The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Truth and Justice!

for Mark Robinson

Speech Delivered by Sheila Holden at Vigil for Mark Robinson on 24 Mar 2005

Sheila Holden • 24 March 2005

On behalf of the family of Mark Robinson I would like to begin by welcoming you all here tonight and by thanking each and every one of you for turning out and supporting our call for Truth and Justice. It certainly gladdens us to know that we have so many friends from within this community and beyond who are prepared to stand with us in our quest to get to the bottom of the foul and sadistic murder of Mark.

Since we told the story of Mark’s murder there has been a whispering campaign with lies and misinformation placed on the internet and other mediums. This is being carried out by some people associated with his killers. In these lies a number of reasons were given as to why Mark was killed and we would like to begin by exposing these lies for what they are.

These people claimed that Mark was involved in a brutal screwdriver stabbing of a security guard at Northside Shopping Centre which left the guard permanently injured and secondly these people tried to link Mark to the brutal killing of former Republican prisoner, Peter McCallion, in Pennyburn. These are lies plain and simple.

In both of these horrific instances all those involved were arrested, charged, convicted and jailed for their crimes. Mark Robinson had no part in either incident and the people peddling these lies should be ashamed of themselves. The truth behind all of this is that there was no justification for Mark’s killing and for these people to attempt to justify his murder by using these lies proves desperation on their part and it proves that our campaign is having an impact.

But this campaign of lies also begs the question of why are these people trying to undermine this calls for justice?

And the answer is that there simply was no justification. They know that this murder was so obscene and brutal that they cannot tell the truth. They know that people will make comparisons with infamous murders such as those carried out by the Shankill Butchers and they have to lie to justify the unjustifiable.

Mark was like so many young people from this area. He came from a family that struggled with the daily grind of unemployment and disadvantagement. He fell into the trap of alcohol and got himself into bother on more than one occasion. But that was him and we make no apologies for him being who he was.

But did he commit any crimes that he deserved to die for? Most certainly not!

It is now almost four years since Mark was horrifically butchered near this spot. To this day not one person has been charged with his murder despite the names of his killers being well known in this area and beyond. Our family has borne the pain of knowing this. We sometimes meet his killers in shops and on the street yet we have kept silent in the forlorn hope of justice prevailing if we maintained our dignity. Sadly justice has eluded us.

In 2001 in the months following Mark’s murder when the truth started to emerge and we become aware of who was responsible, we sent a report to the leadership of the Provisional IRA in Belfast in a bid to get answers on the murder. We did this secretly and quietly so as not to cause a fuss and not to damage our chances of getting at the truth.

After a number of weeks the IRA responded. In a one-line response they said they were not prepared to talk about the murder of Mark. The didn’t admit that their members were involved, but the important thing is that they didn’t deny it when presented with the opportunity.

The obvious question arises of why weren’t they prepared to talk about it?

Is it because the murder was so horrific and brutal that the Shankill Butchers would have been proud of this nasty piece of work and members of the IRA just aren’t capable of these actions in their eyes?

Recently on RTE Martin McGuiness claimed that the people of Derry, in his words, ‘would be amazed by allegations that the IRA were involved in the murder of Mark Robinson’ ……………. WE CANNOT AGREE MORE! ………….. The IRA were always seen to fight for the people. Those who live in these estates do not perceive them to be the type of people that go around in the middle of the night with twelve-inch daggers and rusty iron bars looking for vulnerable and defenceless youths who they can slaughter like some mirror image of the Shankill butchers.

So Martin McGuiness is right when he asserts that people will be amazed to know that members of the IRA could carry out such barbaric crimes against the very people they purport to protect.

Our family is not anti-IRA. We do not seek confrontation with the IRA but the IRA has treated our family with utter contempt since this murder and we have had enough. We have been left with no other option but to go public with our campaign to get justice for Mark because of the brick wall of silence that the IRA has imposed in relation to this murder.

We are calling on republicans within Sinn Fein and the IRA to help us achieve justice. The story surrounding Mark’s killing is common knowledge within this area and we do not need to go into it again but we ask all members of the Republican Movement locally if Mark’s murder is something that they feel confortable with? Knowing that comrades of their’s carried it out surely must embarrass them. Surely genuine republicans can only be repulsed at this crime because it certainly wasn’t carried out in pursuit of any political ideals or goals.

We say to the Republican Movement: make these people accountable, they bring shame on the cause of Republicanism and they bring shame on the Republican Movement. By harbouring them you must realise that this is damaging to your cause. The integrity of the Republican Movement is at stake. The selfless sacrifices made by hundreds of republican volunteers, my brother included, who freely gave their lives in the struggle to achieve freedom in Ireland is besmirched and damaged by the criminal actions of the people who killed Mark.

As a family from a Republican background we find it offensive in the extreme that we have been treated so badly since this all began. Republicans have always stood firm against injustices such as state collusion and the murders of our fellow citizens on Bloody Sunday. We seek nothing different. WE ONLY WANT TRUTH AND JUSTICE!

We want to take this opportunity to appeal to the IRA to release to our family the results of their investigation that they promised four years ago. This is long overdue and it is an absolute disgrace that this hasn’t happened before now.

Our family has maintained a dignified and patient silence since Mark was butchered four years ago. In a community as big as Galliagh we know that there are people within this area who seen Mark’s murderers on the night but we are also aware that there is a fear that if they came forward with that vital information they too would be subjected to the type of repercussions that Mark faced. We want the IRA to state that anyone coming forward with this vital evidence that they have nothing to fear from the IRA.

Finally to close we wish to again thank everyone for turning out here tonight and supporting our call for Truth and Justice.

Your support is vital to our campaign and it sends a signal to Mark’s killers that their actions can not and will not be tolerated within normal society, Thank you very much.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

28 March 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

The Writing's Off the Wall!
Catherine McGlinchey

Ireland: Republican Movement faces disintegration
Paul Mallon

The IRA is Morphing into the 'Rafia'
Anthony McIntyre

Truth and Justice!
Sheila Holden

Greet the Lion to Kill the Cat
Àine Fox

Concerned Republican
N. Corey

Six Against the Rock
Anthony McIntyre

Our Patriot Dead Are Turning in their Graves
Margaret Quinn

Easter Oration 2005
32 CSM

Easter Statement from the Leadership of the Republican Movement 2005

RSF Vice President Calls On Provisionals To Disband
Des Dalton, RSF

Easter Statement from the Leadership of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement
Andy Gallagher, IRSP

Easter Statement from the Irish National Liberation Army Prisoners of War

Caribbean Sinn Fein Easter Message
Jimmy Sands

22 March 2005

A Must Read
Mick Hall

Green Paper on Irish Unity
32 CSM Press Release

The Advisocrats
Anthony McIntyre

Fig Leaf
Dr John Coulter

Democractic Killers
Fred A Wilcox

Eamon McCann

No Dodging the Moral Dilemma
David Adams

After St Patrick's Day, Where Goes the Peace Process?
Fr. Sean Mc Manus. INC

The Left Way Could be the Right Way for Sinn Fein
Eamon McCann

Robert McCartney
Carol Mallon

Don't Lose Perspective
Richard Wallace

Anthony McIntyre

Is Spring Banging at the Doors of the Arab World?
Michael Youlton

The Letters page has been updated.



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