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:

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 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.



Post a Comment

<< Home