A 36 year old man was found hanging from the cross bar of a some football goal posts on Forthriver Playing Fields in Belfast on Wednesday morning 7th February 2007. His funeral will proceed today from his mother's house on the Shankhill Parade.
A man called Rodgers, the manager of the Youth Training Scheme on the Shankill Road when Barr was a member, said that he had always found him " a committed young man" and added that he sends his sympathies to his family.
"This man has died in very tragic circumstances and I feel for his family," he said.
The man found hanging was Mark Barr. ( Do not confuse with Glen Barr founder of the New Ulster Political Research Group in 1974) A UDA member, he had been a member of "Mad" Johnny Adair's infamous C Company which colluded with British forces through double-agent Brian Nelson. They were implicated in the nurder of Republican solicitor Pat Finucane who was gunned down in his home in Belfast as his wife and three children watched.(12th February 1999) Numerous non-governmental human rights organisations and official reports have connected British Crown forces to his murder.
See the British Irish Rights Watch report in February 2000 that shows that, through its secret Force Research Unit (FRU), a branch of British Army Intelligence, the state sought out loyalist Brian Nelson and infiltrated him into the Ulster Defence Association, which carried out its campaign of murder under the flag of convenience of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF). FRU used Nelson to enhance the loyalists' intelligence on people it was targeting for murder, and that intelligence rapidly spread throughout other loyalist paramilitary groups.
The report examines in depth the murders not only of Pat Finucane but also Terence McDaid, and Gerard Slane. This report simply foreshadowed the recent Ombudsman report into the way the RUC Special Branch not only recruited Loyalist murderes and directed them , but also paid them.
No-one has ever been convicted in relation to the Finucane killing or the other murders directed by British agent Brian Nelson, (Agent 6137. who was recruited by Colonel (now Brigadier) Gordon Kerr - at one time Military Attache in Beijing and leader of Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) sent to Iraq by Geoff Hoon - see pic in full fig) including the brutal murder of Catholic pensioner and friend of Gerry Adams father, Francisco Notorantonio -a 66-year-old retired West Belfast taxi driver, who was killed on 9 October 1987 when masked gunmen smashed their way into his Ballymurphy home and shot him as he lay in bed.
Barr came into possession of photocopies of original documents taken from the Thiepval Barracks by the Stevens enquiry team into the death of Pat Finucane. These documents included Army and Police Intelligence reports.
When arrested, he was 30 and lived in Silvio Street in Belfast, and faced faced 3 charges when he appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court on Friday July 30th 1999. ( along with Stobie and Paul Givens and William Hutchinson for offences of possession of documents containing information useful to terrorists)
1.Between 1985 and 1989 he had possession of photocopies of index cards concerning named persons who were not named in the charge.
2. Photocopies of index cards and photographic montages allegedly in his possession between 1984 and 1989.
3. On a date unknown before January 16, 1990, he had possession of a computer print out of named persons, again not named in the charge.
An RUC detective sergeant said when he was charged Mr Barr replied: "Definitely not guilty."
In 2001 he was convicted of having documents likely to be of use to terrorists and received a suspended sentence. Mr Wiliam Stobie, 48, from Forthriver Road, Belfast, also charged with involvement in the Finucane murder, and told the RUC at the time of the murder he was a Special Branch informer. The Steven's enquiry found Stobie was present when Finucane's murder was planned, that Stobie supplied the weapons, and was involved in recovering them after the killing. Indeed Stobie kept his RUC handlers (Tasking and Coordinating Group (TCG) aware before and after Finucane's death of the supply and passage of the guns involved.
Whilst Barr's body lay in the mortuary, officers from the Historical Enquiries Team went to the mortuary to take fingerprints but were refused permission. Since then they applied for a Court Order for permission to take Barr's fingerprints.
The Belfast Telegraph could not ontain any comments about the matter from the Historical Enquiries Team.
The British Irish Right Watch report's final paragraph says they have ,
" ....... made serious allegations of security force collusion in a large number of deaths and other illegal acts, of which the murders of Patrick Finucane, Terence McDaid and Gerard Slane are but the tip of an iceberg. We have said that those three died because of systematic policies adopted by the security services involving British military intelligence and the RUC. There is also considerable evidence of an official cover-up."Suicide ? Someone settling old scores ? The State securing his silence ?
Somebody somewhere knows, but don't expect to read about it in your daily paper or on the TV or Radio.
Stobie ? We forgot. William Stobie (see pic) was shot dead outside his home at a block of flats on the Forthriver Road in the Glencairn area of Belfast on December 12 2001. The Loyalist paramilitary group the Red Hand Defenders (?)later said they carried out the attack. (The RHD also claimed responsibility for the killing of Rosemary Nelson, a Catholic human rights solicitor, in Lurgan on 15 March 1999.)
Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI) Press Release (4 July 2004): 'Police did all they could to protect William Stobie' See also BBC Online
Nelson ? A heavy smoker, he died in bed of lung cancer in April 2003.