Collusion: How much did Downing Street know?

Nuzhound has published two more Irish News articles on collusion today:

The significance of the files made public in the last 48 hours is that they have delivered confirmation of what was once dismissed as a ‘collusion conspiracy theory’.

They represent a substantial addition to the debate on how the Troubles developed and why violence lasted so long.

For the first time they give a dramatic insight into the scale of collusion and, crucially, how much the British government knew about it.

The ‘Subversion in the UDR’ document was written in August 1973 by military intelligence and Ministry of Defence officials, with one civil servant expressing fears over the questions that "are bound to follow once it has reached No 10".

They were obviously concerned that the then prime minister would be shaken by their report that 5 to 15% of UDR troops were linked to loyalists and that the regiment was the "best single source" of weapons for loyalist paramilitaries.

So what questions did Downing Street ask? (Files confirm suspicions, Irish News via Nuzhound)

The main ‘Subversion’ document, carried in yesterday’s Irish News, contained a series of shocking revelations, including that:

  • five to 15 per cent of UDR members were linked to loyalist groups
  • the "only significant source of modern weapons for Protestant extremist groups has been the UDR"
  • the first loyalty of many soldiers was to "Ulster" rather than "Her Majesty’s Government"
  • removing undesirables from the UDR could "result in a very small regiment indeed".

The documents offer an unprecedented insight into the scale of security-force collusion and accompanying letters indicate that the information was to be passed to "No 10 Downing Street". (stolen Army gun may be linked to second killing, Irish News via Nuzhound)

When considering the role of Downing Street, it’s perhaps worth noting that this was the period when MI5 was alleged to be undermining both Harold Wilson and his policies in Northern Ireland.






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