Northern Ireland news

Despite settlement murdered man's widow still has questions

Despite the settlement Margaret Campbell said she still had questions that needed answers. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Connla Young

THE widow of a Catholic man widely believed to have been killed by loyalist agent Robin "The Jackal" has said she still wants to see questions about his murder answered.

Margaret Campbell was speaking after being awarded a "significant" undisclosed pay-out as part of a civil claim against the PSNI over alleged security force collusion with a notorious loyalist gunman.

Former UDR man and UVF commander Robin ‘The Jackal’ Jackson is believed to have killed Patrick Campbell in 1973.

He was a member of the notorious Glenanne Gang, which included members of the RUC, UDR and UVF, and is believed to have been responsible for killing up to 120 people.

The activities of the killer gang is currently subject of a review by the Operation Kenova team, which is headed by former Bedfordshire chief constable Jon Boutcher.

Speaking to the Irish News Mrs Campbell said she was happy with the outcome.

“Yes, in a way, I am, because I don’t think there would be any other way to go because time is running out on my side,” she said.

Mr Campbell said she has been let down over many years by authorities and that questions remain about her husband’s murder.

“Very much so, for there’s questions still in my head that I would love answered but unfortunately I won’t get (them),” she said.

She added that in terms of getting truth and justice in the future her “confidence and belief is gone”.

She explained how the last 49 years have been “very difficult for her and her three children.

“There have been some very black days and weeks, hard times,” she said.

“It deprived the children of having a good daddy, no birthdays, no weddings, no grandchildren to see,” she said.

“It destroyed our lives.”

She told how the murder had a direct impact on her life.

“It did destroy me for a while, I was on tablets and I just was devastated,” she said.

“I did my best to keep going.”

Mr Campbell said she is relieved her legal battle is now at an end.

“I supposed in a way I’m glad in a way, it saved the children from having to fight on,” she said.

Ms Campbell believes authorities knew the identity of her husband’s killers.

Mr Campbell’s daughter Donna Barry, who as a ten-year-old cradled her father after he was shot, spoke of her relief.

“For mammy’s sake I’m glad it’s over but if, God forbid mammy wasn’t here, I probably would have fought on,” she said.

“But I need my mum to have peace of mind and she’ll get that, she’s done the right thing… for her and us.”

Mrs Barry said the impact of her father’s murder was “horrible”.

She remembers a loving father and explained how she only had a low key wedding because her father wasn’t there.

“I had two brothers and I had plenty of uncles but that’s not what I wanted,” she said.

“I was always daddy’s girl and there was nobody like to me and he wasn’t there.

“For me that was the hardest thing I had to do.”

Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, said: “We lodged this civil case almost eight years ago and today thankfully it’s now finished. It has been a difficult and fraught legal journey for Margaret and her family."

Northern Ireland news