Saturday, January 26, 2008

The 36th Anniversary of the 'Bloody Sunday' massacre by British crown forces in Derry in 1972 was marked in Dublin on Saturday 26th January 2008 near the GPO in O' Connell Street .
The organisers ensured that a symbolic 14-person picket was maintained for two hours on the traffic isle while other republican activists handed-out over two thousand leaflets entitled
'Remember Bloody Sunday' / 'No to Queen Of England' / and 'No To English Rule In Ireland' . The picket was a great success , and many of the foreign visitors in town were practically queueing up to have photographs taken with the protestors . Over 150 copies of the Republican Movement's monthly newspaper 'Saoirse' were sold . Passing motorists and bus-drivers sounded their horns and shouted support ,whilst pedestrians took a few minutes off from shopping and sight-seeing to congratulate the protestors for helping to keep the issue in the public spotlight.
We publish five photographs of the event with this post, another few can be viewed here and three more here.
Thanks to Republican Sinn Fein for organising this event and to the shoppers and drivers-by for giving such a warm welcome to those who took part. Go raibh maith agat agus slán go fóill anois!

'Bloody Sunday' banner , facing the GPO.

Black Flag protestor .

'Remember Bloody Sunday' .

Des Dalton - "POW Status NOW!"

A black flag flying over Ireland!

Thanks ,

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Turn the sound up for the next few minutes.......

......then read this!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008


At a press briefing on May 3rd, 1983, Bishop Cathal Daly declared that a vote for Sinn Fein was 'a wasted vote' , and that people should think seriously before risking being seen as 'supporting violence' . As polling day approached , the rising crescendo of calls from Bishop Daly and other members of the Catholic hierarchy became increasingly explicit in their support for the SDLP. Against the background of this intervention into the arena of nationalist party politics , Patricia Collins sketches the role played by the leadership of the Catholic Church over the past fourteen years against nationalist resistance .
From 'IRIS' magazine , July 1983.

In Dublin on February 17th 1983 , the ill-named 'Irish Commission for Justice and Peace' launched their new 'Peace Education Programme' . This was , amongst other things , an attempt by the Catholic hierarchy to act on the high unemployment rate but it was a rather awkward attempt : in parts of the six counties , the St Vincent de Paul Society tried to organise community workshops to 'take people off the dole queue' but , in one such scheme in the Dungannon area , people felt they were being exploited as they were 'bringing down the live register' but were losing what little money they were entitled to in supplementary benefits .

In March 1983 , in an obvious and belated attempt to undermine Sinn Fein's widespread success , through its proliferating advice centres in Belfast , in providing help to nationalist people on the whole range of social issues , Bishop Cahal Daly called his clergy together and asked that at least one priest in each parish involve himself in social issues and , in early April 1983 , he went further - he announced the appointment , for the first time in 120 years , of two auxiliary bishops in the Down and Connor diocese, Canon Patrick Walsh and Fr Anthony Farquhar, to co-ordinate the Church's involvement in social issues , primarily in West Belfast . Without admitting openly that the rising profile of Sinn Fein was the motive for the Church's novel concern , Bishop Daly stated - " We're deeply concerned about the deprivation and unemployment , the whole complex of bad housing , deprived environment , the neglected and

rejected in society."
The political thinking of the Catholic hierarchy has never been expressed so often and so loudly as it has during the previous few months : on October 17th , 1982 , the Very Reverend Fr William Philbin, Bishop of Down and Connor , retired and was replaced by Bishop Cahal Daly . If the timing of this move - three days before the Assembly elections - was coincidental , the choice of man was deliberate : an up-front bishop for a front-line diocese . A bishop versed in the social sciences , who could cope with the falling church attendances , and sufficiently articulate to hold his own in the charged political atmosphere of the North of Ireland.......


Repression is not just bullets and the kick on the door at dawn. Repression is an integrated imperialist policy to deal with a risen people which encompasses all facets of social and political life.
From 'IRIS' magazine , July/August 1982.

The policy of 'Ulsterisation' probably proceeded too rapidly , as the RUC was left in an exposed position (vis a vis the IRA ) and the British Army had to resume its 'dominant position' . The Republican prisoners , the IRA and the people themselves all combined to defeat the 'normalisation' policy and thwarted the hoped-for defeat of the resistance by the early 1980's .

The insoluble contradiction in British policy is that it cannot succeed without repression yet repression only breeds increased resistance. The people have not been 'bought off' by 'reforms' which have been paltry enough anyway. The true colours of British intransigence were brought out fully in their cold indifference to the 1981 hunger-strike deaths.

Today , in the wake of the hunger-strike , resistance continues with a new degree of support which far outstrips that of the 'civil rights' period : a new generation of fighters is emerging , and it is evident to everyone * that the only 'British solution' is a British withdrawal....... ('1169..' Comment * : not the case , unfortunately - there are those who now sit comfortably in Leinster House and/or Stormont that once claimed to be fighting for a British withdrawal and , indeed , profess to still seek that outcome. However , they are quite content to assist Westminster in administering its 'rule' in six Irish counties - and accept a salary and pension for doing so - whilst dismissing those who continue to try and 'break the connection' as "dissidents/terrorists with no mandate..." . Those 'half-way housers' - quislings- have always been around , but have always been by-passed by Republicans and left , heavy-hearted as they no doubt are, to console themselves by self-delusion that they done the best they could...)

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.

Nuns and priests of the Corpus Christi parish complained of the RUC's "...insensitive conduct.." and accused them of breaking assurances . Fr Jim Donaghy said in a statement to the press : " As children were leaving church , and as the mourners were assembling for the removal of the remains to the cemetery , the RUC and the soldiers kept their guns trained on them . Later in the cemetery , five RUC men , mounted on Land Rovers , directed their weapons at the backs of those standing at the graveside." Cahal Daly, who that very same morning officiated at a Jubilee Mass at the same chapel , again failed to speak out .

At the funerals of individuals killed during the recent INLA feud, British forces of occupation often outnumbered the mourners : those who attended the funerals of Thomas 'Ta' Power and John Gerard O'Reilly were attacked by the Brits , as were those who attended the funeral of Mary McGlinchey in Bellaghy in February 1987 . Her father had announced in advance that this would be a private burial , but the RUC again staged a show of strength , provocatively walking alongside pallbearers and bationing several mourners during scuffles .

Relatives and mourners were manhandled by the RUC at the funerals of Newryman Thomas Maguire in March 1987 and of Tony McCluskey that same month , in Armagh . Both were private funerals . On February 21st 1987 , the RUC effectively seized control of the burial of Michael Kearney in Belfast , demanding that the Irish Tricolour not be displayed and that there be no guard of honour : mourners were ordered to walk behind the coffin in three lines and they and the coffin itself were flanked on either side by lines of RUC and British soldiers . This , the RUC hoped , would be the shape of things to come.......

Monday, January 21, 2008


The early Irish were famous for their excellence in arts and crafts, especially for their wonderful work in metals, bronze, silver and gold. By the beginning of the 14th century trading ships were constantly sailing between Ireland and the leading ports of the Continent.

This commerce was a threat to English merchants who tried to discourage such trade. They brought pressure on their government, which passed a law in 1494 that prohibited the Irish from exporting any industrial product, unless it was shipped through an English port, with an English permit after paying English fees. However, England was not able to enforce the law. By 1548 British merchants were using armed vessels to attack and plunder trading ships travelling between Ireland and the Continent (unofficial piracy).

In 1571 Queen Elizabeth ordered that no cloth or materials made in Ireland could be exported, even to England, except by English men in Ireland. The act was amended in 1663 to prohibit the use of all foreign-going ships, except those that were built in England, mastered and three-fourths manned by English, and cleared from English ports. The return cargoes had to be unloaded in England. Ireland's shipbuilding industry was thus destroyed and her trade with the Continent wiped out.

Ireland then began a lucrative trade with 'the Colonies'. That was "cured" in 1670 by a new law which forbade Ireland to export to 'the colonies' "anything except horses, servants, and victuals." England followed with a decree that no Colonial products could be landed in Ireland until they had first landed in England and paid all English rates and duties.
Ireland was forbidden to engage in trade with 'the colonies' and plantations of the New World if it involved sugar, tobacco, cotton, wool, rice, and numerous other items. The only item left for Ireland to import was rum. The English wanted to help English rum makers in the West Indies at the expense of Irish farmers and distillers.

When the Irish were forbidden to export their sheep, they began a thriving trade in wool. In 1634 The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Stafford, wrote to King Charles I: "All wisdom advises us to keep this (Irish) kingdom as much subordinate and dependent on England as possible; and, holding them from manufacture of wool (which unless otherwise directed, I shall by all means discourage), and then enforcing them to fetch their cloth from England, how can they depart from us without nakedness and beggary?"
In 1660 even the export of wool from Ireland to England was forbidden. Other English laws prohibited all exports of Irish wool in any form. In 1673, Sir William Temple advised that the Irish would act wisely by giving up the manufacture of wool even for home use, because "it tended to interfere prejudicially with the English woolen trade."
George II sent three warships and eight other armed vessels to cruise off the coast of Ireland to seize all vessels carrying woolens from Ireland. "So ended the fairest promise that Ireland had ever known of becoming a prosperous and a happy country."

Irish linen manufacturing met with the same fate when the Irish were forbidden to export their product to all other countries except England. A thirty percent duty was levied in England, effectively prohibiting the trade. English manufacturers, on the other hand, were granted a bounty for all linen exports.

In 1665 Irish cattle were no longer welcome in England, so the Irish began killing them and exporting the meat. King Charles II declared that the importation of cattle, sheep, swine and beef from Ireland was henceforth a common nuisance, and forbidden. Pork and bacon were soon prohibited, followed by butter and cheese.

In the middle of the 18th century, Ireland began developing a silk weaving industry. Britain imposed a heavy duty on Irish silk, but British manufactured silk was admitted to Ireland duty-free. Ireland attempted to develop her tobacco industry, but that too was prohibited.

In 1819 England withdrew the subsidy for Irish fisheries and increased the subsidies to British fishermen - with the result that Ireland's possession of one of the longest coastlines in Europe, still left it with one of the most miserable fisheries.

Late in the 18th century the Irish became known for their manufacture of glass. George II forbade the Irish to export glass to any country whatsoever under penalty of forfeiting ship, cargo and ten shillings per pound weight.

By 1839, a French visitor to Ireland, Gustave de Beaumont, was able to write:
"In all countries, more or less, paupers may be discovered; but an entire nation of paupers is what was never seen until it was shown in Ireland. To explain the social condition of such a country, it would be only necessary to recount its miseries and its sufferings; the history of the poor is the history of Ireland."

From the 15th through the 19th centuries, successive English monarchies and governments enacted laws designed to suppress and destroy Irish manufacturing and trade. These repressive Acts, coupled with the Penal Laws, reduced the Irish people to "nakedness and beggary" in a very direct and purposeful way. The destitute Irish then stood at the very brink of the bottomless pit. When the potato blight struck in 1845, it was but time for the final push....

Please help us to push back - your support would be greatly appreciated.