In response to the serialisation of loyalist killer Michael Stone’s book.

In response to the serialisation of loyalist killer Michael Stone's book.

23rd May 2003

Speaking in response to the recent serialisation of loyalist killer
Michael Stone's book, and its early publication, some of the relatives
directly bereaved by his actions have issued the following statement
through Relatives for Justice.

The fact that a multiple killer can profit from his exploits is morally reprehensible and repugnant.

We have raised this matter with a number of people and believe that a
stand needs to be taken not only in this instance, but also to prevent
other families in the future from being subjected to the similar
grotesque spectacle that we and our immediate families have had to
endure in recent weeks.

All this has taken its toll, from the insensitive nature of it, to the
added trauma. In this context we welcome the move by
lster TeleVision to remove the advertisement from its schedule last week.

However, the revelations contained in the serialisation come as no
surprise to the bereaved families, those who were injured, and the
wider community.

There has always
been a long held view that Stone did not act alone in his attack on
mourners at Miltown Cemetery. Similarly allegations of collusion have
always persisted in the UDA/UFF murders of Paddy Brady, Kevin McPoland,
and Paddy Hackett which Stone was also responsible for, despite his
recent denials.

On the Miltown attack that claimed the lives of Caoimhghin Mac
Bradaigh, Thomas McErlean, and John Murray, and which injured 63
people, Stone admits that;

  • he used weapons taken from the South African
    shipment imported by British Military Intelligence and their UDA/UFF agent Brian Nelson;

  • that an RUC issue Ruger pistol and ammunition were
    also used;

  • that a member of the RUC drove him to collect the
    illegal weapons, safely returning Stone to Belfast with the weapons in their possession;

  • he
    was told that there would be no RUC or British army presence at the
    Gibraltar funerals (which had never previously occurred at republican
    funerals and was indeed the case on this occasion);

  • that
    aerial photographs were provided of the area, which also indicated
    security camera and lookout positions from the joint RUC/British army
    fortress that overlooks Miltown Cemetery; that Stone was to be picked
    up on the M1 motorway that runs parallel to Miltown Cemetery , his
    getaway route after the attack;

  • that he had received RUC photo, video and file
    material on people to target;

  • and that Stone was 'rescued' by the RUC immediately
    once he had been apprehended by mourners, and only then.

all raise a series of questions that now need to be examined, and may
possibly explain the failure on the state to provide forensic and
ballistic reports of the weapons to the families bereaved in the
Miltown attack. It may in part also explain the failure to hold a full
inquest into the killings, as requested immediately after Stone's trial
by the families.

This is undoubtedly yet another
incident in which the state assisted third parties in the murder of its
own citizens. It was state assassination by proxy.

There now exists wider vindication of continued claims by the victim's families that collusion with the RUC and British
military was indeed a major factor in all of Stone's activities.

  • The question now is what is going to happen as a
    result of these matters now being publicly confirmed?

  • Are those who rubbished the claims going to continue
    on their crusade of defending the indefensible by denying that collusion took place or by dismissing it as some 'rogue

is time for ordinary people from within the unionist community to now
also speak out. Indeed all those who remained silent on these issues
whilst at the same time being vocal when others parties to the conflict
acted need to now make a public stand. Their silence on these matters
has always been a source of hurt and frustration for the bereaved and

Undoubtedly the heroic actions of
Caoimhghin Mac Bradiagh, Thomas McErlean, and John Murray prevented
mass loss of life and further injuries in Miltown Cemetery. If the
incident had occurred in any other society our loved ones would have
been posthumously honored for their actions, valor, and immediate
disregard for their own safety in the interests of saving the lives of
others. But this was never going to happen for agents of the state
assisted Stone.