Arlene Foster: Killer Harry Maguire should be in jail, not Zoom meeting with PSNI chief

Arlene Foster has said convicted killer Harry Maguire should be in jail rather than on Zoom meetings with Northern Ireland’s police chief.

By Cate McCurry
Sunday, 21st March 2021, 8:22 am
Updated Sunday, 21st March 2021, 8:28 am
PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne
PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne

PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne tweeted a picture of a video meeting he held with Community Restorative Justice Ireland (CRJI) and the Department of Justice.

Mr Maguire, who leads the CRJI, was among those who attended the meeting on Thursday.

He was sentenced to 79 years in prison for his involvement in one of the most high-profile double killings.

British Army corporals Derek Wood and David Howes were beaten and shot dead by a mob after they inadvertently drove into an IRA funeral.

The two soldiers were surrounded by the crowd when they drove into the funeral cortege of Kevin Brady, an IRA man killed in Milltown Cemetery by the loyalist Michael Stone while attending the funerals of the three IRA volunteers shot dead by the SAS at Gibraltar in March 1988.

Mr Maguire and Alex Murphy were both jailed for the 1988 attack but were both later released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Following the online meeting, Mr Byrne said: “Thanks for the chance to talk about visible, accessible, local policing supported by problem solving and good community engagement.”

On Saturday, Northern Ireland First Minister Mrs Foster tweeted her opposition to Mr Maguire’s attendance at the meeting.

She posted: “At the trial of Alex Murphy and Harry Maguire, Sir Brian Hutton, when sentencing, said: “All murders are brutal, but the murders of Corporal Howes and Corporal Wood were particularly savage and vicious.

“Harry Maguire should be in jail rather than on Zoom meetings.”

In a statement a spokeswoman for the PSNI said: “Community Restorative Justice Ireland are an accredited criminal justice organisation.

“The Chief Constable regularly meets with people representing all sections of our community.

“Officers from the Police Service of Northern will continue to engage with groups who represent the needs of victims.”