Lone Wolf all alone in prison as dissident gangs shun her

DISSIDENT lone wolf Christine Connor was given the cold shoulder when she returned to prison this week.

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The Sunday World can reveal she was ignored by some inmates after it was revealed she had been slagging of members of Óghlaigh na hÉireann on social media for not murdering members of the PSNI/RUC. The 35-year-old called ONH out for failing to kill a cop, claiming they weren’t committed to the armed struggle, just making money. Connor was taken under the wing of the NIRA when she was first imprisoned with Soaradh campaigning on her behalf when she claimed she was being mistreated behind bars. She fell in with the then Real IRA, which is now the current day NIRA, after sharing a cell in Hydebank Prison with Sharon Rafferty who befriended a terrified Connor. Rafferty was was the first person to be jailed in the North of Ireland under terror laws brought in to combat home-grown Islamic extremism.


Rafferty, who now sits on the board of Saoradh, was one of a gang of four jailed for a string of terrorist-related offences including the setting up for a training camp at Formil Wood on the outskirts of Omagh, Co Tyrone. Sources say she is still supportive of Connor.

Soaradh the so-called political wing of the NIRA

“Sharon has kept in touch and Soaradh has to because she is a prisoner of war, it’s their duty, but she is hard work, completely delusional.” Sources say Connor is already struggling inside and is unpopular with fellow inmates. And this time she is alone, with no fellow dissident to share her cell and offer her support and protection. The last time she was behind bars she was repeatedly threatened and attacked by a fellow inmate. “She is not on a republican wing, she is with (ODC) the criminals and the majority of them hate republicans guts and they hate her. “There are some very dangerous people in there and to some of them she is IRA SCUM.”

With many thanks to the Sunday World and Paula Mackin for the EXCLUSIVE original story 

Follow these links to find out more: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/news/touts-framed-me-claims-desperate-dissident-bomber-christine-connor-39416150.html

(2)-: http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//news/northernirelandnews/2020/01/15/news/judge-retires-to-consider-verdict-in-christine-connor-trial-1814393/content.html

(3)-: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-northern-ireland-50761189

Christine Connor found guilty of two counts of attempted murder

Christine Connor
Christine Connor found guilty of attempted murder. Image copyrightPACEMAKER
A judge has found Christine Connor guilty of attempting to kill a police officer after luring him and a colleague with hoax phone calls.

At Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday the 35-year-old was convicted of four offences, including two counts of causing an explosion.

The charges relate to two incidents in north Belfast in May 2013.

The judge remanded Connor in custody and said sentencing will take place on 20 August.

The court previously heard that Connor made bogus 999 calls to police on two separate occasions.

Evidence tagsImage copyrightPACEMAKER
Image captionConnor was linked to the charges with DNA from clothing. 

In the first incident on 16 May, Connor made a trial run and threw a pipe bomb on the Ligoniel Road.

Later, on 28 May, she lured police to the Crumlin Road before attacking them from an alleyway with two pipe bombs.

In the second hoax call Connor tearfully claimed her name was Gemma and she was the victim of domestic abuse.

Police attended a house on the Crumlin Road, and as one officer was knocking the front door, a pipe bomb was thrown at another officer from a nearby alleyway.

As he tried to evade the explosion, the officer tripped on a kerb and as he lay prone, a second pipe bomb was thrown onto the road.

‘Evasive and argumentative’

Connor was first convicted in 2017 and jailed for 16 years, but was released in December 2018 after appeal judges overturned her conviction and ordered a retrial.

Connor, whose address is subject to a reporting restriction, denied the offences.

She was found guilty of one count of attempted murder, one count of preparation of terrorist acts and two counts of causing explosion likely to endanger life.

Connor was linked to the charges with DNA evidence from clothing as well as mobile phone evidence and CCTV.

The judge said the prosecution’s case was built on a “combination of circumstantial, physical and forensic evidence” and that he was satisfied that Connor has searched online for how to make pipe bombs.

He ruled that she was “clearly involved in the planning, making and deployment of the pipe bombs,” and that her intention was to kill the police officer.

Connor stood trial in a non-jury hearing at the end of 2019.

Giving his ruling on Wednesday, the judge said that having had “the benefit of seeing and hearing the defendant give evidence and be cross-examined…I found her evasive, argumentative and, when it suited her, refused to answer questions.”

A woman has described as “ridiculous” an allegation that she transported pipe bombs in a supermarket bag just prior to an attack on police.

Christine Connor, 34, whose address is subject to a reporting restriction, is on trial before Belfast Crown Court.

She denies six charges arising from two incidents in the north of the city in May 2013.

The first occurred on 16 May, with the second taking place on 28 May.

Ms Connor, who was called to the witness box on Tuesday, has been charged with, and denies, two counts of possessing explosives with intent, two counts of causing an explosion with intent to endanger life, attempting to murder a police constable and the preparation of terrorist acts.

Under questioning from her barrister, Tim Moloney QC, Ms Connor spoke of her republican background and her involvement with the Republican Network for Unity (RNU).

When questioned about the two incidents in north Belfast, Connor admitted she was out for an early morning walk in the area at the time of the second incident, but denied involvement in both.

Mr Moloney asked his client about her education, family background and employment history.

She was then asked whether republican politics was an important part of her upbringing, to which she said “yes, very much so”.

Ms Connor said that around late 2012 and early 2013, she was actively involved with RNU which she described as “a political organisation, not an armed group”.

Ms Connor said she and other members took part in protests, pickets and camp outs “to highlight the plight of republican prisoners”, with one such protest taking place outside the Alliance Party headquarters in south Belfast as at that time the party’s David Ford was justice minister.

She was asked about former co-accused Stuart Downes, who was charged with offences linked to the incident.

Downes, who the Crown say assisted Ms Connor by purchasing component parts for the pipe bombs and ensuring they were delivered to Northern Ireland, died in June 2016.

Ms Connor denied communicating with Mr Downes and when she was asked if she ever pretended to be Swedish model Sanne Andersson, she replied “no”.

Mr Moloney then questioned his client about movie clips – one of which was found on Mr Downes’ phone and another on a laptop found in a mattress in her bedroom.

It is the Crown’s case that one of the clips is Ms Connor conducting a “dry-run” of the route she planned to take before launching the first pipe bomb attack on 16 May.

Laganside Courts complex
Laganside Courts in Belfast

Connor was convicted at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday

Connor was charged alongside Stuart Downes from Shrewsbury.

The 31-year old was subsequently granted bail and was found dead in woodland near his home in June 2016.

The judge said that between February and May 2013 “they researched pipe bombs, with Downes purchasing component parts and ensuring they were dispatched to and received in Northern Ireland where they were deployed by Connor.”

During the trial, the prosecution said Connor and Downes met online and established a relationship when Connor was posing as a blonde Swedish model called Sanne Anderson.

When arrested, Connor denied she knew Downes and rejected claims she communicated with him.

She continued these denials during the trial, but in his ruling the judge said there was overwhelming evidence to suggest otherwise.

The court heard that the month before the two explosions, an “intense relationship” via SMS and Facebook messages developed between Connor and Downes as they researched information on pipe bombs.

MattressImage copyrightPACEMAKER
Image captionLaptops belonging to Connor were found in a mattress at her house

During her arrest on 29 May 2013 police searched Connor’s home and found two laptops and a phone hidden in a mattress in a bedroom.

When these devices were examined a movie file was located which depicted a woman walking in north Belfast and talking about police.

This video was described as a ‘practice run’ and despite denials she had made the video, it was ruled that it was Connor in the film. This same clip was also located on Downes’ mobile.

The judge also ruled that the laptops found in the mattress were linked to Connor, and that prior to the May 2013 explosions, online searches such as ‘how to make pipe bombs in your kitchen’ had been made.

Speaking outside court, Det Supt Richard Campbell described the case as “hugely complex and unusual” with several UK police services working together to gather evidence.

“This was an attack on police officers, who were carrying out their role of protecting communities,” he said.

“I would like to pay particular thanks to them. This was a traumatic experience for them and I acknowledge that as victims they have waited a very long time for today’s outcome.

“Today’s conviction is the result of excellent joint working between the PSNI and West Mercia Police alongside the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and we will now await the sentencing.”

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story 

Follow these links to find out more: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/christine-connor-trial-pipe-bomb-allegations-ridiculous-says-defendant-38771651.html

(2)-: https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/crime/christine-connor-guilty-belfast-woman-who-posed-swedish-model-part-terror-plot-convicted-attempting-kill-police-2927652





DISSIDENT loner Carl Reilly turned to an ex-RUC man to help prop up his dissident POW organisation.

Carl Reilly

Ex-con Reilly set up Cogus POW in partnership with leading dissident Ta Cosgrove after he was booted out of community group Conflict Resolution Northern Ireland. The Sunday World can reveal he has gone cap in hand for funding to Co-Operation Ireland which is headed by former RUC Assistant Chief Constable Peter Sheridan, only to be turned down. An application was made for funding under Co-Operation Ireland’s Open Doors programme which seeks to engage with prisoners’ groups. The Sunday World understands Reilly and co were told they were not eligible for financial support.

Thomas ‘Ta’ Cosgrove

On Saturday night a spokesperson for Co-Operation Ireland confirmed: “As a peacebuilding charity Co-Operation Ireland exists to engage with groups that support the peace process and are committed to non violence. “These groups include ex-prisoner organisations and many other community and voluntary groups, however we are not a funding body and hold no funds for distribution.” The move has been greeted with disdain and ridicule by his former dissy pals who have turned their back on him in droves. Reilly has refused to sign up to the newly reorganised New IRA and continues to style himself as the leader of the near defunct Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH).

Peter Sheridan Co-Operation Ireland

New IRA chief Thomas Ashe Mellon has been on a recruitment drive, hovering up OnH members and leaving Reilly isolated. The north Belfast man, who was jailed for directing the activities of the ineffectual OnH, has become a figure of ridicule. “He had to stop all the extortion because everybody refused to pay up,” said a well placed source. “What can he do about it, it’s not as if he can call on his men to dish out a beating, he doesn’t have any.” ONH under his leadership started to disintegrate last year, by spring of 2018 there had been a mass defection with members turning their back on the discredited terror boss and his political wing Republican Network for Unity (RNU). Reilly responded by issuing death threats to various senior members, the former national chairperson Gary McNally also received a threat, prompting further disgust at Reilly’s tactics. It has also emerged that former terror pal Seamus ‘Shay’ McGrane had turned his back on him. Sixty-four-year-old McGrane died in Portlaoise Prison in May where he was serving an 11-year sentence for directing terrorism. Best known as all-Ireland head of OnH, he had grown disillusioned at the direction Reilly was taking the dissident group. McGrane was buried after a low-key funeral devoid of all paramilitary trappings.

Booted out

Reilly set up ‘community organisation’ Cogus with the help of his cousin Sean O’Reilly and Cosgrove after he was booted out of Conflict Resolution Northern Ireland (CRNI) after his release from prison. He has now put out the begging bowl to Sheridan, CEO of Co-Operation Ireland.

Fernando Murphy was convicted for a campaign of harassment and intimidation against the daughter of his former partner

“Anyone who knows him knows he’d sell his own mother for a few pounds,” a source told us. “He’d do a deal with the Queen, really he should be hanging his head in shame instead of walking into that office in the Ardoyne as if he owns the place.” Reilly set up shop in offices formerly used by CRNI. The trio went on to employ convicted stalker Fernando Murphy (pictured above) as a youth worker despite knowing about his campaign of harassment against the daughter of a former partner. “How can someone like Fernando Murphy get a job as a youth worker considering what he has been accused and found guilty of?” Said the source. “It’s a disgrace but it goes to show that they think they can do what they want and so far they are getting away with it.”

He said there was disbelief in the area that someone who considers himself the leader of a terrorist organisation can apply for public funds. The application was for two posts for Carl Reilly and Ta Cosgrove – however O’Reilly was left out of the application. The funding is also for ‘project costs’. “Cogus is not a charity, so questions exist for the CEO of the company, ex-RUC and PSNI officer Peter Sheridan, how he could hand funding over to a group with no charity or business status and one which is a department within a dissident political party whose associates are on trial for directing terrorism,” said one source. He said that Reilly, Cosgrove and O’Reilly had betrayed their republican principles.

With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Paula Mackin for the original and exclusive story 


As a result of the continuation of previously used sleep depravation tactics in Roe House by jail night screws, Republican prisoners on Roe 3 alongside our comrades on Roe 4 blocked the cell door windows to obscure the screws view during checks, this issue which was previously resolved, suddenly began to reoccur again in the early hours of Friday morning.

We will not allow our Prisoners to be criminalised and our prisoners will continue to assert their rights as Irish Citizens and Irish Republicans.

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Irish government lobbied over bugging of activist linked to ceasefire group

Tracking and listening device discovered under the car of a man in Co Carlow. Picture Hugh Russell



LEGAL proceedings are to be launched against An Garda Siochana, after a sophisticated tracking device was discovered under the car of a member of Republican Network for Unity in Carlow.

The political group would be considered close to the thinking of Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH), who called a ceasefire in January 2017.

At the time in a statement to the Irish News ONH said:”The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann are announcing that with immediate effect we will suspend all armed actions against the British state”.

The ceasefire is though to have came about following a lengthy period of debate within the group and was endorsed at the time by both the British and Irish governments.

Formed with a number of former senior members of the Provisional IRA, ONH was at one time the most active of the dissident groups, however, has maintained the ceasefire with no reported breaches since the announcement.

The man, who did not want to be named, found the GPS tracking and listening device, hidden in the undercarriage of his family car earlier this month.

He drove the car across the border to Northern Ireland where the device was removed and handed over to his solicitor Peter Corrigan of Phoenix Law.

Shortly after this a gardaí armed response unit arrived at the man’s house and said they needed to remove his car in connection with an ongoing investigation.

The man was told it would be taken to a garda station that was around a 30 minute drive from his house for examination.

However, after 20 minutes later the car was returned and the man told that it was no longer needed. He was not arrested and no other items were removed.

Eadhárd Ó Cuinn, national chairperson of RNU, said questions should be asked as to why their members were still under such “intrusive” forms of surveillance.

“This man is a member of a completely legitimate and legal political group”, he said.

“While members of RNU would have been subject to aggressive and intrusive surveillance in the past, we were told the justification at that time was a ‘security’ one.

“The man in question is new to RNU and is simply keen to involve himself in community enhancing work.

“There is no security risk from our members, we’ve made our position clear on that and you don’t need to take our word for it, it has been widely politically recognised.

“What we have here are people trying to justify their existence by intruding on the privacy of Irish citizens without any justification”, he added.

Peter Corrigan of Phoenix Law said they would be issuing proceedings in the Republic for breach of privacy. “This man is entitled to a private family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and we will be issuing legal proceedings on those grounds”.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said they “would not be in a position to comment”.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Allison Morris for the original story

EXCLUSIVE: Dissident group responsible for Peadar Heffeon attack announces ceasefire

DISSIDENT republican group Oglaigh na hEireann has announced a ceasefire, saying the “environment is not right for armed conflict” at this time.

In a statement to The Irish News, accompanied by a recognised codeword, it said the decision followed a review and discussion with its membership.

“The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann are announcing that with immediate effect we will suspend all armed actions against the British state,” it said.

“The leadership of ONH remain unbowed and unbroken. We will continue to protect our membership and base as we move forward in a spirit of united determination to achieve our political aims”.

The group has been responsible for several high-profile attacks, including the attempted murder of Catholic police officer Peadar Heffron in 2010.

Captain of the PSNI Gaelic football team at the time, Mr Heffron spoke out last year for the first time about the attempt on his life that resulted him losing a leg and having to use a wheelchair.

Former PSNI constable Peadar Heffron who lost his leg in an Oglaigh na hEireann attack pictured last year with with GAA pundit Joe Brolly
Formed with a number of former senior members of the Provisional IRA, Oglaigh na hEireann was at one time the most active of the dissident groups.

Analysis: Armed republican group calls time amid a changing political landscape

Timeline of terror – the bomb and gun attacks carried out by ONH

As well as the attack on Mr Heffron, members were involved in the targeting of police officer Ronan Kerr, murdered outside his Omagh home in a 2011 bomb attack.

While it had previously hinted that it was in a transitional period in relation to its future, sources last night denied there had been any direct or indirect negotiations with the British government ahead of the ceasefire announcement.

The jailing of veteran republican Seamus McGrane in 2016, which coincided with the imprisonment of other leadership figures in Belfast and Derry, marked a dramatic slowdown in the group’s activities.

McGrane was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years by a non-jury court in Dublin for directing terrorism and plotting an attack to coincide with a visit by Prince Charles to the Republic.

However, talks about the future of ONH are said to have predated those high-profile arrests.

Prisoners linked to the organisation are said to have been consulted ahead of the announcement and while sources say they have not lobbied directly for early releases, there is an expectation that it will be followed by action to address issues linked to prisoner conditions linked to the separated regime in Maghaberry.

An official announcement by senior trade union figures – who have been involved in private talks around the group’s future – is expected later today.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin called on OnH to “meet people’s expectations and cease using violence immediately”.

“This includes all types of organised criminality within communities.

“The group has announced it is to suspend all actions against the ‘British State’, however, for years now, members have been heavily involved in extreme violence against people living in their own communities, including carrying out brutal beatings and shootings, as well as menacing acts of intimidation to create fear and control.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the origional story

Derry Republicans welcome ‘de facto ceasefire’ from IRA grouping.

Cogus, ex Republican prisoners from Derry and supporters of the Republican Network for Unity today welcomed moves towards the possible end to the Oglaigh na hEireann’s (ONH) armed campaign.

A spokesperson said that on Sunday, a former IRA prisoner, Ta Cosgrove, read a statement from the RNU at a commemoration at Edentubber, County Louth, in which they said the organisation must ‘move forward together’ and engage in a process of ‘modernisation’.

The Derry source said that the ONH was effectively on a ‘de facto ceasefire’, while internal discussions take place and that Ta Cosgrove’s comments follow a statement at Easter which said the ONH were engaged in a ‘wide-ranging discussion about tactics, strategy and the future of the republican struggle’.

With many thanks to: Derry Now for the origional story


Republican Network for Unity, RNU to step up ‘process of modernisation’

A hardline republican party RNU which previously indicated a possible end to Óglaigh na hÉireann’s paramilitary campaign has said it is stepping up its “process of modernisation”.

Prominent north Belfast republican Ta Cosgrove made the comments at a Republican Network for Unity (RNU) commemoration last weekend.

The party is viewed as the political wing of Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH), which earlier this year said it is engaged in a “wide ranging discussion about tactics, strategy and the future of the republican struggle”.
Sources close to the organisation said that while no announcement has been made, it is currently on a “de facto ceasefire” while internal discussions take place.

ONH emerged from a split within the Real IRA around a decade ago.
It is believed the last significant attack carried out by the group was in January when a roadside bomb left for the PSNI in Poleglass, on the outskirts of west Belfast, was defused by the British army.
The comments from ONH followed an earlier statement from RNU signalling a shift in strategy, which was read out at an Easter commemoration in north Belfast.
It is understood several people have resigned from the party since then.

Mr Cosgrove, who is a former republican prisoner, spoke at a commemoration to mark the 60th anniversary of five republicans killed in a premature explosion at Edentubber, Co Louth in 1957.
He said the “RNU family” has continued to debate “both internally and with our critical friends” and “the future of our movement has been the subject of intense activity”.
The movement, he said, has assessed its “strengths and weaknesses” and recognises “that we must move forward now – procrastinate any longer will only lead to division and uncertainty”.
“The coming weeks and months will see a gear change in our process of modernisation that was spoke of at Easter.
“Today we ask you here, and members and supporters unable to attend and to the wider republican base, to begin with us the debate around a republican movement that is credible, realistic and modern.
“In time those determined to advance the revolutionary republican position will attest to our reshaped movement and renewed direction.”

With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News for the original story.

The IRA still has a ton of Semtex and 200 AK47s stashed in Ireland – Mirror Online




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