Britain’s First Jayda Fransen ‘mayor’ video being investigated by council

Jayda Fransen Facebook video in the Lord Mayor’s chair

Jayda Fransen will go on trial in April for charges connected with hate speeches in Belfast

A video showing Britain First’s deputy leader making a statement while sitting in the Lord Mayor’s chair is being investigated by Belfast City Council.

The video of Jayda Fransen, in which she wears council robes, was posted on the far-right group’s Facebook page.

Ms Fransen’s visit to City Hall was facilitated by independent unionist councillor Jolene Bunting.

The DUP and Alliance Party have criticised Ms Bunting for abusing her position as a councillor.

Earlier, Ms Fransen was told she would face trial for charges connected with alleged hate speeches in the city.

The 31 year old, from Anerly, London, denies the charges.

In the video, Ms Fransen said she was facing several charges and thanked people who had supported her in the ongoing case.

Ms Bunting told BBC News NI that the video was not meant to be malicious and that it was filmed “on the spur of the moment”.

Independent Belfast city councillor Jolene Bunting seen here showing her total contempt for the Catholic Church

Jolene Bunting said she did not believe either she or Ms Fransen had done anything wrong

She said she suggested they film a video in the real Lord Mayor’s chair after Ms Fransen and other guests said they wanted to film at a replica chair in a tourist attraction at City Hall.

“I didn’t think anything of it all. We went up and I did what I usually do with anyone who comes into City Hall, I offered if they would like to put the robes on.”

She added that reaction to the video was “a bit ridiculous”.

“I don’t know if there’s maybe an issue with the videoing in the council chamber but I know that I have taken many of my family members and my friends into the chamber.

“I think this is about demonising Jayda Fransen and demonising Britain First as a political party so they don’t have the opportunity to run in Northern Ireland.”

“Gross abuse”
Ms Bunting added that she would co-operate with any inquiry by the council but that “I don’t believe I did anything wrong tonight and I don’t believe Jayda did either”.

Alliance Party councillor Sian O’Neill said Ms Bunting had brought “shame on herself and the council”.

“This video disrespects an office which all parties on the council have sought to undertake in as an inclusive a manner as possible.

“It is an abuse, by Councillor Bunting, of her privilege to access the robes, the chamber and the Lord Mayor’s chair to create a false perception of a link between the council and Britain First.”

Alderman Brian Kingston said it had been an “error of judgement” by Jolene Bunting

“As members of council, we can bring people into City Hall and show them around,” said the DUP representative.

“But there’s protocols about any filming being done in City Hall, especially in the council chamber.

“So to bring Jayda Fransen into the chamber, to put a councillor’s robe on her, to place her in the Lord Mayor’s chair and have her talking about her court case – this is a gross abuse of Belfast City Council, of our City Hall, of the post of Lord Mayor and its not something that we and the people of Belfast want to be associated with.”

Belfast City Council said it was “aware of the video post and is currently looking into the circumstances”.

“The usual procedures for those wishing to film or use council premises were not followed,” it said.

“We received no request nor were we made aware of these plans.”

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the origional story

Óglach Thomas Murphy, aged 22, F Company, 6th Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Óglach Thomas Murphy, aged 22.

Murdered in his bed by Black and Tans at ‘The Hotel’, Foxrock Village, on this day 1921.

At the time of his death, Thomas or ‘Tommy’ Murphy, a popular young uilleann-piper, was one of a number of young men active with the local IRA company, a unit made up of men from the Deansgrange, Cornelscourt, Cabinteely and Foxrock districts. By the summer of 1921, several of it’s members had been forced ‘on the run’ and began operating as a full-time ‘flying column’, sleeping rough in stables and sheds and harassing crown forces at any opportunity that presented itself.

Attacks on the local RIC barracks at Cabinteely were numerous. In the dead of night, Volunteers, acting under cover of darkness, would make their way to the village, where they would creep along the empty streets, taking up positions before subjecting the barracks to a sustained attack using rifles and home-made bombs. Just weeks before his death, Thomas Murphy, dressed in a chauffeur’s uniform in order to give the appearance of a British officer, had driven a car at top speed past the barracks while the car’s other two occupants lobbed bombs at the Black and Tan sentries posted outside.

On May 13th, local Volunteer Charles ‘Rodney’ Murphy (no relation) of Deansgrange, scaled a tree in the Brennanstown Road area, using his elevated position overlooking the barracks to snipe at two Black and Tans tending to the gardens in the yard out back. Constable Albert Edward Skeats, a Black and Tan recruit from London, was hit behind the ear and rushed to a hospital in the city, where he lay critically ill. He eventually succumbed to his injuries on May 28th. The night after his death, a party of Tans and RIC returning to their barracks were ambushed at Monaloe cross-roads by Volunteers Jackie Nolan, John Merriman and Billy Fitzgibbon. During a brisk gunfight, one constable was wounded before the Volunteers made their escape across fields.

With one of their number dead and another now seriously injured, tensions inside Cabinteely barracks had reached boiling point. Just before three o’clock in the morning, a party of five Tans, faces blackened with shoe polish, made their way along Brennanstown Road to Foxrock, where they stopped at ‘The Hotel’, a large tenement building that once stood in the centre of the village. It was here that Volunteer Thomas Murphy resided along with his widowed mother and four sisters. As the building was home to several families, the front door was left open, enabling the Tans to make their way inside unnoticed. They then quietly made their way to Thomas’ room before bursting through his bedroom door, waking the startled man from his sleep. One of the intruders asked if he was Thomas Murphy, and when he replied that he was, a shot was fired, hitting the young man through his head, the bullet passing through the wall into the adjacent room. As the intruders left, Thomas’ mother and sisters rushed into the room to find their son in a collapsed state. Despite the best efforts of a local doctor, Thomas died where he lay several hours later.

On June 1st, Thomas’ remains were buried at Deansgrange Cemetery following a military enquiry. In a large funeral cortege, members of the Dublin and South Eastern Railway Company, where Thomas worked as a porter, marched in a body after the hearse. Numerous wreaths were placed over the coffin, which was wrapped in a tricolour flag. Thomas’ IRA comrades supplied a guard of honour and firing party. Three volleys of shots were fired as the coffin was lowered into the grave, before men and arms managed to get safely out of the cemetery through a cordon of British military.

With many thanks to: Sean Larkin, South Derry.

The 19th March marks the 13th anniversary of my old comrade Charlie Ronayne (Midleton Co. Cork), who died in 2004.

Left to Right: Jim Lane. Charlie Roayne – O’Mahony, Seán Murry, ‘Gypo’ O’Mahony and Jerry Madden.

Charlie and I first met as we went together with others, across the Border on 11th December 1956 to fight the forces of occupation in the Six North Eastern Counties of Ireland.

18 Cork IRA Volunteers went on active service the following night, 12th December 1956. The attached photo was taken at Easter 1960 in Trafalgar Square, London. All 6 in the photo were Irish Republicans. In 1962, Charlie was best-man at my wedding. In later years, Charlie was a Town Councillor representing Sinn Fein on Midleton Town Council. He was re-elected several times. We remained the best of comrades all through the remainder of his life. Ní beidh a leitéid ann arís.


With many thanks to: Jim Lane, Ann Connolly. 

Finucanes to take case to British Supreme Court

Pat Finucane (1949 – 1989)

The widow of solicitor Pat Finucane is to take her legal fight for a public inquiry into his murder to the UK’s supreme court.

Senior judges in Belfast today refused Geraldine Finucane leave to appeal their decision that the British government was entitled to deny her such a tribunal.

But it now clears the way for the family to petition directly for a hearing in London.

Mrs Finucane’s legal representatives later confirmed their intention to continue their challenge to judicial findings that former prime minister David Cameron had acted lawfully.

They are expected to argue that the case raises legal points of general public importance.

Mr Finucane, 39, was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries in front of his wife and three children at their north Belfast home in February 1989.

His family has campaigned for a full examination of alleged security force collusion with the killers.

In 2011 Mr Cameron decided against ordering a public inquiry, and instead commissioned QC Sir Desmond de Silva to review all documents relating to the case and produce a narrative of what happened.

Sir Desmond’s report confirmed agents of the state were involved in the murder and that it should have been prevented.

He also linked the military’s Force Research Unit because one of its agents was involved in selecting targets.

However, the report concluded there had been no overarching state conspiracy.

The Finucane family rejected the findings as a whitewash and accused the government of unlawfully reneging on previous commitments.

Pledges to set up such a tribunal, based on the recommendation of retired Canadian judge Peter Cory, were made by a former Labour government in 2004 and reaffirmed in the following years, it was contended.

In 2015 a judge backed the government’s case that shifting public interest issues were enough to override Mrs Finucane’s expectation.

Appealing that verdict, her lawyers argued that a full public inquiry was necessary to examine an alleged abuse of power for which no-one in authority has been brought to account.

They argued that the murdered solicitor was the victim of an army-run death squad normally associated with Latin American dictatorships.

Counsel for Mrs Finucane claimed her husband’s killing was due to covert, state-sponsored terrorism and represents a “horror story” for the British Government.

Only Ken Barrett, the loyalist gunman and “UDA puppet” convicted of the killing, has been held responsible, it was contended.

But last month the Court of Appeal rejected the Finucane family’s case, including allegations that the government staged an elaborate sham process before announcing its predetermined decision.

Judges agreed that the murdered solicitor’s widow had received a clear and unambiguous promise that any recommended inquiry would be held.

However, they concluded that other issues, including political developments in Northern Ireland and the potential cost of a lengthy process, were enough to frustrate her legitimate expectation.

Mrs Finucane’s legal team returned to the court today to apply for leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

They again raised points about her legitimate expectation and rights under European law.

Despite those submissions, Lord Justice Gillen ruled there was no conflicting legal issues that warranted giving permission.

He said: “We are therefore going to follow the practice of this court and leave the matter to the UK Supreme Court to decide if they are going to grant leave on this matter.”

Later, Mrs Finucane’s solicitor, Peter Madden, confirmed plans to lodge an application in London next week.

With many thanks to: Madden and Finucane Solicitors.

Kelly’s role highlighted in PIRA’s ‘great escape’

STATE PAPERS Belfast and Dublin

THE mass escape of 38 PIRA prisoners from the Maze Prison, near Belfast on September 25 1983 in which a prison warder was stabbed to death, is detailed in previously confidential files. Like many files in this year’s releases, that relating to the prison escape is partially closed to 2069.


The official report claims that Gerry Kelly (Old Baily bomber), one of the PIRA escapees and now a Shame Fein MLA, shot a prison guard in the head. Confidential reports prepared for the Secretary of State Jim Priors shed new light on the event and the role of a British military guard at the prison. In a report on the events of that dramatic Sunday, penned the following day, W J Kerr, director of prison operations in the North of Ireland, described how at 16.45 hours he was informed of ‘an incident at the Maze’. He immediately proceeded to the prison where he ‘was informed that H7 Block had been taken over by armed prisoners who had hijacked the kitchen lorry and had proceeded to the main gate.’ There follows a diary of the events on that Sunday. The day began normally with prisoners unlocked for breakfast and exercise. At 11.15 Fr Rooney, the Catholic chaplain, celebrated Mass in the H Block with 54 prisoners in attendence. Dinner was served at 12.15 hours after which all prisoners were returned to their cells. Suddenly at 14.45 hours prisoners in H Block 7 overpowered staff on duty and took control of the block. Various weapons were used including guns.

The prisoners commandeered the prison meals delivery van and 38 prisoners forced the prison officer driver to drive the van from the block through segment gates one and eight to the prison main gate. The escapees then overpowered the staff on duty at the gate and, although eventually the alam was raised, they managed to get out of the prison proper. The prisoners at this point disappeared and fled in different directions.’ Among the prisoners in H7 were Gerry Kelly, aged 30, (the present Shame Fein MLA for North Belfast) and Brendan ‘Bic’ McFarlane who had been a spokesman for the hunger strikers during the 1981 Hunger Strike. Kelly had been convicted at Winchester in 1973, along with Marian Price/Mc Glincy and Dolours Price (The Price Sisters) and Hugh Feeney, for setting off car bombs in London. In all he had made four previous escape attempts. McFarlane (then 31), described in the file as ‘a PIRA leader deeply involved in the organisation’ was sentenced to five life terms for the 1975 bombing of the Bayardo Bar on the Shankill Road in which five people died. The sequence of events at the prison began when prisoner Mead overpowered a senior officer while ‘Prisoner Storey entered the principal officer’s office carrying a gun and pointed it at the senior officer’s head.’ Storey then took charge, “forcing the officer to answer the telephone in a normal manner”. Meanwhile, other officers were being overpowered and tied up throughout the H Block. “Officer Leak was in the toilet when he heard two shots. He left [to see] Prisoner 58  [Gerry Kelly] pointing a pistol into the control room. “Kelly turned the gun on Leak and forced him into the officers’ tea room. Leak was tied up and hooded. Kerr added at this point: “This would establish that prisoner Kelly shot officer Adams who was on duty in the control. It is not clear if the control grille was locked before Mr Adams was shot.” As the IRA inmates gradually seized control of the wings they approached the inner gates where ‘Bic’ McFarlane told the prison guard that he had been “sent to clean the sentry box”. The officer was then overpowered  by armed prisoners. Meanwhile, officer McLaughlin was on duty as kitchen van driver and at 15.25 hours had passed through the lock gates of H Block to deliver afternoon tea. “As officer McLaughlin started to unload the meal from the van, prisoner Storey put a gun to his head and forced him into the medical inspection room.

“Whilst there he was threatened by prisoner [Gerry] Kelly who told him to do as he was told or he would be ‘blown away’.” McLaughlin was then forced to drive the van from the block to the main gate through the inner gates. According to the report the van proceeded through the first gate unchallenged to a parking lot where most of the uniformed prisoners ddisembarked. At the main gates they seized the controls and got outside. However, Kerr stressed, the staff in the Tally Lodge “resisted strongly and in the ensuing affray one officer was stabbed and died shortly afterwards. “By this time the alarm had been raised and two officers sitting in their cars outside the gate drove into the area, blocking the exit.” In the resulting melee 10 escapees were captured including a man called Murray who was wounded by an army sentry in a watch-tower. At the time of the report on 26 September, 21 inmates remained “unlawfully at large”. In his conclusion, Kerr highlighted a number of aspects of the PIRA escape which gave him concern. In particular, the fact that the inmates were in possession of firearms suggested that they and their supporters outside were able to breach the security measures at the Maze. He was particularly alarmed at the ease with which prisoners were able to gain access to the secure entrance into the blocks and the main gates. He also questioned how the escaping prisoners were allowed to drive a hijacked vehicle through two inner gates without being challenged and why five officers in H Block 7 were permitted to be off their posts at the same time. Claims by the DUP leader, Ian Paisley that the military guard had failed to open fire prompted a memo to the secretary of state from an NIO official, P W J Buxton on September 28 1983 on the reaction of the soldiers who formed a 150-strong prison guard. He reported that in the watchtower on the main gate had shot an escaper whom he had just seen shot a prison officer. The position of a soldier shooting escapers was quite clear, Buxton noted; ‘the Yellow Card’ applied. Thus, unless the escaper is presenting a direct threat to life, or has just killed or injured someone and there was no other way of arresting, he is not authorised to shoot.

With many thanks to: Eamon Phoenix, The Irish News.

IRA membership accused face trial

Judge rules against suggested media ban


THREE men and two women charged with Provisional IRA membership will stand trial at Belfast Crown Court, a judge ruled yesterday.

Veteran republicans Padraic Wilson (54), whose address was given as the Sinn Fein Advice Centre on Falls Road, West BBelfast, and Seamus Finucane (56), of Hawthorn Hill, Hannahstown, were two of the five people charged with offences relating to organising a meeting on behalf of the paramilitary group. In the dock alongside them were Agnes McCrory (73), of Dermot Hill Road, Bridge Wright (56), of Glassmullin Gardens and Martin Morris (49), of Wellbeck Road in London. Morris is accused of belonging to a proscribed organisation, namely the Provisional IRA. The others are accused of Provisional IRA membership and multiple counts of organising a meeting on behalf of or in support of a proscribed organisation.

District Judge George Conner agreed that all five defendants had a case to answer and returned them for trial at Belfast Crown Court on a date to be fixed. It is alleged that all five belonged to the IRA on dates between 1997 and 2000. Originally two days had been set aside for a preliminary investigation to be held to test the strength of the prosecution case. However, following private discussions between the pprosecution and defence in judge’s chambers it was decided to proceed with a shorter hearing. The five, who are expected to plead not guilty, answered “no” when asked whether they had any comment to make. All declined to call witnesses at that stage. They were released on £250 bail to reappear in court when a date is set for the case. A ban on publishing the defendants ‘ identities was lifted in October last year. Following yesterday’s hearing the Court Service initially indicated that the reporting restrictions were being reinstated until the case reaches the crown court. However, the judge later decided against the media ban provided that an alleged victim connected to the case is not iidentified.

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


FIVE police officers who strip-searched a 22-year old woman and left her naked in a cell for half an hour will face misconduct charges.

The woman who said her drink was spiked, was arrested outside a club after she ran in and out of a road. Officers (apperently) believed she had drugs hidden in her clothing and she was stripped in her cell with the CCTV images broadcast to the custody desk at Chelsea Police Station. The woman complained about her treatment and the Independent Police Complaints Commission ruled the search was carried out without justification. IPCC commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “I find it difficult to understand why officers think they have the right to strip a young woman leaving her naked and then expose her to being filmed.” The case has been referred back to the Met and five PCs and a duty sergeant will face a misconduct hearing. 


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