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NEW BOOK CONTINUES FIGHT FOR 'JUSTICE FOR RAYMOND'

THE father of UVF murder victim Raymond McCord officially launched his explosive new book 'Justice For Raymond' in Belfast on Thursday (May 15) night.

For more than 10 years Raymond McCord Snr has been campaigning to bring those responsible for his son's brutal murder to justice. And now he has documented how his eldest boy was beaten to death by members of a UVF gang at Ballyduff Quarry in November 1997, naming the men he believes were responsible.

In the book Mr McCord tells the story of his long and frustrating fight for justice - the death threats and attacks on him and his family, the moves by Special Branch to block the police investigation, and how he eventually turned to Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan for help in exposing the truth.

The foreword to the book is written by the former Ombudsman, whose investigation and subsequent report about the murder caused a sensation, carrying claims of collusion between senior police officers, Special Branch operatives and a notorious north Belfast UVF gang.

The book deals with a number of murders detailed in the O'Loan report - some 10 killings dating back to the early 1990s for which no-one has ever been brought to justice.

Mr McCord names high level members of the UVF whom he believes were responsible for several of the murders, including that of his son. He also names Special Branch agents and police officers who he believes were complicit in many of the killings.

He also talks about his decision to stand in last year's Assembly election as an independent candidate, pointing to the attitude of certain politicians as his driving force.

"Some unionist politicians don't seem to have a problem naming alleged republicans involved in killings, but they seem to turn a blind eye when loyalist paramilitaries are involved," he told the Times this week.

"Not one politician came near us after Raymond was killed. Not one of them sent a sympathy card or came to the house, yet over the years many of them have attended the funerals of loyalist paramilitaries who've killed people themselves. It shows the hypocrisy of them."

The book also deals with the murders of Newtownabbey woman Sharon McKenna and Bawnmore man Peter McTasney, and mentions the killing of John Allen Jnr in Ballyclare in 2003.

"I've never heard the PUP call upon the UVF to expel these killers and informants from their ranks. Raymond's killers are still members of the UVF and it's time they were expelled and left on their own.

"People in Newtownabbey know who these people are and what they are - they are drug dealers, extortionists and killers," he said.

In the book Mr McCord issues a message to his son's killers - "My fight goes on."

"To those who killed my son, rest assured I am not finished yet, not until the last breath leaves my body."

'Justice for Raymond' is available now, priced 9.99, from all good book shops.

 
 
 

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