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Foster urges ‘examination’ into claims of Irish state collusion in IRA murders

The DUP leader has asked for a meeting with Micheal Martin.

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Arlene Foster urged Micheal Martin to ‘urgently assist’ in ‘getting to the truth’ (Brian Lawless/PA)

Arlene Foster urged Micheal Martin to ‘urgently assist’ in ‘getting to the truth’ (Brian Lawless/PA)

Arlene Foster urged Micheal Martin to ‘urgently assist’ in ‘getting to the truth’ (Brian Lawless/PA)

Northern Ireland’s First Minister has told the Taoiseach there must be a “fresh examination” into allegations of collusion between Irish state authorities and the IRA.

Arlene Foster urged Micheal Martin to “urgently assist” in “getting to the truth” about what she described as unanswered questions in the state’s role with Republican paramilitaries.

The DUP leader has asked for a meeting with Mr Martin.

In a letter to the Taoiseach, seen by the PA news agency, Mrs Foster outlines a number of murders where there have been allegations of Irish state collusion.

There are many unanswered questions regarding the role of the Irish state in arming and assisting the IRA in its campaign of terrorArlene Foster

She referred to the Smithwick Inquiry which found that gardai leaked information to the IRA about two RUC officers.

Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan were murdered in 1989 as they crossed the border following a meeting at a garda station in Dundalk.

Mrs Foster said that while the tribunal reported in December 2013, she claimed no further action has been taken.

Mrs Foster said she was writing to the Taoiseach following a tweet sent by Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley which appeared to glorify historical killings of British soldiers by the IRA.

She said she has received letters from “innocent victims” about the tweet and the publicity surrounding the British Government’s decision not to hold an immediate inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.

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The bullet-riddled minibus near Whitecross in South Armagh where 10 Protestant workmen were shot dead by IRA terrorists in the ‘Kingsmill massacre’

The bullet-riddled minibus near Whitecross in South Armagh where 10 Protestant workmen were shot dead by IRA terrorists in the ‘Kingsmill massacre’

The bullet-riddled minibus near Whitecross in South Armagh where 10 Protestant workmen were shot dead by IRA terrorists in the ‘Kingsmill massacre’

Referring to other IRA attacks, Mrs Foster wrote about the Kingsmill massacre in 1976, the murder of Ian Sproule in 1991, as well as the murders of Lord Justice Maurice Gibson Pc and his wife Lady Cecily in 1987.

Her letter also quotes comments made by Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney who said that there needs to be “real recognition (for victims) on the basis of truth”.

She also raised meetings that Mr Coveney had with the families of the Kingsmill massacre and with Ian Sproule’s brother John, saying that “nothing happened” following these talks.

She wrote: “I believe strongly that if your Government wants to play its role in getting to the truth and thereby assisting reconciliation, then it should seek to urgently assist in the above cases and supply the necessary documentation, as well as examining the recommendations of, and the new evidence that came to light in, the Smithwick Tribunal.

“There are many unanswered questions regarding the role of the Irish state in arming and assisting the IRA in its campaign of terror during “the Troubles” and there can be no doubt that all these matters need a fresh examination if we are all to get to the truth of what happened in our shared past.

“I would like to discuss these matters with you and look forward to an opportunity to do so in the near future.”

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