Vol Joe O Connor

Excerpt from Hughes no longer toes the Provo line, interview with Niall Stanage

Hughes has only recently begun to voice these criticisms openly in the recent past. “There’s an old cliché in the republican movement: ‘stay within the army line.’ That’s what I did, but I was making no progress whatsoever,” he said.

Even so, his first public pronouncements were circumspect. Now that has changed. The final straw came when Real IRA man Joseph O’Connor was shot dead in Ballymurphy in October.

“When people get into positions of power, and start enjoying the trappings of power, people like Joe O’Connor get killed in the streets,” Hughes commented bluntly.

No paramilitary group has accepted responsibility for the killing, and the security forces have declined to say who they think is to blame. Such a convenient silence doesn’t wash with Hughes.

“If that’s right, then let’s have a bloody inquiry, because…

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