Category Archives: TAKE A STAND FOR YOUR COMMUNITY
A NORTH Belfast man has pleaded guilty to having an imitation gun and a statement from a group which threatened to “execute and exile” drug dealers in republican communitie.
Finbarr Kelly (36), from the Antrim Road, was due to go on trial at Belfast Crown Court on two charges but was rearraigned yesterday. He pleaded guilty to possession of an imatation firearm with intent and possession of articles likely to be of use to terrorists, namely a statement on behalf of the leadership of ‘Direct Action Against Drugs’ (DAAD). Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland released Kelly on continuing bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report and also a medical report. He is expected to be sentenced next month. No details of the case were given in court, but at an earlier bail hearing a senior judge was told that police stopped a car in Belfast in which Kelly was a passenger in September 2012. A search of the car revealed an imitation gun and hammer and police suspected an attack was imminent. A pellet-type weapon was discovered under a passenger seat of the Renault Scenic car. Two balaclavas, two pairs of gloves, a baseball bat and a claw hammer were also seized from the vehicle. The court was told that follow-up searches were carried out at Kelly’s home. Inside his Antrim Road home police discovered a document focusing on drug dealers within republican communities. It was claimed that Kelly’s fingerprint was found on the statement.
With many thanks to: The Irish News.
BRITAIN allowed firms to sell chemicals to Syria capable of being used to make nerve gas, we can reveal today.
Export licences for potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride were granted months after the bloody civil war in the Middle East began.
The chemical is capable of being used to make weapons such as sarin, thought to be the nerve gas used in the attack on a rebel-held Damascus suburb which killed nearly 1500 people, including 426 children, 10 days ago.
President Bashar Assad’s forces have been blamed for the attack, leading to calls for an armed response from the West.
The chemical export licences were granted by Business Secretary Vince Cable’s Department for
Business, Innovation and Skills last January – 10 months after the Syrian uprising began.
They were only revoked six months later, when the European Union imposed tough sanctions on Assad’s regime.
Yesterday, politicians and anti-arms trade campaigners urged Prime Minister David Cameron to explain why the licences were granted.
He said: “At best it has been negligent and at worst reckless to export material that could have been used to create chemical weapons.
“MPs will be horrified and furious that the UK Government has been allowing the sale of these
ingredients to Syria.
“What the hell were they doing granting a licence in the first place?
“I would like to know what investigations have been carried out to establish if any of this
material exported to Syria was subsequently used in the attacks on its own people.”
The SNP’s leader at Westminster, Angus Robertson MP, said: “I will be raising this in Parliament as soon as possible to find out what examination the UK Government made of where these chemicals were going and what they were to be used for.
“Approving the sale of chemicals which can be converted into lethal weapons during a civil war is a very serious issue.
“We need to know who these chemicals were sold to, why they were sold, and whether the UK Government were aware that the chemicals could potentially be used for chemical weapons.
“The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria makes a full explanation around these shady deals even more important.”
Mark Bitel of the Campaign Against Arms Trade (Scotland) said: “The UK Government claims to have an ethical policy on arms exports, but when it comes down to practice the reality is very different.
“The Government is hypocritical to talk about chemical weapons if it’s granting licences to companies to export to regimes such as Syria.
“We saw David Cameron, in the wake of the Arab Spring, rushing off to the Middle East with arms companies to promote business.”
Some details emerged in July of the UK’s sale of the chemicals to Syria but the crucial dates of the exports were withheld.
The Government have refused to identify the licence holders or say whether the licences were issued to one or two companies.
The chemicals are in powder form and highly toxic. The licences specified that they should be used for making aluminium structures such as window frames.
Professor Alastair Hay, an expert in environmental toxicology at Leeds University, said: “They have a variety of industrial uses.
“But when you’re making a nerve agent, you attach a fluoride element and that’s what gives it
its toxic properties.
“Fluoride is key to making these munitions.
“Whether these elements were used by Syria to make nerve agents is something only subsequent investigation will reveal.”
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “The UK Government operates one of the most rigorous arms export control regimes in the world.
“An export licence would not be granted where we assess there is a clear risk the goods might be used for internal repression, provoke or prolong conflict within a country, be used aggressively against another country or risk our national security.
“When circumstances change or new information comes to light, we can – and do – revoke licences where the proposed export is no longer consistent with the criteria.”
Assad’s regime have denied blame for the nerve gas attack, saying the accusations are “full of lies”. They have pointed the finger at rebels.
UN weapons inspectors investigating the atrocity left Damascus just before dawn yesterday and crossed into Lebanon after gathering evidence for four days.
They are now travelling to the Dutch HQ of the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons.
It could take up to two weeks for the results of tests on samples taken from victims of the attack, as well as from water, soil and shrapnel, to be revealed.
On Thursday night, Cameron referred to a Joint Intelligence Committee report on Assad’s use of chemical weapons as he tried in vain to persuade MPs to back military action. The report said the regime had used chemical weapons at least 14 times since last year.
Russian president Vladimir Putin yesterday attacked America’s stance and urged Obama to show evidence to the UN that Assad’s regime was guilty.
Russia and Iran are Syria’s staunchest allies. The Russians have given arms and military backing to Assad during the civil war which has claimed more than 100,000 lives.
Putin said it would be “utter nonsense” for Syria to provoke opponents and spark military
retaliation from the West by using chemical weapons.
But the White House, backed by the French government, remain convinced of Assad’s guilt, and Obama proposes “limited, narrow” military action to punish the regime.
He has the power to order a strike, but last night said he would seek approval from Congress.
Obama called the chemical attack “an assault on human dignity” and said: “We are prepared to strike whenever we choose.”
He added: “Our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive. It will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now.
“And I’m prepared to give that order.”
Some fear an attack on Syria will spark retaliation against US allies in the region, such
as Jordan, Turkey and Israel.
General Lord Dannatt, the former head of the British Army, described the Commons vote as a “victory for common sense and democracy”.
He added that the “drumbeat for war” had dwindled among the British public in recent days.
With many thanks to : Russell Findlay, Daily Record.
- Another Obama War: All signs point to Syria chemical attack being a false flag (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Syria Is Not the Threat… Cameron & Obama Are. (chrisspivey.co.uk)
GARDA commissioner Martin Calli an has warned paramilitary trappings will not be tolerated at any funerals in the Republic. He was speaking ahead of the funeral of Seamus McKenna (58) who died after falling from scaffolding while working on the roof of a property near Dundalk last week.
A member of Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH), Mr McKenna, was one of five men sued by relatives of some of the 29 people killed by the 1998 Omagh bomb which was carried out by the now defunct Real IRA. OOriginally from Silver bridge in Co Armagh, he was sentenced to six years for constructing a bomb in Co Louth in 2003.
Although not speaking specifically about McKenna’s funeral, commissioner Callinan said no paramilitary displays will be tolerated. Garda came in for criticism last year when masked men fired a volley of shots over the coffin of murdered republican Alan Ryan in Dublin. Uniformed men also flanked a hearse carrying the 32-year-old’s remains through the city. McKenna’s funeral is to be held in Ravensdale, Co Louth tommorow.
With many thanks to : The Irish News.
- FAMILIES OF IRA MEN EXECUTED BY THE SAS IN DERRY,TODAY ACCUSE MARTIN McGUINNESS OF BETRAYAL (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Black flags fly as dissident accused of Omagh atrocity dies in scaffold fall (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Shatter says Cabinet has signed off on Garda recruitment (irishtimes.com)
- IRA tribute to be banned from McKenna funeral (talkofthetown.ie)
- Omagh bomb suspect McKenna dies after fall (talkofthetown.ie)
- Onh Gang Behind West Belfast Shootings (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Arms Seized in Searches (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Omagh Bomber Can ‘Rot in Hell’, Says Victim’s Dad (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Garda Commissioner expresses ‘regret’ at handling of abuse claims in Murphy report (irishtimes.com)
Mark Anthony Bannon
Last week a whole movement began behind the albeit lighthearted “Justice for BOD”. 1000s of Irish people came together in a matter of days.
He is prepared to die for this, to die for Ireland like other martyrs such a Wolfe tone, Robert Emmet and all the other heroes from 1916 to Bobby Sands in the 80s. Yet there is very little media coverage, no one is protesting with him, where is the solidarity with our fellow countryman? He is an ordinary man, not a Marxist, not a hippie. He is a self employed tiler that is now penniless like most of us and cannot afford to live in the austerity and hardship we have been attacked with. Our friends and family are forced to emigrate, our children go to school with no lunch, our sick and elderly are denied their basic rights. Is this what The martyrs of 1916 died for? Did they give their life so that we may turn into a nation that is obedient and afraid of foreign countries, afraid of the lies the government feed us.
Everybody talks and gives out about the hardship the government puts on us but no one does anything. They treat us like fools, they laugh at how we accept the debt they have forced upon us, our children and our grandchildren yet we sit at home expecting someone else to take a stand. We must wake up. You must do, you must get out and protest, we can’t live like this anymore.
In the name of all the martyrs of Ireland it is time to remember that we are Irish, we are revolutionaries and we are not going to betray our nation anymore
- President says Anglo tapes do not reflect the views of the Irish people (irishtimes.com)
- Banks treated Irish people with contempt, says O’Malley (irishtimes.com)
- Just one in six Irish businesses views e-commerce as vital for growth (siliconrepublic.com)
- Ireland (g1312034.wordpress.com)
- Independence day… but not for Ireland. (politics.ie)
A DECISION to suspend a contribution by former British army head General Sir Michael Jackson to a Bloody Sunday video installation has been welcomed. A number of Bloody Sunday families complained when General Jackson’s comments were included in the ‘interpretative area’ at Derry‘s Guildhall.
The installation was put in place at the newly refurbished Guildhall to mark the fact that the building hosted the Seville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday. A spokeswoman for a number of the families, Kate Nash, said they were angered and insulted by his inclusion. Ms Nash’s brother, William was shot dead and her father, Alex was shot and wounded on Bloody Sunday. As adjutant to the Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday, then Captain Jackson drew up a ‘shoot list’ in the minutes after the killings which was used by the British government to brand the dead as gunmen and bombers. All Bloody Sunday victims were eventually exonerated by the Seville Inquiry. A spokeswoman said the installation has now been temporarily switched off as it was being reviewed. She said : “It is not presented as a chronology or insight into Bloody Sunday and there is no intention to offend any families involved.” Welcoming the move, Ms Nash said : “The other families I’m in contact with are delighted that has happened. I do have to say though I think its only a reprieve.” Ms Nash called on Derry City Council to consult with all Bloody Sunday families about what should go into the Guildhall interpretative area.
With many thanks to : Seamus McKinney, Irish News.
- US lauds Israel for efforts in combating trafficking – Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)
- Sunday Bloody Sunday (uofmusic.com)
- Insult to the Bloody Sunday Families !!!! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Bloody Sunday families seek ban on ‘vile’ cocktail (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Fury at London pub’s ‘Bloody Sundae’ cocktail topped with toy soldier (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Outrage at ‘Bloody Sunday’ cocktail (bbc.co.uk)
- London pub removes “sick” ‘Bloody Sundae’ cocktail from menu (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
Members of the Special Detective Unit searched a bussiness premises and arrested a man in his thirties in the Navan area. Gardai seized three pistols, assorted ammunition and “other paraphernalia,” according to a spokesman. The latest arrest comes just a week after three men were taken into custody in counties Meath and Louth with gardai recovering a 9mm handgun and seizing several vehicles. Two men, aged 49 and 30, later appeared before the Special Criminal Court charged in connection with suspected dissident republican activities.
With many thanks to : Irish News.
- Guns and explosives found during separate dissident searches (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Four arrested in dissident crackdown in border area (newsletter.co.uk)
- Woman arrested after weapons find (themexicanpost.wordpress.com)
- ‘New Ira’ Explosives Hide Smashed (belfastdaily.co.uk)
POLICE allowed Union Flag protesters to stage illegal marches into Belfast city centre every week for up to three months, the High Court heard on Wednesday. Lawyers for a nationalist resident claimed all those involved in the unnotified parades should have been arrested for criminal offences.
The PSNI operation undermined laws put in place to govern public processions in the North of Ireland, a judge was told. Legal proceedings have been brought over marches from east Belfast staged every Saturday from December until the end of February.Violence flared on several occoccasions as participants heading for City Hall to protest at a decision to limit the flying of the Union flag passed the Catholic Short Strand enclave. An uunidentified man, who lives in the area, is seeking to judicially review both the PSNI and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.
His legal team want a declaration that the failure of police to stop demonstrators travelling along the route breached parading legislation. Under the Public Processions (NI) Act 1998, brought in after major disorder across the North of Ireland linked to the Drumcree dispute, notification of marches must be given to the Parades Commission. The resident also claims his right to privacy was violated by the protests. The secretary of state has been drawn into the case due to her alleged failure to exercise powers to prohibit public processions. Earlier in the peoceedings an east Belfast woman who took part in the mass walks into the city centre was refused permission to intervene in the case. Opening the Short Strand man’s challenge, Karen Quinlivan QC said DVD footage shows PSNI landrovers at the front of the weekly marches, with more officers at the sides and rear. She told Mr Justice Treacy that police were “effectively escorting protesters to city hall”. Her contention was that the operation failed to either prevent an illegal parade or arrest those involved. “Those people who participated in these parades to Belfast City Hall on those dates were guilty of criminal offences, aside from any associated disorder,” she said.
Ms Quinlivan pointed out that responsibility for determinations on marches had passed from police to the Parades Commission. The barrister claimed the Public Processions Act had been “fundamentally undermined…. by the chief constable taking upon himself the role of deciding if parades should take place”. “Effectively police enabled loyalist protesters to reinstate the situation which was in place prior to the establishment of the Parades Commission,” she said. Senior counsel for the PSNI rejected the claim that marchers should have been subsequently arrested and prosecuted. According to Tony McGleenan QC it could have resulted charges being brought against tens of thousands of people. Mr Justice Treacy was told senior officers took into account resource constraints, political considerations, the wider community and risk to life. Concerns about paramilitary involvement and the prospect of action that could inflame violence also featured. “Police are clearly alive to the fact that in certain communities closely involved in these protests there have been very sinister elements orchestrating protests.” The hearing continues.
- Police ‘allowed illegal Belfast Union flag protests to go ahead’ (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Residents Groups Criticise Parades Talks in Cardiff ! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Loyalist plan to submit 100s of parade applications (newsletter.co.uk)
- Protests policing ‘not tough enough’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Revealed: Loyalists Plan Ardoyne Stand-off Over Twelfth Parade (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- 15 Band Members Charged Over Tune Played Outside Catholic Church (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
‘We are just not getting the cooperation we require - Simon O’Brien.
STATE investigators probing alleged Garda wrongdoing have accused the force of not cooperating with them. The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Comnission (GSOC) said it had no option but to go public .th its frustrations over “unacceptable” delays and the refusal of officers to hand over documents crucial to its inquires.
Simon O’Brien, chairman of the watchdog, suggested the behaviour of tProtocols would not be tolerated within police forces in other countries. “I was a senior police officer in London’s Metropolitan Police. I was there for 32 years,” he said. “Certainly if a request for information came to me from IPCC [Independent Police Complaints Commission]…. then boxes of documents would be handed over in the morning to IPCC investigators.” Mr O’Brien said he had been having top-level talks over thei past year and a half which have still not resolved the Garda’s lack of cooperation. He said he would not have gone public if the problem was not widescale but he said it was clear there were “systemic” issues in the force that had stymied the commission’s work. “We are just not getting the cooperation we require,” he said. “The numbers speak for themselves.” The commision’s annual report reveals a number of cases where the Garda refused to hand over documents, gave only limited access to files or delayed giving any requested details.
On one occasion, the commission had to wait 542 days for a peice of information to be handed over during an inquiry. Mr O’Brein said it was often routine requests for basic information that were being obstructed. “We are not just talking about performance, safety, state security,” he said. “This is your mother, your son or daughter making a complaint about the Garda, possibly, and awaiting an inordinate amount of time for that complaint to be resolved.” Protocals agreed in 2007 compel the Garda to hand over documents to the watchdog within 30 days. Mr O’Brien said this deadline was adhered to in only a small number of cases. The commission also said it was greatly concerned that nearly three quarters of the force’s 567 internal investigations into alleged wrongdoing last year were taking longer than the 12-week timeline for such inquires. Of those, 21 have been dragging on for two years or more. Mr O’Brien said the watchdog had powers to enforce its role. He said the commission would rather not arrest officers or raid Garda stations but such action was possible in the furture. “I do not wish to be sitting on this platform again next year saying things have not improved,” he said. Garda commissioner Martin Callinan said he had set up a new office and email address to deal with ombudsman commission requests. On the internal inquires, he said both sides agreed it was usaally not possible to meet the 12-week timeline and talks were continuing about extending the deadlines to between 16 and 24 weeks.
With many thanks to : Brian Hutton, Irish News.
- Shatter intervenes in row between Garda Commissioner and Ombudsman (irishtimes.com)
- Gardaí criticised in inquiry into handling of informer (irishtimes.com)
- Ombudsman’s criticism will do little for troubled relationship with the force (irishtimes.com)
- Paul Reynolds- rte news aka garda spokesperson (politics.ie)
- PAC draws blood from top cop (independent.ie)