Archive for Human Rights

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,
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Illusion of Justice: Inside Making A Murderer and America’s Broken System by Jerry Buting

Posted in Making A Murderer, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

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Jerry Buting’s Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America’s Broken System should be compulsory reading for all US citizens.  It is important reading by virtue of the fact that one in ten US citizens are currently incarcerated, via that broken system, in the security-industrial complex’s ever growing Gulag Archipelago.  Jerry’s book is not simply a one-dimensional insider view of the groundbreaking Making a Murderer docu-series that made most of us angry and appalled at the blatant miscarriage of justice visited upon Steven Avery, despite the best efforts of his erudite, indomitable lawyers, Jerry Buting and Dean Strang.  However, any fan of the Netflix docus-eries will find it invaluable reading, revealing many crucial details that did not make it onto the series, not least the near pugilistic meeting in Judge Willis’ chambers with one of the real villains of the piece, District Attorney Ken Kratz.

Jerry Buting’s Illusion of Justice is in part biographical, part case studies, including those of Steve Avery and Brendan Dassey and of others who were hastily arrested, then subsequently convicted on the most dubious of evidence and the long, hard struggle to prove their innocence.  Interwoven throughout each compelling thread from the first Uppercase letter to the last Period is Jerry’s very rational, very compelling indictment of the USA’s criminal justice system:

“So many courts and officials ducked their duties and kept these men incarcerated that we are only kidding ourselves if we say that these cases prove the system fixes it’s own mistakes.  That is the illusion of justice.”

One does not need any personal experience or direct link to the criminal law system to understand Jerry’s thesis in Illusion of Justice as it is very much legalese-free, with what little legal terminology used being adequately explained by the author.  The reader may come away feeling that their misplaced faith in the equity of the Judicial component of their Government has been rocked, while others may have their own bleak experiences within the so-called justice system very much affirmed.  Every reasonable person, irrespective of jurisdiction, will have no doubt after reading Illusion of Justice that the book’s title is tragically apt and that Jerry is a proactive advocate for the rights of the wretched of the earth who by lack of means are overwhelmed and/or buried by the broken justice system.  Likewise, no-one will be in any doubt that access to anything vaguely resembling ‘justice’ is rarely available to those who are indigent or of modest means.  Illusion of Justice clearly illustrates Jerry’s passsion for the rights of the many who are marginalised and brutalised by a class-based pejorative legal system that effectively functions exclusively for those who would have great difficulty fitting through the eye of a needle.

There will be no doubt in anyone’s mind, including even the myre of Ken Kratz’s psyche, that Jerry Buting has always believed in the innocence of Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey and has not faltered in his efforts to keep their cause in the public domain, both before and after the groundbreaking Netflix docu-series.  Jerry’s cause is not limited to just two defendants, he seeks to effect real change in a broken system and he is in it for the long run:

“…in my work as criminal defence lawyer, I still cover long distances.  Yes, some cases are sprints, or middle distances.  Yet in others, getting justice is a journey that spans decades.  Once I get started, I keep going.  It turns out that there is really no choice”

Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America’s Broken System by Jerome F Buting can be purchased on Amazon.com via this link or through Amazon.co.uk and at most book shops.  Jerry is a shareholder in the Buting, Williams & Stilling, SC, law firm in Brookfield, Wisconsin and also has a Twitter account where one can get a variety of snapshots of his legal work, life and worldview.

DEFENCE-LAWYER-JERRY-BUTING

Reporter (2007): So do you think there’s a killer out there that the police have not caught?

Jerry Buting: Absolutely, I mean, that’s been our position all Along!

 (Illusion of Justice: Inside Making A Murderer And America’s Broken system)

By
Alex McGuigan, Belfast

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 Six Counties at Queens University Belfast in the mid-1990′s, where he flirted with campus politics and tried unsuccessfully to enter the fairly security-conscious 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 ‘slum 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 discredited and 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, Helium etc he has continued with his deviant and defamatory behaviour patterns. Ever the misogynist, he has created numerous blogs spewing bile at a respected female journalist and author, Susan McKay, who recently wrote about his antecedents in the print media.  McKenna can still be found online serializing his Walter Mitty tales of imagined Irish Republican military involvement (which have all the lack of credibility of the very worst nadir of  Troubles Fiction).  Vincent McKenna, the convicted paedophile and former pro-Imperialist agent 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’ looking into 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..

Exclusive Interview with American Filmmaker and Screenwriter David Dinning

Posted in 'The Troubles, Alex McGuigan, Anti Fascism, Ardoyne, Belfast, Human Rights, Internationalism, Racism, RUC/PSNI, Sectarianism, Supremacist Parades, UVF with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

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Today this site  has the pleasure of  featuring an interview with Chicago-based Filmmaker, Screenwriter and published author, David Dinning.  David has been a frequent visitor to Ireland, has an in depth knowledge of it’s history and the contemporary political situation.  His forthcoming documentary, with the working title ‘The North’, focuses significantly on the supremacism of the Loyal Orders, their historical role as a bulwark against working-class solidarity and Ireland’s struggle for independence.  David’s forthcoming documentary also examines the Loyal Orders’ contemporary role in forcing their militaristic marches through Irish Catholic areas, where they cause maximum offence to residents, such as in Ardoyne, where their supremacist parading has been accompanied by serious violence in many previous years.  ‘The North’ furthermore examines the Northern Irelands Civil Rights Association’s mild demands for universal franchise and an end to Gerrymandering in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, ideologically based on the non-violent doctrine of Dr Martin Luther King Junior’s campaign for equality for Black people in the USA, yet they were met with police riots and eventually the Bloody Sunday Massacre in 1972 that saw 14 peaceful protesters murdered in cold blood, with scores seriously injured by the British Parachute Regiment using live rounds.

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Alex:  Just starting from scratch, can you introduce yourself telling readers where you are from, a little about yourself and explaining your mode of journalism/writing/production/directing?

David: My name is David Dinning. I live in Chicago. I started writing late in life. I use the three act structure whether it’s a book or screenplay. Documentary modes can be broken down into six types, seven if you use a mix of modes. The six are; Poetic, Expository, Observational, Participatory, Reflexive, and Performance. I use a mix mode of story telling. To me documentary film is an important way of depicting things as they are, exposing a great lie or an injustice, to look behind the curtain. They can and do have a point of view.

 Alex:  You are obviously extremely well acquainted with Irish History and contemporary Irish politics, can you tell our readers where this knowledge and interest originated and was nurtured from?

 David:  As a kid I spent my summers on my grandfather’s farm in Kentucky. The small town nearby was settled by Scots Irish families from Derry in the 18th century. One year at a family funeral I learned from my cousin that my great great … grandfather was the Grand Sheriff of Derry between 1699-1701. She gave me a book on the Siege of Derry. I started to read more. I wanted to know more. I went back to the death of Queen Elizabeth, then forward in time. I spent a lot of time on the Siege of Derry and that time period, then went forward through the 1798 rebellion and beyond. I became hooked. I read everything I could get my hands on. It also tied into a screenplay I was writing at the time. I’ve made eight trips to Ireland since 2009. It was then after my first stay in Derry that I decided to make the Documentary.

 Alex:  The last time we met was two years ago on the 12th of July, when we had a cup of coffee before you travelled to Ardoyne to cover the Orange supremacist violence, following the Parades  Commission ruling that the Orange Order could not march via Ardoyne on their return journey on the ’12th’. Can you describe the violence that you witnessed, did it originate from the Orange Order, their bands and supporters?

 David:  I have never felt hate like that in my life. I arrived in Ardoyne early that morning on the 12th. At eight in the morning the Loyalists were foaming at the mouth. It was unbelievable. After they passed on by I followed then for a while then went to St. Patrick’s Church and watched and filmed. It was clear to me, and I’m sure anyone else who has followed the Marches that the Loyalists get a extra boost, an energy charge when they approach or pass by Catholic neighborhoods. There is this need to get a shot in, whether it’s playing the famine song, or other sectarian songs, to revealing sectarian banners, to having their followers look for a reason to attack anyone who gets in their way.  Later that day I made my way back to Ardoyne. The residents of Ardoyne gathered in force to protect their neighborhood from the drunken hoards. Gerry Kelly did a great job of reassuring the residents that the police would keep the Loyalists from their neighborhood. All of the violence that I witnessed came from the Loyalists. What followed was several nights of violence. I walked back to the bus station that night for Derry, and that image of Belfast as a ghost town still resonates in my mind: trash everywhere, everything closed up. This is no way for people to live. Everything stops for the Orange Order version of THE HUNGER GAMES.

 Alex:  Can you, as a North American, see the supremacist linkage between the likes of the ‘Loyal Orders’ and for instance, supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan?

 David:  Yes, that’s a fair comparison. The difference being that in America groups like the KKK are shunned by the rest of society. In Northern Ireland they are not. The 30,000 members of the Orange Order have a hold on Northern Ireland. Power and wealth accumulated over time, the not so hidden hand.

Alex:  Many political commentators view allowing Loyalist supremacist parades to march through Catholic/Nationalist/Republican areas as the equivalent in the USA of, for instance, permitting White supremacist groups to march through the likes of the Rampart area (MacArthur Park, Echo Park etc) of Los Angeles or the Watts area of south LA. Would the federal government ever consider permitting such provocative parades?

David:  I don’t think there would be a police force or army in world that could protect the KKK if they tried to march in Watts or the South Side of Chicago. In 1977 the National Socialist Party of America tried to march through Skokie, Illinois. In the predominately Jewish community, one in six residents was a Holocaust survivor. The NSPA march was be to held on June 25, 1978 though the march never materialized. About 20 or so Nazis congregated for only ten minutes, and throngs of Jewish and other groups drowning out their voices. Parades in America don’t incite riots. If they did, that group would never be allowed to do so again, and the cost of the liability insurance alone would make it unattainable.

 Alex:  Could you explain to our readers how important the conflicting European power blocks of the 17th Century played in forming the today’s sectarian divisions, identities and how in reality the Williamite campaign was contrary to the Ireland/religious-centred potted-histories that many within Orangeism hold dear? I’m sure that you have heard of the painting that once hung in the old Stormont parliament showing the Pope blessing the Williamite forces, that was quickly ‘archived’ once the Unionist ruling junta finally figured out it’s significance?

 David:  First and foremost, William of Orange was concerned with one thing – saving the Dutch Republic from France. When the Immortal Seven invited William to take the throne he knew with England’s support he could defeat France. William landed in England to find that James had run away. James while at the head of a 25,000 man army, was afflicted with serious nose bleeding. He saw it as a bad omen and left the field of battle for London, then France. That was the Glorious Revolution. Only the English can turn a man running away and turn that into a Glorious Revolution. There was nothing glorious about it and it wasn’t a revolution. Later James would be forced to Ireland to do battle with William while the Sun King set out for the prize – the Dutch Republic and the Spanish Nederlands. James would leave every battle he was at and would flee Ireland for the comforts of France. I suppose that is glorious too. William of Orange, the Pope and Catholic Spain would go on to defeat France. After William of Orange’s death Queen Ann took the throne and with her the 1704 test act. Prohibiting Presbyterians and other protestant religions from worshipping freely, it also banned them from public and civil office. Hundreds of thousands of Presbyterians would flee Ireland for a new land where religious freedom would become the corner stone of its constitution.  What Loyalist call the Glorious Revolution had shown its true colors: Anglican Domination. For the next hundred years after the Siege of Derry and the war in Ireland there would be no parades, no marching bands, no Orange Order. It’s wasn’t until after the 1798 rebellion that the Orange Order turned William of Orange into the man that saved the Protestant Religion from the Pope and used that to fuel sectarian hatred. One other important fact: James II never tried to install Catholicism in the three Kingdoms. What he tired to do was introduce religious freedom in England. But that does little to fan the flames of sectarianism. That is why the painting ‘Tea at Trianon’ was damaged when the boys in Orange found out about it. It is a painting of the Pope blessing William of Orange and was hanging in the Belfast Parliament Building. In 1933 Unionist MP John Nixon led a gang of Loyalist into the building where they slashed the painting with a knife and threw crimson paint over the image of the Pope. The painting was taken down and sent away for restoration. It wasn’t seen again until 2007. The rosary beads were taken out. Keeping the myth alive is important to the Orange Order and the sectarian cause. The first part of that question would take volumes.

Alex:  Unfortunately I missed seeing you around the ’12th’ this year as I was on holiday and then suffered a bereavement, but do you think that the relatively peaceful end in 2014 to the return journey of the Orange Order preventing them from trampling through Ardoyne due to it’s second prohibition by the Parades Commission, will become the norm, something similar to the token protests that now are a constant on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown?

 David:  Last year did surprise me. I don’t think the peaceful end will continue; it’s not in their nature. I hope I’m wrong. The Orange Order is not use to being told “no”. There is a rise in race hate crimes in Northern Ireland – a by product of the Order’s Hunger Games. That will continue, and they have now set their sights on the Gay and Lesbian community with their conscience clause to equality legislation. At some point in time one would think it’s time to move on and leave a three hundred year old war in the past. Stop looking for reasons to hate. But that circle of hate keeps growing.

 Alex:  I’m sure that you have heard of the so-called Twaddell ‘Peace-camp’ which has been a permanent fixture close to the Ardoyne interface, that has been perhaps more aptly described by Ardoyne residents as a ‘hate-camp’ manned by Loyalists belonging to various organisations. Do you think the fact that apparently it costs multiple thousands of pounds in policing costs per week alone to monitor the Twaddell camp, is in any way a strong hand, to use the poker analogy, in persuading the Parades Commission in 2015 to renege on it’s past two year’s prohibition of the Orange Order returning from the ’12th’ via Ardoyne?

 David:  No, that should have nothing do with any Parades Commission decision. With this new Stormont House Agreement, they may not be around anymore. I’ve read that more that a few times. I talk about that in the documentary. At some point you would think that the police would end it, or maybe just ignore them until they go away is the right thing. It all boils down to one thing: the Orange Order’s refusal to allow democracy to dictate anything to them. They are above the law. They are the Ascendancy.

 Alex:  I know that you had been producing a documentary on the North of Ireland, at what stage is it’s production at and was it aimed at a North American audience? I’ve seen rough-cuts and it would definitely be a solid educational resource.

David:  It’s just about done, just music rights is left and a little fine tuning. It’s called THE NORTH. It is aimed at an American audience – to let Americans know what is going on in Northern Ireland and to do that you have to know where it’s been.

 Alex:  Finally, David, it has been a pleasure interviewing you and I hope to meet up again soon, you are certainly a counter to the propaganda emanating from certain quarters that North Americans have little understanding of the complexities of Ireland’s history and politics. As a parting shot (forgive the pun) from your experience do you think that any real lasting peace has been established?

David:  I don’t know. I would hope so. The Good Friday Agreement stopped the killing but stagnation has set in; there is no movement forward on the ideas of that agreement. That seems to be by design. Stagnation can lead to friction and friction can lead to violence.

Alex:  Go raibh mile maith agat, David, mo chara!  No doubt we will meet again soon..

lol kkk

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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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