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British government '90 per cent responsible' for murder of 5 in a Belfast bookies in 1992, relative says

THE British government “is 90 per cent responsible” for the murder of five men shot dead in a Belfast bookies by loyalist gunmen in 1992, a relative of one of those killed said today.

Billy McManus, whose father was killed in the Sean Graham bookmakers massacre, said that he believes that collusion was a major factor in the shootings, which is why the British government wants an amnesty.

“Collusion is 90 per cent of my father’s murder. A British agent and a handler went into the barracks on the Malone Road and took handguns and rifles which went on to be used in several murders,” he told Sunday Lite.

“Those guns were shipped in from South Africa by Brian Nelson, who was another paid British agent. All of this has already been admitted.

“Some of those guns went on to be used in some of the worst atrocities of the Troubles like Sean Graham’s bookies, Loughinisland, Greysteel and others.

“You couldn’t even put into words the devastation those guns went on to cause, and there’s a lot of questions to be answered.

“These murders affected everyone from Protestant and Catholic civilians to police officers and members of the armed forces.

“Of the 3,700 or so murders during the Troubles, the government will have blood on their hands when it comes to over 2,000 of them.”

Mr McManus handed a letter of protest to Downing Street last week against the proposed Troubles amnesty announced by the British government earlier this month.

The Northern Ireland Assembly convened an emergency session last week, with parties across the sectarian divide condemning the plans.

Responsibility for the Sean Graham bookmakers massacre was claimed by the Ulster Defence Association, under the cover name the Ulster Freedom Fighters.

Five Catholic civilians were killed and nine injured in the shootings, which were said to be a revenge attack for the Teebane bombing three weeks previously.

The proposed amnesty would apply to military veterans as well as ex-paramilitaries, and would also end all legacy inquests and civil actions related to the conflict.

“The only thing we want is the truth and everyone is wondering why they are trying to hide the truth.

“They’re denying justice to families; if they want to resolve legacy issues, then tell us what happened,” Mr McManus said.

Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O’Neill claimed during last week’s Stormont debate that the British government’s aim is to cover up Britain’s “dirty war” in Ireland.

She said the legislation was not about “protecting those who wore uniforms but those who wore suits: those who were at the highest levels of government.”

British intelligence services are believed to have colluded or been responsible for a number of killings and atrocities, including the Miami Showband massacre, the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and the McGurk’s Bar bombing, among others.

At least 120 deaths have been attributed to the Glenanne Gang, a secret alliance of British soldiers, police officers from the Royal Ulster Constabulary and members of the Ulster Volunteer Force.

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