Thursday, April 27, 2006

Hunger Strike Rally , GPO , Dublin , Saturday May 6th 2006 .
Remembering the Hunger-Strikers 25 years on.
A rally to commemorate the heroic struggle of the ten hunger-strikers : Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Ray McCreesh, Patsy O'Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee, Michael Devine - who gave their lives in 1981- will be held in Dublin on Saturday May 6 2006 . Assemble at the Garden of Remembrance at 2pm for march to GPO on O'Connell Street.

"They will not criminalise us, rob us of our true identity, steal our individualism, depoliticise us, churn us out as systemised, institutionalised, decent law-abiding robots. Never will they label our liberation struggle as criminal."
- Bobby Sands.
Twenty-two Irish political prisoners died on hunger-strike between 1917 and 1981 . The Dublin Rally is being held to commemorate all those Irishmen .

Fifteen years ago , the leadership of the 'Official Republican Movement' (now 'The Workers' Party') stated that their armed wing , the 'Official IRA' , went out of existence .
Today , the 'Official IRA' is alive and well and living mainly in Belfast and Newry . In the days when both organisations were operating in an overt way , the leadership of 'The Workers' Party' and the 'Official IRA' overlapped to a certain degree .
Tomas MacGiolla , the man who led the 'Official IRA' for the last twenty-five years has always maintained the position that the 'Official IRA' went out of existence in 1972 . But the 'Official IRA' still march on , not an army fighting the British , but as a fund-collecting agency .
DEREK DUNNE traces the roots of the 'Official IRA' and 'The Workers' Party' .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , October 1987 .

The Army Council of the Official IRA was elected from the OIRA Army Convention , and the Council in turn appointed the OIRA Executive . The Army Council were party to and conscious of all policy decisions taken . OIRA Officers Commanding from all command areas attended meetings from time to time - Belfast , County Derry , Derry City , Newry South , Armagh , Donegal , Dublin , Waterford , Cork and Limerick .

Between 1969 and mid-1972 , when the Official IRA called its ceasefire , they actively engaged the British Army : this is today presented by members of the Workers' Party as some kind of 'aberration' . By 1972 , the Official IRA had about 150 active members in Derry ; they were arranged into companies and battalions and had an assortment of old weapons - MI's , Winchesters , M3 Grease guns , Garrand rifles and some 303's : they were all bolt action weapons .

On at least three separate occasions , Tomas MacGiolla made his way to Derry to talk with the Official IRA Command Staff there ; one occasion was when OIRA member Joe McCann was killed in action . The OIRA Command meeting was called to discuss what retaliation should take place as a result of the killing but , by the time MacGiolla arrived in Derry , the Official IRA had already shot dead two British soldiers . The OIRA Derry Command also consulted with other members of the Workers' Party in those days , such as Sean Garland , Andy Smith and Larry Malone .

Close analysis of television news film of incidents last month at Emyvale suggests a garda's gun went off accidentally . But that is not what the Minister of Justice told the Dail .
GENE KERRIGAN looks at the evidence.
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1987 .

The statement in Leinster House by Gerry Collins (FF) is not only inaccurate but is also clearly damaging to Detective Sergeant Joe Darwin ; State Minister Collins and the AGSI , in stating that the garda deliberately fired the gun , are claiming that he casually let loose a bullet from a weapon that is not aimed , that is not held in a controlled manner in a firing position .

The garda did not fire the gun irresponsibly or deliberately - the gun apparently went off accidentally as he grasped the butt in his right hand and cradled the barrel in his left palm . There may be lessons to be learned from the incident at Emyvale but the overwhelming matter of public concern is the fact that an inaccurate and misleading official account of the incident has been drawn up .

Only the professionalism of the RTE film crew and sheer luck have enabled us to see clearly that the official account is untrue.......

This is the bulk of a public lecture given at University College , Galway , by Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle member and Deputy General Secretary of the 'Local Government and Public Services Union' , Phil Flynn , on December 8th 1982 , the 60th Anniversary of the Free State's execution of Liam Mellows .
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983 .

In an article published two weeks after his execution , Liam Mellows wrote -
" In its 'Programme of Democratic Policy' , Dail Eireann laid down that the soil of Ireland and all that grew upon it and lay under it , as well as all the wealth and wealth-producing processes in the country , should belong to the people .

In the last analysis , the fight between the Irish people and the British government is not alone one between two nations : it is more than that - it is a struggle between two systems of civilisation , between the feudal system of England under its present guise of industrialism and the democratic system upon which the old civilisation of Ireland was built .

A vestige of that civilisation remains in Ireland today - it is growing , expanding , and the end of foreign rule in Ireland will usher in not alone a new political era in Ireland , but a new economic one as well . "

(Tomorrow : 'ORANGE JUDGE EXECUTED' - from 1983)