Widow of bookies massacre victim widens lawsuit to include the British government.

William McManus was among five men shot dead at Sean Graham bookmakers on Belfast’s Ormeau Road in 1992.

THE widow of a man murdered in a loyalist massacre at a Belfast bookmakers has widened a lawsuit to include claims against the Ministry of Defence and British government.

Rosaleen McManus is seeking damages over allegations that a gun used in the killings at the Sean Graham shop was part of a consignment smuggled in from South Africa by a state agent.

Her 54-year-old husband William was among five Catholic men shot dead by the UDA inside the bookies on Belfast’s Ormeau Road in February 1992.

A number of other civilians were also wounded in the attack.

Mrs McManus issued proceedings against the Chief Constable, claiming negligence and misfeasance in public office.

Her lawyers revealed that the High Court writ has now been widened to include the Ministry of Defence and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

According to their case, the authorities should have known a rifle used in the atrocity was part of an arms shipment overseen by Brian Nelson, a UDA member who worked for British intelligence.

Solicitor Claire McKeegan, of KRW Law, described a ruling to have the government joined to the action as “hugely significant”.

“So much evidence is now in the public domain that proves the security services had knowledge of the shipment of arms into Northern Ireland from South Africa by state agent Brian Nelson,” she said.

Ms McKeegan claimed it was “illogical” for the Secretary of State to contest being joined to the case.

“This strategy is unconscionable and results only in delay of the proceedings before the courts and further pain to be inflicted on the bereaved,” she said.

“We will now be pressing to have disclosure in these matters and expedite the heariring

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the origional story.



A man who was freed from prison last Wednesday has been sent back to jail after he allegedly breached a Sexual Offences Prevention Order within 24 hours of his release.

Ian Kernohan, with an address at a probation hostel on Belfast’s Ormeau Road, is accused of breaching the order by contacting a “vulnerable” female.

Belfast Magistrates Court was told he allegedly went to an internet cafe and contacted the person via Facebook.

A judge remanded him into custody.

Orange parade ‘sets tone’ for centenaries

A major unionist parade through Belfast on Saturday could set the tone for other sensitive commemorations, the Parades Commission says.


The march, organised by the Orange Order and the Unionist Centenary Committee, marks the 100th anniversary of rally to Balmoral, opposing the proposed Home Rule Bill of 1912.

Celebrations got underway in Ormeau Park on Friday, but some concerns have been raised after it was revealed former paramilitaries will march alongside Orangemen and Apprentice Boys.

Police expect around 60 bands and more than 5,500 supporters to take part – but organisers say it has the potential to be bigger than the 12th July celebrations.

“It’s a major day for the whole unionist community as it starts the public commemorations of our Ulster covenant events”, said Mervyn Gibson.

“It will be the same atmosphere, people out to watch and enjoy themselves and we want everybody to have a good day so we hope it will mirror the Twelfth in many respects.”

The first parade will set off from Ballynafeigh in the Ormeau area at 9am. It will wind its way through Stranmillis before arriving at Sandy Row in south Belfast just before 10am.

Marchers will set off Sandy Row at 10am and also from Clifton Park Avenue and Shankill Road in north Belfast at the same time.

The parades will make their way to Donegall Street in the city centre before merging. All bands and marchers will then parade through the city towards Ormeau Park.

Marchers will then return along the same routes in afternoon parades beginning at 4pm.

It is understood that loyalists will not take part in the return parades as a “gesture” to nationalists who had raised concerns about trouble at interface areas.

However, while the parade will not travel along the mainly nationalist area of the Lower Ormeau Road, it has, in the past, been a flashpoint for trouble.

Community leaders have told UTV they have held talks with parade organisers and remain confident that everything has been done to ensure the day passes off without incident.

A spokesperson for the Parades Commission said: “The Balmoral Review parade has the potential to set the tone for how other events are approached and perceived.”

The Commission said they acknowledged “the work undertaken by many in the build-up to the Balmoral Review parade” and said it hoped “all parties involved will mark the event with respect for not just the past, but for the present and each other.”

Meanwhile, motorists are being warned of traffic delays the parades take place, with police saying they will do their utmost to keep disruption to a minimum.


Collusion report calls for inquiry

Areport by a victims’ support group detailing collusion in the Sean Graham’s massacre will call for an independent inquiry into the UFF slaughter which saw five people murdered and seven others wounded 20 years ago this week.The 70-page Relatives for Justice (RFJ) report, will be presented to families of those killed tomorrow (Thursday) and calls on British Prime MinisterDavid Cameron to commission an independent inquiry into the slaughter in the Lower Ormeau bookies on February 5, 1992.The report details security force collusion in the murders of the five Catholic victims – Jack Duffin (66); Willie McManus (54); Christy Doherty (52); Peter Magee (18) and James Kennedy (15) – who were gunned down by the loyalist murder gang in broad daylight.Collusion has long been claimed in the indiscriminate killings of the victims. In September 2010 an investigation by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) revealed UDA informer William Stobie had handed the Browning pistol used in the attack over to RUCofficers, only for them to return it to the loyalist group. The Browning pistol and an AK-47 used in the Sean Graham’s attack were both part of a consignment imported from South Africa in 1987 by UDA double agent Brian Nelson that was not stopped by his British army handlers.Mark Sykesfrom RFJ, who was shot in the attack which claimed the life of his 18-year-old brother-in-law, Peter Magee said the new report not only highlighted the extent of collusion but also seeks justice for the dead.“It is asking David Cameron to make a full apology to those bereaved and injured. We also want information from him around the weapons coming into the country because British military intelligence knew about them through Brian Nelson.“The British have a responsibility to tell the families the truth. The HET report stated there was no new forensic or prosecutorial evidence that would convict anybody but we don’t believe that to be the case. We have studied every aspect of this and there is a multitude of failures on behalf of the RUC, PSNI and HET. Somebody needs to be held to account.”

Mark said the collusion aspect was evident “immediately” following the attack, with eyewitnesses claiming a UDR jeep stationed opposite the bookmakers moved only minutes before the murders took place, allowing the killers to drive in.

“Within a week people were asking for the ballistics report and the RUC refused to release it. But the Cory Report in 2004 into Pat Finucane’s death mentions the guns used in both attacks. The information was deleted as it was seen as ‘a risk to national security’ but we wondered what there was to hide. We found out about the Stobie information after that.”

Despite Dundonald man Mark Rice being found guilty of possession of the assault rifle used in the attack in 1993, he was eventually cleared of the five murders.

It was widely believed leading Annadale loyalists Joe Bratty and Raymond Elder, who were shot dead by the IRA on the Ormeau Road in 1994, were behind the attack.

Mark said the 20th anniversary of the Sean Grahams attack would bring fresh impetus to the campaign for the truth to be revealed.

“We want the Public Prosecution Service to bring a fresh investigation using all the information and evidence available, including that contained in the RFJ report.

“There are children and grandchildren who weren’t even born at the time taking up the baton to get to the truth. Another generation of family members will always be there to fight for this, no matter how long it takes.”

A new memorial to the victims of Sean Graham’s will be unveiled in place of the current plaque at 2.25pm on Sunday (February 5), 20 years to the day since the attack. It will be preceded by an anniversary Mass at 11.30am the same day in St Malachy’s Church.

The massacre is also detailed in a new graphic novel that is now available to see at the RFJ offices on the Fall Road. It contains drawings of Troubles killings that had elements of collusion including Sean Graham’s, Pat Finucane and the McGurk’s Bar bombing.

With Many Thanks to : By Scott Jamison Belfast Media Group

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