Paul O’Connor – the key to solving the Murder
Paul O’Connor had to be “outed” last week – after 48 years of lies – before he would admit that he was an IRA Volunteer in the early 1970s.
If photographic evidence and a Blog post had not arisen, he would have maintained his lie and cover-up in perpetuity.
Paul has been a chronic liar for 48 years, by his own choice.
Paul had to be corrected for claiming that he “left” the IRA – Paul never wanted to leave the IRA – he was kicked out – which he later belatedly acknowledged.
He was also kicked out of Derry City by the IRA.
Paul claims he had “nothing to do with” the death by shooting of 16-year-old IRA volunteer Jim O’Hagan – is this claim true or is it false?
Let’s examine it in detail:
Paul joined the IRA in the Autumn of 1970 and was one of the very first 15-year-old IRA volunteers [along with me] not only in Derry, but most definitely in the Waterside and in the wealthy gated community of Deanfield.
Paul had recruited me to to join the IRA with him.
Paul formed what effectively became the Deanfield Unit of the IRA based in an unused barn he spotted across the street from his home in the Waterside.
Paul recruited some of the members of that Unit, but we shall only here refer to one IRA volunteer he recruited, whom we shall hereafter call Volunteer “J”.
Paul was instrumental in having the Derry Brigade of the IRA allow the Unit to be based in Deanfield and was involved in moving the explosives, gun and ammunition to the barn which were later involved in the murder of Jim O’Hagan.
Paul had been part and parcel of the Deanfield Unit since it was formed and he was in overall charge of that Unit.
He had passed control of the Unit on that evening to, it is said, Volunteer “J” and had given him control of the revolver used later that evening to murder Jim O’Hagan.
On the evening of Thursday, August 19, 1971, when 16-year-old Jim O’Hagan was murdered by a fellow IRA volunteer, Paul claims that he was across the street at home suffering from a cold.
The Unit was preparing 6 explosive charges to plant that evening, although there was a debate among the volunteers about whether it would have been better to have just one bigger bomb or else 6 smaller ones.
There was a debate about blowing up a petrol station where Jim O’Hagan might have been working part-time to earn some money – he is said not to have been in favour of this.
There is also a tale of another argument.
There are, at this point, only 2 persons who are of sufficient sound mind and body to clarify the argument that led to Jim O’Hagan being shot dead:
- Paul O’Connor
- Volunteer “J”
Paul was aware of the business for the evening of August 19th 1971 – if he had not had a cold, he would have been fully involved in the already-planned bomb attacks.
After Jim O’Hagan was shot and wounded, 2 IRA volunteers carried/dragged Jim O’Hagan directly to Paul’s front door and then inside to a bedroom where Jim basically bled to death.
There was a house and family nearer to the barn and to the shooting where help could have been reached a little faster, but the IRA volunteers made a beeline for Paul’s house.
Paul decided there and then to scarper across the River Foyle and “go on the run” in “Free Derry” under the auspices of the Derry Brigade of the Provisional IRA.
Paul knew that the 2 IRA volunteers who dragged Jim to Paul’s home were staying in the Waterside risking arrest and imprisonment.
Why did they stay? Why did Paul flee?
Paul knew at this time that Volunteer “J” had scarpered ahead of him to “Free Derry”.
Paul accepts that the 2 IRA volunteers who were arrested shortly after the shooting – who had stayed with Jim and dragged him to Paul’s home – had not shot Jim.
Paul accepts that there are only 2 IRA volunteers who could have shot Jim O’Hagan:
- Paul O’Connor
- Volunteer “J”
Paul was debriefed by the Derry Brigade of the IRA and TOLD THE IRA ALL OF THE FACTS OF THE EVENING’S BUSINESS AND SHOOTING.
There are only two possibilities:
- Paul admitted that HE shot and killed Jim O’Hagan
- Paul blamed Volunteer “J” for the murder
Talk of another volunteer, a ‘lookout’, need not detain us here.
Paul’s various explanations were acceptable to the IRA and he was allowed to join a select few ‘full-time’ and ‘on the run’ IRA volunteers in Free Derry, having his housing and food and small weekly wage entirely looked after by the IRA for the next year.
- Paul has never cooperated with the police about the murder in 1971.
- He has lied about his membership of the IRA and of the Deanfield Unit of the IRA to protect himself.
- Paul did not ever give the O’Hagan family – and he knows what I mean when I say the entire family – the whole truth of the murder, the truth of his role in the Deanfield Unit of the IRA, or the information that he had which could have cleared up the murder for Jim’s family.
- Paul was aware of the 2007 HET ‘investigation’ of Jim’s murder [if you could call it an investigation, when it was largely a Microsoft Word typing exercise that produced a report that had obvious errors] and yet did not supply the investigators with ALL of the facts in his possession – for instance, he did not admit his membership of the IRA, nor did he admit his role in the IRA Unit based in Deanfield, his possession of the explosives and gun and ammunition, nor did he name Jim’s murderer and provide evidence to back this up, if – as Paul claims – he did not himself murder Jim.
Paul was trained in the use of hand guns, rifles and explosives during his time in Free Derry and – judging by the fact that he was the only IRA volunteer not wearing a mask at the IRA vehicle checkpoint that evening – it would appear he had the authority not to wear a mask while the others did not.
This means that Paul was in charge of the Company of IRA volunteers/fighters who had to earn their keep by shooting at soldiers, police officers and UDR members around the city, along with involvement of different kinds in the city centre bombings.
I don’t recall a single IRA volunteer getting a sick note for every operation.
The IRA got a lot of “kills” between August 1971 and September 1972 and there were a lot of bombings.
All of the IRA volunteers were easily able to move outside of the “Free Derry” area to accomplish operations.
I never heard of an IRA volunteer who would not dare to go outside “Free Derry” – Paul has noted that he crossed over and back the Derry/Donegal border without difficulty.
Solving Jim O’Hagan’s Murder – the Quick Method
Paul will be aware that the relatives I have spoken with at length prefer not to be in the public eye at all. This may be verified by a journalist involved with this story.
Paul has expressed concern for the relatives.
To avoid having them call on the PSNI to further investigate Jim O’Hagan’s murder, it will be necessary for you, Paul, to
VOLUNTARILY MAKE A STATEMENT TO THE PSNI
– thereby avoiding others having to come into the public eye who do not wish to do so.
- You have the knowledge of who murdered Jim O’Hagan.
- You have the name of Volunteer “J” you have been blaming for the murder for 48 years.
- You know everything there is to know about Volunteer “J”, including about his movements in recent years.
- You know his family very well indeed.
If you make a Voluntary Statement to the PSNI providing all of the information you have, you know very well that the murder may be solved and quickly.
Do not force others to have to make a plea to the PSNI who were not ever in the IRA and who are looking to you to finally – after 48 years of lies – to do the right thing, if you can remember what that is.
I hereby call on the Board of the Pat Finucane Centre, the CAJ and others with influence over you – Alan McBride also – to request you to make a Voluntary Statement without delay to the PSNI about Jim’s murder and murderer.
You’ve had 48 years to prepare it.
Some of these people working in the Victims’ and Rights’ bodies have referenced that you have never been arrested and questioned about Jim’s murder – but this failure has only come about because you are
- a cowardly skedaddler
- a runner
- a liar
- a deceiver
- a cover-up merchant without any integrity, honesty or sense of justice, not forgetting any true empathy for Jim’s family.
You’re all about you, Paul, as you always have been.
I will back you up by making a similar Voluntary Statement to the PSNI whether you do so or not.
Over to you, Paul and to your many hypocritical backers:
Will you as a “Champion of Human Rights and Victims” make a statement to the PSNI about Jim’s murder or won’t you?
Remember, Justice Delayed is Justice Denied…
For the first Blog article which “outed” our “honest champion”, click here.
For an article discussing Paul’s claim to have “No Victims”, click here.