“I’ve decided not to formally publish the report until I’ve heard their concerns…”

According to the BBC report

Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson has withdrawn his report into the 1971 McGurk’s bar bomb.

But the quotes in the BBC report from Al Hutchinson point to it being only a delay in publication.

Mr Hutchinson said he was aware of the criticisim and had decided not to publish the report until he heard relatives’ concerns “in detail”.

“I think it’s appropriate to acknowledge we didn’t deal with the families very well and I need to listen to them personally and hear the specific concerns that they’ve raised.

“So I’ve decided not to formally publish the report until I’ve heard their concerns and assessed what they are.”

And, as RTÉ correctly notes, there is a statement on the Ombudsman’s website on the findings of the investigation

Allegation One: That police did not conduct a thorough investigation into the bombing.

Finding One: Not Substantiated.

The Police Ombudsman’s Office has said the absence of detailed record keeping by the police has hindered its ability to establish answers to all the questions asked by the complainants.

However, given the available evidence of police activity, it is satisfied that in the context of 1971 and on the balance of probabilities, the police did conduct a reasonably thorough investigation.

The Office has established that a substantial amount of resources were allocated to the investigation in December 1971 and that the Senior Investigating Officer considered a number of differing hypotheses as to who was responsible for the bombing.

Police Ombudsman investigators have established that some of the people believed to be responsible for the bombing were arrested for terrorist offences, although this was not done in a coordinated operation after the bombing or following the arrest of the man who was subsequently convicted of the murders. They have not been able to establish conclusively if the suspects were ever questioned about the bombing or what actions were taken.

Allegation Two: There was collusion between the bombers and the security forces.

Finding Two: Not Substantiated. Police Ombudsman investigators have found no evidence that police or the security forces conspired with the bombers before, during or after the incident nor any evidence of police criminality or misconduct.

Investigators examined information held within the police system at that time and, although their remit is limited to police, also looked at military archives and interviewed retired military officers.

The allegations made to the Police Ombudsman’s Office in this respect relate to concerns that security cordons were removed from the area to allow the terrorists safe passage. Investigators did not find any evidence police had prior knowledge of the attack or that they could have done anything to prevent it. Examinations of military records show that, due to an escape from the Crumlin Road Prison, the area was on the highest of security alerts. The records did not provide any details of the vehicle checkpoints in the area at the time.

Allegation Three: That police briefed the then Minister of State with false information claiming the explosion was accidental, resulting from Republican terrorists preparing a bomb inside the public house.

Finding Three: Not Substantiated. The Police Ombudsman’s Office found no evidence that police supplied the Minister with information prior to his statement about the bomb. It is likely that the Minister’s information came from the military.

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  • Cynic

    Well Its all a bit of a shambles isn’t it Al.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Not Substantiated !!

  • billy

    Anyone hear Hutchinson’s interview with Seamus McKee? Dear God, it was humiliating. The man needs to resign. Looks like the entire report/investigation is going to be rerun.

    What a bloody disgrace and what a total shambles.

    McKee made the guy squirm, asking him at least 3 times, “So, can we be clear, you didn’t meet with any of the families at all during the course of the investigation?”

    That’s right, Hutchinson didn’t meet with the families at any time during the investigation.

    I’d hold off gloating, Heinz. I reckon there’s a long way to go yet.

    Hutchinson should go. He came across as incompetent during that interview.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Gloating ?? Moi ?? I would suggest to you Sir,that Mr Hutchinson needs to deal in hard facts,and evidence !! I doubt whether the families can provide either ??

    Allegations,not substantiated !!

  • HeinzGuderian

    Gloating ?? Moi ?? I would suggest to you Sir,that Mr Hutchinson needs to deal in hard facts,and evidence !! I doubt whether the families can provide either ??

    Allegations,not substantiated !!

  • o’connor

    Hutchinson not fit for purpose, well some would say that wouldn’t they. At least his other half has not (as yet) turned out to be a closet shinner.

  • Cynic

    “That’s right, Hutchinson didn’t meet with the families at any time during the investigation.”

    So we must now all worship at the altar of the families? Should the Chief Constable meet the family of every victim of serious crime? Perhaps the Justice Minister, First Minister, Deputy First Minister should as well. Then of course the DPP, the AG and the Lord Chief Justice to explain sentencing policy?

    This was a terrible atrocity by what really seems to have upset some of the families and their ‘representatives’ is that the report found that there was no evidence that the RUC didn’t properly investigate the crime or colluded or that the Police spread the rumours about the IRA. IN fact it was the Army wot done that.

    But that’s not good enough for some. Unless all the allegations (no matter how outlandish or untrue) are vindicated the Ombudsman must be in league with the Police / covering up / a whitewash expert /doing a gross disservice to the families by not upholding their version of what happened.

  • Pete Baker

    As Al Hutchinson pointed out repeatedly, there seems to have been some confusion about his office’s remit – perhaps wilfully in some cases.

    He’s the Police Ombudsman.

    It’s not the Historical Enquiries Team.

  • If I remember right, did Mr Hutchinson not declare his reluctance, to historically review the RUC, when he took office? So how can anyone be surprised with his apparent attempt at widgery (whitewash)?

  • o’connor

    Christy Walsh

    ‘Widgery (whitewash) before the report is formally published? Too eager.

  • Pete Baker

    Here are Al Hutchinson’s actual, and rather more interesting, comments a few months after taking on the role of Police Ombudsman – as noted at the time.

    “In my final report as oversight commissioner I listed a number of challenges including policing the past or future. I said that both this office and the HET are blunt instruments too narrowly focused to solve society’s problems. After coming to office I’ve confirmed that is the right view but with an additional fact. Having talked to victims and families from across the board I know that they can’t be ignored and we need proper legislation to deal with that. Even if you could draw a line under the past I’m not sure you should because of the victims deserve the truth. And while getting answers can be cathartic to some there are also lessons [to] be learnt and which have been learnt.”

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Has John Taylor explained where he got his incorrect information from?

  • anne warren

    The Police Ombudsman’s Office is required by law to strive to deliver a police complaints system in which the public and police officers can have confidence.
    Our Vision
    Our vision is to provide excellence in the independent and impartial investigation of police complaints
    http://www.policeombudsman.org/modules/pages/about.cfm

    Doesn’t seem to have come up to scratch in this instance and it’s hard to see how they could carry out their mission and achieve their vision without talking to the complainants. Mr Hutchinson himself said (as quoted above) “I need to listen to them personally and hear the specific concerns that they’ve raised”.

    So far the investigation appears to have been a waste of time, money, manpower and a source of further distress to the families. Are we the taxpayers supposed to foot the bill for this shoddy service?

  • It is the Ombudsman job to investigate whatever is required. His investigation is meant to be impartial. If that is the case then, why should he talk to the families during the course of the investigation? Unless members of families have information relevant to the crime, and by that I mean the actual crime and not the consequences of the crime, however grim and heartrending the consequences may be/have been.

    Im not deriding or belittling the relevance of the families, just trying to see what is wrong witn not speaking to them before or during the investigation, surely to do so could be seen to show bias and even prejudice the findings of the report.

  • No I am not eager to be further disheartened by one quango after another in NI to reveal itself as a useless shame. Nuala O’Loan performed her role as Ambudsman superbly. Mr Hutchinson abviously not headed his own advice (as supplied by PB above) “Having talked to victims and families from across the board I know that they can’t be ignored”

    Regardless of what has been published in the BBC if Mr Hutchinson is wrong then yes he will have to go back and write it again or a more competent Ombudsman is required.

  • The importance of the families is, beyond mere curteasy, is that they may have a copy of some document or other fabric of evidence long since lost or destroyed by the RUC, whether unwittingly or intentionally.

    In long running cases like these those effected can often be the only ones trying to preserve the facts.

  • I have read other articles which suggested that Mr Hutchison would rather bury the past but below I got from a quick web search.

    “Those critics may have taken some comfort from Al Hutchinson’s own words. In his last report as police oversight commissioner, published in May this year, he included a section entitled – A Choice: Policing the Past, or Policing the Future?

    The title clearly suggests he believes it is a choice between the two, either police the past or police the future, not both simultaneously.”http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7081538.stm

  • Pete Baker

    Those particular comments are the ones referred to by Al Hutchinson in the quote provided.

    You can also find them via the linked post.

    Here’s the particularly relevant part of that quote

    “I said that both this office and the HET are blunt instruments too narrowly focused to solve society’s problems.”

    And, as he also said,

    “Even if you could draw a line under the past I’m not sure you should because of the victims deserve the truth. And while getting answers can be cathartic to some there are also lessons [to] be learnt and which have been learnt.”

  • Christy Walsh

    I have great sympathy for the families of the victims but not Im afraid much for what you say.

    Seeking information from the families of the victims is like asking the families of the victims of 9/11 or Lockerbie to provide evidence.

    It seems to me that this is the sort of thing that calls all such investigations into disrepute. If Mr Hutchinson thought otherwise before he began his investigation, he was wrong.

    All families of victims deserve our respect, empathy and sympathy, but none of that should impede or influence an impartial investigation.

  • We are both along the same path –though my point in light of todays sham suggests that he was not as enthusiastic or rigorous to investigate the past as was prudent for him to have done so.

    All that one can do is separate the PR from the facts when looking at his words compared against his actions.

  • Pete Baker

    “We are both along the same path”

    Possibly. But you’re rushing headlong in the opposite direction.

  • “All families of victims deserve our respect, empathy and sympathy, but none of that should impede or influence an impartial investigation.”

    I agree but where is it written that the RUC are the only source of information? Where is it said that if an investigation includes talking to victims relatives impartiality is lost?

    The Saville Report was not the fruit of ’empathy and sympathy’ but from the Families long and arduous struggle in presenting the facts, year, after year, after year until they succeeded.

  • Pippakin wrote “Seeking information from the families of the victims is like asking the families of the victims of 9/11 or Lockerbie to provide evidence.”

    The flip side of that in this context is, talking to the RUC is the same POTENTIALLY as talking to the perpetrators or those who colluded with the bombers –thus the reason for the investigation.

  • Christy Walsh

    If a member of a family, any family, has evidence then that person becomes a witness and should be treated as such.

    It may have escaped your notice but the Saville Report has not been entirely well received even though the British government fully endorsed it. It was not the way to run an impartial investigation, and it showed. And before you say anything else, I fully concurred with its findings.

    Families have a special place in investigation into the deaths of their loved ones, but they are not fundamental to the investigation and should neither be considered or treated as such.

  • I was aware that and trying discretely to correct your direction.

  • I presume what you mean is that while a family may not have been specifically at the scene or witness to an event then they are not material witnesses. True in most instances, but in cases with great time lapses in investigations then the families can often hold vital clues and relevant evidence amassed over years and from different sources. They may retain documents, letters, photographs, names of other witnesses….etc. A family then can become a primary source of information –that is often verified independently once discovered.
    what information they have because they have been

  • In this instance the families had a right to be spoken to and we do not know what information they may or may not have because they have never been given the chance.

  • anne warren

    To answer your query Pippakin about whether the Police Ombudsman should talk to the families – First of all Mr Hutchinson himself (not I or any other poster) said he needed to talk to them – which means he must have realised that not talking to them had been a mistake or an oversight .
    Secondly, as far as I am aware some of these people were actually in the vicinity when the bomb exploded If one does not talk to them how can one detemine whether they have information relevant to the crime? What seems to be a minor detail to a member of the public might be a major clue for a detective.
    It seems to be a question of professional thoroughness, leaving no stone unturned, following up all possible leads etc.
    Furthermore, not even having the names of victims and survivors in the right lists seems to be another indication of sloppy work.

  • Christy Walsh

    Its no good going into one because I disagree with you, thats been tried before.

    The RUC did not conduct the investigation into Bloody Sunday. Saville went everywhere and spoke to everyone. As far as I can see the findings were accurate. I agree Saville might not have happened without the families, but that should have been the extent of their involvement until the report was published.

    Over involvement endangers not just the investigation ‘in hand’ but, if disbelieved or discredited, endangers all future investigations.

  • Pete Baker

    You seem to be under the mistaken belief that because Al Hutchinson has not personally met with the relatives that means that his investigating officers have not.

  • TheHorse

    Obviously no-one did otherwise why the stink. Mentioning that would have avoided a lot of misunderstanding.

  • Pete Baker

    “Obviously”?

    Hutchinson was asked a very specific question.

    Which he answered honestly.

  • Mr Hutchinson acknowledged that they had not listened to the families and in interview has said that he will now do so, along with his investigating officer.

  • anne warren

    If you read my comment you would know that I said any family member of a victim with evidence relevant to the inquiry becomes a witness to that inquiry and should be treated as such.

    Familes and friends of all victims who pursue an investigation into crimes are to be admired and respected, but their place, as previously stated, is separate to any investigation.

    I said If Mr Hutchinson thought otherwise before the investigation, he was wrong. I believe that, not because Im taking sides. If I did I would be on the side of the families, but because Im concerned all investigations be carried out impartially, no ‘Widgery’ on any side allowed.

    As for the report itself. I have read excerpts and am prepared to wait for publication. If Mr Hutchinson is wrong I am sure we will all read and hear about it.

  • TheHorse

    Yes pete but Im sure Al Hutchinson understood the meaning of the question and the reaction to that response.

  • PB you write as if you know more than anyone else. Mr Hutchinson has conceded that he got it wrong so your persistent defense for this man’s apparent ‘neglience’ is futile.

  • MonkdeWallydeHonk

    I am old enough to remember this atrocity – I also knew the late Patsy McGurk – an extremely decent man.

    I can accept that it was the British Army (and their black propaganda division) who put about the disgusting lie that it was an IRA bomb.It was only 6 years later that a UVF terrorist confessed to his part in this slaughter that the British establishment admitted it was the UVF although they had always known the truth..

    There is a disgusting similarity with Bloody Sunday in that there was an attempt to smear innocent victims as IRA sympathisers when in fact they were murdered simply because they were Catholics.

    If I remember correctly, there was at least 1 eyewitness who saw someone running out of the bar just before the bomb went off and getting into a waiting car which sped off. Evidence that the RUC chose to ignore.

    Frankly, given the involvement of RUC/UDR men in “loyalist” terrorism over the years, I find it quite credible that there was collusion. However, if Hutchinson can find no clear evidence, then he is right to say that he cannot substantiate it.

    However, even in the “best” light – the RUC simply took the word of the British army that it was an IRA bomb and moved on.

    Frankly, I cannot believe that their own investigation did not
    show it was the UVF well before 1977. My personal belief is that, while they may not have actually colluded in the bombing, they cerayinly colluded in the cover up and maintaining the lie that it was the IRA until circumstances FORCED them to admit the truth.

    If their own investigation was so inept as to just go along with the British Army lies, then- at best – it shows them up as a bunch of incompetent fools.

    Having listened to Mr Hutchisnson, I have no faith in his competence either – this whole thing has been a shambles.

    To conclude that the RUC had carried out a thorough investigation into this atrocity is simply laughable.

    Unlike Widgery, who blatently lied and produced a whitewash at the behest of his politiical masters, I do not see a conspiracy in this report.

    It is simply a shambles. I am glad that he is at least rethinking it. If this is the best he can come up with – he should step down and be replaced.

  • The conspiracy you correctly note occurred from the outset, Mr Hutchinson, while seemingly distant from that conspiracy, has indulged his own apparent complacency which is no better a bed fellow. I think he may have made a choice to let the past escape, re: “A Choice: Policing the Past, or Policing the Future?”

  • castrosghost

    So Hutchinson basically asked the RUC what transpired,they said no idea and Hutchinson was happy to take their word for it.

  • Christy Walsh

    That’s as good a summation as could be made based on the evidence available.

  • RepublicanStones

    That police did not conduct a thorough investigation into the bombing.

    Wouldn’t the simple fact that they knew it was carried out by loyalists but chose to let the world think it was a republican ‘own goal’ be substantial enough for that to be the case?

  • castrosghost

    So the uvf had free movement in and out, (Killing for Britain) so who made the bomb? Loyalists or military intel.

  • Reader

    castrosghost: So the uvf had free movement in and out, (Killing for Britain)
    That’s the way pubs were – and still are, these days. People walk in, people walk out.
    castrosghost: so who made the bomb? Loyalists or military intel.
    Depends on who you think the targets were. If you think it was aimed at the IRA, then either, perhaps. If you think it was a sectarian attack, then loyalists, obviously.

  • RepublicanStones

    If you think it was a sectarian attack, then loyalists, obviously.

    Are you claiming reader that British forces throughout their history never have and therefore never would engage in such attacks?

  • o’connor

    No one screams louder for inquiries into loyalist/British atrocities than republicans and yet they are the ones who insisted it was a war. Its time they learned in real wars innocent people get killed, after all they were not so fussy who they killed.

  • RepublicanStones

    I think you’ll find plenty of unionists calling for inquiries into actual and alleged IRA atrocities. The problem comes when one participant tries to paint itself whiter than white, even though they were engaged in some very unsavoury activity. With regard to loyalists, their ‘campaign’ was a sideshow, it was the the PIRA and the British crown forces who were the main players. I’m all for open and honest inquiries into all. But you will never get that because it would necessitate the removal of the facade that the British were just neutral arbiters, trying to keep two warring tribes from killing eachother.

  • o’connor

    Republican Stones

    Agree, but so far not one inquiry into PIRA attrocities or Irish Goverment collusion. The British were not the only players in the game.

    I have no problem with investigations either. I think its important for the future, but to hear Sinn Fein talking as though any particular attrocity had nothing to do with them is a bit too rich for my stomach.

    As for this report. Hutchinson may have got it wrong. Its too early to say. He didn’t personally compile the lists or type the report. He may not even have proof read it. Time will tell.

  • Christy Walsh

    There has been nothing but inquiries into IRA attrocities they were called Diplock Courts –I dare say in comparison the costs of the Saville Inquiry probably looks like small change.

  • o’connor

    Christy Walsh

    Diplock Courts are used when there is a risk of intimidation or harm to jurors. The use of them is growing. It is being used in the south as well as in the UK. In addition a number of gang members (other than the IRA) have been tried under Diplock, which means republicans can no longer complain they are being victimised. Given the fact intimidation exists it is hard to disagree with the Diplock system.

    The cost of the legal system is a whole other argument, if it were up to me there would be serious cuts to the payments to baristers and solicitors, very serious.

  • RepublicanStones

    O’Connor Diplock courts absented one of the major tenets of the Magna Carta, that being the right to be judged by a jury of your peers. And meant that suspected republicans were judged and sentenced by the same man. That man was a member of the judiciary of the state which was engaged in a dirty little war with those who stood before him. And if you think the mere possibility of jury tampering means we should resort to abandoning trial by our peers instead of fixing the security and anonymity of the jury then i suggest you move to North Korea.

  • Watchman

    ‘As for this report. Hutchinson may have got it wrong. Its too early to say. He didn’t personally compile the lists or type the report. He may not even have proof read it. Time will tell.’

    I know a lady who would have let nothing leave her office before she’d read every word a dozen times. The point being that, whatever the rights, wrong, ins, outs and whatabouts of it, Al Hutchinson has made a pig’s breakfast of delivering this one. He’s responsible – that’s what the fat pay cheque at the end of every month means!

  • USA

    Peter Faker always writes that way, he has his agenda and does not care for the truth. In this case the new Ombudsman has presided over the publication of a major report that got the names of victims wrong and at one point even got the year of the atrocity wrong. Speaking to family members would have been prudent. This looks very bad, society deserves better.

  • If you visit our campaign website at http://www.themcgurksbarmassacre.com you will see that it is the families who have released the most damning evidence. For example, sections of a document unearthed by Caroline Parkes of the British Irish Rights Watch led a family researcher to uncover the document’s original front cover. This proved that is was an RUC document lodged in the ministry of Home Affairs (headed by John Taylor at the time). It was the original instant of the lie and disproves any notions of a “thorough” investigation. View it at http://www.themcgurksbarmassacre.com/images/ruc_collusion.jpg and compare it with the British army’s Director of Operations Brief (http://www.themcgurksbarmassacre.com/images/d_ops_brief.jpg – again found by a family researcher) and tell me that the RUC should be exonerated.

    Set courtesy aside, the reason Al Hutchinson should have spoken with families is because it is their research that is uncovering more information than any British organisation. Hence why we have been able to punch holes in this report even before it saw the light of day.

    I hasten to add that I have several incisive information requests that are being withheld by the Ministry of Defence that could inform the public further. Along with the Ombudsman shambles it is plain to see that media mismanagement and information control is still endemic.

    Ciará MacAirt, grandson of Kitty Irvine who was murdered in the McGurk’s Bar Massacre

  • o’connor

    Republican Stones

    Magna Carta is the bedrock of Englands legal system, but it did not and could not take into account the thugs (not just the IRA) doing harm today. Personally I think trial by jury is still the best way, but it is not the only way. If it were up to me I would enlarge Diplock to three judges, but that is the only alteration I would make given the danger a jury could be placed in,

    North Korea is a communist country. You need to ask yourself whose policies most closely resemble the kind of extreme left policies in theory in use in NK. It is ok to support such policies from the comfort of knowing you will, almost certainly, never have to live under them.

    If trial by jury is under threat, that threat comes not from people like me, but from any who turn a blind eye to the activities of those whose cause they support.

    The Hutchinson report may be flawed, there may have been collusion, as I keep saying, time will tell. If he has ignored evidence he will pay the price in terms of career and reputation.

  • o’connor

    Watchman

    If Hutchinson is wrong he will lose a great deal. He appears to, at the least, have neglected to check thoroughly the contents of the report. I want to know, for sure, why mistakes were made. Was it genuine error, or was it something more sinister. If it is other than incompetence there should be serious repercussions to his career, for that reason I am prepared to wait.

  • Alan maskey

    Will the Guardian hacks who reproduced the black propaganda be held to account?

  • RepublicanStones

    O’Connor the exact same argument you employ for the removal of trial by jury could be used to argue for its retention. The tampering of a jury in order to sway its opinion. Well as those sitting in Judgement were and are part of the British establishment, they could be ‘unduly sympathetic’ or biased toward the prosecution. I think you may be overstating the threat faced by those sitting on a jury. I agree however that the idea of enlarging Diplock’s quota of judges would be an improvement. Just one question – a majority or a unanimous decision?

  • o’connor

    Republican Stones

    Now you’re asking! I think, if I were ever in a position to select, I would say that three legally qualified and impartial judges should be able to agree unanimously. If not the argument would be on the evidence and legally sound. In which case the accused should be not guilty.

    It is not about the IRA anymore. Look at Dublin and Limerick and across the water almost every city. I am no longer certain the traditional, and in my opinion, by far the best method, works in every case.

  • Christy Walsh

    Not one instance of jury tampering has ever been verified. Current provision for non-jury trials requires the Prosecution to simply cry ‘jury tampering’ and the jury will be removed –no evidence need be produced and the defendant has no right of appeal. Therefore an irreversible adverse inference is drawn against an accused before they even stand trial –namely that they are a risk to a jury. All self-serving for the prosecution case that way they do not have to prove anything.

  • Christy Walsh

    Thanks for the link and when I update my own site I will add your link. My won site: http://www.christywalsh.com

  • Comrade Stalin

    Christy Walsh :

    Diplock courts like any other court do not investigate atrocities, they hear the evidence and then ajudicate. The idea that they are somehow inherently unjust is something that is not borne out by the facts :

    – jury trials don’t take place in most countries in the world including most Western democracies. The rationale given for this is that laypersons aren’t well placed to make judgements on complicated legal nuances.

    – the authorities failed on a number of occasions to successfully prosecute republicans in diplock courts. For example, a Diplock judge threw out the case that was taken against Gerry Adams for IRA membership.

    There’s a couple of dodgy things on your site. You say that the name “Diplock Courts” was discontinued. In fact, the term was never an official term. What I think you mean is that the old Prevention of Terrorism Act was abolished and its provisions continued under the Terrorism Act 2000.

    I really think it is a red herring. What makes you think a jury trial would have avoided your original wrongful conviction ? Miscarriages of justice happen even when juries are involved and, it is arguable that they are more likely when juries are involved.

  • castrosghost

    Or military intel as a means to undermine republican support. Use loyalists to plant it…however the dogs on the street knew it wasnt an IRA own goal. Did the RUC interview witnesses.

  • Christy Walsh

    Comrade Stalin thee should either be a jury for all or none at all this way certain individuals are not marginalized and fingered before their trial as posing a threat to a jury –immediate bias against an accused, for which no recovery might be possible. So you throw up the red herring you allude to –yes other countries have legal systems without juries but everyone is subject to the same.

    Extensive research has shown that juries are more intelligent and capable than the prosecution/police have previously suggested. They are very capable as even the Government has discovered http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications_media/media_releases/2010/0810.htm.

    I might also say that if a jury does not understand a case then chances are the defendant wont either –it is a human right that an accused be tried using language that he can understand and thus defend against (having lawyers does not remove this Convention right) –which means technical jargon might as well be as foreign as Swahili.

    The Diplock system (commonly recognized term) was discontinued in July 2007 but Section 1 of the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 providess for a “non-jury trial” in Northern Ireland –a move away from the term Diplock.

    Diplock courts removed a number of common law fair trial safe guards such a voir dire making it easier to secure a conviction.

    My case is not yet done officially I am still guilty so an Appeal Court judgment does not amount to much. However, I stole one of the prosecutors files at the close of my case –worth watching this space for what damning evidence I now have.

  • Christy Walsh

    Ps Miscarriages are less likely to occur under a jury –technically a jury cannot get it wrong –if you look at any miscarriage where a jury was at fault you will find in just about all, if not all, instances the judge misdirected the jury rather than anything the jury did wrong.

    My case would never have happened if I had a jury –absolute certainty.

  • iluvni

    Ciaran,
    In the immediate aftermath of the bomb, were British Army personnel on hand helping the locals?

  • Christy Walsh

    That British soldiers –did their duty or acted with compassion is not in question. Revelations over the years have suggested that British soldiers and RUC officers were allowed to drive/walk into ambushes in order to protect informants. Their lives have been as expendable, on occassion, as anyone else’s. British dirty tricks effected everyones lives –it is even plausible that the Intelligence services colluded with the IRA/INLA. One need only look to the fact that the head and deputy head of the IRA’s internal security were top informants –so who were they killing?

  • Christy Walsh

    O’Connor you make a lot of wild assertions toward jury intimidation –while it is always possible –there is not ONE verifiable instance of it ever actually having happened. Lord Diplock himself pointed that out in his notorious ‘Report’. So please back it up or give us a break.

    The whole thing is a myth to bolster the Prosecution’s chances of securing a conviction.

  • o’connor

    Christy Walsh

    I did not make ‘wild accusations’. The Diplock system is about the probability of jury tampering, and I believe jury intimidation is increasingly likely. Forget the IRA for a moment, look at Dublin or Limerick. If the gang murderers there are ever caught, what are the odds the jury may be threatened or got at?

    I read your site and as far as I can tell you have a case. A good lawyer should be able to help you and remember the law does not stop at the coast, these days most of our laws, both in the UK and ireland, can be over ruled by the EU.

    Do not treat reasonable doubt so dismissively, most countries do not use the jury system. I’m not in favour of Diplock, but nor can I say it is not justifiable.

  • Christy Walsh

    I said ‘assertions’ not ‘accusations’. Intimidation has been “likely” since the Magna Carta. Other countries do not use the same system –generally no-jury systems mean that everyone is tried without a jury –fair enough –but here the police and/or prosecution can have a jury removed and the accused has no right to appeal or challenge the evidence against them –nowhere in the world would that be considered fair or reasonable.

    I think you mean the European Court of Human Rights (and not EU) and no it has not got any magical powers –or authority over British Courts it is only persuasive -in most cases the Brits observe its findings but it can derogate and has too frequently.

    Now if you think the Prosecution service is unbiased enough to be the decider on whether or not a jury should be allowed –then take another look at my site –I have only just updated –without a jury the prosecutions case is made so much easier –my case is testimony to that.

  • Iluvni,

    One of the ironies was that ordinary soldiers of the 2nd Royal Regiment of the Fusiliers had momentarily set their guns aside to help the dig.
    At the same time, members of the Information Research Department (Maurice Tugwell and Hugh Mooney need questioned) were putting out their stories to the papers (John Chartres of the Times, a major in the TA, was good buddies with Mooney) and misdirecting the police who wilfully accepted military primacy.
    It was a coincidence, surely, that the two Ammunition Technical Officers who were on duty that night happened to be in a car together in the area and were one of the first units on the scene (the one surviving ATO tells a different story from the story he told his boss, Tuzo, in the Director of Operations Brief above).
    The grunt on the ground would not have been aware of what the Military Reaction Force (MRF) would have been up to, though. Hence why I have called for their leaders around the time (James Alastair McGregor CBE MC and Clive Graham Williams MM) to be questioned regarding black ops. In fact, I have traced where McGregor works today and have tried to get him to engage with me. He wouldn’t, so I published my research on his career (and a very interesting family connection) at http://www.themcgurksbarmassacre.com/images/From_Palestine_to_Belfast.pdf.

    I’d be very interested to hear what you think of it.

    C

  • Christy,

    Many thanks and well done in your own fight for justice.

    C