“We won’t move forward if we try and bury the past.”

In the Belfast Telegraph Chris Thornton interviews Nuala O’Loan as she prepares to hand over the office of the Police Ombudsman to Al Hutchinson. A couple of lines stand out in particular, the title of this post – “We won’t move forward if we try and bury the past” – being one of them, and this

“We think we’re in a relatively stable position, but as I watch the goings on up the hill, it seems to me that it’s not as stable as people might think it is. We don’t want anything which will leave the opportunity for anybody to move back into violence.”

Indeed. Something that consultative group might want to consider.. As mentioned previously – The first step, after all.. before it’s too late..

, , , ,

  • To save excessive clicking, the first step above seems to be honesty with your own community.

    Unionists (the DUP anyway) seem more concerned with getting Sinn Fein out of government than with getting them to put their illegal past behind them. Still, at least they are working with SF on day to day politics – some might say a little too cosily.

    SF seem to think it is enough to deny responsibility for murders carried out by republicans (whether as an unauthorised “homer”, or by people who have sort-of kind-of left the organisation). They seem to be ignoring their responsibility in the matter. I don’t mean that they should wear sackcloth and ashes and weep crocodile tears – I mean that if the murderers are, as it seems, local IRA operatives, they should be forced to turn themselves in – or they should be turned in by those in the IRA leadership who did NOT sanction the murders.

    Even if you believe these murderers (and those of Robert McCartney) were once bold freedom fighters, they are now clearly out of control murderers, and need to be put away. But not shot by the bhoys, please note. This is about the rule of law, not revenge, or paramilitary honour.

    Now as far as truth and reconciliation, and marching for variable amounts of truth are concerned, there needs to be a wide ranging and above all honest debate about what exactly we want to achieve – about how we could do it – and about the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches tried elsewhere round the world. There needs to be honesty about the hurts caused to both communities.

    What we don’t need is sloganising and selective recall of OUR injuries at the expense of the whole truth.

  • PeaceandJustice

    “We won’t move forward if we try and bury the past”.

    As Sinn Fein IRA are in Government, they should set an example by telling the truth about the activities of their death squads. For example, McGuinness says he was in the IRA. The IRA murdered people. How many people did the DFM murder either directly or getting other people to do his dirty work?

  • dewi

    Fascinating interview – tough old job – hope Mr Hutchinson knows what he is in for.
    Ms O’Loan not entirely convinced of stability going forward – a feeling that’s been apparent on here for a while.
    Next decade is so critical – I reckon peace has a self catalytic momentum as well as war.
    Best of luck to both.

  • heck

    Pete

    You linked to a thread about all tribes facing up to their past.

    I must disagree. We all know what the Provos did and we all know what Loyalist paramilitaries did. Adams just apologized for the deaths of two young boys in England. Maybe there are details such as whether Adams was or was not a member of the IRA that are not public (does anyone really question it) but these are just details.

    Both Northern Ireland “tribes” have faced up to their past, at least to some extent.

    The problem is with the actions of the state. It is the state and the establishment that is trying to bury its past, and there are lots of people who, like holocaust deniers, refuse to admit that the state colluded with murderers, tortured people, imported illegal arms and operated death squads.

    I’m sure someone will start posting about “justice” for victims. The victims are not going to get justice. Loyalist and republican paramilitaries have been let out of jail. The victims of state death squads can not expert senior government officials to go to jail. It will not happen.

    The purpose of exposing the states actions it to stop the “holier that thou” rhetoric from the authorities and their Amen chorus in the media.

    It will slow down war criminals like Blair from using human rights rhetoric to launch illegal wars and hopefully it will make journalists and citizens pay more attention to what is happening in other conflicts such as Iraq, the Balkans etc .

  • parci

    THE BIGGER PICTURE !!!!

  • Splurge

    In case no one else says it, we were very lucky to get Nuala O’Loan as first Police Ombudsman – I thought she was outstanding and will be a very tough act to follow. Hope she gets a decent follow on position.

  • PeaceandJustice

    The attempts made by Nuala O’Loan to blacken the good name of the RUC were a disgrace. She often didn’t take into account the context of the situation e.g. Sinn Fein IRA death squads trying to murder policemen often in front of their family. A wife of a Unionist politician wouldn’t have got the job. Happy to see her go.

  • francesco

    “The attempts made by Nuala O’Loan to blacken the good name of the RUC were a disgrace”

    a true disgrace indeed.. really hope you will get you the help you need!

  • heck

    quite right Peaceandjustice. It was a “good wee Ulster” until those fenians started acting up!!!

    jeezzze

    holocaust deniers!!!

  • Bemused

    Again – just for the record and in some ways stating the obvious – O’Loan did an excellent job in the face of outrageous obfuscation by both the RUC old guard and the rump of political Unionism – she deserves all of the accolades and acclaim that she is now likely to receive in her retirement.

  • nmc

    often didn’t take into account the context of the situation

    Typical Paisleyite double standards from P&J (there’s an ironic handle). So, in which context is it ok for the forces of the state to collude in murder?

    attempts made by Nuala O’Loan to blacken the good name of the RUC

    What good name? It’s been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have blood on their hands. Fenian blood though, which is ok in your book. The name was black already, all Nuala attempted was to ensure that the PSNI didn’t start it’s life as an extension of Loyalist paramilitarism, with the same black name. It is largely thanks to her that the PSNI is not looked on with the same suspicion as the RUC, but again it’s only us fenians that were worrried about it so no problem there then.

    ife of a Unionist politician wouldn’t have got the job. Happy to see her go.

    Now let’s see if you can get your head around this. That’s because Unionists of all hues were quite happy to back the RUC up even when they were involved in murder. Unionists had more than enough opportunities to level the playing field and unfortunately chose the status quo. No unionist would have found the RUC guilty of anything. That said I think you’re wrong. If there’s a problem with the recruitment process YOU have the ability to do something about it. Go, investigate and complain to the relevant people, instead of sitting on the sidelines bitching in a forum about something you know nothing about.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “In the Belfast Telegraph Chris Thornton interviews Nuala O’Loan as she prepares to hand over the office of the Police Ombudsman to Al Hutchinson. A couple of lines stand out in particular, the title of this post – “We won’t move forward if we try and bury the past”

    …………………………………………..
    No O’Loan, we won’t move forward if we try and re-write history and re-ignite the old, tribal hatred between Ulster’s two largest communities.

  • Nevin

    It seems that the 2006 chair of the Police Federation thought the PO’s behaviour was somewhat ‘bizarre‘ 😉

  • PeaceandJustice

    To nmc – if widespread collusion had taken place, the Sinn Fein IRA leadership would have been wiped out. If there was widespread collusion, why were so many Loyalists in prison?

    What’s your opinion of Sinn Fein IRA? They have blood on their hands. They haven’t changed their name. They still have an illegal terrorist council in place. They now have power but were involved in death squads – some of them murdering Unionist politicians. Yet Unionists are asked to accept them as they are – and to forget their past and move on.

    According to Republicans, they had a right to murder people. Yet they believe the actions of everyone else must be examined in great detail.

    They were many fine Roman Catholic RUC men as well. Some of them murdered by Sinn Fein IRA which stopped others from joining.

    The RUC (George Cross) held the line when terrorist scum were carrying out their campaign of murder. The Sinn Fein IRA leadership should be very grateful to them.

  • oh yeah

    then why have the RUC been sent, along with the stasi and gestapo, to the dustbins of history.

  • nmc

    To nmc – if widespread collusion had taken place, the Sinn Fein IRA leadership would have been wiped out.

    Your logic is faulty, it’s over simplistic. Why do you think Paisley is still alive in that case? If the IRA death squads existed they would have killed him, so there must be no death squads. All bullshit of course, much as your assertion that if collusion existed this would have led to the deaths of the “leadership”.
    on.

    What’s your opinion of Sinn…on.

    Straw man alert, try to stay on topic. This has nothing to do with nmy opinion of SF or the IRA. We’re talking about your beloved, crooked police force. And don’t for a second think you know my views or opinions on anything, you have me pegged as a “roman catholic” and SF voter. You are wrong, not for the first time.

    According to Republicans…in great detail.

    Who said this? What are you talking about? Try to direct your comments towards something I said, not something you wish I said, or think I believe. No-one has a right to kill anyone. Not republicans, not your precious british government and most certainly not the people who are supposed to uphold the law. Can you see the distinction? You hold the police to the same standard as the terrorists, which is more telling than anything else you’ve said.

    They were many fine Roman Catholic RUC men as well.

    I’m sure there were, and some total bastards too. But that is human nature, and redundant phrase.

    Some of them murdered by Sinn Fein IRA which stopped others from joining.

    Of course. Nothing to do with the sectarian force b>proven to be involved in murder. It was all them pesky republicans, demanding rights and stuff.

    The RUC (George Cross) held the line when terrorist scum were carrying out their campaign of murder. The Sinn Fein IRA leadership should be very grateful to them.

    Unfortunately as proven, but not accepted by some pig-headed types, the RUC were also carrying out their own campaign of murder. But it’s ok, the police should be held to the same standard as the terroists they fight, and as such should be allowed to kill whomsoever they please.

    It’s also worth noting that this fantastic, noble, murdering police force of which you speak was taken apart bit by bit, as it was proven to be more a part of the problem than a part of the solution.

  • Briso

    Posted by PeaceandJustice on Nov 05, 2007 @ 01:42 PM
    >How many people did the DFM murder either directly or getting other people to do his dirty
    >work?

    I know this one. All of them. He said himself he was no more or less guilty/worthy of credit* than any IRA volunteer. So he was responsible. Whether or not he actually pulled the trigger is irrelevant. And he was there virtually from the beginning.

    * – delete according to view of the past

  • PeaceandJustice-

    Firstly I’ll point out your clever tactic of Calling it “Sinn Féin IRA” a classic unionist spin to try to tie the two bodies inextricably together. Should I start calling it the Unionist UDA leadership?

    I wonder where you’re getting this RUC “good name” business from? I hope you’re not claiming the RUC doesn’t have blood on its hands. Come now, tell me about the Bloody Sunday massacre and the RUC role in that little gem. Who’s got a campaign of murder?

    Many fine RUC men were roman catholics? Whats that got to do with anything? Lots of fine Chinese helped General Mao kill millions too.

  • Nevin

    More controversy:

    The Police Ombudsman, who finishes her seven year stint tomorrow, has insisted that she has not broken the law by having the 16 page witness statement and proposing to use it in a disciplinary hearing but her office has declined to explain under what law she is entitled to possess it. Sunday Life Nov 04, 2007

  • Turgon

    nmc,
    I think your characterisation of the RUC is extremely unfair. I think many will accept that there were incidents of collusion. These incidents may have arisen from base sectarian motives of individual police officers. They may have been an extremely misguided attempt to to good by doing some evil. Either way they are unacceptable, criminal and immoral. Indeed these episodes do blacken the name of the RUC.

    They also paint the name black in one small area of the canvass which is the RUC. Apart from a few incidents most of the evidence seems to be that there was little (not none; and indeed there should have been none) but little collusion and it did not occur at a high level.

    The vast majority of the RUC (including Special Branch) seem to have conducted themselves with honour, dilligence and dignity in extremely difficult circumstances. Peace and Justice is indeed correct. Had there been widespread collusion I have no doubt the numbers of loyalist murders would have been higher especially of leading SF / IRA members. As we all well know, a number of leading Republicans would be dead now had the RUC not stopped loyalist murder gangs.

    As Michael has observed on the other thread http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/investigations-and-an-agreed-truth/ the reality is that the RUC were incompetent at times. I would suggest that they were frequently very stretched by the need to be an ordinary police force: tackling crime, organising society and doing all the things a police force does whilst at the same time trying to stop bands of organised sectarian killers roaming Northern Ireland. The repeated failures to convict known terrorists must have been soul destroying and I suspect that sometimes it was felt that there was little hope of sucessfully prosceuting any terrorists; yet thay carried on and with a small number of exceptions they did their job very well sometimes up to the point of death. I think we all in Northern Ireland owe them a very sincere debt of gratitude and those non terrorist cheerleaders who wish to criticise them for the occassions where they fail would be well advised to start by recognising the debt we all owe them before launching attacks on them. Of the cheerleader I expect no better.

    So yes there are incidents which blacken the good name of the RUC. There is, however, little black and a great deal of white in this tableau.

  • nmc

    Turgon,

    Don’t be reasonable at me! : >

    Ok, I was using a sledgehammer to open a nut, I think this phrase from my previous post should be repeated as it does underpin my opinion:

    They were many fine Roman Catholic RUC men as well.

    I’m sure there were, and some total bastards too. But that is human nature

    I know that there are many police men (catholic ones even) who get up every day and go to work to do their job for all the good reasons. But collusion was also a fact, and it would be very wrong to characterise the entire police force with the actions of their worst, however the collusion itself (however much you accept happened) needs acknowledging and condemning, IMO especially from those that claim the moral high ground every time they post.

  • McGrath

    So yes there are incidents which blacken the good name of the RUC. There is, however, little black and a great deal of white in this tableau.

    Posted by Turgon on Nov 05, 2007 @ 05:57 PM

    The “few bad apples” explaination does not hold up further down the line when, even if there were just a few officers involved, they were abviously supported through the systematic destrution of evidence and widespread loss of memory by the wider RUC / PNSI as highlighten by the Ombudsman’s various investigations.

  • harry

    then why have the RUC been sent, along with the stasi and gestapo, to the dustbins of history.

    well, they havent really. they were given a new name and a funky cool new uniform, but they are still the same useless pile of shit the RUC were.

    of course they are effective as crusading crime fighters … if for example you are. eh…speeding or even using a mobile while driving.

    however they are not effective (completely FUCKING USELESS)when dealing with issues such as..
    car theft
    house breaks
    vandalism
    dealing with hoods
    joyriding

    but these issues admittedly are not as important as doing 34mph in the 30zone

    but when you have righteous and ideological driven MLAs writing references for Tax evaders, you can hardly the cops to worried about these things

  • The Dubliner

    “Some of the things that we discovered were unexpected to me and therefore I would expect they were equally unexpected to ministers and to civil servants who had no responsibility or involvement in the earlier period.” – Nuala O’Loan

    It is undoubtedly true that ministers and civil servants were expediently uninformed of the details of specific acts of state-sponsored crime, but it isn’t credible to believe that they didn’t know that the state was deliberately sponsoring crime, since countless human rights groups, state bodies, laws courts, and other organisations consistently pointed it out and since ministers and civil servants ensured that proper procedures were not put in place to prevent state-sponsored crime from occurring. As long that they had a defence of plausible deniability and a policy of shredding evidence, they calculated that they could not be prosecuted for systematic and organised state murder of citizens and other serious crimes.

    “I would say that because of the deficiency in management and supervision, and because of the deficiency in policy and practices, there was the opportunity for similar things to have happened elsewhere but that’s as far as I will go.” – Nuala O’Loan

    Which suggests that it is simply a failure of the system rather than deliberate intent. Hardly, since the intent was that the system should fail. As she points out below, there was clear intent to shred evidence of state-sponsored crime. The ‘system’ didn’t fail by the expedient of a shelf positioned over a shredder collapsing, causing evidence of state-sponsored crime to fall into it and be lost to criminal accountability. The system didn’t fail – it worked perfectly, as it was designed to do.

    “…they routinely destroyed all the records in relation to one of their TSG (Tasking and Support Group, an intelligence coordination body) operations. They conducted an operation, they had papers relating to it, and they routinely destroyed them afterwards. That was province-wide. We have encountered that in a number of investigations, because it means you can’t investigate who made decisions and why.” – Nuala O’Loan

    Which is why many reports into state-sponsored crime conclude, “There is no evidence of collusion.” Of course there isn’t any evidence of collusion – the state has diligently destroyed the evidence.

    Incidentally, the case of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, which was an attack on the citizens of a sovereign state by the government of another state – tantamount to a declaration of war – a huge amount of evidence went missing from the archives and a very shoddy police investigation occurred which was amazing closed after a three months, despite the atrocity being the biggest act of mass-murder in the Republic. So, even in the south, there is a murky underworld of collusion in state murder and cover-up, with the involvement of British Intelligence. Hardly surprising since the private sectatary to the head of the Irish Special Branch, Chief Superintendent John P Fleming, was arrested around that time passing state secrets to an MI6 agent in a Dublin hotel.

    “We all know what the Provos did and we all know what Loyalist paramilitaries did.” – Heck

    No we don’t. The odds are that the Provos were as much puppets of British Intelligence as the Loyalists were, certainly under the leadership of Adams and McGuinness. For example, why did PIRA not rotate the senior members of its Internal Security Unit to avoid long-term infiltration by British Intelligence? That is the most critical unit within PIRA because it is the unity that has responsibility for detecting infiltration by British Intelligence, yet it was infiltrated by British Intelligence at its most senior level nearly two decades, ensuring that British agents within PIRA would not be detected and, ergo, ensuring that they operate freely. The gamekeeper was working for the poachers. Was it by accident because one of the most sophisticated terror groups in the world was too stupid to rotate the members of its counter-intelligence department or was it by design of those who appointed Stakeknife and keep him in place despite concerns being expressed about him by other PIRA members? Stakeknife, a British agent, murdered up to 40 members of PIRA who his Internal Security Unity branded as agents – and it doesn’t take a genius that a British agent isn’t going to murder other British agents. If you think we know all that went on, you’re deluded.

  • The Dubliner–

    Well said, very well said.

  • harry

    yes, and now the comprimised leadership of PSF have handed over areas of the 6co, that were for years, no go areas for the brits and ruc, by joining the psni policing boards.

    what has changed in the 6 counties for republicans? Nothing, except that the IRA have quit.

  • cut the bull

    The name was black already, all Nuala attempted was to ensure that the PSNI didn’t start it’s life as an extension of Loyalist paramilitarism, with the same black name. It is largely thanks to her that the PSNI is not looked on with the same suspicion as the RUC, but again it’s only us fenians that were worrried about it so no problem there then.

    Well if you where in the Short Strand from May 2002 until January 2003, when for that period there was almost daily attacks by loyalists usually ignores and often facilitated by the PSNI.

    Like the majority of people in the Short Strand you would most definately look on the PSNI with possibly more suspicion than the RUC.

    Simply because every body including some,who should have known better kept repeating a worn out mantra that policing had changed.

    If you keep your head up and your eyes open you’ll clearly see, that it has yet to change.

  • ulsterfan

    I am often amused at Republicans complaining about the destruction of evidence when SF/IRA destroyed masses of evidence and even obliterated a large Laboratory complex in South Belfast.
    The Lab disappeared off the face of the Earth along with many houses and a beautiful Church.
    Were they attacking ordinary protestant houses, their Church or the scientific community?
    It does not really matter because they attacked all three targets before and since.
    What hypocrisy!

  • McGrath

    I am often amused at Republicans complaining about the destruction of evidence when SF/IRA destroyed masses of evidence and even obliterated a large Laboratory complex in South Belfast.
    The Lab disappeared off the face of the Earth along with many houses and a beautiful Church.
    Were they attacking ordinary protestant houses, their Church or the scientific community?
    It does not really matter because they attacked all three targets before and since.
    What hypocrisy!

    Posted by ulsterfan on Nov 05, 2007 @ 10:26 PM

    Your whataboutry is comparing a terrorist organization with a police force. (Is that a new kind of whataboury?)

  • ulsterfan

    I am not making any comparison but simply highlighting the position of Republicans who on the one hand are prepared to destroy evidence and then say it is wrong for the police to do likewise .
    They should admit their wrong doing and then complain about others.
    It goes without saying that the destruction of any evidence is wrong and a perversion of justice.

  • PeaceandJustice

    The Dubliner – “Incidentally, the case of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, which was an attack on the citizens of a sovereign state by the government of another state – tantamount to a declaration of war …”

    If you want to make such assertions, then what about Eire helping to set up and arm the IRA to murder people in Northern Ireland. What about Eire being a safe haven for terrorists? e.g. in the case of Owen Carron, his possession of an automatic rifle constituted a ‘political offence’ sending the message that it was OK for SF IRA to murder Protestants. What about the murder of RUC men Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan after collusion involving the Garda?

    Behind the friendly smiles, Eire was certainly no friend of the UK and helped the IRA to commit murder. To use your phrase: “An attack on the citizens of a sovereign state by the government of another state – tantamount to a declaration of war.”

  • The police most certainly have the responsibility to not destroy evidence- they are meant to protect *ALL* citizens, not just a select group. If the police force is cherry picking who they protect and serve they should be disbanded and replaced. Corrupt policing leads to so much of the sectarian violence everyone complains about. If the tree is rotted from the root then what kind of fruit do you expect it to give?

    Political parties on the other hand exist to promote their agenda. Every political party promotes their own agenda in whatever way they see fit- that’s a fact. If the civil police behave in the same fashion as *any* political party then we have a very real problem and God help us all.

  • Pete Baker

    As reluctant as I am to intervene in this discussion, and I am, it’s worthwhile pointing out that, for the most part, Nuala O’Loan’s criticism of RUC Special Branch for the destruction of evidence relates to their routine destruction of intelligence information – which, whether anyone likes it or not, was routine and was designed to protect the identity of informants.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon, I would say that the majority of the time the RUC performed well and acted justly. Calling the RUC an “extension of loyalist paramilitarism” seems wide of the mark given the RUC’s role in jailing loyalist paramilitaries. All of the big cases – the Shankill Butchers, Johnny Adair and so on, were all put away by the RUC.

    However, on the minority of occasions when they failed to act properly, they fell down hard. The core problem here was that there was no independent oversight. Once this was problem was corrected, the balance was redressed. Note how the vast majority of the complaints investigated by the Ombudsman come to nothing; most of those are thrown out. Note how the Ombudsman often goes public, most recently last week, to point out that despite the claims made, the RUC acted correctly and did all that it could. The criticial difference now is that when the police do go wrong, they are held accountable for it through disciplinary procedures and through the courts.

    I would not use the “few bad apples” argument. I’d say that there was an ethos within the RUC, or certain parts of the RUC, that certain questionable methods were acceptable in certain circumstances. Back that up with a situation where nobody is accountable, and that’s where your problems start. It is unquestionable that senior elements in the RUC deliberately obstructed enquiries such as Stevens, Stalker etc, when they were trying to get to the bottom of what was going on.

  • ulsterfan

    Luciana

    Your views are 10 years out of date.
    SF called for the disbandment of RUC with existing members becoming redundant and then free to apply for new posts in the new Service .
    GA was pushing this idea. SF soon learned it was not going to achieve this and then accepted reforms and now fully support PSNi.
    The RUC impartially served both communities even though a significant number were opposed to them.
    They did not”cherry pick” and were not corrupt.
    I agree that the present Police Service have high standards.Politicians are measured by a different scale.

  • PeaceandJustice

    McGrath – “Your whataboutry is comparing a terrorist organization with a police force.”

    Sinn Fein IRA says it was fighting a ‘war’. It calls SF IRA death squad members ‘soldiers’. It says it was OK to murder people because it was a ‘war’.

    In order for the police to stop Sinn Fein IRA murdering citizens, this required the use of force. When this happened, SF IRA claimed a abuse of their civil human rights. Even though by SF IRA’s definition of the conflict, it was a ‘war’.

    So SF IRA need to make their minds up. If it was a ‘war’, they can’t complain if people occasionally fired back at them. But of course it’s the usual SF IRA double-speak.

    Despite what they say in public, Sinn Fein IRA don’t want the truth to come out. They want to bury their story of murder and torture and re-write history to say “Bad RUC, Good IRA defender of the people”. Nationalist Nuala O’Loan certainly gave them some help. But Unionists can not and will not allow Sinn Fein IRA murdering scum to cover up their crimes.

  • snakebrain

    PeaceandJustice

    “She often didn’t take into account the context of the situation e.g. Sinn Fein IRA death squads trying to murder policemen often in front of their family. A wife of a Unionist politician wouldn’t have got the job. Happy to see her go.”

    Nuala O’Loan is no friend of the IRA, or any terrorist or paramilitary organisation.

    Did you even watch Alex Maskey do his best not to say anything good about her on UTV News tonight? Did you know she lost her first baby to an IRA bomb?

    Her role was in carrying out a statutory duty, and producing evidence based reports in response to complaints or other referrals. As others have noted, she produced many reports that exonerated and commended members of both the RUC and the PSNI.

    But you just don’t want that to be the case, do you? Textbook bigotry..

  • McGrath

    As reluctant as I am to intervene in this discussion, and I am, it’s worthwhile pointing out that, for the most part, Nuala O’Loan’s criticism of RUC Special Branch for the destruction of evidence relates to their routine destruction of intelligence information – which, whether anyone likes it or not, was routine and was designed to protect the identity of informants.

    Posted by Pete Baker on Nov 06, 2007 @ 12:17 AM

    And equally protected the identity of any perpetrators. But destruction of evidence didn’t stop with just that, physical evidence, witnesses and various perpetrators mostly gone. Convenient memory loss too by many serving and ex serving members of our police force.

  • snakebrain

    McGrath

    How many of the reports have you actually read?

  • Danny O’Connor

    I believe that Nuala O’Loan performed a very difficult task with distinction.It is in the interest of everyone that the police are held accountable. In order to maximise public confidence in the psni an effective complaints system needs to be in place.This can help increase the professionalism of police officers.A professional job by the po can be in the interest of officers in the service by ensuring that the system is fair to both the complainant and the officer.Some objections to the po are less about professionalism and more that some just dont want to be accountable to anyone now as they never were before.
    Good luck to you Mrs O’Loan you are truly a brave and honest woman, who in spite of political pressure and your son being savagely attacked,performed your role with a profssionalism that has brought integrity and respect to your office.
    good luck Al you have a very hard act to follow.

  • McGrath

    McGrath

    How many of the reports have you actually read?

    Posted by snakebrain on Nov 06, 2007 @ 12:48 AM

    Why? Is there going to be a test?

    I assume what you mean by “reports” are the communications from the Police Ombudsman’s office. I think I have read most of her press releases, various statements, details of her offices involvement in judicial reviews etc. A lot of it relates to collusion, much of it relates to run-of-the-mill complains about the police (assaults on hand cuffed suspects and the likes). All that on top of Stalker / Stevens and various media reports and features.

    Further to that I have a strong personal interest in two collusion cases. I have listened to the personal stories from victims family members. I have listened to their stories of evidence being ignored, and their stories of evidence collected but can not now be found and no valid explanation from police as to why.

    But I think I know what you are getting at. The Police Ombudsman has to be careful in what she says, she has been careful not to give much of a personal opinion on matters. In her politically sensitive world, she can safely say the “there is no evidence to support claims of collusion”. She cant say “too much evidence has gone missing or was ignored and in some instances entire cases were not investigated to any satisfactory standard, this is why there is no evidence to support collusion”.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Danny,

    Well said. I particularly agree with the point about accountability being in the interests of serving officers in the PSNI. As I said above, the majority of complaints against the PSNI are not upheld; the community appears to accept this which is a useful indicator of how much progress the police are making.

    I think the problems with the police have mostly been addressed, and now we are down to dealing with more “boring” problems, namely the occasions when the police do not appear to be effective. For example, they seem to indicate that the drug dealers in Tiger’s Bay cannot be lifted because there is no-one coming forward to give evidence. However, in other jurisdictions, the police rely on other methods such as sting operations, etc, in order to catch the perps red-handed. Why do the PSNI give the impression that they lack imagination in this area ?

    McGrath:

    She cant say “too much evidence has gone missing or was ignored and in some instances entire cases were not investigated to any satisfactory standard, this is why there is no evidence to support collusion”.

    There are a couple of problems with this, McGrath. Nobody can say “there was collusion, but there is no evidence for it”. On what basis do you make this claim ? I suggest you think about this type of comment from another angle. “Your honour, the IRA have destroyed all the evidence which incriminates them, but we know that Gerry Adams is their leader” ?

    Secondly, the Ombudsman did highlight the fact that the destruction of records and other evidence did hamper the investigation in her enquiry into the Raymond McCord matter. But she can’t claim that it happened despite the lack of evidence.

  • PeaceandJustice

    snakebrain – “Her role was in carrying out a statutory duty, and producing evidence based reports in response to complaints or other referrals.”

    Sir Ronnie Flanagan said that her Omagh report was grossly unfair and erroneous and neither a
    fair, thorough or rigorous investigation.

    Sir Ronnie is of course the Home Secretary’s senior professional adviser on policing, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary and has been appointed to lead an independent review of the police service.

    I would prefer to believe the words of Sir Ronnie that the wife of a Pan-Nationalist politician. Of course, the sectarian bigots on here who supported the murder of Sir Ronnie’s policemen and women will beg to differ.

  • nmc

    So Sir Ronnie didn’t agree that the job he was responsible for doing was a bad one? Shock horror. You seem to think that because the government has appointed someone a task that they are automatically beyond reproach. This would be true if your government didn’t fuck things up all the time, like sexed up dossiers or invisible WMD for example.

    I would prefer to believe the words of Sir Ronnie that (sic) the wife of a Pan-Nationalist politician. Of course, the sectarian bigots on here who supported the murder of Sir Ronnie’s policemen and women will beg to differ.

    Yes those pesky pan-nationalists. The SDLP are obviously something you ought to be worrying about. Let me ask you a question, see if you can answer it: Do you think a woman who lost her child to the IRA has lost less than the Chief Constable who has lost an officer? Do you think he values his officers more than the eternal unconditional love a mother has for her child? I look forward to your response, littered with references to us Romans and them damn pan-nationalists eating our bread.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To nmc – to correct you, when pregnant she reportedly lost her baby after a SF IRA bombing. Of course this was a personal tragedy for her.

    Your comparison with who has lost more or less is not a valid one as you are comparing different things.

    Whatever her personal circumstances, she was clearly out to discredit the RUC as a whole.

    Ken Maginnis said she had walked through “police interests and community interests like a suicide bomber” and her conclusions demonstrated she had “absolutely no experience”.

    The greater number of people in Northern Ireland are happy to see her go.

  • nmc

    Your comparison with who has lost more or less is not a valid one as you are comparing different things.

    Yes your right of course. Comparing people with, um, people. *Shakes head* Explain in simple terms how her loss of a human is different to the CC’s loss of a human? The main difference would be that HER LOSS IS GREATER.

    she was clearly out to discredit the RUC as a whole.

    What you still fail to understand is that if there was no proof she brought no case. If there was proof then she did. Get it? If you think she brought cases without proof (you’re wrong, obvious to most of us), you’re entitled to chase it up with her office, and try to get her punished for impropriety. I suspect better men than you have tried and failed already.

    The RUC discredited itself when they got involved in murder. You can’t accept that because the IRA also murdered. But you compare different things (terrorists v state). You say the IRA was an army but you’re being disengenious, you regularly refer to them as terrorists so either the RUC is held to a higher standard than terrorists or they ARE terrorists, what’s it to be?

    The greater number of people in Northern Ireland are happy to see her go.

    As is regularly said on here, put up or shut up. Where’s your proof that your view is in any way representative of the majority? Because I don’t believe a thing you say – without proof. Indeed a headcount of the posts show the vast majority in her corner not yours.

  • Joey

    A lot of nonsensical ranting above, relating to some obnoxious chappies who can’t seem to face up to, well, laws.

    My favorite is the one about her being in the wrong for probing and scruinising the RUC. The idea being, as old Ken Maginnis declard once, ‘why don’t you turn this on the IRA? Why aren’t you going after th IRA?’ Well Ken, and the othr misguided chappies on here, have you not considered that the legally bound and constiutionally enthroned police force SHOULD be treated differently from a paramilitary and illegal force. Else you become the same thing as your enemy: subject to nochecks, constraints or laws. Very patent really.

  • McGrath

    Comrade:

    Secondly, the Ombudsman did highlight the fact that the destruction of records and other evidence did hamper the investigation in her enquiry into the Raymond McCord matter. But she can’t claim that it happened despite the lack of evidence.

    In various reports she refers to missing evidence, destruction of evidence, sloppy police work etc. She didn’t spare the RUC at all, did Flanagan not have a shitfit over her Omagh report?

    My main concern, and IMO a glaring failure in all her work, is why did she not investigate why evidence had gone missing? Why was it destroyed? Who destroyed it? What was the motivation to destroy it? And I’m not referring just to intelligence information, the questioning should have been applied to physical evidence and forensics, preservation of evidence. FFS asbestos contamination? Give me a break, if it were contaminated, it still could have been preserved.

    There was no real attempt to peel back the layers of the onion.

  • McGrath

    Comrade:

    There are a couple of problems with this, McGrath. Nobody can say “there was collusion, but there is no evidence for it”. On what basis do you make this claim ? I suggest you think about this type of comment from another angle. “Your honour, the IRA have destroyed all the evidence which incriminates them, but we know that Gerry Adams is their leader” ?

    The IRA destroyed evidence that could incriminate them just like any other terrorist organization or common criminal.

    If a police force destroyed evidence, wouldn’t it suggest the very same thing? To prevent incrimination? Does the act of destroying evidence wilfully or neglectfully by a police force not suggest something?

  • snakebrain

    “I would prefer to believe the words of Sir Ronnie that the wife of a Pan-Nationalist politician.”

    The difference being that Ronnie had words and Nuala had evidence.

  • PeaceandJustice

    nmc – “You say the IRA was an army but you’re being disengenious, you regularly refer to them as terrorists so either the RUC is held to a higher standard than terrorists or they ARE terrorists, what’s it to be?”

    I actually said: “Sinn Fein IRA says it was fighting a ‘war’. It calls SF IRA death squad members ‘soldiers’. It says it was OK to murder people because it was a ‘war’.” According to the SF IRA definition of the conflict, they shouldn’t be complaining that force was occasionally used against them.

    Force had to be used by the RUC to stop terrorists murdering people. But I repeat, if widespread collusion had taken place, the Sinn Fein IRA leadership would have been wiped out given the information held on SF IRA members by the police. If there was widespread collusion, why were so many Loyalists in prison?

    With reference to the greater number of people in Northern Ireland being happy to see O’Loan go you say:

    nmc – “Indeed a headcount of the posts show the vast majority in her corner not yours.”

    That’s normal on Slugger. Not only does the SF IRA terrorist council continue to exist, their blogging committee still exists too! Many Pan-Nationalists on Slugger don’t want a Protestant about the place.

    You prefer to concentrate on a few incidents within the RUC than the good work they did protecting people like you and me. You’re obviously very grateful.

  • nmc

    Ok, P&J it’s semantics, the info I’ve been trying to extract is DO YOU THINK THE POLICE SHOULD BE HELD TO THE SAME STANDARD AS A TERRORIST ORGANISATION? Can you answer this, please? Either you agree or you don’t, real simple, but you can dodge this by spitting out the same tired old drivel over and over again about roman this pan nationalist that death squads the other. It’s a simple question ffs.

    With reference to the question as to why the SF leadership is not dead now, please refer to earlier response to same question. I’m not typing it again. Why did Loyalists end up in jail? Widespread collusion does not mean carte blanche for Loyalists to do whatever they please without redress. What it means is that they helped loylists to kill. This has been proven so the word games can go on forever, it’s a point of fact. Deal with it.

    As to the final point you make, don’t let the facts detract from your mopery. Look at page one of this thread I just did. Unionist posters galore, I know this because I read their posts regularly.

    You prefer to concentrate on a few incidents within the RUC than the good work they did protecting people like you and me.

    Again, all I say is that I have the right to hold the police force of this country to a higher standard than the terrorists. A right you seem to not want.

  • Danny O’Connor

    p&j
    In providing an impartial service it is unlikely that a resolution is reached every single time that will please everybody every time.It is about doing your job without fear or favour.I am not sure about the name peace and justice-do you really want peace, you cannot unilaterally declare peace and expect everyone to share your analysis,likewise to have justice words like;- evidence ,due process,honesty,impartiality,integrity,objectivity all spring to mind -sounds more like Nuala O’Loan to me.

  • fionn

    -Comrade Stalin _

    “However, on the minority of occasions when they failed to act properly, they fell down hard.*** The core problem here was that there was no independent oversight. ***”

    If, as you allude, it was a minority, why did the RUC need independent oversight? Why were the majority not to be trusted?

  • fionn

    -Comrade Stalin-

    emmm, apologies. Ignore my post, I should have read to the end of yours before I piped up. I’ll get me coat …

  • PeaceandJustice

    nmc – “Do you think the police should be held to the same standard as a terrorist organisation?”

    We expect the police to have high standards – and the RUC met this standard in exceptional circumstances except on a few well publicised occasions.

    We expect Sinn Fein IRA terrorists to have low standards – and SF IRA met these low standards with murder, torture, bank robberies, fuel laundering and general criminality.

  • snakebrain

    blah blah blah…..

  • RepublicanStones

    anyone looking for a view into the murky world of the RUC would do well to watch the movie ‘Hidden Agenda’ Or read sean mcphilemy’s book The Committee”, while not entirely accurate, it at least gives the reader a flavour of the activities of the colonial-crown force against irish people in the occupied counties. for those who try to claim such activity never took place or was the work of a few bad apples are hindering the truth coming to light nad as such colluding themselves (in a manner of speaking). one only has to remeber that the uda wasn’t proscribed until 91/92. that in itself reflects the fact that unionist politicians and the british are very hypocritical in their condemnation of republicans while willing to break bread with colonist militia death squads, who were more brutal and sectarian than any republican group could ever dream of. some may try and spout past tragidies like la mon etc, but the simple fact remains, republicans never had romper rooms in bars, nor did they mutilate people soley because they were the wrong religion. collusion allowed the tactic of ‘any taig will do’ to flourish, as evidenced by the fact that over 80% of loyalist victims had no ties to any republican grouping politics or otherwise. as compared to republican victims who did not have ties to unionist/loyalist organistions numbering just over 30%. so please explain to me all of you who believe loyalists and the ruc were fighting republicans, how these figures can be?