He had experienced nothing like it since kindergarten, Cory, the keynote speaker at last weekend’s Irish American Unity Conference national convention in Pittsburgh, said.
Cory, who led a team investigating allegations of collusion between security forces and loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, spoke of having difficulties in obtaining documents from British police and intelligence agencies, not least when he was investigating allegations of collusion in the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.
“Documents led to other documents. Some places were extremely difficult. Some would even deny they exist. One lady from an agency left her purse behind when delivering documents and, when I called her number to tell her, the first question was: ‘How did you get this number?’
“Then they said: ‘We don’t exist and anyhow, we don’t know her.’
Dealing with MI5 was particularly difficult, Cory said.
“If I made notes they had to see them and ensure they accompanied me until they were put in the safe. I never went anywhere on their premises alone. Even if I went to the john, they came with me — the first time that had happened since kindergarten.”
In a report on the IAUC gathering, the Belfast published newspaper, Daily Ireland, said that Cory’s report on the Finucane killing had been taken out of Britain by the Canadian High Commissioner in a diplomatic pouch and given to the Canadian secret service for safekeeping.
The various Cory reports have recommended public inquiries into the murders of Finucane, Robert Hamill, Rosemary Nelson, loyalist leader Billy Wright and RUC superintendents Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan.
Cory believes there is enough sufficient evidence to justify inquiries in the cases of Finucane, Nelson, Hamill and Wright.
“Was there collusion? There certainly was,” Cory told the convention.
IAUC national president, Bob Linnon, said that Cory’s presence at the convention had been a breath of fresh air.
“He’s stumping British government attempts to cover up their involvement in many underground activities,” Linnon said.
The IAUC would be campaigning for full implementation of Cory’s recommendations, Linnon added.