Wednesday, September 07, 2005

By Breasal O Caollai .
First published in ' New Hibernia ' Magazine , December 1986/January 1987 .

A bank account in the name of 'Ann O'Brien' was opened just weeks before the December 1969 split in the IRA and the follow-on split in Sinn Fein during January 1970 . The money put into the 'Ann O'Brien' account was used mainly for the running of a newspaper titled ' Voice Of The North' : it was run from an office in Monaghan and put forward the views of Fianna Fail on the North .

The man who ran the newspaper was journalist and Fianna Fail scriptwriter and activist Seamus Brady . ' Voice Of The North ' first set out to influence and take over the Civil Rights Movement in the North and then turned its attention to the IRA .

When the possibility of a split emerged in the IRA , the Fianna Fail Government-financed newspaper and its founder Seamus Brady fanned the flames which eventually led to the establishment of the Provisional IRA . The events which led to the December 1969 IRA split and eventually the Arms Trial had their roots spread back a few years -

- it all began on November 10th 1966 when Sean Lemass resigned as Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fail ; into the ring for the top job came the late George Colley and Charles J. Haughey . Neil Blaney entered on the nomination of another Fianna Fail Minister , Kevin Boland . Haughey and Blaney withdrew when Sean Lemass nominated Jack Lynch .

George Colley stuck in and was defeated by 53 votes to 19 ; the Colley-Haughey power struggle began to develop : meanwhile , the IRA was experiencing its own 'transformation' .......


As Sinn Fein has become more active , members of the government parties have sought to isolate the Provos politically .
The record shows , however , that some of those politicians have for years sought support from Sinn Fein - and some continue to do so in so far as it is politically expedient .
First published in ' MAGILL ' Magazine , September 1984.

An example of a stricter attitude towards meeting with members of Sinn Fein would be the proposed meeting between Labour Minister Ruairi Quinn and Gorey Town Commissioners due to take place during a Ministerial visit to the town last February : Quinn would not discuss unemployment with the town Commissioners unless Sinn Fein Town Commissioner , John Sheehan , was absent . The Commissioners refused and the meeting never took place .

John Sheehan was the cause of Minister of State , Michael D'Arcy's absence from the reviewing stand for Gorey's Saint Patrick's Day Parade : D'Arcy could not get an assurance that Sheehan would not be on the reviewing stand and consequently decided to attend the parade as an ordinary spectator . John Sheehan says that he did not get an invitation to an ash planting ceremony in Gorey to mark the GAA's centenary and that Minister D'Arcy was in attendance .

Then on June 16th he says that Minister Michael D'Arcy would not take a place on the platform for the launching of Feile na Gael in Gorey by GAA President , Paddy Buggy . The Gorey Saint Patrick's Day parade was not the only one affected by the new Government policy : Patrick Cooney , the Minister for Defence , ordered members of the 26 County defence forces not to take part in any Saint Patrick's Day parades where members of Sinn Fein were directly involved in reviewing it or organising it .

There was no parade in Longford that day - the organisers felt that it would not be possible without 26 County- army co-operation and they said they could'nt give the undertaking necessary to ensure their participation .......


From 'AP/RN' , 2 January 1986 .
No By-Line .

Sinn Fein , while opposed generally to hunger-strikes , recognises the frustrations of the prisoners and has pledged full support for the hunger-strikers' demands . Sinn Fein candidates in the forthcoming elections will be pledged to support publicly and unequivocally the campaign to end the paid-perjurer system .

In a statement , Sinn Fein's Jim McAllister , a Councillor and Chairperson of the party's Six-County Executive , observed -

- " It is noteworthy that here we are at the end of 1985 , which has been hyped-up by some as the year when the London-Dublin deal was going to solve all our problems , and still Irish political prisoners find themselves on hunger-strike for justice . "

(Tomorrow - '23 DAYS IN HELL : THE STORY OF THE O'GRADY KIDNAP' : from 1988.)