Blog Archives

Relative of 1916 Rising Hero contests unjust conviction for highlighting the case of the Craigavon Two

Friday 24th March will see IRPWA member Brian Murphy challenge his public order conviction and his 2 months suspended sentence when he appears at the Circuit Court at the Central Criminal Courts, Parkgate Street, Dublin.1

Brian was arrested following his lone protest at a 26 County State ceremony in Grangegorman cemetery, Dublin on May 25th, 2016 to ‘commemorate’ British soldiers killed suppressing the 1916 Easter Rising.

During his peaceful protest, Brian was assaulted by the Canadian Ambassador to the 26 counties, Kevin Vickers. Brian’s protest which included highlighting the continued persecution and plight of imprisoned republicans including the case of the Craigavon Two (www.JFTC2.com), became headline news all over the world, both online and in mainstream media particularly in Canada. The actions of the Canadian Ambassador amplified Brian’s protest beyond anything he had expected and the 26 county state sought draconian retribution as a result of being embarrassed, with their reformist agenda around the centenary commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising exposed.

The embarrassment caused to the state highlighted their contempt for the republican heroes of 1916 and their continued attempts to criminalise the republican struggle whilst cosying up to British imperialism which continues to occupy the north of Ireland dividing the Irish nation by force.

In challenging his conviction Brian will maintain his right to protest this event to which he had received a formal invitation and that his actions on the day were not ‘criminal’ unlike those of the Canadian Ambassador who has never been brought to task for his unwarranted aggression.

It is the view of both Saoradh and the IRPWA that Brian’s conviction and the harshness of his sentence were politically motivated, the right to peacefully protest has been set aside by the state as witnessed in cases such as Brian’s and in the case of the Jobstown water protest. Saoradh and the IRPWA stand in solidarity with Brian and wish him the best of luck in overturning this contrived conviction.

With many thanks to: 

Justice for the Craigavon Two

image

http://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fjftc2.com%2F&h=bAQGET31i&enc=AZN2TcW37U_OTiR4jMML6CKtrhVKJrp3U5tfAdsQ1vZwmx61KhXmDw0o7UpWMjNT8Q4qiIrventk_2xUvMCTmledJi93tLVgTs3BOdeDzz96wGLTK3dDY49UEeSEat2744BDnnLzXnnVRj1LADLfZANiHbiaMxID2OHb3p2-YTJCqQ&s=1

https://m.youtube.com/#/playlist?list=PLpbWumNEoHvLjvzUi4qRWVIDbjx78n-1v

http://www.justiceforthecraigavontwo.com

Fresh concerns raised about the Stephen Carroll case

A SOLICITOR for one of two men convicted of the murder of PSNI/RUC officer Stephen Carroll has raised fresh concerns about the case.

John Finucane was speaking at an event organised by the Justice for the Craigavon Two campaign as part of Féile an Phobail on Friday 07/8/2015. Mr Carroll (48), was shot dead by a Continuity IRA (CIRA) sniper as he answered an emergency call in Craigavon March 2009. Two Craigavon men Brendan McConville (Yandy) and John Paul Wootton (JP) are both serving lengthy prison sentences after being convicted of his murder under joint enterprise laws. Prosecutors have never been able to attribute a role to either man, wrongly convicted, who both deny they played any part in the attack. Other speakers at the event included members of English based campaign group Jengba - Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association - and Kevin Hearty who spoke about policing in the North. During the event Mr Finucane, who represents John Paul Wootton (JP) said that "if the judge isn't sure what John Paul (JP) did then I don't think he can be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty of a plan to murder a police officer. "The role has never been described," he said. "The judge made reference at the trial that it was some sort of logistical support after the event. "At the appeal that changed to some type of logistical support either before or after. "I don't think you need to be a lawyer to have concerns that is exceptionally vague. "Again it ties John Paul (JP) into an act, a conspiracy which really there is very little evidence for." Mr Finucane is a son of Human Rights solicitor Pat Finucane who was murdered by loyalists and security force collusion in February 1989.
With many thanks to Connla YoungThe Irish Newsfor the origionial story.

Posted from WordPress for Android

JUSTICE FOR THE CRAIGAVON TWO

 

10505079_1474493649459920_2906183279849869575_o

10506799_1474493662793252_8232179921513393943_o

1531688_1474493556126596_1893311826415335438_o

 

10321491_1474493566126595_8441624107826153659_o

END THIS MISCARRIGE OF JUSTICE (INJUSTICE), FREE THE ‘CRAIGAVON TWO’!

Please sign this petition for another British injustice in memory of Gerry Conlan, who faught for their innocence. Go raibh maith agat, click and sign Slan.

10338452_749364795106950_1675138869590451226_o

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/chris-grayling-mp-end-the-miscarriage-of-justice-of-the-craigavon-two?share_id=tIKZWFNIyK&utm_campaign=friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=permissions_dialog_false

The Craigavon Two – BRITAIN’S POUND OF FLESH!

“I hope that what – happened to us will always act as a reminder to people never to jump to conclusions, whatever the nature of a crime, and never to ignore people who are trying to get their  voices heard so that the nightmare does not happen to them. – Gerry Conlon (The Birmingham Six)

1900738_688127334568518_3246644810040482090_o

Justice For The Craigavon Two ‘Bring Them Home’ – British Injustice Still Ongoing In The Occupied Six Counties Of Ireland

Almost four months since it was proved beyond all reasonable doubt they were both entirley innocent. 10172675_10202679063636712_1136904963516324950_n Also since their appeal ended and still no verdict!!!! #JFTC2 https://www.facebook.com/JFTC2?ref=stream Where is the justice for the Craigavon two? Help bring them home and end this anguish for them and for their family!!!! http://www.justiceforthecraigavontwo.com

THE GUILDFORD FOUR : IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE

Gerry Conlan : ” The government knew we were being tortured “.

554989_439881432767010_298171292_n-1

As one of the Guildford Four, Gerry Conlon spent 15 years in prison for an IRA campaign he knew nothing about. More than 20 years later he is still fighting for justice.

There are moments when I lose sight of Gerry Conlon through the fog of countless cigarettes smoked during our four-hour interview. He is in Liverpool to campaign for other victims of miscarriages of justice, and we meet in a rented apartment in the city’s Chinatown. We are joined periodically by others who are there to support the cause. Each adds views on the various injustices they have suffered and each contributes to the cloud of thick smoke filling the room.

In 1974, the then 20-year-old Belfast-born Conlon was arrested over the IRA pub bombings in Guildford which killed five people. He had never been to Guildford. But along with the three other members of the group that became known as the Guildford Four, Conlon was sentenced to life in prison on the basis of false confessions made after days of mistreatment by Surrey police.

RELATED ARTICLES

Maguire Seven: fighting for freedom from wrongful conviction

Fleeing torture in Iran

A painful awakening

Conlon’s father, Giuseppe, was also imprisoned as part of a group known as the Maguire Seven. The basis of their convictions was forensic evidence – later discredited – which the prosecution claimed proved they had handled explosives used in the bombings. The group, including Patrick Maguire who was just 13 when he was arrested, were sentenced to between four and 14 years in prison.

In 1989 the Court of Appeal quashed the convictions of the Guildford Four when it was found that crucial alibi evidence – proving Conlon could not have done the bombings – had not been shown to the defence. There was also evidence of police collusion on fabricating the statements – the only evidence produced against them at the original trial. The Maguire Seven later had their convictions overturned, but by this time they had all served their sentences and been released, except Giuseppe Conlon who, already in failing health when he was arrested, died after five years in prison.

The Gerry Conlon that stood outside the High Court in London after his release was a triumphant and charismatic figure. He told massed press and supporters that he was an innocent man who had spent 15 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He vowed to clear his late father’s name and fight for the release of others, like the Birmingham Six and the Bridgwater Three, who had been wrongly convicted.

This is the Conlon that played repeatedly on the news bulletins. And this is the man portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis as the star of In the Name Of the Father, the partly fictionalised 1993 film based on Conlon’s autobiography. But Conlon’s feelings of triumph were short-lived and he was far from ready for the outside world.

“If you spend a few weeks in the Big Brother house, you get counselling when you leave to prepare you for life outside. I spent 15 years being moved from one terrible prison to the next, being treated like I was lower than the worst kind of paedophile. When I got released I was given £34.90 and told to go.”

When long-term prisoners come up for release, they are slowly reintroduced to the outside world, with supervised day releases, then weekend releases. When wrongful convictions are quashed, prisoners leave straight away, with no preparation for how to cope with life on the outside.

Conlon was initially on a high after his release. He put everything into making good his pledge to get the convictions of the Birmingham Six overturned. After months of frantic campaigning, he went back to his mother’s house in Belfast to take a break when suddenly the impact of what he had been through hit him.

“I came out of the bathroom and my father, who’d died years earlier, was sitting on the settee in prison pyjamas and a prison dressing gown. Since then I haven’t been able to get the terrible images out of my head.

“I never had one suicidal thought in prison. Now I have them all the time. I haven’t been able to have a relationship, I’ve turned to alcohol and drugs, it’s a constant waking nightmare.”

More than twenty years after his release, the man sitting in front of me is no less eloquent and determined than the angry 35-year old who stood outside court, but his mind has never escaped from prison. He speaks lyrically, without pause, recalling full names, exact dates and locations of the grim landmarks of his ordeal. But at every turn he is visibly haunted by the terrible memories that won’t stay in the past and the injustices which continue in the present.

Conlon believes that because their case caused such political embarrassment, there was what he calls a “whispering campaign” around Westminster after their release. That although their conviction was quashed, the authorities wanted people to think they were freed on a technicality, but may actually have been guilty.

He is angry that nobody was ever punished for their wrongful imprisonment. He is also convinced that it was not just the police that lied to get them convicted. He believes the conspiracy to jail innocent people went right to the top.

“The Government knew, right from the start, that we were innocent. They knew we had nothing to do with the IRA, but they didn’t care. That’s why they have a 75-year immunity order on our case. Because they want all the people involved to be dead before they release our files.”

Because this cloud of suspicion was allowed to remain, Conlon was denied access to psychiatric treatment. It was not until 2007 that he began getting regular therapy, and even then only one hour a week. This has helped, but is far too little, coming far too late, for someone who suffered trauma on the level that he did.

“I have what they call a disassociation problem: something comes in to my head and I’m back in prison. I’m back in Wakefield, being tortured… hands behind my back, gun in my mouth, it doesn’t go away.

“The reason I took drugs and alcohol was because I couldn’t deal with what my mind was projecting. To get some relief from the nightmares, day and night.

“But then the nightmares started breaking through with a sledge hammer, and once that happened it was a question of giving up the drugs and fighting to get professional help.”

The effects of his wrongful conviction went far beyond Conlon and the others who were wrongfully convicted. Prison visits were supervised and any personal details discussed would be spread around by mischievous warders, so they stuck to discussing pleasantries.

“I’d spent months in solitary, in the dark. I’d been beaten, had people defecating in my food, putting glass in my food. I’d seen people murdered. Yet I had to tell my family they were treating me well.

“When you come out you find the relationship with your family during your time inside was built on falsehoods. I didn’t know that my mother and my sisters were being strip searched and abused when they came to see me. You can’t calculate the devastating effect it has on your family.”

As we are speaking Conlon sees a news report on the TV screen behind me about the treatment of the former Guantánamo Bay detainee Binyan Mohamed.

“Nothing has changed. The Government knew we were being tortured in the 1970s. When I hear about Binyam Mohamed it all comes back. My mind flashes back to the beatings, the threats and the mental cruelty I suffered at the hands of the police.”

Conlon has become frustrated by the lack of political will to help victims of miscarriages of justice. The Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (Mojo) was formed by Paddy Hill after he and other members of the Birmingham Six had their convictions quashed in 1991. Mojo is campaigning to have a trauma centre set up dedicated to helping miscarriage of justice victims after they leave prison. They get sympathetic noises from politicians but little action.

In 1997, Conlon was given half a million pounds in compensation. Giving money to victims of miscarriages of justice is likened by Conlon to giving them a “bottle of whisky and a revolver”.

“They may as well say: ‘here’s the money, now go and kill yourself.’

“They gave me £546,000 – for taking me, torturing me and framing me; taking my father, torturing him and having him die in prison; then leaving me sinking in the quicksand of my own nightmares.”

In 2005 the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven finally got a personal apology from Tony Blair. Conlon told the then Prime Minister that the apology would only mean something if it came with more help for the victims.

“Blair turned to [parliamentary private secretary] David Hanson and said: ‘David, get on to this right away.’ Since then we’ve had no help. We followed up on Tony Blair’s promise and were basically told to get lost. He lied to us – the apology means nothing.”

“If there was a trauma centre, within a year, you could probably be living a normal productive life rather than being haunted by nightmares.”

But picking up the pieces of those who have already been wrongly convicted is cure, rather than prevention. Seeing the mistreatment of suspects and innocent people going to prison makes him feel that Britain has not moved on since the 1970s.

“Back then it was the Irish, now it’s Muslims. But nobody is safe, one of the Guildford Four was English. Everyone thinks this happens to other people, but it’s closer than you think.

“Who’s to say you’re not going to be next. Look at Sally Clarke, she was a solicitor and she drank herself to death after she was wrongly convicted of killing her two sons.”

What is striking about Conlon is that while he is angry, he is amazingly lacking in bitterness. He is clearly suffering greatly with the horrors of 15 years being treated “worse than a twisted child killer”. He wants his case files released; he wants proper post-sentence care for other victims of miscarriages – but he is not consumed by hate.

A common theme he returns to is how trauma counselling is given to people who have experienced what, to him, would seem fairly mild. But every time he mentions another group getting “the best counselling available”, he pauses, and slowly emphasises, “and so they should, and so they should. But what about us?”

Conlon is now “full of” psychiatric drugs, and his terrifying flashbacks continue. But through the pain caused by his years in prison he finds some purpose.

“I want my father’s death to count for something. It’s the hardest thing you can imagine to be put in prison for something you didn’t do. If I can do something to stop it happening to other people my life will have meant something.”

With many thanks to : The Telegraph.

richard.holt@telegraph.co.uk

CARROLL MURDER PAIR INNOCENT CLAIMS BIRMINGHAM SIX MAN

Screenshot_2013-04-08-14-10-02

THE DAY OF RECONING FOR THE CRAIGAVON

TWO 

29TH APRIL 2013 

JUSTICE FOR TH E CRAIGAVON TWO

734593_576595465718870_1596743126_n

267905_417702281651592_1744328545_n-1

536819_516472611743826_827034730_n

Follow the link and read the full story at

justiceforthecraigavontwo.com

%d bloggers like this: