RUC collusion with loyalist killers - Sir Ronnie Flanagan has questions to answerMost of the regular readers of this blog will have read my book – A Very British Jihad. Or, at least, you will be aware of its contents with regard to the systematic collusion which took place between the British so-called security forces and loyalist paramilitaries in the North of our country. For this reason, I am not going to say much about today’s revelations contained in Nuala O’Loan’s report about cooperation between the RUC and members of the UVF in North Belfast. The phrase “What did I tell you?” comes to mind, of course, but personal feelings aside, there are two key things which need to be addressed:
1) The police ombudsman’s report only covers a small area of North Belfast yet the pattern of cooperation she describes between loyalist killers and police officers in RUC Special Branch existed in every single police division. In fairness to Nuala O’Loan, she does point out at the end of her report that she has no reason to believe that the collusion she describes wasn’t going on elsewhere.
2) The systematic collusion between loyalist killers and Special Branch officers didn’t just happen in a vacuum. It came from a system that was put in place by those who ran the RUC. It is now a matter of grave importance that the individuals who were at the top of the RUC’s power structure and decision making process are pressured by journalists into giving answers as to how this state of affairs came about. Sir Ronnie Flanagan, in particular, needs to explain what happened on his watch, both as the head of Special Branch in the 1980s and then as Chief Constable in the 1990s. Flanagan has just received another award (to add to his knighthood) for his “services to policing” from the Queen of England. This award must have been approved by the Labour Government in England and yet Irish people will want to know what “services” exactly did Flanagan provide whilst he ran the RUC. Why, for example, were there very few names of Catholics mentioned in the RUC’s “Threats Book” (for those whose lives are considered to be under direct threat) whilst Ronnie Flanagan ran the RUC in Belfast? In his own report on the murder of Pat Finucane, Canadian Judge Peter Cory points out that the RUC Threats Book had over a 100 references to IRA targeting of Protestants and Unionists, yet this same book carried virtually no references to the UDA’s targeting of Catholics in the period that human rights lawyer Pat Finucane was murdered – the late 1980s. Why Sir Ronnie? Why?