Thursday, November 20, 2014


As a festival celebrating Cuban culture kicks off in Kilkee, Richard Fitzpatrick talks to artist Jim Fitzpatrick, who created the iconic image of Che Guevara, about his meeting with the revolutionary
Jim Fitzpatrick met Che Guevara in the Royal Marine Hotel bar in Kilkee, Co Clare, in the summer of 1961. Fitzpatrick was 16 years old at the time, and had travelled down to the seaside village to work in the hotel while on holidays from Gormanstown College, Co Meath. The hotel’s owners set up a mattress in a barn for him to sleep on for his first couple of nights’ stay. He was put working behind the bar.
“I was an instant barman — no experience whatsoever,” he says. “I wouldn’t mind, but I was a pioneer, totally opposed to drink and still am.” It was after Mass one morning, while Fitzpatrick was working in the bar, that the encounter happened.
“It was a beautiful sunny morning. I was working in the bar on my own. There was a guy there called Sam, who was in there every day, a lovely man. I was chatting away to him. There were two other people in the bar, regulars. And in walked these three, very interesting looking men. All that was needed was Clint Eastwood saloon doors because they came into the bar through swing doors at the side entrance to the hotel.
“They had green-coloured, London Fog raincoats with epaulettes. I recognised him immediately. Who the other two guys were was a mystery. One guy was very curly-haired. I said something like, ‘What brings you here?’ He laughed. And I said, ‘I recognise you. I follow the Cuban revolution.’
“The Cuban revolution was probably the most exciting thing that ever happened. For me, he was a world figure. We watched Pathé News and all the revolutionaries coming into Havana, sitting on top of tanks with their long hair and beards. He would have been as famous as Maradona today. People of my age idolised him.
“We talked for a few minutes once he realised that I knew who he was. His English was faltering, but he could make himself understood. The first thing he said was, ‘You know I’m Irish. My father was Guevara Lynch.’ I was taken aback by that because I didn’t know that at all.”
Guevara’s Irish roots stretch back to the Lynchs of Galway, one of the county’s 14 tribes. He was a descendant of Patrick Lynch, who left Galway in the mid-1700s and became a substantial landowner in Argentina’s Rio de la Plata region.
Jon Lee Anderson, who spent five years writing Guevara’s biography, says: “He was first and foremost a Latin American but I think his Irish roots were important to him. His father was very much a Lynch of Galway and knew the family history. That part of the family had done extremely well in Latin America.
“On both sides of the family, he had pretty illustrious ancestors. Part of the family folklore is that a great great-aunt may have been Eliza Lynch, the mistress of Francisco Solano López in Paraguay who in the late 19th century declared war on Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay and devastated the country, from which it never recovered.
“Che read his James Joyce. When he was a young lad he began keeping a philosophical dictionary. He didn’t write or speak much about the Irish rebellion, but it’s my understanding that he was certainly aware of it, and aware of the idea of the Irish rebel, which appealed to him very much.
“His father definitely had a little bit of the bard in him. He was a great spinner of tall tales. There was always a recognition in Che of that, and the difference between his mother and father — his mother being very much of Spanish blood, and of his father as a Lynch and the connection with the old country.”
Back in Kilkee, Guevara asked Fitzpatrick for a suggestion as to what to drink. “Obviously in Cuba, they drink rum, and I suggested rum. But he said, ‘No.’ He wanted an Irish drink. I recommended a whiskey. I said, ‘If you’re not used to it, I wouldn’t drink that quick. You need to put a mixer in it.’ He asked me what mixer and I said, ‘ginger ale or water.’ He took a glass of water, a glass of Power’s whiskey and he sipped it.
“I asked him what he was doing. He was on a Aeroflot flight — from Moscow to Havana or Havana to Moscow; I don’t think I was told — that got fogbound in Shannon. They wanted to see the coast. They hired a driver, and it was one of those old Ford Prefects — it wasn’t a flash car. They parked it outside. He said he was proud of his Irish ancestors; that the Irish brought down the British Empire. He sat down in a corner, chatting with his friends. They just had minerals.
“When it was announced he had been murdered in 1967, the next day his father was quoted in the Evening Press — I have the paper — as saying, ‘The blood of the Irish revolutionary ran in my sons’ veins’.”
-The annual Che do Bheatha Festival is taking place in Kilkee, Co Clare today and tomorrow.
Model of youthful defiance
Students and celebrities — such as Johnny Depp and Prince Harry — love to wear T-shirts adorned with Che Guevara’s image, while Mike Tyson and Diego Maradona have prominent tattoos of him on their bodies. He is a contentious figure, however.
When a Labour Party councillor, Billy Cameron, mooted the idea in 2012 of erecting a statue to the Marxist revolutionary in Galway, he was criticised by Declan Ganley, among others. The businessman and political activist described Guevara as a “mass murderer” and said the monument “would shame the people of Galway and Ireland”.
Jon Lee Anderson, Guevara’s biographer, disputes the charge that Guevara was a mass murderer, and explains his appeal: “Che’s face, extrapolated from that famous 1960 Alberto Korda photograph, which showed him at his height, his almost mystical anger and indignation. He had long hair, the very image of a rebel, angry, looking off to the far horizon. Already, he is a figure of legendary repute, as the guy who was backing the insurgencies that began to pop up everywhere. It became the defining image of an age.

He represents youthful rebellion and defiance of the status quo. That’s why it’s a universal image. By holding up his face, you’re sticking it to the man.

Story by Richard Fitzpatrick


 As a former member of Provisional Sinn Fein, I have been waiting a long time for some indication that they were willing to stand up to the the British. This is a welcome step in the right direction, hopefully they will walk their talk. Kelly & Murphy should know as well as anyone, that the reason the sun never set on the British Empire is because He couldn't trust an Englishman in the dark. At the end of the day, an internal solution in the North will not work. I have just seen the Cait Trainor statement of resignation, where she put her Republican Principles before Personalities. We need more Republicans with the balls(women have them too) to do the same, while sticking together under the umbrella of the Republican Movement and family, while still sticking by our own interpretation and principles. Life is short and if we cannot learn from our mistakes and remain true to ourselves, it simply becomes a waste of precious lives. We need a genuine Truth & Reconciliation forum like the South Africa model, to unite us in the common cause of Ireland. We also need as best we can as Republicans to stick together as much as is possible, to achieve victory. This is the main lesson the English learned from the previous Roman Empire, which Ireland still has not learned and it is critical to victory. The British are always working, especially in the dark to divide and conquer!. The Republican Movement needs to find some sort of unity, while still keeping our Principles to achieve victory! beir bua!

As of today 19th November 2014 - I have regretfully resigned my position as Vice President of Republican Sinn Féin and withdrew my membership from the organisation.
Republican Sinn Féin have recently moved away from a position that I firmly believe in, which is non co-operation in any manner with the Parades Commission and RUC to commemorate our Patriot dead, and as such their policies are now at odds with my principles. If I were to remain a member it would be dishonest to both Republican Sinn Féin and myself and would serve no good.
The contemptuous behaviour by some members of the leadership towards me since the Ard Fheis of 2014, when I showed my opposition to this move has been truly startling and nothing short of an attempt to censor me. Attempts were made at the Ard Fheis to remove the motion put forward by my own Cumann confirming that we would not use the Parades commission from the Clar, this was the first anything untoward was made apparent.
Within days of my opposition to rejecting the motion I was castigated, suspended and attempts made to cover this up as a personal rather than a political matter. As a person of integrity and honour I have never been afraid to stand up to those who are unjust and this is no exception.
I wish to make clear however that I feel no animosity towards Republican Sinn Féin. It has been my privilege to have been a member and I have the utmost respect for countless people I have worked with. For my part I will continue to be a political activist and work towards the independence of our Country of which we all hold so dear.
Cáit Trainor

Remember Remember the 10th of December

Remember Remember the 10th of December , the day that the Government Fell ,
And we lent them a hand with a final demand that would see them all go to hell !

With a ne'r by your leave nor a tug at the sleeve for the things that we asked for right !
While they blackened our name and tried to defame us with talk of violence and Fight .

Well , a fight they have got , and one that is not , of the type they tried sell to the press ,
And our numbers will swell and we'll see them to hell in the wake of their own sorry mess .

And it won't be a few that wash that whole crew right out of the Dail you can bet ,
For the days now are numbered for those that encumbered the People of Ireland with debt .

So now God please save us from those that enslave us and help us to stand up with pride ,
And banish the ones that dance for the huns and got there because they have lied .

We need faith in ourselves and to find that which dwells way down in the depth of our soul ,
A bond that unites and takes us to hight's of virtues that we can extol .
So now can't you see united of course ,
we can make this small country a place ,
Where the riches bestowed are a gift not a load to be taken for profit by force .
So Remember Remember the 10th of December the day that the Government Fell ,
They are weak we are strong it is time they were gone and it's probably just as well .
For they rule by ' Consent ' and the promises lent to the will of the people they serve ,
Now we've seen through their scam it is time they were ran and get just what they deserve .
For they lied and we cried and we let it be known , that this pain it is too much to bear ,
But from ivory towers they spend what is ours and they do it without any care .
And they don't feel our pain as we stand in the rain , sometimes you would think it's no use ,
But take heart Ochone for you stand not alone , and we'll take no more of their abuse .
If we take back our Isle then fortune will smile on a people united and strong ,
But divided we'll fall and dance to their call and that would be terribly wrong .
We don't do this just , for our own selfish gain , we do it for each generation ,
For the ones still to come and the ones too long gone that we hold in great veneration .
When your children grow up and they ask you............................... "Where were you , on the 10th of December " ?
Don't let it be said as they put 'YOU' to bed , that ..... "I'm sorry I just don't remember " !
So ....Remember Remember the 10th of December , BRING OUT FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS AS WELL ,
And let it be known in every town ' TWAS.......
Raymond Whitehead : Nov 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


The IRA is a non sectarian organization, whose purpose is to achieve a united Ireland. The Orange Order is a sectarian organization, whose goal is to maintain the union with the UK. Both secretly support violence, to achieve their ideals. The IRA is illegal, the Orange Order is not. Commonsense would suggest there is an anomaly, and that it is as inappropriate for the Orange Order to parade, with their paraphernalia through nationalist areas, as it would be for the IRA to parade through a loyalist area in their paraphernalia. A basic requirement of any Genuine Peace Process, would require equality or at the minimum compromise in this matter. 

HM Government

Ban the Orange Order or reform it.

Responsible department: Northern Ireland Office
The Orange Order has for years created segregation throughout the UK, particularly in Northern Ireland. They claim to celebrate religious liberty, but exclude those who do not belong to a Protestant denomination. They celebrate a victorious battle that was won by both Catholics and Protestants, yet they exclude Catholics and see that Victory as a Victory over Catholicism. In today's democratic age, it seems absurd that such an institution is allowed to march freely and to promote it's sectarianism and bigotry. Either ban this institution, or introduce an open door policy, open to anyone regardless of religion to truly represent religious liberty and let it be open to all who wish to celebrate the Victory of the Battle of the Boyne and support the Union. Only if one of these actions is taken will there truly be Religious liberty and unity in this country.

This e-petition has been rejected with the following reason given:

E-petitions cannot be used to request action on issues that are outside the responsibility of the government. This includes:
  • party political material
  • commercial endorsements including the promotion of any product, service or publication
  • issues that are dealt with by devolved bodies, eg The Scottish Parliament
  • correspondence on personal issues

Internet Movement, campaigning to disband Freemason hate society of the Orange Order and declare them an illegal organization.
  1. #OOsashesOff

  2. Orange Order - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. The Loyal Orange Institution, more commonly known as the Orange Order, is a Protestant fraternal organisation based primarily in Northern Ireland. It was founded in County Armagh in 1795 – during a period of Protestant-Catholic sectarian conflict – as a Masonic-style brotherhood sworn to defend Protestant supremacy.
    1. -

    2. -

  • Tuesday, November 18, 2014


    “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.”

    ― Mark Twain

    The army asked me to make bombs for the IRA, told me I had the Prime Minister's blessing ... then tried to kill me

    Neil Mackay

    Exclusive: confessions of a secret agent turned terrorist

    KEVIN Fulton is very clear about where the orders were coming from. 'I was told that this was sanctioned right at the top,' he says, sipping a Pepsi in the bar of a Glasgow hotel. 'I was told 'there'll be no medals for this, and no recognition, but this goes the whole way to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister knows what you are doing.'
    This was 1980, and if Margaret Thatcher knew about the activities of military intelligence agents such as Fulton, then she was also aware her own military officers were planning to infiltrate British soldiers as 'moles' into the IRA. These moles were ordered by their handlers to carry out terrorist crimes in order to keep their cover within the Provos so they could feed information on other leading republicans back to security forces.

    For almost two years the Sunday Herald has been investigating the activities of the FRU -- the Force Research Unit, an ultra-secret wing of British military intelligence. Fulton worked for the FRU for much of his career as an IRA mole. This unit, which has been under investigation by Scotland Yard commissioner Sir John Stevens for more than a decade, was involved in the murder of civilians in Northern Ireland.

    Nicholas Benwell, a detective sergeant formerly attached to the Stevens Inquiry, says the Scotland Yard team came to one conclusion: that military intelligence was colluding with terrorists to help them kill so-called 'legitimate targets' such as active republicans. FRU handlers passed documents and photographs to their agents operating within paramilitary groups detailing targets' movements and the whereabouts of their homes. Pictures were also handed over to help gunmen identify their victims. But there was a problem. The targeting was far from professional and many of the victims of these government-backed hit squads were innocent civilians.

    In 1989 the FRU passed information to the UDA which the loyalist gang used to murder the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, who was shot dead in front of his wife and children. Last week, Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged that the Government was determined to uncover the truth about Finucane's murder. The Canadian judge Peter Cory who was called in by the government to investigate the case is expected to recommend a public inquiry. The Irish government is also pressing for an inquiry of its own.

    So who was the overall controller of the FRU with its 'licence to kill' republicans? Until now it seemed that responsibility for the activities of the FRU rested on the shoulders of one man -- Brigadier Gordon Kerr, the Scottish officer who led the unit and is now the British military attach? to Beijing. A two-part BBC Panorama programme, concluding tonight, much of it based on the Sunday Herald's previous investigations, puts Kerr squarely in the frame.

    But if Fulton's claims are correct, then Kerr, soon to be questioned by the Stevens team, was just one link in a chain of command which went all the way to the cabinet and the Prime Minister. As Fulton says: 'Kerr was just following orders. Soldiers don't make up the rules, they just do as they're told.'

    Fulton's story begins in 1979. He was 19, and had just enlisted in the First Battalion Royal Irish Rangers. Kevin Fulton isn't his real name, but a pseudonym used to protect his identity since turning whistle-blower on the activities of the British military, the RUC and the security services in Ulster's 'dirty war'. His work for military intelligence has been confirmed by FRU sources.

    Fulton's military file quickly found its way onto the desks of the Intelligence Corps, the regiment which includes the FRU. It made interesting reading. Here was a Catholic from Newry, in the heart of a republican strong-hold, who seemed a loyal servant of the Crown. After only a few weeks in the army, Fulton's staff sergeant approached him. 'I was told that some guys from military intelligence wanted to speak to me,' Fulton says. 'They asked me if I'd like to work for them and I said 'no' as I wanted to remain in uniform. They told me to think about the offer. They added that I shouldn't tell anyone about the visit and that if I was asked I should say they were from a military welfare group. The next time we met they asked me if I'd go to Newry with them. We looked through pictures of local characters and I put names to faces, saying if they had a republican background or not.'

    The two FRU officers, one of whom was Scottish, continued to try and persuade him to work with them. 'They confessed they needed guys like me -- Catholics from that part of Northern Ireland -- in order to get inside the Provos,' he says.

    Fulton was still unsure, so the FRU asked him if he could help recruit a Catholic civilian in Newry who might be willing to go inside the IRA. He did. It was an old friend, who he refers to as Agent Washington. He and Fulton accompanied FRU members to the army training camp at Ballykinlar in County Down. 'He was given weapons training. They taught him how to fire an M16, AK-47s, Remington wingmaster shotguns, Sterling sub-machine guns and a Browning 9mm,' says Fulton. 'Remember that this was a civilian going inside the IRA.'

    Fulton finally decided he'd work with military intelligence. In 1981, he was officially given a compassionate discharge from his regiment on the fictitious grounds that his father was seriously ill. He also received papers claiming he'd been thrown out for republican sympathies -- a great document to present to the IRA men he would soon befriend.

    From then until 1995, Fulton remained on full army pay as he worked his way through the ranks of the IRA. He began drinking in republican bars in Dundalk and socialising with senior IRA officers, including Patrick Joseph Blair, who the Sunday Herald named this year as one of the men behind the Omagh bombing. Blair later went on to became Fulton's 'mentor'.

    Not long after his discharge, he told one prominent IRA man that he wanted to join the organisation. He was taken to a room above a bar and confronted by a number of men in balaclavas. 'I'd told them that I'd been kicked out of the army and they started shouting at me saying 'So you're telling us you'd shoot your f***ing comrades if you saw them in Crossmaglen?' I said 'Yes, of course'.

    'They started calling me a tout (republican slang for an informer) and saying they were going to shoot me. Eventually, they dragged me outside. They told me to kneel and say the Act of Contrition. I heard a huge bang behind me. It was them banging a big bit of wood on the ground to pretend to be a gunshot. They were testing me. They told me to come back when I was ready.

    'My handlers thought this was great. I offered my services to the IRA saying I'd help carry out robberies to fund them. This was all with the knowledge of my handlers in the FRU. I made pals with a prominent Sinn Fein councillor in Newry who suggested I hijack a lorry carrying TVs. I knew that this would give me credibility, so that's what I did. I took a lorry in Belfast with about £100,000 of TVs inside.'

    Fulton was later arrested for the robbery and served a year in the Crumlin Road prison in Belfast. Because of his republican connections he was denied the usual privileges of an ODC -- an ordinary decent criminal. This also gave him additional credibility with the IRA.

    Fulton was released in 1986 and inducted straight into the IRA. 'My handlers told me to do anything to win their confidence. That's what I did. My brief was that if I got into a situation where I couldn't get to my handlers but I had to break the law, I was to try not to take a life. I was to shoot high or blow up a bomb prematurely. But that isn't always possible. If I f***ed up all the time, then the IRA would shoot me. Don't forget I also ran the risk of getting shot by the army and the police. I mixed explosive and I helped develop new types of bombs. I moved weapons. If you ask me, 'Did I kill anyone?' then I will say 'no'. But if you ask me if the materials I handled killed anyone, then I will have to say that some of the things I helped develop did kill.

    'I reiterate, my handlers knew everything I did. I was never told not to do something that was discussed. How can you pretend to be a terrorist and not act like one? You can't. You've got to do what they do. The people I was with were hard-hitters. They did a lot of murders. If I couldn't be any good to them, then I was no use to the army either. I had to do what the man standing next to me did.'

    This took an especially dark turn when Fulton became a member of the IRA's 'internal security squad' -- also know as the 'torture unit' -- which interrogated and executed suspected informers. 'I remember once when a guy had been questioned for three days in a safe-house in the Republic,' says Fulton. 'They eventually rolled out a sheet of plastic and decided we were going to 'nut' him. We drew straws to decide on who would do the shooting. Luckily, I didn't draw the short straw.'

    In 1992, Fulton told his handlers -- this time in both the FRU and MI5, that his IRA mentor Blair was planning to use a horizontally-fired mortar for an attack on the police. His handlers did nothing. Within days, Blair fired the device at an armoured RUC Land Rover in Newry, in the process killing policewoman Colleen McMurray. Another RUC officer lost both his legs.

    Fulton then travelled to the US and helped develop light-sensitive bombs, activated by photographic flashes, to overcome the problem of IRA remote-control devices having their detonation signal jammed by army radio units.

    'I broke the law seven days a week and my handlers knew that. They knew that I was making bombs and giving them to other members of the IRA and they did nothing about it. If everything I touched turned to shit then I would have been dead. The idea was that the only way to beat the enemy was to penetrate the enemy and be the enemy. At the time I'd no problem with this way of thinking.'

    The claim that the cabinet and Thatcher knew of these types of operations is startling. Thatcher's office has refused to comment on Fulton's claims. It is known, though, that intelligence supplied by other British army moles inside the republican movement was being read at cabinet level. One such mole, Willie Carlin, was flown out of Northern Ireland in Thatcher's Prime Ministerial jet in 1985 after his cover was blown. As chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, which met weekly at Number 10, Thatcher was kept informed of FRU activities. Whether this ran to the day-to-day details of agent-handling is not known. Thatcher did grant the FRU extra funding to recruit agents in the wake of the IRA's Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen.

    Fulton split with both the IRA and military intelligence in the mid-1990s after a number of terrorist operations went disastrously wrong. Once his handlers told him to get a mobile phone and a car for a planned hit in 1994 on a senior RUC officer in Belfast. The IRA team was arrested on its way to carry out the murder.

    Fulton believes his handlers thought he had outlived his usefulness and deliberately linked him to the operation before tipping off the police about the plan. By then, the army had secured a far more highly-placed mole within the IRA -- a man still active and codenamed Stakeknife. Fulton is sure that he was compromised, so the IRA would kill him and believe they were free of informers, allowing Stakeknife to pass top-grade information to the military without risk of being detected. 'If I was dead that would have been the end of it,' he says. 'There would have been no embarrassment to the army.'

    From 1995 until now Fulton has been fighting the MoD -- demanding they clear his criminal record, give him a new identity, a relocation package and provide a military pension. 'If they hadn't screwed me, then I wouldn't be screwing them now,' he says. 'If the IRA ever find me I'm dead. I accept I'm a marked man, but I intend to take everyone down with me who was in on this -- no matter how high up the stink goes.'


    In the twilight years of Provisional Sinn Fein, when liasing with the IRA, started to become a feature of local political activity in Newry, I was always impressed by the way it was conducted from my own personal experience. Primarily for security reasons, it was logical that we would always go south of the border for any important meeting, which was kept to a minimum at that time. Newry for various reasons, was not a good location for such an event. 

    There was always considerable reconnaissance of the adjacent territory, prior to such a meeting. The IRA eliminated telephone line bugs and wiretaps, using wiretap detection sweeps, computer data line taps and bugs. i.e., telecommunications security line sweeps and bug swept the conference room, using electronic room bug sweeping and electronic detection. Their equipment could detect electronic espionage, identifying and locating those bugging devices. Each participant, regardless of status, was body searched and batteries of all electronic equipment, such as mobile phones were removed.

    Despite all of these precautions, we have since that time, become aware, of the considerable extent of British infiltration of the IRA, up to it's most senior level. Since then, there has been considerable advancements made in surveillance technology, such as drones, listening devices designed for long distance stake-outs, with built in monoculars, to allow spies, watch everything from a considerable distance.  

    The revival of the IRA in the early '70s, generally caught the British unawares and gave the Provisionals a head start. However since that time, the British were sufficiently established and prepared for all subsequent splits in the Republican movement, which enabled them to not alone be aware of the details, but to infiltrate all subsequent groups and place their agents in key positions. Most seasoned republicans are aware of most of these details. However it would appear, many younger idealistic ones are not.

    I personally volunteered for the IRA, on three separate occasions, fully aware of the dangers, as a personal reaction, to events around me at that time. With the wisdom of hindsight, I can see, that reactionary politics does not have any future in the long term in Ireland. While the essential problems in Ireland remain the same, the sea, that fish of a successful guerrilla army swim in, is simply not there presently. The high price, that many of highly idealistic youth are currently paying, such as long years of political internment and early graves, I believe is not justified in the present context. There are other avenues for committed Irish republicans to achieve their goals, other than violence.

    As Terence McSweeney taught us, morals and ethics are a very important part, of the proper motivation and justification for taking up arms. All other avenues must be exhausted. I personally believe, we will have a united Ireland, albeit not meeting the ideals of most people but a sufficient basis, to realize the dreams of martyrs like Bobby Sands. In fact, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion, that all paramilitary organizations, are currently more of a hindrance, than an asset to achieving our goals and are wide open to abuse in our present materialistic culture, which is degrading this noble tradition. Traditional republicans did not wear masks, neither Che Guevara, in fact he stated that a genuine revolutionary, gird themselves on the inside.

    If I appear to be preaching, please forgive me, my analysis may be wrong. This article again will make many enemies but I do have a responsibility to younger people of the next generation, to speak from my own experience. No I do not support Sinn Fein or belong to any political organization or party but I do support Republican Sinn Fein, as founded by Ruairi O'Bradaigh and his colleagues, of which I knew a sufficient number, to be aware, that they were genuine people of considerable integrity, who inherited a noble tradition, who persevered without personal gain at considerable personal cost. Their characters obviously cultivated in adversity, which puts my own selfishness to shame.

     A news article, as reported by the Belfast Telegraph, prompted this article, which raised many questions with myself personally, in the context of this preamble. There are far more qualified people than myself, who would have a far better insight on these matters. This is simply the best I can do for now from my own experience, primarily for the benefit of any young people, considering their political alternatives. I would also add, that Father Raymond Murray, was of considerable help to myself, many years ago, when I found myself in a Catch 22, situation, related to the above matters, at the end of my political activity in Newry. I found him to be a trustworthy man of integrity, whom I would recommend to anyone in a similar situation.

    Secret recordings reveal 'plot'

    18 NOVEMBER 2014
    A dissident republican plot to target judges and police officers in Northern Ireland has been exposed by a covert MI5 operation, a court has heard.

    Listening devices placed in a house in Newry, Co Down at the direction of the Security Services has provided the evidence to charge seven men who appeared in court in the city accused of a range of terrorist offences, a police officer told the judge.

    The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) detective sergeant said "somewhere close to 70 hours" of material gathered in the property in Ardcarn Park over a three month period from August included a series of meetings involving "leading key figures of a proscribed organisation".

    All seven accused, aged between 30 and 75, were arrested in a raid in Ardcarn Park last week by heavily armed police investigating the activities of the Continuity IRA.

    They were all remanded in custody by the district judge at the close of today's short hearing.

    Four of the accused are from the Republic of Ireland and three from Northern Ireland.

    All have been charged with membership of a proscribed organisation, while six face charges of conspiracy to possess explosives with intent to endanger life, conspiracy to possess firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life and preparation for acts of terrorism.

    Five of the men are also charged with directing terrorism.

    As all seven watched on from the crowded dock, a prosecution lawyer asked the detective sergeant to confirm details of the operation that led to the arrests.

    "MI5 arranged for a device or number of devices to be placed within an address at Ardcarn Park, Newry," he said.

    "A number of meetings were recorded at which the defendants were present."

    The officer said those statements were correct.

    She also answered "correct" when asked by the lawyer if topics discussed during the meetings included membership of a proscribed organisation; weapons training; funding terrorist activity; plans to commit acts of terrorism; and plans to procure firearms and ammunitions.

    The lawyer then asked: "Specific individual police officers were discussed with a view to targeting them?"

    The detective sergeant answered: "That is correct."

    Asked if "members of the judiciary" were also discussed at the meetings, she again answered in the affirmative.

    The lawyer then asked had there also been talk that a dissident member be "taken out" for apparently posting material on the internet.

    "That is correct," replied the officer.

    The policewoman, who said she had listened to a "substantial proportion" of the 70 hours of recordings, said she could connect all seven to the charges they face.

    The five men facing a count of directing terrorism along with the four other charges are Patrick Joseph Blair, 59, from Villas One, Dundalk; Liam James Hannaway, 44, from White Rise, Dunmurry on the outskirts of Belfast; Joseph Matthew Lynch, 73, from Beechgrove Avenue, Limerick; Sean O'Neill, 75, from Quinn's Cottages, Limerick; and Colin Patrick Winters, 43, from Ardcarn Park, Newry.

    The man facing four charges is John Sheehy, 30, from Clounmacon, Listowel, Co Kerry.

    Seamus Morgan, 58, from Barcroft Park, Newry, faces the solitary charge of membership of a proscribed organisation.

    None of them spoke when asked to confirm their identity at the outset of the hearing, which took place amid a significant police presence inside and outside the court.

    Some stood while others sat during the legal proceedings that followed.

    Lawyers for all seven accused said they did not wish to ask any questions of the detective sergeant.

    A lawyer for Morgan said a bail application would be made before the same court on Wednesday. The other six accused were remanded in custody to appear again in four weeks.

    As the men were led away at the end of the hearing there was some sporadic applause from supporters in the public gallery.

    Five other men detained in the swoop on the property in Ardcarn Park last Monday were subsequently released pending police files being sent to prosecutors for assessment.