Bradley refuses to discuss Taylor case


The British Direct Ruler Karen Bradley has refused to meet Derry councillors to discuss the two-year internment of a republican political activist.

Bradley says it would be “inappropriate” for her to meet with Derry City and Strabane District Council to discuss the Tony Taylor case.

Mr Taylor was released under the Good Friday Agreement after being sentenced in 1994 for IRA activity, before being jailed for a further three years for possession of a firearm in 2011. However, since his re-arrest in 2016 he has not been charged with any offence nor told why he is in jail.

In a letter dated May 16, but not received by the council’s chief executive until Wednesday, May 29, Ms Bradley said Mr Taylor’s fate was in the hands of the Parole Commissioners. She said that Mr Taylor’s release licence had been revoked.

“The Parole Commission must reflect on the risk the individual poses to the public,” she said. “I have no power to overturn this decision and it would be inappropriate to comment further and inappropriate to have a meeting at this time.”

Independent councillor Paul Gallagher said it was a disgrace that Bradley was not prepared to meet the council.

“This is the only elected body in this area,” he said. “People in this city need to be asking questions why she is not prepared to meet us.”

SDLP councillor Brian Tierney said: “Why is he not being told what he did to have his licence revoked?

“That is what his family wants to know.”

Sinn Fein group leader on the council Sandra Duffy added: “Our MP Elisha McCallion has raised this with the Secretary of State and with the British Prime Minister.

“We as a council need to be taking a lead on this. One of our citizens is in prison and he does not know why he is in prison.”

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