from someone who lives in Northern Ireland
What Seán & Anonymous Coward fail to highlight is the likes of `Fifty Dead Men Walking` author Sean McGartland, an Irish Catholic in the British Army who infiltrated the IRA and posed and acted as an IRA terrorist - is that British State collusion with the IRA or is it intelligence gathering? Read the book, McGartland has distanced himself from the recent film. Only recently we have had a Catholic PSNI Officer shot dead by dissident Republicans and just last weekend another attacked in Derry / Londonderry and one shot last year whilst leaving his kids to school and another with an under cover car bomb - nothing whatsoever to do with collusion and everything to do with terrorism and intimidating, maiming and killing Police Officers, especially Catholic ones! Talk of `death squads and collusion` are based on part truth and part myth. A look at the University of Ulster CAIN website which deals with `The Troubles` and is maintained by faculty members of the University from both communites / traditions in NI show that the Provos and their ilk were responsible for 66% of all deaths in the Troubles killing about 2500, Loyalists killed about 1200 and the Security Services ( RUC, Army & Ulster Defence Regiment (locally raised and posted British Army Regiment) were responsible for killing about 300 people, mostly terrorists ) There were many tragedies along the way and the security services were not perfect but them kept the line between peace and outright civil war.
And just for the record the RUC was not disbanded, the official title deeds of the Northern Ireland Constabulary is the "Police Service of Northern Ireland incorporating the Royal Ulster Constabulary" and the RUC / all members were awarded the George Cross by HM Queen Elizabeth!