Canning pleads guilty on 2011 Easter Monday charges

The BBC has a report on the on-going trial of one of the three Londonderry men charged, along with Marian Price, in relation to a 32 County Sovereignty Movement Easter Monday parade in the city in 2011 – the charge is of managing a meeting in support of a proscribed organisation, the IRA.  And we have a conclusion to the judicial process for two of the accused – including Marvin Canning, the 51-year-old brother-in-law of Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness.  … Read more

Belfast Court refuses to order Liam Campbell extradition to Lithuania

Lithuanian authorities may be regretting their apparent preference for dealing with the Northern Ireland Courts in the attempt to extradite Liam Campbell, one of the men held to be responsible for the Omagh bombing, on weapons and terrorism charges.  As the BBC reports, Mr Justice Burgess has refused to order Liam Campbell’s extradition to Lithuania on the grounds that he was likely to be held in inhuman and degrading conditions. [Liam Campbell’s] lawyers resisted extradition proceedings by arguing that it would … Read more

“Non-conformist republican groups” merge under banner of the “IRA”

Under the banner of the “IRA”, the Real IRA, Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) as well as smaller groups often referred to as Óglaigh na hÉireann have formed a “unified structure under a single leadership”. They will be “subservient to the constitution of the Irish Republican Army”. Only the Continuity IRA remains outside the new partnership. Up to now politicians have tended to belittle the dissident threat, pointing to its fragmentation. Consolidated factions under a single brand will surely raise … Read more

“the war against British rule must continue until freedom is achieved…”

Dissenting republicans gave their response yesterday to Sinn Féin’s various Easter messages – Declan Kearney’s “there is no other IRA“, Gerry Adams’ seven step ‘plan’, or Martin McGuinness’ “We are on the road to freedom” [and his responsibility “to defend and promote the integrity of our struggle” – Ed].  And it was delivered to a reported audience of “several hundred people” at Londonderry’s City Cemetery.   It’s of a more traditional flavour…  From the Derry Journal report “The IRA will continue to attack … Read more

Michael Campbell sentenced to 12 years after MI5 sting operation

After a two year trial in Lithuania, suspected Real IRA member Michael Campbell, 39, from County Louth, has been found guilty of supporting a terrorist group, illegal possession of weapons and attempted weapons smuggling and has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.  He was arrested in Lithuania in January 2008 as a result of an MI5 sting operation, working alongside Lithuanian authorities, against republican terrorist groups.  From the Guardian report Michael Campbell was jailed for 12 years by a judge … Read more

Marvin Canning back in court

Marvin Canning, brother-in-law of Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, has been charged with two terrorist offences in connection with a  32 County Sovereignty Movement Easter Monday parade in Londonderry. An unrelated prosecution against Mr Canning was stayed in November last year when late disclosure of “pivotal” statements by prosecutors had “resulted in such potential prejudice as to render any trial unfair”. According to today’s BBC report, Mr Canning, who was arrested on Tuesday, is charged with arranging, managing … Read more

Arrest in Denis Donaldson murder probe?

Previously adjourned, for the fifth time, in August last year, the inquest into the 2006 death of former senior Sinn Féin figure Denis Donaldson was adjourned again in January ahead of a further pre-inquest hearing on May 5. Now the BBC are reporting that a 70-year-old man has been arrested and is being questioned in Letterkenny Garda station, County Donegal.   As RTÉ notes, the man is being detained “on suspicion of withholding information”.  He can be held for three days. Responsibility for Donaldson’s murder was claimed … Read more

Denis Donaldson inquest adjourned again – redux – redux

Previously adjourned, for the fifth time, in August last year, the Irish News reports that the inquest into the 2006 death of former senior Sinn Féin figure Denis Donaldson has been adjourned again – a further pre-inquest hearing will be held on May 5.  From the Irish News report It is understood a key witness in the investigation has been taken into protective custody after allegedly revealing where the gun used to kill Mr Donaldson was buried. The coroner told [Garda Superintendent Michael … Read more

“The IRA is not unwilling to talk, in fact there needs to be talks…”

The Guardian carries an exclusive front page interview with the Real IRA – “a series of written answers to the Guardian’s questions”, “the product of several months of contacts through intermediaries who contacted Real IRA members with a view to establishing a link.” Henry McDonald responds to the ‘oxygen of publicity’ argument. The Guardian article contains the Real IRA’s familiar defence of “‘punishment’ shootings and beatings of those they deem ‘antisocial elements’ in nationalist working class areas” – “a last resort to … Read more

Two convicted in Real IRA arms plot trial

As reported here.  35 security service agents applied for anonymity before the start of the trial.  Previously, the judge ruled that a third defendant had been entrapped by MI5.  From the BBC report The judge described the Security Services’ operation as an “elaborate and successful” hoax. The trial was the first for 20 years in which MI5 agents gave evidence in a Belfast court. McCaugherty showed no emotion and occasionally yawned as Mr Justice Hart, sitting in a Diplock, no-jury court, … Read more

Judge rules MI5 “entrapped” one of Real IRA arms plot accused

The BBC reports that, at Belfast Crown Court, Mr Justice Hart has ruled that one of the accused in an alleged Real IRA arms plot was “entrapped” by an MI5 agent.  From the BBC report Mr Justice Hart said that given the evidence of two meetings between Amir and Mr Kearns in particular, Mr Kearns had been “entrapped”. “The defence have satisfied me that Kearns’ conduct was brought about by the misconduct of Amir during those meetings, that the offences were … Read more