Friday, 16 November 2012

eirigi to protest against PSNI harassment

Tomorrow at 3pm éirígí will be holding a protest against PSNI harassment at Ardmore barracks in Newry Over the last number of years éirígí have been helping with re-building the republican struggle in the city of Newry, something which has attracted a huge amount of harassment from the British police In response to This éirígí are organising a protest outside of Ardmore Barracks in Newry at 3pm on Saturday, November 17th.  If you could join that protest it would be much appreciated.  Following the protest at the barracks a Wolfe Tone commemoration will be held 4.30pm at John Mitchel Place in Newry. This commemoration, which is being organised by éírígí in Newry, has been in planning for some months, a good turnout at the protest and commemoration would be a fitting response to the oppression of the British state.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

éirígí criticise heavy handed PSNI raids in Newry

 Stephen Murney

éirígí in Newry have criticised a series of raids and arrests that took place across the city early on Monday morning [November 05].

Several families were targeted during the dawn raids and homes were left ransacked as well as a number of residents being arrested and taken to Antrim holding centre during the state force operation.

Criticising the raids, éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney said, “This is an all too familiar pattern. Here we have several homes ransacked and a number of people arrested and taken from their families. Unsurprisingly, those arrested were later released without charge within a matter of hours and with nothing untoward found during the searches.

“The PSNI’s strong-arm tactics left a number of children terrified and families were left to pick up the pieces. These raids were a particularly frightening for young children.

“The PSNI operation lasted for several hours and a large force of PSNI personnel in countless armoured landrovers saturated a number of working class areas. At the same time, a PSNI helicopter hovered over the city, keeping the local population under surveillance. These communities have endured this type of treatment many times in the past and today’s actions are clear proof of the unchanged nature of policing.”

Murney continued, “I met and spoke with some of the families targeted in these raids and they were left distressed, worried and seething with anger at the actions of the state forces. During the raids the PSNI confiscated mobile phones, ipods, family cars and even children’s computer games. Those who had their cars confiscated now have to find alternative transport to get them to work.”

Stephen concluded, “While constitutional nationalist parties tell us that this type of RUC style policing is a thing of the past, for republicans it’s clearly very much part of the present.”

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

éirígí to commemorate Wolfe Tone in Newry

éirígí have announced plans to commemorate the anniversary of one of Ireland’s most iconic revolutionaries, Theobald Wolfe Tone, in an event to be held in Newry.

The commemoration will take place in Newry city centre on Saturday 17th November at the Cochran and Lowans plaque situated at John Mitchel Place, Hill Street. The Volunteers Patricia Black & Frank Ryan Memorial Flute Band from Glasgow will also be in attendance.

Speaking ahead of the event éirígí’s Stephen Murney said, “Wolfe Tone is regarded by many as the founding father of Irish Republicanism. In 1791 he founded the revolutionary society of the United Irishmen along with Samuel Neilson, Thomas Russell and Henry Joy McCracken, taking their inspiration from the French Revolution. Wolfe Tone was captured with a French fleet in Lough Swilly County Donegal and taken to Dublin. He was tried and condemned to death in November; he died on the 19th November 1798.

Theobald Wolfe Tone

“The reason we have chosen Newry as the location to hold this commemoration is that in 1792, Wolfe Tone held a meeting in the Crown Inn (now Best estate agents) in Hill Street directly beside the Town Hall. At this meeting a local branch of the United Irishmen was formed. The first chairman of the United Irish Society in Newry was James Lang.

“At the lower end of Hill Street a plaque is situated in John Mitchel Place which commemorates Cochran and Lowans, who were executed in Newry for their part in the 1798 rising. Cochran and Lowans, both from Newry, were publicly executed on the high ground at the rear of the Bank of Ireland, Trevor Hill, a site known as Gallows Hill where Heather Park is situated today.”

Stephen continued, “Cochran on his return from the Battle of Ballynahinch, gave money to a woman on the outskirts of Newry to conceal him However she induced her husband to go into Newry and report his whereabouts for a much higher reward. The only information available on Lowans is that after the Battle of Ballynahinch he was apprehended at Bellman’s Loanin (now Windsor Avenue) off the Downshire Road. Both men were interned in the Linen Hall Barracks before their execution. They were then hung, drawn and quartered.

“Their heads were then spiked on a building in Margaret Square for forty-one days. Cochran’s father was not given permission to bury his son’s head along with his body until he agreed to carry it uncovered in his hands shouting “Traitor, traitor, the head of a traitor” all the way to the graveyard.

“Both Cochran and Lowans are buried in St Patrick’s graveyard, Church Street, Newry. The name of Cochran has been kept alive in Newry by a street named Cochran Row in a small housing estate on the Armagh Road. Part of the tunnel from the Bank of Ireland to Gallows Hill can still be seen in Heather Park.”

Tone was also very much aware of the class struggle being intertwined with the freedom struggle and he is quoted as saying, “Our freedom must be had at all hazards. If the men of no property will not help us they must fall; we will free ourselves by the aid of that large and respectable class of the community – the men of no property.”

Join with éirígí in commemorating those revolutionaries who gave their lives and let us continue to finish the task and complete their objectives, which remain unfilled.

Assemble at the Cochran & Lowans Plaque, John Mitchel Place, Newry, on Saturday 17th November at 4.30pm, with main speaker Pádraic Mac Coitir. Refreshments and entertainment will be available in a nearby establishment afterwards.

éirígí to highlight MI5 activities in the Six Counties at Belfast meeting

Palace Barracks

The socialist republican party éirígí are to hold a public meeting in Conway Mill, Belfast at 7pm on Thursday evening, November 8th, at which the party will formally launch an information and guidance leaflet aimed at advising people who have been or who may be subject to harassment by MI5.

Speaking ahead of the meeting and leaflet launch, éirígí spokesperson Padraic Mac Coitir said, “An increasing and disturbing trend has emerged in the Six Counties where undercover MI5 agents have been involved in numerous attempts to recruit various individuals to ‘work’ for them.

“It is clear that MI5 operatives, based at their headquarters in Palace Barracks, Hollywood, are engaged in a massive intelligence gathering trawl right across the Six Counties. It is also clear, from the cases reported to us, that they doing so in total collusion with the PSNI.

“Many of those targeted by MI5 and who contacted the party in recent months are not republicans, but are community workers, trade union activists and ordinary members of the public.”

Mac Coitir explained, “The circumstances in which people have been approached by MI5 vary from case to case.

“Cases that have been reported to the party include:

  • Individuals being stopped at what appeared to be normal ‘run-of-the-mill’ PSNI traffic checkpoints. In these cases, PSNI personnel then stood aside as well-dressed civilians approached the person stopped, introduced themselves as ‘X’ or ‘Y’, and then proceeded to attempt to recruit the person stopped
  • Telephone calls being made to people by individuals who have identified themselves using various pseudonyms such as ‘Ian’, ‘Mark’ ‘John’, etc. During these calls people have been asked to meet with MI5. Monetary incentives and jobs have been offered to people if they will assist them in gathering information
  • Individuals being approached while travelling through airports on way to a family holiday or as a journey connected to their work
  • Individuals being approached in person at their place of work
  • Individuals being approached while shopping in town centres

“Incidents have been reported to the party from across each of the Six Counties and it is clear that the frequency of such incidents is increasing.”

Mac Coitir continued, “In response to this increased activity by MI5, éirígí is launching a comprehensive information leaflet advising people what to do if they find themselves approached by MI5. Earlier this year, the party published a ‘know your rights’ card detailing a person’s rights when stopped or questioned by the PSNI. That received a very positive response in our communities, and we believe that this initiative regarding MI5 will be equally responded to.”

The meeting in Conway Mill on November 8th will be addressed by éirígí’s Breandán Mac Cionnaith and Belfast solicitor Padraigin Drinan.

Mac Coitir also said that the party would also be showing a short video at the meeting on the activities of MI5.