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Northern Ireland spycops revelations raise Bloody Sunday questions

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A LEADING campaigner has called for the Undercover Policing Inquiry to extend its scope to cover the activities of spycops in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

The ongoing inquiry in London recently released the cover name of an officer from the Metropolitan Police’s special demonstration squad (SDS) who infiltrated the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA).

“Sean Lynch” also spied on the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, the Irish Civil Rights Solidarity Campaign and Sinn Fein in London between 1968 and 1974.

Jason Kirkpatrick, who is fighting for a full inquiry into undercover policing in the north of Ireland, said it heightened calls for an extension of the inquiry, which currently covers just England and Wales.

Mr Kirkpatrick, who was spied on by notorious spycop Mark Kennedy “for four or five years” as an environmental activist, said it was “absolutely shocking that the Saville Inquiry apparently wasn’t told about this.”

 That inquiry was set up by the British government in 1998 to establish a definitive version of the events of Bloody Sunday, when British soldiers opened fire on unarmed peaceful protesters during NICRA’s civil-rights march in Derry in 1972, killing 14 people.

Mr Kirkpatrick said that he was stunned the inquiry, whose report was eventually published in 2010, was not aware of a spycop deployed inside NICRA.

Mr Kirkpatrick was granted permission to seek a judicial review on the decision to exclude the north of Ireland from the spycop inquiry last year.

But said he was frustrated with the delay in the case, mainly as a result of Britain’s Home Office and government legal department, which “have been delaying and delaying and delaying.”

He added: “We wonder if the reason they have been delaying is because they knew this was going to come out.”

“All of the policing by this unit, it was politically motivated,” he said.

He said that “that needs to be cleared up now in Northern Ireland … during the Troubles there were non-violent groups.”

He said: “There’s a question about agent provocateurs: Mark Kennedy, I would say he acted as a agent provocateur towards me personally.

“One has to ask: was this Met undercover officer, ‘Sean Lynch,’ an agent provocateur?”

 

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