Saturday, 19 April 2014


McGuinness told ‘stay away’ over banquet controversy
Sinn Fein has been urged to stay away from Easter commemorations after Martin McGuinness attended a royal banquet and toasted England’s queen, Elizabeth Windsor.
The Six-County Deputy First Minister infuriated republicans last week at the event at Windsor Castle in honour of 26-County president Michael D Higgins.The strongly worded statement by Republican Sinn Fein (RSF) accuses McGuinness of being a “lackey of her majesty”
In advert placed in weekly newspapers in the Newry and south Armagh areas, it said the RSF message was directed “to the Provos and their leader Martin McGuinness”.
“Stay away from the graves of our departed Irish Republican Volunteers,” it read.
“Your presence and that of your ‘dressed-up’ Brit-loving leader, is a contamination of the sacred places, where the hunger strikers and our other revered patriots rest.
“The Provo leader... was seen lately on TV wearing full evening uniform of white tie and tails, toasting his queen”
“He is not an Irish republican but a very highly paid lackey of her majesty”.
The statement is signed by Republican Sinn Fein Newry and south Armagh.
RSF is one of a number of republican groups who will hold Easter Rising commemorations at republican plots across Ireland this weekend.
The party was formed in 1986 by a number of people who left Sinn Fein in protest at the decision to allow members to take their seats in the 26-County parliament in Dublin.
The organisation’s main commemorations at Milltown cemetery in west Belfast on Sunday will be addressed by party leader Des Dalton. A spokesperson said the leadership had no issue with the sentiments expressed in the advert.
But Sinn Fein Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy claimed the advert was “pathetic”.
“They represent no-one and indeed the only time you hear of them is when they put an ad containing an anti-Sinn Fein rant into the local papers once a year,” he said. “It’s really rather pathetic.”
ROYAL AFTERSHOCKSIn a wider debate over the state visit, socialists have criticised the “fawning” by Ireland’s ruling classes over English royalty and royal ceremonies.
Over 50 journalists and crew were dispatched from Dublin by Irish state-run broadcaster RTE to cover the state visit, which received relatively little attention in the British media. Coverage of the event in the mainstream newspapers was strongly sycophantic.
Commentator Eamonn McCan said that the state visit was not about “cementing relations”, but about the Irish elite celebrating their acceptance into an upper layer of society.
“They believe they have now been liberated from any need to pretend dislike for the flummery and pomp which deep down – not all that deep, as a matter of fact – they have envied and aspired to,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, historians have also railed against the Dublin government’s attempts to use the state visit as a springboard for a new anti-nationalist programme, including an ‘Anglo-Irish’ commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising -- the event which directly led to the independence of the 26 County state from British rule.
In two years time, events to mark the centenary of the Rising and the executions of the 1916 leaders are set to include a British royal -- either the queen herself, or her son, Charles Windsor, the commander-in-chief of the Parachute Regiment.
Historian Prof Diarmaid Ferriter has questioned the decision, which he said had bypassed an expert advisory group on the centenary which the government itself had appointed.
He said he was concerned that the presence of the British royal family will end up “distorting history quite significantly”.
“I’m worried that we are heading towards something that is full of holes as to the historical reality at the time,” he said.
© 2014 Irish Republican News

Former CIRA man shot dead in west Belfast
A man expelled from the Continuity IRA for criminal activity was shot dead yesterday [Friday] at a diesel depot he operated.
Three men ran from a car and opened fire on Tommy Crossan in a daylight attack off the Springfield Road, shocking shoppers and mass-goers. The car used in the attack was found burned out a short distance away, at Beechmount Grove.Known as ‘Teflon Tommy’ for his ability to escape arrest despite openly trading in illegal fuel, Crossan was expelled from the Continuity IRA three years ago. There were allegations he was pocketing funds raised in the organisation’s name, and he was also accused of acting as an informer after the PSNI made a number of arms finds.
The dead man had been recently linked with a group which used the name ‘Irish Volunteers’ before it was ordered to disband by the larger breakaway group, Oglaigh na hEireann. Oglaigh na hEireann have been active recently and claimed responsibility for a unrelated attack at a licensed premises in north Belfast earlier this month.
The group said they were acting in response to “demand from the community” after allegations of criminality and anti-social activity in the vicinity of the bar. The statement said that “individuals frequenting the bar” had been warned about ongoing criminality but that had “gone unheeded”.
Despite facing death threats from a number of sources, Crossan remained active in the heart of west Belfast until Friday’s brazen attack.
The killing has been condemned by nationalist politicians. The SDLP’s Colin Keenan said there was a “real sense of shock”. “We have long hoped that the shadow of death had been lifted from west Belfast,” he said.
Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness sympathised with the family of the dead man. “Nothing that is claimed by the criminals responsible can justify it,” he said.
© 2014 Irish Republican News

High-profile arrests and prosecutions as OTR furore continues
Well-known loyalist Willie Frazer attempted to personally “arrest” a republican he alleged was ‘on the run’ from a conflict-related prosecution this week. The victims’ campaigner tried moved towards mourners at a funeral in County Down, but was blocked by a line of PSNI police.
Mr Frazer said he believed the man was among 187 republicans who received “letters of comfort”, telling them they were not wanted in connection with any crimes.“When I asked police and named him they said they weren’t aware of him being wanted for any crime,” he said. “I said if they didn’t want to arrest him then I would make a citizen’s arrest, but they wouldn’t let me up the road.”
Mr Frazer also complained about the number of police at the funeral. “I have been to large funerals before but I have never seen the number of police that were there yesterday,” he said.
Meanwhile, former PSNI chief Hugh Orde has denied that he came under pressure to release republican suspects following claims by retired senior RUC detective Norman Baxter of political “interference” in prosecutions.
Last week Baxter, notorious among republicans for engaging in ‘political policing’, ironically accused British officials in London of attempting to pervert the course of justice by asking for the release of republicans Vincent McAnespie and Gerry McGeough after their arrest in March 2007 for IRA actions in 1981. The request, Mr Baxter told a Westminster parliamentary committee, was prompted by a phone call by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams.
But Orde refuted the claims, and said that calls from Downing Street officials conveying complaints made by senior representatives from both sides of the political divide were frequent but “at no time did No 10 ever try to influence my decision making”.
He added that he would not have been surprised if Mr Adams had rung Downing Street to complain.
“It was not unusual for politicians of all sides to complain about what the police service was doing, both loyalist and republican,” he said.
OMAGH PROSECUTIONA spate of historical cases have been reopened in recent weeks amid the controversy over the letter given to OTRs. Most notably, County Monaghan republican Seamus Daly was this week charged in Armagh with involvement in the 1998 Omagh bombing. The bombing, directed at the commercial centre of the Tyrone market town, took one of the worst tolls in the history of the conflict when two telephoned warnings failed to clear the area around the bomb.
There have previously been two failed prosecutions against alleged members of the ‘Real IRA’ unit involved, despite their vehicle being tracked and mobile phones monitored as the attack was allowed to proceed.
A statement in 2008 by the former PSNI chief Hugh Orde indicated that no further prosecutions were likely in the case. One man, Colm Murphy, was previously tried, convicted, and then released after it was revealed that the Gardai forged interview notes used in the case. Mr Murphy’s nephew, Sean Hoey, was also tried and found not guilty.
FLORIDA CASE REOPENEDThe PSNI has also said they are to reinvestigate controversial claims that the Provisional IRA brought guns from the US into Ireland in the late 1990s. It follows a BBC Spotlight programme that alleged a senior member of Sinn Fein was involved in a gun-running operation from Florida.
It was alleged in the programme that Sean ‘Spike’ Murray, now a senior Sinn Fein strategist, was involved in smuggling guns before and after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Mr Murray has denied the allegations.
MCCONVILLE ARRESTMeanwhile, the sister of Sinn Fein Assembly member Fra McCann has been arrested in connection with the abduction of informer Jean McConville in December 1972. Geraldine Rogan was arrested at her west Belfast home before being released without charge. The PSNI said it is preparing a report for Crown prosecutors. Hers was the third such arrest in the case.
© 2014 Irish Republican News

[Irish Republican News]

April 19, 2014

[Irish Republican News]


The disgraced chairman of Anglo Irish Bank has been cleared this week of hatching a highly illegal loans-for-shares plot months before the bank’s collapse. Two of his colleagues were found guilty.

British statement on the past angers victims

villiers.jpgTheresa Villiers, who implements British Direct Rule in Ireland, has set out a sharply pro-unionist agenda for her government in dealing with the past conflict in the Six Counties.

Former CIRA man shot dead in west Belfast

tommycrossan.jpgA man expelled from the Continuity IRA for criminal activity was shot dead yesterday [Friday] at a diesel depot he operated.

McGuinness told ‘stay away’ over banquet controversy

mcguinnessbanquetsmile.jpgSinn Fein has been urged to stay away from Easter commemorations after Martin McGuinness attended a royal banquet and toasted England’s queen, Elizabeth Windsor.

Easter commemorations face PSNI harassment

commemoration.jpgColour party uniforms belonging to Republican Sinn Fein due to be used during an annual easter commemoration in Lurgan this Saturday have been seized during police raids in Craigavon.

Loyalist racists confront Irish language demo

nazisalutesgaeilge.jpgLoyalists greeted members of an Irish language rally last weekend with Nazi salutes.

Banquet gesture draws Tory hate

tebbitgodsavethequeen.jpgEfforts to boost reconciliation between the 26 County state and Britain during the formal visit to London by 26-County President Michael D Higgins were undermined by a leading Tory’s call this week for the murder of Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness.

Governments working together to manage Rising commemorations

risingsignatories.jpgThe Dublin and London governments have signalled a major effort to combat nationalist sentiment in the run-up to the anniversary of the 1916 Rising following this week’s heavily promoted state visit to London by 26-County President Michael D Higgins.

UDA violence linked to Larne arrests

carrickfergusuda.jpgThe unionist paramilitary UDA are understood to be planning riots this weekend in the town of Carrickfergus, in County Antrim following serious disturbances last night.

Belfast language protest as Irish speaker faces court

macdubhghlais.jpgRecent protests over discrimination against Irish language speakers in the north of Ireland are to reach a climax on Saturday with a major demonstration through Belfast city centre.

High-profile arrests and prosecutions as OTR furore continues

williefrazermonument.jpgWell-known loyalist Willie Frazer attempted to personally “arrest” a republican he alleged was ‘on the run’ from a conflict-related prosecution this week. The victims’ campaigner tried moved towards mourners at a funeral in County Down, but was blocked by a line of PSNI police.

McGurk’s report to be released uncensored

mcgurksprotest.jpgFamilies of those killed in the McGurk’s Bar massacre have succeeded in forcing the British authorities to release an unedited report into the bombing, it has been confirmed.

Calls for recognition of Travellers’ distinct identity

travellers.jpgA committee of the Dublin parliament has recommended that Travellers be recognised as an ethnic minority to combat discrimination as the issue begins featuring in local election campaigns in the 26 Counties.

The Battle of Clontarf

brianboru.jpgA struggle to free Ireland of foreign domination resulted in a heroic victory -- but the death of a great Irish leader -- a thousand years ago this week.

Five things we know after last night in Windsor

queenmcguinnesstoast.jpgRelations between Britain and Ireland have now entered the realm of the surreal.

On meeting monarchy

jamesconnollybig.jpgIt is obviously a matter for Sinn Fein who they meet but from the outside this looks like another ‘leadership initiative’ which has nothing to do with improving the material conditions of the working class or advancing towards the Republic.

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