Tag Archives: Lee Clegg

Lee Clegg

Sergeant Lee Clegg is a British Army soldier who was convicted of murder for his involvement in the shooting dead of two teenage joyriders in West Belfast, Northern Ireland. His conviction was later overturned.

 

      

Shooting

The shooting took place in West Belfast on 30 September 1990. Clegg, then a private originally from Bradford, England, and his fellow soldiers manning the checkpoint on the Upper Glen Road, fired nineteen bullets into a stolen Vauxhall Astra that passed through their checkpoint travelling at high speed. Clegg fired four of the bullets, the last of which killed 18-year-old passenger Karen Reilly. The driver, 17-year-old Martin Peake, also died at the scene, and the third passenger, Markiewicz Gorman, escaped with minor injuries.

Sentencing

Clegg was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder in 1993, the court having decided that lethal force had been used without a lawful purpose. The fourth bullet was said to have been fired through the back of the car as it was leaving the checkpoint and was therefore no longer a threat to the soldiers. The murder conviction was condemned by unionists and some British newspapers, including the Daily Mail, which began a campaign for Clegg’s release on the grounds that he was just doing his job in difficult circumstances.

Release and aftermath

Clegg was released under licence by then Northern Ireland Secretary Patrick Mayhew in 1995, which in turn led to rioting in Irish nationalist areas of Belfast. Sinn Féin repeatedly called the decision a “threat to the peace process“. The release followed after a test shooting on another Astra conducted by pathologist Iain West and forensic expert Graham Renshaw on 4 June 1995.[1]

Appeals

A set of appeals to the Court of Appeal and House of Lords led to the quashing of the murder conviction in 1998 and a re-trial in March 1999, on the grounds that new evidence suggested that the fourth bullet entered the side of the car. At the retrial Clegg was cleared of murder, but a conviction for “attempting to wound” the driver of the car, Martin Peake, who also died in the incident, was upheld.

Another appeal, this time at the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, led to that lesser conviction also being overturned on 31 January 2000 due to uncertainty over the accuracy of evidence that initially suggested Clegg’s final bullet was fired after the vehicle had passed.

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PRIVATE LEE CLEGGS RELEASE

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Clegg continued to serve as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade. In September 2007 the Daily Mail reported that Clegg would be serving in Afghanistan in 2008 as combat medic with the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment.[2][3]

16th January – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

16th January

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Wednesday 16 January 1974

Brian Faulkner, then Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Executive, travelled to Dublin for a meeting with Liam Cosgrave, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) following a ruling in the Dublin High Court. The ruling implied that the reunification of Ireland did not require the consent of the majority of people in Northern Ireland.

Sunningdale; Ulster Workers’ Council Strike.

Thursday 16 January 1975

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced that it would call off its ceasefire as of midnight 16 January 1975

Monday 16 January 1978

Tomás Ó Fiaich, then Catholic Primate of Ireland, was quoted in the Irish Press as saying: “I believe the British should withdraw from Ireland. I think that it is the only thing that will get things moving.” The comments drew a lot of criticism including from Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who called Ó Fiaich “the IRA’s bishop from Crossmaglen”.

Friday 16 January 1981

Bernadette McAliskey

Bernadette McAliskey (formally Devlin) and her husband were shot and seriously injured in a gun attack in their home near Coalisland, County Tyrone. It was believed that members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) were responsible for the attack. Bernadette McAliskey was shot seven times in front of her children, but both her and her husband recovered from their injuries.

Injured in loyalist shooting

On 16 January 1981, she and her husband were shot by members of the Ulster Freedom Fighters, who broke into their home near Coalisland, County Tyrone. The gunmen shot Devlin fourteen times in front of her children. British soldiers were watching the McAliskey home at the time, but failed to prevent the assassination attempt.An army patrol of the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, entered the house and waited for half an hour. Bernadette Devlin McAliskey claimed they were waiting for the couple to die. Another group of soldiers then arrived. The paramilitaries had torn out the telephone and while the wounded couple were being given first aid by the newly arrived troops, a soldier ran to a neighbour’s house, commandeered a car, and drove to the home of a councillor to telephone for help. The couple were taken by helicopter to hospital in nearby Dungannon for emergency treatment and then to the Musgrave Park Hospital, Military Wing, in Belfast, under intensive care. The attackers, Ray Smallwoods, Tom Graham (38), both from Lisburn, and Andrew Watson (25) from Seymour Hill, Dunmurry, were captured by the army patrol and subsequently jailed. All three were members of the South Belfast UDA. Smallwoods was the driver of the getaway car.

Sunday 16 January 1983

William Doyle, a County Court judge, was shot dead by members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as he left mass at a Catholic church in south Belfast.

Thursday 16 January 1986

Security forces in Holland raided a flat in Amsterdam and arrested two Republicans, Brendan McFarlane and Gerard Kelly, who had escaped from the Maze prison on 25 September 1983.

[The two men were extradited to the United Kingdom (UK) on 3 December 1986.]

Friday 16 January 1987

Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), pleaded guilty in a Dublin court to unlawful assembly. Robinson paid £17,500 in fines and compensation and was freed.

Saturday 16 January 1988

Two members of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) were killed in separate incidents.

Monday 16 January 1989

The case of the ‘Guildford Four’ was referred to the Court of Appeal.

Tuesday 16 January 1990

John Taylor, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament, called for an end to the Unionist boycott of talks with Northern Ireland Office ministers.

Tommy Lyttle, then leader of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), appeared in court on charges relating to the Stevens Inquiry

Tuesday 16 February 1993

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), gave an interview to the Irish News (a Northern Ireland newspaper) in which he called for “inclusive dialogue” and a new Irish-British agreement that would bring an end to partition.

Sunday 16 January 1994

The Sunday Independent (an Dublin based newspaper) contained a story about an alleged plan of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) to carry out ‘ethnic cleansing’. The plan involved the repartition of Northern Ireland followed by the forced removal of Catholics from the remaining area.

Monday 16 January 1995

SF Meeting With NIO Officials A delegation from Sinn Féin (SF) held a meeting with Northern Ireland Office (NIO) officials at Stormont. SF accepted that the party had an “influence” on paramilitary weapons.

Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), later said that the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons was not a precondition to SF’s entry into substantive talks.

Thursday 16 January 1997

The case of Lee Clegg was referred to the Court of Appeal by Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

[Clegg had been released from prison in 1995 having served two years of a life sentence for the murder of Karen Reilly (16) on 30 September 1990.]

The trial of six men who had escaped from Whitmoor Prison collapsed due to “prejudicial publicity” from the London Evening Standard. The trial was being heard in the High Court in London.

Saturday 16 January 1988

Two members of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) were killed in separate incidents.

Saturday 16 January 1999

It was announced that a commission involving the Orange Order and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) would be established to consider formal links between the two organisations.

Tuesday 16 January 2001

There was a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in Coleraine, County Derry. A couple and their two children, aged seven and 13, were in the house at the Heights in Coleraine when the device exploded just after midnight. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

British Army (BA) bomb disposal experts defused a pipe-bomb at the north Belfast home of the brother of Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Loyalists paramilitaries were believed to be responsible for leaving the device in the front garden of the house on the Cavehill Road. No-one was in the house at the time.

Wednesday 16 January 2002

Postal deliveries throughout Northern Ireland were again suspended as the Communication Workers Union, together with other trade unions, continued efforts to have Ulster Defence Association (UDA) death threats lifted.

Alan McQuillan, then Assistant Chief Constable of PSNI, met leaders of the Communication Workers Union in Belfast and give them an “honest assessment” of the threat issued by the Red Hand Defenders (RHD). Following the meeting the Belfast postal workers said they would return to work beginning with the first shifts on Thursday 17 January 2002.

The body of Stephen McCullough (39) was found at the bottom of Cavehill in north Belfast. It appeared that he had fallen from the top of a cliff. Initially the police said a crime was not suspected.

[Later (on 21 January 2002) it was revealed that McCullough was a member of the UDA. It was also revealed that hours before his death McCullough had told Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) soldiers and some police officers that he had information about the killing of Daniel McColgan (12 January 2002). Nuala O’Loan, then Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI), began an investigation into the death of McCullough.]

Richard Haass, then a special advisor to the US President, travelled to Belfast for talks with John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and also met members of the Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB). Haass also met representatives of Unionist political parties. Haass urged Sinn Féin (SF) to join the Policing Board saying it was in the party’s own interests to serve alongside the other political parties.

[Haass met with other groups on 17 January 2002.]

The High Court in Belfast ruled that David Trimble (UUP), then First Minister, and Seamus Mallon (SDLP), former Deputy First Minister, were wrong to withhold Executive papers, relating to free public transport, from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

[The two DUP ministers had refused to serve on the Executive.]

Pat Cox (49), a Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Republic of Ireland, won the election to become the President of the European Parliament.

 

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Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the death of the following  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live  forever

– To  the Paramilitaries  –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

6 People   lost their lives on the 16th  January  between  1972 – 1988

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16 January 1972


Eamon McCormick,  (17)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army Youth Section (IRAF),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Died over two months after being shot during gun battle, near St Peter’s School, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

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16 January 1977
Seamus Harvey, (20)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, from concealed observation post, Drummuckavall, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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16 January 1981


Ivan Toombs,  (42)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his workplace, Customs Office, Warrenpoint, County Down

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16 January 1983


William Doyle,   (55)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Judge. Shot outside St Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church, Derryvolgie Avenue, Malone, Belfast.

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16 January 1988
Timothy Armstrong,   (29)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Off duty. Shot while walking along Park Road, Ballynafeigh, Belfast. Assumed to be a Catholic.

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16 January 1988


William Stewart,  (23)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Died one day after being shot while driving his car near to his home, Brackaville, Coalisland, County Tyrone.

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15th November – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

15th November

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Saturday 15 November 1975

During a disturbance involving members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at the Park Bar in Tiger’s Bay, Belfast, a Protestant civilian was shot dead. The fracas was part of an ongoing feud between the UDA and the UVF. A Catholic civilian died almost one year after being injured in a Loyalist bomb attack in Crossmaglen.

Friday 15 November 1985

Anglo-Irish Agreement Signed Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, and Garret FitzGerald, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) at Hillsborough, County Down, on behalf of the two governments. The first part of the document stated:

“The two Governments (a) affirm that any change in the status of Northern Ireland would only come about with the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland.”

The Agreement established the Inter-Governmental Conference that for the first time gave the Irish government a consultative role in matters related to security, legal affairs, politics, and cross-border co-operation. The Agreement also stated that the two governments would support any future wish by the people of Northern Ireland to enter into a united Ireland.

Many Nationalists saw this as an important development. Unionists were outraged at the Agreement and began a long campaign to have the AIA removed.

[The AIA was only superseded when the Good Friday Agreement was implemented on 2 December 1999.]

Loyalist paramilitaries also reacted and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) declared all members of the Anglo-Irish Conference and Secretariat to be ‘legitimate targets’.

Ian Gow, then British Treasury Minister, resigned in protest at the signing of the Agreement.

Saturday 15 November 1986

Unionist Rally Against AIA Unionists and Loyalists held a large demonstration in front of Belfast City Hall to protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) on the first anniversary of the signing of the Agreement. Following the demonstration some shops in the centre of the city were damaged when Loyalists clashed with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Thursday 15 November 1990

Gerry Adams, then leader of Sinn Féin (SF), made a response to Peter Brooke’s speech of the 9 November 1990.

Tuesday 15 November 1988

Protests organised by Unionists against the Anglo-Irish Agreement were less well supported than previous years.

Wednesday 15 November 1989

Unionist protests against the Anglo-Irish Agreement drew very little support.

Friday 15 November 1991

Two Irish Republican Army (IRA) members were killed when the bomb they were carrying exploded prematurely in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England.

Sunday 15 November 1992 

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) attempted to plant a large bomb, estimated at 1,000 pounds, at Canary Wharf in London but were prevented by security men.

Monday 15 November 1993

The Belfast Telegraph (a Northern Ireland newspaper) carried a report that Sinn Féin (SF) had held face-to-face meetings with senior British Government officials and exchanged documents about how to end IRA violence. One source described the talks as ‘protracted’ but that they were ended by June. SF refused to deny the claims, but the British Government flatly rejected them.

[Confirmation of the secret talks broke in the United Kingdom (UK) media on 28 November 1993.]

John Major, then British Prime Minister, made a keynote speech on Northern Ireland to an audience at the Guildhall in London. He said that the opportunity for peace in Northern Ireland was better than at any time for many years

Wednesday 15 November 1995

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), speaking in Washington called for a Bosnia style peace talks on the future of Northern Ireland.

Saturday 15 November 1997

Sinn Féin (SF) held a meeting in Cullyhanna, south Armagh. Francie Molloy, then a member of SF’s talks team, told the meeting that if the Stormont negotiations were to collapse then “we simply go back to what we know best”.

[Many people took this to be a reference to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ending its ceasefire and the comments sparked controversy.]

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), addressed the party’s annual conference and said that “equality of allegiance” was the key to political progress. He said that he wanted agreement with Unionists and “their allegiance as well as ours” was required for a solution to the problems of Northern Ireland.

Monday 15 November 1999

George Mitchell, then chairman of the Review of the Agreement, issued a statement which indicated that a formula to overcome the decommissioning and devolution impasse had almost been achieved. John de Chastelain, then head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), issued a report which called upon “the paramilitary organisations to respond positively by appointing authorised representatives” to deal with the issue of decommissioning.

A man was shot in the leg in a paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack in the Mount Vernon area of north Belfast. Loyalist paramilitaries were responsible for the attack. A pipe bomb was thrown by Loyalists at the home of a Catholic family in north Belfast. Hillhall Presbyterian church hall in Lisburn, County Down, was destroyed in an arson attack.

An appeal case on behalf of Lee Clegg, then a soldier in the Parachute Regiment, began in Belfast.

Lee Clegg

The appeal was against his four year sentence for attempting to wound Martin Peake on 30 September 1990. On 11 March 1999 Clegg won his retrial for the murder of Karen Reilly in the same incident. [Clegg had been released from prison in 1995.] The National Development Plan for the Republic of Ireland was launched at Dublin Castle by Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), who said it was “an investment on a scale never seen before in our history”. More than half of the allocated £40.6 billion was to be invested in infrastructure, including roads, public transport, housing, water and sewerage, with the largest single allocation (£6 billion) going towards social and affordable housing.

Wednesday 15 November 2000

Ten homes had to be evacuated after a pipe-bomb was discovered outside a house in Glendun Close in Portrush, County Antrim, following a telephone warning. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) said they had not established a motive for the attack but added they did not believe it was sectarian. British Army (BA) explosives experts defused the device.

Thursday 15 November 2001

Six people were arrested in London and Liverpool, England, under the Terrorism Act. The arrests were believed to be in connection with recent bomb attacks in England by the “real” Irish Republican Army (rIRA).

[Following the arrests police began a search of a disused farm in Tingley village, West Ardsley, near Leeds. A seventh person was arrested on Sunday 18 November 2001.]

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh tour the grounds of Stormont in Belfast,

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh paid a one-day visit to Northern Ireland. The Queen visited the Waterside area of Derry (her last visit to the city was in 1953), Hillsborough Castle, Lisburn, and Banbridge.

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Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the death of the following  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live  forever

– To  the Paramilitaries  –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

11  People lost their lives on the 15th November between 1972 – 1992

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15 November 1972
George Doherty,   (32)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Sintonville Avenue, Strandtown, Belfast.

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15 November 1973


Michael McVerry,   (23)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Shot during gun attack on Keady British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

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15 November 1974


Anthony Simmons,   (19)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Fountain Street, Strabane, County Tyrone.

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15 November 1975


Thomas Haddock,   (51)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot during fracas in Park Bar, Lawther Street, Tiger’s Bay, Belfast. Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud.

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15 November 1976


George Lutton,  (41)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on Ulster Defence Regiment foot patrol, Church Place, Lurgan, County Armagh.

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15 November 1981


Thomas McNulty,   (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot from passing motorcycle while standing in Thompson Street, Short Strand, Belfast

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15 November 1985


David Hanson,  (24)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on joint British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) foot patrol, Blaney Road, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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15 November 1989


Robert Glover, (37)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car which exploded while travelling along road, Killymaddy, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone. Contractor to British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

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15 November 1991


Francis Ryan,  (25)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature explosion while carrying bomb along St Peter’s Street, St. Albans, Herts. England.

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15 November 1991
Patricia Black,  (18)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature explosion while carrying bomb along St Peter’s Street, St. Albans, Herts. England.

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15 November 1992


Alan Corbett,   (25)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper,while at Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Vehicle Check Point (VCP), Belcoo, County Fermanagh.

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