Craigavon 2 Rally – Glasgow – Oration by Ronan Carty

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The Justice for the Craigavon Two committee would like to thank everyone who organised and took part in yesterdays event in Glasgow.
Statement from the Rally
My Name is Ronan Carty and I’m vice chair of Justice for the Craigavon Two.
I’m delighted to have been asked to speak at this event today and I would like to pay special thanks to the Scottish Cumann of the IRPWA, for their continued support in this case. When the call was made for action, the IRPWA were the first to answer and I know Brendan and John Paul, our whole committee and the families are very grateful.
Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton are the contemporary Guildford 4 and Birmingham 6. following the killing of two British soldiers at Massereene and the shooting of PSNI constable Carroll a few days later, an atmosphere of political and media hysteria ensued and just like Guildford and Birmingham, someone had to be prosecuted to appease this hysteria.
After the killing the Drumbeg estate in Craigavon which is a largely working class Republican area, was saturated with the PSNI and mass raids took place at the homes of political activists, Brendan and John Paul were pulled in by this dragnet. They were held under new draconian, special powers, that had been introduced by the British Government, to deal with the alleged Islamic threat. Both men were later charged with murder and remanded to Maghaberry Gaol, were they spent years before their trial in 2012.
No meaningful forensic investigation was ever carried out at the scene of the killing, no attempt was ever made to ascertain the facts that would lead to suspects being arrested, rather Brendan and JP were picked as suitable scapegoats and the state quickly set about fashioning so called facts and evidence to secure a conviction against both men.
I could spend hours talking about the case facts, but most of you already know the shocking case facts and that this case was built purely on conjecture and the lies of a man known only as ‘M’ who claimed to have been an eye witness. I reference our leaflet to highlight some of the more glaring lies, inconsistencies and blatant state subversiveness in this injustice.
Witness M came forward to give evidence 11 months after the shooting while he was drunk.
Witness M Eye witness testimony was proven to be medically impossible.
Witness M was continuously found to be lying under oath during the trial.
Witness M was with his partner on the night in question yet she fails to corroborate his story.
Witness M has benefited financially from his involvement
Witness M identity was hidden from the court preventing a proper cross examination
Witness Ms father testified at appeal that his son was a compulsive liar! his father was arrested and intimidated by the PSNI who wanted him to retract his testimony.
The AK rifle recovered had a fingerprint belonging to neither Brendan or JP
The UN was lobbied to protect the legal teams from state forces
At appeal the prosecution admitted it could not prove Brendan or JP had any part in the killing!
From a legal perspective, we are at a very critical stage, recently the supreme court in England, felt that the case wasn’t even worthy of examination and refused to take the case on, this is the opposition we face and the best way to change this is to up the ante and the Justice for the Craigavon Two committee sees many ways in which we can do this together.
The legal teams are preparing their submissions to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). A supposed safeguard set up following the Guildford and Birmingham cases, the CCRC is the last port of call in terms of legal avenues that can be explored within the state.
The onus is now on us to bring as much public scrutiny and pressure to bear to aid the legal case and to expose this blatant miscarriage of justice to anyone and everyone willing to listen.
While both Brendan and JP come from Republican backgrounds, the campaign for justice is not a political one, the call for justice is one that everyone can adhere to and as such activists must reach outside the perimeters of political opinion and canvass those who claim to be champions of human rights and civil liberties.
The broad based nature of our campaign was optimised by our late chairperson Gerry Conlon. Today, just a year from his untimely passing, we remember Gerry with pride and continue this his last campaign for justice,
Gerry was not an Irish Republican, but he was not afraid to speak out against injustice, no mater how unpalatable it seemed. Gerry wholly believed that based on the facts of the case, which he fully examined, that not only was the case a disgraceful miscarriage of justice, but that both JP and Brendan are wholly innocent of the conviction in which they are spending life imprisoned.
The Justice for the Craigavon Two committee, call on you, our Scottish friends, to help build a broad based approach to this injustice and to canvass all the politicians, the political parties, trade unions, human and civil rights groups and the various churches, to come on board and support this vital campaign.
In the words of Gerry Conlon
” In a democratic society, one of the most important pillars, is a fair and honest justice system. When this system fails, it fails us all and innocent people go to prison”
Today it is Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton, tomorrow it could be you or a loved one, in the words of Martin Luther King Jnr “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
So in the interests of a free and fair society, it is incumbent upon us all, to fight for Justice for the Craigavon Two.


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