28 April 2006

RIR militia head Collins remarks challenged

Sinn Féin

Published: 28 April, 2006

Sinn Féin MP for Newry & Armagh Conor Murphy has launched a strong attack on the former leader of the British Army militia the RIR, Tim Collins, after he made insulting remarks about the community in South Armagh during a lecture last night in Dublin.

Mr Murphy said:

"During the course of a lecture last night in Dublin Tim Collins, the former head of the discredited militia the RIR, and a man investigated for war crimes in Iraq, made insulting and disparaging remarks about the community in South Armagh. He accused the people of South Armagh of being involved in drug dealing, pornography and counterfeiting.

"I would suggest that Tim Collins should look closer to home to find those guilty of such crimes. Within the ranks of the British Army he will find individuals guilty of these and worse crimes. But unlike the community in South Armagh who repudiate crime, those guilty of offences such as murder are elevated and promoted within the ranks of the British Army.

"Irish Republicans will take no lectures from a former leading member of the RIR. The RIR is little more than a unionist militia, which is precisely why Sinn Féin argued for so long to see its Home Service Battalions disbanded.

"Collins also made disparaging remarks about the Republican plot in Crossmaglen graveyard. No doubt these remarks are motivated by a sense of embarrassment given the fact that the IRA in South Armagh proved to be such formidable and ultimately undefeatable opponents for the British Crown Forces despite all of their resources and firepower." ENDS

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