On Wednesday, a Sinn Fein delegation led by Martin McGuinness MP held talks with the Dermot Ahern TD Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs in Dundalk.
After the meeting, Mr McGuinness in remarks not widely reported said ,
"Collusion was a British policy, it was about upholding the Union [with Britain] and its result was a campaign of State terrorism in Ireland."....the report by the Police Ombudsman was he said "the beginning of the process to uncover the full extent of collusion and the involvement of the most senior political figures in the British system in it."
He went on to refer to a recent press report (?) quoting former RUC/PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Raymond White, who has apparently admitted that British Ministers and senior officials were "regularly briefed"on undercover operations and that he personally had briefed former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Those with medium term memory will remember he was named in Affadavits prepared by Assistant Chief Constable Alan McQuillan and Assistant Chief Constable Sam Kincaid lodged at the High Court in Belfast which criticised White and Chief Constable Flanagan over the report into the Omagh bombing.(Ulster TV Wednesday 2 /05/2002 cached only )
"This goes right to the very top .... "I impressed upon the Irish government today that a passive role on this issue is no longer an option for them. They must join with Sinn Fein and the families of those killed and injured through this British policy in demanding that the British government come clean."Making a point which must have been embarassing to the wily Ahern , McGuiness put him on an unwelcome spot ;
"They (The Irish Gubment) must rigorously pursue those instances where the collusion policy directed from Whitehall resulted in attacks in the 26 counties. They must join with us in demanding that any serving members of the PSNI involved in this activity are drummed out of policing."Meanwhile SDLP leader Mark Durkan used parliamentary privilege at to name three former heads of RUC/PSNI Special Branch Chris Albiston, Ray White and Freddy Hall,who are believed to have refused to cooperate with the police ombudsman's investigation into its murderous links to the UVF in north Belfast. The first two named have however not hesistated to publicly criticise the Ombudsman's report.
Mark Durkan added that collusion "was a fact, not a myth" and demanded former RUC/PSNI chief constable Ronnie Flanagan resign as 'Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary', a supervisory role over all British Crown police forces, including the PSNI.
"Can Ronnie Flanagan, who presided over a culture of 'anything goes but nobody knows', be credible as the chief inspector of constabularies, and will the prime minister now rethink plans to install MI5 as continuity special branch in Northern Ireland beyond the reach of key
powers of the Police Ombudsman?"
Tony Blair replied that whilst the Gubment regretted the state killings, it was important to "make sure that such a thing can never happen again and that obviously, as we are doing, we deal with those responsible".
No details have yet emerged as to what actions, if any, are to be taken against those involved in the conspiracy. The Policing Board met on 24th January with Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde and had a briefing from Nuala O`Loan, the Police Ombudsman - they have agreed (at their private meeting) to consider any changes that the PSNI have made in response in six months.
The ten documented and principal assassinations ( which involved the killing of both Republican and Protestant supporters) in the report from Nuala O`Loan are briefly;
RAYMOND McCORD JNR:
The 22-year-old Protestant former RAF member was found beaten to death at Ballyduff quarry N Belfast on November 9th 1997. Mrs O'Loan's report states that Haddock ordered
Mr McCord jnr to be killed following a dispute over drugs.
One suspect in the killing is referred to in the report as "Man D", a prisoner on leave from Long Kesh prison. However, there was a failure to examine the suspect's clothing at the prison and a vital forensic opportunity was lost.
Haddock and others were arrested and questioned about the killing but were released without charge. The report details destruction of exhibits, including a car thought to have been used in the McCord killing.
The 26-year-old Catholic voluntary worker was shot dead at his home in the Bawnmore area of north Belfast on February 24th 1991.
Haddock was arrested and questioned 19 times by his RUC "handlers". Mrs O'Loan reports that they "babysat" him through interviews to ensure he did not incriminate himself. She further reports that the interview notes did not reflect the interview and that he was released without
charge. 2 men were subsequently convicted, but Special Branch never revealed the involvement of a police informant.
Ms McKenna was a 27-year-old Catholic taxi driver, was shot dead on January 17th, 1993 while visiting a Protestant pensioner at his N Belfast home.
Two men called to the door and forced their way in when the pensioner opened it. They demanded the keys to Ms McKenna's car and, as she turned to lift them from the fireplace, they shot her in the back.
In interviews with Mrs O'Loan's investigators, senior RUC officers said Haddock had told them he was one of the gunmen. This is supported by "high grade" information.
Haddock was arrested on the 19th (he saw his handlers the following day) and interviewed 37 times over the course of six days, on some occasions by his "handler".
The report states that another officer present claimed he felt like "a gooseberry" in that he knew his RUC colleague was interviewing his own "source" and that nothing of any value would emerge from the questioning.
No one has been charged with the murder and Haddock's monthly informant's pay was increased from £100 to £160, despite the fact that he remained the main suspect.
The 55-year-old Catholic father of four was shot dead in N Belfast on February 25th, 1994 as he babysat his grandchildren in his daughter's house. He died the following week from his wounds.
Mrs O'Loan reports that other evidence, seen by her investigators, shows another informant carried out the killing and that Haddock was also involved.
GARY CONVIE AND EAMON FOX:
Mr Convie, a 24-year-old Catholic father of one, and Mr Fox, a 44-year-old married Catholic father of six, were shot dead while eating lunch at a building site in the Tiger Bay area of N Belfast.
Haddock was suspected of the murders and arrested. Mrs O'Loan reports that the gunman was said to have had a "goatee" beard at the time of the attack. Haddock too had a "goatee" beard, but was given time to shave it off while in custody.
A former British soldier was later convicted of the killings. He had been dismissed from the Royal Corps of Signals.
Mr Brady was a 27-year-old Catholic father of two, part time taxi driver and plumber. He was shot dead by 2 men who were passengers in his car on June 17th 1994.
Mrs O'Loan's investigators found that the RUC had intelligence linking Haddock and another RUC agent to the killing. They state also that ballistic tests on the gun used had established a link to Haddock and to other informants.
Mr Harbinson, a Protestant died after he was handcuffed and beaten to death by a UVF gang based in the Mount Vernon estate in north Belfast on May 18th 1997.
Mrs O'Loan reports that RUC special branch had a "significant amount of high grade intelligence" about the four main suspects for the murder, including Haddock, but did not pass on this information to the police officers investigating the murder.
THOMAS SHEPPARD AND THOMAS ENGLISH:
Mr Sheppard was a 41-year-old UVF member who was shot dead in a pub in the Balee area of Ballymena, on March 21st, 1996. Mr English, killed on October 31st, 2000, was a prominent loyalist in N Belfast who was shot dead as part of a loyalist feud. (i.e during the time a New Labour Gubment was in power)
Mrs O'Loan's report states that investigators have seen information which links Haddock to the murders of both men.
Whilst the Gubment would like this to go away - it won't. Perhaps they should draft in Desmond Tutu and set up a Reconciliation Commission. There are sufficient dead bodies and grieving families to justify one - when Martin McGuiness and his fellow killers can provide the details of their "campaign of anti-State terrorism".