So-called dissident republican framed for the murder of Stephen Carroll studying crimionlogy in Maghaberry Gaol, court told

Brendan ‘Yandy’ McConville

A dissident republican jailed for the murder of PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll has launched legal action over an alleged denial of access to online resources for his degree studies.

Brendan McConville claims the Prison Service failed to ensure he can safely use computer facilities to complete an Open University course in criminology and psychology.

The 48-year-old is among 40 republican and loyalist inmates being held within a separated regime at the high security HMP Maghaberry.

His lawyers told the High Court today he is being unlawfully treated differently from integrated prisoners who can access the learning and skills unit.

But counsel for the Prison Service rejected assertions that he was never offered use of the education suite, stressing it is open to all within the jail.

McConville, from Craigavon, Co Armagh, is serving at least 25 years behind bars for the murder of Constable Carroll ten years ago.

A second man, 28-year-old John Paul Wootton, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, was handed a minimum 18-year term for his part in the assassination.

Stephen and Kate Carroll – Constable Carroll, 48, was the first police officer to be killed in the North of Ireland after the formation of the PSNI.

He was ambushed and shot dead by dissident republicans as he responded to a 999 call at Lismore Manor, Craigavon in March 2009.

A circumstantial case involving DNA evidence helped to secure the murder convictions, including gun residue on a coat linked to McConville recovered from a car said to have been used by the killers.

He is now in the final stages of a Bachelor of Science honours degree in criminology and psychology studies.

Seeking to judicially review the Prison Service, McConville’s barrister claimed a failure to provide access to the necessary internet resources.

Counsel told Mr Justice McCloskey his client was in segregation at Maghaberry for safety reasons.

He argued that it was irrational for the authorities to say McConville can use the facilities by simply leaving the separate regime.

“That highlights a lack of logic at the heart of the difference in treatment,” the barrister said.

Laura McMahon, for the Prison Service, responded that the online resources are located in a special unit rather than any accommodation block.

“That’s a facility available to all prisoners,” she added.

Deferring the legal challenge to October, Mr Justice McCloskey said it would allow time to consider a report into learning opportunities for separated inmates and any potential complaint to the Prisoner Ombudsman.

Outside court McConville’s lawyer, Gavin Booth, said: “Prisoners should be entitled to access to education and online resources. Our client is completing a degree and needs access to online articles in order to obtain the best possible mark.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Alan Ewing for the original story

Despite unreliable evidence, The Craigavon Two have spent the last 10 years in prison | The Canary

Press Release: Australian Union calls for the release of the of the Craigavon Two.

One of the Australia’s largest union representing over ten thousand seafarers, dockers and maritime workers has called for the release of the Craigavon Two calling it a “miscarriage of justice that has resulted in significant sentences handed to two innocent men, destroyed their families and shattered communities. It has demonstrated the reality of a hostile judicial system coupled with a corrupt State and the result of denying basic legal rights.”

The Craigavon 2 case must be viewed through the prism of historical wrongdoing by the State. Successive generations have stood witness to people being scapegoated by the Ruling Class to satisfy the needs of a terrified establishment; extrajudicial killings, imprisoning the innocent is a collective punishment on occupied communities to maintain the oppressive structures that underpin the violence of the State.”

The Sydney branch of the Maritime Union of Australia in the past has campaigned for the release of the Guildford Four and Birmingham 6 passed a resolution supporting “the Justice for the Craigavon 2 Campaign and will continue to agitate for the release from prison of Brendan McConville and John-Paul Wootton for crimes they did not commit. The MUA Sydney Branch will always fight on the side of those experiencing miscarriages of injustice, which this case represents. We call upon all those responsible for correcting this injustice, carry out whatever is necessary to secure a just outcome for the Craigavon 2.”

With many thanks to: C2 for the original posting.

Justice For The Craigavon Two #JFTC2




With many thanks to: C2 for the original posting.


Statement read by Siobhán McConville in the House of Parliament on behalf of Paddy Hill

PADDY HILL (Miscarriages Of Justice Organisation/Birmingham 6) 19/11/2018

I along with the others known as the Birmingham Six, the Guilford Four, Maguire Seven amongst, many, many more who are too numerous to mention, managed to gain our release from jail, but we have never been given truth and justice. Our suffering lasted longer than the prisons sentences we endured. We have lived lives full of sorrow, and struggle against the monolith of a justice system that does not care. Sadly it would seem the lessons that should have been learned have not been learned.
On leaving prison I promised to fight for those who were left behind, those who were also innocent. In the hope that no one would ever have to face the struggle faced by myself and all the others. I have continued since my release through the organisation I set up, MOJO, the miscarriages of justice organisation to fight for those still in prison, and for those damaged by wrongful imprisonment. In my opinion nothing has changed; in fact I think things are now worse than they ever were.

Before his untimely death the last case Gerry Conlon and I campaigned on together was the case of the Craigavon Two. Two more innocent Irish men left to languish in jail for a crime they did not commit. We believed, and I still believe Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton have suffered the same fate as us. Political prisoners who have been abandoned to their fate by a society indifferent to that fate. Out of sight of mind.

We urge all those of good conscience to look at the case. They need your voice to be their voice. They need you to speak for them. They need you to raise their case in every place you can. We need you to put their case into the spotlight. Injustice can only win if we do nothing.
MOJO and I will stand by the Craigavon Two until those in power listen. Until they listen we should not rest. All we have is one and other. Please show solidarity with Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooten. If not you then who?

With many thanks to: The C2 for the original posting.

Please sign this petition to free two INNOCENT men convicted of a crime they could never have committed over 7500 people have added their signatures will you join us and be 7501?

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

BOOK LAUNCH, CRAIGAVON 2, JFTC2, Craigavon 2 Booklet Launch.

#JFTC2 with news of booklet launch on Friday, May 12th, 2017 in Craigavon.

#JFTC2 with news of booklet launch on Friday, May 12th, 2017 in Craigavon.

With many thanks to: Anthony McIntyre and The Pensive Quill for the original posting.