“I could take the abuse when it was me but when it was my daughter it was different.
“He knew that saying horrible, sexual, things about me wasn’t getting a reaction so he moved on to my family, and the targets became my children and my father, who is very ill, and my work.”
‘A big step’
Ms Morris said going to the police was “a big step”.
“As someone who is a crime and security correspondent, I deal with the police on a professional basis quite regularly, often quite critically and I hold them to account in a lot of cases, and I just really didn’t feel comfortable,” she said.
“I didn’t want people to think that I was weak, I didn’t want, in a very Belfast way, for people to know my business.”
Northern Ireland is the only region of UK or Ireland without stalking legislation and Ms Morris says she hopes that sharing her experience will change things.
“It made me angry because I was struggling to navigate it and through my work, I know the legal system.
“I thought ‘what must this be like for someone who doesn’t have this knowledge or support or wouldn’t know where to go to complain or appeal or to push things along?’ It’s such an emotionally destroying process that is desperately in need of change.”
Writing on Twitter on Monday afternoon, PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said it was “brave and courageous” for Ms Morris to “make her terrible experience public”.
I commend @AllisonMorris1 for her brave and courageous decision to make her terrible experience public. I fully support efforts to urgently update existing legislation to create a specific stalking offence in NI. #keepingpeoplesafe
A DECISION not to prosecute the British soldier who shot dead a teenager in Derry 46 years ago was based on “irredeemably flawed” reasoning, the High Court has ruled.
Judges held that former Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory imposed too stringent an evidential test for the murder of Daniel Hegarty. Quashing his decision, they also ruled that a four-year delay in reaching it was “manifestly excessive, inexplicable, unjustified and unlawful”.
The verdict represents victory in the legal challenge mounted by relatives of the 15-year-old schoolboy. Daniel was unarmed when he was shot twice in the head during an army operation in the Creggan area of the city in July 1972. In 2011 an inquest jury unanimously found Daniel posed no risk and had been shot without warning. Prompting the coroner to refer the case back to the Public Prosecution Service.
But in March 2016 it was decided not to pursue charges against Soldier B, who fired the fatal rounds, on the basis of no reasonable prospect of a conviction. According to the PPS, forensic experts were unable to state that ballistics evidence was inconsistent with Soldier B’s account of the circumstances in which he fired. Daniel’s sister, Margaret Brady, then issued judicial review proceedings against the decision taken by the then director.
Her senior counsel, Michael Mansfield QC, argued that expert evidence completely refutes assertions that the bullets were fired in self-defence. Instead, he contended, the scientific opinion backed the family’s belief that it was an unlawful killing carried out at a range of less than 10 feet. In a statement the soldier claimed to have pulled the trigger on the machine gun while it was on the ground – an account Daniel’s family allege was contrived to suggest fear of a non-existent threat.
The court heard two conflicting narratives about the events leading up to the shooting. Soldier B, backed by a military colleague, portrayed a situation where they issued clear warning as aggrieved, threatening youths approached before opening fire from a distance of some 25 metres. But in a different scenario advanced by others at the scene the youths were not warned or challenged, only becoming aware of the soldiers presence when shots rang out at point blank range. referring to expert evidence. Mr Mansfield contended that Soldier B’s self-defence assertion lacked any credibility.
Although he accepted a conviction could not be guaranteed, the barrister nevertheless claimed a jury may establish proof beyond reasonable doubt. Counsel for the director agreed that the case was subjected to close forensic analysis, with two expert reports and advice from senior counsel. He also stressed the high threshold required to rebut the soldier’s claims, and to establish perversity in the decision-making process.
But Lord Justice Treacy, sitting with Mr Justice Colton, pointed out that the Public Prosecution Service only needs to be satisfied there is credible evidence which could be proved – not that there will definitely be a conviction. Referring to expert conclusions provided in November 2012, he said: “Had the decision been taken at that time it seems inevitable in light of the scientific evidence and the legal advice that the director must have concluded that the test for prosecution was then satisfied.” Ruling that the director imposed too stringent a test, the judge continued: “We consider that the reasoning leading to the impugned decision not to prosecute is irredeemably flawed. ” In particular the decision of the director is founded on an unreasonable and rationally unsustainable hypothesis which is inconsistent with the case made by Soldier B.”
With many thanks to: The Irish News for the origional story.
Two Terrorist Supporters elected as MPs Emma ‘Little’ Pengelly (MP) and Gavin Robinson (MP).
And now talk of Sinn Féin talking of taking their seats in Westminster to defeat the Tory party and try and stop Brexit.
Arlene Foster now holds the playing cards but there is still two very difficult questions for her answer. “How can she work both deals”
(1) In the negotiations Here in the North of Ireland. Where there is no government?
(2) In the negotiations in England where the Tories are “up shit creak without a paddle.”?
She even went on to speak in Irish using the words “Sin É” pronounced in English as (Shin A) meaning “That’s it”.
This could not only force another re-election in the North of Ireland, but also another re-election in England, Scoland & Wales.
It would be a complete disaster for the Conservite’s and the DUP, here in the North of Ireland (Northern Ireland). The English people as a nation need to watch their backs. Don’t trust a Tory and don’t trust ‘The DUP’!
In 2015, The DUP built it’s election campaign around the idea that that it’s MPs might be Kingmakers at Westminster. Their posters bore the a the slogan “More Votes. More Seats. More Influence. More for Northern Ireland”. When David Cameron won his majority, that strategy was quietly forgotten.
“While I was writing this it was confirmed that the DUP has reached a deal with the Tory party. A DUP Sourcesaid:“We want there to be a government. We have worked well with May. The Alternative is intolerable. For as long as Corbyn leads Labour, We will ensure there’s a ToryP.M.”was written in the: The guardian, Newspaper.
The Tories are now in very serious trouble the backbenchers are unhappy WIth the ‘New collation between the tory’s and the DUP.
But come on be honest, by you looking at a picture like that (picture below). Would you trust Boris Johnson? Honestly? because I wouldn’t.
All 18 of the North of Ireland’s MPs have been confirmed with the SDLP and UUP losing their seats at Westminster.
The final result came in Fermanagh and South Tyrone where the UUP’s Tom Elliottlost to Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew M.P.
Former SDLP Party Leaders Mark Durkan, Margaret Richie and Alasdair McDonnell were toppled in Foyle, South Down and Belfast South.
In Foyle, Sinn Féin’s Elisha Mc Callion won by 169 votes after a recount.
But that’s the position the 10 newly returned MPs are in, despite Arlene Foster predicting it did “not look likely” at the campaign outset. And latter saying “It would be difficult to do a deal”.
The DUP party has been criticised in the past for sharing platforms with representatives of loyalist paramilitaries.
In 1996, former MP Rev William McCrea stood ata Portadown rally alongside LVF leader Billy Wright (pictured below).
The ruthless paramilitary group, which split from the UVF in 1996, was responsible for high-profile murders including the killing of Catholic taxi driver Michael McGoldrick.
In the mid-1980s the DUP also had close links with Ulster Resistance, set up in response to the Anglo-Irish Agreement.
The group was launched in 1986 at a rally in the Ulster Hall in Belfast addressed by then DUP leader Ian Paisley.
Peter Robinson, who at the time was his party’s deputy leader, was later photographed at another Ulster Resistance rally wearing a beret.
The party cut ties with the group in 1987 when members were linked to arms finds.
The father of the DUP’s Emma Little Pengelly, who has just won the South Belfast seat, is Noel Little, a Co Armagh loyalist and founder of Ulster Resistance.
Little was one of three men arrested in Paris in 1989 in connection with a plot to exchange a missile stolen from Shorts for South African guns.
After spending two years on remand the trio received suspended sentences and fines.
The weapons they sought to procure were destined for the UVF, UDA and Ulster Resistance.
In 2014 the DUP and other unionist parties were also criticised for joining the UVF-linked PUP in signing up to a ‘graduated response’ following the banning of an Orange Order parade in Ardoyne, north Belfast.
The ‘graduated response’ later failed to materialise after the PUP, TUV and Ukip withdrew their support for the pan-unionist group amid allegations of “betrayal” over parading.
In June 2017 Arlene Foster was criticised over meeting a UDA leader just days after a breakaway faction of the paramilitary organisation was linked to a brutal murder.
The DUP leader spoke with Jackie McDonald at a community office in the Taughmonagh area of south Belfast on Tuesday during canvassing ahead of next week’s general election.
In February, before Assembly election, he urged voters to get behind Mrs Foster saying her “experience and dedication has helped bring about stability and prosperity.
What voters in Britain make of Tory ‘kingmakers’
GIVEN how dear the DUP holds the union with Britain, relatively few people in the rest of the UK are familiar with the party and its policies.
As it became apparent on Friday that Theresa May planned to form a government with Arlene Foster’s party, social media was filled with contributors offering insights into Westminister’s ‘Kingmakers’.
Notably, in the relatively liberal social climate of England, Scotland and Wales, the DUP’s conservative world view was highlighted in mostly pejorative terms.
Here’s a sample: Singer Paloma Faith tweeted: “DUP = awful: anti abortion anti LGBT rights anti woman’s rights and don’t believe in climate change. Very modern (sniff)”.
Left-leaning economist Richard Murphy, who has previously been vocal in his opposition to devolving corporation tax power’s to Stormont, said on Twitter: “If I had to choose a party to have undue influence over government the DUP would be the last barring UKIP. They’re a nightmare of prejudice.”
Environmentalist and Guardian columnist George Monbiot highlighted the links between the DUP and UDA, which just days ago added its voice to the Loyalist Communities Council statement urging voters to back Mrs Foster’s party at the polls. “I trust that The Daily Mail will now devote it’s first 13 pages to the #DUP’s associations with terrorism,” he tweeted.
Veteran Journalists and Channel 4 News anchorman Jon Snow tweeted: “One of the most extreme politicial entities in the British Isles, the 10 MPs of the DUP, is to wag the tail of Mrs May’s minority government.”
Former Liverpool footballer Stan Collymore posted an article from The Irish News which bore the headline ‘Arlene Foster has no regrets after being pictured with UDA Commander [Dee Stitt].
Under it the Talksport contributor wrote: “Come on Dacre and Murdoch and Hopkins and Robinson and Tories. Where’s your outrage now?”
Belfast-born former ITN foreign correspondent Andrea Catherwood tweeted: “Wait until you hear DUP’s views on homosexuality. They make Tim Farrin look like Peter Thatchell.”
Some, however, such as columnist Polly Toynbee misinterpreted the DUP’s priorities. “DUP top priority will be soft border, saving Good Friday agreement and free movement across boundary. That absolutely rules out hard Brexit,” she tweeted.
THE Republican paramilitary group known as the ‘IRA’ last night claimed it was “confident” it struck an RUC/PSNI vehicle with an EFP mortar in Strabane last week.
In a statement the organisation, sometimes referred to as the ‘New IRA’, said it fired the potentially lethal device at the passing patrol car at Townsend Street in the Tyrone town last Tuesday night. The group claims the EFP (explosively formed projectile) mortar contained Semtex and was triggered by command wire and fired from a distance of nine feet at the police vehicle as it passed at around 8pm. The ‘IRA’ claims that the mortar was moved from another location in the border town earlier on Tuesday after the security forces failed to show up.
Using a recognised codeword, the republican group claimed that an attempt to target a police car with the same device at Townsend Street was abandoned an hour before the attack because of the prescence of civillian vehicles in the area. The RUC/PSNI has said that the device, which it described as a “roadside bomb with command wire attached” was “designed to kill or seriously injure” its officers. Three officers who were travelling in the vehicle were uninjured but believed to be left shaken. The RUC/PSNI vehicle left the area after the attack and police were later criticised for failing to cordon off the scenne for three hours.
Several people were removed from their homes during a follow up operation but later allowed to return. Politicians have condemned the latest attack which came just weeks after the ‘IRA’ tried to kill a Catholic police officer in Derry using an undercar bomb. Policing Board member and SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan said: “Such attacks on the PSNI (RUC) have no place in a modern progressive society.” DUP MLA Tom Buchánan said: “There must be a united and resolute stand from right across the political spectrum to such activities.”
In August 2015, a motar was discovered and disarmed at a cemetery in Strabane after a security operation. EFPs, which can pierce armour over a long distance, have been used by the ‘IRA’ in Derry and Belfast in the past. On those occasions no-one was injured. Unexploded EFPs have also been recovered by the security forces accross the north. Believed to have been developed in Iran, the homemade weapon was regularly used in Iraq. It is considered by some as the modern version of the horizontal mortar – known to republicans as a ‘doodle bug’ – which was used by the Provisionals. Meanwhile, police have been given additional time to question a 20-year-old man arrested in Newtownstewart in connection with the attack last week, while a 31-year-old man arrested on Saturday continued to be questioned last night.
With many thanks to: The Irish News, for the orgional story.
The PSNI has made a calculation of risk versus resources and decided it cannot take the Carrickfergus approach in east Belfast.
SO IT can be done. The RUC/PSNI has faced down loyalist rioting in Carrickfergus, thought to have been orchestrated as a warning against arresting members of the ‘bad’ UDA.
The RUC/PSNI has wiselyaking arrests in Carrickfergus while investigating a riot in Larne two weeks ago, also thought to have been orchestrated as a warning against arresting members of the bad UDA. The trouble in Carrickfergus broke out last Thursday evening, ironically just and the Queen had hosted a reception in Windsor Castle to celebrate all that is greet about the North of Ireland. Fifty masked men engaged in three hours of serious disorder, reportedly after a gun was found during a police search of a senior UDA man’s address. The RUC/PSNI responded robustly to this challenge to its authority, warning that further was planned for the following night then swamping the area to prevent it. Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr identified the South East Antrim UDA as responsible and warned police will “disabuse” it of any notion it is “in control”. This does not appear to Eastny empty threat. Investigations into the Larne rioting have continued, with 16 arrests, 40 properties searched and 800 items seized as of the end of last week. “There will be consequences” for the Carrickfergus rioting as well, Kerr added. The line being drawn in Carrickfergus suggests a firm reversal of the appeasement policy that saw the RUC/PSNI apologise to “community representatives and others” for provoking UVF riots in the town three years ago. If so, it is a welcome devolopment but it raises the question of why an equally robust approach cannot be taken towards the bad UVF in east Belfast. Where are the arrests, searches and seizures targeting loyalist ring-leaders after three years of rioting there? Far too many damaging conspiracy theories have filled the void left by that lingering question. However, the simplest and likeliest explanation remains the one given, albeit obliquely, by the RUC/PSNI. Loyalism in east Belfsat is beleived by senior officers to be too big and dangerous to takle head on. This is why Cheif Constable Matt ( the maggot) Baggott repeats a mantra about the “right to life” and congratulated the PSNI/RUC for getting through the year of flag protests without any fatalities.
Other police statements about “public support” for loyalists and the need for policing to have “community consent” are similarly code for not provoking deadly violence. Despite the fashionable language and arcane backroom dealing there is no particular principle at work in the appeasement of the bad UVF. It is merely a problem of scale. The RUC/PSNI has made a calculation of risk versus resources and decided it cannot take the Carrickfergus approach in east Belfast. Once stated, this looks obvious but the point is that it is never openly stated. The RUC/PSNI is not telling the Policing Board or the Stormont executive to provide it with the resources to put the ‘bad’ UVF out of business. Instead, it is making excuses for itself that feed further official appeasement, such as the executive’s ‘social investment fund’ for loyalist-nominated projects or the Policing Board’s acquiescence of UVF-linked members of local Policing Partnerships. If the RUC/PSNI would admit to what is going on in east Belfast there would be less paranoia and just importantly there could be a proper assessment of the varibles. How much more dangerous is delinquent loyalism in east Belfast than in South East Antrim? Last week’s trouble in Carrickfergus was modest but the 2011 rioting was widespread, extraodinarily violent and organised almost immediately. Carricfergus also witnessed larger and more disruptive flag protests than east Belfast, with more loyalist input, at least initially. Yet existing resources, deployed promptly and wisely, appear to have loyalist brigadies in retreat. On the other side of the equation, is the the risk of tackling loyalism being offset against the risk of not tackling it? Over the past year the UVF in east Belfast has been linked to two attempted murders and and more than a dozen drugs-related deaths. The Human Rights Act places the right to life secondary to “quelling a riot” because it understands that all rights ultimately rest on the rule of law. We should have a new cheif constable by October. Even if he or she does not admit to making a loyalist calculation, they may reach a different answer. That just leaves the small matter of the ‘good’ UDA and UVF, who are apparently still among the things that are great about the North of Ireland.
With many thanks to: Newton Emerson, The Irish News, ( for the origional story).
A judge heard dramatic details of how Mr McDaid collapsed outside his Somerset Drive home and his wife cried “fight, fight Kevin” as attempts were made to resuscitate him. Another witness described how the father-of-four had been kicked “everywhere possible”, while one of Damien Fleming’s attackers had “used his head like a rugby ball”. Neighbour Leona Whittaker claimed defendant Francis Daly had held on to a garden fence “to get himself balanced or whatever” before landing a kick on Mr Fleming, who suffered serious injuries. “I asked him was that the best he could do to an alcoholic, a man who didn’t have the hands to bless himself,” she said. Twelve men are charged with the manslaughter of Mr McDaid and attempted murder of Mr Fleming and other counts of assault and public order offences. A further two men are charged with making threats to kill and intimidation. A preliminary inquiry was held on Tuesday 31st December to determine whether they have a case to answer at trial. It is claimed a group of loyalists traveled to the Killowen area of Coleraine’s Heights estate to take down tricolours and Celtic flags put up as Celtic FC and Rangers FC were playing separate matches at the culmination of the Scottish league title race. Evelyn McDaid described the men who arrived as “like a mob” and said her husband “seemed to disappear” among them. She claimed Mr Daly repeatedly punched and kicked her. Ryan MMcDaid, a son of the dead man, on Tuesday named six men he claimed had attacked his father. He also told a court how a “loyalist mob” was “kicking and jumping all over” Mr Fleming in the Pate’s Lane/Somerset Drive area. Another witness named three people she said had kicked Mr McDaid as he lay on the ground. Leona Whittaker said she was struck and kicked by John Thompson and also kicked by Frank (Francis) Daly and John McGrath. “A crowd of people just started attacking him, kicking him as he lay on the ground; everywhere possible, his face, his chest, his sides, his legs,” she said. Asked how she knew the defendant John Thompson, she replied: “Before religion was a problem in Coleraine he ran about with my brother.”
Ms Whittaker also claimed Francis Daly had assaulted her as she tried to help Mr McDaid’s injured wife Evelyn and when she told him she was pregnant he replied “Too bad”. The 30-year-old said Mrs McDaid was “getting punched in the face and kicked in the face” as she lay behind a car and had been pushed when she went to her husband’s aid. Mrs McDaid in turn told the court Mr Daly had hit and kicked her. Another of Kevin McDaid’s sons, Mark, told North Antrim Magistrate’s Court, sitting at Belfast on Tuesday, that “the police were up two or three times to ask for the flags to be took down”. Another neighbour, Michael McCormack, said a police officer had “asked if the flags could come down and we said they would be down first thing in the morning”. He claimed when the group arrived John Thompson had shouted secterian abuse and then “it was like a tap had been turned on…. and they all started to come into the square at Pate’s Lane”. Mrs McDaid said she had also seen Mr Daly kick Mr Fleming and “I shouted to ‘stop kicking him you are going to kill him’ but they kept going on”. Mr Fleming gave evidence that John McGrath had “hit me a punch in the face”, and then “someone hit me on the back of the neck and I went down”. He told the court he had heard someone say: “There’s one of the Fenian bastards there’ and after that there I was kicked around the place”. Leona Whittaker’s sister-in-law Kelly Whittaker claimed the group had shouted: “We’re the UDA, we’re here to kick some Fenians’ heads in”. She said she shouted for the men to leave Mr Fleming alone, saying “he’s only a drunk man”, but “all I got was ‘he’s a f***king Fenian isn’t he, he’s getting what he deserves’.” Another witness, Danny Kennedy, said he saw defendant Paul Newman strike both Mr and Mrs McDaid with a piece of wood. Twelve men are charged with the manslaughter of Mr McDaid and attempted murder of Mr Fleming and other counts of assault and public order offences. The defendants are: David Craig Cochrane (23), Aaron Beech (28) and David James John Cochrane (52) all with addresses in Winyhall Park in Coleraine; Frank Simpson Daly (52) of Knock Road, Dervock; Paul Andrew Newman (49) of Grasmere Close, Coleraine; John Thompson (34), Knocknougher Road, Macosquin; James McAfee (32) and Ivan Beattie McDowell (47), both with addresses in Lisnablagh Road, Coleraine; Philip Kane (39) of Heron Way in Derry and Rodney Gardner (45) from Duncarn Road in Limavady. Two other men, Jonathan Norman Stirling (24) of Windyhall Park in Coleraine, and John Freeman (24) from Tullans Park, Coleraine, are charged with making threats to kill and intimidation. Following completion of all witness evidence, District Judge Desmond Perry adjourned the hearing and released all the defendants on continuing bail.
In particularly, the autumn statement also included attacks on the pensions of all working people. The state pension age was already due to increase to 68 in 2046, but the British coalation government has brought that forward by 10 years, meaning that people who are in their mid-forties now will not be able to take their state pension until they are 68. The Westminister Pensions Bill, which applies to the North of Ireland, also allows the British government to increase the pension age every five years if it wishes – and the British government has already announced that, if its plans stay on course, people in their thirties will have a pension age of 69 and people in their twenties will have one of 70.
My union, NASUWT, which is by far the largest teacher’s union in the North of Ireland, is appalled by the ‘work till you drop’ culture that is now the British government’s vision for the people of Britain and the North of Ireland. Increasing the pension age during a period of unemployment and the worst recession for decades is utter madness, as it reduces already scarce job vacancies as those in work are being forced to work for longer. The people of the North of Ireland have no control over the Westminster Pensions Bill, but they do have control over the Public Service Pensions Bill, which is due to begin the consideration stage in the assembly after CChristmas. The Public Service Pensions Bill equalises the normal pension age and the state pension age for the majority of public service workers in the North of Ireland, including teachers, health workers and civil servants. This means that young Northern Irish teachers can expect to have to work until they are 70 to receive their teacher’s pension – unless the bill is changed. The NASUWT has been at the forefront of lobbying our MLAs to bring amendments to the bill in the interests of the young and old, those in work and those who are unemployed. We call on our MLAs to stand up for all public service workers who dedicate their lives to serving the public. When assembly elections are next held we will be calling on our members to vote only for those MLAs who defend them.
With many thanks to: Justin McCamphill, NASUWT uunion’s NI junior vice president, writing for: The Irish News.