Deputy First Minister’s brother-in-law charged in abduction case

As the BBC report, and UTV mention, a man in his 40s is due to appear in court charged with two counts of unlawful imprisonment, grievous bodily harm and possession of a firearm in relation to the abduction and assault of a couple on Monday when the 42-year-old man was shot in both ankles. Another man has been released without charge and a third man is still being questioned by police. However the Irish News identifies the man charged as Mervyn Marvin Canning.. brother-in-law of the designated Deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness.. From the Irish News[subs req]Adds Irish News got the name slightly wrong.

Mervyn Marvin Canning, of Glendara in Derry’s Brandywell, is charged with two counts of unlawful imprisonment, two counts of grevious bodily harm with intent and two counts of possession of a firearm with criminal intent.
Mr Canning, a brother of Mr McGuinness’s wife Bernie, is in his forties.
Nationalist and republican sources in Derry last night stressed that Mr Canning never had any involvement with the republican movement.

Adds Court detail from the Belfast Telegraph report

Outside court today, members of the public pushed and jeered press photographers and a cameraman as Canning was being taken out of a prison van.

Unruly scenes unfolded inside the Magistrate’s Court when Canning’s case arose, leading resident Magistrate Barney McElholm to issue the stark warning: “If there are any further disturbances in this court I want those responsible arrested.”

Dressed in a white checked shirt and trousers, Canning appeared calm, smiling and waving to supporters as he was led into the dock, handcuffed to a court official. A detective constable told the court he believed he could connect the defendant to the charges.

Under questioning from defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott, the officer agreed that over the course of seven interviews, Canning had consistently denied the charges against him.

The officer also confirmed to the court that the evidence against Canning was “of an identification nature”. Canning was remanded in custody until May 24 to reappear in court in Derry via video link from Maghaberry Prison. He will apply for bail tomorrow.

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  • Hmmn the sort of headline you’d expect over at ATW

  • Rory

    Everyone and his granny has a troublesome brother-in-law. This can can only serve to gain sympathy and support for Martin among the rest of the world so afflicted.

  • Rory

    P.s. The “can can” was not intentional. Ooh la la!

  • Dave

    “Nationalist and republican sources in Derry last night stressed that Mr Canning never had any involvement with the republican movement.”

    Going by what has been reported to dated,he seems to be qualified enough to be involved in the Republican movement.???

    If,Nationalist and republican sources in Derry last night stressed that Mr Canning never had any involvement with the republican movement, who are we to say otherwise?

    Yeh right……

  • Bigger Picture

    It’s all coming to light now… the big question remains when will the next Northern Bank occur??Or the next Bobby Tohill abduction?? It’ll not be too long before other provos start letting the mask slip, then we’ll really see what we’ve got ourselves into!!

  • Mervyn Canning? Does that mean the DFM’s brother-in-law is a… Jaffa?????

  • Sean

    LOL I bet you unionists are wetting your pants in anticipation of using this against Sinn Fein. Its really too bad it wasn’t his brother, I mean imagine the mileage if he had the same name

  • Dewi

    Yeah Sammy = I’ve noticed this Mervyn phenomenon before – why is it a cool name for Unionists?

  • Perhaps Papa and Gucci can send one of their joint messages to the couple with holes in their ankles.

    Some people just have the whiff of cordite about them.

  • tout mcgeough

    What self respecting Republican would have a brother in law called Mervyn? Some Jaffa names are so camp. I suppose Mervyn just wanted to be one of the lads but forgot that Armanis are in and balaclavas are out, at least when the cameras roll.
    Also, Martin should stand up for his brother in alw. Christ with a name like that, he needs all the support he can get.

  • SuperSoupy

    The name in the reports now says Marvin.

  • picador

    Marvin Duaine Leeroy Canning by any chance??

  • GavBelfast

    Yes, just heard/saw that, too, Marvin it is, but more importantly I do think it’s time Mark Carruthers got rid of that tie before any more stains appear on it.

    It’s obviously an old favourite, but enough’s enough.


  • kokane

    Talking of relatives of Martin – anybody notice
    his resemblance to Ole ‘Gunner’ Solskjaer – could they perhaps be related?

  • DC

    “Everyone and his granny has a troublesome brother-in-law. This can can only serve to gain sympathy and support for Martin among the rest of the world so afflicted.”

    Yes, but apparently Martin’s daughter is not so afflicted and is a bit of a babe; but, aside from that Martin’s daughter’s mum’s brother has just been accused of gagging and carrying off a person against their will while waving a gun around.

    I can see what the attraction must have been between Bernie and Martin. No doubt Marvin will deny it all and take advice from Martin about how to go about the rigorous procedures involved with successful denial management.

  • Yukio

    Kokane – highly ironic that Solskjaer is also known as the baby faced assassin?

  • StarHound

    What kind of debate is this exactly?

    Is this tea-break gossip corner?

  • forlorn fairy

    Is this tea-break gossip corner?


    It’s awfully sad when bad things happen to good sentences.

  • StarHound

    Forlorn Fairy

    I see you have time on your hands too…

  • So this guy has NEVER been involved in republican movement.

    Erm… So what exactly has this got to do with The Deputy first Minister then…?

  • Boys of the Grudge Brigade

    But this guy has been seen at a number of dissident republican gatherings in Derry organised by the Ex POWs and Concerned Republicans against modern Ireland recently. I wonder what have our dissident cheerleaders got to say about this?

    In fact, considering the question posed by a Mr McFadden on a recent thread, i wonder what his advice to people would be regarding this incident?

  • As soon as I saw this story in this mornings Irish News, I knew immediately that Pete Baker would start a leading thread about it. ( As unfortunately this site is becoming more and more predictable by the day…)

    Like I said before, the arrest of this individual does not have anything to do with Martin McGuinness. I recall a brother of former Belfast Lord Mayor Martin Morgan being involved in terrorist activity, but nobody sought to implicate Martin Morgan because of his close family connection.

    This thread is a nonsensical attempt to “Bash a Shinner” without a thread of any tangible political link between McGuinness or the accused in this particular incident.

  • Yokel

    Canning has been involved before in the republican movement.

    The issue of him being JR Hartley’s brother in law is a side issue. One of the main issues is whether he was acting for an element within republicanism or not.

    The other issue is, if he is guilty, what was he doing comitting a crime like that alleged.

  • interested

    Surely the issue is whether he was acting for an element for what is described as ‘mainstream’ republicanism or not.

    If he is involved with ‘dissident’ republicans then it does throw something of a different light on it.

    Mind you – still would be interesting to be at some of the McGuinness family gatherings if Marvin/Meryn and Martin all show up!

  • Boys of the Grudge Brigade

    Yokel, what evidence have you for your claim regarding Mr Canning. I have never heard of any involvement of his in the republican movement, but I’m open to any evidence you might have.

  • Boys of the Grudge Brigade

    Interested, if Mr Canning is connected to mainstream Republicanism I’ll eat your hat. His recent associations have all been of a different variety.

    As to whether there is any dissident connection I think thats a question that is at least worth asking. Because if there is then we deserve to be told what the reasons behind this are. If there wasn’t then we at least deserve to have their analysis of what happened, and what people should do if they can shed any light on it. Unless of course they are happy to turn a blind eye to criminality.

  • roger

    This seems to be the place for useless and irrelevent news

    Dot Cotton has had a baby

  • Yokel

    Grudge Brigade Man, you’ve somewhat answered your questions with your own posts

    I should add that I talked about an element of republicanism, on the basis that republicanism is not exclusively the Provos.

    I’m not suggesting he may be actively involved with the ‘mainstream’ movement at the moment. The dissident connection is one that will be the focus of speculation. Was this a freelance job not formerly in the name of any organisation? Possibly, but that we wait to see.

  • forlorn fairy

    I wonder where they got their knowledge of forensics from?

    Options. If this is not connected to dissident republicanism, can we assume a personal grudge or drugs to be involved?

  • Boys of the Grudge Brigade

    Forlorn fairy, ever watch CSI or any one of the other 900 don’t do it or the forensics will get you programmes?

  • eddie

    ‘Boys of the Grudge Brigade’give your head a shake over the nearest toilet, you are so full of self-righteous crap. Talk about the kettle calling the tea-pot black. PIRA/PSF in Derry would make the Sopranos look like girl guides. McQuinness is the biggest gangster to ever come out of Derry.

  • forlorn fairy.

    Clearly they didn’t watch all the episodes particularly the one about getting rid of ‘identification’ evidence, ie witnesses.

    BOTGB, clearly you don’t get out much, for the highlight of your sad life watch neighbours, I believe old harrold is still around and looking to move to the bogside to be a bog trotter.

  • USA

    When replying to BOTGB (post # 7) “Forlorn Fairy” clearly played the man and not the ball.
    Even worse, the term “bog trotter” is an anti-Irish racial slur. Yellow card referee?

  • Robin Cook

    For a man who is used to taking tough decisions, the solution to Martins family problem will become obvious to him I am sure. For the good of the movement he will become a Protestant, divorce his wife, disown his children and then marry his mistress, problem solved.

    [Sammy, Jaffa may be OK in your circles, but here on Slugger we are far more sophisticated as this thread clearly demonstrates, please try and get up to speed]

    Now, about Dot Cottons baby,

  • Michael

    Can anyone tell me what this has to do with Martin McGuinness? His son-in-law is a Derry City player but our new Deputy First Minister designate has not been blamed for their recent bad run. Why is he being brought into this?

  • The Dubliner

    Micheal, g-d forbid that an infamous terrorist godfather and the inventer of the human bomb should have his good name tarnished by association with those who commit violent acts, eh?

  • ingram



  • kokane

    A relative of the Queen…

    There was widespread shock today when it learned that a grandson of the British monarch was to be denied the right to take part in a illegal and murderous war overseas.

    A spokesman for Harry said “the prince and his family were bitterly disappointed that ‘arry would not get a chance to get involved in the current war against the Fuzzy Wuzzies and that he
    might resign if he did not get a chance to get involved in the killing”. The spokesman added that “the British army had a proud record of being involved in more overseas murder campaigns than any other army and that was the reason ‘arry had joined up.”

    A spokeeman for the Durka Durkas said they were also very disappointed.

  • Shore Road Resident

    I thought Jim Gibney was the queen?

  • jeremy

    ‘I thought Jim Gibney was the queen?’

    No, thats Jackie McDonald during the lock in’s in the Taugmonagh social club with his old pals ‘Doris day’ Gray and Johnny mad dog.

    Made the Kremlin look like a straight ‘spit and sawdust’ bar.

    The dancing (secret) queens.

  • pugachev


    surely the role of loyalst queen of the scene has to go to :

    Sammy Duddy……. everyones favourite drag queen.

    & just remember his dogs were assassinated in the righteous cause of Ulster !!!!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Made the Kremlin look like a straight ‘spit and sawdust’ bar.

    We’ll have a bit less of that banter. Don’t you know a man died recently.

  • pugachev

    lots of people have died recently.

    Who are you refering to Uncle Joe ?

  • Pete Baker

    Getting back to the actual topic for a moment..

    Anyone who actually believes that the details of such serious charges against the brother-in-law of any politician about to take the post of Deputy First Minister here, or a comparable position elsewhere, aren’t note-worthy in full needs to seriously re-assess their own judgement on these matters.

  • kokane

    They are noteworthy and although embarassing for Martin – do not reflect on his suitability as DFM.

  • circles

    “Anyone who actually believes that the details of such serious charges against the brother-in-law of any politician about to take the post of Deputy First Minister here, or a comparable position elsewhere, aren’t note-worthy in full needs to seriously re-assess their own judgement on these matters”

    Oh thank you for that Pete – thank goodness for the moral compass!!! And theres me thinking this was one of the most irrelevant attempts at a posting I’d seen in quite a while. Of course, of course, McGuinness should be held responsible for this, as its a clear indication of the intrinsically criminal mindset of ahhhhh, people almost genetically related to him in some kind of way. Indeed, down with this kind of thing.

    My judgement has no been completely reassessed thank to that post 🙂

  • circles

    no = now 😉

  • Pete Baker


    I can only suggest you re-read the original post. Be careful to note what I actually said.. rather than what you think I said.

  • Devil’s in the detail eh pete, great place to run fer cover; }change your perception }
    where have we heard that one before?
    perhaps a study in irony would help you understand circles post.

  • Pete Baker

    You don’t need me to suggest, again, that you re-read the original post, parci..

    Perhaps you could frame your criticism around what was actually posted?

  • the headline was enuf pete, circles’ vision is correct. What you actually said was
    “yes its true, the results have come back from the lab… cut to commercial… we’re opening the envelopes now .. hush…drums… Yes McGuiness is SCUM, we’ve proved it….. wait wait… next envelope…. YES so are all his relatives..Yes…they’re all SCUM ..

  • pete, placing you at the crime scene is always going to be difficult, as you like to wear rubber gloves ( see thread titles ) …that you’ve means motive and opportunity is the easy bit.
    we’re looking for a finger-print, even the best slip up. Its not personal 😉

  • Pete Baker

    Keep taking the tablets, parci.

    And try re-reading the [factual] heading.

    You wouldn’t have an aversion to factual reporting, by any chance?

  • SuperSoupy

    Can’t seem to recall the Slugger headline: Sharon Haughey’s relatives charged with double burning murders.

    Different strokes for different folks.

  • Pete Baker

    “we’re looking for a finger-print, even the best slip up. Its not personal”

    No, of course it’s not.. you’re just pre-judging the content of the post.

    And getting back to the actual topic..

  • I’ve read it, and its guilt by association

  • oh you’ve had your bouncer in this over, another one is a foul, with penalties awarded to me

  • USA

    Is Pete Baker responsible for removing the racial slur from this thread. and if so why has it not been done?

  • tee hee hee

    “Yes, but apparently Martin’s daughter is not so afflicted and is a bit of a babe”
    Aye, would seem so.
    Shame about the organisation Martin commanded (by his own admission, before this is censored) maiming so many other young women so they could never be regarded as such (lacking limbs, eyes, you know, the stuff of the general babe kit) and killing so many children who might have otherwise grown up to be regarded as ‘babes’, had their right to life not been taken in the name of the greater good at the IRA’s whim.

  • darth rumsfeld

    it seems that whenever an innocent person not connected to any paramilitary organisation or criminality is remanded in Londonderry magistrate’s court that people entirely unconnected with them, but presumably appalled that their group has been so slandered, need to come along, act the hard man, attempt to intimidate the press and other court users.

    Funny how neither marty, nor all the republican posters on this thread, have condemned this thuggery. “We’ll support the courts, as long as we’re not in them” seems to be the mindset

  • confused

    People question this as a viable story.
    The answer is simple———it s newsworthy.
    Why else would fifty people post their views?

  • DK

    There is a concerted attempt going on to intimidate Pete.

    If Paisley’s brother-in-law had done this, it would have the same headline, without the word “Deputy”.

  • Briso

    Darth wrote:
    >people entirely unconnected with them, but
    >presumably appalled that their group has been so
    >slandered, need to come along

    Is that what happened? You know who these people who came along were? They weren’t friends and family? (Genuine question BTW, I wasn’t there).

  • Mickhall


    The question is not whether this item is worthy of being a news story, it clearly is, for if you were to use that criteria you would be posting up all sorts of articles on a regular basis. That you and the rest of those who blog here do not is surly because you select pieces which might provoke debate or deserve wider coverage.

    IMO this story falls into neither category, although some of the posts to this thread have been amusing and others disappointing. [can we never get past whataboutary] What ever your motives for posting it up in the first place and I do not believe you were being underhanded, I do feel you may have been a little over ambitious.

    For in today’s world it is difficult, if not nye on impossible to get politicians to take responsibility for their own actions, let alone those of members of their families 😉

    All the best.

  • disappointedofoslo

    I agree it’s a slightly laughable concept that the actions of Mr McGuiness’ brother-in-law might make less suitable for the DFM post.

    Previous actions he has admitted to himself should completely disqualify him from any governmental post in a sane society

  • Dec

    And try re-reading the [factual] heading.

    You wouldn’t have an aversion to factual reporting, by any chance?

    Dear oh dear, that worn-out old record again. You must be disappointed that Mick beat you to reporting the Alex Attwood speeding fiasco, what with your fondness for factual reporting(incorrect names notwithstanding). Of course, if it had been a Shinner rather than a Stoop you’d have won that race by a country mile.

    Unfortunately, Pete while you think you get away with the ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’ routinue, you leave yourself wide open on what you don’t bother reporting to the masses. Your recent tasteful post concerning the death of Jim McMenamin, which gave the annonymous bigots of the world wide web a chance to laugh at ‘deaf Catholics’ and 2 year old witness statements, was a great hoot. However it came as no suprise that when given the opportunity to open a thread on another href=””>Ombudsman’s report released the previous day, you chose to stay home and wash your tights.
    For anyone who missed it, it concerned the ‘unjustified’* death of 15 year old Paul McWhitter after being shot in the head by an RUC plastic bullet, found:

    “that police did not try to arrest Paul, that they did not conduct a proper investigation into his death, that they did not keep the family updated about the investigation, and that there was no attempt by police to interview six individuals who gave statements to a solicitor about the shooting. ”

    Still, to be fair to you, there wasn’t the same opportunity to mock eyewitness statements as this particular upholder of law and order refused to supply one.

    * Unjustified: The gun was used in contravention of the rules in place at the time. No warning was given by loudhailer, and it was fired at less than the permissible range of 20 metres. Hmm.

  • RedHaze


    What is ATW?

    Seen that used a few times now…just curious.

  • ATW its a liberal site for extreme left-wing radical unionists who seek a united ireland 😉
    Mick has a link to it on the homepage of Sluggers.

  • RedHaze


    Thanks for that, much appreciated.

  • The Dubliner

    Do you think they might notice that The Irish News and The Belfast Telegraph both deemed the relationship between Mr Canning and Mr McGuinness to be newsworthy and in the public interest if they read the post?

    I don’t. I think your average intolerant Shinner would still complain bitterly to you like you were the backstreet surgeon who botched his transgender operation, leaving him with half a vagina and half a penis, and with no way to urinate that doesn’t hurt.

  • Cahal

    The Dubliner, I guess now we know why you hate the Shinners so much. Next time I suggest you try the NHS.

  • The Dubliner

    Cahal, comtempt and disgust shouldn’t be mistaken for hate. 😉

    It’s amusing to observe Shinner posters amateurishly promoting the interests of a self-serving sociopath who controls a violent sectarian cult because of symbiotic sectarian gain, especially when the chosen methodology in this case is to squeal loudly in favour of censorship of information that is in the public interest and to make squalid attacks on the character of a Blogger, alleging selective bias on his part despite all four media organisations quoted in his article (BBC, UTV, The Irish News, and The Belfast Telegraph) deeming the relationship between Mr Canning and Mr McGuinness to be newsworthy and in the public interest.

    Still, squealing on message boards at Bloggers who displease them is a better method for Shinners of releasing their pent-up frustrations than their erstwhile methods of such cathartic release of bombing, shooting and kneecapping them, isn’t it? Shame they’re about as threatening as a limbless kung fu king in a bonny-bowed rice hat. Keep it up, kid.

  • Cahal

    Christ Dubliner, you have issues man.

    I vote Sinn Fein. I also help out at an animal shelter on Thursdays. We’re just normal people you know. I haven’t shot, bombed or kneecaped anybody.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    for those who thought that the IRA were a murderous bunch of thugs ( a view I do not share) it is hardly suprising that they will little time and much animosity for those who vote Sinn Fein.

    Sinn Fein is not an ‘ordinary’ party – everyone knows their current leadership ran the ‘war of liberation’/’terrorist campaign’. To suggest that a bit of social work on the side will alter attitudes hardened through 30 years of conflict is pretty naive.

  • Observer

    Dubliners attitudes were hardened through 4 months of peace.