McFarlane trial set for June

With the Republic of Ireland’s Supreme Court having thrown out his latest appeal, the Special Criminal Court has now set a June date for the trial of Brendan McFarlane. From the Irish Times breaking news report

The Special Criminal Court has set a date for the trial of Maze Prison escaper Brendan McFarlane on charges connected with the kidnapping of supermarket executive Don Tidey. Mr McFarlane (52), Jamaica Street, Belfast, was charged in January 1998 with falsely imprisoning Mr Tidey and having a firearm with intent to endanger life at Derrida Wood, Ballinanmore, Co Leitrim, in 1983. Mr Tidey was kidnapped by an IRA gang in 1983 and rescued after 23 days in captivity. A trainee garda, Gary Sheehan, and a member of the Defence Forces, Pte Patrick Kelly, were killed in a shoot-out with the gang when Mr Tidey was rescued.

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  • CTN

    How dare these two paramilitary sponsoring governments start looking back to prosecute anyone whilst omitting to prosecute their own members for actions like arming and instigating the Provisional IRA from the southern state in 1969 (and I mean a REAL trial of ALL concerned) or the Dublin and Monaghan bombings carried out by British agents in 1974.

    Either we forgive and forget or treat the past killings objectively and prosecute all murderers.

    A right pair of cheeky pigs these 2 governments are as they single out one person from one situation (of course the British support this move as it will have negative ramifications up north) whilst the other victims look on without recourse from so many similar others- shame…

  • SlugFest

    I’m not familiar enough with the intracacies of the GFA prisoner release rules/guidelines to know whether a conviction would put him back in jail or if he’d simply be found guilty (assuming he would — you never know) and be pardoned.

    That being said, if he is going to be pardoned anyway, I don’t really see a point in the trial — the money, time, etc. Of course, if it gave the families of Gary Sheehan and Patrick Kelly even one iota of peace, then I can certainly understand.

    ps: thanks for the update, Pete!

  • Liam

    Bik McFarlane has played an important role in the development of the peace process since his release from prison in the late 1990’s. He has already spent too many years of his life behind prison walls. These charges should be withdrawn immediately.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    why do I always read more and more each day about the republic of Ireland on this forum?, and have the unpleasant experience of listening to idiots call N.Ireland the 6 counties on this forum?

    Isn’t this supposed to be a forum for politics and culture in N.Ireland?….

  • IRIA

    What are you talking about?

  • Dec

    and have the unpleasant experience of listening to idiots call N.Ireland the 6 counties on this forum?

    Judging by your moniker, you don’t do irony do you?

  • joeCanuck


    You can’t trust that fecker Baker. The closet republican is always sneaking in things about that other place. He’s even had the audacity to report on proceedings in their parliament.

  • Rob


    Would you care to tell me what sentence Bic has served time behind bars for?



  • CS Parnell

    Those of us with long memories recall that the IRA claimed at the time that public reaction to the murder of Patrick Kelly and Gary Sheehan showed that the “revolution” was spreading south in the wake of the hunger strikes. Indeed even some journalists who really ought to have know better (Mary Holland) wrote as much (it’s hard to think of a journalist I respected more, but she got that one very wrong).

    Those were dark days in the history of the island. But happily the people of the south stood by the republic and delivered repeated electoral humiliations to Adams and Co.

    As for CTN – he ought to read more of the history or understand the law. There were prosecutions. Sadly they failed but the principle of “double jeopardy” still applies.

    I wonder if CTN thinks the same zeal as he demands should be applied to the agents of the British state who murdered. A European arrest warrant could have Scap up in court in a fortnight.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    Rather ironic…bik a few years back with gerry kelly jumped infront of british soldiers to keep an angry Irish crowd from hurting the brits….all in the name of peace. And how has bik been rewarded for using his name and influence to protect the brits…why he is looking at a trial….yep…ironic

  • latcheeco

    It’s great progress to see you use island and republic interchangeably.Welcome back.

  • latcheeco

    Kathy C.Not as ironic as you lauding Hilery for the GFA

  • Rob

    Kathy C,

    I would suggest that the reason that they got involved is that all of the worlds cameras were there and got every detail of Republicans trying to pull the weapons off the British Soldiers, I would suggest that if this happened to any other soldier under those cirumstances they would have fired. Another Bloody Sunday avoided thanks to Sin fin representitives and not because of them I think.



  • CTN

    C.S. – You are obviously blind – I stated a “REAL” prosecution of “ALL” involved- if you knew the law you would know that you cannot be a victim of double jeopardy if you haven’t been charged beforehand- hence my reference to “ALL” as in the rest beside Haughey, Blaney, and the 2 Kellys.

    I also made a very clear and linked reference to the Dublin & Monaghan bombers and the involvement of British agents there.

    Open your eyes you before you blog…

  • Reader

    Kathy C: And how has bik been rewarded for using his name and influence to protect the brits
    But he’s not being charged with doing stuff to Brits, is he? Even if he was, his subsequent behaviour would be relevant to sentencing, rather than to prosecution or conviction.


    There’s no doubt that Bik McFarlane has been a VERY positive influence on North Belfast Republicans AND a big supporter of the Peace Process. If this trial goes ahead I would fear that the right wing Unionist revisionists in the Southern media and political sphere will take over, influence proceedings and coverage AND push for a lengthy jail sentence in the case of a guilty verdict. I am not aware if the GFA will kick in and prevent such a scenario but an already under pressure Ahern and Fianna Fail party COULD ignore this as they did with the killers of Garda McCabe. Despite this awful crime they WERE entitled to early release but understandable public anger and political manoeuverings prevented their release. I could see this happening again and McFarlane being used as a pawn and scapegoat in the dirty world of Southern Irish politics. Consequently we could see McFarlane being returned to jail and that WOULD unsettle many more republicans NOT convinced by the Process. I hope common sense prevails. This is just my reading of it.

  • joeCanuck

    Stop reporting the news, Baker. It’s unbecoming.