The news comes that the Historical Enquiries Team are running into financial problems and finding it difficult to purloin further funding from the Department of Justice. The supposedly independent entity was formed in 2005 with a remit of examing in excess of 3200 murders during the conflict. For the first 6 years of its existence they received an amount of 34 million pounds from the Northern Ireland Office. For this past two years they have received another 10 million pounds from the Department of Justice. Upon applying once again to David Ford for a handout of another 10 million pounds to see them through the next 2 years they have come up short. Ford has apparently informed Dave Cox and his merry band that any future money should come out of Matt Baggots PSNI slush fund.
So, a couple of things here. Of the 44 million pounds spent to date how can that be accounted for. No doubt a huge percentage of it will be paid out in salaries. Can thos independent, mostly retired police officers from around the UK honestly say they have earned their corn? And better still–for such a huge outlay are the “victims” getting value for money? Add these amounts to all the costly inquiries in recent years and you will find that the tax payer is footing hefty bills for little or no return. Dave Cox goes to great lengths to tell us how independent the HET is and that it has to be so because the majority of victims refuse to have the PSNI investigate old deaths because of their past history. Doesnt sound very independent to me when they have to get the begging bowl out to any Tom, Dick and Harry every couple of years.
And as far as being non discriminatory in looking at Cold Cases from ” The Troubles” this is also a falsehood. Not only are Loyalists being targeted more than Republicans..despite the ratio of killings attributed to both during the conflict–it is blatantly obvious that part of thr remit of the HET is to stay away from the gates of Stormont when investigating old murders. I thought that would have been a good starting point.
Historical Enquiries Team
September 2005 saw the emergence of the HET. Set up to investigate unsolved murders during ‘the troubles’ specifically between 1968 and 1998. The team aims to bring closure to many bereaved families who still have unanswered questions about the death or disappearance of their loved ones.
I’m aware that in 2008 the HET decided to pursue cases connected to the British Army. Since then research has been provided by Patricia Lundy to evidence that the HET treated the interviews with the soldiers differently from other HET cases. She evidenced that soldiers were given better treatment than paramilitaries. There was also a hint that differential treatment was shown to victims and perpetrators, this was identified by Patricia McBride (Victims Commissioner). The related dates for the investigations were 1970 – 1973. Of course these findings are absolutely despicable. For politicians on both sides who would seek to use inquiries to re-write history, these under investigated explorations into the past have a double-edged quality: they can inflict as much damage on them as on their opponents.
Unless there is some kind of overarching truth commission that allows for a full examination of what actually happened over the last four decades, however, we are not foolish enough to think that our government in Stormont and London are prepared to divulge embarrassing and dangerous information.
I’m highlighting this because on 16 March this year is the 30th anniversary of the murder of William Miller by the RUC in Belfast. I would like to ask how people can get the HET to investigate this RUC killing. There seems to be no investigations against RUC. Why can the HET investigate Loughall etc and not accept that they murdered this young man. Maybe there are people out there who can offer ideas into how we can address this matter.
An insightful and accurate post on the ongoing witch hunt being directed at Loyalism by the Historical Enquiries Team. Written by William Plum Smith, a former Red Hand Commando prisoner who played a major role in the peace agreement in 1998 and has been prisons spokesperson for both the Progressive Unionist Party and EPIC.
Where’s the Justice and Equality for Loyalists
On the 14th February 2013 I sat in Laganside Courts where a judge delivered his verdict of guilty in the HET case against Bobby Rodgers for the killing of Eileen Doherty in 1973. Bobby Rodgers had served 16 years of a life sentence for a murder in 1974. It surprisingly wasn’t the headline news it was relegated to 4th in the queue. When it did emerge it used the typical stereotype headline. “Loyalist Killer gets life for sectarian murder of catholic teenager 19 year old Eileen Doherty. They also showed a photo of 59 year old Bobby Rodgers taken by the prison authorities after his admission into Maghaberry ignoring the fact that Bobby Rodgers was also 19 years old in 1973. The year 1973 was one of the most violent years of the conflict with 264 people killed, thousands maimed and injured hundreds of shootings and explosions yet the court and the press just cut and pasted 1973 into 2013 like one would do with documents on their PC.
Over the weekend I read–as I always do–the latest updates on Anthony McIntyre’s site–The Pensive Quill. For the uninitiated TPQ is a personal blog which mostly–but not exclusively–promotes Anthony’s own brand of Republicanism. Since I first starting reading it–following on from The Blanket–I have to say that I have always found it informative, entertaining and very educational.
Was trawling through this week’s news stories – Newshound gives you a daily round-up of most stories relating to Northern Ireland and the Republic – and seen a couple of interesting stories.
First was an interview that was conducted by ‘Irish American News Online’ with Carrie Twomey. For those of you who don’t know who Carrie is – she is the wife of Anthony McIntyre, ex-blanket man and republican researcher on the ‘Boston Tapes’ project. Carrie has been in the USA trying to garner support for her husband and Ed Moloney’s battle with the Department of Justice with regard to the PSNI’s request to hand over all tapes which have any reference to the Jean McConville murder. Sabina Clark conducted the interview with Carrie and mindful to give the background to the ongoing saga which is being played out in the courts, Carrie explained quite well what her understanding was of this problem. One of the things she said was, ‘ there is that element of the Unionists who are not happy with the Peace Process and are not happy with the republicans being in power’.