Mayor’s death threat

Morgan receives warning over support for McBride family

Belfast Lord Mayor Martin Morgan has received a chilling death threat over his support for the family of a murdered North Belfast teenager.
The short threat that was sent to the first citizen’s office at the City Hall last week has since been passed to the PSNI for analysis.
The Lord Mayor confirmed the threat yesterday and said it was linked to his support for the family of New Lodge man Peter McBride.
Though did not wish to comment further, he stressed he would be continuing with his busy list of official engagements as normal.
The letter is a callous response to Martin Morgan’s continuing support for Jean McBride. Such is the revulsion at the decision to reinstate convicted murderers Andrew Fisher and Mark Wright back into the British army that both the SDLP Mayor and his counterpart in Derry Shaun Gallagher have boycotted NIO minister John Spellar over his support for the killer soldiers.
The letter said that Martin Morgan would be shot if the former Scots Guards were put out of the army.
Peter McBride was searched and shot dead by Fisher and Wright in September 1992 close to his home on the New Lodge. In 1995 the soldiers were convicted of murder after a judge branded their claims that Peter McBride was carrying a coffee jar bomb lies. In 1998 then British Secretary of State Mo Mowlam released the pair on licence. But a storm of outrage followed when it was revealed they were being returned to their regiment and that they had received army pay while locked up.
Last week Peter McBride’s sister took her campaign for justice right to the heart of Whitehall standing in the Brent by-election.
Campaigners including Martin Morgan argue that soldiers have been booted out of the army for offences as minor as smoking cannabis and cheating on a TV gameshow, but the killers of an Irishman continue to be protected by the establishment whilst Fisher was even promoted. John Spellar who sat on the 1998 army board that allowed the soldiers to return to the army has refused to explain why he allowed them back in. The minister who is now in charge of human rights and justice here told the McBride family recently there were still no plans to review the decision.
Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly condemned the threat adding that campaigners for the McBrides were being targeted because the British government would not sack them.
“The responsibility clearly lies with the British government and its failure to act. People sending these senseless threats should stop straight away. I would like to hear what the British government has to say about this,” said Gerry Kelly.
Meanwhile the North Belfast News can reveal that the promotion of James Fisher was completed a full month before the second army board met to discuss the killers’ future in the army.
Paul O’Connor of the Pat Finucane Centre said the board had met in November 1998 despite the promotion of Fisher the previous October.
The North Belfast News asked the MoD if John Spellar knew Fisher was promoted. The MoD said: “The promotion of private ranks in the army is routine army business and not that of the minister.”

Journalist: Staff Reporter

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