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July 06, 2006

Secret Terror Army Operating in Liverpool

News About Ireland & The Irish

LE 07/06/06 The Secret Terror Army Operating In Liverpool
BT 07/06/06 DUP Meets Hugh Orde
BT 07/06/06 Family In Shock As Remains Of Crash Victim Exhumed
NL 07/06/06 Opin: A Culture Of Crime That Threatens Normality
SP 07/06/06 The Irish Civil War 1922-1923
SP 07/06/06 The Wind That Shakes The Barley


The Secret Terror Army Operating In Liverpool

By James Glover, Liverpool Echo

A PAIR of Liverpool fathers have been jailed for their role
in the supply of guns to loyalist terrorists.

Roy Barwise and John Irwin used the cover of the city's
Orange Lodges to support the ultra-loyalist Ulster
Volunteer Force (UVF) in plots in Britain and Northern

Today both have been sent to prison after they admitted
being members of the banned organisation.

Father of-two Barwise, from Anfield, was jailed for four
years and two months and father-of-one Irwin, from Norris
Green, was locked up for two and a half years.

But footage unearthed during the investigation revealed
there could be many more members of the secretive terror
group who have not been convicted and are still walking the
streets of Merseyside.

Barwise, 47, and Irwin, 43, were both soldiers who gave up
their positions in the Territorial Army tohelp with a
campaign of terror against Catholics.

The family men became involved in one of Merseyside's 50
Orange Lodges - innocent social clubs for Protestants in
the region which had flourished because of the strong
connection between Liverpool and Ireland. But the pair were
also committed members of the violent UVF, and used their
lodge activities as a front for their secret activities.

David Steer QC, prosecuting, said: "The evidence suggests
that the activities of the highly illegal UVF have been
concealed by the lawful activity of Protestant Unionism
which operates under the banner of the Loyal Orange Lodges
in Liverpool.

"Orange parades still take place during the summer marching
season in Liverpool and the Battle of the Boyne is
commemorated on the 12th July with the Orange Lodges
marching throughout the city with drums beating.

"We suggest this activity of marching bands has been used
as a cloak by the UVF in Liverpool."

Police began investigations into the Liverpool branch of
the UVF after loyalist in-fighting led to assassination
attempts on the life of Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair after he had
fled to Bolton from Belfast.

Those inquiries led Special Branch officers to the home of
Orange Lodge member Alan Clair, where guns and ammunition
were found - and then on to Barwise and Irwin, who were
both members of the Liverpool Volunteers Flute Band and
were based at the Derry Club in Everton.

Detectives raided Barwise's home in Cardigan Way, Anfield,
and Irwin's home in Scarsdale Road, Norris Green, and
arrested the pair on suspicion of terrorism offences.

In Barwise's home anti-terrorist officers found thousands
of rounds of ammunition, British army flares and

Manchester crown court was shown video footage recorded
inside the Derry Club in which officers found a lockedroom,
not open to the public, the walls of which were covered
with UVF flags.

The defence teams for Barwise and Irwin said that although
the men were members of the UVF, there was no evidence
either of them had backed acts of terrorism.

The men were due to stand trial on Tuesday, but instead
both admitted a series of charges.

Barwise pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of
ammunition, possession of firearms and explosives and
supplying ammunition.

Irwin admitted being a member of the UVF, an offence under
the Terrorism Act 2000 whichcarries a sentence of up to 10
years behind bars.

Sentencing the pair, Judge Bateson said: "It is true events
in Northern Ireland are quieter than they used to be,
butevents arenot so quiet that the courts can take anything
other than avery serious view of firearms offences and
membership of a proscribed organisation."

WATCH the footage that helped convict two local UVF

Detectives had evidence to nail both men >>>

Detectives had evidence to nail both men

JOHN IRWIN and Roy Barwise may have thought they had a
narrow escape when their friend, terrorist Alan Clair, was

The pair must have sighed with relief when the police
investigation into Clair's activities failed to lead to
their arrest.

But detectives already had the evidence that would nail
Irwin and Barwise.

Anti-terror officers had raided Clair's home in St Mathews
Close, Walton, in 2004 following intelligence that
suggested the Liverpool UVF was plotting to attack a series
of targets.

Detectives stormed his house, along with addresses across
Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Northern Ireland, as
part of a massive operation.

Clair, 50, was arrested on suspicion of being involved in
terrorism and when officers looked around his home they
recovered a haul of firearms and ammunition.

Clair was jailed for eight years in December 2004 after he
pleaded guilty to possessing guns and ammunition without a
certificate and having items that were to be used to plan
and carry out terrorist atrocities.

Police soon realised that Barwise and Irwin were helping to
supply Clair with the weaponry and ammunition.

A gun found during the raid at Clair's house was later
found to contain Irwin's DNA, while an ammunition box in
the home had the fingerprints of Barwise on it. Searches of
their addresses also turned up UVF memorabilia.

Assistant chief constable Dave Jones, of Greater Manchester
police, said: "This is the first time that the anti-
terrorism unit has secured a conviction for an individual
being a member of a proscribed terrorist organisation.

"It is an example of how we work closely with our partners.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to praise the
work and dedication of the officers in the anti-terrorism
unit during this long, complicated investigation."

Support for Loyalism goes back centuries

LOYALISM has had a presence in Liverpool for as long as the
Irish Question has been a major issue in British politics.

In 1912, 150,000 people flocked to Newsham Park to sign the
Ulster Covenant, a document produced by Ulster Unionist
leader Sir Edward Carson to stop plans by the British
government to grant Home Rule to Ireland.

The Liverpool Orange Order is one of the largest in the UK,
outside of Northern Ireland, and it is not uncommon for
members to travel to Belfast to give their support to
Loyalist groups in the province, particularly during times
of strife.

Occasionally, this kind of support has developed into
something more sinister. The proximity of Liverpool to
Belfast makes gun running an attractive proposition for
terror groups like the Ulster Volunteer Force and Ulster
Freedom Fighters.

In 1995 UVF man Lindsay Robb, from Belfast, and four
Scottish Loyalists were caught doing a weapons deal with
Liverpool Orangeman Francis Hives at a pub in Prescot Road.
All five men received jail terms.

At the time a police source revealed: "If this consignment
had reached Ulster, more would have followed."

On occasion, UVF banners have been displayed at parades by
the Liverpool Orange Order, although the organisation's
leadership distances itself from links with the terror

In one incident, Orange marchers fought among themselves
after moderate members took exception to a UFF banner being

WATCH the footage that helped convict two local UVF


DUP Meets Hugh Orde

By Noel McAdam
06 July 2006

The DUP was today meeting PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh
Orde to discuss a range of security issues.

The meeting came as the party reiterated that policing is
essential to any prospect of a political deal to restore

MP Sammy Wilson said the DUP would work with Sinn Fein
"however unpalatable that might be" but they would have to
support the police.

That meant not only sitting on the Policing Board and
District Policing Partnerships but helping police when they
"take on" the IRA and other criminals.

Rejecting any claim by Peter Hain that the DUP was creating
a power-sharing pre-condition, Mr Wilson said: Rather than
face them down, this weak and politically cowardly
Secretary of State has made clear they only have to promise
to support the police."


They buried the wrong body

Family In Shock As Remains Of Crash Victim Exhumed

By Lesley-Anne Henry
06 July 2006

The body of one of the Fermanagh crash victims has been
exhumed after it emerged the wrong remains were buried.

A small group of family and friends gathered at St Mary's
Church in Newtownbutler this morning for a dawn burial of
Anita Swift (16), who they believed had been buried on

Crash victims: Danica O'Rourke (left) and Anita Swift

However, it has now emerged that the body of fellow crash
victim Danica O'Rourke had been buried instead.

The shocking news was today revealed by a member of Anita's
family, who said they were "devastated" by the mix-up.

The funeral of 17-year-old Danica is expected to take place

The coroner's office instructed that the body of one of the
teenage girls buried on Tuesday be exhumed last night.

They moved under the cover of darkness to remove the body,
which had been thought to be Anita.

Today, the parish priest of Holy Cross in Lisnaskea, Canon
Joseph Mullin, said the families of both girls were going
through enough pain and appealed for them to be left alone.

Sinn Fein councillor for Newtownbutler, Thomas O'Reilly,
who knows both families involved, said: "The community is
shocked that in this day and age such a thing can happen."

SDLP councillor, Fergus McQuillan, said that people in the
village were talking about what gone on, but no one seemed
to know for sure what had happened.

Despite repeated requests to the coroner's office for
information, they refused to release any details.

It is understood police were also involved in the
exhumation, but the PSNI press office also refused to
release information into the public domain.

Teenagers Danica and Anita were killed along with two
others, Jonathan McDonald (21), and his pal Peter Leonard,
also 21, when the Honda Civic car they were travelling in
hit a tree on the Moorlough Road, Lisnaskea, early on
Sunday morning.

The driver and front seat passenger of the vehicle survived
the horrific smash.

Last night's exhumation came after Tuesday's funeral
proceedings for Anita were halted for a time.

As her coffin was brought for burial, police intervened at
the request of the coroner.

However, following consultation with his office and members
of the Swift family it was agreed that the burial should go

Danica's funeral was postponed in Lisnaskea yesterday for
reasons that were not disclosed at the time.


Opin: A Culture Of Crime That Threatens Normality

A damning report by the Northern Ireland Select Affairs
Committee at Westminster underlines the extent of the
difficulties in setting up a devolved power-sharing regime
involving Sinn Fein.

The findings of the cross-party Commons committee presents
a highly-disturbing picture of the level of crime in this
Province, much of it carried out by republican and loyalist
paramilitaries for their nefarious gain.

Organised paramilitary crime continues to threaten the
future stability of Northern Ireland and, significantly,
future political progress, the wide-ranging and detailed
report concludes.

Indeed, Select Affairs Committee chairman Sir Patrick
Cormack gives the blunt appraisal that Sinn Fein's refusal
to support and recognise the legitimacy of the PSNI is
hindering the fight against the criminals.

"We need an absolute denunciation of criminality and
support for law and order from Sinn Fein, but we have not
got it," said Sir Patrick, who identified the community
restorative schemes, with their paramilitary involvement,
as suspect.

The 13-member committee carried out six months of intensive
work in a probe into all categories of crime in Northern
Ireland and, while their findings were predictable for many
living with the realities of the situation in this society,
they did confirm that criminality is still rampant on the
fringes of many communities.

The report affirms that organised criminal gangs, more
often than not linked to paramilitaries of all shades (IRA,
UDA, UVF and dissidents), are up to their necks in petrol
frauds, cigarette smuggling, property crime, extortion,
drugs, armed robbery, money laundering and illegal dumping.

Quite apart from the obvious recommendation that all
political parties must back the police, the Northern

Select Affairs Committee also radically suggests that the
Government should bring fuel duty into line with that in
the Republic to halt the trail in petrol and oil smuggling.

The committee calls on professional bodies such as the Law
Society and the Institute of Chartered Accountants to

become more rigorous in their safeguards against criminal

Government culpability in paying deference to parties
aligned with paramilitary organisations undermines the
confidence of the law-enforcement agencies.

A practical suggestion is the introduction of a crime-
proofing test for all future legislation and policy
initiatives by the Northern Ireland Office and Government

The import of this report is of such consequence that the
Government cannot sit back and, adopting political
expediency for a narrow agenda, ignore the obvious – that
crime continues to place law-abiding citizens in this
society at the mercy of the criminal class and fellow

The report is a grim reminder of the unlawful activity that
abounds here.

06 July 2006


The Irish Civil War 1922-1923

The Irish Civil War (28 June 1922 - 24 May 1923) was a
conflict between those factions of the IRA for and against
the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed on 6 December 1922. The
treaty arose out of the Irish War of Independence between
Britain and the IRA.

Neil Cafferky and Niall Mulholland

After the death of James Connolly in 1916, the Labour
leaders gave the national and social liberation mantle to
nationalist leaders, whose narrower agenda could not win
northern Protestants. The potential for heightened class
struggle from 1918 onwards - general strikes, land
seizures, creation of 'soviets' - was lost, as the War of
Independence began in earnest with the newly formed IRA and
Sinn Fein at its head.

This was a largely rural guerilla struggle against British
colonial brutality. Sinn Fein leaders were mainly from the
middle and lower-middle classes, and wanted to become the
rulers of new independent state. Most IRA fighters were
urban workers and the rural poor. Many instinctively wanted
social and national liberation.

War exhaustion, stalemate and fear that the aspirations of
the masses would spill over to a struggle for social and
economic liberation, led to both a section of republican
leaders and the British to sign the 1921 Treaty.

Rather than creating a fully independent republic as
favoured by most Irish nationalists, the Treaty created an
Irish Free State that was still a dominion of the British
Empire. Opponents of the treaty objected to the remaining
link to Britain and to the loss of the six Northern
counties. Nonetheless, Michael Collins, the republican
leader who had led the negotiations argued the treaty gave
Ireland, "the freedom to achieve freedom". The working
class suffered a momentous blow as the island was
partitioned into two sectarian, repressive states.

The split over the treaty was deeply personal. Many former
comrades and even family members found themselves on
opposing sides. Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) narrowly
voted 64-57 in favour of the treaty in December 1921. A
compromise proposing a republican constitution between the
two sides was vetoed by the British government who
threatened to invade if the treaty was not enforced in

Bitterly fought elections the following March saw the pro-
Treaty Sinn Fein (political wing of the IRA) defeat anti-
Treaty Sinn Fein by 239,193 to 133,864. 247,226 voted for
other parties, mostly Labour, who all supported the Treaty.

That April, 200 anti-Treaty militants occupied the Four
Courts in Dublin. A tense stand off ensued until the Free
State's hand was forced due to British pressure. In June
1922 retired general, Henry Wilson, was assassinated in
London. Churchill threatened to use British troops to
attack the Four Courts.

Collins accepted the offer of British artillery and began
the bombardment of the Four Courts provoking a week's
street fighting that left 315 dead, 250 of them civilians.
When the dust cleared Dublin was in Free State hands and
the defeated IRA retreated to their rural heartlands.
Around 3,500 combatants, mostly from the IRA, had lost
their lives, along with an unknown number of civilian
casualties, a greater number than in the War of

Superficially it would seem that arms from the British and
the support of the Catholic Church carried the day for pro-
Treaty Free State forces. However it was the failure of the
IRA leadership to offer the poor farmers and workers a
socialist solution that meant they were defeated by the
more conservative Free State.

Ireland had experienced an extended revolutionary wave from
1913-1922. Unemployment was high and people were weary of
the constant struggle that only seemed to promise an
ephemeral Republic and further war with the British Empire.

Figures on the left, like IRA leader, Liam Mellowes, (who
was executed by Pro-Treaty forces), fought against the
Treaty and for real independence and socialism. But the
Anti-Treaty forces were dominated by pro-capitalist
leaders, like Eamonn DeVelera, who mainly wanted better
terms with Britain. When DeVelera led a section of the
defeated Anti-Treatyites into the Dail, in 1927, Sinn Fein
and the IRA split.

The effects of the civil war last to the present day as the
successors of the pro and anti-Treaty sides, Fine Gael and
Fianna Fail, continue to dominate Irish politics. Needless
to say there is even less difference between them than
between New Labour and the Tories. In fact it is often
remarked, even in the mainstream Irish press, that the only
effective opposition in the D‡il comes from Joe Higgins an
MP of the Socialist Party's sister organisation in Ireland.


The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Directed by Ken Loach

Twas hard the woeful words to frame to break the ties that
bound us

But harder still to bear the shame of foreign chains around us
And so I said "The mountain glen I'll seek at morning early
And join the bold united men, while soft winds shake the

The title of Ken Loach's latest film is taken from an old
Irish rebel song whose theme is the sacrifices people make
in their struggle for freedom. It speaks volumes for his
talent as a film maker that this is only one of several
highly charged topics that are examined in this stunning
film set against the backdrop of the Irish war of
Independence and subsequent civil war.

Neil Cafferkey Lambeth

However, this is no mere historical epic. Rather it shows
how ordinary people can shape history and in turn are
shaped by it. The story centre's around an IRA 'flying
column' or guerrilla unit in the mountains of Cork.

The lead character Damian develops from sceptical student
to full-blown revolutionary through his experiences of
violence and oppression. His brother Teddy is the leader of
the group whose single-minded determination to drive the
British out of Ireland blinds him to the bigger political

Dan, one time trade unionist and radical socialist, is the
voice of the left wing of the Irish independence movement
that in many ways has been obscured by official Irish
history. Finally, there is Sinead who demonstrates the
pivotal role women played during the war.

But make no mistake, this isn't a story about plucky Irish
guerrillas taking on the might of the British Empire. This
is a violent, brutal film that depicts the dehumanising
effect an army of occupation can have both on the occupiers
and occupied.

Several commentators have drawn parallels between the Black
and Tans, a paramilitary organisation recruited mostly from
former World War One veterans who were used for what we
would now call counter-insurgency against the civilian
population, and the conduct of the US and British armed
forces in Iraq.

The film illustrates how the combination of a racist
ideology, alienation from a local population that can turn
hostile at any moment and a 'gloves off' attitude by the
occupying army's high command is a recipe for atrocities.
This in turn provokes resistance that itself is often

James Connolly

Loach also explores the influence of the ideas of
revolutionary socialist James Connolly on the movement,
through the discussions between Damien and Dan.

One quote of Connolly's has particular resonance throughout
the film. "If you remove the English army tomorrow and
hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set
about the organisation of a Socialist Republic your efforts
will have been in vain. England would still rule you. She
would rule you through her capitalists, through her
landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array
of commercial and individualist institutions she has
planted in this country..."

The backbone of the IRA is made up of poor farmers and
workers but the middle-class leadership has no programme to
lift Ireland out of its grinding poverty and dependence on
Britain. Indeed, the film makes clear that the well-to-do
in Ireland are as great oppressors of ordinary Irish people
as the British.

This class antagonism is a grim prelude to the murderous
antagonism that erupts as the initial euphoria following
the truce between the IRA and Britain is replaced by a
sense of betrayal over the peace treaty signed by the IRA
leadership which stops short of full independence.

The more middle-class element in the IRA, including Teddy,
genuinely believes this is the best deal possible for the
people of Ireland. In this they are backed by the Irish
establishment, the newspaper owners and the Catholic
Church. Those against the Treaty are overwhelmingly poor
farmers and workers who feel an independence struggle is
meaningless without freeing people from hunger and poverty.

The final scenes of the film are harrowing as former
comrades turn on each other and prove that the only thing
more tragic and brutal than an independence struggle is a
civil war.

The Wind That Shakes The Barley has been criticised in some
quarters as a museum piece, irrelevant to a modern Ireland
of economic prosperity, and that the links to Iraq are
tenuous at best.

However, there is a less obvious lesson here that has
relevance to Iraq. It shows that an independence movement
that does not have a clear programme that breaks with
capitalism, as Connolly argued, can be split by the
meddling of foreign imperialism even after it withdraws its
troops from the country. In Ireland, the movement was split
along class lines with the British sending arms and advice
to the pro-Treaty, more socially moderate faction.

In Iraq at the moment the only thing that seems to unite
the resistance is hatred of the Americans. When the
Americans withdraw, what then will unite the armed
factions, if not a vision for a socialist society which can
pull in support from all sections of the religious divide?

All in all The Wind That Shakes The Barley comes highly
recommended for anyone looking for an insight into this
tumultuous period in Irish history. Its commitment to
telling the story of many of the forgotten people of that
era makes for a moving and fascinating film.

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Im Liverpool/Irish and a member of the Liverpool Irish Patriots Republican flute band,We get death threats,spat at,have stuff thrown at us etc during our parades in support of a united 32 county Ireland and in memory of Liverpool born big Jim Larkin the Irish socialist/republican,But no matter what the Liverpool loyalists say or do they will never stop us from showing our love and support for the land of our fathers and its peoples and cultures,Tiocfaidh ar la.
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