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News Letter
17 Dec 2013

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Prominent republican Colin Duffy has been charged with conspiring to murder members of the security forces in Northern Ireland.

Two other men were separately accused of trying to murder police travelling to the scene of a loyalist protest in Belfast earlier this month. Shots were fired at the officers’ vehicles.

The trio appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court surrounded by prison officers and armed riot police but did not speak during the brief hearing.

They waved to a crowd in the gallery who noisily indicated support as they were led away to prison to await their trial.

Duffy, 47, was also accused of membership of the IRA and conspiring with the other defendants, Alex McCrory and Henry Fitzsimmons, to possess firearms and explosives with intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property since the start of this year.

There were no legal submissions. A detective connected them to the charges.

A convoy of PSNI vehicles pulling digital signs was fired upon from republican Ardoyne as it travelled up the Crumlin Road on December 5 to the scene of an Orange Order protest linked to a July 12 parade.

Duffy, from Forest Glade in Lurgan, faces four charges including conspiring to possess explosives and firearms and belonging to a proscribed organisation, the IRA, between January 1 and December 16 this year, a Courts Service statement said.

Only the membership of the IRA charge was read out in open court.

A Court Service statement said Duffy was charged: “On dates unknown between the 1st day of January 2013 and the 16th day of December 2013, in the County Division of Belfast or elsewhere within the jurisdiction of the Crown Court, conspired with Alexander McCrory and Henry Fitzsimmons and with persons unknown to murder members of the security forces.”

McCrory, 52, from Sliabh Dubh View in Belfast, was accused of conspiring to murder members of the security forces, conspiracy to possess explosives and firearms and belonging to the IRA.

He was also charged with attempting to murder the officers in their vehicles on the Crumlin Road and possessing firearms with intent to endanger life.

Fitzsimmons, 46, of no fixed address, was charged with possession of firearms with intent, attempting to murder the officers on the Crumlin Road, belonging to the IRA and conspiracy with the other two accused to possess firearms and explosives.

Only the possession of firearms charges were read out in court.

A large crowd filled the body of the courtroom as police officers stood near the doorway. Duffy was wearing a grey open-necked top and had a beard. Five prison officers stood in the dock.

A shortened version of the charge sheet was read out and then solicitors for the accused told magistrate Fiona Bagnall they had no submissions to make.

The accused were remanded in custody to Maghaberry high-security prison to reappear before the court via video-link on January 14.

Two people were arrested after supporters clashed with police outside the courthouse.

Telegraph.co.uk
2 Nov 2012

Colin Duffy

A dissident republican has been arrested in connection with the murder of a long-serving prison officer and Orange Order member who was gunned down in a motorway ambush.

Colin Duffy, 44 and a second man were detained by officers in Lurgan, Co Armagh.

Duffy, 44, was acquitted by a judge in Belfast earlier this year of the murders of two soldiers shot dead by dissident republicans outside Massereene military barracks in Antrim in March 2009.

The second man is aged 31. Both men were taken for questioning by detectives at Antrim.

Married father-of-two David Black, 52, was shot several times from a car that pulled up alongside his on the M1 near Lurgan, Co Armagh, as he drove to work at Maghaberry jail yesterday morning.

Colleagues said Mr Black, from Cookstown, Co Tyrone, had been actively considering retirement after more than 30 years’ service. He was a long-standing member of the Orange Order in Cookstown.

Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson last night branded the culprits “flat-earth fanatics living in the dark ages, spewing out hatred from every pore”.

Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Edward Stevenson said he was the 337th member of the organisation to be murdered by terrorists since 1969.

“His professionalism throughout the worst of the Troubles and beyond is in stark contrast to the cowardly and faceless terrorists who today have left a wife without her husband and two children without their father,” he said.

Forensic officers search the scene on the M1 motorway where prison officer David Black (inset) was shot as he drove near the town of Lurgan, Northern Ireland (Photo: Reuters/Pacemaker)

“Our thoughts and prayers are with David’s wife, Yvonne, his children, Kyle and Kyra, and wider family circle at this deeply traumatic time.

“They can be assured that the Orange fraternity will rally around them in their hour of need.”

Prime Minister David Cameron joined political leaders on both sides of the Irish border in condemning what he said was a “brutal murder”.

He said: “These killers will not succeed in denying the people of Northern Ireland the peaceful, shared future they so desperately want.”

After being shot, Mr Black’s black Audi A4 veered off the road and crashed into a deep drainage ditch.

Police have blamed dissident republicans opposed to the peace process.

The violent extremists have been engaged in a long-running protest campaign against conditions inside HMP Maghaberry in Co Antrim – Northern Ireland’s only maximum-security prison.

Ministers from the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Republic’s government will discuss the murder at a North South Ministerial Council meeting in Armagh today, according to the BBC.

Stormont Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness insisted the murder would not destabilise the peace process.

“Our community stands absolutely four-square and united against the activities of these groups,” he said.

Mr Black has become the 30th prison officer killed in Northern Ireland since 1974, though the first for almost 20 years.

He was driving on the motorway between Portadown and Lurgan at about 7.30am when a dark blue Toyota Camry, with a Dublin registration, pulled alongside and several shots were fired.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris said dissidents had been actively targeting prison officers.

He indicated the gunshots, not the crash, had been the cause of death, adding: “Mr Black appears to have sustained very serious and probably fatal gunshot wounds. The motive behind this is sheer terror.”

The Toyota believed to have been used in the attack – registration 94 D 50997 – was later found burnt-out in the Inglewood area of Lurgan, Co Armagh – a town with strong pockets of dissident support.

Mr Black’s service stretched back as far as the 1981 IRA hunger strike inside the Maze prison when 10 republicans starved themselves to death.

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott said it was a “completely senseless attack” that “demonstrated the recklessness and ruthlessness and sheer dangerousness of those who oppose peace and are dedicated to taking us back to those dark days of the past”.

Prison Service director-general Sue McAllister said Mr Black had expressed interest in an early retirement scheme but his departure date had not been set.

She vowed the officer’s colleagues would not be bowed by the attack.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers branded the attack on Mr Black “cowardly and evil”.

“Like his colleagues across the Prison Service, he was dedicated to serving the whole community in Northern Ireland,” she said.

“This is in stark contrast to the people responsible for this despicable crime.”

Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, said the murder was “deeply disturbing”.

“I utterly condemn the actions of those who carried it out and their scant regard for human life,” he said while on an official visit to Berlin.

Mr Kenny added: “Those who committed this brutal act will rightly be condemned by all civilised and right-thinking people on this island who utterly reject such hideous and mindless violence.”

Associated Press
NY Times
19 May 2012

DUBLIN (AP) — Seven Irish republicans were arraigned Saturday on terrorism charges after a security sweep against militants whom officials suspect of plotting to sabotage Northern Ireland’s peace process.

Three were charged in a court in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, near Belfast, with “directing terror,” a charge never levied against anyone suspected of being Irish Republican Army members in Northern Ireland.

Use of the charge suggests that the police and Britain’s domestic spy agency, MI5, believe they have caught senior members of the Real I.R.A. faction, an Irish Republican Army splinter group.

Three of those arraigned were relatives of Colin Duffy, who is said to be a senior Real I.R.A. figure. The three — Mr. Duffy’s brothers, Paul, 47, and Damien, 42, and his cousin Shane Duffy, 41 — were charged with preparing acts of terrorism, conspiring to murder and conspiring to cause explosions. Paul Duffy also was charged with directing terrorism.

In Omagh, the Northern Ireland town where the Real I.R.A. committed its deadliest bombing, in 1998, four people were arraigned on charges of preparing acts of terrorism, possessing a rifle and ammunition, and attending a Real I.R.A. training camp.

Two of them, Sharon Rafferty, 37, and Sean Kelly, 46, were also charged with directing terror. The Real I.R.A. killed 29 people, mostly women and children, in an Aug. 15, 1998, car bombing in the center of Omagh, Northern Ireland. After lying low for almost a decade, the group resumed attacks in 2007.

Police officers testified they had recordings of Mr. Rafferty and Mr. Kelly discussing how to target officers and finance Real I.R.A. operations. Mr. Kelly is a former convicted member of the Provisional I.R.A., which renounced violence in 2005.

Herald.ie
Monday March 05 2012

Eight undercover soldiers were at the scene of a high-profile killing carried out by loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, a dramatic new report has revealed.

The revelations centre on a controversial attack where three republicans were ambushed minutes after they left a police station in Lurgan, Co Armagh, in 1990.

Former republican prisoner Sam Marshall was killed in a hail of automatic gunfire, but the presence nearby of a red Maestro car, later found to be a military intelligence vehicle, sparked claims of a security force role in the killing.

It has now emerged the car was one of six vehicles in a major surveillance operation involving eight armed undercover soldiers – and though the loyalist killers launched the attack within yards of armed troops and escaped – investigators said there was no evidence of state collusion with the gunmen. But John Marshall, a brother of the 31-year-old murder victim, said: “All we had heard about before this was the Maestro. But now this has opened a big can of worms.”

The three republicans – who included Colin Duffy who was acquitted in January of murdering two soldiers at Massereene Army base in Antrim – had been signing in at the Lurgan police station as part of bail conditions for charges of possession of ammunition.

The presence of the Maestro, and questions over how the loyalists knew when the republican trio would be leaving the police station, sparked major controversy in the 1990s and led the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and government to deny anything suspicious had taken place.

A review of the unsolved case by the police Historical Enquiries Team (HET) found that: at least eight undercover soldiers were deployed near the killing, with their commander monitoring from a remote location; the armed military intelligence personnel at the scene were in six cars, including the noted red Maestro; two plainclothed soldiers with camera equipment were in an observation post at the entrance of the police station as the three republicans arrived and left; two undercover soldiers followed the republicans on foot, and were within 50-100 yards of the attack, but said they did not to see the killing in which the gunmen fired 49 shots.

It also found: after the two masked loyalists jumped from a Rover car and started shooting, the troops did not return fire, claiming it was out of their line of sight and too far away, but alerted colleagues who launched an unsuccessful search for the killers. Despite being in a republican area, the soldiers make no reference to feeling at risk from the gunmen; the killers’ guns are believed to have been used in four other murders and an attempted murder. Weapons of the same type have been linked by police to seven further killings and four attempted murders carried out in 1988/89.

The report added: the RUC found gloves near the gang’s burned-out getaway car, but the gloves were subsequently lost; the RUC sought to deny the existence of a surveillance operation by giving “misleading or incomplete” statements. But RUC Special Branch had briefed the undercover troops; investigators could not rule in, or rule out, that the RUC leaked information to the loyalists. But they said the killers may have gathered their own intelligence.

The HET praised much of the original RUC investigation and found no new lines of inquiry on the attack which was claimed by the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force. But the Marshall family has said the review of the case – which did not reinterview the soldiers but relied on RUC statements from the time – has only served to raise further questions.

Gráinne Brinkley
Andersonstown News
27 Jan 2012

LURGAN republican Colin Duffy says current conditions on Maghaberry prisons Roe House wing “could be equated to the harshness of what took place in the late 70s and early 80s” in the notorious H-Blocks.

He was speaking exclusively to the Andersonstown News just days after he was acquitted at Antrim Crown Court of the murder of British soldiers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar at Massereene Barracks in March 2009.

Up until his acquittal and subsequent release from Maghaberry, Mr Duffy, 44, had been taking part in the no-wash protest by republicans in the jail’s Roe House wing in protest at the continued use of forced full body strip-searching by prison authorities in defiance of an agreement painstakingly worked out in August 2010.

The agreement, which was reached between the republican prisoners and prison authorities with the help of independent facilitators, was supposed to do away with full body strip-searching in the prison in favour of the BOSS chair scanner and other technology. The agreement also allowed for a gradual reduction of controlled movement for republicans within the Roe House wing.

However, the agreement was to break down after only a month when prison bosses claimed it did not cover strip-searching in the reception area of the facility and after demands from the Northern Ireland Prison Service that the humiliating practice was “essential” for security reasons.

Mr Duffy, who had been held in custody at the prison since 2009, said he was forcibly strip-searched on 76 occasions after the collapse of the Roe House agreement – an agreement which he was instrumental in bringing about as a leading negotiator for republican prisoners.

Speaking to the Andersonstown News in his Lurgan home this week, Mr Duffy described one particular full body strip-search during which guards tried to force a prison-issue jumper on him.

“It was the first strip-search that I got and I remember it quite vividly as I was going out to court,” he said.

“I took my coat off and I remember standing in the cell. They asked me if I was going to strip and I said no, I wasn’t, and that I wasn’t going to offer any resistance to them doing it. Between four and six of them then came in in full riot gear – helmets, shields, padded gear, the whole lot – and welted me against the wall straight away with the shields.

“They didn’t even try to take the top half of my clothing off, they just got the scissors out and cut it off me. They had my wrists in locks and they cut the clothes off me. They then went through the rest of the process, which was stripping me entirely naked. Afterwards they put the bottom half back on but obviously I had no top clothes on as it had just been cut off. This was quite deliberate, as it transpired, because they went and got a prison jumper for me, and we all know what the connotations are for a republican prisoner in relation to the prison uniform and what happened in the blanket, the no-wash and the hunger strike era. It was entirely palpable to me, the sense of elation from the people who were putting it on me. I was shouting to them to send over to the wing to get my other clothes over but they were just going ahead and forcing the prison jumper on me. I remember shouting, ‘Get this trash off my back!’ and they were smirking and smiling, as they knew fully the symbolic nature of what was taking place right there and then. They then moved me over to the reception area for me to go to court and took the cuffs off me. I immediately threw off the jumper and hurled it to the ground. I had no top on, so I put the coat on and ended up going to court like that.”

Mr Duffy said the searches are designed to break the prisoners’ will.

“They are physically hard on you straight away and drag you to the ground, put you in all sorts of headlocks, wristlocks and armlocks,” he said.

“They are deliberately inflicting as much pain as possible on you even though you’re shouting throughout, ‘I’m not resisting this, there’s no need for this’ etcetera. It didn’t matter to them, their policy was to go in hard and physically break you. Throughout the actual searches they will be whispering to you that you’re filth, you’re scum and this is all while they are inflicting all sorts of pain and you’re lying there with your genitalia on the floor. They just don’t care. Full body strip-searching is not necessary and it’s designed to humiliate and degrade people. In my opinion there isn’t any need for it.”

He reiterated claims made in the January 14 edition of the Andersonstown News by representatives of the campaign group Family and Friends of Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry that long-serving prison staff members were the main instigators of the strip-searching.

“The guards who are connected to the personal aspect of actually stripping you, some of them are screws that I would have encountered years ago and, in my opinion, the bitterness is just hanging out of them,” he said.

“They can’t disguise it and so they don’t even try to disguise it. Some of them have been there a long time and some of them are new, younger screws going about their business in the old-school way – they aren’t all of the old guard but they are of that mentality.”

Mr Duffy described the current regime in Maghaberry as similar to that at Crumlin Road Gaol at the time of the segregation protests of the early- to mid-nineties

“I was in Crumlin Road Gaol in that period and also prior to the segregation protests which was around the time you had the bomb exploding in the jail,” he said, referring to the 1992 IRA bomb in the prison canteen that killed two loyalist prisoners.

“I moved down to the H Blocks in 1995/96 and it was relaxed enough at that stage of the game. There’s no parallel to how Maghaberry operates nowadays in comparison to the H-Blocks of that period when you had political status. But when I went back into prison in 2009, into Maghaberry, there wasn’t any continuation to the system that was in the H-Block. Now, in fact, you could equate that to the harshness of what took place in the H-Blocks around the time of the late-70s and early-80s, that’s the type of scenario we’re talking about there in Maghaberry. When you are coming from that H-Block environment down to Maghaberry now and you see the attitude of the screws and the prison administration now and how they view people who class themselves as political prisoners, you do sort of say to yourself, ‘Here, listen, what happened to all that was won in relation to achieving what was in the H-Blocks?’ They’ve obviously tried to erode it away.”

Speaking about the negotiations on the Roe House agreement in the run-up to August 2010, Mr Duffy said the key issues that the prisoners wanted addressed – strip-searching and controlled movement – were in reality not “major things”.

“We weren’t asking for big, major things and they are not big, major things to resolve,” he said.

“We were quite open to letting them [the prison authorities] phase it all in, even though some of our people wanted it all done there and then. We were reasonable. But within days of the agreement being signed there was a decision taken somewhere to start trying to claw back what had been agreed.

“Even the facilitators to this day say their interpretation of what was agreed is the prisoners’ interpretation. I remember Peter Bunting [Irish Congress of Trade Unions] saying to me, ‘That’s it, you have achieved what you set out to achieve, there will not be another republican prisoner strip-searched anywhere in this jail again.’ But the whole agreement isn’t being implemented and it didn’t even begin to be implemented because of the prison trying to renege on it.”

Mr Duffy believes that more needs to be done politically to resolve the prison issue.

“Some of these people [Sinn Féin MLAs] would have been directly involved in the blanket and no-wash, hunger strike era of the H-Block,” he said.

“As a republican, you do expect that given their more intimate knowledge of what took place then, and what has taken place in Maghaberry now, they could be putting more effort into resolving it. We have met delegations from Sinn Féin, the SDLP, the Justice Department, the Justice Committee, and we have impressed upon them each and every time our position in relation to what needs to be done to resolve the situation, but there’s just nothing happening.”

Mr Duffy accepted that support on the streets for the current no-wash protest was significantly lower than for similar protests in previous years. He thinks that’s due to perceptions of the prisoners involved and their affiliations to various groups.

“Obviously the public support is not comparable to the amount of street protest that went on years ago in relation to that protest,” he said.

“But that doesn’t take away from the striking similarities to what is actually taking place in the jail today. I don’t think you can divorce what went on in the jails years ago in relation to the criminalisation strategy the British had from the criminalisation policy that’s happening now. It might be subtler now, but I think it’s there and it’s behind a lot of the thinking in relation to the decision makers and the people who have the power to resolve this issue. It’s a case of them not wanting to accept that there are republican prisoners in jail still to this day when they want to portray the North of Ireland as a done deal.”

Mr Duffy said it was now up to the prisoners to decide if the no-wash protest should be escalated.

“No-one wants to be living in that situation long-term, so tactically they will debate and discuss amongst themselves as to what’s the best way forward,” he said.

“If they agree to bring the BOSS chair into the reception area and agree to withdraw controlled movement gradually, that’s how to resolve it. I don’t think that anyone would agree that locking people up for 23 hours a day is a regime that should be in any jail.”

The Lurgan man added that he now intended to campaign as a free man for the full implementation of the Roe House agreement.

“I’m a republican and a political activist and I don’t intend to stop being that,” he said.

“Obviously there are issues that are still there and still relevant, so I will be involved in the Family and Friends group campaign.

“I’ll be supporting them no matter what.”

BBC
25 Jan 2012

DUP South Antrim MP William McCrea has raised the acquittal of Colin Duffy during Northern Ireland Questions in the House of Commons.

Last week, Mr Duffy was cleared of all charges relating to the attack at Massereene Barracks in Antrim in March 2009 in which two soldiers were killed.

Mr McCrea said the acquittal had caused “anger and fear” in his constituency.

Responding to the comments, Mr Duffy said he was taking legal action against the police over his prosecution.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Owen Paterson told the Commons the terrorist threat level in NI remains severe.

This means a terrorist attack is considered “highly likely”.

On the issues of the Massereene verdicts, Mr McCrea asked: “Can the secretary of state understand the anger and fear that has been felt in my constituency, and indeed throughout Northern Ireland, in light of the release of Colin Duffy, a person charged on three different occasions for the murder of innocents, yet always seems to find the get out card.

“What assurance can the secretary of state give my constituents that they are going to be safe from brutal terrorists like Colin Duffy and not be another statistic in a long line of innocent victims?”

Mr Paterson replied: “I entirely sympathise with the honourable member and his constituents’ concerns.

“We do believe in the separation of powers and this was a decision made by due process.

“I’m delighted that there was one conviction in this appalling incident… but I can assure the member that this government will bear down on all terrorists.”
Owen Paterson Owen Paterson said the terrorist threat level remains severe

MPs have parliamentary privilege when speaking during a session of the House of Commons. Mr Duffy was cleared of all charges in relation to the Massereene attack.

Malicious

Responding to Mr McCrea’s comments, Mr Duffy issued a statement through his solicitors.

It said he had instructed his solicitors to “object to the comments in the most strenuous terms and he will be making a complaint to the Committee on Standards and Privileges.”

“We are of the professional opinion that the comments represent an insult to the integrity of judicial process in this jurisdiction and serve to undermine the considered judgment of the court.

“Mr Duffy has instructed us to initiate proceedings against the PSNI and PPS in respect of his malicious prosecution and unlawful detention.”

Answering a separate question on the terrorist threat level in Northern Ireland, Mr Paterson said: “Despite overwhelming community rejection of their murderous activity, terrorist groups continue to carry out indiscriminate attacks as we saw in Londonderry last week.

“This government remains committed to countering terrorism in all its forms.”

Police believe dissident republicans were responsible for two bomb attacks in Derry last Thursday night.

The bombs exploded at the tourist centre on Foyle Street and on Strand Road, close to the DHSS office, within 10 minutes of each other

Earlier this month, a Scottish soldier found a bomb inside his car outside his girlfriend’s house in the Ligoniel area of north Belfast.

The soldier found the device while cleaning the car before going to pick up a child from school on 5 January.

News Letter
Monday 23 January 2012

POLICE have dismissed claims from Colin Duffy that officers planted his DNA in the getaway car used in the murders of two soldiers at Massereene Barracks.

In a statement released at the weekend, the dissident republican who was cleared of the murders of Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey described the charges against him as spurious.

His co-accused Brian Shivers was convicted on Friday of the Real IRA attack at the Army base in Antrim in 2009.

“I am firmly of the view that my DNA arose there because it was planted,” alleged Duffy.

I was never in that car.

“I state quite categorically here that I had no involvement in what happened at Massereene, no involvement whatsoever, and that has been vindicated in court because there was no credible evidence to suggest otherwise.” Yesterday, a PSNI spokesman pointed to the findings issued by Mr Justice Anthony Hart.

“The issue of DNA and how it got there was fully explored through the trial and referred to in the judgment,” he said.

Mr Justice Hart did dismiss the notion that the DNA evidence had been planted by detectives.

The judge said: “Had it been desired to concoct such evidence by placing such DNA on the latex tip, why not place the DNA on the jar found in the glove compartment and/or the bullets found in that jar, thereby constructing a much stronger case and potentially irrefutable inference that Duffy was intimately involved with these guns and therefore intimately involved with the attack itself?”

Duffy – who was cleared for a third time of murdering security force members – also said in his statement that he was “happy” to be called a dissident republican.

But he said he had no questions to answer.

“I did not need to answer to the spurious evidence or so-called evidence that they were adducing at the trial,” he said.

“The decision not to give evidence was a decision that we took on the basis of my view legally of how the case was going.”

Mr Justice Hart referred to Duffy’s decision not to take the stand when he said: “I am satisfied that the only sensible explanation for his silence is that he has no answer, or no answer that would stand up to examination when questioned about the presence of his DNA on the latex tip and on the seat-belt buckles.”

Brian Shivers, a divorcee, unemployed because of his illness from cystic fibrosis and engaged to a Protestant woman, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Sappers Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London, and Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham, were gunned down as they collected a pizza delivery outside the Massereene Army barracks in Antrim.

Dissident republican group the Real IRA claimed responsibility.

Jaime Quinsey, who said her brother Mark’s death had devastated her family, appealed for public support in the ongoing police investigation.

“We know there are more people involved and we want to see them sentenced,” she said. “Please help the police before these people destroy more families.”

Suzanne Breen
Sunday World
22 Jan 2012
**Via Newshound

Republican dissident Colin Duffy says he pities the young British soldiers murdered at Massereene.

But he added: “They shouldn’t have been here in this country. And I wasn’t there when they died.”

In an exclusive Sunday World interview before a planned press conference yesterday, he denied all involvement in the double murder of Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar.

He agreed that despite his acquittal many people still believed he was guilty: “There’s nothing I can do to change that except continue saying I’m innocent and pointing out that there was no evidence to convict me.”

He insisted: “I played no part in the attack at Massereene. It’s very sad British soldiers are still being killed on the streets of the North but they shouldn’t be here.”

Duffy refused outright to condemn the attack. But the leading republican added that he fully understood the grief of the murdered soldiers’ families.

“I was in court, I saw the families and I understand how much they’ve suffered. It would take a very cold and inhuman person not to be moved by their loss.

“Two young soldiers from working-class areas of England – with zero knowledge of the North who probably didn’t even know their lives were at risk here – were killed.

“They were cannon fodder as far as the British Army is concerned. I’ve lost friends in the conflict. My friend Sam Marshall was shot dead in front of me so I know what it’s like to lose someone.”

But asked to condemn the attack, Duffy replied: “No I won’t do that. I’m a republican. I make no bones about that.

“I am an unrepentant republican. I wasn’t involved in Massereene and it’s up to those who were to justify their actions but I won’t condemn them.”

When asked if he’d condemn dissident republicans’ continuing campaign of violence, Duffy also refused: “I understand why people are doing it. That doesn’t mean I’m doing it.

“But while Britain remains in the North, there will always be people who resist British rule.”

The Lurgan republican claimed he’d been “framed” by the state for the Massereene attack. “When I was arrested and all through my bail hearings in court, they alleged I was one of the gunmen.

“Then analysis of CCTV footage showed the gunmen were 6 ft 3 and 6 ft 6. I’m 5″11. Two witnesses didn’t pick me out in an ID parade and a surviving soldier also said the gunman was at least 6ft and in his 20s or 30s when I’m in my 40s.

“So the state just withdrew its allegation I was a gunman and said I must have played some other role but they never specified what that was.

“They couldn’t because I wasn’t involved in the attack. I was found not guilty because the whole case didn’t make sense from the beginning.”

Duffy’s DNA was found on a glove finger-tip in the gunmen’s getaway car. But that didn’t stand up in court as evidence to convict him. He says he was “framed” and evidence was “planted”.

He claimed the forensic evidence against him was “low copy DNA which was totally discredited in the Omagh bomb”.

He alleged the state had wanted “a head on the plate” for the Massereene murders and “as a high-profile republican, I fitted the bill”.

He claimed the authorities also targeted him because he was an outspoken critic of the police and a witness in the 1990 loyalist murder of republican Sam Marshall in which there was security force collusion.

It’s the third time Duffy has been charged with murder for the charges to be dropped or him acquitted.

He denied he was the “luckiest man in the North” for beating three murder charges. “I’ve spent eight years of my life in jail – that’s the equivalent of a 16 year sentence with remission – but I’ve never been convicted of anything. How is that lucky?” he said.

“I’ve just spent almost three years in Maghaberry jail where prisoners are being forcibly strip-searched and beaten. There’s a dirty protest taking place and the prison is a hell-hole. I don’t know how anybody could call that lucky.”

Duffy accused the police, the intelligence services and certain politicians of “demonising” him and “felon-setting”. He added: “I know a certain picture of me is planted in some people’s minds. It’s wrong, I’ll challenge it, but if I can’t change it I’ll have to live with it.”

Once a strong supporter of Sinn Féin, Duffy opposed the party in recent years over its support for the current political process. Its “silence” on his case and the campaign by supporters to free him had been conspicuous, he said.

The 43-year-old republican said he would spending the next few months rebuilding his family life but would remain politically involved.

“I’ve six children, the youngest of whom is eight so I’ll be busy with them. But I am, always have been and intend to remain, a committed republican political activist.”

January 22, 2012
________________

This article appeared in the January 22, 2012 edition of the Sunday World.

BBC
21 Jan 2012

Prominent Republican Colin Duffy, who has been cleared of murdering two soldiers in Antrim, has said he believed his DNA had been planted in the getaway car.

On Friday, Mr Duffy, 44, from Lurgan, was aquitted of murdering Mark Quinsey, 23, and Patrick Azimkar, 21 at Massereene Barracks in March 2009.

His co-accused, Brian Shivers, 46, from Magherafelt was convicted.

Mr Duffy made the comments on Saturday at a news conference.

The soldiers were shot dead as they collected pizza.

Acquitting Colin Duffy, Judge Hart told Antrim Crown Court that he was satisfied that Mr Duffy’s DNA was found on a latex glove tip inside the car and on a seat buckle.

Split

But, he said, the prosecution had failed to link the defendant to the murder plot.

Speaking at the news conference, Mr Duffy defended his innocence.

“Let me state quite categorically here that I had no involvement with what happened at Massereene – no involvement whatsoever – and that has been vindicated in the court,” he said.

“There was no credible evidence to suggest otherwise.”

Shivers was also found guilty of six counts of attempted murder and one of possession of two firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Mr Duffy faced the same charges and was acquitted on all of them.

Sappers Mark Quinsey, from Birmingham, and Patrick Azimkar, from London, had been due to travel to Afghanistan hours after they were murdered.

The dissident republican group, the Real IRA, claimed responsibility for the attack, which left several others injured.

The Real IRA was born out of a split in the mainstream Provisional IRA in October 1997, when the IRA’s so-called quartermaster-general resigned over Sinn Fein’s direction in the peace process.

GERRY MORIARTY
Irish Times
21 Jan 2012

Colin Duffy, free again

AT ANTRIM Crown Court yesterday Lurgan republican 44-year-old Colin Duffy was cleared of murder for the third time. Since 1993 he has faced five murder charges including those of British soldiers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey – but ultimately in all cases walked free.

For well over 20 years now Mr Duffy has been a prominent republican. And for as many years he has been targeted by loyalists and come under the suspicious attention of both the RUC and the PSNI. The level of contempt is mutual. Many times Mr Duffy accused the police of waging a vendetta against him and of colluding with loyalists so that he could be taken out.

He was almost murdered in a loyalist attack in March 1990 which also led to allegations of RUC collusion. In January that year Mr Duffy and republican associates, Tony McCaughey and Sam Marshall, were arrested and charged after a small quantity of ammunition was found in Mr McCaughey’s home in Lurgan.

They were eventually granted bail on condition that they sign at Lurgan RUC station. On March 7th when heading to and from the station to meet the bail conditions they were tailed by what turned out to be an RUC surveillance car. Shortly after they spotted a red Rover car.

They became suspicious but before they could get away two men got out of the vehicle and sprayed them with AK 47 gunfire. Mr Marshall’s last words to his companions, before he died, are said to have been: “We were let out to be set up.”

Three years later in June 1993 Mr Duffy was charged with the murder of retired Ulster Defence Regiment soldier John Lyness, who was shot outside his home in Lurgan. Mr Duffy was convicted and sentenced to life. He was released, however, after 3½ years when an appeal court found evidence used to convict him could not be relied upon.

In June 1997, RUC constable John Graham and reserve constable David Johnston were shot dead by two IRA men while they were on foot patrol in Lurgan – the last two RUC officers to be murdered before the second IRA ceasefire the following month. Mr Duffy was blamed but murder charges against him were dropped in October that year.

His solicitor in the 1993 and 1997 murder cases was local solicitor Rosemary Nelson, who was herself murdered by the Loyalist Volunteer Force less than two years later.

During the Nelson inquiry, evidence was given that Mr Duffy had an affair with Ms Nelson but the Nelson family’s solicitor, now Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory said there was no “evidential basis” for the claim.

When the IRA and Sinn Féin finally and fully embraced the peace process Mr Duffy rejected it. He was associated with the Éirígí group – which says it does not advocate violence but opposes the current political settlement – and was at several of its protests.

GERRY MORIARTY
Irish Times
21 Jan 2012

BRIAN SHIVERS was yesterday convicted of the 2009 dissident republican murders of British soldiers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey in Antrim. His co-accused, leading Lurgan republican Colin Duffy, was found not guilty of involvement in the murders.

Shivers (46) from Magherafelt, Co Derry, was sentenced to life in prison by Mr Justice Hart, while 44-year-old Mr Duffy walked free to be greeted by his family and supporters at Antrim Crown Court.

Both men were charged with two counts of murder, six of attempted murder and one of possession of two firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Mr Quinsey (23) and Mr Azimkar (21) died in a hail of gunfire on March 7th, 2009, at the Massereene British army barracks as they collected a pizza delivery at the gates of the base. The Real IRA claimed responsibility.

During the trial, CCTV footage was shown of two gunmen firing from AK47 rifles at soldiers and delivery men at the gates.

The court also heard an audio clip created when one of the gang accidentally recorded himself on a mobile phone in the getaway car. He said: “There was a few dead all right,” and “I have to say boys you were as cool as f**k”.

The prosecution’s case was that Mr Duffy and Shivers either “assisted in the attack” or were involved in a joint enterprise knowing an attack would take place. It contended that DNA linking both men to the getaway car would establish the guilt of Mr Duffy and Shivers.

The DNA evidence was recovered from the Vauxhall Cavalier getaway car, which the dissident gang failed in its attempt to burn.

Mr Justice Hart accepted that DNA from the tip of a finger of a latex glove in the car and from the metal tongue of the front passenger seat belt was Mr Duffy’s.

However, he found that Mr Duffy, who is 5ft 11in (180cm), could not have been one of the gunmen because expert evidence estimated their height at 6ft 3in (191cm) and 6ft 6in (198cm).

Moreover, expert evidence found the voice that was recorded was not Mr Duffy’s and as there were just three people in the car, including the gunmen, Mr Duffy could not have been involved in the attack.

The judge was satisfied that at some stage between the purchase of the car in February 2009 and the attack, Mr Duffy was in the vehicle while wearing latex gloves and that “he must have known that the Cavalier was going to be used by others in the commission and furtherance of a criminal act”.

While there was strong suspicion Mr Duffy “did know what was going to happen”, this was not sufficient by itself to establish guilt.

The judge found Shivers, who has cystic fibrosis, was involved in setting fire to the getaway car.

He was satisfied Shivers’s DNA was found on two matches located in the car, and that these matches were used to light the vehicle. This was strengthened by traces of his DNA found on a mobile phone recovered from the car and on a match found outside the car.

GERRY MORIARTY
Irish Times
21 Jan 2012

PRESIDING JUDGE Mr Justice Hart was one-hour and 45 minutes into his three-hour judgment when he informed high-profile republican Colin Duffy that he was not guilty and was free to go.

Mr Duffy, with his long thick beard acquired while on dirty protest in Maghaberry prison, appeared to be shocked initially, but then his face briefly lit up with satisfaction before quickly returning to a more composed expression.

There was a whoop, some gasps and some clapping from members of his family and supporters sitting on the far side of the court from the families of Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey, the two British army sappers gunned to death in Antrim in March 2009.

Mr Justice Hart, in his last case before his retirement, warned earlier that any such reaction would lead to him clearing those responsible out of the court, which he did in perfunctory manner.

As Mr Duffy left the court the faces of the Azimkars and Quinseys were also a study in shock, but of an entirely contrasting kind, denoted by accompanying tears from some of the group.

The judge then spent more than an hour outlining the case against Shivers – who sufferers from cystic fibrosis and has been told by a doctor he has only three or four years to live – in the end pronouncing him guilty and sentencing him to life in prison, the minimum term he must serve to be decided in about three weeks’ time.

His lawyer, Pat O’Connor QC, was severely rebuked by the judge as he attempted to stop him passing sentence. Mr O’Connor later apologised and explained that because of Shivers’s illness he hoped he would defer sentence so it could be established that the sentenced man would get proper medical support in prison.

“His life is at risk, there is no question, if he’s not given a proper regime,” he said.

Mr Justice Hart informed him that there was never a chance that he could postpone imposing the mandatory life sentence for murder but that his medical report should be passed on to the prison.

Mr Duffy’s supporters had to wait another 90 minutes inside the building as the official formalities of releasing him from remand were processed. When he walked into the foyer at about 2.45 pm there were more cheers and family hugs for Mr Duffy.

Outside, with the reporters and camera crews a group of loyalists had gathered, carefully observed by police. One of them draped a banner over the railings stating: “We support our troops.”

There were no comments for the press from Mr Duffy, as he was bundled into a car that drove off at speed. Loyalists screamed “scum” and “rot in hell” at the departing vehicle. Rather incongruously one loyalist complained loudly about being “fined £300 for shoplifting”, while the likes of Mr Duffy could walk free.

A few miles outside the town in the Dunsilly Hotel, the PSNI and Azimkar and Quinsey families made statements to the press.

The senior investigating officer, Chief Supt Peter Farrar, pledged that the investigation to apprehend the “evil murderers” would continue.

Sapper Azimkar’s mother, Geraldine, said the killing had “cast a dark shadow over our lives”, while Sapper Quinsey’s sister Jaime added that the families had got “a little bit closer to justice” but that there was no closure

By Duncan Gardham
Telegraph.co.uk
20 Jan 2012

**Video onsite

Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey were murdered in March 2009

Police believe that at least two more people, including one of the Old Bailey bombers, were involved in the shooting of two British soldiers at the Massereene barracks in Northern Ireland.

Dissident Republican Brian Shivers, from Magherafelt, Co Derry, was found guilty of the shooting of the two soldiers in March 2009 and the attempted murder of six others.

Shivers, 46, suffers from the genetic lung disorder cystic fibrosis and was told in 2008 that he had five or six years to live. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Colin Duffy, 43, a prominent dissident Republican from Lurgan, Co Armagh, who has been arrested in a string of previous cases connected to the IRA, was acquitted despite evidence that his DNA was found in the getaway car. It was the second time Duffy has been found not guilty of murder

Detective Superintendent Peter Farrar, the Senior Investigating Officer, said: “This investigation is not over. We will continue to pursue all those involved in these evil murders.”

Police believe that Marian Price, the Old Bailey bomber, and one of the sons of notorious Republican terrorist, Dominic “Mad Dog” McGlinchey, were also involved in the shootings.

Sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham and Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London, were killed outside the Massereene barracks in Antrim, and two soldiers and two pizza deliverymen were injured. Two guards escaped unhurt

The soldiers were wearing desert fatigues and were to be deployed to Afghanistan the next day. The Real IRA claimed responsibility.

Old Bailey bomber Marian Price, 57, has been charged with providing a mobile phone for the Massereene gang.

A former IRA hunger striker, she was jailed in 1973 along with her sister Dolours and six others for her role in a republican bombing campaign in London.

Price is a prominent member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, a political group linked to the Real IRA.

One person died and almost 200 were injured in two car bombs which blew up outside the Old Bailey and Yard in March 1973.

It has also been claimed that police have “reliable” information that one of McGlinchey’s sons was the getaway driver during the murders at the Massereene Barracks.

They have arrested and questioned both Dominic McGlinchey jnr, 34, and his brother Declan, 35, about the killing.

The brothers are sons of the former IRA terrorist and INLA leader who was assassinated in a phone box in the Irish Republic in 1994.

Shivers spoke of his friendship with Dominic McGlinchey jnr, and said McGlinchey had visited his house five to six times the week before the Massereene shooting because he said he was moving to Galway in the Irish Republic.

McGlinchey has indicated his intention to make formal complaints to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Police Ombudsman over the references about him made in open court.

The weapons used in the Massereene attack appear to be from old IRA stocks that should have been decommissioned.

Key evidence survived because the terrorists abandoned their getaway car before managing to set it on fire.

DNA testing – fiercely contested by the defence – linked Duffy to the tip of a latex glove found in the abandoned getaway car and Shivers to a matchstick and mobile phone.

Judge Anthony Hart, who was sitting without a jury, told the court that he was satisfied that Duffy’s DNA was found on the glove fragment and on a seat buckle but he said the prosecution had failed to link the defendant to the murder plot.

He said: “I consider that there is insufficient evidence to satisfy me beyond reasonable doubt that whatever Duffy may have done when he wore the latex glove, or touched the seatbelt buckle, meant that he was preparing the car in some way for this murderous attack. And I therefore find him not guilty.”

The shooting took place at around 9.40pm on March 7 2009, when four off-duty soldiers from 38 Engineer Regiment went to collect pizzas at the gates of the barracks near Antrim.

As they paid for the take-aways, two gunmen stepped out of green Vauxhall Cavalier parked in a side street and opened fire.

The shootings were the first British military fatalities in Northern Ireland since Lance Bombardier Stephen Restorick was shot dead by a sniper in South Armagh in February 1997.

Two days after the Massereene shooting, PC Stephen Carroll was shot dead in Craigavon, County Armagh as he answered and emergency call. It was the first killing of a police officer in Northern Ireland since 1998.

The killings provoked unique condemnation from both sides of the political divide for the first time in the history of the province.

Independent.ie
Friday January 20 2012

DISSIDENT republican Brian Shivers was convicted today of murdering two British soldiers outside an army base in Northern Ireland. His conviction came after co-defendent Colin Duffy, a high-profile republican, was cleared of the same charges.

Shivers was found guilty at Antrim Crown Court of the killings of sappers Patrick Azimkar, (21), from London, and Mark Quinsey, (23), from Birmingham, who were ambushed by gunmen from the Real IRA at the gates of Massereene barracks in Antrim on March 7 2009.

Judge Anthony Hart told the court that he was satisfied that Duffy’s DNA was found on a latex glove tip inside the car and on a seat buckle but he said the prosecution had failed to link the defendant to the murder plot.

He said: “I consider that there is insufficient evidence to satisfy me beyond reasonable doubt that whatever Duffy may have done when he wore the latex glove, or touched the seatbelt buckle, meant that he was preparing the car in some way for this murderous attack. And I therefore find him not guilty.”

The non-jury trial lasted six weeks. It ended just before Christmas and Mr Justice Hart took four weeks to consider his verdicts.

The soldiers from the 38 Engineer Regiment were about to begin a tour of duty in Afghanistan when they were gunned down in an attack by republican extremists opposed to the Good Friday peace deal of 1998.

The victims, who were wearing their desert fatigues and were within hours of leaving the base, were collecting pizzas at the front gate when they came under fire.

Four other people, including two pizza delivery drivers, were injured in the gun attack.

A green Vauxhall Cavalier car thought to have been used by the gang was found abandoned in a rural location eight miles away.

The gunmen set light to the car, but it did not burn out. DNA evidence recovered from it formed the basis for the trial of the two accused.

It is the second time Duffy has been cleared of murder.

The 44-year-old first hit the headlines 20 years ago after he was cleared of an IRA murder.

An IRA gunman on a bicycle shot former soldier John Lyness, 57, in Lurgan in June 1993.

Duffy, described in court as an unemployed labourer, was subsequently convicted of the murder. But the prosecution case hinged on the testimony of anonymous witnesses who gave evidence from behind a curtain – and in particular on the evidence of a man known only as Witness C.

He turned out to be Lindsay Robb, who was subsequently jailed after police in Scotland smashed a UVF gun-running plot in July 1995.

Following a public campaign for his release, backed by nationalist political leaders here and in Northern Ireland, Duffy’s conviction was quashed because the prosecution could no longer rely on a star witness publicly revealed to be a loyalist paramilitary.

Duffy walked from the Court of Appeal in Belfast a free man and later gave an impromptu press conference outside the gates of the High Court, alleging police wrongdoing and insisting he was innocent.

Three years earlier, Duffy, then aged 22, was caught up in a loyalist gun attack that remains, to this day, shrouded in controversy.

He and two other republicans were reporting to Lurgan’s Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station to sign in as part of bail conditions on charges of possession of ammunition.

The trio were followed by a red Maestro car, later revealed to be a military intelligence vehicle, before a second car also appeared on the scene.

Two masked men armed with AK-47 assault rifles stepped out of the second vehicle and pursued the three republicans.

Amid a hail of bullets, a friend of Duffy called Sam Marshall was wounded and fell to the ground. One of the gunmen stood over the 31-year-old and levelled the weapon at his head. A witness claimed: “He faced the masked man, and the masked man killed him.”

Duffy escaped the murder bid launched by the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), but the alleged security force link saw Sinn Fein call for a full inquiry at the time.

Trial finds Duffy was not one of Real IRA gunmen who killed two soldiers outside Northern Ireland army barracks in 2009

Henry McDonald
Guardian
20 Jan 2012

A veteran Irish republican is to walk free from Antrim crown court after a judge dismissed charges against him over the murder of two soldiers.

The double killing of sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey in March 2009 marked the start of a renewed Real IRA terror campaign in Northern Ireland.

Colin Duffy, 44, was due to be freed from court after the judge found that there was insufficient evidence to convict him of the murders.

Duffy has always denied involvement in the fatal shooting, which happened outside the Massereene army barracks in Antrim town three years ago. His supporters denounced the case as a “show trial” designed to take Duffy off the streets.

Much of the crown’s evidence relied on DNA matching profiles.

The prosecution said Duffy’s DNA matched that found on the tip of a latex glove discovered inside the burnt-out Vauxhall used by the killers to flee the murder scene. A forensic scientist told the court the chances of Duffy’s DNA not being matched to that on the glove was less than one in 1bn.

But the judge ruled that there was not enough evidence to link Duffy to the sappers’ deaths. The defence had argued that the DNA evidence may have been contaminated.

Azimkar, 21, from north London, and 23-year-old Birmingham-born Quinsey died in the volley of shots directed at them, other soldiers and two pizza delivery men outside the base.

The victims, who had been due to depart for service in Afghanistan hours after the attack, were wearing desert fatigue uniforms when they were caught in the ambush.

During the trial, distressing CCTV images of the soldiers’ final moments were played to the court.

The trial witnessed the ruthless way in which two Real IRA hitmen dispatched their victims. The scenes were so graphic that some members of the soldiers’ families left the court. Azimkar and Quinsey were hit with up to 60 bullets.

The evidence also revealed a mobile phone call that appeared to show one of the two killers boasting about what they had done at the army base. In a taped message, the court heard a male voice say: “There were a few dead all right.”

Diplock judge Mr Justice Anthony Hart told Antrim crown court that he was satisfied that Duffy’s DNA was found on a seat belt buckle of the car believed to have been used by the gunmen and on a latex glove tip, but that the prosecution had failed to link the defendant to the murder plot.

“I consider that there is insufficient evidence to satisfy me beyond reasonable doubt that, whatever Duffy may have done when he wore the latex glove or touched the seatbelt buckle, meant that he was preparing the car in some way for this murderous attack. And I therefore find him not guilty,” the judge said. He said the prosecution had failed to link Duffy to the murder plot.

Duffy is now due to be released from custody. He has been on remand in Maghaberry prison where he has been on a no-wash dirty protest against his continued incarceration.

News Letter
Friday 20 January 2012

27/3/09 Leading Republican Colin Duffy leaves Larne Courthouse charged with the murders of 2 soldiers Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey at masserene barrack in Antrim (Photo: Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker)

A HIGH profile republican has been cleared of murdering two British soldiers outside an Army base in Northern Ireland.

Colin Duffy was acquitted at Antrim Crown Court of the killings of Sappers Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London, and Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham, who were ambushed by gunmen from the dissident republican Real IRA at the gates of Massereene barracks in Antrim on March 7 2009.

A decision is awaited on the second defendant, Brian Shivers, 46, from Sperrin Mews in Magherafelt, Co Derry.

Herald.ie
Friday January 20 2012

Two men accused of the murders of two soldiers at a Northern Ireland military base are due to find out the court’s verdict.

Sappers Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London, and Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham, were ambushed by gunmen from the dissident republican Real IRA outside the Massereene barracks in Antrim on March 7, 2009.

Mr Justice Anthony Hart, sitting at Antrim courthouse, will tell Colin Duffy, 44, and Brian Shivers, 46, if he has found them guilty or not guilty of the murders.

Duffy, from Forest Glade in Lurgan, Co Armagh, and Shivers, from Sperrin Mews in Magherafelt, Co Derry, deny the murder charges and six further counts of attempted murder.

The troops from 38 Engineer Regiment were about to begin a tour of duty in Afghanistan when they were gunned down in an attack by the Real IRA group, which opposes the Good Friday peace deal of 1998.

The soldiers, who were wearing their desert fatigues and were within hours of leaving the base, were collecting pizzas at the front gate when they came under fire.

Four other people, including two pizza delivery drivers, were injured in the gun attack.

A green Vauxhall Cavalier car thought to have been used by the gang was found abandoned in a rural location eight miles away.

The gunmen set light to the car, but it did not burn out. DNA evidence recovered from it formed the basis for the trial of the two accused.

By Tim McKenzie
Herald.ie
5 January 2012
**Via Newshound

Republican dissidents are in “uproar” over an attempt by a murder suspect to link the son of Dominic ‘Mad Dog’ McGlinchey to the killing of two British soldiers, the Herald has learned.

Supporters of Dominic McGlinchey Junior are furious over the bid to blame him for driving the getaway car in the murder of two British soldiers in the north two years ago.

They have also claimed that McGlinchey Junior rejected a plea from supporters of republican prisoner Colin Duffy to agree that his name be read out in court as the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s suspect in the case.

Reliable

A fortnight ago, Duffy’s defence barrister Barry MacDonald told a court in Antrim: “Police hold reliable information to indicate that a son of Dominic McGlinchey Snr was the driver of the vehicle which was subsequently recovered by police and was used in the fatal shooting of two soldiers.”

Duffy is one of two men charged with murdering British army sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey outside Massereene barracks in 2008.

A supporter of McGlinchey Junior said the court claim has caused “uproar, outrage and anger” within republicanism.

McGlinchey’s father was one of the most notorious terrorists of the Troubles and in the mid-1980s became Ireland’s most wanted man.

The self-confessed INLA murderer led the terror group during its bloodiest period.

The original ‘Mad Dog’ died in a hail of bullets in Drogheda 18 years ago. He was gunned down in a revenge attack by a South Armagh family who blamed him for murdering their brother-in-law during the 1980s.

That killing was witnessed by Dominic Junior who watched his father being shot dead while he tried to make a call from a Drogheda phone booth.

Those backing his son described the decision to name him in court as “felon setting.”

McGlinchey Junior has denied the allegations made in court and said that since they were made public he has lost his job in Co Derry.

One of his supporters told the Herald: “Before the trial, a message was sent out of Maghaberry jail that Colin Duffy wanted to know if it was okay to state in court that the police had Dominic Junior as their main suspect.

Protest

“Naturally, Dominic said absolutely not and he thought that as the end of it. He couldn’t believe it nor could most republicans when they heard these claims made during the trial.”

He said there was anger towards Duffy over the attempt to bring McGlinchey Junior into the frame.

Duffy is currently on 24-hour lock-up inside Maghaberry prison in the north and is on a no-wash protest against his incarceration in the jail.

The Lurgan republican, along with Brian Shivers, denies involvement in the Real IRA double murder.

BBC
20 Dec 2011

A son of leading republican Dominic McGlinchey was the getaway driver for the Massereene barracks killers, it has been alleged at the trial.

A barrister for Colin Duffy made the claim in a statement to the court.

He said police had “reliable information” and questioned Dominic and Declan McGlinchey about the attack on Massereene. Both were released.

Mr Duffy and Brian Shivers deny the murders of Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar in March 2009.

Defence barrister Barry MacDonald QC said: “Police hold reliable information to indicate that a son of Dominic McGlinchey Snr was the driver of the vehicle which was subsequently recovered by police and was used in the fatal shooting of two soldiers.”

Dominic McGlinchey Snr was a former leader of the INLA, who was murdered in 1994.

‘Home all night’

Earlier, Mr Duffy’s wife gave evidence at his trial.

Martine Duffy said her husband had not left the house at all on the night of the attack on the barracks.

She said she remembered that day well, because the couple had been at a friend’s wedding the day before.

She said they remained at home with the children because they were tired after the wedding.

Mrs Duffy said she thought the attack on Massereene was “absolutely terrible”.

She said she believed those responsible should be caught before adding: “It’s awful that my husband should be accused of it”.

‘No innocent explanation’

Prosecution barrister Terence Mooney QC later began his summing-up of the case.

He said there could be no innocent explanation for the discovery of Duffy’s DNA on a latex glove tip found in the getaway car.

“It is illogical and nonsensical that, of all the items found in the car, the only one to be excluded from the attack is the tip of a latex glove,” he said.

“The latex glove, taking into account the implications from its presence in the car, is obviously linked to the attack.

“It was obviously present and had become detached from a glove worn by a terrorist who is trying to prevent traces of forensic material which could make a link between the terrorist and the car itself and the attack.”

He said the presence of the DNA clearly called for an explanation from Duffy but none had been given.

“The court is entitled to draw inference adverse to Duffy as a result of his failure to give evidence,” Mr Mooney said.

“The absence of an explanation being given by Duffy is attributed to him having no answer that would stand up to cross-examination.”

‘Absence of evidence’

However, Mr Duffy’s defence barrister warned against drawing adverse inference.

He said there is such a complete absence of evidence in the case against him that the prosecution does not know what case to make against him.

Barry MacDonald QC said the evidence showed that Mr Duffy was not one of the gunmen nor was he the driver of the car.

He said the Crown inviting the judge to draw an inference from Colin Duffy failing to take the stand to defend himself was dangerous and was entering miscarriage of justice territory.

He urged the judge to aquit his client of all charges.

The two soldiers were shot dead while they collected pizzas outside the base. A number of other people were injured.

As well as the murder charges, Mr Duffy, 44, from Lurgan and Magherafelt man Mr Shivers, 46, both deny six charges of attempted murder and one of possession of guns and explosives.

The trial continues.

BBC
19 Dec 2011

One of the men accused of murdering two soldiers at Massereene barracks in March 2009 has been in the witness box.

Brian Shivers told Belfast Crown Court that just months before the attack he had been told he only had a few years left to live.

Brian Shivers

He is charged along with Colin Duffy of killing Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey at the barracks in Antrim in March 2009.

Both men deny the charge.

Mr Shivers told the court he had nothing whatsoever to do with the crime.

He said he had been to about three or four meetings of the republican political group Eirigi but had never joined the group, nor had he been inspired by it and he had no desire to be involved in anything political.

Mr Shivers also said he had never even met Mr Duffy prior to his arrest.

He also told the court he suffered from cystic fibrosis from an early age and in the November before the attacks on Massereene barracks, he had gone to the hospital with his fiancée to be told he had only five or six years left to live.

He said that was hard hitting and said he had other things in life to do rather than getting involved in anything like that.

Mr Shivers also outlined his movements on the day of the killings.

He is expected to return to the stand on Monday afternoon.

DNA profile

Earlier on Monday, the court heard from a DNA expert for the defence.

Prof Dan Krane said the DNA in the case against Mr Duffy was in small amounts, did not necessarily mean he had been in direct contact with the getaway car and could have got there through secondary transfer.

Prof Krane said: “What it establishes is that his DNA may be associated with the glove and it may be associated with the belt buckle of the car.

“The presence of a DNA profile per se does not say anything about the timeframe or the circumstances under which the DNA came to be there.

“The DNA tests themselves cannot answer that type of question.

“That is left more to a court or a jury to decide what those circumstances and timeframe (are). The DNA tests can simply tell us that DNA was found on those items.”

Prof Krane told Belfast Crown Court sitting in Antrim that the sample relating to Mr Duffy came from a mixture of DNA from two or more people, meaning there was a possibility that somebody other than Mr Duffy came into contact with the glove.

He said Dr Mark Perlin, a prosecution witness who used an innovative DNA analysis method to link the accused to the getaway car, did not have a proper understanding of certain effects associated with the research.

Prosecution barrister Terence Mooney QC said the witness had opposed efforts to advance the use of DNA analysis.

“As soon as you lose the battle on an issue you move to another one and create more confusion,” he said.

“Throughout your career in giving evidence in forensic cases you have tried to build up impediments to the advance of DNA being used in court.”

Prof Krane disagreed.

As well as the murder charges, Mr Duffy, 44, from Lurgan and Magherafelt man Mr Shivers, 46, both deny six charges of attempted murder and one of possession of guns and explosives.

The trial continues.

Bobby Sands mural photo
Ní neart go cur le chéile

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