Insight: Families want collusion answers

Published Tuesday, 07 May 2013
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In a UTV Insight special, Live and Let Die, two Belfast families are demanding that the State owns up to collusion and prosecutes informers who have literally been allowed to get away with murder.

Insight: Families want collusion answers
Cathy McIlvenny and Frank Mulhern talk to UTV Insight about their loved ones. (© UTV)

Speaking out for the first time, the Catholic father of a man killed by the IRA and the Protestant sister of a woman battered to death by the UDA have the same message. They both want justice.

"We were more like mates than father and son, you know," west Belfast man Frank Mulhern says of his son Joe, recalling how he went to Wicklow for a break to deal with depression 20 years ago.

The 23-year-old's body was found near the Tyrone border at Castlederg. He'd been interrogated by the IRA, accused of passing information to Special Branch, then shot dead.

He was away for ten days. The next time I saw him, he was in the morgue in Altnagelvin Hospital.

Frank Mulhern, victim's father

Six weeks later, Joe's father found himself face-to-face with the head of IRA security Freddie Scappaticci - himself a double-agent codenamed Stakeknife.

"I asked him how my son had died and he said that the guy that shot him ... the first shot hit him in the neck and he shouted at him to shoot him again. And the second shot hit him in the back of the head and apparently that was what killed him," Frank reveals.

The inquest a year after Joe's murder found he had indeed been shot twice.

To Frank, that means Scappaticci was present at his son's interrogation by the IRA and that he had to have been present at the execution to know the details of the killing.

More than 40 people were executed by the IRA's internal security unit for doing what Scappaticci was doing - getting paid by the State for giving up IRA secrets.

Last year, the Historical Enquiries Team had Scappaticci arrested and questioned about Joe Mulhern's murder. He was released without charge.

Margaret Thatcher said: 'Murder is a crime; maiming is a crime; crime is crime is crime.' Except, apparently, when it comes to the Government's own security services.

Chris Moore, UTV Insight

Meanwhile, in a loyalist drinking den in north Belfast in March 1987, a 23-year-old woman and mother-of-two was unaware of the fate that lay ahead.

Lorraine McCausland was to be battered to death, with the main suspect in her killing a leading member of the UDA.

"There wasn't part of her body that wasn't marked, they had beaten her that badly," her sister Cathy McIlvenny tells Insight, adding that her family has since lost faith in the justice system.

An investigation by the Historical Enquiries Team in 2009 couldn't confirm collusion, but they did tell the family that, while the main suspect was not an informer in March 1987, he was by April 1987.

"I think high-ranking officers in Special Branch played games with people's lives," Cathy says.

They killed knowing they were never going to be brought to court for it.

Cathy McIlvenny, victim's sister

Insight's Chris Moore says that growing numbers of bereaved families are demanding the truth, in the aftermath of the Sir Desmond de Silva report that confirmed the State had colluded with armed terrorists in the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane in 1989.

Belfast solicitor Kevin Winters, who represents more than 30 families seeking accountability from the State on collusion issues, describes the de Silva report as: "one of the most startling pieces of work to come out of the conflict".

Insight looks at the roles of four State paid agents: Brian Nelson known as British Army agent 6137, whom de Silva said played an active role in UFF murders; Ken Barrett, or Special Branch Agent Wesley who boasted to police that he murdered Pat Finucane; Mark Haddock or 'Roxy' who got a Special Branch pay rise after his first murder; and agent Freddie Scappaticci - Stakeknife.

Insight: Live and Let Die is available on the UTV Player for 30 days.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
7 Comments
pete in belfast wrote (442 days ago):
Dont believe everything you see or read. 95% of the programme content is sheer nonsense.
maggie in north west wrote (447 days ago):
This program has left me bewildered. The special branch officer came and told the Travers family their daughter was killed by one of their agents and in order to protect him they did not disclose the wherabouts of the safe house until a cleanup was finished. WHAT !!!!WHY would they give that information to the family ? It seemed like some of the Special branch were working against themselves. Stakeknife was passing on information to the IRA about other agents and having them killed, yet they never had a hunch that he was involved himself. I never would have believed they would be that slow. One thing apparent agents met death very quickly and there were some judgement for the victims when others were brought to court BUT IRA innocent victim's familys some never saw justice. We are really can only see half the picture the only half is guarded by Sinn Fein/ira and until we get a look at what they hide, nothing will be clear to me. So Chris Moore will have to go back and look at what they hide. It will not be as easy to obtain as the files belonging to the government.
Jim in Belfast wrote (447 days ago):
Hold on a second...the Prime Minister of the UK apparently admitted that there were forces above him that would not let any enquiry into these events happen and there are no comments on here! The International Criminal Court should now be contacted to look into these War Crimes and those who perpetrated them.
Deeko in Belfast wrote (447 days ago):
So UTV are trying to Demonise the brave men and woman of the RUC.The terrorist IRA always said they where fighting a war.In war you try to defeat your enemy by all means possible.Shame Shame on UTV.
annie in Belfast wrote (448 days ago):
Just watched this programme and its frightening that the so called establishment and the people we thought were policing the place was rotten to the core and got away with so much and watched murders taking place while sitting back watching communities ripped apart. These families need justice although i doubt they will ever get it because of the corruption and dirt deeds of the Governments, from the top of government down to the police handlers - youve all got blood on your hand - hang your heads in shame
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