UVF gang of five guilty of the ‘almighty beating” of ex-UVF terrorist carried out in Co Antrim pub

Darren Morrell ex-UVF terrorist who was given a punishment beating by a UVF gang of five
David Rush (pictured above)

Robert Campbell and Aaron Cahoon appeared at Belfast Crown Court yesterday over the attack on Darren Moore

Five men will be sentenced next week for their roles in an “almighty beating” of former UVF man Darren Moore.

Belfast Crown Court heard yesterday that such was the ferocity of the attack that a baseball bat used to repeatedly bludgeon Moore as he lay on the ground broke in two.

Judge Desmond Marrinan remanded Aaron Norman Cahoon, David Rush, David John Gibson, Joshua Wylie and Robert Campbell into custody over the attack, which he described as a “very serious case”.

Aaron Norman Cahoon provided the getaway car in the attack on Moore

Cahoon (28), of Cherrymount in Newtownabbey, and Gibson (45), of Milewater Drive, New Mossley, pleaded guilty to a single charge of aiding and abetting grievous bodily harm. The court heard Cahoon had provided his Honda Civic car for the assault, while Gibson held a pub door open as it took place.

David Rush pleaded guilty to the GBH of Darren Moore

Rush (36), of Ballyvessey Green, Newtownabbey; Wylie (20), of Galgorm Road, Ballymena, and Campbell (33), of Clareville Avenue, Ballyclare, all pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Moore, a former Irish League footballer, on March 15, 2017.

Prosecution barrister Robin Steer told the court: “This was a planned attack by an armed group involving 10 males on Darren Moore at McConnell’s bar in Doagh around 6pm.

“The attack was co-ordinated, with members of the group arriving in the area at the same time, some by vehicle.

Robert Campbell carried out reconnaissance on the bar to make certain Moore was inside before the attack

“Three members of the group – Joshua Wylie, David Rush and Robert Campbell – carried out an initial reconnaissance to confirm if the injured party was in the bar before the whole group arrived en masse.

“A number of weapons were produced: a claw hammer, a baseball bat and a bar.

“After the incident, the group rapidly dispersed and some of the group switched vehicles shortly afterwards in an attempt to evade detection.”

A group of 10 people were captured on CCTV walking into the bar as Moore sat at a table drinking with two others.

McConnell’s bar in Doagh were the attack took place

The prosecutor said around seven men then entered the bar and “took an active part in the assault”, with three men remaining in the foyer. Moore (48), who played for Crusaders FC, was first hit on the head with a hammer by a man in a blue hooded jacket, felling him.

“A second male in a dark hooded jacket, also not before the court, strikes Mr Moore with what appears to be a bar Stoll while he is lying prone on the ground.”

Mr Steer said Wylie got involved and was a “central player in the assault, who can be seen delivering approximately a dozen strikes with a baseball bat”.

CCTV showed Campbell picking up a glass and throwing it at Moore before striking him on the back of the head with a bar stool.

The court was told Rush was seen on the footage “marshalling people back and then forward again”, a claim disputed by his defence counsel.

After initially leaving the bar, the group returned to attack Moore, said Mr Steer, and Wylie could be seen on CCTV with the broken baseball bat in his right hand and “stabs down at Mr Moore with this weapon as a blonde-haired lady tries to keep him at bay with the bar stool”.

The court heard Campbell struck Moore on the ankle with a bar stool as Rush was seen trying to get at Moore, but was held back by another person.

“Mr Rush then leaves holding a broken baseball bat handle in his hand. Finally, Robert Campbell strikes Mr Moore with the bar stool again. At the end of the incident all run out of the bar.”

The prosecutor said Moore was taken to Antrim Area Hospital. A CT scan showed a “depressed skull fracture, multiple rib fractures and several fractures to the thoracic spinal process”.

Wylie later told police he was “acting under duress”. Defence counsel Paddy Lyttle QC told the court Wylie had a “£5,000 drug debt” and carried out the attack fearing if he didn’t he would get a serious beating.

Mr Steer said: “This was a group attack by a total of 10 persons who were either involved with loyalist paramilitaries in the Newtownabbey area or were acting under their direction or control. The motivation was a revenge attack on a person who was involved in loyalist paramilitary activity and had fallen out with the group.”

Cahoon’s defence counsel Eilis McDermott QC said he realised after handing over his car that it was going to be used to “give someone a hiding” and had expressed his “regret and remorse”.

Gavan Duffy QC, for former soldier Rush, denied any loyalist paramilitary involvement.

The court heard Rush, who has PTSD after tours in Northern Ireland, Kuwait and Iraq, had a previous conviction for kidnapping and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and at the time of the attack on Moore was on licence from prison.

Gibson’s defence QC Brian McCartney said the defendant had “shown victim empathy” in a pre-sentence report.

Mr McCartney told the judge: “He was going to the shop and he was persuaded to go along. He was a door holder.”

Ciaran Mallon QC said there was “no question” of Campbell being involved in any paramilitary organisation. He accepted the defendant “struck (Mr Moore) on the foot or ankle” during the attack.

Judge Marrinan described the assault on Moore as an “almighty beating… a punishment if that is what you want to call it”.

As Rush, Gibson and Wylie were already on prison remand, Judge Marrinan revoked the bail of Cahoon and Campbell, telling them he would sentence them on Monday.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and John Cassidy for the original story.

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Springhill Westrock Massacre Mass And Mural Unvailing

The Springhill/Westrock Massacre families gathered in Corpus Christi Church for a remembrance and solidarity mass for their loved ones Fr Noel Fitzpatrick, Paddy Butler and three teenage children – Margaret Gargan (13), David McCafferty (15) and John Dougal (16).

In his homily Fr Paddy McCafferty said “we are here in solidarity with their bereaved families, offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in loving remembrance of these further innocent victims of the British Army” and that families are seeking “ justice and truth” in regard to the slaughter of their loved ones.

Fr Paddy’s powerfull words quoted below:

“The brutal abuse of power that let loose, in this community, trigger-happy soldiers who saw themselves as unaccountable, as a law unto themselves, cries out to Heaven for redress.”

“The slain innocent ones require vindication. In the name of their innocent loved ones, the families of Fr Noel, Paddy, Margaret, John and David, also demand justice and truth.”

“The Ballymurphy, Springhill/Westrock Massacres were all of a piece. Sixteen innocent people, including two priests of the Parish, were shot down in cold blood. No one has been made answerable. No one, with responsibility in civil society, has ever expressed sorrow to the families of these victims.”

“No remorse. No seeking of forgiveness. Instead, the arrogance of unaccountable power, the hard-hearted brutal ignorance of men who imagine themselves beyond the reach of those laws designed to protect all citizens, equally, in any society worthy of the name ‘civilised’.”

“It is an intolerable and outrageous affront, to human decency, that the families of Fr Noel, Paddy, David, Margaret and John, have been treated with such callousness and contempt. Such profound disrespect and cold indifference, to still grieving families, forty-six years after these crimes were committed, is unacceptable and unconscionable.”

After the mass families along with friends and supporters made their was the short distance from Corpus Christi Church to unveil a new mural remembering those murdered on 9th July 1072. Harry Gargan the brother of Margaret Gargan spoke to those gathered firstly commending the Ballymurphy Massacre families for setting an example to others, for their courage and dignity in getting the inquests into their loved ones deaths up and running.

Harry also pointed out that those murdered in the Springhill/Westrock massacre “were not running away from the shooting. They were running towards it” to help others who had been shot and wounded.

Harry spoke about tis sister Margaret and said she was more concerned about her family “My sister Margaret was doing what sisters do” she was going about making sure her family were okay.

Harry thanked everyone for attending and asked for continued support as the Springhill Westrock families continue for fight for truth and justice for their loved ones.

With many thanks to: Ciaran Cahill for the original posting.

McGurk’s Campaign For The Truth And Justice


With many thanks to: McGurk’s Campaign For Truth

Follow this link to find out more and LIKE their FACEBOOK page: fb://page/149238038459022

Varadkar recklessly disregards poll, claims McDonald

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald said that a no-deal Brexit would necessitate an immediate referendum on partition
Mary Lou McDonald said that a no-deal Brexit would necessitate an immediate referendum on partition

Mary Lou McDonald has accused the taoiseach of being “reckless” and of failing to adequately prepare for a border poll.

Almost half of voters in Northern Ireland would support a united Ireland if Britain left the EU under the withdrawal agreement that has been reached, according to a poll commissioned by The Times this week.

The Sinn Féin leader said that a no-deal Brexit would necessitate an immediate referendum on partition and she said she had told Theresa May this.

“If there is a hard Brexit and no deal then the immediacy of a border poll is self-evident,” Ms McDonald said. “You couldn’t possibly have a no-deal Brexit, resulting in the hardening of the border and suggest people would simply have to live with that.

“I have made that clear to the British prime minister and said it would have to be done very quickly in those circumstances. Beyond that I want us to have one as soon as possible but I also want us to win and I want us to win it well.”

She criticised Leo Varadkar and said that the government should be planning for the economic and social implications of reunification. “The government should be leading from the front on this. All of the polling data on this tells us categorically that the conversation has started and the genie is out of the bottle,” Ms McDonald said.

“The taoiseach needs to catch up. As head of government he needs to tell us how the conversation on unity will be structured. It is reckless for him to sit back and wish this away or pretend it is not happening.”

She said the main task for politicians was to maximise consensus but that the needs of those who were against leaving the United Kingdom would also have to be considered. “We understand we need an all-of-society conversation on what would be fundamental change. We are very conscious of the fact that people who do not support a united Ireland would have to be part of the conversation too. We would have to discover their red lines. There is a lot of work to be done,” Ms McDonald said.

Another part of the poll suggested that one in four unionists think the DUP would be wrong to reject Mrs May’s withdrawal deal. Almost four in ten unionists also disagreed or strongly disagreed that the DUP’s tactics in refusing to back it were correct.

Ms McDonald said she was not surprised Ms Foster’s party appeared to be out of step with some of its own voters. “I believe the DUP adopted a position on the Brexit referendum, never dreaming that Brexit would actually happen, and I don’t think they have had the political pragmatism or the political sense of responsibility to step back from that,” she said.

“Brexit is bad for Ireland and it’s particularly bad for the North and I think people are onto that. I’m not one bit surprised that people across the community, including those who would always vote for the union, look at Brexit and see nothing, only danger and jeopardy and they are wondering what Arlene Foster and the DUP are up to.”

Karen Bradley, the Northern Ireland secretary, will urge both communities today to rally support for the deal in an open letter to voters. “It protects all the things we value,” Ms Bradley will say.

The so-called meaningful vote in the British parliament is scheduled for Tuesday, when MPs will have their say on the withdrawal deal. Mrs May’s deal is expected to be rejected.

With many thanks to the: Times Sunday Times for the original story.

Imperva creates 220 cyber-security jobs in Belfast

This company seems to have set-up companies in Israel. So I don’t know what Israeli connection they have. BDS

A range of positions are being created across the company

A Silicon Valley cayber-security company is creating 220 jobs in Belfast.

Imperva is establishing a new base in the city and aims to create the jobs over the next three to five years.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered more than £1.4m towards the creation of the roles. The average salary on offer is more than £30,000.

Imperva already has bases in California and Israel, and the company said it was setting up in NI to “tap into the tremendous talent in the region”.

NI hub for cyber-security experts
There are a range of positions being created across the company and they will provide opportunities for graduates and experienced staff.

‘High-level education’
Yoav Cohen, from the company, told BBC News NI it had been liaising with the universities.

“We chose Belfast because of the large population of cyber-sec experts in the region, which is supported by high-level education in that field,” he said.

Chris Hylen, President and CEO of Imperial (center), with the company’s leadership team. Image Copyright © LIBBY GREENE/NASDAQ INC.

“We are working with Ulster University and Queen’s University and we have attended graduate recruitment fairs.

“We are living in a more digital and connected world and rely on apps and data on a daily basis.

“Imperva helps protect these applications from cyber criminals who seek to gain financial reward by extortion or selling our private data online.

“We are part of a group of successful cyber-group companies, which chose Belfast as the area in which they want to grow.”

The company said setting up in Belfast would allow it to support customers in Europe.

Alan Wilson, from Invest NI, said the Imperva move was the largest cyber-security investment into Northern Ireland so far.

“This has come on the heels of several other investors and they are coming for a reason – primarily because we have the best talent for cyber-security globally.”

Imperva’s project could have gone anywhere, he added, so Invest NI’s support of £1.4m was necessary to bring the jobs to Northern Ireland.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story.

Related Topics
Cyber-securityBelfastNI economy