Justice for Maura Meehan and her sister Dorothy Maguire Murdered by British Crown Forces.

Maura Meehan, one of two women who died in a shooting incident involving a British Army patrol in the Lower Falls area of Belfast, N Ireland. She was aged 31 years and married with 3 children. The woman who died with her was her sister, Dorothy Maguire, 19 years, single. Both were Roman Catholic and from West Belfast. It later emerged that they were members of Cumann na mBan, the Women’s IRA, and were the first members of that organisation to die in the Troubles. The soldiers claimed that a gun was pointed at them from the car. It later transpired the women were sounding the car horn to warn of the presence of soldiers. 197110230424MM1
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Dorothy Maguire, 19 years, single, one of two women who died in shooting incident involving a British Army patrol in the Lower Falls area of Belfast, N Ireland. The other woman was her married sister, Maura Meehan, of Brantry Street, Belfast. They were both members of Cumann na mBan, the Women’s IRA, and were the first members of that organisation to die in the Troubles. The soldiers claimed that a gun was pointed at them from the car. It later transpired the women were sounding the car horn to warn local people of the presence of soldiers. 197110230424DM1
Copyright Image from Victor Patterson, 54 Dorchester Park, Belfast, UK, BT9 6RJ
Tel: +44 28 9066 1296
Mob: +44 7802 353836
Voicemail +44 20 8816 7153
Skype: victorpattersonbelfast
Email: victorpatterson@me.com
Email: victorpatterson@ireland.com (back-up)
IMPORTANT: If you wish to use this image or any other of my images please go to http://www.victorpatterson.com and click on the Terms & Conditions. Then contact me by email or phone with the reference number(s) of the image(s) concerned.

On their 32nd anniversary Flo O�Riordan recalls the night her two best friends were murdered.

32 years have passed since Flo O’Riordan (right) witnessed her two best friends being murdered by the British army. She narrowly escaped death herself and the painful memory of that day is still woven into the fabric of Flo’s life.

Maura Meehan (31) and Dorothy Maguire (19) were sisters. Both were members of the female wing of the IRA, the Cumann na mBan. It’s only now that Flo can publicly talk about those awful events.

Flo and Maura had helped set up the Clonard Women’s Action Committee. One of the roles the group played was to alert the community if the British Army were raiding homes in the area.

On the night Maura and Dorothy were murdered the sisters set out with Flo and a local man, Billy Davidson, after hearing the British army were raiding homes in the Lower Falls.

With the introduction of internment in August of that year the women knew the army would be wrecking homes and arresting local men.

Introduction of Internment without trial

The women had recently obtained foghorns.

As they drove towards Cape Street they noticed a British army Land Rover across the middle of the street.

British soldier stands guard with a rifle over a young rioter in the Lenadoon Avenue area, of Belfast, N Ireland, during widespread disturbances which followed the introduction of internment without trial. 387/71, 197108000387a.
Copyright Image from Victor Patterson, 54 Dorchester Park, Belfast, UK, BT9 6RJ
Tel: +44 28 9066 1296
Mob: +44 7802 353836
Voicemail +44 20 8816 7153
Skype: victorpattersonbelfast
Email: victorpatterson@mac.com
Email: victorpatterson@ireland.com (back-up)
IMPORTANT: If you wish to use this image or any other of my images please go to http://www.victorpatterson.com and click on the Terms & Conditions. Then contact me by email or phone with the reference number(s) of the image(s) concerned.

There were 75 British army personnel in the area at the time, 32 of those were in Cape Street as part of the raiding party, a mix of Green Howards and Green Jackets.

THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTHERN IRELAND, 1969 – 2007 (TR 32956) 2nd Lieutenant Robin Martin and Rifleman Andy Walker of 1st Royal Green Jackets man a barbed wire street barricade in Belfast during the Battalion’s first tour of duty in Northern Ireland. The tour lasted from 20 August – 18 December 1969. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205189943

The car the group were travelling in turned left to gain access to Cape Street and at that point Flo clearly remembers seeing a soldier crouch down and take aim at the car.

green (cowards) howards.

�I remember shouting ‘duck’ but it was too late they had already started firing.

green (cowards) howards

�There was noise all around but inside the car I can only remember silence, complete horrible silence.

The Aftermath: The car Maura & Dorothy were traveling in at the time of their murder.

�The girls didn’t stand a chance. The car swerved and hit the wall. I got out and looked into the back to try and open the door and get the girls out.

Follow the story here: http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/Irelandclick/arts2003/oct30_double_tragedy.php

�Maura was just bleeding from every part of her body, even her ankles were bleeding, one of the bullets had severed her spinal cord.

�The car was like a pepper mill, completely riddled with bullets. They had wanted us all dead so no one would live to tell what really happened.

�The shots had torn through Dorothy’s head and her whole face was disfigured.

�People came from everywhere it’s hard to put all the details into the proper sequence.

A stunning picture of Maura Meehan, such a beautiful young lady. Far to young to have her life taken from her.

�Local people took me to hospital.

Despite being badly injured herself Flo was only in the hospital for a few hours when the RUC came and arrested her. They took her to Castlereagh interrogation centre where she went through three days of hell before finally being charged with attempted murder of unnamed British soldiers.

Outside of Castlereagh Interrogation Centre

Billy Davidson attended a press conference the following day to dispute the British army’s version of events; the British said the women had opened fire on them from the car.

�I was worried about my own six children and if they were okay but I knew the girls were dead and I knew that Maura’s four children would never see her again.

Listen to it here: http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/Irelandclick/arts2003/oct30_double_tragedy.php

�I got a hard time in Castlereagh. They threw pictures of Maura and Dorothy into the cell, pictures of their injuries, horrible pictures.

Inside Castlereagh Interrogation Centre.

�I was injured, but also in shock and grieving.

Flo was finally given bail and allowed home to her children. She made it to her two friends’ funeral.

At the inquest a succession of British soldiers testified. There was inconsistent forensic evidence.

And after a trial that lasted five days, Flo and Billy were cleared of all charges, but found guilty only of dangerous driving, to stop any compensation claim for wrongful arrest.

Another photo of the inside of Castlereagh Interrogation Centre.

But if 1971 holds bad memories for Flo little did she know more was still to come.

A muriel dedicated to Cumann na mBan volunteers Óglach Maura Meehan agus Óglach Dorothy Maguire. Fuair sé bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann.

Less than six months later Flo’s son Sen was gunned down by the British army at the corner of Cupar Street and Cawnpore Street. He was just 13-years old, the second eldest of the O’Riordan children.

Óglach Seán O’Riordan (Sen), (13), na Fianna hÉireann, murded by British soldiers, he was the youngest volunteer at the time to be murdered by the British Army. It was reported at the time: “The youngest boy to die Sean O’Riordan (14) from the Lower Falls area, was killed during an attack on British soldiers. Locals said he had been active in the IRA and used as a sniper and for transpoting guns for up to a year at the time. Two others were shot during clashes with loyalists”. (Belfast Telegraph) a predomant loyalist newspaper reported. Fuair sé bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann.

The schoolboy was shot in the back of the head.

�Even after all these years the pain still hasn’t gone away, recalls Flo.

Please sign the petition to get the Justice Maura & Dorothy deserve, thankyou: https://www.change.org/p/maura-meehan-and-her-sister-dorothy-maguire-ask-british-government-to-finally-admit-fault-in-execution-style-murder-of-my-mother-and-aunt-30-and-19-leaving-four-children-orphaned-without-a-future-or-explanation-from-october-23-1971

�Altogether I spent five years of my life in and out of prison, but my children were the ones that suffered.

�I lost my best friends, I lost my beautiful son, my children were left without a mother on many occasions.

�There are times when I just fall to pieces. Sen’s birthday falls three days after the anniversary of Maura and Dorothy’s death. From there it is just a spiral of grief that lasts until the anniversary of his death on 23 March. “May he rest in peace”.

�In many ways the actions of the women in those days was overlooked, it is always the men who get the medals. In republican circles it was acknowledged how important a role we were playing, but because it was all behind the scenes there was very little public recognition for the risks we took.

�The difference with women who were involved is that they were also the home-makers, if they went to jail or died they were leaving their families to fend for themselves.

�When you look at the political process and what we have been through this week you have to ask yourself, all that suffering and for what?

�My family have had their fair share of suffering, so have many others, but we believed that we were fighting for a 32 county Ireland.

�I will never forget all those people who died, all those young lads who gave so much, and sacrificed their lives for that cause.

�And even though for many that cause is forgotten, the people who died during those terrible years will never be forgotten should 30, 40, 50 or even 100 years pass.�

Last news report from the BBC concerning both sisters:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-23576607

November 3, 2003

With many thanks to: Gearad Meehan and Richard Steele.

Óglach Michael Gaughan your Sacrifice shall never be forgotten

Mise Éire:
Sine mé ná an Chailleach Bhéarra

Mise Éire:
Uaigní mé ná an Chailleach Bhéarra

Mór mo ghlóir:
Mé a rug Cú Chulainn cróga.

Mór mo náir:
Mo chlann féin a dhíol a máthair.

Mór mo bhrón:
D’éag an dream inar chuireas dóchas.

Mise Éire:
Sine mé ná an Chailleach Bhéarra

Mise Éire:
Uaigní mé ná an Chailleach Bhéarra

With many thanks to: Dermot Ryan – Federal Socialist Republic.

Freedom Fighter Óglach John Morocco Morris Murdered by Free State Police an Gardai Síochána, while on Active Service 5th June 1997.

SAOIRSE GO DEO JOHNNY
REMEMBERED TODAY AND FOREVER WITH HONOUR AND DEEP RESPECT AND GRATITUDE FOR YOUR SELFLESS LOVE OF OUR COUNTRY.

Click below on the pic to see a tribute to Johnny.

http://en1.gallery.btows.com/api/music/template154/?c=a7a3d50852cb27e60319a60df537fb7f

With many thanks to: Chairde ar an Arm Náisiúnta Fuascailte na hÉireann.

Today we remember John Morocco Morris of the mighty and fearless Arm Náisiúnta Fuascailte na hÉireann.

Rip John ‘ Morocco’ Morris , Oglach Irish National Liberation Army murdered defending Ireland from Imperialist forces , Red Salute SGD. Photo credits: Marcas Mac Giolla Aindreis

While on active duty but without a loaded firearm John was murdered in cold bloody by the Free State Police an Gardai Síochána who we will ever denounce and revile for this cowardly dirty slaughter of our man.

Rest in peace brave and loyal soldier for the cause.

We will remember you with deep respect forever.

Let the fight go on…..ARISE WORKING CLASS!
SAOIRSE GO DEO MOROCCO!!!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vCZzNgO0A14

With many thanks to: Chairde ar an Arm Náisiúnta Fuascailte na hÉireann.

Remembering 1981 – RUC/PSNI desecrate Patsy O’Hara’s body.

● Patsy O’Hara’s family saw gashes and bruises on his face when the RUC released his body

» SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
WHEN the RUC hijacked the corpse of Hunger Striker Patsy O’Hara and it was eventually recovered from the RUC in Derry last Friday morning, 22 May, eight hours after his death in Long Kesh prison camp, his family noticed gashes and marks on his face, as if it had been scratched and beaten.

H35 logo

This desecration was the climax of distress to and harassment of the O’Hara family which had, like the smear campaign against the McCreesh family, particularly intensified in the last days of their son’s life.

After Patsy O’Hara died, Long Kesh Prison Governor Stanley Hilditch told Mr James O’Hara that his son’s body would be brought to Omagh and he would have to phone the RUC to find out where it could be collected.

However, at 4:40am, Friday 22 May, the O’Haras received a phone call from friends in Derry to the house they were staying at in Belfast.

Patsy’s brother, Seán Séamus, explains:

“The RUC had phoned Derry with a message for us, ‘If you want to collect this thing, you had better collect it before daylight, otherwise it is going to get dropped at O’Haras’ front doorstep.’

“They said they were not allowing any daylight processions and if we attempted that then what they would do was take the body and drop it by helicopter to Derry.

“They were very, very abusive the whole time.

“The undertakers collected the body from Omagh at about six o’clock in the morning and I took the body from the undertakers to the house.

“When the coffin was opened, the first thing I noticed was that Patsy had a lot of marks around his nose – very deep cuts which he should not have had. He had bruising on his eyes and apparently there were a lot of marks on his body which appeared to be cigarette burns. I noticed it and I said: ‘Look, that was not there.’

“It was said to me that maybe in the heat of the moment I did not notice it. But the minute my mother walked in, the minute my father walked in, the minute Jim Daly walked in, the minute my sister walked in, everyone of them said, ‘What happened to Patsy? There were no marks on the body.’

“So what I think may have happened was that they threw him head-first into a Land Rover or into a helicopter (we don’t know which transported the body to Omagh). That would allow for the nose to be broken. But I do not know how he got the other bruises.”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=Dl7EmL08AxM

With many thanks to: An Phoblacht/Republican News, 30 May 1981.

On 30th May 1923, IRA Volunteers, Michael Murphy and Joseph O’Rourke (from Ardrahan) were executed in Tuam, Co. Galway.

These were the final executions of the Civil War. However, they are not listed in the official 77 state executions.

With many thanks to: Liam Mellows.

Remembering IRA Volunteer Raymond McCreesh who died in Long Kesh after 61 days on Hunger Strike on 21st May 1981.

The third of the resolutely determined IRA Volunteers to join the H-Block hunger strike for political status was twenty-four-year-old Raymond McCreesh, from Camlough in South Armagh: a quiet, shy and good-humoured republican, who although captured at the early age of nineteen, along with two other Volunteers in a British army ambush, had already almost three years active republican involvement behind him.
During those years he had established himself as one of the most dedicated and invaluable republican activists in that part of the six counties to which the Brits themselves have – half-fearfully, half-respectfully – given the name ‘bandit country’ and which has become a living legend in republican circles, during the present war, for the courage and resourcefulness of its Volunteers: the border land of South Armagh.

Raymond’s resolve to hunger strike to the death, to secure the prisoners’ five demands was indicated in a smuggled-out letter written by Paddy Quinn, an H-Block blanket man – who was later to embark on hunger strike himself – who was captured along with Raymond and who received the same fourteen year sentence: “I wrote Raymie a couple of letters before he went to the prison hospital. He wrote back and according to the letter he was in great spirits and very determined. A sign of that determination was the way he finished off by saying: Ta seans ann go mbeidh me abhaile rombat a chara’ which means: There is a chance that I’ll be home before you, my friend!”

Captured in June 1976, and sentenced in March 1977, when he refused to recognise the court, Raymond would have been due for release in about two years’ time had he not embarked on his principled protest for political status, which led him, ultimately, to hunger strike.

Raymond Peter McCreesh, the seventh in a family of eight children, was born in a small semi-detached house at St. Malachy’s Park, Camlough – where the family still live – on February 25th, 1957.

The McCreeshes, a nationalist family in a staunchly nationalist area, have been rooted in South Armagh for seven generations, and both Raymond’s parents – James aged 65, a retired local council worker, and Susan (whose maiden name is Quigley), aged 60 – come from the nearby townland of Dorsey.

Raymond was a quiet but very lively person, very good-natured and – like other members of his family – extremely witty. Not the sort of person who would push himself forward if he was in a crowd, and indeed often rather a shy person in his personal relationships until he got to know a person well. Nevertheless, in his republican capacity he was known as a capable, dedicated and totally committed Volunteer who could show leadership and aggression where necessary.

Among both his family and his republican associates, Raymond was renowned for his laughter and for “always having a wee smile on him”. His sense of humour remained even during his four-year incarceration in the H-Blocks, as well as during his hunger strike where he continued to insist that he was “just fine.”

Raymond went first to Camlough primary school, and then to St. Coleman’s college in Newry. It was at St. Coleman’s that Raymond met Danny McGuinness, also from Camlough, and the two became steadfast friends. They later became republican comrades, and Danny too then a nineteen-year-old student who had just completed his ‘A’ levels was captured along with Raymond and Paddy Quinn, and is now in the H-Blocks.

At school, Raymond’s strongest interest was in Irish language and Irish history, and he read widely in those subjects. His understanding of Irish history led him to a fervently nationalist outlook, and he was regarded as a ‘hothead’ in his history classes, and as being generally “very conscious of his Irishness”.

He was also a sportsman, and played under-sixteen and Minor football for Carrickcruppin Gaelic football club as well as taking a keen interest in the local youth club where he played basketball and pool, and was regarded a good snooker player.

When he was fourteen years old, Raymond got a weekend job working on a milk round through the South Armagh border area, around Mullaghbawn and Dromintee. Later on, after leaving his job in Lisburn, he worked full-time on the milk round, where he would always stop and chat to customers. He became a great favourite amongst them and many enquired about him long after he left the round.

During the early ‘seventies, the South Armagh border area was the stamping ground of the British army’s Parachute regiment, operating out of Bessbrook camp less than two miles from Raymond’s home. Stories of their widespread brutality and harassment of local people abound, and built-up then a degree of resentment and resistance amongst most of the nationalist population that is seen to this day.

The SAS terror regiment began operating in this area in large numbers too, in a vain attempt to counter republican successes, and the high level of assassinations of local people on both sides of the South Armagh border, notably three members of the Reavey family in 1975, was believed locally to have been the work both of the SAS, and of UDR and RUC members holding dual membership with ‘illegal’ loyalist paramilitary organisations.

Given this scenario and Raymond’s understanding of Irish history, it is small wonder that he became involved in the republican struggle.

He first of all joined na Fianna Eireann early in 1973 and towards the end of that year joined the Irish Republican Army’s 1st Battalion, South Armagh.

Even before joining the IRA, and despite his very young age, Raymond – with remarkable awareness and maturity – became one of the first Volunteers in the South Armagh area to adopt a very low, security conscious, republican profile.

He rarely drank, but if occasionally in a pub he would not discuss either politics or his own activities, and he rarely attended demonstrations or indeed anything which would have brought him to the attention of the enemy.

It was because of this remarkable self-discipline and discretion that during his years of intense republican involvement Raymond was never once arrested or even held for screening in the North, and only twice held briefly in the South.

Consequently, Raymond was never obliged to go ‘on the run’, continuing to live at home until the evening of his capture, and always careful not to cause his family any concern or alarm.

Fitted in with his republican activities Raymond would relax by going to dances or by going to watch football matches at weekends.

After leaving school he spent a year at Newry technical college studying fabrication engineering, and afterwards got a job at Gambler Simms (Steel) Ltd. in Lisburn. He had a conscientious approach to his craft but was obliged to leave after a year because of a fear of assassination.

Each day he travelled to work from Newry, in a bus along with four or five mates who had got jobs there too from the technical college, but the prevailing high level of sectarian assassinations, and the suspicion justifiably felt of the predominantly loyalist work-force at Gambler Simms, made Raymond, and many other nationalist workers, decide that travelling such a regular route through loyalist country side was simply too risky.

So, after leaving the Lisburn factory, Raymond began to work full-time as a milk roundsman, an occupation which would greatly have increased his knowledge of the surrounding countryside, as well as enabling him to observe the movements of British army patrols and any other untoward activity in the area.

Republican activity in that area during those years consisted largely of landmine attacks and ambushes on enemy patrols.

Raymond had the reputation of a republican who was very keen to suggest and take part in operations, almost invariably working in his own, extremely tight, active service unit, though occasionally, when requested – as he frequently was – assisting other units in neighbouring areas with specific operations. He would always carefully consider the pros and cons of any operation, and would never panic or lose his nerve.

In undertaking the hunger strike, Raymond gave the matter the same careful consideration he would have expended on a military operation, he undertook nothing either a rush, or for bluff.

The operation which led to the capture of Raymond, his boyhood friend, Danny McGuiness, and Patrick Quinn, took place on June 25th, 1976.

An active service unit comprising these three and a fourth Volunteer arrived in a commandeered car at a farmyard in the town land of Sturgan a mile from Camlough – at about 9.25 p.m.

Their objective was to ambush a covert Brit observation post which they had located opposite the Mountain House Inn, on the main Newry – Newtonhamilton Road, half-a-mile away. They were not aware, however, that another covert British observation post, on a steep hillside half-a-mile away, had already spotted the four masked, uniformed and armed Volunteers, clearly visible below them, and that radioed helicopter reinforcements were already closing in.

As the fourth Volunteer drove the commandeered car down the road to the agreed ambush point, to act as a lure for the Brits, the other three moved down the hedgeline of the fields, into position. The fourth Volunteer, however, as he returned, as arranged, to rejoin his comrades, spotted the British Paratroopers on the hillside closing in on his unsuspecting friends and, although armed only with a short range Stengun, opened fire to warn the others.

Immediately, the Brits opened fire with SLRs and light machine-guns, churning up the ground around the Volunteers with hundreds of rounds, firing indiscriminately into the nearby farmhouse and two vehicles parked outside, and killing a grazing cow!

The fourth Volunteer was struck by three bullets, in the leg, arm and chest, but managed to crawl away and to elude the massive follow up search, escaping safely – though seriously injured – the following day.

Raymond and Paddy Quinn ran zig-zag across open fields to a nearby house, under fire all this time, intending to commandeer a car. Unfortunately, the car belonging to the occupants of the house was parked at a neighbour’s house several hundred yards away. Even then the pair might have escaped but that they delayed several minutes waiting for their comrade, Danny McGuinness, who however had got separated from them and had taken cover in a disused quarry outhouse (where he was captured in a follow-up operation the next day).

The house in which Raymond and Paddy took cover was immediately besieged by berserk Paratroopers who riddled the house with bullets. Even when the two Volunteers surrendered, after the arrival of a local priest, and came out through the front door with their hands up, the Paras opened fire again and the Pair were forced to retreat back into the house.

On the arrival of the RUC, the two Volunteers again surrendered and were taken to Bessbrook barracks where they were questioned and beaten for three days before being charged.

One remarkable aspect of the British ambush concerns the role of Lance-Corporal David Jones, a member of the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute regiment. According to Brit statements at the trial it was he who first opened up on the IRA active service unit from the hillside.

Nine months later, on March 16th, 1977 two IRA Volunteers encountered two Paratroopers (at the time seconded to the SAS) in a field outside Maghera in South Derry. In the ensuing gun battle, one SAS man was shot dead, and one IRA Volunteer was captured. The Volunteer’s name was Francis Hughes, the dead Brit was Lance-Corporal David Jones of the Parachute regiment.

In the eighteen months before going on hunger strike together neither Raymond McCreesh or Francis Hughes were aware of what would seem to have been an ironic but supremely fitting example of republican solidarity!

After nine months remand in Crumlin Road jail, Raymond was tried and convicted in March 1977, of attempting to kill Brits, possession of a Garand rifle and ammunition, and IRA membership. He received a fourteen-year sentence, and lesser concurrent sentences, after refusing to recognise the court.

In the H-Blocks he immediately joined the blanket protest, and so determined was his resistance to criminalisation that he refused to take his monthly visits for four years, right up until he informed his family of his decision to go on hunger strike on February 15th, this year. He also refused to send out monthly letters, writing only smuggled ‘communications’ to his family and friends.

The only member of his family to see him at all during those four years in Long Kesh two or three times – was his brother, Fr. Brian McCreesh, who occasionally says Mass in the H-Blocks.

Like Francis Hughes, Raymond volunteered for the earlier hunger strike, and, when he was not chosen among the first seven, took part in the four-day hunger strike by thirty republicans until the hunger strike ended on December 18th, last year.

Speaking to his brother, Malachy, shortly after Bobby Sands death, Raymond said what a great loss had been felt by the other hunger strikers, but it had made them more determined than ever.

And still managing to keep his spirits up, when told of his brother, Fr. Brian, campaigning for him on rally platforms, Raymond joked: “He’ll probably get excommunicated for it.”

To Britain’s eternal shame, the sombre half-prediction made by Raymond to his friend Paddy Quinn – Ta seans ann go mbeid me abhaile rombat – became a grim reality. Bhi se. Raymond died at 2.11 a.m. on Thursday May 21st, 1981, after 61 days on hunger strike.

With many thanks to: Clan na Gael