Archive for the Collusion Category

GRENFELL TOWER FIRE by Grenfell Action Group

Posted in Anti-Austerity, campaigns, Censorship, Collusion, Criminal, Grenfell Tower, Human Rights, LSL Property services, Polarisation of the classes, Proletariat, Solidarity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: Re-blog from Grenfell Action Group

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  Source: Grenfell action Group

 GRENFELL TOWER FIRE 

Watching breaking news about the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. Too soon (5am) to even guess at numbers of casualties and fatalities. Our heartfelt and sincere condolences to all who have perished, to the injured, to those who are bereaved or are still searching for missing loved ones.

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC.

ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time. Below is a list of links to previous blogs we posted on this site trying to warn the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who own this property, and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation who supposedly manage all social housing in RBKC on the Council’s behalf:

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/fire-safety-scandal-at-lancaster-west/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/more-on-fire-safety/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/another-fire-safety-scandal/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/kctmo-feeling-the-heat/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/why-are-we-waiting/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/grenfell-tower-from-bad-to-worse/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/more-trouble-at-grenfell-tower/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/the-disempowered-of-grenfell-tower/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/tmo-still-asleep-at-the-wheel

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KCC – Clear And Present Danger

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Back in April 2016 the Grenfell Action Group published a blog highlighting our concerns regarding the long term future of Wornington College. We provided a link to a RBKC Cabinet Key Decision report (KD04801R) that revealed that the Wornington College building had been secretly sold to the Council for demolition, after which the site would be privately redeveloped as housing.

The report was markedly vague on specifics, presenting instead a mish mash of options that ranged from selling the entire site (planning permission included) to a private developer or alternatively entering into a partnership with a Private Rented Sector (PRS) developer. The plans appear to have been conditional on retention of some unquantified educational component, provision of some ‘affordable housing’ by the developer, and possibly an option for the Council to to repossess  part of the finished development for use as decant housing for council tenants displaced from redevelopment elsewhere. Under this mish mash of half baked ‘planning’ many, perhaps most, Wornington students would presumably have to travel to Hortensia Road in Chelsea if they wished to access education.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/wornington-college-threat-confirmed/

Rather than deal with the concerns raised by our blog, and by supporters of the Save Wornington College Campaign, the management at Kensington and Chelsea College attempted to demonise those trying to protect this much loved educational institute. Members of the KCC management team abused their power by attempting to intimidate our supporters, and shamelessly spread rumours that the Save Wornington College campaign was responsible for declining student enrolment numbers at Wornington and for endangering the future of adult education in North Kensington. When Interim Principal Michelle Sutton was invited to provide credible evidence that the Save Wornington Campaign was responsible for these negative effects she failed to do so.

Instead of working in partnership with the North Kensington community, acknowledging the management and financial problems at KCC, and the threat to the long term future of Wornington College following the departure of Principal Mark Brickley, the College opted instead for a disingenuous propoganda campaign. Using similar tactics to those employed by the neo-Cons at RBKC, when they sold off the North Kensington Library to their friends at Notting Hill Prep School, the KCC management claimed, in a Press Release in April 2017, that the Wornington building was no longer fit for purpose, was too large and could not meet the needs of those students and staff with disabilities. The KCC Press Release also sought to negate and dismiss the fears and concerns of the existing College’s supporters by stating that KCC remained committed to expanding its presence in North Kensington, claiming that it planned to replace the Wornington facilities on-site or nearby with modern state-of-the-art facilities for both school-leavers and adults, creating space for increased student numbers and potentially more courses.

http://www.kcc.ac.uk/news/big-plans-north-kensington/

We now understand that despite these promises the future of Wornington College and the provision of adult education in North Kensington is still very much under threat. Instead of securing the long term future of Wornington the KCC Board appears to have begun making existing staff redundant, pending a merger deal in which they will become the subserviant partner to a rival adult education college and in which they are unlikely to have any say in whether adult education will survive in any form in North Kensington.

In a serious and troubling development, it has come to our attention that members of the Wornington College teaching and auxillary staff have been issued with voluntary redundancy notices. These have been distributed to staff recently and cast doubt on KCC’s previous claim that staff numbers will be protected by virtue of an increase in student numbers and an expansion in the number of courses that the College will be offering.

It is our understanding that members of staff who might be tempted to accept offers of voluntary redundancy will not have their length of service or seniority taken into consideration as part of any financial settlement and will simply receive a statutory redundancy pay out. Any member of staff who accepts voluntary redudancy and is below retirement age will not be able to apply for social security payments such as unemployment benefit, housing benefit, etc if they fail to find replacement jobs, as they will be deemed to have made themselves intentionally unemployed.

It is also our understanding that the KCC Board were preparing to make a vitally important decision concerning the future of the College at a Corporaton meeting last Tuesday 6th June. We applied for permission to attend this meeting but were refused, ostensibly due to the sensitivity of the issues scheduled for discussion. It is a matter of record that major changes in adult education have been encouraged at a national and regional level following major cuts to government funding and a recent government review of further education which recommended that local colleges (such as Wornington) should merge with neighbouring colleges in order to protect their longer term prospects.

In line with this recommendation KCC and City Lit have conducted merger negotiations on two occasions since 2012. Both of these attempts failed, the most recent, earlier this year, because KCC failed a due diligence test performed by City Lit, apparently because of poor financial viability and poor Osted inspection results over the past three years. We have made a Freedom of Information request to City lit seeking access to the due dilignce report. We will publish this when and if we acquire it as it may shine some light on the management failings at KCC under former Principal Mark Brickley. The failure of KCC to satisfy this due diligence test has left KCC in an invidious position and vulnerable to a hostile take-over from either Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College or the recently merged North West London/City of Westminster College.

Ideally we would all prefer that KCC remain a fully independent college serving the specific needs of the local RBKC communities but we acknowledge that, in the present austere financial climate, a merger appears to be a necessary evil. With this in mind, we feel that it is a great shame that the proposed merger between KCC and City Lit failed. The benefits of a merger with City Lit have been explained in the minutes of previous confidential discussions by the Governors of KCC who stated that:

KCC students have good reason to fear the consequences of the failure of the City Lit merger. It has left KCC extremely vulnerable to a hostile take-over by either Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College or the North West London/City of Westminster College and we believe that such an outcome will greatly disempower and reduce the quality of our local education provision. There are concerns also that if either of the two aforementioned colleges are successful in a take-over of KCC the provision of adult education at the Wornington Centre, and in North Kensington generally, may cease altogether and adult educational courses may be halved at the Hortensia Centre.

These concerns are based on hard evidence obtained through Freedom of Information requests and access to supposedly confidential minutes of the KCC Corporation. We also have a copy of an email sent to RBKC councillors by Tony Redpath, a member of the KCC Board of Governors and a senior Officer at KCC in January 2017, that refers to Kensington and Chelsea College as some kind of tempting carcass that other ‘suitors‘, including Ealing Hammersmith and West London College and North West London/City of Westminster College ‘are already circling’ and waiting to devour. Redpath goes on to identify the predatory nature of such a take-over in that ‘KCC’s problem, put baldly, is that it’s attraction to other College’s is based on it’s assets rather than it’s activities’ and that following any take-over ‘a longer than anticipated period of change and uncertainty for the College beckons’. We believe that this statement from Tony Redpath unequivocably highlights the clear and present danger that faces the future of adult education in RBKC.

https://grenfellactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/redpath-confidential-email-kcc-ofsted-result-etc.pdf

Redpath’s analysis is entirely consistent with minutes already quoted of a KCC Board meeting in 2012 when a hostile take-over by Ealing, Hammermith and West London College was characterised as an unwelcome but distinctly possible outcome. Confidential minutes from that Board of Governors meeting state the following:

www.kcc.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/KCC-BOC-minutes-111212.pdf

We have little doubt, based on the evidence above, that the kind of take-over that now seems inevitable will be extremely detrimental to the future of adult educational provision in RBKC generally, and North Kensington in particular. We believe that the failure of the proposed merger with City Lit has left KCC at the mercy of more powerful and predatory organisations that are primarily concerned with KCC’s financial assests and property portfolio rather than with providing the adult educational services our communities need.

The KCC Board of Governors and senior management team need to be held fully and properly accountable for their failure to secure a more propitious merger with City Lit. This failure has left KCC open to a hostile take-over by either Ealing, Hammersmith and West london College or City of Westminster/College of North West London. Both of these outcomes could best be described as worst case scenarios but have somehow become the most likely outcome we can expect. The KCC Board should be held accountable for this!

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KCC resignations – was there a cover-up?

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The Grenfell action Group have recently been contacted by the Information Commissioners Office regarding our appeal against the refusal of Kensington and Chelsea College to provide us with information we requested explaining the departure of former Principal, Mark Brickley, and his former sidekick Deputy Principal Fiona Ross. The correspondence between the Information Commissioners Office and the Grenfell Action Group must remain confidential for now as we do not want to preempt the appeals process which we hope will lead to disclosure of the information we are seeking. However, we can confirm that we have lodged a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner in an attempt to obtain a full explanation from KCC of the departures of Mark Brickley and Fiona Ross from the College in such haste and in such opaque circumstances.

Following the sudden departure of Mr Brickley, at the end of October 2017, the College claimed that he had resigned for ‘personal reasons’, although the circumstances of his departure  have never been fully explained and were not recorded in the minutes of the relevant Board of Governors meeting. Following Brickley’s departure there have been persistent rumours, in College circles and in the local community, that the departure of the former Principal had less to do with ‘personal reasons’ and may have had much more to do with some form of serious misconduct in office.

It has become evident to the Grenfell Action Group that the interim Principal, Michelle Sutton is well aware of some of the allegations made against the former Principal and other  members of the College’s senior management team that surfaced through responses to a recent staff survey at the College. These concerns were recorded in the mintues from the KCC Governors Meeting held on 5th December 2016 and paint an alarming picture of low staff morale and poor leadership at this much loved educational establishment.Members of the Grenfell Action Group can only guess at the contents of the alleged ‘unprofessional responses’ made by staff members against various members of the senior management team but it hasn’t escaped our notice that the Interim Principal, Michelle Sutton, seems to have done her best to intimidate complainants into silence by strongly implying that their most serious allegations were ‘defamatory or libellous comments’.

Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis will know that the Grenfell Action Group do not normally publish content based only on rumour or hearsay and that all of our postings are backed up with authoritative corroborating evidence. For this reason we have not yet detailed the nature of the rumours that accompanied the sudden departure of Principal Mark Brickley and Deputy Principal Fiona Ross from KCC.  However, we have not shyed away from our efforts to reveal the truth behind the circumstances surrounding Mark Brickley’s departure from the College and we are now in a position to publish, with some confidence, further information that we have received in relation to this matter.

At a recent “Let’s Clear Some Air” community event organised by Rap23 at the Acklam Village a member of the Grenfell Action Group spoke with our local MP, Victoria Borwick, and a local Tory Councillor, Robert Freeman, who were both attending the event. We took this opportunity to speak to our elected representatives about the situation at KCC and asked Cllr Freeman to explain why the freehold for the College building had been purchased by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council and why the College appeared to be in crisis and facing such an uncertain future.

Cllr Freeman chose to answer these questions by stating that the College building was too large for it’s current student intake and that most of the students that now attend the College come from other London Boroughs and are no longer local. This response was then challenged by our representative who pointed out that the College is still vital to the educational well being of the North Kensington community and that the dire situation that the College finds itself in might be partly attributed to the behaviour of the ex Principal Mark Brickley. It was at this point that our MP, Victoria Borwick turned to Cllr Freeman and asked what was meant by this latter statement. Cllr Freeman responded thus; “Mark Brickley was the unfortunate man who put up those compromising photos”.

The Grenfell Action Group would not wish to overinterpret the statement above made by Cllr Freeman to our local Member of Parliament, and witnessed by others present at the event, but we would suggest that these words certainly hint that there might be more to the departure of Mark Brickley than has so far been revealed by the College.

We have been informed by KCC that Brickley resigned his position for ‘personal reasons’ but we strongly suspect that these ‘personal reasons’ may be related to the actions so tantalisingly referred to by Cllr Freeman at the Rap23 event. If we are correct, and KCC are attempting to cover-up serious professional misconduct by either Brickley or Ross, or even both, then we can be confident that the Information Commissioner will order KCC to release the documents that we have requested, and which they have so far witheld.

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Justice For The Craigavon Two -Fight This Miscarriage of Justice

Posted in Alex McGuigan, Belfast, campaigns, Collusion, Community, History, Human Rights, Imperialism, Internationalism, Internment, Ireland, Police brutality, Political prisoners, PR, PSNI/RUC, RUC/PSNI, Sectarianism, Solidarity, Stormont, Supergrass Trials, Sureveillance, The Craigavon Two with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

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By now the gross miscarriage of justice visited upon two men, John-Paul Wooton (who when arrested was merely 17 years of age) and Brendan McConville should be reverberating around the world.  Both were hastily arrested following the shooting of a member of the local paramilitary police force, the PSNI/RUC.  Both were held illegally over the maximum limit of time of detention for questioning that the British government supposedly legislates for.  Both men, during detention following arrest, at their trial and post-conviction, that saw them both imprisoned for life, have consistently denied any involvement in the ‘crime’ they have been accused of.  Add into the mix the significant involvement of the shady operatives of the British intelligence agencies, flawed electronic surveillance and highly dubious witnesses and we have all the ingredients of yet another ‘fitting up’ of Irish people by the British establishment seeking a hasty arrest and conviction for their satisfaction.

As we have seen in the not too distant past, the British judiciary who along with the Legislature and Executive constitute ‘Government’ in the so-called Liberal Democratic model, although supposedly independent of each other, they are very far from it, not least their use of Diplock political trials.  A casual glance at Hansard, where one can read Lord Denning’s legal opinion regarding overturning clear miscarriages of justices, in the following quote he is referring to the Birmingham Six:

“Just consider the course of events if this action is allowed to proceed to trial. If the six men fail it will mean much time and money will have been expended to no good purpose. If the six men win, it will mean that the police are guilty of perjury, that they are guilty of violence and threats, that the confessions were invented and improperly admitted in evidence and the convictions were erroneous.

“This is such an appalling vista that every sensible person in the land would say that it cannot be right that these actions should go any further.”

This attitude is still clearly prevalent within the British judiciary and structurally the British government, which in short means that it is better to have innocent people imprisoned than for the public to become aware of miscarriages of justice.  So much for Liberal-Democracy’s supposed in built ‘checks and balances!’

 

Justice For the Craigavon Two Website

Perhaps the best resource for learning more about the gross miscarriage of justice against young John-Paul Wooton and Brendan Mcconville is the excellent campaigning website Justice for the Craigavon Two which has excellent details regarding the entire case, the PSNI/RUC abuses, the deviant involvement of British intelligence agencies, the farce of a trial and the latest in the campaign to free these two innocent men.  I have included an article from the website in the form of a letter from The Craigavon Two, which everyone should read closely and please share this appeal from two innocent men:

We Are Innocent!

On the 30th of March 2012 we, Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wootton, were convicted, and sentenced to spend the rest of our lives in prison, for the fatal shooting of Constable Steven Carroll in Craigavon on the 9th of March 2010.

While We fully understanding and empathise with the grief of the Carroll family and with no desire to exacerbate that grief, we wish to take this opportunity to state publicly that we have been convicted of something that we had nothing to do with, we are innocent and we do not believe that we received a fair hearing at our trial under a diplock court.

Further to this we also believe that Justice Girvan erred in his judgement of the information presented and convicted us more on the emotional and political furore created by the case than on the evidence presented. For this reason we have instructed our legal teams to appeal our convictions.

This appeal will centre on the following pieces of evidential information that were never fully dealt with by Justice Girvan, they are;

  • The prosecutions’ key witness, witness M, despite having a prescribed impairment of his sight, claimed that he seen Brendan Mc Conville at a distance that would be medical impossible,
  • It took witness M almost a year to come forward with this information and since that date he has been given anonymity and provided for in protective custody.
  • Witness M’s eye-witness account described Brendan as wearing a coat of a different style and colour from that presented by the prosecution,
  • This coat, recovered within hours of the shooting, was dry yet the weather conditions at the time  were rainy,
  • The forensic examination of this coat and the fire-arm recovered after the shooting did not match,
  • Although multiple sources of DNA were found on the coat only Brendans’ were followed up on,
  • A tracking device that had allegedly been planted on John Paul’s car by MI5 and was used as evidence to place us at the scene of the shooting, went ‘missing’ for a period of time, only to be returned in an altered state and “with data missing”,
  • Although the assault rifle and several rounds of ammunition used in the shooting were recovered no forensic link was made with either of us.

In short a case that placed us at the scene and attributed any role to us was never made, let alone proven. Rather, because the PSNI/MI5 were under so much pressure to obtain a conviction, evidence was constructed and altered to ‘fit the case’ and not examined as pieces of information that could prove or disprove our innocence.

Hopefully this miscarriage of justice can be over turned at our appeal and this nightmare of suffering for us and our families ended. However, after the experience we have already had we do not have a great deal of confidence in the criminal justice system, hence, we are asking you, the public, to follow the course of our appeal and to see for yourself the manner in which information is dealt with and how ‘justice’ is being administered in your name. Let’s not wait 15 – 20 years to deal with a miscarriage of justice, let us do so now,

Yours

Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wootton.

Maghaberry Jail Co. Antrim

 

 

Please share, visit the campaign website and ask what you can do to help!  You could be next!

Alex Mcguigan

 

 

 

 

Operation Gladio in Ireland “Project Echoes”

Posted in Alex McGuigan, Bourgeoisie, campaigns, Censorship, Collusion, death squads, Imperialism, Internationalism, Ireland, Polarisation of the classes, Racism, Revisionism, RUC/PSNI, Sectarianism, State sponsored murder, SUMMARY EXECUTION, Sureveillance, Syria, Thatcher, zionism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars
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Operation Gladio Emblem

For those not familiar with Collusion and State sponsored murders in Ireland, Project Echoes was an alleged Operation Gladio linked secret joint venture involving Apartheid South Africa’s notorious Vlakplaas unit, Civil Co-operation Bureau (C.C.B), the RUC Special Branch, Armscor, Loyalist paramilitaries and members of the British security services. Some of the key players will be fairly well known, for instance Brian Nelson, British military intelligence’s Force Research Unit’s top agent and UDA chief intelligence officer. Project Echoes was just one of a series of Gladio-related operations in Ireland.

Other Project Echoes’ players from the South African Apartheid regime, such as ex-pat Loyalist, Charlie Simpson, Leon Flores, Eugene De Kock and Pamela Du Randt, will not be household names but they were key players in a murky world of collusion, torture, murder and international intrigue.  Former Tory MP, for Basingstoke, turned Paisleyite Democratic Unionist Party member, Andrew Hunter, who had long been in the pay of British intelligence, also figures prominently in the Project Echoes story.

An important part of the Project Echoes story, are the joint operations that resulted in the murders, or attempted murders, of exiled opponents of the Apartheid regime.  Arguably at the top of their hit-list was Dick Coetzee, a former hit-man for the Vlakplass unit, who ‘defected’ to the ANC in the late 1980s. Although, it should be stressed that Coetzee’s defection was more for self-preservation reasons, than any ideological conversion to anti-racism or multi-culturalism!

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Dulcie September, ANC Paris rep murdered by ‘Project Echoes’ operatives

Dirk Coetzee survived several assassination attempts, including one very near miss in London by a joint RUC/Loyalist paramilitary hit squad. Many others were not so lucky, including the ANC’s representative in France, Dulcie September, who was murdered by a similar squad in March 1988. A South African born academic, Adrian Guelke, who was a lecturer at Queens University, Belfast, was shot and badly injured by a pro-British loyalist hit-squad, in September 1991.  The unsuccessful murder bid occurred at his Fitzwilliam Street home, just off the Lisburn Road, in South Belfast. This attempted murder was a payment in kind to the Apartheid intelligence services by Loyalist paramilitaries based in Belfast and Mid-Ulster.

Another Irish academic, this time at the Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster, was also targeted several times by Loyalist paramilitaries at the behest of the Apartheid state. British military intelligence spooks linked to Project Echoes planted false stories in the media, wrongly linking the unfortunate lecturer to armed Republican groups in an attempt to primarily sabotage his career. Their other intention was to further raise his profile as a prospective target for assassination by pro-British Loyalist death squads.

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Paul Larkin in an expose on ‘Collusion’ and State sponsored murder in Ireland, has a chapter on the subject of Project Echoes in his book, A Very British Jihad. The Pat Finucane Centre and the Troops Out Movement also have some material on Project Echoes, which was available on their respective websites.

A name that constantly crops in all areas of this phase of the British Collusion project with Loyalist paramilitary terrorists is Irish born ex-pat, Charlie Simpson. Simpson, was a Loyalist paramilitary and British intelligence asset who served with units of the then Rhodesian Special Forces and later in Apartheid South Africa’s dirty world of state sponsored murder. In many respects, Simpson seems to have been the link man during key stages of Project Echoes, having accumulated years of specialist military training and indoctrination into the far-Right values of the various organs of the Apartheid state.

At some stage, hopefully, there will be a more in depth, comprehensive insight published into the foul and murky world of British state collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries and the murders of Irish citizens, often at the behest of foreign intelligence agencies. These brutal sectarian murders often occurred at the behest of reactionary, true Rogue States, such as Apartheid South Africa and Israel or as payment in kind for receiving military ordinance or training.

Paul Larkin’s book mentions assassination attempts on Apartheid South African dissidents and even London Mayoral candidate, Ken Livingstone, by joint RUC/UVF death-squads exported to London and guaranteed safe passage back to the North of Ireland. These contract murder attempts, at the behest of Apartheid South Africa, involved the late Loyalist Godfather and British security service asset, Billy King Rat Wright and Mid-Ulster RUC Special Branch members. The attempted hit on Ken Livingstone, was planned to take place as he made his way to work on the tube, to the then Greater London Council’s Headquarters.

Project Echoes remains an element of state-sponsored collusion that has largely escaped the glare of publicity and for many in this supposed era of so-called ‘new dispensation’, it will be an inconvenient truth.  Mid-Ulster, since the first years of the post-1969 period of conflict referred to as The Troubles, has always been at the heart of collusion between British state agencies and Loyalist paramilitaries. In many ways, that particular area of the north of Ireland, with it’s blurred lines between policing, British military intelligence and Loyalism, functioned as an open air, counter-insurgency laboratory.  It can therefore be no surprise, that some of the North’s most prolific and most protected Loyalist serial murderers originated in Mid-Ulster, for instance, Robin the Jackal Jackson and Billy King Rat Wright. The details of Project Echoes may never be fully exposed and like all dirty state secrets concerning British collusion in Ireland, the British government although clearly culpable, will censor, obstruct and frustrate those who seek the truth.

(I originally published a shorter version of this article in 2010 under the pseudonym ‘Iskra’ which was later shared by the Revolutionary Communist Party of Great Britain/Marxist Leninist’s website)

Alex McGuigan

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The New Improved Supergrass System – Update

Posted in 'Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, 'The Troubles, Alex McGuigan, Anti Fascism, Collusion, Haggarty, Supergrass Trials, UVF with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

UVF Supergrass paid perjurer Gary ‘Cow Head’ Haggarty

by Alex McGuigan

(Updated October 2014)

The northern statelet’s recent unrolling of a new ‘improved’ version of the so-called ‘Supergrass’ legislation, officially termed the ‘Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005‘ after over 25 years gathering dust on the statute books, should be a cause of concern for Republicans, Socialists and activists of all hues possessed of a sense of history combined with an understanding of what constitutes the new ‘improved’ form of normalisation or Ulsterisation.

Gary Haggarty – UVF Supergrass Extraordinaire

It would be extreme folly to suspect that the new Supergrass legislation will solely be used against Loyalist paramilitaries such as the Stewart brothers or the much more promising, from a prosecution perspective, Gary Haggarty, an alleged former UVF Godfather turned supergrass, who faces up to 212 charges, including five murders.  However,  depending on Haggarty’s ‘performance’ in the witness box when denouncing  his former close friends and comrades,  is unlikely to ever spend anything like an appropriate sentence in prison jail on conviction.   According to The Belfast Daily News, Haggarty is:

a UVF brigadier who is ready to bring the house down on the organisation’s leadership was amazingly granted bail today.  However, Gary Haggarty was warned by a magistrate not to reveal the details of his location as part of his bail conditions.  The 40-year-old is the most senior UVF figure to agree to turn Queen’s Evidence against his former paramilitary leaders. Among those he has named to police for being involved in the UVF leadership include:

* brigadier-in-chief John ‘Bunter’ Graham;

* Shankill brigadier and Shorts Bombardier worker ‘Harmless’ Harry Stockman.”

Those within the recently expanded constitutional nationalist community who seemed to welcome the last Supergrass show-trial, primarily due to the fact that it has been utilized against UVF death-squad members and the publicity surrounding the forthcoming Gary Haggerty supergrass trial, displayed regrettable political myopia, not to mention serious amnesia.   There also appears to be glaring selective amnesia from a more prominent source, notably the new Supergrass system’s chief proponent, Public Prosecutions Service (PPS) supremo, and former defence lawyer, Barra McGrory, whose late father represented scores of ‘Supergrass’ defendants in the 1980’s.

The bullet proof dock at Belfast Crown Court during the 2012 UVF Supergrass trial

Background To The Use of ‘Supergrasses’

Between 1981 and December 1985 close to 30 paid perjurers or so-called “Supergrasses” were induced to give evidence against over 600 INLA, Provisional IRA and Loyalist defendants.
In the first of the Supergrass trials, involving UVF member Joe Bennett and Provisional IRA members Christopher Black and Kevin McGrady, 90% of defendants were found guilty on the word of their alleged former ‘comrades, while 75% of those who were found guilty were convicted without any supporting or corroborative evidence.

Despite the best efforts of the RUC combined with all the weight of the northern statelet acting in their habitually zealous supportive roles, publicly pushing the concept of the “converted terrorist”, the system eventually fell apart some two years later.  Appeal Court judges, their hands forced by international jurisprudence, global human rights pressure groups and the sterling efforts of some of the best lawyers employed by the defendants, overturned convictions that had been secured solely without corroborative evidence.

Republican Socialists suffered disproportionately due to the ‘Supergrass’ system, with scores of IRSM activists imprisoned on the words of a series of paid perjurers.  The well-documented repercussions of the Harry Kirkpatrick Supergrass trial almost proved fatal for the entire Republican Socialist Movement, with one of the first victims of the state-induced counter-revolutionaries being the late Ta Power, who held the distinction of being the longest serving remand prisoner in legal history.  The Harry Kirkpatrick Supergrass trial saw 25 Republican Socialists jailed for lengthy sentences in December, 1985, on the word of a paid perjurer.  However, over a year later the vast majority of those imprisoned on Kirkpatrick’s evidence walked free on appeal and in effect, this saw the entire discredited ‘Supergrass system’ being shelved.

 

However, by 2009,  the previously shelved Supergrass legislation was dusted down and a new ‘improved’ version of the legislation was first tested on a small scale to convict mid-Ulster Loyalist sociopath Steven Brown (also known as Steven Revels) where his former co-accused, Mark Burcombe, agreed to give evidence against him.  The defendant’s appeal was later refused by the Appeal Court and it is thought that this signaled the legal precedent and proverbial green light, for a much more extensive use of the Supergrass system being implemented in the north of Ireland’s courts, as was seen in the last full UVF Supergrass trial, involving the supposedly religiously converted Stewart brothers giving evidence against their former Loyalist death-squad members from behind bullet proof screens.

INLA “Supergrass” Harry Kirrkpatrick who would now be nearly 60

The New Improved Paid Perjurer System

Unlike the previous Supergrass system, the new so-called ‘Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA)’ where those giving evidence are legally referred to as “assisting offenders”, new style Supergrasses are not officially granted ‘immunity’ but are legally guaranteed to serve a significantly reduced sentence which invariably will not involve any substantial prison time.  In effect, this partly amounts to what happened to many supergrasses from the 1980’s period, who were held in a special, allegedly cushy ‘Supergrass unit’ of the Crumlin Road Prison where access to alcohol and conjugal visits were the norm, until such times as they gave evidence at the trial of their former comrades.  However, in the new tweaked Supergrass system, those prepared to give evidence against former associates or comrades, are legally bound to proverbially sing for their supper, with any retraction of agreed evidence (as happened regularly in the 1980’s, with many ‘retracted-Supergrasses’ walking free) leading to a return to court and a re-sentencing to much harsher terms of imprisonment.  The Stewart brothers’ poorly rendered ‘singing for their supper’ was seen to have been seriously out of tune with their handlers’ expectations, leading the PPS to state that they were almost certainly considering that the Stewart brothers “knowingly failed to give assistance” which negated their part in the SOCPA deal. The PPS, headed up by former defence lawyer, Barra McGrory, officially stated:

“Section 74 (2) of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 provides the mechanism to examine whether an assisting offender has knowingly failed to give assistance in accordance with the agreement with the prosecutor. The PPS is actively considering this in light of Mr Justice Gillen’s judgement.”

No Jury, No Justice and now No Right To Silence!

What certainly has not changed since the 1980’s Supergrass system is that political trials in the north of Ireland are still not afforded the legal safeguard of a jury. Lecturer in Law at the University of Ulster, Mary O’Rawe, stated that:

“Many of the same concerns that stalked and ultimately resulted in the shelving of the use of such evidence in the early 1980s, still attend the current process.

What certainly has changed since the Supergrass trials of the early 1980’s, is that unlike the legislation of that period, when suspects were afforded the ‘right to remain silent’ during interrogation, this has now been factually removed under the “Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1988” and the later “Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2009/”.  This legislation allows ‘adverse inferences’ to be drawn by a Diplock trial judges when considering a verdict, based on a defendant’s failure to mention something prior to being charged with an offence that they may later seek to use in their subsequent defence.

Implications for political activists opposed to the status quo

Like every repressive legislative measure enacted by the state, it will undoubtedly be used at a time of their choosing against those who seek to challenge the status quo, whether they be Irish Republican Socialist activists, traditional Republican armed groups, anti-Capitalist protesters or even militant trade unionists.  With the current crisis in Capitalism allowing states to introduce much more draconian measures to screw the working-class, one can be sure that the iron fist of repression is being prepared to both legally and if need be, extra-judicially, crush any serious oppositional fight back.  As was very publicly exposed in England, with the infamous entrapment and agent provocateur case involving undercover cop-gone-native-Mark Kennedy, it is not just’the usual suspects such as Irish Republicans who the state will use extensive legal and illegal resources to repress.  Accordingly, non-violent groups, such as environmentalist pressure groups or in effect, any group that dissents, however mildly, from the status quo could potentially find themselves the latest defendants in a trial under the new Supergrass legislation.

supergrass 02

Joint Republican and Loyalist protest against ‘Supergrass’ system of using paid informers

Ironically, it was during the previous Supergrass era of the early 1980’s that Republicans and Loyalists took part in rare joint protests against the use of paid perjurers in the north of Ireland. Irish Republican Socialists are right to point out the injustice of the new ‘improved’ Supergrass system on principle, irrespective of who it’s latest victims are, not least because history has shown us how easily the same repressive measures may be aimed directly at ourselves, when deemed politically expedient by the forces of reaction and the armed guardians of the state.

Many may think it equally ironic, that a former defence lawyer whose  late father, Paddy McGrory, would have been one of the most vociferous  critics of the original Supergrass system, is now it’s chief proponent and public apologist but others, better-versed in the anomalies of the Irish dialectic, rightly would adhere to United Irishmen leader, Henry Joy McCracken’s oft quoted assertion that when it becomes politically and financially advantageous for the petit-bourgeoisie:

“The rich will always betray the poor!”

Henry Joy McCracken

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

INLA Volunteers Ronnie Bunting and Noel Little’s Anniversary

Posted in Collusion, IRSM, Noel Little, Ronnie Bunting on October 15, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

Ronnie Bunting was a founder member of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, which included both the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). He was brutally murdered in the early hours of the 15th of October, 1980, shot dead along with his friend and comrade, Noel Little, by a pro-British death-squad. Ronnie Bunting’s wife, Suzanne, was also shot and seriously injured during attack on their Downfine Gardens home, in the Gransha area of West Belfast.

History and early political background

Ronnie Bunting was a living example of the non-sectarian, secular nature and universal appeal of Irish Republican Socialism. Ronnie was from a northern Protestant background and indeed his father, Major Ronald Bunting, although at one time Gerry Fitt’s election agent, later became closely and publicly associated with Ian Paisley and the extreme right-wing politics of Ulster Unionism. In spite of his father’s association with reactionary Loyalism, Ronnie Bunting became involved with the revolutionary socialist, Peoples Democracy group, while studying for a BA honours degree at Queens University Belfast. He eventually joined the Official IRA in 1970, who at that time were a leftist alternative to the narrow nationalism of the Provisionals. It must be remembered, that within the Official IRA, at that juncture, were the genus of what would later become the Irish Republican Socialist Movement. By this stage Ronnie Bunting’s revolutionary activism had come to the attentions of the RUC’s Special Branch and he was interned without trial in Long Kesh concentration camp from 1971 until 1973. At one stage he was the only Protestant internee in Long Kesh but for Ronnie Bunting and like minded comrades, denominational differences were irrelevant.

Ronnie Bunting and the Irish Republican Socialist Movement

Ronnie Bunting was among the revolutionary Republican Socialists who disagreed with the Official IRA’s ceasefire of 1972, their reformist direction and their adherence to stage-ism, which was eventually to see the Stickies embrace the 6 county statelet. He was among the militant comrades of Seamus Costello, who were eventually expelled alongside him, from both the Official IRA and Official Sinn Fein/Republican Clubs.

When the Irish Republican Socialist Party and the Irish National Liberation Army were founded in 1974, following the inaugural convention at the Spa Hotel, Lucan, Ronnie Bunting was an enthusiastic founding member. Although not a named member of the IRSP’s 1974 Temporary National Executive, he was soon elected to the party’s Ard-Comhairle. Ronnie Bunting held senior positions in the INLA, including, reportedly, Chief of Staff, during the last two years of his life.

In the turbulent times of the fledgling years of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, Ronnie Bunting was a deadly enemy of British imperialism. Shamefully, his former comrades in the Official IRA passed his personal details to Loyalist paramilitaries and publicly named him in their newspaper as a leading member of the INLA. Loyalist paramilitaries from the UVF named Ronnie Bunting as a ‘Trotskyist’ and ‘a renegade Protestant’ in their publication Combat and made no secret of the fact that he was their number one target for assassination . The Loyalist’s use of the Trotskyist term to describe Ronnie Bunting, was almost certainly an indication that their source for information on him came from the Officials. The Official IRA (or Stickies, as they were colloquially referred to) who had by then descended into their terminal counter-revolutionary trajectory and made several serious attempts to murder Bunting, including shooting him in the neck while at the wheel of his car in Belfast.

Ronnie Bunting became active in the Relatives Action Committees which subsequently became known as the Smash H-Block/Armagh Committees . He worked tirelessly to highlight the plight of the protesting Republican prisoners in the H-Blocks, irrespective of their organisational allegiance. Unfortunately, Ronnie Bunting’s adherence to broad front politics was not matched by elements within the Provisionals, who having largely watched from the sidelines as the RAC’s gained momentum and effectiveness, later tried to exclude Republican Socialists from platforms and committees.

On the military front, as reportedly Chief of Staff of the INLA, Ronnie Bunting’s name was, rightly or wrongly, linked to the spectacular assassination of Airey Neave, within the heavily guarded palace of Westminster. Neave, an extreme right-wing ally of Margaret Thatcher, was tipped to have become the secretary of state for the occupied 6 counties in the next Tory government and had threatened to re-introduce mass internment without trial. The INLA prevented that from becoming a reality.

The State Sponsored Murder of two Revolutionaries

The murder of Ronnie Bunting and his comrade Noel Lyttle, can not be viewed in isolation. Certainly, Ronnie Bunting was high on the Thatcher regime’s hit-list and it is rumoured that she may have held him personally responsible for the assassination of her fellow ultra-right wing Tory, Airey Neave. However, Ronnie Bunting’s murder, along with his comrade, Noel Little, was one of a series of murders of some of the most able and articulate Irish Republican Socialists and H-Block activists, who included the senior IRSP member, Miriam Daly, IIP leader, John Turnley,and the attempted murder of Bernadette Mcaliskey and her husband, in Tyrone.

Suzanne Bunting, Ronnie’s grieving widow, who despite being seriously injured by the pro-British death-squad who had just murdered her husband, recounted that the murderers wore military type clothing and acted with military discipline. Furthermore, the Bunting home was in the heart of Republican West Belfast and for any Pro-British death-squad to operate in that area would have required state collusion in the murders, at the very least, to clear a safe zone for the killers in an area usually bristling with British army and RUC checkpoints and patrols.

The murder of Ronnie Bunting by a pro-British death-squad at the age of just 32, deprived his wife Suzanne of a loving husband and his three young children of a father. The Irish Republican Socialist Movement were deprived of one of their most dedicated, articulate and able revolutionaries. The IRSP’s magazine the Starry Plough said:

“Ronnie Bunting and Noel Lyttle died as they lived – as revolutionary socialist republicans murdered in a conspiracy hatched by the combined military forces of British Imperialism in the Six Counties. The unashamed grief and sense of loss shown in Belfast’s Milltown Cemetery last weekend is doubtless mirrored by gloating satisfaction in British militarist and other reactionary circles in these islands. But in Pearse’s historic phrase, they are fools. They understand neither the commitment that drove Ronnie Bunting and Noel Lyttle nor the inspiration that their example – in life as well as death – provides and will continue to provide to countless other Irish men and women.”

Present day Irish Republican Socialists should always remember and commemorate the lives of their fallen comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of an Irish workers Republic and draw inspiration from their example. Ronnie Bunting, the Marxist revolutionary and INLA guerrilla leader, was too deadly and dynamic an enemy of imperialism, for the forces of reaction to allow him to live. Like Ta Power, Ronnie Bunting was the epitome of the Republican Socialist revolutionary.

“They can kill the revolutionary but not the revolution!”

A Very British Jihad by Paul Larkin

Posted in Collusion, Imperialism, State sponsored murder on October 14, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

A Very British Jihad: Collusion, Conspiracy and Cover-up in Northern Ireland by Paul Larkin

Review

A Very British Jihad: Collusion, Conspiracy and Cover-up in Northern Ireland ranks as one of the best ever exposes of state-sponsored murder in Ireland available on the market, written by award winning journalist Paul Larkin, a former producer of the BBC’s Spotlight current affairs programme. A Very British Jihad is 300 odd pages of compulsive reading for anyone with even the most casual interest in Irish affairs. The author comes across as a decent, honest human being whose role as Truthseeker led him to some very dark and sinister places within the British colonial establishment’s so-called Counter-terrorism community. The title refers to the undercover war, fought with almost religious zeal by the British occupational forces in Ireland and their ‘Loyalist’ allies.

A Very British Jihad delves into a murky world of spooks, agents, Loyalist bosses and a plethora of British government sanctioned sectarian murder, where the blurred edges of their dubious morality was refracted by much smoke and splintered mirrors. It’s 22 chapters surpass anything thrown up in Martin Dillon’s’The Dirty War’, which always struck me as merely hinting at collusion , in a very timid fashion. Paul Larkin builds a much more solid construct of British state-collusion in sectarian murder, which compliments and even surpasses Sean McPhelimy’s groundbreaking ‘The Committee.’

Larkin begins his book with his arrival on the Belfast political journalistic scene, where he meets his first Loyalist/military contact, the closet homosexual taxi driver and shady part-time UDR soldier ‘Howard, ‘ literally before he even exits the cab he had hailed from the city’s Central station.  In the following chapters Larkin interviews the late Billy ‘King Rat’Wright in his ultra-camp, yet fortress-like home in Portadown. As Larkin narrates, readers are left in no doubt that Wright was the epitome of the ‘British Jihadist’.

The author meets a brace of assorted Unionist paramilitaries, spies, touts ,Special Branch men, ‘Stickies’, South African Apartheid-era hit-men and bizarrely, the UDR on ‘peacekeeping’ duty in Bosnia plus many other assorted and unsavoury characters. Even the most streetwise and politically savvy readers will feel like they have sampled a parallel world, where the lights are constantly dimmed and there are no friendly faces for the likes of us or anyone else to the Left of Eugene Terreblanche.

The chapter “A very fine Soldier” deals with British infantryman Cameron Hastie’s trial for involvement in a state-sponsored murder conspiracy and his subsequent unduly lenient sentence. Larkin devotes several chapters to pro-British death squad boss, the late Billy ‘King Rat’ Wright . (Billy Rat was later spectacularly assassinated by the INLA while still held in Long Kesh prison camp.) The late Marty O’Hagan, the Sunday World journalist assassinated by Billy Wright’s LVF, gets numerous positive mentions in Larkin’s book. The author reveals how Jim McDowell, the Northern editor of the Sunday World, effectively handed several pages of the Northern edition over to the then mid-Ulster UVF and Billy Wright, to clarify their threats against his exiled colleague, Martin O’Hagan! These dubious actions by McDowell were doubly ironic, as the late Martin O’Hagan read of the UVF”s clarification’ in his own newspaper, while he was in hiding in Cork under threat from Wright’s paramilitary gang who eventually made good on their very public threat to the investigative journalist in September 2001.  O’Hagan passed Wright’s Special Branch ‘codename’ to Larkin and it is exclusively disclosed in Larkin’s book as “Bertie”

Another chapter “Sticking to their Guns” deals with the Workers Party’s not so secret links to the Official IRA and Larkin narrates of a very close shave with already media angered Sticks during an encounter at their now, raised to the ground, Twinbrook social club.

Copies of Paul Larkin’s excellent expose A Very British Jihad are now retailing at between £90 to £110 used on Amazon, presumably this meteoric rise in value from it’s original retail price of £10.99 is because it has gone out of print. Hopefully A Very British Jihad will sometime soon be available at less extortionate prices. Anyone who has a copy should treasure it as it is an invaluable insight into the neo-Kitsonian collusion model that few of us get to understand concisely.

Readers are left in no doubt that all Republicans and numerous apolitical Catholics were targetted by a British state-sponsored murder machine. All it took was a name to be entered into the ‘system’ on the most spurious of suspicions at a British military checkpoint or a sighting in the supposed ‘wrong company’, for the gears of a Kitsonian sectarian murder-machine to rotate into action. In the not too distant past, many people only knew they had been included in that murderous ‘project’ when it was much too late and the state-sponsored Loyalist murder gangs had departed, leaving splintered door frames and shattered lives.

In conclusion, A Very British Jihad should be compulsory reading for anyone wishing to scratch beneath the surface of ‘authorised’ and revisionist versions of the period of Anglo-Irish conflict popularly known as ‘The Troubles’ Larkin’s book exposes the British counter-insurgency ‘jihadists’, which the establishment unleashed in post-1969 Ireland and leaves the reader in no doubt of their hidden hand in a plethora of Loyalist paramilitary murders.  High profile victims of collusion such as human rights lawyers, Pat Finucane or Rosemary Nelson were merely the tip of the iceberg, a brief glance at the ‘Collusion Wall’ on Beechmount Avenue, Belfast will give readers an insight into the number of victims of British imperialism’s victims throughout the height of the recent Anglo-Irish conflict.

Miriam Daly Irish Republican Socialist Martyr

Posted in 'The Troubles, Alex McGuigan, Armed Struggle, Belfast, Class Solidarity, Collusion, Commemoration, Community, death squads, Dublin IRSP, Fallen Comrades, Feminism, History, Human Rights, Hunger Strikes, Imperialism, INLA, International socialism, Internationalism, Internment, Ireland, Irish National Liberation Army, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSCNA, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Long kesh, Loyalism, Miriam Daly, Murals, Police brutality, Political prisoners, Primacy of politics, Proletariat, PSNI/RUC, Ronnie Bunting, RUC/PSNI, Seamus Costello, Sectarianism, Socialism, Solidarity, State sponsored murder, Thatcher, The founding of the IRSM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

Miriam Daly, an Irish Republican Socialist activist, was callously murdered in her home in Andersonstown, West Belfast, shot dead by a pro-British death-squad on the 26th June, 1980.  She was a founding member of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement a dedicated Republican activist and a highly qualified academic who at the time of her brutal murder by the armed agents of imperialism was a much respected lecturer at Queens University Belfast (QUB) Department of Economic and Social History.

Miriam’s Background

Miriam Daly grew up in Dublin in the South-East of Ireland, attended University College Dublin (UCD) as both an undergraduate then a postgraduate student and subsequently became a member of the academic staff, lecturing in Economic History. Miriam’s first husband, Dr Joseph Lee died tragically of a heart attack aged only 37, leaving Miriam a young widow. Some years later she met and eventually married Jim Daly, a fellow Republican Socialist, university lecturer and lifelong partner. By 1968 both Miriam and Jim Daly had secured lectureship posts at Queens University Belfast (QUB) just as the Civil Rights movement was gaining public momentum. Miriam Daly became active in the struggle for civil rights and as a gifted orator became a publicly prominent spokesperson. Ironically, due to the very real threat of assassination by Loyalist paramilitaries the Daly’s had to move from their home in the then largely Unionist Stranmillis area of South Belfast near QUB, to the perceived safety of Andersonstown in Republican West Belfast.

As a founding member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party Miriam Daly was elected chairperson of the IRSP following the murderous assassination of the IRSP’s co-founder,Seamus Costello. Miriam and her husband Jim were very active in the burgeoning H-Block/Armagh Committees and were tireless workers on behalf of all Irish Republican prisoners. Miriam Daly would have been particularly prominent in the H-Block campaign and would have become a household name as one of the campaign’s most articulate spokespersons and advocates on behalf of the H-Blocks’ Republican POW’s.

 The Murder of Miriam Daly

The brutal murder of Miriam Daly by a British military death-squad can not be viewed in isolation, as her particularly callous assassination was part of a very definite state-sponsored murder campaign targeting Irish Republican Socialist Party members and H-Blocks campaigners. Articulate IRSP leaders and/or Republican prisoners’ campaigners such as Miriam Dally, Ronnie Bunting, Noel Lyttle and John Turnley were all brutally murdered within a short period of time. IRSP co-founder and H-Block campaigner, Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey and her husband were also critically wounded by a pro-British death-squad. Countless other activists were targeted in concerted attempts to silence the most able advocates of Irish freedom.

The British death-squad gunmen who callously murdered Miriam Daly bound the mother of 3 and then waited at her home in Andersonstown hoping to also murder her husband Jim who they were expecting to return from work. However, on that tragic day, June 26th 1980, Jim was in Dublin attending a German language course and it is assumed that when the British death-squad realised that he would not be returning they shot Miriam dead before making good their escape. The Daly children discovered their murdered mother when they returned from school and it can only be imagined how traumatic and heartbreaking an experience that was for the young Dalys.

Just as with the murders of Miriam Daly’s comrades Ronnie Bunting and Noel Lyttle, the death-squad’s modus operandi was that of a British military undercover gangs. They murdered M/s Daly in the heart of Belfast’s largest Republican area, Andersonstown and even waited for some time in the Daly home hoping to murder her husband, Jim. The British death-squad carried out their foul deed in the safe knowledge that, at the very least, the uniformed British military who would normally have been very much in evidence in West Belfast were giving them safe passage both in and out of the area.

Jim Daly, Miriam’s grieving husband, was certain of collusion and the hidden hand of British military involvement in her murder. Jim said of his beloved wife and comrade:

“She came very much to the notice of agencies that were poking their noses in here, for sure. That’s why she was targeted. She had a tremendous energy and never stopped. People called her in the middle of the night to come to an RUC station to help out, while relatives would phone her to find out where their loved ones were. She never stopped. It was amazing how much dedication she had. She was always upbeat and confident and optimistic. If there is an opposite to demoralise, she moralised people.”

As her funeral cortege passed her home in Andersonstown four members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) fired a volley of shots in tribute to Miriam Daly, the Irish Republican Socialist Party activist, the Irish National Liberation Army guerrilla, the H-Block activist, the university lecturer, the wife and the mother!

Miriam Daly is buried in Swords, County Dublin. Irish Republican Socialist martyrs like Miriam Daly who made the ultimate sacrifice will always be remembered and commemorated by her comrades. Miriam Daly’s image appears on IRSM commemorative plaques, murals and her name is inscribed on the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM) memorial stone in Milltown cemetery, Belfast. One of West Belfast’s best known and most striking wall murals on Oakman Street in the Beechmount area commemorates Miriam Daly and was actually painted by her son, Donal, along with others.

Many people who often pass the striking mural dedicated to Miriam Daly, the author included, will think of one of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement’s most outstanding comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle for national liberation and socialism. It should be remembered that Miriam Daly had a successful career as a university lecturer and she could quite understandably have chosen to immerse herself solely in the infinitely safer world of academia but instead Miriam chose to fight for human rights and the Irish Socialist Republic envisaged by James Connolly. Being a Republican Socialist activist in those intense and dangerous days was not an easy path to choose as the full weight of the murderous British military industrial complex was ranged against those who dared oppose imperialism. Miriam Daly was one of those courageous Republican Socialists who defied Britannia’s iron grip on Ireland and she sadly and tragically paid for her brave resistance with her life. Today’s Republican Socialist activists are determined that Miriam Daly’s sacrifice will not be erased by the historical revisionism, currently being pushed by imperialism’s lackeys and it’s fellow travellers. The Miriam Daly mural prophetically bears the inscription:

“History is written by the winner.”

Miriam Daly’s widowed husband Jim Daly elucidated further on the well known quote at a commemoration remembering the 25th anniversary of Miriam Daly’s murder:

“This year, on the 25th anniversary of Miriam’s death I feel there is at least one thing I can do, and that is to restate an important message she never tired of repeating. It was: to beware of and shun so-called “conflict resolution” the alleged academic discipline which is in fact an imperialist confidence trick.” 

Miriam Daly the INLA Volunteer, the political activist, the esteemed academic, the loving wife and mother who was gunned down by the forces of British imperialism will never be forgotten by her comrades in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement and even in death remains an exemplary model for today’s young activists who follow bravely in her footsteps!

miriam daly

 

Alex McGuigan

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