The Irish Republican Bulletin Board

Posted by Tiocfaidh Armani:

Robert Hamill RIP

Robert Hamill, a 25 year old father of two young boys, and a daughter he was destined never to hold, was kicked to death by a gang of loyalists in Market Street, Portadown, Co.Armagh in the early hours of April 27 1997.

Robert Hamill was killed simply for being a Catholic. He was targeted because of the direction in which he was headed. He did not know his attackers, and they didn’t know him. As Robert, and three friends made their way home to the Catholic area of Portadown, crossing Market Street, Robert and his friend, Gregory, were attacked by a loyalist mob numbering thirty. Robert’s attack lasted for some minutes. He sustained fatal injuries. Robert lay in a coma for 12 days before he died. This attack happened in full view of an RUC Land Rover, and about 200 yards from an RUC station.

Four RUC officers, armed with machine guns and dressed in body armour, remained in the Land Rover for the duration of Robert’s attack. These four officers ignored pleas for them to intervene. One of Robert’s friends had actually banged on the side of the Land Rover, pleading for help. They also could have fired in the air to disperse the crowd of loyalists. They didn’t.

Although Robert lay unconscious in the street, as an ambulance arrived, two of the RUC officers eventually approached the scene but made no attempt to administer first Aid (All RUC personnel are trained in First Aid). No statements were taken by these officers, nor was there any forensic evidence collected.

The RUC issued a statement on the Sunday evening around teatime saying that a man had been injured the previous night in a full scale riot in the centre of Portadown involving around 100 rioters on each side Then when challenged a few days later and realising Robert was seriously hurt, they changed their story and dropped the riot angle. So here we have 4 custodians of law and order who cant tell the truth about how it started , so much for the truth about how it ended.

One loyalist suspect was held at the murder scene, but only for a few minutes; in fact it was a further two weeks before any arrests were made. The six people arrested in connection with the murder all requested a transfer to the LVF’s wing in the Maze Prison. Within 6 months, all but one of the suspects had been released. The remaining suspect was convicted in April 1999 of causing an affray, but cleared of murder.

An eye witness who said they saw the accused attacking Robert was not called.
The only evidence presented by the RUC was a statement that said a Constable saw the accused aim a kick at Robert, but couldn’t say it connected. The judge at the trial stated that Robert was probably dying when the accused attacked him.

Since Robert’s murder, The Hamill family have had to put up with constant abuse and intimidation by loyalists. All flowers and wreaths placed at the spot where Robert died are removed. Robert’s sister has had to endure RUC officers pointing fingers at her in imitation of a gun. Everyone will be familiar with the Huns “Bouncy Bouncy” song and accompanying pogo dance. This is a reference to Robert Hamill’s murder, and the jumping up and down on his head.

In March 1999, solicitor Rosemary Nelson, who was representing the Hamill family in bringing private prosecutions against the six suspects and the RUC, was killed in a car bomb. In April of this year the British Government eventually decided to open a public inquiry into Robert’s death and collusion between loyalists and the RUC after a report by Canadian Judge Cory.

'They never die, those who live on, in the hearts they leave behind'

Justice for the family of Robert Hamill, punishment for his murderers, and sanction against those who stood idly by.


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?