Murders blamed on RUC

A report from the Police Ombudsman will implicate at least 6 RUC police Special Branch Officer, acting through paid agents, in a number of murders blamed on the unionist paramilitary UVF.

The information comes as little surprise to victims of British collusion with paramilitary death-squads -- although there is some surprise at the manner the information came to light.

In an uncharacteristic intervention, the leader of the Irish Labour Party used the legal protection of the Dublin parliament to name two men responsible for eight murders, including the brutal 1997 slaying of Raymond McCord Jr.

He also said the pair, Mark Haddock and John Bond, were responsible for trying to bomb a Sinn Fein office in Monaghan town in 1997.

Attacking the UVF and its links to Special Branch, Mr Rabbitte said Raymond McCord was murdered by Special Branch agents to prevent UVF leaders finding out about Haddock’s unsanctioned drugs operations.

And he called for an international independent inquiry into collusion between the UVF and British forces.

Raymond McCord’s father, Raymond McCord’s Sr, has pursued a lonely campaign in recent years to expose the murderous collusion operating at the highest level between the UVF and Special Branch.

The other murders blamed on the Special Branch agents are those of Sharon McKenna, Gary Convie, Eamon Fox, Rev David Templeton, Billy Harbinson, Tommy English, and David Greer.

Rabbitte told the Dail paraliament: “The central allegation is that Haddock was not charged with any crime because he was an informer who had to be protected.

“He was able to act with impunity, while the police effectively colluded in his crimes.”

A Police Ombudsman report on the murder of Raymond McCord Junior is to be published next month.

It is expected to recommend prosecutions against six Special Branch officers who ran UVF members in north and west Belfast.

In a report on the McCord murder compiled by human rights group British Irish Rights Watch (BIRW), the man who Pat Rabbitte believes is the leader of the UVF, John Graham, is also named as a Special Branch informer.

BIRW director Jane Winter, who has investigated dozens of such killings, is in no doubt the UVF was “deeply infiltrated” by Special Branch for a “very long time”.

“There has been a high-level of collusion for some time,” said Ms Winter.

“I would be very surprised if murders carried out by the UVF since the 1970s were not preventable, or at the very least detectable.”

Sinn Fein spokesperson on collusion, West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has said that it was “undeniable” that there was a widespread and systematic policy of collision between the RUC and British Army and unionist paramilitarie “particularly involving RUC Special Branch.

Doherty said the revelation that RUC Special Branch stepped in to protect one of Haddock from investigation was “part of a well established pattern” and that the Special Branch was “directly complicit” in the murders.

“Sinn Fein is determined to achieve a new beginning to policing. This means that the British government must come clean on its’ policy of collusion and that the RUC human rights abusers who transfer ed en masse into the PSNI should be weeded out.”

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© 2005 Irish Republican News