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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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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