Victims call for Cory reports publication

A nationalist victims' group has called on the British government to publish the Cory report into British collusion with loyalist paramilitaries.

It is understood that Judge Cory has recommended public inquiries into four murders: those of the solicitors Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson, the loyalist leader Billy Wright and the Portadown man Robert Hamill.

Up to 50 protesters from the An Fhirinne victims group staged a silent protest outside Stormont Castle Buildings outside Belfast yesterday before handing a letter of protest into Secretary of State Paul Murphy calling for the immediate publication of retired Canadian judge Peter Cory's report.

Mark Sykes, who was shot and seriously wounded in the UDA's attack on an Ormeau Road bookmakers in 1992 said that the British government could not continue delaying the publication of the judge's findings.

``We are now being told that Mr Cory has uncovered evidence that the gun used in the bookmaker's attack and a seperate attack on the Devenish Arms three months earlier, had been in the possession of RUC Special Branch in 1989 but they gave it back to the UDA.

``The families of Peter Magee, Jack Duffin, James Kennedy, William Mc-Manus and Christy Doherty who were murdered in Sean Graham's and the family of Aidan Wallace who was murdered in the Devenish Arms deserve to know if their lives could have been saved.''

Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy, who took part in the protest, said that the British government needed to make it clear if Crown force members, who had been involved in collusion with loyalist paramilitaries, were still serving policemen and soldiers.

``People need to know if these individuals are still in Special Branch?

``Have these people been promoted? Are they now in senior positions within the PSNI.

``Who gave the order for these weapons to be handed back to the UDA?

``These are all questions which the nationalist community need to know and which the British government can not stall on any longer.''

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, who yesterday met the Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, said Ahern had assured him during their meeting that the Irish government would publish two reports it had received from Canadian judge Peter Cory into allegations of collusion as soon as possible.

He added his voice to calls by the British government to push ahead with the publication of the four reports it had received from the judge.

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© 2003 Irish Republican News