Sean Kelly returned to jail
A prominent IRA Volunteer was re-arrested and returned to prison
today in a move that could herald a further weakening of the
1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Sean Kelly, who was jailed for the attempted bombing of a group
of unionist paramilitary leaders in 1993, had his early release
licence suspended today by British Direct Ruler Peter Hain.
In the attack on the Shankill Road, the bomb used to target the
UDA leadership denoted prematurely, in still unexplained
circumstances. Nine innocent civilians and his comrade, IRA
volunteer Thomas Begley, died.
Mr Kelly was released along with other IRA prisoners in July
2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Mr Hain said he acted today after he was "satisfied that Sean
Kelly has become re-involved in terrorism and is a danger to
others and while he is at liberty".
No other details or allegations were made available to the
Mr Hain also warned that he would not hesitate to suspend the
licence of other prisoners who got early release scheme under
the Good-Friday Agreement if they presented "a risk to the
safety of others".
"My priority is public safety and the interests of the whole
community and I cannot permit freedom to an individual intent on
abusing the opportunity they have been given to benefit from the
early release scheme," he said.
"I am satisfied that this particular individual has breached the
terms of his licence and that it is appropriate for me to
suspend his licence."
The prison Sentence Review Commissioners will now consider Mr
Kelly's case and decide whether to revoke his licence.
Hardline unionists have previously claimed he was orchestrating
There was some speculation that the action against Kelly was an
attempt by the British government to blame republicans for last
night's violence in Ardoyne.