McCord’s Relentless Campaign for Justice

Posted By: May 22, 2018


Distributed by Irish National Caucus

 Raymond McCord, Sr. — a proud Belfast Protestant/Unionist—is one of the heroes of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. As the attached article from the Belfast Telegraph reminds us, he has fearlessly campaigned since 1997 for justice for his murdered son, Raymond, Jr.—a Protestant victim of British government collusion and cover-up.

 The Irish National Caucus has been proud to support Raymond, Sr. in his heroic quest, reminiscent of the Man from La Mancha:

‘This is my quest to follow that star;

No matter how hopeless, no matter how far

To fight for the right without question or pause

To be willing to march into Hell for a heavenly cause.’

 Raymond, Sr. testified before Congress in 2009. His voice needs to be heard again in Congress. With good reason, I refer to his son’s case as the ‘Protestant Pat Finucane case’—the Pat Finucane case being the very symbol of British government collusion in the murder of Catholics in Northern Ireland. (Of course, hundreds of Catholics were killed through British government collusion, while very few Protestants were). However, whereas the entire Catholic/Republican/Nationalist community in Northern Ireland rallied in solidarity behind the Finucane family, the Protestant/Unionist community were scared of rallying behind the McCord family because it meant taking on the British government, which they consider ‘their government’—a bit like how the Whites in Alabama and Mississippi were reluctant to  admit that white sheriffs were colluding with the KKK.

The Irish National Caucus, in lobbying Congress, focuses on past collusion-killings in Northern Ireland. The other killings— that did not involve British government collusion— are the proper business of the police in Northern Ireland, not the Congress of the United States.”—Fr. Sean McManus 

“I’ve had countless death threats, but we need to fight for justice.”

Raymond McCord, Jr.

Belfast Telegraph. Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Raymond McCord’s 22-year-old son Raymond, Jr. was beaten to death by a UVF gang in 1997. He said: “MY son Raymond Jr. was so badly beaten they wouldn’t let me see him in the morgue. He was identified through his fingerprints. We had a closed coffin.

He was the oldest of my three boys, but he was a big softie.

I found out he had done his best to defend himself as the UVF battered him, but he was outnumbered, and they used breeze blocks. There was only ever going to be one outcome. His body was found on Remembrance Sunday, November 9, 1997, in Ballyduff quarry.

He was 22-years-old. I never thought he’d be taken from me and his mother like that. The people who killed him claim to be Loyalists, but they are nothing but gangsters. They killed people because of their religion and over drugs.

The former Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan produced a tremendous report on the Mount Vernon UVF. It was damning of the Special Branch. She said my son was murdered by one of their informers. It was a clear-cut case of collusion. The then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, accepted the report and said it all shouldn’t have happened. But neither his government nor all the ones who came after that have done anything about it.

This informer and his associates were involved in many killings. I want to see the handlers in these cases in the dock. The police are meant to be there to protect us, but all too often they didn’t do that.

I had a friend who was a cop, a good guy, a Christian who upheld the law, but in my experience, there were far too many who weren’t like him.

The UVF held an inquiry into my son’s murder. It was a sham. I talked to three hooded men. They assured me there would be no cover-up. The one leading the investigation was later exposed as a Special Branch agent.

Nationalists have long addressed the collusion issue. Unionists are uncomfortable with it. I’ve relatives who don’t speak to me because they don’t like what I’m saying. I’ve no time for most unionist politicians. Justice means nothing to them. The DUP promised me they’d name Raymond’s killers in the House of Commons. I never heard from them again.

I’ve received countless death threats. The UVF have smashed my son’s headstone three times. It’s other victims who keep me going. I went down to speak alongside some of the Bloody Sunday relatives in Derry, and they had a picture there of Raymond in his Royal Air Force uniform. I thought that was a lovely touch.

People might think me reckless for taking on the UVF and the police like I do.

But I was never going to walk away from this. It was always Raymond and me from the moment he was born. I could do no wrong in his eyes and, while I’ve breath in my body, I’ll be there for him.

I always wonder if he ended up in the UVF because of me. I’d clashed with the UDA many times, and maybe Raymond joined the UVF to counter that.

The unionist community needs to wake up. Collusion isn’t an illusion. My son is dead because of it. We shouldn’t be just sitting here telling our stories. We have to be out fighting for justice.”