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!

 

 

 

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Why Drew Harris is not to be trusted

Readers of this blog will have read my previous articles about the murders of my parents and my attempt to obtain justice for them.

During this campaign I have engaged, inter alia , the RUC, the PSNI, the HET , the Police Ombudsman and others.

A recurring theme, like “Blackpool” through a stick of rock , has been that there is no intelligence as to the killers. Every organisation has said the same thing.

Consider this. The two most deadly areas of conflict in the Troubles were South Armagh and North Belfast. It is likely that these two areas received the most attention from the security forces.

The “supremo” re intelligence in the PSNI is Drew Harris. He is presently Deputy Chief Constable.

In 2014 , when he was an ACC , I raised with him , again, the issue of intelligence, either before , during or after the murders. I had pointed out the persons whom  I alleged were informers to the PSNI, MI5 or the Army. [See previous blogs]. All agencies had told me that no such intelligence existed.

He said in a letter to me dated 11th August 2014, “Whilst is [sic] not appropriate to comment upon the governance arrangements that exist in relation to the exchange of intelligence between agencies, I can assure you that both the SCRT and the HET had full access to all available information and intelligence during the course of their respective Reviews.”

I recommend to you that you read Ed Moloney’s blog entitled “The Tom Oliver Killing-Transcript of Drew Harris’ Testimony to the Smithwick Tribunal”

Aside from the specific references to the killing, Mr Harris is plainly uncomfortable about the twenty pieces of intelligence [not silver] which had lately been laid before the tribunal at his hand.

Where have they been all these years, was one question.

Mr Harris placed these items of intelligence before the tribunal in October 2012. When his testimony  was read into the record, the tribunal had been hearing evidence for 124 days.

More importantly, North Belfast was riddled with PIRA informers. Sean Maguire, now SF/IRA publicity director , operated there. The  command structure encompassed Gillen, Spike Murray, Scap and McGuinness. All likely informers.

To suggest that no intelligence exists for 1990 in North Belfast ,  comparable to that in 1989   in South Armagh, is a lie and a desecration of the memory  of a man who served the RUC and of a woman who was an “innocent victim”

It’s time ‘men’ like Harris and others who populated Special Branch stood up and admitted what they did and the level of collusion between the State and PIRA.

Or are they just happy to spend their pension in Marks and Spencer ?

Does National Police Memorial Day prick any conscience?

 

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….

Deputy First Minister/Murderer

Two interesting points emerged from last night’s Spotlight on BBC NI.

First , that Sinn Fein/PIRA’s command structure requires that murders must be approved by the man at the top, Gerry Adams.

This would of course be known to the State and anyone who has the least knowledge of SF/PIRA operations.

I made a similar allegation in June 2015 and stated that Martin McGuinness as head of Northern Command would have been aware of the plan to kill my father. He approved it. This was not a new allegation. Ed Moloney first made it in 2002 , in his book, “A Secret History of the IRA”.

McGuinness is guilty of murder , as an accessory.

The PSNI have refused to pursue McGuinness or any of the other persons whom I named. See my blog “The murderers of my parents”.

Several of the people named are also State agents.

Secondly, the allegation that there might have been 800 to 1,000 State agents within PIRA will equally come as no surprise to many people. Except that the PSNI, the HET and the Police Ombudsman cannot find one agent who has information on the murderers of my parents. This is what I have been consistently told by these organs of the state, since 1990.

They are simply telling me lies.

Like Hillsborough, the truth cannot remain hidden for ever. Adams has been in the firing line for several months now, because he is no longer of value to either the British or Irish States. McGuinness’s day will also come.

Sinn Fein IRA , in their press releases and statements in the last twenty four hours blame the Brits for a further propaganda campaign.

The awful truth is that the British State is protecting men and women who were involved in the murder of my parents and , so far , are protecting McGuinness.

As for Denis Donaldson and his murder, remember Dear Reader, nothing is ever as it seems in Northern Ireland.

The Crumlin Road Canteen

In the series “Life on Mars’ the boss calls a meeting. The shock is that his colleagues are smoking, drinking, , eating pies and generally behaving in a way that nobody under 55 could remember.

I have read the Police Ombudsman’s report into the Loughinisland killings and , hopefully, I will write about it. But the point which is missed by him is the historical context. It is as if two men went into a pub in leafy Surrey and carried out an atrocity and the local Bobbies, with time on their hands, screwed up.

Let me describe the Crumlin Road courthouse in the 1980s. I do this  for two reasons. First , because, as a matter of policy, anyone associated with prosecuting for the Crown in those days has been erased from history as part of the deal with SF/IRA and secondly to explain what life was really like.

As one approached the courthouse from the city direction, there was frequently a RUC or army road stop. Only the bold prosecutor approached from the Ardoyne direction. This I did occasionally. More frequently I drove my GTI Golf at 90 mph down the M2 and then came up from the city centre.

At the entrance to the courthouse there was a security team who wanted to inspect your car, including boot and engine compartment.

This team was covered both from the open ground and from the heavily armed sangar.

Once inside the grounds, a further check might be carried out.

The Director of Public Prosecutions had its offices on the top floor of the building. Not a problem when one is fit.

More important was the canteen, to be found on the left hand side of the ground floor. Here was a microcosm of the Troubles. It was a small room, a counter at the far end and a number of tables. Behind the counter Etta presided. She had been at school with my Dad. She and her staff produced a wide array of food. From the black coffee and a possible scone for the barrister to the fry for the constable.

Why is this story important?

Because each morning the fug in that room had to be seen to be believed. There was no ban on smoking. Officers who had been out all night on duty and who were now required to attend court to give evidence in a terrorist trial , were trying to dry off their uniforms while having a fag and an fry. Later they would try to get home for a few hours sleep before another spell of duty.

Sometimes it was hard to see across the room. I recall chatting to colleges about how nice it would be to get away to the Med. One said, “isn’t it great to walk down to the local shop and buy croissants and yesterday’s paper and come back and read them in the sun?” Another described how beads of water ran down the outside of a bottle of white wine, placed on your table.

That was just escapism. On a day when the great and the good have joined together to mark the first day of the Somme, it is important that we do not wait one hundred years to mark what ordinary men did to protect society in Northern Ireland.

As , Dear Reader, you judge the acts and omissions of policemen and lawyers and read the Police Ombudsman’s report, prepared at length, in a non smoking environment, reflect on what life was really like and how the Crumlin Road canteen, shared with police officers, prosecutors, witnesses, paramilitaries ,Patrick Finucane, Paddy McGrory, Oliver Kelly and Seamus Tracey was a microcosm of how the troubles was really played  out.

 

 

 

Ice cream, Gillen and the state

Many of you , Dear Readers, who have read about the book; “They killed the Ice Cream Man” will not be surprised by the allegations made by the Larmours.

Since I started my research in earnest two years ago, veteran observers had no difficulty in telling me about these practices. It was well known that senior members of PIRA were state agents and permitted to continue directing terrorism. They would have been little use to the spooks otherwise. On occasions they were permitted to commit murder, either directly or as someone who was involved in planning or directing. Look at the activities of  Loyalist Mark Haddock for a mirror image of the practice.

One name that came up frequently was Brian Gillen. My informants were in no doubt that he had been turned by the state and that he continued to operate in the role of Belfast Brigade commander. I named him as a participant in my blog ” The murderers of my parents”.

I have no difficulty in stating that he is the person referred to by the Armours and by by Ed Moloney. I have also made this allegation , some time ago to the Police Ombudsman.

Just as disturbing as these revelations are, what is more disturbing is that the State and its employees and ex employees refuse to admit that these tactics were used. I have had assurances from the PSNI, the Police Ombudsman and the Secretary of State that there was no advance intelligence of the murders of my parents . The same bodies have denied that an informer participated in the planning or execution of the murders.

A glance at my blog will show the one or more State agency is telling lies.

The Director of Public Prosecutions declined to direct the police to investigate Martin McGuinness’ role in the murders of my parents, despite Ed Moloney naming him in his book; “A secret History of the IRA”. He was quick to direct investigations into the Army on similar information. The Attorney General, despite his close interest in major issues such as abortion and gay discrimination, has declined to direct a fresh inquest, which would be required to examine special branch files.

The questions for readers are these. Are all those, like me, who have published names and activities, deluded? Or are we just scraping the surface of the State’s involvement in the dirty war? Is the State terrified of what might become known? Are Adams McGuinness and others equally frightened?

I’m given hope by the Hillsborough families. One day the truth will be known.

Apparatchiks in Norn Iron

Dear Reader

Let’s pause to think about the condition  of the state’s system for handling complaints about the police.

“When I was a lad, I served a term

As an office boy in an Attorney’s Firm

I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor

And I polished up the handle of the big front door

…now I am the Ruler of the Queens’ Navie!”

[Gilbert and Sullivan]

The present Big O is Michael Maguire.

He was appointed in July 2012.

Before that he was Chief Inspector of the Criminal Justice Inspectorate 2008-2012.

Before that he was a partner in consultancy firms including PA and Price Waterhouse. I wonder how many contracts, for which he was paid, depended on state aid?

As Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in 2011, he was asked to investigate the Ombudsman’s Office. He said that “the ways in which the OPONI deals with the investigation of historic cases ‘ has lead to a lowering of operational independence'”

A year later he was Big O!

Who took over from him?

Why, Brendan McGuigan , who was for 34 years a policeman!

Who is his deputy? James Corrigan. Who worked for a number of years for PA consulting. Does that ring a bell?

John Keanie, Public Appointments Commissioner, has recently expressed concern about the system for appointment  and how it seems to be incestuous. But guess what he did before he was commissioner?

Citizens might wonder how these people, who rise without a trace, from the ranks of the state’s employ, can possibly be regarded as independent?