IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS
Friday-Wednesday, 17-22 June, 2011
1. A HEROIC DEFENCE
2. Clashes follows ‘Tour of the North
3. Colin Duffy
to stand trial
4. US college battles to preserve history project
5. Kingsmills victims may bring civil case
6. Republican hardliners urged to unite
7. Feature: Address to ‘Unite Ireland’ conference in Dublin
8. Analysis: Debt freakshow run by phoney lion tamers
>>>>>> A HEROIC DEFENCE
A sudden, unilateral and large-scale loyalist terror attack on the tiny
nationalist community of the Short Strand was bravely fended off this
week in an act of courage reminiscent of previous generations of the
A three-pronged military-style invasion of the community by the UVF,
with the apparent goal of expelling those nationalists who still live in
the loyalist east of Belfast, was successfully resisted through the
swift reaction of local residents.
Republicans from nearby areas also rushed to the scene to help defend
the enclave, which has been an easy and frequent target for loyalist
violence throughout the conflict.
Hand-to-hand fighting broke out between defenders and masked UVF
paramilitaries, some of whom were dressed in black camouflage outfits and
others dressed in full combat attire.
Residents reported seeing “a sea of black” through their windows as
paint and petrol bombs thudded against their homes.
Amid a pitched battle, the homes of pensioners, many of them veterans of
the famous 1970 siege in the same area, were engulfed in flames.
Loyalists also tried to burn down St Matthew’s church, which is situated
at the edge of the enclave and which again became a centre for the
Determined resistance from local youths prevented the area from being
overrun before sufficient numbers arrived from other areas, and
eventually, the appearance of the PSNI.
British television broadcasters deliberately played down the siege.
Short strand residents were infuriated to hear it described on
television and radio reports as a minor incident and a “mini riot” by
one BBC broadcaster. However, the situation changed as details of the
situation emerged through the internet. Subsequent confirmation by the
PSNI that the UVF had organised the attempted pogrom, as well as
simultaneous attacks along other ‘peace lines’, now poses serious
challenges for the Six-County administration at Stormont.
PSNI Assistant Chief Alistair Finlay said: “The UVF in East Belfast
started this – there was no sense of anyone trying to finish that. Their
hands are upon this, whether by direction, by omission or commission.”
But the PSNI was also criticised for largely abandoning the Short Strand
to their fate on Monday night, despite warnings that the UVF had massed
nearby in preparation for an assault.
Trouble continued on Tuesday night, with hundreds of loyalists again
showering nationalists with bricks, bottles, fireworks and petrol bombs.
Outrageously, the PSNI at one point fired plastic bullets at nationalist
defenders. And despite a large PSNI presence on the ground, at least one
Short Strand family was forced to flee their home through a hail of
missiles which included bottles, paint bombs, nuts, bolts and fireworks.
Little confidence remains in the Short Strand that the largely
Protestant PSNI will provide an effective defence for their community.
Over the two nights of violence, only one person has yet been arrested,
in sharp contrast to incidences of disorder in republican areas.
Republicans are again preparing this evening [Wednesday] for a third
night in defence of the enclave. In this regard, a PSNI attempt to link
republican ‘dissidents’ to a gunshot which injured a press photographer
on Tuesday night is being viewed as a likely propaganda exercise.
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein has appealed for calm. The new Mayor of Belfast and
Short Strand resident Niall O Donnghaile dismissed suggestions his
decision to remove two royal portraits from his office at Belfast city
hall could have fuelled the violence.
He said there had been “a premeditated violent attack by over 100 masked
UVF men on the community where I live.
“It is my clear view that the PSNI could and should have responded
better. And I think with the power of hindsight senior officers may well
agree with this view.”
He said he had been participating in a number of high-level political
meetings to deal with the crisis.
“But this issue will not be resolved unless there is a very direct
challenge put up to those responsible for initiating last night’s
incidents – namely the UVF.
“There is a perception that unionist political leaders are not willing
to address the very serious problem that the UVF is now posing to the
everyday lives of citizens in Belfast.
“It is no good for us simply to clean up the mess left behind by actions
like last night. We all know where the problem lies and there is a
particular onus on political and civic unionism to intervene and address
Prominent republicans have warned the UVF appeared set on reigniting
conflict and sectarian tension. Former IRA leader Billy McKee, who
fought an eight-hour gun battle with loyalists in the nationalist
enclave in 1970, expressed solidarity with those defending the Short
Now aged 89, the Provisional IRA hero said he
was sorry he could not
travel to the area to support residents, as many older citizens did. He
apologised that due to his frail state he couldn’t be there with them,
but said he was praying for them and urged those who could to continue
to defend the area if necessary.
Politically, the sudden outburst of UVF activity has come as a shock to
the Dublin and London governments and has sharply conflicted with the
normalisation process. In the near term, it has also overturned
widespread expectations of a quiet summer marching season.
eirigi linked the violence to dissatisfaction within the UVF over the
investigation of its senior members by the PSNI’s Historical Enquiries
Team for sectarian murders carried out over the last 40 years.
“Nationalists are sick, sore and tired of the fact that every time there
are difficulties within unionism, this manifests itself in violent
sectarian attacks,” eirígí national vice-chairperson Rab Jackson.
“Ultimately, what we witnessed last night was the cranking up of a
unionist mob – at the behest of the UVF – that simply doesn’t want a
Catholic about the place in east Belfast.
“The attack on the Short Strand is also an indicator of the total
failure of what is called the peace process and those who police it to
protect nationalists in vulnerable areas.”
Jackson commended the people of the Short Strand for their bravery in
confronting the UVF and eventually forcing them from the area.
“The Short Strand community has a long and proud history of defending
their area from British and unionist aggression, éirígí is confident
that the current generation of residents will be no less determined.”
Republican Sinn Féin said “the fact that the RUC/PSNI stood idly” had
come as no surprise.”
“Those who tell our people that the Orange State has gone and that
British rule is nearing an end or that equality and peace reign need to
draw back the curtains from their Stormont offices and tell the people
“Republican Sinn Féin calls on all nationalists to be very careful and
vigilant in the run up to the marching season.”
Meetings between government officials and community representatives in
east Belfast are continuing this [Wednesday] evening in an attempt to
avert further trouble.
>>>>>> Clashes follows ‘Tour of the North’
Members of the Protestant Orange Order and loyalist bandsmen clashed
with the PSNI after a controversial sectarian parade was rerouted from
the republican Ardoyne area of north Belfast on Friday.
The PSNI said four of its members sustained minor injuries after trouble
flared during the annual coat-trailing parade on Friday evening.
Bandsmen tried to force their way past the PSNI to walk along a
nationalist stretch of the Crumlin Road in defiance of a Parades
Nationalist groups maintained calm as a large crowd of republicans
gathered at the flashpoint Ardoyne shops.
Local Orangeman Stephen McAllister said the ruling had led to
frustration, claiming the marchers were just “going home”.
The loyalist confrontation may have been designed to increase pressure
on the Parades Commission, which has ruled on the routes of contentious
parades since 1998. The Orange Order is seeking to hold an even more
controversial parade through the area on July 12th, the traditional
height of the marching season, a parade that has lead to large-scale
disturbances in the past.
Joe Marley of Crumlin/Ardoyne Residents Association said loyalist
bandsmen had ratcheted up the tension by staying out on the streets.
“Community representatives from the loyalist community have refused to
take calls from myself and other interface workers in the last few days
and that doesn’t help the situation,” he added.
The Tour of the North is the first contentious sectarian parade of the
marching season in the Six Counties.
The second — taking place on Belfast’s Springfield Road on Saturday —
has again had restrictions imposed.
Meanwhile, residents of Newtownbutler in County Fermanagh are holding a
meeting tomorrow (Thursday) to organise a protest against a loyalist
band parade in the overwhelmingly nationalist town.
Around 500 loyalists are set to march through the 98% majority
nationalist town this weekend in what residents have said is an attempt
to intimidate them.
>>>>>> Colin Duffy to stand trial
An attempt to have the case against Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers
dropped has been refused by a judge.
Mr Duffy, a prominent victim of state persecution in the North,
continues to be held at Maghaberry jail pending trial on charges
arising out of an IRA attack at Massereene British Army base in 2009.
Mr Shivers, from Magherafelt in County Tyrone, is facing charges in the
same case, remains on continuing bail on medical grounds.
Delivering his ruling at Belfast Crown Court, Mr Justice McLaughlin
said that taking the Crown evidence at it’s height, “the prosecution
case…justifies putting the defendants on trial on all counts”.
Lawyers for both men had argued that the evidence against them was such
that “no reasonable jury properly directed” could convict them and
urged the judge to throw out the case. They argued that it was not
possible to find out when alleged DNA evidence was obtained or from
where, submitting that it did not point to their involvement in the
Addressing the court pn Friday, Justice McLaughlin said that at this
stage “it is inappropriate to carry out a detailed analysis of this
“I am satisfied that the proper approach to adopt here is to allow
these cases each to go to trial so that the process of detailed
scrutiny may be completed,” said the judge.
CONCERN OVER MAGHABERRY, INTERNMENT
Meanwhile, prisoners at Maghaberry were again placed on lockdown
yesterday [Tuesday] following a reported disturbance at the
controversial County Antrim jail. The move limits prisoners to one hour
outside of their cells and prevents them from receiving visits.
Sinn Fein has this week called for the agreement reached between
prisoners and the prison administration at Maghaberry last August to be
implemented in full.
Sinn Féin’s Vice-Chair of the Assembly Justice Committee said his party
had continuing concerns about the treatment of prisoners being held in
Maghaberry by prison staff.
“It is important that prisoners’ rights are protected and that human
rights are to the fore of the prison regime,” he said.
“Carál Ní Chuilín and myself have met with senior prison management on
numerous occasions to outline our ongoing concerns about the situation
in Roe House and in relation to the prison system overall.
He reiterated Sinn Féin’s position on the internment of Marian Price.
“The revoking of Marian Price’s licence is completely unacceptable,” he
“The move by Secretary of State Owen Paterson amounts to detention
without trial. This runs contrary to natural justice. The justice system
must be human rights based and the revoking of Marian Price’s licence is
“Sinn Féin raised our concerns on this issue with the British Secretary
of State at the time of Marian Price’s arrest and will continue to do so
in the interests of justice and the human rights of the individual.”
>>>>>> US college battles to preserve history project
An American university is fighting a British bid to get hold of
interviews with members of the Provisional IRA, gathered as part of an
oral history project.
Boston College in Massachusetts has an archive of interviews in which
former paramilitaries gave details of their role in the conflict in the
North of Ireland.
But the participants only took part on condition that the interviews
would not be made available until after they died.
Last month, on foot of a British request, US federal prosecutors served
a legal document, or subpoena, on Boston College, demanding they hand
over the interviews given by two former IRA members – Brendan Hughes and
The college has agreed to produce the archives relating to Brendan
Hughes, who died in 2008.
But Dolours Price is still alive, and the college does not want to hand
over the audio recordings or transcripts of the interviews with her.
So it has now filed a case with the US District Court, asking that the
subpoena is quashed.
A statement by Boston College said: “Our position is that the premature
release of the tapes could threaten the safety of the participants, the
enterprise of oral history, and the ongoing peace and reconciliation
process in Northern Ireland.”
Boston College has submitted a number of documents to the court.
They include a submission by the journalist Ed Moloney, who has written
a book based on access he received to the archives.
Former IRA Volunteer Anthony McIntyre, who conducted the interviews with
republicans, has also made a statement on the college’s behalf. In his
affidavit, he said he believed there would be a risk to his safety if
his interviews with Dolours Price were not kept confidential.
A senior academic at Boston College, Professor Thomas Hachey, said in
his submission that turning over the interviews would “endanger oral
history projects everywhere.”
>>>>>> Kingsmills victims may bring civil case
Relatives of those who died in a gun attack at Kingsmills in south
Armagh in 1976 may take a civil action against those they believe to be
The group of ten Protestant workmen were making their way home from a
factory in Glenanne, south Armagh, when their minibus was ambushed by an
armed and masked gang.
The Provisional IRA denied involvement in the attack, which followed the
massacre of six Catholic civilians by loyalists the previous day.
Willie Frazer, from Families Acting for Innocent Relatives, said the
families of those who died are considering civil court proceedings
following a report on the atrocity by the police Historical Enquiries
Team this week. The HET blamed the IRA for the attac and said it
had been sectarian.
Frazer said: “It is possible this is an avenue we will take. There’s so
much evidence that points the finger at those involved, not every one of
them, but certainly four or five of them.”
Sinn Fein has said it supports the relatives in their pursuit of
justice. The party spokesperson on victims Mitchel McLaughlin said other
killings in the area also needed to be examined.
“I do not dispute the sectarian nature of the killings, it was entirely
wrong and I have no problem in condemning what happened in Kingsmills,”
“What happened was not an isolated incident, what about the six people
who were murdered the day before?”
“The relatives of those killed in Kingsmills and the survivor are
entitled to the truth,” he added.
“Our approach is that we would like all of those who subscribed to the
conflict and killing, and that includes the British government, to come
forward, give the truth and provide answers.”
Mr McMcLaughlin said he was prepared to accept the findings of an
international reputable body that carried out an impartial truth process
for everyone that had been involved in the conflict.
“I am prepared to accept the evidence if I have access to that
independent process, I am prepared, even though I believe and have
believed up to this point the denials by the IRA that they were involved
in it,” he said.
“If someone has proof that the denial does not stand up to examination
then I would be obliged to consider it as a republican and I would,
because I do not believe republican principals permit people to be
involved in sectarian activity,” he added.
“There are many incidences of disputed claims of fact so lets have the
British government and all sides coming forward at the same time.”
LOUGHINISLAND REPORT DUE
Meanwhile, a key report into the RUC (now PSNI) investigation of the
1994 Loughinisland massacre this week is expected to focus on evidence
that the police colluded with loyalist killers and missed opportunities
to bring them to justice.
Six Catholics, including an 87-year-old were killed when the unionist
paramilitary UVF sprayed the Heights Bar in the County Down village of
Loughinisland with bullets in June 1994.
A report by the Police Ombudsman into the massacre is to be published on
Friday. Ombudsman Al Hutchinson began his enquiries five years ago after
the victims’ families criticised the RUC investigation.
The report was due to be published in March but has been beset by
Mr Hutchinson is expected to look at claims linking at least one reputed
informer to the murder gang.
Concerns about collusion were fuelled after it emerged that a police
informer inside the UVF, codenamed ‘Mechanic’, had supplied the car used
in the shooting.
Earlier this year an unnamed eyewitness revealed that the killers’
getaway car was found at the home of a serving member of the RUC, despite
police claims that it had been destroyed.
UVF ACCUSED CLAIMS IMMUNITY
A court heard on Tuesday that a man charged with the separate UVF murder
of a Catholic woman 38 years ago should not face trial because of a
peace process deal.
Lawyers for Robert Rodgers have launched a legal bid to halt criminal
proceedings against him for the killing of 19-year-old Eileen Doherty in
A judge was told that senior government officials indicated that those
-accused of conflictrelated offences would not be prosecuted without an
admission of guilt.
Mr Rodgers’s legal team is now seeking notes from meetings between
loyalist politicians and British officials in a bid to strengthen its
Ms Doherty was shot dead after getting into a taxi in September 1973.
She was on her way home to the Andersonstown area after visiting a
friend when the vehicle was hijacked.
Rodger’s lawyer said William ‘Plum’ Smyth, a former chairman of the PUP
who took part in the talks, claimed loyalists, republicans, military and
police were told they would not be prosecuted for offences committed be
fore the peace deal was signed. Mr Devine pointed to the Bloody Sunday
killings by British paratroopers in Derry and said a decision was
reached not to prosecute any soldier.
District Judge Fiona Begnall reserved judgment on the application.
>>>>>> Republican hardliners urged to unite
The former head of Irish Northern Aid, Martin Galvin, has urged
republicans of all factions to unite to draw up a new strategy to
defeat the British, in opposition to Sinn Fein.
Addressing a rally near Dundalk to commemorate IRA legend Brendan
Hughes, the New York lawyer slammed the peace process as a sell-out of
Known as ‘the Dark’, Hughes was the IRA’s Belfast Brigade commander
during the height of the Troubles and led the first H-Block
Once Gerry Adams’ best friend, he died three years ago accusing his
former comrades of betrayal. At the weekend, republicans from all over
Ireland gathered in the Cooley Mountains, where Hughes’ ashes are
scattered, to honour him.
Many of Hughes’ former IRA comrades attended the commemoration.
In a hardline speech, Galvin said: “The British think it’s all done and
dusted. David Cameron believes republicans are defeated just as Margaret
“But Brendan Hughes and the blanketmen weren’t beaten. They remained
determined despite everything the British threw at them. Today,
republicans can forge a unity and strategy to break through once more.
“We can get back on the path to a united and free Ireland which
unrepentant Fenians like Brendan, and so many others, sacrificed so much
Galvin denounced the Sinn Féin leaders, who were once his close allies,
for having accepted British rule: “Becoming Stormont ministers, serving
on (policing) boards, and entering a partnership with the DUP won’t
Galvin said Hughes was appalled at Sinn Fein’a compromises: “The very
suggestion he repent or disown his part in the struggle to make himself
politically acceptable to the British or to a Paisley or Robinson led
Stormont would have been answered with, ‘Cop yourself on!’
“Brendan was an IRA soldier whose courage and determination overflowed
into those beside him, instilling confidence that the overwhelming
military advantages held by the British crown forces would somehow be
Galvin also blasted Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Sinn
Féin Assembly members for welcoming David Cameron to Stormont last week
and for applauding his speech:
“Republicans are expected to repent their past. But there was no
repentance from Cameron for the Ballymurphy Massacre when 11 civilians
were murdered by the Paras in 1971.
“There was no repentance for shoot-to-kill, internment, collusion with
loyalist death squads or the many other unjustifiable acts done in the
name of British rule.”
In 1984, Galvin – who was banned from British jurisdiction –
dramatically defied the authorities by appearing at a Sinn Féin
anti-internment rally in West Belfast. As Gerry Adams introduced him to
speak, the RUC stormed the crowd, trying in vain to arrest him before
shooting dead Sean Downes (22) with a plastic bullet.
The former Noraid boss said he was horrified Sinn Féin were now “trying
to silence” republicans who disagreed with them. He praised Hughes and
others for “having the courage to speak out”.
He pointed to the “brutality” being endured by republican prisoners in
Maghaberry jail and said Sinn Féin should be ashamed of itself for
backing Stormont Justice Minister David Ford.
Galvin also lammed the authorities for revoking the license of Old
Bailey bomber Marian Price who is being held in isolation in Maghaberry.
It was “disgraceful” that Gerry Kelly – Price’s fellow bomber – now
supported the system imprisoning her, he said.
The American, who has been an outspoken champion of the republican
movement for decades, said it was hypocritical that Tyrone republican,
Gerry McGeough, was recently jailed on charges from over 30 years ago
while Crown force members involved in “shoot-to-kill, collusion murders,
or even torture” had received an amnesty.
Former Sinn Féin South Armagh representative, Jim McAllister, also
addressed the rally. He said Hughes’s disillusionment at Sinn Fein was
growing among republicans.
McAllister said that at Sinn Féin meetings, Adams had often compared the
republican struggle to “a bus ride to Cork”, explaining how there would
be “stops and reverses” as people got on and off.
“Well, Gerry’s not on that bus to Cork now. He’s on the pig’s back while
many of those who followed him are on the dole. Gerry and his pals have
their holiday homes while unemployment in west Belfast is as bad as the
first day he got elected,” McAllister said.
He claimed Hughes had inspired a new generation of republicans: “Brendan
believed in building an Ireland that would benefit everyone, especially
those at the bottom of the pile.
“Power for power’s sake, winning elections for the sake those fighting
them, helping to administer partition – these weren’t his goals.
“Gerry Adams’ u-turn was a betrayal of Brendan as a friend and a
republican, just as it’s a betrayal of all who thought the whole thing
was about getting rid of Stormont and British rule and creating a
democratic, socialist Republic.”
>>>>>> Feature: Address to ‘Unite Ireland’ conference in Dublin
The full text of an address by Sinn Fein President Gerry
Adams to a conference in Dublin on the theme of Uniting Ireland.
I want to welcome all of you here today.
Ba mhaith liom aitheantas speisialta a thabhairt d’ár gcomhordaitheoir
ar Éire Aontaithe, Lucilita Bhreathnach agus an foireann a bhí ag obair
leí le roinnt míonna chun an comhdháil seo a chuir le chéile; an
comhdháil i gCorcaigh ar an tseachtain seo chugainn agus atá ag eagrú
comhdháil i nGaillimh i mí Dheireadh Fómhair agus sa tuaisceart níos
moille i mbliana.
[I would like to give special recognition to our United Ireland
co-ordinator, Lucilita Bhreathnach and the team which has worked with
her to put together this conference; the conference in Cork next week
and who are organising a conference in Galway in October and in the
north earlier in the year.]
These conferences are part of a strategy by Sinn Féin to raise awareness
and encourage a national conversation around the goal of a United
Ireland and create inclusive platforms for an engagement on this
crucially important issue.
In recent years Sinn Féin has held conferences in London, in the United
States and in Canada.
These were part of a process of consciously reaching out to the millions
who make up the Irish diaspora.
All of the conferences were well attended and have generated activity
and momentum around the Uniting Ireland project.
Our friends in Irish America have been particularly successful and
resolutions in support of Irish unity have been passed at State, County
and City levels in many areas.
Beidh ról an diaspóra, mar a bhí leis na céadta bliain anuas,
rí-thábhachtach chun Aontacht na hÉireann a bhrú ar aghaidh agus a
thabhairt chun críche.
[The role of the diaspora, as it has been for centuries, will be very
important in moving forward towards the Unity of Ireland and bringing it
to a conclusion.]
But of course, it is here on this island that the arguments and debates
and persuasion must take place.
This conference, and the one in Monaghan last November is a part of that
And it is appropriate that it is held here in the Rotunda.
This is in the heart of Dublin.
Is ann sa chathair seo a bhí an Ghluaiseacht Éireannaigh Aontaithe ag
pleanáil agus ag cumadh éirigh amach; an áit ar eagraigh Éire Óg agus na
Fíníní agus an áit ar thárla Éirigh Amach 1916.
[It is in this city that the United Ireland Movement planned and
organised rebellion; the place that Eire Og and the Fenians were
founded, and the site of the 1916 Easter Rising.]
All around us are the streets and lanes and buildings that are the
backdrop to the Easter Rising.
A few yards away is the place where Tom Clarke’s shop was, and where the
IRB leadership frequently met and planned the Rising.
The GPO is a few minutes walk down O Connell Street, and behind it is
Moore Street, where, after days of bitter fighting, the remaining
leaders of the Rising met in number 16 and agreed the surrender.
Outside these walls the Volunteers of that era defiantly paraded to the
British held barricades and from there to prisons and prison camps in
On the edge of the Rotunda is the spot where British soldiers stripped
Tom Clarke naked after his capture in an effort to humiliate him.
But Tom had endured worse in his 15 years in English prisons.
And behind us is the Garden of Remembrance.
A place of pilgrimage for those who wish to pay their respects to the
fallen heroes of Irish’s long struggle for independence and freedom.
It was here that the English Queen came a short time ago to lay a wreath
in honour of those brave men and women who died for Irish freedom.
Many of the heroes remembered there were executed by British crown
The laying of the wreath was a recognition that they fought in a just
The Irish Government and the other political parties in this state know
that their sacrifices were not for a partitioned Ireland or a 26 County
Republic, though they rarely admit it.
But of equal significance was the Proclamation, read that Easter Monday
by Padraig Pearse, standing outside the GPO.
The principles and values, the philosophy and ideals which it aspired to
are what inspire this generation of Irish republicans.
It is a freedom charter for this whole island and all the people who
It guarantees religious and civil liberty and is avowedly
It promotes equal rights and equal opportunities for all citizens.
And at a time when women did not have the vote it supported universal
The Proclamation sets the standard by which the modern Ireland of today
must be judged.
It was a Proclamation for all of the Irish people – not some.
It was for whole of the island – not a part.
Those who took up arms that spring week in 1916 knew of the danger posed
by the threat of partition and where against it.
Connolly in particular had famously warned against it. He argued that
partition ‘would mean a carnival of reaction both North and South, would
set back the wheels of progress, would destroy the oncoming unity of the
Irish Labour movement and paralyse all advanced movements whilst it
Ach ní raibh siad siúd a d’Éirigh Amach beo le cosaint a dhéanamh ar an
Fhorógra agus ar neamhspléachas na hÉireann nuair a tharla an deighilt.
[But those of the Easter Rising were not alive to defend the
Proclamation and of the independence of Ireland when partition took
In the 90 years since partition it has distorted and infected politics
and economics on this island.
Partition established two conservative states ruled by two conservative
Corruption was soon rife and those in control ruled in their own
self-interest and lined their pockets at the expense of others.
On this small island of some six million people two states and two
governments were created.
There is a significant duplication of public and private services, two
sets of currencies, and two tax systems, laws and regulations.
It makes no sense politically, economically or socially except as it was
at that time – part of a counter revolution.
Much has changed since then and today, and at a time when every cent or
pence is needed to rebuild the economy, this duplication of government
and public services is wasteful and costly.
The most recent live register figures for this state show that there are
at least 443,400 people unemployed while in the north the figure is
At the same time 50,000, mainly young people, will emigrate this year –
1,000 each week.
There is an opportunity to change all of this.
It is inefficient that on an island this small there are two contending
political systems; two health services; two education structures; and
two economic systems competing with each other for jobs and investment.
The Good Friday Agreement provides a roadmap to build all-island
Already there are many who accept the logic of an all-island economy, in
which all of our interests in health, the environment, education,
agriculture, transport, job creation, taxation and strategic investment,
are planned together.
Uniting Ireland makes sense. Together is better.
Sinn Féin is about building that new Ireland for the 21st century.
Poblacht 32 contae a chumhdaíonn prionsabail féinchinnidh agus cearta,
prionsabail comhionnanais agus daonlathais, prionsabail a spreag cuid
Sinn Féin seeks to erase the border and its adverse impact on the lives
of citizens, through practical co-operation and imaginative policies,
including the full utilization of the all-island institutions that were
created by the Good Friday Agreement.
In the negotiations which led to the Good Friday Agreement Sinn Fein
succeeded in getting the British to scrap the Government of Ireland Act
through which it claimed jurisdiction over a part of Ireland.
This was a significant development.
Last week in his speech to the Assembly the British Prime Minister David
Cameron repeated this position.
He said, ‘as the Agreement makes very clear’, the constitutional future
of the north does not rest in his hands or those of his government but
in the hands of the people.
As a unionist Mr. Cameron made his preference clear but he was equally
frank in his public declaration that the British government will always
back the democratic wishes of the people whether ‘to remain part of the
United Kingdom, as is my strong wish…or whether it’s to be part of a
Later when he was privately challenged on this by the leader of the UUP
the British Prime Minister stuck by this position.
The reality is that contrary to Margaret Thatcher’s claim many years
ago, the north is not as British as Finchley!
The Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements have mapped out a
legislative and democratic route toward uniting Ireland.
Is é an tasc atá againne mar phoblachtaigh ná tógáil ar an deis seo agus
an neart pholaitiúil a chruthú i dtreo an Phoblacht nua.
[It is our task as republicans to create at this time the political
strength in the direction of the new Republic.]
That means creating a national – all-island – conversation about the
kind of new Ireland citizens want to serve the common interest.
This debate shouldn’t be confined to the failed political boundaries set
A new Ireland must be fully inclusive. That means reaching out to
unionists and seeking to persuade them that their interests will be
better served in a United Ireland.
Sinn Féin wants a republic.
Our belief is that the interests of citizens and society on this island
will be best served by a republican system of governance based on the
rights of people.
But that is a matter for the people to decide.
There are other models which can be considered, including federal
They could serve transitional measures or as governmental systems in
their own right.
It is also important that as part of this process of building a new
future that there is an effective process of dealing with all legacy
In Sinn Féin’s view the Irish and British governments should invite a
reputable and independent international body to establish the creation
of an Independent International Truth Commission as part of an effective
truth recovery process.
A key part of the debate about the future must be a discussion with
unionists about what they mean by Britishness and how a new Ireland –
whether or not it is a Republic – can accommodate this.
It also means mapping out the steps necessary in the time ahead to
progress toward uniting Ireland.
The Taoiseach commissioning a Green Paper on Irish unity which would
address all aspects of this national and democratic project including
its political, social, economic, cultural, legal, administrative and
A Joint Committee of the Oireachtas on Irish Unity to monitor, assess
and report progress on its implementation should be established.
And a new constitution – discussed and debated and agreed by all
sections of people on this island, which would enshrine citizens rights
There is a yearning in Ireland today for a new way forward.
Citizens north and south are looking for something new.
Tá siad ag cuardach modh nua chun ár bpolaitíocht agus ár eacnamaíocht a
[They are seeking a new method to manage our politics and our economy.]
Tá siad ag iarraidh saoránaigh a chumasú.
[They are trying to empower citizens]
They want a society which is equitable and just.
The 1916 Proclamation is the template for this.
It used language that was appropriate for that time.
We need a new all-Ireland constitution that enshrines the principles and
ideals of 1916 and gives expression to them for the 21st century.
Real social, economic and political change is not easily achieved but
all those who have a genuine commitment towards building an Irish
Republic worthy of the name must work together towards that end.
That work can start now.
>>>>>> Analysis: Debt freakshow run by phoney lion tamers
By Fintan O’Toole (for the Irish Times)
This week, the Government marked 100 days in office and zero days in
The American writer Michael Lewis described the Irish bank bailout as a
process of “normalising a freakshow”. This is still, at heart, the
Government’s job. In the last year of the Fianna Fáil/Green
administration, the freakshow was starkly evident. Everybody, including
most of the cabinet, knew that the government was involved in a surreal
pretence. The cries of “crisis, what crisis?” were Blatteresque in their
absurdity. The only thing that’s changed now is that the absurdity seems
The effect of the general election was to send out the clowns and bring
on the phoney lion tamers. The new Coalition has a whip in one hand and
a chair in the other. It prods the bedraggled lion of State into doing a
few half-hearted tricks of fiscal discipline while letting out the odd
yelp of protest about punitive interest rates. But it’s still
essentially the same circus with the same ringmasters from the European
It is a relief to have a Government with some energy and decency and
with good intentions in most areas. Fine Gael and Labour still get
enormous public credit for the simple act of not being Fianna Fáil. But
their complete capitulation to the ECB – the abject abandonment of any
pretence at renegotiating the “troika” deal – makes good intentions
Let’s remind ourselves what the big story is. Boomtime Ireland was a
debt junkie and the international financial markets were the pushers who
fed this country’s addiction to cheap money. Because they got greedy and
bought into the Celtic Tiger hype, German, French and British banks have
an exposure to Ireland of $510 billion (€355 billion).
To put this into perspective, let’s look at another country that had a
mad property bubble and is now in deep trouble: Spain. The Spanish
population is over 10 times that of Ireland. But the exposure of those
same German, French and British banks to Spain is $620 billion.
Proportionally, the big EU banks are on the hook to Ireland almost 10
times more than they are to Spain.
If this is the problem, the “solution” is similarly disproportionate.
The German, British and French banks want to escape the consequences of
their own greed and folly. The primary purpose of the so-called
“bailout” is to allow them to do this by turning the Irish State into a
giant debt-servicing agency, regardless of the social or economic
consequences for Ireland itself. In order to achieve this, each citizen
in Ireland has to carry a share of this private debt that is vastly out
of proportion to anything that has ever been attempted in a developed
Again, let’s remind ourselves of the figures. The State has mobilised an
astonishing amount of resources to shore up a failed banking system and
ensure it can meet its obligations to foreign bankers and investors.
There’s €70 billion to recapitalise the banks; €33 billion to buy up
their bad property loans through Nama; and €70 billion in liquidity
borrowed on their behalf by the Irish Central Bank. That’s €173 billion:
€96,000 for every worker in the State. Most of this – €10 billion of the
recapitalisation and all of the Nama funds and liquidity – is expected
to be repaid. The fact remains, though, that in the midst of a deep
economic crisis, every worker is underwriting close to €100,000 for the
If anyone had suggested three years ago that this could – let alone
should – be done, they’d have been awarded honorary citizenship of la-la
land. Yet it is now almost beyond discussion. It is simply the way
In my most pessimistic predictions after the election, I suggested that
the new government would be given the token concession of a 1 per cent
cut in the interest rate on the so-called bailout and fobbed off with
promises of a future review. It seemed unimaginable that the troika
would not feel obliged to make some formal gesture of acknowledgment
that there had been a democratic election in which people had voted
overwhelmingly for a renegotiation.
But it didn’t. The Government has now given up even on the pathetic hope
of being given a sympathetic pat on the head and a lollipop to keep it
from screaming. Its submissiveness has been rewarded with the contempt
that utter subservience deserves and inevitably receives.
The Government’s only response to this freakshow is to avoid talking
about it – hence the panic when Leo Varadkar stated the bloody obvious.
The new line is that the Government will wait patiently until 2013, when
the Germans have promised a new regime for the resolution of banking
crises. The problem is that by then we will have shelled out vast
amounts of money we don’t have.
By the end of this year alone, another €12 billion of unguaranteed,
unsecured senior bank debt will have been repaid by a Government that is
imposing obscene conditions on carers, the sick and disabled and
That’s what it means to be administering a country on behalf of the ECB.
A FULL COPY OF THE REPUBLICAN NEWS AS IT WAS I ONLY ADDED THE PHOTO’s : Seachranaidhe1