A legal appeal by Freddie Scappaticci, the west Belfastman who denies he was
the IRA spy Stakeknife, has been abandoned.

Mr Scappaticci, 51, was not in the High Court for the brief hearing in
Belfast on Friday.

Last month, he had been due to appeal against the dismissal of his judicial
review when he lost a bid to force Security Minister Jane Kennedy to confirm he
was not the agent alleged to have supplied the army with high grade

That hearing was adjourned after a letter was handed into court.

The contents were not revealed and Mr Scappaticci's lawyer later declined to
reveal the reason for the adjournment.

Speaking at the hearing, the Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr said that in
view of the withdrawal, he would make an order formally dismissing the appeal.


Belfast Telegraph

Tribute to girl 'bursting with life, taken away so unjustly'

By Marie Foy
23 April 2004

THE heartbroken parents of murdered teenager Megan McAlorum were joined by hundreds of mourners today as they said a final farewell to their "little princess".

Relatives, friends and neighbours gathered at the family home at Glencolin Way in Belfast to escort the cortege on its way to St Oliver Plunkett church for Requiem Mass.

The church was packed to overflowing and a large crowd gathered outside to pay a final, sad farewell to the 16-year-old.

Speaking from an altar adorned with white flowers, Father Martin Magill said that the family had yesterday held a prayer service at the secluded hillside near Dunmurry where the young girl's body was found on Easter Monday.

"There we prayed that God would free that place of beauty from the evil which had touched it," he said.

Describing Megan as a "generous, kind, friendly" girl, Fr Magill told mourners that her life and death had touched many hearts.

"Megan McAlorum was bursting with life until her earthly life was taken away so unjustly from her on Easter Monday," he said.

"Megan's death was evil. Her death has brought such great pain, first and foremost to her family, but also to her friends and her community.

"With the help of God, may we all play our part in overcoming the power of evil so that we can all see and enjoy the goodness in humanity and the beauty of God's world."

And he stressed that, not only had Megan's family had to come to terms with her violent death, but they also had the agony of waiting for her body to be released for Christian burial.

"Since Easter Monday countless people have visited your home. Even more people attended a vigil in Megan's memory and yet more people in the wider community have been thinking and praying for you as a family. Megan's life and death touched many hearts," he said.

Fr Magill said Megan had been a lively young teenager who loved to dress up. She had loved life, her job and children, and had been looking forward to starting a childcare course.

Megan's partially clothed body was found about a mile from her home, with head injuries. She was last seen alive at the Hunting Lodge bar on the Stewartstown Road at midnight the previous night. She died a week before her new nephew Adrian was born.

Singers and musicians from St Genevieve's High School, which Megan had recently left, provided music and her friends led Prayers of the Faithful.

Other pupils from the school, some weeping openly, formed a guard of honour as the white flowerladen coffin was carried from the church on its last journey.

The poignant procession was led by Megan's parents, Margaret and Frank, and their six other children. The grieving mother has said the family will not be destroyed by the tragedy.

Following the service, burial was due to take place at the City Cemetery.

Two men have been charged in connection with the killing. One of them, aged 16, faces a murder charge.




--Sharon O'Neill - Irish News

Sinn Féin has criticised the ceasefire monitoring body for not including ball bearing attacks on the homes of party members in its report on paramilitary activity this week.

Republicans have already vented their anger over the assessment of IRA activity by the International Monitoring Commission (IMC).

In its first report the IMC backed the police's view that the alleged attempted abduction of dissident republican Bobby Tohill in February was a Provisional IRA operation.

The report also said the IRA had been involved in recent training and alleged that senior Sinn Féin members were also high-ranking Provisionals.

Sinn Féin West Belfast assembly member Fra McCann criticised the IMC yesterday for not examining a spate of attacks on its party members, including high-profile figures.

He was speaking after ball bearings were fired at the living room window of his west Belfast home.

"The window had only been replaced after a similar attack a number of weeks ago," he said.

"This attack is the latest in a long line of such incidents at the homes of republicans throughout west Belfast.

"Whoever is carrying out these attacks has accurate and up-to-date information regarding the addresses of Sinn Féin elected representatives.

"I note that the IMC in their report made no reference whatsoever to the wave of attacks on the homes of Sinn Féin elected representatives.

"Given the suspicions around the involvement of the PSNI in supplying information to the attackers, this is not surprising.

"Those behind these attacks and those who supply them with the information on the addresses of republicans need to know that these sorts of attacks will not stop Sinn Féin representing our communities."

The IMC last night declined to comment on Mr McCann's statement.

However, Ulster Unionist East Belfast councillor Jim Rodgers said: "You couldn't expect the IMC to go into every single incident that has taken place but I condemn without reservation those responsible for the alleged ball-bearing attack. It is disgraceful.

"Accusing the PSNI of supplying information is totally disgraceful and should be immediately withdrawn.

"This (Mr McCann's comments) is not surprising coming from Sinn Féin/IRA representatives who repeatedly accuse the security forces of giving out information to loyalist paramilitaries.

"It is time this so-called political party grew up and lived in the real world."


Electric Acorn

"Welcome to Electric Acorn, Ireland's premier online literary publication. Each season we seek to bring you the best in unpublished contemporary Irish writing submitted from the Dublin Writers Workshop sessions and from our virtual members. We hope you enjoy your visit."

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