THE trial date of a Derry man accused of offences relating to murder bids on security force members has been postponed after he suffered a heart attack in custody, a court has been told.
Christopher O’Kane (42), of Woodland Avenue in the city was due to stand trial next month on a total of 17 Provisional IRA-related offences, including an attempt to murder a senior RUC officer more than two decades ago. Barrister Andrew Moriaty, defending handed into court a report from a consultant cardiologist into O’Kane’s current medical condtition. He
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THE mother of an English man jailed under joint enterprise laws spoke on Thursday night August 6th 2015 at an event organised by supporters of two men wrongly convicted of killing RUC/PSNI constable Stephen Carroll.
Jan Cunliffe traveled from England to Belfast to speak at the annual event organised by Justice for the Craigavon Two. Her son Jordan was given a life sentence after he was convicted under joint enterprise laws of murdering a man in Wigan in 2007. Ms Cunliffe is a member of the campaign group Jengba – Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association – and her story inspired award-wining filmmaker Jimmy McGovern to make the acclaimed film Common,
FREE DD McLaughlin who has been held on remand for 19 months charged with murder.
In several court appearances the RUC/PSNI, MI5 and the Public Prosecution Service (PPS), have told the court they have no evidence but are hoping to get some at some stage. The silence of all the politicans on this travesty and mockery of justice is speaking volumes about their attitude to the abuse of human and civil rights.
No evidence= No case= No trial
END POLITICAL POLICING
END SELECTIVE INTERNMENT BY REMAND
With many thanks to: Rebel Craft
ISSUED BY THE PFC ON BEHALF OF THE MCGLEENAN AND MCDONALD FAMILIES
The families of Elizabeth McDonald and Gerard McGleenan (murdered at their homes in Keady, County Armagh, on 16 August 1976) thank everyone who has supported them by coming to the Coroner’s Court.
Elizabeth was aged 38, a former nurse, the mother of three young boys and and a loving wife to Malachi. She was killed at their home, the “Step Inn” in Keady.
Gerard was aged 22, a keen GAA player, the son of Patrick (RIP) and Maureen and a young man with everything to live for. He died as he left his home directly opposite the “Step Inn”.
Twenty-five people were also injured in the explosion, some seriously, while others were profoundly and permanently psychology scarred.
RUC Special Branch officers knew about the bomb plans ten days before the explosion. The HET report makes it absolutely clear that the RUC could have prevented the bombing.
Special Branch knew a car had been stolen by the UDA on the Shankill Road in Belfast (taken from a police officer).
The local RUC divisional commander ordered surveillance on another police officer’s farm in South Armagh – the home of James Mitchell, an RUC reservist. This was where the bomb was moved into the stolen car.
Another police officer, John Weir, scouted the original bomb route across the border into the Republic.
The gang were aware they were being watched, yet inexplicably they did not flee the scene, but merely changed their target from south of the border to the “Step Inn” in Keady – a cross-community bar with no paramilitary or political links.
After the bombing, Special Branch failed to give any of this information to investigating officers and, as a result, no-one involved was arrested or brought before the courts although their identities were known.
The families were never informed that the police could have prevented the bombings. Nor were they informed until recently that RUC Special Branch officers knew the identity of all those involved.
The HET has called the RUC’s handling of the case “catastrophic”.
The McGleenan and McDonald families trust the Coroner will do his best to assist them in their quest for truth. Both families hope the two governments and the political parties will reach agreement on a truth recovery process which all families deserve and which society needs.
With many thanks to: Pat Finucane Centre (PFC).
“Any ‘fair-minded’ person can see that these people firing were from a ‘renegade unit’ within the British army” – Patrica McVeigh.
RUC/PSNI is to investigate the activities of a shadowy British army unit operating in the North of Ireland in the 1970s – despite earlier ruling out action against former soldiers.
The RUC/PSNI had ruled out an investigation into the actions of members of the Military Reaction Force (MRF) despite alleged admissions of criminality by soldiers during a television documentary. During the Panorrama programme ex-members claimed they “took the war to the IRA” in the early years of the Troubles. Some soldiers from the controversial unit, which apparently disbanded after 14 months, told journalist John Ware about their involvement in the MRF, including shooting dead several unarmed civilians. Director of Public Prosecutions Barbra McGrory, took the unprecedented step of asking police to investigate the contents of the documentary. However, the families of two unarmed civilians murdered by the undercover unit were told there would be no investigation after Chief Constable Drew Harris said there was no evidence of any crime. Solicitor Padraig O Muirigh, who represents the families of Pat McVeigh (44) and Daniel Rooney (18) said at the time they planned to apply for a judicial review into the decision. Mr O Muirigh, had voiced concerns that no investigative steps had been taken and no effort made to trace or question the former soldiers who had participated in the documentary.
However, as they were preparing to launch a High Court challenge to force the police to investigate the contents of the programme, the RUC/PSNI confirmed they would now investigate the army unit. The Public Prosecution Service confirmed in writing this week that they had been given assurances by the RUC/PSNI that a full investigation would now commence and steps taken to identify the soldiers. Senior RUC/PSNI officer Detective Chief Inspector Brian Hanna has been appointed to take on the case and draw up an “investigative strategy”. “I am now satisfied with these steps and I will keep the matter under review”, Mr McGrory said in a letter informing the families this week. Patricia McVeigh’s father Pat, who was one of those murdered by an MRF patrol, welcomed the development. “We hope Brian Hanna will do a good and thorough job in investigating these men. We would also request a meeting with Mr Hanna and the new chief constable as soon as possible. “We were fobbed of for six months as indeed was the DPP Barbra McGrory. “Any ‘fair-minded’ person can see these people firing were from a ‘renegade unit’ within the British army”. Mr O Muirigh said the new investigation must look at the entire 40-man unit and not just isolated incidents. “What we don’t want is for this investigation to be placed into the hands of the Historical Enquiries Team (HET). We’ve been told a senior investigating officer has been appointed and that’s to be welcomed,” he said. “It is also important that the families meet with the senior investigating officer and the incoming Chief Constable George Hamilton at the soonest opportunity for reassurance that a thorough investigation will now be carried out. “We will be calling for this investigation to look at the entire unit and not just those who took part in the Panorama programme.
With many thanks to: Allison Morris, The Irish News, for the original story.
Ombudsman launches legal action against the Chief Constable Matt (the maggot) Baggott and the RUC/PSNI
Watchdog says police ‘have stalled’ investigations into deaths
THE RUC/PSNI is facing legal action from the Police Ombudsman, which accuses it of refusing to provide information about more than 60 deaths. The BBC understands that the Ombudsman has been trying to find out if police acted on information it was given prior to a dissident republican bomb attack. Weeks later, Constable Peadar Heffron was seriously injured in a car bombing. Michael Maguire has served notice on the RUC/PSNI over its alleged failure to provide his investigators with material and said his inquiries had been stalled. The ombudsman’s office’s judicial reveiw will seek to compel the RUC/PSNI to provide the ombudsman with information. Dr Maguire said: “We cannot have a situation where a public body, and particularly the police, can decide whether or not it will cooperate with a criminal or misconduct investigation, particularly where legislation requires them to do so.” The ombudsman handles complaints about the conduct of officers and has undertaken a series of hard-hitting investigations that found serious faults, although in many other cases exonerating detectives. Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) chief constable Sir Hugh Orde, who formerly headed the RUC/PSNI, has called for a similar regulatory system to be introduced across the UK. Dr Maguire, pictured below said despite repeated requests over past months, the RUC/PSNI has on more than 100 occasions either refused to provide information to his office or has said it must first explain and jusify why the material is wanted.
He said: “The police have taken the view that they will decide whether or not to provide us with information and in many cases have now decided not to.” He said the legal action was unusual and unfortunate but necessary, adding: “The many thousands of people who make complaints to us every year do so on the basis that we have access to all the police information we need to independently investigate their complaint. “That principle is enshined in law and accepted across the community. Investigation by negotiation is not acceptable.” An RUC/PSNI spokesman said the organisation has a legal responsibility for the care and management of all information which must be taken extremely seriously. “At the same time the PSNI also recognises the statutory responsibility to provide information to the Police Ombudsman, enabling exercise of his functions and legal responsibilities. “Police are currently seeking to agree a solution with PONI around these complicated, and sometimes unfortunately competing, legal issues. “We will continue to furfil our legal obligations with the primary consideration being that of protecting life in accordance with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human rights The .” Steps to protect life taken by the police in public fora like inquests have included the ommission of the Northern Ireland Secretary, which might identify some witnesses (informers) deemed to be at risk. The police spokesman said: “Until we can get a resolution, PSNI beleives that it has resonded aporopriately to each request, giving careful consideration on a case by case basis, to ensure that the respective legal requirements are met. “PSNI will continue to work with PONI to seek an agreement over our respective obligations and ensure we both have a shared understanding of the legal framework.” In September the ombudsman signed an agreement with chief constable Matt (the maggot) Baggott covering how requests are made and related procedures. The ombudsman’s office said: “However, investigations into the circumstances surronding more than 60 deaths/murders – both those from the past and more recently – have now been stalled by an RUC/PSNI refusal to provide certain material.” A spokeswomen for the Policing Board said: “Police cooperation and provision of information to the institutions with legislative responsibility for delevering independent oversight and accountability of the PSNI is critical. “The appilcation for leave for a judicial reveiw by the Police Ombudsman is very significant and a matter of great concern. Board members will discuss this with the chief constable at its meeting this week.” Chief Constable Matt (the maggot) Baggott also anounced yesterday that he was stepping down earlily. He was due to retire at the end of August, but his departure has been brought forward. Mr Baggott was due to retire at the end of August but now will be leaving at the end of this month.
With many thanks to: Michael McHugh, The Irish News, for the origional story.
“My brother Eamon was shot dead by the Royal Marine Commandos on 18th August 1971. He was the first person to be murdered in Strabane.”
“Eamon was 28-years-old. He was deaf and mute, but he was a happy man. Eamon had friends; he could communicate; he enjoyed having a laugh. Eamon was well known and loved in the community. A few days after he was murdered Eamon’s friends from St Joseph’s school in Dublin held a silent demonstratio against the actions of the British Army. They marched to the British Embassy and delivered a letter in protest of what happened to Eamon. The British Army shot and killed my brother. They branded him a gun man. This is despite the numerous eye witnesses who could testify that this was lies. We have never given up on justice and tried to pursure our case in Europe. For 8 years we engaged with the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) and received some draft reports that regurgitated the lies of the Army at the time. We were waiting on a final report when the HET were suspended. Now they want the RUC/PSNI to investigate the past. The British Government is playing a waiting game. It has been 43 years since Eamon was murdered. I have lost two sisters and a brother since then. How long will they keep us waiting? They throw you a few crumbs to try and keep you happy, but never the full truth and justice. The McDevitt family want an apology for what happened to Eamon. We want them to say they are sorry and they were wrong for what they did.”
With many thanks to: Pat Finucane Centre, for the origional story.
NI Retired Police Officers Association (NIRPOA)’S Judicial Review against OPONI in ‘Good Samaritan’ case rejected by court.
Judge Seamus Treacy has rejected the judicial review being brought by the NIRPOA against the Police Ombudsman in the ‘Good Samaritan’ case.
The NIRPO rejected the findings of the OPONI report, published last July, that found that the RUC failed in their duty to advice the local community or its leaders of possible IRA activities in the area, they failed in their responsibility to uphold Mr Dalton’s right to life under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights, and they failed to properly investigate the death of Mr Dalton and Mrs Lewis. Gerard Curran also died as a result of his injuries a few months later.
This action was brought out of time, with no good reason being provided by the NIRPOA for the delay. Justice Treacy also strongly criticized the NIRPOA for initiation the action without informing the Dalton family, who had to learn about it through the press. This caused unnecessary trauma to the Dalton family.
With many thanks to: Pat Finucane Centre
Remember Peter McBride today. On 4 September 1992, the unarmed, 18-year-old father of two young daughters was shot dead by two Scots Guardsmen in the New Lodge area of Belfast. Guardsmen Mark Wright and James Fisher stopped, searched and questioned McBride; and then, as he was walking away, Wright and Fisher shot him dead from a range of 70 yards, hitting him twice in the back.
In February 1995, Wright and Fisher were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. At their trial, the two claimed that they shot at McBride because they believed he was “carrying a coffee-jar bomb.” However, Lord Chief Justice Kelly concluded that Wright and Fisher had plenty of time to determine what McBride was carrying, if anything, when they searched him. Moreover, in his ruling, Kelly wrote that the two guardsmen had “lied about critical elements of their version of events…and deliberately chose to put forward a version which they both knew to be untrue.”
Still, Wright and Fisher each served only six years of their life-term sentences! In September 1998, just two days before the sixth anniversary of McBride’s murder, the two were released and permitted to resume serving in the british army, where they both received promotions!
- Oglaigh na hEireann Kieran Doherty, Died August 2nd 1981 ~ Rest in Peace (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Oglach Jim Bryson and Oglach Patrick Mulvenna who died on Active Service 31 August 1973 R.I.P (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)