Twenty seven years ago

On this day, twenty seven years ago , the PIRA bomb team, which I have publicly named, [ all of whom are still alive, some active in the SF/IRA election campaign in North Belfast] killed my father and so wounded my mother that she died the next day.

Let’s focus on  my mother, Ellen Sefton, aged 66, retired. Her only connection to “the conflict ” as SF/IRA now call it, was to be married to my father and to be a Protestant. No words of apology were ever uttered  by PIRA about her  death. She was the subject of a sectarian assassination involving collusion by the State, no different to those killings suggested by republicans. In all the forty years I knew her she never uttered a word against Roman Catholics. She was ahead of her time. She  befriended gays and Jews and loved the  heady atmosphere of New York. She loved its words and its freedom. She loved her family. She looked after  her mother till she died at 92.  She was full of life. She was my biggest fan. Perhaps that’s why it hurts so much.

Twenty seven years on , the State campaign of ‘forgive and forget’ is still being waged. Useful young idiots , solicitors, businessmen etc. are tapped up with promises of places on NGOs, slap up dinners, and photographs with the great and the good; if only they would embrace the “Peace Process”. The hurt and damage that these people cause  is beyond measure.

For all of these 27 years the State has lied to me, about the big stuff, its involvement  with PIRA, with Libya -and about the little stuff, who knew what about  UCBTs. The State knows who killed my parents, why would they not? They had so many informers that  by 1990 they had over run PIRA. So why don’t they come clean? What dead hand prevents disclosure? Who protects the like of Sean Maguire? To what end?

Who could believe the British Government about any security issue, old or current? A lesson that many of us have learned and many of the relatives of  the dead of Manchester and London will soon learn. Nothing is ever as it seems and the State will always lie to you.

I miss my parents every day.

I’ll continue to fight for them till my dying breath. It has cost me every material thing  I owned  but that doesn’t matter.

If I don’t do it , who will?

And I still own myself….

Advertisements

Is John Finucane a SF/IRA dupe?

It’ s hard to imagine [almost] the horror that John Finucane witnessed, although  he was not by any means an isolated case.

I knew, worked with and liked his father, who was a contemporary.

Since then, John has qualified and practised as a solicitor, seemingly uninterested in politics, till now.

It would be difficult for an impartial observer to conclude otherwise than he is anti-British.

He and I have a common interest . As his mother put it, who sent the gunmen? I want to know who sent the bomb team that murdered my parents. Our common suspicion is that the State was involved.

Here, the stories diverge.

The other night, John shared a platform with two IRA volunteers, Kelly and Na Chullin. Worse, he was photographed beside Sean Maguire, who was part of the operation that killed my parents. Maguire was a prominent member of PIRA in 1990 and also an informer for the State. He was with Scap when they visited the house where Sandy Lynch was held. Maguire may be managing his publicity, I don’t know. Maguire, who ‘qualified’ as a journalist after his release from prison, benefitted from the general amnesty for touts, agreed some years ago by the Army Council and now lives in the Oldpark area of Belfast.

What sort of world is John currently inhabiting? Does he really believe his own publicity about equality and  justice for all? Why does he share a platform with terrorists ? Was not his candidature agreed by the Army Council?

Is it the same old Finucane deal, Uncles John , Dermot and Seamus?

The fascinating thing that the Finucanes have in common with the Adams Family is that one  outstanding family member , Pat Finucane  and Gerry Adams never joined the IRA.

I wonder what the moderate Roman  Catholics of North Belfast think?

And for whom will they vote?

And why is John Finucane, Human Rights lawyer, sharing a platform with terrorists?

My life in a Banana Republic:December.

Jambo!

I have observed the silence because, since your summer, I have been in my homeland.

A man such as myself , with many Degrees from the Queen’s University is well respected and much sought after in my country.

My Uncle, who is Prime Minister, appointed me Minister for the Environment. In this way I was able to look after our oil interests and the family coal fired power station, built on the lands of a rival tribe.

But I was restless, I sought a new challenge.

Imagine my excitement when I saw an advertisement for a CEO of the Community Research and Action Program. I leapt at the chance. There was much assessment and interviewing. I sensed that the two tribes were at war when I was asked if I knew the Great She Elephant or the President-for-Life. I said no and consequentially received the post.

It is most satisfying and my eyes have been opened wide. No procurement rules are obeyed. You can sell your land to the government for a new road, then when a judge forbids the road, the government gives you the land back and puts up the fences again. You get an incentive to burn as much wood as you like. Men roam the streets with large bags of cash. No wrongdoing goes beyond a committee, which buries it. In fact, I have learned a new word. Largesse. It is never off the lips of community workers, who are often former  or part time warriors. My friend , Dingle, says that Largesse is the new opiate of the masses.

This is certainly true. I have only met one politician who is not availing of this thing. That is Jim Allister. He is a grumpy man who is constantly revolted by sodomy. Jim would not fit in my country. He does not have fun or Largesse. That is why he frowns so much.

On the opposite hand, I saw Emma Aardvark Lyttle Pengelly in Templepatrick Evergreen on Saturday. She was munching her Greggs pasty and having fun. Maybe she gets  a lot of Largesse.

I have written to my Uncle to give him some tippings on what he calls Pork Barrel Politics. He is behind the times. Largesse is the new Pork Barrel. Northern Ireland is open for business!

And I am revelling in the CRAP.

Jambo!

Moussa Koussa and the Chief Constable

I wrote to George in December 2015 about evidence that Andrew MacKinlay had given the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. He said that MK “would have known about Semtex and the supplying of arms to the IRA over many years and probably authorised it”. I asked George if MK was interviewed by his officers when MK had his stop over in the UK and if he intended to seek MK’s extradition from Qatar.

At the end of January 2016 “Will Kerr OBE Assistant Chief Constable, Crime Operations” replied. This all came as a big surprise to him and , no , they did not interview him and no, he was “not currently being sought in connection with an offence in Northern Ireland”. He did say that they were trying to get an address for Mr McKinlay [sic] so that they could “establish whether he possesses evidence of Mr Koussa having committed a criminal  offence”. I suppose they might ask Mr MacKinlay who received the Semtex in Ireland, though that might be embarrassing for the NI Executive.

Of course, George could have popped in to say hello to MK , when he visited Qatar recently. The Belfast Telegraph reported that George had an all expenses visit to Doha and stayed at the  luxury St Regis Hotel. Given that MK was booted out of his suite at the Four Seasons Hotel and now lives in a small house , it was the least George could have done to have taken him for a slap up meal at his place.

There, he could have asked him to relate his life as a CIA/MI5 agent and tell George stirring tales of shipping Semtex to Martin McGuinness and other the other chaps that George shared a platform with in West Belfast. He could have given George a rough estimate of how many people died as a result. What George refers to as “legacy issues”. MK could have explained how MI6 rescued him from Libya and flew him on an executive jet to the UK before MK retired to Qatar.

Mk and George could have chatted about flogging , torture and the deaths of 1,000 workers in Doha. They could have mentioned corruption around the World Cup.

George could have told him that the PSNI always “follows the evidence”.

Alas the PSNI’s “human rights based policing approach” seems not to have borne fruit and George came home with no new news about MK.

Meanwhile I have this assurance from Will. “if evidence exists relating to offences in Northern Ireland, we will consider what further action is necessary in accordance with our statutory obligations”.

Take it easy Moussa!

The past

 

My attention turns towards Christmas Past. Who can avoid such stuff?

Thousands contemplate the empty place at the table , the gift not bought.

“the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to” comes to all our doors.

Christmas is especially burdensome for those who have lost relatives or friends at the hands of terrorists. Much worse again if the crime was committed by the State.

As time moves on ,those OxBridge boys and girls in Whitehall look for ever more cunning ways to disengage GB  from the disaster which is Northern Ireland.

The Army is perplexed as  to why its squaddies might be prosecuted. I’d be happier if an officer or two was in the frame but what do you think is the likelihood of that?

Here, George Hamilton, the somewhat sturdy leader of the Constabulary calls the murders of my parents, in June 1990, a ” legacy issue”. Extraordinary for a policeman. More and more as he manoeuvres at the behest of his paymasters [those OxBridge ones again]  he wants nothing more to do with old crimes.

Only in the fantasy world of Northern Ireland would the most senior police officer suggest such a course.He is pretending that this all came as a terrible shock when he became Chief Constable. What a jolly jape!

Nothing to do with me Guv!

But there is worse.

In November 2015 Pablo de Grieff , the UN rapporteur on transitional justice , published a preliminary report on us.

He says that there are four pillars in a transitional justice policy;  truth , justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.

On all of these the Northern Ireland vehicle is running on empty.

During his ten day visit he met [apparently] with a wide range of people. It didn’t take him long to spot our segregated education system as being a major problem.

Nor did the Spooks pass him by. Here is what he said about that:

“Although everyone must acknowledge the significance of national security concerns, it must also be acknowledged that particularly in the days we are living in , it is easy to use ‘national security’ as a blanket term.”

For those who have been bereaved, the sting is in the tail.

He says: “the issue of reparations for victims will need to be tacked in a serious and systematic way.  Here it may be important to bear in mind the many international experiences that have established reparations programmes on the basis of broad acknowledgement of responsibility distinct from acknowledgements of criminal guilt.”

In this jurisdiction no organisation has remotely come near  this standard.

It is facile and useless to expect the Northern Ireland Executive might so do. Might our Westminster MPs? Might the Victims’ Commissioner?

Barra and George

Barra McGrory has been in post since 2011. Time enough , you might think, to get the basics right.

Let’s look at how his team is doing on disclosure.

Disclosure,  Dear Reader is an obligation placed on the prosecution to give to the defence any material [statements, forensics etc.] that might be considered capable of undermining the case for the prosecution or of assisting the case for the accused. In other words the prosecution cannot hide evidence which does not suit their case.

This month,  Criminal Justice Inspection NI published a report into the quality of police files.

It found that “disclosure was dealt with satisfactorily by police in only 23% of Crown Court cases. This is unacceptable”.

In his report Brendan McGuigan , Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice, listed the consequences of disclosure obligations not being followed. See para 3.41. Astonishingly, he failed to mention the most important risk of all, that an innocent man might be convicted.

Imagine that you are wrongly accused of shoplifting. Your defence is that you were not in the shop at the time, you were walking in the local  park. The police fail to disclose that they took a statement from a man who  recognised you , walking a dog.

You are convicted.

The issue of disclosure has featured in many  appeals and  in references by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. It is not new and it is not rocket science and the subsequent acquittals or quashings of conviction may only be the tip of the iceberg.

You might be tempted to say ‘ now that it has been highlighted I’m sure George and Barra will fix it’.

Well, in April 2013 the Inspector found that the PPS records of continuing disclosure to defence teams were “not good” and some compliances were “very poor”.

So what did Barra say about that?

He said ” I am confident that the PPS can rise to the challenges highlighted”.

Well Barra, as they say in Belfast has not “riz” at all. This despite publicly criticising PSNI files in March 2012 , only four months into the job, in an effort to divert attention away from his underachieving and dysfunctional Service.

The lesson?  Try not to be prosecuted in the Crown Court in Northern Ireland. It is a dangerous place for defendants.

All of this has received little coverage in a media obsessed with sensation.

More disturbingly, unless I have missed it ,the Criminal Bar Association [with justice  as its watchword],  has not commented on this limp  performance by Barra and George.

Barra would serve justice better by putting his head down and delivering a first class prosecution system, instead of sound bites.

Wheels within wheels

Liam Clarke, in his article in the Belfast Telegraph on 18 June says: “the Castlereagh raid allowed the IRA to identify the entire agent network in Belfast through a process of elimination.”

It is interesting that this observation, relating to events which occurred in 2002, passed without apparent comment in the media.

Was the “raid” in fact a hostile act by a devilishly cunning SF/IRA unit or was it staged? Was the insider in fact Larry the Chef, a state agent, and was the object of the state to further destabilise SF/IRA?

Larry was never prosecuted, a decision made jointly by the police, who took him out of the jurisdiction and the PPS.

Guess who was asked to investigate? A man call Chilcott.

Could Barney Rowan help?

Imagine the scene at the army council when the product of the raid was tabled. “Gerry, I never knew….you too Marty….gosh and you , and you”. It is unlikely that anyone on the army council failed to make the grade.

So why the silence both from the media and from SF/IRA?

It’s the Peace Process Stupid!