…press release… For immediate release 18th October 2015. WESTMEATH 1916 SOCIETY COMMEMORATE Vol. PADDY DERMODY AND Vol. MICHAEL FLYNN IN FORE.
On Sunday last, 18th October 2015 the Spirit of Irish Freedom 1916 Society, Westmeath held a double Commemoration to two IRA Volunteers who are buried in St Fechin’s Graveyard, Fore Co. Westmeath.
With many thanks to: Peter A Rogers & Sean Ayers.
On 11th October 1920: one civillian was killed and Dan Breen was badly wounded in a shoot-out at an IRA safe house in Drumcondra.
Initial reports claim that staff at Maghaberry prison last week intercepted a letter written by the leadership of the IRA.
POLICE have taken the highly unusual step of charging a leading Derry republican with directing a terrorist organisation.
Thomas Ashe Mellon (38), from the city’s Creggan area, is expected to appear at Derry Magistrates Court this morning. Initial reports claim that staff at Maghaberry prison last week intercepted a letter written by the leadership of the IRA. She said that prison officers seized the letter, which was written on cigarette papers joined together, and wrapped in cling film, from a man known only as ‘Mr O’ at the prison last Thursday. Mr O, who police are seeking, walked away, and later on the same day he was seen talking to the defendant outside the Oakleaf on the Glenshane Road. Mellon, a member of one of the city’s best known republican families, is also charged with membership of a proscribed organisation. The charges follow Mellon’s arrest in North Belfast by the PSNI’s serious crime branch early on Friday morning. It is understood his arrest and charge is linked to a police investigation into dissident repubnorthwest vity in the Derry area. The legislation under which h hs been charged has been used sparingly in the north. In more recent years the charge of directing terrorism has been more commonly used in Britain against Islamist factions.
The most high-profile figure successfully charged with directing terrorism in the North of Ireland is former UDA leader Johnny Adair. Adair was charged with directing terrorism in 1995 after undercover police officers recorded months of discussions in which he boasted about his operations with the UDA. The taped conversations provided enough evidence for him to be convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison. In the Republic, Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt was convicted of directing terrorism in 2003. He was jailed for 20 years after being convicted of membership of an illegal organisation and directing terrorism between dates in 1999 and 2001. Mellon is a veteran republican and has been arrested on numerous occasions. His most recent arrest was last year after police foiled a mortar-bomb attack in Derry. Mellon was arrested at a house in Derry during a follow-up operation after police intercepted four live and primed mortars in a van as it made its way into Derry in March last year. The roof of the van had been removed in preparation for the mortars to be fired. Police insiders believed one of the possible targets was the RUC/PSNI’s Strand Road station. Mellon was later released without charge. Another man arrested in connection with the same incident was subsequently charged and is awaiting sentence. In 1999 Mellon was charged after bomb-making materials were discovered in Co Donegal. He was charged in connection with the discovery at Manorcunningham but was later released when all charges were dropped. The charge of directing terrorism is a particularly difficult one for police to prove. Lawyers beleive for a conviction to be obtained police must either have a confession or use evidence gathered in covert operations. It is understood police in Derry have had access to intelligence material gathered through sophisticated means by the British Army’s Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR), the intelligence wing of the SAS. The SRR has been active in the north-west since it was first deployed in 2010 and evidence gathered by the regiment has been used against dissident republicans in recent years. It is also claimed by a hand-writing expert has claimed the writing on the note was matched to Mellon and his DNA was recovered from the glue on the cigaratte papers.
With many thanks to: Seamus McKinney, The Irish News, for the orgional story.
HET findings published as Haass talks break up without agreement -into ‘Shot-to-Kill’ policy’s in the North of Ireland.
TWO IRA men were shot in the back by SAS soldiers in Co Tyrone 30 years ago, a report has found. The families of Colm McGirr (23) and Brian Campbell (19) on Monday 30th December said they planned to sue the British government and wanted fresh inquests into their deaths.
The news came as US diplomat Richard Haass failed to make the party’s in the North of Ireland come to an agreement on dealing with the past, parades and flags. Among the issues holding up the progress have been mechanisms for giving evidence to Historical inquires by bodies taking over the functions of the PSNI‘s/RUC‘s Historical Enquires Team (HET) and the Police Ombudsman. The fresh report into the Co Tyrone killings was carried out by a forensic pathologist for the HET. It appears to contradict accounts given by the undercover soldiers who claimed the pair were shot dead while pointing weapons towards them. Mr McGirr and Mr Campbell, who were members of the Provisional IRA, were murdered by the SAS in a field on Cloghog Road near Coalisland, Co Tyrone, on December 4 1983. A third man was injured but escaped. Their deaths fuelled claims of a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy by the British government against IRA members.
Testimony from the soldiers had claimed that the men were removing weapons hidden in the field and on being challenged “Colm McGirr turned and pointed a shotgun towards one of the soldiers who then fired several shots at him”. Forensic pathologist Richard Shepherd reviewed the postmortem examination scene photographs and statements from four of the six soldiers prescent. He said he did “not believe Colm McGirr would have turned far enough to threaten soldiers” and “no shots had struck Brian Campbell from the front”. In his report, which the families have received, he concluded that because Mr McGirr was right handed, he did “not believe he would have turned far enough to threaten soldiers” if he was holding a weapon. “In my opinion therefore it is more likely that [Mr McGirr] received shots to his right side and back as he was facing into or towards the bush,” he said. The SAS also claimed one of the squad, known as Soldier A, then fired towards Brian Campbell who was holding an armalite rifle and had also turned and was facing them” However, Dr Shepherd concluded that “no shots had struck Brian Campbell form the front”. “I cannot exclude the possibility that the injury to the left upper back was inflicted as he lay on the ground,” he said, without ruling out the soldiers’ version of events in both cases. The IRA men’s families have now called for a fresh inquest into their deaths/murders. Solicitor Padraig O Muirigh, acting on behalf of the relatives said they would also take legal action against the British government.
“This report raises serious concerns in relation to the original soldiers’ statements,” he said. “In light of the disclosure of the Dr Shepherd’s report the families have made an application to the attorney general to direct a fresh inquest into the deaths/murders of Colm McGirr and Brian Campbell. “They will also be issuing civil proceedings against the minister of defence in relation to the unlawful actions of the soldiers.” Colm McGirr’s brother Brian (58), from Coalisland, claimed the British army discovered the arms cache three days earlier on December 1, but the weapons were not removed or disabeled. “We have no doubt that a carefully planned ambush was set by undercover British security forces that evening,” he said. “Through the 30 years that have passed we have sought the truth of what happened. We were led to bbelieve that the PSNI’s/RUC’s Historical Enquiries Team would make every effort to achieve the truth. “As part of this, a second pathologist has confirmed that the shootings could not have happened as described by security forces. Both men, Colm and Brian, were shot in cold blood in the back.” Mr McGirr said the families have been informed that the HSE investigation “is at an end and will proceed no further”. “We lived with a charade of an inquest in early years with no evidence of any sort offered as to what occurred. The McGirr and Campbell families will continue to demand that a new inquest is held to fully investigate all that occourred on that evening.” Reacting to the findings on Monday nnight, Dungannon Independent Republican councillor Barry Monteith said he was “not surprised” by the pathologist’s review and accused the British government of operating a ‘shot-to-kill policy in the North of Ireland. However, Dungannon DUP councillor Samuel Brush said he had no confidence in the HET. “There are dozens and dozens of murders around this area in South Tyrone that have not been looked at,” he said. “It baffles me that these things didn’t ccome to light then and can be turned up. “All we can do is work on reports as they come but is this report any better or any worse than the previous ones?”
With many thanks toto: The Irish News.
- Link to Loughgall ambush sealed RUC officer’s fate (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- I’m Already Low on New Year Optimism (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Link to Loughgall ambush sealed RUC officer’s fate (irishtimes.com)
- ‘Old’ I.R.A ‘Not in My Name’ Part 2 (politics.ie)
- ‘Old’ I.R.A ‘Not in My Name’ Part 2 (politics.ie)
Letter which was published in today’s Irish News – Monday December 16 2013 – Martin Galvin, Bronx, New York.
FERGAL Hallahan was more right than he imagines (November 25) about the derision accorded anyone with the temerity to accuse Britain of deploying a Military Reaction Force (MRF) of plain-cloths British troopers who gunned down unarmed nationalists using non-military weapons.
During my years as both editor of the Irish People weekly American newspaper and national director of Irish Northern Aid, I was tasked with presenting such facts to the American public and especially congressmen. The contention we republicans repeatedly made was that the crown had sent out the MRF and later wiped British fingerprints from their killings by shifting from the MRF to having the shots fired by loyalist proxies. This tactic had obvious advantages, including avoiding British army ccasualties like those inflicted by the IRA at the Four Square Laundry. It allowed the British plausible deniability. Collusion in murders carried out by loyalists could be denied outright and blamed on a cadre of crown force bad apples, no matter how much targeting intelligence, agent control or safe passage the British had supplied. Britain’s answer to these charges never changed. British officials would declare, self-righteously that “Her Majesty’s government” would never stoop to deploy such a unit. The British army ‘yellow card’ rules were sacrosanct, they scoffed and this code was rigorously applied whenever British troopers opened fire.
These sanctimonious British denials were believed by the public, politicians and journalists to the extent that this handpicked death squard remained largely unknown to the public. Panorama’s Britian’s Secret Terror Force proves that republicans were right about Britain’s deployment of a terror force, the MRF. It proves that those high-ranking British officials who denied that the crown would stoop to such tactics were either deliberately misled by the crown or deliberately misleading others on the crown’s behalf. Members of this British terror squad have no worries that they will face justice for killing unarmed Irish civilians like Daniel Rooney or Patrick McVeigh. They freely boast of their misdeeds, for the television cameras. Confident that they enjoy a selective immunity and impunity, not granted to republicians like Gerry McGeough, Seamus Kearney or John Downey. We republicans were right about Britain’s tactical shift from the MRF terror force to doing their ‘dirty war’ work through loyalist proxies. Must we await another documentary before people face the facts about Britain’s complicity with loyalist killers in collusion murders?
With many thanks to: Martin Galvin.
- Amnesty International demands inquiry into British Army shoot-to-kill revelations (VIDEO) (irishcentral.com)
- Northern Ireland : Military Reaction Force (MRF): Time for Truth (democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.com)
- Police urged to probe MRF claims (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Army unit members ‘killed civilians’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Revealed: Bbc Expose on Secret Army ‘Ghost Squad’ Which Hunted Down Ira Members (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Army ‘sanctioned shoot-to-kill policy’ in Belfast – Irish Times (irishtimes.com)
- #Panorama to show absence of very good tools to critique the state (sluggerotoole.com)
- Death Squad Britain – The Past That Won’t Stay Hidden (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Veteran reveals secrets of life inside British Army ‘ghost squad’ accused of murdering IRA suspects during the Troubles (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- British to investigate claims on 1972 shoot-to-kill policy (irishtimes.com)
Cumann Sean MacEachaidh
In View of the deliberate attempt to misrepresent the situation arising from the repeal of the external relations Act, the Army Council of Óglaigh na h-Éireann considers it desirable to issue a statement defining clearly the actual position.
By an Act of the British Parliament passed at Westminster in 1920, in the deliberate absence of the entire Irish Representation and through the acceptance of the Articles of Agreement for a Treat, the Irish Republic proclaimed in arms Easter 1916–
And ratified in 1919 by the elected representatives of the People of all Ireland – was prevented from functioning, an in its stead two Partition Parliaments were set up to Govern Ireland.
Thus Ireland was Forcibly partitioned by England and has remained Partitioned since. Any attempt to give the Twenty-six County area a new status by representing it as “The Republic of Ireland” does not and cannot alter this fundamental fact.
England still retains direct control over six counties of Irish territory, and maintains within the area an army of occupation.
While that position remains Republicans cannot concede the claim that Ireland’s centuries-old struggle for freedom is ended.
In the circumstances those owing allegiance to the Republic cannot, without sacrifice of their principles, give allegiance to either of the Partition institutions created by Britain, or recognize that the repeal of the External Relations Act is anything better than a political manoeuvre to mislead the Irish People in to the belief that the freedom of Ireland has been achieved.
While any sod of Irish territory remains occupied by the army of a foreign country, it cannot be truthfully stated that the Republic of Ireland has been restored and so it remains the duty of all Republicans to continue their efforts to rid Ireland of the last vestiges of foreign rule.
Issued by the Army Council Óglaigh na h-Éirean January 1949
- Resist British Rule in Ireland – Freedom Struggle in Ireland (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- State willing to confront unionist perceptions of role in Troubles – Gilmore (irishtimes.com)
- Royals invited to 1916 rising events (bbc.co.uk)
1920: Execution of Kevin Barry
On the morning of 20 September 1920, Kevin Barry went to Mass and received Holy Communion, he then joined a party of IRA volunteers on Bolton Street in Dublin. Their orders were to ambush a British army truck as it picked up a delivery of bread from a bakery and capture their weapons. The ambush was scheduled for 11AM, which gave him enough time to take part in the operation and return to UCD in time for a Medical examination he had at 2PM. Captured at the scene, Barry was court martialled and hanged in Mountjoy Jail November 1st 1920. He was the first Republican to be executed since the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916. The execution of Barry led to a swell of support for the Independence struggle, both nationally and internationally.
The image attached is a poignant letter from an 18 year old boy about to meet his end.
Volunteer Kevin Barry, C Company of the first Battalion of the Dublin Brigade, A TRUE AND BRAVE IRISH SOLDIER. R.I.P.
- Was this woman responsible for Kevin Barry’s capture in 1920? (dublin7peopleshistory.wordpress.com)
- City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (ismokecigarsblog.wordpress.com)
- Oglach Tom Williams – Hung by Britain 2nd September 1942. R.I.P (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Oglach Jim Bryson and Oglach Patrick Mulvenna who died on Active Service 31 August 1973 R.I.P (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Rembering today – Oglach Tom Williams executed on this day 2nd September 1942 aged 19years. Fuair Se bas ar son Saorise ahEireann. R.I.P (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Oglach Patrick (Paddy) McAdorey 3rd batt PIRA – RIP (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)