West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

MRF Revelations nothing new for Republicans - Fitzgerald.

Published: 22 November, 2013

Sinn Féin chairperson of Omagh District Council Anne Marie Fitzgerald has said revelations made in relation to the murderous activities of the Military Reaction Force (MRF) are nothing new for Republicans. She also claimed their activities continued far beyond its supposed disbandment in the early 1970s. She was speaking after a BBC Panorama investigation lifted the lid on some of their actions in Belfast where they killed innocent civilians.

Fitzgerald is a cousin of Aidan McAnespie, who was shot dead by British Soldiers in Aughnacloy in 1988, said that such activities where neither confined to Belfast nor to the early 1970s:

"Whilst the Panorama programme had highlighted much of Republicans had already being saying it had brought some new information and disturbing facts to the fore. Whilst it has been alleged that the MRF was disbanded in the early 1970s, history has proven that their activities continued unabated under various guises including the 14th intelligence company, Special Reconnaissance Unit, the SAS and their surrogates in loyalist murder gangs.

"In 1988 my own cousin Aidan was shot dead as he made his way to a Gaelic football match in Aughnacloy. Aidan was the target of systematic harassment over the period of a number of years. He would be singled out for harassment and ill treatment. He was told by the British Army that he would be shot dead and his murder claimed on Loyalists. On February 21st 1988 their words rang true when Aidan was shot dead by the British Army. Like many cases highlighted in the Panorama programme Aidan was killed without warning and with no apparent reason.

"In Tyrone there are many similar instances where people have been summarily executed by the British directly or through their surrogates, sadly Aidans case is one of hundreds.

"Whilst the British issued a statement of regret to Aidans family a number of years ago it is time they came clean on their dirty war in Ireland in order to address the hurt felt by victims and their families.