Statement: Nama allegations 

Immediate Release 

” There has been much commentary in recent days around the revelations that have surfaced in the media. 

” I wish to place on record that I was, in no shape or form, the leak of this back channel. I suspect there is a more sinister agenda behind that particular issue. 

” Nevertheless, I in no way regret my engagement in such communications and furthermore I believe that it benefitted me and assisted my preparations for my appearance before the committee which resulted in vital public interest evidence being aired. 

” I am as opposed to Sinn Fein as I ever was. My enemies enemy was never my friend, but rather a useful tool in my pursuit of a vital public interest story. If Sinn Fein were manipulated, as what is in the public domain appears to suggest, then that is a matter for Sinn Fein. 

” As for those who have read headlines and somehow convinced themselves I am in someway a friend of Sinn Fein, they display their own lack of political awareness and inability to see the wood for the trees. 

” Almost every political party, apart from Sinn Fein, have now claimed the DFP committee inquiry is tainted. Prior to this development Sinn Fein are on record calling for a public inquiry. 

” Accordingly, I have began the legal process of making an application to the Secretary of State under the inquiries act, asking for a full public inquiry into the Nama scandal. I would be astounded if all political parties would not also support such a public inquiry. 

” If the Secretary of State refuses to initiate such an inquiry the option to judicially review this decision will be open, and therefore the opportunity to air much of the Nama evidence in court will surface. 

” I stand over every piece of my evidence to the DFP committee. 

” On the foot of legal advice I will be making no further comment on the allegations carried in the media given that the entire Nama issue will now be subject to an application to the Secretary of State for a full public inquiry.”  

‘Leaks’ naming Sean Hughes as an informant designed to hide the real agent #Kingsmill 

The Sunday Independent yesterday reported that a British informant had been ‘outed’ in South Armagh. The finger was pointed, reputedly by security forces, at the OC of the South Armagh Brigade. 
This report in the Sunday Independent appears to jigsaw identify Sean ‘The Surgeon’ Hughes as the alleged informer. 
  
This report comes after months of this blog revealing details of the real agent in the South Armagh IRA, Co Louth republican Colm Murphy. 

The desire of security sources to leak details of the alleged outing of the South Armagh OC comes 48 hours after the arrest of Michael ‘Micksey’ Martin in relation to the Kingsmill massacre. He is a long time associate of the South Armagh based former IRA Chief of Staff- Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy. 

The 59 year old republican served a prison sentence for explosives in the Republic of Ireland in 1975, was jailed for 16 months for weapon procurement in the USA in 1989 and was later held on remand in London’s Belmarsh prison in 1994. There are no forensics linking the veteran republican to the attack. His prints have been held on file for decades. 

PSNI legacy detectives were forced to re-open the investigation into Kingsmill after a bizarre development a number of months ago. 

Colm Murphy was named on this blog as being one of those responsible for the massacre in January 2016; this claim was followed up by a denial by Murphy in the Irish News the following day.  

Following this media coverage, a relatively low level forensic officer asked his superior if he could re-test the Kingsmill palm print held by the PSNI. 

The first set of prints the officer attempted to match were those of Omagh bomber Colm Murphy. This match had previously been buried at the insistence of MI5, who had recruited Murphy as an agent around 1985. 

However, a positive match was made and logged, which meant the PSNI had no option but to reveal the existence of the palm print forensic match, and thus a game of intrigue began with claims and counter claims. 

This blog once again named Colm Murphy as the owner of the palm print match. Following this, the Co Louth republican gave an extensive interview to the Irish News, which the PSNI sought to block via an attempt to obtain a court injunction against the Belfast based paper. 

The career killer did not deny that the print was his in his Irish News interview; but rather appeared to confirm his own knowledge of the print by questioning why it had only surfaced now. 

High-level meetings have taken place between the PSNI and MI5 in order to decide how to deal with the situation. The implications of Murphy’s outing run much further than the Kingsmill investigation. They stretch to the murders of RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan, the Docklands bomb and the Omagh bombing. 

After Murphy was outed the Secretary of State requested a closed hearing during a Judicial review into the failure to hold a public inquiry into the Omagh bomb. It is believed this closed material concerns the existence of a key informant in the Omagh bomb team; Colm Murphy. 

It is understood the PSNI legacy team have devised a strategy to conduct a general ‘re-investigation’ of the Kingsmill case and this will involve interviewing, as a starting point, the main suspects initially identified by the RUC in 1976. This strategy is designed to string out the investigation and give breathing space for the security services to find a way to hide the Murphy palm print link. 

Colm Murphy was one of the RUC’s initial main suspects and was referred to as Suspect A in a 2011 HET report. 

Suspect A was believed to have been one of the gunmen in the Kingsmill attack, as well as one of those who hi-jacked the getaway minibus in the Republic of Ireland. 

It is understood that Murphy was not masked whilst hi-jacking the vehicle.

It is now clear that the ‘game’ is on. The leak in the Sunday Independent, attempting to point the finger of suspicion at Sean ‘The Surgeon’ Hughes, is an attempt to create a smokescreen around Colm Murphy. 

The senior IRA terrorist  questioned over Kingsmill revealed 

The high profile Provisional IRA terrorist arrested in connection with the Kingsmill massacre can be revealed here, for the first time, as Michael ‘Micksey’ Martin.
  
The 59 year old republican has been released from custody pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service. The career terrorist was one of the main 7 suspects initially identified by the RUC following the brutal attack on a bus carrying Protestant workmen. The one Catholic on the bus was ordered away form the scene by the IRA gunmen.

Martin previously worked as a lorry driver for his long time associate, Tom ‘Slab’ Murphy- who is currently serving a prison sentence in the Republic of Ireland for criminal charges. 

‘Micksey’ Martin has long been suspected of involvement in the deaths of over 100 people. He is believed to have organised the Bishopgate bombing on 23 April 1993, along with South Armagh IRA terror boss and current senior member of Sinn Fein, Sean ‘The Surgeon’ Hughes. Martin was also implicated in the Docklands bombing, which at the time broke the fledging IRA ceasefire. 

The South Armagh terrorist previously served prison sentences in the Republic of Ireland in 1975 for explosives offences and was jailed in the USA for arms procurement in 1989. Martin was also arrested and held on remand in Belmarsh prison in 1994. His fingerprints have been on the security forces system for decades. 

It was, however, Colm Murphy, who is 63, that hi-jacked the getaway vehicle used in the Kingsmill attack. The republican gunman was also involved in the Narrow Watter attack in 1979. It was after a period of imprisonment in the United States that Murphy was recruited by MI5 around 1985. 

Following his recruitment as an MI5 asset, Murphy took part in the 1989 murders of RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan and provided the mobile telephones to the Omagh bombing team in 1998. 

It is believed the arrest of ‘Micksey’ Martin is to be the first of a number of arrests of those identified by the RUC in 1976 as initial suspects, following the re-opening of the investigation. 

Don’t shoot the messenger- NUJ row is down to their own criteria 

The debate around my membership of the NUJ has rumbled on for almost a week now. 

The controversy around the issue first arose when the Belfast and District branch, entirely unprompted, intervened and claimed I wasn’t a member- further to this, they stated I wasn’t a journalist (ironically, I agree) in an attempt to give the impression that I would not be welcome in their union. This is despite the fact that the NUJ definition of a journalist captures me under that category. 

The Belfast branch also claimed, in a statement to the Nolan show, that I would have to earn ‘my living’ from journalism. Clearly, if one assesses the temporary freelance membership criteria, quite the opposite is the case. Once again, this comical error demonstrates the ham-fisted nature of this ludicrous intervention. 

Given the apparent rebellion by the Belfast branch, against the rules and criteria of the NUJ, in jest I questioned whether they were staging some form of breakaway NUJ faction. I termed this the Continuity NUJ. 

In an utterly transparent attempt to deflect from their woeful handling of the situation, a particular NUJ office bearer, Bob Miller, took to social media to claim I was calling Belfast NUJ officials ‘terrorists’, by virtue of the use of the word continuity. Bizarre, I know. 

Given this is, quite obviously, an intelligent man; I can only conclude that he was cynically trying to turn the tide. 

Mr Miller’s assertion that I likened NUJ officials to ‘terrorists’ is utterly false, baseless and defamatory. It is, quite simply in my view, a malicious lie. I will be seeking him to urgently clarify his remarks and apologise. 

I also pointed out, rightly, that many of the Belfast NUJ officials are no more ‘journalists’ than I am. If, as is apparently the case, they are going to rebel over me meeting the criteria for membership, then some of them should asses their own journalistic circumstances. 

There must be, and I have long argued this point, a mechanism to recognise the difference between professional journalists and self-appointed journalists. At the moment, there isn’t such a mechanism. That isn’t my fault; if anything my membership of the NUJ has highlighted this enormous flaw and, quite clearly, there is a need for reform. 

The journalists who have offered me their support in relation to joining the Belfast branch agree with me that there is a woeful equivalence being made between professional journalists and those of us who aren’t. 

Bloggers, and self published public platform contributors, aren’t journalists. Yet, the NUJ criteria is so wide that all public platform contributors, whether they be professional or otherwise, fall under the same umbrella. That is utterly abhorrent and demeaning to professional journalists. 

Professional journalists are supporting me for one reason only; because I meet the criteria. It isn’t my fault the criteria is flawed, therefore I shouldn’t be discriminated against simply because I am me. 

This is not an argument around whether I am a journalist or whether I should have equivalence with a professional journalist, I shouldn’t. But the NUJ criteria and the trend of society says otherwise. 

There is only one issue upon which I should be treated equally to a professional journalist, and that is on the protection of sources. And, when such a matter eventually comes before a court, it will be at that stage a legal precedent will be set upon what actually constitutes a journalist. I will argue that my public interest publications fall under the category of journalistic practices, and will point to the criteria outlined by the NUJ to justify such an assertion. 

The NUJ, on the very day their Belfast branch was launching their ill-conceived intervention, once again debited my monthly dues payment to the union. The insanity of the Belfast NUJ’s ‘campaign’ to keep me out is highlighted by the fact that whilst they were busy trying to devise a way, any way, to block my membership- the NUJ central organisation was collecting my membership dues. 

It is clear there is a need for reform, but that’s going to be extraordinarily messy. That, however, is not my fault. I merely highlighted the point. Don’t shoot the messenger. 

Response to the Belfast branch of the NUJ 

At lunchtime yesterday the Belfast Branch for the NUJ issued a statement to the Stephen Nolan show claiming I was not a member of the Union. 

It appears this morning, by virtue of a public tweet, the Belfast branch have now somewhat rowed back from this position and claimed I was not a member of the ‘Belfast branch’. I am amazed at their need to do this, I never claimed to be a member of their Belfast branch. 

The intervention by the Belfast branch of the NUJ is a surprising one; more so given that they appear to be taking a completely different view on the criteria for NUJ membership, than that of the parent organisation itself. 

I applied for membership of the NUJ and was informed that within 60 days a branch would be suggested for me to join. This choice of branch, I was informed, was a matter of choice for myself. 

I have spoken to established professional journalists who have recently joined the NUJ and who consider themselves, and are treated as, members. These journalists went through exactly the same process as me, and no one has sought to challenge their status as a member. 

Since the time of my application the National Union of Journalists have taken monthly direct debits from my bank account. Copies of bank statements verifying this have been provided, in confidence, to the Nolan show. 

I have also been in receipt of the monthly NUJ newsletter, which reads in its first line “Dear NUJ member…”. 

I wonder what kind of union the Belfast NUJ believe they are part of; in their mind it appears to be one that takes monthly money from someone, and addresses them as an NUJ member in correspondence, but then denies that the individual-who is paying into the union- is in fact a member.

The NUJ in their statement have also stated that before they would accept me into their branch they would have to be satisfied I earn a living from journalism. This criteria is entirely at odds with the NUJ’s own published membership criteria, which states as the criteria for my membership- temporary freelance member- the following; 

” If you are trying to establish or re-establish yourself as a full-time journalist, yet do not yet earn half of your income from freelance journalism and you don’t have another full-time job you can apply to join the NUJ as a temporary freelance member.” 

Far from earning a living from journalism, the criteria stipulates that for this type of membership you must not earn anymore than half your income from journalism. This could mean anything from 10p to £100,000. 

Further to this, the NUJ rules state; 

 “[t]he union shall consist of journalists, including photographers, creative artists working editorially in newspapers, magazines, books, broadcasting, public relations and information, and electronic media; as advertising and fashion photographers, advertising copywriters, editorial computer systems workers…”

At no point in the criteria for joining does it stipulate you must earn your living from journalism. The type of journalism you are engaged in and the amount you earn from it is only relevant in relation to the kind of membership band you are eligible for. It is not a condition of membership per se. 

On the NUJ website the union also states; 

” The National Union of Journalists is the voice for journalism and for journalists across the UK and Ireland working at home and abroad in all sectors of the media as freelances, casuals and staff in newspapers, news agencies, broadcasting, magazines, online, book publishing, in public relations, communications, and as photographers.” 

As someone who has published books, written columns online for established media outlets and published my own work online, I clearly fall under that criteria. 

Ironically I think the criteria is far too broad and is demeaning to qualified professional journalists, but that is a matter for the NUJ itself, it is not my fault for joining and, it seems, highlighting a major fault-line.

I question how many times the Belfast NUJ have got themselves so exercised about an individual becoming a member of the union? 

There appears to be no objections when all sorts of individuals, who, unlike me, actually think they are journalists because they write a blog, join the NUJ. It appears the NUJ welcome such journalistic imposters with open arms, yet due to my controversial profile they feel the need to take issue with me. 

I am glad this issue has come to the fore. At the very least it will expose the woeful equivalence being made between professionally qualified journalists and those who aren’t. 

I have been contacted by a number of journalists who have stated they would happily propose me for branch membership. Not because they agree that non-qualified journalists should be in the union, they don’t, but because they accept that as flawed as the membership criteria may be; I meet it, and therefore should not be excluded simply because some people may object to me as a personality. 

I point out the NUJ previously accepted former IRA prisoner Danny Morrison as a member and currently have convicted IRA life sentence prisoner Anthony McIntyre as member. I do not object to former IRA men being in the union, they are every bit as entitled to freedom of expression as I am, but I would be somewhat concerned if the NUJ were taking an unbalanced approach along sectarian lines. 

I look forward to the NUJ as a body clarifying this issue. As an individual paying into a union, I believe I am in the union. Should the NUJ take a different approach then we are heading for the High Court.