ASBO Order against NIO minister

2nd September 2004

A symbolic Anti Social Behaviour Order is to issued tomorrow (Friday) against NIO Minister John Spellar MP to mark the 12th anniversary of the murder of N. Belfast teenager Peter Mc Bride. The actual anniversary is on Saturday but protesters will gather on Friday at the Duncairn Avenue entrance to Girdwood British Army barracks to launch a poster featuring the ASBO ‘forbidding’ Spellar from entering the area.

The NIO Minister sat on the first Army Board that ruled that the killers of Peter Mc Bride had committed “an error of judgement” in shooting the unarmed teenager in the back. The decision caused massive controversy and the two guardsmen, Mark Wright and James Fisher, remain serving soldiers, 12 years on and despite worldwide condemnation. Earlier this week Senators Kerry, Clinton, Kennedy, Dodd and Schummer raised the Mc Bride case in a letter to US Sec of State Donald Rumsfeld.

Paul O’Connor of the Pat Finucane Centre urged support for the Mc Bride family at the event,

“John Spellar has taken the lead in the introduction of anti social behaviour orders aimed at young people in this community. The initiative itself faces widespread opposition but coming from a man who believes that graffiti writers should face sanction while murderers should get off scot-free is hard to stomach. He rewarded two soldiers convicted of murdering Peter Mc Bride by allowing them to stay in the British Army. One has since been promoted. What kind of message does that send out? Anti-social is about the most harmless description of Spellar’s attitude towards the family. This symbolic gesture, supported by various community groups in Belfast and Derry, will send out its own message. Dismiss Wright and Fisher from the British Army now!

The text of the ASBO will be read out by a member of the Mc Bride family at 12 noon. Local elected representatives from Sinn Fein and the SDLP have been invited to speak.