UDR'S ROTTEN APPLES.......
Five members of the 'Ulster Defence Regiment' , formerly based at Drummad Barracks in Armagh , have been charged with murder , and the recent visits to this barracks by both the Duke of Edinburgh and Mrs Thatcher caused an uproar in the North . But how exceptional are the 'Drummad Five' ? Just how many 'rotten apples' are there in the 'Ulster Defence Regiment' , which is now the principal back-up force to the RUC in the North of Ireland ? From 'The Phoenix' magazine , 30 March 1984 .
It is commonly argued from facts that the UDR is , effectively , the B Specials under another name ; this is a mistake . The B Specials was a fairly casually organised 'police' auxiliary , whereas the B Specials were armed with rifles and had access to heavier weapons and armour only * in conjunction with the RUC . ('1169...' Comment - * ...the RUC 'guarding' B Special arms ... !)
The UDR is different ; it is not a 'police' auxiliary but a British Army regiment . It has all the weaponry and equipment available to 'ordinary' British Army regiments , with the exception of helicopters and bomb disposal and undercover units . It is now the first line of military back-up for the RUC over four-fifths of the North . That is , when the RUC calls for military assistance , it is the UDR which responds in all areas except West Belfast , west of the Foyle and South Armagh .
Under the policy of 'Ulsterisation' , it is intended that this will gradually be extended to all areas . Towards this end , UDR Units were deployed for the first time in South Armagh in 1983 .
As stated here at the start of this article - We have chronicled herewith almost one hundred cases where members of the 'Ulster Defence Regiment' (UDR) have been charged with serious offences , mostly involving firearms or explosives . It is a directory of Dishonourable Discharge that is unmatched in the 'security forces' of any country in Europe and probably not even in South America . And even this list does not claim to be exhaustive :
GERALD ATKINSON of Magherafelt sent to Borstal in March 1974 for attempted bombing of Catholic Church .
JOHN ALEXANDER AUGHEY of Belfast fined £100 for illegal possession of ammunition in May 1976 .
DAVID FREDERICK BECK of Belfast sentenced to five years in February 1975 for armed intimidation of Catholics during the UWC strike .
Despite the fact that SINN FEIN has been contesting local elections in the 26 counties for more than two decades , much comment has been passed and incorrectly interpreted about Republican involvement in elections - north and south of the British-imposed border - in the past several months . Here we review Republican interventions in the electoral process for the past century and more . From 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .
The Fenian John Devoy insisted consistently that the Land League could provide a stepping stone to separation and that the refusal of the British Government to concede the Land Leagues demands could still create the condition for a possible withdrawal from the British parliament .
In the final analysis the 'New Departure' policy was aimed at changing Fenian strategy ; it called for a combination between revolutionary and constitutional nationalists on prescribed terms aimed at breaking the union of Ireland and Britain . The agrarian struggle was one of a series of its objectives aimed at a radical land settlement the pursuance of which would further revolutionary aims and create the potential for further revolutionary action .
The Fenians were deeply involved in the Land League and in the agitation which continued from 1879 to 1881 ; those Fenians at leadership level in the Land League certainly believed that by smashing landlordism in Ireland they would also smash the British connection . At the end of the day the British Government succeeded in undermining the impetus of the agrarian struggle by reaching a compromise with Charles Stewart Parnell through the Land Act and the Arrears Act .
During the height of the agitation the British had introduced internment and a Coercion Bill .......
23 DAYS IN HELL : THE STORY OF THE O'GRADY KIDNAPPING ....... The Gardai had in their possession a clue which could have led them to the O'Grady kidnappers and their captive some ten days earlier .A card found in a rucksack after the Midleton shoot-out led them directly to the gang once they checked it out - but this was ten days later , by which time John O 'Grady had lost two of his fingers . First published in 'MAGILL' Magazine , May 1988 . By Michael O'Higgins .
The Gardai still had not made a breakthrough in their attempts to locate the kidnappers . One of the main searches that day concentrated in the woodlands of Meath and Westmeath - those searches were instigated after somebody had seen a car with North of Ireland registration plates acting suspiciously . Nothing came out of this , however .
18. THE CLUE THE GARDAI OVERLOOKED .
On Thursday November 5 , 1987 , there was , it seemed , a light at the end of the tunnel : on October 26 the gang had left Midleton , County Cork , in a hurry . During the shoot-out the gang had stopped a Hi-Ace van with the intention of hi-jacking it , but then changed their mind and took a Renault car which came up behind the van . In the confusion a rucksack was left behind by the gang in the Hi-Ace van - it contained fifty-one items , all of which were clues in the kidnap investigation ; those clues could be neatly classified into three categories -
'Category One' comprised twenty-two items which were readily identifable as belonging to John O'Grady : the only immediate value of these to the investigation was fingerprint evidence which might be used to obtain a conviction .
'Category Two' contained 26 sundry items , among them a copy of 'The Sunday World' newspaper , a length of chain , a map of Cork and Kerry , a pair of socks with the label 'Trackers' , a hacksaw and a leaflet on combination locks . These , too , might yield fingerprint evidence but were unlikely in themselves to add anything of substance to the investigation .
'Category Three' was by far the most important : it contained just three items - a letter to a Mr. B. Jennings , a bank deposit book with an address on the northside of Dublin and a Guinness Bi-Centennial pass card made out in the name of Paul O' Suillivan , 'Traffic Department Staff Number 23726 ' . It might have been expected that the gardai would check out these items immediately . On Friday October 30 , 1987 , however , all fifty-one items in the rucksack were still in Midleton Garda Station . They were collected by Detective Sergeant Tom Foley of the Fingerprint Section and taken back to Dublin for examination .
On November 3 , 1987 , there was a conference held in Dun Laoghaire Garda Station , the HQ of the kidnap operation ; Detective Sergeant Henry Spring was assigned the task of checking out the Guinness Bi-Centennial pass , which he then collected from the Fingerprint Section on November 4th . There was no difficulty checking out the identity of Paul O' Sullivan - he has worked in Guinness's for twenty-five years . On November 5th , Detective Sergeant Spring and Detective Martin O' Connor called to Guinness's Brewery to see Paul O' Sullivan , who identified the card but said he had not seen it for a number of years .
The clue the gardai were following was an obvious and vital one in the kidnap investigation , but they had not acted on it for ten days .......