Spy Cops – Making Scapegoats in Craigavon

Recent revelations have come to light in relation to one of the country’s most high profile, yet little reported on, miscarriage of justice cases since the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four.

Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton, known as the Craigavon Two, approach 12 years since their ‘wrongful’ conviction. It has now emerged that an agent provocateur, Dennis Mc Fadden, was at the heart of their campaign for Justice. The campaign to free them, like the campaigns to free the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four, struggle to make it into the news. Freeing these men was a cause dear to the heart of the late Gerry Conlon. Being one of the Guildford Four he knew only too well the anguish of languishing in prison unjustly convicted while the world goes on as normal. He was passionate about supporting their campaign for freedom and justice right up until his untimely death in 2014.

This panel discussion event will give an update on the quest for Justice for the Craigavon 2 and possibilities that remain via CCRC or other avenues. It will also examine the evidence of roll of agents, MI5, SAS and military intelligence in their case and its implications for the ongoing fight to free them and have them returned to their families and friends.

This documentary, Was Justice Done in Craigavon? puts the case in context.


Spy Cops – Making Scapegoats in Craigavon


Panel Members

Siobhán McConville is married to Brendan, one of the “Craigavon 2”. Siobhán campaigns on behalf of her husband, who was convicted alongside John Paul Wootton for the murder of PSNI constable Stephen Carroll and sentenced to life imprisonment. It is firmly believed that the case was corrupt and the “evidence” inconclusive, contradictory and in places discredited. It is believed that both men are victims of a system that sought to find suitable scapegoats in the wake of the political media backlash following the murder. The case of the Craigavon 2 has been noted by unions and human rights organisations internationally. Catherine Glover is John Paul’s Aunt. Catherine campaigns on behalf of her nephew, who was convicted alongside Brendan McConville and was sentenced due to his age to detention “At Her Majesty’s pleasure” with a minimum term of 14 years. This sentence was then increased to 18 years, a punitive measure designed to cloak the fact that John Paul and Brendan are victims of one the most blatant miscarriages of justice of recent times.

Darragh Mackin is a solicitor with Phoenix Law in Belfast. He acts in the case of the “Craigavon 2” and will provide legal analysis of the issues at play. Darragh has been described as ‘a rising star on the international legal scene’ (Irish Times) and a ‘Champion of the Cause’ (The Parchment).

He has developed a specialist practice in Human Rights, Public Law, Actions against Public Authorities, and International law. Notable case Darragh has been involved in include, Sarah Ewart & Amnesty International (The Abortion Litigation); The Hooded Men (Ireland v UK); TheGlenanne Series (Re Edward Barnard & Others); Loughgall (Re Brigid Hughes); Fergal McFerran – The Brexit Case (‘The Peoples Challenge’ – Gina Miller No.1); Aidan McAnespie and recently the COVID-19 Schools Challenge (ReJR105)

Peadar O’Cearnaigh is a Journalist at The Canary, reporting on Ireland and the devolved UK nations. Has produced newspaper and radio pieces on community and national media since 2011 on Irish politics, refugees in Lebanon and Palestine. Peadar was the Director and Producer of the short film “Was Justice done in Craigavon?”

ChairShiela Coleman is one of the leaders of the families of the 1989 Hillsborough atrocity in which 96 Liverpool football supporters were killed as a result of police contempt for their lives. Hillsborough, like Bloody Sunday, was then the subject of a conspiracy by corrupt police officers and Tory politicians to cover up the truth. Shiela has never hesitated to make the point that Hillsborough that it reflected the same attitudes on the part of the establishment as are also seen in other scandals, including Bloody Sunday. And here’s a link to the machinations of the boys with toys who play with the lives of ordinary people, Irish, Palestinian… English – whatever. But its all for a good cause, National Security!

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