St Mary’s launch for shocking exposé of UDR/RUC

Collusion book a lightning sell-out

By Francesca Ryan

A NEW book detailing collusion between loyalists and the RUC and UDR has already sold out its first print run.

‘Lethal Allies – British Collusion in Ireland’, which was launched at the weekend at St Mary’s University College on the Falls Road, is the result of 15 years of research carried out by the Pat Finucane Centre in Derry. Many of the shocking claims contained in the book feature in as-yet unpublished reports by the PSNI’s Historical Enquiries team.

The book claims the RUC and UDR were part of a loyalist gang that operated from farms in counties Armagh and Tyrone and was responsible for the deaths of around 120 Catholics in the 1970s, many of them affluent and upwardly mobile.  It also asserts that senior members the security forces were fully aware of the activities.

The book’s author, Anne Cadwallader, told the Andersonstown News everyone connected with the book is surprised at the strength of the sales.

“We thought it would do well but we didn’t expect this,” she said.  “It has already sold out and the publisher has ordered a second print run, which is great in terms of sales.

“We had a private launch in Armagh, one in Belfast, one in Derry and in Dublin and at each there has been two to three times the number of people we expected, so there is a lot of interest in this subject.”

Anne says that while some political parties in Ireland have pledged their full support, the response from the British parties has been disappointing.

“Sinn Féin, the SDLP, the Irish Labour Party, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have all been incredibly supportive,” she said. “The unionist response, although negative, has been rather muted. We had expected howls of anguish and hostility but that hasn’t come. We would appeal to them to read the book, it’s not an anti-RUC or UDR book, it’s an anti-collusion book.

“The only disappointing response to date has been from the British Labour and Conservative parties.  Vernon Coaker [Labour’s former Shadow Secretary of State] had agreed to meet with us but then was reshuffled. We have asked his successor Ivan Lewis for a meeting but have yet to hear back. The Pat Finucane Centre offered to brief Secretary of State Theresa Villiers on the book prior to publication, but we were told she was too busy.

“The villain in this book is successive British governments and for us to offer an advance briefing was a huge decision, so it’s disappointing she could not find the time to meet with us. We are going to the House of Commons next week to give a presentation to a cross-party group of MPs and we will see if they offer a reaction. In the meantime, we are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response but the real test will be whether the book makes a difference for the families, or politically.”

Lethal Allies – British Collusion in Ireland will be back in local bookshops and will also be available to buy online from next week.

 

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