Irish Republican News · June 19, 2009
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Collusion victims to bring civil case
Collusion victims to bring civil case
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A nationalist victims’ group has signalled its intention to take an Omagh-style civil action against senior British government ministers in connection to state killings of unarmed civilians.

The Relatives For Justice (RFJ) victims’ group say they will ask for government funding, similar to the #800,000 which the Omagh families were given to take their civil action, to fund their case.

In 2003, the British government passed the Access to Justice legislation to allow it to give the Omagh families the money to help fund their legal action following the failure to secure prosecutions in the case.

RFJ director Mark Thompson yesterday confirmed that his group now intends to seek similar government funding to bring a civil action against a number of former government ministers and Ministry of Defence (MoD) chiefs in connection with the state killing of a number of unarmed citizens.

If successful, the case would be highly unusual in that it would use government funding to take a civil action against former government ministers.

Confirming that plans for a civil action were now at an advanced stage, the RFJ director said: “We watched the Omagh case closely and were informed that we had to wait for its conclusion before we could consider launching our own civil case.

“We intend taking a civil action against a number of government ministers and senior MoD officials who we believe were involved in formulating policies and actions which directly led to the murder of innocent citizens, both nationalist and unionist.”

Questioned whether the case could expect the same level of government funding received by the Omagh families, Mr Thompson said: “We would not expect there to be any disparity between the financial assistance afforded to the Omagh families and the victims of state violence.

“The legislation is supposed to give all victims access to justice and that is something we are now determined to pursue fully.”

26-COUNTY COLLUSION

Meanwhile, a British agent handler who worked in Derry and Donegal says he believes 26-County forces were involved in the murder of Sinn Féin councillor Eddie Fullerton.

In the early hours of May 25, 1991, loyalist assassins sledge-hammered their way into his home near Buncrana, in County Donegal. They shot him six times in front of his wife Dina and he died immediately.

The assassins then sped back across the border to Culmore Point, Derry, where they proceeded to set fire to the hijacked getaway car. its believed they then escaped across the River Foyle in a boat.

The former British army intelligence officer said that Eddie Fullerton was a person of major interest to the British armys notorious Force Research Unit (FRU) which he worked for.

Known only by his pseudonym ‘Martin Ingram’, the agent maintains that loyalists paramilitaries were too fragmented to carry out such a well planned assassination without local knowledge.

He added that he believed at the time that there was a strong possibility that 26-County state force personnel were involved in passing on information that aided the killers.

He added: Eddie Fullerton’s murder was a well planned operation carried out with a great degree of intelligence - the entry and exit were well executed, not a normal trait in loyalist killings in which some form of collusion with security forces was not involved.

They obviously had good intelligence and that had to come from outside, more than likely from members of the security forces in the South. And on that note those supplying the information probably had a reason for having him removed, theres also probably a reason the attack happened where it did. There were a lot more worthwhile and easier targets from a loyalist point of view.

Martin Ingram also confirmed that FRU had several agents within the Gardai in Donegal during the 1980s and 90s.

The Fullerton family, who for years have campaigned for the truth surrounding the grisly killing, have always claimed there was state collusion in the murder and a cover-up in the subsequent investigation.

Meanwhile, a Garda re-investigation into the murder led to the first ever arrests in the 18 year-old case this week.

On June 9, the PSNI arrested a 41 year-old man in the mainly loyalist Drumahoe area of Derrys Waterside following a request from the Gardai and in consultation with the Historical Enquiries Team.

A second man - also believed to be from the Derry area - handed himself in a short time later.

Both men were questioned at Antrim PSNI stations so-called serious crime suite and were released a short time later.

The murdered councillors daughter, Amanda Fullerton welcomed the arrests as the first movement in 18 years.

The investigation in the weeks, months and years following dads murder went nowhere. The family has always felt that, had dad been a councillor for any other party, the killers would have been brought to justice, she added.

CORONER APPEAL

In Belfast, lawyers for the parents of Pearse Jordan alleged that the conduct of the senior coroner in the North meant he should excuse himself from the long-delayed tribunal.

Jordan, an IRA Volunteer, was gunned down by the RUC police following a car collision on the Falls Road, west Belfast in 1992.

His family have launched a judicial review application to have the inquest, now expected to take place next year, heard in front of a different coroner.

Barristers representing Hugh and Teresa Jordan set out a series of reasons for their request during a two-day case at the High Court in Belfast.

Areas of concern included how the coroner dealt with obtaining and disclosing the investigating officer’s report into the shooting.

The coroner was also accused of putting obstacles before the inquest, of failing to give it the necessary priority and of allowing himself to be influenced by private representations from the British Crown forces.

© 2009 Irish Republican News