Aontú Deputy Leader & Cllr for Mid Ulster, Denise Mullen, has sharply criticised the Taoiseach for failing to deliver upon his promise to meet with victims and survivors of the Glenanne Gang, especially as Boris Johnson’s Tories look to railroad an amnesty for British crimes in the North through the rights to justice of victims and survivors.
Cllr Mullen: “It is incredible the Irish government have dragged their heels in terms of engaging with the victims and their families. Former Fine Gael Taoisigh Enda Kenny and Leo Varadkar both snubbed victims and survivors of British collusion. We honestly feared Michéal Martin would be the same. However, the Taoiseach promised several months ago that he would meet with victims and survivors – a break with two former Taoisigh. Regrettably, that promise has yet to be fulfilled. When we have attempted to follow up on this promise, the promise is repeated back but nothing ever comes of it. This is a Taoiseach who has prided himself on his work to ‘make the Good Friday Agreement work.’ That begins with engaging with victims and survivors of state-sanctioned violence by the British government and of British collusion with Loyalist death squads.”
“This week of course, Boris Johnson’s Tory party – in the wake of charges being dropped against Soldier F – are seeking to force through a blanket amnesty for the crimes of British forces and loyalist paramilitaries perpetrated during the Troubles. For victims and survivors, this is devastating news and an affirmation of that truth that British justice means no justice – when it comes to the North of Ireland. This is why it is so imperative that the leader of the Irish government engage, meet and show solidarity with victims and survivors. The Irish government has legal recourse available to them to stop this amnesty and safeguard the GFA – why not meet with survivors and show us that the Irish government’s solidarity with our pursuit of justice is not confined to mere words.”
“The Glenanne gang murdered 120 people throughout the 1970s, mainly in Armagh and Tyrone. It is widely accepted that the gang, which included members of the RUC police and British army, was also responsible for the Dublin-Monaghan bombings which killed 34 people in 1974. The Glenanne gang acted with impunity, inflicting death and destruction in collusion with forces of the British state. In fact, the extent of efforts to cover-up the British state’s connection to the gang are only coming to light in recent times. To this day, files held by the British government on the Dublin-Monaghan bombings remain under lock-and-key on so-called “national security” grounds. The Irish government should insist that the British government brings the content of those files and all other files relating to the deadly activities of the Glenanne gang into the light of day. It is crucial that the Irish government meets with the many victims of the gang and their families. It is essential that the state takes seriously its responsibility to pursue truth and justice for the people who were killed or maimed and their families. It is time for them to fulfil their most basic duty to these citizens.”