Return to the list of transcripts

Full Hearings

Hearing: 25th June 2008, day 41

Click here to download the LiveNote version
















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

on Wednesday, 25th June 2008
commencing at 10.15 am

Day 41









1 Wednesday, 25th June 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 Housekeeping

4 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, before Ms Farrell gives her evidence, can

5 I just deal with some questions of housekeeping.

6 First of all in relation to the dates for the next

7 session, the full hearings, they have now been provided

8 to the Full Participants and they have been put on the

9 website. The hearings start once more on 1st September.

10 We have also distributed lists of those witnesses

11 who we expect to be called in the first weeks of that

12 session, some nearly 50 names, with dates for questions

13 and lines of questioning to be submitted to the Inquiry

14 during July and August, so that the witness preparation

15 can continue during the summer months in order to make

16 a good start at the beginning of September.

17 So far as further documents we have handed out, we

18 have this morning distributed amended lists of various

19 types of witness, the Lawyers Alliance witnesses and the

20 NGO categories, and we have also handed out a new list,

21 a short one, I think, in relation to Canadian observers.

22 Sir, the final thing I wanted to do, because I won't

23 be here tomorrow, is to give you an update on the

24 information I gave before our last break, and it is

25 this: as far as we can calculate it, by the end of this





1 week's evidence, you will have heard from 48 witnesses,

2 and a further 83 will have had their statements taken

3 into account, giving a total of 131 witnesses whose

4 evidence has been considered during this first session.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

6 MR DONALDSON: Sir, before the witness starts, may I make

7 one observation about the lists.

8 I just happened to see the list of witnesses for

9 next term. There are in fact -- and I think the initial

10 list, I think, is a total of 26 witnesses, and we are

11 now required -- the protocol seems to have been changed

12 considerably. Prior to this, we were required to give

13 48 hours' notice of lists of questioning. Now we are

14 asked in a very short time to prepare really 26 lists

15 before 15th July, I think it is.

16 That is quite impossible. In view of the fact that

17 people make arrangements for holidays, sir -- and it

18 just simply isn't possible to do it within that time.

19 And I am just giving notice of that fact now, that, as

20 far as we are concerned, it will not be possible to

21 furnish the lists, bearing in mind that some of those

22 witnesses, their evidence comes to even 40 pages with

23 a vast number of exhibits and that requires a lot of

24 work and consideration. And in the time available, it

25 isn't possible and, therefore -- and we haven't been





1 indicated that this protocol is to be changed.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: I myself have not -- nor have my two

3 colleagues -- seen these lists.


5 THE CHAIRMAN: I suggest that you have further discussion

6 with Mr Phillips today and make any further submissions

7 at the conclusion of today's evidence, when I and my two

8 colleagues will have had an opportunity of looking at

9 these lists.

10 MR DONALDSON: Very well.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

12 May the witness take the oath, please?


14 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

15 MR PHILLIPS: Can you give us your full names, please.

16 A. May name is Sharon Anne Farrell.

17 Q. Do you have a copy of the witness statement you have

18 made to the Inquiry in front of you?

19 A. I do.

20 Q. Can we have it on the screen, please? It is RNI-806-037

21 (displayed). Do we see your signature at RNI-806-042

22 (displayed)?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And the date of 21st May last year?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. Thank you. Now, returning to the start of the

2 statement, you describe yourself as an attorney. Can

3 I ask you: how long have been qualified?

4 A. 14 years.

5 Q. Do you still practise?

6 A. Yes, I do.

7 Q. What is the field of your practice?

8 A. I have a private practice.

9 Q. Dealing with what sort of work?

10 A. Personal injury.

11 Q. And I think you are based in New Jersey?

12 A. I am.

13 Q. Now, looking at the substance of your statement, can

14 I ask you first: how did you come to hear of the Lawyers

15 Alliance for Justice in Ireland?

16 A. I was attending a seminar they had at Seton Hall Law

17 School in New Jersey.

18 Q. Can you remember when that was?

19 A. The mid 1990s.

20 Q. It looks from your statement as though Mr Lynch, who has

21 already given evidence to the Inquiry, asked you to

22 become involved in cases that he and the Lawyers

23 Alliance were monitoring in Northern Ireland?

24 A. That's true.

25 Q. What role did he wish you to undertake?





1 A. As an observer, to come and sit in on the trials.

2 Q. And when was it that you first visited Northern Ireland

3 as an observer?

4 A. I believe it was August of 1995.

5 Q. Right. So that was your first trip to Northern Ireland?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. The first date you give us in your statement, in

8 paragraph 3, if you see at the bottom of the page, is

9 your first meeting with Rosemary Nelson, and you put

10 that in 1996?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So you think you made a previous visit to

13 Northern Ireland, the previous year, do you?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Thank you. So far as the reference you make in that

16 same paragraph, 3, to your journal is concerned, have

17 you managed to find your journal?

18 A. No, the journal I have not found. It has been ten years

19 and I had two moves during that time.

20 Q. So, so far as dates are concerned, we have your memory?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. But we don't have any written record?

23 A. That's true.

24 Q. Thank you. Before we look at the visits you paid and

25 your meetings with Rosemary Nelson, can I just ask you





1 about the other organisation that you refer to in your

2 evidence?

3 Now, this is -- I'm not even sure quite how to

4 pronounce it. Is it Brehon?

5 A. Yes, it is.

6 Q. What was your role in that organisation?

7 A. The Brehon Law Society was a group of Irish American

8 lawyers, as founded in New York City under Paul O'Neill.

9 Q. And your role in it?

10 A. I was at one time a vice president.

11 Q. What were the aims of that organisation?

12 A. To assist as well as we could the happenings in the

13 North with the different cases that were presented

14 to us.

15 Q. Assist in what way?

16 A. Assist in observing, assist with the attorneys, with

17 meeting with them, to see what we could do to help them,

18 to publicise cases.

19 Q. What sort of things did you do apart from publicising

20 the cases?

21 A. We would sit in on the trial itself.

22 Q. And see what was going on?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Now, before you visited in August 1995, what was your

25 knowledge of Northern Ireland?





1 A. The knowledge of Northern Ireland I had was that there

2 was lots of conflict up here that has been going on for

3 a long time. We were aware of the hunger strikes,

4 different pieces of information that would come by way

5 of the Irish community back home.

6 Q. When you first met Rosemary Nelson -- you deal with this

7 in paragraph 3 -- you tell us that at that stage you and

8 Jean Forest, who has also given a statement to the

9 Inquiry, were over in connection with the Colin Duffy

10 case?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Can I ask you first, which Colin Duffy case was this?

13 A. I believe that he was accused allegedly of murdering

14 a police officer.

15 Q. Right. At the stage you visited, was there an appeal in

16 progress, do you remember?

17 A. I can't quite remember, but I believe there was an

18 appeal.

19 Q. Right. We know, you see, that there was an appeal going

20 on at some point later in 1996, but that was in relation

21 to a conviction for the murder of a man called Lyness.

22 A. Lyness.

23 Q. Who was an UDR man.

24 A. Hm-mm.

25 Q. Is that the context in which you met Rosemary Nelson for





1 the first time, do you think?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you.

4 A. In Lurgan.

5 Q. Yes. And can I just ask you about the date.

6 Jean Forest has told us in her statement to the Inquiry

7 that she thinks her first meeting with Rosemary Nelson

8 was the following year, 1997. Now, are you confident in

9 your recollection of it being the previous year, 1996?

10 A. I'm not sure, but I do know that we met in the cafeteria

11 in Lurgan, and it had to be 1996 or 1997 because it

12 wasn't my first trip over.

13 Q. But it could have been 1997?

14 A. It could have been.

15 Q. Yes. At the time you met Rosemary Nelson, what did you

16 know about her practice, the work that she did?

17 A. I knew that she worked with just a couple of other

18 lawyers and that a lot of her work was involved with the

19 Irish Catholic community up here in the North.

20 Q. Is there anything else that you knew about her work?

21 A. No, not at that time.

22 Q. Was her practice, the work that she did, something that

23 you had discussed with other members of the Lawyers

24 Alliance, for example?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. And were some of them at least better informed about it

2 than you were?

3 A. I'm sorry?

4 Q. Were some of them better informed about her work than

5 you were?

6 A. Yes, I'm sure they were.

7 Q. And so when you first met her in the cafe, as you

8 describe it, what was the purpose of meeting her with

9 Jean Forest?

10 A. To discuss the Colin Duffy case and where it was, what

11 stage it was at.

12 Q. Were you at that stage offering her assistance with the

13 case?

14 A. Not at that stage.

15 Q. No. Did you come to offer assistance in relation to

16 that case?

17 A. No, I just came as an observer.

18 Q. So what did you observe on this visit?

19 A. There seemed to be a lot of tension, a lot of resistance

20 from the other sides; uneasiness on her part in the

21 defence of all these cases that she had taken on.

22 Q. And that was something that you observed, was it, at

23 your first meeting with her in 1996 or 1997?

24 A. Yes, and I was wondering why she would take on such work

25 as she did, being that she was a wife and mother.





1 Q. You tell us in your statement at paragraph 4 -- this is

2 at RNI-806-038 (displayed) -- that she told you she had

3 a very dangerous career?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Now, so I have understood this, was she telling you then

6 that her work was particularly dangerous?

7 A. I believe I asked her.

8 Q. And what was her response?

9 A. Yes, it was dangerous, it was risky.

10 Q. Why did you ask her that question?

11 A. Because I had stayed in the Ardoyne and this was my

12 first exposure to the North, and it was a very different

13 experience than what I have had in the States, of

14 course.

15 Q. Now, you also tell us that she told you that she felt

16 the RUC were following her around and keeping tabs on

17 her?

18 A. In which -- where are you referring to?

19 Q. I am still in paragraph 4. Do you see in the third

20 sentence beginning, "she commented ..."?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Can I just ask you first of all, did she give you any

23 examples of being followed around?

24 A. Examples in what way? Showing us a car that was

25 following us, do you mean, sir?





1 Q. Did she explain an occasion or occasions in which she

2 had in fact been followed?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Can you remember any details?

5 A. She would just say that the cars would be following her

6 and she would be able to identify them. I think she was

7 familiar with the officers' faces.

8 Q. Any further details?

9 A. You mean licence numbers? No.

10 Q. What about the keeping tabs on her? What did she mean

11 by that, as you understood it?

12 A. It seems that when she would appear places, there would

13 be members of the RUC that she would recognise and she

14 would be wondering why they were there.

15 Q. Again, did she give you specific examples?

16 A. She might have mentioned names, but I don't remember

17 them.

18 Q. Now, you tell us that she went on to tell you in general

19 terms that Mr Duffy and his family had been receiving

20 threats because of the accusation that he had killed

21 a police officer.

22 Again, can you remember any more particular details

23 about this and what she told you?

24 A. We were in the house of Colin Duffy and his wife --

25 Q. Yes.





1 A. -- and I heard it from Colin Duffy himself.

2 Q. So, I see, this is something which was passed on to you

3 by Mr Duffy, was it?

4 A. As well as Ms Nelson.

5 Q. Right. Okay. And again, can I ask you: can you

6 remember any details of that?

7 A. As far as names, no, I cannot remember names. I can

8 remember them saying that they would not go out at

9 night. They were afraid to go out at night. The wife

10 was afraid to go out by herself.

11 Q. Yes. And was she, Rosemary Nelson, asking you for help

12 or asking your organisation for help or assistance in

13 any way?

14 A. As far as protection? No, we would not be able to

15 protect her.

16 Q. You also tell us that, as I understand it, on this first

17 meeting she told you that she, Rosemary Nelson, had been

18 receiving threats. And this is your paragraph 6, the

19 first line at the bottom of page RNI-806-038

20 (displayed).

21 Again, can I ask you: can you recall now --

22 obviously it is a very long time ago -- any more detail

23 about that?

24 A. At the time I had worked in the Public Defender's

25 Office, so I was on the criminal side, the defence





1 criminal side as well as she was, and when she was

2 mentioning that she would receive threats from the RUC,

3 I understood it to be the Royal Ulster Constabulary,

4 which is a recognised force in the North. And I found

5 it quite appalling that they would be so bold as to

6 threaten her outright.

7 Q. But did she give you an example of such a threat?

8 A. Phone calls that she had received, letters.

9 Q. You mention letters on the next page, at the, top of

10 RNI-806-039 (displayed). What can you remember about

11 the information that she gave you about the letters?

12 A. Well, the letters were just stop what you are doing, to

13 that effect. I don't know the exact words, but that was

14 the message.

15 Q. Did she tell you whether they were sent to her house or

16 to her workplace?

17 A. I believe she said her home.

18 Q. And as I understand it, you didn't see any of the

19 letters; is that right?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Did she tell you anything about their contents?

22 A. The contents were just offensive. They were just

23 threats. That is what she said.

24 Q. Can you remember the nature of the threats?

25 A. To her livelihood.





1 Q. To her livelihood, to her life?

2 A. To her life, yes.

3 Q. Did you get any impression from her of how many there

4 had been, whether they were regular or whether this was

5 something that had only happened once or twice?

6 A. It would be enough to make me stop.

7 Q. And what was her reaction to all of this, as far as you

8 could judge?

9 A. Courageous.

10 Q. Did she seem to be concerned about them?

11 A. Yes. Yes, she did.

12 Q. How did that manifest itself?

13 A. She mentioned them several times. She spoke about, you

14 know, her children and that she knew that her husband

15 was not fond of her work, that it put her in harm's way.

16 There were other people who would also bear consequences

17 if anything happened to her; namely, her children.

18 Q. So she told you, did she, that her husband was worried

19 about the effect of her work?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now, you say in your statement, in the same paragraph 6,

22 at the top of page RNI-806-039 (displayed), that:

23 "When she spoke of the threat she was fairly matter

24 of fact."

25 A. Hm-mm.





1 Q. Is it fair to say that you regarded that as something of

2 a front?

3 A. Could you be more specific about "a front"?

4 Q. Did you think that that was her actual feeling, being

5 matter of fact about it?

6 A. Oh, yes.

7 Q. It was?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. You see, you say in your statement that she was stressed

10 and concerned. How did that manifest itself in the

11 conversation?

12 A. Chain smoking.

13 Q. Did it seem to you that the threats were getting to her?

14 A. Yes, I did think they were getting to her, but she still

15 displayed a lot of guts and courage by going forward

16 with them, despite them.

17 Q. Earlier in this same paragraph, you mention a specific

18 incident where she tells you -- and this is the second

19 line of paragraph 6 -- that an RUC officer had hit her?

20 A. Yes, assaulted her.

21 Q. Now, you give limited details about that in the next

22 sentences and you say at one point:

23 "... I got the feeling that it was not in private,

24 but in an open place ..."

25 Can you remember anything more about the





1 circumstances as they were explained to you?

2 A. Yes, I believe it was when she was involved with

3 Garvaghy Road.

4 Q. We know that that alleged assault happened in July 1997,

5 so does that help you with the dating of this first

6 meeting with Rosemary Nelson?

7 A. Well, it would have been in summer, because that is when

8 I would have my vacation time.

9 Q. If you think now that she was referring to that

10 incident, then your visit must have post-dated that

11 incident, mustn't it?

12 A. You mean after?

13 Q. Hm-mm.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. So it follows, doesn't it, that it is more likely than

16 not that your first meeting with Rosemary Nelson was in

17 fact in 1997 and not 1996?

18 A. It may well have been.

19 Q. Thank you. Now, having heard all these details from

20 her, you tell us in an earlier paragraph of your

21 statement, paragraph 4, that, as you said earlier, you

22 effectively challenged her and said, as I understand it,

23 "Why do you carry on doing this sort of work if it puts

24 you in danger?"

25 What was her response to that challenge?





1 A. She seemed unaffected by it. It seemed that she had

2 a cause that she believed in and that she was going to

3 help these -- and defend these people, and she seemed

4 very strong in her conviction of that.

5 Q. Do you think what she was telling you is that she had

6 a conviction about her work or about the causes of her

7 clients?

8 A. It would be both. I don't know how you would separate

9 one from the other.

10 Q. You make a very specific reference in this same

11 paragraph to Pat Finucane. The words you use there, you

12 say:

13 "I remember that Mrs Nelson also mentioned

14 Patrick Finucane and his fate and said she was following

15 in his desire to protect the Catholic community."

16 Are those, as far as you can recall, the words that

17 she used of herself?

18 A. Yes, because I asked her why would she do this, and she

19 said because there was an attorney, Patrick Finucane,

20 who was defending the Catholic community. I believe he

21 was murdered inside of his house with his children or

22 his son to witness it as well.

23 Q. So she was expressing to you, was she, that she regarded

24 her role as carrying on the work that he had done?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. Is that a fair way of putting it?

2 A. A fair way.

3 Q. But it sounds from the last sentence of this paragraph

4 as though in a sense she regretted that there wasn't

5 anyone else -- specifically, you say, a man -- who could

6 have carried it on in her place?

7 A. I believe I asked -- I posed the question to her, asking

8 her why would she be doing this as she had young

9 children at the time.

10 Q. And that is when she gave you this answer?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Is that right? Yes.

13 Now, during the course of this conversation in the

14 cafe in Lurgan, was it clear to you exactly why she was

15 telling you all these things?

16 A. Because I was asking her.

17 Q. So she was responding to questions?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Is that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. She wasn't simply making a series of statements to you

22 off her own bat?

23 A. It was kind of a mix. I would ask questions and then

24 she would add different statements as well.

25 Q. Did you discusses with her whether she had reported





1 these things?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. To the authorities?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. What was her response?

6 A. It was kind of confusing. I think that she said she may

7 have reported them. I didn't see any copies of any

8 letters, though, to that effect.

9 Q. You see, you say in paragraph 6 in the penultimate

10 sentence, which is at the top of RNI-806-039

11 (displayed):

12 "She knew she needed help and I think she knew she

13 wasn't going to get it."

14 Now, can I ask you: what do you mean by that?

15 A. As I remember, Rosemary didn't feel that the community

16 would support her as far as the RUC was concerned.

17 Q. The community wouldn't support her?

18 A. I'm sorry, the RUC.

19 Q. I see. Is that something she said to you?

20 A. I believe she referred to it as the police force.

21 Q. Yes. But presumably that raised the question of whether

22 she could get help from any other source. Did you

23 discuss that with her?

24 A. Any other source, such as?

25 Q. Was any other source discussed? Source of help?





1 A. I think that is why we were there: to get support from

2 outside communities as well in the United States.

3 Q. So did you then discuss with her the ways in which you

4 and your organisation might help?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And what was discussed?

7 A. Writing to congressmen in the United States, bringing

8 her case, giving it more exposure -- not her case, but

9 anything that was happening, more exposure to the

10 public.

11 Q. So your role in giving help was to make a wider

12 audience, if I can put it that way --

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. -- aware of her situation?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And presumably that would be particularly in the

17 United States of America?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Yes. When she explained her view, which is that she

20 needed help and she didn't think she was going to get

21 it, did you question that with her, question her

22 attitude in relation to the police, for example?

23 A. No, I was just thinking of ways that we could possibly

24 drum up some exposure in the United States with the

25 congressmen that we had known over there.





1 Q. So your focus is on what you could do back in the

2 United States of America?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Yes. Now, in relation to the threat letters that we

5 talked about a little while ago, you have told us you

6 were in the public defender's office at this time. Did

7 you discuss with her the idea that the letters

8 themselves ought to be handed in to the police to be

9 analysed, to see if any clues as to their origin might

10 be obtained?

11 A. She may have submitted them. I can't recall.

12 Q. But you didn't make that suggestion to her?

13 A. I may have.

14 Q. Specifically?

15 A. I may have.

16 Q. And are you aware, as a result of your further

17 discussions and meetings with her, whether that was in

18 fact done?

19 A. I only know that I can recall is that we were sending

20 letters to now Senator Menendez over in the States.

21 Q. This is your organisation?

22 A. It isn't an organisation. We have access to our

23 congressmen and senators.

24 Q. So that is your local senator, is it?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. So your reaction when you got back to the States was to

2 raise the matter with your elected representative

3 locally?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Did you raise that as a possibility for her: "Why don't

6 you write to your member of Parliament?"

7 A. I may have, I am sure that we did but I can't recall

8 specifically.

9 Q. Now, after these meetings and discussions that we have

10 talked of, did you stay in touch with Rosemary Nelson in

11 the succeeding years?

12 A. Yes, periodically.

13 Q. I think it is right to say -- please tell me if this is

14 correct -- that your next meeting with her wasn't

15 until March 1999. Is that correct?

16 A. I believe that would be correct.

17 Q. Yes. So in the intervening period -- let us say between

18 the summer of 1997 and March 1999 -- how often would you

19 speak to her?

20 A. Well, she came in to New Jersey, I believe, in the

21 summer of 1998.

22 Q. Yes. And on that occasion you tell us you went to

23 a dinner?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. I think you didn't speak to her but you were both





1 attending the same dinner. Is that right?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. We will come to that in a minute, but can I just ask

4 you: that is the dinner you have told us about in your

5 statement. You have also dealt with the later meeting

6 in March 1999, but in the period between, how regularly

7 were you in contact?

8 A. Perhaps every few months. Jean Forest was more in

9 contact with her than I.

10 Q. Would the contact be by phone, by email?

11 A. By phone.

12 Q. You haven't mentioned any of those conversations in your

13 statement, but what were the sort of topics you would

14 discuss?

15 A. Well, just how things were going over there, what was

16 the climate, how she was, her, her family, personal

17 matters as well as professional.

18 Q. Did you return to any of the topics you had discussed in

19 the cafe?

20 A. I don't think I would have done that over the phone.

21 Q. No.

22 A. No.

23 Q. So you didn't have any further conversations --

24 A. Not that I can recall.

25 Q. Okay. There is something I would like to look up before





1 we look at the dinner, at the time she gave evidence in

2 Congress. Can you look, please, at RNI-114-121.503? We

3 will put it up oh the screen (displayed).

4 A. I have it.

5 Q. This is a list of delegates for a Lawyers Alliance visit

6 in February 1998, and you will see on the left-hand side

7 your name appears?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Just above Jean Forest's, in fact?

10 A. Hm-mm.

11 Q. As far as we can tell from other material, you didn't in

12 fact come to Northern Ireland that year in the

13 delegation. Is that correct?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. So that was obviously a delegate list that didn't in

16 fact reflect the final composition of the delegation in

17 your case anyway?

18 A. Correct.

19 Q. Thank you. So the next time, from your statement at any

20 rate, you met Rosemary Nelson, as you say, is at the

21 time of the dinner, and this is paragraph 7 of your

22 statement at RNI-806-039 (displayed). And as I

23 understand it, you were one of a number of people

24 present who listened to Rosemary Nelson speak to the

25 dinner, but on that occasion she did not give any detail





1 of specific threats. Is that correct?

2 A. I believe there wasn't specific threats, but she still

3 was talking about the uncomfortableness and the

4 unsafeness that she felt.

5 Q. What can you remember of what she said?

6 A. I remember specifically that she said -- she was going

7 before Congress, or she'd gone before Congress about

8 different threats on her life.

9 Q. Can you remember anything else about it?

10 A. I think that was kind of after I heard about that she

11 had threats on her life. It just gave me to pause after

12 that.

13 Q. But you didn't speak to her yourself?

14 A. Yes, I did.

15 Q. Oh, you did?

16 A. I was seated with her at the table.

17 Q. I see. Right. You see, you say about six lines down:

18 "I did not speak with Rosemary Nelson personally on

19 this occasion."

20 A. About specific facts? Because I know I spoke with her

21 to say hello, how are you, how was your trip;

22 pleasantries, as such.

23 Q. So you did speak to her but you didn't speak to her

24 about the threats and the other sorts of points you

25 discussed in the cafe?





1 A. Yes, there was conversation that took place around the

2 table.

3 Q. Right.

4 A. It is in the statement.

5 Q. Thank you. Now, you say in the final sentence of this

6 paragraph that your sense was that she was:

7 "... serious and business orientated even at this

8 event."

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can I ask you to help us: what do you mean by that,

11 "serious and business orientated"?

12 A. She was preparing for the congressional meetings. She

13 spoke just a bit about her family, but she seemed more

14 interested in the task at hand, which was going before

15 Congress. Those sessions I didn't attend.

16 Q. No. Can we then finally deal with your meeting with her

17 in March 1999.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Some two weeks before her murder. You were over in

20 Ireland, as I understand it, with your cousin?

21 A. Yes, I was.

22 Q. And he was also a lawyer, I think?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Is that right?

25 A. Yes, he was, he was the deputy.





1 Q. And he expressed an interest, as I understand it, in

2 meeting Rosemary Nelson?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And you contacted her and she was very pleased to meet

5 you on your visit in March that year?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. You say in paragraph 9, in the last sentence:

8 "I think she felt that she needed support and so she

9 was always keen to meet with people and talk to them and

10 tell them what was going on."

11 That assessment of her state of mind, is that based

12 on this recent, or most recent meeting with her

13 in March 1999?

14 A. No. From the very first I would perceive that Rosemary

15 would like to meet other attorneys. She was very

16 interested in finding out different things about the

17 United States and our defence system there.

18 Q. But in relation to the support that you refer to, how do

19 you think she felt she was getting support from

20 conversations of this kind?

21 A. Because she knew we would act.

22 Q. Is it because she was able to ask you to do things on

23 her behalf?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And that she regarded that as a form of support?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Yes. Now, earlier in the statement at the previous

3 paragraph, you tell us that you had been encouraged to

4 pay her a visit by one or other of the organisations you

5 have told us about, and you say:

6 "Everyone was certainly very concerned for her

7 safety at this time."

8 So this is March 1999.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. How did you learn of that concern, presumably on the

11 part of other members of the two organisations?

12 A. I think in my statement I said I can't be sure, but

13 I know that we were always concerned about the attorneys

14 and the community over here.

15 Q. Yes. Was there anything in particular about this time,

16 in other words March 1999, which had led to concern?

17 A. I believe this was post the congressional meetings, was

18 it not?

19 Q. Yes, it was.

20 A. Okay, she had said that she was afraid for her life,

21 that there were threats upon her life.

22 Q. So you think that those concerns derived from the

23 evidence she gave to Congress?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Were there any other matters leading to concern at this





1 stage, that you can remember?

2 A. At the courthouse, when we were there in March? She

3 didn't want to leave the courthouse. She didn't want to

4 go into a public -- she wanted to stay in the

5 courthouse. She felt safer there.

6 Q. We will come to that in a minute. You see, in your

7 statement you mention this concern in the context of

8 your being encouraged to pay her a visit. So that is

9 before your meeting in the courthouse. But what I'm

10 trying to ask you is whether, in addition to the

11 testimony she gave in Congress, there was anything else

12 going on at that time which led to those concerns?

13 A. I think there was always an ongoing series of threats

14 against Rosemary Nelson.

15 Q. Can you remember anything specific?

16 A. In her words?

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. Yes, that they would want to kill her, that they said

19 they would kill her.

20 Q. Those are the words she used at the hearing, as you

21 remember them; is that right?

22 A. I know I heard it from her own self, and I believe

23 I heard it in the congressional meetings as well in the

24 video.

25 Q. Can I ask you when you heard it from her?





1 A. On more than one occasion. I believe in the initial

2 meeting.

3 Q. The meeting --

4 A. In the cafeteria.

5 Q. In summer 1997?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Now, in relation to the Lawyers Alliance, did you know

8 at the time you were arranging to pay your own visit

9 that the alliance had its own deputation going to

10 Northern Ireland in February 1999?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Yes. And were you aware that there was still going on

13 at this point a complaints investigation involving

14 a Lawyers Alliance complaint on Rosemary Nelson's

15 behalf?

16 A. Yes, I believe that Ed Lynch had mentioned that to me.

17 Q. Yes. In your evidence about this meeting in March 1999,

18 you describe meeting Rosemary Nelson at court. Can

19 I ask you, please, who was present apart from yourself

20 and Rosemary Nelson?

21 A. My cousin, John McKenna.

22 Q. Was anybody else present?

23 A. No.

24 Q. And what struck you about Rosemary Nelson's mood on this

25 occasion?





1 A. That she didn't want to leave the courthouse. She

2 didn't want to get in a car, she didn't want to go into

3 town to have lunch, that she preferred to stay in the

4 cafeteria. She felt safer there, she said.

5 Q. Compared to the earlier meeting in Lurgan in 1997, what

6 had happened to her mood?

7 A. I can't say. She just seemed more cautious, she didn't

8 want to leave the building because she wanted to be

9 surrounded by a lot of people. We had wanted to go into

10 town for lunch and she declined and said that she

11 preferred to sit in the cafeteria.

12 Q. You say in 10 that -- this is about five lines down:

13 "When she appeared, she was energetic and bubbly as

14 always and immediately started talking."

15 A. Hm-mm.

16 Q. When did it become clear to you that she was in fact, as

17 you put it later, much more frightened?

18 A. Well, initially when she saw us, of course, she was

19 excited and she met my cousin because he was the deputy

20 for the Public Defender's Office, and then she got right

21 into the defence systems in the United States, the

22 defence systems over here.

23 Q. But at some point, clearly, it struck you that she

24 was -- and again, I use the words you have used in your

25 statement -- "much more frightened"?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. At what point in the conversation did that strike you?

3 A. When she didn't want to leave the courthouse.

4 Q. Was it clear to you what she was afraid of?

5 A. She was always afraid for her bodily harm.

6 Q. You see, when you talked earlier about the meeting you

7 had in the cafe in Lurgan, you described the way she

8 talked about threats as being matter of fact. Now, was

9 that the way she talked about these issues when you met

10 her in March 1999?

11 A. She seemed more serious, more sober in her demeanour and

12 more implicit on not leaving the courthouse.

13 Q. In paragraph 12, you tell us that she asked your cousin

14 how lawyers were protected in the United States. Can

15 you remember what prompted her to raise that issue in

16 the conversation?

17 A. No.

18 Q. No. And you then tell us that she returned to the topic

19 of threats?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. But as I understand it, she did not give you any further

22 details in this conversation in March 1999; is that

23 correct?

24 A. No, I believe that she asked my cousin how the attorneys

25 were protected in the United States, and he said they





1 didn't really have to be protected; they weren't met

2 with any kind of threats.

3 Q. What did she say to you in the conversation about her

4 feelings about the threats?

5 A. She was very frightened.

6 Q. When you raised this issue with her on the earlier

7 occasion, challenged her, as we discussed earlier, she

8 told you that she felt she had to carry on. Did you

9 have a similar conversation on this occasion?

10 A. I think by this time I knew that she was set in her mind

11 that this was the work that she chose to do.

12 Q. So in that sense, her approach and her attitude was

13 unchanged; is that fair?

14 A. Maybe it was unchanged in my mind.

15 Q. Now, you say then in paragraph 13 that you noticed

16 a change in Rosemary Nelson from when you had first met

17 her, and you give some examples about the way she

18 carried on her work. In particular, you say that she

19 told you that she was "having to meet clients in

20 secret"?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Can you remember any more details about having to meet

23 clients in secret? Did she give you examples?

24 A. I believe she said that there was a case in the

25 Protestant community that she was now taking up.





1 Q. And that it was in that case -- is that right? -- that

2 she had had to meet clients in secret?

3 A. Yes, the one that she mentioned to me. There may have

4 been others, but this is what specifically she mentioned

5 to me.

6 Q. Did she explain why she had felt she had had to behave

7 in that way?

8 A. I think it was understood that -- by this time that her

9 life was threatened. She had mentioned many times, so I

10 did not have to question her.

11 Q. But it sounds as though what she was telling you was

12 that she felt the need to hide the fact that she was

13 acting in what you describe as a very unpopular case?

14 A. I don't know what you mean.

15 Q. Well, I am just trying to understand from the way she

16 explained this business of meeting clients in secret.

17 You see, you say later your statement:

18 "This was a very unpopular case."

19 Did you understand her to be telling you that

20 because it was a very unpopular case, she had felt the

21 need to meet her clients in secret?

22 A. Yes, I would think so.

23 Q. And that seems also to have concerned you because, as

24 you put it, if people didn't know where she was and

25 something happened to her, nobody would be able to reach





1 her?

2 A. Hm-mm, yes.

3 Q. And did you express that concern in this meeting?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And what was her reaction?

6 A. As always, Rosemary continued unafraid.

7 Q. And in relation to what might be done, what might be

8 done to help, it looks as though she asked you -- this

9 is paragraph 14 at the bottom of the page -- to, as it

10 were, keep in touch with your senator, although she

11 didn't give you any specific information to pass on to

12 him; is that right?

13 A. I think the specific information would have been that

14 the cases would have been carried out unbiased, with

15 exposure, as much as possible.

16 Q. In relation to the question of her protection or

17 personal security, you tell us that you don't recall

18 that being raised, but you say this -- and it is the

19 penultimate sentence of this page, RNI-806-041

20 (displayed):

21 "In any event, it was the police who she was afraid

22 of and I know she felt she couldn't trust them."

23 Now, can I just ask you: that last part of the

24 sentence, "I know she felt she couldn't trust them," is

25 that something that she said to you, that she couldn't





1 trust the police?

2 A. Could you, please, refer me to which sentence this is,

3 sir?

4 Q. Sorry, it is the penultimate sentence of this page,

5 RNI-806-041 (displayed), in paragraph 14. Perhaps we

6 can highlight it. There. Do you see? It is on the

7 screen.

8 A. I have it.

9 Q. "... I know she felt she couldn't trust them."

10 Now, that lack of trust in the police is what I am

11 asking you about. Is that something she expressed to

12 you herself?

13 A. It could have been my own perception.

14 Q. So it may have been, as it were, an inference that you

15 drew rather than something she said to you herself?

16 A. An inference that I drew from my prior meetings with

17 her, Rosemary.

18 Q. Can I take it, therefore, that you did not have any

19 discussion was with her, that you can recall, about any

20 steps she may have taken in relation to her own

21 protection?

22 A. I believe that she did go into the police precincts in

23 Lurgan. I believe she had mentioned that, that she did

24 send letters to them in Lurgan.

25 Q. Can you remember anything else about that aspect?





1 A. No, but that she did approach them, that she did send

2 letters.

3 Q. Right. Those are all the questions I wish to ask you,

4 but, as I say to all the witnesses who come to the

5 Inquiry to give evidence, if there is any matter that we

6 haven't covered but that you would like to draw to the

7 attention of the Inquiry Panel, this is your opportunity

8 to do so.

9 A. Good morning. I would like to say that that was my last

10 time in Belfast, 1st March 1999. Once we heard the news

11 of Rosemary's murder, I really did not desire to come

12 back here out of the stunning and -- boldness of the

13 attack, and this is my first time back and I am glad to

14 be here.

15 Question by THE CHAIRMAN

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Ms Farrell, we are very grateful for you

17 coming over here to give evidence before us. Just one

18 question I would like to ask you, if you can remember

19 this: on 1st March 1999, when you were in the courthouse

20 and you saw Rosemary Nelson in the cafeteria with your

21 cousin, can you remember what sort of case it was that

22 had caused Rosemary Nelson to be in the courthouse?

23 A. No, I can't, sir.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: You didn't discuss the case that she was on

25 at all?





1 A. No, she didn't. We were mostly exchanging information

2 about the different defence justice systems, US and

3 the UK.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Thank you very much. Thank you very

5 much indeed.

6 Yes? Would you like an adjournment?

7 MR DONALDSON: Yes, a short adjournment, sir, thank you.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Ms Farrell, if you wouldn't mind remaining

9 here for a few more minutes. We are going to have

10 a quarter of an hour break, and maybe very shortly

11 afterwards you will be able to return, if you wish,

12 today to the United States.

13 A. Yes, thank you.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: We will have a quarter of an hour break.

15 (11.11 am)

16 (Short break)

17 (11.30 am)

18 Further questions by MR PHILLIPS

19 MR PHILLIPS: Now, there are just two matters I want to ask

20 you about in addition to those we covered earlier.

21 First of all -- and perhaps it will help to go back

22 to your statement; if you look at paragraph 6, and it is

23 the part on page RNI-806-039 (displayed) -- you talked

24 in your evidence about threat letters, we discussed

25 those, and also you mentioned calls, and we discussed





1 those. Did you understand from Rosemary Nelson when you

2 spoke to her who she believed to be responsible for

3 those threat letters and calls?

4 A. The threat letters or the assaults?

5 Q. You have talked specifically about the assault. I don't

6 want to ask you about that, but about the threat letters

7 first. Did she tell you who she believed was

8 responsible for the threat letters?

9 A. She wasn't sure, I don't think, specifically.

10 Q. Did she suggest to you specifically that she believed

11 the threat letters had been sent by the police?

12 A. She said -- Rosemary said that it could have been

13 a possibility.

14 Q. But she put it no higher than that?

15 A. Exactly.

16 Q. Now, as for the calls, again did she tell you who she

17 believed was responsible for them?

18 A. Members of the community.

19 Q. Thank you very much.

20 Now, the final matter is this: you talk in your

21 statement, in the early parts, about various meetings

22 with Colin Duffy, and the first thing I wanted to ask

23 you is how many times on that visit do you think you met

24 him?

25 A. Twice.





1 Q. Twice? So would that be once at his house?

2 A. Hm-mm.

3 Q. And where was the second meeting?

4 A. I believe it was at his house.

5 Q. So you met him twice at his house?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Right. And nowhere else, as far as you can remember?

8 A. As far as I can remember.

9 Q. You see in paragraph 5, if we just look at that

10 together -- and that is on page RNI-806-038

11 (displayed) -- you say in the second sentence you

12 recall --

13 A. Yes, I thought maybe it might have been at Long Kesh,

14 but I wasn't sure.

15 Q. Clearly, if he had been in prison at that time, you

16 would only have been able to meet him there. Does it

17 suggest that your recollection of where you met him is

18 somewhat vague at this point?

19 A. No, I remember being at his home.

20 Q. Right.

21 A. For sure, and I believe that we were in Long Kesh as

22 well. I went to Long Kesh several times.

23 Q. And you think on two of those occasions -- is this

24 right? -- that you met Mr Duffy?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. Can I ask you: why did you think it necessary to meet

2 him on those occasions?

3 A. Because when you are looking at a case, there is nothing

4 like face-to-face with the person that is involved, the

5 defendant.

6 Q. Were they meetings suggested by you or by

7 Rosemary Nelson herself?

8 A. A mixture of both. I think I would have liked to have

9 seen the defendant.

10 Q. Thank you very much.

11 Further questions by THE CHAIRMAN

12 THE CHAIRMAN: You actually went inside Long Kesh, did you?

13 A. Yes.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: What is your recollection? How many times

15 inside Long Kesh were you there?

16 A. I believe three occasions, at least three occasions.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Well, we wish you

18 a good flight back to the United States, thank you.

19 A. Thank you.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: We will rise now for a quarter of an hour.

21 We will say ten to 12.

22 (11.34 am)

23 (Short break)

24 (11.50 am)






1 MR PAUL NELSON (sworn)

2 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

3 MR PHILLIPS: Can you give us your full name, please.

4 A. Paul Robert Nelson.

5 Q. Do you have in front of you a copy of the statement you

6 have made to the Inquiry?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Can we have it up on the screen, please, at RNI-813-033

9 (displayed)? If we turn over to RNI-813-072

10 (displayed), do we see your signature there and the date

11 of 22nd May this year?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Now, turning back to the beginning of the statement, you

14 tell us that you and Rosemary Nelson met at university

15 together?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. You were, I think, rather ahead of her; is that right?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. And I don't think you knew her well at that stage?

20 A. No.

21 Q. But you obviously -- you say:

22 "... began a relationship with her in late 1979 and

23 early 1980."

24 And I think in 1983 you got married?

25 A. That's correct.





1 Q. So far as your backgrounds are concerned, you say in

2 paragraph 2 that you wouldn't consider yourself a Lurgan

3 person?

4 A. No, I wasn't educated in Lurgan. I spent all my

5 education either on the outskirts of Lurgan, Newry, or

6 then straight to university. It was only when I left

7 university -- I actually was at boarding school in my

8 secondary education. So it was only when I finished

9 university that I began living in Lurgan full-time.

10 Q. But Rosemary Nelson was a Lurgan person?

11 A. Yes, she was born and bred there.

12 Q. Her family came from there?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And she lived and worked there for all of her life?

15 A. Correct, yes.

16 Q. Can I just ask you about her early career, first of all.

17 You tell us that her first legal work, her

18 apprenticeship, was with a firm in Portadown; is that

19 right?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. And it was at the time when she'd finished those -- in

22 England they call them articles, the apprenticeship --

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. -- that you got married?

25 A. That's correct, yes.





1 Q. As I understand it, thereafter it was difficult for her

2 to find work and, as it were, by way of replacement, she

3 took a job running the community advice centre in

4 Lurgan?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, reading your statement, it looks as though her plan

7 was always to have her own practice; is that right?

8 A. Well, not her own practice initially, but to practise

9 law, yes.

10 Q. So that she was looking for something more, and more

11 permanent than the local community advice centre?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. The way you put it in paragraph 5 of your statement is

14 that she needed another year of work in a practice to

15 allow her, as you put it:

16 "... to open up on her own."

17 A. Correct.

18 Q. So do you think then by, let's say, the mid to

19 late 1980s that idea of opening up on her own was very

20 much in her mind?

21 A. Well, after she had worked there for two or three years,

22 she decided she wanted to go back into law and at that

23 time I think lawyers' jobs were very hard to come by,

24 and she thought the best way would be to open her own

25 practice.





1 Q. So she found a job in Lisburn, where she was the only

2 assistant solicitor, and worked there in fact for rather

3 less than a year, six to nine months, you say?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And then got her practising certificate?

6 A. Practising certificates were issued, I think, in the

7 January of each year. She had been informed that she

8 would have to work for a year, but when she applied

9 in January to renew, they informed her because she

10 already had one, even though it wasn't for a year, she

11 was entitled to then get one in her own right.

12 Q. Now, do you know what sort of work she did in the firm

13 in Lisburn?

14 A. Very little. She was in there for a few months. It was

15 a very small practice. But it was just a mixture, just

16 a mixture. It would have been probably court criminal

17 work on a very small level.

18 Q. But the reason I ask you is because, in fact, as you

19 tell us, what she did after that work in Lisburn, six to

20 nine months, was to open up her own practice in Lurgan.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So that at that point, the point in March 1989, where

23 she began her own practice, she had had

24 a post-apprenticeship experience of six to nine months?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. It was a very bold thing for her to do, wasn't it?

2 A. Well, you mean -- her intention was, when she took up

3 the job, to only be there as short a period of time as

4 necessary to get her full practising certificate, so it

5 didn't really matter what work or experience she had.

6 That was her decision.

7 Q. What I meant was that it was a bold thing to set up her

8 own practice after a relatively small amount of

9 practical experience in the job in Lisburn?

10 A. Oh, yes.

11 Q. Was she anxious as to whether she would be able to make

12 a go of it?

13 A. Oh, yes, I mean, there were a few anxious nights

14 thinking about it.

15 Q. No doubt you were privy to that anxiety yourself?

16 A. Yes, we worked out what it would take and we realised it

17 would be a long struggle, as for any practice,

18 especially from her lack of -- her experience as

19 a solicitor. We understood it would be difficult with

20 no client base.

21 Q. And it was the only firm at that time, wasn't it, a sole

22 practice firm, run by a woman in Lurgan; is that right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And I think that may have continued actually throughout

25 the whole of her life; is that right?





1 A. In fact, I think -- I don't know of any women running

2 a practice in Lurgan at the moment.

3 Q. No. When she first started, how many people did she

4 have working for her?

5 A. One.

6 Q. Just one. You tell us about those early years and the

7 office in William Street in paragraph 6 of your

8 statement at RNI-815-034 (displayed). As I understand

9 it, when she first started, she didn't own the building

10 but did eventually buy the premises. Is that right?

11 A. Yes, eventually.

12 Q. And there were a number of others in the building when

13 she first started. Presumably she expanded --

14 A. It was subdivided into, like, six or seven different

15 units.

16 Q. Yes. And it looks as though from the start she expected

17 to succeed in this bold venture?

18 A. Well, make a living would be the definition at the time;

19 make a living as a solicitor, that she would have made

20 working for somebody else.

21 Q. But the thing you point up in your statement,

22 paragraph 7 -- and that is at RNI-815-035, perhaps we

23 can get that on the screen for you (displayed) -- is

24 that she thought that a female solicitor would do well

25 in the town.





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Why was that?

3 A. Well, one, she felt that women would be more comfortable

4 coming to a female solicitor for problems that they

5 personally had. But she had also realised that I think

6 through her work in the community centre, where lots of

7 times women would have come with family problems. And

8 she also realised that women deal with a lot of

9 day-to-day legal issues, the husbands working -- well,

10 I suppose, going back 20 years now, you know, sort of a

11 Monday to Friday, couldn't get time off, so it was left

12 to the woman to bring issues to a solicitor, deal with

13 issues on behalf of it, or convention or whatever. But

14 they dealt with it, and she felt they would feel

15 comfortable coming to her.

16 Q. And presumably she felt it was also an advantage being

17 part of a local family; she was a local woman?

18 A. At that stage she had went to school. We had lived, and

19 we had never been more than, probably two miles from

20 where she was born.

21 Q. Now, you describe the early years, the very early years

22 of the practice. It was obviously a bit tough at the

23 beginning, as no doubt it is for many people in that

24 situation. But you tell us in paragraph 8 that after

25 a couple of years things started to improve?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. What type of work was it that helped to bring about that

3 improvement?

4 A. It wasn't anything particular. As I say, you know, when

5 most solicitors decide to open a practice, they have

6 been practising for four or five, whatever number of

7 years and would have some sort of client base. She

8 didn't. I think she had two files when she first opened

9 her doors.

10 So it took that length of time for word to spread.

11 Even in a small community like Lurgan, people would

12 still, two years later, say, "Where are you working

13 now?" That is just the way it works.

14 Just all sorts of work. I mean, the bulk of it

15 after two years would have been matrimonial, small

16 conveyancing, small road traffic accidents, just

17 everything, petty sessions. Well, I suppose of them all

18 matrimonial, would have been the one, so it would have

19 dominated in those first two or three years.

20 Q. So you also mention a particular case in 1992 -- this is

21 paragraph 8 -- where she had acted for local employees,

22 employees of a factory. And it sounds as though that

23 did her reputation some considerable good in the town;

24 is that right?

25 A. Yes, it was put in the national papers, plus -- I mean,





1 for no other reason, I think there was something like

2 100/120 people she was acting for, so in one fell swoop

3 she probably had more clients than she had had in her

4 whole client base at one time. So it did her no harm

5 at all.

6 Q. In terms of the growth and the continuing development of

7 the practice, which you describe in your statement, as I

8 understand it, the reputation was passed by word of

9 mouth?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. It is not something that she sought to advertise or put

12 before the public in any other way?

13 A. There was no way to do it. It was word of mouth.

14 Q. Before we look at the way the practice developed from

15 this point, can I just ask you about your own work. You

16 are not a lawyer?

17 A. No.

18 Q. What work do you do?

19 A. I am an accountant.

20 Q. Was that the work you have done throughout your married

21 life?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. So all the times we have been talking about in the

24 late 80s and through the 1990s --

25 A. I got my first job and I only left there when this





1 Inquiry started.

2 Q. Now, in terms of the way the practice developed, you

3 tell us in paragraph 11 -- and this is at RNI-815-036

4 (displayed) -- that by 1993, so some four years after

5 the start, it had grown to a significant size?

6 A. She needed another solicitor. She needed another

7 professional help.

8 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you --

9 A. 1992/1993.

10 Q. Yes. So more employees in the office?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. More space required to work?

13 A. Hm-mm.

14 Q. And presumably another solicitor?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And we have heard a lot of evidence about the people who

17 worked with and for Rosemary Nelson over the years. It

18 looks as though the maximum number of other lawyers at

19 any one time was two. Does that accord with your --

20 A. Yes, there was never any more than three.

21 Q. In all?

22 A. In all.

23 Q. And that sometimes, even late on, it looks as though

24 there was just Rosemary Nelson and another lawyer, in

25 this case Mr Vernon?





1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Now, looking at what motivated her as the business was

3 expanding, you have given your view about that. Was

4 money a motivating factor for her?

5 A. No, she just got engrossed in the work. She loved being

6 a lawyer and she got the opportunity to be a lawyer, and

7 she just loved the work.

8 Q. So the engagement of the work itself was the reward, as

9 far as she was concerned?

10 A. Yes. Just to be precise, at that time, it would have

11 been a profitable business. It had gone from that leap

12 of being a small, one-person practice to that leap with

13 the normal hiccups development brings with it. But it

14 was gradually developing into a profitable business.

15 Q. So by, let's say, 1993, the concerns that you had had

16 and she had had about whether it was going to work had

17 been, at least to some extent, allayed. Is that right?

18 A. Yes, well, we knew at that stage the business had just

19 other problems then come along, but we knew the business

20 was going to stand as a business.

21 Q. Did that continue to be the position throughout the rest

22 of her life?

23 A. It did, yes.

24 Q. If money wasn't the motivation, it looks as though one

25 of the ways in which the business developed, from your





1 perspective at any rate, was that she took on whatever

2 work came her way?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. She didn't, as it were, turn away cases as they came

5 through the door?

6 A. No, she started acting whether or not Legal Aid was

7 granted. She just moved a case on.

8 Q. So that the concern to get on with the work was greater

9 than the concern about funding?

10 A. Correct.

11 Q. And it looks from some of the evidence as though her

12 concern about the cases and the work, that was much more

13 important to her than, for example, keeping up with the

14 paperwork or the administration. Is that a fair

15 comment?

16 A. That's a fair comment.

17 Q. Now, so far as work that wasn't paid is concerned, you

18 have mentioned about Legal Aid and not waiting for the

19 forms to come in, as it were. You also tell us that she

20 took on a lot of pro bono work. That is paragraph 12 on

21 page RNI-815-036 (displayed). Can you think of examples

22 of pro bono work that she took on?

23 A. Not precise names, but I know she worked for a lot of

24 communities, went to meetings. You know, she just saw

25 that as an extension, because she probably worked for





1 those people on other cases. So she wouldn't

2 necessarily charge for individual cases that she felt

3 couldn't be paid. It was just an extension; call it PR,

4 if you like. That was just the way she operated the

5 business.

6 Q. So she would take on work willingly in those cases

7 without being paid for it?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. One of the comments that has been made about her and her

10 attitude to her work was a suggestion that she found it

11 difficult to say no. In other words, if somebody said

12 to her, "Would you do this for me, would you act in this

13 way for me?" she tended to say, "Yes, I will"?

14 A. Yes, it is an option, because she then was making

15 a judgment call on that particular case, which she would

16 never do.

17 Q. No. So I am clear on this, she wouldn't, as it were,

18 form her own judgment about the merits one way or

19 another of a case before deciding whether to take it on?

20 A. All -- I couldn't get into her mind, but all I know, she

21 never came to me and said, "I'm not taking this case on

22 because I am unhappy for X, Y, Z reasons with the client

23 or the case". She never once said that.

24 I do know she has dealt with some quite gruesome

25 cases. I just then had to accept the evidence before





1 me, that was her feelings: that the case nor the client

2 would make any difference to her.

3 Q. But all of these characteristics of hers, which you

4 obviously knew well, certainly taken together are

5 a recipe for doing more and more and more work, aren't

6 they?

7 A. Correct, yes.

8 Q. And that, presumably, was a concern for you?

9 A. Yes. In 1995, 1996, 1997 the number of cases coming in

10 was growing substantially.

11 Q. And presumably she was having to work longer and longer

12 hours?

13 A. Yes and no. I mean, you couldn't actually say she was

14 doing -- but more intense. In the first two or three

15 years of the business, she had more time and was able to

16 take more time over a case. Everything now had to be

17 done there and then at high speed.

18 Q. The pressure was greater?

19 A. Plus the pressure of running the office, because at this

20 stage she had a lot more staff. So the normal pressures

21 of staff in the office, and the more staff you have, the

22 more problems you have.

23 Q. We will come back to that question when we look at the

24 slightly later years.

25 Can I ask you a question about the sort of people





1 she worked for. As I understand it from your statement,

2 the open door policy, if I can put it that way, the

3 willingness to take on work as it came to her, meant

4 that she did work for both sides of the community here

5 in Northern Ireland; is that right?

6 A. Well, she didn't ask them who they were when they walked

7 in the door. They just come in as a client. They were

8 a client, that is it.

9 Q. You give some examples of that in paragraph 13 on

10 RNI-815-036 (displayed), and you suggest that what you

11 call the Protestant client base was still a substantial

12 part of the overall client base at the time of her

13 death?

14 A. Yes, she would have known by -- because I have a deep

15 knowledge of the client base because I have had to run

16 the office after her death, I know by the names and the

17 addresses predominantly that it was, as I say, maybe not

18 50/50, but it wasn't far off that.

19 Q. So in other words, that this pattern continued, at least

20 so far as you are aware, up to the time of her death?

21 A. Yes, it's not just particular to Rosemary. Lurgan would

22 do that. People, when they go to any professional, from

23 my own experience too, they don't make a judgment call

24 on whether a solicitor is Catholic or Protestant. They

25 go to somebody they trust who they reckon can do a good





1 job.

2 Q. So in that sense she conformed --

3 A. A professional in --

4 Q. -- with the general approach in that area?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Yes. So far as the cases with which a lot of evidence

7 has been concerned; namely, the what other people have

8 called the high profile cases, involving in particular

9 allegations of terrorist-related offences, can you

10 remember when that sort of work started to come her way?

11 A. You can't draw, you know, a line in the sand. It was,

12 I suspect -- Well, I know that sort of -- you started

13 doing particular cases with different people, and as the

14 practice developed, either they got into the different

15 problems and came to her, or people out there had seen

16 how she was dealing with small issues and decided to

17 come to her because they trusted her to deal with major

18 issues.

19 But you can't put your finger on it and say when it

20 was happening. It was just a development at the office:

21 the same way it expanded, the same way as she was

22 getting larger litigation cases. And I suspect that

23 when a person has a small road traffic accident, they

24 are quite happy to go to any solicitor, but if they have

25 a major medical case or something, they think long and





1 hard about it. That is just the way, because your

2 reputation -- those are the way those cases presumably

3 came to her.

4 Q. So this was part of the gradual development of practice?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Not something that happened suddenly?

7 A. And I noticed that in these high profile cases -- she

8 had actually higher profile cases but, because they

9 weren't terrorist-related, they haven't been mentioned

10 here. So her profile had been known within Lurgan on

11 these other cases.

12 Q. Can you give us some examples?

13 A. I can't remember the name, but I know -- I mean, she had

14 done, I think, two murder cases in 1993/1994, you know,

15 very gruesome murder cases. I know one in particular

16 was very gruesome.

17 Q. There is one you mention in paragraph 16. Perhaps that

18 will help you, if you look at RNI-815-037 (displayed).

19 A. Is that the neighbour next door?

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So that was a very high profile case?

23 A. Because of the nature of the case, very unprovoked type

24 of case.

25 Q. Yes. And when you say in this paragraph:





1 "After this case she handled three to four attempted

2 murder cases ..."

3 Were those terrorist cases or were they, as it were,

4 ordinary?

5 A. Just ordinary crime cases.

6 Q. Now, one of the themes that emerges very strongly from

7 your statement is your view -- which you have indicated

8 a little earlier -- that the number of high profile

9 cases of the terrorist kind, which she undertook in the

10 course of her practice, was a relatively small number

11 compared to the overall number of her cases?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And I think you believe, don't you, that that created

14 a misleading or distorted impression of the sort of work

15 she did day in, day out?

16 A. Yes. I mean, I think there has only been three cases --

17 I may be wrong -- that she mentioned here. I mean, when

18 her practice closed, I know she had close to 1,500 live

19 cases, you know. And these three -- so she must have

20 dealt, 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 cases, and these were two

21 or three cases.

22 Q. Can I just ask you: when the first of these

23 terrorist-related cases came in, did she express any

24 concerns to you about taking it on?

25 A. No.





1 Q. Now, at a number of points in your statement you say

2 that you didn't discuss details of her work with her?

3 A. No.

4 Q. On the grounds of client confidentiality?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. So can I take it --

7 A. Sorry, I should clarify that just before you move on.

8 I mean we didn't discuss cases that I wouldn't have

9 known about. But of course, a lot of cases were, just

10 like I have mentioned, public knowledge, so we would

11 discuss cases like that.

12 Q. But so far as matters that weren't public knowledge were

13 concerned then, this was her policy, was it, throughout

14 her life: not to discuss the confidential details with

15 you?

16 A. That's correct. Presumably on the basis that she wasn't

17 allowed to.

18 Q. So far as the first of the two Colin Duffy cases that we

19 have heard so much about -- this is the Lyness case --

20 was that one of the first murder cases that she had

21 done?

22 A. It was definitely the first terrorist murder case. No,

23 I think that other case pre-dated that. I may be wrong,

24 but I think the other case pre-dated it.

25 Q. The domestic murder --





1 A. I would have to check, but I think that it pre-dated it.

2 Q. In relation to that case in particular, can you help: do

3 you know how that case, the first of the Colin Duffy

4 cases, came her way?

5 A. Not precisely, no, but he lived in the area. I am sure,

6 like most cases, it was just family connections or she

7 had done work for them before.

8 Q. You say in paragraph 23 at RNI-815-039 (displayed) that

9 you suspect that she acted for clients such as

10 Colin Duffy because she had acted for other members of

11 his family before, done a lot of work --

12 A. That is the way most of her work come in, through

13 family -- you did petty sessions. They got something

14 else, and as she got more experienced, cases from the

15 same source of people.

16 Q. This case -- and as we all know, it went eventually to

17 an appeal and Mr Duffy was released in 1996 -- when she

18 first became involved in it, was there any sense on your

19 part, not in discussion with her -- you have talked

20 about that -- was there any concern on your part about

21 her becoming involved in a terrorist murder case?

22 A. No.

23 Q. No.

24 A. It was just a case. She was a solicitor. It was

25 a case. There was no ...





1 Q. This, of course, was in a period in Northern Ireland

2 long before the Good Friday Agreement and when things

3 were perhaps not as certain or settled as they became in

4 the later years of her life. But you were not concerned

5 about her taking on a case of this kind?

6 A. No, I mean, because we both had lived in

7 Northern Ireland over the worst of the Troubles, and,

8 you know -- and there had been a lot worse happened over

9 the period of time. So I mean, it was nothing

10 extraordinary at that time. There was nothing going on

11 that made it any different to things that had happened

12 years and years before and other solicitors had done

13 numerous times. So ...

14 Q. We have heard that some solicitors were not willing, or

15 not keen at any rate, to take on work of that kind, some

16 solicitors in that area. Were there other solicitors in

17 Lurgan at the time who were doing work of that kind?

18 A. There was bound to be. There was no way Rosemary was

19 doing it all, so there must have been other solicitors

20 doing that type of work, either before, after or during

21 her life.

22 Q. Can I ask you about another of the cases that the

23 Inquiry has been hearing about, and that is the

24 Garvaghy Road work?

25 Am I right in thinking, again, as far as you are





1 aware, that this was a pro bono case?

2 A. It was, yes. Sorry, for the community -- I mean, there

3 would have been work out of it from separate

4 individuals.

5 Q. Yes, there were claims cases, weren't there --

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. -- later on, and they would presumably have been dealt

8 with under the normal Legal Aid rules?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. But so far as her work for the community and the

11 meetings we have heard about, et cetera, that was pro

12 bono?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And how did she come to take on that case?

15 A. Well, by that stage -- I presume you are talking

16 probably 1995/1996 -- she was doing a lot of work in

17 Portadown. Craigavon court covers Lurgan/Portadown in

18 that area, so quite a few people -- there was

19 a crossover. Some Portadown people would have married

20 and have lived in Lurgan and vice versa, so her name

21 would have started going about Portadown, they'd have

22 seen her in court, so she had started to get a lot of

23 work out of Portadown.

24 Q. You say you think she would have known Mr Mac Cionnaith

25 before?





1 A. Yes, his family is from Lurgan so she would have known

2 the Mac Cionnaith family.

3 Q. The work she did for that case, some of the witnesses,

4 some of the people who worked in the office, described

5 how that took up a huge amount of her time, certainly in

6 1997 and 1998. Was that something that you yourself

7 were aware of at the time?

8 A. No. Well, it took up time, but in short sharp spasms of

9 time which normally centred around the July period, when

10 most offices are quite quiet anyhow; in Northern Ireland

11 anyhow, July our courts closed.

12 There would have been other times, but most of the

13 focus would have been just before or just prior to the

14 parade, which takes place the first Sunday in July, I

15 think. So July would have been the time but, no -- I

16 mean, devoted, but nothing overly -- I mean, she was

17 still running a practice, you know. But, no, there was

18 short spasms and she would have spent, when she got over

19 there, maybe two to three days at a time. But, no, it

20 was a time when it was quiet in the practice.

21 Q. But clearly, if only from your perspective as an

22 accountant, never mind as her husband, were you not

23 worried that so much time, even in those particular

24 parts of the year, was being devoted?

25 A. No, because, one, it brought her in contact with loads





1 of clients. And I mean, if you are looking at if from

2 a purely financial basis, how many cases did she get out

3 of that short period of time? Hundreds of other cases.

4 Plus the fact Rosemary had this knack of being with you

5 for five minutes, but giving you the impression that she

6 had spent the whole week thinking about your case. But

7 before and after you left, she moved on to something

8 else. But she had this knack of making you think you

9 were the only concern in her mind and had been for the

10 last month.

11 Q. It is a very enviable quality.

12 A. Just the way she could cover a case and deal with

13 people. Presumably that is why her practice developed

14 so much, because everybody assumed they were getting

15 personal attention.

16 Q. So it was one of her talents, clearly -- and others have

17 mentioned this -- to, as it were, have the first meeting

18 with the client to get the work in and then it might be

19 that the actual, you know, dogsbody work, if I can put

20 it that way, afterwards would have been dealt with by

21 other people?

22 A. That's actually what happened, yes.

23 Q. Yes. Now, in paragraph 22 of your statement when you

24 are dealing with the Garvaghy Road, you say in the third

25 sentence:





1 "She saw it simply as a progression of her existing

2 case load."

3 I wanted to see if you could expand on that for us.

4 What do you mean exactly about that expression?

5 A. Not being involved in the face-to-face discussions, but

6 I would say that somebody came to her, albeit in this

7 case it may have been a group of people who came to her,

8 and said, "We have a problem, could you help us with

9 it?" And it would have been a simple as that.

10 Q. So an extension in the sense of being very like the

11 other pro bono work that you have described earlier; is

12 that right?

13 A. Like any work she did, whether pro bono or not, somebody

14 came, they had a problem and they needed legal help with

15 it and she took it on. There was no real difference --

16 it was just more high profile. There was no real

17 difference in it really.

18 Q. But you say in your statement, as far as you were

19 concerned, it was this case which, in a sense, made her

20 most obviously a public figure, more than all the other

21 cases that we have heard reference to?

22 A. Well, other people made her a public figure out of doing

23 this work.

24 Q. Yes. What do you mean by that?

25 A. I mean, it is like in anything, you know, people talked





1 about it. She didn't make herself a public figure out

2 of it. Other people did for, you know, their views on

3 the issue.

4 Q. You describe her as a private --

5 A. She was --

6 Q. -- and as a shy person?

7 A. She was, yes.

8 Q. So, as you saw it at any rate, the publicity which she

9 undoubtedly did receive as a result of this work you

10 believe was not something she herself sought?

11 A. No, not for herself.

12 Q. No. Would she have sought it as part of her work for

13 her clients?

14 A. If she thought her clients needed publicity to help

15 their case, she would have encouraged them to seek it,

16 yes.

17 Q. Now, can we just look forward to the couple of years

18 before her murder, and in particular to, let's say, late

19 1997/98.

20 By that stage, how much matrimonial work and

21 conveyancing work was Rosemary Nelson herself doing, do

22 you think?

23 A. What were those years again?

24 Q. 1997 and 1998.

25 A. She had just reorganised the office I think around





1 1996/1997. I think that might have been the time when

2 she had started -- well, 1998 definitely she took on

3 another solicitor. The office had expanded. She had

4 taken on a lot of extra staff, which caused problems.

5 Sometimes the more staff you have, the less work is

6 actually going out the door.

7 So she had reorganised and she had then put herself

8 in place of sort of being what one called the lead

9 figure in it: So, you know, seeing everybody, taking

10 the jobs on. But she now was employing experienced --

11 what you would call them now? -- legal executives, you

12 know? She had some very highly qualified staff who were

13 not solicitors but had worked in solicitors' practice

14 for 10, 15, 20 years, and she was using them to do a lot

15 of the day-to-day work on the case and she was leading

16 all the cases. That is how she was actually managing to

17 deal with the large volume of cases she was dealing

18 with.

19 Q. She was heavily reliant on delegation?

20 A. Yes. I mean, not that she was reliant. It was

21 a decision she made that -- she had ended up and she

22 would sort out three or four -- you wouldn't call them

23 solicitors, but they weren't far off being that

24 experienced. Her decision was it was better to use them

25 than to bring newly qualified solicitors into the





1 practice. They were more productive.

2 Q. So how was she spending her working time?

3 A. Well, initially trying to see as many clients as

4 possible and dealing with the intricacies of a case

5 rather than the mundane paperwork presumably we all have

6 to deal with. She was passing that down and getting

7 that done. You could presumably call it a more

8 business-like approach to operating the office.

9 Q. That strategy, was that something that you had discussed

10 with her?

11 A. No, she told me. I think she had discussed it with her

12 own accountant. I imagine that the accountant of the

13 practice, they had looked at this and I think she had

14 decided that this was the way -- she was never going to

15 be able to get to a highly qualified, you know,

16 experienced solicitor into the practice, because the

17 first thing they would ask for is presumably, "When is

18 my partnership coming?" So she knew that that wouldn't

19 work.

20 So she used a different tactic of, "Look, we will

21 take on the work but I have five highly-qualified staff

22 to do it." And that's what she was doing, being the PR,

23 the profile, the person they initially see and,

24 presumably, the person they see last. But in the middle

25 you had all the people doing the work.





1 I don't know if it's something that goes on. I know

2 it goes on in accountancy practice all the time. You

3 see the partner at the start, you maybe see him at the

4 end when he is finishing the case and handing you the

5 bill, but in between he may not see your case.

6 Q. Presumably one of the elements of the strategy you have

7 described is she didn't want to have a partner in the

8 practice; she wanted to continue to be a sole

9 practitioner?

10 A. Correct.

11 Q. Were there occasions when you thought that it might have

12 been better for her to have a partner in the practice,

13 somebody to whom she could speak as an equal about the

14 problems of the practice?

15 A. I don't recollect at the time, but I have since, yes,

16 and in hindsight, yes, it would have been far better if

17 there had been, presumably from day 1, an experienced

18 partner with her, yes.

19 Q. Because, as we have heard from other witnesses, when

20 there are pressures and concerns and worries, it is of

21 course, much easier to speak, you know, on the level, as

22 it were, with a partner?

23 A. I think you have to realise that Rosemary's practice

24 only lasted just a day short of ten years, and it took

25 off so slowly that it really -- it got very intense very





1 quick. You know, you can't look back now and say --

2 things moved on so fast, but in hindsight, yes, it would

3 have been better if there had been an experienced

4 partner there.

5 Q. Can I just come back to the question of the perception

6 of the practice and this question of which were the

7 cases that shaped that perception.

8 You have said or confirmed already that in your view

9 it was the Garvaghy Road case that was most high

10 profile. You tell us in paragraph 56 -- and this is the

11 at the bottom of page RNI-815-048 of your statement, the

12 very last line (displayed) -- that you think she would

13 have been of the view that it was the work that she did

14 for the GRRC that was the most high profile she ever

15 had?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. So that was something that you are aware of from what

18 she herself said; is that right?

19 A. Of people that I know she saw, she spoke to, she dealt

20 with, either through her or that was in the papers. The

21 TV coverage alone, I mean, you know -- you know, you

22 have had very few clips of Drumcree, but there are

23 hundreds and hundreds of hours out there of the Drumcree

24 coverage. I suspect that most people even in here would

25 all have heard of Drumcree. They may not have met her





1 in any of these other cases. It was known worldwide. So

2 yes, it would have been the most high profile.

3 Q. And you say earlier in your statement -- and this is

4 paragraph 33 at RNI-815-041 (displayed) -- that you

5 think this high profile -- whatever it was that caused

6 it -- did cause her real difficulties in later years, or

7 rather some people's reaction to her high profile did.

8 And can I ask you first: what were the difficulties that

9 you are referring to there?

10 A. You know, harm to her life. I mean, she realised that

11 the profile of the case and her association with it

12 could be difficult.

13 Q. That it might put her in danger?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. So can I just be clear about this: At the time, she

16 thought, did she, that it was this case, the GRRC case,

17 that led to that sense of her being in danger?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And in this same passage, do you see at the very bottom

20 of the page, you say:

21 "She felt that people were making judgment calls on

22 her."

23 Can you help? What do you mean by that?

24 A. It is quite obvious: they saw her with the Garvaghy Road

25 residents and they assumed that because she was acting





1 for them, she supported their cause.

2 Q. I see. So that the judgments people were making were to

3 associate her, the lawyer, with the clients in that case

4 and their cause?

5 A. I would suspect -- I would suppose so, yes.

6 Q. Again, is that something, that problem of -- what's a

7 problem of perception essentially, was that something

8 that you discussed with her?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And what was her view about that, as you would see it,

11 wrong perception of her?

12 A. She could do nothing about it. You can't change

13 people's perceptions. You can't do anything about it.

14 You either stand up and talk about that you do not agree

15 with them or whatever, but you can't change it. You

16 just have to hope that there is more people out there

17 understand your relationship with your clients than have

18 the opposite view. But there was absolutely nothing --

19 except walk away from it. There is nothing you can do

20 about it.

21 Q. Later in this same paragraph at RNI-815-042, if we look

22 at the top of the next page (displayed), you say you

23 don't think these sort of thoughts really troubled her

24 until about a year or so before her death?

25 A. That's correct.





1 Q. Just dealing with that sentence, if you had

2 conversations of this kind, as far as you could see, she

3 was not concerned or worried about the effects of the

4 high profile case until about a year before her death;

5 is that right? The top of the page.

6 A. Well -- no, she always was aware of it. She always was

7 aware that there was a danger. It just got worse in the

8 last year, 18 months.

9 Q. Were you aware at the time of what had led to that

10 change?

11 A. Well, I think -- well, the main reason is because she

12 was now operating directly in an area which had

13 a reputation for gruesome murders.

14 Q. This is the local area?

15 A. The Portadown area.

16 Q. Yes. In other words, because of her work for the

17 Residents Coalition, she was, geographically at any

18 rate -- the focus of her work had shifted in that sense

19 to Portadown?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Which was at that time, a year or so before her death,

22 as we have heard, a particularly fraught and

23 conflict-ridden place?

24 A. Correct. And I believe the dates probably coincide with

25 another case she had just started dealing with.





1 Q. Do you mean the --

2 A. Robert Hamill case.

3 Q. The Robert Hamill case?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. I think she started to be involved in that in 1997,

6 didn't she?

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. And that was a murder that had also taken place in

9 Portadown?

10 A. Correct.

11 Q. Yes. Now, at that stage then, a year or so, let's say

12 in early 1998, before her murder, did you talk to her

13 about this change and what it meant for her?

14 A. Well, we were concerned, I mean -- specifically the fact

15 that she had to be in that area on a regular basis and

16 at strange times, you know, late at night, early in the

17 morning, unsociable hours, because of the circumstances

18 of the problems in Portadown, you know, the

19 Garvaghy Road residents had at that time, particularly

20 around the time of the march. And she was also aware,

21 as I said, (inaudible) time before that that had brought

22 her into conflict with the other people in Portadown

23 too.

24 She knew herself the type of individuals that lived

25 and operated out of the Portadown area. So, I mean, she





1 knew all these things, but she just couldn't walk away

2 from it. It was a judgment call she had to make.

3 Q. That is the next thing I wanted to ask you: Did you say

4 to her, "Well, shouldn't you give up this type of work?"

5 A. No. If you had known Rosemary -- if you had asked her

6 to give up a case because she was going to be

7 threatened, you had less likelihood of getting her to do

8 it.

9 She was fully aware of it. She was very worried

10 but, you know, the cases had just built up. It is not

11 as simple -- and I think what is probably going through

12 her mind: when you turn down one, where do you stop? Do

13 you stop at the next door neighbour? You don't like him

14 because he's -- You couldn't do it. It was a path you

15 couldn't go on: letting people decide what cases you did

16 or did not do, mainly due to maybe something that was

17 written in the papers or what reporters said. You had

18 to trust that those on the ground knew you as a

19 solicitor. She just couldn't go down that path.

20 Q. So you didn't make the suggestion because you knew --

21 A. Some might say you should have made (inaudible). I knew

22 it would have made no difference. If I would have made

23 it, it would have only been for PR purposes. No, she

24 wouldn't have walked away from any case.

25 Q. And in relation to publicity and what we talked about





1 a little earlier, where you said that you drew

2 a distinction between, as it were, publicity for herself

3 and publicity for her clients, did you discuss that

4 particular aspect of it? In other words, was there

5 anything --

6 A. Not as cold-bloodedly as you are putting it there. It

7 has come up through her life. As you say, she was

8 a very shy person. It seems a long time ago now.

9 I watched the clips that you have shown. I don't

10 know -- most of them, except maybe for one, she was

11 talking about clients in all of them. I may be

12 surprised, but I think she only produced one -- and you

13 saw the circumstances that that took place. It wasn't

14 a rational judgment call that she made to profile

15 herself. I think she was more likely doorstepped, and

16 you saw the fear in her eyes when she was giving that

17 interview. I think she may have given one or two

18 interviews to journalists throughout her ten years.

19 I don't see that much of a PR campaign, you know

20 what I mean? The rest, where she was speaking on behalf

21 of clients -- but even then, she didn't actually speak

22 that often throughout her ten years in practice, you

23 know.

24 Q. You will have heard the evidence: that some have said

25 that there were constant television cameras coming in





1 and out. Does that accord with your understanding?

2 A. No, and I am sure if it was we would have loads more

3 pictures here. No, there was never a journalist unless

4 there happened to be a journalist who we weren't aware

5 of in our house in the area. We are just not that type

6 of family.

7 As I say, I can't remember her actually sitting

8 down -- I don't know she was ever -- I don't think of

9 any TV programmes with her being on it or anything. No,

10 that wasn't her nature.

11 Q. With the exception of the interview you have mentioned,

12 was that the interview in relation to the Garvaghy Road

13 matters?

14 A. I believe some American was there doing some -- who

15 presumably was there, had been about for a few days and

16 happened to be with Rosemary at the time. But you saw;

17 it was a very professional, organised interview and

18 I suspect that was just after her incident on the road.

19 Q. Turning to another topic, in paragraph 34 you talk about

20 the difficulties she was having with the police and how

21 they developed. Again, it is a very difficult, I know,

22 but can you help us as to when you were first aware that

23 she was having problems with the police?

24 A. It is impossible to isolate it, because like most of

25 these things, like the growth of her practice,





1 everything, I mean, it just -- it is just one day it

2 appeared. Probably 1997/1998, she started to think

3 about it more. Up to then, you know, there was -- she

4 had very good relationships with the police. I know

5 that she had many police officers and women as clients.

6 And it just -- I mean, she herself couldn't probably say

7 when it had happened, but she just got the feeling --

8 not, you understand, all police, just in certain

9 circumstances she had heard things being said about her.

10 She got a feeling when she was out late at night that

11 she was being watched. She had no evidence of this. We

12 assumed our telephones had been tapped. No proof of it,

13 we just got this feeling that they probably were. It

14 was just an atmosphere was being created.

15 But she had no specific evidence this was going on.

16 It was just clients were saying things to her. She had

17 just heard -- she felt that the rapport that she had had

18 with them was gradually drifting.

19 Q. Did she suggest to you, when you talked about it, as

20 I assume you did, why that might have happened, why that

21 change might have taken place?

22 A. Not in specifics, no. Yet again, presumably she saw

23 two links through either the terrorist work or the

24 Garvaghy Road. But later on, she thought there may be

25 a connection to the Robert Hamill case too.





1 Q. Yes, in your statement you suggest that that, her work

2 in that case, may well have contributed to the

3 difficulties that she encountered. Is that something

4 you thought at the time?

5 A. Not that much. Not initially. Maybe later on, near to

6 her death. Because of the context of his case, she

7 thought there may be problem, but nothing -- I mean, she

8 never had anything concrete. It was just a feeling that

9 attitudes were changing, because it was a more direct

10 confrontation she was having with the police over that

11 case.

12 Q. Now, so far as the discussions you had about these

13 issues are concerned -- in your answer earlier you

14 mentioned them in general terms -- were the particular

15 incidents -- the ones, again, we have heard a great deal

16 about already in the Inquiry, would she discuss

17 particular incidents with you?

18 A. Not in any great detail. I mean, she would come back

19 in, and particularly if she had been to Gough Barracks,

20 she'd say they were very unpleasant this time, or

21 whatever. She wouldn't name names or anything. A lot

22 of times she didn't know who they were anyway.

23 It was just that the atmosphere was bad, it was

24 tense, they aren't great. You know what I mean? Not

25 specifics.





1 Q. You say in paragraph 35, RNI-815-042 (displayed), in the

2 second sentence:

3 "Although she occasionally mentioned her concerns to

4 me, we never really discussed them in any detail."

5 And again, as I understand it, you think that may

6 have been in part because of confidentiality; is that

7 right?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Can I suggest that there may have been some other

10 reasons? Was she one of these people who like to leave

11 work at work?

12 A. Oh, I mean, that definitely was the case, yes. She

13 didn't want to continue -- and of course -- yes, and she

14 was certainly hiding the problems too. That may have

15 been an excuse for it, but yes -- no, she didn't want to

16 continue work --

17 Q. Do you think she was hiding the problems from you?

18 A. Some of the problems, yes. I wouldn't say -- she

19 wouldn't be hiding the problems, but maybe the intensity

20 of the problems.

21 Q. She was trying perhaps to protect you and the children?

22 A. Well, she was aware I knew about the problems and,

23 I mean, aware of the -- you know, the threats that she

24 was under. But I think it is like everything else: if

25 you don't talk about it, maybe they don't really exist.





1 Q. So in general did she talk about work at home?

2 A. She did, yes. In general, yes; not specific cases, you

3 know, and quite often not cases that she was working on

4 at the time. But work in general, yes: types of work,

5 range of work but not specific cases.

6 Q. Is it possible, do you think, in relation to some of

7 these incidents, some of these threats that she didn't

8 give you detail at the time because she herself wasn't

9 taking them seriously?

10 A. Initially, she wouldn't have. I mean, the early ones --

11 I think she just saw that as normal police/solicitor

12 relations, you know; tactics, relations, whatever you

13 like to call it. So, no, at the start, no.

14 As they grew and the feeling that she -- it was only

15 a feeling, she was being followed and watched. More and

16 more that -- they just built up sort of an atmosphere,

17 and I think that started to sort of bite home that maybe

18 there was some truth. And as the latter ones came in,

19 yes, I mean, she did believe them. She did believe she

20 was under threat.

21 Q. When you say the "latter ones", can you give us any

22 examples?

23 A. Well, I mean, you know, when the letter came in and she

24 had seen some later stuff from clients had built up.

25 But I think it was more the attitude of other people to





1 the threats, to be honest.

2 Q. That is something that comes out very strongly from your

3 statement. As I understand it, you think that it was,

4 at least in part, the attitude of others and

5 particularly of the NGOs that changed her own view of

6 the matter; is that right?

7 A. It changed her view, and on the other hand it

8 highlighted it more, as you have seen. It was actually

9 other people were highlighting these issues.

10 Q. So it was when, as it were, things were reflected back

11 to her by those individuals, those organisations, that

12 her own view of them changed?

13 A. That's correct, yes.

14 Q. Can I just come back to something you referred to

15 a little earlier, and you deal with it in your

16 statement.

17 You say in relation to this sort of problem in the

18 earlier years that -- I think you are saying that she

19 accepted it as the norm, i.e. the sort of thing you expect

20 when you are doing work of this kind?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Was that her attitude?

23 A. That was her attitude, yes.

24 Q. So in turn, the moment when it seemed that things were

25 more troubling was when she was getting, as it were,





1 more than, worse than, the norm?

2 A. And -- it is an observation I am going to make now as

3 I have listened to some of the evidence -- as other

4 people were probably telling her it was more than the

5 norm.

6 Q. That was what I wanted to ask you. She is a sole

7 practitioner with very little experiences before she

8 started her own practice. Where did her view of the

9 norm come from?

10 A. Her own observations. That is all it could have been,

11 and the fact is that she was the practice. I mean,

12 there was no distinguishing her -- other solicitors may

13 not have got the work because they were acting for maybe

14 10/15 solicitors for one practice. So they were acting

15 for a name. She was the name, she was the person, she

16 was it all.

17 Q. And in trying to understand why it was that she was

18 being treated other than in accordance with the norm,

19 did she reach any conclusions, or conclusions she shared

20 with you?

21 A. The only conclusions she saw was -- at the time was the

22 publicity surrounding her cases. Not blaming the

23 publicity, but the fact is that people knew, even though

24 she did not see the publicity really as an issue,

25 because anybody who actually wanted to kill her and





1 eventually did would have known the type of cases she

2 was acting in. They didn't need to read about it in the

3 newspapers. She didn't have to be high profile. The

4 publicity itself didn't have a real impact.

5 Q. I would like to look at some examples of this in

6 a little more detail, but before I do, can I ask you to

7 look, please, at a sentence in your statement, which

8 comes in paragraph 36 at the top of page RNI-815-043

9 (displayed), because this is a sentence that we really

10 need to look at together before we look at any detail.

11 It is a sentence beginning:

12 "The difficulty that I have ..."

13 (Pause)

14 Now, as I understand it, when you came to give your

15 statement to Eversheds, this was a difficulty that you

16 faced up to: in other words, what is it that I can

17 actually remember that I knew at the time? What is it

18 that I think I can remember, because I have read so much

19 in the many years since?

20 A. That is in the statement, yes, that is always a problem.

21 Q. So in relation, as I understand it, to these issues

22 about the threats and the particular examples, what you

23 are saying, if I may say so fairly, is that it is

24 actually difficult to distinguish between those two:

25 what you really knew and what you can now actually





1 remember, and what you have simply read and accumulated?

2 A. Like most cases, there is black and white and there is

3 a big, massive grey area in the middle, yes.

4 Q. And that leads you to say that in relation to the

5 threats specifically, the thing we are talking about

6 now, after her murder you learned a lot more than you

7 knew at the time of her murder?

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. And in particular, that led you to realise that she had

10 not shared with you a number of the things that were

11 concerning her?

12 A. Correct, yes.

13 Q. When you learnt that further information and further

14 detail, did you wonder to yourself why it was that she

15 had held it back from you?

16 A. I didn't wonder. As I say, it was no surprise, sort

17 of -- I would have done the same myself. I mean,

18 a death threat is a death threat. You don't really have

19 to repeat it to realise that, you know, there is

20 somebody out there who may want to kill you.

21 As I say, some of them she probably thought, you

22 know, weren't as serious as others, you know what

23 I mean? Some -- it is a build-up of time. It never

24 surprised me that she didn't. She had told me she got

25 phone calls. I mean, I can only specifically remember





1 three. Anything else I may remember but I can only be

2 categoric that I got two telephone calls and the one

3 letter. Anything else -- that is more than enough, you

4 know what I mean? I didn't need to get every single

5 one. By telling me then, she was telling me enough.

6 Q. But getting back to the point we discussed earlier, do

7 you think it is possible that there were some incidents,

8 some events, that were regarded more seriously by others

9 than they were so regarded by Rosemary Nelson herself?

10 A. At the time of the incident, yes.

11 Q. Now, with that, can we look at some examples, the

12 limited numbers of examples you refer to in your

13 statement.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Phillips, I don't know whether this is

15 a convenient time for you and Mr Nelson, but it might be

16 a convenient time to have the lunch break.


18 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Nelson, we will break off until 2 o'clock,

19 thank you.

20 (12.59 pm)

21 (The short adjournment)

22 (2.00 pm)

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Nelson, I apologise for the delay. The

24 fault is entirely mine.

25 Yes?





1 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Nelson, I said we were going to move to

2 look at the particular examples of things you set out in

3 your statement. The first paragraph I would like to

4 look at with you is paragraph 37, on page RNI-815-043

5 (displayed). You say in the last two sentences about

6 Rosemary Nelson going to Gough Barracks:

7 "She was upset on a couple of occasions when she got

8 back from the barracks, but we never spoke about what

9 had been said in any detail. She just wanted to forget

10 about it."

11 Can I take it that you are unable to give us today

12 any more details about what she told you on those

13 occasions?

14 A. No. I mean, she was never specific about them. Some

15 cases it was a feeling she had that there was somebody

16 watching -- there was a couple of occasions where she

17 actually thought cars were actually following her.

18 Q. You think those are the sort of concerns she expressed

19 following her visits to the barracks, do you?

20 A. Initially to the barracks, yes.

21 Q. Yes. And again, I know it is difficult and, please, if

22 you can't help, do say so, but can you put a rough date

23 on these events?

24 A. These things would have started happening -- or

25 concerning her, more to the point, probably late





1 1997/1998, a year, year and a half, that time. I never

2 heard her really talking about them much earlier than

3 that.

4 Q. We have heard from other witnesses about comments being

5 passed back via clients who were detained in

6 Gough Barracks, and the first of those come earlier that

7 year, in 1997. But you think these events that you are

8 talking about in your statement would have been later

9 than that, do you?

10 A. It is hard to say. You had the Garvaghy Road happening

11 at that time too. So there is a mixture of fears that

12 she had, but most of those things were happening a year,

13 year and a half.

14 Q. Before her death?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. In relation to this question generally, other than the

17 Garvaghy Road incident, which you deal with in some

18 greater detail in your statement, can you now remember

19 any specific incidents involving the police, incidents

20 of this kind?

21 A. No.

22 Q. No. Now, can I ask you a similar question in relation

23 to paragraph 39, and this is at the bottom of the same

24 page, RNI-815-043 (displayed). In the first sentence of

25 the paragraph, you say:





1 "It seemed to get to the point where every time

2 someone was lifted, Rosemary experienced threatening

3 behaviour from the police either directly or via her

4 clients."

5 Again, can I ask you the same question: sitting here

6 now, can you remember any specific detail of specific

7 threats?

8 A. No.

9 Q. No. Can you remember anything about them in general,

10 the sort of threats they were?

11 A. In general that -- as I say, there had been,

12 I suppose -- unpleasantries at the start would have been

13 (inaudible) something that didn't particularly annoy

14 her. Annoyed her, but nothing much that she worried to

15 much about. But just, say, in the last year of her life

16 they seemed to be more vicious and more numerous.

17 Why she didn't know, she wasn't -- I suppose she was

18 going to the police stations on more occasions because

19 she had a bigger volume of clients, but there was

20 nothing. It was just a general feeling that she started

21 to get; beside the specific incidents, as you were

22 saying, just a general feeling that the police attitude

23 towards her had changed. Not them all, but just

24 sometimes she felt it was unpleasant to be going there.

25 Q. In paragraph 34, where you are also talking about this





1 question of her relations with the police -- this is

2 RNI-815-042 (displayed) -- you make this comment:

3 "Over the years she told me on a number of occasions

4 that the police reaction to her was an issue, but it was

5 never so significant an issue that it caused her real

6 concern for her safety."

7 That is quite a general comment. Can I ask you: did

8 that position remain until the time of her murder?

9 A. As far as I am concerned, I mean, she thought there was

10 people out there who were willing to kill her. I mean,

11 she never, ever expressed to me that it might be the

12 police. She thought they were playing her close

13 attention, but she never, you know, assumed that -- I

14 think it is because she was a woman solicitor, she felt

15 they would give her some protection.

16 Q. In relation to the police, as I understand it, right up

17 to the time of her murder, as far as you were aware, it

18 didn't cause her real concern for her safety?

19 A. Not the police -- the attitude of the police, but not

20 the police themselves.

21 Q. So if she had concerns --

22 A. Sorry, could I just clarify? The attitude of the police

23 that might develop elsewhere was of a concern to her.

24 Q. So her concerns for her safety, is this right, were more

25 in relation to others, not the police?





1 A. Correct.

2 Q. Now, at any point before her murder did you discuss with

3 her what could be done about these fears, the fears to

4 do with other people, what steps you could take?

5 A. You mean protection?

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. Yes, we did discuss protection for the house.

8 Q. And what was her attitude to that?

9 A. Her attitude -- well, both our attitudes, as far as the

10 house was concerned, was that it would mean a total

11 change in lifestyle, you know what I mean? I am aware

12 of people that operate certain security procedures, but

13 it is basically your child cannot answer the phone, your

14 child can't answer the door. People have to advise you

15 if they were coming to visit you.

16 We ruled that out, most probably on the basis that

17 if certain individuals were out to kill you, there was

18 easier ways to do it than attack our house, which was

19 wrong in hindsight, but that is the decision we made.

20 Q. So in fact, together you decided, as I understand it,

21 that you weren't going to go down that road, you weren't

22 going to try to take extra security precautions?

23 A. It was all or nothing. It was linked to her life.

24 Q. So we can take it, can we, that in relation to your

25 house in Ashford Grange, the house you were living in at





1 the time of the murder, you hadn't taken any extra

2 security measures?

3 A. None whatsoever.

4 Q. Can I ask you, by the way: am I right in thinking you

5 moved to that property in 1994?

6 A. Correct.

7 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Sorry, to interrupt you. Can I just

8 clarify one thing, Mr Nelson.

9 You have just said there at 92/22:

10 "Sorry, could I just clarify? The attitude of the

11 police that might develop elsewhere was of concern to

12 her."

13 Could you just enlarge on that?

14 A. She never expressed -- now this is to me. She never

15 expressed to me that she actually thought the police

16 themselves would harm her. She, at this time, thought,

17 yes, they were following her, they were watching her,

18 but she didn't think that they were actually a direct

19 threat to her life. She was concerned that the attitude

20 they had towards her might filter down to other

21 individuals that might harm her.

22 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: That is something you will obviously

23 develop. Thank you very much indeed.

24 MR PHILLIPS: Can I just ask you in relation to that

25 expression of concern by her -- again, doing what you





1 can -- would I be right in thinking that this came in

2 the last year of her life, this conversation?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. As a result of what you discussed with her, how did she

5 think that this might happen, i.e. that the threat might

6 come from elsewhere but be in some way connected to the

7 attitude that you have described?

8 A. As I say, because of the cases she was involved in,

9 particularly the two cases she was involved in at that

10 time and the area that she was having to go to at

11 strange hours of the night by herself, what she thought

12 of the individuals who operated out of that area, that

13 she thought that some of the attitudes that the police

14 had towards her -- she thought they had towards her,

15 because of feelings she had that maybe they were being

16 transmitted to individuals who operated there, or maybe

17 they were coming into possession of suspicions or

18 something like that, that they might.

19 Q. To be blunt about this, are we talking here about

20 paramilitaries?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And are we talking about Loyalist paramilitaries?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Operating in the area of Portadown?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. And that was her fear and belief, was it?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And it was one that she articulated to you?

4 A. One of her fears, yes. She had a few fears --

5 Q. Within the last year of her life.

6 A. Yes.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Did she specifically say that to you on any

8 occasion?

9 A. I mean, we knew the area we lived in, we knew the people

10 who operated there. We knew the type of murders that

11 had taken place. She had expressed it, but at the same

12 time she had also expressed the fact is because she was

13 a woman solicitor, she didn't think anybody would harm

14 her. So there was a balancing act going on, but we were

15 aware of that threat that could be there.

16 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So I am absolutely clear on this,

17 Rosemary Nelson felt that, did she, there was a link

18 between the police --

19 A. No, no.

20 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: -- and the paramilitaries?

21 A. No, I wouldn't go as far as saying there was a link;

22 basically that which is having her on -- that the

23 profile of her cases and the attitude she thought the

24 police had towards her, she couldn't prove it but she

25 thought that other people might see this and make their





1 own judgment calls of it.


3 MR PHILLIPS: Can I just stay with this question of her view

4 in relation to the police.

5 In general, what was her view of the RUC based on

6 her dealings with them?

7 A. Mostly she had no problem with them. She got on well

8 with most individual policemen that she had come across

9 either acting as a solicitor for them or as acting for

10 her clients. When she came across them, she never found

11 them -- it was isolated incidents that she was concerned

12 with. It wasn't a general view of the police.

13 Q. So there were exceptions, as it were?

14 A. It was more exceptions.

15 Q. Yes. You see, one or two witnesses have suggested that

16 there was on her part a generalised distrust or even

17 hatred of the police. Is that something that accords

18 with the way you saw it?

19 A. No, I've never heard her express that at all.

20 Q. No. In relation to her dealings with the police in the

21 last period of her life, you say in paragraph 85 -- and

22 this is at RNI-815-057 of the statement (displayed) --

23 that she was doing much less police station work and was

24 leaving this to other members of staff.

25 Now, was that a deliberate decision on her part to





1 avoid contact with the police station?

2 A. No, I mean, not to my knowledge, it wasn't. As

3 I explained earlier, what was happening at the time,

4 there would have been like a reorganisation. The

5 workload was getting very intense and she was trying to

6 deal with day-to-day stuff. That is not to say she

7 wouldn't have had contact and go to the police station,

8 but I think she was becoming more business-like, as most

9 partners who are trying to delegate it down to other

10 people to do it.

11 Q. That was a business decision, rather than a deliberate

12 decision to draw back from contact?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Can I just ask you to look at paragraph 39 of your

15 statement, which is at RNI-815-044 (displayed)? Because

16 here in the penultimate sentence beginning "in the last

17 year and a half ..." you say:

18 "In the last year and a half before she died, she

19 went to police station so often it would be difficult

20 for me to place what was said to her and when."

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So that suggests --

23 A. In this case, where I say that she went so often. But

24 the previous three, four, five years of life, if she

25 wasn't at the police station every day and night,





1 something would have been strange. It got to that stage

2 where the police would call her for clients that were

3 not connected to her, because we only lived less than

4 five minutes away from the police station.

5 Q. So to be clear then, it looks as though the reduction of

6 her visits to the police station came right at the end

7 of her life, in fact in the last six months; is that

8 right?

9 A. It is hard to place it now, looking back. I've no

10 records to say that, but I would say, yes, six months to

11 a year.

12 Q. And there is no sense in your mind that that was done by

13 her in order to reduce confrontation or the chance of

14 confrontation?

15 A. No, I think it is the business. The other occasion

16 could be that she wasn't getting the same -- the office

17 wasn't getting the same calls to go to the police

18 stations.

19 Q. We know from all of the evidence we have heard that she

20 did at various points, on her own behalf and on behalf

21 of clients, make complaints about police behaviour. And

22 you deal with those in various passages of your

23 statement.

24 Again, just to help me at the outset, as far as I am

25 aware, you are not yourself familiar, or weren't at the





1 time, with the precise details of the complaints. Is

2 that fair?

3 A. Not at the time.

4 Q. You may have become subsequently?

5 A. I did become involved, yes.

6 Q. Now, you talk in those paragraphs -- 53 and following,

7 which begin at RNI-815-048 (displayed) -- about the

8 involvement in the complaints of NGOs, and you mention

9 there, for instance, the CAJ. You talk in paragraph 54

10 about the fact that they, as it were, passed material on

11 her behalf to the authorities.

12 Is it fair to say that some at least of the impetus

13 behind the complaints came from the NGOs themselves?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. In paragraph 113 of your statement at RNI-815-064

16 (displayed), you tell us that you think Rosemary was

17 pushed to make a complaints by the NGOs:

18 "I think they were more behind the complaints

19 investigations than she was."

20 Is this something you believed yourself at the time?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Did you express your concern about that to her?

23 A. Well, she mentioned -- the word pushed, gentle pushing;

24 not really pressurised pushing. She felt at the time

25 that she had documented these occurrences at the time --





1 they weren't complaints at the time -- with different

2 organisations who had picked the ball up and started

3 running with it, and she felt that they were pursuing

4 the cases, not against her will but just that they were

5 running with it. If it had been herself, she probably

6 wouldn't have got round to doing it. Not that she

7 wouldn't have wanted to; she probably wouldn't have got

8 round to doing it.

9 Q. So as a matter of finding the time and doing the

10 necessary paperwork, she wouldn't have done?

11 A. She might not have done, no.

12 Q. Do you think at any time before her murder she regretted

13 getting involved with the complaints?

14 A. No, I don't think she regretted it. It was just another

15 occasion where she had got publicity really not of her

16 own making, been generated by, you know, another

17 occurrence.

18 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the investigations themselves were

19 concerned, you say in this same paragraph, in the second

20 sentence:

21 "I was aware that she hadn't really cooperated with

22 the complaints investigations and this didn't surprise

23 me."

24 Why do you say that?

25 A. She didn't feel -- she had no faith in, you know,





1 reporting police to police.

2 Q. She didn't have faith in the system?

3 A. In the system.

4 Q. No. And is that because of the observation you make

5 later in the paragraph, that she felt those who were

6 handling the investigations were difficult to deal with

7 and had little regard to her?

8 A. I'm not too sure that that is her opinion or my opinion.

9 Yes, she probably would have -- and also the fact that

10 she probably didn't honestly believe they would go

11 anywhere, and in a sense she might have felt they were

12 a waste of time.

13 Q. But still, we know in some cases --

14 A. Oh, yes, she did.

15 Q. She was interviewed, she produced statements?

16 A. After a lot of pressure.

17 Q. Where did the pressure come from?

18 A. Well, I think everybody was, you know -- pressure from

19 the ICPC who were writing to her. The NGOs said to her,

20 "You are not going down". Now, this is in hindsight,

21 because I have seen the documentation having dealt with

22 the complaints myself.

23 Q. But at the time, did you ever discuss with her the

24 question of whether she should or should not cooperate?

25 A. She just said she was doing it. She had made





1 a complaint and, you know, it was going ahead.

2 Q. You didn't have great discussions about it?

3 A. I didn't, no. It was just a complaint.

4 Q. Now, in relation to one of the complaints, you deal with

5 it in paragraph 62 and I would just like to look at

6 that, because it relates, I think, to the Garvaghy Road

7 incident, and that is at the bottom of paragraph 62,

8 page RNI-815-050 (displayed). You see you say there:

9 "She did deliberate about pursuing her grievances

10 against the police following the incident."

11 That is the one we will talk about in a minute.

12 Does that suggest she wasn't sure whether to take it any

13 further?

14 A. On that specific incident?

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. She wasn't.

17 Q. Did she discuss it with you?

18 A. She did on that particular one, yes.

19 Q. And what was your view about that?

20 A. It was identification was her main concern. She had

21 discussed -- you know, she said to me they were all

22 wearing boiler suits. There was no way to identify. So

23 without some corroborating evidence from some other

24 individuals who had seen it, it would be her word

25 against those numerous officers who were there.





1 Q. And presumably, part of it was that she didn't believe

2 that any action would be taken, as you say at the end of

3 this paragraph. So the question arises: why did she

4 initiate the complaint and continue with it?

5 A. I'm only assuming she felt if she didn't complain then

6 people would say to her then it mustn't have happened.

7 It was the only way she had of putting it on record.

8 Q. Now, so far as the incident itself is concerned, you

9 have talked about it in your witness statement, but you

10 also, I think, dealt with it, didn't you, in earlier

11 statements that you made, I think, to the murder

12 investigation team? And I would like to show you one of

13 those, please, first. It is at RNI-835-180 (displayed).

14 This is a statement made eight years ago now, much

15 nearer the time of the incident, 24th May, and you say:

16 "At around 6 am on that Sunday, she accidentally

17 phoned [you]."

18 What do you mean by that?

19 A. It was -- as I said, it was early in the morning and the

20 phone went, and it was -- she had the house number,

21 I know by mistake because there was no way she would

22 have rung me at that time in the morning and let me

23 know -- there was trouble on. She wouldn't have

24 contacted the house.

25 Q. And she was agitated and upset?





1 A. Yes, I could tell by the tone.

2 Q. Presumably you could hear that in her voice?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And you then set out in just a few sentences what she

5 then told you, as I understand it?

6 A. Yes, at that time, yes.

7 Q. And it sounds as though it was a very brief

8 conversation?

9 A. It was, yes, it was, because I think she was actually --

10 as I say, I think it was somebody in the Government she

11 was actually trying to contact at that time.

12 Q. But although it was a brief conversation, you could tell

13 that she was upset?

14 A. Yes, knowing -- well, and straight after it I saw what

15 was happening on the Garvaghy Road.

16 Q. You saw it on the television?

17 A. Yes, I sit up there and I could see what was going on.

18 Q. In an earlier statement that you made to the murder

19 investigation team very shortly after her murder. We

20 can see the start of it at RNI-835-167 (displayed). You

21 return to this topic, the topic of the Garvaghy Road

22 incident, at RNI-835-170 (displayed) and you see six or

23 seven lines down, there is a sentence beginning:

24 "She has met Mo Mowlam lots of times and did

25 actually tell me that when she visited the Garvaghy Road





1 she had been spat at and insulted and was pushed by RUC

2 officers. The year before last was the year she was

3 pushed. She told me she couldn't identify the officers

4 because they had their numbers covered up and refused to

5 tell her who they were. They would see call her

6 a Fenian bitch. She did complain about these incidents,

7 but not all the time. She did make official

8 complaints."

9 Again, so far as you can help us, please, in this

10 statement that you made in April 1999, were you passing

11 on details that she had given you in the telephone

12 conversation or were these things you learnt from her

13 afterwards?

14 A. In the conversation, but mostly -- I think what I am

15 saying there is not the one specific -- that incident;

16 there was an atmosphere. I assume that is the 1997 year

17 we are talking about?

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. Yes, there was a lot of tension that year and in the

20 year after. This is really taking two -- it is probably

21 taking the whole Garvaghy Road period into account in

22 that statement.

23 Q. I see. You think this might have referred to another

24 incident maybe in another year?

25 A. There was a couple of incidents where there was





1 unpleasantries exchanged with the police around that

2 area.

3 Q. But certainly in relation to the pushing, the alleged

4 assault, as far as we have heard at any rate, if it

5 occurred, it occurred in 1997, didn't it?

6 A. It did, yes.

7 Q. In relation to that, when she returned home, did she

8 tell you that she had been injured in the incident?

9 A. Yes, on that Sunday evening.

10 Q. And what was the nature of the injuries?

11 A. She said she had -- (inaudible) pushing, shoving --

12 well, she couldn't see it, she felt it, but she thought

13 she had got a sort of shield -- slammed into half her

14 side, half her back; she was half moved. It had sort of

15 come from her back, been shoved into her.

16 Q. What were the nature of the injuries she sustained?

17 A. She had bruising slightly on her back, but mostly on her

18 shoulder. I just can't remember -- I'm trying to

19 visualise. I think it might have been left.

20 Q. You saw it?

21 A. I did, yes.

22 Q. How bad was it?

23 A. It was -- it spread over most of her upper shoulder down

24 to the elbow.

25 Q. Was there any other bruising on her body?





1 A. As I say, there was a wee bit just past her shoulder on

2 to her upper back, but no other bruising that she may --

3 no. Would I have seen it? No.

4 Q. Did you discuss with her the idea of going to get

5 medical attention?

6 A. No. Sorry, no, Rosemary wouldn't.

7 Q. She wouldn't?

8 A. Rosemary was not a doctor -- she would have had to have

9 had an arm hanging off for her to take an aspirin.

10 Q. It wasn't serious enough for her to go --

11 A. It wasn't that. It wasn't in her break-up or make-up to

12 go to get her examination to use it later on as proof of

13 certain types of injuries, no.

14 Q. Well, that is the point, isn't it? As you have heard,

15 a bit of tension has been fastened on, because of course

16 she did make a complaint and eventually she did issue

17 proceedings. During the consideration, the discussion

18 you had with her before she decided to make her

19 complaint, did this question of making sure there was

20 some medical evidence in place --

21 A. No, it was never discussed, no.

22 Q. One specific question on that, if I may, is raised by

23 your paragraph 140 on page RNI-851-071 (displayed),

24 because this is where you talk about the personal injury

25 claim file. And just so that everybody here is clear





1 about this, Mr Nelson, after Rosemary Nelson's death you

2 effectively had to run the practice, as I understand it?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Is that right?

5 A. I had to get permission from the Law Society to run the

6 practice, yes.

7 Q. And it is in that way, no doubt, that you saw various

8 files in the office?

9 A. That's correct, yes.

10 Q. Anyway, in this paragraph you say that you saw

11 a personal injury claim file; in other words, the file

12 relating to this incident. And you say in the last

13 sentence of this paragraph:

14 "I think there was a photograph of Rosemary on the

15 Garvaghy Road surrounded by police officers, but

16 unfortunately this wasn't on the file."

17 So it is a photograph you saw; is that right?

18 A. Yes. I mean, it was just her surrounded. There was no

19 pushing or shoving or -- whether it took place at that

20 time or another time, I'm not aware. It just was an

21 indication of where she -- that she was physically among

22 the police, but it could have been two hours before or

23 two hours after. It could have been two hours before.

24 Light was breaking, so I think it was more to show the

25 circumstances around it rather than the incident. It





1 wasn't an incident of her actually being assaulted at

2 the time.

3 Q. I see. But it is a photograph you saw before she died;

4 is that right?

5 A. No. I thought I had seen it.

6 Q. You see, what you say there is:

7 "I think there was a photograph of Rosemary on the

8 Garvaghy Road surrounded by police officers, but

9 unfortunately this wasn't on the file."

10 So it wasn't on the --

11 A. I think it is a photo I saw after her death, not

12 before it.

13 Q. You saw it after her death?

14 A. I think I saw it after her death. I'm unsure, to tell

15 you the truth.

16 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Can I just intervene to say this.

17 Some of us have read a book called "Garvaghy Road", and

18 there is indeed a photograph of Rosemary. That may be

19 the one that Mr Nelson is referring to.

20 A. That may be the one. I think you're right. I think it

21 was published not long after her death. That could be

22 the one, yes.

23 MR PHILLIPS: Could we move on to talk about the question of

24 threats and specific threats you deal with in your

25 statement.





1 Can we start by just looking briefly at your

2 paragraph 36. You say there -- and that is RNI-815-043

3 (displayed) -- that:

4 "Shortly before she died, I did see some of the

5 threat letters that she received and the pamphlet that

6 was circulated around at the time of the Garvaghy Road

7 march in 1998."

8 It sounds from that sentence and expression "shortly

9 before she died" that there came a moment where you saw

10 a number of these documents at once; is that correct?

11 A. In a short period of time, yes. When you say a number,

12 I mean two documents. There was only two --

13 Q. That was my next question: how many there were?

14 A. Two.

15 Q. As I understand it from your statement, there was

16 a threat note and the Garvaghy Road "Man Without

17 a Future" pamphlet?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Yes. Now, how was it that you came to see them? Did

20 she bring them back home to show you?

21 A. Yes, some evening in the house. I think one was in her

22 handbag and I think she had the other one -- some files

23 of papers and I think it was sitting there among them.

24 Q. Do you think it was the threat note that was in her

25 handbag?





1 A. Yes, the threat note.

2 Q. It was?

3 A. When she showed it to me, yes.

4 Q. Just to look at that and to see if this is the one we

5 are talking about, can we look, please, at RNI-115-351

6 (displayed). Is that the note?

7 A. That is it, yes.

8 Q. Again, just so that we have got as much information on

9 this as we can from you, can you give even a vague date

10 for when you first saw that note?

11 A. I can't. I mean, I am assuming it was some time in --

12 the last year, 18 months are a bit of a blur, but they

13 are all squeezed together. So I assume it was some time

14 during that period, but I couldn't be specific.

15 Q. You talk about this and her attitude to it, and indeed

16 your own, in paragraph 51 at RNI-815-047 (displayed).

17 You say:

18 "Our view was that the handwritten notes and calls

19 ..."

20 Because there were also calls which you mention:

21 "... were just sent by a crank. We did take the

22 calls and the letters she received over the years

23 seriously. But I think our bottom line was that if

24 someone was going to do something to you, they are

25 probably not going to write to you in advance and warn





1 you."

2 That was your joint view, was it?

3 A. It did concern us, yes. It is not pleasant to receive

4 something like that, somebody out there is actually

5 thinking these thoughts about you, but we honestly

6 didn't think the person was actually going to do it

7 after taking the time to write us a note about it.

8 Q. You describe the person who sent them as being a crank.

9 Did she give you any idea of who she thought might have

10 dispatched them?

11 A. No, no ideas. There was no way of knowing.

12 Q. Can I ask you a specific question about the earlier

13 sentence in this paragraph, where you say:

14 "I have since learned she carried one of the

15 threatening letters around in her handbag for a period

16 of time."

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. When did you first learn that?

19 A. When -- well, the very first time was when the police

20 asked me.

21 Q. The murder investigation team?

22 A. Team asked me for her handbag.

23 Q. And is that when you first realised that she had carried

24 at least one note --

25 A. No, that would be incorrect. I mean, the fact that she





1 had it in her handbag when she showed it to me,

2 presumably would have been the first time, but I didn't

3 realise that she kept it carried in her handbag until

4 the police asked me was her handbag there. And I think

5 the murder investigation team didn't mention the threat

6 note at the time.

7 Q. I see. So you think you first discovered that she had

8 continued to carry it in her handbag after her murder?

9 A. Yes, after.

10 Q. Yes. Now, in this section of paragraph 51, you do refer

11 to handwritten notes in the plural. I just want to

12 check: earlier, you were pretty firm with me in saying

13 that there was a single threat note and a pamphlet?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Do you think there was only one handwritten note?

16 A. That I ever saw, yes.

17 Q. Yes. Let us just look briefly at the pamphlet, please,

18 RNI-106-205 (displayed). This is the pamphlet that she

19 showed you; is that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you. So far as the calls are concerned, you deal

22 with them at paragraph 43 of your statement and this is

23 RNI-815-044 (displayed). You say that around the same

24 time as receiving the pamphlet, which I think is the

25 summer of 1998, around the marching season:





1 "I think she also received a threatening letter and

2 further threatening calls to her office too, I think."

3 What did you learn about those?

4 A. I think that is slightly incorrect. I think there was

5 one to the house and one to the office.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. They were threatening. We really never went into

8 details. Someone rang up threatening her life and

9 abusing her over the phone. That was the type. We

10 never went into detail. I mean, our house telephone

11 number and the office number were public knowledge, so

12 there was no -- nobody had to go to any great length to

13 make a call to either place.

14 Q. Did you ever consider going ex-directory?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Not even after the calls had been made?

17 A. No, there was no point. There would be so many people

18 had the number. All the police stations would have it.

19 Most of her clients would probably have -- we lived --

20 somebody could just come and knock our door if they

21 wanted us. Most people assumed we were ex-directory and

22 we actually didn't get many calls. It actually worked

23 out better.

24 Q. Can I just ask you in relation to the calls, and the one

25 in particular that one of your sons answered at home.





1 Presumably that must have made you concerned, if not for

2 yourself, then for your children?

3 A. I think it was the fact that it was the first time there

4 was some sort of direct -- that it had been brought into

5 the house. It seems stupid, but it just seemed to make

6 it different.

7 Q. Did it not make you more worried?

8 A. No, it is hard to explain, but I suppose the fact that

9 we had all lived with so many deaths over this period,

10 you know, that you know that if people want to kill you,

11 nothing is going to stop them. And the fact that they

12 have your telephone number and make a call to your

13 house, it's not going to make any difference; not

14 especially in the area that we lived.

15 Q. In your recollection now, these calls, in terms of their

16 timing, did they all take place around the marching

17 season, in the summer?

18 A. They may have. I can't recollect specifically, and to

19 us there was no specific -- if they did, we never put

20 any significance on it.

21 Q. Now, so far as the threat notes are concerned, can

22 I just ask you one other question. You said you think

23 there was one, the handwritten one, I mean, that you

24 were shown. Do you think if there had been others which

25 Rosemary Nelson had received, she would have shown them





1 to you?

2 A. No, no. I know that from my own personal experience.

3 No, it is not a thing you do.

4 Q. So it is possible, is it, that there were other notes

5 which she didn't trouble you with?

6 A. I would be very surprised if there wasn't, yes.

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. I know for a fact there might have been. But no, it is

9 human nature not to show them.

10 Q. You have said already that you learnt a number of things

11 about threats and other matters after her murder. If

12 she wasn't talking about those sorts of threats to you,

13 do you think she was able to confide in anyone else?

14 A. She would have confided a wee bit with a lot -- a wee

15 bit with some different people, but not everything to

16 any one individual.

17 Q. Well, you say in your statement -- and this is at the

18 top of page RNI-815-048 (displayed) -- that there were

19 a lot of people who said they were close friends with

20 her but they usually were not close at all. In fact, as

21 far as you were concerned, she didn't have any close

22 friends?

23 A. I mean, definitely she had close friends, a lot of

24 people were friends, but really close friends, no. She

25 had very few.





1 Q. Did she ever mention to you, for example, that she had

2 received a bullet in the post?

3 A. This is one of those occasions -- I can't remember if

4 she mentioned it to me or I have heard it since, to be

5 honest. I just can't split my memory. I would swear

6 she did, but I honestly can't be precise, no. I know

7 I never saw it now. I have never seen a bullet, so

8 I know I have never actually seen it, but whether I was

9 told about it, I am not sure.

10 Q. So far as what to do about any of this is concerned, you

11 deal with this in paragraph 53 -- it is on the screen at

12 the moment -- and you say that:

13 "It wouldn't have been her initial reaction, i.e. to

14 go to the police about all this material, the

15 threatening letters and the calls."

16 Why was that?

17 A. I think that, like myself, she probably didn't see what

18 would come out of it, that there would be an end result

19 that would make no difference to the people who had sent

20 them.

21 She probably, in a way, was doing it for show and it

22 was like escalating the problem: the more you talk about

23 it, the more you told people, the worse it seemed to be.

24 I am aware that, you know, she did give her permission

25 for them to be sent to the police, so she had been





1 persuaded to change her mind. But I would have thought

2 that would have been her reaction: The more you talk

3 about it, the more you shout about it, it just makes it

4 worse. Hide it under the carpet and hopefully it goes

5 away.

6 Q. That was your attitude?

7 A. That has been my attitude, yes.

8 Q. So far as passing them on to police, I think what you

9 are referring to -- and tell me if this is right or

10 not -- in that sentence, which is the second sentence of

11 this paragraph, is the fact that the threat note and the

12 pamphlet, as we know, were forwarded to the NIO?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. That is what you are talking about?

15 A. Yes, I am.

16 Q. And you are not saying, are you, that there was any

17 other material, threatening notes, et cetera, passed on

18 to the police?

19 A. Not that I am aware of.

20 Q. No. Can I just ask you very briefly, and finally in

21 this part, about paragraph 135 of your statement, which

22 is at RNI-815-070 (displayed). You say you have been

23 asked if Rosemary ever received any threats from

24 Billy Wright:

25 "She told me that she had seen him at court one day





1 when she was there on a case, but she didn't tell me if

2 he said anything to her."

3 So it was a simple fact that she'd --

4 A. Been in the vicinity -- well, in the same court room,

5 which I'm sure it happened on more than one occasion,

6 but that was it.

7 Q. She didn't say there had been any conversation between

8 them?

9 A. No.

10 Q. In relation to the question of security and protection,

11 which you touched on a little earlier, I would like to

12 ask you about a couple of passages in your statement

13 where you deal with this and you tell us about how she

14 believed that she was being protected.

15 Can I start by asking you to look, please, at

16 paragraph 25, which is at RNI-851-039 (displayed). It

17 is the last sentence of this paragraph:

18 "I think when she started to take on this kind of

19 work, she felt that she had some sort of protection,

20 because of the very fact that she was a solicitor."

21 Now, as I understand it, that was the view she had

22 when she started doing this sort of high profile work;

23 is that right?

24 A. I think it is actually a view she had all her life,

25 as a practising solicitor, that -- whether it was -- it





1 wasn't based in fact -- or it may have been the fact

2 that it was the only protection she could possibly have

3 and that is why she expressed it.

4 Q. So that being a lawyer, being a solicitor, was itself,

5 or should have been, a form of protection for her?

6 A. Well, I think she thought that everybody would see that

7 she was a solicitor, but I think part of it was also the

8 fact that there was no other protection she could have

9 taken and carried on being a solicitor.

10 Q. Now, you return to this in paragraph 49 of your

11 statement, which again I would like to look at with you,

12 please, because here you talk about what the

13 alternatives were for her. And you say in the fourth

14 line -- this is RNI-815-046 (displayed):

15 "The only thing Rosemary could have done to

16 alleviate the risk was to stop being a solicitor, and I

17 don't think she would ever have made that decision. For

18 as long as she was a solicitor, she would not have been

19 able to make moral judgments about which cases she did

20 and did not take on."

21 That is very much what you were saying earlier this

22 morning, wasn't it?

23 A. Correct, yes.

24 Q. Then can you look down, please, at the next sentences:

25 "Yes, there was a fear that she was at risk because





1 of some of the work that she was doing, and I have no

2 doubt about that. In hindsight, she was probably less

3 fearful at the time than reality now says she should

4 have been."

5 That presumably is a judgment that you have reached

6 in the years after her murder?

7 A. Yes, and the fact that she was killed. So, therefore,

8 it was right.

9 Q. "She understood that some of her work was bringing her

10 into the view of people that may want to harm her.

11 However, I think she felt that a solicitor would not be

12 at risk, especially after Pat Finucane was murdered. I

13 don't think she thought something like that would ever

14 happen again."

15 Then you said:

16 "I think she felt that something like that would

17 never be allowed to happen again."

18 So as I understand it, her view was that precisely

19 because one defence solicitor, Mr Finucane, had been

20 murdered, that of itself made it unlikely, gave her

21 protection, in the sense that it wouldn't happen again,

22 it couldn't happen again?

23 A. It is probably -- it was trying to build some security

24 around yourself. I mean, there has been other -- you

25 know, people in the legal profession killed and there





1 has been -- you know, I think we thought we had got to

2 the stage where something like that would never be

3 accepted again. So those people who organise or decide

4 who is to be killed would see the impact it might have

5 and decide, no, she is a solicitor, we won't go down

6 that road again as people in the past had.

7 Q. Is this something that she said to you herself?

8 A. In connection with that?

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And it sounds from your earlier answers as though you

12 regard it, now certainly, as just a way of bolstering

13 yourself rather than giving actual protection?

14 A. Well, it didn't, so that is really my feelings on it.

15 Q. In paragraph 80, you return to the same theme,

16 RNI-815-056 (displayed), where you say that you believe

17 she hoped people could see she was only doing her job.

18 And then a few lines down:

19 "The only protection that she felt she had was being

20 a solicitor."

21 A. Yes, I mean, as I say, it seems silly now, but I mean,

22 that was her profession. Her only other choice -- there

23 was no security measures we could have taken -- she

24 could have taken to protect her from somebody who

25 wanted -- you know what I mean. She was out in the





1 middle of night going anywhere, so therefore anybody

2 wanting to kill her (inaudible phrases) they wanted to

3 do is, as somebody said, give up that type of work. How

4 do you let the people out there know you no longer do

5 that type of work? Do you put an ad in the paper and

6 say -- she wouldn't have done it. Her only other choice

7 was to stop being a solicitor. Well, it was her

8 business, her life, you couldn't do it. She couldn't

9 just walk away. She had a business. You just couldn't

10 turn the key in the door and walk away even if she had

11 wanted to.

12 Q. In relation to your discussions about security, you have

13 very helpfully outlined your understanding, your

14 position and her position on that, but can I just ask

15 you this further issue: had your joint view been

16 a different one, had you been at least prepared to

17 contemplate exploring the question of protection or

18 security in your house, would she have been happy, do

19 you think, to have taken advice or sought help from the

20 police in that regard?

21 A. It is a question I have thought about and I can't -- it

22 is hard to give an answer to something, you know -- yes,

23 if you are saying that if the police had come to us and

24 said, yes, we know there is a reason -- well, a specific

25 threat out there or some named individual, what her





1 reaction would have been, I honestly don't know. It

2 would have had to be -- yes, we could have reacted.

3 What we would have done, I can't honestly say.

4 Q. You have no doubt read a number of views being expressed

5 on this topic by people. So far as you are concerned,

6 married to her for a number of years and living with

7 her, you are not able to say one way or the other?

8 A. Because it didn't happen. You know what I mean, nobody

9 came and said, "Look, there is a specific threat. You

10 are named here, named there." It didn't happen. So --

11 I mean, I would only be guessing -- to be honest with

12 you, I would now say we would have blocked all the

13 doors, disappeared out. But at that time I couldn't

14 honestly tell you what we could have done if a specific

15 threat -- I hope we would have done something, but I

16 don't know.

17 Q. Now, so far as the other references you make to the

18 question of protection in your statement are concerned,

19 before we look at them in any detail, can I just ask you

20 to look at a page from the discussion which took place,

21 the question and answer session, after her appearance in

22 the congressional subcommittee. And we can see that at

23 RNI-113-059 (displayed). Thank you.

24 Mr Nelson, do you see on the left-hand column under

25 the words "Chairman Gilman", there is a question posed





1 by one of the congressmen, who says:

2 "Let me ask, Mrs Nelson, you recited the fact there

3 had been threats against your life. Have you made any

4 requests for security protection?

5 "Answer: No, I didn't make any specific requests

6 for security, but the RUC was notified about these

7 threats."

8 Just pausing there for the moment, I take it that

9 this document is not something you saw at the time?

10 A. Not at the -- well, I did see -- I presume that's a

11 document that comes out in a wee booklet form, I presume

12 that. No, afterwards, I would think.

13 Q. But had you --

14 A. Sorry, I may have seen it before her death, yes, because

15 it was published before her death, yes.

16 Q. Had you seen it at the time? Where she is saying "I

17 didn't make any specific requests for security,"

18 presumably you would have agreed with that statement of

19 fact, would you?

20 A. I knew we hadn't.

21 Q. Yes, exactly. Just moving --

22 A. Sorry, to correct that, I knew we hadn't, myself and

23 Rosemary personally. At the time, I thought other

24 people had been making requests on our behalf.

25 Q. We will come to that in a moment, if we may. Do you see





1 the next question is asked by Chairman Gilman.

2 "Question: Wouldn't it be appropriate for you under

3 these circumstances to make such a request for security

4 since your life has been threatened?

5 "Answer: Possibly, but to be perfectly honest I'm

6 not sure I would use a firearm. I mean, I have taken

7 certain precautions around the home."

8 Now, again just coming back to the answers you gave

9 me earlier, can you think what she meant by "certain

10 precautions around the home"?

11 A. No. That reply, I think, was made because she probably

12 didn't want to say.

13 Q. That she hadn't made any?

14 A. Not that she want to lie, but it was going to be

15 a public document. It would seem a bit silly to say

16 there was no precautions.

17 Q. So it doesn't make you change your own view, which is

18 that in fact you hadn't?

19 A. No, I know we hadn't.

20 Q. Thank you. In relation to the firearm, did that

21 question ever come up, the question of using a personal

22 protection weapon?

23 A. No, and the fact that that question was asked in

24 America, I think, you know -- I don't think it would

25 have been asked over here.





1 Q. It is not something that you would have contemplated?

2 A. Never.

3 Q. Nor that she would have done?

4 A. No, I would never have a weapon in the house, like.

5 Q. No. Just turning to the top of the next page,

6 RNI-113-060 (displayed), because this is the answer that

7 touches on the question I put to you just a little while

8 ago, the answer is:

9 "Yes, indeed."

10 This is in relation to another question from

11 Chairman Gilman:

12 "The Government does have responsibility, but the

13 procedure there is if you request security from the RUC,

14 your house or your premises are assessed by the RUC's

15 police security installations, and I wouldn't have any

16 great faith in the RUC coming in to assess that."

17 Now, presumably from your earlier answer, where you

18 said you just didn't know what the reaction would be,

19 she hadn't expressed that particular view to you?

20 A. The fact is that we decided we couldn't have security.

21 I mean -- no, I mean -- well, also the fact that I know

22 she wouldn't have allowed them in to do it anyhow, but

23 we hadn't decided to have it. At that time, we lived in

24 probably the same fear as a lot of people in

25 Northern Ireland did without protection.





1 Q. As far as you are concerned, the issue hadn't arisen?

2 A. It hadn't, no.

3 Q. In your statement, in various paragraphs, which I think

4 begin in paragraph 65, you talk about KPPS, and I'm

5 trying to navigate my way through these paragraphs. Can

6 I just ask you a few straight questions at the

7 beginning.

8 As far as you are aware -- is this correct -- that

9 Rosemary Nelson herself never made an application to the

10 KPPS scheme?

11 A. Not that I am aware of.

12 Q. Did the question of whether she should make such an

13 application ever come up between you?

14 A. Not whether she should make one. There was a conflict

15 about the fact that during some of the Garvaghy Road

16 talks, the Drumcree talks, that an issue of protection

17 had been raised.

18 Q. And again --

19 A. On her behalf.

20 Q. We will come to that in a moment, because you also talk

21 about that later your statement.

22 Can I just ask you to look, please, at a document,

23 RNI-106-287 (displayed). Now, this is a letter of

24 10th August from the CAJ to Mr Ingram, the

25 Minister of State, as we see. This is in fact the





1 letter enclosing the two documents we talked about

2 earlier: the note, third paragraph, and the pamphlet,

3 fourth paragraph.

4 Now, if we just go over the page, please, to

5 RNI-106-288 (displayed), there is a reference there to

6 necessary protection and the Government installing

7 security apparatus. Do you see that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Going back to the first page, 10th August letter,

10 RNI-106-287 (displayed), we have heard from witnesses,

11 in particular Mr Mageean himself, that he discussed the

12 idea of sending this material in and raising these

13 issues with Rosemary Nelson before he sent the letter.

14 Is it something that you were aware of before the letter

15 was sent in?

16 A. You mean that did I know --

17 Q. Why.

18 A. No.

19 Q. No. And were you made aware of it after it had

20 happened? In other words, did she tell you, "The CAJ

21 have written on my behalf to the NIO raising these

22 issues"?

23 A. I can't remember, as I said, but I knew the CAJ were

24 coordinating information. I can't remember if she

25 specifically mentioned this specific letter out of the





1 blue.

2 Q. Okay. Can we look now at the response, RNI-106-324

3 (displayed). It is the letter from the NIO of

4 24th September, addressed to Mr Mageean, and as you see

5 from the first line, it is a reply to the letter we have

6 just looked at.

7 Now, moving down the letter, you will see it refers

8 to the discretionary scheme at the bottom of this page,

9 and if we can go over to the next page, please,

10 RNI-106-325 (displayed), and it goes on to describe the

11 scheme and says -- do you see, just before the end of

12 the first paragraph on this page:

13 "If Mrs Nelson wishes to be considered for this

14 scheme, she should apply."

15 Then various details are given. Then the next

16 paragraph:

17 "Applications for a personal protection weapon."

18 Then finally:

19 "She may also contact her local crime prevention

20 officer."

21 Can I ask you, were you aware of this letter? Did

22 she tell you about this letter?

23 A. No.

24 Q. So the questions that are raised within it, in other

25 words whether she should make an application to the KPPS





1 or for a personal protection weapon or seek local crime

2 prevention advice, those were not issues she raised with

3 you?

4 A. Not specifically in relation to that letter, no.

5 Q. No. But did she ever discuss with you the question of

6 whether she should apply for admission to the KPPS?

7 A. Not in those terms. She did discuss it, you know.

8 There was a scheme, she could apply, and one of those

9 applications would be to get a firearm.

10 Q. And presumably from your earlier answer, she wasn't

11 interested in that?

12 A. No.

13 Q. And presumably also, if you had a discussion in whatever

14 terms, she made it clear that she wasn't going to apply

15 to be protected under the scheme?

16 A. No, because of -- you know, earlier conversations that

17 we had about security round our house. We had made that

18 lifestyle decision based on the information we had at

19 the time.

20 Q. Yes. Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

21 THE CHAIRMAN: About how long do you anticipate Mr Nelson's

22 evidence to last, because there is an urgent matter

23 I have to deal with?

24 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, I think probably maybe another 45 minutes

25 to an hour.





1 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I think we had better have a break of

2 half an hour. Thank you.

3 Sorry about that, Mr Nelson. There is another

4 matter I have a deal with.

5 A. No, that is fine.

6 (3.07 pm)

7 (Short break)

8 (3.50 pm)


10 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Nelson, we were talking about the question

11 of KPPS, if you remember, and I had shown you the two

12 letters to and from the NIO. The second one, if you

13 remember, was 24th September 1998, and actually I would

14 just like to put that on the screen once more:

15 RNI-106-324, and the second page at RNI-106-325

16 (displayed). Thanks.

17 We went through it together and you confirmed and

18 agreed with my suggestion that, as far as you are aware

19 at any rate, Rosemary Nelson did not herself make an

20 application to join the scheme, the KPPS; that is right,

21 isn't it?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. I want to keep that on the screen, if I may, because it

24 shows us what had to be done if you wanted it get into

25 the scheme, and the key element was obviously that you





1 make an application.

2 If we look at paragraph 65 of your statement, at the

3 bottom of RNI-815-051 (displayed), where you are talking

4 about this in the context of the pamphlet. Perhaps we

5 could have that on the left-hand side, please

6 (displayed). Thank you. It is at the bottom of the

7 page. You see the last full sentence of the page is:

8 "The conclusion of the threat assessment must have

9 been that Rosemary was not at risk as she was refused

10 KPPS."

11 Do you see that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. That is an expression -- namely, the word "refused" or

14 "refused protection" -- that you use on possibly four

15 occasions in your statement. Clearly, from what you

16 said earlier, her own application cannot have been

17 refused, but as you have said, she didn't make one.

18 So are we talking here about a term you are using in

19 relation to what you believe was the threat assessment

20 which was carried out on her?

21 A. That and the fact that I was under the impression that

22 other people had requested KPPS for her.

23 Q. So that is not something that you were involved in

24 yourself?

25 A. No.





1 Q. And the information about that, did it come to you

2 before the time of her murder?

3 A. I think she had mentioned to me before her murder, yes,

4 that somebody in connection with the -- it had come up

5 at a meeting with the Garvaghy Road residents and other

6 parties.

7 Q. So in other words, if anything had been mentioned in

8 relation to her, it was in this more general context of

9 the Garvaghy Road; is that right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Right. But you, I imagine, weren't aware of any of the

12 details of that?

13 A. Of the Garvaghy Road?

14 Q. No.

15 A. No.

16 Q. And did she indicate that she was content for such

17 a suggestion to be made in the context of the general

18 request, you say, to the NIO?

19 A. She never made any negative comments about it.

20 Q. No. So if, therefore, there was any refusal -- and, as

21 I say, that is the term you use on a number of occasions

22 in your statement -- it would presumably, therefore,

23 have been a refusal in relation to this general request?

24 A. Yes, if I was referring to it, yes.

25 Q. And presumably you never saw any documents relating to





1 this issue before her murder?

2 A. No, not that specific, no. I think also (inaudible),

3 the knowledge I have now of the procedures and the fact

4 that threat assessments, security to me, they were all

5 the one at that time. I have now become aware they are

6 slightly different issues, but at that time, no, to me

7 it was the same issue.

8 Q. I was going to ask you about that. To what extent do

9 you think the views you express in your statement are

10 views based on what you have read since the murder as

11 opposed to what you knew at the time?

12 A. Sorry, the whole statement?

13 Q. No, in this particular aspect of it.

14 A. Well, what I knew at the time was the fact that what --

15 I thought a KPPS application had been made by some

16 party, that there had been a risk assessment and neither

17 of them came -- you know, nobody approached us to say

18 either you have got it or there is a threat. So that

19 would have been my knowledge at the time.

20 Q. Did it come to this: that at the time, before her

21 murder, nobody contacted you to say, "There has been

22 a threat assessment, there is a level of risk here and

23 we need to do something about this"?

24 A. You mean me personally?

25 Q. Yes.





1 A. No. I realise now that as I lived in the house, I would

2 have been a contact point -- no.

3 Q. As far as you are aware, nobody came or approached

4 Rosemary Nelson with the same point?

5 A. No.

6 Q. As I understand it, therefore, what you are saying --

7 and you say it on a number of occasions in your

8 statement -- is that your understanding of what would

9 happen was essentially based on the absence of something

10 happening; in other words, nobody had told you that the

11 threat assessment had suggested a level of risk?

12 A. Oh, no. I mean, the first I know -- no, nobody has ever

13 spoke to me about it, no, either before she died or

14 after.

15 Q. If you look at paragraph 73 of your statement on

16 RNI-851-054 (displayed) in relation to this general

17 request that you have mentioned, you say:

18 "I think my recollection is that Rosemary did not

19 make a direct application to number 10 in addition to

20 the general request for security."

21 So again, your belief is, as I understand it, there

22 was no specific direct application by Rosemary Nelson?

23 A. Not that I am aware of, no.

24 Q. Although you say:

25 "I cannot specifically recall when and if I knew





1 about this at the time, or now recall this due to

2 documents I have since read."

3 So this is one of those examples of the tendency we

4 referred to earlier?

5 A. Yes, so much information. It is very hard to just

6 delineate exactly when I knew certain information.

7 Q. We can see that in fact confirmed by what you say just

8 two paragraphs later. You say:

9 "I have been asked to confirm how many applications

10 were made by Rosemary or on her behalf for protection

11 under the KPPS scheme. It is difficult for me to

12 distinguish what I knew about this at the time from what

13 I have since read."

14 Then you say:

15 "But, as I say, I am certain that in addition to the

16 general request that was made for protection to the GRRC

17 members, a specific request was also made by

18 Jonathan Powell."

19 That seems to be the opposite of what you said two

20 paragraphs before?

21 A. All I remember simply is that I had heard his name and I

22 had heard him mentioned in connection with this before

23 she died.

24 Q. But you had no direct knowledge of it?

25 A. I had no direct knowledge of it, no.





1 Q. And you hadn't, before she died, seen, as I say, any

2 material or documents relating to it one way or the

3 other?

4 A. No.

5 Q. In this passage of your statement at paragraph 72, where

6 you are talking about threat assessment and this whole

7 issue, you say at the bottom of page RNI-815-053

8 (displayed):

9 "I think that we both thought that when protection

10 was refused ..."

11 And that is the point I was raising with you

12 earlier:

13 "... she could not be at significant risk. On the

14 basis that people who are much more knowledgeable than

15 us did not think she was at risk, we felt it was nothing

16 for us to be concerned about."

17 Again, can I ask you: is that a discussion on this

18 topic that you had with Rosemary Nelson before she was

19 murdered?

20 A. It was -- it is a general theme. You know -- I knew and

21 she knew that risk assessments were being made or that

22 she had been -- she was well-known by those in

23 authority. You know, they knew she was involved in the

24 Garvaghy Road, knew certain other things, she had had

25 meetings with people. The assumption was that if those





1 people out there don't think -- we don't know the

2 information they know, so we have to rely -- maybe it

3 was in the absence -- it was a negative feeling that

4 nobody has come to us and said there is a problem.

5 So it was probably the negative we were taking out

6 of it, because nobody had come and said, "Look, we have

7 this information concerning X, Y or Z" and said maybe

8 you should take some precautions. That information --

9 we never got that information.

10 Q. Can I ask you this: are you sure in your own mind that

11 before her death you were even aware that a threat

12 assessment was being undertaken on her?

13 A. I knew -- well, not -- I knew that she -- through the

14 Garvaghy Road, that they had made, they had worries

15 about her. And maybe at those days I didn't know the

16 precise nature of a threat, what specifically a threat

17 assessment was, as I do now, but I was aware that

18 somebody was making enquiries into her safety. Maybe

19 that is the better word I should use. And nobody had

20 approached us saying that there was some evidence out

21 there that she was at risk.

22 Q. So far as the more general request is made, this is

23 something you deal with in paragraph 73, and that is on

24 page RNI-851-054 (displayed). Again, trying to be as

25 careful as you can about what you remember and what





1 knowledge you have acquired since by reading, can you

2 remember to whom the general request which you mention

3 there was made?

4 A. To whom it was made or by whom?

5 Q. To whom it was made.

6 A. At the time, I knew -- I assumed from information I had

7 that it was made to the British Government in some

8 context, not -- I mean, I knew it hadn't been made

9 directly through the RUC at the time. I knew it had

10 come up in conjunction with talks that had taken place

11 over Drumcree, and I knew the police wouldn't have been

12 involved. So it had to be through some Northern Ireland

13 minister or a government source.

14 Q. Did you know or are you able to help us as to when it

15 was made?

16 A. I can't. Yet again, I have assumed it was made either

17 around the time of July 1997 or between -- not 1997, the

18 1998 -- that would have been July 1997 or July 1998,

19 because that is when things were -- those talks were at

20 their highest.

21 Q. For whom was the request made? On whose behalf?

22 A. At that time, I knew that the specific names that I had

23 heard mentioned at the time was Brendan Mac Cionnaith,

24 Joe Duffy and Rosemary. But I was led to believe at

25 that time that Rosemary -- she may have been included in





1 the three, but she was specifically mentioned.

2 Q. You are sure this is something you were told at the time

3 rather than something you have learnt later?

4 A. That is what I am saying: I knew definitely

5 Brendan Mac Cionnaith and Joe Duffy at the time, because

6 they were the lead figures, and I knew Rosemary had been

7 mentioned. Whether or not -- my knowledge was that she

8 was included in the three or separate, I couldn't

9 confirm.

10 Q. You are not sure?

11 A. I'm not sure, no.

12 Q. In relation to that request, were you ever made aware of

13 what had happened to it, what its fate was?

14 A. Not before her death, no.

15 Q. Again, just moving to a topic we have looked at just

16 a while ago, which comes up in 75, the request you

17 mention there, via Jonathan Powell, again, is that

18 something you learnt about after Rosemary Nelson's

19 murder?

20 A. It is the same as I have just been talking about.

21 I thought -- you know, my impression was that there was

22 two: one was general and one was specific, but yet again

23 I don't know precisely when I knew of each one.

24 Q. Are you confident that it is something that she,

25 Rosemary Nelson, mentioned to you?





1 A. Oh, about the Garvaghy Road? Yes.

2 Q. About the specific request made via Jonathan Powell?

3 A. Before -- I would -- my memory at the time is that there

4 was a request made through the Garvaghy Road Residents

5 Coalition at the time. Whether at that time she

6 mentioned specifically Jonathan Powell, I don't know.

7 That might have been information I learnt later on.

8 Q. From other people?

9 A. From other people later on, yes.

10 Q. And again, you are not aware of any more detail?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Or you weren't aware of any more detail --

13 A. At the time.

14 Q. Can I ask you specifically about paragraph 76. You say

15 there that she was aware that threat assessments were

16 being done on her -- we have already covered that -- and

17 that:

18 "She supplied some of the threatening letters that

19 she received to the CAJ."

20 Now, in terms of that part of the sentence, "some of

21 the threatening letters", do you mean by that the two

22 documents we saw earlier and which we saw were passed

23 with the letter of 10th August?

24 A. Yes. As I say, that statement is the knowledge that

25 I have now come into after her death.





1 Q. There weren't any others?

2 A. As I said earlier, not to my knowledge.

3 Q. No. And then in paragraph 80, you say in relation to

4 this -- if I can put it that way -- absence of

5 notification of risk, you say in the fourth line:

6 "We obviously discussed the situation on several

7 occasions and made a decision to do nothing, as with no

8 evidence she was under real danger."

9 And this, as I understand it, is very much the point

10 you are making earlier: that in the absence of somebody

11 issuing a warning to you, you decided that there was

12 nothing you could do; is that right?

13 A. Well, yes. I mean, we knew there was a risk. You know,

14 in Northern Ireland there was always a risk, but as

15 I say, nothing specific. Nobody knocked the door and

16 gave us a specific risk of a specific individual or

17 a specific organisation.

18 No, any knowledge we had was our own knowledge of

19 Northern Ireland and the people who were in our own

20 area. So we always knew there was a risk, but it wasn't

21 highlighted to any extent.

22 Q. Now, finally on this, you say in relation to

23 Mr Cumaraswamy's report -- this is paragraph 78,

24 RNI-851-055 (displayed) -- that the publicity it

25 received when it was published -- this is about six





1 lines down:

2 "In spring 1998, had convinced her ..."

3 That is Rosemary Nelson:

4 "... that maybe publicity was a form of protection."

5 Is that, as far as you are aware, that time, spring

6 1998, the first time that she, Rosemary Nelson, began to

7 appreciate that it might be a form of protection for

8 her?

9 A. The first time she really expressed it. I mean, there

10 was always this balancing act, you know: do you keep

11 your head down and say nothing, or do you put it -- does

12 it cause more problems?

13 I think probably at this stage she had no control --

14 this whole report and the problems it caused was totally

15 out of her control. She wasn't involved to a degree in

16 the problems that arose with it. So I think her

17 attitude might have been, "Well, I don't like the

18 publicity, yet again I am being drawn into an argument

19 which wasn't of my own making."

20 But I think maybe she felt -- it might have been

21 just bravado -- "Maybe yet again people out there may be

22 thinking I am getting some protection from people

23 talking about me at high level."

24 Q. Do you think that had an influence on the way she

25 behaved from that time on, for the remaining year of her





1 life?

2 A. No. I mean, she didn't really do anything overly

3 different. So, you know, in hindsight it didn't really

4 change the way she ...

5 Q. Can we just focus on the last, let's say, the last year

6 of her life. You paint a picture for us in paragraph 85

7 of your statement at RNI-851-057 (displayed), that

8 certainly in the last six months or so she was in

9 a sense taking things a bit easier at work. Is that

10 a fair way of putting it?

11 A. No, she was working harder. It was just -- as

12 I explained before, the way the office was being

13 reorganised, the way the work was coming in, I suspect

14 that a certain amount of the type of work was changing

15 because of circumstances in Northern Ireland at the time

16 too. No, she had been working maybe slightly less hours

17 but harder, I would say, because the practice was -- yet

18 again, had sort of -- had another upward turn in volumes

19 of work.

20 Q. You see, the reason I ask this is because you say there,

21 in 85:

22 "She was at a stage where the business was doing

23 well and she was taking things easy."

24 A. Easy; she was taking more breaks. She was more focused,

25 that she would work flat out, but allowed herself then





1 those breaks. So it was a more concerted effort and she

2 had made, I think, a conscious decision that she needed

3 these breaks to let her keep doing what she was doing at

4 that high level.

5 Q. Was she trying to get the balance between home and work

6 rather better?

7 A. No, she always had a good balance between home and work.

8 I think she just realised that she had seen the size of

9 the practice, so in the long-term now she couldn't

10 continue, you know, at -- the spreading herself over

11 seven or eight days a week, that she was trying to focus

12 it more. Just probably more organised.

13 Q. Yes. In the evidence that the Inquiry has received from

14 Eunan, her brother, and her sisters, there was a sense

15 they gave that she was, in her work, trying to draw

16 back, perhaps, from some of the more high profile cases.

17 Is that something that you recognise?

18 A. No. There was no deliberate policy. I mean, these high

19 profile cases came to her. She didn't go out, you know,

20 looking for them.

21 She was involved -- in her desk, she was still

22 involved in the Garvaghy Road. There was only what one

23 would call three probably high profile cases in her

24 whole ten-year career. I mean, as I say, they just

25 happened to be two clients that she was representing at





1 that time.

2 No, she didn't -- it was I think just the

3 circumstances of Northern Ireland that these type of

4 cases were probably reducing. There was nothing -- I

5 don't know that she turned -- she didn't -- I know and,

6 I suppose, mentioned earlier, there was a possibility of

7 another high profile case. She was not turning that

8 away.

9 Q. So she wasn't trying to change the balance of her work,

10 for example?

11 A. Her work style. As I say, she never went out looking

12 for certain types of work. She never turned certain

13 types of work away. It is what came over the door.

14 Her work was definitely changing, because from what

15 I have seen now, her reputation as a litigation lawyer,

16 which I would call, seemed to be increasing for the

17 volume of high quality litigation cases that were coming

18 in.

19 I would assume that once you start off in practice,

20 "I won't go to that young girl, I don't know if she can

21 handle it", but after ten years the cream of cases were

22 starting to come across her desk.

23 Q. You don't think in any sense that she was regretting or

24 beginning to regret the type of high profile, the

25 terrorist cases that she had taken on in earlier years?





1 A. She probably regretted the publicity around them. But,

2 you know, I don't think she regretted taking on those.

3 As I said, she hadn't turned any cases away to my

4 knowledge. I think there was one on the horizon, but --

5 as I say. But I'm not aware of her ever turning any

6 cases away. I have no knowledge of her changing that in

7 the last year.

8 Q. I would like to ask you, please, about the property that

9 you bought, I think, in 1998. You deal with this at

10 paragraph 87 at the bottom of the page, RNI-851-057

11 (displayed).

12 As I understand it, this was property that you both

13 bought; is that right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You say you put up the deposit yourself?

16 A. I had the deposit, yes.

17 Q. And as I understand it, it was bought as an investment;

18 in other words, to generate rental income?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Can you help, please: how was it that Mr Duffy became

21 the first tenant of the house?

22 A. I think he just happened to be the first person in the

23 area that was aware that Rosemary bought it. It was --

24 I believe it was close to -- it is in the same estate as

25 he lived, so it would be public knowledge as to who





1 bought the house. It was a very small area.

2 He just approached -- I think we were actually just

3 about to complete. It was in her name and I think she

4 was just about to complete when he heard it was up, and

5 he needed a house and we contacted the housing executive

6 and we got a rent book, et cetera.

7 Q. The property was in her name, as you remember it?

8 A. Yes, for tax reasons it was better to be in her name.

9 Sorry, it was better to be in a single name rather than

10 in joint names.

11 Q. Did she have any concerns about renting a house to

12 a client?

13 A. No, it would have been very hard for her in Lurgan not

14 to have rented it in that area to a client, you know

15 what I mean? I don't know the percentage, but at that

16 stage I would reckon that in the immediate area there,

17 it must have been 60 or 70 per cent of those people were

18 her -- it would have been more unusual for it not to

19 have been a client.

20 Q. So there was nothing about the arrangement which made

21 you at all uneasy?

22 A. No.

23 Q. As you have commented in your own statement -- and this

24 is paragraph 90 -- there clearly appears to have been at

25 least a suggestion or some gossip about the relationship





1 between Rosemary Nelson and Colin Duffy, and indeed that

2 is something that has come up, as you have no doubt read

3 and heard in the evidence.

4 Can I just ask you this: were you at any time before

5 her death aware of that rumour or gossip?

6 A. Yes -- oh, yes.

7 Q. You were?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. It was something that you had heard yourself, was it?

10 A. Yes. I talked to Rosemary about it. Plus, it wouldn't

11 have been the only person there was rumours. You know,

12 if she was seen with a male client, there would have

13 been rumours going about. But no, there was no -- I had

14 knowledge of it and there was nothing to it, so we just

15 laughed it off.

16 Q. So you discussed it with her?

17 A. Just in passing. It wasn't a great discussion, no,

18 there was nothing to discuss.

19 Q. As far as you were aware, there had been similar gossip,

20 had there, about other male clients of hers?

21 A. Yes, passing.

22 Q. But as far as you were concerned, was there any truth

23 in it?

24 A. No.

25 Q. You say in your statement that this suggestion, the





1 suggestion that there had been such a relationship, had

2 not been put to you or raised with you by Mr Port in the

3 murder investigation; is that right?

4 A. Not that I am aware of, no. I may be wrong in that. As

5 I say, at the time, initially in the first six to eight

6 weeks we had -- I won't say numerous meetings, but I

7 can't recollect much that happened in the six to eight

8 weeks after Rosemary died. I wouldn't like to be too

9 specific. If he says he did, I would accept his word

10 for it.

11 Q. Can I take it, therefore, that the first time it was

12 raised with you was during your interview with Eversheds

13 in the course of preparing your evidence for the

14 Inquiry?

15 A. I think so, yes. That I am aware of, yes.

16 Q. I assume you have heard also the suggestion made in this

17 Inquiry that the manner in which Rosemary Nelson went

18 about her representation of Colin Duffy was in some way

19 out of the ordinary. Was that issue a question of how,

20 what tactics she used to conduct his cases, something

21 that you were aware of at the time?

22 A. How she conducted the cases?

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. Not in any great detail, but the general run of the

25 case, yes. I presume you are talking to the, like,





1 publicity or getting NGO -- Yes, it would have been

2 public knowledge, that part of the case, yes.

3 Q. Was that, in terms of the way she conducted her work,

4 out of the ordinary?

5 A. No.

6 Q. It wasn't?

7 A. Not looking at other cases she did, no.

8 Q. She was prepared to seek publicity for her clients in

9 other cases?

10 A. If they wished it, yes.

11 Q. Can you think of particular examples?

12 A. Well, the Garvaghy Road case, the Robert Hamill case,

13 those type of cases. If she felt -- and I am sure there

14 are smaller cases -- like the first big case she had in

15 the factory case, that was all publicised. Not herself,

16 but she persuaded them to go to the press, get it in the

17 papers, put pressure on certain bodies. It wouldn't

18 have been the first time she had used it.

19 Q. Were you aware of the views -- which, again, we have

20 heard expressed by some of the people who worked in the

21 office -- that the work done for Colin Duffy and on

22 those cases seemed to dominate the office and take up

23 a great deal of her time and attention?

24 A. I have heard those views, but all I can -- at that time,

25 no, I know it didn't. But I can also say that the





1 volume of other work that was going out that she was

2 producing counteracted that. She couldn't possibly have

3 been doing -- you know, on any one particular case.

4 Yet again, I think they fall in the same trap that a

5 lot of people fall into: that they saw her focus on one

6 area for a very short space of time, but they didn't see

7 her doing all the 90 per cent of the drudgery of other

8 cases that went out.

9 Just the volume of work that was in the office at

10 that time, she had to be spending the vast majority of

11 time on just normal run of the mill work.

12 Q. Finally, can I move to ask you just a very few questions

13 about the events in the immediate aftermath of her

14 murder.

15 You tell us in paragraph 107 -- and this is

16 RNI-851-063 (displayed) -- that someone -- and this is

17 four lines down -- brought her handbag and her phone --

18 I think her mobile -- to you at the house and you do not

19 remember who that was?

20 A. No. I have listened to other people. All I can say to

21 you is that the handbag was in the car. The next day

22 I have it -- I'm slightly vague of the movement of the

23 handbag between that period, but I know it was in the

24 car. It might even have been lying beside the car.

25 I might have seen it. I think I initially said somebody





1 picked it up and give it to me. I've heard other

2 witnesses -- all I know is that the next day I had the

3 handbag. It came into my possession at some stage over

4 that 24-hour period.

5 Q. In 108, you deal with the question of what happened to

6 the handbag and whether you looked at it, and you say

7 there in the second line:

8 "The police never asked to see it."

9 That is the handbag, I think. Is that the position

10 which remained throughout the investigation?

11 A. Yes -- no, I was asked for -- I personally forgot about

12 the handbag, that I actually had the handbag. Wherever

13 I had put it was out of site.

14 Now, somebody asked me at some stage had I got the

15 handbag, but it was in connection with the death threat

16 letter.

17 Q. We will come and look at that in a minute.

18 A. But, no, that is the first -- because I still had the

19 bag at that stage. So that would have been the first

20 time that somebody asked me about the bag.

21 Q. So to be clear, you think you may have been asked about

22 it at some stage and at that stage you didn't think you

23 had it, and then --

24 A. No.

25 Q. Then you found it. Is that right?





1 A. No, I knew from -- what I am saying is the bag came into

2 my possession I think the next day, and once I had it,

3 I knew I had it. But I forgot I had it. You know, so

4 I knew it was in the house. I can't remember anybody

5 asking me about the bag. Yet again, I may be wrong

6 about that. Somebody may have asked me and I may have

7 said I did not have it. I just can't recollect, but

8 I do specifically being asked for it. I assume it was

9 by the murder investigation team who asked me about the

10 letter, and I did know that I had the bag at that time.

11 I may not have just known exactly where it was, but

12 I knew that I had it.

13 Q. So far as the letter is concerned, can I just clear

14 something up. If we look first at a statement you gave

15 to the murder investigation team on 15th April, and that

16 is at RNI-835-167 (displayed), this is the statement we

17 looked at a little earlier in a different context. And

18 you say in relation to the threat note -- and this is

19 the middle of 170, if we can look at that, please,

20 RNI-835-170 (displayed). Do you see halfway down the

21 page you start to talk about a threat letter and you

22 deal with it in particular at the bottom of page. You

23 say it was on two lines, black capital letters on blue

24 paper:

25 "I don't know where this letter is. I would think





1 Rosemary destroyed it. That is what she would have

2 done."

3 Now, so far as --

4 A. Could I just check, that was on the 15th?

5 Q. 15th April, yes.

6 A. Oh, 15th April.

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. Right.

9 Q. Do you see?

10 A. I do, yes.

11 Q. In fact, what seems to have happened later -- and we can

12 see this from a later statement you made in August, I

13 think, at RNI-835-179.502 (displayed), and in fact it is

14 8th September. You say:

15 "On 5th August [you] saw a detective sergeant ..."

16 Then there is a member of the murder investigation

17 team's name:

18 "I handed to her a letter on blue paper and an

19 envelope. This is the original letter shown to me by

20 Rosemary, which I referred to in my first statement. It

21 is the original of the photostat copy the officer showed

22 me on 4th May ..."

23 At an earlier stage:

24 "... which I identified to them as a photostat copy

25 of the original which she, my wife, had shown them."





1 That is quite a cumbersome way of saying, as I

2 understand it, you found in the handbag the original of

3 the threat note; is that right?

4 A. Yes, I think it is. I knew I had the bag. I don't know

5 whether anybody at that time had actually said to me it

6 is in the bag. I think that may have come to light

7 later on, and I went looking -- at some stage somebody

8 approached me and said, "We think it was in her bag. Do

9 you have the bag?" Something of that sort. Yes, I went

10 and looked for the bag, and yes, it was in the bag but

11 nobody ever took the bag.

12 Q. No. And what about the mobile phone? Were you asked to

13 hand over the mobile?

14 A. No.

15 Q. No. And did you?

16 A. Yet again, I would have to preface that with the fact

17 that I am not aware that I was asked for the mobile.

18 Q. Now, so far as the handbag and the letter are concerned,

19 can I just ask you: when were you first aware that this

20 original of the threat letter was in the handbag?

21 A. I am assuming that, you know, prior to -- some time

22 shortly before I handed over -- I have this recollection

23 of talking to, I think it was the murder investigation

24 team about it, and I think they mentioned it to me, that

25 maybe somebody had given evidence to them about it. And





1 I think it was them who asked me to go and have a look,

2 and then I mentioned to them, "I think I have the bag".

3 I can't remember whether this referred to the bag with

4 the letter, but I think it was -- so I would imagine it

5 wouldn't have been too long, and I think it was them who

6 made the arrangements for somebody to call for it. So

7 I imagine it wouldn't have been too long before that

8 interview.

9 Q. In paragraph 124, at RNI-851-067 (displayed), you deal

10 with the question of other material, and first of all

11 the question of diaries or files from her office. Was

12 the request for diaries or files made?

13 A. Only -- the only documentation asked for was a diary

14 that was kept by -- I think it was one of -- it was

15 a daily diary. I think it was interviews -- an

16 appointments diary.

17 Q. That was something kept at the office, was it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And was that in due course handed over?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Why was that?

22 A. I don't think it was ever found. I looked back -- they

23 said a diary. I think it actually consisted of sheets

24 of paper. I think there was some confusion. She had

25 a diary for appointments, but there was also a daily she





1 kept of people who were to call in on a daily basis.

2 But it wasn't found, and actually I then was informed by

3 Colin Port that the reason why it was requested and the

4 reason -- they had gone through them all and no

5 longer -- the diary then didn't matter any more.

6 Q. So did you ever find it? Did it ever turn up?

7 A. No, I presume it is still somewhere in there. I didn't

8 look for it any more, because when he told me that it

9 was no longer required, I ...

10 Q. I see.

11 A. He told me the reason why he wanted it and he said that

12 it was just because there was a name in the diary of

13 someone who was to meet her or had met her. They had

14 discovered the name, they had done a background check

15 and there was no longer a requirement for it.

16 Q. This is the point you make in 125 at the bottom of page,

17 when you asked why he wanted to see it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. In 124, you say that in relation to the mobile phone

20 records, is it right that on one occasion a family

21 liaison officer asked you for Rosemary Nelson's mobile

22 phone number but you weren't willing to provide it?

23 This is in June 1999.

24 A. If they say it, that must be -- I can't remember, but if

25 they said it, it must be correct.





1 Q. Now --

2 A. I actually -- I took the mobile phone just so there

3 was -- I took the mobile phone and have been using it

4 ever since. So I mean, sort of if I told somebody I did

5 not have it or I didn't recall having it, it would have

6 been a blatant lie at the time. I can't remember having

7 any conversations about the mobile phone at the time,

8 but if someone says I did, I did.

9 Q. How much direct contact did you have with Mr Port and

10 the other senior officers on the murder investigation?

11 A. Not a lot. I think the impression has been given on

12 a few interviews through here that I did not have it.

13 Most people thought I did. At the start we did, but I

14 had left him specific instructions that he was -- only

15 himself or his liaison were only to contact me when they

16 had some news, that meetings were not to be arranged to

17 tell me it is ongoing, because of my family's

18 circumstances. I told him I did not want to waste time

19 having meetings just to be told there is nothing to tell

20 you.

21 To the outside world I was supposedly having loads

22 of meeting. I don't know, but it tapered off. It was

23 getting to maybe one a year; it got to that stage.

24 Q. As I understand it, you arranged things so that he would

25 contact you if, and only if, there was a major





1 development?

2 A. Oh, yes, I took full responsibility for any contact.

3 Any contact or lack of contact we had was at my bidding,

4 because I had other demands on my time.

5 Q. Yes. And as I understand it, from time to time during

6 that period there was contact with the family liaison

7 officer; is that right?

8 A. There was, yes. More likely contact would have been

9 a phone call from them rather than from Mr Port in

10 person. Now, he did make attempts at any time

11 (inaudible phrases) have a meeting with me, or most

12 likely I would say, "Could you not tell me here rather

13 than waste a whole day?" I knew he was trying to be

14 sympathetic. It would have been at my bidding. Most of

15 the contacts would have been through a phone call from

16 the liaison officers.

17 Q. Those are all the questions I wanted to ask you,

18 Mr Nelson, but as you now will have heard on a number of

19 occasions, if you would like to say anything to the

20 Panel which we haven't covered, this is your chance.

21 A. No.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Nelson, we are grateful for you coming to

23 give evidence before us and for the thoughtful manner in

24 which you have given evidence to us. Thank you.

25 A. Thank you.





1 THE CHAIRMAN: I am speaking now to members of the Bar and

2 solicitors present.

3 We would be grateful and we would expect everyone to

4 have words with our counsel with regard to the way ahead

5 with regard to witnesses and the provision of questions.

6 We propose to adjourn the oral hearing, but if

7 essentially required, the Panel will be in the building,

8 but I hope it can be sorted out amicably between the

9 various Full Participants and our counsel.

10 MR DONALDSON: Sir, before you do rise, I'm not just quite

11 so optimistic about that, because I have to make a mild

12 protest, if I may, about this, that firstly letters were

13 sent out. The PSNI has not yet received this letter.

14 It is quite by chance that we happened to find it, and

15 this letter has stated in very categorical terms that in

16 fact questions and lines of enquiry must be submitted

17 before --

18 THE CHAIRMAN: I think I have indicated there may be

19 a degree of flexibility despite the language in the

20 letter. The language in the letter I didn't see and

21 hadn't seen when you rose earlier today.

22 MR DONALDSON: What did surprise me, sir, was the fact that

23 we had never been consulted about this in advance.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Now is your opportunity.

25 MR DONALDSON: It is rather late, if I may say so, since the





1 letter --

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Better late than never, Mr Donaldson. We are

3 going to rise now.

4 (4.36 pm)

5 (Short break)

6 (5.10 pm)

7 Submissions by MR DONALDSON

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Donaldson.

9 MR DONALDSON: Yes, sir. Yes, sir, I am sorry that this has

10 been necessary to delay proceedings, as it were, for the

11 day, but we had some discussions with Mr Phillips and,

12 in response to the correspondence, I made a proposal to

13 which I have another counter-proposal.

14 But I think it is better, sir, if I do just explain

15 to you the problems related to this demand that we

16 should submit questions and lines of enquiry in such

17 a short period of time.

18 May I say I am not sure to what extent, sir, you

19 have knowledge of the correspondence, but in fact the

20 PSNI have not yet received this letter. I am relying on

21 the letter received by another Full Participant.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: If it is a fault on our side, I fully

23 apologise, and clearly you should have received the

24 letter.

25 MR DONALDSON: I understand, sir. So I received this just





1 by chance this morning, and I have to say that to say I

2 was appalled would even be an understatement to suggest

3 we should do this in the time available.

4 Now, this letter dictates -- it is a mandatory

5 letter -- that:

6 "In respect of 26 witnesses, the questions and lines

7 of enquiry must be submitted by 18th July, and in

8 respect of a further 23 witnesses, by 15th August."

9 Now, there was no -- I am advised by Mr Phillips

10 that there was some reference made to the fact that

11 there might be a change in protocol. We had no detail

12 of this kind. I haven't heard of it before, myself.

13 But it would have been helpful, I think, if there had

14 been some prior consultation about this.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: I agree.

16 MR DONALDSON: Thank you, sir. That would have helped.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: As I think I indicated earlier today, I

18 hadn't seen that letter and neither had my two

19 colleagues.

20 MR DONALDSON: Then I understand. I just want to explain

21 just very quickly where we are.

22 As you will appreciate, on behalf of PSNI, we are

23 most affected by this because we have in the past

24 submitted detailed questions, I think, in virtually

25 every witness. Now, perhaps not very successfully at





1 times, if I may say, but nonetheless we have done that

2 and we have adhered strictly to the protocol of those

3 being submitted more than 48 hours in advance. And on

4 the one occasion when we missed out, we were told that

5 the questions then wouldn't be asked.

6 Now, we are in favour of some flexibility in the

7 protocols. In fact, we would encourage more

8 flexibility, I would say, and we are prepared to be

9 flexible about this. But if someone had discussed it

10 with us, I am sure we could have come to some

11 arrangement about it.

12 In relation to the practicalities of this, people

13 have made holiday arrangements, and to do this task for

14 26 witnesses before 18th July, I can tell you now, sir,

15 it's just absolutely impossible, because some of those

16 statements run to 40 pages with large numbers of

17 exhibits. It takes hours of very careful study and

18 preparation --


20 MR DONALDSON: -- in order to do that, and I can say that

21 that just isn't going to be possible.

22 Another difficulty, of course, is that even if it

23 was possible, it is sometimes impracticable to set about

24 preparing questions now for witnesses who would be

25 called months later, not knowing what other witnesses





1 are saying more proximate to that witness giving

2 evidence.

3 Sir, that is another difficulty, but I think we

4 could overcome that, I suppose, by being allowed to

5 submit supplementary questions if that became necessary.


7 MR DONALDSON: So we could deal with it in that way.

8 Another problem -- and I think, sir, I really would

9 like you to rule on this firmly -- we have asked on

10 a number of occasions that it would help us greatly if

11 we were advised in advance what questions may or may not

12 be asked by Counsel to the Inquiry.

13 Now, that would help us greatly, because it would

14 allow us more time to deal with it. I was told by

15 counsel several times, Counsel to the Inquiry, that

16 there wasn't time. Now, that may be in fact a fair

17 enough point in a way if the questions are just

18 submitted 48 hours in advance, although even then one

19 would expect that Counsel to the Inquiry would have read

20 the questions and lines of enquiry and would have formed

21 a view as to which questions may or may not be asked.

22 But I think, sir, if we are going to submit

23 questions now probably weeks in advance, even months in

24 advance, that it would be helpful if we can be advised

25 as to which questions are or are not going to be asked.





1 It would save a lot of time. We have to go and discuss

2 things --

3 THE CHAIRMAN: It would certainly save a lot of your time,

4 Mr Donaldson.

5 MR DONALDSON: It would save some of your time too, sir, in

6 a sense --


8 MR DONALDSON: -- in doing that, because we are expected to

9 shuffle over, discuss questions, argue about them and

10 perhaps -- I know that on occasions you have been

11 advised in advance and have made some rulings in advance

12 as well, but I think, sir, that that would be helpful

13 to us.

14 In order to resolve this, I did indicate that we

15 would be prepared to do as much as we can over the

16 summer in respect of the first list of witnesses. We

17 could not promise to get to the second list of

18 witnesses, the 23, before September, but we would try

19 and get as many done as we could before the end

20 of August.

21 We cannot guarantee that we would get them all done,

22 but we will get as many done as we can, and hopefully

23 the ones who will be called in order -- because looking

24 at the list, I think it seems likely that it is intended

25 that the witnesses are going to be called approximately





1 in the order in which they are set out in that list,

2 which you will have before you.

3 Now, I am sure we could certainly guarantee that we

4 will do at least more than half before the end

5 of August. With a bit of effort and getting our team

6 organised, perhaps we might even get them completed all

7 before the end of August, but we will do our best.

8 But that is in respect of the first list, sir, and

9 then we will move to the second list and attempt to get

10 them in certainly in good time after that.

11 Now, the protocol said 48 hours. We were a little

12 surprised that the protocol could be changed

13 unilaterally without reference to ourselves. However, I

14 am sure you will bear with us.

15 We have made a proposition or a proposal, which we

16 hope will be of assistance, and we will do our best to

17 deal with that list.

18 Now, it has been suggested perhaps that we have

19 nothing else to do over the summer. That is far from

20 the truth. We have already allocated our tasks for the

21 summer. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of catching

22 up to do, and reading of the transcripts, which are

23 extremely lengthy, to keep ourselves better informed.

24 That is a task that already -- we have allocated those

25 tasks for the summer, which are going to take, for each





1 of us, a number of weeks in order to do what we have

2 allocated to ourselves.

3 So that you will see that we can't possibly deal

4 with 26 witnesses, for example, and it is going to take

5 possibly -- some will take three or four hours per

6 witness to prepare, at a conservative estimate;

7 certainly for the longer ones. You can see at a glance

8 how difficult it is to meet this rather extortionate and

9 impossible demand.

10 If there is anything further that I can say, I will

11 say it, or we will do our best certainly. And that is

12 all I propose to say for the moment.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Donaldson. Mr Aiken?

14 Submissions by MR AIKEN

15 MR AIKEN: My Lord, can I say first of all the letter, my

16 instructing solicitor has not yet received. That is

17 unfortunate. The tone and content of the letter we also

18 respectfully say is a little unfortunate.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Again, I apologise.

20 MR AIKEN: I am just putting it on the record, my Lord.

21 Having seen it today, I took some immediate steps to

22 see if I could put forward -- rather than just complain

23 to Mr Phillips, which is he was very willing to accept,

24 I tried to come up with an alternative that would meet

25 everybody's issues, because you will probably be aware,





1 sir, from doing this type of process for a couple of

2 months, everybody always develops issues and the Inquiry

3 team have some about the participants and the

4 participants have some about the Inquiry team. Some are

5 fair, maybe some aren't, but I endeavoured to find a way

6 to deal with all of the issues.

7 It seems to me the Inquiry team's issue is they want

8 our questions in much further in advance. That, I have

9 no difficulty with.

10 In response to that, the Full Participants, at least

11 a number of them that I have spoken to, are keen to know

12 in advance what is not considered acceptable, so that

13 some discussion could be engaged in in advance, rather

14 than the system at the moment, which is you wait to find

15 out what hasn't been asked and then engage in a process

16 when time is quite restricted. And that is nobody's

17 fault: that is just trying to get the business done.

18 In those circumstances, I emailed to Mr Phillips,

19 after I spoke to him, the proposal that I have that

20 might hopefully suit everybody. It might not. I am not

21 sure if you have seen that yet. If you haven't, what

22 I propose to do, rather than give you my handwriting --

23 which my wife can't read, so I am sure nobody else would

24 manage it -- if I could give you the laptop and let you

25 read what was on the face of the laptop, which was the





1 email --

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

3 MR AIKEN: -- that might hopefully ... (Handed)

4 (Pause)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Is it possible to get a hard copy? I am

6 going to ask if we can get some hard copies of that.

7 MR SAVILL: That will be done.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

9 MR AIKEN: Perhaps if I could, while that is being done,

10 explain the purpose behind it.


12 MR AIKEN: It seems that the letter is really to deal with

13 the summer going forward. The effort in the email is

14 actually a protocol going beyond the summer and dealing

15 with how things might bed down. And one of the reasons,

16 if one works through the timing in it -- and you will

17 notice that one of the concerns Mr Phillips raised with

18 me was, "Well, what about my team? Things might be

19 difficult for them in terms of making responses by

20 email", you will find that where the Inquiry team are

21 expected to reply as part of the give and take, theirs

22 is as soon as reasonably practicable, that has not been

23 put in for the Full Participants. They would be

24 expected to comply with the timings and then the Inquiry

25 team would do their best to come back.





1 But what it would mean is that one week in advance

2 of the witness giving evidence, everybody would be clear

3 as to what questions aren't going to be asked, an

4 application could be made to the Panel and the matters

5 ruled on, and then everybody is in no doubt and we have

6 none of the difficulties that arise from having to try

7 to do things quickly between breaks, and so on, between

8 witnesses.

9 That obviously doesn't take account of maybe

10 something new that comes up during the evidence, and

11 that can be dealt with electronically. But I would hope

12 that this mechanism, or something like it, if this is

13 not acceptable as it is, would allow the Inquiry team to

14 have material well in advance and, equally, the

15 participants to know where -- if I can be frank sir,

16 which is generally my way, it has been difficult to

17 a degree to be told that you are putting forward things

18 that are not relevant. No counsel likes to be told

19 that. I certainly, on behalf of the NIO, would be

20 anxious to avoid being in that position, and sometimes

21 we would have reasons for asking questions that may not

22 be apparent to the Inquiry, and they might have reasons

23 for refusing to ask questions which are not apparent to

24 us.

25 I know you heard me before about -- and you pointed out





1 to me that good communication between everybody might

2 resolve a lot of this. That is what this proposal is

3 designed to do. It is to have an exchange in advance so

4 that what is coming to the Panel is a considered --

5 effectively, by the time somebody would be making an

6 application to you, you would already have in front of

7 you the reasons why questions were being sought to be

8 asked and the reasons why the Inquiry team are saying

9 that we don't think we should ask those. And it should

10 make any application to you then quite discrete, short,

11 all being well, focused and, again, done in an advance

12 of the witness coming along so that everybody is clear

13 where they stand.

14 If I could ask you perhaps if you could consider the

15 proposal and then if there are any issues that I could

16 assist with where you think there might be holes or

17 gaps --

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Aiken, clearly your proposals will be

19 carefully considered and they will be considered by our

20 whole counsel team from the point of practicality.

21 MR AIKEN: Yes.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Clearly, if our counsel and the counsel for

23 all the participants can reach an agreement, so much the

24 better. I would have thought that given a modicum of

25 time, not a rushed time, it should be possible in the





1 next few days to reach some sort of consensus as to how

2 we should move forward.

3 MR AIKEN: Yes.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: The important thing is that you, Mr Doran,

5 Mr Donaldson and everybody else, keep talking with

6 constructive suggestions.

7 MR AIKEN: Yes. We are certainly trying to do that, sir.

8 Can I say in relation --

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Normally there will be at least one of our

10 counsel available to talk with you. We can't obviously

11 have everybody available all the time to talk to

12 everybody.

13 MR AIKEN: I certainly can say I discussed the alternative

14 method with Mr Phillips, and I can say as usual he was

15 receptive to it and was taking it away to, as far as he

16 could, discuss it with his colleagues, so it may be

17 ultimately that would be fine.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Mr Conn, do you want to

19 say anything?

20 MR CONN: No, I have nothing to add to that.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Phillips, do you want to say anything at

22 this stage other than discussion is the way forward?

23 MR PHILLIPS: Yes, it is particularly important, because at

24 the moment obviously we only have representatives of two

25 of the Full Participants present, and it sounds as





1 though the suggestions need, as you rightly say, to be

2 considered by all representatives, not just those here

3 at the moment.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Well, Mr Donaldson, we don't

5 propose to make any firm ruling, but we do hope that

6 everyone will keep talking constructively, as I am sure

7 you would wish to do.

8 MR DONALDSON: I can see, sir, that -- one of the

9 difficulties is that I think that in respect of some of

10 the family representatives, for example, I'm not too

11 sure what their attitude might be. But I rather think

12 that they haven't been submitting questions, at least

13 not to my knowledge; perhaps a few. I don't think MIT

14 counsel have been submitting many or any questions, and

15 I think that we are the most guilty, I suppose, on

16 behalf of the PSNI. And I think that speaking for

17 myself, I think I would find it perhaps difficult to

18 have, for example, discussions on the topic with the

19 family representatives. I just mention that in passing.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, mediation is one way. But certain

21 counsel going into one room and another in another room,

22 and Mr Phillips rushes between the two. Yes.

23 MR DONALDSON: It sounds interesting.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: But I'm sure you will find a way forward,

25 Mr Donaldson.





1 MR DONALDSON: We will do our best.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. We will rise now.

3 (5.40 pm)

4 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

























1 I N D E X

Housekeeping ..................................... 1
MS SHARON FARRELL (sworn) ........................ 3
Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 3
Question by THE CHAIRMAN ..................... 37
Further questions by MR PHILLIPS ............. 38
Further questions by THE CHAIRMAN ............ 41
MR PAUL NELSON (sworn) ........................... 42
Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 42
Submissions by MR DONALDSON ...................... 163
Submissions by MR AIKEN .......................... 169