Return to the list of transcripts

Full Hearings

Hearing: 28th April 2008, day 10

Click here to download the LiveNote version
















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

on Monday, 28th April 2008
commencing at 1.00 pm

Day 10









1 Monday, 28th April 2008

2 (1.00 pm)

3 Opening submissions by MR PHILLIPS (continued)

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

5 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, we were looking at the material in

6 relation to Drumcree and 1998, and you may remember

7 towards the end of Friday, our session on Friday,

8 I attempted to show you a document in file 306 and it

9 turned out not to be on the system. I think it is on

10 the system now, at least I hope it is.

11 Can we look, please, at RNI-306-167 (displayed)?

12 I mentioned to you on Friday that the origin of some

13 of the contentions in this area, namely that protection

14 had been specifically requested for Rosemary Nelson

15 during the course of the Drumcree negotiations, had

16 found its place in this BIRW report. Sir, I don't want

17 to take you to anything on the first page. Could we

18 just look briefly at the second page, RNI-306-167

19 (displayed), because it sets out very familiar material

20 to us. I just want to highlight the last ten lines or

21 so of paragraph 1.4, beginning:

22 "She and Jane Winter ..."

23 Because there you see an account of the material we

24 have now seen relatively early in date; if you remember,

25 the discussions that took place in autumn of 1996 and





1 then in early 1997.

2 Moving on, the next relevant page is RNI-306-170

3 (displayed). RNI-306-169 is in fact just a repetition.

4 RNI-306-170, you will see suggestions there made, and

5 these were commonly made at the time, in 1.6 about the

6 motive for the murder. Then please notice in 2.4 at the

7 bottom of the page that the director, Jane Winter, had

8 established by December 1999 that the threat note was

9 posted on 3rd June as was confirmed by the forensic

10 analysis you heard about last week.

11 Now, sir, so far as our particular concern at the

12 moment goes, it begins in paragraph 3 at RNI-306-172

13 (displayed) and I read you a section of 3.2 in order to

14 explain what the suggestion or allegation was set out in

15 this document, beginning:

16 "The Government were already well aware ..."

17 And you will see there the way it is put, that:

18 "The pamphlet was handed over on 21st July ..."

19 That is the "Man Without a Future" pamphlet:

20 "... when the issue of security for the whole of the

21 Coalition, and in particular their legal representative,

22 Rosemary Nelson, was raised with Jonathan Powell, Prime

23 Minister Tony Blair's Chief of Staff. Jonathan Powell

24 had previous indicated on 18th July that the security of

25 the Coalition was matter of concern that should be dealt





1 with urgently."

2 Then you will see the passage I again referred you

3 to but wasn't able to show about the exchanges with the

4 two police officers. Then back to 21st July:

5 "He ..."

6 That is Jonathan Powell:

7 "... said he would instruct the NIO to attend to the

8 security of the GRRC within the next 48 hours."

9 Moving over to the next page, RNI-306-173

10 (displayed), just to complete the picture although we

11 haven't got to this stage yet, Rosemary Nelson did allow

12 the GRRC to make an application on her behalf to join

13 the KPPS, although she had reservations about the RUC

14 assessing her safety:

15 "They would have asked for all sorts of details

16 about herself, her family and her associates and her

17 daily routine. Her house and office would have been

18 visited by the RUC to assess whether security measures

19 were necessary. Since the threats against her were

20 predominantly emanating from the RUC officers, she felt

21 that to enable them to obtain all this information about

22 her would merely make it easier for them to carry out

23 their threats, and there was a real danger that such

24 details would be leaked to Loyalists as such leaks were

25 frequent."





1 And then there is the recital of some of the

2 evidence given in the congressional subcommittee

3 hearing, not in fact the question and answer that

4 I showed you. And before moving down the page, sir, in

5 relation to 3.4, you of course now have, because I have

6 shown you this, the evidence of Mr Mageean about what

7 discussion took place between him and Rosemary Nelson on

8 receipt of the 24th September letter which raised the

9 specific point about KPPS. And clearly that and his

10 suggestion that it was, as it were, a non-starter, you

11 will have to consider in looking at the suggestion that

12 Rosemary Nelson:

13 "... did allow the GRRC to make an application on

14 her behalf."

15 It is just another piece of evidence.

16 Then moving on at 3.5, the matter is then taken

17 further:

18 "The GRRC repeatedly attempted to obtain protection

19 for Rosemary Nelson and for the Coalition."

20 There is a series of points made there in

21 paragraph 3.5 and reference to Mr McCusker, whose role I

22 will be explaining later. This is a passage, this part

23 of the report, which became controversial. But suffice

24 it to say for now that it proceeds from 3.5 to the next

25 paragraph, which takes us back over the page with the





1 exchanges with Mr Powell and Breandan Mac Cionnaith both

2 before and after the murder.

3 So that is, as it were it, the origin of -- or one

4 of the documents in which these suggestions were made.

5 Now, that was the background to what I was saying at

6 the end of the hearing on Friday, namely that certainly

7 on the face of the documents, by the stage we had

8 reached in July, there appeared to be no specific

9 mention of Rosemary Nelson by name at this stage, so far

10 as the minutes, the documents that we have seen so far

11 are concerned.

12 Now, there is in the various witness statements that

13 the Inquiry has obtained one anomaly which I should

14 mention at this point, and it is the statement of

15 a Peter Quinn who was one of the facilitators who was

16 brought in by government to work with Jonathan Powell,

17 moving between the two sides of the negotiations. He

18 was seen to be, as it were, on the Nationalist side with

19 the residents and there was another facilitator, seen to

20 be on the Orange Order side.

21 Now, if we look at paragraph 15 of his statement at

22 RNI-818-005 (displayed), you will see this passage,

23 which is quite general. But he says:

24 "Rosemary Nelson raised the issue of her personal

25 security being threatened by security forces at





1 checkpoints in the course of the proximity talks. As

2 far as I recall, nobody said that the issues raised or

3 allegations made by Rosemary Nelson were not true. I

4 would say that the majority of the GRRC accepted that

5 the threats were indeed made. However, there was no

6 process by which legally and/or formally to confirm

7 this.

8 "I recall there was a general acceptance that what

9 Rosemary Nelson was saying was true, particularly in the

10 aftermath of the release of one of her clients -- a man

11 called Duffy, I think -- who had been, as far as I

12 recall, charged with murder. I do not recall the

13 specific details of the threat mentioned by

14 Rosemary Nelson. I recall that Rosemary Nelson referred

15 to threats made to her at checkpoints and/or when she

16 was going in and out of court defending known

17 Republicans.

18 "It is probable that Rosemary Nelson would have

19 revealed the details of the threats at the time, for

20 example, mentioning specific incidents at certain

21 checkpoints and/or certain comments having been made. I

22 am unable to recall specific examples. I do recall

23 Rosemary Nelson indicated that specific threats had been

24 made by the RUC. I took minimal notes at the meetings.

25 Any notes I would have taken would have related to the





1 main issues being discussed on that specific day or the

2 proposals being put forward. I did not retain these

3 notes as they would have been relevant to that day's

4 discussion only."

5 Obviously, you will have to look at the whole of the

6 statement, indeed of the evidence on that but it is

7 notable, as I say, because it is a statement from

8 somebody who was involved in the negotiations and who do

9 remember first of all Rosemary Nelson herself raising

10 the issue. It is not clear when, but obviously it

11 suggests that he and she were present at the same

12 negotiations at the same time. Secondly, it is put in

13 relation to the allegations very generally and it

14 doesn't conform, in the account of the sort of threats

15 that have been made in the circumstances in which they

16 had been made, certainly with the details that the

17 Inquiry has seen and particularly the reference to

18 checkpoints and going in and out of court. And it may

19 be, therefore, that that is an indication of the

20 reliability of his recollection, unsupported, as he

21 says, as it is, by contemporaneous notes.

22 The other thing about it, of course, is that it is

23 not suggested that these references by Rosemary Nelson

24 were in the context of a request for protection. It

25 simply appears that there was disclosure by her, so that





1 he knew about it at any rate, of the past history of

2 threats, as opposed to that being raised as a ground for

3 seeking particular protection for her.

4 But, sir, I wanted to mention that because, as

5 I say, it is on its own amongst the accounts as setting

6 out that particular history.

7 So, sir, we have got to events up to 21st July.

8 Now, as a result of the issue which was raised, the NIO

9 official with responsibility makes contact with

10 Mr Mac Cionnaith on 22nd of that month, 22nd July, to

11 discuss his security concerns.

12 On the same date -- and this is RNI-305-144

13 (displayed) -- he sends an internal memorandum within

14 the NIO informing her of what had transpired. In the

15 summary:

16 "I have made arrangements for [another civil

17 servant] and myself to meet Breandan Mac Cionnaith and

18 Joe Duffy on the 23rd at Mr Mac Cionnaith's home to

19 listen to their concerns in respect of their personal

20 security and provide advice on the KPPS.

21 "I understand that during the recent proximity

22 talks, Mr Powell gave Breandan Mac Cionnaith

23 a commitment that an NIO official would contact him

24 today to provide him with advice on his personal

25 security. I spoke with Mr Mac Cionnaith today and





1 provided limited advice on the Key Persons Protection

2 Scheme and undertook to meet with Mr Duffy and himself

3 at 2 o'clock, the next day, 23rd July.

4 "Mr Mac Cionnaith also raised personal security

5 concerns in respect of his other Coalition partners.

6 I explained that each application to the Key Persons

7 Protection Scheme is treated on an individual basis

8 depending on the present or former job/occupation of the

9 individual concerned and advice from the Chief Constable

10 regarding the level of threat that may exist to the

11 individual. As regards his Coalition partners,

12 I advised that either he should encourage them to write

13 to us outlining their concerns, including appropriate

14 details on how they perceive that they meet the criteria

15 for inclusion in the scheme or, alternatively,

16 Mr Mac Cionnaith could provide me with the details

17 direct. Either way, each application would be assessed

18 on an individual basis against the criteria for

19 inclusion in the discretionary category of the KPPS.

20 "Mr Mac Cionnaith was content with this advice and

21 undertook to relay this information to his Coalition

22 partners following our meeting."

23 So, sir, the position then on the basis of that

24 document is that Mr Mac Cionnaith did indeed raise wider

25 concerns in respect of the partners, and two ways of





1 dealing with it were suggested to him: either those

2 individuals should themselves write, set out their own

3 cases, as it were; or alternatively, that he could write

4 or provide the details, as it is put here, on their

5 behalf. But whichever way it was done, each application

6 would be assessed on an individual basis. And it was

7 left, therefore, that Mr Mac Cionnaith would pass the

8 information on following the meeting.

9 Now, what we then find is a note of the meeting

10 which in fact took place as it was due to the next day,

11 and that is at RNI-305-149 (displayed), the summary:

12 "[The other civil servant] and I met

13 Councillor Mac Cionnaith on 23rd July to hear his

14 concerns regarding his personal security. He asked for

15 consideration to be given for Councillor Duffy, his

16 Coalition partners and himself to be admitted to the Key

17 Persons Protection Scheme."

18 So that is the summary. Then over the next two

19 pages or so is more detail:

20 "We met him on 23rd July to discuss his concerns for

21 his personal security and that of his Coalition

22 partners. Councillor Duffy did not attend, although

23 Mac Cionnaith undertook to relay our conversation to

24 him. He advised he was concerned for his personal

25 security and that of Councillor Duffy and his fellow





1 Coalition partners. In particular, he outlined a number

2 of threats which he believed to have been personally

3 directed to him, namely an LVF threat had been

4 communicated to him by Ulster Television. The local

5 police had been made aware. He alleged that Protestant

6 Action Command (?) had threatened him."

7 Over the page to RNI-305-150 (displayed):

8 "The local police had advised that numerous

9 unidentified threatening telephone calls had been made

10 against him. He also outlined that a recent incident

11 occurred in the local community centre where two

12 individuals had entered the centre asking for him. They

13 left following advice that he wasn't on the premises.

14 He alleged that individuals in the community centre

15 later identified one of them from a newspaper photograph

16 as ..."

17 Then there are names of two individuals:

18 "... was a close associated of the late

19 Billy Wright."

20 So one gets the flavour of the sort of individuals

21 they were:

22 "Mac Cionnaith advised that the local residents did

23 not pass this information to the RUC. He believed that

24 the threat to him would emanate from local fanatical

25 elements rather than mainstream paramilitary





1 organisations."

2 Then this important paragraph:

3 "He also advised that in view of his concerns,

4 Rosemary Nelson, a solicitor acting on behalf of the

5 Coalition, applied on Councillor Duffy's and his behalf

6 for a personal protection weapon. In respect of his

7 Coalition partners, he commented that they were under

8 a similar threat from local fanatical elements,

9 particularly in view of their increasing media profile

10 over the marching dispute."

11 Now, the writer then continues with, as it were, his

12 side of the meeting, explaining the purpose of the

13 scheme, the criteria to be applied and that the

14 threshold or pre-condition for it in the second sentence

15 was:

16 "... if we received advice from the Chief Constable

17 that the individual concerned was under a significant

18 terrorist threat."

19 And significant, sir, as you may remember, is a word

20 that comes from that definition level 3 that we saw

21 earlier:

22 "If the criteria was fulfilled, then we would ask

23 the RUC to carry out a security survey of the

24 individual's home and make recommendations to the NIO as

25 to the precise measures which were required to secure





1 the home."

2 Then the letter continues about the practical

3 arrangements, and a note is made picking up an earlier

4 note we saw about the interesting aspect that there was

5 no refusal at that stage to contemplate the RUC being

6 involved in the process and why that might have wider

7 ramifications.

8 Turning the page to RNI-305-151 (displayed):

9 "In respect of his Coalition partners, I advised

10 that each application would be treated on an individual

11 basis against the criteria for admission to the scheme.

12 He undertook to provide me with the details we required,

13 namely the perceived threat to the individual, their

14 occupation and home address, and he undertook to fax the

15 information through to me on 24th July."

16 Then the official gives, as it were, his own

17 undertaking which is to pass on his query about the PPW,

18 personal protection weapon, application and ask the RUC

19 to get in contact with him.

20 In fact in the evidence -- and we needn't look at

21 this -- it seems from this civil servant's own witness

22 statement that he did not -- or there is certainly no

23 record of him complying with, as it were, his

24 undertaking, and it appears from the material we have

25 seen that nor did Mr Mac Cionnaith fax through the





1 information on the next day, 24th July.

2 Looking back at the letter, sir, you may think it

3 is, as it were, a mixed picture; in other words, the

4 concerns expressed relate not just to

5 Councillor Mac Cionnaith himself but it is put wider:

6 Consideration be given for himself but also for

7 Councillor Duffy or the Coalition partners to be

8 admitted.

9 So far as the detailed threats which are recited,

10 however, they relate to him in the bullet points, and

11 what he says in relation to the Coalition partners in

12 the second sentence of the paragraph below the bullet

13 points is that:

14 "They were under a similar threat from local

15 fanatical elements, particularly in view of their

16 increasing media profile over the marching dispute."

17 So that is the way the matter is left at the end of

18 that meeting, and in fact it emerges from the evidence

19 that this particular official, who wrote the letter --

20 the note we have just been looking at, 24th July,

21 appears to have left the KPPS branch on that very same

22 day, but not before writing to take the matter one step

23 further on the same day, 24th July, at RNI-305-152

24 (displayed).

25 Now, again, sir, this is a significant letter in the





1 history, because you will see just from the outset, the

2 heading and the very first sentence that it is concerned

3 and only concerned with the two councillors. It sets

4 out what the request is; that the two councillors have

5 requested inclusion in the KPPS. Then it recites the

6 threats that we have seen in the note, taking us over

7 the page to RNI-305-153. Then it says at the last bullet point under

8 the threat bullet point, if I can put it that way, we

9 come to the significant difference between this letter

10 and the note, because if you remember, in the note after

11 the bullet points the discussion then moved on to

12 consider the matter more widely, to consider the

13 partners in the coalition. However, this paragraph is

14 simply on the subject matter of the letter, namely:

15 "It would be appreciated if you could arrange for

16 threat risk analysis to be obtained on the above-named

17 councillors in Portadown."

18 So what has happened, it appears, as a result of the

19 note and the letter is that the official has what he

20 regards as sufficient to put the thing forward on behalf

21 of Mr Mac Cionnaith, and he incorporates Mr Duffy,

22 although in fact the letter makes no reference whatever

23 to threats personally directed at him, and there is no

24 reference equally to the other partners or that an

25 application from them might follow.





1 So that is the request made of Security Branch, and

2 at that point it is also worth reminding ourselves that

3 the NIO official at this point had not met Mr Duffy to

4 discuss his concerns, because if you remember he didn't

5 appear at the meeting and Mr Mac Cionnaith, as it were,

6 represented him.

7 Indeed, it is therefore in a sense something of a

8 mystery how the thing proceeds in this way, treating

9 them in parallel, but that is in fact what happens;

10 leaving unresolved the undertaking to supply details, or

11 to get the Coalition partners to supply details, on the

12 NIO for their own positions to be considered.

13 So the position, therefore, is that the original

14 request came in, if you remember, entirely relating to

15 Councillor Mac Cionnaith's own security. Then on

16 21st July it is widened out to the Coalition members and

17 the request made by Mr Mac Cionnaith, and at that point,

18 at this stage we have now reached, it has, as it were,

19 come back in again, but this time so as to include

20 Councillor Duffy.

21 Now, that is, therefore, an obvious sort of point to

22 bring this particular consideration to an end. It is,

23 as it were, a watershed because what then happens is

24 that Security Branch do their work -- and we can see how

25 that went in a moment, but looking back at the original





1 allegations made against this, can I just show you the

2 third place -- we have seen now the British Irish Rights

3 Watch report. We have seen, although it was very

4 difficult to read, the Daily Mail article. Can we look,

5 please, at the third place that the suggestion or

6 allegation was made, which is a press release released

7 by Mr Mac Cionnaith very shortly after the murder, and

8 that is at RNI-306-061.500 (displayed)?

9 This is released on the day of the murder and it

10 shows, as I think I have said before -- it explains why

11 in the note we looked at, internal note within the NIO

12 on the 16th, the next day, the matter had already been

13 referred to. I don't wish to take you through the

14 details of it. The fact is that Mr Mac Cionnaith was

15 also in the US on that day, along, as I have explained,

16 with a number of the politicians and others, and he

17 condemns the murder in the second substantive paragraph,

18 refers to the murder of Pat Finucane in the next

19 paragraph. Then he makes allegations of responsibility

20 in relation to the local MP, David Trimble, and he

21 refers at the bottom to the climate of hatred and

22 bigotry under which this murder was carried out.

23 So far as we are concerned at the moment, the

24 relevant paragraph is the last one, which is on the next

25 page, RNI-306-061.501 (displayed):





1 "The British Government also bear a heavy

2 responsibility at the very highest levels for Rosemary's

3 murder. During talks between representatives of

4 Portadown's Nationalist community and Jonathan Powell,

5 the British Prime Minister Tony Blair's Chief of Staff,

6 and on a number of occasions since, the Garvaghy Road

7 Residents Coalition, in response to the very high level

8 of threat against her, has asked that Rosemary Nelson be

9 provided proper protection under the Key Persons

10 Protection Scheme. The British Government refused every

11 request. If they had provided such protection, it is

12 likely that the murder of Rosemary Nelson could have

13 been prevented."

14 So far as our present consideration goes, then, that

15 takes the matter all the way through up to the time of the

16 murder. And we will follow what happened thereafter in

17 the meetings later in the year. Suffice it to say as at

18 this point, as the security threat risk analysis takes

19 place, that certainly on the documents we have seen no

20 specific request of this kind appears to have been made

21 as at this stage, the end of July 1998.

22 Certainly in the evidence of the civil servant who

23 went to the meeting on, I think it was 23rd July, he

24 says -- and it is paragraph 13 -- I don't wish to show

25 it, but it is at RNI-841-131 -- that there was no





1 specific mention of her by name at that meeting. And as

2 we have seen in the note at RNI-305-149, there is no

3 specific reference to her there other than as the

4 solicitor who has made the application for a personal

5 protection weapon.

6 So, sir, that is what is going on on this particular

7 front. Of course, it takes place against the background

8 of the talks and if you have the chronology here, I want

9 to keep referring back to progress because we will see

10 that when it comes to the crunch on this, the connection

11 between the talks and their progress and security and

12 whether or not it should be provided is very intimate

13 indeed.

14 If you look at the sixth page, there is an entry for

15 21st July on the left, RNI-308-098 (displayed). That is

16 the equivalent moment, as it were, in the progress of

17 the negotiations. And the efforts continued, if you

18 just glance down that page, throughout the next two

19 months. Indeed, I think I am right in saying that

20 bilateral discussions involving the two facilitators

21 I have mentioned began, I think, on 12th August.

22 Now, so far as those were concerned, the main

23 representatives at the NIO were Mr Leach and Mr McCusker

24 and they both have important roles to play in our

25 particular aspect of it, as I will explain.





1 Again, so far as the notes we have seen of those

2 meetings are concerned, they don't appear to record

3 Rosemary Nelson as being present and I am not going to

4 take you to them because it would simply be, as it were,

5 to show you a blank or a negative. But if you look at

6 the NIO minutes at RNI-305-169 (displayed) the meeting

7 of 12th August and indeed at the draft agreed record of

8 the meeting at RNI-305-178.500, there is no reference to

9 her as being present.

10 There was a further meeting, again just for

11 everybody's note, two days later, RNI-305-179. Again,

12 as far as I can see, no reference to Rosemary Nelson

13 being present and also no reference made there to this

14 question of the personal security of the Residents

15 Coalition in those minutes.

16 As it were, the high water mark of it at this point,

17 when the matter appears to have gone into abeyance, is

18 a letter to Mr Leach dated 26th August, which we see at

19 RNI-305-182 (displayed).

20 It is a letter from Mr Mac Cionnaith, 26th August,

21 as I say, referring to an earlier letter to them. And

22 then he discusses what he describes as:

23 "... the following issues which remain outstanding

24 and need to be addressed prior to the release of any

25 agreed statement."





1 And I simply show you the penultimate paragraph,

2 beginning "the attitude":

3 "The attitude of authorities and the RUC in

4 particular to the ongoing intimidation of Catholic

5 families during these almost nightly protests merely

6 reinforces the view held by people local that there

7 appears to be on complete lack of commitment to protect

8 the rights of Portadown Nationalists at all times."

9 That very general reference to the continuing

10 disorder, protest, which was in that area at this point

11 is as far as it goes, and it doesn't, you may think,

12 come anywhere near to being a reference to the specific

13 question of personal security that we have been looking

14 at so far.

15 From the evidence of those who were taking part in

16 the negotiations at this stage, there does appear to be

17 a blank during this period so far as references to this

18 issue is concerned: it therefore is, you may think, all

19 of a piece with that, that in the list of following

20 issues which remain outstanding, as it is put in the

21 letter, there no reference to this point.

22 Now, this is the stage of the discussions or

23 negotiations where what was sought to be achieved was

24 a framework for further discussions. It is one of those

25 passages of negotiation rather than, as it were, any





1 issues of substance. And it may be for that reason or

2 it may be simply because it was felt that the matter was

3 in hand, but for whatever reason, it looks as though it

4 went off the agenda as at that point.

5 Now, so far as the threat risk assessment or

6 analysis is concerned, as I said to you last week

7 I don't propose in this opening to go into the detail of

8 what happened, what material was considered. What I

9 would like to do rather is to see what happened at the

10 end of it, and that we can see at RNI-305-184

11 (displayed).

12 This is a letter of 31st August from Security Branch

13 addressed to the police division and to the civil

14 servant who now emerges as in charge of this side of

15 matters, the KPPS side. It is the response to the

16 letter of request that we saw just a little while ago.

17 It has the same heading of the two councillors' names:

18 "A Headquarters Special Branch intelligence report

19 shows there is no current intelligence held which would

20 indicate a specific threat to either

21 Councillors Mac Cionnaith or Duffy.

22 "We are aware of Councillor Duffy's position within

23 the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition and agree that

24 during heightened tension surrounding Drumcree, the

25 Councillor could have been placed in vulnerable





1 situations in respect of extreme Loyalist elements.

2 "Special Branch confirmed that on 10th July 1998, an

3 anonymous letter was received at the ITV newsroom

4 allegedly from Loyalist group. The contents of the

5 letter purported to threaten the life of

6 Councillor Mac Cionnaith. However, due to the anonymity

7 of its author we are not in a position to assess its

8 authenticity. Councillor Mac Cionnaith, being a

9 convicted IRA terrorist and principal Republican

10 protagonist in the Drumcree stand-off situation, is

11 well-known throughout the Province. His views would no

12 doubt attract the attentions of Loyalist elements.

13 "Being mindful of the current political climate

14 within the Province, in particular the respective

15 terrorist ceasefires, it is assessed that the current

16 level of threat to both Councillor Duffy and

17 Councillor Mac Cionnaith is level 4."

18 Which, as you remember, we have found difficulty in

19 tracking down, but the word "moderate" seems to feature:

20 "Should the ceasefire situation collapse, the level

21 of threat subject to review could be assessed at

22 level 3."

23 So, sir, having then dealt briefly with the

24 positions of the two individuals, you will see that the

25 nub of it is that they don't, in the view of





1 Security Branch, based on that assessment, make it to

2 the threshold and they are at level 4. However, in the

3 last sentence it is recognised that the situation could

4 change should the ceasefire situation collapse.

5 Now, sir, can I just take up various points about

6 this. The second is the reappearance in this letter of

7 a term we have seen before in a different context,

8 namely "specific threat". That is of some interest, or

9 may be, because of the definition of level 3 which

10 I read to you, and it is:

11 "General intelligence, circumstances and/or recent

12 events indicated a significant threat to the

13 individual."

14 It was level 2, if you remember, that referred to

15 specific intelligence and recent events indicated that

16 there was a serious threat to the individual. And the

17 same applies to level 1:

18 "Specific intelligence received that the subject

19 will be the target of an attack."

20 Sir, the use of "specific threat" in this context

21 does not pick up the language, so far as one can see it,

22 of either -- or indeed of any of those definitions. It

23 is, of course, a phrase which we saw used in the context

24 of Rosemary Nelson only a little while ago in relation

25 to both the March and the August 1998 assessments, and





1 it had the same result; in other words, it was a test

2 which was posed and the result was the same, namely that

3 the application or the assessment, as it were, came down

4 to the wrong side.

5 Now, the second and perhaps obvious point about this

6 is to remember that this approach formed part of what

7 was going on with the negotiations and, therefore, so

8 far as those who were involved in the negotiations was

9 concerned, one can well imagine that this was perhaps

10 not the answer that had been either expected or indeed

11 hoped for, and we will see how that develops in due

12 course.

13 What we do see, however, on 3rd September in the

14 handwriting at the bottom right-hand corner, is that the

15 civil servant to whom the letter is addressed says:

16 "I want to take advice on this before preparing

17 a submission to the Minister."

18 Then:

19 "PAB ..."

20 I think that is:

21 "... may have a view on this."

22 And in his evidence to the Inquiry, this civil

23 servant tells us at paragraph 14 -- there is no need to

24 look at it, but it is RNI-842-039:

25 "Normally, if a person was assessed at a level 4,





1 that would be the end of the matter. However, in the

2 case of Mac Cionnaith and Duffy, I was aware that there

3 was a political dimension to it all."

4 And he then explains how he had subsequent

5 discussions about the matter and those confirmed that

6 this was not the result that those at the talks had

7 expected:

8 "There was no pressure put on me to see if the

9 threat assessment could be changed to a higher level.

10 However, understandably, they did want the threat

11 assessment to be thoroughly reviewed."

12 And one has to bear in mind here that despite the

13 slightly complicated way in which the request emerged,

14 the origin of the request was a matter raised with the

15 Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, and it may be that that

16 was something that was acting in the minds of those who

17 then discussed this letter of 31st August.

18 So the civil servant, G115, then discussed the

19 matter with Security Branch and we can see a note of the

20 discussion in letter form at RNI-305-216 (displayed).

21 This is again a significant stage in this process; the

22 same heading as before, dated 7th September. He refers

23 to the letter we have seen in which both of the above

24 were assessed at level 4:

25 "The parades issue has been somewhat overshadowed by





1 events of late."

2 Bear in mind, sir, as you will see from the

3 chronology, that in August, in the middle of August

4 there was the Omagh bomb, and on 22nd, for example, the

5 INLA ceasefire:

6 "Following receipt of your assessment, I spoke to

7 a senior NIO colleague on Friday last who is directly

8 involved with discussions around the Garvaghy Road

9 parade. He advised me the issue was still very much

10 live and that Mac Cionnaith had been in touch earlier in

11 the day to voice his concerns about his own safety.

12 When civil servant visited Mac Cionnaith, he was

13 particularly concerned about the circulation of

14 a leaflet in Loyalist areas of Portadown (enclosed)

15 which made an attack both against him and his solicitor.

16 He was also concerned about the possibility of rogue

17 Loyalists disaffected with the Loyalist ceasefires

18 targeting him and Councillor Duffy.

19 "On the basis of Councillors Mac Cionnaith and

20 Duffy's key roles in the ongoing talks to find

21 a solution to Drumcree, I thought it best to keep you up

22 to date with Mac Cionnaith's concerns, particularly with

23 regard to the last sentence of your letter of

24 31st August."

25 That is the letter we have just seen. Now, the last





1 sentence, if you remember, of that letter was the one

2 which raised the possibility that things might change,

3 i.e. that the threat might be assessed at level 3, and

4 I quote:

5 "... should the ceasefire situation collapse."

6 So it is, you may think, a somewhat strained

7 connection or reference to that last sentence because

8 there is no suggestion in this letter of the 7th that

9 there was an imminent prospect of the ceasefire's

10 collapsing.

11 What we do see on the next page, RNI-305-217

12 (displayed), is the leaflet, the pamphlet that we saw

13 was the subject, indeed the only subject, as it turned

14 out, of the August threat assessment for

15 Rosemary Nelson. And it is obviously important for us

16 that in this letter of 7th September, going back to

17 RNI-305-216 (displayed), the civil servant describes the

18 pamphlet, which she says is in circulation in Loyalist

19 areas of Portadown, as making an attack both against the

20 councillor and against his solicitor.

21 Now, that was, as it were, not something which was

22 required as an observation in the context of the

23 specific request in relation to the two councillors

24 involved in the talks, so it appears to have been

25 a reaction to the pamphlet or analysis of the pamphlet





1 given by the civil servant, as it were, because that is

2 what it seemed to amount to to him.

3 Now, where this, you may ask, leaves us on the

4 evidence we have already listened to or I have outlined

5 to you about the extent to which the NIO regarded it as

6 appropriate to question, raise concerns about or even

7 challenge assessments is an interesting question.

8 Here, the assessment has been given. It is pretty

9 obvious, you may think, that it is not the answer that

10 the negotiators wished, that it is now at least

11 potentially becoming an obstacle in the negotiations --

12 as it said, the issue was still very much live -- and

13 the NIO is going back for a review effectively in

14 relation to the pamphlet, which we know in fact had been

15 held by them by this stage for over a month and had not

16 been referred to nor, I think, apparently mentioned by

17 Councillor Mac Cionnaith in the original list of points

18 he wanted drawn to the attention of the KPPS assessors.

19 In his evidence on this, the relevant civil servant,

20 the author of this letter, says he wanted to be clear,

21 he wanted him -- that is the person he was writing to at

22 Security Branch:

23 "... to be clear I was neither seeking to challenge

24 the police's independence in operational matters for

25 political reasons, nor asking him to change the





1 assessment on the basis of no new information. That is

2 why new information was provided to give a basis for

3 a fresh look."

4 And that is his statement, paragraph 16 at

5 RNI-842-039 (displayed).

6 There is an evidential oddity about this which I am

7 just going to mention in case it comes as a puzzling

8 surprise later. This letter and indeed the earlier

9 letter appeared to have been addressed to the

10 superintendent, I think it was, in charge of the

11 Security Branch, and the letter of 31st August appeared

12 to have been sent by him to the official at the NIO. In

13 fact, in his -- that is the superintendent's --

14 evidence, he says, as a matter of fact that (a) he

15 didn't write the letter -- I think one of the his junior

16 officers did -- and (b), he certainly doesn't remember

17 a conversation taking place with the NIO official. So

18 there is a little bit of a puzzle there.

19 It may be that the official spoke to another member,

20 another officer within the Security Branch who was able

21 to deal with the issue, but that is what he says and it

22 is, in fairness, notable that the letter of the 7th, at

23 RNI-305-216 (displayed), which we have up here, does not

24 refer in terms at any rate to a conversation. It does

25 not say "we spoke earlier today and this is what I told





1 you, here it is in writing". That is just a small and

2 slightly puzzling aspect of this part of evidence.

3 Now, note also that the letter here, 7th September,

4 offers nothing new, at least nothing specific new about

5 Councillor Duffy. The pamphlet does not, at least not

6 on the face of it, refer to him specifically and that is

7 addressed, the position of Councillor Duffy is

8 addressed, as far as I can see, simply in the last

9 sentence of the second paragraph:

10 "Concerned about the possibility of rogue Loyalists

11 disaffected with the Loyalist ceasefires targeting him

12 and Councillor Duffy."

13 And the concerns said to have been expressed there

14 by Mr Mac Cionnaith are concerns about his own safety.

15 Now, as to the history by which this leaflet or

16 pamphlet came to enter this process, it is not

17 absolutely plain, but it looks as though the initiative

18 here is almost -- the probability is the initiative was

19 taken by the senior NIO colleague directly involved with

20 the discussions; the discussions being, of course, not

21 about this issue of security but the big discussions, as

22 it were, about the parade and, as it is put here in the

23 last paragraph:

24 "The talks to find a solution to Drumcree."

25 We will see how this emerges: that this was an





1 initiative, it would appear, that was taken with that

2 very much in mind and, therefore, is likely to have been

3 prompted not by the KPPS people, still less of course by

4 Security Branch, but by those senior NIO officials who

5 were concerned to keep up progress in the talks.

6 Now, can we look, please, at RNI-305-203

7 (displayed), which shows how those matters were

8 proceeding? This is a note of a meeting with the

9 residents' committee on 4th September. It is a draft,

10 and you will see various suggested amendments to it. I

11 think that may be Mr Leach's handwriting, in fact. If

12 we go over the page -- I am looking for paragraph 9 in

13 this document. It is at RNI-305-205. Yes, thank you.

14 (displayed). It is the new paragraph 9, exactly, in

15 handwriting:

16 "Finally, two other matters were dealt with by the

17 meeting ..."

18 This is the meeting on the 4th:

19 "... first, the residents agreed the note of the

20 meeting held on 12th August."

21 Presumably that is the earlier meeting I mentioned

22 to you:

23 "And second ..."

24 That is Mr Leach:

25 "... agreed ..."





1 And then he has made this amendment to:

2 "... check progress on some personal security

3 matters previously raised by the residents."

4 Then another piece of evidence pointing the same way

5 at RNI-305-207 (displayed). That is a high level

6 memorandum from him dated the 7th, the same day as the

7 letter we have seen. Contact with number 10:

8 "Issue: latest developments an effort to broker

9 lasting resolution of Drumcree parades.

10 "Timescale: Urgent. Recommendation that ministers

11 note the position and approve updated letter to

12 Jonathan Powell."

13 So that is reporting from Northern Ireland, from the

14 NIO to the Chief of Staff at 10 Downing Street:

15 "At the Secretary of State's request, Mr Ingram and

16 Mr Murphy ..."

17 That is the two ministers:

18 "... are to consider the draft letter attached to my

19 submissions of the 3rd [I haven't taken you to that]

20 before it is sent to number 10."

21 Which is perhaps an obvious indication of its

22 importance:

23 "In this context, it is worth recording that

24 Jonathan Powell rang me at home on Sunday evening to

25 discuss the way ahead on Portadown in the light of the





1 overnight violence, including very serious injury to

2 a policeman.

3 "3. I explained I had seen McKenna in the

4 Garvaghy Road on Friday and spoken to him on the phone

5 on Saturday."

6 There may be a echo there of the reference in the

7 letter to the senior NIO official having a discussion in

8 which Mr Mac Cionnaith raised concerns about his

9 personal security on Friday last, as it is put in the

10 letter of the same day:

11 "Portadown was certainly in a febrile state with

12 increasing tension (scarcely touched by the post-Omagh

13 mood of reconciliation), serious Loyalist violence,

14 continuing unwillingness to move by the Portadown Orange

15 district leadership, although several individual

16 Orangemen are anxious to find a way out, and the

17 residents becoming more fixed in a their stance as

18 a result of the Loyalist harassment and what they saw

19 (unrealistically) as an inadequate policing response."

20 He then carries on:

21 "McKenna had agreed on Friday to a

22 confidence-building statement we had put to him with the

23 proviso that it be held in private by all sides rather

24 than being publicly issued, but had resiled from this on

25 Saturday afternoon because, in his view, the police were





1 not doing enough to protect Nationalists from Loyalist

2 violence.

3 "I stressed the operational independence of the police,

4 but offeed to facilitate a meeting between him and

5 Assistant Chief Constable Craig to discuss his concerns.

6 Ironically, the worst violence later on in the evening

7 arose precisely when the police were taking the action

8 McKenna accused them of neglecting, i.e. containing

9 Loyalists in the Corcrain Estate, rather than allowing

10 them on to Charles Street to cluster round the

11 Craigwell Avenue entrance."

12 Et cetera.

13 So that, as I say, I think, may give us a clue as to

14 how this renewed initiative on security emerged. It

15 certainly helps on timing, you may think, but it also

16 shows, I would suggest, (1) that things on the ground

17 were still very volatile, the atmosphere described as

18 being febrile, there was violence continuing, serious

19 Loyalist violence continuing, and the two sides becoming

20 entrenched in their positions; obviously bad news for

21 those concerned with moving the negotiations on.

22 This, therefore, may, as I say, provide the clue as

23 to how the personal security issue moved on.

24 If you see the letter of 7th September, just one

25 more time -- can we look at RNI-305-206 (displayed) --





1 you will see that there is a reference there to the

2 visit to Mr Mac Cionnaith and the statement that he was

3 particularly concerned about the pamphlet there.

4 I should have highlighted that before in support of the

5 point that I made that actually when we saw the note of

6 that meeting and the letter which followed it, the

7 pamphlet, as far as I could see it at any rate, was not

8 in fact one of the matters which appeared to emerge from

9 that meeting.

10 Now, you will remember also -- and I am not going to

11 take you back to it -- that in the British Irish Rights

12 Watch report, it suggested that the pamphlet was given

13 to them -- that is the Government -- by the Residents

14 Coalition in the talks held in Armagh, the proximity

15 talks held in Armagh on 21st July 1998.

16 As far as we can tell, the position is, on the

17 documents at any rate, that it emerged later after this

18 impasse, and with the letter of 7th September. And it

19 came into the assessment or analysis in that way.

20 Mr Powell, in his statement to the Inquiry at

21 paragraph 16 -- again, I don't need to show it, but it

22 is at RNI-817-048 -- says as far as his recollection is

23 concerned, he doesn't remember the pamphlets mentioning

24 Mr Mac Cionnaith or Rosemary Nelson, and indeed says

25 that he only became aware of this pamphlet after reading





1 the Cory Report.

2 So far as we can tell, the first reference in the

3 minutes of meetings to the pamphlet is at RNI-205-603.

4 This is a good while later on 20th November, and it is

5 at a later stage in the story, by which time the

6 Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust had entered the picture

7 as a potential provider of funding for security

8 measures. I can show it to you there at RNI-305-265 in

9 this meeting of 20th November, paragraph 14 (displayed),

10 in the third line, where there is specific reference to

11 Rosemary Nelson as one of:

12 "... 12 people associated with the Coalition who

13 were in need of some protection. These include

14 Rosemary Nelson, the solicitor who acts on their behalf.

15 "Her case has recently been investigated by the UN

16 and she has been the target of a particularly vitriolic

17 Loyalist leaflet. She would like security protection,

18 but could not accept to be part of the Government's

19 scheme."

20 That is obviously important and we will return to

21 it. For now, though, I simply wanted to show you what,

22 as far as we can see, is the first record of a reference

23 to this pamphlet in the minutes or notes of meetings.

24 What may assist you though is that right at the

25 outset of the pamphlet's emergence at the NIO, which, if





1 you remember, comes through the secretariat on

2 4th August, the briefing note on the pamphlet to the

3 police division was copied, as Mr Leach confirms in his

4 evidence at paragraph 32 to him, amongst other officials

5 at the NIO.

6 The final piece of material on this I wanted to show

7 you, which I would like to display from Mr Leach's

8 statement, paragraph 42 at RNI-841-315, because it is of

9 more general importance. It begins at the bottom of the

10 page (displayed). You will see the heading before then

11 at 39:

12 "The wider political context was relevant."

13 Having told us that he didn't normally get involved

14 in the applications, he did get involved in these ones:

15 "They had, in effect, made their personal security

16 a pre-condition to starting the proximity talks again,

17 the wider political context was relevant. The

18 Good Friday Agreement had been achieved in April, the

19 Assembly had been elected in June, we were striving to

20 put together a working multi-party executive to devolve

21 powers to. We wanted to remove any possible irritants

22 and obstacles to that development. The Drumcree

23 stand-off was a significant irritant."

24 Then it gives other powerful reasons for its

25 importance:





1 "The local MP was the potential first minister and

2 intimately concerned with Drumcree. He wanted some

3 positive way forward for the Orangemen. Number 10 was

4 also involved as David Trimble would see the Prime

5 Minister on this issue. We, therefore, wanted to defuse

6 the situation between the Orangemen and the Nationalists

7 and achieve some resolution which avoided people going

8 back out on to the streets. Resuming the talks offered

9 the way towards that."

10 What, you may think, emerges from this point is that

11 what is significant about these applications is not so

12 much detailed and careful analysis of levels of threat

13 or risk, but rather an appreciation at a much higher

14 level of their roles in the negotiation, and that leads

15 to the decision-making as we will see.

16 The situation, therefore, sir, as at September is

17 that a new initiative has been taken. It is limited to

18 the two councillors, no reference in the communication

19 with Security Branch to the other members of the

20 Coalition as applicants for protection, as people to be

21 considered in the analysis or assessment, but

22 a reference to Rosemary Nelson as one of the two subject

23 matters of the pamphlet.

24 Now, the Security Branch response to the

25 7th September letter was relatively rapid. They respond





1 on 13th September at RNI-305-223 (displayed); back to

2 the official in the police division, from the

3 Security Branch. Again, it appears on the face of it at

4 any rate to be signed by the relevant superintendent,

5 the same heading:

6 "Thank you for your letter of 7th September. The

7 matter has again been considered and whilst we fully

8 appreciate the concerns expressed, it may not be prudent

9 to be speculative in the current political climate. Of

10 course, Councillors Mac Cionnaith and Duffy will be

11 placed in vulnerable situations particularly with regard

12 to Drumcree, but no more so than that applicable to

13 others involved in such contentious issues.

14 "In the absence of intelligence to indicate

15 a specific threat to the councillors, we have again

16 analysed the risk of any potential threat. Taking all

17 matters into consideration, my letter to you dated

18 31st August 1998 remains extant, including the assessed

19 level 4 threat."

20 Now, this therefore was a repeat of the same answer:

21 there had been reconsideration, it appears, and some

22 rather general comment is made in the second paragraph,

23 "again, we have a reference to specific threat", but it

24 appears that again, it is said, the analysis has

25 encompassed the risk of any potential threat.





1 Now, that, I think, is the first time we have seen

2 that particular expression in any of the material, but

3 whatever has been analysed, the result is the same,

4 taking all matters into consideration.

5 There is then some further sort of minor conflict in

6 the evidence between the various NIO officials as to how

7 and when there was discussion about this matter. The

8 official charged with the KPPS system says in his

9 statement -- this is G115 at paragraph 19:

10 "It was now a matter for the politicians and others

11 dealings with the political dimensions of the parade to

12 decide if and/or how protection was going to be given to

13 the councillors, bearing in mind the threat risk

14 assessment. Either ministers would resolve to give the

15 councillors protection under the scheme despite the

16 police threat risk assessment, in which case the

17 integrity of the scheme, in my view, would have been

18 called into question, or they would decide to give the

19 councillors some protection outside the scheme."

20 Now, sir, that comment introduces what became the

21 next sort of issue or battleground within the NIO,

22 trying to weigh up the political imperative of moving

23 the negotiations forward, removing an obstacle to

24 progress on the one hand, with trying to uphold, as it

25 was put in that paragraph of the statement, the





1 integrity of the scheme.

2 That, as I say, is the theme of the next events.

3 Now, can we look at RNI-305-252 (displayed)?

4 This is an important memorandum which we will return

5 to, but I wanted to show you in particular a passage at

6 the bottom of RNI-305-254 (displayed). It is

7 a memorandum written by Mr Leach on 26th October,

8 because at the bottom of RNI-305-254, paragraph 5,

9 having set out in detail the history of the matter so

10 far, you will see on this page, paragraphs 3 and 4,

11 4 having in the last sentence the reference to the

12 reassessment, and we will see the way in particular that

13 he expresses that in due course. But it is said by

14 Mr Leach that he:

15 "... subsequently discussed the issues with an

16 Assistant Chief Constable who indicated that he, [the

17 Assistant Chief Constable] had consulted the

18 Chief Constable. [The first officer] accepted that

19 Mac Cionnaith in particular is the focus of considerable

20 antagonism in Loyalist and Orange circles, evidenced,

21 for example, in [name redacted] suggestion earlier this

22 month that he should be taken out and could be at

23 considerable risk if he found himself in a Loyalist area

24 of Portadown.

25 "However, he argued that had a similar threat would





1 apply to many others. He stressed that the RUC threat

2 assessments have to be based on the intelligence and

3 facts available. It is, of course, right and of

4 particular importance in the current climate of

5 financial stringency that RUC assessments should not be

6 coloured by political considerations. But at the same

7 time, ministers may clearly wish in an exceptional case

8 to take the broader public interest into account."

9 So reading between its lines, sir, it looks as

10 though this official who, as we know, is involved in

11 detail with the negotiations, had himself raised the

12 question, queried the assessment, one infers, with an

13 Assistant Chief Constable who had himself gone to the

14 Chief Constable who had, in this case also, as in

15 the March assessment of Rosemary Nelson, as in

16 the August assessment with Rosemary Nelson, taken a role

17 and had discussed the matter, it would appear, with the

18 Assistant Chief Constable. And that is the result: that

19 despite the fact it appears that somebody, at any rate,

20 had suggested that he, Mr Mac Cionnaith, should be taken

21 out, and he would be at considerable risk if he found

22 himself in a Loyalist area, that applied to many others

23 and, therefore, as it were, no change was the position.

24 So it appears that this civil servant at any rate

25 takes an approach to these matters rather like that of





1 the head of police division that I showed you or

2 mentioned earlier, whereby the assessment was simply not

3 received and meekly accepted but questioned, as

4 appropriate, and a discussion expected before it was

5 accepted.

6 Now, sir, we are now therefore some months on since

7 we last looked at the chronology and it is important to

8 flag up what was going on on the broader front,

9 precisely because this is where the two meet.

10 At the bottom of the page we were looking at,

11 28th September, you will see a communication from the

12 NIO to number 10, and we summarise it in there. You

13 will see the last part of our summary says:

14 "Continuing disorder, riots in Portadown. Secretary

15 of State wants Mr Powell to restart the proximity

16 talks."

17 In the next box, sir, if you remember the reference

18 to the police officer very seriously injured. He died,

19 Police Constable O'Reilly, on 6th October that year,

20 thus underlining the very serious and continuing

21 problems of violence in Portadown.

22 Now, sir, it would appear from the material that, as

23 well as discussing it with the

24 Assistant Chief Constable, Mr Leach also talked it

25 through with his colleagues. We can see a note at





1 RNI-305-243 (displayed) of one of those discussions. It

2 took place on 1st October, so before the memorandum

3 I have just shown you. This is from his colleague to

4 Mr Leach, 12th October. As I say, it is from the head

5 of police division. This is the successor to the

6 witness whose evidence I have referred to on a number of

7 previous occasions. The heading, "The Two Councillors":

8 "We have discussed how best we might approach the

9 councillors concerns over physical security measures at

10 their homes, given that both do not meet the threat

11 level criteria for entry to the KPPS.

12 "Nevertheless, you consider this an issue of

13 sufficient importance in the context of the Portadown

14 that efforts should be made to assuage their concerns.

15 I remain of the view that we shall not attempt to act in

16 such a way as might damage or undermine the integrity of

17 the scheme simply by including them when they do not

18 meet the criteria for entry. We agreed that it is for

19 ministers to decide if it is worthwhile to protect

20 Mac Cionnaith and Duffy, albeit exceptionally and

21 outside the scheme.

22 "As you requested, I have attached a draft

23 submission to ministers which covers the entry criteria

24 to the scheme and provides measures outside it which

25 might be adopted. I have left it to you to add the





1 detailed political case for ministers in view of your

2 involvement in the Portadown negotiations."

3 We can see there the respective roles: one dealing

4 with the police division's concerns about the integrity

5 of the scheme and that same official leaving it to, as

6 it were, the political civil servant involved in the

7 negotiations to supplement the draft with the political

8 element.

9 So the draft which appears is the draft from the

10 police division, and that we can see at RNI-305-245

11 (displayed).

12 Now, what I would like to try to do -- and

13 I approach this not without concern -- is to display at

14 the same time RNI-305-252 of the same file (displayed).

15 Thank you very much. Because by looking at them

16 together, you can see the very substantial amendments --

17 and these are not the only ones made -- which took place

18 between the two stages.

19 They reflect very much the involvement of the

20 political official, if I can put it that way, because

21 looking first at summary issue, you will see that the

22 first one, the draft, on the left, begins with some

23 simple statements of fact:

24 "Both councillors have been assessed for entry to

25 the scheme. They do not [underlined] currently meet the





1 level of threat criteria under the scheme to justify

2 their entry. Both still perceive their personal

3 security as an issue around the sensitive discussions

4 over Drumcree. The issue is whether ministers are

5 willing to agree expenditure on limited physical

6 security measures at the homes of both councillors

7 outside [underlined] the scope of the key persons

8 protection scheme."

9 Then looking over, it begins in a very different

10 way:

11 "Breandan Mac Cionnaith has asked for protection for

12 himself and other members of the Garvaghy Road Residents

13 Coalition."

14 So it is put on the basis of the request made by

15 a key negotiating figure in these negotiations, not only

16 for himself but also for other members of the Coalition.

17 So it is much wider from the outset; wider not only in

18 terms of the political emphasis but also in the nature

19 of the protection requested:

20 "He and Joe Duffy have been assessed for entry to

21 the scheme into which, as councillors, they could be

22 admitted subject to the RUC threat."

23 Again, it is being put forward in a very particular

24 way, as you can see:

25 "The RUC have said ...",





1 not that they do not currently meet the level of threat.

2 The RUC have said that:

3 "... they do not currently meet the level of threat

4 criteria under the scheme which would justify physical

5 protection measures."

6 Again, even that part of the sentence is amended

7 from the draft:

8 "Both still perceive their personal security as an

9 issue around the sensitive discussions over Drumcree."

10 That is the same:

11 "The issue is whether ministers are willing to agree

12 expenditure on limited physical security measures at the

13 homes of both councillors outside the scope of the

14 KPPS".

15 That is the same, but the tenor and tone, the way it

16 is put, is, you may think, changed by these amendments.

17 And the same is true of the next passage, where you can

18 see, just looking at the document, that the

19 recommendation section is longer and although it begins

20 with the same words, the draft says:

21 "There is clearly an expectation that government

22 will do something for them."

23 Whereas the equivalent passage in the first sentence

24 of the actual memorandum is that:

25 "They see the provision of protection as an





1 important confidence-building measure."

2 Again, putting it in the context of the

3 negotiations. There is then a complete divergence

4 between the two texts:

5 "If it is not provided, this could be a serious

6 complicating factor in the proximity talks we hope to

7 organise."

8 Then perhaps one may think quite an important

9 bracket here:

10 "... (involving Jonathan Powell) as a further and

11 perhaps final attempt at reaching an accommodation."

12 And it is only after those words that the documents

13 come back together with:

14 "Ministers are, therefore, recommended exceptionally

15 to approve the ..."

16 Mr Leach has amended the draft so as to remove the

17 split infinitive at that point.

18 I would like to carry on not with the draft but with

19 RNI-305-252 (displayed), the actual document because:

20 "Ministers are therefore recommended exceptionally

21 to approve in principle a limited package of security

22 measures outside the ..."

23 Could we go over to RNI-305-253 now, please?

24 (displayed):

25 "... Key Persons Protection Scheme for Mac Cionnaith





1 and Duffy to be implemented if the proximity talks come

2 to fruition, in order to avoid their personal security

3 becoming a obstacle to the success of those talks."

4 Timescale:

5 "If ministers are content to endorse the

6 recommendation above, implementation would follow on

7 a firm decision to convene proximity talks."

8 Then there is the background that we have now traced

9 together. It is said in the second line under

10 "Background" that he:

11 "... approached Jonathan Powell with concerns over

12 both his and the councillor's [Councillor Duffy's]

13 personal security at their homes. He also had a general

14 concern for the safety of his fellow Coalition members."

15 Well, sir, we have traced the history. That is

16 a compressed version, as it were, of the history that we

17 have seen. Then it gives brief details of the scheme,

18 and over at RNI-305-254 (displayed), under paragraph 3:

19 "As councillors, both Mac Cionnaith and Duffy would

20 be eligible for entry to the discretionary part of the

21 scheme, subject to a threat assessment which placed them

22 at levels 1 to 3.

23 "The RUC have carried out a threat risk assessment

24 on both and concluded that given the current political

25 climate within Northern Ireland and in particular the





1 respective terrorist ceasefires, there was no

2 intelligence to suggest a significant threat to either

3 individual."

4 Sir, it may be purist semantics, but this is an

5 interesting sentence, you may think, because here

6 Mr Leach is aware, it would appear, of the relevant

7 terminology defining what constitutes level 3, and it is

8 he who introduces in this memorandum the word

9 "significant" which is the one we actually saw, as

10 opposed to "specific" in the definition of level 3:

11 "They were, therefore, assessed at level 4 [general

12 threat only] and as such fell short of the risk criteria

13 for entry to the Scheme."

14 Sir, if you remember, level 3 was:

15 "General intelligence, circumstances and/or recent

16 events indicated a significant threat ..."

17 Not a specific threat:

18 "... a significant threat to the individual."

19 Now, moving down this page, he then sets out what

20 happened on the next round, as it were, and I have

21 quoted the next two paragraphs to you. But so far as

22 this note is concerned, the more important passage

23 follows on RNI-305-255 (displayed) in paragraph 6:

24 "In this case, McKenna said that he treats the

25 protection issue as an acid test of the good faith of





1 government in treating the residents fairly and seeking

2 to achieve a balanced outcome. If no movement is made

3 on these concerns, the issue might well prove

4 a significant obstacle in the proximity talks we are

5 hoping to organise. As the Drumcree dispute is a highly

6 destabilising element in the currently political scene

7 and increasingly provides a focus for rejectionist

8 Loyalism, there is a strong case for maximising the

9 chances of success of these talks.

10 "Against this background, I would recommend that

11 ministers should exceptionally and outside the scheme

12 agree in principle to a range of physical security

13 measures at the homes of both councillors similar to

14 that offered to civil servants on the scheme up to the

15 cost of ..."

16 And then there's a number plus VAT:

17 "In this way, we can differentiate between the

18 minute level of expenditure of domestic ..."

19 Then there is another redacted sum:

20 "... for those who are admitted to the discretionary

21 category of the scheme. I would also suggest that

22 anything we might do for both McKenna and Duffy should

23 be a one-off package attracting no ongoing maintenance.

24 "This decision in principle would be activated with

25 the two men being notified and the measures implemented





1 only when it becomes clear that the proximity talks are

2 proceeding."

3 And there, the recommendations which follow are at

4 paragraph 8 to RNI-305-256 (displayed):

5 "(i) Note that on the basis of the RUC assessment

6 ..."

7 They wouldn't be admitted:

8 "Note that the resolution of the protection issue

9 could remove a potentially significant obstacle to the

10 success of the planned proximity talks involving

11 Jonathan Powell."

12 And again, his name appears in this subparagraph,

13 and:

14 "... exceptionally, agree in principle a limited

15 one-off package of security measures not above [blank]

16 for each councillor to be notified to them and

17 implemented if the proximity talks are launched as

18 planned."

19 Sir, you saw in paragraph 6, as I showed you on

20 RNI-305-255, the issue having disappeared from the

21 screen, as it were, has now come back and it is put here

22 much, much higher than it had been at any earlier stage.

23 We are now on 26th October and it is said that it is

24 being treated as an acid test of the good faith of

25 government in treating the residents fairly and seeking





1 to achieve a balanced outcome. And the background to

2 the recommendation does not focus, does not focus, on

3 the specifics of any assessment, on whether or not there

4 is a specific threat, a significant threat; it is not

5 even referred to in this passage.

6 But the emphasis, very strongly, is on the

7 importance of success in the negotiations, i.e. that the

8 proximity talks involving Jonathan Powell should be able

9 to start. That is because, as it is put, Drumcree, the

10 Drumcree dispute:

11 "... is a highly destabilising element in the

12 current political scene and increasingly provides

13 a focus for rejectionist Loyalism."

14 So, sir, that is the recommendation as amended by

15 Mr Leach in the ways that I have shown you, which goes

16 up to the Secretary of State herself. And note also

17 that by way of, as it were, reciprocity, the

18 recommendation is that what the councillors have asked

19 for should only be granted contingent upon the talks

20 restarting. In other words, this is truly a negotiation

21 recommendation. The councillors are saying -- or

22 certainly Councillor Mac Cionnaith is reported as

23 saying: this is an acid test, we cannot start your

24 proximity talks unless it is resolved in the way we

25 would like it to be. The recommendation for the





1 Secretary of State is: tell them that it can be resolved

2 in that way, but only if you agree to restart the talks

3 and implementing, as it says, there in sub (iii),

4 measures is conditional upon the talks being launched as

5 planned.

6 Now, despite that effort on the part of Mr Leach,

7 the answer which comes back to him from the private

8 secretary is no, and we can see that at RNI-305-257

9 (displayed). It comes the next day in this very high

10 level note. You can see the copies on the right-hand

11 side, signed by the private secretary:

12 "The Secretary of State has seen your submission of

13 26th October, recommending that exceptionally ministers

14 should agree to Breandan Mac Cionnaith and Joe Duffy

15 being given a one-off package of security measures if

16 the proximity talks are launched as planned.

17 "The Secretary of State is not convinced, however,

18 that this is an appropriate step, particularly since the

19 RUC have said there is no intelligence to suggest

20 a significant threat to either individual. Her view is

21 that we have in the past accepted RUC advice in these

22 cases and would want more persuading before going

23 against the RUC advice on this occasion."

24 So that, you may think, is fairly clear. The

25 relevant test is, you may think, correctly identified in





1 the second paragraph, and we have through this note

2 another piece of material going to this question of to

3 what extent did the RUC in fact, either in general or in

4 particular cases, have the final word and to what extent

5 was that accepted. We have in the past accepted RUC

6 advice in these cases and would want more persuading, as

7 the Secretary of State would, before going against it.

8 So it wasn't actually the end of the matter but, as

9 it were, a better case than had been put forward in the

10 26th October memorandum would have to be produced for

11 her to be persuaded.

12 Now, what then appears to have happened, according

13 to the evidence that we have obtained in witness

14 statements to the Inquiry, is that Mr McCusker, who

15 I have mentioned already as taking a large part in these

16 negotiations, was encouraged we think by Mr Watkins at

17 the NIO -- another very senior official -- to have

18 a word, to speak directly to the Secretary of State.

19 And according to Mr McCusker's own evidence -- and it is

20 paragraph 24 at RNI-813-448 (displayed) -- he told

21 Mo Mowlam that the decision was -- let us see if we

22 can -- the bottom of the page, it is, the very last

23 line:

24 "I told Mo Mowlam that I thought the decision was

25 ill-advised ..."





1 Could we go on to the next page, RNI-813-449 (displayed):

2 "... and that if she refused to provide the

3 protection suggested, any further talks would be

4 unlikely. If she agreed to the suggestions, there was

5 a reasonable chance the talks would continue. Mo Mowlam

6 said that she would think about it."

7 And it seems that that direct and directly expressed

8 intervention did the trick, because at RNI-305-258

9 (displayed), on 2nd November:

10 "Ministers have reconsidered, after consultation

11 with officials, your submission of 26th October and are

12 now content to accept the recommendations contained

13 therein."

14 There is no evidence of any further notes, written

15 attempts to persuade, so it does sound as though it was

16 the personal intervention of Mr McCusker that did the

17 trick.

18 Now, we can see from all of the material we have

19 seen on the wider picture of the negotiations that of

20 course the imperative to keep the parties talking, to

21 restart the proximity talks, was not simply something in

22 the minds of the NIO, the Secretary of State. Far from

23 it; the impetus was coming from number 10

24 Downing Street, from the Prime Minister and his

25 Chief of Staff. And in his statement to us, Mr Powell





1 confirms -- paragraph 2, for example -- that the Prime

2 Minister was keen to resolve the Drumcree dispute with

3 the aim of helping to make the Good Friday Agreement

4 work.

5 We see evidence to very similar effect from

6 officials at the NIO, and Mr Watkins says, for example,

7 in paragraph 8 of his statement:

8 "Drumcree had become a microcosm for political and

9 other issues in Northern Ireland. If we were unable to

10 resolve this issue, then a lot of other things could

11 fall apart."

12 So attaching themselves, as it were, to the specific

13 question of security for two local councillors were

14 much, much wider factors and points which appear, as you

15 will see from that submission of 26th October, when

16 coupled with the advocacy of Mr McCusker, to have done

17 the trick.

18 Now, sir, the next phase of this is the involvement

19 of the Joseph Rowntree Trust. Is that a convenient

20 moment to have our break?

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, shortly before 3 o'clock.

22 (2.41 pm)

23 (Short break)

24 (2.58 pm)

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.





1 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, we have now reached the stage at which

2 the Secretary of State has reconsidered the matter and

3 decided to proceed as recommended by Mr Leach. And it

4 appears from the evidence that Mr Mac Cionnaith was

5 informed after that that both he and Mr Duffy would be

6 forwarded personal security measures, and Mr Leach

7 describes in his evidence meeting Mr Mac Cionnaith I

8 think in a bar in Lurgan, and discussing it with him

9 with Mr McCusker and Mr Watkins.

10 Mr Leach recalls -- this is paragraph 48 of his

11 statement at RNI-841-318 (displayed) -- that

12 Mr Mac Cionnaith queried at that stage what was

13 happening with protection for the rest of the Coalition.

14 You will see the reference to the meeting at the bottom

15 of the page.

16 Moving over, if we may, to RNI-841-319 (displayed),

17 you see the first sentence of the page:

18 "He then asked us what protection we were going to

19 put in place for the other Coalition members. He said

20 it was open to them to apply for protection under the

21 scheme. However, bearing in mind that

22 Breandan Mac Cionnaith did not qualify under the scheme

23 and he was the member with the highest public profile,

24 it was unlikely that any of his lesser known Coalition

25 members would qualify. Again, he did not name his





1 Coalition members or Rosemary Nelson."

2 It is at this point that the next phase of the

3 matter is introduced, namely the involvement or the

4 possible involvement of the Rowntree Trust.

5 Now, in his evidence about this same passage of the

6 matter, Mr McCusker suggests that when the offer was

7 first made, the offer of protection for the two

8 councillors, they would not accept it -- that is his

9 paragraph 27 -- and indeed, a stance that was then

10 adopted by the Coalition was that they wouldn't continue

11 with the talks until protection had been arranged for

12 all of the Coalition members which, as one can imagine,

13 bearing in mind the negotiating way in which the matter

14 had been resolved with the Secretary of State, must have

15 been particularly galling. And it leads to references

16 in the NIO material to the suggestion that at this point

17 this issue, the issue of personal security, was being

18 used as a delay tactic to ensure that there was no

19 further Orange march, Orange Order march during the

20 course of the rest of the year, i.e. 1998.

21 I can show you an example of that at RNI-305-301

22 (displayed) at the bottom of the page. Paragraph 4,

23 this is another memorandum from Leach to the Private

24 Secretary of the Secretary of State. It begins, for

25 everybody's note, at RNI-305-300, and at paragraph 4 you





1 will see there about the suggestion of one side,

2 Mr Mac Cionnaith, looking for a pretext to avoid early

3 engagement:

4 "... to remove any risk that he might be asked to concede

5 a march in this calendar year. He has raised a number

6 of diversionary issues, including RUC effectiveness in

7 policing Loyalist demonstrations on the fringes of the

8 estate and, more recently, personal protection. We have

9 addressed these issues."

10 Then in brackets:

11 "(On protection, the Secretary of State agreed the

12 recommendation in my submission of 26th October that

13 security measures should be afforded to McKenna and

14 Duffy (in view of their position as councillors). But

15 McKenna subsequently sought protection also for all the

16 members of the GRRC committee.

17 "We explained that this was impossible, but through

18 Mr McCusker's efforts have identified a possible way

19 forward involving the Rowntree Trust. (McKenna has

20 grudgingly acknowledged this fairly exceptional

21 initiative, but continues to complain that the NIO has

22 discriminated against the residents))."

23 That theme we will see emerging now, that having

24 offered what was apparently being requested, namely

25 protection in this exceptional way for the two





1 councillors, another position was being taken up to

2 delay the resumption of talks for that other reason.

3 You will note also the suggestion that if

4 Mr Mac Cionnaith did not qualify under the RUC

5 assessment -- and this was an exceptional measure --

6 then, as we saw from Mr McCusker's, I think it was,

7 statement, it was, as it were, even less likely that

8 other members of the Coalition would meet the test.

9 So as we have seen, the idea coming from Mr McCusker

10 is that another body, not Government but a charitable

11 trust, the Joseph Rowntree Trust, should enter the fray.

12 And eventually, we see there is a meeting, an important

13 meeting on 20th November, between a representative of

14 the Trust, Mr Pittam, and the other participants in

15 negotiations.

16 Now, the background to that is recorded in a note by

17 Mr Pittam to one of his colleagues at the Trust on

18 16th November, and that is RNI-305-259 (displayed).

19 So it is headed "The Joseph Rowntree Charitable

20 Trust". It is from SEP; that is Mr Pittam. As I say,

21 16th November:

22 "I want to keep you informed about a possible

23 initiative which Tony McCusker has raised with ..."

24 The Trust, that is. JRCT, that is the acronym. And

25 it explains how contact was made and what Mr McCusker





1 was doing:

2 "... engaged on behalf of the NIO in trying to

3 arrange proximity talks to discuss and hopefully resolve

4 the Drumcree marching issue for 1999. The two leading

5 members of the Garvaghy Road group, McKenna and Duffy,

6 have requested security assistance as they feel

7 vulnerable to personal attack. The NIO has a scheme

8 through which they can offer this, following an

9 assessment by the RUC. The scheme is for prominent

10 public figures, politicians, judges and the like.

11 "The RUC assessment is that the two figures are at

12 some risk, but not sufficiently so to warrant support

13 under the scheme. A decision has been taken to include

14 them anyway and [a sum of money] each has been earmarked

15 for work on their homes."

16 Then there is a reference to the need for

17 an assessment by the RUC, and it says, interestingly

18 given the earlier references to this, that that has been

19 refused:

20 "But Tony [that is Mr McCusker] believes there may

21 be a way found round the problem.

22 "The bigger problem is that McKenna and Duffy have

23 now come back to the NIO to say that they cannot move

24 forward on the proximity talks without similar

25 assistance being offered to their lawyer





1 (Rosemary Nelson) and several other members the group.

2 Tony understands that there would be 12 people involved

3 in all. They are not demanding the same level of

4 security as that being offered to McKenna and Duffy."

5 Then it says what they are talking about:

6 "All of which would cost in the region of ..."

7 A figure per home:

8 "McKenna and Duffy are indicating they will be

9 unable to commit the Garvaghy Road Residents Group to

10 the process of the proximity talks unless this work is

11 done. The NIO is clear that they have already had to

12 bond the rules for the two main leaders of the group.

13 There is no way in which the Government can respond

14 positively to this request."

15 That is the difficulty, in a nutshell. They came to

16 them with the exceptional decision to be greeted with

17 the point about the talks not being able to move forward

18 without similar assistance being offered to their lawyer

19 and several other members of the group.

20 Now, that can't come from government, and that leads

21 to the invitation, as it were, to the Trust. Now,

22 moving over to the top of the next page, RNI-305-260:

23 "Tony would not wish to overplay the situation. He

24 is not sure that this impasse will scupper the whole

25 process. It is already making the initiative messy and





1 complicated. There is a lot at stake as the Prime

2 Ministers' offices of both the UK and Ireland are

3 involved. It is in everyone's interests for the process

4 to proceed. The purpose of Tony McCusker contacting the

5 Trust is to ascertain whether we could think of any way

6 of finding the resources."

7 Then there is a discussion about how the Trust might

8 assist and whether it would be appropriate, and you will

9 see that it is put in a wider context, namely of

10 economic assistance. You will see that in paragraph 13.

11 And a meeting is arranged as between the residents and

12 Mr Pittam of the Trust.

13 Now, sir, just picking up the point about whether

14 this impasse -- that is the request for protection for

15 the other members of the Coalition and their lawyer --

16 was going to scupper the whole process, it is

17 interesting to note three days later that Mr McCusker

18 expresses his view on that at RNI-305-261

19 (displayed), 19th November.

20 He is reporting on the latest developments, and you

21 will see at 2, he says he has:

22 "... arranged for the meeting with the Rowntree

23 Trust official and Mr Mac Cionnaith and some of his

24 colleagues, tomorrow, the 20th, to examine some options

25 on funding which may provide us with a way out on the





1 difficulty over security arrangements for individual

2 members of the Residents Coalition.

3 "McKenna has reluctantly accepted this as the way

4 forward but indicated that they would formally register

5 with Jonathan Powell their view that this was an issue

6 which should have been sorted out by the police and the

7 NIO. He has said, however, that it will not be a show

8 stopper if it can be sorted out in some other way."

9 Then the rest of the memorandum is concerned with

10 the talks themselves.

11 Now, just going back briefly to RNI-305-259

12 (displayed), the Pittam note of the 16th, here, as we

13 saw in paragraph 6, although there is specific reference

14 to Rosemary Nelson by name, she does not appear in, as

15 it were, the McKenna/Duffy group already catered for,

16 but rather with the other members of the Coalition, and

17 the suggestion that the Trust might afford protection at

18 a lower level and that Rosemary Nelson would form part

19 of that level of protection.

20 Now, sir, that therefore means that from this point

21 onwards, what we are looking at is not any longer the

22 issue of protection for the two councillors, which has

23 been, as it were, catered for, but an issue said by

24 Mr McCusker to be based on discussions with

25 Mr Mac Cionnaith -- not a show stopper -- about the





1 lower level of protection for other members of the

2 Coalition and Rosemary Nelson.

3 It would appear from the material that that is the

4 way matters remained from this point on, as far as we

5 can see anyway, for the remainder of the negotiations.

6 Now, sir, can we just look, please, at the notes of

7 the meeting. They are at RNI-305-263 (displayed). This

8 is the note we saw earlier. It is a Rowntree Trust note

9 and it sets out first of all who was present, and

10 Rosemary Nelson was not present on 20th November.

11 Mr Mac Cionnaith and another member of the Coalition,

12 Joanne Tennyson and a note-taker was present,

13 Mr Pittam -- that is SEP -- and Mr McCusker.

14 I won't dwell on most of this, but there is some

15 recital of the history of the Coalition. Then the

16 security issue is set out at paragraph 5:

17 "Part of the problem about the security issue is

18 that the GRRC feel that their concerns have never been

19 taken seriously by the authorities."

20 Then the next page, RNI-305-264 is devoted to the explanation and

21 discussion about that, namely a recitation of the

22 residents' side of things in the summer of 1998. This

23 is paragraph 7:

24 "The issue of security was one of the first ones the

25 Coalition raised with him."





1 That is with Mr Powell:

2 "... raised also with the Secretary of State, Irish

3 Government, all promised to investigate the issue."

4 Then 8:

5 "The Coalition has raised the issue of security for

6 its members at each of the meetings the Coalition has

7 held and feels that its legitimate concerns about the

8 safety of its committee members have never been taken

9 seriously."

10 Then it gives an example of one of the members

11 having to leave her job because of intimidation, and it

12 says that several members have received threats.

13 Just pausing there, we have now of course seen for

14 ourselves the notes, the records of the various meetings

15 and can clearly form a view based on as to whether the

16 issue was raised at each of the meetings.

17 9:

18 "From the point of view of the Coalition members,

19 the security issue is of crucial importance. All have

20 families who feel vulnerable. Portadown is known for

21 the strength of extremist Loyalist groups. The

22 proximity talks have progressed and there is a real fear

23 that some of the Loyalist groups, especially the LDF,

24 may fracture. There are real fears that a militant

25 splinter group might decide to take someone out."





1 Then the other side of the matter is put by

2 Mr McCusker:

3 "How does the process work? Well, first of all

4 there is an assessment. It takes a long time to work

5 through. Then if there is confirmation there is

6 a threat, then a decision has to be taken as to how to

7 deal with it."

8 The scheme is then set out, and he says -- or this

9 is the way it is recorded at any rate:

10 "A decision had now been taken that they ..."

11 That is the two councillors:

12 "... qualified."

13 Then there is an interesting bit in brackets:

14 "(Mr McCusker mentioned to Mr Pittam privately that

15 the RUC assessment was that neither councillor was

16 sufficiently in danger to warrant inclusion. Both

17 Mowlam and Ingram wanted to back the RUC until a

18 personal intervention by Tony himself persuaded the

19 Secretary of State that they should be included as an

20 indication of good faith.)"

21 Then there is a reference to the involvement of the

22 RUC in the process, taking us over the page, RNI-305-265 to the

23 paragraph we saw earlier, "Scope the Problem", at 14:

24 "The representatives suggested that 12 people

25 associated with the Coalition are in need of some





1 protection. These include Rosemary Nelson, the

2 solicitor who acts on their behalf."

3 And I quoted the remainder of that paragraph to you

4 and the reference to the particularly vitriolic Loyalist

5 leaflet. Then this is an interesting sentence:

6 "She would like protection, she would like security

7 protection but could not accept to be part of the

8 government scheme."

9 Again, this is a note by Mr Pittam, it would appear,

10 after of a meeting at which Rosemary Nelson was not

11 present, but that is the way he records it: She would

12 like protection but could not accept to be part of the

13 Government's scheme.

14 Now, obviously, if that is correct, then the

15 suggestion we have seen raised -- that there was an

16 application on her behalf to join the government

17 scheme -- it must be the Key Persons Protection Scheme,

18 one thinks, in this context -- would appear not to have

19 been the way Mr Pittam understood it anyway, in the

20 course of this meeting on 20th November.

21 Then 15:

22 "As far as the representatives are concerned, this

23 is a test for the Government's commitment to finding

24 a solution. The NIO is telling the GRRC that if

25 a settlement can be reached they will deliver X, Y and





1 Z. As far as the GRRC is concerned, NIO has not even

2 been able to deliver to security. What chance is there

3 that they will deliver on other things?"

4 There was then a discussion about the involvement of

5 non-government money, i.e. the Trust, and the members of

6 the Coalition indicate about six or seven lines down

7 that the issue had been discussed at their last meeting.

8 They had agreed:

9 "... to explore the idea of alternative funding for

10 the security measures. This is for two reasons. First,

11 they do want to get back into the talks, but they feel

12 they cannot move until the security issue is resolved.

13 Hence they are prepared to consider an alternative way

14 of meeting their security demands."

15 In other words, the Government's involvement, the

16 KPPS, therefore, was not an absolute pre-condition for

17 carrying on the talks:

18 "Secondly, they are totally committed to finding

19 a way to providing security for their committee. Once

20 engaged in proximity talks, the profile of those

21 involved will immediately rise. They will appear on

22 television. They need to have a sense that the minimum

23 level of protection has been arranged."

24 At this point, Mr McCusker appears to intervene:

25 "... made clear his view the NIO is adamant that it





1 cannot deliver directly. To extend the offer of

2 security resistance beyond the public figures of the

3 elected councillors would lay the NIO open to demands

4 from all kinds of protest groups."

5 That, so far as he is concerned, is, as it were, the

6 end of the matter.

7 There then is a discussion under what is involved

8 about the practicalities. Then from 21 onwards, they

9 turn in the meeting to deal with wider economic points,

10 the suggestion that there should be a package of aid, to

11 summarise, for this part of Northern Ireland. Then

12 at 29 on the next page, RNI-305-268 (displayed), the

13 conclusion. Second line of 29:

14 "What was agreed was that the GRRC would prepare

15 a proposal for consideration by the Trust. The idea

16 would be to have the submission with the Trust by

17 27th November. SEP [Mr Pittam] indicated he would be

18 willing to be consulted about the nature of this

19 proposal. He emphasised there were many hurdles that

20 would need to be overcome before the Trust would be in

21 a position to assist."

22 And he was unable to give any idea as to what the

23 outcome would be.

24 What we also have in the bundle at RNI-305-274

25 (displayed) are the notes as recorded by the Coalition





1 or by a member of the Coalition, perhaps the note-taker

2 to whom we saw reference by Mr Pittam. And this is set

3 out in a rather different way, as you see, with the

4 speaker's name and then the text of what he or she said.

5 Can I just show you a few parts of it. At the

6 bottom of the page they start talking about security,

7 and Mr Mac Cionnaith is recorded as saying there has

8 always been a problem:

9 "After the May elections, a letter was sent to the

10 Chief Constable in July but our letter was not even

11 acknowledged."

12 Mr Pittam then says:

13 "So Brendan and Joe raised the security problems and

14 got no reply?

15 "Answer: Yes, our letter got no reply.

16 "Question: Is that the usual direction?"

17 Then Mr McCusker intervenes:

18 "In any procedure the expectation was to approach

19 the RUC or through the political leaders."

20 Then Mr Mac Cionnaith continues that:

21 "At the proximity talks in Armagh this year, direct

22 intervention from Mo and now Jonathan Powell about

23 protection for the Coalition, Portadown has a strong

24 Loyalist community, various threats have been made to

25 members and there is a risk to people's lives."





1 Then Mr Pittam asks how many had received them, and

2 we have reflected in these notes the point about one of

3 the members of the Coalition having to leave her work

4 because of threats:

5 "Mr Pittam asked, 'Are these kinds of threats very

6 wide?' We all replied yes to this question."

7 Then:

8 "On the second Saturday of the talks [says

9 Mr Mac Cionnaith] in Armagh, Powell said he had arranged

10 for the RUC to get in touch. I was phoned by an

11 inspector asking what I wanted and Inspector Cully

12 could only come up with crime prevention advice."

13 Again, you will remember this:

14 "Powell said the NIO would try and get it sorted.

15 This last few weeks it has emerged that only myself and

16 Joe are to get security."

17 That takes us all the way back to the history of the

18 this. If you remember, the letter goes off with the two

19 names on it, a request for the threat risk assessment,

20 because at that stage details of the other members of

21 the Coalition for whom protection is sought had not been

22 received. And indeed, by the time of this meeting on

23 20th November, as far as we can see, no details had been

24 provided.

25 Then Mr McCusker says that there were two issues.





1 And again, this is a reflection the other note, the

2 threats, that process takes time, and then how to deal

3 with it once you get confirmation from the RUC.

4 This scheme, I think it says:

5 "... to get Brendan and Joe but not the rest.

6 Another issue is that it gives extensive liability and

7 will not be overturned."

8 Then we come to an interesting passage which begins

9 with Mr Mac Cionnaith saying this:

10 "To give an example, Rosemary Nelson has been

11 subject to constant harassment from the RUC. Only this

12 summer, Loyalists circulated a leaflet identifying her

13 as a bomber. She has a very high profile in the north.

14 The UN has investigated the harassment and the Met

15 Police are investigating threats from within the RUC."

16 Mr Pittam says:

17 "Does she want a request?

18 "Answer: Yes, but the problem with the scheme is

19 that the RUC visit homes. We are reluctant for them to

20 do this.

21 "Question: Is she happy to be included in this with

22 the rest of the Coalition?

23 "Answer: Yes, but not willing to go through the

24 process alone.

25 "Question: How do you feel about the RUC?





1 "Answer: It is going to cause problems. I have

2 been notified three times by the police regarding my

3 safety. The RUC could not comment about my personal

4 documents."

5 Sir, reading these exchanges, certainly on one

6 reading it appears to reflect Mr Pittam's note which

7 was, if you remember, much shorter:

8 "She would like security protection, but could not

9 accept to be part of the Government's scheme."

10 But it doesn't emerge quite as clearly as that, you

11 may think, in the exchanges which begin:

12 "Is she happy to be included in with the rest the

13 Coalition?

14 "Answer: Yes, but not willing to go through the

15 process."

16 It is not clear whether that's the Government

17 process or the other potential process alone.

18 But then moving on two speeches, as it were, down,

19 Tony -- Mr McCusker -- says:

20 "Again there are two things Joe and Brendan that

21 are to come into the scheme that the RUC have to do the

22 security. The rest of the Coalition will not get."

23 One assumes "will not get it":

24 "Just to clarify this, Joe and Brendan, Rosemary

25 and the rest the Coalition together.





1 "Answer: Yes, Rosemary and the rest."

2 So I think the end of this, although it is

3 expressed, as I say, in this rather different way, is

4 that Rosemary Nelson's position is with the remaining

5 members of the scheme in that group, as it were, rather

6 than being, as it were, promoted to the McKenna/Duffy

7 group.

8 Now, there is a further section here about the way

9 it is going to work at the top of RNI-305-277

10 (displayed) and this deals with exchanges about how it

11 would be managed and presented. And it is a question of

12 how to present the Trust's intervention. The second

13 line. He, Mr Pittam, says:

14 "We would be concerned we could be used in the

15 mainstream. We are behind a few schemes ... We are low

16 profile and we fund creative work."

17 One can see there the concern of the Trust about how

18 this is going to come across or be presented.

19 Mr McCusker says:

20 "No minister knows this is happening. I would be

21 crucified if any of this was to materialise. We would

22 say it was between the Coalition and the Rowntree

23 Trust."

24 Then later:

25 "Does that mean these measures need to be in place





1 first before the talks?"

2 The answer comes back:

3 "No."

4 He then says:

5 "The line from us could be that we are not

6 involved."

7 And then the further exchanges on the same topic,

8 and Mr Pittam says:

9 "How many are on the Coalition?

10 "Answer: 12 people including myself and Joe ..."

11 Et cetera. So there appear to be, certainly for

12 a number of the participants in this meeting, rather

13 delicate questions about how what they were discussing

14 could be presented, and a line taken by Mr McCusker

15 which may or may not be consistent with the memorandum

16 we saw from him, but the net result would appear, of

17 both the notes, to be although Rosemary Nelson was

18 mentioned by name, although details were provided of

19 specific security difficulties, the pamphlet, slightly

20 extended in this note, the net result was that she went

21 in with the rest and that, certainly on the Pittam note,

22 she was not willing to go through the government scheme.

23 And I quote:

24 "She could not accept to be part of the Government's

25 scheme."





1 So that left the matter in the hands of the

2 residents, and particularly Mr Mac Cionnaith, to produce

3 the proposal. And the ball, therefore, was in the

4 Coalition's court to put that up to the Trust for

5 Mr Pittam to take to his own board or his own trustees

6 and for them eventually to take a decision about it.

7 We will see that formally recorded at RNI-305-279

8 (displayed), where Mr McCusker is certainly telling

9 senior civil servants, if not ministers, exactly what

10 has been going on.

11 You will see in the third paragraph, having referred

12 to the Rowntree Trust and saying that he had arranged

13 the meeting to see if the involvement of an external

14 funder could get us over the problem of security

15 requirements for members of the Coalition other than

16 Mr Mac Cionnaith and Mr Duffy, he says:

17 "At the end of detailed discussion, it was agreed

18 the Coalition would prepare a short submission for the

19 Trust setting out their approach not only to the

20 negotiations but also future development of the area in

21 the context of any socio-economic initiative. The Trust

22 for its part will consider a broad application which

23 could support the Coalition to meet socio-economic

24 challenges, but might also deal with the security

25 problem as well. If the Coalition get their act





1 together, they could have a decision by early November."

2 So again, sir, you will see all of this is being put

3 in a broader context for the Trust to be able to show

4 that it is dealing with economic disadvantage and for

5 the security problem, as it were, to be swept up with

6 that.

7 Now, in the bundle we then have the proposal which

8 comes forward at RNI-305-281 (displayed). Sir, that is

9 a letter from Mr Mac Cionnaith to Mr Pittam. It goes on

10 to RNI-305-289, this proposal. So far as we are

11 concerned, the relevant part begins at RNI-305-283

12 (displayed):

13 "Security for GRRC members."

14 Some of the specific details have been redacted

15 along with the numbers, but you will see what is

16 involved is ten houses, putting their maximum costs and

17 a comparison with the NIO scheme, and the point

18 repeated: the issue of security, the Government's

19 failure to address the concerns of the Coalition is

20 a major sticking point in the ongoing bilateral talks.

21 Looking at the next page, RNI-305-284 (displayed).

22 Slightly unfortunately, from my point of view at this

23 point, all the numbers have been redacted, but the point

24 about the submission in general is that it required -- I

25 am afraid you will just have to accept this from me at





1 the moment -- a far higher level of funding than had

2 been envisaged or could be, it would appear,

3 contemplated, and that is what we gather from

4 Mr Pittam's own evidence.

5 What he says is that having received this, he went

6 and spoke to Mr Mac Cionnaith by telephone and was

7 expecting a revised, varied, further submission and in

8 fact, despite chasing him for it, no such further or

9 revised or amended submission appeared.

10 So, so far as the situation, therefore, moving to

11 the end of the year is concerned, there is no question

12 at this stage of an application for KPPS protection for

13 Rosemary Nelson being made, that in the circumstances we

14 have seen in the meeting, she was to be dealt with along

15 with the other coalition members, it appears, by this

16 alternative route outside the scheme. And the material

17 I have shown you then has to be weighed against the

18 suggestion we saw in the BIRW report that there was this

19 specific application and it was constantly put up and

20 put forward and refused for her admission to the KPPS

21 scheme.

22 And you may think that the involvement of Mr Pittam

23 in particular in this process, or the latter part of it,

24 is significant because obviously he is neither an NIO

25 official on the one hand, nor, on the other, concerned





1 with the Residents Coalition. He comes from outside.

2 He, as far as one can see, is entirely independent,

3 does not have a case to make, an axe to grind, and you

4 will see what he records about and indeed what he says

5 about it in his evidence and in the notes that he made.

6 The position of the NIO, as you will have seen

7 recorded there, through Mr McCusker was that it was

8 impossible, it would not be possible for the other

9 members of the Coalition to succeed in their

10 applications because, it was reasoned, if

11 Messrs Mac Cionnaith and Duffy had not succeeded and had

12 to be dealt with as exceptions, there was no prospect of

13 the others doing any better.

14 Now, you will have seen that in the limited

15 references and discussions there are about

16 Rosemary Nelson, of course the full range of concerns

17 about her, the full range of matters that were known to

18 those who did the other assessments we have looked at

19 in March and August, were not deployed. One doesn't see

20 set out a long and detailed history of the problem of

21 threats, for example. And one of the questions,

22 therefore, will be how carefully considered was their

23 position, that if X and Y, in this case the councillors,

24 did not succeed, then, as it were, inevitably

25 Rosemary Nelson could not succeed. And that in turn,





1 sir, as I said to you at the outset of this, takes one

2 back to the definition of level 3 and trying to

3 ascertain whether, objectively considered, that test

4 would have been made out in her particular case.

5 What we do know is that the Security Branch were not

6 asked to conduct a KPPS threat risk analysis for her and

7 they did not, therefore, assess her situation at this

8 stage against level 3 of the scheme's threat levels.

9 Now, so far as the wider picture and the talks are

10 concerned, picking up what Mr Mac Cionnaith had recorded

11 in his note on 26th November, Mr Mac Cionnaith writes to

12 Jonathan Powell. If you remember, Mr McCusker -- I am

13 sorry, I should have said that, although it wasn't

14 a show stopper, he, Mr Mac Cionnaith, would be writing

15 to register the point, and he does so, 26th November:

16 "Dear Jonathan ..."

17 At RNI-305-295 (displayed):

18 "Just to inform you of a number of concerns which

19 members of the Coalition have requested that I raise

20 with you.

21 "1. The issue of security for members of the

22 Coalition still has not been satisfactorily resolved."

23 That is after the meeting with Mr Pittam:

24 "While the NIO are prepared to concede security

25 cover for Councillor Joe Duffy and myself, they are not





1 prepared to extend such cover to include other members

2 of the Coalition whom we deem to be equally at risk.

3 "Although an alternative source of funding for such

4 security measures has been proposed, we feel that the

5 NIO are not treating the issue of personal security

6 protection with the seriousness it deserves. The

7 responsibility for security provision is within the

8 remit of the NIO, not outside agencies."

9 Then it moves on to raise further concerns about,

10 for example, a meeting between the Orange Order and the

11 Prime Minister.

12 So, sir, at this point we have the formal raising of

13 the matter, expression of concern, but we know, as it

14 were, in the background that at least by implication the

15 distinction between the two councillors and the other

16 members has been accepted by Mr Mac Cionnaith, and

17 a submission based on that premise has already -- or is

18 about to be -- the date is not entirely clear -- put

19 into the Rowntree Trust.

20 Now, the purpose, therefore, of this letter may

21 perhaps be more to do with the continuing negotiations

22 and positioning in advance of a planned meeting, rather

23 than to deal with the substance of the matter which was

24 going on, as we see in the meeting with the Trust. If

25 we look, however, at Mr McCusker's statement dealing





1 with this situation, we will see his views and they

2 begin in his statement at RNI-813-445 (displayed).

3 This is dealing with the way the negotiations

4 proceeded. In 12, he says that:

5 "I understand each time the issue was raised with

6 the RUC, they indicated there was no direct threat."

7 He has another term about threat to any members of

8 the GRRC:

9 "I recall that on the basis of the RUC assessments,

10 the NIO were dismissive of the calls from members of the

11 GRRC for provision of protection.

12 "The issue of security was continually raised and

13 the RUC always took the view there was no threat. It

14 was questionable what could be done. I would, however,

15 say that if you were to have asked the average person on

16 the street at the time, they would have said that people

17 like Breandan Mac Cionnaith and Rosemary Nelson, as

18 a well-known adviser to the GRRC, were both under

19 threat. Further, common sense would have dictated that

20 because of their problem profiles they were at risk.

21 However, in the absence of any apparent direct threat,

22 it would be a matter of the exercise of discretionary

23 power by the NIO as to whether or not protection would

24 be afforded to them."

25 Can we go back to the page, please:





1 "Although I recall the issue of security being

2 raised by the GRRC, I do not recall the security of

3 Rosemary Nelson being raised as a specific concern.

4 Instead, the issue was the concerns of the members of

5 the GRRC generally regarding their security.

6 "I recall, however, that Breandan Mac Cionnaith

7 would often refer to Rosemary Nelson as at exemplar of

8 the type of threats received. I do not recall whether

9 Rosemary Nelson was present at the meetings in which

10 Breandan Mac Cionnaith referred to threats she had

11 received. I recall that Rosemary Nelson did generally

12 attend the more formal meetings of the GRRC. I do not

13 recall her either contributing verbally to discussions

14 or putting forward legal notes. Maybe Rosemary Nelson

15 was just there to ensure that everything was above

16 board."

17 So going back to the page, please, you will see

18 first the interesting evidence clearly that, as it were,

19 the person on the street would have taken the view that

20 Mr Mac Cionnaith and Rosemary Nelson were both under

21 threat, and common sense would have dictated that they

22 were at risk. However, as he says, the key here is the

23 absence of what he calls "any apparent direct threat,

24 "it would have been a matter for discretion". And

25 again, that raises the further possibility, well, if





1 that approach were right, then why was it that

2 Rosemary Nelson was not viewed, at the time at any rate,

3 as being in the same category as the two councillors, as

4 opposed to being in the same category and the other

5 members of the Coalition?

6 Then again, you may think interestingly, he says

7 that her case was raised as an exemplar, and he doesn't

8 remember whether she was present at meetings where that

9 was done. And we have seen an example, you may think,

10 of 20th November where first she is raised as an example

11 or an exemplar, and details of her position are given

12 along with, for example, the position of a member of the

13 Coalition who was present and what had happened to her

14 with her job; but secondly, that she was not present at

15 that meeting. We have seen that. And Mr McCusker

16 doesn't recall her making a contribution to the meetings

17 that he attended, and that may be important when you

18 come to consider her overall role in these negotiations.

19 Mr Powell came back to this letter from

20 Mr Mac Cionnaith, the next day, 27th November, at

21 RNI-813,293rd (displayed):

22 "Thank you for your letter of yesterday. In reply

23 to your questions:

24 "(i) I thought the issue of security had been

25 successfully concluded. I understand the NIO have





1 offered assistance with security to you and

2 Councillor Duffy on the basis of your position as

3 councillors. The NIO apparently have no power to offer

4 assistant to your committee members, but I believe they

5 have pointed to other possible sources of help."

6 So that is a yet further way of looking at the

7 matter. But what we do know, after this exchange at the

8 end of November, where it is raised as a concern by

9 Mr Mac Cionnaith, is that steps were being taken to

10 arrange a meeting, a further meeting in the

11 negotiations.

12 If we look to the chronology, there is in the file

13 RNI-308 material reference to fears of violence at this

14 stage. That is RNI-308-112 (displayed).

15 Just looking at the opening of this note addressed

16 to the Prime Minister from Mr Powell, copied to Alistair

17 Campbell, he simply says -- there are other clearly

18 interesting aspects on this page, as we can all see, but

19 at the end of the first paragraph:

20 "Without progress there will be major violence next

21 Saturday and over the Christmas holiday."

22 Then he sets out his suggestions for negotiations,

23 and a further reference to the possibility of violence

24 comes at the end of this document, RNI-308-114

25 (displayed). You will see the first few lines:





1 "Contemplate the possibility of Orange violence [as

2 it puts it], and in negotiating terms it is suggested

3 that that suits him [that is Mr Mac Cionnaith] fine. He

4 expects the Parades Commission to continue to back up

5 his position next year as well as this."

6 So, so far as we are concerned, therefore, the

7 problems on the ground, potential problems, remain and

8 what we see also in the note at RNI-308-126 (displayed)

9 is that correspondence continues between Mr Powell and

10 Mr Mac Cionnaith and eventually a meeting, the next

11 meeting of the proximity talks, takes place, you can see

12 he says there in the middle of the page, on Wednesday,

13 and he is expressing the hope that Mr Mac Cionnaith will

14 be present. We can see from the chronology at the top

15 of the final page that on 16th December, the proximity

16 talks do indeed resume at the oddly-named Nutts Corner

17 training centre. That, of course, means that, so far as

18 the unresolved, outstanding question of protection for

19 the other members of the Coalition was concerned, it was

20 not, in fact, a show stopper because the proximity

21 talks, after all of these stages of talks about talks,

22 resumed in the middle of December.

23 The work or assessment or advice work in relation to

24 the measures for Mr Mac Cionnaith and Mr Duffy's houses

25 and their protection goes on, as suggested it would, at





1 about the same time. On the 15th, as far as we can see

2 from the material, there is a meeting to arrange the RUC

3 assessments. That is 15th December. And it appears

4 that there was no reference in those meetings, nor

5 during the actual assessment which took place on

6 21st December, of the Coalition or the other members'

7 needs or requirements.

8 You will see from the top of this same page of the

9 chronology that there is an Orange Order protest parade

10 on 19th December. A report about that from Mr Leach to

11 Mr Powell appears at RNI-308-132 (displayed), and there

12 specific detail is given about the nature of the protest

13 in the second paragraph:

14 "Large numbers of Orangemen materialised, about

15 5,000. Although well marshalled and policed, and there

16 were even occasional outbreaks of good humour,

17 e.g. watching residents applauded one lodge who walked in

18 Father Christmas costumes, there was some shouting and

19 exchanges of abuse, but no incidents of physical

20 violence."

21 Which, as you remember, had been the fear and the

22 concern of those involved in the negotiations about this

23 Christmas holiday period.

24 So the issue of security raises its head on, in

25 particular, one more occasion before the murder of





1 Rosemary Nelson. That is in the context of the meeting

2 referred to in our chronology which took place on

3 18th January -- it should be 1999 -- between the Prime

4 Minister and the Residents Coalition at

5 number 10 Downing Street, and we know that

6 Rosemary Nelson was present on that occasion.

7 Unsurprisingly perhaps, there was a great deal of

8 activity in preparing briefing material for the Prime

9 Minister for this meeting and some of it dealt with the

10 issue of security.

11 Can we look first at RNI-306-001 (displayed). This

12 is the early stage of preparation and you will see

13 Mr Watkins is reiterating that:

14 "Although the marches over Christmas and New Year

15 passed off more calmly than we had feared, nonetheless

16 the prospects, not least following the unsuccessful

17 talks on 16th December, suggest the Drumcree problem

18 will remain acute for some time. In particular, it will

19 retain the capacity to provoke very serious difficulties

20 and dangers, e.g. a nasty incident during a parade,

21 the poisoning of the political atmosphere conceivably

22 imposing intolerable strains on a newly-formed executive

23 committee over the summer and serious danger to the

24 image of the RUC at a very sensitive time of the

25 formulation and public reception of the Patten Review."





1 There are various options set out:

2 "Aim for renewal of proximity talks."

3 Is the first of them at the bottom of the page, with

4 other suggestions put forward, including at the bottom

5 of the next page, RNI-306-002, for example:

6 "Take major initiative such as announce a review of

7 parades law ..."

8 Et cetera. Now, this is one of a number of notes

9 and memoranda generated over the next two weeks/ten

10 days, because we will see that the meeting was fixed for

11 3 o'clock on 18th January. And the letter from

12 Mr Ingram's private secretary to Mr Powell gives him

13 a report as at 15th -- that is RNI-306-014.500

14 (displayed), and it gives:

15 "The Prime Minister is meeting the Garvaghy Road

16 Residents Coalition on Monday at 3 pm. The Drumcree

17 impasse continues. The vigil at the church has focused

18 a degree of Loyalist support and may be encouraged by

19 the DUP. Nightly disturbances continue.

20 "The Prime Minister's main objective for the meeting

21 should be to urge the need for flexibility and

22 compromise on both sides to reach a local accommodation

23 over Drumcree for the benefit of everyone in Portadown

24 and, indeed, Northern Ireland. He should encourage the

25 residents to re-engage swiftly in proximity talks which





1 Mr Ingram will lead."

2 Then there is a further update on all that. Over

3 the page at RNI-306-014.501 (displayed):

4 "On 13th January, the Irish News reported that the

5 residents intend to show the Prime Minister of Loyalist

6 provocation and to accuse the RUC of failing to prevent

7 these intimidatory protests taking place.

8 "Whilst refuting these allegations, and Mr Ingram

9 will come prepared with statistics on action taken by

10 the police under both the parades and other legislation,

11 the Prime Minister should make the point that

12 disgraceful though much Loyalist activity is, both sides

13 must take responsibility for finding a way forward from

14 the current impasse.

15 "While stimulated by the Drumcree dispute, much

16 Loyalist protest activity is not directly orchestrated

17 by the Orange Order. However, intransigence on the

18 Orange side is equally if not more to blame for the

19 overall impasse, and the residents of course have the

20 Parades Commission determination in their favour."

21 Then there are lines to take set out. These are

22 lines for the Prime Minister. You will see at

23 RNI-306-015 (displayed):

24 "I understand that life for everyone in Portadown

25 has been very difficult since last July, particularly





1 for the resident the Garvaghy Road.

2 "The Government absolutely condemns violence in

3 parades and demonstrations and intimidation of ordinary

4 people whilst upholding the right to free speech and

5 expression of different cultural traditions."

6 Sir, that picks up a point I have made to you

7 before, which is that the problem with Drumcree in this

8 area, in Portadown, where Rosemary Nelson was doing her

9 work for the Coalition, was a continuing problem. It

10 involved, as this suggests, very difficult conditions,

11 and as he says, particularly for the residents of the

12 Garvaghy Road. And there had been violence at parades

13 and demonstrations and intimidation of ordinary people.

14 Then over the page at RNI-306-016 (displayed) what

15 the RUC were doing about it:

16 "Try their hardest to enforce laws. It has been

17 a huge drain on all the security forces."

18 Then the details of arrests and convictions,

19 prosecution files. RUC officers also faced violence and

20 intimidation, many have been injured, and one,

21 Constable Frank O'Reilly, has died:

22 "Their first duty is to protect members of the

23 public, including yourselves."

24 Then it makes the point underlined that they are

25 operationally independent:





1 "I condemn all violence and intimidation, but they

2 are the symptoms rather than the cause of the

3 intimidation in Portadown. Brendan, we really must

4 start to address the real issues of Portadown ..."

5 Et cetera. Then over the page at RNI-306-017

6 (displayed):

7 "[If raised] personal protection. Personal

8 protection for Councillors Mac Cionnaith and Duffy.

9 Understand NIO officials have already visited both you

10 and Councillor Duffy. They will be meeting you later

11 this week to agree specific protective measures. Once

12 agreed, these measures will be put in place over the

13 next few weeks."

14 Then:

15 "Protection for Coalition members, funding by

16 Rowntree Trust. Funding arrangements with independent

17 trusts, entirely a matter between yourselves and them,

18 but glad we were able to put you in touch with the

19 Rowntree Trust."

20 There is a very substantial amount of further paper

21 generated for the Prime Minister in advance of this

22 meeting. I would just like to show you a couple of

23 passages, the first at RNI-306-020 (displayed), which

24 says that this is the background document:

25 "The Prime Minister may find it helpful to see the





1 attached daily record of events at Drumcree which the

2 RUC now produce for the NIO."

3 At RNI-306-022, we will see beginning on

4 21st December and extending to 14th January, as it says,

5 literally a daily record of the gatherings, such

6 violence as there was, such protests, public order and

7 other problems. I am not going to take you to it, but

8 it shows in graphic detail how the problem was still

9 continuing. That takes us on to RNI-306-027.

10 Now, there is then a supplementary note, this time

11 for Mr Ingram, at RNI-306-029 (displayed). Mr Ingram

12 was also to be at this meeting with the Prime Minister

13 and this is a much more detailed version of what has

14 been provided to the Prime Minister. You will see our

15 now familiar history set out:

16 "2. What happened with the threat risk assessment?

17 They did not believe [that is the RUC] a significant

18 threat existed to either man sufficient to allow them

19 entry."

20 Then the agreement that they could get protection

21 exceptionally and outside the scheme. And what then

22 happened, so far as their protection was concerned,

23 takes us over the page to RNI-306-030, and at the bottom this wider

24 section -- this is on RNI-306-030 (displayed),

25 paragraph 6:





1 "For some time, Breandan Mac Cionnaith has argued

2 strongly about the need for protection for members of

3 the Coalition. The Government has in turn argued that

4 consideration could only be given to him and Joe Duffy

5 as public figures. Mr Mac Cionnaith then indicated they

6 could not accept protection measures for himself and

7 Mr Duffy alone and that further discussions could not

8 take place until the issue was resolved.

9 "We then made a number of approached to independent

10 sources to see if funding could be made available to the

11 Coalition to meet this particular need. In the event,

12 the Joseph Rowntree Trust agreed to meet the Coalition

13 and explore the issues involved. Subsequently, the

14 Coalition put forward a proposal to the Trust covering

15 some protective measures and support for the Coalition

16 generally in the talks process."

17 Then it says that:

18 "We have stayed remote from the discussions and we

19 understand the Trust will consider their proposals

20 sympathetically. The Coalition are presently finalising

21 a submission ..."

22 That is the way it is put here:

23 "... on the various costs ..."

24 And it names a figure there.

25 You will see there, sir, that in all this very





1 detailed reporting on the issue of protection prepared

2 for this meeting there is no specific reference to

3 Rosemary Nelson. She is not singled out for particular

4 treatment so far as the Prime Minister's briefing is

5 concerned, and in the history it has the councillors and

6 the members of the Coalition.

7 So far as, again, our review of the meeting itself

8 is concerned, there is no suggestion from the material

9 we have seen and the evidence we have gathered that her

10 case was brought up specifically during the meeting at

11 10 Downing Street, although, as I have said, we know she

12 was present.

13 The Prime Minister was accompanied, as I have said,

14 by Mr Ingram, by Jonathan Powell and another official,

15 and we can see an account of the meeting at RNI-306-043

16 on the same day, 18th January. This is Mr Powell's

17 account sent to NIO:

18 "The Prime Minister saw the Garvaghy Road Residents

19 Coalition this afternoon for 40 minutes. He was

20 accompanied by Adam Ingram, an official and me.

21 "The residents used the meeting to set out their

22 concerns in familiar terms. The Prime Minister

23 sympathised with the difficult situation in which they

24 found themselves, but repeatedly urged them to think

25 about how an accommodation could be found. The Prime





1 Minister detected some movement on the residents' part

2 towards the end of the meeting.

3 "Brendan McKenna began by handing over a report on

4 harassment of the residents of Garvaghy Road by the

5 Unionist majority and listed the violence,

6 discrimination and sectarianism to which they had been

7 subject."

8 Then you will see the discussion continues with the

9 Prime Minister on the one hand and Mr Mac Cionnaith on

10 the other taking the lead for the respective sides.

11 We can see that over the page at the top of

12 RNI-306-044 (displayed), and the Prime Minister puts his

13 side of the matter and Mr Mac Cionnaith in general puts

14 forward the residents' position. But in fact, as far as

15 one can see -- I should say by the way that the redacted

16 name which appears there is not -- I hope that would be

17 obvious -- is not Rosemary Nelson's name. It is the

18 name of another non-witness member of the Coalition's

19 delegation.

20 But there is, as far as we can see, no reference in

21 this account at any rate, this account of the meeting,

22 by Mr Powell to the issue of personal security coming up

23 during the meeting at all.

24 Now, the final point I wish to make in terms of the

25 general political situation can be seen at RNI-308-140





1 (displayed). This is back to the wider political

2 negotiations. This is now four days before the murder,

3 11th March 1999, and it is another of the letters which

4 we have become familiar with from 10 Downing Street to

5 the NIO, and this one is from the Prime Minister's

6 private secretary. The reason I draw it to your

7 attention -- it is headed "David Trimble's call to the

8 Prime Minister, 11th March", on the same day in other

9 words -- is for one passage in particular, which is at

10 142(5) at the bottom under the heading "Drumcree":

11 "Mr Trimble thought that the [redacted] initiative

12 would not work. It was too easy for both sides to

13 string him along. He thought the DUP were now keen to

14 settle Drumcree, but extremists from the

15 Red Hand Defenders were increasing the level of violence

16 and one day someone would get killed."

17 So that was the position as Mr Trimble apparently

18 saw it at this meeting, four days before the murder, and

19 as you may have seen from the start of the letter, just

20 before he himself headed off to Washington to the

21 United States of America. And he was one of, as I have

22 said, a number of politicians who were actually there

23 when the news of the murder came through.

24 Now, I have shown you the press release that was

25 issued on the same day by Mr Mac Cionnaith with the





1 allegations set out in the last paragraph. What

2 happens, as far as we can tell, is that the proximity

3 talks which I think by then had been fixed for

4 28th March, were cancelled by the residents as a result

5 of the murder, but in fact the process continued. And

6 you can see at the very end of our chronology that there

7 were separate meetings on the 30th involving the Prime

8 Minister, and then the talks resumed about six months

9 later, chaired by Mr Ingram.

10 So far as the meeting on 30th March is concerned,

11 that contains material which is also relevant to our

12 issue, and we can see it at RNI-306-078 (displayed). So

13 this is now just after the murder had taken place.

14 30th March, as I said. The Prime Minister meeting

15 with the Garvaghy Road's coalition:

16 "I attach briefing to the PM's meeting with the GRRC

17 at lunchtime today."

18 We will come back to that page in a minute but you

19 will see on the next page, RNI-306-079, the general

20 objectives and the points to take are set out. Then

21 over the page at RNI-306-080 (displayed), comment is

22 made about Rosemary Nelson's murder:

23 "Rosemary Nelson's murder was an atrocious act."

24 Then it deals with the measures the Chief Constable

25 has put in place to underline the integrity and





1 impartiality of the investigation, and then this:

2 "On Rosemary Nelson's personal security, the NIO

3 made clear to a number of people who approached them on

4 Mrs Nelson's behalf that if she wished she could be

5 considered for inclusion in the KPPS scheme, but no such

6 application was ever received."

7 Then there is a reference to injuries sustained by

8 the councillors on the evening of 17th March. Remember,

9 I mentioned that on the eve of the funeral,

10 Rosemary Nelson's funeral, there was an outbreak of

11 violence and injuries were sustained.

12 Then at RNI-306-082 (displayed), the NIO's position

13 is set out in rather more detail at this annex. The

14 KPPS first of all deals with the way it is structured,

15 the little note says that:

16 "The councillors are fully protected. Mrs Nelson

17 did not approach the NIO about security at any time.

18 Enquiries were made to NIO by third parties on behalf of

19 Mrs Nelson seeking information and advice on what might

20 be done to enhance her personal security. NIO responded

21 by outlining the range of ways in which protection could

22 be available. We also advised the third parties that

23 Mrs Nelson should apply directly to NIO if she wished to

24 be considered for inclusion in the KPPS. No such

25 application was ever received."





1 It says on the next page, RNI-306-083:

2 "The general issue of security for the Residents

3 Coalition was raised and subsequently pursued by

4 officials. Rosemary Nelson's name was mentioned in this

5 context. [If pressed] an assessment was carried out

6 last year which indicated that the police were not aware

7 of any specific threat against her."

8 Under this heading "Was the issue raised at

9 number 10":

10 "We have no record of Rosemary Nelson's security

11 being raised directly with Jonathan Powell either during

12 the meetings in July and December 1998 or at the meeting

13 the Garvaghy Road residents had with the Prime Minister

14 in July."

15 Sir, the background to this, it seems clear, is the

16 allegations which emerged more or less immediately after

17 the murder. And the NIO's line which has put together,

18 if you remember, as early as the 16th, which we saw

19 dealing with the various aspects of it, i.e. that there

20 had been a specific application to the scheme which had

21 been rejected and they say that no such application was

22 made. They then deal with the issue more broadly about

23 what third parties had said on her behalf and what they

24 had been advised, and that perhaps brings to mind the

25 24th September letter, and that the issue had not been





1 raised, i.e. the issue of Rosemary Nelson's protection,

2 specifically either with Mr Powell or at the meeting

3 with the Prime Minister in January.

4 Now, going back to the front of this note, briefing

5 document at RNI-306-078 (displayed), we will see some

6 handwritten notes and I believe that those are notes

7 made by Mr Leach. That is what he says in his statement

8 anyway. We needn't look at it, the note. It is

9 paragraph 65:

10 "RN's name mentioned by you and others. Made clear

11 we could consider applicability of scheme if she

12 applied. She didn't pursue it. You did and you are

13 fully protected. Other non-government arrangements made

14 for other Coalition members. These could have

15 covered RN."

16 I think that must say. The question obviously is

17 whether that, although it is expressed in just a very

18 few lines of handwriting, is a fair summary of what we

19 have now seen in the long and rather complicated

20 history.

21 So, sir, that is the examination that we have

22 undertaken of the issue, prompted by these allegations.

23 As I said right at the outset -- and it is important to

24 mention it again -- although we have obtained witness

25 statements from, as I told you, 18 witnesses, one of the





1 major figures in the negotiations on any view,

2 Mr Mac Cionnaith, has not provided the Inquiry with

3 a statement.

4 We very much hope that he will do so in the near

5 future, so that you can have the benefit of his evidence

6 on these matters. They can then be explored at the

7 hearing with not only the NIO and the police, the

8 Rowntree Trust side, as it were, in view, but also with

9 the Residents Coalition evidence in that way.

10 So far as the situation at the moment is concerned,

11 we have the evidence, as I have explained it to you, and

12 we have the documentation and it raises questions to put

13 it no higher about the various claims and suggestions

14 that were made after the murder about whether

15 specifically protection was requested under the scheme

16 for Rosemary Nelson.

17 But it also shows you in a way that wasn't perhaps

18 obvious from the other threat assessment exercises that

19 we looked at, that in particular cases there was

20 flexibility, there was flexibility within the system.

21 There was an area under the KPPS system of discussion,

22 and the issue which would appear to come to the fore

23 here is why in these two cases discretion was exercised

24 in the way that it was, and what appears to be the link

25 between that exercise of discretion and the wider





1 political imperative of the Drumcree negotiations.

2 Now, what that in turn tells you about

3 Rosemary Nelson's political place in the landscape of

4 Northern Ireland at that time may also be significant.

5 She, on the material that we have seen, does not appear

6 to have taken a major role in the meetings, although one

7 observes that the same is true from all the notes I have

8 shown you of Mr Duffy. For example, Councillor Duffy is

9 not recorded as in attendance at the particular meetings

10 we have looked at in detail.

11 But certainly Rosemary Nelson's role would appear,

12 as Mr McCusker put it, to be -- where present -- not to

13 make contributions. And she appears in that light at

14 any rate to have been acting as the adviser, as the

15 legal adviser rather than a leading light of the

16 Coalition itself and a leading representative on their

17 behalf at the meetings.

18 But bear in mind also what the same witness has said

19 about common sense and about what people, if you had

20 asked them, would have said. And of course, the tension

21 here is between what, according to Mr McCusker, the

22 reaction of people would have been if you had asked

23 them: where would she fit in, where would she rank in

24 levels of prominence and, therefore, of risk and threat

25 in this very, very turbulent stage, very turbulent part





1 of Northern Ireland. The difference between that on the

2 one hand and the business of the police, their primacy

3 in the area of assessment, risk threat assessment, and

4 the attitude to that taken by the different NIO

5 officials throughout the process.

6 In the end, it all comes back to politics, you may

7 think. In the end, whilst acknowledging that the RUC

8 were in the lead, that their operational independence

9 had to be supported and upheld, in fact through the

10 advocacy of Mr Leach but also advocacy of Mr McCusker,

11 the decision was made anyway.

12 Now, sir, that is all I wish to say about Drumcree,

13 and so that takes us on to a completely new phase of

14 what I wanted to say because we now move into the part

15 of the Inquiry which is concerned in one way or another

16 with the murder itself, the immediate background to it,

17 the scene of the murder and the subsequent

18 investigation, and those are the final matters I want to

19 touch on in my opening.

20 They are, if you remember, some -- just some -- of

21 the issues that we have called the part 3 issues,

22 although that is something of a rag bag of issues

23 because it includes, for example, issues of fact, for

24 instance, concerning security force activity on the

25 weekend of the murder, and also expert issues, namely





1 the substantial topic of whether the investigation

2 itself was conducted with due diligence.

3 So, sir, those are the three aspects I propose to

4 cover. Just dealing with the things that I am not going

5 to open or not open in any detail, first of all the

6 question of obstruction. As I have said to you before,

7 the Inquiry's investigations into this issue are

8 continuing, statements are awaited both from the senior

9 officers on the murder investigation about this and also

10 statements from Special Branch and Security Service

11 witnesses and others. We are still awaiting, or if we

12 have received them, they haven't yet been served on the

13 Full Participants, and nor, as I have explained, has the

14 relevant documentary material.

15 Suffice it to say, therefore, at present that the

16 Inquiry's work has focused on whether intelligence and

17 intelligence material may have been withheld from the

18 murder investigation team on whether attempts were made

19 to withhold such intelligence and material, and finally

20 on why intelligence which was relevant to the

21 investigation, which was disclosed to the murder

22 investigation team, was presented to them in the

23 particular way in which it was and whether, as a result,

24 the investigation took a particular turn which, looking

25 back on it now, may have been the wrong turn.





1 In addition, sir, there are other issues of fact,

2 which may be relevant to questions of obstruction, for

3 example, in the material about the scene and security

4 force activity which I will mention in a moment.

5 There is evidence which might, you may think, amount

6 to tampering with evidence, either at the scene or, for

7 example, with evidence which, after the murder, was

8 either removed or disappeared. So, sir, the obstruction

9 question then is something that I can only outline in

10 that way at this stage.

11 And the same applies to the issue of security force

12 activity, because although I shall set out the limited

13 areas which we wish to explore in the evidence, there is

14 another matter relating to events that weekend which

15 needs to be mentioned, although I can't take it any

16 further. This is that there was a Special Branch

17 operation known as Operation Fagotto, which took place

18 in the vicinity of Rosemary Nelson's house over the

19 weekend. And during the course of it, it seems that

20 there were Special Branch officers in the area and one,

21 at least, who passed the house at about midnight between

22 14th and 15 March.

23 Again, neither the documents relating to the

24 operation nor the statements the Inquiry has obtained

25 about it have yet been served on the Full Participants.





1 And I propose to do more than note its existence at this

2 stage, save to observe this it may be relevant to the

3 following issues: (a) when was the device which was

4 placed under Rosemary Nelson's car actually put there;

5 and (b) as one of the aspects to consider of the larger

6 point concerning what was said at the time to have been

7 a high level of security force activity in the area over

8 the weekend.

9 But it also obviously raises questions first as to

10 whether there was any sort of connection between the

11 operation, the officers involved in it and the murder,

12 and also as to the nature of the plan to murder

13 Rosemary Nelson and its execution; by which I mean that

14 the greater number of police and soldiers in the

15 vicinity, the higher, one might think, were the risks

16 for those involved in the plot, by which I mean of

17 course the risks of detection, and the bolder and more

18 dangerous the plan and its execution appear to be.

19 Those are questions which may be relevant,

20 obviously, to the issue of which person or organisation

21 is suspected of responsibility for the murder. That is

22 our issue, I think, 14.

23 Sir, turning to the due diligence, there are limits

24 here too, as I will outline in greater detail later on,

25 because of the state of the material that we have been





1 able to put before you at this stage and the material

2 which we have been able to issue to the Full

3 Participants.

4 Sir, finally amongst the list of matters that I am

5 not going to cover is the entire area of the material

6 obtained by the Inquiry concerning the post mortem, the

7 injuries sustained by Rosemary Nelson, because the view

8 that the Inquiry has taken is that the matters dealt

9 with in that material simply do not advance the work of

10 the Inquiry in any material way and are not required to

11 be considered or gone into in the course of these public

12 hearings.

13 So, sir, with that introduction, can I turn to the

14 question of security force activity. As I have said

15 right at the outset of my remarks, the Inquiry has

16 considered this issue, the question of levels of

17 activity, particular points raised about that activity

18 in the days preceding the murder, particularly in the

19 area surrounding Rosemary Nelson's house.

20 Very shortly after the murder, a theme emerged,

21 namely that a number of local residents believed there

22 had been an unusual amount of such activity in the area

23 where they lived over that weekend.

24 As I have said already, the murder investigation

25 team spent a very long time indeed and expended a huge





1 amount of energy and manpower and man hours in looking

2 at these issues over a period in fact of some years in

3 the case of some of the matters that they considered,

4 and the Inquiry has had the benefit of all of that work

5 and all of that material and has been able to select

6 from within it those issues which, in the Inquiry's

7 view, require to be considered in the course of the full

8 hearings. So that means we won't be looking at every

9 single point raised in relation to events over the

10 weekend, and we have taken that view because it would

11 simply not be appropriate or necessary in order to

12 enable you to fulfil your Terms of Reference.

13 Now, in order to bear upon the matters within your

14 Terms of Reference, there has to be some connection

15 between, or possible connection or probable connection

16 between that activity and what happened so far as the

17 placing of the device under Rosemary Nelson's car is

18 concerned.

19 The suggestion made at the time and pursued since

20 was that this high level of activity was intended as

21 a smokescreen to enable the perpetrators to set about

22 their work, which in turn posits involvement, knowledge,

23 some sort of engagement between some at least of those

24 on the ground, members of the security forces, and those

25 involved in the targeting plot to murder





1 Rosemary Nelson.

2 However, as I have already said, sir, there is

3 another and completely different way of looking at the

4 high levels of security force presence, if that is what

5 there was, over the weekend, because on that view the

6 more police, the more soldiers on the ground, the more

7 difficult it would have been for those who intended to

8 plant this device to do what they wished to do.

9 And so, as with many of the issues in the Inquiry,

10 it is possible to look at the same facts and arrive at

11 very, very different conclusions.

12 But what we have done in order to make our way

13 through this vast amount of material, is to focus, as

14 I suggested right at the outset of my remarks, on the

15 question of when it is likely that the device was in

16 fact put in place under the car.

17 By way of reminder, as far as we can ascertain, the

18 car went to Bundoran on the Friday, as far as we can

19 tell at about 6.30 in the evening. I have explained who

20 was in the party.

21 The party returned on the Sunday and came back, we

22 believe, to Lurgan, to the house, at about 6.30 on the

23 Sunday. You will remember also that the device exploded

24 at about 12.30 on the Monday. So our investigation has

25 focused on the period after the arrival back of the car,





1 leading up to and encompassing the night of 14th/15th to

2 the next morning.

3 That involves consideration, for example, of the

4 ways in which the device might have been constructed and

5 in particular whether or not there was a timer, because

6 it is clearly not beyond the realms of possibility to

7 have a timer with perhaps a long period which, on one

8 possible view, might have therefore allowed for the

9 device to be attached before the departure to Ireland.

10 And I will go into much more detail about this when

11 looking at due diligence, as with a number of matters

12 surrounding the murder itself.

13 The position is that no timing device for this

14 device was ever discovered and it may, therefore, be of

15 course that no timer was in fact used. At this stage,

16 we just don't know but it is at least a possibility that

17 the only, as it were, protection device as the device

18 was put on the car was what some call a delayed arm

19 device. That simply allows those responsible to handle

20 it, to transport it to the scene without the risk,

21 without the fear of it detonating prematurely.

22 Clearly, also relevant here is the longer the device

23 was attached to the underneath of the car, the greater

24 the risk of its discovery, or indeed, in a general run

25 of cases, you might think, the greater the risk of it





1 becoming detached. Although again, to pre-figure what I

2 will be telling you about it in relation to due

3 diligence, it does appear that the device was attached

4 by, I think, three extremely powerful magnets. So in

5 fact, it may well be that that problem was unlikely --

6 the problem that it might become detached was unlikely

7 to arise.

8 But clearly also on the question of the early

9 attachment, it raises all sorts of questions about what

10 the plans, what the intelligence, what the reconnaissance

11 undertaken by those who committed the murder or those

12 who were involved in planning the murder had revealed to

13 them. Clearly, one might have thought if it had been

14 put on before the trip began, the trip to Bundoran to

15 the mobile home, there was the possibility that for

16 whatever reason and whether or not this was part of the

17 original planning it might have detonated during the

18 weekend. We simply don't know, and in the absence of

19 the timer itself or remnants of the timer, indeed in the

20 absence of any clear evidence that there even was

21 a timer, the view which seems more likely, you may

22 think, is that the timer was in all likelihood put on

23 the car during that period after its return to the house

24 and obviously before the morning on which

25 Rosemary Nelson left the house and drove to the





1 junction, at which point it detonated.

2 Now, that, sir, is a reason, therefore, for the

3 approach we have taken to those issues which we intend

4 to explore at the hearing, and it means essentially that

5 we are looking at the mass of evidence in relation to

6 the security force presence over the weekend, we are

7 going to focus our attention on those incidents which

8 appear to require further examination or exploration,

9 where the events took place broadly speaking from the

10 early evening of the Sunday through the night of Sunday,

11 rather than, for example, looking at the presence of

12 security forces in Lurgan on Saturday, 13th.

13 Now, as to that, sir, there is material in the

14 bundle and some evidence that on that day the presence

15 of greater numbers of police/armed forces is explained

16 by a surge operation which took place. It was called

17 "Operation Improvise". It was designed to disrupt

18 terrorist activity. There were large numbers involved.

19 They were deployed in a defined area for a limited

20 period of time. They conducted vehicle checkpoints and

21 foot patrols. It was planned weeks, possibly months, I

22 think, in advance with collaboration between the police,

23 the Army and Special Branch, and Mr Ayling has

24 considered it and concluded that the material he has

25 seen supports the conclusion that this was a routine





1 surge operation. Indeed, the planning documents we have

2 seen, for example, reveal, I think, 43 dates between the

3 beginning of the year, 1999, 1st January, and 14th June,

4 in which this type of operation was planned in advance

5 to take place. So that is an example of the sort of

6 matter that we have therefore not focused particular

7 attention on.

8 But secondly, there is the important fact that the

9 murder investigation team had the services of an

10 analyst, as I mentioned right at the outset, who spent

11 a great deal of time and effort looking at this

12 material, looking at the activities of all of the

13 various military, police personnel on duty on the

14 weekend in question. He looked at statements gathered

15 from those individuals by the murder investigation team.

16 He cross-referred them to the records held by the log

17 keepers, the honesty maps kept by the officers who

18 commanded the patrols and compared that with all the

19 other material he had.

20 The amount of that material can be gauged from the

21 following statistics: we believe that over 325 such

22 personnel were interviewed, statements appear to have

23 been taken from 285 of them, and as a result of his

24 consideration of all of that material, the analyst

25 produced reports, one of which I mentioned to you, I





1 think, appears in redacted form as an annex or appendix

2 to Judge Cory's report. That was then considered again

3 by another analyst employed by the murder investigation

4 team in March 2003 and deemed to be acceptable, and also

5 by analysts working for the Ayling team, for the Inquiry

6 in that sense, who also considered the murder

7 investigation team analyst's work and satisfied himself

8 that the work was of an appropriate standard.

9 Indeed, the matter was then taken a stage further by

10 consideration in chapter 11 of the report and that

11 leaves us with the handful of remaining incidents, after

12 all this enormous amount of work has taken place, which

13 we intend to consider further, and only those incidents

14 at this at this stage. And in relation to those, as

15 I have explained to you, the Inquiry has itself taken

16 evidence from a number of witnesses in order to, as it

17 were, put beyond doubt the thoroughness with which the

18 entire enterprise has been conducted.

19 Now, so far as that is concerned and the

20 conclusions, there are four particular matters to be

21 explored under the heading "Security Force Activity".

22 The first is what appears to have been a vehicle

23 checkpoint on the Castor Bay Road; the second relates to

24 a man in a balaclava, apparently climbing into a police

25 Land Rover, which appears to have revealed some





1 unexplained, unaccounted for Land Rover activity; third,

2 the activities of two different helicopters and their

3 crews; and fourth, some other, some further unexplained

4 security force activity as alleged after the murder by

5 witnesses who provided statements not to the murder

6 investigation team but to the Pat Finucane Centre.

7 Now, sir, I am now going to turn to deal with the

8 four categories. Is that a convenient moment?

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Yes. 10.15 tomorrow.

10 (4.45 pm)

11 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)


















1 I N D E X

Opening submissions by MR PHILLIPS .............. 1
3 (continued)