A test case that must not succeed


eirigi have issued an urgent action alert for the release of interned political activist Stephen Murney.



‘First they came for the communists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist,

Then they came for the socialists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.’

Over the last number of decades a pattern has emerged across the ‘developed’ world whereby legal powers that were once considered to be ‘extraordinary’ or ‘special’ have become integrated into the ‘normal’ legal system. In many instances this transformation from ‘special’ to ‘normal’ is achieved under the auspices of protecting ‘state security’ and/or fighting ‘terrorism’. In many cases this process has been accelerated through ‘test cases’ which set legal precedent for future cases.

It is widely believed in political and legal circles that the PSNI are using Stephen Murney’s case as just such a test case to effectively lower the bar for the British state to secure convictions against political activists. If that state succeeds in convicting Stephen on the basis of the ‘evidence’ outlined here:


it will set a legal precedent which will have deep and far-reaching consequences for activists across the political spectrum in Ireland, Britain and beyond.

It would be extremely naive to believe that a precedent established against an Irish republican today would not be used against a socialist, anarchist, environmentalist, trade unionist, whistleblower or other political opponent tomorrow. All who claim to stand against injustice and for human rights are duty-bound to support Stephen Murney and the campaign to have him released.


Following Stephen’s internment without trial eirigi launched a campaign calling for Stephen to be released from Maghaberry and for all charges against him to be dropped. The campaign aims to raise public awareness about Stephen’s case and build political pressure for his release. To this end the campaign has developed on a number of fronts including:

* Public protests and information stalls which have taken place across Ireland in Newry, Belfast, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Galway, Tipperary, Offaly, Longford and elsewhere

* The use of stickers, posters, murals and other forms of political street art

* Highlighting Stephen’s case with human and legal rights organisations such as Justice Watch Ireland, Amnesty International, The Pat Finucane Centre, etc.

* Online awareness raising through this website and social media platforms

* Highlighting Stephen’s case through the local, national and international corporate media

* Lobbying of elected representatives from Leinster House, Stormont and local councils

* Lobbying of the Six County Director of Public Prosecutions, Attorney General and Human Rights Commission


* Tell your family, friends, workmates and neighbours about Stephen’s plight and encourage them to add their voices to the campaign for Stephen’s release.

* Sign the online petition to have Stephen released at https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/free-stephen-murney

* ‘Like’ the Free Stephen Murney Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-Stephen-Murney-Now/202913716509749

* Join any upcoming ‘Free Stephen Murney’ protests or organise your own

* Email info@eirigi.org to play a more active role in the campaign to get Stephen released

* Contact your local elected representatives and ask them to highlight Stephen’s case and use their influence to have him released

* Contact Barra McGrory, Director of Public Prosecutions, Belfast Chambers, 93 Chichester Street, Belfast, BT1 3JR demanding that he end the prosecution of Stephen Murney

* Contact John Larkin, Attorney General, The Office of the Attorney General, PO Box 1272, Belfast, demanding that he put pressure on Barra McGrory to end the prosecution of Stephen Murney

* Contact The Human Rights Commission, Temple Court, 39 North Street, Belfast, BT1 1NA and demand that they make representations on behalf of Stephen Murney

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© 2013 Irish Republican News