Friday, August 01, 2008


(UPDATE : the President of Republican Sinn Fein, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, will be interviewed by journalist Tom McGurk on RTE Radio One - in a rare but welcome breach of that radio stations 'Section 31' mentality - next Saturday , August 9 , 2008 , between 9am and 10am . RTÉ Radio One is available to listen to online using Windows Media Player or Real Player)

1) August 9th : on the Anniversary of Internment (August 9th [Saturday]) a white-line picket will be held on the Falls Road in Belfast in support of the POW's in Maghaberry Jail.

2) August 10th : the annual Goss and Gaughran Commemoration will be held on Sunday August 10th at 2.30pm in St Patricks Cemetery in Dundalk , County Louth. The Lisdoo Arms is the assembly point , and Des Dalton is the main speaker .

3) August 10th : the unveiling of the Memorial to IRA Captain Michael Danford will take place on Sunday August 10th at Ballysimon Road in Limerick . The event is organised by 'The Limerick Republican Graves Association' .

4) August 16th : a Republican Commemoration will be held in Croom , County Limerick , on Saturday August 16th , where Seamus Ó Suilleabháin will be the main speaker . The assembly point is in Croom Village at 3pm.

5) August 22nd : the Thomas Harte Cumann of Republican Sinn Fein has booked the ballad group 'The Foggy Dew' to play at a social function on Friday August 22nd . The venue is 'The Forester's Club' , North Street , Lurgan in County Armagh . All Welcome!

6) August 24th : a Commemoration in honour of all 22 Hunger Strikers will be held in the Garden Of Remembrance in the Old Jail in Wexford on Sunday August 24th at 3pm.

7) August 29 : a 'Welcome Home!' function will be held on Friday August 29th in Bundoran in County Donegal for Gerard Mooney - details to follow at a later date.

8) August 30th : the Annual H-Block Hunger Strike Commemoration will be held on Saturday August 30th in Bundoran in county Donegal . The assembly point is the East End , it starts at 3pm and the Speakers are Dan Hoban, Micheál Óg Lavelle and Bob Loughman.

(Postscript: in order not to ruin our snappy (!) headline , we are only now mentioning two other August '08 events - a Social Function in aid of the County Roscommon IRA Commemoration Committee , held on Friday August 1st in the Croghan Bar in County Roscommon and the monthly Dublin Raffle , organised by 'The Second Sunday Crew' , which will be held in a Social Club on the Dublin/Kildare border on Sunday August 10th next . The aforementioned 'snappy' headline took our 'Junior' hours to conjuer up and we hadn't the heart to ruin it on him ;-) ....)


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

THE IRA : the new IRA is younger , more radical and has seen little of life other than violence.......
By Ed Moloney.
From 'Magill' magazine, September 1980.

Another principal , if rarely admitted reason for switching to a long war of attrition strategy is that support for widescale IRA activity has declined significantly in recent years . The war-weariness and pessimism evident in the nationalist areas of the North is also reflected in the attitudes of many in the Movement itself who see little to be gained by continuing the fight * . (* '1169..' Comment : that whole paragraph should be read with the author's name firmly in mind - Moloney had indeed got his contacts in the Movement but was not of the Movement.)

But that sort of thinking is less true of the new IRA ; they are the younger , more radical types who have seen little of life other than violence , dawn raids , interrogations , rioting , shooting and bombing . They have taken over the mantle of militant republicanism from the men and women of the 'forties , 'fifties and 'sixties and are increasingly impatient with what many of them see as conservative political and military elements in the old Dublin leadership . And the IRA they have created is much more ruthless and doesn't need mass popular support .

With the prospect of a 'long war' in front of them what then keeps the IRA going ? Prime among the motives for continuing the campaign is the hope that in the harsh economic climate of the 1980's the cost of the North of Ireland to the British will get so high that they will be forced into looking for a way out . There's no doubt that the cost of shoring up a degenerating economy in the North combined with the damage caused by the Provisional IRA's campaign and the cost of the security and prison services has become increasingly burdensome for the British - last year's subvention to the North from Westminster (ie the money the British have to find to make up the difference between income from taxes and public spending in the North) was equivalent to the five year refund demanded from the EEC budget by Margaret Thatcher.......

IRIS talks to a spokesperson authorised to speak on behalf of the Irish Republican Army.
From 'IRIS' magazine , July/August 1982.

IRIS: " Recently there was considerable publicity given to alleged IRA attempts to obtain sophisticated heat-seeking missiles . To what extent does the present lack of such weaponry limit the IRA's operational capacity in rural areas ? "

IRA: " I would say that if that type of weapon was available to IRA units you would find that we would be able to physically clash with the British face-to-face , that is, do what they are always saying we can't do - 'stand up and fight' . There would be a whole new phase of the war , a totally new game altogether. At present there are massive areas of the occupied territory , such as in South Armagh and in parts of Fermanagh , particularly around Lisnaskea , Donagh and Maguiresbridge , where the Brits don't use vehicles at all . They supply all their outposts by helicopter . The same applies to large areas on the Fermanagh/Donegal and West Tyrone/Donegal borders. Without helicopters , which this kind of missile is designed to attack , there would be a complete inability to continue supplies without mounting a massive operation to secure the area using hundreds of men . So the effect of our lack of this weapon is obvious ."

The Class Of '76:(Top row L. to R.) Charlie Fagan (Arthur's brother) , Dickie Glenholmes (Jnr) , Ciaran 'Zack' Smyth (served 9 years in jail) , Philip Rooney (served 8 and a half years) , Seany McVeigh (served 10 years). (Bottom row L. to R.) Eugene Gilmartin (serving life in the H-Blocks) , Arthur O Faogain.

The ghettos of Belfast and Derry are filled with stories such as this one. It is not unique. Young men and women, because of the partition of this country by the British, are killed, imprisoned and maimed.
By Artur O Faogain.
From 'IRIS' magazine , October 1987.

" We all looked forward to Christmas that year , as we did every year . Sitting together , glasses filled, we enjoyed each other's company . Shaking the cold from my legs I opened the door to rejoin them . There they sat , laughing, oblivious of the coming nightmare . Blasted against a wall of the bar , I twisted and broke . 'I'm sorry , son,' my father said when I awoke . 'Your legs...' . 'I know' , I replied . Luckily no-one else was seriously hurt . I didn't go out much in my wheelchair . Friends would call up and we'd talk for hours . I felt so cheated.

The British Government announced that political status would end on March 1st 1980 , but I don't think any of my friends took much notice of the announcement . Frank Stagg died that February and the IRA finally admitted the ceasefire was over . Hardly a week went by without the arrest of one of my friends - Castlereagh Interrogation Centre had just finished refining its methods and , with the arrival of the enthusiastic dictator, Roy Mason, in September , its efficiency became infamous . The ghettos of Belfast and Derry suffered as Mason proved his policies 'worked' : people awoke to find neighbours or friends in Castlereagh , and everybody feared that early morning knock . By 1977 the British system of oppression was complete .

Judges sounding like parrots , seated on benches repeating 'Guilty!' , endorsed Castlereagh's methods with a mass of convictions that imprisoned my generation . Listening to the news , the long sentences depressed me . Their time for release would never come , I thought , and, visiting them over the last number of years I have observed how different they have become . No longer the wide-eyed teenagers with adventure in mind......."


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Francie Brolly's 'bunting...'

Kevin Lynch, an INLA Volunteer , died at 1.00 a.m. on Saturday August 1st 1981 in the hospital of Long Kesh after seventy-one days on hunger strike. He was the seventh hunger-striker to die that year . A Commemoration in memory of the man and in honour of that which he gave his life for has been held every year in his hometown of Dungiven , in North Derry, organised by local republicans and supported by the vast majority of the townspeople. A 'republican' Stormont representative , a Mr Francis Brolly , has now voiced 'reservations' about the manner in which this commemoration is held , and has stated his preference for "bunting" to be displayed rather than the National Flag -
did ten men die on hunger-strike in 1981 in order that the Butchers Apron be replaced with "bunting" ?
Have 22 men died on hunger-strike between the years 1917 and 1981 for "bunting" ?
Have we endured over eight hundred years of struggle for the 'right' to display "bunting" on our own streets ?
While you ponder those questions , have a listen to this piece of music
(note the title) by that same Stormont 'republican' representative and then have a read of how he laughs at those that are not politically financed by the British Crown.
"Take it down from the mast..." , Mr Brolly.....