State Violence and Collusion Timeline 1992

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Events related to state violence and collusion in Northern Ireland in 1992.


  • 2 - FRU CO A/16 produces a note relating to Brian Nelson entitled 'Moments of Concern', which is sent to the Assistant Chief of Staff of the Army's Intelligence Section (ACOS G2).[1]


  • 3 - Brian Nelson sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for 20 terrorist-related offences (including five counts of conspiracy to commit murder).[2]


  • March Undated - Army Headquarters Northern Ireland (HQNI) internal briefing paper details command and control arrangements for the Joint Support Group, the successor to the Force Research Unit.[2]
  • March Undated - Sir John Blelloch's 'Review of Agent Handling' began work.[2]
  • 3 - Internal memo from Lt Col A/16 to ACOS G2 at Army HQNI on agent-handling.[2]
  • 25 - an internal minute from the Security Service Legal Adviser summarises Blelloch's approach to the issue of agent-handling guidelines: Blelloch has indicated that he would not wish to advocate different procedures (e.g following the American system) if they entailed legislation as he believed legislation would be politically unobtainable. Blelloch has also indicated that he is not sure that Ministers (particularly the Home Secretary) will approve the Guidelines for fear that that may involve them in allegations of conspiratorial criminality."[2]




  • 15 - Blelloch Report on agent-handling circulated by the then NIO Permanent Secretary, John Chilcot. Northern Ireland Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew adds a minute stating: "I believe the position is more straightforward than the Report suggests."[2]


  • August Undated - UDA proscribed by the British Government.[5]
  • 25 - In response to Sir Patrick Mayhew's minute of 15 July, Attorney-General Sir Nicholas Lyell states the law: "would not assist the individual who participates in a crime not with the object of frustrating that particular incident but with the intention of maintaining his cover in order to help the Security Forces generally or to permit them to prevent a subsequent crime or to arrest those concerned after the event."[2]


  • 11 - Interdepartmental Working Group established under Sir John Chilcot's chairmanship in response to the Blelloch Report. This comprised representatives of the Security Service, the RUC, the MoD, the Home Office and the NIO.[2]


  1. Sir Desmond de Silva, Volume 1 - Chapter 7: The activities of Brian Nelson 1987- 89, Pat Finucane Review, 12 December 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Sir Desmond de Silva, Volume 1 - Chapter 4: Agent-handling, Pat Finucane Review, 12 December 2012.
  3. David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney, Chris Thornton and David McVea, Lost Lives, Mainstream Publishing, 2004, p.1287.
  4. Richard Norton-Taylor, FORMER ARMY AGENT 'FRAMED' BY RUC FIGHTS FOR JUSTICE; Richard Norton -Taylor on a spy who fell foul of the intelligence rivalry between police and military in Northern Ireland, The Guardian, 28 August 1996.
  5. Sir Desmond de Silva, Volume 1 - Chapter 2: The historical and political context, Pat Finucane Review, 12 December 2012.