This letter was sent by women, deceived into relationships by undercover officers, to the Irish Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and Minister of Justice and Equality on 23rd April 2017.
The Irish Department of Justice and Equality recently released a secret “report” prepared by the An Garda Síochána in 2011, attempting to justify the activities of undercover police officers from the UK in Ireland. In recent discussions in the Dail, four UK undercover officers who operated in Ireland have been named: Mark Kennedy, Jim Boyling, Mark Jenner and John& Dines.
Irish Ministers have repeatedly defended UK secret policing operations in Ireland. However, these four officers are among many being investigated in the UK for their role in abusive political policing operations and human rights violations. We are all women who were deceived into intimate relationships with these officers, described by the Metropolitan Police themselves as “abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong”. Those relationships took place in part on Irish soil.
As a result of these and many other revelations, a Public Inquiry is currently being conducted into Undercover Policing in the UK, but the terms of reference limit the inquiry to operations conducted by the police forces of England and Wales. This means that the deceit and abuse we suffered in Ireland, and other countries where we spent time with these men, will not be investigated.
The claims of the An Garda Síochána that British undercover police activities in Ireland were limited to tracking “external activists with a track record for violence” are clearly false. The Metropolitan Police Service has publicly apologised for the violation of our human rights in the UK, but those rights were also violated in Ireland. Someone allowed these officers to engage in abusive sexual relationships on Irish soil.
These units were foreign secret political police, akin to the Stasi of East Germany. They were agents of the British government who were spying on Irish citizens and committing human rights abuses on Irish soil. They must be held accountable for their actions. Yet, so far, the response of the Justice Minister and Garda has been to conduct secret, internal reviews into these revelations and to deny their grave importance. This is an insult to those of us who were abused and spied upon. We are therefore writing to ask the Irish authorities to give us answers to the following questions:
• Who authorised these undercover operations in Ireland?
• Do Irish police hold files on us, and when will we be given access to those files?
• How does the Irish state justify foreign police officers having deceptive intimate relationships with women, in violation of our human rights and bodily integrity?
• How many more UK police officers operated in Ireland and how many more women were abused by the British police on Irish soil?
We call for a full and public investigation into the activities of these officers, detailing any offenses they committed in Ireland, and the numbers of people affected. Secret files must be released and the cover names of the officers published so that the people affected can come forward, and the full extent of the abuses can be known.
Signed: ‘Alison’, ‘Lisa’, Helen Steel and Kate Wilson
‘Alison’ and ‘Lisa’ have anonymity upheld by the UK courts