Northern Ireland

Kenova has not failed us, says daughter of IRA victim

The body of Caroline Moreland was found near Rosslea, Co Fermanagh, in 1994.

Shauna Moreland, daughter of IRA victim Caroline Moreland. Picture by Hugh Russell
Shauna Moreland, daughter of IRA victim Caroline Moreland. Picture by Hugh Russell

A woman whose mother was abducted and murdered by the IRA has insisted that Operation Kenova has not failed victims due to a lack of prosecutions.

The body of Belfast woman Caroline Moreland, a 34-year-old Catholic mother of three, was found near Rosslea, Co Fermanagh, in July 1994.

Operation Kenova, a major investigation into the Army’s top agent in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, is due to deliver its interim report today.

Jon Boutcher, who is now Chief Constable of the PSNI, previously led Kenova, which probed the activities of the agent Stakeknife within the Provisional IRA.

Stakeknife was part of the IRA’s internal security unit and Kenova examined crimes such as murder and torture, and the role played by the security services, including MI5.

Kenova package
Freddie Scappaticci pictured in west Belfast in 2003

The agent was widely believed to be west Belfast man Freddie Scappaticci, who was in his 70s when he died last year.

Last week the Public Prosecution Service announced that no prosecutions would be pursued after consideration of the last batch of files from the investigation.

Caroline Moreland’s daughter Shauna was 10-years-old at the time of her mother’s death.

Ms Moreland said: “If these cases had been properly investigated at the time there could have been prosecutions.

“We have been failed by the system since 1994 and it was only when our cases were moved outside Northern Ireland that we got a process we could believe in.

“Right from the start, Jon Boutcher told us that Kenova would be a victims-first approach and that’s what he gave us.

“They were nothing but respectful right the way through the investigation.”

Ms Moreland also paid tribute to the late Frank Mulhern, whose son Joseph was murdered by the IRA in 1993.

She said: “I met Frank in our solicitor’s office and straight away we became a kind of double act in the campaign to have my mum’s and his son Joseph’s murder investigated properly as part of Operation Kenova.

“Like the rest of us, Frank was sceptical about any investigation, even one from outside Northern Ireland, but that changed when he met Jon and started to see how Kenova worked.

“It was about building trust. We were able to ask questions and we got answers.”

Ms Moreland said that those who only looked at the cost and the PPS decisions were missing the point.

She said: “There might have been a ceasefire just after my mum’s murder but there was no ceasefire for me.

“There was no proper investigation, no community support and unless you’ve been there you can’t really know how devastating that is.

“There was nothing until Kenova gave what my mother deserved.

“They showed that my mum mattered and she was not just a statistic.”