EXCLUSIVE Top loyalist ‘Mackers’ fails in bid to gag Sunday Life over UVF leadership claims


Omagh bomber’s extradition battle led by Real IRA pal

John Connolly

John Connolly (44) has spent the past week plastering parts of Fermanagh and Cavan with posters in support of Liam Campbell, who faces being extradited to the eastern European nation.

Connolly – who is now a member of Republican Sinn Fein and is believed to lead the Continuity IRA in the border area – was caged for 14 years in 2000 after being caught with a 220lb Real IRA mortar.

Michael Stone fears he’ll die in jail from COVID-19

Michael Stone is self-isolating behind bars

Michael Stone pictured


Milltown massacre gunman Michael Stone fears he could die from coronavirus in jail.

The seriously ill multiple killer is among dozens of prisoners petitioning Justice Minister Naomi Long to be freed until the Covid-19 crisis ends.

Mrs Long announced on Monday that some prisoners are to be released temporarily from Northern Ireland’s jails in response to the crisis – but it will apply to “fewer than 200 individuals” who are entering the last three months of their imprisonment.

But because the 64-year-old loyalist was convicted of terrorist offences he will have to remain behind bars under new release criteria, which also excludes prisoners convicted of murder and sex offences.

Stone’s wife Karan told Sunday Life that her husband is now self-isolating in his cell at Maghaberry fearing that if he becomes infected with Covid-19 he will die.

Speaking on behalf of him and other “vulnerable prisoners”, she said: “Michael falls in the vulnerable prisoner category, and is trying to self-isolate and repeatedly requesting face masks and hand gel.

“He has always been fatalistic with a ‘you play, you pay’ attitude, but he should have the same basic human rights as anyone else. He is a husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.”

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Up to 200 prisoners set for early temporary release in Northern Ireland
Stone, who suffers from a heart condition, the rare debilitating Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2F, and can barely walk, had an early release application turned down by the Sentence Review Commission (SRC) last September.

He argued that he should be freed on compassionate grounds because of his ill-health having already served 26 years of a minimum 30-year sentence for six sectarian killings, and the attempted murders of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness in 2006.

The ex-UDA hitman, who was convicted of six murders including three in his gun and grenade attack at the west Belfast graveyard, was originally freed early in 2000 as part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement arrangements.

Six years later, however, he was sent back to jail after trying to enter Parliament Buildings at Stormont, armed with explosives, knives and an axe, in an attempt to murder the Sinn Fein leaders. He denied it had been a bid to kill the politicians, instead claiming it was an act of performance art.

After the SRC rejected his release bid Stone said he was resigned to being locked up until 2024.

But the threat of Covid-19 has led him to accuse the justice system of sentencing him to death should he not be among the dozens of prisoners released because of the crisis.

His wife Karan added: “Vulnerable prisoners of all ages and religions across Northern Ireland are being kept behind bars despite warnings that an outbreak in the jails is inevitable, and most likely ferocious given the lack of control over a spread.

“Last year alone saw a whole block at Maghaberry incapacitated by flu, and some inmates were hospitalised.

“So why are vulnerable prisoners any exception? Why should they be left just to serve their time? What a reckless and disgusting attitude.”

Members of the Assembly Justice Committee were briefed last Monday about plans to release dozens of inmates in order to relieve pressure on prisons during the Covid-19 crisis.

This is because Maghaberry, Magilligan and Hydebank jails are at breaking point with 165 prison officers – more than 10 per cent of the workforce – self-isolating with possible symptoms of the killer illness.

The dire situation is expected to get worse in the coming weeks as the infection rate in Northern Ireland soars.

To cope with this the Department of Justice (DoJ) has banned prison visits, while courts have scaled back on remanding suspected criminals into custody.

But by far the most drastic measure being implemented by justice chiefs is the release of some of Northern Ireland’s 1,600 prison population. However, this number will not include inmates convicted of terrorist offences, sex offenders, or domestic abusers.

Karan claimed: “This will lead to many more deaths in custody, something the Prison Service in Northern Ireland has become all too familiar with.

“These people have not lost their right to health or life. It’s about time these vulnerable prisoners were given a voice. They should all be released at this time. A jail sentence is not a death sentence.”

Asked about the criteria around the impending prisoner releases, a spokesperson for the NI Prison Service said: “In response to Covid-19 the focus for the Northern Ireland Prison Service is to protect and promote the health and safety of staff and the people in our care.

“The Prison Service has also taken significant steps to reduce the number of people coming into our prisons.

“No decisions have been taken regarding prisoner releases. Any decision will be based on a strict criteria and will be taken in full consultation with the Justice Minister.”

One inmate at Maghaberry Prison is currently in specially located accommodation away from the general population as “a precautionary move”. There have been no confirmed Covid-19 cases in jails here yet.

Prison staff share the same fears as inmates with several contacting Sunday Life to complain about feeling at risk due to a lack of personal protection equipment.

Desperate to avoid any more employees phoning in sick, prison bosses are offering big bonuses to those who remain in work. The payment structure is broken down in a leaked document seen by this newspaper.

It includes an extra £150 per month to any prison officer asked to work in a “contaminated environment”, and a further £160 for any member of staff required to accompany an ill inmate to “bed watch”.

Governors are also benefiting from the bonus with an added £1,000 per month for those remaining on duty during the Covid-19 crisis.

A second jail source also explained how strict social distancing measures were being ignored in the training of new officers.

The insider said: “A new group of 20 recruits started last Monday and will be in close contact for nine weeks. They may have been seated two metres apart in the classroom but this cannot be sustained during searching and handcuffing tutorials.”

Acknowledging the havoc caused by Covid-19 in prisons, Justice Minister Naomi Long said: “We have to manage this very carefully to make sure public safety is maintained and that we don’t overwhelm our prison service and that we’re also able to keep all those in our care safe and look after them.”

With many thanks to: The Sunday Life and the Belfast Telegraph and Caran Barnes for the original story


Richard O’Hara,who was watched walking the streets of Belfast,strangled pretty secretary Deborah Robinson to death and dumped her body in a ditch.


The former British ssoldier, one of the North of Ireland‘s longest serving prisoners, has been refused release several times since being convicted of the 1980 murder.

As well as bbeing responsible for one of Ireland’s most horrific murders,he was a suspect in the death of a 9-year-old English girl whose body was dumped in a lay-by.

O’Hara (55) was queitly releashed within recent months after decades behind bars.

The Sunday Life was previously barred from printing his photograph whilst he was a serving prisioner but today we can show you his face for the first time.

Sources say the killer’s life tariff exspired way back in the mid 1990’s but it was decided he was not fit to be released.

His victim, South Belfast teenager (19), had traveled to Dublin in September 1980 on a blind date arranged through a computor dating agency.

As she waited for a bus home to Belfast at Parnell Square in Dublin she meet O’Hara, also from Belfast.

The ExBritish soldier, who served with the Royal Green Jackets, lured Deborah to a factory where he worked and then raped and strangled her to death.

The next day he drove 30 miles outside Dublin to dump the body in a ditch near Clane in Co Kildare. A farmer found her body but O’Hara was not charged until December 1981.

When being questioned about the murder O’Hara confessed but denied he had raped her – a compleatel lie.

He claimed he got angry when Deborah told him she “felt nothing” after they had sex.

After the trial Deborah’s outraged family warned they would sue O’Hara for defamation of their daughter’s character by claiming she had consensual sex.

Yesterday we visited her elderly father at his Belfast home to tell him the person rresponsible for his daughters murder was now a free man.

Please like and share to show the victims of sex crimes we care.

Posted on behalf of : Joe McCloskey.

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Hot Pursuit

I accuse you of murder! And I will not rest until I bring you to justice! But, anyway, you’re free to leave. No big deal.


On Wednesday, federal prosecutors will walk into an appellate court in Boston and tell a panel of judges that they are seeking evidence in an exceptionally serious crime, the murder of a widowed mother of ten who was taken from her home in Belfast and shot in the back of the head by members of the Provisional IRA. Because they are aiding police officials in the United Kingdom with such an important investigation, they will sound a note of urgency: The matter before the courts must be brought to a conclusion, because murderers must be brought to justice.

They will be full of shit.

There was a murder, and it was awful. A widowed mother was killed, and ten children were left with no parents. But is there amurder investigation underway? Is the Police Service of Northern Ireland working to bring killers to justice?

I’ve said before that you should start thinking about this claim from the moment in 1972 when McConville was taken from her home to be killed. What then? Nothing much. The police have acknowledged that they didn’t try to solve her murder until the 1990s, and even then they didn’t try especially hard, and then finally they admitted that they probably weren’t going to make a case in such an old murder that would survive in a courtroom. Now it’s 2012, and there’s somehow a serious criminal investigation underway.

But this time, let’s start the story somewhere else: February 21, 2010. That’s the date a newspaper in Northern Ireland printed a story alleging that former IRA member Dolours Price — as the paper soberly put it, a “TERRORIST IN A MINI-SKIRT” — had admitted that she drove McConville to her death. Not only that, added the Sunday Life, but she was known to have told the story to researchers at “Boston University,” which is a solid fifty percent correct. (The story isn’t online at the newspaper’s website, but you can see page scans here.)

And so the Police Service of Northern Ireland, alerted to the confession of an accomplice to murder, came roaring to life and began their desperate quest to win justice in the case of Jean McConvilleGame on — justice was awake and on the hunt. The first set of interviews Boston College will potentially give up to the government when the legal appeals are over are the interviews conducted with Dolours Price. Her newspaper confession is bringing the day of legal reckoning ever closer. The newly tireless detectives have almost got their target.

Jean McConville was abducted and murdered in 1972Jean McConville

There are just a few problems with that picture, and start with the fact that the Sunday Life story ran more than a year before anyone got around to asking for subpoenas of the Boston College material. Think about this: A newspaper said on February 21, 2010, that a particular person had driven a murder victim to her death, and that there was more information available in a university archive. The first subpoenas arrived at the university archive in May, 2011. You can almost taste the urgency.

Better yet: In August, 2010 — several months after the Sunday Life story named her as an accomplice in Jean McConville’s murder — Dolours Price was in a courtroom in Northern Ireland, facing criminal charges. Here’s the story on the BBC website. Having confessed to her role in the McConville murder in a published interview, causing the police in Northern Ireland to lock onto her with their laser focus and their passion for justice, Price found herself in the hands of the criminal justice system in the very place where she was known for her role in an infamous political killing. They had her, in the flesh, the IRA terrorist who named Gerry Adams as her commander in a murder she had directly facilitated.

So go read the BBC story. What happened when the woman who drove Jean McConville to her death appeared in a courtroom in Northern Ireland? This: “Convicted Old Bailey bomber Dolours Price has been acquitted of a charge of shoplifting at Newry Magistrates Court.” The end. Terrorist in a mini-skirt!

Months after the Sunday Life story identified Price’s role in McConville’s death, nobody in the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland cared or tried to do anything about it. She went and stood in a courtroom, and no one mentioned the whole “murder of a widowed mother of ten at Gerry Adams’ command” thing. They yawned at her shoplifting charge and sent her home. Because they were so aggressively pursuing it, you see.

In its amicus brief in the legal appeal, the ACLU of Massachusetts charged that the DOJ was facilitating a political investigation, a course that could lead the United States government into ever-more-horrible involvement in appalling political repression overseas. When a foreign government asks for help gathering evidence against political organizations like the IRA, the U.S. government should think carefully about what they’re being asked to do, and the courts should take a close look at the decisions the Justice Department makes.

Here, again, is the government’s most recent brief in the Belfast Project appeal. Look at pg. 57, and let’s go ahead and add emphasis to make this easy:

Finally, nowhere in ACLUM’s argument is there a recognition that a request by a foreign sovereign under a treaty regarding a sensitive and confidential criminal matter is any different than a civil request by a private party in a mundane business matter. ACLUM’s argument, if taken to its logical conclusion, would subject even the most sensitive and urgent law enforcement requests to litigation and delay by persons with a deeply felt, but tangential interest in such a criminal investigation. Under ACLUM’s reading of §3512, criminal defendants in foreign countries, and others who disagree with the foreign policies of the United States, could tie sensitive and urgent international criminal investigations in legal knots.

There is no “sensitive and urgent” criminal investigation. The police in Northern Ireland have had forty years to investigate Jean McConville’s murder, and they have not. They had several months between the publication of a story saying that Dolours Price had driven McConville to her death and the moment when she stood in a courtroom and was available for an easy arrest. They had a year to get around to asking for subpoenas of the Boston College interviews.

Someone needs to apply some skepticism to the government’s framing of these subpoenas. Let’s hope the First Circuit manages the task.


Dissidents warning of ‘execution’

Belfast City Hall.
Image via Wikipedia

Dissidents warning of ‘execution’

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Dissident republican prisoners warned prison staff that there could be “executions outside” — just 10 days before the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr.

The Prison Service has refused to comment on claims that police were not told of the threat which was passed on by two high-profile inmates.

Police have also refused to comment. The republicans who gave prison officers the “executions outside” warning were Tony Rooney and Phil O’Donnell.

Both men are linked to Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) – the most active dissident group.

For the full story, see this week’s Sunday Life.

Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/dissidents-warning-of-execution-15149487.html#ixzz1NqgjNGv0

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