Whether we like it or not there is a very bad smell emanating from the past….

So victims are ripping for justice whilst the Justice Minister tells them that the new arrangements will bring at maximum two convictions. Those convicted before 1998 have served not more than two years, which neatly fits with the fact that no one has been convicted since then in accordance with a secret plea (bar individuals like Gerry McGeough who was arrested after running against SF in 2007) made by Gerry Adams (to the Brits) that such would be against the … Read more

PSNI failed injunction against the BBC over new Claudy investigation shows uncertain touch

What was Chief Constable Baggot thinking of when he sought an injunction to try to halt the airing of this week’s BBC Spotlight on the state of a new PSNI investigation into the Claudy bombings? The move has revealed a dramatic revival of police interest in the case after the post-Saville furore that Claudy was one of many atrocities that had been forgotten, a view underscored by DUP MPs in the Commons debate on the Saville report only yesterday.  I … Read more

Claudy: forgotten no longer

When the Claudy Report by the Police Ombudsman was unveiled last week it looked very much as if it would be a one or at most a two day wonder. This was one of the forgotten atrocities of the troubles, like so many others. There seemed little in the way of an organised victims’ group and few politicians apart from the local UUP councillor and Gregory Campbell pushing the issue: Campbell is an extremely busy man and Mary Hamilton is … Read more

Mistruths, untruths, disingenuousness and Claudy – when is it ok to lie in Politics?

Last week Owen Patterson the  NI Sec State said: “Our position is completely clear, and consistent with previous governments, you cannot have meaningful talks, serious discussions, real negotiations whatever you want to call them with people who are not absolutely committed to peaceful means of pursuing their goals,”. Using a good Northern Ireland phrase ‘the dogs in the streets’ know that previous British governments had been talking  with terrorists all the way back to the early 70’s. So is Patterson … Read more

“The Cardinal said that he knew that the priest was a very bad man…”

The Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchison, has published the findings of his “investigation into how the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) dealt with their suspicions that a Catholic priest was allegedly involved in the bombing of Claudy in County Londonderry on 31 July 1972, in which nine people were killed and more than 30 others were injured.”  The full report is available here [pdf file].  BBC report here.  From the Police Ombudsman’s statement The Police Ombudsman’s Office has confirmed that … Read more