Stop the extradition of Liam Campbell to Lithuaina
Liam Campbell, an alleged Real IRA leader, will argue that he cannot receive a fair trial in Lithuania because his brother’s terrorism conviction was found to have been based on entrapment.
Campbell, 54, of Upper Faughart in north Louth, who was found liable for the 1998 Omagh bomb in a civil action eight years ago, appeared in the High Court in Dublin yesterday to contest his extradition to Lithuania, where he is accused of a Real IRA plot to buy large quantities of explosives and weapons.
Brian Gageby, his barrister, told the court that he wanted an adjournment while he sought an English translation of Michael Campbell’s trial and appeal in Vilnius. Mr Gageby is preparing to argue that Liam Campbell cannot receive a fair trial, which is required under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Campbell’s brother was convicted in Lithuania in 2011 of conspiracy to buy weapons and explosives, following a joint MI5-Lithuanian police operation. Michael Campbell was jailed for twelve years but his conviction was overturned on appeal in 2013 on the grounds that he was entrapped by MI5. Liam Campbell is now seeking a transcript of that appeal to use in his case.
Since Michael Campbell returned to Ireland the highest court in Lithuania overturned the appeal, finding that the appeal court erred in putting too much weight on entrapment defence. As a result Michael Campbell may also be extradited back to Lithuania.
Judge Aileen Donnelly agreed to adjourn Liam Campbell’s case for a month yesterday to allow the state and the defence to prepare documents.
Campbell is receiving free legal aid to fight extradition, claiming that he will not get a fair trial and also that prison conditions in Lithuania are so bad that they violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The article prohibits extradition if there is a “substantial risk” that the person will undergo inhumane or degrading treatment.
He won on Article 3 grounds when Lithuania sought to extradite him from Northern Ireland, after which he was released by the High Court in Belfast and was rearrested in the Republic. Campbell’s co-accused, Brendan McGuigan, 36, of Omeath, Co Louth, was previously released by the High Court in Dublin, also because prison conditions in Lithuania would be a violation of his rights under Article 3.
Both men are wanted in Lithuania for allegedly organising a Real IRA explosives and weapons importation scheme. A Lithuanian arrest warrant read in court states that Campbell “made arrangements for illegal possession of a considerable amount of powerful firearms, ammunition, explosive devices and substances” to be exported from Lithuania to Ireland for use by a “terrorist grouping”.
The cargo was allegedly to include sniper rifles, rocket launchers, RPG-7 rockets, hand-grenades and Semtex explosives.
Campbell was allegedly a senior Real IRA member when the offences were committed in late 2006 and early 2007 and is alleged to have met with a British intelligence officer posing as an east European arms dealer.
with many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News.
HET findings published as Haass talks break up without agreement -into ‘Shot-to-Kill’ policy’s in the North of Ireland.
TWO IRA men were shot in the back by SAS soldiers in Co Tyrone 30 years ago, a report has found. The families of Colm McGirr (23) and Brian Campbell (19) on Monday 30th December said they planned to sue the British government and wanted fresh inquests into their deaths.
The news came as US diplomat Richard Haass failed to make the party’s in the North of Ireland come to an agreement on dealing with the past, parades and flags. Among the issues holding up the progress have been mechanisms for giving evidence to Historical inquires by bodies taking over the functions of the PSNI‘s/RUC‘s Historical Enquires Team (HET) and the Police Ombudsman. The fresh report into the Co Tyrone killings was carried out by a forensic pathologist for the HET. It appears to contradict accounts given by the undercover soldiers who claimed the pair were shot dead while pointing weapons towards them. Mr McGirr and Mr Campbell, who were members of the Provisional IRA, were murdered by the SAS in a field on Cloghog Road near Coalisland, Co Tyrone, on December 4 1983. A third man was injured but escaped. Their deaths fuelled claims of a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy by the British government against IRA members.
Testimony from the soldiers had claimed that the men were removing weapons hidden in the field and on being challenged “Colm McGirr turned and pointed a shotgun towards one of the soldiers who then fired several shots at him”. Forensic pathologist Richard Shepherd reviewed the postmortem examination scene photographs and statements from four of the six soldiers prescent. He said he did “not believe Colm McGirr would have turned far enough to threaten soldiers” and “no shots had struck Brian Campbell from the front”. In his report, which the families have received, he concluded that because Mr McGirr was right handed, he did “not believe he would have turned far enough to threaten soldiers” if he was holding a weapon. “In my opinion therefore it is more likely that [Mr McGirr] received shots to his right side and back as he was facing into or towards the bush,” he said. The SAS also claimed one of the squad, known as Soldier A, then fired towards Brian Campbell who was holding an armalite rifle and had also turned and was facing them” However, Dr Shepherd concluded that “no shots had struck Brian Campbell form the front”. “I cannot exclude the possibility that the injury to the left upper back was inflicted as he lay on the ground,” he said, without ruling out the soldiers’ version of events in both cases. The IRA men’s families have now called for a fresh inquest into their deaths/murders. Solicitor Padraig O Muirigh, acting on behalf of the relatives said they would also take legal action against the British government.
“This report raises serious concerns in relation to the original soldiers’ statements,” he said. “In light of the disclosure of the Dr Shepherd’s report the families have made an application to the attorney general to direct a fresh inquest into the deaths/murders of Colm McGirr and Brian Campbell. “They will also be issuing civil proceedings against the minister of defence in relation to the unlawful actions of the soldiers.” Colm McGirr’s brother Brian (58), from Coalisland, claimed the British army discovered the arms cache three days earlier on December 1, but the weapons were not removed or disabeled. “We have no doubt that a carefully planned ambush was set by undercover British security forces that evening,” he said. “Through the 30 years that have passed we have sought the truth of what happened. We were led to bbelieve that the PSNI’s/RUC’s Historical Enquiries Team would make every effort to achieve the truth. “As part of this, a second pathologist has confirmed that the shootings could not have happened as described by security forces. Both men, Colm and Brian, were shot in cold blood in the back.” Mr McGirr said the families have been informed that the HSE investigation “is at an end and will proceed no further”. “We lived with a charade of an inquest in early years with no evidence of any sort offered as to what occurred. The McGirr and Campbell families will continue to demand that a new inquest is held to fully investigate all that occourred on that evening.” Reacting to the findings on Monday nnight, Dungannon Independent Republican councillor Barry Monteith said he was “not surprised” by the pathologist’s review and accused the British government of operating a ‘shot-to-kill policy in the North of Ireland. However, Dungannon DUP councillor Samuel Brush said he had no confidence in the HET. “There are dozens and dozens of murders around this area in South Tyrone that have not been looked at,” he said. “It baffles me that these things didn’t ccome to light then and can be turned up. “All we can do is work on reports as they come but is this report any better or any worse than the previous ones?”
With many thanks toto: The Irish News.
- Link to Loughgall ambush sealed RUC officer’s fate (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- I’m Already Low on New Year Optimism (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Link to Loughgall ambush sealed RUC officer’s fate (irishtimes.com)
- ‘Old’ I.R.A ‘Not in My Name’ Part 2 (politics.ie)
- ‘Old’ I.R.A ‘Not in My Name’ Part 2 (politics.ie)
Teachers in the North of Irerland are appalled by a ‘work till you drop’ culture and will fight plans to incrageease the pension age, writes Justin McCamphill
‘The NASUWT has been at the forefront of lobbying our MLAs to bring amendments to the bill in the interests of young and old, those in work and those unemployed.
THE British government‘s dchancellor of the exchequergovernment’s, George Osborne, was full of self-congratulation when giving his autumn statement on December 5. The statement included new attacks on working people – in this case, attacks on the young, but encompassing everyone.
In particularly, the autumn statement also included attacks on the pensions of all working people. The state pension age was already due to increase to 68 in 2046, but the British coalation government has brought that forward by 10 years, meaning that people who are in their mid-forties now will not be able to take their state pension until they are 68. The Westminister Pensions Bill, which applies to the North of Ireland, also allows the British government to increase the pension age every five years if it wishes – and the British government has already announced that, if its plans stay on course, people in their thirties will have a pension age of 69 and people in their twenties will have one of 70.
My union, NASUWT, which is by far the largest teacher’s union in the North of Ireland, is appalled by the ‘work till you drop’ culture that is now the British government’s vision for the people of Britain and the North of Ireland. Increasing the pension age during a period of unemployment and the worst recession for decades is utter madness, as it reduces already scarce job vacancies as those in work are being forced to work for longer. The people of the North of Ireland have no control over the Westminster Pensions Bill, but they do have control over the Public Service Pensions Bill, which is due to begin the consideration stage in the assembly after CChristmas. The Public Service Pensions Bill equalises the normal pension age and the state pension age for the majority of public service workers in the North of Ireland, including teachers, health workers and civil servants. This means that young Northern Irish teachers can expect to have to work until they are 70 to receive their teacher’s pension – unless the bill is changed. The NASUWT has been at the forefront of lobbying our MLAs to bring amendments to the bill in the interests of the young and old, those in work and those who are unemployed. We call on our MLAs to stand up for all public service workers who dedicate their lives to serving the public. When assembly elections are next held we will be calling on our members to vote only for those MLAs who defend them.
With many thanks to: Justin McCamphill, NASUWT uunion’s NI junior vice president, writing for: The Irish News.
- Almost HALF of teachers have considered quitting the job because of workloads, pay and pensions (mirror.co.uk)
- NASUWT members in strike action. (northbedsnasuwt.wordpress.com)
- NUT and NASUWT trade disputes (northbedsnasuwt.wordpress.com)
- What next for the NUT and NASUWT? (emmaannhardy.wordpress.com)
- Teachers say no to cuts in pay and conditions (socialistworker.co.uk)
- Teachers threaten more strikes as talks with Michael Gove stumble (independent.co.uk)
’66 tonnes thrown out in three years’.
2010 (Sept-Dec) 11,800kg
Total = 66,685kg
STORMONT is throwing away more than a tonnes of unused food every month. The assembly has thrown out over 66 tonnes of uneaten food over the past three years, figures obtained by The Irish News can reveal.
The huge amount of unused food (payed for at the taxpayers expence) is the equivalent of more than 16 full-grown African elephants or 148 polar bears. In some years the assembly produced more than three tonnes of waste in a single month. The alarming figures come as the executive continues to urge householders through environmental campaigns to stop wasting food. Leader of the Green Party in the North of Ireland Steven Agnew described the level of food waste as “scandalous”. The North Down MLA for the assembly to tackle the problem in 2014 by introducing new legislation encouraging unused food donations. “It is scandalous that at a time when so many food banks are opening because people cannot afford food, so much edible surplus food is simply being thrown away at the seat of local government,” he said. “The public are not only paying for that food to be bought, cooked and served but they are also paying for the costs of its disposal and I am very concerned that with the amount of food wasted, ttaxpayers money is not being spent wisely.” Not to mention also the public are paying the wages of the government MLA’s that are wasting the food.
Stormont was provided with more than £165,000 worth of food during 2013, according to figures obtained by The Irish News Through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. It started recording its food waste in August 2010, with an average of 1,750kg of uneaten food being disposed of by parliament buildings and the wider Stormont Estate on average since then. In a FOI rresponds the assembly said its current waste management contractor was “not commissioned to recycle food waste” but was “committed to do so”. However, it said commercially produced food waste is recycled. Earlier this year The Irish News revealed hungry MLAs have munched their way through more than £180,000 worth of refreshments at assembly committee meetings over the past six years.
Stormonts committee meetings are supplied with trays of tasty snacks, from tea and coffee to sandwiches and variates of biscuits. In October Tesco sparked a food waste debate after the supermarket giant revealed it had thrown away 28,500 tonnes of food in the first six months of 2013. Mr Agnew said food waste was a major environmental problem which if tackled would be the equivalent of taking one in four cars off the road. “While there has been a reduction in the level of food wasted at the assembly over the last couple of years, the fact that so much food is still being thrown away certainly doesn’t set a good example or leave a good impression with the public,” he said. “We need a similar law to the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act in place in the USA to enable organisations to donate excess food without the threat of liability.” A spokesman for the assembly said: “The assembly endeavours to ensure that food waste from all its outlets is minimised.”
With many thanks to: Brendan Hughes, The Irish News.
- Shame Fein unaware of who damaged City Hall toilets (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Belated truth on MRF proves that republican claims were right!!! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Sands ‘offered to suspend Hunger Strike to reach deal’ !!! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- The Cost of Food Wastage (Infographic) (business2community.com)
- Charity hands out 23 TONNES of food in Hartlepool during 2013 – and need even more for next year (hartlepoolmail.co.uk)
- Richard Haass: Irish Tricolour Should Fly Over Stormont. (politics.ie)
- Turning food waste into energy could be a milestone for the circular economy (theguardian.com)
Toiletgate who done it?
The party was responding after it was urged to provide a “full and frank public explanation” for the damage which was caused during a festive (knees up) function on December 20. DUP group leader Lee Reynolds said a urinal was pulled off a wall along with metal water pipes after a “confrontation” “spilled out” from Shame Fein’s “party room into the nearby men’s toilets“. The DUP man called for a “full investigation by council officials and the PSNI/RUC to ascertain what occurred and who was responsible”. Shame Fein councillor Jim McVeigh said “the celebration was enjoyed by all who attended”. “We do not know who was responsible for any damage or whether it was malicious or accidental,” he said. “Contrary to mischievous reports the toilets were not ‘smashed.’ “We will be only to happy to cooperate with any council investigation into the damage caused.” A spokesman for Belfast City Council said all enquires were being referred to Shame Fein. A spokesman for the PSNI/RUC said: “The incident has not been reported to police.”
With many thanks toto: Connla Young, The Irish News.
- Damage to Belfast City Hall toilet not caused by fight, says Sinn Fein (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- City Hall toilets ‘damaged during Sinn Fein Christmas party’ (newsletter.co.uk)
- Toiletgate: We Didn’t Wreck Urinals at Our Xmas City Hall Party, Say Sinn Fein (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Dup Calls for Police Probe Over Toilet Damage at Sinn Fein Xmas Party in City Hall (belfastdaily.co.uk)
THE mass escape of 38 PIRA prisoners from the Maze Prison, near Belfast on September 25 1983 in which a prison warder was stabbed to death, is detailed in previously confidential files. Like many files in this year’s releases, that relating to the prison escape is partially closed to 2069.
The official report claims that Gerry Kelly (Old Baily bomber), one of the PIRA escapees and now a Shame Fein MLA, shot a prison guard in the head. Confidential reports prepared for the Secretary of State Jim Priors shed new light on the event and the role of a British military guard at the prison. In a report on the events of that dramatic Sunday, penned the following day, W J Kerr, director of prison operations in the North of Ireland, described how at 16.45 hours he was informed of ‘an incident at the Maze’. He immediately proceeded to the prison where he ‘was informed that H7 Block had been taken over by armed prisoners who had hijacked the kitchen lorry and had proceeded to the main gate.’ There follows a diary of the events on that Sunday. The day began normally with prisoners unlocked for breakfast and exercise. At 11.15 Fr Rooney, the Catholic chaplain, celebrated Mass in the H Block with 54 prisoners in attendence. Dinner was served at 12.15 hours after which all prisoners were returned to their cells. Suddenly at 14.45 hours prisoners in H Block 7 overpowered staff on duty and took control of the block. Various weapons were used including guns.
The prisoners commandeered the prison meals delivery van and 38 prisoners forced the prison officer driver to drive the van from the block through segment gates one and eight to the prison main gate. The escapees then overpowered the staff on duty at the gate and, although eventually the alam was raised, they managed to get out of the prison proper. The prisoners at this point disappeared and fled in different directions.’ Among the prisoners in H7 were Gerry Kelly, aged 30, (the present Shame Fein MLA for North Belfast) and Brendan ‘Bic’ McFarlane who had been a spokesman for the hunger strikers during the 1981 Hunger Strike. Kelly had been convicted at Winchester in 1973, along with Marian Price/Mc Glincy and Dolours Price (The Price Sisters) and Hugh Feeney, for setting off car bombs in London. In all he had made four previous escape attempts. McFarlane (then 31), described in the file as ‘a PIRA leader deeply involved in the organisation’ was sentenced to five life terms for the 1975 bombing of the Bayardo Bar on the Shankill Road in which five people died. The sequence of events at the prison began when prisoner Mead overpowered a senior officer while ‘Prisoner Storey entered the principal officer’s office carrying a gun and pointed it at the senior officer’s head.’ Storey then took charge, “forcing the officer to answer the telephone in a normal manner”. Meanwhile, other officers were being overpowered and tied up throughout the H Block. “Officer Leak was in the toilet when he heard two shots. He left [to see] Prisoner 58 [Gerry Kelly] pointing a pistol into the control room. “Kelly turned the gun on Leak and forced him into the officers’ tea room. Leak was tied up and hooded. Kerr added at this point: “This would establish that prisoner Kelly shot officer Adams who was on duty in the control. It is not clear if the control grille was locked before Mr Adams was shot.” As the IRA inmates gradually seized control of the wings they approached the inner gates where ‘Bic’ McFarlane told the prison guard that he had been “sent to clean the sentry box”. The officer was then overpowered by armed prisoners. Meanwhile, officer McLaughlin was on duty as kitchen van driver and at 15.25 hours had passed through the lock gates of H Block to deliver afternoon tea. “As officer McLaughlin started to unload the meal from the van, prisoner Storey put a gun to his head and forced him into the medical inspection room.
“Whilst there he was threatened by prisoner [Gerry] Kelly who told him to do as he was told or he would be ‘blown away’.” McLaughlin was then forced to drive the van from the block to the main gate through the inner gates. According to the report the van proceeded through the first gate unchallenged to a parking lot where most of the uniformed prisoners ddisembarked. At the main gates they seized the controls and got outside. However, Kerr stressed, the staff in the Tally Lodge “resisted strongly and in the ensuing affray one officer was stabbed and died shortly afterwards. “By this time the alarm had been raised and two officers sitting in their cars outside the gate drove into the area, blocking the exit.” In the resulting melee 10 escapees were captured including a man called Murray who was wounded by an army sentry in a watch-tower. At the time of the report on 26 September, 21 inmates remained “unlawfully at large”. In his conclusion, Kerr highlighted a number of aspects of the PIRA escape which gave him concern. In particular, the fact that the inmates were in possession of firearms suggested that they and their supporters outside were able to breach the security measures at the Maze. He was particularly alarmed at the ease with which prisoners were able to gain access to the secure entrance into the blocks and the main gates. He also questioned how the escaping prisoners were allowed to drive a hijacked vehicle through two inner gates without being challenged and why five officers in H Block 7 were permitted to be off their posts at the same time. Claims by the DUP leader, Ian Paisley that the military guard had failed to open fire prompted a memo to the secretary of state from an NIO official, P W J Buxton on September 28 1983 on the reaction of the soldiers who formed a 150-strong prison guard. He reported that in the watchtower on the main gate had shot an escaper whom he had just seen shot a prison officer. The position of a soldier shooting escapers was quite clear, Buxton noted; ‘the Yellow Card’ applied. Thus, unless the escaper is presenting a direct threat to life, or has just killed or injured someone and there was no other way of arresting, he is not authorised to shoot.
With many thanks to: Eamon Phoenix, The Irish News.
- Gerry Kelly Shot Prison Officer During Maze Escape, Say Nio Papers (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- State papers: Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly told warder to obey or be blown away (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Sands ‘offered to suspend Hunger Strike to reach deal’ !!! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
Confidential files released
TODAY sees the release of previously confidential files from Stormonta and the NIO (Northern Ireland Office) covering the two years 1983 and 1984. This marks a change as Public Records Office be gains to phase towards a new ’20-year rule’. In total 1,047 files are released today of which 225 are subject to full closure while 366 are subject to ‘redaction’ or blacking-out. Those partially closed include files on the use of baton rounds, ‘political developments’ and ‘compensation to innocent victims’. Many are of these files are partially closed until 2067 (I wonder what they are hiding about the Shame Fein sellouts). Reporting on the Belfast files for the Irish News is Dr Damon Phoenix, a political historian and broadcaster and author of Northern Nationalism 1890-1940 (1994) and co-author of Conflicts in the North of Ireland 1900-2000 (Four Courts Press, 2010). Irish government files are released today under the ‘30-year rule.’ Reporting from Dublin is the Press Association‘s Ed Carty. The next lot of pages will be dedicated to these newly released files.
STATE PAPERS Belfast and Dublin
ON March 14 1984 Gerry Adams, the new Shame Fein MP for West Belfast, and three companions were shot and wounded by the UFF while driving back from a court appearance in Belfast city centre. Mr Adams was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital for emergency surgery.
Mr Adams stay in hospital was the subject of a series of complaints by the Ulster Unionist MP for South Belfast, Rev Martin Smyth alleging that Shame Fein leader was being ‘guarded’ by republicans at the RVH. In a note on file for the NIO uunder-secretary, John Patten on March 22 1984, R F Sterling, an official at the DHSS reported that Rev Smyth had phonened the minister’s office to complain about reports that Shame Fein members were gaurding the West Belfast MP and his colleagues. According to Sterling, Rev Smyth was “particularly indignant that these people were reported to be stopping and questioning members of the public within the hospital”.
Sterling explained to the minister that Adams and his companions had been housed in a secure ward and placed under the protection of armed police. All four, he noted, were material witnesses to an armed assault and “clearly their lives were at risk”. Questioned by Rev Smyth in the House of Commons on March 21, 1984 about the alleged ‘Shame Fein guard’ over Mr Adams, secretary of state Jim Prior insisted that the Shame Fein leader “was given medical attention under the protection of the RUC”. He also rejected a claim that British Intelligence had been aware of the murder bid on Mr Adams in advance. In a letter to Rev Smyth on March 22 1984 Mr Prior admitted that the hospital authorities believed that during Mr Adams ‘ stay at the RVH some members of Shame Fein might have been present but that they were confined to the public areas and “were not guarding” the Shame Fein leader.
With many thanks to: Dr Eamon Phoenix, The Irish News.
- Respected priest ‘wrote speeches for Gerry Adams’ (yorkshirepost.co.uk)
- Unionist ire at Adams hospital guard (bbc.co.uk)
- Government considered Sinn Féin ban (bbc.co.uk)
- Haass proposals doomed to failure (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- State papers: Republicans tried to guard hospital after Gerry Adams shot (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Smithwick’s significance is political ‘NOT’ legal !!! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Resolution possible says Adams (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Gerry Kelly Shot Prison Officer During Maze Escape, Say Nio Papers (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Gerry Kelly Shot Prison Officer During Maze Escape, Say Nio Papers (belfastdaily.co.uk)
‘Why would he make it up? It’s a private conversation and he relates to Humphrey Atkins – Thomas Hennessey speaking about Fr John Magee‘s version of events.
BOBBY Sands offered to suspend the 1981 Hunger Strike in order to reach a deal with the British, a new book has claimed. The claims are made in Hunger Strike: Margaret Thatcher’s Battle with the IRA, written by academic Thomas Hennessey.
As well as looking at the role of the former British prime minster, the book examines efforts to end the protest which eventually claimed the lives of ten brave republicans. Mr Hennessey reveals that Sands, who died in May 1981 after 66 days on Hunger Strike, made the offer to Co Down native Fr John Magee who had been sent from Rome to Ireland by John Paul 11. An account of the conversation between the priest and Sands was later relayed to the then secretary of state, Humphrey Atkins. In his book Mr Hennessey says Sands agreed to suspend his fast for five days to allow time for talks – “provided certain conditions were satisifed”. Some of the conditions set out by Sands included that an official from the NIO (Northern Ireland Office) would visit him, that two priests should be present as guarantors and that three other republican prisoners should be present. Details of the offer were later rejected by Mr Atkins who objected to the idea that the hunger striker was “setting conditions”.
According to the author Mr Atkins made it clear that the British government was not prepared to “negotiate” with protesting prisioners at that time. While he had “respect for the Pope” he said he would not be able to meet his representative again “because to do so would risk creating the impression that some form of negotiation was going”. Mr Hennessey believed Fr Magee’s account of the conversation he had with Sands was accurate. “Why would he make it up? It’s a private conversation and he relates it to Humphrey Atkins,” he said. “To me it’s genuine and does not undermine what Sands is trying to do.” The author backs up previous claims made by former H-Block prisoner Richard O’Rawe that a deal was offered that could have ended the Hunger Strike in July 1981. His account of how the deal offer was handled has been strongly contested by other Provisional republicans. “It is clear there was a deal offered that could have ended the Hunger Strike,” Mr Hennessey said. “I accept Richard O’Rawe’s analysis of that but there are other aspects you can’t prove.”
With many thanks to: Connia Young, The Irish News.
- SF compares Fianna Fáil to Margaret Thatcher in ‘criminalising’ 1981 hunger strikers (irishtimes.com)
- 1957 – Thomas McElwee is born in Bellaghy, Co. Derry. (stairnaheireann.wordpress.com)
- Tiocfaidh ár lá – Our DAY will come (prayingforoneday.wordpress.com)
‘Judith has made an enormous contribution to policing in the North of Ireland– Anne Connolly.
Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie had been widely tipped as the frontrunner to replace Matt Baggott (maggot) as chief constable when his contract ends next year. With 32 years of policing experience she made history as the first female assistant chief constabe in 2004 before being promoted to her present role in 2009. The Policing Board was told of her plans on Friday. Although Ms Gillespie is expected to receive a lucrative redundancy package, she will not be entitled to the £500,000 she would have received under the Patten arrangements. The deadline to avail of the scheme aimed at readdressing the religious imbalance of the police service ended in March 2011. At the time Ms Gillespie said she decided against taking the package because policing “is about far more than the financial rewards”. Her job is to be advertised in the new year. She will vacate the post on March 31. Althouh Ms Gillespie has not made public her post-PSNI plans sources say she has been approached by an international privite-security firm to act as a consultant.
A PSNI/RUC spokesman said: “We can confirm that Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie has notified the Policing Board of her intention to retire from the Police Service of Northern Ireland. “She has served as deputy chief constable for the past four and a half years and has served a total of 32 years as both a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) GC and PSNI. “PSNI will not be making any further comment at this stage.” Board chairwoman Anne Connolly said: “Judith has made an enormous contribution to policing in the North of Ireland. “As a chief officer, deputy chief constable Grillespie has provided strong leadership to the service in driving forward a programme of policing change and reform. “A strong advocate for women in policing, Judith championed the introduction of the first gender action plan and diversity strategy for policing in the North of Ireland. “A positive role model, Deputy Chief Constable Gillespie has used her wide-ranging experience to provide inspiration and encouragement to officers and staff both within the Northern Irish community and within policing nationally and internationally.” The DUP’s Policing Board group leader, Jonathan Craig MLA said Ms Gillespie “can look back with pride on a number of distinguished achievements throughout her 32 years of service”. “Undoubtedly, this accomplishment still acts as an inspiration to others. Whilst we may have taken differing views on a range of matters at the board, I wish Deputy Chief Constable every success for her future wherever that may lead,” he said.
- PSNI deputy Judith Gillespie set to retire (newsletter.co.uk)
- Deputy chief constable to retire (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- PSNI launches ‘survival plan’ as it loses 17 staff every month (newsletter.co.uk)
- PSNI ‘have put life of youth worker at risk’ !!! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Police numbers ‘are on a downward path’ (newsletter.co.uk)
- Man fails in final bid to sue PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott for £1bn (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
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.
- Man in flames flees Belfast shop after firebomb attack (theguardian.com)
- Man arrested over gun attack (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Revealed: Dissidents Used New Rifle in North Belfast Murder Bid on Police (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Platform used by gunmen to shoot at police convoy (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Unprecedented level of spying used against dissident trio accused of police murder plot. (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Top dissident republicans taken off the streets (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Standing room only as accused appear (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)