Garda police Commissioner Drew Harris has accused Sinn Fein of beingdirected by an IRA ‘Army Council’ which he claims continues to exist,despite the organisation having disbanded its structures 15 years ago.
Efforts by the right in Ireland to counter and undermine Sinn Féin’sadvance in the recent 26 County general election have reachedextraordinary levels of desperation following an intervention by theGarda police Commissioner, Drew Harris.
On March 3, 1991, pro-British terrorists of the Ulster Volunteer Force attacked people drinking at Boyle’s Bar in the village of Cappagh in the six counties (“Northern Ireland”). They shot dead four people, three of whom were IRA members (Cappagh is a staunchly republican village). Tommy O’Sullivan (51) was the civilian and was in the bar; John Quinn (23), Malcolm Nugent (20) and Dwayne O’Donnell (17) were the IRA Volunteers, who were shot in a car arriving in the car park. Local IRA leader Brian Arthurs survived as patrons barricaded the doors when they heard shooting outside. This was one of the many occasions in which loyalist killers collaborated with state forces. Representatives of the families of the Cappagh Victims have released this statement, as Sinn Fein has been embracing the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), which is riddled with people involved in collaboration with loyalist killers, collaboration that…
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Stormont’s Finance Committee has told Sinn Fein minister Conor Murphy that his conduct “calls into question” his fitness for office.
The letter sent by committee chair, Ulster Unionist leader Steve Aiken, raises Mr Murphy’s 2007 comments that IRA murder victim Paul Quinn was a criminal, and the Finance Minister’s “conduct in the intervening period”.
Mr Murphy has withdrawn his slur and has apologised, but is refusing to unambiguously state that the 21-year-old south Armagh man was not a criminal.
The decision to write to the minister was supported by every Finance Committee member bar those from Sinn Fein at a meeting last week. The letter says that the committee has considered the Finance Minister’s comments on the BBC Spotlight programme in November 2007 and “your conduct in the intervening period”.
It asks him to explain why he branded Paul Quinn a criminal and why he “denied the comments for the past 13 years”.
The letter continues: “It is the committee’s view that your conduct calls into question your fitness for office.”
Following Mr Quinn’s murder, Mr Murphy said he had spoken to the IRA, which had told him it wasn’t responsible for the fatal beating.
The committee asks Mr Murphy to “report and provide to the PSNI and An Garda Síochána” any information he may possess relating to “conversations and meetings that you have had” in relation to the Quinn murder.
The proposal to write to Mr Murphy came from Finance Committee deputy chair Paul Frew of the DUP. It was supported by three unionist MLAs and the SDLP’s Pat Catney. The three Sinn Fein members – Sean Lynch, Jemma Dolan, and Maolíosa McHugh – opposed it.
The committee also voted to write to the Quinn family commending their “courage and tenacity in seeking justice for their son” and “conveying the committee’s dismay and condemnation of the minister’s behaviour”.
The proposal from TUV leader Jim Allister was carried despite the three Sinn Fein MLAs voting against it. Their amendment to the proposal – removing condemnation of Mr Murphy’s behaviour – was defeated.
A Sinn Fein spokesman said: “When Conor Murphy took up the post of Finance Minister only weeks ago, nearly all of these parties wished him well and supported him in the role.
“And now, over the last week, they have developed serious considerations about his place in office over remarks made 13 years ago.
“Conor has written to the family, unreservedly withdrawn his remarks and apologised and he continues to carry out the important task of Finance Minister,” he said.
Meanwhile, Newry and Armagh SDLP MLA Justin McNulty has written to Mr Murphy demanding that he publicly state that Paul Quinn wasn’t a criminal. Mr McNulty has also asked Mr Murphy to provide the names of the IRA members he spoke to following the murder.
“You will be aware of the importance Stephen and Breege (Quinn) have placed on you clearing Paul’s name along with their quest for justice, peace and a sense of closure. I implore you to listen to the pleas of the Quinn family,” Mr McNulty wrote.
The SDLP MLA last night said: “Paul Quinn was murdered by cowards. The actions of those cowards have been covered up by cowards.
“Breege and Stephen and Paul’s brother and sister, James and Cathy, have been unwavering in their campaign for truth and justice for 13 years and they will endure until justice is done.”
Mr McNulty asked why the Finance Minister had branded “a murdered man a criminal in the first place” when he now said he had no evidence to do so.
The SDLP MLA appealed to Mr Murphy to unambiguously state that Paul Quinn wasn’t a criminal.
“Whilst Conor’s apology after 13 years is welcome, he now needs to go the final step and clear Paul’s name,” he added.
Mr Quinn was beaten to death in a barn in Oram, Co Monaghan, by an IRA gang.
The Cullyhanna man had previously clashed with the local IRA commander’s son.
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Suzanne Breen for the original story
Paul McIntyre was cheered as he was led into the building
The man accused of murdering Lyra McKee is alleged to have committed a joint enterprise with an unknown gunman by picking up the cases of the bullets used to kill her, a court heard.
Paul McIntyre, 52, was remanded in custody at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court on Thursday after appearing charged with the murder of the journalist last April.
During a 50-minute hearing, defence lawyer Derwin Harvey said: “The allegation against Mr McIntyre is that Mr McIntyre is at this riot and a male shoots the gun and that Mr McIntyre, after the gun was shot, picks up the cases.”
The court heard a lengthy defence submission applying for bail, but the judge adjourned the hearing until he received further information from prosecution about the evidence linking McIntyre to the charges.
Mr Harvey said the case rested on a “snapshot” of low-quality mobile phone footage which the prosecution claims showed a man wearing clothing matching what his client was wearing earlier in the day.
Earlier supporters clashed with police outside court as he arrived for his first appearance.
They held placards saying he is a “political hostage” and a “British scapegoat” and scuffled with up to 40 police officers as they refused to move from the entrance to the courthouse.
Lyra McKee was standing near a police vehicle when she was hit by a bullet fired by a masked gunman towards officers.
The Belfast writer was living in Derry with partner, Sara Canning, who also arrived at court on Thursday morning.
Ms Mckee’s sister Nichola Corner was among several people in the public gallery wearing T shirts emblazoned with her picture.
Ms McKee was a gay rights activist and an articulate advocate of a new and more tolerant Northern Ireland and part of the generation which reached adulthood during peace time.
She wrote for publications including Private Eye and Buzzfeed.
Her funeral was attended by then prime minister Theresa May, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Irish President Michael D Higgins at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.
Catholic priest Fr Martin Magill received a standing ovation when he asked why it took her death to unite politicians.
Days later the British and Irish governments announced a new talks process aimed at restoring devolution.
Power sharing was resurrected last month and the first same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland took place this week.
McIntyre is also charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and belonging to or professing to be a member of a proscribed organisation. His address was given in court as Kinnego Park, Londonderry.
The New IRA said it carried out the killing of Ms McKee.
McIntyre will next appear in court on February 27.
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Michael McHugh (PA) for original story
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