ALLEGATIONS that victims’ campaigner Willie ‘Wullie’ Frazer was involved in supplying arms to loyalist Paramilitaries are “false”, his family said yesterday.
“It is false to say he was linked to the importation of the arms. He was never, at any stage, arrested or questioned by the RUC/PSNI about such activities” Frazer Family Statement
A new BBC documentary has linked ‘Wullie’, who died earlier this year, to the distribution of automatic rifles and rocket launchers imported from Africa. The weapons were reportly used in the murders of at least 70 people. But Mr Fraser’s family have rejected the claims made in the latest episode of Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History, describing them as “trail by television”. A statement issued by the family said: “We repudiate in the strongest terms the sensational claims made against William.
“It is false to say he was linked to the importation of the arms. He was never, at any stage, arrested or questioned by the RUC/PSNI about such activities.” The programme identified Mr Frazer, who supported victims of republican violence in the South Armagh area, as a key distributor of arms from the Ulster Resistance Movement to loyalist Paramilitaries. Multiple sources were said to have confirmed his role. However, the late campaigners relatives expressed shock at the “grave” allegations and vowed to defend his reputation.
“The documentary, which said it had evidence to link him to such actions, failed to provide a scintilla of evidence,” the family’s statement said. “Their claims were based on so-called multiple sources. The sources are anonymous, untested, their number is unknown as is their calibre and reliability. They are not witnesses. “Unlike evidence, the public have no way of knowing the truth of what these sources said, but are being asked by the BBC to accept at face value the truth of anonymous claims. “No official document was provided by the programme makers in support of their claims. “This was not evidence but trial by television.”
Referring to any journalist visits to Mr Frazer while he was in hospital, the family said he had been “medicated, suffering from infections and was easily confused”. The statement added: “William was a high-profile figure in the North of Ireland for over two decades but at no time was any suggestion of this nature ever made, yet within two months of his death these accusations are raised for the first time in a blaze of publicity. “This has added to the family’s distress at a difficult time. We wish to reiterate that the Frazer family reject the false allegations against William and deplore the way the BBC has behaved towards the late William and the hurt caused to our family.”
With many thanks to: The Irish News and Connla Young for the original story
A former head of the British Army has rejected a suggestion that it tried to cover up the shooting of civilians in the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast in August 1971.
Giving evidence at the inquest into the deaths, retired General Mike Jackson described the claim as preposterous.
He was responding to questions from Michael Mansfield QC, representing the family of Joseph Corr, who died after being shot on 11 August 1971.
The barrister began his questioning by stating that Mr Corr “was not a gunman, wasn’t armed, wasn’t a member of the IRA and wasn’t associated with the IRA.”
Mr Mansfield said there was no evidence that any soldiers who fired their weapons on the day that Mr Corr was shot had been interviewed by the Royal Military Police at the time.
He said this was a breach of the British Army’s policies and asked General Jackson if that was because there was a desire to cover up what happened.
“That is a preposterous allegation to make,” said the retired general, who was a captain with the Parachute Regiment in Ballymurphy at the time of the shootings. “It simply doesn’t add up.”
He told the inquest he did not know whether any soldiers had been interviewed at the time, and that it was possible there may have been a break in the British Army’s normal procedures because of the pressure it was under at the time.
“What I do know is we don’t do conspiracies,” he said.
The comment was greeted by muted laughter from the packed public gallery, while relatives of those killed shook their heads.
Earlier, General Jackson accepted it was likely that he was a Parachute Regiment captain quoted in a newspaper report on 11 August 1971 stating that two men shot dead by soldiers early that morning had been IRA gunmen.
He told the court part of his duties included briefing the media about the regiment’s activities.
Questioned by Sean Doran QC, representing the coroner, he accepted that no weapons had been found on the two men shot dead that day.
In his statement to the inquest, which was read to the court, Mr Jackson said he had “absolutely no doubt” the IRA had engaged members of the regiment in a fierce gun battle that morning.
The statement said 600 soldiers had come under a “hail of gunfire” when they moved in to remove barricades in the area. It also said two gunmen had been shot dead and their bodies recovered.
Mr Jackson confirmed that he had witnessed the men being shot or seen their bodies. “In retrospect of course I should have said alleged gunmen,” he added.
Mr Doran then asked the retired general if he wished to say anything to relatives of those who were killed, 15 of whom were sitting directly across from him in Court 12 at Belfast Laganside Courts.
“Let me say to the families who so long ago lost their loved ones, for me it is a tragedy,” he said.
“It’s a tragedy which is hugely that is hugely regrettable, but I would say anybody who loses their loved one as a result of violent conflict is also a tragedy. I too have lost friends so be it.
“My sympathies to you and I’m sorry that it is only now after so long that you feel you can come to terms.”
With many thanks to: RTÉ News and Vincent Kearney (Northern Correspondent) for the original story
This company seems to have set-up companies in Israel. So I don’t know what Israeli connection they have. BDS
A Silicon Valley cayber-security company is creating 220 jobs in Belfast.
Imperva is establishing a new base in the city and aims to create the jobs over the next three to five years.
Invest Northern Ireland has offered more than £1.4m towards the creation of the roles. The average salary on offer is more than £30,000.
Imperva already has bases in California and Israel, and the company said it was setting up in NI to “tap into the tremendous talent in the region”.
NI hub for cyber-security experts
There are a range of positions being created across the company and they will provide opportunities for graduates and experienced staff.
Yoav Cohen, from the company, told BBC News NI it had been liaising with the universities.
“We chose Belfast because of the large population of cyber-sec experts in the region, which is supported by high-level education in that field,” he said.
“We are working with Ulster University and Queen’s University and we have attended graduate recruitment fairs.
“We are living in a more digital and connected world and rely on apps and data on a daily basis.
“Imperva helps protect these applications from cyber criminals who seek to gain financial reward by extortion or selling our private data online.
“We are part of a group of successful cyber-group companies, which chose Belfast as the area in which they want to grow.”
The company said setting up in Belfast would allow it to support customers in Europe.
Alan Wilson, from Invest NI, said the Imperva move was the largest cyber-security investment into Northern Ireland so far.
“This has come on the heels of several other investors and they are coming for a reason – primarily because we have the best talent for cyber-security globally.”
Imperva’s project could have gone anywhere, he added, so Invest NI’s support of £1.4m was necessary to bring the jobs to Northern Ireland.
With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story.
Saturday 14th November 2015, Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library & Archive, 15 Moy Road, Co Armagh.
With many thanks to: The History Festival of Ireland: –
Greysteel killer walks free for second time as prison staff tell us “He’s a nasty nutter”
RELOADED – SO HE
COULD KILL MORE
TWISTED Grey steel killer Stephen Irwin is back walking the streets of Ulster, we can reveal. The 40-year-old UFF murderer walked out of Maghaberry Prison on Wednesday, in a shock decision which is certain to cause distress for the families of his eight victims.
Irwin was responsible for one of the darkest days of the Troubles when he walked into the Rising Sun Bar on Hallowe’en night in 1993 armed to the teeth. Wearing a boiler suit and a balaclaver he fired around 44 shots, killing eight innocent people, and even stopped at one stage to replace his magazine clip so he could cntinue his bloody rampage. Last night the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) confirmed Irwin had been released. The Sunday World has learned that Irwin – regarded as a hero within some loyalist circles – was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement for a SECOND time. Irwin – who revelled in the nick-name given to him ‘Stevie Greysteel’ – was released after convincing a panel of Sentence Review Commissioners (SRC) that he was fit to be set free.
The move has shocked senior prison officers who say Irwin is “extremely violent”. Irwin had already been given an undeserved second chance when he was originally released under the terms of the 1998 peace agreement. But the blood-thirsty thug was returned to jail to serve out the remainder of his eight life sentences when he was involved in a vicious knife attack during the Irish Cup Final in 2005. He was given another four years on top for slashing the throat of another football van in a frenzied attack in Windsor Park. But he was told at the time of that court case that even after the four years had been served he would have to convince the SRC that it was safe for him to be set free. It means instead of serving the other eight life sentences Irwin is currently living in the Shankill area of Belfast.
After he was released from prison the first time he refused to return to his home in Co Derry and instead moved into the Shankill because he had fallen in with Johnny Adair and his ‘C’ Company crew inside. There had been speculation within Maghaberry Prison that Irwin had been released on the orders of the Secretary of State, Teresa Villiers. However a spokesperson for the NIO said Ms Villiers had no involvement in Irwin’s release. The spokesperson said: “Mr Irwin applied to the Sentence Review Commissioners (SRC) for early release under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. “The SRC is an independent body and it is for them, not the Secretary of State, to determine prisoners ‘ suitability for release.”The Sentence Review Commissioners determined that Mr Irwin’s application for early release should be granted.” Last night prison sources said officerd in Maghaberry said they were shocked Irwin had been deemed fit for release. “He had a very bad reputation inside the jail,” said the source. “In fact the prison officers used to call him Stevie ‘what the f**k are you looking at ‘ Irwin because that’s usually how he spoke to people. “He was a real nutter, an nasty little piece of work when he was in here and was responsible for a number of assaults. “Nobody could believe it when they heard he was being let out. “And nobody will be remotely suprised when he walks back through the gates at Maghaerry!” The UFF targeted The Rising Sun Bar in Graysteel because it was a Catholic area, however two of the eight people murdered were Protestant. Irwin subsequently bragged to his fellow inmates about how he prepared for his deathly bussiness when he opened fire on drinkers in the pub. The incident became known as the ‘Trick or Treat’ murders because Irwin messed up his speech.
He was supposed to read out a prepared UFF speech but got nervous and shouted ‘Trick or Treat’ instead. A woman in the bar, who thought it was a Hallowe’en prank said, “that’s not funny” and Irwin shot her first. It followed an IRA bomb attack on the Shankill Road in West Belfast just days earlier in which 10 people, including one of the bombers, were killed. One of his accomplices, Torrens Knight, was handed 12 life sentences for his part in the massacre and for his role in the separate murders of four workmen. He too was returned to jail in 2009 for attacking two woman who rowed with him and his wife in a bar. He also applied to the SRC and was released a year later. In 2006 the Sunday World published photos of Stephen Irwin inside the Old Maze prison partying with other loyalists and taking drugs. At the time it had been claimed he had penned a sick poem called ‘The Reaper’ which glorified the Greysteel massacre. His mother had contacted the Sunday World to deny her son had had anything to do with the poem. But we recieved photos of him sitting in his cell with the gruesome poem painted on his cell wall aloneside another of a gravestone with the words Trick or Treat – Rest in Pieces on it. Former inmates told us he bragged about his heinous crimes. “He was very proud of what he did at Graysteel and he showed no remorse at all,” said a former inmate. “He told everyone how he practised for a whole week to change the magazine on his AK-47 so he could re-load and kill as many people as possible,” said the former inmate. “He said he needed to be able to do it in five seconds just in case anyone tried to attack him when the first clip ran out. He said he practised it over 200 times.”
With many thanks to : Steven Moore, Sunday World.
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The flags, which bare the insignia of the Parachute regiment, have been fixed onto lamp-posts on the loyalist side of the Donegall Road interface at the Broadway roundabout. They had already been erected in other areas of Belfast and show support for the ‘Paras’ who will forever be despised in nationalist areas of Ulster. Soldiers of the parchute Regiment were responsible for the Bloody Sunday murders in Derry were 14 innocent civilians were shot dead during a civil rights march in 1972. They were also the regiment in the Ballymurphy massacre where 11 innocent civilians were murdered. But it’s the fact these flags were erected just days after loyalist leaders including Winkie Irvine and Jackie McDonald returned from Cardiff that have caused the most surprise. And also the First and deputy ffirst ministers statements around a shared further. Following talks in Cardiff it was declared by all sides that “respect” would be the order of the day to help prevent a violent summer. It’s understood a notorious UVF gang from the Donegall Road, run by ‘The meerkat’ Colin Fulton, was behind the flags.”You have to assume the only reason is they want to intimidate people on this side of the road.” The flags issue is one of the most contentious facing politicians here and the situation has only been made worse since the row over the flying of the union flag at Belfast City Hall. A spokesman for Sinn Fein said last night : “The erection of UVF flags along with flags of the British Parachute Regiment at Broadway roundabout is both provocative and inflammatory.”
“This is Jackie McDonald’s turf and by putting these flags up after he and other loyalists came back from Cerdiff promising a new dawn, is sending a clear message,” said a loyalist source. “And that message is that not everyone is on board with the peace plan.” Why on earth would someone in Belfast want to put up a flag of this particular regiment of the British Army?” asked one nationalist resident who lives nearby.
- Psni/ruc Cherry-picking in It’s Approach to Loyalism ! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Residents Groups Criticise Parades Talks in Cardiff ! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Talks in Wales Evidence of ‘Political Policing’ : Loyalists (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
‘The idea behind it is to pull in people with such an important name – Brendan McAnallen.
HUNDREDS of people with the surname O’Neill are to ddescend on their spiritual home in Co Tyrone for a gathering of famous clan later this month . Organisers say the International Gathering of the O’Neill Clans will attract people from as far away as America and Australia.
Theevent, arranged by the Tyrone based Association of O’Neill Clans, will focus on key sites associated with the ancient family name in the country. Partcipants will visit the ancient seat of the O’Neills in Benburb, Tullyhogue Fort, near Cookstown, where the clan installed their chieftains, and the Hill of O’Neills in Dungannon. Organiser Brendan McAnallen said the event would provide a unique opportunity for O’Neills to celebrate their Tyrone roots centuries after the collapse of the Gaelic system in Ulster. “This is the first time there has been an international gathering of this type in Tyrone. The idea behind it is to pull in people with such an important name as O’Neill,” he said.
It is important for people who share this name to know its sighificance, the Benburbn-based businessman said. “Unfortunately the average O’Neill may not know their own history and some may not care either,” he said.”But there are a lot of people related to the O’Neills who take an interest in the family like the Quinns, the Hagans and the Donnellys. “We have people coming from England, Scotland, France, Spain and even Greece. They are also coming from Americia, Canada and Australia.” Mr McAnallen said the event had taken its inspiaration from the Gathering, the Irish government‘s drive to encourage people of Irish decent to return to the country during 2013. “We thought we should do something and this is our contribution,” he said. “We want to generate a bit of interest and bring the Irish diaspora back home.” Cookstown District Council will host the international vistors at Tullyhogue on T’hursday of next week, during which a tour, talk and re-enactment will take place at the historic fort. A similar event, supported by the Ancient Clan O’Neill of Tyrone, will take place the following day. The International Gathering of the O’Neill Clans will run from May 23 to 25. For more information visit http://www.oneillclan.com.
With many thanks to : Connia Young, Irish News.
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Wake Up Baile Féitheáin
In Europe, there were widespread protests after Sands’ death. Five thousand Milanese students burned the Union Flag and shouted ‘freedom for Ulster‘ during a march. The British Consulate at Ghent was raided. Thousands marched in Paris behind huge portraits of Sands, to chants of ‘the IRA will conquer’.
- The Milk Snatcher. (rhiannalyse.wordpress.com)
- Thatcher Street or Bobby Sands Street ? Paris Politicians Divided ! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Man convicted after telling foreigner, ‘Bobby Sands did not die for the blacks’ (irishcentral.com)
- Revealed: Paris Councillors Divided Over Bobby Sands Street or Thatcher Street Names (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- ‘West Cork rebels and Bobby Sands didn’t fight for the blacks. (politics.ie)
- From Gandhi to Bobby Sands: Hunger strikers through history (usnews.nbcnews.com)