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Kelly - British must act on McBride judgement

12 June, 2003

Sinn Féin Representative for North Belfast Gerry Kelly has described the decision of the Appeal Court this morning as 'a clear vindication of the McBride family's position'.

Mr. Kelly said:

"Wright and Fisher were convicted of the murder of Peter McBride. They served short sentences before being immediately reinstated into the British Army. The McBride family have consistently refused to accept this decision and have campaigned in a dignified manner ever since. Sinn Féin has supported the McBride family throughout their long battle for justice.

"The Appeal Court today vindicated the McBride family's position. They have ruled that these two killers should not have been reinstated into their regiment and rearmed. The decision to reinstate Wright and Fisher was not an isolated one. It has been British Army policy to protect those involved in killing Irish citizens and reinstate the small number of its members convicted of murder in the six counties after they served short periods in jail.

"These sorts of cases are indicative of British military policy in Ireland. In the main the Crown Forces have been allowed to operate with virtual immunity. The clearest demonstration of this is the activities of FRU. Sinn Fein will continue to support the family's campaign for justice. I have written to Tony Blair today to demand that he now act to remove these two soldiers and other convicted killers from the British Army. I have also written to Bertie Ahern on the same subject" ENDS

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