Still no answer on the Kelly arrest…

Daily Ireland has run an editorial asking who authorised the arrest of Sean Kelly, the man convicted of the Shankill bomb. Meanwhile Paul Colgan reports the British government’s unofficial answer, that he was involved in punishment attacks. Previous claims that Kelly had been involved in street violence appear to have been denied by the PSNI.

  • peteb

    Paul Colgan, once again, referencing “informed” sources.. but, notably, only quotes republican sources, NOT government sources.. to report on what the British Government are, allegedly, saying in private..

    How many marks out of 10 would John Lloyd give that report, Mick?

  • Gonzo

    Previous claims that Kelly had been involved in street violence appear to have been denied by the PSNI.

    This appeared in the Tele recently:

    By Chris Thornton

    THE decision to return Shankill bomber Sean Kelly to prison was under fresh scrutiny last night after it emerged the PSNI said they were not investigating aspects of his conduct five days before he was scooped.

    A letter written to UUP MLA Michael Copeland on June 13 said that “no further investigations” were pending against Kelly, who was returned to jail on Saturday.

    Police and Government sources said the letter referred specifically to investigations into Kelly’s presence at bouts of interface unrest, about which Mr Copeland had asked. They say other information sparked Mr Kelly’s arrest.

    But the Ulster Unionists and Sinn Fein both believe the letter raised questions for the PSNI and Government – Sinn Fein saying it showed Mr Kelly should not have been arrested and the UUP fearing that it could help him get released.

    Kelly – who was jailed for murdering nine of the 10 people who died in the 1993 bombing – was returned to prison on the basis that he had become re-involved in terrorism. He was among the last prisoners released from the Maze in 2000.

    His return to prison means he could serve out his life sentence if the Secretary of State’s decision is upheld.

    Mr Copeland wrote to Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde on June 1 expressing concern about the conduct of Kelly during civil disorder and asked “if any investigations into his behaviour have taken place or are ongoing”.

    A chief inspector from the PSNI’s Command Secretariat wrote back: “Initial inquiries have established that while Kelly has been seen during incidents of civil disorder there is nothing to suggest he was breaking the law at the time. No further investigations are being proposed at this time.”

    Government sources said the letter was referring to Kelly’s conduct at interfaces, not in any wider context.

    Mr Copeland said the letter was “incredible” while Sinn Fein said it “raises very, very serious issues”.

    A Government spokesman said: “The Secretary of State made the decision based on information provided by a variety of sources over a period of time.”

    A PSNI spokeswoman said: “The reply to Mr Copeland dealt with a specific issue of law-breaking arising from incidents of public disorder and nothing more.”

  • reality check

    The week before Sean Kelly was arrested The Newsletter ran an editorial saying that the new secetary of state had no support within ulster unionism and had to show he supported the union.Next week Sean Kelly was wrongly imprisioned.This simply to appease The Newsletter and it’s readers

  • fair_deal

    Much as I am sure the republicans are enjoying getting in such a lather about defending a sectarian mass murderer pity they are divorced from reality.

    The Government NEVER claimed it was a result of his involvement in interface clashes. This is the basis that Jeffrey Donaldson and Nigel Dodds demanded it NOT the reason given by the Secretary of State for doing it. (JD and ND would not have been in possession of intelligence or other information to push for it on other grounds simply the press photographs and in ND’s case information from constituents.)

    “The Secretary of State made the decision based on information provided by a variety of sources over a period of time.”

    The ‘variety of sources’ also means that the Prison Service having a role is no great revelation either. Government never said it was PSNI information only.

  • Ricardo

    Reality Check

    I think you are seriously overestimating the power of The Newsletter!

  • PatMcLarnon

    There has been a quite substantial increase in unionist violence in the last few weeks with sectarian attacks increasing and another drugs feud death in East Belfast.
    Funny how Sean Kelly is arrested against a period of relative piece within republicanism but unionist paramilitaries are allowed once again to up the ante with little or no concern shown by the PSNI or government spokespersons.
    Indeed, the so called IMC which took it upon itself to release reports whenever it felt justified seems unable to wake from it’s torpor whenever unionist violence is actually costing lives. Very independent.

  • PatMcLarnon


  • Eddo

    If no-one has details of what Mr Kelly was, is or was/is alleged to have taken part in which merits his licence being suspended/relinquished then let’s shut up and stop speculating, if you don’t know stop guessing and hyping it up.

    Isn’t anyone remotely interested in facts any more or is sectarian scaremongering and muckraking more fun for the hopelessly socially inadequate these days ?

  • GavBelfast

    Maybe Marty Miller could write a letter to the letters page of Dreary Lieland asking about it?

    Getting quite prolific writing to (begging in?) his own paper is Our Marty.


  • Macswiney

    The implications of this may be much more serious than is apparent. Republican anger at the arrest has led to several prominent Republicans in North Belfast saying that they are not prepared to ‘police’ Nationalist crowds on the return leg of the 12th July parade at Ardoyne. The media have a long-standing habit of over-hyping potential disorder at such parades, but my understanding that there is genuine concern of very serious disorder next Tuesday. My own view is that Kelly’s arrest was political expediency as Peter Hain’s credibility was being brought into question by Unionists just days before the arrest took place. If this is the case, then the NIO may be playing a dangerous game…

  • JD

    It is not just in Ardoyne that there is alot of republican anger. In Derry on the 12th I know that republicans will not be involved in ‘policing’ any nationalist crowds. Although there is a deal in Derry, inevitably the ‘celtic shirts'(no slight on Celtic) will be there hurling abuse at drunken hangers on that will invariably arrive in Derry to thumb their noses at the fenians and there is always the potential for trouble. But why should republicans put themselves in the middle, when the reward for Sean Kelly was arrest and imprisonment.

  • Betty Boo

    “But why should republicans put themselves in the middle, when the reward for Sean Kelly was arrest and imprisonment.”
    So that the community they are suppose to represent is not in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

  • Macswiney

    “So that the community they are supposed to represent”. I think its safe to say Betty that Republicans would have at least 70% of the vote in the Ardoyne area. JD’s point was that Republicans hace consistently done what you have alluded to – ie to ‘police’ protestors for the greater good. (Rememeber Gerry Kellys intervention last year). I dont recall anyone who regarded that as a superficial action. I dont think such goodwill is unconditional. If Kellys arrest is regarded as unjust by Republicans then commonsense dictates that there will be some sort of political ‘fallout’ as a result.

  • JD

    Betty Boo,

    Everyone hopes the day will pass off without incident and that neither community is in the headlines for the wrong reasons. However people need to ask themselves why would republicans put themselves in the position of having to face down the angry, in some cases dissident and in other cases sectarian celtic clad young people who will gather at the fringes of this parade, deal or no deal, when the British Government are prepared to use those actions as justification for returning republicans to jail.

    In addition there is still real anger, amongst many in Derry, that this parade is going ahead, despite the deal, while a coat trailing exercise is being permitted in Ardoyne and Whiterock.

  • Betty Boo

    “Supposed” wasn’t meant as an offence or that I doubt who they represent.
    It’s just that I go with Mick Hall on this one that I expect more from a republican because he or she is a republican and therefore would hopefully proof not to repeat mistakes made by others.