The 19th March marks the 13th anniversary of my old comrade Charlie Ronayne (Midleton Co. Cork), who died in 2004.
Charlie and I first met as we went together with others, across the Border on 11th December 1956 to fight the forces of occupation in the Six North Eastern Counties of Ireland.
18 Cork IRA Volunteers went on active service the following night, 12th December 1956. The attached photo was taken at Easter 1960 in Trafalgar Square, London. All 6 in the photo were Irish Republicans. In 1962, Charlie was best-man at my wedding. In later years, Charlie was a Town Councillor representing Sinn Fein on Midleton Town Council. He was re-elected several times. We remained the best of comrades all through the remainder of his life. Ní beidh a leitéid ann arís.
With many thanks to: Jim Lane, Ann Connolly.
Local Shame Féin councillor Michael MacDonnacha applies political pressure to have 1916 mural removed.
Alain O Donaile can you please confirm or deny the allegation please….
With many thanks to: Pól Ó Scanaill, 1916 Society.
Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA).
The structures of PIRA remain in existence in much reduced form. This includes a senior leadership, the ‘Provisional Army Council’ (PAC), and some ‘departments’ with specific responsilities. At lower level, there are some regional command structures. At this lower level, some activity takes place without the knowledge or direction of the leadership. We do not beleive the group is actively recruiting. The group took part in decommissioning between 2001 and 2005 but continues to have access to some weapons. PIRA has not conducted organised procurement of new weaponry in the period since the last IMC report of 2001. PIRA members believe that the PAC oversees both the PIRA and Sinn Féin (Shame Féin) with an overarching strategy. We judge this strategy has a wholly political focus. PIRA members have been directed to actively support Sinn Féin (Shame Féin) within the community including activity like electioneering and leafleting.
Some PIRA members are involved in gathering information of interest to the group including details of DR (dissident Republican) activities and the attempted identification of covert human intelligence sources (MI5), (undercover British Army) and (SAS). A small number are involved in the storage of remaining weaponry in order to prevent its loss to dissident republicans. Individual PIRA members remain involved in criminal activity, such as large scale smuggling, and there have been isolated incidents of violence, including murders.
The investigation into the murder of Kevin McGuigan is still ongoing;
However, we judge that the assessment put forward by the Chief Constable in his public statement on 22nd August remains accurate. The group is not involved in targeting or conducting terrorist atracks against the state or its representatives. There have only been very limited indications of dissent to date and we judge that this has been addressed effectively by the leadership.
Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).
THE structures of INLA remain in existence but there is little indication of centralised control from the leadership. As a consequence, groups accross the North of Ireland operate largely independently of each other. There are indications that INLA is attempting to recruit new members. The group decommissioned weapons in 2010 but continues to have access to some weapons. There have been some efforts to redirect INLA towards community initiatives and a small number of members have taken roles in republican politics with the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP).
However, INLA members have continued to be heavily involved in criminality including extortion, drug dealing, distribution of stolen goods and fraud.
INLA has also been responsible for paramilitart-style assaults and intimidation attacks against alleged drug dealers. These activities have a significant impact on the local community.
Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)/Red Hand Commando (RHC).
THE structures of the UVF remain in existence and there are some indications of recruitment. A top leadership sets strategy for the group but there are lower levels of leadership who have some independence in decision making. The group took part in decommissioning in 2009 but continues to have access to some weapons.
The UVF leadership has attempted to steer its membership towards peaceful initiatives and to carve out a new constructive role. A small number have taken up roles in the politics with the PUP.
However, a large number, including some senior figures, are extensively involved in organised crime including drug dealing, extortion and smuggling.
The UVF are involved in conducting paramilatary style assaults. In some cases UVF members are heavily involved in violence and crime.
The UVF leadership is committed to transforming the purpose of the group to community focused initiatives but have only limited control over the activities of its membership.
Ulster Defence Association (UDA).
THE UDA structures remain in existence but have become increasingly fragmented. The organisation is split in a number of geographical areas, each with its own structures which act almost completly autonomously.
The UFF ( Ulster Freedom Fighters), previously used as a front (cover name) for the UDA, no longer exists.
Organisation decommissioned in 2010 but continues to have access to some weapons. There are some indications of recruitment. There are members who have continued to steer the group into positive community based activism. However, others have been resistant to change and remained active in criminality and violence. Individual members and senior figures within many UDA areas are involved in organised crime including drug dealing, robbery, extortion and the distrubution of conterfeit goods.
There has been an increase in paramilitary activity in the North Antrim area resulting in a murder (Brian McIlhagga) for which a murder investigation is ongoing.
The UDA leadership are committed to transforming the group but have only limited control over its membership.
South East Antrim UDA
SEA UDA remains a separate entity from the mainstream UDA. It retains structures similar to those within the mainstream UDA and its membership is engaged in the same types of criminal and violent activity.
During the Union Flag protests in 2012 individual members were believed to have been involved in serious disorder in the Carrickfergus area.
Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
THE LVF exists only as a criminal group in Antrim and Mid-Ulster.
With many thanks to: The Irish News.
GARC announce mass mobilisation against British Political Policing in Ardoyne and Marrowbone 7.30pm Wednesday 14th October Ardoyne Avenue – Please do your very best to attend all are welcome.
While the Ardoyne Community prepares to mobilise against the intensification of RUC/PSNI harassment in the area as part of British directed Political Policing, the Shame Féin ‘Lord’ Mayor Arder Carson * was yesterday welcoming them to a facility in West Belfast’s Lenadoon area. Shame Féin showing its true double standards there for all to see.
THE ongoing political talks will be successful “against the odds”, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness told a meeting of his party last night.
He said the devolved institutions “are worth saving and I believe the vast majority of people share that view”. But he said the parties must agree to protect the most vulnerable and ensure Stormont (the big house on the hill) has “a workable budget so that public services are delivered to the standard the public expect and deserve”. The deputy first minister also called on the British government to accept they are part of the negotiations and are “not some kind of neutral arbitrator”. He also hit out at the government’s legislation on dealing with the legacy of the Troubles and said it is “in clear breach of the Stormont House Agreement”.
“The legislation proposed by Theresa Villiers and her cabinet colleagues has more to do with covering up the role of the British state as a central player in the conflict and its collusion with unionist death squads,” he said. He said that the executive had succeeded in blocking the worst of the Conservative government’s cuts, including the introduction of water charges. He said lower student fees, free prescriptions and lower rates bills were “rarely highlighted successes of the executive and local parties working together”. The Mid Ulster assembly member warned that a return to direct rule will result in an “unrestrained onslaught on public services and the most vulnerable in our society”. Ms Villiers repeatedly warned that if the parties cannot agree a deal on welfare reforms, the British government will take back welfare powers as a “last resort”. Mr McGuinness said as well as welfare cuts previously announced, new cuts to tax credits in April will affect 120,000 families in the north.
<strong>With many thanks to: Claire Simpson, for the origional story, The Irish News.
YOU probably didn’t notice and there’s no reason why you should, but the same day that a certain loyalist blogger and serial self-publicist was giving evidence to Stormont’s Nama inquiry the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) snuck out its policy paper on implementing the Stormont House Agreement.
Needless to say it got it got virtually no coverage in the tidal wave of sensational allegations made about the alleged recipients of money from the Cerberus deal. If you’ve ever wondered why the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) decided to draft the Stormont House Agreement Bill 2015 and bring it through Westminister rather than allow the clowns in the big house on the hill to legislate, once you read the policy paper all becomes clear. Quite simply the British government intends to control the Historical Inquires Unit (HIU), on what information it can have and what it can reveal. Anyone who beleives that the Policing Board will hold the HIU accountable is living in cloud-cuckoo land. “The secretary of state will have oversight of the HIU regarding reserved and excepted matters.” The UK government will prevent disclosure of any material or information ‘likely to prejudice national security (including information from the intelligence services)’. None of this material can be published ‘without the consent of the secretary of state’. Now as we all know from past experience, ‘likely to prejudice national security’ is whatever our proconsul for the time being decides is national security. When you look at the policy paper you see it begins with a questionable statement and continues to ignore all suggestions and recommendations made by interested parties, nationalist political parties, NGOs like the Committee for the Administration of Justice and university academics. In short, it’s a classic NIO document. It begins with the unconvincing claim that ‘the institutions have the needs of the victims and their families are at their heart’. No. The needs of secrecy in the Ministry of Defence, the NIO and the Home Office are at their heart. It has never been any different in the secretive British state.
For example it was only in 2002 after Freedom of Information requests that details of Special Branch investigation into Charles Stewart Parnell and other Irish MPs were released and even then only in restricted fashion. The names of informers (touts) and amounts paid are still secret 125 years after the fact. Academics at QUB, Sinn Féin (Shame Fein) politicians and the CAJ among others recommended that former RUC and RUC Special Branch personnel be not employed in the HIU partly because they may have been complicit in collusion or cover up or both. The great merit of the Historical Enquiries Team was that its personnel were seconded from English forces and we all know why. However, ignoring all that, ‘the bill does not prohibit the HIU from recruiting persons who have previously served in policing or security roles in the North of Ireland.’
So the HIU won’t work and the NIO has made sure it won’t work because it will only investigate and publish what the NIO allows it to invstigate and publish. Then there’s the Independent Commission on Information Retrieval (ICIR). It’s modelled on the Independent Commission on the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) which has worked extremely well. However, the NIO policy paper goes out of its way to make clear that while information given to the ICIR is inadmissible in court, if that information is obtained or can be obtained by other means then prosecution may follow.
That puts the kibosh on the ICIR because given the record of the PSNI over the past four years, starting with the Boston College fiasco (all hearsay) and continuing with their apparent trawling after the killing of Kevin McGuigan with almost a score of people arrested and released, who is going to risk giving information to the ICIR to pass to families? Inevitably individuals in the PSNI/RUC would be working backwards from the material a family recieved. In mitigation it has to be said on the basis of evidence so far, that’s only likely in the case of prominent Sinn Féin figures. Buried in the policy paper is our proconsul’s admission that ‘on some detailed questions covered in the bill, there is not yet a clear consensus between the five main North of Ireland parties. Work will continue to build consensus on remaining points of difference.’ Yeah right.
With many thanks to: Brian Feeny, for the origional story, The Irish News.
Sinn Féin declared itself neutral in the US Republican Party’s search for a presidential candidate after archive footage emerged of Donald Trump attending a fundraiser hosted by Gerry Adams.
The video clips show campaign frontrunner Trump among the lauminaries at $200-a-plate lunch at an upmarket Manhattan hotel. The fundraising event took place in 1995 during Gerry Adam’s second post-ceasefire trip to the States. Mr Adams had been barred from entering the US until January of the previous year, when then-President Bill Clinton granted him a 48-hour visa – despite widespread protest from US and British officials. However, when he returned to the US a matter of months after the August 1994 ceasefire, the Sinn Féin (Shame Fein) leader had gained celebrity status. Those who turned up to show their support in person and with cash included Bianca Jagger, political activivist and author Tom Hayden, film-maker Michael Moore and ex New York mayor David Dinkins. “The charismatic Adams was greeted like a rock star – posing for pictures and providing autographs…. he received a kiss, a hug and some words of advice from Mick Jagger’s ex-wife,” Associated Press reported at the time. “He smiled and greeted a three-piece band playing traditional Irish music.”
From a podium flanked by Irish tricolours and with a sign behind reading ‘Sinn Féin, A Lasting Peace’, Mr Adams told the audience: “Today is a very historic occasion – I think the British indeed knew there were many friends of Sinn Féin here.’ He also gave Trump a special mention from the podium: “This is not the Trump Tower, but I think I would…” he said as he moved to shake hands with man leading the bid to be the next leader of the ‘Grand Old Party’. The video shows the Republican frontrunner wave to the room and receive a hearty round of applause and some whistles. Twenty years on, however, Irish republicans are less likely to publicise their association with the man who has grabbed the headlines in recent weeks due to alleged misogyny and racism. Asked if Sinn Féin (Shame Fein) supported the Trump’s nomination as a presidential runner, the party was non-committal. “We have no preference,” a spokesman said. “Who is next US president is a matter for the American people.” Notably, Mr Adam’s past friendships with Trump and Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn appear to give the Sinn Féin (Shame Fein) president unrivalled access to two potential world leaders.
With many thanks to: John Manley, Political Correspondent, The Irish News, for the orgional story.
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