The Police Ombudsman has released her reporting into collusion between the RUC and loyalist paramilitaries.
From the report overview:
Mrs Anderson found that concerns about police actions expressed by bereaved families and survivors were “legitimate and justified”, and said her investigation had identified a range of collusive behaviours by police, which included:
- Intelligence and surveillance failings which led to loyalist paramilitaries obtaining military grade weaponry in a 1987 arms importation;
- A failure to warn two men of threats to their lives.
- A failure to retain records and the deliberate destruction of files relating to the attack at Sean Graham Bookmakers;
- The failure to maintain records about the deactivation of weapons – “indicating a desire to avoid accountability for these sensitive and contentious activities”;
- The failure of police to exploit all evidential opportunities;
- Failures by Special Branch to disseminate intelligence to murder investigation teams;
- An absence of control and oversight in the recruitment and management of informants;
- The continued, unjustifiable use by Special Branch of informant(s) involved in serious criminality, including murder and the passive ‘turning a blind eye’ to such activities.
Ms Anderson revealed that officials from her office have identified eight UDA/UFF members linked to the murders and attempted murders of 27 people.
Hugh Jordan also had a good report in the Sunday World on those behind the Sean Graham attack.
None of this is likely to be news to most people. Umpteen investigations over the years have shown direct links between the security forces and paramilitaries throughout the troubles.
So far most of the attention has been on Loyalist paramilitaries but I predict with the upcoming Stakeknife report that focus will shift to security force control of Republican paramilitaries. At some stage, we will likely find out about security force agents involved in the murders of police officers, soldiers, MPs and civilians.
It is hard not to feel that we were all just pawns in some big spook chess game.
I help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily politics, preferring to write about big ideas in society. When not stuck in front of a screen, I am a parkrun Run Director.