McCord Rejected for Victims Commissioner

Raymond McCord Jr, the Belfast Telegraph is reporting, has been rejected as a candidate for the Victims Commissioner post, because he isn’t good at PR and doesn’t haven’t knowledge of the Troubles. He was not interviewed for the position. A total of 46 people have applied and that has been shortlisted to 13 who have been interviewed. One would have thought he would have been a strong contender. It seems rattling the establishment is not a qualification that is being sought? Or maybe interrupting the Secretary of State’s afternoon nap was his big mistake

  • I was amazed unsurprised to hear Ian Paisley Jr. on Nolan arguing that McCord doesn’t have a monopoly on victimhood- now this may be true, but I don’t think that’s what Mr. McCord was claiming. He also failed to disagree when Nolan described SF as his ‘friends’ and waxed lyrical about how great Bertha McDougal is. It seems for the DUP, you’re great if you’re a victim, just so long as you’re a victim of republicans- McCord’s ‘mistake’, aside from the fact that his son wasn’t killed by republicans, was that he dared to challenge loyalist paramilitaries and special branch, clearly big no-nos in the DUP’s book.

  • Gum

    Heaven forbid we get someone who tells it like it is and isnt in the pocket of a party. McCord would have been perfect for the role. The victims commissioner role was always going to be another political football and its sickening to see it happen.

    And as for Paisley… the hypocrasy is overwhelming.

  • Observer

    On a point of correction is it not Raymond McCord SR?

  • Its amazing to hear many of The DUP die-hards on this site, now lambasting their party for selling-out. Paisley Junior seems to be the chief target.

    For years, the same people have taken numerous pot-shots at SF for the various comprimises which they have made as part of the process.

    They seemed to gullibly “buy” the constant soundbites from Big Ian that he would never share power with Sinn Fein. The reality is now becoming more apparent and I feel that there is going to have be an uncomfortable period of readjustment and re-evaluation for many of those DUP stalwart voters who for years have comfortavly hidden behind the familiar “Never, never, never”, rhetoric from their fundamentalist leader.

    The times they are a changing….

  • I Wonder

    Despite having sympathy for Mr McCord, I don’t honestly think he met the criteria for this post.

    I think his applying, in the knowledge that he would almost certainly fail to be shortlisted, was part of a strategy for continuing to highlight his grievances. Did any of the McCartneys apply?

  • Shore Road Resident

    Er, yes, back to the subject please.

  • Observer

    I would agree I_Wonder.

    This is a man who is very good at PR.

    And being good at PR isn’t necessarily a hard thing to do.

  • Regular Contributor

    The bigger issue is of course the post of VC itself. The criteria were so narrow as to almost guarantee at least an interview for the incumbent.

    I dont mind admitting that I applied for the position, and felt I had met all of the criteria. I’ve worked with victims on both sides of the divide for a long time, I’ve published a report on an aspect of the Troubles and victims, and I have a Diploma in Trauma Studies. My post graduate research was also in an area relating to victims.

    I accepted the NIO decision not to short list me, despite support from ‘both sides’. But I have to admit that I am looking forward to the announcement with great anticipation.

    I have no opinion on whether or not Mr McCord was sufficiently qualified for the post, or whether he met all of the criteria. However, I do think that the calibre of people who have been disqualified at an early stage may be a message in itself.

  • Biff 2

    Regular contributor

    Like the present incumbent the position will be filled by someone who suits politically and the short lists etc are just window dressing .Every thing changes , and every thing stays the same .

  • Leonida

    It appears that it is the appointing board for the post of “Victims Commissioner” that needs alesson or two in good PR.

  • wild turkey


    does anyone have any ideas on how to obtain

    1. the essential and desireable criteria used in shortlisting.

    2. the composition of the shortlisting panel

    3. who appoints the shortlisting panel.

    As a seperate if related issue, does anyone know the latest state of play on the investigation into the 60 plus questions posed by the high court judge into the original appointment process?

    just curious.

    with respect to a knowledge of PR,c,mon. A spot on McCords ass has more wit and wisdom regarding PR than all the combined grade sevens and above in the NIO. Admittedly not a difficult achievment

  • jp

    Given many of the oddities that the powers that be would rather keep on the hush (including the sacrificing of soldiers and police men and women to protect contacts in organisations) not to mention the political high theatre surrounding issues like colusion and the clear, and often regugnant, concessions that have been given in this area to suit certain revised histories, a man like McCord who will ruffle feathers and make unfortunate and frank comments would be potential political dynamite, like Billy Wrights dad, he’s one of the ‘shut up please’ types. No, far better to get someone from a neatly control politically motivated victims group who can be handled by those whos respective interests they represent……..

  • ‘PR’ in this instance clearly= shutting up, doing what you’re told, and not rocking too many boats. Not exactly good qualities for a prospective victims’ commissioner as far as I’m concerned.

  • Archie

    Two words coming to mind here folks – ‘judicial review’.

  • GavBelfast

    The omnipotent Paisley Jnr seems to have a perspective on just about everything these days.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Observer: “This is a man who is very good at PR. And being good at PR isn’t necessarily a hard thing to do. ”

    Heaven forfend someone incapable of spinning actually get a high profile position. This man, in the eyes of the political establishment, is an “embaressment,” insofar as he has the spine to stand up to the Loyalists — something many of the politicians lack. Throw in the fact that his personal tail is a little politically awkward for some folks tastes and he didn’t have a chance.

    As for “not being good” at PR, I would argue that he is competent, but not deft. I just don’t think that he has even remotely the same agenda as most — what many would sweep under the rug, he’d like to drag out into the light. That requires a different approach.

  • iluvni

    ..and almost everyone thinks he’s a tosser no matter what he comes out with

  • regularcontributor

    This does not need to descend into a personal attack on Mr McCord. The criteria for the post are still up on the NIO website. If Mr McCord fit the criteria, then he has a case to take forward.

    I mentioned writing a report on vcitims in my earlier post, but the criteria also included setting up an office and managing a small team. I dont know how McCord fits into those, but I know at least two rejected individual whose credentials fit perfectly.

    Credentials dont seem to count as much as your face though, or your political significance. Of course this is a political position, but wouldnt it have been nice to have the right person for the job too?

    I said before I look forward to the announcement of the new VC. I am looking forward to being pleasantly surprised in the New Ireland by a good and proper choice for VC

  • nmc

    I don’t think he’s a tosser. I would hope that my kin would make a lot of noise if something happened to me.

    I respect him, what he’s done took a lot of balls.

  • iluvni

    …err, the tosser comment refers to Junior Paisley btw. (#15)
    Mr McCord has been nothing less than heroic in standing up to the killers of his son over the years.

  • The Dubliner

    McCord tells the truth. That makes him a very dangerous man in a system where the truth must be concealed at all costs.

  • gareth mccord

    i agree with ther decision that my father should not have got the job. But nobody knows more about the troubles than him. He has the support of both communities and i would be surprised if the new v.c. has.
    Also he knows what a victim feels like to be threatened attacked murder attempts and threats and the full ins and outs of the victims feelings.
    But dont forget he also knows how families and loved ones feel when they have lost a loved one to the murdering scum.
    He knows how to help families with police investigations and their rights. Every week he has been meeting families from both communities because they have contacted him asking for help and advice.
    The UDA and UVF can both verify that no other man has taken them on and won apart from him. The leaders who took him on are now dead or in jail.
    I think we all know that the v.c. will be a yes person who maybe well spoken and literate but certainly will not come close to the vast knowledge of what a victim and their families go through than my father. HE would representand be welcomed from all people from both communities without prejudice, i doubt the new v.c. could say the same.
    But although nobody would be better at being an honest, un- bigoted, experianced v.c. he should not get the job.

  • I wonder…

    I hope the new VC will help you, your family and a wide range of victims in whatever way they can. Its an extraordinarily difficult job and they will need to be up to it.

  • gareth mccord

    i wonder
    There should not be a v.c. from N.Ireland as both sides will not be 100% represented. There cannot be a unionist v.c.because they do not and will not do a constructive justice for victims(of loyalists murders). But also there should not be a republican v.c. because they have refused to condemn all acts of murder from both sides.
    The v.c. should however have dealt with murdering scum to know the true range of feelings a victim feels.
    The next v.c. of N.Ireland will earn their money thats for sure and god help them.

  • bertie

    “There cannot be a unionist v.c.because they do not and will not do a constructive justice for victims(of loyalists murders).”

    Bit presumptious and sweeping there gareth.

    “But also there should not be a republican v.c. because they have refused to condemn all acts of murder from both sides.”

    and so is that, depending on your definition of republican

  • susan

    I hope the new VC will help you, your family and a wide range of victims in whatever way they can. Its an extraordinarily difficult job and they will need to be up to it.

    Posted by I wonder… on Apr 24, 2007 @ 05:46 PM

    Well said, I Wonder. I agree with you completely.

    Some insight into the makeup of the committee and the decision-making progress in today’s Telegraph, which reprints McCord’s rejection letter in full, with reaction from McCord and Paisley.

    According to the article, 46 applicants applied for the post, and a total of 13 were granted interviews.

  • susan

    I Wonder is correct that the post of VC will be extraordinarily difficult, and requires extreme sensitivity to the needs of a wide range of victims. The same could be said for the responsibility of picking the new VC, and reading the wording of McCord’s letter in the Telegraph today it is impossible to feel confidence this committee has the sensitivity required.