Take a look at this post… ‘”The flow of arms from the UDR to the UDA was just stunning” ‘.

http://seachranaidhe-irishandproud.blogspot.com/2022/04/the-flow-of-arms-from-udr-to-uda-was.html

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil – but only if you are a loyalist paramilitary

Jeffrey Donaldson alleges that a Garda mole was involved in IRA and responsible for the murder of two RUC officers!

https://villagemagazine.ie/new-dup-leader-jeffrey-donaldson-has-alleged-that-a-garda-mole-was-involved-in-the-ira-murder-of-two-ruc-officers-in-the-republic/

Special RUC unit saved Gerry Adams from assassination by loyalists – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/news/special-ruc-unit-saved-gerry-adams-from-assassination-by-loyalists-40285529.html

SHOOT-TO-KILL AND KING RAT’S DEATH SQUADS

THE murderous activities of one of mid-Ulster’s most prolific loyalist death squads is set to be laid bare in a new documentary planned by the director of harrowing collusion film Unquiet Graves.

LVF Guard of Honour watching over Billy Wright as he lies in his coffin. After being murdered by members of the INLA in the H.Blocks, of Long Kesh.

Film-maker Sean Murray is in the pre-production stages of a tell-all feature film focusing on Billy ‘King Rat’ Wright’s notorious UVF brigade and his gang’s deadly links to the security services. The follow-up to Unquiet Graves, which aired on RTE to huge viewing figures of 21o,000 this week, will focus on countless sectarian murders carried out by Wright’s death squad in East Tyrone during the 80s and 90s. It will explore Britain’s shoot-to-kill policy which ran alongside some of the Troubles’ most callous murders carried out by loyalist hit teams whose victims included a heavily pregnant women and elderly civilians. Collusion claims, similar to those revealed in the West Belfast man’s hard-hitting film shown to TV audiences last week for the first time, are also expected to be revealed.

STRATEGY 

“I’ll not give too much away but we are already in pre-production for that film,” the 44-year-old director told the Sunday World. “It will concentrate on the killings in East Tyrone, and how the strategy by the British Government changed.” Commenting on Wednesday night’s RTE’s milestone screening of his Glennane Gang film, he said: “I viewed it as being something very historic indeed considering that it’s the first time that an independent film of that nature has been shown uncut. “To be able to just actually pierce public consciousness in the south about what happened with regards to the activities of the Glennane Gang, in the north and south, is just something that is historic. “I wanted to represent an overarching story on collusion, there are many aspects in many different areas but I think for me the Glennane Gang, those series of killings, was something that was monumental.

Billy ‘King Rat’ Wright

“There was a nature that this was something very, very big and I thought if I made a film on the Glennane Gang it would give a real sense of what was happening in other areas and not just those series of killings. “And I think there were many aspects to what happened with the Glennane Gang. You had the UDR, you had the RUC and how they were in cahoots with the UVF, and the scale of killings, over 120 people, 120 civilians. “People who were doing well, SDLP members, GAA members. So, for me it was something that could pierce public consciousness like the south or in Britain,” he said. “And if it shocks someone like me who has lived through the conflict and has been surrounded by it in West Belfast, then what is that going to do to an English audience that hasn’t been affected by the political violence that surrounded us?” The film, first released in 2018, details how rogue members of the RUC and UDR worked alongside loyalist paramilitary killers targeting civilians in the so-called “murder triangle” spanning counties Armagh and Tyrone.

UDA-UDR-UVF Spot the difference? Answer: There is no difference

The murder machine became known as the Glennane Gang, responsible for around 120 sectarian murderers of farmers, shopkeepers, publicans and other innocents in a terror campaign through the 1970s. That included the 1976 bombing of the Step Inn in Keady, in which two Catholics, Elizabeth McDonald and Gerard McGleenon, were murdered. The activities of prolific UVF killer Robin ‘The Jackal’ Jackson, a known security force agent, was also featured. The state-backed murderer has been linked to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the Miami Showband massacre and countless sectarian murders. In the film he was identified by the grieving widow of Pat Campbell, blasted to death on the doorstep of his Banbridge home in 1973, as being one of the gunmen.

Kathleen O’Hagan (38) murdered by the UVF at a remote cottage in Co. Tyrone in August 1994

Former RUC officer and self-confessed Glennane Gang member John Weir also gave a chilling account of an aborted plan to launch a gun attack on a Catholic primary school. Despite wide-spread praise and reviews, the critically acclaimed film was also subject to some criticism from unionist circles. UUP MLA Doug Beattie, a former British soldier, accused the programme of being “biased and unbalanced”. He also likened the documentary to “anti-state propaganda”. Said Murray: “I understand that there are victims on the other side, and I think what Unquiet Graves does is, it tells a story about victims of state violence very sensitively, it’s not agitprop, it’s not in your face. “No matter what work we do, if you are dealing with sensitive issues around legacy, we need to be mindful of victims right across the political spectrum, and I hope my work does that.” The feature film, narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Stephen Rea, was inspired by the painstaking work of the human rights groups The Pat Finucane Centre, Dublin-based Justice for the Forgotten and journalist Anne Cadwallader’s best-selling book, Lethal Allies. Ms Cadwallader said it was “incredibly gratifying” to see the reaction to victims and survivors’ stories being screened on TV. “I’m glad obviously that it has had such a huge reaction on social media, I’m disappointed that more politicians haven’t commented because you would have thought that on both sides of the border when they watched it, and they should have watched it, maybe there’s something happening behind the scenes I don’t know,” she said.

CRITICAL 

“But I am very, very critical of the British government whose responsibility of what happened in Lethal Allies is. We have had nothing from the British government.” The campaigning journalist added: “In the film Sean said 11 of them had died since we began the legal actions through the courts to get an inquiry which is now being headed by Jon Boutcher. “But that figure of 11 is now up to 25 people have died waiting for the British government to respond to the book. “They had masses of opportunity and not only have they not acknowledged or apologised, they haven’t even met the families.” “Eugene Reavey who lost his three brothers, a man who lost his mother and two brothers in three different attacks, two of which were linked to the Glennane Gang, who has never had a single letter or acknowledgment from London that anything wrong happened. “I feel angry and sad on their behalf because, I am a Brit and I feel that my government has treated these people appallingly, cruelly and offensively. “No-one can be above the law, least of all those paid to uphold it.”

With many thanks to the: Sunday World and EXCLUSIVE story by Patricia Devlin for the original story –p.devlin@sundayworld.com

 

Ex-RUC officers’ claim dismay at RTE platform for killer’s belated ‘collusion’ claims

A decision to broadcast the allegations of a rogue, murderous ex-RUC officer has prompted the detectives who brought him to justice to speak out for the first time.

UDA-UDR-UVF Spot the difference? Answer: There is no difference

Sectarian killer John Weir sent shockwaves through the RUC when he confessed to murdering Catholic chemist shop owner William Strathearn in Ahoghill, Co Antrim in 1977.

His arrest and successful conviction came about after senior police suspected that a small number of serving officers in the Armagh area were collaborating with UVF killers operating across the Mid Ulster area.

The shocking revelation led to an unprecedented RUC investigation – bringing together the best detectives from across Northern Ireland in total secrecy to identify and prosecute those involved.

The aftermath of the 1974 UVF bomb blast in Monaghan
The aftermath of the 1974 UVF bomb blast in Monaghan

The subsequent investigation led to five officers facing serious charges up to and including murder.

Two of the detectives involved spoke to the News Letter after learning that a major broadcaster was prepared to show the film Unquiet Graves, directed by Sean Murray – son of senior Sinn Fein Strategist and former IRA prisoner Sean ‘Spike’ Murray.

It is being shown on RTE at 9.35pm on Wednesday, September 16.

The film gives a platform to Weir who – among other unsubstantiated claims – alleges British security agents encouraged the UVF to carry out mass murder at a Catholic primary school. Weir has also alleged that a large number of his former RUC colleagues were involved in terrorist activity.

However, the detectives who brought him to justice find it incredible that Weir would have declined to divulge this information – or the claim that he was working under orders from a higher authority within the security forces – at the time to avoid a life prison sentence.

Although Weir was eventually sentenced for the Strathearn murder in 1980, it would be almost 20 years before he would accuse many of his former colleagues of serious criminality.

The claims were first published by journalist Liam Clarke in the Sunday Times in 1999, leading to the Barron Report on the 1974 Barron Report on the Dublin/Monaghan bombings.

“Why didn’t Weir take the opportunity to say all this stuff at Castlereagh because it could have saved his bacon?” one of the ex-officers said.

The former detective sergeant (DS) – who does not wish to be named – said it was unthinkable that Weir would have remained silent if his claims were even partially true.

“At the very least he have been able to do some kind of deal [for a lesser sentence]. That was the opportunity for Weir to use whatever intelligence he had in order to ease his own position.”

The ex-DS described the police operation to bring what was later dubbed the ‘Glenanne Gang’ to justice in 1978 as “the biggest interviewing team ever put together by the RUC”.

He said: “When the briefing came that morning we were told that these were police officers being arrested for murder. You could have knocked us down with a feather.

“All of the interviewers were detective inspector rank and above. I was a DS at that stage and my role was to collate all of the information coming out of the interview rooms. I ran the teams that did that.

“He had the opportunities at the time of his arrest, and when he was being interviewed, to make all of those allegations, but he didn’t.

“I would be satisfied, from my role at Castlereagh, that none of that material he has talked about in his depositions, and in his interview with Liam Clarke, had been talked about. And if it had been, it would have been followed up. There is no question about that.

“I look back on that investigation, and that was one of the most thorough and intense investigations ever to have been carried out at that stage.”

Commenting on the persistent criticism that UVF leader Robin Jackson was not arrested every time intelligence reports linked his name to a particular terrorist attack, the former detective said it was well-known that Jackson always refused to talk unless there was concrete evidence to put to him.

“It was usually a waste of time. All we were doing by arresting Jackson without hard evidence was educating him. Letting him know what intelligence we had and, more importantly, what we didn’t know,” he said.

A second former officer, who was a detective inspector (DI) involved in the investigation has a clear recollection of the events surrounding Weir’s arrest and conviction.

“He was caught up in this ‘loyalist’ thing with [William] McCaughey and [Gary] Armstrong and those boys. They were working in the SPG (Special Patrol Group) and they were seeing policemen being murdered and kidnapped and they took the law into their own hands. That’s basically what they did,” he said.

“Nobody directed them to do it. Had there been then they wouldn’t have been charged and put in jail for life.

“I was part of the investigating team that was responsible for convicting them.

“There was intelligence that McCaughey was involved in this criminal activity, and the intelligence was that he was involved in the kidnapping of [Catholic priest] Fr Hugh Murphy and the murder of William Strathearn.

“I was given a brief to arrest Sergeant Gary Armstrong at his house in Armagh, so we went down to arrest him under the Prevention of Terrorism Act,

The former DI added: “So we went down to his house, and there was a birthday party for one of his children going on in the house at that time and there were about 12 kids there.

“It was quite a traumatic thing, because you were arresting the father in front of all these children…but we arrested Armstrong and took him to Castlereagh.

“McCaughey’s mother and father had also been arrested and they were all in Castlereagh.”

McCaughey’s father, Alexander, pleaded guilty hiding the handgun used to murder Mr Strathearn and given a suspended prison sentence for assisting offenders.

In the 1999 Liam Clarke article, the journalist reported: “Weir, alone of the three members of the group interviewed for this article, seemed to have believed he had outside protection and approval.

“McCaughey said, ‘I knew I had no backing. If I had backing, I would have done far more. I was worried sick about being caught. I knew I would be jailed and I was drinking very heavily through stress.’”

With many thanks to the: Belfast News Letter and Mark Rainey for the original story.

Was Gerry Adams an MI5 informer? In his dramatic new book, Harry McCallion tells how senior IRA men died in army ambushes… after mysterious tip-offs

Nicknamed ‘The Executioner’, Lynagh believed well-armed, highly disciplined PIRA men could take the war to the British launching attacks on military installations near the border and denying the security forces control.

◾The identity of the PIRA source who revealed ambush plans remains unknown

  • But a newly-published letter claims that Republicans believed it could be Adams 
  • Adams thought military victory against the British was impossible by the late 70s
  • Sinn Fein described the theory in Mccallion’s new book as being ‘utter nonsense’

When you’re young, life can seem so simple. I was in the middle of my six years with the SAS, and I thought I knew how to defeat the IRA — and so end the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Decapitation was the answer. Go for the head of the beast and cut it off. And for the IRA, that meant taking out its most high-profile spokesman, a Sinn Fein MP and former commander of the Belfast Brigade.

I wanted Gerry Adams dead.

Sinn Fein denies Adams set up IRA Loughgall ambush. The rumour about Adams (left) was passed on to the Department of Foreign Affairs by the highly respected Fr Denis Faul about three months after the Loughgall operation

This wasn’t a sudden urge. I was a former Parachute Regiment veteran with seven tours of Northern Ireland under my belt, and I’d given the matter some thought.

One night in the mess bar, drinking with a serving officer from MI5, I was loudly voicing my opinion. Looking back, I must have sounded naive and spectacularly ill-informed, but I truly believed the best way to stop the terrorists was to target the high command. Like I said, kill Gerry Adams.

The somewhat inebriated MI5 officer’s response was surprising: ‘No! He’s one of ours!’ I cannot confirm whether his claim was true, or whether it had its origins in the kind of drunken bravado that leads to all sorts of tall tales in the mess.

However, the look of shock on the officer’s face immediately after the words came out, and his refusal to continue the conversation, were certainly suggestive — as was the fact that he was unwilling ever to speak with me again outside a formal setting.

I’ve never forgotten that night in the mess. Looking back from today’s perspective, many of the most secret and dangerous operations undertaken by British forces in the province, and their outcomes, make more sense to me if the British security services truly did have an informer right at the top of the Republican movement.

The head of MI5 (inset) was questioned over IRA double agent code-named Stakeknife, (circled in Red) head of the IRA’s nutting squad who is being investigated for 17 murders.

Was Gerry Adams the ultimate mole? He had briefly been commander of the Provisional IRA’s most important unit, the Belfast Brigade, until he was interned in July 1973. But by the late Seventies, he and Martin McGuinness, a senior figure in Londonderry, believed that military victory against the British was no longer possible.

IRA men fire a volley of shots over the coffin of member Jim Lynagh in 1987. Lynagh was nicknamed ¿The Executioner¿, and believed that well-armed, highly disciplined PIRA men could take the war to the British. He was shot dead during the failed ambush at Loughgall

Abandoning the idea of sweeping the ‘foreign oppressors’ out of Ireland by destroying Britain’s ability and will to rule, they formed a new strategy that placed much greater emphasis on the political wing of the movement.

Gerry Adams as guard of honour  at IRA funeral wearing beret and glasses

Not everyone in the Republican movement backed this plan. Many were still committed to a wholly violent solution, the overthrow of British government in the province by force and unlimited bloodshed.

But those who opposed Adams and McGuinness often found themselves in the crosshairs of the British Army — so frequently, in fact, that the trend seems more than a coincidence.

Father Denis Faul

Most dramatic of all these instances was the Loughgall ambush. Some background: in the rural areas of East Tyrone and Fermanagh during the mid-Eighties, there was open rebellion against the idea of a peaceful end to the Troubles. This resistance was led by two veteran terrorists, Jim Lynagh and Padraig McKearney.

One of 12 children, Lynagh joined the Provisional IRA (PIRA) in his teens. He was badly injured in 1973, when a bomb he was carrying exploded, and spent five years imprisoned in the Maze. On his release he immediately rejoined his local wing of the PIRA and rose rapidly through its ranks to become a leading

The Maze/Long Kesh (MLK) prison (H-Blocks)

In September 1983, along with 37 other Republican prisoners, McKearney took part in a mass escape from the Maze Prison. Half of the escapees were recaptured but McKearney made it to safety.

After a series of attacks that shook the British Army, Lynagh and McKearney discussed the possibility of striking out from the PIRA and acquiring their own weaponry — a breakaway that, if successful, would have dealt a blow to Adams’s politics-first vision for the IRA.

As part of this scheme, the rebels planned an attack on the RUC station at Loughgall, County Armagh. Loughgall was a quiet village of some 350 inhabitants, most of whom were Protestants.

Who are the New IRA?

The New IRA is the biggest of the dissident republican groups operating in Northern Ireland.

It has been linked with four murders, including PC Ronan Kerr, who was killed by an under-car bomb in Omagh in 2011.

The group is also linked to the deaths of prison officers David Black, who was shot as he drove to work at Maghaberry Prison in 2012, and Adrian Ismay, who died in 2016 after a bomb exploded under his van outside his home in east Belfast.

The New IRA is believed to have been formed between 2011 and 2012 following the merger of a number of smaller groups, including the Real IRA – the group behind the 1998 Omagh bomb.

It is strongest in Derry, north and west Belfast, Strabane in Co Derry, Lurgan in Co Armagh, and pockets of Tyrone.

This year the group was responsible for a car bomb outside the courthouse in Bishop Street, Derry.

The explosives-laden car was left on the city centre street on a Saturday night in January, and scores of people, including a group of teenagers, had walked past before it detonated.

The New IRA also claimed a number of package bombs posted to targets in London and Glasgow in March.

At least 14 terrorists were involved, with eight armed men prepared to carry out the assault on the station and six more in support roles.

Shortly before the attack, five of them arrived at a farm near Moy in County Armagh belonging to local man Peter Mackle. When Mackle’s wife and daughters pulled into the driveway in the family car, the PIRA men ordered them from the vehicle and informed the terrified civilians that they were taking the car, a mechanical digger used on the farm and a quantity of diesel oil.

Two members of the unit drove away in the stolen vehicle, while two remained at the farm to prevent the family reporting the theft. The fifth drove the digger to a nearby explosives cache to prepare for the attack.

Just before 7pm, the PIRA assault team assembled close to the police station. A 200lb bomb had been placed in the bucket of the digger, which was to be driven by Declan Arthurs, a high-ranking member of the brigade.

Two scout cars, each containing a pair of men, were deployed to warn the assault team by radio of any security forces approaching from the front or rear.

The firefight was to be initiated by Arthurs, using the digger to smash a hole through the perimeter fence of the RUC compound, before lighting a 40-second fuse attached to the 200lb bomb in the bucket.

What the approaching terrorists did not know was that the SAS were waiting for them.

Several weeks before the attack, someone who knew it was going to happen contacted MI5 directly to inform them of the impending operation. More than 20 SAS men responded with a classic ambush.

As Lynagh’s men jumped from their van and began to rake the RUC station with automatic fire, the SAS teams opened up on the attackers with everything they had.

Even the enormous explosion as the bomb detonated did nothing to lessen the intensity of the SAS fire. All the terrorists, including Lynagh and McKearney, were shot dead.

An enduring mystery is the identity of the PIRA source who betrayed the operation to MI5, but a recently declassified letter in the Irish state archives claims that, among Republicans, Gerry Adams himself was rumoured to have undermined the Loughgall attack.

However, a Sinn Fein spokesman described the claim as ‘utter nonsense’.

Father Denis Faul, a Catholic priest with close ties to the Republican movement, wrote to the Irish government in 1987 about ‘intriguing’ rumours in Republican circles that Adams had instigated the Loughgall ambush because Lynagh and McKearney had threatened to assassinate him — such was their hostility towards his political strategy.

Over the subsequent years, the SAS was supplied with a stream of high-level intelligence from MI5 that enabled them to further thwart the deadly efforts of the East Tyrone PIRA.

One of the most crushing blows, delivered thanks to specific intel from a very high-level MI5 informant within the terrorist movement, came after a string of tit-for-tat killings in so-called ‘bandit country’.

According to this source, three experienced PIRA killers were planning the assassination of an off-duty Ulster Defence Regiment soldier in Coagh, County Tyrone, at the centre of Northern Ireland.

One was Lawrence McNally, a veteran on the radar of the security services, whose brother Phelim had been shot dead at the start of the killings. He therefore had personal reasons for being involved in the latest revenge attack. The second man was 21-year-old Tony Doris, who had risen fast through the ranks of the PIRA, impressing the brigade leadership enough to be appointed a commander.

The assassination would be led by a third man, Pete Ryan, who was wanted in connection with a brazen and spectacularly violent raid on a border checkpoint, in which rockets, grenades and a flamethrower were used. Two British soldiers were killed and two more wounded in the attack.

As the intelligence about Ryan’s plans firmed up, the SAS were deployed to Coagh. The commander of the operation opted to use a decoy: a member of the team who bore a resemblance to the target would take the place of the intended victim.

On June 2, 1991, the evening before the attack, the PIRA unit hijacked a red Vauxhall Cavalier in the nearby village of Moneymore.

This hijacking was secretly observed by operators from 14 Intelligence Company who were following the men. Throughout the night they mounted a constant watch over Ryan and his gang, and at 7.30am the following day radioed in the information that they were on the move and heading out of the village.

The SAS ambush party was concealed inside a lorry, parked where Coagh’s narrow Main Street enters the village over a bridge across the Ballinderry River. The decoy, meanwhile, waited in his car nearby, pretending to be following the UDR target’s normal routine.

The PIRA assassination team drove across the bridge, on a route that would bring them within metres of the concealed SAS men.

The soldiers waited until Ryan and McNally wound down the windows on their hijacked car and lifted their weapons. With the decoy’s life in danger, the soldiers opened fire, pouring rounds into the approaching Cavalier.

Struck by some 200 bullets, the car careened out of control, smashed into a VW Golf parked nearby and burst into flames. All three of the terrorists inside were killed in the brief contact.

The PIRA’s propaganda arm later claimed that two of the men escaped the vehicle but were then executed in the street in cold blood and dragged back to the car, which was set on fire to conceal the evidence. Unsurprisingly, no eyewitnesses have ever come forward to support these claims.

One need only consider the narrowness of the road, the fact that the SAS team were firing automatic weapons from a prepared position at nearly point-blank range, and the weight of fire that was poured into the car to realise that the chances of anyone leaving the vehicle alive were zero.

Claims that gunshots were heard following the initial shooting were almost certainly referring to the sounds of ammunition in the car ‘cooking off’ in the flames.

The successful removal of the East Tyrone Brigade’s leading assassination squad ended the cycle of tit-for-tat violence that had blighted the area for more than three years. But the ambush would not have been possible without precise information from a covert source.

That information devastated the East Tyrone brigade, and it kept coming. It seems quite coincidental that so much of this intelligence just happened to be directed against figures in the PIRA who had the potential to threaten Gerry Adams’s path towards a negotiated settlement with Britain.

With many thanks to the: Daily Mail and Harry McCallion writing for the Daily Mail 

The name and price of the book can be seen here: Adapted from Undercover War: Britain’s Special Forces And Their Battle Against The IRA, by Harry McCallion, published by John Blake, £8.99. © Harry McCallion 2020.

Follow these links to find out more: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/sinn-fein-denies-gerry-adams-set-up-ira-loughgall-ambush-1.3328744

Unquiet Graves – film review

Anarchist Communist Group Unquiet Graves, the new documentary from Irish filmmaker Sean Murray, is an important work on several levels. It Informs the viewer of state collusion, indeed state sponsorship of sectarian murder gangs in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. It highlights this activity before the events get lost as ‘tragic history’ and it seeks […]

Unquiet Graves – film review

‘No good reason’ not to reveal contentents of files on plastic bullet deaths

A SUGGESTION that the families of two young teenagers murdered by plastic bullets in 1981 (the year the 10 men died on hunger-strike) including Bobby Sands. 

Irish children murdered by British Crown Forces in the occupied six Counties of the North of Ireland

Should use the Freedom of Information (FoI) request to access files on their deaths has been dismissed as “unacceptable”. SDLP leader Colum Eastwood raised the cases of Paul Whitters (15) and Julie Livingstone (14) with Secretary of State Brandon Lewis in the House of Commons yesterday. Paul Whitters was murdered in Derry in April 1981 while Julie Livingstone, was murdered in Belfast the following month. 

Collusion is not an illusion!!!

Government files relating to their killings have been reclassified and closed until 2059 and 2064 respectively despite appeals by their families for access. The family of Julie Livingstone said the decision that no-one who knew the teenager personally would be alive when the file was opened. At Secretary of State’s questions yesterday, Mr Eastwood told Mr Lewis there was “no good reason” to keep the files closed and asked: “Will he now act to allow the parents of those children to see the files?” Mr Lewis said he had “enormous” sympathy for families of those who died during the Troubles, especially children. He said the next step for the families should be to submit a Freedom of Information request to the National Archive. However, Sarah Duddy of the Pat Finucane Centre said Mr Lewis’s suggestion had been dismissed by the families in the past.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Seamus McKinney for the original story 

 

‘No misconduct’ in RUC/PSNI handling of officer’s affair with ally of gang linked to Ronan Kerr murder

The update was delivered on the day a 36-year-old was sentenced for a weapons find made three days after the murder.

Officers say that the investigation into the murder is the largest ever undertaken by the force and that they have identified the group they believe carried out the car bomb that killed Kerr in April 2011. They also believe they can link this group to other incidents.

imageGavin Coyle, who was today 15th  January 2014 was sentenced to 10 years, leaving Dungannon Magistrates Court in 2011. (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The PSNI’s assistant chief constable for crime operations Drew Harris described the investigation into the murder as “lengthy and complicated”:

Although we have yet to bring charges for Ronan’s murder, this investigation, which is the largest in the PSNI’s history, is far from over. Detectives in serious crime branch have linked a total of 17 incidents to the same network of individuals and terrorist groupings. These include attempts to murder other police officers, a bomb attack, arms finds and armed robberies.

“We have made progress and we believe there is potential to bring other individuals before the courts. But we are not complacent,” added Harris.

PSNI constable Kerr was killed when booby-trap bomb went off after he got into his car at Highfield Close in Omagh on Saturday, 2 April 2011.

The PSNI say that the resultant investigation has led to 14 arrests, 123 house searches and the seizure of 7,947 items.

Coalisland guns and explosive seizure

The update on the investigation was provided by the PSNI as 36-year-old Gavin Coyle, of Culmore Road, Omagh, was sentenced to a total of 10 years after admitting having guns and explosives with intent to endanger life and being a member of the IRA. Five years will be in custody with five 

The arms and explosives, which included assault rifles and Semtex, were uncovered by detectives in premises at Mountjoy Road, Coalisland, Co Tyrone three days after the murder of  Kerr in April 2011.

Following Coyle’s sentencing, PSNI officers have released a number of photos of the items seized that led to his conviction.

PSNI close to Ronan Kerr charges as man sentenced over guns and explosive find

PSNI constable Kerr was killed by a booby-trap bomb in his car in Omagh on Saturday, 2 April 

POLICE INVESTIGATING THE murder of PSNI constable Ronan Kerr have said that they believe they are close to making further charges.

The update was delivered on the day a 36-year-old was sentenced for a weapons find made three days after the murder.

Officers say that the investigation into the murder is the largest ever undertaken by the force and that they have identified the group they believe carried out the car bomb that killed Kerr in April 2011. They also believe they can link this group to other incidents.

imageGavin Coyle, who was today sentenced to 10 years, leaving Dungannon Magistrates Court in 2011. (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The PSNI’s assistant chief constable for crime operations Drew Harris described the investigation into the murder as “lengthy and complicated”:

Although we have yet to bring charges for Ronan’s murder, this investigation, which is the largest in the PSNI’s history, is far from over. Detectives in serious crime branch have linked a total of 17 incidents to the same network of individuals and terrorist groupings. These include attempts to murder other police officers, a bomb attack, arms finds and armed robberies.

“We have made progress and we believe there is potential to bring other individuals before the courts. But we are not complacent,” added Harris.

PSNI constable Kerr was killed when booby-trap bomb went off after he got into his car at Highfield Close in Omagh on Saturday, 2 April 2011.

The PSNI say that the resultant investigation has led to 14 arrests, 123 house searches and the seizure of 7,947 items.

Coalisland guns and explosive seizure

The update on the investigation was provided by the PSNI as 36-year-old Gavin Coyle, of Culmore Road, Omagh, was sentenced to a total of 10 years after admitting having guns and explosives with intent to endanger life and being a member of the IRA. Five years will be in custody with five on licence.

The arms and explosives, which included assault rifles and Semtex, were uncovered by detectives in premises at Mountjoy Road, Coalisland, Co Tyrone three days after the murder of  Kerr in April 2011.

Following Coyle’s sentencing, PSNI officers have released a number of photos of the items seized that led to his conviction.

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RUC/PSNI cleared of misconduct in handling of Kerr murder probe

THE POLICE OMBUDSMAN has cleared the RUC/PSNI of misconduct in its handling of a policewoman’s affair with an associate of a gang linked to Constable Ronan Kerr’s murder.
 
Mr Kerr’s family made a complaint to the watchdog after The Irish News in 2018 revealed the policewoman in Co Tyrone had been reprimanded but allowed to return to work. The family raised concerns about the adequacy of the internal RUC/PSNI probe and whether it impacted on the murder investigation. Mr Kerr, a 25-year-old Catholic policeman, was murdered in 2011 when a booby-trap bomb exploded under his car in Omagh. No-one has been convicted of the murder by dissident republican paramilitaries, although one person (Gavin Coyle) was jailed for offences connected to the investigation. It is understood the man whom the policewoman was involved is associated with members of a criminal gang linked to the killing. The criminal gang is suspected of involvement in the theft of cars for dissidents involved in the murder plot. The policewoman was suspended from duty after the affair emerged and the RUC/PSNI launched an investigation. In 2014, the RUC/PSNI sent a file in relation to the case to the (PPS) Public Prosecution Service, although it decided not to pursue a criminal prosecution.
RUC/PSNI the corrupt police service in the occupied six Counties of the North of Ireland
 
In 2008 several complaints were upheld at an internal disciplinary hearing and the officer’s pay was docked, but she returned to operational duty. Police said it never referred the matter to the Police Ombudsmen because it was “not the subject of a public complaint”. The Police Ombudsman’s office in a statement confirmed the conclusion of its investigation. A spokesman said: “On March 14th 2018, The Irish News published a story that a serving police officer had been disciplined following an internal police investigation into her relationship with a man reported to be associated with members of a gang linked to the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr. “We subsequently received a complaint from Constable Keer’s family which raised concerns relating to the adequacy of the internal police investigation of this matter, and about possible implications for the investigation of Constable Keer’s murder. “We investigated these matters and found that the internal police investigation had been appropriately thorough, and that police had given consideration to any potential impact on the murder investigation. “There was no evidence of any misconduct in the way these matters were addressed by police.”
 
An RUC/PSNI spokesman said the matter had been investigated in 2013 by its Anti-Corruption Unit. “The RUC/PSNI is committed to ensuring that it’s officers and staff behave according to the highest ethical standards and we are committed to working with PONI [Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland] to detect and address behaviour which falls below these standards,” he said. Police said their their investigation into Mr Kerr’s murder is continuing and again urged anyone with information to come forward, “particularly about the origin and sourcing of the component parts of the bomb”. “Since Ronan was killed, detectives have made a significant amount of progress relating to his murder and a series of linked incidents, including attempts to murder other police officers, a bomb attack, arms finds and armed robberies,” they said. “Our resolve and the resolve of Ronan’s family remains as strong today as it was on the day that Ronan was killed. “If you can assist in any way by providing information, please do so. It is the right thing to do. Ronan and his family deserve justice.”
 
With many thanks to: The Irish News and Brendan Hughes for the original story – b.hughes@irishnews.com 
 

 

BRITISH SOLDIERS HANDED LOYALIST GUNMAN OVER TO THE UDA NEXT DAY AFTER THE MURDERS

EXCLUSIVE 

DECADES OF PAIN: BROTHER OF 13-year-old GUN VICTIM SPEAKS OUT

“It’s very unnerving to know that, around the same time our loved ones were murdered they were letting loyalist gunmen go”

A BRITISH Army unit responsible for the murder of five unarmed Catholic civilians, including a 13-year-old schoolgirl, handed a loyalist gunman over to the UDA.

Children murdered by the British army and the RUC

Ministry of Defence (MoD) documents reveal how a day after the Springhill Massacre in 1972, British soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the Kings Regiment arrested a 17-year-old found walking the streets of West Belfast with a pistol and 11 rounds of ammunition. But instead of criminally charging the young gunman, he was released into the hands of a loyalist terror boss who told soldiers the UDA “will sort him out”. The shocking revelation can be made after secret British military logs were unearthed by a Belfast-based legacy research group. Paper Trail called the incident an example of “casual collusion” between members of the British security forces and loyalist Paramilitaries during the Troubles.

Five people, including a 13-year-old schoolgirl and a Catholic priest, were murdered when soldiers opened fire on the Springhill estate on July 9th, 1972. Margaret Gargan (13), David McClafferty (15), John Dougal (16), Patrick Butler (39) and Catholic priest Father Noel Fitzpatrick (40) were all shot dead in a hail of gunfire that lasted 90 minutes. Eyewitness reports from the time say Patrick Butler and Fr Fitzpatrick had been attempting to reach Margaret, the Ballymurphy Massacre’s youngest victim, who was shot in the head as she chatted to friends. The killings took place 11 months after the Ballymurphy Massacre and just six months after Bloody Sunday. Copies of the military logs, seen by the Sunday World, showed that at 11.08pm on July 10th, 1972, just over 24 hours on from the Springhill murders, the Kings Regiment reported it had arrested a gunman in the Springmartin Road area. 

More children who were murdered by the so-called police keeping forces in the occupied six Counties of the North of Ireland

PISTOL 

A follow-up note at 11.47pm stated that the youth, whose name was redacted in the publicly available documents, was carrying a 9mm pistol and 11 rounds of ammunition in a holster. “He does not have a fire arms certificate”, the log added. “Arrested by patrol and not RUC. “If detained by Security Forces, there will be a major incident”. The 17-year-old, described as “very frightened”, was photographed and “documented”. The logs stated he was due to be handed over to the RUC”. However, another log a few minutes later by the CO (Commanding Officer) stated the gunman “will now be released by British Military on advice of the RUC”

At 2.32am the 39 Brigade reported to British Army HQ: “Ref Protestant Gunman, 17 year old boy Stupid Boy – UDA Company Commander request (ed) to deal with it – Did not have a firearms certificate. Being released to the UDA to the UDA on the advice of the RUC”. British military intelligence documents from May 1972 record that the UDA ‘A’ Company Commander over Highfield/Springmartin as Andy Tyrie – who went on to become the Supreme Commander of the loyalist terror group. It is not known who the teenage gunman is and whether he went on to carry out violence or killings on behalf of the UDA.
SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY THE VICTIMS MURDERED IN 1972 WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN R.I.P

Ciaran MacAirt, Project Manager with Paper Trail, who compiled the research, said: “These two incidents involved the same British Army regiment – just over 24 hours apart and just a couple of hundred yards away from each other, “In one incident, 1 Kings committed mass murder, killing unarmed teenagers, a family man and the local priest; in the other, 1 Kings colluded with the RUC and UDA and released a loyalist gunman it had caught in the act. “The difference, of course, was that Springhill was an Irish Catholic estate and Springmartin was a British Protestant estate.”

CAMPAIGNERS UNCOVER INCREDIBLE DOCUMENT WHICH SHOWS BRITISH ARMY CO-OPERATED WITH TERROR GANG

He added: “The Springhill and Westrock families have been fighting for truth and justice for their loved ones for over 47 years. “But what happened to the loyalist gunman who was released by the British Army and RUC? Was he involved in loyalist violence after his release? Did he hurt other people? And did the British Army and police call in a favour after that night and use him as an agent  – he certainly owed them?” Speaking to the Sunday World, Harry Gargan (60), whose 13-year-old sister was shot dead by the same British troops, said: “It’s very unnerving to know that, around the same time our loved ones were murdered they were letting loyalist gunmen go. In fact, it is horrific.” The grandfather from West Belfast, who was 12 when his sister was murdered in the street, said it was yet again more proof that a new inquest is needed into the atrocity. In 2014, Attorney General John Larkin directed that new inquests into the deaths should be opened. However, to date that has not happened. Harry said: “My family’s aim is to get this inquest and that was always our aim. Just what Ballymurphy got, just what Bloody Sunday got.

FIGHT 

“You would think it wouldn’t be too much to ask. It’s always been fight, fight, fight. We’ve tried to get our campaign off the ground like Ballymurphy but we get so far and it falls away.” He added : “Margaret’s killing was cold-blooded. I don’t  believe it was an ordinary soldier that killed her. She was shot dead with one bullet wound to the temple from a distance  – it was a target kill. “The thing that my mother and father could not get over was, during the inquest at the time, someone from the MoD (Ministry of Defence) stood up and read out a statement saying a solider identified a 20-year-old gunman. They were trying to say they thought she was a 20-year-old gunman and it was a mistake. “But no one challenged them on this. They were allowed to stand up and say whatever they wanted and walked out. “My mother and father came back to our house that day destroyed.” 

Describing the impact of the loss of his older sister had on his family, Harry said: “I could never accept it for a long time. “I don’t  remember the funeral or anything. Sometimes you wonder how you’ve come through all of it – it’s hard. My mother didn’t exist for a long time after Margaret died. She couldn’t even get out of bed. “Myself and Bernadette, Margaret’s twin sister, would go to the shop for her. “When I was a bit older and out drinking, when I was coming home and saw the living room light on I wouldn’t go in to the house. “I would have went walking for two hours around the place because I couldn’t I couldn’t bear to see my mother sitting there crying. She just couldn’t get over it. She died at 57-years-old of a heart attack. “Eventually she came around a good bit, but she never got over it.” 

With many thanks to: The Sunday World and Patricia Devlin for the EXCLUSIVE original story 

Follow these links to find out more: https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/springhill-the-forgotten-massacre/

 

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