FAIR
Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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26/04/06
I.M. SEE NO EVIL HEAR NO EVIL

Victims will always urge caution at times such as this, for unlike the majority of members of the IMC we have lived through and sadly seen too many die through the Troubles in Northern Ireland. There have been times of high optimism before even times of prolonged peace however we have seen time and time again Republicans abusing the trust placed in them. Their use of flags of convenience, no claim no blame operations, strategic defection to alternative groups and a host of other cynical tactics to create an impression totally divorced from reality.

The lack of evidence displayed by the IMC is also a worrying feature, and a simplistic naivety in analysis perturbs us. For example the fact they appear willing to take Gerry Adams at face value when they state We also welcome his separate comments in which he supported the pursuit of criminal assets and said that anybody involved in criminality should face". However at the same time he was condemning the authorities for their actions against Slab Murphy and defending this man as a good republican. There is a clear contradiction here. As we have told the IMC on a number of occasions, South Armagh is a very different situation and one which needs to be examined in detail. We challenge them to apply their Report to South Armagh and honestly say it reflects the reality on the ground here.

This is not the case however and until it is we cannot support the position taken by the IMC. To be honest victims or indeed anyone in this country would be be foolish to move forward on the basis of such flimsy evidence For example much has been made of the words "We are not aware of current terrorist, paramilitary or violent activity sanctioned by the leadership. We have had no indications in the last three months of training, engineering activity, recent recruitment or targeting for the purposes of attack.". We would hope that the IMC and indeed the police and security services upon whom they rely for their intelligence are not aware of such activity because if they were then we would expect action to be taken to stop it such as we saw on the swoop on the bomb factory in Lurgan. Sadly thousands of people have been killed and injured in our country because the state was unaware of the plans or activities of the terrorists. Given the scale down in police resources, manpower and intelligence capacity and assets its is no surprise that their levels of terrorist awareness are low.

They didn't seem aware that Sinn Fein/IRA planned to murder Dennis Donaldson an issue which despite being outside the six month time frame of this report should have featured in their deliberations. The IMC appears to be adopting the position of see no evil hear no evil which whilst it may serve the current political agenda does little to law a firm foundation for peace. It is clear that the PIRA in South Armagh have retained their weapons, and whilst this is unacceptable and a clear indication of their intent to continue to use violence, the attack on Denis Donaldson shows as did the killing of Eamon Collins that weapons have never been the issue it is the mindset of those who hold them.

 



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