[Sinn Fein]

8th March 1999

McNamee Calls for Inquiry

Sinn Fein Assembly Member Pat McNamee has called for an independent inquiry into allegations that there was top-level RUC collusion in a number of murders in his Newry Armagh constituency.

The allegations, in a Sunday newspaper, were made by former RUC member, John Weir, who was convicted for his part in the murder of a Catholic shopkeeper in 1978.

Mr. McNamee said:

``The mounting evidence and allegations of collusion must now be investigated in an independent inquiry. John Weir has provided detailed testimony that the RUC was behind an attack on Donnelly's bar in Silverbridge in 1975 in which three people were killed; an attack on the Step Inn in Keady in 1975 in which two people were killed; the murder of three members of the Reavey family in 1976; and a bomb attack on Tully's bar in Whitecross, also in 1976.

``Weir explains how members of an elite ``anti-terrorist'' unit in the RUC called the Special Patrol Group recruited him at the RUC sports ground in east Belfast to carry out political assassinations and bomb attacks.

``Among Weir's other allegations is that the RUC in Newry collected home-made machine-guns from an Organisation called Down Orange Welfare and sold them to the UVF. He also alleges UDR and British Army involvement in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in which 33 people were killed.

``All these incidents must be investigated. Here is evidence of what republicans have long suspected, that the British forces were behind many of the sectarian attacks in this constituency. There can no longer be any stalling. The Pat Finucane murder, the Brian Nelson case, UFF leader Bobby Philpott's allegations and now John Weir's evidence all demand investigation. The British forces oversaw and were involved in murder and the truth must come out.''

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