PSNI ‘have put life of youth worker at risk’ !!!

A YOUTH worker has accused the PSNI/RUC of putting his life at risk after saying he “may be a member of a paramilitary organisation”. North Belfast man Sean Montgomery said police made the claim after he applied to Access NI to be vetted to work with young people.


Access NI carries out background checks on people hoping to work in particular fields, including for criminal records. The agency, which is managed by the Department of Justice (what fucking justice), works closely with the PSNI/RUC. Mr Montgomery beleives an 18-month delay in issuing a certificate to him could put a recent job offer at risk. The cross-community youth worker has vowed to take legal action over the claims contained in two letters sent to him by the PSNI/RUC last month. Mr Montgomery said the letters, which were contained in the same envelpoe but signed by different people, were posted to his home by recorded delivery. One claimed that “police hold information which indicates that Mr Montgomery may be a member of a paramilitary organisation”. The second letter said he is “suspected to be involved in drugs”. He denies both claims.

Mr Monntgomery served a paramilitary sentence for possession of weapons in the 1990s and is a former member of Shame Fein. He left the party in 2005 over its stance in policing. Mr Montgomery said he has made no secret to his opposition to the PSNI/RUC, and he refuses to be involved in projects that engage with the force, but he challenged police to back up their claims. “This puts my life and livlihood and that of my family, in danger,” he said. “If I am a drug dealer or involved at present in republican paramilitary activity, why am I not arrested?” In the past Mr Montgomery has worked closely with Co-operation Ireland and the centre for conflict research. Co-operation Ireland chief executive Peter Sheridan, who is a former member of the PSNI/RUC, said Mr Montgomery should be issued with a certificate by Access NI. “It’s important when we are trying to get people jobs that all the statutory agencies ensure their systems are sufficiently swift that allow that to happen and don’t prevent people trying to move on,” he said. Mr Sheridan also said that the youth worker has “done a lot of good work in the area” in his field. A spokesman for the PSNI/RUC said it “does not discuss the details of vetting applications”. A DOJ spokesperson said all applications go through “a formal process”. Mr Montgomert’s solicitor Michael Brentnall said his client has “no other choice but to issue High Court proceedings aganst the PSNI/RUC and Access NI in order to compel the disclosure of a certificate”.

With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News.

Female inmate ‘forcibly strip searched’

BRITAIN STILL ABUSES IRISH REPUBLICAN WOMENSecond woman missed hospital appointment after refusing to remove clothes campaigners say.

REPUBLICAN prisoner campaigners have claimed a forced strip has been

out on a female republican inmate at Hydebank Wood Prison.


Sharon Rafferty, of Cavana Linn in Pomeroy, was forced to remove her clothes before and after making a court appearance in Omagh, Co Tyrone, last month. Supporters say the 38-year-old refused to take off her cloths voluntarily female prison officers forcibly removed them down to her underwear. Ms Rafferty is facing charges relating to republician paramilitary activity in Co Tryone. Since her arrest in May last she has been detained on a separated wing at Hydebank Wood Prison on the outskirts of Belfast. It has also emerged that a second republican prisoner, Christine Connor, missed a hospital appointment last month after refusing to be strip searched. The 27-year-old is facing two counts of attempted murder and possession of pipe bombs in relation to an attack on the PSNI in North Belfast in May. The Irish News understand both wimen have indicated they will not voluntarialy submit to strip searches in furture.

On Wednsday night Mandy Duffy from the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA) sais Ms Rafferty felt like she had been “sexually assaulted” after the search. “She feels very strongly she should not have to remove her clothing,” she aid. The prisoner campagner says Ms Connor will also continue to resist strip searches. “Christine feels she is being denied the right to medicial treatment which is a basic human right,” she said. “She is on medication and needs to see a specialist.” The last high-profile female republican prisoner to be subjected to strip searches is believed to be Roisin McAliskey – daughter of former Mid Ulster MP Bernadette McAliskey – who was searched more than 70 times while pregnant in custody awaiting extradition to Germany in connection with an IRA mortar attàck in 1996. She was released wîthout charge in 1998.


In November last year male republican prisoners in Maghaberry Prison ended an 18-month no-wash protest sparked by a number of complaints about the jail regime, including the use of strip searches. A spokesman for the Department of Justice (DOJ) said: “The Prison Service Full Search Policy for women prisoners has developed a two stage full search procedure. A stage one search requires the woman to remove her outer clothin; however she would not be requied to remove her underwear. If staff have suspicions or intelligence has been received to suggest that the woman could be concealing items in her underwear she would be required to proceed to a level two search. “This would require her to remove the clothing from her top half of her body, including her underwear. When dressed she would remove the clothing from the bottom half of her body, including her underwear. While we cannot comment on specific individuals, at no stage has a level two search been deployed in Ash House in recent weeks as is being claimed in some quarters.”

With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.


CIPR Specialist Website of the Year 2011
Investigations & Analysis – Northern Ireland

Loughinisland: the Ombudsman’s report – but key issues remain unaddressed

The aftermath of the Loughinisland massacre in 1994


THE Detail can today reveal the conclusions of the Police Ombudsman on the Loughinisland massacre: that the failure by police to secure convictions afterwards was down to incompetence and a lack of commitment – but not collusion.

The final report also leaves unanswered a key question of the families of the six men killed at The Heights bar 17 years ago: what the role of Special Branch was either before or after the attack.

More >

The six men killed in the Loughinisland massacre

Where was Special Branch in Loughinisland massacre?


IF the Police Ombudsman’s report into the McGurk’s Bar atrocity highlighted his reluctance to grapple with collusion, his report into Loughinisland is startling by its absence of another crucial piece of the picture: the role of Special Branch both before and after the massacre.

Mr Hutchinson states that he studied all “available intelligence” connected to the killings but important intelligence-related aspects of the case are not even mentioned in the report, raising questions over just how deep his investigation went in this case and, again, drawing attention to a “civil war” within his own office.

More >

THE Attorney General John Larkin has confirmed that the inquest system here shall have a role “front and centre” in how Northern Ireland deals with the past.




8th June 2011

Dear Ms De Bortoli

We are replying to your e-mail about the case of Brendan Lillis. 

Brendan Lillis was released from prison in March 1993 having served       

 16 years 4 months of four life sentences following his conviction on four separate bombing charges in 1976.  He was re-arrested in October 2009 on charges connected with an attempted kidnapping.  His case was referred to the independent Parole Commissioners for Northern Ireland and they recommended that his life licence should be revoked as they concluded that his behaviour had demonstrated that he had become a danger to the public – contrary to the terms of his life licence.  The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland accepted this advice and Brendan Lillis resumed serving his four life sentences in November 2009.

The court has decided that the recent charges against Mr Lillis are not to be proceeded with at present, as it has taken the view that he is not fit to attend trial.  However these charges have not been dropped and they remain against him.  I understand from the Public Prosecution Service that this situation will remain under review. 

While I am not in a position to detail the specifics of Mr Lillis’s condition I can assure you that the Northern Ireland Prison Service has made strenuous efforts to ensure that his full health care needs have been and are continuing to be met in a satisfactory and appropriate manner in prison custody and that his health is not suffering from any lack of attention.  He is under the care of a consultant who reviews his case regularly and he has undergone a number of investigations and treatments – the same level of treatment that he would have received were he living in the community. Indeed the physician employed by Mr Lillis’s legal team to review his case has complimented the standard of medical care that Mr Lillis is receiving in custody.

 Given these circumstances the Minister of Justice does not consider that exceptional grounds exist which would justify the release of Mr Lillis on compassionate grounds.

The Parole Commissioners for Northern Ireland are currently reviewing the revocation of Mr Lillis’s life licence but this is a matter entirely for them.  The Minister of Justice will be guided by whatever decision they make in relation to the continued need for Mr Lillis to remain in custody. 

The Department of Justice for Northern Ireland is entirely confident that there has been no abuse of Mr Lillis’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights

Yours sincerely

Life Sentence Unit


Stormont Ignoring Suffering of Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry – RNU

Diorama of a Vietnamese nationalist jailed by ...
Image via Wikipedia

THE REPUBLICAN NETWORK for UNITY (RNU) NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON, CARL REILLY has expressed serious concerns about the situation facing Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry Gaol. “In spite of repeated warnings from RNU and others who represent Political Prisoners in the Gaol, the Stormont Executive and it’s Justice Minister have completely ignored the suffering of Republican Prisoners in Roe House.

THE REPUBLICAN NETWORK for UNITY (RNU) NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON, CARL REILLY has expressed serious concerns about the situation facing Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry Gaol. “In spite of repeated warnings from RNU and others who represent Political Prisoners in the Gaol, the Stormont Executive and it’s Justice Minister have completely ignored the suffering of Republican Prisoners in Roe House.

Rather than using their influence to have last August’s Agreement implemented in full, Stormont Politicians have also ignored serious concerns about the situation facing Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry. In spite of numerous meetings, letters and statements from RNU and others who represent Political Prisoners in the Gaol, the Stormont Executive and it’s Justice Minister have completely ignored the suffering of Republican Prisoners in Roe House.

Rather than using their influence to have last August’s Agreement implemented in full, Stormont’s Politicians have also ignored the continued harassment, ongoing intimidation and brutal attacks upon Political Prisoners in the Gaol. In spite of lengthy negotiations, between Republican Prisoners, RNU, other representative groups, Independent Facilitators and the Prison Service that led to last August’s Agreement, it soon became clear to the POWs‘ that the Prison Administration and the Loyalist POA were not happy with the settlement and would do anything to undermine the entire agreement.

It was not long before, the belief and goodwill illustrated last August started to diminish due to the gradual mistreatment of Republican Prisoners. The Prison Service and LPOA soon placed obstacles in the way of prisoners, their families and representatives outside. It also seemed that the Stormont Justice Department had little interest in implementing the Agreement either. It was apparent that they too were being held hostage to the negative policies of the LPOA. Within months, the August Agreement had broken down and protest action by Republican Prisoners resumed”.

Mr. Reilly concluded; “At present, over 30 Political Prisoners are locked in their cells 24/7 under ‘Rule 32′. They have no access to education, adequate washing facilities or proper association. During the past few weeks, a number of POWs’ have had to be transferred to an outside hospital for medical treatment because they were badly beaten by the Screws. A few days ago, Harry Fitzsimmons’ cell was stormed by the Riot-Squad who smashed his glasses into his face and repeatedly punched and kicked the Belfastman to the floor. After a few minutes, they left Harry lying on the floor in pain. One of the Independent Facilitators and his family have since witnessed his many injuries. The current situation in Maghaberry is intolerable. RNU call on the Maghaberry Administration and Loyalist POA to end their failed criminalisation policy against Republican Prisoners and implement the August agreement in full. We urge Human Rights advocates and Politicians to ensure the dignity and respect for Political Prisoners in Roe House.

Finally, our Network ask everyone Republican or otherwise to assemble at Maghaberry for a Rally on Sunday 5th June, 2011 at 3pm to demonstrate unity against this crisis and demand the implementation of the August Agreement”.


Category:Irish political party symbols Categor...
Image via Wikipedia

Caroline Kelly

Since last August (2010) the POWs have abided by the conditions laid out in the Agreement drafted by the POWs, the facilitators and the David Ford’s Department of Justice at Stormont. However, the prison wardens, with the connivance of the …governor, have refused to implement the Agreement. The current governor was quoted in the press some weeks ago as having stated that as he was not involved in drafting any agreement he does not have to abide by any agreement.
The POWs are demanding political status which includes freedom of movement within the wing in Roe House, and an end to strip searches and early lock-up times. The BOSS chair is installed in the prison, the use of which would eliminate the need for strip searching.
For several weeks now the prison regime have been attempting to lock-up the POWs at the earlier time of 7.20pm (even 7.15pm) instead of the normal 8pm lock-up.
From Wednesday night May 18, 2011 up to 40 members of the riot team with five dogs entered the canteen and yard at 7.20pm to remove the men to their cells. However the POWs sat down and refused to move, so the riot team proceeded to forcibly remove the men one at a time.
The POWs were kicked, punched and stood on. Several of the men have been injured. One was cut and bruised and has a suspected broken nose; another a sprained wrist and his arm badly swollen while a third has a broken finger and torn tendons. Another has pulled a muscle in his back, a fifth is bruised round his neck and head, and many more injuries are reported. All prisoners were handcuffed in the process, which in itself inflicted injuries.
Once inside the prison the riot team with their shields and batons, tried to intimidate the men with their sectarian screaming and shouting at them “we will fix you, you Fenian b******s” as they put the boot in [literally].
On May 24 the warders issued the POWs with warnings that they were “now” on lockdown under Rule 32. Under Rule 32 the POWs were on lock-down initially for 48-hours which can/will be extended to 72-hours and from there up to 28 days if the POWs “do not comply with an earlier evening lock-up time”.
The situation should never have been allowed to reach this point again. The prison authorities are denying the facilitators entry to the prison at the moment, requested by the POWs. The facilitators are forced to go through David Ford’s office for permission to enter the jail.
As the prison staff faces cuts of up to 500 warders, it looks as if the prison authorities want a continuing confrontation with the POWs to justify their overtime and high staff ration to prisoners.
These men in Roe House are Republican political prisoners; in jail because of their political beliefs and not for criminal activity as some of the media would have people believe.Statement issued by Republican Sinn Féin

%d bloggers like this: