Supreme Court clears way for McFarlane trial

The Irish Supreme Court has ruled by a 4 to 1 majority to overturn a 2003 High Court ruling, clearing the way for the trial of Provisional IRA member Brendan McFarlane for the kidnapping of Don Tidey in 1983, only a couple of months after McFarlane had escaped from the Maze prison – he was originally charged in connection with the kidnapping in 1998. As this earlier report on the decision notes – “A trainee garda and a member of the Defence Forces were killed in a shoot-out with the kidnap gang when Mr Tidey was rescued.”

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  • mickhall

    If anyone seriously believes the Courts are independent from political influence this should remind them they are not. This is imo a message to SF that they must get on with joining the policing boards, etc. What is being said here is if a prominent Republican like Mr McFarlane can be hauled before the courts for [allegedly] past deeds, whether north or south of the border then no one is safe.

    Regards to all

  • Joe

    He may be a “prominent Republican” but the alleged crime is not just any old issue from the distant past. It was a kidnapping with deadly menaces and the murder both of a Gárda and an Army private in the ROI as part of a Provo fundraising exercise. It was no trivial or light matter that can be airbrushed away because a “prominent republican” was allegedly involved. Would the involvement of a prominent Brit or loyalist in a double murder of northern Catholics be given a similar dispensation from the requirements of justice?

  • mickhall

    That is not the point I was making, if the GFA, Etc had been in full swing McFarlane would have been eligible for amnesty. I believe this is a back door message to republicans [PRM] that if they push to hard on collusion they can expect to have to pay the price via this type of thing.

    regards.

  • Dec

    Mickhall

    Do you believe there is a connection between this case and that of Bap Hardy?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    He’s been on bail for eight years, that is bound to be some sort of record.

  • fair_deal

    “no one is safe”

    1. Hyperbole surely.
    2. The Belfast Agreement did not grant an amnesty in the UK, RoI or Germany.

  • J Kelly

    Would the involvement of a prominent Brit or loyalist in a double murder of northern Catholics be given a similar dispensation from the requirements of justice?

    Joe are you having a laugh give one example of a prominent Brit being prosecuted or even questioned

  • andy

    Joe
    this is ridiculous – there is no way anyone in the North would be charged with this kind of offence (given time elapsed etc) – or indeed something a lot worse.

    I had read somewhere that there was evidence the two were killed by frinedly fire (although that wouldn’t detract from the overall responsibility of the kidnappers). Does anyone know if there is any truth to that?

    J kelly – you could add security forces from south of the border to that list too.

  • Ballymoney sham

    Interesting timing, there was European law passed recently which now allows for wanted people in the north to be extradited to the 26 Counties, they were probably waiting for this to pass before proceeding.

  • SlugFest

    Can anyone tell me how quickly the Irish courts move on something like this? As in, what’s the estimated date of the actual trial?

  • sohnlein

    “He’s been on bail for eight years, that is bound to be some sort of record.”

    Well, it’s a record the Shoukri’s might yet challenge 😉

  • mickhall

    gremlins again, post 10 and 11 are not mickhall

    posted by mickhall

  • The trial of Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane has nothing to do with pressuring SF to join the police board but to tie all the cross border killings and kidnappings of a controverial nature to the Provos.

    McFarlane’s problems resulted when Seamus McElwain led the breakout from the Maze in 1983 -who the Brits hoped to ambush, along with the dangerous Jim Lynagh,in April 1986. While the wounded McElwain was executed by the Brits after he was seriously wounded, Lynagh failed to fall for the bomb trap that Captain Simon Hayward aka Captain James Rennie, the Ops Officer of the 14 Intelligence Company’s South Detachment, set for the volunteers in the Republic.

    Now it is just cleaning up what killings and kidnapping occurred on both sides of the border at the expense of various PIRA volunteers – a process to completely ruin any inquiries into killings where collusion is suspected, and what ‘Martin Ingram’ et al. arranged in their meeting in London on March lst.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Can anyone tell me how quickly the Irish courts move on something like this? As in, what’s the estimated date of the actual trial?’

    I would imagine that shortly before the Dail election next year would be a good bet.

  • Brian

    Bik McFarlane is an Irish patriot. His suffering and sacrifice for the cause of Irish freedom should be recognized by all Irish people. The issue concerning Tidey’s kidnapping and subsequent deaths of a a Garda and Free State soldier happened during the most recent phase of armed struggle. Thus, even if Bik is found (by the non-jury court) to have participated in the firefight, he will not serve any time in jail because of the GFA. Thus, this attack on Bik’s integrity and patriotism is patently designed to undermine his role in the Irish Peace Process and just another attempt by southern quislings to damage SF’s electoral rise. Bik ought to be given the freedom of every city in the south. He is a great man, soldier and epitomizes all that is great about Irish Republicanism. His role as OC of Oglaigh Na h-Eireann during the H-Block hunger strikes and his continued loyalty to the noble cause of Irish liberation have assured Bik a place in Irish history. Those who want to tarnish his image, id est, the McDowells, Paisleys and Mad Dog Orangies in Ireland will be long forgotten when Bik’s role in the Irish/Brit conflict will be lauded in our schools and history books. Beirfidh Bua Bik. PS – And he’s a hell of a misician as well.

  • Pete Baker

    “Thus, even if Bik is found (by the non-jury court) to have participated in the firefight, he will not serve any time in jail because of the GFA.”

    Didn’t you hear, Brian? The deal over crimes that individuals were not already serving time for, ie those not covered by the GFA, fell through when SF withdrew their support for the NI Offences Bill.

    Oh, and it’s more than just the shoot-out at the rescue of the kidnapped Mr Tidey.

    This is not covered by anything in the GFA.

  • Glen Taisie

    If the intention is really to damage Republicanism(p), then he should be allowed to stay free.

    .

  • mickhall

    Post 15 and 16 are not from mickhall nor are no 10 and 11 as I previously mentioned. Unless this can be fixed or some explanation given my Mick Fealty as to why it is happening, I feel it is foolish to continue to post as many posters are still not making it clear who is actually posting. [and why should they have to?]

    This is a shame, but when we are debating the north of Ireland, in truth it can be a dangerous thing to be mis-interprited as to ones views, as it may come back and bite one at a later date. Let’s hope this problem can be fixed and we can get back to normal.

    Posted by Mick Hall

  • mickhall

    Post 18 isn`t mine aswell.

    I`m the real Mick Hall!

  • Mike

    Interesting to read what ‘mickhall4’ (I’m guessing his choice of moniker was obcured by the glitch in the system) said about Bik McFarlane:

    “Bik McFarlane is an Irish patriot. His suffering and sacrifice for the cause of Irish freedom should be recognized by all Irish people. ….this attack on Bik’s integrity and patriotism is patently designed to undermine his role in the Irish Peace Process and just another attempt by southern quislings to damage SF’s electoral rise. Bik ought to be given the freedom of every city in the south. He is a great man, soldier and epitomizes all that is great about Irish Republicanism. ….Those who want to tarnish his image, id est, the McDowells, Paisleys and Mad Dog Orangies in Ireland will be long forgotten when Bik’s role in the Irish/Brit conflict will be lauded in our schools and history books.”

    What was McFarlane in prison for in the first place?

    The sectarian murder of innocent Protestants in the Bayardo Bar massacre.

    Very informative to see how one republican lauds the actions of this man who carried out a gun and bomb attack in a pub, who slaughtered innocent civilians simply because of their religion.

    Some “integrity and patriotism” indeed.

    I wonder how exactly “Bik’s role in the Irish/Brit conflict will be lauded in our schools and history books”…sectarian pub bombings will be praised in schools in future then will they?

  • Mike

    Argh.

    Last post was by me.

    Mike

  • mickhall

    Post 18 isn`t mine aswell.
    posted by Mick Hall [mickhall]
    I`m the real Mick Hall!

    Posted by mickhall8

    Sluggerites
    I rest my case,[see post 18] Good luck to all the slugger regulars; and those who help Mick run the list, your a great bunch to intereact with, but I am off for a while and please, if the fool who posted no 19, what ever there name is, repost’s as mickhall it is not from me.

    Good luck to you all.

    posted by Mick Hall [mickhall]

  • harpo

    ‘He is a great man, soldier and epitomizes all that is great about Irish Republicanism.’

    mickhall4 (whoever that really is):

    If he was/is a soldier, then this is quite clearly war crime. Kidnapping civilians is not a legitimate part of war. It’s war crime. But then much of what the PIRA did was war crime if it claimed to be an army.

    People like you will excuse anything and everything if the PIRA did it, and gloss over the details (like kidnapping civilians, targeting civilians in bombings, killing unarmed prisoners) by pretending there was a war on and that this supposed war justifies anything that the PIRA did. Even if it was a war there are certain actions that count as war crime. Things like attacking civilians on the shopping streets of Warrington, blowing up La Mon House while it is full of civilians, and as in this case, kidnapping civilians.

    If you want to count what the PIRA did as war fair enough, but open your eyes. It wasn’t all glorious attacks on heavily armed British security forces. It also involved things like murdering a census worker, shopkeepers, and a bus driver who were due to appear in court to give evidence.

    In which set of the rules of war can the status of civilians just be ignored and some lame excuse dreamed up to justify everything that the PIRA did?

    People like you just try the tactic of putting the whole period down as one of armed struggle, in the hope that no one will examine the details of what much of that armed struggle involved. If it was a war then much of what the PIRA did was war crime.

  • harpo

    ‘Posted by Joe2 on Mar 08, 2006 @ 05:26 PM’ (post 23)

    was actually posted by harpo.

    This was posted by harpo too.

    harpo

  • Scandinavian

    In Mr.McFarlane’s defence it should be said that his target on Bayardo bar wasn’t civilians but gangmembers of the Shankill Butchers and members of the UVF.
    It doesn’t justify the bombing, not at all. But in case people know about the shankill butchers actions in the 70’s, it certainly helps explaining it.

  • Democratic

    Wasn’t Mr McFarlane alleged to have machine gunned innocent survivors as they crawled out of the rubble of the initial bomb blast – surely if that is true then there is no defense nor no explanation for his actions no matter who was rumoured to have been in the bar I think.
    Praise for such a character says a lot I think about how far we still have to go “here”.