éirígí general secretary Breandán Mac Cionnaith has described British secretary of state Shaun Woodward’s claims that the British government is retaining control of ‘national security matters’ in the Six Counties because of the threat of Al Qaeda as farcical.
Addressing Six-County assembly members at Stormont today [Thursday], Woodward said that MI5 would continue to operate in the Six Counties and retain control of ‘national security’ matters, while a Six County justice minister would only be “informed” of any operations by that and other British government bodies.
Mac Cionnaith said: “The claims made by Shaun Woodward that MI5 is continuing to operate in the Six Counties because of the threat posed by Al Qaeda is, quite frankly, farcical. The British government is using Al Qaeda as a smokescreen in an attempt to hide the fact that it is protecting its occupation of the Six Counties through the use of organisations like MI5.
“There have been no Al Qaeda attacks in the Six Counties and there is very little prospect of one – the Six Counties is occupied Irish territory, not a part of Britain. The British government has itself admitted that the vast majority of MI5’s operations in the Six Counties are directed against Irish republicans; in fact, the resources allocated by MI5 to target Irish republicans has not changed significantly since the early 1990s.”
Mac Cionnaith continued: “The British government prepared for the devolution of limited policing and justice powers as far back as 2007 when they stated that, on all matters relating to what they call ‘national security’, the PSNI would be accountable to the British secretary of state, not Stormont.
“This has been the great unmentionable fact of the recent sham negotiations. Stormont is receiving all the powers of a city council.
“Devolution or no devolution, the PSNI is going to remain firmly within the framework of the forces of occupation, which includes MI5 and the British army. This is why éirígí remains firmly opposed to the PSNI and its campaign of repression against the nationalist community.”
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