Thursday, May 12, 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 .

The arrest of Bernadette Devlin was a turning-point for the Provisional IRA ; a six-hour gun battle in the Short Strand in Belfast between Protestant groups and the Provos led many to believe that the British Army were unwilling to interfere .

In Derry , the population was saturated indiscriminately with CS gas . Three days after Bernadette Devlin was arrested , Joe Coyle , two children and two other men were burned to death in the house next door to where Marion Coyle had been born . The Provos said that he was a Staff Captain and that he had been killed in action ; it was claimed that an incendiary device was being made in the house .

The summer of 1971 saw her on holidays with friends in Bundoran , County Donegal , away from the tension of Derry . August 9th saw the last ditch attempt to prop up the Northern State and Brian Faulkner with the introduction of internment - over 300 were interned . The violence escalated as a direct result of this action . Then on the last day of January 1972 , thirteen Civil Rights marchers were shot dead by the British Army in Derry . Three days later , 30,000 people turned up in Dublin for the burning of the British Embassy .

None of these events on their own was enough to entice Marion Coyle to join the Provos although people were queueing up to do so .......


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 : " The referendum on the anti-abortion amendment will probably be held soon . What will Sinn Fein do about it ? "

GERRY ADAMS MP : " Probably nothing . You're into the silly situation there where Sinn Fein does'nt recognise the constitution of the Free State and can hardly take a stand on amending it . I would be against the amendment . I think it's nonsense , introduced for party political advantage , and does'nt deal at all with the issues involved , the conditions which force women to seek abortions . "

MICHAEL FARRELL : " You have recently developed links with people like Ken Livingstone , the leader of the Greater London Council . How much importance do you place on the development of a solidarity movement in Britain ? "

GERRY ADAMS : " We see it as very important . We decided some years ago to do all we could to encourage the development of an anti-war movement in Britain even if some of the elements in it were there for chauvinist reasons like not wanting their soldiers killed in Ireland . Recently we have refined our attitude somewhat and we are making an effort to develop contacts with people with influence in the British Labour Party .

This is especially important with the Labour Party in disarray after its defeat in the elections . Ken Livingstone thinks there may be a big swing to the Left and the party might eventually come to power committed to withdrawing from Ireland . "


(Tomorrow : ' TO WESTMINSTER AND BACK - THE LIFE AND TIMES OF GERRY FITT' ; by Neil McCafferty , first published in 1983 .)

A MESSAGE OF HOPE TO OCCUPIED IRELAND . From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 8.(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.

Proposing a vote of thanks to the Returning Officer and his staff , for the manner in which the election count had been conducted , Jim Dolan , Election Agent for John Joe Mac Fhearghaill said he wished to take the opportunity of paying a personal tribute to Mr. Devins who had been most helpful and co-operative to him as one who was not very familiar with electioneering . The Returning Officer and his staff had given him every facility and he deeply appreciated this .

He felt very proud that the people in Sligo and Leitrim had raised the Sinn Fein flag once again by returning John Joe Mac Fhearghaill at the head of the poll . This was something which , three weeks ago , many people thought an impossibility and that , in fact, John Joe Mac Fhearghaill would be very lucky to save his deposit . In less than a month's campaign it had been proved that the people of Sligo-Leitrim had returned Sinn Fein and this was a splendid tribute to the successful candidate and to the Republican Movement .

A month ago John Joe's name was unfamiliar in County Sligo but tonight he was known in every homestead in Sligo and Leitrim . History had been written again like in 1907 when Sinn Fein first raised its flag in North Leitrim .......