Police Ombudsman gets another case from the past..

According to the BBC report a spokesman for the Police Ombudsman has confirmed that “Nuala O’Loan had just begun to look at the files” relating to the killing of three unarmed IRA men at a RUC checkpoint in 1982 and is to “decide whether an investigation is needed, during a process which could take several months” – by which time Al Hutchison will probably have taken over. The House of Lords ruled against an inquiry in March 2004. But, again according to the report, “The Council of Europe has now asked the government to get the police ombudsman’s office to consider the case.” That’s despite the Ombudsman’s latest annual report pointing to a lack of funding for the more than 40 cases already referred to her Office by the Historical Enquiries Team and the absence of guaranteed future access to MI5 files.. not to mention the ongoing consultation by the Eames/Bradley group on dealing with the past. Adds Guardian report here
From the Guardian

The government has referred the issue back to Mrs O’Loan. It has told the Council of Europe that the McKerr case “is now a matter for the police ombudsman who is responsible for investigating deaths as a result of actions of police officers. She will identify possible further evidentiary opportunities and will look into the original police investigation … the ombudsman has given an assurance to expedite the case as best she can”. There is no time limit on inquiries into the past.

Any reinvestigation would be complex because three police officers were acquitted of the killings more than 20 years ago. But at her office in Belfast, Mrs O’Loan confirmed the files were now with her. “The government has asked us to look at McKerr. It’s quite complex whether we have the legal power to investigate or not. Police officers were charged with murder and acquitted.

“The law says you can’t reinvestigate if there’s been a previous hearing. But it may be there are other issues that need to be investigated.”

Mrs O’Loan is not yet sure whether she will have the resources or legal authority to do so. But she recognises that the inquiry might finally put to rest one of the most poisonous controversies of the Troubles.

Update Interesting comments from the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson, as noted in the Irish Times breaking news report

Democratic Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson said the new inquiries had the potential to cost a huge amount of taxpayers’ money. “There is no benefit to the community in Northern Ireland in doing this,” he said. “The Ombudsman’s fixation with past cases is damaging the reputation of her office and is undermining the prospect of moving Northern Ireland towards a better future.”

To which I can only point back to the link noted in the original post – “if our new democratic institutions aren’t strong enough to withstand the truth..”

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  • PeaceandJustice

    Will there be any investigations into Sinn Fein IRA people who operated a shoot to kill policy and are now in Government?

    If there was, Sinn Fein IRA would claim it was acting against the peace process. At the same time as welcoming the other investigations … Because it was all right for them to murder people but the actions of everyone else should be examined in the greatest detail.

  • Glensman

    What about… What About… How About…

    Always the same with you P&J, and just to sink down and answer your question. The IRA were not a state force. State forces are expected not to engage in a shoot to kill policy, insurgents generally are.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ‘The IRA were not a state force.’

    Spot on Glensman — apparently they’re the rightful govt of Ireland.

  • fair_deal

    P&J

    Its called the Historical Enquiries Team

    Glensman

    State forces are allowed in clearly defined circumstances to use lethal force. Article 2.2 b and c of the ECHR

  • PeaceandJustice

    Glensman – “What about… What About… How About…”

    It’s called context. Pan-Nationalists use it on here all the time. Or is it like the murders carried out by SF IRA – only their killings were ‘good’ and everyone else was ‘bad’.

    fair_deal – “Its called the Historical Enquiries Team”

    You don’t honestly think they will name senior Sinn Fein IRA death squad members who are now in Government? ‘Not in the interests of peace’ and all that. There is certainly no fair deal for the victims of Republican violence. We are still waiting on delivery from the DUP on that.

  • George

    fair_deal,
    lethal violence can be used if it is “absolutely necessary”.

    If it isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s state murder.

    So if was absolutely necessary to shoot these unarmed guys dead, then it’s justified use of lethal force. If not, it’s murder.

  • George

    Should add – or manslaughter.

  • Glensman

    Spot on George. State forces can’t just go about shooting whoever they please. These men were unarmed and surely would not have resisted arrest considering the odds against them.

    And no P&J this is not context, it is Whataboutery you do it on thread after thread so that the topic up for discussion does not actually get touched on, which is exactly what is happening here.

  • jpeters

    P&J

    have to agree with the others here

    state forces have responsibilities, in any other country the investigation of alleged illegal acts by state forces would not even be a debateable subject,the need for the investigation is very clear

    that said the investigations for other victims of the troubles are entirely appropriate but are an entirely separate but equal subject

  • Pól

    Victor’s Justice

  • fair_deal

    P&J

    “You don’t honestly think they will name senior Sinn Fein IRA death squad members who are now in Government?”

    David Simpson asked such a question at the Policing Board and Orde said they would investigate anyone.

    Glensman

    “State forces can’t just go about shooting whoever they please”

    Never said they could.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    FD

    And did you believe Orde?

  • fair_deal

    BG

    Too early to tell. The first hurdle in any situation is to get the public commitment, monitor the action and then make an assessment rather that just calling someone a liar at the get go.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Whether you want to call the NI conflict a ‘war’, an ‘armed struggle’ or a ‘terrorist insurgency’, there had to be casualties on both sides. You can’t expect to dish it out if you can’t take some back.
    Many would consider that the number of paramilitaries on either side killed by the security forces was lamentably low.

    PIRA claimed to be the defenders of the RC community, yet they murdered more of them than the security forces did.
    They were more than happy to justify shooting retired police officers in the back and blowing up contract workers, but if one of their own was shot, they couldn’t take it. So much for the word ‘army’ in their initials.

    These cases should remain in the vaults but if they must be dug up, then all shootings by paramilitary groups should be reopened also.

  • Lorraine

    throughout the conflict the IRA were held accountable for their actions, pursued by the forces of law and order IRA personnel either ended up in gaol or dead.

    state forces have NEVER been held accountable for the carnage they inflicted. now is the time to expose how laws were broke by law makers in order to preserve a status-quo via terrorism.

    as an infamous witch once parrotted repeatedly: crime is crime is crime…..

  • fair_deal

    “state forces have NEVER been held accountable for the carnage they inflicted”

    Incorrect, on a number of occassions members of the state forces were put on trial.

  • Glensman

    Put on trial with what results? Any ‘punishment’ meted out to offenders has been pityful.

  • lib2016

    “…then all shootings by paramilitary groups should be reopened also.”

    The people who object loudest to further inquiries seem to be mostly from the unionist and British side of the fence.

    It would seem sensible to restrict such inquiries to those where the facts are in dispute but you seem to be demanding that all ‘political’ murders should be re-examined. Isn’t that what the Historical Enquiries team is for?

    Personally I have little doubt that the Brits are giving the appearance of making inquiries while actually doing as little as possible so that they can resist continuing pressure from Europe.

    In any case we can be sure that no inquiries will reach as far as the NIO let alone London. International involvement would be the only way to lend credibility to the idea of the British Government investigating it’s own actions and the actions of previous British governments. It won’t happen.

  • Republican paramilitaries have, between them, served over 100,000 years in jail, following trials in jury-less courts. How many years did Fisher and Wright plus Lee Clegg serve for their offences? And how many others never made it to trial?

    What about the soldiers – and their political masters – who killed British citizens engaged in a peaceful protest on the streets of Derry on Bloody Sunday?
    Amritsar to Derry, things never change as far as the British are concerned. they are unaccountable for their murderous misdeeds….

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Responsibility for killing:
    Responsible party Numbers:

    Republican Paramilitary Groups 2055
    Loyalist Paramilitary Groups 1020
    Security Forces 368
    Persons unknown 80

    Given these figures, why is it that the party who scream loudest for these inquires are the representatives of republican paramilitaries?

    Lorraine:
    ‘throughout the conflict the IRA were held accountable for their actions, pursued by the forces of law and order.’

    Is this not absolutely correct Lorraine, given that their campaign of violence was entirely unjustified, barbaric and resulted in a huge number of civilian casualties, many from their own community?

    ‘IRA personnel either ended up in gaol or dead.’

    Relatively few ended up dead and even fewer were killed by the security forces. A large number of killings by paramilitaries resulted in no arrests.

    ‘state forces have NEVER been held accountable for the carnage they inflicted.’

    This is patently untrue.

    lib2116:
    ‘you seem to be demanding that all ‘political’ murders should be re-examined.’

    I’m not demanding any such thing lib. As the Saville inquiry has demonstrated, such investigations are unlikely to reveal anything new, whilst reopening old wounds and costing a fortune. But if one side are insisting on this, then it must be done for both.

    ‘Personally I have little doubt that the Brits are giving the appearance of making inquiries while actually doing as little as possible so that they can resist continuing pressure from Europe.’

    Personally I would tend to agree.

  • Plum Duff

    If I am correct, it appears the British Govt asked the Ombudsman to look into this particular incident. Now, if the BG asks for a case to be reopened, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that they have the least to fear in this particular case, given their record of how they’ve ‘managed’ enquiries in the past (cf David Kelly/Lord Hutton). And why now, when O’Loan’s tenure is about to run out and just as she, yet again, raises the issue on her starvation of funds.

  • Mayoman

    Gerry lvs Castro

    Figures for civilians:

    Republican paramilitaries: 738
    Loyalist paramiltaries: 873
    British security: 190

    British security also killed more civilians (190) than reublican paramilitaries (145)

    Horrible numbers game, but for balance, it is essential.

    Given the very close association between British security and loyalist paramilitaries (killing a total 1063 civilians), these numbers may answer your question and give the reason why the British government may prefer to stay silent.

  • To give some kind of focus to this thread – and remember it is about the six alleged Shoot-to-Kill murders that the RUC, with help from British special forces, carried out during the emergency in South Armagh during the fall of 1982 after the deadly bombings in London the previous July – here is my take on the incidents which ultimately led to Thatcher’s downfall:

    http:www.totse.com/en/politics/terrorists_and_freedom_fighters/udaandfrukille171811.html

    It was apparently Hayward’s direction of these killings and others which resulted in the fatal fallout with ‘Steak knife’ when they crossed paths in Ibiza in March 1987 while MI5 and MI6 were working at cross-purposes in dealing with Qaddafi.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Mayoman:
    I’ll agree the numbers game is highly distasteful but the fact remains that the security forces were responsible for barely 10% of the total civilian deaths according to your figures above.

    ”Given the very close association between British security and loyalist paramilitaries (killing a total 1063 civilians)…”

    Are you seriously suggesting that there was collusion in all of these murders? The overwhelming majority of loyalist paramilitary murders were blatantly sectarian. Such neanderthal tactics as randomly targetting a RC area or phoning a RC taxi firm hardly need any outside knowledge.
    The number of republican activists and paramilitaries in particular killed by loyalists was much less than might have been expected given supposed widespread collusion and I don’t see how anyone can argue otherwise.

  • fair_deal

    “Any ‘punishment’ meted out to offenders has been pityful.”

    I assume that is a reference to the two corporals which was indeed pitiful. However others recieved the ‘pitiful’ punishment of ‘life’ imprisonment.

  • Sean

    Gerry
    The state forces should be responsible for 0 civilian casualties and all such casualties should be prosecuted

    of the 190 dead civilians How many of their murderers were prosecuted

  • jpeters

    numbers games, whataboutery, historical revisionism as usual

    the structures in place to investigate the cops were put together after political pressure and negotiation, if unionists feel non-IRA fatalities are being neglected for gods sake put the pressure on and get the inquires, investigations under way, either that or it will have to be accepted that the police investigated each incident to its logical conclusion the first time around

    if what is really wanted is for republics to own up say sorry and by implication undermine their (they say) legitimate motive ingoing to war then i wouldnt hold my breath.

  • UFB

    Not forgetting Pvte Ian Thain Olibhear.F

    ound guilty of the murder of Kidso Reilly, sentenced to life in prison, released after two yaers in a British Army prison in Germany, reistated back into the BA and promoted to corporal.

  • jpeters

    sorry in english this time

    if what is really wanted is for republicans to own up say sorry and by implication undermine their (they say) legitimate motives in going to war then i wouldnt hold my breath.

  • Alan

    How about a recognition that victims of paramilitary violence have as much right to closure as victims of state violence, and that both paramilitaries and the state have a responsibility to facilitate that closure, no matter what may be the desires of individual perpetrators?

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Sean: ‘The state forces should be responsible for 0 civilian casualties and all such casualties should be prosecuted’

    Agreed absolutely Sean.
    The thread however concerns so-called ‘combatants’. If PIRA reserve the right to kill members of the security forces at will and without warning, they can hardly complain when some of their own number are similarly dealt with.
    A group purporting to be an army and proclaiming themselves the rightful govt of Ireland have to expect opposition and casualties.

  • Mayoman

    Gerry lvs Castro. I also see how it is hard to argue that one paramilitary ‘set’ was allowed to exist and function largley unmnolested in order to use it as a weapon. There’s more than one way to collude in a murder. Being a support to the maintenance of a paramilitary organisation is such a way.

  • lib2016

    Gerry Lvs Castro,

    A government, any government, is expected to uphold the law without exception. You may not like it but that’s the way it is.

    The republicans were trying to undermine the rule of law. Your post shows how successful they were in provoking the reaction they sought. Republicans expected death or long imprisonment since they knew that was the price of forcing the British to accept that the task of ‘upholding the civil power’ was impossible in the long term.

    Forcing the government into extra-legal acts is the name of the game. Because the IRA were able to do that and survive they forced the government into recognising the need for a change in policy.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Mayoman —
    With hindsight, the entire ‘conflict’ was murkier than the average sewer. Both the provos and the UDA/UVF were riddled with informers and it’s clear that many atrocities and assassinations were allowed to continue to protect identities.
    From that viewpoint, both paramilitary blocks were ‘allowed to exist and function’ to a certain degree, but you can hardly argue that no loyalist paramilitaries were jailed.

    The more distance we put between ourselves and those insane times, the more we realise that absolutely no-one emerged with any honour or indeed positive result. The best we can do is try to move on, avoiding pointless re-runs of the Saville inquiry.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ‘Forcing the government into extra-legal acts is the name of the game. Because the IRA were able to do that and survive they forced the government into recognising the need for a change in policy.’

    Fascinating lib. And exactly what has all this master strategy achieved?
    The political wing of PIRA administering British rule in NI, having signed up to partition, NI policing and decommissioning.
    Was any of their murder campaign even remotely worth it?

  • lib2016

    I have always disapproved with violence from whichever direction it comes but there is little doubt that we are much further down the road towards Irish freedom because of the committment and effectiveness of physical force republicanism.

    The British Government were the people responsible for allowing the situation here to become so extreme that people took desperate measures. Ordinary citizens do not take up arms on a whim.

    1/The Protestant paramilitaries have been outlawed, reformed, or shipped off to the Middle East as cannon fodder.

    2/The British authorities are forced into humiliating inquiries or seen to be upsetting an ever more influential Dublin government which makes no secret of it’s anger about the lack of proper investigations in the Finucane case to take just one example and the rest of Europe who don’t like the way in which Britain has disregarded the rights of it’s Northern Ireland citizens.

    3/Sinn Fein has a place on the North-South Bodies which will become the effective all-Ireland government, where unionists as is only right will also have a voice.

  • Sean

    Lib
    I could not agree with you more.

    Physical force republicanism was not something dreamed up in the ghetto’s of Belfast but was infact invented in the rooms in Whitehall and Storomont.

    Some IRA of course would have joined because of their inherant cruelness but most of the effective IRA agents would have joined because they felt they were forced into it by circumstances

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Sean — physical force republicanism is nothing new — as far back as the 19th century the fenian brotherhood were exploding bombs in London, in 1916 a bunch of violent marxists were jeered in the streets of Dublin and in the late 1950s a ‘physical force’ ‘border campaign’ was abandoned due to complete lack of interest.

    PIRA piggy-backed on the civil rights movement of the late 60s and continued their murder campaign throughout the 70s and 80s with no justification other than blind hatred. By the 90s, realising that they were getting nowhere, they sued for peace and chose to administer British rule in exchange for prisoner releases and a few north-south bodies.

    Far from facilitating a United Ireland, physical force republicanism has actually delayed it.
    The foreseeable future is partition partition partition until the majority in NI vote otherwise, which will be decades if ever.

    Lib — your post smacks of desperation.

    Your first point regarding the ‘protestant paramilitaries’ is an irrelevancy. The majority of Unionists have always regarded the modern day UDA/UVF as a bunch of neanderthal thugs and gangsters who have done no favours whatsoever to their supposed cause. Witness their derisory electoral mandates for proof.
    It can just as easily be argued that the republican paramilitaries have been outlawed or reformed and a damn good thing too.

    ‘The British authorities are forced into humiliating inquiries…’

    which as you yourself stated a few hours ago will come to nothing and I agreed with you.

    ‘an ever more influential Dublin government’

    It’s perfectly obvious that FF/FG and the vast majority of the ROI electorate are more than happy with the status quo re NI. As long as there’s relative peace, they’re happy to wait for the border poll — and no-one is holding their breath.

    ‘Sinn Fein has a place on the North-South Bodies which will become the effective all-Ireland government’…

    You keep dreaming lib. The kicking that SF got in the ROI elections illustrate just how important the republican mindset is these days.

  • lib2016

    GLC,

    1/You forgot to mention the really dangerous Protestant paramilitaries – the B Specials/UDR/RIR transformed into a British version of the Foreign Legion while the RUC is now under MI5 management and performing a much reformed version of it’s previous role.

    2/ You really think that it’s to the benefit of unionism that Britain will continue to be publicly humiliated by having to deny the obvious illegalities perpetrated by it’s agents here? Seems a strange argument to me.

    3/ It was a Unionist who said that all politicans finish in failure. The vast majority of Irish people vote for parties who compete with each other as to which is the more republican. If Bertie or his successors make it easier for unionists to accept reunification that’s fine with me.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    1. ‘the RUC is now under MI5 management’

    LOL — I never thought I’d see the day when a republican sympathiser would look on M15 management as a good thing! We really are making progress!

    2. We’ve already covered these inquiries lib. They’re a non-starter for both sides. Even Alex Maskey on the radio today sounded only half-hearted about the whole thing.

    3. ‘parties who compete with each other as to which is the more republican.’

    Republican nominally lib sure. Neither FF or FG did much to promote reunification in the 20th century and there’s no sign of them doing it now.
    As a Unionist, Bertie and his ilk certainly won’t convince me to vote for unification, but they certainly don’t worry me either.

  • willowfield

    MAYOMAN

    Figures for civilians:

    Republican paramilitaries: 738
    Loyalist paramiltaries: 873
    British security: 190

    British security also killed more civilians (190) than reublican paramilitaries (145)

    1. Most of those killed by “British security” were not murdered: they were often lawful or accidental killings.

    2. Your figure for “civilians” killed by “republican” terrorists excludes around 300 policemen, so the real figure is around 1,000.

    3. Murdering members of the armed forces is just as wrong as murdering civilians. Your attempt to suggest otherwise is appalling.

  • willowfield

    SEAN

    The state forces should be responsible for 0 civilian casualties and all such casualties should be prosecuted of the 190 dead civilians How many of their murderers were prosecuted

    There weren’t 190 murders. Most of the 190 were killed either lawfully or accidentally.

  • lib2016

    GLC,

    1/ We’re in a transitional stage. MI5 will be keeping an eye on unionist zealots for quite some time and it would be foolish to deny it. Just as I wouldn’t deny for a moment that there are British agents in all the Southern institutions.

    2/ We’ve agreed that, given the state of ‘British justice’, the so-called inquiries are meaningless hoops for the Brits to jump through. Nevertheless there is something very satisfactory about watching the butchers trying to pretend that they have clean aprons, and it may well be a useful card to play in future negotiations, here or in Brussels.

    4/ Why should any republican wish to worry you? The idea is to work in harmony with ordinary unionists as republican leaders already do with the leaders of your community.

  • Butnotforlong

    willowfield: Killed lawfully or accidentally?

    Because the laws in the North were the embodiment of neutrality of course.

    Please list below the number of all Brit soldiers or RUC men who served more than 5 years in jail for killing people during the conflict.

    I’ll give you a clue: Z is the first letter

  • ciaran

    willow, the police are not civillians. And can be viewed as legitimate targets in the conflict they took part in.
    Gerry “PIRA piggy-backed on the civil rights movement of the late 60s ” This was impossible as the pira did not exist until 69, formed as a result of the protestant attacks on the catholic community.

  • PeaceandJustice

    ciaran – “[the police] can be viewed as legitimate targets in the conflict they took part in.”

    So Sinn Fein IRA members were legitimate targets as well? Or is it back to the Republican one-way conflict argument?

    But I would agree with Republicans on one thing. The Government did some dabbling with various groups.

    However, they should have openly armed and trained loyal citizens to attack Sinn Fein IRA terrorist aggressors on a wide scale. Luckily for SF IRA killers we had a situation where the security forces had the Yellow card rules where you had to stop and shout a warning – even after you’d been fired upon – before returning fire.

    Instead of protecting its citizens and fighting terrorism in a proper way, the Government played each side off each other in order to reach stalemate.

  • willowfield

    BUTNOTFORLONG

    Because the laws in the North were the embodiment of neutrality of course.

    Sorry? The criminal law in NI was no different to that in ROI, for example!

    Please list below the number of all Brit soldiers or RUC men who served more than 5 years in jail for killing people during the conflict.

    Given that most killings were lawful or accidental, there were very few. That’s the whole point!!

    CIARAN

    willow, the police are not civillians. And can be viewed as legitimate targets in the conflict they took part in.

    Um, police are not part of the military and are therefore civilians; and your comment about “legitimate targets” is disgusting. Shame on you.

  • Billy

    P&J

    “However, they should have openly armed and trained loyal citizens to attack Sinn Fein IRA terrorist aggressors on a wide scale.”

    The RUC + UDR/RIR gave plenty of assistance to the UVF/LVF/UDA. They sometimes tried to attack Sinn Fein figures but more often than not just settled for any easy innocent target (men, women and children) as long as they were a Catholic.

    BTW, apologies for mentioning the “loyalist” terrorists. I know it spoils the ambience of your world in which the “Catholics/Nationalists” caused all the trouble by demanding votes, jobs etc and were responsible for all the deaths over the last 35 years.

    Perhaps the Protestant/Unionist people with their associated terrorist groups UVF/LVF/UDA (which had tens of thousands of members) weren’t actually responsible for the murders of hundreds of innocent Catholics.

    It was probably a dastardly ploy by those dam Catholics to make the Protestants look bad eh?

  • Whatever happened to the ball on this thread?

    It never was about some overarching explanation of all the murder and mayhem which occurred during The Troubles, but the demand by the EU to Downing Street for a full investigation of the killing of Gervaise McKerr during the emergency in South Armagh during the fall of 1982.

    If you ever want to build up any important theory, you first have to get all the facts you can about it.

  • ciaran

    The police were not civillians, or can I get a gun and go out and detain whoever I want, whenever I want, or kill those same civillians and rely on the state to turn a blind eye. And of course they were a legitmate target, all armed groups are when in a conflict .How niave are you, trying to deny that.As for sinn fein and the ira being legitmate targets, why would sinn fein fall into that category? Yes the Ira were , but not a political group like sinn fein.

  • willowfield

    CIARAN

    Civilians are those not in the military. The RUC and PSNI were and are civilian police forces. Stop being silly.

    Your comments about “legitimate targets” are disgusting. Hang your head in shame.

  • ciaran

    A civilian under international humanitarian law is a person who is not a member of his or her country’s armed forces. The term is also often used colloquially to refer to people who are not members of a particular profession or occupation, especially by law enforcement agencies, which often use rank structures similar to those of military units.

    Unless I am mistaken the ruc where an armed force of the country therefore not civilians.They were as much legitimate targets as were the british army or the Ira.They were armed combatants who carried out military style operations against the Ira. Do you honestly think the Ira would view them as civilians and not do anything in return.Are you really that niave?

  • ciaran

    To put the ruc in their true role in northern ireland they were a paramilitary force .

    Paramilitary designates forces whose function and organization is similar to those of a professional military force, but which do not serve under the formal command of state or government military bodies. They may or may not serve the interests of the State, and may include police, mercenaries, non-military guards, death squads, or private groups.

    This is not my own definition but I have to say it really is an accurate description of the ruc.

  • willowfield

    CIARAN

    A civilian under international humanitarian law is a person who is not a member of his or her country’s armed forces.

    There you go, then!

    Unless I am mistaken the ruc where [sic] an armed force of the country therefore not civilians.

    That logic doesn’t follow. Being armed doesn’t mean you are in the armed forces. Many civilian police forces around the world are armed.

    They were as much legitimate targets as were the british army or the Ira.

    There were no “legitimate targets”: your legitimisation of murder is absolutely disgusting. Hang your head.

    They were armed combatants who carried out military style operations against the Ira. Do you honestly think the Ira would view them as civilians and not do anything in return.Are you really that niave?

    I care not a jot for how the police are viewed by terrorists whose self-serving interest is to legitimise their murders. Those who maimed and murdered do not determine such matters.

    Paramilitary designates forces whose function and organization is similar to those of a professional military force, but which do not serve under the formal command of state or government military bodies.

    Police forces are not “paramilitary”.

  • ciaran

    Those who maimed and murdered do not determine such matters.
    Does that include those who were members of the ruc?

    A civilian under international humanitarian law is a person who is not a member of his or her country’s armed forces.

    There you go, then!

    Where do we go? are you agreeing with me? Surely a force that is armed is part of the armed forces. The ruc were a police FORCE.

    There were no “legitimate targets”: Do you include members or the terrorist groups in this? If so then I think you are right. I do not have any legitmate targets myself but those who were in the terrorist groups did. Maybe in your eagerness to jump down my throat you assumed that I supported murder. But I dont. I think all murder is wrong, including those carried out by the paramilitary ruc.

    Police forces are not “paramilitary True in most cases but not with the ruc.They were trained by the british army, they carried out military style operations on their own and also at times with the british army. In the cases being investigated the ruc carried out military syle ambushes on unarmed people. In at least one instance in lurgan, medical assistance and the wish of a priest to give the last rites were prevented by the ruc even though one of the victims could be heard asking for help. None of the victims survived. I wonder then why the ira would call the ruc legitmate targets.

  • Little wonder that these posters usually get lost in various kinds of irrelevant quagmires, e. g.,what is legitimate force,who is a civilian,what are police, etc. – because they don’t even bother to read what the topic is.

  • willowfield

    Does that include those who were members of the ruc?

    Society at large decides such things: not policemen.

    Where do we go? are you agreeing with me? Surely a force that is armed is part of the armed forces. The ruc were a police FORCE.

    Don’t be ridiculous. The armed forces are the army, navy and air force: not the police!

    There were no “legitimate targets”: Do you include members or the terrorist groups in this? If so then I think you are right. I do not have any legitmate targets myself but those who were in the terrorist groups did. Maybe in your eagerness to jump down my throat you assumed that I supported murder. But I dont. I think all murder is wrong, including those carried out by the paramilitary ruc.

    Then why do you say that policemen were “legitimate targets”?

    Police forces are not “paramilitary True in most cases but not with the ruc.They were trained by the british army, they carried out military style operations on their own and also at times with the british army. In the cases being investigated the ruc carried out military syle ambushes on unarmed people. In at least one instance in lurgan, medical assistance and the wish of a priest to give the last rites were prevented by the ruc even though one of the victims could be heard asking for help. None of the victims survived. I wonder then why the ira would call the ruc legitmate targets.

    You’re using a small number of instances to characterise an entire police force and all its activities. Nonsense.

  • ciaran

    Trow , this happens on almost every single thread on this site, so why the suprise?

    willow, the ruc were able to decide who was a legitimate target when they went out and murdered innocent civillians, or unarmed terrorists so surely the ira can decide who is legitimate, both are murderers using the same standards.I do not say the ruc are legimate targets, I say that is the view of the terror groups, even now that seems to be the case.The ruc is part of the armed forces it is ridiculous to think otherwise.And why are you gettig so annoyed about this? The main point I made about the ruc was that they are not civillians, we can argue about armed forces or not until the cows come home but they are not and could never be called civillians.

    “You’re using a small number of instances to characterise an entire police force and all its activities. Nonsense”

    You seem to be taking me out of context or missing the point entirely, The point I am making there is that this is the reason that in the eyes of the ira they are legitimate targets.Wether you take their opinion into acccount are not is irrelevant, they were killing ruc members for a reason and that reason was the acts of members of the ruc.

  • Posters interested in what this thread is supposed to be about – the killings during the emergency in South Armagh during the fall of 1982, especially Gervaise McKerr’s, and elsewhere which were directed apparently by Captain Simon Hayward aka Captain James Rennie, Ops Officer of the 14 Intelligence Company’s South Detachment (June 1985-March 1987)- should consult this article of mine:

    http://www.skog.de/writers/e040831.htm

  • willowfield

    CIARAN

    willow, the ruc were able to decide who was a legitimate target when they went out and murdered innocent civillians, or unarmed terrorists so surely the ira can decide who is legitimate, both are murderers using the same standards.

    Disgusting. One murder does not justify another murder, and you can’t justify a PIRA campaign that began in 1970 because of future alleged instances of collusion or shoot-to-kill.

    I do not say the ruc are legimate targets, I say that is the view of the terror groups, even now that seems to be the case.

    I should hope not, but you give credence to the terror groups by acknowledging the concept.

    The ruc is part of the armed forces it is ridiculous to think otherwise.

    No. It’s ridiculous to think of a police force as part of the armed forces which means the military. Everyone knows that.

    And why are you gettig so annoyed about this? The main point I made about the ruc was that they are not civillians, we can argue about armed forces or not until the cows come home but they are not and could never be called civillians.

    But they are civilians by virtue of not being in the military!

  • ciaran

    “Disgusting. One murder does not justify another murder, and you can’t justify a PIRA campaign that began in 1970 because of future alleged instances of collusion or shoot-to-kill”

    So you agree then that the ruc took the view that these men were legitimate targets which is unacceptable and I agree with you but if you look into the timing of the murder of the three men you will see that it happened in the same area and shortly after the killing of three ruc men in a landmine explosion. This looks as if the three men were murdered in revenge for the ruc murders. And who was trying to justify the ira campaign on murders that were twenty years in the future, I certainly wasn’t. There was a whole list of reasons for the ira campaign starting and continuing, I am not interested in listing them all here or trying to justify other peoples actions.

    That the ruc was an armed force is undeniable and that means it is part of the armed forces. If it was an unarmed body then it would not be part of the armed forces. I cannot make it any simpler than that.

    I dont think I give credence to terror groups by pointing out their justification for their actions. That just sounds silly to be honest.

  • willowfield

    So you agree then that the ruc took the view that these men were legitimate targets which is unacceptable and I agree with you but if you look into the timing of the murder of the three men you will see that it happened in the same area and shortly after the killing of three ruc men in a landmine explosion. This looks as if the three men were murdered in revenge for the ruc murders.

    I don’t know what happened, but if what you say is true then obviously those who did so were guilty of murder (although I believe some policemen were tried and found not guilty).

    And who was trying to justify the ira campaign on murders that were twenty years in the future, I certainly wasn’t. There was a whole list of reasons for the ira campaign starting and continuing, I am not interested in listing them all here or trying to justify other peoples actions.

    You said: “so surely the ira can decide who is legitimate”, based on the above killing.

  • ciaran

    “willow, the ruc were able to decide who was a legitimate target when they went out and murdered innocent civillians, or unarmed terrorists so surely the ira can decide who is legitimate, both are murderers using the same standards”

    This is what I posted and when seen in context I do not think it shows that I am trying to justify anything, rather the reasons the ira justify their own actions.
    “although I believe some policemen were tried and found not guilty” unfortunately, witnesses were not called and evidence was witheld which sort of made any trials a joke. The same is true in the michael tighe killing shortly after when surveillence tapes were never produced to back up police claims of what actually happened at the time.

  • willowfield

    OK, so long as we are clear – I accept that you were not trying to legitimise the Provos.

  • Stalker has now agreed to help the Police Ombudsman’s investigation of the ‘shoot-to-kill’ murder of Gervaise McKerr et al., and he says that the policy did not originate with the RUC – what puts Downing Street, the MI5, and Hayward in the hotseat for what happened, not the explosion at the Kinnego roundabout – as this link indicates:

    http://www.thepost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=IRELAND-qqqm=news-qqqid=25494-qqx=1.asp

  • Twelve Monkeys

    It had everything to do with Kinnego.

  • If this were the case, why would Stalker write this after discussing the three incidents, culminating in the murder of unarmed Grew and Carroll, during which undercover Brish Army officers were involved: “Records were altered to hide the use of undercover cars in that part of Northern Ireland. These deaths, we discovered, had no connection with the others, nor with the deaths of the three policemen at Kinnego.” (The Stalker Affair, p. 53)

    So, Stalker doesn’t know what was going on either???

  • ciaran

    At the time of the murders it was alleged that gervis mckerr was a lookout at the time of the kinnego explosion. Is it just a coincidence then that he was murdered just a few weeks later. It may well be true that the killings were sanctioned at a higher level, but it does seem to look like the murders were a revenge attack and they were carried out by the ruc.

  • But the point, Ciaran, is a revenge attack for what killings, and who really directed and led the RUC’s HQMSUs?

    Stalker makes it quite clear that the killing of McKerr – a crime for which apparently no one was even tried, much less convicted – was not in revenge for the Kinnego bombing, and that uncover British Army officers and equipment were involved – what were the biggest secrets of all.

    Was Captain Hayward – a Guardsman who survived the deadly nail bombing in London on July 20, 1982, and went on a special mission to South Armagh in response to the London ones – the leader of this McKerr’s killing or any of the others?

    Sure seems so, especially when one realizes that Stalker was sacked, once British authorities made out that he was connected to criminal activities which involved Hayward’s brother Christopher – a totally false claim.