Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Well, now that Blogger, in their infinite wisdom, has finally determined that my blog is not in violation of any of their terms of agreement and has unlocked my account, I have alot of catching up to do. Thanks, Blogger... you idiots.

Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill, 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1,
Phone: +353-1-872 9747; FAX: +353-1-872 9757; e-mail:
Date: 6 Márta / March 2006

Internet resources maintained by SAOIRSE-Irish Freedom

In this issue:
1. Launch of book on Ó Brádaigh
2. Loyalist death squad threaten Belfast taxi-driver
3. RUC/PSNI fire shots in Belfast
4. Belfast bookies murder weapons probe call
5. British police attacked in Derry
6. Decision not to interview murder suspects
7. Seventeen quizzed over loyalist pub raid
8. Police raid murder victim's home
9. Controversial new law applied to Hamill inquiry
10. Move to have convicted soldiers thrown out of army
11. Number of legally-held weapons in the Six Counties
12. Protesters block re-opening of pub near Stardust
13. Bush's Shannon stopover picketed by anti-war group
14. Sean O'Reilly acquitted of 'obstructing a federal


THE biography "Ruairí Ó Brádaigh - The Life and
Politics of an Irish Revolutionary" will be launched
by Dr Ruán O'Donnell, Department of History, Limerick
University, on April 12 - the Wednesday before Easter.

Other speakers at the launch in the Cúltúrlann,
Monkstown, Dublin at 7.30pm will include the author
Professor Robert W White of Indiana University and the
subject of the book himself, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

The book is in hardback and runs to 350 pages with
another 60 pages of notes and is the result of over 20
years of research and interviews with the subject. Dr
O'Donnell did extensive work for the bicentenaries of
1798 and 1803 and is now engaged in a study on the
Republican Movement in the 1950s.


ON March 4 a nationalist taxi driver was threatened at
gunpoint in the Ligoniel area, near north Belfast
after he picked up four men in his car in the Beldoc
area of the Crumlin Road and drove them to Ligoniel.

One of the men produced a small handgun and placed it
at the back of the driver's head and threatened him.
The man wielding the gun was 25 years of age, with
short ginger hair and a blackeye, and was wearing a
faded denim baseball cap. A struggle ensued, and the
driver managed to escape uninjured.

The four men then left the car and fled down an
alleyway at the side of McKenna`s pub. The attack on
the taxi driver bore the hallmarks of a sectarian
murder bid. It is understood the man worked for a firm
on the Antrim Road in Belfast.

The Red Hand Defenders, a known cover name for the UDA
/UFF loyalist death squad admitted trying to murder
the taxi driver and threatened to kill Republican
ex-prisoners, in a call to a Belfast newspaper, using
a recognised code word. The anonymous caller told the
newspaper it now considered all Republican
ex-prisoners "legitimate targets" from midnight on
March 3.


MEMBERS of the British colonial police, the RUC/PSNI
fired two warning shots in north Belfast on March 6.
The trouble flared at about 1am when four men got out
of a car and threw bottles and other missiles at
Tennant Street RUC/PSNI station.
The police chased them into Montreal Street where a
female member of the RUC was grabbed and hit in the
face with a bottle.
About 30 people leaving a club then became involved,
attacking the British police with bricks, bottles and
other missiles, injuring four of them.
The RUC/PSNI fired two shots and one man was arrested.
Afterwards a van was set on fire at nearby Cambria


THE families of five people murdered in a
British-backed loyalist gun attack on a south Belfast
bookmaker's have called on the RUC/PSNI to make public
the history of the weapons used in the attack.

Relatives of the dead gathered outside the Seán Graham
betting shop on the Ormeau Road on February 6 for a
memorial service on the 14th anniversary of the

On February 5, 1992, two Ulster Defence Association
gunmen opened fire in the bookmaker's shop with an
AK47 assault rifle and a Browning pistol. They killed
five people.

It later emerged that the UDA informer William Stobie
had given the Browning pistol to RUC detectives before
the attack.

The RUC gave the gun back to the UDA, which used the
weapon to murder a nationalist in a west Belfast pub
before using it in the Seán Graham massacre.

The AK47 had previously been used by the Ulster
Volunteer Force in a murder bid on a north Belfast

The British colonial police have consistently refused
to make public the full history of the weapons,
despite repeated requests from the families of the
Seán Graham victims to do so.

"There is something about those guns that they don't
want us to find out," he said. "Why else are they
refusing to disclose the full history of the weapons?
Why was this crucial information deleted in the
published version of the Cory report?

"I was shot five times in the attack. My
brother-in-law was killed, along with four other
people. I have a right to know the history of the guns

The Browning and AK47 were part of a consignment
brought into the Six-Counties in December 1987 by
British agent Brian Nelson.

The arms were divided between the UDA, UVF and the
Ulster Resistance group, which for a time had links to
Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party.

The South African weapons have been used in more than
100 sectarian killings since January 1988.


MEMBERS of the British colonial police came under
attack from a crowd of up to 20 youths in the Moss
Park and Glengalliagh Road area of Derry on March 4.
The crowd attacked two RUC/PSNI vehicles shortly
before 12.30am and tried to drag members from one of
the cars. CS spray was used to disperse the crowd and
two young men were arrested, but one managed to escape
from custody while still wearing handcuffs. One
policeman was slightly injured in the disturbances and
two RUC/PSNI vehicles were damaged.


THE decision not to interview four key suspects in the
murder of a Dundalk forestry worker 30 years ago was
probably political, according to Justice Henry Barron.

A British-backed loyalist death squad, including a
member of the British army's Ulster Defence Regiment
(UDR) abducted Séamus Ludlow, aged 47, in County Louth
and shot dead on May 2, 1976, but the 26-County police
never interviewed the suspects who identified by the
RUC 18 months later.

At the Joint Leinster House Committee on Justice, on
February 16, Judge Henry Barron was asked if this
decision had been taken because of the volatile
situation at the time. "I think the reality is that it
was probably political," he replied.

In his report into Séamus Ludlow's death, Judge Barron
said it was most probable the decision not to carry
out the interviews with the Six-County-based suspects
was made by former Garda Commissioner Laurence Wren,
then head of the Garda C3 security section.

The two garda detectives who received the information
from the RUC in 1979 never received authorisation from
C3 to travel across the border to follow it up,
despite the fact that two of the suspects were in
prison and readily available for interview.

Judge Barron told the committee he stood over his
report's conclusion, despite strong denials from
Laurence Wren that he had any involvement in the

"It must have been made by the most senior member and
that was Mr Wren," he said.
The four suspects named in Judge Barron's report -
Paul Hosking, James Fitzsimmons, Richard Long and
Samuel Carroll - were arrested in the Six-Counties in
1998, but the Six-County DPP decided not to prosecute
them because of insufficient evidence.

Judge Barron said he would like to have seen the RUC
files on the Ludlow murder while compiling his report,
but this was not possible because he got no
co-operation from the British authorities.

The family of Séamus Ludlow, who have travelled from
Dundalk to attend each committee hearing, are calling
for a full public inquiry into his murder.

Judge Barron's fourth and final report, into bombings
in Dundalk in the 1970s, is almost complete, but its
publication may be delayed to see if the names of
those allegedly responsible can be included.


ON March 2 members of the RUC/PSNI arrested 17
following a raid on a north Belfast pub, believed to
be an operation against the loyalist Ulster Defence

Armed RUC/PSNI using CS gas stormed the Alexander Bar
in Tigers Bay, north Belfast, where it is understood
the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was rehearsing
for a so-called show of strength. It is understood an
event was being planned for some time this weekend.

It was later reported that two leading loyalists who
have had talks with Bertie Ahern and 26-County
President Mary McAleese's husband were among the 17
people arrested.
South Belfast UDA leader Jackie McDonald and Ihab
Shoukri, brother of north Belfast UDA leader Andre,
were among those detained for questioning.

McDonald and Shoukri were part of an Ulster Political
Research Group (UPRG) delegation that held talks with
Bertie Ahern in 2004.

Martin McAleese has met the pair on a number of
occasions - the most recent of which was last month -
in an attempt to get the UDA declare and end to
paramilitary activity.

He also played a round of golf with McDonald at the
exclusive K Club, Co Kildare, and Mrs McAleese
embraced him during a visit to south Belfast last

Eleven of those arrested were remanded in custody on
March 6 at Belfast Magistrates' Court. The court was
packed as the suspects appeared in the dock one by one
to face charges of helping to set up a meeting of the
UDA and Ulster Freedom Fighters.

Before the men appeared, magistrate Des Perry warned
he would clear the courtroom if any disturbances broke

Four of the accused: John Davis, 48, of Glebe Manor,
Glengormley; Alan McClean, 19, of Westland Drive; Gary
McKenzie, 34, of Claire Heights; and Samuel Robinson,
37, of Arosa Crescent, all of Belfast, were charged
with assisting in arranging or managing a meeting in
support of a proscribed organisation - the UDA or UFF.

The other seven were accused of the same offence plus
an additional charge of dressing like a member of the
banned groups.

They were: Stephen Crawford, 21, of Hillview Avenue
and Robert Neill, 21, from Fairview Crescent, both
Newtownabbey; George McHenry, 38, of Ardoyne Road;
Gary Dunseath, 22, from Upper Canning Street; James
Fisher, 36, of Alliance Road; Mark Green, 23, of
Hogarth Street; and Gary Dicks, 21, from Glenrosa
Street, all of Belfast.

Shoukri was among six other men and a woman questioned
as part of the police operation who have been released
while further reports are prepared for the Public
Prosecution Service.

All 11 men were remanded in custody to appear again
via videolink on April 3.


THE family of a murdered father-of-six condemned the
RUC/PSNI on March 2 for carrying out searches for
petrol bombs at his former home in west Belfast.
Gerard Devlin, 39, was stabbed to death in the
Ballymurphy area last month as he prepared to take his
children away for the weekend.
The victim's aunt, Bernadette O`Rawe, said eight
RUC/PSNI Land Rovers arrived at the family home in
Whitecliff Parade at 9am.
She claimed officers stayed for more than three hours
and took dozens of photographs inside the property.
The PSNI searches came just days after the family
returned to Ballymurphy after spending time away in
the aftermath of the murder.


THE inquiry into the murder of Portadown man Robert
Hamill is to become the second collusion case switched
over to controversial new legislation.

The chairperson of the inquiry, which is examining
police handling of Robert Hamill's death at the hands
of a loyalist mob, recently asked Secretary of State
Peter Hain to convert the case to the Inquiries Act.

Former High Court Justice Edwin Jowitt has asked for
the switch because "important witnesses are unwilling
to give evidence" and the new law will allow him to
force them to appear.

The Act has attracted criticism because it gives
British Ministers unprecedented powers to keep
information secret.

David Wright, the father of murdered LVF leader Billy
Wright, is currently mounting a High Court challenge
against the use of the law in the inquiry into his
son's prison murder.

The Wright case was originally set up under the
Prisons Act but was converted to the Inquiries Act
last year.

The family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane have
strenuously opposed Government plans to hold the
inquiry into his murder under the Act.

Peter Hain wrote to Pat Finucane's widow Geraldine
last week to defend the Act and tell her that it would
not be used to cover up information. He said the
"volume of sensitive evidence is far too great:"in the
Finucane case to use the old system.

Last week retired Canadian Supreme Court Justice Peter
Cory, who recommended the Hamill, Wright and Finucane
inquiries alongside two other cases, cast doubt over
the Government's claims that serious national security
issues could be compromised by the Finucane case.


MORE than 50 British MPs are backing moves to have the
two Scottish soldiers convicted of murdering Belfast
teenager Peter McBride thirteen years ago thrown out
of the army.

Members of a range of parties at Westminster have
signed an SDLP Early Day Motion pushing for a change
in the regulations which allow the soldiers who shot
him to return to the army after serving just three
years in jail.

The news came after it was disclosed that Prime
Minister Tony Blair has refused to meet the mother of
the murdered teenager, Jean McBride. She has long been
campaigning to have the solider expelled from the

Guardsmen Mark Wright and James Fisher were sentenced
to life for murdering Peter McBride in 1995.However,
they were released from prison three years later and
allowed to rejoin their regiment. At their trial they
said they opened fire because they wrongly thought
McBride was carrying a bomb.


THE number of weapons, including shotguns, held on
licence in the Six Counties last May was 144,554 - up
by 5,634 (almost 4%) on the 2001 figure. It's
undisputed that the majority of licence holders are


ON March 4 survivors of the Stardust disaster and
relatives of those killed in the nightclub fire
protested outside Bertie Ahern's constituency office
in Dublin.

The protest was part of a renewed campaign for a
proper inquiry into the blaze, which killed 48 people
on Valentine's Day in 1981.

The survivors and relatives have never accepted the
outcome of the original inquiry, which criticised
owner Eamon Butterly, Dublin Corporation and the
Department of the Environment for safety failings.

They say they have been inundated with new witness
statements since the airing of a television
documentary to mark the 25th anniversary of the
disaster last month.


A SMALL group of anti-war activists held a protest
vigil when President George W Bush's plane refuelled
at Shannon airport early on March 5.

The US Presidential aircraft, Airforce One, touched
down at Shannon Airport just before 2.45am while
bringing George Bush home to Washington from his state
visit to Pakistan and India.

A security operation involving several hundred police
and soldiers was maintained before and during the

A small group of anti-war campaigners protested at the
airport. Spokesperson Ed Horgan claimed that such
visits put Ireland at risk of a possible terror

"I think if the United States military continue to be
allowed use Shannon airport there is a very strong
danger Ireland will be attacked, but the attack would
be on Dublin, not on Shannon," he said.


ON December 13, 2005 following a non-violent break in
at the NSA/CIA Pine Gap Sattelite Station in Alice
Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, Sean O'Reilly
was one of six people arrested during a peaceful
demonstration at Pine Gap.

Jim Dowling from Daybora and Adele Goldie from
Brisbane entered the base undetected and photographed
themselves on the roof of a building after cutting
through two security fences.

Donna Mulhern from Sydney and Bryan Law from Cairns
cut through a perimeter fence and went undetected for
an hour before being arrested cutting through a second

Jessica Morrison from Melbourne and Sean O'Reilly from
Brisbane held a peaceful vigil outside the front gates
around six that morning after the arrests had been
made. Police searched their vehicle and removed
property, when questioned about their actions, Sean
O'Reilly was arrested for hindering police. Jessica
Morrison was then followed for a two hours by federal
police before being taken into custody, but was later
released without charge.

Sean was charged with "obstructing a federal police
officer" merely for questioning the officers right to
search his car. Sean went to court in Alice Springs on
Monday February 27, 2006. The pre-trial hearing of the
remaining Pine Gap protestors is set for April with a
jury trial later in the year. Pine Gap is used for
electronic information gathering and targeting for the
U.S. war machine.

In the spirit civil disobedience the inspection, by
the group Christians Against ALL Terrorism, was an
anti-terrorist exercise. The base has long been closed
off to the Australian public and the Australian
Government. The group believes Pine Gap to be a
terrorist base. The Australian Government has become
complicit in terrorism by leasing the land to the
U.S., who uses the satellite tracking system to
pinpoint targets in Iraq and Afghanistan.

100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead, in a war that has
been declared illegal by the U.N. and condemned as
immoral by spiritual leaders worldwide. The group from
the beginning had made public their intention to
inspect Pine Gap. They contacted Defense Minister,
Senator Robert Hill, asking for permission to inspect
the base and then later stating when the inspection
would be carried out. The Senator replied by
threatening the group with seven years jail under the
1952 Defence act.

On Monday Sean's case commenced but evidence from
attending/arresting officers was full of inaccuracies
and inconsistencies. The case was adjourned until
Friday March 3.

An edited report from Sean said: "The Magistrate,
Melanie Little, took about 35 minutes to sum up.
Basically, she found too many inconsistencies in the
evidence provided by the prosecution and the previous
cases provided by the prosecutor re hindrance appeared
to work in my favour.

"Ms Little found that there was not sufficient
substance in the arresting officer's evidence to prove
I hindered him. It just feels great and I'm feeling
very happy with my performance in court. It is amazing
when you realize during the summation that it looks
like it is swinging in your favour. Trust it will be a
good omen for the 4 in April and beyond. I've made an
application for costs and have a hearing set down for
the 23 March with a telephone link up. The prosecutor
was sitting in Darwin and watching it all by video

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