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May – 18 – 2011
…THE INQUEST into the killing by the SAS of Martin McCaughey and Dessie Grew in October 1990 must fully and thoroughly investigate allegations of a shoot-to-kill operation by the SAS, the Supreme Court ruled today.
Solicitors Madden & Finucane described it as “a major victory” for the men’s families.
The Supreme Court, by a majority of 6 to 1, has now ruled that the families can rely upon their Article 2 rights which means that the inquest must not only investigate whether individual soldiers acted unlawfully in shooting Martin McCaughey and Dessie Grew but must also fully and thoroughly investigate allegations of a shoot-to-kill operation by the SAS.
Fearghal Shiels of Madden & Finucane, Solicitors, which successfully brought the case on behalf of both families, said:
This decision represents a major victory for the families, not just in this case but in other historic inquests in which the state is implicated. It means that where allegations of a shoot-to-kill policy have been made these must be thoroughly investigated by the coroner.
The families of Gervaise McKerr, Eugene Toman and Seán Burns, whose deaths were investigated by the Stalker/Sampson team, will benefit from this far-reaching ruling as will many others.
Peter McCaughey, Martin McCaughey’s brother, speaking on behalf of his mother, the applicant in these proceedings, welcomed the decision:
Our family have always believed that our brother Martin was deliberately targeted and murdered by members of the SAS.
We have waited over 20 years for an inquest into Martin’s death and at last we will have an inquest which investigates not only whether individual soldiers unlawfully killed my brother but whether the SAS deliberately set out to kill Martin and Dessie Grew.
We hope now that any restrictions on the scope of the coroner’s investigation have been lifted that we will finally get justice for Martin and Dessie.
This is the second time the family of Martin McCaughey has successfully brought an important legal challenge against the PSNI in relation to inquests.
In March 2007, the House of Lords ruled that the PSNI Chief Constable was obliged to provide all documentation touching the deaths of the deceased to the coroner investigating the deaths. This ruling provided the catalyst to the senior coroner reopening the inquests into the deaths of Gervaise McKerr, Eugene Toman and Seán Burns, and to the Attorney General ordering fresh inquests in 2010 into the deaths of Danny Doherty and Francis Bradley, shot dead by the SAS in separate incidents in County Derry in the 1980s; and Gerard Casey, shot dead by loyalists in north Antrim in 1989.See more
Reports have been coming out of maghaberry prison, that the riot squad entered Harry Fitzsimons cell for reasons unknown. They physically assaulted him an he’s a suspected broken wrist an requires medical attention, will keep you updated as we’re waitin more details from the gaol. It has been confirmed by Republican P.O.W‘S from inside Maghaberry Prison that Harry Fitzsimons has received a severe beating by the Prison Riot squad. They went into his prison Cell early this morning, holding their hands over his nose and mouth to stop his breathing, punching his face they broke his glasses and he has cuts to his face. They tried to break his nose, one prisoner said he was unrecognisable. Reports coming out suggest he has a broken wrist and ribs due to the severe punching to his body, then they brutally ripped every stich of clothing from his body leaving him naked lying on the floor.
MORE UPDATES WILL FOLLOW WHEN WE KNOW MORE…………..
SPEAKING from his prison cell, convicted IRA man Gerry McGeough has launched a verbal attack on Democratic Unionist politicians who he claims have ‘demonised’ him in comments published in the Tyrone Times.
In his first interview since being jailed last month for the attempted murder of a part-time UDR soldier thirty years ago, Mr McGeough also complained that he had been jailed to ensure he did not stand in the Northern Ireland Assembly and local council elections.
Sounding upbeat on the telephone, he said that he had been overwhelmed by the supportive messages that have flooded in from all over the world.
While his imprisonment has been hard on his young family, they have been surrounded by well-wishers from both sides of the community, he added.
“In particular I would like to thank my Protestant neighbours, who in their quiet and discreet way have shown their support for my family”, he said.
“My wife and children are finding it tough at the moment. I applied for leave to attend my son’s First Communion but it was refused, which I thought was petty and vindictive.
“It broke his heart to hear that I would not be attending.
“I believe that unionist politicians are projecting all their IRA demons upon me, because they are sharing power with former members of that organisation and are unable to vent their grievances.
“In addition, I took a stand against anti-Catholic advertisements that appeared in the local press and I have been punished because of this.
“Everyone knows I was railroaded into jail to prevent me from standing in the elections. It was an unsafe conviction which relies on flimsy evidence, mainly a piece of fiction I wrote many years ago.
“If the same standards were applied to other authors then Agatha Christie would have been made to serve several life sentences.
“I am confident that in time the decision will be overturned.
“I have a huge volume of support in the local community and believe I may have taken a seat in the Blackwater Ward.”
Mr McGeough said that the same unionist politicians who have been attacking his character had been happy to sit next to him at cross-community events and had in fact praised him for his cross-community work.
“There is no consistency in their attacks and I believe they are guilty of hypocrisy.
“This is all part of a sectarian campaign against me.”
Since its inception in 1996, Michael Collins Pipes & Drums has grown to a corps of over fifty talented musicians from all walks of life — each with a love of playing traditional Irish pipe music. With a mission of learning and playing great Celtic music and entertaining the public, the band performs often for regional events, including the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Denver (one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the nation); various regional parades; Colorado Avalanche games; Denver Nuggets games; and numerous other civic and charitable events. Also a competitive band, the award-winning Michael Collins Pipes & Drums is a Grade IV member of the Western United States Pipe Band Association, and successfully competes throughout the region in parades and Highland games.
The gifted men and women of Michael Collins Pipes & Drums are proudly led by our distinguished officers: Pipe Major, Jay Leasure; Pipe Sergeant & Music Director, Molly Roberts; Drum Major, David Bonham; Drum Sergeant, John Moruzzi; Color Guard Corporal, Ken Hannon Larson; and Chieftain, James Murphy.
Award-winning Pipe Major, Jay Leasure received his first set of Bagpipes from his father on a visit to Scotland at the age of 5. In 1980 Jay began to play seriously when he joined the El Jebel Shrine Pipe Band as a student piper. Within 7 years, he had become their Pipe Major. Jay continued to study under Brian Hughes and Gordon Speirs. He played with Isle of Mull Pipe Band as well as the Colorado Irish Pipes and Drums. In 1996, Jay led El Jebel Shrine Pipe Band to second place in the national Shrine Piping competition. Pursuing his love for Irish music, Jay helped found Michael Collins Pipes & Drums in 1996.
Pipe Sergeant & Music Director
A lifelong musician, Molly took up the bagpipes in the mid-1990s. She has served as Head Piping Instructor and Pipe Major for several bands. With these bands and as a soloist, Molly competed in the U.S., Canada, and at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Under the tutelage and mentorship of world class soloist, John Cairns, Molly works hard to continually improve her own playing and teaching. As the MCPD Musical Director, Molly is dedicated to not only developing skill with and passion for the wonderful art of playing in a pipe band, but also creating a deep connection between the pipe corps and the percussion section — the heartbeat of the band.
David is an award-winning Drum Major and Highland Dancer who has long been involved in the local Celtic community. David was member of the El Jebel Shrine Pipe Band for 19 years where he served as Drum Major, Treasurer, Secretary and Chieftain. David also served as Drum Major and Performance Coordinator for the Clan of the Isles (P.O.G.) Band until 1996, when he was instrumental in the formation of the Michael Collins Pipes & Drums. David currently serves as Senior Drum Major at many Scottish & Irish Highland Games.
John’s passion for drumming dates back to 1984, when he received his first snare. His diverse drumming experience includes marching, concert, jazz, and rock; and now, Scottish drumming. John was lead-tip in his high school marching band; and afterward, he was employed as drum instructor for his former high school, as well as the all-city junior high school marching band, writing all of their drum scores and cadences. John joined MCPB as his first pipe band in the spring of 2009, after being a devout fan of the band for many years.
Color Guard Corporal
Ken Hannon Larson
Ken is an original founding member and current President of the worldwide genealogical Irish clann, Clann Ó hAnnáin / O’Hannon. He is currently a director on the board of Irish Network Colorado involved with organizing cultural events. Ken is also a dual citizen of the United States and the Republic of Ireland. He is also a past director on the board of the Colorado Irish Festival. Currently, he is also the Editor of the “Teach Tábhairne Fógra” newsletter. His passion for flags dates back to his early years as a child on Long Island, New York. Ken has been a flag bearer for MCPB since 2006, and in 2011 he formed the MCPB Color Guard.
James has always loved pipe music, especially Irish pipe music. He began his piping career in 1981, with the New York City Police Department Emerald Society, after seeing a flyer advertising bagpipe lessons from the Emerald Society. After retiring from the New York City Police Department, James moved to Colorado and feared he had left his Irish culture behind. Fortunately, James discovered the rich Irish culture in Denver, and played with the Colorado Irish Pipe Band for several years. In 1996, the Michael Collins Pipe Band was formed and James joined a mere two weeks after the formation of the band.