Terror Trial: Defence dispute quality and veracity of MI5 video footage

Alex McCrory

The non-jury Diplock-style trial of three men allegedly secretly filmed by MI5 agents was yesterday shown two short clips taken in the grounds of a Co Armagh park on December 6, 2013, the day after a murder bid on police in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast.

Colin Duffy

The prosecution claim that the recording is of Colin Francis Duffy (51), Henry Fitzsimons (50) and Alex McCrory (57), whose addresses can’t be reported at this time.

Between them the trio deny preparing and directing terrorism and membership or professing to be members of the IRA.

Henry Fitzsimmons (50)

Fitzsimons and McCrory also deny attempting to murder police in the Ardoyne convoy and possessing of the two AK47 assault rifles and ammunition used in the gun attack.

The defence in the Belfast Crown Court trial, who claim the recordings are of “very poor quality”, have already told trial judge Mr Justice O’Hara that they intend to challenge the admissibility of the video content. They even suggested that it was impossible to make any identification in two of the cases.

They again repeated their objections yesterday to the surveillance footage, telling the court, while the prosecution claim the recordings, were made on December 6, 2013, and an hour apart, it was not accepted by the defence without proof of proper timing and continuity.

The two pieces of video, lasting approximately 20 seconds in each case, were allegedly taken from a video camera positioned in the laneway at the entrance of Demense House, Lurgan, looking in the direction of main road.

The black and white footage initially shows a parked car in the background of what appears to be the entrance of a tree-lined avenue with passing traffic. From the left-hand side of the screen three men, one a little stout, the others of average size and build, appear.

They are seen, growing ever larger, as they walk, one of them apparently with a slight limp, towards the direction of the hidden camera. Eventually they exit screen left. One hour later, according to the prosecution, the same three men are captured on tape again.

This time, their backs to the viewfinder, three men, similarly dressed, are filmed walking back down the laneway, until they reach the entrance, turning left, back the way they allegedly came.

MI5 operatives who deployed the surveillance camera have refused to say anything “on the grounds of national security”, about their workings, or even when they were put in place, save that it occurred “on or before December 6, 2013”.

However, the team leader of the group of agents responsible for setting up the covert device has disputed defence claims about the quality of the black and white footage, claiming it was “pretty clear”.

At hearing.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Michael Donnelly for the original story

RUC/PSNI murder plot discussion apparently ‘recorded by MI5’

Colin Duffy, 51, is accused of directing terrorism and being a member of the IRA

An undercover MI5 agent has told a court of how recordings were made of three men allegedly discussing a failed murder attempt on police.

Colin Duffy, 51, Henry Fitzsimons, 50, and 57-year-old Alex McCrory are on trial at Belfast Crown Court.

They face a range of terrorist-related offences connected to a gun attack on the PSNI in 2013.

All three men deny preparing and directing terrorism and being in the IRA.

Mr Fitzsimons and Mr McCrory also deny attempting to murder police and possession of two AK47 assault rifles and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

The charges relate to a gun attack on a police convoy in the Crumlin Road area of Belfast on 5 December 2013.

On Tuesday, the court heard evidence from the MI5 officer, known as witness 9281, on video and audio surveillance carried out on three men in December 2013.

Harry Fitzsimmons, 50, is accused of attempting to murder members of the RUC/PSNI Image copyright © PACEMAKER

However, before the witness was sworn in, defence lawyers said they would be seeking to exclude three audio exhibits.

They said the exhibits were at the centre of the prosecution case.

Speaking from behind a curtain, the MI5 officer said he placed 15 audio devices at a park in Lurgan in December 2013.

The security service officer also confirmed he placed video recording equipment and that its images were transmitted directly to MI5.

‘Grounds of national security’
He was asked by a defence lawyer about a statement he made saying he replaced one of the audio devices.

However, in cross-examination, he said he placed all 15 audio devices at the same time.

When asked about the technical details of the devices and their recording capabilities, he replied a number of times: “I am not sure I can answer that on the grounds of national security.”

Alex McCorey, 57, is accused of attempting to murder members of the RUC/PSNI Image copyright © PACEMAKER

The judge, sitting without a jury in the Diplock-style trial, has heard the surveillance operation was carried out the day after the gun attack on a police convoy in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast, in which 14 shots were fired at a three-vehicle patrol by two gunmen.

At an earlier hearing, the prosecution claimed the accused can be identified from the covert video footage and from an hour-long audio recording of them as they talked in a public park in Lurgan, known as Demesne Park.

Prosecution case
It is the prosecution’s case that an analysis of the audio recordings by two voice recognition experts provided strong to moderately strong support that the defendants were those captured discussing how to go forward “in light of Ardoyne, and how the leadership were regrouping”.

The prosecution lawyer further alleged this was supported by the video recordings, as the clothing worn by the three suspects in the Demense Park were similar to that seized from the defendants following their arrests.

“The prosecution case is that the three men present and recorded talking in Demense Lane are Duffy, Fitzsimons and McCrory,” counsel claimed.

“The three defendants are close associates and have been seen together by police prior to the meeting and are also friends,” added the lawyer, who further claimed the men spoke using their first names.

Further proof
The voice analysis evidence of the conversation, which the prosecution alleged was not a “normal one” as it involved “an operation which had not gone to plan, and the failings and difficulties in arming a terrorist organisation”, was further proof of the men’s guilt.

The prosecution told the court the men’s discussions lasted almost an hour and “related almost exclusively to terrorism… there was no discussion about everyday issues”.

The trial continues.

With many thanks to: BBCNI and Dan Stanton for the original story

Arrest fears may keep son of INLA chief Dominic McGlinchey from funeral of brother – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Declan and Dominic jnr McGlinchey


Declan McGlinchey, lays a wreath at the Easter commemoration - Easter Saturday 2015.


Sappers - Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar, murdered during the Massereene attack
Declan McGlinchey - 38-year's-old.

Declan McGlinchey was on path to peace before his sudden death, say family – The Irish News

Declan Mc Glinchey - Requiem Mass in Bellaghy on Wednesday at the Church of St Mary at 11am.


Mary McGlinchey
Dominic McGlinchey

For more information click on the link below:
http:// https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_McGlinchey

Unprecedented level of spying used against dissident trio accused of police murder plot.

Even their cloths were bugged

THREE leading dissident republicans charged with conspiracy to murder were subject to covert surveillance on an unprecedented scale, The Irish News has learned.

Colin Duffy, Alec McMcrory, and Harry Fitzsimmons appeared in court this week accused of paramilitary offences. No details were given of the evidence against them. However, it is understood that all three have been under a lengthy period of sophisticated surveillance with MI5 assisting the PSNI/RUC in tracking their movements. The levels of monitoring were unprecedented in scale and included the placing of tiny listening devices in items of clothing. Tracking devices were also used and open spaces – including a green in Co Armagh were Duffy (46) was known to frequently walk – were fitted with hidden spying technology. Gardai have also been assisting the PSNI/RUC as part of a cross-border crackdown on dissidents, monitoring suspects when they travelled to the Republic.

A house in Co Louth visited by Duffy and former IRA prisoner McCrory (52) is believed to have been under surveillance and fitted with listening devices. Under Home Office guidelines authorisation for ‘intrusive ssurveillance’ must be given by the secretary of state and can be granted for periods of six months at a time, providing its use is in the interests of ‘national security’. Although covertly gathered evidence has been used in the North of Ireland in the past, the monitoring surrounding Duffy is on a level never seen before. During the trial of teenager John Paul Wotton for the murder of Constable Stephen Carroll the court was told a military tracking device had been fitted to his vehicle. On Monday a workman in Craigavon, Co Armagh, found a military tracking device under the wheel arch of his van. This week Duffy, Fitzsimmons and McCrory were each charged with conspiracy to murder, conspiring to possess firearms and explosives with intent to endanger life and belonging to a proscribed organisation. McCrory and Fitzsimmons were also accused of involvement  in a gun attack on Crumlin Road in North Belfast on December 5 and possession of a firearm with intent. The offences cover a period between January 1 and December 16 this year, although Fitzsimmons (45) was only freed from prison in May after serving a jail term for the attempted kidnapping of Bobby To hill in 2004. The trio did not seek bail.

With many thanks to: Allison Morris, The Irish News.

Related articles

Standing room only as accused appear

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

Colin Duffy


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.

Alec McCrory


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.

Harry Fitzsimmons


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’.

Top dissident republicans taken off the streets

British Internment alive and ongoing in the 32 Counties of Ireland !!!

THREE of the North’s most senior dissident republicans have been taken off the streets after a second Belfast city centre attack. With a manhunt under way on both sides of the border for a firebomber injured by his own device, the three dissident chiefs were charged on Tuesday with an array of serious offences.

Colin Duffy, Alec McCrory and Harry Fitzsimmons all have a history of republican activism dating back to the Provisional IRA. Dissident republicans have been particularly active in the run-up to Christmas with shots fired at police in North and West Belfast, a bomb left in an entertainment area of the city on one of the busiest nights of the year and an attempt on Monday to firebomb a city centre shop. The trio, in their forties and fifties, were arrested on Sunday, 48 hours after a bomb exploded in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter while it was packed with Christmas parties. Duffy is accused of IRA membership and plotting to murder security-force members. McCrory and Fitzimmons are charged with attempting to murder police officers travelling on Crumlin Road in North Belfast on December 5. All three are also charged with conspiracy to possess firearms and explosives with intent to endanger life and belonging to a proscribed organisation. McCrory and Fitzisimmons face further charges of aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm. The alleged offences cover a period between January 1 and December 16 this year.

Amid heavy security at Belfast Magistrates Court, supporters of the three accused packed the public gallery on Tuesday. At one stage the defendents declined to stand up as some of the charges were put to them. A detective said he could connect them to the charges and no applications for bail were made during the short hearing. The trio waved at friends who clapped as they were remanded in custody to appear again by videolink in four weeks’ time. Meanwhile, two arrests were made outside the court complex as tensions heightened briefly. There were minor scuffles amid a heavy police presence at the Oxford Street exit as supporters of Duffy, McCrory and Fitzimmions left the building. North Belfast men Daniel Lundy and Aidan Fergusion, both from Ardoyne, were arrested and taken to Musgrave Police Station and charged with assaulting police, disorderly behaviour and resisting police. They were released on bail to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court on January 13.

With many thanks to: The Irish News.


Colin Duffy reads a tribute at the unveiling of a new headstone for former INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey in Bellaghy last year

A COMMEMORATION to murdered INLA chchief Dominic McGlinchey and his wife Mary was held in Bellaghy on Saturday. High-profile republicans – including Colin Duffy who a dressed last years event – were among those at the event in the Co Derry town.

The McGlincheys ‘ granddaughter read out the Proclamation while a grandson read an open letter to his grandparents before former IRA prisoner Anthony McIntyre gave the main address. McIntyre, from West Belfast but living in Co Louth, said he was ” honered ” to attend the event. He said the couple had left a ” politicial legacy “. ” When we depart from here this evening we will not be leaving the graves of two criminals but the final resting place of two Irish Republican political activates who through circumstances not created by them took up arms to confrount the armed repression of the British state,” he said. During the commemoration a statement was read out by Co Tyrone republican Kevin Murphy on behalf of dissident republicans prisoners in Maghaberry’s Row 4 landing. Prisoners are unhappy that talks aimed at ending forced strip searchs in the prison have failed to materialise since they now ended a ‘ no wash ‘ protest last November. The protest ended just weeks after a group styling itself ‘ the IRA ‘ shot dead prison officer David Black as he made his way to work at Maghaberry Prison. ” The jail adminstration’s lack of willingness to engage with this process in a way that is genuine and effective only poisons the atmosphere and recreates the conflict-fulled envioronment that exsisted in the past,” the statement read.

With many thanks to : Connia Young, Irish News.


FORMER high Court judge Sir Anthony Hart will chair a government-backed inquiry into child abuse at state and Church-run institutions in Northern Ireland.

English: Join the movement to end child abuse:...

He has come out of retirement to lead the investigation that will draw on the testimony of survivors of abuse in homes, hospitals and orphanages across the north from 1945 to 1995. However, criticisms remain that the probe will not include allegations of abuse that occurred outside the time-frame or away from institutions.” This means that some of the Northern Ireland victims of Brendan Smith’s serial child abuse will be covered by this inquiry. While others will not,” Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International said.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the executive would be bringing forward legislation ” shortly ” to give Sir Anthony powers to compel witnesses and documents. Sir Anthony whose last court cases included the trail of Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers for the murder of two-soldiers in Massereene Barracks and the trial of killer dentist Colin Howell, will be supported by a tea, offering a confidential forum.

Ryan inquiry commissioner Norah Gibbons, ex-Metropolitan Police child abuse investigator Dave Marshall, Tom Shaw, who worked on a similar inquiry in Scotland, and Beverley Clarke, who has experience of social work in Canada, will hear victims’ testimony. The inquiry will then rule if abuse was systemic, suggest whether there should be an apology, decide on a memorial and make recommendations for ” redress “. However, any final decision on compensation will be made by the executive after it considers Sir Anthony’s recommendations.

English: A true story of horrific child abuse ...

Legislation is expected to be brought before the summer recess and the investigation will begin by autumn. First Minister Peter Robinson said Sir Anthony would be ” unflinching in his pursuit of truth”. ” I am confident that the scope and nature of this process is robust, will provide a thorough examination of what happened and will get to the the truth,” he said. Mr McGuinness said legislation would ensure the inquiry had the ” powers, flexibility and protections” needed. Mr Corrigan said a statement in the terms of reference that the inquiry will begin after the commencement of legislation suggested that concerns had been met about whether the probe would have full statutory powers for it’s duration.

However, he said he remained concerned that victims of abuse before 1945 or after 1995 would be excluded and that the issue of redress has ” been put on the long finger”. ” Equally, it is clear that the executive currently has no plans for a similar process of inquiry for victims of clerical child abuse outside institutions,” he said.


Three members of Collie Duffy’s family are charged and held without bail.

Three members of Colin Duffy’s family are behind bars today as a major RUC arrest operation continued across the North of Ireland this weekend.

Brothers Damien (Dee) Duffy, Paul Duffy, and their cousin Shane Duffy were all arrested in Lurgan, County Armagh on Friday and presented with a variety of ‘terrorist’ charges at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court this morning. They have been held without bail.

Lawyer Joe McVeigh told the court that the Duffy family “are subject to persecution by the police and they want that ventilated”.

He said: “They feel that they’re being persecuted and one would not have to stray very far from recent events to find a reason why that persecution would be happening.”

Colin Duffy, a lifelong republican activist, spent two years on remand as a protesting prisoner at Maghaberry jail before he was finally cleared earlier this year of involvement in the 2009 IRA attack on Massareene British Army base.

A notorious target of PSNI/RUC harassment, Colin has been the subject of a number of false arrests as well a miscarriage of justice. His brother Paul, who served as the family’s spokesperson in the campaign for his release, was also the victim of state persecution during the family’s campaign to free Colin.

Serious questions were raised regarding the nature of the searches conducted at two of the men’s houses and a subsequent police press release.

Mr McVeigh revealed that during the searches, conducted at 5am, the RUC video-recorded the families’ children and even interrogated them on camera in what was described as a “degrading” exercise.

Mr McVeigh asked the RUC if they would give an “undertaking in a verifiable way” that the videos would be deleted. The RUC/PSNI member said he was unsure “if it can be done” but said he would request their deletion.

On Friday, a police spokesperson released a statement that the men had been charged following a RUC/PSNI-led investigation having worked closely “with colleagues in the security services”.

Mr McVeigh repeatedly asked which branch of the secret services had been involved, and what their role had been, but the RUCPSNI admitted in court they did not know the answer to either question.

In Omagh, three men and a woman also appeared in court and charged with a series of offences.

The ‘Family and Friends of Republican Prisoners, Maghaberry’ said the arrests across the North this week have focussed on relatives and supporters of republican prisoners.

The arrest operation was described as “another example of the State’s attitude to republicans who dare to stand up for the rights of political prisoners.”

Full statement from the Family and Friends of Republican Prisoners on the RUC Raids and subsequent charges on previous feature article.

POSTED ON BEHALF OF : Independent Republican News

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