22-year-old to face charges in terrorism investigation

Probably a story to watch as more details emerge. And at the minute it’s not clear whether it’s directly connected to the earlier arrest in Ballymena when a man was charged with UVF membership. But one of two other men arrested on Friday, in Belfast and Randalstown, in a police investigation into terrorist activity, will appear in Belfast court tomorrow charged with misconduct in public office, having information likely to be of use to terrorists, and breach of the Data Protection Act. The other man was released without charge. Updated below the fold More The 22-year-old was a civil servant working as an administrative assistant for the PSNI.There have been two separate statements from Sinn Féin on the possibly related issue of individuals being informed that their details may have been passed to terrorist groups.

On Saturday, as reported by UTV, SF MLA Daithi McKay stated

“Since the appearance in court yesterday of a Wrightbus employee who was charged with a variety of offences linked to the UVF, including holding information, a number of republicans in Derry City, South Derry and North Antrim have been visited by the PSNI.

“They have been informed that their personal details are in the hands of unionist paramilitaries. Sinn Féin and the individuals concerned are obviously taking this matter seriously. It is unacceptable that unionist paramilitaries continue to target republicans in this manner and the events of the past 24 hours clearly raise very serious issues for the wider unionist community.”

‘While today, as the BBC notes, Martin McGuinness attempted to further clarify the situation..

“Since Friday evening when the PSNI began visiting the homes of republicans and nationalists in Derry City, South Derry and North Antrim and throughout the weekend I have been approached by people fearful of their personal safety. I have to say that many of these people have no connection whatever to Sinn Féin.”

—-

“Given the fact that the UVF is the unionist paramilitary gang linked to these threats then it is now over to that organisation and the PUP to make urgent statements explaining this turn of events and making it clear what threats exist or don’t exist.”

And according to the Irish Times Breaking News report, the leader of the UVF-aligned PUP, and independent member of the policing board, has responded

PUP leader Dawn Purvis said she had no knowledge of any plot.

“My understanding from the PSNI is that there’s no threat to anyone but that the PSNI have a responsibility to inform someone under the human rights legislation if their details or names are found in the hands of someone,” she said.

So that’s all right then.. obviously..

,

  • I would have thought that the request for information from the PUP would have little to do with their “understanding from the PSNI“. I’m sure the PSNI could have (and did) tell those concerned the same thing themselves rather than use Ms Purvis as an intermediary.

    And is there some kind of competition among Sinn Fein reps to see who can get the most utterances of the phrase “unionist paramilitaries” into one statement?

  • Johnny B Good

    Are the UVF Unionist Para’s or not?

  • Bemused

    “And is there some kind of competition among Sinn Fein reps to see who can get the most utterances of the phrase “unionist paramilitaries” into one statement?”

    Huh? Are the UVF NOT unionist paramilitaries?

  • nmc

    Beano,

    if there were a competition, where would Martin McGuinness’ use of the term once place him in the standings?

  • Yokel

    Johnny B Good

    Its a nice cover for a criminal empire thats for sure.

    Daithi McKay needs to behave ‘a Wrightbus employee’. Its one thing that a civil servant is using his position to gather information, that meeds public notification but some people have it in for Wrightbus. Fuck them.

    Thats like me saying that certain people currently working in a number of organisations are Provos and deliberately trying to link the two.

  • baldrick45

    Last 2 posters:

    Actually I think the term Loyalist Paramilitaries is the correct one.

    “Unionist Paramilitaries” is offensive in the same way “Nationalist Paramilitaries” would be offensive to the many SDLP voters who have consistently opposed violence throughout the last 30 years.

    Nuff Said. I guess given our common humanity, both traditions will continue to have and display their arseholes for the foreseeable future.

  • Yokel

    How abourt paramilitaries, full stop. We all know who they are.

  • Dec

    Somehow I doubt the people getting worked up about ‘Unionist paramilitaries’ now, were ever so bothered by the term ‘Pan-Nationalist front’ that was banded around by all shades of Unionism a few years ago, and which created a convenient catch-all for Unionist paramilitaries to label their victims.

    However, congratulations to Dawn Purvis for her reassuring message to those whose personal details were found alongside a cache of bullets, claiming (by proxy) that there’s no malicious intent. Surely, that’s up with her ‘UVF as Social workers’ classic from last year.

  • Dec

    PUP leader Dawn Purvis said she had no knowledge of any plot.

    “My understanding from the PSNI is that there’s no threat to anyone…,” she said.

    Really?

  • beano,
    perhaps the use of the term “unionist paramilitary” has caused you to flinch; as the term “loyalist paramilitaries” gives you the comfort blanket of distancing yourselves from them.
    The main unionist parties always display this tactic, as a way of not facing upto the fact that they are within your community and need tackling by yous.
    Irritating for “decent” prods I suppose; how dare McGuiness challenge the myth of your respectability 😉

  • Shore Road Resident

    You mean ‘nationalist proxy bomber’ Martin McGuinness?

  • jim

    He should get 20 years for such activity. A terrorist of the worset kind. His activity is no different from a bomber.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    baldrick45: ““Unionist Paramilitaries” is offensive in the same way “Nationalist Paramilitaries” would be offensive to the many SDLP voters who have consistently opposed violence throughout the last 30 years. ”

    Mayhap, but that would have changed when the UUP got into bed, metaphorically speaking, with PUP/UVF. There has been, to the best of my knowledge, no similarly arrangement involving the SDLP and a terrorist formation.

    Lie down dogs, wake up with fleas.

  • Gonzo

    Still, at least this thread shows how the blatantly one-sided anti-republican bias of Slugger’s bloggers continues unabated…

  • J Kelly

    Does this revelation, and being mindful of innocent until proven guilty, have any long term consequences for Dawn Purvis on the policing board, I suppose she will be dumped off it anyway how now she is an MLA.

  • Pablo

    Were a ‘busload’ of Wrightbus employees not involved in a major incident in recent years when they took it upon themselves to spend their breaktime mounting a mob handed incursion into a local estate to tear down Irish flags?

    Someone needs to take a closer look at the type of trade ‘unionism’ that exists within this particular company. Irish Government take note.

  • parcifal, the UVF don’t represent me and a loyalist is not the same as a unionist. For Christ’s sake from my experience half the “loyalists” out there can’t work out what exactly they’re loyal to – Britain? The Crown? Ulster? Or just some notion of Protestant Ulster?

    If anything there’s maybe more of a distinction between unionists and loyalists than nationalists and republicans, but I’ve not up until now considered using the term nationalist terrorists.

    I think yokel might have hit the nail on the head, but there would be no point in SF releasing statements at all if they couldn’t use it to demonise those people they’re supposedly building partnerships and new futures with.

  • Peter Brown

    “Were a ‘busload’ of Wrightbus employees not involved in a major incident in recent years when they took it upon themselves to spend their breaktime mounting a mob handed incursion into a local estate to tear down Irish flags?

    Someone needs to take a closer look at the type of trade ‘unionism’ that exists within this particular company. Irish Government take note.”

    At the risk of repeating myself from other threads…..

    No

  • 2=2

    The great thing about the internet is you often discover interesting information just by fiddling about.

    Like, Aaron Hill’s now inactive Bebo profile will tell you he was a member of the same flute band as Richardson (the guy arrested for storing ammo at Wrightbus) if you click through enough of his friends:

    http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=3783555984