Discussion: Out of the Shadows

Event Details

Videos from this event include:

Panel Discussion

A panel discussion exploring the state’s coercive methods of control through its police, army and secret organisations: the practice of collusion and the expedient use of death squads here in the past has been refined for today’s needs to one of covert surveillance and infiltration of communities by paid informers.

Applying what it learned here there is growing and disturbing evidence to suggest Britain’s use of the North as a laboratory for developing strategies and methods to control and suppress communities such as the marginalised and isolated community of Ardoyne in Belfast are now being employed against Black and Asian communities in the inner cites of England.

Increasingly these same communities are experiencing the state’s use of informers, agent provocateurs and targeted killings such as the killing of Mark Duggan in London on 4th August 2011, whose death provoked widespread rioting in that city and in other cities across Britain.

Also looking south of the border today we see a more overt use of political policing in the recent actions of the Garda in its attempts to suppress legitimate anti-water charges protests by communities right across the 26 counties.


Mark McGovern, Professor of sociology at Edge Hill University Liverpool.  His main areas of research are concerned with human rights, state violence and transitional justice.

He is currently undertaking research, working in collaboration with human rights NGOs and community organisations, on state violence, collusion and truth recovery and exploring comparative experiences of policing and social exclusion within Irish, Black and Muslim communities.

His publications include:

  • Ardoyne: The Untold Truth (2002),
  • Countering Terror or Counter-Productive: Comparing Irish and British Muslim Experiences of Counter-insurgency Law and Policy (2010) and
  • States of Collusion: State Violence, Human Rights and Transitional Justice (2015, forthcoming)

Suresh Grover is Director and founding member of the London based ‘Monitoring Group’ whose work is in supporting individuals and families experiencing racial prejudice and violence.

He is one of the leading exponents of family and justice campaigns in the UK. He has led over hundred campaigns to help families, including those related to Blair Peach, Bradford 12, Ricky Reel, Michael Menson, Amarjit Chohan, Stephen Lawrence, Zahid Mubarek and Victoria Climbie – the latter three cases led to Public Judicial Inquiries and consequent changes in legislation and practices.

His work also includes developing international public interest campaigns to support communities suffering discrimination, racism and genocide as well as those affected by ecological disasters induced by either state or corporate neglect.

Aidan Ferguson will speak on behalf of The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC). The organisation was established in 2009 in response to Loyal Order Parades being forced through their community, which regularly cause militarised curfews, inevitable rioting, negative community tensions and the demonisation of Ardoyne residents.

“GARC is a fully constituted community development and resource organization that works for and advocates on behalf of the Greater Ardoyne Community in order to improve the lives of local residents.  Core areas of GARC campaigning and activity are in relation to the lack of leisure facilities in the area, housing, sectarianism, political policing, State repression, culture and language, sports, holding political parties to account, equality and other issues.” 

Clare Daly is a TD for Dail Eireann representing the working class communities of North Dublin.  A founding member of the United Left Alliance she was recently instrumental in exposing malpractice within the south’s Garda Siochana through her support of a Garda whistle blower.  In addition to her involvement in many other campaigns on social justice issues, including supporting the campaign to stop the US military using Shannon airport, she continues to be active in the south’s anti-water charges campaign.

Helen Steel
Helen is one of a number of women who sued the police after being deceived into intimate sexual relationships with undercover policemen who were infiltrating environmental and social justice movements in the UK.  During relationships lasting up to 9 years, officers invaded the women’s private lives and children were born as a result. In taking legal action the women sought to expose these abuses and prevent such relationships from happening again.

In November 2005 the Metropolitan Police issued an unprecedented apology to seven of the women acknowledging that these relationships were a violation of the women’s human rights. More Information

The event will be chaired by John Finucane  (Finucane & Toner Solicitors, Belfast).  John Finucane’s father Patrick was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries acting in collusion with the British government intelligence service MI5 in February 1989.  The Finucane family continue to campaign for an independent public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.

Venue: Pilots Row Community Centre,

Admission: Free