April 15th 2005
Former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, will attend a press conference with Relatives for Justice at the Europa Hotel Belfast on Monday 18th April at 11:00am to publicly launch a conference programme on State Violence – State the Truth by Relatives for Justice to be held on Saturday April 30th.
Speaking in advance of the press launch on Monday morning setting out the conference programme of April 30th Relatives for Justice Director Mark Thompson said:
‘We are delighted that the former Taoiseach is launching our pre-conference publicity. This is a great boost for the hundreds of families affected by British State violence.
‘As former Taoiseach Mr. Reynolds played a central role in the creation of the peace process and as such is acutely aware of the necessity to also resolve the many instances in which the British State took life and in which collusion existed.
‘These human rights issues continue to lie at the heart of building peace, creating trust and confidence, and importantly delivering truth and justice. However, persistent barriers like the deliberate stalling of inquests, the recent Inquiries Bill, the failure to make the office of the DPP accountable, and the failure of the British Government to cooperate with the Barron Inquiry into Dublin/Monaghan bombings, are not acceptable – especially as it was over a decade ago that Albert Reynolds, as Taoiseach, laid the foundations for a lasting peace with truth and justice.
‘It’s time for the truth. The British Government is using its sovereignty as a shield to prevent the truth from emerging. The British Government must stop the business of denying its central role in the conflict. Attempting to silence the voices of hundreds of families bereaved and injured by its forces, and its allies in loyalist paramilitaries will not succeed.
‘Mr. Reynolds’ support for our conference on April 30th is an endorsement of our commitment to ensuring that human rights violations committed by the British Government over three decades will be addressed.’
Albert Reynolds will be joined at the press conference by lawyer John Finucane, son of Pat Finucane, Paul McIlwaine father of Portadown teenager David McIlwaine killed in Tandragee in 2000 by the UVF, Caoimhe Hanna sister of Kevin O’Donnell killed in Coalisland in 1992 by the SAS, and Relatives for Justice Chairperson Clara Reilly.
Many other families affected by state violence and collusion will attend the press conference.