Commentators reveal their fears on Irish government collusion

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“IT was within Fianna Fail that ‘sneaking regarders’ with sympathies for the IRA were a problem, particularly in the early years of the Troubles. However, it remains the case that just as the British state has questions to answer in relation to the role of the security forces during the Troubles, the fact that the Provisional IRA was able to exploit the territory of the Republic throughout its campaign raises important issues for the Irish state.”

University of Ulster Professor of Politics Henry Patterson speaking to the News Letter after the Kingsmills families met Taoiseach Enda Kenny

“We didn’t help to create them [PIRA] but we certainly would have accelerated by what assistance we could have given their emergence as a force.”

Neil Blaney, Irish agriculture minister 1966-70. From ‘The Sparks That Lit The Bonfire’, a documentary, presented by BBC journalist Peter Taylor, 1993

“STREET fighting training was given in Donegal by the Irish army. This was done with the knowledge of the whole government.”

Kevin Boland, Irish minister for local government 1966-70. From ‘Sparks’

“TO date arms and support seem to have got into the wrong hands in Belfast. This situation must be remedied.”

Irish intelligence officer Capt James Kelly in a report to his senior officer about Northern Ireland in September 1969. From the 1998 BBC Spotlight documentary ‘Patriot Games’

“CABINET papers of the day [1969] reveal that this was a policy agreed upon by all Taoiseach Jack Lynch’s ministers in April that year, long before the August riots [in Belfast, August 1969]. The papers show that the Department of Justice had recommended a policy of dividing the IRA’s rural conservatives from the urban radicals and that the cabinet endorsed this. Even so, the working out of the policy put Haughey and Blaney at the centre of the scheme, almost as if it was their private freelance plan.”

Journalist Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA

“IT [Irish government money] does seem to have ended up in the hands of the PIRA rather than OIRA. This might have been intended as there was this concern about rising of a communist IRA and a feeling that the IRA should be more activated by nationalist concerns.”

Former Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald, member of Irish Parliamentary Inquiry into Arms Conspiracy in 1970. From ‘Sparks’

“THERE is reason to believe the Irish government/Fianna Fail made approaches to northern nationalists/IRA to form a northern command and separate from its Marxist attacks on the Irish state. PIRA came out of that with standing orders saying there were to be no attacks on the Republic of Ireland. The Republic of Ireland government kept its side of the deal for some time.”

Former UUP leader David Trimble, speaking while still at Stormont