Justice denied | 

British solider suspected of murdering five civilians in Northern Ireland dies in Australia

Clive Graham Williams died in Australia four days after Christmas following a battle with cancer

Clive Graham Williams or Taff

Hugh Jordan

A British Army soldier linked to the murder of five civilians has died in Australia, the Sunday World can reveal.

And the family of one of his victims now believe they will never have their day in court.

Welshman Clive Graham Williams, or Taff as he was known to his military mates, died in Australia four days after Christmas.

He was 75 and it is believed he was suffering from cancer.

Williams - pictured here chatting amiably to Princess Anne - was the prime suspect in five murders and several attempted murder of civilians in Northern Ireland.

His victims include an Patrick McVeigh, an innocent father of six who was gunned down in the Riverdale area of west Belfast on May 12 1972.

Patricia Wills - Patrick McVeigh's daughter - told the Sunday World she doesn't believe her family will ever see justice.

Princess Anne meeting Clive Graham Williams

"Clive Williams was the soldier who murdered my father. There was no possible reason for it, except to instil fear in the community.

"My father worked in the shipyard and he had been out for a pint with a friend on the night he was shot dead.

"His friend dropped him off at the corner, because my father liked to walk the last few hundred yards home.

"He was chatting to the men at the makeshift barricade when the gunman struck. My father and four others were hit and my father died at the scene as the priest gave him the Last Rites.

"The shooting devastated our family and we never got over it.

"But Clive Williams knew we were onto him. And he did everything to avoid speaking to the officers from the Legacy Investigation Branch."

"There's no doubt this man escaped justice and it now looks as though we'll never get it." she said.

However Mrs. Wills added: "But the senior officers who sent Clive Williams out that night are still alive and clearly they have questions to answer."

A member of the undercover so-called Military Reconnaissance Force and later the Military Police, Clive Graham Williams operated mainly in west Belfast.

The research group Paper Trail, had linked Williams to six serious incidents after discovering his name in security files.

Williams' death was announced on a Facebook memorial site for the Royal Corps of Military Police on 29 December, 2021.

Awarded the Military Medal for bravery, Williams rose to the rank of Major before his retirement.

Plaudits and tributes were paid at a memorial service and a coffin-side oration was led by a former army colleague Lt Colonel Craig Kinston.

"Taff has many Royal Military Police highlights and the most notable being the award of the MM when serving as a corporal in Northern Ireland in 1970.

"Today's not the occasion to detail the circumstances of how Taff was awarded the medal. However, it is the day to detail why a Military Medal is bestowed on an individual.

"It is awarded for acts of bravery in battle, for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire." the senior officer told mourners in an oration which was filmed and posted on Facebook.

But Lt Colonel Kinston made no mention of the fact that Major Williams (rtd) was in fact wanted by police in Northern Ireland.

Williams' British Army number 24031479 and Military Medal award, confirmed for us, he was the same Clive Williams who had spent his recent years body-swerving anyone who wanted to interview him.

And by presenting a plethora of excuses - mainly linked to his failing health - he also successfully dodged investigating officers from the PSNI Legacy Investigations Branch.

We can today reveal, Clive Graham Williams actually appeared in court in Belfast in 1973. He was charged with shooting four unarmed civilians with a non-army issue Thompson sub-machine gun.

In the early years of the Troubles, the weapon was favoured by members of the IRA in Belfast. And there was an inference that the British Army had attempted to lay the blame at the door of the Republican Movement.

Williams had used ammunition stolen from an RUC armoury, but despite the damning evidence, the soldier walked from court Scot-free.

But the Sunday World can today reveal that at the time of his death, Clive Williams was still wanted for questioning in Belfast.

Officers from the PSNI Legacy Investigation Branch wished to speak to Williams in connection with the murder of Patrick McVeigh, a father of six who was gunned down in the Riverdale area of west Belfast on May 12 1972.

Mr McVeigh - a welder in Harland and Wolff Shipyard - had been out for a pint with a friend and was near his home when he was shot.

File photo dated 07/01/1984 of Harland and Wolff Shipyard, Belfast PA/PA Wire

He had stopped at the junction of Riverdale Park South and Finaghy Road North to chat with a group of local men who were providing a vigilante watch for residents.

The men were all members of the Catholic Ex-Servicemen's Association and none of them were armed.

Suddenly a car drew up and a passenger opened fired on the men with a machinegun through an open window.

Patrick McVeigh, who was fatally wounded, fell to the ground immediately. And four of the others were also hit. Initially it had been a suspected loyalist attack on a predominantly Catholic area.

But as the car transporting the gunman made off, it was witnessed passing through a British Army checkpoint, where the driver produced a pass.

Following the incident, the Army issued three contradictory statements.

The first said there had been a gun battle and the second recorded an alleged riot where rubber bullets had been fired. And the third one was a combination of both.

But an RUC officer informed the local priest that the British Army had shot Patrick McVeigh.

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