Friday, 22 November 2013
Statement by the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton: The BBC Panorama programme revealing the activities of the British Army’s Military Reaction Force (MRF) in Belfast, screened on November 21, should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed events within the Six Counties since the early 1970s. These death-squads were operated as a matter of British Government policy in occupied Ireland, and their activities expose the myth, propagated by the British Government, that their presence in Ireland was a neutral one. On the contrary it shows that they were engaged in a colonial war of repression against the nationalist population. None of this is new and only the names of these forces have changed over the years. The same British Army regiments that were used to fill the ranks of British Intelligence’s notorious ‘Cairo Gang’ during the Black and Tan War in 1920 supplied soldiers to the MRF and its successor Force Research Unit – linked to the murder of Human Rights lawyer Pat Finucane. Today undercover British Army units continue to operate within the Six Counties such as the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, again underlining the abnormal and anti-democratic nature of British rule in Ireland. Indeed the calls by the Six-County Attorney General, John Larkin on November 20 for an end to prosecutions for any killings prior to 1998, including those carried out by the British State must be viewed with great suspicion and smack of a state attempting to protect itself.