Submission to the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižniks, concerning the shooting dead of sisters Dorothy Maguire & Maura Meehan by British Soldiers, October 23rd 1971, West Belfast.

A follow-up to a previous story concerning the murder of Maura Meehan and her sister who were murdered by the British Army: 

With many thanks to: Geard Meehan, Meehan and Maguire family’s, https://www.facebook.com/groups/174928556038780/.

Remembering with pride & honor Mara Meehan and Dorothy two sisters, executed by the so-called (brave British army) then the Brits laied to cover their backs (cowdly British Bastards) #JusticeForTheSisters.

A few pictures of a few memories shared in Ireland and New York, the first is from Patti and myself added to the friends of Irish freedom collection of republican memorabilia, the ballymurphy memorial wall with an Honour to the hunger strikers and unveiled by my childhood friend and blanketmen Ginger mccoubrey,I tagged Peter Kavanagh rip for the same reason as he was both a friend and blanketmen himself, crip mcwilliams passed on before I could friend him but also a dear childhood friend and cellmate in the crum as was jonjo oreillly,next is the two pictures of Maura and Dorothy placed at the antriom memorial plot where both lie,with two Easter lilies placed in my name by my sister Margaret Kennedy who humbled me by this kind gesture,all credit is hers and paid back by two tears rolling down my cheek I take as a sign from heaven,last but not least is the program from the event I attended where Cathleen O’Brien introduced the dais invited guests then added details to a packed house in Gaelic park stadium in the Bronx highlighting details of this travesty of justice,the day ended by a preist who introduced himself and gave me his card,he will be attending an ancient order of Hibernians and wishes to mention this case and hopefully share nationwide throughout the states,I might sign up to stay aware of any local events that could possibly demand truth recovery for the Meehan and Maguire combined family and friends walking a similar path.

With many thanks to: Geard Meehan – Friends of Mara & Dorothy.

‘The Che Guevara of the IRA’

 The Legend of ‘Big Joe’ McCann 
2 November 1947 – 15 April 1972
If, before the death of Bobby Sands in 1981, there was a name most likely to survive in the popular memory of ‘the Troubles’—to join the ranks of Kevin Barry and Seán South—it was ‘Big Joe’ McCann. There were a number of reasons. First, the local legend that flourished after he was gunned down on the streets of Belfast grew out of the reputation he achieved in life. McCann, who joined the Republican movement as a teenager in 1963, was known both for his physical bravado and for his quick intelligence. Stories circulated of his exploits during the set-piece Official IRA gun-battles during the Falls Road curfew in July 1970 and at Inglis’s bakery in the Markets district of south Belfast in August the following year. Staff captain of the 2nd Battalion of the Belfast Brigade and ‘on the run’, the 24-year-old McCann was reputedly the most wanted man in the North when he was killed by British Paratroopers on 15 April 1972. The tributes paid to him by his comrades at the time—‘a born leader’ according to The United Irishman—were to be expected. More revealing are the recollections, decades later, of two Dublin journalists of the deep impression that ‘Big Joe’ made upon each of them. Kevin Myers writes of his good looks, charisma, innate wisdom, gravitas and ‘curiously ironic and knowing sense of humour’. Pádraig Yeates remembers ‘an incredible character, the only genuine hero I ever met out of the Northern troubles’.
Then there is the manner of his killing. As he ran away from a foot patrol after being fingered by a Special Branch officer, pursuing Paratroopers opened fire. Initial reports claimed that McCann was shot repeatedly while lying wounded on the pavement. The shooting was followed by three days and nights of widespread rioting in which three British soldiers were killed—one in Belfast, two in Derry. Armed and uniformed Official IRA men patrolled the Turf Lodge housing estate. From prison the UVF leader, Gusty Spence, wrote a letter of condolence to McCann’s widow: ‘He was a soldier of the Republic and I a Volunteer of Ulster and we made no apology for what we are . . . Joe once did a good turn indirectly and I never forgot him for his humanity’.
The full-scale military-style funeral was the largest seen in Belfast to that date. Led by a lone piper and McCann’s Irish wolfhound, over 200 women carried wreaths and over 2,000 men marched behind. Up to 20,000 people lined the route. Well-known politicians such as Paddy Devlin, Paddy O’Hanlon and Bernadette Devlin attended. Official IRA chief-of-staff Cathal Goulding delivered the graveside oration. The British prime minister, Edward Heath, wanted to know why arrests had not been made, while the secretary of state for Northern Ireland, William Whitelaw, conceded that killing McCann had made ‘a martyr of him’. Time magazine thought so too, and speculated that the shooting and the consequent street violence had scuppered all hope of Catholics accommodating themselves to the new direct rule, Stormont-less, regime.
But there had been (and would be) numerous republicans shot by the security forces in controversial circumstances. Plenty of others have, like McCann, been commemorated in ballads. And since the 1790s large, stage-managed funerals-as-political-demonstrations have been a staple of republican mobilisation. The crucial reason for McCann’s posthumous local fame is a photograph (in fact two photographs shot in rapid succession by Ciaran Donnelly). In the early hours of 9 August 1971, British troops swept through nationalist areas of the North rounding up republican suspects for internment without trial, and touching off some of the worst violence of the Troubles. On 10 August a group of six Official IRA volunteers, led by McCann, took over Inglis’s Eliza Street bakery in the Official stronghold of the Markets, and in a fierce firefight pinned down a large contingent of British soldiers. During the exchange a photographer captured the profile of McCann in silhouette, hunkered down, an M1 carbine resting on his knee, a Starry Plough flag fluttering above him and a truck-barricade blazing before him.
It is an image so dramatic and so visually striking that it seems almost composed. The print media snapped it up. It first appeared in the Daily Mirror and later received much wider, transatlantic, circulation in a photo-spread in Life Magazine (it did not, however, as has been claimed, feature on the cover). Life’s commentary certainly burnished the legend:
‘At right, crouched beneath the Irish Republican tricolor, a professional IRA terrorist who goes by the name of Joe awaits a counterattack by British infantry during the battle of Eliza Street. “Joe was a tall, thin man who moved only in leaps and crouches”, reports Life correspondent Jordan Bonfante, who with photographer Terence Spencer covered the fighting last week. “He was an absolute hero to his men, mostly neighborhood irregulars, and as he directed them with grunts and waves of the American semi-automatic carbine he carried in one hand he looked as though all Ireland were at stake on Eliza Street.” For twelve hours before being surrounded and broken up, Joe and his men had effective control of the whole downtown market area in east Belfast.’
The September issue of The United Irishman displayed the picture on its front page, headlined ‘Army of the People’. The Provisionals’ An Phoblacht also ran it. Weeks after his death The United Irishman referred to ‘the now world-famous picture of Joe McCann’, which ‘far more than words epitomised the courage of the man’. A poster based on the picture proclaimed ‘Joe McCann, Soldier of the People’.

With many thanks to: James Connolly.

44th anniversary of 11-year-old Francis Rowntree murdered by the British Army.

Francis Rowntree 11-years-old

11-year-old Francis Rowntree suffered extensive skull fractures and lacerations of the brain. After he was shot at point blank range by the British Army with a rubber bullet and died in hospital on April 22nd 1972.

Today marks his 44th anniversary.

The already lethal bullet had been doctored to make it even more deadly, with a battery inserted inside to cause maximum damge to innocent victims.

This was a common tactic used by the cowardly British Army across occupied Ireland.

Rest in Peace little man. – feeling heartbroken.

With many thanks to: Pat Gillan, Chaírde ar an Arm Náisiúnta Fuascailte na hÉireann.

 

IRA Volunteer Hugh Coney, a native of Coalisland, Co Tyone, was shot dead by the British Army while attempting to escape from Long Kesh on 6th November 1974.

Following the introduction of internment in August 1971, the internees were initially held in Magilligan Prison, Co Derry, and the Maidstone Prison Ship, moored in Belfast Lough.

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Oglach Hugh Coney - Coalisland, Co Tyrone.

https://m.facebook.com/dakota29#!/Seachranaidhe/posts/908936895852752?ref=m_notif&notif_t=like&soft=notifications

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Maidstone Prison Ship - moored at Belfast Lough
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Magillign Prison - 1970s.
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Magilligan Prison - as it is today.

For more information on Oglach Hugh Coney, please click on the link below for more details:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maze_Prison_escape

Maidstone Prison Ship click on the link below for more details:

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HMP Maidstone in the harbour of Algiers. Alongside HMP Safari and HMS Sahib

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Maidstone_(1937)

With many thanks to: Stephen Codd (Stiofán Mac Óda) :
https://m.facebook.com/dakota29#!/StiofanMacOda?fref=nf&pn_ref=story&ref=bookmarks

– IRNF:
https://m.facebook.com/dakota29#!/groups/611797022229595?notif_t=group_activity&ref=m_notif