Scottish Tory tables motion for release of PIRA murder files

Three Scottish soldiers executed in Belfast by the PIRA in 1971. From left: Joseph McCaig, Dougald McCaughey and John McCaig.

A conservative member of the Scottish assembly is pressing Holyrood to give its full backing to a campaign for justice for three soldiers murdered by the IRA in Belfast. Dougald McCaughey, 23, John McCaig, 17, and Joseph McCaig, 18, were enjoying drinks in a Belfast bar while off duty in 1971. IRA men then lured them to their deaths on the pretext of meeting girls at a part in what became known as the honey-trap murders. Relatives of the soldiers have launched a civil action to seek justice against their killers. Scottish National Party MSP John Mason made disparaging remarks about the campaign in 2017, forcing his party leader first minister Nicola Spurgeon to write an apology to the families. However she failed to give them the backing they wanted in pressing for the release of police files on the original investigation, prompting condemnation from the Scottish Conservative Party. Now Scottish MSP Maurice Corry has tabled a motion which he hopes will bring the full weight of the Scottish Assembly behind the campaign. “The work of campaigns like the Three Scottish Soldiers Justice Campaign, clearly demonstrate the desire of the families and friends to have closure following the murders of their loved in Northern Ireland,” he said. “In some cases, families have been waiting for decades to find out the truth about what happened & that’s not right.

Now is the time for everyone to come together and do what they can to recognise the pain and suffering of the families and help bring them closure which is why I have brought my motion forward and will seek a debate in The Scottish Parliament to help highlight the issue.” Kris McGurk, Director, Three Scottish Soldiers Campaign for Justice, said that if enough cross party signatures can be secured it will result in a debate and possibly the full backing of the Scottish assembly. “I am extremely confident we can achieve this,” he said. He understands that the PSNI passed all their files on the murders to the Metropolitan Police in October, to vet them for national security issues. “If the Scottish Parliament backs our campaign for the release of the files it will allow us to know the full range of evidence available and how best we should proceed in our legal case,” he said. “After all, if your own government does not understand why this is so important to us then what hope have you got?” “I am extremely thankful to Maurice Corry MSP.”

The guy lying on top of me said ‘just pretend you’re dead’ In October 1975 Mary Hannon-Fletcher was left paralysed after she was shot by a sectarian gang who opened fire on her and a companion as they walked home along the Grosvenor Road in Belfast.

With many thanks to the: News Letter for the origional story.

Read more at: https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/scottish-tory-tables-motion-for-release-of-ira-murder-files-1-8328573

British soldier being pointed at for firing shoot killing pregnant teen in 1972 shooting.

Richard Brown( on the right),brother of Marian Brown,leaves her inquest yesterday along with other family members and their Solicitor(second on the left).

THE FINGER is being pointed at the British Army for the shooting of a pregnant teenager shot dead in 1972.

British troops intimidate Catholic residents during Internment.

A new inquest into the fatal shooting of a teenage girl in disputed circumstances more than 40 years ago has heard that a bullet fragment recovered from a man injured in the same incident was consistent with the type used by soldiers.

THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTHERN IRELAND, 1969 – 2007 (TR 32956) 2nd Lieutenant Robin Martin and Rifleman Andy Walker of 1st Royal Green Jackets man a barbed wire street barricade in Belfast during the Battalion’s first tour of duty in Northern Ireland. The tour lasted from 20 August – 18 December 1969. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205189943

Marian Brown (17), of Stanhope Drive in Belfast, died just after kissing her boyfriend goodnight on Roden Street just after midnight on June 12, 1972.

Marian Brown, British Army suspected of murdering. In Belfast in 1972.

She was hit by several shots, but the fatal one was to her neck. At least three others were injured in the same incident.

Just minutes before she died, Marian and her boyfriend Thomas Corrigan had told her mother that she was pregnant and that they were planning to get married. She had been walking from her mother’s house on Stanhope Street with her sister Teresa to her house when she was shot.

More information on Marian Brown.

The family of the west Belfast teen, who worked as a stitcher, initially believed she had been murdered by loyalists. But now a fresh inquest into her death is examining claims she was shot by soldiers.

The first day heard that the inquest has received information from a number of witnesses – some who reported hearing rapid machine gun fire, which would be consistent with the Thompson submachine gun known to be used by the IRA at that time, while others heard single shots, which would be consistent with the SLR weapon which was used by soldiers at that time.

Marian’s sister Teresa described seeing shadowy figures moving around the Donegall Road side of the street at the time of the shooting – who were assumed to be loyalist gunmen.

Eye-witness David Clarke told the inquest the area had been turbulent following the relocation of many Protestants from one side of Roden Street to the other, and the burning of homes.

On the night of Marian’s death, eight soldiers had been in the area on foot patrol.

Several of them are set to give evidence to the inquest which will include that they saw gunmen.

Retired Forensic Scientist Leo Rossi described a bullet fragment retrieved from Robert Wilson, who survived the incident, as being of the type used by soldiers at that time. He examined the fragment in 2010 following a request by the HET.

He said it was a 7.62 x 51mm bullet, of the type that was discharged by weapons which were used by the army in 1972.

However, he also said he had no evidence to prove the bullet the fragment was from had been fired by the MoD. Other weapons also used this type of bullet.

During this section of evidence, 7.62 bullets and also .45 bullets were shown to the court, as well as an SLR and a Thompson submachine gun.

Earlier on Monday, Marian’s older brother Richard was emotional as he described the impact on his family.

He told the inquest that they had been told nothing until the first inquest took place in 1974.

He also had to identify his sister’s body twice after the paperwork was lost following the first identification.

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

Letter from the Craigavon Two, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton.

John Paul Wotton (left) and Brendan McConville (right), two innocent men convicted for a crime they ‘did not commit’ British Scape-Goats, serving the rest of their lives in an English Prison because (simply their Irish) and someone had to pay !!!

Hello, We the Craigavon Two as we have become known, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton are to begin our appeal against our life sentence convictions for the killing of PSNI member Stephen Carroll.

We have consistently maintained our innocence and we believe as do others that the case against us represents a serious miscarriage of justice,we were tried in exceptional circumstances under the old and seriously flawed Diplock process, a hangover from the long conflict here, this system deprived us of a trial by a jury of our peers, instead a single judge presided over and convicted us.

The entire case against us was circumstantial and we believe seriously flawed, large tracts of evidence was hidden from us and the public, claiming national security. Public interest immunity certificates prevented our defence from properly investigating the evidence and cross examining witnesses vital to our defence case, in effect we were left with one arm tied behind our backs.

We do not believe this represents clear and transparent justice. A number of groups and individuals after reading into our case have expressed sufficient concern that many have stated publicly they will be attending the appeal process to provide independent oversight.

Our appeal starts on Monday (29,4,13) we the Craigavon Two, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton call on you, the public to observe the appeal process, this warped version of justice is being administered in your name.

And we ask you to look past the sensationalist headlines and look at the cold hard facts of this case, your voice matters, do not let this miscarriage of justice continue in your name.

The Craigavon Two
Brendan McConville & John Paul Wootton
Maghaberry Gaol
26/04/2017
Sent on behalf of Brendan and John Paul
by the JFTC2 group.

With thanks to: Kevin Kinsella