Arrest over murder at Mid Ulster Hospital

The BBC are reporting that a 54 year old man from Swatragh has been arrested over the 1981 murder of John Proctor who was murdered in the Mid Ulster Hospital car park after visiting his wife and newborn son.

There have been arrests over previous terrorist murders in the past without prosecutions necessarily following from it: notably over the Claudy murders in 2005. However, the fact that the police seem to be willing to arrest someone at least gives hope that the murders cannot be certain that they will not have to face justice: though of course even if anyone is convicted they will spend a pitifully short time in gaol. If the man currently accused of the murder of Jennifer Cardy (also 1981) faced, if convicted, but a few months in gaol there would be an outcry.

  • Oracle

    You forget just how many “rough ones” there were over the years

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Yes indeed there would be an outcry if Jennifer Cardys killer was released after a very short time.
    There will of course be a mini-outcry if a terrorist killer esapes Justice…there have been several times when that has happened over the years..TUV and Willie Fraser lead the outcry and very few people care…indeed this token outcry embarrasses serious unionist politicians within the Assembly.
    The murder at the hospital in Magherafelt in 1981 was of course horrific. Hospitals should be sacred ground and of course Turgon and I would be equally condemnatory of the 1976 murder of Máire Drumm in the Mater Hospital in Belfast.
    I dont know whether the killers were ever brought to justice.
    Does Turgon himself know?

    Of course Republicans talk of collusion in that killing.
    Although its more than likely that there was some collusion between hospital workers and IRA terrorists in the Magherafelt.
    What remains shocking….particuarly shocking …….is the killing on hospital grounds.
    Yet Id point to another kind of collusion.
    Frankly a lot of IRA and loyalist terrorists and of course RUC counter-terrorists visuted a lot of hospitals over a very long period of time seemingly without incident.
    I wonder if there was some kinda unofficial truce pertaining to hospital visits, family occasions etc.
    Now obviously all of us can think of additional incidents to Mr Proctor and Mrs Drumm (Nigel Dodds was once a target in similar circumstances), I recall a police officer shot at a wedding in Armagh for example and of course Michael Stone at Milltown.
    Republicans will of course talk of “harassment at IRA funerals” and whataboutery will ensue.

    But I think the fact that a 1981 (or any terrorist or counter-terrorist killer prior to 1998) cannot effectively be brought to justice is a consequence that our imperfect Peace..paid for by Creative Ambiguity (the big lie).
    We dont have an “all out peace”….where one side comprehensively defeated the other and carted Republicans and Unionists off to re-education camps…..a la Nazis or South Vietnamese so that a comprehensive “Peace” could be agreed.
    Nor did we really have a Balkans style “all out war”. Maybe the stand out feature is not the Proctor/Drumm killings within hospitals….but rather the several which were probably avoided.
    All of which makes Bloody Friday, Bloody Sunday, McGurks Bar, Darkley, La Mon, Shankill Butchers, Shankill Bomb, Ballymurphy Massacre, Claudy stand out as too many exceptions to the fact that we did not go to “all out” war.

  • fin

    With the recent elevation of an ex-UDR man to leadership of the UUP, the release of the Saville report and off course the release of the TUV pin-up Torrens Knight, it is timely that Turgon reminds us that murder is indeed murder, and as Turgon pointed out some months ago

    “…Rightly we are pleased that someone is on trial for the 1981 murder of Jennifer Cardy. As such if crimes were committed on Bloody Sunday then they should be assessed. The correct place to assess such and come to an appropriate conclusion is a court of law….”

    Unfortunately the victims of Bloody Sunday are still waiting for justice from HMG,

  • USA

    Enniskillen bomb, Ormeau bookmakers massacre, Loughinisland massacre, Warrenpoint bomb, Omagh bomb, Droppin Well bomb….etc, etc, etc.

  • Ulick

    Let’s face it Jennifer Cardy ws a 9 year old innocent wheres John Proctor was a willing participant in a conflict. He also knew the risks and got extremely well paid to take them. Both had horrific deaths, but the selective nature of these investigations into Troubles related deaths is very unsatisfactory and aren’t really helping anyone move on.

  • Turgon

    Ulick,
    If we for a moment follow the logic of your position: Kathyrn Eakin was a 9 year old innocent.

  • tacapall

    Whats the point of this thread, to use the murder of Jennifer Cardy as a yardstick comparing the killings of security force personel is scraping the bottom of the barrel especially when members of the party you support actively suppoted the release of a serial murderer and persistent violent offender and are silent about the non charging of those paras that murdered 13 people on bloody sunday. Lots of children were murdered by members of the security forces with plastic bullets, or young people murdered in stolen cars by trigger happy members of the ruc and british army one of those being in the grounds of the RVH, at least Mr Proctors family can maybe get closure that someone has been arrested and charged with his killing something that many families will never get who have had loved ones murdered by members of the RUC, UDR, British Army, SAS etc.

  • fin

    Yes, and unlike Kathryn we know who murdered Patrick Rooney the first child to be murdered in the Troubles, although noone went to jail for it, them Police and Army uniforms seem to provide the wearers with special ‘keep out of prison’ powers.

    Turgon, your pointless badly thought out whataboutry is boring, Elliott is beginning to appear dynamic and intellectual ……

  • interested

    Can anyone advise if changes have been made which undermine the powers of the historic investigations team to arrest and/or question witnesses?

  • Pippakin

    By far the most people to die during the troubles were murdered by the IRA or one of the ‘off spring’.

    Each time a case like this comes up the same state murders are bandied about as though continually naming them increases the number of deaths.

    How many times does this worn out ‘debate’ have to happen. It is time for amnesty.

  • fin

    “By far the most people to die during the troubles were murdered by the IRA or one of the ‘off spring’.”

    actually Pip the split is roughly 60% Rep, 30% unionist & 10% Army etc, so 60-40 so that’s a silly statement,

  • Peter Brown

    OK Fin explain that one to me again – by far the most could mean 1 1/2 times everyone else all added together or x 2 the next most deadly group – both of which apply here?

  • slug

    He has now been charged.

  • dublinsinnfeinsupporter

    Well said. There is no real benefit to be had in raking over these old cases.

  • Pippakin

    fin

    Oh, did I offend you? Tough.

    I may not have made myself clear let me reiterate:

    The IRA murdered Irish people they murdered their own, that in todays parlance is collateral damage and it is unacceptable.

    Personally I consider all murders to be too many and twenty percent more murders by the IRA to be ‘far more’.

  • Big Maggie

    Pippakin,

    How many times does this worn out ‘debate’ have to happen. It is time for amnesty.

    Well said. Shame that no one will listen. But hey, if we can’t go on hating, what’s the purpose of life in NI? :^(

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    And of course the Peace Agreement enshrines our right to hate each other.

  • lamhdearg

    Has this man been a bad boy again, is this why he has been charged.

  • lamhdearg

    I ask as S.F. seem quite about his arrest.

  • Pippakin

    Big Maggie

    people need to recover and revenge is not recovery.

  • Alan Maskey

    http://www.belfastmedia.com/columnists_article.php?ID=1037%20http://www.belfastmedia.com/columnists_article.php?ID=1036

    The Seen elsewhere links give this gem from Danny Morrisson explaining that the boys of the old brigade are going senile, forgetting everything, McGuinness and Adams in particular. Maybe they have forgotten this too.
    It will be interesting to see who this dude is. I bet he is not a leading member of PSF/Stormont.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Turgon, Robert Black has already been convicted of multiple murders, and I believe that he is first eligible for, though not guaranteed, release in 2029, at which time he will be 82 years old. He likely won’t survive his current term of incarceration. No doubt that Mr. Black finds the current criminal proceeding a welcome break in the monotony of prison life, and to the extent that he might get transported from his cell to the court for court proceedings, then there’s the benefit of a change in scenery as well. If you saw it from his end and not from a righteous indignation, you’d see how the current proceeding is doing him a favor. I would prefer that you all skip the doing him a favor, but that’s your call to make and not mine. Almost forgot, but if you’ve perused the material that is available re these serial miscreants, well, seems that more than a few take great pleasure in being able to relieve their deeds again by way of the recitation of the same during court proceedings. So one more reason to not do him any favors.

  • Alan Maskey

    What was the name of the North Belfast RC woman who was gang raped in fronnt of her mentally handicapped son before he was shot dead in front of her? Did his killers subseqentrly join the TUV/RUC reserve and if not, why not?

  • fin

    you, offend me, hardly Pip, I just enjoy pointing out the silliness of your posts, a little knowledge goes along way on Slugger, incidently NI is part of the UK, therefore pretty much everyone murdered was a British subject, so you appear to be compounding your previous silly statement

  • Pippakin

    fin

    Good morning. The weather in London is almost certainly warmer than it is here. What are you the little sinner sleeper sheep?

    I told you why I used the sentence. I will not be changing my mind any time soon especially for someone making his life and living in England. The words ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ spring to mind.

  • fin

    tut tut, more silly statements, its the 21st century Pip, the hands that feed me are in the UK, USA, Netherlands, and Germany, the hands that feed me in the UK are primarily a Aussie company and a Belguim company.

    The weather here is rubbish I’ll be glad to get back to Ireland for a break in October.

    And I never expected you to retract your sentence, if you ever started retracting your nonsense statements….well, where would stop

  • pippakin

    fin

    It might stop when you grow up. Who knows. The IRA murdered more than 2000 people, that in my opinion is by far the most.

    Stop the personal abuse. It belittles you.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Of course not, not with so many of your political comrades likely to be guilty of them.

  • Reader

    Pippakin: How many times does this worn out ‘debate’ have to happen. It is time for amnesty.
    You have the option of forming a political party and campaigning with an amnesty as part of your manifesto. It is probably essential that you either form a cross community party, or form a cross-community platform with a unionist party, if you are to eventually get your way.
    Alternatively, you could try to get existing parties across the spectrum to put an amnesty in their manifestos. Personally, I won’t vote for a party that would do that.

  • Pippakin

    Reader

    That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. As to any party I might join, let’s put it this way I would neither vote for or join a party that would have your views in it.

    Sorry if that sounds brutal but the world has moved on and so must you, that or get out of the way of reconciliation.

    What do you want more anger, more violence? so you can feel wrongs are being put right. Is that it? If it is what do you think the ‘other’ side want.

  • fin

    What might stop when I grow up?

    The IRA murdered more than 2000? really I always thought it was circa 1800, sure you’re looking at the right wikipedia entry as we crash into silly statement No.54364

    And gosh are you always going to go on about it, the RAF done x20 over Hamburg in a week, including lots of 9yo’s

  • Reader

    Pippakin: I would neither vote for or join a party that would have your views in it.
    Are you so opposed to the notion that murderers should be tried for murder? And what parties have you found that *do* support an amnesty? Or will you just spoil your ballots until you find one?
    By the way, what has amnesty got to do with reconciliation? The vast majority of us all never committed any murder, and are not particularly concerned with the feelings or prospects of those who have got away with murder so far.

  • Pippakin

    fin

    2050 is the figure I had. I hope it is wrong. I hope it is much less!

    As for you I am weary of your endless, silly, hypocritical sniping.

    Find someone else.

  • Pippakin

    Reader

    No. I’m not and I confess when I saw the news tonight and heard about the accused and his school principal wife, for a moment I was so angry! I thought how unfair. How wrong. If this man murdered someone, that he has been able to live with his family and they have had the comfort and security of having their husband/father with them when he denied another family that basic right.

    The historical evidence team are working through these old cases and each one reopens wounds. As I understand it the evidence is DNA and the defence are disputing it. He may not be guilty and even if he is he may ‘get off. If either happens people who have already suffered enormously will suffer again, and those who thrive on the troubles will have been given more grist to their mill.

    I completely understand the objections to amnesty but I honestly believe it is the best, cleanest way forward.

  • JJ malloy

    That is sick

  • JJ malloy

    I’m starting to come around to amnesty too. Every few months or so some incident from the past is brought up that just brings back the animosity and churns up the old hatred wheel once again.

    Let’s move on, and say NEVER AGAIN!

  • JJ malloy

    One more thing.

    Members of the British Army who purposely killed and maimed civilians during the troubles, with plenty of witnesses, will never ever be brought up on charges. Ever. In the early years of the conflict the BA has a lot to answer for.

    Nor will other members of the state, most likely.

  • JJ malloy

    One more thing.

    Members of the British Army who purposely killed and maimed civilians during the troubles, with plenty of witnesses, will never ever be brought up on charges. Ever. In the early years of the conflict in particular the BA has a lot to answer for.

    Nor will other members of the state, most likely.

  • Pippakin

    JJ malloy

    You are right of course. The odds on any member of the armed forces facing charges as a result of their actions are I believe extremely unlikely.

  • fin

    hypocritical? me, in what respect?

    Good news for you Pip, your figure of 2050 is wrong.

    Weary, bit harsh pip slugger readers put up with your uneducated rantings without getting weary, seems only fair you should suffer my ‘hypocritical’ posts.

    Care to share some more of your solutions to the world’s problems with us prior to being you being elected unopposed as general secretary of the UN

  • fin

    “How wrong. If this man murdered someone, that he has been able to live with his family and they have had the comfort and security of having their husband/father with them when he denied another family that basic right.”

    Are you saying if the victim hasn’t a family and/or kids it’s ok for the murderer to have a family, but if the victim had a family it’s wrong.

    What if either the victim or the murderer was gay, are they allowed to have a partner?

    Say the victim was a widow/er is it better for the murderer to have a living partner?

    Do share some more insights

  • Pippakin

    fin

    For the hard of thinking I am saying it is time for amnesty.

  • sdelaneys

    Perhaps he has (and I know nothing about him so it’s only perhaps) been critical of Stormont as a vehicle to trundle us into a United Ireland.

  • jim

    cant remember her name but you called the wee cxxt hinton who done it hes a local bar fly up the shankill.oh and he got politial status if ya dont mind.