Ireland news

FRFI 209 June / July 2009

Sectarian murder in Coleraine
On 25 May, Kevin McDaid, a 49-year-old father of four, was murdered yards from his home in Coleraine by a loyalist mob simply for being a Catholic. Around 70 loyalists were involved. The attack, following Glasgow Rangers taking the Scottish league title, took place in full view of a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) car. Kevin’s wife was also badly beaten and two other young women attacked; one who is pregnant was kicked in the stomach whilst the other suffered a broken jaw. A 46-year-old man, Damien Flaming, is fighting for survival in hospital as FRFI goes to press, having been assaulted by the same loyalist murder gang. Ryan McDaid, one of the dead man’s sons, stated: ‘The police sat and watched as Dad died, they never moved, there were four police officers in a car and they sat and watched from Pates Lane. They never moved, never came, never helped...We were totally outnumbered. There was nothing we could do, they were local UDA members.’ The police have denied this.  Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, the Assembly’s deputy First Minister, called on nationalists to have faith in the PSNI and to cooperate with their investigation. Nationalist anger on the ground threatens to boil over; they do not share Sinn Fein’s illusions in the PSNI. As the loyalist marching season approaches nationalists are bracing themselves for further sectarian attacks.

Free Colin Duffy!
Since the March Republican attacks on British Army targets at Massereene and Craigavon, scores of nationalists have been held for questioning under Labour’s anti-terror legislation. Most have been released without charge. One, Colin Duffy, was detained on 15 March in connection with the Massereene attack where two British soldiers were killed. Ten days later, the Belfast High Court ruled that his arrest and continued detention were unlawful. He was subsequently released but then immediately rearrested and later charged with murder. His family and friends have organised a campaign calling for his release. Speaking at a public meeting in Lurgan on 5 May, Colin’s mother Cera Duffy reminded everyone that her son’s arrest was not unique and that others were being unjustly imprisoned by the British state:

‘One has only to look at the recent high-profile cases involving members of the Islamic community in Britain in the last month. Like Colin, 12 students were arrested in a blaze of publicity. Like Colin, they were tried and convicted in the media. All 12 were later released. Yet those cases were proven to have no evidential basis whatsoever, but were purely politically motivated arrests. That has proven to be the case on previous occasions when Colin was arrested and imprisoned in 1993 and 1997. We firmly believe that the same will again be proven to be the case in relation to his present imprisonment.’

Defend Suzanne Breen!
Respected journalist Suzanne Breen, the Sunday Tribune’s northern editor, has been threatened with sanctions under the Terrorism Act 2000 if she does not hand over to the PSNI notes, papers, photos and other material relating to an interview with a Real IRA army council representative. In a private hearing on 12 May, a Belfast judge issued an order for Breen to hand over her source material relating to Republican militants. She is refusing to do so and faces a heavy fine or imprisonment for her resilience under such pressure. She is being supported by the National Union of Journalists, who have set up an online petition (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/protectsources/).

Paul Mallon

 

Ireland: the key to the British revolution by David Reed

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