Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Orgreave legal submission to be presented to Home Secretary today

Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign 
Secretary: Barbara Jackson 


Theresa May Receives The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign Legal 

On  Tuesday 15 December 2015 the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) will hand in its legal submission to the Home Secretary Theresa May, asking her to consider either establishing an Independent Panel, similar to that established in 2009 to investigate the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, or a public inquiry.

This submission, with testimonials from miners and their wives and photographs from Orgreave on the day, will be handed in by Chris Peace and Mike McColgan on behalf of the OTJC.  

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) took over two-and-a-half years to conduct a scoping (initial investigation) exercise. Its report, on 12 June 2015, concluded that it did not have the resources to conduct a full-scale investigation into events at Orgreave coking works near Rotherham on 18 June 1984. 

The IPCC's report did however highlight that it had been unable to locate a series of important documents, including the police operational orders that were drawn up in advance of 18 June 1984. The IPCC report, which cited the historic nature of events as another reason why it was unwilling to conduct a further investigation - also detailed a cover up by senior South Yorkshire Police (SYP) of malpractice which they knew had taken place. 

The IPCC report largely conceded that the organisation was unable to get to the truth of an event that resulted in 95 miners being arrested after thousands of police officers - many 
in riot gear, with others on horseback, and police dogs - brutally assaulted miners participating in a year-long strike aimed at defending jobs and mining communities.

In many former mining communities there still remains, since 1984, a lack of trust in and fear of the police. 

Barbara Jackson, secretary of the OTJC said, ‘“We had a productive meeting with the Home Secretary in July and now that we have completed our legal submission we are looking forward to presenting it to her with the belief that she will look at if fairly and objectively. We remain committed to justice over Orgreave.” 

As part of the submission to Theresa May on 15 December 2015 a short film has been made on behalf of the OTJC. It can be viewed at: - https://vimeo.com/onetoonedevelopment/orgreavejustice


For further information and to arrange interviews in London contact: Chris Peace 07980 650534

Chris Peace and Mike McColgan will be available for interviews on Tuesday 15 December at 2.30pm outside the Home Office, Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF and from 4.00pm at Unite House, 128 Theobald’s Place, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN.

For further information and to arrange interviews in Sheffield contact Kate Flannery 07732783984 

Barbara Jackson, who was on strike in 1984-85, and Kevin Horne, ex miner, arrested at Orgreave, will be available for interviews from 9am on 15 December at the Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2BX.    

Friday, 11 December 2015

Bloody Sunday and James McClean

The WBA player James McClean would appear to be the target of an orchestrated campaign by as yet unidentified individuals and organisations for his refusal to wear a Poppy because coming from Derry he would see it as disrespectful to the 14 civil rights demonstrators who were murdered on Bloody Sunday by the British Army's Parachute Regiment.

The 14 people and the situations in which they died on 30 January 1972 were as follows:

John (Jackie) Duddy (17). Shot in the chest in the car park of Rossville flats. Four witnesses stated Duddy was unarmed and running away from the paratroopers when he was killed. Uncle of Irish boxer John Duddy.

Patrick Joseph Doherty (31). Shot from behind while attempting to crawl to safety in the forecourt of Rossville flats.

Bernard McGuigan (41). Shot in the back of the head when he went to help Patrick Doherty. He had been waving a white handkerchief.

Hugh Pious Gilmour (17). Shot through his right elbow, the bullet then entering his chest as he ran from the paratroopers on Rossville Street.

Kevin McElhinney (17). Shot from behind while attempting to crawl to safety at the front entrance of the Rossville Flats.

Michael Gerald Kelly (17). Shot in the stomach while standing near the rubble barricade in front of Rossville Flats.

John Pius Young (17). Shot in the head while standing at the rubble barricade.

William Noel Nash (19). Shot in the chest near the barricade. Witnesses stated Nash was unarmed and going to the aid of another when killed.

Michael M McDaid (20). Shot in the face at the barricade as he was walking away from the paratroopers.

James Joseph Wray (22). Wounded then shot again at close range while lying on the ground.

Gerald Donaghy (17). Shot in stomach while trying to run to safety between Glenfada Park and Abbey Park.

Gerald (James) McKinney (34). Shot in the chest just after Gerald Donaghy.

William Anthony McKinney (27). Shot from behind as he attempted to aid Gerald McKinney (no relation).

John Johnston (59). Shot in the leg and left shoulder on William Street 15 minutes before the rest of the shooting started. Johnston was not on the march. He died four-and-a-half months later. His death has been attributed to the injuries he received on the day.


Following the shootings the British Army initially sought to claim the IRA were responsible but when that case became untenable it was changed to suggest "those who were shot and injured fully merited what occurred as they were directly or indirectly involved in acts of terror against members of the Parachute regiment."

It took decades of campaigning by families and friends of those killed and injured to confirm that they were innocent of any wrongdoing, there was no justification for shooting them and they were shot deliberately, probably under the direction of the British Government.  

British Government admits responsibility and apologises. 

In 1998 the Bloody Sunday Inquiry was established to provide a definitive version of events in 1972. When the results were published in a 5,000 page report on 15 June 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament that the paratroopers had fired without warning the first shot and had fired on unarmed citizens fleeing the scene.

Cameron told MPs: "The conclusions of this report are absolutely clear. There is no doubt, there is nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities. What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong....on behalf of the Government - and indeed our country - I am deeply sorry." 

Bloody Sunday led to a long war 

The inquiry itself did not look at the impact of Bloody Sunday but ultimately it meant that it radicalised a generation of nationalists in Ireland and ensured the conflict that followed was long and bloody in which thousands of people were killed by a combination of republicans, loyalists and the British armed forces. 

James McLean 

So, aside from the fact that it is not compulsory to wear a Poppy then why are some football fans at matches involving WBA being encouraged to abuse and hurl anti-Irish and anti-Catholic abuse at James McClean? At the game in October between WBA and Sunderland, McClean was roundly abused by the majority of away fans with neither the police or stewards intervening even when they were themselves abused when they prevented some fans getting on the pitch to possibly attack the WBA player.