Sunday, 11 November 2012

New ‘Know Your Rights’ Leaflet Targets MI5 Harassment

The Conway Mill on Belfast’s Fall Road was the setting for a very well-attended public meeting on Thursday [November 8] at which éirígí launched its latest ‘Know Your Rights’ leaflet.

As concern grows in communities across the Six Counties about the increasing activities of Britain’s MI5, the party has produced a four-page information and advice leaflet setting out the steps people should take if they find themselves approached by the secretive spying organisation.

The meeting, chaired by Belfast éirígí activist Máire Drumm, began with a fifteen minute video presentation detailing some of MI5’s methods of operation.

She then introduced the first of two speakers at the meeting, éirígí’s rúnaí ginearálta, Breandán Mac Cionnaith.

Mac Cionnaith explained that the party had seen an upsurge in people coming forward to report approaches made to them by MI5, approaches which often occurring with the co-operation of the Six County police force.

In the course of his remarks, Mac Cionnaith said that, for several years, constitutional nationalist parties in the Six Counties had peddled the lie that they achieved the following:

  • No role for MI5 in ‘civic policing’
  • No PSNI personnel under MI5 control
  • No secondment of PSNI personnel to MI5
  • Annual oversight and reporting mechanisms on MI5’s role
  • A clear firewall established between the PSNI and MI5

Mac Cionnaith then dissected each of those claims.


He pointed out that MI5 does not have powers of arrest; does not have powers to question people; does not have powers to search or seize property and is fully dependent upon the PSNI to carry out those operations, arrests, searches and interrogations.

Constitutional nationalists, he said, put great emphasis on a statement made by the then British prime minister, Tony Blair, in 2007. Blair stated that only PSNI personnel attached to PSNI Headquarters Staff would act in a “in a liaison capacity” with MI5. Constitutional nationalists seized upon that statement to fool their members and supporters into believing that only a handful of PSNI personnel would be working with MI5. Those politicians, he said, failed to admit that many sections and departments of the PSNI fall under that overarching description of “Headquarters Staff” and that, at any one time, up to 1,200 of the PSNI personnel attached to Headquarters staff could be acting in a so-called ‘liaison capacity’ directly with MI5.

Mac Cionnaith also said that so-called annual oversight and reporting mechanisms on MI5’s role have been shown to be completely meaningless and worthless. He observed that the appointment of a British peer, Lord Carlile, a supporter both of non-jury courts and the prolonged detention without trial for suspects, to a role in annually reviewing MI5 in the North, was bizarrely hailed as “progress” by constitutional nationalists at Stormont. He also noted that that Carlile’s annual review of MI5 in the Six Counties is supposed to take place in consultation with the First and deputy First Ministers at Stormont – thereby directly implicating the north’s largest constitutional nationalist party into providing a fig-leaf for MI5’s activities in the Six Counties.

Mac Cionnaith also pointed out that Britain’s former Six County minister, Owen Paterson, had stated in December last year that there were “no difficulties of any significance in the inter-operability between the PSNI and the Security Service... This is a sound working partnership.”

Constitutional nationalist parties, said Mac Cionnaith, had created a smokescreen of propaganda to mislead their community into believing that those parties had achieved major progress on ending the era of political policing which has existed for as long as the Six County state itself. He bluntly described that as “a deceit”.

Referring to the recent controversy regarding the re-hiring of ex-RUC personnel as ‘agency staff’ by the PSNI, Mac Cionnaith stated, “It is also noticeable that no mention is ever made of exactly how many ex-RUC personnel are employed by MI5.

“Given that over 1,000 ex-RUC men were rehired back into the PSNI by the back-door, it is quite conceivable that at least a similar number have entered MI5’s base in Holywood through the front door.”

Máire Drumm then introduced the second speaker, Pádraigín Drinan, the well-known Belfast-based solicitor who, for forty five years, has been to the forefront in campaigns to defend against the erosion of human rights and civil liberties in the Six Counties.


From her participation in the Civil Rights movement in the late 1960s, Drinan was involved in representing many of those interned without trial by the British state during the 1970s, and over the course of many years has represented families who lost relatives at the hands of British state death squads. She has also represented many people who have been subjected to harassment and abuse by state forces and recently mounted a legal challenge against stop and search tactics used by the PSNI.

Ms Drinan said that, as a solicitor, she welcomed éirígí’s initiative in publishing the ‘know your rights’ leaflets. She described the latest publication on MI5 as “a necessity for many people” and added “that after all these years of repressive legislation it was remarkable how few people are actually aware of what their rights”.

Ms Drinan said, “The decision to make this information available is a very welcome and timely step.”

Ms Drinan continued, “Anyone approached by MI5 personnel, should contact a solicitor and let the solicitor act on their behalf. The goal of MI5 is to gather intelligence on a person’s neighbours, friends and even on members of that person’s family. They will try their hardest to extract any information, no matter how innocuous that may appear, from those whom they approach with each meeting.

“Anything they may offer, in terms of monetary incentives/jobs, is solely for their own benefit and not for the benefit of the person approached – and it is worth remembering that.

“No-one approached by MI5 should give away any personal details about themselves or anyone else, however harmless that information might seem.

“No-one is under any obligation to speak with MI5 no matter where or how they are approached. You can ignore them and you can walk away from them.”

She stressed the importance for everyone to report all approaches made by MI5 in order to protect their rights and civil liberties.

Several hundred copies of the new leaflet were readily snapped up by those attending the public meeting.

 The leaflet may be downloaded here.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

éirígí criticise heavy handed PSNI raids in Newry

Stephen Murney

éirígí in Newry have criticised a series of raids and arrests that took place across the city early on Monday morning [November 05].

Several families were targeted during the dawn raids and homes were left ransacked as well as a number of residents being arrested and taken to Antrim holding centre during the state force operation.

Criticising the raids, éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney said, “This is an all too familiar pattern. Here we have several homes ransacked and a number of people arrested and taken from their families. Unsurprisingly, those arrested were later released without charge within a matter of hours and with nothing untoward found during the searches.

“The PSNI’s strong-arm tactics left a number of children terrified and families were left to pick up the pieces. These raids were a particularly frightening for young children.

“The PSNI operation lasted for several hours and a large force of PSNI personnel in countless armoured landrovers saturated a number of working class areas. At the same time, a PSNI helicopter hovered over the city, keeping the local population under surveillance. These communities have endured this type of treatment many times in the past and today’s actions are clear proof of the unchanged nature of policing.”

Murney continued, “I met and spoke with some of the families targeted in these raids and they were left distressed, worried and seething with anger at the actions of the state forces. During the raids the PSNI confiscated mobile phones, ipods, family cars and even children’s computer games. Those who had their cars confiscated now have to find alternative transport to get them to work.”

Stephen concluded, “While constitutional nationalist parties tell us that this type of RUC style policing is a thing of the past, for republicans it’s clearly very much part of the present.”

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Successful POW events

A number of successful events have been held to highlight the serious humanitarian crisis facing republican prisoners.

In Newry around 100 people ,from all backgrounds and ages, took to the streets to protest in support of the political prisoners, A large RUC presence was evident at the picket. Those gathered were addressed by Dee Fennell, who spoke on behalf of the Families & Friends of Republican Prisoners and Ciaran Cunningham, who spoke on behalf of Cogus.

Here is a video of the picket and speeches

On the same day several hundred people too part in a rally in Dublin in support of the release of political internee Marian Price

On the 25th October around 50 republicans held a torch lit vigil at Divis Tower in West Belfast in support of Republican prisoners in Maghaberry

On the 21st October there was a fantastic turnout in Dungiven with around 140 republicans turning up for the white-line picket in support of the prisoners on protest in Maghaberry. The flow of traffic heading through the town was massive with crowds heading to the Derry County final and the message that we have prisoners on protest in Maghaberry was well received with plenty of cars tooting and many people shouting support as they drove by.

Go raibh maith agat to everyone who attended these and any events to highlight the injustices republican prisoners are currently enduring.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

éirígí to commemorate Wolfe Tone in Newry

éirígí have announced plans to commemorate the anniversary of one of Ireland’s most iconic revolutionaries, Theobald Wolfe Tone, in an event to be held in Newry.

The commemoration will take place in Newry city centre on Saturday 17th November at the Cochran and Lowans plaque situated at John Mitchel Place, Hill Street. The Volunteers Patricia Black & Frank Ryan Memorial Flute Band from Glasgow will also be in attendance.

Speaking ahead of the event éirígí’s Stephen Murney said, “Wolfe Tone is regarded by many as the founding father of Irish Republicanism. In 1791 he founded the revolutionary society of the United Irishmen along with Samuel Neilson, Thomas Russell and Henry Joy McCracken, taking their inspiration from the French Revolution. Wolfe Tone was captured with a French fleet in Lough Swilly County Donegal and taken to Dublin. He was tried and condemned to death in November; he died on the 19th November 1798.

Theobald Wolfe Tone

“The reason we have chosen Newry as the location to hold this commemoration is that in 1792, Wolfe Tone held a meeting in the Crown Inn (now Best estate agents) in Hill Street directly beside the Town Hall. At this meeting a local branch of the United Irishmen was formed. The first chairman of the United Irish Society in Newry was James Lang.

“At the lower end of Hill Street a plaque is situated in John Mitchel Place which commemorates Cochran and Lowans, who were executed in Newry for their part in the 1798 rising. Cochran and Lowans, both from Newry, were publicly executed on the high ground at the rear of the Bank of Ireland, Trevor Hill, a site known as Gallows Hill where Heather Park is situated today.”

Stephen continued, “Cochran on his return from the Battle of Ballynahinch, gave money to a woman on the outskirts of Newry to conceal him However she induced her husband to go into Newry and report his whereabouts for a much higher reward. The only information available on Lowans is that after the Battle of Ballynahinch he was apprehended at Bellman’s Loanin (now Windsor Avenue) off the Downshire Road. Both men were interned in the Linen Hall Barracks before their execution. They were then hung, drawn and quartered.

“Their heads were then spiked on a building in Margaret Square for forty-one days. Cochran’s father was not given permission to bury his son’s head along with his body until he agreed to carry it uncovered in his hands shouting “Traitor, traitor, the head of a traitor” all the way to the graveyard.

“Both Cochran and Lowans are buried in St Patrick’s graveyard, Church Street, Newry. The name of Cochran has been kept alive in Newry by a street named Cochran Row in a small housing estate on the Armagh Road. Part of the tunnel from the Bank of Ireland to Gallows Hill can still be seen in Heather Park.”

Tone was also very much aware of the class struggle being intertwined with the freedom struggle and he is quoted as saying, “Our freedom must be had at all hazards. If the men of no property will not help us they must fall; we will free ourselves by the aid of that large and respectable class of the community – the men of no property.”

Join with éirígí in commemorating those revolutionaries who gave their lives and let us continue to finish the task and complete their objectives, which remain unfilled.

Assemble at the Cochran & Lowans Plaque, John Mitchel Place, Newry, on Saturday 17th November at 4.30pm, with main speaker Pádraic Mac Coitir. Refreshments and entertainment will be available in a nearby establishment afterwards.

éirígí to highlight MI5 activities in the Six Counties at Belfast meeting

Palace Barracks

The socialist republican party éirígí are to hold a public meeting in Conway Mill, Belfast at 7pm on Thursday evening, November 8th, at which the party will formally launch an information and guidance leaflet aimed at advising people who have been or who may be subject to harassment by MI5.

Speaking ahead of the meeting and leaflet launch, éirígí spokesperson Padraic Mac Coitir said, “An increasing and disturbing trend has emerged in the Six Counties where undercover MI5 agents have been involved in numerous attempts to recruit various individuals to ‘work’ for them.

“It is clear that MI5 operatives, based at their headquarters in Palace Barracks, Hollywood, are engaged in a massive intelligence gathering trawl right across the Six Counties. It is also clear, from the cases reported to us, that they doing so in total collusion with the PSNI.

“Many of those targeted by MI5 and who contacted the party in recent months are not republicans, but are community workers, trade union activists and ordinary members of the public.”

Mac Coitir explained, “The circumstances in which people have been approached by MI5 vary from case to case.

“Cases that have been reported to the party include:

  • Individuals being stopped at what appeared to be normal ‘run-of-the-mill’ PSNI traffic checkpoints. In these cases, PSNI personnel then stood aside as well-dressed civilians approached the person stopped, introduced themselves as ‘X’ or ‘Y’, and then proceeded to attempt to recruit the person stopped
  • Telephone calls being made to people by individuals who have identified themselves using various pseudonyms such as ‘Ian’, ‘Mark’ ‘John’, etc. During these calls people have been asked to meet with MI5. Monetary incentives and jobs have been offered to people if they will assist them in gathering information
  • Individuals being approached while travelling through airports on way to a family holiday or as a journey connected to their work
  • Individuals being approached in person at their place of work
  • Individuals being approached while shopping in town centres

“Incidents have been reported to the party from across each of the Six Counties and it is clear that the frequency of such incidents is increasing.”

Mac Coitir continued, “In response to this increased activity by MI5, éirígí is launching a comprehensive information leaflet advising people what to do if they find themselves approached by MI5. Earlier this year, the party published a ‘know your rights’ card detailing a person’s rights when stopped or questioned by the PSNI. That received a very positive response in our communities, and we believe that this initiative regarding MI5 will be equally responded to.”

The meeting in Conway Mill on November 8th will be addressed by éirígí’s Breandán Mac Cionnaith and Belfast solicitor Padraigin Drinan.

Mac Coitir also said that the party would also be showing a short video at the meeting on the activities of MI5.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Maghaberry Protest Intensifies

It has been confirmed that Gavin Coyle has now joined Thomas and Desmond Hamill, Martin Mc Gilloway and Austin Creggan on Dirty Protest in the SSU, Maghaberry.

These 5 Republican prisoners are Roe 4 prisoners and are now adhering to the new policy by Roe 4 where by any prisoner aligned with Roe 4 will join their comrades on protest no matter where the administration of Maghaberry hold them.

The blame for this new development can be laid directly at David Ford, he has continually ignored the Republican prisoners on protest in Maghaberry and instead has delayed any productive developments.
This protest could be resolved very easily if Ford was to implement the August Agreement.


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

PSNI Death Threat Against Newry Activist Condemned

The latest news from éirígí

Members of the PSNI in Newry have made a direct threat to kill a member of éirígí in the Newry area.

The threat was made on Friday evening [October 26] when éirígí's Newry spokesman Stephen Murney was stopped and searched by members of the PSNI just minutes after he left a community event in the town. The well attended event was being held to promote suicide awareness and prevention.

During the stop and search in Monaghan Street, one member of the armed PSNI unit menacingly told Murney, “I’ll put a bullet in your f***ing head.”

Commenting on the incident, Murney said, “I was stopped and searched by the PSNI in Monaghan Street shortly after leaving the suicide awareness event. It was during that search that a member of the PSNI said he would put a bullet in my head.

“Given the history of collusion between the Six-County police force and loyalist death squads, I am taking the threat seriously. In the past, similar threats were made to people and, in many cases, those threats were later carried out by state forces acting in conjunction with their loyalist proxies.

“While the threat is a worrying development it certainly won’t be deterring me from my political activities. I will be recording the details of this threat with my legal representatives and with the human rights group CAJ.”

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith said, “Such behaviour by the PSNI is totally unacceptable, although it is far from surprising. The PSNI has inherited the old bully-boy tactics of the RUC. Indeed, half of the current manpower of the PSNI who patrol the streets of the Six Counties were themselves members of the RUC. It is little wonder that they feel that they can act with impunity.

“Constitutional nationalist parties have created a smokescreen of cover for the PSNI to engage in widespread harassment and human rights abuses. Contrary to what those parties state, incidents such as these confirm the reality that the PSNI is merely the old RUC dressed up in new uniforms with a new name.”

Saturday, 27 October 2012

éirígí Newry Slam Benefit Appeal Hearings Move

Newry Court House

éirígí in Newry have expressed their concern after it was revealed that benefits appeal hearings are to be moved, and will now be held in Newry Court House rather than Ballybot House.

Ballybot House is a widely used, purpose built, multi-purpose community resource centre located in the city’s Cornmarket area. A number of local people and community groups contacted the party after hearing of the move.

Commenting on the development éirígí’s Newry representative Stephen Murney said, “It can be a daunting enough experience to appear in front of a benefit appeals panel but this decision to relocate to a heavily fortified Court House will do nothing but cause additional stress and worry to many of those working class people who will be affected by this decision. The people who contacted éirígí are quite rightly concerned about the negative impact this move will have on ordinary citizens, the vast majority of whom have never entered a Court House in their lives.

“Entering a Court House is not a pleasant experience and indeed this move could be seen as a very carefully designed plan to try and deter people from appealing draconian decisions regarding their benefits. Indeed, this is very clearly a not so subtle attempt to portray those struggling to maintain their welfare entitlements as criminals.

“Those in positions of power seem to be hell-bent on using scare tactics against those who are being directly affected by the Tory/Stormont cuts. The Stormont poverty enforcers are threatening to strip people of their benefits if they refuse to do unpaid labour through the Workfare scheme and now benefits appeal hearings will be held within a fortified British Court House.”

Murney concluded, “Not only is the Stormont administration willingly implementing Tory cuts on behalf of the British government in Westminster, but now they are using heavily fortified courts as part of their anti-social programme. The extent that those responsible for this mess will go to seems to know no bounds. It appears that they will try everything and anything to prevent the sick, the disabled and the unemployed from accessing their rightful entitlements.”


A County Tyrone republican has lashed out at the justice system in the North of Ireland after charges against him and four others were quietly dropped by Crown prosecutors this week — after more than 14 months held without bail at Maghaberry prison.

The charges against Coalisland man Kevin Barry Murphy were based on alleged forensic evidence linking him to a claimed arms find in County Armagh in April last year.

Another man, Patrick Carty from Dungannon, was also freed after the RUC/PSNI  and prosecutors abandoned claims that his fingerprints were discovered on a mortar rocket.

Relatives and friends of the two men, who packed into the public gallery at Armagh Magistrates Court, were filmed entering and leaving the court complex by Special Branch police.

Murphy was previously cleared by a court of IRA charges in 2004 after it emerged that a police informer had been used to lure him and three others to a site where a rocket launcher had been hidden.

He said he had been interned by remand [‘awaiting trial’] and denied ever being a member of the ‘Real IRA’.

“In the past I have been acquitted of being a member of that organisation,” he said.

“The important point is that for the last 14 months we have asked for the fingerprint evidence and they have failed to produce it. It is tantamount to internment by remand.

“Someone said we were guilty of something without producing the evidence. That is the strategy being used against republicans. In the eighties we had the super-grass trials, in the nineties we had shoot-to-kill and today they are using internment by remand.”

He also called for the role of the RUC/PSNI and the forensic scientists used in his arrest and detention to be examined.

“An independent body needs to look at how those who step outside the box, those who are not pro-Good Friday Agreement republicans, end up in Maghaberry,” he said.

“What happened to us is also an indictment of constitutional nationalism which has remained silent on the issue.

“It’s an indictment of the new political dispensation on policing and justice.”

The two men have spent their detention at Maghaberry prison in County Antrim, where they joined in the ongoing no-wash protest against criminalisation by other political prisoners held there.

Arms charges against three other men were also dropped this week, although they continue to be held at Maghaberry without bail.

Mr Murphy’s lawyer, Peter Corrigan said the charges had been dropped to avoid having to finally reveal the statements of evidence.

“We have been requesting the so-called fingerprint evidence from the police station from his arrest right through the proceedings,” he said.

“We initiated experts to go into the lab and that request was refused.

“All of a sudden they know we are going to see the statements of evidence and they withdraw the charges.”

He said he believed his client had been targeted for imprisonment and ‘malicious prosecution’.

“This is effectively internment by remand when you don’t produce the evidence to justify the detention,” he said.

“In light of this case we are calling for custody time limits to be brought in so the prosecution cannot do this, so they cannot delay cases without producing the evidence.

“This case is going to be referred to the police ombudsman and we will be initiating civil proceedings for malicious prosecution.”

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Internees released

Welcome home Republican Internees Kevin Murphy and Packy Carty, victims of a British campaign of evidence invention and falsification to place Irish Republicans in the hands of the British torture regime in MagHaberry gaol.

Both Kevin & Packy have been through the ongoing protest and brutal violations at the hands of the British state.They have had the clothes torn and cut from their bodies and had to run the gauntlets of the Riot squads in MagHaberry Torture camp and been beaten to the ground.

These men were Interned! .... The charges were invented to give the British Crown months and years to torture these men and others away from the public gaze.. Kevin and Packy have been released. Their Friends and comrades continue to suffer the brutality of the British Stormtroopers in the torture camp of MagHaberry and it is our duty to ensure that we redouble our efforts to support the Republican POWs within the British torture system.

Speaking following his release Packy Carty said "I've just Been released from Maghaberry Gaol after being interned by the British State for 9 months , God Bless the Republican POWs in Roe 4 who are in a living hell, i am blessed to have endured their hardships with them"

Friday, 19 October 2012

Upcoming POW events - Dungiven, Belfast, Newry & Dublin

In the coming weeks several events will take place in various parts of Ireland to highlight ongoing injustices endured by republican prisoners and political internees. These events are organised by the Families & Friends of Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry, the Dublin based Free Marian Price Committee and the Newry/South Armagh Republican Prisoners Support Group.

I would encourage everyone concerned to try and attend these events

F&F's have organised a white-line picket on Sunday 21st October to highlight the prisoners on protest in Maghaberry. 

This protest will coincide with the Derry county final. 

Assemble at Dungiven GAA club at 1.00 pm

All Republicans welcome.

Poster for the Belfast event on Thursday 25th October

The Dublin Free Marian Price Committee will hold a march in Dublin on the 3rd of November which will start at the garden of remembrance @ 2pm, we would encourage all who are able to attend to do so.

Victory to the Prisoners,
Beir bua!

Newry-South Armagh Republican Prisoner Support Group will be holding a white line picket on Monaghan Street, Newry on Saturday 3rd November at 2pm

This is an Independent event an is open to all Republicans

Victory To The POWS 

éirígí Slam Newry Normalisation Stunts

Britain Out of Ireland
Recently in Newry a number of events have taken place which can only be described as an attempt to normalise the British state forces, events which have prompted local people, angered by the offensive displays, to contact éirígí.

These normalisation initiatives focused on both the British army and the British police, the PSNI.

These included a publicity stunt held in the Quays shopping centre on Saturday [October 13] in which the PSNI were put in the same light as genuine emergency services such as the fire, rescue and ambulance service.

This particular event was advertised as a ‘fun day for all the family’. For many families across Newry, their experiences of the PSNI have been far from fun. Countless citizens of Newry have endured house raids, and stop and searches at the hands of the PSNI.

Voicing the party’s anger, éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney said, “Saturday’s event clearly tried to portray the PSNI as a “normal” emergency service when in fact they nothing of the sort.

“In recent weeks advertisements for the British army have appeared in Newry city centre as well.”

Stephen continued, “The British army’s record in Ireland consists of murder and brutality. These tactics have also been adapted in their recent imperialist exploits in other countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Local people contacted our party and told us of their disgust that these recruitment advertisements were displayed in various parts of Newry.

“Indeed, to add further insult, one such advertisement, which depicted an armed British soldier, was displayed in Hill Street, just a few yards from the spot where three unarmed local men, Sean Ruddy (28), James McLaughlin (26) and Robert Anderson (26) were murdered in 1971 by British soldiers who shot them in cold blood.”

Murney added, “However the British army’s role in Ireland is not consigned to the past, it is very much part of the present day. British troops remain garrisoned in the Six Counties and the sinister Special Reconnaissance Regiment is on active operations here. Undercover British soldiers are currently involved in covert surveillance operations right across the North.

“éirígí will resist all attempts to normalise the presence of British forces – irrespective of whether they are British troops or British police.”

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Davy Hyland welcomes Marian Price, Gerry MCeough, Martin Corey motion

Cllr Davy Hyland response to motion submitted to Newry & Mourne District Council by cllrs P McDonald and M Murphy

The motion reads as follows: " That this council calls for the immediate release of of Marian Price, Martin Corey and Gerry McGeough. Everyone is entitled to due process. Both Marian Price and Martin Corey have been denied this. Their continued detention without trial is an infringement of their human rights and clearly undermines the justice system. their imprisonment is unjust and is in defiance of rulings by the courts in both cases. Both have been granted bail by the courts and yet remain in prison.

the arrest and continuing detention of Gerry McGeough represents  a flagrant breach by the British Government of its commitments in the Weston park Agreement woth respect to OTRs.

All three should be released immediately"

As an independent republican councillor who has been campaigning on behalf of republican prisoners and their families for some time, i very much welcome, support and endorse this motion. The basic infringement of natural rights is clearly a serious humanitarian issue and any help or support for their cause is clearly welcomed.

Martin Corey from Lurgan was released from gaol in 1992 having served 19 years and was arrested once again in April 2010 and held without trial, ie internment, ever since.

In July of this year his release was ordered by Judge Seamus Treacy who recognised that Martin’s human rights had been violated and infringed upon under article 5 of the said act. However Patterson, the British secretary of state, over ruled Treacy’s findings and insisted that the republican should remain in gaol. During the hearing it transpired that the so-called evidence against Corey was so secret that not even Justice Treacy was allowed to see it. The book of evidence given to him was an empty book with the words “the secretary of state, states that this evidence exists”, a truly colonial and imperialistic mindset if ever there was one!!!!

Patterson is now gone and his predecessor hasn’t said or done anything to the contrary and hence Martin Corey remains imprisoned, having not been charged with anything.

Marian Price from Belfast is another internee. Jailed in the 1970s she suffered from 200 days of horrific forced feeding. She has, more recently, been interned for over 500 days (1 ½ years) on a spurious charge. Having been imprisoned and isolated in an all-male prison she is now being held under armed guard in hospital suffering from pneumonia and numerous other health problems- there is a distinct possibility that this middle aged woman will die whilst in prison under the most flimsy of charges. Has Britain not learned anything from the experiences of 1981 when ten republicans lost their lives in Long kesh???

Is Britain determined to repeat the deadly mistakes of the past???

However it is really important to remember that the three named prisoners in this motion are not the only victims of the gaol scandal. In Maghaberry over 40 other republican prisoners have been forced to go on “dirty protest” fighting for political status in filthy squalid cells without the most basic of needs.

They are locked up approximately 23 hours a day, denied education, free association and all the rights associated with political status. They are still being stripped searched despite the fact that body scanners have been introduced and utilized in other prisons and yet there exists an agreement, facilitated by independent observers, that could end all of this suffering in the morning.

It was reached in August 2010 but for some strange reason David Ford reneged on it and it currently sits on the Stormont ministers desk gathering dust.

I want to finish by urging the councillors who are proposing this motion to not only use words but to follow their words with actions. No one can deny that they are a well organised party and hence they should and must mobilise their members, their support base and indeed their voters to actively protest against the injustices being inflicted upon Republican prisoners and political hostages held in British prisons.

Hopefully this motion will be supported by all within this chamber tonight and following it i would like to see a delegation of Sinn Fein, SDLP and independent councillors, and even unionist Councillors, to visit the prisoners and see at first hand the real conditions which they and their families and friends are enduring. Anyone who undertakes such a visit will come away from that prison with a much different view and interpretation of prison conditions in the six-counties.

Could i finish with a perspective from the republican prisoners themselves.....”We are currently engaged once more on a protest against conditions imposed on us that do not befit a republican prisoner of war. We cannot and will not be criminalised for actions of resistance to British rule in Ireland. The republican prison struggle has a long and turbulent history. The core and only reason there are republican POWs is British rule in Ireland. While this remains there will always be republican prisoners and until our demands are met our protest goes on”


Its 27th September about 5 o clock in the morning I am lying in my cell nervously thinking about the day ahead.

Today I am in court and with court comes the brutal, degrading and humiliating tactic of the forced strip search of Republican prisoners. This is not my first time being brought to court so I know what lies ahead. My heart beats faster and faster I can actually hear it pumping through my chest as thoughts of what I am about to receive run through my mind. I might be worried but at the same time I know I wont comply to these bitter heartless torturers.

The next few hours seem to drag in then about 7 o clock the alarm bells ring throughout the wing, they couldn't be any louder. I lift myself up into a sitting position and stretching myself out I look into corner of the cell and see last nights dinner I had thrown it there as it wasn't edible.

Looking on the floor beside my bed I see my breakfast, a small packet of Alpen and a half carton of milk, the screws had threw it into my cell the night before knowing I was for court this morning. I eat this and when finished I keep the spoon as I will need it later. I rip up the plastic container it came with and the milk carton and I throw them out the window, this procedure happens with the three daily meals, it stops them from using the containers and cutlery over and over again and it also leaves the outside of the Republican wing looking like a rubbish dump which annoys the administration as they have to pay industrial cleaners every so often to come in and clean it up.

I can hear the cleaners outside with big hoovering machines cleaning up the mess we had made by pouring the stuff threw the doors last night. I realise I had better go to the toilet quickly before they come and get me for court. The toilet consists of a sheet of newspaper on the ground and an empty half carton of milk, out the window the urine goes and onto the wall the rest of it goes. Its not a nice thing to be spreading this onto the wall first thing in the morning, not a nice thing to be doing anytime of the day but we have no other choice the administration has forced us into this position but at least today there is room to spread it, my cell was cleaned for the first time 2 weeks ago, before that the four walls were covered top to bottom with a double coat of excrement as well as the ceiling. The ceiling isn't accessible to all the prisoners as height comes into play here. To cover the ceiling it entails stacking a load of newspapers on top of the plastic chair we have or placing your brown bag of clothes on top of the chair and standing on it, it takes good balance as it is awkward but it is a good feeling knowing that the person cleaning it with the power hose will be finding it difficult to dodge the waste coming down on him from the ceiling.

Shortly after the door opens and there they stand. The riot squad. These are the hateful rats that work our landing every single day. There are four of them “shower, you're for court” one of them snarls. I walk out carrying my towel, toothbrush/paste and soapbox, one of them takes these from me and searches through the towel and box, another searches me from head to toe while the other two just stand and stare at me with hate filled eyes. The four of them walk me the short distance to the showers, two to the front of me and two behind me, this is what they call controlled movement. No other prisoner will be out on the landing while another prisoner is on it and at all times he will have four of this riot team around him.

At the showers they throw a box at my feet with a brown paper bag on top, in this box we have our clean clothes, they don’t let us wear the clothes we have in our cells when we leave the landing as they say they are contaminated.

I take my clothes out of the box and lift the brown bag, they open the steel barred grille let me in and then lock it behind me. I'm only in a few minutes when one of them shouts “hurry up the bus is here” I take my time I'm in no rush for what lies ahead. I put the clothes I had wore leaving my cell plus the towel and toiletries into the brown paper bag I walk over to the grilles the same four are standing waiting. One takes the brown bag and searches it thoroughly while another searches me again from head to toe and the other two yet again just stare with their hate filled glare. “Right use the phone” one of them says I tell him that I can't use the phone as my phone card is in my cell “not our problem” he says and I quickly realise that I wont get my 5 min phone call to my family today with that he turns to other members of the riot team who have now gathered at the reception desk "that’s him for the bus, he doesn't want the phone" they all burst out laughing. Pathetic.

Four of them again walk me the short distance to the grilles that leads me off our landing and out into to the circle, through one gate and then another a short walk to the turn-style,through it and straight onto the bus at the entrance of Roe house. The engine starts and away we go. There is a small hole in the material used to blank out the window and as we go through the two large electronically controlled gates I can see we pass the search box. The search box contains the boss chair which is a body scanner that can detect objects hidden inside ones body they put us through this on our way back from visits so why cant they just put me through it now instead of driving straight by it and on to the reception area where a body search will be forced upon me by a five strong riot team.

My stomach is in knots as the van pulls up to the reception area. I'm brought into the reception area and asked immediately if I am going to comply with the strip search. My answer is no. They put me into a small room and tell me I have 15 minutes reflection time to think about it. "I don’t need it" I say but the door slams firmly shut. During this time I am pacing up and down the small room taking deep breaths and moving my arms and wrists in circular motions to loosen them up for the attack that lies ahead. After the allotted time the door opens and a governor walks in he asks me am I going to comply with the strip search, more determined than ever I repeat "no", he asks is there anything he can do that will change my mind again I say no, "ok then" he says "I am going to order the search" and he walks out. Within seconds a five strong riot team rush through the door, one of them runs to the corner with a hand held video camera in his hand while two quickly rush me and grab my arms, they pull them straight out from my sides and twist my wrists, fingers and arms into some kind of martial art lock. A third grabs hold of my head and pushes it down to my chest whilst pushing me hard enough to force me to my knees.

Whilst on my knees my arms are outstretched in a crucifix type position and my wrists are twisted agonizingly upwards. The fourth member goes behind me and pulls my legs from the kneeling position while the third one forces my head to the floor, all the while the other two still have my arms, wrists and fingers in locks, I am now lying face flat on the floor two of the riot squad are on the ground with me still with my arms wrists and fingers in these painful locks. Again the fourth member of the team begins taking off my shoes and socks, he searches them and finds nothing, he then pulls off my jeans and underwear leaving me naked from the waist down, again he searches these and finds nothing, Then the third one lifts my head about 8 inches off the floor while the other two have my arms wrists and fingers still in locks then the one doing the stripping pulls off my t-shirt searches it and finding nothing, he throws it on top of me and the senior officer of the riot squad tells them one by one to pull out. The first to go is the one stripping me he is then followed by the one who is holding my head to the floor. This leaves three of them still in the room, one in the corner who has been videoing the whole ordeal and the other two who have my arms, wrists and fingers in locks. All of a sudden one of them starts shouting “stop resisting, stop resisting" I can't move never mind resist and at this they systematically pull my arms up outstretched behind my back. I squeal in agony, I don’t know how to explain the position I am in because I don’t think it would be humanely possible to put ones body in this shape, I think my shoulders are going to pop out, I feel my wrists are at breaking point, I am still screaming in pain when they let me drop to the floor, “don’t get up till we leave the room” one of them says. I just lie there in agony but a sigh of relief comes over me, it was over, for now.

I get myself together and get on my feet I look at the door, the hatch is open and the one who had the camera is still videoing, I get dressed and the hatch slams shut. Within a minute the governor walks into the room “have you any complaints about the search?” he asks I say it was overly aggressive and uncalled for. "I'll make a note of it" he says he leaves the room and a nurse enters “have you any injuries?” I just look at her, and she leaves. The screws at the door shout "lets go."

I walk out to the reception area and there is the riot squad standing laughing, they all stand tall as if they had just carried out something to be proud of. I just look at them smirk and turn and walk to the front door.

Out we go and into the prison van for the short journey to Laganside courts in Belfast. Once there I am brought straight down to the cells and I wait to be called. Within the hour I am brought upstairs to the courtroom. I get to sit beside three of my friends who are in the dock with me, all four of us in court on trumped up charges placed against us by the RUC. Within minutes the judge adjourns it as the so called police witnesses haven’t appeared.

I shake hands with my friends and am lead back down to the cells. I am held here for a few hours. They bring me lunch, a sandwich and a packet of crisps and then its back onto the prison van and the same short journey back to Maghaberry.

The nerves in my stomach return again. I know they are waiting on me.

Back in reception the whole brutal procedure is repeated again.

I am in agonizing pain as I am brought back to Roe 4. I am lead straight to my cell by four of the riot squad. Two in front and two behind.

The cell door slams behind me. My dinner is already sitting on the bed, freezing cold potatoes and some kind of cheese and broccoli slice. I throw it behind the door and lie down on top of the bed and think about the day I've just had. I ask myself, why do they drive past the search box with the boss chair in it?

If they put us through the boss chair leaving Maghaberry then there would be no need for these brutal forced strip-searches. Then reality kicks in, it is all about power and control. I cant help but wonder what sort of person would you have to be to go to work every day and brutalise another human being ? A sick individual is my only conclusion.

As I lie there in thought my cell door opens “anything for the duty governor” one of them says, I don’t even lift my head to acknowledge him the cell door slams shut.

Its about half 6 now time to start the nightly building of the dam to block the door for when I put the stuff out later. Some skill is needed in mastering this art but within a few days I had it sussed.

When I need to go to the toilet later I will use the plastic spoon I saved from this morning from breakfast to mix it all together until it turns into a brown nasty liquid which I will be able to pour out onto the landing.We never get to see it but I would love to see the state of the landing and the mess they have to clean up after all the lads have emptied their mix out the doors. With this done and after a little bit of reading I close my eyes and settle down for the night. Tomorrow brings a new day and although we might be locked up 23 hours a day I will get to see my friends and comrades during that little bit of exercise time. This brings a smile to my face because despite the treacherous conditions we are forced to live in despite the brutal regime we are forced to endure, the craic and the spirit couldn't be greater.

It fills me with great pride to play a small part in this phase of the prison struggle. We are more determined now than ever to see this protest through to the end and we will win. These men on dirty protest here in Maghaberry are brave men, these men are strong men but above all else these men are Irish Republicans.

Victory to the protesting prisoners in Maghaberry.


Monday, 15 October 2012

éirígí picket Newry event for Ed Balls

Despite persistent rain, members of éirígí held a successful picket today outside the front entrance of the Canal Court Hotel in Newry where a business lunch was being held, attended by the British shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ed Balls. Those attending the lunch included ministers from all of the Stormont parties.

The protest was part of the party’s Stormont Isn’t Working campaign and was held to highlight the fact that Stormont’s failed economic agenda is designed in Britain and implemented by local politicians.

éirígí members also handed out leaflets to shoppers and other passers-by, many of whom expressed their support for the protest.

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith, who was present on the Newry picket-line, said, “The social and economic fabric of the Six-County state is in complete disarray and the Stormont assembly is unable to provide any meaningful or effective solutions.

“The previous economic recession of the Thatcher era during the 1980s saw unemployment in the 6 counties reach a peak of 123,500 by October 1986.

“In the intervening years, various British governments introduced no less than 13 separate measures to massage and hide the true levels of unemployment. Those measures are still being used by the Stormont coalition today to hide the extent of mass unemployment within our communities.

Stormont Isn't Working

“Stormont’s ‘official’ statistics are heavily massaged to minimize the number of unemployed persons downwards. Those massaged figures put the number of unemployed at 71,000.

“Stormont is deliberately concealing the fact that there are another 60,000 men, women and young people who need and want work, but who are excluded from the ‘official’ count.

“Today, in the Six Counties, the scandalous reality is that there are an estimated 130,000 people seeking work.

“Almost one in four young people aged 18 to 24 are unemployed as a result of Stormont’s economic ineptitude.

“One senior economist has described the method used by Stormont for measuring unemployment as ‘unreliable’ and ‘not well regarded in the economics world’.

“Over 11,000 people recently applied for the 450 full- and part-time jobs due to be created by a large international supermarket chain in Portadown. That demonstrates just how critical the demand for employment has become.”

Stormont Isn't Working

Mac Cionnaith continued, “In addition to unemployment, child poverty levels are also growing unabated under Stormont and the welfare reform bill will mean that the less well-off in our society will again be the hardest hit. Yet, Stormont politicians are united in a campaign to secure further tax-breaks for large businesses and multi-national companies which already make vast profits.

“It’s clear that Stormont is simply not working for ordinary people and that is the message which our party activists will be driving home over the coming weeks and months.”

Local éirígí member Stephen Murney also criticised the PSNI for attempting to harass party members participating in the picket.

He said, “The PSNI attempted to take the names and other details of party members immediately the protest commenced. Our members quite rightly refused as the PSNI could not even state the legislation under which they were seeking that information. Even when it was pointed out to the PSNI that there were no legal grounds for anyone to provide them with such details, the PSNI continued to persist in their harassment.

“It was only after one of our members phoned a solicitor and then offered the phone to the lead PSNI officer for the solicitor to inform that officer of the limitations of their powers that the PSNI backed off. At one stage, the PSNI also demanded to see the credentials of a press photographer who was covering the events both inside and outside the hotel.

“The PSNI actions once again demonstrated that political policing is still very much a reality.”

Saturday, 22 September 2012

éirígí Newry Rejects PSNI ‘Engagement’

The socialist republican party éirígí has rejected an offer from the PSNI to engage with the force.

The offer emerged following reports in the local media in Newry in which the PSNI responded to éirígí’s statement exposing the fact that undercover British state operatives approached a neighbour of the party’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney and attempted to recruit him into working for them in gathering information.

Dismissing the suggestion that the party should meet with the British forces, éirígí’s Stephen Murney said, “The first thing to note is that the PSNI do not deny that they were involved in a surreptitious approach to one of my neighbours and attempted to pressurise him into working for them as a spy. The very fact that the PSNI didn’t deny this vindicates our decision to publicise the underhand nature of these PSNI activities.

“The person who was approached by the PSNI to spy made very detailed statements about these incidents to an independent legal representative and to a human rights organisation. Those statements indicate that these approaches were first made during the early summer. Indeed, those statements also show that the PSNI called to the man's home several weeks before those dates on which the PSNI assert they were conducting house to house enquiries.

“The suggestion that anyone who finds themselves being targeted by the PSNI should contact the PSNI is clearly absurd. Meeting and engaging with those directly involved in such activity would serve no meaningful purpose.

“As for the attempt by the PSNI’s PR office to portray éirígí’s highlighting of very real and serious issue of human rights’ concern as a ‘tit-for-tat debate about the past’, nothing could be further from the truth.

“The recruitment of informers and pressurising neighbours to spy on neighbours is part of the PSNI’s current present day tactics, approved at the most senior levels within that force. It is the PSNI who are continuing to use and implement on a daily basis the discredited policies and tactics of the past.”

Murney continued, “éirígí will continue to be active in our communities. Our members in Newry, and indeed across Ireland, include many activists who have been involved in working on behalf of their communities for years. That work includes helping our neighbours in need, spearheading community projects and initiatives, taking part in and supporting charitable events, lobbying for improvements for various community issues, organising community clean ups, and involvement in the public and voluntary sector as well being active in trade unions.”

Stephen added, “In contrast, it is the PSNI who are the heavy-handed strangers and outsiders seeking to undermine our communities.”

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Statement from Lundy family

I have been asked by Daniel Lundy to publicise how his meeting with NGA (Belfast) on Tuesday went, by posting the letter he sent them today dealing with issues arising. Please pass on.

To the Committee NGA (Belfast)

At our recent meeting, regarding the omission of my father, Alan Lundy, from the County Antrim Memorial at Milltown Cemetery an explanation that I believe was disingenuous was given for the failure of the NGA (Belfast) to have my father’s name inscribed along with those of his friends and comrades. At the meeting, attended by my sister Clare and I representing our family, and Joe Austin, Liam Shannon and Anne Murray representing NGA (Belfast), we were informed that my father was left off the memorial because “the Lundy family have never approached” NGA (Belfast) and that this was official policy.

Following the meeting I approached a number of friends who until recently were prominent members of the NGA (Belfast), including Pádraic Mac Coitir, Rab Jackson and a former member from Ardoyne. They told me that at no time has this been official policy of the NGA (Belfast), and that in effect our family had been lied to in this regard. This was also confirmed as nonsense by the family of Maire Drumm, who was a Sinn Fein member, assassinated by Loyalists and buried in a family grave exactly like my father. They have confirmed that at no point, either for the old or new memorial, did they have to approach NGA (Belfast) for their mother’s inclusion on the County Antrim Memorial. When asked why you had not seeked permission for putting my father’s name on your website, nor needed to be approached by the family for this to be done you said “those names were taken from Tirghra”. This proves our family’s point. My father was a Sinn Féin activist at the time of his murder, as well as an IRA Volunteer, as acknowledged by the Republican Movement at the time of Tirghra. As such he should have been acknowledged on the Antrim Memorial.

At the meeting we were also informed that the only reason that anyone would be omitted from the County Antrim Memorial was if the Provisional IRA said so, or if the family objected. Given that the PIRA never objected and I can state categorically that the Lundy family also never objected, why was my father left off the memorial? And given recent public assertions by both Martin McGuinness and Declan Kearney that the Provisional IRA no longer exists, who are the NGA (Belfast) going to ask permission from now if my father’s name is to belatedly be included on the Memorial?

My father’s omission is especially baffling, given that his name was inscribed immediately after his assassination on the Ardoyne/Bone/Ligoniel Memorial at the Sinn Fein Centre in Ardoyne. He is acknowledged as an IRA Volunteer in Tirghra and is included on the Republican Roll of Honour published in An Phoblacht every year, not the Roll of Remembrance. The Provisional IRA also paid for my father’s funeral.

Effectively, NGA (Belfast) are saying that it is not their fault that Alan Lundy is not on the County Antrim Memorial, but the fault of our family. The facts do not bear this out, and we refuse to accept this explanation. The meeting with NGA (Belfast) has actually increased the hurt and distress that our family is feeling, and the cruel and callous manner in which my sister and I were addressed was an absolute disgrace, adding insult to injury. When we asked for an apology, we were told by Liam Shannon “I don’t think so somehow” and that our family was to blame and NGA (Belfast) had nothing to apologise for. I think that your committee, if it has any morals left, should seriously discuss this man’s ability to deal with the families of our Patriot Dead, given his approach towards my sister and I. Given this attitude, we would find it hard now to accept any apology, as it would be quite clearly an insincere attempt at damage limitation.

To conclude, the Lundy Family are looking forward to the day that my father is rightfully acknowledged for the sacrifice he made for all of the people of the Irish nation by having his name inscribed on the County Antrim Memorial along with his friends and comrades. We look forward to hearing from you as to the date and time that this will be carried out.

Daniel Lundy
(Son of Alan Lundy)

Friday, 7 September 2012

A Decade of Centenaries for Historical Revisionism?

A Decade of Centenaries for Historical Revisionism?

éirígíAs a two-part feature, we carry an article by éirígí Rúnaí Gineáralta, Breandán Mac Cionnaith, on the forthcoming decade of centenaries and how the partitionist institutions in Stormont and Leinster House, along with the Westminster government, are already planning to take possession of the events of one hundred years ago. The article explains the necessity for republicans, socialists and other progressives to take ownership of the legacy of the Irish revolutionary period from 1913-1923.

In the second article, dealing with the dangers of revisionist Irish history, we re-publish the text of the 1989 C. Desmond Greaves Memorial Lecture delivered by Peter Berresford Ellis.

We gratefully acknowledge The Irish Democrat for their permission to re-publish that memorial lecture, entitled ‘Revisionism in Irish Historical Writing – The new anti-nationalist school of historians’.

Peter Berresford Ellis is an historian and novelist and a regular contributor to the Irish Democrat. He is the author of A History of the Irish Working ClassHell or Connaught: The Cromwellian Colonisation of Ireland, and The Boyne Water: The Battle of the Boyne 1690. He edited and introduced James Connolly: Selected Writings.

Charles Desmond Greaves (27 September 1913 – 23 August 1988) was an Irish activist and historian. He wrote a number of books on Irish history as a Marxist historian, including The Life and Times of James Connolly (1961), The Easter Rising as History (1966), and Liam Mellows and the Irish Revolution (1971). In 1941 he joined the Connolly Club, which later became the Connolly Association and became the editor of its magazine The Irish Democrat.

A Decade of Centenaries for Historical Revisionism?

Without any doubt, the period from 1913 to 1923 was indeed one of the great revolutionary periods in Irish history when the various social, economic and political movements of that time combined into a popular struggle for national liberation and sovereignty.

From 1913, a year which saw workers engaged in a momentous struggle for trade union recognition, better pay and conditions, and which also saw the formation of the Irish Citizen Army and Irish Volunteers; through to the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Declaration of the Republic; resistance to conscription and the general election of 1918; An Chéad Dáil Éireann and the commencement of a nationwide armed revolt; the establishment of workers’ soviets and alternative systems of governance; through to the Treaty and the partition of Ireland in 1921; culminating in the civil war and the defence of the Republic; this was a momentous period from which lessons can and must be drawn and learned.
The two defining documents of that era – the 1916 Proclamation and the Democratic Programme of 1919 – set out clearly the demands for national self-determination, for social and economic justice and democracy, of cherishing all the children of the nation equally, of claiming the wealth of Ireland for the people of Ireland.

Those who endorsed and supported those demands were men and women with a vision for a new, equal and free Ireland.

Sadly, they saw their vision of a radically new Ireland crushed by a foreign power, by a domestic capitalist class, and by self-serving political elites.

This month, which sees the 100th anniversary of the ‘Ulster Covenant’, heralds the commencement of what those in establishment circles in both the Six and Twenty-Six Counties have called “the decade of commemorations”.

On March 15th this year, the Six County Executive announced it had “decided to take the lead role in organising events for the forthcoming Decade of Commemorations... Ministers agreed that it was appropriate and necessary for the Executive to set the tone and provide leadership in putting an official acknowledgement process in place.”

Likewise, in the Twenty-Six Counties, an all-party group has been established in Leinster House “to inform the development and delivery of the commemorative programme for the period 2012 to 2016” and beyond.

Even the British government has joined in, giving their NIO minister, Hugo Swire, responsibilities which include ‘commemorative initiatives for centenary anniversaries’.

Stormont, Leinster House and Westminster will re-interpret and rework the events of 100 years ago to suit their collective selfish, political and socio-economic agendas.

Their single, collective narrative will be to try and convince the Irish people that the Ireland of today is, indeed, the Ireland envisaged in 1916 and 1919.

That narrative will be framed within the context of the 1921 Treaty, the Good Friday and St Andrew’s Agreements, which reinforced and copper-fastened partition and contributed nothing to the political, social or economic advancement or well-being of the majority of Ireland’s citizens.

The Stormont and Leinster House elites which oversee partition, which have ensured the surrender of Irish sovereignty to Britain and the EU, which have factored mass unemployment, mass emigration and growing levels of poverty into their economic policies, have made it clear that the earth-shattering events of a century ago will be commemorated on their terms.

Having set out the terms for their commemorations, Stormont and Leinster House will make available funds for those establishments’ political figures, erstwhile historians and experts to re-work and re-write our history for the ‘benefit’ of future generations.

An example of the reshaping of history which we can expect to see, hear and read during the forthcoming ‘decade of centenaries’ was given by Bertie Ahern when he spoke at a Fianna Fáil commemoration for Liam Mellows a few years ago.

Liam Mellows
Mellows, in his time, was scathing of the type of moneyed interests which, decades after his execution, Ahern and many other leading political figures of various “republican” hues have now become so synonymous with.

Mellows had written: “It would be folly to destroy English tyranny in order to erect a domestic tyranny that would need another revolution to free the people. The Irish Republic stands, therefore, for the ownership of Ireland by the people of Ireland. It means that the means and process of production must not be used for the profit or aggrandisement of any group or class... the commercial interest, so called, money and the gombeen men are on the side of the Treaty, because the Treaty means Imperialism and England. We are back to Tone – and it is just as well – relying on that great body – ‘the men of no property’. The ‘stake in the country’ people were never with the Republic. They are not with it now – and they will always be against it.”

Ahern ignored those published views of Mellows and, without any hint of hypocrisy or semblance of shame, asserted, “I believe that Liam Mellows would recognise in today’s Ireland a country which has vindicated many of his principles.”

Mellows opposed the two partitionist states on this island; both of which were, and still remain, hostile to the interests of Irish workers; both of which have acted against the struggles and interests of the Irish working class time and time again.

The Ireland of today bears no resemblance whatsoever to the Republic envisaged by Liam Mellows and so many others.

We must re-assert that truth.

Republicans, socialists and other progressives must now begin making preparations to challenge and counter, at every opportunity, the forthcoming propaganda campaign of those who endorse partition and who maintain the unjust social and economic systems that have been created as a result.

The ‘official’ state narratives will not be aimed at presenting any accurate historic record or unbiased analysis, but will be designed to justify acceptance and approval of the status quo in Ireland today, particularly in relation to the six counties.

At present, right across Ireland, there are more ordinary people preoccupied by the daily personal struggles of coping with the severe economic policies implemented by Stormont and Leinster House than there are with partition.

In these difficult times, when families throughout Ireland face many economic difficulties, when people are naturally concerned and worried about the future, especially about employment prospects for the younger generation, we must again educate others into the nature of the republican struggle. We need to explain that the republican struggle is not based on a selfish or narrow-minded nationalism; it is about achieving real political freedom, it is about delivering social justice, it is about economic equality for all.

James Connolly
As Irish socialist republicans, we should again assert and explain to others, as Connolly so ably did, that “the Irish question is a social question, the whole age-long fight of the Irish people against their oppressors resolves itself, in the last analysis into a fight for the mastery of the means of life, the sources of production, in Ireland.”

We must strive to convince and persuade others that what is needed in Ireland is not a grudging acceptance or resentful tolerance of the status quo but a new Irish Republic, one which will re-unify the country and which will be qualitatively different from the Twenty-Six County and Six County states that have existed for just over 90 years.

There is no need to revise our history to do that. No need whatsoever.

That new Irish Republic is the same one visualised by those men and women of principle with their deep feelings for all humanity who, a century ago, envisioned an Ireland where the economy and the nation’s natural resources would be organised to serve all citizens and not just a wealthy minority; an independent and sovereign Republic, free from all external influences; a republic where all would have an opportunity to participate in society by having the opportunity to work; a republic where the employment of all would ensure that the elderly are properly cared for, the young people educated, the sick and the ill tended to, and a society developed which would appreciate and recognise the value of each one of its citizens, irrespective of their creed or gender.

Inscribed on a wall at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin are the words of ‘An Aisling’.

I ndorchacht an éadóchais rinneadh aisling dúinn.
Lasamar solas an dóchais agus níor múchadh é.
I bhfásach an lagmhisnigh rinneadh aisling dúinn.
Chuireamar crann na crógachta agus tháinig bláth air.
I ngeimhreadh na daoirse rinneadh aisling dúinn.
Mheileamar sneachta táimhe agus rith abhainn na hathbheochana as.
Chuireamar ár n-aisling ag snámh mar eala ar an abhainn. Rinneadh fírinne den aisling.
Rinneadh samhradh den gheimhreadh. Rinneadh saoirse den daoirse agus d'fhágamar agaibhse mar oidhreacht í.
A ghlúnta na saoirse cuimhnígí orainne, glúnta na haislinge.

In the darkness of despair we saw a vision,
We lit the light of hope and it was not extinguished.
In the desert of discouragement we saw a vision.
We planted the tree of valour and it blossomed.
In the winter of bondage we saw a vision.
We melted the snow of lethargy and the river of resurrection flowed from it.
We sent our vision aswim like a swan on the river. The vision became a reality.
Winter became summer. Bondage became freedom and this we left to you as your inheritance.
O generations of freedom remember us, the generations of the vision.

Republican, socialists and progressives must use this coming decade of centenaries to reclaim that vision and to share that revolutionary inheritance with others to finally create the generation of freedom.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Spooks in Failed Attempt to Recruit Newry Man to Spy on éirígí Member

Britain Out of Ireland
Activities by the British state forces in Newry have taken a sinister twist after it emerged that covert undercover MI5/PSNI operatives are actively targeting éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney.

The revelations emerged after a neighbour of Stephen’s came forward to éirígí to make it known that he had been approached by plain clothed security force personnel who tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit him to work for them in gathering information on Stephen.

The build up to this approach began several weeks ago, when the victim, a family man, had to attend Ardmore PSNI barracks about a family matter, during which he had to provide his name and address.

Shortly afterwards the man had an early morning visit to his Derrybeg home by the PSNI accompanied by plain clothed personnel, who didn’t identify themselves. They claimed to be investigating a burglary in a nearby cul-de-sac but rather than make enquiries about the alleged burglary, they pressed the man to tell them how long he had lived at the address and how many people lived in his house along with a number of other personal non-related questions.

These questions immediately raised suspicions and the victim asked if would also they be calling to the rest of the houses in the street. They said they would, but after leaving his house, they immediately got into their vehicles and drove off, without making any more door to door enquiries as they stated.

Since that incident, it has come to light that there was no burglary as stated by the PSNI. Several residents in the small, quiet street where the burglary was alleged to have occurred have all stated that they had not heard of any such incident taking place.

That this was the only house visited in the street would suggest this wasn’t a normal door-to-door enquiry. It now seems this was an initial attempt to ‘suss out’ the individual before the next step in the process which took place a few weeks later.

On this occasion the man was walking down Hill Street in Newry on a Tuesday afternoon. A well dressed man wearing a suit approached him, called him by his name and referred to his attendance at Ardmore PSNI station a few weeks previously and asked him if the matter had been resolved. The victim, thinking this person was a PSNI member, replied yes, that as far as he was concerned it was resolved. The fact that the plain clothed individual failed to identify himself as a member of the PSNI would suggest that a more sinister agency was at play.

This unidentified individual then began questioning the victim about éirígí’s Stephen Murney, who lives close to him. The victim was asked if he had any information on Stephen that he would like to pass on. Quite sensibly, he replied that he didn’t know anything but just kept himself to himself. He was also quizzed about Stephen’s movements, activities and those who he associates with before being finally being asked if he would be willing to spy on Stephen and gather information for them. Stephen’s neighbour refused this request.

The unidentified state agent then menacingly made it known that he knew the victim had been speaking to Stephen in a city centre establishment located in Monaghan Street a few weeks beforehand. This would further confirm that the éirígí activist has already been placed under surveillance by state forces.

Speaking about the approach éirígí’s Rúnaí Ginearálta, Breandán Mac Cionnaith, said, “Stephen’s neighbour is to be commended for coming forward and making it known that these shadowy forces, unsuccessfully, attempted to pressurise him into gathering information on a member of an open political party.

“I have spoken with the man to whom these approaches were made and it’s clear that he was clearly unsettled by this whole episode.

“Stephen Murney is openly and actively engaged in legitimate political activities and in helping the community in Derrybeg and other parts of Newry. Like all members of our party, Stephen has nothing to hide. These cowardly sinister forces on the other hand are working in the shadows under cover and out of sight to target him and others.

“Incidents like this certainly won’t deter Stephen or any other éirígí activist. If anything, it proves that the political course we have chosen is correct.”

Breandán concluded, “This approach has since been recorded with the Committee on the Administration of Justice [CAJ] and the victim’s legal representatives.

“I would urge anyone who is approached in this manner, regardless of whether the approach is made by PSNI, MI5 operatives or both, to come forward and expose their ominous activities.”

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Lundy Family Letter

Copy of letter sent yesterday from Daniel Lundy to NGA (Belfast) Chairman Liam Shannon, regarding the omission of his father's name from the new Co.Antrim Memorial at Milltown. Please pass on.

3rd September 2012

As Chairperson of National Graves Association (Belfast), I feel it is necessary to bring to your attention a matter that has caused our family undue suffering and distress.

My father, Alan Lundy, was a dedicated lifelong Republican activist. He was assassinated by a UFF death squad with the assistance of the British State on 1st May 1993, while working in the home of his friend and comrade Alex Maskey. At the time of his death he was a member of the McCaughey/Saunders Sinn Fein Cumann, and has been acknowledged at Tirghra and in Republican publications as also being an IRA Volunteer. He was also a former Republican POW.

While visiting my father’s grave, along with other family members recently, we decided to visit other graves of our patriot dead and also stopped to admire the newly erected County Antrim Memorial. To our astonishment and disgust the name of my father had been omitted. As well as the deep hurt that this has caused our family, it has also led to feelings of anger and betrayal. My father, who was a loving husband and has missed out on seeing his many grandchildren, dedicated and eventually sacrificed his life for the Republican struggle, and now NGA (Belfast) fail to see him worthy enough to have his name inscribed alongside our other patriot dead, including many of his friends and comrades from Ardoyne, The Bone and further afield.

At a recent meeting with Stormont Minister Gerry Kelly, on the separate matter of the internment of Alan’s son (also named Alan), he stated that as he viewed myself and my brother were, in his words, “political opponents of Sinn Fein” he and his party would be doing nothing to support our family in their campaign to have my brother released. As NGA (Belfast), as opposed to the nationwide National Graves Association, is led and directed by Sinn Fein members and to a Sinn Fein agenda, we have to ask does this snub now also extend to the memory of our father, husband and grandfather?

Alan Lundy, my father, was a lifelong member of the Republican Movement, as both an IRA Volunteer and Sinn Fein activist, until his assassination. To airbrush his contribution to the Republican Struggle, due to the political allegiances or lack of, of two of his sons is petty at best and purely vindictive at worst. But most of all it would a betrayal of the man himself and what he stood for, a courageous, dedicated and disciplined Republican who ultimately gave his life for his country, leaving behind his wife and five young children.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding this matter.

Daniel Lundy
(Son of Alan Lundy)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

PSNI Target Charity Workers in Newry

éirígí in Newry have slammed the PSNI after they carried out a stop and search on a cancer charity vehicle and its occupants on Wednesday [August 29].

The vehicle was making a delivery just outside Newry when a PSNI patrol car, travelling towards them, conducted a u-turn and pursued them with sirens sounding and lights flashing.

The charity vehicle was pulled in by this very aggressive PSNI patrol, the occupants questioned and vehicle searched for unknown items.

éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney condemned the incident. He said, “Our party was contacted on Wednesday and the incident was reported to us. We spoke to the passenger of the charity van who told us of his shock and disgust at the conduct and attitude of the PSNI.

“This man has been unjustly targeted by the PSNI on a few occasions and it would appear that this was the sole excuse needed for the PSNI to aggressively stop and search this van, which I might add was clearly marked with signs on the front and sides which identified it as a cancer charity vehicle.

“This isn’t the first time the PSNI have targeted people involved in charity work in the Newry area. Only few months ago we highlighted another incident wherein a local man collecting sponsorship for another local charity found himself being stopped and searched in Hill Street and, on that occasion, the PSNI went as far as taking his sponsorship card from him. Shortly afterwards the same man was harassed while training for a marathon to raise much needed charity sponsorship funds.”

Murney concluded, “The victims in this latest incident were, at the time, working for the benefit of those less fortunate than themselves. They were engaging in charitable work yet they found themselves on the receiving end of state harassment. Both victims should be commended for the work they were doing, not persecuted and punished by the use of repressive laws.”

Saturday, 1 September 2012

British Army K Club Stunt Will Be Opposed

Irish Guards celebrate the Twelfth in Iraq
Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson has condemned the planned appearance of a British Army military band in the exclusive K Club as a “sickening public relations stunt”. Leeson has also confirmed that the socialist republican party will be actively opposing the October 5th event, which is being organised by the Security and Emergency Services Ireland Forum (SESIF) in conjunction with the Jack and Jill Foundation.

The format for the event will see a military band from the British Army’s Irish Guards regiment perform on the lawns of the K Club in front of spectators who will pay up to €200 per person for the privilege. While an entrance fee equivalent to more than a week’s dole may seem extravagant to most people, it is but pocket change to those who frequent the K Club, where a single night in the Imperial Suite costs a staggering €7,950!

Since its foundation in 2007 the SESIF has focused much of its energies on attempts to rehabilitate the image of Britain’s occupation forces in Ireland. It routinely organises events which include members of both the paramilitary PSNI and the British Army. For their part the Jack and Jill Foundation describe the history of the Irish Guards as “long and noble. A Regiment of foot guards formed by Queen Victoria in 1900 as her salute to the outstanding involvement of Irish Soldiers in the Boer War.” Those with a better grasp of history would question the nobility of war crimes, including the establishment of the world’s first concentration camps, which is exactly what the British did during the Boer War.

In more recent times the Irish Guards have inflicted a reign of terror on the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2003 the regiment was to the fore of the illegal invasion of Iraq, killing an unknown number of people in the conquest of the city of Basra. In one incident three members of the Irish Guards forced a fifteen-year-old into a canal before watching the boy, who was unable to swim, drown before their eyes. A noble history indeed.

Speaking from Dublin Brian Leeson said, “Those who have conspired to bring the British Army to the K Club are guilty of organising a sickening public relations stunt. The perversion of incorporating the British military into a fund-raising event for an Irish children’s charity will not be lost on the people of Ireland. The British military has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of men, women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade. In one well documented case members of the Irish Guards were responsible for the drowning of a fifteen-year-old boy, Ahmed Jabar Karheem, in a canal in 2003.

“While it is no surprise that the SESIF are involved in organising a publicity stunt of this sort it is shocking that a children’s charity has lent its support to it. The parading of the British Army around the K Club will do nothing but cause division and distress to the victims of the British Army in Ireland. The British Army was directly and indirectly responsible for the murders of hundreds of Irish citizens over the last forty years. Has the Jack and Jill Foundation anything to say about that? Or has it anything to say to the parents or the siblings of those children who died at the hands of the British Army in Ireland? Has the Jack and Jill Foundation asked the relatives of those who died in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings what they think of their Irish Guards extravaganza?”

Leeson continued by outlining the true motives behind the K Club event, “Whether the Jack and Jill Foundation realise it or not, this event has nothing to do with reconciling relations between the peoples of Britain and Ireland or fundraising for charity. This stunt is just the latest attempt by Britain and her supporters in Ireland to normalise the occupation of the Six Counties.

“Like the royal visit last May it is designed to present a false image of normal relations between these two islands. And like that visit it serves only the interests of the ruling class here and in Britain. These lavish events in the banqueting halls of Dublin Castle and the K Club are nothing more than disgusting demonstrations of excess, where the rich and powerful come together to toast their own success and reaffirm the status quo.

“éirígí is calling on the Jack and Jill Foundation to withdraw their support for, and involvement in, the Irish Guards event at the K Club. They need to protect the integrity of their organisation and prevent it from being cynically used by those with ulterior motives. To do otherwise is to move out of the arena of charity and into the arena of politics, something which will inevitably cause division and reduce the level of support for the Jack and Jill Foundation.”

If you are opposed to the British Army’s presence in the K Club please contact the Jack and Jill Foundation and let them know how you feel:
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  By Phone: (353) 45 - 894538/660

Friday, 31 August 2012

Sectarian Ritual Shuts Down Newry

Stephen Murney
The three days of sectarian coat-trailing experienced in Newry over the weekend of 24-26th August brought nothing but frustration, disruption and inconvenience to the people of the area.

The bank holiday weekend began on Friday evening with a show of strength hosted by the South Down Defenders flute band, with over a score of other unionist bands along with three thousand of their supporters taking over the streets of Newry.

Coupled with an accompanying and domineering major PSNI operation, many local people were simply unable to venture into the city centre. Those local people who had no choice but to travel around Newry, either by car or on foot, found themselves delayed or intimidated not only by unionist bands but also by the menacing behaviour of heavily armed members of the Six-County police force.

Saturday and Sunday proved to be no different with several more sectarian marches taking place alongside the accompanying clamp-down of nationalist residents of Newry by the PSNI.

Voicing the socialist republican party’s opposition to such sectarian shows of strength, éirígí’s Stephen Murney said, “After being contacted by local residents and several shop-owners in the town, our party activists and supporters were present for each of these marches. Local nationalists found themselves targeted by the PSNI’s Tactical Support Group for simply observing the march.

“éirígí party members were verbally abused and threatened with arrest by PSNI personnel in full view of members of the public.

“At the same time, a constitutional nationalist MLA, also observing the marches and performing the same role just a few feet away from éirígí party members, was allowed to do so unhindered by the same PSNI personnel.”

Murney added, “We are often told by the main unionist parties’ PR machines that these marches bring an economic benefit to the towns in which they are held.

“Perhaps, shop-owners in Newry should tell those unionist apologists just how little these marches actually added to the economy of Newry over the last weekend of August.

“It is obvious to all citizens in Newry that the presence of these sectarian marches actually kills off trade rather than enhancing it.”

Murney continued, “It’s also obvious that unionists will use any excuse to indulge in sectarian coat trailing exercises in Newry. They march to catch buses to another town, then they march after getting off buses from other towns; they march going to a church and then march coming back from a church. They also march for no reason at all other than sheer sectarianism.

“Newry has had enough of these sectarian displays. These marches only cause, rather than heal, division.

“In July of this year, the convenor of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council described the Orange Order and its off-shoots as being ‘out of time and out of place’ in modern society.

“Perhaps, it’s time that others within the nationalist community and, indeed, the protestant community in Newry also stood up just as courageously to send out the same message. Such marches are, indeed, out of time and out of place in Newry.”