IRA men were shot in the back by SAS soldiers

HET findings published as Haass talks break up without agreement -into ‘Shot-to-Kill’ policy’s in the North of Ireland.

TWO IRA men were shot in the back by SAS soldiers in Co Tyrone 30 years ago, a report has found. The families of Colm McGirr (23) and Brian Campbell (19) on Monday 30th December said they planned to sue the British government and wanted fresh inquests into their deaths.

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The news came as US diplomat Richard Haass failed to make the party’s in the North of Ireland come to an agreement on dealing with the past, parades and flags. Among the issues holding up the progress have been mechanisms for giving evidence to Historical inquires by bodies taking over the functions of the PSNI‘s/RUC‘s Historical Enquires Team (HET) and the Police Ombudsman. The fresh report into the Co Tyrone killings was carried out by a forensic pathologist for the HET. It appears to contradict accounts given by the undercover soldiers who claimed the pair were shot dead while pointing weapons towards them. Mr McGirr and Mr Campbell, who were members of the Provisional IRA, were murdered by the SAS in a  field on Cloghog Road near Coalisland, Co Tyrone, on December 4 1983. A third man was injured but escaped. Their deaths fuelled claims of a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy by the British government against IRA members.

Testimony from the soldiers had claimed that the men were removing weapons hidden in the field and on being challenged “Colm McGirr turned and pointed a shotgun towards one of the soldiers who then fired several shots at him”. Forensic pathologist Richard Shepherd reviewed the postmortem examination scene photographs and statements from four of the six soldiers prescent. He said he did “not believe Colm McGirr would have turned far enough to threaten soldiers” and “no shots had struck Brian Campbell from the front”. In his report, which the families have received, he concluded that because Mr McGirr was right handed, he did “not believe he would have turned far enough to threaten soldiers” if he was holding a weapon. “In my opinion therefore it is more likely that [Mr McGirr] received shots to his right side and back as he was facing into or towards the bush,” he said. The SAS also claimed one of the squad, known as Soldier A, then fired towards Brian Campbell who was holding an armalite rifle and had also turned and was facing them” However, Dr Shepherd concluded that “no shots had struck Brian Campbell form the front”. “I cannot exclude the possibility that the injury to the left upper back was inflicted as he lay on the ground,” he said, without ruling out the soldiers’ version of events in both cases. The IRA men’s families have now called for a fresh inquest into their deaths/murders. Solicitor Padraig O Muirigh, acting on behalf of the relatives said they would also take legal action against the British government.

“This report raises serious concerns in relation to the original soldiers’ statements,” he said. “In light of the disclosure of the Dr Shepherd’s report the families have made an application to the attorney general to direct a fresh inquest into the deaths/murders of Colm McGirr and Brian Campbell. “They will also be issuing civil proceedings against the minister of defence in relation to the unlawful actions of the soldiers.” Colm McGirr’s brother Brian (58), from Coalisland, claimed the British army discovered the arms cache three days earlier on December 1, but the weapons were not removed or disabeled. “We have no doubt that a carefully planned ambush was set by undercover British security forces that evening,” he said. “Through the 30 years that have passed we have sought the truth of what happened. We were led to bbelieve that the PSNI’s/RUC’s Historical Enquiries Team would make every effort to achieve the truth. “As part of this, a second pathologist has confirmed that the shootings could not have happened as described by security forces. Both men, Colm and Brian, were shot in cold blood in the back.” Mr McGirr said the families have been informed that the HSE investigation “is at an end and will proceed no further”. “We lived with a charade of an inquest in early years with no evidence of any sort offered as to what occurred. The McGirr and Campbell families will continue to demand that a new inquest is held to fully investigate all that occourred on that evening.” Reacting to the findings on Monday nnight, Dungannon Independent Republican councillor Barry Monteith said he was “not surprised” by the pathologist’s review and accused the British government of operating a ‘shot-to-kill policy in the North of Ireland. However, Dungannon DUP councillor Samuel Brush said he had no confidence in the HET. “There are dozens and dozens of murders around this area in South Tyrone that have not been looked at,” he said. “It baffles me that these things didn’t ccome to light then and can be turned up. “All we can do is work on reports as they come but is this report any better or any worse than the previous ones?”

With many thanks toto: The Irish News.

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Belated truth on MRF proves that republican claims were right!!!

Letter which was published in today’s Irish News – Monday December 16 2013 – Martin Galvin, Bronx, New York.

FERGAL Hallahan was more right than he imagines (November 25) about the derision accorded anyone with the temerity to accuse Britain of deploying a Military Reaction Force (MRF) of plain-cloths British troopers who gunned down unarmed nationalists using non-military weapons.

British State Sponsored Murder

During my years as both editor of the Irish People weekly American newspaper and national director of Irish Northern Aid, I was tasked with presenting such facts to the American public and especially congressmen. The contention we republicans repeatedly made was that the crown had sent out the MRF and later wiped British fingerprints from their killings by shifting from the MRF to having the shots fired by loyalist proxies. This tactic had obvious advantages, including avoiding British army ccasualties like those inflicted by the IRA at the Four Square Laundry. It allowed the British plausible deniability. Collusion in murders carried out by loyalists could be denied outright and blamed on a cadre of crown force bad apples, no matter how much targeting intelligence, agent control or safe passage the British had supplied. Britain’s answer to these charges never changed. British officials would declare, self-righteously that “Her Majesty’s government” would never stoop to deploy such a unit. The British army ‘yellow card’ rules were sacrosanct, they scoffed and this code was rigorously applied whenever British troopers opened fire.

These sanctimonious British denials were believed by the public, politicians and journalists to the extent that this handpicked death squard remained largely unknown to the public. Panorama’s Britian’s Secret Terror Force proves that republicans were right about Britain’s deployment of a terror force, the MRF. It proves that those high-ranking British officials who denied that the crown would stoop to such tactics were either deliberately misled by the crown or deliberately misleading others on the crown’s behalf. Members of this British terror squad have no worries that they will face justice for killing unarmed Irish civilians like Daniel Rooney or Patrick McVeigh. They freely boast of their misdeeds, for the television cameras. Confident that they enjoy a selective immunity and impunity, not granted to republicians like Gerry McGeough, Seamus Kearney or John Downey.  We republicans were right about Britain’s tactical shift from the MRF terror force to doing their ‘dirty war’ work through loyalist proxies. Must we await another documentary before people face the facts about Britain’s complicity with loyalist killers in collusion murders?

With many thanks to: Martin Galvin.

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UDA agent ‘mentally unstable’ according to British army files!

‘We will have to study this new information and see what course of action we take as a result – John Finucane.

Newly discovered military documents reveal that British agent Brian Nelson had previously been discharged from the army after suffering serious mental illness.

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Records obtained by victims campaigner and researcher Ciaran MacAirt show that when Nelson left the ranks of the Black Watch in February 1970 he had suffered a breakdown. Despite this he was issued with a legally-held firearm and later recruited as a British army agent, going on to be involved in the shipment of arms and multiple murders, including the 1989 shooting of human rights solicitor Pat Finucane. On the orders of his handlers Nelson had infiltrated the UDA gang which shot dead the father-of-three. The murdered man’s son, solicitor John Finucane, said the family would be asking for clarification about the new information. The murder was the subject of a recent British government-ordered review by barrister Sir Desmond de Silva. However, no mention was made of Nelson’s medical condition.”This is certainly disturbing and something that the MoD [Ministry of Defence] would need to explain. It is also now for Desmond de Silva to state whether he was aware of this,” Mr Finucane said. “We will have to study this new information and see what course of action we take as a result.”

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The documents show that when Nelson, from the Shankill area of Belfast, was “mentally and emotionally unstable”. Medical assessments carried out in November and December 1969 recommended he not have any overseas combat postings. In the space of a month his condition was found to have deteriorated from ‘very serious’ to the gravest category. The December 1969 examination showed that his mental breakdown was so serious he was recommended for discharge just weeks later. Mr MacAirt said: “Nelson, British army number 24032542, was very far from the model soldier. “His military records display a litany of misdemeanours, including the serious ‘absent without leave’ and criminality. “During his short, four-year military service he had served 128 days in military detention – more than 8 per cent of his total service. “What is most interesting, though, is that we learn of the reason for his final discharge. It was not due to his poor service history or that he went AWOL as has been thought. “The reason for his discharge has serious ramifications for the de Silva report and calpability in litigation that is being brought befor the court against the British State. “Brian Nelson’s military file records that he was discharged from the British army as he was mentally and emotionally unstable.” Despite his mental condition, Nelson was recruited by the British army’s Force Research Unit (FRU) in 1984, but not before he had been involved in serious sectarian attacks including the ‘romper room’ torture of Gerard Higgins, who was registered blind, in a Shankill Road drinking den. Mr Higgins was beaten, burned and electroucuted by Nelson and a gang of loyalists before being taken away in a car. The car, which belonged to the former soldier, was intercepted by a British army unit. Nelson was found to be armed with a legally held weapon. Transcripts of his police interveiws, obtained by Mr MacAirt, reveal that he told the RUC he had been given the weapon for his own protection. Nelson was sentenced to serve seven years for the 1973 attack on Mr Higgins of which he served half. Charges of conspiracy to murder against him were dropped. “How could Nelson have been issued with a gun if, as his military record tells us, he was mentally and emotionally unstable and discharged from the British army because of this?” Mr MacAirt said. “The revelations of Brian Nelson’s mental and emotional instability and the questions raised about his convictions go to the very foundation of the de Silva report and his examination of Nelson as an agent.”

with many thanks to: Allison Morris,The Irish News

Below is a copy of the letter that was sent to all MSP’s by the James Connolly Society, Scotland.

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Seán Heuston Dublin 1916 Society

A chara,

On behalf of the 1916 Societies I request your support for our campaign to hold an All Ireland Referendum on Irish Unity. The people of Scotland will exercise their right to national self-determination in a constitutional referendum in September 2014 and we believe the people of Ireland have the same right to determine their constitutional future without outside interference or impediment.

Irrespective of their personal and political positions on independence Scottish parliamentarians have acknowledged the right of the people of Scotland to decide. We ask you to support the campaign to for the Irish peoples rights in this regard to be respected.

The 1916 Societies are Ireland’s fastest growing political movement. We have established Societies throughout Ireland, Australia, United States as well as Scotland. The 1916 Societies are an independent Irish Political Movement that looks upon the ideals and principals set out in the 1916 Proclamation as our significant point of reference.

The proposed Six County border poll under Britain’s Northern Ireland Act 1998 permits the Secretary of State (an English politician devoid of a single vote in Ireland) to determine:

when and if a poll may be called,

the wording of the poll and,

who qualifies to vote.

Even if passed the British parliament retains the final say on whether or not the result will be endorsed by the UK government.

We believe the core concept of Irish republicanism is that Irish constitutional authority derives from the Irish people and does not defer to laws or decrees emanating from London.

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising it is clear that Britain continues to refuse to recognise Ireland as one democratic unit and presumes that Westminster will define the parameters of Irish democracy.

Republicanism is a unifying concept based on interdependence as opposed to tribal commonality. The exceptional Republican leadership of 1916 knew that interdependence could only be nurtured within a national context and not a partitionist one. They were very specific about that in the Proclamation calling for a ‘National Government representative of the whole people of Ireland’ and declaring that the Republic must be,

‘…oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien Government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.’

A Six County poll legitimises the very mechanisms invented by Britain to harness these differences to British interests by endorsing the Unionist veto and accepting the artificial statelet that incubates and nurtures the sectarian dynamic in Irish politics.

The 1916 Proclamation for too long has been relegated to the status of a notional aspiration. The 1916 Societies wish to be part of a broad movement which reinstates the Proclamation of the Republic to its rightful place and its original intent as a template for action. In that spirit we respectfully request your endorsement of an All Ireland Referendum on Irish Unity. One Ireland – One Vote.

Is mise le meas,

Jim Slaven

VETERAN REPUBLICAN HAS PAROLE HEARING CANCELLED

‘No alternative date has been suggested or discussed with us – Jim Mcllmurray.

LURGAN republican Martin Corey, who has been interned without charge for over three years inside Maghaberry Prison since 2010 after his licence was revoked, has had his latest parole hearing canceled just days before it was due to take place.

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The 63-year-old who served 19-years in prison for his part in the shooting of two RUC men in 1972 was released on licence in 1992 and worked as a grave digger prior to being arrested over three years ago. He has subsequently not been charged with any offence and despite being entitled to an annual parole hearing has not been in front of the Parole Commissioners, who decide if he should be released, for 25 months. Jim Mcllmurrey who acts as a spokesman for the Lurgan republican said his legal team was contacted on August 30 to say a parole hearing due to take place last week was once again being postponed.”No alternative date has being suggested or discussed with us,” Mr Mcllmury said. “A variety of reasons have been given for the delay, including blaming Martin himself for his legal challenges against his detention. “The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2012 that it was uunacceptable to deny an annual parole hearing to anyone held in custody. “This ruling followed a case of a man who waited 14 months for a parole hearing, Martin Corey has now waited 25 months. The Secretary of State in a recent communication stated, ‘an individual who served a life sentence can be returned to prison if they pose a risk to the public or commits further offences.” “Since Martin’s arrest in April 2010, he has never been charged with a crime, or given any explanation as the risk he poses to the public. “He has now served the equivalent of a seven year sentence since his arrest in 2010.”

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, The Irish News.

Liam Mellows words in 1921 might as well have been written today !!!

Liam Mellows (1895-1922)

Thomás Allen Meath 1916 Society

The Government of the Free State will, with those who support it now liking it or not, eventually occupy the same relationship towards the people of Ireland as Dublin Castle does today, because it will be the barrier government between the British and the Irish people. And the Irish people, before they can struggle on will have to do something to remove that Free State government. That I think, has been the history of this country most of the time, as it is the history of most countries that go the way now urged by those who support the Free State. If the Free State is accepted and put into operation it will provide the means for the British government to get its hold back again…

END THE ILLEGAL INTERNMENT OF MARTIN COREY NOW !!!!

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Stiofán Mac Óda

Today, September 2, 2013, is the 63rd birthday of Martin Corey.

Today is also the date the Parole Commissioners were to commence Martin’s annual Parole hearing. We received communication on Friday, the 30th of August, informing us that this open hearing to review Martin’s ongoing detention would NOT commence on this date, with no alternative date being suggested or discussed with us.

Martin is entitled by law to an annual Parole hearing, and yet he has NOT received one in over TWO YEARS. A variety of reasons have been given for the delay, including blaming Martin himself for his “legal challenges” against his detention under Article 5 (4) (the right to have a court decide the lawfulness of his detention under the European convention of Human Rights).

Recent violations of Human Rights in the Middle East have received worldwide condemnation, including by the British government who stated “they will continue to play an active and forthright role in international institutions that promote and protect human rights.” They also emphasised the UK’s own commitment to strengthen human rights, both domestically and internationally.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2012 that it was unacceptable to deny an annual parole hearing to anyone held in custody. This ruling followed a case of a man who waited 14 months for a parole hearing. Martin Corey has now waited 25 MONTHS.

The Secretary of State in a recent communication stated, “an individual who served a life sentence can be returned to prison if they pose a risk to the public or commits further offences.” Since Martin’s arrest in April 2010, he has NEVER been charged with a crime, questioned by police regarding a crime, or given any explanation as to the risk he poses to the public.

Martin served 19 years in prison prior to his release in 1992. He has now served the equivalent of a seven year sentence since his arrest in 2010.

Martin has NOT committed any crime. He poses NO risk to the public and I am calling for his immediate release today.

I spoke with Martin this morning and he wishes to express his gratitude to those who sent messages and cards and also for their continued support in highlighting the ongoing injustice perpetrated upon him by the British government.

Jim McIlmurray