“That would require approval by the justice committee, the executive and by the assembly as a whole”

According to the BBC report’s headline -“Justice minister may look into the rehiring of RUC officers”.  Well, he may. At issue, apparently, are the unknown number of former RUC officers in the 399 staff currently supplied by a recruitment agency for temporary employment, as civilians, by the PSNI.  Apparently, again, “Sinn Fein has asked the Northern Ireland Audit Office to investigate the issue.”  [Because the NI Policing Board decided not to? – Ed]  Possibly… But as the first linked BBC report notes of the …

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To the objective, impartial observer, disturbing questions about collusive and corrupt behaviour are raised

The families of the Miami Show Band members gave their reaction to the HET’s report today on the killing of three members in 1975. In a detailed statement, the survivors of the attack report that the HET concluded: ‘To the objective, impartial observer, disturbing questions about collusive and corrupt behaviour are raised. The HET review has found no means to assuage or rebut these concerns and that is a deeply troubling matter.’ This is in specific reference to evidence relating …

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Former Assistant Garda Commissioner Kevin Carty fails to turn up at Smithwick Tribunal. Again.

The latest updates on proceedings at the Smithwick Tribunal in the BBC and the RTÉ reports both lead with news that the tribunal is to relocate to the Special Criminal Court for Monday’s appearance by convicted Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt.  But the bulk of both reports concern the [repeated] non-appearance of former Assistant Garda Commissioner Kevin Carty.  As the BBC report notes Kevin Carty assisted in an internal garda probe conducted in the days after the murders, into what garda officers or …

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Mary Lynch in the Impartial: saying things that need to be said

Mary Lynch was mentioned on slugger a couple of months ago when there were complaints about her column in the Impartial Reporter. Ms. Lynch refers to those comments in her latest piece saying: “I may not say things that people want to hear but these things need to be said.” On this occasion one of the things Ms. Lynch felt the need to say was about her “illegal and inhumane treatment in 1978” (by the RUC). This treatment seems indeed …

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NI Police Ombudsman: “we have no evidence of a deliberate action…”

The Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson’s report on the investigation into the murder of 6 people in Loughinisland by the UVF in 1994 has been published.  To the anger of the relatives of those killed. Al Hutchinson’s comments in the UTV report sum up his position, and the problem for those relatives. “The families believe there is broad state collusion, our remit is only to focus on police actions, I have said there no collusion in two incidents and insufficient …

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Smithwick Tribunal: Former Provisional IRA leaders met Tribunal’s legal team “in recent weeks”

The BBC reports that, at today’s public hearing, the Smithwick Tribunal was told that its legal team had held “a face-to face meeting with three former members of the Provisional IRA in recent weeks.”  From the BBC report It was told the three former IRA leaders, one of whom had a command role in the attack, had met the tribunal. Their evidence will be presented to the inquiry shortly. The tribunal was told the IRA members gave detailed accounts and replied to questions from the inquiry …

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Rosemary Nelson Inquiry Report

The Rosemary Nelson Inquiry report has been published [pdf file].  As the BBC headline notes, the inquiry found there was “‘no collusion’ in murder”.  But their home affairs correspondent, Vincent Kearney, adds The government and police will be relieved at one level at the finding that there was no direct collusion. However there are enough grounds for concern because the report points to a very negative view of Rosemary Nelson which it says may have contributed to making her a …

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Scappaticci granted legal representation at Smithwick Tribunal

The Smithwick Tribunal may have opened in 2006, but the public hearings are only to begin in June this year.  The tribunal’s terms of reference are Tribunal of Inquiry  into suggestions that members of An Garda Síochána or other employees of  the State colluded in the fatal shootings of RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and RUC Superintendent Robert Buchanan on the 20th March, 1989. And the Tribunal’s rules of procedure adds a interpretation of those terms 9.         The Tribunal’s Terms …

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Government apologises over Majella O’Hare killing

Another of the wrongs of the past forty years here in Northern Ireland has been acknowledged. The BBC are reporting that the government has apologised in writing to the family of Majella O’Hare who was killed by a soldier in Whitecross Co. Armagh on 18th August 1976. Miss O’Hare (aged 12) was on her way home from church when she was shot in the back by Private Michael Williams. At the time Williams claimed that he was returning fire on …

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End of history: Or how I learned to start worrying and forget about my bombs

Carál Ní Chuilín, MLA and Gerry Kelly, MLA are both open and proud on their previous membership of a now defunct branch of Óglaigh na hÉireann. Both served prison sentences for bombing campaigns in areas mainly used by ‘civilians’ on behalf of that IRA. When the most recent in a long line of British ‘Chief Constables’ controlling policing in the north of Ireland needed a comparative for the recent extended disruption on the Antrim Road, he choose the Omagh bomb. …

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Book-Token

It seems we will be saying goodbye to many political faces as the Assembly and needlessly delayed council elections approach. The latest to fall is the unelected MLA for East Derry, former lots of things, Cllr Billy Leonard. The declared reason from the 55yr old for leaving political life is the time required to write a book (he clearly doesn’t have the stamina of an older, prolific SF author) Blank

Historical Enquiry: “…this is not an out-of-control situation”

The Historical Enquiries Team (HET) categorically states that it isn’t part of any political or ‘truth and reconciliation’ process. That may be, but as the only ship on the water, it’s uncomfortable jetsam is washing up on our shores every now and again. Two of the latest stories emanating from HET will no doubt be dismissed on the basis of their relative merits on the whataboutery scale, or, as simply unwanted dredging up of the past. In the first case, undercover soldiers were watching a shopping …

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Ask the right question! Dealing with the PSNI

Today the PSNI Chief Constable has been plastered across the media bemoaning costs associated to dealing with public disorder in the Ardoyne during July. He has been very forthcoming with the sums involved and what thay could have been spent on otherwise. However, I recently asked the PSNI several questions under FoI legisaltion in relation to 11th July bonfire incidents and they have refused to answer a single one on the basis the first question ‘ how many bonfire related …

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PSNI’s media message/massage/pummelling

Last week Rusty noted how journalist Eammon MacDermott had property confiscated by the PSNI as part of an investigation into armed republican activity in Derry. While some may think the fact he was an ex-prisoner could have influenced the PSNI reaction, British policing has a long history of heavy handedness when it comes to freedom of the press in Ireland. Back in 1999 Ed Moloney faced gaol over refusing to pass on interview notes with William Stobie. Moloney won the …

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