THREE of the most high-profile republicans in the North of Ireland appearing in court together was always going to attract a huge amount of attention and it was standing room only in court 10 at Belfast’s Laganside complex on Tuesday.
Co Armagh man Colin Duffy was joined in the dock by Harry Fitzsimmons, only recently released from Maghaberry Gaol after serving a sentence for abducting Bobby Tohill in 2004, along with Alec McCrory, a long-serving IRA prisoner and ‘blanket man’. The trio face a series of charges including involvement in a dissident Republican gun attack on police vehicles in North Belfast earlier this month. A Kalashnikov-style weapon was recovered during a follow-up search of the Ardoyne area following the shooting on December 5. The public gallery was packed to capacity with family members and supporters. Several loyalists charged in connection with July 12 violence appeared nervous as charges were put to them with such a large republican audience looking on. Recognisable faces among the supporters were Coalisland man Kevin Barry Murphy, North Belfast republican Brendan Conway and independent councillor Angela Nelson. Dressed casually when brought up from the court’s holding cells to the dock, the three accused remained impassive throughout the short hearing. They refused to stand while charges were read out and refused to answer when they were put to them. A detective said he could connect the accused to the offences. The men’s solicitors said they would not be applying for bail at this time. The hearing lasted less than five minutes, and as the three were taken back into custody supporters in the public gallery clapped and cheered. Magistrate Fiona Bagnall ordered the court be cleared. There was a heavy police presence outside the courthouse as the three were taken from the court to Maghaberry Gaol in a blacked-out prison van.
With many thanks to: Allison Morris, The Irish News
Arguably the most recognisable face of anti-agreement republicanism, the Co Armagh man was acquitted in January 2012 of the murder of two British soldiers at Massereene army base in Co Antrim in 2009, having served a lengthy period on remand. In 1993 he was convicted of the PIRA murder of UDA man John Lyness but was acquitted on appeal. The 47-year-old was also detained followng the IRA murders of constable David Johnson and John Graham in Lurgan in June 1997, shortly before the second IRA ceasefire but the charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence. In November last year he was arrested by detectives investigating the murder of prison officer David Black but was released without charge. His most recent arrest was in May of this year when he was qustioned about dissident republican activity before being released unconditionally. Once the most senior member of Shame Fein in the Lurgan area the hard line republican left the party prior to the decision to endorse policing. He was briefly a member of eirigi, but left the party shortly before his arrest for the Massereene attack.
The West Belfast man served two periods of imprisonment for the Provisional IRA. He was one of the youngest prisoners to join the blanket protest after being jailed in 1978 at the age of 17. He was imprisoned for a second time in the 1980s and served 14 years for possession of a bomb. In 2011 he was the first person in the North of Ireland to make an offcial complaint to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal over what he claimed were repeated attempts by MI5 to recruit him as an agent. More recently he has acted as a spokesman for republican prisoners held in Maghaberry.
HE was released from prison in May of this year after serving a jail term for the abduction of dissident Bobby Tohill in 2004 from a Belfast city centre bar. Tohill was rescued by police who rammed the van he was being carried in, he later refused to give evidence against his abductors. The event nearly jeopardized the Peace Process as the Provos were on ceasefire at the time. Fitzsimmons and his co accused went on the run in 2006 while awaiting sentencing, he was extradited to the North after being arrested in Dundalk in November 2009. While in Maghaberry he spent most of his sentence on protest against the prison regime. He was arrested last month and questioned about the murder of drug dealer Kevin Kearney but was released without charge. Since being released he had been living in North Belfast, however, after receiving death threats his address was given on Tuesday as of ‘no fixed abode’.
Court told of recon against police and prison officers
Prosecutors said reconnaissance was used against police and prison staff, including a governer, over a two-year period. Suspects drove past one target’s home more than 50 times in eight days, a judge was told. Details emerged as one of three men accused of a plot to bomb and killwas refused bal. Damien Duffy (43), of Campbell Walk in Lurgan, Co Armagh, is charged with conspiracy to murder, conspiring to cause an explosion and collecting iformation likely to be used to terrorists. He was arrested in May last year after a nine-month police iinvestigation involving surveillance, tracking and covert recordings. The alleged offences, stretching back to November 2009, relate to police and prison officers ‘ movements in the Lurgan and Craigavon areas, their addresses and routes taken to and from work. A prosecution barrister said audio recordings showed the Kilmore Road and Cottage Road junction in Lurgan was to be used for a mortar-bomb attack on security forces. The location is on a route regularly used by police and prison staff, the court heard. Alleged discussions between the suspects including references to lines of sight, getting angles right and breaking cover. The barrister said attack planning was carried out on two identified prison officers as they came and went to Maghaberry Prison in Co Antrim.
Lord Justice Coghlin was told that the governor’s home in a rural setting was passed several times for no apparent legitimate reason. The barrister said two of the accused scouted one officer’s home on 54 occasions – including 21 times in a 90-minute period. According to police, anti surveillance techniques and U-turns were performed. Discussions about the areas for carrying out an attack, escape routes and “giving it 20 seconds to get down there” were recorded, the court heard. It was accepted that forensic analysis of the audio recordings was unable to attribute any of the remarks to Duffy. However, the court was told independent witnesses said he had been in the car used during the alleged offences. Mark Mulholland QC, defending, said Duffy should be released due to the “paucity” of evidence and delays in processing the case. “The starting point is what can be aattributed to this accused and at no time is there any express reference to targeting, weaponry or anything of that nature,” he said. “What appears to be a case grounded principally on what can be inferred or speculated was at hand does not pass muster. “In the period of time the accused was under surveillance, whatever was being suggested by the prosecution absolutely nothing happened.” Lord Justice Coghlin said an explanation would eventually have to be given. Separating terrorist offences from other crimes, he said: “It’s nothing whatever to do with the political beliefs of those charged. “It’s to do with a very small group of people who are not prepared to take part in a democracy but wish to achieve what they beleive to be some firm of political end by killing and injuring people. “In cases of terrorism the offence is driven by a warped political ideology. Therefore there is a significantly higher risk of further offences.”
With many thanks to : The Irish News.
- Mortar bomb attack ‘planned to target security force vehicle in Co Armagh’ (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Mortar ‘had helicopter target’ (standard.co.uk)
‘ The one thing she insisted on was that nobody would try to take revenge for the loss of her sons – Eugene Reavey
A SOUTH Armagh woman whose three sons were shot dead by loyalists during the Troubles has been described as an “inspiration” after she passed away eearlier this week. Sadie Reavey died peacefully in Daisy Hill hospital overnight on Monday surrounded by members of her family.
Three of Mrs Reavey’s sons, John (24), Brian (22) and Anthony (17), died after being shot by loyalists during an ambush on their White cross home in 1976. The murders were committed by the notorious loyalist the Glenanne Gang, which included members of the UVF, UDR and RUC. No-one has ever been charged in connection with the murders. Mrs Reavey suffered more heartache when her husband Jimmy died prematurely in 1981. There was yet more tragedy for the south Armagh woman in 1994 when her daughter Una McKenna died after losing a battle with cancer aged just 31. Mrs Reavey’s son Eugene last night said his mother always carried her grief with dignity. “She was a very strong person and a lot of people got a lot of inspiration from her over the years,” he said. “The one thing she insisted on was that nobody would try to take revenge for the loss of her sons.” Mr Reavey described his mother as a “descent woman” who was “well thought of” by neighbours and friends.
“Her life was a life well lived. She had a very strong faith and she would have prayed all day and all night,” he said. “That’s what got her through all those bad times.”She went to help other people to deal with her own ccommunity.” Former deputy first minister Seamus Mall on knew Mrs Reavey for many years. “She was a remarkably fine woman who withstood the agony of the murder of her three sons,” he said. “She always showed dignity and herself and her husband Jimmy were an example to the entire community in the way in which they dealt with the murder of their three sons.” Mr MMall on said Mrs Reavey was an example to others. “She was a tolerant woman and a person in the community that people admired respected and loved.” Earlier this year Mrs Reavey was visited in her home by shadow secretary of state Vernon Croaker. Mr Croaker also meet 90-year-old Mary O’Hare, whose daughter MA Ella was shot dead by British soldiers near Whitecross as she made her way to church in 1976. After the meeting Mr Croaker said both woman had handled their “grief with great dignity and compassion”. Requiem Mass for Mrs Reavey will be celebrated at St Brigids‘s Church, Whitecross, at 11am tommorow.
With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.
- Mother of murdered brothers dies (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
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Cumann Sean MacEachaidh
The Repatriate Michael Campbell Campaign.
1st July 2013.
Organised and mobilized. (Ard Mhacha Abú)
Armagh’s emphatic 2-21 – 0-02 victory over Wicklow at the Counties Athletic Grounds yesterday was not the only locally cultivated success in the city to be lauded.
Up to 30 members of The Repatriate Michael Campbell Campaign exploited the influx of GAA supporters and media personnel in to Armagh and staged a picket and information point highlighting the denials of Michael Campbell’s human rights, rights as an Irish Citizen and his right to come home and to serve his sentence on Irish Soil.
Over 3000 leaflets were distributed to an extremely responsive crowd and the campaign group were inundated with requests from both sets of supporters and neutrals, for further information and contact points for the future.
Local MLA’s Councillors and MP’s attending the game accepted leaflets from the group who covered all entry points to the stadium. All those who we interacted with, were respectful and courteous and when implored to consider the campaign most, if not all, committed to do so.
Today saw cohesion succeed with activists from all over county Armagh connecting and it is these efforts that will prove most successful in the weeks to come. We cannot thank all of those who helped out today enough.
It must be remembered, not diminishing Armagh’s victory, that this was a Qualifier and not billed as a Major Championship game, however the response was magnificent and we can now expect even greater things to follow on our next outing, so join in and become a part of this campaign as it rolls out.
The official campaign leaflet text is available to copy and paste on this page, or the actual leaflet and generic posters are available and can be printed from here.
This is a good cause and it will result in a victory for Human Rights. Share in that victory. Bring Michael Campbell Home!! (12 photos)
- THE MICHAEL CAMPBELL CAMPAIGN APPEAL BEGAN TODAY ( 15th MAY ) (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- GAA | Football Qualifier Draw (thejournalist.ie)
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‘ The defendent raised his voice again referring to an officer a southerner and a Provo – PSNI witness.
LOYALIST campaigner Willie Frazer was freed again on Tuesday despite being held to have breached bail terms and labelling an arresting officer “a Provo“. A judge released the 53-year-old with a warning that he cannot continue to flout conditions imposed on him.
Frazer, from Markethill, Co Armagh, was arrested on Monday night following a protest against plans to build a peace centre at the site of the former Maze prison. He is currently on bail charged with encouraging offences by an address the Union Flag demonstrarors in January. Frazer is also accused of three counts of taking part in an unnotified public procession, obstructing traffic in a public place, and possession of a prohibited weapon, namely a Taser stun-gun. In March he was granted bail on a series of tight conditions. They included an order not to make any public speeches or social media comments connected to the flag dispute, or being within two miles of public protests, demonstrations or processions. Police detailed three incidents in the last week which culminated in him being arrested on the motorway near Craigavon and taken into custody.
Belfast Magistrates Court heard he was first seen in a car in Tandragee on June 13 about half a mile from where a small group of Union Flag protesters had gathered. After being spoken to by an officer he produced a recording device and asked him to repeat what he had said, according to police. A day later he was spotted driving in Rathfriland where a loyalist band parade was being held. Frazer was eventually detained following a protest at the site of the former Maze Prison on Monday. Five people were there to protest against plans to build a peace centre at the location. Union Flags and a placard stating “terrorist shrine” were observed at the scene, the court heard. Frazer was arrested more than 10 miles away, allegedly refusing at first to get out of his car. A struggle began after handcuffs were used, with two officers needed to remove him from the vehicle. A constable told the court : “The defendant raised his voice and began referring to an officer as a southerner and a Provo.” Maze protest leaflets and a camcorder were seized from the car.
As Frazer’s wife Ann joined other supporters in the public gallery, defence counsel Richard Smyth said none of the alleged bail breaches were accepted. He said his client had chanced upon the first protest and band parade while out in his car. Frazer had then arranged to meet a journalist at the Maze half an hour before a planned demonstration by others to ensure he did not flout release conditions, the barrister contended. “When he was finishing off the interveiw two or three cars pulled up, he says six people got out, there was brief pleasantries exchanged and then got in his car and left,” Mr Smyth added. District Judge George Conner observed that the campaigner seemed to be attracted to protests either “telepathically or otherwise”. Although Frazer was held to be in breach of his release conditions, Mr Conner ruled he could be granted bail again. The judge warned : “He must realise he cannot continue to flout the posititon, which is what I think is going on.”
With thanks to : Irish News.
- Police fail to gag loyalist campaigner Willie Frazer (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Frazer Arrested After Maze Protest (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Willie Frazer ‘arrested’ at Maze Prison (newsletter.co.uk)
- Willie Frazer ‘was not at protest’ (newsletter.co.uk)
- Willie Frazer Arrested Over Protest at Maze Prison Site (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Willie Frazer ‘breached bail three times in past week’ (newsletter.co.uk)
- End of Union As Loyalist Party Loses Key Figures (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
Police say girl was sexually assaulted
A BAIL hearing of a man charged with abducting and sexually assaulting a 7-year-old child was held in his absence yesterday after he refused to enter the dock. David Paige (42) gave his address as a hostel in Belfast, but he has been living in Lurgan, Co Armagh.
He was restrained by prison officers as he tried to turn away from the dock at Craigavon Magistrates Court. He has also been charged with breaching a sexual prevention order. The charges relate to an incident in Albert Street, Lurgan, on Tuesday. The district judge later agreed to hear the bail application in Paige’s absence. A detective constable alleged Peige had intercepted a girl as she was walking home from a friends house on Tuesday and persuaded her to enter his house at Albert Avenue and then sexually assulted her. The court heard the girl told the accused she wanted to leave but claimed that Paige got “very angry” and told her that if she said to he mother and father what had happened she would never be allowed back into his house. The court heard the girl told her father who in turn contacted police. The detective said that the windows of Paige’s home were smashed the same evening and he was taken away by police for his own safety. He was later arrested. Paige is already the subject of a sexual prevention order that forbids him having contact with children. He was refused bail and is to appear again via video link next month.
Meanwhile a 25-year-old man has appeared in court in Banbridge charged with a number of sexual offences against children, including rape. Andrew Trevor Williamson, from Dromore Street, Banbridge, was chargec with two counts of raping a girl who was under the age of 16.
He faces seven charges in total, including sexual activity with another girl under 16, grooming and trafficing within the UK for sexual exploitation. Armagh Magistrates Court was told that all the alleged offences took place in locations in Co Down and Co Armagh between June 2012 and January 2013. He was remanded in custody to appear via video link at Newry Magistrates Court on May 23.
79-year-old due in court
A 79-year-old man is due to appear before Downpatrik Magistrates Court on June 6 charged with a total of 21 offences, including seven counts of indecent assault and gross indecency. He is also charged with seven counts of cruelty and seven of assault occaisoning actual bodily harm. The charges relate to historical offences that occurred in the Downpatrick and greater Belfast areas between 1966 and the present and are understood to involve a number of people.
With many thanks to : Irish News.
- Man Remanded Over Child Sex Assault (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Man is charged with child sex attack (bbc.co.uk)
- Man to Face Court Over Child Sex Assault and Abduction (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Man on rape and child sex charges (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Man due in court on child abduction charge (newsletter.co.uk)
ANOTHER Prisoner at Maghaberry Jail in Co AAn trim has been found dead.
Geoffrey Singleton, 42, from the Armagh area, was found collapsed in his ccell on Monday. He was pronounced dead after being moved to an ambulance,
It is understood he took his own life. The police, coroner and prisoner ombudsman have been informed, The ddirector general of the Prison Service, Sue McAlluster, has offered her condolences to his family and friends.
- Delay Reaching Prisoner May Have Caused Brain Damage (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
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BBin blast as police probe ‘ illegal parade ‘ reports
DISSIDENTS have been blamed for planting a bomb which eexploded without warning while police investigated reports of an illegal Republican parade.
The blast occurred in the Kilwilkie estate in Lurgan, Co Armagh, at about 3pm on Saturday as masked republicans in paramilitary uniform held an Easter commemoration in St Colman’s cemetery. Masked Continuity IRA members marched from thr estate to the graveyard watched by a British army helicopter and police. Two armoured police Land Rovers were parked close to the scene of the explosion. Shrapnel and debris were scattered over a large distence but officers inside the vehicles were uninjured. The device, described by police as crude, detonated inside a litter bin on Levin Road as a crowd gathered to hear a spokesman for the republican faction give a speech which called $hame £ein ” traitors “. Wearing a green army-style jersey, black gloves and beret, sunglasses and with his face covered by a scarf, the spokesman spoke into into a microphone to praise republican prisoners as ” an inspiration “.
Hours after the blast detectives from the PSNI/RUC’s serious crime branch arrested a 46-year-old man in Lurgan in connection with the attack. He was questioned at Antrim Police Station but was released without charge last night. Early yesterday youths in Kilwilkie threw petrol bombs at police patrols. Saturday’s bomb went off close to Lake Street – the scene of intense and sporadic rioting in recent years. It is also the area where the republican splinter group is beleived to have launched high-profile attacks in recent years. Chief Inspector Anthony McNally said : ” We want to reassure the community that we will not be deterred by this attack by individuals intent on dragging us back into the past.” $inn £ein Upper Bann MLA John O’Dowd said the attack was an attemt to kill police. ” ” These so-called dissidents need to come out and explain exactly why they are doing this. The planting of this device along a busy road on one of the busiest days of the year was not only callous – it was stupid,” he said. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness condemned the attack during his Easter oration to republicans in Dublin. He branded those responsable anti-peace process militarible. Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn said most people would be ” outraged ” by the attack.
With many thanks to : Andrea McKernon, Irish News.
- Dissident Ex-prisoner Has Release License Revoked (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Murder Bid Probe on Police in Lurgan Bin Bomb Blast (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- DISSIDENTS BLAMED FOR PAINT-BOMB ATTACK ON McGUINNESS’S DERRY HOME (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Lurgan bin ambush could have killed anyone, say police (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Dissident groups ‘outdo each other’ (bbc.co.uk)
R.N.U. Armagh invite all republicans to an Easter wreath laying ceremony at the graveside of I.R.A. Óglach Eddie Dynes
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