Legislation for a commission of investigation into decades of collusion by the British state has passed through the first stage of the Dublin parliament.
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín, whose party is bringing the legislation, said its purpose is for a public inquiry into collusion between British State forces and other groups and individuals between 1968 and 1998.
He said he was delighted the legislation had passed through the first stage of the Dáil.
The inquiry will investigate where the British state either committed murder, assisted in the committing of murder, or prevented prosecution of certain serious offences in Ireland, north and south.
Speaking in support of the Commission of Investigation (Collusion of British State Forces) Bill 2022, he said “hundreds” of murders had been attributed to British state forces or collusion with them.
“Cases such as the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, Bloody Sunday, The Ballymurphy Massacre, the Springhill Massacre, the murders of members of the Miami Showband, the murders of the O’Dowd and Reavey families, the murder of Denis Mullen the father of Aontú Cllr Denise Mullen,” he said.
“The shocking heart-breaking list of murders goes on and on.
“Incredibly, there has not been a comprehensive investigation into what happened and how far up the chain of command British collusion goes. Victims and survivors are entitled to know who did what, and who should be held responsible. Aontú’s Bill, if passed would institute an investigation to find the answers to these questions.”
Cllr Denise Mullen said in a statement that the need for an All-Ireland inquiry into the death toll of British collusion could not be denied any longer.
“County by county, report after report, the full extent of British state-sponsored violence is becoming known,” she said.
“In the ‘Murder Triangle’ between Armagh and Tyrone, a British government-sponsored death squad made up of Loyalist terrorists, members of the British Military in Ireland and RUC officers, murdered over 120 innocents across the North of Ireland.
“In the wake of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the Barron Report stated RUC officers and UDR soldiers were involved in bombings, but the British government blocked the Inquiry’s investigation into the role of British collusion. Two public inquiries in Britain concluded that British security officials were involved in the murder of Pat Finucane.
“A previous Police Ombudsman’s report last year, implicated the British State in 19 murders across Antrim, Derry, Tyrone and Donegal between 1993 and 1998. The evidence mounts and mounts. It is now time for a comprehensive investigation into the death toll of British collusion on our island.”
Meanwhile, in Belfast, a vigil was held on Sunday to mark the 34th anniversary of the murder of Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane in front of his family by a British death squad. The vigil heard of recent court decisions in support of a promised public inquiry which the London government has attempted to avoid.
“The whole truth about all the circumstances surrounding Pat’s murder will have to be revealed eventually with no more delay or cover-up,” said family lawyer Peter Madden, from Madden Finucane solicitors.
Speaking after the event, the murdered man’s son, North Belfast MP John Finucane, thanked those in attendance for turning up and showing their support to the family.
“The support my family has received never goes unnoticed and we are very grateful to every one of you.
“Like so many families we still fight for truth and fight for justice. We love and miss him always.”