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.

Tony Blair and history

Blair once felt the hand of history on his shoulder. [Psychopaths often have such hallucinations]

That same hand has continued to re-write Tony’s role in Northern Ireland.

Last week he issued a statement from his opulent offices, paid for by nefarious world wide deals. It dealt with his role in the failure of victims of Libyan supplied Semtex to obtain compensation. Despite kissing Gadafy in a tent in the desert, he has denied that he had any role or influence over the settlement which Bush concluded with Gadafy. He is subject to the scrutiny of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, who have indicated that, if he does not be transparent with them , they may go to Washington D.C. to investigate further.

One ‘fact’ that Blair repeats , ad nauseum, is that we were not entitled , by law, to receive compensation.

Here is a recent example of this. “The decision by the US not to include British victims was , I believe , because they were precluded legally from such an action.”

We are used to weasel words from Blair, after all , he was the architect of the Good Friday Agreement, the biggest con of the twentieth century. He structured  the ‘on the runs’ arrangement and he established immunity from prosecution for Adams, McGuinness and Slab Murphy.

The fact is that the 160 claimants were able to sue Gadafy and others from the regime, under US Federal law. Lawyers were appointed in the UK and the USA. The non-US claimants were  legally “aliens” under the legislation. Proceedings were taken and responded to by the defendants in the US Federal Court. Each side was shaping up for a trial. What happened  next was that Bush intervened and passed an Act preventing Britons from obtaining compensation but facilitating payment to US citizens. The decision by Bush , to exclude Britons, came after the court hearings , the Act followed later. In that sense , we were legally  precluded from compensation.

Where was Blair in all of this? Out of office but in the desert. He has never been able to properly explain what  deal he was doing with Gadafy, which benefitted Americans but not Britons.

The answer could be , of course, that the UK had much to hide. After all, the Libyan deal for Semtex and arms was concluded between Gadafy , Moussa Koussa and other Libyans on the one hand and Slab Murphy, Gerry Adams , Martin McGuiness and other members of the Army council, on the other. Given Blair’s close connection with Sinn Fein/IRA and given the number of IRA  informants being run by the State, any probing into how it was that Libya admitted liability for its actions towards Americans but not Britons had the potential to be embarrassing.  One could hear Gadafy saying to Blair, in the tent after the snog , “I have given you the list of arms and explosives we gave Sinn Fein/IRA. I have told you how much money we gave them. I have told you who we did the deal with. Martin did the Enniskillen bomb as a thank you and revenge for the Yanks killing my daughter. What more do you need to know? Shall I tell who was an agent and what was the role of MI6?” This position is borne out by British Ministers telling the House of Commons that Gadafy had come in from the cold and had helped Britain in respect of the IRA . As far as the Foreign Office was concerned, the matter was closed.

Victims and survivors were only legally barred from payouts after Blair did the deal for Bush.

What was in it for Blair? Money, enough to impress Wendi Deng.  Contacts with states around the world. Adviser to many dubious regimes.

I hear someone saying “how can he sleep at night?”

Psychopaths sleep well.

 

Villiers and ‘Legacy”

Much ink has been spilled about how State intelligence about terrorist killings is to be made available to the judicial process and to victims and survivors.

Predictably, Republicans accuse the State of deception and bad faith and ,inexplicably, Unionists side with the Government.

This is an issue which affects all victims and survivors.

The extent of British and RUC collusion is unknown but verified  as a practice by de Silva.

An indication of how little the NIO or the Secretary of State  thinks of us can be gleaned from the following.

In February 2015 I wrote to the Attorney General , enclosing a seven page letter, arguing that he should direct a new inquest into the murders of my parents. I met with him on 4th March 2015 and his view was that he had no power to direct a new inquest unless the State had some prior knowledge of the operation, through an agent informant. He wrote to the Secretary of State in March 2015. An answer was only forthcoming after I threatened to have the matter raised in the House of Commons.

She said that “neither the Ministry of Defence, the Security Service, the Police Service of Northern Ireland nor the Northern Ireland Office hold any material relevant to the Attorney’s request”.

Note the use of the word “hold”. It is a word which tries to  convey much but which means little. An organisation is likely to archive material after a number of years. They send it to a store , managed by others. Then they no longer ‘hold’ it. Worse an organisation destroys documents, then they no longer ‘hold’ them. Given forty years of state denials and cover ups, I’m sure , Dear Reader , that you will forgive my cynicism.

Meantime the State has achieved its objective. As a result of this reply, no new inquest will be held into the murders of my parents.

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.

Villiers’ rubber stamp

So the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland wants an assessment of paramilitary activity.

Where to turn?

To MI5/PSNI of course, silly girl.

But no. Let’s have three Wise Persons. They will compile a report and all will be happy.

So.

MI5/PSNI compile a report.

It is given to the Wise Persons, only one of whom has any experience of terrorism, crime or naughty people.

They read it, meet the authors, probe the authors, ask them for a bit more info and declare themselves happy.

Et voila! The report of the experts, the PSNI/MI5 is deemed good and accepted lock , stock and [missing]barrels.

Not a mention of Semtex.

Am I mad?

Answers on a postcard…

Link Appleyard

Those familiar with “The man who shot Liberty Valance” will remember Link Appleyard.

He was the overweight, vacillating town marshall in Shinbone. When Liberty and his gang rode into town , Link was keen to let them work away and very not keen to enforce the law.

Over the last year , there is something about Link that reminds me of another law enforcement officer. I can’t quite put my finger on him at present but perhaps if I follow an evidential trail I will find him.

Anyway, the important point of this piece is that until recently our own Link Appleyard considered thousand of terrorist murders as “legacy issues”. Link would have had sympathy with that, if Ransom Stoddard had been killed.

Happily, Tom Doniphon intervened.

I have difficulty with Pompey. Does he have an equivalent here?

Humpty Dumpty sat on the fence

Humpty Dumpty told Alice that if he ever fell off the wall, the King would send all his horses and all his men to pick him up.

Our own policing Humpty Dumpty can look forward to the Queen sending him a knighthood, providing he stays on the fence.

Last night Sharon O’Neill asked him a very obvious question; “Who is the leader of PIRA?”

His answer was that membership is a criminal offence and he wasn’t going to do or say anything or speculate on anything which could undermine any future court proceedings.

So there you are Dear Reader, the Chief Con is on the case “following the evidence”. Can’t you see him with his magnifying glass and cape , accompanied by Joe 90, examining the footpaths of West Belfast?

Of course he could have arrested a sizeable proportion of PIRA high command the other week when he met them in a hall in West Belfast, a hall being guarded by a PIRA run security company. He shook hands with a man who has murdered many innocent people. The butchers boy from the Bogside.

To imagine for a moment. George causes a file to be sent to Barra-Boy. It contains evidence against senior members of PIRA, it being a proscribed organisation. Barra, because of his past would have to pass it to the team which bought you such block busters as Cahill and McCartney.

This is just a little fantasy for two reasons.

  1. A number of the northern command and the Belfast brigade PIRA are state agents. Therefore George and MI5 know exactly what is going on in PIRA and keep the Secretary of State informed.
  2. I have been asking since 1990 why no senior member of PIRA was questioned about the murders of my parents.

No senior member of PIRA has ever been convicted.

As Northern Ireland descends into chaos and farce with this , Nama, Red Sky and other imbecilic acts, will the unionist parties have the courage to act?

Don’t hold your breath. As they often say in Ahoghill; “Deus ex machina”.

The Humpty Dumpty world of the Chief Constable

“When use a word” , Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone,”it means just what I chose it to mean, neither more nor less”. [Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and through the Looking -Glass]

For a masterly summary of the position, see Ed Moloney in today’s Irish Times.

And so to George Hamilton’s finessing of Supt Geddes’ last statement. Goodness know how many lawyer hours went into it. How many drafts the SOS rejected. What Box had to say about it.

George says that PIRA is a paramilitary organisation, devoted to peaceful means, just like the Salvation Army.

Here are my questions for George:

  1. Has this organisation access to arms and explosives?
  2. Has it killed anyone in the last twenty years?
  3. Who shot Martin McGartland?
  4. If PIRA is committed to politics, who are its politicians?

I’ll bet that I won’t get a reply.

Hamilton says that they will go where the evidence leads. It’s a statement like Hercule Poirot saying ” I suspect everyone and I suspect no-one” [you do the Belgian accent].

In the twenty five years since the murder of my parents, the police have declined to follow the evidence, to the Belfast brigade of the IRA and onwards to McGuinness. What hope is there that anything has changed?

So, when George uses a word, it means precisely what his political masters, who appointed him and who control him, want it to mean.

The Good Old days, when Barra was a pup.

Roy Junkin, sometime deputy director of the DPP, used to remind his staff and police the “we are in the ‘E’ business”. E stood for evidence. A case would not be prosecuted unless and until the evidence supported a reasonable prospect of success of conviction. That was the test.

Barra was just a pup then.

Now the PPS , under Barra’s command, are all over the place.

[Although it should be said that he did apply  for another job]

Consider the Ivor Bell case. As I understand it , the case against him is that he has given interviews to the Boston College project and therein he has incriminated himself in the murder of Jean McConville. Thus he has been charged with membership of the IRA and aiding and abetting her murder.

You might think, Dear Reader that before the police arrested him they had some evidence to support the contention that his voice could be heard on a tape.

The law requires that a police officer must ‘reasonably suspect’ that a crime has been committed before he arrests.

So Bell was arrested in March 2014 and he was charged a few days later. Undoubtedly the PPS would have been involved in the decision to charge.

So that’s it. Police have evidence that he spoke words on tape…..

Well, not exactly, because in May 2015 the PPS had not made up their minds and had involved senior counsel. Not so cut and dried?

The PPS prosecutor needed further time. Further time was afforded by the court and eventually the PPS indicated that the case would proceed. So the prosecutorial test had been passed. “A reasonable prospect of success”. Hurrah!

On 30 July the case was listed for a preliminary enquiry on 22 October 2015 over eighteen months after Bell was arrested.

In the meantime a lawyer in the PPS will be putting the papers in order. Statements of evidence, which already support the contention that Bell is guilty as charged. Just a clerical exercise…..

But, just a minute!

The PSNI wrote  to Ed Moloney, in August 2015 asking if he would cooperate as a witness in the case.

I am tempted to ask “What is Barra-Boy up to?”  Then I remember. In the words of Jim Allister, Barra was Sinn Fein’s lawyer of choice before he took the Queen’s shilling. Many of his clients were senior members of the provisional IRA. He has played no part, I think, in the Bell case.

So the team who are bringing you the Ivor Bell prosecution brought you the Mairia Cahill debacle.

My more constant adherents may wonder why, coming from my background, I find the Bell case so worrying. Five points.

  1. If the State can fit up Bell, so stand we all in peril.
  2. The PPS and particularly its Director are not fit for purpose.
  3. The handling of the case, given its fame, is awful. Cart before the horse. What chance does the ordinary citizen have?
  4. It’s another in a long line of flawed prosecutions.
  5. My father, killed at the hands of the Provisional IRA , taught me to respect the rule of law. It is conspicuously absent here.