DYING BY THE SWORD .......
By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(16 of 17).
And there he was - Billy Wright ; calmly drinking coffee in that same sitting room with the stripy wallpaper , where the armed and hooded LVF Colour Party later stood guard over his Lenin-lookalike corpse , with the thin face and the tiny pencil-line beard .
He had one eye on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the other on the big windows , vetting each car that drove up the cul-de-sac : " My heart goes out to my family at a time like this . " But he seemed so unafraid . " Well , if you think you're right , then you're right .
And I have done nothing wrong except express an opinion that's the prevalent opinion of the people of Northern Ireland , (sic) and I will always do that , dear , no matter what the price ....... "
STONE COLD .......
Michael Stone is infamous for his attack on a republican funeral at Belfast's Milltown cemetery . By his own count , he has murdered four men and had a hand in the deaths of six others . He says his war is over - but he still expects to meet a violent end .
By Andrew Lynch .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , July 2003 , pages 34, 36 , and 38 .
Re-published here in 13 parts .
(3 of 13).
Television cameras captured the horror as Michael Stone , dressed in flat cap and all-weather jacket , appeared from behind a gravestone and opened fire ; when he missed his intended targets , Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness , he fled and was pursued by the outraged mourners . In the ensuing chaos , Stone shot three of them dead and injured dozens of others , including pensioners and children .
" I've actually only seen that film a couple of times , " says Stone , whose recently-published autobiography has become a bestseller both north and south . " But I'm told it's been shown on television practically every day for the last 15 years . Militarily , Milltown was an absolute disaster . My intention was to take out the Republican leadership and I ended up killing people I knew nothing about .
I regret what happened and I take full responsibility for the hurt I've caused . But I firmly believe my actions were unavoidable ....... "
Letter to the Editor from RUAIDHRI O BRADAIGH , MOUNTJOY PRISON , DUBLIN .
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 4.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.
" Gabhaim buiochas o chroi agaibh , a mhuintir Longphoirt is Iarmhidhe . Chruthaigh sibh thar barr ar fad sa gcoimhlint , fe mar a rinneabhar i mbliain 1917 , is thug sibh treoru arist don Naisiun uilig . Is cinnte gur mor an cuis athais bhur-n-eacht dar muintir ata fe smacht ag Gallaibh sna Se Condaethe . Go mba fada buan sibh uilig !
I wish to express my sincerest thanks to you for electing me as your representative to an All-Ireland Parliament ; I appreciate the amount of arduous work that went into the election campaign , and am proud that your efforts have met with such resounding success . Longford and Westmeath have matched their achievement of 40 years ago , and have written yet another page in the history of our struggle for unity and independence .
Your great stand for the Cause of Irish Freedom must surely be a wonderful source of hope and consolation to our people in the North who have been abandoned for so long , and who are at present enduring bitter persecution at the hands of the British Occupation Forces . The people of Longford-Westmeath , in electing me , have given their decision on the Freedom Fighters of 1956-57 , and on the coercionists who came to England's aid in her hour of need .
It is indeed inspiring in this age of self-seeking and materialism , to find in my native county and in Westmeath , so many people prepared to rise above all selfish interests and rally in such great numbers to the Cause of National Independence . Great credit is due to the 'Longford Leader ' newspaper which upheld fearlessly the best traditions of journalism in giving its news impartially , at a time when the 'national' press and radio joined forces in a conspiracy of silence against Sinn Fein .
With Fermanagh and South Tyrone , with Mid-Ulster , Monaghan , South Kerry and our neighbours in Sligo-Leitrim and Longford-Westmeath : all have , once more , taken a time-honoured place in the van of the march to freedom , an achievement which may be regarded with pride . If 1957 has been another 1917 , then let us in God's name look forward to another 1918 , to the day in the near future , when the All-Ireland Parliament , pledged to legislate for the whole 32 Counties will be re-assembled .
In conclusion , I would like to thank all the kind people who have sent scores of telegrams , letters and other messages of congratulations which have come to me here in prison .
Go raibh mile maith agaibh ar fad !
Is mise ,
Ruaidhri O Bradaigh .
Mountjoy Prison . "
[END of ' Letter to the Editor from RUAIDHRI O BRADAIGH , MOUNTJOY PRISON , DUBLIN . ' ].
(Tomorrow - 'ULSTER !' : from the same source.)