The BBC reports that a third member of the Provisional IRA gang who attempted to abduct dissenting republican Bobby Tohill in 2004 – Harry Fitzsimmons, 42, originally from Spamount Street in north Belfast – has been sentenced to 8 years. Although I think they’ve named the wrong man as being still “unlawfully at large”. From the BBC report
Belfast Crown Court was told the attack in February 2004 was meant as a message to Tohill not to oppose the then fledgling peace process.
Jailing Fitzsimmons for what he described as a violent preplanned attack, Belfast Crown Court judge Lord Justice Girvan said it was “ironic” the Provisionals should, in the so-called interests of peace, use violence and intimidation to secure their ends.
Adds From the UTV report
Earlier the judge had asked defence QC Dermott Fee if he was suggesting that Fitzsimmons’ involvement in the kidnapping was “in some way to advance the peace cause?”
Mr Fee said that while what was done was totally misconceived, it was carried out “in public to give the message to people that they ought to approve of and to support the peace process”.
Update The BBC have corrected their error. UTV not so much…