Thursday, 7 December 2017

Licence revocations become a worrying trend

Tony Taylor, Gabriel Mackle & Neil Hegarty – Three Irish republican prisoners among dozens but what do they have in common? Today they are all victims of internment!

Some might say oh they had their “licences revoked” that isn’t internment, they obviously did something wrong, broke their conditions; sure they don’t just throw you in jail for nothing!

Well to those people I say this - Yes they have had their licences revoked, but ask yourselves why? Is there is a reason? Is it good enough in 2017 to have men thrown in Jail and not give an explanation? Is putting a man in jail after a sentence served and not giving a reason, not internment? To me, it is absolutely internment.

In the case of Tony Taylor who has now been in Jail for nearly 2 years, no acceptable reason has been forthcoming, citing a generic “risk to security” is not a reason, it is an assumption and not a fact, it is not a strong enough assumption to take away someone’s liberty. The same goes for Gabriel Mackle released from Jail only a matter of weeks and thrown back in Jail, once again a mantra of being a “security risk” is all we know. Having secret reasons given by a secret police in order to deprive someone of their liberty is the stuff of tyrannical despotic states that we are all allegedly supposed to oppose.
The fact that it is the so-called civilized brits, which are doing this, means no one bats an eyelid. The Republican people of Ireland know only too well there is nothing civilized about how the Brits have treated the general people of this Country, never mind Republicans.

The most shocking of these 3 cases though it has to be said is that of Neil Hegarty, Neil was released from Jail only on Tuesday (5th December) after serving a 5-year sentence; Neil was welcomed home by his family and friends and was undoubtedly looking forward to reconnecting. With Christmas only a matter of weeks away, his friends and family were elated about having him back at home, the first time in 5 years they would socialise together, enjoy a meal and have quality time with their loved one. Last night (6th December), just over 24 hours since his release the Police arrived at Neil’s door, told him his licence had been revoked and carted him off.

Now come on! What could he possibly have done in just over 24 hours to warrant this, how did this happen so speedily? Who approved this and what is the end game here? This is a shocking turn of events, even to Republicans who have come to expect almost anything from the British establishment here in Ireland.

These “licence revocations” cross all Republican groups, these 3 men all come from separate organisations, each group has come out and condemned respectively their member's incarceration. There is a harsh reality that has to be said, now is not the time for partisan politics and outlook, now is the time to be united in our rage, united in our opposition. We cannot just care for those who politically swing with us! We are all Irish Republicans and we have a duty to support all 3 men and anyone that may follow.

These revocations are extremely political in nature, however, this is not just a Republican issue this is a human rights issue. It is cruel and degrading to release someone from Jail and have them unsure of their own liberty, have them living in fear every day of being arrested and thrown back in Jail.

Some of the conditions that Republicans have been released under are quite simply bizarre. The issue of not allowing a prisoner to return to their home or boundaries is internal exile; it is designed to demoralise them and alienate them from their own community.Today I am angry, angry for Tony Taylor, Gabriel Mackle and Neil Hegarty, I am angry for their families and friends, angry at the sheer injustice of it all. Please do not let this trend continue unopposed, there is a danger here that the more this continues, the more we become desensitised to it.

It is time now for us ALL to speak out and for everyone single one of these men. There can be no hierarchy when it comes to prisoners, human rights or liberty.

I support all 3 of these men and I implore my readers to do the same.


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Bono & Geldof Cultural Cringe

Why do we hate Bono & Geldof?

I have mentioned before in my blog that Ireland is suffering from National Stockholm syndrome and that there is an inferiority complex issue, no one illustrates my point more adequately than the much maligned and Irish hate figure Bob Geldof. Irish people get outraged at Geldof; his continual revisionism is downright offensive to some people. Geldof is an attention seeker, a side effect of dealing with a major inferiority complex, paradoxically people who suffer with an inferiority complex often times manifest symptoms of a superiority complex which would explain his arrogance.

For me I think Bob Geldof exemplifies perfectly the phenomena known as “Cultural Cringe”
Cultural Cringe is an internalised inferiority complex which causes people to dismiss their own culture as inferior to the cultures of other countries. Bob Geldof has certainly shown this in abundance.

His handing back the freedom of Dublin, due to his outrage at sharing such an honour with Aung San Suu Kyi due to the ongoing Rohyinga crisis and her handling of it, may to some seem more than hypocritical, considering he is more than happy to be a an honorary knight of the British Empire. The very notion of empire is offensive, The British Empire that was built on the backs of slaves, occupation theft, murder and oppression and let us not forget that it was the British Empire who introduced the concentration camp – all this Bob Geldof is apparently OK with.

So aside from the obvious hypocritical nature of his viewpoint what is it that makes it OK to turn down an Irish Honour, which let’s be honest is nothing like an OBE, but accept with open arms and gratitude an honour bestowed by the British Monarchy. It is cultural cringe! Geldof wouldn’t want to offend the British, he views them as superior and worthy, whereas the Irish can be insulted and ridiculed because we are thickos and sure he knows better, he has been enlightened into our backward ways and thoughts by years spent in England.

So ingrained into the British Culture that he has adopted, he took a leading role in opposing Brexit, not for any of the reasons Irish People may oppose it, but because he is number 1 Englishman these days, who can forget the pathetic sight of Geldof and Nigel Farage sailing about on the Thames trading insults to each other over the EU Referendum.

He was a no campaigner for Scottish Independence and memorably likened the 1916 patriots to ISIS Jihadis, Geldof is a true Brit, when talking about Westminster and British Politics he says “we” and has declared “the United Kingdom is one of the greatest ideas for the modern age” and people wonder why the Irish hate him!

Now let’s not just be picking on poor oul hangover face Bob Geldof, he is not alone in being a self-hating Irishman, his good mate Bono joins him in the ranks.

Like Geldof he too has accepted an honorary knighthood from the British Monarchy. Many will know the U2 song Bloody Sunday, a direct reference to the murder of 14 innocent Irish Civilians in 1972 by the  British Army, when talking about it U2 cannot bring themselves to condemn the murder or offer condolences, instead he focuses on the condemnation of all violence and openly condemn the IRA!! Ignoring entirely the events from which he takes the title of his song.

Of course when David Cameron gave an apology in the House of Commons nearly 40 years later, self-appointed spokesperson Bono sycophantically heaped praise on him, Bono has condemned many incidents in Ireland, The Omagh Bomb, Enniskillen etc but not once have I heard him outright condemn the British Army for their atrocities. His moral outrage is reserved only for his fellow Countrymen and not those who have occupied us. 

Only on Sunday Past, the once self described aggressive Pacisift Bono, dedicated the song "in the name of love" to the British Military. The admiration he has for the British Government and Military  does not allow for him to condemn them, it was all the stupid paddies fault!

At a recent concert in July Bono thanked the British for “looking after” Irish Immigrants “Us Irish are immigrant people and of course we came here into this great, Great Britain and we thank you for giving us safety and sanctuary for all these years” he said, conveniently forgetting the rampant anti Irish sentiment prevalent in British Society in years gone by and the torture and internment of Irish Citizens by the British Government such as the Birmingham 6 and Guildford 4.

Of course in Bono and Geldof’s eyes us Irish need looked after, we are not fit to run our own affairs, and we need the British to come in and adult the situation. We don’t know what is good for us.
Now Geldof, Bono and the rest of this crew will put our criticisms down to begrudgery, so self-assured are they in their righteousness, we are all just jealous backward types.  But it is far from this, for centuries we have been oppressed, our culture driven underground in an attempt to properly colonise and own us, it has worked to such an extent that even some Irish people as evidenced by Geldof and Bono have bought into this notion that we are inferior. Colonialism is successful when you can get the natives on board with it and by God have they got two brilliant ones with Bono & Geldof!

Cultural Cringe in Ireland is not a new phenomenon; it is part of the colonial/slave mentality and goes back centuries. It has affected many areas of Irish Culture from Irish Language, music and dress to even some people modifying their accents!

While I use the term Cultural Cringe or slave mentality, I think the good old fashioned “West Brit” sums it up perfectly.


Sunday, 12 November 2017

Edentubber 60th anniversary oration

Today, as in years past, we again gather to pay tribute to the memory of five republicans, who made the ultimate sacrifice here in Edentubber, as a result of a premature explosion on this lonely mountainside in the early hours of Monday, 11th November, 1957. While later tragedies would sadly eclipse it in number, at the time this would be the single biggest loss of life incurred by the IRA since the bitter counter-revolution of 1922 – 23. 

A newspaper at the time, the Newry Reporter, would describe a sad and devastating scene in the aftermath of the explosion: “As the early morning mists cleared from the rocky defile abounding in that area, the grim gaunt evidence of the earlier hours was visible. The blast was heard over 5 miles away. Little remained of the building, but a heap of scattered rubble. A small portion of one wall was still standing. Wood splinters and masonry and parts of shattered furniture littered fields up to 150 yards away. Four Thompson sub-machine guns and ammunition were found among the wreckage.” 

The four IRA Volunteers, assisted by Michael Watters, were preparing for an expedition that would take them across the border. This was to be another chapter in what we republicans remember as the Border Campaign of 1956 – 62, to the members of Oglaigh na hEireann, it’s codename was of course, Operation Harvest. 

Operation Harvest would take place against the backdrop of great economic hardship and mass emigration across the two partitioned states in Ireland, and would be the first armed campaign in the 20th century by Oglaigh na hEireann to focus exclusively on the occupied six counties. After Oglaigh na hEireann’s repeated repression by successive Free State governments since the counter-revolution of three decades before, in 1948, an IRA Convention issued General Order No. 8, prohibiting "any armed action whatsoever" against the 26-county state, thereby focusing their attention to the north-east.

In that same year, the Free State parliament had passed legislation that arrogantly renamed this state the ‘Republic of Ireland’. In 1949, the IRA Army Council issued a statement to clarify its position to this development, and we would do well to remember how these words are still true  The statement reads as follows: “By an act of British Parliament passed at Westminster in 1920, in a deliberate absence of the entire Irish representation – and through the acceptance of the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty, the Irish Republic, proclaimed in arms Easter 1916 – and ratified in 1919 by the elected representatives of the people of all Ireland – was prevented from functioning, and in its stead two Partition Parliaments were set up to govern Ireland. 

Thus Ireland was forcibly partitioned by England and has remained partitioned since. Any attempt to give the 26 county area a new status by representing it as “the Republic of Ireland” does and cannot alter this fundamental fact.

England still retains direct control over six counties of Irish territory, and maintains within that area an army of occupation. While that position remains Republicans cannot concede the claims that Ireland’s centuries-old struggle for freedom is ended.”

Operative Harvest would begin in earnest at midnight, 12th December, 1956, and the offensive would be launched across the occupied six counties with the intention to draw the British army out of their bases, only attack the RUC and B-Specials in self-defence and ultimately destabilise the institutions of northern state. While of course they did not outright achieve all of this, the IRA had still caught the governments in both jurisdictions by surprise, returning to revolutionary activity most dramatically in incidents that night in Armagh, Enniskillen, Newry and Derry.  The tail-end of 1956 into the months of 1957 would see the brave men of Oglaigh na hEireann step up their bold campaign of sabotage and armed actions in the northern state.

On this lonely hillside in 1957 4 IRA volunteers where planning their own contribution to Operation Harvest, and we remember them with pride here today. 

Volunteer George Keegan came from a family with a proud republican tradition is his native Enniscorthy, Wexford. Keegan was descended from a rebel executed in the 1798 rebellion, and also had a very important link to the 1916 Easter Rising: His father, Patrick, was among the last group of Volunteers in the country to surrender, as they did in Enniscorthy at the end of Easter Week.
Patrick Keegan would go on to be commandant of the IRA’s North Wexford Brigade during the Tan War. Following in the revolutionary path of his father, George had been on the run for some time at the beginning of Operation Harvest. When he made the supreme sacrifice for his cause here, he was 29 years old. 

Volunteer Paul Smith, from Bessbrook, County Armagh, was only 19 years old. Yet, at the time of his death he held the rank of adjuntant in Oglaigh na hEireann, and was said to have a flair for leadership and responsibility. For over six months, Paul lived with a price on his head by the Stormont authorities due to his activities as an IRA Volunteer. The eldest of a family of seven, he was an architect’s apprentice before dedicating his life to the cause, and is recalled as a young man of a happy and carefree nature.

Also on the run in this time and would also meet his tragic end here, was Volunteer Oliver Craven, from Newry. Also 19 years old, Oliver was a labourer and driver before joining the ranks of Oglaigh na hEireann. Though a quietly spoken young man, he was noted by his comrades for his cool headedness. It is said before his death, he had avoided capture by the colonial forces several times.  

Volunteer Paddy Parle, 27 years old, was from William Street, in Wexford Town. A founding member of his local GAA Club, Paddy was also a member of Congradh na Gaeilge. It is said he held a special affinity for the writings of James Connolly and the cause of the Irish working class. 

At the outset of Operation Harvest, Paddy, along with several Wexford men, became an organiser and member of the Vinegar Hill Column. While arrests put an end to their activities, Paddy himself avoided capture and continued to be a dedicated soldier of Oglaigh na hEireann.

Also today, we also remember Michael Watters, the 50 year-old forestry worker who lived alone in the cottage that stood near this spot where the four soliders of the Irish Republican Army were preparing to head over the border that on fateful night. Though not a member of the IRA, Michael Watters followed in the tradition of countless, often forgotten ordinary men and women down through the decades. who helped in any way they could for the cause of a free Ireland and the soldiers who would fight for their country. In this instance, he provided his home in what he surely believed was a safe base for them to operate. Men and women who provided shelter, food and safety for IRA volunteers were the backbone of the Republican movement and we must never forget their contribution, without it the IRA could not function.

While we must never doubt the bravery and commitment of those who fought on in the Border Campaign therafter, by 1962, with mass imprisonment, divisions within the movement, lack of support and often poor strategies, Operation Harvest would ultimately end in failure. It’s then-chief-of-staff, the great Ruairi O’Bradaigh, would write a statement that would call off the campaign, his words encouraged republicans to reflect on these developments pragmatically, one segment reading as follows that “the situation obtaining in the earlier stages of the campaign has altered radically and is convinced that the time has come to conserve its recourses to augment them and to prepare a more favourable position. The policy of not taking aggressive military action within the 26-country area remains unaltered, and the movement takes its stand against any attempt to foment sectarian strife which is alien to the spirit of Irish Republicanism.”   

Today we are in a situation not unlike the Border campaign period, fundamentally we have to be honest - we too have divisions within our movement, mass imprisonment, and a poor strategy for gaining support, we must like the patriots of Operation Harvest have the maturity to reflect pragmatically on our failures and address them. We must take the lessons of history. We all stand here today as proud and unrepentant Irish republicans, however this is not enough, we need to work together to secure our independence, we cannot lose sight of that goal. We cannot deny that the last few decades have served a severe body blow to our cause, successive sell outs and factions have immeasurably damaged morale, and how can we unite a Country if we cannot even unite ourselves in a movement of people, ready for radical change? 

We have very real immediate issues that we must focus on, we have Irish Republican prisoners by the hundred, the British Police continue to raid homes and harass people, we have internment still alive and kicking  with Tony Taylor interned now for nearly 2 years, in the 26 counties an onslaught of IRA membership charges have taken dozens of Activists off the streets, all of these things and more are designed to crush any last remnants of opposition to Occupation, couple that with the enormous normalisation project going on all over Ireland, the attempted rehabilitation of the British Army, the GAA running recruitment adverts for the RUC, the shameful wall at Glasnevin commemorating British Army along with our patriots and honestly the list goes on and on. 

We must oppose it all and we must stand together and do it, we must make Republicanism a force to be reckoned with once more. For too long now we have been consigned to the fringes, for the general public genuine republicanism has been pushed to the history books, our job now is to ensure that Republicanism is revitalised for a new generation, and that with the help of future generations coming up, we will one day finally see the establishment of our declared Republic. 

The next few years will see many changes not least because of Brexit, the fears surrounding Brexit for Irish people seem to be centred on the border, scare mongering abounds while the Politicos in Stormont try to exploit it to their advantage. The idea that there could be border posts is a shock for many people; this reminds them that we still live in a divided and occupied Country. As Republicans we do not need this reminder, we are all too aware of the very real British occupation that is ongoing. The People who are deluding themselves that everything is ok in Ireland as long as there is no physical border perhaps needs this little wakeup call!  

The Edentubber Maytyrs goal was to eradicate British rule in this Country, and we know what the volunteers in the 50’s did with Customs huts on the border back then, not that I would advocate that now!!

One year after the beginning of Operation Harvest, the IRA Army Council issued a statement on 12th December, 1957 – little over a month after the deaths of these five great patriot men here at Edentubber. It was a statement to encourage it’s volunteers to continue the fight, and there is one paragraph in it I feel that has direct relevance to our own continuing republican struggle today. It reads:

“We must recover for the Irish people possession of the natural resources of our country. We must win for the Irish people the ownership and control of our nation. We must secure for the Irish people democracy, unity and sovereignty. To achieve these objects we must end forever interference in our affairs by an outside power. We must drive from our shores the forces of this outside power. We must establish national independence.”

Comrades, six decades have passed since George, Paul, Oliver, Paddy and Michael gave their lives for Ireland not far from where we stand. They left us a heroic legacy that we, the faithful few, will always continue to commemorate and be proud of. As republicans, while our strategies and the means available to us may greatly differ then those employed by the volunteers of Operation Harvest, we share their same goal: That of a free and united Ireland. Let their memory inspire us always and may we never be dissuaded from the path of restoring the true Irish Republic of which our martyrs dreamed. 

An Phoblacht Abu!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017



So having a casual look through Facebook, as you do on a cold Tuesday night, I couldn’t help but see the interest in Leo Varadkar and his sporting a glitzy Shampoppy in Leinster house today. For those of you who don’t know, the leader of the Freestate today donned on his lapel a red poppy which commemorates the British Army but to “paddy” it up a bit, it was surrounded by a Shamrock!

Why is this alarming? Well for many people they still live in the days when even the Freestate wouldn’t be so obvious or offensive to the people of Ireland as to commemorate an Army that has murdered, tortured, harassed and mutilated its people. The idea floating about now is to try and rehabilitate the British army and to get the general public to accept a notion that “our men” died in its ranks and so, therefore, we should commemorate. Even PSF in later years have attended British Army commemorations and who can forget the image of Alex Maskey laying a wreath at a British Army cenotaph.

Personally I have never really spoken about my opposition to wearing the Poppy, partly because I am not really opposed to people doing what they want, you want to wear a poppy knock yourself out, I am for freedom of expression and speech, but do not ram this propaganda down my throat that somehow “our men” also died in these World wars. The new Irish attitude towards the British is nauseating, the rehabilitation of Irish men who went to fight and die in an army, for a country that was occupying their native land and murdering its people is nothing short of despicable, they weren’t “our men”, yes they were Irish men, but they were Irish men in the British Army and this isn’t something to commemorate for a nation that is still under the occupation of that very same government and Army.

Of course Leo Vardakar wearing this shampoppy should come as no surprise to anyone; it is just the latest in a long list of Freestate stunts to appease their former colonial masters. This isn’t a new thing for Fine Gaelers either, in previous years other members haven’t even bothered to sham it up and just outright wore the British Legion’s original poppy. In stark contrast to their support of the British Legion’s poppy they are vehemently opposed to the Republican Easter Lily which commemorates the men and women who have gave their lives for Irish Freedom, Fianna Fail’s opposition to the Easter Lily stretches right back to the 1930’s when they tried to introduce an alternative called the “Easter Torch”, at that time at least the people of Ireland still had some national pride left and the new badge floundered.

I have said this more than once before, we are in the middle of a national epidemic, national Stockholm syndrome. The Shampoppy is the least of our worries. We have had British Royals parading around Ireland basically treating Ireland as their little Island retreat, we have the so-called “Republicans” in the form of PSF having dinner with the British Monarch and having tea with the heir to that throne, we have a wall in Glasnevin that lists all those who died in 1916 including British Army with no distinction made. The despicable propaganda that is spouted out to the Irish people day in and daily, in an attempt to bring them on this ride of a national sell out, should be opposed vigorously.

I am not going to go into the moral and political reasons why Irish Republicans should not wear the Poppy; it is so obvious that it would be an insult to my reader’s intelligence, however I think for the week that is in it, it is worthy to note that Irish Republicans have always opposed such British Militaristic symbols, whether they be badges or monuments. Tomorrow the family, friends and comrades of Liam Sutcliffe will lay him to rest after he died on 3rd November. Liam was a well-known Republican and the man who blew up Nelson Pillar. Nelsons Pillar was blown up in 1966 by Republicans, much like the Poppy it was a British symbol of commemoration.

It had no place in Ireland, much as the wall in Glasnevin does not, nor does the British Legions Poppy. Let us hope that these two symbols of British Army commemoration go the way of Nelson’s Pillar, and are only a thing only to be remembered, not experienced in Irish Society.


Monday, 25 September 2017

Thomas Ashe remembered 100 years after his death on Hunger-strike

Transcript below of the oration I delivered for the 100th Anniversary commemoration on the death of Irish Patriot Thomas Ashe.

Oration was delivered in Duleek, Co. Meath on 23rd September 2017

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the death of the great Irish Patriot Thomas Ashe, he was only 32 years old when he died on Hungerstrike. Please see below the transcript of the oration I gave in memory of him at the 100th Anniversary commemoration, organised by Duleek Hunger Strike monument committee.
The First Republican hunger-striker! That is how Thomas Ashe is remembered by Republicans today, he does not just stand out in Irish history as being the first hunger striker to die; he was so much more than that.
Thomas was born on 12th January, 1885, the seventh of ten children to Gregory and Ellen Ashe. Thomas was born in another period of upheaval in Ireland, as the land agitation across the country threatened British rule. He grew up in the townland of Kinnard, near Dingle in Kerry. His father Gregory instilled in his son a great love of Irish language, literature and culture that was to continue throughout his life.
As a young man, he would become prominent in the Gaelic League and the GAA in Kerry. Thomas' other great love was teaching, and on the 16th March 1908, took up his position as the headmaster of the Corduff National School in the parish of Lusk, in north County Dublin. It was a job he would continue in until Easter Week 1916.
As well as being an excellent teacher, he instilled in his pupils a love of Irish history and national identity - which often led to the disapproval by school inspectors. In Sean O'Luing's biography of Ashe, one pupil recalls:
"He taught us all the Fenian songs and rebel ballads which of course were not on the programme."
Another recalls Ashe's geography lessons, where he would point to England on a world map and humorously remark: "Never mind it boys, it will disappear one of these days."
But let there be no mistake of the progressive nature of Thomas' republican ideals! A cousin of Ashe's would recall:
"Thomas Ashe had a terrific love of Ireland but he was not bitter against England. Thomas just wanted freedom for Ireland”
By all accounts, Thomas Ashe was an active member of the nation - engaging in areas of Irish language, sport, and of course, politics. One noted aspect of his legacy is being the founder of the Black Raven Piper's Band in Lusk, still in existence today.
Of course, the founding of the Irish Volunteers led to the most important aspect of Thomas Ashe's activism. After the Redmond-ite split in 1914, he remained true to his nationalist beliefs and remained with the minority, becoming commander of the fifth battalion.
That he ascended to such a position so quickly demonstrates his natural leadership and skill that he would put to good use in Easter Week 1916. In this time, he also was a member of the secret society known as the Irish Republican Brotherhood.
In was in this role as commandant, which had Thomas lead the Fingal Battalion during Easter Week, which included over 30 of the Volunteers, attacking a number of RIC Barracks across north county Dublin in those important few days. Thomas was overjoyed to soon receive a message from James Connolly in the GPO, reading:
"The Republican flag still flies triumphantly over Dublin City. There will be glorious days for Ireland yet."
At the Battle of Ashbourne, his Volunteers attacked the RIC Barracks until it surrendered, losing two of their comrades. It was one of the few military engagements outside Dublin city centre during Easter Week, and the most outright military victory; most notably, his tactical genius foresaw the more successful guerrilla tactics later used by Oglaigh na hEireann during the Tan War. It does make you wonder how much his talents could have helped during the latter conflicts had he have lived.
Following the Rising, he was arrested, court-martialled and sentenced to death like so many others. With the outcry over the first fifteen executions, he was barely saved, with his sentence later being commuted to life imprisonment. He would spend months in various British jails, all the while planning with his comrades the next blow to strike for Irish freedom.
As part of a general amnesty in June 1917, Thomas was released and immediately got back involved with the national movement, his stint in Jail doing nothing to dampen his desire to see Irish independence. In this period, Thomas was elected President of the IRB.
He travelled the country campaigning for Sinn Féin and the republican cause, making many addresses to the people of Ireland to gather support, just over 1 month after his release he was re-arrested for making seditious speeches and jailed in Mountjoy Prison.
While imprisoned he demanded to be treated as a prisoner of war, like republicans since he refused to wear a prison uniform, when his demands where rejected he along with 6 of his comrades embarked upon a hunger strike for Political Status. While on hunger-strike the authorities savagely put Thomas in a straitjacket and force-fed him, they made constant pleas for him to end his strike; however he was not for turning stating:
“They have branded me a criminal. Even though if I die, I die in a good cause"
On the third day of his strike, he collapsed shortly after the force feeding; they had pierced his lung while administering the cruel act. He was later released and taken to the nearby Mater Hospital where two days later, Thomas Ashe died. His funeral to Glasnevin and burial in the Republican Plot there would be a seminal moment in these years.
The Jail struggle has been a constant in Irish republicanism, from the great Fenian O’Donovan O’Rossa to the present day with Prisoners such as Tony Taylor, who is currently interned in Maghaberry Jail.
Since Thomas Ashe gave his life on hunger-strike, 21 fellow Irish men have also died while Hunger Strike, the most recent being the 10 H-Block hunger strikers of 1981 led by Bobby Sands. The memories of all Hunger strikers is held dearly by the Irish people, monuments are dotted throughout the country and indeed today we stand in a memorial garden to the hunger-strikers, beautifully maintained by the Duleek Hunger-strike monument committee.
Like Thomas Ashe and many Republicans before us, we today have our own set of present struggles, we have scores of political prisoners in Ireland, and the corrupt Freestate Government is intent on seeing this number rise even further, with their spate of trumped up IRA membership charges against Political activists.
The Insult of these trumped up charges is that a person arrested does not have to have been arrested doing anything, all is needed to arrest and remand someone to Portlaoise prison is the word of a Garda Superintendent, and as we all know they hardly qualify as the most honest of people, in the last few years alone the scandals in this Police force have been outrageous, from falsifying motorists breath tests, to fabricating explosives finds. It would not be an exaggeration to state that the Garda Siochana is the most corrupt Police force in Europe.
If that is not bad enough currently we have the ominous super-grass at work in the shape of Tout Dave Cullen, betrayers and deceivers are the curse of the Irish Nation, in every generation we have them, genuine Republicans who act in good faith fall prey to the duplicitous nature of the Tout, they are a conceited bunch who are bought and paid for by the highest bidder, even their handlers know they are liars and conmen, and when their usefulness expires they are cast aside like the human garbage that they are.
Those who are victims of these insidious creatures may spend years of their lives incarcerated, but they can hold their heads high, they are men and women of integrity and honour, while the crawling and scraping tout usually lives out a life of a desperate and pathetic wretch, begging for British handouts and as we have seen recently with Seán O’Callaghan ending his life a pathetic drunk choking on his own vomit in a pool.
But! for every generation where we face the curse of the informer, so too do we have the dedicated, loyal and honest Republican, I do not believe this generation is any different. Against all the odds, the criminalisation attempts, the factions, the continued British Occupation and harassment, I see a vibrancy of renewed optimism. Albeit Republicanism is fractured and weary, but we are not broken, we are still here; they have not succeeded in their normalisation plans.
The ongoing partition of this country propped up by the constitutionals both north and south stands in direct opposition to the Republic to which we all pledge our allegiance, our focus must be on the establishment of that All Ireland Republic, a permanent national government which will work for all the people.
It is time to stop looking to the past, stop worrying about what the politicos in Stormont and Leinster house are doing. Our only interest in Stormont or Leinster house must be to smash it!
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, for Republicans to even contemplate flirting with constitutional politics is absolutely insane, it didn’t work for Fine Gael, it didn’t work for Fianna Fáil, it didn’t work for Provisional Sinn Féin and it won’t work for us.
Dropping abstentionism was always the Trojan horse used to undermine the Republican movement when winning; the lesson from all these abject failures is there is no parliamentary Road to Freedom, it moves us back not forward, Irish Independence will only be borne out of Radical Revolutionary Republican action.
As in 1917, we must today be wary of those who would have us stray from the path of republicanism and the establishment of a true Republic, even from unexpected quarters and those we might consider allies.
Recall that on the day of Thomas Ashe's funeral in Glasnevin, after the volley of shots over Ashe's grave, a man in a Volunteer uniform stepped forward and said so memorably:
"Nothing additional remains to be said. That volley, which we have just heard, is the only speech which is proper to make above the grave of a dead Fenian."
Well, that man was Michael Collins, who in only a few years would betray the ideals of his dead comrade Thomas Ashe, and lead a counter-revolution that sought to overthrow the Republic of 1916.
Collins offered an alternative to the Republic in the shape of the Freestate, we have current people offering alternatives to the Republic, let us take the lessons from history and reaffirm here today that we will accept nothing less than a united Independent Ireland. There are no alternatives.
In closing it is appropriate to end with the words of Ashe himself, he gave an oration to a gathered crowd at Casement Fort, Co. Kerry in memory of his comrade, the great Roger Casement, who had been executed a year prior.
He said:

“The voice of each succeeding patriot and martyr ringing from the scaffold is but another call - a trumpet call to the generations that are to come. The attempt which is meant to strike terror into the hearts of patriots, reveals only a fierce resolve to be ever more determined, to resist all that tyranny can do, to crush the spirit of liberty”
With his words, Thomas Ashe left for us a call to continue the fight for the Republic, let us not be found wanting in this task.

An phobhlacht abú

A video of the Oration can be viewed here:

Friday, 15 September 2017

I know Dave Cullen, thank God Dave Cullen doesn't know me!!

Tout, informer, snitch, rat, grass and I am sure there are more terms used, all have the same meaning in Ireland, someone who gives information to the British forces, some of these people may be involved themselves in the acts they inform on, they may work closely with the people they will one day see imprisoned, or worse killed. Some may be just local snoops, 50p touts as they are known In Armagh, and they give anything ranging from very valuable information, such as surveying the movements of someone of interest to the Police, to informing that someone had an argument with their wife.

Then we have what is known as the super-grass, this is an informer on speed! The Super grass is generally someone who is involved with those they inform on, someone who has been around a while and is trusted; they are not your commoner garden 50p tout. What makes them “super” is the sizable numbers of people they implicate, the trials that follow are usually show trials, with the super grass divulging a lot of information, some of it may be true, much of it lies. The trials generally have major protests outside and a lot of media interest. In Ireland being a tout makes you pond life, scum of the earth some people will say, lower than whale shite is a term I particularly enjoy.

The term super grass came into popular use in Ireland in 1981, Christopher Black a member of the Provisional IRA was arrested. After securing assurances that he would have protection from prosecution, saving his own skin like the coward that he is, Black gave statements which led to 38 arrests of alleged IRA members. This was the first big super grass trial. Two years later on 5th August 1983 22 members of the Provisional IRA were sentenced to a total of more than 4,000 cumulative years in prison, based on Black's testimonies alone.

18 of those convicted on Black’s evidence had their conviction subsequently overturned in 1986, such is the reliability of super-grass tainted evidence. It is well established that Supergrasses lie, their motivating factor being providing “evidence” to avoid prosecution.

Black, however, would not be the last big supergrass, nor would it only affect the Republican community, in all, over 500 people from both Loyalist and Republican backgrounds were put on trial on the word of a super-grass, It was a corrupt system of course, supergrasses were seduced into telling lies and implicating innocent people to save their own skins, given large cash inducements and promises of an anonymous new life.

By the mid-1980s, the super-grass system had collapsed, public concerns about the credibility of the evidence could no longer be ignored and even members of the judiciary complained they were being used as political tools to implement government security policy.

So there we are, all ancient history, super-grass trials are proven to be flawed, the evidence provided by these cretins is known to be non-credible, thank God we don’t have to worry about super-grass trials in 2017 and the prospect of innocent men and women going to jail on the word of a fantasist…….

Uh-oh! Not the case at all, today in 2017 we have a new super-grass, and his name is Dave Cullen.

In March 2013 Dave Cullen was arrested and remanded to Portlaoise Prison charged in connection with the fatal shooting in Gormanstown of Peter Butterly. Just over a year later, in June 2014 Dave Cullen offered to turn state witness in return for the charge to be dropped, two days later Dave Cullen was removed from Portlaoise Prison under the protection of armed Guards, this secured Dave Cullen’s status as Ireland’s most recent super-grass.

To date based on the statements of Dave Cullen 9 men in total have been arrested, so far 2 of them have been convicted and are serving lengthy sentences, the rest are either remanded in Portlaoise or on bail while one man is currently unaccounted for (on the run).

Dave Cullen like many supergrasses before him has brazenly given evidence to the special criminal court; the special criminal court is a non-jury Diplock court in the 26 counties. It is believed that in return for this Cullen has secured immunity from the murder charge, has been assigned a new identity and has been given a cash lump sum along with a monthly stipend. Anyone who knows anything about Irish politics knows this is a recipe for disaster. 

The arrests did not come in a flurry after Cullen turning super-grass, the arrests have continued right up until this current month (September 2017), he has to justify his payments somehow, like all touts anything he says should be taken with a bucket of salt.
It appears that the State has learned nothing, that so intent are they on breaking Republicanism that they are prepared to employ the services of the most despised and reviled creature of all, the Super-grass!

The fate of the tout is never pleasant, they generally go on to live a desperate lonely life, the money runs out, and their usefulness expires. They live out the rest of their lives looking over their shoulder as they are all too aware that they are marked men.

Their state protection only goes so far because the reality of the situation is that no one likes a tout, a deceiver, a liar, not even the people they are touting to as they have proven they cannot be trusted. They are a commodity for a short period of time and when they outlive their usefulness they are thrown to the mercy of the waves by their handlers. Touts like Martin McGartland and Kevin Fulton (real name Peter Keeley) have been very open about their unimportance after the fact, even going to court to try and secure money that was promised to them. So it would seem on top of being liars and cretins we can add stupid to the list.

As per my previous blog published in July where I spoke about the upsurge in IRA membership charges, it is clear that the 26 County state is intent on smashing Republicanism, if they are not using the word of a superintendent to jail political activists, they are prepared to use the word of an even more despicable type which is the super-grass. For our part we must do what those before us did and protest these sham show trials with every fibre of our being.


Friday, 1 September 2017

No Brits in Derry Museum Stand with Linda and Helen

Linda Nash and Helen Deery are now facing their third night sleeping on a floor in the Museum of Free Derry. Linda and Helen are both Derry women, both of whom are pensioners, both lost family members at the hands of the British Army, and both are fiercely opposed to their brothers names being listed in the museum alongside the British Army and RUC.

It's simple for me and only right that we should support them. The museum has attempted to pass over the objections claiming it's just a chronology of everyone who died in Derry during the Troubles, while that could be plausible and surely will be believed by the gulpins who tend to believe anything for an easy life it's clear cut, just like the wall in Glasnevin, which lists volunteers of the Irish Republic alongside those who died defending the British Empire that it is most certainly a memorial.

Over the last 20 years an upsurge in the normalisation of British rule has been rightly nauseating. The British Army and RUC can play GAA as official teams and the British royal family have made Ireland their holiday home such is the frequency of their visits! What's more despicable is the Freestate government constantly inviting them and parading them around for all and sundry to have the chance to bow, scrape and fawn.

Ireland has a national inferiority complex, for those of us who continue our defiance of British rule, or those who will not allow their loved ones memories to be degraded by accepting memorials of British army murderers alongside their family, or for those of us who just continue to tell the truth and refuse to accept the lies and fluff, we are all dissidents! And we should all be proud to be so.

You will be told your out of date, a war monger, a fool and so what! The stupid will be content with the current goings on, the crooked will make a mint as peace cost money remember. That brings me nicely to my next suspicion, I wonder and I'm not making any allegations as I have nothing to back it up BUT I just wonder if funding of some kind led to British army murderers being listed on a memorial in the Museum of Free Derry, I mean, it does not make sense for this museum to list them ...

As it stands Linda and Helen are undergoing a serious sit in protest, two women of a certain age sleeping on a cold hard floor, those who run the museum have locked the kitchen and turned off the lights in an example of extreme pettiness. Linda and Helen have a simple demand, to remove their loved ones names from the memorial as it is a blight on their memory to list them along with the people who murdered them. The Brits have a plethora of museums for these people to be memorialised, there is no requirement for MOFD to do it.

Time for the Free Derry Museum to show a bit of respect and do what's right.



Friday, 18 August 2017

For what died the sons of Roisin if not for this?

Guest writing for Damn your concessions Brian Mac Giolla Chomain ( Brian Kilcommins) a Galway based Irish Republican, makes the case for making the re-establishment of the Irish Republic priority number one.

For what died the sons of Róisín if not for this?
The case for the Irish Republic:

The Irish Republican position was never as strong as it was during the period when it had its own institutions under the first and second All Ireland Dáil Eireann and exercised its own laws. This was the ultimate expression of national sovereignty by the Irish people with institutions of our own creation designed for the purpose of improving the conditions of the Irish people as a whole.
Without our own institutions, we cannot exercise our own sovereignty, and sovereignty you cannot exercise is not sovereignty at all. Despite this fact, the emphasis today among Republican groups and individuals seems to be focused on altering the conditions in the six county and twenty-six county states to improve the conditions for people to live under.
While creating better social conditions for people to live with is worthwhile and its importance should not be downplayed in any way, it should not be done at the expense of creating the Republic we seek; where we ourselves will determine the type of society we have rather than have it decided for us by financial markets both at home and abroad.
The focus of Republicans must be the re-establishment of the Irish Republic. Anything less will prolong the status quo and continue to deny the Irish people the right to exercise their sovereignty as they see fit. It is the duty of everyone who calls themselves a Republican to continually push towards the re-establishment of the Irish Republic. Ask yourself what does the Irish Republic mean to you and then ask yourself how you are contributing towards its reestablishment. Organisations that define themselves as Republican must also ask the same questions of themselves. Is their position one that merely gives rhetorical reference to the re-establishment of the Republic; or have they a plan to work towards the creation of the institutions required.
The complexities involved in creating institutions such as these would be far beyond the scope of a blog post such as this, and making any attempt to do so would simply focus people’s minds away from the need for it to be done and instead focused on how it should be done which is putting the cart in front of the horse at this stage.
Any movement forward on this would, however, have to be predicated on cast iron guarantees by all involved that there would be complete non-participation in institutions claiming sovereignty over the territory of the Irish Republic,  i.e. Leinster House, Stormont, and Westminster. Without such commitments, the entire endeavour would be pointless and rightly open to criticism as a waste of time, energy and quite possibly the start of a slippery slope into constitutionalism. We want revolution, not reform.
Irish unification is not the end goal for Republicans nor is the ending of the British occupation. These are steps that need to be taken but our ultimate objective has and always will be the re-establishment of the Irish Republic.

Up the Republic.