Wednesday, June 29, 2005

On February 10 , 1986 , the courts turned down the appeals of three men sentenced to hang . The men now face , on commutation of sentence by the (Free State) government , 40 years in prison without remission , for their involvement in the Drumree robbery and killing .
First published in ' MAGILL' magazine , March 1986 .

Mary Gilsenan , Michael's mother , was in the family bungalow about 60 yards away ; she had heard the shots , so she rang the post office to find out what was happening . The receiver was lifted immediately and Michael shouted - " DIAL 999 ..... " then the phone was slammed down . She dialled 999 three times before being put through to Dublin Castle .

The money and guns were by now dumped in the Opel Ascona and the red Mercedes and both cars sped off . Just before the second car left the leader said - " If that fucking bastard moves , fucking shoot him , shoot him ! " Then the cars were gone . Detective Michael Dowd did'nt know if any raiders remained behind . James Gorman , who lived about 50 yards on the other side of the post office , had already seen the activity , and heard the shots ; he got 999 and was put through to the gardai , his son David was watching the events unfold and shouting information to his father , who in turn passed it on to the gardai . He saw the cars speed away .

Detective Dowd , lying on the ground beside the garda car , looked across at J.J. Bell lying face down - " Are they all gone ? " Things were very quiet . Donal Brady came out from the shed behind the post office ; " Are you alright , J.J. ? " , he called to Bell . Detective Dowd looked around and under the car at his partner - " Are you alright , Frank ..... ? " The ambulance came from Navan ; it arrived after almost half an hour , around 8.35am . Nurse Olivia Reilly felt for Detective Frank Hand's pulse but could find none .

It was 8.05am : Seamus Lynch , the Provo in Kentstown , had gone to Joe Gargan's house , went up to his bedroom and Gargan had given him the keys to his yellow Ford Escort . Lynch was now arriving at the field at Rathfeigh ; Noel McCabe was waiting in his 'borrowed' blue Ford Cortina , at the crossroads where he was to pick up 'the lads' . The red Mercedes , driven by Tommy Eccles , came speeding along , on its way from Drumree , past McCabe , who followed it to the field at Rathfeigh . The yellow Escort was already there .

There was panic in the field ; the men from the Mercedes were shouting and arguing about the shooting of the garda , running around in circles . The money , guns , boiler suits and walkie-talkies were dumped in the boot of the yellow Escort and Seamus Lynch drove it away to Kentstown . Petrol was thrown on the Mercedes and it was set on fire .......


The Democratic Unionist Party would prefer a Civil War to acquiescence in a role for the Dublin Government in the affairs of the North of Ireland after the Anglo-Irish summit .
FINTAN O'TOOLE spoke to DUP activists about the depth of their opposition to the Anglo-Irish deal and their willingness to resort to violence .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1985 .

Ivan Foster , erstwhile Commander of the Reverend Ian Paisley's 'Third Force' , believes he may be living in the 'Last Days' . An evangelical minister living in Fermanagh , on the border with the Republic , he reads dark signs in his bible these days - " I turn to the New Testament where in the words of Christ , of Paul and Peter , very clear predictions are made regarding the 'End of The Age' times . And it paints a picture of increasing lawlessness , and I recognise therefore that that which is prophesied in scripture is beginning to take place .

Prophesying is a prediction , it's not a revelation that must happen and therefore we need not bother fighting it . It is merely a revelation to me that this is the trend that is going to take place and if you wish to avoid the consequences of such trends in your generation , you resist every move that leads towards that . " ('1169...' Comment - gobbledygook and claptrap , mouthed by Paisley and his like to 'impress' those that are easily impressed . )

Ivan Foster is the Democratic Unionist Party member of the 'Northern Ireland' (sic) Assembly for Fermanagh ; in the Anglo-Irish Agreement (ie the 1985 Hillsborough Treaty) , as in the 'moral depravity' all around him , he sees the signs of the apocalypse and hears the sound of marching feet . Gregory Campbell , DUP Assemblyman from the Waterside area of what he always calls 'Londonderry' (sic) , also takes his guide from his reading of the Bible - " I look at the scriptures and see in bible times what a people done where a government had forfeited the right to govern , where a people had been put in a position where they had no alternative but to take up arms .

And I can only see that in those same scriptures that say you must love your neighbour , that having done all we can in a peaceable legitimate fashion , then there is no alternative but to resort to arms ....... " ('1169...' Comment - "...having done all we can .. " : except to treat your neighbours like fellow human beings . )


From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .
No 'By-Line' .

" We perceived the escape as a military operation from beginning to end . It could not have been achieved in any other way , and the ASU - as Volunteers in the Irish Republican Army - were under strict orders throughout from an Operations Officer whose judgement was crucial and whose every order had to be obeyed . Every Volunteer was under a tight brief . "

It was this precision of planning , exclusively revealed to 'An Phoblacht/Republican News' in a detailed interview by key ASU personnel involved , that lay behind the almost incredible escape of 38 Republicans on Sunday 25th September 1983 from what is generally believed to be the most secure prison in Western Europe - the H-Blocks of Long Kesh .

At 2.15pm that day , three IRA Volunteers carrying concealed pistols fitted with silencers , which had been smuggled into the prison , moved into the 'Central Administration' area (the 'Circle') of H7-Block on the pretext of cleaning out a store . Fifteen minutes later they were joined by a fourth armed Volunteer ; control of the 'Circle' , with its numerous alarm bells , was vital for the escape's success and had to be carried out simultaneously with the overpowering of prison Screws in the four wings of H7-Block .

Minutes later three other Volunteers - armed with pistols , hammers or chisels - took up key positions near Screws positioned by alarm buttons , on the pretext of carrying out orderly duties , while Brendan 'Bic' McFarlane (the H-Block Officer Commanding during the hunger-strike) was allowed through two locked grilles into the hall of the Block on cleaning duties - his job was to arrest the Screw there .......