General Election 2019: Nigel Dodds claims that he condemns the sectarian Anti-Finucane banners being erected in Belfast this comes after a statement this morning from the DUP claiming they were unaware of any such banners being erected

Nigel Dodds said the DUP had nothing to do with the banner. Anything personally offensive, smearing and inaccurate of any candidate in the Westminster election must be condemned, DUP “Deputy Dog” Dodds has said.
It follows the removal of a banner which targeted Belfast’s Lord Mayor John Finucane on Monday

The banner, in Belfast’s Tiger’s Bay area, contained allegations about the Sinn Féin North Belfast election candidate and his family.

Mr Dodds said the DUP had nothing to do with the banner.

He said the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) had been “crystal clear” on the use of violence and the activity of those who take part in “vile internet trolling” of victims and some unionist politicians.

However, he also challenged Sinn Féin not to be selective, calling on republicans to “stop eulogising the violent perpetrators of the IRA” including the gunman who shot a police officer guarding him when he was visiting his seriously ill son in hospital in 1996.

Ulster Unionist leader Steve Aitken said the banners “need to come down, no two ways about it”.

Belfast City Council workers were flanked by police as they removed the banner on Monday.

One of the sectarian Anti-Finucane banners targeting John Finucane’s father Pat who was murdered by loyalist Paramilitaries at his home in North Belfast in 1989

Supt Melanie Jones said police were in attendance “to ensure the safety of persons removing a banner from council property”.

“Enquiries are under way to establish if these banners constitute any criminal offence or offences, including a hate incident or hate crime,” added Supt Jones.

‘Hatred and division’
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said there had been an “appalling and dangerous” campaign of “harassment, intimidation and threats against John Finucane and his family”.

He is a candidate in next month’s Westminster election in the North Belfast constituency, which is also being contested by outgoing DUP MP Mr Dodds and Nuala McAllister of the Alliance Party.

Mr Finucane’s father, Pat, was a solicitor who was shot dead by loyalists at his home in north Belfast in 1989.

The PSNI said it had also received reports about banners erected in south Belfast, adding enquiries were being made.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said banners targeted at candidate Claire Hanna had appeared in south Belfast.

“The banners that have been erected in Belfast targeting John Finucane and Claire Hanna seeking to sow hatred and division are disgusting,” said Mr Eastwood.

“Those responsible are cynically using, abusing and retraumatising victims for narrow political purposes.”

With many thanks to: BBC NewsNI for the original story 

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.

Campaigner to speak at ‘Craigavon Two event

THE mother of an English man jailed under joint enterprise laws spoke on Thursday night August 6th 2015 at an event organised by supporters of two men wrongly convicted of killing RUC/PSNI constable Stephen Carroll.

Jan Cunliffe traveled from England to Belfast to speak at the annual event organised by Justice for the Craigavon Two. Her son Jordan was given a life sentence after he was convicted under joint enterprise laws of murdering a man in Wigan in 2007. Ms Cunliffe is a member of the campaign group Jengba – Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association – and her story inspired award-wining filmmaker Jimmy McGovern to make the acclaimed film Common, Which explores the issue of joint enterprise. Constable Carroll was shot dead by a Continuity IRA (C.I.R.A) sniper in March 2009. Two Craigavon men John Paul Wootton (JP), and Brendan McConville (Yandy), were later convicted of his murder and lost their appeal. Both men deny any part in the attack that claimed the 48-year-old’s life. Jan Cunliffe said she wants to raise awareness around the issue of joint enterprise. “We want to wake people up and make them realise there have got to others,” she said. “We are aware of the evidence and there was no jury and I am not convinced by the convictions at all. “It’s typical of joint enterprise cases and there are hundreds that I know about.” Ms Cunliffe spoke at St Mary’s University at 7pm.

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

BRITISH ARMY ADMITS UNJUSTIFIED MURDER OF MANUS DERRY

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BRITISH ARMY ADMITS UNJUSTIFIED KILLING OF MANUS DEERY

Our family has spent 40 years campaigning for the truth of how Manus was killed. We have always known that he was killed without any justification. Now we know that the British Government knew this too.

Manus was shot dead by a British soldier on May 19th 1972 as he stood with friends in Meenan Square in the Bogside. The soldier was stationed at an observation post on the City Walls. He said that he and a colleague had seen a man with a gun near Meenan Square and that he had fired at the man, either hitting him directly or by way of ricochet. This was a lie. There was no gunman, no reason whatsoever for the shot which struck Manus on the back of his head and ended his life.

A document which has now come to light reveals that the British authorities have known for 41 years that their official explanation of the killing was a lie. But they withheld the truth in order to save their own reputations at the expense of libelling a 15-year-old boy who had a whole life in front of him when they gunned him down in his own streets.

The document dated October 25th 1973 contained legal advice to the British Government to “settle” with our family because the killing was “unlawful” and couldn’t be defended in court. Our family accepted no “settlement” from them.

Needless to say, neither the soldier who pulled the trigger, nor any of his associates, nor the officers in charge, have ever been charged with any offence. Even though they had been told by their own legal advisers that the killing was unlawful, and although they knew the identity of the killer, they did nothing about it. This makes Government as well as military officials accessories to the crime.

We want to know what’s going to be done about this now.

An investigation carried out by the Historical Enquiries Team likewise let us down. The report got the soldier’s regiment wrong – and Manus’s mother’s name wrong! This couldn’t have happened if the HET investigators had really been focused on a proper examination of the evidence.

The fact that the guilty parties were soldiers must have played a part in the slip-shod nature of the HET investigation. It might have been a different story if the victim had been a member of the security forces and the killer a paramilitary.

The search for truth and justice in relation to the killing of Manus will continue. We will be discussing with legal advisers and with those who have campaigned alongside us how best to continue our quest for justice for our brother

THE VISIT TO HYDEBANK PRISON CENTRE THURSDAY 4TH JULY 2013 TO SEE CHRISTINE CONNOR.

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Angela Nelson

I did not write about this visit on Thursday due to the fact that Christine Connor from North Belfast was in court yesterday (Friday) for another bail application and I was hopeful she may have got it due to the fact that she is a totally innocent young woman held on allegations which are ludicrous and gives the distinct sense of a careful set up by the spooks that are operating within our communities. Sadly she was refused on the grounds that she may have access to pipe bombs and other things.

Christine was arrested at the beginning of June and held and questioned for seven days about an alleged attack when a pipe bomb was thrown at Police who were responding to an 999 call, she was also charged with possession of pipe bombs and preparing acts of terrorism.

At the same time a young man from Shrewsbury in England was also arrested and has since been charged with terrorist offences, whilst he does not appear at the court at the same time as Christine he is being associated with her. Christine does not know this young man at all?

The fact is Christine was arrested with nothing in her possession and after lengthy searches of her home and other family members homes nothing was found and there is no forensic evidence linking her to any of these charges.

The police say they can connect her to these charges, and we as Republicans have been down this road before, when allegations are made with nothing to substantiate them yet the person can spend a long time in “Administrative Detention” until the case comes to trial.

I went to see her on Thursday with a friend of hers and we were able to spend two hours with her where she talked me through the prison regime. Christine shares a wing with one other Republican female prisoner (Sharon Rafferty who has been held in “Isolation” for 13 months) until Christine joined her. The two women have become firm friends and are very supportive of each other. They conduct themselves within the prison as strong Republicans who will not be treated as criminals, but that does not mean that the prison system is not constantly trying to harass them and their visitors by giving them prison numbers, (rather than a name) or referring to them as “Dissident terrorists “in the mixed visiting areas within earshot of other visitors.

There is no education facilities available because the two women can already read and write and there are only courses for illiterate prisoners.

There is access to the gym but it is used by ODC’s and no time slot is made available for the two women to use it without mixing with criminals.

The food is inedible so they have to purchase it form the prison shop which is expensive.

During the week they are allowed out of their cells to associate with each other but at weekends they are locked up for 16 hours a day.

These two Republican women are supported by family and close friends but we as Republicans collectively need to be more supportive and that can be done in a very simple way, send them both a letter or a card, let them know we have not forgot about them. If you live close to their families call and offer support or even inquire about their welfare.

Today we had wonderful weather, the sun was shining and as I was driving up the road young women were sitting in “Beer Gardens” having a cold drink basking in the sunshine….

TODAY CHRISTINE CONNOR HAD HER BIRTHDAY,

SHE IS 28 YEARS OF AGE AND HAS BEEN LOCKED UP FOR 16 HOURS TODAY IN A PRISON CELL BECAUSE SHE IS A REPUBLICAN…

ALL I AM ASKING YOU TO DO AT THIS STAGE IS TO WRITE TO CHRISTINE AND SHARON OR SEND A CARD TO SHOW THEM WE CARE…

Seosamh O Bradaigh

Within the last few hours Christine Connor was having a visit for her birthday when it was abruptly cut short by screws claiming the needed the room for other use, upon leaving the Gaol the 2 visitors were met at the entrance by the RUC/PSNI and arrested one of the visitors, he has since been taken to Antrim RUC/PSNI station. The person who they arrested is not a citizen of the country and is in fact an American citizen, the behaviour of the screws and the RUC/PSNI once again has been brought into question when in relation to Republicans more updates will follow

FREE MICHAEL CAMPBELL – SEND A LETTER TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT TAL32

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Lithuanian Embassy Dublin

LIETUVOS RESPUBLIKOS

AMBASADA AIRIJOJE

47 Ailesbury Road,

Ballsbridge,

Dublin 4 IRELAND

Tel. +353 1 2035757

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing in support of Irish Citizen Michael Campbell who is currently in Lithuanian Custody and awaiting judgement from the Appeals court of Lithuania.

As an Irish Citizen, it is Michael’s right to be Repatriated to Ireland to complete the remainder of his sentence, however continued legal action against Michael directed by the Lithuanian Prosecutors office has prevented this right from being recognised.

Considering :

(i) The Report to the Lithuanian Government on the visit to Lithuania carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

(ii) Crucial judgement’s delivered preventing the extradition of Irish Citizens to Lithuania based on this report,

and

(iii) accepting the length of time Michael Campbell has already spent in Lithuanian custody,

it is a matter of some urgency that current proceedings against Michael Campbell are concluded speedily and fairly while all if any pending or proposed proceedings are promptly discarded.

We seek humanity.

Yours in appreciation.

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