Third member of Tohill abduction gang sentenced

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…

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  • Fearglic

    Eight years isn’t much. I wonder what prisoner grouping he will be locked up with?

  • Eight years is about right, but exactly whose orders was he following?

    As for which group, I suggest the regular thug group and if by chance he does not like that, there may be a vacancy at Guantanamo, or how about Abu Graibh (not sure of spelling) but I remember the pictures…

  • Pete Baker

    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”.

  • Pete Baker

    The wheels of democracy turn anti clockwise in the north…

  • kells

    All a load of balls.Tohill was acting the thug in Kelly’s.Going behind the bar and helping himself to drink.Lifting a case of Magners and a bucket of ice etc.Got to the stage of trying to get the owners to front him cash.He was asking for it and he got it.Belfast is the last place you would want to act the cunt.

  • The result of this lore has been allegations of incest, rape and child abuse.

  • Oracle

    Kells

    Are you seriously stating your personnel support for the beating kidnapping and probable murder for the crime of stealing a case of cider?
    Jesus I wonder what punishment you would hand out to the criminals who robbed the Northern Bank of £26 million

  • Kells, your memory of the event is flawed. Tohill had been told he was under threat, and was living away from home. He agreed to meet a reporter from a particular bi-weekly paper at Kelly’s Cellars for an interview. A short time later, the kidnap team, complete with boiler suits and batons hit the bar, knocked out Tohill, tied him up and threw him in the back of their hijacked van, only to be caught as they sped away. That is not the sort of treatment usually handed out to troublesome pub customers, and Bertie Aherm told the Dail in no uncertain terms what had been due to happen to Tohill and who was responsible. All this can be easily checked from the cuttings of the period.

  • Pete Baker

    Update The BBC have corrected their error. UTV not so much…

  • andnowwhat

    Check ou the incident between Tohill and the bouncers in a well known city centre bar some years back. Kells is not right in his/her details but is on the money in general.