Loughinisland judge considers Troubles case withdrawal

The six innocent murder victims of the Loughinisland Massacre

Six men were shot dead as they watched a football match in a pub in Loughinisland in 1994
A judge is to decide next week whether he will step aside from a case over a report into the Loughinisland murders.

Mr Justice McCloskey had been due to announce whether he would quash a report into the 1994 murders.

However, he has been asked to withdraw from the case over a possible perception of bias.

Last month, he ruled that the police ombudsman’s finding of collusion between some officers and the killers was “unsustainable in law”.

The judge ruled in favour of two ex-police officers who brought the case.

Six Catholic men were shot dead as they watched a football match in the County Down village on 18 June 1994.

Media captionWhat happened in Loughinisland in June 1994?

Lawyers for the police ombudsman and families of the victims have lodged submissions asking the judge to step aside because he had previously represented one of the officers in a different case.

Loughinisland – a night of terror
Six men died at Loughinisland when loyalist gunmen burst into the Heights Bar and opened fire as they were watching the Republic of Ireland play Italy in the World Cup.

Mr Justice Bernard McCloskey
Image caption
Mr Justice Bernard McCloskey previously ruled in favour of two retired police officers who brought the case
The victims were Adrian Rogan, 34, Malcolm Jenkinson, 53, Barney Green, 87, Daniel McCreanor 59, Patrick O’Hare, 35, and Eamon Byrne, 39. Five others were wounded.

No-one has ever been convicted over the attack.

Heights BarImage copyrightPACEMAKER
Image caption
Gunmen burst into the Heights Bar and opened fire
In June 2016, the police ombudsman found there had been collusion between some police officers and the UVF gunmen.

Two police officers challenged the legal basis of the report and Mr Justice McCloskey had been due to announce last week if he would quash part or all of its findings.

Victims’ families
Image caption
Relatives of the Loughinisland victims want a new judge appointed
In 2001, when he was a barrister, Bernard McCloskey QC, was involved in an unsuccessful challenge to a report by former Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan which found there had been failings by the RUC during the investigation into the 1998 Omagh bombing.

Guidelines issued to judges by the lord chief justice state: “Past professional association with a party as a client need not in itself be a reason for disqualification, but the judge must assess whether the particular circumstances, and in particular any prior knowledge relevant to the case, could create an appearance of bias.”

Heights barImage copyrightPACEMAKER
Image caption
No-one has ever been convicted over the attack
Relatives of the Loughinisland victims want a new judge to be appointed to adjudicate on the challenge to the Loughinsland report.

The submission contends that Mr Justice McCloskey’s involvement in the 2001 case creates the potential for a public perception of unconscious bias.

A lawyer for the ombudsman is believed to have lodged a similar submission.

The judge will announce his decision next week.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the origional story

 

Here is Barry he’s an ex RUC/PSNI Sargent and he’s calling for mass murder off Irish citizens openly on FB, Barry is not nice!!!!

Here is Barry he’s an ex RUC/PSNI Sargent and he’s calling for mass murder off Irish citizens openly on FB, Barry is not nice!!!!

With many thanks to: South Down Unrepentent Republicans

Follow this link to find out more:https://www.facebook.com/SouthDownIndependentRepublicans/

On 17th January 1972, a group of Republican POWs, subsequently dubbed the ‘Magnificent Seven,’ escaped from the Maidstone, which was anchored in Belfast Lough.

The overcrowded prison ship, which housed hundreds of nationalist men who had been interned without trial, was supposedly “escape proof.”

Several weeks before the escape, the seven men — Jim Bryson, Sean Convery, Tommy Gorman, Thomas ‘Tucker Kane,’ Martin Taylor, Tommy ‘Toddler’ Tolan and Peter Rodgers — studied the tide by throwing tin cans into the water. On the night of the escape, they smeared themselves with butter they had saved from food parcels to protect against the cold and added a layer of boot polish for extra protection and as camouflage. They then used a fret saw to cut the bar on the ship’s porthole and slipped through.

Although the water surrounding the ship was full of barbed wire, all seven men successfully made their way through it, then swam in a single file about 400 yards through the bitterly cold water to reach the shore. However, they initially landed at the wrong spot and were already behind schedule when they set out, so by the time they made it to the pier on Queens Island, their comrades were nowhere to be seen.

The Maidstone Prison Ship

So they used plan B: Peter Rodgers, dressed only in his soaking underwear, told a bus driver sitting at the Queen’s Road terminus that he had fallen into the lough. The driver lent Rodgers the greatcoat of his uniform and set off on his run to Belfast City Hall.

When the driver returned, he went into the security office and the seven men jumped into the bus, with Rodgers, who had been a bus driver before internment, driving fast so they could get through the main gates before the security guard could close them.

A British Army Land Rover raced after the bus but once it entered the Markets area, the brits backed off, afraid to entering the staunchly Republican area.

In an interview in 2000 with the Andersonstown News, Tommy Gorman described what happened after Rodgers turned the bus in the Markets:

“We crossed the Lagan at Queen’s Bridge, went down Oxford Street and turned into the Markets. You’d have thought everything was planned because as we reached the Markets the kids jumped on the bus and began dismantling it like locusts. We went into a local pub, naked and black and said we’d just jumped off the Maidstone and again you’d have thought it was planned because suddenly people started to undress, handing us ill-fitting trousers and shoes. A man in the bar just handed us the keys to his car saying, away yiz go, and before we knew it we were in billets in Andersonstown.”

That night on television, the british army claimed that the escapees were “surrounded and could not get away” and that they would be arrested in the morning. This was greatly amusing for the Magnificent Seven as they sat in a safehouse in Andersonstown, watching the broadcast!

The following day, the british paratroopers smashed down doors and raided the homes in the Markets but found none of the escapees. Within a week, the Magnificent Seven were giving their now infamous press conference in Dublin.

Jim Bryson was shot by paratroopers in August 1973 and died from his injuries three weeks later.
Tommy Tolan was murdered by the Official IRA in July 1977.
Tommy ‘Tucker’ Kane died in a car accident on the Glen Road in July 1976.

With many thanks to: Gréine Ni Dhochartaigh – Ireland’s Own

Ni Dhochartaigh

Gardaí bugged privite home, IRA membership trial of Kevin Hannaway, Eva Shannon, Edward O’Brien, Sean Hannaway and David Nooney hears

Kevin Hannaway, cousin of Gerry Adams and one of the origional ‘Hooded Men’

Gardai acting on confidential information used surveillance devices to listen to conversations at a private house, the Special Criminal Court heard today.

The trial opened of three people charged with membership of the IRA and two charged with assisting the IRA.

Prosecution counsel, Tara Burns SC, told the three-judge court that the evidence focuses on events at a private residence in Riverwood Park, Castleknock in Dublin on August 7th and 8th 2015.

She said they will hear evidence that the house had recently been vacated by its tenants and was being prepared for new tenants to move in. Someone asked the owner if he could have use of the house for his uncle and nephew for the weekend and the owner agreed.

Counsel said the court would hear of the comings and goings from that house over the two-day period where the five accused were observed by gardai and arrested on August 8th.

Kevin Hannaway (69) of Collin Mill, Belfast has pleaded not guilty to knowingly rendering assistance to an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA, namely with Sean Hannaway, assisting in interviewing persons involved in IRA organised criminal activities, said interviews being directly or indirectly in the furtherance of an unlawful object, at Riverwood Park, Castleknock, Dublin 15 on August 7th and 8th, 2015.

His co-accused Eva Shannon (60) of Oakman Street, Belfast pleaded not guilty to the same offence on the same dates.

Edward O’Brien (42), of Hazelcroft Road, Finglas, Dublin 11, David Nooney (53) of Coultry Green, Ballymun, Dublin 11, and Seán Hannaway (48) of Linden Gardens, Belfast pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely an organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on August 8th, 2015.

The three Belfast-based accused, counsel said, stayed in the house overnight while the other two were seen visiting. Other people visited or were brought to the house.

Mr Nooney, she said, was seen in a car in the vicinity of the house and on August 7 he took items from the boot of his car and brought them in to the house.

Kevin Hannaway, Eva Shannon and Sean Hannaway were seen entering the house carrying bags.

Besides the observations of gardai, Ms Burns said the court would hear evidence of conversations recorded inside the house by surveillance devices placed there after gardai received confidential information. She said these would show that interviews were conducted in the house with two men for the purposes of the furtherance of an unlawful objective.

In relation to Mr Nooney, she said there would be evidence that he is associated with members of an unlawful organisation and in relation to the three charged with membership of the IRA there will be inferences drawn from answers they gave to gardai which amount to a refusal to answer.

A garda chief superintendent will also give evidence that he believes the three were members of an unlawful organisation.

The trial continues tomorrow in front of Justice Isobel Kennedy, Justice Robert Haughton and Judge Gerard Griffin.

With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News