UUP leader Doug Beattie calls on Dublin to deliver ‘full account’ of Taoiseach’s £ 8 billion ‘collusion deal’ with IRA


These claims were revealed in a new book, “Albert Reynolds: Risk taker for peace” by former minister and Fianna Fail reporter Conor Lenihan, which also details his own role in the peace talks in the 1990s.

Albert Reynolds TD, who was Taoiseach from 1992 to 1994, is said to have secured key backing for his EU funding offer from German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on the grounds that he would use his influence with the IRA to prevent it from attack British soldiers based in Germany. .

The author said Reynolds believed the IRA was a threat to the Irish state.

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British Prime Minister John Major and Taoiseach and Fianna Fail leader Albert Reynolds give a press conference on the Joint Declaration outside 10 Downing Street in 1993.

In the book, Lenihan details the discussions at the 1992 European Council summit in Edinburgh, when Reynolds launched his ambitious EU funding offer.

“[German Chancellor] Helmut Kohl was the most influential political leader there, ”says Lenihan.

“He told Reynolds he had a problem he needed to solve. British troops stationed in Germany were under attack and he asked the Taoiseach if he could help stop him by talking to the right people … Kohl told Reynolds he would back his request for funds if he could bring his help, in return. “

Lenihan says Reynolds phoned an old friend who was a secondary link between the IRA and the British. Reynolds then brought his friend to meet Kohl, who in turn told Lenihan that he was impressed by the Taoiseach’s promise to end the attacks.

“The German Chancellor then informed the Taoiseach that instead of seeking funding of £ 6bn he should ask for £ 8bn. Reynolds did and got the entire £ 8bn. This has enormously strengthened his position in Fianna Fail.

But UUP chief Doug Beattie said the claims were “astonishing”.

He added: “If this is true, why was not the same influence used to end the attacks on victims in Northern Ireland?” This raises serious questions for the Dublin government.

“Dublin has been very quick in the past to demand all kinds of inquiries and information from London when allegations are made about the role of the British Army and RUC during the unrest.

“It is high time for Dublin to reciprocate and give a full account of what exactly has been agreed between Albert Reynolds’ administration and the EU and whether £ 8bn has in fact been handed over by the EU with the German support in exchange for Dublin’s influence to prevent IRA attacks on British military personnel in Germany.

“I have already raised the issue of legacy with Taoiseach Michael Martin when I met him in Dublin in August and with Tanaiste Leo Varadkar two weeks ago. I will also discuss it with Foreign Minister Simon Coveney when I meet him on Friday.

This latest claim comes a year after Fianna Fail TD Sean Haughey said the IRA’s chief of staff in the early 1970s – Sean McStoifan – was an agent and informant for Garda.

“We have to look at this latter claim in the context of the model that developed during the unrest, according to which for decades the territory of the Republic provided a safe haven for the IRA, a warehouse for enormous quantities of weapons. illegal, terrorist training camps and a base which launched numerous attacks across the border with Northern Ireland, resulting in the death and injury of several hundred British citizens. And to this list must be added the refusal of successive Dublin governments to extradite wanted terrorism suspects to the United Kingdom. When it comes to legacy issues, it is very clear that the focus needs to be on Dublin as well as London. “

Innocent Victims United spokesman Kenny Donaldson said the Irish government should explain “why it would take £ 8 billion for its Prime Minister to convincingly seek to end the murderous terror campaign of the Interim ARI in Continental Europe? “

“Why wouldn’t this state have used all possible methods to end the violence that saw the brutal murders of 15 innocent people [in Europe] and the physical and psychological injuries of hundreds of others?

“Did any of the £ 8 billion end up in the hands of terrorists or its political or community annexes? “

“The Irish government should be prepared (even at this late stage) to account for all the circumstances of the £ 8 billion received, it is a matter of public interest.”

The newsletter invited the Taoiseach, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Irish Department of Justice to respond to comments from Mr Beattie and Mr Donaldson.

The DFA replied: “We will not comment at this time.”

The newsletter also invited Sinn Fein and SDLP to comment.

Sinn Fein made no comment on the claims, but instead highlighted what he said was British government collusion with loyalist terrorist groups.

The party said: “The growing evidence of the British government’s collusion with loyalist death squads is compelling and has been well documented, among others, by Britain’s top police officer, Sir John Stevens, who led three investigations into the activities of loyalist death squads, state agents and their managers after the disclosure of thousands of British state intelligence files by loyalist paramilitaries. ”

Commentator and author Malachi O’Doherty told the News Letter: “If this story is true, Reynolds has exposed himself to being involved in the operational decisions of the IRA and potentially owing them a favor in return. The IRA had limited resources. A decision to withdraw from attacks in Germany inevitably amounted to energies directed elsewhere.

“To say that a target is not acceptable implies that another target is. And Kohl surely would have assumed that his request was untenable.

Allegations of collusion between the Irish state and the Provisional IRA date back to the very genesis of the Troubles. In 1993, former Irish minister Neil Blaney told BBC journalist Peter Taylor in a documentary that his own cabinet helped the young provisional IRA with support in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Blaney said: “We didn’t help create them [PIRA] but we would certainly have accelerated by the help we could have given to their emergence as a force.

A range of key players from the IRA, Irish state and Sinn Fein gave Taylor almost identical accounts of how the Irish government helped create the Interim IRA.

In his book, A Secret History of the IRA, Ed Moloney told essentially the same story. He claimed that the Irish government helped instigate the creation of the Interim IRA out of the old IRA in 1969. He said the aim was to quell the socialist threat of the old IRA, which is feared she would overthrow the Dublin government. Instead, it is claimed, the Irish state helped create a greener, nationalist IRA that would focus all violence north of the border.

Moloney wrote: “[Irish] cabinet papers of the day [1969] reveal that this was a policy agreed to by all Taoiseach ministers Jack Lynch in April of that year, well before the August riots [in Belfast, August 1969]. The documents show that the Justice Department recommended a policy of dividing the rural conservatives of the IRA from the urban radicals and that the cabinet approved it. Even so, the development of the policy put Haughey and Blaney at the center of the program, almost as if it was their private freelance plan. ”

In 2012, the Assembly called on the Irish government to apologize for its alleged role in the emergence of the Provisional IRA. The motion was adopted by 47 votes to 46.

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