“The revelation in tonight’s Panorama that one of the guns used in the Sean Graham’s Bookmakers attack on the Ormeau Road, on February 5th 1992, which killed 5 people and injured several others, was on public display at the Imperial War Museum in London until recently is absolutely shocking. It’s beyond being crass and insensitive – it’s downright sick and adds insult to injury in what is already a grave injustice yet to be addressed. Despite learning of this several months ago from the Police Ombudsman there still is a deep sense of disbelief, shock and understandable anger. Families and survivors of the attack are struggling to come to terms with this latest information. Special Branch and MI5 agent Brian Nelson provided the weapons used by the UDA in the attack.
“The RUC, the PSNI and the HET all told the families that this particular weapon, a Czechoslovakian manufactured 7.62 x 39 mm VZ58P automatic assault rifle modeled on the AK47, had been destroyed and no longer existed.
“The weapon was part of a large consignment of similar rifles and munitions imported into the north in the late 1980’s by the British Army’s Force Research Unit (FRU) key agent Brian Nelson, who had been secreted into the UDA in order for the intelligence agencies to more effectively target and kill people.
“Relatives For Justice tracked the use of these weapons and in 1995 published an extensive report detailing 229 killings involving collusion, including the use of these imported weapons.
“We have had a string of recent revelations from the misinformation of the shadowy Special Branch controlled group the Weapons & Explosives Research Centre (WREC) at the Roseanne Mallon inquest concerning ballistics and weapons used in numerous murders and attacks across East Tyrone and North Armagh involving collusion; including up to 60 cases being investigated by the Police Ombudsman potentially involving the role of WERC that also involves killings of members of the RUC and British Army through collusion with agents within republicanism.
“There have been consistent revelations about structured collusion at the judicial review by the Finucane family of the failure by the UK government to hold the inquiry as promised at Weston Park; and through the judicial review of the PSNI refusal to provide the thematic report into the activities of the Glenanne Gang.
“We’ve also had the writ served on the architect of collusion, General Sir Frank Kitson, by 88 year-old Mary Heenan’s whose husband Paddy was murdered by Military Reaction Force (MRF) agent and British soldier Albert ‘Ginger’ Baker. Baker too was secreted into the UDA by the military to direct killings.
“The Panorama exposé of State terror, widespread collusion, and agents involved in murders has already seen a knee-jerk reaction by the PSNI Chief Constable in the media prior to the programme even being screened.
“On the back of several television programmes exposing serious collusion (Spotlight re Gary Heggarty and the Mount Vernon UVF, Spotlight on WERC, and last night’s Panorama) the Chief Constable has basically dismissed the evidence and defended the role of the RUC and the use of agents.
“George Hamilton has made some promising comments about addressing the past but this intervention is way off the mark and is as equally insulting and insensitive as the display of one of the murder weapons.
“The only response is to have an independent inquiry into collusion.” ENDS
The Panorama programme can be viewed on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TRgZ-mvQpU