Geoff Hazel - Investigating a shoot out

Running time
1 min 35 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


there had been a factory that had closed down during the troubles. A Swedish company had bought it, started to reopen it. And just thought well, the best thing was to reemploy the people that used to be there. So, they did. And then the people said, "Well, you owe us money because we didn't get paid." And they said, "Look, we'll give you half," trying to do the right thing.

That was it. It's all or nothing. So, they actually turned up armed. So, the armed police went in, and there was a gunfight. Now, neither side can actually tell me who fired the first shot. All the ones I spoke to from both sides. And there was even suggestion it was actually from somebody that wasn't actually in either group. But the thing was, the police were trained, the other guys weren't. I think five of them or three of them were killed and about five or six in hospital with gunshot wounds. But they all sat down, and I went through the whole lot. And really, it was a day and a half later. And then, put that report together. And put that in. And all of a sudden, I get the message from the regional commander, I'm now on the regional investigations team.

On that one, when I ... A lot depended, as I found out later, a lot depended on what I recommended. And basically, following the UN definitions of self-defence, the local police had fired in self-defence. It was a fair fight, so there was no repercussions on the police. Later ones where the police have done something, I would send the report through. And I happened to know because you never get told what's done. But when you turn up to visit the local prison and here's the police officer sitting behind the bars. So, I asked, he said, "Oh, he did such and such and the UN found him guilty." In other words, whatever I put on there was what was carried out.

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