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?
You may remember, Dear Reader, the somewhat sensational evidence given by Andrew MacKinlay, retired MP, to the NI Affairs Committee, on 14th October 2015.
Here is an example of what he said, in giving evidence about MK:
Kate Hoey: Do you think it was anything to do with a fear that , if he talked too much–all the contacts with people in Sinn Fein, IRA , for example –it might bring down the peace process?
Andrew MacKinlay: He would have known about the Semtex and the supplying of arms to the IRA over many years—and probably authorised it.
He went on to state that MK was a key member of Gadafy’s regime and he just could not understand why he was never questioned by British police.
I asked the PSNI about, inter alia, the alleged supply of Semtex and the allegation that , in effect MK conspired with Sinn Fein/IRA to murder.
The PSNI made contact with MacKinlay and here is what they told me:
“Mr MacKinlay has confirmed that he has no further information to add to his evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on 14 October 2015. Mr MacKinlay has also confirmed that he is not in possession of any evidence to suggest that Moussa Moussa committed a criminal offence”
Contrast this with the statement by our hero “this was a bad fellow, but I do not believe that the normal law enforcement agencies were given access to him”
One wonders how much other guff has been presented to the NIAC as “evidence”.
While the debate about Brexit rages, readers should be mindful of this.
The EU recently enacted fresh legislation, freezing Libyan funds. Despite a campaign which stretches back several years, neither of the ‘Unionist’ representatives in the EU, Diane Dodds or Jim Nicholson, seem to have been aware of it nor did any Unionist or member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. No representations were made to permit the unfreezing of funds for victims. I have tried to contact Nicholson in the past, but since I don’t farm, I’m of no interest to him.
It is an example of the EU enacting legislation which the “Mother of Parliaments” slavishly copies, although it is not obliged to.
It is possible for a member of parliament to object to the new delegated legislation and you might think that, given the public outrage about terrorists being compensated by HMG , our “unionist” politicians would be alert to this legislation.
Sadly not. Big business, farming, the International Airport , Gallaghers etc., are more important , it would seem, than human rights.
I’m sure no victim of Sinn Fein/IRA violence was the beneficiary of corporate hospitality during the Rugby World Cup.
From my perspective, not much has changed since the 1950s. Big House, Big Business and Farming Unionists plough on. The man in the street, be he RUC, UDR or British Army counts for nothing. The Unionist parties play the orange card and the stupid masses vote for them.
The words that the DUP and the UU spout are flim flam.
Even worse, Diane Dodds makes a speech in the European Parliament, parroting the British Government line, completely missing the real issue and then publishes it , as if she is proud of her input
Meanwhile Jim Allister , that champion of the loyalists shows no interest.
We are alone in this fight , without any political support.
Oh and by the way, don’t count on Willy Frazer , he has ‘served writs’ on more republicans than you could shake a stick at. He also was going to sort out the disclosure from the ROI re Kingsmills. That didn’t happen either. One wonders where he gets his funding from and what happened to the march in Dublin.
The moral of this blog is that the experts are correct. I am not going to shoot someone or plant a bomb. I don’t count. When Sinn Fein/IRA make noises HMG listens. If the state was complicit in keeping sinn fein/ira crimes away from Alan McQuillan, what else have they done and are they currently doing?
There is no chance of any justice for anyone while this Satanic Alliance continues.
This is the value of frozen assets held in the UK and related to Gadafy, his family, his government officials and various Libyan institutions.
It does not reflect the additional amount of money Gadafy gave Sinn Fein/IRA or the value of the arms, ammunition and Semtex he gave them.
Hundreds of people were killed as a result of this terrorism. No-one in Libya and none of the SF/IRA leaders ,such as Martin McGuinness have been prosecuted for this.
Not one of the UK victims has been compensated , while citizens of USA, France and Germany have been paid long ago.
The lesson that Britain sends is that terrorism pays. In fact Blair kissed Gadafy in a tent and the FCO forgave Libya.
Relatives of the Tunisian atrocity should take note. Your government will not help you and that’s official.
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!
On this day, twenty five years ago, my Dad drove his car out of the driveway and parked it on the road. He had been retired from the RUC for three years, having been mortared at New Barnsley, where his colleague Dessie Dobbin, was killed. It is likely , given the forensic findings, that he checked underneath it before he moved it from the drive. At about ten o’clock, he and my mother drove off. About four hundred yards down the road a bomb, placed underneath the vehicle exploded. My Dad was dead on arrival at the Mater Hospital. My Mum , having sustained severe head injuries , died the next day.
PIRA claimed responsibility and Adams said it might not have been a good operation. But then , he was never in the IRA.
The cause of Irish unity was not progressed one inch but my daughter never knew her Grandparents.
The persons responsible for these murders were as follows.
First there had to be an active service unit, carrying out these brave acts. There were three operational in the greater Belfast area in 1990.
Bomb Team A, as I shall call it , was comprised, inter alia, of Rosaleen McCorley MLA and James Donnelly. They were arrested in January 1990 in the act of placing a bomb under a policeman’s car.
Bomb Team B had in its ranks Rosena Brown and Davy Adams [brother of Gerry]. It might have had Martin McGartland also , but he has denied this to me. Brown, Paul McCullough and Stephen Canning were arrested in 1992 in possession of a bomb.
Bomb Team C was comprised of Martin McGartland, Fitzsimmons and McFadden. They carried out a number of operations before McFadden and Fitzsimmons were arrested in North Belfast in December 1990, in possession of two bombs and a gun. Interestingly, McGartland was not at the scene.
Therefore in June 1990 , either bomb team B or C could have carried out the attack.
Councillor Sean Keenan took part in the attack. He was rewarded for his efforts on 7 June when a UDA/UFF team tried to kill him. He had already been shot in the company of Gerry Adams. Keenan’s house was heavily fortified. I wonder why? Did the state pay for it?
The attack was scouted by Sean Maguire , from Ardoyne. He was an “intelligence officer” and a state agent , a tout. He betrayed Larry Marley to the Loyalists, in order to please his British masters. He is now PR adviser to Martin McGuinness and can be spotted, if you are quick enough , in the background,behind Grandpa McGuinness on the Hill. I wonder where Sean banked his money?
The operations officer, responsible for coordinating attacks, was Paddy Fern. The bomb was provided by McCartney, who was Quartermaster.
The police have told me that they know the identities of the bomb makers. Bombs were kept in the “Rock Streets” off the Falls.
Next in the chain of command was Spike Murray.
The OC Belfast was Brian Gillen an agent of the Crown.
The operation had to be approved by Martin McGuinness, head of northern command. Read Ed Moloney’s book about this [p347] and also the allegations made by Scappaticci, in conversations with journalists.
Both the RUC Special Branch [SB] and the Army’s Force Research Unit [FRU] were involved in the recruiting and handling of agents. Some agents were placed in organisations, others were recruited from their ranks.
The purpose of an agent was to report on the activities of the terrorist group so as to enable the state to disrupt its activities and arrest its members.
There were no rules governing the use of these agents in 1990, particularly in relation to the criminal actives in which they might participate. Issues arose as to what would happen if an agent told his handlers that he was about to take part in a crime or if he declared that he had in fact committed an offence.
De Silva documents the attempts made by the RUC and the Army to obtain guidance from the state. He also documents how the state consistently failed to give such guidance and deliberately dragged its heels on the issue.
Without any structure both SB and FRU worked in a vacuum. They had agents placed in the heart of Sinn Fein/IRA, many are still there. Apart from Donaldson and ‘Scap’ obviously. I’m not convinced that Scap is Stake Knife. What about Padraic Wilson, does he fit the profile?
SB and FRU played God. De Silva documents how at one time the Loyalists planned to kill Oliver Kelly, solicitor. This seemed like a good plan until the state placed a higher value on him, because he was a moderating influence on hunger strikers, whereupon FRU told the Loyalists to back off. The same happened to a plan to kill Adams in 1987. Why was Adams so valuable then? Finucane was apparently disposable.
In assessing a planned terrorist attack SB/FRU considered two issues:
1. The value of the target to the state, or not.
2. Any potential danger to their “asset’ the agent.
Consider my list of agents, above. They must have provided SB/FRU with a wealth of information. Not every operation could be stopped because the agent’s colleagues and masters would become suspicious. There are only so many times that extra police can flood an area or an Army checkpoint appears.
So every so often a attack has to get through, even though SB/FRU have been warned. Or perhaps the agent ‘forgot’ to tell his handlers.
So, on the morning of 6th June 1990, nobody came to the rescue of James and Ellen Sefton.
After my Dad had checked his car and left it outside the house, PIRA planted a bomb underneath it. I know this because the ATO opined that the car travelled as far as it did because the timer, set for an hour, had not wound down before the start of the journey.
Ultimately, the state is responsible for their deaths.
My parents had a right to life and an expectation that the state would protect them. Instead the state protected the agent and the process. Read the documents in de Silva relating to the prosecution of Nelson to get a feel for how far the state would go to protect the process.
Although the RUC and FRU were not assisted by the state in how to run informers,that is no excuse. The RUC was staffed by ordinary men and women from this Province, some of whom would have known my Dad. Shame on them for being part of an organisation which practised this witchcraft.
Perhaps even now, twenty five years on, one of them might have the decency to come clean, before they have a chat with their Maker.
I am , of course, leaving aside the prospect of a Republican having a conscience.
I am not alone in having suffered this injustice. I am not , by a long way, the worst example.
I hope, though, that others, similarly afflicted may be given some encouragement to enquire into their own tragedies.