Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2788

State collusion rife in Derry Loyalist murder gang

The Troublemakers look at the week’s news including state deaths quads in Derry and Phillip Green still trousering cash
Issue 2788
a mural in belfast

Anti-collusion mural in Belfast Picture: Wikimedia commons

Relatives of the victims of the Greysteel and Castlerock massacres in Northern Ireland are planning to sue the cops over claims one of the convicted ­gunmen in the attack—Torrens Knight—was a Special Branch agent.

A damning report by Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson looked at 19 murders by a terror gang in the ­north west of Northern Ireland between 1989 and 1993. It lends further weight to the claim that the killer was an informant. The report, released last week, is ­damning over a number of cases.

At least four men murdered by Loyalists were not told their details had been found in Loyalist intelligence files, the report has revealed. And in several cases, security force members suspected of links to Loyalists were dismissed or transferred instead of being investigated.

Police destroyed files on informants who were suspected of having been involved in crime up to and including murder. Victims’ group Relatives for Justice said the report provided ­“irrefutable evidence of collusion”.

“We stand vindicated in our ­persistent claims of collusion in particular by the RUC and UDR in the murders of our loved ones.”

One case is of Gerard Casey, who was shot dead as he slept beside his wife and baby daughter at their home near Rasharkin, County Antrim, in April 1989.

One of two weapons used to kill him was a Czech-made VZ-58 assault rifle. The weapon was also used during the Rising Sun pub massacre which claimed the lives of eight people at Greysteel in Co Derry on Halloween night 1993. It was also used in the murder of four building workers in Castlerock the same year.

The assault rifle is one of hundreds smuggled into the Northern Ireland with the help and direction of British intelligence.

The report revealed that a serving member of the UDR provided information to the Loyalist gang that killed Gerard Casey.

The British soldier’s role gave access to intelligence documents and the person attended RUC District Action Committee meetings “where sensitive information was discussed”.

Anderson also revealed that ­intelligence linking the soldier to the Casey killing was not shared by Special Branch with the investigation cops. It was passed to the army who ­discharged him.


Philip Green still cashing in millions

Philip Green and his family are poised to receive up to £2.5 million more in payouts from their former Topshop retail empire on top of £50 million paid out last year.

The Greens, who owned Arcadia Group until it fell into administration in 2020, are in line for the payment based on an £11 million loan secured by their Aldsworth Equity group against a former Topshop store in Norwich.

The collapse of the group resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs as 162 sites closed down. It also left the pension scheme £500 million in deficit. The Norwich loan arrangement, which is buried in administrators’ documents, prioritises the Greens’ debt above most other creditors.

The payout comes on top of the repayment of a £50 million loan issued by Aldsworth against Topshop’s Daventry warehouse which was settled in May after the building was sold by administrators.

Arcadia Group had a pension deficit of £510 million when it collapsed.

Trustees of the scheme have so far received £185 million from the sale of Arcadia assets. This is part of £210 million in secured funds agreed under a 2019 deal between the pensions regulator and the Green family.

The family benefited from a £1.2 billion dividend from Arcadia in 2005, as well as more than £300 million in interest payments on loans and rents on properties that they owned.

They put in just £100 million of extra funding into the group’s pension fund under the deal.


The Labour Party is asking its own staff to accept a pay cut as it deals with the loss of more than £3 million to falling membership and reduced trade union support. Labour staff were briefed on the state of the finances at a meeting last week with senior party figures. They were offered a 2 percent pay uplift for next year—a real-terms cut. They specified that an estimated £1.6 million had been lost from union contributions and £1.5 million from members’ fees in the last year.


Here’s a clever way to end the pandemic. The US federal government has said it will no longer require hospitals to report the number of people who die from Covid-19 every day. Hospitals will still notify state authorities, who are supposed to then feed into a national total. But several states have already moved to stop reporting on testing and cases.


Could Andrew have nuked the Falklands?

New documents show that British warships deployed to the Falkland Islands in 1982 were armed with dozens of nuclear depth charges. Andrew, formerly prince, served on HMS Invincible, which carried 12 nuclear weapons.

The revelation is contained in a new file released to the National Archives and analysed by Declassified UK. Marked “Top Secret Atomic”, it shows that the presence of the nuclear weapons caused panic among officials in London when they realised the damage, both physical and political, they could have caused.

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) minute, dated 6 April 1982, referred to “huge concern” that some of the “nuclear depth bombs” could be “lost or damaged and the fact become public”. The minute added, “The international repercussions of such an incident
could be very damaging”.


Fast track Tory PPE contracts broke law

The High Court has ruled that it was unlawful for the government to use a VIP fast lane for suppliers of Covid personal protective equipment (PPE) with connections to ministers and officials.

A ruling said the system was “in breach of the obligation of equal treatment”, adding, “The illegality is marked by this judgment.”

At the height of the first wave of coronavirus, a number of bids to supply PPE such as gowns, masks and gloves were passed on to officials by ministers including then health secretary Matt Hancock after they were approached directly by contacts.

Campaigners from the Good Law Project and EveryDoctor took legal action over more than £340 million in contracts awarded to pest control firm PestFix and a contract worth around £252 million to the hedge fund Ayanda Capital. They argued that suppliers including PestFix and Ayanda were prioritised “because of who they knew, not what they could deliver”.


Things they say

‘Operation Save Big Dog’

The name Boris Johnson has given to the plan to sack civil servants to cover his tracks

‘My loyal labrador’

How Johnson refers to Martin Reynolds the civil servant who sent the BYOB invite to one of the many Downing Street parties. He may not be a big enough dog to save

‘Overeacting’

Johnson’s response when civil servants said they shouldn’t have a party during lockdown

‘The reason for the laminated picture was if those bears weren’t put back in the right order by the maids, he would shout and scream.’

Andrew who used to be a prince had 50 to 60 stuffed bears on his bed that had to be kept in the same place according to royal protection cop Paul Page

‘People may mis-remember a lot of things, but they don’t mis-remember sexual abuse by a prince’

Virginia Giuffre’ lawyer David Boies on Andrew’s claim she has false memories of abuse by him

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