Tuesday, February 14, 2006

This article is based on a lecture delivered by Sean O Bradaigh in Dublin on January 21 , 1989 , marking the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the First (All-Ireland) Dail Eireann in the Mansion House on January 21 , 1919 , and the links between Irish and French Republicans - 'Partners in Revolution' 200 years ago .
Published in 1989 by Sean Lynch , Cleenrath , Aughnacliffe , County Longford , on behalf of the County Longford Branch of the National Graves Association .
By Sean O Bradaigh .
Liberte ! Egalite ! Fraternite ! Ou La Mort ! ( (Freedom ! Equality ! Brotherhood ! or Death!).
Unite Indivisibilite De La Republique !

Towards the end of the 18th century , two beacons shone to rally the people : at home , Theobald Wolfe Tone * became a champion of the oppressed - " This horrible system " , he said , " had reduced the great body of the Catholic peasantry of Ireland to a situation , morally and physically speaking , below that of the beasts of the field . " (* '1169...' Comment - Re the death of Wolfe Tone : a British 'Black-Op' job ... ?)

Theobald Wolfe Tone was Secretary to the Catholic Committee in 1792-1795 : " I have laboured " , said Tone , " to create a people in Ireland , by raising three million of my countrymen to the rank of citizen . " The Society of United Irishmen was founded , and succeeded in uniting large numbers of Catholics and Dissenters , and some Protestants , against English rule . Maire Mac Neill , in her biography of Mary Ann McCracken relates how the writings of Locke , Rousseau and Paine were widely read in Ulster at this time .

She makes the point that "...throughout the Province , but especially in the neighbourhood of Belfast , political , economic and philosophic thought had prepared the community in a remarkable degree for the great upheaval of the French Revolution ....... "


On 30 January 1972 , 14 civilians were shot dead by the British Army . They had been taking part in a civil rights march in Derry , protesting against internment without trial .
British 'Lord' Widgery was highly selective in the 'evidence' he used in his 'official' report on the matter - and some of the accounts he chose to include were highly suspect. The victims' families have campaigned for justice ever since . Their case is too strong to ignore any longer .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 .
By Eamonn McCann .

Reporting the publication of the Widgery Report in April 1992 , 'The Sunday Times's ' 'Insight Team' claimed that the plan of action for 30 January 1972 had been approved in advance by the 'Northern Ireland' (sic) Committee of the British Cabinet - because it carried an "...obvious.." risk of casualties .

This was the obvious possibility James McSparran had continued to pursue at the tribunal - " Do you know if the question of firing in the course of the arrest operation was discussed by the Security Committee ? " he asked ; British General Robert Ford replied - " I do read the minutes . I can recall that the Joint Security Committee did take note of a comment made by the GOC and the (RUC) Chief Constable that it was possible that the events in Londonderry (sic) might lead to shooting by the IRA . "

After an exchange about the standing instructions governing return of fire , McSparran tried to return to his key question : " Did the operation which you carried out in the Bogside and in Derry conform , in your view , to the tenor of the instructions issued by the Joint Security Committee ? " But British 'Lord' Widgery stepped-in here - " No , you need not answer that . " However - from the point of view of the relatives , this brings up precisely what needs answering . Under the Public Records Act (1958) , the minutes of both Stormont and Westminster cabinet committees are released after 30 years unless specific reasons , usually 'national security' , are 'adduced' for keeping them closed .

In the normal course of events , then , the Bloody Sunday files should be opened in 2003 ; but the 1958 Act allows differently .......


INFORMERS : The RUC's Psychological War .......
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983.
By Sean Delaney.

Aspects of British 'psy-ops' operations included black propaganda operations such as the deliberate British Army detonation of unprimed IRA explosives in Springfield Avenue in West Belfast in June 1982 which wrecked scores of Nationalist homes and which the Brits attempted to blame on the IRA . Also , in September 1982 , a blatant propaganda ploy in which the RUC launched a 'campaign' against "...protection rackets.. " , primarily aimed at discrediting the IRA .

But undoubtedly the most important component of the 'psy-ops' strategy has been the use of informers to create a sense of fear and demoralisation among the Nationalist community , and to create an illusion that the resistance struggle is riddled with informers - although in overall terms the numbers involved are small . The use of informer 'evidence' as a means of securing convictions of suspected Republican and Loyalist activists has not however been without hitches , and without on some occasions considerable embarrassment to the RUC .

For instance - in a reserved judgement given in the Belfast crown court on April 2nd 1982 , British Justice Murray sentenced RUC Sergeant Thomas McCormick to 20 years imprisonment for the armed robbery of a North Antrim bank - a charge for which there was corroborating evidence - but he acquitted McCormick of a further 23 charges against him , including the killing of a fellow RUC Sergeant , Joseph Campbell , in 1977 , because the only evidence was that of an RUC informer and alleged accomplice , Anthony O ' Doherty .......