Northern Ireland news

Analysis: Police Ombudsman report raises serious issues

The Rising Sun Bar in Greysteel, Co Derry, where eight people were shot dead in 1993
Connla Young

THE report into the activities of the UDA/UFF is the latest in a series of similar investigations focusing on the relationship between the security forces and loyalist paramilitaries.

While Police Ombudsman uses the term "collusive behaviour", the loved ones of those murdered chose to describe it as straightforward collusion.

Not only does Operation Greenwich raise serious questions about the role of the RUC, it also casts light on the activities of the UDR and the relationship between members of the regiment and loyalist paramilitary groups.

Some relatives have said they intend to raise their concerns with the Ministry of Defence.

Ms Anderson's report has also placed the role and handling of informers front and centre.

"A number of informants referred to in this public statement continued their involvement in serious crime, including murder following their recruitment," she said.

Some campaigners, including Mark Thompson of Relatives For Justice, believe "the precise purpose of recruiting agents and informers was to carry out attacks and not to prevent such attacks".

The majority of relatives have welcomed the report's wider conclusions.

Observers will watch with interest to see how the PSNI respond to this latest report.

With other investigations expected from the Police Ombudsman in the coming months the conclusions reached by Operation Greenwich will be scrutinised closely by those still seeking answers.

For others the core issues raised by Operation Greenwich provide a clear example why the British government is determined to close down future Troubles investigations.

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