Relatives of Troubles’ victims meet with outgoing Irish Ambassador

June 19, 2017

The outgoing Irish Ambassador in London, Dan Mulhall, held a special meeting last week with Whitecross man Eugene Reavey and fellow victims of the Troubles, Micheal O’Hare and Stephen Travers.  The men had been cordially invited to the face-to-face meeting with Mr Mulhall after the ambassador heard the men speak at a peace and reconciliation function in St James’s University earlier this year.

According to Mr Reavey, hearing the men recount the details of the legacy cases for which they are still campaigning for justice had such a profound effect on Mr Mulhall that he insisted on meeting them personally before his term of office in London comes to a close.

Michael O’Hare is the brother of 12 year old Majella O’Hare who was shot and killed by Paratroopers on 14th August 1976.  Stephen Travers survived the Miami Showband Massacre by the UVF in July 1975, which left 5 members of the popular Miami Showband dead.  Eugene’s three brothers were shot and killed by members of the notorious Glenanne Gang at the family’s Whitecross home on 4th January 1975.

Speaking to The Examiner about the meeting, Mr Reavey said it was a pleasure to meet the Irish Ambassador, who has invited the men to speak at further functions in the US after he takes up his new post of Irish Ambassador in Washington.

Eugene said all three men provided a synopsis of their cases outlining all the legal obstacles preventing the relatives of Troubles victims from achieving justice for their loved ones and he revealed that Mr Mulhall has vowed to help the relatives in any way he can before he leaves office in London and within his new role in Washington.

“It is great to have Mr Mulhall’s support and we provided a framework for the ambassador to advance diplomatic efforts to achieve our aim of finally getting truth and justice for our loved ones,” he said.

“My briefing note gave a detailed synopsis of the murders of my brothers as part of the Glenanne series of attacks, as well as a brief synopsis of the background to legal proceedings as they currently stand which we feel would benefit from diplomatic pressure by the Irish Ambassador to the UK.

“I informed Mr Mulhall of our main concern that there has never been an effective investigation into the wider events of the Glenanne Gang – that the British government failed to carry out a thematic investigation linking all the Glenanne murders.  The judicial review which started last year seeks to compel the Secretary of State to initiate such an investigation and Judge Tracey will be delivering his verdict on that on 30th June.

“We are very hopeful that he will order an effective investigation to be carried out so we petitioned the ambassador to consider applying diplomatic pressure on the UK to ensure this happens without any further delays.”

Eugene added that what he describes as the British government’s “failure to resource the coronial system in Northern Ireland” was also detailed in a report he left with the outgoing ambassador, as well as a further synopsis of the civil case for damages that is being pursued by the relatives of Troubles’ victims and the legal battle to obtain full disclosure of documents from the PSNI and the British government.

“It was against this backdrop that we requested that diplomatic efforts are deployed to ensure the British government is compliant with its obligations to maintain the coronial system to ensure the inquest can proceed and to remove any further obstacles standing in the way of achieving justice for the murders of our loved ones,” said Eugene.

“We very much appreciated Mr Mulhall’s invite and feel it was an extremely pleasant and worthwhile meeting for all of us.”