Wednesday, 31 March 2010

éirígí: Remembering Ireland’s Dead at Easter

 éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson has called for republicans to remember Ireland’s patriot dead with pride this Easter and attend the party’s commemorations.

éirígí has organised commemorations in both Belfast and Dublin to mark the 94th anniversary of the Easter Rising, as well as a number of smaller ceremonies across the country.

Breandán Mac Cionnaith, éirígí’s general secretary, will be giving the main oration at the Irish Citizen Army plot in Glasnevin, while former Blanketman and ex-chair of the Belfast National Graves Association Pádraic Mac Coitir will be the main speaker at the Harbinson Plot in Milltown Cemetery.

Leeson said: “While éirígí is organising these commemorations, all republicans who wish to remember those who have given their lives in the cause of Irish freedom are more than welcome to attend.

“These will not be strictly party political events, as evidenced by our choice of main speaker in Belfast, they will, first and foremost, be an opportunity for republicans to remember our patriot dead and recommit ourselves to the struggle for a 32-county socialist republic.

“We extend a particular invite to the families of our fallen comrades, to ex-prisoners and to those young people who have recently taken an interest in the republican struggle.”

He continued: “The state of Ireland today indicates that all republicans and socialists still have a lot to do to make the vision contained in the 1916 Proclamation and the writings of James Connolly a reality.

“Half-a-million people are unemployed in this country, the population in the Six Counties continues to live under an occupation enforced by the British government’s armed forces, while the political institutions in both states serve no one but the wealthy.

“The resting places of Ireland’s patriot dead are the perfect venues for socialist republicans to recommit themselves to ending these injustices and building an Ireland that the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation would be proud of.”

Pádraic Mac Coitir commended éirígí for organising the commemorations.

“While I’m not a member of éirígí, I’m honoured to have been asked to give the oration on Easter Monday. Easter is an important time in the republican calendar and éirígí are to be commended for offering an outlet for socialist republicans to fittingly remember all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.”

Dublin: Saturday 3rd April.
  • Wreath laying at the memorial to the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, corner of Percy Place and Northumbland Rd, 1.30pm.

 Newry: Saturday 3rd April.

Wreath laying ceremonies will take place at the:

  • Vol. Michael Hughes monument, Derrybeg estate
  • Derrybeg volunteers Monument, Derrybeg estate
  • Vol. Brendan Watters Monument, Barcroft estate
  • St Mary’s memorial cross, Barley lane
  • Republican plot, St Mary’s graveyard.

Fermanagh: Sunday 4th April.
  • Assemble at the grave of Jim Murphy in Derrylin, at 11.45am. Speaker: Bernice Swift. Organised by the Seán Mac Diarmada Society.

 Dublin: Sunday 4th April.
  • Assemble at Hart's Corner, Phibsboro, at 1.30pm, for march to Citizen Army plot, Glasnevin.

 Dublin: Monday 5th April.
  • Wreath laying at the plaque for Fianna Hughes, Holohan and Rogers. Assemble at Ibis Hotel car park, Monastery Road, Clondalkin, at 12pm.

 Fermanagh: Monday 5th April.
  • Wreath laying at the Bobby Sands monument in Cornagrade, Enniskillen, at 12pm.

 Belfast: Monday 5th April.
  • Assemble at Milltown Cemetery gates, Falls Road, at 1pm, for march to Harbinson plot.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Óglach Robert Carr

Robert Manus Carr (commonly known as Bob) was born on 7th April 1959 in Quay St, Newry. His parents, Noel and Josie, lived in the ÓNeill Avenue area and they had one other child, Mary. 

In the mid 70s Bob Joined a local unit of the IRA determined to fight for his country's freedom.

In March 1980, Bob was critically injured in a premature explosion at the Customs Post on the Dublin Road. He recieved terrible burns to his body from which he never recovered. He died on the 1st April, six days before his 21st Birthday.

News of his death came as a great shock to his family and friends. His family treasure his memories and his comrades remember him with pride.

Honour Irelands Dead - Oppose British Rule

It's almost Easter, nearly a century has passed since Padraig Pearse proclaimed the Irish Republic and we are still suffering under British Occupation. In fact we are still facing all the injustices that contributed to the rising taking place, poverty, inequality, exploitation, violence and occupation.

It's a time when Republicans remember their fallen comrades who gave their lives in the struggle for Irish freedom, a struggle that still continues to this very day.

Those Republicans who participated in the rising were a small minority with no popular support, no political mandate, were rejected by the vast majority of the people and were condemned by Anti-Republicans for their actions.

Sounds familiar doesn't it? But didn't Connolly himself speak about the "respectable minority, ready to die to affirm that truth "?

Britain’s role in Ireland today is the same as it was in 1798, 1916, 1969 or 1981 – that of an imperialist occupier. The challenge now, for republicans, is it to expose the lie of ‘normalisation’ and build a new, broad based movement for Irish freedom.’

In Newry most people seem to stay at home at this time of year, others go and pay their respects in their own personal way, and politically orientated commemorations are dwindling in numbers, this is evident if anyone happens to see the various small commemorations on Easter Sunday. And i'm not confining that to one particular group, it's commonplace with the various groups who hold these type of political commemorations.

This isn't just something that has happened in Newry, it's happening all over but some areas are fixing that problem. For example in Tyrone, Republicans have Independent Easter commemorations, these are non political events with no political speeches and they draw thousands to them. Plus the families of the fallen Volunteers fully participate in them rather than the political commemorations.

All Irish republicans and socialists need to look afresh at the events of 1916, to revisit the Proclamation of the Irish Republic and to question what has really been achieved.

Do the people of Ireland have “ownership of Ireland”, “unfettered control of Irish destinies” and “right to national freedom and sovereignty”? Are “all the children of the nation” cherished equally?

To realise the aspirations of the 1916 Proclamation, radical change is needed.

We must all rededicate ourselves to the vision enshrined in this truly revolutionary document – an independent, united Ireland based on the principles of equality and solidarity.

At the weekend i received a Proclamation that was delivered to my door by éirígí activists. My initial reaction was to put my hand in my pocket, as soon as i done that the activists told me that they weren't taking money for them but were giving them out for free. They then explained to me that every single door they went to everyone had automatically asked how much were the Proclamations. While others only call to peoples doors whenever they're looking something (usually money or votes), Republicans were giving out copies of this historic revolutionary document free of charge. I spoke to the activists about the kind of response they got and they said the feedback from the doorsteps was overwhelming. The people were pleased and surprised that for a change Republicans were calling to their doors to give them something.

This type of grassroots activism is something that has become a rare sight over the years and despite being harassed by the British Militia they continue to be active within their communities.
This is only one of  the projects that Republicans in Newry will be involved in over the Easter period and they will be taking part in a number of initiatives during this time to remember this historic episode and to pay tribute to the brave volunteers who gave their lives over the years.

Friday, 26 March 2010

RUC/PSNI Harassment of éirígí Activists in Newry

éirígí members and supporters were stopped and harassed by the PSNI in the High Street area of Newry last night [Thursday].

The activists had been leafleting homes in the High Street area of the city when several PSNI vehicles drew up alongside them. Heavily armed PSNI personnel attempted to quiz the éirígí activists but, when challenged to explain under what legislation the harassment was taking place, the officers were unable to respond.

The activists subsequently refused to answer any questions put to them and insisted upon their right to continue distributing leaflets door-to-door as local people watched the stand-off develop. The PSNI then followed the éirígí activists for well over an hour as they went about distributing the leaflets.

éirígí general secretary Breandán Mac Cionnaith said: “Our members and supporters in Newry were engaged in quite legitimate political activity last night – the same type of political activity that is supposed to be widely acceptable in a democracy. However, it seems that engaging in political activity which is deemed acceptable elsewhere in Europe is classed as subversive by the PSNI, who are intent upon suppressing any form of political activity that is not supportive of the status quo within the Six Counties.

“There is a recurring pattern of PSNI harassment being waged against our members who are engaging in similar activity throughout the Six Counties. Almost without exception, that harassment is being conducted under politically motivated legislation, such as Section 44 of the British Terrorism Act, which the European Court of Human Rights judged to be unlawful in January of this year.

Mac Cionnaith continued: “Despite the ECHR ruling, the PSNI is continuing to use, on a daily basis, legislation which the court has declared to be “coercive”, “arbitrary” and “not in accordance with the law”. Indeed, during the whole of last year, stop and search legislation was used on almost 30,000 occasions.”

“While constitutional nationalist politicians might try to claim that there has been a sea-change in policing in the Six Counties, the reality of ongoing repressive policing tactics on the ground belies the harsh truth that little has changed and people in working-class communities across the North are only too aware of that fact.”

RNU Calls Arrests Attempt to Hijack Easter Commemmoration

Reacting to yesterday’s political arrests and raids in Belfast and Lurgan, Republican Network For Unity(RNU) spokesperson, Martin Óg Meehan slammed the move as a blatant attempt not only to undermine the upcoming Easter Commemoration in Derry but also to undercut the growing signs of Republican discontent on a day which makes evident the chasm between Republicanism and those who serve British rule at Stormont.

“Easter is a hugely important time for Republicans across Ireland, when we commemorate those patriots who lost their lives to advance a Socialist Republic, as proclaimed in 1916. For the past few months, the Republican Network for Unity (RNU) and Derry Independent Republican Graves Association have been jointly organising a fitting tribute to fallen Volunteers.

Unsurprisingly, the RUC/PSNI has attempted to disrupt this by today’s arrest of RNU Ard Comhairle member, Tony Catney. Who has been instrumental in the planning of the above commemoration. Also detained was former Political Prisoner, Paul Duffy who is intended to be a guest-speaker on Easter Sunday. Alongside Tony and Paul, another two respected Republicans were also taken to Antrim Interrogation Centre.

During the remainder of the day the homes of the four men were destructively raided by the political Police. While their families, including children were placed under house arrest! Last year’s commemoration in Derry attracted a large crowd which was seen as a sign of growing opposition to British rule and housetrained Republicanism. The crown is reacting to growing Republican disquiet by targeting prominent Republicans who are seen to be organising that opposition.

RNU believe this latest round of political policing, proves the point more eloquently than anything that could be said that those who proclaimed that British rule in any part of Ireland was wrong and illegitimate are not hijacked by those calling for a deeper descent into a British administration.

In spite of this the Republican Network for Unity will continue to campaign on behalf of Republican objectives and will not be deterred from building a solid base.

RNU totally oppose the continued detention of Tony Catney, Paul Duffy and others and call for their immediate release”.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Irish Republican On Hungerstrike

Derry Republican Gary Donnelly is now on his 7th day on Hungerstrike in protest at being removed from the Republican wing and put in isolation in a criminal section of Maghaberry gaol. Enemy forces have said that the reason for this is because they claim  his life is under threat from fellow Republican prisoners, this ridiculous claim has been denied by Republicans. That is a ridiculous thing to suggest and is a clear attempt to criminalise Republican POWs and to cause division and suspicion among Republicans.

Gary has already lost 14Ib in weight since embarking on hungerstrike last Friday and he will continue with this protest until he is returned to the Republican wing. He is also being subjected to strip searches despite the fact that he is currently being held in isolation.

It's sad that in 2010 Republicans have to suffer this treatment and have to embark on hungerstrike and various other types of protest to demand something they thought they won in 1981. Sadly what was gained by the sacrifice of the 10 brave Volunteers in 1981 was signed away with the stroke of a pen in the 1998 GFA Treaty.


A rally in support of the Derry republican will be held outside Maghaberry prison on Sunday at noon.

                   Óglach Bobby Sands


Thursday, 18 March 2010

What are They Scared Of???

Last night an éirígí banner on the Camloch rd had paint thrown over it in a cowardly late night attack. It's clear that anti-Republicans were responsible for this in an unsuccessful attempt to stop éirígí from spreading the message that British policing will never be acceptable to Republicans.

Those who carried out this attack wasted their time, i have spoken to several éirígí activists in Newry and they have an unlimited supply of these banners.

Are those responsible worried about the message that éirígí are putting across?
Do they fear the truth?

It's obvious that the irrelevants who done this are fearful of éirígí's potential and they are scared of the message that éirígí are sending to people.

At the end of the day these banners are only pieces of cloth but they are very effective at sending out a clear message to thousands of people.

If those responsible think that attacking Republican banners will silence Republican activists then they can think again, i have no doubt that this will only make the éirígí activists more determined to spread the Republican message.

We have a fair idea as to who was responsible for this as they didn't do a great job of covering their tracks and they will be challenged about it.

Republicans are in this for the long haul and won't be going anywhere and will continue to expose, oppose and highlight British policing in Occupied Ireland.

Friday, 12 March 2010

éirígí Protest Against British Warship In Dublin Port

éirígí have announced details of a protest in opposition to the docking of a massive British warship in Dublin Port. The protest which will take place this Saturday, March 13th will assemble at 2pm at Seabank House, East Wall Road, Dublin 3.

The HMS Daring, an air defence destroyer class of warship, is currently occupying a berth at Ocean Pier 32, on Alexandra Road, Dublin Port.

Speaking at the announcement of the protest éirígí spokesperson, Brian Leeson said:

'The presence of this British warship in Dublin is an attempt to portray the relationship between Ireland and Britain as normal, when in truth that relationship remains deeply abnormal.

'A section of Ireland’s national territory remains occupied by Britain, which maintains a permanent garrison of 5,000 British soldiers, 8,000 paramilitary police and 100s of MI5 operatives in the Six Counties. It is an absolute outrage that the Twenty Six county state would play host to the British war machine, under these circumstances.'

Brian concluded by encouraging people to join the protest on Saturday, ‘éirígí is calling on all those who support Irish freedom and oppose the ongoing British occupation of the Six Counties, to join this protest and send a very clear message to the British government that its forces are not welcome in any part of Ireland.’

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Republican Newry on Google Streetview

I was just browsing on Google streetview and was able to view various Republican monuments and murals in the Newry area.

This will be useful for all you nosey feckers out there :)

Who needs big brother, when we have Google street view

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Photos and Video of Sam Marshall Commemoration

Here are a few photos of last Sundays massive commemoration in Lurgan in which over 2,000 unbowed, unbroken, undefeated Republicans participated in.

                              Section of the massive crowd
                               Thousands Defiantly send a clear message

Here is a video of the commemoration which is accompanied by the speech made by Sam Marshall's sister.

                               Paul Duffy and Sam's sister

                                 Paul Duffy addresses the crowd

                               Caitriona Duffy reads a letter on behalf of her father

Monday, 8 March 2010

Thousands March in Lurgan

Yesterday thousands of Irish Republicans marched in Lurgan to remember Sam Marshall and to demand justice for all the victims of collusion.

The march was led by the families of the victims and were accompanied by the Naomh Phadraig Flute band from Kilkeel and the Carrick Hill Independent RFB from Belfast, they followed the exact same route that Sam Marshall, Colin Duffy and Tony McCaughey took on that fateful night 20 years ago.

Despite the large presence of heavily armed members of the political police the marchers and bands remained dignified and paid their respects to Sam.

The marched reached the spot were Sam was murdered and the proceedings then went underway. Ex-POW Paul Duffy (brother of Colin) chaired the proceedings and he spoke about how he had noticed the large number of former Prisoners, blanketmen and hungerstrikers in the vast crowd, this was very fitting as Sam himself had been a POW and had also served on the blanket. He then introduced us to the main speaker, South Armagh Republican, Pat McNamee. Pat gave a stirring speech and spoke about the families long quest for truth and justice, he also highlighted the unchanged nature of enemy forces in Ireland and pointed out that many of those who were involved in collusion are still serving members of the British forces. Caitriona Duffy then read a statement on behalf of her father Colin Duffy and former blanketman Alex McCrory presented Sam's sister with a magnificent portrait of Sam which was made by Republican POW's.

A minutes silence was also observed and the proceedings ended with Amhrán na bhFiann.

It was uplifting to see thousands of Republicans coming together to demand truth and justice. It wasn't too long ago Republicanism seemed to be in tatters, it seems now the tide is turning and republicans are once again united and taking to the streets to make their voices heard loud and clear.


Friday, 5 March 2010

Truth & Justice: Foreign Concepts to the Six County State

People could be forgiven for believing that the individuals and organisations that have most to gain from the devolution of limited policing & justice powers to Britain’s Stormont administration are determined to ensure that scenario never happens.

In recent weeks, the PSNI, David Ford and the British government have all seemingly been out to prove the point that éirígí has been making all along – that no meaningful change will come about due to the Hillsborough negotiations and the establishment of a puppet justice ministry at Stormont.

First up is the PSNI, the force we are told will suddenly morph into a non-sectarian, depoliticised civic police service on the day the British government grants nominal powers to Six County politicians.

Less than 24 hours after the Hillsborough negotiations were concluded, the PSNI was out and about in west Belfast making sure that nationalists and republicans were aware that it was business as usual on the policing front. Four éirígí activists who, appropriately enough, were erecting banners highlighting the unacceptable nature of the PSNI were stopped, searched, questioned and had items of their property seized by the force on the pretext that were engaged in “terrorist” activity (Protest Against Section 44 & the PSNI).

Despite the fact that the legislation under which the activists were stopped was, in January, declared illegal by the European Court of Human Rights, the PSNI has enthusiastically continued using it and has publicly stated its intention to ignore the ruling of the court.

Then, in Craigavon on February 27, the PSNI opened fire on nationalist youths with plastic bullets (Plastic Bullet Brutality in Craigavon). Since their introduction to the Six Counties in 1972, these ‘non-lethal’ baton rounds have been directly responsible for the deaths of 17 civilians, including those of nine children.

Despite claims by then PSNI chief constable Hugh Orde in January 2007 that plastic bullets would not be used in future for the purposes of “crowd control”, the lethal weapons have now been fired at the nationalist communities of Ardoyne, the Short Strand and Craigavon in the space of a little over six months, resulting in injuries to several children.

Against this backdrop of PSNI brutality and political policing, enter David Ford, Alliance Party leader and prospective Six County justice minister, and the British government.

On Wednesday [March 3], it was revealed that Ford, in an email to the British Liberal Democrats in November last year, had described the Saville Inquiry into the Bloody Sunday massacre as “pointless” and said there was no point in any politician asking questions about its progress in the British House of Commons.

While Ford as Stormont justice minister would have no power over issues like inquiries, which remain within the remit of the London government, the presence of a unionist who has demonstrated such disdain for the victims of British state violence as a figurehead would still be of concern to many nationalists.

Tony Doherty, whose father Patrick was killed on Bloody Sunday, said Ford “should be ashamed of himself”, while Liam Wray, whose brother Jim was killed, said he would not meet the Alliance leader following the comments.

“Let me tell Mr Ford that, although I am not a great advocate of the inquiry, it certainly was not pointless – it certainly scored points,” said Wray.

“This inquiry exposed quite clearly the fraudulent forensics that damned my brother’s and others’ reputations.”

British secretary of state Shaun Woodward has, meanwhile, refused to rule out lawyers acting on behalf of the British Ministry of Defence, in effect the perpetrators of Bloody Sunday, gaining access to the Saville report before the families of the dead. In doing so, Woodward cited his government’s favourite reason for putting the interests of the British ruling class above those of the Irish people – “national security”.

Also this week, British ‘justice’ minister Paul Goggins extended the use of non-jury Diplock courts in the Six Counties until at least July 2011.

In an astounding piece of double speak, Goggins said the removal of a person’s right to be tried by a jury of their peers was “necessary for the delivery of a fair justice system”.

Goggins could have been more honest and used the ‘national security’ excuse so beloved of his colleagues.

So, while nationalist politicians are proclaiming desperately the dawn of yet another new beginning in the affairs of the Six County state, their touted future justice minister, the British government and its police force are quietly going about the work of solidifying the status quo in occupied Ireland – devolution or no devolution.

Those nationalists who believe that the Stormont system – a system designed by Britain to be operated by people like David Ford in the interests of Britain and the class which people like David Ford represent – can be engineered to bring about the end of partition and discrimination should be mindful of the words of the late British Labour Party leader Michael Foot.

When offered a place in the anti-democratic House of Lords, Foot gave the response: “I think the House of Lords ought to be abolished and I don’t think the best way to abolish it is to go there myself.”

Wise words indeed.

British Political Policing at It's Finest

Recently we have seen yet another fine example of British policing and Justice in action. Irish Republican Gary Donnelly was jailed for 7 months by the British establishment. This was in relation to an incident in 2007 when he was illegally stopped under the draconian section 44 legislation.

During this incident Gary, who was outnumbered, was handcuffed and had his arm fractured in 3 places by, martial arts expert, RUC/PSNI Inspector John Neill.

Yet it was Gary Donnelly who has been accused of assault!!

This is just one of a long line of examples that rubbish the claim that this force is has changed for the better.

We were told by the irrelevants that manners would be put on the RUC/PSNI, when in fact it's quite clear that the manners are being put on Republicans. ( i won't list all the injustices because i have done that many times on this blog)

We were also told that they would be held to account, it's quite clear that they are an unaccountable force. The DPPs are nothing but toothless talkshops.

In 2009 a total of 28,420 people were stopped and searched by the unaccountables , compare that figure to 2004 when over 14,000 people were stopped and searched, that is a dramatic increase. Under the St Andrews Agreement matters relating to "national security" the RUC/PSNI will be accountable only to the British Secretary of State and not a Stormont British Justice minister or the 6 County Policing board.

Despite tens of thousands of incidents regarding stop and search legislation not one person has been convicted!!!!

A name change does not make one difference to this militia. Just like when they changed the name of the RIC to the RUC, UDR to the RIR, and also the 14th Intelligence Unit to Force Research Unit, the change from the RUC to the PSNI should be viewed in the same light, no difference but for the name.

Thankfully the Republican message is being sent out loud and clear. Republicans in Newry have now distributed thousands of leaflets and have erected several banners highlighting the unchanged nature of the British Militia.



Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Vigil Organiser gets Death threat

I have just seen on the news that the organiser of last weeks vigil, SDLP Cllr Gary Stokes, has received a death threat.

IF this threat is genuine then it is totally wrong and should be lifted immediately. Everyone has the right to peacefully protest whether we politically agree with them or not. These type of threats are wrong whether they are directed towards SDLP members or Provisional Sinn Féin members who have also allegedly received threats in recent times.

There was also an attack on the home of Sinn Fein activist and DPP member Gerry ÓReilly in North Belfast recently. As much as i despise the toothless DPPs and those who participate in them i totally disagree with Gerry's home being attacked. I'm sure he has a family and this is also an attack on them and they haven't done anything wrong. I don't know if Republicans or hoods were involved in the attack but either way it was wrong.

If people disagree with Gerry ÓReilly and Gary Stokes politically then there are other ways to challenge them.

I will however take this and other alleged threats with a large pinch of salt, as we know only too well how sinister forces can be playing their silly games.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Plastic Bullet Brutality in Craigavon

éirígí general secretary Breandán Mac Cionnaith has condemned the firing of plastic bullets by the PSNI in Craigavon last night [Saturday].

At least three baton rounds were fired by the force at youths in the nationalist Drumbeg and Meadowbrook areas.

Mac Cionnaith said: “Plastic bullets are lethal weapons. Since their introduction in the early 1970s they have been directly responsible for the deaths of 17 people. Yet the PSNI seems determined to continue using these barbaric weapons until they inflict heartbreak on yet another innocent family.

“At a time when the great and the good are proclaiming a new beginning for policing in the Six Counties, the PSNI is proving, by its own actions, that it is business as usual as far as its treatment of nationalist communities is concerned.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “It is time for the PSNI’s political cheerleaders to come clean on their claims that the devolution of limited policing & justice powers will change the nationalist experience of policing.

“The PSNI is as unacceptable an entity as the RUC was. It must be opposed by all those with any concern for the human rights of nationalists and republicans. Incidents like last night’s in Craigavon merely prove that point.”