" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. Ah well! Thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again next year!

Friday, July 08, 2005

POLITICOS AND PARAMILITARIES .......
Fionnuala O'Connor on the struggle for the Loyalist leadership as the politicians and their paramilitary allies gear up for a strike .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1986 .

Frank Millar , General Secretary of the Official Unionist Party , said what concerned him about that TV 'Panorama' programme (on the Hillsborough Treaty) were the conclusions that a " .. national audience .. " (sic : he meant 'British') might draw from it - " They might easily have concluded that the politicians were redundant or soon to be so , or worse, that the politicians were working in consort with the Ulster Clubs and other individuals featured in pursuit of a common goal and a common destination . That is not the case . "

But whatever about the goal and the destination , the politicians have been working with the Ulster Clubs ! There may be no co-ordinating 'Ulster' Workers' Council , as in the Loyalist general strike of 1974 , to unite paramilitaries and politicians in daily planning - as yet . Perhaps the time simply has'nt come yet ...

In the meanwhile frequent meetings of leading individuals supplement the considerable dual membership of both political parties and the clubs . Frank Millar's party's Deputy Leader , Harold McCusker , is in constant contact with Alan Wright , a near neighbour in Portadown , where the whole 'Clubs' business started . The two Unionist party leaders , Ian Paisley and Millar's boss Jim Molyneaux , have been kept informed by the Clubs every step of the way of their progress and intentions ; they were sent the Clubs' constitution to consider as soon as it was drawn up .

DUP Deputy Leader Peter Robinson , more than any other leading politician , has kept the lines of contact open , and is said by Clubs people to be Alan Wright's guide and hero .......

(MORE LATER).




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 .

Jim Wells (DUP) stated - " If the (Catholic) priests can get twelve million pounds for an airport in the middle of a bog in Mayo , what can they not do to Protestants ? Many Protestants would just have to get up and leave under those circumstances , they just would'nt tolerate it . My view of the south is coloured by the experience of my relatives who refused to live in the south .

My wife's mother was born in the Irish republic and all her folk lived in Cavan and Monaghan . And one hears the experience that they went through as Protestants in the Irish republic , and the way that they were discriminated against overtly and covertly , and the way in which for instance they found it difficult to be educated except by nuns and priests and found it difficult to get teaching jobs because they could'nt speak Irish .

Their civil liberties , in the form of birth control , divorce , that sort of thing , were controlled by a Catholic-dominated state , and many thousands of them were forced to come up here and live in Northern Ireland . (sic) When we see the way they were treated in the south , then that is enough to convince us that we don't want to go there .

But could I say that even if the streets of Dublin were paved with gold and even if Ian Paisley were allowed to write the constitution , and if Dublin was a state (sic) flowing with milk and honey and motorways - which you don't have , by the way - and all the paraphernalia of a western civilised society , we still would not be interested . "

That sense of a threat to Protestant faith by the southern state goes deep in the DUP .......

(MORE LATER).




McFARLANE - THE INSIDE STORY .......
Last month , BRENDAN McFARLANE was ordered by a Dutch court to be extradited back to the North to serve out a sentence of 25 years . He is appealing the decision . His companion GERARD KELLY had his plea accepted that his offences were political . BRENDAN McFARLANE has been on the run since he led thirty-seven men in an escape out of the MAZE PRISON in September 1983 . In an exclusive interview with MAGILL at Bylmerbages Prison in Amsterdam , McFARLANE talks about his life , his youth and upbringing , and his involvement with the ARMED STRUGGLE in the North .
By DEREK DUNNE .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1986 .

In 1976 , the British withdrew political status from the prisoners ; in this period , the Provos announced that prison warders were now legitimate targets . One was shot dead outside Crumlin Road Prison , leading to increased tension in the prison which in turn led to disturbances .

After sentence in the middle of 1976 , Brendan McFarlane was moved to Cage 11 , Long Kesh , to serve out his sentence until the year 2001 . Life was more relaxed there than it had been in Crumlin Road , and contact with prison warders was minimal . The 'Truce' was over and the Provos were being jailed in increasing numbers ; among those who were serving sentences there at that time was current Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams . The Provos had lectures and discussion groups and had their own command structure . Brendan McFarlane was already very highly politicised .

And then on the last day of March 1978 , McFarlane , Pat McKeon and Larry Marley donned prison officer uniforms they had made themselves and tried to escape . Brendan McFarlane had been well-liked by the prison warders ; he was out-going and played various musical instruments . The warders had built up a relationship with him , and even though they knew how dangerous he was , they could'nt square that with the man they knew , according to those who were serving time with him .

The three prisoners made their way to the gate , intending to take a warder's car ; they had forged passes but before they reached the gates , they discovered that the style of the passes had been changed the previous week . Seeing vans coming and going , they decided to sneak out on the blind-side of one of them . A prison warder who knew them spotted them but did'nt say anything - just let them through : they had an imitation firearm . Once outside , they were caught almost immediately .......

(MORE LATER).







Thursday, July 07, 2005

POLITICOS AND PARAMILITARIES .
Fionnuala O'Connor on the struggle for the Loyalist leadership as the politicians and their paramilitary allies gear up for a strike .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1986 .

A week ago , a leading Official Unionist thought it necessary to put out a statement of re-assurance - to his own Loyalist community , and to the British public . He was upset by a BBC TV 'Panorama' programme on the Unionist response to the Anglo-Irish Agreement (ie the 1985 Hillsborough Treaty) .

In particular he had clearly been annoyed by the rhetoric of Alan Wright , spokesman for the 'Ulster Clubs' , and by that of one of his own Official Unionist Party members , the outspoken County Derry man , Esmond Thompson : Wright spoke of a people's army and the inevitability of conflict with the RUC , while Thompson spoke of the preparations under way for a last-ditch struggle , the "...specifications.. " already issued for necessary materials .

The UDA's second-in-command , John McMichael , a founder-member of the 'Ulster Clubs' , appeared on screen taking industrious notes in the front row at a meeting addressed by Alan Wright . 'Ulster Clubs' people were'nt altogether happy with the loose talk on the TV programme either - but their reason was entirely to do with security and timing . Esmond Thompson had no right to appear as a spokesman and was a little premature , Wright was too chatty , "...a bit carried away .. " .

But it is honestly , if privately , admitted that Esmond Thompson , in his talk of warlike preparations , spoke nothing but the truth .......

(MORE LATER).




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 also wants to 'preserve' the purity (sic) of the Protestant people and is against mixed marriages - " I make a distinction between integrated schooling and mixed marriages . I would be quite happy for my child to go to a school where Protestants and Catholics were taught together , but I would not be happy for my child to marry a Roman Catholic . I would be quite happy that the way I am bringing up my children would be sufficient to enable them to hold to their Protestantism no matter what their school environment would be .

But that would be a different step from the child growing into a mature adult and then marrying a person who is not of the faith which she has been brought up to believe is the correct faith . If she chooses to do that , that's her affair , but it would not be with my blessing . I would hope that my children would grow up to be evangelical Protestants with a belief in the bible . That belief in the bible should preclude them from marrying someone who does not have the faith in the bible that they have . Also from a political point of view essentially what you are doing is asking a unionist to marry a nationalist and that is too much to ask . "

That deep-seated evangelical Protestantism is central to the DUP , and the fear of religious persecution is a large part of their fear of a United Ireland . Jim Wells sums up the objections to Catholicism : " We find much of Roman Catholic doctrine repugnant . I find repugnant the fact that any man has the right to forgive sins , that Christ can be recreated on the alter of the Mass , Sunday after Sunday ; that the Virgin Mary is regarded as a deity that can be prayed to , who can forgive sins and heal the sick and all that , that shrines which can supposedly move in Ballinspittle or wherever it is can delude thousands into believing that there are some magical powers .

That is superstition of almost African tribal levels , which we find totally repugnant , and we just do not wish a situation to arise where we would find ourselves dominated by that type of system ....... "

(MORE LATER).




McFARLANE - THE INSIDE STORY .......
Last month , BRENDAN McFARLANE was ordered by a Dutch court to be extradited back to the North to serve out a sentence of 25 years . He is appealing the decision . His companion GERARD KELLY had his plea accepted that his offences were political . BRENDAN McFARLANE has been on the run since he led thirty-seven men in an escape out of the MAZE PRISON in September 1983 . In an exclusive interview with MAGILL at Bylmerbages Prison in Amsterdam , McFARLANE talks about his life , his youth and upbringing , and his involvement with the ARMED STRUGGLE in the North .
By DEREK DUNNE .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1986 .

At the start of 1975 , the Provisionals' truce came into effect and loyalist assassination gangs re-emerged ; Ardoyne was a prime target for them , and the truce came under considerable strain . In July 1975 , four British soldiers were killed in retaliation for the shooting dead of two Provos , Francis Jordan in Bessbrook and Charles Irvine in Divis Flats . In August 1975 , the Miami Showband was gunned down . By 13th August 1975 , there were sectarian gun battles going on all across Belfast between the Provos and the loyalists . On that day , the Bayardo Bar on the Shankill was attacked in a gun and bomb attack - gunfire raked the front of the bar and a duffle-bag with a bomb was placed by a man who ran from a waiting car . Five people were killed .

Within minutes , Brendan McFarlane was stopped at a road block ; spent bullet cases and the fingerprints of all three later convicted for the attack , including McFarlane , were found in the car . They were each sentenced to twenty-five years minimum (no remission) . In an unsigned statement used at his 'trial' , Brendan McFarlane said he drove the car . While not denying that he was involved in the attack , he disputed " ...the circumstances under which the statement was made .. "

Brendan McFarlane is "...affected personally .. " by the victims of violence ; he does'nt like it but believes it an "...absolute necessity .. " . Asked about whether he was afraid on the streets , he says that he "..never worries about things until they happen .. " because people who do "..cease to function .. " . He does admit , though , that he was depressed throughout the blanket protest and the hunger strikes .

By the time Brendan McFarlane was jailed in May 1976 , the British had removed political status from the prisoners ; while on remand in Crumlin Road Prison , McFarlane was involved in disturbances arising out of that removal .......

(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, July 06, 2005

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 .

Paddy Duffy claimed in court that he thought the cars he was providing were to be used by the IRA in the North ; he was found guilty of non-capital murder and sentenced to penal servitude for life .

Of the four found guilty of murder , only Paddy Duffy had a previous conviction , for possession of a revolver . Seamus Lynch was found guilty of robbery and was sentenced to four years ; Joe Gargan was found guilty of robbery and was given 10 years , suspended . None of those mentioned was present at Drumree when Detective Garda Frank Hand was killed .

Paul Finnegan was picked up a couple of times by the gardai but made no statement ; at least one , if not two or three more were involved in the robbery and have never been charged . 'Paul Finnegan' is no longer wanted for the Drumree robbery and murder . The gardai have no evidence against him . It is thought that he may be living abroad .

[END of 'THE DEATH OF FRANK HAND'.]
(Tomorrow : 'Politicos And Paramilitaries' ; from 1986.)



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 .

Jim Wells , DUP , is one of those who frowns on mixed marriage - " I am totally opposed to mixed marriage . Of course I am . First of all because of the authoritarian attitude of the Roman Catholic church , which demands that the children must be brought up as Catholics , but secondly because I believe that anyone who indulges in a mixed marriage is betraying the Protestant cause .

There is no excuse for mixed marriages in the North , not like in the South where the small number of Protestants means that to be blunt there's many a young man and young girl who would'nt marry at all if they did'nt marry a Roman Catholic . There is no problem such as that in the North where there are plenty of suitable Protestant partners . I would be against anything that would lead to a dilution of the Protestant population of this province (sic) " .

Gregory Campbell has no mythology of the planter stock ; in the Waterside area there are no family farms , no tradition of property handed down over the generations . His legend of the Protestant race is different - " I think that that Ulster Protestant is a separate race of people from the rest of the island . In the general area that is now called Northern Ireland (sic) there has always been a separate and distinct type of people , code of ethics , morality . Everything about the way of life in the northern part of the island has been different to the southern part of the island , even before the plantation .

There has always been a different race of people who inhabited the north . It happens at this stage to be the Protestant people who inhabit it . I have a different view from Gerry Adams as to how we came to inhabit this part of the island . He says we just came over as part of the plantation and usurped the Gaelic Catholics . I happen to believe that way before that , when the Picts came from central Europe , there were a people here who were different , who were usurped at that stage . "

For a working-class loyalist like Gregory Campbell the 'mythology' of plantation becomes a 'mythology' of dispossession .......

(MORE LATER).




McFARLANE - THE INSIDE STORY .......
Last month , BRENDAN McFARLANE was ordered by a Dutch court to be extradited back to the North to serve out a sentence of 25 years . He is appealing the decision . His companion GERARD KELLY had his plea accepted that his offences were political . BRENDAN McFARLANE has been on the run since he led thirty-seven men in an escape out of the MAZE PRISON in September 1983 . In an exclusive interview with MAGILL at Bylmerbages Prison in Amsterdam , McFARLANE talks about his life , his youth and upbringing , and his involvement with the ARMED STRUGGLE in the North .
By DEREK DUNNE .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1986 .

After internment , Brendan 'Bic' McFarlane joined the Provisional IRA and became active on the streets ; he was involved primarily in defence . The previous year (ie 1970) the IRA had earned itself the name ' I Ran Away' when it failed to defend Ardoyne during gun battles . The British Parachute Regiment patrolled the area and were vicious .

In September 1971 , Brendan McFarlane was arrested during a gun battle in which two British soldiers were killed ; he was held for three days and released without charge . He also became very involved with rebuilding part of Ardoyne that had been burned by loyalists . At this time many of his close friends were being killed . He talks casually about his own involvement but when he discusses friends that have been killed , he looks visibly upset . He finds it quite difficult to articulate his feelings and the fact that he was very close to a particular person .

On 11 July 1971 , the Provos were operating cover for people coming out of drinking clubs , and they were waiting for the loyalists to open fire ; the shooting started late that night and then the British Army opened fire with machine guns from three different places . Two men , including McFarlane's close friend , James Reid , were killed behind some sandbags , during the two-hour gun battle . The Provos abandoned their position and re-grouped . Five people were killed in total . Provo leader Martin Meehan was in charge of operations in the Ardoyne and he and Brendan McFarlane were close .

The main thrust of the campaign up to the end of 1974 , when the IRA/British Army truce came into effect , was the bombing campaign : dozens of civilians were killed . Today , Brendan McFarlane thinks the campaign was justified . The object was to "...damage Britain economically .. " . At the time , he was working in a Belfast printing house and , later on , as a fork lift driver . He declines to say what specific operations he was invoved with - " If I tell you that , they'll charge me with it when I get home . They'll say 'Here's something else we forgot' . " He was " ... moderately active .. " in Ardoyne , as distinct from others who were carrying out shootings , bombings and ambushes every day .

He was "...an ordinary Volunteer .. " , not holding any rank . And then , in 1975 , he got caught .......

(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, July 05, 2005

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 .

Noel McCabe spent six weeks in solitary confinement in Portlaoise Prison , as a protective measure . In the course of the subsequent trial , in February and March 1985 , he pleaded guilty to robbery and received a 10-year sentence , suspended - there was uproar in the public gallery of the Special Criminal Court and a man named Eoin McKenna , from Darndale , Dublin , shouted at McCabe - " McCabe , you are a supergrass , the first Free State supergrass ! " McKenna was ordered to apologise to the court ; he refused and was immediately sentenced to 12 months for contempt of court .

The accusation of 'supergrass' was silly ; Noel McCabe made his statement on August 29 ; Seamus Lynch and Joe Gargan made statements on August 15 ; Paddy Duffy made a statement on August 22 , Tommy Eccles on August 23 . The only person named in McCabe's statement who was subsequently convicted and who had not himself made a statement by that time was Pat McPhillips .

It suited the gardai and the courts to portray the affair as a well-planned and professionally executed robbery ; the Provos have their own macho reasons for believing in their own professionalism . The evidence is that the Drumree raid was poorly organised , dependent on amateurs , panicky in its execution and counter-productive in its political effects . And they got no money . The net effect was the death of a 25 year-old garda .

Tommy Eccles , Brian McShane and Pat McPhillips pleaded not guilty to capital murder and claimed their statements were untrue and involuntary . The statements were declared admissible and the three were found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death . Their appeal was dismissed on February 10 and , on February 21 , their sentences were commuted to forty years without remission .......

(MORE LATER).




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 .

Jim Wells joined the DUP " ... because I like my politics cut and dried . If I'm in a party which favours the use of punishment for terrorists , I don't want to find , as you find in the Official Unionist Party , that half the party does'nt agree with that policy . I like to know exactly where I stand . "

Where Jim Wells stands is with the planter stock he came from . He believes in a separate Protestant race in the North of Ireland and in preserving the purity of that race : " I'm descended from settlers who came over from England and Scotland - my mother's side was Scottish and my father's side was English . There has been no intermarriage with Celts in the four centuries that we have been over here . There's been no intermarriage in any section of the family over those centuries . And that's the same for many Protestant families .

So we are direct descendants of mainland (sic) British residents , who carry British passports , who regard the Queen (..the 'Queen' of England , that is .. ) as their sovereign , and regard parliament as the sovereign body of this province , who regard themselves as an integral part of the United Kingdom , no different from Scotland or Wales . It's a fact , not something to be debated about . We don't feel British , we are British . That is what Southern people cannot grasp .

They believe that because we live on the island of Ireland that we regard ourselves as Irish . Nothing could be further from the truth . I think we regard ourselves as more British than the British . I think we're the first to stand for the (British) National Anthem and to show respect for the (British) Queen , even more so than many mainland (sic) British subjects , many of whom have intermarried with Pakistanis and West Indians and allowed a dilution of their Britishness . That has'nt happened here and we remain militant British subjects .

Here there has been very little intermarriage with immigrants or with native Irish , and mixed marriage is frowned upon . I only know of one mixed marriage . We at least have maintained our Britishness , even if other parts (sic) of Britain have wavered somewhat ....... "

(MORE LATER).




McFARLANE - THE INSIDE STORY .......
Last month , BRENDAN McFARLANE was ordered by a Dutch court to be extradited back to the North to serve out a sentence of 25 years . He is appealing the decision . His companion GERARD KELLY had his plea accepted that his offences were political . BRENDAN McFARLANE has been on the run since he led thirty-seven men in an escape out of the MAZE PRISON in September 1983 . In an exclusive interview with MAGILL at Bylmerbages Prison in Amsterdam , McFARLANE talks about his life , his youth and upbringing , and his involvement with the ARMED STRUGGLE in the North .
By DEREK DUNNE .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1986 .

Brendan McFarlane is unassuming about the almost legendary status he has achieved among his fellow Provisionals ; he has no illusions about his own part in the scheme of things - he jokes easily too . For example , when asked if he "specialised" in any particular area of activity when he was on the streets and active between 1972 and 1975 , before answering " No , " he says , " Yes . I could talk the leg off a dresser . The Provos were going to send me in as a secret weapon to talk the Brits to sleep . "

Brendan McFarlane does not conform to the typical profile of a Provisional ; he is extremely articulate and does not come from a republican background . Born in 1951 in Ardoyne in Belfast , he attended Holy Cross Primary School and Saint Malachy's College . His father worked in Michelin's tyre firm in the city ; his family , especially his mother , were staunch Catholics , and even though they came from a republican area , they did not subscribe to that ethos . He was bright at school . His friends nicknamed him 'Bic' and the name has stuck ever since . (The name came from McFarlane's biscuits.)

In 1968 , he decided to enter the priesthood and joined the SVD Missionary Order ; he went to study in North Wales and returned home for holidays - " I was always pretty religious and I believed I had a vocation at the time , " he says . He came home in the summer of 1969 and Ardoyne was attacked by loyalist mobs ; he returned to the seminary . There was " ...a continuous question and answer session going on in my head . " He quit and returned home the following year .

" I know now I was right I did'nt continue . I still don't know why . I thought about it often when I was in H-Blocks but I still can't answer that . " He says he missed completely the "...upheaval in the Republican Movement .." when the Provos split from the Officials ; he had many friends in both wings and did'nt know which one to join . Ardoyne was a particularly vulnerable area , being bordered on all sides by loyalist strongholds .......

(MORE LATER).







Monday, July 04, 2005

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 .

Most of the IRA team had been lifted ; admissions were made . The money and guns had been recovered . Noel McCabe , never publicly linked with the Provos , was'nt lifted . He was still shocked and full of remorse about the killing of Frank Hand , worried about what would happen to him . Some time in the week after the killing he went to confession in Dundalk , to a Fr. McAuley ; he told about his part in the robbery and said he wanted to tell someone else . The priest told him he should .

On Friday 24 August 1984 , two weeks after the robbery , his name still unknown to the gardai , McCabe began ringing Brendan McGahon , the Fine Gael TD (Leinster House member) from Dundalk . He could'nt reach the TD . McGahon had known Noel McCabe for years and knew of his trouble with the drink . That night McCabe went to McGahon's house and told him of his involvement in the crime ; they talked for three hours . McGahon said he would contact someone in authority . That night he got in touch with the gardai in Dundalk .

McCabe was to return to McGahon two days later , but he was attending an 'Alcoholics Anonymous' meeting that Sunday night ; he went to McGahon's home on Monday but the man was'nt there . On Tuesday night he again approached his house , this time just as McGahon's car drove away . The gardai , meanwhile , had been in touch with McGahon at Leinster House . At 6.45am on Wednesday 29 August 1984 McCabe was arrested ; Brian McShane and Pat McPhillips were arrested twenty minutes earlier .

Within ten minutes of being taken to Navan Garda Station , Noel McCabe began making a lengthy statement . It told everything he knew about the robbery ; it was not the kind of confession sweated out of a suspect over a long period . It was detailed and convincing , and it corroborated and gave credence to statements made earlier by others of the group . McCabe was in over his head and now he just wanted to tell all .

He had'nt intended to get involved in the killing of a garda .......

(MORE LATER).




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 , stated - " I would see homosexuality as something which merited the curse of God . There are others who are not homosexuals , and I'm not saying that everyone who has AIDS has got the curse of God on them , but the basis of the thing is that AIDS came about because of sexual contact between homosexuals . Now that to me is something which shows in a small way that there is more than just human opposition to homosexuality .

In the bible there is only one sin which called down literal fire and brimstone from God and that was'nt murder . It was'nt theft , it was homosexuality . " ('1169....' Comment : a 'flavour' , reader , of the intolerance of the British imposed 'Ruling Class' in our six north-eastern counties . May your God have mercy on your soul should you be a gay Catholic/Republican/Nationalist !)

Fire and brimstone , the 'Last Days' , Armageddon : the images are deeply ingrained in the collective mind of the Democratic Unionist Party . Politically , Ivan Foster has a certain sympathy with the embattled whites of South Africa - " I have never studied the reasons for apartheid , but I have to say this : it must be a rather frightening thing when you have watched other African States given into the hands of races that to say the least have been catapulted into the twentieth century over the last few years , and if I were a white there I certainly would be very concerned about giving power into the hands of a majority and then to find that all that I had done , and my forefathers had done , would just be destroyed in tribal warfare and general , unsophisticated unintelligent attempts at governing the country . " ('1169 ... ' Comment : racialism can be added to the DUP list of 'credits' .....)

Jim Wells is young and smooth : a Queen's University graduate from the rich farming lands of South Down , which he represents for the DUP in the (Six County) 'Assembly ' . Now twenty-eight , he was in his last year at Queens University when he was elected to Lisburn Council for his home district of Moira , where the large family farm is situated .......

(MORE LATER).




McFARLANE - THE INSIDE STORY .
Last month , BRENDAN McFARLANE was ordered by a Dutch court to be extradited back to the North to serve out a sentence of 25 years . He is appealing the decision . His companion GERARD KELLY had his plea accepted that his offences were political . BRENDAN McFARLANE has been on the run since he led thirty-seven men in an escape out of the MAZE PRISON in September 1983 . In an exclusive interview with MAGILL at Bylmerbages Prison in Amsterdam , McFARLANE talks about his life , his youth and upbringing , and his involvement with the ARMED STRUGGLE in the North .
By DEREK DUNNE .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1986 .

Brendan McFarlane is as committed to the armed struggle in the North as he was when he first took up arms fifteen years ago ; he totally subscribes to the Armalite/Ballot Box approach of the Provisionals , referring to it as - " ...the classic revolutionary strategy . " The word he uses for that policy is - " Super . "

From the confines of the Amsterdam prison , from which , if he is extradited , he faces the remainder of his twenty-five year sentence , he articulates the justification for the use of force in the North of Ireland - " There's no other way out of it . There's no corner to get around it . There's no other way except that match with the British on the ground . " In relation to killing people , he says that "...it's messy . It's regrettable that people have to die but there's no other way out of it . The fact that civilians , the RUC , and the army - the army with a working class background - the fact that they have to die to maintain the status quo is deeply regrettable . "

He would also claim that he has been affected by the violence , including that carried out by himself - " I am affected personally . Nobody likes violence . I do it as an absolute necessity . But it's not inherent in my being , in my nature . It takes a lot to push yourself to that line - to be part of , and to witness , death . It takes a lot of consideration . The use of violence has hardened my attitude in general to those types of situations . I have learned to have a much harder outlook . "

He would say that "...a day has'nt gone by .. " without thinking of those who have died , especially close friends killed in action , and particularly the hunger strikers , of whom he says that he "...never experienced anything like it . " Their dedication was total . He is not uncomfortable answering questions about those that have been killed , but is serious and articulate . He has spent the last two months totally isolated in Bylmerbages Prison in Amsterdam . As yet , he is not receiving any papers . Despite the fact that his extradition has been ordered , and that he will almost certainly remain in jail well into the next century , he is not depressed .

He talks very easily and remains good humoured .......

(MORE LATER).