Roger Casement Cumann
Raymond was the third of ten men to die on hungerstrike in 1981 in an effort to win political status for republican prisoners of war. As a result of the strike the British government eventually granted all of the prisoners demands and political status was reintroduced in everything but name.
As a result of legislation passed after the signing of the good friday agreement in 1998 and with the consent of Sinn Fein and the SDLP political status was once again removed. Everything that had been won by Raymond and his comrades at the cost of their young lives was bargained away and in the process another generation was condemned to struggle for recognition as political prisoners.
In 2003 as a result of a dirty protest by Óglaigh na hÉireann (whom the media refer to as the Real IRA) prisoners republicans achieved segregation from loyalists and criminals. Last weekend however the prison authorities began moving criminals onto the republican wing in what seems to be an effort to undo the concessions which had been previously won.
The republican prisoners also find themselves locked up for up to 23 hours a day, have inadequate educational facilities, are not allowed to freely associate with one another and are subject to constant strip searches and other forms of harassment and degradation. Their families are also subjected to intimidation and harassment when visiting them.
As the people of South Armagh remember the great sacrifice made by Ray McCreesh we must ask ourselves what it was all for? Are those who suffer today in another British prison any different than he was? and do they not deserve the same support as we gave the men of 1981?
The constitutional nationalist parties have been completely silent on this issue and we in the 32 County Sovereignty Movement challenge them to state publicly why they agreed to the removal of political status and do they think that republican prisoners should be labeled as criminals because of their opposition to British rule in Ireland? We would ask them that now they are in government in the 6 counties will they finally do the right thing and restore political status for these men?
Hopefully this situation can be resolved in a proper manner and our communities are never again forced to go through what they did in 1981.
- Haughey did not want political status for IRA (irishtimes.com)
- ‘Thatcher’s Archive Finally Settles Dispute Over Hunger Strike Deal’, Says IRA Prison Leader (thebrokenelbow.com)
- Irish Film Spotlight: Steve McQueen’s Hunger (spiritofthething.wordpress.com)
- Revealed: Dissident Gunman Video Bid to Raise Funds in America (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Colour party accused refuses to take stand (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Bomb found by police during a murder bid investigation in Belfast is safely removed (dailyrecord.co.uk)
Officers fled after gunmen opened fire
CONCERN was expressed on Thursday night that police left the scene where gunmen opened fire on officers – unsecured for more than three hours. Residents of the Foxes Glen devolpment in West Belfast could clearly see the remains of a bullet lying on the ground at the back of a car where the aattack took place.
‘ Somebody could have been really hurt here today - Margaret McGrath
Young children were standing close to it, taking phphotographs with their mobile phones. A police patrol made up of one woman and two men, was lured into the area following a bougas report of a burglarly. Six shots were fired into the housing development as children played nearby. None of the officers were injured, although the PSNI spokesman said they had been left ” extremely shaken”. Following the shooting, the police patrol sped from the area and more than three hours later the scene around the car had still been left unsecured. A police Land Rover could be seen parked at to the devolopment. Sinn Fein councillor Stephen Magennis, who lives in the area, said he heard “one loud bang and about five or six smaller shots”. He described the shootings as “reckless”.”It was obviously attempted murder, not only on obviously the police – I’m glad nobody was hurt – but also residents and children.” Mr Magennis said it was “not acceptable” that the scene had been left ununsecured. “Obviousley, I understand there’s precautions in place for the police coming in to obviously a follow-up operation,” he said.
“They should have been in long ago. You can see there’s still a bullet lying here. It’s being left to the community.” Resident Margaret McGrath, who was at the scene on Thursday holding her 22-month-old ggranddaughter, said she was “disgusted” by what had happened. She described hearing the police car “screech” before it sped out of the area. “There’s so many children here,” she said. “Somebody could have been really hurt today. I mean, we put this all behind us a long time ago and they’re bringing it back.” Police on Thursday night confirmed “following the initial attempt to murder police officers in Foxes Glen, Dunmurry, crews were withdrawn from the area”. “Previous experience has indicated that on many occasions where an attack has been made on police there is often as secondary attack in the same area,” a spokesman said.”As police presence following such an attack can itself constitute a risk to the community on many occasions the decision is taken to reduce that risk by removing police officers from the immediate area.”
Lisburn area commander Chief Inspector Darrin Jones also hit out at those responsible for the attack. “It is despicable that police officers, who were simply trying to give assistance to a person they believed needed them, should be attacked so ruthlessly,” he said. “Simply put, this was an attempt to murder three young, professional, dedicated people. Three people who were just trying to carry out their duty and serve their community to the best of their ability. “I am appealing directly to anyone who was in the Foxes Glen area at the time and may be able to help us, to get in touch with police. “I feel extremely grateful that those responsible for this attack failed in their goal to murder. “We could have been dealing with an unimaginable tragedy had the person or persons who pulled the trigger had their evil way. “I ask people in Twinbrook, Dunmurry and further afield to continue to support us and to let the people behind this reckless attack know they do not have support and they will not succeed.” Anyone with information about the attack can contact police on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
With many thanks to : Marie Louise McCrory, Irish News.
- Barlmoral show at the Maze (politics.ie)
- Guns and Ammo Seized in West Belfast Murder Bid Probe (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Suspect Arrested Over West Belfast Murder Bid on Police (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Gunmen who ambushed PSNI officers in Belfast were ‘intent on murder’ (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Device found at scene of ambush on PSNI officers (newsletter.co.uk)
- Anthony Senatore Arrested for having Unsecured Weapons Accessible to Children /cnbnewsnet (gloucestercitynews.net)
‘During police interviews the taxi driver claimed nothing had happened.
A TAXI driver who sexually molested a teenage schoolgirl after telling her she had “nice legs” has been jailed for a year. As well as ordering William Torbitt (39) to spend two years on supervised licence conditions, Belfast Crown Court Judge Gordon Kerr QC also ordered him to sign the the police sex register for the rest of his life.
The judge had earlier heard how Torbitt collected the girl from her school on February 13 and was taking her to a medical appointment when the incident happened. Rosemary Walsh, prosecuting, recounted how Torbitt told the girl she “must do PE because you have nice legs” and then he asked her to move her blazer so that he could see them. He then reached over and touched the girl. Torbitt, from Mayfield Heights in Newtownabbey, had also twice asked the girl what age she was told twice that she was 14. Following the attack Torbitt took the girl to her appointment where she reported what happened. Torbitt was then arrested later that day. During police iinterviews the taxi driver claimed nothing had happened, maintain that stance even when DNA evidence of the girl’s DNA profile was uncovered under his finger nails and that was put to him. However, he later pleaded guilty to a single charge of sexual activity with a child. A defence lawyer said the married father-of-two had suffered a a “moment of madness” for which he was already paying a heavy price in terms of the loss of his reputation, job, liberty and marriage.
With many thanks to : Irish News.
- Newtownabbey Taxi Driver Jailed Over Teen Girl Sex Attack (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Man appears in court accused of sexually assaulting schoolgirl (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Social workers apologise for not protecting schoolgirls (itv.com)
‘This type of motion can only cause division and is the last thing Nipsa needs - Ross Hussey.
A MOTION calling for the release of prominent republican Marian Price due to come before the Nipsa conference has been criticised by the UUP. West Tyrone MLA and policing board member Ross Hussey said he had been contacted by Nipsa members who were “deeply unhappy” at the motion.
Mr Hussey described it as a “deeply regrettable situation” which could “cause decision”. “I have been contacted by a number of Nipsa members who are deeply unhappy at Motion No 13 in the conference handbook which states ‘Conference demands the immediate release of Marian Price’. “The motion goes on to call for the Nipsa general council ‘to campaign for the immediate release of Marian Price on humanitarian grounds’. “This is deeply regrettable situation. Nipsa is a highly respected trade union which draws its members from right across the province and from all sections of our society. “This type of motion can only cause division and is the last thing which Nipsa needs.” Then secretary of state Owen Paterson revoked her life sentence licence at Easter 2011 after Price was charged over a dissident republican rally in Derry. She is also facing seperate charges of providing a mobile phone for a terrorist purpose in March 2009 shortly before two soldiers were shot dead at Massereene barracks. The 58-year-old has been receiving treatment for depression, arthritis and lung problems, while kept in hospital under armed guard.
With many thanks to : Maeve Connolly, Irish News.
This letter also appeared in the Irish News today Friday May 17 2013.
Two years incarceration and still no justice for Marian.
THIS week marks the entry into the third year Marian Price is interned without trial and is incarcerated on the word of a British Secretary of State. Where is the justice in this maltreatment of a defenceless woman whose health has deterioted to a level thatt she is almost unable to function as a person? Her incarceration in solitary confinement is responsible for this deterioration – firstly in Maghaberry, then Hydebank and now in hospital. Health professionals have revealed home care packages to treat Marian in a humane way and to date the British government has refused to grant her that humanity.
The long, drawn.out process in recent times still has not revealed an outcome. Fifteen years on from signing of the British agreement the treatment of Marian Price and others exposes that the injustice suffered at the hands of the British establishment hasn’t gone away. The analysis of the Irish people throughout our history that there is no British justice in Ireland is epitomised again with this deliberate maltreatment. Marian Price should be released immediately on humanitarian grounds due tonton the state of her health but she should also be released as a right because the spurious charges against her are not proven and innocent until proven guilty has gone out the door. Marian Price is serving a sentence of inhumane treatment for the past two years and yet is not sentenced to a single day in jail. Where is the justice ?
- Trade union in Marian Price row (newsletter.co.uk)
- Smash Internment Free Marian Price (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Does Amnesty Practice Political Vetting ? (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- 10,000 people expected at anti-hunger rally in Belfast on the eve of the G8 summit (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- British Interests Best Served by Present Arrangements ! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- The Continued Imprisonment of Marian Price (kclsoc.wordpress.com)
- Enda Kenny to raise peace process concerns (irishtimes.com)
Cumann Sean MacEachaidh
The Michael Campbell Campaign. Michael’s appeal began today (15th May)
This campaign needs to escalate. Cohesion exists.
Internationally a lot of work is being done. A lot of lobbying of government agencies has been done over the past year, hundreds of letters, thousands it is not enough our international comrades are doing the bulk of the work.
At home the Newry/South Armagh Prisoners group are leading the way, at Easter a hugely successful function was held. Last week a full page article in the Newry paper was published. Posters of the same were printed and are being distributed and boards highlighting the campaign are being erected.
These efforts haven’t come cheap so we are all going to come together now and help each other out.
We have provided Crafts made by Republican Prisoners for people wishing to pursue independent causes; we are prepared to do the same for anyone who would like, or thinks they would like to run a raffle or organise something for Michael.
Michael has a strong and supportive family that are assured nothing will be done without their approval.
We ask people now to really get this show on the road.
Contact ourselves here;
The Newry/Armagh Prisoners support group;
or write to
Secretary Repatriate Michael Campbell Campaign
3 Carnagat Park
It is vital now to get this moving. The case has been made. Lets Go!!
‘The idea behind it is to pull in people with such an important name - Brendan McAnallen.
HUNDREDS of people with the surname O’Neill are to ddescend on their spiritual home in Co Tyrone for a gathering of famous clan later this month . Organisers say the International Gathering of the O’Neill Clans will attract people from as far away as America and Australia.
Theevent, arranged by the Tyrone based Association of O’Neill Clans, will focus on key sites associated with the ancient family name in the country. Partcipants will visit the ancient seat of the O’Neills in Benburb, Tullyhogue Fort, near Cookstown, where the clan installed their chieftains, and the Hill of O’Neills in Dungannon. Organiser Brendan McAnallen said the event would provide a unique opportunity for O’Neills to celebrate their Tyrone roots centuries after the collapse of the Gaelic system in Ulster. “This is the first time there has been an international gathering of this type in Tyrone. The idea behind it is to pull in people with such an important name as O’Neill,” he said.
It is important for people who share this name to know its sighificance, the Benburbn-based businessman said. “Unfortunately the average O’Neill may not know their own history and some may not care either,” he said.”But there are a lot of people related to the O’Neills who take an interest in the family like the Quinns, the Hagans and the Donnellys. “We have people coming from England, Scotland, France, Spain and even Greece. They are also coming from Americia, Canada and Australia.” Mr McAnallen said the event had taken its inspiaration from the Gathering, the Irish government‘s drive to encourage people of Irish decent to return to the country during 2013. “We thought we should do something and this is our contribution,” he said. “We want to generate a bit of interest and bring the Irish diaspora back home.” Cookstown District Council will host the international vistors at Tullyhogue on T’hursday of next week, during which a tour, talk and re-enactment will take place at the historic fort. A similar event, supported by the Ancient Clan O’Neill of Tyrone, will take place the following day. The International Gathering of the O’Neill Clans will run from May 23 to 25. For more information visit http://www.oneillclan.com.
With many thanks to : Connia Young, Irish News.
- Mary Devenport O’Neill: Forgotten Irish Woman Poet (ellipticalmovements.wordpress.com)
- Stephen O’Neill and Lester Ryan win GAA GPA Player of the League Award (irishcentral.com)
- A Lifetime in one day’s Addiction: A Long Day’s Journey Into Night By: Hilary Burke (irishdiasporafilmreviews.wordpress.com)
PAT Finucane‘s son has clashed with conservative political commentator Richard Waghorne who claimed online that the murdered solicitor was “the IRA‘s lawyer“. Mr Waghorne is a former political commentator for the Irish Daily Mail.
On his official Twitter feed yesterday the political blogger made comments about the hunan-rights lawyer shot dead by loyalists in 1989. Mr Waghorne first tweeted that it was “Astonishing that the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs is wasting time tomorrow on the death of IRA lawyer Pat Finucane“. Later he said the Belfast solicitor’s reputation “as a ‘human rights lawyer’ is more than slightly questionable”. His outburst provoked Mr Finucane’s Dublin-based solicitor son Michael to challenge the political commentator he once represented in legal proceedings in the Republic. Michael Finucane is in Washington giving evidence to the foreign affairs committee in relation to state collusion involved in his father’s murder. In a series of tweets he replied : “You’re quite happy to sully my dad’s name but I acted for you when you needed a lawyer. Was I right or wrong to help you?” Mr Waghorne tweeted : “Your father’s record of defending IRA terrorists is well documented.” Mr Finucane tweeted : “I beleive you’ll find lawyer defends client, not the cause or beliefs. Thats all my dad did. And all I did for you, right?” Mr Waghorne tweeted : “You were free to refuse the brief. Your father was free to to refuse his. He choose to defend IRA terrorists.” Mr Finucane tweeted : “Well, I didn’t refuse you because of what you believe or say and my dad was just as professional. That’s the differnce.” The Washington committee will today be updated on developments in the Finucane investigation since the release of the report by barrister Sir Desmond de Silva and will hear testimony from retired US brigadier general James P Cullen.
With many thanks to : Allison Morris, Irish News.
- Judge Will Read Finucane Files Before Any Disclosure to Family (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Interview with Tony Heffernan on Marian Finucane Saturday last (cedarlounge.wordpress.com)
- NY Times editorial lovingly kisses Thatcher’s posterior in fawning editorial – No mention of Pinochet support, attacks on Mandela, or killing of Pat Finucane (irishcentral.com)
- Hope for Troubles files: British Government considers releasing previously classified documents (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
‘Their political policing strategy has had disastrous consequences over the past four months - John Wilson.
A GROUP set up by loyalist flag protesters has branded plans byconsequences the PSNI/RUC to hold talks in Wales with politicians and community represdestroyed s ahead of the marching sseason as evidence of “political policing”. The Ulster People’s Forum (UPF) last night said it had not received a request to take part in talks and would have turned down an invite if asked.
“The UPF view is that the PSNI have been clear their job is policing and we feel they shouldl stick to this remit as their political policing strategy has had disastrous consequences over the past four months with relationships in some loyalist areas almost detroyed to the point of no return,” forum chairman John Wilson said. It emerged this week that the PSNI/RUC in conjunction with Univeristy of Ulster academic Duncan Morrow, has invited representatives of pilitical parties to Cardiff next weekend to discuss policing issues ahead of the summer marching season. Tensions continue in parts of Belfast around loyal parades including Ardoyne and outside St Patrick’s church in Donegall Street.
Policing reached crisis point during the winter as loyalists blocked roads and attacked police and Alliance politicians in the wake of the decision by Belfast City Council to stop flying the Union Flag every day. The UPF was formed weeks after the flag protests started in December with leading protesters Jamie Bryson and Willie Frazer emerging as spokesmen. This week PSNI/RUC chief constable Matt Baggott said the meeting was an attempt to build relationships “with a veiw to this summer’s parading”. It emerged last night that neither the Orange Order or represtatives of nationalist residents’ groups in flashpoint districts had been invited to attend the Cardiff event. Mr Wilson of the UPF conceded that the number of flag-related protests was well down compared to previously but blamed police tactics which he described as “political policing”. “There are a lot of people out there with wives, familes and jobs and they can’t afford to be arrested or questioned.” Orange Order grand chaplain the Rev Mervyn Gibson confirmed last night he had been invited to attend the talks through a church group with which he is involved but he declined because of a prior engagement. He confirmed that the Orange Order itself had not been invited to attend the talks.
With thanks to : Connia Young, Irish News.
POLICE stop, search and question operations involving a former IRA hunger striker and brother-in-law of Martin McGuinness were unlawful, a court has ruled. Senior judges said there were inadequate safeguards against potential abuse of the system in the cases of Bernard Fox and Marvin Canning.
Both will now seek damages over PSNI/RUC actions taken against them under the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007. Canning, of Galliagh Park in Derry, said powers used to stop and question him up to 100 times were incompatible with his right to privacy under European law. The 51-year-old brother-in-law of the deputy first minister said officers were sometimes oppressive and confrontational. He denies involvement in paramilitarism but confirmed that he is a member of the Real IRA-linked 32-County Sovereignty Movement. Police denied using the act’s powers arbitrarily against him. A similar challenge was brought by Fox, who took part in the 1981 IRA hunger strikes in the Maze Prison, and his companion Christine McNulty. The Belfast man served more than 20 years in prison for offences including possession of explosives before being released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Police stopped a car in which Ms McNulty were travelling near Camlough, Co Armagh in March 2011.
The vehicle was searched for munitions. An officer is alleged to have taken Ms McNulty’s handbag and gone through its contents. Fox denies involvement with dissident republican activities. Polic argued that the power was not intended to be used randomly but rather on the basis of threat. Lawyers in both cases sought to overturn a High Court decision that no violation under the European Convention on HumanHuman Rights had occurred. Delivering the judgement at the Court of Appeal on Thursday, Lord Justice Girvan identified the absence of a code of practice for such operations under section 21 of the act. He said the framework pending the introduction of effective code does not contain the kind of safegaurds against potential abuse or arbitrariness envisaged by Strasbourg case law.
With many thanks to : Irish News.
- Police stop and search operations involving IRA hunger striker were unlawful – court hears (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Masked dissident and defendant the same, court is told (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Face mapping ‘identifies masked man’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Police chief sees no end to dissident republican violence in Northern Ireland (irishcentral.com)