Tuesday, November 01, 2005

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 ?
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 .
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , 30 March 1984 .

BRIAN ROBERTS , sentenced to life in January 1983 for killing of Liam Canning at Alliance Avenue on August 9 , 1981 . The killing was claimed at the time by the 'Ulster Freedom Fighters' (UFF) .

THOMAS SIMPSON of Belfast , jailed for 18 months in April 1976 for illegal possession of two rifles and 40 rounds of ammunition . Known to be a member of the UVF .

WILLIAM SMITH of Belfast , sentenced to nine months (suspended) for illegal possession in March 1973 .

DAVID STONE of South Derry , jailed for 12 months in February 1974 for using a gun to intimidate a woman into with-holding from the RUC the names of people involved in an assault .

LAURENCE TATE of Moygashel , County Tyrone , jailed for 12 years in December 1975 for bombing a Catholic pub in Dungannon .


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 political atmosphere in Ireland to the British 'Conscription Act' meant that tolerance to IRA activities increased , and increased still further when the British Government arrested Sinn Fein leaders on the 'strength' of a 'German Plot' , which the British Government declared in a sensational proclamation " ...would be put down .. " .

Sinn Fein , having been given notice of the pending arrests through an IRA contact in Dublin Castle , simply made its political leadership open for arrest , while those with military associations went 'on the run' . The result was as they had correctly anticipated and in a by-election in East Cavan , Griffith , back in prison , won easily with a majority of 1,204 .

Continued arrests and harassment increased the popular prestige of Sinn Fein and the Volunteers while the anti-conscription campaign permitted a vehicle for recruitment and spreading Republican influences . The British , temporarily abandoning their conscription idea , initiated a voluntary recruiting campaign and one indication of the weight of nationalist opinion of the old 'Redmonite' school was that , despite an efficient counter campaign by Sinn Fein , 14,013 voluntary recruits were secured for the British Army . The winning over of such nationalist votes was to be the principle task which faced Sinn Fein in the General Election called for December 1918 .

Sinn Fein faced many diverse disadvantages in this election , including censorship and the arrests of consecutive Sinn Fein election directors . But the quickness with which the election was called was certainly in its favour , as was the greatly enlarged new register which almost trebled the previous Irish electorate and the extension of the vote to all males over twenty-one and to women over thirty .......


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 .

Dessie O' Hare had gone to ground ; two days later , on November 8 , 1987 , he resurfaced in Dunleer , County Louth , at around 8.30 PM ; he had been driving through the town with his wife when he decided he wanted a mineral drink . He went into Lorchide's Chip Shop and ordered a tin of coke , attracting the attention of a number of customers who thought he looked a nervous wreck . Suddenly O' Hare threw the can of Coke on the ground ; across the road , Claire O' Hare was out of the car and making a run for it . Dessie O' Hare pulled out a gun and fired a shot from inside the chipper , then he ran out the door and fired down the road , shouting " Come back you bitch ..." .

Dessie O' Hare then went over to the car and took out a shotgun - he fired a shot into the chipper where astonished customers were looking on . A passer-by was told to " ...get out of the fucking way .. " if he did'nt want the same . Meanwhile , Claire O' Hare had run for cover into the Millrace Pub - Dessie jumped into the car and , as the proprietor of the pub came out to the door to investigate , O' Hare fired more shots at the pub from the car , shouting " Get the fucker out .. " - he fired one or two more shots into the pub before driving away . Claire O' Hare was hysterical . Later she was taken to Our Ladys Hospital in Drogheda for treatment , from where she was arrested under ' Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act ' and taken to the Bridewell Station in Dublin .

There was another meeting of the (Free State) Cabinet Committee on Security , this time attended by the (FS) Minister for Finance , Ray MacSharry : there were fears , given the state of his mind , that Dessie O' Hare might make an attempt to kill John O' Grady . The Cabinet sub-Committee offered a £100,000 reward for the capture of Dessie O' Hare .......