The victims group An Fhírinne [The Truth] has relaunched its website listing those who have died as result of British state violence or collusion during the recent conflict. The group is appealing to the families of people who were murdered to help complete its database, which is available online at https://www.anfhirinne.org/
For more than 30 years, the British state has been involved in the murder of Irish citizens. Through the systematic control, manipulation and direction of unionist death squads by British intelligence, those whom the state regarded as its enemies were targeted for assassination.
The murder of citizens through collusion with unionist death squads is a British state policy in Ireland, and those who sanction the policy of collusion have never been held accountable.
State-sponsored murder was established as a formal, politically sanctioned tactic at the heart of British policy in Ireland.
The British apparatus that operates the policy of collusion continues in existence.
Until those mechanisms have been dismantled, the strategy disowned and the truth revealed, collusion cannot be consigned to the history books.
The British state -- through agencies such as the British army’s Force Research Unit and the RUC Special Branch -- rearmed, reorganised and directed loyalist death squads.
In late 1987, a number of loyalist paramilitary groups co-operated to import a large consignment of modern weapons into the North of Ireland.
Central to this operation were a number of British intelligence agents working both in South Africa and within loyalist groups.
The deadly arsenal of weapons imported included:
* Two hundred modern automatic rifles;
* Ninety Browning semiautomatic pistols;
* Five hundred fragmentation grenades
* Twelve rocket launchers;
* Thirty thousand rounds of ammunition.
Supplying unionist paramilitaries with modern weaponry had an immediate and deadly impact on the number of killings in the North of Ireland. In the six years prior to the weapons shipment, loyalists killed 71 people. In the subsequent six years, loyalists killed 229 people.
Through a network of agents, the British state identified targets, supplied intelligence and provided back-up to the killers. For example, through their agent Brian Nelson, British intelligence updated all the Ulster Defence Association’s intelligence files to ensure that the UDA’s targeting, to quote a British intelligence report, was “more professional”.
The British army’s Force Research Unit had the authority to ensure that loyalist gunmen had a clear run to and from their target.
All British military and police patrols were withdrawn from designated areas, leaving a free run for the assassins. Special Branch ensured that any investigation into the killings did not result in prosecutions, through the exercise of the “Walker criteria” allowing them total control over investigations, arrests and prosecutions.
The British state established an effective murder machine that enabled it to commission the killing of citizens within its own jurisdiction and beyond.
The British justified collusion by arguing that they were “taking the war to the IRA”.
In reality, once the machinery of murder was up and running, no one was safe.
An Fhírinne, Irish for “the truth”, is a campaign group made up of the relatives and friends of hundreds of Catholics, nationalists and republicans who have been murdered as a result of the policy of collusion and other forms of state murder.
Our aims are clear:
* To secure an international independent judicial inquiry into the issue of state violence and collusion with unionist death squads in the murder of Irish citizens;
* An end to the policy of collusion;
* The British government to divulge to the families all the information it has on its policy of collusion.
* We want the British government to dismantle the structures and agencies that implemented its policy of state murder.
As part of the group’s ongoing campaign to uncover the truth, An Fhírinne is launching a new website at the Rodai Mac Corlai Club on the Glen Road in west Belfast at 11am tomorrow. We are endeavouring to compile comprehensive records relating to state-sponsored killings.
If you are a relative or a friend of somebody who has died as a result of British state violence or collusion between the British state and unionist paramilitaries, then An Fhírinne needs your support. Our database contains information on over 1,000 people but it is incomplete.
The true story of British state-sanctioned murder and collusion with unionist paramilitary death squads has yet to be told. The truth will only be known if the families of victims force the British government to own up and take responsibility for its actions.
Our victims database is incomplete and very much a work in progress.
If we have overlooked anyone who was a victim of British state killings or collusion, please let us know.
Please search our victims database and help us fill in the gaps or correct any discrepancies.
If you can supply a photograph of a friend or family member who was a victim of British state killings or collusion to add to our database and to our exhibition or if you can supply any biographical information on a victim or information about their murder, please send an email to email@example.com.