Maghaberry prisoners drinking hand sanitiser

PRISON chiefs are facing a hand sanitiser shortage as inmates are drinking it!

Alcohol-based solutions are now banned in Maghaberry Gaol maximum security facility after it emerged prisoners were necking it rather than cleaning their hands. The Prison Service has instigated a strict lockdown regime which has seen near zero coronaviris infections, but they now face a problem of sanitiser dependent prisoners. The Sunday World also understands inmates are sniffing it in an attempt to get a hit. The Prison Service has been sourcing hand cleaners that are non-alcohol-based. Prisoners are notoriously innovative when it comes to booze and drugs but when it comes to protection from coronaviris prison bosses have unwittingly handed them access to a free supply of drink.

But with it comes enormous health risks. Consuming products like hand sanitisers is not unique to the current health crisis but has been a current problem. Brand name bottles of sanitiser are at least 60 to 65% alcohol, the equivalent of two shots of 80 proof vodka. Hand sanitiser contains ethanol alcohol as well. This is the same substance within one glass of wine that can create a buzz when you drink it. Health risks include damage to internal organs, vision problems, memory loss and alcohol poisoning.

Unfortunately, there are ways to steer clear of the bad taste of hand sanitiser. Many who abuse the substance have begun adding salt to separate the alcohol from the gel or add in mouth wash to alter the taste. They’ve also begun inhaling it which can also cause serious side side effects and health issues including nausea and vomiting. Prison sources have told the Sunday World that prisoners quickly saw the opportunity. “It’s not rocket science, Alcohol is the magic word,” our source told us. The Sunday World contacted the Prison Service for comment but the was no response.

With many thanks to the Sunday World and Richard Sullivan for the original story 

Dutch court blocks extradition of man due to ‘inhumane conditions’ in UK prisons

Judges say suspected drug smuggler at real risk of degrading treatment

A broken window in a cell at HMP Liverpool in September 2017 when inspectors conducted a surprise inspection

 

Judges in the Netherlands have refused to send a suspected drug smuggler back to the UK because of concerns that conditions in British jails are inhumane.

Prison riot squad officer’s in the UK who use full force in restraining prisoners and in some cases break bones and seriously harm the prisoner concerned. In the North of Ireland (which is classed as being part of the UK) the riot squad are used to restrain and strip search Irish Republican prisoners.

An initial application to extradite the unnamed man, who had been on the run for two years, was refused this week due to the reported state of HMP Liverpool where he would probably be sent.

A prison cell in the North of Ireland

The court of Amsterdam heard how inspectors had found “some of the most disturbing prison conditions we have ever seen” and “conditions which have no place in an advanced nation in the 21st century”, in reference to report on the state of prisons in the UK published last July.

A surprise inspection of HMP Liverpool in September 2017 found it was infested with rats and that inmates lived in squalid conditions, afraid of being attacked because of increasing violence. Similar conditions were found in HMP Birmingham and HMP Bedford.

The Dutch judges said on Wednesday they were concerned the man, who was wanted in relation to cocaine and heroin smuggling on Merseyside, was at “real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment” if returned.

The man had been made the subject of a European arrest warrant at Liverpool magistrates court in July 2017.

His lawyer argued that the extradition should be refused based on the prison inspectors’ reports.

“The UK judicial authorities state that British prisons are doing quite well, but the circumstances discussed in the reports are still the same as before, even though more staff may have been appointed,” the lawyer said, according to documents first reported by the Liverpool Echo.

“The situation is still not good and the letter of 24 April 2019 [from the director general of prisons] gives no assurance that the situation is now different from before. Nor is there a guarantee that the person claimed will not be placed in HMP Bedford, HMP Birmingham or HMP Liverpool after surrender.”

Citing article three of the European convention on human rights, the Dutch judges said they did not have sufficient evidence that the man would not be returned to such conditions.

They told the court: “What has been put forward by the UK judicial authorities is too general and insufficient to assume that the detention conditions in the aforementioned prison institutions have significantly improved.

“In these circumstances, the expectation that the situation will improve rapidly is not sufficient to assume that the real risk of inhumane treatment has actually disappeared. The already established real danger of inhuman or degrading treatment in these establishments has not been eliminated.”

The court said it would delay its final decision on the extradition “until it obtains additional information on the basis of which it can rule out the existence of such a hazard”.

A letter written by the director general of prisons to the court insisted that steps had been taken to improve the jails. “We do not accept those conditions anywhere in our prisons amount to inhuman or degrading treatment contrary to article three,” the letter said.

A UK government spokesman said overcrowding was being reduced and that new governors had been appointed at the three jails.

With many thanks to: The Guardian and Daniel Boffey in Brussels for the original story

Prisoner monitoring duties now ‘crystal clear’ to staff and managers

It is now “crystal clear” to prison staff and managers that the failure to monitor vulnerable inmates will result in dismissal, the head of the Irish Prison Service has said.

IPS director general, Caron McCaffrey, was commenting over the weekend, on the back of an inquest in Cork last month and a related report, of the Inspector of Prisons, into the death of an inmate in Cork Prison.

David Blackwell, aged 52, who had a history of psychiatric illness and substance abuse, died of heart failure in the Vulnerable Persons’ Unit of Cork Prison, in January 2017.

Those in the unit should be checked every 15 minutes. While initial prison records indicated that the checks had been done on Mr Blackwell, CCTV footage showed otherwise. A report by the acting inspector of prisons found that the CCTV footage was “incorrect and misleading” and detailed gaps in monitoring of 102 minutes, 97 minutes, and 51 minutes.

Last August, the Irish Examiner published an analysis of reports by the inspector of prisons, which showed that two-thirds of deaths of vulnerable persons since 2012 produced concerns about misleading or inaccurate record-keeping by prison staff.

In an email sent out after the Cork inquest, Ms McCaffrey said Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan had expressed to her “his grave concern at this issue”.

Speaking to media at the weekend, Ms McCaffrey said she had made it “crystal clear” to prison officers, and governors, that dismissal would result from failing to check on vulnerable inmates every 15 minutes, unless there were good reasons why they could not do so.

She said: “I’ve made it very, very clear to our management and very, very clear to our staff that where staff, without good reason, don’t perform their duties, in my view that is gross misconduct and will result in dismissal.”

The IPS boss said that, “at the moment, discretion lies with the prison governor”, in terms of implementing a disciplinary sanction.

What we’re hoping to do is have consistency in relation to disciplinary guidelines across the estate and I’ve been very clear, both to our prison managers and to our staff, that this does constitute gross misconduct and that the appropriate sanction will be dismissal.

She said policies have been changed: “Previously, our prison management could only view a 20-minute piece of footage of night duty to ensure that staff are doing their job. We have removed and amended our CCTV policy, so our staff can now view the full CCTV footage of night guard duties.”

She said they had introduced a night log for staff “to ensure they contemporaneously note the issues that arise on any given night to ensure that where there is good reason for not having done those checks — and, as I said, operational issues absolutely do arise during an evening — that they are properly and appropriately recorded at the time”.

Up to 250 inmates have ‘severe’ mental illness

Some 250 prisoners have “severe and enduring mental illness”, and 30 of them require admission to the Central Mental Hospital, at any one time, the director general of the Irish Prison Service has said.

Caron McCaffrey said the country’s sole forensic mental health facility operates a waiting list for admissions, and that prison chiefs only have access to a “limited” number of beds there.

“There are significant issues in our prisons generally, in relation to mental illness,” she said.

At any one time, we have about 250 prisoners suffering from severe and enduring mental illness.

She said this included schizophrenia: “Of those 250, we could have between 20 and 30 people who have been deemed to require admission to the Central Mental Hospital.”

She said the National Forensic Mental Health Service operated a waiting list for admission to the CMH.

“We have access to a limited number of beds,” she said. “The reality is that not everyone on the waiting list will get access to the Central Mental Hospital.”

Ms McCaffrey said the Government was investing in a new Central Mental Hospital: “We have been engaging directly with the CMH, in relation to increasing the numbers of beds available to the prison service.

“When the new hospital opens, in Portrane in 2020, we do expect to see an increase in the number of beds available to prisoners.”

Last March, the reports of prison visiting committees for Mountjoy, Cork, Limerick, Wheatfield, and Cloverhill, raised concerns about mental illness among prisoners.

In a report last October, the Irish Penal Reform Trust said increasing numbers of prisoners with severe mental illness were on the CMH waiting list. It said that while there were psychiatric referral units in all Dublin prisons, in Portlaoise and in Midlands, there were none in Cork, Limerick, or Castlerea. It said there were fewer psychologists for prisoners now than three years ago, but noted that the IPS had recruited some recently.

The IPRT estimated that there were 323 prisoners, out of 4,000, with a severe mental illness.

It said only two prisons (Mountjoy and Cloverhill) had high-support units for mentally ill prisoners, even though an inquest jury in 2016 called for one in every prison.

With many thanks to the: Irish Examiner and Cormac O’Keeffe Security Correspondent for the original story@CormacJOKeeffe

Kelly’s role highlighted in PIRA’s ‘great escape’

STATE PAPERS Belfast and Dublin

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.

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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.

End the Injustice and unjust incarceration of Martin Corey

Many people are rightly praising Nelson Mandela today, along with Bobby Sands probabily the most globally known political prisoner, and remembering the injustice of his incarceration for over two decades into his 60s.

FREE MARTIN COREY FOR CHRISTMAS

Less than 10 miles from Belfast there is a man named Martn Corey, aged 63, in Maghaberry Gaol. Martin served 20 years of a life sentence, was released, and and over three years ago was returned to prison with no evidence, no reason given, no right to defend himself – all at the stroke of a pen by a British Secretary of State who has not one vote or any right in Ireland. He has no release date and could die in prison. Where are the Free Martin Corey concerts? 1451527_670237059682798_647295611_nWhere are the pop stars and celebrities queuing up to attach themselves to Martin’s cause? Where are the trendy lefties with their Free Martin Corey protests? Where is the voice of political parties, so keen to attach themselves to Mandela, Castro and Chavez, demanding and taking to the streets en masse for Martin Corey’s release? Nowhere, because somtimes it is easier to seek credibility through a struggle thousands of miles away, than oppose what is happening right in front of your eyes !!!

With many thanks to: Dee Fennell

Female inmate ‘forcibly strip searched’

BRITAIN STILL ABUSES IRISH REPUBLICAN WOMENSecond woman missed hospital appointment after refusing to remove clothes campaigners say.

REPUBLICAN prisoner campaigners have claimed a forced strip has been

out on a female republican inmate at Hydebank Wood Prison.

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Sharon Rafferty, of Cavana Linn in Pomeroy, was forced to remove her clothes before and after making a court appearance in Omagh, Co Tyrone, last month. Supporters say the 38-year-old refused to take off her cloths voluntarily female prison officers forcibly removed them down to her underwear. Ms Rafferty is facing charges relating to republician paramilitary activity in Co Tryone. Since her arrest in May last she has been detained on a separated wing at Hydebank Wood Prison on the outskirts of Belfast. It has also emerged that a second republican prisoner, Christine Connor, missed a hospital appointment last month after refusing to be strip searched. The 27-year-old is facing two counts of attempted murder and possession of pipe bombs in relation to an attack on the PSNI in North Belfast in May. The Irish News understand both wimen have indicated they will not voluntarialy submit to strip searches in furture.

On Wednsday night Mandy Duffy from the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA) sais Ms Rafferty felt like she had been “sexually assaulted” after the search. “She feels very strongly she should not have to remove her clothing,” she aid. The prisoner campagner says Ms Connor will also continue to resist strip searches. “Christine feels she is being denied the right to medicial treatment which is a basic human right,” she said. “She is on medication and needs to see a specialist.” The last high-profile female republican prisoner to be subjected to strip searches is believed to be Roisin McAliskey – daughter of former Mid Ulster MP Bernadette McAliskey – who was searched more than 70 times while pregnant in custody awaiting extradition to Germany in connection with an IRA mortar attàck in 1996. She was released wîthout charge in 1998.

I VOTE FOR JUSTICE

In November last year male republican prisoners in Maghaberry Prison ended an 18-month no-wash protest sparked by a number of complaints about the jail regime, including the use of strip searches. A spokesman for the Department of Justice (DOJ) said: “The Prison Service Full Search Policy for women prisoners has developed a two stage full search procedure. A stage one search requires the woman to remove her outer clothin; however she would not be requied to remove her underwear. If staff have suspicions or intelligence has been received to suggest that the woman could be concealing items in her underwear she would be required to proceed to a level two search. “This would require her to remove the clothing from her top half of her body, including her underwear. When dressed she would remove the clothing from the bottom half of her body, including her underwear. While we cannot comment on specific individuals, at no stage has a level two search been deployed in Ash House in recent weeks as is being claimed in some quarters.”

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

Forced strip search of Pomeroy woman a ‘Brutal Sex Assault’ !

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Sharon Rafferty

A REPUBLICAN prisoners welfare group have claimed that a forced strip search carried out on a Pomeroy woman last month amounted to a “brutal sexual assault”.

Sharon Rafferty (38) of Cavana Linn in Pomeroy is currently awaiting trial on five charges related to alleged dissident republican activity in Tyrone.

Detained in Hydebank Prison on remand since May 2012, on August 14 she left the South Belfast prison for the first time in 15 months for a preliminary investigation hearing at Omagh Courthouse alongside her co-accused Gavin Coney, Aidan Coney and Sean Kelly.

According to Mandy Duffy of the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA), prior to her departure from the prison, force was used after Rafferty refused to remove clothing in her cell. The procedure was repeated upon her return according to the spokesperson, who regularly visits the 38-year-old.

Describing the procedure as “degrading and humiliating”, Ms Duffy said the Pomeroy woman had not reported any physical injuries, but had been left “distressed” by the ordeal.

It’s understood to be the first time in recent years that a female republican prisoner has been made subject to a strip search.

In a statement, the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) said it could not comment on individual prisoners.

Strip searching of female prisoners became one of the most controversial features of the troubles when it was introduced in Armagh gaol in 1982.

JUDICIAL REVIEW

In more recent times the practice came under the spotlight in 2005, when the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) helped non-republican prisoner Karen Carson bring a judicial review before the High Court in Belfast, claiming frequent strip searching in Hydebank was in violation of articles three and eight of the European Convention on Human Rights, which relate to torture and privacy.

While Justice Girvan said that the articles had not been breached, in his judgement he found that the existing policy “cannot be demonstrated to be proportionate and necessary”.

The comments prompted a review of the NIPS policy for strip searching female prisoners, which led to new policy being introduced in September 2010.

According to the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland, the new policy had by 2011 ended routine strip searching of all new arrivals at Hydebank.

Random searches were also scaled back, but the policy of strip searching has been retained, albeit under a new two stage procedure, with the initial stage allowing the prisoner to retain their underwear.

However according to the Department of Justice, “If staff had suspicions or intelligence has been received to suggest the woman could be concealing items in her underwear she would be required to proceed to a level 2 search. This would require her to remove the clothing from the top half of her body including underwear, when dressed she would remove the clothing from the bottom half of her body including her underwear.”

The new provisions also still allow for prisoners to be forcibly strip searched if they refuse to comply with a full search, using “approved control and restraint techniques”.

‘TRAUMATIC IMPACT’

Speaking to the Tyrone Herald, a spokesperson for the NIHRC said it supports the Prison Review Team’s 2011 recommendation to find an effective and less intrusive alternative to strip searching.

“The Commission’s 2005 research revealed the traumatic impact of strip searching on women and recommended that its use should be exceptional and restricted.”

It said while it had not received any complaints about the use of strip searching on women prisoners in recent times, the body intends to raise the issue of Sharon Rafferty’s forced search on August 14 during a visit with the Prison Service later this month.

Mandy Duffy said both male and female republican prisoners refuse to submit to strip searching, claiming that scanners exist that deem the practice unnecessary. On August 14, she said Rafferty’s three co-accused were also similarly strip searched by force at Maghaberry Prison after refusing to comply with requests to remove clothing.

“There is technology in place that removes the need for any prisoner to remove their clothing,” said the IRPWA spokesperson, “Sharon said she did not want to humiliate herself.”

PROTEST

The fallout over strip searching resulted in male prisoners at Maghaberry Prison staging a dirty protest over 18 months, which came to an end last year when the Department of Justice launched a trial of two millimetre wave scanners at Hydebank. However in February, the department said the scanners would not replace full body searches after a Prison Service report emerged claiming that just 57 per-cent of items tested had been detected.

Republican prisoners at both Hydebank and Maghaberry are currently held in separate wings from the main prison population.

The separation resulted in Sharon Rafferty, as the only republican prisoner in Hydebank, spending more than one year in effective isolation, until she was joined in June this year by a second female republican prisoner, Christine Connor. Mandy Duffy claimed Connor was denied a hospital appointment on August 23 after she refused to comply with a strip search on departure from the prison.

“With the policy now that they are going to be asking republican prisoners to comply with strip searches, that they will refuse, this is going to have an impact on hospital appointments and doctors appointments,” she claimed.

“Christine does have medical concerns. She has kidney problems and she does need to attend her appointments. Therefore she is being denied her rights to medical attention.”

Former Republican prisoner speaks out on Maghaberry protests

With many thanks to -:

The Ulster Herald | 12-14 John Street |

T: +44 (0)28 8224 3444

E: contact@ulsterherald.com

MAN JAILED FOR STORING WEAPONS

A “RRELUCTANT store man” who was caught red handed with a small arsenal of weaponry has been jailed for more than three years.

Some of the weapons found on Thomas John Edwards. He was jailed yesterday for six and a half years, with half spent on licence.

Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland told 49-year-old Thomas John Edwards he accepted he had been under a degree of pressure from others to become a “reluctant store man” for the items. He sentenced him to six and a half years with half spent on licence. Just before his trial was due to start last July EEdwards, from Tullygalley in Craigavon, pleaded guilty to having guns, ammunition and explosives with intent to enable others to endanger life on 10 August 2011. Edwards also admitted possessing a balaclava for terrorist purposes and providing his home, for terrorism. Prosecuting QC Ciaran Murphy told Belfast Crown Court that in an intelligence led operation, police searched Edwards home and uncovered the items at locations in the house.

An AK47 assault rifle along with numerous bullets were found. The grip stock and trigger mechanism for a recoil less improvised grenade launcher was uncovered in a bag in the kitchen cupboard while 5.1 grammes of black arms propellant was hidden inside s pepper pot. Mr Murphy said that wrapped in a yellow in a yellow duster in the same cupboard was an automatic Beretta pistol with a loaded magazine. He added that in total, police found 46 bullets and told the court how small arms propellant was commonly used in pipe bombs while a grenade launcher was first used in an attack in Belfast in May 1991 but “has been encountered on a number of other occasions”. Following the sentencing, PSNI Detective Superintendent Glenn Wright of Serious Crime Branch said: “Mr Edwards is in jail, the weapons are off the streets. This is yet aanother example of the PSNI’s determination to protect the community and bring terrorists to justice.”

With many thanks to : The Irish News.

THE GRIM REAPER – Greysteel psycho is freed from jail….again

Greysteel killer walks free for second time as prison staff tell us “He’s a nasty nutter”

TRICK OR TREAT‘ 

HORROR GUNMAN

RELOADED – SO HE

COULD KILL MORE

TWISTED Grey steel killer Stephen Irwin is back walking the streets of Ulster, we can reveal. The 40-year-old UFF murderer walked out of Maghaberry Prison on Wednesday, in a shock decision which is certain to cause distress for the families of his eight victims.

RETURN OF THE REAPER

Irwin was responsible for one of the darkest days of the Troubles when he walked into the Rising Sun Bar on Hallowe’en night in 1993 armed to the teeth. Wearing a boiler suit and a balaclaver he fired around 44 shots, killing eight innocent people, and even stopped at one stage to replace his magazine clip so he could cntinue his bloody rampage. Last night the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) confirmed Irwin had been released. The Sunday World has learned that Irwin – regarded as a hero within some loyalist circles – was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement for a SECOND time. Irwin – who revelled in the nick-name given to him ‘Stevie Greysteel’ – was released after convincing a panel of Sentence Review Commissioners (SRC) that he was fit to be set free.

The move has shocked senior prison officers who say Irwin is “extremely violent”. Irwin had already been given an undeserved second chance when he was originally released under the terms of the 1998 peace agreement. But the blood-thirsty thug was returned to jail to serve out the remainder of his eight life sentences when he was involved in a vicious knife attack during the Irish Cup Final in 2005. He was given another four years on top for slashing the throat of another football van in a frenzied attack in Windsor Park. But he was told at the time of that court case that even after the four years had been served he would have to convince the SRC that it was safe for him to be set free. It means instead of serving the other eight life sentences Irwin is currently living in the Shankill area of Belfast.

Refused

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After he was released from prison the first time he refused to return to his home in Co Derry and instead moved into the Shankill because he had fallen in with Johnny Adair and his ‘C’ Company crew inside. There had been speculation within Maghaberry Prison that Irwin had been released on the orders of the Secretary of State, Teresa Villiers. However a spokesperson for the NIO said Ms Villiers had no involvement in Irwin’s release. The spokesperson said: “Mr Irwin applied to the Sentence Review Commissioners (SRC) for early release under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. “The SRC is an independent body and it is for them, not the Secretary of State, to determine prisoners ‘ suitability for release.”The Sentence Review Commissioners determined that Mr Irwin’s application for early release should be granted.” Last night prison sources said officerd in Maghaberry said they were shocked Irwin had been deemed fit for release. “He had a very bad reputation inside the jail,” said the source. “In fact the prison officers used to call him Stevie ‘what the f**k are you looking at ‘ Irwin because that’s usually how he spoke to people. “He was a real nutter, an nasty little piece of work when he was in here and was responsible for a number of assaults. “Nobody could believe it when they heard he was being let out. “And nobody will be remotely suprised when he walks back through the gates at Maghaerry!” The UFF targeted The Rising Sun Bar in Graysteel because it was a Catholic area, however two of the eight people murdered were Protestant. Irwin subsequently bragged to his fellow inmates about how he prepared for his deathly bussiness when he opened fire on drinkers in the pub. The incident became known as the ‘Trick or Treat’ murders because Irwin messed up his speech.

Nervous

He was supposed to read out a prepared UFF speech but got nervous and shouted ‘Trick or Treat’ instead. A woman in the bar, who thought it was a Hallowe’en prank said, “that’s not funny” and Irwin shot her first. It followed an IRA bomb attack on the Shankill Road in West Belfast just days earlier in which 10 people, including one of the bombers, were killed. One of his accomplices, Torrens Knight, was handed 12 life sentences for his part in the massacre and for his role in the separate murders of four workmen. He too was returned to jail in 2009 for attacking two woman who rowed with him and his wife in a bar. He also applied to the SRC and was released a year later. In 2006 the Sunday World published photos of Stephen Irwin inside the Old Maze prison partying with other loyalists and taking drugs. At the time it had been claimed he had penned a sick poem called ‘The Reaper’ which glorified the Greysteel massacre. His mother had contacted the Sunday World to deny her son had had anything to do with the poem. But we recieved photos of him sitting in his cell with the gruesome poem painted on his cell wall aloneside another of a gravestone with the words Trick or Treat – Rest in Pieces on it. Former inmates told us he bragged about his heinous crimes. “He was very proud of what he did at Graysteel and he showed no remorse at all,” said a former inmate. “He told everyone how he practised for a whole week to change the magazine on his AK-47 so he could re-load and kill as many people as possible,” said the former inmate. “He said he needed to be able to do it in five seconds just in case anyone tried to attack him when the first clip ran out. He said he practised it over 200 times.”

With many thanks to : Steven Moore, Sunday World.

IRISH REPUBLICAN HUNGER STRIKERS 1917 – 1976

EIRE SALUTES YOU

Roger Casement

REPUBLICAN HUNGER STRIKERS 1917- 1976

THOMAS ASHE-DIED 25TH SEPTEMBER 1917, MOUNTJOY PRISON.

MICHAEL FITZGERALD-DIED 17TH OCT 1920 CORK JAIL.

TERENCE MCSWINEY-DIED 0CT 1920 BRIXTON PRISON.

JOSEPH MURPHY DIED OCT 1920 CORK JAIL.

JOSEPH WHITTY DIED 2ND SEPTEMBER 1923,CURRAGH CAMP.

DENIS BARRY-DIED 20TH NOVEMBER, NEWBRIDGE CONCENTRATION CAMP.

ANDREW SULLIVAN DIED 22ND NOV,NEWBRIDGE CONCENTRATION CAMP.

TONY D’ARCY DIED 19TH APRIL 1940,ARBOUR HILL PRISON.

JACK McNEELA DIED 19TH APRIL 1940, ARBOUR HILL PRISON.

SEAN McGAUGHEY DIED 11TH MAY 1946, PORTLOISE PRISON.

MICHAEL GAUGHAN DIED 3RD JUNE 1974, PARKHURST PRISON.

FRANK STAGG 12TH FEB 1976, WAKEFIELD PRISON.

32 ANNIVERSARY OF THE H-BLOCK MARTYRS

BOBBY SANDS-AGED 27, FROM BELFAST, DIED 5TH MAY AFTER 66 DAYS ON HUNGER STRIKE.

FRANCIS HUGHES AGED 25 FROM SOUTH DERRY, DIED 12TH MAY AFTER 59 DAYS ON HUNGER STRIKE.

RAYMOND McCREESH AGED 24,FROM SOUTH ARMAGH,DIED 21ST MAY AFTER 61 DAYS ON HUNGER STRIKE.

PATSY O’HARA AGED 24, FROM DERRY CITY, DIED AFTER 21ST MAY AFTER 61 DAYS ON HUNGER STRIKE.

JOSEPH McDONNELL AGED 30,FROM BELFAST,DIED 8TH JULY AFTER 61 DAYS ON HUNGER STRIKE.

MARTIN HURSON AGED24 FROM EAST TYRONE,DIED 13TH JULY AFTER 46 DAYS ON HUNGER STRIKE.

KEVIN LYNCH AGED 25, FROM NORTH DERRY, DIED 1 AUG AFTER 71 DAYS ON HUNGER STRIKE.

KIERAN DOHERTY AGED 25 FROM BELFAST, DIED 2ND OF AUG AFTER 73 DAYS ON HUNGER STRIKE.

THOMAS McELWEE AGED 23 FROM SOUTH DERRY, DIED 8TH OF AUG AFTER 62 DAYS ON HUNGER STRIKE.

MICHAEL DIVINE AGED 27 FROM DERRY CITY, DIED 20TH AUG AFTER 60 DAYS ON HUNGER STRIKE.

THE USE OF THE HUNGER STRIKE BEGAN BY IRISH REPUBLICANS WHEN IN 1913 JAMES CONNOLLY WENT ON HUNGER STRIKE.OVER THE NEXT 80 YEARS MANY MORE REPUBLICANS WERE TO GO ON HUNGER STRIKE AS A WEAPON OF THE PRISON STRUGGLE,AS THEY FOUGHT ATTEMPTS TO CRIMINALISE THEM THE IRISH STRUGGLE. IRISH HUNGER STRIKERS FROM 1917 TO 1981 HAVE BECOME A SYMBOL,NOT ONLY AGAINST OPPRESSION, BUT ALSO OF HUMANITY AND OF THE DESIRE OF THE IRISH PEOPLE TO BE FREE….”THEY HAVE NOTHING IN THERE WHOLE IMPERIAL ARSENAL THAT CAN BREAK THE SPIRIT OF ONE IRISH MAN WHO DOES’NT WANT TO BE BROKEN”……..BOBBY SANDS MPRoger Casement

TODAY YOU’LL HAVE NOTICED MY FIRST 2 PIECES HAVE NOT BEEN ABOUT SIR ROGER-BUT ABOUT THE MEN LIKE ROGER WHO GAVE THERE LIVES FOR IRELAND.THESE MEN WERE DIFFERENT IN A WAY TO SIR ROGER- THEY STARVED THEMSELVES TO DEATH-EXCRUCIATING PAIN IT MUST HAVE BEEN-ALSO KNOWING THEY WERE GOING TO DIE AND ALSO HAVING TO WATCH YOUR FAMILY WATCH YOU GO THROUGH IT ALL. I SALUTE THESE BRAVE COMRADES,WHAT MORE COULD THEY GIVE THAN THERE LIVES FOR IRELAND. TIOCFAIDF ARLA…