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Families call for independent investigation into Stakeknife killings

Shona and Marc Moreland, whose mother Caroline (34) was abducted and shot by the IRA. Picture by Mal McCann

THE daughter of a woman murdered just weeks before the IRA called a ceasefire has called for a "fair investigation" into the activities of Stakeknife.

Caroline Moreland was murdered by the IRA in July 1994.

The body of the mother-of-three was found dumped at a roadside near Roslea in Co Fermanagh, having being missing from her west Belfast home for around a fortnight.

The IRA recorded a 'confession' from the distraught single parent, having convinced her she would be released unharmed.

The agent codenamed Stakeknife is alleged to have ordered the killing.

Shauna Moreland said while she welcomes the news that the director of the public prosecutions Barra McGrory has directed a police investigation into 24 killings, including that of her mother, she feels that there needs to be "independence"in any probe.

"This was intended to have been always swept under the carpet - they relied on the stigma of calling people informer or touts," she said.

"But as I've always said, I never felt any stigma, I was 10 when my mummy died and I was 19 before I found out the circumstances. She was always just my mummy.

"I don't think I'll ever get the real truth or any honest answers as to why they singled her out - I believe she was just used as a sacrificial lamb.

"It's hard and it angers you, my mummy was killed five weeks before the ceasefire which is hard to get your head around. We think she was used because of the ceasefire to send out a message and to put fear into people.

"This is a step forward, but we need a fair investigation. Freddie Scappaticci was protected - he's still a protected species - and I don't see that changing."

Frank Mulhern, whose son Joe was murdered by the IRA in 1993, also said he had "no confidence in the PSNI investigating any of the cases we're talking about".

"They've had plenty of time to look at these cases - my son was murdered in 1993 - but what have they done, why are we still sitting here today without answers?

"The state are quick to tell us how many lives agents saved but what they haven't told us is how many lives those agents have cost.

"I would like to have Stakeknife in court. I'm over the moon that this has taken place - it's a major breakthrough as far as I'm concerned.

"But we need an international police force to investigate all these crimes."

Mark Thompson of victims' group Relatives for Justice, who has been working with some of the 24 families, said Stakeknife was known as the "jewel in the crown" of British intelligence and any investigation into his activities needed to look at the level at which they were sanctioned.

"This goes all the way to Whitehall, this goes straight to Westminster," he said.

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