Wednesday, 30 December 2009

2010 - What Lies Ahead?

As 2009 comes to an end i wonder what 2010 will bring?

Firstly let us recall 2009 which was quite an eventful year for the liberation struggle.

I will list a few of the major events that occurred during the year and also some of the activities and events Republicans in Newry were involved in during 2009.


Just 3 months into 2009, Republican Volunteers successfully executed 2 enemy soldiers and wounded 2 other occupying troops at Massereene Barracks. The Volunteers then brazenly walked towards the enemy and continued to fire ensuring that they were successfully executed. 2 collaborators were also injured in the operation.


Days later Republican Insurgents struck again this time successfully executing a member of the British police in Craigavon. 2 local Republicans, JP Wootten and Brendan McConville are currently being held by enemy forces.


Shortly afterwards ,British Micro-Minister, Martin McGuiness stood beside the chief of the British Militia and labelled Irish Republicans as "traitors". Whatever honourable things Martin may have done in the past they went straight out the window with that remark. That's now what he will be remembered for.


In the days following the Massereene operation Lurgan Republican and former éírígí member Colin Duffy was arrested by enemy forces and held in captivity where he still languishes to this day.

Republicans in Newry immediately became involved in the campaign to free Colin having met him and his family in Lurgan shortly before his arrest. Since then we have organised several events to highlight his plight.

Brian Shivers was also arrested and almost died in custody. He has since been released on bail.


Throughout the year there were numerous gun, bomb and rocket attacks on enemy forces as mentioned earlier the Massereene and Craigavon operations, and also attacks such as the rocket launcher attack in Fermanagh, Bomb and gun attacks in Belfast and various other places, the South Armagh Village of Meigh was overtaken by Volunteers armed with AK47s and a rocket launcher as well as similar operations carried out in Fermanagh, bomb attacks in Castlewellan, Forkhill and the attack on the British Policing Board HQ in Belfast City Centre and in recent days the gun attack on an enemy barracks in South Armagh, there are Simply too many to mention.


In the Summer we were saddened to hear of the untimely death of Strabane Republican John Brady. John died in dubious circumstances whilst in custody of the British police (RUC/PSNI) in Strand Road barracks. He was giving full military honours at his funeral with a full gaurd of honour and in a fitting tribute to a true Irish Republican a volley of shots was fired over his tricolour draped coffin.


Also in the Summer the RUC/PSNI showed their true colours again when they opened fire on men, women and children with lethal plastic bullets in Ardoyne injuring many people. During 2009 Ardoyne residents asked Republicans from Newry to come and stand in solidarity with them and protest against sectarian parades being forced through their area, we were only too happy to oblige and will do so again if needs be.

One thing that stood out in 2009 was the increase in harassment, intimidation, threats, assaults, raids and arrests carried out by the British police against Republicans. Thankfully more and more people are realising that the RUC/PSNI has not changed one bit.

Below i will outline the activities that Republicans in Newry were involved in throughout the year beginning with our involvement in Colin Duffy's campaign.

Firstly we organised leaflet drops in Republican areas of Newry this was followed by erecting posters highlighting Colin's campaign, political policing and Internment by Remand. The response we got from residents of these areas was overwhelming, many people would not have been aware of the details of what was happening to Colin if it wasn't for the local Republican activists.

Slogans were also painted demanding the release of Colin (these were removed at the behest of Anti-Republicans).


We helped organise a vigil back in May in the centre of Newry which Colin's family attended. Despite RUC harassment at this the event was a great success with hundreds of leaflets being handed out to motorists and shoppers.


In August Republicans in the Derrybeg estate in Newry unveiled an impressive 24ft long mural demanding Colin's release and an end to Internment by Remand which also affects many other Prisoners. Despite a scathing attack on this project published by former Republicans in an anti-Republican blog, this mural is still there and is seen by hundreds of people every week.


Our next project was to erect a professionally made banner on the busy Camloch Rd, this banner was in place for a few weeks and thousands of people seen it. We then decided to take it down for a number of reasons including bad weather and also so we could bring it to the many pickets and protests that were being organised all over the country.

We attended numerous pickets in support of Colin and his family in various places throughout the year.

Republicans in Newry have formed a special bond with Colin's family and friends and we pledge to continue to highlight the injustices being inflicted upon Colin and his family in 2010.



During the year we also attended several commemorations including the annual Bloody Sunday commemoration in Derry, the annual James Connolly commemoration organised by éírígí in Dublin, and the RNU commemoration in Ardoyne where several hundred Republicans, 2 flute bands and a full colour party marched to commemorate Fallen Volunteers of na Fianna.


In June Republicans from Newry attended éírígí's protest against Armed Forces day. We were forcibly prevented from reaching Belfast City hall by hundreds of riot clad RUC paramilitaries who proceeded to assault the peaceful protesters. Despite this unprovoked assault we remained peaceful and dignified.


Republicans from Newry joined comrades in the 26 counties to help with the No To Lisbon campaign, We travelled to several areas and erected posters, banners and distributed leaflets. We also participated in a protest at the European Commission offices in Belfast where we highlighted the fact that 1.8 Million Irish citizens were denied the basic right to vote simply because they lived in the occupied 6 counties.


We also stood in solidarity with the residents of Ardoyne and protested against sectarian band parades which were forced through the area. We were threatened with arrest by the British Militia for standing on  a public footpath but it didn't deter us or the Ardoyne residents for making their stand in a peaceful and dignified manner.


In December we organised the largest and most successful Republican prisoner picket ever seen in Newry. Roughly 80 Republicans attended including many lifelong Republican activists, former POWs and even hungerstrikers. The RUC/PSNI maintained a constant present for the duration of the picket. British police vehicles were parked at each end of the picket line and they Photographed everyone present.


Also in December éírígí activists based in Newry erected a banner highlighting British Occupation. The ‘adverts’, unveiled by éirígí in Newry and other border areas of the Six Counties, inform shoppers that “You Are In Occupied Ireland – Garrison to 14,000 British troops and paramilitary police”.

éírígí defiantly declared that “We will not allow Britain’s occupation of Irish territory to go unchallenged.”

So what lies ahead in 2010?

Well already Republicans in Newry have several major projects in the pipeline for during the year, and we look forward to 2010 with confidence, so watch this space!!!

One thing i can promise you is that Republicanism in Newry will continue to grow and gain support in 2010 and we will be to the fore in the struggle for Irish liberation.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Successful Irish Rebel Night

As predicted the Irish night was a huge success when over 500 Republicans packed into Bellini's on Sunday night for the annual "Justice" reunion.

It was great to see so many Republicans come together for the function which is now a major event and is one of the highlights of the year in the Republican calendar in Newry.

The group were magnificent and played many ballads and songs throughout the night, they also paid tribute to lifelong Republican and ex prisoner John Fearon who sadly passed away in February 2008. John travelled with "Justice" many times over the years including many trips to Scotland and he is sadly missed by the Republican community in Newry.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Welcome To Occupied Ireland

The tens of thousands of shoppers from the Twenty-Six Counties who have been crossing Britain’s border in search of a bargain have been greeted by adverts of a distinctly different nature than normal in recent days.

The ‘adverts’, unveiled by éirígí in Newry and other border areas of the Six Counties, inform shoppers that “You Are In Occupied Ireland – Garrison to 14,000 British troops and paramilitary police”.

The first banner to go up was placed by Newry-based éirígí activists on the bridge of the Belfast-Dublin railway line to be seen by thousands of passing motorists.

éirígí general secretary Breandán Mac Cionnaith said the initiative was aimed at highlighting the ongoing occupation of the Six Counties.

“People in the Twenty-Six Counties have been bombarded with propaganda in recent years proclaiming that the national question has been conclusively dealt with and all grievances in the North have been resolved.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Britain maintains a garrison of at least 5,000 troops in the Six Counties, at least one of its regiments – the Special Reconnaissance Regiment – is back on a war footing on Irish soil, the PSNI is harassing nationalists, firing plastic bullets and raiding homes on a daily basis and MI5 is running hundreds of agents from its massive base in north Down.

“This is the reality of Britain’s involvement in modern-day Ireland – it is that of a military and political occupation.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “In the absence of any meaningful coverage of this occupation from the so-called national broadcaster and the corporate media, éirígí will be increasingly highlighting the ongoing repression in the North among the population of the Twenty-Six Counties and encouraging people to do something about it.

“We will not allow Britain’s occupation of Irish territory to go unchallenged.”

Monday, 21 December 2009

Volunteers Eddie Grant and Brendan Quinn

Óglach Edward Grant Killed in Action 24th December, 1973

Charles Edward Grant (better known as Eddie), was born on the 16th August 1956 in Newry. He had six sisters, Margie, Sheila, Josephine, Patsy, Bernie, Maureen and four brothers, Michael, Sean, Martin and Paul.

His father Dominic and the rest of the family experienced personal grief when at the young age of 43, his wife Kitty died suddenly. This put immense pressure on the family as a whole with Eddie's sister Margie stepping into a mother's role.

Eddie lived at Main Avenue, Derrybeg. He attended St. Patrick's Primary School and then went to Newry High School on the Ashgrove Road. On leaving school he went to work at the FMC meat factory on the Warrenpoint Road. This was a stop-gap while waiting to join the Merchant Navy. Prior to the outbreak of the "troubles", Eddie, like many others at that time joined the T.A. Cadets which was based on the Downshire Road and gained some valuable military experience.

Nicknamed "Starchy" by his mates, he was best known in Derrybeg as a raker, always up to devilment. He grew up with a group of friends who also took the same decision to join the ranks of Óglaigh na hÉireann. They went on to become a very effective fighting unit.

He enjoyed all outdoor pursuits, especially camping. He joined St. Catherine's Band playing the cymbals.

Eddie came from an old republican family. His cousin Paul Smith died at Edentubber and his uncle John McEnerney was a Vice-Commandant of the 4th Northern Division IRA. When Eddie first decided to give his services to the cause, he attended a few Republican Clubs meetings with friends, but he soon decided that his loyalty lay with what were known as the "Provisionals". No task was too great; he was always willing to volunteer for active service

On the 24th December 1973, Eddie and his comrade Brendan Quinn were killed in a premature explosion at Clarke's Bar on Monaghan St. Unfortunately a civilian was also to die with the two Volunteers.

The memories he left behind are very precious to his family, friends and comrades.

Ar dheis Láimh go raibh a anam.

Óglach Brendan Quinn Killed in Action 24th December, 1973

Brendan Quinn was born in Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry on 10th June 1955. His parents Tommy and Eileen were from South Armagh and he was the third oldest of five children.

With his brother Tom and sisters Margaret, Ann, Deidre and Teresa, Brendan was part of a tight knit family unit. Proud of its cultural tradition, it was also steeped in republican history. His grandfather James Quinn from Fountain Street, Bessbrook was a member of the Fourth Northern Division, IRA and was arrested following an attack on Camloch RIC Barracks. James's sister, Nan Quinn, was a member of Cumann na mBan. It was she who taught Brendan both history and dancing lessons.

Brendan attended St Joseph's Primary School, Cloughreagh and finished at St Paul's High School. He left school at 15 and worked at J&J Foods, Newry before moving to the meat factory for a short spell. He frequented the old Bosco in Linenhall Square and befriended Sean McKenna Snr, a well-known republican.

Brendan joined the Paul Smith Sinn Fein Cumann, selling "Republican News" every week. He would continue his paper run every Sunday in Carlingford. He joined the ranks of Óglaigh na hÉireann at 17, committed to breaking the link with England. Sincere in his republican beliefs, he proved to be a fearless soldier and a disciplinarian. Three weeks before his death, Brendan had to go on the run. But in true family tradition, he returned with the intention of spending Christmas with them. On Christmas Eve morning he left home in Cloughreagh, never to return alive.

On 24th December 1973, Brendan died along with his comrade Eddie Grant in a premature explosion in Clarke's Bar (now known as the Armagh Down) in Monaghan Street. A customer was also tragically killed. Brendan is buried in the Republican Plot in Carrickcruppen beside a fellow comrade, Raymond McCreesh, who died on hunger-strike less than seven years later.
Ar dheis Láimh go raibh a anam.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Remember the POWs This Christmas

This Christmas when we are spending time with our families and friends please spare a thought for those Republicans who are languishing in a prison cell. It will be an extremely hard time for both the families and the prisoners especially those with wives and young children.

These men have risked their lives for the Republican struggle and are in Gaol for their Republican beliefs and the least we can do is spare a thought for them.

Even a simple gesture like sending them a Christmas card can lift their spirits.

Christmas cards can be sent to the following prisoners

County Laois


*Note-- There are several additional Remand prisoners on E-3 awaiting trial who are not listed below. Please send a group card in care of "REMAND PRISONERS, E-3"

  • Derek Brady 10 Years Dundalk
  • John Brock 6 Years Dublin
  • Sean Connolly Dublin
  • Anthony Crowley 10 Years Cork
  • Bernard Dempsy LIFE Dublin
  • Aidan Hulme 20 Years Co. Louth
  • Robert Hulme 20 Years Co. Louth
  • Vincent Kelly Co. Dublin
  • Justin McCarthy Tipperary
  • James McCormack 22 Years Co. Louth
  • Thomas Morris 6 Years Dublin
  • Fintan Paul O'Farrell 30 Years Co. Louth
  • Declan John Rafferty 30 Years Co. Louth


  • Liam Grogan 22 Years Kildare
  • Darren Mulholland 22 Years Dundalk
  • Denis Dywer Dublin 5 years
  • Eugene Kelly Dundalk
    Paul Kelly Dundalk 4 years
  • Paddy Wall South Armagh 7 1/2 years
    Thomas Kelly Dublin 5 years
    Gerard Kelleher Dublin 4 years
    Neil Myles Cork 4 1/2 years
    John McCrossan Strabane 4 1/2 years
    Jonathan Keogh Dublin 8 years
    David O'Connor Dublin 3 years
    Noel Mooney Dublin 8 years


  • Jackie Bates Wexford
  • Don Bullman Co. Cork
  • Pascal Burke Dublin
  • Ciaran Dunne 5 Years Dublin
  • Ken Donohoe Dublin
  • Tony Hyland 25 Years Dublin
  • Robbie Kearns Wexford
  • Michael McDonald 30 Years Co. Louth
  • Michael McKevitt 20 Years Dundalk


  • Joe Mooney Dublin

Roe House 3+4,
Upper Ballinderry Road
Co. Antrim
North of Ireland
BT 28 2PT

*NOTE - *Note-- There are additional independent prisoners interned on political charges at Maghaberry who would like cards and letters but are not listed here - please email us if you would like more info.

  • Liam Campbell Dundalk
  • Colin Duffy INTERNED BY REMAND Lurgan
  • John Paul Wootten Lurgan
  • John P. Hannan 17 Years Fermanagh
  • Ciaran McLaughlin 18 Years Derry
  • Noel Maguire 20 Years Fermanagh
  • Terry McCafferty INTERNED WITHOUT CHARGE Belfast
  • Gerard McGory
  • Gerard McManus
  • Kevin Nolan

LT 01108

  • Michael Campbell Remand Co. Louth

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Irish Night Featuring "JUSTICE" - Sun 27th December

Local Republican ballad group "JUSTICE" will be playing upstairs in Bellinis on Sunday 27th December. Last year the event was a huge success with several hundred Republicans packing the venue. The organisers are expecting an even bigger crowd this year, so come early to avoid disappointment.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

More Proof of the British Police Being Unaccountable

I remember when the whole policing issue was being debated within former Republican circles a few years ago. A few things that kept being said was that "we would be in charge of them and be holding them to account" and that "manners would be put on them". The bad apples would be gone and it would be a new era for us.

They couldn't have got it more wrong

People also need to realise that out of 180 recommendations by patten, 160 of them were drafted by none other than Sir Ronnie Flanagan!!

A few years have now passed since the irrelevants left Republicanism and pledged their support for the partitionist British Militia and so far they have failed miserably to do anything they said they would do.

  • They aren't holding them to account. They have failed miserably on this part.
  • They haven't put manners on them ( it's actually the other way round).
  • The bad apples remain, in fact the British Police have been recruiting former RUC detectives who came out of early retirement.
  • Collusion with their cronies in Loyalist groups is rife, which was proved during the year

And it certainly isn't a new era for us.

  • Stop and search procedures have increased by over 245%.
  • The RUC were able to bring in British Army special forces without even consulting the policing board.
  • Raids are constantly being carried out.
  • Republicans are constantly being arrested, harassed, assaulted, intimidated, gassed and threatened by the British police.
  • Plastic bullets are still being fired at children

Another thing that was regularly said during the policing debates was that by entering the DPPs, they would have the opportunity to put awkward questions to the British police and challenge them on various issues.

We now all know that was complete crap, it seems that false promises were made in order to sell the deal to the grassroots.

Recent events have proved that they are unaccountable, former republicans are entering these toothless DPP talk shops and asking the British police questions, the British police in turn refuse to answer them because they simply don't have to!

They are not accountable to anyone other than Mi5

Here's an extract from this weeks Newry Democrat which proves my point

"Mr Burns cited several examples where he claimed policing was under question but the chief inspector declined to comment for legal reasons.

“I don’t want to talk about issues under investigation,” said Mr Cordner. "

It was also amusing to hear former Republican Colman Burns say the following

“The conclusion drawn by the people in South Armagh is that the PSNI are working to the same political agenda as the RUC did in the past,” Mr Burns said.

Are they only realising this now?
No doubt the irrelevants will ask me what my alternative is, my alternative to supporting British policing in Ireland is simple.......don't support it.

Given the recent upsurge in draconian policing being used against people like Sean and Annette Hughes, Tony Catney, Mairtin Óg Meehan, Marian Price, Gary Donnelly and numerous others, maybe the time is right for the irrelevants to withdraw their support for British policing in Ireland.

Considering that PSF now view Republicans as their enemy maybe it's too late, maybe they have gone too far to come back to Republicanism?

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Republican Prisoner Picket a Huge Success

On Saturday 5th December one of the biggest Republican prisoner pickets ever held in Newry took place when between 70-80 Irish Republicans stood in solidarity with Republican prisoners and their families.

The large turnout and the calibre of those who stood on the picket line sent a clear message that these Irish Republicans will not be forgotten. In the crowd we had lifelong republican activists, several Ex POWs, former Hunger Strikers and a large number of high profile republicans including Marian Price and Tony Catney. These are the people who have given their all for the Republican cause and who sacrificed so much to strive to achieve the ultimate goal.

It was a great moral booster to have people of such calibre standing alongside us on the picket line and it provided the prisoners and their families with the assurance that Republicans are right behind them.

We were also privileged to have a number of families of the prisoners in attendance including the family of Lurgan Republican Colin Duffy, as most of you know Colin and his family are no stranger to political policing, harassment, intimidation and collusion.

Even though the peaceful picket lasted only an hour, thousands of people would have seen the impressive display of solidarity. Republicans from all backgrounds came together in unity to highlight the plight of the prisoners.

We also highlighted 28 day detention, Internment by Remand, the restoration of political status, extradition and political policing. Indeed several of those who attended the picket have in recent weeks been victims of political policing including Tony Catney and Marion Price.

It was heartening to see that so many Republicans who have spent their lives in struggle are still behind the prisoners and their families.

Organisers of the Picket with Ex-POWs and Colin Duffy's children

The Paramilitary Police maintained a constant presence for the duration of the Picket with British police vehicles placed at both ends of the picket line. They kept everyone under surveillance and photographed everyone present. This won't deter us from highlighting these important issues but will in fact make us more determined.

We want to thank everyone who attended the picket making it a huge success and we urge people to spare a thought this Christmas for the prisoners and their families.

Many thanks also to the staff and management of the Railway Bar in Monaghan St for their kindness, hospitality and light refreshments made available to everyone following the picket.
Organisers of the picket with Ex-POWs

Friday, 4 December 2009

Baggott Suppressing the Truth on Shoot-to-Kill

PSNI chief Matt Baggott has already proven his RUC credentials in his short time in the Six Counties according to éirígí general secretary Breandán Mac Cionnaith.

On Monday [November 30], lawyers acting on behalf of Baggott went to court to request more time to prepare Public Interest Immunity Certificates in order to censor the Stalker and Sampson reports into shoot-to-kill operations by the RUC.

The reports relate to the RUC murders of six people in the north Armagh area between November 11 and December 12 1982.

IRA volunteers Gervaise McKerr, Eugene Toman and Seán Burns were shot dead in Lurgan on November 11; 17-year-old civilian Michael Tighe was shot dead near Craigavon on November 24; and INLA volunteers Séamus Grew and Roddy Carroll were shot dead close to Armagh City on December 12.

Mac Cionnaith said: “By making every effort to prevent the truth coming out about RUC shoot-to-kill cases, Matt Baggott is following in the footsteps of his predecessor Hugh Orde. The fact that the PSNI is working hand-in-glove with MI5 on this issue makes a mockery of claims that the force is in any way accountable to citizens.

“Despite all the talk of community policing, the new PSNI chief is clearly showing that, when it come to protecting the interests of the British state in Ireland, nothing will be allowed to get in the way.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “Along with firing of plastic bullets, the massive increase in stop & search incidents and the daily harassment of nationalists and republicans, the blocking of the truth behind RUC killings is merely proving that the PSNI has nothing positive to offer communities in the Six Counties.

“In the interests of truth and justice, the Stalker and Sampson reports should be released in full – the reputation of the RUC-PSNI could hardly sink much lower as a result.”

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Republican Prisoner Picket

On Saturday 5th December Irish Republicans in Newry will be holding a white line picket to show solidarity with all Republican prisoners and their families. We will be highlighting various injustices being inflicted upon them such as 28 day detention, Internment by remand, political policing, and we will also be calling for the restoration of political status.

December is traditionally prisoner’s month in the Republican calendar and it will be a particularly hard time of year for the prisoners and their families.

Political policing is also being used all across the 6 counties, many Republicans including former POWs, the families of POWs and indeed high profile Republicans have been victims of this type of harassment.
It has recently been revealed that there were roughly 12,000 stop and search incidents over a 3 month period, and it works out that an average of 110 stop and search incidents are carried out everyday by the RUC/PSNI. This draconian tactic will also be raised at the picket along with the prisoner issues.

The picket will take place on Saturday 5th December in Bridge St, Newry, it will take place from 2pm -3pm.

All Republicans are welcome to attend

Newry/South Down Republicans