Three weeks to leave NI.. by court order..

Police have successfully applied for a change in the bail conditions of two men charged with helping to organise a meeting in support of the UDA/UFF. The two, Garry Mackenzie, 35, and Alan John McClean, 19, were among 17 men arrested when police raided the Alexandra Bar in last March and had been staying at an approved address. Ihab Shoukri was also arrested during that raid, but the bail he was on at that time wasn’t revoked and those charges were dropped. Later, however, new charges relating to the Alexandra raid emerged, and he was refused bail. Shoukri has since been kept in custody without bail and a variety of reasons given, most recently on January 8th. In contrast, the two today were given three weeks to leave Northern Ireland.

The reason, Crown lawyer Charles McKay said, was that the lives of both men were at risk following death threats from what he described as the “mainstream UDA”.
“Police believe they would be a target wherever they lived in Northern Ireland and a great deal of manpower is being expended safeguarding them,” Mr McKay said.

That would be death threats from the “mainstream UDA” referred to here.. presumably..Also from the BBC report

A defence lawyer questioned the validity of the death threats but Mr Justice Weatherup said he accepted that police were satisfied there was a continuing and serious threat to the men’s lives.

He said the court had to take account of the threat to the men and also to the public should violence break out and on balance he had decided to require them to live outside Northern Ireland where the risk to their lives would be diminished.

It’s a question I’ve asked before but is this really the right balance? It’s worth considering afresh in light of the Faustian Pact we appear to have been left with.

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  • parcifal

    Didn’t know a court could give such a ruling, thought it was only paramilitaries that did that.
    Can they get a rail ticket? And where are they supposed to go?
    Reminds me of Kings of old banishing subjects from the Realm.
    Is this a first peteb?

  • John

    If they are UK taxpayers they have every right to live in NI or else demand a partial refund.

  • Austin

    What action is being taken against the ‘Good’ UDA for issuing these threats?

    Are threats of murder or incitement to murder not serious offences?

    Where are the arrests, raids and, God Forbid, actual charges brought against these men?

    These guya are probably out golfing with Marty Mc and co………….

  • Greenflag

    They should give these chaps a break and give them 1 week to leave NI :)It’ll be the makin of them :)Most poor sods have to live there a lifetime assuming it’s called living ?

  • joeCanuck

    I may be wrong but believe that, although this might seem unusual, judges do have a fairly wide degree of latitude when setting bail conditions.
    The judge probably cannot force them to leave but the alternative would be to revoke bail if they do not comply.

  • Pete Baker


    It’s the comparison of rulings that is of more interest than what the judge has actually ruled in this particular case.

    Then there’s the nature of the charges, and the comparison with those who remain uncharged.

    I suspect that similar conditions would be applied in the case of Ihab Shoukri should he chose to comply with them.. and leave NI.

  • joeCanuck

    Well Pete

    like too many things in N.I. there is a lot of murkiness about and I have to confess that much of it leaves me very confused.

  • merrie

    It looks as if the British-based legal system is following the example of the IRA

  • Dessertspoon

    Back to Blackpool then is it? Little Alan off to join his Dad. Or has McClean Snr jetted off to a holiday home in Bulgaria??!!

  • Agent CareBear

    Related to this case I read on the BBC:

    “Granting bail, Mr Justice Weatherup said that due to “the climate of today”, he would not accept the intelligence documents.”

    Are HM’s Intelligence organs now a discredited entity in the eyes of the courts of NI ?

    Or are the Intelligence organs of HM’s government being “testing over a credible period of time” to determine their level of committment to peaceful means?

  • Pete Baker


    Related to your comment – this post

  • Internal exile on the British mainland – Coventry, perhaps?

    It’s a bit like the old exclusion orders in reverse. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

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