YOUR NEW MONTHLY AN PHOBLACHT: MORE PAGES, MORE PICTURES, MORE COLOUR
anphoblacht Sraith Nua Iml 33 Uimhir 23
10 & 11
14 & 15
The farce of Fine Gael
The banking reports
Bodenstown The 'dissidents'
things you should know about the banks
Thousands attend Sinn Féin’s tribute to ‘The Father of Irish Republicanism’
16 & 17 Belfast activist and former POW Bobby Storey asks: 'Who’s pulling the strings?'
BALLYMURPHY MASSACRE: PRELUDE TO BLOODY SUNDAY? SEE PAGE 8
BLOODY SUNDAY: 38 YEARS WAITING FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE
| July/Iúil 2010
5 The Saville Report gets the thumbs up from an insider in Derry’s Guildhall – See Pages 4 to 8
5 Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA was the main speaker at Bodenstown 2010 – See Pages 14 & 15
5 Robert ‘Dinker’ McClenaghan and Rita Doherty at the new mural commemorating the 1970 Falls Curfew – See Page 28
5 The funeral cortege of the very popular Ógra Shinn Féin activist Pádraig Barton – See Page 27
anphoblacht www.anphoblacht.com |
July/Iúil 2010 |
Bloody Sunday The background to the Paras’ murderous attack on the civil rights march in Derry on January 30th 1972, and the Saville Inquiry Report’s vindication of the innocent victims
anphoblacht New beginnings
Media View WELCOME to the new-look An Phoblacht. Offering a radical republican viewpoint every month, we hope you enjoy the paper and recommend it to family, friends and work colleagues. This is a work in progress so we welcome your thoughts and constructive criticism. We may not get everything right but bear with us, let us know where we don’t and help us get it right with your help. And we hope that you will send us your news, views and photos to make it as inclusive as we possibly can. We look forward to hearing from you.
Robbie Smyth looks into The Village and its view of ‘Our Divided Left’ 19
Cúlchaint Le Eoghan Mac Cormaic 21
World Cup soccer Julia Carney shows her colours 22
Mary Nelis Making inquiries in Derry and Gaza 23
Bloody Sunday and beyond THE devastating findings of the Saville Report on the Inquiry into Bloody Sunday - something which could have been acknowledged by the British Government at any time in the last 38 years, saving not just millions of pounds but endless years of anguish for the survivors and the victims’ families - forced British Prime Minister David Cameron and the British Army Chief of Staff into making unprecedented public apologies and admissions of culpability by the British state. And now that the British Government has finally summoned up the political courage to acknowledge the wrongs done in its name, Sinn Féin President
Gerry Adams on Gaza
Gerry Adams has called for the same to be done with regard to the Ballymurphy Massacre. In the 36 hours after the introduction of internment in August 1971, 11 people – 10 men, including a local priest, and a mother of eight children – were killed by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment in the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast. None of those killed had any connection to any armed group. They were all innocent civilians. How long will it take the British Government to do the right thing about Ballymurphy, 1971? SEE PAGES 4 TO 8
Israeli Ambassador should have been expelled 24
Venezuela Chávez nationalises ‘anti-people’ firms 25
That Irish Times poll Eoin Ó Broin gives his opinion 26 & 27
The Fine Gael farce THE farce of the failed coup against Enda Kenny by some of the reputedly brightest brains on the Fine Gael frontbench underlined the fact that Fine Gael is not a serious opposition party. Fianna Fáil-led governments have brought the 26 Counties to the brink of economic collapse and the Fianna Fáil/Green coalition wants ordinary people to pay the price for the greed and reckless of the elite which caused this disaster. It is time to build a new politics in Ireland. But, as Michelle Gildernew pointed out in her speech at Bodenstown, the Labour Party putting Fine Gael into power is a not a new politics. The 26 Counties is in urgent need of a radical republican political agenda and in communities
What’s going on? IF YOU have a good campaign or event, share it with your comrades and readers through An Phoblacht. Whether it’s a publicity initiative, protest, street theatre, leafleting, commemoration, community clean-up or public meeting, show us what you are doing, e-mail us your photos and the details in 200 words and we’ll take it from there. Send all submissions to “Campaign Diary” at firstname.lastname@example.org
across the state Sinn Féin is providing a real alternative to the tired politics of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour. With increasing numbers of voters turning away from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, there is a real opportunity to reshape Irish politics and Sinn Féin can lead the demand for real change. A true transformation of the Irish political landscape must of necessity address the continued, unjust division of our country and our people. A united Ireland makes political, social and economic sense. Now is time to build ‘A New Republic – A United Ireland’. SEE PAGES 14 & 15
BIG ISSUES – YOUR ISSUES IS THERE an issue you think we should take a closer look at? Then drop us a line with the heading “Issues” at email@example.com
= Seando Moore: A courageous Volunteer and hard-working community activist = Pádraig Barton: An inspiring young republican 28
The Falls Curfew, the Defence of Ardoyne and the Battle of St Matthews 31
The Hogan Stand Blowing out your vuvuzela at Croker
AN PHOBLACHT is published monthly by Sinn Féin. The views in An Phoblacht are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sinn Féin. We welcome articles, opinions and photographs from new contributors but please contact the Editor first. AN PHOBLACHT www.anphoblacht.com Kevin Barry House 44 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Ireland Telephone 8726100 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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www.anphoblacht.com BLOODY SUNDAY – 38 YEARS WAITING FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE
TRUTH costs nothing: it’s SUPPRESSION of truth that’s COSTLY g
BY LAURA FRIEL
ANOTHER milestone in the struggle to establish the truth about Bloody Sunday has been met with the publication of the Saville Report. This is the second report commissioned by the British Government into the killing of civilians in Derry’s Bogside on January 30th 1972 by British paratroopers. The first report was published less than three months after the shootings. The second inquiry was announced amidst negotiations that culminated in the Good Friday Agreement. Twelve years and £200million later, Saville achieved the dubious accolade of becoming the longest-running, most expensive inquiry in British legal history. In 1972, the day had begun with a political rally and ended with British troops committing the single largest massacre of citizens within the state’s own jurisdiction in over 150 years. In Ireland, people drew comparison with a more recent atrocity, also carried out by British soldiers on Irish soil: the Croke Park massacre of 1920, another Bloody Sunday. Over 30,000 people had attended what was a peaceful protest against detention without trial. Shortly before 2.30pm, the British Army entered the Bogside, opened fire and continued firing for around 20 to 30 minutes, by which time 27 people had been shot, thousands of protesters terrorised and an entire nation traumatised. Thirteen civil rights protesters died at the scene and a fourteenth of his injuries some months later. Five of those wounded were shot in the back. All those killed were men and boys. Of the two women who were seriously injured, one was shot (the other was run over by an armoured car). Seven of those shot dead were teenagers, many looked like children. The official cover-up began as soon as the shooting ended. In the immediate aftermath, the British Army told lies and fabricated ‘evidence’ in an attempt to hide the fact that soldiers had opened fire, killed and wounded unarmed civilians exercising their democratic right to peaceful protest. The most notorious attempt was by British soldiers manning a checkpoint who planted nail bombs in the pockets of one of those killed. Photographs were circulated as ‘evidence’ that those killed had been ‘targeted’ because they had been actively engaging in republican violence. It was not true. It was claimed some of those shot dead were
known ‘agitators’ and ‘wanted’ by the British Army. That wasn’t true. It was suggested British soldiers had engaged in an armed exchange with the IRA and civilian casualties were caught in the crossfire. That wasn’t true either. But if the official cover-up began almost immediately, so too did the struggle to challenge it. Resistance took two forms: ongoing campaigns to expose British rule and an armed insurrection against military occupation. Bloody Sunday had exposed the colonial nature of Britain’s military intervention in the North and if the British state regarded unarmed civilians demanding democratic rights as military targets then, as one observer put it at the time, “We’re all in the IRA now.” In the immediate aftermath, 30,000 people in Dublin laid siege and burned down the British Embassy. Tens of thousands of people across Ireland, together with Irish communities throughout the world, took to the streets to protest against the actions of the British Army and demand answers from the British Government. Forced to respond to popular and international concern, the British Government announced an inquiry. Lord Chief Justice Widgery was tasked with “restoring public confidence” and British Prime Minister Edward Heath was very clear about just whose confidence he expected to be restored. On the eve of the tribunal, the judge was ‘advised’ by his prime minister that “it has to be remembered that we are fighting not just a military war but also a propaganda war”. The Widgery Tribunal was never about the victims and their families; it was never about the people of Derry; it was never about justice for the Irish people. It was about maintaining the confidence of the British public in their own government and ensuring their continued support for the deployment of British troops in Ireland. The campaign to expose Widgery began immediately. It received an unexpected support from a coroner conducting inquests into 13 of the deaths. An inquest cannot compel witnesses nor comment on any criminal or civic liability and is restricted to declaring an open verdict where murder or manslaughter is suspected. In August 1972, the jury returned 13 open verdicts. The following day, the coroner accused the British Army of running amok, “firing live rounds
In the immediate aftermath, the British Army told lies and fabricated ‘evidence’
JIM WRAY, Age 22
‘I would say without hesitation that it was sheer unadulterated murder. It was murder’ CORONER INTO THE DEATHS ON BLOODY SUNDAY
4 Fr O’Geara blesses the body of Barney McGuigan
4Paddy Doherty, one of the 13 men shot dead on Bloody Sunday
GERALD DONAGHY, 17
indiscriminately” and “shooting innocent people”. “I would say without hesitation that it was sheer unadulterated murder. It was murder,” he said. And what was the British Government’s response to this open accusation by a public official? Widgery had ‘exonerated’ the actions of the British soldiers on the ground and asked no questions about their military and political masters. As far as the British state was concerned, it was over. But for the people of Derry, particularly the families of the victims, and the wider Irish community, it was not over. The struggle for truth and justice continued. The British state had killed citizens engaging in legitimate democratic protest. In doing so, they were in obvious breach of international law. To bring a case before the international judiciary, a petitioner must demonstrate all domestic avenues of redress have been exhausted. Unfortunately, this prerequisite encourages
If the British state regarded unarmed civilians demanding democratic rights as military targets then, as one observer put it at the time, ‘We’re all in the IRA now’
JACKIE DUDDY, 17
HUGH GILMORE, 17
JOHN JOHNSTON, 59
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BLOODY SUNDAY – 38 YEARS WAITING FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE
stalling and prevarication on a grand scale by nation states cited by citizens seeking justice. If a state appears to have dealt with the matter, then a double-lock has to be unpicked. It requires new evidence and a refusal by the government in question to re-examine the case in light of this. In January 1994, relatives of those shot dead wrote to the British Prime Minister outlining major flaws in the Widgery inquiry and report. Meanwhile, the British Irish Rights Watch organisation submitted a report to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Summary and Arbitrary Executions. In August, an application was submitted to the European Commission of Human Rights on the grounds that those killed had been intentionally and wrongfully deprived of their right to life. In 1996, while trawling through the Public Records Office, a confidential memo was discovered of a meeting which took place the day after Bloody Sunday between Lord Chief Justice Widgery and the British Lord Chancellor. The memo, important in its own right, also suggested there was further material held by the British Home Office that had never been made available. The British Government was forced to admit there were 13 categories of documents relating to Bloody Sunday that had been closed to public
MICHAEL KELLY, 17
MICHAEL McDAID, 20
5 Paratroopers menace Fr Edward Daly, waving a white handkerchief, and civilians trying to save the life of the mortally wounded Jackie Duddy
KEVIN McELHINNEY, 17
scrutiny. Twelve of those were subsequently released but the last, relating to medical reports on those who died, was withheld. In early 1997, the families were able to approach the Irish Government with substantial evidence to expose Widgery as a whitewash. The Irish Government presented the evidence to the British in June 1997. Then British Prime Minister Tony Blair was faced with the dilemma of either refusing a new inquiry at the risk of triggering an international probe or reversing the position of successive British governments by ordering a new inquiry. Blair announced a second inquiry and Saville opened in Derry on April 3rd 1998. During the course of the inquiry, the Saville team received around 3,500 statements, considered 160 volumes of evidence,
BARNEY McGUIGAN, 41
The Widgery Tribunal judge was advised by his prime minister that ‘it had to be remembered that we are fighting not just a military war but also a propaganda war’
GERARD McKINNEY, 35
WILLIAM McKINNEY, 27
listened to 121 audio-tapes and watched 110 video-tapes. The finished report runs to ten volumes, 5,000 pages and comes in at a cost of £200million. Even before its publication, it had been heralded by Establishment figures as a colossal waste of public money. But any waste has to be laid at the feet not of the families and campaigners who have fought so long and hard for truth and justice but the British state and its agencies who have always known the truth but repeatedly chosen to suppress it. Truth costs nothing; it’s suppression of truth that’s costly, and not just in monetary terms. Its cost lies in 14 lives lost on the day and the thousands of lives subsequently lost in the decades of conflict that followed. Its cost lies in the tens of thousands of people arrested, tortured, imprisoned and the brutality of the H-Blocks and Armagh Jail. It lies in the deaths of hunger strikers and those killed or injured through shoot-to-kill, collusion or the deployment of plastic bullets. It lies in the millions of small stories of lives disrupted and hopes denied. Bloody Sunday was a crime against humanity, a declaration of war against a civilian population seeking justice and, in that very real sense, a war crime. When the British admit as much, we will have all moved on.
WILLIAM NASH, 19
PADDY DOHERTY, 31
JOHN YOUNG, Age 17
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BLOODY SUNDAY – 38 YEARS WAITING FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE
British Prime Minister ‘deeply sorry’ “I AM deeply patriotic,” British Prime Minister David Cameron told a hushed House of Commons after the publication of the Saville Inquiry Report. “I never want to believe anything bad about our country. I never want to call into question the behaviour of our soldiers and our army. But the conclusions of this report are absolutely clear. “There is no doubt, there is nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities. What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong.” In the British House of Commons the silence was palpable. Amongst the MPs there were those who had planned to complain about the cost and question the wisdom of holding another inquiry but suddenly anything other than contrition was inappropriate. For the people of Derry, who had gathered to support the families of the victims and watching David Cameron deliver his statement on a giant television screen erected in Guildhall Square, there was the realisation that a milestone had, indeed, been reached and even a British Prime Minister, a Conservative administration, was not going to deny the moment. Cameron listed a whole litany of crimes carried out by paratroopers:= Firing the first shot; = Shooting without warning; = Shooting unarmed civilians; = Shooting people as they fled, as they lay dying, as they tried to assist the injured and dying, or as they waved a white handkerchief as a signal of their peaceful intent; = And, after the shooting stopped, telling lies to cover up those crimes.
5 Families on their way to the Guildhall
Those who opened fire had no justification and those who were injured and killed posed no threat “or indeed was doing anything else that could, on any view, justified in shooting”. “These are shocking conclusions to read and shocking words to have to say. But you do not defend the British Army by defending the indefensible. There is no point in trying to soften or equivocate what is in this report. It is clear from the tribunal’s authoritative conclusions that the events of Bloody Sunday were in no way justified,” said Cameron. “For someone of my generation, Bloody Sunday and the early 1970s are something we feel we have learnt about rather than lived through. But what happened should never, ever have happened. The families of those who died should not have had to live with the pain and the hurt of that day and with a lifetime of loss. “Some members of our armed forces acted wrongly. The Government is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the armed forces and for that, on behalf of the Government, indeed, on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry.”
5 Listening in Derry’s Guildhall Square to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s apology
SAVILLE’S KEY FINDINGS
= British paratroopers were responsible for all those killed and injured in Derry on January 30th 1972.
= The soldiers opened fire without any justification and failed to issue any prior warnings. Soldiers had their weapons cocked in contravention of guidelines. In at least one shooting, illegal ‘dum-dum’ bullets were used by the British Army. = None of those killed or injured was posing any threat of causing death or serious injury when they were shot.
= Soldiers did not fire in response to attacks or threatened attacks by nail or petrol bombs at soldiers.
= Some of the victims had been shot in the back as they attempted to flee, one was shot as he way crawling away, another as he lay mortally wounded, a father as he attempted to attend his dying son. = Soldiers knowingly put forward false accounts of the circumstances and their actions during the shootings, both in their initial statements and to the inquiry. = No blame was placed on the Civil Rights Association, the organisers of the march.
5Tearing up the Widgery Report
POLITICAL REACTION THE Saville Report has condemned Widgery to the dustbin of history, said Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, speaking from Derry shortly after the report was released. “Today is a day for the families of those killed and those injured on Bloody Sunday. They have campaigned for 38 years for the truth and for justice. They have campaigned for the British Government to end their policy of cover-up and concealment,” said Adams. ”The facts of what happened on Bloody Sunday are clear: the British Paras came to Derry and murdered 14 civil rights marchers and injured 13 others. They were unarmed, they posed no threat and
they were completely innocent.” The Sinn Féin leader added: ”Today, Saville has put the lies of Widgery into the dustbin of history and with it the cover-up which was authorised of the highest levels within the British Establishment and lasted for almost four decades.” Martin McGuinness described the day as “a watershed for Derry, a day of extraordinary historic significance and one which the families have been vindicated. It is also a momentous day for truth.” While leading Sinn Féin figures had travelled to Derry to await the publication of the report, the SDLP chose to travel to London. Mark
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Families vindicated “UNJUSTIFIED and unjustifiable, those are words we have waited since January 30th 1972 to hear,” said Tony Doherty, whose father Patrick was shot dead on Bloody Sunday. He was speaking after emerging from the Guildhall just moments after listening to the British Prime Minister announce the findings and express regret. “It can now be proclaimed to the world that the dead and the wounded of Bloody Sunday, civil rights marchers, one and all, were innocent and gunned down in their own streets by soldiers who had been given to believe that they could kill with impunity,” said Tony. For the families and their supporters, the day began with sorrow and symbolism and ended with vindication and relief. Some families had visited the graves of those who died to pray and lay flowers. They had retraced the route of the civil rights march, burst their way through a
When a ‘thumbs-up’ was signalled through a window of the Guildhall, a cheer rang out from supporters outside, the verdict delivered to the people of Derry by Derry people and the British PM just had to wait his turn
5 Families celebrate Saville’s findings brother had posed no danger to anyone when he was shot dead. “Thirty-eight years, four months, 15 days almost to the minute when he died, Kevin is innocent,” said Jean. Liam Wray said his brother Jim was trying to flee to safety when he was gunned
banner depicting the Widgery Report and made their way to the Guildhall to wait for the Saville Report to be released. Outside, thousands of people had gathered in Guildhall Square. They were there in solidarity with the victims and their families, they were there in hopes of witnessing the truth, they were there to find answers to their own questions and lay the ghosts of a day that had cut to the heart of the people of Derry and lay as an open wound for so many years. Official choreography had deemed that the findings of the Saville report would be announced first by the British Prime Minister addressing the House of Commons. But when a ‘thumbs-up’ from some of the relatives was signalled through a window of the Guildhall, a cheer rang out from supporters outside. The verdict of the report had been delivered to the people of Derry by Derry people and the British PM just had to wait his turn. The first to address waiting supporters and the world’s media, Tony Doherty said
after 38 years the victims and their families had been vindicated and British paratroopers had been disgraced. “When the state kills its citizens it is in the interests of all that those responsible be held to account. It is not just Derry, or one section of the people, but democracy itself which needs to look out. The British people need to know, the Irish people need to know, the world now knows,” said Tony. Bloody Sunday was the price the Bogside paid for Free Derry, he said. The punishment meted out to the people of Derry on Bloody Sunday and the repression that followed was the same as that suffered by ordinary people everywhere when they stand against injustice. “Let our truth stand with their truth too,” said Tony. Kate Nash, whose brother William was killed on Bloody Sunday, criticised British General Mike Jackson. Jackson was a captain in the Paras on Bloody Sunday and went on to become head of the British Army. “Thirty-eight years ago, a story went around the world, concocted by General Mike Jackson. He said there were gunmen and bombers on our streets, and they were shot and killed. Today, that lie has been uncovered.” As each bereaved family came to the microphone, one after another, to declare their loved one “innocent”, the emotional intensity of the day increased. Kevin McElhinney’s sister Jean said her
Durkan, the SDLP MP for Foyle, told the British House of Commons the dead and wounded had been “absolutely exonerated” by the findings of the Saville Report. DUP First Minister Peter Robinson accepted the Bloody Sunday shootings in which 13 people were killed and 13 injured were “wrong” and “unjustified”. Robinson said he hoped Saville’s findings would provide the families with “a sense of justice” and called for new initiatives so that all victims of the Troubles could find ease and some form of satisfaction. “As First Minister, I accept the report. I
accept the conclusions of the report that what happened was wrong and unjustified,” he said in Belfast. But some of his party colleagues were less generous in their comments. DUP East Derry MP Gregory Campbell said unionists would be glad that “this sorry saga of a report is finally over” and thanked the British Army for its role. DUP MP William McCrea said it would be wrong to support “a hierarchy of victims”. The UUP’s Ken Maginnis accused the Saville Report of being “one-eyed”. Meanwhile, Taoiseach Brian Cowen
said the ultimate injustice was the “unjustified and unjustifiable killing of innocent civilians by those who claimed to be keeping the peace”. “It was an act of murder that cried out for justice and truth – instead, justice and truth were then denied and cast aside.” He said that “a shameful attempt to distort history” has now been set aside and the “truth has been set free”. President Mary McAleese said she hopes the Saville Report will provide the families of the victims “at long last, the consolation that the world now knows the awful truth about Bloody Sunday”.
‘The Widgery Report tried to destroy our loved ones’ good names. Today we cleared them and destroyed Widgery’ down and as he lay there defenceless and dying he was deliberately shot again. “There was no justification for either of these shots. This inquiry has vindicated the Wray family and, much more so, the people of Derry. We always knew the truth, now the world knows the truth,” said Liam. Catherine Kelly, whose younger brother Michael had been killed, said after waiting almost 40 years at last the truth has been told. “I say to my little brother Michael, at last you can rest in peace.” Gerry Duddy said his brother Jackie was running from the soldiers when he was shot and posed no threat when he was killed. “The Widgery Report tried to destroy our loved ones’ good names. Today we cleared them and destroyed Widgery. I’m delighted to say, Jackie was innocent.”
Prime Minister David Cameron told the British Parliament on the Saville Inquiry Report into Bloody Sunday: The conclusions of this report are absolutely clear. There is no doubt; there is nothing equivocal; there are no ambiguities. What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong.’ Some members of our armed forces acted wrongly. The Government is ultimately responsible for the conduct of our armed forces and for that, on behalf of the Government – and indeed our country – I am deeply sorry. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Chief of the General Staff of the British Army, General Sir David Richards, said: I fully support the report’s description of Bloody Sunday as ‘a tragedy for the bereaved and the wounded, and a catastrophe for the people of Northern Ireland’, and the report leaves me in no doubt that serious mistakes and failings by officers and soldiers on that terrible day led to the deaths of 13 civilians who did nothing that could have justified their shooting. The Prime Minister has apologised on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom, the army and those involved on the day, and I fully support that statement. We must never forget the tragic events of Bloody Sunday.
5 Martin McGuinness MP with Kay Duddy, mother of Jackie Duddy
| July/Iúil 2010
‘Tour of North’ passes peacefully but tensions raised by Orangemen at Drumcree g
BY PEADAR WHELAN
THIS YEAR’S ‘Tour of the North’ Orange Order parades passed off without serious incident despite Orangemen threatening protests and raising tension after being angered by a decision by the Parades Commission to ban them from marching through the nationalist Ardoyne and Dales area of north Belfast. The Parades Commission ruled that a feeder parade would not be allowed to pass Ardoyne on its return from the Tour of the North on Friday, June 18th, provoking an angry response from within unionism. Orangeman Tommy Cheevers, who sits on the North and West Belfast Parades Forum (NWBPF) – an umbrella body of unionist groups including members of the UDA and UVF – refused to rule out protests against the decision and went on to accuse the Parades Commission of “sabotaging talks” between the NWBPF and nationalist residents. Nationalist residents of the area - which includes Ardoyne, Mountainview, Crumlin Road and the Dale streets, through which the loyalists planned to march welcomed the Parades Commission ruling. Residents’ group Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents Association (CARA) expressed concerns over the march to the Parades Commission. They were concerned about the violence that the area has witnessed over recent years, a result of unwanted Orange parades being brought past their homes. Serious rioting erupted in the area last July after the return parade, led by The Pride of Ardoyne band, which has UVF connections, was forced through the area. However, in spite of the attempts by some within Orangeism to heighten tensions around the Tour of the North parade, the event itself passed off peacefully.
Nationalist residents acting as stewards at flashpoint areas around the New Lodge Road, Unity Flats and Duncairn Gardens ensured that nationalists acted with restraint. For their part, loyalist stewards acted as a buffer and prevented those following the parade from getting too close to nationalists who staged a protest at North Queen Street. Although the Tour of the North went off without incident, the reality for nationalists in north Belfast and other areas such as the Springfield Road in West Belfast and Rasharkin in County Antrim is that Orange parades are still forced through their communities, causing major disruption to their lives. As An Phoblacht goes to press, the people of the Springfield Road are bracing themselves for the annual Whiterock Parade on Saturday, June 26th. This parade has a history of violence going back to the early 1970s when Orangemen and bands, many of whom have UVF connections, rampaged through the Lower Springfield Road and Clonard area. Indeed, the fighting that engulfed both Ardoyne and Short Strand in what became known as the Battle of St Matthews arose when loyalists returning from the Whiterock Parade attacked the small east Belfast enclave. Seán Murray of the Springfield Residents’ Action Group has reitereated his call for the Orange Order to engage in genuine dialogue with residents to resolve the marching issue. Meanwhile, Portadown Orangemen have threatened to march to Drumcree for their annual parade without permission. The Orange Order has refused to submit an official application to the Parades Commission, raising the stakes ahead of this year’s parade on July 4th. The Orange Order in Portadown has been barred from marching along the Garvaghy Road since 1998 and has refused to engage in dialogue with residents.
5 Drunken loyalist hangers-on shout abuse at nationalists outside Unity Flats
5 Ballymurphy families’ press conference with Gerry Adams
Ballymurphy’s ‘Bloody Sunday’
BY LAURA FRIEL
RELATIVES of 11 people killed by the same British Army regiment months before they went on to murder 14 civil rights marchers in Derry on Bloody Sunday have called for an international investigation into the killings. Over a period of three days in August 1971, 11 people were killed by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment in west Belfast’s Ballymurphy area. Many of those killings share remarkable similarities to those carried out five months later in Derry’s Bogside. All of those who died were unarmed civilians. One of those killed was a parish priest as he gave the Last Rites to another victim. Another was a mother of eight who had gone to the assistance of one of those injured. Some were shot dead as they waved white flags to signal their peaceful intent. Those who died posed no threat to the soldiers who killed them. None of the victims was killed as a result of crossfire. Some were shot on the ground when they were already mortally wounded. Some of the injured were denied medical attention and further brutalised by British soldiers. Speaking of the Saville Report, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Bloody Sunday
was not the defining story of the British Army’s record in Ireland. Speaking in support of the Ballymurphy families at a press conference in Belfast the day after the release of the Saville Report, west Belfast MP Gerry Adams said the British Prime Minister was wrong. “Bloody Sunday is the defining
‘In Ballymurphy, months before Bloody Sunday, we have another striking example of the brutality with which the Paras acted and how the British system connived in a cover-up’ GERRY ADAMS story of the British Army in Ireland,” he insisted. “The Ballymurphy and the Springhill massacres are examples of this. In Ballymurphy, months before Bloody Sunday, we have another striking example of the brutality with which the Paras acted and how the British system connived in a coverup. “Paratroopers killed others in Belfast in the same period, including a 14-year-old boy in Lenadoon, a 17-year-old in the Clonard area, a student teacher from Downpatrick
and Robert McKinnie and Robert Johnstone from the Shankill. “Six months after Bloody Sunday, on July 9th 1972, they shot dead five people in Springhill,” said Adams. “The British Government in acknowledging the wrong done in Derry must also acknowledge the wrong done in Ballymurphy and elsewhere.” Briege Voyle, whose mother Joan Connolly was shot dead, said at the press conference that Bloody Sunday need never have happened if the soldiers who shot and killed people in Ballymurphy had been held to account for their actions. John Teggart, whose father Daniel was shot 14 times by paratroopers, said the Saville Report claimed Bloody Sunday was a result of a few out-of-control paratroopers but the same regiment had carried out similar atrocities over three days in Ballymurphy and then, after Derry, returned to Belfast to carry out more. Carmel Quinn, whose brother John Laverty was shot dead when he attempted to help other victims, said that, just like Bloody Sunday, those killed were unarmed civilians branded gunmen and gun-runners by the British Army to cover up their own crimes. “We don’t want another Saville. We have no confidence in the British investigating themselves. We need an independent, international investigation.”
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Slash-and-burn Westminster Budget targets poor g
BY EMMA CLANCY
TORY British Prime Minister David Cameron’s insistence that “We’re all in this together” in the lead-up to the announcement of his slash-and-burn Emergency Budget on June 22nd was met with anger and scepticism from those in the Government’s crosshairs. The Tory/Liberal Democrat coalition’s Emergency Budget takes special aim at welfare recipients and public sector workers in its attempt to reduce the state’s £163bn deficit. Disregarding the fact that inflation is at 5%, child benefits are to be frozen for three years while tax credits and housing benefits will be cut. VAT is to be raised from 17.5% to 20% in January. Public spending on services is to be slashed, which will result in thousands of job losses. British Chancellor George Osborne threatened 25% cuts in spending on education and other departments over the next four years. Public-sector pay for those on incomes above £21,000 is to be frozen for two years. During the May Westminster election campaign, the Tories pledged to respond to the financial crisis and reduce the state deficit through “efficiency savings” - while “defending frontline services”. But once in power the coalition immediately began conditioning the public for unprecedented, savage cuts. The Emergency Budget represents the first step in an ideologically-driven campaign by the Tories to “shrink the state”. It is a move they have no mandate for, which is unconnected to the recession, and which will inevitably jeopardise the recovery. The Tories’ programme of attacking the public sector was decisively rejected by voters in the North of Ireland in the Westminster election: the party failed to
win a single seat. The North is emerging from decades of conflict and suffers from high levels of social and economic deprivation. The strong public sector here helped insulate the North from the worst effects of the recession. Despite this the Tory/Lib Dem coalition told the Executive in May to cut a further £128m from spending this year, on top of the £393m savings it already has to make. A White Paper on “rebalancing the economy” in the North will be produced by the British Government in autumn Tory-speak for dismantling the public sector. Organising resistance to the British Government cuts to public spending and services is a key Sinn Féin priority in the time ahead. The party has called for a united front of all sectors of society, and all parties in the Assembly, to resist such cuts. Sinn Féin’s call for the transfer of fiscal powers from Westminster to the Assembly is gaining resonance among other parties, trade unions and business as the benefits of devolution become more obvious.
has injected £850bn of taxpayers’ money in the financial system. But this massive state intervention into the markets has been aimed at nursing the banks and financial institutions back to the condition where they could carry on as they had before the collapse, rather than taking them into permanent public ownership. For example, taxpayers in Britain funded a direct rescue package of £54bn for the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2008 but last year the bank fell short of its obligation - a term of the public loan - to lend to business by £25bn. As it prepared to report losses of £5bn in February this year, RBS admitted it had spent £1.3bn in bonuses for 22,000 investment bankers, with some being rewarded with £15 million. While it was the reckless speculation of the bankers and financial elite that brought the global economy to the brink of ruin in 2008, the financial crisis they caused is not over. It has entered a new phase of public debt resulting from the bail-outs and the nationalised debt is being repaid by states’ cuts to public spending.
WHO CAUSED THE CRISIS?
CUTS DON’T WORK
‘Reducing the state deficit’ has become the mantra of governments across Europe as the global financial crisis, which hit world markets in 2008, has entered its second phase, the ‘sovereign debt crisis’. Most of the parties in the Assembly, and in the British parliament, have accepted the mantra that the state deficit must be reduced at all costs, and that this can only be achieved by cuts to public spending. The media obligingly echoes this idea. The US, Britain and the Eurozone countries have collectively given the banks more than $14trillion since September 2008. The British Government
The cuts the Tories are pushing are based on the party’s traditional ideological commitment to neo-liberal economic policies. If the coalition wanted to cut waste, it could start by withdrawing British troops from imperial adventures around the world and abandon investment into the Trident nuclear programme. The key to economic recovery is kickstarting growth, which will in turn increase tax revenue. Reform of the financial system should also be a key priority in order to prevent a handful of reckless casino capitalists causing such a crisis in the future. Across the Eurozone, the states with
SOLIDARITY BETWEEN GAZA AND IRELAND
5 Palestinians show solidarity in Gaza with the families of Bloody Sunday
5 Gaza rally in Belfast
British Chancellor George Osborne the highest public debt-to-GDP ratio are those that have implemented cuts rather than stimulus measures to deal with the recession. The 26-County state is a prime example. Cutbacks to the public sector don’t automatically lead to growth in the private sector. In these circumstances, when such a profound crisis is still ongoing, the private sector is saving, not investing. Cutbacks in government spending and investment will, without a doubt, cause the whole British economy to decline further. The cuts won’t work in terms of ensuring economic recovery - but what they will do is destroy people’s lives and livelihoods. The impact of these plans will be devastating for communities in the North and it is vital that united action is taken to resist them - and to take control of economic decisions from the Tory Cabinet of millionaires in London to the hands of local, democratic and accountable institutions.
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YES, BANKS ARE BORING. But we should all be paying attention to them and what the Government is doing with them, because billions of our money is being poured into them while equal amounts are being subtracted from our health, education and social welfare systems
Banking bombshells g
BY JOANNE SPAIN
EGULATION, shareholders, subordinated bonds, directors’ loans - these are the terms most of us never thought we’d understand let alone hear every day of the week. Yet these, or a variation of, are the very words that most of us will be using in years to come to explain to our children why they are paying 80 cent of every Euro they earn in tax. The reasons for the billions and billions in debt that the 26-County state has incurred as a result of one of the largest (comparatively speaking) banking crises in the world were published during June with the pro-
duction of two banking reports from three experts in the banking and economic world. They proved to be damning indictments of a Government under siege. Not even the mayhem in Fine Gael towards the end of the month could distract from the disastrous policies of Fianna Fáil as they were laid out in black and white. Yes, banks are boring. But we should all be paying attention to them and what the Government is doing with them, because billions of our money is being poured into them while equal amounts are being subtracted from our health, education and social welfare systems. And it’s just the start of the payback for the ‘solutions’ to the banking crisis, ironically being implemented by the same political party that caused it.
5 Bertie Ahern, Bank of Ireland, AIB and Brian Cowen
8 things you should know about the banking reports and the economy 1 The authors of the two reports Patrick Honahan of one, and Klaus Regling and Max Watson of the other - were expressly told not to investigate anything that happened in the banks subsequent to the night of the Guarantee in September 2008. Since then, we have had:= The nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank, one of the most corrupt banks in our history; = The awarding of a millioneuro pension to the former CEO of Irish Nationwide, Michael Fingleton; = The establishment of NAMA, a body designed to buy €54billion worth of bad loans that are probably worth much less; = The recapping of several banks to the tune of billions, with the result that AIB is all but nationalised; = The signing off of apparently inaccurate, if not fraudulent, accounts at several banks by Government-appointed directors and auditing firms that were subsequently awarded contracts with NAMA. So, not much has happened in the two years since the Guarantee worth investigating then... Both reports are heavily critical of Government economic policy, the financial regulation system, and lending policies of Irish banks.
They state clearly that the crisis is domestic and that the Government’s line about the collapse of Lehman Brothers is false. They find that the Government’s economic policies caused the crash. The banking inquiry arising from these reports will start over the summer and run for six months but its terms of reference are already compromised by the Government. It is refusing to let the inquiry investigate Government economic policies, instead appointing an Oireachtas committee which, of course, will have Government members, to do a report on the Government’s macroeconomic policies.
These reports vindicate Sinn Féin’s economic policy and what we were warning about since 2002. During what the Establishment parties and the media called our ‘economically illiterate’ years, Sinn Féin called for: = Stronger regulation; = Caps on remuneration; = An end to property inflation; = Fair tax policy based on stable direct taxation; = Corporate law to be improved; = A tax on speculative trading; = Counter-cyclical budget policies. Back in 2002, Arthur Morgan was raising the need to bring down property prices before a bubble grew. In 2005, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin
pushed for and succeeded in getting an Oireachtas committee to examine flaws in the banking system. The results of his findings were never acted on.
Though not mentioned in the reports, the other political parties do not fare well in this review of economic policies. Fine Gael and Labour both share an economic approach that, if implemented, would have inflated the bubble. They both wanted to lower direct taxes and abolish Stamp Duty in 2007, all of which would have added fuel to the fire. Labour was in fact first out of the blocks with its populist and dangerous taxcutting proposals in 2007. Neither party has the economic cop-on to bring us out of the crisis. They still follow the Government’s line on fixing the economy through cutting the deficit.
Brian Cowen has said he takes ‘full responsibility’ for and ‘regrets’ decisions he made in the past that led to the economic crisis. But he refuses to follow through on that responsibility and resign. The Government says it has learned from its mistakes. It hasn’t. One of the reports’ criticisms is that the Government followed a procyclical budgetary approach and relied on unstable taxes. (Pro-cyclical is Charlie McCreevy economics spend money when you have it, don’t worry about saving. A count-
er-cyclical approach saves in the good times so you can spend in the bad when the economy needs a boost.) The Government is still taking a pro-cyclical approach - meaning cuts, cuts, cuts - which is the wrong approach because it is deflating the economy. If pro-cyclical was bad then, it’s worse now.
Honahan says the Guarantee was necessary and justified to prevent the banking system imploding and essentially Ireland becoming another Iceland - but the terms and conditions fell short. This is Sinn Féin’s policy on the Guarantee in a nutshell. We believed the damage was done and the Guarantee was the first step to full nationalisation and was necessary to stop the banks imploding (from the information put in front of us). We wanted to protect ordinary people, but Honahan is right - the terms and conditions fell short so we voted against them. We wanted Anglo wound down. We wanted taxpayers, not bondholders, protected. We wanted the main banks taken into public ownership and turned into a state bank. Once again, Labour took a completely populist position and opposed the Guarantee but they did not present what their alternative was. They did not say what they would have done when it looked like people would be getting up the next day and not have been able to
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5 Bringing them to account: Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and activists call for a clean-up of the banking system in a protest at Anglo Irish Bank HQ access the wages in their bank accounts. When Labour did get round to saying they would nationalise the banks (and nationalisation is a guarantee of sorts - the state takes on all those deposits and loans), they followed it by saying they would give the healthy nationalised banks back to the private sector! The banking system is broke. With our state bank, Sinn Féin has shown we want to change the system. Labour has shown it supports taxpayers bailing out failed entities and, once they’re healthy, those entities being privatised. On September 19th 2008, Patrick Neary, the Chief Executive of the Irish Financial Regulator, said: “Irish banks are resilient and have good shock-absorption capacity to cope with the current situation.” According to economic website Finfacts.ie, Neary retired with a €630,000 pay-off. In addition, he is receiving an annual pension of €142,670. In a recent article in The Sunday Business Post, Richard Curran highlighted the ongoing cost to the state for the mistakes of the politicians and bankers who caused the crisis. = Bertie Ahern was Taoiseach from 1997 to 2007 but as a TD he continues to earn a salary of €83,000 per year. = Brian Cowen was Minister for Finance from 2004 to 2007.
5 Not so different: Labour was first out of the blocks with its populist and dangerous tax-cutting proposals in 2007 He currently earns €228,000 per year. = John Hurley was the Governor of the Central Bank until 2009. He received a payment on retirement of €525,000 and will receive a pension of around €175,000 a year. = Eugene Sheehy was Chief Executive of AIB until 2009. He earned €2.1million in 2007 and €1.15million in 2008. His pension is around €450,000 a year. = Brian Goggin was Chief Executive of Bank of Ireland until 2009. His pay peaked at €3.1 million in 2007 and his pension is around €650,000 per year.
Seán Fitzpatrick, the former Chief Executive and Chair of Anglo Irish Bank, had much of his multimillion-euro fortune wiped out by the economic collapse. He still owed the bank €87million when he resigned in December 2008.
What would Sinn Féin do in the wake of these reports if we got into government? Well, we’d remove all those bank managers and directors involved in causing the crisis who are still in positions of power. We would also make sure the criminal aspects of what happened were prosecuted. We would start taking care of ordinary citizens ruined by the
banking crisis and being forced to pay for it when it wasn’t of their making. That entails protecting people in negative equity, facing repossession, and struggling with debt. It includes protecting viable businesses struggling to access credit. We would nationalise AIB and Bank of Ireland and create a state bank from the two. We would wind up Anglo and let other banks fold if they could not exist on their own, taking their good assets into the larger banks. And we would rebuild the economy. This would be done through:= Saving and creating jobs; = Altering the tax system to ensure the wealthy are paying their fair share; = Eradicating waste, such as exorbitant salaries, in public spending; = Reform national and local governance; = Draw up a realistic debt repayment structure on the basis of a growing economy that will grow further if it is invested in; = Fully regulate a new finance system with necessary secure measures like stronger capital requirements for banks and the supervision of credit rating agencies. And - most of all - we’d give the other parties a lesson in basic economics.
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AROUND THE OIREACHTAS Ex-Taoisigh and Sindo exposed A REPLY to a Dáil Question to the Taoiseach from Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has exposed the fact that the taxpayer is paying four ex-Taoisigh – Bertie Ahern, Albert Reynolds, Garret FitzGerald and Liam Cosgrave – to employ two secretaries each for five years after they retire and one each after five years! This is on top of their pensions, state cars and Garda drivers. They are all entitled to a car with full-time Garda drivÓ Caoláin er for life. On June 20th, the Sunday Independent ran this story without mentioning that it was Ó Caoláin who revealed it. They even carried comments from Fine Gael and Labour but none from Sinn Féin. In contrast, the Irish Mail on Sunday credited Ó Caoláin with the story and carried his comment. For more http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/18779
Head Shops Bill won’t work THE ‘Head Shops Bill’ is unworkable, Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said. The Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Bill was published on June 18th. The Dublin TD said: “So-called legal highs are being invented at a rate of one per fortnight but with this Bill the Government are proposing to assign to Gardaí the role of identifying each of them. In reality, this job requires expertise and input Ó Snodaigh from science, the medical profession, pharmaceutical industry, addiction treatment services, the community and Gardaí. Assigning this task to Gardaí alone is simply not feasible.”
Journalist’s continuing smear campaign g
BY ART Mac EOIN
AN article by Jim Cusack in the Sunday Independent of June 13th, the substance of which was repeated in the Belfast Telegraph and the Sunday World, has attempted to link republicans to an alleged forgery operation discovered by gardaí in Borris in Ossory, County Laois. Cusack, notorious for his sensationalist anti-Sinn Féin articles over many years, produced not a
shred of evidence to back up his claims of republican involvement. In typical fashion he referred to the usual unnamed ‘security sources’ despite the fact that the article flies in the face of what was being said publicly by gardaí and responsible media outlets. None of those arrested in connection with the find has any connection with Sinn Féin. Laois/Offaly Sinn Féin representative Brian Stanley said: “Anyone with any information regarding this or any criminal
activity should bring that information to the gardaí.” The Sunday Independent article is merely the latest in a long list of unsubstantiated, politicallymotivated smears against Sinn Féin by Jim Cusack. A Sinn Féin spokesperson said: “While such articles are a disgrace to journalism and those behind them should be held to account, they will not deflect Sinn Féin from its ongoing political work on behalf of the people of this country.”
For more http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/18790
Audit the auditors AFTER a meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance and the Public Service with the Governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Arthur Morgan TD said the investigation into the state’s auditing and accounting firms needs to happen as a matter of urgency. “The audit and accounting process failed to disclose the shortcomings of the Irish banking system. Indeed, auditing firms that were subsumed in the financing debaMorgan cle at Anglo Irish and culpable of financial misrepresentations are an integral part of the NAMA process now. Patrick Honohan was right that these firms needed to be investigated further but I do not accept that this investigation can be deferred.” For more http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/18773
Ferris on ‘pints and paninis’ THE Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Martin Ferris TD, has accused the Government of hypocrisy over the different ways in which it treats people on social welfare and those who were responsible for the current economic mess. Speaking in the Dáil on the Social Welfare Bill, Deputy Ferris said many big business people had piggy-backed on genuine economic growth “by charging us exorbitant amounts for everything from mortgages to rents to pints of lager and paninis, at the same time ensuring that they Ferris paid as little tax and wages as possible. “And these are the patriots whose bacon the so-called republican party is proposing to save by imposing a massive drop in living standards on the decent people of this country.” For more http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/18789
Doherty defends Donegal hospitals DURING a Seanad debate with Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney, Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty warned against the threatened closure of community hospitals such as the Lifford and Rock hospitals in County Donegal: “I am calling on you here today, Minister Harney, to make a commitment to the people of Donegal that the much-speculated closure of Lifford and Rock hospitals will be stopped in its tracks. Doherty “People are rightly concerned about moves to close these hospitals and have been engaged in massive protest rallies and campaigns against any such move.” For more http://www.pearsedoherty.ie/wordpress/
5 Minister Mean: Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Councillor Larry O’Toole and party members protest at the Dáil over the Government’s plans to cut the Lone Parent’s Allowance
Civil Partnerships Bill must go ahead THE Irish Government’s Civil Partnership Bill must go ahead before the summer recess and “there should be no wavering on this basic civil rights issue”, Sinn Féin Justice and Equality spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said. Responding to the statement from the Catholic bishops opposing the civil rights legislation, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said: “Like any other citizens, the Catholic bishops have a right to express their views on this matter but I reject their efforts to bring pressure to bear on political parties in the Oireachtas by calling for a ‘free vote’. “Why is it that they do not call for a ‘free vote’ on other measures such as the Social Welfare Bill to cut welfare payments for some of our most vulnerable citizens?”
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BY ROBBIE SMYTH
It takes a whole Village to... INN FÉIN are not a “genuine” party of the Left in Ireland. They are ‘devilish, double dealing Tories’. It would be wrong to say that Sinn Féin are overlooked in the current issue of Village magazine, dedicated to looking at Ireland’s “Left”. They are mentioned loads of times. Thirteen, in fact, and yes I counted each one: 11 mentions came in one article about May’s Westminster elections. Hats off first to Richard Boyd Barrett who is the only one of three columnists focusing on this theme who actually not just mentioned the party but also got the term “Devil” in the same sentence.
THE DEVIL’S DEALS BB believes that by refusing to rule out who they would or wouldn’t go into coalition with, Sinn Féin are “keeping their options open on doing deals with the Devil”. I have wondered was Richard an atheist but now we know the truth. The fundamentalist zeal is not all about opposing neo-liberalism; there is a little bit of Jesus in there too. Joe Higgins, predictably, doesn’t mention Sinn Féin, nor does Déirdre de Búrca. You all know Déirdre de Búrca. She used to be in the Green Party, was a senator, ran in the 2009 EU elections, had a billboard that misspelled thousands on a huge billboard as “thouands”, also had an article in the last edition of Village. Forgotten already? Well, remember she wanted to work with Máire Geoghegan Quinn in her EU Commissioners’ team? John Gormley allegedly put a word in for Déirdre; Brian Cowen was going to talk to Máire. Máire said no, and then, and only then, Déirdre was reborn as a commentator on the radical Left as she flounced off to vent her anger to any available microphone. I knew you remembered! In their articles Richard and Joe both talk of “genuine” parties of the Left, leaving them in the critically important gatekeeper role of deciding who is and isn’t genuine. No, of course, Sinn Féin aren’t genuine! Keep up. Only the Daily Mail and papers published by Independent News and Media use Sinn Féin and the ‘Left’ word in the same sentence, and never in a good way.
LABOUR ADORATION There is a Labour adoration theme permeating this edition of Village and so in the Leader column Eamon Gilmore is “perhaps the country’s most talented politician”. There are three interviews with Labour spokespersons who “display competence, shrewdness and an acute awareness of the public interest”. Gosh, who knew? I felt unworthy to read on and got a little giddy, like sharing some intimate secrets between the Village scribes and their icons. I wonder do they text and tweet each other? The focus on the Left in this edition of the Village boils down to a leader article and three
columnists giving vent, all of whom see Sinn Féin and each other as competitors. Well, maybe not de Burca. She does have the look and sound of an ageing journeyman soccer player, out of contract and looking for a new berth before the new season starts. Not going to happen I think, Dee. Then there are three interviews in the “Labour Special” and then six pages on the alternatives to “the existing political offerings” which, crossing a wide spectrum, finds no space to profile Sinn Féin . They do, bizarrely, find time to profile a verylong-deceased Clann na Poblachta!
VILLAGE TIMES Sinn Féin are mentioned in an article on the Westminster elections, illustrated by a picture of first and deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness meeting British PM David Cameron, with the caption “Spot the conservatives”. Oh, it is all just a bit of fun. And, yes, Village have every right to look at the world mirthfully through the jaundiced eyes of disillusioned tiger cubs, now slaves to perhaps decades of debt and steadily-eroding public services. But why, oh why, do they need to be a slightly pink version of The Irish Times? Why the six pages on what The Irish Times’s Renewing the Republic contributors wrote? Will it be Village’s role to digest and summarise the Irish Times for us. Isn’t that why we have RTÉ talk radio? (And they do it a lot better.) And what did Sinn Féin do to the Village? Did Aengus snub you at a ‘Stop the Gaza Blockade’ rally? Was the queue too long to wait at a Gerry Adams book signing, or was the editor snapped in compromising pictures wearing an ‘Undefeated Army’ T-shirt? Interestingly, in one interview with David McWilliams, who is in hype mode for his one-man show, Miriam Cotton asks McWilliams: “Would you agree that media coverage of the Left is (a) virtually non-existent, and (b) extraordinarily biased in a hostile and rather superficial way?” This is not the whole question, or even half of it. I dropped off when Miriam started talking about “Stalinist socialism”. And aren’t they incom-
patible terms? But it sums up the Village coverage. It is superficial and lacks depth, just like their website.
6 Déirdre: Looking for jobs (or at least a job)
Which brings me on to a more wider debate about the Left which is happening not in the pages of the Village but online. Cedar Lounge Revolution is one such portal. I don’t know why it’s called that but someone suggests it may have its origins in a Dublin northside watering hole called The Cedar Lounge. But never mind that. There are a lot of people contributing to this site with interesting things to say and, gosh, some are socialist republicans. So get the FairTrade coffee or other non-exploitative beverage of your choice out and take 20 minutes to scroll through the entries on this blog. Irish Left Review is another place worth investing regular time in, not least because there are links to our own Eoin Ó Broin but also because it’s worth reading and thinking about people who see the world similarly but not quite entirely the same way you do, which is the nub of where the Left falls out so often in Ireland, in a repetitive break-up montage of ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’ For the producers of the Village, maybe you need some downtime and chill in the Cedar Lounge too. Who knows, it might change your point of view. http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com http://www.irishleftreview.org/
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‘We are the United Irishmen and Irishwomen of 2010’ ON this day, the 20th of June 1763, Theobald Wolfe Tone was born in Dublin. A mere 35 years later he died a young man in a prison cell, having devoted his life to the fight for Irish freedom. More than any other individual, it was he who first brought to the Irish people the idea of democracy and the ideal of an Irish Republic. As proud Irish republicans, we salute Tone’s memory and that of the United Irishmen and Irishwomen. We are the United men and women of 2010 and I am especially proud to address you here today as the Irish republican representative for the constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone. My first message is one of thanks to the people of Fermanagh/South Tyrone who elected me and to the Sinn Féin members and supporters from across Ireland who helped in our campaign. Buíochas mór le muintir Fhear Manach agus Tír Eoghain Theas agus leo siúd uile a chabhraigh linn. Bhí sibh go léir ar fheabhas ar fad. My second message is one of solidarity to the people of Derry and the families of the victims of Bloody Sunday. The achievement of the Saville Report into the murders of 14 innocent civilians and the wounding of 13 others, published last Tuesday, is your achievement. Finally, the lies of Widgery have been consigned to the dustbin of history. Saville has also brought to an end a fourdecade-long cover-up of the Bloody Sunday massacre, authorised at the highest levels of the British Establishment. And let there be no mistake about it, Bloody Sunday was not some aberration by rogue soldiers. Just a few months earlier, 11 innocent civilians were shot dead by the British Army in the greater Ballymurphy area of west Belfast. The Ballymurphy
IN BRILLIANT sunny weather and temperatutres around 20C, thousands of republicans from across Ireland gathered in Sallins, County Kildare, on Sunday, June 20th, to parade to Sallins Churchyard to honour ‘The Father of Irish Republicanism’, Theobald Wolfe Tone. The events were chaired by Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty. Here are extracts from the speech of the main speaker, newly-re-elected MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Michelle Gildernew MLA. The full text of Michelle’s address can be seen online at www.sinnfein.ie.
We need to remind the other political parties what they say they stand for: Fine Gael – ‘The United Ireland Party’; Labour, which claims the mantle of James Connolly; and Fianna Fáil, which calls itself – God help us – ‘The Republican Party’ Massacre and Bloody Sunday exposed the malign role of the British Army in Ireland and contributed in a major way to the unfolding conflict in Ireland. The ultimate act of justice for all our people will be the final removal from Ireland of the British Army and the end of British rule in our country. My third message is an international one. Wolfe Tone was an internationalist, a passionate advocate of human liberty across the globe, as are all true Irish republicans. So a message of solidarity today goes to the people of Gaza and all Palestine. You are an imprisoned people, a ghettoised people, a tortured people. We salute you and we salute those courageous citizens from all over the world who joined the relief flotilla for Gaza. We remember the members of that flotilla murdered by Israel. We ask the Irish Government and all the governments of the EU: What more does the Israeli regime have to do before Israeli ambassadors are
5 Michelle Gildernew, Gerry Adams, Martin Kelly (Kildare) and Harry Thompson (Belfast)
told to go home, and before the EU ends its special trade agreements with Israel? The demands are clear: = End the blockade of Gaza; = Free the people of Palestine; = Real peace based on justice and human rights. I have thanked the people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone and I want to thank also the voters across the Six Counties who re-elected our five MPs and made Sinn Féin the largest party in that part of our country. That is a huge achievement for Sinn Féin and for the people we represent. But far more important is what we do with the people’s mandate. In the Executive and in the Assembly we will soon be faced with demands for major cuts. Be
assured that Sinn Féin will resist those efforts and work to our utmost to defend services and livelihoods, especially for the most vulnerable. But let there be no illusions. We are faced with this situation because the Six Counties is still under
The people of no property did not cause the economic collapse in Ireland but they are being made to pay the price British jurisdiction and the Assembly is denied the fiscal powers to run our own economy in our own way and as part of the wider Irish economy. Elected representatives of all shades in the
July/Iúil 2010 |
5 Senator Pearse Doherty chairs those dependent on social welfare, by patients in hospitals and children in schools who suffer the effects of cuts. We know who should have paid the price - the top bankers and speculators, the so-called regulators and the corrupt politicians. But has a single one of them spent even a night behind bars? Not a chance. And let it be said very clearly - it didn’t have to be this way. We in Sinn Féin warned that the property bubble created by Fianna Fáil and their cronies was a disaster waiting to happen. We called for the privileged to be made to pay their way. We called for the wealth to be shared. We called for housing policy based on housing need not speculators’ greed. They refused to listen to us and to others who warned against their folly. And now in their arrogance they try to wriggle out of responsibility for the massive social and economic mess they created. We say to Brian Cowen and Fianna Fáil and to their Green mudguards - get out of office, call a
5 Leading the way: Sinn Féin elected reps lead off from Sallins 4 Peter John Caraher presents the Fergal Caraher Memorial Trophy to members of Tir Chonaill Martyrs Flute Band 6 Gary O’Kane receives the Joe Cahill Award from Annie Cahill on behalf of the Dunloy Fallen Comrades Republican Band
We say to Labour, if your vision of a new politics is coalition with Fine Gael then you are about to let the people down again. What would be different about economic policy under a Fine Gael-led Government? The knife making the cuts would have a different coloured handle, that’s all North should realise that it is in the interests of all the people to work for an all-Ireland economy and for an all-Ireland democracy. And what is true of elected representatives in the Six Counties is equally true of those in the 26 Counties. There has been much debate recently about the future - both economic and political. However, in this state most of the debate has been deeply partitionist in nature. Few have faced the fact that for a truly new Ireland to emerge partition must be ended. So let us in Sinn Féin again lead that demand. It is the theme of our commemoration this year: ‘Towards a New Republic - a United Ireland.’ Taimíd i Sinn Féin ag obair i dtreo Poblacht Nua - Éire Aontaithe. We need to remind the other political parties what they say they stand for: Fine Gael - ‘The United Ireland Party’; Labour, which claims the mantle of James Connolly; and Fianna Fáil, which calls itself - God help us - ‘The Republican Party’.
The parties maintain these claims - token and insincere though they are - because they know that a peaceful, united Ireland is still the sincere aspiration of the majority of people on this island. But is it more than an aspiration. It is a right. It is a democratic imperative. It is an economic necessity. Some commentators have said that to speak of a united Ireland now in the midst of an economic recession is folly. But, in reality, talk of a transformation in Irish politics without addressing the division of our country and of our people is the talk of fools. Wolfe Tone said that Irish independence would be based on that “numerous and respectable class of the community, the men of no property”. The people of no property did not cause the economic collapse in Ireland but they are being made to pay the price. That price is being paid by half a million unemployed, by workers in public service, industry and agriculture whose incomes have been slashed, by
5 Lucilita Breathnach and Aine Ní Gabhain
general election, let the people give you their answer and let’s build a new politics. We say to Labour, if your vision of a new politics is coalition with Fine Gael then you are about to let the people down again. What would be different about economic policy under a Fine Gael-led Government? The knife making the cuts would have a different coloured handle, that’s all. We have put forward a realistic alternative to the Government’s slash and burn policies, and have shown where money could be raised and saved without touching frontline public services or social welfare. We have launched proposals for retaining and creating jobs, including a specific set of proposals for creating jobs for the young unemployed. I am very proud to represent the same constituency as Bobby Sands. Bobby wrote on the first day of his Hunger Strike Diary that he was “born of a risen generation with a deeply rooted and unquenchable desire for freedom”. We still have that unquenchable desire and we know what freedom will mean. It will mean ‘A New Republic - A United Ireland’.
| July/Iúil 2010
BY BOBBY STOREY Chair of Belfast Sinn Féin, republican activist and former POW
The militarist campaign: I F someone said to you, there is a small group of people whose actions are designed to:
= Cause the remilitarisation of the Six Counties; = See British troops back on our streets; = See sectarian attacks carried out by loyalists; = Close the democratic space now open to republicans; = Reduce support for republican goals in Ireland and internationally; = See an end to power-sharing institutions in which republicans wield more political power than ever before, and are using this to advance Irish unity and equality;
Who would you think they were referring to? British military intelligence? Or people calling themselves ‘republicans’? Some of the individuals who are involved in these small militarist factions may genuinely but mistakenly believe they are furthering a republican cause. Some are using such groups as flags of convenience for criminality. Others are - without a shadow of a doubt - working to sabotage the Republican Movement, to roll back significant gains won over the past decades, and to undermine the framework now in place for moving towards reunification. IRA Volunteers fought an armed struggle to remove British soldiers from the Six Counties the actions of these people are designed to bring them back. That needs to be called for what it is - a securocrat agenda. So there is a question to be put to these factions. Who is pulling your strings? Do you even know?
ty, with all of its associated costs. And then what? To this question they have no answer. This is no justification for any loss of life, and for the destruction of other lives through imprisonment. It is a huge price to be paid for such a narrow, dead-end goal.
The IRA carried out an effective, sustained military campaign against British forces with the active support of republican communities - with large numbers of disciplined Volunteers, and a level of international support and financial backing that will not be forthcoming in today’s circumstances. On the basis of the inability of the British forces to defeat the IRA - as well as Sinn Féin’s work in building alliances and mobilising political support across the island and internationally - the Irish Peace Process was launched. The Good Friday Agreement, St Andrew’s and now the Hillsborough Agreement provide the framework to achieve full equality and reunification. So how is a much smaller military force, lacking the strength, skills, discipline and support the IRA had, going to achieve more than the IRA? These groups openly admit that they have no chance of achieving an end to partition by their armed actions. Their stated goal is to “prevent normalisation” in the Six Counties. In other words, they are openly aiming for remilitarisation - for repression, for the closure of democratic space, and for an end to the process of transforming the PSNI - so that a slightly broader number of people will be drawn into armed activi-
The approach of these groups is anti-democratic. They fail to engage with the broader community in any positive way and treat the opinions and will of their neighbours with disdain and hostility. They have completely failed to outline not only their strategy for achieving a united Ireland; they routinely fail to even provide a public explanation or justification for their actions. They fail to outline their political vision of what kind of society they want to build and the only point they agree on is the use of physical force. These groups are incapable of outlining any strategy that could convince people that armed actions offer a route to a united Ireland today because the political conditions have been changed definitively as a result of Sinn Féin’s work in creating and leading the Peace Process. Sinn Féin’s peace strategy provided a route out of cyclical violence based on advancing democratic rights for all and establishing structures that empowered the excluded. This has changed people’s lives for the better and there is no turning back. A strong, confident, effective republican leadership now offers a way forward towards a united Irish Republic using political and democratic
5 Out of action: Andersonstown Barracks under demolition
4 These groups are openly aiming for remilitarisation – the British Army back on the streets
means. So these groups need to understand that there is zero chance of drawing significant numbers of people back into conflict. Sinn Féin will continue to resist attempts by securocrats to use so-called dissident republican actions to remilitarise the North or retain political policing. We will continue to argue politically with militarists on the fringes of republicanism that the road they’re on goes nowhere.
DISMANTLING THE ORANGE STATE To describe what is happening in the North as the “normalisation” of partition is absurd. What is
July/Iúil 2010 |
Who’s pulling the strings?
5 The IRA carried out an effective, sustained military campaign with the active support of republican communities, not like today’s fringe militarist groups taking place is a process of transformation, led by republicans, of steadily dismantling the Orange state and ripening the conditions for reunification. Enormous progress has been made through the process of demilitarising the Six Counties since the Good Friday Agreement. There are no more watchtowers on the border; the British Army is off our streets; border roads have been reopened; British Army bases have been demolished in many places and militarised police stations have been demolished also. Major challenges remain and Sinn Féin is continuing to lead the struggle against the British military presence and for the transformation of policing into an accountable, acceptable civic service. The role of British forces in Ireland, and of the repressive Orange state apparatus established since partition, has always been to try to crush the national and democratic aspirations of the nationalist people. All the momentum - political, economic and social - is towards a united Ireland. Remilitarisation would be the biggest block to the existing momentum for change. The success of the Republican Movement to date has been based on Sinn Féin’s political strategy of creating the political conditions where republican communities could no longer be isolated, criminalised and censored. Republicans can make the most gains towards unity in the most open, free, non-repressive conditions possible. This is a fact. These political conditions and this democratic space have been achieved by the struggles and sacrifices of generations. The power-sharing institutions and all-Ireland bodies established as part of the agreements do not entrench partition but undermine it. The stabil-
isation and development of these institutions which help us build a working relationship with unionists and also increase cross-border integration - is positive for republicanism. To try to bring about remilitarisation is to close the space won by republicans in Ireland’s political life for the goal of narrow recruitment purposes (at best) by small groups. All their actions can achieve is to slow down this process of progressive change and the momentum towards unity. Again, the question arises: whose interests are the actions of these groups serving?
STRATEGY There is a long and proud history of armed
6 The Irish Peace Process has won the support of international leaders such as Nelson Mandela
rebellion against British colonialism in Ireland. We rightly have the most profound respect and admiration for the actions and sacrifices of men and women who fought, and often died, in their effort to bring about an end to British rule. But we don’t glorify war itself. We honour their commitment to furthering the cause of republicanism. When military campaigns have been effective in Ireland - namely in the Tan War and the recent IRA war - it was because the actions of the occupiers meant there was no other option but to direct the resources of the Republican Movement into armed struggle. In these circumstances such a move was supported actively by a significant section of Irish society. People who advocate using armed methods in today’s circumstances argue abstractly about the right of republicans to resist British rule using force. But while republicans have rights, they also have responsibilities - most fundamentally the responsibility to put the needs of the movement first and ask: is this the most effective way to advance republican goals based on the concrete conditions we are currently experiencing? We all have to ask what is going on here. Who is behind these groups? Who benefits the most from their actions? Our communities need to stand up and reject these counter-productive actions, and the disruption to the community, the self-serving vigilante activities and criminality that comes with it. At the same time, we all have to maintain our focus and keep moving forward towards Irish freedom, unity and equality. That is where Sinn Féin’s strategy is bringing us.
| July/Iúil 2010
ICTU, trade unions, NYCI, Labour Youth and Socialist Youth speak on Ógra Shinn Féin platform
Key speakers at Ógra youth jobs summit HE Irish Congress of Trade Unions, trade union Unite, the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed, Independent Workers’ Union, the National Youth Council of Ireland, Labour Youth and Socialist Youth all sent platform speakers to Ógra Shinn Féin’s youth unemployment conference in Dublin on June 5th. The conference, ‘No job? No future? No way!’, opened up with a discussion on ‘What is the reality for the young unemployed in 2010?’ Bríd O’Brien of the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed set the scene for activists, during which she detailed the precarious financial situation many of the young employed find themselves in and the social impact it has on families and communities. This was followed by a panel discussion which addressed a variety of issues relating to unemployment. Speaking on ‘How to create jobs’ was Unite the Union’s Michael Taft, the respected economist and blogger. In a contribution very much aimed at creating debate and challenging those present, he said the crucial thing is to create jobs and to put money into the productive economy. “Government policies are driving down jobs, which is in turn exacerbating the economic and fiscal crisis.” Conor O’Gorman of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and Joe Lynch of the Independent Workers’ Union spoke on the topic of ‘How trade unions create jobs, and why we need them’. Conor welcomed the opportunity to speak on the topic and noted that sometimes people are inclined to forget the fact the trade unions do in fact protect jobs. Both Conor and Joe noted that too few people make the connection between the way they cast their vote and the conditions in their workplace. James Doorley of the National Youth Council of Ireland, speaking on ‘Creating a vocal lobby for the young unemployed’, outlined the work of NYCI over the last number of years.
LIVELY DEBATE The final session involved a lively cross-party debate involving National Organiser Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire from Ógra Shinn Féin, Conor Ryan from Labour Youth, and Eddie McCabe from Socialist Youth on the issue of creating a political alternative. Summarising the conference, ÓSF’s Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said it was extremely interesting with a high level of debate and discussion “I believe that we can gain a great deal from it but this conference needs to be a springboard to get out there in the communities, get active on this issue and get campaigning. “This has to be our priority for the coming time.” 3
Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire
Ógra at Basque youth rally in Brussels Ó GRA Shinn Féin activists David Collins and Evan Maxwell represented the republican youth organisation at a mass rally in Brussels, the hub of the European Union, on May 29th in support of the Basque youth movement. They were campaigning against the repression of their peaceful political work by the Spanish and French states. Last November, 34 youths were arrested in the Basque Country. Since that time, all but two have been sent to prison; all of those arrested suffered torture. It is not without irony that the demonstration calling for the right to be able to organise and engage in politics, free from threats and oppression, were met with further acts of harassment and intimidation by the security forces of the Spanish. En route to Brussels, at the border between the French and Spanish states, the occupants of each bus-load of activists were removed, and, one-by-one, individually photographed. Despite this, an impressive turn-out marched through the streets of the Belgian capital and assembled by the square of the country’s National Museum, where speeches were delivered by Basque youth activists. David Collins, on behalf of Ógra Shinn Fein, reaffirmed Ógra’s solidarity with the youth movement and voiced support for the three demands being asked of the Spanish and French governments: 1. All political projects must have the same
opportunities. All young people around the world have the right to organise and take part in politics and shouldn’t be threatened or oppressed for doing so. Thus, we ask the Spanish and French states to end the attacks against the Basque youth. 2. We call on the Spanish state to end torture and its policy of impunity for torturers. We ask the Spanish Government to implement the anti-torture measures recommended by many different international human rights organisations. 3. We ask the Spanish and French states to take commitments towards a political and democratic resolution of the Basque conflict. We call on them to respect the Basque people’s say and decision and for an end to their current war strategy.
WHAT YOU CAN DO The Basque youth are asking individuals and organisations to support these three basic rights by contacting the Spanish and French embassies in your country. SPANISH EMBASSY, DUBLIN 17a, Merlyn Park, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Email: email@example.com FRENCH EMBASSY, DUBLIN 36 Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
July/Iúil 2010 |
LE EOGHAN Mac CORMAIC
Leithscéal I NDIAIDH do sheoladh Tuairisc Saville an tseachtain seo, d’fhoilsigh formhór na nuachtán sa tír seo, agus cuid mhaith nuachtáin i Sasana, anailís agus mionscrúdú ar ábhar na tuairisce, grianghraif ó Dhomhnach na Fola, agus athchló ar thuairiscí óna nuachtáin ar an lá agus laethanta i ndiaidh an dúnmharfa féin. Bhí eisceachtaí ann, ar ndóigh - cheap an Sun, mar shampla, go raibh nuacht níos tábhachtaí le hinsint faoi bhriseadh phósadh beirt chéiliúrán, ar leathanach a haon - ach i gcoitinne rinne na nuachtáin iarracht a dhul le spiorad an lae, agus gan aon choinníollacha a chur lena dtuairiscí agus tuairimí. Ní léim réimse nuachtán a thuilleadh mar a léifínn tráth - ní cheannaím cuid acu ar bhonn prionsabail a théann siar na blianta agus i gcásanna eile ní chuirfínn nuachtáin orthu, ach léim an Irish Times go rialta cé nach n-aontaím i gcónaí le claonadh agus eagarfhocail atá istigh ann.
AN FOCAL ‘SORRY’ Ar an lá i ndiaidh Saville bhí forlíonadh d’ocht leathanach ann faoin Tuairisc agus cheap mé gurbh fhiú é a cheannach agus a chur san áit sin a choinnímid nuachtáin stairiúla. Tá a fhios agam ar ndóigh, in aois seo na teicneolaíochta gur féidir athchló agus PDF agus leagan leictreonach a fháil am ar bith, agus i bhfoirm níos inláimhsithe, ná an leagan páipéir ach ar lá ina mbíonn leithscéal thar cheann rialtas agus tír na Sasana as ucht córa ina aghaidh muintir na tíre seo mar cheannlíne an nuachtáin - On behalf of our country I am deeply sorry - b’fhiú, dar liom, an leagan páipéir a bheith againn. Sorry, an focal nár dhúirt Sasana linn riamh; focal a bhí chomh haisteach dóibh go raibh ábhar amhráin ann do Shinéad O Connor tráth: How come you’ve never said you loved me In all the time you’ve known me How come you never say you’re sorry And I do (This is a Rebel song) Agus cé fios, b’fhéidir gurbh fhocal é nach gcloisfimis arís ó Phríomhaire na Breataine, ní nach ionadh, mar sin, go
bhfuilimid ag baint sult as an nóiméad. Taobh istigh den fhorlíonadh bhí athchló den eagarfhocal a bhí sa pháipéar céanna ar an 31 Eanáir 1972. Má tá mé chun aon chuid den pháipéar agus forlíonadh a chur i bhfráma, ‘sé athchló an eagarfhocail sin ó 1972.
GAN AON ‘IFS’ AGUS ‘BUTS’ I 1972, nuair a bhí an fhuil fós chomh fhliuch ar shráideanna Dhoire agus a bhí an dúch ar leathanaigh an Irish Times ní raibh aon ifs ná buts ar intinn scríbhneoir eagarfhocal an nuachtáin. “Will yesterday’s slaughter in Derry reach the heart and mind of that cold, unfeeling man in Downing street?” a scríobh sé. Luaigh an teagarthóir Sharpeville, Amritsar agus Domhnach na Fola i mBaile Átha Cliath i 1920, ag rá nach leor na comparáidí seo toisc gur tugadh rabhadh, arís agus arís eile, go raibh tubaiste ag teacht. “Brian Faulkner, the Orange Order, the Paisleyites are irrelevant at this point. The responsibility lies with Edward Heath.” Tá rud éigin iomlán éagsúil faoi thuairiscí agus eagarfhocail nuachtáin na laethanta sin. Cé gur bhain Alt 31 leis na meáin chraolta níl aon amhras ná gur imir foclaíocht agus téarmaíocht na meáin chraolta tionchar ar fhoclaíocht agus téarmaíocht na meáin chlóite sna blianta ina dhiaidh Domhnach na Fola. Ag tús na seachtóidí labhródh tuairisceoirí an Irish Times le hurlabhraithe an IRA ar an bhonn céanna le hurlabhraithe Arm na Breataine dá dtarlódh eachtra, chun an ‘dhá thaobh’ de scéal a aimsiú. Is cuimhin liom ag teacht ar thuairiscí agus mé ag déanamh taighde tríd sean nuachtáin nuair a dhéantaí tagairtí do “Mr Meehan, a spokesman for the IRA said....” agus iad ag tuairisciú faoi ionsaithe Aonad Seirbhísí Gníomhaí an IRA ar phatróil Arm na Breataine agus cath gunna in Ard Eoin i 1971 nó 1972.
MEOIN TEORANTA Ach faoi dheireadh 1972 bhí gach rud athraithe. Bhí na nuachtáin ó dheas idir
5 Edward Heath naimhdeach nó gan spéis a thuilleadh ar chás agus fhulaing an phobail náisiúnaigh ó thuaidh agus diaidh ar dhiaidh (i ndiaidh 50 bliana d’fhreasúra in aghaidh an diabhail rud) tháinig an teorainn i bhfeidhm agus chothaigh na meáin meoin teorainn teoranta in intinn na ndaoine a d’fhorbair an ‘chomhthuiscint’ ó dheas. Agus aon duine (agus bhí go leor acu ann) a d’ardaigh an cheist phoblachtach, nó a rinne iarracht ceist an Tuaisceart a chur ar ais ar an chlár pholaitiúil, rinneadh líomhaintí gur sceimhlitheoirí, nó lucht comhthaisteal na sceimhlitheoireachta iad. An lá i ndiaidh Domhnach na Fola scríobh eagarthóir an Irish Times an fhiric simplí seo: “There is, it is said, no simple
answer to the problem of the North. The majority of Irish people believe that there is: and they therefore believe that the responsibility for any further slaughter on the Derry scale will rest on that one man, Edward Heath.” Heath, mar ionadaí a thíre. Heath, Coimeádaí, mar atá Cameron an lae inniú, ina Choimeádaí, ina ionadaí. Agus thar cheann a thíre, agus i mbealach thar cheann a réamhtheachtaí Heath tá Cameron i ndiaidh a leithscéal a ghabháil leis na teaghlaigh, leis an híospartaigh agus linne as 38 mbliain de bhréaga agus de mharú na firinne. Tá deis anois ag meáin na tíre seo a dhéanamh amhlaidh. Ná caillfidís í.
Snámhaithe ar son na naíscolaíochta TÁ GRÚPA de snamhaithe gan eagla ar tí tabhairt faoi snámh urraithe ar son Naíscoil Dhún Pádraig. Rachaidh siad ag snámh ar thrá in achan chontae in Éirinn a bhfuil trá ann, seacht dtrá déag san iomlán. Agus déanfaidh siad an t-éacht taobh istigh de dhá lá. Fágfaidh na snámhaithe Dún Pádraig go luath maidin Sathairn 3 Iúil le tús a chur leis an dushlán i bPort Rois. Ar aghaidh go Port na Binne Uaine, rachaidh siad siar go Dún na nGall agus ó dheas ar an chósta thiar le críochnú i mBaile an
Bhuinneánaigh an oíche sin. Tosóidh siad in Eochaill, Contae Chorcaigh, ar an dara lá agus taistealóidh siad suas ó thuaidh ar an chósta thior le críochnú i mBaile na Mianach sa Dún an oíche sin. Tarlóidh an t-imeacht le linn don chéad deireadh seachtaine i mí Iúil. Dúirt eagraí an imeachta, Marcas Mac Ruairí: “Tá sé de rún againn snámh a dhéanamh ar thrá in achan chontae in Éirinn a bhfuil trá ann taobh istigh de dhá lá. Beidh ar gach snámhaí ar a laghad cúig
bhomaite a chaitheamh san uisce ar na tránna éagsúla atá roghnaithe. “Le páirt a ghlacadh san imeacht, caithfidh gach rannpháirtí £300 a bhailiú do Naíscoil Dhún Pádraig. “Gearrfar fíneáil ar dhuine ar bith nach rachaidh faoi uisce,” ar sé. Tuilleadh eolais ó Mharcas Mac Ruairí ag: email@example.com, +353 86 171 9755 nó + 44 77 5989 1945
| July/Iúil 2010
An unwanted leadership position ... and the alternative Fianna Fáil’s economic policy is focused solely on transferring resources from the poor to bail out the formerly rich bankers and speculators g
BY MICHAEL BURKE
IMPORTS have collapsed, foreign investment slowed to a trickle and tourism numbers plummeted, but the economic policy adopted by the Fianna Fáil-led government has gone global. It has never received so much attention or been so widely discussed internationally, probably not since for the formation of the state . The latest to provide his view of Dublin’s economic policy and its impact on financial markets is the renowned economist, Paul Krugman, writing in his regular column in The New York Times. This piece reads like a rebuttal of an earlier article in The Wall Street Journal, which had come to praise the Government for its bravery in taking an axe to public spending. Previously, The Financial Times had run an extremely lengthy but inconclusive piece on the same issue. George Osborne, though, was more certain . In the weeks before he became British Chancellor of the Exchequer, he repeatedly signed a number of articles praising the actions of his fellow Thatcherites in Leinster House, arguing that we should “look across the Irish Sea and learn the lessons”. Britain’s Thatcherites, like Osborne, David Cameron himself and the newlyreappointed Professor Alan Budd have,
Britain’s Thatcherites have, Dracula-like, resurrected themselves from their role in the catastrophic British slump of the 1980s Dracula-like, resurrected themselves from their role in the catastrophic British slump of the 1980s and the debacle of economic policy-making in the 1990s. They clearly recognise soulmates when they see them in the Fianna Fáil/Green Government benches. But their admiration is also a recognition of the leadership role Messrs Cowen, Lenihan & Co have played in promoting their policy of savage cuts to public spending. While the rest of the Euro Area and all the industrialised countries were adopting some sort of stimulus measures in 2009, the government in the South was already implementing cuts. The tax increases and spending cuts implemented to date have amounted to €14.6bn, which is equivalent to 8.9% of GDP. Within the Euro Area, only the Greek Government has depressed the economy further by its own economic policy. What’s worse is that the Greek Government only did this with severe armtwisting from the European Central Bank, the EU Commission and the International Monetary Fund . The Dublin Government is
5 Brian Cowen and John Gormley looking eerily like soulmates of Britain’s Thatcherites unique in volunteering for this type of disastrous policy; virtually every other country has had it forced upon them by a combination of international bodies, ratings agencies, media and, of course, the financial markets. There are a number of reasons for the Dublin Government’s eagerness to adopt slash and burn economics, and many of them relate to the society inherited from British rule and the dominant economic groups as they have evolved since partition. But NAMA proves that this government represents the interests of failed property speculators, failed bankers and associated groups. These are parasitical interests who actually produce nothing and compete internationally with no one. In a crisis, their sole response is to protect their capital and their rents by increasing the exploitation of those who do produce goods and services, most especially the workers and poor of Ireland. By contrast, in other European countries, like Germany, producers are a key interest that all governments have tended to represent, or at least the interests of those who own the firms that produce goods and services. The stimulus measures adopted in those countries were designed to help those interests. Disregarding the calls by multinational firms for increased investment in education, R&D and infrastructure,
They clearly recognise soulmates when they see them in the Fianna Fáil/Green Government benches
Dublin’s economic policy is focused solely on transferring resources from the poor to bail out the formerly rich bankers and speculators . The reason that it is so admired in London is that the British economy is increasingly dominated by a similar interest: the financial sector of the City of London. George Osborne’s admiration for Fianna Fáil’s economic policy has been less vocal recently, even though he intends to enact similar policies. It remains to be seen how far he will get in implementing those measures where the Tories have been rejected, most especially in the North of Ireland. Meanwhile, he has transferred his affections to Canada’s Thatcherites of the early 1990s, and seems ignorant of the fiveyear-long domestic recession there which led to soaring unemployment and government debt even though it was off-set by the Clinton boom and an influx of wealthy immigration. It is hard for Osborne to promote Irish Thatcherism as a role model with the latest CSO data showing a 13.7% unemployment rate. Even this is a huge understatement as tens of thousands become ineligible for benefits and others emigrate. But the claimed thrust of policy was to get the deficit down and to reassure financial markets and even in those terms it has been a spectacular failure. At the outset of the recession, the Irish budget balance had a small surplus. After one year of recession that had risen to 7.3% of GDP. But after slash and burn was enacted, the deficit almost doubled to 14.3% of GDP. It is now by far the largest deficit in the Euro Area wider than Greece’s. Unsurprisingly, financial markets have not been reassured. Contrary to the
Government’s supporters in the media and academia, its actions have not cut borrowing costs. Irish long-term interest rates have risen by nearly 1.5% since the beginning of 2008, even while most Euro Area interest rates have declined. This matters because higher borrowing costs eat into the funding available for roads, schools, hospitals and so on. The Government threatens a further €3bn in cuts this year. There is an alternative to this madness. At a recent seminar organised by the TASC independent economic think-tank in
The latest CSO data showing a 13.7% unemployment rate is a huge understatement as tens of thousands become ineligible for benefits and others emigrate Croke Park, Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan joked that presentations he had heard were clearly economically illiterate as they are on the same lines as Sinn Féin’s calls for government investment as the way to economic recovery - and every time Sinn Féin argued this in the Dáil, they had been described as “economically illiterate”. Current policy is not working. Government investment clearly is the way to economic recovery, reducing the welfare bill by bringing people back into work, spending and paying taxes, and reviving both the public and private sectors with investment in infrastructure, education and healthcare. There’s plenty of money that could be found to fund it. Just ask Anglo’s bondholders.
July/Iúil 2010 |
England World Cup shocker
’M WORRIED about England’s progress in the World Cup. As we go to print they’re third in their group and the clash with Slovenia is going to be decisive. Ladies and gentlemen, comrades, there is a distinct possibility England might be going home early, and that’s no cause for celebration. I’m panicking. I’m checking the sports pages of the papers. I monitor the BBC for updates on injuries. Is Rooney’s ankle troubling him? Will Capello bring back Joe Cole? I haven’t been this tense about a sporting event since we beat Galway in 2005 to win the All-Ireland. Now in case there’s any misunderstanding here, I don’t care who wins the World Cup. I wasn’t even that bothered we didn’t qualify, though I was outraged that we didn’t make it because of dodgy antics by some surrender monkey of a Frenchman. They left us holding the bag in 1798 and now they screwed us again. By Christ, I’m glad we left them to the Boche and if Pierre and Michelle don’t mind themselves we’ll give the Germans the nod again to go across the border. And don’t think Merkel wouldn’t do it. It’s been 70 years since Germany invaded someone. That’s the longest period in their history that mob’s gone without wandering into another country shooting people and molesting their livestock, and they’re itchy as hell. No, like all right-thinking people, I have no interest in soccer (football is GAA, sin é) and if I want to see mindless, pampered, spoilt prima donnas fall down and whinge about it, I’ll pop into a crèche in Killiney. But I want to see England do well. I really do. I’m offering novenas for it. I want them to top their group and get into the second round. I want Rooney to be slamming them into the net from all angles. I want Gerard to split defences with passes so accurate that grown men tear out their eyes with their own hands because they know they will never see something so beautiful again. Then I want them in the second round. I want them to beat a good team, maybe the Dutch or Uruguay. I want them dancing in the streets of London and Newcastle. I want the hype. I want pub landlords to be giving away free beer and I want 10,000 English children to be named after Wayne Rooney. I want to watch UTV presenters get misty eyed. I want the papers to remind people about 1966, three lions on a shirt, Jules Rimet still gleaming. I want them, as the Carlsberg ad says, to do it for Bobby. And then I want them to lose in the quarterfinals. On penalties. To Germany. Oh, yes! Oh yes indeed. I can see the game in my mind’s eye. England go ahead in the first half. They’re domi-
5 Wayne Rooney gets grumpy after the dreary draw with unfancied Algeria but England and Julia expects... nant, in control, on top of their game. In the dying seconds of the second half, Germany get awarded a dubious free kick on the edge of the penalty box. Though the resulting goal is clearly offside, the linesman’s flag doesn’t go up and we’re into extra time, and then penalties.
ND THEN THEY LOSE. My friends, I’ve had a good life. I’ve been lucky. I’ve drunk fine champagnes. I’ve dined in five-star restaurants. I’ve enjoyed the most succulent meals and the finest chocolates. But nothing, absolutely nothing, tastes better than the salty goodness of the tears of an English football fan in the aftermath of a penalty shoot-out with Germany. Trust me. This is what Jesus drinks. Of course, holding these beliefs does make me a racist, it seems. HMV in Scotland has had to withdraw their ‘Anyone But England’ World Cup posters and T-shirts because some pillock made a complaint to the police about the shirts inciting racial hatred. Frankly, I don’t
think the Scots need much incitement to hate the English, but every little helps. By the way, that’s the problem with the wellmeaning liberal do-gooder stuff on hate crimes and so on. It undermines the right to free speech and we end up in some politically correct fantasy world where I can’t hate the English, or any of the other nine nations I have a grudge against (No, Mexico, I haven’t forgotten), without being hauled in front of some judge. Not for me. Nor is this chin-stroking sentiment from some commentators about how we need to get over 800 years of oppression and start cheering on the English. Women shouldn’t stick with abusive partners and people who were colonised shouldn’t cheer for their colonisers. Simple as. You don’t see the Poles waving German flags. But only a fool wants England to lose all their matches. That’s the kind of person who prefers a McDonald’s to a fine meal, or an alcopop to a good pint of stout. You need to build it up, you need the anticipation, you need their bitter disappointment to be all the greater because, this time, this time they really thought they could do it. So please, come on, England. Do it for Bobby but, most of all, do it for me.
| July/Iúil 2010
MARY NELIS Making inquiries in Derry and Gaza
HE world is about to witness the Israeli version of the Widgery Inquiry as the Israeli Government begins an investigation into the murders of nine peace activists on board aboard the MV Mavi Marmara, the Turkish peace ship bound for Gaza in an attempt to breach the illegal Israeli blockade. The Mavi Marmara was part of a flotilla of ships bringing medical supplies and other aid to the beleaguered people of Gaza. The Israeli version of the attack on the Marmara, whose passengers included writers, journalists and politicians, bore an uncanny
resemblance to the British version of events on Bloody Sunday in Derry. As the blood of the dead and wounded swirled around the decks of a boat and the gutters of Derry streets, the Israelis, like their British counterparts, would tell the world that those killed or wounded were gunmen, terrorists, bombers, extremists. In the communications war, it’s the first story out that’s counts. In the Derry communities, as on the Marmara, it would take days, weeks, for those traumatised by their experiences to begin to tell the truth of what happened as they witnessed it. In areas like the Bogside and Creggan, a shocked population
began to challenge the British version of events as those who survived on the Marmara are now challenging the Israeli Government.
HE pressure from the Turkish Government has prompted the Israeli Government to set up this investigation though it is becoming clear that its purpose is to do a Widgery on the dead aboard the Marmara. In case anyone has any doubts about the Israeli Government’s intentions, one has only to examine the panel heading up this
5 Impartial reporter? Lord Trimble of the ‘Friends of Israel Initiative’ investigative whitewash. Who with any sense of decency or concern for the truth would appoint a panel whose members will include Israeli Supreme Court Judge Yaakov Turkel (the Israeli equivalent of Lord Widgery) and David Trimble, the Nobel laureate, now elevated to the British House of Lords, the place reserved for failed politicians. He has been asked as an ‘independent ‘ international observer along with a Canadian retired military prosecutor.
Trimble, a former member of Bill Craig’s quasi-military Vanguard organisation of the early 1970s, and of the recently-established ‘Friends of Israel Initiative’ (!), was awarded the Nobel Peace prize along with John Hume. His performance on the day was described by Professor William Lafferty of Oslo University as “a premature prize for an immature laureate” who has served the Peace Process poorly. No doubt he will be a suitable nodding donkey for the Zionists.
AROUND THE COUNCILS County council demands Health Minister Harney’s resignation or sacking ONE of the largest local authorities in the 26 Counties, South Dublin County Council, has backed a Sinn Féin motion calling on Health Minister Mary Harney to resign or be sacked. The local authority represents a population of a quarter of a million. Tallaght Sinn Féin Councillor Seán Crowe’s motion deplored the failure in Tallaght Hospital to read thousands of Xrays and process thousands of GP referral letters. It also called for an end to the twotier public/private hospital system and for the development of a new single-tier system with access for all based on medical need alone. Speaking after the motion was passed, Seán Crowe said: “I welcome South Dublin County Council’s support today for this position. “Only the establishment of a new single-tier healthcare system with access for all based on medical need alone can truly get rid of the inequalities that have plagued our current system and led to scandals such as that at Tallaght Hospital. “For that to happen we need to see a move away from the conservative political parties and the emergence of a new era of progressive politics.”
Bray firefighters’ deaths: Sinn Féin renews call for independent inquiry THE completion of a Wicklow County Council probe into the deaths of two fire-
First-ever Female First Citizen
and Mark O’Shaughnessy, been calling for a full independent investigation in the deaths of the two part-time firefighters and a review of the fire services in County Wicklow, including the vetting of emergency calls.
DUP council carve-up grabs 12 of 14 committees
5 DUNGANNON has got its first-ever female Mayor with the election of Sinn Fein Councillor Michelle O'Neill to be its First Citizen. Michelle, an MLA for Mid-Ulster and Deputy Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, is one of only two women councillors on the 22-member Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council.
fighters in Bray three years ago has brought renewed calls from Sinn Féin Councillors John Brady and John Snell for an independent investigation into the tragedy. Brian Murray and Mark O’Shaughnessy died when the roof of a disused factory collapsed on top of them in September 2007. Councillor John Brady explained why
the Sinn Féin councillors were looking for an independent examination of all the facts. “The value of the council’s investigation is highly questionable given that the council itself is under investigation by both the Garda and the Health and Safety Authority in relation to this very issue.” The local Sinn Féin organisation has, along with the families of Brian Murray
“SECTARIANISM is alive and well on Newtownabbey Council” Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has said after the DUP gifted 12 of the 14 important committee posts on the council to all of their councillors. “Not only have the DUP awarded 12 of their councillors important committee positions they’ve made independent loyalist Tommy Kirkham deputy mayor and given one token position to the Alliance Party.” This move comes after all the parties on Newtownabbey Council, including the SDLP and Alliance, rallied under “a DUPorganised coup” to deny Sinn Féin voters their right to elected representation following the resignation of the only Sinn Féin councillor in Newtownabbey. “This denied the 1,800 Sinn Féin voters the representation they voted for and were entitled to,” Sinn Féin said.
Cookstown Council calls for Gaza probe COOKSTOWN District Council has endorsed a Sinn Féin motion in support of an international public inquiry into the events surrounding the Israeli assault on the humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza. The motion, proposed by Councillor Seán Clarke and seconded by Councillor Oliver Molloy, also called for the immediate lifting of the illegal blockade of Gaza.
July/Iúil 2010 |
INTERNATIONAL VENEZUELA’S DRIVE FOR ‘21ST CENTURY SOCIALISM’ – CHÁVEZ TAKES ‘ANTI-PEOPLE FIRMS’ INTO PUBLIC OWNERSHIP 4 PAGE 24
Israeli aggression must be challenged g
BY GERRY ADAMS
YOU may recall my meeting with Caoimhe Butterly of the Free Gaza Movement. On May 17th, I dedicated my blog to the story of the MV Rachel Corrie and the flotilla to the Gaza Strip. I’m glad I did. But I never imagined what would happen to it. I was on my way to an earlymorning event in Tir Éoghan when the car radio broadcast the awful news of the death and destruction visited upon the mercy mission by the Israeli Government. There is no justification for the military actions of the Israeli government against the humanitarian flotilla. The Gaza Freedom Flotilla was a humanitarian mission carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid to the besieged Gaza Strip. For four years the Israeli Government has illegally imprisoned over one and a half million
The people of Gaza have been denied many of the basic necessities of life, including the essential construction equipment and materials that would allow them to rebuild their shattered infrastructure men, women, and children in the most horrendous of conditions. These people have been denied many of the basic necessities of life, including the essential
5 Crisis in Gaza? “There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” says Israel’s Foreign Minister and former Mossad agent Tzipi Livni
construction equipment and materials that would allow Gazans to rebuild their shattered infrastructure. Last year’s devastating assault by the Israeli Army on the Gaza Strip caused enormous damage: 1,400 people were killed and many more grievously wounded; 3,500 homes were destroyed; 28,000 homes damaged; 800 industries were damaged or destroyed; 10 schools were destroyed and 204 were damaged; 57 kilometres of roads were destroyed. In April 2009, I visited the Gaza Strip. I saw for myself the conditions there. I spoke to UN officials as well as representatives of political and community organisations and aid groups. No amount of PR words by the Israeli Government can take away from the humanitarian crisis which its actions are directly responsible for. The flotilla organisers had
repeatedly declared their peaceful intent. In the full glare of the international media, the flotilla was engaged in bringing in humanitarian supplies. I believe it is this which the Israeli Government resented most because it exposed the lie that they were allowing sufficient aid into the region. The images of armed commandos dropping from helicopters on to unarmed ships, and then opening fire and killing aid workers engaged in a humanitarian effort, has again exposed the aggressive and intransigence attitude of the Israeli Government. The decision to storm the ships is par for the course for a government that feels itself immune from international law and sanction. It also breaks international law by the blockade and siege of Gaza. It breaks international law in building a Separation Wall that scars the landscape of Palestine
and which denies Palestinian families access to each other, to jobs, to their land and to water. It breaks international law in occupying Palestinian land. It breaks international law by building illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land. It breaks international law by expelling families from their homes. It has done all of this for many years and with little adequate response from the international community. Israeli actions must be condemned by all governments and political leaders who believe in democracy, peace, security and the standing of international law. The Irish Government also needs to use its influence to persuade the EU to discontinue its preferential trade agreement with Israel. As evidence of the outrage felt
by citizens, the Irish Government should also expel the Israeli Ambassador. It is also vital that the Palestinian organisations now agree a government of national
No amount of PR words by the Israeli Government can take away from the humanitarian crisis which its actions are directly responsible for unity. Differences should be set aside in the national interest of the Palestinian people and a joint political position agreed between Fatah, Hamas and the many other political groups.
Israeli Ambassador should have been expelled PHOTOGRAPHS shown to the arrested skipper of the MV Rachel Corrie by Mossad agents in Israel were taken in Ireland, a breach of Ireland’s neutrality and a further reason for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador rather than the expulsion of a “faceless” lowerranking diplomat, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said. “The expulsion of a faceless diplomat for the use of forged Irish pasports by a Mossad death squad does not go far enough and will not bother the Israeli Government too much. “The Israeli Ambassador should have been expelled to send a firm message to the Israeli regime that
5 Gerry Adams addresses the media in the ruins of Gaza
5 Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald and Aengus Ó Snodaigh deliver a clear message to the Israeli Embassy in Dublin Ireland will not stand such abuse of sovereign Irish documents.” There is clear evidence now,
the Sinn Féin TD said, that Mossad agents are at work on the ground in Ireland.
WHAT THE ISRAELI ARMY DID TO GAZA LAST YEAR 1,400 people killed and many more grievously wounded 3,500 homes destroyed 28,000 homes damaged 800 industries damaged or destroyed 10 schools destroyed and 204 damaged 57 kilometres of roads destroyed
| July/Iúil 2010
INTERNATIONAL: Venezuela’s drive for ‘21st century socialism’
BY SEÁN Ó FLOINN
Chávez takes ‘anti-people firms’ into public ownership DURING one his ‘Aló Presidente’ six-hour weekly state television shows packed with political announcements and revolutionary pronouncements, Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chávez announced plans to take over more private companies. In his 11-year tenure, Chávez has taken a host of businesses into public hands, from oil to food production. The profits of these companies, which were previously siphoned off into the bank accounts of the wealthy elite, are now being used to bankroll Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution and to fund its numerous accompanying social programmes. The words ‘nationalisation’ and ‘expropriation’ have negative connotations in the Americas that have been encouraged by the capitalist media, who equate them with theft. However, under Venezuelan law, the owners of all companies that have been nationalised are compensated with their market value. Chávez himself said that he will only nationalise those companies which contravene laws, infringe on workers’ rights, and adversely affect the national economy. To los Capitalistas, nationalisations are only accept-
Under Venezuelan law, the owners of all companies that have been nationalised are compensated with their market value able when they are designed to bail out bankers; for them, nationalising profits is an act of despicable communism. On June 2nd, thousands of Venezuelans marched in favour of nationalisations and anti-corruption measures, which took place in the wake of the recent arrest by the Bolivarian Intelligence Agency (SEBIM) of state-owned food producer PDVAL President Luis Pulido on charges of hoarding food. Over 30 tons of decomposed food products, including oil, sugar, coffee, butter, rice, meat, pasta and milk, were discovered by authorities in containers. This was an act of economic sabotage with corrupt officials trying to provoke product shortages. Chávez publicly condemned the corruption, stating that such practices are anathema to the raison d’être of PDVAL and its noble mission of providing food at state-regulated prices and called for those responsible to be imprisoned. The Venezuelan Government
5 Workers with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez is also expropriating several small food distributors and other companies who have violated price controls and have hoarded items to create shortages and raise inflation, which currently stands at 30%. Chávez remarked: “The bourgeoisie have declared economic warfare against me and I call on workers to join with me in the fight to take back our economy.” President Chávez also spared some vitriol for Lorenzo Mendoza, billionaire owner of Empresas Polar, the nation’s largest food and beverage producer and distributor. Mendoza’s company has been implicated in hoarding goods in its warehouses, resulting in public panic, and then releasing them at
higher prices, causing inflation and crippling the economy. They have also been criticised for attacks on workers’ rights, pay and conditions. He warned Mendoza that if his company continues these immoral practices then he will nationalise it. He directly challenged Mendoza in his combative style, saying: “Let’s see who lasts longer you, with your Polar and your riches, or me, with my people and the dignity of a revolutionary soldier.” This policy of nationalising companies is strengthening worker participation in society and empowering the forgotten masses. It is an integral part of Chávez’s construction of 21st century
5 Billionaire owner of Empresas Polar, Lorenzo Mendoza
socialism. It is putting companies at the service of the people under the direct control of workers. In response to criticisms that nationalised companies are performing poorly, Venezuelan vice-president Elías Jua claimed that production has increased in 80% of nationalised companies over the last decade. José Mora, a leader of the Union of Socialist Workers and National Assembly member, lauded nationalisations stating: “We are producing for the country. We are producing for the population. Business people produce using workers to get richer, exploiting workers.” It is a practical implementation of a great socialist ideal of producing on a collective basis for the collective well-being and, much to the chagrin of Venezuela’s capitalist class, it is working. On May 15th, speaking of Plan Guayana Socialista, Chávez appealed to workers to promote workers’ control and the election of managers from below. One small example of workers producing without bosses is the Gotcha Workers, a group of female textile workers whose previous owners closed down their factory. The former bosses fled without providing any compensation for the workforce. The staff responded by taking control of the factory and are now producing and selling directly to the local communities. Two weeks before, Chávez told a gathering of workers:
“Wherever you see a private company, a capitalist company that is exploiting the workers and is not complying with the laws, that is hoarding, denounce it, because the government is willing to intervene. Factories that close down should be occupied by the workers.” In his most recent address, Chávez also criticised large multinational companies Coca-Cola
Chávez said he will only nationalise those companies which contravene laws, infringe on workers’ rights, and adversely affect the national economy and Pepsi for wasting water and using large quantities in their production processes. Water shortages have resulted in power cuts and rationing. He said: “Water in the first place belongs to the people. Water is social property.” The conservative assertion that private is good and public is bad is being directly challenged in Venezuela. As capitalism wreaks increasing havoc throughout the world, it is inspiring that Venezuela is not only preaching about an alternative socialist economic system but is actually putting it into practice.
July/Iúil 2010 |
BY EOIN Ó BROIN
A truly historic poll HE most important aspect of the Irish Times poll in June was not the 32% for Labour but the combined 45% for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Individual polls tell you very little; it’s the overall trend that counts. Since February 2009, Labour has scored from 20% to 25% in the MRBI polls. The dramatic 10-point jump in June could be either an anomaly or an indicator of a significant surge. Until we have a few more polls we just won’t know. But the slump in support for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael has been coming for some time. Historically, the state’s two main parties held between 70% and 80% of the votes in local and general elections. Since the end of 2008, though, election results and opinion polls had witnessed a steady decline in their combined share of the vote. In the 2007 general election, the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael vote was at 69%. Throw in the PDs and the total right-wing vote was 72%. Opinion polls for the remainder of 2007 and pre-recession 2008 demonstrated a similar vote distribution. Things started to change from the autumn of 2008. In every poll from that date the combined
FF/FG vote has slipped, from 61% in the November Irish Times poll, to 51% in the September 2009 Irish Times polls. This decline was in evidence in the 2009 European Parliament elections, with the combined FF/FG vote hitting an all-time low of 53%. And now, for the first time in the history of the state, the total FF/FG vote has slipped below the 50% mark to a historic low of 45%. So what does this general trend tell us? Clearly it indicates a growing public disillusionment with the state’s two main parties. As unemployment rises and the recession continues to bite, the failed politics and policies of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are cutting less and less ice with the electorate. While Labour has been the chief beneficiary of this to date, Eamon Gilmore’s willingness to enter coalition with Fine Gael will mean that many voters are sure to be disappointed by the compromises that will inevitably ensue. This will be the case no matter who leads Fine Gael.
It’s clear the electorate wants change, and not just a cosmetic one. Over half (55%) opted for parties other than Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael. The combined progressive vote is, for the first time in polling history, above 50%
It’s clear that the electorate wants change, and not just a cosmetic changing of the same old political guard. Over half (55%) of those polled by the Irish Times opted for parties other than Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael. The combined progressive vote is, for the first time in polling history, above 50%. There has never been a better time for Sinn Féin to argue for a real alliance for change, an alliance that has no place for the failed politics or policies of Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael. Such an alliance would be about policies, not personalities. It would offer a job-creation plan to get 200,000 people back to work; a universal healthcare system delivered on the basis of need and not ability to pay; real reform of the tax system, making it both fair and sustainable; substantial institutional and constitutional reform, making politics more democratic and participative; and the advancement of all-Ireland economic and political reunification. Whether Labour would participate in such an alliance is a matter for them. Sinn Féin should be the party leading the charge for a fundamental transformation of Irish political and economic life.
Israeli military attack against the humanitarian flotilla and the Gaza blockade
UNITED AGAINST DISPROPORTIONATE, UNJUSTIFIED AND UNJUSTIFIABLE CRIMINAL ACTIONS THE European Parliament has adopted a resolution on the Israeli military operation against the humanitarian flotilla and the Gaza blockade. Commenting on the vote, GUE/NGL MEP, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Vice-President of the EP delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council, said: “At last the European Parliament has managed to express itself with one voice on the situation in Gaza through its common resolution, which was just passed with 470 votes in favour, 56 against, 56 abstentions, condemning the attack on the Freedom Flotilla, calling for an international and impartial inquiry into this attack and unequivocally calling for the immediate lifting of the siege on Gaza.
“Unfortunately, given its very nature, this common resolution is the result of a compromise and falls short of our expectations in certain respects. “As a result of Israel’s actions, the EU-Israel Association Agreement should be suspended, or at least significantly downgraded. “We also have to ensure that those found guilty by the inquiry should be sent to the Hague and bear the consequences of their criminal actions.”
Bairbre de Brún MEP, who is also on the delegation for relations with the Palestine Legislative Council, welcomed the vote condemning the Israeli attack against the flotilla, saying: “Israel should take note of the near unanimity on this issue and immediately end the blockade on Gaza.”
= THIS IS FUNDED BY THE EUROPEAN UNITED LEFT/NORDIC GREEN LEFT (GUE/NGL)
| July/Iúil 2010
SEANDO MOORE A courageous Volunteer and hard-working community activist THIS tribute to former IRA Volunteer and republican ex-POW Seando Moore was given in an oration at Seando’s funeral in Milltown Cemetery on Tuesday, June 15th, by Danny Morrison, a fellow activist who served time in the Cages of Long Kesh alongside Seando.
WHEN he first came to Beechmount, all those years ago, as an immigrant from Ballymurphy, Seando looked so young and innocent that Big Ted christened him ‘the child’. The speculation was that he was attracted to Beechmount because we had the best five-star restaurant in the Belfast Brigade – Ma McCabe’s in Locan Street. The ‘RA has been accused of many things down the years but it’s about time that it also took responsibility for the rickets suffered by the sons and daughters of Ma and Frank McCabe all of who’ll be quick to tell you at the drop of a hat: ‘We never got fed until all you lot had your fill.’ So Seando joined the Beechmount squad and was a courageous Volunteer of the Irish Republican Army. These were the days of Albert Kavanagh and Jimmy Quigley and Paddy Maguire and Stan Carberry and Basil Fox, all of whom Seando was very close to. All of us have our memories of him. He was very, very funny, with his dry humour and you couldn’t easily fall out with him. There was no spite in him and he was loyal and loving, as his mother and brothers and sisters knew and as we in Beechmount were to discover. I had made a gallon of home brew in the run-up to Christmas before I was arrested and Seando went to my house. ‘Mrs Morrison, I have just received an important message from Danny in Long Kesh and I have to remove everything that is under the stairs immediately.’ So, Seando and a few comrades took the beer round to Terry’s and Bernie’s and had a great time, he told me when he eventually was arrested and landed into Cage 2. Of all the prisoners the internees had the most in terms of visits and parcels and letters and yet they did the most moaning. So I was glad when Seando was arrested and interned – he was like a ray of sunshine to our Cage, a real wit and kept everybody in stitches. He was released after the big fire and during the 1975 ceasefire, I think.
Seando’s story is a story about him, his family, and the community which was crucial in supporting the IRA, making it, in the words of Danny Morrison, “a real people’s army with support on every street”. It is a story of our struggle.
As I said, we had been going in and out of Ma McCabe’s and I don’t know when it was that he and Patricia put their eye on each other but from that moment on they were an item. There are lots of jokes about mother-in-laws but Seando’s case defies all the stereotypes. They got on so well that they lived next-door to each other and she doted on Seando. Ma McCabe herself is very ill and all of our thoughts are with her today. Like most republicans, Seando suffered arrest and torture, including on one occasion three days in Springfield Road Barracks where he was stripped and a hood placed over his head. He was continually beaten and was the subject of a mock execution and threatened with being hanged out the window. He sued the RUC and later successfully won a brutality case against them. He was eventually caught on active service in 1977 but before he was sentenced to 10, 7 and 4 years in jail he and Patricia got married in Crumlin Road Prison. There is a great photograph of them in the house, taken by Seando’s dear friend, Sean ‘Flute’ Osborne, on Seando’s and Patricia’s 30th wedding anniversary. They are actually back in the Crum and the photograph is very symbolic of the fact that, although times were extremely tough for a young married couple, Patricia and Seando survived and triumphed over the brutality of Castlereagh, lengthy prison sentences, the blanket and no-wash protests and the heart-breaking Hunger Strikes of 1981. A few years ago, the Bobby Sands Trust launched a book to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Hunger Strike. I was speaking at it and was talking about some of the comms that I received from the Blanketmen. I was actually speaking about ones from Seando and him describing to me how these men locked behind doors for four years, regularly beaten, played bingo to entertain themselves, and I started to cry and could hardly talk because it brought it all back. After his release he and Patricia went on to build a good family and home. Their family went on to include besides Francine, Sean, Patricia Ann and James, grandchildren Eoin and Seainin.
After his release from prison, as Gerry Adams said the other day, Seando became an indispensable part of Sinn Fein. He worked hard locally on community issues and was the driving force behind the work of the commemoration committee. But Seando could never forget the memory of ten men dead and, when it came to the 10th, 20th and 25th commemorations of that incredible prison struggle, Seando travelled the length and breadth of Ireland and Britain, organising exhibitions, displays, lectures and discussions. Latterly, he was seriously ill and those long journeys were bound to take their toll on his strength but he told one comrade: ‘When the Movement came to ask me to do the commemorations... that was my medicine.’ It is a tragedy that so many former POWs – and the number is shocking – survived the armed struggle and prison only to be so cruelly cut down by disease, especially cancer. Although he was ‘the child’ when he came to Beechmount 40 years ago and was known only to a few, in recent times he was probably one of the best-known republicans in Ireland. Any time you spoke to a relative of the Hunger Strikers the first thing they asked was, ‘How’s Seando?’ I was in a small hotel on the northern outskirts of Cork City a few weeks ago and a couple, total strangers, who weren’t even from the area, but were from Kerry, came up to me to ask, ‘How’s Seando keeping?’ When Seando phoned you it was always with those beguiling few words, ‘Well, mo chara, how’s things?’ You knew that he wanted you to do something. About 12 years ago he had the idea of commemorating all the people from ‘A’ Company area who had helped the struggle – fed and looked after or
July/Iúil 2010 |
5 AWARD: With wife Patricia and Gerry Adams after Seando was presented with the Bobby Sands Freedom Award in 2006 4 FUNERAL: Part of the huge turn-out in honour of Seando
6 LONG KESH: Seando (left) looks on as Gerry Kelly addresses the media at the prison gates after the release of republican POWs in 2000
PÁDRAIG BARTON sheltered Volunteers, the anonymous people, who having passed on were now beyond British rule. He asked me to help him but he did all the running, collecting the biographies and photographs. It’s an incredible little pamphlet for it demonstrates that the IRA was a real people’s army with support on every street. I cannot mention all of them or we would be here all day, but there were people like John and Teesie McCullough, the Gills, Mrs Burns, Pearse Graham, Billy Taylor, Ken Smith, the O’Rawes, the McCooeys, Dinky Quigley and May McManus and her brother Joe – and people like Stoker Cosgrove, whose daughter Nora, married to Patricia’s brother Jim, was murdered by the RUC on the morning of Joe McDonnell’s death. And just as they lied when they killed the people on Bloody Sunday, the British lied about the circumstances of the death of Nora. To Seando’s mother Ellen, his brother Phillip, and sisters Rosaleen, Margaret and Geraldine, I would like to offer my condolences, the condolences of the Republican Movement and those of everyone here today and all who visited that packed wakehouse since last Saturday. To Patricia and the family, you have lost a great, decent man who was so, so proud of you. Patricia, you made him a happy companion and husband, and the children fulfilled him. In one of the periods when Seando was low he said to Patricia ‘What if we never see each other again?’ and she responded with a typical Seando answer: ‘You don’t get rid of my that easy – I shall see you in Heaven.’ And last Saturday morning as he was letting go she told him, ‘Seando, today you will be with the Hunger Strikers in Heaven.’ In her death notice Patricia wrote: ‘My husband, my best friend, and soulmate. ‘What we had no millionaire could buy and wonderful memories no one can take away. I know in my heart you will look after me and walk beside me every step I take. Wait for me and walk beside me every step I take. Wait for me. ‘Your loving devoted wife, Patricia.’
An inspiring young republican IT WAS with great shock and sadness that young republicans from across Ireland learned of the tragic death of Derry Ógra Shinn Féin activist Pádraig Barton. Pádraig was involved in an accident outside Derry City in the early hours of Sunday morning, June 6th, and tragically passed away in Altnagelvin Hospital on Monday, June 7th. Pádraig was a well-known, extremely dedicated and likeable Ógra activist who will be fondly and proudly remembered by the many who met him, whether on their travels to the annual Bloody Sunday Weekend, at the Hunger Strike Republican Youth Weekend two years ago in Derry, or the many national Ógra Shinn Féin events which he attended. He was also a seller of An Phoblacht from the age of 11. He will be particularly remembered by the closeknit, Na Fianna Martyrs Ógra Cumann in Derry City whose activists are stricken with grief at the loss of such a great young fella in the prime of his life. Pádraig, came from a family steeped in republican politics. His grandfather was republican stalwart Seán Keenan; his uncle, Óglach Colm Keenan, was killed unarmed with his comrade, Óglach Eugene Mc Gillan; he has had relatives imprisoned for their role in the struggle and his family has endured the harassment and degradation wrought by the British state during the most recent phase of the conflict. Therefore it was no surprise that Pádraig would become a republican activist, At just 13 years of age Pádraig was one of the founding members of the Derry republican youth group, ‘Toirsire’, which later became Na Fianna Martyrs Ogra Shinn Féin Cumann, he showed himself to be particularly able and dedicated, always being a man of his word and participating and playing as active a role as he could. It was a quality which didn’t go unnoticed by the Republican Movement in Derry when, in 2008, Pádraig was chosen as one of the honorees at the annual Derry Volunteers Commemorative Dinner Dance, where he was acknowledged for his contribution to the struggle.
5 Pádraig was an easy-going, positive young person who was a constant and a pillar to all because you could always rely on him
Although quiet and reserved in nature, Pádraig always left a strong impression on those around him by his strong work ethic and his well-mannered approach to life endeared him to everyone. Pádraig lived for many things: his friends and family, his beloved Stoke City FC, and republicanism, which he embraced through his activism in Ógra Shinn Féin. He was an easy-going, positive young person who was a constant and a pillar to all because you could always rely on him. Pádraig was also very intelligent and academically astute, having just completed his A-Levels in St Columb’s, Derry, and was set for going to university. He had so much more to contribute in life, so much more to achieve, all of which makes his sudden death more heart-breakingly tragic. On the day of his funeral, Pádraig’s remains left his cherished Brandywell home, the Irish national flag draping his coffin, and his Ógra Shinn Féin comrades providing a guard of honour, accompanying him on his final journey through the streets of Derry. It is hard to describe our collective sense of regret, sorrow and loss at the death of Pádraig, and we want to extend the deepest and most heartfelt condolences and sympathies to his family and friends in this difficult time. We are buoyed by his memory. We are extremely proud and honoured to have worked with and known such an inspirational and gifted young man, and we will do all in our utmost to keep his memory alive and to achieve all that he strived for in his short yet full life.
| July/Iúil 2010
IN THE BEGINNINGS... g
hour battle from the grounds of St Matthew’s Church and other vulnerable positions to prevent loyalists ransacking the area. “There was no one else to defend us. It was one of the IRA’s first major engagements,” says Sile. In defending nationalist areas, the IRA had succeeded where the British Army had failed, much to the chagrin of the unionist regime which demanded a return to ‘law and order’, by which they meant support for the status quo.
BY LAURA FRIEL
THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY of a series of key moments in the history of the struggle will be remembered in Belfast this summer through a series of events organised across the city. The Defence of Ardoyne, the Battle of St Matthews and the Falls Road Curfew, all distinct in their own right, were also part of an escalation towards conflict that culminated in the British Army’s massacre of civilians on Bloody Sunday less than two years later. Before Bloody Sunday, the relationship between the Northern nationalist community and the British Army was ambivalent; after Bloody Sunday it was not. But although the events in Derry in 1972 marked a turning point, indications of what was coming were already emerging in Belfast in 1970. The British Army had arrived on the streets of Derry and Belfast in August 1969 amidst some of the most notorious sectarian attacks against nationalist communities in the history of the Orange state. The Battle of the Bogside and the burning of Bombay Street were the context within which British troops were deployed, ostensibly to relieve beleaguered nationalist communities under attack from the RUC in Derry and Orangemen in Belfast. And it’s true that, while republicans were rightly sceptical of the reasons given by the British Government in deploying its troops in Ireland, some nationalists welcomed British soldiers in the hopes that they would protect them from the excesses of the Orange state. In 1970, the Orange marching season, the time of year when traditionally anti-Catholic violence and sectarian pogroms against nationalist communities were most intense, would be the litmus test for this hypothesis. Republicans, of course, were taking no chances and, having learnt the lessons of ‘69, were better prepared to defend Catholic areas. In the summer of 1970, when the Orange Order attempted to march along the nationalist Springfield Road in west Belfast, they were met with a huge crowd who had gathered to prevent them. The route still bore all the scars of the Orangemen’s incursion of the year before, row after row of Catholic homes, derelict and abandoned.
WITH THE FOCUS ON
west Belfast, the north of the city was not expecting any trouble. But having been deterred from marching onto the Springfield Road, hundreds of Orangemen crossed through the loyalist Woodvale area onto the
A FEW DAYS LATER,
5 MURAL IN MEMORY: Rita Doherty with Robert ‘Dinker’ McClenaghan at the new Falls Road mural dedicated to the memory of the events in July 1970 when the British Army, under orders from the unionist regime in Stormont, imposed a military curfew on the Lower Falls area of Belfast. Robert is the chair of the commemoration committee and Rita, a young girl Crumlin Road to attack Catholic homes on the edge of Ardoyne. The route may not have been ‘traditional’ in the Orange Order sense but in attacking Catholic houses in the Hooker, Herbert and Brookfield Street area, Orangemen were returning to a place they had almost destroyed the previous summer. But one year later everything had changed and changed utterly. The IRA O/C during the H-Block Hunger Strike of 1981, Bik McFarlane, was born and reared in Ardoyne. Speaking to An Phoblacht, he described the events and significance of 1970. “When loyalist mobs attacked Ardoyne in ‘69 people had very little with which to defend themselves. But in June 1970, when hundreds of loyalists descended on Ardoyne and then opened fire, republicans were prepared. Armed IRA Volunteers arrived and a gun battle ensued. “British troops arrived in jeeps and trucks and took up positions along the Crumlin Road. But it was immediately clear that they had not arrived to defend the people of Ardoyne. A sectarian mob had mounted a deliberate attack but, rather than targeting loyalists, British soldiers turned their back on the mob to fire canisters of CS gas at a community trying to defend itself. “In the summer of 1970, IRA Volunteers, not the British Army,
at the time, saw her uncle Patrick shot dead by British soldiers. Her father was also wounded by British Army rifle fire. The curfew was broken after three days when women from throughout Belfast forced their way through British barricades, bringing much-needed food to the beleaguered residents.
‘British troops took up positions along the Crumlin Road. But it was immediately clear that they had not arrived to defend the people of Ardoyne from sectarian mobs... ‘The British soldiers turned their back on the mob to fire CS gas at a community trying to defend itself... ‘In the summer of 1970, IRA Volunteers, not the British Army, emerged as defenders of the community’ BIK McFARLANE
emerged as defenders of the community.”
A SECOND loyalist attack was underway in the Short Strand, also targeted by bandsmen returning from the same Orange Order parade. Sile Darragh, IRA O/C in Armagh Jail during the Hunger Strikes, was only a child at the time of the loyalist attack on Short Strand but she remembers it as a defining moment. “The area was already flooded with Catholic families seeking refuge from sectarian attacks. “A loyalist band stopped at the bottom of Seaford Street to play sectarian tunes and taunt nationalists. Later, an Orange mob looted and destroyed Catholic-owned premises along the Newtownards Road before launching a full-scale attack on the area. “The Strand must have seemed like an easy target for Orangemen seeking revenge for being prevented from marching through nationalist west Belfast.” But when the first loyalist shot rang out, it was met with a sustained response from the IRA. A local IRA unit, supported by other Volunteers from the Belfast Brigade and by the Citizens’ Defence League fought an eight-
the British Army raided the Lower Falls in an effort to disarm the IRA and, after they met resistance, imposed a curfew. During the curfew, which lasted over a number of days, families were held hostage in their own homes and soon basic provisions within the area ran out. The curfew was broken when women carrying bread, milk and other supplies, marched into the Lower Falls in defiance of the British Army. Robert McClenaghan, a republican former POW, describes the significance of the British Army’s actions and the breaking of the curfew. “It can honestly be said to have changed the course of Irish history. Before the events of June and July, many nationalists believed the British Army was neutral. During the curfew, their treatment of the people of the Lower Falls showed the British Army to be a colonial force sent in to prop up the unionist junta.” Three thousand British troops were sent into the Lower Falls, with helicopter support and armoured cars, triggering the first serious engagement between the British Army and the IRA. Four people were shot dead by British soldiers in what was the first shoot-to-kill incident. “If those killings had been challenged, if those soldiers had been brought before the courts to account for their actions, other massacres – Ballymurphy in August ‘71, Bloody Sunday a few months later in January ‘72 – might have been avoided. In the event, the British Army was allowed to get away with murder and they went on to get away with murder on numerous occasions.” Events in the summer of 1970 were pivotal. After the Orange pogroms of ‘69, the IRA had reorganised to defend nationalists from sectarian attack. “By 1970,” Robert says, “it was already becoming clear that challenging the Orange state was insufficient, that British occupation presented republicans with a different colonial challenge and this began to emerge as a national liberation struggle.”
July/Iúil 2010 |
I nDíl Chuimhne “Life springs from death and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations.” – Pádraig Mac Piarais 24 June 1974: Volunteers Gerard CRAIG and David RUSSELL, Derry Brigade 25 June 1973: Volunteer Dermot CROWLEY, Cork Brigade 25 June 1973: Volunteers Patrick CARTY and Seán LOUGHRAN, Tyrone Brigade 25 June 1986: Volunteer Brian DEMPSEY, 2nd Battalion, Belfast Brigade 27 June 1970: Volunteers Thomas CARLIN, Joseph COYLE and Thomas McCOOL, Derry Brigade 28 June 1972: Volunteers John FINUCANE and Tony JORDAN, 1st Battalion, Belfast Brigade 30 June 1976: Volunteer Brian COYLE, Derry Brigade 1 July 1980: Volunteer Terence O’NEILL, 2nd Battalion, Belfast Brigade 2 July 1974: Volunteer Patrick TEER, Long Kesh 3 July 1972: Volunteer Denis QUINN, Tyrone Brigade
6 July 1976: Volunteer Thomas KANE, 1st Battalion, Belfast Brigade 7 July 1990: Volunteer Seán BATESON, Long Kesh 7 July 1988: Volunteer Séamus WOODS, Tyrone Brigade 8 July 1970: Volunteer Tommy CAROLAN, Derry Brigade 8 July 1972: Volunteer Julie DOUGAN, Cumann na mBán, Portadown 8 July 1981: Fian John DEMPSEY, Fianna Éireann 8 July 1981: Volunteer Joe McDONNELL, Long Kesh 9 July 1972: Fian John DOUGAL, Fianna Éireann 13 July 1981: Volunteer Martin HURSON, Long Kesh 13 July 1984: Volunteer William PRICE, Tyrone Brigade 14 July 1972: Volunteer Louis SCULLION, 3rd Battalion, Belfast Brigade 15 July 1972: Volunteer James REID, 3rd Battalion, Belfast Brigade,
16 July 1972: Fian Tobias MOLLOY, Fianna Éireann 17 July 1976: Volunteer Patrick CANNON, Dublin Brigade 17 July 1976: Volunteer Peter McELCAR, Donegal Brigade 21 July 1972: Volunteer Joseph DOWNEY, 3rd Battalion, Belfast Brigade 21 July 1973: Volunteer Alphonsus CUNNINGHAM, South Down Command 21 July 1973: Volunteer Pauline KANE, Cumann na mBán, Newcastle 25 July 1988: Volunteer Brendan DAVISON, 3rd Battalion, Belfast Brigade 27 July 1977: Volunteer Tommy TOLAN, 2nd Battalion, Belfast Brigade 28 July 1972: Volunteer Seamus CASSIDY, 3rd Battalion, Belfast Brigade 31 July 1972: Volunteer Seamus BRADLEY, Derry Brigade
ALWAYS REMEMBERED BY THE REPUBLICAN MOVEMENT
Comhbrón BARTON, Pádraig. Deepest sympathy to the Barton and Keenan families on the sad passing of our good friend Pádraig. From the Padraig Pearse Sinn Féin Cumann, Bogside and Brandywell, Derry. BARTON, Pádraig. Deepest sympathy to the Barton and Keenan families on the sad passing of our good friend Pádraig. From the Eamon Lafferty Sinn Féin Cumann, Creggan. BARTON, Pádraig. Deepest sympathy to the Barton and Keenan families on the sad passing of our good friend Pádraig.
From the Republican Movement, Derry. DONAGHY, Michael. The members of the Frank Ward Sinn Féin Cumann, Carrickmore/Creggan, extend sympathy to the family and friends of Michael Donaghy who died May 29th 2010. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Margaret, son Cathal and daughter Michelle and the wider family circle. McELDUFF, Donald (Donnie). The members of the Frank Ward Sinn Féin Cumann, Carrickmore/Creggan, extend
COUNTDOWN TO 2016 AND BEYOND REMEMBERING T THE PAST
HE centenary of the 1916 Rising and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic is now six years away. In the decade ahead, the centenaries of pivotal events in Irish history prior to and after the Rising will be marked. These will provide a focus for many commemorative events, debates and publications while, as Michelle Gildernew stated in her Bodenstown speech, Irish republicans will see them as milestones in the progress of today’s struggle. Here we provide a quick preview of ‘decade of centenaries’.
1910-2010: In November, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, reorganised through the work of Tom Clarke and Seán Mac Diarmada, established a new monthly paper, Irish Freedom. This would feature the writings of republicans such as Pádraig Pearse and Terence Mac Swiney. (An Phoblacht will mark this centenary in our November issue).
1912-2012: With the Irish Party holding the balance of power in the Westminster Parliament, the Liberal Government was pledged to introduce a Home Rule Bill for Ireland. Unionist opposition escalated with the British Conservative and Unionist (Tory) Party stirring sectarian hatred to attack the Liberals. Ulster Unionists under Edward Carson signed the Solemn League and Covenant (September).
1913-2013: In January, the Third Home Rule Bill was passed in the House of Commons and the Ulster Volunteer Force was established. In August, the Great Lock-Out,
BY MÍCHEÁL Mac DONNCHA
led by Jim Larkin, began and continued to February 1914. In November, Óglaigh na hÉireann (the Irish Volunteers) and the Irish Citizen Army were founded.
1914-2014: In April, Cumann na mBan was founded and the UVF Larne gun-running took place. The Irish Volunteers landed guns at Howth and Kilcoole in July and August. Irish Party leader John Redmond split the Irish Volunteers by committing them to fight for Britain in the war which broke out in August. Home Rule Bill passed but suspended.
1915-2015: Pádraig Pearse’s oration at the grave of veteran Fenian O’Donovan Rossa (August). 1916-2016: Irish Volunteers paraded with arms on St Patrick’s Day. The Rising began on Easter
Monday, April 24th, and ended on April 29th. Fourteen leaders executed in Dublin and one in Cork between May 3rd and 12th. Roger Casement executed in London, August 3rd. Thousands of Irishmen in the British Army killed in the Battle of the Somme in July.
1917-2017: In February, Count Plunkett in North Roscommon won the first of a series of by-election victories for Sinn Féin. Thomas Ashe was the first republican to die on hunger strike (September). Sinn Féin adopted a new republican constitution at its Ard Fheis
sympathy to the family and friends of Donnie McElduff who died June 2nd 2010. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his sons Barry, Seamus and Eamon, and to daughters Caroline and Frances and the wider family circle. McELDUFF, Donald (Donnie). West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin extend sympathy to the family and friends of regret Donnie McElduff who died June 2nd 2010. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his sons Barry, Seamus and Eamon and to daughters Caroline and Frances and the wider family circle.
NEW MONTHLY NEW DEADLINE THE DEADLINE for notices for the next An Phoblacht, 28 July 2010, is 5pm on Monday 19 July. In order to be included notices must be received by email, post, phone or fax at our Dublin office ONLY before the deadline. THERE IS A CHARGE OF €10 for inserts printed in our Imeachtaí/Events column and now you can get a small box advert for €30 or a large box advert for €50 (these are carried in our print edition and on our website, www.anphoblacht.com). ALL Imeachtaí/Events must be sent WITH PAYMENT to: An Phoblacht, 58 Parnell Square, Dublin 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org. THERE IS NO CHARGE for I nDíl Chuimhne, Comhbhrón etc.
1918-2018: A one-day general strike helped to defeat the threat of conscription (April). The general election in December saw overwhelming victory for Sinn Féin.
1919-2019: The First Dáil Éireann assembled on January 21st. Armed resistance by Volunteers escalated throughout the year. In August, all Volunteers and TDs swore allegiance to the Irish Republic. The British banned the Dáil in September. 1920-2020: This was the most eventful year of the war with the introduction of the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries, the struggle of the IRA flying columns, the deaths of republicans such as Terence Mac Swiney and Kevin Barry, Bloody Sunday in Dublin and the Partition Act (Government of Ireland Act) in December.
CORK SINN FÉIN FUND-RAISER 9pm Saturday 17th July, Lodge Bar, Mallow. Featuring Irish rebel band The Druids. Táille €10. DUBLIN DUBLIN SINN FÉIN MOCK WEDDING 7.30pm Saturday 26 June, Teachers Club, Parnell Square. Happy Couple: Arthur Morgan TD & Aisling Ó Snodaigh. Táille €20. For more infomation contact: Noeleen 087 6336233 or email@example.com. SCOTLAND BANDS FOR MARCH & RALLY Saturday 17 July, Coatbridge, Scotland. Bands wishing to take part email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
| July/Iúil 2010
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July/Iúil 2010 |
BY PAUL HOGAN
Blowing out your vuvuzela LET a fanfare of trumpets ring out, for vuvuzelas have been banned from Croke Park. The deafening South African plastic horns that emit an ear-splitting monotone drone like a Fine Gael backbencher after a heavy Sunday lunch will not be heard in the hallowed halls of HQ if the big noises in the GAA have their way. You can buy them in Dublin now but you can’t bring them in to Croker – or other grounds. The vuvuzela has burst onto soccer’s World Cup TV stage in ‘The Rainbow Nation’ and it’s not a sweet sound to many ears. The vuvuzela been splitting fans as to whether or not it should be banned because it makes the commentary hard to hear for TV viewers and it
Play up, Dr Marlow TYRONE fan and technical genius Dr Seán Marlow of Dublin City University was on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland to advise viewers on how to tune down the vuvuzela. Doctor Seán has two methods, which he has dubbed “Marlow Method A” and “Marlow Method B”. For the technical details, log on here: http://www.98fm.com/ newssport/news/no-more-noise164943. It’s a good job World Cup vuvuzelas didn’t make such a noise before 1993. Up until then, Seán Marlow was among those good and clever citizens banned from radio and TV because they were members of Sinn Féin. The infamous Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act was brought in by Fianna Fáil but enthusiastically enforced by Fine Gael and Labour until the Peace Process kicked in and Labour had no defence left. A bit like the Australian soccer team you might say.
Making money and movies BACK on home ground, the Déise have astonishingly entered into a financial agreement with Tipp and Cork to raise muchneeded funds. What is believed to be a five-figure sum was negotiated for Waterford in exchange for home advantage in a Munster final over the next five years. This raises serious questions regarding the apparent desperate financial affairs of the Waterford County Board. It’s outrageous that the venue of a match of such significance could be decided on a financial deal. Tipp, of course, now play Wexford in the qualifiers just
ruins the atmosphere in the stands for the paying punter. Selling for just a couple of quid, they blast out up to 144 decibels, louder than a plane taking off. Health experts warn against the dangers, particularly for children. But Alastair Campbell, the unwavering voice of Tony Blair and the British Labour Party, has come out against the would-be banners of the vuvuzela at the World Cup. “Annoyance at the vuvuzela is becoming more annoying than the annoyance of the vuvuzela,” Burnley’s most famous fan tweeted. “Viva vuvuzela! No to cultural killjoys!” Killjoys at Croke Park? Never. What do you think?
after we go to print and the Slaneysiders will hope to have Greg Jacob available – with his kit on – for selection following his recent extra-curricular activities at the movies. When he was exposed (sorry, couldn’t resist that) for taking part in the X-rated video ‘Sex Tour of Ireland’ and asked about how he went down from the senior panel to the intermediate team, the hurler on the prowl reportedly countered: “It’s all nonsense. You know how s**t goes around. I don’t regret doing it.” Sounds like a Fianna Fáil Cabinet member.
ON a more wholesome note, Ireland’s boxing team brought home one gold, one silver and three bronze medals from the European Senior Championships held in Moscow. Paddy Barnes from Belfast ended a 19-year 5 Paul Galvin wait by bringing back a gold medal in the light-flyweight class. Kilkenny southpaw Darren O’Neill, a 6th-class teacher at Holy Trinity Primary School in Donaghmede, won a silver medal in the middleweight category. Ken Egan, Eric Donovan and Tyrone McCullagh ensured that Ireland finished in second place to Russia in the medals table by each winning bronze medals. And what about the lads in the Fine Gael fisticuffs? All that gouging and sledging and back-biting – and it’s all legal with no complaining from The Sunday Game. Paul Galvin, eat your heart out.
Ballykissane commemoration HE annual Ballykissane commemoration took place in Killorglin, County Kerry, on May 29th. The opening address was given by Mairéad Ní Mhaoláin at the event in which Conn Keating, Donal Sheahan and Charlie Monaghan, the first casualties of the 1916 Rising, were commemorated. These Volunteers met a tragic death as they attempted to assist the importation of arms on board The Aud for the 1916 Rising.
5 North Kerry / West Limerick TD Martin Ferris and members of the Smith/Hehir/Harford/ Doherty/Bell Republican Flute Band
North Kerry/West Limerick TD Martin Ferris was the main speaker at the commemoration and his speech covered not just the legacy of the republican heroes of bygone years but the social inequality, unemployment, education and natural resources that should be at the heart of any republic’s ideals. “Those individuals who brought us to our present economic crisis cannot lay claim to the legacy of Volunteers such as the men we remember today,” Martin Ferris said.
“Government bank bail-outs benefit few at the expense of many but this crisis extends beyond banks and golden circles. Ordinary people deserve equal treatment and should be given assistance also.” South Kerry Sinn Féin would like to thank all those who attended and participated in the commemoration, particularly Shay and the Smith/Hehir/ Harford/ Doherty/Bell Republican Flute Band who travelled down from Dublin especially for the event.
32 | July/Iúil 2010 NEXT MONTH
anphoblacht.com INTERNMENT, AUGUST 1971
THE ORANGE WALK
A look back at The Twelfth
Differing views on water charges
DETENTION WITHOUT CHARGE OR TRIAL AND THE OPENING OF LONG KESH
August issue of anphoblacht out Thursday 29th July
In both the Labour poll hype and the Fine Gael ‘heave’ one little detail was ignored – policy
WINDS OF CHANGE OR SAME OLD (FINE) GAEL? g
BY MÍCHEÁL Mac DONNCHA
AS the Dáil approaches its summer recess there has been much talk about seismic change in Irish politics. But what has really changed? A dire Fianna Fáil Government clings to office, propped up by a small party of opportunists (PDs/Greens, ‘Independents’ tick as appropriate). Fine Gael has one of its periodic fits of the jitters and shoots itself in both feet, leaving Fianna Fáil laughing. And the Labour Party, darlings of the media and with inflated egos from the latest opinion poll, presents Eamon Gilmore as the next Taoiseach. We have been here before. Fianna Fáil governments have been replaced by Fine Gael/Labour coalitions. Labour has experienced occasional surges in support, mainly because its leader has scored more hits against Fianna Fáil than the Fine Gael leader. Granted, the dramatic fall in support for Fianna Fáil is unprecedented, as are the poll ratings for Labour. Both these trends are likely to be strongly reflected in the next general election but to what extent is anyone’s guess. Certainly, predictions of a Labour landslide, leading to Gilmore as Taoiseach, are extremely premature. One newspaper referred to a forthcoming ‘Gilmore Gale’ blowing Labour TDs into the Dáil - in imitation of the ‘Spring Tide’ of 1992 when Labour won 33 seats. Of course, what it should be called is Gilmore/Fine Gael because that’s the now almost inevitable destination for the Labour Party. Gilmore confirmed this in media interviews on the weekend of June 19th/20th, describing Fine Gael and Labour as “competing but compatible”. The hype about Labour’s poll support was echoed in the media’s cheering on of Richard Bruton. He and his cohorts in the ‘heave’ against Enda Kenny were swept along on a media wave, believing that reports of their intellectual superiority over the mainly rural Fine Gael backbenchers would give Bruton the leadership, resume Fine Gael’s stalled rise in the polls and win them the general election. Choice Cabinet positions for ‘boy wonders’ Brian Hayes and Leo Varadkar would be sure to follow. It all went pear-shaped (or in this case the shape of a Mayo spud) and the whole debacle served only to expose Bruton’s lack of political skill. In both the Labour poll hype and the Fine Gael ‘heave’ one little detail was ignored - policy. “Fine Gael policy, such as it is, would result in cuts in much the same way as the
COMPATIBLE COUPLE? Blueshirt Leo Varadkar and Labour’s Tommy Broughan
present Fianna Fáil/Green government, including the axing of thousands of public service workers’ jobs. The people deserve to know what the policy platform of a Fine Gael/Labour coalition would be,” commented Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, responding to Gilmore’s confirmation of his engagement to Enda Kenny. “We need a decisive move away from the politics of both conservative parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. With the Labour Party clearly set on a path of rescuing Fine Gael yet again, Sinn Féin remains focused on working for real change in Irish politics,” said Ó Caoláin. The Fine Gael faction fight had distracted attention from the Dáil debate on the motion of confidence in the Fianna Fáil/Green Government. In that debate, only Sinn Féin pointed to the fundamentally flawed policies of both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, as well as the policy gaps behind the Labour hype. While the Labour hype and Fine Gael heave was going on, the jobs crisis wors-
5 Enda Kenny after his ‘triumph’ ened. Latest figures saw the rate of unemployment in the 26 Counties leap to 12.9%. Sinn Féin Social Protection spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD commented: “The increase of 7,600 people in unemployment since the fourth quarter of 2009 is a harrowing account of how Government preoccupation with the banking sector and recapitalising zombie banks is stunting Ireland’s economic growth.”
Labour, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael all share an unquestioning loyalty to the EU. The result of such an attitude was brought home to 112 workers in printing firm Futureprint in Baldoyle which closed down on June 16th. This news came as students were sitting their Leaving and Junior Cert exams. The State Examination Commission awarded the contract for the printing of the over 30 million Leaving and Junior Cert exam papers to two firms in Britain. The Government claims the contract had to go out to tender under EU rules. But it could have been broken up into smaller contracts to keep the business in Ireland. Yet again the Government failed to protect Irish jobs with its cap-in-hand attitude to Brussels, an attitude fully shared by the so-called alternative government of Fine Gael and Labour. How many of the students sitting their Leaving Cert this year will have to emigrate? We have definitely been here before.