Category Archives: SUPPORT OUR P.O.W’s IN MAGHABERRY.

Ex-Maghaberry boss claims top prison official lied to MLAs on the Justice Committee

The claims about Paul Cawkwell emerged during an industrial tribunal brought by the former Deputy Governor of Maghaberry Prison, Gary Alcock, against the Department of Justice.

 Mr Alcock is alleging that he was treated unfairly because he was also the Chairman of the Prison Governors’ Association (PGA), subjected to “threatening” behaviour by Mr Cawkwell, and subsequently removed from his Maghaberry post.

On the first day of the case, it emerged that Mr Alcock had secretly recorded a meeting between himself and Mr Cawkwell on December 11, during which he claims he was threatened by Mr Alcock because of his trade union role.

On the second day of the hearing yesterday, Mr Alcock said the meeting he had secretly recorded had been “one of the most shocking I have had in my service.”

Mr Alcock claimed: “The Director of Operations admitted they were seeking to mislead the Justice Committee in relation to Roe 4 (a landing in a wing of Maghaberry). Which also houses IRA prisoners. He is admitting in the transcript to prostituting himself to the media.”

Regarding the decision to close a security grille on a landing in Maghaberry, Mr Alcock said that this decision was referred to the then-Director General of the Prison Service, Sue McAllister.

He denied a suggestion by counsel for the Department of Justice that it had been his decision and not Mrs McAllister’s.

Mr Alcock alleges that an “unambiguous” threat was made to him by Mr Cawkwell in this meeting.

He said: “I refer to the transcript: ‘If you can’t separate Maghaberry business from your PGA role you cannot stay at Maghaberry.’ That to me is a very clear threat: either be quiet on Maghaberry issues or you’re moving on.”

When counsel for the DOJ put it to Mr Alcock that there was “tension” between the two roles, Mr Alcock replied that he didn’t believe there should be “friction, threats or tension between the two.”

Mr Alcock claimed that trade union members’ access to him as an official was “significantly restricted and intentionally so”.

A DOJ representative put it to Mr Alcock that secretly taping the meeting was a “breach of trust” and that he was “holding the recording as a threat”, which he denied.

Mr Alcock said it was a “protective measure by a senior trade union official who is being bullied, who had been threatened.”

He said that the entire senior management team at Maghaberry, bar one person, had been removed because of the CJI report rather than because of union membership.

Mr Alcock contended that other members of the management team had been moved within the Prison Service, while he was “removed from the Prison Service”.

He said he had turned down alternative roles offered to him by the DOJ because he felt it was an attempt to have him “voluntarily remove myself from the Prison Service and my role in the PGA”.

Under cross-examination, Counsel for Mr Alcock asked Mr Cawkwell about the evidence he had given to Stormont’s Justice Committee regarding the locking of the security grille at Maghaberry.

Mr Cawkwell said he had been “absolutely torn” when giving evidence about the closure of the grille, as the drive within the Prison Service to “normalise the relationships in dissident republican sections” meant getting the grilles unlocked.

He stated: “If I had said anything to the Justice Committee about this it would have been selling out the Deputy Governor at that time.

“I knew Maghaberry was brittle, the staff were brittle.”

Mr Cawkwell said his testimony was also based on keeping “the balance between the perceived power of the prisoners” and that of the staff.

He said he had been “very surprised” at the decision to close the grille, but that “I understood why once it was taken so I supported it”.

Counsel for Mr Alcock suggested Mr Cawkwell had given “false testimony” to the Justice Committee, but he denied this.

“The decision had been made and if I was looking at the after effects we had got away with it but it was not a risk I would have taken,” he replied.

“The opinion I gave to the Justice Committee was after the decision had been taken and I was able to evaluate the reaction in person regarding the staff and prison and it seems we got away with it.

“There are no right or wrong decisions in prison.

“Was it a decision I would have taken? No.”

Counsel for Mr Alcock said Mr Cawkwell was “prepared to say whatever is expedient and give false testimony,” which he denied.

The tribunal continues.

Female Prison officer attacked in Maghaberry Goal

A prison officer is being treated in hospital after being attacked at Maghaberry Prison in Co Antrim.

The woman, who is understood to be one of the newer officers, was taken to hospital after the incident involving a male inmate on Monday.

The prison officer is reported to have suffered a serious neck wound and was taken to the Ulster hospital.

Police have said her condition is not thought to be life-threatening.

It’s understood the woman was attacked with a weapon “made from a razor”.

The incident has been referred to the PSNI.

Adrian Smith from the Prison Officers Association (POA) told the Belfast Telegraph: “The woman has a three-inch gash below her left ear on the neck, it’s a pretty deep wound.

“Anybody knows the difficult and dangerous job that prison officers do and it’s getting more and more dangerous with cuts to prison service budget and staffing levels.

“Unfortunately things like this will happen more often.”

A Prison Service spokesperson said:  “A prison officer has suffered a serious injury following an assault by a prisoner in Maghaberry this afternoon. The Prison Service utterly condemns this attack and has referred the incident to the PSNI.”

Chief Inspector Jonathan Wilson said: “At approximately 5:47 pm this evening police received reports of an incident during which a female prison officer was assaulted.

“The prison officer was taken to hospital where her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.  Enquiries are ongoing.”

 

WOMAN TO STAND TRIAL IN RELATION TO BLACK MURDER

Fiona McFadden facing charge of supplying a false alibi

AN UNEMPLOYED single mother from Co Armagh is to stand trial in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black. 

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Fiona McFadden (29), of Killough Gardens, Lurgan, appeared at Belfast Crown Court yesterday for a brief arraignment hearing. She pleaded NOT GUILTY to a single charge that she supplied a false alibi to a murder suspect on the day after Mr Black was killed.The charge alleges that on November 3 2012 she “did an act which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice, namely, informed police officers investigating the murder of David Black that Sean McVeigh had been in her company at her address between 4pm and 9.30pm on the 31st day of October 2012”. T10407603_10152905296224225_7377460924209570123_nhe court heard her trial is expected to last a number of weeks. McFadden was released on continuing bail to await the fixing of a date for her trial later this year. Mr Black was shot dead on the M1 motorway in Co Armagh as he went to work (as a prison officer) at Maghaberry Prison in November 2012. The 52-year-old father-of-two was the first prison officer in the North of Ireland to be executed in almost 20 years. Sean McVeigh (33), of Victoria Road, Lurgan was charged at Craigavon Magistrates Court last February with the killing of Mr Black. He was further charged with possessing an assault rifle with the intent to endanger life. However, in July last year all the charges against him were dropped (Internment by Remand) he was not found guilty of any crime.

With many thanks to: The Irish News, for the orgional story.

And the British government say there’s no such thing as Internment by remand!!!!

Massive-Semtex-haul accused has case against him dropped.

A NORTH Belfast man accused of the largest Semtex in the last 10 years has had the case against him dropped.

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Prosecutors said they were withdrawing a charge that Thomas Hughes possessed explosives with intent to endanger life. The decision, confirmed at Belfast Magistrates Court, follows a reveiew of all available forensic evedince in the case. Mr Hughes (47), of Maeve House in the New Lodge area, was arrested after police discovered 2.5kg of Semtex at the apartment complex in May. It had been cut into two blocks and wrapped in clingfilm and tinfoil. Laytex gloves and knife suspected of having been used to divide the explosives were seized. Mr Hughes, originally from Scotland, was not in the property when police raided it. At a previous court hearing his lawyer described him as coming from a republican background, being a strong supporter of the peace process and being vehemently opposed to any dissident republican acivity. Following confirmation of the prosecution position on Friday District Judge Fiona Bagnall ordered the charge against him to be withdrawn. Mr Hughe’s solicitor Michael Madden said his client should  never have been before the courts.1959634_1435836603327232_393438256_n Mr Madden, of Madden and Finucane solicitors, said the hearing “marks the culmination of a sustained campaign of campaign of represtations at remand hearings for the Public Prosecution Service and the RUC/PSNI to serve evidence alleged to connect our client to the high explosives haul”. “This was a prosecution against Mr Hughes that should never have been brought,” he said. “We made strenuous objections both in Antrim Serious Crime Suite and our client’s first remand hearing as to the sufficiency and strength of the evidence said to properly ground this charge. “We are pleased that Mr Hughes can now look forward to putting this traumatic experience behind him and to getting back to his normal life.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News.

Shame Féin ‘ chief ‘ settles legal action against his former republican party

Another Shinner bites the dust

Former hunger striker took job bias case

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THE man once known as Shame Fein’s “chief executive” has settled a legal action against the former republican party.

The former hunger striker took the case on the grounds of discrimination for holding a political opinion, unfair dismissal and breach of contract. Shame Fein political director Leo Green (61) took the unprecedented employment case against the former republican party following his shock departure ahead of this year’s Ard Fheis. Reports that the former hunger striker had left the party were dismissed at the time, with the former republican party insisting Mr Green had renewed his membership just a month earlier. However, when The Irish News revealed that an official complaint had been lodged with the Office of the Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment, Shame Fein was forced to concede that it was being sued by a man who had been one of its most senior activists. His departure from Parliament Buildings coincided with that of fellow high-ranking party worker Jackie McMullan. Both men had been members of Shame Fein’s inner circle at Stormont since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement but it is thought a series of clashes over policy led to a parting of ways.

It has been suggested that Mr Green was involved in the original welfare reform negotiations with the DUP which  concluded with Shame Fein agreeing to adopt some aspects of the controversial benefits overhaul.10287020_10152038855156776_2125939663868135251_o However, it is thought that the party ditched this strategy under pressure form senior officials in the Republic, including party leader Gerry Adams. After Mr Green lodged his complaint against Shame Fein the former republican party said it would contest the case but a spokesman confirmed to this newspaper last night that the proceedings had been halted before the need for a tribunal. “We can confirm that the issues between Leo Green and Shame Fein have been resolved amicably on terms, which are confidential to both parties,” the spokesman said. “This matter is now concluded.” Mr Green, who was known unofficially as “Shame Fein’s chief executive”, initally worked at Stormont as a special adviser to the then health minister Bairbre de Brun before joining Martin (J118) McGuinness’s staff. The Lurgan man was jailed in the late 1970s for the murder of a police officer and spent 53 days on hunger strike in 1980. He was succeeded in his role at Parliament Buildings by former leading republican from Belfast Bobby Storey.

With many thanks to: John Manly, Political Correspondent, The Irish News, for the orgional story.

STOP THE TRAUMA INFLICTED ON TRUE IRISH REPUBLICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR CHILDREN

HELP STOP THE ABUSE AND HATRED

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directed towards the families and children of Irish Republican POWs

STOP THE HATRED NOW!

The Sectarian Hatred directed towards visitors of Irish Republican prisoners is palpable.

HELP SUPPORT THE DEPENDANTS OF IRISH POLITICAL PRISONERS

With many thanks to: Linda Pollender – IRNF

‘IRA’ claim letter bombs and warn of more attacks

‘The further deaths of prison staff is inevitability should the  Maghaberry situation not be resolved – ‘IRA’.

THE ‘IRA’ has claimed responsibility for two letter bombs addressed to prison officers at Maghaberry jail and has warned of further attacks.

‘The further deaths of prison staff is an inevitability should the Maghaberry situation not be resolved – ‘IRA’

The dissident republican group, which was formed in 2012 after a merger of the Real IRA, North-West-Based Republican Action Against Drugs and independent republicans from Mid Ulster, was behind the murder of prison officer David Black in November 2012. In a statement, using a recognised codeword, the ‘IRA’ stated that republican prisoners were subject to “degradation and torture” within the jail and said Mr Blacks murder was a “warning that has not been heeded”. “The further deaths of prison staff is an inevitability should the Maghaberry situation not to be resolved,” it said. The group claimed it was behind two letter bombs addressed to prison officers at Maghaberry and said they (the prison officers) “must be removed from Roe House immediately or face direct action from either inside or outside the jail”. “The IRA has the intelligence, capability, weaponry and volunteers at its disposal to take further actions against prison staff and management,” the statement said. “We will not be found wanting in that regard.” Meanwhile, The Irish News has learned the two letter bombs were sent from the same post box on the outskirts of Derry city. British army bomb-disposal experts were called in on Thursday and Friday when letters addressed to serving Maghaberry prison officers aroused the suspicions of postal staff at Derry’s Great James Street and Lisburn sorting offices. Both letters – which were subsequently found to contain viable devices – were posted at Woodlands on the northern outskirts of Derry, close to the border with Co Donegal.

Sources have said police beleived the Woodlands postal box was used because of its proximity to the border and for forensic reasons. It is beleived Woodlands was also used because those posting the letters would not be caught on CCTV cameras. “Many other letter boxes are in areas which are well covered by CCTV and therefore they would have been caught on camera,” a source told The Irish News. “This shows the ruthlessness of those behind the attack. They were willing to let postal workers carry highly dangerous material from Culmore [ adjacent to Woodlands ] into the sorting office,” The use of an isolated post box is further evidence of a new and emerging generation of dissident republicans who are technically more aware than their predecessors. Last week, The Irish News revealed security services used unmanned aerial drones to collect evidence against dissident republicans. It emerged that intelligence collected by drones was used in the case against Derry republican Tony Taylor. Tylor, (45) from Derry’s Bishop Street, was sentenced at Belfast Crown Court after pleading guilty to possession of a rifle in August 2011. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, with three years to be spent in custody and five on licence. The battle for technical superiority between the security services and dissident republicans has been growing since 2010 when officers highly trained in electronic surveilliance were deployed into the North of Ireland and in Derry. The officers are all members of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR). In an exclusive report in October 2010, The Irish News revealed a detachment of army intelligence special operations officers were sent to the city (Derry). Established in 2005, the SRR, is an intelligence support unit for the Special Air Service (SAS) and other similar units within the British military. The officers’ deployment in Derry has resulted in a number of spectacular successess in the city since 2010. They have included the interception of attacks, including the forced stop of a van containing four primed mortars in Derry’s Brandywell in March of last year.

With many thanks to: Claire Simpson and Seamus McKinney, The Irish News.

‘I was strip-searched 30 times. Held in the crucifix position and left lying debased and humiliated’

EIRIGI MAN TELLS HOW VISITS FROM SON (6) KEPT HIM GOING

REPUBLICAN ACTIVIST CLEARED AFTER 14 MONTHS

REPUBLICAN activist Stephen Murney says he endured repeated strip searches in a 14 month “living hell” behind bars.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday World within days of walking free, after being cleared of a raft of terrorist charges, the Eirigi press officer lifted the lid on the brutal prison regime which he described as physical and mental torture. “I was forcibly strip searched about 20 to 30 times when I was in there (Maghaberry),” he said. “Just before the searches were about to happen, I was taken into a room and asked if I was going to comply with a search, I would make it known I wouldn’t. “Then I was left in a room for about 15 minutes, a reflection period they would call it (the prison officers), in a cell by yourself. “Basically this was to get you worried, as you know what’s going to happen to you. The cell then opens and half a dozen screws (prison officers), the Riot Squad (ninja’s) as they are known in jail, enter the room in black boiler suits with utility belts and batons. You are standing in the cell, they stand around you. “One in front, grabbed me by the face, each one to the side grabbed me by the arms, and hold you out like a crucifix position.

Pushing

“The others behind me force me on my knees then pushed my face literally into the ground. At that point you are fully clothed, then they start removing your clothing. I didn’t put up resistance. “They held me in arm locks and pressure points and then left me lying on the ground, degraded and feeling humiliated. “And they never tell you what they are looking for,” explained Murney. He said the strip searches were unnecessary as the prison is equipped with an electronic BOSS chair that can detect any foreign item in the body. In a frank and open interview the Newry republican spoke of his determination to continue to fight for his political goals yet publicly backed a non-combatant approach to achieving a United Ireland. “Eirigi is engaging publicly and privately in relation to the futility of armed actions. “There are people who agree and disagree with our analysis and that is a range of all people, but I would support the party’s position,” said Mr Murney. However the former republican prisoner stopped short of condemning acts of violence carried out by other members of his group and the acts of dissident republican terror groups, including the murders of Constable Kerr and prison officer David Black. “The politics of condemnation never worked for 40 years. I am not going to jump on the bandwagon of condemnation now, but what I can say is that I do support armed groups and their actions. “There is a mjor misconception dissident activity equates to armed actions. Remember the dissidents of the Soviet Union were the toast of the West. “There is a whole raft of republicans of different shades who disagree with the status quo who don’t go out there with armed actions on their minds. “Former members of Shame Fein and the PIRA are coming out saying where they stand. Being a dissident does not necessarily equate with being involved in armed activity and Eirigi’s position on armed activity is clear as it was to Judge Philpott who has totally vindicated me and my party,” he added. Last Monday, Corrine Philpott QC, acquitted the Eirigi spokesman after six of the charges including possession of BB guns and combat styled clothing were thrown out in a no bill application. The final charge of taking and publishing photographs of PSNI/RUC officers on his Facebook account from the 2012 Olympic Torch run were also thrown out of by the Diplock court judge. Defending solicitor Darragh Macklin has now confirmed that he will be pursuing civil action for damages for his client. Speaking to the Sunday World Murney revealed how he coped with ‘crucifix styled’ strip searches and ill treatment during his 14 months on remand. His health has suffered, the visible toll on his physique can be seen in his significant loss in weight. The 30-year-old admits he experience proved to be a mental as well as physical “torture” following repeated, forced strip searches, sometimes twice a day. Murney was arrested in November 2012. He was offered bail of £1,000 bail with the conditions that he stayed out of Newry. He rejected the terms and continued to decline the condititions for a further year. “I have no doubt if I had accepted the bail I would have ended up breaching them through no fault of my own, and be on further charges. “The whole experience was hard on family, especially my six-year-old son Rhys. “He knew where I was and why, he knew the police had been harassing me for months before the raid. He was there in the house when the armed police raided my house at six in the morning,” he recalled.

Family

Viva la Palastine

It was the visits from his much loved son and the support of his family that kept him going through his darkest of hours. “As you can imagine I always looked forward to his visits. It was really difficult to say no to bail, but I had the support of my family. “My mother, Martina wrote to the Attorney General John Larkin, the NI Human Rights Commission, and the director of prosecutions to examine my case. So there was a campaign going on all the time. “We were being heard before I was arrested and we are continuing to be heard and that is what the British state tried to put a stop to by locking me away,” said Mr Murney. The position of the press officer is to continue his work with the political group in establishing a new electoral campaign North and South of the border. The socialist republican does say that a United Ireland is possible in his lifetime, but has said the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is living in “Cloud Cookoo Land”. “Martin McGuinness’ vision of a United Ireland by 2016 is just two years away, and in my opinion it is just not going to happen. “I would like to see it happen in my lifetime. Ireland has a wealth of natural reserves that is yet to be taped into, and just like Scotland voting on independence, it can happen here too. “We have already chosen candidates for the upcoming local council elections with two in Belfast and seven in the South. And we will be considering potentially sitting in the new Super Council of Newry, Mourne and Down. “Don’t forget I am an innocent man,  and I intend to pursue my political beliefs despite all that happened to me, said Mr Murney. In the same week as the Newry man walked out of Laganside courts to greet his party supporters, four fellow Eirigi members were sentenced to six years in jail at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin for possession of firearms and handguns. Trinity PhD student Ursula Shannon (30) of Clonsilla, Dublin and her co-accused John McGreal (37), from Rush, and Colin Brady (24), of Kinsealy, both Co. Dublin, were found guilty of the offences after a short trial. A fourth co-accused, John Troy (34) of Cabra, Dublin had pleaded guilty to the unlawful possecession of the same Taurus pistol, magazine, Walther P5 pistol and one ZGJY branded combined stun gun and flashlight on the same date. Stephen Murney stated it was not his place to condemn the actions of any republican.

With many thanks to: Paula Mackin, the Sunday World.

Email address: paula.mackin@nth.sundayworld.com

Oppose Irish Apartheid – Stand up to British State Oppression

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Derry Sceal

The British Injustice system today took a new turn.They now Intern people on promises of “possible” evidence. Not for them a transparent justice system with equality at the forefront but what else can we expect from a front loaded corrupt sectarian regime in a corrupt sectarian society. Silence as usual from the quislings who now accept the weighted system of British injustice unless it affects their own party members. The shouts and roars of “Political Policing” which emanate from them last only long enough for them to do their backroom deals, sort out their own and stick their heads firmly back in the sand so as not to have to answer the serious questions about the two tier society they have accepted for others but not themselves.

End Political Policing! End British Internment!End the wholly corrupt hierarchical sectarian British court system which accepts and furthers Political and religious Apartheid.

Oppose Irish Apartheid – Stand up to British State Oppression

End British Internment! Free “DD” McLaughlin

Beir Bua!! Neart le cheile

Maghaberry Prison -THE ONGOING NEGLECT AND TORTURE BEING INFLICTED ON Gary McDaid – Maghaberry Prison !!!!

END THE ABUSE IN MAGHABERRY

Derry Sceal

The ongoing Neglect and Torture inflicted on Gary McDaid

It has been brought to the attention of the IRPWA that Gary McDaid is suffering a debilitating illness within the walls of MagHaberry but has been informed by the authorities that he will not be receiving treatment as he is not a sentenced prisoner.

Gary suffers from a serious form of Glaucoma and there is a genetic family history of this disease which has led to family members suffering complete blindness.

The optician who was able to gain access to examine him stated that he had not seen such a rapid regression in one so young and without treatment, could lead to Gary losing his sight.His feet have also swollen to such an extent, he can’t put on shoes.

Last week saw charges against Gary for wrecking his cell. Any and all personal artifacts were removed including photographs of his children.

Gary is and has been on dirty protest as a result of the sectarian authorities within the gaol granting MI5 free reign to his cell to make approaches and mentally torture him.

He is existing in his own waste in solitary confinement with Loyalist prisoners being given access to bang on his cell door and shout threats consistently and this all appears to be part of a greater agenda by shadowy British crown forces to exert pressure on him through this form of torture.

His existence, ill, in a bare holding cell with a one inch rubber mattress and living with the stench and health implications through his protest, some would have you think had been consigned to history.

This is reality in 2013. This is British torture on Irish soil and typifies the age old disregard towards human rights for those not beholden to the British crown.

Help end the neglect in MagHaberry..Help highlight the ongoing injustices by a cruel British torture regime and those who back them.

Derry Sceal

Important – Please share

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