When conniving is not collusion: The Murder of Rosemary Nelson

A recent OurKingdom piece:

Was there state collusion in the killing of Rosemary Nelson, the solicitor who was blown up by loyalists at her home in Lurgan in 1999?

Two very different answers to that question were put forward in the Commons this week, following the report of the inquiry into her death.

For Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson, the report was fundamentally reassuring:

it is clear that just as Lord Saville found no evidence of a conspiracy by the British state, and just as Lord MacLean found no evidence of state collusion in the murder of Billy Wright, so this panel finds no evidence of any act by the state which directly facilitated Rosemary Nelson’s murder.

In contrast, Paterson's shadow (and predecessor) Sean Woodward, regarded the report as damning:

The question that the Secretary of State must address is whether those acts of omission, negligence, failure and prejudice and a mechanistic Northern Ireland Office mean that we are in a very different position from the conclusion of the Wright inquiry, contrary to his statement today. I urge him to examine Justice Cory’s original proposals for the inquiries. Collusion is not just a matter of commission; it may also be an issue of omission. This does not prove collusion, but today the Secretary of State has been too hasty in his dismissal.

Canadian judge Peter Cory was appointed in 2002 to look at six cases in which collusion by either British or Irish state forces was suspected. His report was published in 2004, only after a delay which led Cory to notify some of the families involved directly that he had recommended inquiries.

Read the rest at OK






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