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 

Corrupt prison officer arrested for supplying drugs – Maghaberry Prison

 
 A serving prison officer was among five people arrested as part of an investigation into trafficking banned items into Maghaberry Prison.

The 50-year-old was arrested at the prison on Tuesday morning.

A quantity of cash and drugs were seized in a joint operation carried out by the PSNI and the Prison Service.

Three properties were searched in Newtownabbey, Belfast and Kinallen, County Down.

The prison officer was questioned in relation to conveyancing prohibited articles into a prison, misconduct in public office, possession of criminal property and being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

A 28-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman were arrested in Newtownabbey.

A 55-year-old woman was arrested in Belfast and a 50-year-old woman was arrested in Kinallen.

They were all released on bail pending further enquires late on Tuesday night.

The PSNI’s Head of Reactive and Organised Crime Chief Superintendent Tim Mairs said: “Detectives today seized £10,000 cash, a quantity of suspected Class A and Class B controlled drugs and a number of mobile phones.

“This operation is a good example of how collaborative working can disrupt crime and also demonstrates our commitment to Keeping People Safe by removing harmful drugs from society.”

The head of the Prison Service, Ronnie Armour, said: “I welcome the result of today’s joint operation with the PSNI and would take this opportunity to reiterate the zero tolerance drugs policy which operates within Northern Ireland’s prisons.”

PERPETUATING INJUSTICE.

Perpetuating injustice

MI5, the British army and the PSNI have colluded to perpetuate the injustice we ‘The Craigavon Two’ continue to face.

That much is clear from the facts that emerged during our ‘show trial’ and subsequent appeal. The deletion of information to cover up wrong doing, the intimidation of key defence witnesses and the withholding of evidence able to undermine the state allegations serve to prove that. Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd spoke recently of ‘war junkies in suits’ working to perpetuate conflict. What he has failed to comment on is the ways in which this has manifested itself. These very same people (Shame Fein) and organisations have directly contributed to the wrongful imprisonment of two of his constituents. If his concern is genuine, will he now commit himself and his party to calling for an investigation into the role of state actors, including the PSNI, MI5 and the British army’s special reconnaissance regiment, in the injustice for which we may now spend the rest of our lives in prison.
With many thanks to: Brendan McConville, John Paul Wootton, Maghaberry Gaol, Co Antrim.

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Standing room only as accused appear

THREE of the most high-profile republicans in the North of Ireland appearing in court together was always going to attract a huge amount of attention and it was standing room only in court 10 at Belfast’s Laganside complex on Tuesday.

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Co Armagh man Colin Duffy was joined in the dock by Harry Fitzsimmons, only recently released from Maghaberry Gaol after serving a sentence for abducting Bobby Tohill in 2004, along with Alec McCrory, a long-serving IRA prisoner and ‘blanket man’. The trio face a series of charges including involvement in a dissident Republican gun attack on police vehicles in North Belfast earlier this month. A Kalashnikov-style weapon was recovered during a follow-up search of the Ardoyne area following the shooting on December 5. The public gallery was packed to capacity with family members and supporters. Several loyalists charged in connection with July 12 violence appeared nervous as charges were put to them with such a large republican audience looking on. Recognisable faces among the supporters were Coalisland man Kevin Barry Murphy, North Belfast republican Brendan Conway and independent councillor Angela Nelson. Dressed casually when brought up from the court’s holding cells to the dock, the three accused remained impassive throughout the short hearing. They refused to stand while charges were read out and refused to answer when they were put to them. A detective said he could connect the accused to the offences. The men’s solicitors said they would not be applying for bail at this time. The hearing lasted less than five minutes, and as the three were taken back into custody supporters in the public gallery clapped and cheered. Magistrate Fiona Bagnall ordered the court be cleared. There was a heavy police presence outside the courthouse as the  three were taken from the court to Maghaberry Gaol in a blacked-out prison van.

With many thanks to: Allison Morris, The Irish News

Colin Duffy

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Arguably the most recognisable face of anti-agreement republicanism, the Co Armagh man was acquitted in January 2012 of the murder of two British soldiers at Massereene army base in Co Antrim in 2009, having served a lengthy period on remand. In 1993 he was convicted of the PIRA murder of UDA man John Lyness but was acquitted on appeal. The 47-year-old was also detained followng the IRA murders of constable David Johnson and John Graham in Lurgan in June 1997, shortly before the second IRA ceasefire but the charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence. In November last year he was arrested by detectives investigating the murder of prison officer David Black but was released without charge. His most recent arrest was in May of this year when he was qustioned about dissident republican activity before being released unconditionally. Once the most senior member of Shame Fein in the Lurgan area the hard line republican left the party prior to the decision to endorse policing. He was briefly a member of eirigi, but left the party shortly before his arrest for the Massereene attack.

Alec McCrory

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The West Belfast man served two periods of imprisonment for the Provisional IRA. He was one of the youngest prisoners to join the blanket protest after being jailed in 1978 at the age of 17. He was imprisoned for a second time in the 1980s and served 14 years for possession of a bomb. In 2011 he was the first person in the North of Ireland to make an offcial complaint to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal over what he claimed were repeated attempts by MI5 to recruit him as an agent. More recently he has acted as a spokesman for republican prisoners held in Maghaberry.

Harry Fitzsimmons

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HE was released from prison in May of this year after serving a jail term for the abduction of dissident Bobby Tohill in 2004 from a Belfast city centre bar. Tohill was rescued by police who rammed the van he was being carried in, he later refused to give evidence against his abductors. The event nearly jeopardized the Peace Process as the Provos were on ceasefire at the time. Fitzsimmons and his co accused went on the run in 2006 while awaiting sentencing, he was extradited to the North after being arrested in Dundalk in November 2009. While in Maghaberry he spent most of his sentence on protest against the prison regime. He was arrested last month and questioned about the murder of drug dealer Kevin Kearney but was released without charge. Since being released he had been living in North Belfast, however, after receiving death threats his address was given on Tuesday as of ‘no fixed abode’.

JUSTICE FOR THE CRAIGAVON TWO – LET THE TRUTH UNFOLD !!!!

1048304_171056716406381_592755739_o Packy Carty > Justice for the Craigavon Two Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton are serving life sentences in Maghaberry Gaol for the 2009 killing of PSNI constable Stephen Carroll. Both men maintain their innocence and claim they are victims of a miscarriage of justice. We believe they are innocent do you? We have studied the case and read the facts have you? Please share this to help us raise awareness. https://www.facebook.com/JFTC2 Photos of Justice for the Craigavon Two

FREE GEARD McMANUS

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Cumann Sean MacEachaidh

After seeing a photo in the Irish News in 2010/11 a friend of Gerard McManus himself serving a sentence in Port Laoise penned the poem below.

Gerard and his Roe 4 Comrades were in a constant state of Protest for 3 full years, and continue to suffer the extreme excess of an archaic vengeful policy – anxiously pondering the next day. Please write to him and show him your support.

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Sadness has distilled the anger burning deep inside,

I had to search to clarify the names,

Confronted by an image of two comrades led to court,

I didn’t recognise them first; blind ignorance, pure shame.

A Crown infected county town, Cole’s monument peers down,

From behind the butcher’s statue in Forthill,

All the days of struggle lost and sacrifice and vain,

As yeomen now still implement a foreign nation’s will.

The story was a charge sheet invented by the yoke,

To chain and cage the patriotic flame,

No explanation offered on why their eye’s winced at the light,Wearing beards that might hide bruises, but convey their awful pain.

No report on what awaited them, when the newsmen went away,No words to state the evil in the gaol,

Black tongues hung out to strip them, defile their human pride,The gully rats of Ireland, their breeding never fails.

I could hear defiance reaching out to choke the Saxon’s hold,

And tell them “NO! OUR DIGNITY REMAINS!”

I could see their bodies crumple, like their clothes upon the floor,I could sense their desolation, as they rose to fall again.

I heard them roar in echoed tones, at lines of hooded thugs,

Facing batons with naked shattered bones,

I swore around the walls that hold us here in Portloaise Gaol

That these visions will be present when we reconvene at home.

And Britain asked in haughty tones, what leads us all to act,

Against them without fear or compromise?

Our reason now, Maghaberry Gaol, our logic what it’s done,

“Beware the risen people”….

….When for vengeance, people rise!”