Justice at last for the forgotten victims of sectarian murder in Dundalk
US academic has described his shock at the extent of
apparent British security force collusion in loyalist
paramilitary murders in Northern Ireland.
University of Notre Dame human rights law Professor Douglass
Cassel was commenting after an international investigation
he headed uncovered considerable and credible evidence of
British Army and police collusion in 74 sectarian murders
during the 1970s.
The probe of 25 loyalist atrocities, carried out by a panel
of human rights experts from around the world, found senior
Royal Ulster Constabulary officers were aware and approved
of collusion while officials in London had enough
information to intervene.
The panel`s report also called on the British Government to
appoint an independent inquiry to examine how high up the
chain of command collusion went.
Professor Cassel told the Press Association at the Belfast
presentation of the report: “Personally I was shocked. The
British Government has a reputation around the world as one
of the leading democracies and one of the longest histories
of the rule of law.”
“To find this extent of collusion in murders in the 25
incidents we investigated was shocking.”
The panel was asked by the Derry-based human rights
organisation, the Pat Finucane Centre, to investigate
allegations of collusion in 25 loyalist attacks from October
1972 to February 1977 – most of which are linked to a
loyalist gang known as the Glenanne group.
Among the incidents they investigated were the May 1974
Dublin Monaghan bombings which claimed 33 lives, the Miami
Showband massacre in July 1975 during which three musicians
and two members of the Ulster Volunteer Force gang died and
the shooting of Catholic policeman Sergeant Joe Campbell in
In only one case, the group was unable to reach a verdict on
collusion because of conflicting accounts – the murder of
51-year-old driver James Marks and 78-year-old passenger
Joseph Toland in a gun attack in Gilford, Co Armagh, on a
minibus returning from bingo.
The panel also met members of three organisations
representing republican victims of violence – Families
Acting for Innocent Relatives, SAVER/NAVER, both in
Markethill, Co Armagh, and the WAVE Trauma Centre in Belfast
which caters for the victims of loyalist violence too.
Among the stories they heard were the murder of a woman in
an acid and petrol bomb attack on a bus in Armagh in 1972,
the shooting of a man pulled from a digger in Mullaghbawn
and shot dead as he cleaned drains on his farm, the killing
of three UDR men when a lorry carrying a 1,000lb bomb rolled
into their barracks at Glenanne in 1991 and a South Armagh
farmer`s account of the intimidation of Protestants who were
driven from their land.
They also heard allegations by at least one former RUC man
that the Irish Republic`s police, the Gardai, was not
co-operative in bringing to justice IRA fugitives who fled
across the border.
While the panel`s remit was to probe collusion in loyalist
killings, Professor Cassel confirmed today: “There are some
allegations we received of alleged failure of the Garda or
the Irish authorities to properly co-operate with law
enforcement in cases of violence against loyalists here in
“We will certainly be raising that with the Irish Government.”
The report called for:
:: Investigations by an independent team into allegations of
collusion in murders and attempted murders by loyalists,
capable of identifying those involved, examining how high up
the chain of command it went and focusing not just on RUC
and UDR involvement but also British Army and intelligence
:: Investigations into murders carried out by republican groups;
:: Full co-operation by paramilitary groups on both sides
with credible official investigations into collusion;
:: The publishing of the findings of all investigations,
including those by the Historical Enquiries Team which
currently plans only to share its findings with victims`
:: The state to acknowledge publicly its responsibility in
sectarian killings where collusion is established;
:: Public apologies from senior officials to the families of
victims of collusion.
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Source: Irish-American Information Service (IAIS), e-mail bulletin.
The Pat Finucane Centre, Derry, statement, 3 November 2006: INVITATION TO THE LAUNCH OF THE REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL PANEL ON ALLEGED COLLUSION IN SECTARIAN KILLINGS IN NORTHERN IRELAND . . .
See: Irish Times/ireland.com, 6 November 2006: Garda Castigated In Report On North Collusion
BBC News online, 6 November 2006: Security ‘Links’ To Murder Plots
Ulster Television News online, 6 November 2006: US academic shocked by report’s findings
Belfast Telegraph, 7 November 2006 Collusion: PSNI team ‘not capable of getting to truth’ Orde defends cold case team after international criticism
The Irish Daily Mirror, 7 November 2006: Shock report alleges high-level collusion Officials ‘had information on 25 atrocities’ RUC & Army ‘helped loyalists carry out. . 74 MURDERS
The Irish Daily Mirror, 7 November 2006: So many victims
The Irish Examiner, 7 November 2006: Evidence found of British collusion in bombings
The Guardian, 7 November 2006: RUC and army ‘backed killers’
The Irish News, 7 November 2006: Questions haunt probe into loyalist collusion.
The Dundalk Democrat, 15 November 2006:‘We just want the truth’ New investigation into 1975 bombing
Produced in association with the Ludlow Family.
Last edited: 19 November 2006 16:51:48
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