Get someone - Get anyone.

Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5 FM Pacifica Radio
New York City
Saturday 5 January 2013

John McDonagh (JM) and Sandy Boyer (SB) interview via telephone Gerry Conlon (GC) about the convictions of Brendan McConville and J.P. Wooton, known as The Craigavon Two. Anthony McIntyre (AM) contributes comments about the case of Paul McGlinchey. Thanks as always to our transcriber who puts so much effort into ensuring items like this reach a much wider audience.

(begins 1:18 PM EST)

(Audio portion of a trailer for the movie, In the Name of the Father plays)

SB:  And we have with us on the line Gerry Conlon.  And of course, that was a trailer from the film, In the Name of the Father, which told you a little bit about Gerry's story. Gerry, thanks very much for being with us.

GC:  How you doing, Sandy?  Good to speak to you again, my friend.

SB:  Good to talk to you.  Now Gerry, the latest thing you're doing is leading the campaign for The Craigavon Two who have been sentenced to a minimum of twenty-five and fourteen years respectively for the killing of a PSNI officer. What can you tell us about that case and why you're involved?

GC: Willie McConville, the father of Brendan McConville, one of the guys convicted, contacted me. 

And I know the lawyers who represented John Paul Wooton and Brendan McConville.  One of them had worked at the office of Gareth Pierce who you know, Sandy, was my lawyer who helped expose the cover-up and the wrongful convictions of not only ourselves but The Birmingham Six as well and many others.

And we met and Willie McConville sent me the details.  And I had followed the case briefly and it just seemed that the state needed a conviction and it didn't matter if they got the right people as long as they got a conviction.  Because they've have numerous set backs.  They had Sean Hoey being acquitted of the Omagh bombing.  They had the numerous attempts to frame Colin Duffy.  And then they had the UVF Supergrass trial collapse.  So there was a waning in confidence in the police and in the judicial system and in the Prosecution Service.  So it seemed that the recipe was right to get a conviction at all costs.

And the more I read about the case from Willie McConville sending me transcripts and details, the more I came to the conclusion that Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton got anything, got anything but a fair trial. And after what had happened to myself you know, how could I not want to become involved?  Because wasn't I asking for the same sort of help when I was in prison?

And as you know, Sandy, Paddy Joe Hill, from The Birmingham Six, shortly after being released from his conviction for the Birmingham pub bombings, set up an organisation called MOJO, the Miscarriage of Justice Organisation. 

And I work very closely with Paddy and I've worked on numerous cases in England and in Scotland and Wales.  So now that how I'm back domiciled in Ireland how can I not get involved in a potential miscarriage of justice that was happening right on my doorstep? 

So that was the basis for me becoming involved and that's when I decided that I needed to lend a voice to this and try and highlight the wrongful conviction of these two guys and to try and raise the profile.

SB:  Gerry in some ways this is a little bit reminiscent of your case.  There's a pub bombing, they couldn't find anybody to do it so they found somebody convenient to frame.  I mean, you were from Belfast, you were in London and you made a convenient target.  Tell us a little bit about that and how you got there?

GC:  Well, you know it is very reminiscent of Guildford and it's also very reminiscent of Birmingham.  You think to yourself thirty years, nearly forty years down the line, you'd think that the judiciary and the police and the government would have learned something from the wrongful convictions of innocent Irish people in the '70's.

But it seems that in order to bolster a failing peace process and to bolster shared power in the Northern Ireland Executive, that justice could become the first casualty of all of this. 

And the fact that people who we know should be speaking out are not speaking out.  You know, people who are asking the Nationalist community/Republican community to go to the, I still call them the RUC by the way, because you can the change the uniform and you can change some personnel but if you don't change the whole ethos of the thing then it remains the same.

You know with Guildford they had an IRA unit that had come over that was bombing freely and the British police had no idea. There has been numerous bomb attacks recently in the north of Ireland.  There has been several members of the security forces killed.  And it seems that the inability of proper detective work to get the real people that has led them to make knee-jerk reactions which was the exactly the same with Guildford. 

You know, me and Paddy Hill have always said when we go meetings, when we speak at universities, when we talk at trade union meetings, when we go and address wrongful conviction meetings, we say: Don't wait until you're convicted.  If you're innocent – contact people.  Get a campaign going and get observers going.  And that's what I'm now in the process of doing for the appeal.

As you know Sandy, you were the first person I met in America when I got out and you helped open doors - for Ed Koch, you got me to Cardinal O'Connor, and your help was invaluable, totally invaluable in securing the release of The Birmingham Six.

Because you facilitated me and you pointed me in the right direction.  And I remember when I took the delegation of Bonnie Dwyer, Brian Donnelly, Joe Kennedy and met Charlie Rangel and people like that and we met Jack O'Dell from The Rainbow Coalition - and of course Tom Lantos, who was a great Congressman from California, who gave us a Congressional hearing on human rights abuses on Irish people in British prisons.

So you know how instrumental support from American was. And the unfortunate thing is forty years down the line we're still looking to America to lend its support.  We're still looking for the American community to get involved in Irish issues and all the rest.  And these things are a struggle.  The judiciary never want to admit it makes mistakes. 

And in our case and in the Birmingham case we are now at this moment actively pursuing the release of confidential documents that have been held from 1974 under the Official Secrets Act that are not to be released for seventy-five years.

Now that can only be that it proves our innocence from Day One and it proves state collusion between the government, the judiciary, the police and the press.  The fabricated evidence – to allow the torture of innocent people to be sent to prison.  So when you go through all that it never leaves you and you feel a debt of honour and a responsibility to try and help people who suddenly find themselves in the same position that you found yourself in all those years ago.

And we don't want Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton and also Marian Price ... which is a dreadful situation! 

You know, if Marian Price had the profile of the lady in Burma there would be world-wide outrage.  Marian Price is a mentally ill prisoner who's been visited by UN doctors who have stated she's not fit for trial.  And they're ignoring her plight totally.  Now here's a woman who's been held in isolation six hundred days!  Six hundred days in isolation for holding a bit of paper up at an Easter Commemoration, a Republican commemoration....

(1:27 PM telephone connection lost)

SB: Are you still with us? We've just lost Gerry Conlon.  We'll try to get him back. 

But he was talking about the case of The Craigavon Two, the men who were convicted on a very dubious basis - witnesses names we don't even know.  “Witness M” who gave very extraordinary testimony.  He testified for instance that he didn't need glasses and it emerged he did have glasses and that he couldn't have seen what he said he saw. 

And Gerry's also relating this to his own experience of being locked up for fifteen years for a crime he didn't commit and saying why he feels a “debt of honour” as he put it to stand up for these people and for Marian Price. 

JM:  And Sandy, remember the joyous scenes when he was released from prison - how the crowds that turned out there in London?  And Gerry and them, they didn't adjust well when they first got out.  A lot of them got involved with drugs and drinking after their release and they had a lot of hard times.  And it's good that Gerry is back on track and living in Ireland and now helping out with other cases.  And he was talking about a lawyer, his lawyer, who's now involved with the Muslim community over in London, Gareth Pierce, who also ...who played her in the movie?

SB:  Emma Thompson.

JM:  Emma Thompson.  I think some people might know about that.

SB: That's actually a funny story.  The director of the movie had to plead with Gareth to please meet with Emma Thompson and she kept breaking the appointments.  Gareth of course has never seen the movie, In the Name of the Father, to this day.

JM:  But I think our audience should go out see it.  If you want to really get a taste of what it was like in the '70's in London when there was a bombing campaign.

I know one of the families that was involved, that admitted to the bombing, The Butler Family that live up in The Bronx and put up alot of people on-the-run in The Bronx.  And Cathy Butler used to go back and forth and see her brother, Eddie, when he was convicted and imprisoned in England.  You don't want to say London because they were ghosted all around the prisons and Cathy would talk about flying from The Bronx over to visit her brother and then on the day of the visit they would tell her he was moved to the north of England to another prison.

SB:  So we do have got Gerry Conlon back on the line.  Gerry, thanks for getting back to us.

GC:  Was that John talking about Annie Butler?

JM:  That was's a long time since I've seen you in the studios here.

GC:  That was a familiar thing that they did.  They moved Irish prisoners on the morning of their visits.

JM:  Did that happen with you alot?

GC:  The first time me and my father were in a prison together was in Wakefield in '77.  And we decided that we wouldn't have visits separately until we were together because my mother couldn't afford to travel to the north of England, the south of England and all the accommodation and travel involved.  So they moved us after two years of petitioning to the same prison.

And on our first visit, which was on Saturday the 12th of August 1977, they moved me three hundred and fifty miles away.  And when my mother turned up at the prison trying to see both my father and myself she was told they couldn't find me!  And they'd moved me three hundred-odd miles. 

JM:  And Gerry, just for our audience's sake, maybe explain what happened to your father and how did he get mixed up in this.

GC:  I got arrested on Saturday the 30th of November, 1974 and I was taken to two police stations. 

The first one I was taken to was a joint military police station called Mulhouse Street and then I was transferred to one of the main holding centres, Springfield Road.  And there happened to be a lawyer in visiting some clients and he heard that I was there – you know, I don't know how he heard - it's always been suspect to me. He was called Ted Jones and he went and seen my mother and father and they came up and they had just moved me.  I was actually in transit to the airport to be flown to England. I was probably the first person to be given rendition - taken from my own country, hooded, handcuffed, flown to a foreign country to be tortured.

My father went to the police station with my mother and this lawyer called Ted Jones and asked could he see me and they said I'd been moved and I'd been taken to England.  So he called Scotland Yard's Bomb Squad and my father spoke to Jim Neville in the presence of the desk sergeant at the police station.  And the bomb squad, the head of the bomb squad Jim Neville, told him to come over that he would have access to me and would be able to get me a lawyer of my choosing.

My father was in the country six hours - he was arrested, convicted of handling explosives, which there never was.

The little bag, overnight bag that he had taken over – because he'd only expected to be over for a couple of days – and needed just couple of shirts and underwear and clean socks - was never opened for eighteen months ... still sitting on my aunt's floor.  He was arrested – six hours in the country - after speaking to the bomb squad and being told to come over.  So they were expecting him. It was just all fabrication from the word Go.  Torture.  Fabrication.  Perjury.

This still lives with us 'til today, John. This still lives with all the Irish prisoners who were dreadfully abused in English and Irish prisons.  You know the post traumatic stress levels are so high ... there's so many people living dysfunctional lives.

JM:  And Gerry, then explain what happened to your father, the conviction and how he died in prison.

GC:  Well, for a start: the judge who tried me, my trial started on Tuesday the 16th of September, 1975 and on Wednesday the 22nd of October we were found guilty. And the judge who sentenced me was a judge called John Donaldson.  He tried my father three months later. 

And before my father's trial started – and it was immoral and unethical for this judge to sit on my father's trial – but because these were political trials and it was already preconceived what the outcome would be - and the only determination would have been the length of sentence.

This judge said to the jury as they were sworn in – yous are going to hear the name Conlon and that's because the man sitting on the end in the dock is Giuseppe Conlon, the father of the pub bomber, the Guildford pub bomber Gerard Conlon.  So my father was given twelve years and subsequently on the 23rd of January 1980 he died in the Hammersmith Hospital.

But he died from negligence.  He didn't die a normal death. 

You know people who knew my father, and this is politicians and clergy I'm talking about John, described the state that my father was could only be compared with a victim of the concentration camps of the Holocaust.

So that was the brutal treatment.  My father had cancer and emphysema and they were giving him Ventolin. Ventolin! Something that you can buy over the counter in any pharmacy.  I mean the treatment of Irish prisoners just had to be seen to be believed.

JM:  And Gerry there is a custom with a lot of prisons where they would release the family member to attend the funeral.  Where was your father buried and then how were you treated?

GC:  When my father died on the Wednesday, the 23rd of January 1980,  they called me down the next morning, the 24th. and they said to me I could have two days off work.  I asked: could I have a phone call to my mother?  They said no.

But the British newspapers didn't even want my father's body to be released.  Some of the leading British newspapers, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Express and The Daily Mail, were calling for my father to be buried in a prison in an unmarked grave. 

And some of them even were more extreme.  They said a hole should be dug in the prison and his body should be thrown into it and it should be concreted over and the family should never be able to know where it is.

And even in death, my father's body was stolen by the government and ended up at the SAS, the Special Air Service, base in Hereford, and my mother couldn't find the body for five days.  And when she did finally have my father's body returned to our home in Belfast they had performed an autopsy on him and we don't know if they took organs out or anything.

There's a seventy-five year PII, Public Immunity Interest Order, which is the Official Secrets Act, that is on our case and on Birmingham.  And on the 17th of December, 2007 which was a Friday, we had a meeting at the Ministry of Justice in London with Maria Eagle, who was the Under-Secretary of the Justice Department.  And we were there with a cross-party delegation of MPs: Mark Durkan from the SDLP, Jeremy Corbyn and Joe McDonald from the Labour Party, John Hibbing from the Liberals and we had a Conservative ... I think we had two Conservatives there. 

And she came out and seen me and Paddy Hill and she came over and she started crying.  And she said 'I've been in the back room and I've been reading your files and yous weren't a miscarriage of justice – yous were something else. What they did to you was something that they had never done before.'

Now we believe that because everyone who was involved in the framing, the torture, the fabricating and the perjury that was used to convict The Guildford Four, The Maguire Seven and The Birmingham Six – nearly all the main players in that - Peter Imbert, who led the torture, led the fabrication, led the perjury - he became head of Scotland Yard.  Maggie Thatcher knighted him and made him “Sir” Peter Imbert.

When Tony Blair won the election in '97 he wanted to give Gareth Pierce the OBE and he wanted to make Imbert a Lord. Gareth Pierce said she would rather be in a room with contagious lepers than be in the same room as a man who deliberately sent innocent people to prison and who oversaw the torture of innocent people.
So he reached the highest profession in the police force.  He became head of the Metropolitan Police.

The prosecutor, Michael Havers, who was a rank-and-file MP, nothing special, but papers have been just released about his skullduggery and his illegality during the Falklands War and the official papers that have been released. He prosecuted us. Maggie Thatcher made him the Attorney General and then she made him Lord Chancellor - the highest position in the government for a legal person.

Donaldson who tried myself and my father and the rest of the Maguires - he was made Master of the Rolls - the highest position on the bench.

So people were rewarded for dirty deeds that they did in sending innocent people to gaol and knowing they were sending innocent people to gaol.  That's why they're terrified of releasing these papers. 

We're fighting with the Irish government to take our case up, to bring it to Europe, to force these papers to be released.

Because somewhere in there there's got to be collusion, there has to be a paper trail saying that the Labour government at the time, be it Roy Jenkins, Merlyn Rees, Jim Callaghan ... somebody, somebody involved there gave the police the okay to torture us.

SB:  And Gerry, just very briefly, tell us why did you confess?  I mean, you confessed to something you didn't do. How did they get you...

GC:  They were torturing me, Sandy.  They were torturing me for days.  And they were taking us out and they were having mock executions.  And then - that wasn't why I confessed.

(Detective Chief Superintendent) Wally Simmons and (Assistant Chief Constable) Christopher Rowe, along with (Detective Sergeant) Jermey and (Bomb Squad Superintendent) Imbert and an Irish policeman called (Detective Inspector)Tim Blake, who were beating the life out of me for days, they came in and they said we're gonna kill your mother.  In the film it says they were going to kill Giuseppe.  It was never that - they were going to kill my father.

They said that they were going to kill my mother.

My mother worked in the hospital in the kitchen of The Royal Victoria Hospital.  And they said they knew her movements and the shifts she worked on. And that they had observation posts and all on the top of this hospital

and they said they were going to kill her.  They said they would say a car backfired and they thought they were under attack and she just became collateral damage. 

And I knew they could do it.  I knew they could do it.

And if what they were doing to me, so freely and without thought, I knew that these people had the power to do whatever they wanted.

But the confessions, the confessions that we signed, (myself, Paul Hill, Carole Richardson and Paddy Armstrong), gave absolutely nothing to the police that helped them recover explosives, guns or arrest people because we knew nothing.  And they weren't worried.   They said their job was to get confessions by any means necessary.  And that's what they did.  And this must have been okayed by the government.  This must have been okayed by the government.

In Paddy Hill's case and the rest of The Birmingham Six they said yous have been selected and it doesn't matter why you're innocent.  We're only interested in getting confessions.
And there was nothing in any of the confessions.  There were a hundred and forty major inconsistencies that they were able to gloss over. They found no car.  Out of all the information and all the confessions they never found a single thing.  That's because we knew nothing.  We were part of nothing.  We were innocent Irish people.  And in the case of Carole Richardson she was a young, innocent English girl - sixteen years of age!

SB:  Gerry, before we get back to The Craigavon Two, I just want to make that point that you were making:  it wasn't just The Guildford Four, it was The Maguire Seven, The Birmingham Six.  They were systematically framing Irish people who they knew were innocent.

GC:  My take on it from thinking about it down all the years in prison Sandy, was they had no idea who was over leaving bombs, killing people, blowing up MPs, shooting people - they had no idea.  They were like The Pink Panther.  They were like Clouseau when it came to trying to find out who this IRA unit was.

And what was decided, and this is what I've come to believe, what was decided was that the government said to the police: were going to arrest innocent Irish people, we're going to torture them, we're going to frame them and we're going to give them the longest sentences ever handed down and we're going to hold them up as an example to the Irish community in Britain – this is what we can do if you support militant Republicanism.

So it was like they were terrorising the whole Irish community by what they had did to us - by holding us up as an example of what they could do to them.

JM:  You're listening to Radio Free Éireann here in New York City and with us on the line is Gerry Conlon.  His life was featured in the movie with Daniel-Day Lewis In the Name of the Father

Now Gerry, because we're sitting here listening – we had a whole show lined up – we have with us also on the line Anthony McIntyre, who spent eighteen years in Long Kesh prison, and we were going to talk about, and we thought it was a big deal, the flag protest by the Loyalists.  But you've now made that so trivial, talking about Loyalists wrapping themselves in the Union Jack, but Anthony McIntyre who runs a website called The Pensive Quill was also talking about...

GC:  Hello, Anthony

AM:  Hiya, Gerry.  How's things?

GC:  Not bad Anthony.  How ya doing?

AM:  Good, good.  Surviving, Gerry. Good to hear you.

GC:  Good. I know I was with Richard O'Rawe.  I was talking to him the other day.  He sends his regards.

AM:  Good company to be in, Gerry.

GC:  He's an absolute gentleman.  I grew up with him.

JM:  Anthony before, maybe we'll get to the flag protest towards the end, but there's a column that you're currently writing about Paul McGlinchey.  Maybe you could give a quick description of what happened New Year's Eve, this New Year's Eve.  Now we've been talking to Gerry Conlon about the '70's and the '80's but maybe you can give us an update on what actually is going on right now.

AM:  Paul McGlinchey is a former Republican prisoner.  He was the longest serving blanket protest prisoner in the 1970's and 1980's.  He spent longer time on the blanket protest than any other single individual. 

And he is the brother of the late Dominic McGlinchey who was much maligned by the police and the British state and they at one time described Dominic as Ireland's most wanted man back in 1977.  And Dominic was shot dead in strange, as yet not fully explained circumstances in Drogheda, County Louth, in the south of Ireland.

But the incident that you refer to actually took place not on New Year's Eve but on Christmas Eve and it was a police raid, a PSNI raid, on Paul McGlinchey's home. 

Now Paul McGlinchey's wife at the time had sustained fairly severe injuries as the result of an accident involving a horse and she had broken two arms.  So the police arrived at their house after weeks of harassment, driving up and down outside the house, parking in his driveway, setting up road blocks.

And they arrived at 10:30 on the morning of Christmas Eve.  His wife had seen them coming and she heard the door.  She thought that it was, perhaps, was bad news about a son that was abroad so she went outside to speak to them. 

At that point the police didn't say anything about a warrant but a policewoman began to assault Mrs. McGlinchey, Cindy McGlinchey.  She forced her arms up her back.  Now one of these arms was in plaster, it was serious that the woman posed no threat. She forced her arms up her back.  Cindy McGlinchey began to scream with pain at which her daughter ran out and began to demand that the PSNI cease the assault on her mother.

Then the PSNI announced that they had a search warrant and didn't tell Mrs. McGlinchey this before they assaulted her.

They came into the house and when the search warrant was checked it was seen that the warrant had been issued on the 18th of December.  It was now only being executed on the 24th of December which was Christmas Eve.  The former Lord Mayor, the former mayor of Limavady, Sinn Féin Councillor Sean McGlinchey, who is a brother of Paul McGlinchey, stated that while he supports the Sinn Féin policy in relation to the police, he's absolutely disgusted about this type of raid being carried out on Christmas Eve.  That the warrant had been issued six days earlier.  If there was any seriousness to the warrant at all or to PSNI concerns – rather than get any weapons that they alleged to be moved out of the house or to allow those weapons or munitions to be moved out of the house - they sat on it six days doing nothing.

So it seems to be that it was simply an abuse of process.  It was not a bona fide concern.  And they used it to hassle a man who is very supportive of Republican prisoners.  He actually serves on the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association.  He's one of its chairpersons for one of the local committees.

And he believes that he has been targeted by the police because of his work on this committee.  But he's determined that he will not desist from supporting prisoners. He's a long-term prisoner himself.  He was the recipient of many a beating from British prison officers while he was on the blanket protest. And he's determined that he will work to ensure that the prisons being run in by the British in The North are monitored otherwise they will revert to their brutal form.

When the house was raided the police brought in a dog.  The dog was covered in muck, so it was allowed to run over the bed where it sort of fouled the bed.  It obviously decided to use the bed as a toilet.  The Christmas tree was knocked down, ornaments were broke, the police forced the locks on the windows and on one of the wardrobes in the room. 

While in the house, comments were made about the house -  it's so filled with hate for the police service, like filled with cancer - now this was a conversation between two police officers made in the presence of Mr. McGlinchey's young daughter who had just recovered from cancer.  And she thought it was gratuitously offensive and she pointed it out to them.  But they weren't in any way interested.

So, thirty-five years after Paul McGlinchey had been on the blanket protest, thirty-six years actually after he'd gone on the blanket protest in the H Blocks of Long Kesh, we find a former Republican prisoner still facing police harassment, still being victimised because he continues to support Republican prisoners. And it seems that not a great deal has moved on in terms of policing. That the police are now reverting back to their old RUC mode in the absence of any effective mechanisms of accountability.

SB:  Gerry, maybe you can relate the story we just heard to The Craigavon Two who you are defending.  There seems to be a pattern as Anthony says, the police are just going back to being the RUC - torturing, framing anyone they like.

GC:  I don't think anything has really has changed.  As I say, you can change the name of a police force but if you don't change the ethos of it it stays the same.  And the same tactics and the same lack of evidence that was used to convict The Guildford Four and The Birmingham Six ... and in the case of Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton there is no confessions.

The main evidence against them is an eyewitness. 

An opthmologist, one of the leading eye specialists, said that this man has visibility of eight yards.  He said that he seen Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton that night at a distance of between twenty-five and thirty yards.  This eye expert said that all he would have been able to see was a blur.  He wouldn't have been able to make out the clothes they were wearing.  And the description of the clothes he'd given were found to be incorrect.

I mean the whole thing reeks of government, judiciary and police need to convict someone. 

Because they have been so inept at finding the people who've been involved in terrorist incidents such as planting bombs or shooting soldiers or policemen.  And the public were now outraged and there was so much pressure on them.  And it was absolutely the same at Guildford and Birmingham with ourselves and the Maguires.

That there was so much pressure from the public, so much pressure from the press and so much pressure coming down from the government.  And it seems to me that the same tactics that were used way back in 1974 were used again in 2009:  Get someone.  Get anyone.  And we'll make the case fit around them.  And that's what it seems here. 

It seems that two innocent people have never had a fair trial.  And that they've been convicted on evidence that we would be outraged (at) if an American citizen was convicted on abroad or an Irish citizen was convicted  abroad.  And we need to take a stand in this.

You know, for me to put my head above the parapet, because there's a lot of people who still think that ourselves and The Guildford Four and The Birmingham Six are guilty - that's not my job in life to convince them.

But people just seem to think that we should do nothing when we have a voice and we can use it to raise a profile to speak in outrage of what's being done in our name.  Because where does it stop, Sandy? If they get way with this who's going to be the next person?

We grew up thinking that what happened to us always happened to someone else. Then we became that someone else. 

So if it was us yesterday, it's somebody today, who is it going to be tomorrow?  Where does it end?

Justice has to prevail.  It has to be seen to be done and it has to be done openly and fairly.  We've reverted back to Diplock courts.  I mean, Lord Chief Justice Garvin, who tried John Paul Wooton and Brendan McConville, he said that even the forensic evidence that was presented by the prosecution held no validity.  And then, that should have been the end of it. That should have been a full stop.

But he said that the evidence produced by the forensic from the defence - it's not the defences's job to produce forensic evidence - if the evidence that is presented by the prosecution is deemed not worthy.

So you have a guy with bad eyesight, totally bad eyesight, who is now being  paid by the RUC (I refuse to call them the PSNI because I don't think they've changed), he's been paid – he's being paid - his family has been taken on holidays.  His debt, which was substantial at the time, he contacted the police - has been cleared by the police. 

How can we rely on someone who has that type of baggage to be a fair, honest and truthful witness?

And as I say, you had so many failures - the numerous attempts to get Colin Duffy into prison have failed. The efforts to convict Sean Hoey failed.  The Loyalist supergrass UVF trial failed.  So they were seen to be inept. 

And this is the response, the knee-jerk reaction:  We need to get someone.  It doesn't matter if we get the right people or not.

SB:  Gerry, we're going to have to leave it there our time has run out.  I want to thank you for coming on and I want to thank you for getting involved in this.  It would have been very easy to just try to get your life back together, not get involved in this, except you're standing up for people who are being victimised the same way you were victimised.

JM:  And also Anthony, sorry for cutting you short but Gerry was so riveting talking about him and his father.  It just...

AM:  No, in fact, Gerry is a very interesting man and I'm quite pleased that he's getting himself involved in these serious issues where the police are clearly abusing human rights.

JM: You're listening to Radio Free Éireann.  If you want to listen to this it will be on in about fifteen minutes.  I would recommend go back and listen to both Anthony and Gerry – a lot of history between the two of them.  (ends 1:57 PM EST) 


  1. Well, what can I say, firstly Those three cases in England were the biggest setup in history, Gerry Conlan said it all, We have sons of Ulster to the core joining the new RUC, we all know nothing has changed. I have stated on a previous piece on TPQ, I lived with the Birmingham six, But not all of them, Billie Power came over after I left, and a few others, I can mention one name, who was a great friend, wee Gerry Hunter, now his best mucker was from the same area in the Bone (next to Ardoyne), but I cant mention his name, because he was not on the train on the way back to Belfast for the Funeral, but what the hell, his initials were J Mc G. Now, there was three of us from Ardoyne, Myself and another two, Who I will not name, Our local pub was called the Wallace in Balsall Heath in Birmingham, some worked the nightshift in the factories, the rest worked day shift on the building site, I worked for Tersons construction on the concrete gangs,I worked on the Bullring, Our Life was, Work, Drink, Work. Politics was never mentioned by anyone of us, but we all loved a game of cards, That was how the Birmingham six were framed, from the cellophane on a new pack of playing cards, but Gerry Conlon is right as most of us will agree, The New RUC don't want evidence, all's they need is the secret evidence. Now as for The Raid on the Mc Glinchey home on christmas eve was a downright disgrace, the throwing of Mrs Mc Glinchey against the wall with her arm up her back was nothing but sheer intimidation, those scum wanted retalition from the Mc Glinchey's, as for Sean, has it not been inscribed in our history, Family shall fight against family, but I'm pleased he has brought it to our attention and hope he now see's the true meaning of the GFA. But now we are back to the old days, as Gerry stated, If there Irish, LIFT THE BASTARDS, (thats my meaning of it), and The Guildford Four, The Maguire Seven and The Birmingham Six , like everyone now incarcerated were all set up.Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton case is nothing but a sick MI5.RUC setup, ffs, how can someone, being blind as a bat give evidence of what he was supposed to have seen and the colour of the clothing was completely wrong, If this was a court of law in England and the defendants were not Irish, this case would be tossed out as a laughing stock, but in my opinion the case would never get to a court of law, the CPS (crown prosecution service in england) would have offered no evidence. It now seems that Marians case can be heard in the hospital were she is, BUT WAIT OR IT, Marian doe's not have to appear, so were are the going to hold the case, THE CANTEEN.

  2. Who planted the bombs in Birmingham and Guildford ? Does Grizzly know ?
    When it comes to set ups. Guantanaomo concentration camp is a textbokk example. You don't even get a chance to put your case. Irish Americans say schtum when it comes to their own dirty tricks. Reds to beat the Mancs in Old Toilet 2 moro. If not, BR will be seeking fresh employment in May.

  3. Letter from Mc Conville and Wooton.

    we are innocent saysBrendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wooton

  4. Beggers belief this: The main evidence against them is an eyewitness. An opthmologist, one of the leading eye specialists, said that this man has visibility of eight yards. He said that he seen Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton that night at a distance of between twenty-five and thirty yards. This eye expert said that all he would have been able to see was a blur. I take it the rest of the evidence was circumstantial? I normally do not post on these issues, as I wish to see no one imprisioned on political beliefs but there is ineffect internment without fair trial taking place here. It seems to be a case of as close as we percieve we can get to dissidents or "he will do" under the circumstances. Intelligence information from the MI5/PSNI should not be enough to intern.

  5. Dave

    your post has me in stitches at the trajectory or your thoughts. priceless.

    RUC are happy to bury inocent people in jail. It's what they've been doing with verbal statements that were never uttered and forced confessions with no corroberation or basis in fact.

    Former 'defectives' getting redundancy then reapplying for their old jobs back sums those people up.

  6. James has the penny finally dropped?what evidence do you think the have brits have that is so damming to warrant the internment of a very ill woman for over 600 days now,Martin Corey is another fine example of british justice,the sooner people take the blinkers of and speak out then the sooner we may some movement of this most disgusting of practices i.e locking people up without due process or release date.

  7. Dave,

    Who planted the bombs in Birmingham and Guildford ? Does Grizzly know ?

    I've no idea. I don't think we'll ever find out. The British have the truth locked away for 75 yrs. That tells me they are trying to proctect someone or people. Aswell as keeping the truth from the Guildford Four, Birmingham Six, Maguire Seven etc..The British are keeping the truth from the familes of the victims who died (British people). They deserve the truth too..

    When it comes to set ups. Guantanaomo concentration camp is a textbook example. You don't even get a chance to put your case

    Dave google internment 1971 Northern Ireland and read about the guinea pigs who underwent the five techniques. Or google about Castlereagh holding centre, Long Kesh, beatings in the H-Blocks by screws...What haapened in Guantanomo and Abu Ghraib already happened in the North.

  8. Frankie it also happened in the republic a cara the heavy gang and cronies...

  9. Frankie p,s how do I know? I was on the receiving end of their heavy tactics,

  10. Marty,
    The penny dropped long time ago. I am under no illusions about the British or Irish establishment, believe me. The biggest gripe I have about miscarriages of justice, or the people that exploit from the tradegies for their own ends. I agree on the Marian Price and Martin Corey issue as well, I know it, you know it.

  11. Get someone, get anyone...

    There are certain parallels between JP Wooton & Brendan McConville and this case. Both have Mi5 all over it, witnesses who remain unseen, lies and no proof.....

    It is becoming clearer everyday that as soon as anyone objects to the 'status quo' or liable to make ripples, they are simply put in prison for reasons no one can fathom. Thats my take..

  12. James:

    "Intelligence information from the MI5/PSNI should not be enough to intern."
    That's exactly what it is being used for.
    Proper name for it is, "SECRET EVIDENCE", that is now the norm in the whole of UK as well, soon there will be no courts.