Irish Republican News · August 3, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Human rights group backs McCord collusion claim

A dossier on a unionist paramilitary murder at the centre of allegations of police collusion in murder has been sent to the United Nations and US Congress.

The confidential report compiled by campaigners into the killing of Raymond McCord names the men suspected of beating him to death.

In 1997, 22-year-old Mr McCord was battered to death and his body was dumped in a quarry on the outskirts of north Belfast.

Although the UVF is suspected of carrying out the attack, no-one has been charged with the murder.

Two of the men directly involved in the murder are said to be agents of the PSNI police Special Branch. They are named in the report as being police informers, along with the current overall commander of the UVF.

The UVF commander is in his 50s and comes from the Shankill area of west Belfast. He is said to have sanctioned the killings of three Protestants during July in a feud with the breakaway LVF.

Jane Winter, head of the British Irish Rights Watch organisation, which prepared the file, said the case for launching an inquiry into the murder in November 1997 was compelling.

“It would appear that this is yet another case where senior Ulster Volunteer Force informers have been able to act with impunity over a long number of years, literally getting away with murder, while the police have colluded with their illegal activities,” she said.

The victim’s father, Raymond senior, has been an outspoken critic of the unionist paramilitaries, defying death threats to allege British Crown force informers within their ranks were involved.

“I don’t want this report going anywhere near the PSNI,” Mr McCord said.

“Special Branch ran the UVF gang that killed my son and they then covered up his murder and protected those responsible.

“I have absolutely no faith in the police doing anything to get my family justice.

“When Hugh Orde took over as chief constable, he promised changes. Nothing has happened. The Special Branch is as corrupt as ever. Mr Orde should resign.”

Mrs O’Loan has been investigating the case and is expected to report her findings later this year.

Ms Winter, whose organisation has been monitoring human rights issues emerging from the violence in the North, said the victim’s family did not trust the North’s police service enough for the report to be sent to it.

“Our report calls upon the United Kingdom government to put in place immediately an effective investigation into the murder of Raymond McCord.

“Such an investigation must be completely independent of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, given the serious allegations of collusion which arise in this case.”

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© 2005 Irish Republican News