A 90 minute feature documentary, based on years of journalistic research, tells for the first time tell a new side to the dirty war in Northern Ireland shedding new light on the extent of collusion between Loyalist paramilitaries and the British security forces, over three decades.
A member of the gang linked to the Dublin Monaghan bombs and many other atrocities, in a first time television interview, reveals that their intent was to foment a civil war – and in that event, they were confident they could “crush the other side”.
Taoiseachs Jack Lynch and Liam Cosgrove were met with flat denials when they raised collusion with their British counterparts. The film reveals that the British were well aware of it. As one British Army general even says in a secret memo it “may be necessary to turn a blind eye to UDA arms”.
Supported by archive evidence and interviews with senior Irish and British officials of the period, the film reveals that the British Army decided early on it could not fight a war on two fronts and concentrated its efforts on “destroying” the Provisional IRA, while at the same saying publicly it was dealing with the conflict in an even handed way.
Such was the extent of collusion in the eighties, the film also reveals that an RUC Special Branch officer tipped off a UDA brigadier about an informer. It could easily have led to the man’s murder.
In the film, a UDA brigadier, speaking on a secret tape, also names senior loyalist paramilitaries he believes are working as agents for the security forces.
A former head of RUC Special Branch also reveals that he personally asked the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for a legal framework for the handling of agents within paramilitary groups. This didn’t happen because, in effect, HMG was saying “carry on – just don’t get caught”.
Even as late as 2003, six years after the Good Friday Agreement , when a former Police Ombudsman began to investigate new murders involving collusion she reveals for the first time that senior British Government officials tried to put pressure on her not to probe. She eventually uncovered truly shocking levels of collusion between police officers and what she described as “serial killers.”
A former Chief Constable of the Northern Ireland police service also states that justice would have been better served if a British Army brigadier in charge of a secret unit that ran an agent convicted of multiple murder conspiracies had faced a public trial.
Working with eight women’s groups on opposite sides of the Peacelines for the past six months, at some of the city’s most controversial flashpoints, our team’s task was to create an exciting, interactive experience that allows the community to break down the walls or imaginary barriers between them to create something new, positive and visionary in a ‘virtually’ shared space that brings people together and threatens no one.