Police Ombudsman to launch second collusion investigation

The BBC are reporting that the Police Ombudsman’s office will investigate claims of collusion between members of the PIRA and the security services. According to the report the Ombudsman will initially look into six apparently unspecified – beyond a reference to the involvement of Freddie Scappaticci – incidents over a 20-year period. But given that the previous investigation, Operation Ballast, took three and a half years to complete, not entirely satisfactorily, and that one inquiry into similar claims has been ongoing for 4 years – and just ran into some difficulty – there has to be a question about whether the Police Ombudsman’s office is an appropriate vehicle for such examination of the past nevermind whether some of the now insulated security services, even with a new chief, will be fully co-operative. Or, for that matter, any other interested parties..From the BBC report

The scope of the investigation could be expanded if there are further credible allegations.

But Ms O’Loan said she was not yet labelling anyone as an informer.

“On the republican side, the allegations are that there was protection of republican criminals,” she said.

“And in some cases the suggestion is that there was a republican informant involved.”

Investigators have already been in touch with the police – and will soon be contacting the Army and intelligence agencies.

They will ask for information about some of the IRA agents alleged to have been working for them.