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December 13, 2006

NI Soldiers Convictions Revealed

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 12/13/06 NI Soldiers Convictions Revealed
SF 12/13/06 Figures Show Criminality Rife In British Army
PB 12/13/06 SDLP Protest Army Arrest And Entry Powers
PB 12/13/06 Adams Says N.Ireland Timetable Can Be Met
SF 12/13/06 Sinn Féin Meet Hugh Orde In Stormont
UT 12/13/06 Derry Watchtower To Be Demolished
BB 12/13/06 Committee Records 'Not Verbatim'
BB 12/13/06 Irish Language Future Is Raised
SF 12/13/06 Irish Language Act
BN 12/13/06 DUP Rail Against Irish Language Bill
BN 12/13/06 Paisley: Remove The Human Rights Commissioner
ND 12/13/06 Widow Opens Newry’s Pat Finucane Centre
IT 12/14/06 6 Days Murder Toll Rises To 5 After Shooting
WL 12/13/06 The Right-Wing IRA Of The 50s
RT 12/13/06 Athlone Under Alert As Shannon Rises
PJ 12/13/06 Peter Boyle Dead At 71; Tell Us Your Memories
BW 12/13/06 Irish Theatre Plans To Purchase Permanent Home
IA 12/13/06 IAUC NJ Meeting 12/13/2006


NI Soldiers Convictions Revealed

More than 1,300 members of the armed forces have received a
criminal conviction while serving in Northern Ireland in
the last six years.

The figure was contained in a reply to a Parliamentary
question to Ulster Unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon.

She said she was "absolutely shocked" and wants more
details on the types of offences committed.

Armed Forces minister Adam Ingram outlined the convictions
in magistrates' and crown courts.

Although there was no breakdown of what type of offences
were committed, the minister disclosed that the number of
convictions of Army personnel for this year up to 30
November was 83.

This was well down on 2003's figure, when there were 300

In 2001 there were 242 convictions and it rose a year later
to 281.

Two years ago, there were 282 convictions but that dropped
to 158 last year.

"I want to know what types of offences are masked by these
statistics and what the Ministry of Defence is doing to
tackle what is obviously a very serious problem within its
ranks," Lady Sylvia said.

Sinn Fein assembly member Philip McGuigan said the figures
illustrated the need for the British Army to withdraw from
Northern Ireland.

"People will be shocked at the extent to which criminality
permeates the ranks of the British Army serving in the six
counties (Northern Ireland)," the North Antrim member said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/12/13 16:34:16 GMT


Figures Show Criminality Rife In British Army

Published: 13 December, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member Philip McGuigan has said that
figures released by the British Government concerning
convictions in magistrates and Crown courts received by
members of the British Army posted in the six counties were
shocking. The figures show that hundreds of British army
members were being convicted for criminality each year.

Mr McGuigan said:

"Nationalists know only too well the criminal behaviour
which the British Army have been engaged in since they were
first deployed in Ireland. However people will be shocked
at the extent to which criminality permeates the ranks of
the British Army serving in the six counties.

"Well over 1000 members of the British Army serving in the
six counties have received criminal convictions in
magistrates and Crown courts over the past six years. Given
the fact that this level of criminality within the British
Army continues year on year it is clear that it is
tolerated by the British Army top brass.

"The only way in which the community in the six counties
will be protected from the criminal excesses of the British
Army is for the British Army to be removed from the six
counties once and for all and for the British government to
live up to the commitments it entered into over eight years
ago with regard to demilitarisation." ENDS

Editors Note:

Number of convictions of British Army personnel in six
counties in past six years.

2001 - 242
2002 - 281
2003 - 300
2004 - 282
2005 - 158
2006(1) - 83

(1) As at 30 November

Hansard Source


SDLP Protest British Army Arrest And Entry Powers

Plans to retain search, arrest and entry powers for British
troops in the North despite the improved security situation
came under fire in the British parliament today.

Northern Secretary Peter Hain said from August next year
the military would take on a "fundamentally different" role
in the province and routine military support for the police
would cease.

But he said soldiers would remain available for "certain
specialised tasks" in support of the police, to maintain
public order and carry out searches.

Opening second reading of the Justice and Security
(Northern Ireland) Bill, Mr Hain said: "The Bill provides
these powers. It creates powers of entry, search, arrest
and seizure necessary for the military to carry out their
role effectively."

SDLP leader Mark Durkan warned, however, that the measure
was "pregnant with implications and potential
complications" for the devolution of policing and justice.

"These powers were previously contained in the Terrorism
Act 2000. The British government made commitments to repeal
those provisions.

"This Bill effectively recycles the very powers the
Government had previously committed to repeal," he

Mr Hain said only eight of the 48 provisions in the
previous legislation had been put in the Bill and the vast
majority had lapsed.

The powers were the "minimum necessary" to manage parades,
tackle organised crime and terrorism and other outbreaks of

They would be reviewed each year and repealed when judged
to be no longer necessary.

The SDLP's Eddie McGrady said the move potentially created
a "hugely difficult political situation" as the actions of
the army would not be subject to the same scrutiny as the

Mr Hain said the objective was not to have the army
involved at all. But where they were, in "isolated"
incidents, it would be in support of the police.

The Bill also moves towards a presumption of trial by jury
with stronger safeguards for juror anonymity.

Mr Hain said the process towards devolution had been a
"long and difficult road" but he was confident the
"remaining obstacles" could be negotiated before "journey's
end" next March.

"This Bill helps Northern Ireland further along that road
to normality. It puts arrangements in place that are
designed for the Northern Ireland of the 21st century, not
the Northern Ireland of the 1970s."

For many years trial by jury was not possible because the
North was in the grip of a "nightmare of paramilitary
terror on a massive scale".

The Borth had now "moved forward enough to enable a return
to a presumption for jury trial in all cases, even those
that would currently be heard before a Diplock court", said

Mr Hain said that although the paramilitary threat had
greatly reduced it had not gone away completely and there
was still a risk of "perverse verdicts - either by
intimidation or by 'stacking' a jury to influence its

To minimise the risk the jury system would be reformed with
restrictions on the disclosure of personal information
about jurors, better routine checks to identify
disqualified jurors and better use of screening of jurors
from the public gallery.

He said there would still be "exceptional cases" where the
risk of "paramilitary and community based pressures" meant
a case could not be tried before a jury but the approach to
these would be radically changed.

"The decision to move to a non-jury trial will be made by
the DPP for Northern Ireland in future."

He will be required to apply a defined statutory test. Non-
jury trial would only be possible where there was a risk to
the administration of justice.

"There has been a downward trend in the number of Diplock
trials and we want to get to a point where there are no
cases at all that must be heard without a jury. However, it
would not be appropriate to remove that option entirely."

Mr Hain said considerable progress had been made in
"normalising" security in the North with most routine
patrolling by troops now ceased and military bases and
installations being closed.

Shadow Northern Secretary David Lidington said he supported
the extension of particular powers for the military in the
light of the remaining terrorist threat.

He told MPs the most recent summary of the Independent
Monitoring Commission said that the IRA was no longer
involved in terrorism and it had disbanded some of its

But he warned there were "continuing threats" from other
terrorist groups "which, in my view, do justify the
retention of certain special powers for the limited
circumstances that the Secretary of State has described".

The IMC said the Real IRA remained "active and dangerous"
and on the loyalist side the UDA was involved in violence
and crime while the UVF was "active, violent and ruthless".

He said: "I think in the context set out by the IMC that
the House has to assess the need for changes in the law."

Mr Lidington said he accepted arguments from the Government
that there was still "a need for judge only trials to
counter the risk of the intimidation and subversion of the
jury system".

He added that he was "predisposed" to the view that a
single judge should hear cases where juries were not
present rather than three.

Labour former Northern Secretary Paul Murphy said the Bill
extended the normalisation process and "hit the right note"
in ending most Diplock courts.

However, he argued that jury intimidation would necessitate
some trials without them.

Liberal Democrat spokesman Lembit Opik said his party
agreed with much of the legislation but it could do a lot
more to ensure jury trial became the norm in the North
rather than the exception.

Another concern was the "vagueness" of the language in
relation to the certificates issue.

This put a "considerable onus" on the Director of Public
Prosecutions on whether to use a jury.

Mr Opik said Lib Dems would oppose third reading unless
ministers dropped the bar on appeals against decisions to
hold jury-free trials.

Mr Durkan attacked the Bill for allowing Diplock courts -
in which judges sit without a jury - to remain.

"Diplock courts remain unjust and with this legislation
Diplock courts will remain," he said.

He warned: "The decision as to whether a trial goes to a
Diplock court will be taken by the DPP with absolutely no
check or challenge available in a court or by a court."

Mr Durkan said that was a "significant change" from what
ministers promised before.

"It is continuity Diplock that is now provided for in this
legislation and really what we're having is the abnormal
relations are now being normalised."


Adams Says N.Ireland Timetable Can Be Met

By Anne Cadwallader

BELFAST (Reuters) - Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said on
Wednesday a key obstacle to restoring self-rule in Northern
Ireland could be overcome within a planned three-month
timetable but that difficulties over policing remained.

Speaking after what had been billed as potentially
groundbreaking talks with the province's police chief,
Adams said he was not yet able to call a special party
meeting to change Sinn Fein's policy on supporting the

The leader of the province's largest Irish nationalist
party said several issues needed to be pinned down first,
including when justice powers would be transferred to
Belfast from London, and the role of intelligence service
MI5 in Northern Ireland policing.

"Is it possible to do that within the timeframe set out at
the St Andrews talks? Yes, it is, but we are not there
yet," Adams told reporters.

Policing is the latest sticking point in Northern Ireland's
tortuous peace process as feuding parties inch towards the
March restoration of a Protestant-Catholic power-sharing
assembly under plans drawn at St Andrews in Scotland
earlier this year.

Sinn Fein, whose largely Roman Catholic support base wants
a united Ireland, has long viewed the province's
Protestant-dominated police force with animosity.

Its unwillingness to back the police is a deal breaker for
the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which has so far
refused to share power with the IRA's political ally.

The DUP wants to see proof of Sinn Fein's commitment to law
and order before a date for the devolution of powers is

While the DUP did not sign up to a 1998 peace accord aimed
at ending a conflict in which more than 3,600 people were
killed, it has given guarded support to the St Andrews

A power-sharing assembly, set up under the 1998 pact, was
suspended in 2002 following a breakdown in trust between
rival parties over the activities of the IRA, which waged a
three-decade campaign against British control of the

Last month, an already fraught debate about who would fill
key positions in a restored assembly ended in disarray
after a notorious Protestant paramilitary stormed into the
Stormont parliament building armed with a gun and homemade
bombs before being immobilised.

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Sinn Féin Meet Hugh Orde In Stormont

Published: 13 December, 2006

A Sinn Féin delegation led by party President Gerry Adams
and including Assembly members Gerry Kelly, Caitriona Ruane
and Michelle Gildernew this morning met with the PSNI Chief
Constable Hugh Orde in Stormont.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Adams said:

“This mornings meeting is about Sinn Féin intensifying our
efforts to get policing right. That is about making sure
the PSNI is held fully to account. It is our responsibility
as public representatives to ensure that there are
effective measures in place to catch and convict sex
offenders, those who prey on the elderly, drug dealers and
other gangs involved in criminality.

“It is also our responsibility to ensure an end to
political policing, an end to collusion, to get MI5 out of
civic policing and to see an end to plastic bullets and any
other form of oppressive policing which has been the
experience of citizens here.

“So what we need is a police service, not a police force.
We need all-Ireland arrangements,, we need common sense,
practical, transparent mechanisms of policing which ensure
that the type of abuses people experienced here never
happen again.

“And for those families who are victims of bad policing we
need truth and we need closure. At the meeting today, which
was a frank meeting, we raised all of these issues.

“It is our firm view that citizens need and have the right
to transparent, accountable civic policing. The Good Friday
Agreement promised a new beginning to policing and today’s
meeting is part of our effort to achieve that.” ENDS


Derry Watchtower To Be Demolished

The police station and watchtower at Rosemount in Derry are
to be demolished.

There has been a long running campaign waged by a number of
people in the city to have the station closed and the
watchtower taken down.

The closure was approved by the Policing Board in Northern
Ireland and it has been welcomed by the Social, Democratic
and Labour Party (SDLP) who said the land should now be
passed back into public ownership.


Committee Records 'Not Verbatim'

A word for word record of the work of the Stormont
committee drawing up a programme for devolved government
will not be kept.

The previous Preparation for Government Committee had asked
the assembly's Hansard clerks to transcribe their debates

This included some confrontations between unionists and

The transcripts also revealed an increasingly co-operative
mood on the committee later in the summer.

They also pinpointed areas of agreement, such as the rare
consensus between Stormont parties that there should be a
single ministry of policing and justice in the future.

BBC Northern Ireland political editor Mark Devenport said
that Stormont sources said the decision not to keep
transcripts of the latest proceedings is partly practical.

"The committee has set up six sub-groups examining areas
like policing and justice, schools admissions and rural
planning," he said.

Audio recordings

"All the committees are working to a tight time schedule
and it is felt the potential volume of work might overwhelm
the Hansard clerks.

"However, dropping the transcripts may also serve a
political purpose as some politicians do not believe the
compilation of such a record is conducive to good
discussions on sensitive matters."

Audio recordings are being made of sessions where witnesses
give the committees evidence in order to enable the
committee minutes to be compiled.

Some sub groups are also holding sessions on camera - one
sub group has used the Senate chamber to cross-question
witnesses about the future of the water service.

However, the Hansard record has disappeared as a source for
Stormont correspondents to find out exactly what is being
said during those committee sessions held behind closed

In June, BBC Newsi published a leaked copy of the
Preparation for Government Committee Hansard record which
revealed adversarial exchanges between the DUP's Ian
Paisley Junior and Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy.

Shortly afterwards the assembly decided to publish the
transcripts on its own website.

In August, the Ulster Unionist assembly member Alan
McFarland criticised political journalists for not paying
sufficient attention to the transcripts which he described
as "very fascinating".

Mr McFarland said journalists were "just idle" and probably
would not read the transcripts even if they were posted out
to them.

Now, although the Hansard clerks continue to transcribe the
debates held in the assembly chamber, the word for word
record of committee proceedings no longer exists.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/12/13 15:58:09 GMT


Irish Language Future Is Raised

The government is consulting people in Northern Ireland
about whether Irish should be recognised as an official

Four options are being considered for the protection and
promotion of the language in NI.

The consultation ends on 2 March and it is thought the
assembly would legislate on the matter if there was

The government promised to create legislation encouraging
the language as part of the St Andrews Agreement.

It has said it had no preference on which approach should
be adopted.

The first option would see Irish become an official
language in Northern Ireland like Welsh is in Wales, giving
it an equal footing with English.

That would mean it would be used to a significant extent by
state agencies, government and the justice system.

The second alternative would be to recognise Irish as
having equal validity as English, but this would fall short
of the status afforded to Welsh.

A third option would be to recognise Irish as a
traditional, historic, indigenous or minority language,
according it public recognition but again falling short of
official and equal status.

The final plan would be to aspire that Irish would become
an official language or have equal status in the future.


Sinn Fein's Caitriona Ruane said there should also be an
Irish language commissioner for Northern Ireland.

"This would ensure that there was an end to the piecemeal
approach and foot-dragging that has characterised the
implementation of previous commitments to the Irish
language," she said.

The SDLP's Dominic Bradley urged all Irish language groups
to respond to the consultation.

"The Irish language community who want to use Irish as the
language of daily life need the strongest possible
guarantee of their rights enacted in law," he said.

However, the DUP's Nelson McCausland said Irish language
legislation would be blocked by unionists in the assembly
which was why there was such a short period of consultaion
on it.

"In effect the government seems intent on rewarding and
encouraging the intransigence of republicans," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/12/13 17:05:45 GMT


Irish Language Act

Published: 13 December, 2006

Sinn Féin Human Rights and Equality Spokesperson, Caitriona
Ruane MLA commenting on the launch of the consultation on
the Irish Language Act has said that the legislation must
not be diluted and said that Sinn Fein want to see the
creation of a Language Commissioner and sufficient
resources to support the full implementation of the

Ms Ruane said:

"Sinn Féin has consistently raised this issue with the
British government and at St. Andrews the British
government committed itself to 'introduce an Irish Language

"Irish language speakers in the north are entitled to the
same rights and entitlements as everyone else.

"Of course, there will be resistance to an Irish Language
Act but it is essential that this consultation process
delivers maximum protections and fundamentally ensures that
there are sufficient resources to promote Irish.

"Sinn Féin also want to see a specific commitment to an
Irish Language Commissioner similar to the one operating in
the south to ensure that there is an end to the piecemeal
approach and foot dragging that has characterised the
implementation of previous commitments to the Irish

"Beimid ag cinntiú go bhfuil cearta do Ghaeilgeoirí, agus
creatlach dleathach d'fhorbairt na teanga mar a mholtar san
Acht seo, beidh muid ag cinntiú go mbeidh siad ag croí-lár
na gcainteanna idir muid féin, an dá rialtas agus na
páirtithe eile." ENDS


DUP Rail Against Irish Language Bill

13/12/2006 - 14:03:00

Plans for an Irish Language Act will outrage the "vast
majority" of people in the North, Democratic Unionists
warned the British prime minister Tony Blair today.

Mr Blair said the proposals were only at consultation stage
and insisted that nobody would be forced to speak Irish
under any such legislation.

The exchanges in the British parliament came after Blair's
government published a document setting out possible
approaches to the legislation.

An Irish Language Act was part of the deal agreed at the St
Andrews talks and would put the language on an equal
footing with English.

The British government is consulting on the plans - which
reflect on the experience of the Republic and also Wales -
until March 2.

However, the DUP's Iris Robinson said the measures would
"outrage the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland".

She asked Blair: "Would you confirm that in the event of
devolution it would be entirely for the Assembly to
determined whether such a Bill would proceed and in what

Mr Blair replied: "I can assure that nobody is going to be
forced under the provisions of any such Bill to speak the
Irish language. Of course not."

He added: "In relation to the consultation document that
has been put out, we will obviously wait for responses.

"But the sooner it is possible, of course, to get
devolution up and running again the easier it will be for
these decision to be taken where, I am sure, the people of
Northern Ireland would wish them to be taken."


Paisley Calls For Removal Of Human Rights Commissioner

13/12/2006 - 18:07:28

The head of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission
should be removed from office, Democratic Unionist Party
(DUP) leader Ian Paisley claimed today.

During the second reading of the Justice and Security
(Northern Ireland) Bill in the House of Commons, Mr Paisley
launched a hard-hitting attack on the chief commissioner
Monica McWilliams, questioning her suitability because she
was at the centre of a libel action he won during the last

He also called on the British government to rein the Human
Rights Commission in rather than give them new
investigatory powers in prisons under the Bill.

Mr Paisley told MPs: "I think she is not fit to be that and
she should not be there.

"The sooner the Government removes her from her position
and puts in a neutral person into that position the better
for everybody.

"I think the Human Rights Commission has failed. Having a
debate about the legality of war in Iraq, what is that
going to do to the ordinary people on the streets of
Belfast trying to get human rights and trying to go about
their business?

"Then, there's Northern Ireland involvement in the 11-Plus
- you all know my views about that anyway - I don't think
that's a matter for the Human Rights Commission and there
are other matters.

"They are always putting their foot in matters that are no
business of theirs and I think it is time that they were
reined in.

"I would make a plea to the minister he has got to rein in
this commission and say there is your bailiwick.

"You have not a worldwide global appointment. You have a
job to do in Northern Ireland. Go on and do the job for
Northern Ireland."

The DUP's East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson continued the barrage
of criticism, claiming he would be hard pressed to come up
with any high profile cases the Human Rights Commission had
been involved in.

In a reference to the previous commission before Monica
McWilliams took charge, he told MPs: "I think if you spoke
to people in Northern Ireland if they were aware of the
Human Rights Commission at all, the only thing they would
be aware of is the in-fighting which has occurred - where
half of the people who served on the Human Rights
Commission dropped out halfway along and refused to even go
to the meetings.

"The chief executive or chairman of it or whatever it is
called left or was put out because of the way in which the
Human Rights Commission operated."

Mr Wilson was challenged by Ulster Unionist MP Lady Sylvia
Hermon whether the DUP had any influence over one of its
party members, Jonathan Bell, who served on the current

The East Antrim MP replied: "It would be most bizarre, I
think, and I think we might come in for some condemnation
if we were seen to be pulling the strings of someone who is
supposed to be an independent member in it, albeit coming
from a particular persuasion."

The SDLP's Eddie McGrady said the investigatory powers
granted to the commission were one of the positives in the
Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Bill.

However he noted the Equality Commission, the North's
Police Ombudsman and Children's Commissioners had such
powers but for six years the Human Rights Commission had
been denied them.

The South Down MP added: "What Government gives in one
hand, too often it claws back with the other.

"And that, regrettably, is what is happening with this

"Because, for example, the commission can only use its
investigatory powers for matters arising after January 1,

"The commission cannot get access to any information or
documents before that date, even if relevant to situations
arising after that date.

"So it will be years before the commission will be able to
carry out proper investigations and get the full picture.

"Six years of waiting for these powers it seems has not
been enough. It might be another four or five before the
commission will, in practice, be able to carry out proper

"And even then, this Bill provides for huge exceptions to
the commission's powers.

"Extraordinarily, the commission is expressly prohibited
from considering whether any of the intelligence services
has acted in a way which is incompatible with human rights.

"And they are prohibited from dealing with any other matter
concerning human rights and the intelligence services.

"Now let's be clear about this. It's not merely that the
commission will not have the power to demand to speak to
MI5 officials or see their documents. They can't even ask.

"So in this regard the commission will actually have fewer
powers than it already had."


Widow Opens Newry’s Pat Finucane Centre

A NEWRY branch of the Derry-based Pat Finucane Centre was
officially opened by the murdered solicitor's wife,
Geraldine, yesterdaY to coincide with International Human
Rights Day.

The new office in Abbey Yard will be open on Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays and will provide advice and
information for people concerned about collusion.

The office is being managed by Alan Brecknell, whose father
was killed by the Red Hand Commando in a loyalist attack on
Donnelly's Bar in Silverbridge in 1975.

"I have been working with the Pat Finucane Centre for five
years working with between 30 and 40 families from Armagh,
Tyrone, Newry, Louth and Monaghan area and there was an
opportunity to open an office in the area and we wanted to
take it," he explained.

"It gives people an opportunity to come in and talk to us
receive advice and find out how our work is going in with
the different cases we are involved in."

Mr Finucane, a prominent defence solicitor from north
Belfast, was shot dead at his home in front of his family
by the UDA in February 1989. The loyalist paramilitary
group said they shot Mr Finucane because he was a member of
the IRA, an allegation repeatedly denied by the Finucane
family who believe collusion between loyalists and the
security forces was involved.

Speaking at the opening of the new centre, Mr Finucane's
widow Geraldine said: "It's very important to open this
centre in Newry following on from the recent publication of
the report into the collusion that went on in this
particular area and I think it's vital that the Pat
Finucane Centre has an office here so it's made easy for
people to contact them and follow up on the work."

Welcoming the opening of the centre, Sinn Fein councillor
Brendan Curran said: "Anything that highlights the
situation surrounding the collusion and killing of Pat
Finucane or anything that helps bring the whole episode to
an end I would welcome." "It's absolutely fantastic," added
SDLP councillor Gary Stokes. "There's as much need for a
centre like this in Newry as anywhere else and I would
invite people to come in and use it as much as possible."

To contact the Pat Finucane Centre, telephone (028) 3025


Murder Toll In Six Days Rises To Five After Dublin Shooting

Conor Lally and Ruadhán MacCormac

A well-known criminal was shot dead in the International
Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Dublin last night,
bringing the number of people murdered since last Friday to

Gerard Bath Byrne (25), was shot up to five times in the
head just before 9pm outside the Mace supermarket on Lower
Mayor Street in the IFSC. He was taken to the Mater
Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

He was originally from Ferryman's Crossing, not far from
where he was shot, and was heavily involved in crime,
according to Garda sources.

He had recently been implicated in a grenade attack on a
property in the north inner city which was part of feud
between well-known criminal families.

Byrne was arrested in Raheny, Dublin, some months ago when
gardaí believed he was on his way to carry out a murder.

He had also threatened a number of detectives attached to
specialist Garda units which are involved in the fight
against organised crime. He was heavily involved in armed
robbery and was very well known to gardaí.

Four other people have been murdered in the last six days:
postmaster Alan Cunniffe was shot dead in Kilkenny last
Friday; Martin "Marlo" Hyland, a major drug dealer, and
Anthony Campbell, a 20-year old apprentice plumber who
happened to be working in the house where Hyland was
staying, were shot in Finglas on Tuesday morning; and
Dundalk man Aidan Myers was killed on Tuesday evening
outside the town.

In the IFSC last night, uniformed gardaí cordoned off a
section of Lower Mayor Street and diverted traffic from
either end.

Local residents described hearing several loud shots and
seeing two men in balaclavas speeding away in a car that
was parked nearby. For the seven or eight minutes it took
for an ambulance to arrive, they said, a lone security
guard tended to the victim's wounds with tissue paper.

"The bangs were so loud, I thought a lorry was after losing
its load," said one. "It's like Goodfellas or something. No
mercy. It's hard to believe.

"I was in the front room with the TV on and I could hear
the shots clear as day. I've never heard gunfire, but it
sounded like a machine gun. The loudness of it.

"They riddled him, head and chest, and the blood, it was
pumping out of him. They knew what they were doing."

Last night's killing will put the Government, particularly
Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, under intense
pressure over its performance on tackling record levels of
gun crime and gangland murders.

Opposition parties last night claimed the latest killings
necessitated a response from the State as forceful and
determined as that seen in the wake of the 1996 murder of
Veronica Guerin.

Earlier yesterday, Mr McDowell said the outbreak of
gangland violence was so serious it was undermining
society's sense of well-being.

He made his comments after the family of Anthony Campbell
said they doubted his killers would ever be caught. The
Minister said while he could not guarantee the double
Finglas murder would be solved, gardaí were doing all they
could to bring those responsible to justice.

Mr McDowell defended comments he made two years ago when he
said a number of gangland killings at the time represented
the "last sting of a dying wasp".

At that time, he said, the Blanchardstown-based Westies
gang had been dismantled. However others, including "Marlo"
Hyland, had "stood into their shoes".

Four of the five murder victims since last Friday were shot
dead. The other victim, Aidan Myers (37), Cox's Demesne,
Dundalk, Co Louth, was killed by a drunken gang late on
Tuesday night just outside Dundalk.

He was attacked by gang members who went on a cross-Border
crime rampage in South Armagh and Co Louth late on Tuesday
and in the early hours of yesterday during which they
hijacked a number of cars before ramming the vehicle Mr
Myers and a friend were travelling in.

They then apparently fatally assaulted him on the road when
he got out of his friend's car.

Gardaí are working on the theory that a group of Travellers
who hijacked a number of vehicles in an almost identical
cross-Border rampage in September may have been involved in
the latest attack.

Gardaí investigating the Finglas murders believe those
responsible are close associates of Hyland who wanted him
dead because his activities were attracting too much Garda

Last night's killing in Dublin brings to 24 the number of
gun homicides this year.


The Right-Wing IRA Of The 50s

Thomas Carolan continues his series about the history of
Irish Republicanism

The Irish Free State changed its name to “The Republic of
Ireland” in April 1949, 27 years after it was founded at
the end of a two and a half year war of independence
against the occupying forces of the British Crown.
Simultaneously the 26 County state withdrew from the

The Free State, the “maximum concession” which Britain had
been prepared to make to insurgent nationalist Ireland, had
given Dominion status within the British Commonwealth to 26
Irish counties. The King of England would remain King of

This “compromise” had been imposed on Republican Ireland by
British threats of “immediate and terrible” resumption of
war, and only after a bitter year-long civil war, which the
Free State party won with the backing of Britain and of all
the forces of social conservatism in Ireland.

That Free State party, now called Fine Gael, was the
strongest party in the coalition government which changed
the name of the “Irish Free State” to “The Republic of
Ireland” in 1949.

In fact the major changes as between the constitution of
the Irish Free State of 1922 and that of the Republic of
Ireland had already been carried through a dozen years
before 1949, by the party that lost the civil war, De
Valera’s Fianna Fail. 1949 gave a measure of satisfaction
to most 26 Counties people; yet it was no more than a
change of name, a mere “dictionary Republic”.

Withdrawing from the Commonwealth put additional barriers
between the 26 and Six-County Irish states.

It was accompanied by a large international propaganda
campaign, in which the 26 Counties government (a key
component of which was Clann na Poblachta, the party of the
“physical force” Republicans of the late 1920s and 1930s)
and De Valera in opposition, combined to indict Britain for
partitioning Ireland.

That propaganda campaign would have only one important
consequence: it would breathe new life into the all-but-
defunct underground Republican movement.

The campaign placed ending partition at the heart of
nationalist Irish endeavour, one of the two “great national
goals” (the other was the revival of Gaelic as the main
language of the people: in fact Dublin let economic erosion
and emigration radically reduce the population of the
Gaelic-speaking pockets which existed at the time of

It sanctified the delusion — the ideological lie — that the
fundamental reason for partition was the British commitment
to maintain it so long as a Northern Ireland majority
wanted it, and not the fact that the people in north-east
Ulster wanted it.

It thereby fostered the delusion that Northern Ireland
could be sensibly defined as “British-occupied Ireland” and
buttressed the physical-force-on-principle Republicans’
idea that war against “the Crown forces” there could
“liberate” “British-occupied Ireland”.

If “anti-partition” propaganda failed to move either the
Unionist majority in the Six Counties or the British state,
it moved young, patriotic Irish Catholic men and women; and
its failure moved them to want to try the methods of the
rump IRA, those sanctified alike by nationalist romance and
by success at the beginning of the 1920s (in liberating the
26 Counties — where, in contrast to the Six Counties, or
strictly speaking four of the six counties, the big
majority wanted to be so liberated).

This, for example, is the simple-minded call of the Sinn
Fein/IRA Republicans in a newspaper advertisement for a
meeting in Clare in 1953, to commemorate “The Manchester
Martyrs”, three Fenians, Allen, Larkin and O’Brien,
publicly hanged in Manchester in 1868.

Big headline: “86 years ago England’s revenge”

Smaller headline: “Force Against Force”.

And the message: “The same old story, the same old cause,
the same old methods. Ireland her own from shore to shore.
The west’s awake! The west’s awake!” (using the title of a
well-known nationalist song by Thomas Davis).

From the mid-1940s, as the gates of the internment camps
and jails in which so many of them had spent the long, slow
years of the World War opened to turn them loose, the
shattered forces of physical-force Republicanism began to
knit together in new organisations — politically, in Sinn
Fein, and militarily, in a revived illegal “Irish
Republican Army”. In 1948 they started a monthly paper, The
United Irishman.

The heroic perseverance of those men and women, their
indomitable spirit, can only evoke respect and admiration
in socialists. If we are anything like as good in our own
cause, then we will be worth something to the working class
and to socialism.

Leon Trotsky greatly respected the revolutionary Republican
tradition. In June 1936, replied (in his own English) to a
letter from Nora Connolly, James Connolly’s daughter:
“Since my early years I have got, though Marx and Engels,
the greatest sympathy and esteem for the heroic struggle of
the Irish for their independence. The tragical fate of your
courageous father met me in Paris during the war. I bear
him faithfully in my remembrance...”

“The revolutionary tradition of the national struggle is a
precious good. Would it be possible to imbue the Irish
proletariat with it for its socialist-class struggle, the
working class of your country could, in spite of the
numerical weakness of your population, play an important
historical role and give a mighty impulse to the British
working class now paralysed by the senile bureaucracy.”

The tragedy of revolutionary Republicanism in much of the
20th century — most pointedly of those who have thought
they were socialists as well as Republicans — lies in the
contradiction between the heroism and selflessness of its
militants and their inadequate, narrow, threadbare, and not
infrequently reactionary, ideas and goals. Their ideas of
Northern Ireland bore little relationship to the realities.
If that was “British-occupied Ireland”, then the main
“British occupiers” were the majority of the population —
Irish people with a distinct origin, tradition and

By the 1950s the physical-force-on-principle Republicans
were as lost politically as the European explorers who
found America and thought it was India and the people
living there, “Indians”.

The root of their ideological lying to themselves lay in
Catholic-nationalist Ireland’s inability emotionally and
intellectually to accept the fact that their nationalism
could not encompass the people of the whole island, and in
their refusal to see the distinction between the
geographical fact of a single island and the political
postulate of a single Irish people.

By the 1940s that postulate was, in the light of long
experience, simply preposterous.

In the Six Counties the need for this ideologising lay in
the oppressed status of the Catholic minority there as
second-class citizens, and in the fact that the Catholics
in the Protestant heartlands of north-east Ulster would
always be in a minority in anything other than a single
united Irish state. Their situation made it difficult for
them to formulate the issues clearly.

The physical-force Republican movement began to piece
itself together in the second half of the 1940s and picked
up momentum in the early 1950s. Politically this was the
most inadequate, narrow, and downright reactionary
“Republican” formation in Irish history. The early Provos,
at the end of the 60s and early 70s, were their progeny and
in key particulars the same people.

The Dublin trade union official Matt Merrigan, writing in
the New York Labor Action and in the London Socialist
Review(the distant ancestor of Socialist Worker) described
those who launched a new military campaign in Northern
Ireland (in 1956) as possessing the traits of fascism. He
was not mistaken.

Essentially, uniting the island was now the only concern of
physical-force Republicanism. But their Catholic Irish
nationalism could never — whatever attitude the British
state took — be a basis for persuading a majority of the
Unionists, whose felt national identity was British, to
unify Ireland. Decidedly the opposite.

The only conceivable constitutional basis for a bourgeois —
or indeed a working-class socialist — united Ireland would
have to be some sort of federal system that would
accommodate the British-Irish minority’s autonomy within a
united Ireland — that is, a democratic republican
programme. Accommodating the Irish Protestant-Unionist
minority would mostly likely also involve the creation of
some looser confederal relationship between Britain and
Ireland — the opposite to withdrawal from the Commonwealth
(which, for that reason, De Valera was privately against).
History had shown that the two objectives of the
Republicans, Irish unity and Irish independence, were
mutually exclusive.

The idea of “British-occupied Ireland” implied an attempt
to conquer the Northern Ireland Protestants, who in fact
were the real “British occupation forces”. Both De Valera
and the parties that formed the 1948-51 coalition
government in Dublin ruled out any such conclusion.

They knew it was not possible. The most that a concerted
drive to conquer the North could achieve would be to annex
to the independent Irish state the Catholic-majority areas
along the Border — that is, move the Border north and east.
They positively did not want that: the existence of a big
Catholic minority in the North constituted their strongest
argument against Partition (and in the 1960s and 70s it
would destabilise the Six Counties and be the undoing of
the Protestant government in Belfast).

There was, and after 1949 remained, a very important
distinction between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael in that
Fianna Fail (like the Provisional IRA and Sinn Fein today)
simply “blamed England” for not “persuading” or coercing
the Six Counties Unionists into a united Ireland, and Fine
Gael, not closing its eyes entirely to Northern Ireland
realities, tended to look more for an intra-Irish and not a
British solution.

But for the self-reconstituting physical-force movement of
the late 1940s, stimulated by the crescendo of official
anti-partition propaganda, war on the “Crown Forces” in
“British-occupied Ireland” became their reason for the
existence of their movement.

The idea of invading the Six Counties had been rejected in
the discussions of the late 1930s which had redefined
physical-force Republicanism in the aftermath of De
Valera’s settlement with England. Instead the IRA, forming
an alliance with Germany, had declared war on England.

Now they would try invading the North. In their model of
revolution, the time was always ripe for revolutionary
action; or revolutionary action would make it ripe.
Everything depended on recruiting enough revolutionary
soldiers and procuring enough guns, bombs, and ammunition.

So, from the early 1950s, the IRA a-forming engaged in
raids for arms on British army and RUC barracks in Northern
Ireland and in Britain. They would not from this point on
engage in conflict with the 26 Counties state. If cornered
in the 26 Counties they would lay down their weapons and

The raiders sometimes succeeded in getting away with
weapons; sometimes they were caught and jailed. A new
generation was hardened and tempered in Britain’s jails.
Among them was an Englishman with an Irish mother, John
Stephenson, who, gaelicised as Sean MacStiofain, would be
the first Chief of Staff of the Provisional IRA in 1969.

It was all very small scale, no more than nuisance-level
stuff. But the attendant publicity won them recruits from
among young people whose opinion of the “Six Counties
problem” had been formed in the history lessons in Southern
schools and by the official propaganda of the state and the
Southern political parties, especially Fianna Fail and
Clann na Poblachta.

Ardent young people were steeped in romanticised
nationalist history, in a sado-masochistic fundamentalist
Catholicism with its central cult of the scourged and
crucified God sacrificing himself for humanity, and in the
mystique of the “blood sacrifice” of the “men of 1916” —
which was more poetic myth than history. It was difficult
for them to understand why the Southern Establishment and
the constitutional nationalist parties did not use force.
Difficult for them to forgive them for not doing it.

Dominic Behan - who came from a Stalinist-Republican family
in Dublin — brilliantly portrays this mindset in his song,
“The Patriot Game”, about Fergal O’Hanlon, an adolescent
Republican killed in January 1957 on a raid into Northern

“My name is O’Hanlon, and I’ve just turned sixteen.
My home is in Monaghan, and where I was weaned
I learned all my life cruel England’s to blame,
So now I am part of the patriot game.

This Ireland of ours has too long been half free.
Six counties lie under John Bull’s tyranny.
But still De Valera is greatly to blame
For shirking his part in the Patriot game...

I don’t mind a bit if I shoot down police
They are lackeys for war never guardians of peace...”.

The elements of the mindset are all here: the revolutionary
(indeed, quasi-anarchist) attitude to the state; the
identification of the Six Counties ‘problem’ as only
another episode in the long heroic struggle of Catholic
Ireland to be free of England; the bitterness towards the
“shirking”, cowardly, traitorous, aged ex-Republican
Establishment of the 26 Counties; the will to sacrifice
everything; and even the wish for martyrdom.

In a cause which blended and melded religion and national
feeling until they were inextricable, there was more than a
little in common with today’s Islamist would-be martyrs.
The young men from puritanical, poor, self-mythologising
Catholic Ireland who attacked along the partition border
also felt that they represented a religion and a culture
and an ancient civilisation far superior to the English
embodiment of what Yeats had named “the filthy modern

This “second generation” of Republicans of the era after
the De Valera Constitution of 1937 grew up in an Ireland
considerably different from the Ireland of the 1930s. Then,
the echoes of the Irish national revolution of 1916-23
still reverberated. Much was as yet unsettled. Emigration
had more or less stopped in the 1930s, and the pressure to
“find a solution” to social problems within Ireland was
strong. There was a strong current then of populist left-
wing Republicanism.

Even the right-wing IRA of that time in the Irish small
towns and the countryside took into itself and gave
distorted expression to all sorts of social conflicts. On a
rank and file level it was very much a movement of the town
and country labourers. Its rejection of the existing Irish
states allowed it to express revolutionary social drives,
as in its time anarchism had done in the countries of
southern Europe. Socially, the IRA functioned as a quasi-
anarchist movement. (See Workers’ Liberty 58, October 1999,
for a more detailed account of the social role of the IRA
in the South).

For the “second generation”, rising out of the grave of the
Republican movement smashed at the beginning of the 1940s,
everything was changed. Populist left-wing Republicanism
was almost forgotten (though its main proponents, Paedar
O’Donnell and George Gilmore, were still alive: they would
begin to regain influence in the 1960s).

Mass emigration — a thousand a week from a population of
not quite three million all through the 1950s and 60s —
siphoned off much of the old social tension. The town and
country labourers had fled — often followed by their
families - once World War Two made jobs abundant in
England’s cities.

The rule of the bourgeoisie was stabilised. The radical
smaller bourgeoisie who had backed De Valera had grown fat.
Within its bourgeois-democratic facade, Ireland was more of
a theocracy than Portugal or Spain, ruled as they were then
by clerical-fascist regimes.

It was the world of the Cold War, in which everywhere the
Catholic Church was the vanguard of the struggle against
“Communism” (that is, Stalinism) and every sort of
socialism. Public life in Ireland was deeply right wing and
heavily hierarchical and authoritarian, in a way and to a
degree which it is difficult now even to imagine.

One way into it for us will be to look at public life in a
typical southern “Republican” town at that time, Ennis in
the county Clare. Ennis was the centre of De Valera’s
constituency, the county town, with an urban population of
about five thousand and maybe two times that many people in
the surrounding rural areas. It was a market town, a town
of boys’ and girls’ colleges, the local centre of business
and state administration. In its range of functions and
activities it was a small city.

It is a very old town, and one of the few in Ireland not
founded by Vikings, Normans, or English. It had grown up,
from the 13th century, on an island in the River Fergus,
around a Franciscan monastery and as the seat of a local
king. It had a long tradition of nationalism and militant

There, in the mid 18th century, the Methodist John Wesley,
when he tried to preach in the market place, had been
howled down by Catholics, who legally had few rights under
the anti-Catholic “Penal Laws”; there, in 1828, Daniel
O’Connell had been returned to parliament to win “Catholic
Emancipation” in 1829.

There, the first avowedly Parnellite MP, pledged to disrupt
the Westminster Parliament in pursuit of Irish Home Rule,
had been elected in 1880; there Parnell had delivered a
famous speech advocating the tactic of “shunning” the
enemies of the peasants, the policy that became known as
“boycotting”, after its first well-known target.

There, one of the first two Sinn Fein MPs pledged to leave
the London Parliament and set up an independent Irish
Republican parliament in Dublin had been elected in 1917 -
Eamonn De Valera.

It was also a town with a — sometimes militant — labour
movement, though the proletarians were a minority of less
than 25% among the shopkeepers, monks, priests, civil
servants, school and college teachers, lawyers, and
doctors, etc (see Workers Liberty no.58, October 1999).

We will look at the public and political life of Ennis in

“An Tostal” — or Ireland At Home — was a short-lived
attempt to create a kitsch-Irish annual event for tourists.
The first was celebrated throughout Ireland at Easter 1953.

In Ennis it was opened on Easter Sunday by “the Lord Bishop
Dr Rogers”, coadjutant Bishop of the Diocese of Killaloe.

In a public ceremony in the grounds of the courthouse — a
large and imposingly columned limestone building, built in
the 1840s to cow the taigs — Bishop Rogers blessed the
members of the FAC (territorial army), the organisation of
national ex-servicemen (ex-members of the Free State army),
members of the “old IRA” (veterans of the War of
Independence), the Catholic Boy Scouts, the blue-uniformed
Red Cross and the light-blue uniformed ambulance volunteer
organisation known as the Knights of Malta. He also blessed
flags for “The Irish Countrywomen’s Association” and for
business firms and for airlines operating out of Shannon
Airport (15 miles away)...

“His Lordship” as the Clare Champion called him, told them
that the flags “denoted service” to the country and to
their fellow men. The “Blessing of God” was on all the
flags and he hoped they would be used in the service of
God, of their country and their fellow men.”

He was “glad to see that the first act of those present at
the opening of An Tostal was to march to the cathedral and
kneel before the feet of Jesus Christ”… glad to see “their
young soldiers stand as a guard of honour” at the Cathedral
“to their eucharistic king and pledge loyalty and fealty to

He presented each of them with a special flag. Members of
the FAC had formed a guard of honour inside the Cathedral,
around the altar rails during mass. When the wafer which
was “the body and blood” of Christ was help up in a golden
monstrance — shaped like a spikey sunburst — the soldiers
presented arms.

At a special concert, an army band played music, “The march
of the Dalcassians”, written especially for the occasion by
Dr Regge, the Belgian professor of music at the town’s St
Flannan’s college, named for the quasi-mythical first
Bishop of Killaloe in the Dark Ages.

On the Tuesday there was a lecture on “The land of the
Dalcassians”. The Dalcassians were a Clare sept that
produced the great king Brian Boru in the 10th and early
11th centuries.

There was a clay pigeon shooting contest; a golf-club
contest; an exhibition by the Red Cross; a “Tostal
Publicity Dance” at 7s 6d a ticket (labourers in the town
earned about £3 a week); and a concert by the “Ennis Massed

Finally, on the last Sunday, there was a special service at
the Cathedral to mark the end of An Tostal. Afterwards, De
Valera, the senior Clare TD and still Taoiseach, took the
salute at a “march past” in the square, standing on a
plinth at the foot of a giant column on which, high up in
the sky, stood a statue of Daniel O’Connell.

“Marching past” were the organisations that marched past
Bishop Rogers at the start of An Tostal, and others. Pupils
— a lot of them future priests — at St Flannan’s College;
pupils from the school run by the Christian Brothers (a
monk-like teaching order); from the vocational school, from
the nun-run college and boarding school; from the convent
(nun-run) girls’ school, and from the (priest-managed)
boys’ National School; Irish dancers in stylised “ancient”
costumes; workers from the one real factory in the town
(making laces and braid) and from the tiny, foreign-
managed, and recently-started cultured pearl factory;
members and employees of the Ennis Urban Council; and the
Ennis Fire Brigade.

There was also a beauty contest to select “Miss An Tostal”,
and an exhibition of the “national game”, hurling.

This was a tightly managed world, at the head and heart of
which stood the bishops, priests, friars, and nuns. The
nuns also ran the County Home, the renamed workhouse
established under the British Poor Law, which was hospital,
infirmary, fever hospital, and pauper asylum.

The strange mix of kitsch invented tradition, militarism
and piety, Republicanism and abject, though addled, king-
worship, which I have described, was not one culture in a
pluralistic society. It was the only culture, organising
and permeating the entire life of the townspeople. There
would have been weak “other cultures” in Dublin and Cork:
but otherwise this culture ruled everywhere, saturated

The newspaper of the town and country, the Clare Champion,
was run by the McGuire family, who were members of the
Ancient Order of Hibernians. A ramshackle, old-fashioned,
under-edited paper, packed with information on the lives in
the town, it was more like a political “cadre paper” (or
more like The United Irishman) than a modern newspaper.
There is no reason to suppose it was exceptional.

Every issue would have consciousness-forming articles about
events in the nationalist or Catholic calendar — about
uprisings and resistances to the foreign heretical tyrants
(taught also in school history), but with special reference
to Clare.

The cause of Ireland was always the cause of Catholicism,
and vice versa — that was the message. It was an integrated
world outlook. The dominant ideal was one of a society of
small producers.

The clergy made systematic propaganda against socialism.

It was the aftermath of the defeat of the Mother and Child
scheme (see Solidarity 3/56). The clergy thought of England
(now Tory-ruled) and Northern Ireland as “socialist”
because of the post-war Labour government’s reforms.

In February 1953, under the headline “Lecture on
socialism”, the Clare Champion reported extensively on a
talk given in the town by a Jesuit priest, Paul Crane of
the “Oxford School of Social Studies”. It was presided over
by Bishop Rogers and attended by the priests of the town,
including the clerical teachers at the Christian Brothers
school and St Flannan’s College, and National school
teachers — the intelligentsia of the town.

Rogers declared that: “God has stamped each soul with a
very distinctive brand and has given to every individual
the right to earn and be independent. It would be a very
sorry prospect if the state was to help not only the
necessitous but everybody else as well”.

Rogers “noted” “the schemes put forward to remove the ills
of mankind” and was “very disturbed by socialism,
communism, and other ‘isms’.”

The other “isms” included fascism, though he didn’t name
it. In the 1930s Rogers’ coadjutant Bishop, Dr Fogarty, had
been an outspoken Blueshirt fascist, and it would be
surprising if Rogers hadn’t been one too.

The English Jesuit despaired of England and, though he
didn’t mention it, of the North. “The Englishman did not
know how his country stood through the prices of
commodities because socialism was controlling the rent of
his house, the price of the coal he bought, and subsidising
other commodities”. The state should not do such things. In
England, “socialism wanted to plan the life of the
individual for him. A man was left without any motive for
extra effort by the so-called free social services. The
state then had to tax heavily...” Socialism sapped the will
to work.

A vote of thanks to the lecturer and to Rogers for
presiding was passed unanimously.

These people — and the IRA — subscribed to an idea of
Ireland as a simple commodity producing society. It had
little purchase on the modern industrial society in north-
east Ireland.

This was the social and mental world in which arose the
second generation of Northern-Ireland-focused physical-
force Republicans.

It was defined not by Irish Republicanism as a democratic
revolutionary creed which aimed like Wolfe Tone to “unite
the people of Ireland, Protestant, Catholic, and
Dissenter”, but by the ethnic-sectarian “history”, Catholic
identity, and outlook of the Catholic Orange Order, the
Ancient Order of Hibernians.

This IRA/ Sinn Fein was deeply right wing and profoundly
Catholic. Their monthly publication, The United Irishman,
was a narrow-minded piece of ethnic-sectarian devotional
literature, celebrating the past, lauding martyrs,
propagating a fantastically distorted picture of the
Ireland (and especially the Northern Ireland) which they
proposed to transform by guns and bombs.

They subscribed to all sorts of right-wing mental and
political debris from the 1930s and 40s. Influential
writers in The United Irishman believed in such things as
“Jewish capital”, which was the cause of all that was wrong
with capitalism. They were still oriented to the alliance
with Hitler’s Germany that had consumed the previous
Republican movement (some of whom, of course, survived to
shape the re-formed movement).

A layer of these “Republicans” were devotees of a cult of
the Virgin Mary called “Maria Duce” (Duce as in Mussolini’s
equivalent of Hitler’s “Führer”, “Il Duce”), run by a
fascist priest, Father Dennis Fahy.

Fahy had published an edition of “The Protocols of the
Elders of Zion”, the forgery about “the world Jewish
conspiracy” concocted by the Tsarist secret police, the
Okhrana, at the beginning of the 20th century, and
described accurately by one writer as a “warrant for
genocide” - for the slaughter inflicted on the Jews of
Europe in the middle of the 20th century. The title of
Fahy’s edition was Waters Flowing Eastward.

Fahy had published pamphlets in the 1930s, in one of which
he classified Trotsky’s “Fourth International” as only a
front for the more militant policies of Stalin’s state.

He was a crank, but not an isolated one. Fahy was Professor
of Philosophy and Christian History at the Holy Ghost
Missionary College, Dublin, a man of some influence in

Maria Duce preached corporatist economics, anti-semitism
and anti-”communism”, and it found ready believers among
the mid-1950s Republicans, influenced as they were by other
reactionary ideas from the 1930s and from their alliance
with fascism in the early 1940s. This was one of the
aspects of the Republican movement which led Matt Merrigan
to classify it as fascistic.

A freak of political history is that one of the Fahyites,
Gery Lawless, became a sort of Trotskyist in London in the
early 1960s (see WL.58).

Such was the “Republican” movement that “invaded” Northern
Ireland in December 1956.

Workers' Liberty
P.O. Box 823, London SE15
4NA Phone 020 7207 3997
P.O.Box 313,
Leichhardt 2040
Phone 07 3102 4681


Athlone Under Alert As Shannon Rises

13 December 2006 22:37

Residents in the town of Athlone are on flood alert this
evening after an alarming increase in water levels on the
river Shannon.

Athlone Town Council has told people living in council
housing estates on the west side of the town close to the
river that if their houses become flooded due to the rising
levels the council will provide alternative accommodation
for them.

The council has also told local businessses that they will
supply sand bags to prevent flooding on their premises.

Some sand bags have already been put in place at homes in
the Strand area and high winds have already led to flooding
in the area.

This morning the Irish Farmers' Association President,
Padraig Walshe, visited flooded farms in the Shannon
callows and called on the Government to bring forward a new
programme of development work for drainage along the river
and its tributaries.

Mr Walshe says that much of the river needs to be cleaned
and re-developed to alleviate flooding.

Farmers in the Clonboney area near Athlone were moving
cattle to higher land this afternoon.

Severe weather conditions have also been causing further
flooding and dangerous driving conditions on roads in the
south and west.

A fresh Atlantic storm has seen high seas, driven by winds
gusting up to 100km/h, hitting coastal areas from west Cork
to Donegal.

Driving conditions have been described as hazardous and
while all main roads are open to traffic several minor
roads in counties Galway and Mayo are again impassable.

The worst hit areas include Ballinrobe and Shrule in Co

Met Éireann said southwest gales would occasionally reach
storm force 10 in places today.


Peter Boyle Is Dead At 71; Tell Us Your Memories

By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service

Peter Boyle - who went from raging movie characters to a
beloved curmudgeon on TV’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” - is
dead at 71.

Boyle died Tuesday evening of multiple myeloma and heart
disease, a New York Presbyterian Hospital spokeswoman said.
He had suffered a severe stroke in 1990, leaving him unable
to speak for six months.

He would recover from that to create the defining role of
his career. As Frank Barone in “Raymond,” Boyle was able to
say deeply cynical things, yet be loved by the viewers and
the show’s other characters.

That was a huge leap from the role that first made him
famous. In the title role of “Joe” - a low-budget, 1970
film - Boyle played a tough-talking, blue-collar
conservative. He fumed bitterly, then killed several
hippies, including (by accident) his friend’s daughter.

It was the type of role that Hollywood could easily have
used to stereotype him. Boyle also gave a warmly comic
touch to the monster in Mel Brooks’ 1974 “Young
Frankenstein,” but three years later he was playing right-
wing Sen. Joseph McCarthy in a TV movie.

The real Boyle may have been the opposite of his early
characters. He became a friend of John Lennon, who was the
best man at his wedding.

There was a warmth and a dry humor that he brought to any
role. A tall Irish-American who spent three years as a
Christian Brothers monk, Boyle became the perfect picture
of Barone, the acerbic head of an Italian-American family.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced. Boyle is
survived by his wife, Loraine, and two daughters, Lucy and
Amy, according to

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:59 pm


Irish Repertory Theatre Plans To Purchase Permanent Home

By BWW News Desk

The Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 West 22nd Street, has
raised $4.2 million in gifts and pledges in a $6 million
capital campaign to secure a permanent home in New York, it
was announced today by Ellen McCourt, Chairperson of the
Theatre's Board of Directors.

For the past year the Irish Repertory Theatre has been in
the "quiet phase" of the capital fund-raising effort,
called The Campaign for a Permanent Home, and has secured a
number of leadership commitments. Francis J. Greenburger,
president of Time Equities, Inc., has made a leadership
gift of $1 million, and the Theatre will honor his gift by
naming its Mainstage space for Mr. Greenburger. Other major
gifts and pledges include those from Ellen and Frank
McCourt, Genevieve Smith, Susan Hynes McCallion, James and
Ellen Hillman, Patricia Smith, the Dorothy Strelsin
Foundation, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, I & J Brown
Foundation, and the One World Foundation.

City and State agencies have recognized the Theatre's needs
and responded generously as well. Significant government
support includes grants from the City of New York ($1.75
million), the Manhattan Borough President's Office
($500,000), various agencies of the State of New York
($300,000), and Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried's
Office ($50,000).

While still seeking additional leadership and major gifts,
the Irish Repertory Theatre's Campaign for a Permanent Home
will now be expanded to reach out to its broader member and
donor base, and to other theatre supporters throughout the
region and beyond. The Theatre is seeking gifts and grants
at all levels to meet a deadline of December 2006, when the
current lease expires. Prospective donors may contact the
Theatre by mail, phone (212.255.0270), or through its

The Theatre's purchase and Campaign achievements to date
comes at a critical juncture when performance spaces in
New York are disappearing, with such notable theatres as
the Promenade Theatre, Variety Arts, Perry Street Theatre,
New Perspectives, Blue Heron, and Greenwich Theatre all
losing their spaces to real estate development.

Ciarán O'Reilly, the Theatre's Producing Director, noted,
"The Irish Repertory Theatre is convinced that we, and
other small and threatened theatres, make a vital and
indispensable contribution to the cultural and economic
fabric of New York City. Our goal of acquiring our
facilities and thus continuing to grow artistically and
institutionally is part of a larger effort by the City to
maintain its international cultural leadership role. By
owning our space, we want to strengthen our contribution to
New York's continued cultural pre-eminence."

The goal of the campaign is to acquire the Theatre's
current space in Chelsea, where the Theatre has operated
two performance theatre spaces and rehearsal, production,
and administrative facilities since 1995. The Irish
Repertory Theatre leases the first and second floors and
basement of the building, which the owner is converting
into condominium properties.

Now that the building is being converted into condominiums,
the Irish Repertory Theatre has taken an option to buy its
current space with the goal of securing a permanent home
for long into the future. Negotiations with the landlord
have been completed, with the closing expected before year-

The Campaign for a Permanent Home presents a number of
named gift opportunities to honor leadership contributions.
The Box Office will be named in recognition of the gift
from Ellen and Frank McCourt and the Concession Area in
honor of the Dorothy Strelsin Foundation. Other spaces
offered for recognition include the Theatre as a whole, the
Lobby, Dressing Rooms, and other areas.

Visit for more information on the Irish


IAUC NJ Meeting 12/13/2006



The Irish American Unity Conference chapters 5 and 9 will
meet at Christ Church, 3 Cottage Place in Ridge-wood, New
Jersey, at 7:30 p.m. Guest speaker is William “Pat”
Schuber, a professor of leadership studies at Fairleigh
Dickinson University. He will talk about Patrick Clayburn,
Confederate general from Cork. Public is invited. Call 201-

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