Limerick man (79) who died was wanted for dissident republican plot Sean O’Neill, who was buried with guard of honour, had NI arrest warrent out for him.

O’Neill was one of the oldest Republican prisoners in Maghaberry Prison.

A 79-year-old man buried in Limerick with a Republican guard of honour was facing charges of being involved in a dissident plot to target judges and members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the NI authorities have said.

The funeral of Sean O’Neill, Quinn’s Cottages, Rosbrien, Limerick, who died last Sunday in St Camillus’ Hospital, Limerick after a long illness, was heavily policed by gardaí.

The NI Courts Services said there was a live warrant out for the arrest of Mr O’Neill, who had previously been held on remand in Maghaberry for an alleged breach of his bail terms for “failing to surrender to custody as required”.

O’Neill was arrested during a raid in November 2014 on a house in Newry, Co Down, which had been bugged by MI5. Eleven men were arrested. Four were released without charge.

Police told Newry Magistrates Court that “somewhere close to 70 hours” of material gathered in the property in Ardcarn Park over a three-month period included a series of meetings involving “leading key figures of a proscribed organisation”.

Weapons training
Police alleged that the men were involved in weapons training; funding terrorist activities; plans to commit acts of terrorism; and plans to procure firearms and ammunitions. They also allegedly discussed plans to target judges and police.

O’Neill was one of the oldest Republican prisoners in Maghaberry Prison, where he had been held on remand prior to taking up bail on September 28th, 2016. An arrest warrant was issued on January 10th this year after O’Neill “failed to surrender to custody as required”.

In May 2015, O’Neill complained that he had not been given bail in a posting on the Irish Republican Prisoners Dependants Fund Facebook account, in which he described himself as a “Republican POW”.

He went on: “The radiation in my body makes my body very low as you have no resistance, you can pick up anything. Most days I am very sick. All I want to do is stay in bed. I went for bail but I was refused by the judge.”

O’Neill faced charges of directing terrorism; membership of a proscribed organisation; conspiracy to possess explosives with intent to endanger life; conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life; and preparing for acts of terrorism.

Six men, wearing traditional republican attire, flanked O’Neill’s coffin as it was brought from Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Childers Road, to his final resting place, Mount Saint Lawrence (Old) Cemetery.

With many thanks to: The Irish Times for the origional story.

On this day June 3rd 1974 Michael Gaughan died on hunger strike in Parkhurst Prison, England.

Michael Gaughan was born in Ballina, County Mayo, in 1949. Gaughan grew up at Healy Terrace and was educated at St Muredach’s College, Ballina, and after finishing his schooling, he emigrated from Ireland to England in search of work. Whilst in London, Gaughan became a member of the Irish Republican Army and became an IRA volunteer in a London-based Active Service Unit. In December 1971, he was sentenced at the Old Bailey to seven years imprisonment for his part in an IRA fundraising mission to rob a bank in Hornsey, north London and for the possession of two revolvers.[2][4][5][6]
Gaughan was initially imprisoned at Wormwood Scrubs, where he spent two years before being transferred to the top security Albany Prison on the Isle of Wight. Whilst at Albany Prison, Gaughan requested political status; this was refused, and he was then put in solitary confinement. He was later transferred to Parkhurst Prison, where four of the Belfast Ten were on hunger strike for political status.

On 31 March 1974, Gaughan, along with fellow Mayoman Frank Stagg, went on hunger strike to support the fight of Dolours and Marion Price to obtain political status and to be transferred to a jail in Ireland. The prisoners demands were as follows.

The right to political status
The right to wear their own clothes
A guarantee that they would not be returned to solitary confinement
The right to educational facilities and not engage in penal labour
The setting of a reasonable date for a transfer to an Irish prison

British policy at this time was to force feed hunger strikers. The National Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee stated, “six to eight guards would restrain the prisoner and drag him or her by the hair to the top of the bed, where they would stretch the prisoner’s neck over the metal rail, force a block between his or her teeth and then pass a feeding tube, which extended down the throat, through a hole in the block.”
After visiting Michael in jail, his brother John described his condition: “His throat had been badly cut by force feeding and his teeth loosened. His eyes were sunken, his cheeks hollow and his mouth was gaping open. He weighed about six stone.”
Gaughan was force-fed from 22 April and this occurred 17 times during course of his hunger strike. The last time he was force-fed was the night before his death on Sunday 2 June. After a hunger strike that lasted 64 days, he died on Monday 3 June 1974, aged 24 years old.
The British government stated that he died of pneumonia; the Gaughan family stated that he died after prison doctors injured him fatally when food lodged in a lung punctured by a force-feeding tube.
After Michaels death, the British government’s policy of force-feeding ended, and the remaining hunger strikers were given assurances that they would be repatriated to Irish prisons. However, these promises were reneged on by the British government.

Michael Gaughan last words:

“I die proudly for my country and in the hope that my death will be sufficient to obtain the demands of my comrades. Let there be no bitterness on my behalf, but a determination to achieve the new Ireland for which I gladly die. My loyalty and confidence is to the IRA and let those of you who are left carry on the work and finish the fight”.

His death is referenced in the song Take me Home to Mayo, also known as The Ballad of Michael Gaughan.

Michael Gaughan’s body was initially removed from London and brought to his native Ireland on Friday, 7 June 1974, over 3,000 mourners lined the streets of Kilburn and marched behind his coffin, which was flanked by an IRA honour guard.
On the Saturday, his body was transported to Dublin, where again it was met by mourners and another IRA guard of honour who brought it to the Adam and Eve’s Franciscan church on Merchant’s Quay, where thousands filed past as it lay in state. The following day, his body was removed to Ballina, County Mayo. Gaughan was given a full IRA funeral and was laid to rest in the republican plot, where Frank Stagg would join him after being reburied in November 1976. His funeral was attended by over 50,000 people.
Ballina republican Jackie Clarke presided at the last obsequies, and the oration at his graveside was given by Dáithí Ó Conaill, who stated that Gaughan had “been tortured in prison by the vampires of a discredited empire who were joined by decrepit politicians who were a disgrace to the name of Irishmen”.

His coffin was draped in the same Tricolour that was used for Terence McSwiney’s funeral 54 years earlier.

Oglach Michael Gaughan Free as the Lark

With many thanks to: McKelvey Steele Cumann for the origional posting.

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IRA Volunteers – Coagh Martyrs – Tony Doris, Pete Ryan and Lawrence McNally 3rd June 1991

All three were members of the East Tyrone Brigade, Óglaigh na hÉireann, and were killed together on Active Service on 3rd June 1991, when british special forces, in a notorious ‘shoot-to-kill’ style operation, ambushed the men in the village of Coagh on the Tyrone-Derry border.

With many thanks to: James Connolly

Óglach Michael Gaughan (5th October 1949 – 3rd June 1974)

“I die proudly for my country and in the hope that my death will be sufficient to obtain the demands of my comrades. Let there be no bitterness on my behalf, but a determination to achieve the new Ireland for which I gladly die. My loyalty and confidence is to the IRA and let those of you who are left carry on the work and finish the fight.”

Michael Gaughan (5 October 1949 – 3 June 1974)

With many thanks to: James connolly

Óglach Trevor McKibben murdered on Active Service by the Btitish army 1977

A 19 year-old Volunteer, Trevor McKibben collected a rifle for it to be transported through Ardoyne. As Trevor walked along Flax Street, he was challenged by a British Army Patrol. Before he had a chance to stop he was cut down in a hail of bullets.

Following the brutal murder of this young Ardoyne volunteer several hours of rioting ensued, which resulted in the RUC firing cs gas and rubber bullets. His death devastated his family and the Ardoyne district.

As Trevor’s funeral left the family home in Etna Drive a 100lb UVF car-bomb exploded. It killed two local teenagers, Sean Campbell (19) and Sean McBride (18). Countless others were badly injured and a number of homes damaged the British army were shoveling up bits of bodies and putting them in clear plastic bags.

With many thanks to: Frano Mac Mua for the origional posting.

Rememering with pride Óglach Séamus Murphy who passed away on November 2nd 2015

RA man Séamus Murphy, who has died in 2015 , was the only man to succeed in escaping from Wakefield prison in west Yorkshire on February 12th, 1959, when republicans staged a daring rescue attempt.
“There were five men that had been earmarked for the escape. Two of them were Eoka men [George Skotinos and Nicos Sampson], another two were IRA, myself and Joe Doyle, while there was also a fifth with us, Tony Martin, who had deserted the British army in Cyprus and fought on the side of Eoka before he was arrested,” Séamus Murphy said afterwards.
Murphy had been serving a life sentence for an IRA raid on an arms depot at Arborfield in Berkshire in 1955. The raid, which was part of Operation Harvest, intended to obtain arms to use against the British army in Northern Ireland, had succeeded, and the main party, including Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, escaped. Séamus Murphy had stayed behind to tidy up loose ends and he and Joe Doyle and Donal Murphy were arrested, charged and given life sentences.
‘Freedom fighters’
Already in Wakefield prison then was Cathal Goulding, IRA chief of staff, along with a future chief of staff, Seán Mac Stiofáin. The Irish quickly made common cause with Greek Cypriot Eoka members, the two groups seeing in each other fellow freedom fighters.
In prison Murphy played chess with Klaus Fuchs, a German scientist jailed for giving atomic secrets to the Russians, while his fellow IRA prisoner Marcus Canning learned Greek from the Cypriots. Another Cypriot prisoner, George Ioannau, translated the writings of James Connolly into Greek.
The IRA had failed in an earlier attempt to get Goulding out, and the Séamus Murphy escape was the work of a splinter group associated with maverick republican Joe Christle, working with Eoka sympathisers living in London.

Outside the prison, republicans Aine and Séamus Grealey acted as decoys by pretending to be a courting couple, while Hughie Farrell and Pat Farrelly threw a rope over the prison wall. In the event only Séamus Murphy made it to freedom. The operation, which involved the rent of flats and the hire of two cars, was paid for by a Cypriot woman, Katerina Pilina, with her £500 wedding dowry.
Fake interview
Murphy hid in a flat in Manchester for three weeks, while a Sunday Press “interview” in Dublin proclaimed his return to Ireland. He eventually made his way home via Glasgow.
Séamus Murphy, Jim to his parents and younger sisters, was a native of Castledermot, Co Kildare, where his mother was the postmistress. His father, a baker, died young. While boarding at Terenure College, Dublin, he joined the IRA.
On his return to Ireland, he had difficulty finding work, eventually working on a baker’s delivery round. He met a young woman, Betty O’Donoghue, also from his home county of Kildare, and they married in 1963. They settled in Bray, Co Wicklow with their son, and Séamus Murphy worked in the nearby Solus light bulb factory.
His days of active service were over, but he remained a member of the republican family, did not embrace Goulding’s move to socialism and opposed the Belfast Agreement.

When Vivas Lividas launched the Greek language edition of his book Cypriot and Irish Prisoners in British jails 1956-59 in 2007, Séamus Murphy visited Cyprus and met many old friends from prison days, including Nicos Sampson, by then a highly controversial, some would say suspect, figure.
There he also got to thank in person Katerina Pilina, who had donated her dowry to get him out of jail.

With many thanks to: Ireland Long Held in Chains Stair agus Cultúr na hÉireann

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RUC/PSNI attack Republican Sinn Féin Easter Sunday parade in Lurgan

Police officers hold a participant at the event in Lurgan (Image: Press Eye)

A woman was injured and several people are understood to have been arrested after police moved in on a Republican Sinn Fein event.

The ‘colour party’ held in Lurgan was an Easter Rising commemoration.

Footage online showed heated scenes between the PSNI and those attending the event at the Edward Costello Memorial Garden in the Kilwilkee estate.

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart praised the actions of the PSNI.

PSNI move in on Lurgan Republican Sinn Fein event

She said: “I very much welcome the police operation to stop this illegal parade and glorification of terrorists.

“I hear plenty of comments from republicans on legal Orange parades but they are strangely silent when republicans decide to march whenever they want glorifying terror in an illegal march.

Top cop wants Oglaigh na hEireann ceasefire to include ‘criminality within communities’
“It is good to see a robust operation to prevent this illegality rather than a follow up arrest operation some weeks later. I congratulate the PSNI Commanders who authorised this operation and the officers on the ground who implemented this plan so effectively.”



With many thanks to: Belfast Live for the origional story.