Irish Republican News · March 19, 2009
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Challenge to deployment of killer regiment

The Relatives For Justice group is to mount a legal challenge to PSNI Chief Hugh Orde’s decision to deploy special British armed forces in the North.

The ‘Special Reconnaissance Regiment’ have recently joined the 5,000 regular British troops which remain garrisoned in the North on an indefinite basis.

British claims that the SRR will be exclusively used for surveillance operations were met with widespread scepticism.

Closely aligned to the notorious SAS and formed from the murderous 14th Intelligence Company, the SRR are experienced practitioners of shoot-to-kill and collusion.

In 2005, an SRR gang was caught red-handed in Basra carrying a bomb in what appeared to be a classic covert British dirty tricks operation.

Director of the victims’ group, Mark Thompson, said Orde’s decision “undermines the Policing Board.

“The way in which this policy decision has been taken clearly places both the Chief Constable and the Policing Board in breach of their statutory duties,” he said.

Legal advice confirmed that there had been violations of the ‘Northern Ireland Police Act’, which set up the Policing Board.

“It is in these regards that a number of families bereaved as a direct consequence of so-called ‘special forces’, such as the Force Research Unit (FRU), the 14th Intelligence Unit, the Signals, and ultimately the SAS who work closely with these military units, will directly challenge the policy decision to deploy.”

At a protest in Dublin on Saturday, eirigi activists gathered at the British embassy to demand an end to the presence of British death squads such as the SRR, and the entire British garrison in the North.

Party activists and supporters carried banners, flags and placards.

Speaking at the event, eirigi chairperson Brian Leeson said: “We have heard much over the last decade about the demilitarisation of society in the Six Counties. This process was never completed, and what we are seeing now is actually a remilitarisation by the British government of the situation in the Six Counties.

“We can only conclude from developments that the measure of demilitarisation which the British government conducted was purely tactical and variable depending on the perceived level of threat to its occupation here.”

He said people in Ireland knew what the consequences of deploying groups like the SRR are “because they have seen it all before.

“The Black and Tans, the Force Research Unit and the SAS all played similar roles in an effort to shore up the British occupation.

“Their role, as determined by their political leadership in Downing Street, is to compliment and strengthen Britain’s stranglehold on Ireland. The British garrison in Ireland must be deconstructed, not re-enforced”.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams also warned the regiment to Ireland would damage the political process and provide fresh impetus for republican armed groups.

Speaking in Washington, he said that the British Government must resist “any temptation or any demands for a return to the bad practices of the past. This would be equally wrong. It would also sideline the peace process and political leaders.”

Mr Adams said that he had spoken to Gordon Brown about the need for the recent attacks to be treated as “a police matter with civilian oversight” rather than investigated by “faceless, anonymous groups”.

He added: “It is a matter for the PSNI. Sinn Fein has been robust in calling for people to cooperate with the PSNI. Any attempt to bring in outside forces and unaccountable groups just plays into the hands of the dissidents.”

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© 2009 Irish Republican News