Sunday, 16 November 2014

Was Last Week's RHD Gun Attack on an Ardoyne Republican's Home the beginning of a Renewed Sectarian Campaign by Loyalist Gangsters?

A number of weeks ago, a number of Ardoyne Republicans including a former RNU Election Candidate and I were 'notified' by the RUC/PSNI that our lives were under threat from Loyalist Extremists and 'advised' us to update our personal  security. One of those warned of the potential threat by the unreformed RUC was former Political Prisoner, Gerard Lagan.

Gerard Lagan holding fragments left by the blast at his Ardoyne home.
Last Wednesday evening, November 11th at around 9.20 pm. Gerard Lagan's house was shot into by unknown assailants, smashing the Living-Room window and showering him in fragments of glass from his reinforced window. Luckily for them, no-one else was in the room but his daughters', sons' and grandchildren were also in the house at the time. I immediately visited the Lagan Clann within minutes and spent a number of hours with them, relatives, neighbours, friends, fellow Republican Ex-Prisoners and RNU Activists. We searched around in case there was other dangerous items placed outside. As the family waited for the so-called Police. After almost three hours, the MI5-Directed, RUC/PSNI eventually arrived to 'investigate' the shooting. They informed Gerard that; 'a shotgun has been used in the attack on his home and everyone had to vacate the house and garden. So that, in the event of evidence being present, that our presence could contaminate the scene'. After nearly three hours having passed since the shooting, the clueless Peelers conducted a minimal investigation and went through the motions.
'Still the RUC to me!'
Four days have since passed since my friend's house was attacked and he was notified by the RUC/PSNI tonight (Saturday 15th November) that; 'The Red Hand Defenders using a recognised codeword had issued a claim of responsibility for the gun-attack through a Belfast Journalist'. Which is the the norm whenever an Armed Group to authenticate it's bona fides in the British Occupied Six Counties. As a matter of fact, there is no such organisation. Although, the name has been used in a number of killings, bombings and shootings since 1998. Including that of Loyalist Assassin, Frankie Curry, Ardoyne Resident, Brian Service, RUC man, Frank O'Reilly, Lurgan Solicitor, Rosemary Nelson, UDA Informer, William Stobie, Postal Worker, Daniel McColgan, Journalist, Martin O' Hagan, Father of one, Gerard Lawlor and a range of other attacks in the North. In reality is that the RHD, is but a cover-name for the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), a vicious gang of sectarian murderers with close-links to British Intelligence Agencies. As well as, the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), an organised Crime Gang that brokeaway from the UVF in 1996. After it's Leader, Billy Wright (King Rat) was dismissed from the grouping.

The existence, arming, training and continuation of Loyalist Armed Groups have since their foundations been directed by the unaccountable MI5, British Military and the Special Branch. Without their assistance, these Criminal Enterprises' would  simply disband. Whereupon,  Protestant, Unionist & Loyalist (PUL) communities could live in relative peace without drug-pushing, intimidation and extortioners. The UDA, UVF, RHC and LVF continue to prey on Working-Class families to fund their lavish lifestyles through the hard-earned money of innocent victims. Each and every time, tensions arise between these disparate organisations, history and experience tells Nationalists and Republicans particularly, in North Belfast. That their guns and hatred will be turned on us and our community!

After the disbandment of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), the Political Wing of the UDA and the demise of moderates in the Party in early, 2001. The UDA launched a serious of attacks on Nationalist across North Belfast. That culminated in that summer's Holy Cross Blockade and associated violence on a higher level than before the 1994 Loyalist Cessations. My own family and I were subjected to a number of gun attacks that January and February. The legacy from the blockade remains with us all in Greater Ardoyne with ongoing trouble associated with unwelcome marches by the sectarian Loyal Orders and bigoted Flute Bands demanding the right to trample over the rights of local residents. 
Red Hand Defenders Logo
What is so disgusting about Wednesday night's gun attack on the Ardoyne Republican's home is that the Loyalist responsible. Could not have known who was in the room prior to recklessly directing his fire at the Butler Walk house. For all he knew, the two young grandchildren could have been right behind the window. 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Inaugural Óglach. Martin Meehan Memorial Lecture

The Republican Network for Unity will present the Inaugural Óglach. Martin Meehan Memorial Lecture next Friday evening, November, 21st at 8pm in the Crumlin Star Social Club in Ardoyne. The Lecture will primarily focus on Martin's remarkable life in the struggle for Irish Freedom

The Irish Republican Icon, served a number of lengthy prison sentences, was Interned twice by the British and Stormont governments and was the victim of a blatant miscarriage of justice during the recent Conflict. The prominent IRA Volunteer, was one of the city's longest-serving Republican Prisoners and spent decades incarcerated in Crumlin Road Gaol, Mountjoy Prison, Cages and H-Blocks of Long Kesh

Martin was a former Hunger-Striker and devoted much of his life to improving conditions for Irish Political Prisoners for over a generation. Therefore, it is fitting that RNU and the Meehan Family have made Republican Prisoners a central theme of the Crumlin Road Gaol Escapee's first Memorial Lecture. With invitations to the Justice for the Craigavon Two and Cogús to deliver speeches on the night. 

The Lecture will be held in Martin's old Club the Star, where he spent many happy occasions with his friends. The former Antrim Borough Councillor was a proud and life-long member of the Club prior to his sudden death in 2007. No doubt there will be a large turn-out in support a chairde. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Hypocrisy and Historical Revisionism

  • I don't often comment on other people's blog posts out of professional courtesy. As every Blogger has the right to express their views on the net. Today however, I feel the need to make a few points regarding Gerry Adams TD's latest post, 'The Good Old IRA' on his Leargas Blog. 

It concerns the legitimacy of what is termed the 'Old IRA' and the 'Provisional IRA'. Adams states that there is little difference between the old and provisional IRAs'. Like Deputy Adams, I too was one of the thousands of Irishmen who attended the proper burial of Irish Patriot, Óglach. Kevin Barry and his nine Óglaigh Na hÉireann comrades dumped unceremoniously into ready made graves after their unlawful executions by the British in 1920. I was there with my brother and nephew to pay homage to the ten courageous Volunteers who gave their lives in the pursuit of Irish freedom. We later met our dad and grandfather in O'Connell Street as we watched sorrowfully as the remains of the ten lads made their way into St. Patrick;s Cathedral for a decent Mass. The entire day was pretty emotional to say the least as they deservedly were given a State funeral. Many Republicans present commented on the hypocrisy of successive Free State Regimes who ignored the ten Volunteers lying inside the walls of Mountjoy Gaol in Dublin, decades after British Occupation Forces had left the city. 

In his post, Adams rightly points out the hypocrisy of Southern Irish Parties such as, Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Labour Party in their endorsements of the Old IRA and hatred of the Provisional IRA. There are many examples of dubious public statements by Dublin Government Ministers praising the actions of the 1917 - 1922 IRA during countless commemorations held by the Free State. Any Irish Newspaper have thousands of pages of articles relating to their crass phrases. 

What is confusing about Adams' post is his focus on the Provisional IRA and his holding-up of it as some kind of superior organisation to previous generations of Volunteers. He claims the return of ten out of fifteen of those people disappeared by the Provisionals as some kind of victory secured by Republicans. In my opinion, the disappearing of fifteen citizens in the Seventies is an immoral stain on the Republican community across our country. These acts were disgraceful and only served to undermine the legitimacy of it's Campaign to restore national Irish sovereignty. There was no justification for disappearing anyone, regardless of their alleged crimes. Their families were denied the right to bury their loved ones, in what seemed like collective punishment for relatives. I urge anyone with relevant information on the whereabouts of those still missing to bring it forward and end their families suffering. 

Another baffling aspect of Deputy Adams' post is his chastisement of Free State Ministers about their selective revisionism etc. I'm old enough to recall armed attacks against the Officials by the Provisionals throughout the Seventies that often led to the untimely deaths of fellow Volunteers. Threatening condemnation of Bernadette McAliskey when she stood in the European elections in 1979 and some of the harsh words expressed at the time. Intimidation, harassment and the beatings of SDLP Activists during the Eighties and Nineties by Provies. The demonisation of INLA/IRSP members and supporters both inside and outside the various Gaols, North and South. I also cannot forget the hundreds of British troops and RUC men by the Provisional IRA Units in the recent Conflict. Was it revisionism when Martin McGuinness stood outside Stormont Castle alongside a Unionist Leader and a senior member of the RUC/PSNI called the Volunteers who killed two British soldiers in Antrim; 'Traitors to Ireland'

It is evident from successive Irish elections held since 1918 that the electorate didn't vote in favour of armed attacks against the British State in Ireland. Every single IRA organisation including, the Provisionals conducted campaigns to resist British rule. One cannot support armed struggle between 1916 - 2005 and not endorse similar attacks on occupation forces afterwards! Is it not revisionist of Adams and his Leadership to disagree with the endorse these attacks, they must also agree with the Masserene ambush? According to International Law, the two British soldiers executed in Antrim were part of an occupying force in Ireland and their presence was an act of aggression against the Irish people. Whether we agree or disagree, matters not a chairde. The Provisional Movement like it's counterparts in Fine Gael and Fianna Fail. They have links to the IRA and as such, will always be charged with engaging in hypocrisy and revisionism. It's called Irish politics and we should not shy away from these issues. 

The reality is that ever since English invaded Ireland there has been resistance to its occupation. The Irish people have a legitimate right to engage occupation forces in armed attacks because their presence on Irish soil is aggression. Britain continues to occupy six Irish counties and as such ambushes are inevitable. It doesn't matter if resistance fighters are part of an IRA, INLA or ONH organisation. No amount of Draconian Legislation, Special Prisons, Non-Jury Courts, Criminalisation Policies, Demonisation, Hypocrisy or Revisionism will change that fact. The only way to secure genuine peace in Ireland is for Britain to restore an Irish National Democracy, Free from Foreign Interference. with Social, Political and Economic Freedom. Anything less will only postpone armed resistance campaigns as history has taught us all. 

Thursday, 30 October 2014


Republican Network for Unity (RNU) have been informed that North Belfast Republicans Martin Óg Meehan and Sammy Cusick have received death threats from a group calling itself the ‘Real’ LVF. 

North Belfast LVF Mural

The RUC/PSNI who’s MI5 master’s have set up, facilitated and controlled pro-union death squads in the past, called at both activist’s homes on Wednesday night (28th October) to inform them that they had information that the ‘Real’ LVF would make an attempt on their lives within the next 48 hours.
Both men have been Republican Activists most of their adult lives. Martin Óg Meehan is RNU’s National Secretary and Sammy Cusick is Chairman of his local Cumann. Both men work incredibly hard for their community.
This is a disturbing revelation that comes at a time when RNU’s activity level in the North of the City has significantly increased. While both men will take the threat seriously, it will not deter them from the sterling community and Republican activism both men are consistently engaged in.
Martin Óg Meehan has commented:
‘Once again reactionary Loyalism has raised its ugly head in order to issue a death threat to myself and my friend Sammy. This is not a new phenomenon, with Loyalists often issuing death threats when they fear Republicanism may be on the rise, in order to quell the hard work of Republican activists.
‘The Republican Network for Unity will not be deterred from attempting to improve the lives of every individual on this island. No amount of Loyalists threats will arrest the progression and growth of our movement. ‘
RNU call on the community within North Belfast and beyond to show support and solidarity with both men in defiance of pro-state reactionaries who have no goal other than to strike fear into working class communities.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Máiriá Cahill and the Provisional Movement

I have not been online much nor blogging the past few weeks folks. I've been a little busy with family, local community issues and of course my political work for RNU. The title of this post should be entitled; 'A Week is a Long Time in Politics'. The phrase is widely quoted whenever a Politician and/or a Political Party experiences difficulties in public life. 

There is little doubt that since BBC's Spotlight; 'A Woman Alone With The IRA' which aired on Tuesday October, 14th 2014. That once again exposed the huge failures in Irish Republicanism to properly help and achieve justice for victims. The programme also exposed the real threat to our young people by alleged sex-offenders and others who through their words and deeds only cause victims more pain.  

The popular Current Affairs programme broadcast serious claims by a former member of Ógra Shinn Féin, Máiriá Cahill. That she was raped and repeatedly sexually-abused between the ages of sixteen and seventeen, by an alleged IRA Volunteer and Ex-Political Prisoner. She also stated on Spotlight that senior Provisionals including, a number of Belfast Councillors, Stormont and Westminster Representatives. Who not only knew details of her claims, but incredibly did not notify Social Services but also prevented her family and friends from doing so!  

Máiriá Cahill

Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Dessie Ellis and others have belatedly admitted publicly. The Provisional Movement filled the policing vacuum in Nationalist districts across the Six Counties, throughout the the recent Conflict. The Republican Socialist Movement also used similar tactics in dealing with the dregs of our society. What her Investigators did not do was to notify the Social Services in Belfast regarding the consistent narrative of abuse described by Miss. Cahill. If so, her alleged attacker would not have been able to have freely moved to County Donegal where he could have abused other innocent teenagers. 

Like many local Republicans, I am acutely aware of two similar cases. Both of which took place within the Greater Ardoyne area! One in which a former Political Prisoner abused a number of children during the '70's. Who was permitted to stay in the district afterwards by the Provisionals because he was a Volunteer! The same waster later attempted to violently rape a male friend of his in the late Eighties. Luckily, the resident had the quick foresight to escape his clutches and immediately reported the frightening incident to known Óglaigh. Within days, he was shot in the legs and expelled from the Six County area. The second Paedophile consistently sexually abused a number of including his own children throughout the Seventies but because he held of a prominent role within the local PIRA, he wasn't beaten or shot. Even though, there were detailed complaints made against him by a few courageous victims against him. He was expelled and subsequently forced to live in Dublin until his death last year. 

Neither sicko nor their disgusting crimes were reported to the Social Services North or South by senior Provisionals? Which is incredible, given the fact that sex offenders are known to infiltrate trusting families, organisations that work with children and cohesive communities Devastating criminal actions like these should have been reported to Social Workers, how else could other children, teenagers and/or vunerable adults be protected from these two consistent offenders? Whatever happened to the core principle 'cherishing all of the children of the nation equally', as outlined in the 1916 Proclamation?

The Provisional IRA investigated Máiriá's allegations against one of it's supposed Volunteers. According to An Bunreacht/the Constitution of Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise known as The Green Book. The alleged Rapist was given representation at a convened inquiry, which is the right of every Óglach regardless of what the allegation would be! Who exactly spoke or represented the apparent victim? What rights did she have, is a question that I have? The Republican inquiry lasted some seven months, a long time in a teenagers life and no doubt she was under pressure throughout. The decision to allow an abuser to personally confront his victim was disgraceful and should never have happened! Even though Máiria was notified the investigation had ended, she was informed that na Óglaigh had ruled on the matter and decided their findings had been 'inconclusive'. 

Finally,  anyone who has ever been subjected to sexual abuse and/or rape must contact the Social Services. There are also Counselling Services based across the Country dedicated to helping victims in anyway they can. I will pray for you to gain the much needed confidence in achieving the truth and justice. 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Boundary Boxes - Water Meters and Misleading Working-Class Communities

Over the past few months, work has begun on Water Mains across North Belfast including, Ardoyne, New Lodge, Oldpark and Cliftonville communities. There is no doubt that water-pipes under our roads and streets are well-over a century old and are badly in need of being replaced by the Agency with responsibility for their upkeep; 'NI Water'. There may well be that type of much-needed work being conducted right across Belfast City. However, NI Water has also employed Outside Contractors to NOT only replace existing pipes but to also install Boundary Boxes outside each and every residential home along the way. 

Diagram Demonstrating a Boundary Box 
A number of Community, Political Groups and Political Parties including the Republican Network for Unity (RNU) voiced concerns and publicly challenged 'NI Water's' official version regarding Boundary Boxes and Water-Meters. Prior to this week, the Water Board officially denied it had been installing Boundary Boxes at all in Belfast. However, it issued a statement 
on October 2nd, 2014  finally confirming that its Contractors had indeed been installing Boundary Boxes outside residential homes in Working-Class Communities across the City.

Inside a Boundary Box
As can be seen from both illustrations above. There is a wealth of evidence that manifold connections coupled with Boundary Boxes are a necessary component for the installation of water meters. I know the Water Board, Stormont' Executive and Elected Political Representatives have denied that Water Meters are the charges which follow their installation will not be implemented. All the evidence thus far refutes these charges. The actual implementation programme for the Six Counties has indeed been deferred by Stormont but only until 2016. 

Like every Government in every State, Stormont will attempt to wriggle out of the truth about Water Meters as best it can - until, they can no longer do so! The reality is that water charges’ were not 'blocked' as a number of Politicians have claimed. These unjust charges will be brought to bear on Working-Class families as part of austerity policies conducted against the most vunerable in our society. 

A number of questions need posed to those Parties who endorse Stormont. Is why are Boundary Boxes being installed across North and West Belfast? Are Boundary Boxes an essential component for Water Maters? Will Stormont Politicians stand with the people in opposition to this policy or will they help implement another unfair tax upon ordinary families? 

I know the Republican Network for Unity will strongly oppose Water Meters and Charges. As our fellow comrades have in Dundalk, Dublin and |Meath. Many have endured arrest and harassment from An Gardai for their activism on behalf of local communities in those areas. RNU will also do our best in Belfast also and beyond to ensure Boundary Boxes, Water Meters and Charges are stopped. We urge residents to contact RNU, whenever you realise these boxes are being installed in your district and/or street. This will allow us to provide advice and offer our assistance on how we can all stand together and defeat these measures.

The people of North Belfast have always rallied against draconian measures. During the days of the Orange State, people manifested themselves in political struggle to end decades of neglect, discrimination and poverty manufactured by the Stormont Regime. Now is the time to mobilise again and assert our rights. A community-based Campaign is needed against water meters and charges is required! RNU seek to work alongside your community and help defeat this unfair scheme! 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Is There a Need for a New Republican Congress?

Ever since the 1994 IRA Ceasefire, the strategy of the Provisional Movement has adopted a British approach to the Unionist Veto, Partition and the occupation. Objectives changed dramatically with its ditching of socialist policies, approval of the Mitchell Principles, Belfast Agreement, ending the Armed Campaign, decommissioning, disbandment of the IRA and endorsement of British Policing. Throughout this period a significant number of Provisionals, most of whom had devoted much of their adult years in honourable service expressed objections to these changes but faced dismissal, expulsion or forced resignation. 

Between 1997 and 2000, a number of new Irish political groups emerged.  All of which advocated core Irish Republican and Socialist objectives. The first was the 32 County Sovereignty Movement with a strong focus on the lack of Irish sovereignty. Secondly came Eirigi, initially founded in Dublin with socialism as its cornerstone. It later became a Political Party. Next was the Republican Network for Unity who mobilised against the endorsement of British Policing. Like Eirigi, RNU also became a Political Party with a distinct revolutionary republican and socialist outlook. The most recent group established was the 1916 Societies 

Prior to what became known as the Peace Process, the Provisional Movement had split in 1986. After the Provisional Leadership decided to take seats if elected to Leinster House. Dozens of members including, the former President and Vice-President left the Ard Fheis after the vote. Those who walked-out held their own Conference at a different venue. Where they voted to continue the long-held policy of abstentionism. In order not to confuse the public, the Party was renamed Republican Sinn Fein. RSF correctly predicted that the Provisionals would also erode other principles and they would also enter Stormont and accept Partition. 

Apart from the Irish Republican Socialist Party, RSF held firm and against the reformist policies of Sinn Fein. Both Parties were consistently demonised and criminalised by Provisional Leaders. They were also heavily censored by the media in Ireland, Britain and America because of their positions on the continued occupation of the Six Counties. A few Provisionals who dissented from their Leadership after the PIRA Ceasefires in 1994 and 1996 joined the IRSP and RSF. While both Movements held legitimate objectives, most former members felt they couldn't commit to a different Leadership. 

INLA Chief-of-Staff, Gino Gallagher
In addition to strong feelings of betrayal by the Provisionals. A few months had only passed since the Republican Socialist Movement survived a determined attack against it by former members with key people assassinated. The same Republicans felt unable to join RSF as not only was fellow Activists targeted, threatened and beaten in a concerted campaign by former comrades in the Provisional Movement. On one occasion Óglach Joe O'Connor was brutally executed by the Provisional IRA in front of his family outside their home in Ballymurphy on October 13th, 2000. Which a British Government Minister described as; 'internal housekeeping'. A number of Belfast Republicans were subsequently 'arrested and detained' by the Provisionals and threatened with the same type of death as Joe's, if they became involved with; 'other groups'. 
Óglach. Joe O'Connor
It has been over five years, since I last used this blog to propose the establishment of a new Irish Republican Congress. You can click on the following link to read; A Proposal for a Republican Socialist AlternativeAt the time, my analysis was based on the need for a democratic, unified republican and socialist umbrella body that would consist of representatives from each of the above Parties and Groups and Independents. A Congress based on the ideas and ideology of the 1934 model, founded by Peader O'Donnell and Frank Ryan over seventy years ago. Two working-class heroes who dedicated their lives to secure the 32 Socialist Irish Republic. A Congress that could assist the various organisations in their quest to secure a revolutionary movement.  

A number of attempts to create republican unity between the above Parties, Groups and various Individuals. I accept and fully understand that there is much ground and suspicion between everyone concerned. Based on the very nature of revolutionary politics and the years of attrition by the British and Free State Governments against Irish republicans, it is hardly surprising that we find ourselves primarily protecting ones own Party or Group. However, that should not prevent us from exploring ways in which we can build a truly equal and shared overarching body that could help us all reach out to the majority of Irish citizens. Who demand an Ireland free from imperialism, partition, poverty and occupation. A sovereign Irish socialist republic, where single person can enjoy religious,  political, civil liberty, equality and freedom. 

Two of the best examples of unified activities by Republicans in recent years, has been the Irish Republican Forum for Unity (IRFU) and the Anti-Internment League. The IRFU consisted of the IRSP, 32CSM, RNU and a number of respected Independent Republicans. Although the IRFU got off to a great start, one of the main setbacks was the failure of RSF and Eirigi to join the forum. Most of Eirigi's and RSF's analysis were already shared by everyone represented. Their inclusion would have benefitted everyone including both Parties. Again its understandable that RSF has a policy against becoming involved in 'broad fronts'. Whilst I accept their right to hold that particular position, I would urge them to investigate the Anti-Internment League and witness what could be achieved. Another problem faced by the forum was a couple of concerns expressed by the IRSP. Unfortunately, the IRSP felt the issue was insurmountable at that time and left the IRFU. Whilst the forum was indeed short-lived, everyone remain comrades and it did present an alternative to GFA advocates. 

The Anti-Internment League has led to increased confidence and cooperation between a number of Republican Groups, Parties and Individuals. Working as a Collective, it has held two very successful and large demonstrations in Belfast recalling the detention of thousands of Irishmen and women by Britain between 1971-1975 and to also highlight the ongoing incarceration of Political Prisoners. The League consist of RNU, 1916 Societies, Eirigi, 32CSM, Cabhair, Cogus, IRPWA and Independent Republicans. As with any such body, there have been teething problems between the various groups who make up the Anti-Internment League. We have seen thousands taking to the streets demanding an end to Political arrests, Diplock Courts and Internment by Remand.  

Anti-Internment March: August, 2013

What I propose should be in the interests of all Irish Republicans, Socialists and Democrats. Though, I stress that they are only suggestions and can be amended, altered and changed to suit everyone. Each City, Town, Village and County could have its own Congress to meet regularly, discuss ideas and educate one another on how best to develop our own communities. Each Province would also have its own Congress applying the same methods. Then, there would need to be a National Congress made up of each Party, Group and/or Independents. The National Structure could help build confidence between one another, mobilise numbers and chart the way forward for Republicanism. 

Think I have written enough for now readers, I welcome positive contributions to my suggestions and I look forward to them until then, Adh Mhor.....