Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Cover-up by Northumbria Police - Harry Fitzsimmons - Scott Gary Monaghan The IRA shooting of Martin McGartland

In January 1999, author and former IRA man turned informer Eamon Collins was beaten to death by the IRA in Newry, County Down. In May 1999, the IRA murdered Brendan 'Speedy' Fegan. They again justified their action by claiming that he was a leading drugs dealer. They shot him dead in a bar in Newry. In June 1999, the IRA murdered Paul Downey. Once again, they claimed that he had been a prominent drugs dealer. In June 1999, Martin McGartland, an RUC agent who infiltrated the IRA, narrowly escaped with his life after being shot in Whitley Bay, Northumbria, by IRA members. I have a copy of a letter sent to Mr McGartland by Northumbria police. It shows that they had arrested Henry Fitzsimmons and Scott Gary Monaghan, two well known Provisional IRA members, and that they were regarded as responsible for the attempt to kill Martin McGartland. However, even with all of that evidence, the Secretary of State considered that in the round there had no breach of the IRA ceasefire or the terms of the Belfast Agreement.

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In July 1999, the IRA abducted and murdered Charles Bennett, a New Lodge man. Also in July, the men arrested, and convicted in connection with the importation of arms from Florida were shown to be members of the Provisional IRA. It was proven that that activity was sanctioned at the highest level of the Provisional IRA. I will come back to that issue in my winding-up speech. Clearly, those men were members of the Provisional IRA. On the Noraid Internet site, they are described as IRA prisoners in an American jail. An article in 'GQ' magazine shows clearly the links between the Provisional IRA and those who were arrested, and asserts that they were part of an IRA gun running escapade. It is interesting that that activity was being planned at the same time as the organisation's representatives were sitting down with Senator George Mitchell and telling him how sincere they were about trying to achieve progress on decommissioning. While they were telling the senator that they were serious about decommissioning, they were importing guns from the United States to increase their stockpile of weaponry.

In August 1999, the IRA deported five men from Dungannon and one from Belfast for what they judged to be antisocial behaviour. I suppose that they consider their murdering and gunrunning to be civil and convivial. In October 2000, the IRA murdered Real IRA man, Joe O'Connor, in Ballymurphy, west Belfast. In April 2001, the IRA used the usual excuse of drug dealing to justify murdering Christopher O'Kane in Londonderry. In May 2001, the IRA again murdered someone who, it claimed, was a drug dealer. The victim, that time, was Paul Daly from Belfast. He was shot in front of his family.

In April 2001, Londonderry man, Gerald McFadden, from Rathlin Gardens in the Creggan estate was charged after he was found to have personal details of senior RUC officers. He has since been convicted of that offence. That demonstrates that the IRA was engaged in the targeting of RUC officers and that, once again, it was in contravention of the explicit requirement to use only peaceful and democratic means. In June 2001, the Provisional IRA raided Belfast docks and stole about £4 million. Also in June 2001, the IRA raided the house of an arms dealer in Athlone, County Westmeath. The attackers threatened him, tied up his wife and children, and stole over 100 shotguns, rifles and a quantity of ammunition.

In August 2001 came Colombia, another effort by the Provisional IRA to secure the peace process. I will deal with that issue in my winding-up speech. That was an added embarrassment for Sinn Féin, because all three men involved had party connections. According to the Government of their friend, Fidel Castro - to whom Mr Adams is soon going out to talk - one of the men, Connolly, was the accredited representative of Sinn Féin in Cuba and, no doubt, in South America. I have said James Monaghan was on the brigade staff at the headquarters of the Provisional IRA. He is their well known chief engineer and bomb maker. Such an individual would not have been a freelancer; he was on a mission sanctioned by the so-called Army Council of the Provisional IRA. They tried to tell us that those boys were really on holiday. I can think of more attractive places in which to holiday than the malaria-stricken jungles, where the opportunities for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to kidnap or kill must be greater than anywhere else in the world. Clearly, the Provisional IRA, at the very highest level, sanctioned that mission.

I cannot say anything about the arrest of IRA leader, Eddie Copeland, in north Belfast, as the matter is before the courts. I could have spoken of many other IRA failures to maintain its ceasefire. One wonders, after hearing that catalogue of events, what the IRA must do before the House imposes sanctions on Sinn Féin/IRA. I hope, in what may be the last act before the suspension of the Assembly, that the House will not again dodge the issue and that it will support the motion.

Link; http://archive.niassembly.gov.uk/record/reports/010918d.htm