It has been widely reported in the past that Sean ‘Spike’ Murray was a senior member of PIRA.
No doubt the PSNI would be aware of this yet seem to be falling over themselves to engage with him on various panels.
The Chief Constable recently shared a platform in west Belfast with Murray who was subject to an investigation for serious crime, including gun-running.
Murray was named by Mike Logan in Florida as the PIRA go-between when he sent weapons to NI at a time when the Belfast Agreement was already in place.
Sinn Fein continually demand that the Belfast Agreement is sacrosanct, yet the Provisional movement were importing ‘clean’ weapons for future use before, during and after the Agreement.
The further question that must be asked is, if the FBI had not compromised the alleged gun-running, how long would it have continued?
The BBC Spotlight programme in 2014 alleged that the British authorities, at the highest level, knew the full details of Murray’s alleged involvement in the arms’ importation, but turned a blind eye in order to protect the peace process.
The PPS have now stated: “Careful consideration has been given to all of the available evidence and it has been concluded that this is insufficient to meet the test for prosecution.”
Mr Murray more recently shared a platform with a PSNI Superintendent at a ‘Stuck In The Past’ panel discussion in north Belfast to discuss how paramilitary activity can be brought to an end.
That was also organised before the decision of ‘no prosecution’ had been made.
We recently engaged in a period of consultation on the proposed structures as suggested by the NIO and the Stormont House Agreement.
What was clear in those proposals was that they were not designed to prosecute members of terror organisations, but to pursue cases against retired members of the security forces.
The recent arrest of John Downey on the same day that the PPS directed ‘no prosecution’ against Murray may be significant in itself.
We hope it is not an isolated case.
Ken Funston, South East Fermanagh Foundation