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Northern Ireland: Garda-IRA collusion allegations must be investigated

Responding to allegations of Garda-IRA collusion in a number of Troubles-related killings, made in a BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight programme broadcast on Tuesday night, Patrick Corrigan, Programme Director of Amnesty International Northern Ireland, said:

“At the time of the publication of the Smithwick Report, Amnesty International pointed out that there were outstanding allegations concerning wrongdoing by agents of the Irish state in other cases.

“The latest revelations, in the BBC Spotlight programme, underline our call for a new, over-arching mechanism to investigate these and other human rights violations and abuses related to the Northern Ireland conflict, whether carried out by paramilitary groups or the security forces or as a result of collusion between the two, whether that involved loyalists, republicans, Irish or British state forces.”

Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said:

“These latest allegations of Garda-IRA collusion in the killing of Lord Justice Gibson and his wife Cecily and others, on top of the Smithwick Tribunal's finding of collusion by members of An Garda Síochána in the killing of RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan, are deeply troubling.

“The information revealed in the BBC programme reinforces Amnesty International’s call for the establishment of a single, comprehensive mechanism into thirty years of human rights abuse in Northern Ireland; and for Ireland to provide full cooperation with this inquiry. Accountability for past wrongdoing must be the foundation on which the future is built on both sides of the border in Ireland.”

Amnesty published a report in September 2013, “Northern Ireland: Time to deal with the past”, which found that the patchwork system of investigation that has been established in Northern Ireland has proven inadequate for the task of establishing the full truth about human rights violations and abuses committed by all sides during the three decades of political violence.

Amnesty continues to call for a comprehensive mechanism to be set up to review the conflict as a whole, establish the truth about outstanding human rights violations and determine responsibility.

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