So much information, so few results

The Historical Enquiries Team has amassed a database as ‘big as a B&Q’ according to Liam Clarke at the Sunday Times today.

The data is held in the “most advanced central store in the UK”, according to Dave Cox, climate-controlled and its access managed by computer. The information on the 3,268 killings is linked by a specially designed analytical database that groups the deaths – paramilitary murders and security force killings – into 2,516 separate incidents. The material for this giant repository was gathered from police stations across the province, as well as military records, MI5 case papers and published sources. Its location is being kept secret for fear of sabotage. Some particularly sensitive files relating to security force collusion are held in London under the care of a “white team” of retired detectivesWhile Clarke makes the point that the information is proving useful to relatives who are seeking more information about the death of their lost ones, I wonder if thats as good as its going to get? Will every single case take the determination of a Eugene Reavey who pushed and prodded until his brothers were exonerated?

Indeed, the question has to be asked yet again: Can we handle the truth? For anyone genuinely interested in this area, Dr Kieran McEvoy published a very extensive and comprehensive report on the issues around truth recovery last year. I’ve linked the Executive Summary, which is essential reading for anyone who wants to develop a fuller understanding of this area.

For the moment, we are left in this land of limbo, where we are accumulating information and evidence, but I’m not sure we have yet convinced ourselves why we are doing so, or how far it can ever be taken.

  • I wonder…

    I find this extraordinary.

    A specialist team has as much if not more info. as had the RUC.

    It took Dave Cox how long ( weeks?) to find out that the RUC had failed to investigate the Reavey killings as, not to put too fine a point on it, they thought the Reaveys were Provo gunmen.

  • gareth mccord

    the “white team”
    more like the “whitewash team”
    what a load of false hope and bluff!!

  • I wonder…

    gareth
    Your cynicism is noted and is understandable (if you are who you say you are) There are many other unsolved murders which may be discovered. The thing is that the DUP cannot now complain….

  • bertie

    Gareth I quite agree. A very expensive waste of time. I have no faith in them either. There will be lots of soft and fluffy words and “sincere” expressions towards the families but in the end a lot more damage done to people who have already been through more than enough!!!

  • I wonder…

    Bertie
    Too cynical. Think about the main motivation about looking back and re-examining these killings.
    At the time, the *explanation* for McGurks was that it was a customer *minding an IRA bomb*. Should that original *motive* never have been revisited? Totally naive.

  • ingram

    Hi Lads,

    quote The Historical Enquiries Team has amassed a database as ‘big as a B&Q’ according to Liam Clarke at the Sunday Times today unquote

    The victims would be better off going to B&Q and doing it yourself because the HET will not bring anybody to justice nor bring closure for the victims.

    HET was recently undermined and Dave Cox himself in conversation with the director of British Irish rights watch admitted he was dissapointed to have certain POLITICAL cases taken from his team.He is a patsy.

    Get down to B&Q. lol

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • susan

    I disagree, Bertie. For example, hard as it is to believe, the efforts to smear the Reaveys are ongoing, as you will see from this current, shameful link to Willie Frazier’s FAIR website:

    http://www.victims.org.uk/17.01.07.htm

    The HEQ database is a down payment on the debt owed to victims of the conflict and their families, not an end in itself, but it is an important and essential start.

    Not only are the families still vulnerable, but the future is vulnerable to white-washed, one-sided interpretations of the past. I’ve no doubt the contents of the database will eventually add greatly to our understanding of the past, and the general and growing commitment not to relive it.

    Miss Fitz, thank you for the link to Dr McEvoy’s report. I will have to put it on my ever-expanding list of Slugger Assigned Reading (next up is Malachi O’Doherty’s “The Telling Year”), but get to it I shall.

  • gareth mccord

    H.E.T./ police ombudsman/ stevens enquiry/ omagh inq?/ finucane inq?/ billy wright inq?/ bloody sunday inq?/ ETC ETC ETC !!!
    All of the above are cases and departments set up to investigate the dirty dealings and balls ups of the british governments various security departments.
    But just one thought for those who think the above will deliver justice, WHO IS IN CONTROL AND DECIDES THE OUTCOME? yes the powers who are to blame for the dirty dealings and balls ups to start with!!
    THINK ABOUT IT!!(nobody cuts their own throat)

  • I wonder…

    Martin
    Name the cases.

  • ..paramilitary murders and security force killings..

    Speak’s for it’s self.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The data is held in the “most advanced central store in the UK”, according to Dave Cox, climate-controlled and its access managed by computer.

    This article is an attempt at hype. The above description may sound impressive, but you will find that the above is true of any back office information systems setup in any small or medium office. What data these days does not have access managed by computer ?

    A specialist team has as much if not more info. as had the RUC.

    It sounds to me as if the data is not new, but the collation of it under one system is. I imagine they have got some kind of data mining software on the go.

    I think Gareth is probably right. Nobody associated with NI is ready for a truth and reconciliation commission yet.

  • gareth mccord

    comrade
    No your wrong im ready and thousands like me are ready. But i believe all of N.Ireland deserves the truth after all we all lived and died through the “pointless troubles”.
    But we all know we wont get the truth because it is so dirty and damning of the previous and current british and irish governments.

  • gareth mccord

    comrade
    I forgot to mention what the decent people of N.Ireland of past and present want is JUSTICE more than the truth!!
    But justice is not included in the farce of “truth and reconciliation” set up!
    Until there is justice then the fight will always continue.

  • Intelligence Insider

    “gareth”,
    What is justice? If there was any justice Raymond McCord would not have been killed. He would be serving life in prison for being a drug dealer.
    You say that people want justice more than the truth, how can their be justice without truth Gareth?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I forgot to mention what the decent people of N.Ireland of past and present want is JUSTICE more than the truth!!

    I would like to see truth and reconciliation happening. But if you want to know why I don’t think it will, have a look at the election results. I don’t think there will be any kind of truth and reconciliation for at least another generation. Everyone – the two governments, the political parties, the paramilitaries themselves, and of course the people who supported all of the above – has their hands dirty.

  • bertie

    “The HEQ database is a down payment on the debt owed to victims of the conflict and their families, not an end in itself, but it is an important and essential start. ”

    I do not beleive that it will (or will be allowed to) lead to the conviction on anyone currently politically prominant. It’s main purpose is window dressing. If it gives some families answers in the process then I will be glad for them. However I beleive it will be a sourece of greater damage to fmailies in the long run, not least in the failure to manage expectations.

  • gareth mccord

    intelligence insider?
    You really are an idiot because why and how would anyone get life in prison for bringing a semi legal drug into this country.(for the uvf) If there was justice in that case then you would have to consider his no record and intimidation and threats from UDA scum. Hence his stupidity in believing he wasnt being used by UVF scum.
    If you have any sense of intelligence then you will realise that the people of N.Ireland know the TRUTH to most, if not all murders commited.
    But what the victims families dont have is JUSTICE!!!
    think about it numpty!

  • Miss Fitz

    Is a semi legal drug the equivalent of being slightly pregnant?

  • gareth mccord

    MISS FITZ/ mrs malone/ mrs?
    youve been very quiet on recent events concerning your friends in mount vermin?
    your last threat to me was about threatening to tell all about the HARBINSON murder when the report came out. I am still waiting along with the harbinson kids??
    AS for your above comment if you are caught with cannabis(a personnel use) by the police they dont charge compered to every other drug were personnel use is not allowed. But being slightly pregnant then YOU need to go the doctor and make a big decision.(god help the kid)!!
    While your at your doc ask him to check if there is anything between your ears??:-)
    I have kept your e-mails for the record!

  • gareth mccord

    But at least we can all smile and reloice this morning in the justice that MAN UTD ARE CHAMPIONS:-) get in

  • susan

    Comrade Stalin
    I would like to see truth and reconciliation happening. But if you want to know why I don’t think it will, have a look at the election results. I don’t think there will be any kind of truth and reconciliation for at least another generation.

    Bertie
    I do not believe that it will (or will be allowed to) lead to the conviction on anyone currently politically prominant.

    Sadly, I agree with both CS and Bertie. However, I do believe the more truth will out; if not from a formal TRC then from the tenacity of the families, journalists, eventually historians. Whic is why I still maintain it is not a waste of time and money.

    You do have to wonder about the timing of this tour of the HET database (2,516 incidents — “most advanced central store in the U.K. — and it is climate controlled!)

    While I am always very, very glad to see any prominent clearing of the innocent Reavey family’s name, I couldn’t help wondering if Dave Cox was not divulging details of the HEQ database so prominently at this time as rather a subtle, elaborate blackmail notice to keep who knows who — politicians, paramilitaries, individual members of the security forces or intelligence services — in line.

    A “Ding Ding” for the Thinking Man, to use a sexist term.

  • Miss Fitz

    Gareth

    I think you are mixing me up with someone else, and I think we need to clear this up very quickly, as you are frightening me.

    My name is not Malone.

    I have never been to Mount Vernon

    I cannot recall ever sending you an e-mail

    Who the hell are the Harbinsons?

    Gareth, you need to figure out who you think you are talking to, and really quickly.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    susan – don’t be too impressed by the climate-control. Any server room worth its salt (in any IT department of any company large or small) has climate control.

  • susan

    I know, puddin’. But thanks!