CONTROVERSIAL legislation proposed by the British government will make it ‘illegal’ to publish images linked to the republican movement and loyalism and would be punishable with six months in prison.
The proposied clampdown is contained in new the counter-terrorism and border security bill which is making its way through Westminster.
The Irish News revealed on Friday how planned legislation will result in the establishment of a mile-wide ‘stop-and-search border zone’. Now it has emerged that the bill also proposes to outlaw clothing and images associated with paramilitary activity. While other legislation, including the Terrorism Act, covers some of this ground, the proposed legislation will go further. There are 14 republican and loyalists organisations proscribed by the British government. Several of the groups, including the main republican and loyalist organisations, are on long-term ceasefire.
The planned legislation says that: “A PERSON commits an offence if the person publishes an image of – (a) an item of clothing, or (b) any other article, in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that the person is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation”. The proposed legislation says “an image is a reference to a still or moving image [produced by any means]”.
This means that anyone who published an image relating deemed to be in support of a paramilitary organisation would be breaking the law. How far this will be enforced is unclear but it is thought it could be applied to flags and other images associated with both republican and loyalists groups.
Human rights groups have voiced concern about the proposed legislation. Deputy director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ), Daniel Holder said: “The reality is, as it stands, if these laws were in fact applied to the North of Ireland, there would be huge community alienation, street violence would probably erupt and the cause of peace would be put back immeasurably. “So if these counter-terrorism measures are not only useless but counter-productive for the North of Ireland, how are they appropriate for the rest of the UK?”
The CAJ and nationalist politicians have also voiced concern about the prospect of a ‘stop-and-search border zone’. If the bill becomes law any member of the public could be stopped within a mile of the border to establish if they are engaged in “hostile activity”. SDLP MLA Carmel Hanna last night said the proposals would be a “grotesque assault on border life and on the [Good Friday] agreement of which the UK government is a co-guarantor”. “The UK government appear to neither care nor understand the anxiety they are causing here,” she said.
“At this point in the Brexit negotiations there is very little we could put past this government who seem prepared to sign up to almost anything in the name of Brexit and oblivious to the tension these proposals create.”
Sinn Féin deputy president Michelle O’Neill accused the British government of “duplicity”. “The use of stop and search powers is already a cause of massive concern in nationalist areas and if powers as wide-ranging as these were introduced, it would be disastrous,” she said. “It runs counter to human rights provisions. It runs counter Good Friday Agreement and the principles of the European Common Travel Area. “I will be taking this up directly with both governments because it is clear that, through this legislation, London is preparing for the imposition of a hard border in Ireland.”
With many thanks to: Connla Young and The Irish News for the original story.
Irish News Editorial
Legislation must be scrutinised
WHILE considerable attention has been focused on the Brexit withdrawal bill, another piece of legislation which could have far-reaching repercussions for the border has been making its way through Westminster largely unnoticed. The counter-terrorism and border security bill contains proposals that, if passed, could have alarming implications for people in the border area of the North of Ireland. Under the terms of the planned legislation, any member of the public could be stopped within a mile of the border to establish if they are entering or leaving the nort. An ‘examining officer’ may question the person to determine if they are engaged in ‘hostile activity’.
It is not clear if this means police or border force officers will be protrolling the border area, able to stop and question any person they wish without due cause. Obviously this would be viewed with deep concern, particularly at a time when efforts are under way to ensure there is no hard border on this Island following the UK’s departure from the EU in March next year. It is also worrying that this legislation, which contains other broadly-constructed measures that will raise serious concern, has already passed the Committee stage and could come into law before Christmas. These proposals must be subject to careful scrutiny and assessment with political representatives making sure we do not end up with a hard border as a result of Brexit or any other form of legislation.
FLAGS representing a loyalist paramilitary group and inscribed with an Irish language slogan have been flown in a Co Down town.
The Red Hand Commando (RHC) flags appeared on a lamppost in the centre of Ballynahinch. They include the phrase ‘Lamh Derg Abu, a reference to the Irish phrase ‘Lámh dhearg Abú meaning ‘Red Hand to victory’. People in Ballynahinch have spoken of feeling uncomfortable at the sight of the flags, with one telling The Irish News that the paramilitary group “should not be represented in a public place”, close to a library and health clinic.
The RHC, a small loyalist grouping with close links to the UVF, was founded in 1972 and was responsible for 13 murders during the Troubles. Amongst the killings was the 1976 murder – along with the UFF – of former Sinn Féin vice-president Máire Drumm, who was shot dead as she recovered from an eye operation in the Mater Hospital.
In September last year it applied to the British Home Office to be removed from the UK’s list of proscribed terrorist groupings, as part of a bid to become a community organisation. Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond jnr was beaten to death by the UVF in 1997, said the ban should be lifted.
The RHC flags with the Irish language slogan have appeared at several locations across the north in recent years and have also featured on loyalist murals. Sinn Féin north Belfast councillor JJ Magee tweeted: “So no Irish language act, no Irish street signs, no Irish place names but hey Irish language on a Red Hand Commando flag, yes of course #headscratchingmoment”. The introduction of an Irish language act has been a major sticking point to the return of power-sharing at Stormont in negotiations between Sinn Féin and the DUP.
With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story.
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.
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
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.
TODAY we launch an appeal for much-needed funds for loyalist paramilitaries and Loyalist Communities Council (LCC).
After giving up their criminal campaign, 20 years after they last promised to give up their criminal campaign, the Re-home a Red Hand and Adopt a UDA Man (RRHAUDAM) appeals urgently need your help. For just £50,000 a year could give idle buggers like Sammy from the Shankill a community worker’s job. It would help to pay for the three holidays a year and the top-of-the-range car which he and his family so badly need. In return, he’ll promise to enrich the culture of his community and lay off doing anyones’ knees. Obviously he’d still be good for a bit of blow (weed) but keep it to yourself. But the suddenly contrite paramilitaries aren’t looking for charity. They will be bringing important job skills to any cushy number they’re offered. They have maths skills from years of working out if Jonty has a kilo of weed how many half ounces can he knock out if he expects a 50 per cent mark up.
Or if a local businessman refuses to pay his £80-a-week protection money how many bricks will it take to do his windows. They have invaluable people skills, honed over decades of dealing with the local community – the bookies, the bar men, the travel agents, the car dealers, the wee girls in the off-licence. And all they want is the chance to give back to their community by getting the jobs few of them have ever bothered getting before. They long to experience life on minimum wage and a zero hours contract because who needs qualifications when you have an overwhelming sense of entitlement. Our appeal so far has raised £1 million from the Tony Blair’s an Angel Who’s Still Fixing the World Foundation.
It’s a tiny amount compared to the £26 million which was raised by the PIRA in their Northern Bank fundraiser but it was either that or cupcake sales for the next millennium. It’s vitally important that the paramilitaries are shown our love because otherwise they might just keep doing what they’ve always done for the last 20 years. There will be some strays from the path of peace, like Tyrone, South East Antrim, East Belfast and the UPRG who aren’t ready to leave the old ways behind. They will be humanely arrested for blatantly breaking the law, even though they’ve miraculously got away with a life of crime up to now. So please give what you can – support your local loyalist so he doesn’t have to. With many thanks to: Roisin Gorman.http://firstname.lastname@example.org.Sunday World.
The IMC has found that the UVF leadership decided Moffett should be shot to eliminate the threat he posed to individual members of the organisation and to send a wider message to the loyalist community that the UVF would not tolerate its authority being flouted.
If anyone hoped that this hardly startling revelation would result in the IMC deciding that the UVF ceasefire was no longer valid, they may be disappointed. The Telegraph further reports:
Although the IMC has concluded that the murder of Moffett was extremely serious, it has decided not to recommend that the Northern SecretaryOwen Patterson should “recategorise” the UVF
as an organisation not on ceasefire.
The distinct impression is left that the IMC are happy to pretend the UVF are on ceasefire provided they restrict their criminality to murdering working class unionists, drug dealing, racketeering, prostitution and the like. It looks suspiciously as though the problems faced by working class unionist communities do not matter to the IMC. This should hardly be surprising: there have been multiple previous murders by the “on ceasefire” loyalist terrorists.
Mick pointed out below that the McClean enquiry redefined collusion as sins of commission. It seems however, that the IMC define the commission of murder sanctioned by the UVF leadership as not a corporate sin at all. The IMC should maybe reflect on the implications of its finding: the logic could have profound consequences for the concept of Common Purposein law. It implies that a criminal ordering a murder is not remotely the same thing as committing it.
We are aware of the view that the murder was the result of particular
circumstances and will not be repeated.
Since there have been almost two dozen murders since the loyalist “ceasefire” that can only be described as utterly dishonest nonsense except of course that the UVF cannot murder Mr. Moffett again: just whomever else they may chose to instead.
The IMC further states (20):
We still believe that the leadership of the organisation wants to pursue the 2007 strategy
The UVF 2007 strategy (helpfully stated in part 14 of the report) was:
Paramilitary activity such as recruitment, training and targeting
– So-called active service units would be stood down and the
organisation would be down-sized;
– The involvement of members in crime would be in contravention of
the “command” of the leadership.
Exactly how the UVF leadership’s belief in the above can be squared with Moffett’s murder is difficult to establish though one expects criminals to tell lies. The fact that Lord Alderdice claims the UVF leadership supports its strategy places him in as dishonest a position as the UVF leaders.
Maybe one day there will be a serious attempt to stop the general criminality of loyalist terrorists by robust police action. However, whilst the IMC, which was set up to adjudicate on the ceasefires, continues to participate in and even coordinate the utterly dishonest game of see no evil, hear no evil; there is little chance of that happening.
The nephew of Bobby Moffett, who was gunned down on the Shankill Road in 2010, has been brutally beaten during a weekend attack.
James Kelly was attacked in a house in Belfast‘s Daisyfield Street shortly after 8pm on Saturday.
The 23-year-old’s mother explained what happened when four men pushed their way into the house that her son was in.
Lily Kelly said: “They held his arms down, searched him and then they asked what would they do with him, would they take him away?
“One of them shouted: ‘We’ll beat him’. That’s when they held him out and beat him with hammers and bats.”
After the gang left, James phoned his mum and left the house, walking out onto the Shankill Road.
There, the men who had beaten him attacked him for a second time.
Ms Kelly met him outside the bar where the gang told her she “would be next”.
She said “the blood that met my eyes was unbelievable.”
The young man’s mother believes the gang wanted to kill her son.
“I can’t go on anymore,” she added.
James Kelly’s injuries are not life-threatening. Police say they do not believe the attack was paramilitary related.
Mr Moffett, a former loyalist prisoner, was shot in broad daylight in May 2010 in what police branded a “public execution”.
I would like to stress this point out once again that the RUC/PSNI released this statement to the press. Police say they do not believe the attack was paramilitary related !!! Lies Lies & more Lies i say the Police Ombudsman should be asked to look into the RUC/PSNI claims !!!
IF YOU KNOW HIM SHOP HIM
This is also a disgrace and should not be allowed to be happening why do people want to go around defacing the graves of anyone i can never understand. This Man thought it was funny please if you know him inbox me his name & details and i will pass it on to those who are supposed to be upholding the law.
I also do not know why Sinn Fein are not condeming these attacks on the graves & the wall murels on the Falls road. You can only conclude that they are afraid of upsetting their DUP colleages & they don’t want to rock the boat. People must open their eyes and see what is going on around them.
This has to stop someone knows the people who are behind it and the the so called power sharing Goverment have to speak out clearly and with one voice condeming these dispicible acts of pure & evil hatered.