Irish Republican News · September 16, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
More evidence of old cover-ups emerge

New evidence has emerged of attempts by the old Stormont regime and the British Army to prevent British soldiers who shot innocent Irish civilians in the early years of the conflict being tried for murder.

The files have been uncovered at London’s National Archives office on the eve of the anniversary of the death of Derry man Billy McGreanery.

They date back to December 1971, just weeks before the Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry.

An investigation into Mr McGreanery’s shooting by the police Historical Enquiries Team earlier this year found that then Attorney General ‘Sir’ Basil Kelly overruled an RUC police recommendation that the soldier responsible should be tried for murder.

Now archive files reveal evidence of discussions between Kelly, an Ulster Unionist MP who died in 2008, and the British army.

Minutes of a meeting with a British army representative, M Parkin, show Mr McGreanery’s death was discussed. “I have no doubt that the Attor ney General is doing all within his power to protect the security forces against criminal proceedings in respect of actions on duty,” Mr Parkin said.

The confidential minutes also reveal that the then chief crown solicitor pledged to notify the army of any RUC recommendations that a soldier be prosecuted before papers were passed to the attorney general.

Mr McGreanery’s niece, Marjorie Roddy, said the minutes provided evidence of collusion between the Attorney General and the army in dealing with civilian deaths.

“You always knew it was going on but when you see it in writing it is hard to believe,” she said.

“You are elated that you can prove it but angry at the same time.”

Mrs Roddy added that it was un fortunate that many of the people most affected by her uncle’s death are not longer alive.

“It is sad that people like my lather [Desmond McGreanery] who were most hurt aren’t here any more,” she said.

Following his death, the soldier responsible falsely claimed Mr McGreanery was about to fire a rifle at him when he shot him.

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