Letter from the Craigavon Two, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton.

John Paul Wotton (left) and Brendan McConville (right), two innocent men convicted for a crime they ‘did not commit’ British Scape-Goats, serving the rest of their lives in an English Prison because (simply their Irish) and someone had to pay !!!

Hello, We the Craigavon Two as we have become known, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton are to begin our appeal against our life sentence convictions for the killing of PSNI member Stephen Carroll.

We have consistently maintained our innocence and we believe as do others that the case against us represents a serious miscarriage of justice,we were tried in exceptional circumstances under the old and seriously flawed Diplock process, a hangover from the long conflict here, this system deprived us of a trial by a jury of our peers, instead a single judge presided over and convicted us.

The entire case against us was circumstantial and we believe seriously flawed, large tracts of evidence was hidden from us and the public, claiming national security. Public interest immunity certificates prevented our defence from properly investigating the evidence and cross examining witnesses vital to our defence case, in effect we were left with one arm tied behind our backs.

We do not believe this represents clear and transparent justice. A number of groups and individuals after reading into our case have expressed sufficient concern that many have stated publicly they will be attending the appeal process to provide independent oversight.

Our appeal starts on Monday (29,4,13) we the Craigavon Two, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton call on you, the public to observe the appeal process, this warped version of justice is being administered in your name.

And we ask you to look past the sensationalist headlines and look at the cold hard facts of this case, your voice matters, do not let this miscarriage of justice continue in your name.

The Craigavon Two
Brendan McConville & John Paul Wootton
Maghaberry Gaol
Sent on behalf of Brendan and John Paul
by the JFTC2 group.

With thanks to: Kevin Kinsella 

INLA men’s murders reconstruction

THE murder of two INLA men in Co Louth more than 30 years ago has featured in an RTÉ reconstruction broadcast.

SHOT: Thomas ‘Ta’ Power (left) FEUD: Hugh Torney (right)

Thomas ‘Ta’ Power (33) and then INLA ‘chief of staff’ John GerardO’Reilly (26) were gunned down as they sat in the Rossnaree Hotel, near Drogheda, in January 1987 by members of the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO). The INLA men had been in the hotel to try and settle an internal dispute about the direction of the group and were due to meet other members. However, the potential peace summit ended up in bloodshed when gunmen wearing false beards burst into the hotel and opened fire as their victims drank tea.

Two other men were injured during the ambush including Peter Stewart and Hugh ‘cueball’ Torney, who was himself killed in another feud in 1996. Leading IPLO man Gerard Steenson has been linked to the double killing, although others claim he was not involved.

He and another man were shot dead weeks later in March 1987 by the INLA faction in west Belfast. It is understood that the renewed appeal for information comes after relatives of Power, who was from the Markets area of south Belfast, met gardaí recently.

Campaign group Relatives for Justice recently wrote to the Republic’s Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Garda commisioner Nóirín O’Sullivan on behalf of the Power family asking for a review of the case. It is beleived that at that meeting family members learned for the first time that three men were questioned after the ambush but later released. No-one has ever been convicted. Gardaí failed to respond to a series of questions put to them by The Irish News about the case.

A reconstruction of the attack was featured on RTÉ’s Crime Call programme on Monday. The broadcaster declined to release any details of the programme in advance. Mike Ritchie from Relatives for Justice said: “Families who have lost loved ones below the border face a difficult situation because they were not able to benefit from the Historical Enquires Team information and review,” he said. “It’s important that the Garda reviews these cases themselves.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News.




The bigotsunionist politicians and loyal order spokesmen say – are the critics, not the bandsmen and never the marchers. It wouldn’t convince a child, particularly not a child whose earliest days at school have to be guarded by police.

AFTER the distress and ugliness of Holy Cross 12 years ago, this was surely a sight few could imagine anyone wanted to recreate. North Belfast had enough woe this summer, before police arrived on Monday morning to guard children on their way to school.

Red Hand Defenders – Formed 1979

Better not build tension, though, by lending credence to a mangy old fiction. Whoever made those phone threats – let’s remember that the ‘Red Hand Defenders’ emerged in the first place as the flimsiest of fake titles – few if any credited this a new grouping, separate from the UDA. The flag of see-through convenience brandished cynically over Rosemary Nelson‘s blown-up car gave the big-name paramilitaries cover, if only for the benefit of Northern Ireland office record-keepers and in their own minds, when they issued the limp denials while talking up their commitment to peace. Today’s unionists and loyalists have worked up cynicism into a strategy of sorts, limited but stubborn. Some came out and disowned the school threats. But why would anyone take them seriously after a summer’s tap-dancing around and away from rresponsibility? From leadership level down to party activist, unionist politicians who used to routinely and reflexively object, furiously to being accused of sectarianism, now use the word as a weapon. HOLY CROSS - not this fucking time !!!They throw in ‘intolerance’ and the ccomparatively recent discovery of a ‘culture war‘ to attempt to dismiss and belittle Republican and nationalist objections to marches, to swat away criticism of bands blattering their way past St Patrick‘s. What is truely sectarian, unionists insisists, is the critisism, not Orange or Black or Apprentice Boy or band behaviour. The bigots – unionist politicians and loyal order spokesmen say – are the critics, not the bandsmen and never the marchers. It  wouldn’t convince a child, particularly not a child whose eariliest days at school have to be guarded by police. It cannont possibly convince many unionists at a greatful distence from North Belfast, and by all accounts it doesn’t even fly with Orangemen elsewhere. But too few have come right out this summer and said this is shocking stuff. Nice new NI21 and senior clergy got round to it eventually but there was no immediate chorus of disgust.

Suspected car-bomb on Tuesday morning which prevented Catholic children from attending Holy Cross Girls School but turned out to be a deliberate hoxe
A car-bomb hoxe which prevented Catholic children from attending primary school this morning amid death threats by the Red Hand Defenders (RHD)

t is just too hard for Protestants to critcise elements in their own community – hard in terms of threats and ostracism, harder on their families. Watch what hapens to the Alliance vote next time out, particularly in East Belfast. Note the swithering of unionist commentators, trying to disown the entire marching season, unable to follow through. 1236041_198155473698125_382386466_nStand the words sectarianism and bigotry on ther heads, turn the evidence of eys and ears inside-out, and if you are a unionist leder in want of ideas there’s a serviceable plan heading into the a run of the elections. Accuse nationalists of dancing to republician tunes, blame republicians for fomenting the trouble where bandsmen and marchers are merely celebrating their ‘culture’, and you have the makings of platforms and statements to ward off cracks from Jim Allister about sharing power with the IRA’s decendents. Not that they can silence Allister, nor set their own people up with any reason to be positive about the furture. Billy Hutchinson, once a heartening voice for the most disheartened loyalist districts, thinks to claim the threats against north Belfast Catholic schools in reality came from republicians. If he simply beleives it himself that’s bad enough. If he simply says it, without the least evidence or care for the implications, there is a small chance of decent politics emerging from the shell of Progressive Unionism. What’s left of the UVF or groupings round local hardmen, various UDAs likewise, plus a range of indivdulas at variious stages of ‘transition’ to peaceful politics. It is grim, unpleasant and dishonest approach from people who think no further than their own next vote and voice nothing counter to the instincts of their own least privileged potential voters. The Flags Protest morphed swiftly into a disorderly mess that many wanted nothing to do with but it didn’t pay to say so. The DUP sniffed the soot on the air and trooped into court to support Ruth Patterson. Peter Robinson tinkered with his text, reversed its messagd, and presumably decided to hid out in the Everglades for as long as possible – eat burgers, ride his bike, maybe play a little guitar of an evening. It will be harder than ever to take him seriously when he re-enters our sphere. Not a goid note to quit on, but surely time to consider those offers from the business world.

With many thanks to : Fionnula O Connor, The Irish News.


HOMES in the Short Strand area of east Belfast have come under attack with petrol bombs for a third night in a row.

Short Strand need your support

Tensions have been high at the interface between the nationalist Short Strand and loyalist Clean Place area. On Monday night missiles and petrol bombs were again thrown over the peace wall and onto Bryson Street. No-one was injured in the attack. A similar attack at the weekend resulted in a four-year-old girl narrowly escaping injury when a petrol bomb landed in the garden she was playing in. Sinn Fein councillor Niall O Donnghaile said people in the area are angry that to date “not a single arrest has been made”. “After three months of failing this ccommunity during the flag protests, the PSNI must be seen to act to deal with those hell bent on attacking family homes,” he said.

“All residents living across both sides of the interface have to be able to live in peace in their own homes. “Once again I am calling on the political leadership of unionism and loyalism to state clearly that these attacks must stop immediately.” Alliance Party councillor Maire Hendron said it was “unsettling that some still felt the need to resort to these violent measures, rather that engaging across the community to find a lasting peacefulsolution”. “We cannot allow those opposed to a shared future and a better Northern Ireland to dictate how we live within our communities,” she said. “It is incidents like these that deflect attention away from the good community work across the area.”

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, Irish News.


2013-04-25 18.32.25

LOYALIST campaigner Willie Frazer has been arrested on suspicion of breaching his bail conditions.

Mr Frazer was arrested in the Portadown area of County Armagh, at aaround 19:35 BST on Monday, after allegedly taking part in a protest at the Maze Prison.

The Maze protest was against plans to build a peace centre on the site.

Mr Frazer is currently on bail after being charged with offencens related to Union Flag protests.

With many thanks to : BBC News.


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.


” Details on costs of the trip to Brazil and thimmediatelyll be published at a later date when all information is aavailable ” – OFMDFM spokeswoman.

DESPITE the first minister and deputy ffirst minister’s promise last month to publish how much their America’s trip cost taxpayers, their is still no sign of a total. Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness were criticised for the secrecy surrounding their visit to Brazil and the US.


On Monday they were praised for taking a ” belated decision ” to, in principal, publish the cost of foreign trips. When pressed by the SDLP member Conall McDevitt in the assembly on Monday, Mr McGuinness agreed that tax-payers do have a right to know what is spent on publicly funded trips. However, despite calls from MLAs and repeated requests from The Irish News he said the information would not be released immediately but published online ” within a very short peroid in the not-to-distant furture “. ” The reality is that it was decided that announcments about the cost of visits will be made on the website twice yearly so that is where you will find, within a very short peroid in the not-to-distant future, the full costs of the trip to China and India last year and the costs of the trip to Brazil and the United States,” Mr McGuinness told the assembly on Monday.

Mr McDevitt described it as ” a spectacular U-turn in the face of huge and justifed public criticism of the first and deputy first ministers for being secretive about public costs “. A spokeswoman for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) said : ” Details on costs of the trip to Brazil and the USA will be published at a later date when all the information is available.” Despite having promised a new open approach to a trip to Beijing next month, OFMDFM has not responded to this newspaper’s inquries about the itinerary of that trip or even who will be going. The North of Ireland delegation ” has not been finalised “. All that is known is that the visit to China will include ” a series of meetings with the Chinese governmen “. The trip follows an invitation from Chinese state councillor Liu Yandong to the first minister and deputy first minister during her visit to the north a year ago. The stated aim of the ministers ‘ visit is to ” further enhance the relasonship with China across a range of our Programme for Government priorities ” and includes the promotion of joint research partnerships between universities and education and cultural exchanges.

With many thanks to : Bimpe Archer, Irish News.


DEPUTY First Minister Martin McGuinness has joined First Minister Peter Robinson is singling out The Irish News for criticism. over its coverage of the pair’s recent trip to the Americas. Responding in the assembly on Monday to questions about last month’s 12-day visit to Brazil  the UengagementsMid Ulster MLA cited the paper on three occasions.


 During the trip the first minister and deputy first minister faced calls from politicians back home for greater transparency. Their office refused to disclose basic details including the itinerary, travelling party and who the leaders were to meet. Press releases and pictures of certain engagements were released only after the meetings. The failure to answer questions was covered by several media outlets including the Daily Mirror and the BBC but Mr McGuinness mentioned only The Irish News on Monday. Just after the pair returned from their trip Mr Robinson told a reporter to ” Stop reading The Irish News “. In response to a question by SDLP member Conall McDevitt about the cost of the trip, Mr McGuinness said it was “being collated” and would be published in due course. He also gave assurances that the cost of other visits will be published online twice yearly and said figures for trips to China and India last year would appear ” within a very short peroid in the not-to-distant future “.

Mr McGuinness claimed SDLP comments on the secrecy would have been “much more productive” had they been prefaced with praise of the leaders ‘ efforts to attract investment. ” In spite of what The Irish News says, prior to us successfully attracting the New York Stock Exchange, Chicago Mercantile and indeed many other bussinesses to the north, quite clearly we have, against all the predications and a world economic recession, been hughely successful in building personal relationships not just in the United States but now in Brazil,” he said. The Sinn Fein representative accused the paper of ” ridiculous headlines ” about hotel costs and described aspects of its coverage as ” absolutely scandalous “. “There was a focus almost on what you ate for breakfast as opposed to the huge amount of work being done to try to attract foreign direct investment, much of which has been absoultely and totally successful thus far,” he said. In response to a question from party colleage Rosie McCorley about a meeting with HBO executives regarding the TV series Game of Thrones, Mr McGuinness again cited reports in this newspaper. ” The Irish News, through one of its business correspondents, remarked that a lot of these things would have happened anyway… The reality is that we built up important relationships with senior executives at HBO,” he said.

With many thanks to : John Manley ( Political Reporter ), Irish News.


A SECOND nationalist residents group has lodged an application to hold a protest during a parade at a North Belfast flashpoint on Monday. Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) want to demonstrate as up to 100 Apprentice Boys and a march past the Nationalist area.


The Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents Association has already been given permission to hold a protest numbering 100 people. GARC spokesman Dee Fennell said the ddecision on a second protest was taken after consultation with residents. ” We carried out a number of consultations and had a meeting to consider going through proper channels or just go ahead because that’s what loyalists have been doing,” he said. ” For our part, GARC remain fully committed to having dialogue with any and all the loyal orders, either face to face or through agreed intermediaries, in order that they get a representive feeling of the vast majority of Greater Ardoyne Residents – that no sectarian marches are welcome.” A spokesman for the Parades Commission said GARC’s application will be considered today.

WITH MANY THANKS TO : Connia Young, Irish News.

An coiste cuimhneachain naisiuinta

The annual Easter commemoration will be taking place tomorrow, Monday 9th April at 2.30pm, City cemetery, Derry

Please start assembling at the gates of the cemetery from 2pm.
Contrary to rumours from nefarious quarters, the Easter commemoration is very much going ahead and no doubt the rumour is emanating from the same sources responsible for the destruction of the boards calling for the release of Marian Price, the newly painted graffiti in the Bogside/Creggan and the tearing down of the 32csm flags.
Honour Ireland’s patriot dead!
POSTED ON BEHALF OF :   Derry Sceal.
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