FEARS are growing of another loyalist feud erupting in a Co Antrim town. Tensions are running high after the recent erection of LVF flags in Ballymena.
The flags have been put up on lampposts in the Doury Road estate, an area regarded locally as a UDA stronghold. The LVF flags were put up in the Camberwell Way part of the estate. The move is being blamed on an LVF faction who recently moved from Co Antrim. “They are blow ins,” revealed our source. “Whether they moved of their own free will or where put out no one knows. “But there is no way the UDA will put up with that.
“Doury Road has always been an area with big support for the UDA.” There are fears that the actions will antagonise UDA members into action. “It is only a small group but I’ve been told more are expected to arrive from Antrim,” added our source. “Hopefully nothing kicks off but people with authority in the organisation are monitoring the situation closely.”
There has been no love lost between the rival paramilitary organisations over the years. The LVF built up a strong affiliation with Johnny Adair’s Shankill Road UFF unit. And it was the unveiling of an LVF flag outside a bar during a show of strength which sparked the vicious feud which ultimately led to Adair’s exile. Now there are fears that Ballymena could be about to become the centre of another violent loyalist dispute.
With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Richard Sullivan for the original story.
THE mass escape of 38 PIRA prisoners from the Maze Prison, near Belfast on September 25 1983 in which a prison warder was stabbed to death, is detailed in previously confidential files. Like many files in this year’s releases, that relating to the prison escape is partially closed to 2069.
The official report claims that Gerry Kelly (Old Baily bomber), one of the PIRA escapees and now a Shame Fein MLA, shot a prison guard in the head. Confidential reports prepared for the Secretary of State Jim Priors shed new light on the event and the role of a British military guard at the prison. In a report on the events of that dramatic Sunday, penned the following day, W J Kerr, director of prison operations in the North of Ireland, described how at 16.45 hours he was informed of ‘an incident at the Maze’. He immediately proceeded to the prison where he ‘was informed that H7 Block had been taken over by armed prisoners who had hijacked the kitchen lorry and had proceeded to the main gate.’ There follows a diary of the events on that Sunday. The day began normally with prisoners unlocked for breakfast and exercise. At 11.15 Fr Rooney, the Catholic chaplain, celebrated Mass in the H Block with 54 prisoners in attendence. Dinner was served at 12.15 hours after which all prisoners were returned to their cells. Suddenly at 14.45 hours prisoners in H Block 7 overpowered staff on duty and took control of the block. Various weapons were used including guns.
The prisoners commandeered the prison meals delivery van and 38 prisoners forced the prison officer driver to drive the van from the block through segment gates one and eight to the prison main gate. The escapees then overpowered the staff on duty at the gate and, although eventually the alam was raised, they managed to get out of the prison proper. The prisoners at this point disappeared and fled in different directions.’ Among the prisoners in H7 were Gerry Kelly, aged 30, (the present Shame Fein MLA for North Belfast) and Brendan ‘Bic’ McFarlane who had been a spokesman for the hunger strikers during the 1981 Hunger Strike. Kelly had been convicted at Winchester in 1973, along with Marian Price/Mc Glincy and Dolours Price (The Price Sisters) and Hugh Feeney, for setting off car bombs in London. In all he had made four previous escape attempts. McFarlane (then 31), described in the file as ‘a PIRA leader deeply involved in the organisation’ was sentenced to five life terms for the 1975 bombing of the Bayardo Bar on the Shankill Road in which five people died. The sequence of events at the prison began when prisoner Mead overpowered a senior officer while ‘Prisoner Storey entered the principal officer’s office carrying a gun and pointed it at the senior officer’s head.’ Storey then took charge, “forcing the officer to answer the telephone in a normal manner”. Meanwhile, other officers were being overpowered and tied up throughout the H Block. “Officer Leak was in the toilet when he heard two shots. He left [to see] Prisoner 58 [Gerry Kelly] pointing a pistol into the control room. “Kelly turned the gun on Leak and forced him into the officers’ tea room. Leak was tied up and hooded. Kerr added at this point: “This would establish that prisoner Kelly shot officer Adams who was on duty in the control. It is not clear if the control grille was locked before Mr Adams was shot.” As the IRA inmates gradually seized control of the wings they approached the inner gates where ‘Bic’ McFarlane told the prison guard that he had been “sent to clean the sentry box”. The officer was then overpowered by armed prisoners. Meanwhile, officer McLaughlin was on duty as kitchen van driver and at 15.25 hours had passed through the lock gates of H Block to deliver afternoon tea. “As officer McLaughlin started to unload the meal from the van, prisoner Storey put a gun to his head and forced him into the medical inspection room.
“Whilst there he was threatened by prisoner [Gerry] Kelly who told him to do as he was told or he would be ‘blown away’.” McLaughlin was then forced to drive the van from the block to the main gate through the inner gates. According to the report the van proceeded through the first gate unchallenged to a parking lot where most of the uniformed prisoners ddisembarked. At the main gates they seized the controls and got outside. However, Kerr stressed, the staff in the Tally Lodge “resisted strongly and in the ensuing affray one officer was stabbed and died shortly afterwards. “By this time the alarm had been raised and two officers sitting in their cars outside the gate drove into the area, blocking the exit.” In the resulting melee 10 escapees were captured including a man called Murray who was wounded by an army sentry in a watch-tower. At the time of the report on 26 September, 21 inmates remained “unlawfully at large”. In his conclusion, Kerr highlighted a number of aspects of the PIRA escape which gave him concern. In particular, the fact that the inmates were in possession of firearms suggested that they and their supporters outside were able to breach the security measures at the Maze. He was particularly alarmed at the ease with which prisoners were able to gain access to the secure entrance into the blocks and the main gates. He also questioned how the escaping prisoners were allowed to drive a hijacked vehicle through two inner gates without being challenged and why five officers in H Block 7 were permitted to be off their posts at the same time. Claims by the DUP leader, Ian Paisley that the military guard had failed to open fire prompted a memo to the secretary of state from an NIO official, P W J Buxton on September 28 1983 on the reaction of the soldiers who formed a 150-strong prison guard. He reported that in the watchtower on the main gate had shot an escaper whom he had just seen shot a prison officer. The position of a soldier shooting escapers was quite clear, Buxton noted; ‘the Yellow Card’ applied. Thus, unless the escaper is presenting a direct threat to life, or has just killed or injured someone and there was no other way of arresting, he is not authorised to shoot.
With many thanks to: Eamon Phoenix, The Irish News.
- Gerry Kelly Shot Prison Officer During Maze Escape, Say Nio Papers (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- State papers: Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly told warder to obey or be blown away (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Sands ‘offered to suspend Hunger Strike to reach deal’ !!! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
‘We will have to study this new information and see what course of action we take as a result – John Finucane.
Records obtained by victims campaigner and researcher Ciaran MacAirt show that when Nelson left the ranks of the Black Watch in February 1970 he had suffered a breakdown. Despite this he was issued with a legally-held firearm and later recruited as a British army agent, going on to be involved in the shipment of arms and multiple murders, including the 1989 shooting of human rights solicitor Pat Finucane. On the orders of his handlers Nelson had infiltrated the UDA gang which shot dead the father-of-three. The murdered man’s son, solicitor John Finucane, said the family would be asking for clarification about the new information. The murder was the subject of a recent British government-ordered review by barrister Sir Desmond de Silva. However, no mention was made of Nelson’s medical condition.”This is certainly disturbing and something that the MoD [Ministry of Defence] would need to explain. It is also now for Desmond de Silva to state whether he was aware of this,” Mr Finucane said. “We will have to study this new information and see what course of action we take as a result.”
The documents show that when Nelson, from the Shankill area of Belfast, was “mentally and emotionally unstable”. Medical assessments carried out in November and December 1969 recommended he not have any overseas combat postings. In the space of a month his condition was found to have deteriorated from ‘very serious’ to the gravest category. The December 1969 examination showed that his mental breakdown was so serious he was recommended for discharge just weeks later. Mr MacAirt said: “Nelson, British army number 24032542, was very far from the model soldier. “His military records display a litany of misdemeanours, including the serious ‘absent without leave’ and criminality. “During his short, four-year military service he had served 128 days in military detention – more than 8 per cent of his total service. “What is most interesting, though, is that we learn of the reason for his final discharge. It was not due to his poor service history or that he went AWOL as has been thought. “The reason for his discharge has serious ramifications for the de Silva report and calpability in litigation that is being brought befor the court against the British State. “Brian Nelson’s military file records that he was discharged from the British army as he was mentally and emotionally unstable.” Despite his mental condition, Nelson was recruited by the British army’s Force Research Unit (FRU) in 1984, but not before he had been involved in serious sectarian attacks including the ‘romper room’ torture of Gerard Higgins, who was registered blind, in a Shankill Road drinking den. Mr Higgins was beaten, burned and electroucuted by Nelson and a gang of loyalists before being taken away in a car. The car, which belonged to the former soldier, was intercepted by a British army unit. Nelson was found to be armed with a legally held weapon. Transcripts of his police interveiws, obtained by Mr MacAirt, reveal that he told the RUC he had been given the weapon for his own protection. Nelson was sentenced to serve seven years for the 1973 attack on Mr Higgins of which he served half. Charges of conspiracy to murder against him were dropped. “How could Nelson have been issued with a gun if, as his military record tells us, he was mentally and emotionally unstable and discharged from the British army because of this?” Mr MacAirt said. “The revelations of Brian Nelson’s mental and emotional instability and the questions raised about his convictions go to the very foundation of the de Silva report and his examination of Nelson as an agent.”
with many thanks to: Allison Morris,The Irish News
- #Finucane: was Nelson a rogue or rogue agent? (sluggerotoole.com)
- The Truth About Ireland’s British Troubles (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Ex-soldier’s book claims Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness were on list to ‘shoot-on-sight’ (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Loyalist Paramilitaries – Protestant death squads (2) (eurofree3.wordpress.com)
- MP wants Glenanne Gang ‘truth’ (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Licensed To Kill (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Pat Finucane (stairnaheireann.wordpress.com)
- MRF revelations show Britain engaged in war of colonial repression (rsfnational.wordpress.com)
- British Army’s secret ‘terror unit’ shot dead innocent civilians in Northern Ireland: claim (rinf.com)
SUNDAY 3rd NOVEMBER
ARDOYNE AVENUE AT 2pm
Failte Bach Daoine/Everyone Welcome
ORGANISED BY FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Cop warning to protesters
REBEL republicans have issued death threats to Orange demo supporters manning the protest camp at the Ardoyne interface in Belfast.
The Sunday World can reveal that police have visited the homes of a core of those keeping vigil at the so-called Protestant Civil Rights Camp at the top of the city‘s Twaddell Avenue.
And the cops have told them that their lives are in danger from dissidents, and they must take precautions to protect themselves and their families.
We can also reveal that the camp which is costing £40,000 a day to police – is being run on a ‘shift’ basis, detailed in its nine-point, four pages long ‘Code of Conduct‘, a copy of wwhich the Sunday World has seen.
And that includes a ban on booze at the 24/7 makeshift camp and barring kids from the camp, but ‘encouraging’ them to be on the front line supporting Orange ‘parades and events’.
LOYALIST protesters backing the Orange Order’s demand to march past the riot-ridden Ardoyne flashpoint in Belfast are under death threat from republican dissidents.
A number of pickets, staging shifts at the so-called ‘Equality Civil Rights Camp’ on the corner of the city’s Twaddell Avenue, have been visited at their homes access the city by police and officially warned their lives are in danger.They have been told that the rebel republican militants may have details of their movements, their workplaces, their cars, and their home aaddresses – many in the loyalist districts of the city – and their domestic and family circumstances. It is understood that the dissidents may have been targeting prominent loyalists way back since the six-week long Union Flag pprotests which streached over last Christmas and New Year, and sparked mayhem on city streets.
- The death threats come at a critical time after a the long hot summer of marching and rioting in Belfast, with violence erupting on both sides of the sectarian devide. It has been reported in recent days that there are now splits emerging in the ranks of the two main loyalist paramilitary organisations, the UVF and the UDA, with some hawks in both organisations wanting to break their ceasefires and ‘go back to war’. That was underpinned by the huge haul of UVF guns discovered hidden in a glen in South Belast a fortnight ago. If the dissidents dotarget any of the potesters – especially those prominent at the so-called ‘Civil Rights’ Camp situted on the fringe of the tinderbox Ardoyne interface – retaliation is almost certain to folow from the UVF, who staged a sinister show-of-strength at its annual Brian Robinson commemorition parade in the West of the city yesterday. There were also reports yesterday of masked UVF men firing a volley of shots in the Sankill Parade area on Friday night, as a preveiw to yesterday’s parade. Said a senior loyalist on the Shankill last night: “The dissidents should be aware. If they act against any loyalists taking part in parade protests, or any of hsr keeping vigil at the Twaddell Avenue camp, that will be tantamount to an act of war.” Meanwhile, we can reveal that a self-styled ‘Code of Conduct’ means that the protest camp – labeled the ‘Civil Rights’ Camp, and ‘established to campaign for Equility’ according to the titleon the Code – is being run on a military-style template. We have seen the extensive nine-point, four-page Code. It requires a specified minimum number of camp supporters to do ‘shifts’ round-the-clock, 24/7. And the Code, which carres almost 40 clauses, covers such Camp ‘Protocols’ as: –
- A total ban on booze and drugs. A crucial clause reads: ‘Alcohol/Substances are ‘NOT TO CONSUMED’ in or around the vicinty of the Camp under any circumstance, and those considered to be under the influence of Alochol/Substances will be removed from the Camp and requested to leave the vicinty. It further states ‘this includes visitors from ther venues’.
- A ban on nocturnal nookie at the Camp. One Protocol states: “Only couples (married/partners ) will be permitted to share Night/Duty”.
- A ‘No Smoking’ ban on indoor or inclosed areas of the Camp, near cooking facilities.
- A ban on music after nine at night.
- A strict, military-style Camp Duty Shift rota.
- A Never-on-a-Sunday ‘events’ ban, with the Sabbath ‘being used only for White Line Protes and Camp Staffing’.
- A ban on children from the Camp and White Line protests ‘for reasons of Health and Safety’, although there is no ban on children being in the front line in other circumstances. One protocol reads: “They [children] are however encouraged to support parades and events but MUST be under the supervision of an adult at all times.’
The penultimate line of the Code of Conduct even carries a disclaimer in a blunt warning in bbold type it warns: “You enter and remain on this site at your own risk.”
Meantime, the UVF’s annual stage-managed show-of-strength on the Shankill Road passed off peacefully yesterday. The parade is held annually to ‘commemorate’ UVF volenteer Brian Robinson, shot dead in an SAS ambush after he gunned down a Catholic shop kepper, Paddy McKena, at the Ardoyne in 1989. Ranks of UVF men dressed in black suits, white shirts and black ties, were marshalled and marched to a wall mural in Robinson’s memory in Disraeli Street closr to the’Civil Rights’ protest at Ardoyne. Said a loyalist siurce on the Shankill: “The UVF put out an order that the ‘lid was to be kept’ on the Robinson commemoration.”
With many thanks to : Jim McDowell, Sunday Word.
- Loyalists reject ‘peace camp’ threats claim (newsletter.co.uk)
- Loyalist ‘Military’ Threat to Pupils (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Uvf and Protestant Coalition’s Blood Riots (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Sinn Fein Mla: Pub Threat Harks Back to the Troubles ‘ (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Twaddell: A Camp Called Malice (sluggerotoole.com)