Thursday, May 04, 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 .

Liam McMillan was the Officer Commanding of the Official IRA in Belfast ; he was one of the 180 or so people who had emerged from internment in Crumlin Road Jail in 1962 to a shattered Republican Movement : he took over Belfast two years later , and built up the number of activists to 120 in a five-year period .

He was quite ruthless , as evidenced in an interview he gave in 1972 in which he responded to a question about whether or not the Official IRA should have wiped out the Provisional IRA at birth : " Well , this was discussed at one stage . But the attitude of the movement was that if we did have an all out go at the Provos that the British Army would only be standing on the sidelines rubbing their hands , and we would have been doing their job for them . "

Liam McMillan was trusted militarily and politically by the Dublin leadership ; the rank and file in Belfast resented the direction taken by Dublin . The Official IRA was structured in 'Units' , with up to forty people in each . They ran training camps in Donegal and Louth and their weapons were mainly old bolt-action rifles . In September 1972 , four months after the ceasefire was called , Patricia McKay was killed when a bomb she was carrying went off : the ceasefire had been called without any consultation with the membership . And the membership were'nt having it .......

From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1997 .
By Brenda Power .

That there is widespread fear and loathing for Eoghan Harris within RTE is not in doubt ; scarcely anyone can remain neutral at the mention of his name and , while some remember him as a fearless opponent of Provo sympathies in RTE in the heated years of the late 1970's and early 1980's many others consider that he and a handful of acolytes wielded unaccountable power within the station for the advancement of their own political ends in those times .

They dominated current affairs editorial lines and 'packed' panels and slanted coverage towards their own agenda , setting out to crush anyone who stood in their way . " Fearsome .....mesmerising ....intimidating ...bombastic .." are among the terms used by former colleagues to describe the means by which Eoghan Harris swayed and seduced all round him in those days .

As the major ideologue , pamphleteer and chief adviser to Official Sinn Fein leader Cathal Goulding in the early 1970's , after Harris joined RTE as a producer he first became active within the RTE branch of the Workers' Union of Ireland in the implementation of Sinn Fein The Workers Party strategies of infiltration .......

The history of the Free State has been one of progressively solidifying partition : cross-border collaboration is only one aspect of this .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983.
No By-Line.

The national objective has been reduced by the two major Free State parties - Fianna Fail and Fine Gael - to a mere cypher , a mere 'difference in emphasis' between two essentially conservative parties , which successfully creates a smoke-screen behind which the vested interests of capitalist economics can be protected in a state which has - because of its history of militant social as well as national agitation - a potentially dynamic working class .

As part of the overall restriction of such dynamism , the creation of a closed confessional state - in direct negation of all the principles of republicanism - has played a very significant role in turning the 26-county state inwards on itself . The collapse of the Stormont government , and therefore , in effect , the collapse of the 6-county state , should have seen a dramatic acceleration towards a united Ireland - even though the British prop remained . It did not do so because of the determination of Dublin governments that it should not do so .

The establishment political parties and the economic interests they represent could not hope to sustain the comfortable position they had built for themselves in a new 32-county Ireland .......

(NOTE : the crew here at '1169...' have not had a break since July 2005 - in order to catch-up with other matters , we will be taking a one-week break from this Friday , May 5th . We will make a 'holding' post during our week off in relation to the up-coming Bodenstown Commemoration . Go raibh maith agat ! John)