UK News Families reveal heartbreak at release of loyalist killer Michael Stone
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas meet grandson Ryder for first time - see photo
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas were brimming with joy after the birth of grandson Ryder last month. Michael was finally able to hold the little one
In 1998 Stone killed three people by gunning them down in Milltown cemetery during a funeral service.
As well as the three Milltown cemetery murders - Thomas McErlean (20), John Murray (26) and IRA member Caoimhín Mac Brádaigh (30) - Stone was convicted of three other killings.
They were - Milkman Patrick Brady, who was murdered in south Belfast in 1984
Joiner Kevin McPolin, who was shot in the head in Lisburn, County Antrim, in 1985
Bread delivery driver Dermott Hackett, who was shot up to 16 times with a submachine gun in his work van in 1987
The East Belfast killer has been described as one of the most notorious paramilitaries of the Troubles.
New Netflix video highlights all the Cobra Kai season 3 Easter eggs you (probably) missed
Netflix helpfully points out 23 Cobra Kai season 3 Easter eggs Cobra Kai season 3 was filled to the brim with Easter eggs and callbacks to the Karate Kid franchise – but did you catch them all? If not, Netflix has shown mercy by releasing a new video that recaps every blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment from the recent season.Ranging from cardboard cut-outs to episode titles, the sheer amount of Cobra Kai Easter eggs tucked away in the third season is staggering. Even a gi-wearing Karate Kid mega-fan would be hard pressed to have spotted some of these references.
Last year a legal challenge that would have prevented him applying again for early release was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.
It was taken by families of his victims in an attempt to delay his release.
They have been informed of the move.
It is understood Parole Commissioners took the decision on Monday and he was freed from Maghaberry Prison yesterday.
Before now, he had not been due for release until 2024, having failed in an earlier parole bid.
In statements released to Relatives for Justice the families spoke of their shock and sadness.
A statement the family of John Murray said: “On a week when John should have been celebrating both the birth of his sixth grandchild and his 60th birthday, we have instead had to endure the news of the early release of the person responsible for John’s murder.
Discontent growing over Northern Ireland protocol, police warn
MPs were told more incidents of graffiti as well as low-level intelligence and social media monitoring have provided early pointers.More graffiti as well as low-level intelligence and social media monitoring have provided early pointers, but feedback is not causing the force significant concern, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said.
“The lack of clarity from the relevant bodies has been nothing short of insulting .
“As a family we too have been given a life sentence, a sentence which we have borne and continue you bear with great dignity, a life sentence without ever being afforded the luxury of an early release.
“While there are many questions that remain unanswered surrounding John’s death and what assistance was given to his killer on that day, today we choose to remember John for who he was, a 27 year old husband and father of two young children whom he adored.
“He was a son and a brother who filled our lives with love, kindness and plenty of laughs taken from us in the most public and brutal manner and whose death we struggle to come to terms with every single day.”
A statement from Dermott Hackett’s family said: “Following the release of Michael Stone, in a statement issued through Relatives for Justice, the family of Dermot Hackett has said that they still live with the heartache caused by the murder of their husband and father, son and brother and not a day goes past without them thinking of him.
Judge orders release of reasons for freeing notorious killer Stone from jail
Loyalist Michael Stone killed three people in a gun and grenade attack at Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast following an IRA funeral. His lawyer said his life would be in danger if details were made public so the summary document will be shared with legal representatives but kept confidential on a temporary basis.Action was brought at Belfast’s High Court by a relative of one of Stone’s victims after he was freed earlier this week following a decision by Northern Ireland’s Parole Commission.
“Whilst Michael Stone served a prison sentence for the murder many questions remain unanswered, particularly around his relationship with the state.
“Michael Stone most definitely did not act alone, the role of the state and in particular RUC special branch and British Military Intelligence remain to be clarified.”
And in another statement the family of Thomas McErlean said: “We have been made aware that Michael Stone is to be released from custody shortly.
“As a family we have pursued legal action to try and ensure Stone remained imprisoned.
“It is unjust Michael Stone is able to move forward with his life when he took the lives of Thomas McErlean and many other people.
“ Our family are denied the chance to heal whilst he refuses to answer questions about which parts of the state armed and assisted him with so many murders.
“As a family we continue to love, miss and remember Thomas, and call for a proper investigation into his death that will reveal the truth about state collusion and loyalist paramilitaries. The victims families need to be the focus rather than Michael Stone.”
A message from our editor: Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.
DUP denies whipping up NI Protocol fears .
The UK Government is pressing for extensions to grace periods that limit the bureaucracy associated with the post-Brexit checks on Irish Sea trade.Party leader and Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster said it was “absolutely ridiculous” to suggest her party was inflating concerns around trade disruption to pursue a political objective.