Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill, 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1,
Phone: +353-1-872 9747; FAX: +353-1-872 9757; e-mail:
Date: 30 Eanáir / January 2006

Internet resources maintained by SAOIRSE-Irish Freedom


Irish Republican Information Service
THE body styling itself 'Limerick Republican
Information Service' is not connected with the Irish
Republican Information Service (IRIS), 223 Parnell
Street, Dublin 1, email saoirse@iol.ie and has not
been authorised either by IRIS or by the body that
sponsors IRIS, Republican Sinn Féin. Therefore it is
totally unauthorised and should be regarded as such.

In this issue:
1. Wreaths at Edentubber Memorial vandalised
2. Commemoration of Bloody Sunday perpetrators
3. Dungannon website back
4. British Army has 'veto' on house plans
5. Inquiry call after O'Loan hears of bar blast
6. RUC 'is outside killings probe'
7. Cover-up at 'cabinet level'
8. British police open fire in Co Tyrone
9. Selective policy of the Catholic Church


THE PRO of the Joe Conway/ Willie Stewart Cumann,
Republican Sinn Féin, Newry/Dundalk, said in a
statement on January 30 that it had come to their
attention that wreaths laid by the Republican Movement
at the Edentubber Commemoration had their memory cards
removed and were thrown behind nearby hedges by

"On inspection it was clear that wreaths laid by the
Provisionals remained untouched Cumainn from all over
Ireland laid wreaths in honour of the brave martyrs
who died at that spot in a premature explosion on
November 11, 1957. Any interference was only an
insult to the memory of those men.

"This is not the first time Republican Sinn Féin have
encountered such a problem, every Easter similar
vandalism occurs all over the country. Has it now
become a Provo policy to attempt to destroy any
evidence of the existence of a true Republican
Movement, even if it requires desecrating the graves
of Republican patriots?

"Republican Sinn Féin will not be deterred or
silenced; neither will we lower ourselves to
desecrating sacred Republican ground with petty acts
of vandalism. We are the true inheritors of Tone,
Pearse and indeed the Edentubber Martyrs who fought to
rid Ireland of British Interference once and for all."


IN A statement on January 30, Richard Walsh, Derry,
Assistant PRO, Republican Sinn Féin, said that
thirty-four years ago fourteen men were brutally shot
down by the British Forces of Occupation on what
became known as Bloody Sunday.

He went on: "It is strange that a commemoration for
these men would conclude with a call for candles to be
lit in memory of all those who lost their lives over
the past thirty years of conflict - including those
who perpetrated some of the most heinous crimes
against the Irish people.
"Let those who sent the forces of the British Crown
out to wage war against the Irish people commemorate
those who fought and died to maintain England's
military occupation. To expect the relatives of their
victims to honour those responsible for the
mass-murder of Irish citizens in Derry in January,
1972 is surely beyond comprehension."


THE McKearney McCaughey Cumann Republican Sinn Féin
website www.rsfdungannon.com which was a great source
of information regarding Republican Sinn Féin in
Tyrone was taken off the Internet under mysterious
circumstances in the past week.

The PRO of the Cumann said that the web provider told
them that their site's name had not been renewed but
the name had paid for the name until 2007.
"Unfortunately we could not redeem the
www.rsfdungannon.com site and have had to start from
scratch. We believe sinister forces were behind this
attack on our right to free speech and we call on
every one to view our site and pass a link to every
one in their address book together we can overcome
censorship and let the truth prevail.

"The name www.freewebs.com/rsfeasttyrone is a
temporary name we hope to have a shorter version when
the site is complete. The McKearney McCaughey Cumann
can also be contacted by phoning or sending a text to:


A HOMEOWNER in Co Armagh has complained after the
British army confirmed it had an input into planning
applications in the area.

The British army's involvement in the planning process
came to light at the end of January when south Armagh
man Martin Clarke revealed that the British Ministry
of Defence had held up an application by Northern
Ireland (Sic) Electricity to connect his new home in
Dromintee to the electricity grid.

NIE requires planning permission to erect five
electricity poles that will carry power to Martin
Clarke's new home. After a delay of several months,
the angry Armagh man was told that planners had
finally received approval from the British army for
the poles.
"This caused me a major inconvenience. NIE did a
survey and got permission from the landowners and it
was referred to the planners.

"I was told that they then referred the matter to the
Ministry of Defence in London, where it was probably
left in a corner somewhere. This job should have been
done in September but I'm still waiting to get into my
new home. I was very surprised to learn that the
hold-up was caused by the British army," he said.


RELATIVES of 15 people killed in a bomb attack on a
Belfast bar have demanded a full public disclosure
about events surrounding the attack after a
groundbreaking meeting with the British Police

Nuala O'Loan was told at the gathering of relatives of
those killed in the 1971 attack on McGurk's Bar that
the British Crown forces in collusion with loyalist
paramilitaries, had intended to bomb an Official IRA
bar close to McGurk's to create a rift between
Republican factions in 1971.

However, the bomb gang targeted McGurk's Bar after the
killers failed to get near their target at the Gem Bar
on North Queen Street.

Nuala O'Loan met with relatives of those killed during
the last week in January.
The meeting was described as "very positive" by the
families and is the latest development as part of an
ongoing investigation by officials from the British
Police Ombudsman's office into the conduct of the RUC
in the aftermath of the bomb.

Pat Irvine, whose mother Kathleen (53) was murdered in
McGurk's, said relatives' demanded "transparency and
full and public accountability into the investigation
at the time".

"We believe no proper investigation was carried out
after the bombing. When the Ombudsman's investigation
is completed we want the truth to be made public and
that's what Nuala O'Loan promised us at the meeting,"
she said.

"We also want a full retraction of the statements of
misinformation that were fed to the media in 1971 and
in subsequent years after."

Pat Irvine said the relatives were finally confident
that the official branding of their loved ones at the
time that they were culpable in the bombing after
officials said it went off inside the premises, would
be dismissed outright in the Ombudsman's high-level

It has also emerged that a Scottish MP - whose
73-year-old relative Philip Garry was killed in the
explosion - has also taken up the case of McGurk's and
has directly quizzed the British Six County Secretary
in the British House of Commons about the names of the
accomplices in the bombing.

Michael Connarty MP said he would be writing to Peter
Hain and passing on to him all the evidence in his
possession gathered and passed onto him by the
"My grandmother's brother, who we knew as uncle
Philly, was a merchant seaman and was always visiting
us in Scotland. I was about 14 at the time he was
killed and I know from my grandmother that they [the
British Crown forces] tried to say the bomb was inside
the bar when it went off. It was always said in the
family folklore that it was a cover-up by the security
forces," he said.
"The issues raised were noted and will be considered
as part of the Police Ombudsman's investigation into
this case," she added.


THE BRITISH Six-County Office was urged to release
millions of pounds in funding to allow the Six-County
Policing Ombudsman to investigate 48 killings carried
out by members of the RUC.

Human Rights Group, the Pat Finucane Centre (PFC) led
calls on January 23 for the British government to pour
resources into British Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan's office
so that an investigating team can begin probing RUC
killings before 1998.

It has emerged that cases involving the RUC will not
be investigated in the Historical Enquiries Team
(HET), which began examining 100 unsolved killings on
January 23.
The HET plans to revisit the case files of 3,000
unsolved murders from 1969 until the signing of the
Stormont Agreement in 1998.

It is feared that some relatives of people killed by
the RUC may wrongly assume that their cases will be
probed by the HET.

The investigation team was set up at a cost of £24.3
million (
35.29 million). A further £7.3 million
10.6 million) has been earmarked for forensic
investigations into so-called "cold cases".

The probing of killings carried out by the RUC falls
under the remit of the Policing Ombudsman's Office,
which at present does not have the financial resources
to examine the cases.

A spokesman for the Ombudsman said: "It is anticipated
that we will require additional resources and there is
ongoing discussions on that."

PFC spokesman Paul O'Connor accused the British
Six-County Office of blocking progress towards
reopening the cases.

"Our worry is that there are people out there who may
be thinking that the Historical Enquiries Team is
going to examine cases.

"Our view is that it is totally unjust that a relative
of someone killed by police in 1969 will not be
investigated while the case of someone killed by an
unknown gunman will. That situation is untenable and
totally unacceptable. This is about families being
left out."


26-COUNTY cabinet ministers may have known of a Garda
plot to cover up the murder of a Co Louth man by
loyalists 30 years ago, his nephew said on January 24.

Michael Donegan was speaking after appearing before a
Leinster House subcommittee sitting to consider the
Barron report on the murder of Séamus Ludlow.

A British-backed Loyalist death squad Red Hand
Commando gang, including at least one member of the
British army's Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), murdered
the 47-year-old on May 2, 1976.

The Garda immediately blamed the murder on the IRA
despite suspecting it to be the work of loyalists. In
1979, the RUC told gardaí that loyalists were
responsible, giving them the names of the four men
involved in the killing. However, this information was
not pursued at the time and withheld from the Ludlow
family until the mid-1990s.

When the Ludlows learned of the true nature of their
relative's death they pressurised the 26-County
government into commissioning Judge Henry Barron's
report into the murder.
Published in November it was highly critical of the
Garda investigation, but stopped short of recommending
a full public inquiry.

Appearing before the Leinster House subcommitte,
Michael Donegan repeated his calls for an inquiry into
the murder. He also accused senior officials in the
Garda and the 26-County government of covering up
details of the murder.

He said: "The cover up certainly extended to the top
levels of the Garda and Department of Justice, and
maybe even the Dublin cabinet.

"The only way to get to the truth is through a public
inquiry. The Oireachtas subcommittee doesn't have the
power to call witnesses or demand documents. Because
of this, it is flawed."

Michael Donegan said at this stage his family are not
"particularly interested" in tracking down the
loyalist gang who murdered his uncle.

"We are more interested in finding out why the state
let us down, why they let our uncle Séamus down," he

Earlier, family solicitor James McGuill said: "This
has been an appalling three decades of experience of
how an ordinary law-abiding family found themselves in
a set of completely life-changing circumstances which
was compounded by the state authorities they had to
deal with."

The Leinster House subcommittee will deliver its
findings on the Barron report on March 31.

8. British police open fire in Co Tyrone

THE British colonial police opened fire on a car whose
occupants allegedly tried to knock down a police
officer at a checkpoint in Co Tyrone on January 26.

The RUC/PSNI said members began chasing the car when
it drove through the checkpoint on the Dooish Road in

They alleged the driver twice rammed the patrol car
that was following him and the shot was fired when he
tried to knock down one of their members at St
Dympna's Road.

The car, which was carrying two occupants, sped away
from the scene and was found abandoned a short time

The Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan, who investigates
all shots fired by the police in the North, was
informed of the incident.

Claim: Altnaveigh member 'assaulted by FAIR rep'

THE RUC/PSNI are investigating a claim that a member
of the Six-County Department of Social Development was
assaulted by a representative of Willie Frazer's FAIR
group. The same group, which is planning to hold a
provocative Loyalist, march in Dublin in February.

The incident is alleged to have occurred on January 25
during a meeting arranged by the Six County Department
of Social Development at Altnaveigh House's Newry HQ.

It was attended by British Minister of State David
Hanson and a number of Protestant victims' groups.

According to a source, a member of Altnaveigh House
who was showing a disabled person the way to the
bathroom was grabbed by the throat by Kilkeel man
Maynard Hanna.

A spokeswoman for Altnaveigh House said she would not
be making a statement on the situation at this stage,
while a representative of the Six County DSD said that
it would be 'inappropriate' for the British Government
body to comment.

A RUC/PSNI spokesman confirmed that police are aware
of an alleged incident in Altnaveigh House and are
dealing with it according to the wishes of the person
who made the complaint. It is thought unlikely that
there will be a prosecution.

Maynard Hanna was the secretary of the Kilkeel branch
of the Ulster Unionist Party until it was dissolved in
January 2004. At the time, he was quoted as saying
that members were disillusioned with the then party
leader David Trimble and his policies.


IN A statement on January 28 the Joe Conway/Willie
Stewart Cumann, Republican Sinn Féin, Newry/Dundalk,
hit out at the selective policy of the Catholic Church
in relation to the draping of the Irish Tricolour on
the coffins of Irishmen and Irishwomen.

The statement went on: "It is apparently the policy of
the Catholic Church to allow individual priests to
decide whether or not it is appropriate to allow a
funeral mass to be celebrated while the Tricolour
remains on the coffin and there have been instances
where families were forced to choose, on behalf of
their deceased relatives, between a Catholic funeral
mass and a celebration of their Nationality. This is
extremely difficult for families who have lost a loved
one, particularly if in life that person felt equal
faith in their national identity and their religious

"We believe that this is a blatant attempt to allow
individual priests to enforce their political views
upon the people of this country. This policy has been
enforced with terrible hypocrisy and individual
priests have decided, based on their own political
sympathies and often on anti-Republican tendencies,
that those not associated with the 26-County State
cannot celebrate their nationality in death. We see
no reason why ANY Irish citizen should be denied the
right to a last expression of their nationhood,
regardless of creed or class."


Monday, January 30, 2006

January 30th, 1972 - Bloody Sunday

Remembering Bloody Sunday

By Matt Morrison, Eyewitness

There are many persons in my hometown of Derry, I am sure, who have more-detailed memories of Bloody Sunday than I have. I must admit to feeling that I was more an observer of the event than a participant in it. I suspect, twenty-five years along, that I am still grappling with the enormity of that day....

It was on a beautiful, sunny, winter afternoon that I, my father Paddy, Liam, a cousin, and I set out on foot from Shantallow for the staging area of the march, up in the Creggan. We were all able walkers and were moving at a good clip up the fairly steep incline that is Rosemount Hill.

As we were striding by the park, we met a British-army foot patrol. The sergeant, waving his rifle as a teacher would a pointer, indicated that he wanted us to stop and stand at a particular spot. We knew the drill. We were spread-eagled against the cold iron perimeter railings of the park. The cold metal reminded me that there was no heat in the low-lying winter sun. We were warm because of the fast pace that we had been maintaining in order to reach the assembly point at the common ground known as the Bishop's Field.

I can still recall the strong smell of waterproofing on the Brit's uniform as he gave me a "rubdown" that was anything but perfunctory. I can still see my father raise his eyebrow in a quizzical manner as this same soldier warned us to be very careful today.

We were now late. When we arrived at the Bishop's Field, the main body of civil-rights marchers had already departed en route for Free Derry corner. We were part of a tardy rear-guard of stragglers who decided to take a shortcut through the city cemetery so that we could more quickly catch up with the rest of our friends and neighbors.

Already, at sixteen years of age, I was a "veteran" of numerous civil-rights marches and numerous active protests, including a stint at the barricades during the Battle of the Bogside in August 1969. Rather ironically, however, Bloody Sunday was the first time that I had actually accompanied my father with his permission. The normal drill was that my father would leave the house for a march. I would give him a few minutes to be on his way, and then I, too, would leave for the same march, being careful of course, not to let him see his first-born at any stage in the proceedings.


As we walked down William Street, I noticed a Brit sniper walk up towards the apex of the roof of Stevenson's bakery. I commented to Paddy and Liam that even if the Brits wanted to shoot us all today, they wouldn't have enough ammunition, because there was such a large crowd of us.

The first person shot on Bloody Sunday was actually shot by that sniper. John Johnston died about a year later of his wounds.

That said, we were all in good spirits as we moved towards Rossville Street and our final destination of Free Derry Corner. The marchers were bantering in what I regard as a typically Derry way. Everyone knew almost everyone else there-by sight, as they say, if not by name. There was almost a carnival atmosphere, reflective in many ways of the hope, the optimism, the joy inherent in even painful struggle.

Somehow or other, I became separated from my father and cousin. I couldn't see them in the vicinity of the Free Derry Corner, where a truck bed was being used as a platform from which various speakers were addressing the rapidly assembling crowd, so I decided to backtrack to the corner of William Street and Rossville Street to search for them.

A small group of teenage stone throwers and a much larger group of spectators were there. We were a tightly packed crowd, especially in the narrow alley where I was. A British-army water cannon showered us with purple dye. Then, when they shot tear gas, I could not manage to get my hand up to my eyes, such was the crush. I decided it was time to move on.

I was about one-third of the way up Rossville Street when I heard the distinctive sound of rifle fire. Looking back over my shoulder, I could see British paras crossing some open ground. They were running forward, some pausing to shoot, and were sweeping the crowd before them. I crouched over low and started to run. I knew that if I fell, I would be trampled in the forward surge of the crowd.

In a brief, surreal moment, I saw an old man sitting on a low, brick garden wall in Glenfada Park. He was laughing maniacally. Even in the midst of a moment of panic, this scene struck me as particularly and memorably bizarre.


I was running for the shelter of a barricade at Free Derry Corner. I had the silly notion that once over the barricade, I would be safe. An Olympic hurdler could not have hopped over that barricade as quickly as I did. No sooner had I reached "safety" than I heard a very plaintive voice, "Oh, son, could you help me? I think my foot is stuck."

Cursing like a trooper to myself, and damning this woman, her seed, breed and generation for being so inconsiderate as to get her foot stuck at such an inopportune moment, I reluctantly remounted the barricade. "Give me your hand, missus!" I yelled as I grabbed her outstretched hand and tugged her free. She was coming with me even if I amputated her foot. I was most certainly not one of those brave souls who risked their lives for others in the middle of the para killing zone. Several civilians were shot for their courageous acts, but thankfully, I was not one of those who lost a family member in the slaughter. I was a scared sixteen-year-old who did everything that he could to stay alive in a situation of utter confusion and carnage.

Suffice it to say that I saw several persons shot that day. I realized instantly that I had witnessed an event that would feature large in Irish history. I knew at a visceral level that I was done begging for my rights. I would rather be scared and armed than scared and empty-handed.

Bloody Sunday was a personal watershed for me, even though I could not realize then how it would unalterably change my life and impact the lives of my future wife and children.

As I recall that event of January 30th twenty-five years later, I know that my current deportation battle is a replay in some ways of that event. Both events are born of the same struggle to live our lives in safety, in justice, and free of British interference. INS wields paper in the same way the Brits wield their guns and clubs. Either way, they both show the same callous disregard for the lives of the deportees and their wives and children. They demean and devalue our right to raise our families in peace.

Don't merely remember Bloody Sunday! Learn from it!


Jack Duddy, 17

Paddy Doherty, 31

Gerard Donaghy, 17

Hugh Gilmore, 17

John Johnston, 59

Michael Kelly, 17

Michael McDaid, 20

Kevin McElhinney, 17

Bernard McGuigan, 41

Gerard McKinney, 35

William McKinney, 26

William Nash, 19

Jim Wray, 22

John Young, 17

Michael Bradley (22)

Michael Bridge (25)

Alana Burke (18)

Patrick Campbell (53)

Margaret 'Peggy' Deery (37)

Damien Donaghy (15)

Joe Friel (20)

Daniel Gillespie (31)

Joseph Mahon (16)

Patrick McDaid (24)

Daniel McGowan (37)

Alex Nash (52)

Paddy O'Donnell (41)

Michael Quinn (17)

Click here to watch a short video of Bloody Sunday footage.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill, 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
Phone: +353-1-872 9747; FAX: +353-1-872 9757; e-mail: saoirse@iol.ie
Date: 25 Eanáir / January 2006
Internet resources maintained by SAOIRSE-Irish Freedom
Irish Republican Information Service
THE body styling itself 'Limerick Republican Information Service' is not connected with the Irish Republican Information Service (IRIS), 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1, email saoirse@iol.ie and has not been authorised either by IRIS or by the body that sponsors IRIS, Republican Sinn Féin. Therefore it is totally unauthorised and should be regarded as such.

In this issue:
1. RSF Vice President takes on McDowell in debate
2. RSF member targeted again by Brits
3. Finucane family rethink Hain talks
4. Racists target protest march
5. Sam Maguire 'not welcome'
6. Retired police 'escape probes'
7. 26-County State breaking international law, says Chomsky

REPUBLICAN SINN FÉIN Vice President Des Dalton clashed with 26-County Justice Minister in a debate in NUI Galway on January 19. The debate was organised by the college's Literary and Debating Society on the theme "That this house would reclaim the tricolour from the Republican Movement".
During the debate Des Dalton said that attempts were being made to hijack Irish history to further a political agenda, which does not even accept the existence of the historic Irish nation. He said: "This attempt to normalise British rule in Ireland has been coupled with the hijacking and rewriting of Irish history, tailoring it to suit the political agenda of the Stormont Agreement and its supporters. We make no apologies to anyone in clearly stating that for Irish Republicans 1916 is unfinished business.
"The reality is that the underlying cause of conflict in Ireland in 1916, 1981 and in 2006 was and is British occupation and rule in Ireland. Rigorous efforts have been made by the British and 26-County States as well as the various constitutional parties to draw a line under Irish history by pretending that the national question has been resolved."
Referring to Republican Sinn Féin's intention to mark the 90th anniversary of 1916 as well as the 25th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strikes he said:
"This year moves are already afoot to hijack the anniversaries of 1916 and the hunger strikes. Bertie Ahern has made his intentions clear using the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis in October as a platform to announce that the 26-County army would be staging a parade in O'Connell Street on Easter Sunday.
"Those who seek to hijack the anniversaries also seek to misrepresent the objectives of the men and women of 1916 and the hunger strikers. In both cases however clear statements of their aims and objectives have been left behind in writings and documents, be it the 1916 Proclamation or the prison diary of Bobby Sands. These historic writings and documents give the lie to those who would attempt to distort or rewrite history. and leave the reader in no doubt that what drove these people was an unshakeable belief in Irish freedom and opposition to British Imperialism."
He challenged Michael McDowell as to the whereabouts of files relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974, which have gone missing from the 26-County Department of Justice.
"Michael McDowell accuses Republicans of being sectarian, but ignores the reality that for over thirty years British-backed loyalist death squads murdered innocent uninvolved nationalists in most cases because of their religion, as a matter of policy. The 26-County State has many serious questions to answer over its failure to deal with British backed Loyalist bombing and shootings carried out in the 26-Counties. Michael McDowell should account for what has become of the files relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the single biggest loss of life in the current conflict, which have gone missing from the 26 County Department of Justice."
He also used the debate to draw attention to Republican Sinn Féin's alternative to the failed and sectarian Stormont Agreement, ÉIRE NUA:
"We are convinced that ÉIRE NUA presents a realistic and workable alternative to what is a clearly failed process. In tandem with our social and economic programme SAOL NUA, our vision is of an Ireland based on Republican, Socialist, Self - reliance and Ecological principles. ÉIRE NUA provides a tangible mechanism by which Theobald Wolfe Tone's dream of substituting the common name of Irish man or woman for Protestant, Catholic or Dissenter, can finally be realised.
"The national flag, like all of the other symbols of our nation, as well as our history, belong to all of the Irish people and are not there to be 'reclaimed' by any one group or sectional interest."
A MEMBER of Republican Sinn Féin in Derry who had previously been threatened by self-confessed members of the British intelligence services last year was again approached by the same two men at around 7pm on January 23rd.
The British Crown agents had previously said that they would speak to him again "at a time and a place of our choosing". In this latest incident the men - this time in plainclothes - approached him as he came out of a shop and told him that they wanted half an hour of his time, adding that they had stated previously that they would keep an eye on him. As he jumped into his car and drove off, they warned that he would only be making more trouble for himself.
This recent incident again demonstrates the sinister nature of this death-dealing organisation in its efforts to destroy Republican opposition to the British occupation of our country.
In a statement Republican Sinn Féin in Derry called on anyone who may have been approached in a similar manner by British or Free State agents, or who may have been compromised, to come forward and approach any member of Republican Sinn Féin or either of our offices at 229, Falls Road, Belfast or 223, Parnell Street, Dublin 1.
THE FAMILY of Pat Finucane are having second thoughts about meeting British Six-County Secretary Peter Hain after he told them to forget about an inquiry into the solicitor's murder if they won't accept the one proposed by the British Government.
Pat Finucane's widow, Geraldine, and other relatives had asked before Christmas to see Peter Hain about the long running dispute over the terms of the inquiry into collusion between British Crown forces and Pat Finucane's UDA killers.
Peter Hain told The Universe, a Catholic newspaper, that the inquiry will be held under the controversial Inquiries Act or there will be "none at all" in the second week in January.0
The family have campaigned for almost 17 years for an inquiry into the murder, but say they "cannot not take part in any Inquiry set up under the Inquiries Act", arguing that it destroys the independence of the tribunal investigating the case.
The British Government rushed the Act through the British Parliament last year in order to hold the Finucane inquiry. It gives British Ministers, rather than chairmen of an inquiry, the power to keep information secret.
"The truth of what happened and why is located in the secret corridors of Whitehall," the Finucanes said in a statement. "The family cannot get involved in any inquiry in which the ministers in charge of those very same corridors will be in charge of Pat's inquiry.
"The family have received widespread international support for their current stance. They will continue and step up their campaign for an independent public judicial inquiry. In view of what Peter Hain has said, the family are now considering whether it is worthwhile meeting him."
The judges in charge of the Bloody Sunday Tribunal and retired Canadian Supreme Court Justice Peter Cory, who recommended the inquiry into the 1989 Finucane murder, have indicated that the conditions imposed by the Act are unacceptable. More than eight months after passing the Act, the British Government has been unable to find a judge who will agree to chair the Finucane inquiry.
A MAN whose brother was killed on Bloody Sunday said a commemoration parade in Scotland had narrowly avoided erupting into serious violence.
A police chief also said he had feared the consequences if a large group of loyalists had managed to attack the parade in Glasgow.
Eleven people were arrested on Saturday, January 21 after loyalist protesters tried to disrupt the Bloody Sunday commemoration. Up to 400 loyalists turned out to oppose a parade to mark the 34th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
Members of the British army's Parachute Regiment gunned down 13 nationalists during a civil rights demonstration on January 30, 1972, with a 14th victim dying of his wounds in June that year.
On January 21 hundreds of police were mobilised after Scottish loyalists, some waving Union flags and giving Nazi salutes, lined the parade route through Glasgow city centre.
The parade was held up for 30 minutes after police expressed concern about the clothing worn by some of the loyalists.
After the march began, participants were subjected to a volley of racist and sectarian chants from loyalist demonstrators, while several bottles were thrown.
Gerry Duddy, whose brother Jackie was among those killed on Bloody Sunday, spoke at the weekend commemoration Gerry Duddy said it had been a frightening experience for those who took part, but praised the restraint of the marchers.
"At one point, there were bottles, glasses and various other things being thrown
at the marchers," he said. "However, despite the provocation, there was little reaction from the marchers and this ensured that things stayed relatively peaceful. The organisers also deserve praise for how well the parade was marshalled."
Strathclyde police confirmed that 11 people had been arrested for offences including breach of the peace, assault, and possession of a knife.

A SCOTTISH politician has called for the Sam Maguire Cup to be banned from Glasgow Celtic's Parkhead stadium.
A member of the Scottish parliament told Tyrone's all-Ireland winners to leave the Sam Maguire Cup in Ireland when the Gaelic footballers visit the Glasgow stadium at the end of January. He said there was no place for the cup in Scotland.
An angry Tyrone GAA county chairman Pat Darcy, speaking on January 18 told Glasgow-based Conservative MSP Bill Aitken to "read up" on his history.
Sam Maguire, a Protestant, was born in Co Cork in 1879. He became a leading member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He died in 1927.
Members of the Tyrone squad are expected to parade the Sam Maguire Cup at Parkhead before Celtic's Scottish Premier League showdown with Dundee United on January 28.
The Red Hand men won the cup last September when they beat Kerry in the all-Ireland final. It has become a tradition in recent years for the all-Ireland winners to take the Sam Maguire Cup to Parkhead. Bill Aitken branded Sam Maguire a "terrorist". "
Aitken has a Partick Thistle season ticket. He claimed to have researched the life of Sam Maguire.
Pat Darcy said: "This is a sporting occasion. It's not sectarian or political. I think this man would need to go and read his history. If he did, he would understand that this is a sporting thing and he wouldn't come out with this nonsense. I think he's trying to get something started here."
FORMER members of the RUC are escaping investigation by the British Police Ombudsman's office because they have retired, human rights lobbyists claimed on January 20.
The legal loophole allows retired RUC members to refuse co-operation with Nuala O'Loan's office and has been highlighted as the stream of complaints about Troubles incidents continues.
Jane Winter from the British/Irish Rights Watch pressure group said the matter needed to be pursued.
"Many of the incidents which the Ombudsman investigated are looking at cases which are very old and involve retired officers," she said. "At the minute these officers are retired and are beyond the reach of the Ombudsman's office."
PHILOSOPHER Noam Chomsky speaking on January 18 claimed that if the 26-County State is allowing so-called rendition - the transportation of political prisoners for interrogation in other states - by the US, then the 26-County state is committing international crime.
Speaking at an Amnesty International lecture in Dublin, he told the audience that the US and Britain are leading terrorist states according to their own definition of terrorism.
The so-called War on Terror could successfully be waged via constructive attempts to stop acting in ways, which enhance the threat of violence, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor said.
But invading Iraq was not only an act of international terrorism, it increased the risk of terror and nuclear proliferation, he said.
Professor Chomsky, a long-standing critic of American foreign policy, was addressing the audience on the subject of the War on Terror.
He said the common definition of terror - the use or threat of violence to attain goals, which are political, ideological or religious in nature - classified the US as a terrorist given its intervention in Iraq, Cuba, Nicaragua and a number of other countries.
He acknowledged terrorism was a major problem in the world, but said that if the priority of the US and Britain was really to tackle that threat they would not have invaded Iraq.
"We find, very easily, a way to reduce the threat of terror - stop acting in ways that, predictably, enhance the threat," he said.
"There is extensive supporting evidence to show that - as anticipated - the invasion increased the risk of terror and nuclear proliferation."
After the invasion, known weapons of mass destruction sites were left unguarded, he said, allowing the theft of equipment for nuclear, chemical and biological weapons for destinations unknown.
Prof Chomsky also said the invasion had intensified feelings of bitter resentment among Arabs towards the West and the ruling elites in the Middle East.
"None of this shows that planners prefer these consequences, of course," he said.
"Rather they are not of much concern in comparison with much higher priorities that are obscure only to those who would prefer what human rights researchers sometimes call 'intentional ignorance'."
Asked why he thought the US led the invasion into Iraq, he told the audience that anyone who was not "deeply enfeebled" by intentional ignorance knew it was to take over the Middle Eastern country's immense resources and gain control of the world's energy supplies.
"You can't talk about exit strategies until you answer the question of why the US and Britain are determined not to leave," he added.
"There are ways to deal constructively with the threat of terror, though not those preferred by 'bin Laden's indispensable ally' (the US), or those who try to avoid the real world by striking heroic poses about Islamofascism, or who simply claim that no proposals are made when there are quite straightforward proposals they do not like.
"The constructive ways have to begin with an honest look in the mirror, never an easy task, always a necessary one," he said.
After a standing ovation from the audience, Prof Chomsky said he supported the day of action planned for March 18 and 19 by the anti-war movement to protest against war in Iraq.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill, 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
Phone: +353-1-872 9747; FAX: +353-1-872 9757; e-mail: saoirse@iol.ie
Date: 18 Eanáir / January 2006
Internet resources maintained by SAOIRSE-Irish Freedom
Irish Republican Information Service
THE body styling itself 'Limerick Republican Information Service' is not connected with the Irish Republican Information Service (IRIS), 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1, email saoirse@iol.ie and has not been authorised either by IRIS or by the body that sponsors IRIS, Republican Sinn Fein. Therefore it is totally unauthorised and should be regarded as such.

In this issue:
1. Provos set to join RUC/PSNI
2. Angry families relieved at scrapping of legislation
3. Spy-post set to go
4. Ex-police officer breaks silence on sectarianism
5. Finucane family in plea over murder inquiry
6. Republican prisoner 'denied' human rights
7. Secret 26-County defence agreements with US
8. Irish Examiner does an Irish Ferries
9. Basque refugee Aitor Elorza found dead at home
IN A statement on January 16 the PRO of Comhairle Uladh, Republican Sinn Féin said:
"After years of British State murder, RUC-backed death squads, collusion, RUC assassinations of Republicans and nationalists and the continuing intimidation, harassment and security war being fought by the British colonial police, the Provos are saying that with a few cosmetic changes they will be ready to support the forces of British occupation.
"Just this week Republicans in Armagh were dragged out of their homes by this force, held and interrogated for days on end. One of the men was held for eight months last year and the trumped-up charges against him later dropped. His car was lifted for forensic examination when he was arrested but when the charges were dropped it was never returned to him.
"His solicitor has tried everything to have it returned but to no avail and after buying another car he was lifted on January 11, his clothes and footwear confiscated and his new car stolen by the RUC, who raided his house wearing balaclavas. They arrested him and locked his wife in the livingroom while they ransacked the house, leaving his eight-year-old son who was in bed with the flu scared out off his wits while the masked PSNI/RUC wrecked the youngster's room.

"How can Gerry Kelly tell people that they should support this alien force? Could Kelly tell these people that with a few changes these criminals would be acceptable? He would be chased from the door .The PSNI is nothing more than the RUC repackaged, and it is as hell-bent as ever on destroying Republicanism and maintaining the British state. This Force will never be acceptable to Irish Republicans and those who do accept it are not Republican but British lapdogs.
My reply to the Provos and their new friends the RUC/PSNI is that while Ireland has sons and daughters there will always be those who will not bend the knee to British Crown Forces, but who will instead take up the Cause of the 32-County Irish Republic and shoulder arms in its defence. It is a shame on the Provos for even thinking off joining the RUC !
On January 12 RSF National Publicity Officer Ruairí Óg Ó Brádaigh said that Republican Sinn Féin condemned the arrests of three Cumann members in the Armagh city area in raids by the RUC/PSNI the previous night as "the latest incidence in the continual harassment of Republicans by British Crown Forces. In previous cases this British State harassment has led to spurious charges against members of the organisation which were later dropped."
HUNDREDS of nationalist families across the Six-Counties reacted angrily when the British government revealed its plan to block the future prosecution of British Crown forces involved in the murder of civilians.
Several of those families speaking on January 12 to express their relief at the announcement by British Six-County Secretary Peter Hain in the British House of Commons that the controversial legislation was to be shelved. The Provisionals had initially supported the legislation, only reversing this position following an outcry from the families of victims of British state violence.
John Loughran's uncle, also John, was one of six men gunned down in north Belfast in 1973.
The nephew said: "This was about providing immunity to British state forces. It was a duplicitous move on behalf of the British.
"The British have never acknowledged that they were involved in a dirty war in Ireland. What they need to do as a first step is acknowledge the part they had to play in that. The British government was not a neutral in this but a main protagonist."
Róisín Maguire's father Tommy Ward was gunned down on south Belfast's Ormeau Road. To this day, his family does not know who was responsible.
"I don't know who killed my father and this is what we would like to find out. If there was collusion, we would like the British government to acknowledge that. All we want is the truth.
"After he was killed, we were left with no answers and nobody has ever come to us. There was never any investigation and we have been left on our own for 30 years.
"If this legislation had gone through, we could have given up all hope of ever knowing what happened," said Róisín Maguire.
Belfast man Mark Sykes survived the 1992 Sean Graham bookmaker's massacre despite being shot several times. The Ormeau Road man said the five men killed by the Ulster Freedom Fighters that day deserved justice. Mark Sykes' brother-in-law Peter Magee was killed in the attack.
Referring to the Northern Ireland (Offences) Bill, Mark Sykes said: "This was a move by the British government and the securocrats that would only have benefited them had it gone through. It was a bad piece of legislation. If you read the Cory report in the murder of Pat Finucane, there are paragraphs blacked out that deal with the weapons used in the bookie's murders. The British government know the truth of what happened that day and the rest of us deserve to know."
Anne Kelly's father Bobby Clarke was killed by the UFF in west Belfast in 1973.
"I believe the British government hijacked the legislation to protect British state forces who murdered civilians.
"If this legislation had gone through, then these people would have gotten away with murder. Now at least we still have an opportunity to pursue the truth.
"It's the same for others, the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.
"They deserve the same opportunity to know the truth. We all deserve to know the truth."
THE watchtower at Woodbourne British army barracks is set to be dismantled. Work to dismantle the spy post is set to begin in the next few weeks and it is expected that the work will be completed by March.
The news follows reports that British army accommodation was removed from the site. Two Portacabins used by the British army as accommodation were removed from the site early in January.
A FORMER RUC member who came from the nationalist community has broken his silence on the sectarianism within the force in south Armagh at the height of the Troubles. The man, who does not want to be identified, said he felt compelled to come forward after a murderous 24-hour period three decades ago was highlighted in the media. The ex-RUC man was also based in Co Down in the early seventies - and was one of the few Catholics in the predominantly Protestant RUC.
"The first thing I saw when I got to south Armagh were all the young constables, only 19, 21, 22, 23, with no experience of policing. There were no 'seasoned' police officers, " he said. "I often look back, thinking of the hundreds killed in the explosions and shootings, we were used as cannon fodder."
With the RUC/PSNI under scrutiny over ever-emerging allegations of British Crown force collusion with loyalist death squads - more recently a number of UVF killings - the former RUC man gives a unique insight into his time within the force.
While stationed in south Armagh the man now in his fifties, went out on night operations with someone whom he called the 'mystery man', as he was never told who he was.
"I am convinced he was not military but an MI5 agent. He had a plummy English accent. I realised they were trying to gather information on people," he said.
"The houses he went to, they were all homes of Protestants. I noticed pictures, platoons of [the disbanded] B Specials." On January 6 1976, the UVF murdered two brothers and fatally wounded another at their south Armagh home. Ten minutes later another nationalist home near Gilford was targeted, killing three. Allegations of collusion in both cases are to be probed.
Although these murders - the IRA retaliating just hours later killing 10 Protestants at Kingsmill - occurred just as he had tendered his resignation, he had already been highly suspicious of the actions of some of his colleagues years earlier.
"I don't think there was any investigation [into these murders]," he said. "Something very, very sinister was taking place because information was being leaked to organisations like the UDA or UVF. We have not even scratched the surface of what was going on. It was so deep and widespread.
"There were a few military regiments present at that time, the Royal Marine Commando and the notorious Parachute Regiment. They were very aggressive to say the least.
"I used to meet a lot of serving UDR soldiers... many were deeply bigoted. Even police constables would make comments. I remember a policewoman saying to me 'this is a Protestant country'.
"When I finished training we were presented with bibles. As I was the only Catholic, I was given a red bible. Several remarked 'I never knew you were a Catholic'. It was if I had two heads."
THE FAMILY of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane repeated their call for the British government to reveal the full truth about his death on January 11.
Pat Finucane's widow Geraldine and family members were meeting with political party leaders in Dublin in their campaign for an independent statutory inquiry into the 1989 murder.
"We are meeting the party leaders to ask them to persuade the Taoiseach (Sic) [Bertie Ahern] to put pressure on the British government to reveal full details of Pat's murder," Pat Finucane said.
The family also met Green Party leader Trevor Sargent, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Progressive Democrat leader, Mary Harney.
The Finucanes are concerned that any inquiry into Mr Finucane's death under the British Inquiries Act 2005 will gag witnesses and restrict information.
"We don't believe the truth will come out at all with the Inquiries Act," Geraldine Finucane added.
Geraldine Finucane and family members recently met Ulster Unionist Party leader Reg Empey with Church of Ireland Archbishop Robin Eames, as part of a series of meetings across the political divide throughout Ireland.
A REPUBLICAN prisoner has accused the British government of denying him his human rights.
Tommy Hamill was arrested before Christmas and is being held on weapons charges.
He is being held on remand at Maghaberry prison in Co Antrim.
During the Christmas period, relatives of the Co Tyrone man travelled to the jail to visit him but were turned away after being examined by sniffer dogs.
Tommy Hamill has still not been visited by his family. He denied the charges against him but been refused bail. A spokesman for the Irish Republican Prisoners Action Group accused the British government of denying Tommy Hamill his basic human rights.
"Tommy was refused bail and it is obviously the intention of the Crown to make his remand a long one.
"Some Irish republicans were held on remand for nearly three years before their cases fell apart at trial.
"These tactics are a form of internment. The prisoner is shipped off to Maghaberry prisoner-of-war camp, where conditions are poor.
"There are no education facilities, no freedom of association, and rigourous security measures make life in Maghaberry a miserable one," the spokesperson said.
The charges Tommy Hamill faces are connected to the discovery of a cache of weapons, ammunition and explosives in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, in 2004.
After arresting the accused on December 23 last year, the PSNI claimed that the items had been found on Tommy Hamill's property and with his fingerprints.
In follow-up raids after the arrest, the RUC\PSNI wrecked Tommy Hamill's home. The front and back doors of his house were broken down, stud walls were ripped out, and furniture was broken and overturned.
Another Dungannon Republican has complained of having his home wrecked during RUC/PSNI raids on the same day.
The man, who did wish to be identified, was at work when he received a phone call informing him his house in the Dunavon estate was being searched.
He said that, by the time he returned, the RUCPSNI had seized "anything that was not nailed down", including personal items and Christmas presents.
TWENTY Six-County Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern admitted in Leinster House on January 12 that two agreements between the 26-County state and the US on Defence matters should have been put before Leinster House. This followed a question put by Michael D Higgins of the 26-County Labour party, which drew attention to the hitherto unpublicised agreements. Dermot Ahern sent copies to Michael D Higgins and other Opposition spokesmen and the media.
Michael D Higgins wrote to 26-County Premier Bertie Ahern asking why these agreements, referred to on the US State Department's website, had neither been laid before Leinster House nor put on the published list of treaties signed by the 26-County administration with other states.
The first agreement details procedures to be adopted to permit the sharing of classified information between the US and EU. This can be used by the 26-County state not to release information relating to its co-operation with the US. The second refers to procedures for logistical support between the 26-County army and the US army.
This latest revelation raises serious concerns particularly when viewed against the backdrop of the ongoing illegal war in Iraq as well as the use of Shannon by US warplanes and reports of the transportation on political prisoners through the airport by the CIA.
THE public were assured during the Irish Ferries saga that it could only happen because it was a maritime industry and land-bound Irish jobs were safe. Many newspapers editorialised against escalation and for reasoned negotiation etc. The Irish Examiner was no different.
But a story absent by and large from the Irish media has been the Examiner Group's move to shed its print workers and replace them with lower paid workers in a 'new company' which will print its various newpapers on contract. Under the new arrangement workers in Ballina and Cork city were invited to agree redundancy, redeployment or a transfer to the 'new firm' - under new conditions of course. Out of a staff of almost 90 only eleven are transferring to the 'new' company.
Many who took redundancy and then applied for work at the new plant discovered that trained printers were unwanted and were given short shrift. Instead the 'new' company, Web Concepts, is looking for print technicians and is proposing to pay them in the region of €19,000 per year, quite a drop from the €40,000 average of the old workforce.
Redeployment of workers is something of a joke as the qualified printers are unlikely to easily adjust to answering phones all day or training as reporters. In fact the Examiner had no intention of doing so and discouraged any such illusions. Relocation to the new company was also discouraged and the few who did will find a very new working regime and conditions.
Redundancy conditions are extremely good with five weeks per year served plus another two from the State. Good jobs with good conditions have again been lost and that the next generation of print workers will have to fight long and hard to get anywhere near this situation again.
The Examiner of course does very well out of this. They get a new printing works with cheaper labour, they have sold their city centre property for millions to developer Owen O'Callaghan and they are rid of a highly unionised and effective group of workers. The future looks bright for Irish Examiner publications as long as you are not a worker.
IT was reported on January that the association working for prisoners' rights Askatasuna (Freedom) had confirmed that the Basque refugee Aitor Elorza had been found dead at home in Baiona (Bayonne). However, the causes of his death was not yet revealed.. His corpse was in the Baiona (Bayonne) morgue and will be cremated within the next few days, as he wished.

Elorza was from the coastal town of Algorta, in the province of Bizkaia, and had been on the run since the 80s, as Askatasuna has affirmed in a statement. Askatasuna extended condolences to the relatives of the refugee. Furthermore, it called for several demonstrations to take place within the next few days.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

RSF describe Armagh arrests as harassment

Republican Sinn Féin
Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill,
223 Parnell Street
Dublin 1, Ireland


For release
12 January\Eanair 2006

Harassment Arrests in Armagh -
Three men held in British custody
Statement by RSF Publicity Officer Ruairí Óg Ó Brádaigh

Republican Sinn Féin condemns the arrests of three
cumann members in the Armagh city area in raids by
the RUC/PSNI last night as the latest incidence in the
continual harassment of Republicans by British Crown

Masked RUC/PSNI raiders entered the home of one
man as he returned from work last night and refused
to let his children leave the house. He was then arrested
and is still being held with two other men, also members
of Republican Sinn Féin.

In previous cases this British State harassment has led
to spurious charges against members of the organisation
which were later dropped.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006



Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill, 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland

Phone: +353-1-872 9747; FAX: +353-1-872 9757; e-mail: saoirse@iol.ie

Date: : 4 Eanáir / January 2006

Internet resources maintained by SAOIRSE-Irish Freedom


Irish Republican Information Service

THE body styling itself 'Limerick Republican Information Service' is

not connected with the Irish Republican Information Service (IRIS), 223

Parnell Street, Dublin 1, email saoirse@iol.ie and has not been

authorised either by IRIS or by the body that sponsors IRIS, Republican

Sinn Fein. Therefore it is totally unauthorised and should be regarded

as such.

In this issue:

1. Dáithí Ó Conaill remembered in Dublin

2. Tyrone man arrested and charged

3. Republican house raided by RUC in Dungannon

4. Visit of British Queen condemned

5. CPT to visit Ireland

6. US reject Kyoto at climatic change summit in Montreal

7. World Trade Organisation (WTO) to eliminate farm export subsidies

8. Denis Donaldson admits to role of British spy

9. New Garda Ombudsman's commission set up

10. US senate face problems over renewal of Patriot Act

11. Huge pay increases for politicians and their cronies as homeless

figures rise

12. Poverty in Ireland

13. Irish prisoners in Britain

14. Call for blanket ban on CIA planes

15. Election turnout down 12%


A LARGE crowd of Republicans travelled from all over the country on New Years day to Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin to pay their respects to Dáithí Ó Conaill. Dáithí was vice-President of Republican Sinn Féin when he died suddenly on New Year's Day 1991.

The parade from the gates of the cemetery was led by Peig King, Cumann na mBan carrying the Tricolour and followed by a Republican Sinn Fein colour party. At the graveside the proceedings were chaired by Des Dalton vice-President Sinn Féin Poblachtach.

In his opening remarks Des told the assembled crowd that Dáithí Ó Conaill was an inspiration to all and was a Republican of the calibre of Tone and Emmet. He called on Cathleen Knowles-McGuirk to lay a laurel wreath on behalf of the Republican Sinn Féin and Kitty Hawkins recited a decade of the rosary as Gaeilge. A minutes silence was observed for the dipping of the flags and a lament was played on the feadóg by Séan Ó Sé, Dublin. Des then introduced the main speaker Josephine Hayden, Vice-President, Sinn Féin Poblachtach who gave the oration:

"Fifteen years have passed since we gathered here to bury one of Ireland greatest Republicans, Dáithí Ó Conaill. He was a man of courage, honour and integrity, a great thinker and strategist. He was active in the Republican movement for almost 40 years and during that time he willingly gave of his time, energy and expertise -- both militarily and politically. He worked day and night to bring about a united and just society and his work took him to the four corners of Ireland, to England and to the States. He was but a teenager when he joined the Movement in 1955 in Cork and mixing his political and military beliefs came naturally to him. His background would have imbued in him a Republican outlook. His uncle, Michael O'Sullivan, was a member of the 1st Cork Brigade who was bayoneted to death by the British Crown Forces at Ballylannon, Clogheen in 1921.

"Dáithí volunteered for active service and went to Fermanagh in1956 when the Border Campaign (as it became known) opened. As a 19 year-old he took part in the raid on Brookborough RUC Barracks on New Years Day 1957. Two Volunteers were killed in that attack, Seán Sabhat, Limerick and Fergal Ó h-Anluain, Monaghan, and the OC was injured. Dáithí took command and he and Vincent Conlon led the remainder of the column back across the mountains to Knockatallon. Shortly afterwards Dáithí was arrested and served six months in Mountjoy. On the morning of his release he was arrested at the gate of the jail and interned in the Curragh Concentration Camp, from which he escaped along with Ruairí Ó Brádaigh in September 1958.

"The following year he was wounded while engaging the British forces at Lough Neagh and was arrested by the RUC. He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment and was released in the early 1960s when the IRA temporarily halted their military campaign against the British. During this lull in hostilities he trained as a vocational teacher and was active in social issues and local politics in many areas. His continued involvement in the Republican Movement ensured that when the flame of resistance was once again lit against British occupation in 1969 in the Six Occupied Counties he was in a key position within the Movement to exercise his influence and reorganise the Irish Republican Army.

"When disagreements arose in 69/70 over the future direction of the Republican Movement, Dáithí was one of those who ensured that the Movement took the path of the Fenians and Wolfe Tone. In 1972, during the first truce, he was one of the men who took part in the negotiations with the British in London.

"He was on the run during the 1970s and had many close shaves with the British and Free State forces, not least among them when he spoke at Easter in Milltown Cemetery, Belfast in 1973 and gave the oration at Michael Gaughan's funeral in Ballina in 1974. Also that year, 1974, he was among a Republican delegation, which included Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, JB O'Hagan, Kevin Mallon, Séamus Twomey and Billy McKee, that took part in the Feakle talks with Protestant clergymen in an effort to find a way forward acceptable to all.

"The Republicans were almost arrested in Smith's Hotel in Feakle that day in December when the Special Branch raided the room, but they had gotten word of the raid and had left. (Personal papers of that time belonging to Ruairí Ó Brádaigh have been lodged in UCG.) However Dáithí's luck ran out and he was arrested in Dublin in July 1975. He was sentenced on IRA membership and sent to Portaloise prison where in 1977 he was one of 20 men who took part in a 47-day hunger strike against the dreadful conditions there. As soon as he was released that year he was straight back to his Republican work.

"During the 1980-81 hunger strikes, Daithí, who was Vice-President of Sinn Féin and a member of the National H-Block/Armagh Committee, travelled to and spoke at numerous rallies. He was a wonderful orator and would cut straight to the point. Contrary to recently published material, it was Dáithí who proposed that Bobby Sands be nominated to contest the Westminster election for Fermanagh/South Tyrone in the British General Election in April 1981. As we know Bobby Sands polled over 30,000 votes and his election focused the world on the plight of the hunger strikers and the injustices suffered by the nationalist population in the Six Occupied Counties.

"It also highlighted the slavish mentality of the Free State politicians who refused to stand up and be counted at that vital time in Irish history. Dáithí was also Director of Elections when hunger striker Kieran Doherty and Blanketman Paddy Agnew were elected TDs in Cavan/Monaghan and Louth respectively in the 1981 General Election in the 26 Counties.

"The splitting of the Movement [by illegal means] by Adams, McGuinness, Doherty, McGirl etc in 1986 once again saw Dáithí to the fore in reorganising the Republican Movement. He showed his steel by continuing the struggle with determination, he asked of others only what he was prepared to do himself. He realised very early in his youth the importance of the dual strategy. His thinking and vision was focused on ways in which Ireland could rid itself politically, militarily, culturally, economically and educationally of the British yoke that had strangled the Irish nation for centuries. He was instrumental in drawing up the ÉIRE NUA programme in 1971 and later on in 1990 he wrote the document Towards A Peaceful Ireland. In those documents are contained the three demands for a peaceful and just settlement:

1. A declaration of intent from the British to withdraw from Ireland

2. The right of the Irish people to self-determination.

3. A general amnesty for all POWs.

"Those three demands are as relevant today as they were at the beginning of 1970. They have not been met and until they are, Republicans will continue to fight for them in whatever way they deem fit. This will not include capitulation, surrender or decommissioning - the final acts of betrayal in a long line of betrayals by the Provisionals. Pat Ward, who himself had been on hunger strike in Portlaoise, said in Bodenstown in 1987. 'We uphold the right of all Irish people to use force for the restoration of Irish democracy which was outlawed by a British Act of parliament.'

"Well today we still uphold that right. Republicans have opposed the sell out of the Six Occupied Counties and will continue to do so. Over the years they too were offered 'peace deals' which they could not in all conscience accept, they had 'declared for a Republic and would live under no other law'. Today is no different, we here have also declared for a Republic and will live under no other law. We will follow the footsteps of Dáithí and men and women like him.

"We refuse to recognise the right of former comrades to tell us that we have to live with British rule, that it is part of life now. Well part of life for them is administering British rule and taking the British shilling - over and under the table. In their psyche there seems to be a difference between spying and touting; touts were shot, spies are not. We refuse to recognise those people who used and continue to use the name of Sinn Féin for personal gain and a few seats in Stormont and Leinster House. Sinn Féin was founded 100 years ago to break the connection with England, not to strengthen it.

"And though it is sad that in this centenary year we have not realised Daithí's dream of a united Ireland, we celebrate 100 years of unbroken resistance to British rule, 100 years of unbroken continuity. Republican Sinn Féin is the only political organisation that can claim that continuity. We have never broken the Sinn Féin constitution to copperfasten partition or in any other way, nor we do not recognise Britain's right to rule in Ireland and we never will. From today let us commit ourselves to redoubling our efforts to bring about a united Ireland in our lifetime".

In closing the ceremony Des asked that people redouble their efforts to realise the ideals that inspired patriots such as Dáithí Ó Conaill and that was an Ireland free of British rule. He then called on Séan Ó Sé to play Amhrán na bhFiann.


THE house of Tyrone Republican Tommy Hamill's was wrecked just before Christmas by the British colonial police the RUC/PSNI.

The front and back doors were completely destroyed, stud walls were ripped out and furniture broken and overturned. Tommy was arrested and taken for interrogation to Antrim where he was charged with possession of a number of firearms, ammunition and explosives. These the weapons had been found almost a year ago in a field in Dungannon. The British police claimed the these items were found in Tommy's house and had his fingerprints on it.

Tommy was refused bail and it is obviously the intention of the Crown to make his remand a long one. Some Irish Republicans were held on remand for nearly three years before their cases fell apart at trial.

These tactics are a form of internment. The prisoner is shipped off to Maghaberry POW Camp where conditions are poor. There are no education facilities, no freedom of association and rigorous security measures make life in Maghaberry a miserable one.

Tommy had two sets of visitors over Christmas turned away by the sniffer dog, meaning he spent Christmas without a visit from family or friends.

Tommy Hamill is an Irish Republican. He is now a political prisoner and is denied his basic rights as was Bobby Sands. Support the struggle for our prisoners support Tommy Hamill. End internment by remand, end the political kidnappings and illegal jailing by the British state.

Support the fight for political status for all Irish Republican prisoners.


ON December 23 a Republican from Dunavon housing estate in Dungannon was busy at work when he received a phone call from the RUC/PSNI informing him they were in his house and would he like to come home.

He rushed home and found the Cops taking bags of clothes all his CDs and DVDs, letters and paperwork and his computer.

He told the local McKearney/McCaughey Cumann of Republican Sinn Féin: "If it was not nailed down they took it with them". He was given no explanation for the raid and was not arrested. He said "They took all my family's Christmas presents" and said he feels that his house and his family have been violated.

"How can some one march in to your house a couple of days before Christmas and steal your family's presents with out warrant or reason," he said.

The McKearney/McCaughey Cumann condemned the attack at Christmas and said: "It is not just an attack on an individual but an attack on the entire Republican Community in Tyrone and shows once again that the only thing the Crown Forces are interested in is destroying Republicanism. These attacks only strengthen our resolve we will not bow down to the British colonial police."


IN A statement on December 31 the Francis Hughes Cumann of Republican Sinn Fein, Glasgow, deplored the recent actions of the 26-County President Mary McAleese in meeting with the British Queen on Irish soil.

The statement went on: "The planned invitation by the Free State government to invite the Brit Queen to Dublin in the near future (possibly sometime in early or mid 2006) will be met with strong and determined opposition and protests. Any such visit must be viewed as further evidence by the Free State government of its unquestioning acceptance of British rule in the occupied Six Counties and desire to normalise itsillegal and immoral occupation.

RSF Glasgow condemn totally the actions of the Free State government in pursuing this course of action, and its servile kowtowing to the Brits both politically and economically.

Should the visit in 2006 go ahead, Glasgow RSF will demonstrate in the strongest terms our opposition to the British Queen in Ireland."


THE European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and degrading treatment of prisoners (CPT) will visit jails in ten countries, including Ireland, in 2006. It has criticised the 26 Counties over several aspects of its detention practices particularly in the area of mentally ill prisoners and asylum seekers.

Amnesty International also has criticised the system, in particular the use of padded cells but also for it inappropriate detention of mentally ill prisoners and the detaining, in prison, of failed asylum seekers and those awaiting deportation.

Those detained at the Central Mental Hospital have to slop out daily Jim Loughran has described the conditions in the CMH as 'Dickensian' and said 'conditions there were cruel, inhuman and degrading'. Prisoners in Mountjoy and Portlaoise jails also slop out.


AT the UN summit on climatic change in Montreal during the first week in December at which 180 countries were represented, economists warned the US it needed to move immediately on greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming. The summit was chaired by Canadian environment minister Stephane Dion who proposed the original resolution on how to proceed to implement the UN Framework Convention on Climatic Change adopted at the Earth Summit in 1992.

Twenty-five prominent American economists, including three Nobel laureates, said that there was 'now no credible scientific doubt' that gas emissions were contributing to climatic change. The Canadian prime minister, Paul Martin was also concerned at the long term effects of gas emissions and told the summit, "The developed world cannot walk away from its responsibilities".

The US walked out of the talks but returned, when they realised that almost all the other countries would proceed without them. However they refused to sign up to the agreement (signed by 150 countries) to open talks on mandatory post-2012 reductions in greenhouse gasses. It agreed to join in 'exploratory dialogue' on future steps to combat climate change.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, one of the groups involved in the organisation of the summit, said that inaction will eventually hurt the US economy - action taken now will pay off in the long term. This is in contrast to George Bush's assertion that signing up to the Kyoto Protocol would damage the US economy, (this view is promoted by oil company Exxon Mobil who, it is alleged, has connections with the Bush family). Now the Washington Post (December 5) has connected Exxon Mobil and Harlan Watson, the chief US negotiator at the Montreal summit.


ALL 149 member nations and territories of the WTO recently endorsed the agreement to eliminate farm subsidies by 2013 and other cuts in trade barriers. The final agreement falls far short of the objectives set by the WYO negotiators and agreement was not reached on many contentious issues such as how much rich nations should open their farming markets to imports. Small [cotton]farmers from poor countries such as Bali, Chad etc say they cannot compete in international markets with the richer farmers of the US so the elimination of export subsidies was welcomed by them. The agreement reached also calls on wealthy nations to allow duty-free and quota-free privileges for at least 97% of products exported by the least developed countries by 2008.


DURING the mid-1980, while Denis Donaldson was spying for the British, several members of the Republican Movement were murdered by the British forces who were operating a shoot-to-kill policy. Questions have to be answered by Donaldson such as the extent of the information he supplied and how many lives were summarily taken due to the information he supplied. Did he supply information on the eight IRA men in Loughgall who were murdered in an SAS ambush in 1987?

Questions must also be answered by the Provos as to why it is taking such a soft line with this and their previous informer. The lesser emotive term 'spying' is being used by the Provos and the media to describe Donaldson's actions - perhaps spying is perceived a lesser evil than informing/touting and as such does not merit a 'death sentence'? It could be construed that those who have given 'safe passage' to those last two informers have to be involved in touting themselves.

Are these two the scapegoats (while not doubting their guilt) to cover a larger 'spying ring'? This would not be the first time that minor touts were killed as touts to cover a major one, Corcoran in Munster to keep Seán Callaghan's cover and Hegarty in Derry to keep an unknown persons cover are but two.

Questions must also be answered by Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern about how much they knew. Did Tony Blair know in October last year when the offices of the Provos was raided and the assembly was put once again on the back burner? Questions also have to be answered by the British Special Branch, MI5 and the RUC/PSNI. Why grant Donaldson a gun licence when this would surely set tongues wagging as to why he was the ly member of the Provos to have a licence for a weapon?

All media have denied they were on the verge of 'outing' Donaldson. If this is the case then by whom was he outed and why? Had the Provos twigged him or had Donaldson outlived his usefulness to the British now that the Provos have surrendered their aspirations and their weapons.

The spin now being pushed by the Provos is that nothing must be allowed to 'undermine the peace process'. Their ambition now is to see the assembly up and running, to sit in Stormont, ALL paid agents of the British, and administer British rule in Ireland for their paymasters. Their war against the British is over and to this end Mary Lou McDonnell has called on Tony Blair to prove that "the British war in Ireland is over".


JUSTICE Kevin Haugh of the High Court, Conor Brady, former editor of Irish Times and Carmel Foley, Director of Consumer affairs comprise the new Garda Ombudsman's Commission set up by the Minister for Justice in the 26-County Administration Michael McDowell.

The Commission will have the power to carry out independent investigations into complaints against individual gardaí with power to access files and conduct independent interviews. It will also have the power to investigate incidents where no complaints have been made but where a garda may have committed an offence.

The Commission will replace the existing Garda Complaints Bureau where the gardaí investigate themselves. Only time will tell whether the new Commission will be more effective that the old Garda Complaints Bureau.


US Senators are in dispute over the renewal of the Patriot Act, enacted after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Republicans and Democrats have joined together to discuss the implications of the Patriot Act. They have raised concerns that it gives too much power to the FBI and CIA in demanding personal and business records [of those under suspicion] without any checks or supervision.


ACCORDING to the Irish Times of 31/12/05, a pay rise for politicians will see Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's salary rise by €5,500 to €252,000 from January 1, 2006. With various increases throughout the year, his salary has risen by €25,000 in the last year - this is more than many a workers yearly income. Others to benefit from this latest 3.5% pay increase are ministers, (former ministers will also benefit with increased pensions), senior civil servants, heads of semi-State companies, county managers and judges.

Mary Harney, Tainiste, salary increased to €216,694; the Attorney General salary to €202,020; Ministers of State will be on €150,000; the most senior secretaries general of government departments will now earn almost €240,000, with the standard rate for the position now nearly €190,000.

(Those employed under a new system that requires them to make a 5% contribution to their pension arrangements will get almost €10,000 extra to cover their pension payments). Deputy secretaries will get €149,288 and assistant secretaries €126,186, plus another 5% to cover their pension contribution.

The chief justice will have a salary of over €250,000; Supreme Court judges will get almost €220,000; High Court judges €205,000, Circuit Court judges €150,000 and District Court judges €125,000.

In the midst of such affluence the problem of homelessness, exclusion and marginalisation is worse than it was 30 years ago according to Trust, a support group for the homeless. Alice Leahy, director and co-founder of Trust, criticised the 26-County Administration for allowing services, which could alleviate the problem, to 'become strangled by bureaucracy instead of focusing on the day-to-day needs of people on the street'. She said that while we have achieved much material success 'many of us are less tolerant of those who cannot keep pace and fall by the wayside. The price of accommodation has soared and this has forced people out on to the street'. She also said that 'our increasing inability to as a society to find space and understanding for those who cannot cope and fit in'.

In Village magazine, Vincent Brown quotes a new book Out of Reach: Inequalities in the Irish Housing System, by PJ Drury and Michael Punch, two academics in Trinity College, Dublin, who believe that those in need of housing in the 26-Counties could be 106,000 households - 250,000 people and they point out that 'this calculation does not take into account all elements or categories such as homeless persons, refugees or those ... inappropriately housed or have no home at all'.

House prices have soared with the result that many on low incomes cannot hope to purchase a home and depend on local authorities.

However, fewer than seven percent of households are now housed by local authorities. Low-income families therefore have to rent from the private sector, which eats into their income and so the cycle of poverty continues.


"EIGHT percent of all children are severely poor in Northern Ireland.
That represents 32,000 little souls, one-in-five of whom do not have fresh fruit and vegetables or meat in their diet and one-in-seven of whom do not have three meals a day" according to Church of Ireland Primate Dr Robin Eames. At a conference on December 6 entitled De-Coding Society representatives from voluntary, statutory and Church agencies came together to 'highlight the big issues and to seek inputs about where the churches can make a meaningful impact' on child poverty.

The issue of child poverty in the 26-Counties has been highlighted over the last months by a variety of concerned agencies. The Combat Poverty Agency has publicised extensively the problem faced by families who live either on or below the breadline. One of the indicators used in assessing poverty has been those who cannot afford a winter coat or pair of shoes and who do not have three meals a day.

According to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in the year 2004,19.4% of the population was at risk of poverty. Among those most at risk are lone parent households, 48%; ill or disabled, 47%; unemployed, 37% and those living alone 36%.

Figures also show that the top income group had five times more income than the bottom group. Welfare benefits accounted for almost 90% of gross household income in the lowest income bracket. Fr Sean Healy of Conference of Religious in Ireland (CORI) said that social policies should address poverty among the poorest, the unemployed or the working poor, through increased welfare rates and refundable tax credits respectively.


THERE are over 900 Irish nationals in jail in Britain, and imprisonment is now a first rather than last resort to deal with minor offenders, according to The Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas (ICPO).

Britain has the highest prison population per capita in Europe. Fr Gerry McFlynn, London office Director, who regularly visits Irish prisoners in London, Coventry, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, said that Irish prisoners live lives of quiet desperation and that they still face problems with racism both from prison staff and other prisoners. Many families are unable to finance trips to see their relatives and the some families are not informed if their relatives are ill and taken to hospital. Around 30 prisoners have applied for repatriation but the process can take up to four years.


IN A statement on December 23 anti-war activists demanded the Dublin Administration bring in a blanket ban on CIA and American war planes at 26-County airports to prevent the torture of foreign prisoners.

The Irish Human Rights Commission called for aircraft to be inspected and retired Free State army commandant and peace campaigner Ed Horgan said prohibiting US military was the only way to ensure Ireland could abide by international obligations.

"We welcome, belatedly, the pressure. But I would go further than that - all US military aircraft should be banned," he said.

"I believe it is very likely that prisoners were transported through Shannon at some stage in the past and CIA planes were being used in the process of taking prisoners to be tortured.

"The CIA should be banned from going through for past offences."

The IRHC urged the 26-County government to urgently seek an agreement with US authorities to allow inspections of aircraft suspected of involvement in so-called extraordinary renditions.

Ed Horgan, who was arrested and detained at Shannon on December 22 as he travelled to England, said he was very concerned about reports that 2,000 unnamed and undocumented prisoners had been moved out of Europe in the last few weeks.

Dr Maurice Manning, IHRC president, said 26-County officials had an obligation to prevent actions on our soil which could facilitate torture.

"In the Commission's view, and in light of Ireland's international legal obligations in this field, reliance on diplomatic assurances is not sufficient to protect against the risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment," Dr Manning said.

"Given the fact that the obligation on the state to protect against all forms of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment is an absolute one, and given the gravity of the allegations that have been made to date and which are under active investigation by the Council of Europe, it is not sufficient for the Government to rely on such assurances."

Richard Boyd Barrett, Irish Anti-War Movement spokesperson, welcomed the recommendation but insisted US aircraft should no longer have free run of Shannon.

"The report makes it clear that it is not acceptable to turn a blind eye to the fact that Shannon may have been used to facilitate torture," he said.

"It looks fairly clear that the US is involved in organising a very elaborate systems of kidnap and torture. It is good that there is more pressure on the Government to end its shameful connection with the US military at Shannon."

Under domestic and international law Ireland is obliged to ensure prisoners do not travel through the state en route to countries where they may be tortured.

Dermot Ahern, 26-County foreign affairs minister, pressed US secretary of state Condoleeza Rice on the matter in Washington earlier this month.

She insisted prisoners where not being transported through Shannon.


THE number of people who voted in the General Election in the Six Counties in 2004 fell by almost 12%, according to a report from the Electoral Commission published on December 15.

The report said the 12 largest decreases in voter turnout in the UK occurred in Six-County constituencies, with 93,644 fewer people casting their ballots in the election compared to 2001. The Commission also reported that over 20,000 ballot papers were also spoiled during the election.