A West Belfast man has said gardai allowed armed members of RUC Special
Branch to question him in Dundalk garda station. Legal sources believe it is
the only such case in existence.
Patrick Livingstone said the RUC's later claim that he had made a confession
during the "interview" resulted in his conviction for murder.
"I made no confession. I served nearly 18 years in the H-Blocks for a crime
I didn't commit. I was framed by RUC Special Branch with garda complicity.
I'm not prepared to let this rest. I want the guards' actions investigated."
Livingstone contacted the Sunday Tribune after the Barron report last week
speculated that gardai hadn't travelled North to question loyalists
suspected of the 1976 murder of Dundalk man, Seamus Ludlow, because they
didn't want the same rights reciprocated to the RUC.
"That doesn't stand up because the RUC came South to question me five months
before Seamus Ludlow was murdered," Livingstone said.
Livingstone is from a well-known republican family in Andersonstown. His
sister Julie (14) was shot dead by the security forces when returning from
the shop with a bottle of milk.
In December 1975, Livingstone, who was living in Dundalk, was being detained
in the local garda station when he was told he had "visitors" from the
"I thought it was my parents. I was shocked to find three RUC Special Branch
men. The guard locked the door from the outside. One of the Branchmen opened
his jacket to let me see his gun.
"They showed me a photograph of Samuel Llewellyn, who had been shot dead in
Belfast and asked if I'd killed him. They later said I replied, 'Aye, I done
it.' I didn't say that. I never considered the RUC worthy of a proper
response so I said 'you're detectives, you work it out'."
Livingstone claimed when he complained to gardai that he had received no
prior notice of the RUC's visit and wasn't offered legal representation or
read his rights, the desk sergeant just laughed.
Nine months later, Livingstone was arrested after an arms find in Newry.
"I was taken to Bessbrook barracks. They kicked and punched me until I fell
to the ground. Then, they held me down and took turns to jump on me from a
"I was left pure black from the chest to the knees. My testicles were badly
swollen. I was taken to hospital. One of the detectives who had visited me
in Dundalk walked in and charged me with Samuel Llewellyn's murder."
Llewellyn, a Protestant civilian, had been shot dead by the IRA in 1975
while helping repair houses on the Falls. His brutal killing, which became
known as the 'Good Samaritan murder', caused widespread revulsion.
Livingstone said: "I never thought I'd be convicted. The case was based on
the Dundalk statement I didn't make. But it was a Diplock court. My trial
started at 11am and I was convicted and sentenced by 2.50 pm. I was the
first person in the North given 'natural life' imprisonment."
Livingstone lost his appeal: "I left it at that. The 1970s were crazy.
Every day, people were convicted in Diplock courts on little or no evidence.
You just knuckled down and accepted it."