Belfast Telegraph

Caroline Moreland's daughter meets with Martin McGuinness to demand answers about IRA murder

Mairia Cahill's explosive revelations the IRA covered up her rape and sheltered her attacker created a political storm for Sinn Fein north and south of the border. She speaks to Shauna Moreland, whose mother Caroline was one of the last people murdered by the Provos in 1994

Shauna Moreland with Mairia Cahill in Belfast city centre last week
Shauna Moreland with Mairia Cahill in Belfast city centre last week
Caroline Moreland was abducted and killed by the IRA six weeks before its 1994 ceasefire

The daughter of a woman abducted and killed by the IRA six weeks before its 1994 ceasefire has met with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness for the first time in a bid to find answers surrounding her mother's murder, the Belfast Telegraph has learned.

The meeting, which took place yesterday behind closed doors, was described by Shauna Moreland as "productive".

Speaking exclusively to this newspaper, she said: "I'm still processing the meeting but overall it was productive and I'm glad that it has taken place."

Shauna (31) appeared on BBC NI's Spotlight programme two weeks ago to highlight the case of her mother Caroline Moreland, because she felt she was "constantly getting doors slammed in my face".

In an effort to obtain "answers and closure", she expressed a wish to meet Mr McGuinness to ask him: "Did he know my mummy personally? Was he on the Army Council? If he was, did he sanction her murder, and if so, why, and how can he justify that. Does he sleep at night?"

At that time Mr McGuinness, who strongly denies he was a member of the IRA Army Council, issued a statement indicating he was "more than willing" to meet Shauna, adding: "The killing of Caroline Moreland, like the deaths of all victims of the conflict, was an absolute tragedy, particularly for her young family."

Shauna was 10 years old when she last saw her mother alive.

"She was in the kitchen, I was going over to my granny's. I gave her a hug and kiss and said 'see you later'. There was nothing unusual, it was just a hug and a kiss and I'll see you tomorrow."

Instead, Caroline was abducted by the IRA, held in Belfast for 24 hours, before being put into the boot of a car and driven to Monaghan, where she was held captive. Her body was found 15 days later lying in a pool of blood in Fermanagh. She had been shot in the head. The IRA later alleged that she was an informant.

The murder of the 34-year-old mother-of-three is controversial because it is alleged that the British intelligence agent Stakeknife - Freddie Scappaticci - was involved in her interrogation and it exposes the murky world of collusion between IRA operatives and intelligence services in murder. Scappaticci has denied that he was an agent.

During Caroline Moreland's interrogation, the IRA made a harrowing recording of her speaking which was later passed to her family.

Caroline sounded calm as she stated: "I really regret getting caught up with these people and I really regret what I've done. They told me that I would go away for at least 25 years and that my children would be taken off me and put into the power of social services.

"It was at this point that I agreed to work for them. I wish that I had been caught sooner, but I really would advise anybody else that's in this situation to come forward and tell and not to listen to the things that they tell you, the fear that they put into you about what's going to happen to you. Just come forward and tell what you're doing." The last line is chilling as Caroline says: "No harm will come to you and you'll be helped."

Her daughter believes the "confession" was forced. "To me it sounds scripted. When you hear the recording in full it starts and stops, there's a part in it which she says she's being well looked after, she's being allowed to wash, she's been given food. They then murdered her."

Although this is the first meeting between a senior Sinn Fein figure and Shauna, she had met with the IRA a number of years ago in an effort to uncover the truth.

"I didn't know what to ask them because I wasn't prepared. I asked them why was she killed, and they said she was an informer, and there was a war. They said that my mummy was well respected but that she wasn't a member of the IRA. They didn't apologise. I went numb, to be honest."

Shauna is determined to continue her search for justice. "There was no proper police investigation into my mummy's murder, there was no one convicted, I'm not aware of any inquest. We have had no access to the autopsy report."

She has expressed a wish to meet Secretary of State Theresa Villiers to raise these issues. "If my mummy was informing - and I do say 'if' - she'd have had handlers, they would have known she was missing for 15 days. Why weren't they trying to locate her? The State played God with people's lives.

"My mother was not Caroline Moreland, the IRA informer. She was Caroline Moreland, my mummy. The IRA dehumanised her for years, I want to humanise her again. I didn't do this for my mummy to be put in the spotlight, I did it for me, as a daughter, to have closure.

"It's a road that I've had to go down to put her to rest."

Belfast Telegraph


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