As the political process seemed set to remain in deadlock until September, Sinn Fein began a campaign highlighting collusion to maintain pressure on
Nationalists want the British to set a definite date for the postponed election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in the fall, but London has so far resisted.
Talks to resolve the deadlock are set to resume in September. Unionists are refusing to remain in the North’s power-sharing administration while the
IRA remains active.
But Adams said a major part of the problem was British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s inability to face down dissidents in the British system who were trying to wreck the process.
He said they were the same people who colluded with loyalists and it was notable that the British had not acted in response to April’s report by London police chief John Stevens, who said there was systematic collusion between the RUC, British army and loyalists.
“What happened? Was there an immediate inquiry? Did governments fall? Were politicians, former prime ministers called to boot? Were those running
these services called to account? No,” Adams said.
Several thousand people attended the rally at Belfast City Hall, which was marked by a loyalist counter-protest. The Progressive Unionist Party portrayed Adams as being deaf to calls for information about IRA
Collusion is expected to loom large in the political agenda over the next few months. The fall will see publication of reports by former Canadian Supreme Court justice Peter Cory and the Barron Inquiry in the Republic. Cory is expected to recommend a full inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane – the focus of Stevens’s collusion findings – and the Barron Inquiry is expected to criticize Britain over the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings.