Buyer Beware

Dixie Elliot warns readers of something he views as a Sinn Fein scam. Thomas Dixie Elliot is a former blanketman.  

No solid details as yet but I've heard that the Shinners have started another scam like the previous one, in which cases were taken in regards to forced confessions made under RUC interrogation in the 1970s. 

This time it's the brutal and inhumane treatment which had been meted out during the Blanket Protests. Apparently Ex-Blanket Men and Women, stupid enough to be sucked in, are being told that test cases against the British Government will be compiled with the intention of taking legal action.

Without doubt this is an attempt to draw Ex-Blanket Men and Women back into the 'fold'.

I was among other Republicans who were drawn into the Confessions Cases quite a few years back.  In 1977 my own case of brutality in Strand Road RUC Barracks was chosen - even before I was sentenced - to go to the European Court of Human Rights. However after I had been sentenced, having not recognised the court, I went on the Blanket and heard no more of my European case. The reason being, as I believed at the time, was because I had refused all visits for over a year.

Therefore when the Shinners announced the brutality cases I felt I had a very strong case and went along with it. We all posed for photos in the Gasyard Centre and were told that our cases would be assigned to different solicitors. 

Two years passed and I had practically forgotten about it until Raymond McCartney's case and that of others, including Charlie McMenamin popped up in the courts. 

I contacted my assigned solicitor who told me he had heard nothing more since the initial contacts. I told him to continue with mine independent of the others. 

We all know the outcome of McCartney's case and that of McMenamin et al. Mine however was knocked back twice to date, (for legal reasons I can't go into it much.) Let’s just say My Barrister told me that my case was more solid than that of McCartney and others and that from reading my depositions alone it’s clear that I was brutalised into signing a statement. 

Quite a few others have been knocked back as well, as I found out when I received a letter from my solicitor informing me of the latest failure on my part. Our cases had been rejected en bloc, in fact I wasn't even aware that my case had been heard until after my solicitor had been informed. 

In the back of my mind I was also aware that I had seen something similar which concerned former Internees from Derry which had been spearheaded by Sinn Fein's Gerry McCartney and I dug around until I found a Derry Journal article on it. 

Usually when you have to dig things up you'll find that they've been buried and it certainly looks like it with the Ex-internee cases. I asked about, and one former Internee, Michael Donnelly, who was asked to partake and refused, told me he heard nothing more about it. He also said, that he believes; as I do, that this 'latest escapade' is about luring ex-prisoners back in. 

Those men and women who were approached to compile the Blanket Protest cases should read the article, 'Ex-internees to launch legal action' from the Derry Journal dated September 2010. I'm certain they'll find striking similarities to what they've been told.

Share This:

Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

8 comments to ''Buyer Beware"

  1. Good piece Dixie - if people don't see through it by now ...

  2. Dixie, if it helps, certain people didnt prove that they were brutalised into making incriminating statements. What was proven was that those police who had interviewed them had been found guilty of assaulting another prisoner in police custody. Now the shocking thing about this is, if the names of the peelers convicted of the police custody prisoner had been made widely known then other prisoners who claimed to have been forced into making statements could also have very easily appealed their where those convicted peelers were involved in their particular case. You have ask yourself why is these police identities not made known to ex prisoners?

  3. Dixie

    Eddie has a point. Flash McVeigh is/was some sort of 'special advocate' for coiste I gave him solid evidence on a crown prosecutor and suggested that he should find out how many other questionable cases there might be involving the same prosecutor, and then make one solid case against that prosecutor --McVeigh's response was to blow me off and tell me that coiste does not recognize me or anything about my case because I must formally travel back to the 6 counties and register in one of their offices to validate myself. Ex-prisoners living in Munster are not recognized by Coiste unless they present themselves at a 6 county (partitioned) office (I was not given the option to use the Sligo or Co. Louth office).

    You are right in that whatever is behind these schemes they are not meant to achieve anything. Maybe coiste is just a sponge for money from Europe? Coiste creates the impression of being concerned about human rights abuses but its real function is to control cases and make sure they do not succeed.

  4. Eddie,

    we need a reference showing the conviction for assault you refer to. Without it and if the assailant is still alive, he may well take us to court. There are citations of a prima facie case but not that we can find up to now of a conviction

  5. AM,
    I will check that out, now that you prick my memory, it might be the assaulted prisoner won a court case that he was assaulted and was awarded damages (as opposed to somebody being awarded damages without liabilty being admitted)and maybe the detective wasnt actually convicted. Whether he was convicted or not the import, thrust and principal of the point I was making is still nonetheless valid and valid by virtue of the fact that the court of appeal allowed McCartney & McDermotts appeal because of the detectives previous involvement in assaulting a prisoner. The appeal court named the detectives - would that still debar you from mentioning his name?
    I did not mean to mislead and would not wittingly put PQ on a bum steer never mind an exprisoner who is trying to right a wrong.

  6. Eddie,

    his name can be mentioned. The problem would only lie in stating he had a conviction for it if he hadn't (and was actually found not guilty). That I fear would give him a leverage (if he is still alive). The wider point you are making is valid and needs to be made as it complements Diplock Court's point. Let's face it we are not talking about a guy that respected the rights of people in custody.

  7. AM
    The name of both detectives were mentioned throughout the mccartney/mcdermott appeal judgement and the reason for the appeal being allowed.

    Similarly in the UK many convictions have been overturned because of the activities of the infamous West midlands police detectives. Thoses detectives went on a crusade after being given blance carte in respect of the Birmingham 6 case. Were people were convicted solely on the basis of statements taken by these police the convictions have been overturned on application

  8. Eddie,

    what you are really saying is that where people like Detective French were involved in interrogations their word about the outcome is not worth a hill of beans and this has been demonstrated in other court cases, the knowledge of which should be shared widely.

    People interested in the period should read Cruel Britannia by Ian Cobain. He claims that MI5 bugged the interrogations. When the RUC interrogators found out, they went on strike until they received assurances that the bugging would be stopped. So, MI5 is sitting in possession of crucial evidence that men and women were tortured into making confessions. We would imagine that Coisde and company would be making that information more widely available as well but seemingly not.


  • To add an Emoticons Show Icons
  • To add code Use [pre]code here[/pre]
  • To add an Image Use [img]IMAGE-URL-HERE[/img]
  • To add Youtube video just paste a video link like