Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland (2023): Season 1, Episode 4 - Loose Talk Costs Lives - full transcript

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[CREW]: Do you want me to turn the
lights off?


There you go.

[QUIETLY]: Sorry.

[CHUCKLING]: I know.

I know.

I'm still very anxious
that we're not far enough

past the Troubles and stuff
like that to be coming on camera.

But I think, really and truly, today
it is a different climate,

so hopefully only good will come
out of this.

OK, shall we go from the beginning?

My name's Denise,

and I lived on an interface in
East Belfast.

Is that...? Is that what an
interface is,

where you've got the Protestants here... - Yeah.
- ...where you live

- and the Catholics...?
- The Catholics on the other side, yeah.

And what's the gap between the two
communities? Is it...

Yards. I mean, the width of street,
you know?

Yeah. It was just...

I mean, it was just literally that
side of the wall, you don't go,

this side of the wall, you do.

So here we are at the back.
This is Bryson Street,

and I would not have gone
past the stage.

This was me finished.

You know, that side's still
Protestant, this side isn't,

so this is where I would not
want to break down.

This is us.
There's the back of the peace wall.

So that's our house in there.

- Does this feel like enemy territory for you?
- Yeah, 100%.

Well, you know? Well, maybe not.
I don't know.

I feel... Like, my hands feel
sweaty. I just...

...don't enjoy being here.

I completely... I don't
want to go any further

because I don't know how to get out,

I know I can get out back there,

so I'll just do a U-turn and go.

Oh, there's somebody behind me. Oh!

All right, just...

I'll just go, cos I don't
want to be...


It's funny, I'm saying I don't want
to be caught out but, I mean,

caught out at what?

This is where I don't quite
understand my emotions.

What I always felt as a child
growing up was

I felt that I wanted
to just be normal.

I wanted to just be like
everybody else.

And we couldn't. We weren't
like everybody else.

Because we had this secret
in our family.

Our life was living a lie

all of the time about who you were,

you know, what your mum worked at,

constantly wondering who would
tell who, who would know who.

And if something happened to Mummy,

was it my fault? Did I say
something, did I slip up?

I remember every day before
we would get in the car,

me and my brother and my mummy,

we would have to check underneath
the wheel rims for bombs.

Now, we... Quite often we'd check
it as the three of us, you know?

Mummy would do, like, the front
and we'd do the wheels

and somebody would do the back, you

But if Mum felt... I mean, it's kind
of like those gut feelings.

If she felt there was something not
right even with the checks,

Mummy would have got in the car...

...and turn the engine on because
that would trigger something,

and we would be well back
at the house, you know?

So every morning, your mum...?

- Every single morning.
- ...would play Russian roulette?

Yeah. You know, I mean, it sounds
like fiction,

it sounds like it's made up,
but it had just become a way

of life, you know? So...


[CREW]: Yep.

How are you?

I'm great. Was the big leather
chair not available?


My arse is feeling numb already.

Is that...?
Is that an uncomfortable chair?

It is uncomfortable.

No, it's fine.

How does this feel now, in here?

- Oh, that's fine. - Yeah?
- That's fine.

- You're happy with the lights?
- Yes.

I'm fine with the lights, yep.

And why can't you show your face?

It would be very naive of me
to spend all my life dealing

with terrorist organisations
and not think there's people out

there who would probably
want to kill me.

So I'm not going to put my life
on the line like that.

But, yes, I was... I was 32
years in the police,

and 30 of those were in
Special Branch, so...

...I know a little bit about things.


They were still going full
tilt at that stage,

you know, in the '80s.

Republican bombings and Loyalist

and just daily tit-for-tat.

It was down to us in Special Branch
to find out who is a threat

to national security, who are
in paramilitary organisations,

and what can we do to infiltrate
those organisations and stop them?

That was the job?

That was the job, yes.

But it was never easy.


[REPORTER]: A car bomb at Harrods in
central London kills nine people.

In Hyde Park, a car bomb packed
with nails exploded into a troupe

of Household Cavalry.

The guards were just standing there,
bewildered, just shouting,

"Bastards. The bastards."

I think the IRA realised
they could bomb Northern Ireland

all day, seven days a week,
and it wasn't going to make much

difference to the British

"Well, maybe they'll listen a bit
better if we put a bomb

"in the centre of London."

I mean, they weren't stupid.
They weren't daft.

They had people there who had brains
in their head

and could think forward, and...

You don't underestimate them?

No. No, I don't.

They knew exactly
what they were doing.

The Irish Republican Army
this morning made its most audacious

and potentially devastating attack
yet on the British government.

Just after three o'clock this

they attempted to assassinate

the Prime Minister, members
of her Cabinet and other leading

Tory politicians as they slept
in their beds in a Brighton hotel.

You hear about these atrocities,
these bombs.

You don't expect them to happen
to you.

But life must go on as usual.

Thank you, Prime Minister.
Thank you.

Do you remember the Brighton bomb?

No. No.

You don't remember the Brighton

Was that the one with the white

- I'm trying to think.
- The one where they try and kill Thatcher.

Oh, aye. Yeah.

Yeah, remember that one.




Pity they didn't get her.

- What?
- Pity they didn't get her.

Despise that woman.

My name's Annmarie McKee.

I'm a Republican ex-prisoner
and mother of eight children.

That should be on my gravestone.

I wasn't your normal teenager.

You know, everybody had Wham!
on their rooms and, you know,

all their pop idols.

Well, mine was IRA men.

Fuckin' tricolours
hanging from my ceiling.

See, when there was a new poster
out, Republican movement,

I went and bought it.

Room... You couldn't see my room.

I really looked up to them,
you know?

They were like heroes to me.

So I just watched and learned.


That's me.

I think I was about 13 or 14 there.

Not holding the bottle properly.



My life just seemed to be what was
going on in Ireland and the Brits,

you know? Going to marches,

just doing something for the


- So quite a politically aware, motivated teenager?
- Yeah.


You had the IRA and then you had
Sinn Fein, you know, and...

...and I was young, so I joined
Sinn Fein Youth

and learnt a lot of the history
about Ireland,

about things that happened,

the likes of Bloody Sunday and the
whole social injustice.

And the more you educated yourself,

you actually became stronger

and more passionate...

...through the education of it.

Did you also sort of get lectures
on, like,

Bloody Friday, for example?

- No. - Other IRA atrocities?
- No.

So you're getting a very biased
account, in one regard.

Never at any stage did I feel
that I was being brainwashed...

...because I seen what was going on
in my own home.

I'd already been through
it, seen it.

Seen dead children in coffins,

people being beat in the streets,

being pulled out of my bed by
the British Army,

so nobody could tell me
any different.

You seen yourself like the next
generation and you want

to be a part of that.


...it was, like, sort of my
younger life was actually preparing

me for later on, you know?



Brits out! Brits out! Brits out!
Brits out! Brits out!

Brits out!

Hey! Hey! IRA!
Hey! Hey! IRA! Hey! Hey! IRA!

You can't fight a war
against the like of the IRA

without intelligence.

We needed to know
who was in the organisation

and who was in command positions
in the organisation,

who's looking after the weapons
and the arms dumps.

We needed to know that.

So you have to have people recruited
from within the organisation

to deal with that.

And that's called an agent, is it?

Yes. Agent. Source.

If you're from the Republican side,
you'd call them a tout.

And those are obviously
the most valuable,

because they're in at the heart
of what's going on.

[REPORTER]: The British government

that a dreadful act of terrorism

had been prevented when security
forces shot dead three Republican

paramilitaries on the streets
of Gibraltar.

At the time they were shot,

the suspects were all unarmed.

Well, there had to be intelligence
to say they were going over there

to carry out some sort of
an atrocity.

I wasn't involved in the actual

I'm not privy
to what the intelligence was,

but let's assume that some
of our informants knew exactly

what they're going to do
and when they're going to do it,

and that there was an operation
set up to prevent that, and...

...that's what happened.

They prevented it.

How did they prevent it?

They shot dead the three
people involved.


[REPORTER]: It began as the families
wished, in peace and with dignity.

The bodies of the three
IRA volunteers shot in Gibraltar

were taken from their homes
draped in the Irish tricolour,

and followed by a growing procession
of mourners as they moved

through West Belfast.

[ANNEMARIE]: I always went to the
marches and the funerals, you know,

to show support,

but that funeral that day was...

You'd never forget that.

I remember we were carrying
the wreaths.

My granny was there, too,
all the family was there,

but I was carrying a wreath,
and we're walking...

...walking into the graveyard.


...we're just standing there.




And then all of a sudden
we heard banging.


And grenades went off.


[MAN]: Jesus!


I remember standing up.

Into the distance,

I could see this man with dark hair.

He had a gun and was shooting.


Everybody was ducking.

It was just... It was chaos.






Try and stay calm!

Can people stay where they are?



Never seen so many screaming.

And you know...

What one person could do there.

Cause chaos with thousands
and thousands of people.


[WOMAN]: Jesus Christ!

You fucking bastards!

That's me there.

How old are you there?


...I'd have been 17.

- And is that your grandma?
- Yeah.

[VIDEO]: You fucking bastards!

My granny's screaming there.

That's like an echo.

You OK?

Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Anthony Stone, a 32-year-old
unemployed builder,

appeared in a Belfast magistrates'
court this afternoon charged

with the murders of three people
in Wednesday's attack

at Milltown Cemetery.

At the end of the hearing,
Stone told police,

"I alone carried out
this military operation

"as a retaliatory strike
against the IRA.

"I am a dedicated freelance
Loyalist paramilitary.

"No surrender."

Did you feel you were a different
person leaving that funeral

than the person who arrived?
Mm-hm. Yeah.

I have been never so angry
in my life.

It just sort of made a permanent
print on my head, in my mind,

you know? "I'm not sitting back

You know? "I need to do something.
I need to help in some way."

I was that angry.

Can I just say this, that at a time
of emotion, there obviously

will be the thought of revenge
and retaliation.

If that happens, this mad and awful
cycle of killing and murder

and violence will go on.

Everybody was, like, on alert
that day...

...and tensions were really,
really high.

I was away on down, down the road,
because of crowds, you know?

And then I heard there was

Something about,

"There's a car pulled into crowds."


There was a fear in everybody's

Was this happening again?

Was it a remake of Milltown?

But you really didn't know
what was going on

until you heard afterwards.

What did you hear?

I just heard that they were two
British Army fellas.

[MAN]: Get back, get back! Come on!


[WOMAN]: Right, there's a car

[MAN]: Give them here, give them here.


- There! - Run!
- There!

From an early age I did believe in
God, you know what I mean, like?

And it was always a big
part of my childhood.

But when these soldiers were
attacked, you know what I mean,

that was the most horrendous thing
I've ever seen in my life.

It was one of them,
you know what I mean,

like, moments that make you stop.

What kind of God would let this
kind of madness go on, you know?



[REPORTER]: The police say the two
soldiers were then

put in a black taxi
and taken to waste ground

behind the Andersonstown Road shops,

where they were severely beaten,
stripped and shot dead.

[DENISE]: I can see the footage
in my head,

and it just makes me
physically sick.

I can't watch that.

I literally... I literally
cannot watch that.

It's the most horrific...

Horrific, horrific, horrific.

I literally... I mean, you know...


And then that shock progresses
to worry about...

...Mum's job and the family secret.

Because Mum was in the Army.

And that was the biggest fear
that I would have had,

that Mummy could be next.

I'm Jean, and I was a Greenfinch
in the Ulster Defence Regiment...

...and I'm proud of the years
that I served,

just trying to subdue the IRA and
prevent the atrocities.

And as a single person
with two children, I felt

like I was finally doing something

to try and make the country
a better place.

Did you understand how dangerous
something like this was

before you joined?
No. No idea, really...

...how it could...

...impact on your family.

And it's not just you
that's joining,

your whole family are targeted.

[REPORTER]: Known by their nickname,

Greenfinches are the only women
in the British Army

who have a full front line role in
military operations.

Where are you coming from?

Since 1970, 174 male soldiers
of the UDR and four Greenfinches

have been killed by
the IRA or other paramilitaries.

The greatest strain, I think, is one
that is unique to the circumstances

that this regiment live under,

where they are at threat to
a greater extent

when they're off duty than when
they're on duty.

[DENISE]: The extension here,
that's our house.

Everybody in the Forces
lived under that kind of terror,

but we as a family just felt extra

because we weren't on the barracks.

We were actually living
in the community,

living on that interface.

The intensity of the fear,

I mean, it magnified to a point

I can't even describe how we
felt because

not only were we targets from
the Catholic side of Madrid Street

and IRA, we were even more targeted

for the IRA because they were

And then there was a massive turn
when some of the paramilitaries

on the Protestant side also turned
against the UDR, you know, and...

...you were hated by everybody.


I remember I came home one night
and I noticed somebody coming

out of my gate,

and this was the early hours of
morning, coming off duty.

So I went into the house and looked
out of the back window,

and the two guys were standing,
looking up,

and they pulled the black hoods
over their heads.

And I thought, "Well, this is it."

We tried to phone...
to phone the police,

and they'd cut the phone lines.

I came down again.

I thought, you know,

"If I come down into the hall,
they'll come in,

"they'll do me,
but they won't get the kids."


...it didn't happen, and it turned
out, no, it was a gang of them,

and across the way they were
breaking into a shop.

It was a robbery?

- It was a robbery. - It was a robbery.
- Not an assassination? - No.

- Hell of a thing, when you look back on it.
- Mm-hm.


But that's...

...one of the...

...horrible things about the job.

You see, this is why
it was so important to keep

what Mum done secret.

Because you're not dealing
with normal people,

you're dealing with terrorists.

You're dealing with people
that kill people.

And that sucked the life out
of my mum, and out of our family.

I mean, it could be anybody,
any time, any place, anywhere.


Now, you see, I should have brought
my glasses.

It's a book about all the people
who died during the conflict,

from the start to the finish.

It goes by the date they were
killed, from the year,

who killed them,
why they were killed,

and it is... It is a powerful
book to read.

And it's not fiction.

It's real.



I mean, it's everybody from RUC,
soldiers, UDR,

civilians, Catholic, Protestant.
Everyone's in it.

And how many people do you know
in there, did you say?


And one of them's my father.

My name is Billy McManus,
I am from Belfast.

My daddy was killed by Loyalists,

5th February 1982.

Him being killed is a box
that I carry every day,

and some days it's a small box

and it fits in my pocket.

And then some days it's a big,
big box,

and I struggle to carry it.

That's the only way I can
describe it.


...at certain times, you put it

...but you always have to pick
it up again.

That's the way I would describe
Sean Graham's,

and what happened to my daddy.

I have great memories of
being a young fellow

and standing beside my dad... he was
called Big Willie...

trying to drink pints of Guinness
with him, and end up...

"Hold on. You're an eejit here."

My dad... My dad could drink.

But that's just the way he was.

Liked his beer and greyhounds,

...wasn't involved in any political
thing, so...

And he just... He...

He was just... He was just...

He was... He was just my dad.

We also remember the seven others...

Have the killers ever been caught?
What's that?

- Have your father's killers ever been caught?
- No.


These people have never been

Never been a day in court.

They're still enjoying their lives,

planning weddings, going on holiday.

It's not fair that the killers
of these five people...

...could get away with murder.

Families need to get the answers
they deserve

and the peace that they want.

We have fought for 30 years to get
the truth about what happened

on that day. And, as you know, I was

As I stand here today,

it makes me so proud that we never
give up.

And on Monday morning, we will stand
shoulder by shoulder and hopefully

get the report that we deserve.

Will the truth be in the report?

I hope so, because once you get
the truth, we will get justice.

Thank you.

Thank you, son.

I don't call it the Troubles
any more because...

...it was more than troubles.

We were fucking animals to each

And that's just the way it was.

Help restore peace to Ulster.

Any information you've got
about explosions, murders,

ring Belfast 652155.

And don't worry, your call
is absolutely safe and confidential.

You keep it zipped,

because one wrong word can lead
to somebody dying

or somebody being arrested.

It's like even going into bars,
you know, if there was a stranger

there, you watched, because you
don't know who they are, you know,

they could be Special Branch.

They could be a tout trying to sort
of listen to information

within sort of the Republican
sort of family.

There's an old thing that everybody
used to say,

used to be painted all over the
walls in Belfast.

Loose talk costs lives.

And did you take that seriously?


Because there was a time sort
of then that the IRA had asked me

for a favour... to plant firebombs
within Belfast shops.

Which, at that stage, I was
happy to do.

You just go in, look around you,
find your spot.

You've just got the stuff in your
bag and you have to get rid of it.

You have to put it somewhere
where it's not going to be found.

That's... That's all I focused.

And then you just waited.

There was an 11-hour timer on them,
you know, so you sort of knew

if you plant them a certain time,
then you knew there was going to be

no injuries, you know, because
they would go off during the night.


[REPORTER]: Two firebombs exploded in
the centre of Belfast

early this morning.

A third ignited as firemen
tackled the blaze.

The owners estimate
losses of more than £1 million.

My feelings at that time,
you know...

My head was full of hatred,
you know,

and I wanted to help in some way.

And if this is what I had to do
to help...

...never questioned, just did it.

Is there any...? Is there anything
that would have made you question?

Like, you know, if they said,

"These devices are going to go
off at lunchtime"?


[REPORTER]: Protestant as well as
Catholic communities are hostage

as sectarian murder escalates.

But the key ingredient in the rising
level of violence

has been a new wave of Loyalist

For the first time since
the '70s, Loyalists

are responsible for more killing
than the Republicans.

[BILLY]: People didn't go out as much
in the early '90s, didn't travel.

I think they were always
waiting on seeing what was happening

because that was what happened.
It was, "They done it to us

"so we're going to do it to them."

But an eye for an eye
leaves you blind.

Know what I mean?

I'll never forget watching
the Teebane atrocity on the news.

That was when workmen were coming
home from working on a RUC station,

and the IRA blew up their van.

And I think there was eight of them
killed and so many injured.

And I remember clear as day
what my father says.

Do you know what my father says?

"Some poor Catholic's going to
get shot for it.

"Some innocent Catholic's
going to die."

And I didn't realise a couple
of weeks later it'd be him.

Do you want to tell me about
that day?

The bookie's?

It was just normal.

Just a normal day.

I was around painting in the house,

and then at lunch-time, which was
about one o'clock,

my dad, I turned around
and he was walking up road,

and I shouted over to him and he
turned back and waved over to me,

and then he just walked on up road.

And then...

...I went back to work and...

...John, my supervisor at the time...

...run in and he says,

"Billy, something bad's happened
up at the bookie's,"

and I knew my daddy was there.
I just...

Don't ask me how I knew,
I just...

A terrible feeling came over me.



[REPORTER]: Sean Graham bookmaker's in
a Catholic area of Belfast

had been packed with people

and two gunmen entered the building
and immediately

started shooting indiscriminately.

I sprinted up that road.

The first person I seen was my uncle
lying outside,

and I could realise there was
something seriously wrong with him.

He had blood... He was holding his

and the blood was coming through his
hands, God love him.

But then he says,
"Where's your daddy?

"Go and get your daddy."

So I went in to Sean Graham's
bookie's for that couple of seconds.

Then this big police officer
just appeared out of nowhere.

And I says, "Let me in,
my daddy's in there."

He says, "No, don't you go.
You don't want to go in."

Back out of the way, there. Police.

- Are you all right there?
- [BOY]: Aye.

Do you know anyone here?


Move back out of the way, please.

People just were all around me.

It was pandemonium, it was mayhem.

In the end, a big mate came out,
Brian McCartan.

And I said, "Brian,
where's my daddy?

"What about my daddy?"

And he just says...

He just said, "Billy they're gone.
They're all gone.

"He's dead."


And then I let out a big scream.

It was caught on camera.
It was caught...

The camera crew caught it.

And then Brian...

Brian held me up
because my legs went.


It was a

[REPORTER]: As victim after victim was
brought out,

the scale of the outrage
slowly became clear.

Five people died,

another ten were injured in a hail
of gunfire.

It's our sons, our husbands, our
brothers and all

that's getting shot there.

What for? What's it gaining?
Nothing at all.

Look at this woman.
Look at that woman down there.

Fuck off, would ye?

Just innocent people.

Not one of them involved
in politics, not one of them

involved in paramilitarism.
Just innocent.

[REPORTER]: This evening, the outlawed
Ulster Freedom Fighters said

they carried out the murders.

"Remember Teebane," they said...
a reference to the incident

in which the IRA blew up a bus
of Protestant construction workers,

killing eight people.

The attack has drawn attention
to the new tactics being deployed

by Loyalist paramilitary groups.

From the first week
of Sean Graham's bookie's,

people knew there was something
dirty about it.

I think it was talked about quietly
at the first...


...the word "collusion", to us,

was where we were all looking.

And just explain
to me what collusion is.

Collusion is, in my eyes,

...Loyalist paramilitaries

and the state security forces
work together

- in killing someone.
- And by the "state security forces"

do you mean...?
I mean the British Army

and the RUC... erm...

...and Special Branch.

Let's just talk about collusion.

Well, collusion, to me...

To me, is where
a police officer goes

to a member of a terrorist
organisation and says to them,

"There's a target for you,"
you know?

"Go and... Go and kill them."

Obviously, that's out-and-out


...it's not that simple.

I mean, you could argue
that I colluded every day

of my Special Branch life.

I colluded with informants,

I met them.

So I'm breaking the law
in the sense of it.

I'm colluding

because they're telling me about
a job that's going down.

But the reason I'm colluding,

I'm colluding
to try and get it stopped.

This is the problem.

When you start involving informants
and stuff, it's...

It gets deep and dirty and murky and
it's all done under secrecy.

I don't know who coined it as being
"the dirty war", but, yeah,

it was, you know?

But, at the end of the day,

we will do we have to do
to stop terrorists.

[REPORTER]: Firebombs have badly
damaged two stores

in the centre of Belfast.

Thousands of pounds' worth of stock
was destroyed as the bombs exploded

early this morning.

I think it was over a period
of a couple of months

that I planted incendiary devices.

And it went...

It went well.

But then...

...I was actually heavily
pregnant at the time,

erm, doing it.

And then... erm...

...next stage of my life was
that I was in hospital.

I had my second child,

lovely wee girl.

And, erm...

...when I came into labour ward...

...somebody came and told me that,

erm, an ex-boyfriend,

he was talking, big time.

There had been had a number
of arrests due to the information

he had give to the RUC.

And my name is one of them.


...I'll make a point here that

the fella who had give my

gave the information about me,


...the baby I had's, father.

So I sort of had to come round
that sort of, you know, betrayal,

you know, after having a child,
his child...

...and he can give your name forward.


They understand how, through

people sort of break down.

But he knew the consequences for me.

It was early hours
of Sunday morning.

The cops and the Brits
were at the door.

"We're arresting you under the
Terrorism Act,"

and stuff like this here.

I went, "Right, OK."

I ask her to go back in again
to say cheerio to the kids.

They wouldn't let me
back into the room.

Obviously I was arrested, so from
the kitchen

they just took me out to
a Jeep.

And then took me straight
to Castlereagh...

...for seven days' interrogation.

- Is Castlereagh a scary place?
- Huh?

Is Castlereagh quite a scary

A fuckin' nightmare.

It's... hellhole.

You know, just total... Total hell.

You know? They play mind
games with you.

Oh, they're good.

Twist things and everything else,
you know?

Erm, just constant interrogation.

They try and break you.

They say they were interrogated,
I say they were interviewed.

Erm, but saving lives is what
we were about,

and any piece of intelligence
is valuable.

Any smallest piece of
intelligence is useful.

I was trying to break them
into admitting that they

were members of a paramilitary

and then recruit them.

Personally, I think everyone's

if you find the right button
to press.

A lot of people in there didn't come
out the same people, you know,

through the hours and hours
of interrogation.

You know, you could be sitting...

Sitting there, it's just a wee

And them two sitting the other side
in the wee room.

They're maybe constantly kicking,
kicking your chair,

screaming into your ear,
you know,

trying to degrade you as a woman.

Erm, talk about your child,

"You're an unfit mother"
and this, that and the other.

They're looking for something
just to break you down.

Offering you money to give them

They offered me 35,000.

But that's one thing you don't do.

You don't fucking talk in

You give them'uns nothing.

You give them no information.

I was proud that I didn't, erm...

Didn't talk or tell anything.

You know?

They didn't get anything from me.

[DENISE]: As a young kid, I can
remember feeling

that constant awareness, you know?

Say nothing, talk to nobody...

...tell nobody anything.

- And it's so hard to think we lived like that...
- I know.

...you know?

I suppose sometimes I would go,

"What were you thinking joining
at that time?"

But I can see it as an
adult now.

As a child you can't
because you just want to blend in.

But you can see... Money was tight.
You needed to do it.

You wanted to do something
for the country.

I've never, ever heard Denise's
view on it.


Did you not ask?

Is it because you haven't
asked, or is it just because...?

To be honest, I never thought
to ask.

I just... It was something I had to
do, and...

...it was something that the kids,
as I thought, understood.

But to ask them, really, how...

...youse felt...

- ...I feel ashamed now that I didn't.
- Och, Mum, no. No!

You know? I should have.
I should have realised,

but I didn't.

I thought I was doing the best that
I could do.

Until this... Doing this here,

I couldn't even say...

...like, UDR, you know?

Because it's just...

I was so drilled not to say it,
you know? Army, UDR.

These are words
that I have only just started

in my vocabulary now in the sense
of openly talking about it.

I should be proud and able
to stand up and say,

"My mum was a Greenfinch."

I'm so proud of you.

And this is probably the first
time I've said it, you know,

really and truly, and not felt...

...fear for putting you at risk,
you know?

And we ought to be able to do
that in our life, you know,

and be proud of the people
we are,

proud of the families we come from,
proud of the risks,

yes, we take all of those things.

And now, hopefully we're at a time
where, you know, if something

was going to happen, it would
have happened, you know. I hope...

...that we're not putting ourselves
in any further risk by coming out

- and... - I don't think so...
- explaining how it is from our side,

from our side of the story,
because everybody's

got their own version of...

- Their own stuff, you know? - Mm-hm.
That's the truth.

[ANNEMARIE]: I was sentenced
to five years.

But when you go into jail, you sort
of just set your... Your mind.

You know, this is your life now,

and you just have to get on with it,
you know?

And the way you deal with that was
to block the kids out.

Sounds harsh, you know, erm,

but you would be climbing the walls
and you would end

up a nervous breakdown,
you know?

And you just had to get
on and do your time.

I'll always remember my first
visit with the kids.

I hadn't seen the kids in a couple
of months.

And one of the other prisoners
had, erm...

...a baby on her knee.

And I remember, it was...

...the wee loopy cardigans. It was
lilac and white, there was one,

and she had swarthy
skin and a wee loopy hat.


I remember...

I remember Donna saying,
"Look at my new wee baby."

And I said, "Oh, God,
she's gorgeous," you know?

And then...

...I realised it was my own child.

I didn't know her. Erm...

And that was hard.

That, you know, somebody
else was holding a child

that I had delivered...

...and fed,
that I didn't recognise her.


...that was...

I was embarrassed, I was ashamed,
you know?

Everything was racing
through my head that I actually

didn't recognise my own child.

Erm, cos she had something on that..

...I hadn't bought her.

Erm, and after that I says...

..."I have to pull myself together
here," you know?

"Have to put that out of my head...

"...and move on from it."

But still to this day, you know...

...it pops up.

The lilac cardigan, and the
wee hat, and the wee baby.

You know?


That was the hardest.

Looking back now, I was probably
one of the lucky ones.

Prison probably saved me.

You know? I'm not dead.

You know? Look at how many
people died.

Friends had died, you know?

There's all that, "What if?"

You know? "This... This could have
helped her. That could have helped."

Yeah. The thing is, at least my kids
could come up and see me.

There's children who could never
see their parents again.

I never told my dad
that I loved him.

But my dad said to me one day...

...when he came in drunk one night,

and I used to take off his boots.

I think it was a Sunday
or something. Here's me,

"I'm going to bed too, I have to
get up for work in the morning",

and he just... As soon... I put him
in the bed and I

threw the blanket over him and,

I'm walking out the door and he just
turned around and

he says, "I love you."

And I should have turned around
and said it.

And I didn't.

And that's the regret I have.

Because I never got the opportunity
to say it to him.

I know my father was killed
as part of the dirty war.

Collusion, agents,

people working for the state.

That's just what happened.

And how did you piece all
this together?

How long did it take?

It took about 30 years...


...going to court...

...getting bits and pieces from other
people's reports, inquests.

But the biggest thing, the biggest
one, was the Police Ombudsman.

- OK.
- Thank you.

Is there any family
doesn't have a report?

I was very anxious.

I suppose you were filled
with apprehension

about what was going to be said
in it,

and I suppose there's a weight
on your shoulders where you knew

that for 30 years you've been
fighting for this day...

...and hoping that you get
the answers in it.

In Northern Ireland, the police
watchdog has found evidence of

collusive behaviour by police
in 11 murders

by Loyalist paramilitaries
in Belfast in the 1990s.

The inquiry examined the killings
of five people in a bookmaker's shop

and six other fatal shootings.

[ARCHIVE]: The Police Ombudsman found
failings and collusive behaviours

by RUC officers.

Intelligence had not been shared,

warnings had not been passed on,

weapons have been given
to Loyalist killers.

But the biggest amongst
them was how informants

were recruited and run.

They were providing information,
but they were also killing.

Eight individuals were identified
as agents.

Between them, they were linked to 27
murders and attempted murders.

I appreciate that you didn't
have anything to do

with the Sean Graham bookie's
case, but I do want to ask,

how did you deal with informants
that were breaking the law?


...I've had to make some very
difficult decisions sometimes,

but there's nobody going to tell an
agent, somebody you had recruited,

"I don't want your intelligence
because you stole

"from that old woman's house
last night," you know? I...

I mean, I do want that information.

Where would your line be?
Like, this ends now?

Well, if he's been out
and slaughtered individuals

and murdered and, you know,
he's beyond control, he's...

That would be your line?


Again, I would have to weigh
up what I can get from him.

But, yeah, that would be very...
That would be a line, yeah.

It was all there on paper.

They armed them,
they recruited them,

and they actually...

...let people away with murder.

It makes me frustrated, angry.

But I'm not going to stop.
I'm not going to give up.

The next step
is to get the case reopened

and go after the killers.

I could name the three people

involved in Sean Graham's

And if we can work it out who pulled
the trigger and who drove the car,

the police must know.

Why, 30 years later,
are they still protecting

these Loyalist death squads?

And what is the PSNI going to do
about it?

Thank you.

I know who killed my father.

I know their names...

...and I've seen photographs of them.

And I know they know me.

But I would like my day in court.

I would like...

...their families to know
that they were murderers...

...and they killed my father.

A 54-year-old man who was shot
nine times

because he was a Roman Catholic.

I hope justice raps their door.

That's all I want.

And I want to make my daddy proud
of me for one last time.

It's all I want.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

The shouting and the cheering
and the yo-hoing.

"Oh, my God, there's an end coming
to this."

It can't be peace at any cost,

because then it's not really peace.

I just remember where I was.

I just remember who I was.

I remember the anger that I had.

Sometimes you need to stare
into the abyss to realise

that this can't go on.

To watch exclusive interviews about
the making of this series, visit...

...and follow the links
to the Open University.