NOBODY likes to talk about the elephant in the room – you know, the big issue that none of us can deal with. In our case it’s the past.


The damning report by Her Majesty‘s Inspectorate of Constabulary into the working practice of the Historical Enquires Team should not come as a surprise to anyone. People talk about a hierarchy of victims and comment about how all murders should be treated equally. A fine sentiment. However, the truth is that murders ordered, facilitated, carried out by government agencies ARE different. We have no choice but to trust those who govern us, we have to abide by their laws, so yes it is different when a killing carried out by the State is not properly investigated. It may be argued that the soldiers or individuals who physically carried out the act are not as culpable as those who ordered them.

But the notion that because a killer wore a uniform means he or she should not be subjected to the full rigour of investigation is ridiculous, the fact that they weren’t sets those killings apart. State murder is differnt and it always will be, and the State will forever cling to their dirty secrets – we know that, it is the same the world over. I know victims’ families – on both sides – who have spoken very highly of their experience with the HET which leds me to a very obvious conclusion – this is an organisation operating with one hand tied behind its back. It is inconceivable that any attempt to properly investigate State murder is blocked, or hampered. The past isn’t going to go away, so we can only hope that someday the truth will come out. Sadly that is unlikely to happen until all those with too much to lose are dead and gone. For now the HET is being hung out to dry, the real answers lie further up the food chain.

With many thanks to : Richard Sullivan, Sunday World.



Tim Howard > Stand And Unite

Mark Anthony Bannon

Last week a whole movement began behind the albeit lighthearted “Justice for BOD”. 1000s of Irish people came together in a matter of days.

There is man named Tony Rochford in Dublin at this very minute that is in his 20th day of hunger strike against austerity and social injustice forced upon the Irish people.

He is prepared to die for this, to die for Ireland like other martyrs such a Wolfe tone, Robert Emmet and all the other heroes from 1916 to Bobby Sands in the 80s. Yet there is very little media coverage, no one is protesting with him, where is the solidarity with our fellow countryman? He is an ordinary man, not a Marxist, not a hippie. He is a self employed tiler that is now penniless like most of us and cannot afford to live in the austerity and hardship we have been attacked with. Our friends and family are forced to emigrate, our children go to school with no lunch, our sick and elderly are denied their basic rights. Is this what The martyrs of 1916 died for? Did they give their life so that we may turn into a nation that is obedient and afraid of foreign countries, afraid of the lies the government feed us.

Everybody talks and gives out about the hardship the government puts on us but no one does anything. They treat us like fools, they laugh at how we accept the debt they have forced upon us, our children and our grandchildren yet we sit at home expecting someone else to take a stand. We must wake up. You must do, you must get out and protest, we can’t live like this anymore.

In the name of all the martyrs of Ireland it is time to remember that we are Irish, we are revolutionaries and we are not going to betray our nation anymore

MANUS DERRY murdered by the British army JUSTICE DENIED

Manus Derry murdered by the British army JUSTICE DENIED

Derry Doire

Neil Doyle O’Donnell


An escape route offered from ‘Derry Dole’.

Fancy uniform; sport, some adventure and a life of your own.

Just leave the love for your country and values behind.

Never a normal return to your land and add a new word to your life book, such as pariah.

Controlled leaves, precious holiday times spent in ‘Ebrington Barracks’, sometimes a laundry van for a taxi.

Live in a world controlled by racist right wing idiots, disliked: the reason that your people protested wishing for their ‘Civil Rights’.

Murdered like dogs in the street by red-capped uniformed killers from a gene pool found swilling in the bottom of a bucket of brock.

I this joke trained to fight the ‘Russian Might’, whilst a school friend Jim Wray lies dying in the street.

A best friend’s brother ‘Paddy Doherty’ shot twice in the back.

Jim, Paddy and others lie dead and dying to satisfy a ‘Vicious Tory Spleen’.

Allowing the ‘Masters of Deceit’ to quench and sup at their evil feasts as they feed scraps to the ‘Horsemen’ to fuel never ending evil deeds.

Neil D.O’Donnell.

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Angela Nelson

I did not write about this visit on Thursday due to the fact that Christine Connor from North Belfast was in court yesterday (Friday) for another bail application and I was hopeful she may have got it due to the fact that she is a totally innocent young woman held on allegations which are ludicrous and gives the distinct sense of a careful set up by the spooks that are operating within our communities. Sadly she was refused on the grounds that she may have access to pipe bombs and other things.

Christine was arrested at the beginning of June and held and questioned for seven days about an alleged attack when a pipe bomb was thrown at Police who were responding to an 999 call, she was also charged with possession of pipe bombs and preparing acts of terrorism.

At the same time a young man from Shrewsbury in England was also arrested and has since been charged with terrorist offences, whilst he does not appear at the court at the same time as Christine he is being associated with her. Christine does not know this young man at all?

The fact is Christine was arrested with nothing in her possession and after lengthy searches of her home and other family members homes nothing was found and there is no forensic evidence linking her to any of these charges.

The police say they can connect her to these charges, and we as Republicans have been down this road before, when allegations are made with nothing to substantiate them yet the person can spend a long time in “Administrative Detention” until the case comes to trial.

I went to see her on Thursday with a friend of hers and we were able to spend two hours with her where she talked me through the prison regime. Christine shares a wing with one other Republican female prisoner (Sharon Rafferty who has been held in “Isolation” for 13 months) until Christine joined her. The two women have become firm friends and are very supportive of each other. They conduct themselves within the prison as strong Republicans who will not be treated as criminals, but that does not mean that the prison system is not constantly trying to harass them and their visitors by giving them prison numbers, (rather than a name) or referring to them as “Dissident terrorists “in the mixed visiting areas within earshot of other visitors.

There is no education facilities available because the two women can already read and write and there are only courses for illiterate prisoners.

There is access to the gym but it is used by ODC’s and no time slot is made available for the two women to use it without mixing with criminals.

The food is inedible so they have to purchase it form the prison shop which is expensive.

During the week they are allowed out of their cells to associate with each other but at weekends they are locked up for 16 hours a day.

These two Republican women are supported by family and close friends but we as Republicans collectively need to be more supportive and that can be done in a very simple way, send them both a letter or a card, let them know we have not forgot about them. If you live close to their families call and offer support or even inquire about their welfare.

Today we had wonderful weather, the sun was shining and as I was driving up the road young women were sitting in “Beer Gardens” having a cold drink basking in the sunshine….




Seosamh O Bradaigh

Within the last few hours Christine Connor was having a visit for her birthday when it was abruptly cut short by screws claiming the needed the room for other use, upon leaving the Gaol the 2 visitors were met at the entrance by the RUC/PSNI and arrested one of the visitors, he has since been taken to Antrim RUC/PSNI station. The person who they arrested is not a citizen of the country and is in fact an American citizen, the behaviour of the screws and the RUC/PSNI once again has been brought into question when in relation to Republicans more updates will follow


Ex-Shame Fein councillor admitted child cruelty.

A DEFIANT Bridge Meehan left court with a suspended jail term yesterday for shocking cruelty to her 10-year-old stepdaughter. The former Shame Fein councillor, who knocked the young child unconscious and forced her to sleep in a wet bed, was allowed to walk free on the basis of her age, guilty pleas and low risk to the public.

ABUSE: Above Left, former Sinn Fein councillor leaves Belfast Crown Court yesterday after she was given a suspended sentente for child cruelty and assault against her stepdaughter Mary. Above left, Martin Meehan. Above right, Kevin Meehan speaks outside Belfast Crown Court yesterday on behalf of his sister Mary.
ABUSE: Above Left, former Sinn Fein councillor leaves Belfast Crown Court yesterday after she was given a suspended sentente for child cruelty and assault against her stepdaughter Mary. Above left, Martin Meehan. Above right, Kevin Meehan speaks outside Belfast Crown Court yesterday on behalf of his sister Mary.

The 66-year-old had admitted a charge of cruelty and two assaults against Mary Meehan more than 30 years ago while her father, North Belfast IRA chief Martin Meehan, was in prison. The former Newtownabbey councillor originally also faced seven charges of sexually abusing her stepdaughter but they were not proceeded with and were “left on the books”. Belfast Crown Court heard that at the time of the offences between July 1979 and October the following year, an eight-month pregnant Meehan had been left to look after the IRA leader’s three children. Judge Gordon Kerr told Meehan that given her clear record, the “circumstances in which she found herself” and the time taken over the case, “considerable discounts” in her sentence were proper. Suspending the nine-month jail term for two years, the judge said : “The defendant is 66 years of age. The offences were over 30 years ago. There is no evidence she presents any danger to children or anyone else. “There is a low risk of her offending. I do not consider it necessary that she should serve these sentences immediately and think it is proper to suspend them.”

The judge had earlier said that while a remorseful Meehan had “expressed shame at her loss of control”, reports indicated that she “has no empathy or emotional concern” for Mary and the position she found her self in as a youngster, with one parent dead and the other missing. The prosecution proceeded on the basis of an agreed set of facts about her ill-treatment and neglect of Mary and the assaults on her. The first charge of assault related to an incident when Mary was tidying up, but apparently not quickly enough for Meehan, who hit her over the head with a bag containing a glass bottle and knocked her unconscious. Her wound later required stiches. The second assault referred to the youngster being hit by a brush or a shoe which had been thrown at her. The prosecution also told the court how Mary suffered from instances of bed wetting but that her stepmother “forced her to sleep on the wet sheets”. On  another ooccasion, after being accused of smoking by Meehan, the 10-year-old was forced to smoke cigarettes by way of punishment or deterrence. Mary was eventually rescued by social services who placed her into care in October 1980. A medical examination at the time revealed 20 bruises sustained while being looked after by Meehan.

The offences were committed while she was the girlfriend of Martin Meehan, who was on remand in prison on IRA kidnapping charges for which he was eventually jailed for 12 years. Mr Meehan, who died in 2007, was the first person to be convicted of membership of the Provisional IRA (PIRA). Bridge Meehan herself went on to be elected as Newtownabbey’s first Sinn Fein councillor in 2001, being reelected in 2005. She was suspended after the allegations of abuse first surfaced in February 2009. Karen Quinlivan QC, defending, said the offences were committed against a background of widespread disapproval of her relationship with Martin Meehan. This resentment came not only from his family but also her own. A remorseful Meehan, she said, had been left to care for three young children “quite abruptly” filling the shies of their mother who had died from cancer. Ms Quinlivan said while it was a serious matter, the level of physical abuse was “at the lower end of the scale” and Meehan had been widely criticised in the media and her own community. Outside the court, Kevin Meehan read a statement on behalf of his sister Mary, in which she said that the crimes of her former stepmother had finally caught up with her. She said BBridge Meehan had terrorised and brutalised her as a youngster and displayed nothing but callous disregard for what happened, rejecting any suggestion that she had shown any regreat. Meehan, the statement said, had ddemonized her through a tangled web of lies and deceit despite her crimes being exposed by her own guilty pleas. However, while Mary said that the court case could help to bring closure to the abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepmother, the 66-year-old had yet to offer her any apology. Meehan, for her part, would only tell reporters as she left the court : “No comment.”

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, The Irish News.

VICTIM: She shows total lack of remorse

THE VICTIM of Bridge Meehan last night expressed her disappointment at the sentence handed to the self-confessed child abuser – and her continuing refusal to apologise. Mary Meehan said her stepmother had shown a “total lack of remorse” for the harm inflicted on her, at a time when she was still grieving the loss of her mother from cancer.

Mary Meehan in tears outside Belfast Crown Court yesterday after her stepmother Bridge Meehan was sentenced for cruelty and assault against her when she was 10 years old.

The former Sinn Fein councillor, who once revelled in the notoriety gained from her marriage to the late Martin Meehan, barked “no comment” at reporters who asked yesterday if she would appoligise. She pushed the media out of her path and muttered expletives as she left the Laganside court complex. Neighbours in Addoyne who spoke to The Irish News back in 2010, when details of the case first came to light, described Mary prior to her mother’s death as happy, well cared-for child who could be seen with biws in her hair playing in the front garden of the family’s Northwick Drive home. However, after her mother’s death and imprisonment of her father, his new girlfriend Briege McLaughlin moved into the family home and took an immediate dislike to the little girl who so closely resembled her mother.

She had walked out on her husband to take up with newly widowed Martin Meehan and this resulted in her being shunned by many in the close-knit community of Ardoyne. Resentful of the affection in which the woman she replaced was held, she appeared to take her anger out on her namesake daughter. Neighbours reported hearing nightly screams from the little girl. Mary developed a stammer and was rarely seen out of her bedroom. On occasions she did attend Holy Cross Girls School she was dirty and unkempt. Social services received calls after she was seen on three seperate occasions with black eyes. Mary Meehan said despite her guilty plea, her late father’s widow has shown no remorse for her actions. “I only ever wanted Briege to admit what she had done to me after all these years,” she said. “She may have pleaded guilty but even then it seemed to be something she was doing to save herself from prison rather than to clear her conscience. “I was disappointed at the leniency of the sentence but more upset that she has never apoligised or even a shred of remorse. “I can only thank my family, friends and children who have supported me throughout this difficult process. “I just want to put it behind me now and move on with the rest of my life.”

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, The Irish News.