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Hugh Watters, Dundalk, one of the victims of collusion involving the RUC. British Army/UDR and UVF killers.Jack Rooney, another Dundalk man to die in the Dundalk bombing of 19 December 1976 - murdered by UVF killers in collusion with elements from the RUC and the British Army/UDR.





The Irish News, 7 November 2006:

Questions haunt probe into loyalist collusion


Susan McKay

Adistinguished and independent panel of international lawyers yesterday (Monday) reported on its two-year inquiry into 25 incidents involving the murders of 76 people. These were sectarian murders carried out by loyalist paramilitaries from mid-Ulster between 1972 and 1977.

The panel found strong evidence of collusion between members of the British security forces, mainly the RUC and the UDR, in 24 out of the 25 incidents, and therefore 74 out of the 76 murders. The evidence came from credible statements and forensics.

Policemen and soldiers helped paramilitary gangs to murder men, women and children, most of them Catholics. In some cases, policemen and soldiers were part of the loyalist paramilitary gangs. In some cases, they donned masks to murder, then RUC uniforms to investigate.

They stole, lent, used and hid weapons provided to them for the protection of the people, to murder civilians. They destroyed and covered up evidence. The report includes a chart which shows the way that the same guns were used over and over again.

There were car bombs, grenade attacks, and shootings. Pubs were sprayed with gunfire. Several families were massacred. The Dublin and Monaghan bombings left 34 dead, the largest number killed on any single day during the Troubles. Other cases under investigation did not lead to deaths. Many other people were injured.

Investigations failed even in the face of overwhelming evidence. In one case, a widow identified the killer, the notorious Robin Jackson, only to see charges against him dropped by order of the DPP. Jackson was a special branch agent. Evidence of collusion was provided by several former members of the security forces, but was not acted on. Ballistics evidence linking killings was ignored.

"Credible evidence indicates that superiors of violent extremist officers and agents were aware of their sectarian crimes yet failed to act to prevent, investigate or punish them as early as 1973, senior officials of the United Kingdom were put on notice of sectarian violence by UDR soldiers. At least by 1975, senior officials were also informed that some RUC officers were very close to extremist paramilitaries." Confessions in 1978 by former RUC officers John Weir and Billy McCaughey "should have blown the lid off RUC and UDR involvement in murdering Catholics".

Those who take the view that these things happened back in the bad old days and that all has changed now, and changed utterly, will find no comfort in this report. Weir's allegations, made public in 1999, were not properly investigated even then.

The inquiry panel met the Chief Constable of the PSNI, Sir Hugh Orde, in 2004. "We thought we received assurances of his co-operation," its chairman, Professor Douglass Cassel, said yesterday. "Since then we have received not a single piece of paper."

He said Orde had subsequently informed them that he was referring all relevant material on these matters to the body which preceded the Historical Enquiries Team. He already knew about that body before he met the panel, Cassel said. Why did he appear to change his mind?

This is not the first time that the activities of the so-called "Glenanne Gang" of loyalist paramilitaries, soldiers and policemen, have been exposed. Mr Justice Henry Barron looked at some of its murderous activities. The Pat Finucane Centre, which invited the Cassel team to carry out this latest investigation, has carried out excellent and painstaking work on behalf of some of the bereaved families. Last year it uncovered documents revealing high-level knowledge of collusion in the UDR in the early 1970's.

However, all attempts to get the full truth about these murders – and many others – have been thwarted by the refusal of the British government to make available crucial intelligence records. This report is yet another appeal to it to do the right thing before it is forced to under international law.

Pat Finucane's widow, Geraldine, was at the launch. She found the report "very encouraging".

It was scary to think, she said, that people in authority in London knew about these things back in 1973. "I am sure their skills were well-honed by 1989 when they murdered my husband," she said.

She is right. This fine report isn't just about the 76 awful murders it has studied. It is about hundreds of others that followed.

A question haunts the report, as it haunted the work of Mr Justice Barron, Lord Stevens and Judge Peter Cory. How high up the chain did knowledge of and complicity in these atrocities go?

It is a question which won't go away.


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See also:


Irish Times/, 6 November 2006: Garda Castigated In Report On North Collusion

Irish American Information Service online, 6 November 2006: RUC APPROVED AND COLLUDED IN 25 MURDERS - REPORT
2006-11-06 11:53:00.0 EST

BBC News online, 6 November 2006: Security 'Links' To Murder Plots

Ulster Television News online, 6 November 2006: US academic shocked by report's findings

The Irish Daily Mirror, 7 November 2006: Shock report alleges high-level collusion Officials 'had information on 25 atrocities' RUC & Army 'helped loyalists carry out. . 74 MURDERS

The Irish Daily Mirror, 7 November 2006: So many victims

The Irish Examiner, 7 November 2006: Evidence found of British collusion in bombings

The Irish-American Information Service, 7 November 2006: PRESSURE ON BRITISH TO INVESTIGATE COLLUSION EVIDENCE

The Dundalk Democrat, 15 November 2006:'We just want the truth' New investigation into 1975 bombing

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Produced in association with the Ludlow Family.

Last edited: 16 November 2006 17:34:56

 Visit the Ludlow family's websiteVisit Justice for the Forgotten  Statement by John Oliver Weir

Download the Barron Report (pdf file) on the Dundalk bombing.

Download the Barron Inquiry Report into the 17 May 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings, (pdf file)

Barron Report: on the Dublin Bombings of 1972 and 1973, can also be downloaded in pdf form

Download the Barron Report into the murder of Seamus Ludlow from the Oireachtas website (pdf file)

Copyright © 2006 the Rooney, Watters and Ludlow families. All rights reserved. Revised: November 16, 2006 .