Alleged victims of IRA's 'Stakeknife' welcome probe into murders

NewsBy Sunday World
Freddie Scappaticci - AKA 'Stakeknife'
Freddie Scappaticci - AKA 'Stakeknife'

Alleged victims of double agent Stakeknife said they are overjoyed after a new investigation was ordered.

Frank Mulhern's son Joe, 22, was killed after the IRA claimed he was an informer in 1993. His bullet-riddled body was discovered in a ditch beside a remote border crossing in Co Tyrone.

Mr Mulhern said he was delighted progress had been made after years campaigning for justice.

"I am really over the moon that this has taken place. I am at this now probably 17 years, it is a major breakthrough as far as I am concerned."

He said he had little faith in a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) investigation.

"I have no confidence whatsoever in the PSNI. They are quick to tell us how many lives use of agents have saved but they are not so quick to tell us how many lives those agents have cost."

He said an international police force should investigate.

"There is no point in getting police officers from Scotland, England or Wales, that is not any good, we need an international police force to investigate all of these killings."

Mr Mulhern appealed for people to come forward.

"Do you want to let these people get away with the murders of our loved ones?

"Come forward, you owe it to your loved ones to come forward."

He said the decision of the DPP to ask police to investigate was a massive breakthrough.

"A murder is a murder. They are quick to charge people from the other side of the fence with murder but they are not so quick to charge the security services with murder.

"There is security service involvement in probably all of these murders and those people, if we don't come forward, will get away with it.

"We need people to speak up, we need people to not be afraid."

Belfast woman Caroline Moreland, a 34-year-old Catholic mother-of-three, was abducted and murdered by the IRA in July 1994.

Her body was found near Rosslea, County Fermanagh.

Her daughter Shauna Moreland said Stakeknife would always be protected because of the implications any prosecution would have for the authorities.

"We are sceptical of the authorities here doing a proper investigation."

Kevin Winters, a lawyer who represents some of the victims, said MI5, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and RUC Special Branch had been accused of collusion.

Lawyers are challenging in a Belfast court the PSNI's alleged failure to undertake a thematic investigation into the role of informers into the murder of Caroline Moreland.

Mr Winters said the PSNI's Legacy Investigations Branch cannot satisfy the demands of human rights compliance.

"We suggest very strongly either a statutory inquiry into this matter is established to undertake an investigation into collusion during the conflict in Northern Ireland... or another mechanism is developed to discharge the British Government's ongoing human rights obligations to the relatives and survivors of the violence of the legacy of collusion."