A cold draught?

Shaun Woodward, the NI Secretary of State has declined to give public support to Sir Ronnie Flanagan after the damning critique in yesterday’s judgement on the Omagh bomb case. He said:

“The lessons to be learned from this judgement are far and wide. It is important that we look at this very, very carefully. It wouldn’t do any kind of justice to the 29 people who were murdered in the bomb and the two unborn children for me to give you a phlegmatic response.”

  • Nevin

    When O’Loan received the tape in March 2002 she went the following day with her senior investigating officer Dave Wood and handed a copy of the recording over to the Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen.

    Was a copy given to the British government or to the PSNI?

    Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan was killed in the atrocity, said the victims’ families had no faith in the Dublin-based inquiry. Instead he called for an international public inquiry to be held on both sides of the Irish border.

    Gallagher said the families believed White and Dixon’s allegations.

    Would such an inquiry increase the possibility of the families obtaining the truth or, indeed, justice?

  • Nevin

    A new twist:

    Hoey may seek damages

    The man cleared of the 29 murders in the Omagh bomb tragedy is to seek damages from the father of a young boy killed in the atrocity, it was revealed today. ..

    “Sean Hoey refutes completely the allegations made by Victor Barker when he persists in blaming him for Omagh,” said Mr Winters.

  • Lorraine

    why shouldn’t sean hoey seek damages? years in prison on the basis of a flawed investigation which reeks to high-heaven with the stench of special branch/MI5 involvement. ronnie flanagan should be in the dock and held to account for the atrocity which took place in omagh. sean hoey has been found not guilty, he too is an innocent victim in this whole sorry mess

  • Looks like Sir Ronnie’s position as head of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary may prove untenable.

    While it wouldn’t bring justice for the families any closer, perhaps it would inject a bit of much-needed accountability for the messed up investigation and prosecution and help restore some credibility to policing in the wake of yesterday’s devastating judgement. More here at the local Amnesty blog Belfast & Beyond.

    Of course, it’s not just in Northern Ireland where we could do with a bit more responsibility-bearing for bad policing.

  • jone

    I’m hearing Woodward is performing a bit of a reverse ferret on his earlier remarks.

  • TB

    “ronnie flanagan should be in the dock and held to account for the atrocity which took place in omagh”

    That’s a stunningly stupid comment. Are you suggesting he planted the bomb? I am seriously tired of the total lack of focus on placing the blame on the bastards who planned and carried out the bombing. The blame for the atrocity lies with them and their accomplices and those who know rightly what happened and are keeping their cowardly, worthless mouths shut.

  • Lorraine

    TB
    wake up and smell the coffee. flanagan has blood on his hands as surely as the individuals who planted that bomb in omagh. this is one of those black operations which exposes the flanagans of this world as being on a simular moral level to the morons who planted the bomb.

    good old RUC methods of policing………

  • steve

    I wonder if this isn’t the perfect indictment of the RUC, they got sloppy because they never expected to be questioned. The diplock courts were a rubber stamp for the RUC and they expected that to continue for ever and anon.

  • Outsider

    Lorraine

    Were you as vocal in calling for heads to roll when nobody was caught for the Enniskillen and Kingsmill atrocities?

  • Lorraine

    i’ve no intention of playing to the sectarianism inherent in the “what-aboutery”. unfortunately we have had too many painful episodes over the years, and my original comment stands: ronnie flanagan should be in the dock and held accountable for the murder and misery he presided over!

  • USA

    Outsider,
    Just stick to this atrocity and leave out the “whataboutry”.

  • cut the bull

    Ronnie flanagan is culpable in the respect, that Kevin Fulton was working as a special Branch agent at the time of the Omagh bombing and Ronnie was the Cheif Constable of the PSNI.

    Being the position of Cheif Constable aswell as being a former head of the RUC Special Branch he would and should have been made aware of Fultons claims.

    Giving Ronnie the benefit of doubt here if he was unaware of Fultons claims then he surely should let this be known, as this information would be central to any inquiry which may held to clear up this mess.

    If he was aware and did nothing then he should explain this inaction to such an inquiry.

    Why has no one involved in this investigation questioned Kevin Fulton its not as if they can’t get him, because he’s giving interviews to the press every other week.

    Furhtermore he must have told his handlers of having met with who ever he claimed was mixing the explosives and making the bomb.

    Therefore, should Fulton himself and any handlers he was working for, and even possibly Ronnie Flanagan be deemed as conspirator’s, due to the failure this evidence not being acted upon.

  • cut the bull

    Sorry Ronnie was the Cheif Costable of the RUC

  • The Dubliner

    “I am seriously tired of the total lack of focus on placing the blame on the bastards who planned and carried out the bombing.” – TB

    That red herring is designed to distract attention from the actual focus and place it onto a political agenda of ‘republican’ support for the PSNI. You can lament the lack of supporting evidence of whatever variety but the decision of the type and sufficiency of evidence needed to bring a trial is solely a matter for the prosecution service. They were self-evidently satisfied that they had sufficient evidence to bring a trial.

    Mr Justice Weir’s judgement is the current, actual and proper focus, particularly his scathing criticisms of the integrity of the evidence and of the personal integrity of police officers (so serious that he referred their “lies” and “calculated deception” to the Police Ombudsman for investigation). The justice system – that part of it that is independent from the state – showed it had a man of the upmost integrity in Mr Justice Weir, but the rest of it – that part which is not independent from the state – came out of the trial utterly disgraced.

    Insofar as that verdict relates to the political agenda of encouraging support for the PSNI among the ‘republican’ community, it will have a negative effect on it since ‘witnesses’ (if there are any in highly trained, clandestine terror gangs) will not be encouraged to support a police service that is damned as both incompetence and corrupt by Mr Justice Weir.

  • Mooch Blair

    Cut The Bull,

    Fulton and one of his handlers were cleared by the Ombudsman when she found the evidence that the information passed by Fulton to his Handler was recorded by the RUC. They did their job!others BELIEVED THEY WERE DOING THEIRS but like Ingram said you cannot make an omlette without breaking eggs.

    Sir Ronnie then rang the officer ( during Ombudsmans inquiry)who had originally made notes in his force book and other notes of both the meeting and the information and informed him ( Sam) that he was a cunt for making notes??

    The real focus here should not be in Low Copy DNA but on Man A ( Ombudsmans report)That is and will always be the crux to this case.Ask yourself why Norman Baxter never followed through with his public pledge to interview Kevin Fulton and take a statement?

    That is why we will always be denied the whole truth.The chances of a real public inquiry are Zero, too much potential for real damage to national interests.

  • Rapunsel

    I heard the interview with Woodward this morning and what I thought was Woodward declined to publicly support Flanagan because he was 1. Out of his depth totally in respect of the issue and 2. Lines hadn’t been cleared with his masters in respect of Flanagan’s future. Notice he changed his tune this evening and publicly backed him. God almighty the assembly might have it’s problems but anyone would be better than the condescending and patronising Woodward. God knows what he really knows about the Omagh investigation despite his meaningless platitudes about the impact on the families etc.

  • éireannach saolta

    Something similar happened in the Republic there a few years ago when child pornography was found on a judges computer. This judge then got off the wrap when the arrest warrant used by the Gardaí was out of date. This trial smacks of the same “willful” incompetence. Whether this is the case or the RUC are completely incompitent we may never know.

    The families of the victims deserve the truth

  • Turgon

    Rapunsel,
    ” the assembly might have it’s problems but anyone would be better than the condescending and patronising Woodward.”

    Surely one of the major reasons why he is Northern Ireland secretary.

  • Hogan

    Flanagan tried to smeer one of the most honest public appointments that the NIO ever had the misfortune to employ in this shit-hole.

    He tried the age-old tactic of total indignation in the vain hope that we would all get swept up by his fervant bluster and not recognise he was lying through his special branch hole.

    This time he’s trying a different tactic – TOTAL SILENCE.

    The judge vindicated Nuala O’Loans criticisms of the investigation.

    If he actually had any honour he would go and top himself wracked with guilt that his incompetence denied 30 families justice, but that would require a degree of integrity that the man is sadly lacking.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Hogan

    Correct. Was talking to one of the Ombudsman’s investigators earlier, and as s/he pointed out, not one of her reports has been overturned in the courts – despite what various police have claimed.

    Anyway, Flanagan is now a busted flush, regardless of O’Loan. No cop or official watchdog will ever take him seriously again, and he’ll probably shuffle off quietly in a year or two.

    Turgon

    Don’t forget Woodward is a very, very, very rich man. Not that that would influence who gets what positions in Labour. Oh no. Not incorruptible Labour…

  • Hogan

    Gonzo

    I wish i shared your optimism?

    I thought a Home Sec. as under fire as Jacqui Smith would have stayed well away from Sir Ronnie but it seems she backed him this morning? (I accept it was only the bare minimum one line departmental release).

    My view is that Sir Ronnie was a cute hoor who mixed in the most shadowy of circles for years, know’s where a lot of bodies are buried (metaphorically of course!) and would prove a difficult man to block in a career path? even for whitehall manadarins!

    Just musings though.

  • Outsider

    i’ve no intention of playing to the sectarianism inherent in the “what-aboutery”. unfortunately we have had too many painful episodes over the years, and my original comment stands: ronnie flanagan should be in the dock and held accountable for the murder and misery he presided over!

    Lorraine

    Thats a no then is it.