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Last Updated  03/15/2018

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The Belfast Agreement is fading, not with a bang but with a whimper

Bradley’s Commons statement unilaterally puts the agreement up for casual renegotiation

Laws and treaties are rarely repealed, annulled or loudly declared dead. They simply lapse into abeyance and fade away. The same is now happening in classic whimper-not-bang fashion to the Belfast Agreement. The agreement has legal force as Westminster legislation, primarily the Northern Ireland Act 1998, and as a treaty between London and Dublin. Both are being breached not just with increasing frequency but – more tellingly – with increasing indifference.


2018 Easter Rising Commemoration

Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta (CnSN) will hold their 2018 Easter Rising Commemoration at 10:00 AM on Sunday, April 22nd at the graveside of Joe Stynes in Woodlawn Cemetery, East 233rd St. at the corner of Webster Ave., Bronx, NY.  Joe’s grave is on the North Border Avenue inside the cemetery, parallel to East 233rd St.

Stynes was a native of Chill Dara, (Kildare), a veteran of the Irish War of Independence and co-founder of CnSN. The graveside ceremony will include a reading of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, the Declaration of Independence (adopted by Dάil Ѐireann at its first meeting at Mansion House, Dublin, on January 21, 1919), the Republican Movement's Easter Statement, Cumann na Saoirse’s Easter Message and the laying of the wreath at Joe Stynes’ grave by members of his family.

After the graveside ceremony, breakfast will be served at Keane’s Bar and Restaurant, 4340 Katonah Ave., Bronx, NY 10470 at 11:00 am.

For more information please email or ring Jane Enright (enrightnyc@gmail.com. 718-683-6903) or Maggie Trainor (nymayo@earthlink.net)

Equal Rights for Women Still not Achieved

As the British and Irish establishment celebrates the 100th anniversary of “giving” the vote to women who met a certain criteria (February 6, 1918, over 30, owning property or with a university degree) the hypocrisy of some of the speeches by some politicians was not lost on Republican Sinn Féin.

With mass media coverage, politicians glorify the granting of the vote to women with the above criteria as a milestone in democracy. The same people choose to conveniently forget that in the same year the democratic process carried out in the 32 Counties of Ireland was usurped by the non-recognition of the 1918 election that overwhelmingly elected a majority of Republicans who had made it clear that they would never sit in Westminster but rather establish a Dáil Éireann in Dublin.

In the months before and years that followed the 1918 election many of those Republicans were arrested and jailed. with the country eventually illegally divided into two separate states, which led to almost 100 years of death and destruction.

The right to a vote within the Occupied Six Counties was denied for many within the nationalist community for decades more and was part of the reason for the Civil Rights marches in the late 1960s. The gerrymandered state set up in 1922 was a sectarian statelet where the Unionist community would remain as the dominant class, the political elite and thus the Occupied Six Counties would remain part of the so-called United Kingdom. Such was the denial of democracy that those campaigning for civil rights, like the “right to vote” were attacked by the RIC, aided and abetted by armed Unionist/Loyalist gangs.

In the 26-County State this past week we had the spectacle of politicians lauding the fact that Constance Markievicz was elected to Westminster. Again, these people chose to ignore the fact she had campaigned on a platform of non-attendance and non-recognition of the right of this establishment to any control over Ireland. Constance Markievicz never took or even contemplated taking her seat in Westminster.

The 26 Counties continued to deny women many of their rights over the decades, going as far as to demand they leave State jobs when they got married. Hundreds of unmarried women who found themselves pregnant were committed to the Magdalene laundries. Even now in the 21st century many women will get a lower pension than their male counterparts because of 26-County State rules.

The right to vote was granted to women by the British parliament. However, the rights of women within Irish Republicanism have always been to the fore. The 1916 Proclamation guaranteed all citizens equal rights and opportunities and implicitly said that when a permanent national government was elected it would be “elected by the suffrage of all her men and women”. Republicans had female combatants long before Imperialists saw them “fit” for armed forces. Constance Markievicz herself held an officer’s rank within the Republican ranks in the Irish Citizen Army.

The long-held slogan of Irish Republicans Ní Saoirse Go Saoirse Na mBan (there is no freedom until freedom for women) holds testament to this.

Source:  Saoirse Newspaper


As dark clouds rumbled, wondered I:
How come this grumble from the sky?
The dark clouds clashed and tore asunder,
This very sky that we stood under!
Cold and dark was that Christmas day,
In that awful, blustery, wintery way ;
And hot air and sunshine thought it wise,
To take their peaceful clouds and rise...

(('adjusted' from Kathleen's original, here.)

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Sinn Fein denies Gerry Adams ‘set up’ IRA Loughgall ambush
State Papers 1987: Sinn Féin president was accused of being behind the killings
Peter Murtagh, Ed Carty  ----  Irish Times, Friday Dec. 29, 2017

Féin president Gerry Adams was rumoured to have set up a notorious IRA gang for ambush by the SAS as they tried to blow up a police station in May 1987, previously secret files have revealed.
A Sinn Féin spokesman on Friday dismissed the claim as ‘utter nonsense’.
Eight members of the Provisional’s East Tyrone Brigade were shot dead after they loaded a 200lb bomb onto a stolen digger and smashed through the gates of the RUC barracks in Loughgall, Co Armagh.
British Army special forces were lying in wait and killed them all, along with innocent bystander Anthony Hughes.
Declassified documents released through the National Archives in Dublin revealed that ballistic tests on weapons found on the dead were used in 40-50 murders, including every republican killing in Fermanagh and Tyrone in 1987.
Three civilian contractors had been murdered in the counties that year along with officers in the RUC and British Army’s Ulster Defence Regiment.
The rumour about Mr Adams was passed on to the Department of Foreign Affairs by the highly respected Fr Denis Faul about three months after the Loughgall operation.


Surge in support for Irish unity
41% Britons favour united Ireland; Only 26% want Ulster in UK

Special report: Northern Ireland  ---  Guardian Newspaper 2001

A verdict to strike a chill through Ulster unionism comes in today's Guardian/ ICM poll, which finds more Britons think Northern Ireland should be part of a united Ireland than believe it belongs in the United Kingdom.
In a finding that hits at the very heart of unionist ideology - which regards the province as an integral part of the UK - 41% of Britons believe Northern Ireland should be joined with the Irish republic while only 26% say it should continue as part of the UK.
For unionists, many of whom consider themselves British and refer to Britain as "the mainland", today's findings amount to a cold shoulder from their fellow citizens. Only one in four wants the province to stay part of the country.
Nationalists and republicans are bound to seize on the results as evidence that Britons are ready to let Northern Ireland go. The cherished goal of both movements remains a united Ireland.


Comóradh An Chéad Dáil Éireann, Faisnéis Neamhspleadhchuis

January 21 1919

It was 98 years ago this month that the Irish National Assembly, Dáil Éireann met for the first time and declared Irish Independence.
This followed the watershed General Election of December 1918, the first held that gave women limited franchise. That election gave supporters of Irish Independence overwhelming victory at the polls. Invitations were sent to all elected members for the 32 counties of Ireland and at that first session, Dáil Éireann pledged to adhere the principles of Liberty, Equality and Justice for all the people of Ireland and to follow the mandate of the 1916 Proclamation to "cherish all the children of the nation equally." The first member of a national assembly in Western Europe, Countess Markievicz, was elected and served in the Cabinet of that first democratically elected Irish Government. Women were present and active in all aspects of the national movement for freedom. The British "banned" the democratically elected Government of Ireland, thus ensuring decades of conflict. And the truncated Free State government set up at the British insistence betrayed the sacrifices made by the women of Ireland in the struggle for freedom by restricting their rights as soon as the Free State took power.
Especially at this time in our history, when we see greed, bigotry , self interest and sexism in the ascendancy, we pay tribute to those brave men and women who selflessly sacrificed so much to establish and to defend the Irish Republic, and pledge ourselves to Eire Nua, a vision of an All Ireland Republic that honors and respects the rights and dignity all its citizens, men and women, and those of all background and faiths .

Contributor:  Tomas Abernethy