In tribute of a gallant life long Irish Republican and patron of Republican Sinn Féin Óglach Dan Keating, Born on the 2nd January 1902

Dan Keating was born on a small farm near Castlemaine, in Kerry. Dan joined Na Fianna Éireann in 1918 and in 1920, during the era of the Irish War of Independence, he joined the 3rd Battalion, 1st Kerry Brigade of the Irish Republican Army. Like a majority of the Kerry IRA, he rejected the sellout Anglo-Irish treaty that enacted the partition of Ireland in 1921 and went on to fight on the Republican side in the Irish Civil War. He was involved in operations in Kerry, Limerick, and Tipperary, before his column was arrested by Free State Forces. He spent seven months in Portlaoise Prison and the Curragh internment camp before being released in March 1923. Dan remained an active IRA volunteer for a long time after the Civil War. He was arrested several times during the 1930s on various charges. He was active in London during the 1939/1940 IRA bombing campaign.

He was under constant surveillance by the Irish Free State special branch and involved in virtually every twist and turn of republican politics, over time he acquired iconic status. But he always remained an active, rather than a mere honorary presence. In 1933, he was involved in an attempt to assassinate the leader of the Irish free state fascists Blueshirts, Eoin O’Duffy, during a visit to County Kerry. The attack was to happen at Ballyseedy, where Free State forces had carried out the Ballyseedy Massacre during the Irish Civil War. However, the plot failed when the person travelling with O’Duffy refused to divulge what car the latter would be travelling in. He retired and returned to his native Kerry in 1978, living out the rest of his life with relatives in Knockbrack. He remained loyal to the Irish Republic and refused to accept a state pension because he considered the 26-county free state an illegitimate state which usurped the 1916 Irish Republic.

“All the talk you hear these days is of peace. But there will never be peace in Ireland until the people of the 32 counties elect one parliament without British interference.” Dan Keating.

At the time of his death he was Ireland’s oldest man and the last surviving veteran of the Irish War of Independence. He was buried in Kiltallagh Cemetery, Castlemaine.

In memory of Dónal Céitinn 1902 – 2007

With many thanks to: McKelvey Steele Cumann for the original posting.


Security guards being reduced to ONE at Dungannon RUC/PSNI Police base

SECURITY at Dungannon Police Station is to be reduced next month with the number of front gate security guards dropping to only one at any given time, it is claimed.

Dungannon RUC/PSNI Police Station

Fermanagh South Tyrone UUP MLA Rosemary Barton said there are currently two guards on duty at any one time, but the new situation could leave lone, unarmed security officers guarding the gates at Police Stations overnight.

“Prominent RUC/PSNI Police Stations like Dungannon, Cookstown, Enniskillen and Omagh will be reduced to just one civilian security officer at all times from the middle of next month, due to Tory and DUP cuts to the policing budget” she explained.

“The potential security implications are unthinkable and the morale depression for staff, I assume, has not been considered.” The UUP MLA understands that cuts have left the RUC/PSNI almost 1,ooo officers short of the Patten recommendations, the number of stations greatly reduced, and public access to officers “greatly diminished”.

Bye 👋👋👋👋😢😢😢😭😭😭😭

However this is ” another penny clinching exercise, which will come at a serious security risk” she added. Police Federation chairman Mark Lindsay (another unionist spokesperson) said the bottom line must be the security integrity of stations. “How that is handled, and the nature of the contacts that are agreed, are a matter for the RUC/PSNI. ”

However, in any contract, adequate weight has to be placed on contractor resilience and numbers (so long as they aren’t Catholics) of personal deployed to undertake the work (Protestant work for Protestant boys) no change there then? “Safety of officers is uppermost and nothing should be done that calls that into question. ” I appreciate there are budgetary constraints, but nothing should be done that weakens security (so keep the Catholics away and only give the jobs to loyalists) or undermines the quality of the services provided.” The RUC/PSNI said it does not comment on specific security arrangements.

With many thanks to the: Tyrone Courier for the original story.


‘Paisley out’ billboard unveiled

Sinn Féin launched a billboard campaign in North Antrim yesterday to mark the final week of a petition that could unseat Ian Paisley.

The party unveiled a large advertisement in Ballycastle, stating: ‘Paisley out’. The petition opened last month. Centres in Ballymena, Ballymoney and Ballycastle will remain open until next Wednesday.

If 10 per cent of registered voters sign, Mr Paisley must resign and a by-election will be triggered. The first recall petition in UK parliamentary history was launched following the DUP MP’s suspension from the House of Commons.

Mr Paisley was suspended for 30 sitting days after he failed to declare two luxury family holidays to Sri Lanka, paid for by the country’s government. Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan said: “We have been campaigning since the petition was launched and it is very clear that there is a huge deal of anger right across the constituency at both the DUP and Ian Paisley jnr. “However, it’s important that people turn that anger into action by signing the petition and ensuring there are real consequences for a lack of integrity in public office.”

With many thanks to: Suzanne McGonagle and The Irish News for the original story.

Syria war: Israel accused of strikes on Iranian airbase

Israeli soldiers at an army base in the Israeli – annexed Syrian Golan Heights look out across the border

A military base in eastern Syria used by Iranian drone operators and air-defence systems has been hit by a series of missiles, in an attack Damascus blamed on Israel.

State media said one Israeli jet was hit and others “repelled” as its armed forces responded to the attack last night on the Tiyas base near Palmyra.

However reports from the ground said that a number of soldiers at the base, either from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard or allied militias, were killed. The regime confirmed damage to the base.

There was no comment from Israel but nor were there any reports of Israeli planes having been brought down.

Tiyas, also known as T4, is a key way-station for Iranian advisers operating in Syria and for the co-ordination of loyal militias, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah. Russia also operates at Tiyas but its facilities are separate to Iran’s and have never been targeted by Israel.

Tiyas was previously hit in February after an Iranian-operated drone entered Israeli airspace, and in April, when the target was reportedly a recently delivered advanced anti-aircraft system.

On the latter occasion, the Iranian authorities made a rare admission that seven of its men, including an officer, had been killed, and they took revenge in an attempted missile attack on Israeli positions in the Golan Heights in May.

It is not clear what prompted the attack last night. The Syrian regime is currently besieging and negotiating a surrender agreement for a major rebel enclave in southwestern Syria on the border with Jordan and the Golan.

Israel has demanded from Russia guarantees that Hezbollah and other Iranian-aligned forces will be kept away from the border. However, it is not clear whether Russia has accepted that or been able to force agreement from either Iran or the Syrian regime.

Israel has not objected in principle to Damascus resuming control of the border but has said that it will not tolerate an Iranian military presence in Syria, and particularly not in the border area. This latest raid may have been a message to show Israel’s seriousness.

The Syrian army was laying siege to the rebel-held part of the city at the heart of the enclave, Daraa, this morning. Under a deal announced over the weekend rebels agreed either to surrender or to be transferred to the last major rebel pocket, in Idlib to the northwest but that deal has yet to be implemented.

The United Nations said that an informal encampment on the Jordan border of 60,000 people fleeing the latest bout of fighting and aerial bombardment had dispersed after the area fell to regime troops. However, hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced elsewhere.

With many thanks to: The Times and The Sunday Times for the original story.




Armed Forces
Middle East



Number of homes paying ‘Bedroom Tax’ in the north trebles in six months.

THE number of homes in the North of Ireland hit by the ‘bedroom tax’ has more than trebled in six months – despite Stormont pledges to prevent the controversial welfare cut.

Top-up payments to mitigate against the cut ended for 86 housing benefit claimants in the period between October and March. It comes after The Irish News revealed last October, right, the bedroom tax had arrived in the north, as it emerged 35 claiments were no longer receiving the top-ups.

The British government policy sees housing benefit claiments have their payments reduced if their home is deemed to have more bedrooms than they need. In the North of Ireland, mitigation measures were passed before Stormont’s collapse so that claiments have their benifits topped up from a separate fund.

The funding was supposed to protect people from being financially worse off due to the tax until 2020. However, under the provisions, people stop receiving the extra money if they move to another Housing Executive or Housing association property that has the same or more bedrooms than their previous home.

The payments are cut unless the claiment has ‘management transfer status’ due to issues such as being intimidated out of their home. SDLP deputy leader Nichola Mallon, who received the details in a letter from the Department for Communities, expressed her concern.

“The latest official figures from the Department for Communities show that number of households being hit with the bedroom tax across the north has more than trebled in a few short months, with people in West Belfast worst hit,” she said. “More and more individuals and families already struggling to make ends meet will be forced to pay this tax on any spare bedroom in their home.”

The constituencies most affected in the six months to March were West Belfast, where supplementary payments ended for 15 claiments; South Belfast with 13 claiments impacted; and Foyle with eight. The tax was introduced in Britain back in 2013 and came into force in the North of Ireland in February last year. It applies to tenants in Housing Executive or housing association houses.

Funding to mitigate against it was pledged in November 2016 under the ‘Fresh Start’ deal between the DUP and Sinn Féin, after the party pulled out of the earlier Stormont House deal in 2015. Sinn Féin had initially claimed the Stormont House measures would protect “current and future” claiments but amid criticism walked away saying it was not what they thought they had agreed to.

Mrs Mallon, an MLA for North Belfast added: “Sinn Féin and the DUP jointly promised people no-one would have to pay the bedroom tax. The question these 89 households will rightly want answered is why were they misled?”

The DUP and Sinn Féin did not respond yesterday, but a Sinn Féin spokesman last year said the party is “totally opposed to the Tory bedroom tax”. ” That is why we provided a £585m found to mitigate the impact of Tory welfare cuts,” he said. “We have made our position known to the department and we are absolutely opposed to the decision to impose this tax on a small number of households.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Brendan Hughes for the origional story.

Luke Jolly (21) – Paedophile Alert – St Neots, Cambridge.

THIS offender has begged not be named on our database – NOT named in the press

A pervert has avoided a prison sentence after he was convicted of grooming what he believed were two young children online

Luke Jolly, 21-years-old of St Neots, appeared at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in sexual communication with a child

The court was told that Jolly had contacted several profiles online, of which he believed were young girls. He proceeded to send sexually explicit messages describing that he hoped to have sexual intercourse with them. He told the ‘girls’ that they should keep their contact with each other secret.

Jolly had in total contacted four profiles which he believed were aged – 12, 13, 13 and 14 year old girls.

However, the profiles actually belonged to online child protection team Totnes Justice and were infact adult women posing as children.

– Jolly was handed a suspended sentence.

– He was given a two year Sexual Harm Prevention Order

– He was told that he must sign on the sex offenders register for seven years

– Payment of £85 towards the crown prosecution service and a victim surcharge payment to the court of £115 was also made

With many thanks to: UK database for the origional posting.

Army veterans may be protected for alleged historic offences as MPs announce official inquiry

A consultation document drawn up by the Northern Ireland Office on how to handle legacy killings has ruled out protection for Armed Forces veterans.

MPs are to launch a formal inquiry into whether British Armed Forces veterans could be granted amnesty from prosecution for alleged historic offences, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

The Commons defence select committee will investigate the possibility of introducing a time limit on prosecutions and will call on high-ranking officials, including the Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson, and the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, to give evidence.

Currently, veterans from the Troubles face prosecution for alleged historic offences committed nearly fifty years ago, and some MPs have claimed that recent prosecutions of former British soldiers amount to a “witch-hunt”.

The disclosure follows proposals made last month by the Northern Ireland Office on how to handle deaths during the Troubles that included ruling out a time limit on prosecutions of servicemen.

Theresa May has previously labelled the treatment of North of Ireland veterans as “patently unfair” but has so far refused to commit to introducing a statute of limitations.

Four senior Cabinet members have expressed their misgivings over the exclusion of an amnesty and Theresa May has labelled the treatment of Northern Ireland veterans as “patently unfair”, but has so far refused to commit to introducing a statute of limitations.

The inquiry, which is expected to last around six months, could put further pressure on the government to include such a provision in any proposals addressing the legacy of the Troubles.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, who has called for the introduction of a statute of limitations on a UK-wide basis which would also cover other conflicts including Afghanistan and Iraq, said he “welcomed” the inquiry.

Sir Jeffrey, a senior DUP member, said: “It’s appropriate that the defence committee should be looking at this rather than the Northern Ireland office … the MoD should be taking the lead in terms of putting in place the kind of protections armed forced needs when going into combat.”

Timeline | The Troubles

  • 1969

    The British Army deploys to Belfast and Londonderry after serious riots. The Irish Republican Army splits into the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA.

  • 1971

    Internment begins. 7,000 people flee, 14 are shot dead and more than 300 arrested.

  • 1972

    Bloody Sunday: 13 civilians are shot dead by the Army during a civil-rights march in Londonderry.

  • 1974

    The Provisional IRA kill 21 in the Birmingham pub bombing, and five in Guildford. Prevention of Terrorism Act introduced.

  • 1975

    Ceasefire between Provisional IRA and UK government until July. Internment ends.

  • 1979

    Airey Neave, shadow spokesman on Northern Ireland, is murdered by an Irish National Liberation Army car bomb as he leaves the Houses of Parliament.

  • 1981

    Republican prisoners in the Maze prison go on hunger strike. MP Bobby Sands dies.

  • 1984

    Provisional IRA bomb the Conservative Party conference in Brighton, killing five.

  • 1985

    Anglo-Irish Agreement signed, accepting that the Dublin government had to have an input into Northern Ireland.

  • 1987

    Remembrance Day service in Enniskillen bombed.

  • 1994

    Loyalist paramilitaries announce a ceasefire negotiated by members and activists across Northern Ireland. It lasts for 17 months.

  • 1996

    Political talks at Stormont begin with Sinn Féin. A bomb in London’s Docklands kills two, ending the ceasefire.

  • 1997

    The Provisional IRA renews the ceasefire in July. Sinn Féin signs Mitchell Principles to start taking part in peace talks.

  • 1998

    Good Friday Agreement ends 30 years of violence. Ulster Unionist David Trimble is elected First Minister. The Real IRA kills 29 civilians in a bomb attack in Omagh. Small-scale violence continues.

Institutions to deal with the legacy of the conflict, including a Historical Investigations Unit to take forward outstanding investigations into Troubles-related deaths, were agreed in the 2014 Stormont House Agreement, although an amnesty was not among them.

However, the agreed proposals have been put on hold due to a small number of outstanding disputes and a public consultation was launched last month by Karen Bradley, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, to try and break the political impasse.

With many thanks to the: Daily Telegraph for the origional story.

British Secretary of State refuses to meet Derry’s council to discuss release of republican prisoner Tony Taylor

The British Secretary of State Karen Bradley has refused to meet a delegation from Derry’s council to discuss the release of the republican prisoner Tony Taylor.

It comes after Derry City and Strabane District Council agreed to send a letter to Ms Bradley seeking a meeting to discuss the ongoing incarceration of Mr Taylor, who has spent over 800 days in jail since his licence was revoked in March 2016.

However, the Secretary of State has said she will not be meeting with the delegation.

The news came at yesterday’s monthly meeting of the local council, where the Chief Executive John Kelpie read out Ms Bradley’s response to the council’s letter.

With many thanks to: Derry Now for the origional story.

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