Video: 189 State killings saw no prosecutions, 63 per cent of security force victims in the early 1970s unarmed, says CAJ

Not a single policeman or soldier was prosecuted during the early Troubles for their alleged roles in 189 killings, a justice campaigner has said.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 9:29 am
Updated Monday, 16th September 2019, 10:29 am

Daniel Holder of the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) has also claimed 63 per cent of security force victims in the early 1970s were “undisputedly unarmed”.

He was speaking at a briefing of the Westminster NI Affairs Committee.

“You could look at the period, for example, between 1969 and 1974, where 189 people were killed by the security forces, 170 by the military.


“In that period there were no convictions and no prosecutions. For most of that period there were not even any police investigations. As you know, the investigations in a general sense were conducted in a managerial style by the Royal Military Police,” he said.

The NIAC is taking consultations on the implementation of the legacy mechanisms in the Stormont House Agreement. It also heard from Professor Kieran McEvoy from Queen’s University.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell put it to Prof. McEvoy that paramilitaries were responsible for most of the law-breaking.

“Here was a contest, a dispute - hundreds of thousands of people trying to maintain the law and a tiny, statistically insignificant number of those people may have broken the law, whereas 100 per cent of the terrorists all broke the law,” said the East Derry MP.

Prof. McEvoy replied: “The people from the paramilitary organisations who went to prison is somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000—definitively, more or less.

"A lot of people were processed and, as you all know, that means that the experience of imprisonment directly impacted on working-class communities in particular, in both loyalist and republican areas. It is not a small number of people who went to prison.”

Mr, Holder claimed none of the State-killings during the first years of the conflict had been investigated properly at the time.

“We know that in that early period, 63% of victims were undisputedly unarmed at the time they were shot by the security forces. Those cases have never properly been investigated,” he said.

“We cannot definitely determine that those members of the security forces did not break the law and did not engage in unlawful killings or murder, and that is before we get to collusion cases, which takes up the figure from 10 per cent, which relates to the direct use of force by the security forces, to a higher and as yet undetermined figure in relation to the number of cases.”