Loughinisland, the strange case of K

Who is person K, referred to in the PONI report ?

His family live between Clough and Dundrum. He is related to Delbert Watson who was convicted of the murder of Jack Kielty in Dundrum in January 1988. Also convicted of that murder were David Curlett and William Bell, the driver of the getaway car. Doreen Watson, whose husband had been murdered by the IRA , sister of Delbert , was convicted of manslaughter.

K , according to Maguire, is a heavily traced terrorist. He has been linked to a conspiracy to murder Peter McCarthy  and the attempted murder of John Henry Smyth. He is alleged to have been involved in the murder of Peter McCormack in Kilcoo on 19 November 1992.

Police told Maguire that he was part of a UVF unit.

Dear Reader, you might pause here to wonder, if the RUC Special Branch, inter alia , was involved in collusion with terrorists, why it would divulge this information to the PONI. I leave that with you.

K and others were identified by Special Branch  to the Loughinisland MIT on the morning after the murders, as potential suspects.

K was arrested and interviewed several times on 18 July 1994. He provided an alibi for the time of the shootings. He said that he was in the Clough Inn with his girlfriend.

This alibi was not properly investigated, says Maguire . It is hard to see what the police could have done , two years later, to establish the truth of the alibi.

Maguire makes a mistake when he says at paragraph 7.169 that K’s hair sample was obtained and found to be a ‘microscopic match ‘ to a hair recovered from a holdall. The bag had not been found at this point.

The holdall was  not found until  4 August 1994. A hair found therein was examined and K was arrested again on 22 August  and the match was made. Caution should be exercised re hair matching after the FBI scandal regarding the science of hair matching.

However, police had a holdall in which they had found, inter alia,  the hair and some overalls. The overalls showed a link with the seats of a Triumph Acclaim car found in a field and bearing a resemblance to the getaway car. Close by was found the VZ58 rifle which was the murder weapon. Fibres from the rifle matched fibres recovered from the Triumph Acclaim.

It is tolerably clear that the Acclaim was the getaway car.

Also, found on a roadway , was a blanket. It has not been properly examined.

I do not know if K has a criminal record, or other matters which might be used as bad character.

I do not know if the hair provided DNA evidence to link K to the bag.

In any event, it is hard to understand why K has not been charged in connection with the murders.

Maguire provides no explanation.

Additionally he makes no case that K was in any way protected, especially by Special Branch. If there was “collusion” as widely defined by Maguire , one might have expected Special Branch to have with held information in respect of K. Instead, the morning after the murders, they tell the MIT about K. K is , one might have thought, a prime suspect.

Maguire makes no criticism of the rigour of the initial investigation.

What is always absent from these reports is the general context.

Viewed as a homicide in leafy Surrey, I’m sure there are points to be made. Northern Ireland was a different environment, with the police overwhelmed by terrorist  crime.

But the question remains.

Who is K and is he a State agent?

That, more than grandstanding by Maguire , would be a fact that the relatives of Loughinisland would prefer to know.

 

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Gripping the IRA :Part II

It is useful to set out the correspondence in extenso.  [Lawyers love Latin, no more so than Lord Carswell,  that Old Instonian, whose surprising expenses claims for attendance at the House of Lords were set out in extenso in the Sunday Times.]

But I digress.

Here is the correspondence.

IMG_3486

fullsizeoutput_266bVersion 2IMG_3485What is surprising about this exchange , coming in late 1988, is the pessimism shown by Peter Bell.

Note his comment “there still remains too much adhoccery in the way Whitehall grips…the kind of problem which IRA terrorism is likely to present us with over the coming months”.

Ivor Roberts has no firm proposals, in reply, except for a jolly good lunch. [Your club or mine?]

The exchange does not sit well with the analysis by those who say that by this point PIRA was heavily infiltrated and was being paralysed.

It does, however , point to the likelihood that each of the agencies, RUC , Box and Army , were very much doing their own thing with informers. That leads on to the question whether or not the RUC, with a duty to preserve life, could ever have known if informers to the Army and Box were participating in murder.

Re the Boyd Group, TOP [I] and the Assessment Staff Machinery, that is all for another day, Dear Reader.

Danny Morrison

In December 1988, a telex was sent to Our Man in Brussels.

The subject was Danny Morrison. It was a briefing for the Ambassador.

The writer invited the Ambassador to “draw on the following background on Danny”….

It contained the following information.

“Morrison was interned between 27 November 1972 and 21 December 1973,..he was editor of An Phoblacht [Republican News] in the late 1970s [mouthpiece for IRA and Sinn Fein]…currently director of publicity for Sinn Fein-postion held since early 80s…member of Art Comhairle [Sinn Fein National Executive] for several years…in 1981 he made the infamous quote ballot box /armalite unquote speech at the Ard Fheis [Sinn Fein Annual Conference]…in January 1982 was charged with entering the US illegally and deported to Canada….known to be a quote hawk unquote rather than a quote dove unquote….involved in recent talks with SDLP …vigourous in defending ‘armed struggle’ and publicly   dismissing talk of a ceasefire….”

The author went on “You may also say unattributably that we have good reason to believe that Morrison is heavily involved in a central position on the military side of Sinn Fein’s activities”

In January 1990 Morrison was arrested near a house where Sandy Lynch [Special Branch informer] had been interrogated by Sean Maguire [state informer] and Freddie Scappaticci [state informer].

Morrison’s arrest and subsequent wrongful conviction got him off the streets and away from the centre of power. Was that because he was a “hawk”? If so , “cui bono?” The British? The Sinn Fein/PIRA doves? The “Peace Process”?

Answers on a postcard, Dear Reader.

Oh! I almost forgot. The author of the telex?

“Howe”……

 

The play wot I wrote

Here is a teaser from my latest play:

Detective Constable Gault is talking to Flora, the love of his life and describing what life was like in the RUC….

“Do you know that in my time in the force I saw forty dead bodies? Old dears, dead for days and not a fucking relative came near them. Just like a small dead dog in a nightie. One small child, cot death. What do you say to the parents? Some of my mates thought children were the worst deaths. Car crashes, motor bikers. Going to the wife’s door to tell her. Screaming, falling on the floor. Vomit, trying to get her GP. Suicides, mostly pills. Do you know I once found a man who had hanged himself by jumping off a bridge on the way to the shipyard? He was swinging on the end of a rope, his lunch box was still tucked under his arm. Bomb deaths. Some without a mark on them. Others mangled. Others in bits. You had to get big see through plastic bags for the parts. Like going to the wholesale butchers. You’d generally no idea how many bodies you were dealing with. Gunshot deaths. Wee hole on the forehead, big mess at the back. Seeing a dead mate was the worst. Davy, blown apart in the yard at Grosvenor Road. I’d just passed him when the mortar exploded. Could have been me, ten seconds earlier. I was shot up five times. Escaped without a scratch. Took the dead and wounded to the Royal, then back to the station, de-brief then a bottle of whiskey. That was health and safety and care for the employee. No shrinks, no nurses, no counselling, except the Super came and told us we were great. If the worst came to the worst, you got sleeping tablets. Oh and I got a medal from an ACC and the whole force got the George Cross. Never shot and killed anybody. I did try…. Flora laughs quietly at that. WILLIAM GAULT (CONT’D) Worst time was the hunger strikes. We were on duty for twelve hours without rest. Eating and pissing when we got a chance. Keeping the squaddies out of trouble. Meals in a tin. The squaddies loved ours, Her Majesty’s Meals Ready to Eat were shite. I couldn’t eat ours either. I had ten tins of chicken curry in the garage for years. FLORA CAIRNS Why did none of you complain? WILLIAM GAULT About the food? Flora laughs and throws a small cushion at him. FLORA CAIRNS No, you eejit, your stress! WILLIAM GAULT Nobody knew that it was dangerous, at least the rank and file didn’t. You just got pissed after an incident, you were driven home and you came back the next day. Then there were the young cons, who burned the candle at both ends. Fast cars and faster women. Guy with us, came off duty at five, drove his XR3i to Enniskillen to see his girlfriend. Wine , curry and sex. Back in the car at five AM to go on duty at seven. The old hands couldn’t do that so it was the sports club on a Saturday with the missus but the result was the same, blotto. FLORA CAIRNS Hard for any wife to take. WILLIAM GAULT Very. ”

Steven, if you read my blog, I’ll sell you the rights on condition that Jamie Doran is not cast.

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.

The Police Ombudsman –progress report II

Back in 2006, when I was an innocent sort of chap, who didn’t think that the state would be complicit in the murders of a retired policeman and his wife , I made a complaint to the Ombudsman about the standard of investigation into their murders.

In 2015, when the scales had fallen from my eyes, I made an entirely different complaint, naming each member of the bomb team and asserting that some, if not all of them were state agents. The Ombudsman, who I shall hereafter call the ‘Big O” has declined to investigate my complaint. The basis for the refusal is that the 2001 regulations “carves out a discretionary exception to these limitations”

I began studying law in 1967 and this phrase is new to me but perhaps I’m just not keeping up.

Nuala O’Loan has said that she came under pressure from the state to  refuse to investigate matters.

Maguire, the present Big O is of course a man who has been a state employee for some time and one wonders about his impartiality. Anyway, I have sought clarification from him.

Who made this decision and what is the precise statutory basis for it?

Students of law and others might be interested in looking at regulation 9 [2] of the 2001 regulations, which “carves out” , if this is the new legal argot, an exception if the new complaint is “not the same or substantially the same as a previous complaint”. My original complaint was that the investigation was inadequate. My new complaint is that the state was complicit. They are different complaints.

Of course, the list of state agents in my letter will have caused panic in the Establishment and has resulted in  a threat from at least one agent.

It’s disappointing that the Big O’s  refusal is so amateurish but that’s what you get in Norn Iron.

So, let’s see what the response is.

Aside from the stupidity of it all, how many people, less advantaged than I am, have been spoofed by the Big O?

Twenty five years ago, a running commentary

So, having been told, in court,  by Alan White, Deputy Director DPP, as it then was, of the bombing, I made my way to the RVH. My Dad was dead and it was a question of finding my Mum and ascertaining her condition. There was confusion as to where she was but I found her eventually. She was under the care of Dr Coppell [a ex BRA boy ] and his excellent team. I was then taken from the RVH to the morgue , under the care of Gerry Sillery an old Forth River class mate and sub divisional commander for B division. I identified my Dad, having been warned not to touch him, for forensic reasons.

I returned to the RVH and to my terminally ill mother.

In the middle of the night I was sitting in a quiet area of the RVH, trying to gather my thoughts. A figure in a track suit approached. It was Denis Maloney, solicitor. He had been trying to find me. That gesture was immensely comforting. He had lost his parents in the British Midland crash the previous year. His parents’ grave is not far from my parents. Today, as usual, I left two red roses on my parents’ grave , then visited the Maloney grave.

So ended 6th June 1990.

I’m not by any means a special case but I hope that by publishing this discourse I will draw attention to the horrors which people suffered in these cases.

It is striking to me how many people came to my aid and probably how few ever thought that the state was complicit.

I have spoken to a number of ex RUC officers over the last year and every one has disappeared. I wonder why?

I notice also that there is a RUC GC service in St Marks in Newtownards tomorrow. I wonder why I don’t get an  invite?