Man arrested over shots fired in INLA killer McElkerney gun salute released without charge

Social media footage showed a masked man wearing a white shirt and black tie discharging several rounds

Shots are fired in west Belfast in honour of INLA leader Martin McElkerney

A man arrested after shots were fired in a gun salute for the INLA killer Martin McElkerney has been released.

Social media footage circulated on Monday night showing a masked man wearing a white shirt and black tie discharging several rounds skywards.

The gunman was surrounded by others similarly dressed and wearing balaclavas. One of the men held a picture of INLA man Martin McElkerney.

It has been reported it happened outside Mr McElkerney’s house and during his wake in Ross Street in the Divis area. Following the volley of shots onlookers were heard cheering and applauding.

On Friday night police arrested a 35-year-old man under the Terrorism Act in Newtownabbey. He was held on suspicion of membership of a proscribed organisation and questioned in the Serious Crime Suite at Musgrave Police Station in Belfast.

“The investigation into this incident is ongoing and Police continue to appeal to anyone with information to contact police on 101 or alternatively, information can be provided anonymously by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111,” police said in a statement.

The man was later released unconditionally on Saturday afternoon. Those held under the Terrorism Act can not be released on police bail they can only be charged or released.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Jonathan Bell for the original story

Read More:
Sinn Fein MLAs Kelly and Ni Chuilin attend funeral of INLA child killer McElkerney
PSNI to scrutinise footage of INLA killer McElkerney’s funeral

INLA killer’s funeral told he helped find Disappeared vitim

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‘Key role’ in recovery

Mr Seamus Ruddy, who was one of the disappeared secretly buried by the INLA in France 2017

of murdered Ruddy’s remains

FORMER INLA prisoner Martin McElkerney “played a key role in the recovery of the remains of Disappeared victim Seamus Ruddy, mourners have been told. Several thousand people lined the streets of West Belfast’s Divis area yesterday as the coffin, draped in a Starry Plough Flag and flanked by a colour party of masked men, made its way to St Peter’s Cathedral.

Following Requiem Mass the cortège walked the three miles to Milltown Cemetery, where a much smaller gathering heard tributes. Among those to address the crowd was Strabane Republican Willie Gallagher, who said McElkerney “held senior positions” in the Republican Socialist Movement throughout his life.

Willie Gallagher, Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP),He said he had been willing to take on any any task and “despite medical difficulties at the time, stepped forward and helped bring closure to the Ruddy family – ending a sad chapter for us all”.

He said he had been willing to take on any task and ” despite medical difficulties at the time, stepped forward and helped bring closure to the Ruddy family – ending a sad chapter for us all”. The remains of Seamus Ruddy (32), from Newry, we’re found at Pont-de-l’Arche, near Rouen in northern France in May 2017.

He had been abducted in Paris in 1985 where he had been living with his partner and was murdered and secretly buried. It is believed he was murdered amid a dispute with INLA members about an arms dump. The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains eventually recovered Mr Ruddy’s remains following information provided by the INLA. McElkerney died in hospital last Friday following a shooting incident in Milltown Cemetery.

He was sentenced to three life terms for his part in an INLA bombing that killed Kevin Valliday (11), Stephen Bennett (14) and Lance Bombardier Kevin Waller (20) at the Divis Flats complex in West Belfast in 1982 and was released from prison in 2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Fr Gary Donegan told mourners that McElkerney “became aware that the choices he made in life had significant and lasting consequences for others, including his family”.

Criticism of ‘show of strength’ as thousands attend

Fr Gary Donegan, who is a friend of the family, said the ” loss of many friends in the conflict had a profound influence on Martin’s decision to get directly involved in what is euphemistically referred to as ‘the Troubles’.

“Those were sad and difficult times, and are hardly recognisable 21 years after the Good Friday Agreement which saw Martin released from Long Kesh after a decade and a half of incarceration. “Martin became aware that the choices he made in life had significant and lasting consequences for others, including his family.

“Following Martin’s death his organs were donated so that others might have life.” Among the mourners we’re representives from various Republican political groups. One of 13 children, Martin McElkerney’s family are well known in West Belfast, with Fr Donegan,

Fr Gary Donegan, pictured here in Ardoyne

pictured, paying tribute to his mother Eileen. “To witness the love of Eileen for her son Martin, and then to realise that God’s love is much greater, how can we not be in awe of God’s mercy in this sacred place that is St Peter’s,” he said. Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly, who is a brother-in-law of the deceased, attended the funeral and was joined by party colleague Carál Ní Chuilín.

MLA Carál Ní Chuilín attended the funeral along with Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly

After Requiem Mass the coffin, draped in a Starry Plough flag with a baret and gloves on top and flanked by an INLA colour party – some of whom wore masks – made its way the three miles from Albert Street to Milltown Cemetery. It stopped several times, including outside Costello House, the Falls Road headquarters of the IRSP, with whom McElkerney played a senior role right up until his death.

Police Land Rovers filmed the procession from a distance and a spotter plane, rarely used in the North of Ireland, circled overhead throughout the funeral. As the cortège reached Milltown a lone Piper played music before members of the IRSP gathered for a short oration at the INLA plot. By this stage the number of mourners had reduced to several hundred.

McElkerney was sentenced to three life terms for his part in an INLA bomb that killed Kevin Valliday (11), Stephen Bennett (14) and Lance Bombardier Kevin Waller (20) at the Divis Flats complex in West Belfast in 1982. During the hunger strike years of the 1980’s. Willie Gallagher (pictured above) of the IRSP addressed mourners and criticised media coverage of his friend’s death, saying that far from being isolated he was surrounded by family and friends.

He also said there was not enough support for those struggling in a society transitioning out of conflict. Superintendent Lorraine Dobson on Thursday night said police had “a proportionate operation in place today which included the use of evidence gathering equipment”. “All evidence will now be reviewed by specialist officers and any offences detected will be investigated”.

On Monday a masked man fired a volly of shots in the air from an automatic rifle as McElkerney’s body was returned to his home in the Divis area of Belfast. A guard of honour was also formed in the street outside his home. Unionists have called for investigations into both the shooting and the funeral display, saying it appeared to be a “sinister show of strength”.

Ulster Unionist Party MLA Doug Beattie said: “You have to wonder if there is something else going on here and is this group sending a message that they are still here and still able to bring large numbers of people onto the streets.

“If this organisation is on ceasefire why are young men in the colour party? “There is clearly recruitment going on and that is very worrying. “I’ve written to both the Secretary of State (who won’t be in a job for very much longer) 😄😄😊 and the Chief Constable to ask for another updated security assessment of where these groups are in terms of activity.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Allison Morris (Security Correspondent) for the original story

Follow these links to find out more: https://seachranaidhe1.blog/2019/05/24/disappeared-victim-seamus-ruddys-funeral-takes-place/

(2) -: https://www.psni.police.uk/my-area/all-districts/belfast-city/

(3) -: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=697436330713188&id=1146451845485869

Shots fired at wake of former INLA prisoner Martin McElkerney

Masked gunmen fire a volly of shots outside the home of IN LA man Martin McElkerney who died last week after a shooting incident in Milltown Cemetery. Picture: Cliff Donaldson.

Shots were fired outside the wake house of former INLA prisoner Martin McElkerney last night.

Six masked men emerged, with one man holding a picture of McElkerney and another man armed with an assault rifle.

He fired two single shots, followed by a volley, into the air. It was greeted by cheers and applause from onlookers in Ross Street in the Divis area of west Belfast.

The shots were fired shortly after a police helicopter, which had been circling the area, had left.

Masked gunmen fire a volley of shots outside the home of INLA man Martin McElkerney who died last week after a shooting incident in Milltown cemetery. Picture: Cliff Donaldson.

Earlier, an estimated 30 men with their faces covered stood to attention at either side of the coffin draped in the tricolour as McElkerney’s remains returned home.

Around 50 other men, dressed in white shirts and black ties, also formed up and saluted outside his home.

McElkerney’s funeral will take place on Thursday, leaving his home for Requiem Mass at St Peter’s Cathedral at 11am.

The 57-year-old took his own life in a shooting at the republican plot at Milltown cemetery last week.

The Funeral of Martin McElkerney on the way ito his home in West Belfast

McElkerney was jailed following the death of Kevin Valliday (11), Stephen Bennett (14) and Lance Bombardier Kevin Waller (20) in an INLA bomb at the Divis Flats complex in west Belfast in 1982.

He was later released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

SDLP councillor Brian Heading said those involved in the shooting display “have no right to impose this upon our communities”.

The remains of Martin McElkerney return to his home

“The practice of firing shots in a built up area, whether as a ‘show of strength’ or ‘mark of respect’ has no place in our society, not now, not ever,” he said.

The Funeral of Martin McElkerney on the into his home in West Belfast.
Martin McElkerney

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Connla Young for the original story

One person in hospital following incident at Belfast City Cemetery

Police at the scene of an incident in Milltown Cemetery, West Belfast on May 16th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for the Belfast Telegraph)

One person is in hospital following an incident at Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast.

A Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Spokesman said: “We received a call at 1.53pm and attended the scene following a report of an incident at Milltown Cemetery.

“We dispatched two emergency crews to the scene. The Charity Air Ambulance and HEMS team also attended.

“One person was transported to Royal Victoria Hospital.”

Milltown Cemetery has been closed off while the incident is dealt with.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police are currently in attendance of an incident at the Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast this afternoon.

“There are no further details at this stage.”

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With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the original story

INLA killer Martin McElkerney critically injured at Belfast cemetery

Martin McElkerney was found critically injured at Milltown Cemetery on Thursday. Image copyright © PACEMAKER

A man convicted of killing two children and a soldier in a republican bomb attack is in a critical condition after a shooting in a west Belfast cemetery.

Martin McElkerney, who is 57, was sentenced to life in prison over the bombing at the Divis Flats in 1982.

Kevin Valliday, 11, and 14-year-old Stephen Bennett, were killed along with soldier Kevin Waller, who was 20.

McElkerney was found critically injured at Milltown Cemetery on Thursday.

Who are the INLA?
It has been reported that he had a gunshot injury to the head.

“A man was taken to hospital following the incident and remains in a critical condition,” said a police statement.

“A suspected firearm has been recovered from the scene and at this stage police are not seeking any other persons in relation to the incident.”

McElkerney was sentenced over the bomb attack in 1987 and released in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

He was among four former INLA prisoners at a press conference in February 2010 announcing that the paramilitary group had disposed of its weapons.

The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) is believed to have been behind 120 murders during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

In 1979, it used a car bomb to murder Tory MP Airey Neave at the House of Commons.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story

INLA child killer McElkerney dies after Belfast cemetery shooting

Bomber who killed children dies from gunshot at republican cemetery plot

Police at Milltown Cemetery

A triple killer died of his injuries in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital after being discovered with gunshot wounds at the republican plot in Milltown Cemetery yesterday afternoon.

The dead man was named locally as former INLA prisoner Martin McElkerney. Police have said they are not searching for anyone else in connection with the incident.

The Air Ambulance was scrambled to the scene of the shooting just yards from the busy Kennedy Centre on Thursday afternoon.

Last night the site where the shooting happened at the west Belfast cemetery was guarded by PSNI vehicles.

Investigating officers wearing protective masks carried out a fingertip search among the headstones – with one officer seen carrying a mobile phone which had been placed into a protective plastic envelope.

Close by, a republican Starry Plough banner fluttered on its flagstaff.

A Northern Ireland Ambulance Service spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph: “We received a call at 1.53pm and attended the scene following a report of an incident at Milltown Cemetery.

“We dispatched two emergency crews to the scene. The Charity Air Ambulance and HEMS team also attended.

“One person was transported to Royal Victoria Hospital.”

West Belfast man Martin McElkerney was jailed in 1987 for his role in a 1982 booby-trap explosion which killed two local schoolboys and a soldier.

McElkerney was identified in court as the look-out for the INLA bomber who planted the device at Divis Flats in 1982.

Schoolboy Kevin Valliday (11), his friend Stephen Bennet (14) and 20-year-old Lance Bombardier Kevin Waller all died as a result of the blast.

Lance Bombardier Waller, who served with the Royal Artillery Regiment, died of his injuries four days after the booby-trap explosion, just hours after the funeral of Kevin Valliday, who had died from his wounds the day after the blast.

Another soldier received life-changing injuries as a result of the Divis Flats bomb.

The inquest was told that the device had been detonated by someone who could not see the walkway where the soldiers were patrolling.

Lost Lives, which catalogued the thousands of deaths during the Troubles, said the Divis bombing sparked an outpouring of anger in west Belfast.

More than 200 people marched in protest to the Irish Republican Socialist Party headquarters on the Falls Road “where they left a note on the door accusing the INLA and IRSP of having ‘the blood of our children on your hands’,” the book records.

In 1987, Mr McElkerney was given three life sentences for his role in the bombing.

He was released in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr McElkerney was also among four former INLA prisoners pictured at a press conference in February 2010 announcing that the left-wing paramilitary group had disposed of its weapons.

It’s believed that the INLA was responsible for more than 120 deaths during the Troubles.

Lost Lives records that 44 of its members were themselves killed during the conflict.

In a statement issued yesterday, the PSNI said: “Police are currently in attendance at an incident at the Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast this afternoon.

“There are no further details at this stage.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Steven Alexander for the original story.

FRESH ARRESTS OVER INLA MURDER OF DRUG BARON JIM DONEGAN

Jim Donegan was murdered outside his sons school gates in West Belfast last December

THE PSNI say detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team probing the INLA murder of wealthy drug baron Jim Donegan have made two further arrests.

Two men – aged – 53 and 39 – have been arrested at Musgrave Police Station this morning under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act by MIT detectives investigating the murder last year.

Both men remain in custody at present.

Donegan, who was 43, was murdered as he sat in his car outside a school on the Glen Road in West Belfast on December 4, 2018.

A lone gunman, wearing a baseball cap and hi-vis jacket approached his flame red Porsche Panamera car and fire eight shots into his head and upper body.

CCTV footage captured the gunman running away from the scene carrying a black rucksack over his shoulder.

Detectives revealed on BBC Crimewatch Roadshow programme last month that they believed the INLA had been trying to murder Donegan for days prior to the assassination.

BBC 1 viewers watched fresh CCTV footage of the killer in the vicinity of the Glen Road on November 29, 2018 – just five days before the murder took place.

The killer is seen wearing a high vis vest, carrying a black bag over his shoulder and mingling among school children.

Police believe he is the same terrorist who shot dead the 43-year-old as he sat in his flame-read Porsche Panamera car on December 4, 2018 as he waited to pick up his son from a local school.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery said:

“This is CCTV footage from 29 November and I believe this is the same person who murdered Jim,” said DCI Montgomery.

“He waits for 20 minutes amongst the schoolchildren, waiting for Jim to arrive to pick up his son.

“I believe if Jim had arrived there to pick up his son that day, he would have been murdered [that day].”

The hitman mingles among school children on November 29th last year waiting for Jim Donegan to arrive in his Porsche Panamera car to pick up his son

Asked who he believed carried out the murder, DCI Montgomery of the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team said it was republican paramilitaries, namely the INLA.

DCI Montgomery described the gunman as in his late 30s or early 40s, who possibly walked with a limp and may have an underlying medical condition.

The cold blooded execution was carried out by a lone gunman in front of hundreds of innocent school children and their parents.

The gun used in the assassination – believed to have been a handgun – has not yet been recovered.

DCI Montgomery said:

Jim Donegan was shot eight times as he sat in his flame red Porsche Panamera car last December in West Belfast

“I have made a number of appeals to the public for information, issued CCTV footage and an evofit of the suspect since the lone gunman shot Mr Donegan just as hundreds of children were pouring out of the three schools – many of them witnessing the murder of the 43 year old father of two.

“Jim’s son was spared from this thankfully but only by a few seconds.

“I would continue to urge anyone who has any information, or who witnessed the murder, to contact the police on 101.

“Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Police released an Evofit of suspected gunman who shot dead Jim Donegan

 

A number of men were arrested under the Terrorism Act over the murder but were later released unconditionally.

With many thanks to: Belfast Daily for the original story

 

On the 30th March 2006, the Irish Republican Socialist Party received the following statement and photograph (sent to media) from Irish National Liberation Army:

“The Derry Brigade of the Irish National Liberation Army can confirm that our volunteers were this week involved in an operation to smash a North-West based crime gang concerned with the supply and distribution of Class-A drugs. During this operation volunteers recovered a substantial amount of cocaine estimated to be worth thousands of pounds. These drugs were then handed in to a priest in St. Joseph’s parish in Galliagh last night.

“The Irish National Liberation Army view the sale and distribution of these dangerous and highly addictive drugs with serious concern and we take this opportunity to warn all others involved in this trade to come forward and make themselves available to any member of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement.

“The Irish National Liberation Army will not allow the working class people of this city to be used as cannon fodder by these criminals whose only concern is profit by whatever means available to them.”

As well as the action in Derry the Irish National Liberation Army in Strabane also disrupted a crime gang involved in the drugs trade. Another statement was received by the Irish Republican Socialist Party:

“A criminal gang operating in the North West was last night dismantled by a unit from the North-West Brigade of the Irish National Liberation Army and have been ordered to desist from all criminal activity or face a military response. This particular gang which is headed up by a well known career criminal have in the past been involved in robberies, house break-ins, assaults and have more recently moved in to the drugs trade. It came to our attention that this gang was selling drugs to children after the mother of a 15 year old school girl informed the Irish National Liberation Army that her daughter and friends of similar age were taking ecstasy tablets. Last night a number of these gang members were arrested by one of our units and confiscated almost one thousand suspected ecstasy tablets and were instructed to pass them on to Teach Na Failte representatives for destruction. Teach Na Failte have since handed these drugs over to the Drugs and Alcohol Awareness Project group in Strabane, in the presence of local press, for destruction. We would like to take this opportunity to warn those in the drug trade that they face a military response if they continue to target children in particular for drug use.”

An IRSP spokesperson responding to the latest developments congratulated the Irish National Liberation Army for their actions but cautioned that they are not a police force but will take action where necessary to protect working class communities from drugs and other forms of criminality.

With many thanks to: The History of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

On March 30th 1979, The Irish National Liberation Army struck at the very heart of British Imperialism

When they executed the right wing Tory warlord Airey Neave in a car bomb. His car exploded as he drove out of the House of Commons underground car park, in Westminster.

Mr Neave, aged 63, was one of Mrs Thatcher’s closest advisers.

With many thanks to: The History of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement