Shameful and disturbing saga

Posted By: January 30, 2018


Distributed by Irish National Caucus.
“The true face of England’s justice in Northern Ireland, and the true face of England’s military policy in Northern Ireland: to set up Protestant murder gangs to kill Catholics, yet all the time telling the world, especially America, that the British Army was a peacekeeping, neutral force.Shame on all—in Northern and Southern Ireland— who collaborated with this great evil”—Fr. Sean McManus.

 Haggarty case a shameful episode in Northern Ireland’s “dirty war”

Allison Morris.Irish News. Belfast. Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The case of Gary Haggarty – UVF member turned Special Branch informer, turned serial killer, turned supergrass – is a shameful and disturbing saga and one that truly highlights the toxic nature of Northern Ireland’s dirty war.

A man without a moral compass, who lived a life of criminality, inflicting violence on people in a barbaric 16-year ‘career’ as a member of the reprehensible Mount Vernon UVF while also in the pay of the security forces.

During yesterday’s sentencing hearing the judge told how Haggarty was “deeply involved in terrorist crime including intimidation, extortion, possession of arms and ammunition and the infliction of serious violence.”

The loyalist pleaded guilty to five counts of murder and one of aiding and abetting murder. Each of those victims had a family, each was loved, wanted and is missed, and each has been left hurting and traumatized every day since.

In passing sentence, Mr. Justice Colton also referred to information provided by the defendant when operating as a CHIS (Covert Human Intelligence Source) which allowed police to have prior knowledge of approximately 44 potential incidents.

Haggarty admitted guilt in 202 crimes, with more than 300 more severe offenses taken into consideration – figures making him a not very effective informant by any definition.

That the majority of his associates and his RUC handlers will never stand trial based on the information he provided is a travesty of justice.

Not that he would have made a reliable witness because the supergrass-style evidence is never reliable and is quickly picked apart by any defense barrister worth his or her legal aid.

But it is a travesty because no-one will ever be accountable for allowing the informer-riddled Mount Vernon gang to commit murder after murder while many of its members were in the pay of the intelligence services.

We have been told that Haggarty’s information over the years allowed police to “mitigate the threat in respect of at least 34 individuals”.

Who made that call? Who said who lived and who died?

Who decided to ‘mitigate’ the threat against some individuals while allowing Sean McParland to be murdered while babysitting his grandchildren, John Harbinson to be kicked to death by a savage mob, Eamon Fox, and Gary Convie to be targeted while trying to earn a living on a Belfast building site, or Sean McDermott shot dead simply for being a Catholic?

Who made the call to let their killers walk free?

Who is accountable for that injustice and who will face those victims and explain to them why their loved ones weren’t worth saving and their killers didn’t deserve jailing?