Wednesday, December 05, 2007


" I need hardly point out to you that in Derry , unless something is done now , it is only a matter of time until Derry passes into the hands of the Nationalist and Sinn Fein parties for all time . On the other hand , if proper steps are taken now , I believe Derry can be saved for years to come... " - [British] 'Sir' Dawson Bates to [British] 'Lord' Craigavon , 1934 .
From 'IRIS' magazine , July 1983.

Westminster policy produced the major regional , economic and social disparities that exist today along the line running East and West of the River Bann . Protestant allegiance was maintained in these areas by a system of political and economic patronage which ensured that Protestant employers gave first preference to Protestants in both public sector and private employment .

In 1962 , 97-per-cent of all government-sponsored industrial investment was restricted to the greater Belfast area : by 1964 , of 111 advance factories sponsored by the Stormont administratiion only 16 were located West of the Bann : by 1968 , of 240 government-sponsored firms employing 60,000 , only 10-per-cent were employed West of the Bann .

Not until 1965-69 were any commercial land holdings purchased West of the Bann by the Stormont administration for industrial investment . These disparities in industrial location survive to this day . The 'Matthew Plan' of 1963 , which limited the further expansion for Belfast , totally ignored Derry's potential as the North's second largest city and opted instead for the creation of a new town , 'Craigavon', securely within the unionist heartland . An 'economic development' plan was drawn-up to re-inforce the 'Matthew Plan'.......

From 'The Phoenix' magazine , May 1983.

In other words , by the time the first inspection was made , an unknown quantity of possibly the most dangerous materials in the country had been deposited illegally in a manner and mixture unknown . In many other countries such developments have provoked major scandals but , in this case , Willie O'Brien , a disposer of industrial waste who is the principal depositor at the site , has not even been asked to give an explanation of what his company dumped , when , and in what quantities !

The scandal was exposed in the first instance when local residents around the site and down the hill almost a mile away in Kill village began to complain of a nauseating smell emanating from the dump . The residents also noticed a steadily increasing traffic of O'Brien's trucks up to the pit . It is thought that the land owner , Patrick Gavin , has , in fact , leased the whole quarry to Willie O'Brien for his disposal operation .

The late night rumbling of heavy trucks through the village and up the hill to the dump noticeably increased during the row at the Raybestos Manhattan dump in Ringaskiddy ,Cork, in 1979 , when residents there opposed the dumping of asbestos waste . Willie O'Brien was also the contractor for the Abbeyleix-based Stonearch Ltd plant , the effluent from which wiped out all life - fish , birds , rats and water hens - in a ten-mile stretch of the River Credogue near Mitchellstown , Cork , in June 1980 . Where the highly lethal effluent , identified as a derivative of chromium, has been dumped since then , is not known.......

Between December 1983 and May 1987 , over 25 republican or nationalist funerals were systematically attacked by the RUC as a matter of deliberate British policy . The objective was to drive mourners off the streets so that later Britain could claim dwindling support for republicanism as 'evidenced' by the small numbers attending IRA funerals . As Jane Plunkett reports , the opposite happened . More and more people came out to defend the remains of republican dead , the RUC were exposed as being as brutal and sectarian as ever , and these two factors , combined with damaging international news coverage , eventually forced the British government to reverse its policy of attacking republican funerals .
From 'IRIS' magazine , October 1987.

Condemning the British attack on the funeral of INLA Volunteer Joseph Craven, A Belfast Provisional Sinn Fein spokesperson observed : " If the (P)IRA were to attempt to remove the cap and gloves or the Union Jack flag from an RUC man's coffin , or were to stop and harass mourners , or were to drown out graveside prayers and the oration , they would be condemned by every clergyman and politician in Ireland . (Provisional) Sinn Fein is attacked for refusing to be hypocrites like these others , who all support the violence of the State , the violence of the SAS and the corrupt laws of a colonial power. " ('1169...' Comment : it should be noted that now Mr Adams and Company have no problem in playing their part in that 'State' , will never again suffer at the hands of the SAS [as they are no longer a military or political threat to that State] and have no issue anymore in assisting 'the corrupt laws of a colonial power' . The Provos are , in effect , Free State and British 'rebel pets' .)

Two months later , on February 24th , 1984 , the RUC were again out in force harassing mourners , this time at the funerals of (P)IRA Volunteers Henry Hogan and Declan Martin. Long before dawn , hundreds of RUC members saturated the small North Antrim village of Dunloy and at one point tried to force their way into the Hogan house , but mourners remained calm and dignified and linked arms to form a three-deep human barricade , preventing any RUC attempt to remove the Tricolour.

Once again , the RUC intruded even into the churchyard , but withdrew after Volunteer Henry Hogan's family declared that they would not leave the chapel until the RUC left its grounds . Again the silence was deafening - Irish politicians and church leaders were silent , a 'pattern' they were to keep for the next three years : those who claimed to be the moral and spiritual leaders of the country failed to speak out , and thus allowed the RUC attacks to continue , and stayed silent as they witnessed the injuries and the sufferings of bereaved relatives and friends.......