Category: Archive

Turning a blind eye

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

This week’s report from the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman appears to prove the point, and it makes for chilling reading.
It shows how officers besmirched their profession as policemen, systematically colluding in the murder of citizens in the society they had sworn to protect. As well as killings, the policemen also colluded in drug dealing, extortion, hijacking, intimidation, armed robbery, assault and grievous bodily harm, punishment shootings and beatings, possession of munitions, criminal damage, and more.
They placed serial killers on the state payroll, raised their pay after murders and other crimes, and coached them not to incriminate themselves during sham investigations.
Police officers, some of them still serving in the Police Service of Northern Ireland, treated the Ombudsman as a joke, giving “evasive, contradictory and on occasion farcical answers” that demonstrated all too clearly their contempt for the law.
Officers then systematically destroyed almost all documentary evidence of their own and their colleagues’ criminal behavior, in an effort to evade punishment.
And all of this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Ombudsman herself pointed out that her report focused narrowly on the deeds of just one anti-Catholic UVF gang in Belfast, and there was “no reason to believe” it was an isolated case.
In today’s Irish Echo, the head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Hugh Orde, seeks to assure Irish Americans that new systems are in place, and that such behavior can never again occur.
This is to be welcomed, and few doubt Orde’s desire for reform — but is that the end of the matter?
The British government has already ruled out a wider investigation into collusion, with the Northern Ireland secretary saying that while he has “no doubt” there was more collusion, a full public inquiry wasn’t “necessary” and wouldn’t uncover additional evidence.
Will citizens never, then, see light shone upon these crimes, or on the shadowy role played by Britain’s MI5, which worked hand-in-glove with the Special Branch for decades?
This newspaper adds it voice to those calling for a public inquiry. We also demand that any police officer who participated in such crimes, covered them up, or turned a blind eye to them, be drummed off the force forthwith.

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