They were part of a Relatives for Justice delegation which spent a week lobbying in the States accompanied by leading Belfast lawyer Niall Murphy of Kevin R Winters & Company.
The relatives presented evidence that the 4 men, killed on February 16, 1992, were led directly to their deaths in an ambush and assassination operation and that ample opportunity existed for safe and effective arrests within the rule of law.
They presented a report into the killings which outlined that the men were under surveillance and that the authorities knew of the planned attack at least 4 days in advance yet did nothing to prevent it, rather they led the men directly into a trap and then ambushed them in hail of 514 bullets without warning or opportunity to surrender. The men had posed no threat at the time of the shooting. These families are still awaiting an inquest.
Róisín Ui Mhuiri, the sister of Barry O’Donnell killed by the SAS at Clonoe added: “The British authorities could have arrested my brother and the three other men. They could have prevented the planned IRA attack. They decided not to. A decision was taken to kill all four men and that decision was taken at the highest political and military levels.
“Misinformation was disseminated concerning the killings in that there was a gun-battle. This is untrue, not one shot was fired back as the four men were dismantling weapons and posed no threat at the time of the ambush.
“The actions of the British that evening constitute a policy of shoot-to-kill and contravene international law and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). It was a direct violation of Article 2 of that convention of which the British government is a signatory to.
“We have faced perfunctory investigative procedures in which the state determined that none of those responsible for the ambush and assassinations would face charges. This decision was made well in advance of the public prosecutor being in possession of all the material evidence and statements.
“We have also had an inquest into the killings postponed for the past twenty-years with delay, prevarication and refusal to provide evidence to the coroners court by the authorities.
“We hope that by bringing this to the attention of the international community that we can break through what can only be described as a barricade to the truth which has been erected by the British government to cover their actions concerning these killings.”
Human Rights lawyer Niall Murphy said: “These families have been to the fore in campaigning for justice and together with our practice of lawyers we have initiated groundbreaking litigation on these cases. Together with RFJ we will be updating a number of lawyers, judges and those who have a particular legal and professional interest in these and many other conflict related cases here in the north.
“It is our intention to further develop legal strategies and build international networks and relationships with all aspects in the field of law, human rights and transitional justice work on behalf of these bereaved families and those injured including our wider client base who have also been adversely affected by the conflict.
Concluding Relatives for Justice Director Mark Thompson said: “This is an important trip with huge significance in terms of legacy, truth and justice work. These three major incidents that claimed 15 lives and injured almost as many are symptomatic of the wider issues that are reflected almost daily in our society within the media by victims and survivors of all persuasions.
“For those bereaved and injured truth and justice are extremely important and especially so if the actual authorities with responsibility for upholding the law and protecting life are directly and indirectly implicated in these deaths.”
POSTED ON BEHALF OF : Tyrone Times
- Irish Republican News ( the Clonoe ) 514 (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- How a noble exercise became a political act (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Ruc Approved and Colluded in 25 Murders – Report (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Collusion report calls for inquiry (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- BC subpoenas are legally dumb and dumber (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)