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Teen facing charges linked to north Belfast bomb ‘radicalised by dissident republicans’, court hears –






Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA).


Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA)

The structures of PIRA remain in existence in much reduced form. This includes a senior leadership, the ‘Provisional Army Council’ (PAC), and some ‘departments’ with specific responsilities. At lower level, there are some regional command structures. At this lower level, some activity takes place without the knowledge or direction of the leadership. We do not beleive the group is actively recruiting. The group took part in decommissioning between 2001 and 2005 but continues to have access to some weapons. PIRA has not conducted organised procurement of new weaponry in the period since the last IMC report of 2001. PIRA members believe that the PAC oversees both the PIRA and Sinn Féin (Shame Féin) with an overarching strategy. We judge this strategy has a wholly political focus. PIRA members have been directed to actively support Sinn Féin (Shame Féin) within the community including activity like electioneering and leafleting.


PIRA on training exercise in Ireland

Some PIRA members are involved in gathering information of interest to the group including details of DR (dissident Republican) activities and the attempted identification of covert human intelligence sources (MI5), (undercover British Army) and (SAS). A small number are involved in the storage of remaining weaponry in order to prevent its loss to dissident republicans. Individual PIRA members remain involved in criminal activity, such as large scale smuggling, and there have been isolated incidents of violence, including murders.
The investigation into the murder of Kevin McGuigan is still ongoing;


Catholic Protestant Dissenter

However, we judge that the assessment put forward by the Chief Constable in his public statement on 22nd August remains accurate. The group is not involved in targeting or conducting terrorist atracks against the state or its representatives. There have only been very limited indications of dissent to date and we judge that this has been addressed effectively by the leadership.

Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).


Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) guard-of-honor at the funeral of Peggy O'Hara - mother of INLA hunger-striker Patsy O'Hara.

THE structures of INLA remain in existence but there is little indication of centralised control from the leadership. As a consequence, groups accross the North of Ireland operate largely independently of each other. There are indications that INLA is attempting to recruit new members. The group decommissioned weapons in 2010 but continues to have access to some weapons. There have been some efforts to redirect INLA towards community initiatives and a small number of members have taken roles in republican politics with the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP).


Members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), prepare to fire a volly of shots over the coffin of the late Peggy O'Hara

However, INLA members have continued to be heavily involved in criminality including extortion, drug dealing, distribution of stolen goods and fraud.
INLA has also been responsible for paramilitart-style assaults and intimidation attacks against alleged drug dealers. These activities have a significant impact on the local community.


Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)/Red Hand Commando (RHC).


Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), Preparing For Peace - Ready For War

THE structures of the UVF remain in existence and there are some indications of recruitment. A top leadership sets strategy for the group but there are lower levels of leadership who have some independence in decision making. The group took part in decommissioning in 2009 but continues to have access to some weapons.


Red Hand Commando (RHC) a cover name that was used by the UVF.

The UVF leadership has attempted to steer its membership towards peaceful initiatives and to carve out a new constructive role. A small number have taken up roles in the politics with the PUP.
However, a large number, including some senior figures, are extensively involved in organised crime including drug dealing, extortion and smuggling.


The UVF are involved in conducting paramilatary style assaults. In some cases UVF members are heavily involved in violence and crime.
The UVF leadership is committed to transforming the purpose of the group to community focused initiatives but have only limited control over the activities of its membership.

Ulster Defence Association (UDA).


Ulster Defence Association (UDA) with members posing at one of their many wall murals. Remembering their dead.

THE UDA structures remain in existence but have become increasingly fragmented. The organisation is split in a number of geographical areas, each with its own structures which act almost completly autonomously.

The UFF ( Ulster Freedom Fighters), previously used as a front (cover name) for the UDA, no longer exists.


Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF).

Organisation decommissioned in 2010 but continues to have access to some weapons. There are some indications of recruitment. There are members who have continued to steer the group into positive community based activism. However, others have been resistant to change and remained active in criminality and violence. Individual members and senior figures within many UDA areas are involved in organised crime including drug dealing, robbery, extortion and the distrubution of conterfeit goods.


Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

There has been an increase in paramilitary activity in the North Antrim area resulting in a murder (Brian McIlhagga) for which a murder investigation is ongoing.
The UDA leadership are committed to transforming the group but have only limited control over its membership.

South East Antrim UDA


South East Antrim UDA (SEA UDA)

SEA UDA remains a separate entity from the mainstream UDA. It retains structures similar to those within the mainstream UDA and its membership is engaged in the same types of criminal and violent activity.

During the Union Flag protests in 2012 individual members were believed to have been involved in serious disorder in the Carrickfergus area.


South East Antrim UDA (SEA UDA)

Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)


The late Billy Wright founder of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) and murdered in the Maze prison by the INLA

THE LVF exists only as a criminal group in Antrim and Mid-Ulster.

With many thanks to: The Irish News.

Teens accused of making explosives

A 19-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman arrested in connection with dissident republican activity were last night charged with making explosives.


The pair are to appear before Newry Magistrates Court today. They are charged with making explosives with intent to endanger life and two counts of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property. The teenagers were arrested at a house just outside Forkhill, South Armagh, on Wednesday. Items including a grinder, fertiliser and singer were taken away for examination. Meanwhile a key witness to a dissident republican murder is one of three men arrested by gardai n Co Louth in relation to paramilitary activity. Damien O’Neill was detained on Thursday as part of a crossborder crackdown on dissident republicans. In 2007 he was shot in the neck by the Continuity IRA (CIRA). North Belfast man Eddie Burns was murdered during the same attack. A short time later his friend Joe Jones was lured to an entry at Elmfield Street in North Belfast and beaten to death with a spade by a member of the same gang.

Gerard Macklin was found guilty of Mr Burn’s murder in a Dublin court in 2008 but his conviction was quashed in 2010 and a retrail ordered. The new trial collapsed in January 2011 when O’Neill refused to testify. He told three judges at the High Court in Belfast: “I have been threatened that if’ I give evidence I will be shot dead.” Both victims were murdered shortly after leaving the Continuity IRA (CIRA). A Yards spokesman said: “As part of ongoing investigations and cross border cooperation with the Police Service of Northern Ireland into the activity of dissident republicans, yards at Dundalk arrested three males on the evening of the December 19 2013. “The arrests were made in the Carrickarnon area. “The three men, who range in age from early twenties to mid fifties, are currently detained at Dundalk Garda Station.” Yesterday morning the PSNI/RUC arrested two men in connection with a May 16 gun attack on police at Foxes Glen in Twinbrook, on the outskirts of West Belfast. The men aged 20 and 21, were detained in Lisburn, Co Antrim. A 45-year-old man arrested in connection with a gun attack on police in Ardoyne on December 5 has been released without charge.

With many thanks to: The Irish News.

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.

Dissident gun attacks ‘not linked’ says police

Dissident republicans suspected of opening fire on vehicles.

‘A worrying trend is beginning to appear in regards to such attacks on the police across the city – Alex Attwood.


The PSNI last night said they are not linking two similar gun attacks on polce vehicles carried out just a day apart in Belfast.

Two shots struck a Land Rover when gunmen opened fire on the Suffolk Road in West Belfast at around 11.45pm on Friday. A day eariler, a “Kalashnikov-style” automatic weapon was used to fire at least 10 rounds at three police vehicles as they passed along the Crumlin Road in North Belfast. It later emerged that gunmen had set up a makeshift platform to fire over a wall at the vehicles. No-one was injured during either attack. A 34-year-old man was arrested in North Belfast yesterday morning in connection with Thursday night’s attack on police. He was still being questioned at Antrim police station last night. It emerged last night that separate investigations have been launched into the gun attacks. A police spokeswoman said: “Police are not formally linking the attacks and both investigations are at a very early stage”. Dissident republicans are being blamed, with Chief Constable Matt Maggot warning recently that different groupings appear to in some form of competition with each other to ensure they have a profile. In recent weeks there has been a upsurge in republican paramilitary activity in Belfast.

In October ‘The IRA’, which was formed last year after the Real IRA, Direct Action Against Drugs and other independant republicans merged, claimed responsibility for shooting dead alleged drug dealer Kevin Kearney in North Belfast. Another group, Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH), last month said it was behind an attempted car-bomb attack at Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast city centre. West Belfast SDLP assembly member Alex Attwood said Friday’s ambush could have resulted in fatalities. “Thosse engaged in this type of reckless violence are not advancing any political ideal, they are hurting the community they claim to represent,” he said. “A worrying trend is beginning to appear in regards to such attacks on the police accross the city.” Shame Fein assembly member Jennifer McCann said those behind the attack “are not motivated by a disire for Irish freedom”. “If they were they would listen to their communities who overwhelmingly endorsed the Good Friday Agreement and a political path towards achieving that goal. “Instead they have endagered anyone in the area of the Suffolk Road at that time for their own agenda. Fortunately nobody was injured.” PSNI Chief Superintendent George Clarke described Friday night’s ambush as “reckless”. “For the second night in a row, dedicated community police officers have found themselves under attack from terrorists,” he said. “It is fortunate that we are not dealing with fatalities this morning and those responsible are to be utterly condemned for their evil and reckless actions. “These officers go out each day to serve this community and they should be free to do so without the threat of attack. “I again urge the community to support us. We need information from the community to help us defeat those who seek to take us back to the past by showing them that they do not represent the wishs of this community.”

With thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News.

Five face serious dissident charges

Five men will appear in court on Saturday on charges connected to a major investigation into dissident republican activity.

Three aged 41, 42 and 47 face counts of conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to cause an explosion, preparation of terrorist acts and collecting information of use to terrorism.

The 47-year-old has also been charged with directing terrorism.

What is unusual about this is that the police have thanked the Security Service – MI5. They rarely make any reference to the intelligence services, particularly at this stage in the process.

UTV’s Sharon O’Neill

The trio were arrested in Lurgan, Co Armagh, on Monday.

A PSNI statement said: “The charges, some of which have been used seldom in the past in Northern Ireland, are the result of an investigation led by police into dissident republican terrorist activity.

“Officers have worked closely with colleagues in the Security Service and, latterly, with the Public Prosecution Service to reach a point where charges have been brought.”

A further two men aged 33 and 34, who were arrested in Carrickmore and Omagh last Saturday, have been charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, attendance at a place used for terrorist training and preparation of terrorist acts.

They will appear at court in Omagh, also on Saturday.

Police added that a 37-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man arrested in Pomeroy and Toome last weekend as part of the same investigation remain in custody.

The investigation is ongoing.


Old Bailey bomber ‘unfit for trial’

Marian Price‘s mental state has left her unfit to face trial following an assessment by prison doctors, it has been claimed.The Old Bailey bomber who is being held at Hydebank, south Belfast after her release licence was revoked almost a year ago also needs outside care, Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford has been told.Jennifer McCann, a Sinn Fein member of the justice committee at Stormontwho met the minister in Belfast, has demanded she be freed.She said: “The doctors have also stated that she is not fit to participate in any legal proceedings. The fact that she has twice been released on bail by senior judges, who have seen evidence not available to her solicitors, raises the question, how is she a threat to anyone?”This is an abuse of natural justice. On humanitarian terms alone she should be moved to an outside hospital, never mind the fact that her continued imprisonment damages public confidence in the justice system.”

Price, from Stockman’s Ave, Belfast, who served time for her part in the IRA bombing of the Old Bailey in London in 1973, was re-arrested by police last May following an Easter Commemoration rally by dissident republicans at Derry’s city cemetery where she held paper to enable a masked man to read a speech.

She was later accused of encouraging support for an illegal organisation and granted bail. But Secretary of State Owen Patterson moved immediately to revoke her release licence.

Price has since been charged in connection with the murders of two soldiers in March 2009 – a charge which she also denies.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Prison Service said Price’s health was the responsibility of the Southern Eastern Trust. He added: “Her medical needs are being met in full by the SET who have responsibility for the healthcare of all prisoners.”



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David Ford ‘actively’ pursuing alternatives to prison strip-searching

Justice Minister David Ford
David Ford again defended his decision not to publish a report into strip-searching
The justice minister has said he is actively pursuing other alternatives to full body searching in Northern Ireland prisons.
David Ford said his department was “actively following up on what the alternatives are”.

He again defended his decision not to publish the findings of a Prison Service study into other options to strip-searching at Maghaberry Prison.

He said the report contained sensitive material relating to security issues.

“If we were to publish it, it would have to be so heavily redacted that it really would be absolutely meaningless,” he added.

Mr Ford’s decision has been criticised by Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney and the SDLP‘s John Dallat.

Mr McCartney has urged the justice minister to find alternatives to the “humiliating and degrading” searches.

Mr Ford admitted the process was “not particularly pleasant for either the officers carrying it out or for the prisoners”.

But he said the searches were necessary until a suitable alternative was found.

Mr Ford said the use of an x-ray system was one of the options being considered.

Prison reform campaigners have argued that full body searches are fuelling support for dissident republicans.

Last year, a group calling itself “the family and friends support group for republican prisoners Maghaberry” protested about strip-searching at the jail.

The minister denied claims by those protesting against the searches that the external arrangements had been relaxed.

“An agreement was made and it related to the issues of searching within the prison,” he said.

“It did not cover the issue, which applies to every prison in the UK, that there must be full body searching on entry to and exit from prison.”

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Marian Price being held is ‘internment’: Priest

A Catholic priest has described the continuing detention of the Old Bailey bomber Marian Price as a form of internment.

She has been in custody in Maghaberry Prisonsince May last year.Secretary of State Owen Paterson revoked her licence after she appeared at a dissident republicanrally.A meeting of supporters campaigning for her release was held in Londonderry last night.Former prison chaplain Monsignor Raymond Murray said Mr Paterson’s decision had echoes of the past for nationalists.

“This is a form of internment,” said Monsignor Murray, who was prison chaplain in Armagh for almost 20 years.

“I am just shocked that the secretary of state wouldn’t be aware of how seriously nationalist people look on internment.

“We thought it had all ended and here it is coming under a form of revocation, revoking a license.

“He would have to explain to us and explain the process of law as regards Marian Price.

“In any way has she broken the law? That would have to be provided but it is not provided by shoving her into prison on a pretence in an unjust way.”

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey critical of Marian Price detention

The continued detainment of alleged dissident republican Marian Price has “unintentionally provided a recruiting tool” for dissident republicans, an SDLP MLA told the assembly on Monday.

 Pat Ramsey tabled a motion calling on Justice Minister David Fordto liaise with the secretary of state to review the conditions of her detention.Price has been in custody in Maghaberry prison since May 2011, when Owen Paterson revoked the release from prison on licence of the Old Bailey bomber.”This action provided the dissidents the opportunity again to rouse the long-held suspicion of the British justice system imposing its role on the people across Northern Ireland,” Mr Ramsey said.Ms Price, also known as Marian McGlinchey, had been charged with encouraging support for an illegal organisation, the IRA, following a dissident republican rally in Londonderry on Easter Sunday.

The judge granted her bail on that charge, although her licence was later revoked.

InternmentSpeaking at the time, Mr Paterson said he made the decision because the threat posed by Price had “significantly increased”.

Before members discussed the motion, Speaker William Hay warned that nothing could be said which would jeopardise the current prosecutions with the courts.

Sinn Fein’s Jennifer McCann said her party had attempted to get an amendment to the motion to acknowledge republican prisoner Martin Corry.

She said she saw Price’s case as “tantamount to internment without trial”.

The DUP’s Paul Givan, who is also chair of the justice committee, said the motion was “irresponsibly tabled by the SDLP”.

“Mr Ramsey not once commented on Marian Price’s history and why her licence has been revoked,” he said.

He added that the secretary of state had a “duty to protect the wider interests of society”.

Price was jailed for the IRA bombing of the Old Bailey in London in 1973. She was released on compassionate grounds in 1980.

Responding to the debate, Justice Minister David Ford said the revocation of the licence and the case was led by Mr Paterson and the responsibility now lay with the parole commissioners.

He said under devolution, it fell to the secretary of state to recall those released on a life licence if the rationale was determined to be of a “national security nature”.

Mr Ford said he therefore had “no role” and it would be “a serious danger if this house would instruct me to do something which is outside my responsibilities”.

“My opinion on this matter would carry no more weight than any other member of the assembly,” he added.

He denied claims that Price’s medical needs had not been addressed during her time in custody, claiming that she had been provided with the care she required.

Mr Ford also explained that Price had been placed in Maghaberry – an all-male prison – as she was seen to be high risk and Hydebank Wood Women’s Prison was deemed unsuitable.

The motion was rejected.

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Duffy says DNA was planted in getaway car

A man cleared of murdering two soldiers in Northern Ireland in 2009 has claimed his DNA was planted in the getaway car.

1 of 2 Colin Duffy was cleared of murder charges yesterday

Colin Duffy was cleared of murder charges yesterday
Colin Duffy led a republican protest on the Falls Road this afternoon

Colin Duffy led a republican protest on the Falls Road this afternoon

A prominent Republican has said his DNA was planted on a latex glove in a getaway car used in the murder of two British soldiers in Antrim in 2009.

Colin Duffy, 44, was cleared yesterday of murdering Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar outside Massereene army base.

Mr Duffy told a news conference in west Belfast today that the charges against him were “spurious” but refused to condemn dissident republicans.Nine News: Duffy may seek redress from British state

His co-accused Brian Shivers was handed a life sentence after a judge found him guilty of being part of the attack.

Mr Duffy said: “I am firmly of the view that my DNA arose there because it was planted. I was never in that car.

“I state quite categorically here that I had no involvement in what happened at Massereene, no involvement whatsoever, and that has been vindicated in court because there was no credible evidence to suggest otherwise.”

He said that if being a dissident meant opposing Sinn Féin‘s peace strategy then he was happy to classify himself as such.

He added that he had no questions to answer.

“I did not need to answer to the spurious evidence or so-called evidence that they were adducing at the trial,” he said.

“The decision not to give evidence was a decision that we took on the basis of my view legally of how the case was going.”

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