Irish Republican Information Service
In this issue
A. RSF supports Maura Harrington
1. POWs in Maghaberry commence dirty protest
2. RSF Protest at DPP meeting Newry
3. Republican Sinn Féin leaders to meet senior Maghaberry
4. Republicans will oppose any visit by the Queen of England
5. Republican leader remembered in Carlow
6. GARC call to support Ardoyne on the ‘Twelfth’
Republican Sinn Féin support for Maura Harrington
Republican Sinn Féin sends our support to Maura Harrington
after her arrest and incarceration in Mountjoy jail.
Maura Harrington has been steadfast in her opposition to
Shell’s destruction of her local community and the bleeding
dry of Ireland’s much-needed natural resources, aided and
abetted by the Dublin Administration.
Shell has begun the process of destroying an area of natural
beauty to line the pockets of already mega-rich oil barons.
The Dublin Administration had already sold off the royalties
to Shell at a time when they thought they didn’t want money.
Along with “The Chief” O’Donnell, Maura Harrington has not
bowed to the bully-boy tactics of Shell and the 26-County
police. We salute them and all of those who oppose the
blatant capitalist theft of resources which rightfully
belong to the Irish people.
1. POWS IN
MAGHABERRY COMMENCE DIRTY PROTEST
ON June 21, 2010,
the POW Department of Republican Sinn Féin once again
highlighted the plight of the protesting Republican POWs in
Roe House, Maghaberry jail, Co Antrim and a brief outline of
the reasons for the protest:
Republican POWs in Roe House, Maghaberry jail, Co Antrim
began a dirty protest on June 6. Their protest escalated
when the prison authorities refused to implement an
agreement made with the prisoners at Easter to address their
concerns at the conditions.
On the contrary
conditions have deteriorated still further despite the
promises of the prison authorities. The Ombudsman's report
www.niprisonservice.gov.uk/publications -- made many
recommendations but it is unlikely that any of the
recommendations will be implemented while the prison wardens
run the jail.
In fact the ten
prison wardens, suspended in the wake of the death by
suicide of a prisoner in the mainstream prison in 2008, are
to be reinstated, resulting in the announcement on June 17
of the resignation of the director-general of the Northern
Ireland Prison Service for the last six years, Robin
The POWs have for
some time tried to resolve the problems which they saw as
unacceptable. These included long lock-up from anything
between 14 to 21 hours per day, especially at the weekends.
The controlled movement operated at the jail meant that only
three prisoners were out of their cells at any given time,
which also contributed to the long lock-up. It further
ensured that the men did not have communication with each
facilities were practically nonexistent, and the general
atmosphere, and indeed ethos, of the prison wardens was
oppressive and restrictive designed to provoke
Republican prisoners are locked-down for 23 hours per day.
There is an increase in strip-searching despite the long
lock-up and lack of contact between the prisoners/visitors;
education facilities are totally nonexistent; yard time,
visits, meals and showers must now be taken within the one
hour they are unlocked. Because of the controlled/restricted
movement the men are lucky if they get a shower every five
or six days.
They have no
in-cell sanitation facilities in their cell. Having no water
they are unable to wash or shave; they have not had their
hair cut for some weeks. Many of them have sores around and
in their mouths which leaves then very susceptible to
Their weight loss
has been rapid and their sleeping pattern is seriously
The ethos and attitude of the prison warders is even more
vicious and they are in total control of the jail. They make
the decisions and as there is no overall governor they have
a free hand. Governors have tried to implement reforms but
to no avail, the prison warders refuse to implement the
On June 13 they
stepped up their protest by embarking on a dirty protest.
This protest means they are now using the floor and the
walls of their cell to take their excrement and urine. They
had been using juice cartons for their waste but these
cartons are no longer available to them. The men, when asked
to, are refusing to strip naked for the screws and be
subjected to intimate body searches which often means they
don't get their visits.
cannot be allowed to continue and we call on people to
register their protest by writing/contacting all media
outlets and also and in particular those nationalist
politicians who sit in Stormont claiming to speak for the
prisoners. Far from acting in the interest of the prisoners,
it is in the interests of these British paid politicians,
Adams, McGuinness, and O’Dowd etc, to make sure this prison
protest is not given oxygen.
The last thing
they want is to be reminded of the part they played in
betraying all the 1980/81 hunger strikers by signing away
the status they won by 10 deaths in 1981. These people are
part and parcel of the British government which is standing
over the conditions in Maghaberry. They draw their big
salaries' and would indeed occupy the office of Minister of
Justice in the partitionist Stormont had not the Unionists
objected to such a deal. But the Provisionals backed David
Ford for the position, a man who believes the prisoners are
'in a situation of their own making'.
communication was received from Maghaberry jail, June 16,
exhausted every other avenue available to us, we the POWs
have been forced to engage in a protest to bring about an
end to the degrading and inhuman conditions we find
ourselves being subjected to.
began after Mass on Easter Sunday when we secured the
recreation room and erected barricades to prevent the screws
[prison warders] from gaining access. We held this position
for two days with upwards of 200 screws plus RUC in riot
gear taking up positions around the area we had seized.
(accepted in consultations) in which we agreed to hand back
control with the understanding that within 48-hours further
negotiations would take place within the aim of resolving
our concerns. The prison service reneged on their promise of
negotiations, to no surprise to us.
“Since then we
have refused to participate in degrading strip searches and
covering the observation flaps on our cell doors. Since then
we have wrecked our cells in response to the search team
removing a POW to the boards, where he was handcuffed to a
steel bed and had his clothing cut off.
“We then had to
pour urine under our cell doors to get rid of it, as we have
been locked down for 23 hours a day.
“In our efforts
to resolve the protest we have met with the prison governors
and found them uninterested to discuss in any detail the
issues concerning us. We have also met with seven
delegations of the so-called Justice Committee, which
comprises members of PSF [Provisional Sinn Féin] and the
SDLP [Social and Democratic Labour Party]. A further meeting
was held with the Prison Ombudsman but to no avail.
“Having once again exhausted all avenues to us we feel the
option left to us is to step up our protest.
“We call upon our
families, comrades and supporters to organize again and step
up their efforts outside with protests, letter-writing
campaigns, leaflet drops and all other appropriate actions
to highlight our plight.
“We salute your
efforts to date and know we can rely on you in the future.
For our part, on Sunday, June 13, 1020 we will commence a
2. RSF PROTEST AT
DPP MEETING NEWRY
A PROTEST was
carried out tonight by members of Republican Sinn Féin at a
DPP Meeting in Newry that RUC Commander Matt Baggot
were refused entry; one security guard actually physically
restrained a man from entering. The BBC and local papers
were there but no doubt the usual media ban will ensue.
A statement was
read by a member of a POW’s family, outlining the inhumane
treatment doled out to the POWs and the current demands of
“Over the past
number of years Republican prisoners have been subjected to
physical and mental abuse at the hands of the screws. The
POWs have engaged in a number of protests to highlight the
conditions in Maghaberry jail. The conditions in Maghaberry
jail have led to a political protest, the abuses that the
screws inflict on our men are political abuses and the only
way to resolve this, is to take it head on in a political
context, the tactics of the screws are to humiliate and
criminalise the men but these efforts will fail as said by
our comrade Bobby Sands ‘never will they label our
liberation struggle as criminal’.
“Bobby Sands, a
POW, stayed true to this statement and so will the POWs in
Maghaberry, they are not asking for much, just basic human
rights as the conditions in Maghaberry are inhumane.
“The screws treat
the POWs with a hostile nature on a daily basis the POWs are
strip-searched. This is just a tactic used by the screws to
humiliate our men. Over the past year the screws have been
actively violent towards the prisoners which have resulted
in several POWs being assaulted by the screws.
are subjected to 23-hour lock-downs with only two meals a
day which are served in disposable containers and slid along
the floor to the prisoners. The POWs are denied proper
medical facilities. Some prisoners have serious health
problems and are not getting the medical treatment they
need. The POWs’ domestic visits are stopped when they refuse
to strip for the screws. The screws are also using their
drug dogs to stop the POWs’ families from visiting.
began on Easter Sunday of this year when the POWs took
control of part of the jail which lasted 48 hours. Since
this time the prisoners only get an hour of the day to
exercise, phone home, wash their clothes and receive a legal
visit. Initially when the protest began the POWs as part of
the protest didn’t shave or cut their hairs. However the
POWs have decided to escalate the protest and now are on
dirty protest as the conditions have not changed.
“This is an
absolute disgrace for our POWs to live in, the protest in
Maghaberry will continue and we the families and RSF will
engage in street protests, marches and leaflet drops until
the POWs receive their five demands which are:
to free association
End controlled movement
Right to full time education
End to strip searching
adequate medical facilities
“Victory to POWS!”
SINN FÉIN LEADERS TO MEET SENIOR MAGHABERRY DUTY GOVERNOR
The President of
Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton along with the Patron and
former President Ruairí Ó Brádaigh will hold a meeting on
Sunday, June 27 with the Duty Governor in Maghaberry Prison
to demand the return of the right of Political Status to the
Republican prisoners who are currently under 23-hour lock-up
and engaged in a 'Dirty Protest'. They will also meet with
the OC of the Republican prisoners.
visit both will address a rally in support of the prisoner
outside of the prison at 4pm.
WILL OPPOSE ANY VISIT BY THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND TO IRELAND
IN A statement on
June 24 Vice President of Republican Sinn Féin Fergal Moore
assertion that no obstacle now exists to prevent a state
visit to Ireland by Britain's queen taking place must be
seen as a declaration that the process of normalization is
complete and the pacification of Ireland has been
successful. British rule in Ireland can never be normal nor
will Ireland be pacified while partition and British rule
remain. Republican Sinn Féin will vigorously oppose any
visit to Ireland by the Queen of England and calls on all
Republicans to do likewise.
declaration comes just days after the Saville Report
delivered a damning indictment of the British Army and must
be seen as a gross insult by the families of those who have
lost loved ones as a result of British rule during Elizabeth
Windsor's tenure as monarch. Only when Britain leaves
Ireland for good and offers an acceptable apology for the
wrong doings of 800 years of occupation will the conditions
exist for a possible state visit by her to Ireland.
“In the mean time
Republicans must be prepared to take to the streets in
protest at any visit.”
LEADER REMEMBERED IN CARLOW
ON Sunday, June
20 the annual Tony Ruane commemoration was held in Carlow.
More than 40
people marched to Tony Ruane’s grave, led by a Colour Party
from Wexford, where proceedings were chaired by his
granddaughter, Laura Nolan, secretary of the local RSF
The oration was
delivered by Kevin Devlin, Dublin who said:
“It is an honour
for me to pay tribute to Tony Ruane, a dedicated and true
Republican. No words can properly describe the admiration
felt for men and women like Tony, who gave their all for the
cause of Irish freedom.
joined Na Fianna Éireann as a boy and made the natural
progression to the Irish Republican Army. He was active
during the War of Independence, including overseas duty in
Republican side he went to America in the mid-1920s and
worked tirelessly with other like-minded men and women to
further the Republican Movement through organisation and
“Tony returned to
his native country in 1936 and joined the Dublin Brigade of
the Irish Republican Army, continuing to utilize the
organizing skills both locally and nationally. In May 1941
he was arrested and spent two years in jail before being
interned in the Curragh Concentration Camp until 1945.
“Upon his release
Tony reported back for duty, again putting his skills to
good use during what was a difficult time for himself and
his comrades. In 1966 Tony became National Treasurer of Sinn
Stickies went by the wayside, Tony continued on the true
Republican path, working in Kevin Street and Parnell Square.
Many of the people who cane through the doors of Sinn Féin
in the 1970s would have met Tony and it’s fair to say, given
the level of recruitment at this time, they must have been
suitably impressed by the persona of the man.
retired as National Treasurer in 1980 but after the Provos’
treachery in 1986, despite ill-health; he returned to help
make sure the Republican Movement kept to the path he so
firmly believed to be the right one.
“I never met Tony
Ruane but those who knew him admired him and speak highly of
the dedication and hard work he put in for the cause he held
“There have been
many over the years that have taken the easy road but as Joe
McKelvey said and I quote ‘The way to freedom is a hard and
bloody one’ and those of us who choose that way take
guidance and inspiration from comrades like Tony Ruane. They
give us the strength to carry on the struggle for Irish
freedom and self-determination.
“We regard our
part in that struggle as nothing more than our duty and like
Tony Ruane, we carry out that duty for the greater good and
not for personal gain or recognition. Those who have gone
down the path of furthering their own careers are not true
Republicans and are on a road to nowhere!
“Finally, to Tony
Ruane’s family, friends and comrades, I hope I have done
justice to the man and to the Republican soldier we honour
“An Phoblacht Abú!”
6. GARC CALL TO
SUPPORT ARDOYNE ON THE ‘TWELFTH’
“ON June 7 the
Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) delivered a
letter to a number of community, political groups and
parties who represent the Ardoyne community including
N/Belfast Provo MLA, Gerry Kelly.
offered dialogue and highlighted key findings of our survey
in an attempt to map a peaceful way forward to Loyal Order
marches in the area. Instead of contacting us, the Junior
British Minister once again launched into a clear attack on
GARC by issuing a statement to the media on June 19, 2010.
His response erroneously accused GARC of being ‘a
self-styled, non-elected and uncontested group, hell-bent on
provocation’ by erecting a mural clearly expressing the
wishes of this community which stated, No Parades – No
“We take this
opportunity to point out two planned actions which we
abandoned: 1. to picket the offices, Windsor House, of the
Parades Commission and to hand in a letter of protest around
their past and future decisions to permit clearly unwelcome
parades past our community (not shop fronts). 2. To hold a
white-line picket on the Crumlin Road between 1pm and 2pm on
June 18, hours before the Tour of the North parade? Where
was the provocation in those strategies?
“Is this not a
true reflection of how we feel about this issue? If he is
serious, as he claims, about stopping unwelcome marches, why
does he not ask his boss Stormont’s Deputy First Minister to
end them now? As it doesn’t affect them or their immediate
Gerry Kelly also
blamed us ‘of undermining other residents groups’ ei: CARA.
Would he care to clarify why senior members of CARA attended
one of our meetings prior to the ‘Tour of the North’ march?
The debate was an attempt to challenge contentious parades
in a holistic manner. However, instead of adopting a unified
approach, CARA undermined the community after it forgot to
mention they had already met with the North/West Belfast
Parades Forum and were due to meet them the following day,
Thursday, June 17. Of which the North/West walked out due to
the common-sense banning of the feeder parade. Who was being
disingenuous on this occasion? GARC believe common-sense NOT
deals or negotiations will resolve this issue. Our position
is clear, No Parades – No Violence. So please March where
you are welcome and leave us in peace!
Kelly and his party’s past bankrupt strategy in preventing
unwanted parades and annual riots past our community has
been clear for all to see. His verbal attacks to the media
re GARC and then offering us the opportunity for a chat, no
thanks Gerry! Your comments made sure of that.
approach to forthcoming parades must prevail. To that end,
GARC take this opportunity to call upon Nationalist and
Republican people from near and far to come and stand
shoulder to shoulder with the beleaguered Ardoyne community
for the Twelfth of July parade. Only together can we stop
being treated as second-class citizens at the behest
of sectarian bigots.”
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