Justice for Maura Meehan and her sister Dorothy Maguire Murdered by British Crown Forces.

Maura Meehan, one of two women who died in a shooting incident involving a British Army patrol in the Lower Falls area of Belfast, N Ireland. She was aged 31 years and married with 3 children. The woman who died with her was her sister, Dorothy Maguire, 19 years, single. Both were Roman Catholic and from West Belfast. It later emerged that they were members of Cumann na mBan, the Women’s IRA, and were the first members of that organisation to die in the Troubles. The soldiers claimed that a gun was pointed at them from the car. It later transpired the women were sounding the car horn to warn of the presence of soldiers. 197110230424MM1
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Dorothy Maguire, 19 years, single, one of two women who died in shooting incident involving a British Army patrol in the Lower Falls area of Belfast, N Ireland. The other woman was her married sister, Maura Meehan, of Brantry Street, Belfast. They were both members of Cumann na mBan, the Women’s IRA, and were the first members of that organisation to die in the Troubles. The soldiers claimed that a gun was pointed at them from the car. It later transpired the women were sounding the car horn to warn local people of the presence of soldiers. 197110230424DM1
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On their 32nd anniversary Flo O�Riordan recalls the night her two best friends were murdered.

32 years have passed since Flo O’Riordan (right) witnessed her two best friends being murdered by the British army. She narrowly escaped death herself and the painful memory of that day is still woven into the fabric of Flo’s life.

Maura Meehan (31) and Dorothy Maguire (19) were sisters. Both were members of the female wing of the IRA, the Cumann na mBan. It’s only now that Flo can publicly talk about those awful events.

Flo and Maura had helped set up the Clonard Women’s Action Committee. One of the roles the group played was to alert the community if the British Army were raiding homes in the area.

On the night Maura and Dorothy were murdered the sisters set out with Flo and a local man, Billy Davidson, after hearing the British army were raiding homes in the Lower Falls.

With the introduction of internment in August of that year the women knew the army would be wrecking homes and arresting local men.

Introduction of Internment without trial

The women had recently obtained foghorns.

As they drove towards Cape Street they noticed a British army Land Rover across the middle of the street.

British soldier stands guard with a rifle over a young rioter in the Lenadoon Avenue area, of Belfast, N Ireland, during widespread disturbances which followed the introduction of internment without trial. 387/71, 197108000387a.
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There were 75 British army personnel in the area at the time, 32 of those were in Cape Street as part of the raiding party, a mix of Green Howards and Green Jackets.

THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTHERN IRELAND, 1969 – 2007 (TR 32956) 2nd Lieutenant Robin Martin and Rifleman Andy Walker of 1st Royal Green Jackets man a barbed wire street barricade in Belfast during the Battalion’s first tour of duty in Northern Ireland. The tour lasted from 20 August – 18 December 1969. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205189943

The car the group were travelling in turned left to gain access to Cape Street and at that point Flo clearly remembers seeing a soldier crouch down and take aim at the car.

green (cowards) howards.

�I remember shouting ‘duck’ but it was too late they had already started firing.

green (cowards) howards

�There was noise all around but inside the car I can only remember silence, complete horrible silence.

The Aftermath: The car Maura & Dorothy were traveling in at the time of their murder.

�The girls didn’t stand a chance. The car swerved and hit the wall. I got out and looked into the back to try and open the door and get the girls out.

Follow the story here: http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/Irelandclick/arts2003/oct30_double_tragedy.php

�Maura was just bleeding from every part of her body, even her ankles were bleeding, one of the bullets had severed her spinal cord.

�The car was like a pepper mill, completely riddled with bullets. They had wanted us all dead so no one would live to tell what really happened.

�The shots had torn through Dorothy’s head and her whole face was disfigured.

�People came from everywhere it’s hard to put all the details into the proper sequence.

A stunning picture of Maura Meehan, such a beautiful young lady. Far to young to have her life taken from her.

�Local people took me to hospital.

Despite being badly injured herself Flo was only in the hospital for a few hours when the RUC came and arrested her. They took her to Castlereagh interrogation centre where she went through three days of hell before finally being charged with attempted murder of unnamed British soldiers.

Outside of Castlereagh Interrogation Centre

Billy Davidson attended a press conference the following day to dispute the British army’s version of events; the British said the women had opened fire on them from the car.

�I was worried about my own six children and if they were okay but I knew the girls were dead and I knew that Maura’s four children would never see her again.

Listen to it here: http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/Irelandclick/arts2003/oct30_double_tragedy.php

�I got a hard time in Castlereagh. They threw pictures of Maura and Dorothy into the cell, pictures of their injuries, horrible pictures.

Inside Castlereagh Interrogation Centre.

�I was injured, but also in shock and grieving.

Flo was finally given bail and allowed home to her children. She made it to her two friends’ funeral.

At the inquest a succession of British soldiers testified. There was inconsistent forensic evidence.

And after a trial that lasted five days, Flo and Billy were cleared of all charges, but found guilty only of dangerous driving, to stop any compensation claim for wrongful arrest.

Another photo of the inside of Castlereagh Interrogation Centre.

But if 1971 holds bad memories for Flo little did she know more was still to come.

A muriel dedicated to Cumann na mBan volunteers Óglach Maura Meehan agus Óglach Dorothy Maguire. Fuair sé bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann.

Less than six months later Flo’s son Sen was gunned down by the British army at the corner of Cupar Street and Cawnpore Street. He was just 13-years old, the second eldest of the O’Riordan children.

Óglach Seán O’Riordan (Sen), (13), na Fianna hÉireann, murded by British soldiers, he was the youngest volunteer at the time to be murdered by the British Army. It was reported at the time: “The youngest boy to die Sean O’Riordan (14) from the Lower Falls area, was killed during an attack on British soldiers. Locals said he had been active in the IRA and used as a sniper and for transpoting guns for up to a year at the time. Two others were shot during clashes with loyalists”. (Belfast Telegraph) a predomant loyalist newspaper reported. Fuair sé bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann.

The schoolboy was shot in the back of the head.

�Even after all these years the pain still hasn’t gone away, recalls Flo.

Please sign the petition to get the Justice Maura & Dorothy deserve, thankyou: https://www.change.org/p/maura-meehan-and-her-sister-dorothy-maguire-ask-british-government-to-finally-admit-fault-in-execution-style-murder-of-my-mother-and-aunt-30-and-19-leaving-four-children-orphaned-without-a-future-or-explanation-from-october-23-1971

�Altogether I spent five years of my life in and out of prison, but my children were the ones that suffered.

�I lost my best friends, I lost my beautiful son, my children were left without a mother on many occasions.

�There are times when I just fall to pieces. Sen’s birthday falls three days after the anniversary of Maura and Dorothy’s death. From there it is just a spiral of grief that lasts until the anniversary of his death on 23 March. “May he rest in peace”.

�In many ways the actions of the women in those days was overlooked, it is always the men who get the medals. In republican circles it was acknowledged how important a role we were playing, but because it was all behind the scenes there was very little public recognition for the risks we took.

�The difference with women who were involved is that they were also the home-makers, if they went to jail or died they were leaving their families to fend for themselves.

�When you look at the political process and what we have been through this week you have to ask yourself, all that suffering and for what?

�My family have had their fair share of suffering, so have many others, but we believed that we were fighting for a 32 county Ireland.

�I will never forget all those people who died, all those young lads who gave so much, and sacrificed their lives for that cause.

�And even though for many that cause is forgotten, the people who died during those terrible years will never be forgotten should 30, 40, 50 or even 100 years pass.�

Last news report from the BBC concerning both sisters:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-23576607

November 3, 2003

With many thanks to: Gearad Meehan and Richard Steele.

Don’t use Manchester for political point scoring.

Letters:

Don’t use Manchester for political point scoring
The Irish News 30/05/2017

The terrible events in Manchester has seen a reaction from certain political parties and commentators claiming that those who supported the armed struggle by the IRA have no right to condemn or offer sympathies to those killed and injured in that dreadful attack.

Practically all organisations, governments and political parties supported the use of violence by those involved in our recent conflict in some way or other. Are they all being accused of double standards?

The British state supported and aided the killing of people they called their own citizens throughout the conflict by both their forces and surrogate forces.

Remember the children, the forgotten voices of the ‘Trouble’s’ in the North of Ireland ! They don’t have a voice only us “who remember them”

Not to mention that the British state has bombed civilians indiscriminately on numerous occasions throughout the years and continues to do so with their activities in other people’s countries.

Unionism and loyalism supported state forces and their own death squads. The Alliance party supported the state forces as did the SDLP.

It appears from recent comments by elected representatives and commentators that violence is ok as long as it is used by the mighty against those of no property. Where does the hypocrisy label really stick?

If Nelson Mandela had been alive today, would the same people have been as quick to accuse him of hypocrisy when he condemned the attack? I think not.

The fact that we have moved out of conflict has not stopped some from still trying to fight and win the war. Using the deaths in Manchester for political point scoring and attempting to rewrite the narrative and facts of our own recent conflict, only shows the double standards and political agenda of those making these comments.

ANNE QUINN
Belfast BT14

With many thanks to: Seán Mac Conmara

http://www.irishnews.com/opinion/letterstotheeditor/2017/05/30/news/misunderstanding-of-farmers-position-regarding-rhi-scheme-1038822/

Killer of Garda Tony Golden was ‘protected Garda agent’ and informer.

Why did senior gardaí and DPP – who knew the unstable Crevan Makin had access to guns – release him from prison on reduced bail?

Adrian Crevan Makin – was ‘protected Garda agent’ and paid informer.

ON 11th OCTOBER 2015, Adrian Crevan Mackin shot dead Garda Tony Golden and seriously wounded Siobhán Philips before taking his own life near Omeath, Co Louth. New evidence shows that Adrian Crevan Mackin was a Garda agent and informer, tasked with infiltrating so-called dissident republican groupings. He was out on bail at the time of the murder even though he had admitted possessing weapons and explosivies. Nine months before the killing of Garda Golden, Crevan Mackin had admitted to possession of firearms and even led gardaí to an arms dump near the Border where they recovered two pistols. Incredibly, despite this, Mackin was not charged with any firearms offences. The series of events leading up to the killing of Garda Golden and the wounding of Mackin’s partner, Siobhán Philips, paints a murky picture where An Garda Siochána used a highly dangerous, volatile and abusive individual with serious mental health issues as an agent of the state working for the Irish police.
Crevan Mackin told garda detectives he had access to guns, including two glock pistols – the type he would use to kill garda golden.

Garda Tony Golden, shot dead by paid Garda agent. Adrian Crevan Mackin, a gardaí informant.

Mackin had for years been on the fringes of so-called dissident republican organisations. He went to school in Warrenpoint, County Down, In 2012, he was arrested by the RUC/PSNI for possession of extreme pornographic material. After this, he moved to the north Louth, where, according to his sister, he began to supply pipe-bombs to dissident republican groupings opposed to the Peace Process.

On 16th January 2015, following a tip-off from the FBI in the United States, at least 16 armed gardaí from the Special Detective Unit in Dublin raided Mackin’s home in Omeath.

The Garda funeral of Tony Golden in Blackrock, Co Louth.

The FBI had provided a list of weapons which Mackin had purchased over a two-year period. Gardaí had obtained the warrant to raid Mackin’s home stating that they beleived he had six firearms in his possession. During the raid they found threaded and capped pipes ( which can be used for making pipe-bombs) along with gallons of sulphuric and nitric acid which are used in the mixing of explosives.

Mackin was arrested and interveiwed by gardaí. Check out the video: https://youtu.be/gr6WhuW5nRA

The FBI claimed they had information that Mackin was intending to import the highly-toxic poison ricin with intent to kill a Social Services officer in the North. The transcripts of interviews with gardaí show that Mackin denied membership of any organisation styling itself the IRA before simply answering 27 further questions with the words “no comment”. During a fifth round of questioning, Mackin did admit to weapons possession and importing components parts for six firearms after a list of his PayPal transactions were shown to him. Around this time, Mackin told detectives he had he had access to guns, including two Glock pistols – the type he would use to kill Garda Golden.

He also led gardaí to an arms dump at a direlict cottage in Edentubber where they recovered two beretta 9mm pistols. Mackin said he brought the gardaí to this arms dump in exchange for not being charged with firearms offences, and instead to be charged with IRA membership – something he had not admitted to. Mackin’s sister said he informed her that there was a deal with the gardaí. “‘We’ll keep you out of prison but you’ll have to do this [or that] for us’. Why did they think Crevan was a good candidate to be a grass, or a tout, or informer, or whatever word you want to put on it?” she said. On 18th January 2015, the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions instructed gardaí to charge Mackin with IRA membership, the very offence he had not admitted.

Numerous questions for Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, former Taoiseach Edna Kenny and Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan.

Crevan Mackin’s solicitor, Paul Tiernan, told an RTÉ Investigates programme detailing the incredible story that he finds it “very strange” and “highly unusual” that “someone who had admitted possession of firearms and the importation of component parts for firearms, should have been treated in this way” and  not charged with possession of those firearms. In the vast majority of cases, the strongest evidence against people is their own admissions,” the solicitor said on TV. While awaiting a bail hearing, Mackin was sent to Portlaoise Prison. There he attempted to have himself placed on wings which housed prisoners of various so-called dissident republican groups. These prisoners refused to allow Mackin on their wings, suspecting him of being a spy. Mackin’s solicitor said in an interview on RTÉ: “He told me that he was advised to infiltrate the Real IRA in Portlaoise. He confirmed that he was brought onto the political wing but, very soon after arriving on the political wing in Portaoise Prison, he was expelled.” Mackin’s bail was originally posted at €20.000 but, strangely, this was reduced to €5.000. He was released 10 days after his arrest. His sister says he had confided in her that he beleived he was going to be shot dead by dissident republicans for his role as a Garda informer, describing himself as “a marked man” and saying it was “only a matter of time” before they would kill him. His sister and solicitor say he started to deteriorate mentally and became increasingly anxious and was prone to violent outbursts.

The FBI claimed Mackin was intending to import the ricin poison with intent to kill a Social Services officer in the North.

He also began to regularly assault and beat his partner, Siobhán Philips. Two days before the killing of Garda Golden, Siobhán Philips (21) had been subjected to a horrific and prolonged assault at the hands of the 24-year-old Mackin. Over the course of 12 hours he punched Siobhán in the head, kicked her in the stomach, and slashed her a number of times on the arm and legs with a bread knife. Siobhán told work colleagues what happened and then her father and stepmother, telling them she was terrified Mackin was going to kill her. Mackin had also threatened to kill other members of her family, including her brothers. Her stepmother told her that the only way anything would come of it was if she went to the Garda and made a statement. On the morning of 10th October, a visibly frightened and injured Siobhán Philips – accompanied by her father and stepmother – attemted to register complaints of domestic violence and assault against Mackin at Dundalk Garda station. This is the same Garda station at which Mackin signed on as part of his bail conditions. Siobháns father, Seán, says the garda they dealt with in Dundalk refused to take a statement, telling them ‘that girl [Siobhán] could have a brain injury or anything. I’m not going to take a statement from somebody with injuries like that”, before instructing them to go to Omeath as it was in that jurisdiction where the assault happened.

Dundalk Garda Station

The family met Garda Tony Golden at the Omeath station the next day.

Mackin’s sister said he informed her that there was a deal with the gardaí to keep him out of prison.

After taking the statement, Garda Tony Golden accompanied Siobhán and her father to the home she shared with Crevan Mackin to collect her things. Garda Golden and Siobhán Philips went inside while Siobhán’s father waited outside.

Mackin aggressively demanded to know why Garda was there before opening fire on the pair, killing Garda Golden and horrifically wounding Siobhán Philips with a gunshot in the head. He then turned the gun on himself.

Gerry Adams repeatedly contacted An Taoiseach, the Justice Minister and the Garda Commissioner.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD asked for the recall of the Dáil from its Easter recess to allow the Minister for Justice to make a statement on the matter and to answer questions. The Louth TD has written to Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald eight times since October 2015, to the Taoiseach four times and GSOC on three occasions to raise concerns about the case. “Given the information I provided, I would have expected Minister Fitzgerald and the Taoiseach, after a reasonable period of time, to ensure a proper investigation into the circumstances which led to the shooting of Garda Golden and Siobhán Philips took place,” he said.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions instructed gardaí to charge Mackin with IRA membership – the very offence he had not admitted

The Dáil deputy described the responses from An Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice as “unsatisfactory”: “I have never received any indication that the Government was taking this matter seriously. Given that it was known by some senior figures in An Garda Siochána that Crevan Mackin had access to weapons. Siobhán Philips and Garda Golden should not have been placed in this perilous situation. Gerry Adams described the arrest, interrogation and subsequent treatment of Crevan Mackin as ‘entirely inappropriate’: “All of thd families affected by this need to have the truth about the circumstances of Cravan Mackin’s arrest, questioning, charging and relationship with An Garda Siochána. “Those responsible must be held accountable and, if neccessary, they must face a criminal investigation and possibly charges.”

Mackin’s bail was originally posted at €20,000 but, strangely, this was quickly reduced to €5,000.

Meanwhile, the family of Siobhán Philips have announced that they are to sue An Garda Siochána. In a statement following the airing of the RTÉ Investigates programme on 20th April, their solicitors. Madden & Finucane, said: “These revelations raise issues of significant public importance and require an investigation at the highest level. “We have been instructed today to issue proceedings in the High Court in Dublin and we will be writing to Francis Fitzgerald, the Minister for Justice, requesting that she immediately establish a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Siobhán and the murder of Garda Golden.”

http://www.thejournal.ie/garda-tony-golden-prime-time-investigates-rte-3350264-Apr2017/

With many thanks to: Mark Moloney – anphoblacht for the origional story. http://www.anphoblacht.com

 

‘Frankenstein Justice’ remark truer than Doug Beattie thinks.

This following letter was posted in The Irish News today May 1st 2017.

DOUB Beattie believes Crown Force members, who committed murders should face murder charges.

He believes in British justice, Courts and Judges. When British inquests and investigations threaten to uncover proof to charge British Forces in British Courts, Beattie shouts ‘Frankenstein Justice’ outside Belfast City Hall. Mr Beattie’s reference may be truer than he thinks. Frankenstein, of course, was a fictional character, destroyed by the monster he himself created. The British created monstrous injustices to legalise murders over decades of conflict. If inquests, criminal trials and investigations fought for by victims’ families go ahead, the truth about these monstrous injustices may destroy decades of lies at the heart of British rule.

How does an inquest into the ‘Ballymurphy massacre‘ or an inquest into the British State ‘Murder of Pat Finnucane’ fit Beattie’s ‘Frankenstein Justice’ ? 

Along with Saoradh, the Ballymurphy Massacre families took to Belfast’s streets on Good Friday, perhaps wondering why Mr Beattie thinks their loved ones unworthy of a legal inquest. Anyone who understands these families knows they have not campaigned for nearly 46 years, because of some far sighted political plot or Irish fondness for inquests. These families contend that 11 of their loved ones, were murdered openly by British troops in August 1971. The dead including a Catholic priest and 45-year-old mother, were unarmed. Some shot as many as 14 times. British Royal Military Police then declared British Paratroopers innocent and branded their loved ones guilty.

Eyewitness were not allowed to dispute the British account, nor ask why no British casualties were inflicted, or weapons recovered from so many dead IRA gunmen. British military strategists, like Brigadier General Frank Kitson, were writing how “Law should be used just another weapon in the government’s arsenal….. little more than propaganda cover for disposal of unwanted members of the public.” (Low Intensity Operations) Such policies required an undeclared immunity for troopers disposing permanently of unwanted members of the public. It worked so well in Ballymurphy that the British decided to do a replay five months later in Deery  (Bloody Sunday). There British Troopers, who Mr Beattie boasts defend our right to protest, defended us by shooting down protesters, with the troublesome mistake of too many witnesses on Bloody Sunday.

Adams/Blair British State Collusion

The Ballymurphy Massacare families are entitled to put their sworn testimony to an inquest where, unlike Beattie, they need not fear the truth. Many vitims’ families have that right. There is no mystery here. The British created and rubber-stamped monstrous injustices like Ballymurphy and many many more you won’t have heard of as a matter of policy. They hide behind the DUP, or empty words like ‘imbalance’ and ‘pernicious counter-narratives’. ‘Frankenstein Justice’ just means they fear seeing their lies being destroyed by the monster they created.

With many thanks to: Martin Galvin, New York, The Irish News. 

For what died the son’s of Róisín was it fame?

For what died the sons of Róisín, was it fame?

For what flowed Irelands blood in rivers

That began when Brian chased the Dane

And did not cease nor has not ceased

With the brave sons of ’16

For what died the sons of Róisín, was it fame?

https://youtu.be/C14U7JYGRgA
For what died the sons of Róisín, was it greed?

For what died the sons of Róisín, was it greed?

Was it greed that drove Wolfe Tone

To a paupers death in a cell of cold wet stone?

Will German, French or Dutch inscribe the epitaph of Emmet?

When we have sold enough of Ireland to be but strangers in it

For what died the sons of Róisín, was it greed?
To whom do we owe our allegiance today?

To whom do we owe our allegiance today?

To those brave men who fought and died

That Róisín live again with pride?

Her sons at home to work and sing

Her youth to dance and make her valleys ring

Or the faceless men who for Mark and Dollar

Betray her to the highest bidder

To whom do we owe our allegiance today?
For what suffer our patriots today?

For what suffer our patriots today?

They have a language problem, so they say

How to write “No Trespass” must grieve their heart full sore

We got rid of one strange language

Now we are faced with many, many more,

For what suffer our patriots today?

With many thanks to: Tom West Cork Barry.

‘On-the-runs’ deal negotiated with Shame Féin and the British government ‘made amnesty for British Soldiers inevitable’.

This story appeared in The Irish News today Saturday April 29th 2017.


TONY Blair’s ‘backroom deal with Shame Féin in relation to an ‘amnesty for members of the IRA’ which has become known by the so-called of ‘ontheruns‘ made an amnesty for former British Soldiers an “inevitability” a member of the Westminster defence committee has said. Earlier this week the powerful Commons committee backed calls for a ‘statue of limitations’ stopping investigation or prosecution of all former British Soldiers for Trouble’s related offences.

The committee stopped short of recommending a ‘statute of limitations‘ for unsolved paramilitary killings saying that “would be for the next government to decide”. In February The Irish News reported that 200 soldiers linked to unsolved Troubles killings are set to benefit from a de facto amnesty, with the British government seeking to introduce special legislation which would place a “line in the sand” on further prosecutions involving some  ‘high level’ Shame Féin MLA’s from further prosecutions. 


Sir Gearld Howarth, the outgoing Conservative MP for Aldershot said at the time that there were discussions taking place at the highest level to protect former members of the British military from prosecution.

Gerry Kelly who shot dead a prison officer in the H-Block great escape received one of the comfort pardon’s.

“The soldiers and their families I speak to feel very let down”, he said. Three former members of the British military are charged with offences relating to their time on duty in the North of Ireland. In December last year two retired members of the Parachute Regiment were told they were to be prosecuted for the murder (execution ) of O.I.R.A (Official Irish Republican Army), Commander Joe McCann in 1972.
Another former British Soldier, Dennis Hutchings, who is in his in seventies and from Cornwall, has been charged with the attempted murder of John Paul Cunningham (27). who had learning  difficulties, was shot dead  (shot in the back) by a brave British Soldier in Co Tyrone in 1974. Prosecutors are also considering files on the 1972 Bloody Sunday shootings (mass murders) were 14 innocent civilians were murdered by British Soldiers in Co Derry.


DUP MP Gavin Robinson, an Orangeman and qualified solicitor 
https://goo.gl/images/URI1He

(pictured above) who sits on the Westminster defence committee said this government had a “long way to go to undo the disgraceful deals of the past”. “The current government are not going to be able to right the wrongs of the past, there were some quite disgraceful secret deals done and people were understandably outraged.


“The ‘on-the-run’ issue created a completely unbalanced situation and it is absolutely right that there are now steps taken to address that imbalance. “The IRA did not leave written records of the murders they carried out and in fact when pressed have continued to observe the IRA’s code of silence. “This was very evident in Martin McGuinness” evidence during the Saville inquiry. “These recommendations are not set in stone and they could be rejected, but I would hope the current government (Vote Labour) will give serious consideration to the report and the very understandable public anger.”
With many thanks to: Allison Morris, The Irish News, for the original story.

RUC/PSNI officer said he was not aware of murders in blighted gang area

Sergeant failed to log gun find saying he had not linked discovery to paramilitaries.


Police officer was unaware of murders in area where 40 people were murdered.

An RUC/PSNI officer told ombudsman investigators he was not aware of murders in an area of Co Tyrone where more than 40 people were murdered over four years in the 1990s. An investigation found that the RUC/PSNI officer wrongly recorded the discovery of a gun, ammunition and manuals near Dungannon last year as ‘property found’ rather than an ‘arms find’. The items were uncovered by workmen at a house at Tamnamore in June and brought to a police station. When asked by The Irish News about the find, the RUC/PSNI initially said it had “No knowledge” before later confirming that a weapon had been found. A complaint was made by Relatives for Justice and Anthony Fox, whose parents Charlie and Tess were murdered by the UVF near Moy in 1992. The ombudsmen concluded that by logging the arms discovery as ‘property found’ it was not properly flagged up to senior officers and the police press office. The duty sergeant involved stated that he “was not aware of any murders back in the 1990s in the area and he had no thoughts of starting an investigation into this gun being linked to paramilitaries”.

With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News, for the original story.

An RUC/PSNI officer told the Police Ombudsman he did not think of starting an investigation into possible paramilitary links to a gun find as he was not aware of any murders in an area which saw dozens of Trouble’s murders. 
The duty sergeant was speaking to investigators examining the police response to the discovery of a gun, various calibre’s of ammunition and manuals at a house at Tamnamore near Dungannon last June. The owner of the house is understood to have had no knowledge of the weapon, which was found by workmen and brought to Dungannon RUC/PSNI station. When asked about the discovery by The Irish News last year, the RUC/PSNI initially said it had “no knowledge” before later confirming that a weapon had been found. The duty sergeant, referred to as ‘Officer 1’, told the ombusman’s office that the “manuals were in very bad condition” and were later “disposed of”. The investigation concluded that by logging the weapon as ‘property found’ instead of an arms find, it meant it was not properly flagged up to senior officers and when police press officers searched for details, it did not show up. 

Charlie and Tess Fox were shot dead in 1992. A weapon was discovered within a few miles of several attacks by the sectarian gang known as the ‘Glenanne Gang’, which included members of the UVF, UDR and RUC and was responsible for dozens of murders in the 1970s. The gun, handed into police by workmen, was logged by police as ‘property found’ and not as a weapons find.

The weapon was discovered within a few miles of several attacks by the sectarian gang known as the ‘Glenanne Gang’, which included members of the UVF, UDR and RUC and was responsible for dozens of sectarian murders carried out in Mid-Ulster in the 1970s. A car used in the sectarian murder of a Catholic man in 1974 is believed to have been burnt out close to where it was found. Between 1990 and 1994 more than 40 people were killed in Trouble’s-related incidents in the East Tyrone area.

“We find it incredulous that any serving police officer would not be aware of sectarian murders in mid-Ulster in the 1990s” – Anthony Fox.

A joint complaint was made to the ombusman about the initial denial of the discovery by Relatives for Justice and Anthony Fox, whose parents Charlie and Tess were gunned down by the UVF at their home near the Moy in September 1992. The report revealed that investigators “challenged Officer 1 that they way in which the incident was recorded on police information systems would have merely suggested that this was a case of ‘property found’ rather  than an ‘arms find’.” “He stated that he was not aware of murders back in the 1990s in the area and he had no thoughts of starting an investigation into this gun being linked to paramilitaries, as he was not aware of any links or suggestions of this,” it said. “He was adamant that he did not try to hide weapons with possible links to paramilitaries.” Another officer, referred to as ‘Officer 2’, later confirmed he was “quite happy” with how the first officer had logged the incident.

However, the ombusman said the complaint had been substantiated and “appropriate disciplinary sanctions were recommended” and have been “acted upon”. It added that the PSNI’s Legacy Investigation Branch is now dealing with the gun, with ballistics testing understood to have been completed. Last month Mid-Ulster SDLP councillor Denise Mullen, whose father Denis Mullen was murdered by the ‘Glenanne Gang’ in September 1975, criticised the time taken to complete forensic tests. Charlie and Tess Fox’s son Anthony Fox last night slammed the police investigation, a quarter of a century after the murder of his parents. “We find it incredulous that any serving police officer would not be aware of sectarian murders in mid-Ulster area in the 1990s. Mike Richie, pictured at the top of the page , from Relatives for Justice also said the officer’s claim “lacks credibility”. Police said last night: “The recommendations made in the Police Ombudsman’s report have been actioned by PSNI.”

With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News for the original story.

Follow up link: http://m.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/two-psni-officers-face-sanctions-over-gun-find-probe-35665088.html




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