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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Miscarriages of Justice


Martin Cunningham • 9 July 2004

On November 28 2003 Senior Crown Counsel informed Belfast Laganside court that no further evidence was to be offered against two south Down men, Martin Brogan and Mark Carroll.

Both were pronounced not guilty and freed as a result.

The history to their case is that on September 17 2002 Martin Brogan and Mark Carroll were arrested on the Omeath Road, Newry and charged several days later with possession of explosives with intent.

Both men have consistently denied involvement with the explosives which were uncovered in an abandoned vehicle close to where they were stopped by police at a road checkpoint.

The case against both Martin Brogan and Mark Carroll was dropped by the Crown because Kevin R Winters & Co Solicitors discovered through a routine visit to the forensic science laboratory at Carrickfergus on October 27 2003 that forensic evidence in the case linked a British agent who was driving the bomb car which he admitted in police interviews he had bought days earlier.

Specifically, traces of explosives were found on his trousers, shirt, jacket, right hand and finger nails.

An attempt was made to cover up for the agent by instructing a forensic scientist at FSANI to ‘modify’ his forensic report deleting all reference to the explosive traces discovered.

The forensic scientist was also requested to remove crucial evidence of this cover-up from his file after it became apparent that Kevin R Winters & Co Solicitors had discovered it.

Forensic protocol was also interfered with in this case whenever a British army search organisation opened bags in the exhibits room of Newry police station and rubbed a gloved hand over the surfaces of the contents, in this case items of clothing.

Since the release of Martin Brogan and Mark Carroll, their story has received considerable media attention despite the fact that the case was dropped on the second day of counting in last year’s Assembly elections.

The Police Ombudsman is investigating the implications of what was discovered on foot of a motion by me that was unanimously passed by Newry & Mourne District Council.

UTV’s Insight also broadcast its investigation into the case on February 23 2004.

A third innocent man, Seamus Doherty, remains on remand at Maghaberry prison having been charged on June 13 2003 as part of the same police operation.

His DNA was allegedly found on components of one of the two booby- trap bombs uncovered in the abandoned vehicle close to where Martin Brogan and Mark Carroll were stopped by police at a road checkpoint on September 17 2002.

Seamus Doherty has consistently denied involvement with the explosives and contends that he is the victim of the same miscarriage of justice as his co-defendants.

Seamus Doherty believes his DNA was deliberately planted by an agent and/or agencies of the state on one of the two improvised explosive devices.

However, a prosecution forensic report dated April 25 2003 but only received by Kevin R Winters & Co Solicitors on June 14 2004, confirms that the British agent’s DNA was discovered on the front of the other improvised explosive device.

Further, this person’s DNA was present on the steering wheel, gearstick knob, handbrake and ignition key from the abandoned bomb car which he admitted in police interviews he had bought days earlier.

The inevitable conclusion to be drawn from this case and those of Noel Abernethy and Kevin Murphy et al is that the same old British agenda is being pursued against republicans in this new dispensation.

Seamus Doherty is an innocent man from a city 100 miles away from the Omeath Road in Newry.

The only real difference between his miscarriage of justice and that of the Guildford four or Birmingham six is the passage of time.

I support the call of Kevin R Winters & Co Solicitors for an international public inquiry into each of these cases and urge others to do likewise.






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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent


Historians and economists {subsidized by governments} are very good at creating and perpetuating myths that justify increasing the power placed in the hands of government.
- Reuven Brenner

Index: Current Articles

11 July 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Miscarriages of Justice
Martin Cunningham

Dolours Price

Yes, Let's Do
George Young

Interview with Bill Lowry:
Forbidden Fruit
Out from the Shadows
Political Policing
Anthony McIntyre

8 July 2004

"Fury at Community Newspaper Funding"
Carrie Twomey

Don't Buy A British Lie
Geraldine Adams

Encouraging Debate
Mick Hall

Magpie's Nest
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Scargill in Ireland
Anthony McIntyre

Rev. Ian Harte
Davy Carlin

Family and Community Workers Concerned at False Reporting
Monkstown Community Resource Centre

Food, Trade and US Power Politics in Latin America
Toni Solo


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