Statement by the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton
The latest revelations regarding the murder of Belfast human rights lawyer Pat Finucane by a British-backed loyalist death squad in 1989 exposes the reality of British Occupation in Ireland. That the British Government was aware of the threat to Pat Finucane two months before his murder, a fact confirmed by journalist and author Ed Maloney, is particularly damning. We would share the view of the Finucane family that the De Silva Report is a: “…sham” and: “…a whitewash”, designed to protect the British Government and its institutions, including the covert intelligence force MI5.
As a result of the Stormont Agreement the position of MI5 in the Six Counties is now stronger than ever before. The Director of the Committee for the Administration of Justice (CAJ) Brian Gormally made the telling observation: “The reality is that MI5 – secret, unreformed and unaccountable – is now running one of the most sensitive areas of policing – covert national security.” This enhanced role includes the recruiting and running of agents like those who were instrumental in carrying the murder of Pat Finucane, such as Brian Nelson.
The De Silva Reports admits that 80% of the intelligence supplied to loyalist death squads came from the British Army’s notorious Force Research Unit or the RUC Special Branch. This merely underlines their role as another arm of the British Crown forces. The activites of the loyalist death squads are a classic example of the counter-insurgency tactics set out by senior British Army General, Sir Frank Kitson in his books Gangs and Counter-Gangs and Low Intensity Operations. The murder of Pat Finucane was carried out as part of just such a carefully directed campaign, designed to strike terror into the nationalist community. The British-backed loyalist death squad murder of lawyer Rosemary Nelson in 1999 also fits into this pattern.