Rosemary Nelson

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Person.png Rosemary Nelson  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Rosemary Nelson.jpg
Born4 September 1958
Died15 March 1999 (Age 40)
Victim ofmurder

Rosemary Nelson was a prominent Northern Irish human rights lawyer who was killed by a Loyalist paramilitary group in 1999. There are credible allegations that the RUC and British Security Forces were involved in her killing, [1] – a subsequent Inquiry into the killing Reported on 23 May 2011. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]


Nelson, née Magee, obtained her law degree at Queens University, Belfast (QUB). She worked with other solicitors for a number of years before opening her own practice. Nelson represented clients in a number of high profile cases (including Michael Caraher, the South Armagh Sniper, as well as a republican paramilitary accused of killing two Royal Ulster Constabulary officers). She also represented the Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition in nearby Portadown in the long-running Drumcree conflict against the Orange Order and RUC.


Nelson claimed that she had received death threats from members of the RUC as a result of her defence work. Many of her clients claimed that RUC officers had threatened her through them several times. In 1998, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Param Curamaswamy, noted these threats in his annual report, and stated in a television interview that he believed her life could be in danger. He made recommendations to the British government concerning threats from police against lawyers, which were not acted upon. Later that year, Nelson testified before a committee of the United States Congress investigating human rights in Northern Ireland, confirming that death threats had been made against her and her three children.[17]

Nelson was assassinated, at the age of 40, by a car bomb outside her home in Lurgan, County Armagh, in 1999. An Ulster Loyalist paramilitary group calling itself the Red Hand Defenders claimed responsibility for the killing.[18] She is survived by her widower and their three children.


In 2004, the Cory Collusion Inquiry recommended that the UK Government hold an inquiry into the circumstances of Nelson's death.

The resulting inquiry into her assassination opened at the Craigavon Civic Centre, Craigavon, County Armagh, in April 2005.[19] In September 2006 the British Security Service MI5 announced it would be represented at the inquiry. This move provoked criticism from Nelson's family, who reportedly expressed concerns that MI5 would remove sensitive or classified information.[20]

The Inquiry published its final report on 23 May 2011 [2] but there are many in Northern Ireland who see it as the culmination of yet another clever exercise in covering up the true extent of British State collusion with Loyalist death squads in the Province:

The findings of the official inquiry into the murder of lawyer Rosemary Nelson, delivered after a six-year investigation, continue the cover-up by the British and Northern Ireland state apparatus.[21]

... and with good reason. The Inquiry accepted that Nelson was publicly abused and assaulted by the RUC and that intelligence information about her was leaked. They concluded that:

.... “the state failed to take reasonable and proportionate steps to safeguard the life of Rosemary Nelson” and .... “we cannot exclude the possibility of a rogue member or members of the the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) or the Army in some way assisting the murderers to target Rosemary Nelson”. [2]

The Inquiry states in so many words that "the RUC abused her" but then suggests "rogue elements" were responsible. It is quite simply unthinkable that such abuse and leaks could have come from anything other than "Rogue Members". It would be a negation of those "British Values" that our politicians love to wax so sanctimoniously about.

All of which begs the obvious question "Where and how does one draw the line between allegedly Rogue Members of the State apparatus, and those being used as the tools, dupes, patsies of the Deep State operatives of that same State apparatus? The question is of course rhetorical and needs no elaboration for those well versed in the history of Deep State/Intelligence Services dirty tricks. The report does make for super-serious, grave and suitably establishment-embarrassing sounding pap for the Sheeple though.

See also


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Inquiry findings continue cover-up of 1999 Rosemary Nelson assassinationarticle2 June 2011Steve James
File:CoryNelson.pdfreport1 April 2004


  1. File:CoryNelson.pdf - Cory Collusion Inquiry Report 1 April 2004 HMSO
  2. a b c File:Nelson Inquiry Final Report.pdf - The Rosemary Nelson Inquiry Report - 23 May 2011 HMSO
  3. The Guardian
  4. US house of Representatives
  5. Human Rights First report
  7. Six different Human Rights organisations
  10. Relatives for Justice
  17. UNHCR press release UNHCHR
  18. BBC News report March 1999
  19. BBC News report on inquiry
  20. BBC News report September 2006 on MI5 involvement in Nelson murder inquiry
  21. Inquiry findings continue cover-up of 1999 Rosemary Nelson assassination by Steve James

External links