‘The story of what British so-called justice has done to an entire family’

The shameful story of the Maguire family doesn’t need the hard sell the BBC gives it

56-year-old artist Patrick Maguire: Prison killed the child he once was

If you merely presented the facts behind the interrogation, intimidation and wrongful conviction of the family members and their friend, known together as the Maguire Seven, and set it all out in entirely dispassionate terms, it would still make the world shake with rage.

Stephen Nolan’s new documentary on the subject, A Great British Injustice: The Maguire Story (BBC One, Sunday, 9pm), doesn’t leave anything to chance, though.

“This is the story of what British justice has done to an entire family,” he begins. “And at the heart of this story is what it has done to a 13-year-old-child who, to this very day, is destroyed as a result of it.”

So shameful is this period in British history – when the bogus confessions of Gerard Conlon and Paul Hill, themselves drawn under brutal police duress, implicated and punished an innocent family – that even the stoicism of the BBC will bow to let Nolan describe Patrick Maguire, now a 56-year-old artist wrestling with his childhood torment, as “destroyed”.

Like Nolan’s recent documentary, The Shankill Bomb, which revisited an IRA atrocity and lingered, gratuitously, on its carnage, it can be hard to know what to make of giving such emotive material so hard a sell.

Does our distance from the event require new insistence to move us again? Or does In the Name of the Father’s film treatment, with its own fictitious revisions, demand to be countered with genuine and distraught testimony?

Either way, the facts remain harrowing. Annie Maguire, a religiously devout mother of four, was arrested in 1974 together with her husband, two young sons (a third son was released without charge), her brother, her brother-in-law Guiseppe Conlon, and a friend who just happened to be visiting.

All were eventually sentenced, for up to 14 years in prison, and the judge publicly rued the fact that capital punishment was no longer available. All were demonised. All were innocent.

The documentary is strongest in showing the surreal way in which the public could accept such a blatant lie, featuring a contemporary news report, sensationalist in its own way, that describes the sinister “Aunty Annie”: “a vital cog in the terrorist machine” who supposedly kept bomb-making equipment in her kitchen, “the way you might keep tins of corned beef”.

Forget the Reds under the Bed. In times of fear and paranoia, the Paddies in the Pantry could be an equally fevered and imagined menace.

But it had real and awful consequences. Beaten, intimidated and threatened with a gun by Surrey Police interrogators, its hammer clicking behind her skull, Anne recalls, “I could hear myself saying, ‘Jesus forgive them’.”

Her youngest son Patrick, just 13 at the time of his arrest, and similarly tortured, ultimately sentenced to four years in prison, was worse affected. Today Anne recalls worrying about the height of his apartment some years later, “because of the way his mind was working”.

Patrick, a conspicuously vulnerable figure for whom each recollection is raw and traumatising, is made the focus of the documentary, his jaw quivering and frequently dissolving into tears on the camera as he describes being put under suicide watch, or being beaten as a pariah in the streets.

With an interviewer of clear sensitivity, ethics and tact, you might feel that the programme had done everything to safeguard Patrick’s dignity. (His sister, Anne-Marie, whose childhood was also ruined, is just as wounded, and as frank, but seems in firmer command of how she shares her story.)

When Nolan asks Patrick’s brother Vincent, who never confessed to any wrongdoing, “You never broke?”, the way a gangster might be congratulated for keeping silent, Vincent immediately corrects him: “I had nothing to break for”.

That director Eamonn Devlin includes a post-interview hug between Nolan and Patrick, still brittle from his recollections, may not strike everyone as a very reassuring gesture either.

What prison killed, Patrick says, is the child he once was. But to call him “destroyed” seems both crass and exploitative, particularly when his new exhibition of artworks is called Out From the Darkness.

Patrick credits his survival to his mother, a woman so resilient that we hear her still praying for her tormentors. “I’ve just been lucky to have…” Patrick says, voice halting. “Lucky to have what?” says Nolan. “Her as my mum.”

With many thanks to: Peter Crawley and The Irish Times for the original story.

Follow this link to find out more: http://’The story of what British so-called justice has done to an entire family’

http://’The story of what British so-called justice has done to an entire family’

 

In 1992 the UVF shot Paddy Fox’s parents dead….12 years later a police notebook with his details fell into.loyalist hands

Charlie and Tess Fox who were murdered in 1992.

THE son of a Co Tyrone couple who were shot dead by the Mid Ulster UVF is to take legal action after discovering a police notebook, containing his personal details, was in the hands of the same organisation who murdered his parents.

Republican Paddy Fox, whose parents Charlie and Theresa were shot dead by loyalists at their home outside the Moy in 1992, said he was warned by police in 2004 that he might be under threat from loyalists.

However at no stage, he claims, was he told that his details were contained in a PSNI notebook which loyalists had in their possession.

The Irish News has seen the police notebook which contains details of police operations and briefings, along with lists of names, addresses and car registrations.

Person details related to Paddy Fox, whose parents were murdered by the UVF, were contained in the notebook.
Read More:

Police officer’s notebook lost in the latest RUC/PSNI breach. The Business owner left ‘traumatised’ by RUC/PSNI data breach.

Exclusive: PSNI gives private citizens’ data to suspected loyalist paramilitaries

Analysis: PSNI data breach could be ‘biggest security blunder in north’s history’
The book, which appears to be briefing notes from a serving police officer, gives details of Mr Fox’s address and also contains the make and colour of the car he was driving.

Other names on a ‘watch list’ are well known republicans Kevin Barry Murphy, Aidan Grew and Barry Morgan.

All the names are listed with dates of birth, addresses and in some cases car makes and registrations.

It is not known how the notebook found its way into the hands of loyalists.

But it is believed that none of those whose details were in the book were informed of the security breach.

Republican Paddy Fox (pictured above) Mr Fox said: “In the past I have been informed by the police that my details were in the hands of loyalists but at no time was I ever told how they got them.

“It now seems the details were from the very people issuing me the warnings. There needs to be some accountability for this,” he added.

The notebook also details a briefing by now retired former Special Branch officer Alan Mains, the former senior police officer now works as a security consultant.

Included among briefings is one delivered to officers in relation to an attack on Randalstown Police Station.

In October 2004 a family was held hostage by an armed gang who stole their van to mount a drive-by shooting on the Co Antrim police station.

Three children, aged between five and seven, and a couple were held hostage in the house during the incident.

No-one was injured as four shots hit steel gates at the front of the police station.

Details of the attack are in the notebook listing six homes to be searched in the hunt for ‘items weapons munitions explosives, any item that can be of use to terrorists’.

It is the third reported data breach involving the PSNI in the last four months.

The funeral of Charlie and Tess Fox, murdered by the UVF, passes their Co Tyrone home.

In July The Irish News reported that hundreds of pages of data were leaked to loyalist paramilitaries, after equipment seized as part of an investigation into organised crime was returned with a pen drive attached containing information on private individuals and local companies.

Both the Police Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner are investigating the data breach.

In September a police notebook was lost during searches by the Paramilitary Crime Task Force into the activity of the South East Antrim UDA.

It contained information on suspects as well as some personal details relating to the female officer who lost the notebook.

Despite police appeals for the notebook to be returned it has yet to be recovered.

Charlie Fox

Peter Corrigan of Phoenix Law, which represents a number of those named in the latest breach, said last night: “We will be taking civil action against the PSNI and Chief Constable for this very serious data breach, that potentially resulted in at least one of my clients being told he was under threat from loyalists back in 2004.

“The PSNI had a duty of care to inform those listed in this notebook at the time that they had lost their private details and failed to do so”, he added.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd last night said police were investigating.

“We have conducted preliminary inquiries but given the timescale involved, we have not been able to confirm the loss or theft of a police notebook from this period or area,” he said.

“Our enquiries are continuing.”

Theresa Fox

With many thanks to: Allision Morris and The Irish News for the original story.

David Cameron gave MI5 agents ‘licence to kill’ in secret letter saying they should not be prosecuted for their war crimes, tribunal hears

MI5 agents authorised to participate in ‘murder, torture and sexual assault’

Yet no police officer or prosecutor has ever been told of their criminal activities

A secret letter from former prime minister David Cameron was made public

MI5 agents have secretly been given authorisation to participate in ‘murder, torture and sexual assault’ on British soil without fear of prosecution, a tribunal heard yesterday.

It emerged that the security service has been giving its informants and agents the freedom to commit ‘grave criminality’ for almost 30 years.

Yet no police officer or prosecutor has ever been told of their criminal activities, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in London heard.

A secret letter from former prime minister David Cameron was made public yesterday. This effectively gave MI5 agents a licence to kill, campaigners claim

The bombshell document emerged during a legal challenge by privacy campaigners, who want know what crimes have been committed in the name of MI5 since the 1990s and whether they were lawful.

In November 2012, Mr Cameron wrote to retired judge Sir Mark Waller acknowledging that there was a ‘long-standing’ secret policy to let security service agents break the law.

He instructed Sir Mark, who was at the time the Intelligence Services Commissioner, charged with overseeing the conduct of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, to have oversight of the policy.

The bombshell document emerged during a legal challenge by privacy campaigners, who want know what crimes have been committed in the name of MI5 since the 1990s and whether they were lawful

In November 2012, Mr Cameron wrote to retired judge Sir Mark Waller acknowledging that there was a ‘long-standing’ secret policy to let security service agents break the lawful
In November 2012, Mr Cameron wrote to retired judge Sir Mark Waller acknowledging that there was a ‘long-standing’ secret policy to let security service agents break the law
But the then-prime minister told him not to rule on whether it was legal, and said he need not express any views as to whether any cases should be referred to prosecutors.

Privacy campaigners claim the letter effectively handed MI5 agents a licence to break the law with immunity.

The timing of the letter is said to be highly significant as just two weeks later Mr Cameron admitted there was ‘state collusion’ in the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane.

Mr Finucane, who represented several high-profile Republicans, was shot dead in front of his family by loyalist gunmen. After his death it emerged that the loyalist paramilitary intelligence officer responsible for directing Ulster Defence Association attacks, Brian Nelson, was an agent controlled by the British Army’s ‘Force Research Unit’. No one has been prosecuted for the murder.

Javid: ‘MI5 will share more information with other organisations’

But the then-prime minister told him not to rule on whether it was legal, and said he need not express any views as to whether any cases should be referred to prosecutors +9
But the then-prime minister told him not to rule on whether it was legal, and said he need not express any views as to whether any cases should be referred to prosecutors

Privacy campaigners claim the letter effectively handed MI5 agents a licence to break the law with immunity

Mr Cameron wrote in the newly disclosed letter: ‘In the discharge of their function to protect national security, the security service has a long-standing policy for their agent handlers to agree to agents participating in crime, in circumstances where it is considered such involvement is necessary and proportionate in providing or maintaining access to intelligence that would allow the disruption of more serious crimes or threats to national security.’

The timing of the letter is said to be highly significant as just two weeks later Mr Cameron admitted there was ‘state collusion’ in the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane

Official MI5 guidance entitled ‘guidelines on the use of agents who participate in criminality’ was also made public yesterday for the first time. The policy states that an officer is ‘empowered’ to ‘authorise the use of an agent participating in crime’.

Ben Jaffey QC, representing an alliance of human rights groups, told the tribunal that Mr Cameron’s letter demonstrated that no police or prosecutor would ever hear about the cases involved.

Sir James Eadie QC, representing the intelligence agencies, the Home Office and the Foreign Office, told the tribunal that details of MI5’s conduct had to be kept secret and he asked that the hearing go into private to hear his reasons.

Reprieve director Maya Foa said: ‘We want to know if it’s government policy to let MI5 agents get away with serious crimes such as torture and murder.

‘While our intelligence agencies have an important role in keeping this country safe, it does not follow that agents can be permitted to break the law without limits.’

With many thanks to the: Daily Mail for the original story.

Vengeance is mine says the Lord

And it is only right and fitting that the Lord take on board what these men and women have done all for the Love of Money they have crushed Ireland and they have crushed his people as they have suffered a loss of families
All because of they agreed so again I share these words and daily I will pray to the lord to stop those who have gained from these troubles and I will ask the lord to punish them for yesterday’s closing of my brothers and Quest was very painful I’m brought back painful memories of my brother’s death

O mother of Ireland, what have they done,
They sold us out for a mere 30 pieces of silver.
As i walk the graveyard and look at the flags above
and feel the tears flow and ask the question why?
their fight was to free Ireland in their hearts they believed this would happen,
they even starved themselves to death to crush the British crown.
And now they claim the war is over, but how can the war be over when o mother of Ireland you are not free,
as your green land is mixed with a foreign country. Have all these young volunteers deaths been for nothing?
I sit here broken and in despair expressing my feelings of betrayal.
To those Judas’s in leadership that took those 30 pieces of silver, so that this foreign government could keep it’s say,
In the lords word it shares ;Those who profit over blood money, shall be cursed, so mother of Ireland let them be cursed,
for their betrayal of all their comrades.

With many thanks to: ©Daniel Don Bosco Bradley for the original posting.

WRITTEN BY DANIEL BRADLEY ON 7 /1 /2014

ITS A STORY THAT HAS TO BE TOLD OVER AND OVER SO THAT OTHERS CAN SEE WHAT THEY DONE TO IRELAND

O MOTHER OF IRELAND

O mother of Ireland, what have they done,
They sold us out for a mere 30 pieces of silver.
As i walk the graveyard and look at the flags above
and feel the tears flow and ask the question why?
their fight was to free Ireland in their hearts they believed this would happen,
they even starved themselves to death to crush the British crown.
And now they claim the war is over, but how can the war be over when o mother of Ireland you are not free,
as your green land is mixed with a foreign country. Have all these young volunteers deaths been for nothing?
I sit here broken and in despair expressing my feelings of betrayal.
To those Judas’s in leadership that took those 30 pieces of silver, so that this foreign government could keep it’s say,
In the lords word it shares ;Those who profit over blood money, shall be cursed, so mother of Ireland let them be cursed,
for their betrayal of all their comrades.

With many thanks to: ©Daniel Don Bosco Bradley for the original posting.

WRITTEN BY DANIEL BRADLEY ON 7 /1 /2014

Trial of double murderer and ex-leading loyalist murderer ‘Winkie’ Rea is delayed on medical grounds

CHARGES: ‘Winkie Rea’

The non-jury trial of former leading loyalist Winston Rea has been postponed so he can undergo a series of medical tests.

Rea may have to undergo MRI or CT scans for a “long-standing illness”, Belfast Crown Court heard yesterday.

Defence counsel Arthur Harvey QC said the 67-year-old, of Springwell Crescent in Groomsport, Co Down, has also been examined by a neurological psychiatrist.

Rea was arraigned in October 2017 and pleaded not guilty to all 19 charges said to have been committed on dates between 1973 and 1996.

Included in the charges faced by ‘Winkie’ Rea are conspiring to murder Catholic men John Devine in July 1989 and John O’Hara in April 1991.

Mr Devine (37), was shot in front of his son in west Belfast while Mr O’Hara, a 41-year-old taxi driver, was lured to his murder in the south of the city.

Rea has also been charged with conspiring with others to threaten to kill LVF leader Billy Wright in August, 1996.

He also pleaded not guilty to firearms and other terror-related charges, including conspiring to possess firearms secured from the Ulster Resistance paramilitary group on dates between November, 1986 and October, 1994.

He is further charged with encouraging the murder of “persons working in shops selling An Phoblacht in republican and nationalist areas” between November, 1977 and October, 1994.

Rea, who was not in court for the proceedings, was due to stand trial on all charges early next month.

At yesterday’s review hearing, Mr Justice Colton heard that Rea had recently been examined by consultant psychiatrist Dr Helen Harbinson about his “cognitive ability” for the trial over a “long standing illness”.

Arthur Harvey QC said that three months ago Rea had a pacemaker device fitted to his heart which had “created a significant number of complications for the MRI and CT scans”.

He added that a medical practitioner had advised the defence that if the scans were to be carried out “eight doctors would have to be present for the removal of the heart pacemaker”.

The defence QC said Rea “will consent to any examination by experts appointed by the prosecution”.

Prosecution counsel Ciaran Murphy QC said he was mindful that “the families of multiple alleged victims will have been preparing themselves” ahead of next month’s trial, adding the provision of expert reports could cause “further delays for a considerable period”.

He urged Mr Justice Colton to fix a new date for the trial in the current court term.

Mr Justice Colton directed that a consultant neurological psychiatrist’s report on Rea be served on the prosecution within three weeks.

The judge said he was requesting the “full co-operation” of all defence medical experts in the case, urging them to comply with his directions which were “in the public interest of the trial process”.

The judge listed the trial November 12 this year.

With many thanks to the: BelfastTelegraph for the original story.

MoD challenging order to explain role in the north.

‘The public have a right to know the scope of the role of the British army in the North of Ireland complies with the terms of the peace agreement, Patten Commission and human rights standards’ – Daniel Holder, deputy director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice.

THE Ministry of Defence (MoD) is set to challenge a ruling ordering it to release information about its current role in the north.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) asked MoD officials to provide the terms of reference for Operation Helvetic – the name given to the British Army’s continuing operation in the north – last year.

The first two Land Rover’s with the spare tyre on the front are the British Army. Along with the RUC/PSNI. They also include the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SSR) who also work closely with the SAS.

It came after military chiefs originally refused to hand over the majority of the information requested by the Committee on the Administration of Justice, claiming it is exempt under two sections of the Freedom of Information act.

MoD officials claimed some of the information could be withheld under Section 23 of the act – which refers to intelligence agencies and section 24 – which considers “national security”.

Section 23 covers information linked to agencies such as MI5, MI6 and Government Communications Headquarters (GHQ).

The Section 23 reference is believed to relate to MI5, which operates from a complex at Palace Barracks in Holywood, Co Down.

In a recent decision notice the ICO said while some of the information is exempt other information relating to Operation Helvetic should be released.

Helvetic has been in place since July 2007 when Operation Banner officially ended.

The British Army continues to have a limited presence in the north and its bomb squad routinely responds to call-outs to deal with explosives.

Undercover units are also believed to have been deployed since the start of Operation Helvetic, including the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SSR), which is understood to work closely with the SAS.

Deputy director of the CAJ Daniel Holder said “the public have a right to know whether the scope of the role of the British Army in Northern Ireland complies with the terms of the peace agreement, Patten Commission and human rights standards.

Masked and armed with semi-automatic machine guns members of the bomb squad of the RUC/PSNI on foot patrol. In the occupied six counties of the North of Ireland.

“In the absence of transparency about the remit of the armed forces here, it’s not possible to tell if they are operating under PSNI direction or if there is instead some undeclared link to MI5 or the use of covert units, such as the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, that bypass the oversight arrangements,” he said.

An MoD spokesman said: “As an appeal is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story.

Follow this link to find out more concerning Operation Helvetic which replaced Operation Banner after 1998: http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//news/northernirelandnews/2017/07/31/news/ten-years-since-end-of-operation-banner—and-start-of-helvetic-1096778/content.html