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Full Hearings

Hearing: 16th September 2008, day 50

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held at:
The Interpoint Centre
20-24 York Street
Belfast BT15 1AQ

on Tuesday, 16th September 2008
commencing at 10.15 am

Day 50









1 Tuesday, 16 September 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 MR EAMON STACK (continued)

4 Questions by MR SKELTON (continued)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Skelton?

6 MR SKELTON: Mr Stack, when we left it on Thursday, we were

7 discussing Rosemary Nelson's role in the GRRC. Just

8 before I turn back to that, can I ask you to a couple of

9 follow-up questions about things you mentioned earlier.

10 The first was that you described the GRRC as

11 a mixture of moderates and militants, but a coalition of

12 people who had signed up to the peace process?

13 A. Yes, by "moderate" and "militant", I mean moderate

14 Nationalists and militant Nationalists.

15 Q. Did the fact that it contained a militant number of

16 people or people who had formerly been militant make it

17 difficult for you to get your message across or get

18 people to accept the message that you had all signed up

19 to the peace process?

20 A. I can only make a subjective judgment on that. It

21 caused some difficulty, but I think we were very

22 cautious about the language we used and we were very

23 cautious about the way we approached the media.

24 So our hope was the way we presented our case did

25 clarify for people that that was -- that the group was





1 commit to that. I think the other significant factor

2 was the fact that I was present on the Coalition and

3 the -- one of the primary reasons why I was present as

4 a Roman Catholic priest, as a Jesuit, was to endorse the

5 others present.

6 People were more likely to believe in the

7 probability that an ordained minister was more likely to

8 be consistent in his behaviour and in his positions

9 rather than anybody else.

10 Q. One of the things you mentioned was that

11 Breandan Mac Cionnaith had had a history with the IRA,

12 which he had left behind him?

13 A. Correct, yes.

14 Q. Another thing you had mentioned was that two members of

15 the Coalition had a connection with Sinn Fein, but for

16 the purpose of their Coalition work they weren't

17 actively Sinn Fein members?

18 A. Correct, yes.

19 Q. Did that not lead to a perception amongst the, say,

20 Loyalist or Unionist community locally that those

21 connections were still live, that in fact they weren't

22 convinced that those people had left those connections

23 behind?

24 A. There are two important points here. One is the

25 Coalition wouldn't have been representative of the real





1 Nationalist community if it didn't have people who had

2 were -- voted for Sinn Fein, for instance. So at that

3 point at least 50 per cent of the population voted for

4 Sinn Fein. So it wouldn't have been representative.

5 And the group, in order to represent the views of

6 the Nationalist community and to show that it

7 represented the vast majority of the views, then it

8 would have had to have people who were related to

9 Sinn Fein. So that is one point.

10 Can you just repeat the question because I want to

11 make a second point and I have forgotten the question?

12 Q. The question was whether, given that some members of the

13 Coalition did have a history with more militant

14 Republicanism, there was a problem of perception amongst

15 the Loyalist and Unionist community?

16 A. Okay, just to clarify here, I didn't say "militant

17 Republicanism", I said "militant Nationalism".

18 I think you have to be clear about the language here

19 because "militant Republicanism" would suggest

20 paramilitary involvement, whereas "militant Nationalism"

21 simply is a perspective on society; if you feel strongly

22 enough about your Nationalist position that you would be

23 willing to resort to violence at some point, okay.

24 That's different to somebody who is absolutely committed

25 to violence per se.





1 So just to be clear about our language here, I did

2 not say "militant Republicanism" ever. I'm trying to

3 avoid the use of the term "Republican" because in

4 political terms that has other connotations. I am just

5 trying to describe the community, the Nationalist

6 community and the two wings of the Nationalist

7 community. Is that clear, Mr Skelton?

8 Q. It is, yes. The reason I used that phrase, in fact, was

9 because you mentioned Breandan Mac Cionnaith's previous

10 connection with what may be termed militant

11 Republicanism, i.e. the IRA, back in the 1980s?

12 A. Yes, correct. The second thing I want to say is that

13 the Drumcree Faith and Justice Group had a long history

14 of peaceful protest. For ten years there had been

15 consistent peaceful protest by the Drumcree Faith and

16 Justice Group. So the reason for the name "coalition"

17 is to articulate the fact there are different groups

18 coming together here. And the guarantors of the

19 commitment to peace, I think, were the members of the

20 Drumcree Faith and Justice Group and their record of

21 commitment to exclusively peaceful means.

22 Q. Turning then to Rosemary Nelson's role, in your

23 statement at paragraph 64, which we can find on page 75.

24 This is RNI-820-075 (displayed) --

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. -- you say there that her involvement with the GRRC was

2 very much at a personal level. What do you mean by

3 that?

4 A. Her work was pro bono. We didn't have any resources, so

5 we couldn't have paid for it. So there was some

6 personal commitment to the campaign.

7 Her involvement started when members of the

8 Coalition were charged with respect to an offence in

9 1995, where we were charged with obstructing the free

10 flow of traffic on the Garvaghy Road on Drumcree --

11 sorry, 1995.

12 So her -- because she was personally connected, she

13 was the solicitor of individual members on the

14 Coalition, then she got involved.

15 Q. By 1997, given the previous experience in 1996 where the

16 march was forced down the road, was your agenda to stop

17 a further march that year?

18 A. Can we be clear about the agenda, okay? The agenda of

19 the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition was that the law

20 pertaining to the public celebration of identity would

21 be applied equally to all citizens, and it wasn't, okay?

22 The difficulty, the challenge, that the

23 Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition presented to the State

24 was that the law was being applied unfairly to one

25 community rather than the other community. So the





1 campaign, the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition

2 campaign, began with an application for the same parade

3 to take place as the particular Drumcree Sunday Orange

4 Order parade was going to take place.

5 So we applied for the same parade and was refused,

6 okay? So residents of the Garvaghy Road have been

7 refused repeatedly by the police from having public

8 celebrations of their identity over many, many years.

9 So the beginning of our campaign started with an

10 exercise to demonstrate that this is the reality, that

11 with respect to the public celebration of identity, the

12 Nationalist community in Portadown is refused permission

13 to publicly celebrate their identity on the main street

14 in Portadown, whereas the Orange Order and the Unionist

15 community, not only is given permission 52 times a year

16 to celebrate their identity on the main street in

17 Portadown, but they also celebrate their identity in

18 what is a clearly defined geographical area where the

19 minority Nationalist community live. So our objection

20 is to the enforcement of the law.

21 Q. Thank you. Just turning back to Rosemary Nelson's role,

22 was she simply the legal adviser or would she be

23 a member of the Coalition itself?

24 A. She was strictly a legal adviser to the Coalition with

25 respect to the law.





1 Q. Did she attend all of your meetings?

2 A. No, she only attended the meetings when issues of law

3 were being discussed. Yes, that was our concern.

4 Q. Did she attend meetings, for example, when you met with

5 senior politicians, such as the Secretary of State?

6 A. I'm not sure. She certainly didn't when we met

7 Sir Patrick Mayhew, and when we met the Taoiseach of the

8 Republic in Dublin she was present.

9 Q. I think in paragraph 38 of your statement -- and this is

10 on page RNI-820-067 (displayed) -- you do mention the

11 fact that she was present during a meeting with

12 Mo Mowlam?

13 A. Yes, and in fact -- correct, there is pictures to show

14 that in the back of my documentation.

15 Q. There is. Why would she have been present for such

16 a meeting?

17 A. Because there were issues of the enforcement of law, and

18 I think we were to use legal means to challenge certain

19 interpretations of the law and we needed her advice on

20 that.

21 Q. Did she add an element of legal gravitas to the meeting

22 as well?

23 A. Yes, I presume she did, yes.

24 Q. Was Rosemary Nelson's role also to galvanise

25 international support for the Coalition, for example,





1 amongst the American legal community?

2 A. I'm not aware of that.

3 Q. You are not aware of her having those sorts of contacts?

4 A. No, I'm not, no.

5 Q. As the Inquiry knows, there were a number of American

6 lawyers who attended the area at the time of the

7 parades. Were you aware of that?

8 A. Just -- I think it is helpful to realise at first that

9 the campaign developed over the years. So in the early

10 days, for instance, before the Coalition was founded,

11 there was very little interest of anybody on the issue.

12 So -- but as it gained a lot of public attention,

13 then more people got involved. So I do recall by 1997

14 there were American politicians visited Drumcree on

15 several occasions, but I can't remember legal people

16 being involved at that point.

17 Q. Just focusing on the politicians, who was the point of

18 contact on the GRRC for them? Who had invited them?

19 A. My recollection in most cases is they approached us.

20 They contacted us and asked could they visit, and

21 certainly that was the case -- there were politicians

22 from the Republic who visited and some from the UK as

23 well.

24 Usually people had the courtesy to write to the

25 Coalition and ask whether it was appropriate that they





1 visited and whether they -- when would be a convenient

2 time.

3 Q. Rosemary Nelson had a number of other high profile cases

4 in this period, 1996/1997, one of which had been the

5 successful appeal against Colin Duffy's conviction for

6 the murder of John Lyness. That had obviously brought

7 an element of controversy to her position as a lawyer.

8 Do you accept that?

9 A. It shouldn't.

10 Q. Well, the conviction itself was controversial in that

11 there were allegations that a particular witness had not

12 been entirely frank with the original trial judge. Did

13 you know anything about the Lyness trial?

14 A. Not particularly, no.

15 Q. Did you know, for example, that Rosemary Nelson was

16 considered a lawyer who represented a particular section

17 of the community?

18 A. My understanding in Portadown and Lurgan is that, you

19 know -- I understand that a solicitor represents people

20 who ask to be represented. You know, they are in the

21 legal system and -- for instance, my own solicitor, as

22 a Nationalist Roman Catholic, mostly represented

23 Nationalist Roman Catholics. That is the nature of

24 business: You give business to somebody you know.

25 But on the other case, I know he represented





1 sensitive cases for Protestant Unionists who didn't want

2 to go to a Protestant solicitor. There are human

3 factors that sometimes influence who goes to

4 one solicitor or not, but I don't think it has any

5 political implications.

6 Q. Did you, from your discussions with Rosemary Nelson,

7 pick up any particular attitude she had towards the RUC?

8 A. No, never.

9 Q. Turning to the alleged incident on 6 July, where were

10 you staying on the Saturday night, which is the 5th?

11 A. I presume we are talking about --

12 Q. 1997.

13 A. 1997? I was staying in my own community house in

14 Churchill Park.

15 Q. And how far away is that from the Garvaghy Road itself?

16 A. It is an estate on the Garvaghy Road. So maybe

17 50 metres, less.

18 Q. And you were there in your house that night or were you

19 out and about on the road?

20 A. I was out and about.

21 Q. What were you doing?

22 A. Mostly with the other members of the Coalition, just to

23 ensure that there was no -- what do you call it? --

24 behaviour that would be inappropriate, violent

25 behaviour, mostly by young teenagers.





1 Q. How did you ensure that?

2 A. Well, we -- I mean, the Coalition was fortunate in that

3 we were a coalition of people who represented people in

4 each of the housing estates that were on the

5 Garvaghy Road. Therefore, we knew everybody who might

6 be involved in violence and we knew their parents and

7 their families and, therefore, as long as we were able

8 to report any behaviour, you know -- we observed and

9 were able to report it, we were able to ensure there

10 wasn't any violent behaviour or any preparation for

11 violence.

12 Q. How many protesters roughly were there there that night?

13 A. I wouldn't making any distinction between protesters and

14 people who live in the area. People were aware that

15 there was a major decision, political decision to be

16 made that had very serious consequences for the

17 community that had resulted in extraordinary levels of

18 violence the previous year, virtually the shut down of

19 the State. So people were at their doorways waiting for

20 news of the decision. There wasn't an organised protest

21 as such.

22 Q. Wasn't it organised to sit on the road and resist

23 removal at some stage?

24 A. No, the sit-down protest in the middle of the night,

25 let's say, in the morning of Drumcree Sunday, was





1 spontaneous. People were utterly shocked at the

2 decision by the Secretary of State and the police, and

3 once the Army arrived and the police, people

4 spontaneously just protested. They sat down and said,

5 "We don't agree with this. This is not a fair

6 application of the law."

7 Q. What was your position, or the position of the GRRC

8 members, in relation to that sit-down protest?

9 A. We believed, and we argued in our court cases with

10 respect to 1995 -- and I think it is important that --

11 each of the cases was dismissed -- with respect to the

12 1995 parade -- that it was appropriate to have

13 a sit-down protest to bring to the attention of the

14 State that there is a problem here; the law is not being

15 applied fairly. Therefore, the court ruled in each of

16 the individual cases that this was an appropriate action

17 and, therefore, our role was to make sure that that

18 happened in accordance with a disciplined and, you know,

19 consistent peaceful protest.

20 Q. Wasn't it inevitable that if you sat down on a road

21 which was about to have a march down it, that the police

22 would have to remove the protesters physically?

23 A. That is the form of protest. Absolutely, and we

24 cooperated fully with the police in that protest, and

25 that had happened year after year for the previous





1 15 years.

2 Q. Doesn't it follow, therefore, that that physical removal

3 process is going to lead to some form of struggle

4 between police and protesters?

5 A. Minor, minor protest. It is just a nuisance factor for

6 150 people to be removed from the road by thousands of

7 police. It is just a nuisance factor, and we were very

8 careful to manage that so that -- you know, people

9 didn't behave violently to the police, although some

10 people kicked and so on. And we would encourage them

11 not to do that.

12 The form of the protest was to sit on the road and

13 force the police to remove us so that our protest would

14 be viewed by the public via the media.

15 Q. There are two things. One, you mentioned the figure of

16 150 people. Is that roughly how many people were

17 involved with that aspect of the sit-down?

18 A. The 150 is the impression I had of the numbers who

19 actually got to the road, who sat down on Drumcree

20 Sunday, maybe at 4 am. And, you know, when it was dawn

21 you could see that there were about 150 people sitting

22 on the road. That is where I got the number. It is

23 just an impression.

24 Q. You also mentioned that there was some kicking and

25 struggling. Was this quite prevalent amongst the people





1 who were sat down?

2 A. A minority, a small minority, and our own stewards would

3 have told them to behave quietly.

4 It was a futile exercise anyway. There was

5 thousands of heavily armed military in the area. It was

6 a futile exercise to act violently. The truth was that

7 in 1997 we, through the mechanisms of the Drumcree Faith

8 and Justice Group, informed the police of how best to

9 behave and that actually succeeded in reducing any

10 danger of violence, which was extraordinary. We were

11 saying to police, "You have teams of four and you remove

12 people one by one, you grab each limb and you take them

13 aside." They cooperated with us; we cooperated with

14 them. The purpose was to minimise the potential for any

15 violence.

16 Q. Doesn't it still put the police in a difficult position,

17 having to engage in that sort of process with people who

18 are sat down in the road and resisting them?

19 A. Not particularly difficult. I think it is a standard

20 part of social engagement, this form of peaceful

21 protest. I think the police have much more serious and

22 much more dangerous duties than removing 150 people from

23 the road.

24 Q. You yourself, I think, made a complaint against the

25 police that evening?





1 A. I did, yes.

2 Q. And the Superintendent, who I think you made the

3 complaint to, is ciphered for the purpose of this

4 Inquiry and is known as P276. What was your complaint?

5 A. My complaint was that we had cooperated with the police

6 in removing -- in the process of removing the members of

7 the community from the road. Therefore, it was quite

8 a peaceful protest and we hoped that reduced tension all

9 round.

10 However, the -- I was the last person to leave the

11 road, and the third last person to leave the road was

12 Joanna Tennyson, and she was walking in front of me and

13 the police had formed a little corridor from the road

14 past two lines of Land Rovers to where they were going

15 to finally close the road in preparation for the parade.

16 And halfway through that corridor, an officer, an RUC

17 officer, kicked Joanna Tennyson in the thigh very

18 forcefully and I was very, very cross at that behaviour.

19 Q. Did you consider this to be an isolated incident?

20 A. Yes, I think that is reasonable to say, yes.

21 Q. And by inference, there wasn't generalised violence

22 between the police and the protesters?

23 A. Then, as time went on, I noticed there were other

24 incidents. For instance, another woman I mentioned was

25 hit on the head with a baton and she was bleeding on her





1 face. She appeared the following day on the front page

2 of the Irish News, and I believe -- one is I know this

3 person. She is a very quiet mother, she is not

4 a violent person in any way. So I was very surprised

5 that she was injured. Also, I am aware that that is

6 inappropriate use of a baton by a policeman. It could

7 cause very, very serious injury to hit a person on the

8 head.

9 There were other incidents of violence that I was

10 shocked by.

11 Q. Are we talking a few incidents or many?

12 A. Somewhere in between. There seemed to have been

13 incidents, yes.

14 Q. But it was only one you made a specific complaint

15 yourself about?

16 A. Yes, the one I actually witnessed and it was in the

17 context where we thought we had some understanding and

18 some cooperation in a very difficult situation.

19 Q. Were you contacted about that the next day by the

20 Superintendent?

21 A. I believe I was, yes.

22 Q. And were you satisfied that the complaint was

23 investigated?

24 A. It was impossible to investigate it, and in the

25 statement by the policeman the police had been issued





1 with fire-proof suits for that protest. It is the first

2 time they had worn those suits, but those suits hid

3 their identification, covered up their identification.

4 So there was no identification on the outside of those

5 fire suits. So there was no way of identifying the

6 person in question. Therefore, it was a futile protest.

7 It was a personal protest rather than a formal legal

8 protest.

9 Q. Just on the issue of identification, had this been an

10 issue previously at Drumcree in 1995, 1996?

11 A. This was the first time they had worn these suits. So

12 sometimes there was an issue when people hid their

13 numbers. I think there were some conversations about

14 that with the police, that they are required to.

15 Q. Who raised the issue about identification with the

16 police?

17 A. I can't remember.

18 Q. Do you remember which year? You mentioned the uniform

19 had come in in 1997. Was it raised in 1997 for the

20 first time?

21 A. The issue of the suits may have been raised in 1997 for

22 the first time. I know the Drumcree Faith and Justice

23 Group leadership had conversations with the police about

24 this issue in previous years.

25 Q. Now, turning to Rosemary Nelson herself, where was she





1 on the evening of 5/6 July?

2 A. I'm not sure, I can't remember.

3 Q. Did you see her on the road?

4 A. I saw her later in the day, but I just don't recall.

5 She may have been there, she may not. I'm sorry.

6 Q. Did you know why she would have been there?

7 A. I'm aware in 1997 a group of international witnesses had

8 volunteered to be present on the road to witness, and

9 I know that she could have been with them. That is the

10 most likely place.

11 So it was the purpose of being an independent

12 witness to the enforcement of the law with respect to

13 public celebration of identity.

14 Q. But to clarify, you do not recall seeing her yourself?

15 A. Not until after the parade.

16 Q. Does it follow from that that you didn't witness any

17 altercation or physical manhandling between her and any

18 RUC officers?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. In your statement at paragraph 60, which is on

21 page RNI-820-074 (displayed), you state in relation to

22 the alleged incident -- and you are aware that she

23 alleged that she was assaulted and verbally abused by

24 officers -- that you could easily see, given the

25 environment, that such abuse might be possible?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Why do you say that?

3 A. One reason was the -- when the security forces were

4 withdrawing from the Garvaghy Road, after the parade

5 went down the road, there was a problem, a technical

6 problem, that the -- they hadn't -- in their planning.

7 They hadn't actually planned a viable exit strategy and,

8 therefore, there was chaos in the community. And in

9 that chaos, there was a lot of violence. That's

10 particularly the context in which -- if some

11 Nationalists were injured, like that woman I mentioned,

12 that the situation became very messy. And in that

13 context, it is quite possible that there would have been

14 altercations.

15 Q. Just focusing on the verbal abuse, the allegation of

16 verbal abuse, did you witness any police officers

17 making, as it were, sectarian comments to protesters?

18 A. I didn't witness any, no.

19 Q. So why did you think it might have happened in relation

20 to Rosemary Nelson?

21 A. The question was was there a context in which there was

22 a lot of tension, and yes, there was. Did I witness,

23 you know, a very quiet woman being injured, belted on

24 the head with a baton? I did and, therefore, it was

25 possible.





1 Q. May I ask you about the relationship between the GRRC

2 and the RUC more generally?

3 You mentioned in your statement a number of

4 occasions having meetings with senior officers, such as

5 Ronnie Flanagan. How was that dialogue? Was it

6 productive?

7 A. Yes, we had several meetings with the RUC and they were

8 productive. In some sense we clarified our position

9 with the officers in question and with the senior

10 officers. And the Residents Coalition felt that there

11 was some element of dialogue, people were listening to

12 arguments on both sides.

13 I think the most -- the first meeting was extremely

14 formal. It took place in the RUC headquarters in

15 Lurgan.

16 Q. Just to stop you there, Mr Stack, is that the meeting

17 that you mention on page RNI-820-064 (displayed) at

18 paragraph 27?

19 A. Paragraph number, please?

20 Q. 27. This is a few days before Drumcree 1996.

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. Please continue, you were saying it was a quite a formal

23 meeting?

24 A. It was a very formal meeting and I think all the senior

25 officers, in other words the six most senior officers in





1 the RUC, were present. They were all in uniform, it was

2 a formal structure. And the context of this meeting is

3 very important for the Tribunal -- for the Inquiry to

4 understand, in that -- in 1995, we were extremely

5 surprised at the reaction of the Orange Order to our

6 little protest. We were a small ad hoc community group

7 who made a protest and were extraordinarily surprised

8 that within a few hours there were 15,000 Orangemen in

9 Drumcree very, very angry at this decision.

10 So we were surprised, but I think the police were

11 also surprised and the situation became very dangerous

12 because there was no preparation for this situation.

13 So in 1995, we had discussions through the Mediation

14 Network and directly with the Assistant Chief Constable,

15 Mr Flanagan, to avoid the escalation of violence, and

16 this is during the night on Drumcree Sunday and the

17 following day. At the end of that process, we decided

18 that for the first time in history we would permit

19 a parade simply to avoid the situation deteriorating

20 into very serious violence and the danger of loss of

21 life and also as a gesture of goodwill and of -- in

22 response, the RUC promised us that this would never

23 happen again. We would never be put in a situation

24 where violence dictated that the outcome of parading

25 decision in our area --





1 Q. Mr Stack, I hesitate to stop you, but there is a danger

2 we will get slightly sidetracked into the merits or

3 otherwise of the parade. I'm more interested

4 specifically in your relationship with the senior

5 officers in 1997, in fact, the RUC more generally?

6 A. Yes, and the reason I'm saying this is because,

7 therefore, there was an agreement between the Residents

8 Coalition and the RUC, witnessed by Mediation Network,

9 that this would not happen again. Therefore, we were

10 invited to meet the senior officers in 1996 just to

11 explore the implications that of agreement.

12 That is the context in which that meeting took place

13 and all previous meetings. You know, we had had

14 an agreement, and that was witnessed and had been

15 publicised, that this would not happen again. And

16 that -- that's the purpose of those meetings, to explore

17 the implications of that agreement.

18 Q. And by 1997, did you have then a good relationship with

19 the RUC?

20 A. A good relationship is a professional relationship, in

21 the sense it was honest but there was extreme tension

22 here.

23 Persistently decisions were made that had a very

24 negative effect on community and we strongly objected to

25 the decisions being made. So, I mean, it was frank and





1 honest discussions about a very, very difficult

2 situation in a very difficult context. So I think any

3 suggestion that it was nice and friendly would be

4 inappropriate, but it was extremely -- it was

5 professional, if that is the best word I could use to

6 describe it.

7 Q. One example you use later in your statement in relation

8 to Ronnie Flanagan was that he walked into the room in

9 1997 carrying a tea pot, and you seemed to take that as

10 more indicative of a friendlier atmosphere that year

11 between you and the senior officers?

12 A. Yes, there are two things -- it is an approach. The

13 formal approach is not appropriate. It was less

14 appropriate for dealing with a group of residents. That

15 was more appropriate, and I was pleased and that is the

16 anecdote I use to describe the changed relationship.

17 Q. Were many complaints brought in 1997 against police

18 conduct on the day of the march?

19 A. I believe there were. I believe there were, yes.

20 Q. And I think, if we just look at paragraph 61 of your

21 statement on page RNI-820-074 (displayed), midway down,

22 you say:

23 "After the rioting had finished, no complaints were

24 made against any RUC officers to my knowledge."

25 And that was a mutual decision?





1 A. I stand corrected then. I -- yes, I stand corrected.

2 At that moment, I didn't realise. Since then,

3 unfortunately, I have read some other evidence that I am

4 aware -- I am now aware there were protests made, but

5 when I wrote that statement, it was true. I wasn't

6 aware at that time.

7 Q. Well, may I show you a document --

8 A. Just a point of clarity, the evidence that was presented

9 to me by the Inquiry --

10 Q. I'm about to show it to you now. I think this is the

11 evidence you are referring to?

12 A. Thank you.

13 Q. There is a document that starts at RNI-541-032

14 (displayed) and this is an intelligence report, the date

15 of which is November 1996. So this obviously refers to

16 the parade that had occurred earlier.

17 On the second page, you can see if we go overleaf to

18 RNI-541-033 (displayed) -- there is only one paragraph

19 which we can see the full contents of, the other

20 paragraphs having been redacted, and it says:

21 "Rosemary Nelson, solicitor, Lurgan, is coordinating

22 the GRRC's legal matters and is forwarding details of

23 police prosecutions of Nationalists from Drumcree 1996

24 to the Committee for the Administration of Justice.

25 Under her guidance, the Garvaghy Road Residents





1 Coalition has arranged for approximately 120 people to

2 make complaints to the RUC regarding Drumcree. They

3 hope to do this in blocks of 10 people at a time in an

4 effort to waste police time."

5 Now, because this is a sensitive report, we can't

6 explore the provenance of its account, but does that

7 accord with your understanding of the position in 1996:

8 that there was an effort to waste police time as

9 a strategy by the GRRC?

10 A. Absolutely not. We have changed years here. I think we

11 were discussing 1997 a few minutes ago. We are now

12 discussing 1996. The behaviour of the RUC in 1996 was

13 very different and the relationships were very different

14 in 1996.

15 Q. The reason I'm showing this is I think you were

16 referring to this piece of evidence and I wanted to show

17 you it was 1996, not 1997.

18 A. Okay. I appreciate that, Mr Skelton.

19 Q. Could you comment further on this particular document in

20 relation to 1996 first of all?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You were resisting the suggestion that it was in fact

23 true that this had been a strategy?

24 A. I don't think it was a strategy. I think it was a legal

25 procedure.





1 Just to remind the Inquiry, the situation was very,

2 very tense right across Northern Ireland in 1996. There

3 was violence in every town, roads were blocked. I mean,

4 the State was under severe pressure to maintain the rule

5 of law, and in this context the -- there was a -- seemed

6 to be a sudden decision to cave in to the pressure of

7 the protests, the Orange Order protest, and there was

8 chaos and behaviour was -- of the police at that point

9 was very rough and there were a lot of people injured.

10 Q. The suggestion here is that complaints were with made to

11 waste the police's time?

12 A. I think that is -- that was not a policy of the

13 Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition.

14 Q. Now, in 1997, had there been any change in relation to

15 the use of complaints against the police? You described

16 earlier that your relationship with the RUC had improved

17 by 1997 to some degree, although it was still

18 professional. Was there, therefore, a decision not to

19 bring as many complaints that year?

20 A. I'm not aware of any decision to that effect.

21 Q. I'll turn now to the issue of safety of the members of

22 the Coalition. Were you or your colleagues ever

23 threatened by people in the locality?

24 A. When you say "locality"?

25 Q. In Portadown, the GRRC members in Portadown.





1 A. Yes, there were two levels of threat. One just was, as

2 I have spoken about previously, the murder of

3 Michael McGoldrick made it clear to everybody that we

4 were under threat, in our understanding. And then there

5 were a few incidents that I have mentioned in my witness

6 statement concerning one phone call we received and

7 a fax we received threatening us.

8 Q. Let me take you through those. You mentioned

9 Billy Wright's threat to Breandan Mac Cionnaith on

10 page RNI-820-077 at paragraph 70 (displayed)?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. What do you remember about that?

13 A. We were in the office of the Garvaghy Road Residents

14 Coalition and we received a phone call, and the phone

15 call was -- somebody asked to speak to Breandan and it

16 emerged that that person was a senior Loyalist who made

17 very, very serious threats against him, and I believe

18 that person to be Billy Wright.

19 Q. What was the actual threat?

20 A. I didn't hear the actual threat.

21 Q. Did Breandan tell you about it?

22 A. He didn't discuss it in detail because he was seriously

23 frightened by what happened.

24 Q. Was it a threat to kill him?

25 A. I imagine so.





1 Q. And did he think it was Billy Wright who made the

2 threat?

3 A. I imagine so. I can't absolutely confirm, but you know,

4 I'm morally certain that is who it was and that is what

5 the threat was.

6 Q. What was his overall response to that?

7 A. I think it was a response you would expect; he was

8 frightened, but it didn't change his willingness to

9 continue with the campaign because we were already aware

10 of the threats.

11 Q. Did he want to, for example, mention this to the police

12 in order to get protection?

13 A. Indirectly, I know he did get protection. So I presume

14 he did apply for protection.

15 Q. I just want you to clarify the timing of it. This is, I

16 think, 1997, is it, because you left in 1998?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Was this phone call in 1997?

19 A. It was in 1997.

20 Q. And are you sure he went to get protection in 1997 and

21 not 1998?

22 A. I'm not sure. I can say -- I'm sorry -- I can just tell

23 that you I know his house was protected in 1997. I know

24 he had security that the State provided and I know that

25 security was upgraded at some point, and I presume it





1 was upgraded in 2000, after I left.

2 Q. You also mention in that paragraph a number of faxes

3 received. What were they?

4 A. The one I most clearly remember, which I believe, again,

5 was from a Loyalist group, was to state after

6 Michael McGoldrick was murdered that, "One down, 5,999

7 to go", which referred to approximately the 6,000

8 Nationalists living in the Garvaghy Road area.

9 Q. This was sent specifically to the GRRC, was it?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Is that the fax machine in your house?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. This is Iona House, is it?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Did you think that that was implicitly making a threat

16 particularly against the Coalition members?

17 A. The nature of serious violence against the Nationalist

18 community by Loyalists tends to be random, although I

19 think possibly the desire would have been to single out

20 a high profile person. Generally, as I have mentioned

21 earlier, everybody was in danger.

22 Q. Mr Mac Cionnaith obviously received a particular threat

23 on the telephone. Were other members of the Coalition

24 similarly frightened of some form of reprisal from

25 Loyalists?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Who?

3 A. We all were. Everybody on the Coalition was nervous.

4 It was a very violent situation, it was a very dangerous

5 situation and we were frightened.

6 Q. What did you do about that in terms of wanting to seek

7 protection or minimising your personal exposure?

8 A. Absolutely minimising our personal exposure, yes. We

9 would have great care when we were leaving the area. We

10 felt secure within our own area, within the

11 Garvaghy Road area. Any time we had to leave that, we

12 had to pass through what would have been Unionist and

13 Loyalist areas. So we would have to be very careful.

14 If we were regularly visiting Belfast, we wouldn't

15 travel by the same route.

16 Can I just remind the Inquiry, there was a random --

17 a random attack on Nationalists in Portadown in 2006 or

18 2007; Robert Hamill was beaten to death. So the threat

19 to us was both the possibility that we would find

20 ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and a mob

21 would attack us, or that we would be targeted by what

22 was a very dangerous and active Loyalist paramilitary

23 group, the LVF.

24 Q. And specifically targeted because you were a member of

25 the Coalition?





1 A. Absolutely, yes.

2 Q. Was this something you discussed amongst yourselves or

3 did you each reach an individual view of it?

4 A. In casual conversation we discussed it among ourselves,

5 but it wasn't an item on our agenda for the Coalition.

6 Q. And I have referred to the Coalition, but you have

7 previously said that Rosemary Nelson wasn't strictly

8 a member of the Coalition?

9 A. That's right.

10 Q. Would she have been party to discussions about safety

11 and concerns about targeting?

12 A. I'm not aware of that.

13 Q. Did you ever have a discussion with her about her

14 safety?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Were you yourself, given the experience with the faxes

17 and the phone call, concerned for her safety at this

18 time, 1997?

19 A. I was extremely concerned for other members of the

20 Coalition, particularly Breandan Mac Cionnaith and

21 others, but I hadn't expected Rosemary Nelson to be

22 a target.

23 Q. In your statement at paragraph 71 -- and I'm thinking

24 particularly of the final sentence, which is actually

25 found on page RNI-820-078 (displayed) -- you do in fact





1 say that:

2 "Rosemary Nelson and Breandan Mac Cionnaith were

3 certainly a target for hate in the Orange Order's

4 personal campaign."

5 That doesn't really sit with what you have just

6 answered, does it?

7 A. You have to take the timeline. I mean, we have

8 a publication -- it was subsequent to her death -- that

9 indicates that we were grouped together. I'm presuming

10 I'm saying at some point there the danger included her.

11 I think why I believe we were in danger is the

12 nature of the campaign of the Orange Order. They

13 constantly personalised the dispute. We had a policy on

14 the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition to never

15 personalise the dispute, to focus on the issues, to

16 define the issues clearly and, you know, open the

17 possibility of resolution.

18 In contrast, the response was very, very strong

19 personalisation from 1995. And the first person to be

20 singled out was myself in 1995. You know, in front of

21 15,000 people on Drumcree hill, I was condemned and,

22 therefore, that put me in danger. And I think that was

23 reckless behaviour by the leadership of the Orange

24 Order. That continued to include Breandan Mac Cionnaith

25 and then later, I believe, it included Rosemary Nelson.





1 Q. Do you recall in 1997 or in previous years specific

2 comments being made about Rosemary Nelson by members of

3 the Orange Order?

4 A. I don't recall.

5 Q. In 1995, are you referring to Reverend Ian Paisley when

6 you make those comments about you personally being

7 singled out?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. You said it was the leadership of the Orange Order; was

10 he in fact a leader of the Orange Order at that time?

11 A. It is difficult to define what is the leadership. So he

12 was the keynote speaker at the rally, a major rally on

13 the first night of the protest in Drumcree. Formally,

14 he is not a member of the Orange Order. He has his own

15 loyal order. He was clearly a political leader and,

16 therefore, it is in that respect I'm saying that he

17 spoke on behalf of the leadership.

18 Q. I'll show you the part of your statement where you deal

19 with this issue. That's at page RNI-820-066, initially

20 on paragraph 35 (displayed).

21 In fact, there are two aspects to this paragraph.

22 One was an article that appeared in 1997, in June, but

23 focusing for the moment on the Reverend Paisley's

24 comments, could you just explain exactly what he said

25 and why you considered yourself to be at risk as





1 a result?

2 A. Mr Skelton, I want to be clear this serves some purpose

3 here for the inquiry. Am I free to say this?

4 I'm just -- Mr Paisley has made an enormous

5 contribution to peace in the state, so I don't want to

6 personally attack him now, or whatever. I have said as

7 much as I feel is appropriate. He did speak -- he was

8 the keynote speaker at this rally in 1995. His speech

9 was captured on video. I have seen that video, I have

10 it. He said personal things about me and I thought that

11 was inappropriate.

12 Q. Mr Stack, we will move on.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Skelton, you might think you could pass

14 over and on this particular issue, I think.

15 MR SKELTON: I will, sir.

16 Just to put it in context, Mr Stack, the Inquiry is

17 concerned with Rosemary Nelson's safety and she was

18 obviously intimately connected with the GRRC. So any

19 concerns about the safety of the Coalition members,

20 which includes you, bears and is relevant on her safety

21 and that is the context in which it is put.

22 I don't wish to inflame any tension, which is now

23 a long time ago, between you and Reverend Paisley and

24 I appreciate what you have just stated. So we will move

25 on.





1 In 1997, to your knowledge, had any of the Coalition

2 members applied for protection under the state's system,

3 called Key Persons Protection Scheme, known as the KPPS?

4 A. I wasn't aware.

5 Q. After Drumcree 1997, at some stage you left the

6 Coalition. Why was that?

7 A. I was due to complete my training as a Jesuit, and I

8 hadn't at that point taken final vows as a Jesuit. So

9 it is normal practice, between three and five years

10 after ordination as a priest, you go to another

11 jurisdiction to complete your training and I went back

12 to Latin America where I had been trained in theology.

13 So it was a normal procedure.

14 Q. Is there anything else you would like to add that may be

15 of relevance to this Inquiry?

16 A. Is this just the final statement?

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. Yes. I think it might be helpful to say that the

19 Coalition, we did our best to use a language to describe

20 the conflict that opened up the possibility of resolving

21 it. And you know, that was -- it was a conflict about

22 public celebration of identity and that the -- clearly,

23 this was a dispute about the public celebration of

24 British identity as expressed by the Orange Order in

25 a geographical area that was clearly Nationalist in the





1 context where the Nationalists weren't afforded that

2 same right.

3 So it is a dispute about the application of the law.

4 We were very clear about that. But it was in the

5 context where we believed there was another dispute,

6 a higher level dispute. So that was a dispute between

7 us and the state.

8 There was another dispute about whether or not all

9 citizens would be afforded the same rights, and that is

10 an understanding of the state; whether -- everybody

11 agreed that the best form of government for the state

12 was a form of liberal democracy with this fundamental

13 principle of free and equal citizenship for everybody.

14 It is my belief that there was another level of

15 conflict going on in Portadown between those who

16 believed that that was the appropriate form of state,

17 and that is the identity of the British state, and those

18 who believed in a confessional democracy where those who

19 held the Protestant faith had more rights and that those

20 who had the Catholic faith, because they were in error,

21 then there is an old tradition that error doesn't have

22 the same rights.

23 So ultimately my belief was there was a very serious

24 conflict of understanding of the state.

25 The Nationalist community have been able to come to





1 peace with the status quo of the state on this island

2 because we believe in the word of the representatives of

3 the state, that it is the true liberal democracy that

4 will support this principle and, therefore, you know,

5 there is peace on this island for the first time.

6 But there were those who do not believe that and who

7 are deeply, deeply hurt by the consequences of the --

8 for instance, the consequence of that situation, which

9 meant that in the case of Portadown there couldn't be,

10 for the time being, a parade on the Garvaghy Road

11 because the law, equally applied to both communities,

12 wouldn't uphold that.

13 I believe that in trying to find motive for the

14 brutal murder of Rosemary Nelson, those people who are

15 militant British Nationalists would have motive because

16 of that. And so I just wanted to say to the Inquiry

17 that that is my view, that there is something there.

18 The anecdote to describe that is: why was the pro--

19 sorry, the response to our little protest so strong on

20 Drumcree? And the reason is because there was some much

21 more fundamental issue at stake, and I believe that

22 issue was an argument about what is the state.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Stack, we are very grateful --

24 MR DORAN: Sorry -- excuse me -- before the witness is asked

25 to leave, I wonder if I might ask Mr Skelton to clarify





1 one matter? Perhaps if the Panel could rise for five

2 minutes?

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Right, we will rise for five minutes. Would

4 you discuss it with Mr Skelton, please? Mr Stack, would

5 you remain for a few minutes, please?

6 (11.10 am)

7 (Short adjournment)

8 (11.15 am)

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Skelton?

10 MR SKELTON: Mr Stack, I would just like to take you back to

11 the events over the night of 6 July 1997.

12 You had mentioned that you saw yourself only

13 a single incident of alleged violence by a police

14 officer against a Nationalist on the road; is that

15 correct?

16 A. (Pause) Yes, that's correct, yes. I hesitate because it

17 was a long day and there were other incidents of

18 violence. So I'm saying -- yes, at that moment that is

19 the only incident I witnessed.

20 Q. And you mentioned, for example, a lady who was allegedly

21 hit over the head by a baton and it appeared on the

22 newspapers the next day. Did you yourself see the

23 alleged batoning?

24 A. No, I didn't. So that shows -- in that situation, I

25 didn't see everything at all. So I did meet this woman





1 possibly within two minutes of her being hit and she

2 told me, and I trusted her, what had happened and that

3 was a reasonable explanation. So -- and that is

4 imprinted in my mind because it was photographed and it

5 was very public.

6 Q. Were there other incidents which you may not have

7 witnessed but which you heard about subsequently?

8 A. Yes, there were incidents, but I have to say my memory

9 is quite vague and -- partly because of coping with the

10 shock of what happened means, you know, I --

11 THE CHAIRMAN: The only incident you actually saw was

12 Joanna Tennyson being kicked; is that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: You actually saw?

15 A. There was another incident where a plastic bullet passed

16 very close to my body. There were other incidents, but

17 that was later the day. So I'm hesitating. Yes, the

18 only incident I actually witnessed was that kick.

19 MR SKELTON: Thank you, Mr Stack.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr Stack, for coming and

21 I'm sorry it was over two days. Thank you.

22 We will have a break of 10 minutes.

23 (11.17 am)

24 (Short break)

25 (11.32 am)





1 MR ALAN TODD (sworn)

2 Questions by MR SKELTON

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Please sit down.

4 Yes, Mr Skelton?

5 MR SKELTON: Mr Todd, you have made a statement to the

6 Inquiry and that can be found at RNI-821-031

7 (displayed). At the end of that statement, which is on

8 page RNI-821-042 (displayed), there is your signature

9 and the date, 16 August 2007. Is that correct?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. May I start with your background? When did you join the

12 RUC?

13 A. 1991.

14 Q. You had a slightly different background from other

15 officers; what was that?

16 A. I was a retail pharmacist.

17 Q. Why did you join the police?

18 A. Well, a potted version of it, I suppose: I was 27 years

19 of age, had been working in the pharmacy business for

20 some years and, like a lot of people, I suppose at that

21 age was deciding if that was something I wanted to do

22 for the next 30 years. I decided it wasn't and looked

23 at some alternatives.

24 Q. And in 1997, which is the period we are going to look at

25 in a moment, it is right you were a sergeant by then,





1 were you?

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. What is your present rank?

4 A. I'm a chief superintendent.

5 Q. May I ask, what is your area of responsibility?

6 A. I'm the District Commander for E District in the PSNI,

7 which is the rural southeast part of the Province. It

8 covers the council areas of Craigavon, Banbridge, Newry

9 and Mourne and Armagh.

10 Q. The first issue I would like to discuss with you is your

11 knowledge and perception of Rosemary Nelson herself, and

12 I appreciate that you may have read a lot or seen a lot

13 since this Inquiry began, for example, but I would like

14 to take you back really to 1997, which is when you came

15 into contact with her.

16 What did you know at that stage about her

17 association with the GRRC?

18 A. I think you are right to say it is difficult sometimes

19 in 2008 to look back and separate what I knew at the

20 time from media coverage, newspaper articles, et cetera,

21 since then.

22 In 1997, I knew very little of Rosemary Nelson other

23 than her association with the Garvaghy Road Residents

24 Coalition, and a large amount of that was based on media

25 and newspaper coverage of the time.





1 Q. You mention her association with the GRRC at

2 paragraph 35 of your statement, which is on

3 page RNI-821-041. We should see that on the screen

4 momentarily (displayed).

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Did you consider her to be one of the GRRC's leaders?

7 A. I don't think I was that forensic in terms of my view on

8 it. I knew that certainly she was identified as the

9 legal adviser or solicitor to the Garvaghy Road

10 Residents Coalition, but I don't think I had any

11 particular thought process about the political

12 leadership of that organisation.

13 Q. You say there in paragraph 35 that most police officers

14 did not take a view on Rosemary Nelson because she was

15 solicitor for the GRRC. Could you explain that a bit

16 more?

17 A. Again, as I say, Rosemary Nelson wasn't a particular

18 focus of my attention as a police officer at the time,

19 other than I knew her through the media and the fact

20 that she was spokesperson for the Garvaghy Road

21 Residents Coalition. For me and certainly the officers

22 I knew, it wasn't an issue of any particular

23 significance.

24 Q. What media had you seen in which she appeared?

25 A. The general media of the day, and my recollection of





1 those were Mrs Nelson would have spoken on behalf of the

2 Residents Coalition and the issues with which they were

3 engaged.

4 Q. And was she not critical of the RUC in the media?

5 A. The RUC got criticism from a number of quarters, not

6 least the GRRC, and I am sure it was. I don't

7 specifically remember it, that some that of was

8 articulated by Mrs Nelson.

9 Q. I'm trying to stretch your recollection, but can you

10 remember what she was saying about the officers back at

11 this time?

12 A. No, I simply don't, I'm sorry.

13 Q. You mention in your statement at paragraph 36, which is

14 below the one we are looking at, that you knew some of

15 the officers who had investigated the murders of the

16 police constables in Lurgan, which had occurred in 1997?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. Did you know that Rosemary Nelson was representing

19 Colin Duffy?

20 A. I believe -- I do now. At which point I became aware of

21 it -- I'm sure that was fairly early at the time.

22 Q. First of all, who did you know who was investigating the

23 murder?

24 A. I knew principally the officer who I believed is

25 identified at P228.





1 Q. How did you know him?

2 A. From being -- from working in similar areas, being of

3 a similar length of service in the organisation. He was

4 just one of those people that I knew and had chatted to.

5 Q. In 1997 you were working, I think, with the MSU, the

6 mobile support unit?

7 A. That is correct, yes.

8 Q. Had your relationship built up through that or previous

9 work?

10 A. I don't know specifically, but in general terms the

11 mobile support unit would have been routinely used to

12 conduct searches or assist in investigations for the

13 criminal investigation department, of which this officer

14 was one of the detective sergeants at the time.

15 Therefore, my assumption or understanding would be that

16 that would have been how we met in the first instance:

17 through briefings, debriefings, running operations,

18 supporting those CID separations.

19 Q. In your statement at paragraph 36, you mention officers,

20 plural. Were there any others who you were friendly

21 with?

22 A. No, I knew a number of officers involved in the

23 investigation. I have known some of those better since

24 that. At the time, it would be wrong to say I was

25 friendly with more than one.





1 Q. So the information which you describe in this statement

2 is in fact from a single person, P228?

3 A. That is my recollection. If it was from more than one,

4 I don't recollect who those other individuals would have

5 been.

6 Q. What did he tell you about the murders?

7 A. Nothing in specific terms, other than he was involved in

8 the investigation and I was aware of the lines of

9 enquiry. I was aware of the nature of some of the

10 evidence that may have implicated parties in that and

11 also the difficulties of putting some of that evidence

12 before the courts and the judgments made around that by

13 the DPP at the time.

14 Q. Taking that in stages, were you aware that there was

15 a particular suspect who was under investigation?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Who was that?

18 A. Colin Duffy.

19 Q. Were you aware that Rosemary Nelson was representing

20 him?

21 A. I believe I was.

22 Q. Were you aware that there had been intelligence

23 reporting in August 1997 that Rosemary Nelson was making

24 contact, through an intermediary, with a prosecution

25 witness in that case?





1 A. I wasn't aware of that -- wouldn't have been aware of

2 that through formal channels from my role, and I don't

3 believe was made aware of that through any conversations

4 I had with the Inquiry team.

5 Q. So this wasn't something that was picked up by the

6 Lurgan CID officers who were working on the case?

7 A. You would need to ask them whether they picked up on

8 that. I don't believe they discussed it with me.

9 Q. Did you ever hear from P228 or anyone else that

10 Rosemary Nelson was alleged to have pressurised

11 a prosecution witness in the case?

12 A. No, I don't believe I was aware of that.

13 Q. Was there any perception that she had acted untowardly

14 in relation to the defence of Colin Duffy in that

15 action?

16 A. I don't believe that is a conversation I had either.

17 Q. When the charges were dropped, as they were later in the

18 year, in around October time, I believe, was there some

19 frustration amongst the local CID officers, in

20 particular the witness that you knew, that that had

21 occurred?

22 A. I believe there was frustration and -- but not

23 frustration that I wouldn't recognise from

24 investigations that I had been involved in, where you

25 are seeking to get a sufficient amount of evidence to





1 put a suspect before a court.

2 Sometimes the police view of the strength of that

3 evidence is different to the prosecuting officers'. It

4 is not unusual for there to be some disagreement in

5 that, not unusual for there to be some frustration when

6 a decision, particularly not to prosecute, was made. I

7 think that frustration was evident in this case.

8 Q. Were you aware that Rosemary Nelson had previously

9 represented Mr Duffy in his successful appeal against

10 the conviction for the murder of John Lyness?

11 A. I am now. I don't believe I was then.

12 Q. Had Rosemary Nelson appeared on television in relation

13 to the murders of the police officers?

14 A. I don't believe that she did.

15 Q. Now, in your statement at paragraph 33 and following you

16 mention that she made police officers nervous?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Why was that?

19 A. The perception is certainly the conversation, and not

20 having had direct involvement with Mrs Nelson and her

21 clients, was that she was very focused and very

22 searching in terms of police officers' grounds and why

23 they were asking particular questions and whether that

24 was within the remit, and would have been quite

25 challenging towards police officers involved with her





1 clients. And there was a nervousness or an apprehension

2 around making sure that people were confident on their

3 own grounds and confident what they were doing to offset

4 some of that.

5 Q. Now, that seems to be a sort of positive response, in

6 that she was effectively policing the police conduct.

7 Was there also a negative response to her, in that

8 if she was pushy and challenging, that caused officers

9 to be defensive?

10 A. I think there was inevitably both sides of the same

11 coin.

12 I think people -- you know, like any organisation,

13 there are a range of abilities within different police

14 officers and within detectives. Some are very

15 confident -- competent interviewers and very well

16 prepared. Some are less so. Those who are less so,

17 having had less confidence, maybe feel less able to deal

18 with people when they find themselves in a challenged

19 position, and maybe people find themselves more able to

20 deal with those. I think some of the conversation you

21 hear is a reflection of that.

22 For some people it was about being kept on their

23 toes. For other people, it was almost an informal

24 challenge to their authority as police officers involved

25 in it.





1 Q. Was it unusual to have a solicitor who challenged police

2 officers to that degree?

3 A. Not at all.

4 Q. So there is no sense in which she had a different

5 relationship from the run of the mill defence

6 solicitors?

7 A. Again, not having evidence at first hand, I don't know

8 what that was. But I certainly know from pre-dating my

9 time as a mobile support unit sergeant, I worked in

10 Grosvenor Road in Belfast, which was a busy custody

11 suite and I performed custody officer duties there. And

12 there were a range of solicitors who visited what was a

13 busy custody suite. And there too there were people who

14 had a similar reputation to Mrs Nelson about being very

15 forensic and very challenging in terms of their dealings

16 with police officers. There were others who weren't,

17 and that spectrum was reflected there, as I am sure it

18 was in other custody suites across the area.

19 Q. So does it follow then that officers were as nervous in

20 relation to other solicitors as they were with

21 Mrs Nelson?

22 A. Again, I think that is a question for individual

23 officers, but in general I don't think I'm too far off

24 the mark by saying that is probably an accurate

25 assumption.





1 Q. You mention in passing in your statement that you were

2 aware of threats, allegations of threats, about

3 Mrs Nelson to her clients. How were you aware of that?

4 A. I don't recall whether that was through media coverage

5 or allegations that were made in the media or heard

6 through what channels. I was aware that there had been

7 suggestion or that -- complaints had been made, but I

8 don't know where that awareness came from.

9 Q. So you can't tell us where you may have heard of such

10 allegations?

11 A. I simply don't recall.

12 Q. Turning to the issue of Drumcree in 1997, could you just

13 describe the role of the MSU on that day -- and we are

14 looking at the weekend of 5/6 July.

15 A. It was the run-up to what is known locally as Drumcree

16 Sunday, and speculation, as ever, was rife as to what

17 the outcome of deliberations would be as to whether

18 there would be a parade or wouldn't be a parade. And,

19 therefore, there was speculation about what the role --

20 what the operation might look like, and that was pretty

21 much the range of considerations in the run-up to it.

22 As it did turn out, the decision was made that the

23 parade would be allowed to proceed along the

24 Garvaghy Road and the role of the mobile support unit at

25 that point was to facilitate the parade and to ensure





1 that the route was available for that decision to be

2 progressed.

3 Q. Why was it difficult being a police officer in Portadown

4 at that time?

5 A. It wasn't just 1997; I think the Drumcree scenario which

6 had developed over a number of years ended up --

7 certainly police officers had a fairly torrid time, the

8 number of police officers who were forced to leave their

9 homes through violence from others.

10 There were regular incidents of police officers'

11 families being abused in their own communities and

12 refused service in shops. There were protest parades of

13 one sort or another on a regular basis. A lot of those

14 ended in conflict and confrontation, and that persisted

15 beyond 1997 into 1998 and 1999. And I was involved in

16 the policing of some of that too.

17 It was a hostile environment for policing. The

18 police felt very much that they were jammed in the

19 middle of an intractable situation and were being held

20 responsible for that intractable situation, and it

21 wasn't a comfortable place to be.

22 Q. The hostility you mention, that is coming from both

23 sides of the community, is it?

24 A. I think predominantly the hostility towards the police

25 in Portadown at that time was coming from the Unionist





1 or Loyalist communities and support of what was then the

2 Orange Drumcree protest.

3 Q. In terms of the preparation for the policing of the

4 march, how many officers were involved on that weekend?

5 A. I don't know the specific numbers, but it was a large

6 number of officers and, indeed, a large amount of

7 military support in addition.

8 Q. How many were in your particular MSU?

9 A. The unit at full strength would be one inspector, four

10 sergeants, 24 constables, and we were pretty much at

11 full strength.

12 Q. And there were a number of MSUs, in fact, weren't there?

13 A. There were many.

14 Q. So we are talking about hundreds of police officers?

15 A. Absolutely.

16 Q. Your inspector, I think, was Inspector Norman McKee?

17 A. That is my recollection.

18 Q. Did he give you a briefing at Mahon Road about the

19 forthcoming work that you were about to do?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. What did he say?

22 A. He indicated that we were deployed to the Ashgrove Road

23 junction of the Garvaghy Road and form part with other

24 units in forming a cordon to maintain the route at that

25 point.





1 Q. Was your role also to remove protesters if they sat down

2 in the road, or were you simply to maintain a cordon?

3 A. The cordon was what we were given to do. I don't

4 believe that my unit was one of the ones who had been

5 through some basic training on lifting people and

6 removing people safely from a roadway. So cordon point

7 was our particular duty.

8 Q. Is there a particular skill to doing that safely and

9 properly?

10 A. I understand there was some training in relation to

11 specialist officers at that time about doing that.

12 Q. This may be something which you can't elaborate, not

13 having had the training, but how does that take place

14 without resulting in violence between the policeman and

15 the protester?

16 A. I can't elaborate. Most of it is around safe handling

17 of the persons, to minimise any injury to the person.

18 The outworking of that in many ways is reliant on the

19 amount of resistance provided by the individual.

20 Q. In your MSU, how did you plan to respond to any physical

21 violence or verbal abuse that you received?

22 A. Well, the unit was deployed in full public order

23 protective equipment, and working as sub-units in the

24 wider units, the brief was to maintain that cordon and

25 to resist any attempt to break the cordon. And any use





1 of force within that would have been proportionate to

2 the threat or the level of violence aimed at the

3 officers involved.

4 Q. As far as engaging eventually with the crowd, were there

5 any instructions about that?

6 A. I don't recall that there were instructions, but by and

7 large through general public order training, it is not

8 something we encourage officers. In fact, we encourage

9 officers not to become verbally involved with people

10 unless there is an opportunity to engage with people to

11 deflate a situation.

12 Q. We have, I think, a prop for you, which is a helmet and

13 it contains a balaclava. I understand this has been

14 kindly provided by the PSNI for the purpose of this

15 evidence.

16 That isn't the exact helmet that you would have worn

17 on the day, but could you have a look at it and describe

18 in what way it differs and perhaps also describe it to

19 us in terms of its function?

20 A. It is similar to the helmet that I would have worn and

21 most police officers would have worn on that day. It's

22 there to provide, obviously, protection to the officer's

23 head and also face with the use of the visor, and then

24 there is also a neck pad to provide protection to the

25 neck area. And this would have been worn alongside





1 flame-proof overalls. Mostly ballistic body armour to

2 the upper part of the body, arm pads, elbow pads, knee

3 pads and foot pads and specific public order footwear.

4 So the whole package is designed to prevent officers

5 suffering undue injuries involved in a violent

6 confrontation.

7 Q. Would you mind just holding it up so that the Panel and

8 observe representatives can see it?

9 Inside it, I think, is a balaclava. I won't ask you

10 to put it on.

11 A. I'm not sure "balaclava" is the technical -- it's what

12 they are commonly known as. I'm not sure it's a

13 technical accuracy. It is a material headover.

14 The helmet itself provides for no flame-proof

15 protection, but this acts as a heat barrier, so if there

16 is inflammable material on your helmet, this prevents

17 the heat transferring to your skin surfaces. In the

18 same way that the same material as a tee shirt and

19 long-legged underwear would be worn underneath the

20 flame-proof suit. The flame-proof suit stops the flame

21 penetrating, but it doesn't stop the heat penetrating.

22 Therefore, largely cotton undergarments are worn

23 underneath them to prevent a transfer of heat, which is

24 as dangerous as the flame itself in terms of injury.

25 Q. The item which you are discussing, doesn't, I think,





1 have a mouth hole, does it?

2 A. It can be worn a number of ways, and it has a fairly

3 open face area so it can be pulled right up over the

4 nose. The way to wear it when you are facing an

5 imminent risk of fire is to have as little of your face

6 showing as possible, really just your eyes. It can be

7 worn like that. Equally, it can be pulled down and

8 tucked down under your chin if you are not using it at

9 the time and you need to speak to somebody.

10 Q. So how would most of the officers who were working on

11 the MSU, as you were that day, be wearing that item?

12 A. Most people would wear it up over their nose and pull it

13 down if they wanted to speak to somebody.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Speaking for myself, Mr Skelton, I haven't

15 got really a picture of what it looks like worn. Is

16 there some health and safety reason why the officer

17 can't put it on, on his head?

18 MR SKELTON: No, sir, there isn't, if the witness is happy

19 to do so then I am as well.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Can you put it over?

21 (witness demonstrates)

22 Would you mind putting the helmet on top of that?

23 A. I don't believe the helmet is my size, sir. I think the

24 chances of me getting the helmet on are fairly thin.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: It is the wrong size, right.





1 A. Equally, you can pull it down and talk like that

2 (demonstrates).

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Some would have it down and some would have

4 it up.

5 MR SKELTON: When you were talking to Mrs Nelson, which is

6 something we will come on to in a moment, what would you

7 have done with that -- what I've described as a

8 "balaclava"?

9 A. If it wasn't already pulled down, I would have pulled it

10 down. I find it quite claustrophobic to wear for longer

11 periods of time unless there is an absolute need. From

12 recollection at the time I was talking to Mrs Nelson,

13 that absolute need hadn't identified.

14 Q. If it were covering your mouth, can you still talk

15 through it?

16 A. Yes, it is very thin cotton material.

17 Q. In terms of identification, did the helmets have any

18 identification on them either in terms of rank or name?

19 A. I don't believe they did in 1997. In fact, the public

20 order protection equipment, which included the

21 fire-proof suits, I think 1997, unless I am mistaken,

22 was the first year of issue and they were issued at very

23 late notice. They were literally just issued in time

24 for this particular operation. We are talking days in

25 advance, as opposed to months.





1 The feedback post that and the development of police

2 identification after that was developed through 1998 and

3 1999 to the point where there would have been rank

4 insignia, police numbers, et cetera, on body armour, on

5 flame-proof suits and, indeed, on helmets, but not in

6 1997.

7 Q. So neither your particular police number nor anything to

8 identify you as a senior rank?

9 A. No. Indeed, the design of the slider -- sorry. The

10 shoulder identification worn by police officers in

11 standard uniform wasn't compatible with the holders on

12 the public order protection equipment. The police shirt

13 involved a single tape of material and a button, and the

14 epaulette would have folded through that and buttoned

15 in, whereas the public order protection suit had

16 a clip-off tab, which required a slider to go over it.

17 So the two systems of identification were actually

18 incompatible at the time and that wasn't addressed until

19 at least the following year, if not the year after.

20 Q. Thank you. Going back to the issue of planning, what

21 time were you scheduled to start work in your MSU?

22 A. We had been working throughout the weekend. On the

23 Saturday, ahead of Drumcree Sunday, we had been deployed

24 on a number of fixed points around the wider area.

25 Q. Looking at paragraph 7 of your statement, which we can





1 find on page RNI-821-032 (displayed), you say you got to

2 the Garvaghy Road at about 4 to 5 am. Where had you

3 been before that?

4 A. We had been at Mahon Road, which was where our base

5 block was, but we hadn't returned there until late on on

6 Saturday evening. So we were there for a short period

7 of time. Some of us tried to grab a couple of hours'

8 sleep, and then we were awakened from that with a

9 briefing from Inspector McKee and then deployed out at

10 this time.

11 Q. How long were you scheduled to be out on the road?

12 A. It was open-ended. It was until we were stood down.

13 Q. In your statement at paragraph 10, which is overleaf on

14 RNI-821-033 (displayed) -- and in fact the bit I would

15 really like you to see is, as it spills over the page

16 into page RNI-821-034 (displayed) -- you describe being

17 struck, yourself, by a brick?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Could you expand on that, please?

20 A. I was forming part of a police line between two Land

21 Rovers and I suppose, on reflection, carelessly on my

22 part, I had allowed that line to drift in front of the

23 higher part of the Land Rover, and sort of halfway up

24 what would have been the bumper area of the Land Rover.

25 That meant that the top half of my body was exposed from





1 the side and I was struck with brick which had been

2 thrown from my right-hand side, just skipped across the

3 bonnet of the Land Rover and struck me on the right-hand

4 side here (indicates).

5 Q. Are we talking about a full-sized house brick?

6 A. I didn't see it after that, but if it wasn't a full

7 brick, it was certainly a half-sized brick.

8 Q. Who had thrown it?

9 A. I didn't see who threw it.

10 Q. Did you see generally missiles, including bricks, being

11 thrown at the police?

12 A. It was sporadic, on and off at that time.

13 Q. Was it the younger people who were protesting and

14 throwing bricks, or was it a mixture of people?

15 A. It was a mixture of people.

16 Q. What was your reaction when you were struck?

17 A. It was painful, then quickly followed by thankfulness

18 that I had been wearing my body armour. The ballistic

19 plate had taken the blow. If not, I would have been

20 seriously injured.

21 Q. Were any other officers struck that you were aware of?

22 A. Not in my vicinity that I was aware of.

23 Q. Can you assist on the timing of this? Was it before or

24 after you spoke to Mrs Nelson?

25 A. It is not clear to me now at which point that happened.





1 Q. You mention in that paragraph earlier on that this is by

2 mid-morning, which implies that it may have been later?

3 A. It implies that. Frankly, my timeline on that

4 morning -- my recollection is not good around it. It is

5 just a series of events, and I wasn't particularly

6 timelining for any particular purpose at that time and

7 it is a little hard to put them in the right order

8 sometimes.

9 Q. When did you first see Rosemary Nelson that morning?

10 A. I only recall seeing her on one occasion, where she and

11 others had approached the police lines close to where I

12 was standing.

13 Q. And this, I think you say in paragraph 11, was some time

14 between early morning and about 11 am?

15 A. That is my recollection of it, yes.

16 Q. By "early morning", do you mean from the time of your

17 deployment? So around 4 o'clock?

18 A. It was -- there were a large number of people out at

19 that stage and it was to the latter end; it was closer

20 to 11 than it was to 4.

21 Q. When you saw her -- and this is prior to speaking to

22 her -- whereabouts was she?

23 A. I believe she was off to my right-hand side, close to

24 the police line.

25 Q. It may assist if we show a map on the screen, and that





1 is at RNI-303-129 (displayed). We don't have an

2 electronic way of you marking the map, but it might be

3 helpful if you describe, perhaps by reference to some of

4 the text, whereabouts your unit was positioned and then

5 whereabouts Rosemary Nelson was when you saw her?

6 A. There is a piece of text which says:

7 "Sit-down demonstration warning given."

8 And that marks the junction of the Garvaghy Road and

9 Ashgrove Road. And the area you have now highlighted,

10 we were largely sitting -- deployed in the middle of

11 that junction and it was in front of me at that junction

12 that I would have seen Mrs Nelson.

13 Q. Whereabouts were the -- I will term them protesters, but

14 the Nationalists who were on the road at that time?

15 A. The Garvaghy Road was behind me and I was facing forward

16 towards Ashgrove Road. So I had a group -- there was

17 a large crowd of people in front of that police line on

18 the Ashgrove Road side, but equally there were a number

19 of people who had been involved in a sit-down protest

20 behind the police line on the Garvaghy Road.

21 Q. Where was Mrs Nelson?

22 A. Mrs Nelson was on the Ashgrove Road side of the police

23 lines, which I was facing.

24 Q. So she was with the Nationalists wanting to come through

25 the line, was she?





1 A. She was with a large number of local residents, yes.

2 Q. Was this at a time when people who had sat down on the

3 road were still being removed or was the road clear?

4 A. No, people were still being removed from the road at

5 that point.

6 Q. Was she with anyone?

7 A. There were a number of people who had congregated with

8 Mrs Nelson. I don't count that as being with her.

9 There was one lady with her who had a pen and a pad and

10 was taking notes at Mrs Nelson's dictation. I would

11 have said that person was with Mrs Nelson.

12 Q. Who else was in that small group?

13 A. I didn't recognise anybody else in the group.

14 Q. Was there a gentleman, for example?

15 A. There were both males and females, and from what I could

16 see it was a group of people from the community who had

17 already been gathered in the area, and indeed Mrs Nelson

18 seemed to be a focus for people to gather to her.

19 Q. When you saw her, what was she doing?

20 A. She had been off to the right-hand side from where I was

21 standing, from where I was facing. She seemed to have

22 been talking back and forward to a number of police

23 officers and was walking up and down the line in

24 a slightly agitated state.

25 Q. How long had you observed her before you ended up





1 speaking to her?

2 A. I don't recall how long it would have been, but not for

3 very long.

4 Q. Now, in paragraph 12, which is on page RNI-821-034

5 (displayed), you mention that she had a calming effect

6 on the protesters?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. How was that?

9 A. I believe she was -- it appeared to me that she was the

10 focus of attention. She was a well-known person.

11 People locally would have known her. So when they saw

12 her, they tended to congregate with her and they seemed

13 to take a lead from her.

14 That to me, and certainly from my perception, seemed

15 to mean that whatever they had been doing, whatever they

16 were involved in was set to one side whilst they

17 gathered and listened to Mrs Nelson.

18 Q. Are you aware that she was actively trying to calm the

19 crowd down or was this more of her very presence had

20 that effect?

21 A. I didn't witness her trying to calm the crowd down. I'm

22 not saying that she wasn't, I just didn't witness it.

23 But certainly her presence would have calmed the crowd.

24 Q. Did you think it was unusual to have a solicitor present

25 during a public order situation?





1 A. Again, given Mrs Nelson's association with the Garvaghy

2 Road Residents Coalition, I did not see it as being

3 particularly unusual.

4 Q. In terms of policing the crowd, did you simply view her

5 as one of the protesters or one of the Nationalist

6 community there in relation to the Drumcree march, or

7 did she have a sort of separate status as a lawyer?

8 A. She would have a separate status.

9 Q. In what way?

10 A. Mrs Nelson was public figure, a professional figure and

11 I think that gave her a local status.

12 Q. Would that mean that the officers who came into contact

13 with her would treat her with more respect or less?

14 A. I would have thought more.

15 Q. Where were you standing in terms of the police shields

16 when you spoke to her?

17 A. I was behind -- just in behind my sub-unit of the shield

18 line at the time.

19 Q. Was she already speaking to some of your more junior

20 officers?

21 A. She seemed -- and I couldn't hear all the conversation,

22 but she seemed to be talking to people, but there didn't

23 seem to be anything going back the other way, and I

24 think that was frustrating. She was trying to engage,

25 and my initial conversation was she was asking to get





1 access through the police lines. I started to see what

2 it was, perhaps, she had been talking to other officers

3 about and I saw that as an opportunity to engage with

4 her on it.

5 Q. Why was it getting tense?

6 A. It was an incredibly tense situation: Hundreds of

7 police deployed in an area confronted by hundreds of

8 local residents.

9 There was a lot of -- as I said, there had already

10 been sporadic throwing of missiles. It was just a tense

11 situation. Police were lifting people off the road. We

12 hadn't established a sterile area between the two police

13 lines. There was a lot of tension generally.

14 Q. In your statement at paragraph 13, which is still on

15 page RNI-821-034 (displayed), you say first it was

16 a tense situation and then you go on to describe what

17 Mrs Nelson was doing.

18 Now, the inference appears that Mrs Nelson was

19 adding to the tension by making this demand. Is that

20 right?

21 A. I felt that if it wasn't well handled that it would

22 certainly add to the tension. From recollection, the

23 demands to be given access to her clients, you know,

24 people identified with that, people wanted to see that

25 happen. And my sense was that it needed to be sensibly





1 handled and there was an opportunity to either escalate

2 or defuse the situation, and I chose to try and engage

3 with Mrs Nelson to defuse it.

4 Q. You describe the officers who were speaking to her as

5 "getting fidgety". What do you mean about that?

6 A. I detected in the police lines, as a crowd grew around

7 Mrs Nelson and there was that tension, that the police

8 also weren't as relaxed as they had previously been.

9 You now had a growing number of people focused on

10 a particular point in the police line, and clearly

11 police officers at that point had become more concerned

12 as to what would happen if the crowd were to turn on

13 them, for instance.

14 Q. Did you think there was likely to develop an altercation

15 between the police officers and Mrs Nelson or her group?

16 A. No, I didn't see the altercation as being developed

17 between Mrs Nelson and the police, but experience of

18 public order policing will tell you that crowds can be

19 reasonably fickle in terms of their behaviour. There is

20 many, many examples on the media of people who are

21 leaders and well meaning and trying to see a non-violent

22 outcome get washed away. And what happens in a crowd

23 and group dynamics.

24 So that is always a concern. And just because

25 somebody is trying to marshal and channel the crowd in





1 a peaceful manner as a local leader doesn't mean that

2 crowd will naturally follow their lead. I think in

3 terms of group dynamics, in public order policing we see

4 that on a regular basis.

5 Q. So you decided to intervene?

6 A. I saw it as an opportunity.

7 Q. What did you say to her?

8 A. I explained -- Mrs Nelson seemed to be making the case

9 that the people between the two police lines -- because

10 you had the Garvaghy Road, which was where people were

11 being lifted. They were being moved through the first

12 police line and set beside the roadway and prevented

13 then from re-entering the road. That was first stage of

14 clearing the road. We then wanted those people to move

15 out through the second police line and effectively

16 create a sterile zone between the zone and any protest.

17 There were a large number of people who, having

18 being lifted off the road had stayed in what we wanted

19 to be the sterile area and were refusing to move any

20 further. Mrs Nelson demanded access to those people and

21 said they were her clients and that she was entitled to

22 have access to them. And I merely made the case that

23 the people weren't in police detention, they had been

24 removed from the road and actually the police desire was

25 for them to leave that area and go through the police





1 line, and they were free to join Mrs Nelson.

2 And, therefore, there was an opportunity for her and

3 the people to have that conversation so long as it was

4 wasn't in what we wanted to be a sterile area.

5 Q. Did she say why she wanted access to them?

6 A. She said they were her clients and she wanted access to

7 them and it was on that basis she was making her

8 request.

9 Q. Did it occur to you that she might have wanted access to

10 them to persuade them to leave voluntarily as opposed to

11 being dragged away?

12 A. That is not what I was hearing from the conversation.

13 Q. Why did you draw that inference?

14 A. I don't believe there was any attempt -- she just said,

15 "These people are my clients, I want access to them."

16 That didn't infer to me that that was in terms of

17 resolving the situation. In any case, I would have

18 needed to have been -- had to be strongly convinced that

19 that was the case and that there was likely to be

20 a better outcome before I would have acceded to that.

21 I certainly saw the potential of allowing

22 a prominent figure and maybe some of her supporters into

23 an area we were trying to clear to be likely to be

24 problematic as we needed to clear that area later on.

25 Q. Did she specifically rely on PACE, the Police and





1 Criminal Evidence Act?

2 A. That is my recollection of what she said.

3 Q. And what was your response to that?

4 A. I said that the people weren't under arrest and they

5 weren't in police detention and, therefore, I didn't

6 believe PACE was an issue, but that they were free to

7 leave and travel through my police line towards her and

8 talk to her if they so wished, and there was nobody

9 preventing them from doing so other than their decision

10 to sit where they were.

11 Q. Did she accept that?

12 A. She didn't say if she did or she didn't. I saw her

13 talking to the lady who was with her and making notes at

14 the time. I don't know what those notes said.

15 Q. You have mentioned there was a concern that she, as

16 a leader, may have caused a greater public order

17 problem, and you have mentioned that you didn't see

18 there was an entitlement legally --

19 A. I don't believe I said her as a public figure would

20 create a worse public order situation. What I said was

21 sometimes crowds get out of the control of the people

22 trying to keep them under control and trying to channel

23 them positively. I don't think those are the same

24 things.

25 Q. I think in your statement you say there may have been





1 a dangerous effect on the crowd had she gone through?

2 A. Yes --

3 Q. What do you mean by that?

4 A. That doesn't mean she would have caused that. I

5 understand there is a cause and effect around that, but

6 I don't think her intention -- her intention to me

7 didn't come across that that was what she wanted to do

8 or what she wanted to cause. But, as I said, sometimes

9 crowds gets away from the people trying to calm them.

10 Q. Yes, there was no implication that she herself would

11 have incited any public order -- I was simply asking

12 whether her very presence may have generated it, and I

13 think your answer to that is yes?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did you give Rosemary Nelson your name?

16 A. I can't recall specifically. If she had asked for it, I

17 would have given it her.

18 Q. Did she ask for your rank?

19 A. I don't recall. But, again, had she asked I would have

20 quite happily given it to her.

21 Q. You mention in your statement at paragraph 16 that some

22 officers may have been reluctant to give names or ranks

23 to solicitors; I think specifically their names. Is

24 that something which you know from talking to other

25 officers or just from your general experience?





1 A. It is something from my general experience particularly

2 around that time. And it wasn't particularly

3 solicitors, it was just publicly divulging people's

4 identity. It was a sensitive matter at that time.

5 Q. What did they fear?

6 A. They feared that they or their families might be

7 victimised because of it. That was not specific to

8 solicitors, but that was true of the members of the

9 public. Officers were prepared to identify themselves

10 by their rank and their service number rather than their

11 name.

12 Q. Is there anything about Rosemary Nelson that would cause

13 a particular fear to any officer who was asked for his

14 name?

15 A. You would need to ask an individual officer. I

16 didn't -- I don't regard not wanting to give their

17 identity as specific to Rosemary Nelson. It was just

18 a specific security concern that many officers had and

19 developed over a number of years for good reason.

20 Q. In your statement at paragraph 20, which is on

21 page RNI-821-036 (displayed), you say she was very angry

22 about the parade but was controlled in your conversation

23 with you. Could you explain that a little bit further,

24 please?

25 A. I certainly could detect from talking to Mrs Nelson that





1 she was very angry about what was happening, and I think

2 I used a phrase earlier, she was agitated. She clearly

3 was agitated and angry.

4 Q. Did you find her anger in any way provocative?

5 A. No.

6 Q. She has subsequently made an allegation that she was

7 called a Fenian bitch and was told to fuck off by an

8 officer or a number of officers. Did you say either of

9 those things to her?

10 A. I did not.

11 Q. Did you come into physical contact with her at any time?

12 A. I did not.

13 Q. Did any of the officers who you were with and in charge

14 of verbally abuse her or physically manhandle her?

15 A. They did not.

16 Q. Have you or did you speak to other officers shortly

17 following this day about any allegations by

18 Rosemary Nelson that she was physically abused or

19 verbally abused?

20 A. I don't recall any such conversations. I'm sure I would

21 have remembered them.

22 Q. How long had your contact with her lasted?

23 A. It was seconds more than minutes, certainly maybe

24 a minute at tops. It wasn't a long conversation.

25 Q. Did she at any stage tell you that any other officers





1 had assaulted her or verbally abused her?

2 A. No. As I said, the conversation I had with

3 Rosemary Nelson was in the presence of another lady with

4 a notepad and I'm sure, had Mrs Nelson been unhappy at

5 something I had said, it would have been recorded

6 at the time. There were certainly notes being taken

7 when I was having the conversation with Mrs Nelson. I'm

8 not party to what those notes said since.

9 Q. You subsequently became involved in the complaint in

10 that you received a questionnaire?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. We can see your response to that questionnaire at

13 RNI-302-306 (displayed). In your response -- and I will

14 have to read out the questions because I don't think you

15 can actually show the questions themselves and your

16 response at the same time.

17 You describe the conversation with Rosemary Nelson?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Is there anything you would like to add to that account

20 that you give there, and in particular about the issue

21 of the reasons you gave to her for not letting her

22 through?

23 A. Well, the account I've given you this morning is my full

24 recollection of it. What you have there was a response

25 to the general nature of my dealings with Mrs Nelson on





1 the day as part of the questionnaire.

2 I'm sorry, does that cover what --

3 Q. It does. Your sole positive account is to do with

4 verbal dealings with her?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And I just wanted to test whether there was any other

7 things that you could recollect, having re-read that

8 statement now to jog your memory?

9 A. Are you talking about on this occasion or subsequently?

10 Q. You subsequently have another encounter with her and we

11 will come on to that in a moment. No, I'm just talking

12 about the Garvaghy Road in 1997?

13 A. No, I don't recall anything in addition to that other

14 than what I have said this morning.

15 Q. Did you have any further involvement with the complaints

16 process?

17 A. I don't believe I did -- sorry, can I clarify what you

18 mean by --

19 Q. You filled in the questionnaire and you have sent it

20 back to, I think, Inspector Oliver, Chief Inspector

21 Oliver?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Did you get contacted to discuss this issue which you

24 describe, the verbal dealings in particular?

25 A. I don't recall having that contact.





1 Q. Thank you.

2 Now, you had another encounter with Mrs Nelson, I

3 think, in 1997?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And that was in Lurgan?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And you were on patrol with a number of other officers?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And what were you doing?

10 A. Lurgan was at that time -- unfortunately still is -- the

11 subject of significant terrorist threat, and the mobile

12 support unit would have been tasked to perform a certain

13 number of high visibility patrols to deter such attacks

14 in support of the local police personnel.

15 Q. And this is obviously after the murders of the two

16 police officers?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Had there been an increase then in the patrol security

19 subsequent to those murders?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And what was the atmosphere like in Lurgan at this time?

22 A. Two police officers had been murdered. Police were very

23 circumspect in terms of their own security both on and

24 off duty and would have been so when we were patrolling.

25 Part of the response to those incidents was the





1 additional resourcing by way of the mobile support unit

2 to the area.

3 Q. You saw an individual coming out of Rosemary Nelson's

4 office; is that correct?

5 A. I didn't. I wasn't the person who dealt with that

6 individual, but one of my officers did.

7 Q. Which way were you facing?

8 A. I don't recall at the time. I was -- my recollection is

9 there were four of us. I would have been at the back

10 and it would not have been unusual for me to be walking

11 sometimes forwards and sometimes backwards as part of

12 that patrol.

13 Q. It may assist you if we take you to the passage in your

14 statement where you deal with this, which is at

15 paragraph 29 and following on page RNI-821-039

16 (displayed). It is there that you say:

17 "We saw an individual ahead of us who was of

18 particular interest."

19 A. Whilst that is what is said here, I can't recall seeing

20 an individual and thinking he was of particular

21 interest. I remember the individual being spoken to by

22 one of my officers.

23 Q. Who was it?

24 A. I don't recall.

25 Q. You don't really the individual?





1 A. No, I don't recall the individual and I had little, if

2 any, dealings with that individual. My officer did.

3 Mrs Nelson came out to speak about it and I took to

4 speak to Mrs Nelson about it as sergeant in charge of

5 the unit.

6 Q. Can you assist as to whether it was a client of

7 Mrs Nelson's?

8 A. It could well have been. I don't recall the specifics

9 of it. I don't recall who the individual was.

10 Q. She arrived on the scene after this individual was

11 spoken to?

12 A. We were speaking to him not far from the front door of

13 Mrs Nelson's office.

14 Q. Why do you think she came on the scene?

15 A. I don't know.

16 Q. Was it a peaceful encounter?

17 A. It was, yes. And her enquiry was very much of that

18 nature, "Can you tell me what is happening, sergeant"?

19 Yes, I can, here is what is happening. Here is what the

20 officer is doing and here is why, and here is the

21 legislation under which it is being conducted", and that

22 was pretty much the end of it, and she left.

23 Q. Did she recognise you?

24 A. I would not have thought so.

25 Q. How many months or weeks after the Drumcree issue was





1 this?

2 A. I don't recall, and in any case on that occasion I would

3 have been in ordinary police uniform as opposed to

4 helmet and faceover, et cetera, also. I would have been

5 very surprised if I was recognised.

6 Q. Did you yourself speak to her?

7 A. On this occasion?

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. You describe quite quickly the short conversation you

11 had with her?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Was that the end of it? Did she go back in her office

14 and the situation was left there?

15 A. If there was anything after that, I wasn't made aware

16 of it.

17 Q. I will turn now to the issue of the murder

18 investigation, which you mention in passing towards the

19 end of your statement. First of all -- and this is

20 paragraph 37 on page RNI-821-042 (displayed) -- when

21 were you promoted to the rank of inspector?

22 A. 1998.

23 Q. Had you yourself worked in CID on murder investigations?

24 A. Not in that area, and only on the periphery of some in

25 Belfast.





1 Q. Did you know any of the officers involved with the

2 murder investigation in relation to Rosemary Nelson?

3 A. I knew the officer I referred to earlier as P228, and

4 would know of some of the other officers, again through

5 working for CID in the area.

6 Q. You say you were surprised that South Region was

7 involved in the murder investigation. Why was that?

8 A. Having been aware of some of the complaints -- in 1998,

9 as an inspector I had been aware of some of the

10 complaints and allegations being made and that most of

11 the day-to-day dealings around which that circulated

12 would have been between detectives based in South Region

13 and Mrs Nelson. Entirely from a transparency point of

14 view, I was surprised that there was any involvement of

15 the local office and the local detectives in that

16 enquiry.

17 Q. Did you think there was a concern that the officers had

18 themselves been subject to complaints and, therefore,

19 may not investigate the murder itself with due

20 diligence?

21 A. Not at all. Completely -- I have every confidence in

22 the detectives, that they would have conducted a full

23 enquiry. My surprise was merely one of presentation.

24 I don't think that is unique in Northern Ireland

25 policing history. I think there are many, many, many





1 examples right across the world of policing where if

2 there is or is even perceived to be some conflict of

3 interest, then that conflict of interest could be

4 managed, certainly in terms of the people involved in

5 the enquiry, if there seemed to be distance put between

6 them.

7 And that is the source of my surprise, not anything

8 else.

9 Q. Given that Rosemary Nelson may have been murdered by

10 a local group, a paramilitary group, don't you see the

11 sense in having a local team of officers at least

12 involved in the murder investigation?

13 A. I absolutely see the sense in having those local

14 officers involved. My surprise was merely at the

15 perceived presentation and that is -- I am absolutely

16 confident that it would have been the right thing to do

17 in terms of operational detective work, and that local

18 knowledge would have been a valuable part of the

19 enquiry. But equally -- there were outside agencies

20 brought in to put an independence around this. I was

21 just somewhat surprised that that stopped at a certain

22 level.

23 I'm not disputing the investigative efficacy of

24 doing it. My surprise was basically on the

25 presentational issue.





1 Q. Was your surprise shared amongst other officers?

2 A. I don't know. I did not discuss it in depth with

3 anybody, as I recollect.

4 Q. You make a brief comment in paragraph 36 of your

5 statement on page RNI-821-042 (displayed), which is the

6 latter sentence, that you do not accept the suggestions

7 or allegations made against police, nor have you any

8 evidence to support such allegations or suggestions.

9 What are you referring to specifically there?

10 A. My understanding is that certain parties have sought to

11 portray Mrs Nelson's murder as an involvement or

12 a collusion between officers in the police service and

13 others. And what I'm saying there is that I don't

14 recognise any of that and that I have never seen

15 anything to support it and don't accept it.

16 Q. Mr Todd, I do not have any further questions for you.

17 Is there anything you would like to add before I open

18 the questions up to the Panel?

19 A. No, thank you.

20 Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Mr Todd, just a few points, if I may.

22 I think, without exception, you are the only one in

23 the room that has been in a situation that has faced the

24 level of violence at demonstrations that you have faced.

25 Can I, however, specifically refer back to the Drumcree





1 experience that you had, the one that Mr Skelton has

2 gone through with you in some detail?

3 Because of your particular career path, I would

4 guess you were slightly more mature as a sergeant than

5 many of the officers on duty that day or early that

6 morning?

7 A. Erm --

8 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Your rank and constable rank, I mean.

9 A. I don't think that is actually true in terms of either

10 age or service.


12 A. The three other sergeants in my unit, for example, would

13 all have been both senior service and indeed older than

14 I.

15 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: And the constables in your unit?

16 A. Again, the demographics of our organisation are

17 completely different to what they were in the late

18 1990s. We are a very young organisation now; we weren't

19 then.

20 Q. Does that preclude those officers in that particular

21 situation from being scared?

22 A. No, I think if people were being absolutely straight

23 about it, I think there wasn't anybody that morning that

24 wasn't scared.

25 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Obviously that does reflect on people's





1 behaviour on occasions?

2 A. People were on edge.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You said -- and I entirely understand

4 why -- that officers in that situation are not concerned

5 to engage in conversation with people on the other side

6 of the shield line.

7 A. Indeed.

8 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: But I take it from those individuals'

9 viewpoint, the members of the community and, more

10 specifically, Mrs Nelson, that could be quite

11 frustrating?

12 A. I would accept that.

13 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: That is why, as you say, you

14 stepped in?

15 Can I just ask you one other issue about the

16 faceover, as you call it, what was referred to earlier

17 as a "balaclava". Faced with that situation on that

18 morning, how would you have anticipated the majority of

19 officers would have been wearing that? Pulled down or

20 up over the mouth and nose?

21 A. Most of it was a matter of personal choice and I saw it

22 used both ways. Some people were very keen to keep it

23 up and over their nose, other people weren't comfortable

24 with it and had it pulled down.

25 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So it wasn't --





1 A. There were times throughout the morning, in lulls in

2 activity, police officers would have had their shields

3 what we would call at rest; not held up, but actually

4 dropped down and resting on the ground, arms folded on

5 top of the shield and visors up and faceovers down. We

6 don't recommend people taking their helmets off because

7 you never know the next second. But certainly there

8 were periods of time when people had shields rested on

9 the ground and arms folded on top of them, visors up and

10 a much more relaxed situation.

11 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you very much indeed.

12 MR SKELTON: Sir, may I just say, Mr O'Hare has sent me

13 a question by the electronic system and also discussed

14 it briefly with me. He has a particular issue which is

15 not raised in Mr Todd's statement and has not been

16 pursued by me during his evidence. I don't understand

17 the context in which --

18 THE CHAIRMAN: You like five minutes, would you?

19 MR SKELTON: In summary, yes.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Todd, we will have a five minute break.

21 (12.30 pm)

22 (Short adjournment)

23 (12.45 pm)

24 MR O'HARE: May I apologise both to the Panel and to

25 Mr Skelton and to anybody else affected by the enquiry.





1 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

2 Mr Todd, thank you very much for coming to give

3 evidence before us. You are free to go now.

4 We will adjourn now until quarter to two and hear

5 the next witness at quarter to two.

6 (12.46 pm)

7 (The short adjournment)

8 (1.45 pm)

9 MS SUSAN MCKAY (affirmed)

10 Questions by MR SKELTON

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Skelton?

12 MR SKELTON: Would you please state your full name?

13 A. My full name is Susan McKay.

14 Q. You have made a statement to this Inquiry. It can be

15 found at RNI-813-502 (displayed), and the final page of

16 that can be found at RNI-813-511 -- there it is on the

17 screen -- and that is your signature and the date,

18 21 June of last year; is that correct?

19 A. That's correct, yes.

20 Q. In the first line of your statement you say that you

21 were a journalist and you go on to say that your paper

22 is the Sunday Tribune in Dublin?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. How long have you worked there?

25 A. I don't work for that paper any longer. I worked there





1 from 1992 until 2004.

2 Q. Were you a news reporter or did you do features?

3 A. Primarily, I was a news reporter, and in the late 1990s

4 I was primarily covering Northern news and Northern

5 politics.

6 Q. Did you have a particular area of speciality?

7 A. Well, I suppose towards -- by 1997/1998, I had begun to

8 work towards writing a book about the Northern

9 Protestant community, which was published in the year

10 2000. But in the earlier period, I would have been --

11 my expertise would have been in social issues and in

12 politics really, Northern politics.

13 Q. Did you write about both sides of the community in that

14 period?

15 A. Yes. I tended, I think, to write more about the

16 Unionist side of the community because my personal

17 belief was that the thinking behind Unionism was very

18 much rejected in the Republic where I was working at the

19 time.

20 Q. Did you publish any other books that bear upon the kind

21 of subjects that this Inquiry is concerned with?

22 A. I have subsequently published another book about people

23 who were killed in the conflict, but that wasn't

24 published until this year. So at that time, no, and my

25 book, "Northern Protestants", was not published until





1 2000. So the period I was working on it was from 1998

2 to 1999. So the events described in my statement here

3 pre-date that.

4 Q. And you were working on it at the time Rosemary Nelson

5 died, were you?

6 A. I was, yes.

7 Q. When did you first get to know her?

8 A. I can't remember when I would have first encountered

9 Rosemary, but I would have certainly encountered her

10 soon after becoming involved with writing about

11 Drumcree. I wouldn't have attended what is known as the

12 first Drumcree, 1995, but I was there in 1996/1997 and

13 1998, and I got to know her professionally during that

14 time. I would have written about some other cases that

15 she was involved in as well.

16 Q. First of all, your presence at Drumcree on those first

17 occasions, was that at the behest of your newspaper?

18 A. It was, yes.

19 Q. Were you simply reporting on the tensions on the ground,

20 or did you have a wider remit to ...?

21 A. The Tribune was -- as a Sunday paper, tended to go

22 behind the news in a way, in that I would be expected to

23 explain the dynamics of what was going on as well as the

24 actual events. So I would be expected to explain why

25 people felt as strongly as they did on both sides in





1 relation to Drumcree, for example.

2 Q. How had you come across Rosemary Nelson then?

3 A. I presumed that I must have first come across her in

4 relation to the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition.

5 I don't actually remember what our first conversation

6 would have been about, but certainly subsequently, if I

7 was writing anything about Portadown and what was going

8 on there, I probably would have phoned her and had

9 a chat with her because I knew that she was very well

10 aware of what was going on within the Nationalist

11 community.

12 Q. Initially, would it have been your initiative to have

13 made contact with her, as opposed to vice versa?

14 A. I actually don't remember. It is possible somebody said

15 to me, "Rosemary Nelson is the solicitor representing

16 the residents group", but I don't actually remember.

17 I presume that is how I came into contact with her.

18 Q. What kind of things did you discuss?

19 A. Well, we would have discussed the strategies that the

20 Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition was pursuing. We

21 would have discussed the logistics of judicial reviews

22 that she was taking. We would have discussed things

23 like the Robert Hamill case, which I wrote about; she

24 was representing the Hamill family in that case. We

25 would have talked about the Colin Duffy case.





1 Q. We will --

2 A. You know, we would have talked about different cases

3 that were going on or we would have talked about -- say

4 there was rioting in a housing estate in Lurgan, I might

5 have asked her, "What do you think that is about?" or

6 "What is going on there?" And she would venture her

7 opinion as a person who knew the area.

8 We talked in a way like that that was sometimes just

9 more for my background information than something that I

10 would actually report what she said. But that would be

11 common practice for a journalist: you talk to whoever

12 you know in an area.

13 Q. Taking a few of those examples, you mentioned Robert

14 Hamill's death, and he died earlier in 1997, I think.

15 What was Rosemary Nelson's view of the RUC in

16 relation to that case?

17 A. My contact with Rosemary in relation to that case was

18 that I asked her if she would -- I had heard that she

19 was representing the Hamill family and I asked her if

20 she would put me in contact with Robert Hamill's sister,

21 who was then doing much of the publicity for the Hamill

22 family, and she did that. So she simply set up that

23 meeting for me.

24 Q. Did Rosemary Nelson not express a view about the

25 circumstances of that?





1 A. Yes. Her view would have been Robert Hamill had been

2 beaten to death in the view of the police. She would

3 have told me that that was the evidence that she was

4 gathering from people.

5 Q. And that they should have done something about it?

6 A. Yes, that's the general view that I heard from everybody

7 in the Nationalist community in that area at the time.

8 So you have to separate what Rosemary might have

9 said to me as one person talking to another and what she

10 might have said to me as a quote because there is

11 a difference in that, you know.

12 I don't think I would have ever written in an

13 article, "Rosemary Nelson says ... " because that might

14 have been inappropriate. But certainly her view on

15 discussing the case with me would have been that this

16 was a case where the police had stood idly about and

17 watched something happening when they shouldn't have

18 done that.

19 Q. So was that off the record?

20 A. Yes, more or less. It was background.

21 Q. And in relation to the Drumcree issue in 1996 and 1997,

22 did she express a personal view on that as well?

23 A. I don't recall having that kind of conversation with

24 her, actually. I don't know if I knew her at the time

25 of the 1996 Drumcree, but certainly in 1997 she wouldn't





1 have been a primary person I would have gone to really

2 to talk about what was actually happening on the

3 streets. I would have been more inclined to go and talk

4 to people in the community centre at that time, which

5 would have been more likely to be people like

6 Breandan Mac Cionnaith and people like that.

7 Q. In your statement at paragraph 11, which we find on

8 page RNI-813-505 (displayed), you mention that you were

9 doing a piece in relation to Portadown politics?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And that she set up a meeting with some local

12 Republicans. First of all, the word "Republicans" there

13 is given a capital "R". What does that mean?

14 A. My view was that I was meeting local IRA people.

15 Rosemary subsequently took issue with me about that

16 because I had reported in the paper that I did interview

17 two people who were involved in the IRA. I didn't name

18 them obviously, but Rosemary said that I shouldn't have

19 done that, that she had not given me permission to

20 describe them in that way. She was quite angry with me

21 about it, actually.

22 Q. When you use the term "capital 'r' Republican", is at

23 that what you mean: IRA?

24 A. Sometimes, sometimes not. In that case, it was, but

25 sometimes it would be people of a Republican viewpoint.





1 It wouldn't necessarily -- a capital "r" wouldn't

2 necessarily imply that the person I was talking about

3 was IRA.

4 Q. Were these people clients of Rosemary Nelson?

5 A. One of them was. I'm not sure whether the other was or

6 not.

7 Q. Why was she concerned about your comment in your article

8 that they were, in fact, members of the IRA?

9 A. She just said that I hadn't had the right to describe

10 them in that way because I had not been given that as

11 their official designation, that I had been introduced

12 to them by her -- to them by her as local people with an

13 insight into Republican thinking and that that is what I

14 should have described them as.

15 It wasn't a major argument, it was just something

16 that she said I should have been more careful of.

17 Q. I'm sorry, could you clarify again what her relationship

18 was with those people?

19 A. One was certainly a client of hers. The other -- I'm

20 not sure whether he was or not.

21 Q. And did she wish to publicise her clients' causes

22 through you?

23 A. In that instance, I think I had asked her to -- could

24 she introduce me to a couple of people from -- who would

25 understand the IRA's way of looking at the situation,





1 I suppose was about the way it would have been put.

2 I think I would have made that approach to her, so

3 that wasn't specifically about a particular case. It

4 was more about the feeling on the ground among

5 Republicans in Lurgan at that time. But, yes, she would

6 have sometimes contacted me about a case that was going

7 on and ask me would I be willing to write about it.

8 That would be common practice with solicitors in

9 Northern Ireland who were dealing with cases that the

10 media might have an interest in. It wasn't unique to

11 Rosemary at all.

12 Q. How many other solicitors -- if you can give me such an

13 estimate -- would you have had contact with?

14 A. Probably about four or five.

15 Q. And similarly they wanted to garner attention for their

16 clients, did they?

17 A. Yes, and also it would be something like that they would

18 know that a particular case was going to receive media

19 attention and they would want you to be careful that you

20 represented their client's perspective on it in

21 a realistic way.

22 As it was, there was nothing underhand about it at

23 all; it was simply a case of making sure that you had

24 the information that you needed.

25 Q. In your statement, in relation to that particular





1 interview you say that it was to do with their views

2 about mid-Ulster politics, but more specifically about

3 the issue of police harassment?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Is that an issue which Rosemary Nelson had a particular

6 concern about?

7 A. I think that she had a concern about it in relation to

8 some of her clients, yes.

9 Q. What did she say about it?

10 A. She would describe statements that clients had made to

11 her about being harassed by the police.

12 Q. And did she take the view that such actions were

13 improper and ought to be brought to account?

14 A. She was a solicitor, she was representing them. That

15 was the nature of the conversation that she would have

16 had. She didn't say to me, "I believe people these are

17 right". She would say, "This is the statement that they

18 have made."

19 Q. How often did you keep in touch over this period?

20 A. I'm not certain. We would have been in contact during

21 certain periods. We would have been in contact,

22 maybe -- I don't know, every few weeks, maybe every

23 couple of months, not frequently. And then other times

24 it would be a long time between contacts that we would

25 have.





1 Q. In your statement -- you can see it still on the screen

2 at paragraph 13 -- you say roughly every three months?

3 A. Yes, probably something like that. Sometimes it would

4 have been more frequent, sometimes less frequent. We

5 weren't in regular contact.

6 Q. You go on to say that over time you developed

7 a friendship with her?

8 A. Yes. I think what I say is that I think we probably

9 would have become friends if we had spent more time

10 together. We liked each other and we were friendly and

11 we were in similar circumstances in that we were both

12 working women with demanding jobs and children. We had

13 things in common that we used to talk about in a jokey

14 way.

15 Q. One particular case that Rosemary Nelson was involved in

16 in mid to late 1997 was representing Colin Duffy --

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. -- when he was charged for the murders of the two police

19 constables. Is that a case which Rosemary Nelson asked

20 you to report on?

21 A. Yes, she would have contacted me in relation to that

22 case and she would have invited me to her home to talk

23 about it. And I did go to her home and we did talk

24 about it, but I didn't actually subsequently write about

25 that case.





1 Q. And you went to her home, I think?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And you saw some statements --

4 A. She showed me -- I didn't read any of the statements,

5 but she showed me that she had these bundles of

6 statements and she would have told me how many she had.

7 I think it was something like 200. It was some very

8 large number of statements that she said she had from

9 people saying that Colin Duffy had been elsewhere at the

10 time.

11 Q. Were you comfortable taking, as it were, one side of

12 a case and writing about it without knowing the full

13 extent of the story?

14 A. I didn't actually write about it, and certainly if I had

15 been going to write about it, I wouldn't have solely

16 written about it from one perspective.

17 Q. Why didn't you write about it?

18 A. It wasn't -- I worked for a Sunday newspaper which gave

19 very limited coverage to Northern issues, and in any

20 given week around that time I would have been selecting

21 the issue that I would write about, and I didn't choose

22 to write about that particular case. To me, it

23 wasn't -- it was a very high priority to Rosemary; it

24 wasn't a very high priority to me at that time.

25 Q. Were there ever some cases which you were uncomfortable





1 about reporting?

2 A. I don't know about whether I would say uncomfortable

3 about reporting the case. I mean, there would be cases

4 where I would think this is not important enough for me

5 to make this my one story of the week in the

6 Sunday Tribune. And obviously Rosemary would disagree

7 with that because to her it would be of immense

8 importance, but she wouldn't have pressurised me to

9 cover a case that I didn't choose to cover.

10 At a later stage, from May 1998, I was on sabbatical

11 from the Sunday Tribune to write my book, "Northern

12 Protestants", and sometimes Rosemary would ring me --

13 she would alert me that something was happening, say, in

14 relation to the Hamill case and would I be interested in

15 going to the court to hear this evidence or whatever.

16 And I would point out to her that I wasn't actually

17 working in a day-to-day basis as a journalist any more.

18 Q. You gave an answer, I think, that you saw roughly 200

19 statements?

20 A. I can't remember the number, I just remember that she

21 told me that she had a very large number of statements.

22 I am totally guessing 200, but it was a lot. That's all

23 I know.

24 Q. Turning then to the Drumcree issue in 1997, were you

25 asked to report on that by the Sunday Tribune?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And are you given a broad discretion to report on it as

3 you see fit, or are there particular things you home in

4 on?

5 A. I would have been trusted to write about things as I saw

6 fit. I would be expected to give an overview because,

7 as a seasoned reporter, you are expected to cover the

8 events that have just occurred.

9 For example, you would be expected to cover the

10 events of Friday and Saturday, but you would also be

11 expected to give an overview of what had happened during

12 the previous week, which had been covered in the daily

13 papers.

14 Q. Did you make contact with the GRRC members or

15 Rosemary Nelson yourself?

16 A. Well, the way it would have worked is that you would

17 have gone into the area and you would have talked to

18 people who were on the street. You would have talked to

19 people who were standing in their doors. People would

20 have brought you into their houses and talked about how

21 they felt about what was happening.

22 I remember being brought into somebody's house who

23 showed me a cupboard which appeared to contain nothing

24 but nerve pills. There was a sense of the place being

25 incredibly fraught and tense.





1 Then you would have gone to the community centre,

2 which was kind of the headquarters for the community at

3 that time, and there would have been people from the

4 Residents Coalition there that you would have spoken to,

5 but you would have also been speaking to people on the

6 other side.

7 I would never have solely focused on what was being

8 said on the Garvaghy Road. I would have gone to

9 Loyalist estates as well and talked to people there, and

10 I would have gone to talk to the Orangemen at Drumcree

11 on the hill as well.

12 So covering the Garvaghy Road side of it was only

13 one aspect of it for me.

14 Q. On the weekend in question, which is when the alleged

15 incident or incidents took place, where were you

16 staying?

17 A. I was staying in a bed and breakfast, which was quite

18 near the Garvaghy Road.

19 Q. And when you say "near", are you talking a matter of

20 metres?

21 A. It was a quarter of a mile from the Ashgrove Centre.

22 Q. We have a map of the area, which I can show you on

23 screen at RNI-303-129 (displayed).

24 A. It was walking distance anyway. I don't remember where

25 it was, but it was within walking distance of the





1 Garvaghy Road.

2 Q. You can't assist in relation to the map?

3 A. No, I don't remember --

4 Q. You can see the Garvaghy Road going down from the

5 top-right --

6 A. I don't remember the address of the B and B, but it

7 wasn't very far away, although it was in quite a rural

8 area compared with the Garvaghy Road. It was behind the

9 Garvaghy Road, as far as I can remember.

10 Q. Had you had any contacted with Rosemary specifically

11 prior to that weekend?

12 A. I think I had spoken to her the day before the events

13 described in my statement because I would have probably

14 phoned her to ask her what the nature of the judicial

15 review that she was seeking was. So I would have spoken

16 to her about that.

17 Q. This would be 5 July, would it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. What did she say about that?

20 A. I don't remember. I presume that she would simply have

21 told me what they were planning to do. Everybody was

22 speculating about -- because there was a belief that

23 Mo Mowlam was going to -- I think this was the correct

24 year, wasn't it? It was the year that Mo Mowlam had

25 told the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition that she





1 would personally inform them if there was any intention

2 for that march to go ahead. So there was a lot of sort

3 of debate among the people in that area about whether

4 that would actually happen or not, and there was a lot

5 of debate about, you know, could people be trusted or

6 what was going to happen. And some people were saying

7 the march would be forced through in the end and others

8 were saying, no, it won't. There was a lot of debate

9 going on.

10 Q. Had you gone to bed having left the Garvaghy Road?

11 A. Yes, it was in the early hours of the morning that the

12 photographer that I was travelling with came to my room

13 and said, "We have to go down there because the siren

14 has been sounded and apparently there is something

15 happening and the march is going to go ahead" or

16 something. So we quickly got dressed and went down

17 there.

18 Q. Where did you go?

19 A. We went down to where all the crowd was gathering, which

20 was down in front of the Ashgrove Centre, as far as

21 I recall.

22 Q. You can see on the map, although the text isn't very

23 good, that the community centre is roughly in the centre

24 of the page?

25 A. Yes, it would be around there that we went because





1 that's where there would be a lot of people. You know, you

2 would automatically go towards wherever the crowd was

3 gathering, and that was where people were, yes, around

4 there, I think.

5 Q. At the time that you arrived, had the protesters sat

6 down on the road?

7 A. No, I don't think so. I think that was starting to

8 happen. It was a confused situation. There were a lot

9 of police around and a lot of people, and everybody was

10 saying contradictory things and people were very angry,

11 and you know, it was a case of just trying to work out

12 what was going on.

13 Q. Roughly how many Nationalists were in the area at this

14 stage?

15 A. I don't know, but I would say that -- what I would say

16 is that a crowd was beginning to gather.

17 Q. Can you help us on how many police officers you remember

18 seeing there?

19 A. I just remember there were a lot of police. On the

20 other hand, I think that because the police were dressed

21 in the way that they were, it possibly looked like a lot

22 more than there actually were. But it certainly seemed

23 like there was a huge police presence, and it was quite

24 intimidating because of the way that they were dressed

25 in the balaclavas and helmets and head-to-toe black.





1 Q. With riot shields?

2 A. With riot shields and batons, yes.

3 Q. Was there a time when you were allowed to move fairly

4 freely around the area?

5 A. I wasn't ever stopped from moving around the area. I

6 didn't try to cross the police lines when they had

7 cordoned off the road. So, you know, there was nothing

8 to stop me moving around. Journalists largely were

9 allowed to move around.

10 Q. How did they know you were a journalist?

11 A. I would have had a notebook in my hand and I would have

12 probably been seen around before, and I would have had

13 my NUJ card if I had been asked for it.

14 Q. Did you know of the police officers?

15 A. I didn't know any of the police officers who were

16 actually there that day. I may have done, but I

17 couldn't see them because of the outfits that they were

18 wearing. I did know quite a lot of police officers,

19 yes.

20 Q. Were you with Rosemary Nelson?

21 A. I met Rosemary and I had the impression that she had

22 been looking for me. She knew that I was going to be

23 there and she wanted somebody to be witness to her

24 search for an officer to whom she could complain about

25 having been, as she put it, tossed around like a sack of





1 potatoes, I think was the phrase she used.

2 She told me that when she met me. I remember, when

3 I met her, being surprised by her appearance because I

4 would have always associated Rosemary with being very

5 well groomed and well dressed, and she was quite tousled

6 and dishevelled and agitated, and she told me that this

7 assault had taken place and that she wanted to go and

8 make a complaint about it.

9 Q. What time was it?

10 A. I actually don't know what time it was. It was early,

11 anyway. I actually don't know.

12 Q. By reference to the police operation, obviously at some

13 point -- and it may be around half past three -- the

14 operation started to remove protesters from their

15 sit-down protest. Was that after that?

16 A. I think so, yes. I think this was going on sort of in

17 back from the main road and then we came down to the

18 main road and looked at what was happening there.

19 Q. Had you been with her when the alleged assault took

20 place?

21 A. No. My impression was that it had happened not long

22 before I met up with her.

23 Q. So you hadn't seen it either?

24 A. No, I didn't see it, no.

25 Q. Similarly, in relation to the verbal abuse issue, which





1 is another component of the incident?

2 A. No, she told me about various very abusive things that

3 had been said, but I didn't hear those particular things

4 being said.

5 Q. What was she hoping to achieve with you?

6 A. I think she simply wanted a witness to what was -- to

7 the fact that she was trying to make a complaint.

8 Q. Where did she go in order to bring this complaint?

9 A. She approached a number of police officers who were in

10 the area.

11 Q. Can you help us in terms of where they were? We have

12 heard some evidence from the police officers themselves,

13 some of whom spoke to Rosemary Nelson, that they were

14 positioned along the junction of Ashgrove Road and the

15 Garvaghy Road, which you see at the bottom right-hand

16 part of the map.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Was that the area you remember?

19 A. I think so, yes.

20 Q. At that stage, was there what is termed a static line of

21 police officers with shields?

22 A. My sense of it was that, yes, by that stage that line

23 had formed, yes.

24 Q. Did she, with you, approach part of that line --

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. -- to talk to the officers?

2 A. Yes, she did, yes.

3 Q. What did she say?

4 A. There seemed to be sort of two separate things going on.

5 One was that she wanted me to witness her complaining

6 about being tossed around like a sack of potatoes. Then

7 when we went down to that line, it was more about

8 getting access to her clients who were on the road.

9 That is what she was asking.

10 So there were two separate things really that she

11 was doing, or trying to do.

12 Q. In terms of the timing of that, were you around for both

13 of those conversations?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Focusing on the sack of potatoes point, those were her

16 words, were they?

17 A. Yes, that is what she told me when we met.

18 Q. You described her earlier as being tousled and somewhat

19 unkempt, unusually?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Was she also bruised?

22 A. She showed me her arm and she put out her arm to

23 demonstrate what had happened, but I couldn't see any

24 bruises. I don't think bruises would have been apparent

25 until at least the next day or so if that had happened.





1 So, you know, I didn't see any sign of injury.

2 Q. Was she in pain?

3 A. She was certainly very upset.

4 Q. Did you discuss with her the issue of a doctor?

5 A. I think I said that she should go to a doctor, you know,

6 but, I mean, I presume that she would have thought of

7 doing that in any case. It was more just a sort of

8 comforting thing to say, you know, that she should go to

9 a doctor.

10 Q. Was this the kind of injury which you thought a doctor

11 could provide assistance with?

12 A. No, I think I was speaking in terms of if she wanted to

13 make a complaint. I couldn't witness bruising, so my

14 view was that she would need to go to a doctor and have

15 the thing witnessed.

16 Q. What did she say to that?

17 A. I can't remember. She probably thought it was a silly

18 thing for somebody to say, that she would have thought

19 of it anyway, you know.

20 Q. When you accompanied her in relation to the complaint,

21 were you with anyone else, for example, an American

22 observer?

23 A. I don't think so. I think there were other people sort

24 of who came and went, but I wasn't conscious of there

25 being any other person with us. I was conscious of





1 being with her and of writing down exchanges that she

2 had with police officers.

3 Q. Why did she need them written down by you?

4 A. I don't think she did need them written down by me, but

5 I think that she thought it would be useful for it to be

6 witnessed. And it was interesting to me because she was

7 a high profile person who was making a complaint that

8 the police had assaulted her. So it was of interest to

9 me as a journalist.

10 Q. In paragraph 5 of your statement, which we can find on

11 RNI-813-503 (displayed), you mention the issue of

12 publicity and you make the point that your sense was

13 that she didn't want publicity for this?

14 A. Yes. My sense from Rosemary's point of view is that she

15 simply wanted there to be an independent witness to the

16 fact that she was making a complaint because I presume

17 she did not trust the police to record the complaint

18 that she was making to them, and that she wanted it to

19 be recorded somewhere independently that this had been

20 done.

21 My interest in it as a journalist was a separate

22 interest to Rosemary's really, in a sense, in that I

23 would have seen it as being something that I might write

24 about on a future occasion.

25 Q. Did she make that explicitly clear to you or is that





1 something you infer ...?

2 A. I think that she would have made it clear when she asked

3 me to accompany her around the police that that is what

4 she wanted.

5 Q. You mention you had a notebook with you?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Do you still have that notebook?

8 A. It is possible that I still have that notebook because

9 I don't tend to throw notebooks away, but unfortunately

10 because I don't throw them away, I have a large number

11 of them. It is possible that I still have it. It would

12 be difficult for me to find it, but I would be able to

13 have a look for it. But there is no guarantee I would

14 find it. I must have had it in 1999 when I made

15 the statement to the RUC about this because I mentioned

16 in my statement that I referred to my contemporaneous

17 notes.

18 Q. From the Inquiry's perspective, I am sure it would be

19 exceptionally helpful if we could see that, if you do

20 have it. I would be grateful if you would look.

21 There is a small amount of video footage, which I

22 understand has been made by the Army but has been passed

23 to us by another party. It is a very short clip and it

24 shows, I think, Rosemary Nelson possibly with you, but

25 it would be helpful if you would identify yourself on





1 the video. If we could have that on. It may take a few

2 moments.

3 (video shown)

4 I think we are playing it slowly because it is

5 actually such a short clip that it would be over too

6 fast for you to understand it otherwise.

7 We can see Rosemary Nelson in the centre of the

8 screen with a male gentleman. It is quite difficult,

9 but you appear to be -- if it is you?

10 A. Yes, I think that's me.

11 Q. You have longer hair and are carrying a paper of some

12 kind?

13 A. Yes, I think that is me.

14 Q. At this stage, Rosemary Nelson does appear to be with

15 a male gentleman?

16 A. I do not have any recollection of that man.

17 Q. She also appears to be behind the lines?

18 A. Hm-mm.

19 Q. Is that what you can recall as well?

20 A. Yes, it would be.

21 Q. Were you let through the lines with Rosemary Nelson?

22 A. I don't think -- I don't remember going through the

23 lines. I remember looking through the lines and

24 I remember standing at the lines and watching Rosemary

25 talking to police officers, but I don't remember her





1 coming through the lines because I remember standing

2 taking notes of the mechanism that the police were using

3 to lift people off the road and put them through what

4 they call the sterile area and then out on to the

5 other side. I don't recall being on the other side of

6 that.

7 Q. A moment ago you mentioned a letter that you had

8 written, and I think that was a letter written in

9 response to a letter you yourself had received from

10 Chief Inspector Oliver?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. If we look at that, it can be found at RNI-301-267

13 (displayed). On about the third paragraph, you describe

14 meeting Rosemary Nelson?

15 A. Hm-mm.

16 Q. And having spoken to her the day before?

17 A. Hm-mm.

18 Q. And then you say she told you the RUC had assaulted her

19 and used abusive language?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And called her a Fenian bitch?

22 A. Hm-mm.

23 Q. Can you recall that now?

24 A. Yes, I can recall that, yes.

25 Q. And did she also make the point to you that she had been





1 unable to get the identification of the officer or

2 officers who had been involved?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And then you go on, towards the bottom of the page, to

5 say that you accompanied her?

6 A. Hm-mm.

7 Q. Just before we go into the detail of that, how many

8 different officers were you present with?

9 A. I think probably three or four, no, more than three,

10 probably four or five.

11 Q. And this is different officers that she approached?

12 A. Yes, and only one of them do I recall it being possible

13 to read an identification number. The rest of them,

14 they were wearing those suits and there wasn't any way

15 of identifying them.

16 Q. What was her demeanour like in terms of her -- was she

17 angry or frustrated?

18 A. Yes, she was very angry and she was upset. Hadn't ever

19 seen her like that before. I would have always seen her

20 in much more calm surroundings.

21 Q. Can we take each of those incidents, assuming there are

22 three of them, in turn. What did she say to the first

23 officer?

24 A. You mean in relation to the --

25 Q. The alleged assault.





1 A. She identified herself and she said that she wished to

2 make a complaint. And then the officer was kind of

3 dismissive of her.

4 Q. If we look at the second page of that, which is at

5 page RNI-301-268 (displayed), and that second paragraph?

6 A. Hm-mm.

7 Q. She asks for someone to identify a person who threw her

8 around like a sack of potatoes, according to your

9 account. Is that what you remember?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And the officer just walked off?

12 A. Yes. There is one officer I remember sort of just being

13 very dismissive and going, "So?" in a sneery, dismissive

14 way, and there was one officer whom I remember saying,

15 "I have no desire to be involved in your desire for

16 publicity, Rosemary," or something to that effect. And

17 there was someone else who just told us to go to

18 somebody else, go to the complaints officer or somebody

19 like that.

20 But overall, the attitude towards her was what

21 I remember more than anything, and it was very

22 dismissive, even the way that they used her first name.

23 I thought it was quite disrespectful, you know.

24 Q. Other than using her first name, what did they say to

25 her which you thought was disrespectful?





1 A. Saying "so", for example, when she described who she was

2 because obviously she was a person of some importance.

3 She was the person representing the people who were

4 currently being taken off the road. So I would have

5 thought that the fact that she identified herself as

6 that, she would have been treated with a bit more

7 respect. She was a key player in the situation. And

8 then the comment that she was just looking for publicity

9 was obviously disparaging because she was trying to

10 report a personal assault.

11 Q. Can you see how that may have been a concern from the

12 officer with a journalist standing behind noting his

13 comment?

14 A. Yes, I can see that.

15 Q. And you mentioned the officers weren't respectful?

16 A. No.

17 Q. One argument might be that they were dealing with an

18 extremely tense public order situation and, therefore,

19 she was just adding to their concerns as opposed to

20 taking them away?

21 A. Yes, I could see how they would perceive it in that way,

22 but I think that somebody making a complaint that they

23 had been thrown about like a sack of potatoes is

24 a serious complainant. It is not just a matter of

25 saying that somebody had laid a hand on you that they





1 shouldn't have. It was quite a serious assault that she

2 was alleging.

3 Q. Did any of the officers that she spoke to in your

4 presences assist with that complaint?

5 A. I don't think so, no. Some of them were more polite

6 than others. Some of them were merely cool and polite.

7 Some of them were, I thought, sneery and dismissive.

8 But nobody seemed to take her complaint seriously, and

9 then they got more involved in the issue of her clients

10 on the road.

11 Q. In your letter here, we can see that you had written

12 down a number of one of the officers?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Is that because he had given it to you?

15 A. I think that -- no, it would have been because that

16 would have been what you did in those situations. You

17 would always, as a reporter, try to identify people, and

18 the way that you would identify a police person in those

19 circumstances would be to write down their number.

20 Q. We heard early from Mr Todd, who is a sergeant in

21 a mobile support unit, so at least in this area at the

22 time, and he was saying that the suits which they wore

23 didn't display that number. So if that is correct, it

24 would appear that somebody has given you the number for

25 you to write down?





1 A. Yes, I don't remember how that came about. I just

2 remember getting that number. I don't recall how it

3 came about.

4 Q. Was Rosemary Nelson asking for names and numbers?

5 A. I think she might have done, yes. I think she might

6 have asked them to identify themselves.

7 Q. Is there anything else in relation to that particular

8 aspect of your involvement with Rosemary Nelson that

9 morning which you would like to add?

10 A. I don't think so. I mean, as I say, I didn't witness

11 her being assaulted. I didn't take a view as to whether

12 I believed she had been assaulted or not. I simply saw

13 my role as being to accompany her around. I didn't see

14 anybody use the kind of abusive language to her that she

15 said had been used to her, but I did get a very strong

16 sense that the police were quite hostile to her.

17 Q. You've mentioned that she also tried to get access to

18 her clients as a sort of separate request?

19 A. Hm-mm.

20 Q. Again, you heard the evidence, I think, of Mr Todd about

21 that: that he was one such officer that received

22 a request and he rejected it on the basis that she

23 didn't have a legal right to access and that it wasn't

24 going to be conducive to keeping the crowd under

25 control? Do you remember receiving that sort of





1 explanation from an officer?

2 A. I remember her being refused and I remember having

3 a sense that in some ways this was all just about

4 procedures.

5 I don't think that she passionately wanted to get

6 across the lines. I think she was asking and they were

7 refusing, and that was simply the events that were

8 occurring, which I was witnessing.

9 I don't think that -- I think it is like the way

10 that Eamon Stack was describing it earlier: that there

11 were certain things that people understood, that the

12 residents understood that the police were doing

13 something, the police understood that the residents

14 association were doing something. So it wasn't all

15 about unmanaged confrontation: it was a matter of

16 formalities in some ways.

17 Q. And even though, as you say, it may have been

18 a formality, can you see how it might have been

19 a provocative formality to be demanded of?

20 A. Not really. No, I don't because I think it was very

21 apparent that Rosemary was very much trying to calm the

22 situation down. She was urging people not to get into

23 confrontations. She was telling people to stay calm,

24 and I think that that was the way she was seen by

25 people, like she would handle it in a proper way rather





1 than in just a sort of way of people getting into

2 a melee on the street, which she definitely didn't want

3 to happen.

4 She wanted her clients to be on the right side of

5 the thing. She wanted them to behave in an impeccable

6 way so that there couldn't be complaints made about the

7 Residents Coalition.

8 Q. May I just take you back momentarily to the other issue,

9 which was the alleged result. Did she use the phrase

10 "sack of potatoes" to the officers she was complaining

11 to?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Did any particular officer respond to that by

14 disagreeing that this event had occurred?

15 A. I think the only one that I heard who seemed to

16 challenge that was the one who said the thing about,

17 "I have no desire to get involved in your desire for

18 publicity", which I took to be a statement which was

19 kind of saying, look, you are only trying to make it up

20 to get publicity for yourself. I took that to be his

21 meaning.

22 Q. Rosemary Nelson did pursue a formal complaint, I think

23 in writing, subsequent to this. Did she tell you she

24 was going to do so?

25 A. I don't think she did, no.





1 Q. So when did you first become aware that this was an

2 issue?

3 A. Quite recently.

4 Q. You received, I think, a letter yourself, didn't you,

5 from a Chief Inspector Oliver, and that was actually

6 after Rosemary Nelson had died, and the letter is dated

7 19 May?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And we can find that at RNI-201-259 (displayed). There

10 is no need, I think, to consider the letter in detail,

11 but is it your recollection that this is the first you

12 knew about the formal complaint?

13 A. Yes, I think it was, yes.

14 Q. Were you aware that BIRW had written to the UN

15 Rapporteur, Dato Cumaraswamy, about the incident?

16 A. Not at that time, no.

17 Q. Well, I will show you briefly a document which they sent

18 in, which can be found at RNI-110-011 (displayed).

19 This is within four days of the alleged assault.

20 You can see the date there is 10 July 1997 and it refers

21 to two issues. One is to do with abuse by an RUC

22 officer and irregularities in the granting of access to

23 Colin Duffy, which is a separate issue. But the second,

24 which they say is the more urgent point, concerns two

25 assaults made on her and other abusive behaviour by RUC





1 officers as she attempted to discharge her professional

2 duties towards her clients on that Sunday morning.

3 If we continue through the document, on the next

4 page, which is RNI-110-012 (displayed), they describe in

5 more detail -- this is BIRW -- the events of that day,

6 including the assault. The bit I want you to focus on,

7 Ms McKay, in particular is on the next page, which is in

8 the paragraph starting:

9 "Following these two assaults ..."?

10 A. Hm-mm.

11 Q. Because that is the bit where you are mentioned, and it

12 says:

13 "Susan McKay, a journalist with the Sunday Tribune,

14 witnessed at least some of these events and

15 Rosemary Nelson gave video interviews afterwards ..."

16 Et cetera. The events in question are the two

17 assaults?

18 A. Hm-mm.

19 Q. I think, as you have described it, you didn't witness

20 any assault at any stage?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Do you know how BIRW came to think that you did?

23 A. Well, I would think that it is a case -- because I have

24 seen Rosemary's own statement in which she said that I

25 was with her during that time, and I think that they





1 have presumed from that that I actually witnessed the

2 assumption when, in fact, I didn't, I merely witnessed

3 her in the immediate aftermath of the alleged assaults.

4 Q. As we know -- it may be worth looking briefly at

5 Rosemary Nelson's statement -- she made a statement to

6 CAJ, as they are known, the day after the alleged

7 assault. That we can find at RNI-302-129.500

8 (displayed).

9 This statement is taken by Mr Mageean of CAJ on

10 Monday, 7 July and she describes her role with the GRRC

11 and then she goes on in the large paragraph towards the

12 bottom to describe what she alleges she was called and

13 what happened to her in terms of the assault. Then she

14 describes in the short, three-line paragraph, she says:

15 "I then went to find a female journalist who was on

16 the scene, Susan McKay from the Sunday Tribune, who

17 accompanied me from thereon and may be able to

18 corroborate much of what happened."

19 A. You see, she is making it clear that I didn't join her

20 until after the events happened. So the error is in the

21 reporting of it by the other party.

22 Q. And you weren't aware of either of these documents, were

23 you, at the time?

24 A. No, but I wouldn't have had any objection to not knowing

25 about them. I was doing my job being there and part of





1 that is to become a witness to things. So I wouldn't

2 have expected them necessarily to have informed me about

3 these things.

4 Q. Did you have any further involvement once you had

5 written your letter in response to CI Oliver with the

6 complaints process?

7 A. No, no, I didn't hear anything more back.

8 Q. May I turn now to the issue of Rosemary Nelson's safety

9 more generally?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. When did you first speak to her about the threat which

12 she said had been made against her?

13 A. I think that when she started to talk to me about those

14 events would have been when I had actually stopped

15 working -- I had taken sabbatical in order to write my

16 book. So quite often if Rosemary would phone me to ask

17 me to attend a court case or something, I wouldn't be in

18 a position to do so because I was actually not working

19 as a reporter at the time.

20 So we would end up just talking on the phone, and

21 after a certain point almost every time I spoke to her

22 she talked about threats and what was she going to do

23 about them.

24 Q. You say in your statement from paragraph 19 onwards,

25 which is on page RNI-813-506, that you think this might





1 be before the end of 1998?

2 A. Yes, I am sure that it must have been before the end of

3 1998.

4 Q. You mention notes in your statement, specific notes, in

5 paragraph 20?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. How many notes did you see?

8 A. I didn't see any of the notes because, as I say, most of

9 the contact that I had with Rosemary at that time --

10 most of the contact that I had was on the phone. I do

11 know other journalists who said that they saw notes.

12 Q. Just focusing using on your own knowledge, you didn't

13 see anything physically?

14 A. No.

15 Q. How many notes did she say that she had received?

16 A. I think she referred to several, but I'm not sure about

17 that. I would have said several.

18 Q. What did she say was in them?

19 A. Menacing remarks, threats.

20 Q. Were these remarks directed at her specifically or

21 were --

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. -- they more to do with the community?

24 A. They were directed at her specifically.

25 Q. What were they threatening?





1 A. She saw them to be death threats.

2 Q. And what did you say in response?

3 A. I found it difficult to know what to say because I was

4 very fearful for her, because I was aware from the fact

5 that I had -- by that stage I had spent a great deal of

6 time talking to very hardline Loyalists and I was aware

7 that they hated her quite passionately and that they

8 didn't see her as being simply a professional person who

9 had been employed by various organisations and

10 individuals to represent them, that they saw her as

11 being an enemy. And so I was very worried for her and I

12 would urge her to be careful.

13 But it was extremely hard to say anything that was

14 helpful or constructive because it was clear that she

15 did not trust the police and so there was little point

16 in saying to her, "You should talk to the police about

17 this."

18 Q. Do you remember saying to her to be careful?

19 A. Yes, often. Every time she mentioned it to me, I said,

20 "You should be careful", and I remember talking to her

21 quite seriously about -- because sometimes when she

22 would talk about the threats, she would seem to be sort

23 of nearly laughing at them in a way, in a nervous way,

24 but not necessarily treating them as something that she

25 was going to do anything about. And I would say, "You





1 should take them seriously because those people are very

2 dangerous."

3 Q. We know from other evidence that she publicised the

4 threats and other people raised them on her behalf. Did

5 she say she was going to do something about her own

6 safety?

7 A. I don't recall whether she did say that or not, but

8 I remember, when I was at her house, feeling that she

9 was very exposed because she lived in an ordinary house

10 in an ordinary estate, and it seemed to me that if

11 people made it their business to know where she was, she

12 was very vulnerable.

13 Q. Did she herself say that she couldn't go to the RUC for

14 protection?

15 A. I think, given the fact that she regarded the RUC as

16 being hostile to her and also she told me about what she

17 saw as being threats which were conveyed through clients

18 of hers who would have been being held by the RUC at

19 Gough Barracks, where they would ask her things like

20 how's Rosemary and things, and she saw those questions

21 as being quite menacing. So she clearly thought that

22 the RUC was not going to be helpful to her.

23 Q. There are particular allegations which she pursued about

24 those sorts of threats to her clients while in the

25 barracks, but did she herself think that the RUC across





1 the board wasn't capable of protecting her?

2 A. I don't know if she saw the RUC across the board, but

3 she certainly saw the local RUC as being very much on

4 the other side to her, that they wouldn't support her,

5 that they were indeed in cahoots with those who hated

6 her.

7 Q. What did she say specifically about the clients who had

8 had alleged threats against them?

9 A. She said that certain of her clients would have -- would

10 have been in Gough Barracks and the police would sort

11 of, in a sneering way, say, "How's Rosemary?" and there

12 was kind of an implication in that Rosemary would want

13 to be careful, sort of thing.

14 Q. Did she ever say that there were explicit threats to her

15 safety by a police officer to one of her clients?

16 A. I think she may have said things like, "Oh, Rosemary

17 would want to watch herself" or things like that, but

18 things that she would have said had been said in

19 a jocular way but that she took it as being a bit

20 sinister.

21 Q. How many occasions do you remember her discussing the

22 issue of threats via clients?

23 A. Possibly twice, not very often.

24 Q. Can you recall any detail about the specific examples in

25 relation to those two --





1 A. I think one of them was in relation to Colin Duffy, that

2 he was the client that she mentioned who had conveyed

3 this to her.

4 Q. Just to identify precisely what it was that Mr Duffy was

5 alleged to have been told?

6 A. I would have to refer to my statement for that. I don't

7 remember precisely what was said. I have reported the

8 thing there:

9 "Rosemary had better watch herself."

10 That sort of thing.

11 Q. You can't link those comments in with a particular

12 client?

13 A. No.

14 Q. You also mention phone calls that she had received

15 directly to her office, and that is in paragraph 20?

16 A. Hm-mm.

17 Q. What did she tell you about those?

18 A. Well, she probably told me the detail of them, but as

19 I say, because I wasn't really working as a journalist

20 at that time, I probably wouldn't have noted things down

21 in a notebook in the way that I would have had I been

22 working as a reporter at the time.

23 I would have heard her say the thing and I would

24 have tried to say something constructive to her about

25 it, but I wouldn't have necessarily noted exactly what





1 she had said. But I do remember feeling very fearful

2 for herself after she would tell me about those things.

3 Q. Again, how many phone calls had she received of this

4 nature?

5 A. I really don't know. I really don't know. My sense

6 would be more than one.

7 Q. You make the remark that you thought Rosemary Nelson may

8 have been protected by telling lots of people about it?

9 A. Yes, I think she felt that. I think that she felt that

10 by telling lots of people it was somehow protective of

11 her, but I didn't really think so because I had by that

12 stage spent a great deal of time with Loyalists and

13 I knew that they didn't necessarily observe those kind

14 of protocols, that it wouldn't necessarily -- it

15 wouldn't necessarily occur to them that it would be an

16 unpopular thing for them to do or that it was improper

17 to attack a professional person.

18 I just didn't think that they thought like that.

19 I thought that they were very volatile and very violent

20 and that their hatred of Rosemary was such that they

21 wouldn't hesitate to kill her regardless of how many

22 people she had told that she was being threatened.

23 Q. In relation to the police officers who were alleged to

24 have made comments to her clients, you do say in your

25 statement at paragraph 23 that these were the things





1 that concerned her the most out of all the things?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Why is that?

4 A. Because I suppose it made her feel completely exposed,

5 the fact that she was under threat from Loyalists and

6 that she didn't have the protection of the police

7 because, in fact, the police appeared to share the same

8 threatening attitude towards her.

9 My sense would have been that she was more at risk

10 from people like the Loyalist Volunteer Force or the

11 Red Hand Defenders or the UDA, all of whom were very

12 active among the Orange Order at Drumcree during those

13 times, but her sense was that the police were also

14 opposed to her.

15 Q. Let's move on to your contacts with some of the Loyalist

16 groups. This contact, I think, was through your book

17 research, was it?

18 A. Yes, it would have been partly through my journalistic

19 work. My book followed on from my experience as

20 a journalist. It was because I had been working as

21 a journalist and getting to know those people that

22 I felt it was important to try to understand and

23 describe the mindset that belonged to them.

24 Q. For example, you describe in your statement meeting

25 Billy Wright?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Did he discuss Rosemary Nelson with you?

3 A. I don't recall him specifically talking about

4 Rosemary Nelson, but he did talk about Drumcree and how

5 important it was and how it was, you know, sort of vital

6 that Unionists would win that battle.

7 Q. Were there any explicit threats of violence towards, for

8 example, Coalition members, the GRRC members?

9 A. Not in the meetings that I had with Billy Wright because

10 I would have met him at different times in relation to

11 different incidents and different things that were going

12 on. But it certainly -- certainly, I would have talked

13 to people who were his cohorts at Drumcree, members of a

14 certain family whom I think I do mention by name in my

15 statement who would have been very close Billy Wright

16 and would have been sort of operating among the crowds

17 at Drumcree.

18 Q. You mention --

19 A. To my observation they were orchestrating trouble at

20 Drumcree and I would have thought that those people were

21 very dangerous to Rosemary.

22 Q. You mention Mark Fulton in paragraph 25 of your

23 statement?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Why do you think or why do you assert that he was





1 fomenting violence at Drumcree?

2 A. Because I watched him, I watched him quite a lot.

3 I watched him arrive with other people in what was

4 really their uniform at the time of black tee shirts and

5 black parka trousers.

6 They got out of a white van and started moving among

7 the crowd, and they were handing out literature as well

8 in the grounds of the church because I remember pointing

9 this out to one of the Orangemen that did they approve

10 of the fact that this known LVF person, who was at that

11 time a convicted extortionist, was handing out very

12 violent literature. And the Orangeman was very

13 dismissive and just said that where he was handing it

14 out wasn't on church property so it was none of his

15 business.

16 So I was very conscious of the LVF and the UDA of

17 being very much involved at Drumcree. And very openly,

18 so; they would have talked to me about being there.

19 Q. Just to put this in context, what year was this?

20 A. I think that most of the time that I talked to

21 Mark Fulton would have been probably 1998, the following

22 year.

23 Q. Did he himself mention Rosemary Nelson?

24 A. I don't remember whether Mark Fulton mentioned

25 Rosemary Nelson, but the stuff that Mark Fulton would





1 have written, there was sort of a newsletter thing that

2 the LVF used to publish at that time which I always

3 read, and all of the copies of which I obtained. And

4 that was more just a very general sectarian thing that

5 all Catholics were dangerous and all Catholics were

6 violent and that sort of thing.

7 But I do remember other people among the Orange

8 Order talking about Rosemary quite a lot and speaking

9 very violently about her and in a very aggressive way.

10 Q. Who in particular can you remember saying --

11 A. I don't really want to use names because I haven't named

12 people in my statement. I don't really think it is

13 relevant to use those names because, you know, they

14 are --

15 Q. It is relevant to an inquiry which is investigating her

16 murder.

17 A. Yes, but I haven't named them before and I do not

18 have -- I may not even have the notebook evidence which

19 has their name written down next to the thing that was

20 said. And some of the people that I have quoted in this

21 book would have been people who were saying those kind

22 of things, but I haven't named them in the book.

23 Q. Can you tell us who made comments that you set out in

24 your statement like "Fenian bitch" or "sleeping with

25 Breandan Mac Cionnaith"?





1 A. People who were involved in the Orange Order who were

2 also involved in the UDA and in other Loyalist

3 organisations, or who were close to people who were

4 involved in those organisations.

5 Q. How many people are we talking about?

6 A. Well, I suppose there would be three or four key people

7 that I went back to over and again to sort of test the

8 mood, people that I knew to be very deeply involved in

9 the Drumcree protest on the Orange side. There would be

10 a few of those that I would make it my business to go

11 back to ever time I went there to ask them what they

12 thought about what was going on, and they would have --

13 they would have said very violent things about Rosemary

14 and about Breandan Mac Cionnaith and they would have --

15 they would have said that they would want to watch

16 themselves and that kind of thing.

17 Q. Why did they focus on Rosemary Nelson?

18 A. They hated her because she was very clever, I think, and

19 they hated her because she had given the Garvaghy Road

20 Residents Coalition a very strategic way of dealing with

21 the situation. And it appeared to them that the

22 Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition was getting the better

23 of them because under Rosemary's guidance, legal

24 guidance, the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition was

25 using the law to thwart the Orange Order and they very





1 much resented that.

2 Q. Did you question them directly yourself about the basis

3 for their views?

4 A. Yes, I did. I didn't argue with them about them.

5 I asked them why they said certain things and I wrote

6 them down.

7 I didn't ever say to them, "You shouldn't say that

8 about Rosemary." I didn't challenge them. I simply

9 noted what they said because I didn't think it was

10 useful for me to do that.

11 Q. Now --

12 A. I wanted them to feel that they could tell me what they

13 really thought, and if I had started to argue with them,

14 I thought that I would simply provoke them and that they

15 would no longer talk to me.

16 Q. Quite a few of the comments which you quote in

17 paragraph 26 of your statement have, as it were, a

18 sexual element to them in that they call her a fucking

19 whore or a bitch or say that she slept with Colin Duffy

20 or Breandan Mac Cionnaith. Why was that?

21 A. Why was it that they had that element to them?

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. I think that there was a very large measure of sexism

24 among the people that I was talking to. I think in some

25 ways the reason why they spoke so frankly to me was





1 because they thought I was just a wee girl who wouldn't

2 know how to understand those issues as well.

3 I think there was a good deal of dismissiveness

4 about women among those people generally, and I thought

5 it was just another way of being hateful about Rosemary

6 was the fact that she was a woman. I know that I would

7 have interviewed, say, women who were involved in the

8 Orange protest and that they too would have felt that

9 the men were quite sexist in relation to women, but some

10 of the particular men that I was talking to were very

11 violent men and I knew them to be very violent men, and

12 I had heard them talking in a very sexist way about

13 other women reporters, for example.

14 Because I did a lot of eavesdropping. Even just

15 solely taking notes in interviews, I was listening to

16 people all the time during that time that I was there.

17 I think that the hostility towards Rosemary, it was just

18 another dimension to it and it was an easy way of

19 slurring her to claim that she was not just representing

20 certain people, that she was also sleeping with them.

21 It was a way of denigrating her as a female

22 professional.

23 Q. Did any of these people make any direct threats to kill

24 her?

25 A. They would say things like, "She will be killed." They





1 would say it about -- but they wouldn't say, "I'm going

2 to kill her".

3 Q. I appreciate that you don't wish to name the people who

4 made these comments, but were any of the people who made

5 the comments in a position to carry out the threat?

6 A. Yes, I would have thought so, yes.

7 Q. In other words, some of them were members of Loyalist

8 paramilitaries?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Did you communicate these comments back to

11 Rosemary Nelson?

12 A. No, because I didn't think that there was any point in

13 frightening her about things that I didn't -- that there

14 was no -- I had no way of diverting those things.

15 I did say to her repeatedly that she should realise

16 that these people seriously hated her, and I did on one

17 occasion bring a letter which I had been shown -- I took

18 notes on a letter that I had been shown by a local

19 journalist which was threatening to everybody involved

20 in the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition, and I brought

21 that down to the -- and I spoke to

22 Breandan Mac Cionnaith about it because I was concerned

23 that I had seen something that seemed to me to be

24 explicitly threatening to kill people involved in the

25 Residents Coalition.





1 Q. Is that the letter that you refer to in paragraph 31 of

2 your statement?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Which describes killing Catholics?

5 A. Yes, and I did hear a lot of that stuff at Drumcree

6 about, oh, there will be road blocks set up and they

7 will just kill Catholics going through them. Stuff that

8 was just mad.

9 There was a lot of belief that the police and the

10 Army were wearing Orange sashes underneath their

11 uniforms and when the moment came, they would desert and

12 go over to the side of the Orangemen. And a lot of this

13 stuff just sounded like madness and a lot of it was just

14 madness, but you had to understand that the atmosphere

15 in Portadown at that time was very volatile and

16 menacing, and sometimes it was hard to see what was

17 seriously menacing and what was just kind of the violent

18 talk of people who had a lot of hatred in them.

19 Q. Did you have an expectation that the threats to

20 Rosemary Nelson may be carried out?

21 A. It is very hard to say that in retrospect. I was

22 totally shocked when I heard that she had been killed.

23 Q. Sir, it might be worth having a break at that point.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly, we will have a quarter of an hour

25 break.





1 (2.55 pm)

2 (Short break)

3 (3.10 pm)

4 MR SKELTON: Ms McKay, before the break we were discussing

5 the threats which Rosemary Nelson had received, or was

6 alleged to have received, either directly or through her

7 clients and those which you had heard about from your

8 own dealings as part of your journalistic and authorship

9 work. Did you think it necessary to raise those with

10 the RUC yourself?

11 A. No, it didn't enter my head to do that. It was -- I saw

12 my job as being to record what was happening and to try

13 to explain what the mindset of the Drumcree warrior

14 type, as they saw themselves, actually was. And I felt

15 that that side of what was going on at Drumcree was very

16 under reported, you know, like I would have written

17 several major investigative articles about the number of

18 people who had been killed, the number of Catholics

19 largely who would killed directly as a result of what

20 had been happening at Drumcree, starting with

21 Michael McGoldrick and going right on through the Quinn

22 brothers and others.

23 So that was what I saw my role as being. I knew

24 that Rosemary had contact with organisations like the

25 CAJ and the Pat Finucane Centre and that there had been





1 involvement with UN rapporteurs and people like that.

2 So I didn't think it was necessary for me to take any

3 action of that kind, nor would I have thought that

4 Rosemary would approve of me going to the police because

5 she did not see the police as being unengaged from the

6 whole business. She did not see them as being an

7 impartial element.

8 Q. Did you yourself speak to any of the NGOs such as CAJ or

9 BIRW about this issue?

10 A. I recall talking to people that I would have known in

11 some of the organisations about being worried about

12 Rosemary and I knew that other people shared that

13 anxiety.

14 Q. Which organisations are you talking about?

15 A. I think I would have spoken to people that I know in the

16 Pat Finucane Centre in Derry, for example.

17 Q. Were you aware that they were attempting to progress

18 matters?

19 A. Yes, I was aware that there were -- that various

20 complaints were in train. At the time that all this was

21 going on, I was very absorbed in my own book so I wasn't

22 following those kind of things in the way that I might

23 have been as a story had I been writing as a journalist.

24 But the book had very much taken me away from the

25 day-to-day of following those kind of events.





1 Q. Now, in your statement you make a number of comments

2 about the police and a few in passing about the Army. I

3 would like to take you to those now, please.

4 The first that I would like to take you to is on

5 page RNI-813-508 (displayed), and it is the last

6 sentence in paragraph 23, and you say there:

7 "I found it very unsettling to observe that elements

8 of the police were quite comfortable in the company of

9 Loyalists, even those who were very violent, such as

10 members of the LVF."

11 A. Hm-mm.

12 Q. Which police officers are you describing there?

13 A. That would be observations of what went on up at the

14 church at Drumcree because I did spend a lot of time

15 over on that side of the fence. So I would have been

16 spending a lot of time up at the church at Drumcree just

17 observing what went on, and I would have seen jocular

18 conversations between policemen and people that I knew

19 to be involved in Loyalist paramilitary organisations.

20 Q. Can you give us a name or names of any of the

21 paramilitary people that you are referring to?

22 A. No.

23 Q. But you are certain in your own mind that they were

24 members of the LVF, for example?

25 A. Yes, they would have been part that of grouping. I





1 couldn't say that they were signed-up members of the

2 LVF, but they were certainly part of those circles and

3 they would have been seen to be. They were the people

4 involved in rioting.

5 I'm not saying that it was a straightforward

6 relationship because I also know -- would have been

7 quite friendly with one police officer who had served at

8 Drumcree and he would have talked to me about his own

9 sense of distress and frustration about being caught

10 between two hostile factions at Drumcree. And I know

11 that police officers were also attacked by Loyalists at

12 Drumcree on more than one occasion. So I'm not saying

13 that it was a straightforward thing, that you had the

14 Garvaghy people on one side and the police united with

15 the Loyalists on the other. It was a much more complex

16 and volatile situation than that, and some police

17 officers would not have thought it appropriate to stand

18 and laugh and joke with Loyalist paramilitary types, but

19 I did witness some that did.

20 Q. From your discussions directly with some of those sorts

21 of people yourself, i.e. the Loyalists, what gave you the

22 impression that they thought the police were on their

23 side in some way?

24 A. I noted quite a lot of these sort of conversations and I

25 think I record some of them in my book that things would





1 be said. For example, at one stage in 1998 there was

2 a Scottish British regiment serving at Drumcree and the

3 type of Loyalist/Orangeman that I would be talking to

4 would be saying things like they are wearing their sash

5 beneath their uniform and when it comes to it they will

6 not let us down. And they would be claiming that the

7 police, when it came to it, would know where their

8 loyalty was.

9 And there was an attitude, a very sort of

10 apocalyptic attitude among the Loyalists at Drumcree.

11 They would constantly talk about, "This is Armageddon"

12 and, you know, "This is our last chance. We are going

13 into civil war." It was a very crazed mentality.

14 Q. You mentioned a point about the sashes and that is

15 actually mentioned in your statement on page RNI-813-510

16 in paragraph 30 (displayed)?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And you can see there that you say:

19 "In these conversations, it would often be said that

20 the security forces were on the side of the Loyalists

21 and that soldiers had sashes under their uniforms."

22 I would like you, if you would, to describe

23 separately the issue with the soldiers from that of the

24 RUC because it is important that we understand the

25 comments as they are made about the different





1 organisations?

2 A. Yes, sometimes the attitude to the police was quite

3 threatening to the police as well, in that it would be

4 comments like, "We know where they live and they needn't

5 think that they are going to -- there would be a sort of

6 class resentment thing would come across as well with

7 some of the Loyalists, that they would be living in big

8 working class estates and the police would be living in

9 nicer houses that would be on the edge of those areas.

10 And they would be making comments like, "They needn't

11 think that they are safe there."

12 There have been various times when there would have

13 been graffiti like, "Welcome home to a real fire" and

14 stuff like that in relation to the police living in

15 Loyalist areas. So they were kind of saying -- there

16 was an element of threat to it, you know, the police had

17 better recognise that we are their people, not those

18 people. That was the thing that they would try to

19 convey in relation to the police.

20 With the Army, it was different because the Army had

21 mostly come in from England, Scotland or Wales.

22 Q. Keeping for a moment on the issue of the police, you

23 told us previously that particular Loyalist

24 paramilitaries and members of the Orange Order had made

25 comments about Rosemary Nelson?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Did those people who had made those comments give you

3 the impression that they had a relationship or

4 association with the police?

5 A. Some of them would be the same sort of people who would

6 have been speculating that when it came down to it, the

7 police knew what side they were on, yes.

8 Q. And were they the same people that were on the hill and

9 socialising with the police?

10 A. Some of them would have been, yes.

11 Q. And when you say "on side", do you mean simply

12 politically on side with the right to march down the

13 Garvaghy Road?

14 A. No, the whole attitude at Drumcree was that what was

15 needed to sort out the Northern Irish situation was

16 a civil war, and that the police, if it came to that

17 situation, would recognise that they were on the side of

18 the Loyalists and the Orange Order and that they would

19 not -- you see, the attitude to the police among the

20 Orange Order and the Loyalists was that they should --

21 that it was an outrage that the police should be not

22 just assisting them to push their way down the

23 Garvaghy Road, that they shouldn't be following orders

24 to stop them from doing that.

25 Q. You have described the situation as being somewhat





1 apocalyptic?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Are these expressions more of an aspiration that the

4 police would be on side in the event of a civil war as

5 opposed to actually policing it in an overtly sectarian

6 way?

7 A. It was impossible for me to tell. This was the sort of

8 thing that people were saying and I was recording it.

9 It was impossible for me to tell whether this was as

10 a result of a direct conversations that people had had

11 with particular police officers, but certainly the

12 overall view was that the police were the Protestants'

13 police and that they would not be found wanting if it

14 came to a big all out confrontation, which was what the

15 Orange Order appeared to want in relation to Drumcree.

16 Q. As far as the attitude towards the members of the GRRC

17 went and in particular Rosemary Nelson, did you get the

18 impression that the police shared the view of her --

19 sorry, the Loyalists were on side with the police in

20 relation to their attitude towards the GRRC?

21 A. Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean.

22 Q. You have described the threats which were made by

23 members of the Loyalists to you about Rosemary Nelson?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. You have also described your impression that the





1 Loyalists felt the police were on side with them,

2 broadly speaking?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Do you think the Loyalists thought they were on side

5 specifically in relation to the, as it were, anti-GRRC

6 position?

7 A. I think that Loyalists thought that it was an outrage

8 that the police were being asked to stand in the middle,

9 that they thought that the police should be allowed to

10 be on their side because that was the way

11 Northern Ireland was meant to be.

12 I'm not sure if I am answering your question there.

13 Q. Let me try to be more specific. Do you think that any

14 of the Loyalists had a relationship which was in any way

15 collusive with individual police officers?

16 A. I think, as I said in my statement, at that stage I knew

17 less about the collusive relationship which existed

18 between elements of the security forces and Loyalist

19 paramilitaries than I do now.

20 I have subsequently done a lot more research into

21 that in relation to other situations. In relation to

22 what was happening at Drumcree at that time, I was not

23 aware of any such specific relationship occurring or in

24 existence.

25 Q. So, for example, you wouldn't have anything specific to





1 say about collusion in relation to the death of

2 Rosemary Nelson?

3 A. No, I wouldn't. When I heard it said that -- it was

4 after Rosemary had been murdered, it was said that there

5 was collusion in relation to it and I heard people

6 talking about it. It wasn't a conclusion that

7 I automatically jumped to myself.

8 My sense was they have got her, they said they would

9 get her and they have got her. And by that, I felt

10 that -- what I meant was the Loyalists.

11 But you know, the thing about Drumcree was that

12 there was such an unbelievable overlap between all the

13 elements, you know, because there were people there who

14 were in the Orange Order and there were also, of course,

15 police who were in the Orange Order. There were people

16 who were in the UDA at the same time as they were in the

17 Orange Order. There were people who were on the side of

18 the Drumcree warriors who were facing relatives who were

19 members of the police on the other side of the lines.

20 I mean, there was a lot of -- it was a complex mix

21 that had gone -- it was a complex fracturing that was

22 going on within the Unionist community at that time,

23 which was partly why I wanted to write about it in my

24 book because it was complex, and I certainly felt that

25 the complexities of it were not properly understood.





1 Q. Do you have any information that would assist the

2 Inquiry that tends to show that Rosemary Nelson's death

3 was facilitated by RUC officers?

4 A. No, other than to suggest that I don't think that the

5 police took sufficiently seriously the hostility and

6 antagonism which existed towards Rosemary, and that to

7 some extent some of them obviously shared it in the

8 sense that they were very dismissive of her when she

9 complained about having been assaulted.

10 Q. Well, could you explain that a little bit further? What

11 specifically do you think the police should have done or

12 what was it that they didn't take seriously enough?

13 A. Well, if somebody assaulted me and I went to the police

14 to complain about it, I would expect them to do the

15 proper thing and to take a statement from me and treat

16 me with proper respect.

17 I think most citizens would expect that there were

18 certain formalities to that situation and there was --

19 there had been a lot of history at Drumcree. And as has

20 already been explained in other evidence today, there

21 was an attempt supposedly being made by all parties to

22 conduct themselves in a professional manner at Drumcree,

23 and I didn't think that the way the police behaved in

24 relation to that complaint by Rosemary was professional.

25 I think that they should have taken her complaint





1 seriously, and to make comments like you are just

2 looking for publicity -- not in those words -- but that

3 was the gist of what was said, I think it indicated

4 a disrespectful attitude.

5 Q. I'm going to ask you a similar question in relation to

6 soldiers and members of the Security Service. Again, do

7 you have any information that could show that

8 Rosemary Nelson's death was facilitated by those

9 persons?

10 A. No.

11 Q. In your statement you mention the Red Hand Defenders?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Who, as we know, had claimed responsibility for the

14 death of Rosemary Nelson. Who do you think they were?

15 A. I think that the Red Hand Defenders was, as with many of

16 these titles that Loyalist paramilitary groups take,

17 they are flags of convenience really in order to, say,

18 protect the notion of a ceasefire existing for another

19 organisation, that they take on these badges of

20 convenience. And Red Hand Defenders had been an old

21 Loyalist label which was reinstated for what was really

22 a loose alliance of members of the UDA, who were also

23 members of the -- perhaps former members of the UVF who

24 had split with the UVF over the Michael McGoldrick

25 murder and moved into the LVF faction. And the LVF





1 faction I saw as being very intimately tied up with the

2 Orange Order at Drumcree. They saw themselves -- they

3 called themselves Drumcree warriors and their leader was

4 Billy Wright.

5 Q. When you were researching your book or otherwise

6 reporting on Portadown, would you know when you were

7 speaking to people that might fall into the

8 Red Hand Defenders category?

9 A. Sometimes, sometimes not. Sometimes you would suspect

10 that the person that you were talking to was -- you

11 know, they would be describing what these people think

12 and you would sort of suspect that they were actually

13 talking about themselves. But sometimes you would know

14 that, yes, you were talking to people who were involved

15 in that.

16 Q. And again, going back to the threats which you report

17 were made against Rosemary Nelson by paramilitary

18 personages, were any of those people to your knowledge

19 members of the Red Hand Defenders?

20 A. You see, I don't think of the Red Hand Defenders as

21 being an actual organisation. I think of it as being

22 a flag of convenience. I think that some of those

23 people who made those threats would have been members of

24 or closely associated with the UDA or the LVF, and that

25 those people together might carry out acts of violence





1 which would then be claimed by the Red Hand Defenders,

2 but that the Red Hand Defenders to me seemed to be

3 simply a name that they were using for that particular

4 set of murders or acts of violence.

5 Q. Now, in your book, "Northern Protestants", of which

6 I have the updated edition dated 2005, you say that it

7 was suspected that an UDA bomb maker was believed to

8 have made the device that killed Rosemary Nelson. Where

9 did you get that information from?

10 A. I would have got that information from other journalists

11 who had been more closely involved in actually covering

12 those events than me because, as I said, I wasn't acting

13 as a day-to-day journalist at the time.

14 At the time that Rosemary was killed, I was still

15 finishing off my book, so I will have taken that from

16 the work of journalists that I would consider to be

17 reputable.

18 Q. So to clarify, you wouldn't yourself have had

19 a conversation with the alleged bomb maker?

20 A. No.

21 Q. And would you have had conversations with any of the

22 bomb makers' associates?

23 A. Yes, I believe that I would at certain times, yes.

24 Q. And were those similarly people that had made comments

25 about Rosemary Nelson in particular?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And when -- if you can assist -- roughly were these

3 comments made?

4 A. I actually don't really know because after -- in 1998,

5 I spent a lot of time in Portadown which wasn't just at

6 Drumcree time. You know, I would have kept in contact

7 with people outside of the usual time that I would have

8 been in Portadown for the events known as Drumcree. So

9 I don't really know. It could have been at any time

10 during that period from May 1998 onwards.

11 Q. Ms McKay, there may be reason why you don't want to

12 answer this question, but I'm going to ask it in any

13 event: Who do you think killed Rosemary Nelson?

14 A. I don't know, but I assume that the people who killed

15 Rosemary were the same people as killed a lot of other

16 people because they associated them with the opposition

17 to the Orange Order's position at Drumcree; in other

18 words, people who were associated with the UDA and the

19 LVF and the Orange Order.

20 And I should say that when I refer to the Orange

21 Order in that way, I'm not implying that all Orangemen

22 supported the LVF or the UDA or any of that, and I know

23 that to be not the case. I know that there are members

24 of the Orange Order who were appalled by what happened

25 at Drumcree and who know that it did them a great deal





1 of damage as an organisation.

2 Q. Did you have any contact with the murder investigation

3 team?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Did you consider making contact of your own volition,

6 given your specialist knowledge of the area?

7 A. No. I mean, I got that letter and I responded to it.

8 Q. This is the complaints letter, I think --

9 A. No -- yes, but I presume that that was all part of the

10 investigation into Rosemary' murder, wasn't it? I

11 didn't ever -- it didn't occur to me that I should

12 contact anybody in relation to the inquiry into her

13 murder since I didn't actually know anything about her

14 murder. I only knew about the mindsets of the kind of

15 people who had threatened murder.

16 Q. For clarification purposes, I think it happened that the

17 complaint had been running for a very long period of

18 time and I think it was still being investigated at the

19 time Rosemary Nelson died. So it was in fact a separate

20 procedure.

21 A. Okay.

22 Q. Is there anything else you would like to add before

23 I open questions to the Panel and others?

24 A. No, I don't think so. I think that I just feel that in

25 many ways the levels of violence which were emanating





1 from that Orange protest at Drumcree have not been

2 properly acknowledged and that Rosemary was a victim of

3 it, as were probably 15 or so other people directly.

4 Q. Sir, I have no further questions.


6 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Could I ask, and let me make it

7 clear that I fully understand the position that, as

8 a journalist, your job was to observe and to record, not

9 to intervene, so that is understood, but did

10 Rosemary Nelson ever actually positively ask your advice

11 because she must have known that you were very

12 knowledgeable?

13 A. I suppose, when we would have conversations, she would

14 listen to what I would say about Loyalists, but I don't

15 know if you would call that asking for advice. She

16 never asked for my advice -- what she did actually --

17 when she would tell me about the death threats, she

18 would say, "What should I do?" and I wouldn't know what

19 to say.

20 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: What comes across very clearly, both

21 from your statement and from your answers to

22 Mr Skelton's questions, is that you were much more

23 concerned about the Loyalist paramilitaries than you

24 were about the police. Do you think you conveyed that

25 to her?





1 A. Yes.


3 A. Yes, I do. I didn't -- I did not have any information

4 to suggest that the police were involved directly. She

5 would say that to me, but I did not have any information

6 in relation to that, whereas I did know at first hand

7 that there were a lot of Loyalists there who would have

8 been very happy to see her killed.

9 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: And without actually saying what the

10 remarks were, you did convey that to her, that that is

11 where she should be looking?

12 A. Yes, I think so, yes.

13 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Right, thank you.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Ms McKay, we are extremely grateful for the

15 help you have given to us and thank you very much for

16 coming.

17 A. Thank you.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: We will adjourn for 10 minutes.

19 (3.37 pm)

20 (Short break)

21 (3.52 pm)

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Donaldson, I understand you have you have

23 a submission to make.

24 Application by MR DONALDSON

25 Submissions by MR DONALDSON





1 MR DONALDSON: Yes. Yes, sir, I have. It is in relation to

2 the witness Trevor McKeown, whom it is supposed might be

3 called tomorrow. I understand he is in prison serving

4 a life sentence for murder.


6 MR DONALDSON: And it will be done by way of videolink.

7 Let me just give the background to this, sir,

8 because you may not have had an opportunity to consider

9 all the material in detail.

10 Now, in his statement -- which we received just

11 recently, by the way -- he did make the Inquiry

12 statement on 19 May of this year, but counsel only

13 received it just towards the end of last week, although

14 we understand it had been forwarded to the PSNI about

15 28 August.

16 Nonetheless, it did take us rather by surprise and

17 we drew attention to this immediately and we have got

18 some correspondence about it. So we had alerted the

19 counsel -- Tribunal counsel to this as soon as we could.

20 Now, the statement is a remarkable and astounding

21 allegation made by this man. He was arrested on

22 15 July 1997 in relation to the murder of Bernadette

23 Martin. He was convicted of that murder and sentenced

24 to life imprisonment. The particular allegation made

25 against the police officers who interviewed him was





1 apparently not made for some years, and nobody seems to

2 have been aware of it until it was mentioned in an

3 article in the News of the World on 25 May 2003 -- that

4 is almost six years later -- an article written by --

5 his name appears in the newspaper, [name redacted].

6 On 17 July 1997, Mr McKeown did make a statement of

7 complaint alleging an assault by the police, but there

8 was no mention whatsoever of the particular allegation

9 concerning Rosemary Nelson.

10 Now, those who might have known about this

11 particular allegation were, among others, the solicitor

12 who acted for Mr McKeown in the murder charge. His name

13 is redacted, but I think we all know who it is.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, we do.

15 MR DONALDSON: I thought you would. He has not made a RNI

16 statement, but he did, however, make a written

17 statement, I understand to Mr Provoost and in that

18 statement he makes it quite clear that although

19 Mr McKeown, his client, had complained to him about

20 matters of police behaviour, there was never any mention

21 of this particular matter concerning Rosemary Nelson.

22 Furthermore, we have been provided with some notes

23 made by this solicitor, and those notes -- it is quite

24 clear from the notes, again, that although a clear

25 record was made of the other allegations against the





1 police, there was no allegation concerning

2 Rosemary Nelson.

3 There were allegations even concerning counsel who

4 represented him and, again, we have fair idea who

5 counsel were who represented him on that occasion, but

6 those counsel were not to our knowledge ever interviewed

7 or were they ever asked to give any information about

8 the allegation. And you will recollect that in fact

9 McKeown makes the point that he told his solicitor and

10 counsel to put it to the police officers in the witness

11 box that they had in fact made these requests to him in

12 respect of Rosemary Nelson.

13 So, therefore, what we now have is a bald statement

14 from a convicted criminal, a person deserving of no

15 credibility or credence, making this allegation.

16 A number of points arise from this, that is that we

17 would like to have made further enquiries -- in fact, we

18 have this underway at the moment -- in relation to the

19 Martin murder and the circumstances surrounding it out

20 of which this particular allegation against the police

21 has arisen. And because of the extreme seriousness of

22 this allegation, we would like an opportunity to do

23 that.

24 We can do it, I think, quite quickly. We have it

25 underway, well underway, but we still haven't got the





1 information, and we would respectfully submit that in

2 fairness and in order to assist the Tribunal, we would

3 formally request, sir, that you should defer the calling

4 of this witness until we have had an opportunity of

5 making these further enquiries into the circumstances of

6 the Martin murder and this investigation out of which

7 the allegation arises.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: How long do you think these further enquiries

9 will take approximately?

10 MR DONALDSON: Approximately one week, sir. In fact, I was

11 moving on to say that we have -- the senior

12 investigating officer happens to be a client of ours in

13 this Inquiry and who will be giving evidence, happened

14 to be, we believe, the SIO in that murder investigation.

15 We have arranged to see him at the earliest possible

16 time, that is on Friday morning of this week, in order

17 to ascertain some more vital information out of which

18 questions may arise and, of course, we will notify the

19 Tribunal.

20 May I enquire, sir: have you and your colleagues

21 seen the questions which we have submitted for this

22 witness?


24 MR DONALDSON: I would be grateful, in fact, if you would

25 look at them, please, because I want to refer to two





1 matters at the beginning. I wonder if someone would be

2 kind enough to pass these up, please. (Handed)

3 Thank you. Now, you will see that there are -- I'm

4 only going to mention the first two questions of lines

5 of enquiry, and in fact you will see that there is

6 a bold "no" printed at the end of each one, indicating

7 that in fact Counsel to the Inquiry is declining to ask

8 those two questions.

9 The questions speak for themselves, and in respect

10 of this particular witness, in these special

11 circumstances we feel that in fact his credibility is

12 fundamental. Either you believe him or you don't. If

13 you do believe him, it is very, very serious. If you

14 don't believe him, it is the end of the matter. But in

15 order to enable you and your colleagues to be fully

16 informed about this, we feel that that question should

17 be asked, that line of enquiry should be followed.

18 Likewise, in respect of question number 2, because

19 we don't know at the moment -- and it is very

20 material -- whether or not he ever made a confession to

21 that particular murder -- we don't think so -- but you

22 can see that it raises points about the reason for why

23 there would have to be a cross-examination of the police

24 officers based on allegations. From our own experience

25 in this jurisdiction, it would only be usual to do that





1 if in fact a confession statement was being challenged.

2 So, therefore, you can see where this might lead,

3 and we think it is important, therefore, that we should

4 know more about the Bernadette Martin murder in order

5 that we might perhaps present more questions and, more

6 especially, that this Tribunal should be fully informed

7 about the background to this murder.

8 You will forgive me, sir, if I move on a little here

9 because there are other matters arising here too.

10 We anticipate that we might well be applying that

11 a witness of this calibre, a criminal and a murderer,

12 should not even be called. He shouldn't even be asked.

13 You will be aware that in a criminal trial -- I know

14 this is not a criminal trial, but some principles are

15 immutable. In a criminal trial, the prosecution

16 wouldn't even put a person like this into the witness

17 box as a witness of truth, but that is something perhaps

18 I may raise at a later stage. But I am just alerting

19 the Tribunal to it now.

20 There is a further matter perhaps I should draw

21 attention to at this stage, and that is that if in fact

22 you decide that this witness should be called, if he is

23 called, then I think we should be permitted to question

24 him. And the reasons I give are as follows: Because of

25 the extremely serious nature of the allegations against





1 the police; because of issues of credibility; because of

2 the history of his complaint; because of how it affects

3 the police officers who we represent -- and we do

4 represent one of these interviewing officers

5 individually, although we represent them all

6 collectively -- and we would also draw attention to the

7 fact that this witness's evidence is even more extreme

8 in the nature of this allegation than any of the Lurgan

9 Nine complainants.

10 So I'm sorry to land you with all of these points at

11 the one time, sir, but in fact we feel that our

12 immediate application, however, is that the matter

13 should be deferred to see how we go.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Donaldson.

15 Yes, Mr Phillips?

16 Submissions by MR PHILLIPS

17 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, as I understand it, there are, as my

18 learned friend has indicated, three or possibly four

19 distinct applications or lines to what he has been

20 submitting to you.

21 Can I try to deal with them all in order; first, the

22 question of delay and the suggestion that to some extent

23 my learned friend and his colleagues have been taken by

24 surprise, if I can put it that which, they shouldn't be.

25 This issue came into the public domain, as he





1 indicated to you, via a newspaper article in 2003. It

2 was then investigated and is referred to in the Cory

3 Report in 2004. The issue of incitement is a specific

4 issue on your List of Issues at issue 15. That was

5 published in May 2005. The issue is canvassed in detail

6 in the Ayling Report, including in the sections which

7 have been disclosed at the beginning of this hearing.

8 It was also dealt with in the witness statement obtained

9 by the Inquiry from P121, who is to be called tomorrow

10 afternoon, and he deals with it at paragraph 66 to 68.

11 That statement was served on all the Full Participants

12 in November last year.

13 It was also opened by me on 15 April at pages 47 and

14 48, and I indicated at that stage that it was unclear as

15 to how far we would be able to explore it in the

16 evidence because, as my learned friend has made the

17 point to you, at that stage Mr McKeown had not made

18 a witness statement.

19 That was served at the end of last month, I think on

20 the 27th, the accompanying documents were served on the

21 28th, and in my submission, there has been an adequate

22 opportunity for my learned friend and, indeed, all

23 counsel for the Full Participants and, indeed, the

24 relevant witnesses to consider the material. And you

25 will note, sir, that no application, either to defer the





1 evidence of this man nor to question directly, has been

2 made on behalf of the representative of the witness for

3 tomorrow afternoon, P121.

4 So far as the other matters that my learned friend

5 mentioned and the question of further enquiries, sir,

6 obviously that is very much a matter for you, but you

7 will remember similar invitations have been issued in

8 relation to other murder investigations, specifically

9 the two policemen murders. And you have in the past

10 declined to accept that invitation, declined to get into

11 the details of those investigations.

12 Now, so far as the comments made about the questions

13 which have been put forward are concerned, of course the

14 moment for those, in accordance with the protocol that

15 you have outlined, is not now, is not in advance of the

16 questioning, but after the evidence has been given and

17 in the light of all of the evidence which has then

18 emerged.

19 So far as the application hinted at, namely that it

20 would be wrong for you to call this evidence at all,

21 sir, in my submission there is a world of difference

22 between a criminal prosecution and this public inquiry.

23 This statement, if accepted, goes very much to the

24 heart of the issues with which you are concerned. The

25 suggestion is that there was an incitement to murder and





1 it is a matter for you to form a judgment about the

2 weight you attribute to any evidence of that kind. What

3 you may not do, in my respectful submission, is ignore

4 it, simply not call it, dismiss it in advance before it

5 has been properly tested in this forum. And, indeed, in

6 some ways of course, the more serious the allegation,

7 the more important it is that the process should be

8 followed and that the evidence should be tested in

9 public.

10 Finally, so far as the direct questioning -- which

11 is, as it were, the fourth aspect of what my learned

12 friend has said -- there we come fairly and squarely

13 back to issues which have been ventilated on many

14 occasions, both here in the context of these public

15 hearings and in the judicial review my learned friend's

16 clients pursue, which is still pending in court.

17 In my submission, this is not a case for a departure

18 from your protocol and all of the concerns that he has

19 can fairly and properly be accommodated within the

20 confines of the existing witness protocol.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Would there be any unfairness if, as a result

22 of the enquiries being carried out by Mr Donaldson's

23 clients in the next week, the witness gave evidence

24 tomorrow and then we did our best to make him available

25 if it was necessary for further questions to be put to





1 him in a week or ten days' time?

2 MR PHILLIPS: Absolutely not, sir. On the assumption that

3 we proceed tomorrow morning, if, as a result of his

4 enquiries, further matters are drawn to the attention of

5 the Inquiry, then no doubt you can take a decision at

6 that point whether you wish to arrange for a further

7 appointment by videolink to the prison. Absolutely.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Phillips.

9 Anything further you want to say, Mr Donaldson?

10 Submissions in reply by MR DONALDSON

11 MR DONALDSON: Yes, sir. I don't think, with respect, that

12 is very satisfactory considering the kind of witness we

13 are dealing with who may or may not agree to turn up for

14 further questioning if that should be necessary.

15 Coming back to the response made by my learned

16 friend, I think that in relation to the first point,

17 despite what has been said, the really key point is that

18 in fact we have only recently become aware that

19 Mr McKeown is to be called as a witness. That is the

20 important thing; not what happened in the past.

21 We only now know very recently that he is going to

22 be called as a witness; hence the importance of us being

23 able to make these enquiries and we believe that it

24 would be unfair to my clients and unhelpful to the

25 Tribunal to attempt to divide up the evidence of this





1 witness on the basis of further information which may

2 come along. And I think also, sir, we would also

3 require a ruling in any event on whether or not we

4 should be permitted to question this witness ourselves

5 through the PSNI counsel.

6 It is not sufficient to say, as Mr Phillips has

7 purported to say, that this can be dealt with within the

8 protocols, although it will be dealt with within the

9 protocols because it is within your power.

10 If you consider it suitable and appropriate that we

11 should be entitled to cross-examine, I may say this:

12 that we have in fact been very sparing in our

13 applications to this Tribunal for leave to cross-examine

14 witnesses. We have written letters on occasions, but we

15 have actually only, I think, ever actively pursued the

16 one area and that related to the Lurgan Nine. And now

17 that this witness has, as it were, come into the frame

18 only recently, we feel that his situation is even more

19 extreme than the Lurgan Nine. And we feel, sir, this is

20 a situation of an exceptional nature, that we should be

21 permitted to cross-examine because so much hangs on

22 this.

23 I don't know whether it was the intention of the

24 Tribunal here to find as a fact one way or the other

25 whether this allegation was made, but if the evidence is





1 being called, it seems to us that this is something that

2 will have to be addressed and a finding of fact will

3 have to be made: did the police -- did they or did they

4 not issue this invitation to this witness. That seems

5 to be the crux of the matter --

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Speaking for myself, Mr Donaldson, I think

7 your application over the question of whether you should

8 be entitled to question or cross-examine this witness is

9 premature.

10 Until Counsel for the Tribunal has definitively

11 completed his questioning of the witness, we are not in

12 a position definitively to say whether quite

13 exceptionally a Full Participant, in this case yourself,

14 should be allowed to question the witness.

15 MR DONALDSON: May I say with very great respect, sir, I

16 don't think I would agree with that proposition,

17 although my view is not important, I know. But it seems

18 to me, with respect, that there is no reason in

19 principle why the decision to permit us to cross-examine

20 should not be made before the witness is called, if in

21 fact the circumstances justify it, as we do believe this

22 case does justify us in making this application.

23 So with the greatest respect, sir, I don't think

24 that we would accept that proposition as being correct

25 or fair.





1 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. We will adjourn for a few

2 minutes.

3 (4.14 pm)

4 (Short adjournment)

5 (4.26 pm)

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Donaldson, you have raised a number of

7 issues in relation to this witness. We have decided

8 that we want to reflect further on the matters you have

9 submitted to us and we will give our decision at

10 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.

11 MR DONALDSON: Thank you.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Can we have the next witness in, please?

13 MR SKELTON: Sir, the next witness is Mr Cully. I note he

14 isn't in position. It may be that we need a minute or

15 so. I think we are getting perilously close to

16 finishing time.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: We are rising promptly at quarter to five.

18 MR SKELTON: We will wait momentarily for Mr Cully to

19 arrive.

20 MR ANDREW CULLY (sworn)

21 Questions by MR SKELTON

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Please sit down. I apologise that we have

23 kept you waiting and I am afraid you will have to come

24 back tomorrow morning as well.

25 A. I understand.





1 THE CHAIRMAN: I am sorry about that, but there it is.

2 Yes, Mr Skelton?

3 MR SKELTON: Mr Cully, could you give your full name,

4 please?

5 A. My name is Andrew George Cully.

6 Q. You have provided a statement to the Inquiry, which can

7 be found at RNI-803-105 (displayed)?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. The last page of that is on RNI-803-116 (displayed), and

10 that is your signature and the date there, 2 June 2007?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. May I start by asking you when you joined the RUC?

13 A. I joined RUC on 15 August 1976.

14 Q. You retired fairly recently, I understand?

15 A. I retired on 6 September 2004.

16 Q. What work did you initially do?

17 A. I was just a uniformed constable -- do you mean when

18 I first joined?

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. Aye, I was a uniformed constable and my first station

21 was Craigavon.

22 Q. Did you stay in uniform throughout your career?

23 A. No, I didn't.

24 Q. Could you briefly give me a synopsis of your career up

25 to the point we are particularly concerned about, which





1 is the interview with Rosemary Nelson?

2 A. My first six months was Craigavon. I then moved across

3 to Tyrone, where I served in Stewartstown, Coagh,

4 Cookstown area both as a constable and as a sergeant. I

5 was then transferred across to Strabane, that would have

6 been in the beginning of 1985, and I served in Strabane

7 and it would be Castlederg.

8 In or about May 1989, I was transferred then to

9 headquarters where I was staff for four different

10 Assistant Chief Constables. I was then promoted

11 in September 1995, where I went to Portadown as the

12 Deputy Subdivisional Commander.

13 Q. What is the responsibility of the Deputy Subdivisional

14 Commander?

15 A. In short, you cover when the Subdivisional Commander is

16 off.

17 Now, having said that, I mean, one of my

18 responsibilities would have been looking after -- what

19 is the word I'm looking for? -- I can't quite remember,

20 you know, looking after the officers' welfare and those

21 kind of issues, and administration.

22 The operational side would have been dealt with more

23 by the Subdivisional Commander.

24 Q. And your rank at that stage in 1995?

25 A. I was a chief inspector.





1 Q. And you were based, you said, in Portadown?

2 A. I was.

3 Q. Did you have any operational responsibility for the

4 Drumcree issue?

5 A. Well, not directly. I mean, Drumcree was a much bigger

6 issue than me. I know I was The Deputy Subdivisional

7 Commander but, you know, I would have been a very small

8 wheel in a very big machine.

9 Q. We have heard, for example, that there was, particularly

10 on the various weekends, a command structure for the

11 operations themselves and the policing of the event,

12 which we know the march took place in 1995, 1996, 1997.

13 Were you operational in those terms on those dates?

14 A. I arrived in September 1995, which would have been after

15 the first Drumcree. 1996, I think I was in the control

16 room. What do they call it? I think I assisted the

17 silver command, from memory, in the control room. That

18 was in 1996 now.

19 Q. What about 1997?

20 A. 1997, I was on night duty continuously, I think, along

21 with another superintendent from headquarters. So that

22 year, you know, I don't think I was involved at all

23 operationally, you know, in commanding units or

24 anything.

25 Q. Presumably, you knew the officers who were involved in





1 policing Drumcree?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you know the officers who would have been on the

4 ground in 1997?

5 A. Well, yes, you would, but now, there was a considerable

6 number of officers would have been on the ground, you

7 know, at various times in charge of various units and

8 so on.

9 Q. Would you know some of the officers who were in the

10 MSUs, for example?

11 A. Possibly. You mean inspector level that would have been

12 in charge of each mobile support unit?

13 Q. And at the lower level as well.

14 A. Yes, possibly. Say, I had served with them or something

15 like that, but it's a difficult question to answer that,

16 you know, because, yes, I might have, and no, I might

17 not.

18 Q. When did you move to complaints?

19 A. I think it was the beginning of February 1998.

20 Q. And why did you move?

21 A. Well, I wanted to move. Quite frankly, two and a half

22 years in Portadown, I was ready for a move.

23 Q. What was it particularly about Portadown which inspired

24 you to move?

25 A. You see, I had quite a bit of travel and I was





1 travelling up and down from Newtownards. You know, the

2 way things were in Portadown I could get home and

3 suddenly get a phone call and go straight back again.

4 So two and a half years was long enough for me. I

5 wanted to be closer to home.

6 Q. Was there any aspect of the volatile nature of the

7 Drumcree dispute, which obviously focused in Portadown,

8 that caused you to move elsewhere?

9 A. Well, it was quite stressful for everybody involved,

10 Drumcree, you know, even coming up to the event, never

11 mind post event, both for me and for the officers under

12 my command. I suppose, if I'm being quite frank, yes,

13 it would have had some influence. I wasn't sorry to

14 leave it.

15 Q. You stayed in the Complaints and Discipline Division or

16 Department, rather, for a period of about ten months?

17 A. Yes, that would be right, yes. I arrived in February

18 and I think I left again in December 1998.

19 Q. During that time you dealt with roughly 100 complaints,

20 did you?

21 A. That's right.

22 Q. Did different complaints take a different amount of time

23 or would that hundred have spread equally throughout

24 that period?

25 A. No, you are right. It would have taken different times.





1 It depended, for instance, how complicated the complaint

2 was, the number of officers involved, the number of

3 witnesses. You know, to say there were just, say, the

4 ten months, so there must have been ten each month, that

5 is not really accurate. You could have one complaint

6 would have been as much work as another five or six.

7 So, yes, it wouldn't have been split equally. Some

8 complaints needed a lot more investigation than others.

9 Q. Did being a complaints investigator make you unpopular

10 with your colleagues?

11 A. I am sure it did. I mean, nobody likes to be

12 investigated, let's be totally frank about it. But,

13 I mean, it was my job and I got on with it.

14 Q. Did you feel you could still do that rigorously even

15 though you may have been previously colleagues with some

16 of those people?

17 A. I was totally as professional as I could be in

18 investigations.

19 Q. Why did you leave the complaints department?

20 A. Well, I was promoted and I remained in complaints.

21 Now -- no, that's not right. I was promoted and went

22 into Internal Discipline. I think that -- let me see.

23 It was either shortly before or shortly after the

24 Ombudsman's office came in. So I then dealt with

25 internal discipline.





1 Prior to my promotion to Superintendent, I would

2 have presented -- I would have been doing your job. I

3 would have been presenting cases at hearings, you know,

4 discipline hearings and that wasn't a very popular job

5 either.

6 Q. No. You retired, presumably, at the rank of

7 Superintendent?

8 A. I did.

9 Q. In terms of the complaints process generally, can you

10 make any generalisations about the type of complaints

11 that you would have dealt with within your ten months

12 there?

13 A. The most common complaints were, in my experience,

14 arising out of arrests. You know, you would have got

15 allegations of assault during or after arrest. To me,

16 those were the ones that were most common.

17 Q. Physical assault?

18 A. Yes, and abuse and verbal abuse.

19 Q. And focusing on the 100, roughly, complaints that you

20 dealt with, can you give us the idea of the proportion

21 that would focus on that kind of issue?

22 A. I would have said maybe 70 or 80 per cent of them, the

23 vast majority.

24 Q. Did you perceive there to be any pattern in relation to

25 the complainants? Were they from particular sections of





1 the community?

2 A. I would have said -- and I think I said this in my

3 statement -- to me it was mostly younger men. If you

4 think about it, it probably was more normally young men

5 that were arrested. So I would say that was a pattern

6 of the complainants.

7 Q. This is at paragraph 12 of your statement, I think,

8 which is on page RNI-803-107 (displayed).

9 A. Yes, I think it is, from memory, yes.

10 Q. We can see that being highlighted there.

11 Now, what I was trying to ask you is whether you

12 perceived any difference between Nationalist detainees

13 and I will call them Unionist or Protestant detainees?

14 A. Not really, no.

15 Q. Complaints came equally from either?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And did you think that some complaints were pursued for

18 mischievous reasons?

19 A. You maybe need to explain a bit more.

20 Q. For example, as a procedural distraction from the

21 investigation of the crime?

22 A. I can't really say what was in a complainant's mind, it

23 may have been.

24 Q. In other words, were some of the complaints to your mind

25 trumped up in order to distract from a particular





1 investigation?

2 A. Do you mean to try and sort of slow down the

3 investigative process or ...

4 Q. As a side issue -- presumably, these detainees were

5 arrested to a particular crime and they brought

6 a complaint arising from their custody. What I'm trying

7 to establish is whether the complaints process was used

8 to detract in some way from the pursuit of the crime?

9 A. I don't think I can really answer that question. It may

10 have been. Yes, it may have been.

11 Q. Did the complainants generally cooperate with you?

12 A. Once they arrived, do you mean, or ...?

13 Q. Once they had initiated the complaints process -- which

14 I think can be indicated by the complainant themselves

15 or possibly by a solicitor -- did you find that they

16 cooperated with you as you investigated that complaint?

17 A. Some did. We had sometimes got complaints where there

18 would have been a letter, say, from a solicitor that

19 they wanted the complaint recorded, but that their

20 client wasn't prepared to pursue it.

21 Q. Why was that?

22 A. Well, again, you are asking me what was in somebody

23 else's mind, but I presume because they didn't have

24 confidence in the complaints procedure.

25 Q. And why bother registering it without doing anything





1 about it?

2 A. I think you should ask whoever the solicitors are that

3 question.

4 Q. Did you, for example, collect statistics on the number

5 of complaints initiated?

6 A. Me personally?

7 Q. Yes, your department.

8 A. I am sure they did. They required it for the

9 Chief Constable's annual reports and so on.

10 Q. Now, in your statement you do mention a particular firm

11 of solicitors, and that is at page 18. The name has

12 been redacted?

13 A. I know who you mean, yes.

14 Q. To your mind, did those solicitors represent

15 a particular section of the community more than others

16 perhaps?

17 A. They would have represented more Nationalists, yes.

18 Q. Did they stand out particularly to you as a firm that

19 would initiate a complaint and then not pursue it?

20 A. From memory, yes, they would.

21 Q. Did you draw an inference -- there may have been, as it

22 were an anti-RUC agenda there?

23 A. Well, it would sort of indicate that, yes.

24 Q. In what way?

25 A. Well, to me, just going back to maybe that they didn't





1 believe in the process of the police, if you like,

2 investigating themselves.

3 Q. And other than Rosemary Nelson's complaint, which we

4 will come on to probably tomorrow now, did you have

5 complaints about abusive comments made about solicitors?

6 A. I personally didn't. I think Eversheds put me over

7 this. I don't remember that, no, personally.

8 Q. Now, I appreciate you were only there for a very small

9 period of time, but did you hear about, in your general

10 discussions with other officers, such complaints being

11 made by solicitors?

12 A. I don't remember hearing it at all.

13 Q. When you pursued a complaint, you obviously would want

14 to make contact with the officers themselves to see what

15 they had to say about the allegations?

16 A. Yes, I mean, the first part of the process really was to

17 try and establish who the officers were and then they

18 were to be formally advised that they were under

19 investigation. And you did that by serving what they

20 called a form 17/3, I think, in those days, which

21 outlined the nature of the complaint and put the officer

22 on notice formally that he or she was under

23 investigation.

24 Q. Did you normally try and interview the officers if you

25 could identify them?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. In Rosemary Nelson's complaint, it appears a number of

3 questionnaires were used which asked for a yes or no

4 response from officers. Was that an usual occurrence?

5 A. I have some difficulty in this because I wasn't the

6 investigating officer in this case.

7 Now, I did, as you will be coming on to, interview

8 Mrs Nelson, but I wasn't the investigating officer.

9 Now, it may well be that he had his own method of trying

10 to determine who the officers were who were involved,

11 and I mean, I see no difficulty with that if that is the

12 case.

13 Q. I will ask you some more questions about the

14 questionnaire tomorrow.

15 Sir, if we adjourn --

16 THE CHAIRMAN: We will break off until tomorrow morning.

17 We will resume your evidence at quarter past 10 or

18 thereabouts, Mr Cully.

19 A. Thank you.

20 (4.44 pm)

21 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)








1 I N D E X

MR EAMON STACK (continued) ....................... 1
Questions by MR SKELTON (continued) .......... 1
MR ALAN TODD (sworn) ............................. 40
Questions by MR SKELTON ...................... 40
Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN .............. 82
MS SUSAN MCKAY (affirmed) ........................ 86
Questions by MR SKELTON ...................... 86
Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ........... 155
Application by MR DONALDSON ...................... 156
Submissions by MR DONALDSON .................. 156
Submissions by MR PHILLIPS ................... 163
Submissions in reply by MR DONALDSON ......... 167
MR ANDREW CULLY (sworn) .......................... 170
Questions by MR SKELTON ...................... 170