Sunday, January 16, 2022

Families say the Ombudsman’s report confirms allegations of collusion in murders

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Families of victims murdered by the UDA/UFF said a new report from the Police Ombudsman has confirmed their claims of collusion with RUC officers.

The report, which investigated a number of loyalist killings during the riots, including the Greysteel massacre in 1993, found evidence of secret behavior by some officers but said the Royal Ulster Constabulary had no prior knowledge of the attacks.

Marie Anderson’s report raised “significant concerns” about the RUC’s conduct in relation to 19 murders and multiple attempted murders carried out by the Ulster Defense Association (UDA) and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (the UFF was an alias used by the UDA). became. between 1989 and 1993.

Concerns included the use of whistleblowers by the RUC Special Branch, who themselves were suspected of murder.

The families of some of the murder victims whose cases were under review by the Ombudsman released a joint statement through the Relatives for Justice lobby group.

The statement is on behalf of the families of Gerard Casey, Tom Donaghy, Bernard O’Hagan, Daniel Cassidy, Malachy Carey, Jimmy Kelly, Noel O’Kane, James McKenna and John Moyne.

It said: “We stand vindicated in our continued claims of collusion, particularly by the RUC and UDR, in the killings of our loved ones.

“We have been presented with irrefutable evidence of collusion.”

It added: “This confirms our belief regarding the policy of collusion – the precise purpose of recruiting agents and whistleblowers was to carry out attacks and not to prevent such attacks.”

“This infiltration strategy posed a greater risk to the public and outweighed any benefits, yet the RUC Special Branch continued.”

“Today we remember and honor our loved ones and all who stood with us in our search for truth, justice and accountability.

“This report reaffirms our longstanding belief that collusion was a key factor in the killings of our loved ones and strengthens our resolve to demand full accountability.”

The family of Patrick Shanaghan, who was murdered in Co Tyrone in 1991, welcomed the report but criticized its limitations.

They expressed disappointment that aspects of their complaints relating to the actions of RUC officials prior to Mr Shanaghan’s assassination could not be dealt with.

A statement from the family said: “What worries us most has been the apparent disregard for Patrick’s life by the RUC and the police’s inexcusable refusal to allow medical attention for Patrick after he was shot.

“As in life, in death Patrick was denied the most basic of human rights.”

Gerard Casey was killed in Co Antrim in 1989.

His son Paul Casey said: “It is important that, in addition to the conduct of the RUC, there is a full investigation into the UDR’s role in targeting my father.

“The Ombudsman has determined that the person suspected of having disclosed my father’s personal information has been dismissed from this regiment, but neither the UDR nor the RUC Special Branch have disseminated the information further.”

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