Belfast Telegraph

Father of man murdered by loyalists calls for collusion inquiry

By David Young, PA

The father of a former RAF man beaten to death by loyalists has called for a public inquiry into the extent of police collusion with the murder gang.

Raymond McCord (22), was killed by members of the UVF's north Belfast Mount Vernon gang in 1997. His body was found dumped in a quarry.

The killing was at the centre of a damning report in 2007 by the Police Ombudsman which found evidence that rogue police officers colluded with the gang.

Mr McCord's father, Raymond Snr, called for an independent probe into the actions of the RUC Special Branch after attending an inquest review hearing in Belfast Laganside courts. The death is one of 56 legacy cases still awaiting hearing. Lord Justice Weir is examining each in turn in a bid to identify the logjams in the system.

The judge was told that an inquest in the McCord case could be up to four years away due to ongoing legal proceedings involving a former senior UVF member turned supergrass. After the hearing, Mr McCord said it was "quite clear" the State was involved in his son's murder and could have prevented it.

The high-profile victims campaigner said he did not have any confidence in the PSNI to investigate the murder. He said an outside force should be brought in and a broader inquiry into Special Branch should also be established.

"What is needed is to bring an outside police force in here and what is needed, after listening to this this morning, is an inquiry into the Special Branch throughout the Troubles," he said.

"They have an inquiry in England about the spy (Alexander Litvinenko) that was murdered. That's no problem - why not have it here?"

Belfast Telegraph


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