Saturday, April 05, 2003

A book entitled 'Abolishing the Diplock Courts' by Steven Greer and Anthony White , published by the Cobden Trust in Britain about fifteen years ago , re the 'judicial' system in the Six Counties , makes for interesting (re-)reading , even today ;
" The threat of intimidation of witnesses which we have already described extends also to jurors.The jury system as a means for trying terrorist crime(sic) is under strain.It may not have broken down , but we think that the time is already ripe to forestall its doing so" -- so stated 'The Diplock Report', which was published in December 1972,and which was used by the British to further their opinion that jury trial had to be abolished.
In their book , Steven Greer(a law lecturer at Bristol University) and Anthony White(a barrister-at-law) argued that the reasons given at the time for the abolition of the jury system for 'scheduled offences' were not valid or based on "any systematic data". They stated that the arguments used to justify the Westminster move did not stand up to critical examination, and both men proposed that jury trial should have been restored. The authors quoted from a study by Lord Gifford , who compared the English 'supergrass' trials with those in the Six Counties and found that in England no-one was convicted without corroborative evidence . (MORE LATER)>>>

In 1990 , during the Free State administrations tenure of the E U Presidency , former Fianna Fail leader Albert Reynolds signed the directive authorising the E U's £2.8 billion low-cost loan to BNFL, which built THORP .There were 32 operating nuclear reactors in Britain at the time and 20 per cent of the power supply then was nuclear generated. Next January, Bertie Ahern will be in the position that Reynolds occupied in 1990 ; perhaps, as a mark of gratitude to those he so obviously considers his'betters', Bertie will let the Brits build a nuclear plant in Shannon,and convince his buddy George Bush (who knows the area well) to finance it ! Could be an'OBE' in it for ya, Bert ......

Friday, April 04, 2003

In the weeks following the shooting dead of the two County Westmeath IRA Volunteers in Ballykinlar Internment Camp in County Down , in January 1921 (Volunteers Joe Tormey and James Sloan) three more IRA Volunteers - Eamon Healy(Waterford) , Padraig O'Toole(Carlow) and Sean O'Sullivan (Kildare) died of illness at the camp due to the foul conditions the prisoners were forced to endure .
Following the signing of the Treaty in December 1921 , all the Republican prisoners and internees in Ballykinlar were freed . In later years , new camps were to be opened-up for republican prisoners and internees , this time run by their old comrades : today , again, those 'old comrades' have once more turned their back on Irish Republicans and now put as much effort in attempting to 'dress-up' the British presence as they once did in trying to remove that presence ; they are aware that as long as Britains jurisdictional claim over any part of Ireland remains in force , opposition to that claim will always be with us .......

On February 17th, 2000, the then Stormont Office Minister Adam Ingram , stated that 49 people had been killed in the Six Counties since May 1998 ; he admitted that between April 4th 1998 and February 10th 2000 , a total of 2,422 people had been injured as a result of attacks, including 456 people hurt by explosions, 155 injured through gun attacks and 1,811 people hurt by 'punishment' attacks . Loyalists were blamed for 251 casualties, including 79 shootings and 172 assaults. Nationalists were said to be responsible for 134 attacks, including 46 shootings and 88 assaults - between the same dates , attacks on the RUC numbered 2,901 involving firearms,explosives and what he termed "other missiles" .
The British and the Free Staters(including the Provisionals) sold the Stormont Treaty as a "vote YES for peace" exercise ~ they got a majority 'YES'vote from those that bothered to vote , but no peace yet ; nor will there be , until such time as the British withdraw their political and military presence from Ireland.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

The two IRA Volunteers , friends from County Westmeath , who were held in the different camps in Ballykinlar , approached the fence which separated them and were both machine-gunned to death by a British sentry in one of the posts ; the soldier was later to be promoted in rank and moved to a different position in Ballykinlar Camp .
In the British House of Commons, the 'Chief-Secretary in Ireland' , Sir Hamar Greenwood , stated ~ " A military Court of Inquiry , held in lieu of an inquest, found that no blame attached to the soldier who fired in execution of his duty . No action of a disciplinary character is , therefore, called for , and none has been taken " .
The British Army issued a statement claiming that " a number of men in two adjoining cages persisted in communicating with each other despite the repeated warnings of a sentry " . ( It should be noted that another IRA Volunteer , Corkman Tadgh Barry , was killed by a sentry in similar circumstances in the same camp in November that year , 1921) .

'Congrats' to Emily O'Reilly on her new position as this state's 'Ombudsman' and we also wish her well in her new role as ' Freedom of Information Commissioner' : her (nice) new Office comes with a pay-check of 3646 EURO a week , which should help her forget about her old job as Editor of'Magill' magazine which she left(in 2000,I think) because , if I remember correctly, that magazines' 'sister' publication , 'In Dublin' , made most of its money by publishing advertisements for 'massage parlours' .
When asked why she did'nt leave sooner (or perhaps why she took the job in the first place....) Emily stated- " There are levels of knowing and levels of awareness" ; so, if our new 'Ombudsperson' and 'Freedom of Information Commissioner' fails to "get back to you on that one" , you'll know its because "there are levels......" .

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

In December 1920 , internment camps capable of holding thousands of IRA prisoners were set up at Kilworth , Bear Island and Spike Island in County Cork , Rath Camp and Newbridge Camp at the Curragh in County Kildare and Gormanstown Camp in County Meath ...
Leo Henderson was IRA Officer Commanding at Ballykinlar Camp 1 and Joe McGrath filled the same position in Ballykinlar Camp 2 ; each of the two camps held about one thousand prisoners but , due to the barbed-wire fence and sentry boxes which separated them , communications between camps was not possible . This led to frequent rows between the armed guards and the internees , so the two IRA O/C's worked out an agreement with the British Commander , Colonel Little , in which the prisoners were free to use the tarmacadam pathway which separated the two camps and communicate with prisoners in the different camps , provided that they did not approach nearer than three feet from the fence .

However , the British hated the Republican prisoners to such an extent that , like now , their word could not be trusted - in mid-January 1921 , two IRA Volunteers , friends from County Westmeath , who were held in the different camps in Ballykinlar , approached the fence which separated them and were both machine-gunned to death..... (MORE LATER)>>

..... Members of the Stormont Assembly that are not re-elected or who chose not to stand made sure they would not suffer financially :
... they rewarded themselves with a "resettlement allowance" of £19,000 , a "winding-up" allowance of £11,617 and decided that ex-Ministers , Junior Ministers and other office holders would each receive an additional payment equal to one-quarter of their annual salary !
The Provisionals are just as apt to fumble in the greasy till as other British and Free State career politicians are.....

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

On August 9TH, 1920 , the English parliament enacted 'The Restoration of Order in Ireland Act', which was a special extension of the 'Defence of the Realm Act 1914 ' :
The ' Restoration Act ' allowed for internment without trial ,secret military courts martial , the suppression of coroners'inquests and other immunities from the normal course of law .
In December that year(1920) ,with most of the country under martial law (ie all of the Free State and most of the Six Counties) and Kevin Barry not long in his grave (the British hanged him in November 1920) a new push was made by the British to defeat the IRA : the commander-in-chief of all British forces in Ireland, Sir Neville Macready , introduced internment without trial .

On December 5TH , 1920 , one-hundred internees were sent by sea from Dublin via Belfast to Ballykinlar internment camp in County Down .
During the following weeks additional internment camps , capable of holding thousands of prisoners , were set up at Kilworth , Bear Island and Spike Island in County Cork , Rath Camp and Newbridge Camp at the Curragh in County Kildare and Gormanstown Camp in County Meath . ( MORE LATER)>>

.....the Brits have already spent billions on their occupation of this country, but its still not enough .......
' The Office Holders Bill ', of which I wrote here about before , deserves another mention --if only to highlight the sheer brass-neck of those that wrote it up and agreed with it :
This self-serving , money-grabbing and immoral piece of legislation had its 'second stage ' provision passed in December 1999 by those whom it will benefit -- the members of the British-financed Stormont assembly . The third stage of the ' Office Holders ' bill was discussed at Stormont on January 12TH , 2000 ; it allows for so-called 'MLA's' that are not re-elected in future polls or who chose not to stand would be entitled to ...... (MORE LATER)>>>

Monday, March 31, 2003

By the Autumn of 1923 , after the civil war had ended and with the republican forces smashed , thousands of political prisoners were held in Free State jails and camps . Conditions were rough for the men and women in the grim buildings and compounds , in which 77 of their comrades had been executed since November 1922 ( between the execution of PH Pearse in Kilmainham , Dublin, on May 3rd 1916 and William Shaughnessy on May 2nd 1923 , one-hundred and fifteen other republicans were executed) .
Maud Gonne led a tireless campaign to publicise the conditions in which the prisoners found themselves and the prisoners realised that , with the approach of winter , their conditions would only worsen . The Free Staters were attempting to deprive them of political status and treat them as criminals - four-hundred and twenty four men began a hunger strike in Mountjoy Jail on October 14th , 1923 . Ten of their number were members of Dail Eireann . Within days , more republican prisoners throughout the Free State joined the fast . On November 20th, IRA Commandant Denis Barry, from Blackrock in County Cork , died in Newbridge Camp ,Kildare , and on November 22nd , Captain Andrew Sullivan , from Mallow in County Cork , died in Mountjoy .
Demands from ordinary people , at home and abroad , for the release of the prisoners flooded into the Free State administration and Cardinal Logue issued a pronouncement asking for the release of the internees (but not mentioning the sentenced prisoners) . By this stage , women prisoners had joined the fast (Kilmainham Jail) and IRA leaders decided that further sacrifice of life would not be justified ~ by November 23rd ,1923 , 176 men had been on hunger-strike for over thirty-four days and a number had gone over the 40 day period . The leaders of the protest , Tom Derrig and DL Robinson (both of whom were over forty days without food) visited the prisoners to call off the protest - they were escorted to all the jails and camps by the Free State authorities , and only ended their own hunger-strikes after their Volunteers themselves had done so .
Releases began soon afterwards , with the women being released from Kilmainham first : some of the men were let out , but hundreds were still incarcerated into late December .
It was not by any means the last time that a hunger-strike would be used as a weapon against anti-republicans......
A few years ago , the ' West Belfast Economic Forum' published a booklet entitled "The Costs of War and Dividends of Peace" , in which it was stated that , from 1969 up to August 1994 , the Brits had spent £18.205 billion to maintain their presence in Ireland , a figure which included British Army costs of £5.669 billion , compensation payments of £1.593 billion and prison/RUC costs of £10.943 billion ! However , the Brits will now have to ' factor in ' (<-- economic jargon:translates as 'allow for' ....) the three stages of ' The Office Holders Bill' ....... (MORE LATER)>>

Sunday, March 30, 2003

When the IRA POW's that had attempted to escape from Long Kesh were found , they were brought back to the camp by British troops and thrashed with batons , stripped naked and thrown , injured and bleeding, into cells .
Most of the 33 men who escaped through the tunnel that November night in 1974 were recaptured almost immediately , but several of that group did evade the British soldiers for some hours : three of the escapees hid in a ditch half-filled with water , for almost two hours, then climbed the barbed-wire perimeter fence and , even though they knew they were way behind time, headed for their original pick-up point . When they realised there was no transport there for them , they started on their way to a safe house , but were arrested shortly afterwards .
Another group of three men practically buried themselves in hedges beside a small stream and stayed put for almost 24 hours ! They then set off , on foot, cold , hungry and dishevelled, for Twinbrook in Belfast , walking in fields parallel to the M1 motorway - they got within yards of their destination before being arrested ......
Also , it should be noted , that after the last of the POW's had entered the Cage Five tunnel at the start of the escape attempt , the IRA O/C of the camp instructed that Cage Five be vacated by the remaining prisoners as it was known by all concerned that the British troops would take revenge on anyone found in the Cage where the tunnel was located . All the remaining POW's re-located to Cage Four but the Brits then fired CS gas into that cage , which contained approximately 450 men . British soldiers and prison guards , all in riot gear, sealed the cage and, after a negotiated stand-off between both sides, the POW's returned to Cage Five .
The escape attempt may have failed , but the fact that it had taken place at all and the vicious British re-action to it , plus the death of Coalisland POW Hugh Cooney , made international headlines and exposed the conditions in which the British held Irish prisoners .

George Bush is wrong to do what he's doing now , and Jimmy Carter was wrong to do what he done ~ While he was President of the United States , Jimmy Carter connived in the introduction of death squads to El Salvador , conspired to try and keep Nicaragua's Somoza in power and , when he failed to do so, he smuggled Officers of Somoza's army out of the country in planes disguised with 'Red Cross' markings.....
..... different degrees of interference , no doubt, but both wrong .

The ' International Brigade ' comprised 45,000 volunteers from 54 countries ; one-hundred and forty-five were from Ireland , of whom 61 were killed . Those who returned faced condemnation from the Catholic Church , which supported the fascist rebellion led by General Franco , aided by Hitler and Mussolini . After the fascists took power , they murdered 196,000 Spaniards between 1939 and 1952 ~
Why is the Catholic Church so quiet here in relation to the Iraq situation ?
Are they afraid they've backed the' wrong side ' again , in their acquiescence ?