Cumann na Saoırse Náısıúnta

National Irish Freedom Committee

Irish Republican Information Service 


 

In this issue:  02/23/13

1. RUC/PSNI sinks to new low in Craigavon
2. Republican Sinn Féin activity in Wexford
3. Wexford POW picket
4. Brits rule out scanners for Maghaberry
5. Latest update on internee Martin Corey
6. AOH Bloody Sunday Commemoration in Waterbury Ct
7. ‘Phoned by MI5’
8. Officials still seek BC tapes on IRA
9. Bloody Sunday compensation offer a 'distraction'
10. Justice for Eileen Doherty after 40 years
11. British police used identities of dead babies to infiltrate protest groups
12. Finucane murder ‘defining symbol of [British] State’
13. 700,000 people in poverty in the 26 Counties
14. Food prices up by 12% in past two years
15. 26-County soldiers to be sent to Mali with British soldiers


1. RUC/PSNI sinks to new low in Craigavon

 THE Thomas Harte Cumann, Republican Sinn Féin, Lurgan, Co Armagh said in a statement on February 14 that it has been brought to their attention that the RUC/PSNI had, within the last week, taken a group of children from a local youth club in Craigavon, Co Armagh to Brownlow RUC Station where they took photos of the children wearing RUC/PSNI hats, and also showed off their weapon's to the children. The children in turn posted these photos on Facebook.

”The pictures also show the children inside the station posing with members of the RUC/PSNI who were hugging the youngsters while at the same time these child abusers are beating young nationalists/Republicans every chance they get elsewhere – including a 14 year-old from Craigavon about two weeks previously when they tried to strip-search him.

”Republican Sinn Féin condemns this despicable action outright. Children should not be used as a political pawn in their dirty tricks. Republican Sinn Féin believes the children are indeed being used for the RUC/PSNI's own political agenda. We have received a large amount of complaints by the public and we would advise parents not to play into their dirty agenda.”

 

2. Republican Sinn Féin activity in Wexford

ON February 12 a small wreath laying ceremony was held at the graveside of Brigade Commandant Séamus O’Brien in Ballyvaldon, Blackwater, County Wexford.
Séamus was the first County Wexford soldier to fall in the War of Independence.
He was a Commandant in the IRA and a native of Morriscastle, Kilmuckridge a few miles from Wexford Town. A grocer’s assistant, he had worked in Enniscorthy prior to 1915 and left to take employment in Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow. He was at home in Kilmuckridge when the 1916 Rising started and went to Enniscorthy where he took an active part in the actions.

Following the surrender he was deported to England and on his return from Frongoch in 1917 he set up a business with a partner in Rathdrum. He was shot dead when his shop was raided on the February 12, 1920. His partner, named Walshe was on the run at the time.

 

3. Wexford POW picket

ON Saturday, February 0 Cumann Pádraig Ó Pearaill (Wexford) held a picket at the Bullring, the busiest area of Wexford town, in support of all POWs, with emphasis on Martin Corey. Public opinion was in support of our cause on the day

 

4. Brits rule out scanners for Maghaberry

IT was reported on February 13 that electronic scanners like those used in airports will not replace full body-searching in prisons in the Six Occupied Counties.

According to the British prison service nearly 1,200 prisoners and prison staff were searched using two millimetre wave scanners. The searches took place at Magilligan prison and Hydebank Wood.

Republicans POWs at Maghaberry, near Lisburn, County Antrim, have been campaigning to have the scanners installed there as an alternative to strip-searching However, the introduction of the technology is expected to be put on hold due to the results of the pilot scheme, which was introduced by David Ford, justice minister at Stormont.

A prison service evaluation report alleges that the scanners detected just 57% of test items. The items not detected include a knife and scissors. Prisoners searched using the scanners had to volunteer to be part of the process, so all of the illegal materials detected during the test were carried by prison warders who agreed to be part of the trial.

It says the tests revealed limitations to the technology and that full-body searching provided a higher level of assurance because more test items were detected.

In November 2012, Republican POWs in Maghaberry suspended their dirty protest against the use of strip-searching. At the time, Republican sources said they hoped the move would make it easier for scanners to be introduced if the trials were successful.

The department of justice will now press ahead with plans to test another more sophisticated X-ray scanner. Those tests cannot start until a special licence is granted because the process uses radiation and the technology has never been used “in a British prison

”.

5. Latest update on internee Martin Corey

THE concerted campaign of victimisation by the Northern Ireland (sic) Prison Service (NIPS) continues against political hostage in Maghaberry jail, in Co Antrim, Martin Corey.

On Monday, February 11, 2013, Martin and two other prisoners submitted completed handcraft projects as St Valentine’s Day gifts for their wives and partners. The other two prisoners had visits on Tuesday, February 12. Their visitors went to the collection point and received their items - 24 hours after they were collected from the prisoners in Roe House 3.

On Thursday, February 14, 2013, Martin had a visit from his partner and after the visit she went to the collection point as requested by Martin. She was told by prison staff that there were no items for collection, and to call back next week.

Martin completed a complaint’s form on the wing to be delivered to the Prison Ombudsman concerning several items that were left in for him, three weeks previously, which he never received.

The Ombudsman’s’policy is that the prisoner receives notification within 24 hours that the complaint has been received. Up to February 14 Martin still had not received notice that his complaint had been delivered to the Prison Ombudsman.

Also, at the end of January/beginning of February Martin made an emergency request to see the prison dentist concerning a tooth broken at gum level. However he only got to see the dentist February 13. He was told his initial request had been cancelled due to lack of transport.

A friend of martin contacted his legal team and requested they contact the Prison Service and the Prison Ombudsman for an explanation.

This blatant campaign of victimisation must be highlighted.

 

6. AOH Bloody Sunday Commemoration in Waterbury Ct

THE Freedom For All Ireland Committee (FFAI) of the Msgr. Slocum AOH Division held their annual Bloody Sunday Commemoration in their hall in Waterbury Connnecticut on Sunday, January 27. The event marked the 41st anniversary of the brutal cold-blooded murders of 14 Irish Civil Rights marchers in the Irish city of Derry in British-occupied Ireland on January 30, 1972.

Condolences were expressed for the family of the late Dolours Price, who tragically died after a life dedicated to the freedom of her people.

A great deal of credit must go to this FFAI Committee because this commemoration is one of the few still being held in the US to mark the tragic events of that infamous day.

Seósamh Ó Flatharta chaired the event, Emmett Mac Suibhne was the Master of Ceremonies and Míceál Ó Coisdealbha filled in for guest speaker from Ireland, Mary Ward, Republican Sinn Fé?n, who through no fault of her own was unable to address the commemoration. Mary has graciously accepted a heartfelt apology from the red-faced techie and said that the people of Derry were pleased that Bloody Sunday in Derry was not forgotten by the people of Connecticut
Seósamh Ó Flatharta, accompanied by a lone piper read the names of the innocents who were murdered by the British in Derry on Bloody Sunday and in conclusion read the following statement:
“”I would first like to thank everyone on behalf of the Freedom for All Ireland Committee for coming out today to remember the 14 innocent civilians that were brutally murdered 41 years ago. I am not here to preach to you, you are not here to be preached to, I am not here to convert you, you didn’t come here to be converted. I feel it is my privilege and duty however to continuously advocate for civil rights - civil rights that 14 innocent lives, over half of them children under the age of 20, were stolen over.

“Those same civil rights that today, are still being trampled on, and downgraded by the British Government. We are fast approaching the 32nd anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, we are 41 years since Bloody Sunday, and we are now 15 years into the Stormont Agreement-the so called peace agreement- so lets examine what has changed:

Our men and women still face selective internment.

Our men and women are still targeted and harassed on a daily basis for their religious and political beliefs.

Our men and women are still imprisoned under an unjust, and foreign system
Ireland is still divided and the Brits still hold a foreign oppressive occupation on the country.

The British Government, working close with so-called “main-stream” Republicans, have perpetuated to the world that everything is fine in Ireland, that the “Troubles” are long over, and the Stormont Agreement has proven to be the Godsend that the Provisionals promised it would be.

“All of which are untrue; the reality is that the Stormont Agreement, this so-called peace agreement, has widened the divide and perpetuated an ongoing violence that it promised to stop. Although we are gathered to commemorate the victims of Bloody Sunday, I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the passing of veteran Irish Republican Dolours Price, who tragically passed away this week, Her sister Marian resides unjustly in a British cell, and has been refused the right to attend her sisters funeral.

 May you rest in peace Óglach Dolours Price.

I ask that as you leave hear today, that you remember Ireland, and the lives that were lost fighting for her freedom - to that I can add nothing further” Tiocfa ár La. Slán go fóill.”

 

7. ‘Phoned by MI5’

IT was reported on February 12 that a Derry businessman claimed an MI5 agent contacted him by telephone and asked him to provide information on Republicans.

The man, who did not wish to be named, said he was contacted on a number of occasions in recent days by a man calling himself ‘Lee’ who identified himself as an MI5 officer.

“The first call was on Thursday, February 7 around 4pm when I was in my office and he said his name was Lee and that he had a business proposal for me.

“He asked if I was on my own and when I said I wasn’t he said he would call back at another time. He called back an hour later and said he works for a corporation in England and said I might know some people he would be interested in.

“I operate with businesses in a number of countries so I asked him who he worked for and he said he was based in London.

“He then came straight out and said he works for MI5 and that he wanted to have a chat. He named a number of individuals and I said I did know them and that I used to drink with them but have stopped after finding out they were republicans, he said.

The man also claimed he had been contacted by the same number via text on Thursday evening and on the morning of February 11.

He then reported the matter to his solicitor. I went to my solicitor and called the number in his presence and my solicitor identified himself and asked Lee to leave me alone, he said.

His solicitor, Paddy McGurk, confirmed that he spoke to the person on the phone and asked for his client to be left alone.

“It is a scary development. The man hung up when I identified myself,”he said.

 

8. Officials still seek BC tapes on IRA

A FEDERAL prosecutor in the United States said on January 28 that authorities were still entitled to materials from a Boston College oral history project documenting the Irish Troubles, despite the death last month of Dolours Price.

Assistant US Attorney Randall E Kromm wrote in a filing with the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston that BC incorrectly stated in January that the case was moot after the death of Dolours Price, a former Irish Republican Army member who was interviewed by researchers of the college’s Belfast Project.

“In its [filing on Jan. 28], Boston College does not advance any developed argument as to why Price’s death renders this appeal moot,Kromm wrote.

Jack Dunn, a Boston College spokesman, said in an e-mail that Kromm’s filing was expected. Today the US government simply opposed our motion from last week that asked the court to dismiss our case because of the death of Dolours Price, he wrote.

The Belfast Project is a collection of interviews with former members of the IRA and other groups who fought during the Troubles”.. Project participants consented to interviews with the understanding that their statements would be kept confidential until their deaths.

In early 2011, federal prosecutors issued subpoenas for interviews with Price and Brendan Hughes, a former IRA member who died in 2008, on behalf of authorities investigating the 1972 abduction in Belfast and murder of Jean McConville, a mother of 10 who was killed because she was suspected of being an informant against the IRA.

A second subpoena was later issued for any and all”interviews that contained information about McConville’s death.

Boston College turned over the materials concerning Hughes but initially fought the release of the Price recordings. The college ultimately turned over the Price materials, but their delivery to British authorities has been stayed pending a separate appeal by project researchers Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre with the US Supreme Court.

Prosecutors based their subpoenas on a treaty between the US and Britain that requires them to share information that could aid in criminal investigations. Boston College and others have argued that turning over the interviews could have a chilling effect on academic research, imperil the peace process in Northern Ireland (sic) and subject project participants to retaliatory attacks. BC continues to fight the release of additional interviews with project participants, which is at issue in its case before the appeals court.

“Boston College’s claim that the case caption shows that the government’s requests only sought evidence against Price personally is at odds with the record and, indeed, with Boston College’s own litigating position in the district court and on appeal, Kromm wrote in his filing.

He added that the investigation into McConville’s death was not limited to seeking materials for the purpose of prosecuting Price”.

However, in their January 28 filing seeking to have the order to turn over additional interviews vacated, BC argued that Price’s death “means that criminal matters of Dolours Price can no longer be the subject of any prosecution or referral, and as a result the provisions of the [international treaty] pursuant to which the subpoenas were issued are no longer available.

9.Bloody Sunday compensation offer a 'distraction'

ON February 18 Kate Nash, sister of William Nash shot dead in Derry on Bloody Sunday, January 30, 1972 described the offer of £50,000 compensation as a 'distraction'.

She said the compensation office was a stalling tactic by the British Ministry of Defence and that the families want prosecutions of the soldiers responsible for the killings.

“To me that is more important, I am not interested in money, she said. It is a distraction from the real issue which is ending impunity and getting the soldiers to court.

“We also have an ongoing police investigation and I don't know how that is progressing but I will be finding out very soon. I am not remotely interested in money, not now, and even after prosecutions, we are not interested in money.”

Thirteen people died when members of the parachute regiment of the British army opened fire on civilians during a civil rights march in Derry in 1972. A fourteenth person died later

.

10. Justice for Eileen Doherty after 40 years

Linda Marsden, sister of Eileen Doherty who was shot dead in Belfast in September 1973 said on February 16 that she hoped the conviction of a man for her murder would bring the family some comfort.

She added that it was a tragedy that her parents never got to see Robert James Shaw Rodgers (59), Tierney Gardens, Belfast jailed for the murder of their daughter Eileen Doherty.

Eileen was shot three times in south Belfast in September 1973 after the taxi she was travelling in was hijacked by two members of a loyalist death squad, one armed with a gun.

Speaking after he was convicted at Belfast Crown Court, Linda Marsden said her family was relieved that “justice has finally been done”.

“We have grieved for almost 40 years for our sister Eileen. Our dad never came to terms with the murder of his daughter; he could not even speak her name. He was traumatised until his death in May 2012,” she said. “Our mother, although traumatised, had to be strong and continued to care for her other seven children until her death in August 2009.

“As a family, we have been given answers to questions that have tormented us. Who could have done this to a beautiful 19-year-old girl? She posed no threat to anyone.”

Diplock judge Justice Horner said it was “without a shadow of a doubt” that he was finding the killer guilty. He said there could be no possible innocent explanation for Rodgers’ palm prints being uncovered inside the hijacked taxi and that even if he had had any doubts at all, they were dispelled by evidence that less than a year later Rodgers had killed another nationalist, Ciarán McElroy, simply because of his religion.

“Eileen Doherty was murdered because she was a Catholic who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said the judge.

 

11. British police used identities of dead babies to infiltrate protest groups

ON February 3 the Mail Online reported that the identities of 80 dead children were stolen by the British police at Scotland Yard and used to create fake passports.

The names and dates of birth were taken without the knowledge of the children’s parents and used by officers infiltrating protest groups.

For 30 years, detectives from Scotland Yard trawled through national birth and death records looking for suitable identities. They used the birth certificates to apply for a variety of identity documents to make their aliases appear genuine.

In some cases policemen spent up to ten years in the same guise. One, John Dines, adopted the identity of an eight-year-old boy called John Barker, who died in 1968 from leukaemia.

Another policeman said he felt he was ‘stomping on the grave’ of the four-year-old boy whose identity he used while working undercover in anti-racist groups and a third detective spent years living under the identity of a child who died in a car crash.
Under cover officers using assumed identities also formed sexual relationships with targets in groups they had infiltrated in the 1980s, which included environmental and anti-racist groups.

Ken Macdonald, former Director of Public Prosecutions, has condemned the practice and called for a public inquiry - warning that unacceptable practices might still be in use today.

He said it was “really worrying” that police chiefs appeared not to have entirely ruled out a repeat of recently-exposed cases of officers entering sexual relationships with targets.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he said: “How are you supposed to maintain a level of fair and objective evidence-gathering if you are having sex with the person you are targeting, fathering a baby and then abandoning it, using a dead child's identity?”

“These are all examples of areas in which the police have completely lost their moral compass and have completely failed to understand the boundaries. We don't know quite how these units were operating in days gone by. It looks as though they've effectively gone rogue. I am not at all clear how high up in Scotland Yard these sorts of operations were being organised.”

He added: “What we really need is a public inquiry into undercover policing which takes evidence, takes advice, sets out some guidelines, sets out some mechanisms so we can be confident these sorts of procedures are not being followed today.

“We need to know how we got there, where we are now and we need to be reassured that this sort of behaviour won't occur in the future and I think an inquiry is really the only way to achieve that. I do think the Government will think seriously about this because these sorts of stories seem to be endless.

“It is drip, drip, drip, it is corrosive, it is seedy and I think we really need to find ourselves in a position where we can reassure the public that this sort of behaviour is not going to carry on.”

After initial protestations that undercover police getting sexually involved with targets could no longer happen, there appeared to have been a “subtle shift in which it is being suggested that it could be appropriate in some circumstances”.

“This is a deeply ethical issue which the police have to grapple with,” he said.

The technique of using dead children as aliases was borrowed from Frederick Forsyth’s novel, The Day of the Jackal. Keith Vaz MP, the chairman of the home affairs select committee, said he was shocked by the “gruesome” practice.

“It will only cause enormous distress to families who will discover what has happened concerning the identities of their dead children,’ he said. ‘This is absolutely shocking. My disbelief at some of the tactics used has become shock as a result of these latest revelations.

“It is clear that inappropriate action has been taken by undercover police in the past. But this has taken it to a new level.”

The practice was introduced 40 years ago by police in Britain to lend credibility to the back stories of covert operatives spying on protesters. It also guarded against the possibility that campaigners would discover their true identities.

Since then dozens of policemen, including those who posed as anti-capitalists, animal rights activists and violent far-right campaigners, have used the identities of dead children.

One document appeared to suggest around 80 officers from a secret unit called the Special Demonstration Squad used such identities between 1968 and 1994. The total number could be higher.

An officer who adopted the identity of four-year-old Pete Black compared the methods used by Scotland Yard to those of the Stasi – the secret police in the former East Germany.

Fifteen separate inquiries have already been launched since 2011, when Mark Kennedy was unmasked as a police spy who had slept with several women, including one who was his girlfriend for six years, during his time under cover.

Scotland Yard said the practice was not currently authorised, but announced an investigation into “past arrangements for undercover identities used by SDS officers”.

 

13. Finucane murder ‘defining symbol of [British] State’

IN the online news magazine The Detail on February 12, Barry McCaffrey examined the events which begun with the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane on February 12, 1989. We reprint it here in full:

“Today marks 24 years since solicitor Pat Finucane was shot dead in a killing which has become a defining symbol of the state’s complicity in the Troubles.

“The government-commissioned report into the murder has yielded secrets of the ‘dirty war’ which still have the power to shock – such as the existence of a senior RUC officer helping loyalists procure weapons – but other pieces of the picture remain off-limits to this day.

“The review by Sir Desmond de Silva portrays intelligence agencies within the British Army, RUC and MI5 not only at war with each other, but deeply enmeshed with loyalist paramilitaries engaged in a vicious sectarian murder campaign at that time.
When the report was published two months ago, the [British] Government presented it as the final word on collusion in the Finucane case. But does the de Silva review hold anyone to account or, instead conveniently lay much of the blame at the feet of dead men and defunct institutions?

“The Detail has studied the report in-depth and spoken to some of those who know the case best, including Mr Finucane’s youngest son, John, who is now himself a solicitor and who maintains that de Silva raises more questions than it answers.

LOYALISTS AND SECURITY FORCES: WHO WAS DEBRIEFING WHOM?
“Previously classified intelligence documents now show that both MI5 and Special Branch were aware that an unnamed senior RUC officer was actively helping loyalist paramilitaries to procure weapons in the 1980s.

“All three intelligence agencies were aware of the senior policeman’s efforts to procure illegal weapons for loyalist paramilitaries but failed to identify the officer or bring him to justice.

“De Silva concluded: ‘Whilst I acknowledge that the intelligence did not enable the individual officer concerned to be confidently identified, I consider that the documentary record as a whole does suggest that it is likely that a high-level RUC contact assisted loyalist paramilitaries to an extent in their efforts to procure arms in the mid-1980s.’

“The task of targeting loyalist paramilitaries within the RUC was undertaken by a specialist unit E3B.

“However a secret MI5 report for the Chief Constable in December 1988 found that E3B ‘has neither time, resources nor sufficient data base to collate and analyse intelligence’.

“The official position has always been that leaks to loyalist paramilitaries were confined to rogue low-level members of the security forces.

“However declassified MI5 and FRU documents now reveal that a number of senior police and army officers were providing loyalists with high grade intelligence during the 1980s: ‘Reliable and repeated reports covered comparatively senior officers in the RUC through to senior officers in the UDR, though such individuals were not always identifiable on the basis of the intelligence that had been received.’

“Despite this the de Silva review found that the majority of allegations of RUC leaks to loyalist paramilitaries were never investigated.

“ ‘Such leaks were not institutional, nor systemic, though they could certainly be described as widespread.’

“While de Silva said there was insufficient evidence that UDR units had officially supplied the UDA with weapons, he concluded: ‘nevertheless it does appear to have been extraordinarily easy for loyalists to acquire weapons from UDR sources’.

“Many UDA attacks could be traced back to assistance initially provided by members of the security forces.

“In 1985 MI5 assessed that 85% of UDA ‘intelligence’ used to target nationalists originated from within the security forces.

“In 1988 each of the UDA’s six `brigade’ areas were said to have at least 20 individual RUC sources of intelligence.

“In December 1988 RUC Special Branch and MI5 had intelligence that a senior west Belfast UDA gunman was planning to break into a Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) base at Ballykinlar in Co Down to steal army intelligence to be used to target nationalists.
Despite having prior intelligence of the plan, Special Branch and MI5 allowed the break-in to go ahead. An MI5 internal memo stated: ‘[L/03] was planning to break into a UDR camp on 2 December to photograph some intelligence reports … D/HSB (Deputy Head of Special Branch) advised that ‘since the UDA already had lots of this stuff anyway’ and that they would find nothing of value there was little to be gained by trying to prevent [L/03’s] activity.’

“A Ministry of Defence internal document confirmed that Catholic (sic) father-of-four Loughlin Maginn was later murdered as a result of intelligence which the UDA gang obtained from the Ballykinlar break-in.

“The document further disclosed that UDA gunmen plotting another murder in the South Down area had planned to hide in the army base after the killing.

“The MoD document warned: ‘This is potential dynamite. Should this become public knowledge the Security Forces, particularly the Royal Irish Regiment’s credibility would be severely damaged.’

“L/03 was later identified as being one of the ringleaders of the UDA gang responsible for the murder of Pat Finucane and a series of sectarian killings in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“The review found that RUC efforts to contain the UDA in west Belfast had been ‘grossly inadequate’.

“ ‘I was able to trace the involvement of that particular gang through a series of murders and attacks by the West Belfast UDA during the year prior to Patrick Finucane’s murder,’ said de Silva.

“ ‘I have seen the significant amount of intelligence that the RUC SB received at the time linking those individuals to the attacks, at least some of which was passed to the RUC Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

“ ‘Whilst the intelligence was not of the kind that would have been admissible in evidence for the purpose of bringing criminal charges, in my view it could have enabled the police to identify suspects and thereby develop evidential leads. Arrests could also have been highly effective in disrupting the plans of those paramilitaries to carry out imminent attacks.’

“The review found that the RUC took ‘comparatively, very little exploitative action’ resulting from intelligence on loyalist targeting.

The review found that the UDA’s  West Belfast `brigadier` Tommy Lyttle was being assisted by RUC and Special Branch.

From 1986 onwards he was receiving intelligence from an RUC superintendent while in December 1987 he was given a large number of RUC photomontages.

Ken Barrett, the only loyalist ever convicted with the murder of Pat Finucane, claimed that ‘the police could have put us in the barracks (prison) at any time’.

Security force agents Brian Nelson, Ken Barrett and Billy Stobie

THE ROLE OF BRIAN NELSON
“Declassified documents showed evidence that both FRU and RUC provided targeting information for the UDA via the loyalist double agent Brian Nelson, one of the central figures in the Finucane case and many of the other loyalist killings of the late 80s and early 90s.

“Nelson’s intelligence files were found to bear a ‘striking resemblance’ to Special Branch files on Pat Finucane and de Silva reflects a startling level of impunity with which Nelson operated in an era of extreme loyalist violence.

“FRU were providing him with ‘at the very least, tacit approval of his activity. On occasions, however, it seems to have gone much further than that, if not to the point of actively encouraging his activity.’

“In 1988 Nelson was provided with targeting material on at least four occasions, one of which related to FRU passing information to Nelson at the request of the RUC.
Nelson was dismayed that handlers had not celebrated his involvement in the murder of Jimmy Craig in October 1988 with a celebratory drink.

“Nelson’s FRU handler later wrote that a celebratory drink might have been appropriate had they known about his role in the murder.

AT WAR WITH THEMSELVES
“However the internal war between Special Branch (SB), the Force Research Unit (FRU) and MI5 for the ultimate control of power undoubtedly led to innocent civilians being killed.

“Highlighting the constant battle for supremacy between the agencies, de Silva concluded:

“ ‘The RUC SB blamed the FRU and vice versa.

“ ‘Both sides cannot be telling the truth in this critically important matter. Either the FRU were permitting the killing of certain targeted individuals to go ahead at the hands of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) by not passing the information on to the RUC SB, or the SB, having received the required information from the FRU, were failing through negligence or design to take the necessary steps to save lives.’

“This case continues to scare the British Government.

“An internal intelligence agency memo relating to the investigation of security force leaks stated:

“ ‘The Chief Constable [Sir Hugh Annesley] is very vulnerable to the criticism surrounding the montage investigation.”

“ ‘Could the Chief Constable weather an investigation into this area? Probably not.”

“The secret document goes onto describe MI5 as having its ‘fair share of officers with dubious qualities’.

“MI5’s Director and Co-ordinator of Intelligence (DCI) of is recorded as saying he would ‘lose no sleep if FRU was disbanded’.

“However the secret document says that the DCI is himself ‘clearly vulnerable to the criticisms that he failed to control intelligence gathering agencies in Northern Ireland’.”

14. 700,000 people in poverty in the 26 Counties

OVER 700,000 people are in poverty across the 26-County State, according to figures published by the Central Statistic Office (CSO) on February 13.

The latest analysis of the poverty statistics published by the CSO shows that the number of people in poverty has now reached a record level of 733,000.

Social Justice Ireland challenged the 26-County Administration for failing to tackle what they describe as the “working poor” and those depending on social welfare payments.

“The increase in the proportion of Ireland’s population at risk of poverty, from 14.7 per cent to 16 per cent in one year, clearly identifies a major policy failure by Government which has imposed a disproportionate part of the ‘hit’ for current budgetary adjustments on Ireland’s poor and vulnerable people.

”The Government should give priority to ensuring that everyone in Ireland has the income and services to live life with basic dignity, which is not currently the case,” said director of Social Justice Ireland Fr Seán Healy,

The CSO figures show that more than 232,000 children are at risk of poverty, representing18.8 per cent of all children, compared to 18.4 per cent a year earlier.

One in seven (14.2 per cent) of all those at risk of poverty has a job, the figures show.

 

15. Food prices up by 12% in past two years

THE cost of a typical basket of groceries has increased by more than 12% in the past two years in the 26 Counties.

The increase was identified in a survey by the Consumers' Association of Ireland issued on February 11, which also found that some products had increased in price by almost 40%.

The CAI carried out its survey in January and found price rises across a range of branded products since it last priced the same items in May 2011. It said a sample of 19 branded goods showed prices have risen for 16 of them by between 5.5% and 38%.

The association also said the survey highlighted the extent to which the main supermarkets are engaging in price matching. It said many of the items were identically priced across Dunnes Stores, Superquinn, SuperValu and Tesco.

CAI Chief Executive Dermott Jewell said the illusion is maintained that “competitors” in this sector are competing furiously.

He said: “Household budgets cannot, in any way, benefit from pricing patterns that are totally devoid of competition on products that are household staples.

”The survey showed that the average price of a pack of Lyons Gold Label tea bags (80 bags) is 54 cent higher than in 2011, a pack of 225g Denny Gold Medal sausages is up 30 cent, while Siúcra granulated sugar is up 38% from ?1.05 in 2011 to ?1.45 now.”

Only one of the items surveyed costs on average less than it did in 2011. One litre of Avonmore full-fat fresh milk is now ?1.14, down

 from ?1.16.

 

16. 26-County soldiers to be sent to Mali with British soldiers

ON February 13 it was reported that 26-County Minister for Defence Alan Shatter is to send six to eight Free State soldiers to serve along with members of the Royal Irish Regiment of the British army in Mali.

The joint deployment will be led by the British and will be part of an overall European Union military training mission (EUTM). The mission will include armed military training, as well as human rights issues and the protection of civilians.

The 26-County State is supposedly neutral and has, up to now, only sent soldiers to take part in overseas missions with the United Nations. This is a departure from the policy of neutrality without any consultation with the people and comes at a time when NATO is making overtures to the Dublin Administration.

ENDS

 


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