From Sacco and Vanzetti to the Craigavon 2


The 23rd of August marked the 91st  anniversary of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. They were both executed in the US in 1927 for the supposed robbery of a shoe factory killing of a guard and paymaster. During their trial the prosecution produced conflicting ballistic evidence and witness testimony. The defence had several witness saying where the accused men were on the day of the robbery and killings. This should have proven Sacco and Vanzetti innocence but instead both were convicted and sentenced to death. They were killed for their beliefs, they were insurrectionary anarchists “that advocated relentless warfare against a violent and oppressive government.”

Like Sacco and Vanzetti, the state scapegoated the Craigavon 2 for revenge for the shooting dead of a cop and two British soldier in 2009. The cops arrested and charged several republicans in connection with the killing of the cop and soldiers. In all cases the only real evidence the state had was that all the accused were republicans. In all, two people, John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville were charged and convicted of the killing of the cop. Two others, Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers, were charged with the killing of the soldiers. Both men subsequently were found not guilty of the killings of the soldiers, the state had no evidence on them.

Like with Duffy and Shivers the state have no real evidence on John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville. The only evidence produced by the state was circumstantial evidence and a witness statement from a proven liar, whose own father came forward denouncing his son as such, and the partner of the witness that was with him on the night of the killing cannot confirm his version of events. So what really convicted John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville were their belief in the republican struggle and for the state to save face and for the revenge on what were the first killings of British armed forces in Ireland since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

For further information on cases of John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville see:

Guest Writer: Joe C.