Saturday, 28 July 2012

Somewhere My Love

Jul 27


    Friday-Thursday, 20-26 July, 2012

2.  Derry youths riot over 'stolen' bonfire
3.  Smithwick lawyers 'bewildered and alarmed' by PSNI secrecy more
4.  Television networks respond to Irish viewer anger
5.  Martin Corey case set for European courts
6.  First arrests in Anglo fraud case
7.  Feature: Shake hands with injustice
8.  Analysis: Martin McGuinness missed an opportunity



 A regrouping of previously distinct breakaway IRA groups is being
 described as the most significant development within physical-force
 republicanism since the Provisional IRA split in 1997.

 In a statement released yesterday [Thursday] evening, the new IRA
 grouping said that following extensive consultation, the three
 organisations "have come together within a united structure under a
 single leadership subservient to the constitution of the Irish
 Republican Army".

 A completely new command structure and army council has been established
 to oversee the running of the new organisation which will combine the
 resources of all three former groups. It is believed members of the
 three original groups have already been briefed on the merger.

 The transition was helped by the fact that a majority of the new IRA's
 leadership previously held senior roles within the Provisional IRA at
 various stages of that organisation's existence.

 The new organisation does not include the Continuity IRA. In addition,
 one or two elements which operated under the name Oglaigh na hEireann
 [the Irish synonym for IRA] may not have been brought into the new
 group, particularly in Belfast.

 In a statement issued by the regrouped organisation's army council, the
 IRA said it remained "committed to the full realisation of the ideals
 and principles enshrined in the proclamation of 1916".

 "In recent years the establishment of a free and independent Ireland has
 suffered set backs due to the failures among the leaders of Irish
 nationalism and fractures within republicanism," it said.

 "The root cause of conflict in our country is the subversion of the
 nation's inalienable right to self determination and this has yet to be

 "Instead the Irish people have been sold a phony peace rubber stamped
 by the token legislature in Stormont."

 It said the continuing British denial of Irish self-determination
 remained the source of the conflict.

 "It is Britain, not the IRA that has chosen provocation and conflict,"
 it said.

 "The IRA's mandate for armed struggle derives from Britain's denial of
 the fundamental right of the Irish people to national self-determination
 and sovereignty.

 "So long as Britain persists in its denial of national and democratic
 rights in Ireland then the IRA will continue to assert those rights.

 "The necessity of armed actions in pursuit of Irish freedom can be
 avoided through the removal of the British military presence from our
 country, the dismantling of their armed militia and declaration of an
 internationally observed timescale that details the dismantling of
 British political interference in our country."

 It is unclear what motivated the new development, but the breakaway
 organisations have reported a surge in support since Sinn Fein's Martin
 McGuinness shook hands and greeted the English queen, Elizabeth Windsor,
 as part of the British royal jubilee celebrations last month.

 The increased size and relative unity within the organisation will
 directly challenge long-standing efforts by the political establishment
 in the North to portray republican militants as small or "micro" groups.

 For the moment, there seems no possibility of an engagement between the
 two, but in the future, the organisation's new combined structure could
 allow a single, coherent channel of communication.

 North Belfast Sinn Fein assembly member Gerry Kelly recently described
 the breakaway IRA groups as "small groupings" but insisted that his
 party had sought to engage with them.

 "They have no right to carry out armed actions, the vast majority of
 which are directed against civilians in republican areas, in the name of
 Irish republicanism," he said.

 One of the group's involved in the merger, Republican Action Against
 Drugs, has operated a controversial vigilante campaign against criminals
 within the nationalist community in Derry.   However, last month it
 began to target the PSNI, triggering a wave of raids and searches in
 which dozens of homes were ransacked, most recently that of the Sinn
 Fein Mayor, Kevin Campbell.

 Other units or groupings involved in the merger include one which
 carried out an attack which killed a member of the PSNI in County Tyrone
 last year, as well as others which have used the name Oglaigh na
 hEireann, or simply 'the IRA'.

 While the full extent of the regrouping has yet to be confirmed, it has
 been reported that the new IRA has membership 'nationwide'.

 Meanwhile, in an apparently separate development, the Continuity IRA
 (CIRA) says it has expelled several members and has a new leadership.

 A statement issued in Dublin said those acting in a criminal manner and
 using the name of the CIRA would be subject to "military action".

 The group said it remains determined to continue its armed campaign in
 the north.  The CIRA has claimed responsibility for several attacks in
 recent years, including one in 2009 in which a member of the PSNI was

 There has as yet been no direct response to the development by Sinn Fein
 or other IRA groups.

 The full statement released yesterday is here:


>>>>>> Derry youths riot over 'stolen' bonfire

 A PSNI operation to remove materials gathered to build a bonfire marking
 the anniversary of internment sparked four nights of riots and disorder
 in the nationalist Galliagh area of Derry this week.

 Trouble initially flared on Thursday evening of last week following the
 sudden removal of the bonfire material by the PSNI and Housing Executive
 workers. Up to 100 young people rioted in the Moss Park area after the
 wood that they had collected over recent weeks was taken away.

 Although smaller and fewer in number than the publicly-funded loyalist
 'Eleventh Night' bonfires in July, nationalists in many areas have
 traditionally built fires to mark the anniversary of internment without
 trial on August 9, 1971.

 While 'Eleventh Night' bonfires make headlines annually for the violent
 and sectarian messages they promote, the anti-internment versions
 generally take place without incident or comment.  However, they are
 politically controversial, as many now associate the issue of interment
 with the recent jailings of high profile republicans such as Marian
 Price or Martin Corey.

 Therefore, the PSNI has moved increasingly to disrupt and prevent the
 anti-internment events, provoking allegations of discrimination and
 political policing.

 The Moss Park area of Derry, a particularly deprived nationalist
 community, was a predictable source of trouble.

 One local youth said the annual summertime effort to build the bonfire
 is 'all they have'.  He said it had taken weeks for those involved to
 gather up materials for the bonfire which had been 'taken' by the PSNI.

 Youths vented their frustration over four nights, with over one hundred
 involved in the trouble at one stage.  Disturbances were reported across
 Galliagh, Moss Park and the Northland Road.

 Rioting resumed nightly as roads were blocked with burning barricades,
 while stones and a small number of petrol bombs were thrown. A blaze at
 an electricity substation, apparently connected with the disorder, was
 described as "arson" by the PSNI.

 Gary Donnelly of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee said the PSNI's
 actions to seize the bonfire materials had "made a bad situation worse"
 and had achieved nothing.

 Local community youth worker Declan Quigley said the youths felt that
 the materials had been "stolen" and they were "reacting to provocation".
 He called on the PSNI to "be more responsible".

 Sinn Fein councillor Elisha MccCallion described those involved as
 "anti-community elements" and "recreational rioters". She pointed to the
 concerns of older residents who she said felt "terrorised" by the


>>>>>> Smithwick lawyers 'bewildered and alarmed' by PSNI secrecy

 Five intelligence documents were deliberately withheld from the
 Smithwick Tribunal by the PSNI police, the force has said, deepening the
 mystery over a profoundly murky incident from 1989.

 The ongoing tribunal at Dublin Castle was set up to investigate claims
 that the Provisional IRA received assistance from a member of the
 26-County Garda police in 1989.  It was announced following unionist
 demands for a 'balance' to nationalist calls for inquiries into
 collusion between the British Crown forces and loyalist death squads
 north of the border.

 Two senior members of the police (then RUC) died when they were ambushed
 as they crossed the border en route to Dundalk Garda station, allegedly
 afer inside information was passed to the IRA.

 The revelation that the PSNI had withheld the documents was described as
 a matter of "great concern" by lawyers at the tribunal on Wednesday.
 Lawyers for the two families involved said it now appeared the PSNI may
 be hiding even more documents from the inquiry, while lawyers for Owen
 Corrigan, a Garda member who had been accused of assisting the IRA, said
 the PSNI had very belatedly produced evidence which cleared his client.

 John McBurney, solicitor for the Breen family, said there was now "a
 truly bewildering and alarming array of collusion pointers".

 The PSNI has provided only "summaries" of the five intelligence
 documents, the originals of which they said were being withheld for
 "reasons of national security".

 Four of the five "summaries" related to reports that a garda in Dundalk
 passed information to the IRA. The fifth said a Dundalk garda named as
 Jim Lane had repeatedly warned of inappropriate relationships between
 members of the IRA and Dundalk sergeants.

 While the first two documents made reference to "a detective" member of
 the Garda in Dundalk who was said to be passing information to the IRA,
 the summary provided said the unnamed detective officer in question was
 not involved in [or revealed to] the Smithwick Tribunal.

 Jim O'Callaghan SC, for Owen Corrigan, said this was "exculpatory"
 information about his client's alleged involvement with the IRA, and the
 PSNI had decided, at least initially, not to share it.

 Asked if he was prepared to apologise to Mr Corrigan, the PSNI
 representative replied: "A decision was taken to not release this

 He added that he was "not in a position to tell you who made that
 decision, the circumstances or the context in which that or those
 decisions were taken. And I'd be speculating beyond that."


>>>>>> Television networks respond to Irish viewer anger

 US television network ABC was this week forced to apologise live on air
 for branding the victims of Bloody Sunday as 'IRA protesters' in a
 recent news report.

 The move followed a barrage of complaints to the US television network
 from both Irish people in Ireland and in the USA, as well as from
 lawyers acting for some of the Bloody Sunday families.

 Fourteen innocent civilians died on January 30, 1972, when British
 troops opened fire on a civil rights demonstration in Derry.  They were
 marching to oppose the use of internment without trial against
 republicans and nationalists.

 Earlier this month, during a report about Martin McGuinness' handshake
 with the British monarch Elizabeth Windsor, ABC reporter Nick Schifrin
 spoke of the Deputy First Minister's past as an IRA leader, then stated:
 "The IRA's clashes with Protestants often turned violent. In 1972,
 British troops killed _IRA protesters_ at what became known as Bloody

 The reference was described as a "disgrace" and an "insult" by local
 campaigners who fought for years to clear their loved ones names, and by
 their legal teams - all of whom called for an immediate apology from ABC

 Earlier this week, Good Morning America's main anchorman broadcast a
 clarification about the Bloody Sunday gaffe on their flagship news
 programme, stating: "We regret the error".

 Good Morning America's anchorman said in their 'clarification': "After
 the broadcast we were contacted by lawyers for demonstrators and
 families of demonstrators who were injured or killed by British forces
 on what's known as Bloody Sunday in 1972. They objected to our reference
 to those killed as 'IRA protestors'.  The lawyer said all victims of
 Bloody Sunday should be referred to as civil rights demonstrators,
 telling us, and I quote, 'each of those murdered and wounded was
 unequivocally declared to be innocent' by an International Commission of
 Inquiry, and we regret the error."

 Maura Young, whose brother John was murdered on Bloody Sunday, welcomed
 the news but said her family were shocked that ABC chose to retract
 their statement live on-air.

 "We were shocked that it was the anchor-man
 who did it - we presumed we would get a letter of apology from ABC at
 the most. It shows you how seriously they took our complaints. At least
 they held their hands up and admitted they were in the wrong.

 "We spent ten years in the Guildhall waiting for Lord Saville to say
 what we all knew - that everyone was innocent - so for one of the
 world's biggest TV networks to get it so wrong was totally
 unacceptable," Mrs Young added.


 In another embarrassing gaffe for a major television network this week,
 the BBC also apologised after an anti-Irish remark was made by a British
 sports commentator in the lead up to its coverage of the London

 Former Olympian Daley Thompson commented that a tattooist who misspelled
 the word Olympics 'must have been Irish'.

 Thompson made his remark during Thursday's One Show after he was shown a
 picture of the torch bearer who had _Oylmpic_ tattooed on her arm -- at
 which point the decathlon gold-medalist said the tattooist must have
 been Irish.

 Presenter Matt Baker corrected Thompson, saying the tattoo had happened
 in the United States. A second presenter repeated the apology at the end
 of the show.


>>>>>> Martin Corey case set for European courts

 The European Court is to be asked to challenge a decision to overturn a
 ruling that internee Martin Corey should be released from prison.

 Two weeks ago, a High Court judge ruled that Mr Corey's detention was a
 breach of the Human Rights Act and ordered his release on unconditional

 His ruling overturned a decision by the Parole Commission to continue
 his imprisonment on the basis of British claims that it had 'secret'
 evidence against him.

 While the judgement caught observers by surprise, the British Direct
 Ruler Owen Paterson moved quickly to block his release from jail, before
 British government lawyers secured a stay on the release order, and
 subsequently won a reversal of the original judgement. A full appeal is
 to be heard in September.

 Mr Corey, a former IRA Volunteer who is now sixty-one years of age, was
 released from prison in 1992 but was interned without trial in 2010. The
 then British Direct Ruler Shaun Woodward sent him to jail on the basis
 of what he called "closed material".

 On Wednesday, Republican Sinn Fein launched a campaign to highlight the

 Party president Des Dalton said Corey's legal team was now considering
 an appeal to the European Court.

 "In terms of taking a challenge to this to Europe, first of all they are
 going to have to take a challenge to the British Supreme Court, the law
 lords, because they have to, basically, exhaust the so-called domestic
 legal machinery before that can be done," he said.

 "But my understanding is that that will be the next stage in the

 A number of international events are being organised to highlight the
 plight of both Martin Corey and Marian Price. For more check the
 following webpages or

 Speaking this week, Cait Trainor of the Release Martin Corey Committee
 said: "This isn't a republican issue, it's a human rights issue."

 Sinn Fein is backing the campaign to free Mr Corey but Ms Trainor said
 support would be sought across the political spectrum: "People don't
 have to agree with Martin Corey's politics to see what is happening to
 him is wrong."


>>>>>> First arrests in Anglo fraud case

 The former chairman and chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, Sean
 Fitzpatrick, and two other former high-ranking executives at the bank
 have finally been charged with offences relating to white-collar crimes
 at the collapsed bank.

 The three were charged with 'providing unlawful financial assistance to
 investors', an Irish euphemism for stock fraud.

 They are the first individuals to face criminal charges in the almost
 four-year investigation into the bank, and the first to be charged in
 the collapse of Ireland's corrupt and failed banking system.

 The three accused face charges relating to loans provided by Anglo to a
 group of investors - ten individuals known as the "Maple 10" -- and to
 the five children of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn and his wife
 Patricia, to buy shares in the bank.

 Anglo made the loans to prop up its share price and, in turn, public
 confidence in the bank.

 Anglo said in its 2008 annual report that "ten long-standing clients of
 the bank" had bought shares with 451 million euro loan.

 The shares were bought as part of an unwinding of a large position in
 the bank held by Quinn family interests through investments based around
 the performance of the company's shares.

 No charges have been brought regarding the alleged falsification of
 Anglo's financial accounts, which also took place around that time.

 Since the crisis began, the state has pumped over 64 billion euro into
 banks, excluding NAMA, the national 'bad bank'.

 Sinn Fein Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty welcomed the arrests, but
 said much more is needed before the public feel that those responsible
 for the banking crisis in this state have been held accountable and that
 such a thing will never happen again.

 He said "we will need to see how the judicial process plays" out in the
 three cases.

 "The banking crisis forced us into a Troika conditional loan agreement
 of 67.5 billion euro and the public have being paying for that agreement
 in more and more severe budgets since then.

 "We have a fair idea about what happened and how it happened in banks,
 what people are looking for now is justice.

 He said he hoped the government's commitment to the investigation
 remains firm "and that we are not treated to the same half-hearted
 approach to accountability that we have seen in the past with white
 collar criminality, where investigations are allowed to fizzle out.

 "When people routinely get sentences for trivial things like not paying
 their television license, bringing the state to its economic knees
 cannot go unpunished."


>>>>>> Feature: Shake hands with injustice

 Martin Galvin writes a history of the Gerry McGeough case in the
 context of the current political sitution in the North (for the Pensive

 One former IRA commander was presented for a "royal handshake" while one
 suspected former Volunteer was presented with a more customary brand of
 royal invitation for carrying out IRA commands. Gerry McGeough found
 himself on a dubious honours list. His royal invitation, engraved by
 three Queen's Bench appeals judges, "invited" the Tyrone Republican to
 remain a guest of their "gracious queen" at HMP Maghaberry. It was an
 offer he could not refuse.

 The Stormont Agreement says that credit towards 2 year early release
 must be accorded those "sentenced outside Northern Ireland" on pre-1998
 conflict related offenses. The crown nullified these terms and summarily
 dispensed with the 7 1/2 years McGeough had spent on IRA charges in
 German and American prisons.

 Those who choreographed the "do-able" handshake did not permit
 inconvenient topics like Republican prisoners or crown murder victims,
 to intrude on their discussions. Such matters were relegated for mention
 after the jubilee tour, when neither Cameron nor his queen need take
 note. The week began with a queen's handshake symbolizing change and
 ended with a queen's bench meting out the same old injustice.


 Few legal battles embodied so many issues and inspired so much emotional
 reaction as that of Gerry McGeough. Dail deputies and Stormont MLAs have
 journeyed to Maghaberry and urged his release. Americans have given help
 to his family that once would have been provided by Green Cross, An
 Cumann Cabhrach and Tyrone PDF.

 Meanwhile DUP members, who scarcely conceal contempt for Republicans
 with whom they sit in partnership at Stormont, attended his trial to
 spew venom at someone they see as an unrepentant Republican.

 Nigel Dodds called it "outrageous" that anyone was "demanding the
 release of such a person from prison." Arlene Foster decried any
 "special treatment" while demanding McGeough serve his 20 year sentence
 "in full", apparently without normal remission, much less the two year
 early release accorded to other prisoners. Maurice Morrow whinges about
 public monies paid for McGeough's legal defense, while collecting public
 monies as Councillor, Lord and MLA triple-jobber.

 In order to understand the issues and emotions running through this
 case, it is important to begin with the crucial political debate that
 foreshadowed McGeough's imprisonment.


 The March 2007 election climaxed a watershed period. Sinn Fein had
 stamped party approval on the re-named Royal Ulster Constabulary, and
 urged supporters to ratify this move at the polls. The vote would launch
 a new era of justice.

 Patten, they claimed, had opened the constabulary ranks to nationalists.
 Future chief constables and someday even justice ministers would take up
 their posts subject to a Sinn Fein veto. Constabulary boards and
 district partnerships were touted as controls which Republicans would
 work to "put manners on the RUC." A widely quoted Andersonstown News
 editorial predicted it would be "fun" bringing the RUC to heel. Calls to
 "trust the leadership" swayed many doubters.

 Other equally sincere veteran Republicans, Brendan Hughes and John Kelly
 among them, felt a moral duty to say no. The RUC was the cutting edge of
 British repression. RUC hands were bloodstained by shoot-to-kill, or
 murders carried out in collusion with loyalists. Hundreds had been
 locked in British prisons, on confessions taken under torture and
 whitewashed with perjury in Diplock courts. The re-badged RUC-PSNI would
 merely dress up British law and rule in new insignias and uniforms. The
 constabulary would be commanded, trained and deployed by RUC veterans.

 These skeptical Republicans feared that familiar nationalist faces on
 constabulary boards would become cosmetic fronts allowing the British to
 camouflage repression behind the mask of powerless public talking shops.

 Gerry McGeough was among those veteran Republicans who stood against any
 nationalist endorsement for the British constabulary. Without party
 machinery or funding, he took the debate against the RUC to the same
 Fermanagh-South Tyrone venues where he had once campaigned for Bobby
 Sands MP.

 McGeough said this battle for Republican hearts and minds was really
 about future elections, when dreamers of fun putting manners on the RUC
 had awakened to the dawn of continuing British repression.

 With his votes cast but not yet counted, McGeough walked out to retrieve
 an item from his car. He never returned. The renamed constabulary had
 pocketed its mandate and was about to take a historic first step in its
 version of a new era of justice. The candidate was surrounded in a
 premeditated arrest by waiting RUC-PSNI officers.

 Gerry McGeough, over fifty, married and settled with four young
 children, was charged with joining the Provisional IRA in 1975, and,
 taking part in a 1981 IRA ambush of an armed member of the UDR, in which
 both were seriously wounded.

 The new era had begun with the new constabulary making an old fashioned
 retaliatory arrest of an Independent Republican whose real offense
 seemed to be campaigning for election against them.


 McGeough's solicitors filed for dismissal based on decades of delay. The
 Tyrone Republican could have been arrested 20 years earlier, simply by
 lodging an extradition warrant during his 4 year confinement in a
 notorious German bunker prison, or during his 3 years in an American
 jail on IRA weapons charges.

 McGeough lived openly in Tyrone, joined in BBC studio debates, attended
 public rallies, and gave speeches outside constabulary barracks with his
 campaign posters prominently displayed.  Instead the crown moved against
 him only in March 2007, outside the polling centre where his votes were
 being tallied.

 A British judge had refused to charge RUC members for Nora McCabe's
 murder on July 9, 1981, and for perjury during the cover-up which
 followed, even after television film belied their cover story of rioting
 and petrol bombers. Too late, the judge said. Charges delayed so many
 years would be a clear abuse of process and inevitably dismissed.

 Somehow this same judge applied different rules to Gerry McGeough, for
 an incident which occurred four weeks before Nora McCabe was murdered by
 the RUC.

 Human rights observers from British-Irish Rights Watch and the Committee
 for the Administration of Justice were ordered out of the courtroom.
 British pledges that McGeough was free to return to Tyrone were
 disavowed. McGeough was blamed that no extradition warrant was lodged or
 that no attempt was made to bring charges when he returned home.
 RUC-PSNI members were blameless for the ongoing cover-up of Nora
 McCabe's murder.

 If the heralded new era meant anything how could the same judges still
 bend the same rules in favor of the RUC-PSNI and across the backs of

 Undeclared Amnesty

 Soon after Gerry McGeough's arrest, the British began to admit a litany
 of state force murders and murder cover-ups of innocent nationalists.

 Cameron euphemistically called the Bloody Sunday murders, "unjustified
 and unjustifiable killings". These are polite words for murder or
 manslaughter. Cover stories given under oath by these troopers before
 Widgery or Saville must accordingly be perjury. No arrests of any of
 these troopers have yet been made, including named troopers identified
 in multiple killings.

 Many fear that the newly announced 4 year constabulary investigation
 will deliver more years of delay and disappointment for these courageous
 families. Will this inquiry end in judicial terminations like Nora
 McCabe's murder, or sham trials like those which whitewashed the murders
 of John Downes and Majella O'Hare?  Will the constabulary be more
 interested in pursuing IRA membership charges than British Army murder

 The families of some other victims received apologies but no arrests. In
 more politically sensitive cases, such as the Ballymurphy Massacre, Pat
 Finucane's assassination, or the Dublin-Monaghan Bombings, the crown
 refused or stonewalled any inquiry.

 No one predicts arrests of any members of the British Army or RUC who
 colluded in murders by their loyalist agents or tortured nationalists at
 interrogation centers and then sent them to Long Kesh or Armagh, with
 perjured accounts of voluntary confessions.

 The crown seems to have bestowed an undeclared amnesty on members of the
 British Army and RUC which does not apply to those Republicans like
 Gerry McGeough who speak against the British administration.

 Diplock Court

 A Diplock trial was ordered. Those who design repressive British laws
 choose their terms with deliberate irony. Words like 'temporary',
 'emergency' or 'prevention of terrorism' invariably create provisions
 and powers which are permanent, lasting and routinely used to terrorize

 These non-jury courts replaced Internment, with show trials that could
 be counted upon to dispose of unwanted Republicans. Diplock courts were
 "abolished" which meant never to be used except in every case where the
 crown deems them useful.

 Only a Diplock court would entertain, much less credit, the testimony
 against McGeough. There was no identification by any witness. McGeough
 was forcibly stripped and photographed after his arrest. Photos of an
 old wound were displayed as the crown speculated that it might possibly
 be a bullet wound, and possibly sustained as far back as 1981.

 A bullet fragment with no forensics or DNA link to McGeough was
 introduced. The smashed fragment may or may not have been the same
 caliber fired by then UDR member Sammy Brush.

 A key Garda witness, known as the "The Badger", was named by former MI6
 officer Fred Holroyd as someone linked to British intelligence.

 Pages from a fictional novel authored by Gerry McGeough were read into
 the record as evidence of intent. Finally a political asylum
 application, whose confidentiality is a cornerstone of international
 law, was admitted without hesitation.

 During the trial McGeough suffered two heart attacks. The judge ordered
 constables to monitor McGeough's treatment at the hospital where he was
 confined, and to retrieve his medical records.

 In 1916, British commanders ordered Army doctors to keep James Connolly
 alive until British troopers could shoot him. Nearly a century later, it
 seemed a British judge feared Gerry McGeough might die from a heart
 attack before the crown could jail him.

 The verdict was a foregone conclusion. The flimsy evidence somehow was
 pronounced inescapable proof of guilt. The crown judge refused to wait
 for medical documents and directed that McGeough be taken forthwith to
 Maghaberry.  Senior DUP members celebrated outside the courtroom.


 McGeough was jailed for an IRA ambush that took place on June 13, 1981.
 Republican prisoners, in June 1981, were in the midst of a Hunger
 Strike, forced upon them by years of beatings and brutality, much of it
 accompanying mirror searches or strip-searches. Today in Maghaberry the
 same sort of brutal strip-searches are being inflicted, despite the
 agreement of August 2010, to halt the practice.

 On his sentence date McGeough was subjected to such a search. He ended
 up in a hospital instead of court. His solicitors noted that brutality
 of this type could be life threatening.

 David Ford's appointment, with Sinn Fein backing, brought no protection
 to Republican prisoners from the same sort of callous brutality that
 Brendan Hughes and Bobby Sands resisted.

 The judge imposed a twenty year sentence, angry that Gerry McGeough made
 no apologies for the IRA.

 Reviews And Appeals

 The Diplock judge's verdict and sentence did not end McGeough's legal
 fight. The Stormont Agreement mandates early release for those
 imprisoned 2 years on pre-1998 offenses. The carefully crafted document
 specifically referenced those "sentenced outside Northern Ireland" for
 qualifying offenses and noted that the rights of individual prisoners
 must be protected under international law.

 The provision might have been drawn up with McGeough's case in mind. In
 August 1988 McGeough had been arrested on the Dutch-German border and
 charged with actions arising from the IRA campaign. He remained in a
 notorious German bunker prison until 1992.He was then transported under
 an extradition warrant to America on charges that he had supplied
 weapons for the IRA in 1982. Gerry McGeough was imprisoned approximately
 7 1/2 years outside northern Ireland, on charges that would have been
 qualifying IRA offenses in the six counties. He was entitled to early
 release but was denied by the crown.

 McGeough filed for a judicial review to challenge the British. His
 solicitors cited more than a dozen comparable cases where prominent
 Republicans had been accorded early release credit for jail time spent
 in other jurisdictions through a British legal device, termed a Royal
 Prerogative for Mercy (RPM).

 Ironically the matter was assigned to Seamus Treacy. While an idealistic
 young barrister a quarter century earlier, Treacy had traveled to
 Germany as a human rights observer and adviser at the request of
 McGeough's co-defendant Gerry Hanratty. Treacy expressed genuine anger
 at the conditions and injustices which Hanratty and McGeough suffered.
 Now donning the wig and robes of a British judge, Treacy atoned for his
 youthful idealism by wiping out those years from the crown ledgers. The
 "change agenda" had struck again.

 McGeough appealed again. Within days after the royal handshake, McGeough
 got the brand of royal invitation conferred on many Republicans. His
 appeal was denied and he was kept at HMP Maghaberry.

 The crown court redefined the words "outside northern Ireland" to mean
 only Britain and Ireland, without explanation why more expansive terms
 had deliberately been written into the agreement. Subtle technical
 distinctions between McGeough's case and the dozen comparable cases
 introduced by his solicitors were contrived. For good measure, Britain's
 Weston Park pledge that those wanted on pre-1988 offenses would not be
 pursued, was hastily discarded as nothing more than an unfulfilled wish,
 with no legal effect.

 Ironically one of the first Republican prisoners to commiserate with
 McGeough was Martin Corey, who within days would find himself the
 recipient of his own "royal invitation".


 It is said that Gerry McGeough will only serve 2 years with little more
 than 6 months to go. To paraphrase the old saying made famous by IRA
 author Ernie O'Malley, it is easy to sleep on another man's 2 years.

 However the early release provided by the Stormont deal is by no means
 guaranteed. Ford and his parole commissioners inspire little confidence.
 If released McGeough would remain on British license well into his 70s.
 Martin Corey and Marian Price are even now examples of internment by
 license. No one would be surprised if still more injustice awaits Gerry

 This case began more than 5 years ago with a soul-searching debate
 amongst Republicans. Many believed that endorsing the re-named RUC-PSNI
 and joining British constabulary boards would enable Sinn Fein to
 housetrain the British constabulary away from injustice. Other
 Republicans feared that the British would tout Sinn Fein's backing and
 constabulary board seats, to make the party accomplices in British
 injustice. For Gerry McGeough, Marian Price, Martin Corey, and so many
 other victims of British oppression imposed in the queen's name, the
 photograph of the royal handshake has forever sealed and settled that


>>>>>> Analysis: Martin McGuinness missed an opportunity

 Activist Tommy McKearney argues that by refusing to meet the English
 queen, Martin McGuinness missed an opportunity to not only explain a
 republican position but also raise questions about the very nature of
 the British monarchy and whose interest it serves (for Organised Rage).

 Britain's monarch recently visited Belfast and shook hands with Martin
 McGuinness, Deputy First Minister in the local devolved regional
 assembly. Throughout Northern Ireland the level of unemployment is as
 high as it was prior to the royal visit, security walls to keep
 neighbours apart are as permanent as they were before Elizabeth arrived
 and Northern Ireland's local media has returned to reporting the usual
 tensions generated by the Orange Order in the run-up to the annual
 battle of the Boyne celebration on 12 July. In other words and in spite
 of the media ballyhoo, it is business as usual in this most westerly
 region of Mrs Windsor's kingdom.

 Of course it was a remarkable and notable media moment when Britain's
 head of state (and commander in chief of the country's armed forces) met
 with a former chief of staff of the Irish Republican Army. Undoubtedly,
 it was gripping drama to have the queen meet a reformed rebel. At the
 same time, there has been many similar memorable moments on British
 television and most receive their due recognition at the annual British
 Soap Awards. The handshake was of no greater significance than any other
 pointless gesture and contributed nothing to improving the quality of
 life for the masses.

 Therein lies the real difficulty many of us have with this contrived
 handshake. It was merely a piece of theatre, which does nothing to
 address the real problems faced by the people of Northern Ireland. If
 anything, this type of symbolic posturing is actually harmful. It
 displaces and/or prevents mature and necessary debate and reflection on
 the unequal nature of our society and the detrimental impact of
 Britain's ruling class upon the public's well being. Martin McGuinness
 was presented with what was possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity to
 explain a republican position and philosophy, not just to the unionist
 people of Northern Ireland but also to the wider British population. As
 Deputy First Minister at the time of a jubilee visit, he would have had
 airtime on each network and coverage from every press outlet in Britain
 and Ireland. By refusing to meet the queen, Martin could have raised
 questions about the very nature of the British monarchy and in doing so,
 opened to scrutiny many of the systemic faults afflicting contemporary

 Why, he might have asked, is the monarchy still guilty of one of the
 most blatant acts of discrimination in the United Kingdom? The royal
 family adheres to the Act of Succession, which excludes from the throne
 every person who is not a practising member of the Church of England?
 This may not seem important to some but, nevertheless, it sends a
 dangerous signal to nasty elements in Britain that ancient and
 destructive privileges are justified as a birthright. Moreover, in the
 context of Northern Ireland, community relations are hardly improved by
 ignoring the fact that only a member of the reformed church is worthy of
 being head of state.

 Martin McGuinness might also have raised the matter of Britain's armed
 forces. Why did a man who witnessed the events of Bloody Sunday in his
 hometown, not seek to criticise an institution (i.e. the monarchy) that
 is uncritically supportive of Britain's military? Britain's soldiers and
 sailors have not only played a cruel part in Ireland's history but
 Martin would have done well to point out that the current actions of
 British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are hardly beyond criticism

 Most crucial of all perhaps was why Martin did not raise the issue of
 the profoundly anti-democratic practice of a having a hereditary head of
 state? Nothing reinforces the dire inequality produced by the British
 class system so much as the endorsement granted by monarchism to the
 transfer of power, prestige and wealth within the elite section of
 society. Gross inequality, which is at its worst in Britain since 1940
 according to an article by Professor Danny Dorling in the Guardian is
 not only offensive to our sense of justice but is an economic blunder.
 Encouraging the over concentration of wealth in fewer hands not only
 deprives an economy of the spending power necessary to promote growth
 but also leads directly to the type of 'casino' capitalism that has
 caused the current financial crisis and the subsequent impoverishment of

 Had Sinn Fein and Martin McGuinness decided to adopt and articulate the
 republican position outlined above, unionists in Northern Ireland may
 well have criticised their decision. It would, however, have been a
 significant step towards inviting that community to deal meaningfully
 with Irish republicanism as a coherent philosophy rather than as a
 hostile ethnic identity. It would not have provided a panacea but then,
 allowing people to think that deference to monarchy is progress is
 hardly a remedy either. Moreover, it would have given Irish republicans
 a rare opportunity to make a positive and progressive contribution to a
 necessary debate about wealth and privilege in our neighbouring island
 across the Irish Sea.


Doctor Zhivago (До́ктор Жива́го) is a 1965 epic dramaromancewar film directed byDavid Lean, starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. The film is loosely based on the famous novel of the same name by Boris Pasternak. It has remained popular for decades, and as of 2012 is the eighth highest grossing film of all time in the United States, adjusted for inflation.[1]


The film takes place mostly against a backdrop of World War I, the Russian Revolutionand Russian Civil War. A narrative framing device, set in the late 1940s to early 1950s, involves KGB Lieutenant General Yevgraf Andreyevich Zhivago (Alec Guinness) searching for the daughter of his half brother, doctor Yuri Andreyevich Zhivago (Omar Sharif), and Larissa ("Lara") Antipova (Julie Christie). Yevgraf believes a young woman, Tonya Komarovskaya (Rita Tushingham) may be his niece, and tells her the story of her father's life.
When Yuri Zhivago is orphaned after his mother's death, he is taken in by his mother's friends, Alexander 'Sasha' (Ralph Richardson) and Anna (Siobhán McKenna) Gromeko — and grows up with their daughter Tonya. Years later, Zhivago, a medical student by training, and a poet in heart, meets Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin) again when she returns as a young lady from Paris to Moscow.
Lara, meanwhile, engaged to the idealistic Pavel Pavlovich ("Pasha") Antipov (Tom Courtenay), is seduced by Victor Ipolitovich Komarovsky (Rod Steiger), a friend of her mother's (Adrienne Corri). Pasha drifts into Left-wing extremism after being wounded by sabre-wielding Cossacks during a peaceful protest. Pasha goes to Lara to treat his wound and asks her to hide a gun he picked up at the demonstration.
Lara's mother discovers her affair with Komarovsky and attemps suicide. Komarovsky summons help and Zhivago arrives as the physician's assistant. When Komarovsky learns of Lara's intentions to marry Pasha, he tries to dissuade Lara, and then rapes her. In revenge, Lara takes the pistol she has been hiding for Pasha, shoots Komarovsky at aChristmas Eve party, wounding him. Komarovsky insists that no action be taken against Lara, who is escorted out by Pasha. Yuri attends to Komarovsky's wound. Although enraged and devastated by Lara's infidelity, Pasha still marries Lara, and they have a daughter, Katya.
During World War I, Yevgraf Zhivago is sent by Russian Social Democratic Labour Party to subvert the Imperial Russian Army for Bolsheviks. Pasha is missing in action during an attack on the Germans. Lara enlists as a nurse in order to search for him. Yuri becomes a battlefield doctor. When the February Revolution breaks, Zhivago enlists Lara's help to tend to the wounded, and together they run a field hospital in a dacha for six months.
After the war, Yuri returns to his wife Tonya, son Sasha, and father-in-law, whose house in Moscow has been divided into tenements by the new Soviet government. His half-brotherYevgraf, who is working for the CHEKA, finds him, and informs him that his poems have been condemned by Soviet censors as antagonistic to Communism. Yevgraf helps arrange for rail passes for Yuri and his family to escape to the Gromeko estate at Varykino, in theUral Mountains.
Zhivago, Tonya, Sasha and Alexander board a heavily-guarded cattle train. On the way, while the train is stopped, Zhivago wanders away from the train, and stumbles across the armored train of the revered Red Army commander Strelnikov, sitting on a hidden siding. Yuri recognizes Strelnikov as Pasha Antipov. After a tense interview, Strelnikov informs Yuri that Lara is living with her daughter Katya in the town of Yuriatin — which is then occupied by the anti-Communist White Army. He allows Zhivago to return to his family, although it is hinted by a guard that most people interrogated by Strelnikov end up being shot.
The family lives a peaceful life at Varykino, until Zhivago finds Lara in the nearby Yuriatin. They surrender to their long repressed feelings, beginning an extra-marital affair. When Tonya is pregnant, Zhivago breaks off with Lara, only to be abducted and conscripted into service by Communist partisans. After two years, Zhivago deserts, trudging through the snow to Yuriatin. Lara reveals a letter from Tonya, in which she tells Yuri that she, her father, and Sasha have emigrated to Paris. She writes, partly, "I must honestly admit that {Lara} Antipova is a good person." Zhivago stays with Lara.
Komarovsky arrives one night and informs them that they are being watched by the CHEKA, due to Lara's marriage to Commissar Strelnikov (who has fallen from favor with the Soviet State) and Yuri's "counter-revolutionary" poetry and desertion. Komarovsky offers Yuri and Lara his help in leaving Russia, but they refuse. Instead, they go to the desolate Varykino estate. Yuri begins writing the "Lara" poems, which will later make him famous but incur governmental displeasure. Komarovsky reappears and tells Yuri that Strelnikov committed suicide while being taken to his execution. Therefore, Lara is in immediate danger, as the CHEKA had only left her free to lure Strelnikov into the open. Zhivago agrees to send Lara away with Komarovsky, who has become an official in the Far East. Refusing to leave with a man he despises, Yuri remains behind.
Years later during the Stalinist era, Yuri sees Lara while traveling on a tram. Forcing his way off the tram, he runs after her, suffering a fatal heart attack. Yuri's funeral is well attended as his poetry is already being published openly due to shifts in politics. Lara informs Yevgraf that she has given birth to Yuri's daughter, but lost her in the collapse of the White Government in Mongolia. After vainly looking over hundreds of orphans with Yevgraf's help, Lara disappears during Joseph Stalin's Great Purge, and "died or vanished somewhere, in one of the labour camps", according to Yevgraf.
While Yevgraf strongly believes that Tanya Komarovskaya is Yuri and Lara's daughter, she is not convinced. Yevgraf notices that Tanya carries with her a balalaika. He recalls that Yuri's mother left him one after her death. Finding that Tanya learned to play the balalaika by herself, he smiles, "Ah, then, it's a gift." Just like poetry is to Yuri.



This famous film version by David Lean was created for various reasons. Pasternak's novel had been an international success, and producer Carlo Ponti was interested in adapting it as a vehicle for his wife, Sophia Loren. Lean, coming off the huge success ofLawrence of Arabia (1962), wanted to make a more intimate, romantic film to balance the action- and adventure-oriented tone of his previous film. One of the first actors signed onboard was Omar Sharif, who had played Lawrence's right-hand man Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia. Sharif loved the novel, and when he heard Lean was making a film adaptation, he requested to be cast in the role of Pasha (which ultimately went to Tom Courtenay). Sharif was quite surprised when Lean suggested that he play Zhivago himself. Peter O'Toole, star of Lawrence of Arabia, was Lean's original choice for Zhivago, but turned the part down; Max von Sydow and Paul Newman were also considered. Michael Caine tells in his autobiography that he also read for Zhivago, but (after watching the results with David Lean) was the one who suggested Omar Sharif.[2] Rod Steiger was cast as Komarovsky after Marlon Brando and James Mason turned the part down. Audrey Hepburn was considered for Tonya, while Robert Bolt lobbied for Albert Finney to play Pasha. Lean, however, was able to convince Ponti that Loren was not right for the role of Lara, saying she was "too tall" (and confiding in screenwriter Robert Bolt that he could not accept Loren as a virgin for the early parts of the film), and Yvette MimieuxSarah Miles and Jane Fonda were considered for the role. Ultimately, Julie Christie was cast based on her appearance in Billy Liar (1963), and the recommendation of John Ford, who directed her in Young Cassidy.

The initial and final scenes were shot at the Aldeadávila Dam between Spain and Portugal.
Since the book was banned in the Soviet Union, the movie was filmed largely in Spain over ten months,[3] with the entire Moscow set being built from scratch outside of Madrid. Most of the scenes covering Zhivago and Lara's service in World War I were filmed in Soria, as was the Varykino estate. Some of the winter sequences were filmed in Spain, Finland, mostly landscape scenes, and Yuri's escape from the Partisans. Winter scenes of the family travelling to Yuriatin by rail were filmed in Canada. All the trains used in the film were Spanish trains like RENFE 240 ex 1400 MZA and Strelnikov's armoured train towed by the Renfe 2-8-2 class Mikado. The "ice-palace" at Varykino was filmed in Soria as well, a house filled with frozen beeswax. The charge of the Partisans across the frozen lake was filmed in Spain, too; a cast iron sheet was placed over a dried river-bed, and fake snow (mostly marble dust) was added on top. Some of the winter scenes were filmed in summer with warm temperatures, sometimes of up to 25 °C (86 °F).Other locations include the Estación de Madrid-Delicias inMadrid and El Moncayo.
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