Hussey comments on Lundy report into HET investigations

05 April 2012

West Tyrone MLA Ross Hussey has commented on the claims by a report from Dr Patricia Lundy of the University of Ulster that soldiers are given favourable treatment by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) and that certain cases involving soldiers were not investigated properly. 

Mr Hussey, who represents the Ulster Unionist Party on the Policing Board, said:

 “I am greatly concerned at some of the findings of this Report.

One of the main problems faced by anyone trying to investigate for the late 1960s and early 1970s as this report relates to is the passage of time.

 The original investigations into these events were hampered by the fact that there were murders, bombings and serious incidents on an almost daily basis, with a seriously overstretched Police force having little time to conduct the detailed investigations into serious incidents as they would wish or keep the records they would have done in an ideal world. Unfortunately the Police and Army were operating in a world where they were trying to investigate one atrocity after another and prevent further ones taking place. The Abercorn, Bloody Friday, McGurk’s Bar and Kingsmills Massacre being but a few of the atrocities perpetuated in the early years of the Troubles.

This is something we must bear in mind as we look back from the relative peace and stability of 2012. We simply cannot reasonably judge the events of the late 1960s and early 1970s by the standards of today.

The security forces were put in an impossible position during the Troubles. It is almost impossible in the Northern Ireland of 2012 to imagine the circumstances and the difficulties in which an under-strength RUC and the Army had to operate in the Northern Ireland of 1972.

We must also bear in mind that this report focuses on a relatively small number of cases involving soldiers when compared to the total of more than 3,000 deaths attributable to the Troubles, the vast majority of which were caused by terrorists.

I agree that the matter should be considered further by the Chief Constable as it is important that public confidence is maintained.

However, we must never forget that terrorist apologists are the first people to demand “transparency” and some form of truth commission as a means of dealing with the past. They seem content to live in denial of the fact that all too often they refuse to admit their involvement in terrorist acts or even organisations.” 

© 2012