23 November 2006 Edition
'An Phoblacht' welcomes readers' letters. Letters in Irish or English should be kept short (no more than 200 words) and typed or handwritten clearly, double-spaced and on one side of the paper only. Name and address should be supplied for verification, but these will not be published if we are so requested.
Cuireann 'An Phoblacht' fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla. Is fearr litreacha gearra (200 focal ar a méid) clóscríofa nó lámhscríofa go soiléir ar thaobh amháin den leathanach. Cuir ainm agus seoladh leis ach ní fhoilseoimid iad seo más é do thoil.
Who speaks for victims?
Having attended a lecture given by Sir Hugh Orde at Queens University on Monday 13 November, I came away with the question ringing in my head, who speaks for victims these days?
Orde, who in my opinion was very arrogant and dismissive of key policing issues of collusion and state murder, was also very prescriptive of what is good for victims and what is bad.
Chief among the bad list was any kind of international, independent, inquiry into Collusion or State murder. These according to Orde were far too expensive and would only be of limited value to the families of those murdered. Far better to rely on the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) which was set up by the British Government to review the totality of murders carried out over the course of the conflict and is basically police officers investigating the work of previous police investigations. Hardly independent or impartial.
Orde, went on to lecture his audience on how cumbersome, time consuming and costly it is going to be to supply the Billy Wright, Rosemary Nelson, and Robert Hamill Inquiries with any requests for documents, exhibits etc.
In relation to the Pat Finucane murder Orde wasn't sure what benefits can be learned by the PSNI from investigating a murder "carried out in 1989".
I believe that victims' families and groups are more than capable of articulating their own needs without the assistance of any Chief Constable. That would include an international, independent, inquiry free from British Government control as they belong in the dock and not on the judge's bench.
In the interim period there needs to be a single issue summit between the British and Irish Governments to discuss collusion.
Hugh Orde can help this process by publishing the entire plethora of report so far withheld from public scrutiny. These include Stalker/Samson and Stevens 1, 2 and 3. He could also release all his information to the Pearse Jordan and Rose Anne Mallon Inquests instead of withholding it under the pretence of Public Interest Immunity.
This would be much more helpful to victims' families in their search for truth than Hugh Orde's pontificating from public platforms at Queens.
Robert Mc Clenaghan,