Irish Government Urged to Seek release of Secret MoD CR Gas Files

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

The Celtic League has asked the Irish government to add its voice to the calls for secret files covering (Operation Pagoda) – the stockpiling and use of CR gas by British security forces in Ireland – to be made public.

The League has already written to UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon MP urging that the forty year old files should be released.

The British Army allegedly used the highly toxic riot control agent in public order situations and also to quell a protest by republican prisoners in Long Kesh in 1974.

The question of the disposal of the stocks held in Ulster is also unresolved. The UK have no records of their disposal posing the question – were they simply dumped in landfill sites?

Text of letter to Dept. of Foreign Affairs below:

“Minister for Foreign Affairs
Charles Flanagan
Department of Foreign Affairs
80 St Stephen’s Green,
Dublin 2

15/12/14

Dear Minister,

I draw your attention to the attached correspondence to the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence requesting that the MOD release embargoed documents relating to the use of CR gas in Ulster in the 1970s.

We wrote to your Department in 2010 (when Micheál Martin TD was the Minister in post) seeking support in relation to this matter. I also enclose a copy of that correspondence*.

I would urge that the Irish government press the UK to release all information on this matter.

The possible use of CR gas has always been surrounded by controversy not least because it was said to have been used in general public order situations and also against prisoners during a disturbance at Long Kesh jail.

However the issue over CR gas goes beyond those narrow parameters. There is no question that the highly toxic and carcinogenic product was deployed to the North. However there appears to be no record of its removal or disposal.

Your Department will be aware that under International law there are strict criteria governing the disposal of such defence related chemical products the idea that they have simply been ‘lost’ or (as is more likely) deposited in landfill in the North beggars belief!

I hope you can prevail upon UK counterparts (perhaps via the British-Irish Council) to resolve this issue

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information

* Unfortunately we do not appear to have a copy of Mr Martin’s response on file – I am certain this is down to our record keeping and not to due to any omission on the part of the Minister. If the Department does have a copy of the response I would be grateful if you could forward a copy”

Related link here on Celtic News main website:

(English) ÉIRE: Irish government asked to help trace missing CR gas

Unfortunately all CL material on this issue is not yet archived for further information email me direct.

J B Moffatt (Mr)

15/12/14

(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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