Derry man at heart of new controversy?

The next skeleton in the cupboard would seem to be Bart Fisher, the man convicted of the manslaughter of James McGinley. He issued a statement at the weekend stating that he was not a member of either the IRA or Sinn Fein but, according to Morning Ireland, is currently being held on the political wing (sound file) of Magherberry Prison.

Update: The family has denied most of the allegations.

  • J Kelly

    I think that people who are not from Derry need a insight to this particular case. James Mc Ginley and an associate who is an out and out hood spotted Bart Fisher in the early hours of the morning and attacked him, Fisher escaped and was followed to his flat by these two who kicked in the door to the flats complex. Both Mc Ginley and his associate hid under the stairs and attacked Fisher when he came back down from his flat in the ensuing fight James Mc Ginley was killed.

    Bart Fisher was arrested that night at the scene and gave a full and frank account of his involvement. During the court case not one mention of IRA or intimidation of any kind. Some people may remember the scenes after Bart Fisher was convicted, dozens of Mc Ginleys family and friends cheering and celebrating the result. It has no resemblance to the Mc Cartney case at all.

    At the vigil last week in Derry attended by about 100 people the absence of the SDLP was significant even they know not to touch this one.

    This campaign is being orchestrated by a failed Journalist who has been sacked by the Derry Journal, Derry News and Channel 9. This guy has had some “major scoops” from the RIRA in his time. This failed journalist hates republicans and has been very open about it over the years.

  • toronto

    The fact that he claims not to be IRA but still is in a political wing isn’t necessarily contradictory. I’m not familiar with the case, but there are other sorts of republicans, you know.

  • Mick Fealty

    There are lots of deficits in this and other stories. I’m mroe than happy for people to offer their own correctives, so long as we can stay on the right side of the libel laws!

  • J Kelly

    Mick I posted on this case to make the point that it is not at all like the McCartney case were a family is seeking truth and justice and quite rightly so. This case is being orchestrated in an attempt to embarass Sinn Fein at a time when opponents believe they are weak. The McGinley case got due process and if the family are not satisified that is another matter all together.

    I do not know the libel laws in detail but understand your point as long as it is the same all round. Believe me I could have said alot more.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    Is RTÉ going to go after every family of every pub brawl victim to ask them whether they were intimidated by the IRA?

    A pity the station wasn’t as concerned about nationalists killed by loyalists and British security forces as they are with those victims of renegade republicans.

    That is not to say in any way that violence by republicans should be condoned or covered up. Higher standards should be expected from republicans from loyalist thugs and their British handlers.

  • alex s

    What about Mr Kearney left to bleed to death in a Belfast lift, a lift that if memory serves me right had been disabled by his attackers and its phone torn out, making sure he had time to die. According to RTE last night his ‘crime’ was to have won a fight with a ‘Provo’

  • GavBelfast

    What is the definition of a “renegade republican”?

  • lámh dearg

    And then there is Mr McCloskey from Derry who also won a bar room fight with a provo and managed to escape the death squad which came after him and remains exiled to date.

    Oliver, there does seem to be a worrying tendency for Republican “soldiers” to get into fights and for other people to end up dead or exiled. It makes you wonder about their discipline and their morality. And brings us right back to the debate about the endemic criminality of the current Republican Movement

  • Belfastwhite

    Republican bashers can go on all they like but the old addage remains “The IRA are the people because the people are the IRA”. Sure there are hundreds of cases out there of republicans opposing local hoods because of the absence of an acceptable police force led to people coming to the IRA to sort their problems. The RUC/PSNI indifference to crime in working class neighbourhoods put republicans and hoods on a collision course. As Oilbhéar Chromaill points out RTE and the leading political parties in the 26 counties have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to attrocities carried out by loyalist and security forces. The proof is in the pudding how many convictions have occurred over the murders of hundreds of civilians by the British Army and RUC? Why are we still waiting on inquests involving members of these organisations? What was the Irish and British governments approach to the wall of silence met by John Stevens in his collusion enquiry? Maybe Hugh Orde can answer that one. We have witnessed one side orchestrated campaigns before of course we all remember the Peace people and the ill fated (no pun intended) FAIT to name a few. These organisations’s one sided tunnel vision approach to the victims got plenty of airtime but their objective failed their maxim should have been all victims are equal but their approach was plain to see that some victims ie those who were victims of republicans are more equal than others.

  • DerryTerry

    It is obvious there is now an absolutely scandalous effort to damn Mr Fisher for everything.

    Just in case no one was paying attention at the time of the trial, which resulted in a sentence of 3 years for manslaughter, indeed what the judge described as “the lower end of manslaughter” Mr Fisher did not instigate this incident, he did not attack Mr McGinley and his accomplice on the street, he did not break down the door of the building in which Mr McGinley or his accomplice lived, he did not hit them over the head with a bottle nor did he hide under the stairs of their flat to attack Mr McGinley or his accomplice.

    He gave a full account of his actions that night and made no effort to avoid the legal system.

    Furthermore, it was confirmed during the trial that Mr McGinley’s blood tests revealed high levels of alcohol and ecstasy.

    It should be clear to everyone that what happened to Mr McGinley was neither planned nor orchestrated and sadly, whilst it will be of no comfort to his family, largely a result of the actions of Mr McGinley and his accomplice, who was confirmed, again at the trial, as a serial offender with multiple convictions who was very well known to the police.

    It gives me absolutely no pleasure in writing this and indeed i feel fully justified in asking if alll those who were so quick to comment and condemn Mr Fisher even took the bother to follow this trial?

  • lámh dearg

    “The IRA are the people because the people are the IRA”. Sure there are hundreds of cases out there of republicans opposing local hoods because of the absence of an acceptable police force led to people coming to the IRA to sort their problems.”


    A friend of mine was assaulted one night by a drunken lout. He knew who the assailant was and as he lived in the same Republican area he went to CRJ seeking help and justice.

    “don’t be stupid, his father is an ex-prisoner, we wouldn’t touch that”, next night he had a visit from the assailant’s father and some others, “advising” him “to shut the fuck up, or you’re dead”

    This is the truth of “republican justice” in our areas.

  • Belfastwhite

    lámh dearg

    Your whole post is unsubstantiated hearsay but I’m curious as to why your friend went to CRJ instead of the police kind of makes my earlier point don’t you think.

  • lámh dearg

    because he was scared to go to the PSNI, he thought the CRJ might actually mean what they say.
    I know it’s hearsay, but I also know it’s true and most of us who live in Republican areas know events such as his do happen. What has changed is that everyone else seems to have had enough of turning a blind eye to these events

  • Mick Fealty

    Presumably CRJ = Community Restorative Justice?

    Here’s an interesting piece in An Phoblacht, which is very clear about Restorative Justice is intended to achieve and what it cannot!

  • Belfastwhite

    Off course now that everyone!!!else seems to have had enough of turning a blind eye to these events maybe it’s time for your friend or even you to contact the PSNI regarding this alleged incident.

  • Belfastwhite

    Off course now that everyone else seems to have had enough of turning a blind eye to these events your friend or even maybe you will be contacting the PSNI to name this assailant until then it your argument is weak.