Martin Galvin  📰 with a letter that appeared in the Irish News on 23-August-2023

Attorney General Brenda King has directed new inquests into 5 mid-Ulster killings, citing intelligence that British state agents/bodies played a role in the murders, ballistic evidence linking the weapons used, and wider evidence of collusion.

The families think that if allowed to proceed, these inquests will implicate the British Army’s Ulster Defence Regiment 8th Battalion, with direct links to other mid-Ulster murders, and a pattern of crown collusion around the six counties. The families of Phelim McNally, Thomas Casey, Sean Anderson, Dwayne O’Donnell and Thomas Armstrong have fought a heartbreaking legal battle just to get this far.

From the outset, local observers said the Ulster Volunteer Force was being used as a cover name by the UDR. After one related murder in the area, that of Liam Ryan, former MP Bernadette Devlin McAliskey told reporters “in Tyrone as in many parts of the North, the Ulster Defense Regiment and UVF are virtually the same thing”.

When these families saw the Royal Ulster Constabulary, showing little interest and less sympathy in investigating the killings of their loved ones, they made statements to Ms. McAliskey and Fr. Joe McVeigh, hoping public interviews would somehow lead to justice.

When they were told that a Historical Enquiries Team (HET) had been created within the PSNI Constabulary, to investigate legacy cases, these families engaged. They then waited years, only to see the HET disbanded in 2014 after scathing findings of favoritism for crown forces. They waited still more years just to obtain a copy of the HET report into two of the killings. It was finally released in 2021.

Relatives followed the Roseanne Mallon Inquest and saw hidden evidence uncovered linking the weapons used in these killings to other murders.

They saw other families uncover truth about collusion in the Loughinisland, Operation Greenwich, and Operation Achille, Ombudsman Inquiries. They then fought for and were promised a collective Ombudsman investigation into 60 murders by Dr. Michael Maguire in 2016. Operation Ashton has yet to begin.

The bereaved families and their solicitor Gavin Booth, now face a race against time and British amnesty shut-down deadlines. Will the PSNI Constabulary and Ministry of Defense provide timely discovery so the inquests can reach verdicts before the May deadline? Will the crown just deny, delay and run out the clock?

How much more heartbreak must families face in order to get justice?

Martin Galvin is long time
Irish American activist.

Tyrone Inquests In Race Against Amnesty Deadline

Martin Galvin  📰 with a letter that appeared in the Irish News on 23-August-2023

Attorney General Brenda King has directed new inquests into 5 mid-Ulster killings, citing intelligence that British state agents/bodies played a role in the murders, ballistic evidence linking the weapons used, and wider evidence of collusion.

The families think that if allowed to proceed, these inquests will implicate the British Army’s Ulster Defence Regiment 8th Battalion, with direct links to other mid-Ulster murders, and a pattern of crown collusion around the six counties. The families of Phelim McNally, Thomas Casey, Sean Anderson, Dwayne O’Donnell and Thomas Armstrong have fought a heartbreaking legal battle just to get this far.

From the outset, local observers said the Ulster Volunteer Force was being used as a cover name by the UDR. After one related murder in the area, that of Liam Ryan, former MP Bernadette Devlin McAliskey told reporters “in Tyrone as in many parts of the North, the Ulster Defense Regiment and UVF are virtually the same thing”.

When these families saw the Royal Ulster Constabulary, showing little interest and less sympathy in investigating the killings of their loved ones, they made statements to Ms. McAliskey and Fr. Joe McVeigh, hoping public interviews would somehow lead to justice.

When they were told that a Historical Enquiries Team (HET) had been created within the PSNI Constabulary, to investigate legacy cases, these families engaged. They then waited years, only to see the HET disbanded in 2014 after scathing findings of favoritism for crown forces. They waited still more years just to obtain a copy of the HET report into two of the killings. It was finally released in 2021.

Relatives followed the Roseanne Mallon Inquest and saw hidden evidence uncovered linking the weapons used in these killings to other murders.

They saw other families uncover truth about collusion in the Loughinisland, Operation Greenwich, and Operation Achille, Ombudsman Inquiries. They then fought for and were promised a collective Ombudsman investigation into 60 murders by Dr. Michael Maguire in 2016. Operation Ashton has yet to begin.

The bereaved families and their solicitor Gavin Booth, now face a race against time and British amnesty shut-down deadlines. Will the PSNI Constabulary and Ministry of Defense provide timely discovery so the inquests can reach verdicts before the May deadline? Will the crown just deny, delay and run out the clock?

How much more heartbreak must families face in order to get justice?

Martin Galvin is long time
Irish American activist.

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