biography of Alex Maskey called 'Alex Maskey: Man
and Mayor' by Barry McCaffrey has just been published.
Part of the book carries the extraordinary assertion
that 'Liam Maskey and the trade unionist Brendan Mackin
acted as conduits between the INLA and the British
Government during discussions that ended with the
Republican Group announcing a ceasefire.' And 'throughout
1997 and the first eight months of 1998 the two men
carried a succession of messages between the INLA
and the British.'
is simply not true. During both 1997 and 1998 the
stance of the INLA towards the British was summed
up in the phrase 'Don¹t trust the British.' As
a result the leadership of the INLA had taken a decision
that it would not talk to the British Ministers. During
the whole of the year 1997 the INLA was not on ceasefire
and indeed in December 1997 the Ard Feis of the IRSP
had decisively rejected a motion recommending the
INLA to call a ceasefire.
there was ongoing contact with the priests in Clonard
Monastery no moves were made towards the British at
all. However after the result of the Referenda on
the Good Friday Agreement a series of meetings of
the leadership of the INLA was held. Resulting from
these meetings a number of decisions were made including
ending any co-operation with other groups and seeking
talks with representatives of the Irish Government
and with representatives of the Northern Ireland Office
to explain the position of the INLA. In June /July
1998 only one meeting was held with Maskey and Mackin
with a view to set up a meeting with the NIO. They
were asked to facilitate that meeting because of their
proud trade union record. This followed the RSM contacting
Brendan Mackin with a view to exploring what would
be the procedure re prisoners following any INLA cease-fire.
At those meetings the representatives of the INLA
informed those they met of the INLA¹s views on
the consequences of the decision of the people in
Ireland to endorse the Good Friday Agreement.
the record it should be recorded that while both Liam
Maskey and Brendan Mackin are good people of integrity
They did not broker the INLA ceasefire. They did not
carry a succession of messages between the INLA and
the British Government. They did not act as conduits
between the INLA and the British.
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