Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey to Stand ?

End Impunity! from Spartacus on Vimeo.

There is considerable speculation that Bernadette Devlin McAliskey will stand for the mid-Ulster constituency to challenge the British Government of DUP/PSF in Occupied Ireland. Below is a  C.V by Wikipedia of Ms. Devlin McAliskey.

"Bernadette Devlin McAliskey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bernadette Devlin McAliskey
A mural by the Bogside Artists in Derry's Bogside, depicting Devlin
Member of Parliament
for Mid Ulster
In office
Preceded byGeorge Forrest
Succeeded byJohn Dunlop
Personal details
Born23 April 1947 (age 65)
CookstownCounty Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Political partyIndependent (1970-1974),
Other political
Unity (1969-1970),
Independent Socialist Party (1977-1978),
Irish Republican Socialist Party(1974-1976)
Spouse(s)Michael McAliskey
ChildrenRóisín Elizabeth McAliskey
Deirdre McAliskey
Alma materQueens University of Belfast
Josephine Bernadette Devlin McAliskey (born 23 April 1947, in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland), usually known as Bernadette Devlin or Bernadette McAliskey, is an Irish socialist and republican political activist and former militant. She served as a British Member of Parliament from 1969 to 1974 for the Mid Ulster constituency. She lost her seat to John Dunlop of the then-Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party, after coming third in a four-sided contest in the general election of February 1974.[1]



[edit]Political beginnings

1970 newsreel film about the Ulster conflict featuring Bernadette Devlin
Devlin was born in Cookstown, County Tyrone and raised as a Roman Catholic. She attended St Patrick's Girls Academy inDungannon.[2] She was studying Psychologyat Queen's University Belfast in 1968 when she took a prominent role in a student-ledcivil rights organisation, People's Democracy.[3] Devlin was subsequently excluded from the university.[3] She stood unsuccessfully against James Chichester-Clark in the Northern Ireland general election of 1969. When George Forrest, the MP for Mid Ulster, died, she fought the subsequent by-election on the "Unityticket, defeating a female Unionist candidate, Forrest's widow Anna, and was elected to the Westminster Parliament. At age 21, she was theyoungest MP at the time, and remains the youngest woman elected.[3]
Devlin stood on the slogan "I will take my seat and fight for your rights" – signalling her rejection of the traditional Irish republican tactic of abstentionism (being absent from Westminster). She made her maiden speech on her 22nd birthday, within an hour of taking her seat.[4]

[edit]The Troubles

[edit]The Battle of the Bogside

After engaging, on the side of the residents, in the Battle of the Bogside, she was convicted of incitement to riot in December 1969, for which she served a short jail term.[5] After being re-elected in the 1970 general election, Devlin declared that she would sit in Parliament as an independent socialist.[6]

[edit]Bloody Sunday

Having witnessed the events of Bloody Sunday, Devlin was infuriated that she was later consistently denied the floor in Parliament, despite the fact that parliamentary convention decreed that any MP witnessing an incident under discussion would be granted an opportunity to speak about it therein.[7]
Devlin slapped Reginald Maudling, the Home Secretary in the Conservative government, across the face when he stated in the House of Commons that the Paras had fired in self-defence on Bloody Sunday.[3] She was suspended from Parliament for six months as a result of the incident.[8]


McAliskey helped to form the Irish Republican Socialist Party along with Seamus Costello in 1974.[citation needed] This was a revolutionary socialist breakaway from Official Sinn Féin and paralleled the Irish National Liberation Army's split from the Official Irish Republican Army.[9] She served on the party's national executive in 1975, but resigned when a proposal that the INLA become subordinate to the party executive was defeated.[10][dead link] In 1977, she joined the Independent Socialist Party, but it disbanded the following year.[11]

[edit]Support for hunger strike prisoners

She stood as an independent candidate in support of the prisoners on the blanket protest and dirty protest at Long Kesh prison in the1979 elections to the European Parliament in Northern Ireland, and won 5.9% of the vote.[12] She was a leading spokesperson for the Smash H-Block Campaign, which supported the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike in 1980 and 1981.

[edit]Injured in loyalist shooting

On 16 January 1981, she and her husband were shot by members of the Ulster Freedom Fighters, who broke into their home inCoalislandCounty Tyrone.[13][14] The gunmen shot McAliskey a total of seven times in front of her children.[15] British soldiers were watching the McAliskey home at the time, but failed to prevent the assassination attempt.[3][16] An army patrol of the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment heard the shots and rushed to McAliskey's house. The paramilitaries had torn out the telephone and while the wounded couple were being given first aid by the troops, a soldier ran to a neighbour's house, commandeered a car, and drove to the home of a councillor to telephone for help. The couple were taken by helicopter to hospital in nearby Dungannon for emergency treatment and then to the Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast under intensive care. Three attackers, including Ray Smallwoods, captured by the army patrol, were subsequently jailed.[17][18]

[edit]Dáil Éireann elections

In 1982, she twice failed in an attempt to be elected to the Dublin North–Central constituency of Dáil Éireann.[19]

[edit]Denied entry into the US

In 2003, she was barred from entering the United States and deported on the grounds that the State Department had declared that she "poses a serious threat to the security of the United States"[20], — apparently referring to her conviction for incitement to riot in 1969 — although she protested that she had no terrorist involvement and had frequently been permitted to travel to the United States in the past.[20][21][22]

[edit]Personal life

In 1971, while still unmarried, she gave birth to a daughter Róisín.[3] This cost her a great deal of support in Roman Catholic areas.[23]She married Michael McAliskey on 23 April 1973, which was her 26th birthday.[citation needed]
On 12 May 2007, she was guest speaker at éirígí's first Annual James Connolly commemoration in Arbour Hill, Dublin.[24] She currently coordinates a not-for-profit community development organisation based in Dungannon, the South Tyrone Empowerment Programme,[25]and works with migrant workers to improve their treatment in Northern Ireland.[3]
In 1969 director and producer John Goldschmidt made the documentary film Bernadette Devlin for ATV, which was shown on ITV and on CBS's 60 Minutes and included footage of Devlin during the Battle of the Bogside. Another documentary, Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey, directed by Leila Doolan, was released in 2011.[26] At the 2008 Cannes Film Festival a biopic of Devlin was announced,[3] but Devlin stated that "[t]he whole concept is abhorrent to me" and the film was not made."

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