Irish Examiner

26/04/2004 - 2:40:16 PM
Irish Examiner

The Ulster Unionist Party has threatened to boycott the ongoing
review of the Good Friday Agreement unless the review is used to
exclude Sinn Féin from the political process.

Party leader David Trimble said today that he would refuse to take
part in the review if the British government failed to introduce
tough sanctions against Sinn Féin.

The review is due to resume tomorrow after stalling some weeks ago.

Mr Trimble said today that the British government could not continue
with the peace process as if last week's report from the Independent
Monitoring Commission had not happened.

The report claimed senior Sinn Féin members were also leading
activists in the IRA and that the IRA was involved in the attempted
abduction of a dissident republicans in Belfast last February.

Mr Trimble said that, if tomorrow's talks were just housekeeping, as
opposed to a move against Sinn Féin, then he would not be taking


Belfast Telegraph


By Chris Thornton
26 April 2004

LAWYERS were today preparing moves to get a murder case thrown out of court on the basis that the new ceasefire watchdog has prejudiced the trial by claiming previously unknown terrorist links.

Last week the Independent Monitoring Commission listed the Bangor killing of Michael O'Hare as a terrorist killing - a label that took the victim's family by surprise.

But it has now emerged that one of the Government's most senior law officers had already indicated that the case should not be treated as an act of terrorism - raising serious questions for the legal process or the quality of intelligence used by the IMC.

In its first report on the state of paramilitary ceasefires, the IMC last week listed Michael O'Hare as one of 12 people "murdered by paramilitary groups since 1 January, 2003".

Mr O'Hare died in a flat fire in Bangor in March 2003.

Another Bangor man, Colin Martin Bell, was subsequently charged with his murder.

Six months later, Solicitor General Harriet Harman signed an order indicating that the case is not linked to paramilitaries.

Most serious offences in Northern Ireland, including all murder charges, are automatically treated in court as terrorist crimes, known as scheduled offences.

All scheduled offences are tried by a judge sitting without a jury.

But in cases where there is not considered to be any terrorist involvement, a senior law officer - normally the Attorney General or Solicitor General - signs an order to treat the case as ordinary crime.

When a case is de-scheduled, the trial is then held before a jury.

Ms Harman signed an order de-scheduling Colin Martin Bell's case on June 27, 2003. He is presently due to appear before a jury at Downpatrick Crown Court.

His lawyer, Joe Rice, said today that the situation "beggars belief".

"We are looking at preparing an abuse of process application," he said.

"We believe Bell's right to a fair trial has been compromised.

"Given the amount of publicity this has now had, given that there will be jury panel looking at it, we would say there is prejudice to Bell.

"On the face of it there is absolutely no hint of paramilitary involvement."

The IMC was not available for comment this morning.



**Here are some comments found on Slugger O'Toole today concerning the beating and maiming of children:


The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Paul Murphy outlines (with uncustomary directness) one of the several reasons the British and Irish governments agreed to establish the Independent Monitoring Commission in the first place - ongoing paramilitary violence.

He implies that Northern Ireland has become complacent over problems faced by some communities:

"I have no doubt that if last year alone, 830 young men had been shot or mutilated by paramilitaries in the Republic of Ireland and 12,000 in Britain (the equivalent figures calculated by the IMC per head of population) there would be a public outcry and widespread debate. Yet I sometimes fear that punishment attacks are being taken for granted in Northern Ireland, as if somehow they 'go with the territory'."


MAYBE THE REASON THEY ARE BEING IGNORED by many is the truth which is staring all of us in the face - we simply don't care.

Part of this is the perception (I shall put it no more strongly than that as to do so would warrant the attention of the PC police) that the VAST BULK of those being beaten are criminals themselves. Petty criminals perhaps, but criminals nonetheless - the bulk of them are thieves, joyriders, drug-dealers and smartalec foul-mouthed teenage layabouts. I'm not suggesting that they deserve their treatment at the hands of their 'hero' mobsters but the truth of it is to be found in the reactions of most decent-minded law-abiding taxpayers - they are trouble makers and most of us couldn't give a fish's dicky what happens to them within their underclass hovels.

A harsh message but the truth hurts.




Between condoning paramilitary shootings of children and horsewhipping the unemployed and kidney-punching the homeless and imprisoning the working class and battering 'uppity women' and introducing martial law to 'terrorist communities'....is there no end to the violence you wish to see ?

May the cat eat your sadistic mind yebollix !

Ken & Ken


Hmm... I think these little shits know the difference between right and wrong. They just don't care. They terrorise communities, criminally damage and abuse. The reality is that very little seems to have any effect. The criminal justice system is a joke to them.

This type of behaviour (para attacks) are undoubtedly wrong but the community do need to come up with effective ways to deal with these young hooligans.



SECRETARY of State Paul Murphy tells the Sindo what he thinks about so-called 'punishment' attacks, using the example of the UVF-linked Red Hand Commando's beating of a 13-year-old boy in Bangor recently to illustrate his point. In a sadistic case of paramilitary child abuse, the boy's legs were smashed with iron bars.

Belfast Gonzo


Murphy is quite right - this barbarism is totally unacceptable. However it is Murphys Government which has looked the other way over these paramilitary mutilations, and the Northern Ireland media continue to describe such incidents as "paramilitary-style" thus inferring that they MAY not actually be paramilitary driven.

Once again, we see the rotten heart of a political process that looks the other direcion whilst kids are mutilated by terrorist thugs.

David Vance


And it's Murphy's Army which shot children with plastic bullets (and real ones) so he and his British Government counterparts know something about child abuse!

Liam Ó Ráiste

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