Flanagan: Let Ellis come before an independent Truth Commission

Sinn Féin's Dessie Ellis.

Fine Gael's Charlie Flanagan has called on Sinn Féin’s Dessie Ellis to come clean on his involvement in a reported 50 murders.

The FG party chairman was reacting to newly-released State papers from the 1980s that show Mr Ellis is believed to have been involved in 50 murders during the Troubles.

A spokesperson for Sinn Féin has today said Mr Ellis rejects the accusations adding that he beat the charges in court in the 1990s.

Mr Flanagan said: "When contacted and asked about the veracity of the claims, Deputy Ellis’ reported response was that he ‘wouldn’t be bothered’ commenting on anything said by ‘the Brits’.

“That a member of the Irish, or any, National Parliament should respond to such serious allegations in such a way is utterly disgraceful and shows a clear disregard not only for the position Deputy Ellis holds but also for the victims of our troubled past and the families they left behind.

“While the Sinn Féin Party Leader, Deputy Gerry Adams, continues to dispute his own membership of the IRA, Deputy Ellis has done no such thing, saying the full extent of his involvement ‘at the highest levels’ will be made known after he leaves politics.

The Fine Gael TD said Sinn Féin could not treat the matter in a routine way.

Mr Flanagan said: "We cannot simply forget the past and sweep the issues which strike at the very heart of the democratic process under the carpet to suit Sinn Féin. Deputy Adams has suggested the establishment of an Independent Truth Commission as a means of resolving our past conflict.

"If this is to be the case, let Dessie Ellis be the first person to be brought before it, so that questions can be answered in respect of the 50 people murdered, to which the British Government suggests he is in some way linked."

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