RUC Special Branch

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The Royal Ulster Constabulary Special Branch (RUC Special Branch) was also known as E Department.[1]

Structure

Head of Special Branch (HSB)

Deputy Head of Special Branch

Divisions

  • E1 Administration Division
  • E2 Legal Division
  • E3 Intelligence Division
    • E3A - republican groups
    • E3B - loyalist groups
    • E3C - leftist groups
  • E4 Operations Division
    • E4A - human surveillance
    • E4B - technical surveillance
    • E4C - photographic surveillance
    • E4D - photographic surveillance
  • E5 Collation Division - according to Mark Urban's 1992 account.[3] Belfast Region - according to testimony to the Billy Wright Inquiry.[4]
  • E6 North Region[5]
  • E7/8 South Region[6]
  • E9 "responsible for assessing the strategic roles of terrorist organisations and performed a quality control function."[7]
    • E9A 'central desk' - "responsible for targeting all operations against strategic targets within terrorist organisations, in other words, the leadership of those organisations."[8]

Weapons and Explosives Research Centre

The Weapons and Explosives Research Centre (Werc) was a unit located within the Northern Ireland Forensic Science Laboratory, manned by Special Branch officers.[9] It remained in existence within the RUC's successor force, the PSNI, until 2009.[10]

Notes

  1. Mark Urban, Big Boys' Rules, Faber and Faber, 1992, p.94.
  2. REPORT OF THE TRIBUNAL OF INQUIRY INTO SUGGESTIONS THAT MEMBERS OF AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA OR OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE STATE COLLUDED IN THE FATAL SHOOTINGS OF RUC CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT HARRY BREEN AND RUC SUPERINTENDENT ROBERT BUCHANAN ON THE 20TH MARCH 1989, Government of Ireland, 21 November 2013, p.492.
  3. Mark Urban, Big Boys' Rules, Faber and Faber, 1992, p.94.
  4. Oral Hearings, day 136, Billy Wright Inquiry, 10 March 2009.
  5. Oral Hearings, day 136, Billy Wright Inquiry, 10 March 2009.
  6. Oral Hearings, day 136, Billy Wright Inquiry, 10 March 2009.
  7. The Rosemary Nelson Inquiry Report (PDF), Crown Copyright, 23 May 2001, p.163.
  8. Oral Hearings, Day 142, Billy Wright Inquiry, 20 March 2009.
  9. Lesley-Anne McKeown, RUC Special Branch 'knew loyalist killer Billy Wright was involved' in Roseann Mallon murder, Belfast Telegraph, 20 November 2013.
  10. Chris Moore, Special Branch ballistics unit investigated over weapons link to 60 murders, BBC News, 12 May 2015.