Hand over my murdered boy’s secret files

Posted By: August 02, 2017

Distributed by the Irish National Caucus
“Intrepid victims’ campaigner, Raymond McCord, Sr.,  plans  to take the Northern Ireland police to the European Court in a further effort to get justice for his murdered son.
Raymond, from the Protestant community in Belfast, has already brought his campaign to London, Dublin and Capitol Hill. Members of Congress must keep up their support for this brave Protestant who has fearlessly fought for justice.”— Fr. Sean McManus

Richard Sullivan. Sunday World. Dublin. Sunday, July 30, 2017 

The PSNI is being taken to the European Court over its refusal to hand over sensitive security documents on terrorist murders.

Police have repeatedly cited national security and the impending supergrass trial involving former UVF brigadier Gary Haggarty as reasons for failing to disclose interview notes and intelligence reports.

Last night campaigning father Raymond McCord revealed he had instructed solicitors to prepare a case for the European Court in an attempt to compel the PSNI to give up their secrets.

He said there is no reason for papers relating to his son’s murder and those covering other stalled historical crimes to be held back.

Haggarty pleaded guilty to more than 200 paramilitary crimes last month and is due to be sentenced.

It is expected he will be handed a lighter sentence in return for giving evidence against his former UVF comrades.

He said they have exhausted every legal avenue possible and have been left with no alternative but to take their fight to Europe.

“For the last five years they have cited the ongoing case involving an assisting offender, Haggarty,” he said.

“For 15 years before that they have been saying it is national security.

“Haggarty has pleaded guilty, there is no reason for papers relating to my son’s murder not to be handed over. “

He said he and other families seeking justice had been repeatedly let down by the police and the government for their failure to help victims’ families get the answers they deserve.

It is almost 20 years since Raymond McCord junior was lured to a quarry on the outskirts of Belfast on the orders of Mount Vernon UVF commander Mark Haddock. There he was brutally beaten to death.

UVF men Darren Moore, John ‘Bonzer’ Bond and Willie ‘Muscles’ Young have been repeatedly identified as having been involved. The notorious Mount Vernon unit was exposed by a Police Ombudsman report in 2007 as being littered with security force agents.

That is the reason Mr McCord believes no one has ever been charged in connection with his son’s murder.

Belfast High Court and the Coroner’s Court have each questioned police reasoning for withholding information but McCord now believes they and the government are running out of excuses.

Mr McCord believes RUC Special Branch was tipped off in advance of his son’s killing but failed to intervene.

“I’m fed up with it, tired of it. It has been so long and still they block us but we will try everything to force their hand.

“It has been nearly 20 years and nothing has been forthcoming from the PSNI.”

He has filed a claim for damages with the High Court and it is understood the police has been asked, again, to provide a reason for non-disclosure.

News that he is taking his case to Europe comes as Secretary of State James Brokenshire failed to give any commitment to ensuring historical information is passed on.

He has been in the States briefing the US administration on the stalled peace process. The McCord case was raised by Fr Sean McManus of pressure group Irish National Caucus.

He said it was clear there had been a state approved cover up.

“Because those associated with the killing were police informers and British Government agents, the crime was covered up – as proven by Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan’s ground-breaking Ballast Report in 2007,” he said..

“Yet to this day, not one person has been charged with the brutal murder. No inquest has been held.

“The British Government and police continue to refuse to hand over documents… So, the cover-up continues.

“How are we to have confidence that the British government wants to bring justice to the Mc Cord family in the Protestant community – not to mention the Pat Finucane case in the Catholic community?”

Mr Brokenshire said he was committed to the rule of law and said he would keep the McCord case and others under ‘close review.’

He added that he “was under no illusion about the raw pain of the families looking for justice” but stopped short of giving a commitment to meeting Mr McCord.

Last night the campaigner said that once again Mr Brokenshire had shown the British government has ‘no real concern for the truth.’

“Brokenshire who has shown no empathy towards victims and their families.”

He said despite the Secretary of State’s refusal he would continue to press for a meeting.