Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has again demanded that Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald formally request the extension of the terms of reference of the Pitchford Inquiry in Britain into undercover political policing to cover Ireland, North and South.
The Dublin MEP made the call after attending a press conference in Buswells Hotel in Dublin on Monday, organised by core participants of the Pitchford Inquiry and Shell to Sea activists.
“The press conference heard first-hand accounts from two British female activists who had been persuaded to come to Ireland by discredited British police agent, Mark Kennedy, to help cultivate his cover as an environmental activist.
“One of the women told how she was in a long-term intimate relationship with Kennedy unaware that he was, in fact, a police spy.
“In light of these revelations, I am again demanding that Minister Frances Fitzgerald formally requests that the Britain Government extend the terms of reference of the Pitchford Inquiry into undercover political policing to cover Ireland, North and South.
“To date, the Minister has refused to follow the example of her counterparts in Germany, Scotland and the North by seeking an extension of the terms of reference of the Pitchford Inquiry, despite acknowledging that Garda authorities were aware that undercover police officers were operating in Ireland.
“The testimony raised by participants at today’s press conference raises serious questions about the extent to which An Garda Siochána was aware of the activities of these undercover police officers in this jurisdiction.
“We know for sure that at least one undercover police officer, Mark Kennedy, visited Ireland on a number of occasions and infiltrated a number of campaign groups, including Shell to Sea and Shannonwatch.
“The fact that undercover British officers were operating on the island of Ireland and spying on legitimate, democratic campaign groups and organisations is deeply concerning. There are so many questions that need to be answered.
“Some 56 convictions have already been overturned in Britain because of the actions of Mark Kennedy alone. Among many other questions, we need to find out if these spies have been responsible for similar miscarriages of justice in our jurisdiction.”