UVF collusion scandal
A former senior RUC police officer has confirmed that a north Belfast
commander was involved in more than a dozen murders while he worked for
RUC Special Branch.
Johnston 'Jonty' Brown said the UVF figure was "protected" to
he was not exposed, despite the fact that they he was associated with
several killings of Protestants and Catholics.
A leaked copy of a confidential report compiled by the respected
London-based human rights group British Irish Rights Watch (BIRW) lists
nine of the people whom the UVF man is alleged to have murdered, either
through direct involvement or indirectly by ordering or being linked to
Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond jnr is believed to have been murdered
on the orders of this UVF figure in 1997, said that British and
unionist paramilitary sources have corroborated to him the claims made
by Mr Brown.
Mr McCord snr raised his concerns about the investigation into his
son's death when he met Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin recently.
The Ombudsman's report, which will be completed in the summer, is said
to be more controversial and far-reaching than her report into how the
RUC handled the inquiry into the Real IRA bombing of Omagh. That
exposed huge failings in the RUC inquiry and had major security and
The critical element of O'Loan's work is to find to what extent
members of Special Branch colluded with the UVF. Her inquiry began as
an examination of how police handled the investigation into the
suspected UVF murder of Mr McCord in November 1997.
The BIRW has become so alarmed by the scale of the allegations that it
has compiled its own report on the killings, which it has sent to the
Ombudsman, the Independent Monitoring Commission, Northern Secretary
Peter Hain, US peace process special envoy Dr Mitchell Reiss, and the
The killing period runs from January 17th, 1993, to October 31st, 2000.
Mr Brown said the UVF man was a Special Branch agent over that period.
The BIRW said that if Mrs O'Loan substantiates the allegations, an
independent inquiry must be held.
Raymond McCord jnr was battered to death on November 9th, 1997. His
body was dumped in Ballyduff Quarry in Newtownabbey, north of Belfast.
He was so badly beaten he could not be identified by visual means. A
key question is how much RUC Special Branch knew about the alleged
killer's activities while he worked for them.
His father, Raymond McCord snr, says his son was murdered on the
instructions of a senior, notorious UVF figure from north Belfast, an
alleged multiple killer who also worked for the RUC.
"Raymond was lured to the quarry by the UVF," says Mr McCord.
spun him a yarn, they told him he was in for a minor punishment
shooting, a flesh wound, for a drugs deal he had been involved in that
went wrong. Raymond even changed into an old pair of trousers so that
his good ones wouldn't be ruined. They tried to shoot him dead in the
quarry but their gun jammed. Then they beat him to death."
He believes Mrs O'Loan will expose a security dungheap. "I am confident
that will happen."
Johnston Brown says that the same individual was responsible for
several other murders. His first alleged victim was Sharon McKenna, a
good Samaritan done to death for helping a Protestant friend. She was
27-year-old Catholic who was shot dead by two UVF gunmen after she had
visited the pensioner, just out of hospital, to cook him dinner.
A grim catalogue of murder then runs between January 17th, 1993, when
Ms McKenna was murdered, and October 31st, 2000, when former Ulster
Democratic Party politician Tommy English was shot dead in the UDA/UVF
loyalist feud of that period.
Raymond McCord, who has been fighting this battle for about eight
years, wants X "to spend so long in jail that he dies there",
former Special Branch officers to join him behind bars. "After that
can get on with my life."