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LEAGUE 1985 CAMPAIGN VINDICATED AS UDR MURDER GANGS COME UNDER SCRUTINY
Sometimes you have to wait a long time but eventually the truth will out. This week an international panel of legal experts has concluded that members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in 74 murders in the 1970s. The four-strong panel reviewed 76 killings between 1972
Cathal Ó Luain pour Celtic League le 16/11/06 21:37

Sometimes you have to wait a long time but eventually the truth will out.

This week an international panel of legal experts has concluded that members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in 74 murders in the 1970s.

The four-strong panel reviewed 76 killings between 1972 and 1977 and said that there was evidence of collusion in all but two of the cases.

It concluded that some senior officers knew of the crimes but "failed to act to prevent or punish" those responsible.

The British government has been urged to set up an independent investigation.

Twenty years ago, in the summer of 1985, the Celtic League launched a strong attack on the UDR and sent copies of a leaflet attacking the record of the Regiment to all members of the United Kingdom parliament, as well as politicians in Ireland and the United States.

The conclusions of this independent panel vindicate our decision at the time to attack the murky role of the UDR and campaign for its disbandment.

It is to be hoped that the recommendations of the panel will be adopted and that a thorough examination of crimes convicted by some members of the UDR is now undertaken.

A copy of the Celtic League leaflet which was distributed in 1985 is set out below. It was published at the time in the Autumn issue of the League journal Carn (No. 51).

"STOP THIS MURDER U.D.R. MAN DETAINED AFTER ULSTER KILLING (Guardian 8/4/85)

THE U.D.R. ITS INCEPTION

The Ulster Defence Regiment was formed on April 1st 1970 - its role was to be internal security in the six North Eastern Counties of Ireland, which are still held by the British Crown, The need for such a force arose because the previous internal security force - the 'B' Special Constabulary had been thoroughly discredited and was unacceptable to the Catholic/ Nationalist population of the six counties. A force given British Army discipline would it was felt:

a) Be more acceptable to the Catholic population b) Be more effective in the internal security role

The theory, although the U.K. media initially indicated its apparent success, never worked, and by 1985 the United Kingdom press was carrying headlines such as those above.

The Catholic population, some of whom had initially joined the Regiment, were also thoroughly disillusioned, and the Regiment had become regarded by them as more sectarian and barbarous than the former 'B' Specials.

INTIMIDATION TURNS TO MURDER

The initial alienation of the Nationalist community arose through intimidation of them, when the so-called policy of Ulsterisation was adopted. This policy, put simply, removed Regular British Army units from the Ghetto areas of N.E. Ireland and replaced them with the Ulster Defence Regiment.

Despite complaints/campaigns against this 'get tough policy' the Ulster Defence Regiment proceeded unrestrained. Inevitably unchecked, this intimidation turned to murder.

In 1983 the Celtic League, an Inter-Celtic organisation which as part of its Policy, works for a peaceful re-unification of Eire, became concerned at the level of incidents involving the Ulster Defence.

Regiment. Despite repeated requests to the Northern Ireland Office and the British Ministry of Defence, we have been unable to obtain statistical data on the number of criminal activities in which members of the Ulster Defence Regiment have been involved. The figures are so shocking, the British Government are afraid to publish them.

(Following text in italics) The text above was prepared by the Manx Branch and published by the Celtic League in leaflet form with the aim of contributing to the widespread demand that this policy of official murder be stopped.

It was distributed in all the Celtic countries and sent to elected representatives in several others with a request that they support this campaign. e.g. by writing to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr. Douglas Hurd. N.I. Office, Belfast.

We ask all our readers to do likewise. They could write to the British ambassador in their own country."

J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League

06/11/06

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The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues. TEL (UK) 01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609 (voir le site)
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