Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by KevinB, Jan 24, 2008.

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    Former Northern Ireland police chief Sir Ronnie Flanagan
    tonight apologised to the families of the Omagh bomb victims
    for his force's handling of the case.

    It was the first time the ex-RUC Chief Constable has
    publicly said sorry for the botched investigation into the
    atrocity that claimed the lives of 29 people.

    Sir Ronnie said he would not resign from his current role as
    top Home Office adviser on policing, despite a judge's
    recent damning condemnation of how the RUC investigated the
    August 1998 bombing.

    Last month South Armagh man Sean Hoey was cleared of the
    Omagh murders and a series of other dissident republican

    In setting the 39-year-old electrician free, trial judge Mr
    Justice Weir delivered a damning assessment of the RUC.

    He highlighted malpractice at every stage of evidence
    gathering procedures during the case. Tonight, Sir Ronnie
    said he would not step down as head of Her Majesty's
    Inspectorate of Constabulary.

    However, he did admit responsibility for the RUC's failures
    under his command. "I absolutely publicly apologise to the
    families in Omagh," he told Channel Four news.

    "I am desperately sorry that we have not at this point
    brought people to justice for that dreadful attack. I
    publicly apologise to all those families and all those
    victims; to all those who were injured, without reservation."

    "Of course as Chief Constable, I have to take responsibility
    for the shortcomings that the judge highlighted and I take
    responsibility for those shortcomings".

    Asked if he would resign, Sir Ronnie replied: "I don't think
    that is appropriate."

    The senior police officer was speaking after a meeting with
    Victor Barker, who lost his 12-year-old son James in the

    Mr Barker, who has been demanding Sir Ronnie's resignation,
    said the apology didn't go far enough. "He apologised that
    no one's been brought to justice, that's very different from
    apologising for his own involvement in the case," he said.

    "I don't think he can morally justify remaining in his
    current position when he was the major responsible officer
    for an investigation that fell so short of what the
    relatives should have expected."
  2. Blame the Government! After all they let the low life bastrads out to continue their campaign!
  3. As is often the case with the government, that is true enough. Still, I think he should resign.
  4. why should he ? he didn't plant the bomb, the real IRA did, he also faced a wall of silence and political pressure to convict anybody.

    if anyone is going to do the apologising is the Real IRA and surrender themselves to the Police and co operate fully with the legal system.

    we know how likely that is.

    If there is any positive outcome of this , is that the IRA scored a massive own goal and brought the Trouble sin to a very sharp focus and everybody realised that its time to put a stop to it.
  5. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    I'm not sure I agree with you. Why should he resign and what would it achieve, other than a sop to whinging victims?
  6. I agree. As a former RUC Regional Commander of Belfast, then Hd of SB and fianlly Chief Constable his resignation would be a huge coup for the still active Republican movement, and would be used to fuel propganda - "There, see I told you so, the RUC was rotton from top to bottom. I bet they faked all the evidence that put our boys inside!"
  7. Sir Ronnie is and always was an honourable and decent man who did his damndest to fight terrorism. Very few people in the troubles probably put their lives at more risk than him. There is no reason why he should resign.

    The RUC and then PSNI pulled out all the stops to try and secure a conviction even to the point of finding trace DNA. They were informed that it was admissable and used the best knowledge of the techniques known at the time. Many of the Learned Judge's coments were widely inaccurate and based on today's knowledge, not what was known at the time. To then imply that the police deliberately mis-led the courts was in my opinion scandalous.

    The people who deserve criticism are of course RIRA, but also the very many other Republicans who know exactly who carried out this heinous crime but will not hand over the evidence.

    The reaction of the families is sad and reflects the natural grief they still feel. Unfortunately part of the grief process is the need to blame someone - the police are just the easiest to blame at the moment.
  8. Everyone has made some good points, but this is how I see it. Sir Ronnie has done many things extremely well, especially as Chief Constable who modernised the RUC. But it seems to me that due to the incompetence of his men, these mass killers escape punishment. Yes, there was political pressure on him, yes, he could not be aware of everything his men were doing - but ultimately - he was the Chief Constable and was responsible. And there should be consequences for that - is why I think he should resign.
  9. Kevin I think you moss the point.

    The person responsible was the cnut that planted the bomb. HE murdered 29 people.
  10. But what makes it even worse is that due to the botched investigation, the murderer will not be punished.
  11. We KNOW who carried out these killings. Proving it in the court became the issue. Perhaps the imbalance of on the ground 'physical' evidence being overwhelmed with 'technical' evidence lost the day.

    Omagh was arguably the first case in the public forum where it was admitted that mobile calls could be 'located metre by metre' as well as being listened to. This offered in my view what was to be a false confidence to the RUC.
  12. There was a team. I'm sure there will be justice in this case. To misappropriate Adams famous phrase - " The victims haven't gone away ye'know"
  13. I am not so sure of that at all. Regardless, Flanagan was responsible for what happened under his watch and should be held accountable.
  14. Who said it was a botched investigation. One judge.

    How many times have we seen judges come out with rediculous statements and comments? The work being done on recovery of miniscule bits of DNA after Omagh was cutting edge stuff - it is only now, a decade later that some people are questioning the way techniques were carried out.

    It wasn't just the RUC involved in this investigation. The Met Police, various forensic agencies and both security services worked together. All contributed to the investigation - should their heads all resign from whatever organisation they are now in.

    Sir Ronnie had an excellent reputation as a police officer. He is now respected in his current role and in many ways brings great balance to the job. Why should he resign because of one judge's opinion.
  15. There's no reason whatsoever for Sir Ronnie to resign , I've a lot of time for the RUC/PSNI and have many happy memories of working alongside them across the water. I was always impressed by their professionalism and I refuse to believe that they simply bungled the Omagh enquiry through bad police work. This was the biggest and most high-profile enquiry ever conducted by the force and I'm sure all stops were pulled out. To accuse them of simply "monging it" is ridiculous. For Sir Ronnie to resign or be required to resign would simply hand a scalp to our enemies who constantly preach that it was an inside job carried out by the British anyway. Unfortunately there are many in the broad Nationalist community in NI who are too ready to believe them. The Judge's comment seem to have been accepted uncritically by the media and it is a great pity that they have gone unchallenged and without context. Likewise, the allegation that two detectives are at fault or corrupt sticks in the public mind without any real understanding of what exactly they are supposed to have done. The sad and tragic thing is that the guilty men have so far gotten away with it.