RUC/PSNI decision on MRF shootings ‘travesty of justice’ – PFC

Press release

13th May 2014

THE decision by the RUC/PSNI not to fully investigate shootings carried out by the secret plainclothes British army unit, the Military Reaction Force, is a ‘travesty of justice’ according to the PFC.


Following a BBC Panorama programme broadcast in 2013 the Director of Public Prosecutions asked the RUC/PSNI to investigate the activities of this undercover squad, one of whom, Clive Williams, is now living under an assumed name in Australia.

RUC/PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris has now written to the Prosecution Service to claim that the,

“RUC/PSNI is of the view that none of the men featured have admitted to any criminal act or to have been involved in any of the incidents portrayed in this programme.”

Padraig O’Murigh, solicitor for the families of the two men (that is known) murdered by the MRF, Daniel Rooney and Patrick Mc Veispin below, told Radio Foyle that he was ‘not surprised’ and that it appeared that the RUC/PSNI had not even bothered to interveiw the undercover former British army soldiers featured in the programme.

The PFC and Justice for the Forgotten supplied declassed documents from Kew to the Panorama team and last year published a report on undercover units including the MRF availabe at: – We also have been in contact with the solicitor for the families and are supporting their efforts to alert Australian authorities to the implications of the Panorama programme for Clive Williams.

The RUC/PSNI decision reinforces our long held view that the RUC/PSNI cannot under any circumstances be trusted to carry out impartial, independent investigations into so-called ‘legacy or historic’ cases. The RUC/PSNI is institutionally incapable of investigating killings and shootings carried out by an army unit that was operating in support of the RUC and whose activities in the early seventies were covered up by the criminal justice system  at all levels including the police. Any rigorous RUC/PSNI investigation would raise serious questions about the origional RUC investigation.

There are declassified documents which show extensive correspondence between the then DPP and the Attorney General following the ‘misaken’ arrest of a MRF unit which had just carried out a random gun attack on civilians. We would therefore urge PPS Director Barra Mc Grory to demand access to all the files held by the prosecution service on the MRF since it is clear that the RUC/PSNI is unlikely to open its files on the matter.

The Haass recommendation that an independent investigative unit should be created led by a figure with no links to the RUC/PSNI is the only way to resolve these issues. RUC/PSNI involvement in this ongoing cover-up is doing huge damage to the public confidence in current policing.


Contact Paul O’Connor 02871 268846 or Margaret Urwin 003531 8554300 (author of Counter-Gangs: a history of undercover military units in Northern Ireland 1971-1976)

Belated truth on MRF proves that republican claims were right!!!

Letter which was published in today’s Irish News – Monday December 16 2013 – Martin Galvin, Bronx, New York.

FERGAL Hallahan was more right than he imagines (November 25) about the derision accorded anyone with the temerity to accuse Britain of deploying a Military Reaction Force (MRF) of plain-cloths British troopers who gunned down unarmed nationalists using non-military weapons.

British State Sponsored Murder

During my years as both editor of the Irish People weekly American newspaper and national director of Irish Northern Aid, I was tasked with presenting such facts to the American public and especially congressmen. The contention we republicans repeatedly made was that the crown had sent out the MRF and later wiped British fingerprints from their killings by shifting from the MRF to having the shots fired by loyalist proxies. This tactic had obvious advantages, including avoiding British army ccasualties like those inflicted by the IRA at the Four Square Laundry. It allowed the British plausible deniability. Collusion in murders carried out by loyalists could be denied outright and blamed on a cadre of crown force bad apples, no matter how much targeting intelligence, agent control or safe passage the British had supplied. Britain’s answer to these charges never changed. British officials would declare, self-righteously that “Her Majesty’s government” would never stoop to deploy such a unit. The British army ‘yellow card’ rules were sacrosanct, they scoffed and this code was rigorously applied whenever British troopers opened fire.

These sanctimonious British denials were believed by the public, politicians and journalists to the extent that this handpicked death squard remained largely unknown to the public. Panorama’s Britian’s Secret Terror Force proves that republicans were right about Britain’s deployment of a terror force, the MRF. It proves that those high-ranking British officials who denied that the crown would stoop to such tactics were either deliberately misled by the crown or deliberately misleading others on the crown’s behalf. Members of this British terror squad have no worries that they will face justice for killing unarmed Irish civilians like Daniel Rooney or Patrick McVeigh. They freely boast of their misdeeds, for the television cameras. Confident that they enjoy a selective immunity and impunity, not granted to republicians like Gerry McGeough, Seamus Kearney or John Downey.  We republicans were right about Britain’s tactical shift from the MRF terror force to doing their ‘dirty war’ work through loyalist proxies. Must we await another documentary before people face the facts about Britain’s complicity with loyalist killers in collusion murders?

With many thanks to: Martin Galvin.

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