New Police Service, Old Story

Today is the 10th anniversary of the murder of North Belfast teenager, Gerard Lawlor, who was shot in the back as he walked home from the Bellevue Arms. He was shot for no other reason than he was a Catholic and he was a defenceless target. His killers were never charged even though their names […]

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Blinkered Eye of the Newt

I would agree with Newton Emerson’s header that “We need [an] ombudsman who’s prepared to bite” (Thursday 8th September 2011) and that includes telling victims’ families their claims can in no way be substantiated. Nevertheless, with regards to the McGurk’s Bar Massacre campaign, I find his copy flippant at best and grossly misleading at worst. […]

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Families Demand To See Original McGurk’s Report

Below is piece by myself that featured in an article by Kieran Hughes in the North Belfast News (17th September 2011). Last Thursday (8th September 2011) some of the McGurk’s campaigners visited Stormont to hear what the Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson, had to say for himself in front of the Justice Committee. He was answering damning criticisms from […]

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Press Release: McGurk’s Families Attend Assembly Justice Committee

The families of those killed in the McGurk’s Bar Massacre of December 1971 are to attend today’s hearing of the Assembly Justice Committee at Stormont. The Justice Committee will be questioning the Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson following a report by Michael Maguire from the Criminal Justice Inspectorate into the running of the Police Ombudman’s Office. […]

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Gerry Kelly, Sinn Féin, and the PONI Malady

Below is a press release by Gerry Kelly, Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast. He is party spokesman for Policing and Justice. He sits on the Policing Board which holds the police accountable – unlike the Police Ombudsman’s office it seems. Commenting after leaks of the Criminal Justice Inspectorate Report into the operation of the […]

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1971: Missed Opportunities and Ceding the Maiden City

Whilst researching the McGurk’s Bar Massacre within British Governmental and military archives, I discovered secret documents that give a startling insight into how the British élite actually viewed the worsening situation in Northern Ireland in late 1971. Document 1: Central Policy Review Staff (30th September 1971) Sourced from the National Archives, Kew Shocking facts emerge, […]

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The Suitcase That Never Was

We protested the private meeting of the Policing Board on Thursday (2.6.11), delivered a press statement to the waiting press pack and handed over a suitcase to the newly elected Chairman, Brian Rea. It was a suitcase that was loaded with archive evidence and was weighted with symbolism. It represented the suitcase that the RUC fabricated […]

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McGurk’s Families’ Press Statement

Following the publication in February of the Police Ombudsman’s report into the RUC investigation of the McGurk’s Massacre, the Chief Constable, Matt Baggott, rejected key aspects of the Ombudsman’s findings. He tried to suggest that the hurt caused to the families was as a result of ‘confusion’ and was not the direct result of a […]