Archive for November, 2015

Unite Community Branches Protest Outside Belfast Sinn Fein HQ

Posted in Benefit Cuts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 28, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

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Unite Community branches picketed the Belfast Provisional Sinn Fein Headquarters on the Falls Road today highlighting their choreographed charade with their Fascist DUP coalition party that have left the working class in the 6 counties to feel the full force of the most vicious attacks formulated by their paymasters in the Cameron cabal.

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The Provisionals faux opposition to Welfare cuts fooled no-one and effectively treated the North’s working class people and some of the most vulnerable people in society as pawns to be discarded in the pursuit of their own agenda.

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Let no-one be mistaken, Provisional Sinn Fein are a neo-liberal party, who naturally enough will pursue neo-liberal agendas when the opportunity arises.  The most vulnerable people, the disabled, the unemployed and underemployed in society who rely totally on a pittance of welfare benefits have been thrown to the wolves of Westminster who regularly spend more on a meal than the disabled or unemployed earn in a year!

It is time for a fight back from ordinary proletarian people, irrespective of their denomination or lack of it.  The neo-liberal Shinners and the the Fascist DUP have only survived due to aping the old maxim of divide and rule.   It is time for the proletariat to show their strength and no longer be the pawns of craven politicians.  We, the working class have been sleeping giants and it is time to awake!  In the words of Socialist Revolutionary James Connolly:

Our demands most moderate are – We only want the earth!’

After the DUP and Sinn Fein’s attempt at what we clearly saw was an attempt to fool us, it is time to Unite and build a fight back that we are certain of winning.  

No party can stand in the way of the will of the people! 

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Alex McGuigan

 

 

‘N’S Story of Slum Landlordism in West Belfast

Posted in activism, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 25, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

 

Due to the lack of affordable or so called ‘social housing’ in West Belfast, many working class families are at the mercy of what can only be classed as ‘Slum Landlords.’  These private  landlords are raking in a fortune in Housing Benefit payments from NIHE yet most refuse to do even basic repairs such as damp proofing or rodent control to their properties that they let out.   Despite receiving 3 or 4 times what the landlord’s mortgage payments would be, or would have been (in cases where the landlord(s) already own the property outright),  they are making a fortune via monthly payments from tenants, whether via Housing Benefit, or a significant portion of a tenant’s income.  Many of these slum landlords own multiple properties and have a monopoly on the rental market in West Belfast.  This problem is compounded by a very long waiting list for ‘social housing’ that effectively means that families registered know they have literally multiple years to wait which leaves them at the mercy of private landlords who charge upwards of £550 per month for substandard dwellings, many of which are over 100 years old.

“N”s story is just one example of thousands of families and single persons in West Belfast who are in a similar situation.

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It is time that working class people at the mercy of these blood suckers organised and looked to, for instance, the Irish Republican Socialist Party  who, unlike other so-called ‘Republican’ parties are not tainted by members who are heavily involved in these vile slum landlord practices.  The following excerpt from James Connolly’s satirical article, “Let Us Free Ireland” (1899) prophetically describes these one dimensional nationalists, their limitations and their involvement in Gombeen Capitalism:

 

“Let us free Ireland! Never mind such base, carnal thoughts as concern work and wages, healthy homes, or lives unclouded by poverty.

Let us free Ireland! The rackrenting landlord; is he not also an Irishman, and wherefore should we hate him? Nay, let us not speak harshly of our brother – yea, even when he raises our rent.

Let us free Ireland! The profit-grinding capitalist, who robs us of three-fourths of the fruits of our labour, who sucks the very marrow of our bones when we are young, and then throws us out in the street, like a worn-out tool when we are grown prematurely old in his service, is he not an Irishman, and mayhap a patriot, and wherefore should we think harshly of him?

Let us free Ireland! “The land that bred and bore us.” And the landlord who makes us pay for permission to live upon it. Whoop it up for liberty!

“Let us free Ireland,” says the patriot who won’t touch Socialism. Let us all join together and cr-r-rush the br-r-rutal Saxon. Let us all join together, says he, all classes and creeds. And, says the town worker, after we have crushed the Saxon and freed Ireland, what will we do? Oh, then you can go back to your slums, same as before. Whoop it up for liberty!

And, says the agricultural workers, after we have freed Ireland, what then? Oh, then you can go scraping around for the landlord’s rent or the money-lenders’ interest same as before. Whoop it up for liberty!

After Ireland is free, says the patriot who won’t touch socialism, we will protect all classes, and if you won’t pay your rent you will be evicted same as now. But the evicting party, under command of the sheriff, will wear green uniforms and the Harp without the Crown, and the warrant turning you out on the roadside will be stamped with the arms of the Irish Republic. Now, isn’t that worth fighting for?”

 

Video by “N”, just one of many victims of Slum Landlordism in the Beechmount area.

Article by Alex McGuigan

 

A CRITIQUE. DONEGAL A MICROCOSM OF THE MALAISE AFFECTING RIGHT2CHANGE IRELAND November 19, 2015 By Enda Craig and James Quigley

Posted in Revisionism, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 21, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

Donegal a microcosm of national malaise

This article discusses the anti water charge movement in Ireland, in particular Right2Change.  It focuses on our experience in Donegal involving some dreadful treatment and shady manoeuvrings by fellow campaigners.  It uses this experience to draw conclusions about the national campaign and finds out that we are a mere microcosm of the controversy nationally.

It would be safe to say that this could be written about any county in Ireland and like Inishowen are part and parcel of the political quagmire that the campaign has descended into, a cauldron overflowing with political and personal intrigue, cloak and dagger politics, mistrust, competition, egos and downright nastiness.

From the lofty ideals of communities successfully standing together against water charges, resolute in the aim of abolishing Irish Water and preventing the privatisation and commodification of our water resources we have reached the stage where this hard fought campaign has been subsumed by politicos with their clarion call of ‘unity’ and ‘revolution’ and thrown into a myriad of other issues, confusing the anti water protesters and relegating the water charges campaign to the back of the cue.

Righ2Water Subsumed under Right2Change political agenda

Right2Change affiliated unions

Right2Change affiliated unions

Right2Water’s target has shifted. It is has now changed it’s name to Right2Change and it’s focus is not on beating water charges but on the next general election,  building some type of left or left of centre political organisation. The optimism built up by the anti water charges success is now giving way to pessimism and confusion.   We are at the mercy of political parties and the unions.  They have now split this fine movement and we are at the mercy of these political leaders, in a straightjacket, between the devil and the deep blue sea. The successful community campaign of non payment and non recognition of water charges and Irish Water has been handed to, or was taken over by politicos. The initiative and power has been wrested from local groups and the emphasis is now on institutions that have led to the impasse the county is in.

Look up the definition of a ‘politico’, a person who will promise anything to win an election. “Parliament is a means of diffusing democracy, of channelling real struggles into a safe dead-end. Time and time again it has become a graveyard for the workers’ movement.” Kevin Doyle Parliament or Democracy

Right2Change has done all this. On that fateful Sat in August, 2015, led by the affiliated unions, particularly Unite and Mandate, Brendan Ogle, the educational officer for Unite and main honcho in Right2Change, shouted from the stage in front of the GPO in Dublin, to the 100,000 anti water charge protesters , “ we haven’t gone away, you know, this campaign is much more than water. Say after me,  this campaign is much more than water” and holding up the little coloured booklet of Right2Change’s policy principles he launched the Right2Change organisation.

Credit where credit is due

Brendan Ogle, Wynn's Hotel, Dublin Oct 31

Brendan Ogle, Wynn’s Hotel, Dublin Oct 31

Thus ended, as far as Right2Change was concerned,  the anti water charge protest per say. It became the anti austerity campaign, a programme for government, run by the trade unions,  Mandate and Unite and hitched its wagon to political parties, Sinn Fein being the most prominent.   However, the drama and intrigues are still far from over and it remains unclear what part the vast throngs of protesters have in Right2Change’s plans.  On the periphery, used when needed.

Brendan Ogle,  once pointed to a photograph of protesters in O’Connell St, Dublin and inferred that Right2Change is speaking for them. Time and time again we hear the same sentiment.  Right2Change is the voice of the protesters or that Right2Change has built up this movement.  They have brought thousands of people on to the streets. Somehow this never sat right with us.  In a way, it seems, Brendan Ogle and Right2Change are usurping the rightful credit which should belong to all the various anti water and anti austerity groups in Ireland,  the general public who for well over a year now have withstood the might of the state and tramped the streets in protest.  Somehow Right2Change believe in their own rhetoric forgetting also that the Anti Austerity Alliance is there too.

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The Seed of Doubt

Why are we writing this criticism? Surely by doing it we are sowing the seed of doubt and disunity and mistrust among campaigners?

From the start of the campaign right up to the present we have heard counter arguments like these. Should we bury our heads in the sand, pretend everything is hunky-dory, bite the bullet and ignore the obvious? This is not realistic or sound advice.

Oscar Wilde’s once said ‘Love that dare not speak it’s name’. Something that exist, is inherent but nobody wants to acknowledge it, never mind discuss it for fear that the world would come toppling down, the edifice crumble and the pillars collapse.

No we can not hold our tongues. We have to have a written record of our experience in Donegal even though it exposes some hard truths.

Right2Change’s mantra and religious connotation

We can not get away from religious similarities or allegories that seems to encompass Right2Change and the fervour groups and individuals portray. We encounter phrases like ‘only concentrate on the positive’, ‘not listening to criticism’, ‘believe’.  There is a blind faith in the leaders and the the mantra of ‘Unity’ is professed. This behaviour is hard to counteract but thoughts gnaw away at us, an inkling that something terribly wrong is happening and not many are speaking out about it. This wrong is the blind faith, the insidious control, the attacks epitomised in Facebook comments by intense followers and their attacks on anyone who dare question Right2Change. The leaders and followers seem to have a divine belief that it is OK to use threats, slander and odious comments but it is not right for others to question or criticise them or the movement.  It is like a cult behaviour, a brainwashing technique used by a very slick and colourful brand. One that has only one way, the right way and those who take a different path are against them, their enemy who have joined forces with FG, Lab, FF, the devil. It is a very black and white way and in the end a fractious and fraudulent, disingenuous way.

Perhaps it is our religious upbringing, the brainwashing which has left an indelible mark on our minds that has sown a seed of doubt.  Anything that remotely resembles blind faith, fervour, whipping up the crowd with falsehood that strikes our alarm bells. Or perhaps its our conscience that reminds us that the end does not justify the means.

What ever the cause of our itch,  we will discuss Right2Change’s and related groups’ tactics that have been used.  We believe that these tactics have disregarded truth, integrity and principles, demeaned and disregarded people, usurped the movement and protest groups for political or personal agendas.

Local Autonomous Group Struggles to Maintain Independence

Buncrana Against Irish Water is a local Donegal, Inishowen group, non-aligned to any political party or organisation. It is not affiliated to Right2Change or Can’t Pay Won’t Pay. It was set up to oppose the Government’s introduction of water charges, Irish Water Ltd, the Water Services 2007 and 2013 Acts and the privatisation of our natural resource. We would generally support the Right2Change principles with reservations but we also support Can’t Pay Won’t Pay’s campaign of boycotting Irish Water. We do not want to be in any political organisation and we will not be led by any group or political party.  After all there is more than one way to defeat Irish Water.  One of these ways is refusing water meters and another is boycotting charges and Irish Water. There is also civil disobedience and possibly the legal route. We do not have to rely on political parties. If political parties grow out of the movement or exist already let them support the campaign fully with no party agenda.  When the general election comes we will know who to vote for. There is a fine line between a party leading a community for their own ends and a party supporting a community in their campaign.

The BAIC believe that water is a human right and that it should not be turned into a commodity or privatised. It should be run by the state, for the people of the state and paid for through general taxation. We are opposed to the installation of harmful smart meters, detrimental to our health and our privacy.  Buncrana Together is the media outlet, facebook and web page for the group.

It is interesting to note that planning for water charges and meter installation has been ongoing since 2000, ever since the introduction of the Planning and Development Act 2000 and all political parties were aware of this . ( see our article National Hoodwink on our web page.

 

A litany of Donegal controversies, political intrigue and nastiness

Towards the end of last year we noticed that there were different groups in Donegal, namely Right2Water and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay. There were also some local groups, some affiliated to the main groups and some autonomous groups unaffiliated to any organisation.  We noticed that there were frictions between groups through personal conversations, especially in social media and on demonstrations.

Right2Water tended to be in East Donegal and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay in the west of the county. We noticed that Right2Water Donegal was, and still is,  highly influenced by Sinn Fein.  In Donegal Sinn Fein have two TDs Padraig MacLochlainn, Donegal North-East and Pearse Doherty, Donegal South-West. There are nine Sinn Fein county councillors, most of whom are involved in the Donegal Right2Water organisation.  Sinn Fein representative, Philip McFadden is the main spokesperson, organiser and pro for Donegal Right2Water.  He has created numerous Right2Water facebook groups (on paper only),  in every town in Inishowen in particular, cornering the market for Right2Water.

Can’t Pay Won’t Pay in West Donegal would be more left wing orientated, possibly Anti Austerity Alliance with republican background. Thomas Pringle, TD, and county councillor Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig are supporters.   Being in East Donegal we would have experienced Right2Water’s reaction towards their nemesis Can’t Pay Won’t Pay and Anti Austerity Alliance. This was one of contempt, using phrases like headcases, left wing nuts, Trotskyist, couldn’t agree on anything. All disparaging phrases which we still hear today especially on facebook,  even from Right2Water coordinators and leading activists.

We have never received or heard an explanation or rational argument why these invectives were and are used and we can only assumed it’s propaganda where if something is said often enough it must be true. Incidentally, we have not experienced the same type of hatred coming from the ‘left’.  There might be policy differences and these would be articulated.

It was partly because of this enmity and the control of the campaign by Right2Water, i.e Philip McFadden and Sinn Fein, that we decided to try to form a strong, local community wide unaffiliated Inishowen group and it was also because we found there was very little being done on the ground. It was a facebook campaign with the occasional demonstration, just ticking over.

The community was in the dark and floundering, wondering where was the information and support. Any day the meter contractors would arrive.  We also had a problem with non structure, democracy and representation in the local Inishowen group Against Water Charges group. This group was supposed to be unaffiliated and non aligned but in reality it was and still is heavily influenced by Philip McFadden i.e. Sinn Fein and Sinead Stewart, Right2Change and as it turns out a groomed Unite trade union representative.

It was felt that a more representative, independent, Inishowen group was needed which could work with both Right2Water or Can’t Pay Won’t Pay groups in Donegal but would not affiliated to any organisation or influenced by any political party.

Carndonagh public meeting, Sinn Fein and tight control

January
A meeting took place in Carndonagh on Jan, 2015 in the hope of setting up such a group. We were in constant communication with Sinead Stewart and Christina Crumlish, Inishowen Against Water Charges, organisers. We also liaised with Sinn Fein and other interested parties. 9We emphasised what we were trying to do and surprisingly all seemed to be in agreement.11081141_10205080882200164_3654159770303611523_n

 

However, on the actual night of the public meeting our proposal was blocked by the Right2Water and Sinn Fein representative Philip McFadden, Sinead Stewart and Christina Crumlish.  Sinead Stewart said that it would be over their dead bodies that they would allow everything that they worked for go.  Philip McFadden said that this new group would have to come under the Right2Water umbrella.  Sinn Fein representative said appealed to ‘unity’.  We were not allowed a vote.    Afterwards Sinn Feintook the side of Right2Water and the Inishowen Against Water Charges group. This episode and the accusations and lies which followed shocked us and it is indelibly stamped on our minds.  We had our first experience in campaign control and political manoeuvring.

Continue reading at:  BuncranaTogether.com

Kind permission was given to the Plough and the Stars to republish the original article by the authors:  Enda Craig and James Quigley.

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Convicted Paedophile Vincent McKenna aka ‘Irish Observer’

Posted in 'Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

(This article first appeared on Hubpages written by Alex McGuigan using the pseudonym “Jack White”)

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Internet users with an interest in Irish politics and history may have come across the bombastic, self-indulgent yarns by a blogger styling themselves ‘Irish Observer’  invariably posing as a supposedly ‘reformed’ former member of the Provisional IRA. In fact, by ‘Irish Observer’s own admission, he is none other than convicted paedophile, Vincent McKenna, who was jailed by Cavan Circuit Court, Ireland for 6 years on 31 counts of sexually abusing his daughter, Sorcha, over a 12 year period, in 2000!

 

 

McKenna’s years of sexually abusing his daughter were described by Irish judge, Justice Geoghegan, as‘particularly depraved.’  For years previously, McKenna had masqueraded as a ‘reformed-terrorist’ and paramilitary victims campaigner, when in reality the real victim, of course, was his daughter who suffered horrific protracted sexual abuse at his hands. On release from prison, McKenna reinvented himself as a writer and blogger using the pseudonym ‘Irish Observer’ and continued the fiction of being a self-proclaimed, so-called ‘reformed terrorist.’

 

 

Vincent McKenna Walter Mitty

Reformed IRA member Vincent McKenna, Falls road, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

 

McKenna first surfaced in the north of Ireland, at Queens University Belfast, in the mid-1990′s where he flirted with campus politics and tried unsuccessfully to enter the fairly close-knit sphere of Irish Republican support-groups on campus. His wild, Walter Mitty-type claims of previous involvement with the Provisional IRA were quickly exposed as fantasy, at best, and most probably a sinister attempt to infiltrate anti-imperialist groups as an agent provocateur. Always a keen manipulator, as all paedophiles and self-promoters are, McKenna produced a badly written ‘book’ making unlikely claims regarding his ‘secret’ past as a former-Irish Republican activist. True to form, he claimed to be, not just a rank and file member, but a senior secret ‘operator’ within the Provisional IRA’s intelligence department. So ‘very secret’ in fact, that no-one had actually heard of him and no-one has EVER confirmed those fantastic claims of McKenna’s alleged involvement with the Provisional IRA!

 

 

McKenna’s book was a classic example of a ‘vanity publishing’ potboiler and infinitely forgettable. McKenna would have been seen regularly in Queens University central quad during Spring term engaging his younger peers with tales of insincere remorse over his self-proclaimed ‘IRA past’ while we now know and it is backed-up by court transcripts, that his true ‘past’ was abusing a little girl, his own daughter!

 

 

Pro-British Collaborator

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Having been exposed as a fraud within the Queens University Republican community and in light of the nascent ceasefires in Ireland, McKenna re-invented himself as a ‘peace campaigner’ and ‘born-again-Christian‘ just when a veritable Irish ‘peace industry’ was beginning to attract serious statutory and international funding. It has to be said that as a manipulator, McKenna was highly successful, to the extent that he had persuaded the Dean of the Politics department at Queens University, Professor Bob Eccleshall, to endorse and allegedly find funding for his faux-autobiographical book. In fact, during McKenna’s ill-judged foray into electoral politics in Belfast, when he unsuccessfully stood as a ‘community’ anti-Republican candidate’ in the upper Ormeau Road area, he received less than 10 votes! McKenna had even persuaded Professor Eccleshall, the ideological liberal, to act as his Election Agent and this will be confirmed by a casual inspection of local government election records. (It must be stressed that Professor Eccleshall acted in good faith regarding his then student and quickly disassociated himself from McKenna, possibly when it became apparent that he was nothing but a fraud and shameless self-publicist.)

 

 

FAIT

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Having been embarrassingly trounced in his attempt to re-invent himself as a politician, McKenna then attached himself to the anti-punishment shooting lobby which at that time was being nurtured by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) as an anti-Republican bulwark against the post-ceasefire rise in electoral support for Provisional Sinn Fein. A pressure group called ‘Families Against Intimidation and Terror‘ (FAIT) was formed with generous cash grants from the NIO. FAIT was originally fronted-up by the highly dubious, Nancy Gracey, the lumpen proletarian matriarch of a petty-crime family from county Down (whose members had fallen foul of the Provisionals punishment squads due to their involvement in anti-community crime) and also prominent north Belfast ‘landlord’, Sam Cushnahan, brother of Alliance Party elected representative, John Cushnahan.

 

 

Always the self-publicist, McKenna would have been seen in the media regularly shedding the proverbial crocodile tears for victims of Loyalist, but mostly Republican punishment shootings and invariably acting as a professional anti-Sinn Fein mouthpiece. It is a matter of record that while he very publicly condemned the PIRA and INLA, at the behest of his British paymasters, McKenna the self-proclaimed ‘human-rights campaigner’ had himself been subjecting his daughter to the most terrible type of human rights abuse imaginable.

 

 

McKenna eventually was expelled from FAIT after it was discovered that‘someone’ had been accessing child porn on the office computer. Why he was never subject to prosecution is a major question that McKenna and indeed the then RUC have never answered? It is thought that his crimes were covered-up, as hawkish securicrat elements within the NIO were then happy to use McKenna as an anti-PIRA, faux-victims campaigner. It has also been alleged in the media that McKenna was in the pay of one of the British intelligence agencies, as he would have had access to low-level intelligence on ‘paramilitary’ personnel gleaned from Loyalist and Republican punishment attack victims. In the late 1990′s McKenna would have been a familiar figure in the local media staging anti-Republican press conferences, ostensibly condemning ‘punishment beatings’ though in reality, self-promotion was his real motive. The now defunct FAIT’s former director and McKenna’s former colleague, Sam Cushnahan, stated:

 

 

“McKenna had only become active in its work, against paramilitary punishment beatings, in preparation for the day he knew would arrive when he would come before a court charged with sex abuse”

 

 

Shameless Self-Publicist

 

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Following his expulsion from FAIT, after the discovery of child porn on the office computer, McKenna formed his own largely fictional ‘paramilitary victims’ support group, with the grandiose title of the “Northern Ireland Human Rights Bureau”, predictably enough, with himself as director and chief spokesperson. True to form, McKenna raised his public profile, as self-proclaimed victim and faux-human rights campaigner, by reportedly staging Republican attacks on his own home! It has been alleged that a remorseful Loyalist paramilitary who approached McKenna for help in escaping the clutches of his organisation, handed the former-FAIT figure pipe-bombs he had been keeping on the understanding that the faux-human rights campaigner would turn them over to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) for disposal. Meanwhile, McKenna arranged for the former-Loyalist paramilitary, through his RUC contacts, to receive help moving to England. It is further alleged that far from handing the pipe-bombs over to the police, McKenna used them to create a staged attack on his Haypark Avenue, Ormeau Road, home in South Belfast which he predictably publicly blamed on the Provisional IRA. This staged attack boosted his public profile and allowed him to apply for official protection, such as the installation of bullet-proof windows and doors at his home, all at the tax payers’ expense. A short time later McKenna came off second best in a scuffle with a Provisional Sinn Fein election worker he had verbally abused while crossing the Ormeau bridge. In true Walter Mitty and by now routine form, the convicted paedophile called a very fishy press conference alleging that he had been the victim of a PIRA punishment attack! Beatrix Campbell, writing in The Independent, on 26th September, 1999, after one of McKenna’s self-publicity stunts, where he staged an ‘IRA attack’ on his home prophetically stated:

 

 

“According to the RUC it was an “an elaborate hoax”. There may be those who wonder whether this is also a description of the man himself.”

 

 

The Mask Slips!

 

 

The general public in the north of Ireland were beginning ‘to catch on’ to McKenna’s shameless, self-promotional stunts and a local contemporary joke was that you merely had to sneeze in the faux-human rights campaigner’s presence for him to call another of his press conferences accusing Republicans of attacking him! By this stage in the late 1990′s, the local media itself in Belfast were beginning to catch on to McKenna’s numerous self-promotional stunts, reportedly after some of his former secret-police associates leaked details of his paedophile deviant behaviour. It did not stop McKenna being feted by the most reactionary elements within Ulster Unionism and at one time he appeared on stage in the Ulster Hall with the late, former ‘shoot to kill’ Chief Constable, John Hermon, during a “Save The RUC” rally. However, McKenna’s double life as a faux-victims campaigner, serial self-publicist and anti-Republican, while in reality he was a vicious, long-term child sex abuser, was about to be exposed!

 

 

McKenna Convicted Of 31 Counts of Child Abuse!

 

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The ‘headlines’ that Vincent McKenna was facing child abuse charges in Monaghan first appeared in overnight graffiti on the perimeter wall of H&J Martin’s Ltd’s premises on the Ormeau Road, Belfast, in 1999. Despite an early morning attempt by McKenna, accompanied by a heavily armed RUC escort, to paint over the crudely written graffiti, the shameless self-publicist was about to make the media headlines he had always craved, but this time, it was not to be on his own terms..

 

 

As far back as July, 1998, a court in county Monaghan had banned McKenna from contacting his children following complaints by their mother, yet in 1999, he applied to the same court to gain access to them. McKenna was instantly arrested by Gardai (southern Irish police) and the sordid reasons behind his prohibition from contacting his children slowly trickled north to members of the Fourth Estate in Belfast.

 

 

Even when it became widely known in the media that McKenna was facing serious child abuse charges south of the ‘border’, he still blatantly attempted to weather the storm and bluff his way out. Incredibly, he lied that he had even been charged or ever questioned by the Gardai in relation to the counts of child abuse he was subsequently convicted of and predictably enough, blamed the Provisional IRA:

 

 

“It is a foul lie and slander that I have been interviewed by the gardai regarding sexual abuse allegations. It is Provo propaganda”, he said. “I will not be charged with anything by the Monaghan gardai.” (Vincent McKenna, 1999)

 

 

 

It is a matter of public record that Vincent McKenna, aka Irish Observer, then aged 39, was convicted at Cavan Circuit Court in November 2000, of 31 counts of sexually abusing his daughter. The abuse by McKenna began when his victim, his own daughter, was only four and the details of the abuse were some of the most unspeakable acts to ever come before an Irish court. McKenna’s daughter,Sorcha, took the unusual step in such cases of waiving her right to anonymity to personally expose the faux-human rights campaigner as the convicted paedophile he now is. Originally McKenna was jailed for only 3 years but this was viewed as unduly lenient by the Irish DPP, given the scale of the sexual abuse he subjected his daughter to and it was later increased to 6 years imprisonment on appeal. (This can be verified by official court documents and contemporary media reports.) Mckenna’s daughter shortly after his conviction stated:

 

 

“I can never put it behind me but it’s good that people now realise what he has done.”(Sorcha Mckenna, 2000)

 

 

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McKenna Refuses Treatment To Curb His Paedophile Behaviour

 

 

The Irish police stated of convicted paedophile, Vincent McKenna (Irish Observer) that he had callously forced his daughter, Sorcha, to relive the horrors of 12 years of sexual abuse in the witness box, by choosing to plead not guilty. The convicted paedophile and serial self-publicist, McKenna, made national media headlines but this time it was unlikely that he welcomed them, as the BBC stated:

 

 

“Vincent McKenna, 37, from Haypark Avenue in Belfast was found guilty earlier this month of 31 charges of sexual abuse against his daughter, Sorcha.” (BBC)

 

 

To add insult to injury McKenna consistently refused treatment from the Probation service in Wheatfield Prison, Ireland, to curb his chances of re-offending on release

 

 

Irish Observer/Vincent McKenna

 

While in in Wheatfield prison, McKenna the convicted paedophile, continued writing and bizarrely won a prize for poetry during a literary competition for prisoners. While still a prisoner, McKenna had boasted to fellow inmates of his new future as a writer and he had unsuccessfully written to various media agencies seeking employment on release.

 

 

Following his release, McKenna began writing on free blogging websites, often using the nom-de-plume ‘Irish Observer’ and gradually began peddling his old book filled with the same old discredited claims of involvement in the upper echelons of the Provisional IRA’s intelligence department. At first, McKenna targeted North American websites, posing as a ‘reformed terrorist’ in the full knowledge that it was unlikely that his paedophile antecedents would be exposed. More discerning Irish readers with local knowledge would have twigged straight away that Irish Observer aka Vincent McKenna’s bizarre tale of being a ‘converted-terrorist’ had absolutely no basis in fact and was at best the work of a Walter Mitty type crank. The closest McKenna ever came to a ‘politically motivated’ actions was ironically a ‘conviction’ for arson involving a Protestant owned building. It is a matter of record that not one person has ever confirmed McKenna’s self-proclaimed role as a member of the Provisional IRA and despite producing highly dubious computer-generated ‘letters’ from highly unlikely sources such as Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, he is universally regarded as a fraud and a crank.

 

 

What Next For Vincent McKenna/Irish Observer?

 

 

The Vincent McKenna/Irish Observer linkage was first discovered by a Belfast Republican Socialist who had been a mature student at around the time McKenna had been attempting to infiltrate Queens University Republican circles and had instantly recognised the old fraudulent claims contained in the convicted paedophiles discredited pot-boiler he was now publishing on the Hubpages blogging website. Needless to say, at first ‘Irish Observer’ denied being Vincent McKenna the convicted paedophile and disgraced Walter Mitty, just as in 1999 he had denied facing charges of child abuse. However, in more recent times McKenna/Irish Observer has openly admitted that he is indeed the convicted Irish paedophile and has been openly writing as ‘Vincent McKenna’ in the first person on his Irish Observer and other blogs.

 

 

Self-Styled Criminologist

 

Vincent McKenna, now in his mid-50′s, the convicted child sex abuser, serial self-publicist, faux-human rights campaigner and fantasist can be tracked on-line mainly by his not so secret pseudonym ‘Irish Observer’ (he also uses typically grandiose blogging titles like ‘Monaghan News’ and ‘National Union of Bloggers’). It is clear that on various forums attached to blogging sites like Hubpages, he has continued with his deviant behaviour patterns. Ever the misogynist, he has created numerous blogs spewing bile at a respected female journalist and author who recently exposed him in the media. In tandem with promoting his Walter Mitty tales of past Irish Republican involvement, which have all the non-authenticity of the very worst of the poorly researched sub-genre known as Troubles Fiction, McKenna is now incredibly posing as a self-styled expert on sex-crimes. McKenna is currently touting supposed interviews with sex-offenders on the Internet, that in reality can only have been conducted by the so-called ‘Irish Observer’ facing a mirror!

 

 

Warning!

 

 

Like all paedophiles, Vincent McKenna is highly manipulative and it is well documented that a sexual deviant’s on-line persona will invariably appear very plausible. It is well documented that a paedophile will invariably indulge in long-term, complex planning to gain access to gain access to their next child victim over a protracted period of time. It is also well documented that paedophiles, like McKenna aka ‘Irish Observer’ will befriend fellow bloggers with the express, though highly covert, long-term goal of gaining access to their children. It goes without saying that McKenna, who very publicly maintained the fiction for many years of being a former-Provisional IRA activist; staged bomb attacks on his home; manipulated the media and secretly sexually abused his own daughter, will have no problem maintaining a highly plausible ‘on-line persona’ on certain websites, with the cloak of anonymity the Internet instantly gives him.  However, it is almost certain that he will offend again given his recidivist history.

 

 

One Of Ireland’s 12 Most Dangerous Sexual Predators!

 

 

McKenna aka Irish Observer is now on the sex offenders register in the south of Ireland but due to the de jure partition of Ireland and Mckenna living so close to the ‘border’ he would not be monitored officially if travelling in the north of Ireland. The Sunday People newspaper named McKenna aka ‘Irish Observer’ as one of ‘Ireland’s Dirty Dozen’, placing him among the 12 most dangerous Irish sexual predators. Anyone who has accessed court records of the child abuse charges McKenna was convicted of will have no doubt that, on this occasion, the Sunday People newspaper got it right, as the catalogue of depraved acts he committed against a defenceless child are of the most despicable acts imaginable.

 

 

The next time you read ‘Irish Observer’s discredited yarns of supposed involvement in “terrorism” and waxing lyrical on ‘human rights’ perhaps readers will spare a thought for his daughter, Sorcha, his victim and ask what consideration did he give to her‘human right’ to grow up as a child in safety? Ironically, for a ‘writer’ who has attempted to condemn others for sexual abuse, McKenna, is one of Ireland’s most dangerous paedophiles! He may well resort to his previous modus operandi of bluff, bluster and denial, he may even vainly threaten litigation yet again. Thankfully, this time the Irish public will not be so easily deceived by this dubious character’s self-promotional stunts and if this article saves even one child from becoming McKenna’s next victim, then it will be entirely worthwhile..

The Scourge of Hard Drug Dealing Requires A Community Response

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 12, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

(This article was written by Alex Mcguigan and published in the 2009 Starry Plough magazine)

There is no escaping the fact that Class ‘A’ drug use/misuse is now a ‘constant’ in contemporary society and working-class areas are in the frontline. Forget the stylised Hollywood image of recreational hedonism, the reality was a recent report from a local community group of a 13 year old being caught with a ‘wrap’ of cocaine or the recent appearance of the devastating Methamphetamine in the North east of Ireland. There is not a family in Ireland which has not been affected in some way by substance misuse including alcohol.

As a complex problem afflicting our community, it stands to reason that solutions must come from within our community. As socialists we must stand with community groups in their stance against the dealing of hard drugs in working-class areas. We should always stand against social parasites who prey on the poverty stricken, be they drug dealers, loan sharks or car thieves. In the North to some extent, the modern phenomena of the brash drug dealing ‘Hood’ is a byproduct of the acid house/ rave scene of the late 1980’s/early 1990’s and the ecstasy explosion on the club scene. Like all commodities in demand, drugs are seen by dealers as a low-risk way of making enormous profits and because these commodities are illegal due to prohibition, criminals corner the market. In the 1990’s many of these scumbag’s names became common knowledge courtesy of the tabloid media.  Prior to becoming drug dealers many of these parasites were career criminals specialising in street robberies, burglaries and theft. Drug dealing just became a more attractive career move.

It is widely accepted that many of these drug dealers were given free reign to ply their trade in return for supplying information on Republican activities within the communities they hailed from. There is also no doubt that the drugs explosion within working-class Republican areas was welcomed by the establishment as a pacifying measure, (there are after all documented precedents of this very strategy against the black ghettos in the U.S when groups like the Black Panthers’ Party were succeeding in organising their communities against Police repression) As a response to the blight of drug dealing in our communities in the 90s, DAAD (Direct Action against Drugs) was formed by republicans who executed a significant number of high level dealers and exiled many more. These actions were generally well received by the communities affected. In the capital, Dublin, working class communities blighted by the Heroin trade organised pickets of dealers homes, held meetings, protests and we saw popular direct action winning huge support.

As socialists we analyse the situation, not react to it in an alarmist tabloid fashion, for drug use/misuse is a very complex issue. Society’s use of intoxicants is as old as Bacchus. Alcohol is classed as a dangerous drug by medical professionals when drank to excess and if,, for instance, Cider or Fortified Wine were made illegal tomorrow, the same criminal elements who are currently dealing Cocaine and Heroin would corner the market.

In the long-term, some kind of ‘de-classification or legalisation’ managed by the Health Services with a view to eventual abstinence should be appraised with an open mind. (No-one would advocate the opening of ‘Narcotics Off Licences’ but there has been good progress in a model of addiction treatment in the like of Switzerland, where the anti-social effects of Opiates use have been to some extent neutralised by their approach,, as it has removed the criminal element from the equation.

Addiction is classified by the World Health Organisation as a notifiable disease and drug dealers are heartless predators while in the majority of cases, the addict is their victim.  It is symptomatic of the marginalising effect of the present Capitalist system that stupor and intoxication are seen as an alternative to the drudgery of the rat-race.  In the short term there is a need to support our communities against vicious drug dealers.

It is extremely sad to see working-class areas that resisted military rule and imperialist oppression with dignity at the height of the conflict for 30+ years being traumatized by scumbag drug dealers who ply the most dangerous of drugs such as Crystal Meth, Heroin and Cocaine in our working class communities. In many cases their victims are still at school and for any concerned parent there would be few tears shed when the community’s revolutionary elements respond proactively. There is certainly a sad correlation between teenage suicide clustering and the introduction of a variety of hard drugs in working class areas,

The RUC/PSNI or Gardai have no real solutions nor do they care,  in fact, in many cases turning a blind eye to drug dealers who supply information on the movements or activities of Irish Republican Socialist activists.  There is no doubt that the working class are empowered by community-centred direct response against parasitic drug dealers who have made many families lives a living hell.  Many people have unfortunately become isolated and understandably feel the only alternative is to close the curtains hoping to escape the attentions of drug dealers or drug fuelled hoods. How often have people wished there was a network of support and resistance to the drug fuelled savagery of those who grow rich peddling class A drugs? Groups that tackle swaggering drug dealers are worthy of our support. The alternative is that Republican working-class areas will become like those in Unionist areas where the local loan shark or drug dealer holds sway over the district.  its an appalling vista that many hope may never becomes a reality…

Alex McGuigan

On Patriotism being the last refuge of the scoundrel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 10, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

Samuel Johnson was right, as often than not, when he stated that:

“Patriotism is the last refuge of the Scoundrel”

Redmonite jingoistic poster that promised Irish nationalists Home Rule if they enlisted in the British Army during World War One. The result being many thousands dying for nothing in the trenches of France and Belgium

Patriotism has been used by various imperialists and charlatan leaders such as Redmond and Carson, to send millions of working class people to their deaths while they sat often hundreds of miles behind the fields of carnage safe in the knowledge that they would not shed one drop of blood or even set eyes on their bloody handywork.  One needs only look at the ‘Patriot’ movement in the USA at present to sample their place on the far right of the Political Spectrum.

The struggle for national liberation and a Socialist Republic is a world away from what is now classed as ‘patriotism.’ Certainly, in Irish history patriotism was often equated with the struggle to free Ireland from British rule, especially in the age of Bourgeois revolutions where Thomas Paine’s “The Right’s of Man” was seen as a radical blueprint, when in fact it only substituted one ruling class, Absolutist Monarchies, for those of the current Bourgeois ruling class.  Even Wolfe Tone, the founding Father of modern Irish Republicanism and catalyst of the revolutionary United Irishmen movement, it could be argued, realised the means by which real freedom for the vast majority of the Irish people could be gained, lest they sacrifice their lives for a mere change of ruling class or an Irish Bonapartism when he stated that,

“Our freedom must be had at all hazards. If the men of property will not help us they must fall; we will free ourselves by the aid of that large and respectable class of the community – the men of no property”

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For National Liberation and the creation of a Workers’ Republic

In countries still under the yoke of imperialist domination, genuine national liberation movements are to be supported, however those who would not seek economic liberation for the Proletariat have shown time and time again to be no better than those who ruled before them.  James Connolly, the Marxist revolutionary and ideological father of Irish Republican Socialism identified the charlatanism of so-called ‘love of Ireland’ that in just over a decade sent thousands to die in the First World War on the Redmonite promise of Home Rule and also viewed the limitations of one dimensional nationalism when stating:

“Ireland without her people is nothing to me, and the man who is bubbling over with love and enthusiasm for ‘Ireland’, and can yet pass unmoved through our streets and witness all the wrong and the suffering, the shame and the degradation wrought upon the people of Ireland, aye, wrought by Irishmen upon Irishmen and women, without burning to end it, is, in my opinion, a fraud and a liar in his heart, no matter how he loves that combination of chemical elements which he is pleased to call ‘Ireland’. (James Connolly: The Coming Generation,1900)

Clearly, those who state that they ‘love Ireland’ without a desire for both economic and national liberation for the Irish proletariat are simply mouthing meaningless words, uttered by apolitical idiots and charlatans throughout history that relegate Irish Republican revolutionaries to the likes of the right wing ‘patriot’ movement in USA, the English Defence League or right-wing paramilitaries in South America (whose paymasters ‘love’ their country ‘so much’ that they assassinate homeless children as they ‘spoil’ the look of the place).  Clearly Irish Republican Socialism bears no similarity to such beliefs or actions and is the only means by which the vast majority of the Irish people, the working class, will see true freedom.

Alex McGuigan.

The Orange Order The Irish Ku Klux Klan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

It was ironic that Unionist politicians took umbrage at a painting that depicted a Loyalist Flute Band performing an atavistic, tribal dance outside St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Donegal Street,Belfast, that quite logically made the linkage between their bigoted behaviour and that of the Ku Klux Klan.  Klan members are depicted to the left of the painting. (Apparently the Ku Klux Klan have been equally outraged that they should be linked to the Orange Order).  However both organisations pursue the same tactics, in true Fascist fashion.  One can complain regarding artistic license yet when the same sectarian behaviour is caught on camera there can be little wriggle room by the Orange Order:

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(The film footage below was taken by and is the intellectual property of JJ Magee at Donegal Street, Belfast)

Ideological Soulmates

kkk orange order

Both the KKK and the Orange Order’s modus operandi is to cause maximum offence to those they exclude from membership. With the KKK, their hatred is aimed at non-Whites, Catholics and Jewish people, while the Orange Order’s supremacist behaviour is primarily aimed at Catholics, Irish Republicans and Communists.   In a recent interview, with an American film producer, he described the local television’s media’s attempts to normalise the Orange Order’s as ‘outrageous’ and would be akin to CNN attempting to portray a KKK parade as a benign cultural event (which he stressed would never happen.)  If one wants to experience being a non-White in ‘Klan Country’ or what it was like for a Jewish person during Kristallnacht in Hitler’s Germany, then attempt to live as a Republican or even just a Catholic in a majority Loyalist area on the ’11th night’ or the infamous “Twelfth.”

Even in death Catholics get victimised by Loyalist politicians

Even in death Catholics get victimised by Loyalist politicians
Young Michael McIlveen 15, was murdered by a Loyalist lynch mob in Ballymena who beat him to death with baseball bats
Young Michael McIlveen 15, (above) was murdered by a Loyalist lynch mob in Ballymena who beat him to death with baseball bats
Catholic Community worker Kevin McDaid murdered by a Loyalist lynch mob in Coleraine this year
Catholic Community worker Kevin McDaid (pictured above) murdered by a Loyalist lynch mob in Coleraine during one of the Orange Order’s Nuremburg type rallies
The funeral of Kevin McDaid murdered by a sectarian lynch mob
The funeral of Kevin McDaid murdered by a sectarian lynch mob
Loyalism has strong ideological links to the far-right
Loyalism has strong ideological links to the far-right
Loyalist racists habitually force countless Eastern Europeans and non-WASP families from their homes each year.
Neo-Nazi's and Loyalists have deep links

Loyalists have well documented links to the far right in England and Europe, so it is with a well polished ‘brass neck’ that the Orange Order or Unionist politicians who are intrinsically linked to the Orange Order, should take umbrage at hints of linkage to the Ku Klux Klan.  They are, colloquially put, cut from the same cloth.  When an organisation’s ideology fills in the majority of tick boxes for what constitutes Fascism then it is disingenuous to attempt to portray the Orange Order as some benign,  purely ‘cultural’ body by those seeking to normalise bigotry.
Alex McGuigan
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