De Silva report reveals that 85% of UDA intelligence in late 70s sourced in state material.

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Cameron’s just delivered the headline findings of the Finucane inquiry. Some of it is frankly, shocking. The details of the killing itself is less shocking (only because we’ve become so familiar) than some of the wider contextual information.

The thing that stunned me was the fact that 85% of the intelligence held by the UDA in the 1970s was sourced within the state and that de Silva is “satisfied that this proportion would have remained largely unchanged” by the time of Finucane’s murder.

It goes much further than “a wilful and abject failure by successive governments to provide a framework” for the running of agents. Dumping this material on a fractious, chaotic, nihilistic and murderous murder gang was shockingly irresponsible, even in the murderous days of the 1970s.

Patricia MacBride has a neat Tweet summary…

So, that’s just the start. We’ll link the report when it becomes available. But Geraldine Finucane is still pressing for a public inquiry. She notes that after a compliance check she says nothing came out, and yet de Silva has redacted some material.

She is pressing for the public inquiry Judy Cory called for. She would start from a higher level than any of the other subjects of those inquiries (lost files, etc). But Cameron is quite clearly saying, no more. I don’t see the Finucane family giving up anytime soon.

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  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick Fealty (profile)

    “In the same way as there is no defence of the murder of Jean McConville, there are extenuating circumstances: it’s called Belfast 1972.”

    Any chance of explaining why you dragged Jean Mc Conville into this thread? To me it reads as though you needed to bring in an IRA event just to show how you are a good ref? You statement is an oxymoron.

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s a similarly controversial story in which strong and contrary feelings are buried.

    Just remember you are on a Yellow. And you have form. And this subject is too serious for me to feeding trolls.

  • BarneyT

    Mick, is there any chance you could show a little more respect please. There is no need for these “school prefect” submissions and the public dressing down.

  • Mick Fealty

    Sorry, Barney. Nothing happens for nearly a year in this place then we get three big controversial stories all at once. I think we all need to calm the **** down. Fat ref, slow legs syndrome.

  • changeisneeded

    Naw you need to stop with your unionist biased monderation Mick..
    How many posts of mine have you deleted now?

  • BarneyT

    it is very contentious indeed. I just sense an imbalance at times…and the need for a 4th official :-)

    I look forward to your posts and you select them well by the way. Passions are high at the minute with the flegs, Finuncane, threats, census etc..and this surfaces now and again in these threads…but its good to talk.

    Times are changing in NI and I am not sure it is all for the good. But, the last time things were really bad…I dont think we had Slugger to vent on…so perhaps this is the steam outlet we need.

  • Mc Slaggart

    “Mick Fealty (profile)
    13 December 2012 at 9:58 am

    It’s a similarly controversial story in which strong and contrary feelings are buried.

    Just remember you are on a Yellow. And you have form. And this subject is too serious for me to feeding trolls.”

    I honestly do not know of anyone with “contrary feelings” on the subject of Jean Mc Conville? As you pointed out in your posting:

    “The Taoiseach responded with a predictable response, wondering where the compassion was when Jean McConville was murdered. It’s a cheap jibe at this stage.”

    Miriam

  • Billy Pilgrim

    ‘…if you want to know why you have been carded, just ask.’

    It’s all right. I know the reason I was carded. It is not a good reason. I’ve registered my protest and I’m moving on.

  • Kevsterino

    Mick, at no time did I intentionally cross the line of decency, at least in my view. I tried, as clearly as I could, to express the view that the assassination of a lawyer does not advance the cause of anti-terrorism. Maybe the hurrah line was a bit much, I suppose. Your call.

    Anyhow, it’s a new day. How long does the card stick?

  • Mick Fealty

    a day, maybe less…

  • Barnshee

    The carding has caused m some confusion (I was carded for saying Donna Traynor was very pretty) What ??

  • http://www.banuanlae.org/ Ulick

    Donna Traynor? Whatabout Jeanie Johnston, whatabout Zoe Salmon, whatabout Jean McConville…

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Mc Slaggart,
    I already explained that – I was saying he was “innocent” in the strict legal sense that he was not convicted of any crimes, but not in the wider sense in which he was being portrayed, of being innocent of involvement in a terrorist organisation. All I’ve seen here are denials he was formally an IRA member – who knows, but I could believe he wasn’t – but I haven’t seen denials he was intimately involved with the Republican Movement in a way that went beyond a strict client-solicitor relationship. The allegation is rather that, in Mafia terms, he was a ‘consiglieri’, not a ‘soldier’ – Tom Hagen, not Luca Brazzi. I haven’t seen that denied anywhere. Once again, that isn’t any kind of justification for what happened to him. But pointing this out as a corrective to the hagiographic aspects of the media portrayal of Finucane can’t cross the line of decency, if it’s true. Which I think we all assume it is unless we hear compelling evidence he had a change of conscience at some point before he died.

    But Mick is right that the focus right now should be on the failures within the security services that led to his death and I apologise for side-tracking things to some extent on this thread onto the media coverage, which is not the main issue when discussing his death (though it may be when discussing his life). I’m just personally very interested in media portrayals of Troubles issues and treatment of the Finucane killing is for me fascinating, quite apart from the collusion issues.

  • galloglaigh

    MU

    Was Jim Allister a ‘consiglieri’ for the UVF/LVF?

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Galloglaigh,
    I have no idea … was he?

  • galloglaigh

    Yet you’re quite content that Finucane was. That’s telling. Open your other eye.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    You misconstrue: I was asking you if Allister was, I genuinely didn’t know. But here you need to be careful about libel as he’s a living person.

    I’m assuming Finucane was on the basis of what I’ve read and listened to, but I’m open to being corrected on that by persuasive evidence to the contrary, e.g. that he never supported any IRA actions and never met with IRA members outside a professional context. Waiting to hear on that. But as I say, it’s a side issue here.

  • Neil

    I haven’t seen denials he was intimately involved with the Republican Movement in a way that went beyond a strict client-solicitor relationship.

    He was performing the role of solicitor for Republicans (and Loyalists). He was doing a job. Someone somewhere probably cooked dinner for Republicans too, sustaining them, sustaining terrorism through nutrition. Would you see them assassinated and then sully their name?

    They had an entitlement to legal representation, and we all know that involves being honest with your brief and following his advice. That doesn’t make him Consigliere, it makes him a solicitor. The cops hated him – they would, he made them look bad when they operated outside the rules.

    I got a red card once for calling Seawright for what he was. I’ll not repeat it now. But it’s interesting that when it comes to deceased Nationalists innuendo is enough for people to excuse murder.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Neil,
    That post was unfair and should really be retracted: (1) throughout I have been at pains to point out no one should have been murdered and certainly not Finucane – at the risk of stating the obvious (it’s not so obvious to certain parties in NI society that murder is wrong, but hey ho); (2) I wasn’t criticising his work qua solicitor, I said he seems to have had a close relationship with the Republican Movement that at the very least went beyond the strictly functional – it was this that drew my comparison to the Bob Duval character in The Godfather. As you know there are more serious allegations too, but it’s hard to judge their veracity; though the credibility of the denials is equally questionable. (3) when you talk about sullying his name, are you suggesting then he didn’t support the IRA? If so, I apologise for having suggested he did. But if he did support them, as it seems was the case, then he did the sullying all by himself.

    Who knows what really went on – well, several senior politicians probably do – but Republican omerta on the subject can’t stop people like me asking questions about the truth of it. They can’t have it both ways.

  • galloglaigh

    I haven’t libelled anybody. Nor am I stupid enough to do so. Yet you seem stupid enough to believe hearsay. Like you, I’ve also read a lot, and I’ve read several accounts of DUP members being up to their necks in directing unionist terrorism. Many a DUP member has shared meetings, platforms, and even guns, ammunition, and rocket propelled grenade launchers with unionist terrorists ‘outside any professional context’ other than joint terrorism. Jim Allister was a member of the DUP. Was Pat Finucane a member of Sinn Fein?

    I’ll leave that with you…

  • galloglaigh

    You also say that ‘Who knows what really went on’, yet you seem to have all the answers.

    Funny that!

  • jthree

    Chapter 15 of De Silva is useful. It points out that the spooks had taken a decision to shitbag Finucane in the years before the killing.

    They evidently did a bang-up job as the mud is still sticking despite various coppers, QCs and coroners saying he wasn’t a Provo and those who say he was singularly failing to provide any evidence.

    http://www.patfinucanereview.org/report/volume01/chapter015/

  • Kevsterino

    Not being desirous of another card, I will only reprise the point that the argument, not the arguer, that there is any evidence amounting to proof that Patrick Finucane was a member of the Irish Republican Army is without merit and considering the fact that he was murdered in connivance with agents of the State he served as an officer of the court, reprehensible and in very bad taste.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    and once again the charge wasn’t that he was formally a member of the IRA

  • changeisneeded

    So what was the charge Mainland Ulsterman?
    What are you actually saying?

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    already said it ad nauseam – pls read back on the thread

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    jthree,
    I’m not keen to prolong a sterile debate but since you quote Ch 15 and I’ve read it, it doesn’t say what you suggest.

    It talks at length about the push to undermine the IRA through ‘propaganda’, which it seems refers just to getting information out into the public domain that was previously only known to the security forces. The term ‘propaganda’ leads to an expectation of untruths, but actually that’s not what Ch 15 actually finds. (It’s questionable whether ‘propaganda’, a term used because it was a deliberate attempt to use information as a part of the campaign to defeat the Republican terrorists, is the right word.)

    The report talks instead about the debate within the security forces about the propriety of disseminating this kind of information. It is implicit that the security forces genuinely believed it was true. They may have been wrong, but the report does not say they were wrong, it merely discusses the wisdom or otherwise of sharing their belief.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mainland Ulsterman
    ” I was saying he was “innocent” in the strict legal sense that he was not convicted of any crimes, but not in the wider sense in which he was being portrayed, of being innocent of involvement in a terrorist organisation. All I’ve seen here are denials he was formally an IRA member – who knows, but I could believe he wasn’t ”

    You can believe what you like it does not make it true. Your “Bob Duval character in The Godfather” is interesting in so far as Mick did not think it worth his stepping in and stopping such slander. Your “Even the dogs in the street” approach makes me think you agree with every part time UDR man who was murdered? In my part of Tyrone “Even the dogs in the street” accepted that every UDR man was in the UDA.

  • Neil

    MU,

    it says exactly what jthree intimated. One selected quote:

    The information relating to Patrick Finucane that was being circulated effectively involved fanning the rumours and speculation linking him to the IRA.

    The security services used propaganda to further link Finucane to the PIRA when, as De Silva has stated, Finucane was not in the PIRA. In what way does this not reinforce jthree’s posting:

    Chapter 15 of De Silva is useful. It points out that the spooks had taken a decision to shitbag Finucane in the years before the killing.

    They evidently did a bang-up job as the mud is still sticking despite various coppers, QCs and coroners saying he wasn’t a Provo and those who say he was singularly failing to provide any evidence.

    They fueled speculation that he was in the IRA, and despite the fact that those supposedly in the know saying, repeatedly, he was not, many refuse still to accept that, preferring to believe the innuendo and rumour the Services ‘fueled’ (according to chapter 15). Why you yourself are prepared, on the balance of probability (read: the rumours you heard) to believe he may have been.

    Also, definition of propaganda:

    Information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

    So one would not necessarily expect explicit untruths from propaganda, merely misleading information. Such as suggesting someone was in the IRA, maybe, ye know about his brother, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more. This is exactly what happened.

    PS, I will retract a portion of my earlier posting as it was not in it’s entirety aimed at your good self.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    I’m afraid it is consistent, because you have elided two things: membership of the IRA and links with the IRA beyond that of solicitor-client.

    I wasn’t disputing that “the spooks had taken a decision to shitbag Finucane in the years before the killing.” My point was about what ‘shitbagging’ entailed, according to the report. The report talks about them fanning rumours he was in the IRA – which it turns out he may not have formally been (though that comes down to some arcane secret initiation ceremony we wouldn’t be allowed by them to know about anyway). But I’ve posted several times that the case against him doesn’t hang on his formal membership or otherwise of the IRA. It was his close links with the terrorists beyond what was necessary for his work as a solicitor that was the issue. The report does not cast doubt on that – all it says is that one aspect of the rumours (the formal membership question) may well not have been true, but it doesn’t pronounce on the wider question of whether he was, as I speculated, a consiglieri figure to the Movement and thus part of it. He can’t get off the hook just because he wasn’t a ‘soldier’.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mainland Ulsterman
    “as I speculated, a consiglieri figure”

    The IRA must love you.

  • Neil

    I wasn’t disputing that “the spooks had taken a decision to shitbag Finucane in the years before the killing.”

    Well what were you disputing in jthree’s post then? You say not the first paragraph – well the second and final paragraph seems indisputable.

    But I’ve posted several times that the case against him doesn’t hang on his formal membership or otherwise of the IRA.

    What ‘case’? The UDA one that resulted in his execution? There was no ‘case’ against him, and your opinion of whether he was more linked to terrorists than his profession required is frankly irrelevant.

    Chapter 15 also makes clear (as you’ve read it closely you know this already) that a solicitor shouldn’t be confused with his cases or clients for obvious reasons (to do with democracy and entitling everyone to an equal defence).

    He can’t get off the hook just because he wasn’t a ‘soldier’.

    What hook’s that then Ted? The one MU wants to hang him on, entirely made of innuendo (of the type referred to by De Silva when he discusses propaganda), it would appear that the spooks did an ok job as some people still choose to justify the murder by repeating the same old bull.

    I’d say that there’s only one reason he cant get off the UDA’s hook – and that’s because he was murdered by Loyalists who were encouraged and assisted by the police and security services. But not to worry, MU can posthumously try him in the court of Loyalist public opinion and pronounce him guilty. So it’s all ok then.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Neil, when I say ‘case’, I mean in the sense of trying to establish the objective truth about him. And I’ve said ad nauseam his murder was horribly wrong and the involvement of the state in it a very serious crime – and cause for a lot of reflection and I hope those responsible face justice. I’ve also said repeatedly the issue of Finucane’s own record is a side issue as far as that’s concerned. But the truth is the truth and the more I get outraged responses that I’m afraid don’t deal with my questions head on, the more I feel it’s worth probing.

    As a former solicitor myself I’m very aware of the legal niceties of the solicitor-client relationship, but what I was posting about was a series of serious questions about Finucane’s activities and relationships. If he really had no relationship with the Republican Movement other than solicitor-client for some of its ‘volunteers’, then perhaps we should erect a statue to the man. But before we do – and with the memory of the Jimmy Savile debacle ringing in our ears – it may be worth checking out if there is anything we should know about our new saints before we canonise them. I was curious to see if anyone could contradict the hypothesis (and indeed specific allegation, though uncorroborated) that he was more than a lawyer to the IRA. As I’ve said, to me it remains at the moment just a hypothesis but I note that still no one has suggested compelling evidence to contradict it. Referring to the report doesn’t help much, as da Silva wasn’t tasked to pronounce definitive judgment on that issue.

    The closest anyone has come is part of the report where it states it believes he was not formally a member of the IRA. But that still leaves the question as to his other involvement wide open. In all the outraged responses to my asking these questions again – questions let’s face it most people have asked themselves about him at some point – what is missing is any further account of what the exact nature of his relationship with the IRA was. Instead, we get a lot of smoke and mirrors.

    As the organisation is shrouded in secrecy, I’m not expecting those in the know to be forthcoming about the details. But the silence on the matter – even from people like yourself speaking up for him – suggests there is indeed some murk here and it’s hardly going to satisfy the curious. Would you be satisfied, if this was about allegations on the other side? I would hope people would want the truth to come out, one way or the other.

    Let’s face it, we will probably never know the full truth on this – the old omerta again. But the Republican Movement can’t have both omerta and freedom from suspicion. It has to choose. In the meantime, I and many others will continue to wonder about what is being hidden from us and why.

  • galloglaigh

    MU

    I asked you this before and you ignored me. I’ll try again:

    Do you believe that Jim Allister had the same relationship with the UVF and LVF, as Pat Finucane had with the PIRA?

    Given that Jim was a member of the DUP, when the DUP were marching the UVF to the top of the hill, and marching them down again – the connection to loyalist terrorists is there. But does it mean anything deeper?

    I’d like you to answer that without avoiding it.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    galloglaigh,
    I honestly don’t know and I did say that before. But bear in mind libel laws (as I also pointed out before). But of course I condemn any unionist having a relationship with loyalist terrorists. Terror is terror and we can have no truck with it.