A cross-border delegation of victims of collusion and campaigners is currently visiting the European Parliament in Brussels.
The 30 strong group, which is being hosted by Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson, includes Paul O’Connor from Derry-based human rights group, the Pat Finucane Centre, and Amanda Fullerton, daughter of the late Eddie Fullerton, a Sinn Féin councillor shot dead by loyalists at his home in Buncrana in 1991.
The delegation also includes journalist and author, Anne Cadwallader, whose latest book, ‘Lethal Allies’ catalogued instances of collusion between British security forces and loyalist paramilitaries.
Relatives of those killed in the Ballymurphy and Loughinisland massacres have also travelled to the Belgian capital. They will take part in a European Parliament hearing entitled ‘Britain’s Dirty War In Ireland.’
Speaking before the group left for Brussels, Ms Anderson said; “The purpose of the delegation is to provide a European platform to the families, campaign groups, legal representatives and individuals who have strained against tremendous odds over the years to expose ‘Britain’s Dirty War In Ireland.’”
Ms Anderson said it would provide an opportunity to present the issue of state collusion to a wider European audience. “It is intended to expose MEPs and others in Europe to the reality of the role Britain has played in our country’s affairs and that it is not allowed to be ignored or forgotten, or airbrushed from any attempt to deal with the legacy of our past.
“The British Government have used every legal and extra-legal move in the book to try to hide what they did – what their polices were, and actions carried out by its forces – both directly and in collusion with unionist murder gangs,” she said.
The Sinn Féin MEP said the delegation would meet with several high ranking Irish officials during its visit to Brussels.
“Among those who will meet with the delegation are, Irish Permanent Representative/Head of Institutional Affairs, Orla Keane, Civil Liberties representatives and the representative of the Justice Commission Director General. I am privileged to host such a group of relentlessly determined and dignified campaigners for truth,” she explained.
Ms Fullerton said she hoped the visit would put pressure on the Dublin government to investigate her father’s murder.
“Member states of the EU have three obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights - the first is the duty to refrain from unlawful deprivation of life, the second is the duty to investigate suspicious deaths thoroughly and the third is the positive obligation to prevent avoidable loss of life. We believe the Irish Government has failed on all three counts. For us, the bottom line is to get our case into the southern courts for the first time”.