Friday, August 05, 2005

Ten years ago this month the ' ULSTER WORKERS COUNCIL' strike brought down the power-sharing executive of BRIAN FAULKNER and GERRY FITT .
ANDY POLLAK talks to UDA leader ANDY TYRIE , one of the men behind the 1974 work stoppage , and GEORGE SEAWRIGHT , one of the new breed of hard-line Loyalist spokesmen , about the outlook for Northern Ireland's (sic) Protestants in the 1980's .
From ' FORTNIGHT ' magazine , May 1984 .

Andy Tyrie (UDA) says - " The British government now tries to make sure there is no visible crises ; now it's done on a drip method , so that there's no big enough crises to motivate people to protest - because they know that under pressure the Loyalists will react very strongly . "

He says in the 1970's the UDA used to exist from crisis to crisis , hoping each time that the political leadership would pick up from where the paramilitaries had left off and start putting the Loyalist case across properly in Britain and abroad , and findings ways to run Northern Ireland (sic) that would win the co-operation of the Catholics .

" Ten years on it's still the same people , and they still have'nt learned to outwit the Republican groups , match them brain for brain . We still present our case very badly (' 1169 ... ' Comment - ..or is it simply that they had/have a bad case .. ?) - we have not convinced people outside our own community that we're a separate race of people who are willing to live here with our Catholic neighbours . " ('1169.... ' Comment - ...and that , readers , is the closest the UDA ever got to propaganda for foreign consumption ! )

The failure of the 1977 work stoppage was a turning point for the UDA .......


The Sinn Fein electoral wagon is slowing down . As a result , the IRA is likely to begin stepping up its war against the Northern State . GENE KERRIGAN reports from Belfast and also interviews Sinn Fein's DANNY MORRISON on the party's recent successes and failures .
From ' MAGILL ' magazine , September 1984.

The last couple of years of political activity have served to demonstrate that the Provisionals have a solid and sizeable amount of support . During this period the IRA adjusted its military tactics , avoiding as far as possible the kind of action which carries a high risk and which has the potential to alienate sympathisers from Sinn Fein - such as the bombing of 'economic targets ' .

Within the IRA there is a belief that the 'authorities' have taken advantage of the 'Mister Nice Guy' tactics in order to claim that 'normality' is returning . (' 1169....' Comment - 'Normality' ? And what have we got today ? The Provisional movement about to 'police' the Six Counties for Westminster ! Hardly 'normality' , but it will suffice for Mr. Blair and his War Cabinet .. )

There is thus a move within the IRA to return to what one source described as "..the types of operation which it was renowned for in the past . " According to republican sources the IRA deliberately moved away from some types of chancy operation - such as commercial bombings - in order to facilitate Sinn Fein's electoral strategy ; such military operations have a high attrition rate , in terms of members captured and of civilian casualties .

One mistake can result in an atrocity which wipes out months of political work ; within the IRA it is now felt that the British have been taking advantage of this , claiming a partial return to 'normality' , claiming that bombings are fewer than three years ago and that this is because they are on top of the 'security problems' ....... (' 1169.... ' Comment - if it was felt then that Westminster was "taking advantage.. " of the political situation which the then Sinn Fein organisation found itself in - what will Westminster do now that the Provisional Sinn Fein political party has handed itself on a plate up to them ?)


The Evelyn Glenholmes affair not only involved unlawful activity by gardai , it stemmed from the chaotic condition of the force which has resulted from ignoring the warning signs of the past decade .
By Gene Kerrigan.
First published in ' MAGILL ' magazine , April 1986 .

In 1980 , a Mr. Christopher Lynch was released from jail by the (FS) Supreme Court after serving over three years for murder ; his 'confession' , after 22 hours 'interrogation' , was extracted in oppressive circumstances , said the Court . More serious was the fact that the judges pointed out that the confession could not be true as it contradicted known facts in the case : there was no inquiry , no re-assessment .

In April 1982 Peter Matthews died in Shercock Garda Station after a beating . Most gardai deplore what happened and disassociate themselves from any activity of the kind that went on there . But the Shercock case was another example of garda determined to get a 'confession' from a suspect , even though they already had enough evidence on which to lay charges . Had the gardai not continued the interrogation , Peter Matthews would not have been assaulted by whoever it was delivered the blow which crushed his pancreas .

By now , interrogations were standard , the gardai believed they had the right to do this and no one in authority was saying any different . Two trials failed to discover what happened at Shercock ; there was no reassessment .

In August 1982 , Amanda McShane was interrogated in a Dublin garda station ; she refused to sign a statement . Her solicitor subsequently found a written statement , as though made by McShane , awaiting her signature . There was no inquiry , no reassessment .

In June 1983 , at Naas , County Kildare , Michael Ward signed a confession to a string of burglaries and , according to sworn statements by gardai , pointed out the houses which he had burgled . He was released when it was discovered that he had been in jail when some of the burglaries had been carried out . 'MAGILL' magazine discovered that one of the burglaries to which he 'confessed' had never occurred . There was no reassessment .......


( Re the 'Indymedia' issue : this matter has now been cleared-up to my satisfaction . I received a number of e-mails , from two Indymedia Mods. , one of which stated - ".... I can see now that your comment was deleted completely by mistake as it wasn't one of the ones that contained posts of images already posted to the site. (It was just above or below one of
those posts.).... "
The Mod. apologised and I have since posted on 'Indymedia' without incident . I am content to leave the issue at that ....for now ..! )