• March 22, 2018

With the United Kingdom government waxing lyrical about alleged ‘appalling’ activities of the Russian FSB in targeting two expatriate Russians with chemical weapons (which also injured a police officer who went to their assistance). Much is made of the fact that this is the first time since World War 2 that chemical weapons have been used in Europe.

However what is conveniently overlooked by the current UK administration is that they allegedly committed an ‘appalling crime’ when they used CR gas against scores of inmates at Long Kesh prison in N Ireland in the 1970s. Files on the affair where gas was dropped onto the sealed compounds during a disturbance are so sensitive that they remain classified. The conditions at the temporary prison had been condemned by the International Red Cross.

Celtic League have probed the events at Long Kesh for years and there has been a steady drip of information first denials and then confirmation that the events (as former prisoners contended) occurred.

Just a few years ago we became aware that the British Security Services deployed the highly carcinogenic gas to N Ireland in an operation codenamed ‘Operation Pagoda’ and files on this still remain classified with a further review on there release next year.

We have pressed the UK and Irish governments to seek transparency. We also tried to find out if proper health care was provided after troops equipped with breathing apparatus removed the most ill inmates who had been exposed. The UK is strangely quiet on the issue. However in the meantime many of those exposed to the gassing have died.

As well as pressing Russia the UK government needs to clean out its own ‘chemical weapons’ cupboard and own up to what happened at Long Kesh.

Image: Long Kesh after the disturbance in 1974.

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Bernard Moffatt
pp Celtic League



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