Smithwick and Mains- a taster

The Belfast Telegraph has published a gushing article about Alan Mains.  What it does not mention is his controversial evidence at the Smithwick Inquiry. This investigated the murders of Breen and Buchanan by PIRA.

It has never been clear why Mains did not accompany his friend and boss , Breen to Dundalk.

Three possibilities immediately present themselves:

  1. He was never tasked to go.
  2. He asked Breen might he have time off to play rugby.
  3. He wanted to go to the gym.

Readers need to study the report to decide which, if any of these is the truth. The rugby one is repeated in the Belfast Telegraph article.

Jamie Bryson wrote about Mains in his  book , Three Headed Dog. He alleged that Mains worked for MI5. He was Kevin Fulton’s handler, inter alia.

Mains never sued.

Most RUC officers I have spoken to regard Mains as a fantasist, claiming to have been here and there, without cause.

He went so far to tell me that he had been at the scene of my parents’ murders, yet nobody I have spoken to recalls him being there or why he would have had any need to be there. There is no evidence in the papers I have seen , of his presence.

His rise to stardom was connected to his friendship with Ronnie Flanagan, that bibulous womaniser, who did the bidding of the British state in rebranding the RUC.

Anyway, don’t take my word for it, read Smithwick.

So Dear Belfast Telegraph, next time you want to eulogise someone like Mains, do you homework.

Here is the extract.

“6.1.16 Mr Mains gave evidence over the course of two days and was robustly cross – examined by both counsel for the Garda Commissioner and counsel for Mr Owen Corrigan. It is fair to say that one of the central points of their cross – examination is that Mr Mains’ original statement of 22nd March 1989 appears inconsistent with his evidence about:

(i) Chief Superintendent Breen asking Mr Mains him to accompany him to Dundalk;

(ii) his being asked to phone Bob Buchanan to see if Superintendent Buchanan was available to go to Dundalk; and

(iii) his making a telephone call to the Dundalk Garda Station on Chief Superintendent Breen’s behalf to arrange the meeting.

It was, in essence, suggested that Mr Mains’ written statement of 22nd March 1989 does not support his evidence in relation to these three aspects and therefore affects his overall credibility as a witness.

6.1.17 It is the case that the following part of Mr Mains’s statement does not sit easily with his evidence in relation to his role in setting up the meeting in Dundalk:

“He [Chief Superintendent Breen] informed me that he had to attend a meeting in Dundalk that afternoon with the Border Superintendent, Superintendent Buchanan, along with Chief Superintendent Nolan, Garda.”

 

6.1.24 “I would add that it appears from all of the evidence before me that neither the statement which Mr Mains did provide in 1989 – which refers to Harry Breen’s concerns about unnamed members of An Garda Síochána – nor the further specific information in relation to Owen Corrigan which I find as a fact Mr Mains did share with the senior officers, was communicated to An Garda Síochána. I find this extremely surprising. In the immediate aftermath of the killings of two of the most senior RUC officers to be murdered in the Troubles, the RUC was informed that one of them, only hours before is death, had expressed concerns about a Garda officer being in the pay of ‘Slab’ Murphy. It seems incomprehensible to me why the RUC did not immediately raise that matter with An Garda Síochána. The likeliest explanation that one can find on the evidence is Mr Mains’ account of what Sir John Hermon said to him in Newry on 21st March 1989, namely that Owen Corrigan had already been investigated and had been cleared. Yet both the Police Service of Northern Ireland and An Garda Síochána have indicated to the Tribunal that there is no documentation to support the suggestion that such an investigation in relation to Detective Sergeant Corrigan was carried out. I am therefore compelled to the view that the information ought to have been, but was not, shared with the Gardaí, and no reasonable explanation for this failure can be discerned.”

It should also be pointed out that no RUC officer , called to give evidence at Smithwick, remembered Mains’s  alleged meeting with the Chief Constable.

 

 

 

 

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My life in a banana republic-Latin edition

Jambo!

Or as the Romans said “salvete”.

My father and uncle were keen that I should get a good education in my home country, so they handed me over to the nuns when I was four. Then I was educated by the Jesuits at my country’s leading grammar school. Dingle asked me if they were violent. I said no , but the nuns could punch their weight.

So the Jesuits taught me Latin. This has stood me in good stead. I recognise many Latin words in English. The lawyers are particularly fond of it. John Larkin never lets a paragraph go by with out a ‘bon mot’ or should I say a ‘verbum bonum’.

Why all this pretentiousness?

I had difficult questions for Dingle, my friend, part academic, part soldier, part philosopher.

Me: Dingle, the police exist to investigate crime?

D: Yes

Me: So all crime is investigated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland?

D: Not necessarily.

Me: What crimes would the PSNI not investigate?

D: If a police officer was alleged to have committed a crime.

Me: Who investigates that?

D: The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.

Me: Is he a policeman?

D: No , but he employs former policemen-and women.

Me: So they investigate the police who are alleged to have committed crimes?

D: Yes

Me: And if they think they have, what then? Does one of these police persons make a report?

D: No the Police Ombudsman makes a report.

Me: But he is not a policeman?

D: Quite so. They can recommend that the policeman is prosecuted.

Me: Who does that?

D: The Director of Public Prosecutions

Me: So he prosecutes policemen?

D: If need be

Me: So what happens if the Police Ombudsman thinks that the policeman should simply be reprimanded?

D: He reports to the Chief Constable, who decides on a punishment.

Me: What if the Chief Constable is reported as having done something wrong?

D: The Police Ombudsman investigates that

Me: So do these three people ever speak?

D: Yes , when the Police Ombudsman produced a very critical report on Loughinisland, the Chief Constable thought it was very good. Although when Mr Justice McCloskey said it was very bad, George said that he tended to agree with him.

Me: Is that it?

D: Oh no. The Police Ombudsman is investigating the Chief Constable as we speak.

Me: That must be embarrassing ?

D: Perhaps. You see, the Police Ombudsman investigated the man called Stake Knife but because there were lots of Brit Spooks involved [which he is not allowed to investigate] he gave the files to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Me: And he investigated it!

D: No he can’t he gave it back to the Chief Constable.

Me: And he investigated it!

D: No he can’t because the courts said that his force is biased in favour of the Brit Spooks, so he gave it to a man called Jon Boucher, the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Constabulary.

Me: And his force investigated it!

D: noooo, he is acting with all the powers of the PSNI and his officers come from all arts and parts and he is being judicially reviewed because he works for PSNI.

Me: But apart from that one, there are no complications are there?

D: Weeelll….

Me: Tell me!

D: Some of the Chief Constable’s former senior officers say that the Police Ombudsman’s report into Loughinisland was unfair towards them.

Me: Why?

D: Audi alteram partem.

Me: Ah! so what did they do?

D: They judicially reviewed the report.

Me: How did the Police Ombudsman react to that?

D: Well, after he had removed the makeup, having appeared in a film about Loughinisland, he objected.

Me: And who won?

D: It’s not over yet.

Me: Why not?

D: The Police Ombudsman has employed the just resigned Director of Public Prosecutions to represent him in front of Mr Justice McCloskey, who many years ago , when he was a barrister, represented some  police in a  case similar to the one he is trying.  Mr McCloskey’s father used to be deputy Director of Public Prosecutions. The just resigned Director of Public Prosecutions and his father before him  used to represent SF/IRA people who wanted to kill policemen. The Chief Constable has said that the inquiry by the Police Ombudsman into his conduct will exonerate him. A man called Bryson has complained to the Department of Justice about the Police Ombudsman appearing in the  film.

Me: Is that a crime?

D: No but it will have to be investigated.

Me: By whom?

D: By the Justice Minister.

Me: But there isn’t one.

D: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

At least I learned Latin in MY banana republic…..

Valete!

 

 

 

Emma Pengelly Part II

Readers will know that for many years I have been involved in the campaign to have the killers of my parents prosecuted and for hundreds of people to be compensated for the use of Semtex  by Martin McGuinness and his fellow terrorists, who are in government with the DUP.

I blogged about Emma Pengelly and she emailed me today to say that she finds my blog “both unfair and upsetting”. Leaving aside the DUP inactivity on either of my campaigns, I’m sure there are many politicians who share her emotions about my blogging about them.

She says that she is not a “blow in” having lived in South Belfast for about a decade. Given the size and geographic spread of the constituency, that could be said by anyone in Sandy Row, the Malone Road or Carryduff. But ask Ruth Patterson for a more intimate view.

Secondly she says that she did not support a cap on self employed barristers “in the context in which it was being discussed”. You decide, Dear Reader.

Thirdly she says that she has “a full mandate”. An extraordinary claim in the circumstances. Nobody has ever voted for her.

Fourthly she says that it is outrageous that I mention her husband’s salary. Well, is not her point to Jim Allister about the payment of money by the state?

Fifthly she objects to the use of the word “comfort”. That word  has been in the public domain for a long time.

Lastly , she suggests that I have attempted “to publicly humiliate her” and added a little note of menace, something the DUP majors in. Ask Jamie Bryson.

When she was appointed I wished her well. I hoped that she might be that ‘breath of fresh air” that we often seek in our politics.

Sadly, by her willingness to get embroiled in a spat with Jim Allister, she displayed all the weaknesses of her boss and of the party in general. Arrogance and willing to spend more time rubbishing unionists than SinnFein/IRA.

I’m disappointed by her and that’s in less than a month.

Anyway, what’s that saying about the heat and the kitchen?

The Orange Donkey

It seems meet that this subject should be now aired.

it used to be said that the Unionist party could field a donkey for election and it would win.

Has anything changed? Well, looking at loyalist areas of North Belfast, certainly not. Deprivation is everywhere. But so long as the marches are uppermost in the minds of the masses, all will be well.

Let’s look at a few Orange Donkeys.

Nigel Dodds and Jeffrey Donaldson. Compensation for victims of PIRA crimes. Twenty five years on, all we hear are the same old promises. I and others are at least walking wounded. Many victims live appalling lives of suffering. This duo of donkeys just witter.

Jamie Bryson. Did he shake hands with McGuinness? I have asked him twice, but he has not replied. What has this man done for the lives of the loyalist community?

Saving the best for last. Willie Frazer, that flim flam man of loyalism. Carpet Bagger extraordinaire. Seller of fake medicines to loyalism. That man , with no visible means of support and no visible results. Does Willie draw a salary from FAIR? If so how much? Can anyone tell me of any victim of the troubles who has received practical support from him, apart from a second hand cooker?

Let’s look at the Kingsmills project. if there was not a start to disclosure to the Coroner by 27 March , Willie was marching in Dublin. Well, the date has come and gone and there is no sign of Willie’s Dublin march and no sign of documents.  But, you see, he met the Irish Prime Minister. So that’s all right then.

Somehow, he is again the voice of FAIR, an organisation which is supposed to be non-sectarian. Let’s examine some recent Willie posts. Amnesty International is part of the Republican movement, apparently. The Irish Government financed the IRA murders of innocents, according to Willie.

Why was Willie not in Ballymurphy, supporting the claims of innocent victims there?

Did his handlers advise against it?

The point of this article is to draw attention, if such were needed , to the Big House Unionism which still prevails and to the followers on their coat tails, who , like Bryson and Frazer , make no practical difference to the most vulnerable in our society.