Irish Blog Whacked

Thursday, May 30, 2013




Pat Ramsey
BREAKING NEWS: After strong representations from me, I am delighted to announce that Marian Price will be freed as a result of Commissioners deliberations today.


The British created the first concentration camps in South Africa, in 1899.
. They created them for political opponents, specific ethnic or white South African groups, where the British murdered 27 000 women and children. Civilians or other groups of people, usually selected by the British according to some general criteria, rather than individuals, incarcerated after due process of law fairly applied by a judiciary. The most notorious concentration camps, were later created on the british model by the the Nazis , which were utilized to implement the Holocaust.

Ever since the Nazi concentration camps were discovered, the term has been understood to refer to a place of mistreatment, starvation, forced labor, and murder. Today, this term is not used by the British government in order to sanitize their activity, using instead terms such as "detention facility," and so forth, regardless of circumstances. In many cases, British concentration camps such as Maghaberry in British occupied Ireland today, have poor living conditions, resulting in many deaths.
In a"concentration camp,"  the British government can "concentrate" groups of people, who are in a time of insurgency, potential supporters of  insurgents, who are then placed in such a facility, where they are not provided with any information or reason for their predicament. Concentration camps single out specific portions of a population based on their race, culture, politics or religion. Usually, these people are not the majority but are categorized as causing social, economic, and other problems to the majority. The function of British concentration camps are to separate this "scapegoat" population, from the majority population. 
British concentration camps have been used for almost a century, but never have yielded a positive result. The British structure is based on domination and subordination of smaller ethnic groups after the British invade a country. This form of imposed dominance, creates cultural conflicts and rifts that are extremely difficult to repair. Currently in British Occupied Ireland, the British Tories have broken the Irish Peace Process and reintroduced "selective internment," generally of old men and women, from the war the British started over 40 years ago with internment at that time.

Martin Corey is a 62 year old man, who is now in Maghaberry prison for 3 years. The rationale for his internment without trial, is based on closed material, that neither Martin or his legal team are allowed to see. The British government as in the instances of the Birmingham six and the Guildford four, have again paid considerable sums of money, to fabricate evidence, which neither Martin or his legal team are allowed to see. Neither is Martin or his lawyers, allowed to know the length of his internment, which at his elderly age may mean that he dies innocently interned.

Martin's lawyer, Peter Murphy, say he is being denied the right to a fair trial. "It's like internment all over again in the sense that he hasn't been given the chance to defend his position.When we ask questions about the nature of the allegations and evidence against our client we are told nothing.

In any criminal court you can meet your accuser, you have a chance to cross-examine them, and you have a chance to defend yourself because you're given the detail of what the allegations are against you.We don't have any of that, so our client is in a very difficult situation in that he's sitting in prison not knowing why he's there."

His lawyers are challenging the British Viceroyal to bring charges against him, to allow details of the allegations he faces to be heard in in a fair trial in open court.During hearings held by the commissioners, an unidentified witness gave evidence from behind a curtain and Martin Corey's legal team were not given any details of any allegations against him.

In July last year, a judge ruled that Martin Corey's detention was a breach of the Human Rights Act and said he should be released on unconditional bail but that was overturned by order of the unelected English Viceroyal with handpicked judges, then rubber stamping this supremacist, sectarian, repression of British Occupied Ireland

His lawyers are now preparing to take his case to the European court. They say he is being denied the right to a fair trial."We're looking for a ruling from the European Court that anybody is entitled to defend themselves and to be given the right to defend themselves before the courts. In order to be able to do that they should be given the information upon which, in this particular occasion, Mr Corey is being held in jail.

"He should be given reasons as to why he is being detained in custody and given reasons why the secretary of state believes he is a risk to society, so that Mr Corey can go along and properly defend himself before the court. Everybody has the right to defend themselves, and we believe we are not being given that right."

His lawyer Mr Murphy said "During the three years he has been in prison he hasn't been charged with anything.Those responsible for keeping Martin Corey in prison should initiate a proper investigation and, if needs be, charge him.

"In laying down this challenge, I do not believe that this will ever be done, because we don't believe the criminal standard could ever be met in a criminal trial in this case.This is an indefinite situation at the moment, there's no timescale, Martin Corey can be left languishing in jail for the rest of his life if the secretary of state wishes, without being told why."

The case is being monitored closely by the human rights group the Committee on the Administration of Justice.The CAJ director, Brian Gormally, said it supports the decision to take the case to the European Court.

"We are concerned about it because Martin Corey is being held on the basis of secret evidence that he is unable to challenge, that is basically an affront to the rule of law in our view..The European Convention of Human Rights says nobody should be detained without a proper court hearing. In our view, secret, closed material proceedings are not proper court proceedings."
On April 16th, 2013, Martin Corey hadspent three years in Maghaberry Prison without any charges ever being placed against him. Police never questioned or interviewed Martin regarding any incident, occurrence or event relating to his internment. Serious questions must now be asked about what exactly the British Government are the British Government hiding?

So who exactly is Martin Corey ?A close friend of Martin's, Jim McIlmurray wrote the following: "I am in a better position than most to know if he was ever involved in any activity that could be deemed illegal or “a threat to National Security”, a phrase often utilized by faceless, nameless individuals in the courts. I can say without fear of contradiction that Martin is an innocent man. Everyone should make their voice be heard and call upon the Secretary of State to either bring charges against him or release him immediately.

Martin Corey is an old man who served 19 years of his life in Long Kesh as a republican prisoner for an offence 40 years ago. He was released in 1992 and began rebuilding his life. He is a popular figure from a well respected, hard-working family in the town.

It was a proud day for Martin when he was granted a loan to purchase his own mechanical digger. After a time, he gained the contract as the parish grave digger, covering several cemeteries in the greater Lurgan area. Many people, myself included, will recall his compassionate approach and professionalism during the time of families' bereavement.

In all the time I have known Martin, I have only known his interests to be his family, his friends and his love of coarse fishing.

On Friday, April 16th, 2010, the police arrived at his O’Neill’s Terrace home and told him they had a warrant for his arrest. Martin was brought to Lurgan PSNI station and later that day transferred to Maghaberry prison. It was stated he broke the terms of his Life Licence release. When his solicitor requested to know what Martin was alleged to have done, he was told it a matter of National Security and the subject of closed file information.

For the past three years, his solicitor and barristers have challenged his unlawful detention on numerous occasions in the High Court. On Monday, the 9th of July, 2012, a High Court judge, Justice Seamus Tracy, who has a background in the European Human Rights Courts, ordered Martin’s immediate release, stating that his Human Rights had been breached under sections 4 and 5 of the European Human Rights act and that there were no charges for which he should answer. I waited for 4 hours outside Maghaberry with Martin’s family that day, only to be told at 4:15pm that the then current Secretary of State, Owen Patterson, had overruled the High Court judge and blocked Martin's release. I was 25 yards away from Martin when I received that call. I watched him step out of the prison van at the reception centre and watched him walk back to the van to be returned to his cell. As he got into the van, he paused and starred at me and that will always be one of the hardest and cruelest moments I have ever witnessed in my life.

Martin has a legal entitlement to an annual Parole Board review every twelve calendar months to reevaluate the reasons for his continued detention. I have been accepted to speak on Martin’s behalf; however, every date set for a hearing for Martin last year was followed by a cancellation by the Parole Board, citing numerous excuses. Martin hasn’t received a parole review in 18 months, an action deemed illegal by the Court of Human Rights in Strasburg. We are currently awaiting a date to take this case to the High Court for a judicial review.

Martin has been subjected to a number of incidents during his time in Maghaberry Prison. These incidents include waiting over three weeks for an emergency dental appointment; of note, a veterinarian would have a legal obligation to report a pet owner for cruelty if he found an animal to be suffering for that period. Also, Martin's request for compassionate leave to attend the funeral of his brother was denied by both the Prison Service and the Courts without any reasons given. He was only granted leave to attend 1 hour before the service started after a request was made to the Justice Minister on humanitarian grounds. I had to make three requests to the Prison Ombudsman to intervene in cases concerning material submitted by myself for Martin for use in his cell crafts. The prison staff either confiscated the printed image materials or refused to provide them to Martin. The Prison Ombudsman upheld all three decisions in Martin’s favour, ruling against the Northern Ireland Prison Service and determining that the material must be provided to Martin.

Martin’s case has been in the High Court in Belfast several times over the past three years, without any finding of criminal offence with which to charge him. Had Martin been charged with possession of an illegal firearm during his arrest three years previously, he would have been released six months ago. There is no other name for his illegal detention other than internment without trail.

As a close friend of Martin's, I am in a better position than most to know if he was ever involved in any activity that could be deemed illegal or “a threat to National Security”, a phrase often utilized by faceless, nameless individuals in the courts. I can say without fear of contradiction that Martin is an innocent man. Everyone should make their voice be heard and call upon the Secretary of State to either bring charges against him or release him immediately.

I speak to Martin by telephone on a daily basis and visit him regularly in Maghaberry Prison, and can assure everyone that his spirits remain high despite his total lack of confidence in the judicial system in the North of Ireland. He thanks everyone for their continued messages of support .

We are currently awaiting a date to attend the Court of Appeal in London to challenge his illegal detention. If unsuccessful there, we will take his case to the European Courts of Justice. We will continue our presence at the Belfast High Court to request the Parole Board to give an explanation as to why Martin has been denied his legal right to an annual Parole Review."

Jim McIlmurray

Friend and spokesperson for Martin Corey