Family insist findings point to collusion
A FORMER RUC chief constable “failed to act” when he was “quite probably”aware of a plot to murder one of his own Catholic officers, a damning report has found.
The murder of sergeant Joe Campbell – who was gunned down as he left a Co Antrim police station – was one of the most controversial killings of the Troubles. The father-of-eight was hit by a single high velocity shot to the head as he closed the main gates of Cushendall RUC police station on February 25 1977. Sgt Campbell’s family believe his murder involved collusion between rogue elements of the police and loyalist paramilitaries. In his report yesterday Police Ombudsman Dr Michael said evidence of collusion was “inconclusive” but concluded the death was “preventable”. He said there was “sufficient, reliable evidence” that the then head of Special Branch and “quiet probably the chief constable were aware of concerns, which had been documented, about the threat to his life and failed to act upon them”. The RUC chief constable at the time of the murder was Sir Kenneth Newman, a former Metropolitan Police commissioner now aged 87. He told Dr Maguire’s investigators he had no recollection of the Sgt Campbell case. In a statement yesterday the murdered man’s widow Rosemary said she was unhappy with the report, which has taken 12 years to complete, “because it does not contain the full account of the murder which I had hoped for.” Sgt Campbell’s son Tommy insisted the findings amounted to “collusion”. “If you read the report what other conclusions can you come to…. Senior officers…. decide that it’s not worth their time to stop the murder of one of their colleagues what more stark definition of collusion could you get.” RUC/PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Alistair Findlay said the report “makes difficult reading”.
Staggering revelations in Ombudsman’s report ‘difficult reading’
The Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire said: “On the basis of the information available I can neither discount nor substantiate the allegations of a wider conspiracy into the murder of Sgt Campbell,” he said. When asked last night who was head of RUC Special Branch at the time the PSNI said it was “unable to provide that information”. However, The Irish News can reveal the man who headed the secret department was Mick Slevin who has since died. Sgt Campbell’s death sent shockwaves through the small seaside village which until that point had been relatively untouched by the Troubles. He is believed to have been gunned down by notorious UVF gunman and security force agent Robin Jackson who was associated with the infamous Glenanne gang. The report reveals that senior RUC officers were warned by concerned Special Branch members that Joe Campbell was under threat but they did not act. The ombudsman said the murder was “preventable” and that subsequent investigation into the murder was flawed on a number of different occasions”. It also emerged that police documents relating to the case have disappeared and that a retired RUC officer based in Ballymena at the time of the murder has refused to cooperate with the ombudsman’s investigation. Joe Campbell jnr, who first lodged the complaint with the ombudsman’s office in 2002, said the family’s campaign for justice for their father would go on. “Today we have got a report. What we don’t have, we don’t have the truth and we certainly don’t have any justice,” he said.
‘There was a threat on my father’s life. If you do nothing about it either before or after is it not collusion? – Tommy Campbell.
Three years after the killing retired RUC Special Branch man Charles McCormick was acquitted of Sgt Campbell’s murder. He was convicted of charges including possession of explosives and firearms and armed robbery. These were all quashed on appeal. A second man Anthony O’Doherty, originally from Portglenone in Co Antrim, was convicted of withholding information about the murder but later received a royal prerogative of mercy. A republican, O’Doherty was recruited by McCormick to become a Special Branch informer. In 2009 McCormick was rearrested and questioned about the killing and a file was later sent to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS). However, in 2013 the PPS directed that no action be taken. RUC/PSNI deputy chief constable Alistair Finlay said the report “makes difficult reading”. “It is clear there were significant shortcomings in the RUC handling of information prior to the murder and both subsequent police investigations into Sgt Campbell’s murder,” he said.
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News,for the original story.
Who is Sir Kenneth Newman?
BORN in Sussex, Sir Kenneth Newman was a well-known and respected police officer in England before he turned his attention to the North of Ireland.
He moved through the ranks becoming a sergeant in the 1950s, before being appointed a detective inspector with the Vice Squad in the early 1960s and later becoming a superintendent and chief-superintendent. In 1973, during the early years of the Troubles, his policing career saw him move to the North of Ireland where he took up the positition of deputy chief constable of the RUC. Within three years he became chief constable of the force. During this time he introduced the policy of Ulsterisation, a strategy aimed at giving the police a greater security role. The strategy saw the RUC replace the British army as the dominant security force in the North of Ireland. Sir Kenneth left the RUC in 1980 during the Hunger Strike period and returned to England. He then served for three years as inspector of constabulary and commander of Police Staff College at Bra shill in Hampshire. During his time at Bramshill he honed his public order skills. In 1982, he became commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and subsequently initiated a major reform. His reform included disbanding the controversial Special Patrol Group – a specialist serious public disorder team – replacing it with the Territorial Support Group. He also established an area-based policing plan, which moved resources into eight geographical areas. Having been knighted in 1978, he retired in 1987.
With many thanks to: Marie Louise McCrory, The Irish News.
Calls for inquiry into all murders by loyalist’s loyal to the British crown amid collusion claims
‘This wasn’t just a few bad apples, this was collusion and this was policy – Peter Corrigan.
A PUBLIC inquiry must be considered into a notorios loyalist murder gang whose members included members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) the so-called new police service of the North of Ireland (PSNI) and membears of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) a North of Ireland predominantly Protestant unit of the British Army (which was disbanded) as was the RUC (disbanded), soldiers, a coroner’s court has heard.
Lawyers for one of the estimated 120 victims of the infamous Glenanne Gang have insisted only a major state probe, or a thematic inquest covering all the murders (deaths), can get to the truth of the controversial collusion claims. Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire is examining allegations (off corroupt) Glen Anne inst RUC officers, while the police’s Historical Enquries Team (HET) has found “indisputable evidence” of security force collusion in the muderous group. The call for another investigation into the actions of the UVF gang, which operated out of farms in counties Armagh and Tyrone in the mid 1970s, was heard as inquest proceedings into one attack is carried out began in Belfast. Mother-of-three Elizabeth ‘Betty’ McDonald (38), and Gerard McGleenan (22), were murdered when a no-warning loyalist bomb detonated outside the Step Inn pub and nearby houses in the village of Keady, Co Armagh in August 1976. Twenty-five other people were injured in the blast. It has been claimed that RUC Special Branch and British Army Surveillance personnel knew a bombing was being planned by the gang but failed to prevent it. Attorney General John Larkin has ordered a new inquest into the murders. Mrs McDonald’s widower Malachi and Mr McGleenan’s brother Robert, along with relatives of other people allegededly killed by the Glenanne gang, were in Belfast for the opening hearing before senior coroner John Leckey. He has been asked by a lawyer for Mr McDonald to consider an all-encompassing thematic inquest or to recommend a public enquiry. Last year a coroner in England asked the home secretary Theresa May to establish a public inquiry into the 2006 poisioning death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London, saying sensitive issues of national security could not be examined at an inquest.
Mrs May’s subsequent decision to turn down a statutory inquiry was quashed by the High Court, which told her to reconsider the matter. Mr Leckey stressed to Mr McDonald’s solicitor Peter Corrigan that the threshold at which a national security issue was reached was quite high, noting that allegations against a small number of officers might not be applicable. Mr Corrigan said the collusion claims in the Glenanne case were systematic. “This wasn’t just a few bad apples, this was collusion and this was policy,” he said. Mr Leckey asked for full written submissions on the issues involved so he could assess them more fully. The coroner told the court he had forwarded the broad proposals from Mr McDonald’s legal team to Mr Larkin but said the attorney general had said it would not be appropriate for him to comment at this stage as he was currently considering applications to order further inquests linked to the Glenanne gang. Mr Corrigan said it was vital the new inquest went beyond what happened in Keady to an examination of all the gang’s activities. “In order to reach the truth in relation to Betty McDonald’s death we must look at the broad circumstances in relation to the links to the Glenanne series,” he said. “You can’t look at Betty McDonald’s death in isolation from all other deaths linked to this gang.” Fiona Doherty, representing the McGleenan family, said her clients wanted the inquest to proceed without delay. Outside court, a tearful Mr McDonald described the hearing as “one more step” towards justice. “The powers that be should be ashamed of themselves, if they know what shame is – they kept silent, they said nothing, but they knew and could have prevented all this but they didn’t do it,” he said. In a statement, Robert McGleenan and his family said: “The family want to say they were ever informed police could have prevented the bombing, nor were they informed until recently that RUC Special Branch officers knew the identity of all those involved.”
With many thanks to: David Young, The Irish News.
” We weren’t given half a chance to respond “.
A SENIOR of critticised the PSNI/RUC‘s handling of intelligence about alleged collusion between gardai and the IRA. Detective Chief SSuperintendent Peter Kirwan said his force was not given a ” half chance ” to respond to claims made to the Smithwick tribunal despite usually having a seamless relationship with the PSNI/RUC and British security services.
A summary of intelligence which highlighted alleged collusion was given to the tribunal by PSNI/RUC assistant chief constable Drew Harris and made public in October. Mr Kirwan, heado of the security section of crime and security at Garda headquarters, said : ” We have no issue with the sharing of information on the workings of the relationship between PSNI and the British security services with the tribunal. ” The issue araises when the sharing with others directly impacts on the Garda organisation and we’re not given even a half chance of interpreting what it means.” Mr Kirwan said gardai had only been given the intelligence in a brief summary, as had the tribunal, and had not been given access to more detailed information to meaningfully investigate or act on.
Mr Justice Peter Smithwick is investigating whether gardai colluded with IRA units on the murders of RUC chief superintendent Harry Breen and superintendent Bob Buchanan – two of the most senior officers killed in the Troubles. They were shot dead in an ambush after leaving a meeting at Dundalk Garda Station on March 20 1989. Solicitors for their families urged Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to investigate Mr Kirwan’s claims. ” It is very regrattable indeed to hear such a senior Garda officer complain that the wide-ranging and significant recent intelligence has not been properly shared by the PSNI and British security services and cannot be meaningfully investigiated without normal sharing arrangements being followed,” John McBurney and Erinie Waterworth said in a statement. ” Clearly this needs very urgent attention with a view to seeing all aspects fully and thoroughly investigated by the commissioner.” The 12 strands of live intelligence in the summary previously given to the tribunal were deemed reliable and accurate by Mr Harris, who denied the PSNI/RUC had “sat on” the information and withheld it from gardai.
It claimed gardai passed on information leading to the Provisionals ‘ murder of Lord Justice Gibson and his wife in 1987 and that a senior IRA member had gardai passing information to him. Mary Laverty, senior counsel for the tribunal, asked Mr Kirwan whether he beleived Mr Harris’s “hands are tied” as he had moved from his custom of sharing all information with gardai. He replied : “I can’t see that.” He said he has the greatest respect for Mr Harris. Ms Laverty also asked how computor hard drives were destroyed hours before hundreads of gardai, PSNI and customs officers raided a fuel-laundering plant along the border in recent weeks. “Somewhere along the way somebody had passed on information because of the number of people involved,” she said. “I do not want to comment too specifically on that,” Mr Kirwan replied. “Generally speaking, over the years, I can think of several examples where a large force of gardai are descending on a rural part of Ireland. “It’s very hard to camouflage that.”
With many thanks to : Sarah Stack, Irish News.
- Families of murdered Garda officers call for inquiry (irishtimes.com)
- Ruc Murders: Garda Criticises Psni Over Intelligence Flow (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Top garda criticises handling of collusion allegations (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Families of murdered officers call for Garda inquiry (irishtimes.com)
- Kirwan in collusion data criticism (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Garda responds to intelligence claims of IRA collusion (irishtimes.com)
POSTED ON BEHALF OF : Northern Irish Is Not A Proper Nationality.
UK Citizens Reject “British” Label
Responses from more than 16,500 people showed that of the four countries of the UK only residents of England were the most likely to call themselves British when they were asked to “plant a flag” where they lived, with a large majority of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish residents rejecting that label.
Overwhelmingly, they instead chose to identify themselves with their home nation: compared with 6,594 who said they were British, 2,874 said they were Scottish, 2,386 chose English, 1,355 Welsh, 895 Irish, with only 129 choosing Northern Irish.
- UK Citizens Reject “British” Label (survivalblogs.com)
- What is The Difference Between English and British? (socyberty.com)
- APNewsbreak: 5 Irish dissidents charged (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Five Irish Dissidents Charged with Terrorism (time.com)
- Northern Irish name checked at Scottish Conference (libdemsni.wordpress.com)
An interesting story. Makes sense. Another grass-roots nail in the “New World Order” coffin.
A barrister representing the men’s families, Karen Quinlivan, contested claims that he fired 19 rounds because he believed he was under attack, though it later emerged that the republicans did not shoot.
Soldier C confirmed that the troops gave no warning before firing, but he rejected claims that he had fabricated his account and said that he had opened fire in response to flashes that later emerged to have been caused by bullets fired by the soldiers.
The jury heard Soldier C had claimed to have opened fire because he believed his life and those of the other troops were at risk.
The inquest, which is in its fifth day, is one of several into so-called security force “shoot-to-kill” incidents which have sparked controversy and a series of official investigations.
Soldier C said he saw flashes through his night vision gun sight and moved forward with another soldier, firing as they closed in on the barn: “It’s a lot safer for us to do that than sit there and do nothing,” he said.
He said that firing stopped when they believed the shots being fired at troops had ended, but the barrister questioned this account because the troops were responding to flashes caused by their own bullets.
She said: “I am suggesting to you, Soldier C, that what you are saying makes absolutely no sense.”
The soldier answered: “That is your opinion and you are welcome to it.”
He added: “I believed my life and the lives of my team members were in danger.”
The inquest continues.
- Sas Killed Ira Duo ” As They Lay Injured ” ! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Shoot-to-kill” inquest opens after 22 years of lies (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Soldiers celebrated IRA death with cake (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Police Given ” Shoot-to-kill ” Files Deadline ! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Pursuit of terrorists is ‘like a tiger hunt’, said British general (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
Manus Deery was shot dead in the Bogside in 1972.
The Army maintain a soldier in a lookout post on Derry walls fired at what appeared to be a gunman about 200 metres away, missed, and that the ricochet fatally injured the teenager.
His family have always disputed the Army’s version.
They have now also criticised the Historical Enquiries Team report into the teenager’s death.
Mr Deery’s sister Helen said she wanted the case re-opened.
“With the information which they were given it is near impossible to come back with the same report that I now have,” she said.
“Letters with different dates, they didn’t even get my mother’s name right the second time round.
“They got it wrong the first time round and I made them take note of that and they came back the second time with her name still wrong.
“It’s a whitewash.”
With Many Thanks to : BBC NI
- Collusion report calls for inquiry (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Loughgall families ‘were not aware’ of HET report findings (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- ” Update on March for Justice ” Derry ” 40 Years on ! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
Today the family of Pat Finucane take a Legal Challange to Fight for Justice ! Lets all wish them luck !
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore criticised British Prime Minister David Cameron over his refusal to order a public inquiry into the controversial murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.
Mr Gilmore accused London of falling short of a deal struck at the Weston Park peace talks in 2001.
Mr Gilmore said Dublin had already conveyed its dissatisfaction and disappointment and would be preparing a formal response in the coming days.
“There are sometimes occasions when frank disagreements arise between states,” he said.
“This is one on this occasion.”
The Finucane family walked out on a meeting with Mr Cameron at Downing Street last Tuesday when he told them he would ask a senior barrister, Desmond de Silva QC, to review the files into the killing rather than set up a full inquiry.
Mr Gilmore said Taoiseach Enda Kenny was only told about the decision during a telephone call from Mr Cameron shortly before the meeting.
Both Mr Kenny and Mr Gilmore have expressed their dissatisfaction personally with Mr Cameron and Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson.
The Finucane family’s legal team will work with Government officials in the coming days on their contacts with the British government in recent months ahead of a formal response from Dublin. Top level meetings are expected to follow.
Mr Gilmore said Ireland had an agreement with Britain over the investigation of certain murders involving alleged State collusion during the Troubles with which Mr Cameron’s government had to comply.
“It is our view that what has been proposed by the British government falls short of that,” he said.
Speaking after a meeting with Mr Gilmore in Dublin, Pat Finucane’s widow Geraldine said he had described last Tuesday’s decision as a dark day for her family, the country and the rule of law.
“I do believe the Government are as upset about what happened on Tuesday as the family are,” she said.
Mrs Finucane said she was disappointed Taoiseach Enda Kenny could not make the meeting but said it was clear anything Mr Gilmore was pledging had the full backing of the Taoiseach.
Michael Finucane, son of Pat Finucane, described the fallout as a significant diplomatic incident.
Mr Finucane said the British government had reneged on a bi-lateral political agreement and he understood the Irish government was seeking the legal advice of the Attorney General.
On the possibility of taking their case to an international court, he said: “Such a step would require detailed consideration and legal advice, but I would imagine it is one option.”
Mr Finucane said the British government had misled his family, the media and the Irish government.
“At the very least their actions are disingenuous in the extreme,” he added.
A masked gang from the loyalist Ulster Defence Association (UDA) shot Pat Finucane in front of his wife and three children as they ate dinner in their north Belfast home in 1989.
The British government has admitted there was state collusion in the murder.
Irish government critical of British stance on Pat Finucane murder review
A rift is growing between the Irish and British governments over the refusal to mount a public inquiry into the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane by loyalist paramilitaries.
Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore has met with the Finucane family and offered them the full support of his government and their legal team in their battle for justice.
Labor Party leader Gilmore also admitted to the media after his meeting with the family that the Irish government is none too please with British PM David Caeron’s refusal to hold a public inquiry into the murder.
Gilmore revealed there have been ‘frank disagreements’ on the subject between the two governments. He also acknowledged that the Dublin cabinet is ‘disappointed’ with Cameron’s decision to hold a review of the case.
A meeting between the Finucane family and British PM Cameroon ended abruptly last week when he announced the review rather than the public inquiry the family is demanding. Speaking after the Dublin talks with the family, Gilmore said: “What I asked the family to do was to have their legal representatives meet with officials of my department to put together the detail of the contacts that have taken place over the past number of months which led to last Tuesday’s meeting.
“That will form the basis of the formal response which the Irish Government will give to the British government.
“There are sometimes occasions when frank disagreements arise between states. This is one, on this occasion.
“The Government is disappointed at what happened last Tuesday, we have already communicated that to our counterparts in the British government, and we will do so now on a more formal basis.”
Pat Finucane’s widow Geraldine welcomed the meeting with the Irish deputy Prime Minister. She said: “We had a very positive meeting with the Tánaiste (deputy PM) and, in fact, he started off by saying it was a dark day for the family, a dark day for the country and a dark day for the rule of law.
“He has pledged continuing support from the Irish Government and I do believe that the Government are as upset about what happened on Tuesday as the family are.”
Her son Michael Finucane, himself a solicitor, said: “It was made clear that the Tánaiste and the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) made immediate contact with their counterparts in the British government after our meeting with David Cameron and both were unequivocal in their concern and expressing it to the British government.
“They are deeply unhappy about what has happened, not only because of what it has done to the family but also because of the significant diplomatic incident that it creates between the Irish and British governments.”
By and on behalf of :
Pat Finucane’s family ‘to set record straight’
The family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane have said they want to “set the record straight”.
They plan to speak out on Friday about the government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the murder.
Instead, Prime Minister David Cameron said a review of the papers relating to the killing would be carried out by a leading QC.
Mr Finucane was shot in 1989 by loyalist paramilitaries at his north Belfast home.
The Finucanes travelled to Downing Street on Tuesday to be told that an independent public inquiry would not be held.
The family cut short the meeting.
Speaking afterwards outside Downing Street, Mr Finucane’s widow, Geraldine, said she felt so angry she could hardly speak. The Finucanes said they felt insulted, upset and disappointed at being offered a review of the case.
They said they would continue their campaign for an independent public inquiry and would not participate in the review.
When he was prime minister, Tony Blair agreed to set up an inquiry, but a fresh investigation was never established.
Before the meeting on Tuesday, the government said they hoped the Finucane family would be satisfied with their response.
The family will set out their position in more detail in Belfast on Friday.
- Pat Finucane family’s anger11 OCTOBER 2011, NORTHERN IRELAND
- Timeline of Finucane murder probe11 OCTOBER 2011, NORTHERN IRELAND
- Solicitor’s murder: A controversial killing11 OCTOBER 2011, NORTHERN IRELAND
- Finucanes expecting full inquiry13 MAY 2011, NORTHERN IRELAND
- Pat Finucane: A controversial killing13 SEPTEMBER 2004, NORTHERN IRELAND
- Top QC slams Finucane ‘travesty’ 13 OCTOBER 2011, NORTHERN IRELAND
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