Family of UDA victim call for publication of report

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The family of a Catholic man murdered by the UDA has called for the Police Ombudsman report on ‘Operation Achille’, withheld since 2019, to be published.

Micky Gilbride was shot dead by the unionist paramilitary gang as he visited his parents’ home in south Belfast in November 1992.

Roseann Gilbride Clinton has described the family’s grief on what would have been her former husband’s 65th birthday.

Speaking to the Irish News, she said they have concerns about collusion, having learned several years ago that those involved in her former husband’s murder may have worked for the RUC’s murderous Special Branch division.

Mrs Gilbride Clinton has now called for a Police Ombudsman’s report into a series of murders linked to the UDA in south Belfast to be published.

She is now married to Jim Clinton, whose wife Theresa was also shot dead by the UDA at her home in the Ormeau Road area in April 1994.

Operation Achille focuses on the massacre of five men at Sean Graham’s bookmakers on the Ormeau Road in south Belfast in 1992 and six other murders, including that of Mr Gilbride, also from the Ormeau Road.

Publication of the report was held up in 2019 after it emerged that information previously undisclosed had somehow turned up on PSNI computers.

“We have waited patiently for years with the promise that they’d get the truth about the collusion in the murder and yet that report is completed and for some reason remains under lock and key,” she said.

She said they owe a debt to her late husband’s memory: “We’ve never given up on truth, justice and accountability for what happened and we never will.”

To mark Mr Gilbride’s 65th birthday his nephew Conor released a moving new song about his uncle. Mrs Gilbride Clinton said it is a fitting tribute.

“He is sorely missed,” she said. “He lost out on his children growing up into beautiful adults, important birthdays, marriages, births of grandchildren and family occasions where his loss was felt even more so.”

The family’s lawyers Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, said continued delays are “retraumatising” for families.

Mark Thompson from Relatives for Justice said the “integrity and dignity of the Gilbride family stands in stark contrast to how they’ve been treated in their quest for truth and accountability by those in authority and with responsibility for addressing legacy”.

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