Monday, May 16, 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 .

A few nights before internment was introduced , a Catholic worker from Derry named Harry Thornton was driving past Springfield Road RUC Station in Belfast when his car backfired - a British soldier shot him dead . A passenger in the car ran , thinking he too was about to be shot - he was attacked by British soldiers , taken into the RUC station and badly beaten up .

Eddie Gallagher watched as the British jumped from their jeeps ; one British soldier shouted " One down , one to go ... " , according to Gallagher . That particular incident coupled with what happened in the next few days convinced Eddie Gallagher to become more actively involved with the IRA .

On March 14th , the Provos had a forty-minute gun battle with the British Army near Dove Gardens in Derry ; 90 minutes later , Eugene McGillen and Colm Keenan were shot dead as they came out of a house . The householder later told the inquest that they had come in for shelter . The Provos admitted that they were members but said that they had not been involved in anything at the time .

Marion Coyle and a friend had spent their summer holidays in Bundoran with Eugene McGillen and Colm Keenan . Almost immediately , her brother Philip , whom she was especially close to , got six years for possession of a firearm : Marion Coyle joined the Provisional IRA .......

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

The difference between Gerry Fitt and Gerry Adams was established as long ago as Monday April 25 , 1966 , 7pm : exactly when the Right Honourable Gerald Fitt , Esquire , Republican Labour Party , rose to his feet to speak for the first time in the House of Commons -
- " Since my election , I have read in sections of the British press that I have been classified as an Irish Republican . I should take this opportunity to classify my political allegiance . To classify me as an Irish Republican is not strictly correct ; the Irish Republican Party in Ireland does not recognise the authority of this House in any part of Ireland and its members would indeed refuse to take their seats in this House .

I have not yet given up hope , and I have not yet determined to follow the line of the Irish Republican Party , because I believe that during my term as the representative of West Belfast in this House I will be able to appeal to every reasonable member in the Chamber , and through them , to every reasonable member of the British public . I feel certain that at the end of this Parliament dramatic changes will have taken place in the North of Ireland ....... "

Through all the dramatic changes that subsequently took place in the North of Ireland , Gerry Fitt never did give up hope that the British Government would sort things out . He placed particular trust in the British Labour Party ('1169...' Comment - as does Gerry Adams today...) , which had in 1966 swept to power under Harold Wilson with a hundred seat majority .
His 'faith' in the Brits earned him a new nickname .......


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 stated that the people of Sligo-Leitrim had given Sinn Fein a mandate to go forward to greater victories , and certainly , it would be a message of hope to our people in Occupied Ireland . It would be a message to all of them that the people of Sligo-Leitrim were behind the freedom fighters who were fighting Ireland's Cause today .

It would also be an answer to Lord Brookesborough and his Quisling Government and to Mr. Costello who , during the past three months, has been responsible for sentencing many young men to terms of imprisonment . As a result of this election Mr. Costello would be a much wiser man .

The success achieved here would be a warning to the new administration that the people would not support them in suppressing the freedom fighters in the North of Ireland . Concluding , Jim Dolan returned thanks to all who had assisted them in achieving victory , as nobody could deny that they had scored a great success in Sligo-Leitrim constituency .

[END of 'A MESSAGE OF HOPE TO OCCUPIED IRELAND'].(Tomorrow - ' IT HAPPENED IN IRELAND ' : from the same source).