Sunday, 22 January 2012


Regular readers will know that this blog has been involved in the campaign to free Colin Duffy since he was arrested back in 2009. On Friday he walked out of court a free man after being found not guilty of all charges against him, although he spent 3 years in Maghaberry, interned by remand.

Below is a family members account of Fridays events

Words cannot describe the many emotions we went through today.  When the judge said that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Colie was guilty of all charges we all gasped (not cheered or shouted which was reported by some of the media) and instantly the judge ordered us out of the court and the RUC rushed in and put us out.  We were in total shock if I am honest but after many hugs and some tears of joy our thoughts quickly turned to Brian and we waited anxiously on his verdict. We tried to get back in to the court to give Brian our support but they refused us entry so we waited patiently outside for what seemed like hours.

Then came the devastating news that Brian was not coming home and instantly our joy disappeared. We went from a high to complete devastation.

We then expected Colie, who was with his barrister waiting on Brian's verdict, to appear but there was no sign of him.

Meanwhile the car-park out side was filling up with loyalists who were shouting and jeering. It seemed like forever before one of Colie's legal team came out and told us that they were refusing to release Colie who we now learned was locked in a holding cell with his barrister.  The reason they gave was that Maghaberry Prison refused to accept he was acquitted and wanted confirmation from the judge !!!

Eventually Colie appeared and we left the court to what I can only describe as the most frightening few yards I have ever walked...The loyalists were screaming at us spitting at us, up in our faces threatening us and it was chaotic.  We were all separated by the mob of loyalists and the mob of press and lets not forget the mob of RUC who had allowed them to get right up into our faces.  When we eventually got into our cars they surrounded us spitting all over the windows, thumping the car, standing in front of the car and refusing to move and trying to open the car doors. We eventually got out of the car park and began our journey home.

At home in Lurgan Colie was reunited with his wife and children and it would have broke your heart to see the joy on all their faces.

We off course were absolutely over the moon but truth be told none of us were in the mood for a big celebration as Brian and his family were constantly in our thoughts but we are delighted that Colie is home where he belongs with his wife and family and you can be sure he will be striving just as hard on the outside as he did on the inside to get the August agreement implemented. 

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