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RTE the Irish National news Service. Latest news from the Republic of Ireland. Includes links to radio and TV.


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Finucane Family Claims Victory

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The family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane has lost a  Supreme Court challenge over the decision not to hold a public inquiry  into his killing, but won a declaration that an effective investigation  into his death has not been carried out

Mr Finucane was killed in February 1989 by loyalists in an attack found to have involved collusion with the state.

The 39-year-old was shot 14 times while enjoying Sunday lunch at home with his family.

His widow Geraldine claimed the British government unlawfully  "reneged" on a promise to hold a public inquiry into the killing, which  was one of the most notorious of the Troubles.

Former prime minister David Cameron decided not to hold a public  inquiry into the murder, but instead ordered an investigation by former  UN war crimes prosecutor Sir Desmond de Silva QC. 

 Sir Desmond found "shocking" levels of state collusion involving the  British Army, police and MI5 but ruled out an "overarching state  conspiracy", prompting Mrs Finucane to describe it as a "whitewash". 

http://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2019/02/27/news/pat-finucane-murder-supreme-court-rules-against-public-inquiry-but-says-effective-investigation-not-carried-out-1561610/

NO RESTRICTION ON ARMED PSNI CROSSING BORDER

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NO RESTRICTION ON ARMED PSNI CROSSING BORDER 


An extraordinary incident involving Garda   Commissioner Drew Harris has forced the Dublin government to confirm that   heavily armed members of the British Crown Forces are routinely making   incursions into all areas of the 26 Counties without any checks or controls. 

It has emerged that there was a security   scare at Garda HQ in the Phoenix Park in Dublin late last month involving   Harris and several armed PSNI moving in unmarked PSNI jeep. The ‘bomb-proof’   jeep was badly damaged when it was struck and flipped upwards by a security   barrier raised as it attempted to enter the base without warning. 

The Garda Press Office has been engaged in a   damage limitation exercise since news of the incident emerged last weekend,   almost two weeks after the incident on March 25th. 

Insider accounts said the jeep was ‘flung up   into the air’ when a garda at the gate of Garda HQ, responding to the threat   of an unknown northern-registered vehicle entering at speed, activated an   emergency security barrier which ‘rammed’ the bottom of the jeep, which was   ‘flung up into the air’. 

Panicked gardai rushed out of Phoenix Park   thinking there was a bomb on board. “Gardaí thought there was a bomb scare   because the barrier is only used when there’s a security threat,” the Daily   Mirror reported. 

The jeep was said to have been written off as a   result of the impact. 

The Garda Press Office later blamed a faulty   bollard for the impact, which it said occurred when the armoured PSNI vehicle   was moving “at walking pace”. 

In almost identical statements, both the Gardaí   and the PSNI described the incident as “normal procedure”. But their attempts   to minimise the incident only added urgency o the questions. 

Chief among these is the revelation that members   of the PSNI, including those with a past involvement in collusion, have been   allowed to carry loaded weapons throughout the 26 Counties since 2013,   despite the illegality of doing so. 

Harris was controversially appointed by Justice   Minister Charlie Flanagan in September last year. He previously served as the   head of PSNI/RUC Special Branch where his actions served to cover up that   force’s collusion with loyalist paramilitaries. 

It also emerged that Harris prefers to use a   PSNI unit rather than Gardaí as personal security, dispensing with his own   Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) vehicle which normally is assigned for   his protection. 

Dermot Ahern, who was minister for justice from   2009 to 2011, said he was never aware of the PSNI being permitted to carry   firearms across Ireland during his time at the department. 

He also said that every time he travelled to the   North his Garda driver would be disarmed by PSNI before they crossed over the   Border. After they crossed, the PSNI would insist “every time” that he   transfer to their vehicle for the onward journey. 

The PSNI’s expanding role in 26 County policing   has angered rank-and-file members of the Garda who see it as a denigration of   the function of the highly trained ERU which is responsible for the   commissioner’s safety. 

Harris has been accused of treating Garda HQ as   a sub-office of PSNI HQ in east Belfast. He has also been accused of treating   the post of Garda Commissioner as a stepping stone as he prepares to apply   for the role of the next Chief Constable in the Six Counties. 

Previously Harris generated controversy over his   links to loyalists after he backed Garda protection for a masked loyalist   gang who have been carrying out illegal evictions in the 26 Counties. 

On Monday, John O’Brien, retired Garda chief   superintendent and former national head of Interpol and Europol, said the   latest incident raised serious questions about the judgment of the   commissioner, who has suffered bereavement and trauma during the conflict. 

“It is not standard operating procedure, the   usual way that we do things, that an armed escort from the PSNI would travel   to Garda headquarters to protect the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána,” he   said. 

“The officers concerned have no authority to   carry firearms,” he said, and there would be “huge issues” if the PSNI opened   fire. 

Mr O’Brien raised the possibility the PSNI   involved could have been targeted by an IRA unit on their return journey. 

“If some incident goes down, what are the rules   of engagement? The bottom line is that the Gardaí and the Defence Forces are   the only service permitted to carry firearms in this jurisdiction,” he said. 

“What happened with Drew Harris and his car   calls his judgment into question very strongly unless there is a reasonable   explanation for it.” 

  

Republican News

Hundreds take part in border protests against Brexit

 

Hundreds of people have taken part in a number of demonstrations on the Irish border in opposition to Brexit.

Border Communities Against Brexit organised the protests to mark the day after Britain had been due to leave the European Union.

Border demonstrations took place along a number of crossing points in  Co Tyrone, Co Louth, Co Donegal, Co Fermanagh, Co Cavan and Co  Monaghan.

Demonstrators set up a mock check-point on the Old Dublin Road in  Carrickcarnon which was manned by people dressed as customs officers.

The road was closed to members of the public as protesters carried anti-Brexit placards and EU flags.


 

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald was joined by party  vice-president Michelle O'Neill and Newry and Armagh Sinn Fein Assembly  member Conor Murphy.

Border Communities Against Brexit spokesman Declan Fearon warned a crash Brexit is "increasingly likely".

He said: "A border in the past meant this road was closed for over 40 years and this community was divided.

"We won't allow the very hard right-wing Tories and the ERG (European  Research Group) and especially the DUP to destroy this community and  bring us back to days when this was an economic wasteland."

Around 300 people gathered at the border on a road that was closed during the Troubles.

Many similar protests were staged on various border points between Northern Ireland and the Republic.


from: RTE NEWS

https://www.rte.ie/news/2019/0330/1039634-border-protest-brexit/