Saturday, 30 November 2013


Post by Brian Clarkefamily.

Irish Republican News 
06:13 (1 hour ago)
to me

    Friday-Thursday, 22-28 November, 2013

2.  Immunity for British killers while IRA veteran is jailed
3.  More pressure on Gerry Adams after sentencing of brother
4.  UVF behind protest parade - McGuinness
5.  'Nod and wink' culture at heart of charity scandal
6.  Larne's crown is king of flags and symbols issue
7.  Feature: The Irish Volunteers
8.  Feature: A blueprint for Scottish independence



 British soldiers have taken part in raids on homes in north Belfast this
 week after the chief of the PSNI police warned of a sharp increase in
 the activity of breakaway IRA groups.

 Matt Baggott spoke out after it was reported that a device left in a car
 on Sunday night in Belfast had contained more than 120 pounds of
 home-made explosives. A detonation was herd in the car between Musgrave
 Street PSNI base, Belfast's largest police barracks, and the Victoria
 Square shopping centre car park.

 The area had been cleared hours earlier after the driver of the vehicle,
 who said he had been forced to transport the keg-style device, raised a
 warning. The explosion took place just before midnight and as a British
 Army bomb-squad robot approached the vehicle. The car itself was damaged
 and the blast was heard across the heart of Belfast, but it did not
 damage any other structure.

 The device is said to be the first such attack in the city centre for
 more than a decade, and one of very few to even partially detonate this


 The group known as 'Oglaigh na hEireann' later claimed responsibility.
 In a statement to a Belfast newspaper, it said the bomb contained over
 150lb of commercial explosives and "was intended to cause maximum damage
 to an economic target". It added that it "would continue to target
 commercial premises in the future".

 Last month the same group was said to be behind a fire-bomb attack which
 damaged a discount store in Belfast city centre. At that time, the group
 accused the shop of 'exploiting staff' by taking on staff from low-paid
 government schemes.

 The car bomb incident also took place on the eve of the 100th
 anniversary of the founding of the Irish Volunteers [Oglaigh na hEireann
 in Irish], the organisation which would ultimately become known as the


 Later in the week, in scenes associated with the height of the conflict,
 uniformed British soldiers and the PSNI joined forces in forming a
 raiding party which attacked and arrested north Belfast residents.

 The evident return of British soldiers to a street-level role
 infuriated Ardoyne republicans and contradicted a vow made by Baggott
 in recent weeks when he said that he would not call up British troops
 for support because it would "not be good for northern Ireland".

 One prominent republican, Alan Lundy, was seized in the raids and taken
 to Antrim interrogation centre, while another man, Christopher Headley,
 was assaulted amid a violent and destructive invasion of his home.

 His daughter and 18-year-old daughter Claire were also assaulted and
 verbally abused during the search in Brompton Park. Crown forces forced
 their way into the house at 8am with a warrant stating they were
 searching for "component parts of bombs, wigs, a patterned dress,
 documents, computer equipment and mobile phones". Ms Headley said the
 way the search was carried out was "very aggressive and totally

 "At first they refused to show me the warrant. My mum and dad were in
 bed and I asked them to wait while I woke them up but they just pushed
 me out of the way and came into the house.

 "My dad was dragged out into the garden, we tried to tell them he has a
 heart condition but they just weren't interested.

 "They turned the place upside down and then just left it like that.
 Despite the list of things they said they were looking for all they took
 was a halloween dress up wig".


 Meanwhile, the PSNI have also re-established road checkpoints in the
 greater Belfast area, which they blamed on the possibility of further
 attacks, but is also understood to be linked to the threat of loyalist
 flag disturbances.

 Fianna Fail's Eamon O Cuiv, said he believed "vested interests" were
 deliberately exaggerating the threat of republican armed groups.

 The former Irish government minister was speaking at a conference on
 policing and injustice held in Derry at the weekend. THe said that as
 well as being concerned about internment, he was also concerned about
 the role of the Crown forces in the north.

 "I have to say I am always concerned about the security mindset, I have
 obviously had opportunities here to see it close up," he said. "The
 second thing is that I do worry that there is a vested interest in
 keeping the threat reports at a high level."

 He expressed concern about the role of British military intelligence in
 so-called 'dirty tricks', citing the example of County Louth republican
 Michael Campbell who was arrested in 2008 following an elaborate sting
 operation. Mr Campbell spent nearly six years behind bars until his
 conviction was overturned on appeal earlier this year.


 Meanwhile, bomb alerts have continued in Belfast and elsewhere,
 including the discovery of a suspicious object close to the North/South
 electricity interconnector. The keg-style device was found near the
 village of Crossmaglen in south Armagh on Wednesday, and British army
 bomb disposal experts have now spent more than four days dealing with

 The interconnector is a high-voltage powerline that transfers
 electricity between the powergrids in the north and the 26 Counties. It
 was abandoned in 1975 following a number of IRA bomb attacks but was
 restored in the mid nineties.

 A device found on Sunday in south Belfast also led to PSNI road closures
 across a wide area of south and west Belfast, but was later declared a


>>>>>> Immunity for British killers while IRA veteran is jailed

 Days after self-confessed British Crown force killers were broadcast
 justifying the murder of innocent civilians, the jailing of a former IRA
 Volunteer for an armed action in 1981 has been described as

 At Belfast Crown Court on Thursday, Armagh man Seamus Kearney was
 convicted for an IRA attack in which a member of the RUC police died.
 The judge, sitting without a jury under special anti-republican Diplock
 legislation, sentenced Mr Kearney to life imprisonment.

 Under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, Mr Kearney will serve
 two years before being released on licence.

 Following the sentencing, Sinn Fein representative for mid-Ulster Ian
 Milne said: "I know Seamus Kearney well. He previously served a long
 period of imprisonment for IRA activities.

 "The decision to pursue Seamus on these historic charges was wrong,
 vindictive, unnecessary and counterproductive."

 He added: "It is ironic at a time when the Haass process is coming to a
 conclusion in dealing with legacy issues that a republican is being
 imprisoned on historic changes.

 "It seems that the British government on one hand wants to talk the
 language of building a new future here but at the same time is sending a
 message that it is continuing to fight old battles.

 "Like the previous case of Gerry McGeough, it is our position that
 Seamus should be released and allowed to return home to his family."

 The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson hit out at Sinn Fein's reaction, which he
 claimed showed "a callous disregard for the suffering and pain inflicted
 by the IRA" on the family of the RUC Reservist, John Proctor.

 The continuing prosecution of former members of the Provisonal IRA,
 nineteen years after that organisation declared a ceasefire, stands in
 contrast to the continuing failure of the Stormont system to prosecute
 members of the British Crown forces or its murder gangs.


 The family of an 18-year-old Catholic youth shot dead in 1972 by a
 secret British Army unit have said this week they have been forced to
 take legal action against the British Ministry of Defence (MoD).

 Daniel Rooney was gunned down by undercover soldiers from the British
 Army's 'Military Reaction Force' at St James's Crescent in west Belfast.
 A BBC Panorama documentary, shown last week, carried interviews with
 members of the unit, who admitted that they killed members of the
 nationalist community even though there was no evidence they were
 involved with the IRA.

 The Rooney family are to issue civil proceedings against the MoD in
 relation to the conduct of their soldiers. Noel Rooney, Daniel's
 brother, described the 1973 inquest into his death as a "sham", saying
 none of the soldiers involved gave evidence at it. As well as a fresh
 inquest he said the family wanted the soldiers responsible to be brought
 to court, although he does not think this would happen.

 "We would not have any confidence that any of these people would be
 prosecuted. We would certainly like to see it happen," he said. "The
 family are supportive of anything that will get to the truth and the
 [Panorama] programme helped with that.

 "It exposed something that we knew all along. My mother wanted Daniel's
 complete innocence to be known and wanted a British government apology."
 He said his mother, who died several years ago, "never got over" her
 son's death.

 Mr Rooney said he was shocked that the Military Reaction Force was
 "organised at such a senior level". And he said he was appalled by the
 "arrogance and ruthlessness" of the soldiers who appeared on the

 "They said they would do it again," he said. "They were quite open and
 brazen about it."


>>>>>> UVF behind protest parade - McGuinness

 Unionist paramilitaries and elements within the anti-Catholic Orange
 Order are behind the mass loyalist parade in Belfast city centre
 tomorrow [Saturday, November 30th], Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness has

 Up to 10,000 loyalists and 40 bands are set to join the city centre
 protest to mark the anniversary of Belfast City Council's decision to
 fly the British Union Jack on designated days only.

 Other protests are planned before Christmas, and there are fears the
 parade could mark a return of last winter's traffic-snarling roadblocks
 and violent disturbances.

 A group calling itself 'Loyal Peaceful Protesters' is planning to breach
 legally-binding restrictions set by a Parades Commission ruling by
 starting their demonstration half an hour after the parade is supposed
 to be completely clear of the city centre.

 Asked by SDLP leader Alban Maginness whether he believed that tomorrow's
 protest and subsequent parades should be called off, the deputy first
 minister said he was certain that loyalist paramilitaries were behind
 the controversial protest.

 "I don't have any doubt as to who is organising this parade -- this
 parade is organised by the UVF and is being supported by elements within
 the Orange Order," Mr McGuinness said.

 The Sinn Fein representative for Derry said everybody involved had a
 responsibility to "recognise the importance of discussion and dialogue".

 "Yes I think people have made their point but the main point to be made
 is that they have a duty to face up to the concerns being expressed on a
 consistent basis by the business community in Belfast about how damaging
 these protests can be," he said.

 "I come from a society that believes people have the right to protest
 but in protesting people have to take decisions as to whether or not
 that protest is going to contribute to a resolution or an exacerbation
 of the problem." He described the continued protests as "very worrying

 The Police Federation of Northern Ireland also urged the loyalists to
 "reconsider their position" in order to allow the PSNI to focus their
 efforts on defeating the republican armed groups.

 Terry Spence, the federation's chairman, said: "There has been a
 consolidation of these disparate dissident republican groups
 co-operating more with each other as well as the fact that there is a
 drift from mainstream republicanism to the dissident camp."

 He warned that policing the parade "will distract well over 1,000 police
 officers to deal with the potential fallout from the demonstration".

 "Police resources are already stretched, and Saturday will stretch them
 to the limit," he added.


>>>>>> 'Nod and wink' culture at heart of charity scandal

 A scandal has erupted over the appropriation of funds from Irish
 charities and voluntary health agencies after one charity admitted the
 pay of its senior staff had been padded with money linked to a
 cash-raising lottery.

 There have been calls for an urgent government inquiry into the
 operation of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) after it emerged that
 funds are being pocketed by CRC management even as its services are
 being cut.

 Chief executive Paul Kiely, who received a State salary of 107,000 euro
 prior to his retirement, received a "top-up payment" to bring his annual
 income to an extraordinary quarter of a million euro ($340,000).

 Executives at Irish voluntary organisations typically receive six-figure
 State salaries, but a number are allowed to supplement this with
 additional "top-up bonuses", normally drawn from the organisation's
 operations. The legality of the practice remains a grey area and varies
 according to the amounts involved, the terms of written contracts, the
 political connections of those involved, and a "nod and wink" level of

 The director general of the Health Service Executive (HSE) Tony O'Brien
 admitted only seven health agencies out of 42 comply with public sector
 pay rules, and admitted there was a "nod and wink culture" on the
 appropriation of funds. Millions of euro had been diverted into the
 pockets of management in so-called top-ups this year, he admitted. When
 questioned about the issue, the responses of some of those involved had
 been evasive.

 "Clearly, we see in some of the responses, evidence of what was perhaps
 'a nod and a wink' culture," Mr O'Brien said.

 "(A culture) of, 'I've had a word with somebody, they said it would be
 alright, I haven't documentation but sure, we'll do it anyway'. That
 clearly has to be consigned to history."

 The payments controversy initially came to light after health watchdog
 Hiqa discovered last year that a manager at Tallaght Hospital had been
 in receipt of an additional 150,000 euro in questionable payments since

 Earlier this month, it emerged that boss of Crumlin Children's hospital
 gets a private 30,000 euro 'top up' payment taken from the proceeds of a
 hospital shop. And last week, Rhona Mahony, the top doctor at the
 National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street, defended her receipt of
 additional payments, which she described as 'private fees'.

 This week, Mr O'Brien confirmed that he may be seeking an additional 300
 million euro to maintain the operations of the HSE.

 The Irish Labour Party, which is holding its annual party conference
 this weekend, admitted it was embarrassed by the money grab of health
 and voluntary sector insiders while savage cutbacks are being
 implemented in the health services.

 Speaking at the conference in Killarney, Minister for Social Protection
 Joan Burton said revelations about the use of donated and other funds to
 top-up salaries were "extremely disturbing". Charitable donations should
 not be used to fund "lavish salaries", she added.


>>>>>> More pressure on Gerry Adams after sentencing of brother

 Sinn Fein has lashed out at what it said were attempts to use the
 conviction and sentencing of Liam Adams, brother of Gerry Adams, to
 smear its party leader.

 Liam Adams was given a 16-year jail term this week for raping and
 abusing his daughter Aine, beginning when she was just four years old,
 in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

 The trial heard that her attempts to raise the matter with the then RUC
 police were met with an attempt by the RUC to recruit her as an informer
 against her uncle.

 Gerry Adams has also been accused of failing to bring the matter to the
 attention of the RUC. But in an extraordinary intervention into the
 matter on Wednesday, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin compared Sinn
 Fein's handling of internal sex abuse cases to that of the Catholic

 He also claimed that Gerry Adams was aware of two other criminal matters
 which had been dealt with internally by republicans. "From information
 we have picked up, and we have talked to other people, this may have
 been a broader trend in the republican movement," he said.

 "Just like the [Catholic] Church, the republican movement saw the
 institution of the republican movement as more important than individual

 The Fianna Fail leader declined to elaborate on the two cases. Sinn Fein
 deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald described the remarks as disgraceful and
 totally untrue.

 "The question needs to be asked of Deputy Martin as to when he received
 this information and has he passed it on to gardai?" she said.

 "Or is the reality that Deputy Martin will seek to use any issue, no
 matter how difficult for those directly involved, to try and score cheap
 political points?"

 Mr Adams has endured a difficult time in recent weeks, condemned by
 almost all of the establishment media, as well as by some republicans,
 for not doing more to bring his brother to justice or to admit a past
 role in the Provisional IRA.

 In a tweet on Wednesday night, the Sinn Fein leader accused Mr Martin of
 being "completely out of order" and of reaching a "new low" in the

 And in a subsequent statement, Mary Lou McDonald said the Fianna Fail
 leader had attempting to smear Mr Adams. She said he had testified at
 length at his brother's trial, and answered "all of the questions" put
 to him on the matter.

 Ms McDonald told RTE state radio that Mr Martin was "cynically and very,
 very deliberately" using the trial of his brother to attack Mr Adams,
 but was also causing considerable distress to his wider family.

 She urged the media and Sinn Fein's opponents to give a respectful space
 to the family to allow them to come to terms with everything that has


>>>>>> Larne's crown is king of flags and symbols issue

 A gigantic metal crown erected on a roundabout without planning
 permission in Larne, County Antrim, is to remain for another two years
 at least, the Stormont administration has said.

 The issue of flags and symbols are among the topics currently under
 discussion as part of a talks process under US mediator Richard Haass,
 but few of the symbols in the north of Ireland are as large as Larne's
 roundabout crown.

 Although it has a growing Catholic community and serves as a major
 transit point for those arriving or leaving Ireland by ferry, the
 loyalist citadel remains synonymous with fervent anti-Catholic

 Unionist-dominated Larne Borough Council installed the eight-metre high
 crown in the middle of the Circular Road roundabout last year,
 ostensibly to mark the 'jubilee' of English queen Elizabeth Windsor.

 Erected without the necessary planning approval, the Six-County
 Department of the Environment this week granted temporary planning
 permission to the steel structure.

 Larne council chief executive Geraldine McGahey was told before it was
 constructed that it was not permitted development, but that work
 proceeded on the basis that approval was "unlikely to be denied".

 "We had a discussion with [the planning authority] and made a decision
 based on information they supplied to us," she said.

 The crown was opposed by Sinn Fein on grounds of equality, but the
 SDLP's Mark H. Durkan, Six-County Minister of the Environment, agreed to
 give temporary planning approval. His department said the council had
 given a commitment that the structure would be removed from the
 roundabout in two years time.


 Meanwhile, a number of Belfast council workers have claimed they feel
 the council is putting them "at risk by not removing Irish tricolours
 from one of their depots.

 It is not clear who erected the Irish flags at the Springfield Avenue
 depot in northwest Belfast, but they appeared after British flags were
 put up at other council depots.

 One employee who works at the Springfield Avenue depot said the tensions
 began in June this year when Union Jacks went up on a depot in Agnes
 Street, closer to the city centre.

 "Tricolours then appeared on some of the depots and it escalated from
 that," he said.

 "Nobody seems to know who is putting them up, but somebody must be doing
 it. After the flags went up, some pictures appeared on Facebook, that's
 when the intimidation really started. People were commenting saying
 'burn the scum', 'burn them out', 'burn the depot down'.

 "There were pictures of people outside the depot during the night with
 loyalist flags but it got a lot more serious when one of the guys got a
 death threat.

 "He got a bullet and a sympathy card in the post. He had to go off on
 the sick and now he is living on his nerves."


>>>>>> Feature: The Irish Volunteers

 The Irish Volunteers, the organisation which would later lead to
 the IRA, was publicly launched 100 years ago this week.

 Irish (National) Volunteers, a militia founded 25 November 1913 at the
 Rotunda in Dublin They were founded as a direct response to the UVF
 (Ulster Volunteer Force, founded 1912). The UVF opposed Home Rule for
 Ireland and wished to maintain the union with Britain. To ensure that
 Home Rule would be resisted they were prepared to fight, hence the
 foundation in 1913 of the militant UVF.

 The Irish Volunteers was a military organisation established in 1913 by
 Irish nationalists. It was ostensibly formed in response to the
 formation of the Ulster Volunteers in 1912, and its declared primary aim
 was "to secure and maintain the rights and liberties common to the whole
 people of Ireland." The Volunteers included members of the Gaelic
 League, Ancient Order of Hibernians and Sinn Fein and, secretly, the
 IRB. The Volunteers fought for Irish independence in 1916\0x2032s Easter
 Rising, and were joined by the Irish Citizen Army, Cumann na mBan and
 Fianna Eireann to form the Irish Republican Army.


 Home Rule for Ireland dominated political debate between the two
 countries since Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone  introduced the
 first Home Rule Bill in 1886, which was rejected by the House of
 Commons. The second Home Rule Bill, seven years later having passed the
 House of Commons, was vetoed by the House of Lords. It would be the
 third Home Rule Bill, introduced in 1912, which would lead to the crisis
 in Ireland between the majority Nationalist population and the Unionists
 in Ulster.

 On 28 September 1912 at Belfast City Hall almost 250,000 Unionists
 signed the Solemn League and Covenant to resist the granting of Home
 Rule. This was followed in January 1913 with the formation of the Ulster
 Volunteers composed of adult male Unionists to oppose the passage and
 implementation of the bill by force of arms if necessary.


 The initiative for a series of meetings leading up to the public
 inauguration of the Volunteers came from the Irish Republican
 Brotherhood (IRB). Bulmer Hobson, co-founder of the republican
 boy-scouts, Fianna Eireann, and member of the Irish Republican
 Brotherhood, believed the IRB should use the formation of the Ulster
 Volunteers as an "excuse to try to persuade the public to form an Irish
 volunteer force". The IRB could not move in the direction of a Volunteer
 force themselves, as action by known physical force men would be
 stopped, despite the precedent established by the Ulster Volunteers.
 They therefore confined themselves to encouraging the view that
 Nationalists also ought to organize a Volunteer Force for the defence of
 Ireland. A small committee then began to meet regularly in Dublin from
 July, 1913, who watched the growth of this opinion.They refrained
 however from any action until the precedent of Ulster should have first
 been established while waiting for the lead to come from a
 "constitutional" quarter.

 The IRB began the preparations for the open organisation of the Irish
 Volunteers in January 1913. James Stritch, an IRB member, had the Irish
 National Foresters build a hall at the back of 41 Parnell Square in
 Dublin, which was the headquarters of the Wolfe Tone Clubs. Anticipating
 the formation of the Volunteers they began to learn foot-drill and
 military movements. The drilling was conducted by Stritch together with
 members of Fianna Eireann. They began by drilling a small number of IRB
 associated with the Dublin Gaelic Athletic Association, led by Harry

 Michael Collins along with several other IRB members claim that the
 formation of the Irish Volunteers was not merely a "knee-jerk reaction"
 to the Ulster Volunteers, which is often supposed, but was in fact the
 "old Irish Republican Brotherhood in fuller force.

 "The North Began"

 The IRB knew they would need a highly regarded figure as a public front
 that would conceal the reality of their control. The IRB found Eoin
 MacNeill the ideal candidate, Professor of Early and Medieval History at
 University College Dublin. McNeill's academic credentials and reputation
 for integrity and political moderation had widespread appeal.

 The O'Rahilly, assistant editor and circulation manager of the Gaelic
 League newspaper An Claidheamh Soluis encouraged MacNeill to write an
 article for the first issue of a new series of articles for the paper.
 The O'Rahilly suggested to MacNeill that it should be on some wider
 subject than mere Gaelic pursuits. It was this suggestion which gave
 rise to the article entitled The North Began, giving the Irish
 Volunteers its public origins. On 1 November, MacNeill's article
 suggesting the formation of an Irish volunteer force was published.
 MacNeill wrote:

 There is nothing to prevent the other twenty-eight counties from calling
 into existence citizen forces to hold Ireland "for the Empire". It was
 precisely with this object that the Volunteers of 1782 were enrolled,
 and they became the instrument of establishing Irish self-government.

 After the article was published, Hobson asked The O'Rahilly to see
 MacNeill, to suggest to him that a conference should be called in order
 to make arrangements for publicly starting the new movement. The article
 "threw down the gauntlet to nationalists to follow the lead given by
 Ulster unionists." MacNeill was unaware of the detailed planning which
 was going on in the background, but was aware of Hobson's political
 leanings. He knew the purpose as to why he was chosen, but he was
 determined not to be a puppet.


 With MacNeill willing to take part, O'Rahilly and Hobson sent out
 invitations for the first meeting at Wynn's Hotel in Abbey Street,
 Dublin, on November 11. Hobson himself did not attend this meeting,
 believing his standing as an "extreme nationalist" might prove
 problematical.The IRB, however, was well represented by, among others,
 Sean MacDermott and Eamonn Ceannt, who would prove to be substantially
 more extreme than Hobson. Several others meetings were soon to follow,
 as prominent nationalists planned the formation of the Volunteers, under
 the leadership of MacNeill. Meanwhile, labour leaders in Dublin began
 calling for the establishment of a citizens' defence force in the
 aftermath of the lock out of 19 August 1913. Thus formed the Irish
 Citizen Army, led by James Connolly, which, though it had similar aims,
 had no connection with the Irish Volunteers.

 The Volunteer organisation was publicly launched on 25 November, with
 their first public meeting and enrollment rally at the Rotunda in
 Dublin. The IRB organised this meeting to which all parties were
 invited, and brought 5000 enlistment blanks for distribution and handed
 out in books of one hundred each to each ot the stewards. Every one of
 the stewards and officials wore on their lapel a small silken bow the
 center of which was white, while on one side was green and on the other
 side orange and had long been recognized as the colors which the Irish
 Republican Brotherhood had adopted as the Irish national banner. The
 hall was filled to its 4,000 person capacity, with a further 3,000
 spilling onto the grounds outside. Speakers at the rally included
 MacNeill, Patrick Pearse, and Michael Davitt, son of the Land League
 founder of the same name. Over the course of the following months the
 movement spread throughout the country, with thousands more joining
 every week.

 Organization and leadership

 The names of those who were members of the governing Committee of the
 Volunteers from November 1913 to October 1914, exclusive of Redmond's 25
 nominees who only functioned between mid-June to mid-September 1914

 Honourable Secretaries: Eoin Mac Neill (Gaelic League (GL)), Laurence J.
 Kettle (Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), Ancient Order of

 Honourable Treasurers: The O'Rahilly (GL, Sinn Fein (SF)), John Gore
 (AOH, IPP);

 Members: Piaras Beaslai (Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB)), Sir Roger
 Casement (GL), Eamonn Ceannt (IRB, GL, SF), John Fitzgibbon (GL, SF),
 Liam Gogan, Bulmer Hobson(IRB, Fianna Eireann (FE)), Michael J. Judge
 (AOH), Thomas Kettle (IPP, AOH), James Lenehan (AOH), Michael Lonergan
 (IRB, Fianna Eireann (FE)), Peter (Peadar) Macken (IRB, Labour leader,
 SF, GL), Sean Mac Diarmada (IRB,Irish Freedom), Thomas MacDonagh(IRB),
 Liam Mellows (IRB), Col. Maurice Moore (IPP, GL, Connaught Rangers),
 Seamus O'Connor (IRB), Colm O'Loughlin (IRB, St. Enda's School (SES)),
 Peter O'Reilly (Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH)), Robert Page (IRB,
 Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)), Patrick Pearse (IRB, GL, SES),
 Joseph M. Plunkett (IRB, Irish Review), John Walsh (AOH), Peter White
 (Celtic Literary Society);

 Fianna Eireann representatives: Con Colbert (IRB), Eamon Martin (IRB),
 Patrick O'Riain (IRB).

 When the thirty member Provisional Committee was finalized, the addition
 of several new IRB members brought their total within the Committee to
 twelve. The IRB then specifically brought Liam Mellows to Dublin to
 strengthen the Fianna representation and they were eventually to recruit
 Pearse, Plunkett and MacDonagh, and thus hold over half the strength of
 the Committee. This brought the IRB representation to 16 with the rest
 of the committee being represented by both Redmondites and Sinn Feiners,
 among others

 The manifesto of the Volunteers, approved at the 25 November meeting,
 stated the organisation's objectives were "to secure and maintain the
 rights and liberties common to the whole people of Ireland." To train,
 arm, equip and discipline themselves for the above purpose while uniting
 Irishmen of every creed, party and class. Though the "rights and
 liberties" were never defined, nor the means by which they would be
 obtained, the IRB in the Fenian tradition construed the term to mean the
 maintenance of the rights of Ireland to national independence and to
 secure that right in arms.

 The manifesto further stated that their duties were to be defensive,
 contemplating neither "aggression or domination". MacNeill offered his
 opinion in the article The North Began that the Tory policy in Ulster,
 was deliberately adopted to make the display of military force with the
 threat of armed violence the decisive factor in relations between
 Ireland and Great Britain. If Irishmen accepted this new policy he said
 they would be surrendering their rights as men and citizens. If they did
 not attempt to defeat this policy "we become politically the most
 degraded population in Europe and no longer worthy of the name of Nation
 ..." In this situation he said guarding our own rights is our first duty.
 They have rights who dare maintain them, but rights in the last resort,
 could only be maintained by arms.

 MacNeill himself would approve of armed resistance only if the British
 launched a campaign of repression against Irish nationalist movements,
 or if they attempted to impose conscription on Ireland following the
 outbreak of the First world war. Such a case he believed that they would
 have mass support

 The IRB was unable to gain complete control of the organisation,
 especially after the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, John
 Redmond, demanded that the Volunteers accept his own personal
 appointments to its Provisional Committee, which would effectively place
 the organisation under his control. While the moderates did not like the
 idea, they were prepared to go along with it in order to prevent Redmond
 from forming a rival organisation, which would draw away most of their
 support. The IRB was completely opposed to Redmond's demands, as this
 would end any chance they had of controlling the Volunteers, but were
 unable to prevent the motion from being carried in Redmond's favour.

 Arming the Volunteers

 Shortly after the formation of the Volunteers, the British Parliament
 banned the importation of weapons into Ireland. The "Curragh incident"
 in March 1914 indicated that the government could not rely on its army
 to ensure a smooth transition to Home Rule. Then in April 1914 the
 Ulster Volunteers successfully imported 24,000 rifles in the Larne Gun
 Running event. The Irish Volunteers realised that it too would have to
 follow suit if they were to be taken as a serious force. Indeed, many
 contemporary observers commented on the irony of "loyal" Ulstermen
 arming themselves and threatening to defy the British government by
 force. Patrick Pearse famously replied that "the Orangeman with a gun is
 not as laughable as the nationalist without one." Thus O'Rahilly, Sir
 Roger Casement  and Bulmer Hobson worked together to coordinate a
 daylight gun-running expedition to Howth , just north of Dublin.

 The plan worked, and Erskine Childers brought nearly 1,000 rifles,
 purchased from Germany, to the harbour on the 26 July and distributed
 them to the waiting Volunteers, without interference from the
 authorities. The remainder of the guns smuggled from Germany for the
 Irish Volunteers were landed at Kilcoole a week later by Sir Thomas

 As the Volunteers marched from Howth back to Dublin, however, they were
 met by a large patrol of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the British
 Army. The Volunteers escaped largely unscathed, but when the army
 returned to Dublin they clashed with a group of unarmed civilians who
 had been heckling them at Bachelors Walk. Though no order was given, the
 soldiers fired on the civilians, killing four and the wounding of a
 further 37. This enraged the populace, and during the outcry enlistments
 in the Volunteers soared.

 The Split

 The outbreak of world war in August 1914 provoked a serious split in the
 organisation. Redmond, in the interest of ensuring the enactment of the
 Home Rule Act 1914 then on the statute books, encouraged the Volunteers
 to support the British and Allied war commitment and join Irish
 Regiments of the British New Army divisions, an action unsuccessfully
 opposed by the founding members. Given the wide expectation that the war
 was going to be a short one, the majority however supported the war
 effort and the call to restore the "freedom of small nations" on the
 European continent. They left to form the National volunteers, which
 fought in the 10th and  16th Irish Division, side-by-side with their
 volunteer counterparts from the 36th Ulster Division. Unlike the latter,
 the 16th Division had no trained military Irish officers of its own, and
 were commanded by British officers, with the exception of Irish General
 William Hickie. The National Volunteers ceased to exist after the
 Armistice in 1918 when their battalions were disbanded in 1922 under the
 terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

 A minority believed that the principles used to justify the Allied war
 cause were best applied in restoring the freedom to one small country in
 particular. They retained the name "Irish Volunteers", were led by
 MacNeill and called for Irish neutrality. The National Volunteers kept
 some 175,000 members, leaving the Irish Volunteers with an estimated
 13,500. This split proved advantageous to the IRB, which was now back in
 a position to control the organisation.

 Following the split, the remnants of the Irish Volunteers were often,
 and erroneously, referred to as the "Sinn Fein Volunteers", or
 "Shinners", afterArthur Griffith's political organisation Sinn fein. The
 term began as a derogatory one, but soon became ubiquitous in Ireland.
 Although the two organisations had some overlapping membership, there
 was no official connection between Griffith's then moderate Sinn Fein
 and the Volunteers. The political stance of the remaining Volunteers was
 not always popular, and a 1,000-strong march led by Pearse through the
 garrison city of Limerick on Whit sunday, 1915, was pelted with rubbish
 by a hostile crowd. Pearse explained the reason for the establishment of
 the new force when he said in May 1915:

 What if conscription be enforced on Ireland? What if a Unionist or a
 Coalition British Ministry repudiates the Home Rule Act?

 What if it be determined to dismember Ireland? The future is big with
 these and other possibilities.

 After the departure of Redmond and his followers, the Volunteers adopted
 a constitution, which had been drawn up by the earlier provisional
 committee, and was ratified by a convention of 160 delegates on 25
 October 1914. It called for general council of fifty members to meet
 monthly, as well as an executive of the president and eight elected
 members. In December a headquarters staff was appointed, consisting of
 Eoin MacNeill as chief of staff, The O' Rahilly as director of
 arms,Thomas Ma Donagh as director of training, Patrick Pearse as
 director of military organization, Bulmer Hobson as quartermaster, and
 Joseph Plunkett as director of military operations. The following year
 they were joined by Eammonn Ceannt as director of communications and
 J.J. O'Connell as chief of inspection.

 This reorganization put the IRB is a stronger position, as four
 important military positions (director of training, director of military
 organization, director of military operations, and director of
 communications) were held by men who were, or would soon be, members of
 the IRB, and who later become four of the seven signatories of the
 Easter Proclamation. (Hobson was also an IRB member, but had a falling
 out with the leadership after he supported Redmond's appointees to the
 provisional council, and hence played little role in the IRB

 The 1916 Rising

 The official stance of the Irish Volunteers was that action would only
 be taken were the British authorities at Dublin Castle to attempt to
 disarm the Volunteers, arrest their leaders, or introduce conscription
 to Ireland. The IRB, however, was determined to use the Volunteers for
 offensive action while Britain was tied up in the First World War. Their
 plan was to circumvent MacNeill's command, instigating a rising, and to
 get MacNeill on board once the rising was a fait accompli.

 Pearse issued orders for three days of parades and manoeuvres, a thinly
 disguised order for a general insurrection. MacNeill soon discovered the
 real intent behind the orders and attempted to stop all actions by the
 Volunteers. He succeeded only in putting the Rising off for a day, and
 limiting it to about 1,000 active participants within Dublin and a
 further 2,000-3,000 elsewhere. Almost all of the fighting was confined
 to Dublin. The Irish Citizen army supplied slightly more than 200
 personnel for the Dublin campaign.

 The Rising was a failure in the short term, and large numbers of Irish
 Volunteers were arrested, even some who did not participate in the
 Rising. In 1919 the Irish Volunteers became the Irish republican army,
 swearing its obedience to the First Dail during the course of August


>>>>>> Feature: A blueprint for Scottish independence

 The Scottish National Party has published a booklet of detailed
 proposals for Scottish independence, including the planned independence
 day -- Easter Thursday 2016, just days before the 100th anniversary of
 Ireland's Easter Rising -- as well as assurances that Scotland would
 retain the Sterling currency and the Queen of England as monarch. The
 following is the text of SNP leader Alex Salmond's preface to their
 independence guide.

 Scotland is an ancient nation, renowned for the ingenuity and creativity
 of our people, the breathtaking beauty of our land and the brilliance of
 our scholars. Our national story has been shaped down the generations by
 values of compassion, equality, an unrivalled commitment to the
 empowerment of education, and a passion and curiosity for invention that
 has helped to shape the world around us. Scots have been at the
 forefront of the great moral, political and economic debates of our
 times as humanity has searched for progress in the modern age.

 It is in that spirit of progress that you will be asked on 18 September

 'Should Scotland be an independent country?'

 The answer we give to that question will determine how we can shape our
 nation for the future. The year ahead should be a national celebration
 of who we are and what we could be.

 The debate we are engaged in as a nation is about the future of all of
 us lucky enough to live in this diverse and vibrant country. It is a
 rare and precious moment in the history of Scotland - a once in a
 generation opportunity to chart a better way.

 At its heart independence is not about this Government or any political
 party. It is about a fundamental democratic choice for the people of
 Scotland. It is about the power to choose who we should be governed by
 and the power to build a country that reflects our priorities as a
 society and our values as a people.

 I believe in independence because I believe it will be better for all of
 us if decisions about Scotland are taken by the people who care most
 about Scotland - the people who live and work here. It is my absolute
 conviction that Scotland's future should be in Scotland's hands.

 I also believe that the bonds of family, friendship, history and culture
 between Scotland and the other parts of the British Isles are precious.
 England, Wales and Northern Ireland will always be our family, friends
 and closest neighbours. But with Scotland as an independent country, our
 relationship will be one of equals. I have no doubt that it will

 I want to be clear about what independence means and why the Scottish
 Government is asking you to vote Yes.

 The vote in September 2014 is about becoming independent from the
 parliamentary union of 1707 and passing to the Scottish Parliament the
 powers Westminster has over matters such as taxation, welfare and the
 economy, and securing for Scotland our own place in the world as an
 independent country.

 Last year, in the Edinburgh Agreement, the Scottish and Westminster
 Governments agreed to continue to work together constructively in the
 light of the outcome of the referendum, whatever it may be, in the best
 interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United
 Kingdom. That is an important commitment from both Governments. It will
 help to ensure a smooth transition of powers from Westminster to

 That constructive working together will continue after independence.

 We will work in partnership with the rest of the UK to share the pound
 for our mutual benefit, but we will pursue a Scottish tax and economic
 policy to boost jobs, growth and social justice.

 Westminster governments, rejected at the ballot box in Scotland, will no
 longer be able to inflict the poll tax or the bedroom tax on the most
 vulnerable people in our society.

 We will continue to work in partnership with the rest of the UK in
 defence alliances to promote peace and security, but we will be able to
 remove Trident from Scotland's soil and stop paying towards the #100
 billion lifetime cost of a new generation of nuclear weapons.

 We will work in partnership with the rest of the UK inside the European
 Union. But we will be able to represent Scotland at the top tables of
 Europe as a constructive member state and stand up for vital Scottish

 Scotland will remain within the Union of the Crowns with Her Majesty The
 Queen as our head of state, but we will have a modern, written

 And the social ties between Scotland and the rest of the UK will
 continue and thrive.

 That is the independent Scotland we will negotiate following a Yes vote.
 We will do so in time for Scotland to become independent on 24 March
 2016 and be ready for the first elections to an independent Scottish
 Parliament in the spring of that year.

 Of course some would prefer Scotland to become a republic, to leave the
 EU or NATO, or to have our own currency. After Scotland becomes
 independent, any political party seeking to make these kinds of changes
 would first have to win support to do so in an election.

 That is the real democratic value of independence - the people of
 Scotland are in charge. It will no longer be possible for governments to
 be elected and pursue policies against the wishes of the Scottish
 people. So other choices can be made, different from those we propose in
 this guide - but these will be the choices of the Scottish people.

 Independence will put the people of Scotland in charge of our own

 No-one is suggesting an independent Scotland would not face challenges.
 We would be unique if that was not the case.

 But we are rich in human talent and natural resources. We are one of the
 wealthiest nations in the world. With independence, we can build the
 kind of country we want to be.

 People down the decades have wondered if a country blessed with such
 wealth, talent and resources could and should have done more to realise
 the potential we know exists for everyone. Those generations could only
 imagine a better Scotland.

 Our generation has the opportunity to stop imagining and wondering and
 start building the better Scotland we all know is possible.

 This is our country. This is Scotland's future. It is time to seize that
 future with both hands.

 Alex Salmond
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