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IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS
Friday-Thursday, 27 December-3 January, 2013
1. UNIONIST AGGRESSION
2. PSNI targeted in three separate incidents
3. Loyalist crime wave in the Antrim glens
4. 'Sinister approach' to man as he worked
5. Martin McGuinness resigns from Westminster seat
6. HET report challenged
7. Feature: The 1982 papers, part 2
8. Feature: New Year Statements 2013
>>>>>> UNIONIST AGGRESSION
Unionists and loyalists angered by the removal of the British Union Jack
flag above Belfast City Hall are increasingly turning to violence and
threats as their protests fail to deliver any progress.
A loyalist riot in east Belfast last night [Thursday night] has
infuriated the PSNI after a number of its members were injured. The
UVF-planned violence also saw attacks against a nearby nationalist
Road blockings have also resumed, although on a lesser scale to those
seen prior to the Christmas and New Year period. Meanwhile, acts of
sectarian violence and murder are being openly discussed by loyalists in
public internet forums.
The focus of the anger remains the cross-community Alliance Party, which
holds the balance of power at Belfast City Hall and who backed the
recent decision to reduce the number of days the Union flag flies above
the city centre building. But the attentions of loyalist thugs are
increasingly turning against nationalists.
One loyalist web page openly carried calls to "shoot a few taigs
On another page entitled 'Loyalists Peaceful Protest Updater' one
individual spoke of shooting Catholics and planting pipe bombs. Another
contributor called for the main Alliance Party office in east Belfast to
be "smashed up".
Commentators have pointed to strong evidence of orchestration by
unionist paramilitaries, possibly in collusion with elements in
The unionist community now appears increasingly polarised, with many
working-class unionists expressing extremist views and speaking of
coming under a nationalist 'siege'. The apparent ambivalence of the
mainstream unionist parties, the DUP and UUP, is fuelling concerns of a
potential return to serious loyalist violence.
PSNI BLAME UVF
Last night saw the first serious riot since mid-December, when a mob of
up to a 100 engaged in clashes with nationalists from the Short Strand
area in east Belfast.
Bricks and petrol bombs were thrown at nationalist homes on
Mountpottinger Road, and loyalists later clashed with the PSNI police
at Templemore Avenue. Police spokesmen later pointed to the stashes of
petrol bombs and the use of wheelie-bins filled with missiles.
"We had members of the UVF who were engaged in attacks on police...
There's absolutely no doubt this violence was orchestrated by the UVF,"
said the chairman of the Police Federation, Terry Spence.
There was also traffic disruption in south Belfast for a time during a
loyalist protest on the Upper Malone Road in Belfast, and on Wednesday,
in Carrickfergus, County Antrim. Other protests were due to take place
While the main focus for the flag protestors is a rally set for Belfast
city centre tomorrow [Saturday], plans are also under way for some 150
loyalists to stage a protest outside the Dublin parliament.
The group will ask "sarcastically" for the Irish flag to be taken down,
according to reports.
Organiser Willie Frazer said that three busloads of protesters will make
the journey for the hour-long protest outside Leinster House. Frazer was
previously behind the disastrous 2006 'Love Ulster' parade through
Dublin city centre, when loyalists attempted to hold a sectarian march
down O'Connell street. The event provoked one of Dublin's most serious
riots in decades.
"I would be very offended if I was living in Ireland [sic] and someone
came and asked me to take the flag down," Frazer explained. "That's
exactly how we feel in Belfast."
>>>>>> PSNI targeted in three bomb incidents
A member of the PSNI police discovered a potential bomb under his
vehicle in east Belfast last Sunday afternoon, and republican militants
are believed to be responsible.
A British army bomb-disposal unit was called to the scene on the upper
Newtownards Road and carried out a controlled explosion.
The PSNI said they believed the device had been placed "some time in the
last 48 hours" by "those opposed to peace from within dissident
It was the most serious incident in a spate of attacks this week
directed against PSNI personnel.
"It is very fortunate that this device was detected before it exploded
and that no-one was killed or seriously injured," a PSNI spokesman said.
The British government, Six County justice minister David Ford and other
Stormont politicians all condemned the attack.
Sinn Fein assembly member Alex Maskey said those responsible "have no
strategy and no support from the people of Ireland."
Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor described the latest attack as
"utterly reprehensible and to be condemned by all".
ARMAGH AND DERRY
While statistics have shown that 2012 had the fewest conflict-related
deaths since the 1960s, British Army experts have again warned of an
increase in activity by the 'new' IRA', Oglaigh na hEireann and other
republican armed groups.
Later in the week, a pipe bomb was discovered at the gates of a PSNI
barracks in County Armagh. The small device was planted outside
Tandragee station on Monday, but did not explode.
Ulster Unionist Newry and Armagh assembly member Danny Kennedy said he
was "disgusted" by the incident.
Another pipe bomb style device in Derry also caused houses to be
evacuated. It is thought a PSNI member may again have been the target in
the incident, which took place on Friday last in the Shantallow area.
The viability of the device was not confirmed.
Local Sinn Fein Assembly member Raymond McCartney said those involved
had "only succeeded in disruption to the local community and don't
>>>>>> Loyalist crime wave in the Antrim glens
A loyalist paramilitary gang is engaged in a spate of attacks in the
Glens of Antrim, with little interest shown by the police, according to
In the latest incident, a delivery driver was attacked in Glenarm on
The victim ran off after being assaulted by two men, who then climbed
into his van and attempted to set fire to it.
Sinn Fein's Oliver McMullan said it was the latest crime carried out in
the picturesque seaside village by a gang with UVF links.
"The public are saying to themselves, 'here we go again, there will be
nothing done about this'," he said.
"Some of this gang have connections to the UVF.
"How are we to have confidence in the police when we are told to come
forward but when that is done nothing seems to happen?
"The knock-on effect of that is that young people in our area see what
is happening and when nothing is being done they are wondering why the
police crack down on them."
The Sinn Fein assembly member highlighted several incidents he said the
PSNI have failed to act on.
"Why is the village being held to ransom by a gang that seems to be able
to do what they want, when they want?" he said.
"I am calling for policing to be seen to be working."
One family has been subjected to three separate arson attacks in the
town which have been linked to the same gang.
The Polish family who moved to the area this year, said they were left
terrified by the attacks last year.
"If the neighbours had not come we may never have woken," she said
following the most recent incident.
"We are very lucky, if you can call it lucky... We just want to live in
peace. We want to live like everyone else here."
>>>>>> 'Sinister approach' to man as he worked
A Newry tradesman has been the subject of a failed PSNI attempt to
recruit informers, according to the socialist republican party, eirigi.
The latest such incident occurred just before Christmas.
The party's runai ginearalta [General Secretary] Breandan Mac Cionnaith
said the self-employed tradesman, who is well-known locally, had been
working at a private house in the Armagh Road area of the city when two
men called by with a view to 'renting the house'. Both men named the
owners of the property and claimed to have their permission.
Once inside the house, the two men then introduced themselves as PSNI
officers and produced warrant cards confirming their identities.
Addressing the workman by his first name, they said that they were in a
position to do him 'a favour in return for his cooperation'.
They also produced a large sum of money, which they said they were
prepared to leave with the tradesman as 'a sign of their good faith'. He
estimated that the amount was over a thousand pounds.
The man, who became alarmed and frightened, told the two plain-clothed
PSNI personnel to leave the house immediately -- otherwise he would call
for help from neighbouring houses. When they refused, he began
'shouting loudly' to draw the attention of people in neighbouring homes.
The two PSNI officers rushed from the house and made off in an unmarked
The property owners later confirmed that no-one had been in contact with
The recruitment target contacted eirigi before making a formal statement
to lawyers about the incident. His lawyers are understood to have
forwarded his statement to a human rights organisation.
"This is the latest in a whole series of incidents in the Newry area
where the PSNI are operating in the same completely unrestrained fashion
as the old RUC and Special Branch," said Mr Mac Cionnaith.
He said it bore similarity to other incidents involving the PSNI and MI5
in South Armagh and South Down, which were previously publicised by the
party spokesperson for the Newry area, Stephen Murney.
"It was Stephen's persistence in exposing such underhand activities by
state forces which directly led to his arrest and imprisonment on very
spurious and nebulous charges," he added.
He also congratulated the targeted individual for his actions in coming
forward and reporting the incident and making a full statement to
"I would encourage anyone who finds themselves in the same frightening
and invidious position to contact our party immediately," he said.
"Such sinister approaches are more commonplace than most people realise.
The vast majority of those being subject to these recruitment attempts
by the PSNI and MI5 are not republicans but are, as in this case,
ordinary people going about their normal everyday business."
Mac Cionnaith also warned that the policy of attempting to recruit
informers and 'agents' was not confined to solely targeting adults.
"The PSNI has previously acknowledged that it also operates a policy of
recruiting children and young people as informers," he said.
"This raises a very pertinent question for boards of governors, school
principals, teachers and all those with positions of responsibility
within community and voluntary organisations working with children and
"Can they publicly guarantee that PSNI personnel, who are being
gradually introduced into what should be safe and neutral settings for
children, are not attempting to recruit any of those children as
>>>>>> Martin McGuinness resigns from Westminster seat
Sinn Fein's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has been awarded an
English aristocratic title in order to secure his resignation as an MP,
it has been confirmed.
His long-signalled resignation is part of a policy by Sinn Fein to end
'double jobbing'. It followed the same arcane procedure required by the
London Parliament, which previously imposed an equally controversial
'royal title' on Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.
Like all other Sinn Fein MPs, Mr McGuinness has never taken his seat in
Westminster. Despite this, he was accorded the royal appointment of the
'Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead', as part of the
eclectic resignation process required by Britain's parliamentary
"Martin McGuinness resigned the same way as Gerry Adams in 2011," a
spokesman for Sinn Fein confirmed.
"As Irish republicans we gave no time for antiquated and ridiculous
titles of the British parliamentary system then and this remains the
"What we need to see now is the writ being moved for a by-election to
allow the people of Mid-Ulster to have their say."
Mr McGuinness was elected as MP for Mid-Ulster in 1997. He said his
decision to stand down was in line with Sinn Fein's commitment to end
double-jobbing and he planned to concentrate on his role as a Stormont
assembly member and deputy first minister.
Francie Molloy, will seek to hold Sinn Fein's Mid-Ulster seat in the
He was selected as his party's candidate to contest the seat last month
at a convention in Gulladuff, County Derry, in December.
A former director of elections for Bobby Sands, he was also involved in
the civil rights movement.
In 2005, he was briefly suspended from Sinn Fein for saying he wanted
the number of councils to be cut to 15, rather than seven - the party's
Mr Molloy, who will be defending a sizable Sinn Fein majority in the
strongly natonalist onstituency, said he was delighted to be selected.
"The party has been represented by Martin McGuinness since 1997 and
although he will be a hard act to follow if elected I will endeavour to
serve the people of Mid Ulster with the same determination and fortitude
in improving the lives of all the citizens of the area," he said.
Speaking after Mr Molloy's selection, Mr McGuinness said: "Francie will
make an exceptional MP and representative for the people of Mid Ulster."
>>>>>> HET report challenged
The mother of a Belfast teenager is seeking a judicial review into the
police inquiry into his death at the hands of the British Army in 1972.
Lawyers for the mother of Gerard Gibson pointed out recently that the
police's Historical Enquiries Team (HET) probe lacked independence
because it was headed by a former RUC figure.
They also alleged there was a complete failure to interview witnesses as
part of the re-examination.
A judge was urged to quash findings that it was not possible to identify
the soldier who fired the fatal shot and order a new inquiry.
Sixteen-year-old Gerard Gibson was killed in Lenadoon in July 1972.
An initial claim by the British army and RUC that he was an IRA gunman
was later discounted as a lie.
The case was reinvestigated by detectives from the HET. Its report,
issued in 2010, has been rejected by the teenage victim's mother,
Opening her application for leave to seek a judicial review in late
November, barrister Ian Skelt said there had been a breach of Mrs
Gibson's human rights.
"The report from the Historical Enquiries Team doesn't comply with its
fundamental basic requirement to carry out an effective investigation,"
Witnesses were not interviewed, the barrister added, with the HET simply
reviewing the statements that were made at the time of the original
As well as the senior investigating officer, he said other members of
the inquiry team may also have served in the RUC.
He said that the Gibson family have been lobbying the HET ever since the
findings were disclosed.
"The response we got in August asserts that the team has done a good job
to date," he said.
"The central issue remains completely unaddressed and unless we are
allowed to properly challenge this process this will just on on in
Judgment was reserved.
>>>>>> Feature: The 1982 papers, part 2
Previously classified British government files released under the
'30-year rule' by the Public Record Office in Belfast have shed further
light on behind-the-scenes discussions during the 1981 hunger strike.
One of the 1982 files discussing the Long Kesh hunger strike of 1981 is
one which shows how the two Catholic chaplains at the prison persuaded
the British government not to return two ex-hunger strikers to the
The prisoners in question were Pat McGeown and Paddy Quinn whose
families had intervened to seek medical treatment to save their lives in
late July/August 1981.
Quinn ended his 47-day fast on July 31 while McGeown's family intervened
on August 20 - after 42 days without food.
On September 21 1981, the two Catholic chaplains at the prison, Fr Tom
Toner and Fr John J Murphy, contacted British officials to express their
concern at an apparent move to return the two men to the prison hospital
- the epicentre of the ongoing hunger strike. Backed by Cardinal Tomas
O Fiaich, the churchmen expressed the fear that at least one of the men
might resume the protest.
In a note on the file, an official captured Fr Toner's view that while
Quinn might stand up to the pressures [of a return to the prison
hospital], McGeown "was a wee frightened individual" who might either
suffer a nervous breakdown or return to hunger striking within days.
In a memo for the British Direct Ruler Jim Prior, one government
official warned that the objectives and concerns of the two priests did
not "wholly" coincide with theirs.
"Like us, they wish to see the hunger strike brought to an end and the
sacrifice of lives avoided. But the price they would be prepared to see
HMG [Her Majesty's government] pay is higher than we would be prepared
to pay ourselves, notably in the areas of association and work."
* At the height of the hunger strike, a visit by Britain's leading
Catholic nobleman, the 'Duke of Norfolk', to Long Kesh at the height of
the 1981 Hunger Strike provoked a major rebuke from the two chaplains.
The duke's visit took place on July 22 when he was accompanied by a
junior British minister, and involved a claim to relatives of [Kieran]
Doherty and others that the protest had been deemed "sinful" by the
No sooner had the duke left the prison than he received a sharp rebuke
from the chaplains, who complained that they had not been consulted.
They told the duke by letter: "As Chaplains responsible for the pastoral
care of the prisoners, we resent the implications for us of a moral
judgment which you passed and which you described as the teaching of the
"Your attitude and views caused unnecessary hardship for a family
already bewildered and distressed by the imminent death of their son.
"Furthermore, the questioning of prisoners on hunger strike about their
religious practice is something that is hardly acceptable from a casual
visitor, Catholic or otherwise."
* Murdered Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane featured in the inquests
into the deaths of the hunger strikers, according to the papers.
The late Mr Finucane appeared in the cases of Bobby Sands, Patsy O'Hara,
Joe McDonnell, Kieran Doherty and Mickey Devine, the last hunger striker
In all 10 cases the jury returned a verdict of 'death by starvation -
During the hearings, a British official wrote that Mr Finucane
"attempted to introduce at every opportunity the reasons for why the
deceased had embarked on their fast but the coroner had pointed out
forcibly that this was no concern of the inquest.
"The jury were required to establish how, when and where the hunger
strikers died and not why," the official said.
One point of interest mentioned by Mr Finucane was that a photograph of
Patsy O'Hara's body clearly showed extensive marks on the bridge of his
nose. He later accepted the evidence of an RUC sergeant who stated that
there had been no marks on O'Hara's body when he handed it over to an
undertaker in Omagh.
* Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher received a telegram in
support of the hunger strikers from the Hollywood actress Jane Fonda.
Miss Fonda, joined by Tom Hayden, a United States human rights
campaigner, wired 10 Downing Street in May 1981 to say: "Please save the
lives of the hunger strikers by granting them political status. The
sanctity of human life must override every political consideration."
* The extradition across the border of INLA (Irish National Liberation
Army) leader Dominic McGlinchey in 1982 would make gardai and judges in
the 26 Counties targets of attacks by armed republican groups, the
Dublin government was told.
Martin Mansergh, an adviser to Charles Haughey in December that year,
claimed the loosening of laws following the landmark ruling would spark
attacks by the IRA and the INLA in the South.
In a memo to the then Taoiseach, he said that opening up extradition
would damage peace efforts.
"Cases may arise in future where the evidence is dubious, and where
extradition to Britain or the north of particular people may become
politically very controversial. The opening up of extradition is fraught
with consequences for domestic peace and indeed for north-south and
* Ian Paisley's DUP was prepared to endorse a meaningful role for
nationalists at Stormont as early as 1982.
Sammy Wilson gave a confidential briefing on party thinking to British
"The question was not whether concessions should be made to the minority
but when and how much," a file on the meeting said.
According to Mr Wilson, DUP leaders at that time were considering
establishing a small cabinet in charge of strategic issues drawn solely
from the unionist community. This would sit above departmental
committees which would continue to be drawn proportionately from all
parties represented in the assembly and would be responsible for
day-to-day running of departments.
"This arrangement would enable unionists to say that there was no
power-sharing in the cabinet while at the same time allowing
nationalists a meaningful role," the note of the lunch meeting said.
* Trade with Libya was more important than any concerns about potential
IRA links with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime, documents held by the
Dublin government reveal.
Officials across several departments working to tie up annual bilateral
meetings were told that economic matters were top of the agenda.
State papers from 1982 reveal that the declaration was made despite US
embassy staff in Dublin telling Irish counterparts that Gaddafi had
contacts with the Provisional IRA.
Jim Kirby, Department of Justice, reported to the taoiseach's office
that there were no IRA/Gaddafi links in August 1982.
George Harris of the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and
Research told Irish diplomats Gaddafi's regime had no contact with the
IRA at the time in 1981.
The document said: "But (he) reminded us of comments made by Gaddafi
some years ago to the effect that each death of a British soldier in
Northern Ireland was worth $10,000 to him."
* The 26-County government of 1936 was warned not to make martyrs out of
Irishmen and women who fought and died in the Spanish civil war, state
Ministers were urged to turn a blind eye to the fact that hundreds of
men and women were volunteering to fight both for and against General
Francisco Franco and the fascists.
In an undated memo for a minister but contained in a file of papers from
1936, advisors said that news of the reality of war would soon act as
the biggest deterrent for others to enlist.
"The first casualty list from Spain will probably prove to be an
effective check to recruiting and there is some thing to be said for
anticipating the announcement of casualties by an official statement to
the effect that the government can take no responsibility for any of its
citizens who choose to participate in the civil war in Spain," it said.
"To go further than this would, I think, be a gratuitous advertisement
for the political adventurers. There should, I suggest, be no martyrs."
A separate but attached document from the 1936 file acts like a roll
call of the men and women who left Ireland to fight in the war and
includes ages, addresses and other detail.
Between 1936 and 1939 more than 35,000 men and women, from more than 50
countries, volunteered for the republican forces. Hundreds of Irish
republicans and socialists joined the international brigade to fight for
the republic -- but an even greater number joined Franco's Catholic
The memo called on the 26-County government to make Ireland the last to
ban volunteer fighters because "large sections of the Catholic
population consider that Franco is engaged in a 'holy' war".
* Ronald Reagan issued a last-ditch appeal to Margaret Thatcher to
abandon her campaign to bloodily retake the Malvinas Islands from
Argentina and to hand over the 'Falklands' to international peacekeeper.
Files released by the National Archives in London show that as British
troops closed in on final victory, the US president made a late-night
phone call to Thatcher urging her not to 'humiliate' the Argentines.
However, his request fell on deaf ears as a defiant prime minister
insisted that she had not sent a British task force across the globe
just "to hand over the Queen's islands to a contact group".
According to the official No 10 note, she told him: "She had lost
valuable British ships and invaluable British lives. She was sure that
the president would act in the same way if Alaska had been similarly
>>>>>> Feature: New Year Statements 2013
The New Year is traditionally a time for Sinn Fein and republican groups
to issue statements to their supporters. The following is a round-up
of the statements issued this year.
New Year message from Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams TD
Bliain ur faoi mhaise daoibh go leir.
Our country is undergoing huge changes. The peace process has allowed
an entire generation to live without conflict. This generation should
now be playing its part in developing the Irish nation as we approach
the centenary of 1916.
However, so many institutions in this country -- political, economic and
banking, have failed our people. Rather than playing their part in
building a modern, dynamic republic, so many of our youngest and
brightest have been forced onto the dole or to various corners of the
The imposition of austerity polices by governments in Dublin and London
is stifling Irish economic growth, causing severe hardship for families
and creating poverty.
There is deep anger that the Fine Gael/Labour government has been
merciless in pursuing policies that harm the welfare of its own citizens
while adopting a meek, ineffective approach in negotiations with banks,
Europe and the IMF. Our country urgently needs a change of direction.
North and South, in government or in opposition, Sinn Fein has pointed
to a better, fairer way forward that is about protecting public services
and families on low and middle incomes, fair taxes, investment in jobs,
and growing the all-Ireland economy.
The peace process, one of Ireland's success stories in recent years,
remains a work in progress. The next stage must see a genuine process of
reconciliation among the people of Ireland and between Ireland and
Britain. 2013 could be the year of reconciliation. This could address,
comprehensively, issues such as respect for identity, symbols and
culture. It requires political, civic and community leadership.
Recent misrepresentations by unionist politicians of a 'chipping away
at everything British' in the North, is a dangerous falsehood. The North
is no longer a unionist fiefdom and must reflect Irishness and
Britishness with equality of treatment as envisaged in the Good Friday
Equality also means freedom to purse political objectives peacefully
and democratically. In the coming weeks Sinn Fein will launch a campaign
to secure a border poll. This is part of the Good Friday arrangements.
The current qualified and conditional claim by Britain on the North
will change when a majority of citizens vote to end the Union. Sinn Fein
wants to see a border poll held in the upcoming period. That means
building support for a poll and for a vote to end Partition.
The economic and political dynamics of the 21st century point to
greater co-operation and harmonisation. Common sense and the logic of
history, argue for the peaceful re-unification of our country. I believe
it is possible to persuade a majority of citizens that the division and
partition of the past can be replaced by a future based on unity and
equality -- an agreed Ireland and a pluralist, inclusive and modern
For now, I wish you all a happy and peaceful New Year.
eirigi New Year Statement 2013
As the hundredth anniversary year of the 1913 Lockout begins eirigi
extends solidarity greetings to its members, supporters and all of those
who have contributed to the struggle against imperialism and capitalism
in Ireland over the last twelve months.
We look forward to 2013 with optimism, resolute in the belief that an
all-Ireland Socialist Republic continues to represent the only viable
alternative to the failed politics of partition, exploitation,
deprivation and austerity. We enter the New Year with a renewed
determination to challenge both the British occupation of our country
and the exploitative economic system that currently exists across
The popular fight back against the anti-working class policies of the
Leinster House and Stormont administrations gained considerable momentum
in 2012. Hundreds of thousands of families in the Twenty-Six Counties
participated in the boycott of the Dublin government's home tax. eirigi
commends them for this historic and successful act of mass civil
disobedience. 2013 will see the Dublin government attempt to introduce a
re-formatted home tax, with domestic water taxes set to follow in 2014.
These taxes will need to be met with mass collective action similar to
that which defeated the 2012 home tax.
In the Six Counties ever greater numbers of people are coming to see
Stormont as the White Elephant it will always be. Far from the new
beginning that it was supposed to deliver, Stormont has produced nothing
but the same old, tired, failed politics of the past. Despite their
hollow words of protest, the coalition parties in Stormont have
obediently implemented the cutbacks of their Tory masters over the last
twelve months; a fact which has not gone unnoticed by communities across
eirigi believes that the austerity programmes of both states can be
defeated through a sustained campaign of mass protest, industrial
action, civil disobedience and direct action. Over the coming year
eirigi will continue to work within working class communities to build
such a campaign of resistance.
The last twelve months have seen a marked increase in the harassment and
vilification of republican and socialist activists across Ireland.
eirigi members and supporters have found themselves repeatedly subjected
to 'stop and searches', attempts to recruit them as informers, house
raids, arrests and imprisonment. In late November, this campaign of
political policing escalated with the charging of eirigi activist
Stephen Murney. As a result of these spurious charges Stephen has now
spent more than a month incarcerated in Maghaberry Jail.
It is abundantly clear that Stephen has been targeted by the PSNI for no
reason other than his vocal and consistent criticism of the PSNI and the
Stormont regime. eirigi is calling on all republicans, socialists and
others progressives to familiarise themselves with Stephen's case and
actively campaign for his immediate release.
This escalation of state harassment and oppression against eirigi has
come as no surprise. All oppressive states respond in this way to
effective opposition. There is nothing the Irish ruling class fears more
than a resurgent revolutionary republican movement successfully
mobilising the wider working class. Our activists intend to spend the
next twelve months working to realise the worst fears of the ruling
class. The attempts of their forces to intimidate our activists and
supporters will be as unsuccessful in 2013 as they were in 2012.
Towards the end of 2012 eirigi welcomed the decision of the political
prisoners in Maghaberry to end their long-running protest in support of
political status. We are again calling on the British government and the
prison authorities not to squander the opportunity that this brave
decision affords them. Irish republicans will never accept the
criminalisation of the struggle for Irish freedom, within the jails or
2013 will mark the hundredth anniversary of a number of critically
important events including the Great Lockout, the foundation of the
Irish Volunteers and the foundation of the Irish Citizen Army. The
parallels between the Ireland of 1913 and the Ireland of 2013 are many.
Then, as now, Britain maintained an illegal occupation of Ireland. Then,
as now, workers and their families found themselves being pushed into
extreme poverty to satisfy the greed of a super-wealthy elite. And then,
as now, the private media and the forces of the state were mobilised to
vilify and attack those who dared to resist.
One hundred years ago thousands of Irish women and men came to the
conclusion that the appetite of the rich and powerful was insatiable;
that national, economic, social and cultural rights have to be fought
for and defended; that the key to victory lies in the creation and
development of revolutionary organisations committed to the overthrow of
the ancien regime.
As we enter 2013 the people of Ireland would do well to follow the
example of their grandparents and great-grandparents, by taking a stand
against those who would drive them into poverty and despair. To those
who are ready to take that stand eirigi extends an invitation to join
with us. Together we can act in the spirit of 1913 and achieve the
vision of 1916.
New Year Statement from the leadership of Republican Sinn Fein
Republican Sinn Fein extends fraternal New Year greetings to friends,
comrades and supporters in Ireland and internationally. Millions of
working-class people in Ireland and across Europe will greet the coming
year with a sense of fear and foreboding. The recent budget announced by
the 26-County Administration shows that the unrelenting policy of
austerity - dictated by their political masters in Brussels - is not
only to be continued but increased, squeezing all sections of our people
beyond breaking-point. In the eyes of the political class and their
media cheerleaders the working poor and unemployed, the elderly and the
young are all expendable. The very concept of a society which can
educate its young and care for its sick and elderly is being sacrificed
on the altar of the EU s political and economic ideology of centralised
authoritarianism and finance capitalism.
The decision by the British Government to host the G8 Summit in Co
Fermanagh on June 17 and 18 is highly symbolic and presents an
opportunity for progressive forces to make the important connection
between the old imperialism in the shape of British occupation of the
Six Counties and the new imperialism represented by the economic
colonisation of the 26 Counties by the EU/ECB/IMF troika. Republican
Sinn Fein will be holding an alternative Anti-Imperialist Forum on the
weekend before the G8 summit to present national as well as
international alternatives to these twin imperialisms.
For Irish Republicans our struggle is both political and economic,
anything less would be to ignore the reality of imperialism and
consequently to dilute our revolutionary programme. As with James
Connolly we believe that it is not enough to merely remove the physical
presence of imperialism in the form of British military occupation
without creating a New Ireland based on real political and economic
democracy; an All-Ireland Federal Democratic Socialist Republic. Ninety
years after the death of Liam Mellows his teaching has never been more
relevant: "If the Irish people do not control Irish industries,
transport, money and soil of the country, then foreign or domestic
capitalists will. And whoever control the wealth of a country and
processes by which wealth is attained control also its government."
In the Six Counties the process of normalising British Rule continues
with the designation of Derry as a "UK City of Culture". Republican Sinn
Fein will be actively opposing this hijacking of the historic Doire
Colmcille throughout 2013. The recent revelations arising from the
discredited de Silva report into the murder of Belfast human rights
lawyer Pat Finucane by a British backed loyalist death-squad, exposes
the true face of British rule in Ireland.
Today nothing has changed; last year saw an increase in the repression
of Republicans and 2013 promises more of the same. We will be once more
campaigning for the unconditional release of political internee Martin
Corey as well as veteran Republican Marian Price. We take this
opportunity to extend New Year s greetings to the Republican POWs in
Maghaberry Prison and pledge them our unstinting support in the latest
phase of their fight for political status. By suspending their protest
the POWs have placed a serious onus on the Six-County Justice Minister
David Ford and the Six-County Prison Service to speedily implement in
full the August 2010 Agreement.
As the centenary of the historic 1916 Rising approaches, other important
centenaries must also be marked. Next year will see three significant
centenaries all of which carry a pressing relevance for the Ireland of
today. Next August will mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of
the heroic 1913 Lockout when Irish workers struck a telling blow in the
universal fight for human dignity and freedom. The coming year will also
mark the centenaries of the founding of the Irish Volunteers and the
Irish Citizen Army, both of which would combine in 1916 to form the
Irish Republican Army. All will be fittingly marked.
For those who doubt the potency and power of history one has only to
consider the words of the filmmaker George Morrison in reference to his
masterful Mise Eire film covering the revolutionary period in Ireland
from the 1890s to 1918: " I regard Mise Eire as being a great
anti-imperialist document." History, if utilised correctly, can awaken
and inspire the brightest and best of a generation to the possibilities
of radical change in the present and the future.
We must resist all attempts to sanitise and package our history in a way
that will rob it of its meaning and message for the Ireland of today.
Rather than merely commemorating the past we must set out a programme
for the future that will challenge the powerful and rouse the down
trodden. As Connolly warned a national movement must prove itself
capable of: "Formulating a distinct and definite answer to the problems
of the present and a political and economic creed capable of adjustment
to the wants of the future."
We appeal to the Irish people to awaken to the realisation that they
possess the power to bring about true political and economic change, not
the chattering classes in Leinster House. Electing politicians to the
corrupt Lenister House institution will not deliver the revolutionary
change that is demanded by the present political and economic
conditions. As the only political organisation which rejects the two
partition states in their entirety, Republican Sinn Fein is best
positioned to lead the struggle for a New Ireland worthy of the ideals
set out in the 1916 Proclamation.
An Ireland which would harness our natural resources for the betterment
of this and future generations, an Ireland which would truly "cherish
all the children of the national equally". In the lead up to 2016 we
will be unveiling a series of seven specific polices covering areas such
as natural resources, banking, economic development etc, all based on
our political, social and economic polices EIRE NUA and SAOL NUA. We can
only truly honour the men and women of 1916 by making the All-Ireland
Republic of Easter Week a reality for all sections of our people.
In 2013 let the slogan of the 1913 Lockout ring in our ears: "The great
appear great because we are on our knees: Let us rise."
An Phoblacht Abu
32 County Sovereignty Movement New Year Statement
The 32 County Sovereignty Movement sends New Year greetings to all our
members and supporters at home and abroad, imprisoned comrades,
republican comrades and fellow organisations.
There is political violence in Ireland, not because a particular flag is
flown at certain times, but because the wrong flag is flown at all.
There is political violence in Ireland because the so called peace
process failed to address this core issue of national sovereignty.
Restricting the flying of the Union flag in no way restricts what it
represents; British claims to sovereignty over part of Ireland. That is
what the Good Friday Agreement secured.
To resolve the conflict in Ireland we must address the question of
sovereignty. This cannot happen in Stormont because the issue is beyond
its remit. The democratic deficit inherent in partition can only be
rectified with the ending of partition. Hiding behind spurious votes to
sanitise British occupation, and Free State indifference, merely
perpetuates the conflict.
Agreement amongst the people of Ireland as to how we should govern
ourselves is a matter for ourselves alone. Only the deluded or the
politically outmaneuvered can accept the British as a neutral bystander.
There is no neutrality in internment by remand. There is no neutrality
in the abuses in Maghaberry and there is no neutrality in the ongoing
abuse against republican Marian Price.
We once again put the challenge to the British Government: if you are
truly neutral then withdraw your claim of sovereignty, allow for a new
dialogue to commence on this issue, devoid of vetoes, and allow us to
write Emmet's epitaph.
2013 is a preparatory year for 2016. The 32 County Sovereignty Movement
once again reiterates that a unified republican base is the most potent
way to honour the centenary of the 1916 Rebellion. The Easter Rising was
in itself an exercise in republican unity; it can and must be done.
Visions, however diverse, for a future sovereign Ireland cannot be used
as preconditions against securing that sovereignty.
We bring to this process our United Nations Submission as a political
alternative that all republicans can embrace without any surrender of
principle. Republican unity is an exercise in pooling principles and
strategies, to remove the common impediment, to all our future visions
for our country and our people.
The vitriol railed against us in the establishment media is a measure of
how much they fear our political message. That is why they try to
criminalise and demonise us in the absence of their ability to counter
our political view. We call on all republicans to confront this vitriol
with calm and rational discourse as the surest way to prevail. The
changing nature of mass media allows us an unprecedented opportunity to
propagate the republican analysis. Let us do it wisely.
New Year Message from Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness
I look forward to 2013 with hope and ambition.
During the last 12 months the unfinished journey of our Peace Process
has continued to unfold.
I am pleased that we overcame significant challenges and successfully
advanced important developments, including sign off on the Long
Kesh/Maze site, and real progress in attracting new investment and jobs
in the north. However, the world wide economic crisis has also left
many of our citizens jobless and driven many employers to the wall. I
am absolutely determined that the efforts of the Executive will
intensify next year to protect existing jobs and create new employment.
The Executive, Assembly, and North South Ministerial Council have
addressed substantial issues of economic and social concern affecting
our people and I am committed to seeing this work built upon.
I believe that all our politicians must unite against the punishing
austerity policies driven by the Tory/LibDem coalition in London. Our
priority must be to protect the most vulnerable in society; defend
public services; and, to support small businesses, employers, and the
agricultural industry. I pledge to promote an agenda aimed at
developing our local and island economy on the basis of balanced
development, despite the limits forced upon us by the denial of fiscal
powers by the British Exchequer.
I earnestly hope that we will continue to move towards the development
of a new phase in our Peace Process in 2013, and that the seeds of
reconciliation among and between all our people will grow. My decision
to meet Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Belfast earlier this year
was a sincere effort on my behalf to advance reconciliation between
republicans and unionists and consolidate our Peace Process.
2012 heralded the beginning of a decade of centenary commemorations. I
dearly hope that this era will become one in which we at last replace
division with new human and political relationships, and forge lasting
peace and friendship between our communities, and the islands of Ireland
Some in our society still oppose that vision, but they are wrong to do
so. Our future must be one of reconciliation, and the politics of hope
In taking all of this forward we will of course face many challenges,
not least the continuing blight of sectarianism and segregation. Meeting
these will require imagination and compromise. But compromise
discriminates against no one and benefits us all. And I am determined
that we will see the publication of a CSI strategy in the time ahead.
As our society continues to change in 2013 considerable leadership and
generosity will be needed from all political, civic, church and
community leaders. Equality and mutual respect should threaten no
section of our society.
I pledge myself to work with everyone in promoting inclusivity and
respect for all traditions and identities. In such a context respect
for our different national identities, traditions and symbols becomes
Let us work as one society to embrace these challenges in 2013, and
advance reconciliation in our time.