The government is bracing itself for more embarrassment flowing from The Morland Inquiry into the bombing and killing of Lurgan solicitor Rosemary Nelson in March 1999. She was blown up outside her own home in a car explosion.
Mrs Nelson’s killing was claimed by a caller purporting to speak for a group named The Red Hand Defenders. There had been repeated allegations of ‘collusion’ between loyalist paramilitary organisations and members of the security services in the killing of the 40 year old solicitor a mother of three who represented many high profile republicans and who turned up on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown to monitor how the police were handling an Orange parade adamant on walking through the catholic nationalist area. The human rights lawyer claimed she had been threatened and had received reports of threats to her well being from people known to her professionally. In the wake of Rosemary Nelson’s killing the then Chief Constable of police in NI Ronnie Flanagan appointed English officer Colin Port to oversee the day to day running of the investigation. Eventually an independent inquiry was established under Sir Michael Morland. Those who have a working knowledge of the report’s contents speak of it being “potentially worrying for the government and the police.”
The police have always denied any wrongdoing. Owen Paterson said at Westminster “I am pleased to inform the House that the report of the Rosemary Nelson inquiry, chaired by Sir Michael Morland, will be published on Monday 23 May.”
He added: “With the permission of the Speaker, I confirm that I will allow an opportunity for members of the family of Rosemary Nelson, as well as the other represented parties at the inquiry, to see the report privately, and be briefed by their lawyers on its contents, some hours before the report is published.”
The inquiry sat during 2009 and held public hearings into the murder, which was one of the most infamous of the latter stages of the Troubles.
Nelson, represented a number of high-profile republican suspects. Nelson’s involvement in high-profile cases during a key period of the peace process saw her rise to prominence.
Her claims of intimidation by police, soldiers and loyalist paramilitaries came to international attention when human rights groups, including representatives of the UN, raised her allegations.
A major police investigation, which was led by a senior police officer from England after objections to it being led by the now defunct Royal Ulster Constabulary, failed to charge anyone for the murder.
The subsequent inquiry was one of a number ordered by the British and Irish governments. The cost of inquiry is understood to be £46.1m.
I believe that wrongs in the past will always catch those who thought they could get away with it-
I believe that all past wrongs catch up some-day with those who thought that they could get away with it-
Its good too see there is nowhere to hide, the past will always seek revenge.