MANY observers were yesterday highlighting the irony of a party which includes the word ‘democratic’ in its name effectively blocking the overwhelming will of the assembly.


But we knew this was always going to be the outcome once the DUP announced its intention to lodge a petition of concern to veto an inquiry into the allegations of political interferance against Nelson McCausland. A measure designed to stop majoritiaranism – or blatant sectarianism – at Stormont, petitions of concern weren’t something that much occupied the thoughts of Joe and Joe Public until the assembly was recalled to address the Red Sky controversy. They may now be more familiar with its workings and how it can be deployed, but it’s unlikely the whole episode will enamour them to politics on the hill. A clear majority of assembly members – 54 to 32 – supported the motion calling for a probe into the actions of Mr McCausland and his special adviser Stephen Brimstone.

MLAs had returned from recess, albeit after a few short days, and the chamber wwitnessed some passionate and at times bruising debate. But it was all for the optics because no matter how heated and pointed the exchanges became, the predetermined outcome meant they carried no greater weight than a Sunday school debating contest. In political terms we were back where we started. Unfortunately that is the nature of the Storming beast. Power sharing may the concept of devolved institutions are built on but it seems power ultimately resides with the party that can consistently muster 30 signatures and lodge a petition of concern whenever it is unhappy with a particular assembly motion.

The upshot is therefore not democracy but an inverted form of majoritarianism. It’s a system that leaves the majority party in a position where it can overrule the rest of the assembly even when outnumbered two-to-one. As proved on Monday, the DUP as it presently stands in the assembly is unimpeachable and is only likely to see one of its ministers or MLAs censured when they have breached boundaries set by the party itself. Stormount’s recent dearth of legislation has been well documented and it’s believed this lack of determination and decisiveness has turned off many amount the electorate. The collective failure to demonstrate the effectiveness of the political system by making Nelson McCausland answerable to serious allegations can only lead to further disillusionment.

With many thanks to : John ManleyThe Irish News.


Attacks not mentioned at secret meeting.

A HIGH-ranking member of MI5/MI6 met a UVF delegation just weeks after the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Secret papers reveal that four men from the loyalist paramilitary group met with senior intelligence officer Michael Oatley aafter it had detonated bombs in Dublin and Monaghan in May 1974, killing 33 people.


Senior British government official James Allan also attended the meeting on May 27 at a house in Hollywood, Co Down, known as Laneside. A long-serving MI6 operator, Mr Oatley had strong contacts with both republican and loyalist groups througout the Troubles and is beleived to have been instrumental in the process that ultimatley resulted in the Provisional IRA calling its 1994 ceasefire. The UVF delegation comprised West Belfast man Ken Gibson, beleived to have been the leader of the UVF in 1974, and three other men who are named in the recently uncovered document. Laneside was regulary used by British officils as a discreet location to meet and hold talks with both loyalists and nationalist representatives in the 1970’s. Staffed by various Northern Ireland Office and British government officials, it was also used by officers of MI6, the international arm of the British Secret Services. Documents recentiy uncovered by the Pat Finucance Centre in Derry reveal that MI6 officials meet the four-stong UVF delegation ovef two days. The meetings took place less than two weeks after three UVF bombs exploded in Dublin and one in Monaghan as the Ulster Workers Strike was nearing an end. Despite this, no mention of the atrocities was made during the minutes.

Instead, in a summary of the meeting prepared by James Allan, it has emerged he was keen to protect senior UVF men from arrest. ” The UVF’s relationship with us has become very stange,” he said. ” They are desperately in need of advice as to how to achieve their aims of ensuring working class, and above all UVF participation in politics and they seek this even though they know that there are basic differences between them and HMG on the strike. ” Further, they are clearly worried that their position may be undermined by arrest of UVF leaders. (I beleive we should think very carefully before action is taken vis a vis UVF politicals and I should be greatful to have the opportunity to comment on possible arrest lists).” Two days later, on May 29, Ken Gibson and a second UVF man returned to Laneside for more talks. During these discussions it emerged that the UVF leaders claimed both they and former first minister, then leader of the DUP, Ian Paisley, now Lord Bannside, were supportive of talks with republicans.

The government summary of the meeting said : ” Despite their rough words in public politicians, including Rev Ian Paisley, were in favour of conversations with the IRA.” It would be more than three decades before the DUP leader finally went into goverenment with Sinn Fein at the Stormont assembly. The UVF men also revealed their support for the Price sisters, Dolours and Marian, who at the time were on hungerstrike in an English jail.”ThePrice sisters should be returned to Ireland as should loyalist prisoners like Billy Campbell held in Scotland,” reported James Allan. ” Mr Gibson suggested the loyalist leaders would probably start a ccampaign for the return of all such prisoners. ” Part of their aim in doing so would show solidarity with republicans.” Margaret Irwin from Justice for the Forgotten, a group that represents the families of those killed in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, said she was concerned about the files. ” The thing that is very disturbing is that the British government were considering not arresting UVF leaders especially coming in the wake of the bombings,”  she said. ” It brings home the importance of the British government being up front in relation to undisclosed files.”

With many thanks to : Connia Young, Irish News.

Alderdice to lead Ardoyne parades talks

Talks between residents’ groups and parade bodies in north Belfast are set to be held in a bid to resolve the ongoing dispute over parading in the Ardoyne area.

The discussions will be chaired by former Northern Ireland Assembly Speaker Lord Alderdice, supported by local church leaders Fr Gary Donegan from Holy Cross and Dr Norman Hamilton from Ballysillan Presbyterian.

The Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents Association (CARA) and the North and West Belfast Parades and Cultural Forum have initially been invited to participate.

“The purpose of this initiative is to explore those issues which have impeded agreement to date and to make a fresh effort at seeking a more sustainable solution to parading at this location,” Parades Commission Chairman Peter Osborne said.

It is important to recognise and acknowledge the efforts of those involved in previous processes and I appreciate the work both the Forum and CARA have undertaken so far in attempting to make progress on this issue.

Peter Osborne, Parades Commission

“We are sure that, given his recognised local and international experience, Lord Alderdice is someone in whom both parties can have confidence.

“I am encouraged that in this initiative he will be supported by Gary and Norman, who have significant local experience and knowledge, real local standing and respect.”

Mr Osborne also paid tribute to the efforts made on both sides so far and recognised that the work still to be done would be “difficult and challenging”.

Violence has broken out in the Ardoyne area in the wake of Twelfth of July celebrations in recent years, with the trouble lasting for four days in 2010.

Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast Gerry Kelly said he welcomed the initiative, but that the onus was on the Orange Order to engage in meaningful dialogue with both the local community and the Parades Commission.

“In the week the Orange Order received significant amounts of EU funding to contribute to peace building and reconciliation, their continuing refusal to talk to local nationalist communities is even more untenable,” he said.

However, DUP Upper Bann MP David Simpson hit out at the Parades Commission and accused the body of “rewarding” those who don’t engage in discussions – referring particularly to the ongoing dispute at Drumcree.

“We now have this new initiative in Ardoyne. When will we have some move in Portadown?” he said.


Related articles

IT IS THE STANCE OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT that there is no Weston Park Accord

The British Secretary of State for Wales and S...

IT IS THE STANCE OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT that there is no Weston Park Accord, because it was withdrawn. This means the agreement to not prosecute actions during the troubles is withdrawn. Are the Peace Agreements between the UK and the North of Ireland subject to withdrawl? This appears to be the case. Were the agreements a ploy to gain decommissioning and regain control of Republicans? Thi…s appears to be the case.

Helen McClafferty
Weston Park accord was formally withdrawn by the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain MP, on 11 January 2006.

Re: parliamentary questions

… —–Original Message—–
From: Muireann NiThuairisg <>
To: mcclafferty32 <>
Sent: Mon, Mar 12, 2012 12:02 pm
Subject: re parliamentary questions

Dear Helen,

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked that I forward you the below replies he received to parliamentary questions he recently put down in Dáil Éireann.

Le gach deá ghuí,
Question No. 127

Parliamentary Question– Dept Details

English: Shaun Woodward, British politician an...

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the reason he is not pressing that an agreement made between the Irish Government and the British Government be implemented in full, and that as agreed at Weston Park that no further prosecutions and consequently prison sentences will be imposed on those who committed offences before 10 April 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Éamon Ó Cuív.

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 28th February, 2012.
Ref No: 10899/12


Proposed draft legislation by the British Government to deal with this specific issue as referred to in paragraph 20 of the Weston Park accord was formally withdrawn by the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain MP, on 11 January 2006. The draft legislation, the Northern Ireland (Offences) Bill, had been opposed by the majority of the Northern Ireland Assembly parties and the Secretary of State was compelled to withdraw the legislation when the only supporting party, Sinn Féin, could not accept certain aspects of the proposed legislation. As the Government was committed to introduce proposals only in tandem with the British government and in accordance with the consensus of the democratically elected Assembly parties, the withdrawal of the Bill meant that the proposals for dealing with the matter in this jurisdiction were also withdrawn.

PUBLISHED ON BEHALF OF :   Caroline Kelly.

Bobby Sands’ spokesman, close friend calls on Israel to immediately release Khader Adnan

The Secretary of the Bobby Sands Trust, Danny Morrison, called on the Israeli government to immediately release Adnan, who is close to death.Morrison was himself interned without trial (administratively detained) as a teenager. He was later the Director of Publicity for Sinn Féin and was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly (1982-86). A friend of Bobby Sands he was nominated by Bobby Sands a…s his spokesperson during the 1981 hunger strike. Today he is a writer and secretary of the Bobby Sands Trust whose members include Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams. Morrison said:Here in Ireland the British government’s prime minister Margaret Thatcherthought that she could break the will of our struggle by killing our prisoners who were hunger striking for their rights as political prisoners. She was wrong and the violence that the British sewed only reaped a whirlwind of resistance but at a heavy cost in Irish and British lives. The lesson from history is that one must talk and negotiate and recognise the rights of people to be free and to be free from injustice and persecution.An earlier British prime minister, Ted Heath, thought that he could also break us through the use of ‘administrative detention’, that is through the use of internment-without-charge-or-trial, which is the pretext used by the Israelis for imprisoning Khader Asnan against whom they have no evidence. People in Derry who marched against internment were massacred on Bloody Sunday and fourteen of them were killed by British paratroopers. Again, that did not break us but only made us more determined to fight for our rights.

 It is probable that Israeli rulers are so hardened that they cannot find it within themselves to exercise clemency and resolve this hunger strike. They possibly do not even care what effect their behaviour has on their reputations and how people around the world view Israel’s behaviour with disgust. But they cannot win over the Palestinian people – even should Khader Adnan lose his right to life.

It was a great Irishman, Terence MacSwiney, the Mayor of Cork, who was arrested by the British and went on hunger strike to the death, who said: ‘It is not those who can inflict the most but those who can suffer the most who will conquer in the end’.

The thoughts of Irish republicans throughout Ireland are with Khader Adnan and his family and we hope that he wins his right to freedom.

POSTED ON BEHALF OF :  Irish Friends of Palestine



LOV UT NIKKO . WHEN WE HANG ALL THOSE FUCKING TRAITOR FRO THE LAMPPOSTS , AH ALL ERIN WILL PART . HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CONFESSION ?crowns shilling as you call it also pays for health care, education etc. in six counties of Ireland…..If your argument were to hold true would you encourage doctors and teachers to refuse it too? Sinn Féin have, through the use of the Northern Assembly, in the last 12 months devolved policing powers from London to Belfast and brought the issue of controlling fiscal powers to the point that even our Unionist friends now agree that tax raised in the six counties should no longer be sent to the crown that it should remain where it is generated. These are two of the greatest achievements in almost 100 years on the road to Irish unity…..all done while in receipt of the ‘crowns shilling’, if the quenn wants to fund the road to Irish unity let her.
Seán Allen Includes Orange men???? You fool, it was never a religious war, it Antony Mulvihillwas about civil liberties!! Would you propose to unite Ireland by deporting 20% of its population? I’ll use the word again….be CONSTRUCTIVE! People like you do more damage than good! You don’t call them Orange men…You call them our Unionist friends……….This is the road to a united Ireland……6 hours agoW
(Tiocfaidh Àr Là)

Posted on Behalf of : Antony Mulvihill via Nicko Byrne


Bobby Sands
A Picture of Bobby Sands in the context of the Rhythm of Time

Father Raymond Murray a well-known crusader for human rights in Occupied Ireland and Chairperson of Relations for Justice, in a book called “State Violence,” chronicled the abuse by the Occupying British of emergency laws in Ireland which continue to this day, with harassment and intimidation of civilians; injuries caused by plastic bullets; collusion between British forces and their created loyalist death squads by British intelligence. Assassinations, killings and murders by the British and their mentored forces, torture, excessive punishments and degrading strip-searching with hand rape in their prisons. Political internment without proper trial and rampant abuse ignored by all despite a much touted peace process, except a handful of individuals and civil rights organisations.

Father Murray wrote, “I experienced the blatant cover-up of this illegal and immoral behaviour. Directly and indirectly the army, police, doctors, civil administration and government were involved in this criminal action.” This continues today aided and abetted at the highest level, including Martin McGuinness the deputy first minister who administers British Occupation. McGuinness has advised the British, that Irish political prisoners of conscience are the soft underbelly of Irish resistance to British Occupation. His ignorance may be forgiven on the basis of his butcher boy background but as a leadership pretender, he would do well to acquaint himself with genuine former Irish statesmen, like Padraig Pearse who referred to “The Spiritual Nation” in the following manner;

“But the soul of the enslaved and broken nation may conceivably be a more splendid thing than the soul of the great free nation; and that is one reason why the enslavements of old and glorious nations, that have taken place so often in history, are the most terrible things that have ever happened in the world.”

Father Raymond himself further wrote, “There are two kinds of histories, one fact and one semi-fiction. This is the conclusion of my experience in working for human rights. The history put out by the ruling class borders on fiction. Their official communiqués are published first and grab the headlines. They hold attention while a crisis lasts. It is an attempt to legitimise illegal actions by which they maintain their power over the powerless and the poor. It is tyranny’s deceit.”

Arthur O’Connor another honourable statesman, addressing the Irish Nation more than 200 years ago, described administrators like the the British puppet McGuinness in the following manner;

“But, why should I waste time in proving that government, in the hands of Irish administration, has been a system for supporting the few in oppressing the many, instead of yielding impartial protection? Has it not been by sowing, maintaining and fomenting division, that Irish administrations have governed Ireland? Look to the continuation of civil discord, of plunder and bloodshed, which has infested our island, since the Welch landed in 1165, to this instant, that these hell-hounds intituled Ancient Britons are butchering our disarmed people. Look in this century to the writings of wretchedness, of misery, of want and oppression, under the different shapes of White-boys, Right-boys, Hearts-of-oak men, Peep-o-day boys, and Steel-men. Yet where is there an instance on record, in which the Government or Legislature in Ireland have inquired into the causes of their constant unerring marks of oppression? No! A system of smothered war between the oppressors and the oppressed, could not bear inquiry, for it would bear redress. Redress means restoration of plunder and restoration of rights. Therefore sanguinary laws and military outrage, whose expences are endless, have been substituted for justice, whose experiences are nothing.”

Neither would Father Raymond a tireless worker for social justice, be regarded as an Irish republican or British by those who knew him well but for those who pay lip service and make political capital out of a so called “peace process” without justice, they would do well to pay heed to this lifetime campaigner for justice and peace, when he again wrote;

“Reconciliation involves the work of justice, of restoring to the other person what you have taken from him and paying for the injury done him, with a determination that that will not occur again. It involves giving back to people their dignity, self-respect, freedom, human rights, the right to worship and educate their children in their faith, to receive back the place that has been taken and the community/country that has been confiscated and oppressed.”

This author would strongly disagree with the the politics of Gerry McGeogh, one of Occupied Ireland’s most recent political internees, but without any shadow of doubt, regard him like Father Murray, as a very spiritual man of unique integrity. He has had two heart attacks and is currently in very bad health, deprived of medication. Just after his recent internment, Gerry called to advise that during the previous night’s physically enforced lockdown, several political prisoners wound up with broken arms, legs and noses, beat down by 50 prison guards with dogs, in full riot gear, masks, with batons calling the prisoner’s “Fenian bastards” describing the situation as really bad at Maghaberry. Gerry is not a member of any organization but the political prisoners have welcomed Gerry as a ‘guest’ on the republican wing and have advised him not to take part in their struggle for health reasons. Since the’ dirty protest’ by more than a dozen prisoners, Gerry’s cell is still full of shit and urine. The prison regime are planning to continue this brutal 23-24 lockup every day and night.

This describtion corresponds with the widespread brutality and inhuman treatment of political prisoners in the H Blocks, Long Kesh that included Bobby SandsBobby Sands and others as young as sixteen, immortalized in the words of the late Cardinal Tomas O Fiach, who described conditions like those in Maghaberry today, as akin “to the hell holes of Calcutta”, which ended with the deaths of ten young men on hunger strike. Those very few campaigners who are attempting to prevent a re-occurrence of this horrific tragedy again, are being censored by the British and their collaborators. They ask you to share articles like this, which highlight injustices in occupied Ireland, with your friends by email, facebook or twitter, in the face of rampant censorship by intranets of British compliant states worldwide, as part of the cover-up of British barbarity.

BrianClarkenuj is based in Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand, and is Reporter for Allvoices

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McGeough speaks out from jail about ‘unsafe conviction’

editorial image 


Published on Thursday 26 May 2011 15:35

SPEAKING from his prison cell, convicted IRA man Gerry McGeough has launched a verbal attack on Democratic Unionist politicians who he claims have ‘demonised’ him in comments published in the Tyrone Times.

In his first interview since being jailed last month for the attempted murder of a part-time UDR soldier thirty years ago, Mr McGeough also complained that he had been jailed to ensure he did not stand in the Northern Ireland Assembly and local council elections.

Sounding upbeat on the telephone, he said that he had been overwhelmed by the supportive messages that have flooded in from all over the world.

While his imprisonment has been hard on his young family, they have been surrounded by well-wishers from both sides of the community, he added.

“In particular I would like to thank my Protestant neighbours, who in their quiet and discreet way have shown their support for my family”, he said.

“My wife and children are finding it tough at the moment. I applied for leave to attend my son’s First Communion but it was refused, which I thought was petty and vindictive.

“It broke his heart to hear that I would not be attending.

“I believe that unionist politicians are projecting all their IRA demons upon me, because they are sharing power with former members of that organisation and are unable to vent their grievances.

“In addition, I took a stand against anti-Catholic advertisements that appeared in the local press and I have been punished because of this.

“Everyone knows I was railroaded into jail to prevent me from standing in the elections. It was an unsafe conviction which relies on flimsy evidence, mainly a piece of fiction I wrote many years ago.

“If the same standards were applied to other authors then Agatha Christie would have been made to serve several life sentences.

“I am confident that in time the decision will be overturned.

“I have a huge volume of support in the local community and believe I may have taken a seat in the Blackwater Ward.”

Mr McGeough said that the same unionist politicians who have been attacking his character had been happy to sit next to him at cross-community events and had in fact praised him for his cross-community work.

“There is no consistency in their attacks and I believe they are guilty of hypocrisy.

“This is all part of a sectarian campaign against me.”

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