Wednesday 26 October 2016

Provos ‘and the State’ conspired in murders

Daughter of a woman abducted and murdered by the IRA 21 years ago still facing a wall of silence

Mairia Cahill

Published 14/06/2015 | 02:30

SEEKING JUSTICE: Shauna Moreland, left, whose mother Caroline Moreland was murdered by the IRA in 1994 for being an alleged informer, pictured in Belfast City Centre with Mairia Cahill
SEEKING JUSTICE: Shauna Moreland, left, whose mother Caroline Moreland was murdered by the IRA in 1994 for being an alleged informer, pictured in Belfast City Centre with Mairia Cahill
CONTROVERSY: Freddie Scappaticci

Caroline Moreland was doing housework in her West Belfast home when her 10-year-old daughter kissed her and said goodbye as she made the journey to stay with her grandmother. It was the last time her daughter Shauna saw her mother alive. The 34-year-old mother of three was abducted, tortured in a house in Monaghan and murdered. Her body was discovered in a pool of blood, dumped unceremoniously across the Fermanagh border. She had been missing for 15 days.

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Shauna Moreland, now 31, has been trying to get answers for the last number of years. She appeared on BBC Spotlight NI last week to highlight the case because she feels that "I'm constantly getting doors slammed in my face".

"There was no proper police investigation into my mummy's murder, there was no one convicted, I'm not aware of any inquest. We have had no access to the autopsy report."

A police ombudsman investigation is ongoing. "If the Irish Government could find me answers, I want to know can they find out why she was sacrificed, and can they help me?"

Shauna's last memory of her mother is a fond one. "She was fun, supportive, she was the rock in the family. We were really close, we had a really good relationship. She was in the kitchen, I was going over to my granny's. I gave her a hug and kiss and said 'see you later'. There was nothing unusual, it was just a hug and a kiss and I'll see you tomorrow.

"The IRA took her that day and kept her in a house in Belfast for 24 hours, and then put her in the boot of a car and drove her to Monaghan and kept her for 15 days."

During Caroline Moreland's interrogation, they made a harrowing recording of her speaking. Caroline sounds calm as she states: "I really regret getting caught up with these people and I really regret what I've done. They told me that I would go away for at least 25 years and that my children would be taken off me and put into the power of social services. It was at this point that I agreed to work for them. I wish that I had been caught sooner, but I really would advise anybody else that's in this situation to come forward and tell and not to listen to the things that they tell you, the fear that they put into you about what's going to happen to you. Just come forward and tell what you're doing." The last line is chilling as Caroline says: "No harm will come to you and you'll be helped."

"Clearly that wasn't the outcome," Shauna explains. "I think she was forced to say it, to me it sounds scripted. When you hear the recording in full it starts and stops, there's a part in it which she says she's being well looked after, she's being allowed to wash, she's been given food. They then murdered her."

The case is controversial because it is alleged that the British intelligence agent Stakeknife, believed to be Freddie Scappaticci, was involved in the interrogation of Moreland, and it exposes the murky world of collusion between IRA operatives and intelligence services in murder.

"There are a lot of other families with 20 or more murders potentially connected with my mummy's, and that connection is Stakeknife. If my mummy was informing - and I do say 'if' - she'd have had handlers, they would have known she was missing for 15 days. Why weren't they trying to locate her? If she wasn't informing, we all know Stakeknife was, so his handlers knew where she was. In either case, the State could have protected her. The State played God with people's lives.

"The IRA tried to label her as an informant - but just because the IRA said it, doesn't mean it's true. My view is that she was used as a sacrificial lamb, there was too much to risk for both sides. The IRA and the State are both equally responsible. The State may not have been present, they may not have pulled the trigger, they might as well have done. They made the bullets and they let the IRA fire them."

In a previously unknown detail, Shauna revealed to the Sunday Independent that she met the IRA after Scappaticci was named as an alleged agent.

"I had a meeting with two IRA men in West Belfast. I didn't know what to ask them because I wasn't prepared. I asked them why was she killed, and they said she was an informer, and there was a war. They said that my mummy was well respected but that she wasn't a member of the IRA. They didn't apologise. I went numb to be honest."

Almost 21 years after her mother's murder, the first official communication from Sinn Fein to Shauna came through the media, when she discovered, while looking at a news site, that Martin McGuinness stated he would meet her after she had said she believed that he was on the IRA Army Council at the time of Caroline Moreland's killing. A Sinn Fein spokesperson said: "Martin McGuinness is more than willing to meet with Shauna Moreland… it is certainly not the case that he was on the IRA Army Council."

"I would ask McGuinness, did he know my mummy personally? Was he on the Army Council? If he was, did he sanction her murder, and if so, why, and how can he justify that. Does he sleep at night?"

She has rejected the possibility of a meeting with the Sinn Fein president. "Gerry Adams was also on the Army Council. What Martin McGuinness will admit is that he was in the IRA; he maybe lied about when he came out of it, but he will stand up and say yes, he was. Anything Gerry Adams says is just lies, and that's my opinion on him. I think he's a barefaced liar. I think Gerry Adams would deny he has a beard, when everyone else can see it on his face. I don't need any more lies".

Shauna is "glad" that she has publicly raised her mother's case and is determined to continue her search for justice. "My mother was not Caroline Moreland, the IRA informer. She was Caroline Moreland, my mummy, and I want her to have her voice back. The IRA dehumanised her for years, I want to humanise her again. I didn't do this for my mummy to be put in the spotlight, I did it for me, as a daughter, to have closure; it's a road that I've had to go down to put her to rest.

"I have, maybe naively, no fear of the IRA. I'm not going to back down, and if they don't like it, that's their problem. I've had to find a way of living with what they did, so now they're going to have to do the same."

Sunday Independent

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