued solidarity to Arnaldo and full support in his efforts to develop the Basque peace process.
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