Protestant alleges links between N. Ireland loyalists and British state

Raymond McCord

Ray McCord, Sr.

On November 9, 1997, Royal Air Force officer Raymond McCord Jr. was beaten to death in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by members of the Mount Vernon branch of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). McCord’s beating was one of many instances in which Northern Ireland’s most violent loyalist gang targeted members of its own Protestant community. The difference in McCord’s case was that his father, Raymond McCord Sr., decided to come forward and speak out about the decades-old collusion between Northern Irish loyalist paramilitaries and Britain’s security services. Despite repeated death threats and intimidation, McCord’s campaign prompted an official investigation into the matter by Northern Ireland’s police ombudsman Nuala O’Loan. Her 2007 report confirmed that the leader of the Mount Vernon UVF, Mark Haddock, had been repeatedly protected by police authorities, despite being routinely implicated in extortion, blackmail, drug dealing and arson, as well as in dozens of paramilitary-style attacks that resulted in 16 murders and 10 attempted murders. Last October, McCord and O’Loan were among a handful of witnesses called to testify before the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, which operates under the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Subcommittee has just published McCord’s written testimony (.pdf). In it, McCord accuses “many of the leading UVF men” of being “in fact [British Police] Special Branch informants”. Among them was the UVF’s so-called brigadier general, who was actually a long-term “agent of the state”, claims McCord. He also alleges that members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Northern Ireland’s police force, systematically argued in defense of UVF members each time they were arrested on terrorism suspicions. Speaking before the Subcommittee’s members, McCord urged the British government “to hold up their hands, come clean, and tell the truth. They did collude with terrorist organizations and should now apologize and compensate the victims’ families”, he said (p.4).

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

3 Responses to Protestant alleges links between N. Ireland loyalists and British state

  1. Dr. Monkey says:

    This comes as no surprise to me whatsoever. I always suspected the British used the Protestant loyalists as their spies and to carry out killings. It probably goes all the way back to Thatcher.

  2. C says:

    The queen gave medals to the soldiers responsible for Bloody Sunday, so why should this come as a surprise?

    Low and behold this didn’t make the Irish media. The sooner people wake up to the tyrannic UK’s agenda the better.

  3. John Spiers says:

    Collusion between loyalists and Brits is not news, certainly not to the Republicans, but I’m not quite sure whether the Republican methods of insurrection, which include drug- and gun-running, wide-scale terrorisation of civilians and slaughter of bystanders really ought to be mentioned in this context or not. The whole situation was utterly murderous on both sides, and it’s ridiculous to pick up on one bit or another to suggest somehow Brits or Republicans are capable of worse deeds. Obviously they were both up to the same tricks, and that says more about the intensity of territorial conflict generally than it does about any particular interest group. For instance, the fact that you can “prove” the IRA did worse stuff is arguably only because they were driven to it. Now that the war has turned into a silly propaganda campaign we’re being subjected to boring sub-military tit-for-tat articles in newspapers. Meh. Covert war is more honest.

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