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Police shielded my son’s murderers, says McCord

Loyalist victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord has told a US Congressional committee that the British Government and the PSNI are guilty of shielding the UVF killers of his son.

“Why is there such a conspiracy of silence surrounding Raymond’s murder?” asked Mr McCord in his address to the subcommittee on international organizations, human rights and oversight in the House of Representatives.

“A democratic society requires that the police must not be above the law. Rather, they must uphold it, and be seen to do so,” he said. “Yet my son’s case clearly demonstrates that in Northern Ireland some police officers and their agents can literally get away with murder.”

The hearing, entitled ‘Concerns Regarding Possible Collusion in Northern Ireland: Police and Paramilitary Groups’ was also addressed by John Finucane, the son of murdered Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane.

Mr Finucane said his father’s February 1989 killing by the UDA/UFF was “the best-known case of what could have happened to anyone and what did happen to many”.

“If the British Government is serious about resolving the situation in Northern Ireland for good and building a lasting peace, then all we ask is this one simple thing,” he said.

“They cannot give me back my father; the least they can do is tell me the truth.”

Former police ombudsman Nuala O’Loan also testified about her investigation into the November 1997 killing of Raymond McCord Jr.

Mrs O’Loan said that, while she had found “no evidence that anyone had been protected from arrest” for the slaying, she had found police investigation failures that “may have significantly reduced the possibility of anyone being held accountable for the murder”.

During the hearing several Congressmen, including committee chairmen William Delahunt, Chris Smith, Eliot Engel, and Richard Neal, voiced their support for public and independent inquiries into the McCord and Finucane cases.

Neal, who heads Congress’s 180-member-strong Friends of Ireland grouping, announced that he and other members of Congress plan to send a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown urging him to meet personally with Raymond McCord Sr.

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