Heavy police presence as five loyalists alleged members of SEA UDA are sent for trial.

Robert Ralph

FIVE alleged loyalist killers accused of gunning down a man in front of his young son in broad daylight had their case sent to the Crown Court yesterday.

There was a heavy police presence at Newtownards Magistrates Court where, during a short preliminary enquiry, the legal step necessary to refer a case up through the courts, a prosecuting lawyer submitted there was a prima facie case against the five men and one woman.

Ryan Smyth and Terri Aicken

The men are jointly charged with the murder of James Colin Horner on May 28 last year and with possessing a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

They are: Robert Ralph (47),from the Donaghadee Road in Newtownards; Adrian Price (48) from Bristol Park in Newtownards; Joseph Blair (34), from Shackleton Walk, Newtownards; Alan Wilson (29), from the Ballyrainey Road, Newtownards; Ryan Smyth (30), from Windsor Gardens in Bangor.

Standing alongside the alleged killers in the dock on Friday was 23-year-old Terrie Aicken, from the Green Road in Conlig.

She is accused of perverting the course of justice by providing police with a false statement on 16 June last year.

Joseph Blair

Mr Horner (35) was shot dead by a lone gunman moments after he had put his three-year-old son in the back of his car at the Sainsbury’s car park in Bangor.

The murder has been linked to a feud among rival loyalist factions.

Giving evidence to the court when Smyth first appeared, DS Bush said police believe he has “strong links to the UDA” and that the murder of Mr Horner was connected to the Carrickfergus killing of loyalist George Gilmore with “mounting tensions in south east Antrim UDA in an ongoing feud”.

A lawyer said that while Wilson is not accused of pulling the trigger or being in the getaway car, it is the Crown case that he “scouted” the victim and phoned the gunman.

Adrian Price

Photographic evidence from earlier that day allegedly shows Wilson’s car parked near Mr Horner’s home on the morning of the attack, the court heard.

The prosecution claimed that Wilson’s car was captured on CCTV following Mr Horner’s car into Sainsbury’s car park while mobile phone records allegedly show he made a number of calls while the victim was in the supermarket.

Cell site analysis also allegedly links his mobile to the Kerr’s Road area between Bangor and Newtownards where the getaway car was later discovered burnt out.

During Smyth’s bail application, there was a similar claim that cell site analysis places a mobile phone allegedly associated with Smyth in Sainsbury’s car park at the time of the killing and a further claim that photographs of Mr Horner and his car were found on the phone.

Alan Wilson

It is the prosecution case that a yard on South Street in Newtownards was used as a “staging post” in the killers’ plan with a claim that “CCTV evidence shows the Mondeo getaway car and a Ford Focus (allegedly used by Wilson to scout the victim) leave these premises about an hour before the murder”.

Defence lawyers however submit there is no direct evidence to link either man to the murder and that the circumstantial case thus far is weak.

In court on Friday, defence barristers for the six defendants conceded there was sufficient evidence to refer the case upwards to the Crown Court.

All six were given the opportunity to comment on the charges or give evidence to the preliminary enquiry but each declined the chance.

Freeing them all on continuing bail, District Judge Mark Hamill returned the case to Belfast Crown Court and ordered each of the defendants to appear there on September 7 for their arraignment.

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

British Army Veterans protest at being charged with murder


BRITISH Army veterans staged a rally at Belfast City Hall yesterday claiming the government has “walked away from them”.

The veterans were protesting at the ongoing criminal investigations into the actions of soldiers during the Troubles.

The protesters, who were joined by DUP MP Gavin Robinson, called on supporters to attend a second rally at Belfast Laganside court on Friday when two former soldiers will appear in connection with the murder of republican leader Joe McCann in Belfast in 1972.

Mr Robinson is a member of the Westminster select committee that recommended a statute of limitations for investigations into former members of the military.

Veteran John Ross at Belfast

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the origional story

Don’t be fooled it’s business as usual on our streets.

PARAMILITARY PEACE PROMISE ALL HOT AIR

THE absurdity of Monday’s announcement that loyalist paramilitaries are now fully supportive of the rule of law will not be lost on those who know the nature of the beasts.

Simply being a member of the UDA, Red Hand Commando or UVF is enough to put you behind bars for up to 10 years – not that anyone in authority seems to care. If we are to take ageing terror chiefs Jackie McDonald and Jim Wilson at face value you can expect to see the membership of these organisations dramtically decrease, because, according to Jackie, those involved in criminality are “masquerading as loyalists” and will be expelled. He’s said it before, yet the organisation he heads continues to be deeply involved in the drugs trade, extortion – of which Jackie is a bit of an expert – punishment attacks and putting people out of their homes.

CONCERNED

There was an air of desperation about Monday’s announcement. The flow of cash from the public purse has continued, against the better judgement of many people who are rightly concerned at the over-indulgence of illegal organisations who have been too slow to move with the times. But there is now a real threat to the liberty of many of the men under McDonald’s command.

The paramilitary Crime Task Force has been slowly turning the screw, targeting the UDA’s criminal endeavours on the Shankill and more recently in North Down. Arrests are being made and charges pressed.

Stringent conditions governing the release of grants threaten to slow the cash flow, and we all know there’s nothing like putting liberty at stake and cutting the cash to focus the mind of a loyalist paramilitary. It would be wonderful to think there is a genuine desire to move away from criminality and there is no question there are many, many veteran paramilitaries who have turned their backs on their organisation, appalled at their involvement in drugs.

Equally there are many paramilitary leaders who continue to grow fat on the proceeds of organised crime – don’t expect that to change. Monday wasn’t a red letter day. No one doubts the sincerity of the church leaders and community activists who helped ‘broker’ this week’s announcement, but away from the hallowed walls of the Linen Hall Library it was business as usual.

A death threat issued against a journalist, a man lucky to be alive when shots were fired as he walked the streets of north Belfast, a show of strength in Bangor and a hoax pipe bomb thrown through a window of a family home in Ballymoney. It will take more than the pious words of Jackie McDonald and Jim Wilson to convince anyone that after all these years they are finally going stright.

With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Richard Sullivan for the origional story.l

‘On-the-runs’ deal negotiated with Shame Féin and the British government ‘made amnesty for British Soldiers inevitable’.

This story appeared in The Irish News today Saturday April 29th 2017.


TONY Blair’s ‘backroom deal with Shame Féin in relation to an ‘amnesty for members of the IRA’ which has become known by the so-called of ‘ontheruns‘ made an amnesty for former British Soldiers an “inevitability” a member of the Westminster defence committee has said. Earlier this week the powerful Commons committee backed calls for a ‘statue of limitations’ stopping investigation or prosecution of all former British Soldiers for Trouble’s related offences.

The committee stopped short of recommending a ‘statute of limitations‘ for unsolved paramilitary killings saying that “would be for the next government to decide”. In February The Irish News reported that 200 soldiers linked to unsolved Troubles killings are set to benefit from a de facto amnesty, with the British government seeking to introduce special legislation which would place a “line in the sand” on further prosecutions involving some  ‘high level’ Shame Féin MLA’s from further prosecutions. 


Sir Gearld Howarth, the outgoing Conservative MP for Aldershot said at the time that there were discussions taking place at the highest level to protect former members of the British military from prosecution.

Gerry Kelly who shot dead a prison officer in the H-Block great escape received one of the comfort pardon’s.

“The soldiers and their families I speak to feel very let down”, he said. Three former members of the British military are charged with offences relating to their time on duty in the North of Ireland. In December last year two retired members of the Parachute Regiment were told they were to be prosecuted for the murder (execution ) of O.I.R.A (Official Irish Republican Army), Commander Joe McCann in 1972.
Another former British Soldier, Dennis Hutchings, who is in his in seventies and from Cornwall, has been charged with the attempted murder of John Paul Cunningham (27). who had learning  difficulties, was shot dead  (shot in the back) by a brave British Soldier in Co Tyrone in 1974. Prosecutors are also considering files on the 1972 Bloody Sunday shootings (mass murders) were 14 innocent civilians were murdered by British Soldiers in Co Derry.


DUP MP Gavin Robinson, an Orangeman and qualified solicitor 
https://goo.gl/images/URI1He

(pictured above) who sits on the Westminster defence committee said this government had a “long way to go to undo the disgraceful deals of the past”. “The current government are not going to be able to right the wrongs of the past, there were some quite disgraceful secret deals done and people were understandably outraged.


“The ‘on-the-run’ issue created a completely unbalanced situation and it is absolutely right that there are now steps taken to address that imbalance. “The IRA did not leave written records of the murders they carried out and in fact when pressed have continued to observe the IRA’s code of silence. “This was very evident in Martin McGuinness” evidence during the Saville inquiry. “These recommendations are not set in stone and they could be rejected, but I would hope the current government (Vote Labour) will give serious consideration to the report and the very understandable public anger.”
With many thanks to: Allison Morris, The Irish News, for the original story.

Captain Robert Nairac of the Grenadier Guards.

Captain Robert Nairac of the Grenadier Guards.

Born in Mauritius rumoured to be a member of the SAS later a British Army death squad commander in Ireland during the 1970s.

He also went undercover spying in on the IRA activities by frequenting pubs and places they would meet. He gained the nickname Danny Boy. He was also behind the murder of a young IRA volunteer John Francis Green. Eventually the IRA caught up with him and executed him. By shoting him once in the head Robert was executed sometime around 1977 and he remains one of the Disappeared.

With many thanks to: Irish History discussion and debate group. For the origional story.

Gino Gallagher 1963-1996

Gino Gallagher was callously murdered by a hired assassin over 15 years ago on January 30th, 1996. Born Gino Majella Gallagher in 1963 to Irish Republican parents, his mother Theresa was a member of the first Ard-Chomhairle of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and his father, Patrick, had been on hunger and thirst strike in a Dutch prison protesting against extradition to Britain in the 1970’s.

Gino Gallagher 1963-1996

Contemporary IRSP activists and especially younger Irish Republican Socialists, who may not have known him owe much to Gino Gallagher, not least being that he is credited with refurbishing Costello House, the IRSPs national headquarters on Belfast’s Falls Road. At his insistence, Costello House was transformed from being a run-down, semi-derelict building into something resembling the working party offices that exist there today. Gino Gallagher, in his then role as IRSP POW spokesperson was responsible for obtaining the re-patriation of INLA prisoners from English gaols. He also was instrumental in forcing the NIO to agree to negotiating rights for the Irish Republican Socialist Party in relation to the INLA prisoners in Long Kesh.

Politician and Soldier, Soldier and Politician
Although a feared military operator, who at the time of his death was Chief of Staff of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) he was also a highly politicized Republican Socialist activist who embodied Ta Power’s doctrine of ‘every soldier a politician, every politician a soldier’. Gino Gallagher was instrumental in promoting the central tenets of Ta Power’s analysis and vision for the Republican Socialist Movement which stressed the primacy of politics. Gino Gallagher described Ta Power as, ‘the biggest influence in my life’ . Tragically, both men were to meet similar cruel ends, cut down by the Judas bullets of counter-revolutionaries.

Gino Gallagher was made INLA Chief of Staff following the arrest and subsequent expulsion of Hugh Torney and his associates when they declared an unauthorised INLA ceasefire from the dock of a Dublin courtroom in 1995, in return for a successful bail application after their arrest in Ballbriggan. By all accounts, Torney had been an a one-dimensional militarist, at best, and his tenure as INLA Chief of Staff was marked by his concerted attempts at running down the political wing, the IRSP. Torney would have resented Gino Gallagher’s reversal of the IRSP’s political fortunes and his drive to make the party the significant player it had once been.

Feared In Life and Death
Gino Gallagher was cruelly shot dead as he waited to sign-on at the Falls Road offices of the Social Security Agency, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, 1996. The assassin who the Torney cabal hired to murder one of the IRSM’s most able leaders was Kevin McAlorum, the career criminal son of an infamous North Belfast drugs dealer. Both Torney and McAlorum met violent ends, the former only 8 months later on 3 September 1996 and the hired assassin 8 years later on June 4th, 2004, by grim irony only the day after Gino Gallagher’s father’s funeral.

Even in death the forces of reaction feared and hated Gino Gallagher, heavily armed RUC and British army stormtroopers invaded the family home, disrupted the funeral procession and beat mourners. Gino Gallagher was buried in Milltown cemetery on 2 February, 1996, with the funeral oration delivered by IRSP Ard Chomhairle member, Michael McCormick, who paid tribute to his political activism and revolutionary zeal. The oration praised Gino Gallagher’s promotion of ‘open democratic discussion’ , his struggle against ‘elitist, militaristic and non-political attitudes in the movement’ and how he, through determined activism ‘along with others, revitalised the Republican Socialist Movement.’ Gino Gallagher’s funeral oration ended with the sentence:

“Finally, as we lay this Volunteer and Comrade ino the soft green soil
of his native land, remember him each time you gaze into the stars
and see there etched across the sky, the Plough and the Stars!”

Today, his cowardly killer and those who hired him have been dispatched to the dustbin of history but Gino Gallagher’s image is immortalised in murals and commemorative plaques in his native west Belfast. Though times have changed greatly since 1996, Gino Gallagher’s legacy lives on in a revitalised IRSP that has fully endorsed the primacy of politics and continues to represent the interests of working-class people.

Information Taken From: http://www.theworkersrepublic.com/irsm-leader-gino-gallagher-remembered.html

With many thanks to: Stephen Codd.

Two men charged over murder of SEA UDA loyalist George Gilmore in ongoing loyalist fued

More on: Ongoing loyalist in fued

George Gilmore
George Gilmore was shot in a “ruthless attack in broad daylight”, police said

Two men have been charged with the murder of a high-profile loyalist after a gun attack in County Antrim.

George Gilmore, who was 44, was shot in the neck while he was in his car

Police forensic officers at the scene of the shootingImage copyrightPRESS EYE
Image captionPolice sealed off part of Pinewood Avenue as they investigated the attack on Monday

He died in hospital on Tuesday and police described his killing as a “ruthless attack in broad daylight”.

The two men, aged 28 and 35, will appear in court in Belfast on Saturday morning on several charges.

As well as the murder charge they will each face, the men are also accused of two counts of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.