Statement issued by Colin Wallace following the publication of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry Report.
Although I initially offered to give evidence to the Inquiry, I later decided not to, mainly on the grounds that the Government repeatedly refused to give it the same legal powers as the corresponding Inquiry in London.
I believe that both the perception and the reality of the Government’s decision is one ofunfairness to the victims.
Despite my decision, I did, however, provide the Inquiry with 265 pages of comment and supportingdocuments, drawing attention to false or misleading information contained in the transcripts of thepublic hearings. My reason for doing so was to enable the Inquiry to investigate and corroborate theaccuracy of my past comments about Kincora and related matters, and to provide the Inquiry with theopportunity to correct the relevant errors in the its published transcripts.
None of the information I provided to the Inquiry is new.
Although some of it has not previously been in the public domain, it has been in the possession of the Ministry of Defence and other Government agencies for many years and should have been made available by those authorities to the Inquiry.
It should, therefore, also have been made available by the authorities to previous Inquiries and the Government needs to explain why that did not happen. Even more worrying, is the acknowledged fact that key Army Intelligence files relating to Tara and William McGrath – including the one compiled by Intelligence officer, Captain Brian Gemmell – appear to have gone missing after they were handed over by the Army to MI5 in 1989, prior to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s admission to Parliament (30 January 1990) that Ministers had“inadvertently misled” Parliament about my case.
There also appears to be no record whatsoever of what became of all the ‘Clockwork Orange’ project files which I handed over to my superiors when Ileft Army Headquarters in Lisburn in February 1975. Some of those files related to William McGrath.
To make matters worse, it is now clear from the Inquiry’s transcripts that a senior MI5 officer, Ian Cameron, falsely accused me of ‘leaking’, without authority, information to the press about William McGrath.
The MI5 claim is bizarre.
As my Army superior at the time has confirmed in the press, I was officially instructed by my superiors in Psychological Operations, at the behest of Major General Peter Leng, to brief the press about McGrath as early as 1973, in a bid to attract media attention to his activities.
It is also significant that the MI5 officer who accused me of ‘leaking’ information about McGrath to the press later refused to be interviewed by the Terry Inquiry investigators about why he ordered Captain Brain Gemmell, to stop investigating McGrath.
Clearly, the Army and MI5 had very different agendas regarding McGrath and his activities.The astonishing claim by the authorities that they knew nothing about the allegations surrounding McGrath’s sexual activities until 1980 is a total travesty.
As my documents clearly show, it is simply not credible that I knew more about McGrath and his activities than the combined Intelligence community did in 1973/74. One must conclude, therefore, that the Intelligence Services did not tell the Inquiry all they knew about McGrath during the 1970s.
Indeed, most of the information I possessed about McGrath in 1973/74 came from within the Intelligence community and was quite substantial. Moreover, my 1973 press briefing document clearly contains more information about McGrath than the Intelligence Services have claimed to the Inquiry that they possessed at that time!
For example, that document states that McGrath “is a known homosexual” and that he “runs a home for children on the (236) Upper Newtownards Road. Telephone: B’fast 657838.”
Finally, to suggest that because I gave the press the exact postal address (including the street number of the property), plus the telephone number of the Kincora home, but did not actually include the name,‘Kincora’, that somehow invalidates my evidence.
That is an unacceptable attempt to avoid facing up to what I have been saying over the years, and also shows that the claim made by the Intelligence Services to the Inquiry that they were not aware until 1980 of where McGrath worked is demonstrably false.
Overall, I believe the Inquiry has been a wasted opportunity to establish the full facts relating to this matter and I feel the victims have been let down yet again, as they were by previous Inquiries.
Further Information by Ciarán
Colin Wallace has been a great supporter of the McGurk’s Bar Campaign for Truth and was actually on-site at British Army Headquarters when word of the bombing was reported by Security Forces on the ground.
He has written that the authorities that Army HQ knew that the bar was attacked and this has since been proved beyond any doubt with my latest archive find.
He also wrote the Foreword of my book which you can read here.