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R.I.P Peter McBride Murdered in cold blood by the British Army on this day 4th September 1992.

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Ireland’s Own

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.

The two soldiers were taken to Girdwood Army Barracks, where the RUC were denied access to them for at least 10 hours. But the next day, Wright and Fisher were charged with 999457_162285820642051_466863143_nmurder.

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!

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In 2003, Wright was discharged from the army for medical reasons following a shooting injury to his wrist that he sustained in Iraq, but Fisher remains as a soldier serving in the British army

RUC/LOYALIST AND BRITISH PARAMILITARY COLLISION IN SOUTH DERRY IN THE OCCUPIED SIX COUNTIES OF THE NORTH OF IRELAND

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PatroitDead SouthDerry NorthAntrim

RUC / LOYALISTS PARAMILITARY COLLUSION SOUTH DERRY NORTH ANTRIM

The accounts are remarkably similar. Intense crown force’s activity followed by total withdrawal. Hours of helicopters buzzing overhead, days of foot patrols and roadblocks, then silence. “Everyone knew someone was going to be killed, silence was almost always a prelude to terror,” said a relative of an East Derry collusion victim Tommy Donaghy.

Stretching from Derry City, along the North coast through County Derry to North Antrim is a single UDA brigade area. It includes Derry City, Coleraine and villages such as Castlerock and Rasharkin. It also borders County Donegal.

The territory is as wide and diverse – urban and rural, coastal and land bound. One unifying aspect is that local communities were all subject to the attentions of one organised unionist paramilitary group and state forces who colluded in its reign of terror.

Earlier this year one of the North’s most notorious sectarian mass murderers, Torrens Knight was exposed as an RUC Special Branch agent. In October 1993 Knight was one of a number of masked gunmen responsible for the Greysteel massacre.

Now families of other victims in the area believe members of the same gang were responsible for other murders. They believe collusion was organised and sanctioned by Special Branch and others. The UDR also played a key role, providing weapons and intelligence and willing recruits to the death squads. Many unionist paramilitaries were former or serving members of the UDR.

On Halloween night 1993 UDA killers walked into the Rising Sun Bar, a pub known to be frequented by Catholics and shouted “trick or treat” before spraying the lounge with bullets. Nineteen people were wounded and eight died from their injuries.

Knight later admitted standing ‘guard’ at the door of the pub armed with a sawn-off shotgun during the attack and driving the getaway car from the scene. He also admitted being part of a UDA gang that shot dead four Catholic workmen in Castlerock in March 1993.

Significantly, on the day of the Castlerock murders, two of three possible routes usually taken by the workmen travelling together in a van had been closed by the RUC. At Gortree Place gunmen emerged out of another van, killing one of the front passengers before spraying the rest of the vehicle with gunfire.

Four workmen were killed and a fifth seriously wounded. One of those killed, James Kelly,was later claimed as an IRA Volunteer. It is widely believed that the first gunman to open fire is a former member of the UDR.

Despite the fact that the gun attack took place within view of a RUC barracks, the killers appeared unconcerned about surveillance. After making an initial getaway, they returned to the scene, driving slowly past their victims before driving away again.

Knight, jailed for Greysteel and Castlerock, was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in July 2000. Sentenced to life imprisonment for 12 UDA murders, he was subsequently paid £50,000 a year through a bogus Special Branch account.

The payments came to light after bank staff noticed the notorious loyalist withdrawing two large amounts and checked his account. A bank official, imagining that Knight must be accruing a fortune through illegal means, informed the PSNI. The PSNI confirmed the payments were legal before transferring the account.

Knight began his criminal career as a teenage petty thief who preyed upon family members including an elderly relative. It is unknown exactly when Special Branch identified him as a potential agent but his predilection for easy money and ruthless disregard for others made him an attractive proposition.

What we do know is that Knight was working for Special Branch at the time of the Castlerock and Greysteel massacres. Earlier this year it was revealed that Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan was investigating claims he was protected as a Special Branch agent at the time of Castlerock and Greysteel.

At the time Ronnie Flanagan was head of RUC Special Branch. He later became PSNI Chief Constable. There have been calls for Flanagan to go public on whether he knew Knight was a paid, protected agent.

According to Coleraine Sinn Féin Councillor Billy Leonard: “Not only was Torrens Knight protected and paid but many believe at least two other, more senior figures involved in the killings, were working for Special Branch. A number of key figures were former members of the UDR.” One was killed in 1994, the other remains at the heart of the local unionist paramilitary group. It is believed he carried out murders and took part in Greysteel and Castlerock. He is implicated in the murder of Donegal Councillor Eddie Fullerton.

Recently exposed secret British government files show that the British Cabinet was aware of large-scale collusion between the locally recruited British army regiment and loyalist death squads as early as 1973.

According to the documents in the early 1970′s up to 15% of the UDR were linked to paramilitary groups and the regiment provided “the single best source of weapons for Protestant extremist groups”.

By the 1980′s the Thatcher regime had developed established wide-scale informal collusion, through MI5 agents like Brian Nelson and Charles Simpson, into a murder machine more finely tuned to British counter insurgency strategy.

Victims of collusion in County Derry and the South East Antrim area include John Davey, Gerard Casey, Tommy Donaghy, Bernard O’Hagan, Danny Cassidy and Malachy Carey.

Davey, a Sinn Féin councillor, was murdered while returning home from Magherafelt Council in February 1989. He was shot several times at close range through the driver’s window of his car. The headlights were switched off and the handbrake was on, suggesting that he stopped at what he believed to be a crown forces roadblock. He had been repeatedly threatened prior to his murder.

IRA Volunteer Gerard Casey was shot dead in what later emerged as a classic collusion style killing. Two gunmen smashed their way into Casey’s Rasharkin home on April 4 1989. He was killed at close range as he lay in bed beside his wife and baby daughter.

Special Branch in Castlereagh Interrogation Centre had threatened Casey saying they would have him assassinated and the killing would be claimed by unionist paramilitaries. Just prior to the attack the RUC removed his legally held shotgun and drew a sketch map of the interior of his home.

Tommy Donaghy, a Sinn Féin worker and IRA volunteer was shot dead at close range as he arrived for work at Portna Eel Fishery near Kilrea on 16 August 1991. His family had been threatened by the RUC who told them Tommy would be dead before Christmas. Donaghy had been told by the RUC that his personal details had been passed into the hands of loyalists.

Bernard O’Hagan, a Sinn Féin Councillor was shot dead by a lone gunman as he arrived for work at Magherafelt College on 16 September 1991. O’Hagan was one of a number of Sinn Féin councillors attacked and killed during this period. Others include his Magherafelt colleague John Davey and Eddie Fullerton of Donegal. Fullerton was killed on 25 May 1991. One of the guns used in the murder was later used in the Castlerock massacre.

Danny Cassidy Sinn Fein worker IRA volunteer died on 2 April 1992 when his car was sprayed with bullets after he stopped to speak to a neighbour a few yards from his home in Kilrea. Forty eight hours earlier the RUC told Cassidy he would be killed.

A member of the RUC’s notorious DMSU had told Cassidy that there would be “a hole in his head big enough to put a fist into”. Another RUC officer pointed a rifle at the victim’s head. Cassidy’s photograph later surfaced on a crown forces montage in the hands of unionist paramilitaries.

Malachy Carey, a former Sinn Féin election candidate, was shot by a gunman as he walked along a street in Ballymoney on 13 December 1992. He died a short time later in hospital. Carey had been told by the RUC that his personal details were in the hands of unionist paramilitaries.

A number of families, including relatives of Gerard Casey, Tommy Donaghy and Danny Cassidy have cited further aspects of the killings that suggest their family members had been victims of collusion.

When relatives raised the issue of collusion during the inquest into the killing of Tommy Donaghy, the family was subjected to intimidation by the RUC. Later on the same day, an RUC Land Rover pulled up outside their home and an officer fired three shots in the air.

During the inquest into the killing of Danny Cassidy senior RUC officers admitted instructing junior colleagues to harass the victim prior to the killing. Following this revelation the inquest was adjourned and is still pending 14 years later, with no indication when it will be resumed.

The presence of an RUC officer, allegedlyoffduty, from Ballymoney in a vehicle just two cars behind the killers’ vehicle during the murder of Cassidy has also raised concerns about collusion.

On the day of Danny Cassidy’s murder, the actions of crown forces in the area led a local republican to alert the media, predicting that someone in the area was going to be killed. Later that day Danny Cassidy was shot dead.

The families have also cited suspicions regarding two guns found during this period in a lay-by outside Kilrea. Two people were reportedly arrested, the car was seen being taken away for forensic tests and yet no charges were ever made.

A loyalist who was later charged with possession of a gun used in the killing of Sinn Féin Councillor Bernard O’Hagan in 1991 was not charged with his murder. The loyalist was a relative of one of those convicted of the Greysteel massacre.

One of the guns used in the murder of Tommy Donaghy near Kilrea was described during his inquest as having “a particularly tragic history”. However the RUC refused to detail that history and the suspicion remains that it was the same weapon used in the murder of Gerard Casey.

It is believed that in 1993 Torrens Knight’s Special Branch handlers moved two high powered rifles from Agivey River at Hunter’s Mill, near Aghadowey after local anglers alerted the RUC of their discovery. The weapons were later used by Knight’s gang in the Greysteel massacre.

“There are many more questions to be asked, not only about Knight but also his accomplices and their Special Branch handlers,” said Billy Leonard. “There are other key figures that have roamed free while playing key roles in directing loyalist killers’ activities,” he said.

Oglaigh na hEireann Kevin Lynch…. Died August 1st, 1981- Rest in Peace

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A loyal, determined republican with a great love of life

The eighth republican to join the hunger-strike for political status, on May 23rd, following the death of Patsy O’Hara, was twenty-five-year-old fellow INLA Volunteer Kevin Lynch from the small, North Derry town of Dungiven who had been imprisoned since his arrest in 1976.

A well-known and well liked young man in the closely-knit community of his home town, Kevin was remembered chiefly for his outstanding ability as a sportsman, and for qualities of loyalty, determination and a will to win which distinguished him on the sports field and which, in heavier times and circumstances, were his hallmarks as an H-Block blanket man on hunger strike to the death.

Kevin Lynch was a happy-go-lucky, principled young Derry man with an enthusiastic love of life, who was, as one friend of his remarked – a former schoolteacher of Kevin’s and an active H-Block campaigner: “the last person, back in 1969, you would have dreamed would be spending a length of time in prison.”

The story of Kevin Lynch is of a light-hearted, hard-working and lively young man, barely out of his teens when the hard knock came early one December morning nearly five years ago, who had been forced by the British occupation of his country to spend those intervening years in heroic refusal to accept the British brand of ‘criminal’ and in the tortured assertion of what he really was – a political prisoner.

PARK

Kevin Lynch was born on May 25th, 1956, the youngest of a family of eight, in the tiny village of Park, eight miles outside Dungiven. His father, Paddy, (aged 66), and his mother, Bridie, (aged 65), whose maiden name is Cassidy, were both born in Park too, Paddy Lynch’s family being established there for at least three generations, but they moved to Dungiven twenty years ago, after the births of their children.

Paddy Lynch is a builder by trade, like his father and grandfather before him – a trade which he handed down to his five sons: Michael (aged 39), Patsy (aged 37), Francis (aged 33), Gerard (aged 27), and Kevin himself, who was an apprenticed bricklayer. There are also three daughters in the family: Jean (aged 35), Mary (aged 30), and Bridie (aged 29).

Though still only a small town of a few thousand, Dungiven has been growing over the past twenty years due to the influx of families like the Lynches from the outlying rural areas. It is an almost exclusively nationalist town, garrisoned by a large and belligerent force of RUC and Brits. In civil rights days, however, nationalists were barred from marching in the town centre.

Nowadays, militant nationalists have enforced their right to march, but the RUC still attempt to break up protests and the flying of the tricolour (not in itself ‘illegal’ in the six counties) is considered taboo by the loyalist bigots of the RUC.

Support in the town is relatively strong, Dungiven having first-hand experience of a hunger strike last year when local man Tom McFeeley went fifty-three days without food before the fast ended on December 18th. Apart from Tom McFeeley and Kevin Lynch other blanket men from the town are Kevin’s boyhood friend and later comrade Liam McCloskey – himself later to embark on hunger strike – and former blanket man Eunan Brolly, who was released from the H-Blocks last December.

SCHOOL

Kevin went to St. Canice’s primary school and then on to St. Patrick’s intermediate, both in Dungiven. Although not academically minded – always looking forward to taking his place in the family building business – he was well-liked by his teachers, respected for his sporting prowess and for his well-meant sense of humour. “Whatever devilment was going on in the school, you could lay your bottom dollar Kevin was behind it,” remembers his former schoolteacher, recalling that he took great delight in getting one of his classmates, his cousin Hugh (‘the biggest boy in the class – six foot one’) “into trouble”. But it was all in fun – Kevin was no troublemaker, and whenever reprimanded at school, like any other lively lad, would never bear a grudge.

Above all, Kevin was an outdoor person who loved to go fishing for sticklebacks in the river near his home, or off with a bunch of friends playing Gaelic (an outdoor disposition which must have made his H-Block confinement even harder to bear).

GAMES

His great passion was Gaelic games playing Gaelic football from very early on, and then taking up hurling when he was at St. Patrick’s.

He was excelled at both.

Playing right half-back for St. Patrick’s hurling club, which was representing County Derry, at the inaugural Feile na nGael held in Thurles, County Tipperary, in 1971, Kevin’s performance – coming only ten days after an appendix operation – was considered a key factor in the team’s victory in the four-match competition played over two days.

The following season Kevin was appointed captain of both St. Patrick’s hurling team and the County Derry under-16 team which went on in that season to beat Armagh in the All Ireland under-16 final at Croke Park in Dublin.

Later on, while working in England, he was a reserve for the Dungiven senior football team in the 1976 County Derry final.

Kevin’s team, St. Canice’s, was beaten 0-9 to 0-3 by Sarsfields of Ballerin, and he is described in the match programme as “a strong player and a useful hurler”. Within a short space of time after this final, Kevin would be in jail, as would two of his team mates on that day, Eunan Brolly and Sean Coyle.

QUALITIES

The qualities Kevin is remembered for as a sportsman were his courage and determination, his will to win, and his loyalty to his team mates. Not surprisingly the local hurling and football clubs were fully behind Kevin and his comrades in their struggle for the five demands, pointing out that Kevin had displayed those same qualities in the H-Blocks and on hunger strike.

He was also a boxer with the St. Canice’s club, once reaching the County Derry final as a schoolboy, but not always managing as easily as he achieved victory in his first fight!

Just before the match was due to start his opponent asked him how many previous fights he’d had. With suppressed humour, Kevin answered “thirty-three” so convincingly that his opponent, overcome with nervous horror, couldn’t be persuaded into the ring.

At the age of fifteen, Kevin left school and began to work alongside his father. Although lively, going to dances, and enjoying good crack, he was basically a quiet, determined young fellow, who stuck to his principles and couldn’t easily be swayed.

Like any other family in Dungiven, the Lynches are nationally minded, and young Kevin would have been just as aware as any other lad of his age of the basic injustices in his country, and would have equally resented the petty stop-and-search harassment which people of his age continually suffered at the hands of Brits and RUC.

The Lynches were also, typically, a close family and in 1973, at the age of sixteen, Kevin went to England to join his three brothers, Michael, Patsy and Gerard, who were already working in Bedford.

Both Bedford and its surrounding towns, stretching from Hertfordshire to Buckinghamshire and down to the north London suburbs, contain large Irish populations, and the Lynches mixed socially within that, Kevin going a couple of times a week to train with St. Dympna’s in Luton or to Catholic clubs in Bedford or Luton for a quiet drink and a game of snooker. He even played an odd game of rugby while over there.

But Kevin never intended settling in England and on one of his occasional visits home (“he just used to turn up”), in August 1976, he decided to stay in Dungiven.

INLA

Shortly after his return home, coming away from a local dance, he and nine other young lads were put up against a wall by British soldiers and given a bad kicking, two of the lads being brought to the barracks.

Kevin joined the INLA around this time, maybe because of this incident in part, but almost certainly because of his national awareness coming from his cultural love of Irish sport, as well as his courage and integrity, made him determined to stand up both for himself and his friends.

“He wouldn’t ever allow himself to be walked on”, recalls his brother, Michael. And he had always been known for his loyalty by his family, his friends, his teammates, and eventually by his H-Block comrades.

However, within the short space of little more than three months, Kevin’s active republican involvement came to an end almost before it had begun. Following an ambush outside Dungiven, in November ’76, in which an RUC man was slightly injured, the RUC moved against those it suspected to be INLA activists in the town.

On December 2nd, 1976, at 5.40 a.m. Brits and RUC came to the Lynch’s home for Kevin. “We said he wasn’t going anywhere before he’d had a cup of tea”, remembers Mr. Lynch, “but they refused to let him have even a glass of water. The RUC said he’d be well looked after by then.”

Also arrested that day in Dungiven were Sean Coyle, Seamus McGrandles, and Kevin’s schoolboy friend Liam McCloskey, with whom he was later to share an H-Block cell.

Kevin was taken straight to Castlereagh, and, after three days’ questioning, on Saturday, December 4th, he was charged and taken to Limavady to be remanded in custody by a special court. The string of charges included conspiracy to disarm members of the enemy forces, taking part in a punishment shooting, and the taking of ‘legally held’ shotguns.

Following a year on remand in Crumlin Road jail, Belfast, he was tried and sentenced to ten years in December 1977, immediately joining the blanket men in H3, and eventually finding himself sharing a cell with his Dungiven friend and comrade, Liam McCloskey, continuing to do so until he took part in the thirty-man four-day fast which coincided with the end of the original seven-man hunger strike last December.

LONG KESH

Since they were sentenced in 1977, both Dungiven men suffered their share of brutality from Crumlin Road and Long Kesh prison warders, Kevin being ‘put on the boards’ for periods of up to a fortnight, three or four times.

On Wednesday, April 26th, 1978, six warders, one carrying a hammer, came in to search their cell. Kevin’s bare foot, slipping on the urine-drenched cell floor, happened to splash the trouser leg of one of the warders, who first verbally abused him and then kicked urine at him.

When Kevin responded in like manner he was set upon by two warders who punched and kicked him, while another swung a hammer at him, but fortunately missed. The punching and kicking continued till Kevin collapsed on the urine-soaked floor with a bruised and swollen face.

In another assault by prison warders, Kevin’s cellmate, Liam McCloskey, suffered a burst ear-drum during a particularly bad beating, and is now permanently hard of hearing.

DETERMINATION

Even as long ago as April 1978, just after the ‘no wash’ protest had begun, Kevin was reported, in a bulletin issued by the Dungiven Relatives Action Committee, to “have lost a lot of weight, his face is a sickly white and he is underfed”.

His determination, and his sense of loyalty to his blanket comrades, saw him through, however, even the hardest times.

His former H-Block comrade, Eunan Brolly, who was also in H3 before his release, remembers how Kevin once put up with raging toothache for three weeks rather than come off the protest to get dental treatment. It was the sort of thing which forced some blanket men off the protest, at least temporarily, but not Kevin.

Eunan, who recalls how Kevin used to get a terrible slagging from other blanket men because the GAA, of which of course he was a member, did not give enough support to the fight for political status, also says he was not surprised by Kevin’s decision to join the hunger strike. Like other blanket men, Eunan says, Kevin used to discuss a hunger strike as a possibility, a long time ago, “and he was game enough for it”.

Neither were his family, who supported him in his decision, surprised: “Kevin’s the type of man”, said his father, when Kevin was on the hunger strike, “that wouldn’t lie back. He’d want to do his share.”

In the Free State elections, in June, Kevin stood as a candidate in the Waterford constituency, collecting 3,337 first preferences before being eliminated – after Labour Party and Fianna Fail candidates – on the fifth count, with 3,753 votes.

But the obvious popular support which the hunger strikers and their cause enjoyed nationally was not sufficient to elicit support from the Free State government who share the common, futile hope of the British government – the criminalisation of captured freedom fighters.

The direct consequence of that was Kevin’s death – the seventh at that stage – in the Long Kesh hospital at 1.00 a.m. on Saturday, August 1st after seventy-one days on hunger strike.

R.I.P. ~ Kevin Lynch…

IRA Oglaigh Gervais McKerr, Eugene Toman and Sean Burns RIP

 

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Irish Republican History & Remembrance.

I R A ÓGLAIGH Gervais McKerr, Eugene Toman and Sean Burns;

On Thursday evening, 11 November 1982, IRA Volunteers Gervais McKerr, Eugene Toman and Sean Burns were ambushed and executed in Lurgan by the RUC. Both Eugene and Sean had recently insisted on returning to active service involvement in Lurgan, despite having gone ‘on the run’ and leaving the town for a short while after Sean was identified during an IRA operation.

Local members of the RUC and UDR had a long involvement in sectarian murders, including those of the Miami Showband, and of dual membership with the illegal paramilitary UVF.

The three Volunteers left McKerr’s house shortly after 9.35pm. Minutes later, less than half a mile away at Tullygally Road east, they met their deaths in a hail of RUC automatic gunfire.

Thousands turned out in Lurgan to mourn the three Volunteers as they were buried with full IRA military honours on Sunday, 14 November.

PRESS STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE FAMILY OF SEAN DALTON

 OPPOSE MI5/RUC Collusion

Pat Finucane Centre

 

 

Our daddy, Sean Dalton, died when an IRA booby trapped bomb exploded on 31st August 1988 in Kildrum Gardens in Creggan. Sheila Lewis was also killed instantly, and Gerard Curran died of his injuries 7 months later. Sheila and Gerard were my father’s friends and neighbours.

In 2005 we approached the Pat Finucane Centre and agreed to file a complaint with the Police Ombudsman. We were convinced that the RUC knew about the bomb in advance and had allowed our daddy and his friends to die.

There have been many false dawns since then.

 

We are clear about the following points:

• The people who are responsible for the deaths of our daddy Sean, Sheila Lewis and Gerard Curran, were those who planted the bomb, the IRA. They showed a shocking disregard for our families, and the people of Creggan.

• We believe, however, that the RUC were equally culpable. This report by the Police Ombudsman substantiated our complaint in a number of areas.

 

The report confirms that

• The RUC failed in their duty to advise the local community or its leaders of possible IRA activities in the area.

• The RUC failed in their responsibility to uphold our daddy’s right to life under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

• The RUC failed in their duty to properly investigate the death of our father and Mrs Lewis.

 

We believe that the RUC allowed this to happen because they were protecting an informant. The Police Ombudsman says he found no evidence that Police acted to protect an informant.

However, the Ombudsman was hindered in his investigation of this issue by the non co-operation of senior former officers both within the District Command and Special Branch. The report also states that documents and minutes of meetings were missing for reasons that have not been explained to this investigation.

• We intend to take legal advice as a result of the findings of this report.

It will be obvious to any reasonable person reading this report that there was an informer in the IRA in Derry providing on-going, reliable information to Special Branch- intelligence that Special Branch was passing on to the RUC District Command in Derry. We do not know whether this agent was being directed by Special Branch or the Security Service, M15.

 

It is also obvious to any reasonable person that these three deaths could have been avoided had the RUC contacted a community representative or parish priest. This action would have protected the community and also protected the security forces. The RUC did not do this. They allowed the bomb to remain in situ, in the middle of a high-density block of maisonettes, for five days – putting lives at risk.

Whilst we are focusing on our daddy’s case, our thoughts today are with the families of Sheila Lewis and Gerard Curran. We also acknowledge that that terrible day had another tragic consequence: Gerry Laird, the occupant of the flat, took his own life some years later.

We accept the findings of this report. After 25 years of lies, deception and evasion, we finally feel vindicated. However we have no sense of jubilation. These finding are long overdue. We are sad that our brother Jim, who died two years ago, did not live to see this report.

We would like to thank all the staff of the Pat Finucane Centre, past and present, for their on-going support over the last nine years. We would also like to acknowledge the recent good work of the new Police Ombudsman and his team.

 

 

‘GOOD SAMARITAN’ KILLING CONVICTION IS OVERTURNED !!!

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‘I spent 17 and a half years in jail for somethig. I didn’t do. I intend to seek compensation - Patrick Livingstone.

Pat Livingstone and Anthony McIntyre outside a H Block cell in 1991.

Pat Livingstone and Anthony McIntyre outside a H Block cell in 1991.

A MAN jailed for the notorious murder of a council worker in Belfast nearly 40 years ago has had his conviction quashed. Senior judges declared significant uneasea about the safety of the verdict against Patrick Livingstone for the so-called ‘Good Samaritan‘ killing of Protestant Samuel Llewellyn.

Patrick Livingstone leaves court with his son Cormac yesterday after being cleared of the 1975 murder of ‘Good Samaritian’ Samuel Llewellyn ; top left Mr Livingstone’s sister Julie who was later murdered by the British Army after being hit by a a plastic bullet and below right how the Irish News reported Mr Llewellyn’s murder.

Their ruling was based on the alleged brutality of RUC (scumbag) officers involved in securing a statement implicating the West Belfast man. Mr Livingstone (62) descibed the decision as a vindication of his fight to clear his name. He now plans to seek compensaton for the 17 years he spent behind bars for the murder. Mr Llewellyn was abducted as he delivered hardboard to repair homes damaged by a bombing in the Clonard area of Belfast’s Falls Road in August 1975. The council cleansing department worker, from Mossvale Street on the Shankill Road, was taken to a house in Lesson Streetw where he was shot eight times by the IRA. His body was wrapped in a sheet and put in the back of a van which was then set alight.

Residents of the lower Falls placed a large sympathy notice in The Irish News condemning the murder of a “man who came to the help of old people and residents”. The only evidence against Mr Livingstone at his trial came from three (discredited) RUC officers who interviewed him at Dundalk Garda Station and claimed he confessed to the murder. It was alleged that he taunted the policemen about the shooting, boasting they could do nothing about it because he had no intention of crossing the border. He disputed their account and denied the killing, with his defence claiming the RUC concocted a lying account. However, he was subsequently convicted at Belfast City Commission in May 1977 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

British Injustice

His case was reopened and referred back to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the body set up to examine potential miscarriages of justice. The challenge centered on alleged police brutality towards another man who said he was beaten into signing a statement which claimed Mr Livingstone admitted the shooting to him. His allegations included : being put againt a a wall and hit across the stomach ; having chest and head hairs pulled out ; and being hooded, spun around and hit across the feet for up to 45 minutes. The CCRC also investigated the quashing on appeal of another man’s convictions for assualting two of the RUC officers who testified at the murder trial. Ruling on the case alongside two other judges, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan held that the fresh evidence should be introudeced. He said the claims of police mistreatment was never tested and would have opened a line of inquiry “which might have affected the credibility of the police witnesses”. Sir Declan added : “Because of the non-disclosure the appellant lost the opportunity to pursure that line of argument.”

Evidence had also been raised of potential wrongdoing in testimony from at least some of the ( corroupt) police interveiwers, the judge held. He confirmed : “For the reasons set out we have a significant sence of unease about the correctness of this virdict and accordingly allow the appeal.” Mr Livingstone, who was in the Court of Appeal with his son Cormac and other friends yesterday, told how the outcome has been “a long time coming”. Speaking after the verdict, he said : “I feel totally vindicated. But there’s a lot more people than me, on both sides of the devide, who went through those Diplock Courts. “I spent 17 and a half years in jail for something I didn’t do. I intend to seek compensation.” Mr Liningstone’s 14-year-old sister Julie was murdered during the Troubles after being struck by a plastic bullet fired by the British army on Belfast’s Stewartstown Road duing the Hunger Strike of 1981. A brother Robin, who has written extensively about his sisters death ; is the editor of the West Belfast newspaper the Andersontown News.

With many thanks to : Irish News.

For more on this story please follow the link at the top of the page :

LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

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This week saw a local member of the 32csm before the courts following a mobile RUC patrol arresting him on a fabricated charge of using his phone whilst driving.

The arrested man who runs a local business appeared in court vehemently denying the charge, with the judge stating that he would not get a fair trial without his phone records being seen, either proving or disproving the charge.

Following the retrieval of the phone records which proved that the phone had not indeed been in use, the RUC changed their testimony to state that they never said he was on the phone but that he had it in his hand and was looking at it.

The Judge immediately accepted their change in the statement stating that he could have been looking at facebook or searching for a number and quickly fined the defendant £400 endorsing his license with 3 points.

This is your promised new (IN)justice system in operation. Perjured and falsified evidence goes before the courts and is accepted without question. Sectarian Apartheid Injustice in action and will only get worse and more prevalent before it gets better.

Lies,damn lies and statistics

Posted on behalf of : Derry Sceal

SMASH INTERNMENT FREE MARIAN PRICE

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Paul Mckee

2 years ago today, Marian Price was taken by the RUC on spurious charges, and immediately put into solitary confinement in MagHaberry gaol.. Her health declined and when she made bail, the British government stepped in and played their trump card of Interning her having first made sure evidence was destroyed. 2 years and still no justice, people through out the world are still demanding answers. FREE MARIAN PRICE —942193_513955425319044_363748265_n

ON 15th JULY I WAS ARRESTED BY THE PSNI/RUC DURING AN EARLY MORNING RAID ON MY HOME

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Alan Lundy

On 15th July 2i was arrested by the PSNI in an early morning raid

on my home. This was in relation to a number of scurrilous accusations

made by a single PSNI officer regarding my behaviour while acting as a

steward at the successful GARC protest march against sectarianism on

the 12th July 2012. I was accused by this PSNI officer of throwing a

missile at police lines, an accusation that i have vociferously

rejected at all times. In addition to this charge, i was also charged

with an historical offence, namely attacking a British soldier in 2005

- again on the word of a single PSNI officer, over seven years after

the alleged event.

As a result of the actions of these PSNI officers, my home was wrecked

during the raids that accompanied my arrest – distressing my partner

and two young children. Many personal items were also seized, some

with sentimental value, that have still not been returned to me. The

main result was that i was on remand for three months in Maghaberry

Gaol, taken from my family. During these three months i applied for

bail on a number of occasions and this was refused by numerous judges,

based on the PSNI’s opposition and their supposed “fear of

re-offending”. At the same time others were granted bail, including a

number of loyalists who were released with no attached bail

conditions. This was especially galling for my family and friends who

had to sit through the bail applications of loyalists with far

stronger evidence against them and see bail granted, then watch as my

own application was refused. I was eventually granted bail in October

2012 after serving three months, all of which i served on full protest

with other Republicans in Roe House.

The 2005 charges were dropped a number of weeks ago, based on lack of

evidence. This justified my position that these charges were simply

introduced as a “back up” – to ensure that coupled with 2012 charges i

would be remanded and taken off the streets by the PSNI. Today all

charges in relation to 12th July were dismissed at Belfast Magistrates

Court, further vindicating my belief that these were politically

motivated charges with a number of sinister objectives on behalf of

the PSNI. Firstly, as a Republican Activist from Ardoyne that works

hard on a number of campaigns, it was in the interests of a State

Militia to remove me from the streets. Doing so, and using the word of

one officer as reasonable evidence to do so, demonstrates internment

by remand is a strategic policy used by the PSNI and PPS in 2013

Ireland. Secondly, the GARC mobilisation of 2,500 Ardoyne Residents on

12th July 2012 was seen by the PSNI, and by association the State, as

a demonstration by the Ardoyne community that enough was enough when

it came to Sectarian Marches through our area. Imprisoning me was to

be interpreted as a warning to all those in attendance that if they

oppose Loyal Order parades then they too will face accusations and

charges. This further demonstrates the one sided nature of Policing

with regard to this issue, however the overwhelming support that I and

my family have received since this ordeal began has shown that, far

from scaring the Ardoyne community, it has made it more determined to

oppose these parades and the attempted criminalistaion of residents

that accompanies them.

Today the PSNI have been shown for what they are, a corrupt force that

is there to protect the state by whatever means necessary – even if it

means falsely charging and imprisoning innocent people, simply for

their political beliefs. They are no different to their forerunners in

the RUC in this regard and as such should continue to be rejected by

Republicans and all those who state they are concerned with the

protection of fundamental human rights. Those who continue to be

apologists and welcome the PSNI into communities such as Ardoyne need

to be challenged, but at the same time these people need to look deep

inside themselves and ask are they comfortable supporting and

promoting a force that has as a policy of selective internment by

remand – taking fathers and mothers from their children for prolonged

periods of time.It is simply not good enough to say political policing

should not affect people only if they still support certain political

parties. If they look hard deep enough and be honest with themselves

and others, then they will cease lending credence to a police force

that is as discredited as the one which they used to oppose. Please Share….

BRITISH INTERESTS BEST SERVED BY PRESENT ARRANGEMENTS !

 This letter appeared in the Irish News today and I thought I would share it, it’s written by - Martin Galvin- New York.

WHY would the British ever heed Brian Feeney’s call to Wipe the Slate Clean ( March 27 ) much less risk any honest truth process, when BBritish interests are better served by the present arrangements ? The ‘ unspoken amnesty ‘ which Brian Feeney says veteran republicans were led to expect, has been twisted by the British into a selective one-sided immunity or ‘ impunity ‘ for Crown Forces.

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Britain may dole out the occasional hard won apology burt need not arrest uniformed members of the British army or Constabulary (RUC), who carried out or colluded in sanctioned murders, which Cameron terms Unjustifiable Killings. The British have systematically stonewalled the families of collusion murder victims, like that of Pat Finucane among so many others. Some bereaved families will count it a victory to see an inquest, much less see the culprits in the dock. Even Saville stopped at scapegoating the troopers who carried out the orders on Bloody Sunday.

What makes anyone beleive the British would ever risk, much less encourage, any independant truth search which required troopers and constabulary (RUC) members to lead us back up the chain of command and indict those who gave orders or set policies ? On the other hand, quarter-century-old charges can be unearthed to send inconvenient republicans, like Gerry McGeough to Maghaberry, should they dare speak too strongly against such injustices during an election campaign. Britain’s lateset innovation of internment by licence & remand, today practised upon Marian Price and Martin Corey, was devised to threaten others. For example, should Gerry McGeough stand for election to Stormont or a council seat and campaign against British injustice, will constabulary (PSNI/RUC ) members await him at the polls claiming secret evidence to revoke his licence ? Why would they ever cede exclusive control and risk a genuine independent search for truth ? Surely those who negotiated such terms for republicans ( $hame £ein ) did not see this coming. Surely they have a moral duty to do more to undo these twisted terms than sitting still for them at Stormont.

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