You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2010.

By Deborah McAleese
Belfast Telegraph
28 October 2010

Prison officers who strip-searched republican prisoner Colin Duffy have been advised to wear bulletproof vests after receiving intelligence that their lives are under terrorist threat, the Belfast Telegraph has learned.

Duffy was strip-searched in Maghaberry jail on his way to and from Coleraine Magistrates Court this month for a preliminary investigation into his alleged role in the Real IRA murder of two soldiers at Massareene Army Barracks in Antrim.

The strip-searching of Duffy — during which he was “physically and sexually assaulted”, according to his lawyer in court — has fuelled tensions within Maghaberry between prison staff and dissident republican prisoners.

“Tensions are very high within Maghaberry and a number of officers have been told that bulletproof vests are available for them. Officers involved in the strip searching of Colin Duffy have been strongly advised to take precautions and to wear the vest at all times when not in work. There is also a lot of concern that someone is going to be killed inside the prison,” a prison source told the Belfast Telegraph.

Fresh tensions within the jail have come at a time when the Prison Service continues to search for a replacement for the jail’s former governor Steve Rodford who resigned almost a year ago, just five months into the job.

Interviews for a replacement governor were carried out last month, but the Belfast Telegraph has learned that none of the applicants were found to be suitable for the post.

A Prison Service spokesman said that it is currently considering its options.

It is understood that interim governor Patrick Maguire, who previously governed Maghaberry from 2002 to 2005, had not applied for the permanent post.

Assembly justice committee member Paul Givan said that the jail is in real need of stability.

“We have had four governors in about two years at Maghaberry. There has been a very high turnover at governor level and that has been part of the problem.

“We need stability. Governor Maguire and his deputy have built up a good relationship with the prison officers and that position should be retained. It is crucial, particularly at this time when tensions are so high, that there is confidence in management and the officers and prisoners know exactly who is managing the prison,” the DUP MLA added.

The Prison Service is also currently searching for a replacement for current prisons boss Robin Masefield who is due to retire in December.

Mr Givan warned that NIPS could be left rudderless unless a replacement is found before Mr Masefield leaves.

“We cannot allow ourselves to have a situation where Robin Masefield stands down and there is nobody ready to replace him and we do not want to have someone acting up temporarily. I would be highly concerned if there was a gap at the very heart of senior management. We need a seamless transition and handover.”


Impartial Reporter
29 Oct 2010

Two alleged republican terrorists accused of attempting to murder a student police officer in Garrison last November claim they were entrapped.

Kevin Barry Nolan (33), from Main Street, Blacklion, and Gerard James McManus(27), of Fernhill, Letterkenny, are charged with possessing a 9mm firearm with intent to endanger life on November 21, last year, and attempting to murder the student policeman.

McManus is also charged with using the firearm to resist arrest.

They appeared at Fermanagh Court yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon for a Preliminary Investigation to determine if there was sufficient evidence to send them to trial.

The two men were arrested following an undercover security operation in the Border village of Garrison last November.

Yesterday, defence solicitor, Mr. Peter Corrigan, began by saying McManus would be putting forward a defence during the proceedings that “he was entrapped in relation to this case”.

He said quite a lot of questions he would be putting to the prosecution witnesses would be in relation to that defence and he would be looking to have the prosecution stopped.

The solicitor said there was also an issue in relation to intent, that during police interview McManus had put forward a defence that he didn’t intend to murder the student police officer.

Mr. David Russell, a lawyer acting on behalf of the Public Prosecution Service, said: “No issue of entrapment has ever been made until literally five minutes ago.”

He said it seemed somewhat inconceivable that it would not have been an issue prior to the morning of the court, if it was an issue.

District Judge Bernadette Kelly said she had read the documents in the case and nowhere in the paperwork was there any mention of entrapment.

Mr. Russell said that if any of his witnesses were questioned about it he would be objecting on the basis that it was irrelevant. He suggested the defence file a skeleton argument and give the prosecution the opportunity to respond.

Mr. Corrigan told the court that at the moment he did not have the material to properly sustain an entrapment allegation. The only thing he had was the allegation made by McManus, uncorroborated by any police evidence.

“That is the purpose of my cross-examination, to find evidence,” he stated. “If the investigating (police) officer says he has material in relation to that then there is an issue.”

Mr. Russell said cross-examination of a witness was not a “fishing exercise”.

He pointed out that the prosecution was required to disclose all evidence relevant to the case. If there was material to be disclosed, it had to be disclosed. If there was no information to disclose, that was the end of it.

The District Judge said the allegation of entrapment should have been put forward before the day of the court, adding that she could not see “any good reason” why it hadn’t.

She said that in fairness to the prosecution, as the matter had only been raised five minutes prior to the court sitting, it needed time to consider the matter and carry out some further investigations.

She said she appreciated an adjournment would have an impact on Nolan.

Nolan’s defence barrister, Mr. Mark Reel, then got to his feet and told the court that an issue of entrapment also arose in his client’s case. He said he had not intended to ventilate it during the Preliminary Investigation but now that it had been raised by McManus’s solicitor he would reconsider whether or not he wished to pursue it at this stage of the legal proceedings.

He said the other matter he wished to raise was the delay in the court sitting that morning. He said the reason they were delayed was because Nolan was assaulted; he was “forcibly strip searched”. It was an unnecessary action and in breach of an agreement between the prisoners and the governor of Maghaberry Prison.

The District Judge gave the defence lawyers until November 10, to file skeleton arguments on the issue of entrapment and the relevance of that to the committal proceedings and the court’s power to deal with it.

She gave the prosecution until December 1, to respond with its skeleton argument with the case being reviewed when Nolan and McManus appear at Fermanagh Court by video link on December 6.
Friday October 29 2010

New eyewitness accounts of the shootings of 11 people by British soldiers in Northern Ireland have been submitted to the region’s Attorney General in a bid to get fresh inquests opened.

The statements form part of an extensive file of information related to the so-called Ballymurphy Massacre in west Belfast that has been compiled by the victims’ families. Archive testimony of the 1971 killings collected by the Catholic Church and full autopsy reports are also included in the submission to John Larkin QC.

The families are dissatisfied with the open verdicts delivered in the original inquests, held in the wake of the controversial shootings by British Paratroopers, and have asked Mr Larkin to establish new probes.

The call comes as the relatives continue to demand an independent international investigation into the events of August 1971, when the Army stormed the nationalist area after the Northern Ireland government introduced the contentious policy of internment without trial.

A Catholic priest and a mother-of-eight were among the 11 shot dead during a three day operation that was designed to round up suspected republican paramilitaries. The killings happened only months before soldiers from the Parachute Regiment shot dead 14 civil rights marchers in Londonderry in 1972.

Briege Voyle, whose mother Joan Connolly was killed in Ballymurphy, expressed hope that the file contained enough evidence to persuade Mr Larkin. She said: “Some of this was available at the time of our loved ones’ murders and was not considered or investigated.

“The families for over the last 20 years have collected information from eyewitnesses to the massacre along with full autopsy reports that were previously withheld from the families, and hope that the Attorney General may open the inquest into the death of our loved ones and consider investigating the circumstances around their murder and conclude that they were brutally murdered.”

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the appointment of the region’s first Attorney General in 38 years – Mr Larkin took up post this year following the devolution of policing and justice powers to Stormont – had enabled the legal bid.

“The families have spent years carrying out their own inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their loved ones,” said Mr Adams. “They believe that not all of the facts pertaining to the shootings were made known or that the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) or British Army’s Military Police properly investigated the killings.”

A spokesman for Mr Larkin confirmed the submission had been received and said the Attorney General would now take time to review it.


Plans by Stormont to tackle sectarianism have been criticised in an open letter to the NI first and deputy first ministers.

Over 150 people have put their name to the letter calling for Stormont to radically change its proposed strategy on how divisions can be healed in NI.

The proposals for tackling sectarianism, racism and hate were published in July.

Consultation on Cohesion, Sharing and Integration (CSI) finishes on Friday.

People who have signed the letter include reconciliation workers, victims of violence and civic leaders.
Stormont The plans were published in July

They include Alan McBride who works with the victims group, Wave, IRA decommissioning witness the Rev Harold Good and ex-rugby star Trevor Ringland.

The letter said that “we express our deep dissatisfaction with the poverty of vision in the consultation document”.

It said that “it holds out only a future of sustained segregation, defying the clear public aspiration that we live, work and are educated in common”.

“We call for the rewriting of this document, in collaboration with independent experts, with clear aims and objectives and concrete programmes and projects to realise them.”

A spokesperson for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister said the consultation “has been an open and extensive one and we have very much valued the opportunity to engage with people in this important debate”.

“We welcome all comments and contributions received throughout the course of the consultation and these will all be considered within the wider analysis of the consultation responses as we seek to further develop the Programme for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration.”

Public meetings on the Programme for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration took place during September.

The Stormont Executive pledges to urgently address the “physical and community division created by interfaces” as a key goal of the draft strategy published in July.

They will also adopt a “zero tolerance” approach to incidences of, and reasons for, attacks motivated by sectarian, religious, racist or hate prejudice.

These include those on symbolic premises, cultural premises and monuments. Another goal is take action which will address sectarian behaviour at spectator sports events.

The document had been delayed for around two years due to disagreements between the DUP and Sinn Fein about how to proceed.

Progress on the so-called shared future strategy was a key demand from the Alliance Party before its leader, David Ford, agreed to take the job of Justice Minister.


More than 100 civilian workers at police stations in Northern Ireland have been told to review their personal security.

The advice was issued after they received work-related correspondence with the name of their PSNI station on the envelope.

Some of the workers are concerned that their details could fall into the hands of dissident republicans.

The staff work at several stations across Northern Ireland.

Sodexo, the company which employs the civilian workers, has apologised.

The staff received a letter from the managing director of Sodexo UK & Ireland Chris John which said the company was “cognisant” of the security risk in Northern Ireland and was never complacent with regard to employees’ safety.

He also confirmed that the error was being fully investigated and that procedures will be put in place to ensure it does not happen again.

Unreserved apology

In a statement issued to the BBC on Friday, Sodexo said: “This happened two weeks ago and an investigation is underway.

“We have met with our client the PSNI, who is fully aware of the situation, and we will report back to the client in full.

“Procedures will be put in place to ensure that this does not happen again.

“The safety and well-being of our employees is of paramount importance to us and we immediately contacted or spoke to the individuals concerned and apologised unreservedly for the error.”

Since the error, those involved have been given a security briefing by the police on how to improve their personal safety.

Meanwhile on Friday, DUP MLA and Policing Board member Jimmy Spratt said that “this is a very serious breach of security especially given the current threat from dissident republicans”.

Mr Spratt said: “It is my view that if any of these civilian workers have to move home as a result of this, that any costs incurred will be met by Sodexo and not the taxpayer.

“However, I sincerely hope this will not be necessary.”

During the Troubles, civilian workers were targeted by the Provisional IRA and more recently dissident republicans have warned that they see anyone who works at a police station as a ‘legitimate target’.
Thursday October 28 2010

Two Irishmen who played a crucial role in Chile’s struggle for independence have been celebrated in both countries.

Bernardo O’Higgins, regarded as the Liberator of Chile, and John (Juan) MacKenna, a Commandant General of the Chilean army, feature on stamps simultaneously issued in Ireland and Chile.

Images of each man in full military dress by Irish artist Ger Garland will mark the bi-centenary of Chile’s independence.

Stamps marking the 200th anniversary of the struggle for independence in Chile feature Irishmen Bernard O’Higgins and John (Juan) MacKenna

Chilean Ambassador Leonel Searle said: “The recent events that occurred in Chile have shown the world the spirit of unity and courage to follow with conviction an ideal and strong sense of solidarity. That is the character which national heroes such as those we honour today, forged into the country’s collective consciousness. They were never found wanting when our nation demanded sacrifices and renunciations to achieve their goals.”

One of the founding fathers of Chile, O’Higgins is widely celebrated by the Chilean nation and a monument to him stands in Dublin’s Merrion Square.

The son of the Irish-born governor of Chile, he was a leading figure in the movement to overthrow the ruling Spanish administration and was the first head of state of the independent Chile.

MacKenna, from Monaghan, was a key military figure and was for a time Commandant General of O’Higgins’s army. He is credited with a famous victory over superior forces at Membrillo. After a coup d’etat in 1814 he was exiled to Argentina and died in a duel in Buenos Aires.

An Post said it was its first joint issue with a South American country, whereby both countries simultaneously issue the same stamp designs marking an event of shared significance.

Barney Whelan, director of communications and corporate affairs, said the issuing of two 82c stamps so soon after the release of the Chilean miners made the event even more special. “The people of Chile can be justifiably proud of the nation they built with the help of MacKenna and O’Higgins,” he added. “We can be proud that these two heroes were sons of Ireland.”

The stamp set and a specially commissioned first day cover are available from and at main post offices.

By Vincent Kearney
28 Oct 2010

Prison authorities are facing another crisis at the high security Maghaberry jail after failing to attract a suitable candidate to become governor.

On paper, it’s one of the most attractive jobs of its type within the British prison system, with a maximum salary of just over £80,000 a year.

However, a recent recruitment process ended with a decision not to appoint any of those who applied.

An interim governor was appointed to run Maghaberry earlier this year.

That followed the departure of Steve Rodford, who left the post after just six months, citing personal reasons.

It’s known that Mr Rodford was warned that he was under threat from dissident republicans.

I understand the prison authorities suspect the combination of Mr Rodford’s experience, a series of highly critical reports and ongoing tensions between prison staff and dissident republicans at Maghaberry, deterred many suitable candidates from other UK prisons applying for the position.

The BBC has learned that the interim governor at the prison, Patrick Maguire, didn’t apply for the job on a permanent basis.

The Department of Justice and prison authorities are now in discussions about the way forward and say they hope to appoint a new governor in the near future.

Mr Maguire will continue to act as interim governor until a permanent appointment is made.

The prison service is also in the process of appointing a new Director General to replace Robin Masefield, who will step down before the end of the year.

The successful candidate will earn an annual salary of up to 160 thousand pounds. Applications for the job close next Friday, 5 November.

By Cormac Byrne
**Via Newshound
October 27 2010

ATTEMPTS TO broker a peace deal between godfather Eamonn Kelly and the Real IRA were scuppered — when a row broke out and a man’s jaw was broken.

The meeting, facilitated by the INLA, took place at a pub in Dublin’s south inner city yesterday and was set up to organise protection rackets on Dublin bars.

The gathering, which involved elements of the Belfast and Dublin INLA, was convened to divide up the pub protection racket in the capital and broker a peace deal between the Real IRA in north Dublin and Eamonn Kelly.

Godfather Kelly (61) and the dissidents have been at loggerheads after the republicans tried to extort money from Kelly and then tried to assassinate him when he refused to pay.

The meeting took place on top of a pub in Dublin’s south inner city yesterday morning. The bar cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Kelly was reportedly at the meeting but was unharmed when the row broke out shortly after the discussions. Tensions between Kelly and groups aligned to him and the Real IRA gang have been at fever pitch during the summer but it is unclear why yesterday’s peace talks descended into violence.

All parties left the bar shortly after the punch-up. The Herald understands that the incident was not reported to gardai.

The meeting was the first attempt to defuse the situation following violence over the summer but this could flare up again following the brawl.

Kelly is understood to want to broker peace among gangsters in the city. A source told the Herald: “Continual tit for tat violence is bad for business, and Kelly is a businessman first and foremost, whose business happens to be drugs.”

The criminal mastermind is renowned for having mentored dangerous criminals, Martin ‘Marlo’ Hyland and Eamonn ‘The Don’ Dunne, in drug running and armed robbery.

Kelly and the Real IRA have been at each other’s throats since early this year when the republican gang ordered him to pay them €50,000 or be killed.

After Eamonn Kelly refused to meet the group’s demands he was targeted in an assassination attempt.

On September 11, he managed to chase a gunman from his home after the attacker’s handgun jammed at the vital moment.

The assassin had been lying in wait as Kelly left his Clontarf home.

27 Oct 2010

**Video onsite

Translink has confirmed the destruction of two buses during trouble in Rathcoole has cost the company £400,000.

The company has withdrawn services after 1715 BST from the area after a second night of trouble.

A spokesperson said passenger and employee safety was “top priority” and that they will monitor the situation.

The bus driver’s union Unite said services had to be withdrawn in order to safeguard drivers.

Speaking after a meeting with Translink on Wednesday, union representative Michael Dornan said community leaders had an opportunity to resolve the situation.

“If they are serious about stopping this civil unrest and if they want a dedicated service for the people that need it then they have the opportunity now to quickly get together and resolve this issue,” he said.

A senior police officer has said a UVF gunman was seen in Rathcoole during trouble on Monday night.

ACC Duncan McCausland was speaking after a bus was hijacked and set on fire after its female driver was dragged out of her cab and punched on Tuesday.

Police said children as young as 10 were involved in the disturbances.

ACC Duncan McCausland was speaking after a second night of violence

The woman was returning to an Ulsterbus depot when her vehicle was hijacked near the Cloughfern roundabout in the mainly loyalist Rathcoole estate, where six cars and a bus were burned out a night before.

Her bus was not equipped with a radio and she did not know to avoid Rathcoole.

She was dragged from the vehicle and punched.

The driver was shocked but her injuries were not serious.

Discussions are taking place on Wednesday about the future of bus services in the area following the latest trouble.

Translink spokesman Billy Gilpin said the bus which was destroyed on Tuesday night had been recently bought for £200,000.

“We do want people to get home from work but we will not be taking any risks with our staff, our passengers or property,” he said.


A former IRA man who wrote a controversial book on his activities during the Troubles, has been found dead in a car in County Antrim.

Gerry ‘Whitey’ Bradley claimed he was ostracised by friends after the publication of ‘Insider,’ co-authored by lecturer and writer Brian Feeney.

Mr Bradley’s body was discovered in the vehicle parked at a marina near Carrickfergus Castle on Wednesday.

In his book, he revealed his involvement in several IRA operations.


Lord Carlisle said he is confident he will detect any attempt to withhold information about the murder of Real IRA man Kieran Doherty.

The government’s independent advisor on the activities of the security services is to examine allegations of MI5 involvement in the death.

He will meet Kieran Doherty’s family on Monday.

Lord Carlisle said he will listen to them, speak to the security services and report to the Secretary of State.

“I’m looking forward to a full briefing from them,” he said. “It’ll be for me to use my experience to judge whether they are being full and frank in what they tell me.

“I have been around as a lawyer, as a part-time judge, and as independent reviewer of terrorism legislation for long enough to be able to sniff out any attempt at concealment, I hope. If I find there has been concealment, I will make public that belief.”


Kieran Doherty was found shot dead on the outskirts of Derry in February this year.

The Real IRA said the 31-year-old had been killed because of links to the drugs trade.

However, his family rejected the claim and said they believed members of the security services may have been involved in his murder.

Kieran Doherty was a senior member of the Real IRA and a lifelong republican.

In the months before he was killed, he told a local newspaper that MI5 had tried to recruit him as an agent.

Kieran Doherty’s uncle, Vincent Coyle, said the family had a number of questions about the role of MI5 in the case.

“What’s most important is where were they on the night of Kieran’s abduction, stripping and murdering,” he said.

“Some of the family members have voiced the opinion that they believe members of MI5, who have somehow got into this organisation, may have been at the scene, may have been involved in the abduction and may have been involved in the murder.”

The offer to meet Kieran Doherty’s family was made in a letter to Foyle MP Mark Durkan, who has lobbied on their behalf. He welcomed the move, but urged caution about the outcome of the investigation.

News Letter
28 October 2010

The late Brendan ‘Darkie’ Hughes at his Divis Tower flat in the heart of west Belfast

POLICE are examining an RTE documentary that raised allegations about Gerry Adams and the death of Jean McConville.

The PSNI confrmed that they were studying the programme, after TUV leader Jim Allister called for the arrest of the Sinn Fein president.

The documentary Voices From The Grave, which was broadcast in the Republic on Tuesday night, was based on the recent book of the same name by Ed Moloney.

The book and documentary have drawn on audio testimony by Brendan Hughes, a former IRA hunger striker who died in 2008, and David Ervine, the UVF man and Progressive Unionist Party leader, who died in 2007.

The pair were among contributors to an archive at Boston College in America, in which former paramilitaries have spoken candidly about their role in the Troubles on the condition that their interviews will only be released after their deaths.

The book’s release earlier this year sparked controversy over Mr Hughes’s suggestion that the abduction and murder of Ms McConville was ordered by Mr Adams, who has always denied IRA membership.

The Catholic mother of 14 was seized from her home in west Belfast in December 1972 and killed for reasons that have never been explained. Theories range from her having been an informer to her having been seen comforting a dying British soldier.

Ms McConville became one of the most famous of the so-called ‘disappeared’ during the three decades that her body was missing, before her remains were found in 2003.

Mr Allister said: “The fresh revelations linking Gerry Adams to the Jean McConville kidnapping and murder should cause his arrest and questioning about one of the most harrowing and heartless terrorist murders of the Troubles.”

Asked whether police were taking any action in light of the documentary, a PSNI spokesman said: “Police are studying the contents of the book and the programme.”

Mr Allister said that “no-one believes Adams’ lies about his past, yet he heads a party sitting at the heart of government”.

He added that the programme “adds to the dismay of law-abiding citizens” about how “in the new Northern Ireland Adams and his ilk are immune from being made amenable” for their past.

A spokesman for the SDLP, which sent out a press release reminder on Tuesday that the documentary was being shown, would only say yesterday: “We are letting Brendan speak for himself from beyond the grave.”

A Sinn Fein spokesman at Stormont said yesterday that due to the recess, he was unable to get anyone within the party to respond to Mr Allister.

Belfast estate erupts into rioting, with loyalists blaming Historical Enquiries Team for stirring up trouble with searches of homes

Henry McDonald
26 Oct 2010

Loyalists have blamed a police unit investigating crimes committed during the era of the Troubles for provoking last night’s rioting in north Belfast.

The violence erupted yesterday after arrests made in connection with a probe by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) into murders committed by the Ulster Volunteer Force, a loyalist paramilitary group.

Ken Wilkinson, a representative of the UVF-linked Progressive Unionist Party, said he understood the trouble was linked to three searches in the area over the past two days by officers from the HET.

“The way a lot of these searches were carried out leaves a lot to be desired,” he said, adding that one of the houses raided belonged to a woman in bad health.

“I spoke to a district commander today and told him about the frustration that was on the ground. Obviously this has not been adhered to, and this is the result of it,” Wilkinson said.

The disturbances flared up at around 9pm last night in the O’Neill Road close to the Ratchoole housing estate on the northern edge of Belfast.

A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said a large crowd had gathered on O’Neill Road, and that some of those gathered had been attempting to hijack passing vehicles.

The PSNI advised motorists to stay away from the general area tonight. The police spokesman said PSNI officers were working with community leaders to ease tensions in the area.

The trouble comes just a week after violence erupted in a nearby working-class loyalist area. This followed police raids on homes in north Belfast in connection with ongoing investigations into drug-dealing and criminality.

UVF sources told the Guardian today that the ongoing activities of the HET are undermining moves towards dissolving the oldest loyalist paramilitary organisation.

“It is impossible to convince people to move on within the UVF if the police are still arresting them for things that occurred in the past, things that we were meant to leave behind,” one senior UVF figure said.

Although the HET has the right to question anyone it suspects of being involved in an unsolved crime from the Northern Ireland Troubles, they cannot recommend prosecutions if those crimes were committed before 1998. As part of the Good Friday peace agreement, an amnesty was given to paramilitaries who were responsible for any murder or other Troubles-related offence any time before Easter 1998.

The controversial move was seen as critical in winning the support of both IRA and loyalist paramilitaries for the historic peace accord.

UVF leaders claim the HET’s activities are breaking the spirit of that arrangement. They also claim the unit focuses almost solely on the crimes committed by loyalists as opposed to republicans.

The area where the latest riots are taking place is also a stronghold of the South East Antrim “Brigade” of the Ulster Defence Association, which has been locked in a long-running dispute with the mainstream UDA, and which has refused to disarm even though all other loyalist terror groups have decommissioned their weapons.

Irish Examiner
October 27, 2010

Gardaí investigating dissident republican activity in Co Donegal last February found cable ties in a car and arrested three men from the North, the Special Criminal Court in Dublin was told today.

Desmond Donnelly (aged 58) of Drumall, Lisnarick, Co Fermanagh, Gerard McGarrigle (aged 46) of Mount Carmel Heights, Strabane, Co Tyrone and Jim Murphy (aged 61) of Floraville, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, pleaded not guilty to membership of an illegal organisation styling itself on the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on February 22 last.

Opening the prosecution case Ms Una Ni Raifeartaigh S.C. said that a darkly coloured Mercedes was stopped by gardaí at a checkpoint at Oldtown, Letterkenny, Co Donegal around 12.30am on February 22 last.

Gardaíi had a conversation with four men in the car and the men were asked for identification. When it was ascertained that the driver was the accused Desmond Donnelly, each of the four was told that they were being detained for the purpose of a search.

A search of the car revealed nine cable ties in the boot. When other gardaí arrived, including senior officers, each of the four men was arrested and conveyed to Letterkenny and Milford garda stations.

A full search of the car was carried out and other items were found including an imitation firearm, four pairs of gloves, three pairs of which were black latex, a black beanie hat and black bin liners.

Ms Ni Raifeartaigh said that the court would hear the belief evidence of a Garda Chief Superintendent that each of the accused was a member of an unlawful organisation on the date specified in the charge.

The trial is continuing.

Derry Journal
27 October 2010

The sister of a Strabane republican who was found hanged while in police custody has branded a report into his death “a whitewash.”

Lorna Brady said the family were disappointed with the Police Ombudsman’s findings and would be taking civil action against the PSNI.

John Brady (40) was found dead in a consultation room in the custody suite at Strand Road Police Station in October, 2009.

The former IRA man was coming to the end of a life sentence for the murder of an RUC Reserve Constable in 1989, and was on weekend parole in Strabane when he was arrested after a complaint of alleged assault and threat to kill his brother-in-law.

His family refuse to believe that he would have taken his own life because he was due to be released from prison five weeks later.

Reacting to the findings of the Police Ombudsman’s Report, Ms Brady said: “We think it was a total whitewash and we didn’t get answers to our core questions.

“Who made the decision to charge John? How come the decision to charge him was already taken before he had seen his solicitor or had been interviewed?”

John Brady’s, brother Ben, claimed yesterday that police were planning to bring a “trumped up charge” against his brother to keep him in prison.

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP MLA Pat Doherty, said the Ombudsman’s findings
had identified “damning procedural failings” at the Strand Road Station.

He said: “Apart from the failures which have been identified in the Report regarding the failure of those PSNI officers on duty to provide proper duty of care, the most glaring unanswered question remaining is why John Brady was informed that he was going to be charged before being brought for subsequent interview and then left alone in the consultation room on a total of nine occasions, for periods of up to 30 minutes at a time?

“In short, the question remains as to why the need for subsequent interviews if the decision had already been taken to charge John? What was the purpose of this further interview? The Ombudsman’s Report did not address the legality or otherwise of this course of action by the PSNI.

“It is right and proper that immediate disciplinary action is now being taken against all those PSNI officers found to be in dereliction of their duty on the day of John Brady’s death and that the Professional Standard’s Department are going to investigate the management and supervision of Strand Road PSNI Station.

“However, having discussed the Ombudsman Report findings with party colleague and Policing Board member Martina Anderson we are now seeking an urgent meeting with the PSNI Chief Constable to not only demand he take swift action in relation to all of the Report findings but also to demand a full explanation about the purpose of the subsequent interviews not addressed in the Ombudsman’s Report.”

John Brady became a prominent dissident republican after being released from prison under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

In 2008, he was charged with leaving a bomb under the car of a former RIR soldier in 2002. However, the case was dropped, based on a judge’s criticism of low copy number DNA evidence during the Omagh bomb trial.

Brady’s licence had however been revoked and despite a high profile campaign by his family and supporters to have him released from prison, he was required to serve out the remainder of his sentence. They likened his detention to internment.

Prior to his death, John Brady had severed his links with the republican movement and said publicly that his “war was over.” He had told his family that he planned to start a new life in Donegal to avoid “further harassment by the PSNI.”

News Letter
27 October 2010

A senior police officer has said a UVF gunman was seen on the ground in the mainly loyalist Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey during Monday nights trouble.

ACC Duncan McCausland was responding after a second night of violence in the area.

A bus was hijacked and set on fire after its female driver was dragged out of her cab and punched.

Police also said children as young as 10-years were involved in the disturbances.

ACC McCausland said the violence on Tuesday night was at a lower level than the previous night but said that was “no excuse for what happened”.

“The reality is, there were sinister elements, paramilitary loyalist elements who wanted to make a message about the police going in and searching,” he said.

“There were gunmen, let’s have no illusions about this, there were gunmen who were out on the first night, who were seen by the Fire and Rescue Service and members of the public.

“I believe they were associated with the UVF and I know it was clearly the intention of that particular organisation to make a statement and they exploited the use of young people in making that statement.

“That’s why is was stimulated on the first night. Last night was it was probably more anti-social behaviour. Young people potentially as young as ten were involved last night.

“I know the people of Rathcoole do not want this type of event to go in and around their area.”

First Minister Peter Robinson said the trouble has to stop.

“I think we’ve seen disgraceful scenes. People wrecking and ruining their own community,” he said.

“I think everybody who wants to see law and order established and maintained in Northern Ireland needs to give their full support to the PSNI.

“The police must be allowed to do their duty, we expect that of them and we should give them support when they do it.”

The UVF decommissioned its weapons in June 2009 but the Independent Monitoring Commission said in September that the loyalist paramilitary group sanctioned the murder, four months earlier, of Bobby Moffett on the Shankill Road because he was perceived to have flouted its authority.

Brian Ervine, leader of the UVF-linked Progressive Unionist Party, said the police should be allowed to do their job.

“Lawbreakers should be pursued and brought under the full rigours of the law,” he said.

Earlier Michael Dornan from the Unite union, which represents some bus drivers, said he was disgusted by the latest attack.

“The easiest thing to do would be to withdraw the services,” he said.
“But it is not the fault of the people who depend on the bus for their job, it is not the fault of the people who depend on the bus to go shopping.

“Someone, somewhere needs to show leadership and stop this so these people can have the bus servive they need.”

Police said the rioting cost an estimated £200,000 worth of damage and said loyalist paramilitaries were involved.

Ulster Unionist Newtownabbey councillor John Scott said he has been inundated with phone calls from Rathcoole residents who say the violence is not being carried out in their name.

“It is an absolute disgrace, the people of Rathcoole do not want this and they are the ones who will be affected by what is happening,” he said.

“It is the ordinary decent person trying to get to work in the morning who are affected by this.”

It is understood that youths were starting to gather in Rathcoole at around 7pm last night before the hijacking took place at around 8pm.

However there were less people involved last night with an estimated 70 people taking part compared to more than 200 on the night before.

PUP representative Ken Wilkinson said the area had become quiet again by 9.30pm after community workers defused the tension.

He labelled the second night of trouble as “recreational rioting” and said it was mostly youngsters.

“When things like this kick off, there are those who seem to want it to keep going, but there was a lot of work done on the ground to close it down,” he said.

A heated row broke out yesterday after the frst night of rioting when Mr Wilkinson accused the police of being heavy handed during a search of a house in the area.

Mr Wilkinson said he was on the ground both nights confronting those involved. He condemned the violence but claimed a police search of a house belonging to a terminally ill woman had caused anger in the community.

He also claimed he and another PUP colleague had to set up their own vehicle check-point to stop cars entering the area.

But speaking yesterday D District commander Chief Superintendent Henry Irvine said there is “absolutely no excuse whatsoever for the kind of
behaviour we witnessed”.

He said at one stage 150 offcers were involved in the policing operation.

“The disorder continued for around four hours with petrol bombs being thrown, further hijackings and police offcers being attacked. It’s estimated more than £200,000 worth of damage was caused. Calm was eventually restored at 00.45am,” he said.

“Many of the individuals involved in last night’s violence were clearly teenagers however we do believe more sinister elements were involved.

There was at least one unconfrmed report of a male armed with a handgun in the area.

“The people living in Rathcoole have expressed their disgust at what they witnessed. They too wholeheartedly reject violence and those behind it.”

The top policeman added that offcers are currently working to bring those responsible for the rioting before the courts.

Meanwhile north Belfast MP Nigel Dodds described the rioting as a “disgraceful and totally inexcusable orgy of violence”.

Police have described the searches carried out in Rathcoole on Monday as a serious crime branch operation into UVF murders and other criminal activity.

They have also said that the on going series of search operations are not related to any investigations by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET).

News Letter
27 October 2010

AN idyllic beach where the grief-stricken family of a republican murder victim spent time after his death yesterday became the focus of a search for his body.

Archaeologists and other experts began a painstaking examination at the seaside village of Waterfoot in the Glens of Antrim for the remains of Peter Wilson, a 21-year-old from west Belfast with special needs who vanished almost 40 years ago.

The Catholic man left his house in the Beechmount area in August 1973 and was never seen again.

He has since been classed as one of the Disappeared – 16 people who were killed and secretly buried by republican paramilitaries during the Troubles.

His family believes the IRA was responsible for the murder although the organisation’s leadership has never officially admitted the killing.

The new search by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) was triggered by a tip-off understood to have come from within the republican movement.

In a cruel twist it has emerged that Mr Wilson’s mother, brother and sisters often visited the beauty spot without ever knowing he could have been buried there.

While his parents have since died, his surviving siblings yesterday expressed hope that their long wait would soon be over.

“We are so relieved that a search for his body will start today (Tuesday),” they said in a statement.

“The beach at Waterfoot was a place we have visited often over the years with our mother and children, unaware that Peter was buried there.”

Eight bodies have been found at rural sites in the Irish Republic. The commission is still actively looking for eight more bodies.

The latest excavation is the frst search undertaken in Northern Ireland and the first in a populated area.

Geoff Knupfer, senior investigator at the commission, said he was confdent the information about the location, which was received this summer, was accurate.

But he cautioned that in the 37 years since, the sea could have claimed Mr Wilson’s remains.

“We are satisfed the information is correct,” he said. “Our great concern of course is that this particular area is exposed to the elements over the years and erosion could have taken place.

“We have taken advice from experts who can interpret what’s happened in the intervening period and we are hopeful and confdent that the burial site hasn’t been compromised in that time.”

Belfast Telegraph

Relatives of a dissident republican who claim MI5 has information on his brutal murder are to meet the Government’s key security service adviser, it has been confirmed.

Lord Carlile will travel to Northern Ireland to meet the family of Real IRA member Kieran Doherty who was abducted, stripped and murdered by the grouping, before his body was dumped on a roadside on the outskirts of his native Londonderry in February.

Prior to his death the 31-year-old had accused MI5 of trying to recruit him and now his bereaved family believe the security service may have information on his killing.

Foyle MP Mark Durkan accompanied the family in a meeting with Secretary of State Owen Paterson and has raised the concerns over MI5’s possible role in the case in the Commons.

Kieran Doherty

He said he had now received a letter from Lord Carlile confirming he will hear the family’s concerns.

“He will meet the family and hear their issues and obviously we will have to see how he reflects on this,” said Mr Durkan.

The SDLP representative said the family had appealed for anyone with information to come forward. They expect MI5 to also present any intelligence on the murder to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

“It is to the credit of the family that in articulating their concerns, the issue has attracted this interest from Lord Carlile,” said Mr Durkan.

He urged caution on the outcome of the meeting, noting that the peer does not have the investigative powers that, for example, the Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland would have when probing police conduct.

Members of the dead man’s family have claimed MI5 agents may have been involved in the events surrounding the murder, or that the organisation may have surveillance information that could help the hunt for his killers.

By Vincent Kearney
27 Oct 2010

**Video onsite

Allegations that MI5 agents may have been involved in the murder of Real IRA man Kieran Doherty are to be investigated by the government’s independent advisor on the activities of the security services.

Lord Alex Carlisle will also investigate claims that information is being withheld from detectives.

The 31-year-old was found shot dead on the outskirts of Derry this year.

The Real IRA said he had been killed because of links to the drugs trade.

His family rejected the claim and said they believed members of the security services may have been involved in his murder

Lord Carlisle, the government’s independent advisor on how MI5 operates here, has agreed to meet the family and to investigate their claims.

Kieran Doherty was a senior member of the Real IRA and a lifelong republican.

MI5 role

In the months before he was killed, he told a local newspaper that MI5 had tried to recruit him as an agent.

Kieran Doherty’s uncle, Vincent Coyle, said the family had a number of questions about the role of MI5 in the case.

“What’s most important is where were they on the night of Kieran’s abduction, stripping and murdering,” he said.

“Some of the family members have voiced the opinion that they believe members of MI5, who have somehow got into this organisation, may have been at the scene, may have been involved in the abduction and may have been involved in the murder.”

The offer to meet Kieran Doherty’s family was made in a letter to Foyle MP Mark Durkan, who has lobbied on their behalf. He welcomed the move, but urged caution about the outcome of the investigation.

Lord Carlisle is due to travel to Derry to speak to Kieran Doherty’s family.

Speaking to Home Affairs correspondent Vincent Kearney, he said he will listen to their allegations and consider any evidence they produce.

He will then speak to the security services and report on his findings to the Secretary of State.

Danny McBrearty
October 27, 2010

Martin Óg Meehan – PRO

Since his death at Strand Road Barracks, the bereaved family of John Brady
has had serious concerns that the Ombudsman inquiry into the death of the
prominent Republican while in constabulary custody might produce another
McGurk type fiasco, or worse a whitewash, instead of trustworthy findings.

Speaking in support of the family, DANNY McBREARTY,
Cathaoirleach/Chairperson of the REPUBLICAN NETWORK for UNITY (RNU) said;

“From the outset, there were concerns that Ombudsman did not want to know
about any facts or evidence which pointed to constabulary culpability.
Investigators seemed in a headlong rush to clear or whitewash the
constabulary no matter the truth. R.N.U. has long questioned whether the
Police Ombudsman was acting as a Police advocate, turning a blind eye to
every inconvenient truth which tended to prove PSNI culpability, as a
prelude to saying they could see no such proof.


We have already seen the righteous anger and anguish of the bereaved
relatives of the McGurk Bombing victims, who publicly and rightfully slated
the Ombudsman for the same faults, failings and insensitivity in that fiasco
which the Brady family has witnessed in the investigation of John’s death.

We wish to put questions publicly about motive, prior threats against the
victim, opportunity and concealment which would be key parts of any genuine
murder inquiry.

John was jailed for IRA operations against the RUC. Even after his release
on license under the terms of the Good Friday deal, he was known and hated
by the British constabulary as an unrepentant Republican, who did not
disavow what he viewed as service to his country .Their bitter hatred was
made known to John by threats, taunts, arrests, attempts to frame him and
insults which continued up until and including the day John died in their
custody at Strand Road Barracks.


Why have investigators shown no interest in this motive and these threats?
Why is there no CCTV footage? Was John left in a room where there was no
CCTV, or was he brought to a room with no CCTV to hide what would be done to

During a weekend parole on Friday October 2, John who had served 18 years as
a Republican political prisoner was involved in a minor family dispute with
a brother-in- law. John joked with his solicitor while in Strand Road. A
Republican political prisoner on weekend parole, John had served 18 years,
was nearing the end of his time on license, had won dismissal of far more
serious false charges and had every reason to believe that this minor
complaint would be withdrawn or dismissed.

How could a man like John of such spirit and resilience with so much to look
forward too, become despondent over a minor domestic incident”?

Mr. McBrearty concluded; “The Brady family has asked such questions about
John’s death which deserve answers but would seem to have been given little
or no consideration thus far. Nationalists were pledged that the Police
Ombudsman would be more than just a police advocate there to rubberstamp the
constabulary. That pledge has not been honoured by those investigating the
death of John Brady at Strand Road Barracks”.

Bobby Sands mural photo
Ní neart go cur le chéile


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