SDLP saying nothing about Kelly motion..

The bizarre official silence over the precise reasons for the revocation of Sean Kelly’s licence appears to have landed the SDLP in a difficult situation in Derry City Council. They are not giving any indications as to which way they will vote on Sinn Fein’s motion calling for his immediate release.

  • J Kelly

    Derry News reporting that the SDLP will oppose motion. They seem to be looking to ammend the motion and calling for the Sentence Review Commission to look at the evidence. Its sounds like show us the evidence. A different approach to the Northern Bank when the SDLP didn’t need to see the evidence they believed their employee. Are they doubting him this time.

    Sean Kelly should be released ASAP.

  • beano;

    Yes, lets give all the released prisoners free reign to run roughshod over the laws of the country and over common standards of decency.

    Is a call for an open and fair review of the evidence, rather than closing our eyes and covering our ears and letting him go regardless, really so unfair?

  • Macswiney

    Your call for a ‘review of the evidence’ is worthy of comment Beano. My understanding is that even in private conversations the NIO have been struggling to justify whether any tangible ‘evidence’ exists for his continued detention. The SDLP response to this is predictable and another indication of how their support is in decline on an overall basis in The North. My guess is that Kelly is certain to be released, it’s only a matter of when this occurs.

  • willowfield

    J Kelly

    Sean Kelly should be released ASAP.


  • reality check

    the sdlp dont have the backbone.They’ve got to many unionist friends.Do they actually know what the irish identity is?

  • Gum

    The point is a procedural one – we must remove it from the passions that keep us from thinking clearly.

    If the govt is going to imprison one of its citizens, it has to give reasons why that conform to law. The imprisonment without evidence of any individual threatens the liberty of us all. I have not much sympathy for kelly, but am worried about the govt getting bigger and their powers being unchecked.

  • beano;

    The case has to come before the sentence review commission where “reasons why that conform to law” will have to be spelled out.

    This is not just imprisonment … of any individual, it’s of a convicted killer. Let’s not forget he wouldn’t be in this mess now if it wasn’t for that.

    Anyway, as I said above… due process should be done. And to the deluded ‘reality check’, Irish identity does not equate to excusing criminal behaviour. You can be Irish without that sort of baggage – just look to your compatriots in the Republic.

    As I pointed out on Everything Ulster:

    “If the Commissioners think that the released prisoner has not broken, and is not likely to break, the conditions of his licence, they will confirm his licence (to remain free): otherwise they will revoke it.”
    Source: Sentence Review Commission

  • Keith M

    Gum “The imprisonment without evidence of any individual threatens the liberty of us all.”. Kelly is a convicted murder. The issue is not that he is back where he belongs, it is why he was ever allowed out.

  • Gum

    No Keith, thats another issue altogether. The issue we’re debating here is the imprisonment of a citizen without evidence. It is not about the Shankill bombing – Kelly was convicted and sentenced for the crime and the govt in its wisdom decided to cut short the sentence. His return to jail is not based on his earlier crime, but on something else. In a free society, it is important that we demand to know what this is. That Kelly might deserve to be in jail must not distract us from making sure that the govt does not undermine the liberty of all.

  • Keith M

    Gum, the terms under which which Kelly was released from prison without serving his full sentence stated that the government could revoke his licence at any time, and did not have to provide him or anyone else with a reason. If Kelly or any of the other terrorists on all sides were unhappy with those conditions, then they should have stayed in prison.

    As far as I’m concerned, once any member of any illegal organisation was in breach of their licence, the government should have rounded all of those associated with that organisation back behind bars, end of story.

  • willowfield


    Kelly was only let out on licence.

  • martin

    Kelly was re imprisoned as a political sop to Unionists who thought Hain to soft on Republicans.

    Kelly the Shankill bomber is probably the Republican that is most loathed by unionists,apart maybe from SLAB and the leadership of Sinn Fein——very convienient that the Shankill bomber allegedly broke the terms of his release isnt it.

    If we are going to have a society in which parity of esteem is going to be equal then maybe Hain should have a loyalist who is hated by nationalists re- arrested—what a pity king rat isnt alive now and on the release scheeme–that would be equally convienient—–anyone know if any of lenny murphys old crew were on the early release of prisoners scheme they’ll do.

  • martin

    In the not too distant future the SDLP will find out that in northern politics to sit on the fence and try to have a foot in both camps means only one thing—the barbed wire tears off your nuts.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Am I right in assuming that SF’s demand is that Mr. Kelly be released regardless of whether or not he has complied with the terms of his licence, or are they merely suggesting that Derry City Council is the body best placed to adjudicate the question?

  • biffo

    i say lets release all so called POLITICAL prisoners get them all together rearm them and let then start from where they finished off coz that is what it looks like to me if we would of brought back hanging years ago then those so called POLITICAL prisoners that mamed bombed murdered on both sides would no longer be there to try and dictate to us

  • biffo

    i say lets release all so called POLITICAL prisoners get them all together rearm them and let then start from where they finished off coz that is what it looks like to me if we would of brought back hanging years ago then those so called POLITICAL prisoners that mamed bombed murdered on both sides would no longer be there to try and dictate to us

  • Wichser

    Can anyone clarify the terms of these release licences please, one assumes they’re standard terms ?

  • slug

    Remember there WAS evidence for the sentence he is serving.


    If Sean Kelly broke the terms of his release under the GFA then I am quite sure dozens of other ex prisoners on the same scheme would need to be returned to prison both Loyalist and Republican, I would suggest though this was as has been stated earlier a sop to Unionist Politicians.


    On the contrary.
    It is Sinn Fein and others who are demanding Kelly be released, as a sop to nationalists.

    Prisoner releases were a sop to paramilitaries in the first place.
    The people now doing all the crying are not annoyed because a sop has been given, rather that a sop is not being given.


    TAFKABO thats a lot of sops there, but the one you left out is the only truthful one, Sean Kelly was rearrested at the behest of Unionist Politicians the fact that Hain appeased them is where the sop comes into play nowhere else.

  • Keith M

    Victor “Sean Kelly was rearrested at the behest of Unionist Politicians”. Evidence?



    Evidence please.


    Evidence! no problem ! Taken form the BBC news web site (I can supply the link if required) With reference to Nigel Dodds Unionist mp:

    “The North Belfast MP had raised Sean Kelly’s alleged activities in the Commons a few days before his arrest.”

    Peter Hain duly obliged, Kelly is a hate figure within the Loyalist community, what better way for a politician to get those Loyalists on thier side than to use him for the own political objectives, never mind rights and justice, as I said if Kelly has broken his terms of release, half of the prisoners released should be back in prison, why has Mr Dodds not raised the case against the Loyalists within his own community who at the moment are ordering and carrying out murders on other Loyalists, and attacks on Catholic churches.

  • aquifer


    You asked for the release conditions:

    ‘- The prisoner must not be a supporter of a terrorist organisation. These are defined by an order of the Secretary of State as the LVF, INLA, Continuity IRA and Real IRA. The Secretary of State may by an Order add to or remove organisations from this list.

    – The Sentence Review Commissioners must be satisfied that if released immediately the prisoner is not likely to become a supporter of a terrorist organisation or to become involved in acts of terrorism connected with the affairs of Northern Ireland

    – If a life sentence prisoner the Sentence Review Commissioners must be satisfied that if released immediately the prisoner is not likely to be a danger to the public. ‘

    ‘The public’ would presumably include young Nationalists, Orange marchers and their paramilitary vanguard.

    Kelly was back in jail before ‘CIRA’ or some other revolutionary avant gardists were involved in blast bombing people at Ardoyne shops, but anyone who co-operated with that exercise would in in breach of these conditions. Before he was arrested, someone was involved in setting fire to oil tanks in mixed housing next a catholic area, so tensions were being built up in the area.

    Convicted parmilitary prisoners did not have to take advantage of the early release scheme. If they did not feel like abiding by these conditions they could chose to remain in jail.

    I saw something about Kelly being on CCTV rioting, and the SDLP are likely to know if there is more to it than that. If Kelly, a hate figure for West Belfast protestants, was likely to be attacked by loyalists it was probably safer for everyone concerned that he was off the streets at this time.


    aquifer Sean Kelly was not seen on cctv rioting, he was seen on cctv trying to keep young nationalists at Ardoyne shops under control and thus prevent rioting, the SDLP as usual rather than make the just decision have jumped on the fence, leaning heavily to the Unionist side trying once again to isolate Sinn Fein a tactic that will always fail them.

  • Keith M

    Victor, you need to appreciate the difference between an MP (quite rightly) raising the behaviour of a convicted murderer who has been allowed out on licence, and the the secreary of state acting at “the hest” (your words) of unionists. I’m sure the DUP would love people to believe that when their MPs raised concerns, that Hain always responded as they wished, but I’m afraid that is not the case.

    BTW for those who misssed the conclusion of this story, the SDLP did not support the SF/IRA motion and it fell. Is the SDLP finally aquiring a bit of backbone after its election results?


    Well Keith tell me do, why the same MP has not “quite rightly” raised concerns about the continued Loyalist murder campaign(he couldn’t even bring himself to contact the family of a Loyalist murder victim from within his own constituecny) maybe he is aware of the influence his words may have on Mr Hain and you are doing the DUP an injustice. As for the SDLP and its backbone, its decisions only highlight thier ever growing distance from Northern Nationalists, and the continuing decline of thier party as a force in Irish politics.

  • Keith M

    Victor I have no intention of humouring the latest attempt at whataboutary, but suffice to say that the DUP have never been short of requests for the police and government to get involved in the loyalist feud.

    As for the SDLP, I believe that given the results in Foyle and on Derry City Council, that they are in a far better position to speak for nationalists in the area that SF/IRA.


    Keith, I too have no intention of getting into whataboutary and have no wish to be humoured in any way, I was merely pointing out the disparancies in the DUPs calls for the arrest of a Republican and the lack of in the case of Loyalist terrorists, as for your assertions on the SDLPs credentials on speaking on behalf of Nationaalists due to the last election results, the SDLP recieved 18467 votes as opposed to Sinn Feins 14744 votes, hardly a landslide victory, and its been well documented that unionist tactical voting assisted the SDLP in this victory! The SDLP are a spent force in Irish politics and with decisions like this thier decline thankfully can only be hastened.

  • Keith M

    Victor, as I’ve said the DUP has repeatly asked the police and government to get involved in the loyalist feud. They haven’t named those they want re-arrested, but then they didn’t do it with Kelly either. They simply asked that Hain reviewed what Kelly was up to. It was Hain who judged that Kelly’s activities breached his licence. Any disparancy is of your own making.

    As for “unionist tactical voting assisted the SDLP in this victory”, then can I suggest that you check the votes in the Derry City Council wards, where (with little or no tactical voting by Unionists) the SDLP still achieved a clear victory over SF/IRA. If you want to go on fooling yourself that the SDLP is a “spent force” please feel free to ignore the facts.


    Lets look at the voting patern then Keith,
    westminster election 2001..SDLP 21% OF THE VOTE Sinn Fein 21.7%
    Westminster election 2005…SDLP 17.5% Sinn Fein 24.3%
    and the European elections 1999 SDLP 28.1% Sinn Fein 17.3%
    as above 2004 SDLP 15.9% Sinn Fein 26.3%
    surely even you Keith cannot fail to see the decline in the SDLP, spent force facts .

  • beano;

    2/3rd of SF’s vote is hardly a spent force when people are trumpeting SF’s successes.

    “As for the SDLP and its backbone, its decisions only highlight thier ever growing distance from Northern Nationalists”

    If anything that would suggest that “Northern Nationalists” are moving away from the SDLP to the moral bankruptcy of terrorist apologism. Perhaps they’ve just been duped by SF lies etc, but I was under the impression the SDLP never supported Terrorists. Obviously being a nationalist with morals isn’t as politically healthy as it once was.

    keith’s right to point to the DCC election results though, I had assumed SF were the largest party (from the way they talk you’d think they were the only one!).

  • crat

    The SDLP didn’t matter in the end. Sean has just been released.

  • Henry94


    The SDLP didn’t matter in the end.

    That could be their epitaph

  • Chris Gaskin

    That will be their epitaph