March 7, 2024
Britain’s Ambassador must account for disgraceful behaviour of government and MI5 during Sean Brown murder inquest – Senator Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has called on the Government to call in Britain’s Ambassador to Dublin to account for the disgraceful behaviour of the British government and its intelligence agency MI5 during the inquest into the murder of Sean Brown.

Three days ago in a Belfast court the Coroner had to halt the inquest into the murder of Mr Brown by the LVF loyalists, a family man and leading figure in the local GAA in Bellaghy.

Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Gavan said:

“Shocking revelations of collusion between Britain’s intelligence agency MI5 and loyalists in the Belfast Coroners Court this week resulted in the coroner halting the inquest into the killing by loyalists Sean Brown.

“The Coroner did so because the British government’s intelligence agency MI5 has refused for over a year to supply the coroner with vital information it has in its possession in relation to the killing on dubious grounds of ‘national security’.

“It was revealed in court that a number of British state agents, loyalists, were among 25 people suspected of being involved in the murder of Mr Brown.

“In addition to this it was stated that MI5 had the loyalist killers under surveillance for some time and did not prevent the killing. 

“One of two intelligence files relating to the surveillance, which can only be viewed by those vetted and approved by MI5, has 56 pages of information blanked out, unreadable.

“The Ombudsman, Nuala O Loan’s investigation into Mr Brown’s killing found ‘significant failures’  in the investigation, and ‘no effort was made to identify those who carried out the murder’ and the scenes of crime investigation were superficial and perfunctory.

“In addition her investigation was ‘seriously impeded’ by the ‘unexplained disappearance’ of official and secure documents like the ‘Murder Investigation Police File’ and the ‘Occurrence Book’.

“The appalling treatment by the British government, through its intelligence agency MI5 of the Brown family and the justice system comes less than a week after a judge in another Belfast court said the British government’s Legacy Bill of shame failed to meet international human rights standards.

“The Irish government has correctly, and I commend it, taken the British government to the International Court of Human Rights over its Legacy Bill.

“The government should call in the British Ambassador to account for the disgraceful behaviour of the British government and its intelligence agency MI5 during the inquest into the murder of Sean Brown.”

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