Martin McGuinness R.I.P
Gerry Adams Oration …
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What was the Easter Rising? – video explainer http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/video/2016/mar/26/easter-rising-ireland-rebellion-video-explainer
Below is the fantastic link to the history of 1916 narrated by Colin Farrell it gives a brilliant insight into the battle the key parties and outcomes,using audio and pictures and video it is a wonderful piece of Irish history presented impeccably by google,just follow the links to go to the virtual tour
Modern evolution of Palestine / Israel
Demonstrate for Gaza 9 August 2014 Free Palestine
Because of the huge importance this subject matter involves ive pinned this post to the top off the page ,i understand people will have varying views on Israel/Palestine etc but the murder and genocide must stop ,please show your support by sharing the link on twitter/Facebook and social media outlets,we all can do our part even in small ways..thank you GOD BLESS……………………………….
Reasons why. 25 days of the world’s fifth most powerful military force bombarding an area no bigger than the Isle of Wight has killed 1,800 Palestinians and injured 9000 more. No one and nothing is safe from Israel’s war crimes: 80% of the dead are civilians, over 300 of them children — women, the disabled, the elderly, the infirm, all slaughtered by Israel’s indiscriminate bombing with missiles and shells…………………………….
More reasons why. Hospitals, schools, power stations, sewage works — Gaza’s infrastructure is being turned to rubble. Israel has declared more than half of Gaza a no-go area, effectively announcing it will make Gaza a free-fire zone, when it knows full well there is nowhere for its people to move that is safe, with the borders sealed by Israel and Egypt’s inhuman SIEGE
Gaza needs you. On Saturday 9 August, there will be demonstrations in cities and towns across the world. We will be there to say Israel’s crimes against humanity must stop. And we will be there in our solidarity with the people of Gaza, who need to know they are not alone……………………………………
Petition Please Sign And Share
Theres always 2 sides to every story and the ever escalating events in the Gazza strip throw up many such stories,there’s life’s being lost on both sides of the conflict but the numbers don’t add up,this isnt a fair fight …..while the Palestinians have mobile rockets as there most sophisticated weapon of choice at their disposal,Israel has the best anti rocket system on the planet payed for by the west ,it has an elite army and airforce and has the Palestinian people boxed in with its navy at sea..all of the above being payed for by the west ..the uk and usa have a lot to answer for with regards to this enclave in the middle east..this foothold is obviously worth the slaughter of innocents on both sides …
now im not as ignorant to dismiss the fact that Israelis are losing there lifes as well as Palestinians,that would be wrong any life lost for financial gain or oil is wrong,the jews should never have been placed there in the first place …the land was stolen from the Palestinian people and like any citizen theve been fighting for yrs to win it back…
but the west seen this as a good opportunity to build a nation and arm it to the teeth to have some sort of control in the region,it’s not paranoia its fact ….
This war has been going on for yrs think of the lives lost ,at some point Israel will accept a ceasefire it always does ,but by then thousands will have died …the west will try to sweep it under the carpet yet again till the next time,its time Israel were punished for crimes against humanity..of course they will speak about their losses ,but compared to Palestines casualty list its night and day,they shouldnt be able to hide behind their dead …guilty of hanus slaughter of women and children and innocent unarmed men….
we can sit here and talk of this all day,while the main stream medias coverage of this is stifled by baby Georges first birthday,and the commonwealth games ,human beings are being slaughtered right now as i write this very post,only yesterday i saw a video that upset me so much that i had to do this post,a young man searching for survivors of a bomb blast shot in the hand by a sniper who waited for a few more minutes to see if he could entice in any other victims to shoot before finally shooting the young man dead,this is the kind of mentality the israeli troops have been brainwashed with it’s sickening and wrong at every level…
WARNING THE VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING CONTENT……….
War is a dirty business but if one side is significantly weaker than the other than usually the wider world steps in to help ,it just seems that because Palestine has nothing to offer the west there going to stand idly by and watch this develop…shame on you !!!!..
Its time Israel was punished not let off till the next time right now as i write another Palestinian life may have been lost ..one more to many …this has to stop and the west has to be seen at the forefront of it all ,if not is it really surprising that the middle eastern people see us as an enemy for there jihad …i hope good sense and justice prevail…………………..
Some Facts About the fateful Day ..
The Dead God Bless Everyone Off Them …..
John (Jackie) Duddy. Shot in the chest in the car park of Rossville flats. Four witnesses stated Duddy was unarmed and running away from the paratroopers when he was killed. Three of them saw a soldier take deliberate aim at the youth as he ran. He is the uncle of the Irish boxer John Duddy.
Belt worn by Patrick Doherty. The notch was made by the bullet that killed him.Patrick Joseph Doherty. Shot from behind while attempting to crawl to safety in the forecourt of Rossville flats. Doherty was the subject of a series of photographs, taken before and after he died by French journalist Gilles Peress. Despite testimony from “Soldier F” that he had fired at a man holding and firing a pistol, Widgery acknowledged that the photographs showed Doherty was unarmed, and that forensic tests on his hands for gunshot residue proved negative.
Bernard McGuigan. Shot in the back of the head when he went to help Patrick Doherty. He had been waving a white handkerchief at the soldiers to indicate his peaceful intentions.
Hugh Pius Gilmour. Shot through his right elbow, the bullet then entering his chest as he ran from the paratroopers on Rossville Street. Widgery acknowledged that a photograph taken seconds after Gilmour was hit corroborated witness reports that he was unarmed, and that tests for gunshot residue were negative.
Kevin McElhinney. Shot from behind while attempting to crawl to safety at the front entrance of the Rossville Flats. Two witnesses stated McElhinney was unarmed.
Michael Gerald Kelly. Shot in the stomach while standing near the rubble barricade in front of Rossville Flats. Widgery accepted that Kelly was unarmed.
John Pius Young. Shot in the head while standing at the rubble barricade. Two witnesses stated Young was unarmed.
William Noel Nash. Shot in the chest near the barricade. Witnesses stated Nash was unarmed and going to the aid of another when killed.
Michael M. McDaid. Shot in the face at the barricade as he was walking away from the paratroopers. The trajectory of the bullet indicated he could have been killed by soldiers positioned on the Derry Walls.
James Joseph Wray. Wounded then shot again at close range while lying on the ground. Witnesses who were not called to the Widgery Tribunal stated that Wray was calling out that he could not move his legs before he was shot the second time.
Gerald Donaghey. Shot in the stomach while attempting to run to safety between Glenfada Park and Abbey Park. Donaghey was brought to a nearby house by bystanders where he was examined by a doctor. His pockets were turned out in an effort to identify him. A later police photograph of Donaghey’s corpse showed nail bombs in his pockets. Neither those who searched his pockets in the house nor the British army medical officer (Soldier 138) who pronounced him dead shortly afterwards say they saw any bombs. Donaghey had been a member of Fianna Éireann, an IRA-linked Republican youth movement. Paddy Ward, a police informer who gave evidence at the Saville Inquiry, claimed that he had given two nail bombs to Donaghey several hours before he was shot dead.
Gerard (James) McKinney. Shot just after Gerald Donaghey. Witnesses stated that McKinney had been running behind Donaghey, and he stopped and held up his arms, shouting “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!”, when he saw Donaghey fall. He was then shot in the chest.
William Anthony McKinney. Shot from behind as he attempted to aid Gerald McKinney (no relation). He had left cover to try to help Gerald.
John Johnston. Shot in the leg and left shoulder on William Street 15 minutes before the rest of the shooting started. Johnston was not on the march, but on his way to visit a friend in Glenfada Park.He died 4½ months later; his death has been attributed to the injuries he received on the day. He was the only one not to die immediately or soon after being shot.
14 unarmed civilians murdered by the paratroop regiment ….trigger happy bigots whos hatred towards innocent catholics during the troubles was evident ….there day of reconing will come ,”only they know there guilt let it haunt there every living day”
BLOODY SUNDAY DERRY NORTHERN IRELAND 30TH JANUARY 1972
This Sunday 26th jan 2014 the annual parade in glasgow to remember the murders of 14 civilians by the paras takes place,in recent days the parades commision and glasgow city council have decided to reroute the march because a group called the regimental blues are planning a counter parade,the fact both parades are being held at simalar times baffles me as the risk of trouble could be iminent considering the nature off the march…
Glasgow city council on your hands be it but the decisions here are ludicrous,not only the logistics of such a operation ,with policing etc the fallout from the demos will no doubt escalate to other areas of the city,sundays peaceful march by republicans was to remember and reflect on the death of innocent citizens of ireland at the hand of a trigger happy british army…..
No matter what your beliefs are whether your blue or your green the fact the regimental blues are being allowed to disrupt the parade is sheer provocation,and will no doubt enhance bad feeling in both communities…at a time when most orangemen feel there identity in the uk is on the slide these measures are being requested as some sort of act of defiance..there football club died 2 yrs ago rangers 1873-2012 deceased,so now they try to cling on to what heritage remains…
I believe the loyalists are hurting very badly and with the impending independance vote due in sep ,there really at the end of there bigoted exsistence,its no surprise there desperate for a no vote…
I actually contacted the regimental blues through twitter and the same stupid beliefs were present today as they were 40 yrs ago …people were murdered in cold blood but there hatred of catholics and fellow humans wont allow them to admit the attocity was the fault of the paratroopers..i hope sundays events are trouble free..we remember the souls that the british army took away..stay safe if your attending and god bless TAL
Events Leading Up to The Massacre
Some observers put the number as high as 20,000 whereas the Widgery Report estimated the number at between 3,000 and 5,000. Around 3.45pm most of the marchers followed the organisers instructions and turned right into Rossville Street to hold a meeting at ‘Free Derry Corner’. However a section of the crowd continued along William Street to the British Army barricade. A riot developed. (Confrontations between the Catholic youth of Derry and the British Army had become a common feature of life in the city and many observers reported that the rioting was not particularly intense.)
item mark At approximately 3.55pm, away from the riot and also out of sight of the meeting, soldiers (believed to be a machine-gun platoon of Paratroopers) in a derelict building in William Street opened fire (shooting 5 rounds) and injured Damien Donaghy (15) and John Johnston (59). Both were treated for injuries and were taken to hospital (Johnston died on 16 June 1972). [The most recent information (see, for example, Pringle, P. and Jacobson, P.; 2000) suggests that an Official IRA member then fired a single shot in response at the soldiers in the derelict building. This incident happened prior to the main shooting and also out of sight of Rossville Street.]
Also around this time (about 3.55pm) as the riot in William Street was breaking up, Paratroopers requested permission to begin an arrest operation. By about 4.05pm most people had moved to ‘Free Derry Corner’ to attend the meeting.
item mark 4.07pm (approximately) An order was given for a ‘sub unit’ (Support Company) of the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment to move into William Street to begin an arrest operation directed at any remaining rioters. The order authorising the arrest operation specifically stated that the soldiers were “not to conduct running battle down Rossville Street” (Official Brigade Log). The soldiers of Support Company were under the command of Ted Loden, then a Major in the Parachute Regiment (and were the only soldiers to fire at the crowd from street level).
item mark At approximately 4.10pm soldiers of the Support Company of the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment began to open fire on people in the area of Rossville Street Flats. By about 4.40pm the shooting ended with 13 people dead and a further 14 injured from gunshots. The shooting took place in four main places: the car park (courtyard) of Rossville Flats; the forecourt of Rossville Flats (between the Flats and Joseph Place); at the rubble and wire barricade on Rossville Street (between Rossville Flats and Glenfada Park); and in the area around Glenfada Park (between Glenfada Park and Abbey Park). According to British Army evidence 21 soldiers fired their weapons on ‘Bloody Sunday’ and shot 108 rounds in total.
item mark [Most of the basic facts are agreed, however what remains in dispute is whether or not the soldiers came under fire as they entered the area of Rossville Flats. The soldiers claimed to have come under sustained attack by gunfire and nail-bomb. None of the eyewitness accounts saw any gun or bomb being used by those who had been shot dead or wounded. No soldiers were injured in the operation, no guns or bombs were recovered at the scene of the killing.
http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/upload/publications/1104.pdf tri-colour guidelines This time of year never seems to amaze me,the march 17th st patricks day celebrations across the world are generally good natured affairs with great colour and flair,not the same to be said of the uk ,if …
Originally posted on seachranaidhe1:
‘The further deaths of prison staff is inevitability should the Maghaberry situation not be resolved – ‘IRA’. THE ‘IRA’ has claimed responsibility for two letter bombs addressed to prison officers at Maghaberry jail and has warned…
Originally posted on Buffalohair Gazette International:
Originally posted on Buffalohair Gazette International: View original
The Dead God Bless Everyone Off Them ….. John (Jackie) Duddy. Shot in the chest in the car park of Rossville flats. Four witnesses stated Duddy was unarmed and running away from the paratroopers when he was killed. Three of … Continue reading
Part of World War I
Proclamation of the Republic, Easter 1916
Date 24 April 1916 – 30 April 1916
Location Dublin….. Skirmishes in counties Meath, Galway, Louth, and Wexford ———————Result Unconditional surrender of rebel forces,execution of leaders. Public surge in support for Sinn Féin at 1918 general election in response to execution of rising leaders. Belligerents ,Irish Republican Brotherhood ,Irish Volunteers,Irish Citizen Army Cumann na mBan, Hibernian Rifles, Fianna Éireann British Army Dublin Metropolitan Police,Royal Irish Constabulary….. Commanders and leaders… Patrick Pearse James Connolly.Sir John Maxwell Brigadier-General WHM Lowe.. Strength……1,250 in Dublin,~2,000–3,000 elsewhere, but they took little part in the fighting. 16,000 troops and 1,000 armed police in Dublin by the end of the week. Casualties and losses 64 killed unknown wounded 16 executed 132 killed 397 wounded ,254 civilians killed 2,217 civilians wounded Total killed: 466.. Independence and partition of Ireland (1912–1922) The Easter Rising (Irish: Éirí Amach na Cásca) was an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic at a time when the British Empire was heavily engaged in the First World War. It was the most significant uprising in Ireland since the rebellion of 1798. Organised by the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Rising lasted from Easter Monday 24 to 30 April 1916. Members of the Irish Volunteers—led by schoolteacher and barrister Pádraig (Patrick) Pearse, joined by the smaller Irish Citizen Army of James Connolly, along with 200 members of Cumann na mBan—seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed the Irish Republic independent of Britain. There were some actions in other parts of Ireland, however, except for the attack on the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks at Ashbourne, County Meath, they were minor. The Rising was suppressed after seven days of fighting, and its leaders were court-martialled and executed, but it succeeded in bringing physical force republicanism back to the forefront of Irish politics. Less than two years after the Rising, republicans (then represented by the Sinn Féin party) won 73 Irish seats out of 105 in the 1918 General Election to the British Parliament, on a policy of abstentionism and Irish independence. In January 1919, the elected members of Sinn Féin who were not still in prison at the time, including survivors of the Rising, convened the First Dáil and established the Irish Republic. The British government refused to accept the legitimacy of the newly declared nation, precipitating the Irish War of Independence….. Ireland Eire6 July 16:48 Fr. Murphy’ was a hero of the 1798 Rebellion he was caught by the British and executed…..The execution which followed was particularly brutal and tragic with Fr.Murphy’s head spiked on a railing and his body burned in a barrel of pitch. His body was later buried in Ferns and his head was later removed to the cemetery at the Mullawn in Tullow. Fr. John’s last journey ended in County Carlow and so today he is commemorated in a memorial statue on the town square……………. THE VOLUNTEER
The gunfire split the still night air,and from my side the blood flowed red.Informer’s work had been well done; an ambush had been laid. My comrades turned back to my aid. I waved them on again.IN MEMORY OF FRANCIS HUGHES.”Francis Hughes 31 years gone but never forgotten!
Escape for me was hopeless. Why should they die in vain? The soldiers soon around me stood. Their unit I could guess.Their blackened faces could not disguise the hated SAS.“Finish him off.” I heard one say as a gun moved toward my head. Tomorrow they’ll all sing about another fenian dead. Just drop those guns down gently,” a voice came from the dark.
They wheeled and fired a volley, but it seemed they missed their mark.The stranger stood before them now with eyes that seemed alight. The cowards turned and quickly fled as he raised his armalite. His face somewhere I’d seen before, but I couldn’t tell just where,but I knew from his green battledress he was a volunteer. He never said a word to me as we moved off through the night.
I was hoisted ‘cross his shoulders, a burden which seemed light. You’ll be safe here,” at last he said, as a cottage door drew near.
They’re friends of mine, though we haven’t met for many a lonely year. He laid me gently down beside a wall of slate and stone.
I turned to thank my comrade brave, but found I was alone. When next I woke, I found myself with a family staunch and true.I told them of my comrade strange, but it seemed they already knew. I gazed upon that parlour wall and things came clear at last,
and I thought of songs and stories heard often in the past,
and I knew then that our struggle was a fight we could not lose
for beneath his picture there I read.
Ireland Eire6 July 17:10 Volunteer tom williams final journey….. After 57 years tom was hanged in Crumlin Road Gaol Belfast at 8a.m. on Wednesday 2nd September 1942. Tom body was interred in unhallowed ground in an unmarked grave within the grounds of the prison. His remains were only released in January 2000 after the closure of the prison in 1996 and a lengthy campaign by the National Graves Association Belfast. Tom was lay to rest His funeral held on 19th January 2000 was attended by thousands. Joe Cahill, Tom’s cell mate, and John Oliver, sentenced to death with Tom but later reprieved, as well as Madge McConville, who had been arrested with Tom, Greta McGlone, Billy McKee, Eddie Keenan and perhaps least known, Nell Morgan, Tom’s girlfriend at the time of his death, were all present. Six senior Sinn Féin members including Gerry Adams were also present in St Paul’s Church on the Lower Falls Road for the mass.Unfortunately, Tom’s boyhood friend and the man who introduced him to the Republican Movement Alfie Hannaway, was unable to attend the funeral due to ill health. Tom’s funeral mass was celebrated by Rev. Fr Paddy O’Donnell C.Ss.R., a Redemptorist Priest from Clonard monastery ….. THE ORIGINAL SIN OF EVIL AND INHUMANE ISRAEL
Israel’s Original sin is Zionism, the ideology that a Jewish State should replace Palestine. At the root of the problem is Zionism’s exclusivist structure whereby only Jews are treated as first-class citizens.
In order to create and consolidate a Jewish State in 1948, Zionists expelled 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland and never allowed them or their descendants to return. In addition, Israeli forces destroyed over 400 Palestinian villages and perpetrated about three dozen massacres.
In 1967, the Israelis forced another 350,000 Palestinians to flee the West Bank and Gaza aswell as 147,000 Syrians from the Golan Heights. CONCLUSION- “Evil and Inhumane” Zionism is the origin, Source, and root of Terrorism………..
IRELAND AND PALESTINE ONE STRUGGLE ♥ In 1980, 7 IRISH IRA men in the H Block prison embarked on a hunger strike seeking to re establish their political status, which the British Government had ended 4 years before. After 53 days, and the men close to death, a deal was apparently on the table from the Thatcher led British Government, and the men called of their hunger strike. In the days that followed, it became clear that there was no deal. 2 months later, another hunger strike was announced, and on March 1st, Bobby Sands began his hunger strike. As part of their strategy, different men would join at later stages. Several men would follow Bobby, and by the end of the summer, 10 men had died before the hunger strike was called off. The prisoners had 5 demands: 1. The right not to wear a prison uniform;
2. The right not to do prison work;
3. The right of free association with other prisoners, and to organise educational and recreational pursuits;
4. The right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week;
5. Full restoration of remission lost through the protest. In the months that followed, several of the demands were met, and within 2 years, all 5. A few weeks after Bobby started his fast, the MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone died, and an election was called. A decision was made to run Bobby as a candidate in order to gain more attention to their plight, and on his 41st day on hunger strike, he was elected MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone. His election lit a spark where the Republican movement saw the impact of electoral success.Palestinian Khader Adnan ended his hunger strike after 66 days, the same length of time Bobby Sands endured before he died on May 5th 1981. Throughout Khader’s hunger strike, he was compared to Bobby Sands, the first of ten men to die in the Hunger Strike of 1981.Following Khader’s hunger strike several other prisoners followed his example, and began hunger strikes in protest at their incarceration under the Administrative Detention policy. On April 17th, over 1,500 Palestinian prisoners initiated a mass hunger strike. The plight of the Palestinian prisoners was set to take centre stage, and their struggle brought to the worlds attention. In the days that followed, hundreds more joined them. Ireland has a long history of the use of a hunger strike as a form of protest. It has been used for centuries. Palestinian prisoners have been inspired by Irish hunger strikes in the past, and this one is no different.
In 1981, Palestinians prisoners sent a message of support to the families of the 10 men who died. Their memory burns bright among current prisoners on hunger strike. This hunger strike has resonated widely in Ireland. The voices have roared around the world, playing a pivotal role in bringing international awareness and pressure on the Israeli Government, and their treatment of Palestinian prisoners. Historically, Ireland has had its fair share of tyrants. Amongst them, Margaret Thatcher is in a league of her own for allowing 10 Irish men to die on hunger strike before granting their 5 demands. Judging from his past behaviour, Netanyahu, like Thatcher in 1981, is unlikely to step in to avoid having any of these Palestinian die during their hunger strikes. Is the fuse being lit for a 3rd Intifada?
IRELAND AND PALESTINE ♥ freedom loving people against the massive military might of an imperialist power intent upon squashing the will and desire for freedom of an entire nation. Lacking in the wealth and destructive military power of their oppressors, this freedom loving people have been forced to use the only form of resistance left open to them, their sense of justice, their desire for liberty, their will to be free and their physical being.. memories of the super human efforts and the ultimate sacrifice of ten brave Republican volunteers, in 1981 in the H Blocks of Long Kesh, will spring to mind. Faced with the same circumstances as Palestinian Prisoners, those volunteers unselfishly gave their young lives so that others would not have to. However, this is not merely a reflection on the events in Ireland thirty one years ago, unfortunately it was the description of unfolding events in Palestine only days ago. Men and women facing the destructive power of the Israeli state, intent on criminalizing the justness of the Palestinian cause, had been left with no option but to use their bodies to highlight the corruption and inhumanity of a state forcing them and their people to live as second class citizens. Faced with the constrictions of imprisonment without trial and enduring the tortures of an oppressive state, Palestinian prisoners had been forced to engage in a mass hunger strike to highlight the sectarian and barbarous nature of the illegal and immoral Israeli state.FREE IRELAND FREE PALESTINE………
GIBRALTAR MEMORIAL No call to surrender, No raised hands,
No privileges in a foreign land,
No call of warning, No reply,
Shot in the back and left to die,
No judge, No jury to confess, Sentenced to death by the S.A.SOglach Mairead Farrell, Oglach Daniel McCann agus Oglach Sean SavageFuair siad bas Ar son Saoirse Na hEireannR.I.P 24 Years On Always Remembered!
Kieran Doherty When the family, friends and former comrades of Belfast IRA Volunteer twenty-five-year-old Kieran Doherty learnt that he was joining the H-Block hunger strike, as a replacement for Raymond McCreesh, it came as no surprise to them. Although Kieran had spent seven of the last ten years imprisoned, his complete selflessness and his relentless dedication to the liberation struggle left no-one in any doubt that Kieran would volunteer for this terrible and lonely confrontation with British rule inside the H-Blocks of Long Kesh. Last December he was amongst those thirty prisoners who were on hunger strike for four days prior to the ending of the original seven-strong strike. Kieran was born on October 16th, 1955 in Andersonstown, the third son in a family of six children. His two elder brothers, Michael, aged 28, and Terence, aged 27, were interned between 1972 and 1974. Kieran joined the blanket protest immediately as did his comrades sentenced with him. He spent all but two weeks of his three years and almost eight months in the H-Blocks, in H4-Block (the temporary spell was in H6), before being moved to the prison hospital during his hunger strike. Recollections of Kieran’s experiences in the H-Blocks give an impression of relentless conflict between himself and the warders, who made him a target both because of his height and because of his stubborn defiance of the prison regime. On ‘appeal’ visits he always had to be dragged away, ignoring all calls to end the visit. He never looked a warder in the face when one addressed him and never replied to their orders. He always refused to submit to the anal searches over the mirror before and after visits and was beaten for this. The worst incident occurred in July ’78 when Kieran refused a mirror search before a legal visit. Eight warders jumped on him, one squeezing his testicles until he became unconscious. He received blows to every part of his body and was taken to the prison hospital. Although people who visited him recall how often he arrived pale or with grazes on his arms or bloodshot eyes, he never complained, brushing their questions off with a shrug: “I’m OK. What’s the sceal?” Kieran Doherty Died on the 2nd August 1981 after 73 days on hunger strike. Rest in peace Oglach Kieran Doherty Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉirean
To the men and women who gave their lives during the 1916 Easter Rising, fighting for a 32 County Irish Republic. The day was beautiful with a Spring clear in the sky. Sackville St was a buzz with shoppers and traders busy with their daily errands and oblivious to the legacy that was unfolding before their very eyes. Few people paid attention to the armed Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army men who had strategically taken over strong points throughout Dublin. On that fine day, at a few minutes past noon, Monday, 24th April, 1916, Padraíg Pearse walked out among the mighty pillars of the GPO. In his hand was a large sheet of paper, inscribed with the lettering that was about to shape the course of Irish history for generations to come. Padraíg Pearse, fully clad in a grey-green uniform and slouched hat, read aloud this large hastily printed Proclamation against the backdrop of the General Post Office, thus proclaiming an Irish Republic Sovereign Independent State, singed on behalf of the Provisional Government Of The Irish Republic. POBLACHT NA H EIREANN _THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF THE IRISH REPUBLIC TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom. Having organised and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organisation, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organisations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and, supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory. We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the last three hundred years they have asserted it to arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in- arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations. The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past. Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people. We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God. Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, in humanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called. Signed on Behalf of the Provisional Government. Thomas J. Clarke, Sean Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, P. H. Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt, James Connolly, Joseph Plunkett
Martin Hurson. In the early hours of Tuesday morning, November 9th, 1976, a series of British army and RUC swoops in the Cappagh district of Dungannon in East Tyrone led to the arrest from their homes, under Section 10 of the Emergency Provisions Act, of three young local men: Pat Joe O’Neill, Dermot Boyle and Peter Kane. Two days later, November 11th, in similar dawn swoops in the area, four other men, James Joseph Rafferty, Peter Nugent, Kevin O’Brien and Martin Hurson, were arrested from their homes. Over the next few days all seven men were held in Omagh RUC barracks, interrogated about IRA operations in East Tyrone since 1972, and systematically tortured by detectives from the newly established Regional Crime Squad. The men had their hair pulled, their ears slapped, they were made to stand for prolonged periods in the ‘search position’ against a wall, they were kicked and punched and forced to do exercises for lengthy periods. INJURIES Finally, two men, Peter Nugent and James Rafferty, were released without charge, Rafferty to Tyrone County Hospital in Omagh where he spent four days recovering from his injuries. The remaining five were charged (and subsequently convicted) on the sole basis of statements made during that interrogation. One of the five is now in the cages of Long Kesh, the other four became blanket men in the H-Blocks. Four-and-a-half years later with revealing ironic insight into the nature of the British judicial system in Ireland, while four RUC detectives involved in those Omagh interrogations were awaiting trial on charges of assaulting James Rafferty during interrogation, in the prison hospital of Long Kesh, one of thoseconvicted on the basis of a tortured ‘confession’ – Martin Hurson – lay dying on hunger strike for political status. CAPPAGH.. Edward Martin Hurson was born on September 13th, 1956, in the townland of Aughnaskea, Cappagh, near Dungannon, the eighth of nine children: six girls and three boys. Both of his parents, John, aged 74, a small hill farmer, and Mary Ann (whose maiden name was Gillespie) who died in April 1970 after a short illness, came from the Cappagh district, and the whole of their family – including Martin – were born into the white washed farmhouse perched precipitously on top of the thirty hilly acres of rough land that make up the Hurson farm. The Cappagh district is a wholly nationalist area of County Tyrone, composed mainly of farmers, and comprising between two and three hundred closely knit families. The land is infertile, lowland hills, good only for grazing cattle and rearing a few pigs, yet the roots of families like the Hursons stretch back maybe two or three hundred years. The land may not be much but it is theirs. Over by Donaghmore, a few miles away, where the fields are bigger and the grass more lush, most of the farmers are loyalists. Martin was close to the land as he grew up. Although he went first to Crosscavanagh school in Galbally, and then to St. Patrick’s intermediate in Dungannon, when he was not at school he was more often than not helping out about the farm, driving a tractor, helping to rear ‘croppy pigs’ or looking after cattle. A ‘typical’ country lad in many ways, part of a very close and good humoured family, Martin was a quiet, very religious, and easy going young man, who nevertheless, before his arrest, enjoyed social pursuits such as dancing and going to the cinema, and enjoyed the company of other people, among whom he had a well-earned reputation for being a practical joker and a bit of a comedian. Like many others, he was capable of being very outgoing and talkative on occasions, while remaining essentially a rather shy and quiet personality. Perhaps because he was one of the youngest of the family, Martin was
particularly close to his mother, whose premature death in 1970 when he was only thirteen, came as a deep shock to him. It was Martin who returned home one day to find his mother taken seriously ill and who ran to a neighbouring farm to ring a doctor. That day, a Saturday, Mrs. Hurson was taken to Omagh hospital, and from there to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where she died the following Thursday, April 30th. Martin was so shocked by the tragedy that he lost his memory completely for aweek, only regaining it when a tractor he was driving up a steep slope, with his father, overturned, throwing the pair to the ground, this fresh shock dramatically restoring his memory. That period of his life was also the time when ‘the troubles’ began to have an impact. Although the family did not discuss politics, and internment did not affect anyone from the Cappagh area, it was impossible not to be keenly aware of British oppression so close to Dungannon which – spearheading the civil rights campaign through the late sixties – had fostered such a strong current of republicanism in the process. However, Martin’s personal resistance to that British repression and his subsequent intense suffering at the hands of it were not to occur for several years. In his teens his great delight was to play practical jokes on his family
and neighbours, particularly on April Fool’s Day and on Hallowe’en. JOKE He liked a joke and a laugh” remembers a long-time friend of Martin’s. “Him and Peter Kane were a comical match”. Or, as his brother Francis remembers with a laugh, “If he thought it would make you mad he would do it”.
Like the time he ran breathless to Paddy Donnelly’s to tell him that Sylvie Kane’s cows had toppled his milkchurns and the milk was going everywhere. And asPaddy dashed down to save his milk, Martin called out, “Hey Paddy, April Fool” before disappearing through a gap in the hedge. Leaving school, Martin started work as an apprentice fitter welder at Findlay’s, and after a stint there he went across to England for a while, living in Manchester with his brother Francis and his wife, and working for McAlpine’s. But not long after Francis and his wife returned to Tyrone, Martin too returned when the particular job he was working on had finished at Christmas in 1974, rather than move to another job. He had spent almost a year-and-a half in England but wasn’t particular about it, a view confirmed early on after his arrival, when he was forced to spend two weeks in hospital having been struck by one of McAlpine’s mechanical diggers! Back in the farmhouse at Cappagh, Martin bought himself a car on hire purchaseand got himself a job in Dungannon at Powerscreen International. He paid for thecar within a year, having always had a gift for scraping money together. As a child, whenever he managed to get hold of a penny or a shilling, here or there, instead of spending it he would take it to a nearby farmer and familyfriend who put it into a box for him until he had enough to buy, once, a white
cob, or a pig to rear. He was ‘old fashioned” in that way, his brother Francis recalls.He also loved to work and was a “great riser” in the morning, his father says,never missing a day’s work until his arrest. BERNADETTE.. Late in 1975, he met and started going out with Bernadette Donnelly, at the wedding of her sister Mary Rose to a cousin of Martin’s, at which he was best man. Bernadette, aged twenty-three, comes from Pomeroy: she was extremely active in the hunger strike campaign, along with members of Martin’s family, appearing on rally platforms and taking part in marches and pickets all over the country. Before his arrest, Martin and Bernadette were often both behind the practical jokes he loved playing. His brother Francis was often the victim. On one occasion, Francis, his wife, and their two children, were asleep in a caravan in the Donegal resort of Bundoran. They awoke however to find themselves not on the caravan site but on an adjacent road, Martin and Bernadette having towed it off-site during the night. On another occasion the pair borrowed Francis’ almost new cine-camera to film the wedding of a friend, Seamus McGuire, in Donegal. Somewhere along the route back from Donegal they found out they’d lost the camera and lost it remained. Afraid to tell Francis, they kept quiet about the camera for several weeks, before Francis remembered to ask for it back. Instead of owning-up, Martin gave Francis an almost identical replacement hoping he wouldn’t notice. But when hedid, Martin, not lost for words, just explained: “I left it into a shop for fixing, but they said it wasn’t worth fixing.” Ruc But those relatively light-hearted and easy-going days were coming to an end. East Tyrone, like many other areas in the North, was a centre of highly proficient republican operations against the enemy forces. To combat the level of republican military activity, deputy chief constable of the RUC Kenneth Newman (shortly to be promoted to chief constable), was one of those behind the restructuring of the RUC in early 1976, which led to the setting up of what were called Regional Crime Squads. Their primary function was to ensure convictions for all ‘unsolved’ republican activity by extracting signed statements, in effect to ‘clear the books’ of an embarrassing list of unattributable republican operations.
Under the torturer Newman, and the then direct-ruler Roy Mason, the Regional Crime Squads only responsibility was to ‘get results’ (a guarantee of promotion)without undue regard to the methods they employed. One method they did employ was torture. TORTURE.. Martin was arrested and taken to Omagh RUC barracks on November 11th, 1976, along with the six others arrested that day and two days previously. He was badly, and professionally tortured in Omagh for two days, beaten about
the head, back and testicles, spread-eagled against a wall and across a table, slapped, punched and kicked. He heard Rafferty’s screams as he was tortured in the adjoining room. To escape the torture Martin signed statements admitting involvement in republican activity. He was then transferred to Cookstown barracks, but as soon as he arrived he made a formal complaint of ill-treatment. Back in Omagh barracks, chief inspector Farr, realising this could prejudice the admissibility of Martin’s statements at his trial, got the Cookstown detectives to re-interrogate Martin and extract the same statements, which they did by threatening to ‘send him back to Omagh’. On Saturday night, November 13th, Martin was charged, along with Kevin O’Brien and Peter Kane. Dermot Boyle and Pat Joe O’Neill had been charged the day before. Martin was charged with a landmine explosion at Galbally in November 1975. This charge was later dropped, but he was then further charged with IRA membership, possession of the Galbally landmine, conspiracy to kill members of the enemy forces, causing an explosion at Cappagh in September 1975, and possession of alandmine at Reclain in February 1976 which exploded near a passing UDR landrover. STATEMENTS… Even though the alleged speciality of the East Tyrone active service unit operating around Cappagh was explosives, the RUC offered not one shred of forensic evidence, against any of the five men, merely signed statements
extracted by torture. These statements, however, were good enough for Judge Rowland at the trial of the five men in November 1977, after a year on remand in Crumlin Road and in the remand H-Block of Long Kesh. Admitting as evidence the statements Martin made in Omagh, and dismissing doctor’s evidence about the extent of Martin’s injuries, Judge Rowland sentenced Martin to twenty years for possession of landmines and conspiracy, as well as two other sentences of fifteen and five years respectively, the sentences to run concurrently. The other four men received sentences ranging from fifteen to twenty years. Martin appealed his conviction on the grounds that the judge had ignored medicalevidence about his ill-treatment. The appeal was dismissed but he was granted a retrial. At the four-day trial in September 1979, before Judge Munray, the Omagh statements were ruled inadmissible, but instead of Martin walking free the judgewent on to accept the admissibility of the Cookstown statements, themselves extracted under threat of renewed torture. One of the consequences of the retrial was the further postponement of the enquiry into James Rafferty’s allegations of brutality in Omagh, on the grounds that it might prejudice the retrial (to the RUC’s detriment!).The enquiry had been reluctantly acceded to by the RUC Police Authority following the persistent endeavours of Authority member, independent Dungannon councillor, Jack Hassard. He, however, later resigned from the Authority,describing it as being “as independent as a sausage without a skin” when the tribunal which was set up failed to begin its enquiries. The tribunal finally collapsed earlier this year when the RUC detectives from Omagh refused to give evidence to it on the grounds that they might incriminate themselves! Subsequently, four of the detectives who tortured James Rafferty, Martin Hurson and the others at Omagh that November: chief inspector Harold Colgan, and constables Michael O Neil, Kenneth Hassan, and Robert McAdore were charged with assaulting Rafferty. Those four torturers, however, are only convenient scape-goats representing the tip of the iceberg in what was an orchestrated and widespread attempt during the Roy Mason era to jail republicans on the flimsiest of pretexts by means of torture extracted statements. Such men make up a substantial proportion of those political prisoners in Britain’s Northern and English jails today. Martin Hurson went straight on the blanket after his first trial, and following his retrial he appealed once again against conviction, challenging theadmissibility of the Cookstown statements, but his appeal was disallowed in June1980. HUNGER STRIKE…. On May 29th, this year, Martin joined the hunger strike, replacing South Derryman Brendan McLoughlin who was forced to drop out because of a burst stomach ulcer. In the Free State general election in June, Martin was a candidate in Longford/Westmeath, and although missing election, obtained almost four-and-a-half thousand first preference votes, and over a thousand transfers, before being eliminated at the end of the sixth count, outlasting two Labour candidates and a Fine Gael contender. Barely one month after election the Free State government’s bolstering of Britain’s barbaric intransigence led to the death of Martin Hurson, the sixth hunger striker, at that stage, to die. Having seriously deteriorated after forty days on hunger strike, he was unable to hold down water and died a horrifically agonising death after only forty-four days on hunger strike, at 4.30 a m. on Monday, July 13th..