Friday, 29 July 2011

POW Rally 30th July

The family and friends group who are organising this rally are calling on everyone to make the effort to attend.

They are asking that all banners be non party political with no group logos and on the theme of political prisoners.

Seven bands are attending from England, Scotland and Ireland

Maghaberry Discussion a Huge Success

The Truth about Maghaberry discussion last night was a huge success. The room was filled to capacity with people having to stand at the back or sit on the steps to accommodate the large numbers in attendance. Every area of the republican prison struggle form 76 to the present struggle was covered...All the speakers were excellent and the Family and Friends group who organised the event would like to thank all those who spoke or helped in anyway but especially all those who took the time to attend. It is very clear to everyone that support for the POWs on protest is growing !! Go Raibh Maith Agat.

Below is a short video of the large crowd, one of Eamonn McCann speaking which i have to say he spoke extremely well, and another of an ex-POW speaking. The last video is of Roisin Lynch speaking, Roisin is the partner of Brendan Lillis

Thursday, 28 July 2011

PSNI absent as Drumcree Orangemen attempt illegal march

In a statement last night, the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition has accused the PSNI of colluding with the Orange Order in Portadown in an attempt to create a confrontation with nationalist residents. A spokesperson for the GRRC said:

"Last week, the Parades Commission issued a determination in respect of a proposed march by members of the Orange Order from Drumcree which was planned for yesterday evening (Wednesday). Despite the PSNI being aware of that determination which ruled that the Orangemen could not proceed beyond the bridge at Drumcree, no PSNI personnel were present to enforce the Commission's ruling.

"As result, over 30 members of Portadown LOL No.1 were able to make their way for over 300 yards from Drumcree church before 8.00pm to the edge of the nearby nationalist Ballyoran estate before stopping to block traffic.

"It was only as nationalist residents came from their homes that the PSNI arrived on the scene.

"One is forced to conclude that, although being aware of the planned Orange protest march and the Parades Commission ruling in respect of the same, the PSNI deliberately choose to ignore both the Orange protest march and the restrictions placed upon it. The only explanation for this is that both the PSNI and the Orange Order had hoped to draw nationalist residents into physical confrontation,

" The Parades Commission, who have been made aware of other breaches of its determinations in respect of other loyal order parades in recent weeks in Portadown, must ask for a clear explanation as to why the PSNI choose to ignore or enforce a legally binding determination last night in Portadown"


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Truth about Maghaberry

Thursday 28th July,

St Mary's Training college, Falls Road, Belfast. 7.30 pm

Discussion around the POWs on protest in Maghaberry,


John Finnucane,

Eamonn Mc Cann,

Brendan Conway,

Kevin Murphy,

Roisin Lynch,

Chairperson, Maura Mc Crory

After this event there will be a function in the Red Devil with Ray McAreavey.

Tickets are available but you can pay at the door. £5.00

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Derrybeg Supports the POWs

The following was painted by republican activists and is situated on Sandys Hill in the Derrybeg estate.

It measures 80ft x 60ft and draws attention to the horrific forced strip searches that republican prisoners have to endure in Maghaberry

Monday, 25 July 2011

Davy Hyland Demands Immediate Release of Brendan Lillis‏

Independent Republican councillor Davy Hyland has expressed his deep concern at the condition of Brendan Lillis and has called for his immediate release from Maghaberry prison.
Brendan Lillis is a former blanketman and IRA POW. He served around 16 years for possession of explosives and firearms. In 1992 BL, as he was known to his friends and comrades, was released on license. Brendan is now a Prisoner in Maghaberry Gaol after the British secretary of state revoked his license which means he is once again a lifer serving time for IRA actions carried out in the 1970s.

Brendan suffers from the debilitating arthritic illness ankylosing spondylitis and his family say he is close to death, weighing only 5.5 stone and having only weeks to live. His partner has pleaded for support as she watches Brendan slowly die. He can no longer speak or move, and is confined to his bed, in a prison cell with no windows.

Hyland said: “The British Justice Minister and David Ford and British secretary of state Owen Paterson have adopted an almost “Thatcherite” approach when it comes to prisoners in Maghaberry. David Ford refuses to budge over the implementation of the agreement reached last August and the British secretary of state has revoked the licences of various republicans such as Marian Price, Martin Corey and Brendan Lillis”

“It’s ironic that exactly 30 years ago 10 Republicans died on Hunger strike because of the British government’s refusal to recognise their basic rights and today Republican prisoners in Maghaberry find themselves in the same situation”

“Brendan Lillis has been in bed for over 600 days and for the British to claim he is a threat to anyone is totally absurd. This man is a threat to no-one and should be immediately released.”

On Saturday 23rd July Davy Hyland along with fellow republicans from Newry travelled to Belfast to show their support for Brendan Lillis, his partner Roisin and family by attending a protest at the former Andersonstown barracks site. The protest consisted of Brendan’s partner, former Blanketmen, ex-POWs and supporters taking part in a 3 day hunger strike.

Davy concluded: “I would call on everyone with an interest in human rights to support the campaign to have Brendan released immediately. I urge everyone to attend protests, pickets, sign petitions, and follow Brendan’s campaign on Facebook. Families of those involved in the 1981 hunger strike, including the family of Bobby Sands, have called for the immediate release of Brendan. At this difficult time let’s remember Bobby’s famous words “everyone republican or otherwise has their own particular part to play, no part is too great and no part is too small”.

Press Release on behalf of Families of 1981 Hunger Strikes

Great to see the families of the hungerstrikers supporting the Republican POWs in Maghaberry
“On 20th August 1981, Michael Devine died in prison, the last of ten republican prisoners to die in the Hunger Strike.

Today, nearly thirty years later, another republican, Brendan Lillis is dying in Maghaberry Prison because of the same refusal of government authorities to govern with humanity, compassion, respect for human dignity and in compliance with International Human Rights standards and obligations. Brendan is not on hunger strike. He is being denied appropriate medical care he needs to survive.

Marian Price is also in Maghaberry, in solitary confinement in a Male prison despite being granted bail. Other prisoners are routinely humiliated and violated by strip searching. Once again, Human Rights don’t apply to ‘these’ people.

The 1998 Agreement promised a Human Rights framework and Bill of Rights to ensure people here would never again be deemed ineligible for protection of their rights because of their politics or actions.

Confronted with a humanitarian crisis in Maghaberry prison, as families of those who died in prison on the 1981 Hunger Strikes, and as members of the H-Block Campaign who supported them at that time, we call upon the conscience of the people to urgently support:

* Roisin Lynch in her demand for the immediate release of her life partner, Brendan.

* The Price family in their demand for Marian Price to be released on Bail

We further call upon the N. I. Executive and Minister of Justice at Stormont to bring an immediate end to strip-searching in the prisons and the continued tolerance of humiliation and violation of the basic human rights of political prisoners.


(Editor note: The statement is fully endorsed on behalf of the Sands, Devine, Hurson, McDonnell and O’Hara families, and supported by Bernadette McAliskey, (formerly National H-Block Committee), Tommy McKearney( 1980 Hunger Strike) & Sean McGlinchey (former political prisoner). Further signatures will be sought

The Felons club refuse entry for a collecton for BL

This is currently doing the rounds on a number of websites, very sad state of affairs if you ask me
"The Felons club and the PD have refused the Brendan Lillis campaigners permission to collect for his cause on their premises.

These clubs have traded off the backs of the armed struggle for decades and now turn their backs on a former 'dog' and blanket man facing death, just to protect the ego of their precious leader. I ask all republicans and performers of conscience to stay away from these anti republican hovels!"

Friday, 22 July 2011

Release Brendan Lillis Now

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith has called for the immediate release of Brendan Lillis as the Belfast man’s partner yesterday [Thursday] began a hunger strike in protest against his continued incarceration.
Lillis, who previously served 16 years as a political prisoner, has been held in Maghaberry jail since 2009 when the British secretary of state revoked his release license after he appeared in court on unrelated charges. Despite the fact that these charges have not been proceeded with and that Lillis is seriously ill, he has not been given a release date.

Lillis is suffering from the debilitating arthritic illness ankylosing spondylitis which, his partner – Roisin Lynch – says, has left him with possibly only weeks to live.

Lynch today began a hunger strike in protest at Lillis’ continued imprisonment at the Andersonstown barracks site in west Belfast.

Mac Cionnaith said: “The continued imprisonment of Brendan Lillis, a seriously ill man who may have only weeks left to live, is callous in the extreme.

“Brendan has consistently been denied adequate medical attention by the prison authorities in Maghaberry, while the distress for both him and his family has been heightened by the conditions he is forced to endure.

“The initial charge against Brendan was not proceeded with due to his illness. It is ridiculous therefore that he is held in prison because of a political offence he was charged with in the 1970s – an alleged offence for which he already served a long, long time.”

Mac Cionnaith added: “The plight of Brendan Lillis raises the wider issue of the British secretary of state’s ability to incarcerate republican ex-prisoners who have been released on license. At present, Belfast woman Marion Price and Lurgan man Martin Corey are also being held in Maghaberry on the whim of Owen Paterson.

“This situation is intolerable and an effective opposition must be built against it.”

Mac Cionnaith concluded: “At this difficult time, éirígí extends its solidarity to Brendan, to his courageous partner Roisin and to all his family.

“Brendan Lillis must not be allowed to die in jail. The British government and David Ford must take the only humane course of action and release him immediately.”

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Newry Irish Night in Aid of Maghaberry POWs

All groups and individuals welcome to this independent event

Monday, 18 July 2011

GARC Video

Here's another video of the GARC civil rights march. Some people wrongly claim that GARC are made up of  "dissident micro-groups" that have have no support. Nothing could be further than the truth

PSNI failed to address core issues of concern to Portadown nationalists

The Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition (GRRC) has described as “defensive PR spin” a media statement issued by PSNI Superintendent Jason Murphy in relation to Friday night’s loyalist violence in Portadown.

A spokesperson for the GRRC said, “Supt Murphy’s statement issued at Saturday’s press conference in Portadown’s Mahon Road base was a defensive PR spin aimed downplaying the organised nature of Friday night’s violent events in the town.

“Supt Murphy stated that ‘No homes within the Nationalist community were directly attacked although we (the PSNI) are aware of some damage being caused from missiles thrown into the area of Obins Street.’

“Residents, living adjacent to the peaceline/interface, can confirm that their homes did come under attack from an organised loyalist mob throwing bricks, bottles, paint-bombs, fireworks and, more sinisterly, at least one blast bomb.

“Supt Murphy’s statement noticeably does not address several core questions of concern:

• Why was an openly intimidatory gathering of masked loyalists permitted to be held immediately adjacent to the main peace-line/interface in Portadown?

• Given the previous violent history of so-called loyalist ‘peaceful protests’ at the Corcrain Road/Charles St/Craigwell Avenue/Obins Drive and Avenue interface, how did the PSNI conclude that a gathering of masked loyalists immediately beside that interface could in anyway be deemed either wise, acceptable or justifiable under Public Order legislation?

• Why has there been no acknowledgement by the PSNI that at least one blast-bomb type device was thrown by those same masked men towards homes in Obins Drive and Obins Avenue?

• Why is the PSNI reluctant to confirm the widely-held view within the nationalist community in Portadown that Friday’s so-called ‘peaceful protest’ was organised by the Mid-Ulster UVF?

• Why PSNI officers were clearly observed by nationalist residents to be engaging in either conversation, or negotiations, with three masked, and one unmasked, leaders of that loyalist mob?

“Previous loyalist protests held adjacent to Craigwell Avenue some years ago, and which were also deemed ‘peaceful’ by the police, resulted in almost one third of the nationalist families in that street fleeing their homes permanently. Since then, a number of Portuguese-speaking families have moved into Craigwell bringing a new vitality to it. However, those families have now also fallen victim to loyalist intimidation, as demonstrated on July 12th and July 15th.

“Unfortunately, Supt Murphy’s statement would appear to demonstrate a policy appeasement towards, and a denial of, loyalist intimidation and violence directed towards those living within nationalist areas of Portadown.”

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Annual Orgy of Sectarianism Highlighted in Ardoyne

For the last five years, father-of-one Paul McCauley has lain in a coma caused by severe brain injuries.

In July 2006, Paul was attending a going-away barbeque for a friend in Derry’s Waterside area when he and his companions were set upon by a unionist mob. The provocation? Paul and some of his friends were catholic. The perpetrators? The UDA, an organisation alleged to be on ceasefire.

Now, Paul’s father is battling to ensure the only man convicted in relation to the brutal attack – on charges of causing grievous bodily harm – also stands trial for attempted murder.

About Paul, Jim McCauley says: “He is now as he was just hours after the attack. He remains in a minimum responsive state without communication. The left side of his skull is missing [his brain is covered by skin] and he has been diagnosed as being totally blind.

“Doctors have told us this is the way it is going to be. We are now gradually acclimatising ourselves to the fact that this is how it’s going to be. The best we can do is care for Paul, who exists at a low level.”

Half a decade on from the Waterside attack, another unionist mob, this time in the form of the UVF – another organisation alleged to be on ceasefire – descended on the Short Strand area of Belfast in a clearly premeditated act of sectarian savagery.

Among the casualties in this incident was another young catholic, hospitalised with bleeding to the brain after having a breeze block dropped on his head.

This is the price nationalists and, increasingly, foreign nationals in the Six Counties have to pay for the Orange Order’s annual festival of hatred, which cranks up feelings of enmity and bigotry to life threatening levels.

In Ardoyne on July 12, the concoction of elements who conspire to foist Orangeism’s ‘celebrations’ on the whole of society had created yet another nightmare scenario for this isolated nationalist community.

Firstly, the Six County Parades Commission, as it does every year, gave the Orange Order permission to march past Ardoyne shops in complete contradiction of the wishes of local residents.

Secondly, the PSNI deployed the full range of its paramilitary paraphernalia to hem the people of Ardoyne into their homes to ensure the bigoted brethren could walk their route unimpeded by any troublesome croppies.

And, last but not least, the Orange Order, the unionist political parties and their death squads gratefully accepted this facilitation by state agencies and gleefully strutted over the rights of an entire community.

What they didn’t bank upon was the residents of Ardoyne demonstrating in a unified, determined manner that they wouldn’t be treated as second class citizens. Hundreds of them took to the streets in a march organised by the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective that was attended by many éirígí activists.

As can be seen in the video that is along with this article, the determination of the residents to remain peaceful and dignified in the face of massive provocation stands in stark contrast to the violence first, questions later policy of the PSNI.

Ardoyne is increasingly the epicentre of a sectarianism that, this year, also reared its ugly head in Ballyclare, Ballymena, Bangor, Carrickfergus, Magherafelt, Portadown, Short Strand and elsewhere. And Ardoyne, like some many times in the past, has also shown the way in how to combat this sectarianism – with dignified, militant protest and a complete refusal to be treated as anything other than a first class citizen.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Families & Friends POW Rally 30th July

The Prisoners Rally on the 30th July is gaining momentum, bands from Scotland, Liverpool, and six counties have all confirmed their taking part. Generic posters will be provided on the day by the organisers and local Banners welcome 'no' Party logo's please.

Following on from the planned March in support of the republican prisoners on Sat the 30th July in Belfast,the Family and Friends support group have organised an evening of music and craic in the Shamrock Ardoyne, all welcome and you can pay at door. Bands will be in attendance on the night. Lets make that weekend a successful weekend in support of our POWs

GARC Statemet Read at Civil Rights March

Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective Statement

July 12th 2011

First of all we would like to thank everyone for attending this parade this evening. The purpose of this parade was to highlight the fact that once again, as has been the case so often since the foundation of the state, Ardoyne residents have been treated as second class citizens by the state and its agents within quangoes such as the Parades Commission and their militias in the RUC, PSNI and British Army. The overriding reason behind this repression has been the fact that our community is overwhelmingly Catholic, Nationalist and Republican in its make up.

For the first time ever, members of this community applied to hold a peaceful and dignified parade on the 12th of July to assert our right to live free from sectarian harassment and not to be treated as second class citizens. The result being that the Parades Commission has denied us access to part of our community, while allowing the sectarian Orange Order to triumphantly march through our area with banners commemorating murderers involved in the killings of our loved ones.

In their determination the Parades Commission state that those who actually live here should be able to live, work, shop, trade and carry on business in the area, as a right under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is quite clear to those gathered here in Ardoyne today and this evening that this right, and others are being denied to us, not least the right to protest.

We have also been told that this community must have due regard for the rights and traditions of the Orange Order and the Protestant Community. Let us once again reiterate that we are not sectarian and the Orange Order have a right to march, where they are welcome and appreciated. However due to their anti-Catholic ethos and sectarianism they are certainly not welcome in Ardoyne.

One thing that Loyal Order Parades inevitably highlight is the one sided nature of Justice in the Six Counties. A number of our young people have recently been imprisoned for terms of up to four years, after allegedly getting involved in disorder following last years Orange parade on the 12th July. Contrast this with the treatment of loyalists involved in protests in areas of South East Antrim, Rathcoole and Asda on the Shore Road. We have also saw the UVF attack the Short Strand in their hundreds, and rather than arrests and prosecutions, they received tea and biscuits at Stormont.

There are those who would put the blame for any negative consequences of Loyal Order parades, for the last 40 years or so, back onto the residents of Ardoyne. Can we make it absolutely clear that we have been consistent in stating that we want people to protest in a peaceful and dignified way, as engaging in any other activity may deflect the blame away from where it really lies – with those who demand to march, those in the Parades Commission who permit them and the PSNI, British Army and others who facilitate them.

To conclude let us be absolutely emphatic in stating that the people of Ardoyne have opposed sectarianism in various guises, be it Loyalist paramilitaries, institutionalised sectarianism in state agencies and unwanted bigoted parades by loyal orders for generations. We will continue to protest until we receive our fundamental right to live free from intimidation and sectarian harassment. We are going nowhere, we live here, and this is our community.

As Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King said, “Justice delayed is justice denied. In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Dee Fennell


Ardoyne Demand Civil Rights

The 12th July has come and gone and once again the people of Ardoyne are placed under siege in their own community by the British police.

Local residents group GARC held a civil rights march and ironically were blocked from marching on Ardoynes Crumlin Rd.

Hundreds upon hundreds of people took part in GARC's civil rights march, this seems to have people in some quarters worried as it was previously claimed that GARC had no support. Indeed following the GARC march these same people claimed that only 100 people took part in GARC's march. I have posted the video below that rubbishes that claim.

In the run up to the 12th the usual suspects engaged in the usual felon setting. Claiming that GARC were hell bent on causing trouble. Yet GARC had called for trouble makers to stay away.

On another related issue, Gerry Kelly MLA asserts that he nor S/F had NO prior knowledge or influence of the RUC/PSNI operation to hem in and seal off Ardoyne from the Crumlin Road and Mountainview areas.

A number of Mountainview residents have informed GARC that they witnessed Mr. Kelly being informed by fellow S/F members that the GARC march had just commenced on the Berwick Road @ 7pm. He was also informed about the sequence of GARC's substantial march by two so-called 'Independant Observers' who shadowed GARC's parade for Civil Rights. These two Observers; were New Lodge SF member, John Loughran and Stormont Candidate, J.J. Magee. Gerry then immediately walked across the top of Estorial Park and spoke at length to a senior PSNI woman. The same woman was then heard to issue an order over the radio to her riot-clad members to immediately seal off Estorial and Brompton Parks quickly followed by two water cannons and a number of RUC Land Rovers! As well as, the Ardoyne Road shop roofs....

Within three minutes of arriving in Estorial Pk, the rebranded RUC attacked local people who had been waiting for the arrival of the GARC march. They beat them into Balhome Drive and proceeded to fire around a dozen Plastic Bullets and also deployed the Water Cannon on unsuspecting residents. These facts have been confirmed by the Parish Priest, Fr. Gary, Alban McGuinnes MLA and by the countless Journalists at the scene.

Finally the civil rights march got underway with anything between 800-1,000 people winding their way through the narrow Ardoyne streets. Unable to march any further due to the massive "security operation" they were then addressed by GARC spokesperson Dee Fennell (i'll post his speech shortly).

After the GARC march had dispersed there then ensued some serious rioting. This rioting came about as the result of Ardoyne residents being denied the right to walk on their own streets and also because of the PSNI forcing an Orange march through the area by hemming in residents and shooting them with plastic bullets and water cannons.

The Ardoyne residents and everyone who came to support them are to be commended for demanding civil rights.

Here's a video of the large crowds marching for civil rights ( some claimed only 100 were in attendence, i'll let you make your own minds up)

From what i can see it looks like former comrades have lost their grip on the republican stronghold of Ardoyne, much the same as they lost their grip on certain republican strongholds in Newry.

No doubt they will slabber about election results and mandates the same way as the stoops before them did. But they know fine well that grassroots on the ground is worth more than any amount of votes

We are on the rise

Friday, 8 July 2011

National Hunger Strike March- 21st August

Maghaberry Debate and Hunger-strike Exhibition

The Family and Friends support group of republican POWs, Maghaberry have organised a debate around the current situation in Maghaberry and a hunger-strike exhibition to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Hunger Strikes.
Maghaberry Debate and Hunger-strike Exhibition

Thursday 28th July, ...7.30 pm

St Mary's Training College

Falls Road

(speakers to be confirmed)

The Friends and Family group are also in the process of organising a march to support the POWs on Saturday 30th July, Belfast.

Details will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.

We are calling for everyone to make the effort to attend this march.


Monday, 4 July 2011

Newry Protest against MI5 & PSNI Harassment

Once again republicans have been forced to take to the streets to stand up against MI5/PSNI harassment in Newry.

Over 70 people took part in yesterday’s [July 2] protest at Ardmore PSNI barracks in Newry, in direct response to a relentless campaign of harassment and intimidation directed towards republicans in the area by the PSNI.

The protesters were met with a large presence of PSNI thugs in several cars, armoured landrovers and on foot around the barracks, obviously fearful of éirígí’s intentions.

For the duration of the protest the PSNI videoed and recorded everyone, including children, some of whom were stopped and searched last weekend.

Speaking at the protest éirígí’s Stephen Murney thanked all those who attended.“Just a few months ago we were forced to come to this barracks to protest against harassment, now here we are again with double the numbers. At a time when people are being persecuted by the PSNI and MI5 it’s heartening to see so many people, young and old coming here to confront the thugs responsible for harassing them. Last week we announced that we would intensify our Different Name, Same Aim campaign, this protest is only the start of things to come,” Murney said.

The main speaker at the protest was rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith.

In his speech Breandán highlighted the unchanged nature of the force.

“In November 2001, amid much fanfare, the British government re-branded the discredited Royal Ulster Constabulary with a new name. And with that new name, the occupying power promised ‘a new beginning’ to policing in the Six Counties.“Almost a decade later, it is now abundantly clear that, instead of delivering a ‘new beginning’, the PSNI has simply continued with the same failed anti-working class and anti-republican agenda of the RUC and Royal Irish Constabulary before them. The lie of ‘community-based’ policing has been exposed by the reality of increased draconian legislation, harassment and brutality,” he said.

Mac Cionnaith continued, “éirígí activists in Newry are no strangers to Crown Force harassment. Our activists, along with other republicans are being stopped under the draconian British Justice and Security Act. It’s clear that our activists and supporters in the area are being singled out for special treatment because of their political activities.

“The PSNI are only proving by their own actions that they are an unchanged, unaccountable paramilitary force. The PSNI remains a British police force, enforcing British law in support of the British occupation.

“No amount of PSNI harassment, in Newry or anywhere else, will prevent éirígí activists from continuing the work of rebuilding the republican struggle.

”Breandán concluded, “Despite what those constitutional nationalist parties who sit in Stormont may claim, that move has neither affected the function or the form of the PSNI. Nor has it placed manners on them, as one prominent apologist for British policing once claimed.

“The PSNI remains a British police force, enforcing British law in support of the British state. Like police forces across the capitalist world its primary aim remains the protection of the state and the protection of the interests of the ruling class; interests which run in direct contradiction to the interests of the working class and of republicans.”

Republican Newry will be seeing a lot more actions in the coming weeks and months and we urge all those who oppose British policing to join us in our struggle