THE Army’s former commander in Northern Ireland has branded a ‘witch hunt’ of ageing veteran troops as “unacceptable and vindictive”. Retired general Sir Nick Parker also accused ministers of “running scared” of the law over the prosecution of former soldiers in Northern Ireland. It came as Tory MP Johnny Mercer, who sits on the Commons Defence Committee, said the Government was “literally breaking our own people”. Sir Nick - who led the army in Northern Ireland in 2006 - told MPs: “It is in my view unacceptable that you send someone to do their country’s duty with this hanging in the background.” He said if people behaved illegally the Army’s chain of command should be robust enough to deal with that. He went on: “This sense that someone is going to turn the clock back to look at what you did in a forensic environment, when you were doing what you believed was right and reasonable at the time is, I … [Read more...] about Army’s former commander in Northern Ireland brands prosecution of veteran troops ‘vindictive’
Soldiers in northern ireland
The Ministry of Defence has sent more than 1,300 letters to former soldiers seeking information on deaths in Northern Ireland. The Army veterans – many in their 60s and 70s – are potential murder or manslaughter suspects over killings at the height of the IRA's terror campaign. They have been contacted over around 40 incidents dating back to the 1970s, including Bloody Sunday. Critics claim it is fresh evidence of a 'witch-hunt' against troops who served during the Troubles. The British Army veterans - mainly in their 60s and 70s - are potential murder or manslaughter suspects over killings at the height of the IRA's terror campaign (file photo) The Police Service of Northern Ireland has sparked anger by re-examining every British Army killing. There is outrage that hundreds of elderly ex-soldiers – many suffering serious illnesses – are being put through another ordeal. The Daily Mail has long campaigned for an end to the hounding of … [Read more...] about Letters seek information on deaths in Northern Ireland
A man whose trial over the IRA’s Hyde Park bomb collapsed in controversial circumstances has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of two soldiers in Northern Ireland in 1972. John Downey was detained by Irish gardai on Monday evening under a European Arrest Warrant as part of a joint operation with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). Mr Downey, 66, was arrested in Co Donegal and is expected to appear at Dublin High Court on Tuesday afternoon to face extradition proceedings. Prosecutors in Northern Ireland have decided there is sufficient evidence to prosecute him for the murders of Lance Corporal Alfred Johnston, 32, a father of four, and Private James Eames, 33, a father of three, in Co Fermanagh. They died when an IRA bomb exploded in a car they were checking on the Irvinestown Road, Cherrymount, Enniskillen on 25 August, 1972. In 2013, John Downey was charged with murdering four Royal Household Cavalrymen in a bomb in London’s Hyde Park in 1982. He stood … [Read more...] about Man whose trial over IRA Hyde Park bomb collapsed is arrested and accused in murder of two soldiers in Northern Ireland
AN ex-Army chief has told how cops quizzed him over a paramilitary gunman’s death during the Troubles. Gen Sir Lord Dannatt, 67, said he was left “irritated” and “concerned” by the probe. Police questioned him for 45 minutes as a witness to the death of a loyalist in Belfast 45 years ago. There is ongoing concern that ex-soldiers could be prosecuted over deaths in Northern Ireland. The Government is refusing to introduce an amnesty that would stop the prosecutions. Lord Dannatt told The Telegraph that on his last day as Chief of the General Staff in August 2009, his final scheduled appointment was with two investigators from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Historical Enquiries team. Lord Dannatt was commanding a platoon that was ambushed in 1973. One man killed a gunman who managed to kill a British soldier. S-PARK OUT Moment driver knocks out rival twice his size with one punch in parking row ACTRESS DEAD Doctor Who and Blake’s 7 star … [Read more...] about Ex-Army chief quizzed by cops over paramilitary gunman’s death during the Troubles in Northern Ireland
TWENTY years ago a historic peace agreement signalled an end to three decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. But what were the Troubles and what is the Good Friday agreement? Here's the lowdown on the years of bloody violence. When were The Troubles? The Troubles describe a 30-year period between the late 60s and early 90s, when sectarian violence in Northern Ireland caused the deaths of thousands of civilians and security personnel. Historians tend to place the beginning of the Troubles with the 1968 civil rights movement, which demanded an end to Unionist-dominated rule from the devolved Northern Ireland government at Stormont. Marches, protests, civil disobedience and increasing violence led to the British government's decision in 1969 to deploy troops to the streets, especially in Belfast and Londonderry. In 1971, the government introduced its policy of internment, locking up terror suspects without trial. By the following year, the situation had deteriorated. On … [Read more...] about When were the Troubles in Northern Ireland, what happened in Belfast and what is the Good Friday Agreement?