The cross-party Oireachtas committee reported there was widespread and systematic collusion between British intelligence and between loyalist paramilitaries; that British security forces even murdered people south of the border in the Republic; and that the British cabinet was aware of what was going on and is still deliberately covering up for it.
“We are horrified that persons who were employed by the British administration to preserve peace and to protect people were engaged in the creation of violence and the butchering of innocent victims,” the report says.
“We are dealing with acts of international terrorism that were colluded in by the British security forces,” it adds. “The British government cannot legitimately refuse to co-operate with investigations and attempts to get at the truth.”
Some members of the Oireachtas committee are now seeking a full public inquiry.
The arguments against such a move are already being rehearsed: It will be long, costly, and reach the same conclusions as this report; and the relatives do not need an inquiry to tell them the British murdered their loved ones as they already know.
But there are three groups of people that do need such an inquiry. The British public, in whose name and on whose dime these atrocities were carried out; Irish unionists, who are still deny there was anything wrong with the way the British ran Northern Ireland; and those Irish who think Britain always had a right to invade and occupy Ireland, and murder Irish citizens at will.
This newspaper adds its voice to the call for a full public inquiry.