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Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Security force members ‘may have colluded in Derry killing’

The families of two Londonderry men murdered by the UDA in 1976 have said questions remain to be answered.

The Historical Enquiries Team looked into the murders of John Toland and Jim Loughrey.

It found members of the security forces may have colluded in the killing of Mr Toland.

Sons of both men have said they want to know why the suspected commander of the UDA in Derry at the time was never questioned about the murders.

The men, who were both Catholic, were murdered eight days apart.

“It all leads back to the UDA commander in Derry at the time,” Mr Loughrey’s son John said.

“We have questions about who this person was working for and where is that person – he mysteriously disappeared when statements were made about these murders in 1986.

“There were 30 arrests of loyalists in Derry at this time yet the man who was commander of the UDA in Derry at the time was never arrested or questioned about these murders.”

Source

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“The San Patricios were alienated both from American society as well as the US Army. They realized that the army was not fighting a war of liberty, but one of conquest against fellow Catholics such as themselves.”
–Professor Kirby Miller of the University of Missouri, Irish immigration expert.

A Galway soldier’s heroic exploits fighting for Mexico during the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848 has led to the Government of Mexico bestowing its highest honour for non-Mexicans upon The Chieftains’ founder Paddy Moloney.

In 2010, The Chieftains recorded the album ‘San Patricio’, which told the story of the Irish Saint Patrick’s Battalion, who fought for Mexico against the Americans, led by Galway man Sergeant John Riley, who hailed from Clifden.

Among the contributors to the ‘San Patricio’ album was Hollywood star Liam Neeson, who has asked to play the part of Sgt Riley should a planned film about the Irish Battalion come to pass. Mr Moloney revealed that he has already held talks with ‘Michael Collins’ director Neil Jordan about making the film.

“Twenty-five years ago I was researching music of the American Civil War and I came across this intriguing, fascinating, untold piece of history called the Saint Patrick’s Battalion, the Irish soldiers, among them Sergeant John Riley, a native of Clifden, Co. Galway, who joined forces with the Mexican side during the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848,” said Mr Moloney.

He added that he has known Liam Neeson for years and thought his voice was “just spot on” for the album. “I called him up and told him the story and he was just fascinated by it and the comment from him was, ‘If you make a movie of this, I want to be Galway man John Riley, the commander’,” recalled the Chieftain’s founder-member.

In recognition of Mr Moloney’s work on the ‘San Patricio’ album, The Ambassador of Mexico to Ireland, Mr Carlos Garcia de Alba announced that Mr Moloney is the latest recipient of the prestigious ‘Ohtli’. The award is Mexico’s highest cultural award to citizens outside of Mexico and is in recognition of Mr Moloney’s contribution to strengthening links between Ireland and Mexico.

Source

More Background: The Saint Patrick’s Battalion (Spanish: Batallón de San Patricio), formed and led by Jon Riley, was a unit of 175 to several hundred immigrants (accounts vary) and expatriates of European descent who fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848. Most of the battalion’s members had deserted or defected from the U.S. Army. Made up primarily of ethnic Irish and German Catholic immigrants, the battalion included Canadians, English, French, Italians, Poles, Scots, Spaniards, Swiss, and native Mexicans, most of whom were Roman Catholics. Disenfranchised Americans were in the ranks, including escaped slaves from the American South. The Mexican government offered incentives to foreigners who would enlist in its army: granting them citizenship, paying higher wages than the U.S. Army and the offer of generous land grants. Only a few members of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion were actual U.S. citizens.

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SHOTS FIRED at police lines during disturbances in Ardoyne late on the night of the Twelfth of July amounted to “attempted murder”, PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott said at a press conference yesterday.

Mr Baggott and senior PSNI officers expressed their anger that shots were fired at police officers by suspected dissident republicans during the rioting that erupted at Ardoyne in north Belfast.

No officer was wounded by the gunfire although 20 officers were injured during the disorder that followed the annual Orange Order parade through the area.

There was also continuing recrimination yesterday over decisions made by the Parades Commission relating to the Orange return parade and the subsequent parade organised by the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (Garc), judged to be sympathetic to dissident republicans.

By yesterday evening just four people were arrested for alleged involvement in the Ardoyne trouble, but police made clear that in the coming days and weeks there would be many more people arrested and charged – as happened following similar disturbances in Ardoyne in recent years.

from Irish Times

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from An Phoblacht 9 May 2002

Mo Chara Bobby Sands

–Last Friday, 3 May 2002, former republican POW SEANNA WALSH delivered the annual BOBBY SANDS MEMORIAL LECTURE in the fitting surrounds of the Felon’s Club in West Belfast. Seanna was a close personal friend of Bobby Sands, the first of ten Irish republican prisoners who died on hunger strike in 1981, and he shared some memories of the man he knew so well.–

“I was surprised but very honoured to come here tonight and speak at this the 20th Bobby Sands lecture. Go raibh maith agaibh don choiste chuimhneacháin as an cuireadh labhairt.

We are at a crucial juncture in the current phase of the Irish struggle for a United Ireland, on the cusp of substantial electoral gains in the Southern elections, but I’ve decided not to talk about all this.

I’m here to talk about Bobby Sands the man, Bobby Sands the son, the husband, the father – the poet warrior, the self taught Irish language speaker and teacher, the indomitable spirit of the republican prisoner.

I first met Bobby on remand in Cage 8 of Long Kesh before being moved to Crumlin Road Gaol in January ’73. What struck me about him was the cocky self-assuredness of his Belfast dander and his spiky Rod Stewart hair cut.

I was a 16-year-old, ‘thought he knew it all’ child of Short Strand, East Belfast; he was from Twinbrook and before that Rathcoole and was a couple of years older.

We came through remand together but I didn’t get to know him well until I doubled up with him in Cage 17 and later then in Cage 11 as we served out our sentences together.

There was a clatter of Short Strand men in Cage 17 and then after the burning of the camp, in Cage 11. We took a bit of stick about being a ‘clique’ but Bobby and several others would have been part of that group too.

The man behind the icon

d what was he like then, this the foremost icon of the last 30 years of republican struggle, the man behind the face that’s recognised and venerated by freedom loving people from New York to San Francisco, from Johannesburg to Hebron, right across Europe?

Well he was very much one of ‘us’, an ordinary guy who loved a bit of craic, kicked a football, had a sleg and a laugh, and lapped up the sing songs and concerts we’d organise as the guitars and mandolins were pulled out to accompany the poitín voices – we’d sing and play away into the early hours.

Bobby read and absorbed books hungrily – political and historical books about British involvement in our country and the resulting resistance to that involvement, as well as novels. He also showed an interest in the plight of ‘the ordinary man’ throughout the world and the struggle for social justice, fair play and freedom. This was reflected in his writings and poetry while on the blanket. In the early years he was almost like a sponge, soaking in all these different ideas, histories and theories.

As he prepared for release in early ’76, he worked hard to prepare himself physically and mentally for his return to the outside and re-involvement in the republican struggle. There was no room for doubt – he was coming out to reorganise the republican base in his area, Twinbrook, and he had a picture in his head, a plan he was determined to make true.

He reorganised the army, the auxies, na Fianna and Sinn Féin, but then he took things a step further. He organised republican involvement in the tenants’ associations – until then a fiefdom of the Sticks and SDLP. He pushed republicans to become involved in the everyday battles with the British Direct Rule administration and unionists on Lisburn Council. As far as he was concerned, there was so much to do and not enough time to do it.

He still found time though for his singing and playing the guitar. There was one memorable night when, in the middle of one of Bobby’s cabaret sessions, an IRA foot patrol came into the local drinking club and after checking a number of peoples IDs, they approached Bobby on the stage with the intention of asking him to read out a statement from the local unit – he had written it an hour previously! Somehow the Volunteer managed to misplace the statement and had only a bru card in the pocket, Bobby took this from the Volunteer and ad libbed his way through a 15-minute speech.

After six short months, however, he was back inside and I was already there too, waiting on him coming back. The rules were different this time though, with the denial of political status after March 1976.

The writer

Bobby was at the forefront of resistance to Britain’s criminalisation policies on remand in Crumlin Road Gaol and then once sentenced, in the H-Blocks. He had been involved in writing a local weekly newssheet before recapture and he decided to continue writing for it in gaol. After a while he started writing for Republican News, soon to become An Phoblacht. He was now like a man possessed; it was his job to tell the story of every brutal assault, every sadistic attack on the naked prisoners in the H-Blocks. He also opened up communication with our women comrades in Armagh Women’s Gaol and those who retained political status in the Cages of Long Kesh.

The horrendous conditions in which we suffered meant nothing if the world outside of our immediate families knew nothing about them. Bobby was central to getting the word out, first of all to republicans and then to the wider community.

One effect of all this letter and article writing he was engaged in was that he developed a grá for poetry. He began to scribble bits of verse, which he would recite to the wing, interspersing it amongst his song repertoire. Nothing too heavy.

On one particular occasion, while we were in H6 in 1979, we received a collection of poems by the nationalist poet Ethna Carberry. Bobby was really taken with the maternal heartbreak of “An Páistín Fionn” and the blood-curdling tale of “Brian Boy Magee” that he set down and penned a letter. He got to the door that night after screws had left the wing and called to Brendan Hughes – ‘Dorcha, get up to your door, wait till you hear this letter, it’s a cracker, it’s to your woman Ethna Carberry. I had to write to her after reading those poems’. The Dark replied, ‘You may get your Ouija board out Bobby, she died 70 years ago!’ You can imagine the slegging he got there.

Preparing for Hunger Strike

As the crisis in the H-Blocks dragged on from ’79 into ’80 and we went through different avenues to move the British on the Political Status issue, it became clear that we would be left with one last option – The Hunger Strike.

We had talked about the final recourse to Hunger Strike since the collapse of the Cardinal Ó Fiaich negotiations with Thatcher. It seemed to us that it didn’t matter what the people of Ireland thought or said, the British had but one aim and that was to smash the republican resistance both inside and out of the gaols.

People began to prepare for Hunger Strike in the summer of 1980. We had been involved in a letter-writing campaign since the formation of the National H-Block/Armagh committee in the winter of ’79. This was intensified in the run-in to the Hunger Strike in October 1980. We wrote to anyone and everyone of influence in Ireland, in Britain, throughout the world. Bobby was in his element. We were not allowed to receive replies, only personal letters – one per month – were allowed, so to be honest none of us knew what impact, if any, these letters had. We do know that hundreds and hundreds poured out of each block week after week, month after month. I later found out that these tiny letters had a massive impact throughout the world, carrying our message of the horrors of the H-Blocks.

Spinning yarns

Yet somehow or another, at the end of a frenzied day of writing, visits debates and arguments with governors and warders and whoever else, Bobby used to be able to get up to his door after lights out and relate a yarn. Usually, this would be from some obscure novel he had read but the tale he spun would be like nothing less than a movie blockbuster as prisoners sat in the darkness; mattresses propped on the cell pipes, listening to some magical tale of good overcoming evil, the righteous oppressed throwing off the shackles of the oppressor.

The hunger strike of 1980, as we all know, ended with the doublespeak and bad faith that helped the British to conquer and rule half the world. Instead of letting people’s heads go down, Bobby and the rest of us on the gaol leadership bent over backwards to come to some sort of comprise with the prison governors and their allies in the NIO. They were not interested. They believed, foolishly, that republicans were beaten, that they had us on the run and it was simply a case of them holding their nerve and watching the gaol protest collapsing. How stupid were they?

1981

It became apparent to a number of us that a second hunger strike was inevitable. With Bobby leading the charge in the face of justified concerns and worries from the army leadership outside, we pressed our case. We were successful. Bobby organised for himself to be the first man on the strike, the first then to die, the two-week gap before Francie Hughes joined him giving the British space to move, to make concessions once Thatcher had her pound of flesh.

At the end of his second week on the strike, he wrote to me telling me that he had put on a fine hopeful face to those around him on the wing, to his clann on the visits. But he told me he had no intention of trying to pretend anything with me. He was determined to do what had to be done and he knew that the British would show no mercy. Yet he was confident that by his actions his comrades coming behind, and a whole generation of young still unborn, would be so inspired as to ensure that his goal, his dream, his Aisling would become a reality. The rest is history. The story of the actual Stailc Ocrais was told and retold so often last year I’m not even going to try to revisit it here.

Tá mé chun chríochnú anseo beidh sibh sásta cluinsint ach

A chairde, we have come a long way since those sad dark days of 1981. We’ve still got a long way to go but we’re steadily making progress. During those leanest of days in the prisons we got by “one day at a time”. Out here it is a battle a day too. So:

Ar Aghaidh go bua

Ar Aghaidh don Phoblacht.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh as éisteacht liom anocht. Slán abhaile.”

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A crowd of several thousand Irish Republicans of various hues united collectively on Easter Saturday, 7th April, 2012, to commemorate Irish National Liberation Army volunteers Dominic and Mary McGlinchey in their home town of Bellaghy, county Derry,  Ireland. Dominic and his wife and comrade, Mary McGlinchey, were shot dead in the most cruel of circumstances by the enemies of the Socialist Republic which both volunteers selflessly dedicated their lives to.  The pro-imperialist media of the day must surely bear a significant responsibility for their murders, by shamelessly and constantly demonising the two Irish Republican Socialist activists in life and even in death.

A colour party from the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, carrying the furled flags of the four provinces, the national flag, the Starry Plough and the Red flag, led the commemoration to Bellaghy cemetery.

source.

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The annual Irish Republican Socialist Movement’s 1916 Rising Commemoration will be held on 8th April, Easter Sunday in Belfast.  Members and supporters are asked to assemble outside Dunville Park, Falls Road at 11am.

Departing from Dunville Park to Milltown Cemetery at 11.30am sharp!  For further details or requests  for inclusion of wreaths,  please contact the Irish Republican Socialist Party’s national headquarters at Costello House, 392b Falls Road, Belfast or your local IRSP representative.

Honour Ireland’s dead, wear an Easter Lilly!

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Who is Colin Duffy? 

Colin Duffy is the most recognisable name and face among dissident republicans in Northern Ireland according to BBC.   He is a former IRA prisoner from Lurgan, County Armagh.  In 1995 he was jailed but later acquitted of the murder of a British UDR Soldier & two years later he was charged with shooting dead two RUC men in Lurgan town centre but the charges were later dropped.

On 20 January 2012 Colin Duffy was found not guilty on the charge of murder in relation to the shooting dead of two British Soldiers in March 2009 in County Antrim.

New Resistance sends our Solidarity and our Revolutionary regards to Colin Duffy, his family and all those martyred, imprisoned  and free fighting in the just cause of Irish Freedom and Social Justice.

An account from a family member of Collin on his release…

“Words cannot describe the many emotions we went through today. When the judge said that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Colie was guilty of all charges we all gasped (not cheered or shouted which was reported by some of the media) and instantly the judge ordered us out of the court and the RUC rushed in and put us out. We were in total shock if I am honest but after many hugs and some tears of joy our thoughts quickly turned to Brian and we waited anxiously on his verdict. We tried to get back in to the court to give Brian our support but they refused us entry so we waited patiently outside for what seemed like hours.

Then came the devastating news that Brian was not coming home and instantly our joy disappeared. We went from a high to complete devastation.

We then expected Colie, who was with his barrister waiting on Brian’s verdict, to appear but there was no sign of him.

Meanwhile the car-park out side was filling up with loyalists who were shouting and jeering. It seemed like forever before one of Colie’s legal team came out and told us that they were refusing to release Colie who we now learned was locked in a holding cell with his barrister. The reason they gave was that Maghaberry Prison refused to accept he was acquitted and wanted confirmation from the judge !!!

Eventually Colie appeared and we left the court to what I can only describe as the most frightening few yards I have ever walked…The loyalists were screaming at us spitting at us, up in our faces threatening us and it was chaotic. We were all separated by the mob of loyalists and the mob of press and lets not forget the mob of RUC who had allowed them to get right up into our faces. When we eventually got into our cars they surrounded us spitting all over the windows, thumping the car, standing in front of the car and refusing to move and trying to open the car doors. We eventually got out of the car park and began our journey home.

At home in Lurgan Colie was reunited with his wife and children and it would have broke your heart to see the joy on all their faces.

We off course were absolutely over the moon but truth be told none of us were in the mood for a big celebration as Brian and his family were constantly in our thoughts but we are delighted that Colie is home where he belongs with his wife and family and you can be sure he will be striving just as hard on the outside as he did on the inside to get the August agreement implemented.”

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