Former Real IRA commander: Even cameras on masts would be seen as ‘spy posts’ in border regions

Former dissident warns of massive recruitment drive

A ONCE senior dissident republican, jailed for his part in a bombing plot, has said a hard Brexit would be used by armed republican groups to stage a “massive recruitment drive”.

INTERVIEW: John Connolly

Fermanagh man John Connolly was at one time considered the most dangerous and active member of the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA). In November 2000 Connolly was arrested at the Teemore crossroads in Co Fermanagh by undercover soldiers in possession of a large mortar bomb containing around 100 kilos of homemade explosives. He received a 14-year jail term for the bomb plot, two other men who were with him received 13 years. while in jail he became the spokesperson for the Real IRA prisoners. In an interview with online news site The Journal, (link below), Connolly said he cut all ties with armed groups after being released from prison in 2007 and did not wish to see a return to violence. However, he said that, based on his own experience, any form of physical infrastructure at the border would be seen as the manifestation of “a foreign occupying military force”.

“Cameras would be regarded as spy posts and removed by the local population in border areas”, he said. “The British government don’t seem to have learned from the past. From oppression grows resistance. It definitely does. We’re living in peaceful times at the minute an no-one wants to go back to the war years.” Connolly was sentenced to a five-year term in prison in the early 1990s for gathering information on behalf of the Provisional IRA, but broke away in 1997 to join the RIRA. He said he “did not agree with the decommissioning of IRA weapons”. “That’s why I broke all contact with the Provisional movement,” he said. “You do have armed groups out there that are continuing the struggle. But I am not in support of armed struggle myself. “I’ll not condemn people who are… I would be a hypocrite if I did, especially with my past of being involved in armed actions myself.”

With many thanks to: Allison Morris Security Correspondent and The Irish News for the origional posting.

Omagh Bombing ‘could have been prevented’ had the security forces done their job correctly ‘

Archive photo showing the aftermath of the Omagh Bombing in 1998.

The Omagh bombing was carried out by dissident republicans several months after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement

The Omagh bomb could have been prevented if the security forces had acted differently, a former police ombudsman has claimed.

Baroness Nuala O’Loan made the comments on the 20th anniversary of the greatest single loss of life in the Troubles.

The chief constable rejected her claim and said her comments would further “traumatise” victims’ families.
A woman pregnant with twins was among 29 people killed in the dissident republican attack on 15 August 1998.

In Omagh, a bell will be rung 32 times in memory of the victims later on Wednesday.
The additional, single peal will be rung for all who have lost their lives in atrocities around the world.
‘Could have been stopped’

Baroness O’Loan who investigated the police’s actions in the lead up to the bombing, said: “When I reported on Omagh I said we didn’t know whether the bomb could have been prevented.
“It is now my very firm view that the bomb could have been prevented.”
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The men behind the attack
Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt was responsible for the Omagh bomb, a High Court judge found in a civil case in 2009.

Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly were also found liable for the attack.
Seamus McKenna was cleared. He died in 2013.

The four men were named by Mr Justice Morgan in a ruling made as part of a landmark case taken by some of the families of the victims.
The 12 relatives were awarded more than £1.6m in damages for the attack but to date none has been paid.

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“There was sufficient intelligence to take action. The taking of that action could have prevented the bomb from exploding.
“This wasn’t just a random bomb. The police knew an awful lot about the activities of the IRA in this area.”
Baroness O’Loan repeated her calls for a public inquiry to be held.

When she was police ombudsman, her office carried out an investigation into the police’s handlings of warnings before the bombing.
She said the intelligence services were tracking the movements of the car containing the bomb from the Republic of Ireland.

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A painful day
By BBC News NI’s Julian Fowler , in Omagh
Omagh’s Market Street is busy with shoppers as it was on this date 20 years ago.
Relatives who have organised today’s event say it is about remembrance, hope and moving forward, recognising the forgotten people of the Omagh bomb, such as the emergency services and the ordinary people who helped in the aftermath.

Flowers at the Omagh memorial
A small bouquet lies at the foot of the memorial in Market Street.

For some the anniversary is too painful to join the public commemoration.
They will remember their loved ones in their own way.

This morning one person came alone to lay a bunch of flowers at the memorial.
Others will spend the afternoon at the graveside of their loved ones.

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‘Why now?’
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Constable George Hamilton rejected the idea that police could have prevented the bomb.
“If it is factually true and can be proven to any standard of proof whatsoever, why did she not say it in 2001 when she published her report?,” he told The Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster.

“Then, when she held the office, when she had access to all the material, she came to the conclusion that she could not know based on all that information if the bomb could have been prevented.
“She now has changed her position on that, without real explanation.”

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Omagh bomb timeline
15 August 1998 – A large car bomb explodes on a Saturday afternoon in the centre of Omagh, County Tyrone, fatally wounding 29 people
18 August 1998 – The Real IRA claims responsibility for the bomb

6 August 2003 – Alleged founder and leader of the Real IRA Michael McKevitt is found guilty of directing terrorism
Read more

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Kevin Skelton, whose wife Philomena died in the Real IRA atrocity said that Baroness O’Loan’s comments do not “make any difference”.
“Telling us now that the bomb could have been prevented is a bit late,” he told BBC Radio Foyle.
“It should have been prevented at the time.
“It won’t bring my wife back.”

Floral tributes were placed in the town’s memorial garden.

A town remembers
The Omagh bombing was carried out by the dissident republican Real IRA, several months after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
The bomb, which was packed with 225kg of explosives, detonated in a vehicle parked in the middle of the main street just after 15:10 BST on 15 August 1998.

A warning had been called in 40 minutes earlier but had given the wrong location of the car containing the bomb.
The dead included three generations of one family.

No-one has been convicted over the bombing.
The bell-ringing event is part of a public vigil to be held at the bottom of Market Street, beginning at 14:55.
The bell will stop ringing 15 minutes later, at the time of the explosion, and will be followed by a two-minute silence.

Omagh bomb: Community Youth Choir 20 years on

Flower petals will be distributed, which people can scatter in the river, or place in the pond of a memorial garden created to remember the victims.
These event is being co-ordinated by a group of organisations, including Omagh Support & Self Help Group, Families Moving On and the Omagh Churches’ Forum.

On Sunday, a cross-community service was held at the town’s memorial gardens.
Victims and their families were remembered with prayers, music and speeches.

Omagh tribute: A child leaving a tribute during Sunday’s memorial service.

Each year over the past 20 years, people have come together to mark the anniversary, but this year’s event in the memorial garden will be the last to take place on this scale.

Last year, relatives of the victims announced they would sue George Hamilton for failings they believed allowed the killers to escape justice.
Mr Hamilton said on Sunday he understood why the families would feel “angry and let down”, adding that even the huge amount of investigative effort – with 99 arrests and 11,000 investigative actions by the PSNI and An Garda Síochána (Irish police) – “is not good enough”.

“People have not been brought to justice… but the families have an assurance from me that if new evidence emerges, we will actively pursue that. But it is also fair to say, and realistic, that as time goes by, the chances of a criminal justice outcome reduces,” he said.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story.

Liam Campbell cannot get a fair trial in Lithuania

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.

Breithla shona dhuit Michael Mo Chara – You are not forgotten the fight for Irish Freedoom goes on TAL32


Pádraig Druimeanach

Today marks 64th birthday of a close family friend; Michael McKevitt.

Michael McKevitt is today spending his 14th year Interned in Portlaoise Prison. Michael was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in front of a none jury sitting of the Special Criminal Courts in Dublin. The only evidence given against him was the word of a paid informant of the FBI going by the name of David Rupert.

Lá breithe 64th sona mo chara.

Interment alive and well in the Free State 2013.

Oglach Alan Ryan Commemoration will take place this Saturday 7th September Assemble at family home @ 2.30pm.


ThirtyTwo Csm Cork

The Vol. Alan Ryan commemoration will take place this Saturday (7th). Assemble at the family home for 2.30 and then march to the grave spot for the oration. All republicans urged to attend to ensure a fitting tribute and a clear message. Please share / Pass on.


GARDA commissioner Martin Calli an has warned paramilitary trappings will not be tolerated at any funerals in the Republic. He was speaking ahead of the funeral of Seamus McKenna (58) who died after falling from scaffolding while working on the roof of a property near Dundalk last week.


Seamus McKenna (58)

A member of Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH), Mr McKenna, was one of five men sued by relatives of some of the 29 people killed by the 1998 Omagh bomb which was carried out by the now defunct Real IRA. OOriginally from Silver bridge in Co Armagh, he was sentenced to six years for constructing a bomb in Co Louth in 2003.

Although not speaking specifically about McKenna’s funeral, commissioner Callinan said no paramilitary displays will be tolerated. Garda came in for criticism last year when masked men fired a volley of shots over the coffin of murdered republican Alan Ryan in Dublin. Uniformed men also flanked a hearse carrying the 32-year-old’s remains through the city. McKenna’s funeral is to be held in Ravensdale, Co Louth tommorow.

With many thanks to : The Irish News.


POLICE stop, search and question operations involving a former IRA hunger striker and brother-in-law of Martin McGuinness were unlawful, a court has ruled. Senior judges said there were inadequate safeguards against potential abuse of the system in the cases of Bernard Fox and Marvin Canning.


Both will now seek damages over PSNI/RUC actions taken against them under the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007. Canning, of Galliagh Park in Derry, said powers used to stop and question him up to 100 times were incompatible with his right to privacy under European law. The 51-year-old brother-in-law of the deputy first minister said officers were sometimes oppressive and confrontational. He denies involvement in paramilitarism but confirmed that he is a member of the Real IRA-linked 32-County Sovereignty Movement. Police denied using the act’s powers  arbitrarily against him. A similar challenge was brought by Fox, who took part in the 1981 IRA hunger strikes in the Maze Prison, and his companion Christine McNulty. The Belfast man served more than 20 years in prison for offences including possession of explosives before being released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Police stopped a car in which Ms McNulty were travelling near Camlough, Co Armagh in March 2011.

The vehicle was searched for munitions. An officer is alleged to have taken Ms McNulty’s handbag and gone through its contents. Fox denies involvement with dissident republican activities. Polic argued that the power was not intended to be used randomly but rather on the basis of threat. Lawyers in both cases sought to overturn a High Court decision that no violation under the European Convention on HumanHuman Rights had occurred. Delivering the judgement at the Court of Appeal on Thursday, Lord Justice Girvan identified the absence of a code of practice for such operations under section 21 of the act. He said the framework pending the introduction of effective code does not contain the kind of safegaurds against potential abuse or arbitrariness envisaged by Strasbourg case law.

With many thanks to : Irish News.



HARK:Northern Ireland Human Rights Initiative

Yesterday at 12:22 ·

Michael McKevitt

Political Hostage

Portlaoise Prison


Co Laois


21st June 2006

It is an impossible task to name everyone who has helped in some way, let it be big or small with this endeavour to highlight the human rights breaches against my family and myself. So to all who have helped in any way I say thank you most sincerely.

However, acknowledgements should be singled out to those at the helm of this embryonic campaign and to those dearest to me who have always helped in every way possible.

I would like to thank Monsignor Raymond Murray, Fr Des Wilson, Fr. Joe McVeigh and Noelle Ryan all of whom are veteran human rights activists, who when approached had no hesitation in lending their support to this campaign. In particular I wish to acknowledge Fr. Des who before this campaign was ever mentioned had identified the human rights breaches while attending my trial as an observer in Dublin’s Special Criminal Court. He made no secret of his disgust during the super-grass trial in the non-jury court. I will always be grateful for his honesty, sincerity and his comforting support to my family at that time and since.

My thanks must go to all the members of the McKevitt and Sands families and also the extended families who encouraged me to proceed with this campaign when initially I was reluctant to allow it to advance. When this idea was first put to me I wasn’t overly keen on it as I felt those involved may be targeted unfairly by the tabloid press and their associates. However after long and careful consideration I was persuaded by those dear to me to give this campaign my full endorsement, which I have done.

I must thank especially Marcella, my sister-in law, for all her unwavering help and who penned the book with superhuman patience in a most resolute way, highlighting aspects of a vicious campaign waged against our family over the past number of years.

To each of my children who despite the vicious tabloid led campaign of vilification and the overt Garda harassment, came through it all with great strength and resilience. It is with pride that I acknowledge their individual help with this project.

To my devoted wife Bernadette, who has always stood shoulder to shoulder with me through these difficulties. She has been a tower of strength and I could never find the words to express my gratitude to her.

Finally, a special mention to two amazing people – John and Rosaleen Sands whom I have the utmost respect and admiration for. Their endorsement and support of this campaign has meant a lot to me. I will always cherish the solidarity and warmth, which they have shown to me during my incarceration.

Yours sincerely

Michael McKevitt.


” Why don’t people ask  ” why are repubican’s Internment by remand iintroduced by England and approved by the Stormount assembly !

IN OCTOBER last year Emmet McElhatton’s uncle Kevin Murphy, was released from prison where he had been on remand for a year. Charges linking him to a bomb-making factory were dropped. During a bail hearing in September 2011 police described him as a member of the Real IRA‘s army council and the group’s leader in East Tyrone.

575860_448090505271447_1291565816_n Screenshot_2013-03-31-10-51-18

Charges that stick to you for life and that you are unable to sue the PSNI/RUC for faulse allegations because they are the so-called rule of law. They can hold you on faluse allegations for one year then drop all the charges and you legally don’t have a leg to stand on as ” they are the so-called fucking law ” lol. In an inerveiew with The Irish NewsMr Murphy denied being a member of any repubilcan organisaton. In 2004 he was one of four men cleared of conspiring to kill police and British soilders and of possecession of a rocket launcher near Coalisaland RUC station.

Solicitors for the four said the men had been lured to the area two years previosly by alleged informer Gareth O’Conner. Mr McElhatton said the republican Damien McLaughlin had also been mentioned to him by people he beleived were MI5/MI6 officers. The Irish News reported last week that Secretary of State Theresa Villers revoked McLaughlin’s early-release licence amid claims he ” poses a risk of harm to the publc “. The 36-year-old is on remand in Magheberry Prison accused of supplying a car used by a group calling itself ” the IRA ” during the shooting a prison officer David Black in November. In 2011 he was released from prison after serving part of a four-and-a-half-year sentence linked to the discovery of guns in his car in 2009.

With many thanks to : Connia Young, Irish News.


AN ENGINEER who reactivated firearms for dissident republicans claimed they told him the guns were for defensive ppurposes in interface areas. Bryan Christopher McManus (56), of Aileen Terrace in Newry, Co Down, pleaded guilty to possession of eight handguns, one of which was disguised as a walking cane‘s removeable handle.


He admitted having a rifle, component parts of weapons, seven magazines and ammuntion including armour-piercing and ‘ drum drum ‘ bullets – designed to expand on impact. McManus PPleaded guilty to conspiring with another person, not before the court, to convert imitation guns into firearms between September 1 2007 and September 24 2010. The cache was found in outbuildings behind his house in September 2010. His lawyer said police aale rated McManus to threats to his life and after the last one in 2007 he contacted ” certain elements ” for pprotection. He said McManus reactivated a gun given to him by a man reffered to as Mr X who then asked him to do further similar work. McManus became indebted to those who give him the weapon and ” things spiralled out of control “, he said. McManus told police he believed Mr X and his associates  were Real IRA members. He said they told him the guns would help to defendiI interfaces. judge David McFarland adjourned the case until tommorow. He saida custodial sentence was inevitable.

With many thanks to : Irish News.

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