State agent Robin Jackson provided the weapons used in the 1994 Heights Bar atrocity and many other anti Peace Process attacks.Not even the Police Ombudsman seems to grasp the significance of this paragraph in his report:
The 1990 intelligence concluded by reporting that Robin Jackson had possession of some of the weapons from Mitchell’s farm, including ten ‘AK’ assault rifles (likely to have been a reference to VZ58 rifles), ammunition and an RPG launcher, and subsequently distributed two of the rifles and the RPG launcher to Person Y, the ‘Brigadier’ of East Belfast UVF.
This supports intelligence from February 1989 that Lurgan UVF had a large number of weapons from the 1987 loyalist shipment in a deep hide under the control of Robin Jackson.
P50 Ombudsman’s report
The significance of these two paragraphs not only lies in the specific fact that the VZ58 assault rifle referred to above was used in the Loughinisland atrocity but also in the even more profound fact that a veteran sectarian assassin and state agent (Robin ‘The Jackal’ Jackson) remained at the centre of a web of sectarian killings that stretch from the Dublin and Monaghan bombs slaughter in 1974 (in which 34 people were killed and scores maimed) to the Heights Bar attack in June 1994 and even beyond that.
It is a source of disbelief to me that the Ombudsman and his team, whilst otherwise performing an outstanding service to the Irish people with this report, failed to examine Robin Jackson’s role as an agent of the State’s covert forces. The fact that the Irish media has also ignored this central revelation in the report simply makes things worse. For the two paragraphs above are the final piece in Collusion’s sectarian jigsaw.
Part of the reason why the above paragraphs are so profound is that the Ombudsman directly links ‘The Jackal’ with former RUC man James Mitchell’s state-protected arms dump, which supplied sectarian death squads with munitions right throughout the same 30 year period – 1974 to 1994.
Here is one of those former death squad operatives (himself a former Special Branch officer), describing the use of Mitchell’s farm and Robin Jackson’s key role in the 1970s:
(i) the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. I believe that 33 people were killed and scores seriously injured in these two bombings, which occurred on the same day. The explosives for both attacks had been provided by Captain John Irwin, an Intelligence Officer in the UDR. The bombs had been assembled at the farmhouse in Glenanne, which was owned by the RUC Officer James Mitchell. The main organizer of both attacks had been a Loyalist paramilitary and UDR Captain Billy Hanna from Lurgan, Co. Armagh. The bombs had been transported in cars with Robin Jackson, Billy Hanna and David Payne taking part in the Dublin attack and Stuart Young taking responsibility for the one in Monaghan.
Statement of former RUC SPG officer John Weir
John Weir’s description of The Jackal’s key role and that of Mitchell’s farm has never been disputed and is supported by other intelligence sources from that time in the 1970s. It is now doubly vindicated. Here we are in 2016 with a carefully researched official report that tells us these same two people were central to the murder paradigm in 1994.
If the Ombudsman had simply looked at Robin Jackson’s role in the Miami Showband atrocity in July 1975 and the prior British Army arranged murder in County Monaghan of John Francis Green, he would have discovered for himself how ‘The Jackal’ and his gang (stretching across both the UVF and UFF) was a state protected species. For it is a matter of record that the Luger pistol Jackson used in both killings carried his fingerprints and that he was warned about this by RUC Special Branch. This oversight by the Ombudsman is all the more surprising because a 2011 police ‘legacy’ report into the Showband attack confirmed that very point.
Once Robin Jackson’s state protected status is taken on board, his control of these lethal weapons (imported by other state agents) from South Africa and the fact that Jackson and Mitchell were tipped off by Special Branch about imminent police seizure of these weapons becomes even more revelatory:
Information was received by police in 1988 that within two hours of Person E’s arrest at Mahon Road, the remaining firearms were removed in a farming vehicle from Mitchell’s farm to another location. The 1990 information reported that James Mitchell had been warned that police intended to search his farm, as a result of which the individuals involved loaded the remaining weapons into the farming vehicle, which Mr Mitchell drove to a safe location at Markethill.
P50 Ombudsman’s report
Here we have a Police Ombudsman’s report in 2016 showing that undoubted state asset and serial UVF killer Robin Jackson was in 1988 holding a lethal arsenal that was not only subsequently responsible for the Loughinisland massacre but a string of attacks that lead to 70 or more deaths and innumerable moments of terror and destruction. The Ombudsman is clear that the Loughinisland weapons came from the arms cache that was 'allowed' (my emphasis) to fall into the hands of 'the Jackal':
I am satisfied that the VZ58 rifle and ammunition used at the Heights Bar, and the Browning type pistol recovered with it, were imported into Northern Ireland in the same loyalist arms shipment as the firearms and explosives recovered at Mahon Road on 8 January 1988 and Flush Road on 4 February 1988.
Given the fateful ‘tip off’ referred to above (one of several he refers to) and that the Ombudsman shows the imported weapons had been tracked from their original shipping point to James Mitchell’s farm, there can be no other conclusion from his report but that a powerful element within the covert state took a decision to allow ‘Ulster Resistance’ to proceed with its mass murder campaign at a key moment just prior to an imminent IRA ceasefire in August 1994. How can the UK government say they were unaware of the location of these weapons when their own intelligence reports and their own man was holding them?
In classic counter insurgency parlance this is termed a ‘Strategy of Tension’.
The high level spooks who took that catastrophic decision should now be held accountable and the true role of Robin Jackson should finally be officially acknowledged.
Mí an Mheithimh 2016