In the Irish News 7 March edition solicitor Darragh Mackin of Phoenix Law called for pending trials against British soldiers to be heard by a judge alone, i.e a non-jury trial.
Let me from the outset make clear that I make absolutely no professional or indeed personal criticism of Mr Mackin’s advocacy on behalf of his clients, in this case the family of Aidan McAnespie. I believe the comments made in the Irish News were not driven by any personal political agenda, but rather a desire to provide the best possible representation for his clients and indeed offer one particular legal viewpoint on the ongoing legacy process. Read more
That many moderate unionists, and those who never lived through the conflict, will have cheered Karen Bradley’s comments to the rafters is an indication of just how frustrated and angry the broad cross-generational spectrum of the Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist community have become at the one-sided legacy narrative.
The comments, which were undoubtedly wrong in law, will have given many people reason to cheer- mostly as a release valve for the growing fury in relation to the legacy scandal. We hear nothing but a narrative which is designed to present the IRA as the liberators and the British Army- and the unionist community- as the oppressors. Read more
The ‘Forgotten Victims’ series highlights the cowardly IRA murder of former RUC reservist and Ambulance administrator, Robert Shields. If it is really ‘Time for Truth’, then when will Sinn Fein provide the family of Robert Shields with the names of the IRA terrorists that murdered him as he served the community. Read more
And here is the Weather Forecast……………..Primo.
Northern Ireland in fairness has just skipped a severe bout of weather. Between the icy cold conditions in Scotland and the snows of middle England we have done well to escape the extremes of our changeable and ever present companion.
In the cages of the Kesh we had more to worry about than the weather but on reflection we lived a lot closer to the weather than many of us do today. Leaving the Crum aside for a moment I am talking about the cages the Nissen huts fo Long kesh. A look at this pages photo stream or a simple google search will giv ena idea of the type fo building we lived in for most of us over a decade of our lives. The catch from 1975 onward was that the huts were a quick ‘throw up’job after the big fire of October 1974. When the Kesh was burned literally to the ground except for cages 19 mainly UVF and cage 16 mainly UDA. In terms of a thermal insulation rating which most homes are rated by today I can confidently say the huts rated zero on any scale. They were most definitely not built for comfort. To simplify we froze in winter and roasted in summer. The basic hut was a semi round structure with 2 layers of tin corrugated iron. Inside these layers was what was pinkish spongy stuff called insulation. This trades descriptions act did not apply in the Kesh. Read more
Another worthy poem from the pen of Dublin Loyalist Chris Thackaberry.
An Ulster Education
Kings 3: 24-25
”And the king said. Bring me a sword
and they brought a sword before the King”
“And the King said. Devide the living child in two
and give half to one and half to the other”
upon the faith line
Quarter out the best
and marinate the prime
Binning the rest
kinda, kind, kindling
For our sectarian
“Let it be neither mine or thine
but devide it”
This child of mine.
30 years on from the killing of Pat Finucane and republicanism continue to ignore the hypocrisy at the heart of their legacy campaign. Until they are told Maggie Thatcher was driving the car and Douglas Hurd was the gunman, it is unlikely they will ever be satisfied. This weekend marks 30 years since the killing of republican solicitor Pat Finucane by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) in Belfast, who said in a statement at the time that they had not killed Pat Finucane the solicitor but “Pat Finucane, the IRA officer”. Read more
It has taken how long? Several months at least but finally a journalist covering the Brexit story, in this case John Campbell of the BBC, has gone to the trouble to actually read the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) to check whether Leo Varadkar is correct in stating that a hard Border would offend the GFA.
And his conclusion, as readers of thebrokenelbow.com will know full well, is that GFA says nothing – nada – about the nature of the Border, ‘hard’, ‘soft’ or middling and all those politicians, from Varadkar to Mary Lou have either been pulling the wool over our eyes or have themselves failed to complete the simplest of due diligence.
As for the hacks, it takes about 30 minutes to read the GFA so one can readily understand why so many journalists have failed to read the document at the heart of this controversy. I mean, that’s half an hour that could be better spent fiddling one’s expenses.
Anyway here is the BBC article. Read more
A BELFAST woman is suing British agent Freddie Scappaticci for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a child.
Court papers seen by The Irish News reveal that the IRA member is accused of assaulting the woman between 1976 and 1978. She is claiming for personal injury, loss and damages.
The woman is believed to have been a teenager at the time. It is understood the allegations were reported to police. Read more
The recent Divisional Court judgement which stipulated that Michael Stone must stay in prison until at least 2024 has wide ranging ramifications. He is a loyalist who has been left behind. He deserves political and community support.
This week Belfast High Court will rule on an application by lawyers acting for Michael Stone seeking certification of an appeal to the Supreme Court. This follows last week’s decision by the Divisional Court, with Mr Justice McCloskey and Mr Justice Colton sitting, to rule that Michael Stone must remain in prison without parole until at least 2024. Read more