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7 August 1997 Edition

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Morgan killing was planned

An Phoblacht has learnt that between six and fifteen men were involved in the murder of Annesborough schoolboy James Morgan (16) on 24 July. The RUC has charged one man with his murder, Norman Coopey (27), from Newcastle.

Residents believe the killing was not random, but had been planned for some considerable period. A mechanical digger was used to dump James's body in an animal carcass pit. The killers attempted to hide his body beneath the carcasses.

Residents have confirmed that local nationalists had been warned about suspicious activity in the area leading up to that week. Loyalists had also been observed following nationalists going to work, and on one occasion one man was followed into his workplace.

Local residents have spoken of their concern that so many suspects remain free.

Residents are also aware of growing sectarian tension in the area, prompted by individuals living in Clough known to have UVF connections. Residents are now highly sceptical that any further arrests will be made.


Orange responsibility for murder

By Mary Nelis

There was something innately evil about the death of 16 year old James Morgan. It was not just the fact that he had been battered and his body burned. It was the manner in which those who carried out the deed then disposed of the body of the terrified youngster.

They used a mechanical digger to dump his body in a pit, partially filled with the remains of dead animals. The killers removed the rotting dead animals from the pit and after James's body was thrown in, the corpses of the animals were placed on top.

The handling of the investigation by the RUC and their reluctance to describe the murder as sectarian, again raises questions of RUC collusion in recent sectarian murders. One could conclude that the initial response by the RUC, who knew James was missing from Friday, gave the killers ample time to go to ground.

We are told that detectives want to interview members of the Loyalist Volunteer Force, who may have been behind the killing. Perhaps they should have taken a closer look at the Orange parade, which despite calls from nationalist residents still marched through Newcastle on the day of James's funeral. Perhaps they should have looked at the ``kick the pope'' bandsmen, since kicking fenian heads seems to be part of the culture of Orangeism.

We should not be surprised that the person arrested and charged with the killing is lodged in the Loyalist Volunteer Force wing in Long Kesh. Nor should we be surprised that there were no house searches, no kicking down doors, no wholesale arrests of suspects in the protestant communities, around Castlewellan or in Aghalee, after the brutal murder of James and the equally brutal murder of 18 year old Bernadette Martin.

Why should nationalists have any faith in the RUC investigations into the almost 500 sectarian murders of Catholics, when there is so much evidence accumulated over the years of RUC complicity in such killings? The King Rat cartoon painted on the door of an RUC Land Rover passing through the village of Dunloy last month spoke volumes to the Nationalist community living there. While the RUC may dismiss any claims that the cartoon referred to Billy Wright, nicknamed King Rat, and leader of the LVF, no one in Dunloy is likely to believe them, particularly after that other loyalist group, the UDA, in an article in its magazine, Combat stated that the putrid, stinking, republican boil, Dunloy, should be lanced. The terminology of such articles, which describes nationalist communities as cesspits besmirching Protestant counties, and advocating ``raw, naked violence as a weapon in a Bosnian style ethnic cleansing of Ulster'' reflects a deep rooted sectarianism and bigotry, which views Catholics as less than human and therefore to be disposed of like animals. Such thinking produces people like the Shankhill Butchers, the George Seawrights, the Lenny Murphys, the Michael Stones and the King Rats, and it produces the death and disposal of a young Catholic man in a most inhuman manner. What all these people have in common, apart from their hatred of Catholics, is the Orange Order and the flute bands. It is well recorded that Orange Halls were used as recruiting offices for the UVF.

It is no accident that the latest wave of sectarian murders coincides with the marching season. We should not be misled into believing that the Orange Order is a cultural organisation, a million miles away from any responsibility for the deaths of Sean Browne, Michael McGoldrick, Robert Hamill, Bernadette Martin and James Morgan.

Those of us who listen to the Orangemen marching down the streets of Dunloy, Bellaghy, the Lower Ormeau or Derry Walls, have heard the screams of ``kill all fenian bastards and fuck the Pope''. These marches, which purposely have been routed through Catholic areas, are symbolic of a dog marking its territory. They have nothing to do with folklore, or protestant heritage or even the Battle of the Boyne. Their message is deeply sectarian and anti Catholic. Those who try to be their mouthpieces because they refuse to negotiate directly with residents groups, would do well to remember that the Orange Order is a terrorist organisation, in the true meaning of the term. They cannot and will not talk to the nationalist community in the 6 counties, whose right to exist as equals in this society they have never conceded.


An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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