Thursday, 29 March 2012

Easter – Remember, Reflect, Recommit

 For Irish republicans everywhere Easter is a time of commemoration, when those who have died in the struggle for Irish freedom are remembered. It is also a time of reflection when republicans take stock of the contemporary struggle for the creation of an Irish Republic. And finally it is a time of recommitment, when republicans dedicate themselves to another year in pursuit of the ideals for which so many have died over the centuries.

This Easter marks the 96th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising when hundreds of Irish women and men joined an armed uprising against British rule. In villages, towns and cities across Ireland this anniversary will be marked by hundreds of commemorative events. With wreath laying ceremonies, parades, speeches and song thousands of republicans will come together to remember those who gave their lives that Ireland might be free. This Easter éirígí is organising a number of commemorative events (see below). Join with us and remember Ireland’s martyrs with pride.


Battle of Mount Street Bridge Commemoration, 12noon, Easter Saturday, April 7th. Speaker: Cllr Louise Minihan

Wreath Laying Ceremony, 2pm, Easter Saturday, April 7th, assemble at gates of Bluebell Cemetery, Old Naas Road, Bluebell

Main Easter Commemoration: Easter Sunday, April 8th, assemble at 12.30pm at Phibsboro Shops for March to Glasnevin Cemetery. Speaker: Cllr Louise Minihan


Main Easter Commemoration, Easter Monday, April 9th, assemble at 1pm at gates of Milltown Cemetery for March to Republican Plot. Speaker: Brian Leeson


A number of wreath laying ceremonies, starting at 1pm, Easter Saturday, April 8th, at the Egyptian Arch, Newry

Birr, Co Offaly

Wreath laying ceremony, 12noon, Easter Sunday, April 8th, Manchester Martyrs monument, Birr, Co Offaly

Roscrea, Co Tipperary

Wreath laying ceremony, 10am, Easter Sunday, April 8th, Damer House, Roscrea, Co Tipperary

Arklow, Co Wicklow

Wreath laying Ceremony, 12noon, Easter Saturday, April 7th, Billy Byrne Monument, Arklow, Co Wicklow

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Support Republican Prisoners - Join the Protests!

Cork Prisoners Solidarity Group.

Thirty one years on from the H-Blocks where ten men died for political status, republican prisoners are on dirty protest fighting criminalisation. The current protest has been going on now for nearly a year. Whether you agree with the politics of those imprisoned, held on remand or interned doesn’t matter: the prisoners deserve your support. Rather than underestimating the seriousness of the situation in Maghaberry we need to act now.

The Prisoners face forced strip searching and beatings on a daily basis, going to and from court and visits. And they are subjected to controlled movement otherwise known as a denial of free association on the landings in Roe House.

What they are fighting for is the implementation of the 12th August Agreement: an agreement which brings an end to strip searching through use of a BOSS chair (body orifice security scanner) and sees an end to controlled movement in a phased manner.

At a time when Ireland as a whole is suffering cuts to its living standards more and more struggles are being given life everyday, as opposition to austerity grows. As anti-capitalists and anti-imperialists, these issues cannot be separated. The Left needs to come together with Republicans in a form of symbyosis and do what it can for the republican prisoners in Maghaberry. Their struggle is our struggle.

Support republican prisoners, join the protests or organise one!

(The Prisoner Solidarity Group is an ‘independent ‘ group of activists in Cork city formed to organise protests in solidarity with ALL republican prisoners and to encourage unity among republicans and the left but especially to highlight the ongoing struggle in Maghaberry prison.

As a group we oppose internment by section 30 in the 26 counties, or internment by remand in the occupied 6 counties, and we call for the repatriation of any republican prisoners held overseas. Due to the worsening situation in Maghaberry Prison we decided to put together an independent group as we feel the best way forward for all concerned is a united independent campaign to call for the implementation of the 12th of August agreement which was brokered in 2010 but has yet to be implemented
by the Northern Ireland Prison Service/NIPS.)

PSG-Cork City

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

We’re Not Spooked

The ongoing campaign of harassment waged on éirígí activists by British state forces has taken yet another sinister twist. Building upon a sustained campaign of stops, searches and threats by uniformed members of the PSNI, the latest incident saw them operating, seamlessly, with the nefarious ‘intelligence agencies’ – the spooks.

The éirígí activist in question, a family man from west Belfast, was attending a meeting on the outskirts of Belfast organised through his place of employment, which offers advice and support to those in need. Having concluded the meeting, which had been organised at very short notice, he immediately came upon a PSNI checkpoint. The only car stopped, he was asked for his driving license and ordered to pull over to the side of the road.

Once stopped, he was ordered out of his vehicle, which he believed was to facilitate an unwelcome and intrusive search of his person and/or his property. However, upon stepping out of his vehicle he was confronted by two plain clothed men, both of whom spoke with English accents. One of the men in question addressed the activist by his first name, said he had met him over a year ago at a business conference in England and asked if he remembered him.

The activist stated that he didn’t know the man, had never met him before and shouted over to the uniformed PSNI personnel that he wanted his license back or he was leaving. The spooks, realising that the éirígí activist was refusing to be intimidated, began to offer inducements. They stated that they were interested in learning more about éirígí, its future direction and his role within it, for which, they were prepared to offer money. They repeatedly prodded the activist to go down a nearby lane with them, which was within sight, and where a car was waiting.

Again the activist refused their approaches, demanded his license back and stated that he would be reporting the approach and the accompanying harassment to his solicitor. It was at this point that things became increasingly menacing. The spooks told him that they were offering him the ‘easy way’ but that, if necessary, they were prepared to do it the ‘hard way’ and that he would be well advised to accept their offer.

The activist told them that he wasn’t interested in their offers nor cowed by their threats. He again demanded his license back at which point the uniformed PSNI officer came over and menacingly asked if he had been drinking, which of course he hadn’t been. At this point the activist took his license back, got into his car and immediately phoned his employer and members of éirígí’s Ciorcal Náisiúnta to report the approach.

Speaking after the approach éirígí’s Rúnaí Ginearálta, Breandán Mac Cionnaith, condemned the ongoing harassment of éirígí activists and commended the response of the activist in question.

“Once again we bear witness to the nefarious agencies of the British state, those that work in the shadows, attempting to bribe, cajole and threaten those that work in the open. These forces have been central to the harassment, arrest, incarceration and murder of Irish republicans in Ireland for decades. In this instance, their sinister operation was directly facilitated by the PSNI, which seemingly remains as ‘ill-mannered’ as ever.

“The only person emerging from this incident with honour is the éirígí activist who not only refused the approaches of the MI5 operatives but had the courage to report them to his peers and comrades. We, in éirígí, would reiterate that people are not obliged to speak to, accompany nor work for these shadowy forces. They destroy the lives of their targets and informers, weaken communities and separate families. All approaches should be refused and immediately logged with appropriate legal professionals. There is no shame in being approached by these people; the only shame is in working for them.”

éirígí encourages anyone who is victim to this, or any other type of harassment, to not suffer in silence. Shine a light on the shadows. Don’t be spooked by the spooks.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Police Harassment Motion Blocked in Newry

éirígí in Newry have expressed their disappointment at the outcome of Monday night’s council meeting during which a motion condemning PSNI harassment in the area was blocked.

The text of the motion read as follows: “This council notes, with grave concern, the ongoing harassment of republican activists in the Newry area by the PSNI. Members of the socialist republican party éirígí, along with other republicans, are being harassed on an almost daily basis while going about their everyday business and while engaging in legitimate political activities. This harassment includes regular stop & searches which in the past have been condemned by the European courts of human rights. It is imperative that Newry and Mourne District Council condemn this unnecessary harassment and call for this type of political policing to stop.”

éirígí's Stephen Murney, and a number of other activists were in the council chamber for the motion.

Stephen said, “This was a motion regarding ongoing human rights abuses being carried out by the PSNI. It’s disappointing that the council failed to pass this motion. Constitutional nationalist councillors proposed that it should be amended. However, the proposed amendment would have simply watered down the motion by giving misplaced credence to obviously failed and cosmetic accountability mechanisms.

“The three so-called accountability mechanisms, namely the Police Ombudsman's Office, the Policing Board and the district policing partnership have all proven themselves to be inherently flawed and ineffective.

“A cursory examination of those bodies demonstrates their ineptitude:

  • The Ombudsman's Office continues to be embroiled in internal turmoil due to its complete mis-handling of scores of cases involving collusion between members of state forces and unionist death squads.
  • The Policing Board completely failed to notice the re-employment of the hundreds of former RUC personnel, including many ex-Special Branch officers, through a process which virtually amounted to a revolving back-door.
  • The District Policing Partnerships across the Six Counties are having little or no impact, and attendances by the public at DPP meetings in many areas can often be counted in single figures.

“éirígí's view is that these bodies have been proven to possess no powers capable of altering the ethos and impact of British policing in occupied Ireland. The fact that even members of the Policing Board have admitted that they have no powers to hold the PSNI to account further vindicates our analysis.

“There is no ‘new policing dispensation’ as some claim. How can there be a ‘new dispensation’ when most PSNI members served when the force was called the RUC? On top of that they continue to use repressive legislation and tactics the RUC used, so there's nothing ‘new’ about it.

“When nationalist parties joined these Policing Boards they claimed they were doing so to end human rights abuses and to hold the PSNI to account. It’s perfectly clear that their project has failed utterly.

“If anything we would challenge those who participate in these bodies to honestly and publicly admit to their own failed policies, and to stop providing cover for those engaging in outright political policing methods that even the RUC would be envious of.

“One constitutional nationalist councillor even suggested that the victims of harassment should meet with the chief superintendent of the paramilitary force. Such a suggestion needs to be treated with the ridicule it deserves.”

Stephen concluded, “We are grateful to Davy Hyland for submitting the motion on our behalf and he was perfectly right not to accept an entirely different watered down version. It’s unfortunate that éirígí had to ask Davy to highlight this ongoing issue in the first place to try to force other councillors to break their silence. If it wasn’t for Davy Hyland this issue would never have been highlighted in the chamber.

“éirígí will continue to highlight and resist political policing in all its forms.”

Sunday, 4 March 2012

James Connolly Society Béal Feirste

On Monday 27th Feb 2012 the West Belfast District Policing Partnership held their latest meeting in St Theresa’s Parish Centre, on the Glen Road Belfast.

The James Connolly Republican Society Belfast Made it known publicly that we would be there to deliver a peaceful protest, at what we see as an attempt to legitimize, British policing in the Six Counties.

On our arrival we were met by other Republican groups also opposed to the Charade of the DPP, also present on the roads surrounding and in the car park was a very large police presence.

On our entrance into the hall where the meeting had began, we proceeded to make a quiet and dignified peaceful protest which consisted of delivering a protest letter to all civilian members of the DPP.

However it became clear from the outset that Sinn Fein were having none of it and sought to prevent our protest, we were confronted and obstructed by prominent members of PSF when we entered and we were threatened with violence by some of these thugs.The Chairperson of our society was told he would have his “jaw broken”, I was informed by the Belfast PSF Chairperson that I would be “floored”.

This confrontational approach was hinted at last year when PSF brought forward their proposal that public gatherings of fifty or more people be outlawed, and just a few weeks ago at a whiteline picket in West Belfast the RUC actually informed those present that, “As there were more than fifty people the picket was illegal and anyone present was in breach of the law”

We have a few questions.To all the PSF MLAs, MPs and councilors, do you condone the thugish behaviour of your party colleges threatening peaceful protesters?

To the Chairperson of the WBDPP have you raised with others the fact that a public meeting being held to “Hold policing to account” is not now public as PSF are barring people from attending.?

And to all concerned for Justice are we now incorporating into the PSNI/RUC a new Fascist civilian police?

 Sean Cahill PRO ,
The James Connolly Republican Society Belfast.