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Full Hearings

Hearing: 13th May 2008, day 19

 


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10 ROSEMARY NELSON

11 PUBLIC INQUIRY

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15

16 held at:
The Interpoint Centre
17 20-24 York Street
Belfast BT15 1AQ
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19 on Tuesday, 13th May 2008
commencing at 10.15 am
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21 Day 19

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1 Tuesday, 13th May 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 MS ANNE CADWALLADER (sworn)

4 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

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

6 A. Anne Elizabeth Cadwallader.

7 Q. Thank you. You have made a statement to the Inquiry and

8 I hope you have a hard copy of it in front of you?

9 A. I do.

10 Q. Can we have on the screen, please, RNI-803-330

11 (displayed) and that is your statement, I think. And if

12 we turn over to RNI-801-344 (displayed), do we see your

13 signature and the date of 14th January?

14 A. Along with the redactions, yes.

15 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the exhibits to the statement are

16 concerned, you have exhibited a number of the texts of

17 articles. Can we look at an example of just one, at

18 RNI-834-247 (displayed), and what we have only very

19 recently, I am afraid, been able to do is to find, in

20 most cases at any rate, the published versions of the

21 articles and I think you have been shown them recently,

22 haven't you?

23 A. Yes, some of them I have forgotten about completely but

24 I have had a quick look at them, yes.

25 Q. What we will discover in due course, I think, is that

 

 

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1 some of the published text is not exactly the same as

2 the --

3 A. No, Brendan Anderson explained yesterday about

4 subeditors.

5 Q. Exactly. So you will have submitted copy but the final

6 version would have been a matter for the editors and

7 subeditors?

8 A. Exactly.

9 Q. Thank you. Turning to your statement at RNI 803-330

10 (displayed), you explain how you came to Ireland in 1981

11 and you have had various jobs within the media.

12 What is your current position? What are you

13 currently doing?

14 A. I am Northern correspondent for Independent Network News

15 that supplies news to the independent radio stations in

16 the Republic of Ireland. I also freelance for Reuters

17 and various news organisations.

18 Q. You say that one of your interests as a journalist has

19 been the question of miscarriages of justice?

20 A. Yes, I have had a specific interest in that right from

21 the case of the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four.

22 Q. Did you write about those cases?

23 A. I did, yes.

24 Q. It sounds from the second paragraph as though -- you

25 say, "We were proved right" as though you may have taken

 

 

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1 part in the campaigns?

2 A. No, I didn't. No, but those few journalists who wrote

3 about it at the very start were accused of being Provo

4 stooges and stuff like that. We stuck by our guns, as

5 it were, and we were proved right in the end.

6 Q. Yes. So that has been a continuing interest, up to the

7 years with which we are concerned --

8 A. Yes, right up to the present day, yes.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, it sounds as though, from your

10 statement and paragraph 3, you first encountered

11 Rosemary Nelson in the context of her work for

12 Colin Duffy. Is that right?

13 A. Yes, as I say, I met -- sorry, that name has been

14 redacted, but I met Colin's wife in Dublin by accident

15 and struck up a conversation with her. His was not

16 a case I was familiar with. I thought I knew about most

17 of the main alleged miscarriage of justice cases in the

18 North and she suggested that when I returned north --

19 I met her in Dublin -- she suggested that I phone

20 Rosemary, whom I had never heard of before.

21 Q. Can you help us with a rough date for this first

22 encounter?

23 A. It was just after the Irish Press went bust, as I was

24 freelancing, because the subsequent article -- or the

25 subsequent broadcast piece I did was for RTE, which was

 

 

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1 one of the things I was doing at the time. So it would

2 have been the mid 1990s.

3 Q. You say in paragraph 1, the Irish press went bust in

4 1995. So some time after that?

5 A. It probably was 1996.

6 Q. Was it at the time of the appeal?

7 A. Yes, I think there was an appeal going on at the time.

8 From memory, Rosemary had already discovered that the

9 main prosecution witness had UVF connections. She was

10 also telling me about other evidence that she had

11 uncovered to do with identification of Colin Duffy as

12 the -- as the man who had killed David Lyness.

13 Q. John Lyness, I think.

14 A. Sorry. I remember the very first meeting we had. She

15 was telling me all about those aspects of the case.

16 Q. Is this right, that what Mrs Duffy told you was enough

17 to interest you --

18 A. She told me very little. She told me very little,

19 because it was in a busy street in Dublin and she was

20 carrying a placard, and it was a kind of busy hurried

21 meeting. And she just said, "Listen, if you want to

22 find out more, call my solicitor Rosemary Nelson when

23 you get back to Belfast". That is what I did.

24 Q. So she was taking part in a demonstration calling, as

25 you say, for the release of her husband?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, I think it was a demonstration about something

2 else, but she was carrying a placard about Colin.

3 Q. Oh, I see, yes. Now, when that suggestion was made to

4 you by Mrs Duffy, you presumably had spoken to

5 solicitors earlier in your journalistic career?

6 A. Yes, I found most solicitors very suspicious of

7 journalists and very reluctant to help us, even -- until

8 they know us. Once they have got to know you, and since

9 I now know about half a dozen solicitors, many of whom

10 have been very helpful to me -- but just like anybody,

11 I suppose, when they first meet a journalist that they

12 don't know, they are suspicious, because journalists

13 don't have particular good reputations in many cases.

14 Q. But as at this time, let us say in 1996, was

15 Rosemary Nelson the first solicitor you had encountered

16 who was more than reluctant to speak, if I can put it

17 that way?

18 A. When I phoned her up, her immediate reaction was come

19 down to Lurgan and talk to me about it. I was expecting

20 a rebuff. I was expecting, maybe wrongly, but I was

21 expecting hesitation and she just said come down to

22 Lurgan and talk to me about it.

23 Q. And as you put it in your statement, instead of the door

24 being closed, the door was open?

25 A. Yes, it seemed to me that -- yes, she was prepared to

 

 

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1 talk about her client's case. I found that very

2 refreshing because I always like to think that someone

3 is innocent until proven guilty, but many solicitors

4 automatically assume that all journalists are guilty

5 until proven innocent.

6 Q. So clearly your experience of talking to

7 Rosemary Nelson, which you describe in your statement,

8 was of a very different kind to that?

9 A. Yes, it was on a one-to-one basis, as equals. She

10 didn't adopt a kind of pompous attitude towards me.

11 Q. No, and the meeting which you describe, presumably then

12 it took place in 1996?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You think?

15 A. Yes, I do think so, yes.

16 Q. And it took place in her office in Lurgan?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Now, I am going to try a bit of technology to see if we

19 can see a picture of the office. Can we look, please,

20 at RNI-401-025.500 (displayed). Of course, it doesn't

21 come out very well, unfortunately.

22 A. That photograph was not taken on that occasion. It was

23 taken on a subsequent occasion.

24 Q. That was a photograph, I think, taken -- if you look at

25 the -- you probably can't see it --

 

 

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1 A. That was the first article I wrote for Ireland on

2 Sunday.

3 Q. 19th October 1997 is the date, but the reason I wanted

4 to show it to you is because you give a description of

5 a small room piled up with files.

6 A. Yes, that was Rosemary.

7 Q. And it looks as though that way of organising her office

8 was maintained certainly until October 1997?

9 A. It doesn't strike me as being different from many other

10 solicitors' offices, I can tell you.

11 Q. So you describe the conversation that you then had with

12 her and give a picture of her conversational style. So

13 it sounds as though she was imparting a great deal of

14 information?

15 A. She was imparting a great deal of information about the

16 Colin Duffy case because she knew I was interested, and

17 I don't think there had been a huge amount of interest

18 from the press on the case before, although subsequently

19 Garrett FitzGerald and the then Archbishop of Armagh,

20 Cahal Daly, took an interest in their case as well. But

21 at that time, I don't think there was a huge amount of

22 interest in the case and I think she was pleased that

23 somebody had finally decided to go for it.

24 Q. Can I just ask you about that. This is, we think, 1996

25 and therefore at the time of the appeal. So your

 

 

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1 evidence is that as far as you are aware, there was no

2 journalistic interest in the case apart from --

3 A. Well, I hadn't heard about it.

4 Q. No, exactly. The interest you have later described of

5 Garrett FitzGerald, was that in relation to this case?

6 A. From memory, yes.

7 Q. From this case?

8 A. From memory it was. I seem to remember around that time

9 it was starting to get some public attention, I think

10 because of the fact that the key prosecution witness had

11 been shouting up the UVF as he was sentenced in Scotland

12 for gun running. That kind of development tends to

13 encourage media interest in the case.

14 Q. Yes, indeed.

15 So as I understand it, the end product of this

16 conversation, this meeting, was that you wrote an

17 article -- you say this in paragraph 11, on the next

18 page, at RNI-803-333 (displayed).

19 A. What happened was that the first interview we had was

20 specifically on Colin Duffy, and I was working for RTE

21 and did a feature about it for RTE.

22 Q. What I wanted to ask you about is you say, do you see in

23 the last line of paragraph 11:

24 "I wrote an article ..."?

25 A. I am not sure that that is right. From memory -- and it

 

 

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1 was a long time ago and a lot of water under the bridge

2 since then, from memory my first meeting with Rosemary

3 was purely to do a radio feature for RTE. But at the

4 end of the conversation about Colin Duffy -- we hit it

5 off straight away as two people who were interested in

6 the same subjects and aware of the same dangers and

7 roughly the same age and the same interests. We got on

8 very well. And towards the end of the conversation,

9 almost as an aside she mentioned the fact that she had

10 been threatened, and when I got a job as the Northern

11 correspondent for Ireland on Sunday, which was a brand

12 new newspaper based in Dublin, I thought it myself, "The

13 first thing I am going to do when I work for Ireland on

14 Sunday is do an article about threats against defence

15 lawyers", because I was aware that other lawyers had

16 also been threatened.

17 Q. That is the article -- we will come back to it -- but

18 that is the article we saw on the screen, 19th October

19 1997, I think it is.

20 A. Yes, I think it is, yes.

21 Q. Can I just be clear about this then, because that is

22 certainly the earliest article we have in our bundle

23 written by you. So you think there may be an error --

24 A. It may just have been a feature.

25 Q. Okay.

 

 

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1 A. I can't remember writing an article about that. From

2 memory, I talked to Rosemary about Colin Duffy. She

3 mentioned to me at the end of the conversation about the

4 threats against her, and then when I subsequently got

5 the job, then I wrote the article.

6 Q. Thank you. Can I just go back a little earlier in the

7 statement to the other comments you make. In

8 paragraph 7 -- if you could look at that, please, at

9 RNI-803-322 (displayed) -- you mention the fact that

10 Rosemary Nelson told you she had given Colin Duffy

11 a lift --

12 A. We are kind of jumping backwards and forwards in time,

13 but yes, I remember that is correct.

14 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you. You say:

15 "Incidentally, I remember Rosemary later telling

16 me."

17 So this was not something she imparted on this first

18 occasion?

19 A. No, it was obviously after he was released.

20 Q. Exactly. Which we know was in November 1996?

21 A. Yes, I visited in him jail after I had done the first

22 interview with Rosemary.

23 Q. Between that interview and his release on appeal, you

24 visited him in jail?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. And discussed his case with him?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. So as far as the conversation in 1996 is concerned, am

4 I right in thinking, therefore, that paragraph 8 by

5 contrast does deal with other matters you discussed at

6 the time?

7 A. I can't remember whether that was on the -- yes, I think

8 that probably was the first conversation we had, when

9 I did the piece for RTE.

10 Q. So was the visit to Mr Duffy in prison part of your

11 research for the RTE piece?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. I understand. Now, at the time of this first contact

14 you say that you had not in fact heard of her?

15 A. No.

16 Q. And what I want to ask you with that introduction is

17 when, as far as you were aware, she became a prominent

18 figure in Northern Ireland?

19 A. I don't think she was ever a prominent figure. There

20 was never any huge amount of media interest in Rosemary

21 as an individual, which surprised me, as I have said in

22 my statement. But she became more prominent than -- her

23 name first became public, I suppose -- as I said, I had

24 never heard of her before -- but I suppose around the

25 time of the Robert Hamill case and the Garvaghy Road

 

 

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1 residents.

2 Q. Would that have been the following year, 1997?

3 A. Probably. I am not very good on dates, as you have

4 probably gathered by now.

5 Q. Can we look at the first point you made to me and turn

6 to your paragraph 16, which is at RNI-803-340

7 (displayed), because there you make exactly that point:

8 that you are surprised that she didn't have a higher

9 profile than she did?

10 A. I would have thought, and I still do think, that it was

11 surprising to me that a woman, a mother, who had been

12 subjected to this kind of threat and who had been so

13 successful and had defended -- and was involved in so

14 many high profile cases didn't become, as it were,

15 a media celebrity as other solicitors have in other

16 circumstances.

17 Q. We have heard a good deal of evidence about her contact

18 with the media. Indeed, we have a whole range of

19 articles about her and her cases, but certainly your

20 perception then was that she wasn't --

21 A. No, she was never followed around or there was never

22 flattering Hello-style features about her. She was

23 a footnote. You know, there was a big story and

24 Rosemary Nelson was there, but there was never any huge

25 interest, in any of the big London dailies or the

 

 

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1 magazines or anything, in her as an individual.

2 Q. No. So her prominence, such as it was, was local. Is

3 that fair?

4 A. Local to Northern Ireland, yes.

5 Q. Yes, and within Northern Ireland?

6 A. There weren't -- I mean, you wouldn't -- the Belfast

7 Telegraph didn't run any big features about the woman of

8 courage, Rosemary Nelson, battling to defend her clients

9 in the face of threats, and I was surprised about that.

10 I still am.

11 Q. That was something that surprised you at the time?

12 A. Yes. It surprised me that I was the only one writing

13 about these threats. At least, it seemed to me I was --

14 at the start.

15 Q. Can I ask you this question: was there coverage of that

16 kind in the media of any other lawyer in

17 Northern Ireland at that time?

18 A. No, there wasn't. But I didn't think at that time that

19 there were -- I mean, there was an awareness of the

20 threats against lawyers. I mean, Patrick Finucane had

21 been murdered in the circumstances we all know about,

22 but it seemed to me in the context of Pat Finucane being

23 murdered and Rosemary being threatened, I was surprised

24 there wasn't more media coverage of her case.

25 Q. Do you think the fact that other solicitors didn't get

 

 

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1 high profile coverage was perhaps because of this

2 reluctance to speak that you mentioned earlier?

3 A. Well, I went and talked to some of them, and I don't

4 particularly want to give their names, but they aren't

5 as willing to speak about the threats against them as

6 Rosemary was.

7 They would tell me privately the threats that they

8 were receiving via their clients, but they weren't

9 prepared to go as much on the record as Rosemary was. I

10 think in those circumstances, when you are being

11 threatened in that very insidious and sinister way, you

12 have a choice: you either stand up and speak openly

13 about it and hope that that in a way acts as your

14 protection, because if it is publicly known that you

15 have been threatened, maybe you are less likely to be

16 actually attacked; or you decide to keep your head down,

17 pretend it isn't happening and hope it goes away.

18 Q. So far as you are aware, did most solicitors, at least

19 the ones you knew, decide to take the latter course and

20 keep their heads down?

21 A. No, not keep their heads down. They would protest and

22 do whatever they could through their own professional

23 organisations, but there is very great suspicion amongst

24 solicitors about the press, about the fact that

25 journalists can't be controlled, that if -- it is out of

 

 

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1 their control, they would be very reluctant to go to

2 journalists and speak openly about the threats against

3 them. I would have said that that is one way of trying

4 to ensure that the threats were ceased, but they

5 obviously didn't believe that.

6 Q. We will come to this in more detail in a moment, but do

7 you think that was part of her motivation, that by being

8 more prominent --

9 A. I don't know, I never asked her.

10 Q. You didn't?

11 A. But at the very start when she mentioned the threats, it

12 was not for publication, we were just talking woman to

13 woman and she was telling me about it. And I was

14 horrified, but I didn't write the story about that then.

15 It was only when I got the job with Ireland on Sunday

16 that I thought I would go back to her and say, "Look,

17 Rosemary, you have told me about this in private, how

18 would you feel about telling me it on the record?"

19 Q. Turning to your paragraph 8 on RNI-803-332 (displayed)

20 where we started this, the question of her fears for her

21 safety came up, as you have explained, in this very

22 first conversation.

23 The article we looked at on the screen with the

24 photograph, as you saw, was published on 19th October

25 the following year. Would there have been conversations

 

 

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1 between the two of you in those intervening months about

2 this subject of threats?

3 A. No, I don't think there were, actually. She told me

4 about it and it kind of registered in the back of my

5 mind as being a terrible event that an officer of the

6 court and someone who was so dedicated to upholding the

7 rule of law should herself be threatened by the agencies

8 of the State. But it registered in the back of my mind,

9 but it hadn't -- it was told to me off the record and it

10 stayed off the record until I thought I had an

11 opportunity to do a proper job on the story and give it

12 due prominence.

13 Q. Just trying to, again, work out some of the chronology

14 of this, can I ask you, please, to look at RNI-401-276

15 (displayed). This is -- although it is not, I am

16 afraid, very obvious from this way it is produced --

17 this is the piece that you wrote --

18 A. After her murder, yes.

19 Q. Exactly that. And again, I am going to attempt some

20 technology here to show you the published version on the

21 screen, which is RNI-401-282.500 (displayed). As far as

22 we can ascertain at any rate, this is the published

23 version of the long article which you exhibited in your

24 type, if I can put it that way, at RNI-401-276.

25 There are a couple of things I wanted to pick up in

 

 

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1 relation to this long piece in terms of the chronology,

2 and I think the only way to do it is to look, if we can,

3 enlarge the sixth column. Can we do that? Is that

4 readable for you?

5 A. Just about.

6 Q. The passage I wanted to ask you about -- and it may be

7 we are better off looking at the type. Do say if it is

8 difficult to read.

9 A. Can I just say one thing about this article?

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. I wrote this in the immediate aftermath of Rosemary's

12 death and I was very upset at the time (pause).

13 Q. Would you like to have a break?

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

15 (it 10.40 am)

16 (Short break)

17 (10.55 am)

18 MR PHILLIPS: Could we have on the screen, please,

19 RNI-401-279 (displayed).

20 Thank you. This is part of the article we were

21 looking at in published form. This is your version, one

22 of the exhibits to your statement.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And the section I was trying to draw to your attention,

25 but it is much, much clearer on this screen, is the

 

 

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1 section that begins in the third paragraph, do you see:

2 "I remember interviewing her ..."?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And what I wanted to ask you about, as I said earlier,

5 is timing because here you give an example of talking to

6 her, this time in Armagh, not in Lurgan?

7 A. Yes, she had opened an office in Armagh and I went down

8 there. I can't remember why I went down there to

9 interview her. It must have been something important

10 because I wouldn't have gone all that way otherwise.

11 Again, I apologise, I am not I am not great at dates

12 and that may not be accurate, 1997, bearing in mind, as

13 I said, that I wrote the article in the immediate

14 aftermath of her murder and my mind wasn't as clear as

15 it might have been.

16 Q. What I wanted to ask you on dates is this: if you're

17 right that it -- because this article, of course, you

18 were writing in 1999, in March. If it was in 1997 and

19 you were interviewing her on the Garvaghy Road crisis,

20 it is likely, isn't it, that you were interviewing her

21 in, let us say, June or July of that year?

22 A. Likely, but, as I said, I can't be 100 per cent certain.

23 Q. The reason I suggested that is also because you vividly

24 describe the phone ringing --

25 A. Yes, I can remember that.

 

 

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1 Q. -- and the news coming through to her that Mr Duffy had

2 been arrested?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And we know he was arrested for the two police officer

5 murders in the late part of June 1997.

6 As far as you remember, was this the first news of

7 the arrest coming through to her?

8 A. Yes, it was. I mean, we were sitting talking about

9 something completely different and then the phone rang

10 and she was very taken aback by the fact that he had

11 been arrested again.

12 He was arrested a series of times -- that he was

13 arrested, released, arrested, released and this was the

14 latest arrest.

15 Q. So taking all of those factors together, does it seem

16 likely then that this interview was taking place in

17 late June 1997?

18 A. It is possible, but I am not certain because when

19 I wrote the article that you are referring to that is on

20 the screen, as I said, it was in the immediate aftermath

21 of her murder and I was writing it under a great deal of

22 pressure -- emotional and time pressure -- and I am

23 amazed at myself being -- putting in a date at all, the

24 state of mind I was in.

25 Q. Yes. Thank you very much.

 

 

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1 We will come back to the Duffy case, if we may, in

2 a moment, but the other case you mention in connection

3 with her is the Garvaghy Road case, which is the one we

4 have just seen reference to. And it looks as though

5 that was a matter that you also covered in the course of

6 your work?

7 A. Yes, it was a huge story for many years and Rosemary was

8 one of my sources of information and news about what was

9 going on, specifically with regard to the legal aspects

10 of the Garvaghy Road crisis, which was a recurrent event

11 year in and year out at that time.

12 Q. In terms of the years with which we are concerned, can

13 I ask you: were you writing about it between 1997 and

14 1999?

15 A. Absolutely, yes.

16 Q. Thank you. And so far as Rosemary Nelson's own role was

17 concerned, as you understood it, what was her role in

18 relation to that?

19 A. Well, she was their legal adviser. She was legal

20 adviser to the Garvaghy Road residents and I think she

21 was also a legal adviser to Breandan Mac Cionnaith in

22 his attempts to get security and protection at his home.

23 Q. So far as the first of those is concerned, the

24 Garvaghy Road matter, you say in paragraph 26 -- and

25 this is at the bottom of RNI-803-337, if we can have

 

 

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1 that on the screen, please (displayed) -- that you used

2 to contact her to try to find out what was happening?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And what you say there is that, "She did tell me what

5 she thought she could"?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. That raises this question: was she more forthcoming with

8 you about her other cases, for instance the Duffy case,

9 than about this one?

10 A. Well, I don't know because I don't know what she kept

11 back. But I suspect -- but I don't know.

12 Q. So your point --

13 A. Because there were two completely different cases. I

14 mean, in the case of Colin Duffy, she was convinced he

15 was innocent, she wanted the entire case open to the

16 public so the public could decide to bring pressure for

17 an appeal or whatever. But in the Garvaghy Road

18 Residents Coalition, I would have imagined that she was

19 more constrained on what she could say to me, which was

20 in effect saying publicly, because there may have been

21 developments behind the scenes that she wasn't ready to

22 talk about. But I don't know because I don't know what

23 she kept back.

24 Q. In relation to the Duffy case then, you were aware, at

25 the time, were you, that her strategy -- this is the

 

 

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1 second case, the one we have just talked about -- her

2 strategy was to open it up to get --

3 A. The second case being?

4 Q. The two policemen murders.

5 A. I can't remember talking to Rosemary about Colin Duffy

6 at all -- and I don't think I did in relation to the

7 murder of those two police officers.

8 Q. So that wasn't a case that you covered?

9 A. No, I covered the case of the officers, I went to their

10 funerals. I covered that intensively, because I had

11 just started a new job working for the company I now

12 work for, INN. I covered that case intensively, but

13 I don't ever remember contacting Rosemary in the context

14 of that case in relation to Colin Duffy, no.

15 Q. That is an interesting answer. So you interviewed her

16 or you met her and spoke to her while the appeal was

17 going on in 1997?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And we know that on 19th October you wrote your piece

20 about threats?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. In the intervening period, what we know is that Mr Duffy

23 was arrested and charged with those two murders and then

24 in fact released at the beginning of October 1997?

25 A. Well, remember that when someone has been charged, the

 

 

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1 whole thing becomes sub judice and there is very

2 limited -- I take the attitude: if I can't write about

3 it, there isn't much point digging and digging and

4 digging to find out facts that, when you have found them

5 out, you can't use. And I also took the attitude that

6 if someone is charged -- well, there isn't really much

7 point writing about it because when it comes to court,

8 everything will come out in court.

9 Q. I see. But you did produce a piece, as you say, for RTE

10 about the appeal, the earlier appeal?

11 A. Yes, because he had been convicted then. An appeal, as

12 you know, was heard before judges -- in the context of

13 the North, the original hearing would have been heard

14 before judges too. But you are much freer when it comes

15 to the appeal -- you are much freer to write. You can

16 virtually write anything you want at that stage, because

17 it is deemed that a High Court judge is not deemed

18 capable of being affected by what a journalist writes.

19 So you can write whatever you want. So it is worth

20 digging and finding out whatever you can, because you

21 can use it.

22 Q. Was there media interest, as you remember, in the second

23 case, the two policeman murders?

24 A. Huge interest, of course. It was a horrendous -- two

25 terrible murders at a time when everybody thought the

 

 

24

 

1 North was moving towards peace.

2 Q. And you wrote articles about it?

3 A. At that time, I wasn't writing. At that time, I was

4 a broadcaster. It was the first day that INN broadcast

5 any news at all. Its inception was the day the two

6 police officers were murdered. So I absolutely covered

7 it as intensively as I could.

8 Q. But you didn't discuss that case with Rosemary Nelson,

9 though presumably you knew she was representing the

10 defendant?

11 A. No, I didn't discuss it with her, no. No, I didn't

12 discuss it with her at all, because -- I think he was in

13 and out so often. It never came to trial. He was

14 arrested for a few days or spent time in police custody

15 for weeks and he was out again. There was never any

16 question of a miscarriage of justice because he hadn't

17 been convicted of anything.

18 Q. You are aware that there were articles published at that

19 time in which she was quoted --

20 A. Yes, I saw. Yes, Brendan Anderson and others wrote

21 stuff. I suppose I just took the attitude: until he's

22 convicted, if he is convicted, and if there is evidence

23 that he wasn't guilty, there is no miscarriage of

24 justice so let the law take its course.

25 Q. There was no question that she would have been willing

 

 

25

 

1 to speak to you?

2 A. I think she felt -- I don't know, I can't remember

3 talking to her at all at the time, but certainly the

4 implication of the very brief conversation we had in her

5 office in Armagh that day was that yet again her client

6 was being arrested and it was just one of a series of

7 arrests and why couldn't they let him be. We had

8 a very, very short conversation about it.

9 Q. So far as you were aware, she was convinced he was

10 innocent from the start?

11 A. I don't know. She certainly was frustrated that he kept

12 on being arrested and then released and then arrested

13 and released.

14 Q. Just returning to, if we may, the Garvaghy Road case,

15 because you deal with it in the section we began to talk

16 about, beginning in paragraph 26.

17 Now, what you describe in paragraph 7 is the way she

18 dealt with the residents, her clients, in the context of

19 that case. Do you see? It is at RNI-803-338, page 338,

20 paragraph 26 (displayed).

21 A. 26, sorry?

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. I just wanted to ask you: the observations that you make

25 there, was that based on what you yourself saw?

 

 

26

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. So you were present on the Garvaghy Road or nearby, were

3 you?

4 A. Absolutely. There was -- I wasn't the only one. If you

5 were doing that job seriously, you were on the ground

6 talking to people to find out the mood of the local

7 people, and the way to find that out was to go to the

8 community centre and talk to them.

9 I actually stayed for three weeks in 1997 on the

10 Garvaghy Road. I didn't leave the area for three weeks

11 in the tensions leading up to the parade and then the

12 aftermath.

13 Q. And you were filing copy --

14 A. All the time.

15 Q. -- perhaps broadcasting --

16 A. Up to 30 times a day, yes.

17 Q. -- during the whole of that period?

18 A. Yes, about the security situation, about the Army moving

19 in, about the feelings on the ground, the tension as the

20 day got closer and closer and nobody knew what the

21 British Government was going to do.

22 Mo Mowlam had promised that the Orangemen would not

23 get down the Garvaghy Road, but everybody felt that

24 there was such a head of steam building up that the

25 British Government would have to back off and let them

 

 

27

 

1 through.

2 Q. The observations you have made then, you were there in

3 the area, as you say, for three weeks or so, would you

4 see her every day?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And --

7 A. Not by arrangement. It would just be out and about. I

8 would be floating around the area generally, dropping in

9 and out of the community centre, having cups of tea and

10 talking to people and occasionally she would be there.

11 Q. What you tell us in paragraph 27 then is based on

12 a reasonably long period over those three weeks of

13 regular observation of her at work?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Thank you. And you mention in this context, in the same

18 paragraph, 27, her involvement in other projects?

19 A. None of which I have to say I investigated, but I was

20 aware of it because people would be telling me. How on

21 earth does Rosemary pack it all into 24 hours? Not only

22 is she doing this, she is doing this, that and the other

23 as well. It just always amazed me that she could do so

24 much. She could keep so many irons in the fire.

25 Q. Would you see her, for example, on that very point in

 

 

28

 

1 the evenings down at the community centre?

2 A. On occasion. She wouldn't be sitting there for hours in

3 the evening, it would be mostly during the day.

4 Q. You say that you don't know whether she was paid for

5 that time, the time she devoted to the cause of the

6 residents?

7 A. Well, it is not a question of whether she was paid to

8 work for the residents, the amount of hours she had put

9 in, nobody -- nobody could have paid the dedication that

10 she gave to her work for them.

11 Q. No. But as a matter of fact, you don't know whether

12 this was paid work or not?

13 A. I presumed it was paid, yes. But it is just whether she

14 was paid for the hours she put in, I don't know, but

15 I presume she was paid.

16 Q. Is that based on anything she told you?

17 A. No, we never discussed that.

18 Q. So that is a presumption by you?

19 A. Yes, I assume she was paid. She was doing

20 a professional job of work as a solicitor for clients.

21 Q. In the course of that work you describe her role in the

22 coalition and, as I understand it, you saw her as, at

23 least primarily, their legal adviser. Is that right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Was she, as far as you could tell, also involved in

 

 

29

 

1 negotiations on their behalf?

2 A. I don't know. She certainly -- whether she was formally

3 or not, her advice was sought and given on many

4 occasions, but she was also involved in ground breaking

5 work looking at new laws and trying to figure out

6 whether there were any laws, such as race relations law

7 or other laws, that could be used in the context of

8 Northern Ireland to vindicate the rights of her clients.

9 Q. But you were aware, were you not, that she was involved

10 in negotiations that were taking place involving the

11 residents --

12 A. She accompanied residents to meetings. I was not at

13 those meetings, so I don't know whether she negotiated

14 in those meetings, but she would accompany delegations

15 as a legal adviser.

16 Q. You see, the reason I am asking those questions is

17 because you say she was she was on the negotiating panel

18 of the Coalition?

19 A. She was on the Panel, but I don't know she actually -- I

20 think Breandan Mac Cionnaith did most if not all of the

21 negotiating in liaison with the rest of the group, but

22 she would be present at meetings. But I was not at the

23 meetings so I don't know whether she actually negotiated

24 or whether she was there on the side, as it were,

25 available to give advice as and when needed.

 

 

30

 

1 Q. Did you get the impression that she was one of the

2 leading figures of the group?

3 A. No, absolutely not. She was their servant, not their

4 representative.

5 Q. She wasn't, of course, herself a resident?

6 A. No, she didn't live in the Garvaghy Road area but she

7 was trusted and they listened to her advice. It was as

8 a legal adviser that she was of use to them, not as

9 a negotiator.

10 Q. So far as the particular meeting that took place in

11 London, which you describe in paragraph 29, is

12 concerned --

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. -- you went over, did you, with a delegation --

15 A. I went over with them, all the way there and all the way

16 back with them right the way through.

17 Q. And that is a matter you also touched on in your

18 article?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Can you look, please, at RNI 401-276 (displayed). You

21 see the fifth paragraph --

22 A. Is that the one, "Woman of Courage"?

23 Q. In January, yes.

24 A. Right. Oh, yes, that is right.

25 Q. Do you see?

 

 

31

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. I mean, we can look at the published version, if you

3 would prefer?

4 A. No, that is okay. That is much clearer.

5 Q. It is easier to read, isn't it? Is this the event that

6 you are describing in paragraph 29 of your statement,

7 where you go to Downing Street?

8 A. Yes, it is. There was only one meeting --

9 Q. Thank you --

10 A. -- like that. It was an amazing day.

11 Q. You say in your statement that she, Rosemary Nelson, was

12 there as a legal representative?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And you accompanied the delegation then, did you, from

15 Northern Ireland across to London?

16 A. From memory, yes. I might have met them in London, but

17 I was certainly with them for the whole time we were in

18 London together.

19 Q. You weren't yourself present in the meeting, were you?

20 A. Not at all, no.

21 Q. Were you informed by them before the meeting what the

22 agenda was, what they wanted to discuss?

23 A. They obviously wanted to discuss the situation on the

24 Garvaghy Road, but at that time Rosemary's own safety

25 was a very important issue. I have given a huge amount

 

 

32

 

1 of time in the last few weeks to it try and remember

2 what was said to me after they came out of the meeting

3 with Tony Blair and I do seem to remember that somebody

4 on the delegation mentioned to me that her safety had

5 been raised at that meeting, but I can't be 100 per cent

6 certain.

7 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you specifically: that is

8 not a recollection you can check against any notes you

9 have got?

10 A. No, I spent several hours yesterday looking through my

11 notebooks.

12 Q. Without success?

13 A. Without success. I must have taken a smaller book.

14 I have two sets of notebooks: I have big notebooks, sort

15 of A4 size, and if I was travelling to London I might

16 have packed with me a smaller shorthand notebook.

17 I have looked through it all to try and find notes and I

18 can't.

19 I do seem to remember -- it was a very hurried day

20 and there was a lot of activity and people were bustling

21 around, and we were in London, which was a strange

22 environment for all of us. But I do seem to remember

23 that somebody said to me, "By the way, we raised

24 Rosemary's safety at the meeting".

25 Q. Can you remember who that was?

 

 

33

 

1 A. No.

2 Q. Now, in your article that we have up on the screen, it

3 is right, isn't it, that you don't refer to this in the

4 context of the reference you have made to the

5 Garvaghy Road meeting with the Prime Minister?

6 A. No, I don't, because obviously even at the time I

7 couldn't remember, but again, that is an article that

8 was written in the immediate aftermath of the car

9 bombing.

10 I wouldn't have mentioned that unless I had been

11 sure about it in the newspaper article.

12 Q. I appreciate this was very shortly after the murder, but

13 even in March 1999 you weren't sure that that comment

14 had been made?

15 A. I wasn't sure about anything at that stage. But I

16 can't -- it wasn't an issue at the time. I didn't sit

17 there before I wrote the article and say, gosh, did they

18 mention this to Tony Blair at the meeting or not. I was

19 more concerned with getting out the tragedy of

20 Rosemary's murder rather than whether or not her safety

21 had been mentioned. That came later. My concerns about

22 that came later.

23 Q. I understand that entirely, but of course, given that

24 she had by then been murdered and that this was very

25 shortly before, only two months before, the murder, if

 

 

34

 

1 the question of her security had been raised with the

2 Prime Minister, presumably that would have been

3 something you would have wanted --

4 A. Not necessarily, no. Not at that time. When I wrote

5 that article, it was in a very emotional state. It

6 was -- I was expressing my shock and horror at what had

7 happened. That wasn't the time to start asking

8 questions about who was to blame and who should have

9 done something about it. That came later.

10 So I wouldn't necessarily have mentioned that in the

11 article. So it shouldn't be extrapolated that even then

12 I wasn't sure. As I said, I do seem to remember that

13 somebody mentioned to me as we were walking away from

14 Downing Street towards Westminster and other meetings,

15 that it had been raised but I can't 100 per certain.

16 Q. Can you remember where it might have happened, this

17 conversation?

18 A. After they left Downing Street. I can't remember --

19 when we left Downing Street, we either went to

20 Westminster or we went to have a meeting with various

21 Labour MPs or we went to that office across from the --

22 Westminster where a lot of MPs have their offices, but

23 it was somewhere in that general area when we were

24 walking from place to place.

25 Q. Do you know who raised this point in the meeting?

 

 

35

 

1 A. No, I don't, because I can't say for certain that it was

2 raised. It would have been strange if it hadn't been

3 raised because it was such a big story at the time.

4 Rosemary had been to Washington and the UN report had

5 come out.

6 Q. Is it possible that it was a bigger story after her

7 murder?

8 A. Well, obviously after her murder, but it was a big story

9 beforehand. At that stage, such a head of steam had

10 come up. Because of her going to America in particular

11 and because of the UN report, it had gone from a little

12 story that I wrote about in Ireland on Sunday to being

13 an issue on the political agenda.

14 Q. Can you remember whether you were told what the Prime

15 Minister's reaction to this was?

16 A. No.

17 Q. You don't think you were told?

18 A. No, I don't think I was.

19 Q. No. Did you at any stage after this article ever write

20 about this in a published form?

21 A. Sorry?

22 Q. Did you at any stage after this article, March 1999,

23 write about this visit and the question of security

24 being raised?

25 A. No, I didn't.

 

 

36

 

1 Q. Can you tell us why not?

2 A. Well, nobody thought she was going to be murdered.

3 I certainly didn't.

4 Q. But at the time, as you said earlier, of raising

5 questions after her murder, you didn't publish an

6 article, you didn't raise it in one of your pieces?

7 A. From memory? I am not sure. I tended to raise -- after

8 her murder, after the initial shock, when people were

9 asking how on earth did it happen and why wasn't it

10 stopped and prevented and what could have been done,

11 I then -- I didn't -- I wouldn't have raised something

12 that somebody else hadn't raised. I was reporting on

13 what other people were saying, not on myself, what I was

14 saying.

15 Q. No, but of course, given all the serious concerns that

16 were raised after her murder, you were at least very

17 close to the meeting and on what you have said --

18 A. Put it this way, the case -- the issues about Rosemary's

19 safety had been raised in so many other fora that this

20 was just one more, and surely Tony Blair would have been

21 aware of it because of all the other publicity there had

22 been. It didn't need to happen at that meeting. He

23 must have been aware of the risk to her because of all

24 the other publicity to do with the States and the UN.

25 Q. But do you think now, looking back --

 

 

37

 

1 A. If it was raised at that meeting, it surely couldn't

2 have been the only time that he would -- he should have

3 been aware of the risk to her life.

4 Q. What I wanted to ask you is whether you think that the

5 fact that you didn't write about it in the aftermath of

6 the murder suggests that perhaps even you weren't sure?

7 A. No, I think it was just that I didn't think it was

8 particularly relevant, because surely he either must

9 have -- and I am not blaming him, but surely somebody

10 should have brought it to his attention that a UN report

11 and a United States Congressional Committee had heard

12 evidence about risk to Rosemary's life or threats to

13 Rosemary's life.

14 Q. Can I take you back in time and on in your statement to

15 paragraph 30, because this takes us back to 1997. You

16 have explained to us that you stayed on the road or

17 nearby for three weeks or so over this period, and you

18 describe then what happened at, if I can put it that

19 way, the crunch moment when it became clear that the

20 march was to be forced down the road. And you were

21 present then in the middle of the night, were you, when

22 this began to happen?

23 A. I was just getting to sleep when it happened.

24 First of all, there was one siren and I got out of

25 bed and rushed downstairs and it turned out to be

 

 

38

 

1 a false alarm. I went back to bed, and a few minutes

2 later there was another siren and I thought -- I sort of

3 wanted to go to sleep. So I thought it was probably

4 another false alarm, and then the lady whose house I was

5 say staying in came in and shook me awake and I got up

6 and ran down the stairs in my nightie and boots. I even

7 left my mobile phone behind.

8 By the time I realised what was happening -- I was

9 caught up in a melee of people. We were all kind of

10 rushing down the hill in the middle of the night to the

11 junction. I later got my mobile phone. Somebody went

12 and found it for me in the house and threw it over the

13 top of the police Land Rover, and I spent the rest of

14 the night filing copy and calling people to tell them

15 what was happening.

16 Q. From the scene?

17 A. I was inside the security cordon, the residents who were

18 out on the street were surrounded on all four sides by

19 police officers wearing what I call the Robocop gear,

20 dressed in black from head to foot, balaclavas, riot

21 gear, and we were in the middle. And the residents were

22 sitting in the road and I was doing my professional best

23 to observe everything that was going on and file copy to

24 my newsroom.

25 Q. How were the filing the copy?

 

 

39

 

1 A. On the mobile phone. I had a notebook and a mobile

2 phone.

3 Q. And you tell us that you remember various things about

4 it -- this is paragraph 31 -- including a Welsh

5 socialist choir singing?

6 A. Yes, that is right. They were trying to keep peoplesí

7 spirits up. They were on the outside of the cordon and

8 they were singing hymns.

9 Q. It is right, isn't it, that there were a number --

10 perhaps not all choirs -- but there were a number of

11 visiting observers?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Did you meet any of the international observers on the

14 road?

15 A. The following day, I met Alan Hevesi who was then

16 Comptroller of New York State, as he arrived to observe

17 the scene. But during the night, between being woken

18 up, rushing down the road and the following day,

19 probably not.

20 I was sort of vaguely aware there were international

21 observers there. I knew a couple from America, but the

22 rush of events was such that there was no time for

23 conversation.

24 Q. And you say that in this chaos you were hit over the

25 head?

 

 

40

 

1 A. I was, yes.

2 Q. And didn't realise?

3 A. No, I didn't realise until the next day when a political

4 press officer from one of the main parties came up to me

5 and said, "How is your head?" I had been hit over the

6 head. He had witnessed me being hit with a truncheon

7 but I hadn't felt it because such was the rush of

8 events.

9 Q. So far as Rosemary Nelson is concerned, you describe

10 what you think she was doing, which was she was on the

11 other side of the cordon remonstrating with the police?

12 A. I didn't see her that night at all.

13 Q. You didn't?

14 A. No.

15 Q. So you weren't aware, as you say, in the same paragraph,

16 33 --

17 A. It was the next day that somebody told me that Rosemary

18 had been assaulted, but I didn't see it.

19 Q. Did you see her the next day?

20 A. Probably, yes. It would have been difficult to avoid

21 her, I suppose. I can't remember. That whole day --

22 because of my lack of sleep and the acute situation that

23 we were all in, my memory of that day -- and I was

24 working flat out. I think, as I said, I think

25 I supplied about 30 pieces of news to my news desk that

 

 

41

 

1 day and there was so much happening that it was all

2 a complete blur, the rest of that day.

3 Q. But I think you were saying that you did speak to her

4 the next day. Is that right? Not in your statement,

5 but did you --

6 A. I can't remember, because the next -- the day after --

7 the day that the Orange parade was put through the road,

8 I was working so hard covering the immediate story,

9 trying to keep my head together. Then as soon as the

10 original parade had gone through, they started rioting

11 on the road and I knew that the rest of the North would

12 go up and the best thing to do was to get back to

13 Belfast as fast possible so that I could at least get

14 home and operate -- and cover the riots from the

15 relative safety of my office in Belfast.

16 Q. It was clear to you following the march coming down the

17 road that there would be violence?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And you were right?

20 A. I saw people I knew, very calm, sedate people,

21 grandmothers, lose completely -- so upset and so angry

22 that they were taking action themselves, even if it was

23 only banging a saucepan lid on the ground or hanging out

24 of the window and banging a frying pan as the Orangemen

25 went past. I said to myself, my goodness, if these

 

 

42

 

1 people here are reacting in this way, goodness knows

2 what people in Ardoyne and West Belfast will be doing.

3 This place a going to erupt and I had better get home as

4 fast I can otherwise I am not going to get home.

5 Q. You were obviously right about that, as it turned out?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Just coming back to Rosemary Nelson, you say that you

8 were surprised to learn that she had been hit -- this is

9 the end of paragraph 33. It looks as though you learnt

10 that from the newspaper?

11 A. Yes, I think I probably did. Yes, I think that is

12 right, yes. I probably didn't talk to her. As I said

13 to you, I rushed back to Belfast.

14 Q. What you know of that incident is derived from

15 newspapers rather than talking to her?

16 A. Yes, I don't think I ever discussed it with her

17 actually.

18 Q. Thank you.

19 A. An awful lot of people were hit that way. People were

20 being dragged out of the road, bumping their heads on

21 kerb stones. People were bleeding just about everywhere

22 you looked.

23 Q. So this was obviously a particularly tense, indeed

24 violent day on the Garvaghy Road. What you describe for

25 us in your statement -- and I am now going back to

 

 

43

 

1 page 8, on RNI-803-332 (displayed) -- is in more general

2 terms what life was like living in this particular part

3 of Northern Ireland at that time. Do you see that?

4 A. Yes, I mean, there was -- one thing is the violence, the

5 outright violence that you see on the streets during

6 a riot or when community tensions have reached such

7 a pitch that people start taking immediate violent

8 action.

9 Another thing was the more insidious and even more

10 frightening violence that one felt was going on behind

11 the scenes, that was very difficult to report.

12 Q. Is that what you have in mind when you say here the more

13 you found out about what was happening, the more

14 horrible it became?

15 A. Yes, because -- I mean, I come ... (Pause)

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Should we have a short break?

17 A. No, I'm okay. (Pause) My background is from a very

18 peaceful society in Britain ...

19 THE CHAIRMAN: I think we will have a short break. We will

20 have a ten-minute break, thereabouts.

21 (11.30 am)

22 (Short break)

23 (11.40 am)

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

25 MR PHILLIPS: We were talking about the conversation you had

 

 

44

 

1 back in June, we think, 1996, particularly about the

2 area of Northern Ireland where she lived and worked.

3 A. Yes. I don't want to labour this, but if you come, like

4 you and I do, from England and you are used to the men

5 in black hats and the men in white hats and so long as

6 you stay on the right side of the law and you do nothing

7 wrong, then you are safe and the police are pleasant to you.

8 It is very different in Northern Ireland, as

9 I discovered. There are lots of grey areas. You're

10 never quite sure who is a friend and who is a foe, and

11 as we have since discovered and I am sure in the future

12 will discover more, collusion wasn't just a claim; it

13 was a fact. And the shock you got -- the shock I got

14 when I first realised that not every policeman could be

15 trusted was huge, and it never leaves you.

16 So although I come from a very middle class,

17 southern counties of England upbringing, it was a huge

18 shock to me when I first realised that this wasn't just

19 Republican propaganda, that some police officers were in

20 collusion with Loyalists and probably Republicans as

21 well, and the lines between right and wrong and who was

22 a friend and who was a foe became very indistinct, or

23 more indistinct that they perhaps would be, should be.

24 In that circumstance, you lose your faith, your

25 faith in the system to protect you and vindicate your

 

 

45

 

1 rights as an individual, and once you have lost that, it

2 is very difficult to get it back. And particularly in

3 mid-Ulster, Rosemary was operating in -- and knew it

4 well from her childhood, I suppose -- in a situation

5 where you never knew who was there on your side, who

6 would protect you, where your security lay and where the

7 dangers to yourself, to your career and, more

8 importantly, to your life lay. And it was a very

9 difficult atmosphere to work in as a journalist but even

10 more so as a lawyer. It was extremely frightening, and

11 I think that Rosemary's courage in continuing to operate

12 as she did in that atmosphere, knowing that she was at

13 risk, was outstanding.

14 It is very difficult to explain to someone who

15 hasn't been through that experience just how shocking

16 and disturbing it was, but take it from me, it was very

17 worrying.

18 Q. So, so far as she was concerned then -- and can I ask

19 you this based on all of your conversations with her

20 rather than trying to pin it down to any particular

21 one -- do you think she was frightened?

22 A. Absolutely.

23 Q. And that when she made light of it, she was, as it were,

24 putting a brave face on it?

25 A. Absolutely.

 

 

46

 

1 Q. She was presenting a more confident front to the

2 world --

3 A. She would never make a big deal of it. She would only

4 mention it at the very end of conversations. She would

5 never start a conversation or even mention it in the

6 middle of a conversation. Towards the end of

7 a conversation, when you had got your business out of

8 the way, she would almost whisper to you what the latest

9 threat was, and then she would say, "It would frighten

10 you, wouldn't it?"

11 Q. So she would be talking to you or meeting you in

12 relation to a case or a particular --

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. -- incident?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And as it were, in the course of conversation --

17 A. Towards the end of the conversation.

18 Q. -- towards the end of the conversation, she might

19 mention it then?

20 A. Yes, because she didn't want to make it big deal about

21 it. She didn't want to make out that she was a special

22 case, because she knew that all her clients were also

23 facing risk to their lives as well. And she didn't want

24 to frighten herself or frighten you too much, but it was

25 always is there as a nagging, nagging, nagging worry

 

 

47

 

1 that she could be attacked.

2 Sometimes I thought that maybe the threats were to

3 try and put her off doing the work she did. I told

4 myself that. I honestly never believed that they would

5 try and kill her. But it was always there in the back

6 of her mind; you could tell it was there in the back of

7 her mind.

8 Q. Did you ever get the impression from her that the

9 threats she was experiencing made her reconsider whether

10 she wanted to carry on with that work?

11 A. Well, I can't remember the exact terms she used but I

12 think I did discuss with her at one point the

13 possibility of, you know, backing off or changing the

14 nature of the work she did. But that just wasn't in

15 Rosemary's nature. She profoundly believed in the rule

16 of law and her right professionally to defend her

17 clients as far as she could.

18 She had a choice: she could have turned and run.

19 That would have meant living the rest of her life

20 worrying about the people that should have been

21 protected who weren't. I don't think she ever really

22 gave it serious consideration, but I think she must have

23 considered it as a possibility from time to time. I

24 would sometimes say to her, "Look, take sensible

25 precautions, you know what the police are always saying,

 

 

48

 

1 vary your way into work" and stuff like that. But

2 I couldn't really give her any comfort or any

3 assurances. And I didn't want to frighten her more than

4 she was already frightened, but at the same time I

5 didn't want her to ignore the fact that she was at risk.

6 Q. You deal with that sort of conversation in paragraph 21.

7 Can we have a look at that, please. It is at

8 RNI-803-336 (displayed).

9 You say that she would ask you, "What do you do?"

10 Do you see that in the second line?

11 A. Yes, that was a rhetorical question really.

12 Q. I see, "What do you do?"

13 A. Yes, she wasn't asking me. I had no particular

14 expertise. She was saying what do you do.

15 Q. What did you suggest?

16 A. I suggested varying her way into work. What could she

17 do? As I explained somewhere in my statement, the

18 people who should have been protecting her were the

19 people who she believed were putting her in danger.

20 Q. It is in this very paragraph. That is what I wanted to

21 ask you. Did you discuss with her whether she should

22 seek advice from anybody else?

23 A. Well, put it this way, at the time she wasn't unique.

24 There were other people who were at risk at the same

25 time but who weren't -- this is Key Persons Protection

 

 

49

 

1 Scheme, because the first thing that happened when you

2 went on the KPPS was that your house was surveyed by

3 a police officer to discover where the new video should

4 be put in or where the new security should be put in to

5 protect you. And there was talk at the time that police

6 officers were surveying houses and supplying the layout

7 of houses to Loyalists who would then use that when they

8 came in to kill you. I don't know whether that was true

9 or not, but it was something that people were talking

10 about at the time.

11 Q. But the impression certainly one gets from your

12 statement, this paragraph, is that she felt she couldn't

13 rely on the police for advice of that kind. Do you see

14 that?

15 A. Yes, I do.

16 Q. Now, is that something she actually told you, you

17 discussed with her?

18 A. She would make a comment about it. It wasn't something

19 that was discussed between us at any great length, but

20 she would sort of say, "How can I go to the police when

21 they are the ones who are putting me at risk. Who do

22 I go to?"

23 Q. What did she tell you about how they were putting her at

24 risk?

25 A. They were the ones who were threatening her, as detailed

 

 

50

 

1 in my articles.

2 Q. And can we look, first, please, at paragraph 10 on

3 RNI-803-333 (displayed), do you see, beginning in the

4 second sentence? Now, that is what she mentioned to

5 you, is it, that threats --

6 A. Yes, they are in more detail in one of the articles that

7 I wrote.

8 Q. But she didn't give you any names?

9 A. I can't remember whether she gave me -- certainly no

10 names of police officers, no.

11 Q. But you say in the statement she didn't name the

12 clients. Is that right?

13 A. I can't remember, I don't think she ever did. She may

14 have done, because I was talking to other lawyers at the

15 same time so my memory is not as good as it should be.

16 Q. Were you talking to other lawyers about the same

17 problem?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Whereby they were reporting, were they, that clients

20 were passing on these sort of comments?

21 A. Yes, and I was also aware of the Pat Finucane situation

22 where he had been threatened through his clients by the

23 police. So it all kind of merged into one.

24 I do know names of people, who were clients of

25 solicitors, who passed on threats. But in one of my

 

 

51

 

1 articles, I think, you will see that I'm a bit more

2 detailed than I am in my statement about the threats.

3 Q. Absolutely. What I want to establish first though is

4 that when this was originally discussed with you, as you

5 said earlier in your evidence today, she wasn't giving

6 you information with a view to publication?

7 A. The first time we discussed it, yes.

8 Q. But there came a time, didn't there, when she was

9 prepared to do that?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Can we look, please, at the article, and if you look at

12 the text first, which is at RNI-834-247 (displayed), and

13 we have already seen the published version briefly on

14 the screen, do you remember? When I showed you the

15 photograph?

16 A. Yes, I have got it here.

17 Q. And that is RNI-401-021.500 (displayed). I just want to

18 get it up on the screen to see if it is legible. Is it

19 possible to enlarge the first five columns?

20 A. It is legible.

21 Q. Is that clear?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Yes. This, as we have seen, was a piece you published

24 in Ireland on Sunday on 19th October 1997?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

52

 

1 Q. Can you remember now what it was that made her change

2 her mind, i.e. to enable this piece with the details you

3 give to be published?

4 A. Well, it wasn't a question of changing her mind, it is

5 just that we discussed it in passing the first time

6 I interviewed her in relation to Colin Duffy, and it was

7 only when I went back with the specific aim of writing

8 this article that she went into more detail.

9 Q. But you said earlier at the stage she gave you the

10 information she was not giving it to you for the purpose

11 of a story?

12 A. Yes, it was just a passing comment.

13 Q. I see.

14 A. And it stayed in the back of my mind until I got this

15 job --

16 Q. And then you came back to her?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Were you surprised at the time in October 1997 at her

19 willingness to --

20 A. Yes, I was.

21 Q. Because it is an article with a good deal of detail,

22 both about her and about the threats, isn't it?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Did you ever see a similar article about the experiences

25 of another lawyer in Northern Ireland at the time?

 

 

53

 

1 A. No. There were references to it but less specific than

2 this one. We know about Pat Finucane but that was

3 previous.

4 Q. I want to ask you about the way in which the article was

5 put together. Did you interview her specifically about

6 the piece, in other words with this article in mind?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did the interview take place face-to-face or on the

9 telephone?

10 A. Face-to-face.

11 Q. If you look, please, in your hard copy statement --

12 please don't put it on the screen -- at paragraph 16 at

13 the top of the page, RNI-803-335.

14 A. What am I looking at, sorry?

15 Q. Paragraph 16 at the top of page RNI-803-335.

16 A. Yes. I am sorry I put that in my statement. No, I did

17 talk to her in person because I remember that I took

18 a photographer along with me. I am sorry about that.

19 Q. Not at all. And the photographer took the photograph

20 from the piece that we saw earlier?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Thank you. And so can I take it, therefore, that the

23 quotations from her in this piece were given to you

24 during the course of that meeting?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

54

 

1 Q. Did she show you any statements from clients about these

2 matters?

3 A. I can't remember. I think it was verbal. I can't

4 remember her showing me any papers.

5 Q. You describe her at the bottom of the first column as

6 a woman living on her nerves?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And that presumably is the impression you had of her as

9 at that time?

10 A. Yes, it came and went. At times, she was more nervous

11 than at other times. Nobody can survive living on their

12 nerves 100 per cent of the time. You would go crazy.

13 But at times she was more nervous than at other times.

14 For the purpose of the article, that was a bit of

15 journalistic expression there.

16 Q. Did she see the copy before you printed it?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Did she make any comment about it afterwards?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Do you think she might have been concerned to be

21 portrayed in that way?

22 A. If she did, she certainly didn't tell me and we remained

23 good professional contacts and on friendly terms.

24 Q. It was clear to you, was it, that everything she said to

25 you, as quoted here, was for publication?

 

 

55

 

1 A. On the record for publication. I made that very clear.

2 She understood that too.

3 Q. Now, in terms of variation, as it were, during the year,

4 sometimes more threats than others, you say in your

5 statement -- and again, let us not have it on the

6 screen, please -- in the hard copy, it's paragraph 22 at

7 RNI-803-336 -- you say that the level of threats

8 typically became worse as the summer marching season

9 approached?

10 A. That is generally true of the North in particular. It

11 is generally true as summer approaches and the marching

12 season reaches its height. Community tensions generally

13 always seem to ratchet up a bit.

14 Q. Can I ask you this question: You carried on speaking

15 and meeting her during the period from October up to her

16 death, as I understand it?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Is that right? Did you have any impression from her as

19 to the level of threats during that period?

20 A. I think she was particularly frightened obviously when

21 she got letters, and there was yet another one of her

22 clients told her that she was going to die, she would

23 obviously get more worried. But there was also

24 occasions when her photograph and name on crude leaflets

25 were plastered up all over Portadown and places. That

 

 

56

 

1 was absolutely terrifying for her and for others as well

2 who were in a similar situation, because it meant that

3 the Loyalists not only knew where you were and where you

4 were working and what you were doing, but they were

5 prepared to put your face and allegations -- totally

6 untrue allegations -- about you and plaster them all

7 over lamp posts all over your home town. What could be

8 more frightening than that?

9 Q. We will come to look at those in a moment, if we may.

10 Can I just ask you about the detail of the article

11 again? Just to clear up one thing. Do you remember

12 I asked you about whether you had seen statements from

13 clients?

14 A. I can't remember. I don't think so.

15 Q. If you look in the fourth column, does that help you, at

16 the bottom of the fourth column? Do you see that

17 paragraph which begins:

18 "She showed a statement made to a human rights group

19 by a man ..."?

20 A. Yes, I do.

21 Q. Do you think --

22 A. I didn't peruse it. I think she sort of showed it

23 across the desk to me. But I can't remember, it is too

24 long ago, I am sorry.

25 Q. And --

 

 

57

 

1 A. I must have perused it. I read it. It was so

2 disgusting, I couldn't even print it:

3 "... which referred to her attributes as a woman in

4 such derogatory terms that it cannot be printed."

5 I must have read it to write that. I blotted it out

6 of my mind.

7 Q. That is what I was going to suggest.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. In the article, you highlight some of her cases. If you

10 see the second column, the Colin Duffy case, we have

11 already touched on that, including the two --

12 A. The three main ones were Colin Duffy, Garvaghy Road and

13 Robert Hamill.

14 Q. Thank you. And you mention them in this article

15 presumably because you thought they were contributory --

16 A. They were the ones that got her into trouble.

17 Q. Thank you. Now, the other thing I wanted to touch on

18 with you is the visit of Param Cumaraswamy, and that is

19 something you talk about in the second column. Do you

20 see that, "next Friday"?

21 A. Yes, she was very hopeful about that. I think she felt

22 maybe as she couldn't rely on the police to protect her,

23 maybe international human rights groups, international

24 concerns and lobbying could do something for her.

25 Q. So that is something she told you about, is it?

 

 

58

 

1 A. She seemed hopeful. When she talked about it, she was

2 hopeful that this was something that could perhaps make

3 a difference, and that her concerns were being taken

4 seriously by international observers, because I don't

5 think she had any faith in the domestic systems.

6 Q. So did you get the impression, therefore, that she

7 thought this might help in some way to protect her if

8 there was international interest?

9 A. Yes, I think she thought that maybe if she became an

10 internationally known figure in some way, that that

11 would mean that she was less liable to be violated.

12 Q. Now --

13 A. On the other hand, there was always a possibility it

14 would make her more. It was a balance.

15 Q. That is actually a point I wanted to raise with you and

16 it is something that comes out of your statement, I

17 think, this issue of the potentially two-edged effects

18 of prominence, of publicity?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Now, was that something you discussed with her?

21 A. No, I never discussed it with her, but I thought myself

22 that if she became a household name, then they wouldn't

23 dare to kill her. And I also -- I mean, I wrote the

24 story as a journalist, but I also -- as a secondary

25 motivation, sort of thought to myself: maybe if I write

 

 

59

 

1 this article and other people read it and they think it

2 is awful too and they write articles, then she will

3 become so well-known that they won't dare kill her.

4 Q. But I think you also recognised, I think, at the time

5 that there was an element of danger in that, that it

6 might go the other way?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. If you look at paragraph 49, you deal with this point,

9 at RNI-803-343. Do you see in the last sentence, in

10 particular, you raise this possibility?

11 A. Yes, it is still what I wonder.

12 Q. Is that something that you thought about before you --

13 A. On balance, I think no. On balance, I think I did the

14 right thing both as a professional journalist and also

15 as somebody with concerns for Rosemary as a person.

16 Q. Presumably, if she had had concerns of that kind, then

17 she had the option of not cooperating with you in

18 producing the article?

19 A. Yes. You have to respect someone else's decision about

20 their own safety and security.

21 Q. Now, you mentioned earlier the leaflets that were

22 distributed and you deal with it in your statement at

23 paragraph 37, RNI-803-340. Can we have that on the

24 screen, please (displayed).

25 Now, I don't want to display either of these

 

 

60

 

1 leaflets. They are exhibits to your statement and

2 everybody can see the references for themselves. What

3 I wanted to ask you about, however, is whether you can

4 remember now when you saw them distributed and put up on

5 lamp posts in Lurgan?

6 A. I never saw them put up on lamp posts. I saw them

7 because Rosemary -- I might have seen some very

8 bedraggled ones, but I didn't see them when they were

9 pristine and new, stuck up. I think I did see some sort

10 of ripped to shreds, as it were, from rain and the

11 period of time. But the ones I saw and were given to

12 me -- I didn't take them off lamp posts. I was given

13 them by either Rosemary or Breandan, or maybe both of

14 them at different stages.

15 Q. It looks as though certainly one, the one you refer to

16 in the second sentence, is something you saw after her

17 murder?

18 A. The one that is called "Monster Mashed"?

19 Q. Yes, that is the one.

20 A. I saw that after her murder, obviously because she was

21 dead by then.

22 Q. The other one that you mentioned, do you see the next

23 sentence, which is "The Man with No Future", that, can

24 you remember when you first saw that leaflet?

25 A. The one -- "The Man with No Future"?

 

 

61

 

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. No, I can't.

3 Q. You can't?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Can you assist us as to whether it might have been

6 before or after her murder?

7 A. I think it was before her murder.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. I am sure other people have told you this, but there was

10 a common view about that Rosemary's facial disfigurement

11 was somehow caused by a bomb explosion, either one that

12 she was involved in or one she had actually laid. One

13 of the leaflets, I think accused her of laying it. And

14 I found other journalists and Orangemen in the area,

15 because I spent some time on the Orange side of the

16 divide as well, believed it. It wasn't common but

17 nobody really knew what had caused it, and they seemed

18 to believe that it was as part of some kind of bomb

19 explosion. I was able to put them right and tell them

20 what the truth was.

21 Q. How did you know the truth?

22 A. I don't know. I found out at some stage. It was from

23 Rosemary. I would never have said, "By the way, how

24 come you have a facial problem?" I think somebody told

25 me who knew her well, who was a friend of hers, who

 

 

62

 

1 said, "Well, actually this is how it happened".

2 When I met her -- the thing about Rosemary was that

3 although she had this facial disfigurement and you

4 instantly noticed it for a few seconds when you first

5 met her, she was such a lively, interesting person that

6 you almost instantly forgot it again and it was just

7 taken as read.

8 I never really thought much about it until somebody

9 said that is a result because she got blown up by her

10 own bomb. I thought goodness me, I don't think so. I

11 can't believe that is true. So I made enquiries and

12 somebody told me one day what had really caused it, and

13 I can't remember now who that was.

14 Q. What was the cause?

15 A. Well, that she had been born with a birthmark and she

16 had gone to Scotland to get some work done on it and it

17 hadn't worked out.

18 Q. You also mention in this paragraph one of the

19 leaflets -- and you are correct about this -- made

20 a suggestion about a relationship between her and one of

21 her clients, Mr Duffy.

22 Is that a suggestion you heard for the first time

23 when you saw the leaflet?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. You hadn't heard it before?

 

 

63

 

1 A. No. What I had heard before was other kind of sexual

2 innuendo which I think, as a woman in public life in the

3 North, just seems to happen, unfortunately. She had

4 told me herself that some of the threats had included

5 sort of sexual innuendo stuff.

6 Q. There is reference to that in the article we were just

7 looking at, isn't there?

8 A. Yes. But no, I had never contemplated that at all until

9 it was in the leaflet. And I immediately dismissed it,

10 along with everything else they said about her.

11 Q. Now, just picking up some other points set out in your

12 statement, can I take you back to paragraph 22 and that

13 is at page RNI-803-336 (displayed).

14 We looked at the paragraph on the question of the

15 threats increasing during the marching season, if you

16 remember?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And you then go on to make points very similar to the

19 ones you have already made about what her realistic

20 options were. But the sentence I am interested in now,

21 however, is the one that says:

22 "She did not have a sectarian bone in her body."

23 Now, what is that based on?

24 A. You know, general discussion and concerns about -- you

25 know, we talked about politics and everything and she

 

 

64

 

1 never struck me as being, in her politics, at all

2 sectarian or anti-Unionist or anything like that. She

3 was very open.

4 It is a funny thing about living in

5 Northern Ireland, that you get to sort of have almost

6 a sort of sixth sense for people who have a problem

7 about sectarianism and Rosemary was never that sort of

8 person. She was an egalitarian, she was a libertarian,

9 she didn't believe in judging people by where they were

10 born or what religion they had. She believed in human

11 rights for everyone and everyone was equal under the

12 law. All that kind of boring stuff.

13 Q. So as far as her work was concerned then, as I

14 understand from what you are saying, her motivation was

15 to defend her clients?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And to uphold --

18 A. Wherever they came from, absolutely. No -- that was

19 a very strict line with Rosemary.

20 Q. And that would include clients from both sides of the

21 community?

22 A. Absolutely.

23 Q. Clients accused of criminal offences but other clients

24 as well?

25 A. That was my understanding. That was her reputation in

 

 

65

 

1 Lurgan: that she was someone who would go to hell and

2 back for any of her clients, wherever they came from,

3 and vindicate their rights according to the law.

4 Wherever they came from.

5 Q. And as you put it, she wasn't the sort of person to run

6 away?

7 A. No. I am, on the other hand.

8 Q. Now, returning to the question of Mr Cumaraswamy, you

9 deal with that in your statement in paragraphs 43 to 45.

10 If you look at that, it is at RNI-803-342 (displayed).

11 We saw your reference to it in the piece published

12 in October 1997, and you have already explained in your

13 evidence that she had some hope that his interest might

14 give her some form of protection?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. What I wanted to ask you is about the next stage of it.

17 You say that you think she may have shown you a draft?

18 A. Yes. Now, this was said off the record and maybe

19 I shouldn't even be saying this, but I suppose -- I

20 don't know. I remember being down there once in the

21 office and she showed me a draft report that he had

22 written and she told me that there were some sections of

23 it that senior police officers wanted redacted or

24 moderated. But she said I couldn't write anything about

25 it, but she said she wanted me to know just in case

 

 

66

 

1 anything ever happened.

2 Q. So just to be clear on this, you didn't write anything

3 about it at the time?

4 A. No, I don't think I did. I think from memory she told

5 me you can't write anything about this, but I just

6 wanted to tell you. But it was like context.

7 The thing about for journalists is that if you have

8 context and background, it can help you in forming

9 opinions when you come, at some later stage, to writing

10 an article about something or other. All that kind of

11 information was always useful. It wasn't just gossip,

12 I mean.

13 Q. In terms of likely date, would this have been in the

14 early part of 1998?

15 A. I can't remember.

16 Q. No.

17 A. I can't remember that. All of that is very vague, all

18 that thing about the UN report and the various drafts

19 and the to-ing and fro-ing about it. One of the reasons

20 I can't remember is I didn't write about it, so I didn't

21 stick it in mind.

22 Q. So your recollection of this is rather vague?

23 A. My recollection is very firm that she told me that

24 senior police officers had tried to change some of the

25 report because they didn't like what he had said.

 

 

67

 

1 Q. So senior police officers, plural?

2 A. I can't remember.

3 Q. Because you -- do you see what you say in your report?

4 A. Yes, she specifically mentioned one police officer.

5 Q. Yes. And the issue, as you remember it anyway, was this

6 question of her being mentioned by name in the draft

7 report. Is that right?

8 A. No, it wasn't that the police officer was concerned

9 about. It was more to do with his conclusions, his

10 reports about her concerns and what was happening.

11 Q. I am so sorry, I didn't make myself clear. The issue

12 that she explained to you related, did it, to the fact

13 that she had been mentioned by name in the report? Was

14 that the issue?

15 A. The issue that the police officer had complained about,

16 was worried about?

17 Q. No, I am asking you about Rosemary Nelson.

18 A. Oh, her? She was worried, "Oh my goodness, my name is

19 going to be in the report. I am a bit worried about that,

20 but if that is what it takes, that is what it takes."

21 Q. So she was prepared, despite those concerns, was she, to

22 have her name mentioned in the report?

23 A. From memory.

24 Q. But this was a vague recollection?

25 A. Yes, this was a kind of off-the-record conversation that

 

 

68

 

1 I wasn't meant to use, so I can't remember it quite as

2 clearly as I might have done otherwise.

3 Q. Just trying to untangle this, where you say in the

4 penultimate sentence "I think this made Rosemary more

5 frightened", the "this" is not that her name was about

6 to be published, but that --

7 A. She was very frightened that somebody was trying to

8 change the report.

9 Q. I see. So that is what was concerning her, was it?

10 A. Well, it was. It was concerning her that her name was

11 going to be in it, as it would concern anyone, but she

12 was also very concerned that someone was trying to

13 change the nature of the report with specific reference

14 to her.

15 Q. I see. Right.

16 Now, looking back at the question of her security or

17 security generally in connection with the Garvaghy Road,

18 you deal with this it at RNI-803-340 and it is

19 paragraph 35 (displayed).

20 Now, just taking this generally, if I may, what you

21 say in that paragraph is presumably based on information

22 you have gathered at second-hand. Is that right?

23 A. No, Breandan told me.

24 Q. Right. He told you, did he, that he had been --

25 A. Turned down for KPPS, yes.

 

 

69

 

1 Q. Did he explain that protection in another form had been

2 offered to him?

3 A. I can't remember. I can't remember that he did, but

4 maybe he did, I don't know.

5 Q. Do you think it is possible that he did?

6 A. I know he did eventually get it: he did eventually get

7 some protection in his house because there was a video

8 and, you know, one of those CCTV things on the front

9 door and -- but at one point he wasn't being offered it.

10 I wasn't aware that he was being offered anything.

11 Maybe he was offered something, but it was linked to

12 something else and he was too worried to take it up. I

13 can't remember, I am sorry.

14 Q. No. But is it fair to say that your recollection of

15 this is not particularly clear?

16 A. My recollection is very clear that he was turned down

17 for the KPPS and I thought that was an extraordinary

18 decision as he seemed to me to be living on a knife

19 edge. But where he lived in Portadown was very

20 vulnerable and he was on the newspaper -- he was on

21 every TV bulletin, he was a hate figure for the

22 Loyalists and yet he was being -- and clearly, the other

23 thing about the KPPS is you are only eligible if your

24 death would cause public outrage and public violence,

25 and on both counts it seemed to me he qualified.

 

 

70

 

1 Q. Whatever you understood about this came from him?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. From Breandan Mac Cionnaith?

4 A. Possibly from Rosemary as well.

5 Q. Did it also come from him, your understanding that

6 eventually some form of protection had in fact been

7 provided?

8 A. Well, I know, because I saw it.

9 Q. Right.

10 A. But I can't remember when that happened. But at one

11 stage he had been turned down and I wrote an article

12 saying he had been turned done and the newspaper agreed

13 with me and wrote an editorial saying it was astonishing

14 that he had been turned down. And I know that since

15 then he has -- things have changed. Whether it was

16 a KPPS or whether he took it on himself, I don't know

17 because we have not discussed it.

18 Q. Can you remember anything about the dates of this?

19 A. It must have been -- I must have written the article --

20 no, I can't.

21 Q. And the article you have mentioned, is that one that is

22 exhibited to your statement? I don't think it is.

23 A. I don't think it is. I can't remember looking it up and

24 putting it in a ...

25 Q. Well, we have to try and look for that.

 

 

71

 

1 Can I just move you on, though, in your statement to

2 the next paragraph, because there you draw a contrast,

3 as I understand it, between his profile and

4 Rosemary Nelson's?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And you lead into the comments you were making a little

7 earlier about not being able to understand why she was

8 not the focus of more media attention?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. You say towards the end of the paragraph that you think

11 she operated out of the limelight, almost in the

12 background. Now, is that particularly in the context of

13 her work for the Garvaghy Road, or generally?

14 A. She didn't push herself forward. I mean, she never

15 phoned me; I always phoned her. She didn't seem to me

16 to be somebody that relished the limelight, far from it.

17 She was a very private person. She only used the

18 press when she felt she should do or she had to. It was

19 not something she enjoyed particularly. We got on well

20 and, again, as a journalist you have a sixth sense for

21 someone who is a self-serving publicity seekers, and I

22 don't think she remotely enters that category. She was

23 a reluctant public person. She would have preferred to

24 remain private.

25 Q. So I am clear on this, when you wrote articles about

 

 

72

 

1 her, you would initiate the contact?

2 A. Always, yes.

3 Q. She wouldn't ring you up and say, "I have got a story

4 for you"?

5 A. No, I would always ring her.

6 Q. Moving on to the last sentence of this paragraph, you

7 say:

8 "I suppose that lawyers were not thought to be at an

9 obvious risk, though the position did obviously change

10 after the murder of Pat Finucane."

11 A. At different stages in the Troubles, different people

12 became so-called legitimate targets, but lawyers were

13 never in that category. I mean, that is why there was

14 such outrage when Pat Finucane was murdered. I suppose

15 I thought because of that, it won't ever happen again.

16 You know, you assume that people have an understanding

17 that lawyers act for their clients not because of any

18 political motivation but because they are doing

19 a professional job of work.

20 Q. But at the period with which we are concerned, which is

21 in the last few years of Rosemary Nelson's life, let us

22 say between 1997 and 1999, did you believe that lawyers

23 were not thought to be at an obvious risk?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. At that stage?

 

 

73

 

1 A. Yes, I still thought that, yes. I mean, otherwise there

2 would have been no point writing about it, you know.

3 You don't write all the time, you know, how soldiers can

4 be killed because it is kind of in the line of fire.

5 But lawyers?

6 Q. Sorry, so I am clear on that --

7 A. Well, one wouldn't necessarily have thought in any

8 society that becoming a lawyer necessarily puts you at

9 greater risk of being attacked.

10 Q. No.

11 A. Because, you know, whereas if you -- I suppose if you

12 are a police officer or a soldier, it comes with the

13 territory, but it doesn't. That is a decision you make.

14 But not when you become a lawyer.

15 Q. So that explains obviously the public and media reaction

16 after the murder of Pat Finucane?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And presumably for the same reasons after the murder of

19 Rosemary Nelson?

20 A. Yes, I think there is also a sense that in order for

21 society to function, you need an independent judiciary

22 and that can only function with independent lawyers in

23 an adversarial court system, and that necessarily you

24 have to have one on each side. And if that system is

25 going to function, then lawyers, as officers of the

 

 

74

 

1 court, should be outside any threat; they shouldn't be

2 threatened by anyone. All that they are doing is a very

3 important function in any democratic society, which is

4 to uphold the rule of law in the way that we have now

5 devised it.

6 Q. Can I move on to the day of Rosemary Nelson's funeral,

7 in particular, your paragraph 39, which is at

8 RNI-803-341 (displayed), because here you tell us that

9 as you were outside the church -- was this before or

10 after the funeral, can you remember?

11 A. It was during the funeral, from memory.

12 Q. During the funeral, you were approached and told that

13 somebody had seen something strange on the night before

14 the murder?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And you explained to us what then happened and that you

17 wrote an article about it, and we can see that at

18 RNI-401-281 (displayed).

19 Do you see?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. "Two people who believe" is the way it begins. I would

22 like to show you the published version of that, assuming

23 the technology works. It is at RNI-401-282.501

24 (displayed). If you look on the right-hand side, there

25 is a two-column --

 

 

75

 

1 A. Yes, that is it.

2 Q. "Witnesses are refusing to come forward."

3 Can we enlarge that and see what joy we get, please?

4 Not a great deal.

5 That is at any rate the piece as published. Is that

6 right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you. And as you explain in your statement, you

9 were asked by the murder investigation team -- this is

10 your paragraph 42 --

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. -- to name the sources, because they were unwilling or

13 had been unwilling to come forward and speak to the

14 police, the RUC?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Is that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And you declined to do so then. I think you were seen,

19 weren't you, in April 1999?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Did you meet Mr Port himself?

22 A. I did.

23 Q. And as I understand your statement, that is an

24 unwillingness which remains to this day?

25 A. Yes, unless I am released from that, yes.

 

 

76

 

1 Q. Thank you. What you go on to tell us, however, is that

2 the individual or individuals, in fact -- there were two

3 people who you spoke to -- have spoken to the

4 Pat Finucane Centre?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And that, as far as you are aware, that information has

7 been passed to this Inquiry?

8 A. As far as I know.

9 Q. Thank you. So far as the remaining section of your

10 statement is concerned, beginning at paragraph 46, here

11 you explain, don't you, that in cooperation with

12 a journalist based in the United States of America, you

13 wrote various pieces in the aftermath of the murder?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And these were concerned, weren't they, with leads in

16 relation to who might have been responsible?

17 A. Yes, I read an article saying that a named person, who

18 was a suspect, serious suspect in the case, had been

19 discovered living in California, had broken the law

20 there in a very serious way and yet there was no

21 extradition request for him to be brought back for

22 questioning about Rosemary's murder, which got my

23 interest up, as you can imagine. And coincidentally, my

24 friend TL Thousand, who I was with when I heard the news

25 about Rosemary's murder, and who had attended her

 

 

77

 

1 funeral along with me as well, she had, by coincidence

2 returned to the States and was in a position to do some

3 investigating, which she did.

4 Q. You then exhibit -- this is paragraph 50 I have now got

5 to -- the various pieces that you wrote on that topic

6 and in cooperation with TL Thousand?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Now, just for everybody's note and for completeness, you

9 will see the first of them has a reference there on

10 RNI-401-540. We haven't been able to find, I am afraid,

11 the published version of that one, but the next is

12 RNI-401-535 and if you look, please, on the screen at

13 RNI-401-538.500 (displayed), do we see there the front

14 page of the Ireland on Sunday newspaper under your

15 by-line, headline:

16 "Nelson murder trail on streets of LA."

17 Do you see that?

18 A. Yes, I do.

19 Q. And then the substantive article at RNI-401-538.501

20 (displayed), very badly copied I am afraid, but under

21 the same headline. And then the third piece you

22 exhibited again in your typed version, appears as

23 published -- and there are a number of cuts -- at

24 RNI-401-534. Can we just have a look at that

25 (displayed).

 

 

78

 

1 Again, can you confirm, as far as you are aware at

2 any rate, that this is the published version of that

3 exhibit?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Thank you very much indeed.

6 A. I want to say at this point that I was very much just

7 writing up the evidence that TL provided from

8 California. She did all the leg work. I was -- I just

9 shaped it into publishable copy.

10 Q. So far as that is concerned, are you aware that the

11 Inquiry has a statement from TL Thousand?

12 A. I am aware of that.

13 Q. Thank you very much.

14 Now, those are the matters I wish to raise with you.

15 If there is any other matter that you would like to

16 raise with the Panel about the subject matter of the

17 Inquiry, then this is your chance.

18 A. Well, as you can imagine, I am a bit overwhelmed by this

19 experience. I haven't had a chance to think about it.

20 I don't know if there is any way, if I think about

21 something later, I can come back to you, but in the

22 absence of anything else I just want to read a very

23 brief statement that I want to hand into the Inquiry as

24 well, which is about the discussion we were having at

25 the end about the statement given by TL Thousand:

 

 

79

 

1 "I am concerned that the Tribunal is proposing to

2 redact significant evidence presented to it by

3 TL Thousand, a US-based journalist and writer.

4 "As I say in my statement of evidence to the

5 Tribunal, I alerted her to the possible presence in

6 California of a suspect in the murder of

7 Rosemary Nelson.

8 "I am concerned because the questions raised by her

9 evidence to the Tribunal about this man, and how he was

10 treated by the US authorities after he was arrested

11 there on serious drugs and firearms charges, remain

12 unanswered.

13 "On face value, it appears he was being protected,

14 or given more favourable treatment, by the

15 US authorities -- possibly as a result of some

16 intervention by the police or security agencies either

17 in Northern Ireland or Britain.

18 "I understand that the Tribunal and its lawyers may

19 have reasons, in the short-term, to redact some of

20 TL Thousand's evidence.

21 "But I hope and expect her statement to be made

22 public in full at some later date when whatever

23 outstanding legal concerns there are have been dealt

24 with so that the questions raised by her statement can

25 be fully investigated in public."

 

 

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: We will consider that. Thank you very much

2 on behalf of the Inquiry for the very helpful way in

3 which you have given evidence.

4 We will adjourn now for -- I think we might adjourn

5 until quarter to two or would you prefer 2 o'clock?

6 MR PHILLIPS: Quarter to two.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Quarter to two.

8 (12.43 pm)

9 (The short adjournment)

10 (1.45 pm)

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Sorry we kept you waiting from this morning.

12 THE WITNESS: That is perfectly all right.

13 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, before Mr McManus is sworn, can I just

14 introduce this part of the evidence. He is the first of

15 a number of lawyers practising at the time in

16 Northern Ireland who we have today, and more later in

17 the week.

18 We have provided to the Full Participants an amended

19 table showing all the various statements from the large

20 group of lawyers, and indicating as usual where the

21 statements are to be found but also which are to be

22 called and which are not.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

24 MR FRANK MCMANUS (sworn)

25 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

 

 

81

 

1 MR PHILLIPS: Mr McManus, can you give us names, please.

2 A. Yes, Francis Joseph McManus.

3 Q. I think it is right that you have given two statements

4 to the Inquiry?

5 A. That is correct.

6 Q. Can we look at the first one, please, at RNI-812-215

7 (displayed).

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Do you have a hard copy of it in front of you?

10 A. I do.

11 Q. If you turn over to RNI-812-223 (displayed), do we see

12 your signature and the date of 15th May 2007?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And the second statement, RNI-813-223.500 (displayed),

15 signed by you I think it is 24th January this year. Do

16 you have that?

17 A. Oh, on the screen, yes.

18 Q. Thank you very much. Going back to your main statement,

19 because the second one is very short one, you tell us

20 that you didn't start out life as a lawyer?

21 A. No.

22 Q. You began as a teacher. Is that right?

23 A. That is right.

24 Q. And after that, I think, you entered politics and became

25 an MP?

 

 

82

 

1 A. I did.

2 Q. Which party did you represent?

3 A. Just myself.

4 Q. You were an independent?

5 A. Yes, an independent. I was called a Unity candidate at

6 the time; on a rare occasion, the Nationalists decided

7 to get together to beat the Unionists and it succeeded

8 on that one occasion.

9 Q. And you sat in Westminster?

10 A. I did, yes.

11 Q. It looks as though your career was relatively short and

12 after that you looked round for another job. Is that

13 right?

14 A. That is right.

15 Q. And you took up as a lawyer because, as you explain in

16 the first paragraph, you were too controversial to

17 become a teacher again?

18 A. That is right, the bishops wouldn't have me about the

19 schools any more.

20 Q. But you were obviously thought to be safe as a lawyer?

21 A. I don't know. That is for others to judge.

22 Q. Thank you. So you then went back to learn, as it were,

23 and qualified in 1978. This is paragraph 2?

24 A. That is right.

25 Q. You started your practice in the Republic of Ireland and

 

 

83

 

1 then moved to Northern Ireland. Just so we have got

2 a feel for this, does that mean you were practising in

3 Northern Ireland in the early 1980s?

4 A. That is right.

5 Q. Thank you. And the way I understand it from your

6 statement, quite shortly after setting up in practice

7 here, you started to deal with high profile cases

8 arising out of the Troubles?

9 A. That is right, yes.

10 Q. And did that turn out to be a main part of your work?

11 A. No. In a country practice there is a little of

12 everything, but I did become quite busy with that aspect

13 of the work, yes.

14 Q. How would you describe your client base in the firm?

15 A. Well, I like to think that it is very broad based and

16 general, from all sections of the community.

17 Q. And dealing with all sorts of cases?

18 A. Yes, whatever comes across the door.

19 Q. So although the cases arising out of the Troubles might

20 have been high profile, there would have been a full

21 range of other work?

22 A. Indeed.

23 Q. Civil?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Matrimonial?

 

 

84

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Conveyancing?

3 A. Yes, probate.

4 Q. Probate, and then presumably a good deal of smaller

5 criminal work as well?

6 A. That's right.

7 Q. Thank you very much. Now, you explain that in the

8 course of your work you were frequently spending time at

9 detention centres, and the one you single out there is

10 Gough Barracks?

11 A. Yes, because that is closer to Enniskillen and the

12 Fermanagh people tended, generally speaking, to be

13 brought to Gough Barracks but occasionally to

14 Castlereagh.

15 Q. Just so that we have got a feel for this in the, let us

16 say, 15 to 20 years or so from the early 1980s, through

17 to the time of Rosemary Nelson's murder in 1999, did the

18 nature of the work in your practice change?

19 A. Well, yes, towards the -- I suppose towards the late 80s

20 and early 90s, the number of high profile cases in

21 Fermanagh just diminished for whatever reason, and I

22 wasn't as frequently employed in the detention centres

23 as the -- certainly after the -- certainly after the --

24 after about 1990.

25 Q. In your statement, at a later point you deal with

 

 

85

 

1 a possible connection between changes in what you were

2 experiencing in your practice and the ceasefires in

3 1994?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you think that also had a part to play?

6 A. Oh, indeed it did, yes.

7 Q. So the proportion of that type of high profile case

8 declined during the 1990s?

9 A. It did, yes.

10 Q. And so, so far as your practice is concerned, looking at

11 the specific time we are concerned with here, which is

12 between 1997 and 1999, during that time were there any

13 such cases on your books?

14 A. There may have been, but they certainly would have been

15 quite rare. I would still have had occasion to visit

16 the detention centres perhaps occasionally, but I don't

17 recall any cases that subsequently went to trial in

18 those years.

19 Q. Again, if you can help us on this, by the time that we

20 are concerned with, 1997 and 1999, can you roughly

21 estimate how many times you would have been at the

22 holding centres?

23 A. Very rarely.

24 Q. Very rarely?

25 A. Very rarely.

 

 

86

 

1 Q. And then in the earlier period, say during the 1980s,

2 can you put a figure on --

3 A. Oh, gosh, at times it would have been very frequent,

4 very regular.

5 Q. Once a week, twice a week?

6 A. Sometimes twice a week, yes. You see, in those days

7 a solicitor wasn't allowed -- you weren't allowed to

8 stay with your client. You were simply allowed to visit

9 after 48 hours. You weren't allowed to visit at all for

10 the first 48 hours. After that, you were then allowed

11 to visit occasionally while they were still detained in

12 the detention centre.

13 Q. But it is right, isn't it, that even when you were

14 allowed to visit, you weren't allowed in to be present

15 during interviews?

16 A. Oh, lord, not at all, never. Nor were you ever allowed

17 to see -- you never came in contact with the policemen

18 who were interviewing the clients. You saw the client

19 in a -- in a small, makeshift -- usually a portacabin or

20 something of that nature, in very insalubrious

21 surroundings, and you simply saw the client and that was

22 it, and the policemen who ushered you in and out of the

23 place.

24 Q. We know that in due course changes to those rules, to

25 the emergency legislation and the provisions under them,

 

 

87

 

1 were made. It seems from what you have been saying as

2 though by the stage those changes were made, you had

3 already stopped doing that sort of work?

4 A. That's right.

5 Q. Is that right?

6 A. That's right.

7 Q. So your experience is concerned with an earlier period

8 during which those rules were in full force?

9 A. That's right.

10 Q. Now, when you first started doing this work and when you

11 continued it during the 1980s, did the fact that your

12 firm represented clients in such cases, did that affect

13 the local perception or view of your firm?

14 A. Well, no, I don't think so because I was already -- when

15 I came to the law, I was already a high profile,

16 well-known face in the locality. It is a small area and

17 down our way people don't forget easily, and I was quite

18 well-known before becoming a lawyer and lots of people

19 would have said, "Well, I'm not surprised to see him

20 mixed up in that kind of work". That might have been

21 the attitude.

22 Q. Why do you think that they would have said that?

23 A. I had fairly well-known views that probably didn't go

24 down too well in Westminster.

25 Q. What sort of views were they? Political views?

 

 

88

 

1 A. Oh, yes, very strong political views.

2 Q. Nationalist views?

3 A. Yes, indeed, which I still hold, I am pleased to say.

4 Q. Do you think people would have associated you with the

5 sort of clients that you represented?

6 A. I have no doubt that some people did, no doubt at all.

7 But most people -- most reasonable people, I like to

8 think, took the view that as a lawyer you were simply

9 doing your job.

10 Q. But were you conscious that there were others who didn't

11 take that informed view?

12 A. Oh, indeed I was, very conscious.

13 Q. Was that something that was brought home to you whilst

14 you were doing that sort of case?

15 A. Oh, indeed.

16 Q. In what circumstances?

17 A. Well, in almost -- probably -- the vast majority of

18 times when you visited persons detained in the detention

19 centres you heard similar stories about what the

20 interviewing officers were telling the -- your clients.

21 They would usually start by saying: so, you are

22 represented Mr McManus. That proves to us -- you must

23 be in the IRA because he is well-known to be the IRA

24 solicitor. So we know now that you are in the IRA. If

25 you had asked for another solicitor, we might have given

 

 

89

 

1 you the benefit of the doubt, but the fact that you are

2 represented by McManus is proof to us and he is a so and

3 so and he is this and he is that and he is the other,

4 and we will be giving your name and his name to the

5 local battalion or the unit of the UVF or the UDA.

6 Usually the UVF and the UDA. The Red Hand Commando

7 didn't apparently exist down our way. So it was usually

8 those gentlemen who were mentioned, and there were

9 constant threats, which of course you were obliged to

10 take seriously because these people had proven that they

11 were well capable of carrying out the threats.

12 Q. Just to be clear, the sort of remarks you have made, the

13 sort of threats you have just talked about, these were

14 things said to clients in the holding centres?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Is that right? During the course of interviews?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And were then relayed to you by the clients afterwards,

19 presumably?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And --

22 A. And during -- when you visited, you invariably heard

23 these things, and if you talked to them subsequently,

24 they would of course say that when I went back after

25 your visit, I got another -- you know, recitation of the

 

 

90

 

1 same kind of abuse.

2 Q. And you say invariably. Do you mean literally every

3 single client?

4 A. No, but almost every single -- practically every single

5 client. I have no way of -- I think I said in my

6 statement 70 per cent plus, but it probably was even

7 more than that. But I can't be -- you know, I can't say

8 for certain, but certainly in most cases and most

9 certainly when the detained persons were reasonably

10 young, obviously they were more impressionable than the

11 older detained persons.

12 Q. Okay. Can I just ask you this: we have talked about the

13 holding centres and in your statement you say that the

14 relevant ones were Castlereagh and Gough Barracks?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Did you get the same sort of reports coming out of

17 ordinary police stations?

18 A. Well, they were never detained in ordinary police

19 stations.

20 Q. So clients accused of this type of offence would always

21 have been taken to the holding centres?

22 A. Always, yes, always.

23 Q. But what I wanted to ask you is whether these sorts of

24 reports came back to you from police stations?

25 A. No, because there you were dealing with -- you know, if

 

 

91

 

1 you like, the run of the mill crime people in for, you

2 know, offences not related to the Troubles.

3 Q. That is what I was getting at. So the clients who

4 reported these sorts of remarks to you were

5 universally -- is this right? -- those who were accused

6 of terrorist crimes?

7 A. I would say that is fair. There may have been the odd

8 occasion when something else -- but generally speaking,

9 I would say that is a fair representation, yes.

10 Q. Of the clients that you represented, where you say about

11 upwards of 70 per cent experienced or reported this,

12 what proportion of those were, as it were, the

13 Republican side?

14 A. Oh, practically all of them. I don't recall ever

15 representing anyone from the Loyalist side in that type

16 of case.

17 Q. I see. So in relation to your own experience then, you

18 can't assist us as to whether similar sort of remarks

19 were made to Loyalist --

20 A. No.

21 Q. -- prisoners?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Is this problem of the messages or threats, however you

24 describe it, coming back from the holding centres, is

25 this something you discussed with colleagues?

 

 

92

 

1 A. Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

2 Q. Did they include solicitors who represented alleged

3 Loyalist terrorists?

4 A. Yes, we would have -- the main meeting place would be

5 Crumlin Road courthouse where you would take coffee or

6 tea. Occasionally, you would discuss, but I don't

7 recall any of the solicitors acting for Loyalists. This

8 was never a regular feature of the conversation.

9 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you about, whether you can

10 remember a solicitor who had that type of client making

11 similar reports to you?

12 A. No, I honestly can't recall that.

13 Q. I would like to ask you, please, about an interview that

14 was conducted with you and some officers from the

15 Stevens Inquiry team, and it is at RNI-402-574

16 (displayed).

17 Just to introduce it and to remind you of it, it is

18 exhibited to your second statement, I think.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Yes, it is. This was an interview, wasn't it, between

21 you and some Stevens officers. Did it take place in

22 your office, can you remember?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And you will see the format of it -- it is all in

25 capitals --

 

 

93

 

1 A. Hm-mm.

2 Q. -- is a report by one of the officers of the discussion

3 that you had on that day, which was 14th October 1999.

4 A. Hm-mm.

5 Q. They came to speak to you, didn't they, about the

6 Irish Times article -- we will look at that in

7 a moment -- of May 1987, and the particular part of it

8 I want to look at at this stage occurs right at the

9 bottom of the page, where you are dealing with these

10 sorts of remarks and the threats and the effect that

11 they had upon you and your family.

12 Then do you see a sentence begins:

13 "Although dismissing ..."

14 Do you see that, four lines from the bottom?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. "Although dismissing any involvement with PIRA, he

17 claimed that the suggestions provided by the

18 interviewing officers made him subject of (a) ..."

19 Then this impression:

20 "... mini deviancy amplification spiral."

21 The first question I want to ask you is is that your

22 expression or his?

23 A. That must be his. I don't recognise those words.

24 Q. Thank you. You then see that the spiral is set out:

25 "He represents a client. The officers tell the

 

 

94

 

1 client that he is a PIRA man and make threats against

2 him thereby emphasising the label. The client believes

3 the threats and associates him with PIRA. The client

4 tells his friends and associates that McManus is PIRA.

5 Informants tell the security services that McManus is

6 PIRA. The security services target McManus as PIRA.

7 McManus becomes a target."

8 Now, that spiral, as he put it: is the substance of

9 it, if not the label, the way you saw it at the time?

10 A. Yes. That was his representation of our interview.

11 Those, I think I would be right in saying, are his

12 words, but yes, he captured the substance of the

13 interview, yes.

14 Q. So that the way you saw it -- and this is

15 October 1999 -- was that the accusations made about you,

16 the lawyer, to the client then get passed on in the way

17 that is set out in this statement with the result that

18 you, the lawyer, comes to be perceived as a member of,

19 in this case, PIRA, the paramilitary organisation, and

20 therefore becomes a target, as you put it, a subject of

21 interest for the security services.

22 So one of the concerns presumably you must have had

23 when these remarks came back to you is that you would

24 be, as a lawyer, embroiled in the security situation.

25 And you tell us in your statement how you dealt with

 

 

95

 

1 that. Presumably you were, at least at some level,

2 worried?

3 A. Yes. But I had had -- from a previous life I had had

4 an, you know, a near fatal encounter, and as a result of

5 that, I operated at a fairly high level of intensity.

6 For example, as I think I say in my statement,

7 I developed a huge memory for numbers of cars. Every

8 car behind me and every car meeting me, I would notice

9 the number plate and store that as a precaution

10 against -- because the people who shot me were driving

11 behind me and I wasn't paying any particular attention

12 to them.

13 I, therefore, was probably more alert to that kind

14 of thing than, you know, perhaps many of my colleagues

15 at that time, and you would always -- as a matter of

16 course you would always, when you approached your car,

17 you would probably do a little check on it before you

18 got into it and that kind of thing. Nevertheless, no

19 matter what you did, you had to park your car somewhere

20 during the working day and when you went back to it

21 there was -- especially on the dark evenings, there was

22 always the possibility that someone had interfered with

23 it in the meantime.

24 At the end of the day, you had to decide whether you

25 were going to live your life in some kind of normalcy,

 

 

96

 

1 or be obsessed by this kind of thing. And I like to

2 think I was maybe blessed with being a little relaxed

3 about that sort of thing and felt, well, you know, if

4 your number is on something somewhere, there is not an

5 awful lot at the end of the day you can do about it.

6 Q. Your attitude, as far as I understand it from your

7 statement, is you decided that you just had to get on

8 with your job?

9 A. That is right.

10 Q. But just to clarify something you have hinted at, your

11 particular history is that you were shot in 1973?

12 A. Yes, that is right.

13 Q. And you were then an MP?

14 A. That is right.

15 Q. And as I understand it, were you in Northern Ireland at

16 the time?

17 A. Oh, yes.

18 Q. Yes. And you were wounded --

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. -- in the shooting, but obviously you survived?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. That, as you have indicated, gave you an insight,

23 presumably a fairly unusual insight for most lawyers,

24 into the reality of violence?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. But the attitude that you took at the end of it, namely

2 that this was something you had to deal with and carry

3 on doing your job, was that an attitude, as far as you

4 were aware, shared by a number of your colleagues?

5 A. Oh, gosh, yes, invariably.

6 Q. The sense one gets is that they accepted that this was

7 part of the territory?

8 A. Indeed.

9 Q. It was par for the course?

10 A. That is right.

11 Q. So far as the comments coming back to you are concerned,

12 you deal with this in a little more detail in

13 paragraph 9 of your statement at RNI-813-217

14 (displayed), and you say there that:

15 "Almost all of my clients would have reported

16 comments of this type to me at one time or another if

17 they had been held in one of the detention centres. All

18 of the comments that were reported to me were of a very

19 similar nature."

20 Then you go on to discuss the question of what that

21 meant in terms of the credibility of the complaints.

22 Presumably there were two options here -- there may

23 have been more, but there were two obvious ones: one,

24 this was a standard tactic, presumably designed to

25 undermine confidence in the police?

 

 

98

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Perhaps to afford a defendant an angle, a defence even,

3 in any criminal trial, possibly even to form a platform

4 for a civil complaint, an assault, for example. So that

5 was, as it were, one side of it.

6 But equally, the other -- in other words that the

7 whole thing was fabricated and deliberately?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. But on the other hand, as far as I can see, you viewed

10 it as possible that the consistency with which these

11 comments were reported suggested that it really was

12 happening?

13 A. Oh, yes. You have to come down on one side of the

14 argument or the other. The police had one response:

15 a blanket denial that any such thing would take place or

16 be tolerated by, you know, the ever-watchful higher

17 command of the police. That was the one, and of course

18 the Unionist establishment would quite agree that this

19 was just Republican propaganda. And you listened to

20 both sides; you listened to the people and the type of

21 people that were repeating those these stories and you

22 came to a conclusion that it was one or the other. And

23 I had no difficulty whatever in identifying that, in my

24 opinion, these were stories that -- these guys coming

25 back to me were repeating to me what the police were

 

 

99

 

1 saying to them.

2 Q. And that was based, was it, on your assessment of what

3 they said and what you knew about them as clients?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. I infer at least from this paragraph that it was at

6 least partly influenced by the sheer number?

7 A. That is right.

8 Q. And the consistency within that large number?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. But you allow, don't you, that there may have been some

11 truth on the other side?

12 A. Oh, well, I mean, I took the view that what I was

13 hearing was the truth. I am capable of being deceived

14 like anybody else, but I don't think I was.

15 Q. Did you ever think in relation to any particular client,

16 "I don't believe him"?

17 A. No, but I often thought, well, this version is probably

18 not losing anything in the telling. But generally

19 speaking, I am bound to say that I was satisfied that

20 what I was hearing was substantially the truth.

21 Q. Were you alert as a lawyer to the possibility of

22 over exaggeration?

23 A. Oh, aye.

24 Q. If you were being asked, for example, by a client to

25 make a complaint or whether he should make a complaint,

 

 

100

 

1 presumably that was something you would have to

2 weigh up?

3 A. Yes. Not very carefully, because if you are asked as

4 a lawyer to make a complaint, you carry out your

5 client's instructions. It is very clear: you have an

6 obligation to proceed and to do what you have been

7 instructed to do.

8 Q. Now, at the time we are looking at, when you were

9 particularly involved in this sort of work, namely the

10 1980s, I think it is right that the complaints system at

11 that stage was the system that pre-dated the ICPC. Is

12 that right?

13 A. That is right; there wasn't a complaints system.

14 Q. That is what I was going to ask you. There was no

15 formal structure in the same way?

16 A. No.

17 Q. As I think we have understood it from the papers, that

18 new system, the ICPC system, came in in the late 1980s.

19 Is that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. When you made a complaint, you tell us in paragraph 10,

22 the same page, RNI-813-217 (displayed), that you would

23 do so by way of what you call a very standard letter?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. I am just interested to know what sort of letter is

 

 

101

 

1 that?

2 A. You outline -- when you have written, you know, five or

3 six of them, or 10 or 12 of them, they become -- there

4 were invariably the same insults, the same threats, the

5 same abuse was contained in practically all of the

6 complaints that I received from clients, and you wrote

7 a standard type of letter containing:

8 "My client was, during the interview --"

9 You would usually find out the interview, which

10 interview it was, when it started, how many interviews

11 it continued during and was is it one of the

12 interviewing officers or both of them, and how was it --

13 was there a good cop, bad cop routine or were just both

14 of them involved in this, and the letters became fairly

15 standard.

16 Q. Can I just ask you about that because the sorts of

17 comments passed back to you that we have focused on,

18 because they are the witnesses relevant to us here, are

19 those where the clients reports comments made about you?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. About the lawyer?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now, in those sorts of cases, in a sense the person with

24 the just cause or the complaint would be you?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. So when you say in paragraph 10 that you would make

2 a complaint by way of a very standard letter, was it for

3 cases like that?

4 A. Yes. Well, yes, occasionally you would put in, you

5 know, the lawyer was -- you know, the recipient of abuse

6 as well, but the concentration would be on the client.

7 Q. Because in the ordinary course, one can expect

8 a complaint to arise for the client, for instance, if he

9 was abused?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And certainly physically abused or if he was in any

12 other way mistreated, and one can imagine him then

13 launching such a complaint perhaps through his lawyer.

14 So these complaints you are referring to in

15 paragraph 10 are the sort of complaints arising from

16 comments about you. Is that right?

17 A. No, no, no, they are arising about the threats that were

18 made -- mostly about the client and also about the --

19 invariably about the abuse that was meted out to the

20 client during the interrogation process.

21 Q. So anything said about the lawyer would, as it were, be

22 secondary and would be just thrown in at the end?

23 A. It would be thrown in.

24 Q. So the complaint would very much be the client's

25 complaint?

 

 

103

 

1 A. That is right.

2 Q. Thank you very much.

3 Now, so far as the comments themselves are

4 concerned, you talk about this in paragraph 7 and 8, and

5 you have already mentioned to us the response at the

6 time would have been a blanket denial; that is the

7 response from the police. You said that earlier?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. But in this paragraph you give us a rather more detailed

10 insight into the matter by reference to discussions you

11 had with a former police officer who lives locally?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And can you help us with when such a conversation may

14 have taken place?

15 A. This particular conversation has taken place in fact

16 many times.

17 Q. Many times?

18 A. Because the man is still hale and hearty, and I run into

19 him in the course of my business quite often in fact,

20 and frequently I challenge him on this point and he has

21 never admitted it, but equally he has never gone to any

22 great lengths to deny it. And you get a smile and

23 a shrug of the shoulders as much as if to say, "Well, we

24 all had to do what we had to do".

25 And he never specifically denied it because there is

 

 

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1 not a great deal of point, because I knew he was there

2 and I knew he was -- what he was capable of, because too

3 many people told me of the sort of things that he --

4 after visiting these places for a number of times, you

5 got to know the characters involved, because you saw

6 them subsequently in court cases. And from the

7 descriptions that the clients gave you, you were able to

8 identify them and their particular modus operandi and

9 whether -- you know, the physical types or the

10 psychological types who preyed on either the body or the

11 mind of the client.

12 You got to recognise all these fellows, because

13 there weren't that many of them and he was a detective

14 sergeant from an early stage of this operation, which

15 was -- which men that he was involved in -- he was a --

16 I say he was a detective, but in fact he was a detective

17 sergeant and would have been the lead man in an awful

18 lot of cases and appeared to be involved in most of the

19 cases that I was involved in. And I knew his -- I knew

20 how he operated.

21 We have had, as I say, subsequently, several

22 conversations since, but I am not prepared at this stage

23 to identify who he is because I don't believe at the end

24 of the day that would be the correct thing to do.

25 Q. I understand. But you do say in your paragraph 5, two

 

 

105

 

1 pages back, RNI-813-216 (displayed), that certainly your

2 experience or understanding was that the comments were

3 invariably made by the interviewing officers who were

4 nearly always detective constables or detective

5 sergeants?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So that seems to fit the picture that you have just

8 portrayed, doesn't it?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. As to why these comments were made? What you suggest in

11 your statement at paragraph 8 was that they were made

12 purely to intimidate both the client and his lawyer?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Now, that, one has to infer, comes not, again, from

15 something that anybody has admitted to you but from

16 inferences that you yourself have drawn?

17 A. Oh, yes, from what the clients have told me and from the

18 attitude -- from the clearly displayed attitude of the

19 police when you encountered them at subsequent trials.

20 I mean, the hostility was palpable.

21 Q. One of the questions that occurs as a result of that is

22 whether you ever came across a case where that type of

23 intimidation succeeded?

24 A. No, I don't believe -- I don't believe I know of any

25 lawyer who dropped out because of that, no.

 

 

106

 

1 Q. So if it was a tactic in relation to the lawyer, it was

2 an unsuccessful one?

3 A. It was, fortunately, yes.

4 Q. Did you ever know of a case where it was successful in

5 relation to the client?

6 A. Oh, I have no doubt that it was successful in many

7 cases, where young men were, you know, intimidated and

8 forced into making, you know -- forced into making

9 statements that they otherwise most certainly would not

10 have made. And of course, that is to leave out -- and

11 I left out of my statement because I didn't think it was

12 particularly relevant to the purposes of this Inquiry --

13 the whole business of, as we knew it at the time, of

14 verballing the clients.

15 These policemen were adept at composing alleged

16 confessions. It had been -- it was an art form.

17 Q. Was it your view that these sorts of comments were made

18 in order to undermine the relationship between solicitor

19 and client?

20 A. Oh, I think so. A very mistaken view, but I think that

21 was probably the purpose also.

22 Q. So far as the question of your own attitude to it is

23 concerned, we have discussed your overall view that you

24 needed to carry on with your work, this was just

25 something you had to deal with, and you suggest in fact

 

 

107

 

1 in your statement at paragraph 4 that after the first 40

2 or 50 times you became immune to it, to hearing these

3 sorts of comments?

4 A. Yes, well, perhaps immune is a little

5 self-congratulatory, but you certainly got -- you

6 certainly got very used to it. And it was the same, you

7 know, tiresome old story that was, you know, irritating

8 and annoying, but you came to expect it, so to say.

9 Q. But you also say in your statement, slightly later in

10 paragraph 6, that you regarded the comments as being

11 very threatening?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And also that they may some day be carried out?

14 A. Yes, of course, yes.

15 Q. Now, in context it wasn't entirely clear to me at least

16 whether you meant there carried out a threat on you or

17 on the client?

18 A. I mean on me. That is a personal reflection, yes.

19 Q. So you say on the one hand you became immune to them,

20 but on the other that there were obviously comments that

21 you regarded as very threatening?

22 A. Oh, yes.

23 Q. And which, as I understand it, you are saying led you to

24 fear that you would be targeted and the threats in that

25 sense would be carried out?

 

 

108

 

1 A. Yes, that is why I mentioned earlier that you were

2 always careful. You took sensible precautions if you

3 could, but you couldn't allow it to dominate your

4 day-to-day life, you just had to get on with it at the

5 same time.

6 Q. So far as what else you might do about these threats is

7 concerned, you touch in your statement on the question

8 of complaints, and having told us the way you started

9 them, i.e. by sending a very standard letter, I think it

10 is right that your evidence is that you never got

11 a proper response to any of the complaints?

12 A. No.

13 Q. You say in terms:

14 "Occasionally, I got an acknowledgment but never

15 a full response."

16 A. That is my recollection, yes.

17 Q. And it follows, therefore, does it, that you were never

18 told that your complaint had been investigated and

19 substantiated? You were never informed that any

20 disciplinary action had been taken?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Still less that any criminal proceedings against an

23 officer had been launched?

24 A. Correct.

25 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of the detail of that, you

 

 

109

 

1 tell us in paragraph 10 that all your files prior to

2 1990 have been burnt, but that you think at some point

3 you took a load of letters down to the Department of

4 Foreign Affairs in Dublin?

5 A. That is right. I was asked to accompany somebody who

6 was attempting to compile a case to put to the Minister

7 for Foreign Affairs in the south of Ireland, and

8 I gathered together a number of letters and brought them

9 with me and left them with the Department of Foreign

10 Affairs, yes.

11 Q. Now, before we go into that in a little more detail, in

12 relation to these, what I am going to call early

13 complaints, i.e. before the new ICPC system came in, did

14 you ever take any steps to pursue them, to follow

15 them up?

16 A. In -- follow them up in what respect?

17 Q. You have told us you would launch the very standard

18 letter?

19 A. That is right.

20 Q. And you have told us that in response you got, if you

21 were lucky, an acknowledgment but nothing else?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. Did you chase up any of the complaints?

24 A. There was no method of chasing up the complaint except

25 to write another letter, which would presumably meet

 

 

110

 

1 with a similar response. There was no system -- there

2 was nothing else one could do.

3 Q. Did you ever test the presumption by sending a second

4 letter?

5 A. I honestly can't give you an honest answer to that.

6 Q. Do you think you may have done in any case?

7 A. I possibly did but I can't be certain.

8 Q. Did you ever get, as it were, a different net result?

9 A. No, I never got a result of any kind.

10 Q. Now, the reference you make to the Department of Foreign

11 Affairs in Dublin, did you raise this concern with the

12 Irish Government during the period we are now talking

13 about, which is the 1980s?

14 A. Yes, I believe I did, but it would also have included

15 complaints against the behaviour of the, you know, the

16 police and the Army in my area, as well as -- towards

17 the general populace as well as towards detained

18 persons. It would have been, you know -- it would have

19 covered a fairly broad spectrum.

20 Q. Can I ask you: is this something that you did at any

21 other point of your practice; in other words, to pray in

22 aid the assistance or involvement of the Irish

23 Government?

24 A. Towards the end -- towards the end of the process, when

25 complaints came in certainly about Army behaviour

 

 

111

 

1 towards the -- or police behaviour towards the general

2 public, I developed, like I am sure many of my

3 colleagues, a system whereby you would send a letter to

4 the police or the military commander. You would send it

5 to the secretary, you would send it to the Department of

6 Foreign Affairs and to British Irish Rights Watch or

7 Amnesty International, to a variety of bodies that might

8 assist in an investigation of some kind.

9 Q. And can you help us with what sort of period we are

10 talking about? Are we talking about the 1980s, the

11 1990s?

12 A. No, we are talking about a good deal later, certainly

13 the 90s, yes. There weren't -- I don't recall ever

14 doing that about detained persons.

15 Q. So these were more general complaints?

16 A. Yes, later --

17 Q. Later on, you think in the 1990s?

18 A. Yes, and at various times, because -- you got two types

19 of complaints: The ones when you went to visit detained

20 persons, and then from the general public who were

21 detained at checkpoints or standard fixed checkpoints or

22 Army checkpoints and were detained and abused, and

23 whatever.

24 Huge numbers of those also came in and they had to

25 be dealt with in some way, and that was the way that we

 

 

112

 

1 usually handled them.

2 Q. So the approach was -- so I am clear about this -- that

3 you would take the matter up with the police or the

4 Army, but also with politicians in Northern Ireland,

5 with the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin and

6 with the NGOs?

7 A. Yes, that would be the complaints against the Army --

8 against the civilian population.

9 Q. And I think you said that this was an approach that was

10 undertaken not just by you but by some of your

11 colleagues as well?

12 A. Yes, fairly -- I would have thought a fairly standard

13 kind of thing that --

14 Q. What was the plan?

15 A. There wasn't a plan, because where else -- if somebody

16 is abused by the Army, you are stopped -- you are

17 a young fellow, 18 or 19, you are stopped maybe on the

18 main street of the town that I practise in, Lisnaskea,

19 put up against the wall, spread-eagled and kept there for

20 half an hour, an hour, in full view of the populace, and

21 he comes in and he complains to you about that. He

22 wants something done about it. What can you, what can

23 a lawyer do about it?

24 A lawyer can record it, write letters about it and

25 attempt to get somebody somewhere perhaps to take an

 

 

113

 

1 interest in the matter, because the notion of pursuing

2 some kind of a civil claim in those circumstances would

3 be, you know, an absolute waste of time.

4 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you: so these were letters

5 sent not as, as it were, an extra to a civil claim?

6 A. No.

7 Q. I mean, the extent of what you did was to send the

8 letters?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Precisely because you couldn't actually advise that

11 there was a form of conventional legal redress?

12 A. No, not unless there was evidence of -- you know, actual

13 assault, some injury done, because the people involved

14 usually had no means, you wouldn't have a hope of

15 getting Legal Aid. You knew that.

16 So you didn't pursue that issue, and therefore,

17 there was no legal redress at all for these young

18 fellows, usually young fellows, and all you could do was

19 make complaints to various bodies.

20 Q. You then take the matter on in paragraph 11 to the next

21 stage when the ICPC system was introduced -- and I think

22 we have agreed that that was in the late 1980s -- and

23 you have these short and pithy comments to make about

24 it?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

114

 

1 Q. "The procedure was a waste of time and everyone lost

2 confidence in it."

3 Now, just taking them both: did you approach it

4 initially with hope and confidence?

5 A. No, I have to say that I didn't.

6 Q. So to say of yourself that you lost confidence is

7 slightly inaccurate; you never had any confidence in the

8 new system?

9 A. Well, I suppose one has to give something a chance to

10 see if it works, but I realised very quickly that, you

11 know, that it was more PR than anything else.

12 Q. What were your concerns or criticisms of the new system?

13 A. Because the police were investigating themselves: the

14 guys perpetrating the crimes were investigating

15 themselves. So how on earth could you have confidence

16 in a system like that?

17 Q. You say also in this paragraph that you had one person's

18 word against the other, or normally there would be one

19 person against perhaps two interviewing officers?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Is that right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. The two sides' positions were polarised and this is what

24 you have indicated before: blanket allegations on one

25 side, blanket denials on the other. Is that right?

 

 

115

 

1 A. That's right.

2 Q. And it was, as you put it, very hard to prove in those

3 circumstances without some other evidence.

4 Now, if that was the view you held at the time, then

5 presumably you didn't make many complaints under the new

6 system?

7 A. Oh, yes, we did, because if we were asked to, you did,

8 of course you did. If the client wanted a complaint to

9 be made, then a complaint was made. But quite

10 frequently they would go and do it themselves in any

11 event.

12 Q. They would make a complaint themselves?

13 A. Oh, yes.

14 Q. It looks, though, as though, so far as your clients were

15 concerned, you were exercising some form of screening or

16 winnowing out, because you say in paragraph 12, do you

17 see:

18 "... I would only make a complaint if my client

19 could provide a very descriptive account of what the

20 detective looked like, or if my client disclosed a new

21 variant on the abuse and threats that were being used by

22 the police"?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. So the first of those, I understand -- so you were

25 saying to it a client, "Can you give me a detailed

 

 

116

 

1 physical description of the interviewing officer?" And

2 it looks as though your approach was if he could, then

3 it was worth making a complaint?

4 A. You see, if he couldn't, then the complaint wasn't --

5 didn't really hold -- didn't really hold water, because

6 if a detained person says I was abused by a police

7 officer when I was being interviewed, and if he couldn't

8 describe the police officer reasonably accurately,

9 physically, well -- I mean, the credibility of the

10 complaint was not very high in any event.

11 Q. That is what I was going to suggest to you. This isn't

12 just a question of whether the system worked or not,

13 this is a question of you assessing whether the

14 complaint was credible?

15 A. Well, yes, because --

16 Q. If he couldn't give you a description, then his

17 complaint lacked credibility?

18 A. Yes, of course, and you would have to suspect that, you

19 know, that he hadn't thought very -- he either was

20 making it up or he hadn't thought very carefully

21 about it.

22 Q. The second type of case you talk about, which is the new

23 variant case, that, if you don't mind me saying so,

24 suggests that you were approaching this rather as

25 a scientist might and that in order to persuade you to

 

 

117

 

1 make a complaint, your client would have to produce

2 something new. Is that right?

3 A. I see how it is open to that interpretation, yes, but

4 what I was probably getting at there was you got so used

5 to the old -- the same old threats that I suppose your

6 interest was excited if somebody came up with a new --

7 a new form of threat. You would perk up and say, "I

8 haven't heard that before". That is of interest.

9 Q. Presumably you were at least open to an aggrieved client

10 who had the misfortune to have heard a very, very

11 familiar litany of abuse?

12 A. Of course, yes.

13 Q. And you wouldn't prevent him from registering

14 a complaint in the circumstances?

15 A. No, no, but you would be much more interested in

16 something that was a little new.

17 Q. Now, you say in paragraph 11 again, that in retrospect

18 you should probably have written to complain every time

19 this type of abuse was disclosed. So I infer from that

20 that you obviously did not; you only complained in some

21 of the cases --

22 A. Yes, that is probably correct. And I also regret now

23 that I didn't preserve these things for posterity, if

24 for no other reason. But you have never had the

25 ignominy of working in an ordinary solicitor's office

 

 

118

 

1 and you probably don't have to worry about things like

2 storage space and so on. And there comes a time when

3 you either hang on to these things or you get rid of

4 them, and I was forced by lack of space to dispose of

5 huge numbers of files and they were all incinerated,

6 including most of -- all of these letters,

7 unfortunately.

8 Q. And taking this in the round then, the new system, you

9 had no faith in it. Is that right?

10 A. That is right.

11 Q. And that was the system, as we know, that was still in

12 force at the time of Rosemary Nelson's murder?

13 A. That is right. I don't believe -- I don't know, but I

14 don't know of any -- I am not aware of any statistics

15 under which policemen were disciplined or reprimanded or

16 suspended or whatever under this system. I am certainly

17 personally not aware of any outcome from any of the

18 complaints that I made.

19 Q. But obviously you are not privy to or aware of the

20 overall statistics?

21 A. No, no, of course not.

22 Q. Of course, if you did have that attitude to the system,

23 then it is likely, isn't it, that it would have passed

24 on. You would have made it known to the clients

25 themselves?

 

 

119

 

1 A. No, not necessarily. If a client wanted to complain, I

2 would of course complain, but I would have probably said

3 to him, "Don't hold your breath here and expect any

4 exciting outcome from this process".

5 Q. Because do you remember that one of the concerns

6 expressed at the time, indeed set out in the Hayes

7 Report, which if you remember led to the Police

8 Ombudsman's office, the replacement for this system, one

9 of the concerns expressed is that because lawyers

10 weren't prepared to put faith in the system, then the

11 system didn't get used in the way that it should have

12 been. And as a result, that increased the general lack

13 of confidence in the system.

14 Do you think with hindsight that that is a fair

15 comment?

16 A. Well, I would be reluctant to criticise Mr Hayes, but I

17 think he is placing too much emphasis on that.

18 I believe the system was fundamentally flawed from

19 the beginning, and it -- it was never designed to

20 actually be an investigative system. It was designed

21 to -- as a -- I said it earlier, principally as a PR

22 exercise to make the police look a little better, and it

23 didn't have any teeth.

24 In fairness to the investigating officer, if you

25 wanted to place yourself in his position for a moment,

 

 

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1 he is asked to investigate a complaint of assault

2 against one of his colleagues and he interviews the

3 young fellow, who's probably not very bright and can't

4 give a very cohesive account of what happened, and he

5 then goes and sympathetically, naturally, interviews his

6 colleague, who is a professional witness. And I mean,

7 when you weigh the two sides, it is not easy to see that

8 it was, you know -- it was bound to fail.

9 Q. So far as the complaints you did make under the ICPC

10 system are concerned, can you now remember how far any

11 of them got within the system?

12 A. They would -- what happened invariably was if there was

13 a court case, after the court case, the fellow from the

14 complaints department came along afterwards and asked

15 the client did he wish to -- you know, did he wish to

16 pursue the complaint that had already been made.

17 Q. Yes. And?

18 A. And in many cases they said, yes, sure I do and they

19 would then eventually be written to by the

20 Chief Constable, or somebody on behalf the

21 Chief Constable, to say that your complaint has been

22 investigated and nothing has been found.

23 Q. Some of them pursued the matter to the end of the

24 process?

25 A. Many of them pursued the matter to the end.

 

 

121

 

1 Q. But as far as you can remember, the result was always

2 the same?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. In paragraph 13, which is the final paragraph on this

5 topic, you suggest that there came a moment, which you

6 date in the early 1990s, at which you say the level of

7 abuse gradually petered out?

8 A. Hm-mm.

9 Q. And you then offer an explanation, not that the police

10 had stopped making the comments, but rather because of

11 the changes in your practice that you have explained

12 to us?

13 A. Yes, yes, there were less people being arrested in

14 Fermanagh. It is as simple as that, really.

15 Q. So far as the changes in the emergency legislation that

16 I mentioned earlier are concerned, particularly the

17 audio and video --

18 A. You didn't mention that to me. You may have mentioned

19 that to somebody else.

20 Q. I am sorry. Do you remember we talked about the changes

21 in the emergency legislation?

22 A. Sorry, yes, where a solicitor was allowed to be present,

23 yes.

24 Q. Exactly. Two that came in just before and at the time,

25 indeed, of Rosemary Nelson's murder were video and audio

 

 

122

 

1 recording was brought into the holding centres.

2 Now, am I right in thinking, based on what you said

3 earlier, that your own practice had no experience of the

4 effect of those changes?

5 A. That's right.

6 Q. So you can't assist us on that?

7 A. No.

8 Q. I am about to move on to another topic. Is that

9 a convenient moment?

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly.

11 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you very much.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: We will break off for 10 minutes, a couple of

13 minutes before 3 o'clock, Mr McManus.

14 (2.47 pm)

15 (Short break)

16 (3.02 pm)

17 MR PHILLIPS: Now, Mr McManus, looking at paragraph 22 of

18 your statement, at RNI-813-221 (displayed), you say that

19 after you were shot, you received a level of personal

20 protection?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And just to remind everybody of the timing on this, you

23 have explained you were shot in 1973, when you were

24 an MP?

25 A. That's right.

 

 

123

 

1 Q. You didn't qualify as a lawyer until 1978?

2 A. That's right.

3 Q. Thank you. And you say that the level of protection was

4 installed by the NIO despite the fact that you did not

5 ask for protection?

6 A. That's right.

7 Q. Is that right?

8 A. That's right.

9 Q. So that you were simply informed, were you, that it was

10 to be installed?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And a local superintendent came to assess your house?

13 A. Yes, he -- he arrived very shortly after that and said

14 that he had made -- I think he said he had made contact

15 with the relevant body and that protection would be

16 offered, and I didn't object to it. And a fellow came

17 from the Northern Ireland Office and surveyed the house

18 and installed -- I can't remember the name of the thing

19 on the windows, bullet proof glass on the windows and

20 a hooter outside the front door. If you pulled the

21 chain, which I confess I did on a number of people on

22 occasion -- and it really would frighten the daylights

23 out of you, because it was right above your head and was

24 unexpected. There was a string in various parts of the

25 house and you could pull this thing so if somebody with

 

 

124

 

1 ill intent came to the front door and you were able to

2 see them, you could pull this hooter and frighten them.

3 That was the level of the protection. I was also

4 offered a personal protection firearm.

5 Q. Did you accept that?

6 A. I did.

7 Q. And you say that you think the protection was offered

8 because you were an MP?

9 A. That's right, yes.

10 Q. Presumably it might also have something to do with the

11 fact that you had just been shot?

12 A. It was after I was shot.

13 Q. Exactly. You also say to us in paragraph 22 that you

14 weren't aware of any lawyer who received protection of

15 this level, and it is not something you discussed with

16 any of your colleagues?

17 A. No, I don't know of -- I don't know of any of my

18 colleagues, no, who ever looked for this kind of

19 protection.

20 Q. This, as you have explained, happened after you were

21 shot in 1973. Is it something you thought about again

22 in the light of the comments being relayed back to you

23 from your clients?

24 A. No.

25 Q. No?

 

 

125

 

1 A. Not really, no.

2 Q. Why was that?

3 A. I am not really sure, because it would make no -- it

4 would really make no real sense, because every day you

5 have to go from your house to your office and the last

6 thing you wanted around an office was some visible sign

7 of protection. It wouldn't be very good for business

8 for a start, and it would be impractical. I really

9 don't see what kind of protection could have been

10 offered in those circumstances.

11 Now, that is not to say that the situation that

12 Anne Cadwallader, for example, explained this morning --

13 you know, the level of threat against Rosemary Nelson

14 was clearly of an entirely different magnitude to the

15 type of threat that I had been subjected to, because it

16 was very real, immediate and persistent in -- obviously

17 in her case --

18 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, but what are the differences

19 that you see?

20 A. She was constantly in the limelight because of --

21 because, principally, of Garvaghy Road. I mean,

22 I thought Ms Cadwallader explained it very well, the

23 level of intensity and tension that was generated by the

24 whole Drumcree and Garvaghy Road business. And I mean,

25 it was constantly in the headlines, and because she

 

 

126

 

1 represented them she was constantly in the limelight and

2 it was obvious that there was a very, very, very real

3 threat -- I am trying to think of the term that the

4 Americans use: Clear and present danger, yes.

5 Q. Was that your view of things at the time or is that

6 something you have thought about since her murder?

7 A. That would have been my view -- that certainly would

8 have been my view at the time, because I could draw on

9 my, you know, my own personal experience from previous

10 times, yes.

11 Q. Was there any other lawyer in Northern Ireland at the

12 time who was in the limelight in that way?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Not that you are aware of?

15 A. No, not that I am aware of. Some of my colleagues may

16 take exception to that, but -- no, she was by far the

17 most prominent.

18 Q. And, again, in your view, it was the Garvaghy Road case

19 that gave her this prominence?

20 A. Absolutely, because you would have needed to have lived

21 in Northern Ireland at the time to have any idea at all

22 of the amount of tension that was generated by, you

23 know, the Drumcree business. And Ms Cadwallader is so

24 correct when she says that as the marching season

25 approached, you know, the rise in the tension was

 

 

127

 

1 palpable. You could almost reach out and feel it, if

2 you want to be very dramatic about it, and she was

3 clearly an exceptional case.

4 Q. So far as your own position is concerned, and the

5 question of security, you have already mentioned the

6 business of checking your car.

7 Now, is this something that you did as a matter of

8 habit during the 70s?

9 A. From -- yes, from my previous experience, yes.

10 Q. And then continued that, did you, during the 1980s?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. When you worked as a lawyer?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And did it continue into the 1990s?

15 A. Yes, it did.

16 Q. So as far as you were concerned, that was a standard

17 precaution?

18 A. Yes, it was. And for example, after the -- you know,

19 before the shooting incident, I never bothered to put my

20 car into the garage at night, but afterwards, my wife

21 insisted on it. It was a sensible thing to do. It was

22 always, invariably, put out of sight when one arrived

23 home, and those kind of ordinary achievable precautions

24 you take automatically.

25 Q. So we have discussed two: checking the car and then

 

 

128

 

1 keeping it in the garage.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And you describe in paragraph 21 at RNI-813-220

4 (displayed), at the bottom of the page, a particular

5 incident involving a journey and what appears to have

6 been a device which had not ignited?

7 A. That is right.

8 Q. Can you remember the date of that?

9 A. That was in -- very likely -- it was probably 1977,

10 almost certainly 1977.

11 Q. So before you qualified as a lawyer, in fact?

12 A. Yes, during my time of training as a lawyer.

13 Q. So that dates back to your past life, if I can put it

14 that way?

15 A. I was an apprentice solicitor at the time of this

16 incident, yes.

17 Q. You were an ex-MP and an apprentice solicitor?

18 A. Yes. The target of the bomb I don't think was

19 necessarily me, it was the solicitor to whom I was

20 apprenticed probably.

21 Q. Whose name has been redacted in this statement?

22 A. That is right.

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. But possibly two for the price of one would have been

25 a good day, yes.

 

 

129

 

1 Q. Indeed. But presumably that increased your own

2 awareness of the need to be careful around your own car?

3 A. That's right.

4 Q. Thank you. Now, we have just been talking about your

5 own experiences and the way you took basic precautions.

6 Can I now broaden it out and ask you some questions

7 about solicitors in Northern Ireland generally? Can we

8 look, please, first at RNI-401-002 (displayed).

9 This is the piece in the Irish Times. We can see

10 the date there: 27th May 1987. Do you see that?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. This was published, therefore, in accordance with your

13 chronology during the period, the 1980s, when you had

14 clients detained in the holding centres, and it is

15 a familiar article to those in this chamber; we have

16 seen it before. But it was prompted, wasn't it, by

17 14 lawyers doing work of this kind?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And we see your name there amongst them, don't we? In

20 brackets after it, it says Enniskillen?

21 A. That's right.

22 Q. Do you remember, as it were, putting your name to this

23 initiative?

24 A. Yes, I do.

25 Q. What was the point of it?

 

 

130

 

1 A. I am not -- it obviously was prompted by the murder

2 Dermot Hackett, and I think the credit for it should go

3 to Mr Patrick Fahy who I think perhaps represented the

4 deceased man. But in any event, my recollection is that

5 he, in conversations with me and with others, said, you

6 know, really, as lawyers we have an obligation to speak

7 out against this kind of thing and make our views known

8 publicly. That is the genesis of the article, to the

9 best of my recollection.

10 Q. And you see in the third paragraph, we have there

11 various quotations?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Comments said to have been made by RUC detectives about

14 the solicitors, referring them to as IRA men, murderers

15 and terrorists?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And the thrust of it appears to be in the fifth

18 paragraph, beginning:

19 "They maintain their willingness to defend such

20 cases is resented by the security forces who smear them

21 as IRA men and tell people asking for them that it

22 confirms their guilt."

23 Just to be clear, that sounds as though it chimes

24 exactly with what you were saying to us earlier?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

131

 

1 Q. And as far as you remember, what was the effect or

2 impact of this article?

3 A. I am not aware that there was any impact other than

4 presumably a lot of people read it. But I don't recall

5 anybody coming to see me as a result and saying, you

6 know, there is a serious matter here, can we investigate

7 this, or there was certainly no official response.

8 Q. We know that it was one of the things that led to your

9 being visited by the Stevens team?

10 A. Subsequently, yes.

11 Q. But that was, as we have seen, in October 1999, some

12 12 years later. Can you put your finger on any change

13 that happened nearer the time in 1987?

14 A. No, I think as far as the police were concerned, or the

15 establishment up here, they didn't take a blind bit of

16 notice of it.

17 Q. Now, if we then move on to another article, at

18 RNI-115-341 (displayed), this one is entitled "Equal

19 protection under the law". If we turn over, please, to

20 RNI-115-342 (displayed), that is the end of the piece.

21 But on the next page, RNI-115-343 (displayed), you will

22 see the lawyers signing up to this one.

23 Now, your name is not amongst them?

24 A. No, I am surprised at that.

25 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you: were you asked to sign

 

 

132

 

1 up to this?

2 A. I must have been asked because if I had, I would most

3 certainly have agreed.

4 Q. Take this as shortly as possible: you are obviously, now

5 at any rate, familiar with the text of it?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And did it fairly reflect your own views as at this

8 stage, which is about, I think, 10 years later -- I

9 think this was 1998?

10 A. Oh, yes, I agree entirely with the contents.

11 Q. So had you been asked, you would have signed up to this

12 one as well?

13 A. Absolutely, and I am disappointed that my name doesn't

14 appear there, however.

15 Q. Now, looking then further forward to the Stevens

16 interview we have just seen, RNI-402-574 (displayed).

17 We looked at this briefly. As I said, it starts with

18 reference to the Irish Times article, and it then sets

19 out your view of the matter: that there was indeed

20 harassment and intimidation.

21 As I say, you refer to this in your second statement

22 and, again, can I ask you is that, as recorded there by

23 the officer, a fair summary of your experience and your

24 views of the matter?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

133

 

1 Q. Thank you.

2 In addition, you have featured in the media more

3 recently and the article I would like to show you is at

4 RNI-831-105 and 106 (displayed).

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Can we have it? Thank you. Do you remember this piece?

7 It was in fact written by the last witness,

8 Anne Cadwallader. Perhaps you will remember it if

9 I show you the next page, which is RNI-831-106

10 (displayed). This was written on 28th March 1999, so

11 very shortly after Rosemary Nelson's murder. It is not

12 an article we have seen before during the evidence.

13 You will see that the thrust of it concerns the

14 complaints investigations which had taken place under

15 the auspices of the ICPC, and the article contains

16 a good deal of material about that?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. But the reason I am showing you it is for what, I am

19 afraid, is the very badly copied last column. If we can

20 enlarge, please, the final column on the right

21 (displayed). Now, can you see there the first full

22 paragraph begins with your name?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. I am afraid it is very, very hard to read but it looks

25 as though it describes you as "solicitor and friend of

 

 

134

 

1 Nelson"?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And it then says that:

4 "More than 20 years in the North's courts convince

5 him ..."

6 That is you:

7 "... the RUC cannot be reformed."

8 Then you make the comment:

9 "The RUC is fundamentally sectarian and unless root

10 and branch change is undertaken, this Commission ..."

11 I think you meant the Patten Commission:

12 "... will be a waste of time."

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Later on you are quoted again as saying that:

15 "Those not of the North's Nationalist community

16 still fail to see that the RUC 'is fundamentally biased

17 against Catholics' and when he speaks out, people look

18 at you as if you are telling lies."

19 Can you remember the circumstances in which this

20 article came to be written?

21 A. I am afraid I can't, but obviously I must have been

22 speaking to Anne Cadwallader -- clearly, I was speaking

23 to Anne Cadwallader. But have I a distinct recollection

24 of it? No, I am afraid I haven't.

25 Q. Can I help you by showing you paragraph 26 of your

 

 

135

 

1 statement. This is RNI-813-222 (displayed).

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. You will see the way you put it. It is a report on

4 a public meeting --

5 A. Oh, yes.

6 Q. This is during the consultations under the

7 Patten Commission?

8 A. I recall that public meeting, yes.

9 Q. So does the report then record you speaking up at the

10 meeting?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So this wasn't a question of you speaking to the

13 journalist, you were speaking to the meeting?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And it was during that meeting that you said, it seems,

16 that the RUC was "fundamentally biased against

17 Catholics". You say in your statement you recall making

18 that quote and stand by it. Unsurprisingly, you then

19 feel the need to go on and give an example?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Because this is -- I hope you will forgive me for saying

22 so -- a reasonably entrenched point of view, or would

23 appear to be, what evidence is it based on?

24 A. The case that -- the small case that I cited -- and

25 I deliberately cited the case because I was so very

 

 

136

 

1 struck by it -- failing to produce your driving licence,

2 is an extremely minor offence by any standards. And

3 a client called to see me. The wife of a Sinn Fein

4 councillor called to my office with a summons to appear

5 in court for failing to produce her driving licence, and

6 she said she wanted to contest it and my heart sank into

7 my boots, because we were going to spend a whole day

8 over a very, very minor matter. I asked her why and

9 what unfolded was astounding. She said, "You see the

10 car that I was supposed to be driving?" It was quoted

11 in the policewoman's statement, car registration so and

12 so, "That car had been in an accident six months before

13 and was gone, destroyed. We don't have it any more."

14 And I said, "Is that so?" Yes. "And can you establish

15 that?" Yes. Then I said we have an exciting day in

16 court.

17 And the policewoman got into the witness box and

18 gave evidence, sworn evidence, that, yes, she had

19 stopped her; yes, she was driving that car; and yes, she

20 refused to produce her licence, which couldn't possibly

21 have happened. The woman recalled being stopped all

22 right but she wasn't questioned about anything. There

23 was a road block.

24 So what had clearly happened was the policewoman

25 went back to the police station and made this up,

 

 

137

 

1 invented it. And it was clearly and demonstrably,

2 perjury, and my comment at the end of the entire case

3 was, well, if a policewoman is prepared to commit

4 perjury over the non-production of a licence, what on

5 earth is she prepared to do if there was something

6 serious at stake? And she could only have been

7 motivated by sheer malice against this woman who was

8 a Catholic and happened to be married to a Sinn Fein

9 councillor.

10 Q. That is the question, I think, which arises from what

11 you have said: what was it about the behaviour that you

12 believe you witnessed that led you to conclude that what

13 was at the heart of it was a bias against Catholics?

14 What was it about that particular case?

15 A. Well, because -- because she saw this lady driving a car

16 and she clearly went back to the police station and made

17 a statement, made up a statement. And why should one --

18 what motivation, what motivated her to do that? The

19 only motivation that I could identify was that the woman

20 was a Catholic.

21 Q. You would accept, surely, that there was an element, or

22 more than an element of speculation in what you are

23 saying?

24 A. Of course there is, but I mean, there are a number of

25 facts nevertheless that are incontrovertible. You know,

 

 

138

 

1 the offence never occurred, the entire thing was made up

2 from start to finish.

3 Q. And presumably, therefore, your client was acquitted?

4 A. Oh, of course. But remarkably, the file was not

5 referred to the DPP to investigate perjury.

6 Q. But it is quite a leap, isn't it, to go from a case of

7 that kind, a general proposition --

8 A. No, no, that was one case out of hundreds over 20 years

9 practising in the courts in Northern Ireland and

10 listening to policemen clearly telling lies, or in my

11 judgment telling lies.

12 Q. That was your view and it looks as though it is a view

13 you have held for quite a considerable period of time?

14 A. That's right.

15 Q. Do you think that that view in turn coloured your own

16 approach to your work?

17 A. In what respect?

18 Q. The fact that you believed that the police force was

19 biased in this way, do you think that coloured your own

20 work as a solicitor?

21 A. I don't see how. I don't see how that could -- I don't

22 see how that arises in practice. Can you give me an

23 example?

24 Q. I am afraid I am not able to give you an example from

25 your own career, no.

 

 

139

 

1 A. An example of how it might impinge upon my work.

2 Q. What I am asking you is whether you think your own

3 attitude, as it were, on the other side, was as fixed

4 and immovable as the attitude you believe you

5 experienced and witnessed on the other side?

6 A. Well, I think the -- one arises out of the other. If

7 you witness something for over 20 years and you come to

8 a firm conclusion, well, I mean, that is a firm

9 conclusion with which you are -- I mean, it would be --

10 in my case, it would be absolutely foolhardy to conclude

11 in the face of all the evidence that I have seen that

12 the RUC were a fair and reasonable police force. They

13 simply were not.

14 Q. And that was the view you held through the years we have

15 been talking about, the 70s, 80s and 90s?

16 A. And as each year passed, I became more and more

17 convinced of that.

18 Q. Do you think that view coloured the way you regarded

19 complaints made to you of comments allegedly made in the

20 holding centres?

21 A. I don't follow that.

22 Q. Do you think your view, the view you have described,

23 made you more inclined to believe the reports made to

24 you?

25 A. Very likely, yes.

 

 

140

 

1 Q. So in that sense, it did colour your approach to

2 matters?

3 A. Yes, because as I said at the beginning, there were two

4 versions of this and I had to opt for one or the other.

5 Q. Just to be clear on this, the evidence such as it was,

6 the matters you regarded as supporting this view of

7 yours, those were things you had experienced in the

8 course of your work as a solicitor?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can I ask you this: in relation to your own position and

11 the threats and other comments reported to you, did you

12 ever report them in turn to your professional body, the

13 Law Society?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Why was that?

16 A. No good reason, no good reason for that.

17 Q. Was it something you considered and then rejected, or

18 you just didn't think about it?

19 A. I guess I took the view that the Law Society was well

20 aware that this sort of thing was happening.

21 Q. Were you aware of the invitation they made to solicitors

22 who had such complaints to bring them forward to the

23 Law Society, to report them?

24 A. I am sure I was.

25 Q. Can we just check that? Can we look at RNI-112-061,

 

 

141

 

1 please (displayed). The whole of the page, apart from

2 the relevant bit, has been redacted it seems.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. There. You will see from the date this was published

5 in December 1997?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Just to be clear, I think, as I understand it, by that

8 date your own involvement in these sorts of cases had

9 ended?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. So it would have had no practical implications for you

12 in any event?

13 A. Not really.

14 Q. Is that right?

15 A. A retrospective matter, yes.

16 Q. But the factual position is that you didn't bring any

17 such complaint to the Law Society?

18 A. No, but it is also a commentary that it wasn't done

19 until 1997 that that particular matter appeared in our

20 literature, the Law Society literature.

21 Q. What is the significance of that?

22 A. It begs -- does it not beg the question -- I mean, if

23 this thing had been -- if the Law Society, as I am sure

24 they were, were aware that this thing had been going on

25 for many years, it is strange that, you know, it took

 

 

142

 

1 the murder of Rosemary Nelson to, you know, to

2 crystallise the matter. That may be an unfair criticism

3 but I simply make the comment in passing.

4 Q. Certainly this advertisement appeared before the murder

5 of Rosemary Nelson, as far as we can tell from the date

6 there, December 1997?

7 A. Oh, sorry, I beg your pardon.

8 Q. But are you saying -- putting that question on one

9 side -- that they were slow to address these concerns?

10 A. It appears -- it appears that that is the case.

11 Q. Now, you also mention in your statement that after the

12 murder of Rosemary Nelson you attended a meeting with

13 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and this is

14 paragraph 27?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And we can see a note of that meeting at RNI-463-271

17 (displayed).

18 This is a note made by a civil servant in the

19 Northern Ireland Office, and do you see your name is one

20 of the delegation of defence solicitors?

21 A. That's right.

22 Q. The meeting took place on 26th March, so some 11 days

23 after Rosemary Nelson's murder?

24 A. Hm-mm.

25 Q. And following the summary, you will see an account of

 

 

143

 

1 the way it went with the Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam,

2 beginning, and it looks as though the minister,

3 Mr Murphy, had met both the Bar Council and the

4 Law Society after the murder and that this was, as it

5 were, a follow-up meeting with solicitors. The bullet

6 points are then set out, the comment about the RUC's

7 fundamental unacceptability, a petition being organised,

8 and then in the next bullet point:

9 "Not come to talk about protection for themselves.

10 They had learnt to live with the risks."

11 That is very much the attitude that you have set out

12 for us today, isn't it?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And if we just turn the page to RNI-463-272 (displayed),

15 it looks as though you said to her that the problem of

16 intimidation had been a constant problem for 30 years

17 and that your preferred solution, later softened, it

18 records, was the disbandment of the force.

19 Again, can I ask you in relation to this meeting and

20 the points that were made by the delegation to the

21 Secretary of State, can you remember whether or what

22 occurred as a result of the meeting, whether any changes

23 were made?

24 A. Not that I -- I remember the meeting very clearly

25 because it is not every day you meet with a Secretary of

 

 

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1 State. You do not run into them every day, and I recall

2 the meeting very clearly. I managed to -- I made some

3 points myself, though I was not by any means the lead

4 speaker. But I am not aware of anything in particular

5 following on that.

6 Q. Can I ask you how detailed is your recollection of this

7 meeting? It is now nine years ago.

8 A. Well, I remember it because it was the first time I had

9 ever met Mo Mowlam and I recall that it was hot and

10 heavy from an early stage. I think the civil servant is

11 probably quite right that from his point of view, it was

12 probably an unsatisfactory meeting; from our point of

13 view, probably also.

14 Hardline positions. I am not so sure that I agree

15 with the word "hardline". I believe that the lead

16 voices -- and one of them -- one of the lead voices will

17 be giving evidence, I think, later on today -- made our

18 position very, very clear indeed and no punches,

19 I agree, were pulled in that situation.

20 But we were speaking -- most of the people present

21 at that meeting would have had a very long involvement

22 in these kinds of cases that you and I have been

23 speaking about while I was giving evidence, very long,

24 and collectively represented hundreds of -- thousands of

25 people who had been involved with the RUC. And we

 

 

145

 

1 had -- we had a very, very clear collective view of what

2 was required.

3 Q. The aspect of the meeting I wanted specifically to ask

4 you about is the suggestion that in the meeting the

5 delegation said that that intimidation of defence

6 solicitors had been a constant problem for 30 years?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. The question I wanted to ask you is this: how did the

9 Secretary of State react to that assertion?

10 A. I am not aware of a particular -- I am not aware of

11 a particular reaction, probably because the Secretary of

12 State, like everybody else, knew that that was a fact of

13 life.

14 Q. You don't remember her making any comment at that point?

15 A. No, I don't, honestly -- I don't want to put words in to

16 anybody's mouth, especially somebody who is no longer

17 here. But I don't remember specifically her response.

18 Q. Then finally on this, at paragraph 6 you see that two

19 specific questions were left over and there was

20 a promise given to write:

21 "1. Had the ICPC offered Rosemary Nelson protection

22 after she had raised her complaints with them on

23 10th April."

24 And:

25 "Why had the officers who had been criticised in the

 

 

146

 

1 ICPC's recent report not been suspended from duty."

2 Can I take it from your earlier answer that you do

3 not remember seeing a written answer later on those

4 points?

5 A. No, but there probably was, but it wouldn't have been

6 directed to me anyway because there were -- as I

7 understand it, there were two principal organisers of

8 the meeting and some one of them may have received

9 a response, but I am certainly not -- I have no

10 recollection of seeing a response.

11 Q. Now, in the article we looked at a little earlier, the

12 Ireland on Sunday article, you were quoted as describing

13 Rosemary Nelson as a friend. Did you know her well?

14 A. A friend? That would probably be an exaggeration.

15 I knew Rosemary Nelson very slightly. I would have met

16 her perhaps once or twice face-to-face in company with

17 others. I would have spoken to her on a number of

18 occasions by telephone, but that would probably be the

19 extent of my personal knowledge of Rosemary Nelson.

20 Q. And you remember earlier we discussed what the

21 differences may have been between her and you, for

22 example. And you say in paragraph 24 at RNI-813-221

23 (displayed) that one of the aspects was where she lived?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And what is it that you mean by that, please?

 

 

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1 A. Well, she lived in mid-Ulster, as Ms Cadwallader said,

2 and this was a very, very dangerous place. I had, on

3 the other hand, lived in Enniskillen which hadn't

4 fortunately seen a great deal of problems apart from the

5 one incident that everybody knows about, the Enniskillen

6 bombing. But from a sectarian point of view, it hadn't

7 been particularly noticeable over the years.

8 There is no comparison between the two places from

9 a point of view of personal safety, I would have

10 thought.

11 Q. Finally on this topic, I wanted to ask you: I assume

12 from the limited amount of contact you had with her that

13 you never discussed her security, her safety, with her

14 yourself?

15 A. No.

16 Q. So you were never in a position to give her any advice

17 about that.

18 That is all of the questions I wanted to ask you,

19 Mr McManus. Is there anything else you would like to

20 add?

21 A. No, I don't think so.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr McManus, thank you very much for your help

23 to the Inquiry.

24 A. Thank you very much.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: We will have a 10-minute break.

 

 

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1 (3.44 pm)

2 (Short break)

3 (3.55 pm)

4 MR PATRICK FAHY (sworn)

5 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

7 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Fahy, can you give us your full names,

8 please.

9 A. Patrick Joseph Fahy.

10 Q. You have given two statements to the Inquiry?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Do you have them in front of you?

13 A. I do.

14 Q. Can we look at the first, please. It is RNI-806-007

15 (displayed). Thank you.

16 Do we see your signature at RNI-806-013 (displayed),

17 dated 16th January last year?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And then the second statement, RNI-806-013.500

20 (displayed), and your signature on the next page,

21 RNI-806-013.501 (displayed) on 25th June last year?

22 A. Yes, that's correct.

23 Q. Now, your firm is based in Omagh?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you tell us in your third paragraph that you haven't

 

 

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1 done political cases, as you put it, for the last ten

2 years. So can I take it that means since about 1997?

3 A. Yes, that would be correct.

4 Q. So what to that point, to 1997, was the nature of your

5 client base?

6 A. It would have been a mixed client base, as far as

7 criminal work was concerned. Equally Protestant and

8 Catholic, so equally Nationalist and Unionist. Although

9 in terms of political type cases, my client -- or our

10 client base would have been largely Nationalist, in fact

11 almost exclusively Nationalist.

12 Q. So the clients you would attend at the holding centres,

13 for example, would have been exclusively Nationalist,

14 would they?

15 A. Yes, with a few very limited exceptions.

16 Q. And you say in paragraph 4:

17 "My firm is the only firm in Omagh which undertakes

18 political defence work."

19 Is that, do you mean now, in 2007/2008?

20 A. No, I mean from the beginning of the Troubles, right

21 through until that type of work basically stopped or,

22 from the point of view of our firm, stopped.

23 Q. So we have agreed that it stopped in about 1997. Before

24 that, while it was still on and part of the practice,

25 can you help us with roughly how often you yourself

 

 

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1 would go down to the holding centres?

2 A. It is difficult to give an average. It could have been

3 very frequent for a period of time of and then less

4 frequent. But I suppose, over the average year, perhaps

5 eight to 12 times.

6 Q. During the year?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So no more than once a month?

9 A. Well, as I say, it is difficult to be certain about it

10 but I would expect that once a month probably is

11 a little less than average, but in or about that.

12 Q. Now, in relation to the nature of the work, you say in

13 paragraph 4:

14 "I am not sure why my firm is the only firm willing

15 to take on this kind of work."

16 Again, are you referring there to the past?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. To the situation up to 1997?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So at that stage, yours was the only local firm willing

21 to take on that sort of work. Is that right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And you say that you think that may be:

24 "... due to the attitude of the police and in

25 particular continued low level harassment."

 

 

151

 

1 And you give an example of the low level harassment

2 in the last sentence of the paragraph: stopping at road

3 blocks and matters of that kind.

4 What are you talking about when you refer to "the

5 attitude of the police"?

6 A. Well, I am talking about being stopped on a normal

7 journey and being asked to get out of my car and to

8 stand outside and wait for an inordinate period of time

9 while I was told the police were checking this, that or

10 the other thing, or simply just had gone away and had

11 not come back to me at the car. And that happened to me

12 regularly and that happened in all kinds of weather.

13 Q. And do you think that happened to you because of your

14 work?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And because of the reputation that you had for doing

17 that kind of work?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. So association with these sorts of cases affected the

20 attitude of the police, as far as you were concerned?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. This sort of work, what you call political cases, did it

23 give your firm a particular reputation in the locality?

24 A. Yes -- well, I think it would be fair to say that our

25 firm had the overall reputation of being the main

 

 

152

 

1 criminal law firm in the area and, you know, so

2 therefore, it was not alone the political work which

3 gave the office that reputation but more the overall

4 criminal practice which included that work.

5 Q. Did the firm come to have a reputation for representing

6 Republican clients?

7 A. Yes, that is fair comment. But as I say, we also had

8 a reputation for representing all kinds of clients who

9 fell foul of the criminal law.

10 Q. But is this fair: that the political cases, as you

11 describe them, were more high profile by their very

12 nature than the other types of criminal case?

13 A. Partly so, but only partly so. I mean, we at that time,

14 and in fact still, would probably do up to 80 per cent

15 of all criminal work in that area. So that is a big

16 percentage allowing for the number of firms that there

17 were. So we had that high profile in both types of

18 work.

19 Q. Now, in your statement you give us a number of examples,

20 specific examples, from your own career of what you

21 describe as harassment and intimidation. I am looking

22 now at paragraph 5 at the top of page RNI-806-008

23 (displayed). Do you see that?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. It is right, isn't it, that you were interviewed by the

 

 

153

 

1 BBC for a Spotlight programme on this topic in, I think,

2 April 1999?

3 A. That is correct.

4 Q. What I would like to do before we do anything else is to

5 show a short clip from that interview, which shows that

6 part of the interview which was broadcast on this topic.

7 (video shown)

8 Now, those views were obviously both specific, about

9 a particular case, and general, about the RUC and about

10 the complaints system. That's right, isn't it?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Do you hold those views to this day?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. I would like to ask you first about the specific case.

15 Could you look, please, at paragraph 6 of your

16 statement. There, you describe a particular client who

17 was a Protestant, I think. Is that right?

18 A. Yes, that is correct.

19 Q. And you explain what he told you after he had been

20 released about the comments made about you during his

21 detention?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. Now, just so we are clear about this, is this the case

24 which you deal with in your interview?

25 A. It is.

 

 

154

 

1 Q. So trying to look at the chronology, at the end of your

2 paragraph 6, you say:

3 "This incident took place over 20 years ago."

4 Which would put it rather before 1987. Is that

5 right?

6 A. Well, this would be a -- it would be a matter of court

7 record. So I mean, whatever answer I give is subject to

8 correction, but I would feel that it probably was in the

9 very late 70s or the beginning of 1980s.

10 Q. Thank you. And there are obviously some differences

11 which one can note between the two accounts, not least

12 that in your interview on the television you gave

13 a rather fuller and more colourful account of some of

14 the language used.

15 But do you see the same phrase:

16 "You're some boy getting a IRA lawyer in to defend

17 a Protestant"?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Is it likely that your recollection of this specific

20 incident was more accurate in 1999 when you gave the

21 interview, than it was in 2007 when you made the

22 statement?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Thank you. Now, in order to cast some more light on

25 this, I would like to show you, please, the Irish Times

 

 

155

 

1 article of 27th May 1987. Can we look at that, please,

2 at RNI-401-002 (displayed).

3 We looked at that, as you may have heard, during

4 Mr McManus's evidence. Can we enlarge the article,

5 please. Do you have it there in hard copy?

6 A. I am just looking to see which one --

7 Q. 27th, I am sorry, of May 1987. It might be easier to

8 look at it on the screen.

9 A. Yes, okay. I have it in front of me now.

10 Q. Thank you very much. And we see in the fourth paragraph

11 that yours is the first name?

12 A. That is correct.

13 Q. And I think I am right in saying that you were the

14 leading light in this initiative. Is that right?

15 A. Well, I wouldn't describe myself as a leading light but

16 I certainly was one of the instigators of this

17 initiative.

18 Q. And I think I am right in saying you are the one

19 solicitor quoted in the piece. Is that right?

20 A. That is correct.

21 Q. And we see your quotations down at the penultimate and

22 the final paragraph of the piece?

23 A. That is correct.

24 Q. The paragraph I would like you to look at, please, is

25 the penultimate one, and you will see about six lines

 

 

156

 

1 down, it says:

2 "Mr Paddy Fahy said the RUC regularly obstruct a

3 defendant's right to have access to a solicitor and said

4 false information was often given out about the detained

5 person. He said recently, when a young Protestant man

6 asked for him, he was told by the RUC, 'What, are you

7 asking for a Provo?' and they gave him the name of

8 another solicitor."

9 Now, this, as I showed you, was published on

10 27th May 1987. Is this the same case?

11 A. This is the same case, yes.

12 Q. So it is the same case in the Spotlight programme and in

13 paragraph 6 of your statement, and now referred to in

14 the article published in 1987?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. And do you see at the beginning of the relevant

17 quotation, the use of the word "recently"?

18 A. Yes, I do.

19 Q. Does that help you with the likely date of these events?

20 A. I just cannot be sure. As I say, that is matter which,

21 you know, it can be checked. I don't know for sure.

22 Q. Can we agree that it may well have taken place during

23 the 1980s?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. What I want to ask you as a result of that is whether

 

 

157

 

1 the situation described in the article and described by

2 you in the general part of your interview in 1999

3 pertained throughout the period where you were working

4 on these type of cases?

5 A. It did.

6 Q. Did you notice any change one way or the other in the

7 frequency of such comments being reported back to you?

8 A. Yes. My impression -- and my clear impression -- was

9 that the frequency of complaints and accounts being

10 relayed back to me grew as the Troubles progressed; in

11 other words, in the early days, the number of complaints

12 and in particular the number of references to me was

13 much less than it became in the subsequent years, right

14 through from the middle 70s, right through the 80s, up

15 until, in fact, things started to tail off and matters

16 appeared to settle down.

17 Q. That is the next question I would like to ask you: when

18 did matters appear to settle down, as far as you were

19 concerned?

20 A. I would have noticed a definite decrease in accounts

21 being relayed to me from probably the early 90s.

22 Q. Do you think that there may have been a change in the

23 frequency of such allegations as a result of the

24 ceasefire in 1994, for example?

25 A. Yes. It probably was happening to some extent before

 

 

158

 

1 that, but I think that was definitely an influence.

2 Q. Looking at the thing in the round, for a moment, before

3 we go back to look at one or two more examples, were the

4 comments made, so far as reported to you, made by

5 interviewing officers?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Were they in all cases comments made whilst clients were

8 being detained at the holding centres?

9 A. Well, in fact this one that is referred to, the

10 Protestant client, was not made at a holding centre.

11 Q. That was made in the context of a police station?

12 A. That was made in Lisnaskea police station, County

13 Fermanagh.

14 Q. It was also made in the context of a very different

15 alleged offence, wasn't it?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Cattle stealing?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Was it the only such report you received over the years

20 from a Protestant client?

21 A. Yes, I think that is correct. But it was not the only

22 complaint which was made to me arising out of

23 circumstances other than in a holding centre.

24 Q. And those complaints presumably were in relation to what

25 had allegedly occurred in police stations?

 

 

159

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Where, by definition, the offences in issue were lesser

3 offences, non-terrorist offences?

4 A. Yes, it happened there and it also happened in the

5 context of a military inquiry into the behaviour, or

6 alleged behaviour, of a member of the Ulster Defence

7 Regiment, which was reported back to me by him.

8 Q. Can I ask you in relation to the holding centres, which

9 are we talking about in relation to your practice?

10 A. It would invariably have been Gough Barracks in Armagh,

11 sometimes Castlereagh, but by and large Gough Barracks

12 in Armagh.

13 Q. I would like you to look, please, at a slightly later

14 statement or interview in which you took part. This is

15 when you were interviewed by officers from the Stevens

16 team. Can you look, please, at RNI-402-555 (displayed).

17 A. Yes, I have it in front of me.

18 Q. You have it in front of you?

19 A. Yes, I have.

20 Q. Do you see there that this was an interview with you on

21 14th October 1999. The date is under a list of dates,

22 do you see, just above the word "result"?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And then it gives your name and an interview at 16.15,

25 which took place, as far as we can see, on

 

 

160

 

1 21st September that year?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And the starting point for the Inquiry was your

4 involvement in the Irish Times article, wasn't it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And having referred to that, you are said to have agreed

7 that you were the instigator, do you see?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Maybe not the leading light but you were certainly

10 accepting at that stage that you were the instigator,

11 and you describe in this interview how the comments came

12 back to you.

13 I would like to pick up just on a couple of things

14 in here, if I may. If you look a few lines down, there

15 is a sentence beginning with the word "never". Do you

16 see that?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. "Never had he received any direct or indirect threats to

19 his life."

20 A. That is correct.

21 Q. So that at no point during the course of the many years

22 you dealt with such cases did you ever receive a direct

23 or indirect threat?

24 A. That is correct.

25 Q. So what we are talking here, are we, is about derogatory

 

 

161

 

1 comments about you, the sort of solicitor you were, and

2 your association, for example, with the Provisional IRA?

3 A. Yes. If I can just clarify, when I say that I had never

4 received any direct or indirect threats to my life,

5 I take it you mean by that threats from police or

6 security forces?

7 Q. Well, it is a record of an interview between you and

8 some officers from the Stevens Inquiry.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. So does it accord with what you think you told them?

11 A. Yes, it does, yes.

12 Q. Were there threats to you as a result of your work as

13 a lawyer which came from any other source?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Can you explain?

16 A. I received -- I received bullets sent to me in the post

17 on one occasion.

18 Q. And when that happened, what did you do? Did you refer

19 the matter to the police?

20 A. I did.

21 Q. And was it, as far as you know, investigated?

22 A. I don't know.

23 Q. Do you have any idea what result came of any

24 investigation?

25 A. I don't know.

 

 

162

 

1 Q. Did you receive any further information about it from

2 the police?

3 A. I did not.

4 Q. Did you receive any advice about your security?

5 A. I did not.

6 Q. Thank you. Now, the next part of this I would like to

7 ask you about, please, is in the last full paragraph of

8 the page. Do you see the paragraph begins "one

9 occasion"? Do you see that paragraph?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And then in the third line, this sentence:

12 "He viewed the harassment as coming from the top of

13 the RUC down and was widespread. However, after such

14 a long ..."

15 That is misspelt:

16 "... period of time he could not identify any

17 particular officers by name and is reluctant to involve

18 his clients in the matter, but is prepared to provide

19 a witness statement if required."

20 Now, that expressed accurately, did it, your view as

21 at September 1999?

22 A. Yes, it fairly and accurately represents my view that

23 the harassment which I was suffering was not the action

24 of rogue policemen, but the -- that it was certainly

25 being tolerated, if not instituted, from a higher level.

 

 

163

 

1 Q. Do you think that that was a view shared by others of

2 your colleagues doing the same sort of work?

3 A. I really can't answer that question.

4 Q. You don't know. You didn't have discussions with them?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Can I ask you this question: What was the basis, the

7 evidence for that view?

8 A. The evidence for that view was that on occasions when

9 I made complaints, as I did after the incident at

10 Lisnaskea police station, I made a written complaint and

11 it was simply dismissed out of hand as being without

12 foundation. And on other occasions when I made

13 complaints about incidents not necessarily arising out

14 of holding centres, but out of alleged comments about me

15 made by police officers, that on each of those occasions

16 such complaints with summarily dismissed as being

17 without foundation.

18 Q. Can I try to break that down, with your help. The

19 complaints that you made, were they under what we have

20 been referring to as the old system, or were they in the

21 system set up in the late 80s, involving the ICPC?

22 A. I believe they were made under the old system.

23 Q. The old system. And is it possible for you to help us

24 now with a rough idea of how many such complaints you

25 made under the old system?

 

 

164

 

1 A. I would only be guessing and in relation to myself and

2 matters affecting myself, probably no more than maybe

3 four, maybe five. I can't be any more definite than

4 that in relation to myself.

5 Q. And what was the result in those cases?

6 A. There was no result.

7 Q. There was no result in any of the cases?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Did you cooperate with the investigation?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Were you interviewed --

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. -- in each case?

14 A. No, I wasn't interviewed in relation to the incident at

15 Lisnaskea police station. I wrote a letter of complaint

16 to which there came back a letter of denial.

17 In the second incident that I remember, I was

18 interviewed by a police officer from Complaints and

19 Discipline at Omagh police station but I was never -- I

20 don't believe that I was informed of any outcome,

21 certainly not of the -- there was no outcome of the

22 first one and the second one I just cannot be sure about

23 it. It did not go anywhere.

24 Q. Before we look at the second one in your statement, can

25 I ask you whether you can recall making any complaints

 

 

165

 

1 involving yourself under the ICPC system?

2 A. I don't recollect.

3 Q. You don't believe that you did?

4 A. I don't think I did but I am not absolutely sure about

5 that.

6 Q. Now, your view of what I think must be the old system,

7 the pre-ICPC system, is expressed in paragraph 10 at the

8 top of page RNI-806-009 (displayed), where you say:

9 "In my view the complaints system was a joke."

10 Is that right?

11 A. Yes, a joke.

12 Q. And that was your view held at the time?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Did you have a view of the later system, the ICPC

15 system?

16 A. I also had the -- basically the same view about it, in

17 that it was a situation where police officers were

18 investigating complaints made against their colleagues,

19 and as such, it could not possibly hope to have any

20 confidence from the people who were involved or making

21 complaints to it.

22 Q. So was that your main objection to the ICPC and indeed

23 the earlier system: that it involved police officers

24 investigating their colleagues?

25 A. Well, as far as the old system was concerned, it was

 

 

166

 

1 based on my own personal experience.

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. As far as the ICPC system, yes, that would be correct in

4 relation to it.

5 Q. Were there any other matters or factors that led you to

6 believe that the second system, the ICPC system, lacked

7 credibility?

8 A. Well, nothing directly relating to any matter in which I

9 was involved, but I would have been aware from having

10 made -- I did make complaints on behalf of other people

11 to the ICPC system and I was aware of other solicitors

12 who had similarly made complaints to it. And again, I

13 would just have to say that my view of the matter and

14 the way it was conducted by police officers did not

15 engender any confidence in me whatsoever.

16 Q. So even in the cases where you make complaints, for

17 example, on behalf of your own clients, your experience

18 of the ICPC system did not promote confidence in it?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Can I ask you now about the second incident you

21 mentioned, which is in paragraph 11. This involved

22 a client who was held at Gough Barracks, and you give us

23 details about some personal remarks about you that he

24 reported to you had been made during his detention?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

167

 

1 Q. And you tell us what your reaction to it was, namely

2 that you were hurt by it?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. I think I am right that it was your view at the time

5 that this personal information was information that the

6 client himself did not know?

7 A. I couldn't answer that with any certainty, but I would

8 be of the view that he certainly did not have that

9 amount of detail of his own knowledge, that that detail

10 was conveyed to him -- had to be conveyed to him by

11 someone else.

12 Q. Did that, in your view at any rate, add to the

13 credibility of what he was telling you?

14 A. Yes. I had no reason in any event to disbelieve him.

15 As to whether or not it added to his credibility, I

16 can't really say. I can just say that I believed what

17 he was telling me.

18 Q. Because you must have been aware even at the time of the

19 suggestion being made in some quarters that complaints

20 were being put forward in a cynical way in order to

21 undermine confidence in the police?

22 A. I have heard that.

23 Q. Did you ever experience a situation where a client made

24 such a complaint to you and you thought that it was

25 fabricated?

 

 

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1 A. No.

2 Q. Is that because you accepted their word without question

3 or because it seemed credible to you?

4 A. I would not have accepted anyone's word without

5 question. I formed a judgment on what I was being told,

6 based on the character of the person who was telling it

7 to me and also based on my own similar experiences. And

8 on those bases, I reached a conclusion as to whether or

9 not the story which I was being told was the truth.

10 Q. So that in each case, as I understand it, you took the

11 view that the allegations were soundly based?

12 A. I had no doubt but that they were soundly based.

13 Q. And that suggests, doesn't it, a pattern of repeated

14 comments and attempts at intimidation made to your

15 clients in the holding centres and in police stations?

16 A. It most certainly does.

17 Q. Now, in relation to these personal comments we have just

18 discussed, I think you did make a complaint. Is that

19 right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. You said you think this took place in the mid to

22 late 1980s. So it sounds as though it may have been at

23 the time of the changeover from one complaints system to

24 the other?

25 A. It actually must have been post-1987 or perhaps even

 

 

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1 later, because my wife did not in fact die until 1994.

2 Q. That is very helpful. So it looks as though it must

3 have taken place at the earliest in the mid 1990s?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. So it would, by definition, have been an ICPC complaint?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Were you interviewed by the investigating officer?

8 A. I honestly cannot answer that question. I suppose the

9 only way that I can answer it is to say that matters in

10 my personal life which had happened to me were of much

11 more importance to me than this issue of a complaint of

12 this nature, having been through this process before.

13 I can only say to you that I didn't attach --

14 obviously I attached significance to it in relation to

15 the pattern which had been established, but as far as

16 what I considered about this particular complaint,

17 I really did not -- I didn't give it the importance that

18 one might expect someone to give an allegation of this

19 nature based on my previous experiences.

20 Q. Well, you have described in the subsequent paragraphs of

21 your statement, and in particular 13 to 16, various

22 other specific examples of harassment, of intimidatory

23 remarks made, for example, in the context of a court

24 martial, in relation to the local barracks at the Crown

25 Court in Belfast, the Special Court in Omagh and then in

 

 

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1 the context -- this is paragraph 16 -- of your presence

2 on the street attempting to gain entry to a client's

3 house.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And you sum it up in this way: that these are only

6 examples of continued harassment.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So again, so I am absolutely clear about this, you are

9 saying that this harassment continued throughout the

10 period where you dealt with cases of this kind?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Did it continue after you ceased to act in such cases?

13 A. No.

14 Q. As far as you could tell, the harassment, the pattern

15 that we have talked about, came to an end as your work

16 in this field for these sorts of clients came to an end?

17 A. You will appreciate that what I am saying is that it did

18 not suddenly end; it tailed off obviously in relation to

19 the less frequent occurrences of that type of

20 political-connected offence. And it did eventually die

21 away completely but there was no cut-off point where I

22 could say to you that it happened at that particular

23 time.

24 Q. I understand. And as far as you were concerned --

25 again, this is paragraph 17 -- although you give

 

 

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1 examples involving not only the police but the military,

2 as you put it, the prime movers were the police?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And again, can I ask you: was that the situation

5 throughout the period with which we are concerned, in

6 other words the time you did such cases?

7 A. Yes, because it was the police who were dealing with the

8 questioning of suspects at the holding centres, and that

9 would have been the context in which the accounts were

10 coming back to me.

11 As far as other members of the security forces, my

12 experience would have been with individual members of

13 the British Army or the Ulster Defence Regiment who

14 I believe -- and I still believe -- were acting under

15 instructions from police.

16 Q. And you see this -- is this right? -- as part of a them

17 and us attitude?

18 A. Yes. I saw their behaviour towards me as being directed

19 primarily against the client and I was being used as

20 a weapon to attempt to intimidate the client.

21 Q. Now, what effect did this experience of harassment have

22 on you personally?

23 A. It did nothing other than to galvanise me and make me

24 the more determined to keep doing what I was doing.

25 Q. So if it was intended to put you off doing this type of

 

 

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1 work, it failed?

2 A. That may have been intended, but I think that a more

3 important part of the intent was in relation to the

4 client, not to me personally.

5 Q. What do you think the intent was in relation to the

6 client?

7 A. I think it was that as soon as the client was brought

8 into custody, into the holding centres, and that as soon

9 as he asked for me as his solicitor, this was

10 immediately used as a weapon against him to confirm and

11 to make him believe that because he had asked for me,

12 that automatically meant that he must be a member of the

13 IRA, because I was the solicitor who did the work for

14 the IRA.

15 Q. So the intent was presumably then to undermine the

16 relationship between you and your client?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Did it succeed in relation to any of the clients that

19 you can remember?

20 A. Yes, it did.

21 Q. It did. But as I think you have made clear, the one

22 thing it didn't do was stop you taking on such cases?

23 A. That is correct.

24 Q. And it looks as though you also, in common with a number

25 of our witnesses, regarded this sort of thing as part of

 

 

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1 the job?

2 A. Yes, it became very much like an occupational hazard.

3 Q. But that said, you also tell us in your statement,

4 paragraph 19:

5 "I think if I had been found dead, no one would have

6 been surprised."

7 A. I think that's correct.

8 Q. Now, there is a tension or a contrast there, isn't

9 there?

10 A. In what sense?

11 Q. On the one hand, you say you shrugged matters off and

12 treated it as being part of the job; on the other, you

13 seem to be suggesting that, at times, if you had been

14 found dead no one would have been surprised?

15 A. Yes, I don't believe that people would have been

16 surprised. But what I was saying was that as far as

17 I personally was concerned, that was not a factor which

18 had any influence on what I did or what I didn't do in

19 relation to this kind of work.

20 Q. Was there a moment when your concern for your safety led

21 you to take measures for your own security?

22 A. I would have been conscious of the need, although not,

23 I must confess, not on an ongoing basis. I would have

24 been conscious and perhaps at some times more than

25 others would have paid attention to looking under my car

 

 

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1 and the usual types of precautions in relation to

2 vehicles following, that type of thing. But I cannot

3 say that I did that on a constant basis because I didn't

4 do it.

5 Q. No. There was no time, was there, during this period of

6 your work when you felt sufficiently concerned or

7 threatened to, as it were, up your security; in other

8 words, to be more careful about the precautions you

9 took, and more regular?

10 A. Well, I think that that -- it varied from time to time,

11 depending on what was happening in the north of Ireland;

12 so in other words, at a particularly tense time or when,

13 for example, my colleague, Pat Finucane, was murdered.

14 I was a close colleague of Pat Finucane and I had been

15 speaking to him very shortly before he was killed.

16 So, you know, at times like that the need to be

17 security conscious was more acute, but it is like

18 everything else in life, it starts off as being

19 something that you do, and over a period of time it is

20 whittled away until you are not doing it.

21 Q. So far as the basic security precautions are concerned,

22 you mentioned looking at your car. Do you mean looking

23 under the car?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Would you, like Mr McManus, for example, make sure you

 

 

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1 kept the car in the garage?

2 A. No.

3 Q. You didn't?

4 A. No.

5 Q. So your car remained out on the road?

6 A. Well, it was in the yard at my own property, but it was

7 open to anyone who wanted to come in to do something

8 with it.

9 Q. And you say in your statement at paragraph 21, the top

10 of page RNI-806-012 (displayed), that after the

11 ceasefire in 1994, for you matters got a lot better?

12 A. That is correct, yes.

13 Q. So just so I am clear about this, you think you stopped

14 your work for political or terrorist cases in about

15 1997, but before that, at the time of the ceasefire, it

16 looks as though things had improved?

17 A. Things had improved, yes.

18 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as Rosemary Nelson is concerned,

19 you met her a few times in the course of your work. Is

20 that right?

21 A. That is correct.

22 Q. But you didn't know her very well?

23 A. No.

24 Q. And so can I take it that what you say about her

25 position and indeed about what happened to her is based

 

 

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1 on your own experience rather than anything she told you

2 herself?

3 A. That is correct.

4 Q. What you say with that caveat is that at that stage, by

5 which I assume you mean in 1999, the time of her murder,

6 she was one of the few solicitors involved in high

7 profile Republican cases?

8 A. Yes, largely because of the situation at Drumcree.

9 Q. So in your view, as somebody standing slightly to one

10 side, you regarded the Garvaghy Road work she did as

11 being the work that gave her prominence. Is that right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Because it was a point of great conflict and tension

14 within Northern Ireland?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. You make a suggestion about the circumstances of the

17 murder and alleged police involvement in paragraph 24.

18 Can I ask you this: I assume that that suggestion is not

19 based on any hard evidence?

20 A. That is correct.

21 Q. You didn't, for example, go to the murder investigation

22 team after the murder and say, "I have some evidence

23 showing that there was police involvement in this

24 matter"?

25 A. No.

 

 

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1 Q. It is a supposition?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you. Now, the final thing I wanted to ask you

4 about is two more examples of where your concern about

5 these matters came to more public view. And the first

6 is the "Equal protection under the law" article, and

7 that is at RNI-401-002 (displayed).

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. It is obviously not there, I am afraid. That is the

10 Irish Times reference. Can we look, please, at

11 RNI-115-341 (displayed). Sorry about that.

12 You may have heard me ask Mr McManus about this.

13 This is a piece published, we think, in 1998. Can we

14 look over to RNI-115-343 (displayed). Now, do we see

15 your name there?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Going back to the article at RNI-115-341 (displayed), it

18 sounds as though, from what you have told us, by this

19 stage you would probably have ended your political, your

20 terrorist cases. But can I take it that your

21 involvement with this piece showed that the views that

22 you have expressed today were firmly held by you then in

23 1998?

24 A. Yes, I think if you will look at my statement again, you

25 will see that I said that while the harassment of myself

 

 

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1 had ended, I did not believe that was the same situation

2 for other of my colleagues.

3 Q. Was that based on conversations you had with them?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. In which they told you at this time, did they, that they

6 were experiencing a similar pattern?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Of intimidation and harassment?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. At the hands of the police?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And that messages were coming back to them from their

13 clients detained for such offences?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Thank you. You were, I think, part of the delegation

16 that went to see the Secretary of State in the aftermath

17 of Rosemary Nelson's murder, weren't you?

18 A. I was.

19 Q. Can we look at the note, please, of the meeting at

20 RNI-463-271 (displayed).

21 We looked at this a little earlier. We can see your

22 name there in the list of delegation members and it

23 looks as though, if you look at paragraph 4, it is

24 recorded that you, with one redacted name and Oliver

25 Kelly, did most of the talking. Do you remember the

 

 

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1 meeting?

2 A. Yes, I do.

3 Q. And I am going to ask you a similar question to that

4 I asked Mr McManus. You will see one of the points

5 which was made in the meeting was that:

6 "Intimidation of defence lawyers has been a ..."

7 If we can turn over the page, please, to RNI-463-227

8 (displayed):

9 "... constant problem for 30 years."

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And the solution that the delegation proposed was the

12 disbandment of the police force. And we see that the

13 civil servant has recorded there a softening of position

14 to "substantial change".

15 But the question for you, if I may, is this: when it

16 was suggested to the Secretary of State that

17 intimidation of defence lawyers had been a constant

18 problem for 30 years, what, as far as you can recall,

19 was her reaction?

20 A. Her reaction was that she was entirely dismissive of

21 this complaint. She has told us that that was not the

22 function of this meeting; that the purpose of the

23 meeting was to deal with the issue or the offer of

24 enhanced protection for lawyers.

25 So she didn't want to hear anything about what had

 

 

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1 transpired in the past.

2 Q. So just so I am clear about this, her response then was

3 to say that that wasn't the issue she wished to discuss

4 in the meeting?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Did she take issue with the suggestion itself, i.e. that

7 it had been a constant problem for 30 years?

8 A. No.

9 Q. That you can recall?

10 A. No, she didn't.

11 Q. Can we look, please at RNI-463-272 again, back to the

12 full page, and paragraph 6. Can we enlarge that, please

13 (displayed). Do you see it appears there were two

14 questions left over for a written answer from the

15 Secretary of State.

16 Now, you appear to have been one of the leaders of

17 the delegation, certainly one of the main speakers. Do

18 you remember receiving such a letter?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Are you aware from talking to your colleagues that any

21 such letter was received?

22 A. I do not believe that any such letter was received. The

23 only information which I became aware of subsequently

24 was through the media and that was in relation to the

25 question of whether or not the ICPC had offered

 

 

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1 Rosemary Nelson protection, and I understand that the

2 media reported that the ICPC had not offered protection.

3 But that is just my recollection of a media, or media

4 reports.

5 Q. I wanted to ask you a question about that: do you think

6 that that is a correct note of the meeting, that the

7 ICPC -- the question was about whether that

8 organisation, the Police Complaints Commission, offered

9 protection?

10 A. No, just on reflection on your question, obviously I

11 think it would not have been the ICPC, it would have

12 been the police, at that stage the RUC.

13 Q. So that may well be an error for the RUC?

14 A. I believe it is.

15 Q. Mr Fahy, those are the only questions I wish to ask you.

16 Is there any other matter that you would like to mention

17 to the Inquiry panel at this stage?

18 A. Nothing.

19 Q. Thank you.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Fahy, thank you very much for the evidence

21 you have given to the Inquiry.

22 Is Mr McDermott still here? We are very sorry. I

23 don't think we can hear your evidence today. We look

24 forward to hearing from you on Thursday, I think, and we

25 will adjourn until tomorrow morning at 10.15.

 

 

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1 (4.46 pm)

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MS ANNE CADWALLADER (sworn) ...................... 1
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Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 80
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MR PATRICK FAHY (sworn) .......................... 148
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Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 148
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