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Year 2005 No. 14, January 31, 2005 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

Bloody Sunday Anniversary:

Truth and Justice However Long It Takes! Scores Must Be Settled with British Imperialism!

Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :

Bloody Sunday Anniversary:
Truth and Justice However Long It Takes! Scores Must Be Settled with British Imperialism!
33 years of Campaign Has Yet to Bring Out the Truth about Bloody Sunday

Sinn Féin Will Resist Discrimination by Governments
Accusations and Agendas
IRA Statement

NUJ Condemns Attack on New Irish Paper

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Bloody Sunday Anniversary:

Truth and Justice However Long It Takes! Scores Must Be Settled with British Imperialism!

Sunday, January 30, 2005, marked the 33rd anniversary of the killing of 14 unarmed young people in the Bogside in Derry in 1972. The Saville Bloody Sunday Inquiry ended in November last year after seven years. Lord Saville's final report and conclusions are not expected to be made public until the summer.

Still the demand of the progressive forces is that the truth must be known and that justice be done. Very appropriately, the theme of the annual Bloody Sunday Commemoration in the north of Ireland was "Bogside to Basra". This is a reminder of the role the north of Ireland has played as a training ground for the methods of military occupation, subjugation, deception and divide and rule of British imperialism. It is a reminder that today the working class and people have still to settle scores with this old conscience implanted in the workers’ movement and the anti-war movement by the representatives of the British bourgeoisie.

And still the campaign of the British government to denigrate the patriotic forces and to attempt to block the people of Ireland achieving self-determination continues. Tony Blair and Paul Murphy, the Northern Ireland Secretary, have scandalously pointed the finger at the Provisional IRA over the bank robbery of the Northern Bank in Belfast, and arrogantly "warned" Sinn Fein that this is endangering the Peace Process.

The accusations that "terrorism" and "criminality" are the enemies of the Iraqi people when that country is being occupied by foreign troops, is being annexed by US-British imperialism, is of a similar calibre.

The people want peace, but they are not prepared to accept it at the price of subjugation, humiliation and the violation of human rights. A condition of peace is that not only troops be removed from foreign soil, but that the right of peoples to determine their own destiny free from all outside interference, free from all attempts to impose "democracy" by dictate, be recognised and guaranteed.

This is an important lessons as the Irish people and the British working class together commemorate Bloody Sunday in 2005.

A Bloody Sunday commemoration is to be held in London on Sunday, February 6, 2.30pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq, Holborn. It is organised by the Bloody Sunday Organising Committee. For more details, ring 020 7503 1273.

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33 years of Campaign Has Yet to Bring Out the Truth about Bloody Sunday

Sinn Féin Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin speaking in his address to the annual Bloody Sunday Commemoration on January 30, 2005, said, "Thirty-three years of campaigning has yet to bring out the Truth about the Bloody Sunday massacre. But we must not be deterred from our fight for Equality, Justice, Peace and Human Rights for all by a political establishment that pays lip service to democracy while playing fast and loose with human rights and civil liberties and the truth." He also called for the immediate and unconditional release of Martin Doherty

Full Text [Sinn Féin]

Many of you, as I was myself, were present on this day thirty-three years ago when British Paratroopers were unleashed on the people of Derry. The intention was to teach the uppity fenians that failure to obey British law would have dire consequences. And the result of that policy was indeed dire for the families of the thirteen men murdered in the name of the British government that terrible day and John Johnston and Peggy Deery who later died as a result of the injuries inflicted. But the consequences of the 30th January 1972 were so far reaching that the repercussions catapulted us into a spiral of conflict that left few in Ireland untouched. Because Truth was also a casualty that day and the denial of truth is a denial of justice.

The intention was to teach us a harsh lesson and indeed we were taught a lesson that day. Actually we learned a number of lessons. As we recoiled in shock and horror and began to count and identify our dead and wounded, the British Government was telling the world that a gunbattle had erupted in the Republican stronghold of the Bogside and that a number of republican gunmen and bombers had been killed. We called it Bloody Sunday but many believed the propaganda line and called it Good Sunday. And a compliant media repeated and regurgitated that lie. No need for evidence, as after all, only the IRA could have mounted such an assault on the British Army and only the superior field-craft of the British Army saved them from injury or worse. No need then, for questions.

Yes, we learned lessons that day, but not the one that was intended because we emerged even stronger and even more determined. But we learned that our oppressors owned the law and they owned substantial and hugely influential sections of the communications and media networks, and this is as true on the West bank in Palestine and in Baghdad and Basra as it is in Ireland. We learned that when the lawmakers are the law breakers, then there is no law. We also learned something else that there will be an official version of every single event that is reported in the media and then there is the truth. And that is why we are here today demanding not just freedom for "Ducksie" Doherty, we are demanding that the truth also will be set free.

The theme of this weekend is "Bogside to Basra". Since Bloody Sunday 1972, we have witnessed further erosions of Human Rights on this island and in other conflict areas in the world. The current most graphic illustration of this is witnessed on a daily basis in Palestine and Iraq. We should, but we don’t hear enough or truthful accounts about Human Rights abuses in Belmarsh Prison or in Guantanamo Bay. The political establishment attempts to criminalise the struggle for self-determination, Equality, Justice and Peace, whilst these same forces and their allies are involved in the criminal invasion of a sovereign nation on the pretext that it was in possession of WMD. They would claim to be bringing democracy to a nation that suffered under a despotic dictator (previously an ally of the West) and that is the justification for British and American troops murdering hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians – men, women and children. We know from our own bitter experience that they killed our friends and neighbours on the same spurious grounds of "defending democracy from terrorism". We recognise their lies because we have heard them so often. In the meantime the oil has begun to flow again in Iraq under new management and in all of this they have been aided and abetted by the Irish government through the use of Shannon Airport to deliver war to the people of Iraq.

The negation of Human Rights is also being perpetrated daily by the Israeli government against the Palestinians. Since the second Intifada there has been eight times more Palestinians killed than Israelis. Now that is not to dismiss the suffering on all sides but listening to media coverage one would be led to believe that the Palestinians are terrorists responsible for every death in the region. Mind you we are no strangers to that approach where the deaths of nationalists and republicans were always treated with less importance – almost to the point of contempt – than that of British soldiers, unionists or RUC personnel.

The families of the Bloody Sunday victims are acutely aware of this depiction of their loved ones. Thirty-three years of campaigning has yet to bring out the Truth about the Bloody Sunday massacre. But we must not be deterred from our fight for Equality, Justice, Peace and Human Rights for all by a political establishment that pays lip service to democracy while playing fast and loose with human rights and civil liberties and the truth.

I take this opportunity to recommit myself and the republican community to continue our support and solidarity for the families campaigning against Collusion, the Thompson family here in Derry and the many hundreds of other families seeking Truth and Justice about the murder of their family members. We are here to stand by the Bloody Sunday Families in their determination to achieve Truth and Justice for their loved ones. We await, of course with great concern and not a little scepticism, the outcome of the Saville Inquiry. Many of us, when Tony Blair announced that he was setting up the Inquiry and that it would receive the full co-operation of his government and its agencies took a very sceptical view of such an announcement. Experience had taught us that British governments and their agencies did not have a history of co-operation with inquiries into their activities and particularly when it concerned their involvement in Ireland. And so, events during the Inquiry – the mysterious disappearance of evidence, the destruction of the weapons used that day which was carried out immediately the Inquiry was announced, the issuing of Public Interest Immunity Certificates, Edward Heath’s contemptuous treatment of the Inquiry and the families. Many other events during the tenure of the Inquiry and indeed much more proved that our scepticism was well founded.

The disgraceful imprisonment of Martin "Ducksie" Doherty was just further evidence of the British government and its agencies determination to criminalise republicans rather than expose the truth of its dirty war in Ireland. It is a scandal that Ducksie, an unapologetic Irish Republican who wasn’t even present at the march should be the only one to see the inside of a prison because of Bloody Sunday. We are here today demanding the Truth about Bloody Sunday and we are here in solidarity with "Ducksie" and his family and we demand his immediate and unconditional release. I reject from this platform Paul Murphy’s claim that he has no powers to intervene. Does he think that we cannot remember when British Ministers intervened to release British soldiers convicted of murder here in the North?

Ducksie’s offence, for which he now has a criminal record, was to challenge the British judiciary and their demand that he attend the Saville Inquiry. Not because he was in any position to help the search for truth about Bloody Sunday, but because he was expected to acquiesce under pain of imprisonment, to play a part in a comprehensive conspiracy to hide the truth about Bloody Sunday. He on a point of principle refused to answer allegations made by a perjurer about events that were separate in time and location from the murders on Bloody Sunday. British justice is blind all right, when it suits.

People will wonder and ask, will Saville be different, will he look at the evidence without prejudice and come to a conclusion based solely on the evidence presented to his panel of Inquiry, or will he too, like Widgery be influenced by his political masters and make his determination based on the effect it will have on the reputation of his government? We will just have to wait and see. If the treatment of Ducksie Doherty is an indicator, then it doesn't bode well for the outcome. But one thing is for sure, whatever the result, we will take our lead from the decision of the families and support them in whatever avenue they decide to travel. I commend all those people and organisations that have shown solidarity and support for the families down through the years and I am sure that they too will continue that support through this time of limbo.

The battleground, as always is about Truth and I would like to share with you and in particular all of the families who are searching for Truth and Justice, a little verse written by a South African poet that may be of comfort to you.

It is titled simply:




Covered in the dust of defeat

Or so the conquerors believed

But there is nothing can be hidden

from the mind, nothing memory

cannot reach, touch or call back

We know the truth and we will stack our truth against their propaganda and lies until we prevail and the world also comes to know that there can be no Justice without Truth.

Article Index

Sinn Féin Will Resist Discrimination by Governments

Gerry Adams has given notice to Sinn Féin that the party must prepare to resist any campaign of discrimination by the two governments against its electorate. Speaking to An Phoblacht (Republican News) in its January 13 issue, the Sinn Féin President said:

"The process was in considerable difficulties following the DUP rejection of the comprehensive agreement in December. At that time, there was an unprecedented opportunity to resolve all of the outstanding issues and see the Good Friday Agreement implemented. This foundered on an unachievable demand from Ian Paisley, supported by the two governments. Despite this, Sinn Féin continued to search for a way forward with the governments.

"Then the Northern Bank robbery was seized upon, by opponents of the process on the one hand and by opponents of Sinn Féin on the other, to prevent any further progress.

"The British Government now appears to be considering a return to the failed policy of discrimination against Sinn Féin, and the Irish Government, for its own reasons, appears to be in support of this.

"Sinn Féin rejects any attack on our democratic and electoral mandate.

"I have spoken to senior officials in both governments and made this very clear to them.

"Despite all of our reservations and concerns as republicans, Sinn Féin has been prepared to work with the British Government in the common interest of building a lasting peace. That remains our focus and intention. However, we will not acquiesce to the undermining of the rights and entitlements of our electorate.

"We are also seriously concerned about the Taoiseach's decision to attack Sinn Féin. His allegation that our leadership was aware in advance of the Northern Bank robbery creates difficulties in the working relationship between the Irish Government and Sinn Féin.

"I reject these accusations totally and I am disappointed that the Taoiseach didn't raise any concerns he might have with me directly.

"It is important that we all avoid knee-jerk reactions. The Sinn Féin leadership is currently assessing all of this, the implications of any attack on our mandate and our future role in the process.

"Unless wiser counsel prevails, short-sighted decisions by the governments could have profound implications."

Article Index

Accusations and Agendas

By Martin McGuinness

Since the robbery at the Northern Bank on 28 December, the media has been rife with innuendo, speculation and rumour – all of it about what organisation was capable of carrying out such an audacious and meticulously planned robbery. And so, without one scrap of evidence, the finger was pointed at the IRA by irresponsible media elements solely on the basis that, in their opinion, the IRA was the only organisation capable of carrying out such an operation. The agenda was set. I spoke to the IRA and asked them if they were indeed responsible. I was assured that they were not. I believe this to be the case.

Hugh Orde claims that he has had 45 of his top detectives working round the clock since 28 December in an attempt to solve this case. Yet, when he went to the media on Friday to allege that the IRA was responsible, he did so declaring an unwillingness to produce any evidence to back up his allegations. When he first took up the post of RUC Chief Constable, he said that he would not act under political pressure and would not be a political policeman. Since his appointment, he has made at least four interventions at critical points in the Process based on nothing more than briefings from his so-called 'Intelligence' advisors. Nobody could describe these interventions and their timing as anything other than politically motivated.

There are clearly elements within the British system and unionism intent on wrecking the Peace Process and on using the robbery in Belfast as a pretext for this. They must not be allowed to succeed. And if Hugh Orde is not one of them, then he is certainly allowing himself to be manipulated by them.

Hugh Orde's comments on Friday are nothing more than politically biased allegations. He has not produced one scrap of evidence. We are witnessing a renewed attempt to undermine the Peace Process. We need to think long and hard about who is setting this agenda and why.

This is more to do with halting the process of change which Sinn Féin has been driving forward than with anything that happened at the Northern Bank.

There is as much evidence to say that elements of the British Intelligence Agencies, and they would be more than capable of pulling off such a robbery, were responsible as there is to blame the IRA. Sound outlandish? But is it possible? Remember Castlereagh, the most burglar-proof British security base in the North of Ireland?

Hugh Orde's predecessor, Ronnie Flanagan, initially said that it was an inside job, only to change his mind a few days later and blame the IRA, when the full ramifications of it being an inside job dawned on him or when the securocrats realised how it could be used to undermine republicanism's contribution to the Peace Process. To this day, no evidence has been produced to implicate the IRA in the Castlereagh break-in, but the political damage was done.

Sinn Féin has a substantial electoral mandate achieved at the ballot box, something that no British Minister or securocrat has, and we will resist any attempt by them or anyone else to marginalise or criminalise our party or those who vote for us. We have told both the British and Irish governments so.

All previous campaigns to smash Sinn Féin, to criminalise and marginalise the republican struggle, failed, and so too will this one. Sinn Féin represents the majority of nationalists in the north and we will not dishonour their trust. We intend to deliver the change promised to the people. The securocrats and the DUP need to come to terms with this political reality.

I have no doubt that these allegations herald a full frontal assault on the Sinn Féin political project and on the integrity of our mandate in the run up to the Westminster and Local Government elections. And while we will give careful consideration as to how to respond to this as the situation develops, I am disappointed at the Taoiseach and Mark Durkan parroting the politically motivated accusations of the DUP and British securocrats.

There is no doubt that there are those within the NIO who will seek to exploit this situation to bring about the exclusion of Sinn Féin and ensure that a comprehensive deal will not be achieved. But the politics of exclusion failed for 30 years and any attempt to impose them again would not be tolerated.

I believe that we need to look at the facts. The IRA has made it clear that it did not carry out this robbery. Hugh Orde went to the media on Friday, not on the basis of facts or evidence, but on the basis of reports from securocrats who have been working to undermine the Peace Process for years. The objective of all of this is to subvert efforts to build on what has been achieved and to halt the process of change.

Sinn Féin's priority is to advance the Peace Process and to defend the rights of those who vote for us. Hugh Orde's and the British Government's actions over the last number of days has in effect written a 'Wreckers' Charter' for those opposed to the process of change that we all worked so hard to put in place.

But we will not allow them to achieve their aims. We will continue to push the two governments on the need for them to deliver in partnership all aspects of the Good Friday Agreement that are still outstanding. Attempts by the DUP to use the present circumstances to further delay the programme for change cannot be allowed to succeed.

We remain in contact with both governments and remain determined to continue to advance the Process. The governments know how much was achieved before Christmas and that the priority now must be to get the comprehensive deal across the line.

Article Index


Irish Republican News, 23-26 January, 2005, by Danny Morrison (for Hearts and Minds)

It was the biggest bank robbery in the history of the state and everyone presumed the IRA did it. But those responsible for the heist in Dublin in October 1972 were eventually arrested and sentenced. They were two English brothers, Kenneth and Keith Littlejohn, who claimed they were working for British Intelligence. Whilst London later admitted that a senior MoD official had met Kenneth in regard to gathering intelligence on the IRA any illegal activity "had not been authorised". Absolutely.

The Littlejohns told the Dublin court that the robbery was aimed at discrediting the Republican Movement and force the Irish government to introduce tougher measures – which it did.

The robbery and a number of bombings in the south created an atmosphere which saw the enactment of the Offences Against the State Act – allowing for non-jury courts and Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act – the RTE ban on Sinn Fein. The first person to be arrested and sentenced under the new act was the President of Sinn Fein, Ruairi O Bradaigh.

When I first heard of the Northern Bank heist I suspected it might have been the IRA replying to Ian Paisley's 'sackcloth and ashes' demand and his rejection of decommissioning, witnessed by two independent clerics, being completed by Christmas.

But I changed my mind after the Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde's press conference and the subsequent robust and repeated denials from Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.

Even General de Chastelain's lustreless speech in 2002, regarding the IRA's significant third act of decommissioning, was more riveting than the performance put in by Hugh. I don't know who, or what organisation, if any, did the bank. The Chief Constable says it was the IRA. To back that up the PSNI has published a 'dodgy dossier', which included the wrong estimate of money taken, the wrong serial numbers of the missing notes and a grainy CCTV film of the mysterious white van used in the robbery.

From various raids I understand that the PSNI have narrowed a suspect down further – to a republican with size 9 feet.

Hugh Orde said he was naming the IRA in order to facilitate the investigation. But surely this news would frighten off potential eye-witnesses, two of whom have balked at coming forward.

The DUP have accepted as definitive the word of Hugh Orde that the IRA robbed the Northern Bank. Ironically the DUP has provided us with a breakthrough in the decommissioning logjam.

Though we might be poorer we could well be all the richer, with the peace process back on track, if Hugh Orde was the witness to confirm that the IRA had put all of its weapons beyond use!

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IRA Statement

9 December 2004

An Phoblacht on December 9, 2004, printed in full a statement from the leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann.

The newspaper comments that it is clear from this statement that the IRA was prepared to move in an unprecedented way to liberate the peace process and in a way that deals with the genuine concerns of all reasonable people. It would be unthinkable that this offer would be rejected or lost because of the impossible demands being made by a unionist leadership locked into the failed psychology of the past, the newspaper says.

Full text of IRA Statement

"More than ten years ago, an IRA cessation publicly heralded the onset of the Irish peace process. Since then, the IRA has, time and again, demonstrated its commitment to sustaining and developing that process through a series of very significant and substantive initiatives.

In the context of the work to conclude a comprehensive agreement, the leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann decided:

- to support a comprehensive agreement by moving into a new mode which reflects our determination to see the transition to a totally peaceful society;

- all IRA Volunteers be given specific instructions not to engage in any activity which might thereby endanger that new agreement;

- the IRA leadership also decided that we will, in this context, conclude the process to completely and verifiably put all our arms beyond use;

- we instructed our representative to agree with the IICD the completion of this process, speedily, and if possible by the end of December;

- to further enhance public confidence we agreed to the presence of two clergymen as observers during this process.

The IRA leadership decided to contribute in this way to a comprehensive agreement to resolve all outstanding issues, including those of concern within unionism. For his part, Ian Paisley demanded that our contribution be photographed, and reduced to an act of humiliation.

This was never possible. Knowing this, he made this demand publicly as the excuse for his rejection of an overall agreement to create a political context with the potential to remove the causes of conflict. As the IRA leadership has said before, this is a context in which Irish republicans and unionists can, as equals, pursue our respective political objectives peacefully.

We restate our commitment to the peace process. But we will not submit to a process of humiliation.

We commend our Volunteers and the wider republican base for their patience and discipline in these testing times. Our commitment, like theirs, to our republican objectives is undiminished.

We thank those who have made genuine contributions to the efforts to find solutions to ongoing problems. While acknowledging these efforts, we reiterate our view that progress cannot be made by pandering to the demands of those who are against change.

The search for a just and lasting peace is a challenging one. The IRA leadership has risen to that challenge. The British Government and the leaders of unionism must do likewise."

P O'Neill

Irish Republican Publicity Bureau


Article Index

NUJ Condemns Attack on New Irish Paper

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is defending journalists on a new Irish paper from an extraordinary attack by the Minister for Justice in Dublin, the NUJ reports on January 23, 2005.

Daily Ireland is to be the first daily paper to cover both northern Ireland and the Republic when it is launched on February 1 by the Belfast-based Andersonstown News group, a fast-growing local newspaper publisher.

The minister, Michael McDowell, put the paper and its journalists at risk in a statement linking the newspaper to Nazi Germany, and equating the Provisional IRA with Hitlerite fascism. The newspaper’s proprietor, Mairtin O'Muilleoir, is a former Sinn Fein Councillor.

Michael McDowell said in a statement: "The Provisionals are now backing a new daily newspaper … Will it be to Irish democracy what the Volkischer Beobachter was to pre-WWII German democracy?" The Beobachter was Hitler's mouthpiece when he took control of Germany in the early 1930s.

NUJ Irish Secretary Séamus Dooley demanded the withdrawal of the remark, and an apology. He said: "To link the newspaper to terrorism may put the lives of employees at risk before the newspaper is even published. The impression may well be given that journalists working for this newspaper are 'fair game' because of the political agenda attributed to them by Mr McDowell."

Mr Dooley added: "Journalists in Northern Ireland work under enormous pressure and our members have received threats from both sides of the divide. As a union we have sought to maintain the safety of journalists and to protect the highest ethical standards. We have also fought to promote equal opportunities for journalists and to combat discrimination on the basis of religious affiliation or political beliefs."

He said the union welcomed the new national newspaper "because we believe in media diversity. We expect all the journalists to uphold the NUJ Code of Conduct. A significant member of recruits to the new newspaper are already members of the NUJ. In this context the comments of Mr McDowell are profoundly shocking. They must be withdrawn."

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