“The poison was laid before the bomb was planted.”

Susan McKay has been following the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry and she raises some disturbing questions about the attitude of the RUC Special Branch to the solicitor, whom many believe to have been implicated in the killing. In the light of ‘evidence’ provided to the Inquiry by an unnamed RUC Special Branch figure regarding claims Nelson was an ‘immoral woman,’ McKay repeats some of her own evidence provided to the Inquiry, which cast a light on the attitude prevalent within the Orange Order and loyalism towards the solicitor. On the rumours spread and repeated to McKay by figures within both, she says:
“They were indicative of hatred. These people hated Rosemary because she was clever and could outsmart them in the courts on behalf of the Garvaghy Road residents. Because she had successfully defended IRA men. Because she was drawing international attention to their bullying ways. Because she was a Catholic and they hated Catholics, and killed quite a few during the events known as Drumcree.”

  • Mark McGregor

    éirígí had a good piece on this 2nd assissination of Rosemary by the RUC:

    http://www.eirigi.org/latest/latest021208_2.html

  • Witches? Taliban? What next? Nazis?

  • Jimmy Sands

    Didn’t we do this one already?

    iirc it was more than a little unedifying.

  • picador

    About time someone picked up on this.

    Anonymous securocrats abuse inquiry to make vicious smears about someone who is no longer in a position to defend herself. Sickening!

    No wonder the Finucane’s want nothing to do with an inquiry under the terms of the recent Enquiries Act.

  • Mark McGregor

    Jimmy,

    I blogged it. Ended up having to turn the comments off, get moderation, then back on, then turn them off again and ask Mick to manage the situation – it was vile.

    Hopefully (don’t expect it) this time it won’t sink to such a base level.

  • picador

    When was that Mark? I don’t recall seeing it.

  • Mark McGregor

    Pic,

    Here you go, 5th Dec:

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/you-cant-libel-the-dead-but-will-the-ruc-give-it-a-go/

    It was buried under the ridiculous Cameron bumfest.

  • 6countyprod

    You guys need to get a life! Thank God the majority of the people of NI are moving on. Like it or not, the war is over.

    We all lost friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, associates, etc, etc, etc! They are not coming back. Everyone involved did a lot of nasty things and very few of us will ever see real justice done. Why do you want to continue living in the past?

  • picador

    I thought all Slugger’s nationalist bloggers had been asleep at their posts. But no, there was at least one still awake. Fair play to you!

    That Cameron stuff was dull, dull, dull.

    And apologies for the unnecessary apostrophy above.

  • picador

    SCP

    Why do you want to continue living in the past?

    Why were former high-ranking members of RUC Special Branch abusing the anonymity afforded to them by the courts to attack the reputation of a murder victim just LAST WEEK? The law is an ass!

    Admin,

    I do hope that yellow and red cards are applicable to this thread.

  • PaddyReilly

    Dear Chris,
    Given the person that you are a post like this is only going to attract a lot of frenzied whataboutery. Waste of time, really. The topic never gets examined.

    Probably we have to learn to forgive and forget. The future is more important than the past.

  • Glencoppagagh

    Picador
    Quite outrageous, I agree. They should all be just turning up to relate how they conspired to kill her.
    Mind you I do find the allegation highly implausible for obvious reasons.
    It’s also nice to see that “securocrats” hasn’t fallen into complete disuse.

  • William

    Why did any one have to ‘collude’ to enable terrorists to murder Nelson….her home and office addresses were in the phone book and a killer only had to check this and then do his evil deed.

    This is another case of millions of pounds been spent on an Inquiry for one reason only, namely as part of the buying off of an other terrorist organisation, Sinn Fein.

    As to Nelson, she was prominent on the Garvaghey Road, when McKenna and his terror friends were out denying civil rights to Orangemen….what Solicitor accompanies the criminals whilst they commit their crimes?

  • picador

    Glen Coppagh,

    I don’t think it’s at all improbable that RUC / MI5 procured the murder of Rosemary Nelson. These outfits have a bit of a reputation in the local area whether it be assassinating suspects themselves – e.g. Toman, Burns, McKerr, Tighe, Grew, Carroll – or getting Robin Jackson, Billy Wright, Swinger Fulton & co to do it for them – e.g. Sam Marshall, Roseanne Mallon. They also specialise in fit-ups such as the one Rosemary Nelson herself exposed after MI5 agent and UVF member Lindsay Robb was paid to incriminate Colin Duffy for murder.

    As to Nelson, she was prominent on the Garvaghey Road, when McKenna and his terror friends were out denying civil rights to Orangemen….

    Say’s it all really William.

  • Blair

    If we are going to have enquiries then shouldn’t all the evidence be presented at them? If Special Branch had information that Nelson was PIRA then why should that information be suppressed? Susan Mckay has never been shy about denigrating the memories of people who were murdered by the IRA in south Armagh. Why does she think Nelson is such a special case?

  • edward

    Blair

    because they didnt provide evidence they provided opinion and then they slandered a dead womans reputation.

  • Blair

    Edward,

    What would constitute evidence in your opinion? The whole point of Special Branch is that it is an intelligence gathering organisation. The nature of intelligence gathering is that it relies on the word of informers and on secret recordings etc. How would you like them to ‘prove’ that she was PIRA?

    Incidentally Susan Mckay did not flinch from claiming that Robert McConnell was one of the men who bombed Dublin. He was a UDR soldier murdered by the IRA in south Armagh. Her evidence for this was the word of a terrorist and the fact that he looked like one of the men who shot the Reavey brothers. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74511

    Why is the evidence of a terrorist more believable than that of a senior police officer?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “As to Nelson, she was prominent on the Garvaghey Road, when McKenna and his terror friends were out denying civil rights to Orangemen….what Solicitor accompanies the criminals whilst they commit their crimes?

    Posted by William on Dec 11, 2008 @ 12:31 AM”

    William this is a silly post and you should withdraw it.
    I remember this well. Many solicitors are asked to attend and observe public demonstrations. Most don’t , because they are potentially witnesses and hence might not be able to represent people who may be subsequently charged. But others take the view that evidence gathering is bst done on the ground. Of course some display support for the aims of the demonstrators.
    I think another solicitor was arrested at the time of one of the Drumcrees for something like criminal damage in support of the Orangemen and at least one other that I know personally was threatened with prosecution. The only (insignificant) difference is that neither of them did interviews about it

    Lawyers who act for criminals may like their clients, or may despise them. We categorically don’t know if Mrs Nelson had any role other than as a lawyer, but we can presume that like all of us she had opinions about events at that time. She should not have been murdered for them.Ditto Finucane. Of course, she should not have been murdered at all- and your post seems to me to equivocate on that basic truth.

    And frankly, if Special Branch had anything amounting to evidence of criminality she should have been prosecuted then and there- certainly not smeared subsequently. If she was engaged in an affair, to me that’s totally irrelevant to this investigation, and was/is a private matter. Raising it now is unnecessarily hurtful to her family.At that time I remember being told that her disfiguration was caused by a petrol bomb that went off prematurely- of course that was rubbish. One might have hoped that in the context of this enquiry the police would reveal any hard intelligence they had rather than repeat gossip.

  • Babet’s Pig

    How dare the RUC/MI5/Jaffas/Huns/Planters/Themuns make accusations about the late Ms Nelson! Do they not realise it is their role to have the accusations made against them?

    I for one do not understand why these securocrats do not simply put their hands up and admit their obvious guilt.

    I mean think of all the evidence against them, the many successful prosecutions, including the private prosecutions carried out avoiding the tainted and corrupt public prosecutions system.

    What were they thinking?

  • Blair

    darth,

    I don’t recall much outrage from nationalists when Robert Nairac’s memory was sullied by gossip. In fact a lot of them took that gossip as Gospel. What’s so special about Nelson?

  • Glencoppagagh

    Picador
    I was referring to the allegation of marital infidelity which so outraged you in post 4.
    In any case, from my reading of the transcripts it seems to have derived from intelligence reports which could be based on no more than gossip.
    Why would the police witnesses introduce it to the inquiry since it could never be deemed a mitigating factor, even if it were true?

  • edward

    Blair
    What would constitute evidence in your opinion? secret recordings

    Asked and answered, so why ask

    I will charitably ignore the whataboutery

    Why is the evidence of a terrorist more believable than that of a senior police officer?

    Again charitably I won’t bother with their being no difference between the RUC and terrorists

    But when they are repeating the uncoroborated “evidence” of terorists what is the difference?

    I don’t recall much outrage from nationalists when Robert Nairac’s memory was sullied by gossip. In fact a lot of them took that gossip as Gospel. What’s so special about Nelson?

    Was this gossip repeated under oath in a public enquiry and entered as evidence by the RUC? Spot the difference yet?

  • Blair

    “What would constitute evidence in your opinion? secret recordings

    Asked and answered, so why ask”

    Edward,

    Where did I ask that and where did you answer it?

    “Again charitably I won’t bother with their being no difference between the RUC and terrorists

    But when they are repeating the uncoroborated “evidence” of terorists what is the difference?”

    Is that not what I asked you? I can’t understand why McKay is so outraged at Nelson’s name being sullied when she has happily done the same thing to other murder victims. Therefore I can’t understand why anyone takes her even remotely seriously.

    “Was this gossip repeated under oath in a public enquiry and entered as evidence by the RUC? Spot the difference yet?”

    To the best of my knowledge the RUC does not exist and is therefore incapable of presenting any evidence.

    Could it be that by presenting the evidence under oath to an official enquiry the Officer in question might have been telling the truth? Would it really surprise you to learn that Nelson was IRA? Are the IRA so reviled in the nationalist community that no one wants to admit to having been a member?

  • edward

    Blair Where did I ask that and where did you answer it?

    YOU asked and ANSWERED the question in your 10:05 post! I din’t need to answer as you provided both

    Blair To the best of my knowledge the RUC does not exist and is therefore incapable of presenting any evidence

    Fine, semantics the last bastion of the scoundrel, “former RUC”

    Blair Could it be that by presenting the evidence under oath to an official enquiry the Officer in question might have been telling the truth?

    Might have been, but they have form for not telling the truth and being very self serving

    Blair Would it really surprise you to learn that Nelson was IRA?

    No but as there was no actual evidence supplied I am very Dubious

    Blair Are the IRA so reviled in the nationalist community that no one wants to admit to having been a member?

    Since it was and maybe still is a crime to belong to the only Paramilitery organization that has decomissioned there is little incentive to admit membership though I note the Deputy First Minister for nIreland has claimed membership

  • Jimmy Sands

    I think in all this whataboutery, the obvious distinction has been missed, which is that even had she been shagging the entire Army Council it would have no conceivable relevance to the issues in the inquiry and simply appears to have been thrown out as a cheap smear. She was a murder victim. The inquiry is established to investigate allegations that state operatives are implicated. Her sleeping arrangements do not take the matter any further so far as I can tell.

  • cut the bull

    people need to remember that dodgy dealings of the Special Branch did not end with the RUC renaming.
    Denis Donalson was working for the PSNI Special Branch when he helped bring down the Assembly in 2002,Mark Haddock was woking for the PSNI Special Branch when he attempted to murder Trevor Gowdy by almost chopping his hands off.
    So lets not forget theres still an unaccountable PSNI Special Branch much the same as the Ruc Special Branch.

  • picador

    Panorama – Rosemary Nelson

    Glencoppagh et al.

    Rosemary Nelson herself deals with the infidelity (and bomb-making) accusations in the transcript of the Panorama documentary above. Vicious, vicious stuff. As Susan McKay so aptly put it the poison was laid before the bomb was planted. They hated her because she was a Catholic and they hated her because she was a woman. Even the late Pat Finuncane was never subjected to these kind of allegations. The people who repeated them at the enquiry (knowing full well that they would be picked up in the media) are absolute cowards. The scum of the earth one might say!

  • picador

    Sorry, I meant to say:

    They hated her because she was a Catholic and they hated her even more because she was a woman.

    I find it incredulous that a number on this thread are prepared to take these anonymous, unsubstantiated smears at face value.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “They hated her because she was a Catholic and they hated her even more because she was a woman. ”

    Would that be a substantiated smear?

    Some cops have bad attitude to defence briefs. Sadly it’s not uncommon.

  • Blair

    “Since it was and maybe still is a crime to belong to the only Paramilitery organization that has decomissioned there is little incentive to admit membership though I note the Deputy First Minister for nIreland has claimed membership”

    Edward,

    Do you think there is much chance of a conviction being gained against Nelson?

  • Blair

    “I think in all this whataboutery, the obvious distinction has been missed, which is that even had she been shagging the entire Army Council it would have no conceivable relevance to the issues in the inquiry and simply appears to have been thrown out as a cheap smear. She was a murder victim. The inquiry is established to investigate allegations that state operatives are implicated. Her sleeping arrangements do not take the matter any further so far as I can tell.”

    Jimmy,

    Good to see you. Do you not think that it is entirely within the remit of the enquiry to find out what sort of person Nelson was? She is portrayed as a noble ‘human rights’ lawyer. If that is untrue then should the enquiry not be aware of that?

  • Blair

    “They hated her because she was a Catholic and they hated her even more because she was a woman.”

    Picador,

    Presumably then the death toll of Catholic women murdered by ‘Loyalist death squads/RUC/evil Brits etc must have been horrendous. Any figures available?

  • picador

    Would that be a substantiated smear?

    I refer you to the number of death threats that she received and the fact that they were carried through.

    I also refer you to the behaviour of the Special Branch in the case of serial murderer Mark Haddock.

    If you believe anything they say after that it’s only because you really want to.

    Blair,

    Do you think there is much chance of a conviction being gained against Nelson?

    Well they were pretty good at fabricating evidence against her clients, Colin Duffy in particular. Rosemary paid with her life for exposing this.

  • edward

    Blair

    Since by all accounts she was a much better defence solicitor then the prosecutors were at prosecuting it would seem highly unlikely

    Which is excelent motive for having her murdered

    If you cant win, CHEAT LIE and KILL

    And blair Jimmy’s point is that the enquiry is too establish the circumstances of her death not the circumstances of her life

    I shop lifted some gum when I was 12 should I be marked for death by the government?

  • picador

    Sorry, I meant to say that they weren’t very good at fabricating evidence against Colin Duffy.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Blair,

    Absolutely not. Her private life is simply none of their damned business. Even were she worst reprobate on earth, it does not alter the crime one jot. I do agree that the “human rights lawyer” tag is an annoyingly over-used cliche. As any member of the profession can tell you, it is a tautology. There is no other kind.

    ps Blair, good to see you with the grown-ups.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Picador,

    I’m merely suggesting that a male protestant solicitor successfully representing the same defendants would probably have been no more popular, although I’m bound to say that of the four case referred by Cory, this one has always struck me as the weakest.

  • Danny Boy

    The ‘unpopularity’ of a male protestant solicitor would not result in this kind of ‘slut-shaming’ exercise. It’s a form of bullying reserved for women.

  • picador

    Still the same innuendo I see.

    There is not one jot of evidence that has come to light to suggest that Rosemary Nelson led anything other than a blameless life. Not even that she stole a stick of gum from a shop aged eleven, Edward.

    NOT ONE JOT OF EVIDENCE!

  • Jimmy Sands

    Danny,

    Certainly true, and I did not intend to suggest othrerwise.

  • Blair

    “Well they were pretty good at fabricating evidence against her clients, Colin Duffy in particular.”

    Picador,

    But for the seriousness of what he did that would be laughable.

  • Blair

    “Since by all accounts she was a much better defence solicitor then the prosecutors were at prosecuting it would seem highly unlikely”

    Edward,

    I thought that her being dead made it unlikely.

  • Blair

    “Absolutely not. Her private life is simply none of their damned business. Even were she worst reprobate on earth, it does not alter the crime one jot. I do agree that the “human rights lawyer” tag is an annoyingly over-used cliche. As any member of the profession can tell you, it is a tautology. There is no other kind.

    ps Blair, good to see you with the grown-ups.”

    Jimmy,

    If she were indeed a Provo would that not make it more likely that the Provos would make maximum use of her for propaganda purposes? They’ve certainly milked Finucane for all he was worth.

    ps. Will you back amongst us reprobates?

  • edward

    “Since by all accounts she was a much better defence solicitor then the prosecutors were at prosecuting it would seem highly unlikely”

    Edward,

    I thought that her being dead made it unlikely.

    Posted by Blair

    You are a picker of nits

    And for the record it would make it even harder for her to admit it!

  • picador

    Blair,

    You’re utterances are beneath contempt. Likewise your mutual backslapping with Jimmy Sands. I can only surmise that you are both ex-RUC men.

    You continue to repeat innuendo about Rosemary Nelson. As has been already pointed out:

    NOT ONE JOT OF EVIDENCE!

    As you are no doubt aware RUC SB / MI5 agent and UVF man Lindsay Robb admitted before his death that he was paid to incriminate Colin Duffy for murder. So really you are in no position to state what Colin Duffy has or has not done.

  • picador

    Edward,

    I wouldn’t bother. He is one sick SOB.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Blair,

    I’m not sure I understand the question. The fact that the provos may seek to exploit something doesn’t necessarily untrue. As you know I believe there are very real grounds for suspecting police involvement in Finucane’s murder. I don’t see that the same grounds exist in this case but i have an open mind.

    As for the last question, I did have a look in to see what was going on. It reminded me of the recent controversy over euthanasia. I think it’s probably time to pull the plug. I’ve learnt the hard way not to get involved in an unmoderated site.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Picador,

    What innuendo are you accusing me of repeating?

  • Blair

    “You’re utterances are beneath contempt. Likewise your mutual backslapping with Jimmy Sands. I can only surmise that you are both ex-RUC men.”

    Picador,
    If you were capable of reading you would note that Jimmy disagrees with me on this.

    “You continue to repeat innuendo about Rosemary Nelson. As has been already pointed out:

    NOT ONE JOT OF EVIDENCE!”

    Apart from the sworn testimony of a police officer who was aware of very high grade intelligence about her at the time.

    “As you are no doubt aware RUC SB / MI5 agent and UVF man Lindsay Robb admitted before his death that he was paid to incriminate Colin Duffy for murder. So really you are in no position to state what Colin Duffy has or has not done.”

    Robb said no such thing. Duffy’s conviction was overturned because Robb was also convicted of terrorist offences and his evidence was therefore said to be unreliable. I’m well aware of what Duffy has done and of what he is currently attempting to do.

  • Blair

    “I’m not sure I understand the question.”

    Jimmy,

    Surely an enquiry into alleged collusion should look at all of the facts. If it is a fact that Nelson was a Provo, who was deeply involved with a very senior Provo, doesn’t that help explain why PIRA have attempted to get so much propaganda currency out of her? And isn’t that information that the enquiry should be made aware of?

    The other place just needs clearing up. It could be easily done if the owner got his finger out.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Blair,

    The inquiry was not set up to inquire into the provos getting publicity out of it.

  • Blair

    Jimmy,

    It was set up because republicans made a lot of accusations about security force involvement in the murder of Nelson. Wouldn’t it help if they had an inkling of why such accusations might have been made?

  • picador

    Apart from the sworn testimony of a police officer who was aware of very high grade intelligence about her at the time.

    You mean the words of a anonymous coward with a vested interest in smearing the victim’s reputation who also knew that due to the rules of the inquiry he would not be asked to substantiate his claims.

    Lindsay Robb admitted before his death that he was paid to incriminate Colin Duffy for murder.

    Robb said no such thing. Duffy’s conviction was overturned because Robb was also convicted of terrorist offences and his evidence was therefore said to be unreliable.

    That’s exactly what he said in this article

    Now have you anything to offer apart from bloodstained innuendo.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Blair,

    I don’t think anyone doubts that provos have a motive to make false accusations. Doesn’t necessarily mean they are false. What’s particular puzzling is that the police appear to be saying “We didn’t kill her, but if we did here’s why.” I don’t think they do themselves any favours with this.

  • Blair

    “You mean the words of a anonymous coward with a vested interest in smearing the victim’s reputation who also knew that due to the rules of the inquiry he would not be asked to substantiate his claims.”

    Picador,

    What evidence do you have to back up your claims about this police officer?

    “He insisted his evidence was not perjured”

    So your article points out that Robb was telling the truth about Duffy. Nice one.

  • Blair

    “What’s particular puzzling is that the police appear to be saying “We didn’t kill her, but if we did here’s why.” I don’t think they do themselves any favours with this.”

    Jimmy,

    I don’t think they are saying that. I think they are saying ‘Republicans are making these accusations because Nelson was one of them and they are exploiting her death.’

  • picador

    Bliar

    What evidence do you have to back up your claims about this police officer?

    The fact that he is a self-confessed member of the RUC Special Branch.

    “He insisted his evidence was not perjured”

    So your article points out that Robb was telling the truth about Duffy. Nice one.

    Robb says that the RUC asked the UVF to provide winesses who could finger Colin Duffy and Lindsay Robb went forward, purely coincidentally of course, and provided the testimony required. Sounds very like perjury and perverting the course to me. Of course if he explicitly admitted that his testimony was false he would be liable to more jail time. But then anyone with a brain in their head can tell that, can’t they!?

    I still haven’t heard anything from you asides from baseless innuendo. Put up or shut up!

  • Jimmy Sands

    Presumably they would exploit it whether she were a member or not. Your argument makes no sense.

  • picador

    Sorry I should have said “perjury and perverting the course of justice” above

  • Blair

    Picador,

    You need to decide which parts of Robb’s alleged confession you believe.

  • Blair

    Jimmy,

    Would your family allow the IRA to exploit your murder for their own ends?

  • Jimmy Sands

    Blair,

    My what? What a bizarre question. Who’s murdering me in this scenario?

  • edward

    Bliar are yoy ingrams ding a ling sock puppet?

  • picador

    You need to decide which parts of Robb’s alleged confession you believe.

    Exactly, he’s not what you would call a reliable witness, as Rosemary Nelson demonstrated to her cost.

    I do however believe that RUC SB / MI5 conspired with the UVF in Mid-Ulster to murder scores of people it regarded as ‘undesirable’. Compared to that paying Lindsay Robb to frame Colin Duffy is small beer indeed.

  • topdeckomnibus

    I sent a submission to the Inquiry. The fact is that we in Kent objected to the deployment of Sir David Phillips on to the case. That, on receipt of the objection, Sir Ronnie Flanagan directed his Chief Executive Officer to phone the Home Office to expedite/check on Home Office response to a report sent to Jack Straw in Dec 1998.

    This report called on Straw to compel inquiry and report first requested by Kent Police Authority in August 1997 into a range of matters including a collusion case of 1987 in which charges had not been brought. (Kent based TA soldiers who were allagedly duped they had become honorary members of UDR and carried out missions into Northern and Southern Ireland)

    Phillips returned to Kent off the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry. A member of his police authority made a number of phone calls trying to threaten people and dissuade their evidence (in two cases to men who had evidence re the collusion arrests)

    The position taken by the inquiry solicitor is that he will ensure the Tribunal see the submission. On the phone the inquiry spokesman would only concede, against the terms of reference, “Due diligence”. The inquiry solicitor felt that since Phillips deployment was for a short while his influence would not have been significant.

    There are two arguments against his position

    (1) That a short time at the start of an inquiry is more significant in effect than a long time at the end as the trail cools

    (2) The terms of ref include “Attempts” to influence the inquiry.

    I have read some of the transcripts. In my view they are drivel. Red hot issue one day was an ex RUC officer saying “Lower life”. Then endless questions about Threat Books and basically why Human Rights Lawyers don’t have greater rights to life and protection than anyone else.

  • Blair

    “Blair,

    My what? What a bizarre question. Who’s murdering me in this scenario?”

    Jimmy,

    In the hypothetical situation, of you being murdered by a terrorist organisation, would your family allow another terrorist organisation to exploit your murder for propaganda purposes? I’m guessing not. On the other hand if you were a fully paid up member of the other terrorist organisation it is likely that your family would be quite happy to allow that to happen. You would be carrying on ‘the war’ from the grave.

    Ps can you check your PMs on DC please

  • Blair

    “You need to decide which parts of Robb’s alleged confession you believe.

    Exactly, he’s not what you would call a reliable witness, as Rosemary Nelson demonstrated to her cost.

    I do however believe that RUC SB / MI5 conspired with the UVF in Mid-Ulster to murder scores of people it regarded as ‘undesirable’. Compared to that paying Lindsay Robb to frame Colin Duffy is small beer indeed.”

    Picador,

    So basically you are quite happy to believe the evidence presented by this unreliable witness which suit your own prejudices.

  • picador

    So basically you are quite happy to believe the evidence presented by this unreliable witness which suit your own prejudices.

    And you are quite happy to label a lawyer, who overturned a conviction based on the evidence of this same unreliable witness, a member Provo!

    Who is prejudiced?

    BTW that’s a rhetorical question.

  • picador

    “a member of the Provos”, I meant to say.

  • Blair

    “And you are quite happy to label a lawyer, who overturned a conviction based on the evidence of this same unreliable witness, a member Provo!

    Who is prejudiced?

    BTW that’s a rhetorical question.”

    Picado,

    I’m quite happy to take he sworn testimony of a senior Special Branch officer who had access to high grade intelligence seriously. You are certainly prejudiced against the police.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Blair,

    My family being good solid FG types I’m finding it hard to envisage your scenario. Suffice it to say I see nothing sinister in the bereaved campaigning against whoever they believe may have been responsible.

  • Blair

    Jimmy,
    I thought you came from solid Labour stock. Do you see anything sinister in the bereaved campaigning through the medium of republican pressure groups?

  • Jimmy Sands

    Nope. I’m the first to betray my class.

    I don’t see it as sinister, although I think the Finucane’s approach of not letting SF run the campaign is probably wiser.

  • Blair

    Jimmy,

    There we must differ. If I had an issue with someone accusing my dead relative of being in the IRA the last people I would ask to champion his/her reputation would be the IRA.

    I think the Finucane approach of attending a function exclusively for the families of dead Provos was a bit unwise in that regard also.

  • edward

    Bliar

    What do you think of loyalists that use wee willy and FAIR to campaign for their victims

  • Jimmy Sands

    Blair,

    I think a more interesting question is why so many people take the view that the possibility that members of the security services colluded in murder is something that should only concern the chuckies. Those of us who claim to be concerned about the rule of law should be horrified.

  • Blair

    edtard,

    I think they are misguided.

  • Blair

    Jimmy,

    I agree. Republican propaganda doesn’t convince me that such collusion happened though.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Melchett: Thats the spirit, George. If nothing else works, then a total pig-heeaded unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.”

  • Blair

    Jimmy,

    So what facts do we need to look at in this case?

  • topdeckomnibus

    What facts should we look at in this case ?

    Perhaps the circumstances in which David Phillips of Kent was called in and then went home ?

    He was refusing a call from his Police Authority at the time (requested in August 97) to investigate police handling of a Kent based collusion case for which there had been 21 arrests but no charges in 1987. (At a time Templar Barracks was the HQ of Army Intelligence at Ashford Kent)

    Was there an attempt to influence the inquiry ?

    Why did Sir Ronnie Flanagan contact the Home Office to find out what Jack Straw was going to do re his decision whether or not to compel the inquiry called for by Kent Police Authority.

    After that contact with the Home Office the Inquiry in Kent was not compelled. Phillips was replaced by a Norfolk officer.

    When you have Kent Police, the Home Office, British Irish Rights Watch and the Pat finucane Centre all agreeing that Topdeck is wrong.

    It is in the nature of old Topdeck to think it is likely he is right then.

    These are facts which the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry should illuminate and explain.

    I have declared that I am known to Mr Burden as I reported on a sabotage case at a weapons factory in Gwent when he was Chief constable. His Special Branch were wrong to suspect saboteurs. The unreliability problems of the product were due to a wrongly wired factory electrically corrupting the manufacture and test process coupled with unqualified management orchestrating falsification of MOD test documentation. This report was agreed by two experts from MOD Procurement Executive. At least Burden is aware that his Special Branch were wrong and old Topdeck can be spot on the money. But apparently not about David Phillips and matters ranging from collusion to industrial sabotage in Kent ?

  • topdeckomnibus

    If I recall back to when I objected to Mr Phillips deploying on to the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry I spoke to the Pat Finucane Centre.

    I also spoke with a Warrington reverend who was with the Warrington Peace Mission.

    If I recall when I spoke with the PF Centre man on the phone and said that matters in Kent should be illuminated (The call for inquiry by Kent Police Authority included a call for inquiry into police handling of the 1989 Breacxh of Security Warnings and later bombing of Deal Marines Barracks) the PFC spokesman sais

    “Maybe it is time that the Rosemary Nelson case was put to the backburner then”

  • Blair

    topdeck,

    I’m intrigued by this TA collusion thing. Your saying that these Kent based TA soldiers came over to NI and were involved in collusion murders in 1987?

    Was Phillips involved in the Nelson Enquiry? Can you put some meat on the bones of what you are saying please?

  • topdeckomnibus

    Yes Blair

    The arrests occurred in Kent woodland in summer 1987.

    They were of about 21 middle aged TA soldiers of 14 HSF Platoon V Queens V TAVR based at Broadstairs.

    You can find mention of these arrests in the synopsis to Pat Monteath’s Ferryman series website (Quil Publishing). The arrests are fact.

    The account of one TA soldier, George Richard Maison (who prior to transferring to HSF served with TA based at Templar Barracks 1981 to 1985) was that a Herne Bay solicitor had acted to “Swear in” the Kent TA men as “Honorary members of the UDR”.

    Evidence given to police described a man who may have met Maison in Cliftonville Margate. The man (Gerry Adams lookalike) answers the description of Steve Brady of the UDA and Ramsgate based “League of Saint George”

    Police told the other arrseted TA men that Maison was the person who had reported the paramilitary activity.

    However it was three TA men who went to police when finally their suspicions were aroused after one of them was asked to store semtex at his home in St Johns Avenue Ramsgate. One of the later arrested men was said in statements to police to already be storing explosives at his home in Westgate.

    The men were seen carrying out live fire paramilitary training at Mereworth Woods Kent by Regular Army instructors attached to a different TA unit (Surrey) and their activity reported in military channels as live fire training with “Weapons to which they are not entitled”. These regular army sergeants remained astonished that nothing was done about it in military channels.

    It was one of these ex sergeants who received a phone call from a member of Kent Police Authority Bill Hayton seeking to intimidate him into not giving this as evidence in complaints against police at the time we raised objection to David Phillips deployment on the Rosemary Nelson case.

    The TA men in 87 were said in their evidence to police to have gone on missions into Ulster (accommodated allegedly by UDR) and into Ireland.

    They were seen by me kitting up with radios at the Broadstairs TA centre. On a weekend not scheduled for military training.

    I am at a loss to make sense of the history. After the arrests a number of us sought to oppose the re-issue of a firearms cert to Maison. No charges were brought at all after the arrests. The only press to carry a report were Adscene (a local Kent free sheet) and Invicta local Kent radio.

    Police failed to interview all those wishing to stop Maison having guns. They re-issued him a firearms cert for .303 7.62 and 9mm semi suto pistol unlimited ammo holding and round refill powder licence.

    A former Betteshanger miner came forward to police and gave evidence that Maison had approached Kent miners trying to get mining explosives and detonators. Kent Police did nothing about it.

    Quite where military fantasy and paramilitary activity overlap who can say. If the man is a military fantasist then don’t give him high velocity rifles and a semi auto pistol ?

    In 1996 Maison was Vice Chair of Roger Gales North Thanet tory assn and a local cllr. He was sued for libel (successfully) by Cllr Margaret Mortlock. In 1996 this eighty year old lady was beaten up on her doorstep by a ski masked combat suited man. She had a friend trained to check her car foe ieds and reported to police threats to shoot her or blow her up. Police took Maison’s firearms cert off him but told people this was due to the post Dunblane review.

    Pat Monteath, as part of his research for his books of faction, did see or obtain the documentation still at a Herne Bay solicitor including UDR ID cards. Kent Police in 87 had not even gathered the evidence available for what went on.

    It is a strange history and it still seems entirely reasonable to ask police to investigate it all properly.

    After all how many people with arms caches and explosives in their garden sheds do you know who get arrested and then exempted charges.

    I think the police position was that the activity was organised by an ex FRU type who had lost the plot and become what police called an “Intelligence nuisance”. Mounting his own campaign complete with UDR ID cards, accommodation, weapons the TA men were not entitled to including explosives. There also appeared to be forty quid a week retainer to each TA man involved (which was a tidy bit in 1987) which police never investigated as far as I know.

    My mind boggles as well.

    By the way I laid a Common Law information against Mike Fuller in Kent which Boris Johnson has just brought to the attention of Met Police Authority to weigh re the wisdom of making Kent’s Mike Fuller the next Met commissioner.

  • topdeckomnibus

    To be clear I do not know that they were involved in murders. I know the above re explosives, deployments etc.

    In 2003 there was a request to ramsgate Royal British Legion by PSNI Special Branch to get a report from me.

    Kent Police went to some lengths to try to stop that including issuing mallicious cautions under the Protection from Harassment Act.

    The report was sent and merely duplicated what Sir Ronnie Flanagan was sent in 1999 in my objections to David Phillips deployment on the Nelson case.

    It was also 2003 (March) that Gen De Chasterlain recorded his concerns about the Kent matters with NI Secretary (about a week before David Phillips quit Kent police without notice)

    Without proper inquiry I would not like to guess at the nature of the activity and cause and effect chains. I think there is a compelling case for proper inquiry.

  • topdeckomnibus

    If I end for now on the De Chasterlain position.

    The men would be outside his terms of reference if they were acting as members of the security forces.

    They were arrested under the Unlawful Drilling Act 1819. The offence being to conduct military operations without Crown authority.

    The parameters of the offence would seem, to me, to yield General de Chasterlain authority to deploy to Kent and check for the sources and types of their weaponry. How much had been cached. Including access to Kent Police Firearms and range licensing dept.

    It appears that Gen De Chasterlain was told NO.

    So take your choice.

    For De Chasterlain involvement purposes they had Crown authority then ?

    For arrest purposes they did not.

    For decisions to not to charge them they had public interest protection perhaps ?

    All stinks.

  • there ya go blair

    There ya go blair now tell us all about the honourable policemen who never lie.

  • picador

    It appears that the jury at the Jean Charles de Menezenes inquest found the evidence of police witnesses less than compelling.

    But the RUC Special Branch…

  • Blair

    Topdeck,

    I’m not sure that loyalist paramilitaries ever had access to or used Semtex. Powergel was their explosive of choice iirc. Templar bks is the Intelligence Corps Depot and as such I don’t think it would have a TA unit based within its confines. I stand by to be corrected of course.

    What you describe sounds like a group of TA soldiers who were into a bit of fantasising. Are there any links to reports on these incidents?

  • RepublicanStones
  • Blair

    Stones,

    If this guy Jopling has stopped these two suspects then it was up to him to search them and if they were suspects to arrest them. He was/is after all in the Military Police. A very strange testimony indeed. It sounds like he’s trying to cover his own arse.

  • RepublicanStones

    Shoot the messenger eh 😉

  • topdeckomnibus

    Blair

    George Richard Maison served with REME TA based at Templar Barracks from about 1981 to 1985. As I understand it he failed his trade test to be a vehicle mechanic but served as a driver.

    His tales of derring do “Undercover missions to Ireland” appear to have began at this time before he traneferred to the HSF unit in 1985 in which the arrests occurred two years later.

    The case officer for the arrests in 1987 was DI George Rogers. He said that similar arrests had been made of HSF (dads Army) soldiers in Staffordshire and Wiltshire too.

    Maison became Chair of Thanet Branch of the REME Assn 1988. There was a crime complaint (refused by Kent Police) of an attempt, involving him, to defraud REME Welfare funds using the name Lloyd Barton. Barton was working as a civilian security guard at Deal Marines Barracks.

    The REME Corps Secretariat and Assn HQ was unable to find a record for a former REME soldier.

    Naturally the suspicion was formed (given that Maison was a fellow Thanet tory with convicted document, qualification and dollar forger Cyril Hoser) that Barton had one of the forged Army records of service that from time to time crop up in the area.

    Kent Police were asked to review security at Deal Marines Barracks. At its lowest level the security breach was employing inapproriate people who would give the Royal Marines a misplaced sense of trust in security.

    As part of the concerns the ex Betteshanger miner went to police and gave his statement that George Maison had approached him trying to obtain mining explosives and detonators. Also as part of opposing the re-issue of a firearms certificate to Maison.

    What I now know happened is that Kent Police agreed with Reliance Security that it was a security “Embarrassment” and Barton left Reliance in March 1989 taking work, with a good Reliance reference, on April 10th at a TV shop in Margate. This shop did PA equipment and disco equipment hire but it seems that the Marines may have borrowed such equipment for concert nights from Margate Winter Gardens. It represents an uninvestigated line of access to the barracks any way.

    In 1988/89 Maison founded the British Army Association with a man who was a member of the IRA supportive League of Saint George.

    At the Deal Barracks bombing scene 22.9.89 a Pc HM Coroners Officer saw senior CID “Remove property which did not re-appear as evidence” and overheard the senior CID conversation in which they exempted Reliance Security from the bombing inquiry. In that conversation the Coroners Officer heard the name Lloyd Barton.

    In March 1998 I raised the first check on Barton’s REME Record with the Corps Secretariat since the fraud report of 1988. In other words Kent Police did not check him out before or after the bombing. REME ran a check and called in MOD Police March 98.

    The deputy senior CID on the Deal Bombing case was DI George Rogers who had been case officer for the TA paramilitary arrests in 1987 and had not acted (other than to collude with Reliance to avoid embrassment) on our concerns re Reliance security before the 1989 bombing.

    Your point about Semtex has also been made to me by the ex Army sergeant who reported the TA paramilitaries in military channels and was astonished nothing was done (see post above)

    However it was definitely the word used to me by the TA NCO asked to store it at his Ramsgate home. It may be that it has become a geric term for explosive. But it is also a word Maison used to me about storage at Westgate.

    I would like Kent Police to have at least investigated the alleged links between Ramsgate League of St George and the Belgian VMO and to also have had a look at Military Vehicle Preservation groups who may have rallied in Europe. It was a luminary of such a group who may have been the military clout influence behind the ex para who was discharged for organising the paramilitary activity in TA (the Boughton fruit farmer basis for Pat Monteaths fictional character Richard James. The basis for Pat’s sidekick character Paul Jones is composite part an arrested TA paramilitary arrested in 87 and part a former para then Kent special constable who was the man who was allegedly recruited by OIRA before Bloody Sunday whilst working on fruit farms in Southern Ireland)

    So yes it is a case of in the imaginary garden is there a real toad. In the garden there was serious weaponry and explosives. If it is Kent Police position that as long as the man with the weapons is a fool then all is well ? I would disagree. Especially as it was Kent Police issuing firearms certs for high velocity rifles and semi auto pistols.

    I will end by telling you about the laugh my wife and I have

    There was eighty year old Cllr Margaret Mortlock in Margate. Beaten up by a ski masked combat suited man. Reports threats to shoot her and blow her up to police. is told unless Mr maison shoots you there is little we can do.

    Now if only she had been an Irish Human Rights lawyer …..

  • Blair

    Topdeck,

    You think this guy was implicated in the Deal bombing?

  • topdeckomnibus

    I know that the possibility of their local involvement was exempted from the inquiry Blair.

    I have spoken with traffic warden Deal 22.9.89 who said that police panicked and babbled over the radio and had to be asked to get a grip. Traffic wardens were told to let any vehicles leaving the area just go. There was no request to even record index numbers.

    I think the Traffic Wardens did that on their own volition.

    The Wardens then collated all index numbers of sighting reports (IE all vehicles they noted with times whether or not the vehicle was later ticketed) for weeks before the bombing.

    Police to this day have never interviewed the traffic wardens or asked for the index number history of vehicles in the area.

    I know that there were Southern Irish employees working at Dumpton Ramsgate Friday Market and, when the bomb went off, ramsgate market workers offered to put them up for the weekend as they would get trouble trying to drive back to Ireland on Irish plated vehicles. But the Irish lads said if they were stopped they would give police telephone numbers of the Ramsgate market workers to verify them.

    Next week the Irish lads were back and they said they drove out of Kent, across England and on to the ferry with no sign of a stop or port watch.

    So it is clear that Police did not want a vehicle movement history, an effective cordon or to investigate Reliance Security.

    My opinion is that police had the three IRA suspects who rented a cottage opposite the barracks under surveillance.

    There was a gas emergency team waiting at Deal seafront on 22.9.89 and they arrived at scene before police.

    It follows that I think Police know whether or not those cottage renters entered that barracks as trespassers.

    If they had entered then they would have been arrested ?

    So I suspect that there was a massive Kent police cock up, followed by a circular argument of no evidential value around the cottage renters.

    With no investigation for a device in situ (which may have been on a long timer or a locally trigger signalled short timer say three days)

    What I am saying is that there was a breach of security warning. As such it points to shortcomings of security not necessarily to eventual perpetrators. I am saying that to cover up criminal neglect re the Breach of security that Kent Police stitched up the bombing inquiry.

    To know whether there was local support, provisioning, involvement would take inquiry that Kent Police refuse to mount.

    They were called upon for this inquiry in August 1997 by Sir John Grugeon Chair of the Police Authority.

    Chief constable Phillips refused to comply.

    Incidentally there is a question of BNP expulsions of members in Kent (Deal) pre 1989 for armed training with a non approved right wing group ….. (perhaps connected with League of Saint George). Where had those guns originated ? Happily all it would have taken for wee david Phillips to get a take was to phone his assistant chief constable Bobby Ayling (Investigator now for the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry) and ask him to drop a few questions re the suspected gun runners in the Clifford Norris vicinity while he on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry at the time. (You know father of the media tried suspects)

    SO August 97 KPA call for report. Phillips refuses

    Mar 1998 REME run a records check and call in MOD Police

    Dec 1998 I send a report to jack Straw requesting compulsion of the inquiry called for by Sir John

    Mar 99 Sir Ronnie Flanagan directs contact with Home Office what they going to do about Phillips refusal to report to his police authority.

    Phillips goes home and is replaced by a Norfolk officer on the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry

    Jack Straw refuses to compel inquiry and Home Office send three different explanations for this decision. One to Shadow Home Sec, one to the late John Allen and another to me.

    Re HSF It was a dads Army unit. A number of men were fooled (including an ex PT Corps Sergeant major and an ex para) that they had been recruited as honorary members of UDR after they volunteered for undercover work. They were told it was because being old and bold they would not in civilian clothing resemble serving soldiers. Why they did not become suspicious when they were forming a combat suited cordon defence in a Southern Irish orchard whilst their leader met a so called renegade colonel of OIRA I have not got a clue.

    One of their number was said to have failed a “Bottle run” (drinking in Irish or Ulster pubs) and was labelled a threat to security.

    Pat Monteath research indicated that they thought they were training to snatch a figure from Southern Ireland. My mind boggles. Maison was notorious for his piles condition. The others were variously medically downgraded. I have worked tunneling with Southern Irish lads. The image of the old dads Army blokes trying to go to Ireland and take on such mighty men just makes me shudder. No fool like an old fool. The arrests intervened in the looming fiasco.