Irish Republican News · February 4, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Cory report suppressed - Adams; Review begins
Cory report suppressed - Adams; Review begins

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams today said that British Prime Minister Tony Blair has ``no intention'' of publishing a report on four of the most controversial killings in the North.

Retired Canadian judge Peter Cory has informed the families of four murder victims that he had recommended public inquiries into each of the killings in which British state collusion is suspected.

The British government has been criticised for failing to release the reports, especially after the Irish government published reports written by the judge into two controversial killings in the South.

Speaking at the House of Commons, where he was meeting the families of people murdered in cases of suspected collusion, Mr Adams said he doubted whether Mr Blair had any intention of releasing the report.

Mr Adams said: ``He promised to both publicise and publish Judge Cory's report and to follow through his recommendations. He has done neither of those things and, I having talked with him recently, has no intention, in my view, of doing that.

``I don't have any confidence whatsoever that Mr Blair is going to publish the Cory report. I think it says something about the grip which the securicrats continue to have within this government.''

Mr Adams said it was important that the British government dealt with the collusion allegations.

``I have very, very publicly commended and acknowledge freely the very positive role that Tony Blair has played in this peace process.

``He broke the mould. But he has to do more. And part of that is to lift the lid on British dirty tricks in my country, and the direct involvement of British agencies.''

Ocer a 100 campaigners are protesting at Conservative Party offices as well as MI5. Victims' representatives organised the demonstration to coincide with the start of new political talks in Belfast to break the deadlocked peace process.

Group spokesman Mark Sykes said: ``The families are determined that the truth surrounding the murder of our loved ones will not continue to be suppressed by the culture of concealment which operates at the heart of the British government.''

Organisers travelled to London after staging a picket at Stormont, where all sides have gathered to begin a major review of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

REVIEW MEETING `A FARCE'

The British and Irish Governments yesterday convened the review of the Good Friday Agreement with Ian Paisley's party in the same room as the Sinn Fein delegation led by Gerry Adams.

But the DUP leader insisted he had not, and would not negotiate with Sinn Fein.

``There is a difference between sitting in the room and negotiating your life, territory and all your liberty away,'' said Mr Paisley.

``I made it clear we are not negotiating with IRA/Sinn Fein. There were no negotiations today.''

Mr Paisley branded the 90-minute review opening as a farce.

``Today was the farce of everyone making a statement. It was only to please the Governments, to let them say they got everyone in the same room.''

Media speculation that the DUP was moderating its stand against the return of power-sharing (including Sinn Fein) were dismissed.

``IRA/Sinn Fein are not in the frame at all,'' he said about proposals his party is to reveal on Thursday.

While Mr Paisley is seeking to renegotiate the Agreement the Sinn Fein president, Mr Adams said today it has to stay and says he will not accept it being ``tweaked, twiddled or subverted''.

At Stormont yesterday Mr Adams said the British government was presenting the situation as a problem of republican violence, but he said: ``Sinn Fein has set our face against violence''.

``I have set a peaceful direction for all republicans to follow and I reiterate that today,'' he said.

He again accused the British government of taking a tactical approach to the Good Friday Agreement, and said it and the Dublin government had to ``honour their obligations made in the Agreement, made in last years Joint Declaration and made in subsequent discussions.''

It is being reported that further review meetings will continue until Easter when the two governments will review progress.

At a news conference, British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy said the opening day had been ``very civil and very courteous'' but there were ``very serious and very big issues'' to be dealt with and it would not be easy, he said.

Mr Murphy said he wanted the review to be as brisk as possible, no one wanted it to drag on for months and months.

US ENVOY IN MEETINGS

Meanwhile, US President George Bush's new special envoy to Ireland, Dr Mitchell Reiss, has made his first visit to Belfast, coinciding with the opening of the review.

Dr Reiss, who replaced Richard Haass as President Bush's expert on the Irish peace process, is meeting political leaders as well as senior figures involved in policing.

Dr Reiss said in Belfast yesterday that he would be directly involved on behalf of President Bush and the US Secretary of State, Mr Colin Powell, in the peace process. This reflected the president's ``ongoing commitment to the peace process''.

Like Dr Haass, the new envoy is a high-powered individual with senior governmental experience. He is an expert on international security and arms control issues.

Dr Reiss said he would not be directly involved in the review, but he would be monitoring it closely and would be available to lend assistance and support, if requested. He would return to the North in April.

``Of course, I will also be available to come over any time when it is seen to be useful to events in the peace process.'' During this visit he would be primarily in ``listening and learning'' mode.

He hinted that there would again be political visits by Irish politicians to Washington during St Patrick's week.

© 2004 Irish Republican News