Taoiseach asked to back call for Public Inquiry into La Mon atrocity

Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW) is asking the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, to support a call for a Public Inquiry into the La Mon PIRA atrocity forty-two years ago.

A similar call was made to the Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis, earlier this week.

Following a letter sent to Mr Martin, UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, says: “We are leaving no stone unturned to pursue this matter, which is why we are reaching out to you. Dublin can exercise its influence and work with victims of terrorism to get all the facts exposed. Your Government can be seen as a force for good if it supports our demand and makes a stand with us on behalf of all the innocent victims in Northern Ireland, particularly those who still suffer grievously as a result of this appalling act.”

UHRW represents fifteen of the victims of the bomb attack which killed twelve innocent people and injured 24 others, described by Lord Justice Gibson as ‘the most horrific in the history of this community.

In his letter, Mr Schmidt says: “It would appear that all those responsible for this heinous crime, although identified by one of the bombers, were never arrested or questioned and the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), who reviewed the investigation of this case, concealed from the victims and their families the fact that the identities of other members of the bombing team were known to the police.

“The pursuit of truth, justice and acknowledgement in this case warrants that, after 42 years, the victims of this barbaric act of terrorism and their families be provided with the identity of those involved and a full account of their involvement in ordering, planning and executing of this atrocity.

“They also deserve a thorough explanation as to why the HET deemed it necessary to conceal the fact that the identity of those involved was known to the security forces. As a result, a public inquiry has been requested and I would kindly ask you to fully support this demand.

“Pressure applied for a Public Inquiry from the Government of the Republic of Ireland would be seen as justified and the UHRW calls upon it to take this action.”

Call for Public Inquiry into La Mon atrocity

Ulster Human Rights Watch is calling for a Public Inquiry into the La Mon terrorist atrocity which killed twelve people and injured twenty-three more in the resulting inferno.

In 2014, the then Secretary of State rejected calls for a Public Inquiry on grounds of insufficient evidence. Since then, new information about the PIRA bomb team has come to light, which the human rights body says justifies its fresh demand for a Public Inquiry.

Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW) Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said: “This was an appalling crime and even thought it happened forty-two years ago, we should never give up our search for truth and justice.

“We are aware of the existence of official documents that identify some of the other PIRA terrorists involved in the incendiary attack.

“There was an investigation conducted by the PSNI’s Historical Enquiries Team (HET), and we know that documents held by the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland bear redacted names and nicknames which more than justify a Public Inquiry.

“We have now submitted a request to the Secretary of State for a Public Inquiry which would give survivors and relatives some closure. The request is made on behalf of fifteen victims of La Mon who live in Canada, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“This is one case that won’t go away and we believe there is sufficient new material now available to warrant such an inquiry.”

UHRW says the purpose of the inquiry will be to find out the identities of all IRA terrorists involved in ordering, planning and executing the bombing and provide a full account of their involvement.

Secondly, it wants to know why IRA suspects identified by the only person convicted of the bombing were not arrested and questioned by RUC CID and why the PSNI HET, in its Review Summary Report, took the decision to conceal the names of suspects including the identity of the man who planted the bomb when they were known to the police.

The UHRW Submission states: “This Public Inquiry would require full access to all documentation and relevant exhibits of the original criminal investigation as well as to all original intelligence material and government papers gathered by the Security Service, the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office or the Northern Ireland Office, in relation to the attack.”

Dissident event cancelled following UHRW calls

Please click here for Newsletter 10/10/2020 article

Pleas are being made today for the 30th anniversary of the killing of IRA terrorists Martin McCaughey and Dessie Grew on 9th October, not to be celebrated with a display of apparently un decommissioned weaponry.

Ahead of this event, the family of a UDR soldier, assert that weapons displayed for this anniversary in previous years are a match to those used as detailed during the inquest, and suggest that both McCaughey and Grew, along with others, may have been involved in the ambush.

They state, “Calls we made for police to seize these weapons while on display in 2010 and 2011 were simply ignored. We have good reason to believe that these are the guns used by the East Tyrone terror gang in this murder and represent potentially valuable forensic and ballistic evidence. They must be also taken off the streets if police intend to keep people safe”.

The arsenal, consisting of at least 15 weapons ranging from assault rifles to pistols, has been displayed in the past by the Cappagh-Galbally 1916 Society with apparent impunity, with videos of the arms haul posted openly on YouTube.

Human rights organisation, Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW), representing the family of Sgt. Jamison say that to display murder weapons is not only an outrage, but  is also massively painful for families.

Ulster Human Rights Watch Advocacy Support worker, Jonathan Larner, said: “Every time these weapons are put on show they cause the bereaved families great distress.

“To put an arsenal of guns on display to glory in the terrorist killings they were used for is secondary victimisation and causes severe pain and distress to the IRA victims’ families. Such exhibitions should not take place in a democratic society, and the 1916 Society must be prevented from doing this”.

He added, “We appreciate the fact that the new Head of Legacy Investigation Branch, Det. Chief Superintendent Rowan Moore, has given the family a specific assurance that if these weapons are put on display again they will be seized. The family expects the PSNI to honour and uphold this commitment”.

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