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New Developments in 1980s 'Shoot to Kill' Cases


picador

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John Larkin, the North's newly appointed Attorney-General, has ordered the Coroner's Office to hold a new inquest into the death of Francis Bradley of Castledawson, Co. Derry, who was killed by the SAS at the scene of an IRA arms dump in February 1986. The SAS soldiers who shot the 20 year-old joiner eight times amid controversial circumstances were not required to attend the initial inquest, at which their statements were read to the court.

In a separate development at the High Court in Belfast, PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggot lost an appeal against a coroner's decision to order the release of a redacted version of the Stalker / Sampson report to relatives of some of those republicans killed by E4A, an elite paramilitary police unit, in County Armagh towards the tail-end of 1982.

All of these killings were highly controversial at the time. It was (and still is) widely believed that the security services were engaged a covert policy of extra-judicial execution against those they suspected of involvement in republican paramilitary activity.

Today's developments could lead to more light being shed on the murky area of our past that is the 1980s.
 
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sharpcut

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If any of them were in The IRA then I don't see what the problem is.
 

Cato

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If any of them were in The IRA then I don't see what the problem is.
Yeah! Surely, in a war, as the IRA always claimed it was, shoot to kill is the normal modus operandi. What possible objection could so-called Republicans have towards this?
 

chadmikeymicheals

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If any of them were in The IRA then I don't see what the problem is.
but didn't the brits say they were not in a war? in that case they had no right to shoot to kill. if they believed a man was guilty of a crime he should of been dealt with by the courts.
 

Didimus

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If the killings were executions there certainly was a problem.
However those who were engaged in what they regarded as a war, and who themselves did not operate to legal conventions governing the conduct of this war are not in a strong position to complain.
 

British Citizen

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If the killings were executions there certainly was a problem.
However those who were engaged in what they regarded as a war, and who themselves did not operate to legal conventions governing the conduct of this war are not in a strong position to complain.
Strangely I don't think that'll stop them!
 

TheTipperaryMan

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The term "shoot to kill" is a joke.
Is there any other type of shooting?

The whinging about extra-judicial murder is a bit rich coming from Republicans who claim they were an army at war.

Once a republican swore the oath and joined the cause you were fair game whether you were carrying a gun or not, whether you were sitting a home watching the telly or shooting at an RUC station and they knew the risks.

The republicans gunned down off duty RUC and UDR members, they blew up coaches carrying Brits on leave or blew up pubs packed with drinkers so they could nail a few troops or loyalist paramilitaries, had no qualms about blowing up economic targets risking civilian casualties and they even killed a British TV game show host who was dumb enough to make a televised pledge of reward money for information on the activities of republicans on his own doorstep.

Time to stop the whinging when the SAS or RUC knocked off a few IRA on active service.

War is war. Big Boys Games Big Boys Rules.

Grow up.
 

Clanrickard

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If the killings were executions there certainly was a problem.
However those who were engaged in what they regarded as a war, and who themselves did not operate to legal conventions governing the conduct of this war are not in a strong position to complain.
If the IRA were fighting a war then they should have been treated as POWs according to the Geneva Convention. That wasn't the case though. The British said they were criminals/terrorists. If that was the case it wasn't a war and therefore the normal rules of arrest, charging , habeus corpus, right to an attorney apply.
 

sharpcut

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but didn't the brits say they were not in a war? in that case they had no right to shoot to kill. if they believed a man was guilty of a crime he should of been dealt with by the courts.
First of all, I did see it as a war. Secondly, regardless of legalities, any IRA member should have accepted his status as a legitimate target and subject to liquidation at any time and in any place. He should have informed his family of this and instructed them not to make any complaints if he was killed.
 

chadmikeymicheals

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The term "shoot to kill" is a joke.
Is there any other type of shooting?

The whinging about extra-judicial murder is a bit rich coming from Republicans who claim they were an army at war.

Once a republican swore the oath and joined the cause you were fair game whether you were carrying a gun or not, whether you were sitting a home watching the telly or shooting at an RUC station and they knew the risks.

The republicans gunned down off duty RUC and UDR members, they blew up coaches carrying Brits on leave or blew up pubs packed with drinkers so they could nail a few troops or loyalist paramilitaries, had no qualms about blowing up economic targets risking civilian casualties and they even killed a British TV game show host who was dumb enough to make a televised pledge of reward money for information on the activities of republicans on his own doorstep.

Time to stop the whinging when the SAS or RUC knocked off a few IRA on active service.

War is war. Big Boys Games Big Boys Rules.

Grow up.
the british said they were not in a war. therefore they shot people they suspected of committing crimes, that is murder, the people who did it should of been imprisoned for murder, they probably soon will be.
 

Didimus

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If the IRA were fighting a war then they should have been treated as POWs according to the Geneva Convention. That wasn't the case though. The British said they were criminals/terrorists. If that was the case it wasn't a war and therefore the normal rules of arrest, charging , habeus corpus, right to an attorney apply.
I think I acknowledged that by saying that if they were executions they would be a problem.
 

Cato

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If the IRA were fighting a war then they should have been treated as POWs according to the Geneva Convention. That wasn't the case though. The British said they were criminals/terrorists. If that was the case it wasn't a war and therefore the normal rules of arrest, charging , habeus corpus, right to an attorney apply.
I agree with you and deplore extra-judicial murder but it is a little rich of so-called Republicans to complain about such behaviour.
 

British Citizen

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If the IRA were fighting a war then they should have been treated as POWs according to the Geneva Convention. That wasn't the case though. The British said they were criminals/terrorists. If that was the case it wasn't a war and therefore the normal rules of arrest, charging , habeus corpus, right to an attorney apply.
But they weren't playing by the rules themselves.

Shooting unarmed, off duty policemen and soldiers, deliberately targeting civilians, using human shields, etc are not the actions of a professional army.

If the SAS had been 'disappearing' senior IRA men in the same way Gerry Adams 'disappeared' Jean McConville the number of young Nationalists joining up would have ground to a halt and The Troubles could have been stopped in the 1970s.

Unfortunately the British decided to take the moral high ground and play by international rules.
 

chadmikeymicheals

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First of all, I did see it as a war.
who gives a sh!t what you saw it as? im saying the brits said it was NOT a war at the time didn't they?

Secondly, regardless of legalities, any IRA member should have accepted his status as a legitimate target and subject to liquidation at any time and in any place. He should have informed his family of this and instructed them not to make any complaints if he was killed.
you not much different from these IRA chaps really are you? change a few words in there and you could be quoting bobby sands.
 

Catalpa

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First of all, I did see it as a war. Secondly, regardless of legalities, any IRA member should have accepted his status as a legitimate target and subject to liquidation at any time and in any place. He should have informed his family of this and instructed them not to make any complaints if he was killed.
Propaganda is a huge part of Modern Warfare

Both sides played this game of vilifying the other at any and every opportunity.

Exposing the contradictions in the Brits argument 'we are not in a war situation' was part & parcel of it.
 

SlabMurphy

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But they weren't playing by the rules themselves.

Shooting unarmed, off duty policemen and soldiers, deliberately targeting civilians, using human shields, etc are not the actions of a professional army.

If the SAS had been 'disappearing' senior IRA men in the same way Gerry Adams 'disappeared' Jean McConville the number of young Nationalists joining up would have ground to a halt and The Troubles could have been stopped in the 1970s.

Unfortunately the British decided to take the moral high ground and play by international rules.
So shooting civil rights marchers, helping to blow up shoppers in Dublin etc are the actions of a professional army in your book I suppose ?
 

chadmikeymicheals

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But they weren't playing by the rules themselves.

Shooting unarmed, off duty policemen and soldiers, deliberately targeting civilians, using human shields, etc are not the actions of a professional army.

If the SAS had been 'disappearing' senior IRA men in the same way Gerry Adams 'disappeared' Jean McConville the number of young Nationalists joining up would have ground to a halt and The Troubles could have been stopped in the 1970s.

Unfortunately the British decided to take the moral high ground and play by international rules
.
are you some kind of idiot or what? did you forget what this thread was about before you wrote that last sentence? is shooting people you suspect of committing a crime playing by international rules?
 

femmefatale

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I agree with you and deplore extra-judicial murder but it is a little rich of so-called Republicans to complain about such behaviour.
So you don't quite deplore it then, especially if 'so-called Republicans' are the victims?
 

Didimus

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Unfortunately the British decided to take the moral high ground and play by international rules.
mmm.... While those involved in the armed struggle have no real basis for complaint, there is enough evidence to suggest that the security forces in general breached both international and domestic rules.
Some may believe that in the context of the times such breaches were either understandable or acceptable, or both. However it does not serve anyone to deny they took place.
 

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