McGuinness: “I trust that David Ford will take the right decision…”

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Having interfered in an ongoing police investigation last week, this week the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA, doubles up by giving the NI Justice Minster, David Ford, some legal advice.  From the BBC report

“There can be no doubt that Brendan Lillis is seriously ill and does not represent a threat to anyone,” Mr McGuinness said.

“The decision of the British Secretary of State Owen Paterson to revoke the licence of Brendan Lillis is reminiscent of internment without trial.

“It is crystal clear that Mr Ford has the power to release Brendan Lillis on compassionate and humanitarian grounds.

“The advice I have received states that David Ford has the legal power to act and is not accountable to the British Government’s Life Sentence Review Commission.

“I trust that David Ford will take the right decision on compassionate and humanitarian grounds.”

That would be the former Provisional IRA member Brendan Lillis, arrested in October 2009 for his part in an attempted “tiger kidnapping”, and whom, it had been reported, the Life Sentence Review Commission have already decided should not be released on compassionate grounds.

There seems to be some doubt about that now

On Tuesday, parole commissioners ruled that he should not be released on compassionate grounds.

But after Wednesday’s meeting [with Sinn Féin representatives], the Department of Justice said the issue was “currently under active consideration by parole commissioners”.

And, even if a NI Justice Minister has the power to over-rule the independent Life Sentence Review Commission, would he have access to the information required, e.g. intelligence reports, to make a full threat assessment in this case?

Update  A BBC report today (Wed 3 Aug) notes that the NI Justice Minister has met the partner of Brendan Lillis.  And some others.

Mr Ford confirmed he has received advice on the issue of compassionate release for Mr Lillis.

The minister told Ms Lynch that he was seeking additional independent medical advice and would invite Mr Lillis’s legal team to make further representations on the case for compassionate release.

Mr Ford said: “I used today’s meeting with Ms Lynch to explain the legal position in relation to the release of a prisoner on compassionate grounds and my role and responsibilities as justice minister.

“The department refers the cases of recalled life sentence prisoners to the independent parole commissioners who will direct the prisoner’s release on licence if satisfied that the prisoner does not pose a risk of serious harm to the public.

“As with any life sentence prisoner who has been recalled to prison, Mr Lillis’s case has been referred to the commissioners.”

The minister also told Ms Lynch that he has been updated on Mr Lillis’s medical condition and his current state of health.

“I am satisfied that the Northern Ireland Prison Service and its health care partners in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust are managing Mr Lillis’s full health care needs,” he said.

Ms Lynch was accompanied by MLAs Jennifer McCann of Sinn Fein and the SDLP’s Colum Eastwood.

Mr Ford also met representatives of Cardinal Sean Brady on Wednesday.

Hmmm…

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  • CharlieMcCarthy29

    McGuinness should be able to represent a constituent as the MLA. I don’t know if he did but he needs to make clear when he is acting as an MLA and when he is speaking as DFM (JFM if that’s what excites you).

  • sonofstrongbow

    He can tell the guilty from the innocent, he can diagnose the sick. Does he provide loaves and fishes for the canteen at Stormont as well?

  • ranger1640

    I said on the other post about McGuinness interfering in the Ronan Kerr investigation, that wee Marty McGuinness was taking the omnipresent roll from the pious Adams.

    McGuinness, can tell the innocent form the guilty and diagnose the sick, but he can’t remember what he was doing or carrying on 30th january 1972……..

  • Rory Carr

    What sort of ‘omnipresent roll’ would that be, Ranger? A ham roll by any chance?

    If an MLA making representations is now to be regarded as interference then it can only be so in the eyes of those for whom nationalists making any meaningful overtures towards participation in government was always seen as a threat. I was often acused of interfering back in the days of the Civil Rights Movement.

  • ranger1640

    According to the Pensive Quill Lillis has Ankylosing spondylitis.
    http://thepensivequill.am/search?updated-max=2011-07-21T22%3A52%3A00%2B01%3A00&max-results=12

    Will McGuinness take the hump if he doesn’t get Lillis out and on the straight and narrow???

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankylosing_spondylitis

    No cure is known for AS, although treatments and medications are available to reduce symptoms and pain.[16][17]

    Physical therapy and exercise, along with medication, are at the heart of therapy for ankylosing spondylitis. Physiotherapy and physical exercises are preceded by medical treatment to reduce the inflammation and pain, and are commonly followed by a physician. This way the movements will help in diminishing pain and stiffness, while exercise in an active inflammatory state would just make the pain worse. Normal occupations may be precluded by the symptoms of the disease.

    Some may require the help of walking aids, such as a cane, to help assist in balance and relieve some pressure on affected joints while walking and standing. Many with AS find it very difficult to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time, which can be as little as 20 minutes; therefore, many need to alternate times of sitting and standing, as well as times of rest.

    Medical professionals and experts in AS have speculated that maintaining good posture can reduce the likelihood of a fused or curved spine which occurs in a significant percentage of diagnosed persons.[18]

    [edit]

  • Cynic2

    Isnt it terrible. The poor man was fit enough 2 years ago to participate in a Tiger Kidnapping but now hes not well. Still, he can get treatment in Prison cant he, while he pays his debt to society

  • son of sam

    I wonder what Martins partners in government[D U P] think of his comments?Will the loquacious Lord Morrow offer an opinion on a “tiger kidnapping” in[if memory serves me right] Magherafelt?Surely a person with the described syndrome would not be involved in the alleged crime!If David Ford refuses to comply with Martins request, will he soon find himself out of his Executive post??

  • Pigeon Toes

    “Isnt it terrible. The poor man was fit enough 2 years ago to participate in a Tiger Kidnapping but now hes not well. Still, he can get treatment in Prison cant he, while he pays his debt to society”

    Um was he not judged unfit to stand trial for that?

  • Rory Carr

    “Will McGuinness take the hump if he doesn’t get Lillis out and on the straight and narrow???” – Ranger 1640

    Now that I have recovered from rolling about the floor at this devestating witticism I wonder do you have any other tasteless jokes about any other cruel afflictions that are (fortunately for us) suffered by others.

  • anne warren

    From a comment to the same Pensive Quill article cited in an earlier post by Ranger 1640:
    http://thepensivequill.am/2011/07/on-bridge-of-peace.html

    Statement from Roisin Lynch (partner of Brendan Lillis)

    ”It is now widely known that Brendan is suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, a debilitating disease of the spine, which has seen Brendan confined to his prison sick bed for the last six hundred days”.

    If BL has been confined to bed for almost 2 years, he is hardly getting the rehabilitation and physical therapy recommended in the Wikileaks citation above. (again by Ranger 1640)

    I presume the onus to provide the proper care lies with the Prison Medical Service. As far as I know it does not comprise specialized units such as appear needed for a long-term bedridden patient.

  • Independent Ulster

    The agreement to the devolution of Justice powers at the behest of SF although clealry not wanted by the majority of Unionists was a terrible mistake by the DUP.

    That such sensitive matters could be passed to an administration peopled with (alleged) terrorists is a slap in the face to the law abiding population (Unionist and Nationalist) of Northern Ireland.

    Did anybody really not expect McGuinness to lean on the Justice Minister?

  • ranger1640

    Rory, if I took that “ham roll” up to the old Andersonstown RUC station site, do you think the protesters there would take the hump, or would they form a straight line for a bite of it?

    Do you know what’s tasteless, putting a family through the horrors of a tiger kidnapping.

    You know what they say. “If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime”.

  • ranger1640

    Anne, I presume the onus is on Lillis to accept any treatment offered. After all 10 of his terrorist comrades refused to eat no it is not in the gift of the NI Prison Service to force feed anyone, and look what happened to them.

    Anne, do you know if Lillis has been offered treatment? I would be surprised if he was not offered treatment, what do you think Anne?

    Would his supporters and legal team not making more of an issue of this, if he was refused treatment? Or maybe just maybe he refused treatment?

    Maybe the NI Prison service can tell us because that is not clear in the propaganda put out by his supporters!!!!

  • HeinzGuderian

    What is this nat/rep penchant for wanting common criminals released from prison ?
    Sure marty and the mob can go visit him anytime. It would be like a home from home !!

  • Reader

    Is the health of Brendan Lillis any worse than that of Michael Stone?
    I don’t think I want either of them let out – ill health isn’t an alternative to prison – I know quite a few perfectly innocent people suffering from poor health.

  • anne warren

    Ranger
    Should the sick prisoner’s condition require it I would imagine that s/he has the right to have a specialist consultant brought in or to be transferred to a big hospital like the RVH which offers high quality specialist treatment.
    Obviously the prisoner remains a prisoner while in an outside hospital.
    Please correct me if I am wrong on this or if other rules apply.

    I do not know if Mr Lillis has been offered appropriate treatment. I do not know if he is getting it through in-prison specialist consultations or if he has refused it. There seems to be no information on these points – either from the Prison Service or his supporters (who are asking for a transfer to hospital or home on compassionate grounds).

    I agree that the Prison Service and/or the Minister should make a statement telling the public what exactly is going on with this prisoner so that we can make an informed decision about whether there is or is not an ongoing abuse of human rights.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I doubt that Ford will act to overrule the decision made by the life sentence review board in the absence of some sort of case being made that there are some kind of extenuating circumstances that the board were prevented from considering. I’ve not seen anyone make that case yet. McGuinness has no means by which to compel Ford to decide either way.

    McGuinness’ comments about internment are silly propaganda. All released prisoners know full well that their prison terms remain extant and it should be clear to them that they need to stay the hell out of trouble and try not to get themselves arrested. Most of them seem to managed to do this. For some it’s obviously a bit too much to ask.

  • Cynic2

    “Isnt it terrible. The poor man was fit enough 2 years ago to participate in a Tiger Kidnapping ”

    I apologise. You are absolutely right. His trial was stopped because he was ill but his licence was revoked

  • Munsterview

    Pete : ” would he have access to the information required, e.g. intelligence reports, to make a full threat assessment in this case?…..”

    The answer to that is yes if true police control powers were devolved to the control of the legitimately elected regions representatives. There was nothing of the sort : Westminster devolved just enough powers to allow the US, The EU and Southern Government to pressurize Republicans into ‘Constitutionalism’

    The short comings of that approach have long been evident: even Republicans sympathetic to the Peace Process had and still have a problem with much of policing strategy that seems all too often Old RUC practices in new uniform. Of course the more this particular leopard is seen to have ‘the same old spots’ the more Republicans opposed to the Peace Process and Nationalist Youth can say ‘told you so’ and some act accordingly !

  • iluvni

    Maybe Robinson will yet bring out ‘the clever device’ to stop all this SF interfernece….

  • BloodThunder

    Odd argument from McGuinness. There are plenty of elderly lifers who no longer pose a threat to society but should that justify freeing murderers and rapists? Lillis had not one chance in life but two and he blew it. We should be focusing on the dire health requirements of kids in Africa rather than this washed up terrorist.

  • tacapall

    “All released prisoners know full well that their prison terms remain extant and it should be clear to them that they need to stay the hell out of trouble and try not to get themselves arrested. Most of them seem to managed to do this. For some it’s obviously a bit too much to ask”.

    That privledge is reserved for those who worked on behalf of the British, Special Branch agent Torrens Knight comes to mind is his fellow serial killer Stephen Irwin still in jail ?

    Im wondering what the criteria is the life sentance review board use for determining who constitutes a threat to the public.

  • CharlieMcCarthy29

    Justice needs to be tempered with compassion. I know nothing about this particular man but, if his physical condition means that he cannot be a threat to others, and he is really debilitated, he should be released on medical grounds. The same would be true for anyone similarly afflicted but not the mentally disturbed like a certain public artist.

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    Tapacall

    Good point.

    It’s amazing how many of the usual suspects here want this guy to stay in prison because he knew the penalty for reoffending but are quite happy for a mass murderer like Torrens Knight to be released although he also broke the terms of his release (with a brutal assault) in full knowledge of the consequences.

    Clearly a few people around here still don’t have as much of an issue with “loyalist” terrorists as Republican ones.

    You’ve got to admire consistency haven’t you?

  • Cynic2

    “Clearly a few people around here still don’t have as much of an issue with “loyalist” terrorists as Republican ones.”

    Who said that? When?

    I think they should both be locked up.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “Is the health of Brendan Lillis any worse than that of Michael Stone?
    I don’t think I want either of them let out – ill health isn’t an alternative to prison – I know quite a few perfectly innocent people suffering from poor health.”

    Michael Stone received due process in an open and transparent manner.

    Despite the assertion by some on this thread Brendan Lillis is not in jail because of a tiger kidnapping. No convictions were obtained on that matter.
    He is in prison on the basis of ‘intelligence reports’. Not one person commenting on this matter has any indication what those ‘intelligence reports’ contain.

  • Reader

    Pat McLarnon: Despite the assertion by some on this thread Brendan Lillis is not in jail because of a tiger kidnapping. No convictions were obtained on that matter.
    You should probably be campaigning to give him his day in court, then. If he wants one, of course.
    Just think of the impact of an acquittal on the current discussion, for a start.
    In addition, there is precedent for republicans using a civil case to clear the air, when they were subjected to accusations that weren’t brought up in a criminal case. Slab Murphy, for instance.

  • ranger1640

    Some of our republican posters on here are very selective in their choice of terrorist, and who should and should not get out of gaol. Shankill bomber Sean Kelly was released on licence after he committed the mass murder of 9 innocent Protestant men, women and children on the Shankill road.

    Kelly served seven years of his life sentence and was released in July 2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. During the Holy Cross dispute, Kelly was reported by Lt. Col. Tim Collins to be present during republican violence in the Ardoyne.

    Kelly was returned to prison on 18 June 2005 when his early release was suspended amid allegations that he had been involved in rioting. Sinn Féin claimed he was trying to calm tensions. Peter Hain, Northern Ireland Secretary, said that he had directed the arrest and return to prison of Sean Kelly on the basis of ‘security information’ available to him. He said he was satisfied that Sean Kelly “had become re-involved in terrorism”. He was re-released on 28 July later the same year.

    If you want a conspiracy theory try this one; The next day the IRA ordered an end to its armed campaign.

  • ranger1640

    Open Question, does anyone know when a prisoner is let out on license.
    Is it made clear to the prisoner upon release that if they associate with known terrorists, or start taking up activities that may lead to a breach of the Law, and that information is made available to the Secretary of State, that they are liable to be rearrested and put back behind bars to finish their original sentence???

  • ranger1640

    Below is the piece form the BBC on the issue of Sean Kelly’s rerelease.

    “Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain has defended his decision to release the Shankill bomber Sean Kelly.
    The move, on the eve of the IRA’s ordering an end to its armed campaign, was strongly condemned by unionists.
    Kelly – one of two IRA men who left a bomb in a Shankill Road fish shop in 1993 which killed nine civilians – was returned to jail last month.
    Mr Hain said the grounds on which he suspended Kelly’s early release licence had changed.
    He said the IRA statement “created a new situation and thereby changed the context of my original decision to suspend Sean Kelly’s licence”.
    “The government accepts that the statement by the IRA is intended to express an end to paramilitary activity and criminality,” he said.
    “Having seen the statement I judged that it materially affected the evidence that I would have submitted to the Sentence Review Commissioners.”
    He said that since he no longer considered it appropriate that his licence should be revoked “it would have been wrong to keep him in prison until the SRC had made a formal decision”.

    A man whose wife was among the victims of freed IRA bomber Sean Kelly hit out at the government’s decision.
    Alan McBride said Kelly’s release would only heighten unionist and Protestant scepticism.
    Mr McBride, 40, whose wife and father-in-law were among those killed when Kelly’s bomb exploded prematurely claimed he should never be back on the streets.
    “Just seeing him out sends a chill up my spine,” he said.
    “It represents another concession to republicanism and because of it this IRA statement will not have the significant impact on the unionist community it might, just might, otherwise have had.”
    His wife Sharon and father-in-law John Frizell were among the nine people killed in the attack in October 1993.
    Kelly’s IRA accomplice, Thomas Begley, was also killed, in one of the most notorious atrocities of the Troubles.
    Kelly was given nine life sentences but was released under the Good Friday Agreement in 2000.
    The Northern Ireland secretary then ordered his re-arrest last month amid suspicions by security chiefs he had again become involved in terrorism”.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4726203.stm

  • Guevaras Ghost

    good point ranger….how many released loyalist have been returned to jail for associating with known terrorists . in fact quite a few of them are having a knees up in Benidorm after the attack on the short strand

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    Ranger1640

    “Some of our republican posters on here are very selective in their choice of terrorist”

    Coming from you – that’s just laughable!

    You’re like the “Rev” William McCrea – can’t shut you up when it comes to condemning Republican violence but nothing to say about “loyalist” violence unless pushed and even then it’s the most blatent excuse making.

    I’m not a religious person but my personal view is that, if someone is genuinely so ill that they couldn’t concievably be a threat to society then a compassionate socity should recognise that.

    Clearly you’re happy for Lillis to stay in prison even though the consensus of medical opinion is that he isn’t even capable of standing trial. It’s noticable however (in true whataboutery fashion) that you don’t mention Torrens Knight.

    Based on previous evidence, you’re more than happy for this mass murderer to be on the streets despite him having breached his license with a brutal assualt and having no medical condition that would prevent him reoffending.

    If and when you’re preapred to speak out against “loyalist” terrorism, let us know.

    Until then, please don’t waste my time (or any of the open minded intelligent contributors on here) with your brand of double standards (i.e. Republican/Catholic Terrorism bad – “loyalist” terrorism not great but understandable) bigotry. You’d be better off hanging around your like minded friends reminising about the good old days when that taigs knew their place.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Reader

    “You should probably be campaigning to give him his day in court, then. If he wants one, of course.”

    On what charges? He is currently being held on the basis of ‘intelligence reports’.

    Rangers1640

    Given the jaundiced view of Collins regarding Holy Cross and the men at his disposal, he can be dismissed fairly easily. Also revisionism around Holy Cross and ‘rioting in Ardoyne’ aint going to work on this occasion. Holy Cross is too fresh in the mind to try and play that card.

    In June 2005 the licence of Sean Kelly was suspended after a lengthy campaign by the likes of Donaldson. No evidence was produced that Sean Kelly was involved in rioting and he never faced any such charge. This despite reporters and cameras being a permanent feature on the Crumlin Rd at that time.

  • Mark

    I don’t see McGuinness getting involved if there was any intel suggesting Mr Lillis is a security risk and has links with other Republican Groups .

    According to his family / friends , he’s not affiliated with any group or party .

    Maybe the Scottish authorities could mediate …. he’s bound to out by the end of the week .

  • Guevaras Ghost

    wonder is the knees up in benidorm financed by castlereagh borough council. Afterall they did fly out fairly quickly after their little tete et tete with robinson.

  • Dullypicker

    Guevaras Ghost.

    “how many released loyalist have been returned to jail for associating with known terrorists . in fact quite a few of them are having a knees up in Benidorm after the attack on the short strand”

    Really???? Convicted Loyalist Prisoners, out on License, we’re actually involved in a totally unprovoked attack on the innocent people of the Short Strand and are now collectively having a knees up in Benidorm????
    Quick, get on the phone to interpol and name the Shoddy Hallions and get them revoked.

    PSNI clearly slipped up on that one, focusing all their resources on keeping that poor sick man tied to his bed.

    Fair bit of Whataboutery going on, on both sides here I’d say, but this just takes the Rich Tea.

    Regardless of whether Lillis was ever convicted of the “Tiger Kidnapping” or not, he was suspected of having involvement with known terrorists, therefore that is grounds enough for the Licence to be revoked, as it breaks the terms in which he was granted release. So then, he must return to finish his original sentence for previous heinous acts. Simples. The fact that he is now possibly infirm is neither hear nor there really.
    Did he or any other convicted terrorist, Loyalist or Republican, ever show compassion, or consider the Human Rights of others when committing acts of terrorism???

  • Brian

    Only tangetally related, but did you any of you see the video of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (the Pan Am Bomber) leading a pro-Gaddaffi rally in Tripoli recently? Wasn’t he supposed to be at deaths door when Scotland released him on compassionate grounds a couple years ago?

    As for this man, he should get medical treatment in confinement. If he didn’t want to spend the rest of his painful days behind bars he should have abided by the rules stipulated on his release as part of the GFA, or refrained from kidnapping and other serious crimes. BTW, what the hell is a ‘tiger kidnapping’?

  • Neil

    ‘tiger kidnapping’

    It’s when a gang invades someone’s house and holds the family hostage until such times as the householder goes to work, empties the safe and presents the contents to the gang.

    Legally speaking there are grounds for release for compassionate reasons, at least according to the governments own guidelines.

    Given that it would seem that the PSNI is behaving in the manor of the RUC before them, it may be a good time to reflect on how many young people will be enticed into the dissidents when they see a) nationalist rioters being slung into jail hand over fist while Loyalist rioters are given a by ball b) water cannon and rubber bullets being deployed against Nationalists while Loyalists are given apologies and c) Nationalists are being returned to prison for breach of license while Loyalists can breach their licenses as they please with no punishment.

    Bearing in mind examples given like Knight (who was sent back to jail for attacking two women on a night out, salt of the earth general decent bloke as he must be) having committed a violent offense, or other members of still armed and active Loyalist organisations including the UVF which is still murdering people, all getting left to one side while former provos are rounded up and returned to prison by the Tories.

    Now you can disagree with all of the above, but it won’t make it any less appealing as a synopsis of the current situation to young nationalists contemplating signing up to a dissident organisation.

    Not the first time I’ve seen the words ‘PSNI – 80 percent Protestant, 100% Loyalist’ recently.

  • granni trixie

    I know 2 people with this condition. One travels the world in retirement and the other keeps down a top civil service job.
    Obviously they have to find ways around their disabilities – eg with your body bent in a curve and restrictions on moving your neck around, car mirrors would need adjusted for safety. I wonder therefore what case McGuinness makes a case on health grounds?

  • ranger1640

    Here is a piece from The Pensive Quill, on wee Marty’s political interference into policing.

    “Political policing was long supposedly the bane of Sinn Fein. Or so we thought. That was only a myth it now seems spawned by journalists out to undermine the peace process. What these misinformed ne’er-do-wells failed to grasp in their reluctance to read between the lines of party statements was this: it was not that the RUC was a political police force per se but that it was not Sinn Fein’s political police force that really angered the party. Which of course led to its support for an armed campaign aimed not at ending political policing but at killing police officers it could not politically control”.

    http://thepensivequill.am/2011/08/politics-of-policing.html

  • Charminator

    A bit of a storm in a teacup frankly.

    I see nothing untoward about a Ministerial colleague highlighting the competences of the Justice Minister on this issue.

    On one level, the Executive is often criticised because of it’s “every Minister for him/herself” framework and minimal collective responsibility. Here, we see an example of a Ministerial colleague expressing a view regarding a matter of Executive-wide interest, and it’s interpreted as some sort of undue influence.

    And, whether may be the view of some commentators here, the DFM’s colourful past-life, is an entirely irrelevant consideration in the Northern context. We have all sorts seating around the table, from those who were in custody in Monaghan (our esteemed FM) to those who were interned for considerably longer periods. It was a conflict situation. Full stop.

    Let’s all celebrate that our Executive are actually conversing with one another, discussing matters of public interest with one another, and perhaps even moving towards a modicum of collective responsibility.

  • Pete Baker

    Update A BBC report today (Wed 3 Aug) notes that the NI Justice Minister has met the partner of Brendan Lillis. And some others.

    Mr Ford confirmed he has received advice on the issue of compassionate release for Mr Lillis.

    The minister told Ms Lynch that he was seeking additional independent medical advice and would invite Mr Lillis’s legal team to make further representations on the case for compassionate release.

    Mr Ford said: “I used today’s meeting with Ms Lynch to explain the legal position in relation to the release of a prisoner on compassionate grounds and my role and responsibilities as justice minister.

    “The department refers the cases of recalled life sentence prisoners to the independent parole commissioners who will direct the prisoner’s release on licence if satisfied that the prisoner does not pose a risk of serious harm to the public.

    “As with any life sentence prisoner who has been recalled to prison, Mr Lillis’s case has been referred to the commissioners.”

    The minister also told Ms Lynch that he has been updated on Mr Lillis’s medical condition and his current state of health.

    “I am satisfied that the Northern Ireland Prison Service and its health care partners in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust are managing Mr Lillis’s full health care needs,” he said.

    Ms Lynch was accompanied by MLAs Jennifer McCann of Sinn Fein and the SDLP’s Colum Eastwood.

    Mr Ford also met representatives of Cardinal Sean Brady on Wednesday.

    Hmmm…

  • son of sam

    Can we infer from the last post that the makings of a compromise is being worked on behind the scenes?Incidentally what is the official Sinn Fein position on “tiger kidnapping”?Im sure they would deplore it like all right thinking people.Is Martins recent concern purely on humanitarian grounds or is it because Lillis is a former I R A activist?Presumably if Lillis was found not fit to stand trial on medical grounds at the Crown Court there was still sufficient evidence before the Court to justify his being there in the first place.It would be interesting to read the pleas advanced in mitigation by his co-accused!

  • me_thinks

    It’s clear Lillis’ camp is being economical with the truth, at the very least. If he is as ill as is claimed, he would have an extremely good case to take against the prison service. After all, it worked for Brian Shivers..

    http://www.u.tv/news/Man-bailed-over-Massereene-murders/fb2de9d4-1c52-45ca-bba2-b6b2d0b95056

    Or perhaps a legal challenge would expose the holes in his story?

  • Cynic2

    ” Brendan Lillis is not in jail because of a tiger kidnapping”

    That is simply untrue. He was charged with a Tiger Kidnapping. There seems to have been enough evidence to charge him and bring him before the court. Having seen that evidence the Secretary of State revoked his licence.

    The prosecution was then stayed because of his illness. So its true to say he wasn’t convicted in connection with the kidnap but its simple sophistry to claim that his licence wasn’t revoked because of it.

  • Cynic2

    “According to his family / friends , he’s not affiliated with any group or party”

    ….oh good….that’s alright then. He’s just a common or garden unconvicted kidnapper and former terrorist

  • lamhdearg

    all say after me (this is for slow learners) republican terrorists good loyalist terrorists bad, repeat untill you except. i say let him go to hospital (royal) he will have mrsa in a month, and will then feel the pain that tiger kidnaping victems feel.

    The boyfriend of a woman who was the intended target of a tiger kidnapping last Friday has appeared at Londonderry Magistrates Court charged in connection with the incident.

    He was one of five men accused of attempting to kidnap and rob a family of three near Magherafelt.

    Police claim that the five men are all members of a criminal gang.

    The defendants were Brendan Lillis, 58, and Terrance Lunney, 26, both from Belfast, Richard Mason, 32, and Colm James Meli, 27, from Annalong, Co Down, and Rory Brady Larkin, 24, from Magherafelt.

    A detective told the court that the men were arrested after an intelligence led operation by police foiled an attempted tiger kidnapping in the early hours of last Friday morning.

    The intended victims are three members of the same family

    Some of the accused had been observed by police leaving west Belfast in two cars last Thursday night.

    By 1am on Friday morning, three of the men were arrested behind the family’s home on the Aughrim Road near Magherafelt.

    Two warning shots were fired by police during the arrest.

    Two firearms, balaclavas, gloves, cable ties and a hold-all were recovered.

    The court was also told that for two years Larkin has been the boyfriend of the intended victim’s daughter.

    The investigating officer said he believes Larkin played a central role in the plot by providing the gang with information on the family’s movements.

    He also revealed that forensic examination of Larkin’s phone showed that he had sent a text message to Richard Mason which read: “In the house now. I’ll text when they are in bed.”

    The family has had to temporarily move from their home because of fears for their safety.

    Bail was refused for Lillis, Lunney and Larkin on the basis that they might interfere with witnesses.

  • CharlieMcCarthy29

    ..i say let him go to hospital (royal) he will have mrsa in a month..

    lamhdearg,

    I understand your partisanship but that is a tad unkind of you.

  • Alias

    Marty’s version of clientelism is a blatant display of what the reconstituted Stormont is all about: votes for favours, with each tribe voting for its elders on the understanding that those elders will use their share of power to promote that tribes interests without regard to the collective interest.

  • ranger1640

    Anne, Our uber liberal Justice Minister was on Radio Ulster’s morning program, and stated (If you check on line I’m sure you can get it verbatim). That Lillis was getting all the clinical treatment he needs.

    Now all the spin and lies about him not getting the treatment he needs are put to rest.

    I wonder did Lillis watch the film I Love You Phillip Morris, and take one of the ideas in that film to gaol with him?

    The sequel, I love you Brendan Lillis; staring Martin McGuinness, sort of has a nice ring to it.

  • ranger1640

    From the BBC NI web site, just love this quote.

    “The justice minister has rejected calls for the release of a sick republican”

    In what way is he a “sick republicn”????

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14399190

  • blueskies

    I found this report hilarious. As someone who has suffered from Anklyosing spondylitis for 25 years, the notion that this chancer is ‘dying’ from it, is frankly ridiculous. I spent 3 months in hospital with it and along with fellow sufferers we improved greatly….as virtually all sufferers do.

    Yes its painful, but most of us soldier on, most have working lifes and just get on with it. This guy is a friggin joke, lying there in bed, looking like he is on deaths door….lol. He is a disgrace to all who battle the condition.

    Why should he be released, he isn’t going to die of it, I can assure you all. Anyway, it can be summed up in a few words – ‘if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime’

  • ranger1640

    Blueskies, some on here will be asking for your detailed medical records. They will then claim that your condition is not the same a Lillis’s condition as his is worse. Because was a heroic attempted tiger kidnapper.

    My grandfathers friend had the same condition and he was a keen ballroom dancer, right up until his death at a rip old age. His death was not related to this condition.

    I think Lillis watched the film I Love You Philip Morris.
    There is a part where the main character fakes AIDS to get out of prison. And we all know republicans can fake all sorts, offence being one.

  • CharlieMcCarthy29

    Symptoms can vary and i have no information on this man. From the spondylitis web site, http://www.spondylitis.org/about/as_sym.aspx :

    Advanced Symptoms
    Advanced symptoms can be chronic, severe pain and stiffness in the back, spine and possibly peripheral joints, as well as lack of spinal mobility because of chronic inflammation and possible spinal fusion.

  • Brian

    I am a nationalist, and I say let him suffer in jail.

    If you don’t want to be behind bars, don’t go around kidnapping people. End of story.

  • Independent Ulster

    Did he have this condition when he was kidnapping people?

  • blueskies

    yes, I can guarantee you if this chancer is released, he will make a miraculous recovery within a few weeks. I would put my mortgage on it. He aint gonna die from it, thats for certain….lol What a joker, him and his partner.

  • Comrade Stalin

    So far, the justice minister hasn’t received a professional opinion from a qualified medical practitioner indicating that Lillis is suffering from a condition that would justify grounds for compassionate release. He has requested a further independent report on the matter, which is surely an indication that he is prepared to act in good faith on this matter.

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail madraj55

    That statement [in thread headline] by Marty could have been read in the past, as a sarcastic way of implying ‘consequences’ in the event of a ‘wrong’ decision. A sign of the changed times we’re in, that nobody in public at least, has read that into his comment.