Posted by Jim on May 9, 2013
ILIR set for major campaign to help more irish come to U.S. and legalize those here
By CAHIR O’DOHERTY,Irish Voice Reporter
As the Senate Judiciary Committee kicks off what is expected to be a lengthy process of debating and amending the immigration bill on Thursday, the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR), the group dedicated to creating a new legal pathway for the Irish in America, is gearing up for a major battle.
They will hold a fundraiser on Thursday, May 23 to bolster its lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C.
“This is now probably the last opportunity the Irish American community has to address the long term issue of legal access to America for Irish immigrants,” ILIR president Ciaran Staunton told the Irish Voice.
To make the push for comprehensive reform, ILIR has organized in almost every state with Irish American communities, Staunton explains. “This is the last opportunity for Irish America to pry open the golden door for those who want to come here from Ireland,” he adds.
Since the last big effort to achieve reform several years ago with Senators Edward Kennedy and John McCain leading the effort, ILIR has stayed working on Capitol Hill, Staunton explains. A perception among some in the Irish community that the lobby group had wound down many of its operations is inaccurate said Staunton.
“In the last number of years we’ve built up relationships on both sides of the aisle with very senior people in the House and Senate. The last two major immigration initiatives in 1965 and 1986 in the United States had huge effects on the Irish community and their effects are still being felt,” he said.
“The 1965 Act locked us out,” Staunton explains. “We weren’t at the table for the 1986 Act other than to get the Donnelly and the short term Morrison visas. So when the hearing on the new bill commences in Washington ILIR will retain consultants and lobbyists on both sides of the aisle, and we will also follow up on all the support it has secured around the country.”
Behind the scenes the relationships ILIR has built with senators and other leaders has continued.
“This is not the time for the previous big demonstrations we took to Washington,” Deirdre Foy, a volunteer ILIR activist explained about the large-scale rallies ILIR organized during the Kennedy-McCain efforts.
“This is the time to quietly win over lawmakers to our side. Now is the time to fundraise to support our continuing efforts.”
To that end the second annual Annie Moore Awards, named in honor of the Irish girl who was the first passenger registered through the immigration station at Ellis Island in 1892, will be held to honor prominent Irish Americans for their ongoing efforts on behalf of the Irish immigrant community.
This year ILIR has chosen to honor Brendan Murray, president of the Newport Group, a leading financial services firm, with the Patrick J. Donaghy Award, named after the retired chairman and founder of Structure Tone.
The second award recipient will be Michael Brewster, managing director of Credit Suisse, the international financial services group.
“Brendan Murray came here in the fifties and Michael Brewster came here in the nineties. Both rose to the top of their professions and they both share our aim of prizing open that golden door for Irish people,” Staunton said.
“We are not seeking preferential treatment. We are seeking equal treatment.”
The Annie Moore ceremony will be held at the New York Athletic Club on Central Park South on May 23, with tickets selling from $500 to $10,000. All monies raised will fund ILIR’s efforts to create a new legal pathway for the Irish in America.
“We’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes work continuously with the friends we’ve made in D.C. over the years,” said Foy. “They’re very aware of the Irish portion of this reform push. The relationships we’ve established are standing us in good stead. We’re talking to the right people to make sure we’re not forgotten.”
In recent months the Irish lobby group has been invited to the White House and to every major briefing on immigration reform. On each occasion their message has been the same — there will not be comprehensive immigration reform unless there is legal access to America for future flow from Ireland.
“I think it’s important that people check out our Facebook page,” says Staunton. “We work very closely with other national Irish American organizations, and as this bill gets moving we will be all our members to be making calls to ensure we’re moving lawmakers to vote against the No Irish Need Apply 1965 Act.
“If we are successful with this bill then 50,000 undocumented will have a path to legalization and the future flow portion will allow the Irish to legally come to America in the years to come,” Staunton said.
Posted by admin on May 7, 2013
Call to Convention June 2, 2013 at 1:30PM
Baile na nGael
2750 Gerritsen Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11229
All County Offices are up for election
- there will be a County slate
- other candidates can be nominated from the floor
- all eligible voters and candidates must have up to date
- all County candidates must have their advanced degree
- all Divisions must be paid in full including National, State
and County assessments
Posted by Jim on May 6, 2013
May 5th was the 32nd anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands in the H Blocks of Long Kesh Prison – AKA The University of Freedom. I recently returned from a trip to Belfast and Derry. I was there with a group of friends that are part of the FFAI – Freedom For All Ireland. On Good Friday we participated in a conference commemorating the 15th Anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement that brought the end to the Troubles and peace to Northern Ireland. After the conference, we participated in the stations of the cross in Down Patrick. They were officiated by Father Sean Rogan who is the priest that gave Bobby Sands the Last Rites in the hospital wing at Long Kesh Prison. On Easter Sunday, we marched in the 1916 Easter commemoration march up the Falls Road with the families of the Hunger Strikers to Milltown Cemetery. There was a very moving ceremony in the Republican plot at the graves of Bobby Sands, Joe McDonald, Kieran Doherty and many other Volunteers who gave their lives for the cause.
Bobby was on hunger strike for 66 days. He was only 27 years old when he died. Let us take a minute to remember our friend Roibeard Gearoid O’ Seachnasigh – Bobby Sands. Ni bheidh do leithidariamh ann arist – there will never be the like of you again!!
Maggie Thatcher instituted Internment and many men were sent on remand to the Crumlin Road Goal (jail). Dan and I visited the Crum with a former prisoner who was a guest there courtesy of Maggie. Gerard told us of the harsh conditions and treatment during his two and a half years there without being charged. When he finally was brought before a diplock court – a British judge and no jury – he was sentenced to seven years in Long Kesh.
Upon my return to the States, Maggie Thatcher died. Graffiti on the Peace Wall on the Falls Road said it best: “Iron Lady? RUST in peace”. I can only imagine Maggie reaching the Gates of Heaven and being greeted by Saint Peter and Saint Patrick. When Maggie tried to pass through the pearly gates, they reminded Maggie of all of the things that she had a hand in, in Northern Ireland:
• The Para unit she sent to Belfast in 1971t that resulted in the Ballymurphy Massacre
• The Para unit she sent to Derry in 1972 that resulted in 14 innocent people being shot dead on Bloody Sunday – it took 39 long years for the families to finally get vindication. The British government apologized and admitted the people killed that day were innocent.
• Internment……..prisoners held on remand…….diplock courts with no jury’s….
• Broken promises and agreements with Brendan Hugh’s and the first Hunger Strike in 1980
• 1981 – The deaths on Hunger Strike of Bobby Sands and the 9 brave men who followed
• 1989 – The death of Pat Finucane who was shot 14 times will eating dinner at home with his wife (who was also wounded) and his three children
With that said, Saints Peter & Patrick did not let Maggie pass through the gates of Heaven and sent her to the H Blocks of Hell.
In Bobby’s own words, “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children”.
I bhfad ar shiul From afar
Deanann soilse na Ceise The lights of Long Kesh
Breacadh breagach Make a false dawn
I speir no hoiche. In the night sky.
Thar an Cheis Fhada But over Long Kesh
Ni gealtar aon la No dawn brightens
In 2014, the International Center for Conflict Resolution will open on the site of the former Long Kesh Prison. Part of the Center will allow the Republicans and the Loyalists to tell their story and share their experiences. The Troubles in Northern Ireland was the longest occupation by British troops in the history of the British Empire. The Conflict Center will show the world that given the chance to sit down and negotiate, complex situations can be resolved. The plans will include one of the Quonset hut “Cages” from The University of freedom”, one of the H Blocks and the Hospital Center where the 10 Hunger Strikers died.
Posted by Jim on April 30, 2013
Nationalists in north Belfast have walked out of a meeting with the Parades Commission after being told to stay clear of their own parish church this Sunday as yet another incendiary loyalist parade marches by.
For the second time in a month, Carrick Hill parishioners have been banned from standing outside St Patrick’s Church to protest the parades.
They were instructed to instead hold their protest against the routinely provocative parades at a nearby carpark.
The church has been targeted for sectarian abuse by such parades over the past twelve months, most controversially when a UVF-linked band circled outside the church to play sectarian tunes, before setting upon a local man who had video recorded the incident.
The residents, many of whom attend Mass at the church, say they should be allowed to stand outside their place of worship during the controversial parade.
They have also objected to the ‘kick-the-Pope’ bands being allowed to play music while passing nearby nationalist homes. Sunday’s parade is expected to attract up to 1,000 participants and three bands.
Residents have been told they will have to stand at a car park opposite and on a footpath between Trinity Street and No 18 Clifton Street. Their numbers have been restricted to just 30 at each location.
The outward leg of the parade will begin at 2.15pm and return no later than 6pm.
Residents’ spokesman Frank Dempsey said last night that residents were bewildered by the Parades Commission decision.
“I don’t know what the Parades Commission are trying to achieve here,”
“If they think for one minute the role they are playing is constructive, they need to think again.
“What they have done today is to separate a church from its people and we are not going to allow that to happen.
“The Parades Commission may not be aware that the church is its people.”
“We got up and left them and said we were fed up with their condescending attitude.”
Mr Dempsey said the community was angered at the Parades Commission for allowing the parade to go ahead in the absence of loyal order talks with residents.
Urging talks, the community leader said: “If the Apprentice Boys, Orange Order and Black Institution say there’s no need for the Parades Commission then they should sit down with the residents of Carrick Hill.”
For many republicans, the Parades Commission has became emblematic of the failure of the peace process to improve the lot of northern nationalists. While loyalists have routinely been allowed to ignore their determinations, the body’s sectarian decision-making reached crisis levels earlier this year when it failed to speak out against hundreds of illegal flag-related loyalist parades and protests.
Earlier this week, during during a rare House of Commons debate about the North, British Direct Ruler Theresa Villiers declared that decisions by the Parades Commission during the marching season must now be complied with.
There are real dangers for Northern Ireland if we see a reoccurrence of the disorder which has marred Northern Irelands marching season on too many occasions in years past. It damages Northern Irelands image abroad, she told MPs.
She said the British government is willing to listen to reforms of the Parades Commission if they are put forward together by the North’s political parties but until such time as that is settled it is vital that the Parades Commission is supported”.
Posted by Jim on
British government documents are being examined by a High Court judge who will decide if they should be disclosed to the family of Pat Finucane.
The Finucane family are bringing a legal challenge to the refusal to hold a full, independent inquiry into the 1989 murder of the leading Belfast defence lawyer. His assassination came after comments by a British minister about “IRA lawyers” and was carried out by British state agents operating within the unionist paramilitary UDA.
Justice Stephens said this week he needs to first inspect a series of documents and emails being sought by the Finucanes to consider their usefulness.
Mr Finucane’s widow Geraldine wants full access to the material including minutes from cabinet meetings and correspondence between Downing Street officials.
An official ‘review’ of the case by a British Crown barrister last year claimed that there had been no political decision to carry out the killing at the solicitor’s north Belfast home. But Mrs Finucane condemned the report by QC Desmond de Silva as “a whitewash” and “a sham”.
During her application for complete disclosure of notes and recordings, the court was told of emailed correspondence in which one of Mr Cameron’s closest advisers described the murder as far worse than anything alleged in Iraq or Afghanistan. Jeremy Heywood, now cabinet secretary, also questioned whether the British PM believed it was right to “renege” on a previous administration’s commitment to hold a public inquiry.
Lawyers for the Finucane family argued that the case is about the past and present abuse of state power.
They said it involved the killing of a lawyer perceived to be “a thorn in the side” of the British government and Crown forces.
It was claimed that the abuse of power continued in 2011 when the current government reneged on a commitment to hold a public inquiry.
The court heard details of an email Heywood sent to Simon King, a private secretary to the prime minister, ahead of a ministerial meeting in July 2011.
In correspondence already disclosed to the parties, he asked: “Does the PM seriously think that it’s right to renege on a previous government’s clear commitment to hold a full judicial inquiry?
“This was a dark moment in the country’s history – far worse than anything that was alleged in Iraq/Afghanistan.
“I cannot really think of any argument to defend not having a public inquiry. What am I missing?”
A reply email stated that the prime minister “shares the view this is an awful case, and as bad as it gets, and far worse than any post-9/11 allegation”.
Material being sought by the Finucanes’ lawyers includes original notes, minutes, recordings or transcripts of a meeting between the British Direct Ruler in Ireland and the prime minister, meetings of British officials and ministers, and copies of letters from MI5 to officials in Belfast, all dating from 2011.
It is expected the British government will seek partial censorship
(redaction) of the documents should the judge ultimately decide that the material should be handed over.
Sinn Fein Assembly member Gerry Kelly said the correspondence already revealed in court pointed to the web of cover-up within the British government from the time of Pat Finucane’s killing.
David Camerons intelligence advisor said evidence available internally to the British government would, and I quote suggest that within government at a high level this systematic problem with loyalist agents was known, but nothing was done about it.
It is clear from these comments why the British government are against a full public inquiry into the death of Pat Finucane.
If David Cameron is to break with what his predecessors have done in Ireland then he needs to honour the commitment given at Weston Park and hold a public inquiry into this murder.
If ever a case cried out for a public inquiry, this is one and these documents point to why the secrecy needs to end and the Finucane family be given access to the truth.
Posted by Jim on
Loyalists have returned to intimidate a Catholic girls’ school in north Belfast, almost 12 years after a previous campaign of violence and terror made international headlines.
A group of more than 50 loyalists gathered outside the Holy Cross primary school in a threatening manner on Thursday after earlier painting the kerb-stones outside the school red, white and blue.
The front gates of the school had to be closed in fear of a possible attack.
Tensions have mounted in the area since British Union Jack flags were hoisted outside the school in December by loyalists at the start of the violence over a decision to reduce the flying of the flag over Belfast City Hall.
Families of the schoolchildren said the trouble brought back painful memories of 2001, when those going to and from the school were forced to run a daily gauntlet of abuse and missiles, including urine, excrement and blast bombs.
It was not immediately clear what prompted Thursday’s protest, but loyalists have engaged in serious violence in recent months in protest at what they perceive to be increasing nationalist political influence, particularly in Belfast.
At the weekend, a major parade in support of UVF death squads saw over 8,000 loyalists march through the east of the city. Some journalists and photographers were later ‘escorted’ from the concluding rally.
On Monday, there was a shock for the Holy Cross schoolchildren when loyalists painted kerb-stones at the entrance to the school but nowhere else along the Ardoyne Road.
Irish National Teachers’ Organisation northern secretary Gerry Murphy said he feared a return to the 2001 “corridor of hate” blockade.
“It is a nasty echo of what happened before and I hope that we do not return to that.”
Meanwhile, the continued presence of UVF flags in east Belfast has raised tensions there.
Hundreds of UVF flags had been placed along the parade route by masked paramilitaries ahead of the march. The flags continue to fly throughout east Belfast despite promises by loyalists that they would be taken down.
SDLP justice spokesman Conall McDevitt said the removal of the flags would be a “major test” for the PSNI police.
“For the PSNI to gain public confidence they must be seen to uphold the law and must also follow through on any compromise and ensure parade organisers remain true to their word.”
Eirigi spokesperson Padraic Mac Coitir said the situation there again illustrated the partisan attitude of the PSNI and other agencies towards unionism.
It would appear that the PSNI, like the RUC before it, chooses its courses of action on the grounds of the political affiliations of those it is dealing with in short: there is one law for unionists and another set of laws for
Posted by admin on April 24, 2013
By Jim McIlmurray
On Tuesday, April 16th, 2013, Lurgan man Martin Corey will have spent three years in Maghaberry Prison without any charges ever being placed against him. During that time, police have never questioned or interviewed Martin regarding any incident, occurrence or event relating to his imprisonment.
So who is Martin Corey?
Martin Corey is a 62 year old man who served 19 years of his life in Long Kesh as a republican prisoner. He was released by the prison authorities in 1992 and began to rebuild his life. He is a popular figure from a well respected, hard-working family in the town.
It was a proud day for Martin when he was granted a loan to purchase his own mechanical digger. After a time, he gained the contract as the parish grave digger, covering several cemeteries in the greater Lurgan area. Many people, myself included, will recall his compassionate approach and professionalism during the time of families’ bereavement.
In all the time I have known Martin, I have only known his interests to be his family, his friends and his love of coarse fishing.
On Friday, April 16th, 2010, the police arrived at his O’Neill’s Terrace home and told him they had a warrant for his arrest. Martin was brought to Lurgan PSNI station and later that day transferred to Maghaberry Prison. It was stated he broke the terms of his Life Licence release.
When his solicitor requested to know what Martin was alleged to have done, he was told it a matter of National Security and the subject of closed file information.
For the past three years, his solicitor and barristers have challenged his unlawful detention on numerous occasions in the High Court. On Monday, the 9th of July, 2012, a High Court judge, Justice Seamus Tracy, who has a background in the European Human Rights Courts, ordered Martin’s immediate release, stating that his Human Rights had been breached under sections 4 and 5 of the European Human Rights act and that there were no charges for which he should answer. I waited for 4 hours outside Maghaberry with Martin’s family that day, only to be told at 4:15pm that the then current Secretary of State, Owen Patterson, had overruled the High Court judge and blocked Martin’s release. I was 25 yards away from Martin when I received that call. I watched him step out of the prison van at the reception centre and watched him walk back to the van to be returned to his cell. As he got into the van, he paused and stared at me and that will always be one of the hardest and cruelest moments I have ever witnessed in my life.
Martin has a legal entitlement to an annual Parole Board review every twelve calendar months to reevaluate the reasons for his continued detention. I have been accepted to speak on Martin’s behalf; however, every date set for a hearing for Martin last year was followed by a cancellation by the Parole Board, citing numerous excuses. Martin hasn’t received a parole review in 18 months, an action deemed illegal by the Court of Human Rights in Strasburg. We are currently awaiting a date to take this case to the High Court for a judicial review.
Martin has been subjected to a number of incidents during his time in Maghaberry Prison. These incidents include waiting over three weeks for an emergency dental appointment; of note, a veterinarian would have a legal obligation to report a pet owner for cruelty if he found an animal to be suffering for that period. Also, Martin’s request for compassionate leave to attend the funeral of his brother was denied by both the Prison Service and the Courts without any reasons given. He was only granted leave to attend 1 hour before the service started after a request was made to the Justice Minister on humanitarian grounds. I had to make three requests to the Prison Ombudsman to intervene in cases concerning material submitted by myself for Martin for use in his cell crafts. The prison staff either confiscated the printed image materials or refused to provide them to Martin. The Prison Ombudsman upheld all three decisions in Martin’s favour, ruling against the Northern Ireland Prison Service and determining that the material must be provided to Martin.
Martin’s case has been in the High Court in Belfast several times over the past three years, without any finding of criminal offence with which to charge him. Had Martin been charged with possession of an illegal firearm during his arrest three years previously, he would have been released six months ago. There is no other name for his illegal detention other than internment without trial.
As a close friend of Martin’s, I am in a better position than most to know if he was ever involved in any activity that could be deemed illegal or “a threat to National Security”, a phrase often utilized by faceless, nameless individuals in the courts. I can say without fear of contradiction that Martin is an innocent man. Everyone should make their voice be heard and call upon the Secretary of State to either bring charges against him or release him immediately.
I speak to Martin by telephone on a daily basis and visit him regularly in Maghaberry Prison, and can assure everyone that his spirits remain high despite his total lack of confidence in the judicial system in the North of Ireland. He thanks everyone for their continued messages of support .
We are currently awaiting a date to attend the Court of Appeal in London to challenge his illegal detention. If unsuccessful there, we will take his case to the European Courts of Justice. We will continue our presence at the Belfast High Court to request the Parole Board to give an explanation as to why Martin has been denied his legal right to an annual Parole Review.
Posted by Jim on
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to keep secret interviews with former IRA members from being turned over to the British authorities in the North of Ireland.
The court’s move leaves in place a lower court ruling ordering Boston College to give the Justice Department portions of interviews recorded with IRA veteran Dolours Price.
Dolours, who died in January, was interviewed with other former IRA members between 2001 and 2006 as part of the Belfast Project, a Boston College oral history study that was created to be a resource for journalists, scholars and historians.
But now the PSNI police wants to access the secret recordings, given on the basis of academic confidentiality, because they may contain evidence that can be used against both mainstream and ‘dissident’ republicans.
Researchers Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre, who had assured their subjects that their interviews would remain secret until after their deaths, have argued that the participants’ lives could be endangered if their identities are publicly revealed because they could potentially be branded as informers.
Attorney Eamonn Doran is representing Moloney and McIntyre, the director and lead researcher respectively of the Belfast Project, in their challenge of the decision by U.S. authorities to subpoena the records.
Monday’s Supreme Court refusal to hear Moloney and McIntyre’s appeal has potentially disastrous consequences, Dornan said.
“Numerous warnings have been given to the Department of Justice and the State Department by the AOH, the Brehon Law Society and the Irish American Unity Conference. Each is seriously concerned that the release of these materials, particularly at this time, may have a detrimental effect on the peace process,” Dornan said.
“We don’t know who’s pushing for these records to be released because we can’t see who issued the subpoena, or what the nature of the request is.
We suspect it must be the PSNI. The question is who in their right mind is driving this request for information, which would have a detrimental effect on a fragile enough peace?”
Last year a U.S. appeals court in Boston found that Moloney and McIntyre had no right to interfere with the police actions under the terms of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between the U.S. and Britain. The appeals court insisted that criminal investigations must take precedence over academic study.
Brendan Moore, the National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, said, “It’s obviously an egregious application of the MLAT.
It’s undermining academic enquiry in this country. Clearly it’s also a fishing expedition on the part of the PSNI. They’re looking for people to be implicated.
“It’s also most unfortunate in terms of international relations. I think we are all under threat if treaties are going to be twisted in this way.”
But Moore calls Monday’s ruling a major setback, not a defeat. “There is a coalition between the AOH, the Brehon Law Society and the Irish American Unity Conference. We are all pledged to continue the fight. We do believe we have the support of Secretary of State John Kerry and influential members of Congress,” Moore said.
Dornan sees a practical solution to the crisis, if all parties have the wisdom to reach for it. “It’s still within the remit of the Department of Justice and the State Department to stop the transfer of these materials. The question is now in the political court,” he said.
In response, Moloney and McIntyre said they would fight the process politically, and thanked Irish American campaigners for their support.
“We began this fight almost exactly two years ago and all along the campaign has run on two tracks, one legal, the other political. The legal track has almost come to an end but the political campaign continues,” they said in a statement.
“All of those involved in this campaign can be assured that it is not over yet.”
Posted by admin on
BY BARRY McCAFFREY
THE British government has been ordered to hand over minutes of cabinet meetings at which the decision was made to refuse a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.
Judge Ben Stephens today (Tuesday) ordered that minutes of cabinet meetings in July 2011 and correspondence between MI5 and the Northern Ireland Office must be disclosed to the court.
The order comes as part of a legal challenge by the solicitor’s widow Geraldine Finucane against Prime Minister David Cameron’s refusal to hold a public inquiry into the 1989 murder.
Mr Finucane was shot dead by UDA killers in front of his wife and three children as they sat down to dinner on February 12, 1989.
Mr Justice Stephens said that the gravity of the findings was self-evident but foreshadowed by evidence contained in confidential correspondence.
The judge referred to one letter, dated July 8, 2011 in which Mr Cameron’s intelligence advisor Ciaran Martin wrote:
“Even by Northern Ireland standards the facts are grisly. Moreover, in terms of allegations of British state ‘collusion’ with loyalist paramilitaries, this is the big one… whilst we know of no evidence of direction or advance knowledge of the murder by ministers, security chiefs or officials, exhaustive previous examinations have laid bare some uncomfortable truths.
“Paid state agents were directly involved in the killing, including the only man ever convicted of involvement in it.
“Lord (John) Steven’s conclusions paint a picture of a system of agent running by the RUC’s Special Branch and the Army’s Force Research Unit that was out of control.”
However appearing to confirm some element of senior government involvement in efforts to cover up security force collusion in the solicitor’s murder, the Prime Minister’s security advisor Mr Martin wrote:
“Some of the evidence available only internally could be read to suggest that within government at a high level this systematic problem with loyalist agents was known, but nothing was done about it.
“It’s also potentially the case that credible suspicions of agent involvement in Mr Finucane’s murder were made known at senior levels after it and that nothing was done; the agents remained in place. These two points essentially aren’t public.”
In a follow up letter, dated July 9, 2011, written about Mr Cameron, Mr Martin said: “…he, like virtually everyone else outside MoD shares the view that this was an awful case and as bad as it gets, and was far worse than any post 9/11 allegation.”
Mr Justice Stephens said that Mrs Finucane’s decision to take a legal challenge against the government decision not to allow a public inquiry into her husband’s murder was based on the allegation that the decision making process was not genuine and that the decision to refuse an inquiry was made under the influence of those opposed to any further investigation of the role of state agents in the murder.
In February the Detail exposed major concerns over the the De Silva review into Pat Finucane’s murder. read here and here and here
Ordering the disclosure of the papers to the court he said: “Accordingly, whilst emphasising that this is a preliminary stage there has been sufficient evidence to grant leave in relation to all of the applicant’s grounds of challenge.”
Mr Justice Stephens said that the government, whilst accepting that this was a case with a high level of factual enquiry, also argued that substantial materials were already before the court which explained in detail the background to the proceedings and impugned decision making process.
He said that while the government’s contention was that discovery in such circumstances was not necessary: “I consider that the fact that there are already substantial ‘materials’ including source documents before the court does not mean that ‘documents’ necessary in order to resolve the matter fairly and justly should not be disclosed.”
Mr Justice Stephens said that the government had argued that to identify individual ministers who had taken part in discussions to refuse a public inquiry was objectionable as it “undermines the doctrine of joint responsibility.”
However he said the fact that a document was confidential did not make it immune from disclosure.
“I consider that this is a highly fact sensitive case requiring the most careful and accurate evaluation of the facts.
“That it wll involve a painstaking analysis of a whole series of meetings tracing the whole decision making process from inception to conclusion identifying those who were involved in it and the roles that each played during the process.
“That enquiry is not restricted to the actual decision maker but also to those involved in the decision making process including civil servants who were advising the decision maker.
“That a document was not seen by a decision maker does not mean that it is immune from disclosure.”
The court will resume on Friday when a decision will be taken on when the government documents will be handed over to the court.
Posted by Jim on April 18, 2013
Irish lobby leaders visit Capitol Hill as new immigration bill is introduced onto U.S. Senate floor
By JAMES O’SHEA,IrishCentral Staff Writer
The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform has welcomed Wednesday’s introduction of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, S.744 by the ‘Gang of 8’ in the US Senate and fully expect an estimated 50,000 Irish undocumented to benefit if it becomes law.
ILIR President Ciaran Staunton commented: ‘We have worked closely with Senators Schumer, McCain, Leahy, Graham and others for many years and are grateful for their ongoing commitment to CIR and the needs to the Irish American community.’
ILIR Board Member Celine Kennelly from San Francisco attended the introduction of the bill along with other Irish American leaders, Billy Lawless (Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform) and Fr. Brendan McBride (Irish Apostolate USA). On Capitol Hill they met with Senator Dick Durbin of the ‘Gang of 8’ and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The introduction of S. 744 follows many months of bipartisan discussion and negotiation among the ‘Gang of 8’ and marks the beginning of further discussion and negotiation as the bill moves toward a process of approval in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it will be subject to amendment from both Republicans and Democrats on the committee.
The bill will then go to the full Senate for debate, amendment and a final vote. The House must also pass an immigration bill, which is currently being negotiated by another bipartisan group of Members of Congress.
ILIR Chairman Bart Murphy said: ‘It has been a long seven year battle to get to this point and we are hopeful for the passage of comprehensive immigration reform which will legalize the 50,000 undocumented Irish living the shadows and will provide a sustainable system of future migration between Ireland and the United States. We remain vigilant and realistic as there is still some distance to travel on this road.’
ILIR leaders pointed out that If the bill passes through the House and Senate as it is currently written and is signed into law by the President, it will take one year to write the regulations to implement the bill.
The application period for the new legalization program will begin one year after the bill is signed into law, and applicants will have one year to apply. The Department of Homeland Secretary Napolitano can extend the application period to a second year if necessary.
The current cut off date for applicants is they have had to be in U.S. on December 31, 2011.
During the year it will take to finalize the regulations after bill enactment and through the one or two year application period, individuals who are eligible for legalization will be protected from deportation.
No one can apply for legalization before the program application period begins ‐ one year after the bill is signed into law. ILIR stresses that individuals should not pay anyone to prepare or file their application unless and until the official application period begins.
ILIR is already warning undocumented to beware of bogus and unscrupulous websites and individuals offering early application opportunities.
ILIR says it will keep the community informed of the process as it moves and will announce the beginning of any application period.
“As the old saying goes, there can be many a slip between cup and lip and and things may change. Seven years ago we had high hopes for Kennedy/McCain. We have high hopes for this bill and we will be working hard to ensure its passage. As we travel along this road we will be looking for community support as we advocate for the passage of CIR.” said Chairman Bart Murphy.
Posted by Jim on April 16, 2013
By Gerry Adams (for Leargas)
Margaret Thatcher was a hugely divisive figure in British politics. Her right wing politics saw Thatcher align herself with some of the most repressive and undemocratic regimes in the late 20th century – including apartheid South Africa and Chile’s Pinochet. Her description of the ANC and Mandela as terrorists was evidence of her ultra conservative view of the world.
She championed the deregulation of the financial institutions, cuts in public services and was vehemently anti-trade union. She set out to crush the trade union movement. The confrontation with the miners and the brutality of the British police was played out on television screens night after night for months. The current crisis in the banking institutions and the economic recession owe much to these policies. And she went to war in the Malvinas.
But for the people of Ireland, and especially the north, the Thatcher years were among some of the worst of the conflict. For longer than any other British Prime Minister her policy decisions entrenched sectarian divisions, handed draconian military powers over to the securocrats, and subverted basic human rights.
Thatcher refused to recognise the right of citizens to vote for representatives of their choice. She famously changed the law after Bobby Sands was elected in Fermanagh South Tyrone. And when I and several other Sinn Fein leaders were elected to the Assembly in 1982 we were barred from entry to Britain.
Margaret Thatcher’s government defended structured political and religious discrimination and political vetting in the north, legislated
for political censorship and institutionalised to a greater extent
than ever before collusion between British state forces and unionist death squads.
It under her leadership that in 1982 that the Force Research Unit (FRU) was established as a unit within the British Army Intelligence Corps.
This British Army agency recruited agents who were then used to kill citizens. Among them was loyalist Brian Nelson. He was a former British soldier and member of the Ulster Defence Association who was recruited by FRU in 1983. He became the UDA’s Senior Intelligence Officer and his associates in FRU helped him to update his intelligence files, including photo-montages of potential victims.
In the summer of 1985 Nelson travelled to South Africa where he helped negotiate a deal for that ultimately saw the UDA, UVF and Ulster Resistance acquire 200 AK47 automatic rifles, 90 Browning pistols, 500 fragmentation grenades, ammunition and 12 RPG rocket launchers. The shipment arrived in the north in late 1987 or early 1988.
The Thatcher government was across all the details of this shipment. Its impact on the streets of the north is evident in the statistics of death. In the three years prior to receiving this weapons shipment the loyalist death squads killed 34 people. In the three years after the shipment they killed 224 and wounded countless scores more.
The extent of the role of FRU in the killing of citizens is formidable.
But it was the killing of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane in February
1989 that reveals the depth of the structured state collusion policy being pursued by the Thatcher government.
Pat was one of several lawyers targeted by unionist death squads at the behest of the RUC and British intelligence agencies. At every level of his killing British agents and agencies had a hand. The leader of the UDA group which carried out the killing was a Special Branch agent – Tommy Lyttle. The man who subsequently confessed to being the UDA gunman who killed Pat Finucane was Ken Barrett, also a Special Branch agent.
The UDA man who supplied the gun was William Stobie, a Special Branch agent – later killed in 2001 by the UDA when he threatened to lift the lid on the Finucane case. And, of course, the man who provided the intelligence for the killing was Brian Nelson, a British army agent.
This is part of the Thatcher legacy in Ireland.
She will be especially remembered by many for her shameful role during the epic hunger strikes of 1980 and 81.
The Thatcher government believed that the criminalisation of the republican prisoners would break the republican struggle. It was not interested in a resolution.
This much is evident in government papers released two years ago. For example a report of a meeting at Chequers on May 27th, after the deaths of Bobby Sands, Francie Hughes, Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O Hara, describes Thatcher commenting that ‘the Government must be ‘rock solid’
against any concessions to the hunger strikers or PIRA.’
The following day on a visit to Belfast Thatcher declared that the hunger strike ‘may well be their [the IRA's] last card.’
The events of that awful summer of ’81 polarised Irish society, north and south. It was a watershed moment in Irish politics. The Thatcher government policy during the 1980′s was little more than a war policy.
All of the strategies issuing from that policy were aimed at defeating or isolating republicanism. This included the shallow and ineffectual
1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement which was about creating a political alliance involving the Dublin establishment, the SDLP, and the British to defeat Irish republicanism. Margaret Thatcher was a prime mover in all of this.
Shoot-to-kill actions by British forces also significantly increased.
This was most evident in the shooting dead of three unarmed IRA activists in Gibraltar in March 1988. It is my view that Thatcher authorised the killings at Gibraltar.
Later when the BBC and the IBA scheduled two programmes about Gibraltar Thatcher tried to stop them. She was “outraged” when the programmes went ahead. Later that year she introduced the Broadcasting Ban on Sinn Fein.
Two years later Thatcher authorised the then British Secretary of State Peter Brooke to reopen the back-channel with republicans. We were wary of this. However, for almost a decade Sinn Fein had been patently trying to build a peace process and unfolding events on the world stage, including the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, and the release of Mandela, were evidence that governments, and apparently intractable situations, could change. So we agreed to reactivate the back channel.
But for Thatcher it all ended in November 1990 when she was forced to resign by her party who perceived her to be no longer an electoral asset. She was evicted from Downing Street with all the ruthlessness, treachery and warped humanity of what passes for high politics.
Thatcher’s 12 years of dictating British policy in Ireland was a legacy of bitterness and entrenched division. Her Irish policy failed miserably.
Posted by admin on
The full text of the address in Castlebar to the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis delivered by party leader Gerry Adams.
Ta failte romhaibh uilig chuig Ard Fheis Shinn Fein i gContae Maigh Eo.
Tamid an an sasta a bheith anseo san Iarthar.
A special Cead Mile Failte also to Friends of Sinn Fein from the USA, Canada and Australia; to our comrades from the Basque country, South Africa, Palestine, Cuba, Britain and to all foreign dignitaries.
I want to extend solidarity from this Ard Fheis to the Palestinian
people and urge the international community to take decisive action for peace in the Middle East.
A Border Poll
This week saw the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Sinn Fein is proud of the pivotal role we played with others in forging that Agreement.
There would be no peace process and no Agreement without the commitment, initiatives and political risks taken by Irish republicans.
Or, without the great work of individuals like Des Wilson, Harold Good, Inez McCormack and especially Fr. Alex Reid.
It isn’t a perfect agreement.
But Sinn Fein secured the removal of the Government of Ireland Act,
under which the British government claimed sovereignty over the North.
The Agreement provides for a border poll on Irish unity.
It’s no surprise that the two governments are saying No.
But Sinn Fein is saying Yes.
And more importantly nationalist and republican Ireland says Yes.
And we now need to work together for a Yes vote.
It’s time to let the people have their say on the future of Ireland.
It’s time for a referendum on Irish unity.
From the 1798 rebellion to Michael Davitt, from the Hunger Strikers
Frank Stagg and Michael Gaughan, to IRA activist and Sinn Fein
Councillor Jackie Clarke, whose wonderful public collection of historic documents and memorabilia charts 200 years of republican resistance, Mayo has a long and distinguished republican history.
So it is particularly appropriate that we meet here.
And proof that the West is Awake.
Is Pairti Poblachtach broduil Sinn Fein.
Ta muid go hiomlan dilis do fior phoblacht a thugann tus aite do chearta gach duine.
We stand for equality, social solidarity and freedom.
Sinn Fein has always stood by the people.
Sin ceann de na priomh difriochtai idir muidinne agus an rialtas i
mBaile Atha Cliath.
This government, like the one before it, has failed the people.
Its core values are those of austerity.
It has refused to negotiate a write-down on the Promissory Note.
It gave away our natural resources.
It tore up the Croke Park Agreement and is now targeting frontline
workers on low and average pay.
It cut child benefit, carer’s allowances and home-help hours.
But it has no problem putting taxpayers money into the pockets of
bankers and financiers.
It and Fianna Fail gave [euro]64 billion to the banks.
Over the last five years, Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail have taken
[euro]28 billion out of the economy in taxes and cuts.
Cuts to hospitals.
To garda stations.
Taxes on pensions.
And on homes.
In October the Government will take another [euro]3 billion.
Next year, they will take [euro]2.5 billion more.
They have little thought for the social consequences of their actions,
of the divided, polarised, unequal society they are creating.
Of impoverished communities and families hurting from the scourge of
drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide.
But the bankers, developers and politicians who created the mess have
Despite all the election rhetoric from Labour and Fine Gael this is
still the best small country in the world for big bankers, crooked
developers or corrupt politicians.
The Family Home Tax
Be sure of this.
When we make promises and commitments we keep them.
Sinn Fein will put manners on the elites and the fat cats.
Sinn Fein is totally opposed to the Property Tax.
We are against plans to raid salaries, social welfare payments and
pensions to get it.
We will fight this family home tax tooth and nail.
We have published legislation to scrap it.
And in government we will abolish it.
Sinn Fein is also opposed to the introduction of water charges and will
resist any legislation to introduce them.
The only way to restore our economy and rebuild society is to break with
the self-serving politics of Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail.
They refused to share the wealth during the boom years.
But they socialise the debt afterwards.
They are taking from those who have least to benefit those who have
Sinn Fein was right during the era of the Celtic Tiger when we said that
the wealth should be used to build public services, infrastructure and
Sinn Fein is right when we say the economy needs growth and jobs – not
debt and cuts.
We were right in our demand to burn the bondholders.
We are right in our call not to pay the Promissory Notes.
We are right to tackle the high pay of politicians and top civil
Taimid ceart faoin ga ata le smaointi nua agus focas nua ar cruthu
Fairness is at the core of Sinn Fein’s approach.
Of course the deficit must be tackled.
But those with the broadest shoulders must bear the heaviest load.
In a fair Ireland the weak, the vulnerable and the least well-off would
If this was a real republic working people would not be punished for the
greed and corruption of others.
If the Proclamation of 1916 was a reality families would not be
Women would not be punished.
Children would not be punished.
Citizens with disabilities would not be punished.
People in rural Ireland would not be punished.
The poor would not be punished.
Change is Possible Now
But change cannot wait until there is a real republic.
Ta Sinn Fein go han-soileir faoina priomh cheisteanna seo.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
Change is needed and change is possible now.
Sinn Fein is offering a realistic alternative.
We are committed to investing [euro]13 billion in job creation and retention.
And we have presented realistic and costed, alternative budget proposals
to reduce the deficit, create growth, and protect families under
Is seo cloch coirneal ar bpolasai.
The mortgage crisis is a direct result of Fianna Fail policy and this
government’s failure to help struggling families.
Sinn Fein proposes the establishment of an independent mortgage distress
body to adjudicate and enforce agreements on mortgages between banks and
Public Services Delivered Fairly
The mark of a real republic has to be in the quality of its public
Ta cearta ag saoranaigh.
These include the right to a home; the right to a job; the right to
education; to a health service from the cradle to the grave; the right
to a safe and clean environment; and to civil and religious liberties.
This is what republicanism is about.
This is what real democracy should be about.
Public services delivered fairly and paid for by direct taxation.
This should include decent childcare facilities at affordable prices.
No matter what government Ministers say no parent should be forced from
their job because they earn less than the cost of childcare.
Standing up for Rural Ireland
Last year, along with others, I visited many rural communities blighted
by unemployment and poverty.
In places where our young people should have an opportunity to build
their lives we saw at first-hand how emigration is tearing the heart out
of rural families.
We met families bereft by the scourge of suicide.
Sinn Fein will shortly publish a comprehensive report – “Standing up for
This report outlines the need to:
Reverse Fianna Fail’s decision to cut Garda numbers. Provide a full
grant to upgrade septic tanks. Overhaul CAP to create a fairer
distribution of payments. Ensure that income support for farmers is
directed at those who need it most. Creating jobs, particularly in the
agri-food industry, and investing in our fishing industry, are key to
ensuring a future for rural communities.
Especially in the west of Ireland.
But people who live in rural communities also need schools, an
accessible health service, decent infrastructure, public transport and
an end to isolation.
Gaeltacht areas need active regeneration.
And across this island the Irish language needs to be actively promoted,
including an Acht na Gaeilge in the north.
Women Victims Need Justice
Women are among those most shamefully denied their rights under the
conservative culture, which has dominated this state.
Mary Lou spoke for everyone on the day that the Magdalene report was
published when she said it was time for a full apology to these brave
That happened eventually.
Now they need justice.
The victims of Bethany Home need justice.
The victims of symphysiotomy need justice.
People across Ireland have been moved this week by the reports from the
inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar and by the grace and great
dignity of her husband.
I want to extend solidarity to Praveen and his family and friends.
Savita’s death brought into sharp and tragic focus the failure of
successive governments to legislate in the X case.
The people have spoken and firmly placed the responsibility upon their
Oireachtas representatives to legislate on this issue.
It is time doctors had legal clarity.
It’s time for protection for pregnant women whose lives are at risk.
Progress in the North
Sinn Fein opposes austerity across this island.
Despite #4bn pounds of cuts by the British government, Sinn Fein’s
Ministerial and Assembly team under Martin McGuinness’s leadership, has
prioritised finding money to maintain frontline services, protect those
on lowest incomes and assist disadvantaged communities.
The so-called Welfare Reform Bill is another example of the English Tory
Sinn Fein is opposed to these cuts in exactly the same way that we are
opposed to the cuts being introduced by our own Tories in Dublin.
We are also working for the transfer of fiscal power to the Assembly and
Executive and a harmonisation of the Corporation Tax rate across
Dialogue with Unionists and Loyalists
The Orange marching season has begun.
This year sees the added vexation about the flying of flags on public
Playing party politics with these issues is dangerous and
There are many genuine loyalists and unionists, including former
combatants, working in disadvantaged communities who realise the dangers
and risks involved.
They also know that it is citizens from these disadvantaged communities
who will bear the brunt of any violent or disruptive actions.
These communities have more in common with their republican neighbours
than they may realise.
Dialogue between them and Sinn Fein is essential and there is an
imperative on republicans, challenging though it may be, to build
alliances on social and economic issues with working class loyalists and
The Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist people are not going away.
And Sinn Fein doesn’t want them to go away.
They are part of what we are and we have to get to know each other
better, to listen and take heed of what is being said.
I commit our party, without preconditions, to be part of such
discussions as we face into the Orange marching season, and to find
solutions to contentious issues and to tackle economic disadvantage.
This is the only way to build a fair society.
It is what the vast majority of citizens want.
The tiny minorities who espouse violence have been rejected.
Ta siad greamaithe san am ata caite agus thart orthu ta Eirinn Thuaidh
agus Theas ag athru.
And there is still work to be done to ensure that policing is
non-partisan and civic.
Recent decisions by the PSNI have failed this test.
And clearly there are elements in the NIO who are uncomfortable with the
A Bill of Rights is long overdue.
And the continued imprisonment of Marian Price and Martin Corey is
They should be released.
A Truth Process
So, much work still needs to be done including the creation of a victim
centred truth and reconciliation process.
Dubhshlan mor a bheidh anseo.
Almost 100 years ago the Tan War against British forces was deadly and
But the civil war left a bitterness and a legacy that still shapes
politics to this day.
77 republicans were executed during those terrible years by the Free
State – among them six young men from the west who were executed in Tuam
90 years ago this week.
Members of the Free State Army, of the Garda and civilians died too.
There was never any process of truth recovery or reconciliation after
Ba choir duinn foghlaim on meancog sin.
During the recent conflict, Gardai and other members of the state’s
forces were killed by republicans.
Republicans were killed also, including Tom Smith, and Hugh Hehir.
During the era of the Heavy Gang many citizens were brutally assaulted.
Innocents were imprisoned.
There was collusion between elements of the Irish establishment and the
Our friend Councillor Eddie Fullerton and John Francis Green and Martin
Doherty and others died.
There were bombs in Dublin and Monaghan and Dundalk and elsewhere.
All this needs to be faced up to.
Sinn Fein has argued for the establishment of an Independent
International Truth Commission.
The two governments; former combatants, and those in leadership across
Ireland and Britain need to be part of such a process.
There can be no hierarchy of victims.
I and others in the Sinn Fein leadership have met many victims and
victim’s families in the north.
I am prepared to meet with victims’ families in this state if they
believe this will be helpful and I intend to do this in the near future.
Irish republicans will not shirk from our obligations to those who died
as a consequence of the conflict.
Imagine a Different Future
Ireland is a great country.
But we are partitioned.
Our people are divided.
Imagine an end to these divisions.
Imagine a new agreed Ireland.
Imagine the unity of Orange and Green.
Imagine a fair society and an economy run democratically in the
interests of all citizens.
Our vision is based on equality.
It means equal rights for citizens in same sex relationships, ethnic
minorities and those of all creeds and none.
The Challenge for Labour
Our history is replete with challenges, adversity and great injustice.
This is such a time.
A time for real leadership.
A real Labour Party with a principled leadership should not be in
government with Fine Gael.
If Fine Gael is set on implementing Fianna Fail policy then let them do
that with the support of Fianna Fail.
Whatever the case for entry into coalition after the last election,
there is now only one principled position for Labour.
Fagaigi an bealach ag sloite na bhFiann.
Stand by working people as Connolly and Larkin did.
Leave this government and leave it now!
Building a New Republic
We are internationalists in solidarity with people in struggle
So, from this Ard Fheis I want to extend our love and solidarity to our
friend and comrade Madiba – Nelson Mandela.
Our people have come through a lot.
In every generation brave men and women have shown the way.
In three years we celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Rising.
The government is contemplating bulldozing the area around Moore Street
into the ground in the interests of private developers.
I commend the work of the families of the 1916 leaders who have
highlighted this hugely important issue.
Every person with a sense of national pride will oppose such a shameful
act of vandalism.
The Moore Street laneways of history should be developed as a 1916
This year also marks the Centenary of the 1913 Lockout.
The Lockout showed the courage and fighting spirit of the Dublin working
They chose to resist rather than submit.
They showed the way.
In Ireland today parents defending children with disabilities, frontline
workers defending each other and vital public services, carers,
teachers, health workers, citizens who are standing up for themselves
and their communities, are showing the way.
Sinn Fein believes in the people of Ireland.
Join with us in building a New Republic.
Sin e. Ar aghaidh linn le cheile
Posted by admin on April 8, 2013
There has been a mixed reaction in Ireland at news of the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
At official level, the response in Dublin to news of her death was tight-lipped.
In an ambivalent statement, President Michael D Higgins said Mrs Thatcher’s would be “remembered as one of the most conviction-driven British prime ministers” who “drew on a scholarship that demanded markets without regulation”.
“The policies of Mrs Thatcher’s government in regard to Northern Ireland gave rise to considerable debate at the time.
“However, her key role in signing the Anglo-Irish Agreement will be recalled as a valuable early contribution to the search for peace and political stability.”
Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny described Mrs Thatcher as a formidable leader.
“Mrs Thatcher was a formidable political leader who had a significant impact on British, European and world politics. During her 11 years as prime minister, she defined an era in British public life,” he said.
“While her period of office came at a challenging time for British-Irish relations, when the violent conflict in Northern Ireland was at its peak, Mrs Thatcher signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement which laid the foundation for improved North-South cooperation and ultimately the Good Friday Agreement.”
But on the streets, there were bitter memories, particularly in Belfast.
Memories of her prolonged and murderous military and security campaign, the deaths of Bobby Sands and the other hunger strikers, and murders directly linked to Downing Street, such as that of Pat Finucane, remain painful for many.
Others, however, expressed satisfaction, even delight, that an old enemy had gone. There were street celebrations in Scotland, England and Wales, where her notorious ‘poll tax’ and privatisation of coal mines profoundly divided British society in a manner which still has serious repercussions today.
Known as the “Iron Lady”, Thatcher dominated Irish politics for two decades. While mostly associated with her vicious determination to secure a military victory in the Six Counties and her tragic efforts to criminalise Irish political prisoners, she gained enemies both across the globe and at home in Britain with an aggressive, right-wing ‘Thatcherite’ approach with which she became synonymous.
British prime minister David Cameron lavished praise on the ‘Iron Lady’, and said she would be given a full ceremonial funeral with military honours.
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said Thatcher had done “great hurt” to the Irish and British people during her time as British Prime Minister.
“Working class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies,” he said.
“Her role in international affairs was equally belligerent whether in support of the Chilean dictator Pinochet, her opposition to sanctions against apartheid South Africa; and her support for the Khmer Rouge.
“Here in Ireland her espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering. She embraced censorship, collusion and the killing of citizens by covert operations, including the targeting of solicitors like Pat Finucane, alongside more open military operations and refused to recognise the rights of citizens to vote for parties of their choice.
“Her failed efforts to criminalise the republican struggle and the political prisoners is part of her legacy.
“It should be noted that in complete contradiction of her public posturing, she authorised a back channel of communications with the Sinn Fein leadership but failed to act on the logic of this.
“Unfortunately she was faced with weak Irish governments who failed to oppose her securocrat agenda or to enlist international support in defence of citizens in the north.
“Margaret Thatcher will be especially remembered for her shameful role during the epic hunger strikes of 1980 and 81.
“Her Irish policy failed miserably.”
Posted by Jim on
On the occasion of the 97th anniversary of the 1916 Rising the Leadership of the Republican Movement sends greetings to all assembled at Irish patriot graves and at monuments to the memory of our Republican dead.
Once again we issue a reminder that the centenary of that momentous Easter Week is a bare three years away and we ask who has the credentials to honour that 100th commemoration? Surely not those who accept the British and Unionist Veto on the future of Ireland or those who collaborate with English rule in our country. Their political surrender to imperialism is a contradiction of the 1916 Proclamation and all that it stands for. Preparations for 2016 need to continue.
We accept the statement of the Continuity IRA that they abhor drug-dealing and gangsterism and that they have nothing to do with either. We acknowledge their declaration that they remain intact and that their objective is to drive out the British Occupation Forces from the Six Counties just as they were evicted from the 26 Counties by an earlier generation. In short that aim is to complete the work of 1916.
We respond to and reject the untrue claim made without contradiction on RTÉ radio recently that there were “no British soldiers in the North”. The insinuation is that English rule no longer obtains there. The reality is otherwise. And it is accepted widely that the politically biased policing of the so-called PSNI is nothing but a return to that of the pre-1968 RUC simply dressed up with new badges on their head-gear.
We note that the title of Republican Sinn Féin has been misappropriated from it by a tiny splinter group in Limerick. Politicians and a hostile media have given credence to this action by highlighting its misdeeds and then placing the blame on the true Republican Movement. We take advantage of this occasion to clear the air and assert once more Republican Sinn Féin’s integrity and good name.
Similarly, even the name of our country, Ireland, is denied in official circles. The 26 Counties are called “Ireland”, the Six Counties “Northern Ireland” and out native land is dubbed “the island”, thus denying the historic entity which has called forth such service and sacrifice down the years. In this way they seek to deny the very concept of Ireland as our people have known it. They would have us consent to partition and British rule for all time. We say “Never”.
Next year, 2014, will see local elections again in the 26 Counties. Republicans need to make ready and take advantage of openings in this regard. With the abolition of town councils as part of the present administration’s policy of centralisation, elections to Údarás na Gaeltachta were likewise terminated. Gaeltacht self-government was an integral part of our ÉIRE NUA proposals of 1971 making for much stronger local bodies in Irish-speaking areas. Republican Sinn Féin welcomed the limited devolution provided, however, and contested all elections to the Údarás. We see its abolition as a step backwards and deplore its passing.
Meanwhile, the new imperialism through a combination of the Euro currency and lack of regulation of banks has brought a seemingly-endless austerity to the ordinary people. The rich get richer and the poor poorer. This process must be resisted at all costs.
All the while Republican prisoners in Maghaberry, Co Antrim endure as they seek an end to controlled movement and to strip-searching. Following four months of protest, in August 2010 an agreement was reached. It was reneged on by the prison and resulted in another 15 months of a no-wash protest. Nonetheless pressure has continued on the prisoners and the official prisoner ombudsman has admitted publicly that the Republican wing in Maghaberry is the only drug-free wing in the prison. Internment has been reintroduced as Martin Corey of Lurgan, who had served 19 years and was released, was brought back and has been held again for three years without trial. He is still in Maghaberry jail.
At these Easter commemoration ceremonies we are mindful of the prisoners’ struggle and salute their sacrifice. An Phoblacht Abú! Long live the Irish Republic!
– Issued by the Leadership of the Republican Movement, Easter 2013
Posted by Jim on
Belfast has been a place of hope and inspiration in the story of Ireland since the days of the United Irishmen and Irishwomen who founded Irish republicanism in this city over 200 years ago.
Sinn Féin Dublin Central TD Mary Lou McDonald, was speaking at Milltown Cemetery after thousands of republicans including members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians from the United States paraded up the Falls Road. The party’s vice-president said the principles of Irish independence, anti-sectarianism, unity, equality, fraternity and liberty have endured through the years.
“They are still our inspiration as republicans today, a vision as constant as the sight of historic Cave Hill which overlooks this city,” she said. Speaking in Milltown Cemetery to thousands of republicans at the annual National Graves’ Association commemoration, Ms McDonald said countless republicans had given their lives in defence of those principles.
“Many of them are laid to rest here,” she added. “Many of their loved ones are with us at these gravesides today. We extend to them and to the families of all our patriot dead our continuing sympathy and solidarity.
“Half a century after the Proclamation, the Civil Rights movement stepped forward and was met with the same choice – resign yourselves to the reality of this one-party sectarian state or resist.
“They chose resistance. RUC brutality was resisted. Internment was resisted. The British Army was resisted. Criminalisation in the H-Blocks and Armagh was resisted. Collusion and censorship and the demonisation of whole communities was resisted.
“And do you know what? That resistance succeeded because our oppressors failed in their plan to crush us. They could not defeat a risen people.
“They could not defeat us and they had to come to terms with us. The peace process opened that new way forward and the Irish Republican Army, with the same courage they showed during every phase of the struggle, endorsed that new strategy, that new road to our objectives, and set aside armed actions for good.
“Armed conflict is in the past. It has no place in the present. No-one has the right to inflict it on our children’s future. The splinter groups who pursue armed actions today are acting out a travesty that too often has turned to tragedy. They should desist and desist immediately. To those who are sincerely republican and who do not agree with Sinn Féin’s strategy, we have made clear that we are open to dialogue and engagement, recognising the common goal of Irish unity and independence. The peace process and the republican peace strategy have helped to transform our country. They have opened up new possibilities and unlocked the huge potential of our island and its people. They are the essential starting point for the next phase of struggle – the move towards a united Ireland, a new republic.”
The Sinn Féin Vice-President said the party fully recognise that the majority within the unionist community do not share this aim, that many fear such a future and believe their identity will be subsumed and they will become “a discriminated-against minor- ity on this island”.
“Words alone from us will not convince them otherwise. That said, we must always reaffirm our opposition to sectarianism in all its forms, our commitment to equality and parity of esteem and our respect for people’s chosen identity, whether Irish or British.
“We believe that all who share this island have a place in a new republic.
“Because we believe that a united Ireland is essential and because we recognise that the agreement of a significant section of unionists is required, we are calling for a border poll. Such a poll is a threat to no-one. It is a logical step and by making this call we are demonstrating our firm resolve to end partition peacefully and to build a new democracy. A chairde, the New Republic of Ireland is ours to achieve.”
Posted by Jim on
Alec McCrory writes on the latest in a series of British state measures which are directed towards republicans and pose a significant threat to civil liberties. From the Pensive Quill.
When Damien McLaughlin returned from a visit with his wife and young children on Tuesday, he discovered a large folder sitting on his bed. A sixth sense alerted him to the possibility of bad news. Damien had not ruled out the revocation of his licence due to the weakness of the current charges against him. With a degree of foreboding he gingerly lifted the folder removing a larger brown envelope. Inside the envelope was a letter from the British Secretary of State informing him that his licence had indeed been revoked based on security reports. No other explanation was given for this decision.
Damien was previously convicted of possessing a weapon and was sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was on Roe House during the protest and was subjected to dozens of brutal strip searches. His personal account of the procedure, which appeared on TPQ last year, is the most graphic and disturbing to appear to date.
He was released last year having completed more than half of his sentence. Because he fell under the terms of ‘The Criminal Justice Order 2008′ – this effectively removed fifty-per cent remission – the remainder of his sentence was to be served on probation. The conditions of release required him to meet with a probation officer on a monthly basis, inform them of all changes in his personal circumstances, provide fingerprints when requested to by the police, and to seek permission to travel. Damien was also placed on a ‘terrorist’ register for an extended period of five years.
All of this reeks of a new policy of criminalisation which political prisoners are bound to resist to the better end.
Damien McLaughlin now finds himself one of a growing number of Republicans who have been interned by decree. This policy of creeping internment has been met with little opposition from the nationalist parties at Stormont. They prefer to approach the issue on the basis of the individual injustice rather than that of systemic abuse. To shout too loudly would run the risk of alerting people to the existence of serious anomalies within the criminal justice system.
Our appointed champions of the new political order want the people to remain ignorant to the old ways of British misrule. As long as those being jailed are a tiny minority there is no need to kick-up a fuss. And if asked what we are doing about Marian Price: we are working our backsides of behind the scenes. This has become the stock response of the political parties to any questions.
Martin Corey, Marian Price, Gerry McGeough (released), Brendan McConville, John Paul Wotton, Stephen Murney, Brian Shivers and Damien McLaughlin. All of these people have families and are well respected members of their communities. Slowly, these human rights abuses are leaking out into the public arena thanks to the efforts of political and human rights activists. Many campaigns have helped to raise awareness around these issues, so much so, that more questions are now being asked about the return of internment and other forms of injustice. The people are awaking from their slumber.
END INTERNMENT NOW!
Posted by Jim on March 22, 2013
There are renewed hopes for the undocumented Irish in the US after President Barack Obama made positive comments on the issue at the annual St Patrick’s Day shamrock ceremony in Washington.
Amid a new wave of Irish emigration, pressure has grown to allow an estimated 50,000 Irish in the US work and travel normally.
‘Illegal’ Irish emigrants are unable to visit family back in Ireland and live in fear of sudden deportation.
Speaking at Washington’s official St Patrick’s Day shamrock ceremony on Tuesday night, the president said the Irish were an example of why the US required a new immigration system that “works for families and businesses and our economy.”
He said that the achievement of the many Irish in America pointed to the need “to build an immigration system for the 21st century.”
26-County Taoiseach Enda Kenny gave the traditional gift of shamrock in a custom-made crystal bowl to the US president, Mr Obama’s fifth annual St Patrick’s Day reception.
Mr Kenny referred to Ireland’s economic troubles, a frequent theme in his public comments in the US. “We’ve still a long way to go,” said the Taoiseach.
Mr Obama praised the help shown by the Irish to help the residents of Breezy Point in New York, one of the worst areas hit by Hurricane Sandy last year.
“New York has been very good to the Irish; now the Irish are giving back to New York,” he said.
The event was attended by several hundred people, including the Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, the North’s First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
A delegation from Sinn Fein earlier met new US Secretary of State John Kerry and senior State Department officials.
The Sinn Fein delegation included party leader Gerry Adams, deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Fein U.S. representative Rita O’Hare, and party press officer Richard McAuley.
“The meeting with Secretary Kerry was very positive and constructive,”
“The US Secretary of State has had a long involvement with the Irish peace process. Next month marks the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
“This morning I raised with Secretary Kerry our concerns around outstanding issues arising from the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements, including a bill of rights for the North; Acht na Gaeilge and a border poll.
“We also discussed a range of other matters including the need for an economic dividend and the continued imprisonment of Marian Price and Martin Corey.
“Our conversation also included the recent violence around the flags issue and the serious problems posed by sectarianism and segregation.”
Posted by Jim on March 14, 2013
By Matthew Bunson senior correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor as it appeared in the NY Daily News Mar. 14th, 2013
There were more than 6,000 accredited journalists in Rome watching a narrow smokestack protruding from the roof of the Sistine Chapel for signs of white or black smoke.
And every rooftop was packed with reporters craning for a view.
There was a profound contradiction in all of this, of course. The media that decamped in Rome was the same powerful megaphone that claims the Catholic Church is not relevant in a modern world.
“Do the Popes matter?” English writer Peter Hebblethwaite asked a generation ago — the question is with us anew.
The answer? The Pope matters.
And he matters not just to the 1.2 billion Catholics who will call him the Vicar of Christ.
The head of the Catholic Church — now known to the world as Pope Francis — oversees the world’s largest charitable effort, feeding millions, caring for the homeless and providing medical care for literally hundreds of millions.
Despite the recent travails of the church, the Pope is still viewed almost universally as a voice for peace, justice and human dignity at a time when the planet confronts thundering drumbeats of war and new crises caused by transnational capitalism, fast-moving globalization and profound ethical questions raised by advances in science and medicine.
Francis’ writings and homilies will provoke study and also criticism — but they will be read. And a pilgrim Pope like Paul VI or especially John Paul II will take his presence and his teachings to the corners of the globe.
Francis will have a voice in the great debates of our time, and even those who disagree with him will nevertheless be unable to dismiss him.
The Pope still matters. Anyone who doubts that only needed to look at the rooftops of Rome.
Posted by Jim on March 12, 2013
ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS
BREHON LAW SOCIETY
IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE
TO: All Concerned and Interested Individuals
FROM: Brendan Moore (AOH President); Thomas J Burke (IAUC President)
Robert Dunne (Brehon Law Society President)
RE: Advocate ending A. G. Holder enforcement of British subpoena of Boston College Irish
DATE: March 4, 2013
The struggle against the British misuse of the U. S. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) is coming to a close. We need you now more than ever to stand up to this injustice. If we don’t win the legal battle or this political battle, America’slaws will have been ignored and citizens will be threatened. The next, and possibly last, legal hurdle will be the acceptance or rejectionof the Writ of Certiorari by the Supreme Court as early as April. We now need a full court press on A. G. Holder, Sec. of State Kerry and Senator Menendez .
PLEASE MAKE PHONE CALLS TO ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS UNTIL YOU GET THE LETTER FROM THEM OR THEY DECLINE TO DO SO. CALLS TO SECRETARY KERRY SHOULD REMIND HIM OF LETTER TO CLINTON OBJECTING TO THIS. CALLS TO A. G. HOLDER SHOULD URGE REJECTION OF THE SUBPOENA ENFORCEMENT (SEE 10 Reasons etc).
Phone calls are mandatory to reflect a seriousness of purpose and to identify a contact and e-mail. These leaders were selected not because of a constituency but because of their status as members of Senate Foreign Relations, House Foreign Affairs or Irish-American leaders. All of them have received at least three letters and numerous commentary from us. If you know of a constituent who would also make a phone call that is helpful but it is not necessary. We are making this appeal for their action as members making national policy .
Please remember this is an American issue. The British are corrupting American laws for a political purpose in an attempt to undermine the Irish peace process. The British deceived American officials over this subpoena and over their commitment to the Belfast Agreement. The British would have American’s betray American values of truth and justice to serve their own selfish, arrogant and sinister purposes. Don’t let them get away with it.
If you need anything, please let us know. Action is needed now. For info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
KEY SENATE CONTACT PHONE CALLS FOR LETTERS
TO SEC OF STATE , A. G. HOLDER TO STOP BC SUBPOENAS
& TO SEN MENENDEZ FOR HEARING REQUEST ON MLAT
D. C. OFFICE DIST. OFFICE
MASS. SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN d 202-224-4543 617-565-3170
MASS. SENATOR WILLIAM COWAN d 202-224-2742 617-565-8519
NEW YORK SENATOR GILLIBRAND a 202-228-0282 212-688-6262 ELANA BROITMAN
NEW YORK SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER a 202-228-3027 212-486-4430 MARTIN BRENNAN
CONN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL d 202-224-2823 860-258-6940
CONN. CHRISTOPHER MURPHYc, d 202-224-4041 860-549-8463
MARYLAND BEN CARDIN a 202-224-4524 301-860-0414
NEW HAMPSHIRE JEANNE SHAHEEN c 202-224-2841 603-647-7500 CHAD KREIKEMEIR
NEW JERSEY FRANK LAUTENBERG a 202-224-3224 973- 639-8700
NEW JERSEY ROBERT MENENDEZ a, c 202-224-4744 973-645-3030 JODI HERMAN
PA. ROBERT CASEY a, c 202-224-6324 570-941-0930DAMIAN MURPHY
PA. PATRICK TOOMEY a 202-224-4254 215-241-1090
CA. BARBARA BOXER d, c202-224-3553 510-286-8537
ILL. RICHARD DURBIN d, c 202-224-2152 312-353-4952
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U. S. DEPT. OF STATE SEC. JOHN KERRY 202-647-5291
202-647-2972 DAVID MCKEAN
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER 202-514 -3892 GARY GRINDLER
KEY HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES TO CONTACT
MASS. RICHARD NEAL a 202-225-5601 413-785-0325 BILL TRANGHESE
MASS. JOSEPH KENNEDY III d, b 202-225-5931 617-332-3333
NEW YORK ELIOT ENGEL d,b 202–225-2464 914-699-4100 JASON STEINBAUM
NEW YORK JOE CROWLEY a202- 225-3965 718-779-1400
NEW JERSEY ALBIO SIRESa, b202-225-7919 201-823-2900
NEW JERSEY CHRISTOPHER SMITH d,b 202-225-3765 609-585-7878 MARK MILOSOCH
a= sent ltr to Clinton/Holder SENATE FOREIGN RELATION COMMITTEE—202-224-4651
b= member House Foreign Affairs HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE— 202-225-5021
c= member Senate Foreign Relations
d= no previous ltr to Clinton/Holder
Posted by Jim on February 16, 2013
Besides the Irish Volunteer (IV) and the Irish Citizen Army (ICA) a third organisation, the Cumann na mBan, me…aning League of Women, secured a substantial influence and considerable support in the build-up to the Easter Rising. In contrast with the other organisations the Cumann na mBan preserved its position after the Rebellion of 1916 and it is probably because of the existence of the League of Women that the struggle for independence continued after the disastrous revolt.
It is incorrect to assume that Irish women were not involved in the republican movement prior to the founding of the Cumann na mBan in 1914 by Countess Constance Markievicz, Agnes O’Farrelly and Mary MacSwiney. In the contrary, women provided shelter to rebels on the run, nursed the wounded and proved to be very suitable couriers of weapons and manifests. In the course of the years these tasks passed from mother to daughter. Irish women literally learned these tasks at their mother’s knee. Despite their important role the activities of women took place in the background, far off the front stage where men occupied the traditional male areas such as politics and physical combat. The Cumann na mBan claimed a more prominent role for women in the republican movement.
Initially the Cumann na mBan was subservient to the Irish Volunteer (IV), but soon the organisation gained more independence. Nevertheless at top level the Irish Volunteer (IV), and at a later stage the Irish Republican Army (IRA), remained superior over the top of the Cumann na mBan.
At the same time James Connolly, who is described as a thorough feminist in every respect, attracted women and members of Cumann na mBan also joined the Irish Citizen Army (ICA) or were involved in the trade unions.
The Easter Lily.
Posted by Jim on January 21, 2013
Baile na nGael ( Home of the Irish ) 2750 Gerritsen Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11229
The Kings County Board of the A.O.H. would like to thank the courageous people of Gerritsen Beach for their outstanding efforts in combating the effects of Hurricane Sandy on themselves and their neighbors. We would also like to thank the scores of Hibernian volunteers who manned the Baile na nGael without any regrets and to those who helped with the demolition and recovery of all who needed it. Without these Hibernian volunteers the task of getting “the Beach ” back to it’s present state would have been extremely more difficult. We would also like to single out a few people who put in extraordinary efforts in the past months.
Father Farrell – Pastor Resurrection Church and Chaplain Div. 19
Joanne Gunderson – LAOH County President
Rose Coulson – LAOH County Secrtary
John Murphy – Resurrection Church and AOH Div. 19
N. Y. State Senator Marty Golden – AOH Div. 12
Anthony Testaverdi – aide to Sen. Golden
Seamus Boyle – AOH National Past President
Brendan Moore – AOH National President
Chip McLean – AOH National Director for New York and New Jersey
Mike McNabb – AOH State President
Tim McSweeney – AOH State Secretary
Siobhan Denehy – EIIC, Executive Director
Dan Denehy – AOH National Immigration and State FFAI Chair
To all the Albany AOH volunteers
To all the Connecticut AOH volunteers
To all the Rockland County AOH volunteers
To all the Westchester County AOH volunteers
To all the Long Island AOH volunteers
To the lone South Carolinian AOH volunteer
To my three sons Jimmy ( who lost his house to the storm ), Patrick and Brian, all members of AOH Div.12, who on the night the storm hit, stayed and helped scores of people reach safety before any 1st responders arrived. Their diligence to their beliefs has inspired me. I am so proud of these brave young men.
To all the men and women of the Kings County AOH/LAOH for their never ceasing generosity and their belief in our organization’s motto. ” Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity “
Thank you for all your services,
Jim Sullivan, President Kings County Board AOH
Posted by Jim on May 6, 2012
Residents of a quiet Antrim seaside village have used the 83rd anniversary of the sectarian murder of three local men to call on the British government to apologise for its role in the slaughter.
On June 23, 1922, a British army and Special Police battalion entered Cushendall, singled out three young nationalists and dragged them up an alley, where they were shot dead.
The murders of John Gore, John Hill and James McAllister were in reprisal for the IRA murder the previous day of Field Marshal Henry Wilson — the man who ordered the pogroms against Northern Catholics throughout the early 1920s.
Wilson was shot dead in London by the republicans Reggie Dunne and Joseph O’Sullivan, who had served in the British army during World War I. Both men were later hanged.
A subsequent British government inquiry into the Cushendall killings dismissed claims from soldiers and police that they had been fired upon first.
The English official FT Barrington-Ward, who headed the investigation, concluded: “No one except the police and military ever fired at all.”
Medical reports revealed powder burns on the dead bodies, indicating the victims had been shot from close range.
However, the then Northern unionist government, led by Ulster Unionist James Craig, rejected the findings and held its own inquiry into the shootings.
The Northern government dismissed all the evidence given by residents of Cushendall implicating the British army and police and accepted the soldiers’ claims that they had been fired upon first.
After the killings, Britain’s Liberal government — at the behest of TP O’Connor, the Westmeath-born MP for Liverpool — threatened to publish the findings of Barrington-Ward’s inquiry.
However, the Liberals were replaced at the next election by the Conservative Party, which was more sympathetic to the Ulster Unionist administration.
One of the first acts carried out by the new Tory government was to place the details of the Barrington-Ward inquiry under the Official Secrets Act, barring it from view for 50 years.
Historian Michael Farrell best explains the cover-up in his book Arming the Protestants.
He writes: “O’Connor was told that the British government had commissioned the report only because British troops had been involved.
“The Northern government showed no concern to discipline its forces and stamp out reprisals and seemed oblivious to the effect this must have on the Catholic population. The British coalition government made only a very feeble effort to get Craig’s government to take action. Their Conservative successors did nothing at all.”
Barrington-Ward’s report was again due to be made public in 1972 but publication was delayed for a further 25 years because of the Troubles.
It was not until 1997 that the people of Cushendall became fully aware of the horror that had occurred in the village on June 23, 1922.
Sinn Féin councillor Oliver McMullan has led the calls for the British government to apologise for its role in the three murders.
He said: “These were innocent men killed by British troops in cold blood.
“The British government’s own inquiry ruled that the only people to open fire in Cushendall that night had been the military.
“If the then Northern government was satisfied that the soldiers had been fired upon first, why were the circumstances surrounding the shootings covered up for 75 years?
“The people of this village are owed an apology.”
Relatives of John Gore, John Hill and James McAllister still live in the north Antrim area, as do the families of two other men wounded on the night, Danny O’Loan and John McCollum.
Two Cushendall men whom the Special Police falsely accused of opening fire on the military and prompting the murders were forced to flee to the United States, fearing for their lives.
Several other nationalists in the village, including Oliver McMullan’s grandfather, were threatened by the Special Police with death.
Mr McMullan said a British government apology would go some way to lifting the shadow of the murders that has hung over his village for close to a century.
He said: “A few years ago, locals clubbed together and put up a plaque commemorating the lives of John Hill, John Gore and James McAllister.
“Their needless deaths are something we always have in the back of our minds.
“It was certainly the biggest sectarian murder ever to occur in Cushendall and one of the worst in the Glens area.
“An apology won’t bring them back but it at least will give some comfort to the families of those murdered.
“The British government should recognise the role its forces played in what were nothing more than sectarian state killings.”
Posted by Jim on September 22, 2011
Posted by Louise Sullivan on
Posted by Louise Sullivan on
Posted by Jim on September 21, 2011
Posted by admin on July 7, 2011
Pray for the following people and their families: The people and children who suffered with the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy and the floods that it brought ( Midland Beach, South Beach, New Dorp, Sheepshead Bay, Gerritsen Beach, Breezy Point, Rockaways and Long Beach). The courageous people of the Short Strand section of Belfast, former Div. 35 member Gerry McGeough(illegally imprisoned in Maghberry Prison), Political prisoner Mariam Price, Political prisoner Martin Corey, Fr. Jack Alexander SJ formerly of Brooklyn Prep H.S. (very sick), Ret. Pastor of Good Shepherd Parish and Chaplain FDNY Msgr Thomas Brady(very sick), Caitlin Martin(sick), former H-Block Prisoner of War and Div. 12 member Kieran Meehan(dec.), John Manning Sr.(dec), K of C #126 member Daniel Gelling (dec), County Sentinel and Div 35 member Richard Mulligan(injured in car accident), Rita Diggins(dec.), Margaret Thompson(dec.), Ret. Detective NYPD and B”klyn Mariner Kevin Corsey(dec.), A.O.H. Kings County John McDonnagh(dec.). If anyone wants to have us remember a loved one in our prayers, contact us at Jim@BrooklynIrish.com.
Posted by Jim on June 20, 2011
Posted by admin on
Division 12 Elected Officers are:
President – Kevin Mahoney
Vice- Pres. – Frank Thompson
Recording Sec’t – Steve Kiernan
Financial Sec’t – Tim O’Shea
Treasurer – Tom MacLellan
Marshall – ?
Sentinal – ?
Posted by Louise Sullivan on June 20, 2010
Posted by admin on
Have a Happy Summer. Don’t forget the Coney Island Great Irish Fair in September
President – Joanne Gundersen Div 22
Vice Pres – Judy Rose Div 22
Rec Sect – Rose Coulson Div 22
Treasurer – Mary Hogan Div 6
Historian – Katherine Keane Div19
Miss&Char – Bridie Mitchell Div 6
Cath Act – Tricia Santana Div 19
Mist Arms – Margaret McEneaney Div 19
Sentinel – Ann Marie Bendell Div 19
Posted by Louise Sullivan on