By Dan McLaughlin
The recent appearance of leading anti-Stormont Republican Gary Donnelly on the flimsiest of charges accused allegedly of having a mobile phone that possibly could (at some time) have been used in connection with ‘terrorism’ stinks to high heaven! The none too subtle hand of those chinless wonders usually ensconced in that MI5 bunker situated deep in Holywood, County Down, was very much apparent. The PSNI, MI5 and PPS also displayed stunning myopia in relation to this prosecution
The local PSNI commander in the Derry area admitted last year that a significant section of his Tactical Support Group cops were directly under the control of MI5! Mr Donnelly has been made ‘Public Enemy Number One’ by the various elements within the security forces.
Earlier this year in a clear travesty of justice Mr Donnelly was gaoled for 6 months for resisting arrest despite there being a clear admission from even the TSG storm troopers that they had just broken his arm! The local TSG ‘Sturmbannfuehrer’ responsible for breaking Mr Donnelly’s arm is an ex-National Front supporter turned super-cop John Neil who featured in the Sky tabloid cop show ‘Street Wars.’ Not surprisingly the series was promptly spiked by Sky who no doubt noticed a dip in viewing figures possibly caused by Neil’s wooden performance on screen & his glaring lack of even the semblance of a personality! Macho Neil is well known in Derry for his reactionary behaviour & hatred for local Republicans on whom he regularly attempts martial-arts techniques when surrounded by his henchmen.
Local well respected journalist Eamonn MacDermott is apparently on the PSNI & MI5’s ‘shitlist!’ Eamonn is an ex-Republican POW who often writes on the subject of so-called ‘dissident’ Republicans. Eamonn had his mobile phone seized by the PSNI on the orders of MI5 who had quite obviously been electronically eavesdropping on his journalistic activities in the hope of securing a ‘scoop’ of their own! Mr MacDermott has never been popular with the North of Ireland’s spooks. Alan Barker, an ex-Special Branch spook, dypsomaniac & frequent patient at the Gransha psychiatric facility devoted several pages of his ‘kiss & tell’ book on the RUC Special ‘Branch to blackening not just the good name of Mr MacDermott but also his father who is a respected family Doctor in Derry. It is quite clear that the security forces & assorted spooks are determined to censor & harass journalists who do not obediently tow the ‘accepted’ line.
Even more reprehensible was the deafening silence of local pro-establishment Provisionals who are now four squarely in league with the PSNI, MI5 & have vested interests in prolonging the status quo. Local MLA Raymond McCartney was particularly muted, considering that after all he was Mr MacDermott’s co-accused when in the not too distant past they were framed by the RUC & jointly sentenced to Life imprisonment! McCartney basically appealed to the PSNI aka the RUC’s non-existent sense of ‘fair play!’ Now, call me a cynic but as someone framed for a murder by the exact same force in the past McCartney knows better than anyone how futile & self-serving such an appeal was. But then Raymond has a vested interest in not rocking the boat too forcibly, after all the notorious ‘McCartney Dynasty’ in Derry owes the establishment a lot of love! A veritable industrial scale McCartney nepotism has flourished in the North West where the power of pro-establishment patronage secures the best posts for the most mediocre of people.... just so long as you are related in some way to Raymond..! Theres no Unionist ‘gerrymandering’ in Derry now but a green tinged Rotten Borough has emerged that would put Trestle’s Adam Sweater & his band of capitalist brigands to shame..
No doubt the case against Mr Gary Donnelly will linger on until the PSNI, MI5 & their local allies can concoct a new, more airtight set of charges against him. Many suspect that the current charges may last until the preliminary enquiry stage then be withdrawn on the advice of the PPS. Barney McIlhone the local magistrate granted bail which is fairly unheard of in a ‘Terrorism Act’ related charge no doubt partly influenced by the justifiably outraged protesters who gathered outside the court. Similarly McIlhone would be only too familiar with the local vendetta waged against Mr Donnelly by the state, the PSNI, MI5 et al and by granting bail perhaps indulged in a spot of damage limitation regarding his own legal reputation?
The blatant felon-setting regarding Gary Donnelly could quite easily have seen him effectively interned-by-remand (yet again) for as long as 2 years or more. Its debatable whether another resident magistrate much more snuggly in the pocket of the local PSNI would have remanded Mr Donnelly in custody & left it up to the High Court to decide on possible bail.
There is also a real danger with the current vendetta against Mr Donnelly that the security forces are setting him up for a future more serious ‘fall’ & lets face it they have done just that countless times with alleged Republican insurgents in the past. There is also a serious example of felon-setting in motion regarding Mr MacDermott who is a respected journalist. By the PSNI very publicly linking him to alleged Republican insurgents they are attacking his objectivity as a reporter & potentially setting a non-compliant member of the media up for assassination! This is the ultimate in censorship RUC/PSNI style & not without precedent in the North of Ireland. The late Martin O’Hagan was a prime example of a journalist who fell foul of the security forces who then arranged his assassination at the hands of Unionist paramilitaries. Considering the security forces modus operandi regarding journalists who ask awkward questions it looks like Mr MacDermott is now potentially facing a further gross miscarriage of justice which has no possibility of appeal..