THE DEATH OF FRANK HAND .......
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 .
By GENE KERRIGAN.
First published in ' MAGILL' magazine , March 1986 .
Tommy Eccles , Pat McPhillips and the man with the ear-ring got into Noel McCabe's blue Ford Cortina and he drove them off towards Dundalk ; the three passengers were white-faced , arguing . McCabe started to ask them what happened when McPhillips said " Shut up , drive ! " . The car wound its way through the narrow roads with McPhillips barking " Left , right , right , left ," several times , before admitting he was lost .
The panic in the car was such that at Julianstown , three or four miles from Drogheda , Noel McCabe ordered the others out of the car , in fear they would run into a garda checkpoint ; McPhillips and the man with the ear-ring got out and made their way on foot . McCabe agreed to drive Tommy Eccles into Drogheda ; he did so . Then he drove on to Dundalk and went to Mass before returning home .
In Drogheda , Tommy Eccles went into a shop and bought a peach - he ate it walking along the street , then he went into St. Peter's Church , the one with Oliver Plunkett's head , and thanked God he had got away . Seamus Lynch drove the guns and money to a big shed about a mile from Kentstown . Joe Gargan was waiting there for him . Lynch hid the guns and money inside an empty tank in the shed and then went home . The 9am news on the radio said a garda had been killed at Drumree .
Tommy Eccles took a taxi home to Dundalk from Drogheda . The taxi driver , a Mrs Dempsey , told him there had been something on the news about a garda being shot dead at Drumree . Eccles felt sick .
Meanwhile , the beige Opel Ascona had disappeared in another direction , taking the 'heavies' , the ones who had used the guns , to safety .......
FIRE AND BRIMSTONE .......
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 .
Gregory Campbell , DUP , went on to say - " I would look in the Old Testament where the children of Israel were put in a similiar position . In the land where Pharaoh was king over them , they were told that there was no peaceable way out and the only option was to rise up and rebel and Moses led them out of Egypt though they were told by the Pharaoh that they were breaking his laws in doing so . They used physical breach of the laws in order to extricate themselves from the position that Pharaoh had gotten them into , but they only did that after Moses went to Pharaoh and said 'Let my people go' .
What we're doing is the exact same thing . We will not go outside the law if we can do it inside the law , but at the end of the day we will take that option of breaking the law . " ('1169....' Comment - What a twisted sense of 'Moral values' : Campbell and his like were already 'outside the law...' by the very nature of their mis-treatment of the Nationalists in the Six County area . )
For Ivan Foster and Gregory Campbell , the 'signs' are not only in the political dealings of the Anglo-Irish summit , but also in the 'wickedness of man' which is courting Armageddon . Ivan Foster sees the breakdown of law and order in the Northern state as linked to moral depravity - " I would be very concerned for the future of any country (sic) that continues to liberalise and liberalise and liberalise . Because it is an indisputable fact that alongside recent developments , liberal trends , there has been an increasing social problem regarding law and order , in the home , in the marriage , in the schoolroom or just on the streets .
It may be argued that there is no link , but I think there is a link . I recognise as a Protestant that if a Protestant loses his Protestantism , then he loses all motivation for opposing a United Ireland . It's immaterial to him who serves the Guinness as long as it's served . Under what flag does'nt matter , the political consequences of change don't matter . I see the danger of a population undermined by libertine trends that is gradually abolishing its spiritual heritage , its spiritual base , and since its spiritual base was always the source of its opposition to a United Ireland philosophy , that opposition will disappear .
I think that we must take note of the fact that there is a great deal of co-ordination in all this . So I look for a co-ordinator . And as a conservative and orthodox Protestant I look to find the co-ordinator revealed to me in scripture - namely the power of Satan is at work ....... " ('1169...' Comment - Phew ! Congratulations , reader , if you are still with us after that complete load of bilge ! Definately the product of a much-trouble mind ; people like Foster and Campbell were placed into positions of authority in the Six Counties by their colleagues in Westminster . And people like those two fanatics are STILL in such positions but have , for the most part , learned to keep their 'Armageddon/Satan' clap-trap confined to inhouse meetings .)
THE LONG KESH ESCAPE - SUNDAY 25th SEPTEMBER 1983 .......
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .
No 'By-Line' .
On a given signal , once everyone was in position , IRA Volunteers overpowered and arrested all the prison Screws in the Block , many of the Volunteers subsequently changing into their uniforms . During the seizure of control one Screw - on duty in a locked control room - was shot twice in the head when he ignored orders to lie on the floor and instead made a lunge for the alarm . Control of the Block was completed when 'Bic' McFarlane , accompanied by two IRA Volunteers dressed as Screws , arrested the Screw on duty in the front gate enclosure . It was now about 2.45pm .
Some time later the food lorry bringing evening meals to H7 arrived ; 37 IRA Volunteers climbed into the back while another lay on the floor of the cab holding a gun on the Screw driving the lorry . The lorry then drove through a series of 'security gates' in the Long Kesh complex manned by unsuspecting Screws and in full view of armed Brit sentry posts . It eventually arrived at a 'tally hut' close to a back gate of the prison camp ; the plan was to arrest the Screws in the 'tally hut' and , leaving five Volunteers in control , drive the food lorry a further quarter mile to the front gate 'tally hut' which the escapees would then take control of , leaving two Volunteers there , before driving out in the food lorry to freedom .
Meanwhile , the five Volunteers in the first 'tally hut' would obtain a Screw's car from the adjoining car park , drive to the front gate where the two Volunteers in control there would clamber into the boot , and also make their escape . That was the plan of escape ; unfortunately , it was not to be .......