Saturday, 24 December 2011

Vol Eddie Grant Remembered by éirígí in Newry

On Christmas Eve, éirígí in Newry held a solemn commemorative event in the Derrybeg estate to remember local IRA volunteer Eddie Grant.

While many families are preparing for the festive season local éirígí activists came together, with the family of Eddie Grant, to remember and pay tribute to the supreme sacrifice he made in the fight for liberation.

A wreath was laid on the Derrybeg monument by Eddie’s niece Jacqueline in memory of her uncle.

Wreath is laid

éirígí Newry area spokesperson Stephen Murney spoke and paid tribute to Eddie.

Stephen said, “Today we remember IRA volunteer Eddie Grant who was killed in action on Christmas Eve 1973 along with his comrade Brendan Quinn from Cloughreagh.

“We are deeply honoured to have Eddie’s family represented at this wreath laying ceremony today.

“Nicknamed ‘Starchy’ by his mates, Eddie 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.

At the Derrybeg monument

“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. After attending a few Republican Clubs meetings Eddie made the decision to join the IRA. 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 (Armaghdown) on Monaghan Street. Unfortunately a civilian was also to die with the two Volunteers.”

Murney concluded, “As a new year approaches éirígí remains fully committed to the struggle for a British withdrawal from the occupied Six Counties and the establishment of a 32-county socialist republic.

“éirígí takes this opportunity to thank its members and supporters for the commitment and energy they have displayed throughout 2011. Their sterling work across Ireland has inspired many others to become involved in the struggle for national, economic and social freedom.”

Friday, 23 December 2011

POW DD McLaughlin released today

Damien was released this morning from Maghaberry gaol. While he was incarcerated DD wrote detailed accounts of the savage beatings and strip searches some of which are featured on this blog.

Upon his release he was asked to strip and refused.The riot squad were then called for and forcibly strip searched him.

TSG's were waiting outside the gaol and followed before stopping and searching cars that met him at the gates.

I wish DD and his family well, no doubt they will have a great xmas, the lads inside will miss as he was a great comrade and a strong POW.

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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

PSNI Harassment Must Stop

éirígí in Newry have announced that it’s time to up the ante and vigorously counter PSNI harassment in the area.

This comes after a local republican approached the party having been stopped and searched an astonishing 98 times in little over a year.

éirígí’s Stephen Murney explained, “These particular stop and searches are only those where a search record has been obtained, these don’t include the numerous times when no such record was given to the victim, so it’s fair to say the actual number is much higher, well over 100 in the space of a year.

“Most of these are conducted under Sections 21 & 24 of the draconian British Justice & Security Act, which consists of your personal details and movements being recorded and a humiliating search for ammunition and wireless apparatus.

“It has also been brought to our attention that a number of times school kids as young as 14 have also been stopped and harassed in similar fashion.”

Stephen continued, “This man approached us as a result of this incessant harassment. This is just one man and the amount of search records he has received is unbelievable. There are numerous other republicans, including éirígí members, in this area who are also being stopped and searched on a regular basis.

“We have already held a number of events including protesting at the doorstep of the PSNI at Ardmore barracks, erecting banners and posters across Newry and distributed thousands of leaflets across the district. It’s time republicans in Newry took our campaign to a new level. We can’t sit back any longer and let these thugs get away with this; it’s time to up the ante and resist these thugs.

“In the New Year we will be organising several initiatives to counter this relentless campaign of harassment. One of the first things we will do is to convene a public meeting to discuss a number of issues; PSNI harassment will be a major topic at this event and we urge everyone concerned to attend to tell of their experiences and suggest ideas. We will be publishing the final details in the coming weeks.

“By doing this we can put a viable model in place where we can resist, monitor and expose the PSNI at a new level.”

Murney concluded, “I would urge all victims of similar human rights abuses to publicly come forward and expose the unchanged nature of these British paramilitaries. They should log all incidents with their solicitor and are more than welcome to contact éirígí.”

Monday, 19 December 2011

Statement/Photos from the Newry/South Armagh Republican Prisoners Support Group

Sunday December 17 saw upwards of 70 people take to the streets of Newry in a display of solidarity and support for Republican prisoners in Maghaberry.

The independent event, organised by the Newry/South Armagh Republican Prisoners Support Group, brought all shades of republicans together along with community leaders to highlight the serious humanitarian situation with the gaol.

Republican ballads could be heard the length of Monaghan St as the participants, including many young people along with ex-POWs, lined the road with flags, banners and placards detailing various injustices such as strip searching & controlled movement.

Local elected representatives, some of whom were once incarcerated themselves, were notable by their absence despite the event being widely publicised. All who want to see the abolition of this inhumane regime at Maghaberry have a responsibility to speak out on this issue regardless of their political beliefs.

Sarah Murphy read a detailed and harrowing account of what an average day for a republican prisoner entails as hundreds of leaflets were handed out to motorists and members of the public.

Former republican prisoner Joe Harper also spoke and pointed out that 30 years after 10 men died on hunger strike, we have republicans being continually beaten and brutalised while on protest for the same reasons those gallant men gave their lives. Joe also raised concerns about republicans being once again interned by the establishment for their political beliefs.

The notoriously sectarian and thuggish Prison Officers Association is currently setting the agenda in Maghaberry. This situation can no longer be allowed to continue.

The British government needs to recognise that the August 12 agreement of 2010 presents the basis for resolving the conflict in the prison and face down the POA.

It is now more important than ever that the prisoners are accorded their human rights. It is now up to all individuals and organisations to come out publically and support the prisoners.

Like the men of 81, today’s political prisoners will not cooperate with a regime that attempts to rob them of their dignity. Therefore, the struggle for human rights will continue until its successful conclusion.

At present republican prisoners are locked in their cells, and have no access to basic requirements such as washing facilities, exercise, association, education etc. This is a breach of the Geneva Convention on Human Rights.

The Newry/South Armagh republican Prisoners Support Group extends our solidarity to the protesting prisoners in Maghaberry and pledges to continue supporting them until the situation in Maghaberry is resolved. We urge everyone who is opposed to the human rights abuses in Maghaberry to attend any future events which are open to all republicans.

Victory to the Republican Prisoners 

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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Dessie Quinn Memorial Night- Sunday 18th December

This Sunday 18th December, revolutionary singer/songwriter Pol Mac Adaim will be playing at the Thomas Davis GFC, Corrinshego, Newry. It's a memorial night for Dessie Quinn who died suddenly in the club while playing pool aged just 27.

Dessie was a singer and guitar player in the local rebel band JUSTICE and was well known for his good humour during the gigs

There's a pool competition on that afternoon in the club for the Dessie Quinn shield.

It should be a fitting tribute for Dessie

Monday, 12 December 2011

éirígí honour Newry IRA Volunteers

éirígí held a wreath laying event in Newry yesterday [December 11] to remember three IRA volunteers, William Canning, John Francis O’Hare and Peter Shields who were killed in the Egyptian arch ambush on the Camlough Road.
This event marked the 91st anniversary of the ambush.
At the Egyptian Arch
Speaking at the event éirígí’s Newry area representative Stephen Murney paid tribute to the volunteers.
Stephen said, “We are here today to pay our respects to these courageous volunteers and the sacrifice they made on that cold December night 91 years ago. The ambush took place on the 12th December 1920 in the middle of the War of Independence when IRA units throughout the length and breadth of Ireland took on the might of the British Empire, laid ambushes and attacked RIC stations.
“Despite the odds being stacked against them they nonetheless faced the foe with outstanding courage and bravery. The principles by which the organisation stood and for which many of its members paid the ultimate sacrifice remain relevant almost a century later. Sadly their work remains unfinished and it’s now up to us to continue the fight for liberation.”
Stephen concluded, “As 2012 dawns Ireland, more than ever, needs a radical mass movement that will represent one class in society – the working people – and which will adopt but one attitude to the British occupation – that of uncompromising active resistance.”

éirígí Newry Offers Support and Solidarity to Republican Prisoners

éirígí would like to offer our solidarity and support to the republican prisoners on protest in Maghaberry.

This time of year is usually difficult enough for republican prisoners and their families but given that the prisoners have been on protest for several months makes it even harder.

23 hour lock up, regular beatings, strip searches and controlled movement are just some of the human rights abuses being inflicted on political prisoners in Maghaberry.

All that could be avoided if the Stormont Justice Minister, David Ford, would implement the agreement that was reached in August 2010.

In contravention of the agreement that was reached in August 2010, prisoners are regularly being subjected to humiliating strip searches and face the threat of beatings and the forced removal of their clothing when they refuse to consent to these searches. The prisoners are subjected to 23-24 hour lock-up and many have been forced to begin a no wash protest.

This is an intolerable situation that goes against not just the August 12 agreement but every notion of humane treatment.

On the outside there are regular protests, pickets and various other activities to raise awareness about the serious situation republican prisoners in Maghaberry find themselves in. In Newry a motion was passed by Newry & Mourne council to send a delegation to Maghaberry but this was blocked by British Minister Ford.

 éirígí extends its solidarity to the protesting prisoners in Maghaberry and pledges to continue supporting their struggle and that of their families until political status is secured. All those with an interest in human rights should do likewise.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Whiteline picket/ Leaflet drop

Below is a leaflet which the Newry/south Armagh Republican Prisoners support group has got printed to highlight the ongoing plight of the Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry gaol, it also gives details of the up coming protest in Newry which takes place on the 17th December in Monaghan St.

5000 of these leaflets have been obtained and the group intend to distribute them to all areas of Newry over the next few nights

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Monday, 5 December 2011

PSNI Hold Schoolchildren at Gunpoint

More news from éirígí Newry
PSNI Hold Schoolchildren at Gunpoint
“Educate that you may be free.” So wrote Thomas Davis in 1846.
Yet today in 2011 we have British forces, namely the PSNI, interfering with the education of our children. This occurred during an early morning house raid in the Parkhead area of Newry on Friday [December 2].
éirígí’s Stephen Murney received a phone call from a concerned member of the public and immediately made his way to the scene accompanied by Independent republican councillor Davy Hyland.
Stephen said, “We went not only to show solidarity and support to the victims of this raid but to also actively confront the PSNI gunmen who were responsible for traumatising this family including young children.
“When we arrived the PSNI had just left and we spoke to the mother of the kids. She explained to us that the PSNI placed them all under house arrest including her two daughters aged 10 and 12. As a result of this the children were unable to go to school and one of them missed her 1st year Christmas exam that she was due to sit that morning.”
Stephen continued, “A concerned neighbour also arrived and said she would take the children from the house and mind them so they wouldn’t be traumatised any further by these thugs. The PSNI refused this and held them in the living room at gunpoint.
“In recent times we have seen numerous quarters commenting on the PSNI coming into schools to talk to the pupils about various topics. Yet on the other hand this force is terrifying school children by kicking their doors in and preventing them from going to school at gunpoint, and in this case forcing a young girl to miss her exam.”
éirígí pledge to continue to expose the British police and their tactics. We urge anyone who is suffering similar treatment to contact éirígí and their solicitor.

“You Can’t Ride Two Horses with One Arse”

The latest from the éirígí Newry blog

“You Can’t Ride Two Horses with One Arse”
On Wednesday [November 30] éirígí members in Newry took to the streets with thousands of people in a display of support and solidarity with the working class.
The rally assembled at Daisy Hill hospital and marched through the city centre to the City Hall.
Colourful flags and banners belonging to the various unions were prominent throughout the route along with éirígí flags and our ‘Stormont Isn’t Working’ banner which drew much attention.
Stormont Isn’t Working banner
The night before the rally, éirígí members were busy in the centre of Newry putting stickers up regarding the cuts on public services. While they were engaging in this legitimate political activity the three activists were stopped & searched by the British forces (PSNI). The reason given for this stop and search was “due to the increased terrorist threat in this area”.
éirígí activists across the North marched with thousands of working class people in protest at the anti-social policies being implemented by the London government and its Stormont administration. Yet éirígí members preparing for this rally were held and harassed by Stormont’s anti-working class police force.
There were several main speakers at the rally, most notably the first speaker made reference to the Six-County elected representatives and brazenly told them, “You can’t ride two horses with one arse!” Her comments were met loud cheers with a rapturous round of applause by the thousands of people at the rally. The only ones who didn’t clap and cheer were the constitutional nationalists and Stormont supporters who stood awkwardly in the crowd not knowing where to look.
Speaking after the rally éirígí’s Stephen Murney said, “The sentiments expressed here today are correct. The Stormont politicians cannot ride two horses at once. They have picked which side they are on. They are on the side of the enemy of the working class and should be treated as such.
“éirígí are of the opinion that Stormont is unsustainable and the continued onslaught on public services is evidence of them dancing to the Tory tune and embracing, what can only be described as, Thatcherite politics with their constant attacks on the working class and our communities. Thatcherism, a theory that amounts to nothing less than social and economic vandalism, is alive and well in the halls of power.”
Terrorist stickers?
Stephen continued, “These attacks on public services is yet another example of how ‘Stormont isn’t working’, along with fuel poverty, unemployment, health cuts and benefits cuts all of which are implemented at the behest of the British Tory government.
“The increasingly obvious signal is that a new political, economic and social order is required right across Ireland to bring radical, meaningful and effective improvement to the lives of working class people. Stormont is a clear impediment to that.
“Only by organising in our communities, in our workplaces and on the streets can we build sufficient strength to defeat this attack on the working class.
“The message must be made clear to the British government and those who are prepared to do their dirty work in the Six Counties – they will not get away with what amounts to murder.”

Saturday, 3 December 2011

There's no end in sight for Maghaberry prison dispute- Eamonn McCann

A decent article by Eamonn McCann. Interestingly he is more outspoken about this serious situation than some !!!!

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


Lord Morrow was mightily miffed on Monday that Maghaberry prisoners have cost us a million pounds.
Justice Minister David Ford told the Fermanagh-South Tyrone MLA that: "The total cost of the damage caused by republican separated prisoners during their protest, since it began on Easter Sunday 2010, is £1,007,000." A whole lot of lettuce, right enough.
Of course, if the protest had lasted only a few months, if it had been over and done with by August, the cost would have been far less, and final. This is not a thought likely to mollify the DUP man.
"It's time for a clampdown on costs and those who are controlling this situation from the inside," said Lord Morrow. "If they do not abide by prison rules, such as washing, they should be placed under the same sanctions [as] any other prisoner."
The protest, he suggested, was aimed at recreating the "prisoner-of-war" conditions which obtained in Long Kesh following the hunger strikes of 1980 and 1981.
But what's striking about the Maghaberry protest is the relative modesty of its aims and, consequently, the relative ease with which it might be settled.
Indeed, there was a widespread presumption in August last year that the dispute had been resolved on the basis of an arrangement still available to all sides.
The issue at the heart of the matter is 'full-body searching' of prisoners entering or leaving the separated unit at Roe House within Maghaberry. It was the routine practice of full-body searching which triggered the launch of a 'dirty protest' at Easter last year.
The agreement struck in August, following a 'facilitation process' involving the Prison Service and the prisoners and endorsed by the Justice Department, involved a number of changes to the day-to-day regime and, critically, the replacement of routine full-body searching by an arrangement centred on the installation of a 'Boss chair', designed to detect hidden or banned items on the prisoner's person.
The prisoners accepted that the Prison Service would retain a right to order full-body searches when the Boss chair, or 'intelligence or suspicion', suggested that prohibited items might be concealed on a prisoner's body.
The position of the Justice Department, spelt out to the Telegraph four months ago, is that, "The Prison Service remains fully committed to the full implementation of the August Agreement."
It added, however, that, "We recognise tensions remain in relation to the interpretation of the Agreement." The prisoners and their supporters say that this is code for a refusal by prison staff to put the agreement into practice. They claim, too, that the Justice Department has been unwilling to insist on implementation.
Prisoners' lawyers have suggested that these attitudes can also be seen in a failure by the department to introduce changes in the overall prison regime set out last February in the report of the review team under Dame Ann Owers.
This report called for "a programme of change and transformation of culture, approach and working practices".
Eight months later, the team reported to the department that, "Little has changed in practice, despite . . . a new sense of purpose at the top of the service and support from the Justice Minister. The endemic and systematic problems . . . remain unresolved and public money is being wasted."
The wording can be interpreted as ascribing a share at least of responsibility for the persistence of the "endemic and systematic problems" on rank-and-file elements, as opposed to "the top" of the Prison Service.
Whether the amount of public money identified as having been wasted as a result equals or surpasses the £1m loss exercising Lord Morrow may be a matter of speculation. But it seems likely.
The prisoners enjoy little public sympathy. The actions which they have been convicted or accused of are deeply unpopular.
They may be able, plausibly, to see themselves as the successors, or continuation, of the Provisional and other manifestations of the IRA. But even accepting this designation, they are soldiers who have been deemed surplus to requirements now the war is over.
And former IRA leaders now embedded in constitutional politics, notwithstanding carefully calibrated expressions of concern, have a greater vested interest than most in denying them the legitimacy which they fear might be implied by special prison arrangements. The Maghaberry prisoners have no obvious area of potential support to turn to.
Against this background, irrespective of how obvious a solution might seem when set down on paper, it is difficult to envisage the dispute ending any time soon.
And we all know what the likely next step in escalation will be.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Maghaberry POW Convoy Newry-Dublin

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We are appealing to all organisations/independents to participate in this convoy from Newry to British Embassy in Dublin to demand the full implementation of the 2010 agreement.

All are asked to decorate their vehicles with flags, posters, etc relevant to the convoy theme, "IMPLEMENT THE 2010 AGREEMENT IN FULL". Let the message be loud and clear that we are not going to stand idly by and allow republican prisoners be criminalised.

The convoy will start in Newry and willl pass through Dundalk, Drogheda, Julianstown, Balbriggan, George's Quay, Trinity College and out to British Embassy at Ballsbridge. A one hour protest will take place outside the embassy.

Please forward the word and encourage as many as possible to participate