Irish Republican News · September 2, 2017
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Glenanne plot ‘went to the top’
Glenanne plot ‘went to the top’

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A former RUC police officer this week said he believed the British government was aware of the activities of the Glenanne Gang’s death squads at the very highest level.

The gang, made up of members of the RUC, UDR and UVF, operated across the Mid-Ulster area in the mid 1970s. It is believed to have carried out around 120 murders, the majority of which were innocent Catholics.

It included Robin ‘The Jackal’ Jackson, a notorious unionist paramilitary commander and RUC (now PSNI) Special Branch agent linked to scores of murders.

John Weir (pictured), who held the rank of sergeant and became involved in the activities of the notorious gang, said that senior officials in Downing Street would have been aware of their operations.

His comments came just weeks after a High Court judge ruled that the PSNI had unlawfully frustrated any chance of an effective investigation into the gang.

“They were feeding information direct to government,” he said. “Obviously some of it was going through their senior officers but not all. Some of those men, they themselves were connected to parliament.

“And I know that and I also know that they know that even the very bottom of army intelligence, which I don’t think in a way were that capable a lot of them, but they knew all about Glenanne.”

“Glenanne was watched, every movement from there was watched and that’s when I was in that area, I know that, every car that went in and out of the place, they had the number of the cars.

“So what I’d say - why didn’t anybody make any effort to stop it? Everything stops at the people who were operating rather than see where it was really coming from and why it was allowed to go on. “If they knew this was going on why did they allow it to continue?”

He said the truth behind many events that took place during the conflict are already known, but that the authorities will resist the truth emerging.

“Everybody knows who did what and who’s behind what,” he said. “But at this present time it all stops with..... a few rotten apples at the bottom of the barrel. But it goes much, much higher than that. If people have nothing to hide, let them bring the truth out.”

“And when I’m talking about governments, I mean the Irish government as well as the British government.”

Sinn Fein representative Linda Dillon said in light of the comments there needed to be a thorough investigation into collusion between the British state and the Glenanne Gang.

“There is a greater onus than ever on the PSNI to come back to the courts and set out how it intends to address the families’ concerns,” she said.

DISCLOSURE ORDERED

Meanwhile, the British Army and PSNI police have been ordered to disclose intelligence files in a major legal action over collusion behind the Miami Showband Massacre, which has been linked to the Glenanne Gang.

Three members of the popular band were taken from their tour bus and shot dead on a country road after a gig in Banbridge, County Down in July 1975. Band members were made to line up at the side of the road while attempts were made to hide a bomb on the bus.

The device exploded prematurely, killing some of the murder gang. The remainder then opened fire on the band members, murdering three of them. Two others were also injured, but survived the atrocity.

A lawyer representing survivors and relatives of murdered group members confirmed that the High Court has directed more than 80 categories of documents are to be made available on the attack.

They are understood to include material held on ‘The Jackal’. The UVF boss Jackson, a one-time UDR member who operated with the Glenanne Gang, was linked to one of the murder weapons by fingerprints. Before he died in 1998, Jackson admitted he had been tipped off by a senior RUC man to lie low after the killings.

Despite facing the order to hand over the files, the British authorities may still try to retain some files by securing a ‘Public Interest Immunity’ order for secrecy in the name of “national security”.

Following the development, lawyer Michael Flanigan said: “This is a case in which collusion is self-evident.

“The documents which the court has ordered disclosure of will go some way to explaining how that collusion came into effect, resulting in the loss of the lives of these innocent, talented young men.”

© 2017 Irish Republican News