Stormont Accused Need Your Support
Since being charged in May 2006 the case of the Stormont accused has been before the courts on up to a dozen occasions. On each occasion the RUC-PSNI and the Crown Prosecution Service have failed to produce any evidence to support the charges that have been brought against Scot Masterson, Cormac Ryan and Dominic McGlinchey.
This failure of the RUC-PSNI to disclose the nature of the alleged evidence against the three men has caused even the judge to question whether any such evidence actually exists. On three separate occasions, most recently on Friday 19th October, the courts have instructed the RUC-PSNI and the CPS to fully disclose all supposed 'evidence' to the men's defence team.
The courts have also instructed that the prosecution subpoena all video and audio recordings of the Stormont protest that may be in the possession of broadcast media that were present on the day in question. To date neither of these instructions have been complied with.
Background to Case
On the morning of May 8, 2007, three members of éirígí, Cormac Ryan, Dominic McGlinchey and Scott Masterson, were assaulted and arrested by the RUC/PSNI
outside Stormont Castle, Belfast.
The three were taking part in a peaceful protest, organised by the Belfast
Anti-War Movement, aimed at highlighting the hypocrisy of British
war-criminal Tony Blair claiming to be a ‘man of peace’ in Ireland, while
simultaneously directing the brutal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Blair was in Stormont to oversee the official re-establishment of the
As the protest got underway, the RUC/PSNI responded, by violently attacking
Despite provocation, the protesters remained peaceful throughout the attack.
During the course of the onslaught the three éirígí activists were arrested
and later charged with a string of violent offences. These charges include
Assault, Causing Actual Bodily Harm, Assaulting a Police Officer, Riotous
Behaviour, Disorderly Behaviour and Resisting Arrest.
Cormac Ryan gave an account of the day.
“We had traveled to Stormont at the invitation of the Belfast Anti-War
Movement and the atmosphere was pretty relaxed until the RUC decided to
attack what was, an unquestionably peaceful demonstration.
“In the course of the attack I was assaulted and carried by several cops to
a nearby land-rover, where I was held with the others until we were
transported to a barrack to be interrogated.
“Scott and myself were held overnight and faced court for the first time the
next morning, where bail at an incredibly high level was set.
Cormac continued: “I can’t stress enough the importance of winning this case
– not just from our own point of view but in the interests of defending the
right to peaceful protest in the Six-Counties.”
The arrests and the propaganda surrounding them were clearly an attempt to
deflect attention away from the heavy-handed actions of the RUC/PSNI on the
On a personal level, the demands of the case, including extensive travel,
have had a detrimental impact on all three men, but most particularly Scott
and Dominic both of whom have young children.
It is of critical importance that the right of members of the public to
engage in peaceful protest without the fear of suffering state violence is
defended. It is unacceptable that state forces can, with total impunity, use
violence against those engaged in legitimate protest.
The British state has a long history of bringing politically motivated,
false charges against Irish republicans. The case of the three accused is a
contemporary example which cannot be allowed to proceed unopposed.
Whilst Blair, and now Gordon Brown, preach about bringing ‘democracy’ to
Iraq and Afghanistan, their own state forces are given carte blanche to
stamp out peaceful protest in Ireland.
The Stormont accused need the support of all those who oppose state violence and political policing.
To become involved in this campaign to protect the right to peaceful
protest, contact email@example.com.