Norman's ex-wife told the Evening Standard:"He never hated the Irish but he hated terrorism - he had Irish roots and family land in Roscommon, but he could never visit it because of his battles with the IRA. I suppose that's the tragedy of Ireland."
Norman was at one time the Army's top sniper in Northern Ireland, according to the Evening Standard:
- During the height of the Ulster troubles of the Seventies, military sources say, the sergeant-major - a lethal shot - accounted for about six Provisional IRA men in anti-terrorist operations.
- Sources also claim he was cleared during that period, by a secret army board of inquiry, of the murder of a terrorist suspect.
According to the Standard, "He was accused of murdering a civilian believed to be an IRA operative who he shot at a road block." His ex-wife told the paper: "I remember him having to fly back and forth to Ulster, and then he came back after one trip and said he'd been cleared." According to the Standard, Norman served as a drill sergeant at Sandhurst, played a key role in rebuilding the Army's Warminster sniper school, and was made a Regimental Sergeant Major of the Coldstream Guards, before moving to other duties as a result of diabetes.
Bloody Sunday Inquiry
Norman testified anonymously to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.
The Irish News reported:
- It was also claimed that Mr Norman gave evidence to the Saville Inquiry, that he saw former bishop of Derry, Dr Edward Daly help carry the body of Jackie Duddy from the Bogside.
- Last night a spokeswoman for the Saville Inquiry said the tribunal could not comment on the case as it would compromise rules of anonymity.
- While the regiment is not thought to have played a central role on Bloody Sunday, there is ample evidence that the Coldstream Guards were in the city.
- In a trawl of tribunal transcripts, The Irish News has uncovered evidence to the inquiry by former Coldstream Guards at Waterloo Street in Derry. They described seeing Dr Daly accompanying a body from the Bogside.
- Evidence was also given by a Coldstream Guard at Derry's Lower Road of seeing a priest carrying a body. It is believed this may have been a priest - who could have been mistaken for Dr Daly - who helped Damien Donaghy who was shot and wounded but survived.
Norman was found dead in a hired BMW in Hounslow in April 2005:
- His death - by a shot in the stomach from a 9mm pistol - is being investigated under the direction of a senior Scotland Yard officer because of his former role's "sensitivity".
His body was found in the green BMW last Sunday. Although Mr Norman is thought to have committed suicide, Scotland Yard has now assigned the inquiry to an assistant commissioner.
His ex-wife told the Standard:
- "Because of his background I'm sure the police will be looking at all the possibilities including, I'm afraid, foul play. There's no doubt the IRA would have liked to see him dead, with or without a ceasefire.
- "Personally I find it impossible to believe that Mike would have taken his own life in that dreadful way.
- "He was a trained marksman and game shot, and I can only believe this was some terrible accident if no one else was involved. I suppose we will now have to wait for the outcome of the investigation and the coroner's inquest."
- Alun Rees, Bloody Sunday soldier is found shot dead, Evening Standard, 25 April 2005.
- Seamus McKinney, Soldier 'who killed six' found shot dead, Irish News, 26 April 2005.