Northern Ireland

Scepticism over powersharing

There must remain a scepticism that the powersharing deal involving the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin will actually happen next March. And the essential reason is that for too many on the unionist side, accepting Sinn Fein – the political manifestation of the IRA which murdered so many in their community – is for now a step too far

John Weir: 'I'm lucky to be above the ground'

  • 15 November 2006
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While serving in the RUC, John Weir colluded with the UVF in at least 10 murders in Ulster in the mid-1970s. In an interview with Frank Connolly, he claims high-ranking RUC officers knew about the activities of the loyalist gang that killed at least 76 people between 1972 and 1977

No room for MI5 in the North

  • 8 November 2006
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The last time I was in the British Army Palace Barracks in Holywood, on the outskirts of East Belfast, it was 1972. I was arrested and taken there for interrogation. Palace Barracks was the site of the in-depth interrogation of republican detainees. We were beaten and subjected to noise and sleep deprivation, which were later declared by the European Court of Human Rights to be "ill-human and degrading treatment" – a modern euphemism for torture.

General Jackson faces his Waterloo

  • 13 September 2006
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Memory serves as a weapon and a shield for General Michael Jackson, one of the commanders at the Bloody Sunday shootings, writes Eamon McCann

Mercenary approach

  • 9 August 2006
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Former British army officer Tim Spicer justified the murder of an 18-year-old man in Belfast in 1992 by advising the army to reinstate the soldiers who killed him. Now he is running a controversial private security firm in Iraq which has been accused of shooting unarmed civilians. Eamon McCann reports

There was no excuse for Jean McConville's murder

Amid the recent controversy over whether Jean McConville was or was not an "informer", the central issue is obscured. A woman was murdered without trial or due process or justification by people who had no authority to administer justice of any kind. This was, and remains, a shocking crime and everyone associated with that crime – those who perpetrated it, those who ordered it, those who knew of it and remained silent, those who gave even a semblance of justification for it – are guilty of an enormous wrong.