McCafferty appeals to London Supreme Court
McCafferty appeals to London Supreme Court

A Belfast man jailed following claims by British intelligence agencies that he is a Real IRA leader is to take his legal challenge to Britain’s highest court.

Terence McCafferty is seeking to overturn a decision by Britain’s Minister for ‘Security’ in Ireland, Paul Goggins, to revoke his licence.

His lawyers argue that only British Direct Ruler Shaun Woodward had the power to order his return to prison.

Even though an appeal against the decision has already been rejected, Mr McCafferty’s legal team have sought certification to take the case before the Supreme Court in London on a point of law of general public importance.

Their request was initially refused by a three-judge panel sitting in the Court of Appeal.

However, a lawyer for McCafferty later confirmed his intention was now to petition the Supreme Court directly.

The 41-year-old, from the New Lodge area of the city, received a 12-year sentence in July 2005 after being convicted of possessing explosives.

He was released on licence last November, only to be rearrested the following month and placed in Maghaberry Prison near Lisburn, County Antrim.

Mr Goggins authorised the internment on the grounds that his continued liberty would put the public at risk and the possibility of further offences.

Following a failed application for a writ of habeas corpus, McCafferty sought to overturn the decision in the Court of Appeal.

In dismissing that challenge last month, judges set out the contents of the letter from the Security Minister giving his reasons for revoking his licence, including his allegedly being in contact with members of the Real IRA while in prison.

McCafferty categorically denies the allegations in the letter, and pointed out Goggins was unlikely to have made an independent decision on someone believed to pose a threat to the British state.

It was also argued that he had access to information which was not shown to McCafferty or his advisors.

But appeal judges ignored the requirement for Shaun Woodard to make the final decision and claimed that Goggins was entitled to exercise the relevant decision-making functions.

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2010 Irish Republican News