Banged Up ~ No Explanation Required

A statement from Dr Anne McCloskey on the imprisonment of Derry republican, Tony Taylor.

Tony Taylor, citizen of Derry and one of my patients at Racecourse Medical Group was arrested and taken to Maghaberry Prison on Thursday March 10th. He had been released on license for a further four years, following a three year prison sentence which ended just over a year ago.

Tony's license was revoked last Thursday, without any charges having been brought against him, nor evidence of wrong-doing produced. This was at the diktat of one Theresa Anne Villiers, a member of the British establishment, and Conservative Party MP for Chipping Barnet. Ms Villiers spokesperson confirmed that Tony’s arrest was on the recommendation of the Independent Parole Commission, another unelected body appointed by the Department of Justice. The reason given was that he poses a risk to the public. No further explanation seems required.

Since his arrest, Tony has remained in his cell in solitary confinement, as he is being held in a wing with ordinary prisoners, and thus is at significant risk of physical harm. I understand that he did not have access to food or medication initially, and have no definite confirmation that this is no longer the case.

As Tony’s GP I have serious concerns for his health and wellbeing. He has long-standing medical problems and requires regular meals and access to his usual prescription medication. His previous periods of imprisonment have taken their toll on his health, and he is at risk of serious adverse outcomes as a consequence of this arrest. Furthermore, Tony’s family have suffered hugely as a result of his periods of separation from them, and this current situation will be very stressful for them, especially for his son who has learning difficulties, and who will have major problems adjusting to the loss of his father.

One of the hallmarks of a civilised society is access to justice, and the presumption of innocence until found guilty in a court of law. Tony deserves nothing less. Should there be any evidence against him, this should be produced and he and his legal team be allowed a fair trial.

His family are tonight deprived of a husband and father at the bidding of a woman who received not a single vote in this country. I add my voice to the many calling for his immediate release.


  1. Odd that a Doctor would provide political commentary in relation to the physical well being of her patient.

    I must say, given these times of austerity and thrift, this must be a severe miscarriage of justice if parole was revoked given the amount of expense it costs to house, clothe, feed a prisoner and pay for all the incumbent costs of the prison staff to accommodate them.

    Especially considering how much cheaper it would be to have them out in public working or even getting the dole!

    It's an complete outrage! A terrible waste of taxpayers money!


  2. Steve

    So you do not agree with the common law principles that loss of liberty must be based upon some evidence, the right to know what that evidence is or a right be able to challenge any evidence through the fair trial process?

    Rather, you think arbitrary decisions to imprison someone by faceless un-elected civil servants to be the way to go? You also think that members of civil society, such as the doctor in this case, should keep their traps shut about such draconian measures?

  3. Christy,

    Maybe I had a poor attempt at brevity. Of course the evidence should be made transparent but you are as old in the tooth to know as I do, that the murky world of spooks and informers necessitates a certain degree of subterfuge in gaining intelligence. They are hardly likely to reveal how they acquired human intel for fear that may result in the dramatic shortening of someones life expectancy. Its like asking Bobby Storey who carried out the Northern Bank job!

    Still, why would they go through the effort and expense of revoking his license and returning him to gaol if he had not deemed to have breached conditions of his license?

    As for the GP's comments regarding his health, I do wonder if his long standing medical issues are in anyway related to the premature detonation of his own bomb in which he lost his spleen, a kidney and still has shrapnel stuck in his body from?

    Maybe a spook had information from a human source that Tony was up to his old antics again, and rather than let that source get a 9mm to the head, or another bomb detonated somewhere his license was revoked.

    Somebody would have signed off on it. He would not have been slung back inside with all the cost that entails for fuck all.

  4. Steve...Very poor response. Wasn't great.

    In a few weeks there are elections and what is happening is anyone who disagrees with SF and more importantly speaks out against SF, then they are either put on remand, trumped up charges (Alex McCory, Colin Duffy, Harry Fitzsimons..)..It's happening in Belfast too. Dee Fennel is a another case he's vocal about local issues..And the minute he makes too much noise he's gagged. Even going back to the charges levelled at Ivor Bell..Ciaran Mulholland stood more than a fair chance of getting elected, then Ivor Bell got arrested...

    Steve it's called electioneering.. Before it was called gerrymandering.. Same bollicks.

  5. Steve

    Somebody signed off on me and stuck the taxpayer with the bill for my stay in Long Kesh. I actually never heard of the guy before so nothing of his past but I do know that in just about any instance when Intel people get investigated turns out they were doing a lot of unlawful things or told a lot of lies to justify whatever they want to do. Had I not swiped the prosecutor's file from the courtroom I would not have had access to exonerating evidence which they withheld for all these years. In a case called Al Rawi & Tariq the secret squirrels tried to claim what you suggest about protecting their source but the evidence came out in a simultaneous case over in the US -turns out what they wanted kept secret was that the squirrels were physically present during torture sessions in the middle east of Al Rawi and Tariq. Closer to home turns out spooks where involved in the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, Omagh Bomb attack, running of the Glenanne and Mount Vernan murder gangs -so the 'protecting a source' excuse has been over played nor is secrecy a valid form of evidence because it does not mean anything given the spooks think they are a law unto themselves. It is because of unlawful conduct of intel scum that does more to aggravate conflicts and make matters worse -it is just a well paying game to them.

  6. Christy,

    Fair enough, I can admit I am wrong. They should give all evidence out before incarceration.

    Human nature to play dirty to win I suppose but highly unethical.

  7. Frankie,

    Duffy and Fitzsimons? Come on.

  8. Steve
    You might find the following links to be of interest given that the issue is not confined to the few individuals referred to on this blog but there are hundreds of them throughout the UK and not all their victims are activists involved in anything illegal at all, see:


    After a whistleblower blew the lid on the activities of undercover agents -involving hundreds of cases that resulted in miscariages of justice or fathering children with the people they were spying on, or even infiltrating soccer gangs or activist groups and encouraging them to be more violent than they were before the UK government was forced to establish the Pitchford Inquiry set up about a year ago, see

    Also a consideration about the use of secret informants -these people were themselves not considered to be upstanding members of the community -they get rewarded for naming people so if they can't be challenged or their claims are secret it makes for a nice easy little earner for them to name as many people as they can -even in some cases if they do not know their victim at all.

  9. Thanks Christy,

    I stand corrected and apologies for my hasty post.

  10. Steve not a problem many regulars here might not have been aware of how extensive the use of dodgy Intel evidence is throughout the UK. I understand how many people think that Intel people might be keeping them safe but I think on balance the opposite is probably true. There are primarily only 2 forms of intelligence sources -human and electronic. The electronic form has limited life span before the technology is widely known -so arguments that a device used 10+ years ago is so sensitive its concept must be kept secret does not wash with me. I can understand protecting human sources but in the past evidence from anonymous witnesses (from behind curtains) has successfully been used in legal proceedings before so there is no need to fix what wasn't broken.

  11. Have to say I agree with you Christy. But just a question (as I have absolutely no idea), if the human source would put lives at risk how do they give evidence?

    What I mean is, if people hear the 'evidence' from behind a closed curtain they can still gleam a lot of information about the person disclosing it. Don't get me wrong, you've convinced me that any evidence SHOULD be put into the public (defense) realm. I was wondering if you knew of any mechanism that would work, or be acceptable? I can't think of any myself.

    The more I dwell on it, the more the right to face one's accusers seems inalienable.

  12. Steve

    Good question and it is one of the main arguments used for secret evidence. The use of anonymous witnesses has been around for a several decades now and none have ever been exposed that I have heard off. If someone killed somebody and an associate was able to give first hand evidence about it in secret -what are the chances that the killer would not know who it was or if there were more people involved, that they couldn't narrow down to who the secret witness might be? Now if it was someone on the fringes or someone not involved but happened to pick up information then testifying from behind a curtain and even using a voice muffler to mask their voice would probably be enough to protect them. Or, such a scenario is so rare it is exceptional -nowadays it is used as the norm.

    The use of Public Immunity Certificates has been around since the early 60s. The way they work is that if there is a risk then neither side are allowed to use the evidence. If it is the only evidence available then the prosecution have to make a judgment call -to expose the witness or withdraw the charges. In which case a guilty person might walk free. What has been happening is people are being confronted with no evidence at all (meaning secret evidence) so they cannot challenge it at any stage -miscarriages of justice are avoided because the judgment, or a crucial part of the judgment, will then also be in secret and the person may never know how they lost their case.

    The other twist to this is that the criminal law is not used but instead people, in this case an ex-prisoner, is simply detained without trial. Therefore they have to take legal action challenging the lawfulness of their imprisonment -it is treated as a civil case and they have to prove their case then how do you prove you didn't do anything if you do not know what you are accused of?

    Another twist is, in some cases, the person can be given the 'gist' (called gisting) of the evidence -if you can't figure out the gist you're fucked, or, you take stabs at guessing -say justifying your presence someplace, that can do more to seal your fate because you are confirming your presence and, as the courts have sometimes said, the person knows what to leave out in order to deny the case against them.

    And this process just keeps twisting because the person is not lawfully represented during the proceedings -a 'secrecy lawyer' apointed by the state to represent the state, guided by secret instructions from the relevant Minister, is supposed to ensure the persons interests in the proceedings are properly represented. The persons own lawyers are not allowed access to secret proceedings or to know what the secret part of the judgment says against their client.

    In one case I studied the Judge said that there was no need for a secrecy lawyer to be appointed because he would, as the judge, represent the excluded persons best interests -the person was never allowed to see the judgment against them to see just how well the judge represented his interests.

  13. Dear God Christy, that's horrendous!

  14. Steve

    That secret courts thrive is because it plays on peoples fears and presumptions and maybe most people would not care about an ex-prisoner but at least 1 member of the British upper establishment has been snagged by these practices -Supreme Court Judge, Lady Hale's partner came up against it. He is part owner and the manager of a number of apartment blocks in London. One of the apartments was damaged in a domestic fire and he is not allowed to see the London Fire Brigade's written report on the cause of the fire for insurance reasons. Nor is he allowed to know the reasons contained in the Judgment refusing him access other than the fire was not started maliciously nor does it involve national security; and that is all he is allowed to know.