Remember Máire Drumm Today – Murdered by loyalist thugs on 28th October 1976

Remember Máire Drumm Today – Murdered by loyalist thugs on 28th October 1976

Máire McAteer was born in Newry, Co Down on 22 November 1919 to a staunchly Republican family. Máire’s mother had been active in the War of Independence and the Civil War.

Máire enjoyed physical exercise, and was involved for most of her life in camogie (the female form of hurling).

Máire met James Drumm, whilst visiting Republican POWs, and they were married in 1946. When the IRA renewed the armed struggle in the late 50s, James was again interned without trial from ’57 to ’61.

Volunteer

In 1940 Máire joined Sinn Féin. She was also a Volunteer in the Irish Republican Army. Moreover, Máire actively involved in the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s, and worked vehemently on efforts to re-house the thousands of nationalists forced from the homes by unionist intimidation.

During her work as a Civil Rights activist, Máire became an eloquent speaker. She spoke on Republican principles and human rights issues at many rallies and protest meetings. She would eventually be elected to the Ard-Chomhairle of Sinn Féin.

Target

Because of their dedication to the Republican Movement, Máire’s family was continuously harassed by the government of the occupying force, as well as by loyalist intimidation. At one point her husband and son were interned at the same time. Her husband, James, came to be known as the most jailed Republican in the six counties.

Máire was also jailed twice for ‘seditious speeches,’ once along with her daughter. Máire was one of the 30 female prisoners at Armagh Women’s prison, who participated along with their male comrades in 1980 to regain political status. The women went on a work strike, and later participated in their own version of The Blanket Protest. Because they were allowed to wear their own clothing, they used their own garments and items (namely, berets and black skirts) which most reflected IRA uniforms as a form of protest against criminalisation, and as a statement that they were indeed political prisoners. They also participated in the No-Wash Protest, and three of the women went on Hunger Strike.

After her release Armagh prison, raids on her house by so-called security forces escalated, and she and her family were under constant threat of death. Finally the constant strain took its toll; her health began to fail and she was admitted to Mater Hospital, Belfast. On 28th October 1976, as Máire lay in her hospital bed, loyalist thugs walked in and shot her to death. The scum who murdered her were both dressed as doctor’s and wore white coats (per Kevin Patrick Meehan whose father was a close friend of Maire’s and attended the hospital after the shooting).

One of the most-quoted excerpts from Máire Drumm’s speeches is:

“The only people worthy of freedom are those who are prepared to go out and fight for it every day, and die if necessary.”

And my favourite one is “We must take no steps backward, our steps must be onward, for if we don’t, the martyrs that died for you, for me, for this country will haunt us forever.”

Máire Drumm’s daughter Máire Og Drumm was in Armagh Gaol when her mother was murdered. For the book “In the Footsteps of Anne: Stories of Republican Women Ex-Prisoners,” she wrote, “I remember the morning after mammy got shot. The PO came in and said she was ‘sorry.’ She remembered her being in and told me she could have understood it if she had been shot when making a speech somewhere but not the way it happened when she was a patient in a hospital. She said, ‘We always found her to be a lady. She had her complaints, but we had great respect for her.’ Even now, talking about it, it’s like it happened to someone else.”

The prison only allowed Máire Og Drumm one-day leave and by the time she got there, her mother’s coffin had already been closed: “so I never got to see her” she wrote, adding that she was late getting back to gaol; and when she explained why, the brits who stopped the car said, “Well it’s not the end of the world” in reference to her mother’s death!

—Ní Dhochartaigh

With many thanks to: Gréine Ni Dhochartaigh – Ireland’s Own. 

End the EXTRADITION of Irish Republicans

Judge wants more information on strip searching in Damian McLaughlin extradition case

A High Court judge is seeking further information on strip searches in a North of Ireland prison before deciding whether to extradite a 40-year-old Belfast man wanted there in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black.

Mr Damien Joseph McLaughlin, with an address at Glenties Rd, Belfast, was arrested in County Donegal last March on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by Northern Ireland authorities.

He is wanted to face allegations that he aided and abetted in the murder of David Black on November 1st, 2012, and was in possession of an article suspected of being for the commission of the act of murder.

Mr Black, a 52-year-old father of two, was shot dead on the M1 motorway by dissident republicans as he drove to work in Maghaberry jail.

Mr McLaughlin is also charged with engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism and of being a member of a proscribed organisation. The maximum penalties applicable to each of the four offences are ten years, 15 years and two penalties of life imprisonment.

Previously, his barrister, David Leonard BL, claimed his client’s constitutional right and his right under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights not to be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment would be breached by virtue of the prison conditions he would be subject to in Maghaberry prison in the North of Ireland on surrender.

Mr Leonard said that the full-body searches (strip-searches) which took place in Maghaberry and also in conjunction with the background of controlled movement within the prison, reached the threshold of inhuman and degrading treatment.

High Court judge Ms Aileen Donnelly delivered her written judgement today, where she said she rejected the contention that restrictions on movement amounted to inhuman or degrading treatment.

Ms Justice Donnelly said she also rejected the respondent’s claim that he would be at real risk of being exposed to inhuman and degrading treatment because of the manner in which the strip-searches will be carried out.

However, the judge said the question of whether there is a necessity for a full-body search in light of improvements in technology was a separate issue. “The main evidence before me as to a lack of justification for these strip-searches is that technology exists to resolve the necessity for full-body searches,” she said.

She said the court also had credible evidence before it from information provided to a Joint Oireachtas Committee from highly respected persons that Portlaoise Prison operated technology which meant full-body searches were no longer required.

“This information questions whether full-body searches ie strip-searches are necessary in the absence of an indication by the technology,” she said.

The judge said she was entitled to rely upon the evidence presented to the Oireachtas Committee as a credible source of information for the purposes of assessing general conditions in which republican prisoners are held in Maghaberry. She said it amounted to “objective, reliable, specific and updated information” that rebutted the presumption that full-body searches were necessary on entry and exit to Maghaberry prison due to available technology.

“This means that the general conditions in Roe House (at Maghaberry prison) in so far as they relate to strip-searching raise a real risk that this respondent could be subjected to inhuman and degrading conditions on surrender,” she said.

Ms Justice Donnelly asked that further information be obtained in this jurisdiction and from the North of Ireland to show that this technology is limited or that there are specific reasons why strip-searching on entering and leaving the prison are necessary, or that Mr McLaughlin will not be subject to such strip-searching on each individual occasion he enters and leaves the prison.

The judge requested the Minister for Justice to provide her with “any relevant information” about the technology in use in this jurisdiction and she also requested further information from the UK.

A resumed hearing will take place on November 21 and Mr McLaughlin was remanded in custody until that date.

With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News. 

Sectarianism can never be treated if not properly diagnosed.

WE CAN be reasonably sure that the muted cacophony of outrage following the intimidation of four Catholic families on the Ravenhill Road did not reach the Midland Hotel in Manchester and that the DUP did not raise the issue with their Tory friends when they addressed that conference.

 There are many reasons why sectarianism endures and festers uniquely and unchecked in the Northern State. But like any illness, it can never be treated if it is not properly diagnosed.

And yet when I started to read Tom Kelly, pictured above (October 2) I thought that, with his insight, assessment and comprehensive analysis, at long last the origins and remedy for this cancer that the British introduced into our country, would be accurately identified. But, disappointment would be an understatement.

 The truth is that political unionism is underpinned by a pervasive and diabolical hatred of Catholics that goes back to the days of Oliver Cromwell. It is not so much about what unionism is. And the sense of siege felt by the land thieves who came over here from England and Scotland 400 years ago has been mischievously kept alive mostly by Protestant clergy, to facilitate political and religious careers – but by no means all or most of them – who make up a sizable quota of the membership of the Loyal Orders.

This toxic concoction of fear and hatred is ingrained in many young Protestants from an early age and is aptly documented and exhibited in the bonfire and marching rituals. It is not reciprocated by Catholics, nor does it run in all our DNA as Tom Kelly claims. There is certainly sectarianism [and racism] in nationalist Ireland, but no popular support for it exists anywhere, and there is no propensity for it as he claims.

During my entire life I have never heard a priest or bishop make insulting comments about Protestants from the pulpit, refer to other religious beliefs as being in error or declare that the Muslim faith is satanic. The Catholic hierarchy have been slated publicly for many historical misdemeanors. But they have never been sectarian. And Tom’s contention that republicans show disdain for Orange culture and overreact to every parade is manifestly untrue.

Indeed only a small number of those thousands of parades have been contested. And Tom refers to the schools. Who would argue against educating all schoolchildren together? We can continue to send joint excursions of Catholic and Protestant children to Holland or Florida. But this only feeds the false narrative that the Catholic victims of this disease must share the blame for it. And that only makes the problem worse.

With many thanks for his letter to: The Irish News, (October 9) Mr Jack Duffin, Belfast, BT11. 

Follow this link to find out more information: http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//opinion/columnists/2017/10/02/news/tom-kelly-sectarianism-is-part-of-our-dna-in-northern-ireland-1150159/content.html

Read this I received today!!!! Two statements of absolute lies.

This reads that the police stopped me on grosvenor road & asked me for my license, they then say they stopped me on Stanley street (inside grosvenor police station)

The truth of this is that on that day, I was dragged from my car, arrested/detained under section 43 of the terrorism act & made to go grosvenor road psni where I was searched & my car was searched for 1 hour 40 mins where my phone was seized & car damaged

Then after I left the same officer approached me & proceeded to stop me from moving claiming road traffic order

They are now claiming that my car was full of tools & I was working as an aerial installer & are charging me with having inappropriate insurance

Not once during this whole fiasco was this mentioned nor does it mention the truth anywhere in this statement

With many thanks to: Ciárán Daly.

Ben Madhigan is well named the Hill of Caves.

Cave Hill/Ben Madhigan is well named the Hill of Caves.

Look at it from every point of view, and still our own Cave Hill stands unrivalled. Ben Madhigan is well named the Hill of Caves, for there are three large caves on the face of the precipice. They were used in the old war times as hiding places for prisoners as well as for treasure. Sir Samuel Ferguson tells us they were also used as hiding places for the people in times of danger. The lowest cave is quite easy of access, and it opens just above the large semi-circle which is called the Devil’s Punch Bowl. It is twenty-one feet long, eighteen feet wide, varies from seven to ten feet high, and it is dry and clean. The next cave is ten feet long, seven feet wide and six feet high. The third cave is the largest, but so difficult of access, that few people venture to ascend such a dangerous cliff. It is very extensive and is divided into two parts. It must have been in this upper cave that Corby MacGilmore kept his prisoners.

http://www.libraryireland.com/Belfast-History/Cave-Hill.php

With many thanks to: Ulster Clans of Ireland.

Gino Gallagher 1963-1996

Gino Gallagher was callously murdered by a hired assassin over 15 years ago on January 30th, 1996. Born Gino Majella Gallagher in 1963 to Irish Republican parents, his mother Theresa was a member of the first Ard-Chomhairle of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and his father, Patrick, had been on hunger and thirst strike in a Dutch prison protesting against extradition to Britain in the 1970’s.

Gino Gallagher 1963-1996

Contemporary IRSP activists and especially younger Irish Republican Socialists, who may not have known him owe much to Gino Gallagher, not least being that he is credited with refurbishing Costello House, the IRSPs national headquarters on Belfast’s Falls Road. At his insistence, Costello House was transformed from being a run-down, semi-derelict building into something resembling the working party offices that exist there today. Gino Gallagher, in his then role as IRSP POW spokesperson was responsible for obtaining the re-patriation of INLA prisoners from English gaols. He also was instrumental in forcing the NIO to agree to negotiating rights for the Irish Republican Socialist Party in relation to the INLA prisoners in Long Kesh.

Politician and Soldier, Soldier and Politician
Although a feared military operator, who at the time of his death was Chief of Staff of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) he was also a highly politicized Republican Socialist activist who embodied Ta Power’s doctrine of ‘every soldier a politician, every politician a soldier’. Gino Gallagher was instrumental in promoting the central tenets of Ta Power’s analysis and vision for the Republican Socialist Movement which stressed the primacy of politics. Gino Gallagher described Ta Power as, ‘the biggest influence in my life’ . Tragically, both men were to meet similar cruel ends, cut down by the Judas bullets of counter-revolutionaries.

Gino Gallagher was made INLA Chief of Staff following the arrest and subsequent expulsion of Hugh Torney and his associates when they declared an unauthorised INLA ceasefire from the dock of a Dublin courtroom in 1995, in return for a successful bail application after their arrest in Ballbriggan. By all accounts, Torney had been an a one-dimensional militarist, at best, and his tenure as INLA Chief of Staff was marked by his concerted attempts at running down the political wing, the IRSP. Torney would have resented Gino Gallagher’s reversal of the IRSP’s political fortunes and his drive to make the party the significant player it had once been.

Feared In Life and Death
Gino Gallagher was cruelly shot dead as he waited to sign-on at the Falls Road offices of the Social Security Agency, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, 1996. The assassin who the Torney cabal hired to murder one of the IRSM’s most able leaders was Kevin McAlorum, the career criminal son of an infamous North Belfast drugs dealer. Both Torney and McAlorum met violent ends, the former only 8 months later on 3 September 1996 and the hired assassin 8 years later on June 4th, 2004, by grim irony only the day after Gino Gallagher’s father’s funeral.

Even in death the forces of reaction feared and hated Gino Gallagher, heavily armed RUC and British army stormtroopers invaded the family home, disrupted the funeral procession and beat mourners. Gino Gallagher was buried in Milltown cemetery on 2 February, 1996, with the funeral oration delivered by IRSP Ard Chomhairle member, Michael McCormick, who paid tribute to his political activism and revolutionary zeal. The oration praised Gino Gallagher’s promotion of ‘open democratic discussion’ , his struggle against ‘elitist, militaristic and non-political attitudes in the movement’ and how he, through determined activism ‘along with others, revitalised the Republican Socialist Movement.’ Gino Gallagher’s funeral oration ended with the sentence:

“Finally, as we lay this Volunteer and Comrade ino the soft green soil
of his native land, remember him each time you gaze into the stars
and see there etched across the sky, the Plough and the Stars!”

Today, his cowardly killer and those who hired him have been dispatched to the dustbin of history but Gino Gallagher’s image is immortalised in murals and commemorative plaques in his native west Belfast. Though times have changed greatly since 1996, Gino Gallagher’s legacy lives on in a revitalised IRSP that has fully endorsed the primacy of politics and continues to represent the interests of working-class people.

Information Taken From: http://www.theworkersrepublic.com/irsm-leader-gino-gallagher-remembered.html

With many thanks to: Stephen Codd.