Friday, May 13, 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 .

Eddie Gallagher was in one of 100 cars that travelled from Ballybofey to Derry for the funerals of those killed on Bloody Sunday . He was a labourer from the town but did not come from a particularly republican background - many of those on his father's side of the family had gone with de Valera " ... when he left the Republican Movement . "

According to Gallagher , he met many republicans during fishing rights agitation and civil rights marches in Britain during the 'sixties . In the early 'seventies , Eddie Gallagher was involved with Sinn Fein in Donegal , and in the anti-EEC campaigns .

He wanted to involve as many people as possible and considered that 'the policy of more gelignite' was " a winner . " His political views centered on emigration : it seemed to him that his entire school class was on a conveyor belt towards the Derry/Glasgow boat . He also wanted the British Army out of the North .......


The Life And Times Of Gerry Fitt.
By Nell McCafferty .
First published in ' MAGILL' magazine , July 1983 .

The Banqueting Room in Belfast's City Hall is used for the really big occasions ; it is there that politicians gather to hear the verdict of the electorate upon them . It is there that they are wined and dined in the successful years . A large stained glass window spells the message out for them : ' Pro Tanto , Quid Retribuamus ' - ' For All This , How Will We Repay You ' .

On Friday June 10th , 1983 , at 1.39pm the politicians of West Belfast gathered in the banqueting room and the verdict was read out : Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein was elected to Westminster . Gerry Fitt , who had held the seat since 1966 , was stripped of office . The RUC formed a massive funnel around Adams , down which he sped into the limelight of the world's media .

" There's more police protecting him than attacked me in Derry " quipped Gerry Fitt ; it was a joke for 'insiders' . Outwardly , the RUC were protecting Adams against the wrath of loyalists , gathered in Belfast City Hall , who did not like the election results , as seventeen years earlier they had protected Gerry Fitt against the loyalists who did'nt like the result then , either .

Unlike Fitt , though , Adams won't be referring to the matter in his maiden Westminster speech in London , England . The differences between the two Gerries was established as long ago as Monday , April 25th , 1966 . At 7pm , that day .......

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.

Jim Dolan , Election Agent for the successful Sinn Fein candidate John Joe Mac Fhearghaill , went on to say that in the course of the election campaign the Republican Movement had been at a great disadvantage because , as a result of arrests and internments , some of their very best speakers north and south had not been available to them .

Referring to meetings held during the election campaign on behalf of the candidate , John Joe , Jim Dolan said these had not been given one line of publicity in the daily press , while the organisation had been refused the use of Radio Eireann despite the fact that they had nineteen candidates in the field !

As a result of the lack of publicity given them , they had to fight their campaign and explain their policy from the tops of ditches and from chapel gates : " You all know , " said Jim Dolan , " that we were given no publicity , with one exception - a local newspaper . A few weeks ago , in the course of an Editorial , in another local paper , we were referred to as 'the people of lost causes and lost deposits .. ' , but the only deposit we lost was in Dublin , and that by a mere eight votes . I wonder what the Leader-writer will say after this election ... "