Former RUC Chief Constable believed a United Ireland was inevitable, book claims.

Family of man shot by British Army to take legal action against PPS

John Copeland was shot dead by the British army in October 1971
The widow of a north Belfast man shot dead by the British army almost 50 years ago is set to launch legal action over a decision by prosecutors not to order a new PSNI investigation into the killing. 
Isobel Copeland’s husband John died in October 1971. Mr Copeland (23) was shot close to his Ardoyne home by a member of the Green Howards regiment and died two days later. Just before he was killed another man, Michael McLarnon, was shot by troops in nearby Etna Drive and died a short time later. Mr Copeland’s widow is currently suing the Ministry of Defence for the alleged unlawful killing of her husband. In 2014 Attorney General John Larkin refused a request to order a fresh inquest into the case. However, after the release of a draft Historical Enquiries Team (HET) report by the RUC/PSNI, Mr Larkin was asked to revisit his original decision. In response he wrote to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) asking them to direct the RUC/PSNI to investigate the shooting.
The PPS has subsequently refused to make what is known as a section 35 (5) referral.
“We have been fighting this for 15 years and it’s [still] going around. Hopefully we will get some sort of closure” Eddie Copeland 
Mr Copeland’s son, prominent Belfast republican Eddie Copeland, said his family was disappointed by the latest decision. “Legacy cases are just dragging their heels and it’s really disappointing,” he said. “My mother is going into her seventies and we want some sort of closure for her before it’s too late.” Mr Copeland said he is mindful of other family’s who lost love and that his family is determined to continue their campaign despite the latest set back.
Sectarianism, Murder, Collusion, RUC, PSNI, MI5, Loyalists, UVF, Stormont, UDA,
“I was one and half when my father was killed and my sister two and a half,” he said. “Between us there will be someone there to fight. “We have been fighting this for 15 years and it’s [still] going around. “Hopefully we will get some sort of closure.” Solicitor Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, said as a result of the Attorney General’s intervention the Copeland family had “raised expectations that at last their case would be looked at”. “With decisions like this you cannot blame families if they become disillusioned,” he said. Mark Thompson from Relatives for Justice, who has helped the Family, said: “Rather than acting in the interest of justice it appears the PPS is content with this continuing situation. “This is unacceptable.” A spokesman for the PPS said: “While we understand why families may view a section 35(5) request as a vehicle by which their case can be expedited, the Director of Public Prosecutions considered such a request inappropriate in this case. “The reasons for this have previously been outlined in a letter to the legal representatives of the Copeland family.”
With many thanks to: The Irish News and Connla Young for the original story 


The Wife of Tony Taylor, Lorraine tells of detention impact


Mr Taylor’s wife Lorraine, at an earlier protest for the release of Tony Taylor. And calling for an end of Internment in the Six Occupied Six counties of Ulster.

The wife of Derry Republican Tony Taylor has spoken about the impact his detention without charge is having on their family.

Taylor, pictured above, has been held at Maghaberry Prison since his early release licence was revoked by former secretary of state Theresa Villiers in March last year.

Campaigners, including nationalist politicians, have voiced concern about his continued detention. Speaking at the ard fheis of hardline republican party Saoradh in Derry at the weekend. Mr Taylor’s wife Lorraine, pictured above, said the family has been left “traumatised” by her husband’s detention.

“Tony’s continued absence is having a devastating impact on his family. I am at my wits’ end to understand how the British government, after nearly two years, can be allowed to keep Tony in prison without any due legal process, this in reality internment without trial,” she said.

“As a family we are all physically and emotionally drained both because of Tony’s continued detention and absence from his family. “I would also wish to outline the impact on his dentention on his elderly parents, both of which are not in good health.”

Meanwhile, Co Tyrone republican David Jordan has been reelected as chairman of Saoradh. In his address to delegates he criticised Sinn Féin and the DUP and voiced his party’s support for Brexit.

“Saoradh should support strategically any initative that quickens the end of one of the most repulsive and destructive nations that ever existed,” he said. “That which weakens and fragments Britain is good for Ireland. Let us hope that Brexit is as hard as hell and helps usher in the dimise of the last section of the cruel British empire.”

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



BBC accused of bias over audience ban

A WEST Belfast man who intends to stand in next year’s council elections has accused the BBC of “bias” after he was banned from the audience of a current affairs show.


Human Rights campaigner Ciaran Mulholland, who is also a well-known figure in the legal profession, said he was allocated tickets for the Spotlight Special programme recorded last Tuesday. However, just hours before the show was due to be recorded he was contacted by the BBCand told he would not be allowed to take his seat. The panel on the question and answer programme included Shame Fein education minister John O’Dowd and DUP enterprise minister Arlene Foster. Mr Mulholland said he applied for tickets and was contacted by a Spotlight staff member who asked him what questions he would put to panelists. He said he revealed at that point his intention to run in next year’s local government elections on an independant ticket, but was sent the ticket without question. In January the BBC also faced bias accusations after dozens of loyalists packed the studio of a Stephen Nolan TV show and heckled nationalist politicians. At the time corporation cheifs refused to reveal how many complaints it received from members of the public. Mr Mulholland beleives he has been unfairly treated. “They said they revoked my invite because I was a ‘politician’,” he said. “I think it was an over-zealous approach and uterly biased and discriminatory. “They only want to provide a platform for the politicial status quo and people who offer an alternative veiw don’t seem to get an equal opportunity.” A spokeswoman for the BBC said as far as she is aware there is no written criteria for audience selection on programmes. However, she added: “Spotlight Special gives ordinary members of the public a chance to put questions to a panel and have their say. “On that basis, audiences for this programme do not normally include elected represtantives or those who declare an interest in participating in upcoming elections.”

With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News.

Orange Order to find out parade protest decision

THE Orange Order will find out today whether it will be allowed to stage a protest at a major internment parade in Belfast city centre.


In what is believed to be a first, the order has applied to the Parades Commission to demonstrate during the march by anti-agreement republican groups tommorow evening. The Anti-Internment League says it has organised the “human rights” parade to highlight what it describes as “internment by remand” of republicans facing paramilitary charges. It notified the commission that up to 5,000 people could take part. Two loyalist groups which emerged during the Union flag protests earlier this year – United Protestant Voice and the Protestant Coalition – have also applied to hold separate protests at Royal Avenue involving up to 200 people each.

The Parades Commission has already granted two previously unknown groups – Greater Concerned Residents Group Belfast and Concerned Residents Group Shankill Belfast – to hold separate demonstrations involving 150 people each at Royal Avenue. And it emerged last night that a sixth group – the Friends of No 9 District – have now applied to hold a protest involving 150 people. If all the demonstrations get the green light it could bring the total number of loyalists opposing the march to 950. SDLP assembly member Albban Maginness called for calm ahead of the parade. “The SDLP believe that people have the right to express their views but that with that right there is a responsibility to behave in a sensitive and respectful way,” he said.

With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.


ANALYSIS – Connla Young.

WHILE many will take part in Friday’s parade to highlight claims of “internment by remand”, some will also see it as a platform to reclaim a significant date in the republican calendar.


The introduction of internment on August 9 1971 saw the detention without trial of thousands of young Catholics across the north. A watershed moment in the early Troubles, which made headlines around the world,  it had unintended effect of converting morderate nationalists to the republican cause. Traditionally rRepublicans marked the anniversary witht the lighting of bonbone fires in nationalist areas, which often resulted in violent clashes with police. In recent years Sinn Fein has aa banded the bonfire tradition and attempted to remove tensions by creating the Fleadh around the August date. Opponents have claimed this was part of a process of steering its traditional support away from street politics. In that context, some anti-agreement republicans see Friday’s parade as an opportunity to showcase opposition to Sinn Fein’s strategy, both to the party leadership and wider political establishment.

However, the parade is also being used as an outlet for anger by loyalists involved in flag and other protests this year. Two of the five protests planned at Royal Avenue involve groups set up by leading figures from the Union Flag protests. Despite the parade not directly passing any loyalist areas in North Belfast. Orangemen in the area are also planning to travel to the city centre for a demonstration. Coming after strong police criticism of protests held against restrictions placed on a July 12 parade at Ardoyne, this represents a departure for the organization. Until now it is not thought to have organised any protests at republican parades. Given the serious disruption caused to city centre traders and commuters by the flag protests, and the violence seen on July 12 when loyalists gathered to protest at Ardoyne, the prospect of thousands of republicans and loyalists gathering in the city centre on Friday will be a source of obvious concern for police in the coming days.

With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.

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