News | Eastwood: Those with most to lose are blocking the truth

Eastwood: Those with most to lose are blocking the truth

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has commented on reports that the RUC was given secret intelligence that could have prevented the Shankill bombing, but failed to act on it. He says the information raises serious questions for all involved.

These events show that the RUC placed more importance on protecting the lives of their IRA and UDA collaborators than those of innocent people. Even the suggestion in today’s newspaper report that UDA leader Johnny Adair and his criminal cohorts could have been tipped off by British forces acting on intelligence supplied by an IRA mole is truly staggering. 

Provisional republicans, who have known about some of these allegations since 2002, seem to have forgotten innocent lives were sacrificed as part of this macabre trail of events. Their priority was to identify and quietly retire someone in their ranks they knew was a British agent, instead of informing the victim’s families.

Everyone, most especially the people of the Shankill Road, need a number of questions answered: 

  • Did the RUC tip off Johnny Adair and the UDA that an attack on their regular Saturday meeting was to take place? Did they fail to prevent the attack itself in order to protect their IRA agent?
  • Has the British government informed the victim’s families that the RUC knew about the attack before it took place and failed to prevent it?
  • Did anyone in the provisional republican movement communicate to any of the victim’s families in 2002 that information on the planned bombing attack on the Shankill Road had in fact been supplied to the RUC?
  • Are any of the RUC officers who knew about the attack still employed by the PSNI? When will the Police Ombudsman be interviewing current and past RUC officers involved?
  • How many people in the Ardoyne and Shankill have lost their lives as a result of the RUC and British Intelligence not doing their jobs?

The Fresh Start Agreement has seen victims once again let down in their search for justice. These events show that agencies and organisations who have most to lose from the truth coming out are the same people who are blocking it happening.

Once again the rights of victims and their families are placed at the back of the queue. Only when these questions are answered can victims have any faith that they will ever find out the full truth behind this attack. 

Colum Eastwood MLA

028 71350045

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