Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A ROUGH DEAL .......
Ten years ago EDDIE GALLAGHER went to prison for his part in the kidnapping of TIEDE HERREMA . He is still there , even though he did a deal which promised him only four years in jail . His accomplice , MARION COYLE , has been released . DEREK DUNNE reports on GALLAGHER's maverick relationship with the IRA , on the negotiations which led to the release of TIEDE HERREMA and on the roots of GALLAGHER's involvement .

First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , January 1986 , pages 6 , 7 , 8, and 9 .

Eight people were sentenced to a total of seventy-one years for their part in the kidnap ; the three whom Gallagher and Coyle sought to get out of prison are long free . The only person remaining in prison from the entire affair is Eddie Gallagher .

Marion Coyle was not always a militant Republican : born in the Creggan in Derry in July 1954 , the sixth child of Johnnie and Susan Coyle . They owned a small shop and were relatively prosperous . She went to the (Catholic) Rosemount School and then to St. Mary's Intermediate ; at sixteen years of age , she went to the Municipal Technical College to study typing , shorthand and English .

There were by now twelve children in the Coyle household - nine boys and three girls . Marion Coyle worked in her parents' shop after school - she was generous to her friends and paid for them into dances when they did not have any money . She was not involved in politics but could hardly have been unaware of what was happening around her . One of her uncles was a steward at the Civil Rights marches then getting under-way .

Another of her relatives , Joe Coyle , a docker from the Bogside , was a staunch republican . By 1970 , the family had moved to the Duncreggan Estate . On June 26th , Bernadette Devlin was jailed for six months ; the arrest was badly timed and sparked off major riots in Derry - in the days following , eight people died and 200 were injured , fifty-four of those by gunshot wounds .......


THE ARMALITE AND THE BALLOT BOX ....... " We have now established a sort of Republican veto . ......" Michael Farrell interviews Gerry Adams MP , vice-president of Sinn Fein . From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1983 , pages 13 , 14 , and 17 .

MICHAEL FARRELL : " There are rumours of discontent by more traditionalist elements in Sinn Fein at the emphasis on socialism and the increasing involvement in elections . Is there likely to be a backlash against this trend ? "

GERRY ADAMS MP : " The moves to radicalise the Movement have been won on the floor of the Ard Fheiseanna . There are people there certainly - and I think it's understandable given the history of Republican politics - who are opposed to involvement in what they call politics . What they are really opposed to is constitutionalism which I am equally opposed to .

I have found that once you explain things on the basis of the Proclamation saying the ownership of Ireland should belong to the people of Ireland and what Connolly and Pearse said , and how this should be updated by the nationalisation of major industries and how financiers and multinationals should'nt be allowed to suck the wealth out of Ireland , people start coming round .

I don't believe there are , in any significant numbers , ideological differences . I don't forsee any situation where , on the road to radicalising policies and strategies there would be a split . I think that some people might leave , as happened in the past ....... " ('1169...' Comment - The Ard Fheis in 1986 concerned itself with a lot more than simply 'radicalising policies and strategies .... ' : a section of those present attempted to steer Irish Republicanism on to a constitutional path by changing a principle of the Sinn Fein organisation , and formed a new entity with which to proceed on their 'new' path - Provisional Sinn Fein . They then registered their new grouping with Leinster House as a 'political party' . )

PAST , PRESENT AND FUTURE : Thomas Davis , 'Essays' .
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 7.
(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.

" And now , Englishmen , listen to us ! Though you were tomorrow to give us the best tenures on earth - though you were to equalise Presbyterian , Catholic and Episcopalian - though were to give us the amplest representation in your Senate - though you were to restore our absentees , disencumber us of your debt , and redress every one of our fiscal wrongs - and though , in addition to all this , you plundered the treasuries of the world to lay gold at our feet , and exhausted the resources of your genius to do us worship and honour : still we tell you , we tell you , in the names of liberty and country - we tell you , in the name of enthusiastic hearts , thoughtful souls , and fearless spirits - we tell you , by the past , the present , and the future , we would spurn your gifts , if the condition were that Ireland should remain a province .

We tell you , and all whom it may concern , come what may - bribery or deceit , justice , policy , or war - we tell you , in the name of Ireland , that Ireland shall be a Nation . "

[END of ' PAST , PRESENT AND FUTURE : Thomas Davis , 'Essays' ' ].