Derry Journal

Provos 'Bullied' Us Through Trial

Friday 4th March 2005

Family of a Derry man stabbed to death in the city centre a year-and-a-half ago last night accused the Provisional IRA of 'intimidating and bullying" them throughout the trial of the man recently convicted of causing his death.

Last week, Bartholomew (Bart) Fisher (43) , of Sackville Court, was sentenced to three years imprisonment for the manslaughter of James McGinley (23), in the early hours of October 11, 2003.

The family - outraged at the "leniency" of the sentence - say they will continue their campaign to "get justice."

Last night, at a "vigil" close to the spot in the Bogside where the 23-yearold was killed, his family officially launched 'The Justice for Jimmy Campaign."

In a separate development, DUP MP Gregory Campbell says he plans to raise the issue of alleged IRA involvement in Mr. McGinley's death with the North's Secretary of State.

The East Derry MP has tabled a Parliamentary Question on the subject at Westminster.

The McGinley family, meanwhile, last night claimed the IRA intimidated and bullied them throughout Fisher's trial.

Kathleen Coyle, Mr. McGinley's aunt, said: "From the outset, the PIRA dictated to the family who could and could not attend the hearing in court.

"Prior to each hearing, family members were summoned to secret meetings where they were told that only immediate family members were allowed to attend court.

"At one such meeting, names of individuals were read to the family and an explanation was demanded as to why they were at the court. The men named were cousins and an uncle of the dead man."

She further claimed that, prior to Fisher's sentencing, the IRA "summoned" family members to a meeting at which they were "threatened".

She added: "They can't get away with this and they won't. This family has taken enough and we intend to see the terrible injustices meted out against us righted."

The "Justice for Jimmy Campaign", insist the family, "is only just beginning and no-one should underestimate our ability to take it as far as we need to go, and then further."

The DUP's Gregory Campbell is also backing the family's campaign for "justice".

He said last night: "Mrs. McGinley deserves the truth about the killing of her son in the same way that the McCartney sisters [in Belfast] deserve the truth about the murder of their brother."

The 'Journal' has learned that members of the McGinley and McCartney families held talks in Belfast yesterday.

Gregory Campbell says he hopes Secretary of State Paul Murphy can "shed some light on this situation that can assist Mrs. McGinley in her search for answers."

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