Category Archives: Current Affairs

Supreme Court decision on non-jury trials for British soldiers will have a huge impact on legacy – A response to solicitor Darragh Mackin

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 »

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Why the toxic issue of legacy will have caused many young unionists to follow their most basic instincts and cheer Karen Bradley’s comments to the rafters

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 »

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Outreach Clinic

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FORGOTTEN VICTIMS: Is it ‘Time for Truth’ from Sinn Fein for the family of Ambulance worker Robert Shields, murdered by IRA terrorists in 1980.

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 »

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Finucane campaign highlights the hypocrisy at the heart of republicanism’s legacy propaganda

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 »

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Irish Journalism Finally Wakes Up: The GFA Says Nothing About Hard Or Soft Border

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 »

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Stakeknife: British agent Freddie Scappaticci faces child sex abuse lawsuit

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 »

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The Michael Stone judgement has wide ramifications- Unionist Voice argues for his right to appeal

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 »

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Judicial Review into police powers raises important constitutional law and journalistic privilege issues

Belfast High Court will hear a Judicial Review challenge into the PSNI’s unlawful seizure of journalistic material beyond the scope of their search warrant in a gross act of bad faith. The judgement will have ramifications for a wide range of activists and journalists.

The upcoming Judicial Review (JR) I have brought before the High Court raises important issues around the exercise of police powers and the issue of journalistic material being seized beyond the scope of warrants. It will, naturally, affect me as the applicant- but more importantly it will have ramifications for a wide range of people, including those who create journalistic material. Read more »

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POLITICS BLIND IN ITS BREXIT BUBBLE – By Brian Rowan

On this Stormont map we have lost the place of working politics.

Yes Parliament Buildings still stands at the top of the Stormont hill – but in name only; and, in a week, when Martin McGuinness and David Ervine were remembered, there is no sense that the brokenness can be mended; certainly not yet and not now.

“I think that courage was a characteristic of both Martin McGuinness and David Ervine that is sadly lacking in many of today’s politicians,” Dr John Kyle of the Progressive Unionist Party told this website. Read more »

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