Category Archives: Current Affairs

Loyalist killer Michael Stone should not be considered for release until 2024, court told

The Milltown Cemetery bomber is set to go before Parole Commissioners next week in a bid to be freed from jail.

But lawyers for the sister of one of his victims claimed he should be made to serve nearly six years more behind bars on a sentence imposed to punish and deter him from any future offences. Read more »

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The prospect of prosecutions over the Stakeknife record underlines the need to enact a Legacy Bill

Wisely, the usual knee jerk reactions from politicians and commentators  committed to one side or another in historical cases have  been held back after the sudden announcement from Jon Boutcher the chief constable of Bedfordshire running Operation Kenova that he has gathered evidence  to prosecution standard. It remains  to be assessed by the Northern Ireland director of public prosecutions.

The prospect of state servants being charged over the record of Stakeknife cuts through the deadlocked debate on dealing with the past. Read more »

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Key documents on Dublin/Monaghan bombings must be disclosed following landmark legal action

VICTIMS of the worst single atrocity of the Troubles have secured an order for disclosure of documents in a major legal action over alleged British Government collusion with the loyalist killers.

Survivors and relatives of those who died in the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings were at the High Court in Belfast yesterday for a preliminary hearing in their lawsuits. Read more »

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Stakeknife: Prosecutions to be recommended next year

A police officer leading the inquiry into the activities of the man alleged to have been the Army’s most senior agent within the IRA is to recommend prosecutions.

It is understood recommendations to prosecute a number of people will take place next year.

A specialist team is investigating allegations of murder and torture by the agent codenamed Stakeknife. Read more »

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Loyalist refutes “malicious” allegations published in Sunday World

Loyalist Willie Young has told Unionist Voice that he is has felt “compelled to respond” after a Sunday World article published  (16th December) made a number of allegations against him, including that he was a ‘tout’.

The article alleged that Mr Young had been ejected from a pub in east Belfast and further went on to state that the North Belfast loyalist had been “exposed as a police informer” in a 2007 Police Ombudsman’s report.

Despite the severity of the allegations, Mr Young was not contacted for comment and the loyalist has told Unionist Voice that he feels this is “plainly unfair”. Read more »

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Northern Paramilitaries And The Private Security Industry

Paisley and McGuinness helped open industry door to ex-paramilitaries; Drew Harris helped draw up the rules

The Private Security Industry, with its ability to provide employment to their unskilled members and lucrative income to its owners, has long been a target of Northern-based Loyalist and Republican paramilitary groups.

So it is no surprise that in the wake of the eviction riot near Strokestown, Co Roscommon at the weekend, there were allegations, so far unconfirmed, that former paramilitaries, allegedly of a Loyalist persuasion, were involved in the fracas. Read more »

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The Kesh

  This great photo has only recently come to light. There have been a series of reunions of loyalist ex- prisoners  which has prompted the emergence of photographs and stories.  It is amazing to see the friendships that still exist between ex-prisoners, in some cases after a break of over 35 years.  This photo was taken from the roof of the middle hut in compound 21 in the early 1980s. The UVF/RHC huts were named after World War 1 battles. The middle hut was named Passchendaele and was the best hut in the whole camp.  Also, in 21 were Messines and St Quentin. This photo was taken looking north across Phase 6; the top of the compound system of the Kesh.  To the left of the photo and out of view is the wall that separated us from the H Block complex.  The photo gives a good idea of the tangle of wire fences, wooden posts, hundreds of lights, barbed wire and huts. Read more »

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Axing’ of controversial commentator Jude Collins by BBC NI welcomed.

Political commentator Jude Collins has been told to stop wallowing in self-pity after he claims to have been dropped by the BBC over his views. Ulster Unionist councillor Chris Smyth suggested instead that Mr Collins should reflect on his comments heaped more hurt on innocent victims of terrorism and their families. Mr Collins, who was a regular freelance contributor to Radio Ulster programmes such as Talkback and The Nolan Show told the Belfast Telegraph that he believed the BBC have cut his air time after comments about IRA victim Patsy Gillespie, a civilian Army worker who was forced to drive a bomb to Coshquin barracks in 1990. Read more »

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East Belfast ‘hub’ row exposes the institutionalised sectarianism directed at the unionist community

“Horrified”. That is how Labour MP Kate Hoey described the news of masked contractors invading a community sports facility in East Belfast to tear down a self-funded hub, designed to provide education and mental health provision for young people, many of whom come from areas of social deprivation. Read more »

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The ‘Self-Inflicted’ Death Of Maze Medical Officer Dr David Ross: ‘The Eleventh Hunger Striker’

The late IRA commander and leader of the 1980 prison fast for political status, Brendan Hughes called him ‘the eleventh hunger striker’, and believed that Dr David Ross, the Maze prison’s medical officer, had been so deeply affected by the deaths of the ten IRA prisoners on the second protest in 1981 that, five years later, he took his own life.

In sharp contrast, Hughes’ colleague, Bobby Sands, who was the first IRA prisoner to die on the 1981 hunger strike, disagreed. Dr Ross, he told Hughes, was ‘a mind manipulator’ and he did not trust him. Ever since, their argument has divided the IRA prison population of the day. Read more »

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