Mother of Óglach Pearce Jordan murdered by the RUC fails in bid to quash inquest verdict

MURDERED: Pearse Jordan

The mother of an IRA man shot dead by police has failed in a new legal bid to have the inquest verdict quashed.

Teresa Jordan claimed the coroner was wrong in finding it impossible to determine with certainty what happened when her son Pearse was killed by an RUC officer 26 years ago.

But judges in the Court of Appeal rejected arguments that a failure to decide on central issues surrounding the lawfulness of the shooting in west Belfast amounted to an abdication of responsibility.

Lord Justice Stephens said: “We are satisfied that the coroner demonstrated that he had striven hard to make a finding about the various issues and that he had explained the basis for his conclusion that it was not possible for him to do do.”

The ruling represents a further blow for the family’s attempts to secure another examination into the circumstances surrounding a shooting they believe was unjustified.

Pearse Jordan’s death was one of several high-profile cases in Northern Ireland involving allegations the RUC were involved in shoot-to-kill incidents.

The 22-year-old had been driving a hijacked car stopped by police in an anti-terrorist operation in November 1992.

He was shot after getting out on the Falls Road and trying to run away, unarmed.

In November 2016 the coroner overseeing a fresh inquest into the death said he was not convinced either by family claims that Jordan was gunned down in cold blood, or by police assertions that the RUC sergeant who opened fire acted in self-defence.

He held that the State had failed to prove the use of lethal force was lawful, but concluded that the precise circumstances of how the IRA man met his death remains unknown.

Teresa Jordan, mother of Pearse Jordan, pictured in 2009.

Mrs Jordan’s lawyers claimed the disputed issues of fact should have been resolved in the evidence.

Ballistic evidence was disregarded without evaluation or explanation, along with an alleged failure to apply the identified standard of proof to issues in the case, they contend.

Mrs Jordan was seeking a declaration that the inquest was unfair, unlawful and in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Last year, the High Court dismissed her case after counsel for the coroner insisted he had been best placed to reach conclusions about the facts and assess the credibility of witnesses during 16 days of evidence.

Appealing that ruling, her lawyers insisted there had been a legal obligation to make every effort to arrive at a conclusion.

They submitted that the reasons given by the coroner for his failure to reach a conclusion were insufficient.

However, the Court of Appeal held that there was a positive obligation to consider the “third possible outcome” of being unsure about what exactly occurred – provided reasons were given for being undecided.

Dismissing the case, Lord Justice Stephens confirmed: “We consider that there is no arguable case that he abdicated his duty in the conduct of this inquest.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the original posting.

‘Any Taig Will Do’. Courts Call Bullshit On Paramilitary Crime Task Force.

Tarlach MacDhónaill is scathing of a PSNI scam in West Belfast.

RUC/PSNI Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton.

Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton was once literally a ‘Bobby’, patrolling the Lower Falls area of West Belfast and getting to know, no doubt, all the main names of the ‘underground’ world in that district.

In all likelihood then, the well-groomed PSNI golden boy knew full well, that none of those arrested in his old stomping ground on September 30th, (one of whom was charged with possession of a large amount of Cocaine) had any connection to the Irish National Liberation Army.

Yet Bobby Singleton now leads the PSNI’s ‘Paramilitary Crime Task Force’ which has been granted £25 Million over the period of five years as part of the Fresh Start Agreement, such figures demand results or at least the perception of results.

In a bizarre sequence of events on Tuesday last, charges against three Belfast men of ‘Conspiracy to rob a Boojum burrito bar’ were shot out of the sky by a Judge at first hearing due to the absence of that most basic Judicial requirement called evidence. One of the three was then remanded on a separate charge of possessing Cocaine with intent to supply. £140 000 worth of Cocaine.

The Irish Republican Socialist Party then released a statement in which they stated their belief that the PSNI had concocted a ‘sham charge’ against all three men and in so doing had dragged “two unconnected individuals into the dock, alongside a person separately charged with possession of Cocaine”, all in an attempt to create the impression of a collective conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in West Belfast.

In a PSNI press statement released on the morning of the arrests, Singleton had claimed that his force had been involved in an operation ‘focused on the criminal activities of the Belfast INLA.’ It succeeded in creating banner headlines and no doubt gave large sections of the public the general impression that the Belfast INLA was somehow and somewhere involved in the supply of Class A drugs.

Such an allegation would have had an obvious negative impact on the IRSP in West Belfast. Some weeks earlier their activists had made the front page of the local Andersonstown News for smashing a Cocaine supply operation in the same Divis area in which the latest Drug find in question had occurred.

Within that article, concerned parents of several local youths (victims of a predatory West Belfast drugs ring) claimed to have turned to the IRSP for help as they had (in their own words) ‘absolutely no faith’ in the PSNI.

The IRSP clearly believe now that Bobby Singleton has attempted to smear Republican Socialism in the Divis area by wrongly implicating the INLA in the very activity that the party were claiming to successfully oppose in the absence of local support for the PSNI – Drug dealing.

Their theory holds (at the very least) as much credence as the conspiracy charges which Singleton unsuccessfully tried to put before Judge Fiona Bagnall during his now doomed operation. The pressure which his ‘Paramilitary Crime Task Force’ no doubt comes under to be seen ‘balance the books’ following months of high-profile actions against Loyalist paramilitaries, gives further weight to IRSP suggestions that in the absence of genuine Republican ‘Paramilitary Crime’, Bobby Singleton has instead taken an ‘Any Taig will do’ attitude towards the latest wave of arrests and raids on their members houses and offices. Indeed, what better Taigs to raise headlines with than suspected supporters of the INLA?

It was highly unusual, indeed unheard of for any Judge to summarily dismiss allegations of the PSNI in a remand hearing allegedly involving Anti-Good Friday Republican ‘Paramilitaries’. It may indeed be the first case of its kind since 1998.

Yet the PSNI, until now, have relied upon both a compliant judiciary and a compliant press to create and promote narratives that they wish to be accepted in the public eye, the IRSP’s rebuffing of Bobby Singleton’s grandiose claims is unlikely to attract any mainstream press interest whatsoever and the IRSP will no doubt suffer negative public perceptions as a result.

Bobby Singleton is aware of this uneven power dynamic. He (and MI5 who command the Police service of which he is a part) is also aware of the growing support which a rejuvenated IRSP are gaining in communities such as Divis and the Lower Falls, the product of a wave of local, national and international political activities which the party has recently undertaken in what can be described as a ‘Peace Process’ of their own liking.

This is not the first time that the ‘Paramilitary Crime Task Force’ has used such broad stroke tactics against the Republican Socialist Movement. During the past year in both Derry and Belfast, targets of seemingly Bona Fide Policing operations have been arrested and had their homes searched simultaneously to members of the IRSP, with following far stretched press releases enough to brand the operations in questions “Investigations into the Criminal activities of the INLA”.

A modus operandi is being firmly established as are twin aims, the undermining of a political movement which the state has hated since its inception and (Just as importantly for Bobby Singleton) the public perception of a crack down on Irish Republicans, as opposed to ‘just Loyalists’.

Had the individual arrested for possession of Class A drugs been charged and remanded alone, it would have been viewed publicly as just another drug arrest in West Belfast. Yet a few more Catholics in the back of police cars, along with the right type of press briefings, were all that were needed to make this a political publicity coup for the ‘Paramilitary Crime Task Force’.

All the usual pieces of the Jigsaw were in place for Bobby Singleton in this instance. Wth the headline already floated by the Press, all that was required was the rubber stamping of a Judge and the appearance of an INLA criminal clampdown would be complete. In most cases the PSNI can rely on such rubber stamps without question.

Unfortunately for Bobby Singleton, it appears that a feisty female Belfast Judge had other ideas and put the requirement for evidence before the prominence of one department’s financial and political agenda.

Bullshit was called on the political antics of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force, and now inevitable questions around abuses of power, abuse of public funds, possible sectarianism and blatant lies told to the West Belfast community, will increasingly come to the fore.

➽Tarlach MacDhónaill is an activist with the North Belfast IRSP.

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

 

 

RUC/PSNI POLICE STATION CUTS

Security guards being reduced to ONE at Dungannon RUC/PSNI Police base

SECURITY at Dungannon Police Station is to be reduced next month with the number of front gate security guards dropping to only one at any given time, it is claimed.

Dungannon RUC/PSNI Police Station

Fermanagh South Tyrone UUP MLA Rosemary Barton said there are currently two guards on duty at any one time, but the new situation could leave lone, unarmed security officers guarding the gates at Police Stations overnight.

“Prominent RUC/PSNI Police Stations like Dungannon, Cookstown, Enniskillen and Omagh will be reduced to just one civilian security officer at all times from the middle of next month, due to Tory and DUP cuts to the policing budget” she explained.

“The potential security implications are unthinkable and the morale depression for staff, I assume, has not been considered.” The UUP MLA understands that cuts have left the RUC/PSNI almost 1,ooo officers short of the Patten recommendations, the number of stations greatly reduced, and public access to officers “greatly diminished”.

Bye 👋👋👋👋😢😢😢😭😭😭😭

However this is ” another penny clinching exercise, which will come at a serious security risk” she added. Police Federation chairman Mark Lindsay (another unionist spokesperson) said the bottom line must be the security integrity of stations. “How that is handled, and the nature of the contacts that are agreed, are a matter for the RUC/PSNI. ”

However, in any contract, adequate weight has to be placed on contractor resilience and numbers (so long as they aren’t Catholics) of personal deployed to undertake the work (Protestant work for Protestant boys) no change there then? “Safety of officers is uppermost and nothing should be done that calls that into question. ” I appreciate there are budgetary constraints, but nothing should be done that weakens security (so keep the Catholics away and only give the jobs to loyalists) or undermines the quality of the services provided.” The RUC/PSNI said it does not comment on specific security arrangements.

With many thanks to the: Tyrone Courier 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

Police officer’s notebook lost in latest RUC/PSNI data breach

A PSNI officer’s name and notes of live criminal investigations are among the sensitive information contained in a lost notebook

A PSNI officer’s name and notes of live criminal investigations are among the sensitive information contained in a lost notebook.

The personal log also detailed of names and car registrations of republicans from west Belfast who had been `stopped and searched’ by the Paramilitary Crime Taskforce and the PSNI codenames for various crime force related operations.

It was lost in the first week of September during an operation into the activities of the breakaway South East Antrim UDA.

The notebook belonged to a female officer on the task force.

Police confirmed to the Irish News yesterday that the notebook was lost and that “enquiries have been conducted to identify any potential risk”.

Follow up searches have been carried out amid fears that loyalist paramilitary figures now have access to the notes, with information relating to the PSNI officer and private citizens.

A number of properties were searched with warrants stating the searches were in connection with `a police notebook’ and `unlawfully obtaining personal data’.

It is the second data breach linked to the PSNI this year, in July the Irish News reported that a pen drive containing information on private citizens and businesses was left in the back of a device returned to suspected loyalist paramilitaries.

The device had been removed as part of a police investigation into paramilitary activity and later returned with a pen drive that contained passwords and server addresses belonging to private citizens and companies.

The Police Ombudsman Office is still investigating the July data breach saying this week: “We are at an early stage in our enquiries and although to date we have found nothing to identify the police as the source of the information, we have a number of additional avenues to explore and people we would like to speak to.”

The Information Commissioner’s Office also said the July data breach was at “an extremely early stage in the process and our enquiries remain ongoing”.

The Paramilitary Crime Taskforce was launched in September 2017 and includes officers from the PSNI, the National Crime Agency and HM Revenue & Customs.

Plans to tackle paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland with a new task force were set out in the Fresh Start agreement almost two years ago.

In relation to the latest data breach Superintendent Brian Kee said: “PSNI can confirm that a police notebook was lost on September 3, 2018, possibly in the Ards area.

“Searches have been carried out and enquiries have been conducted to identify any potential risk. Investigations are ongoing.

“Police would ask anyone who has information or can assist in locating the notebook to contact them on 101.”

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

 

 

 

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16 September, 2018 01:00 NORTHERN IRELAND NEWS
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Civica to deliver new data – sharing platform to the RUC/PSNI

THE RUC/PSNI has appointed Civica Digital, a division within Civica Group, to deliver the force’s new data sharing platform for an initial five-year period.

Civica Digital a division within the Civica Group

The RUC/PSNI ran an extensive procurement exercise to find a partner to design, build, support and provide services for the future development of a robust criminal justice data sharing (CJDS) solution, which is due to go live in November 2019.

Civica has designed the new system to support information sharing between numerous sources, including the RUC’s/PSNI’s case management systems, Causeway (the NI criminal justice data store) and the Police National Computer (PNC), joining together multiple pre-existing systems into a single streamlined integrated solution.

Jeff McNamara, head of ICS at the PSNI, metting with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris former ex-RUC/PSNI deputy Chief Constable

The new data-sharing platform should lead to a better structured and controlled information flow between the police, the Public Prosecution Service, prison and forensic science services, speeding up day-to-day processes and reducing errors.

The system also includes a set of operational management and self-monitoring tools which will allow the RUC/PSNI to rapidly view, track and rectify issues as soon as they occur.

Jeff McNamara, head of ICS at the RUC/PSNI

Information held on the data sharing platform can be shared out via the PNC, linking data with the wider UK and European police data sharing platforms in one seamless transaction. Jeff McNamara, head of ICS at the PSNI said: “This new platform will streamline our processes and systems and drive more efficiency, and it is crucial at a time when budgets are continuously stretched, demands are becoming more complex and public expectations are changing.”

Mark Owens, Managing Director at Civica Digital Ireland

Mark Owens, (pictured above), managing director at Civica Digital Ireland, added: “This contract builds on our long-term partnership with the police service and follows a large body of work we’ve delivered through programmes such as NI Direct. We see it is a further endorsement of our strong digital credentials and presence in the region.” Civica Digital is a division of the Civica Group (www.civia.com).

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

This is Genevieve McGirr, she is the sister of an ex Sinn Féin councilor in South Armagh.

This particular member of the British crown force militia is the driving force behind hundreds of aggressive stop and searches of republicans in the Newry and south down areas. The fact that she comes from a nationalist community has not hindered her abuse of the nationalist community in south Down.

With many thanks to: E2 Republican Support Group Belfast for the original posting.

Follow this link to find out more and LIKE their FACEBOOK page: https://www.facebook.com/E2-Republican-Support-Group-Belfast-192992481392771/