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Deputy Chief Constable (Gerry Kelly’s bitch) to retire three years after turning down Patten £500k

‘Judith has made an enormous contribution to policing in the North of Ireland- Anne Connolly.

The North of Ireland‘s most senior female officer on Friday announced her intention to take early retirement, less than a year after turning down a £500,000 payout to remain in the service.

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Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie had been widely tipped as the frontrunner to replace Matt Baggott (maggot) as chief constable when his contract ends next year. With 32 years of policing experience she made history as the first female assistant chief constabe in 2004 before being promoted to her present role in 2009. The Policing Board was told of her plans on Friday. Although Ms Gillespie is expected to receive a lucrative redundancy package, she will not be entitled to the £500,000 she would have received under the Patten arrangements. The deadline to avail of the scheme aimed at readdressing the religious imbalance of the police service ended in March 2011. At the time Ms Gillespie said she decided against taking the package because policing “is about far more than the financial rewards”. Her job is to be advertised in the new year. She will vacate the post on March 31. Althouh Ms Gillespie has not made public her post-PSNI plans sources say she has been approached by an international privite-security firm to act as a consultant.

A PSNI/RUC spokesman said: “We can confirm that Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie has notified the Policing Board of her intention to retire from the Police Service of Northern Ireland. “She has served as deputy chief constable for the past four and a half years and has served a total of 32 years as both a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) GC and PSNI. “PSNI will not be making any further comment at this stage.” Board chairwoman Anne Connolly said: “Judith has made an enormous contribution to policing in the North of Ireland. “As a chief officer, deputy chief constable Grillespie has provided strong leadership to the service in driving forward a programme of policing change and reform. “A strong advocate for women in policing, Judith championed the introduction of the first gender action plan and diversity strategy for policing in the North of Ireland. “A positive role model, Deputy Chief Constable Gillespie has used her wide-ranging experience to provide inspiration and encouragement to officers and staff both within the Northern Irish community and within policing nationally and internationally.” The DUP’s Policing Board group leader, Jonathan Craig MLA said Ms Gillespie “can look back with pride on a number of distinguished achievements throughout her 32 years of service”. “Undoubtedly, this accomplishment still acts as an inspiration to others. Whilst we may have taken differing views on a range of matters at the board, I wish Deputy Chief Constable every success for her future wherever that may lead,” he said.

POLICE XMAS PARTY FLEE BOMB

Senior officers were targets of ONH device

THE rebel IRA were trying to murder cops with a fireball bomb carried into Belfast city centre on Friday night. The sports bag bomb, packed with inflammable material according to police on Saturday, was abandoned short of its target, according to our sources.

Oglaigh na Heireann – ONH

Sources in Belfast’s Ardoyne, where the incendiary device originated, say the bomb, which partially exploded, was meant to mimic the IRA fire bomb attack on the La Mon House Hotel in February 1978 which murdered 12 people. The Sunday World learned on Saturday that a posse of top police officers – up to a dozen strong, were out for their Christmas ‘do’ just 100 metres from where the lethal firebomb in a Slazenger sports bag was left.

Revellers

One source said: “They got an emergency call just minutes before a squad of police rushed in to evacuate the whole of the St Anne’s Square pub/restaurant area in the heart of Cathedral Quarter, packed with pre-Christmas party revellers. “They immediately left the premises. But they were the targets. The dissident bombers knew who they were, and where they were.” In fact, the explosive sports bag was abandoned just 100 metres from where the police officers were sitting down for a meal and a drink. On Saturday, the PSNI staged a hastily convened press conference where it was stated that the bomb which partially exploded could have killed anyone nearby. Dissident republican group, Oglaigh na hEireann, later said they were responsible. Police said the explosion at Exchange Street West at about a quarter to seven on Friday night could have caused multiple deaths. The bomb went off as the area was being cleared. No-one was injured in the attack. Police said the bomb was fully functional and consisted of explosives and flammable liquid. It was in a sports bag and was left on a street about 150 metres away from the spot identified in a warning call made to a newspaper office. That was also just round the corner from where the off-duty police officers were having their Christmas party.

Even when they evacuated the restaurant they were in, they would have walked straight into the abandoned bomb. About 1,000 people were affected by the alert in Cathedral Quarter, which is one of the main entertainment venues in Belfast. On Saturday First Minister Peter Robinson said this was an “attack on democracy”. “We are witnessing the work of a mindless minority who are intent on taking the heart out of the city and wreaking havoc on the lives and businesses of the people of Belfast and Northern Ireland,” he said. Deputy First Minister (J116) Martin McGuinness (The Fisherman) said the bombers showed “a complete disregard for life”. “Their actions have done nothing to move our society forward but, instead, have caused distress to local residents, disruption to Christmas revellers and loss of revenue for surrounding businesses,” he said. At Saturday’s Press conference at the PSNI’s Brooklyn HQ in Belfast, Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway said: “This device was fully functional. It could have injured or killed members of the public and it has similarities to previous devices used by dissident republicans. “I would like to make a direct appeal to people who were in the area on Friday night and ask them did they see a male wearing a black hoidie carrying a black Slazenger bag in and around 6pm. “If they saw this person or anybody acting suspiciously I would appeal to them to come forward to detectives. “We are working very hard to keep Belfast safe and we will continue to do that but we need the community to be vigilant. We want them to go about their normal businness and support the premises in the town but be vigilant and if they see anything suspicious in the town don’t hesitate to lift the phone and tell us.” On Saturday and Saturday night it was ‘business as usual’ in Cathedral Quarter.

Support

Dermot and Catherine Regan, owners of the Potted Hen restaurant close to the scene of the eexplosion said they were grateful for public support. “Thankfully no one was injured and there was no physical damage to the area. We are back to normal service from lunchtime on Sunday and will be contacting everyone who had booked for last night and whose evening entertainment was ruined,” they said. And Storming Shame Fein Sports and Culture Minister Caral Ni Chilin certainly voted with her feet. She visited the Cathedral Quarter in an unofficial capacity on Saturday evening, had a drink in a bar there, and when asked if she was giving a vote of confidence to the area after the Friday night bomb fright, said: “That’s why I’m here.”

Related articles

CELTIC IN MOVES TO DISBAND THE GREEN BRIGADE

CELTIC have made moves to disband the Green Brigade section at Parkhead after labelling events during Friday night’s match at Fir Park “indefensible”. A reported £10,000 worth of damage was caused to seats in the lower section of the South Stand housing away fans – just above where a Green Brigade banner was displayed – during the 5-0 romp for Neil Lennon‘s men against Motherwell.

celtic

A flare was let off in the same area before the game, while two green smoke bombs were thrown into the goalmouth, one of them landing yards from Hoops goalkeeper Fraser Forster. Now the club have handed “precautionary suspensions” to 128 supporters preventing them from attending home and away matches, while 250 season-ticket holders housed in section 111 – the Green Brigade’s corner of Celtic Park – will be moved to other parts of the ground. Scottish Professional Football League chief executive Neil Doncaster also branded the events at Fir Park as “shameful” as he vowed to help the police track down those responsible for damaged seats. A Celtic spokesman said: “Following events on Friday evening at Fir Park Stadium, Celtic Football Club today announced that it has issued precautionary suspensions against 128 individuals preventing them attending matches involving Celtic, pending further investigation. These suspensions will cover matches at Celtic Park and away matches. “In addition, the club will be relocating around 250 season book holders in Section 111 to other areas within the stadium, or offering refunds covering the remainder of the season to those who do not wish to be relocated. “Events such as those on Friday night do not represent the Celtic support or the club. These events were an embarrassment to our great football club and are absolutely indefensible.”It is clear that there is an element which has no hestation in bringing Celtic’s name into disrepute.

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This is someting the club will not tolerate and we therefore have no other option but to take this action. We will not allow the great name of Celtic to be damaged in this way any more – our supporters deserve more than this. “While recent events are very regrettable, we would like to thank our many thousands of fans for the wonderful, positive backing which they continue to give to Celtic. We are sure these supporters will understand the position which the club is in and we are also sure they will unite with the club as we move forward. “Celtic Football Club is in excellent shape on and off the field. The club is in a very safe and strong position and we have a young, exciting team working hard to deliver quality football and success for our supporters, as they did on Friday evening with a magnificent performance. That is what we want to be talking about and this is what we want to celebrate.

“Celtic has a proud 125-year history and fundamental to that history have been our fans. Our supporters enjoy a wonderful reputation earned across many years, many families and many generations. This is something we must protect vigorously.” The Green Brigade released a statement on Sunday insisting their members were not responsible for the damage but also admitted it should have self-policed the section at Fir Park better. Celtic have already given the ultras group one reprieve this year after reversing a decision to shut down Section 111 following complaints about saftey breaches back in August. UEFA, meanwhile, has opened disciplinary proceedings against the club after the Green Brigade unfurled a banner depicting IRA hunger strriker Bobby Sands and Scottish warrior William Wallace during last month’s Champions League clash with AC Milan. Police Scotland is now looking into the “significant damage” caused to the seats at Fir Park but confirmed no arrests were made inside the ground. Now SPFL chief Doncaster has confirmed the league body will take action against Celtic, with disciplinary proceedings expected to open by the end of the week. Under SPFL rule H40, if found guilty, Celtic will be ordered to pay for the damage.

With many thanks to: Andy Newport, The Irish News.

END THE ILLEGAL INTERNMENT OF MARTIN COREY NOW !!!!

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Stiofán Mac Óda

Today, September 2, 2013, is the 63rd birthday of Martin Corey.

Today is also the date the Parole Commissioners were to commence Martin’s annual Parole hearing. We received communication on Friday, the 30th of August, informing us that this open hearing to review Martin’s ongoing detention would NOT commence on this date, with no alternative date being suggested or discussed with us.

Martin is entitled by law to an annual Parole hearing, and yet he has NOT received one in over TWO YEARS. A variety of reasons have been given for the delay, including blaming Martin himself for his “legal challenges” against his detention under Article 5 (4) (the right to have a court decide the lawfulness of his detention under the European convention of Human Rights).

Recent violations of Human Rights in the Middle East have received worldwide condemnation, including by the British government who stated “they will continue to play an active and forthright role in international institutions that promote and protect human rights.” They also emphasised the UK’s own commitment to strengthen human rights, both domestically and internationally.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2012 that it was unacceptable to deny an annual parole hearing to anyone held in custody. This ruling followed a case of a man who waited 14 months for a parole hearing. Martin Corey has now waited 25 MONTHS.

The Secretary of State in a recent communication stated, “an individual who served a life sentence can be returned to prison if they pose a risk to the public or commits further offences.” Since Martin’s arrest in April 2010, he has NEVER been charged with a crime, questioned by police regarding a crime, or given any explanation as to the risk he poses to the public.

Martin served 19 years in prison prior to his release in 1992. He has now served the equivalent of a seven year sentence since his arrest in 2010.

Martin has NOT committed any crime. He poses NO risk to the public and I am calling for his immediate release today.

I spoke with Martin this morning and he wishes to express his gratitude to those who sent messages and cards and also for their continued support in highlighting the ongoing injustice perpetrated upon him by the British government.

Jim McIlmurray

Today, September 2nd 2013, is the 63rd Birthday of Martin Corey – RELEASE HIM NOW !!!

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James Connolly Assoc Australia

Statement received by us from Jim McIlmurray on Martin Corey‘s continuing internment. It is tragic today is Martin’s birthday and he remains indefinitely interned in Maghaberry.

Today, September 2, 2013, is the 63rd birthday of Martin Corey.

Today is also the date the Parole Commissioners were to commence Martin’s annual

Parole hearing. We received communication on Friday, the 30th of August, informing us that this open hearing to review Martin’s ongoing detention would NOT commence on this date, with no alternative date being suggested or Today, September 2, 2013, is the 63rd birthday of Martin Corey.

Today is

also the date the Parole Commissioners were to commence Martin’s annual

Parole hearing. We received communication on Friday, the 30th of

August, informing us that this open hearing to review Martin’s ongoing

detention would NOT commence on this date, with no alternative

date being suggested or discussed

with us.

Martin is entitled by law to an annual Parole hearing,

and yet he has NOT received one in over TWO YEARS. A variety of reasons

have been given for the delay, including blaming Martin himself for his

“legal challenges”

against his detention under Article 5 (4) (the right to have a court

decide the lawfulness of his detention under the European convention of

Human Rights).

Recent violations of Human Rights in the Middle

East have received worldwide condemnation, including by the British

government who stated “they will continue to play an active and

forthright role in international institutions that promote and protect

human rights.” They also emphasised the UK’s own commitment to

strengthen human rights, both domestically and internationally.

The

European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2012 that it was unacceptable

to deny an annual parole hearing to anyone held in custody. This ruling

followed a case of a man who waited 14 months for a parole hearing.

Martin Corey has now waited 25 MONTHS.

The Secretary of State in a

recent communication stated, “an individual who served a life sentence

can be returned to prison if

they pose a risk to the public or commits further offences.” Since

Martin’s arrest in April 2010, he has NEVER been charged with a crime,

questioned by police regarding a crime, or given any explanation as to

the risk he poses to the public.

Martin served 19 years in prison

prior to his release in 1992. He has now served the equivalent of a

seven year sentence since his arrest in 2010.

Martin has NOT committed any crime. He poses NO risk to the public and I am calling for his immediate release today.

I

spoke with Martin this morning and he wishes to express his gratitude

to those who sent messages and cards and also for their continued

support in highlighting the ongoing injustice perpetrated upon him by

the British government.

Jim McIlmurray with us.

Martin is entitled by law to an annual Parole hearing, and yet he has NOT received one in over TWO YEARS. A variety of reasons have been given for the delay, including blaming Martin himself for his “legal challenges” against his detention under Article 5 (4) (the right to have a court decide the lawfulness of his detention under the European convention of Human Rights).

Recent violations of Human Rights in the Middle East have received worldwide condemnation, including by the British government who stated “they will continue to play an active and forthright role in international institutions that promote and protect human rights.” They also emphasised the UK’s own commitment to strengthen human rights, both domestically and internationally.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2012 that it was unacceptable to deny an annual parole hearing to anyone held in custody. This ruling followed a case of a man who waited 14 months for a parole hearing.

Martin Corey has now waited 25 MONTHS.

The Secretary of State in a

recent communication stated, “an individual who served a life sentence can be returned to prison ifthey pose a risk to the public or commits further offences.”

Since Martin’s arrest in April 2010, he has NEVER been charged with a crime, questioned by police regarding a crime, or given any explanation as to the risk he poses to the public.

Martin served 19 years in prison

prior to his release in 1992. He has now served the equivalent of a seven year sentence since his arrest in 2010.

Martin has NOT committed any crime. He poses NO risk to the public and I am calling for his immediate release today.

I spoke with Martin this morning and he wishes to express his gratitude to those who sent messages and cards and also for their continued support in highlighting the ongoing injustice perpetrated upon him by the British government.

Jim McIlmurray

World Record attempt – White-line picket – Smash Internment

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Anti-Internment Rally

The Anti-Internment League invites all political, community, cultural and sporting organisations as well as ex prisoners groups, trade unions, human and civil rights groups and the republican/nationalist people of this Island to participate in a record attempt to hold the Worlds largest White-Line Picket on the Falls Road to highlight the continued unjustifiable use of Internment against Republicans in Ireland.

The record attempt will be for entry into the Guinness book of Records and will again bring to prominence the issue of Internment, putting it in the headlines and keeping it high on the political agenda.

PROSPECT OF THOUSANDS GATHERING IN CITY CENTER REAL CONCERN FOR POLICE

ANALYSIS - Connla Young.

WHILE many will take part in Friday’s parade to highlight claims of “internment by remand”, some will also see it as a platform to reclaim a significant date in the republican calendar.

END BRITISH INTERNMENT IN IRELAND

The introduction of internment on August 9 1971 saw the detention without trial of thousands of young Catholics across the north. A watershed moment in the early Troubles, which made headlines around the world,  it had unintended effect of converting morderate nationalists to the republican cause. Traditionally rRepublicans marked the anniversary witht the lighting of bonbone fires in nationalist areas, which often resulted in violent clashes with police. In recent years Sinn Fein has aa banded the bonfire tradition and attempted to remove tensions by creating the Fleadh around the August date. Opponents have claimed this was part of a process of steering its traditional support away from street politics. In that context, some anti-agreement republicans see Friday’s parade as an opportunity to showcase opposition to Sinn Fein’s strategy, both to the party leadership and wider political establishment.

However, the parade is also being used as an outlet for anger by loyalists involved in flag and other protests this year. Two of the five protests planned at Royal Avenue involve groups set up by leading figures from the Union Flag protests. Despite the parade not directly passing any loyalist areas in North Belfast. Orangemen in the area are also planning to travel to the city centre for a demonstration. Coming after strong police criticism of protests held against restrictions placed on a July 12 parade at Ardoyne, this represents a departure for the organization. Until now it is not thought to have organised any protests at republican parades. Given the serious disruption caused to city centre traders and commuters by the flag protests, and the violence seen on July 12 when loyalists gathered to protest at Ardoyne, the prospect of thousands of republicans and loyalists gathering in the city centre on Friday will be a source of obvious concern for police in the coming days.

With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.

Related articles

FIVE GROUPS TO PROTEST AGAINST DISSIDENT REPUBLICAN PARADE

Worring news revealed as loyalist mob attack Belfast’s Sinn Fein mayor

FIVE loyalist groups plan to hold separate protests during a massive parade organised by anti-Good Friday Agreement republicans this week.

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The protests – which include an unprecedented demonstration by the Orange Order – are in opposition to an internment parade which could involve up to 5,000 people marching through central Belfast on Friday evening. The news emerged last night as Sinn Fein mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir described how he was kicked and punched by a loyalist crowd as he attended an official event in the north of the city. Police said nine officers were injured while trying to protect the politician from protesters at Woodvale Park, near the scene of serious parade-related violence over the Twelfth of July period. A range of republican groups opposed to the agreement will be involved in Friday’s parade, which will travel across north and west Belfast via the city centre. In a significant move, the Orange Order has applied to the Parades Commission to hold a protest on Royal Avenue. Applications for separate protests have been made by two groups formed by leading figures in the recent Union Flag protests – United Protestant Voice and the Protestant Coalition. Last week the commission granted two previously unknown groups permission to hold protesters involving up to 150 people each – all at Royal Avenue. If all the protests are approved the number of loyalists involved could swell to 800, adding to the security headache at a time when bars and restaurants normally expect to be busy and thousands of visitors attend the World Police and Fire Games. Last night Orange Order spokesman the Rev Mervyn Gibson said the decision to protest at the Anti-Internment parade did not represent a “shift in policy” by the order. Parade organiser Dee Fennell vowed to press ahead. “This is not a republican parade. It’s a human rights parade that everyone is welcome to attend regardless of their political beliefs,” he said. Last night one Belfast restaurateur warned that more businesses would close “if the city centre is allowed to be used as a sectarian battleground”.

With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.

ARRESTS FOR INCITEMENT AN AVENUE WORTH EXPLORING !!!

Orangemen do not like being arrested, not just because nobody likes being arrested but because they consider themselves to be respectable pillars of society.

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THE PSNI has accused the Orange Order of “reckless” and “inflammatory” statements leading up to this year’s Twelfth violence. During the flag protests, Chief Constable Matt Baggott was vocal about the tragedy of vulnerable young people acquiring criminal records for rioting.

The PSNI can square this circle by arresting senior members of the Orange Order for incitement. Arrests are apparently on the cards. Speaking to The Irish Newsa police source said “absolutely everything” is under consideration, including anti-terrorist legislation aimed at Islamic hate-preachers. However, there is no need to risk such an innovative approach when a straightforward offence is available. Incitement has been known since 2007 as “encouraging or assisting crime“. Jamie Bryson has been charged with. Breaching a restriction imposed by the Parades Commission is specifically listed in the law as one of the crimes it is an offence to encourage. Encouragement may include any act or failure to act with the intent and belief that a crime will be committed. Interestingly, the law says this can be proven if an act was merely “reckless”. Prior to last Friday’s return parade past Ardoyne, the Orange Order called for the Parades Commission to be “no longer recognized, acknowledged or engaged with by any member of the unionist community”. There is clearly a case to be made that this and similar statements encouraged breaching parades restrictions, giving that the Orange Order was about to embark on several hundred parades and the Parades Commission is the lawful regulatory body.

The Orange Order (disorder) claims no restrictions were breached by its protests, although the PSNI disagrees. However, this is beside the point and there is no need to get into the debate about when a protest becomes a parade. The law states that a crime does not have to take place for the offence of encouraging that crime to take place. All that counts is that the person doing the encouraging intended and believed the crime would occur. The punishment is the same as the crime encouraged, which in the case of breaching a Parades Commission restriction is up to six months imprisonment. It is less clear whether senior Orange men could be charged with encouraging public disorder, an offence that would attract several years in prison. The Orange Order said trouble was “inevitable” after the Parades Commission ruling on Ardoyne, which shows belief. But the law says an act is not encouragement solely because of its “foreseeable consequences”, so intent must be proven ass well. This is where the “reckless” provision might apply. Immediately before last Friday’s violence, senior Orangemen made speeches about “culture war”, ongoing war with the Protestant and unionist people”, “fighting the war on today’s battleground” and “waking us from our slumber”. They called on “this generation not to be found wanting” and warned that until three north Belfast lodges restricted by the Parades Commission had “got home, the rest of Twelfth day isn’t over for everyone else”. Then they sent those lodges and their followers up to police lines at the North of Ireland‘s most explosive interface.

Many people would say that was reckless with regard to whether or not violence would result, no matter how many mentions of “peaceful protest” accompanied the blood thirsty rhetoric. A good barrister could certainly make a case either way. The threshold for inciting public disorder can be surprisingly low for those not protected by the magical properties of a sash. One of the first people to appear in court after last weekend’s disturbances has been charged with “making obscence hand gestures with intent to provoke a breach of the peace”. This charge is not based on the encouragement llegislation but it still seems remarkable that senior Orange men can raise a metaphorical finger to the law around a flashpoint parade without suffering or expecting to suffer any legal consequences. Orange men do not like being arrested, not just because nobody likes being arrested but because they consider themselves to be respectable pillars of society. A perp walk is the one walk the Grand Wizards can never imagine  themselves doing. The psychological effect of being put before a judge for their actions would be highly significant. If the PSNI is afraid of provoking trouble, that sail has sailed. When facing a politically awkward arrest the PSNI has been known to claim, quite wrongly, that it cannot act without receiving a complaint. So perhaps a few complaints would help matters along. Residents and represtatives might care to explore that option.

With many thanks to : Newton Emerson, The Irish News.

Email address: newton@iiris news.com

THE SENTENCING OF A FORMER SHAME FEIN COUNCILLOR WHO PLEADED GUILTY TO CHILD CRUELTY CHARGES HAS BEEN ADJOURNED U

Briege Meehan sentencing adjourned

Published Tuesday, 02 July 2013

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The sentencing of a former Sinn Féin councillor who pleaded guilty to child cruelty charges has been adjourned until Friday.

Briege Meegan will be sentenced on Friday. (© UTV)

Opening the prosecution case, QC Frank O’Donoghue recounted how Briege Meehan, 65, carried out a number of acts of cruelty against stepdaughter Mary Meehan over a 15-month period.

Between 14 July 14 1979 and October the following year, he told the court Meehan hit the youngster on the head with a glass baby’s bottle, forced her to smoke numerous cigarettes as a punishment and also to sleep in her urine-soaked bed.

Last month before her trial began Meehan, from Elmfield Street and the widow of the IRA’s former north Belfast commander Martin Meehan, pleaded guilty to charges of assault and cruelty towards her stepdaughter Mary when she was ten years old.

She had also been charged with seven charges of sexually abusing her stepdaughter but those were “left on the books” after she pleaded guilty to charges on an amended indictment.

At the time of the offences, the court heard, Martin Meehan was either in custody or on the run leaving Briege Meehan, who was eight months pregnant at the time, to look after his three children.

Mr O’Donoghue said the first count of assault related to an incident when Mary was tidying up a unit but was not doing it quickly enough so her stepmother hit her over the head with a glass baby bottle, knocking her unconscious.

The lawyer recounted Mary’s statement in court where she described being “covered in blood” and “screaming” in panic.

Mr O’Donoghue said Mary was at one time caught smoking so by way of punishment or deterrence, Briege Meehan forced the child to smoke an unknown number of cigarettes, adding that that incident related to a count of child cruelty while another count accused her of injuring her either with a brush shaft or a shoe.

He told the court how Mary suffered from instances of bed wetting but that her stepmother “forced her to sleep on the wet sheets”.

The lawyer said the child was eventually rescued by Social Services and placed into care in October 1980 and a medical examination revealed 20 bruises sustained while in the care of Briege Meehan.

The offences were committed while Meehan, was the then girlfriend of Martin Meehan while he was on remand in prison on IRA kidnapping charges for which he was eventually jailed for 12 years.

Mr Meehan, who died in 2007, was also the first person to be convicted of membership of the Provisional IRA.

His second wife, Briege, elected as Newtownabbey‘s first Sinn Féin councillor in 2001 and again in 2005 was suspended from the post after the allegations of abuse first surfaced in February 2009.

Defence QC Karen Quinlivan argued that whilst it was a serious matter, the level of physical abuse was “at the lower end of the scale” for which Meehan had been widely criticised in the media and her own community.

She said that Meehan had “expressed remorse” for the way she treated her stepdaughter but added that the care of all three children came about “quite abruptly” when Martin Meehan senior was put into jail and she was left filling the shoes of their mother who had tragically died from cancer.

In addition, claimed the lawyer, there was widespread disapproval from all side of hers and Martin Meehan’s family over their relationship because she was married at the time.

Releasing Meehan on continuing bail, Judge Gordon Kerr QC said he would review all the papers in the case and pass sentence on Friday.

With many thanks to:

© UTV News

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