KRW Law LLP Press Release on the Damien Walsh Police Ombudsman Investigation
We act for the family of Damien Walsh who was murdered by Loyalists linked to the UDA in 1993.
Today PONI produced a report confirming the families suspicions that collusion played a significant role in his killing and, the subsequent failed investigation.
The 108-page report is a devastating indictment of the security forces and their handling of this investigation.
Speaking after the meeting with Marie Anderson family solicitor Kevin Winters said;
“From the failure to examine key exhibits recovered in the car used by the killers through to serious intelligence and surveillance failings this report exposes all the traditional elements of State – Terrorist collusion.
Previous intense surveillance operations were halted 3 days before the killing of Damien.
This operational disaster was compounded by high level decisions taken by both military and police. This deliberate failure to pass on intelligence which could have helped catch the killers, seriously impaired the investigation.
The findings demonstrate that the investigation was all about intelligence and agent protection at the expense of finding the killers of Damien Walsh.
It’s little wonder that the British Government wants to both shut down PONI and lock the doors of the courts to families who are still fighting for justice in 100s of unresolved Conflict cases.
Back in the early days of The Troubles when fledgling human rights issues struggled to get off the ground many people saw fit to challenge the independence of the judicial system and were only too quick to walk out of court in protest.
It is with a sense of irony now we see the British Government following its Amnesty proposal last week is now trying to stop people accessing the courts because it cannot control their independence.
They cannot have it both ways.
The systemic failure to politically resolve the Legacy of The Past including an ongoing failure to implement The Stormont House Agreement has created a justice and Truth recovery deficit which in turn caused increased engagement with the courts.
The State does not want to have any more days like today when PONI delivers such a devastating critique on State collusion, and it doesn’t want the High Court looking at any more cases like this.
There’s more than coincidence to last week’s statement by Brandon Lewis and today’s PONI report.
This jurisdiction has a fit for purpose legal system examining the Past. The authorities now want it dismantled. The only beneficiaries of these proposals will be State interests. Not one single Conflict bereaved family stands to benefit at all from them.
Damien’s mother Marian, like so many other conflict bereaved families, has conducted herself with dignity in her fight for justice. Her battle will now resume in the High Court”.