In this issue: 3/22/2013
1. 97th anniversary of Easter Rising to be marked in all 32 Counties, England,
Scotland, the USA and Australia
2. 90th anniversaries of massacres by Free State forces commemorated in Kerry
3. Anti-Imperialist Forum: Towards a New Ireland and a better world
4. Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective
5. Martin Corey: the facts on youtube
6. RUC to be responsible for funding of HET
7. Crann opposes sale of State forests harvesting rights
8. Give a gift to the environment - boycott farmed salmon
9. Shannonwatch vigil at Shannon
10. Interview with the Craigavon Two (Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul
1. 97th anniversary of Easter Rising to be marked in all 32 Counties, England, Scotland, the USA and Australia
THE 97th Anniversary of the historic Easter Rising will be commemorated throughout the 32 Counties of Ireland, in England, Scotland, the USA and Australia by Republican Sinn Féin.
Republicans will gather at the graves of those who gave their lives in the struggle for freedom from British imperialism down through the years to renew their commitment to that cause.
A full list of commemorations may be had on the Republican Sinn Féin website at: rsf.ie
2. 90th anniversaries of massacres by Free State forces commemorated in Kerry
ON March 9 a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the 90th anniversary of the Countess Bridge massacre took place in Killarney. The event was chaired by Christy McCannon of Tralee. Christy outlined to those present, what had happened at Countess Bridge on the night of March 7, 1923, when five Republicans were tied to a mine by Free State soldiers. Four were killed in the resulting explosion and one escaped to tell the tale.
He called for a minute’s silence to be observed in memory of the four Republican Martyrs, Stephen Buckley, Jerry O’Donoghue, Dan O’Donoghue and Tim Murphy.
Jer Kelliher formerly of Keel, Castlemaine and now Tralee, laid a wreath on behalf of the Republican Movement. In memory of the sacrifice of the Countess Bridge Martyr's the flag bearer dipped the Tri-colour in salute.
In conclusion the chairman thanked all in attendance and Amhrán na bhFiann was sung by a member of Na Fianna Éireann.
The following day, March 10, a commemoration to mark the 90th anniversary of the Ballyseedy Massacre took place at the Ballyseedy Monument outside Tralee. A large crowd assembled behind a colour party carrying the National Flag, the Flags of the Four Provinces, the Cumann na mBan Flag and two pipers, and proceeded along the short route to the monument.
Stephen Brosnan, Cathaoirleach, Comhairle Ceantair Chiarraí, chaired the proceedings and gave a brief outline of the murder of eight IRA Volunteers in March 6and 7, 1923 by the Free State Army.
Four wreaths were laid the first in memory of the Ballyseedy Martyrs and all those who gave their lives for Ireland, by Mary O'Connor, Tralee, niece of Republican Martyr Charlie Kerins. The second wreath on behalf of the POWs and CABHAIR was laid by Seán Murphy, Tralee, ex-POW. A third wreath was laid by Jimmy Scallon, Ballymacelligott, on behalf of Sinn Féin Poblachtach. The final wreath was laid by Maurice Dowling, Tralee, Memorial Trustee, on behalf of the Ballyseedy Memorial Trustees and Committee.
Éamonn Breen, Castleisland recited a decade of the Rosary as Gaeilge. The piper then played a lament in memory of the Ballyseedy Martyr's and all associated with the monument down through the years that are now deceased.
Matt Leen, Tralee, ex-POW, read the Roll of Honour of the Kerry No1 Brigade of the IRA who's names appear on the monument. The Chairman then sent greetings and best wishes to Jackie Godley the last surviving member of the original Trustees and Matt O'Dowd, also a Trustee, who were unable to attend the Commemoration.
The main oration was delivered by Leas-TUachtarán, Sinn Féin Poblachtach, Cáit Trainor, Co Armagh.
Cáit gave an in-depth and very poignant account of the history of the events leading up to and the aftermath of the Ballyseedy massacre.
She said: “In the early hours of January 7, 1923 Free State soldiers took nine Republican prisoners of war into a room, some of these prisoners where badly wounded, at least two already had broken arms. The nine prisoners were James Walsh, Michael OConnell, John Daly, Patrick Buckley, John OConnor, Stephen Fuller, George OShea, Patrick Hartnett and Timothy Tuomey. The prisoners where told that they would be leaving to clear landmines (supposedly left by Republicans).
“The nine men were then put into lorries that drove them the few miles to Ballyseedy. When the prisoners were taken from the Lorries the intentions of the Free Staters became clear. The Free State soldiers tied up the men’s hands and legs and then tied all nine men together. The soldiers then ran to various places as minutes later a landmine exploded. Such was the force of the explosion one man, Stephen Fuller, was blown so far it was entirely out of sight of the Free State soldiers, for the other eight men, those who had not died instantly were murdered by the soldiers with machine-guns.
“In the aftermath such was the carnage the state could not conduct a proper body count and so they assumed all nine men had died. They released a statement claiming the men’s deaths were the result of an accident, they claimed the nine prisoners where clearing a landmine left by Republican soldiers. This lie of course relied on the assumption that all nine men had perished and did not foresee that one man had in fact survived. Had it not been for Stephens Fuller’s survival perhaps the true story of Ballyseedy would never have came to light. And the explanation that the Free Staters fabricated the next day would remain on record as truth.
“The incident at Ballyseedy provokes strong emotions from all who hear of it. The brutal murders that took place in Kerry 90 years ago can only leave you feeling upset and angry that such things ever happened, and not at the hands of the British Forces but at the hands of Irishmen, collaborators and sell-outs but Irishmen none the less. Unfortunately the events at Ballyseedy do not stand alone, within days of Ballyseedy nine Republicans where killed in the same manner, being tied to a landmine that detonated, four at Countess Bridge near Killarney and five at Cahersiveen.
“Ninety years may have passed but the savagery of these events is never far from our minds, what happened at Ballyseedy was a war crime, using prisoners of war as objects of reprisal, tying them to landmines, detonating the explosives and then finishing them off in a hail of machine gun fire can be described as nothing else but a WAR CRIME.
“In total during the war with the counter revolutionaries, 77 Republicans where executed in an authorized manner and 124 where murdered, some of these murders most certainly constitute war crimes, a fact the Free State Government should acknowledge.
“The events of Ballyseedy will never be forgotten, a fitting tribute now stands here to commemorate these men, erected in 1959 this beautiful monument ensures that future generations will remember with pride all those who gave their lives for Irish Freedom. While we have this beautiful monument I don’t think it is enough, I believe the only true monument to the men and women who died for Ireland is a 32-County Republic, I can think of no better monument than an independent Ireland. A living monument.
“We look back in sadness at the terrible treachery of fellow Irishmen at the time of Ballyseedy, which throughout the decades has been repeated by successive quislings posing as republicans, only to willing to sell out their country for seats in illegitimate parliaments and financial gain on both sides of the British imposed border. Ireland has a long history of native traitors and today is no different. In the Six counties we have pseudo-republicans sitting in a British assembly encouraging young Irishmen and women to collaborate with British forces to incarcerate Republicans, and in the 26 counties we have collaborators who thought it acceptable to invite the head of the British armed forces, the British monarch to visit the capital city while her government holds six counties of Ireland through an armed occupation.
“This year has seen the historic city of Derry named as ‘UK City of Culture’. The title of ‘UK’ City of culture was awarded after much lobbying by the Provisionals and supporters of this insult include the GAA and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. Derry which is world renowned for its resistance to British rule, Free Derry has now been bartered for grants and other financial incentives.
“It is sad indeed to see organizations such as the GAA and Comhaltas stoop so low as to barter their national identity and allow themselves to be labelled as part of a celebration of British culture. The culture of Britain in Ireland has been one intimidation, internment and murder and for Irish national organizations to take part in these events is treacherous and slavish.
“The GAA has now gone to the point of no return, permitting the armed forces of occupation to play our National games, recently fawning over the British monarch when she visited Ireland, taking her on a tour of Croke Park and of course propping up the shameful title in Derry of UK City of culture.
“As for Comhaltas the Derry County Board must be commended for their principled stance in opposing the Fleadh Ceoil being downgraded by the UK’City of Culture, unfortunately the opinions of the local County branch of Comhaltas were not taken into consideration and outside political influence ensured that the All Ireland Fleadh would be held in the UK City of Culture through bribery and coercion, attending the meeting that sealed the dreadful deal was the chief of police of the RUC from the Derry area. I for one will not be attending the All-Ireland Fleadh this year, and I feel others should not take part in this sham that downgrades Irish music to nothing more than a regional folk festival for the British.
“Republican Sinn Féin for its part will be strenuously opposing the disgusting title and throughout 2013 will be organizing and attending events in Derry to show the World that Free Derry lives on.
“Throughout 2012 Republican Sinn was to the fore in high-lighting the plight of Republican prisoners of war, the international day of protest for POW's saw protests in 14 countries throughout the world. The prisoners at the moment are thankfully no longer on protest, however not a lot has changed in regards to prison conditions for Republican prisoners and last months announcement that the prison regime would not be going forward with the installation of body scanners comes as a blow for us all, but was not surprising. The ongoing internment of Martin Corey must be highlighted, in April this year Martin will have spent a full three years in prison without charge or trial.
“The internment of Martin Corey stands in stark contrast to ex prisoners belonging to the Provisionals who have been arrested in connection with the murder of Robert McCartney in Belfast, no licences revoked and both men received bail. At the very least these men knew why they were arrested. Martin Corey does not and so it can only be assumed that Martin Corey is now in Jail for simply being a Republican. Three years interned is simply too long and I would ask everyone to do what they can to highlight this very important case.
”The case of Willy Wong from Co Armagh is also one that we must stand up and be counted as opposing. Willy Wong is currently serving an indeterminate sentence in Maghaberry jail. At 23 years old he has spent now three years in jail and faces a further three years before being even considered for release as part of his sentence means that if Willy is released he is subject to a life licence. This kind of sentencing against Republicans is designed to criminalize and intimidate them and must be opposed by us all.
”This year will also see the G8 Summit hosted in Fermanagh. The G8 members represent nobody but big business and greedy bankers, the choice of Fermanagh as a location is an attempt to further rubber stamp British rule in Ireland. Republican Sinn Féin in response to this have organized an alternative to this meeting of world imperialists and crooks. .The Anti-Imperialist Forum is a Republican Alternative to the G8, it will take place in Belfast on June 14 and 15. It is intended as a forum for political and community activists from throughout Ireland and abroad to discuss the various political, social and economic aspects of imperialism from both an Irish as well as an international perspective.
”Once again political policing is to the fore in the occupied Six Counties, no more has this been highlighted than with the recent loyalist flag protests. The Policing of these protests was worlds apart from the policing at Republican protests, in the recent past Republicans were met with loud-hailers promising prosecution from the armed forces of occupation, loyalists were escorted to and from their destination, allowed to run riot intimidating and holding the short strand under siege. We in Republican Sinn Fein stand in solidarity with the residents of the Short Strand and give our unwavering support to them in their right to defend their community.
“Nevertheless, I must point out that while we are totally opposed to loyalist aggression and intimidation, peaceful protest is a democratic right and while we do not support the aims of the flag protesters we stand in support of everyone’s right to protest, the sham parades commission is set up to carry out the policies of the Stormont regime.
“Occupation has always been Ireland’s biggest issue, this issue has not gone away and indeed we can say that no part of Ireland is truly free, the Six Counties are under direct British rule and the 26 counties are under a new kind of imperialism from the EU and IMF. The Free State government protect the wealthy and expose the poor, cutting essential benefits for those who most need them. The Free State government are pro-imperialists and their treachery towards the Irish people must not be forgotten or forgiven. Republican Sinn Féin have in ÉIRE NUA the only viable alternative to the failed politics of Stormont and Leinster House, ÉIRE NUA is a real blueprint for the future of Ireland, united and independent.
“The occupiers have tried it all - oppression, coercion, murder, intimidation, treaties, partition and power sharing, none have worked, and none have pacified the people of Ireland to be content with British rule. ÉIRE NUA provides for a peaceful independent Ireland, taking into consideration all of the Irish people from all backgrounds and traditions.
“It is not enough for us to talk about ÉIRE NUA at commemorations and internal meetings, its time now we gave the Irish people the opportunity to see how there is an alternative, we must be evangelical in our promotion, it is a document that we can all proudly stand over, however I believe we have a real issue, the majority of people are not aware of its existence, how can we expect support from people who do not even know what we stand for. This is what we are tasked with but I have no doubt we will ultimately be successful in this task.
“Commemorating the men of Ballyseedy is vitally important, we must hold the Republican ground for those who come after us. We can never allow the martyrs of Ireland to have died in vain, to become just footnotes on the pages of Irish history. The struggle is as alive today as it was 100 years ago, it is our job to make sure that it doesn’t go on another 100 years. Its now time we closed this chapter of Irish history and started a new chapter, one of freedom and justice. With Independence for Ireland we can take our place among the nations of the world and make Ireland the Country it should always have been.
“In Ireland’s pursuit for freedom we have sacrificed much, many men and women have died for our noble cause, they never gave up and we must never give up, we have only one road to tread and we must not be diverted from the road to freedom. I am confident that the rising generation will throw up as good men and women as ever there was in Ireland, Ireland can and will be independent.”
The Chairman then thanked everyone in attendance and the pipers played Amhrán na bhFiann.
Afterwards all in attendance gathered at the Ballyseedy Castle Hotel for a ballad session by ballad group Erin Go Brath.
Ballyseedy 90th Anniversary commemorative plaques were presented by Matt Leen to Patron Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, and accepted on Ruairí’s behalf by Des Dalton, Uachtarán Sinn Fein Poblachtach, a second plaque was presented to memorial Trustee Jackie Godley and accepted on his behalf by Maurice Dowling, a number of larger sized versions of the up-dated Ballyseedy Memorial booklet was presented to Cáit Trainor, Matt O Dowd and to Gemma O Loughlinn in memory of her Grandfather Jimmy one of the original committee members. A great day was had by all and some spot prizes of Republican framed pictures were raffled.
Sinn Féin Poblachtach Chiarraí wish to thank everyone who worked to make the 90th Anniversary Commemoration of the Ballyseedy massacre a fitting tribute to the eight noble martyrs, and we thank all who attended the commemoration especially those who travelled long distances. We also thank the Management and Staff of the Ballyseedy Castle Hotel.
The Ballyseedy memorial Trustees and Committee wish to thank all involved in the 90th Anniversary Commemoration of the Ballyseedy Martyr's. Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the commemorative booklet should contact the Trustees by e-mail: [email@example.com ].
On March 16 a commemoration was held to mark the 90th Anniversary of the Bahaghs Massacre. The large crowd assembled at, Boherbuí Cross, Cahersiveen behind a three man Colour Party carrying the National Flag and pipers from The Valentia Island Pipe Band and marched the mile-and-a-half distance to the roadside monument dedicated to five IRA Volunteers murdered by pro-British Free State forces on March 12, 1923.
Pat Garvey, Caherciveen, chaired the proceedings and thanked all in attendance.
He outlined the history of the time leading up to the murders of the five Prisoners of War at the hand of the Free State soldiers, and the resulting consequences of this act of treachery.
He then called on Philis Collins, to lay a wreath on behalf of the relatives of the Bahaghs Martyrs. The next wreath was laid by Tony Horgan, Cork, on behalf of the Republican Movement, a third wreath was laid by Maurice Dowling, Comhairle Ceantair Chiarraí, on behalf of the POWs and the final wreath was laid by Jim O’Shea, Maurice O’Neill Cumann, Cahersiveen, on behalf of Sinn Féin Poblachtach.
Áine Sheehan, Cahersiveen, then sang a song entitled The Boy's of the Bahaghs to great applause.
The Chairman then called on Donal Varian, Sinn Fein Poblachtach, County Cork to deliver the main oration.
He said: “Thirty-two Anti-Treaty Volunteers died in Kerry in March 1923 of whom only five were killed in combat. A Free State officer, Niall Harrington, had suggested that reprisal killings of unarmed Republican prisoners continued up to the end of the Civil War. There were other atrocities committed during the British supported Civil War. None were as cold-blooded as were visited on the Republican Movement in Kerry.
“In particular today, we have come to commemorate a shocking and notorious incident which took place at Bahaghs on March 12, 1923.
“The victims who were members of the Kerry 3rd Brigade IRA were - Dan Shea, Eugene Dwyer, Willie Riordan, Mike Courtney, and John Sugrue.
These five IRA Volunteers had been arrested while attending a wake and taken to the Workhouse which was used by Free State troops as a detention centre and for the interrogation and torture of prisoners.
“Members of the Free State Army unit known as the ‘Dublin Guard’ who had been formed by Michael Collins and led by Commander Paddy Daly had been tasked with defeating Republicans in Kerry by whatever means they saw fit. They had earned for themselves a notorious reputation of brutality, torture and murder.
“In the early hours of March 12 the Dublin Guard arrived at the workhouse where they selected the five men we have just named, from twenty prisoners in Free State custody and transferred them a short distance from the workhouse under the pretext of transferring them to Tralee.
“What followed would be recognized to-day, in international terms as a horrific war crime. Our five unarmed volunteers were shot in the legs, badly beaten and strapped to a mine by the Free State death squad. The mine was then detonated."
“These acts of murder and torture had now become the hallmark of war crimes in Kerry by Free State troops and are known to-day as The Tragedies of Kerry.
In the space of a week we have commemorated the murder of 17 unarmed IRA Volunteers. Just one week ago, eight Volunteers at Ballyseedy, four at Countess Bridge, Killarney and here to-day five Volunteers.
“In defiance and rejection of the Proclamation of 1916 the Free State forces Chief of Staff, Michael Collins ordered the attack on the Four Courts with heavy artillery supplied by British forces still stationed in Dublin. This attack commenced at 4am on 28, 1922 and brought about the commencement of the policy, where and when possible of the elimination and persecution of those who stood for the Republic.
“Successive Free State Governments have pursued this policy to the present day. History has shown that under Cumann na nGaedheal 77 were executed and under de Valera’s Fianna Fáil, 38 were executed. History also shows, with the acceptance of the Free State, barbaric acts, through imprisonment, internment and executions were carried out by Free State Governments. Republican Prisoners were allowed to die on hunger strike in pursuit of their Human Rights.
“We must also remember the attempt to deny Frank Stagg, our hunger strikers wish to be given a Republican funeral when they took his body and buried it in concrete.
“It would appear to-day that our new and modern governments of the Free State have found a new master in the EU (to the detriment of our people) and once more set about pursuing policies that have increased unemployment, homelessness and poverty.
“The total unemployed across the 32 counties is heading towards 600,000; many thousands of others who are employed are facing wage-cuts and are hanging on to their jobs and their family homes by their very fingertips. Thousands of our young people are again being forced abroad as economic migrants. Those who support and endorse the structures of partition have placed themselves firmly in the camp of the counter revolution.
“Make no mistake about this, over the next three years as the centenary year of the Easter Rising draws near, the forces of counter-revolution will embark upon an unprecedented revisionist propaganda campaign aimed at trying to persuade the public mind that the objectives of 1916 have been secured through the partition of our country. We must, North and South, again educate others into the nature of our struggle to the achievement of real political freedom. It is about delivering social justice, it is about economic equality for all and the end of British rule in Ireland.
“However there is one fact that I can state with certainty the objectives to which those men and many others pledged their allegiance are the objectives of the Proclamation of 1916. Comrades, those objectives have not been achieved. Anything less than the complete achievement of those republican objectives was never an option for those who we remember and honour here today.
“As we leave here today comrades, let us go armed with the firm intention of proving such thinking by Britain and her collaborators in Ireland, to be completely wrong.
“Let us remember Mike Courtney, Eugene Dwyer. Dan Shea, John Sugrue and Willie Riordan, our fallen comrades with pride, not for the sake of remembrance only, but so that their example will encourage us all to continue the struggle onwards to achieve their vision of a free and truly independent 32 county Irish Socialist Republic.”
The Chairman then thanked everyone for attending a fitting tribute to the memory to the five Bahaghs Martyrs and the pipers played Amhrán na bhFiann.
3. Anti-Imperialist Forum: Towards a New Ireland and a better world
IN?A statement on?March 1 the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton said:
“In Western Europe Ireland is one of the few countries to suffer the effects of both the old and new imperialisms.
In the Six Counties an abnormal and undemocratic statelet continues to deny even the most basic of civil and political rights to those who even voice support for the right of Ireland to national independence whereas in the 26 Counties the new economic political and imperialism of the troika of the EU/ECB/IMF is engaging in a wholesale attack on the Irish people in order to bailout the discredited and failed EU project.
“That is why the decision of the British Government to bring the G8 Summit to Fermanagh, in British-Occupied Ireland, provides an opportunity to draw international attention to the role played by the two imperialisms in Ireland.
“On June 14 and 15 Republican Sinn Féin are holding an Irish Anti-Imperialist Forum as an Irish Republican Alternative to the G8 in Belfast. The forum will be a platform for discussion and debate for anti-imperialist activists from Ireland and abroad to discuss alternatives to the imperialist world order as represented by the G8 group of states.
“Delegates from abroad will provide an international perspective and allow Ireland’s struggle against twin imperialisms to be viewed in its international context.
“Imperialism is trans-global so consequently it is important that progressive and anti-imperialist forces have a strong international dimension also. In Ireland we must consider the political, social and economic effects of imperialism and how we fight back.
“This involves considering every aspect, from building a radical and effective trade union movement to harnessing the energy of the many community activist groups and organisations in support of building a New Ireland based on the principle of the 1916 Proclamation.
“If the words of the Proclamation: ‘We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland’ are to mean anything that New Ireland must be a true political, social and economic democracy.
“The issues facing Ireland today are many and varied from control of our resources, the attacks on the health, education and ability to care for our people must be resisted if future generations are not to be condemned to live with the dark legacy of the EU/ECB.IMF troika. The Stormont and Leinster House political class have betrayed the interests of the Irish people to Westminster and Brussels respectively.
“We are calling on those interested in contributing to the debate on a New Ireland to join us in Belfast on June 14 and 15 and begin the process of building a network of solidarity among all peoples striving a New Ireland and a better world.
“Culminating with the annual Wolfe Tone commemoration in Bodenstown on June 16 it will be truly a weekend suffused with the spirit of anti-imperialism.”
4. Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective
IN A statement on March 24 the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective said:
“This coming Easter Monday the Apprentice Boys will once again have an unwanted sectarian triumphalist march through Ardoyne, Mountainview and The Dales against the wishes of the vast majority of local residents who remain opposed to such open expressions of sectarianism in their area. Permission for this march has been granted by the discredited Parades Commission despite the continued refusal of the Apprentice Boys to speak to local residents groups. This is despite the Parades Commission having a supposed position of looking unfavourably on applications where marches are contentious yet no attempt to speak to residents is made. What the Parades Commission are demonstrating is that they are in fact failing to follow their own guidelines and procedures when making determinations and vindicating the long held view of GARC and others that they are unfit for
“The Apprentice Boys are, like the other Loyal Orders, a Protestant supremacist organisation that have at the centre of their ethos the fundamental belief that being Protestant somehow makes them a class above the rest of us. Nowhere is this exemplified better than in their attitude to Ardoyne Residents for each of their marches here. The Apprentice Boys board a bus in the Shankill/Woodvale area, travel past Greater Ardoyne on said bus, disembark at their march assembly point, proceed to march through Greater Ardoyne where they are neither welcome nor appreciated, are greeted by a howling mob of loyalists behind Holy Cross Chapel and then reboard their waiting bus and travel 75 miles to Derry.
“The obvious questions to be asked of the Apprentice Boys, locally and at leadership level, is why they simply don’t board their bus when they assemble and go to Derry? Why is it so important to march through an area that has shown time and time again for generations that their sectarianism is not welcome? Why can they not have a day celebrating their culture without first having to trample over the rights of their neighbours to live free from sectarianism? And the simple answers are that they enjoy the opportunity to remind the “taigs” of their place, and that while permission is continually granted by the Parades Commission then it will be continually sought.
“For our part, GARC remain fully committed to having dialogue with any and all of the Loyal Orders, either face to face or through agreed intermediaries, in order that they get a representative feeling of the vast majority of Greater Ardoyne residents – that no sectarian marches are welcome. This has been our stated position and remains the case. However this offer does not extend to UVF front organisations and their spokespeople. Their only objective in terms of the parading issue in our area is not to find a peaceful resoulution, but to boost their own egos and support for an organisation that in the not too distant past the people of the Shankill held demonstrations against.
“It remains our view that the only peaceful solution to this issue is to have a neutral no-parade zone on the Crumlin and Ardoyne Roads as proposed by us in 2012, where no one parades and causes disruption to the lives of the people of Ardoyne, Mountainview and The Dales. To date this is the only attempt at solution that has not been attempted, and it is GARC’s opinion that the creation of such a zone would end the hurt, distress, disruption and chaos that ensues in the aftermath of sectarian parades through our area.
“GARC remain committed, as the largest and most representative residents group in the area, to opposing sectarian marches through peaceful and radical means. We continue to receive massive support within the area, and will continue to do our best to give a voice to all those fed up with the continual abuse of our human rights by Loyal Orders, the Parades Commission and the [RUC/]PSNI and others who facilitate unwanted sectarian marches.”
5. Martin Corey: the facts on youtube
CÁIT Trainor, Chairperson of the Martin Corey Campaign, speaking of the internment of Martin Corey at the Annual Rosemary Nelson Memorial in Conway Mill, Belfast on March 14, 2013
6. RUC to be responsible for funding of HET
IT was reported on March 21 that the RUC/PSNI have been given funding responsibility for inquiries by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) which is currently reviewing more than 150 killings by British forces.
Dave Cox, director of the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) criticised the decision and said it could mean hundreds of murders may not be re-examined. The Stormont department of justice recently refused a request from HET for £10m. Instead it asked the RUC/PSNI to provide the money from its reserves.
When it was established eight years ago, HET was given the task of reviewing more than 3,200 deaths during the Troubles. It still has 950 killings to investigate and had asked the department of justice for the extra money to cover funding for the next two years.
Many families of people killed during the Troubles did not want former RUC members involved in the review of their case.
So, the HET has two special teams consisting exclusively of retired officers from other police forces to review those murders. They are also assigned to cases where there are allegations of Crown Forces collusion.
The team also had financial independence but that will change next month when the new financial year begins.
Dave Cox said he is worried the decision could jeopardise its independence and deter families who do not want former RUC or member of the British colonial police involved in their investigations.
7. Crann opposes sale of State forests harvesting rights
CRANN, the environmental organisation that champions trees and woodlands, on March 22 called on the 26-County government to reconsider its position on the proposed sale of harvesting rights to clear fell our State forests.
“Crann’s major concern about such a sale relates to the need to maintain and improve the present standards of environmental management of our forests, both for nature and for recreational use by the public. We have grave doubts that this is achievable without a substantial subsidy from the state that would effectively undermine the financial case for such a sale. We are therefore opposed to this sale.
“Instead we recommend a move to continuous cover forestry combined with allowing some forests to develop to maturity with no felling over the next century or two, thereby acting as carbon sinks to offset Climate Change. A recent study has shown that such a move could, in addition to direct environmental benefits, actually improve the health of the public who use our forests”.
8. Give a gift to the environment - boycott farmed salmon
Did you know that:
LICE from farmed fish KILL wild SALMON: ‘Recent peer reviewed international scientific literature on the impacts of sea lice on salmonids show them to have devastating effects on wild salmon, accounting for up to 39% of salmon mortalities.’ [Inland Fisheries Ireland]
ESCAPES from fish farms alter wild salmon GENETICS: ‘Interaction of farm with wild salmon results in lowered fitness, with repeated escapes causing cumulative fitness depression and potentially an extinction vortex in vulnerable populations.’ [Proceedings of the Royal Society B]
FARMED SALMON DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH: For farmed salmon from northern Europe, consumption should be limited to no more than one meal every 5 months in order to not exceed an elevated risk of cancer of more than 1 in 100,000. [USA EPA]
SALMON FARMS HURT TOURISM: One salmon caught in an Irish river is worth ?423 to the local economy. Angling is worth ?230m annually to the national economy. [Hotel Federation of Ireland/Inland Fisheries Ireland]
UNDER ORGANIC STANDARDS: the following chemicals and medicines may be used on caged salmon and so this product may contain traces of: Alphaject 3000, Norvax Compact 4 and Compact PD, Cypermethrine, Emamectin benzoate, Deltamethrine, Tricane meselate, Oxytetravcyclin, Bronopol, formaldehyde, and chloramine, the artificial anti oxidant ethoxyquin [EQ], and has been shown to have absorbed from the environment dioxins, PCBs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and pesticides, including toxaphene and dieldrin.
Spread the Word - Download Printable Stickers and Posters from http://www.wildfish.ie/
9. Shannonwatch vigil at Shannon
REPRESENTATIVES of Veterans for Peace from USA, Britain and Ireland attended a Peace Vigil at Shannon Airport on March 10. The vigil marked the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the US-led war of aggression against Iraq, which was in contravention of the UN Charter.
Veterans for Peace was founded in the USA in 1985, in opposition to US military intervention in Central America, and now has over 8000 members. Its objectives include bringing about a clearer understanding of the cost of war, in particular the US-led occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, to close the School of the Americas and to counter military recruitment efforts in schools. They have also undertaken significant humanitarian projects in war zones such as Iraq and campaigns against torture. In 2011 a chapter of Veterans for Peace was formed in Britain, on the initiative of Ben Griffin, and in 2012 Veterans for Peace Ireland was initiated.
In February Colonel Ann Wright, a high-profile member of Veterans for Peace who resigned her post as a senior US diplomat in protest against the Iraq War, visited Ireland, and included Shannon airport in her itinerary, as well as attending meetings in Dublin, Belfast and Galway. Her visit was virtually boycotted by most of the mainstream Irish media, presumably for fear of offending our US Government masters.
Ireland’s proud record of promoting genuine UN peacekeeping missions has been tarnished in recent years by the 26-County Government’s complicity in the CIA torture programme and in war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan by allowing CIA and US military warplanes to refuel at Shannon airport.
The peace vigil at Shannon Airport was one of the regular monthly vigils organised by Shannonwatch. It also marked the invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies which began on March 20, 2003, and was undertaken on the basis of a lie about weapons of mass destruction that Iraq never possessed. Hundreds of thousands of people died as a result, including thousands of American soldiers.
To its shame, and against the will of the Irish people, the Dublin government supported the invasion. And the present Dublingovernment continues to support illegal and unjust wars of occupation by the US, by allowing them to transit through Shannon Airport.
Monthly peace vigils will continue at Shannon for as long as Irish territory and airspace is being misused to facilitate wars of aggression and human rights abuses. Additional protests and peace actions will also be undertaken to ensure that the Irish people are aware of these breaches of international and human rights laws being perpetrated by our government.
For more information see www.shannonwatch.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 086-3539911
10. Interview with the Craigavon Two (Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wootton)
Following the recent announcement that a date has been set (April 29, 2013) for the appeal of the ‘Craigavon Two’ (Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wootton) who were convicted of the killing of RUC/PSNI Constable Carroll in 2009, IR News exclusively interviewed both Brendan and John Paul who are presently incarcerated in Maghaberry jail for an action that they both vehemently deny.
“When asked the question why they think their plight has been so successful in gaining support from many prominent public figures such as Gerry Conlon (Guildford four), Paddy Hill (Birmingham six), Éamon O Ciuv TD and the Committee for the Administration of Justice to name but just a few, they replied:
“We both believe this is due to the eventual realization that the process through which we were convicted was at best unsafe and upon even a cursory examination of the evidence presented at trial, it is clear that a miscarriage of justice has occurred.”
“The facts of the case are a matter of public record and are there for anyone who wishes to see them. However, those facts only tell one side of the story and we want to tell everyone just what it is like to be serving a sentence for something we had nothing to do with and how this has affected every single member of our immediate families and circle of friends.”
“Both men described their ordeal as a ‘nightmare’ that began on the morning of March 10, 2009 when heavily armed [RUC/]PSNI personnel arrived at the home of Brendan and his 14-year-old son and from where he was conveyed to Antrim barracks. A short time later, John Paul was to be accosted on the street, in the full glare of the media spotlight and subsequently, he too was taken to Antrim where both of them were to undergo two weeks of sustained and relentless interrogation, during which time the [RUC/]PSNI, they claim, were to ‘contrive to cobble together a case against us using unconvincing and at most, weak circumstantial evidence’.
“Continuing, ‘This horrifying and traumatic fortnight culminated in both of us being charged and again being thrust back into the media feeding frenzy as we were brought before court then rapidly transported to Hydebank and Maghaberry Prisons respectively where our enduring ordeal was continuing to unfold. Throughout this torment and while struggling to comprehend the magnitude of the events which had just occurred, we were both acutely aware of simultaneous distress and anxiety being experienced by our families, one which continues to envelop ourselves and our loved ones.
“ ‘Notwithstanding the obvious depravities and constant humiliations that we have experienced throughout our incarceration our families and loved ones have also had to share this indignity by having to undergo rigorous searches and a loss of intimacy as we struggle to maintain and nourish close family bonds, within a very restricted environment and insufficient periods of time which are allowed to accommodate a single weekly visit.
“ ‘During this period we sustained ourselves with the thought that this nightmare could soon be over once we got to trial, because surely a court would see that the evidence being presented against us was at best circumstantial and at worst contrived. However, on March 30, 2012 we and our families were to receive the most disturbing and distressing news of all, when we were both found guilty by a single judge in a Diplock court, and sentenced to life in prison. We were both returned to prison that day in a complete state of shock and utter bewilderment as to how the trial judge had arrived at this conclusion, given the erroneous and contradictory evidence that the prosecution had put before the court.
“ ‘The final insult was to come in the form of misleading and inaccurate allegations which were to find their way into some less reputable media outlets, which called into question our conduct throughout the trial. We found these accusations to be particularly hurtful and offensive, as at all times throughout this painful ordeal, our focus was solely confined to the evidence which each witness was to give, and at no time did we conduct ourselves in a manner which was intended to cause upset or offence to anyone.
“ ‘We wish to take this opportunity to thank those who have continuously supported our campaign for justice throughout this dark period in our lives and would like to recount our harsh experiences during the past number of years, and attempt to give an insight into the demoralizing effect that this has had on our families and relationships.
“ ‘Should this indeed be a “miscarriage of justice” it has then denied John Paul the opportunity of enjoying all the typical milestones which would normally be celebrated by others of his age group, such as his eighteenth and twenty first birthdays, and he has missed out in what is a very important time in the life of all young people for building lasting relationships and a career.”
“It has also deprived Brendan of participation in significant events in the life of his young family, such as his sons’ progression through their final and most important years of school and into the workplace.
“The harsh reality is that both men and their families must face an uncertain future where every family celebration or time of shared grief will be incomplete with their conspicuous absence.
“The toll that this injustice has exacted on the entire McConville family, cannot be understated, as Brendan’s family have previously been visited by tragedy, when his uncle, Myles Scullion, a father of five, was the innocent victim of loyalist paramilitaries, when he was shot and killed by two UVF gunmen after answering the front door of his home of Craigavon, a crime for which no-one has ever been arrested or even questioned for. On talking to Brendan it is clear that he had hoped that by this stage in their lives his parents could take some pleasure from their well-earned retirement, rather than finding themselves in the unfamiliar territory of campaigning for their son’s freedom.
“This entire ordeal has had a similarly profound effect on the Wootton family with John Paul’s mother having to juggle travelling from Maghaberry Prison, where John Paul is now being held, in an effort to maintain close family links, while caring for and struggling to retain a semblance of normality for John Paul’s younger brother, while at the same time also campaigning for her son’s freedom.
“Having to watch her son grow from a teenager into a man from across a table in a prison visiting room, has placed an untold strain on the emotional well-being of John Paul’s mother.
“We must all ask why and indeed how, did such a clear unconvincing conviction in a Non-jury court manage to find them guilty… or perhaps the reason for a conviction had little to do with the pursuit of justice and more to do with protecting vested interests such as Mi5 and their willingness to protect an agent of the state. Either way the facts of the case, we feel, speak for themselves and we would ask anyone concerned with the quality of justice administered in the courts to look at those facts and then come to a conclusion rather than relying on ‘sound bites’ from a sensational tabloid media.
“IR News has sought and found a number of impartial legal experts and had them to look at the trial transcripts. Shockingly they all said the same. Justice was not served that day.