Beggs shocked at extent of ex-Royal Marines’ terrorist activity

East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman Roy Beggs has spoken of his shock at the extent of the list of terrorist activity which has been made public prior to sentencing of the former Larne man Ciaran Maxwell, the ex-Royal Marine who has pleaded guilty to charges relating to terrorism, fraud and drugs offences.

Roy Beggs MLA said “It is clear from the list of evidence presented prior to sentencing, that Ciaran Maxwell had the means and intent to kill or seriously injure a wide range of people. As well as uncovering an extensive arsenal of weaponry, evidence of his planning and targeting of security officers and other properties has been disclosed. Significant terrorists deserve a significant sentence.”

Files in Ciaran Maxwell’s possession included names and contact details of PSNI officers and a police/MI5 officer in the UK. Satellite map images of power stations in Northern Ireland were uncovered. Larne police station had a ‘blast radius put on top’ of the maps which were found on Maxwell’s media devices. Other recovered street maps include military barracks, a Council building and an Orange Hall as well as details of HMRC offices, the Northern Ireland Office in Westminster and the National Crime Agency’s London HQ.

Mr Beggs MLA said “20 years on from the 2nd IRA ceasefire, it is regrettable that dissident republicans are still plotting terrorist attacks on our streets which could have killed or seriouly injured police officers. There is evidence that the ex-Royal Marine played a significant role in sourcing weapons and had been planning significant attacks. It is only through the vigilence of the public and our police services that murderous attacks have been foiled.”

Maxwell has also pleaded guilty to fraud and drug offences. The former Royal Marine, made 14 pipe bombs, 4 of which were thrown on the streets of Northern Ireland.

The Ulster Unionist MLA said, “the detailed targeting information of individual officers and the manufacturing of pipe bombs which were actually used show that he presented a considerable danger the life of citizens. The actions of dissident republicans like Ciaran Maxwell should be treated in a similar way to the present day ISIS terrorists. He and other terorists should be afforded no sympathy and I hope that he is sentenced to a long prison sentence.”

In conclusion, Roy Beggs said “The scale of bomb making material recovered in addition to IEDs recovered across the 13 hides in England and Northern Ireland also raise worrying questions. How was he able to remove weapons from his Royal Marine Base? Were there any signs of his terrorist linkages which were missed? How was he able to transport the weaponry across the Irish Sea? Hopefully as a result of this case, lessons will have been learned and the chances of a repeat occurrence is minimised.”

East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman Roy Beggs has spoken of his shock at the extent of the list of terrorist activity which has been made public prior to sentencing of the former Larne man Ciaran Maxwell, the ex-Royal Marine who has pleaded guilty to charges relating to terrorism, fraud and drugs offences.

Roy Beggs MLA said “It is clear from the list of evidence presented prior to sentencing, that Ciaran Maxwell had the means and intent to kill or seriously injure a wide range of people. As well as uncovering an extensive arsenal of weaponry, evidence of his planning and targeting of security officers and other properties has been disclosed. Significant terrorists deserve a significant sentence.”

Files in Ciaran Maxwell’s possession included names and contact details of PSNI officers and a police/MI5 officer in the UK. Satellite map images of power stations in Northern Ireland were uncovered. Larne police station had a ‘blast radius put on top’ of the maps which were found on Maxwell’s media devices. Other recovered street maps include military barracks, a Council building and an Orange Hall as well as details of HMRC offices, the Northern Ireland Office in Westminster and the National Crime Agency’s London HQ.

Mr Beggs MLA said “20 years on from the 2nd IRA ceasefire, it is regrettable that dissident republicans are still plotting terrorist attacks on our streets which could have killed or seriously injured police officers. There is evidence that the ex-Royal Marine played a significant role in sourcing weapons and had been planning significant attacks. It is only through the vigilance of the public and our police services that murderous attacks have been foiled.”

Maxwell has also pleaded guilty to fraud and drug offences. The former Royal Marine, made 14 pipe bombs, 4 of which were thrown on the streets of Northern Ireland.

The Ulster Unionist MLA said, “the detailed targeting information of individual officers and the manufacturing of pipe bombs which were actually used show that he presented a considerable danger the life of citizens. The actions of dissident republicans like Ciaran Maxwell should be treated in a similar way to the present day ISIS terrorists. He and other terrorists should be afforded no sympathy and I hope that he is sentenced to a long prison sentence.”

In conclusion, Roy Beggs said “The scale of bomb making material recovered in addition to IEDs recovered across the 13 hides in England and Northern Ireland also raise worrying questions. How was he able to remove weapons from his Royal Marine Base? Were there any signs of his terrorist linkages which were missed? How was he able to transport the weaponry across the Irish Sea? Hopefully as a result of this case, lessons will have been learned and the chances of a repeat occurrence is minimised.”

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Cloughfern to host Twelfth celebration

Cloughfern in Newtownabbey will be the venue for this year’s East Antrim Combine Twelfth demonstration to be held next Wednesday.

Brethren, sisters and bands from Larne will be among a 4,000 strong parade commemorating the 327th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

The Combine is made up of nine district lodges, with more than 70 private lodges.

As well as Larne, the districts are Cloughfern, Randalstown, Staffordstown, Killead, Antrim, Sixmilewater, Carnmoney, and Carrickfergus.

The lodges will be joined by upwards of 40 bands from across Northern Ireland and Scotland, adding to the spectacle of the day.

Several thousand spectators are expected to watch the parade along the route.

The main parade will leave from Cloughfern Protestant Hall at 11am. The parade will proceed along the Doagh Road, Shore Road, Rathcoole Drive, West Crescent and Church Road to the demonstration field at the Valley Leisure Centre.

Stepping out for their first Twelfth will be young boys from Cloughfern Junior Williamites.

The guest speaker will be North Belfast MP, Nigel Dodds, also a member of Ulster Volunteers LOL 1216.

Entertainment will be provided by The Demi Walker School of Highland Dance, Carrickfergus Junior Drumming Club and a gospel group on the platform.

Three resolutions will be passed – of faith in the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, loyalty to Her Majesty, in this Sapphire Jubilee year and in the Platinum Anniversary year of her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh and the state.

The Orange Institution will acknowledge “the sorrow of all those who have been bereaved or injured because of terrorism – including the recent attacks by Islamic extremists in London and Manchester”.

The return parade is due to commence at 3.30pm.

Cloughfern is one of 18 venues across Northern Ireland hosting parades on Wednesday July 12.


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Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:http://www.larnetimes.co.uk/news/cloughfern-to-host-twelfth-celebration-1-8043993

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Decision on Irish language should wait: MLA

An Ulster Unionist MLA has urged the DUP and Sinn Fein to shelve discussions over an Irish language act and revisit the issue later in the year.

The DUP and Sinn Fein continue to tussle over the republican party’s demand for statutory protection of the Irish language, which remains one of the main obstacles in the way of a deal to restore power-sharing.

While Sinn Fein and many Irish language groups have insisted that only a ‘stand-alone’ Irish language act would be acceptable, some leading DUP figures – including former leader Peter Robinson – have suggested that a ‘culture act’, encompassing both Irish and Ulster Scots, might be an appropriate compromise.

But UUP MLA Roy Beggs has said the issue should not be a priority for the parties, adding that other matters such as hospital waiting lists and pressures on school budgets should be much higher on the agenda.

The East Antrim MLA urged the two main parties not to take any firm decision on an Irish language act until a body set up to examine cultural issues has completed its work.

Mr Beggs said there was “no need to rush into anything”, as the Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition is currently exploring the issue.

The commission, set up under the Stormont House Agreement last year, has been tasked with coming up with a series of proposals to help bring some resolution to these contentious matters.

The 15-strong panel is due to publish a full report by the end of the year.

Mr Beggs said: “This commission should be allowed to complete its work and present its findings before any rash decision is made.

“Rather than being forced to come up with a solution in the current round of talks at Stormont, the sensible course of action would be to allow the commission reach an outcome and then move forward from there.”

Mr Beggs branded Sinn Fein “irresponsible” for using the Irish language issue as a red line in the current negotiations at Stormont.

And he also hit out at the DUP, accusing the party of having “ramped up” tensions surrounding the Irish language.

He added: “The DUP’s previous disregard for the language and the lack of respect towards others has heightened the situation and contributed to the problem we find ourselves in.

“The removal and subsequent reinstating of the £50,000 from an Irish language bursary scheme by communities minister Paul Givan is just one example of this.”

The Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition was established in June 2016 by the then-first and deputy first ministers Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness.

Seven political members were appointed and eight were drawn from outside of government.

Speaking at the time, Mrs Foster said: “The commission presents a unique opportunity to take a fresh approach to dealing with the complexities of flags, identity, culture and tradition.

“I commend those who are taking an active role in shaping a Northern Ireland free from segregation and division.”


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Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/decision-on-irish-language-should-wait-mla-1-8035332

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Beggs Welcomes Audit of reusable rehabilitation aids

Roy Beggs, Ulster Unionist Party MLA for East Antrim has welcomed confirmation from the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) that concerns about the low return rate of return and reuse of Hospital rehabilitation aids will be examined as part of their upcoming audit of the Department of Health.

Roy Beggs said “I contacted NIAO following concerns expressed made to me by a constituent regarding the apparent lack of re-use of Hospital issued crutches, walking sticks, Zimmer frames and other such equipment which many patients may only need temporarily. I share my constituents concern that many of these aids could easily be reused, saving precious NHS funding. A recent reply from the NIAO advised, “Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We will ensure that the issue is examined as part of our upcoming audit of the Department of Health and will get back to you with our findings.”

Ends

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Cut to nursing courses a backwards and short-sighted move – Beggs

East Antrim MLA and Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs has criticised as short sighted and backward, the decision of the Department of Health to slash the funding for specialist nurse training at the Ulster University.

Roy Beggs said:

“It is madness to slash the training of specialist nurses at a time when the Northern Ireland Health Service has been increasing the workload on specialist nurses. Specialist nurses were to be empowered to do more through Transforming Your Care, enabling earlier intervention and so reducing the burden on GP’s and Hospital consultants. There are also already shortages in some specialist areas such as palliative care and advanced life support.

“But what makes this unacceptable cut even more short sighted is the demographic time bomb that exists, with over 40% of Health Visitors and District Nurses being over the age of 50.

“This cut in funding will immediately lead to a major reduction in the number of training places and in one fell swoop the Department has made an already enormous problem much worse.

“Whilst the decision will save some money in the short-term, it will end up costing the Northern Ireland public purse much more as patients who otherwise could have stayed at home with the support of trained community nurses, will have no option but to require care in an already pressed hospital environment.

“It is absurd that at a time when absolutely everyone recognises moving more healthcare into the community is the only way forward to put our health service on a sustainable footing, our local Health Department has introduced such an unwarranted and unexpected barrier to this.

“The Health Service in Northern Ireland is also becoming increasingly reliant on using agency staff just to keep key services operating. Over the last five years, the Northern Ireland health service spent £230m on paying agency staff, so the decision to limit the training available for local nurses will mean that even more money will have to be spent recruiting locum nurses with these specialist skills.”

ENDS

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