Lone Wolf all alone in prison as dissident gangs shun her

DISSIDENT lone wolf Christine Connor was given the cold shoulder when she returned to prison this week.

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The Sunday World can reveal she was ignored by some inmates after it was revealed she had been slagging of members of Óghlaigh na hÉireann on social media for not murdering members of the PSNI/RUC. The 35-year-old called ONH out for failing to kill a cop, claiming they weren’t committed to the armed struggle, just making money. Connor was taken under the wing of the NIRA when she was first imprisoned with Soaradh campaigning on her behalf when she claimed she was being mistreated behind bars. She fell in with the then Real IRA, which is now the current day NIRA, after sharing a cell in Hydebank Prison with Sharon Rafferty who befriended a terrified Connor. Rafferty was was the first person to be jailed in the North of Ireland under terror laws brought in to combat home-grown Islamic extremism.

SUPPORTIVE 

Rafferty, who now sits on the board of Saoradh, was one of a gang of four jailed for a string of terrorist-related offences including the setting up for a training camp at Formil Wood on the outskirts of Omagh, Co Tyrone. Sources say she is still supportive of Connor.

Soaradh the so-called political wing of the NIRA

“Sharon has kept in touch and Soaradh has to because she is a prisoner of war, it’s their duty, but she is hard work, completely delusional.” Sources say Connor is already struggling inside and is unpopular with fellow inmates. And this time she is alone, with no fellow dissident to share her cell and offer her support and protection. The last time she was behind bars she was repeatedly threatened and attacked by a fellow inmate. “She is not on a republican wing, she is with (ODC) the criminals and the majority of them hate republicans guts and they hate her. “There are some very dangerous people in there and to some of them she is IRA SCUM.”

With many thanks to the Sunday World and Paula Mackin for the EXCLUSIVE original story 

Follow these links to find out more: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/news/touts-framed-me-claims-desperate-dissident-bomber-christine-connor-39416150.html

(2)-: http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//news/northernirelandnews/2020/01/15/news/judge-retires-to-consider-verdict-in-christine-connor-trial-1814393/content.html

(3)-: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-northern-ireland-50761189

Christine Connor found guilty of two counts of attempted murder

Christine Connor
Christine Connor found guilty of attempted murder. Image copyrightPACEMAKER
A judge has found Christine Connor guilty of attempting to kill a police officer after luring him and a colleague with hoax phone calls.

At Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday the 35-year-old was convicted of four offences, including two counts of causing an explosion.

The charges relate to two incidents in north Belfast in May 2013.

The judge remanded Connor in custody and said sentencing will take place on 20 August.

The court previously heard that Connor made bogus 999 calls to police on two separate occasions.

Evidence tagsImage copyrightPACEMAKER
Image captionConnor was linked to the charges with DNA from clothing. 

In the first incident on 16 May, Connor made a trial run and threw a pipe bomb on the Ligoniel Road.

Later, on 28 May, she lured police to the Crumlin Road before attacking them from an alleyway with two pipe bombs.

In the second hoax call Connor tearfully claimed her name was Gemma and she was the victim of domestic abuse.

Police attended a house on the Crumlin Road, and as one officer was knocking the front door, a pipe bomb was thrown at another officer from a nearby alleyway.

As he tried to evade the explosion, the officer tripped on a kerb and as he lay prone, a second pipe bomb was thrown onto the road.

‘Evasive and argumentative’

Connor was first convicted in 2017 and jailed for 16 years, but was released in December 2018 after appeal judges overturned her conviction and ordered a retrial.

Connor, whose address is subject to a reporting restriction, denied the offences.

She was found guilty of one count of attempted murder, one count of preparation of terrorist acts and two counts of causing explosion likely to endanger life.

Connor was linked to the charges with DNA evidence from clothing as well as mobile phone evidence and CCTV.

The judge said the prosecution’s case was built on a “combination of circumstantial, physical and forensic evidence” and that he was satisfied that Connor has searched online for how to make pipe bombs.

He ruled that she was “clearly involved in the planning, making and deployment of the pipe bombs,” and that her intention was to kill the police officer.

Connor stood trial in a non-jury hearing at the end of 2019.

Giving his ruling on Wednesday, the judge said that having had “the benefit of seeing and hearing the defendant give evidence and be cross-examined…I found her evasive, argumentative and, when it suited her, refused to answer questions.”

A woman has described as “ridiculous” an allegation that she transported pipe bombs in a supermarket bag just prior to an attack on police.

Christine Connor, 34, whose address is subject to a reporting restriction, is on trial before Belfast Crown Court.

She denies six charges arising from two incidents in the north of the city in May 2013.

The first occurred on 16 May, with the second taking place on 28 May.

Ms Connor, who was called to the witness box on Tuesday, has been charged with, and denies, two counts of possessing explosives with intent, two counts of causing an explosion with intent to endanger life, attempting to murder a police constable and the preparation of terrorist acts.

Under questioning from her barrister, Tim Moloney QC, Ms Connor spoke of her republican background and her involvement with the Republican Network for Unity (RNU).

When questioned about the two incidents in north Belfast, Connor admitted she was out for an early morning walk in the area at the time of the second incident, but denied involvement in both.

Mr Moloney asked his client about her education, family background and employment history.

She was then asked whether republican politics was an important part of her upbringing, to which she said “yes, very much so”.

Ms Connor said that around late 2012 and early 2013, she was actively involved with RNU which she described as “a political organisation, not an armed group”.

Ms Connor said she and other members took part in protests, pickets and camp outs “to highlight the plight of republican prisoners”, with one such protest taking place outside the Alliance Party headquarters in south Belfast as at that time the party’s David Ford was justice minister.

She was asked about former co-accused Stuart Downes, who was charged with offences linked to the incident.

Downes, who the Crown say assisted Ms Connor by purchasing component parts for the pipe bombs and ensuring they were delivered to Northern Ireland, died in June 2016.

Ms Connor denied communicating with Mr Downes and when she was asked if she ever pretended to be Swedish model Sanne Andersson, she replied “no”.

Mr Moloney then questioned his client about movie clips – one of which was found on Mr Downes’ phone and another on a laptop found in a mattress in her bedroom.

It is the Crown’s case that one of the clips is Ms Connor conducting a “dry-run” of the route she planned to take before launching the first pipe bomb attack on 16 May.

Laganside Courts complex
Laganside Courts in Belfast

Connor was convicted at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday

Connor was charged alongside Stuart Downes from Shrewsbury.

The 31-year old was subsequently granted bail and was found dead in woodland near his home in June 2016.

The judge said that between February and May 2013 “they researched pipe bombs, with Downes purchasing component parts and ensuring they were dispatched to and received in Northern Ireland where they were deployed by Connor.”

During the trial, the prosecution said Connor and Downes met online and established a relationship when Connor was posing as a blonde Swedish model called Sanne Anderson.

When arrested, Connor denied she knew Downes and rejected claims she communicated with him.

She continued these denials during the trial, but in his ruling the judge said there was overwhelming evidence to suggest otherwise.

The court heard that the month before the two explosions, an “intense relationship” via SMS and Facebook messages developed between Connor and Downes as they researched information on pipe bombs.

MattressImage copyrightPACEMAKER
Image captionLaptops belonging to Connor were found in a mattress at her house

During her arrest on 29 May 2013 police searched Connor’s home and found two laptops and a phone hidden in a mattress in a bedroom.

When these devices were examined a movie file was located which depicted a woman walking in north Belfast and talking about police.

This video was described as a ‘practice run’ and despite denials she had made the video, it was ruled that it was Connor in the film. This same clip was also located on Downes’ mobile.

The judge also ruled that the laptops found in the mattress were linked to Connor, and that prior to the May 2013 explosions, online searches such as ‘how to make pipe bombs in your kitchen’ had been made.

Speaking outside court, Det Supt Richard Campbell described the case as “hugely complex and unusual” with several UK police services working together to gather evidence.

“This was an attack on police officers, who were carrying out their role of protecting communities,” he said.

“I would like to pay particular thanks to them. This was a traumatic experience for them and I acknowledge that as victims they have waited a very long time for today’s outcome.

“Today’s conviction is the result of excellent joint working between the PSNI and West Mercia Police alongside the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and we will now await the sentencing.”

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story 

Follow these links to find out more: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/christine-connor-trial-pipe-bomb-allegations-ridiculous-says-defendant-38771651.html

(2)-: https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/crime/christine-connor-guilty-belfast-woman-who-posed-swedish-model-part-terror-plot-convicted-attempting-kill-police-2927652

 

 

REILLY BEGS EX-TOP COP FOR CASH FOR FORMER PRISONERS

EXCLUSIVE

DISSIDENT loner Carl Reilly turned to an ex-RUC man to help prop up his dissident POW organisation.

Carl Reilly

Ex-con Reilly set up Cogus POW in partnership with leading dissident Ta Cosgrove after he was booted out of community group Conflict Resolution Northern Ireland. The Sunday World can reveal he has gone cap in hand for funding to Co-Operation Ireland which is headed by former RUC Assistant Chief Constable Peter Sheridan, only to be turned down. An application was made for funding under Co-Operation Ireland’s Open Doors programme which seeks to engage with prisoners’ groups. The Sunday World understands Reilly and co were told they were not eligible for financial support.

Thomas ‘Ta’ Cosgrove

On Saturday night a spokesperson for Co-Operation Ireland confirmed: “As a peacebuilding charity Co-Operation Ireland exists to engage with groups that support the peace process and are committed to non violence. “These groups include ex-prisoner organisations and many other community and voluntary groups, however we are not a funding body and hold no funds for distribution.” The move has been greeted with disdain and ridicule by his former dissy pals who have turned their back on him in droves. Reilly has refused to sign up to the newly reorganised New IRA and continues to style himself as the leader of the near defunct Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH).

Peter Sheridan Co-Operation Ireland

New IRA chief Thomas Ashe Mellon has been on a recruitment drive, hovering up OnH members and leaving Reilly isolated. The north Belfast man, who was jailed for directing the activities of the ineffectual OnH, has become a figure of ridicule. “He had to stop all the extortion because everybody refused to pay up,” said a well placed source. “What can he do about it, it’s not as if he can call on his men to dish out a beating, he doesn’t have any.” ONH under his leadership started to disintegrate last year, by spring of 2018 there had been a mass defection with members turning their back on the discredited terror boss and his political wing Republican Network for Unity (RNU). Reilly responded by issuing death threats to various senior members, the former national chairperson Gary McNally also received a threat, prompting further disgust at Reilly’s tactics. It has also emerged that former terror pal Seamus ‘Shay’ McGrane had turned his back on him. Sixty-four-year-old McGrane died in Portlaoise Prison in May where he was serving an 11-year sentence for directing terrorism. Best known as all-Ireland head of OnH, he had grown disillusioned at the direction Reilly was taking the dissident group. McGrane was buried after a low-key funeral devoid of all paramilitary trappings.

Booted out

Reilly set up ‘community organisation’ Cogus with the help of his cousin Sean O’Reilly and Cosgrove after he was booted out of Conflict Resolution Northern Ireland (CRNI) after his release from prison. He has now put out the begging bowl to Sheridan, CEO of Co-Operation Ireland.

STALKER:
Fernando Murphy was convicted for a campaign of harassment and intimidation against the daughter of his former partner

“Anyone who knows him knows he’d sell his own mother for a few pounds,” a source told us. “He’d do a deal with the Queen, really he should be hanging his head in shame instead of walking into that office in the Ardoyne as if he owns the place.” Reilly set up shop in offices formerly used by CRNI. The trio went on to employ convicted stalker Fernando Murphy (pictured above) as a youth worker despite knowing about his campaign of harassment against the daughter of a former partner. “How can someone like Fernando Murphy get a job as a youth worker considering what he has been accused and found guilty of?” Said the source. “It’s a disgrace but it goes to show that they think they can do what they want and so far they are getting away with it.”

He said there was disbelief in the area that someone who considers himself the leader of a terrorist organisation can apply for public funds. The application was for two posts for Carl Reilly and Ta Cosgrove – however O’Reilly was left out of the application. The funding is also for ‘project costs’. “Cogus is not a charity, so questions exist for the CEO of the company, ex-RUC and PSNI officer Peter Sheridan, how he could hand funding over to a group with no charity or business status and one which is a department within a dissident political party whose associates are on trial for directing terrorism,” said one source. He said that Reilly, Cosgrove and O’Reilly had betrayed their republican principles.

With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Paula Mackin for the original and exclusive story 

Republican Network for Unity, RNU to step up ‘process of modernisation’

A hardline republican party RNU which previously indicated a possible end to Óglaigh na hÉireann’s paramilitary campaign has said it is stepping up its “process of modernisation”.

Prominent north Belfast republican Ta Cosgrove made the comments at a Republican Network for Unity (RNU) commemoration last weekend.

The party is viewed as the political wing of Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH), which earlier this year said it is engaged in a “wide ranging discussion about tactics, strategy and the future of the republican struggle”.
Sources close to the organisation said that while no announcement has been made, it is currently on a “de facto ceasefire” while internal discussions take place.

ONH emerged from a split within the Real IRA around a decade ago.
It is believed the last significant attack carried out by the group was in January when a roadside bomb left for the PSNI in Poleglass, on the outskirts of west Belfast, was defused by the British army.
The comments from ONH followed an earlier statement from RNU signalling a shift in strategy, which was read out at an Easter commemoration in north Belfast.
It is understood several people have resigned from the party since then.

Mr Cosgrove, who is a former republican prisoner, spoke at a commemoration to mark the 60th anniversary of five republicans killed in a premature explosion at Edentubber, Co Louth in 1957.
He said the “RNU family” has continued to debate “both internally and with our critical friends” and “the future of our movement has been the subject of intense activity”.
The movement, he said, has assessed its “strengths and weaknesses” and recognises “that we must move forward now – procrastinate any longer will only lead to division and uncertainty”.
“The coming weeks and months will see a gear change in our process of modernisation that was spoke of at Easter.
“Today we ask you here, and members and supporters unable to attend and to the wider republican base, to begin with us the debate around a republican movement that is credible, realistic and modern.
“In time those determined to advance the revolutionary republican position will attest to our reshaped movement and renewed direction.”

With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News for the original story.

TONY TAYLOR – THE FACTS

TONY TAYLOR – THE FACTS

Tony Taylor was released from prison in 2014 after having served three years in custody, with four further years on Licence. Tony, as a member of the Republican Network for Unity, contributed to local politics in Derry by peacefully raising benefit cuts, prison conditions and policing issues. Tony complied with the terms of his licence, including reporting his activities to the NI Probation Board.
Tony was detained by police in Derry on October 17, 2015 and interviewed over two days at Musgrave Street Station about alleged republican activity based on MI5 “Intelligence”. He was unconditionally released pending a report to the PPS.
On 10th March 2016 Tony, while out shopping with his wife and children, was taken by the PSNI and returned to Prison. The Northern Ireland Office said his licence was revoked by the Parole Commission because of the risk he posed to the public. Tony’s solicitor, Aiden Carlin, has confirmed that this “risk to the public” was based on an MI5 assessment, and the same “Republican Activity” for which Tony was questioned and unconditionally released in October 2015.
Three weeks after Tony was returned to prison the Secretary of State admitted that her original order revoking his licence had been illegal. The recommendation to return Tony to prison had been made without even contacting the Probation Board. Tony remained in prison.
In July the P.P.S. concluded its examination of the file on his arrest and questioning in October 2015, and directed that Tony would not face prosecution.
Tony Taylor remains in prison for the same reasons of a “risk to the public” for which he has been:
Detained and questioned for two days in October 2015
Unconditionally released by the PSNI
Told by the P.P.S there will be no prosecution.
FREE TONY TAYLOR

With many thanks to: Kevin Kinsella.

In the last month the Republican Movement has lost two of its faithful custodians.

Two Irish soldiers snatched from the ranks of Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH) by their own personal battles.
The only fitting monument to both is to ensure their dream is erected as a reality.
Rest in Peace Óglaigh Henry McErlean agus Dermot McCoy
With many thanks to: RNU – Revolutionay Republicanism.

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Óglaigh Henry McErelean

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Óglaigh Dermot McCoy

THREE LOYALIST PROTESTS GET GO-AHEAD.

THE Parades Commission has given the go-ahead for three separate loyalist protests during a republican parade in North Belfast today.

Up to 150 people are expected to take part in the protests at Clifton Street during a parade linked to the Republican Network for Unity (RNU). The parade, organised to remember United Irishman Henry Joy McCracken, have been ordered by the Parades Commission to play only a single drumbeat as they make their way along Clifton Street to his grave at a nearby cemetery. Organisers say they expect up to four bands, 700 participants and 500 supporters to take part in the parade. There was serious loyalist rioting over several nights in the area in 2012 after a similar parade while republicans claimed they were jeered and attacked by missiles during last year’s parade. “The decision to once again allow three protests will put parade participants at risk of loyalist violence as seen in previous years,” he added. A Royal Black Institution parade due to take place along Clifton Street today is not expected to clash with the republican march.
With many thanks to: The Irish News.

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OPEN LETTER – CHRISTINE CONNOR – CONGÚS

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Statement from RNU Bobby Sands Cumann

 RNU Bobby Sands Cumann will be delivering these leflets tonight in the Lower Falls.

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Exposing British spookery from the British Secret Service/MI5, that have consistently attempted to disrupt the life for the people of West and North Belfast hoping to disrupt republican support for so-called dissident republicians.

DISSIDENTS PARADE KIDS IN PARAMILITARY GARB

Use of children to glorify violence disgraceful says MP

THE use of primary school children dressed in paramilitary uniform and marching in military formation to lead a dissident republican parade has been ccondemned as ” disgraceful “. There were calls for the children’s commissioner to investigate after three boys were dressed in berets, dark glasses and black gloves at a North Belfast Easter commemoration.

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After the boys led the parade to a Fianna mural in Ardoyne a gunman emerged from the crowd and fired shots into the air. Na Fianna hEireann is the youth wing of the IRA. Several hundred people attended the parade organised by Republican Network for Unity  (RNU) and the Henry Joy McCracken flute band. North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds said it was ” disgraceful to see children being used to glorify paramilatary activites and violence “. ” This is highly inappropraite and I would call on the children’s commissioner and the revevant ahthorites to investigate this incident thoroughly,” he said. RNU spokesman Ciaran Cunningham said the group – which recently announced it was considering standing candidates in future elections – had helped to orginise the march but distanced himself from the involvment of the children. ” The Fianna parade is now in its third year and while RNU and Henry Joy McCracken band provided the plaque and help with some of the logistics required to orgainse such an avent the cosmetic pageantry wuold not be a matter for us and would be a oganised at a local level,” he said. Nigel Dodds said : ” My party ccolleagues and I will be pursuing these matters with the police and will be asking serious questions about the flagrant promotion of criminality and terrorism. ” Given that this parade and wreath laying were notified to the PSNI/RUC and to the Parades Commission what level of monitoring and observation did those authorities have in place ? ” In the light of what has occoured what actions will the PSNI/RUC and the Parades Commission be taking against the organisers ?

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Gunman firing shots into the air at Ardoyne parade

” I know absoulutely nothing about the shots being fired but will take no lectures from Nigel Dodds or any other member of his party that regularly particpates in events glorifying and encourging recruitment to the British Army,” he said. ” The bulk of armed men in Ardoyne on Saturday were members of the PSNI/RUC. ” We would not have been made aware of the finer details of the pageantry beforehand but I’m not going to start condemning people on the ground for what is a fairly minor thing.” $hame £ein assembly member Gerry Kelly cocondemned the firing of shots at Saturday’s parade. He said dissident republicians had been exploting parades ” as a cover to do other things “.

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, Irish News.

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