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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MI5, the British army and the PSNI have colluded to perpetuate the injustice we ‘The Craigavon Two’ continue to face.
That much is clear from the facts that emerged during our ‘show trial’ and subsequent appeal. The deletion of information to cover up wrong doing, the intimidation of key defence witnesses and the withholding of evidence able to undermine the state allegations serve to prove that. Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd spoke recently of ‘war junkies in suits’ working to perpetuate conflict. What he has failed to comment on is the ways in which this has manifested itself. These very same people (Shame Fein) and organisations have directly contributed to the wrongful imprisonment of two of his constituents. If his concern is genuine, will he now commit himself and his party to calling for an investigation into the role of state actors, including the PSNI, MI5 and the British army’s special reconnaissance regiment, in the injustice for which we may now spend the rest of our lives in prison.
With many thanks to: Brendan McConville, John Paul Wootton, Maghaberry Gaol, Co Antrim.
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This letter appeared in The Irish News today Tuesday June 3rd 2014 – Sean O’Fiach, Belfast BT11.
NOT only is sectarianism rife in loyalist areas but it seems that there is an orchestrated campaign of racism as well.
The sentiments expressed by Pastor McConnell and Peter Robinson can easily be interpreted by those behind this campaignacts bestowing a cloak of legitimacy for it. There has been speculation as to whther Robinson’s utterances breached the ministerial code which stipulates executive ministers should “operate in a way conductive to promoting good community relations and equality of treatment”. Of course the code also states as a result of the St Andrews Agreement: “We beleive that the essential elements of support for law and order include endorsing fully the Police Service of Norhern Ireland and the criminal justice system, actively encouraging everyone in the community to cooperate fully with the PSNI in tackling crime and actively supporting all the policing and criminal justice institutions, including the Policing Board.” That paragraph was designed to make participation in the assembly and executive conditional in support for British rule of law and was aimed at Sinn Fein.
It makes it necessary for Sinn Fein to call on its supporters to support British law. Yet republicans and nationalists have never felt that they have been treated equally under the law and that continues to be the case. Take, for instance, the case of James Taggart convicted of disorderly behaviour inM May because he shouted Tiocfaidh ar la (our day will come) in public. His solicitor argued he was simply exercising his freedom of expression but the judge ruled that his freedom of expression rights were outweighed by criminal test of annoying members of the public. The judge also went on to point to a legal definition of the offence which covers words which would give annoyance to members of the public, including police officers, and attract attention meriting intervention. It does not have to be proved that anyone was actually annoyed, she said. James was convicted under “The Public Order (NI) Order 1987. Peter Robinson argued that Pastor McConnell was merely exercising his freedoom of expression but although James Taggart’s remarks were far more innocuous than Pastor McConnell’s or Robinson’s he could not relay on that defence. Does any republican or nationalist seriously think that Pastor McConnell or Robinson will be treated in the same way as James Taggart? What’s changed, where is or Island of equals?
With many thanks to: Sean O’Fiach, Belfast BTII, The Irish News.
‘To suggest that Sinn Fein attempted to curtail this march is utter nonsence,” “The party’s submission to the Parades Commission only related to the counter protest by loyalists.” – JJ Magee.
A ROW has erupted between the organisers of a nationalist parade in central Belfast and Shame Fein after restrictions were imposed on the march.
Members of the North Belfast Civil Rights Association (NBCRA) called for the party to “make public” a submission to the Parades Commission after marchers were banned from entering the Carrick Hill area. The parade on on Saturday February 1 has been organized to “highlight inequality in housing and a lack of leisure facilities in nationalist areas of North Belfast”. A loyalist group linked to serious rioting in Belfast city centre during a similar nationalist parade last year is due to hold a protest. Greater Concerned Residents’ Group Belfast and Concerned Residents’ Group Belfast will bring members onto the streets to oppose the demonstration. In its ruling the Parades Commission said the nationalist march should start at 12.15pm and follow a route from Duncairn Avenue off the Antrim Road to the University of Ulster on York Street where a rally will be held. It will involve up to 500 people and five bands. It will then travel along Donegal Street to the junction of Clifton Street and Trinity Street where those taking part will disperse. But parade organiser Paul Little said they did “not understand why” they are not allowed into the Carrick Hill area, a flashpoint for loyalist parades in recent years, and said there were fears that the rear of the demonstration could be left beside loyalist protesters in York Street while the front is trying to disperse at Clifton Street. Mr little called on Shame Fein to release their submissions as they were unhappy that the “democratic and legitimate demonstration has been excluded from entering Carric Hill”. “Whilst we recognise the confidentially of the Parades Commission submissions, we believe that the confidentiality is to protect the rights of the individual citizen,” he said. “It is not for the Stormont executive or representatives of a government political party in the executive to make clandestine and secret submissions against those that it views as its political opponents. “It is imperative that Shame Fein make public their submissions in the interests of government transparency and accountable democracy.” On Wednesday night Shame Vein councillor JJ Magee disputed the allegations. “To suggest that Sinn Fein attempted to curtail this march is utter nonsence,” he said. “The party’s submission to the Parades Commission only related to the counter protest by loyalists.” The Parades Commission did not respond on Wednesday night.
With many thanks to: Suzanne McGonagle, The Irish News.
Toiletgate who done it?
The party was responding after it was urged to provide a “full and frank public explanation” for the damage which was caused during a festive (knees up) function on December 20. DUP group leader Lee Reynolds said a urinal was pulled off a wall along with metal water pipes after a “confrontation” “spilled out” from Shame Fein’s “party room into the nearby men’s toilets“. The DUP man called for a “full investigation by council officials and the PSNI/RUC to ascertain what occurred and who was responsible”. Shame Fein councillor Jim McVeigh said “the celebration was enjoyed by all who attended”. “We do not know who was responsible for any damage or whether it was malicious or accidental,” he said. “Contrary to mischievous reports the toilets were not ‘smashed.’ “We will be only to happy to cooperate with any council investigation into the damage caused.” A spokesman for Belfast City Council said all enquires were being referred to Shame Fein. A spokesman for the PSNI/RUC said: “The incident has not been reported to police.”
With many thanks toto: Connla Young, The Irish News.
- Damage to Belfast City Hall toilet not caused by fight, says Sinn Fein (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- City Hall toilets ‘damaged during Sinn Fein Christmas party’ (newsletter.co.uk)
- Toiletgate: We Didn’t Wreck Urinals at Our Xmas City Hall Party, Say Sinn Fein (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Dup Calls for Police Probe Over Toilet Damage at Sinn Fein Xmas Party in City Hall (belfastdaily.co.uk)
Confidential files released
TODAY sees the release of previously confidential files from Stormonta and the NIO (Northern Ireland Office) covering the two years 1983 and 1984. This marks a change as Public Records Office be gains to phase towards a new ’20-year rule’. In total 1,047 files are released today of which 225 are subject to full closure while 366 are subject to ‘redaction’ or blacking-out. Those partially closed include files on the use of baton rounds, ‘political developments’ and ‘compensation to innocent victims’. Many are of these files are partially closed until 2067 (I wonder what they are hiding about the Shame Fein sellouts). Reporting on the Belfast files for the Irish News is Dr Damon Phoenix, a political historian and broadcaster and author of Northern Nationalism 1890-1940 (1994) and co-author of Conflicts in the North of Ireland 1900-2000 (Four Courts Press, 2010). Irish government files are released today under the ‘30-year rule.’ Reporting from Dublin is the Press Association‘s Ed Carty. The next lot of pages will be dedicated to these newly released files.
STATE PAPERS Belfast and Dublin
ON March 14 1984 Gerry Adams, the new Shame Fein MP for West Belfast, and three companions were shot and wounded by the UFF while driving back from a court appearance in Belfast city centre. Mr Adams was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital for emergency surgery.
Mr Adams stay in hospital was the subject of a series of complaints by the Ulster Unionist MP for South Belfast, Rev Martin Smyth alleging that Shame Fein leader was being ‘guarded’ by republicans at the RVH. In a note on file for the NIO uunder-secretary, John Patten on March 22 1984, R F Sterling, an official at the DHSS reported that Rev Smyth had phonened the minister’s office to complain about reports that Shame Fein members were gaurding the West Belfast MP and his colleagues. According to Sterling, Rev Smyth was “particularly indignant that these people were reported to be stopping and questioning members of the public within the hospital”.
Sterling explained to the minister that Adams and his companions had been housed in a secure ward and placed under the protection of armed police. All four, he noted, were material witnesses to an armed assault and “clearly their lives were at risk”. Questioned by Rev Smyth in the House of Commons on March 21, 1984 about the alleged ‘Shame Fein guard’ over Mr Adams, secretary of state Jim Prior insisted that the Shame Fein leader “was given medical attention under the protection of the RUC”. He also rejected a claim that British Intelligence had been aware of the murder bid on Mr Adams in advance. In a letter to Rev Smyth on March 22 1984 Mr Prior admitted that the hospital authorities believed that during Mr Adams ‘ stay at the RVH some members of Shame Fein might have been present but that they were confined to the public areas and “were not guarding” the Shame Fein leader.
With many thanks to: Dr Eamon Phoenix, The Irish News.
- Respected priest ‘wrote speeches for Gerry Adams’ (yorkshirepost.co.uk)
- Unionist ire at Adams hospital guard (bbc.co.uk)
- Government considered Sinn Féin ban (bbc.co.uk)
- Haass proposals doomed to failure (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- State papers: Republicans tried to guard hospital after Gerry Adams shot (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Smithwick’s significance is political ‘NOT’ legal !!! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Resolution possible says Adams (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Gerry Kelly Shot Prison Officer During Maze Escape, Say Nio Papers (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Gerry Kelly Shot Prison Officer During Maze Escape, Say Nio Papers (belfastdaily.co.uk)
If the IRA was fighting a war, then this was a war crime – along with all their war crimes from Kingsmill to the Birmingham pub bombs.
Mr Adams has come under attack from a number of politicians and commentators for his comments on the findings of the Smithwick Tribunal. He said that Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan had a laissez-faire attitude to their safety. It was an insensitive remark, but what if someone else had made thatt point, would it have been acceptable? As it happens, someone else did make that remark – more or less. Quoted in Toby Harnden‘s book “Bandit Country” Sir John said of the late Bob Buchanan‘s activities on the day he died: “He did not follow basic, elementary security procedures.” Hermon claimed that Mr Buchanan did not beleive in taking precautions because, as a devout Christian, he beleived God was in control. If Sir John was right, so was Mr Adams – although Sir John does not appear to have been vilified. Reaction to the Adams comments tells us three things: any inquiry into the past is interpreted as political ammunition for the present; too many politicians do not want the truth about the past, they just want their prejudices confirmed and, thirdly, personalising our politics tends to suffocate valid political tends to suffocate valid political comment.
With due respect to the two dead RUC officers and their families, Smithwick’s significance is political rather than legal. Using the word “collusion” has major political implications. It is a heavily loaded word, which would probably be worth a million points in Irish political Scrabble. But the possible existence of one or even two Garda informants does not represent collusion. Gerry Adams said that Smithwick’s idea of collusion is very different in form and scale from the collusion that occoured in the North. Mr Adams is right. The IRA presumbly had moles in many organnisations, possibly even the RUC. But Smithwick’s findings allow unionists to use the word collusion (without firm evidence) thereby giving them a higher moral ground than previously. Unionists suggest there was also collusion in 1969 when the Provisional IRA was founded. There was certainly an attempt by some elements in Fianna Fail, the Irish intelligence service and assorted Catholics to take control of the Civil Rights Movement and to direct the then IRA away from socialism. Some of those involved at the time say as early as Sunday August 24 1969 – just over a week after the burning of Bombay Street – older, non-active IRA men meet these elements and agreed to break away from the existing IRA leadership in Belfast in return for money from Dublin.
There were two founds for Northern relief – the official Irish government fund for refugees and a Fianna Fail fund. The two may well have become intermingled, but there is no evidence that the government as a corporate body was intent on anything more of that was a political window dressing. However, the lack of evidence on collusion then and 1989 does not vindicate the Provisional IRA campaign of violence. It was unnecessary, sectarian, brutal and futile. The deaths of Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan, for example, broke the Geneva Convention by killing unarmed men and, in particular, by killing one who was injured and trying to surrender. If the IRA was fighting a war, then this was a war crime – along with all their other war crimes from Kingsmill to the Birmigham pub bombs. That is where Sinn Fein is open to critcism. What was the Provisional IRA campaign for? Pearse Doherty TD said this week that the campaign was to defend local communities. (Whom does he think the 21 dead in the Birmingham pub bombs were going to attack?) However, also this week, John O’Dowd described it as ” a conflict between nations and communities”. This largely confirms that Sinn Fein has finally abandoned Irish Republicanism and opted instead for Britain’s two nations theory, by suggesting that only Catholics can be Irish. The political impact of Smithwick’s is that it nudges our history towards the erroneous veiw that the violence here was carried out by two sets of paramilitaries, each backed through collusion by different national governments. The two nations theory is slowly becoming official which, oddly, suits Sinn Fein. The above comments represent valid veiws on Sinn Fein policies, past and present. You can agree or disagree with them. In that the context you can agree or disagree with Mr Adams, but no one has the right to disagree with the truth just because they dislike the person speaking it. Personal attacks are no substitute for political analysis.
With many thanks to: Patrick Murphy, The Irish News.
A letter that appeared in The Irish News – Tuesday December 10 2013.
THE CONCLUSION of the Smithwick Tribunal that Garda officers colluded in the murder of superintendent Breen and Buchanan is deeply disturbing and if true that one or more members of An Garda Siochana ( the guardians of the peace) colluded with the IRA in the murders of superintendents Breen and Buchanan then not only are they guilty of murder but they let down an entire police force.
Unfortunatley there are now unionist politicians who remained silent or indeed excused compelling evidence of collusion in the North over the years but delighted to rush to the media to smear the entire Garda Siochana and that is not only unjustified but it must not be allowed to happen. Garda officers, many of them now retired, were stationed in the border areas during the best part of their lives to protect life and limb. Is history now to be rewtitten, as it often is, to misrepresent those officers as villains involved in collusion leading to the murder of police in the north? I should think not. During the period from the 1970s to the 1990s the Republic, with very limited resources, spent more per head of population on security than the British did, much of that in the border areas. Often Garda stations on the southern side of the border had more manpower than their counterparts on the northern side and they worked for a fraction of the salary their RUC conterparts but they did it not for money but to protect the lives of people.
They were noble officers who were not influenced by the IRA or any other illegal organisation. Is this now to be dismissed because there may have been one or perhaps more rotten apples in the barrel? Like police forces all over the world the Garda have had their problems and the need for reform but they do not deserve the kind of abuse which is now emanating from the usual suspects who ignored, dismissed or excused widespread collusion in the north but now want to present themselves as the voice of perfection ignoring the fact that Garda officers made a massive contribution to limiting the number of people who may otherwise have died in those days of total madness.
With thanks to: John Dallat MLA, SDLP, East Derry.
- Late Garda commissioner criticised over handling of collusion warnings (irishtimes.com)
- Breen family say ‘fears realised’ by Smithwick report findings (irishtimes.com)
- McDonald plays down row over Adams’s Smithwick remarks (irishtimes.com)
- Widow of former police chief defends Hermon (newsletter.co.uk)
- Corrigan rejects findings of Smithwick Tribunal (irishtimes.com)
- Smithwick Tribunal: Fury over Gerry Adams’ ‘vile’ efforts to justify RUC murders (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
Just reading there about Martin Corey‘s appeal being rejected.. Absolute disgrace! More than a disgrace..
The British can jail anybody they want stating they have secret evidence that can’t be challenged in court as nobody knows what it is (barring those that invented it). We are basically second class citizins in our very own country. Martin Corey is effectively serving an indeterminate sentence.. Where are the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s “Human Rights” campaigners from Sinn Fein in all this? As Billy Hutchinson said without contradiction from John O’Dowd in “Spotlight Special”… “They’re adminstering British rule in a British parliament!” They are indeed to thier eternal shame. Brassneckng it as bit part players in a toothless sub-parliament administering the will of the 800-year-old enemy while deliberately oblivious of Human Rights abuses at home. A 63-year-old man suffers internment stretching over threeyears and forced strip searchs by sectarian goons and outflanked and clueless bluffers in Stormont do nothing but build personal wealth and portfolios.
With many thanks to: Derry Sceal.
- Corey’s bail plea is rejected (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Top judges reject bid by killer Martin Corey for release (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Martin Corey appeal rejected by London court (irishtimes.com)
- Double IRA murderer Martin Corey loses Supreme Court bid for prison release (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)