PSNI to probe claims of ex-IRA bomber on victims’ forum

Robert McClenaghan, convicted member of the Victims and Survivors Forum
Robert McClenaghan, convicted member of the Victims and Survivors Forum

Police have confirmed they will examine bombing claims made by a convicted IRA man in a documentary, following outrage about his appointment to a body for victims of the Troubles.

Robert McClenaghan, a member of the Victims and Survivors Forum, said he was “immensely proud” of joining the IRA and described how it was his “daily job” to plant bombs across Belfast in a 2011 documentary entitled ‘When the war ends’ by director Thijs Schreuder.

In the video, which has been posted to YouTube, Mr McClenaghan said: “Some of the bombs would be small or some would have been very big. That just became part of your job or part of your day after a while.”

The information was revealed in Saturday’s edition of the News Letter after Victims and Survivors forum member Jackie Nichols discovered Mr McClenaghan’s background and resigned in anger. Mr Nichol’s 17-month-old son died in a no-warning IRA bomb attack on the Shankill Road in 1971.

The TUV MLA Jim Allister had said he would “formally” bring the claims made by Mr McClenaghan to the attention of the PSNI.

He added: “He needs to be questioned about what bombings he was involved in.”

Ken Funston, the advocacy services manager at the South East Fermanagh Foundation whose brother Ronnie was shot dead by the IRA in 1984, has also called on the PSNI to interview Mr McClenaghan over the claims made in the 2011 ‘When the War Ends’ documentary. He added: “Mr McClenaghan must disclose which bombing sprees he was involved in and those others which he has knowledge of as alluded to within the interview.”

The News Letter asked the PSNI yesterday whether it would investigate Mr McClenaghan’s claims. Deputy Head of Legacy Investigation Branch, Superintendent Ian Harrison, said: “Police are aware of the remarks made in a newspaper article at the weekend and of the documentary. It is the PSNI’s intention to view the documentary.”