McFarlane’s latest legal challenge thrown out

In the comments to a recent post ‘SlugFest’ asked the not unreasonable question – “Whatever happened with Bic McFarlane’s trial?” Thanks to the Irish Times breaking news we have the answer, it had been delayed by another legal challenge. But no longer..

Maze prison escapee Brendan McFarlane today lost his latest legal challenge to stop his trial over the kidnap of a supermarket boss 25 years ago. In a brief hearing in the Supreme Court, five judges revealed they had reached a unanimous decision to throw out the appeal.

Former IRA prisoner McFarlane, from Jamaica Street, west Belfast, was charged in January 1998 with falsely imprisoning Don Tidey at Derrada Wood, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, in November and December 1983. He was also charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and is facing trial in the Special Criminal Court.

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  • A number of questions, why is Brendan McFarlane being singled out and why is he being tried in the Special court and finally if found guilty will he come under the GFA/whatever agreement and thus be released from what ever he is sentenced to, if so is this not a dreadful waste of tax payers money?

  • Difficult to know, Mick. Could this have anything to do with it: “The Gardaí eventually tracked Tidey and his kidnappers — four in all — to Derrada Wood in Ballinamore, County Leitrim on 16 December 1983. In the subsequent shoot-out, a trainee garda and an Irish Army soldier were killed.”?

  • Granni Trixie

    Do we see a pattern emerging as part of a Republican strategy to rewrite history? (eg as well as this case,currently we have Danny Morrison’s appeal against his conviction)?

  • Larry the Lag

    Do the crime. Do the time. If this former seminarian kidnapped and murdered for whatever end, he should be prepared to spend the rest of his life in prison. The same goes for anyone who was a part of the Provo empire. Ruane and the others can organise a bs campaign on his behalf (the Derrada Tree)

  • Garibaldy

    Ins’t Jamaica Street in North Belfast?

  • Larry the Hag

    Jamaica St is in Ardoyne, North Belfast. What about it?

  • Garibaldy

    Mistake in the reporting then

  • George

    Mick Hall,
    why is Brendan McFarlane being singled out

    I reckon because the legal wheels are in train with him.

    why is he being tried in the Special court

    Because this is an offence that comes under the Offences against the State Act.

    if found guilty will he come under the GFA/whatever agreement and thus be released from what ever he is sentenced to

    I assume he will be released.

    is this not a dreadful waste of tax payers money?

    It’s an outstanding case so has to come to an end. Anyway, most taxpayers would be quite happy to put up with the cost to know for sure who was involved in the murder of a Garda and an IDF member. It’s the least their families deserve.

  • Pat McCabe

    This unreformed “Republican activist” believed himself to be a member of an organisation styling itself Ogliagh na hEireann. He is charged that, as a member of this illegal, criminal gang, he murdered two people, one of whom was a member of Oglaigh na hEireann. If found guilty of this horrendous crime, Bic the Pri-k should accept any punushment that comes his way. If found guilty, the punishment should be much stiffer than the slap on the wrist the criminals who murdered Jerry McCabe got.

  • SlugFest

    Pete,

    What is this???! Have I finally made a somewhat relevant comment/question on Slugger O’Toole? I’m all a-quiver! Sadly, I’m about to board a plane to DC, so I wont’t have the chance to digest everyone’s posts and, dare I say it, make a somewhat worthy contribution for a bit.

    Until then … I raise a glass of cabernet in your honor, Pete.

  • cut the bull

    The Irish Times did make a mistake stating that Jamiaca St is in West Belfast.

    This really pisses me off and is fairly common among newspapers. It shows a lack of geographical knowledge and more so lazieness that reporters and more so sub editors.

    Who can be bothered checking the actual locations of streets roads and sometimes, what counties districts and town lands are are in.

  • Gary Sheehan/ Private Patrick Kelly

    Isn’t it strange that a self professed IRA terrorist hides behind the legal system. It reminds me of the photos shown when Dutch Doherty, Martin Meehan’s side kick, was lifted. Quivering like a little child. McFarlane should do his time and be a man for once.

  • IRIA

    “hiding behind the legal system”?!?

  • Eoin O’Donnell

    “if so is this not a dreadful waste of tax payers money?”

    IS not pursuing a wsteful appeal to the Supreme Court the real waste of tax payer’s money? [How many Silks were invloved in supporting and opposing the action, of course at my expense?] I am not of course saying an accused should be denied access to the courts. Rather I suggest Bic should have had the balls to accpet his punishment instead of attempting to hide behind fruitless appeal to the SC.

  • pfhl

    get him back to the hatfield on a monday night.

  • andy

    How dare Mcfarlane appeal? How dare he use the legal system?

    He should lie down prostrate and accept whatevger the prosecution determine.

    Nevin / Gary sheehan etc sorry i think you are missing the point. A huge number of killers – state & paramilitary have not been convicted of crimes they are committed. I cant recall any other loyalists or state killers being pursued – why is this person?

    Unless of course you are saying that the lives of the two killed connected to this case are worth more than catholic and protestant civilians in the north, republicans in the south killed by the state, or othe security forces killed in the North.

  • Eoin O’Donnell

    Bic is happy to run amok in this State when he chooses. The law didn’t seem to bother him too much when he kidnapped Don Tidey ( my God what a Republican hero), but now when it suits him he engages and uses the legal system in the hope of getting off. Cowardly.

  • Reader

    andy: He should lie down prostrate and accept whatevger the prosecution determine.
    It looks as though the people suggesting there should be no defence are matched by the people suggesting there should be no prosecution. Of course, both lots are wrong.

  • the oak grove

    hi, can some tell me how to post a topic for discussion?

  • mick cant talk

    To the oak grove. Thats easy belong to one or the other group of political morons who post with such insight and intelligence on here.Very important is to pretend to care pretend to care about the ordinary voter when you really couldnt give a flying fuk weather his oul nan has an outside loo or not.Now also its important to have an elenwe in the barn be able to do percentages and talk endless drivel and realy believe that your opinion is the one that matters most.Oh and never get bogged down in what the little man or woman or child really needs.

  • Andy, it was my understanding that when the Irish government of the time was concerned about the possibility of a ‘socialist revolution’ sweeping away the southern administration it acted to remove the then socialist leadership of the IRA.

    Part of the deal with those that went on to form the PRM was that there would be no attacks on the Garda or the IDF. This could explain why McFarlane is being pursued in much the same way that the killers of Garda McCabe were. Think of it as a manifestation of nimbyism.

  • Nevin

    You may have a point, so why would Ahern concede to pressure from the Garda Siochana? What else may they have in their cupboard and about whom, and who is guarding the Gards.

  • Andy

    Nevin
    you may indeed have a point. However at that point in time there would have been sufficent involvement in anti-republican activity from the Guards (“pursuing their lawful duties” in some eyes – “heavy-squad” style beatings & giving info to British Military intelligence in others eyes) to render such an agreement invalid.

    At the risk of going a bit off-topic, I take it they arent pursuing any of the loyalist bombers or gunment who hit the republic over the period of t”the troubles”? I can’t seem to recall any convictions relating to that activity in the first place either.

    Reader – am I to take it that you think there should be a prosecution? If so – on what grounds?

    That’s a genuine question btw – you seem to be a voice of reason here…

    Regardless of that though your last line is sound – the “nimbyism” bit.

    I love the bit about using the courts as cowardly. Truly, absolutely hilarious.

  • andy

    sorry the nimby bit was obviously refeering to Nevins post. apologies

  • Reader

    Andy: Reader – am I to take it that you think there should be a prosecution? If so – on what grounds?
    On the grounds that there seems to be enough evidence connecting the accused to the crime to at least have a trial. Isn’t that the universal rule – and shouldn’t it be the rule? Do we at least agree that there was a crime?

  • andy

    Reader
    yes – I do agree it was a crime!
    Not sure if the universal rule applies in a context of widescale pardons/ releases from prison/ not pursuing a lot of other prosecutable offences?
    ie it is not an universal rule in this political /. geographical situation.

  • “why would Ahern concede to pressure from the Garda Siochana”

    I would view it as a political decision, Andy, not a policing one. We often blame senior police officers here for decisions, some of which were taken at a political level. At the time of the parades dispute in Portadown in 1996 the Chief Constable carried the can for a decision that was essentially taken by the Irish government and rubber-stamped by London.

  • joeCanuck

    The oak grove:

    Email Mick and suggest your topic.

    News, tips or crits here: mick.fealty -at- gmail.com (change “-at-” to “@”)

  • An Amateur Anthropologist

    Granni Trixi writes “Do we see a pattern emerging as part of a Republican strategy to rewrite history? (eg as well as this case,currently we have Danny Morrison’s appeal against his conviction)?”

    I love the way that when two individual republicans do something vaguely similar, it’s all part of a shadowy new republican strategy to do something utterly ghastly.

  • Reader

    andy: Not sure if the universal rule applies in a context of widescale pardons/ releases from prison/ not pursuing a lot of other prosecutable offences?
    The Early Release Scheme for terrorists that was agreed as a part of the GFA was bad enough. (and I voted for the GFA as a package and would do so again)
    But I certainly don’t think the Governments and justice systems should be giving out freebie “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards on top of the original deal. After all, the early release scheme applied to people who had been convicted, had done some time, and were released under a special licence which can be revoked. If BMcF is convicted, I hope that he will get a tick against all three of those boxes.
    And my feelings on this issue are replicated for every combination of victim and perpetrator.