IRSP reject claims

Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk     11-5-2011'Raymond McCartney - convicted provisional IRA double murderer after he gave evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry sitting in Londonderry's Guild Hall on 5-9-2002. Today, (11-5-2011), aid the test for payments to those wrongfully convicted should be redefined.Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney and journalist Eamonn MacDermott were jailed for life in the 1970s for murder.They were later cleared on appeal.Two previous compensation bids by the Londonderry pair were refused.President of the Supreme Court, Lord Phillips, said the new test should ensure innocent defendants are not precluded from obtaining compensation because they cannot "prove their innocence beyond reasonable doubt". Raymond McCartney and Eamonn MacDermott were cleared on appeal after judges declared unease about the safety of the guilty verdicts.  The Supreme Court ruling could have implications for dozens of former prisoners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 11-5-2011'Raymond McCartney - convicted provisional IRA double murderer after he gave evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry sitting in Londonderry's Guild Hall on 5-9-2002. Today, (11-5-2011), aid the test for payments to those wrongfully convicted should be redefined.Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney and journalist Eamonn MacDermott were jailed for life in the 1970s for murder.They were later cleared on appeal.Two previous compensation bids by the Londonderry pair were refused.President of the Supreme Court, Lord Phillips, said the new test should ensure innocent defendants are not precluded from obtaining compensation because they cannot "prove their innocence beyond reasonable doubt". Raymond McCartney and Eamonn MacDermott were cleared on appeal after judges declared unease about the safety of the guilty verdicts. The Supreme Court ruling could have implications for dozens of former prisoners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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The IRSP in Derry have dismissed speculation that the INLA was responsible for a gun attack in which two brothers were shot in the legs in Ballymagroarty on Thursday night.

The two men, aged 25 and 26, were shot shortly after 8pm on Thursday and were taken to Altnagelvin hospital for treatment for their injuries.

Following the shooting, Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney said he believed elements linked to the INLA were responsible for the attack.

He challenged the political representatives of the INLA - which had previously announced an end to its armed campaign - to clarify the situation.

On Friday morning a spokesperson for the IRSP in Derry said the INLA are no longer involved in “armed actions”.

“Following last night’s shooting in Ballymagroarty in Derry the IRSP wish to put the following on record. There is no indication as to who was responsible for the shooting and until there is we cannot comment on the individual circumstances.

“In response to allegations by a member of Sinn Fein that people close to the INLA were involved in the shooting, we refer back to statements from INLA in recent times in which they have said that they have disarmed and are no longer involved in armed actions,” the spokesperson said.

Condemning the incident, Mr McCartney claimed that what had started as a recent street fight had resulted in a gun attack on the two brothers.

“This shooting in Ballymagroarty has to be condemned. There can be absolutely no justification for this type of action. Whatever organisation carried out this out, needs to come forward and give a clear explanation for their actions.

“We are in a new era, we are creating a new society for the younger generation and there can be no place for this type of activity,” he said.

A woman from Ballymagroarty who aided the men after the shooting described the incident as “horrific.”

“They were very distraught, crying, and screaming. Plus it was a very cold night so you can imagine the shock they were in with the cold. It was horrific to see,” she said.