Irish Time

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Irish Republican News
1:53 AM (8 hours ago)
to me

   Friday-Thursday, 22-28 June, 2012

2.  Breakthrough for family of Manus Deery
3.  Anti-royal protestor recounts murder bid
4.  Marian Price move linked to UN visit
5.  New evidence in rubber bullet death
6.  Feature: Interview with Bernadette Devlin McAliskey
7.  Analysis: A cordial union
8.  Analysis: Bridging the gulf between compromise and abandonment



 Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness put clear blue water between himself and
 mainstream Irish republicanism when he shook the hand of English queen
 Elizabeth Windsor on Wednesday in a historic but hugely divisive act of
 political theatre.

 Always a controversial figure, the Deputy First Minister's latest move
 has confused his supporters and enraged his critics. It has touched a
 nerve in a manner unlike Sinn Fein's many other 'unionist outreach'

 Greeting the British commander-in-chief while the north of Ireland
 remains under British rule may have been intended as a headline
 grabbing peace move, but the wave of nationalist condemnation in its
 wake has confirmed Sinn Fein fears that it was too much, too soon.

 Grassroots party activists have been left struggling to justify
 McGuinness's actions while bemoaning the expected loss of support and
 (potentially) thousands of voters.

 Although welcomed by many unionists (but openly mocked by some), the
 symbolic handshake infuriated ordinary republicans and has undoubtedly
 boosted support for so-called 'dissident' groups.

 It was clear from well before the actual event that Sinn Fein had not
 accurately gauged public sentiment.

 But the surprise announcement that a jubilee 'party' involving 25,000
 flag-waving unionists was to be held at Stormont to mark Windsor's
 visit threw party officials into a full-scale damage-limitation

 Even senior Sinn Fein figures such as Caral Ni Chuilin baulked at the
 plans, which had to be continually revised thereafter. The biggest
 change was the sudden invention of an early morning 'culture' event,
 organised by a former member of the PSNI.

 The difficult question of how much kowtowing McGuinness would be seen
 to perform was averted when it was agreed the key initial meeting was
 held behind closed doors. Photographs of the second, less formal
 handshake would be issued to capture the event. McGuinness did not bow
 his head, and spoke to Windsor in Irish.

 But his use was of an Irish language blessing - 'Slan agus beannacht'
 [Farewell and bless you] to Windsor also served to remind nationalists
 of the continuing refusal of the British to pass an Irish Language Act
 to protect the language in the north of Ireland.


 An address the following evening at Portcullis House, part of the
 houses of parliament in London, was intended to bolster McGuinness's
 nationalist credentials.  But few were listening, least of all the
 British government.

 In the speech, he accused the British Prime minister of "a lack of
 engagement" in northern Ireland politics.

 "This lack of engagement by David Cameron is a serious mistake and may
 provide a rationale for some of the damaging decisions made by Owen
 Paterson during his tenure at the Northern Ireland Office," he said.

 He chose to soften the language of a prepared script that accused the
 British government of having made "a series of stupid and unhelpful
 decisions" on Northern Ireland in recent times. Instead, he said they
 had made "wrong and unhelpful decisions".

 The list of British mistakes, Mr McGuinness said, included the
 internments of Marian Price and Martin Corey; the refusal to hold a
 full public inquiry into the Ballymurphy massacre of 1971, along with
 the decision not to honour the previous pledge to properly investigate
 the murder of defence lawyer Pat Finucane, added "to the sense of

 But he insisted his meeting with Windsor was an important step forward.

 "It was a meeting which, although short in length, can I believe, have
 much longer effects on defining a new relationship between Britain and
 Ireland and between the Irish people themselves," Mr McGuinness told
 the invited audience.

 Last night a spokesman for the Conservative Party again,
 diplomatically, dismissed McGuinness as irrelevant, and made clear that
 David Cameron had bigger fish to fry.

 He said "thanks to the efforts of a large number of people - including
 Sinn Fein - Northern Ireland enjoys political stability, and we are
 able to move beyond the politics of the peace process.

 "It is impossible to think of any political crisis in Northern Ireland
 today that requires the attention of the PM over and above dealing with
 the worst global economic crisis in 80 years and the crisis in the euro
 zone - something which would of course benefit every single person in
 Northern Ireland," the spokesman declared.

 The evident lack of any reciprocal gesture from the British government
 for the historic peace move will make it more difficult for Sinn Fein
 to convince sceptical nationalists and republicans.

 Many victims of British violence in the North are instead lining up to
 denounce McGuinness.

 Linda Nash, whose brother William was killed on Bloody Sunday,
 described the former IRA commander as a "traitor" -- echoing a
 notorious insult he once hurled at his republican rivals.  It is a word
 that could now come back to haunt him.


 >>>>>> Breakthrough for family of Manus Deery

 The family of Manus Deery has won a fresh hearing into the
 fifteen-year-old's murder in the nationalist Bogside area of Derry in
 May 1972.

 The 15-year-old was shot by a British soldier firing from Derry'swalls
 while he was standing close to a chip shop with friends.

 Nobody was ever prosecuted over his death. The shot was fired by a
 member of C company, 1st battalion, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The
 British Army claimed the soldier opened fire after a gunman was seen.
 Eyewitnesses at the time said no gunmen were present.

 The first inquest returned an open verdict and his family have fought
 for answers for 40 years.

 A report by the police Historical Enquiries Team (HET), released in
 February was angrily dismissed by his family as a "whitewash" when it
 backed claims that the soldier responsible was shooting ata gunman.

 The request for a new inquest was made under the Coroners' Act. The
 previous inquest returned an open verdict. The family hope this one
 will conclude that Manus was unlawfully killed.

 Manus's sister, Helen Deery, welcomed the news that their efforts had
 finally brought movement.

 "We are absolutely delighted. For 40 years we've fought for justice and
 now we finally seem to be getting somewhere.

 "Manus was an innocent child whose young life was brutally taken from
 him. He did nothing wrong. He wasn't -- as the British Army initially
 claimed -- a gunman. He wasn't rioting. He was eating a bag of chips
 and chatting to friends when a soldier opened fire on him.

 "My mother's and father's lives were destroyed after Manus's death.
 They went to early graves. But we pledged to continue our campaign
 until the truth is told about our brother and the British Army comes

 Manus had just started work in a factory when he was shot dead on May
 19, 1972. He received his first pay packet that evening.

 "Manus had his own money in his pocket for the first time. Life seemed
 full of promise," Ms Deery said.

 He was standing with friends at Meenan Square in the Bogside when a
 soldier, anonymously labelled 'A', opened fire from Derry's Walls,
 fatally shooting him in the head. Soldier B, who was with him, didn't
 fire but said he'd also seen a gunman.

 Neither soldier had to appear at the original 1973 inquest. Their
 depositions -- later given to the family -- were illegible.

 No civilian witnesses were interviewed by the RUC. Nor did the RUC
 interview the soldiers.

 Ms Deery said: "We fought for years to see the RUC investigation file.
 When we got it, we couldn't believe it. It contained a statement from
 our mother 'Margaret'.

 "Our mother's name was Mary and the RUC had never taken a statement
 from her.

 "It also contained a statement from Manus's 'cousin James'. We have no
 cousin James."

 Ms Deery said that, unlike the first inquest, her family would be
 legally represented at this one and the soldiers could be called to
 give evidence and cross-examined.

 "This new inquest will give all of those involved, witnesses and
 soldiers, the chance to tell the truth. After 40 years it is the least
 my young brother deserves," she said.


 >>>>>> Anti-royal protestor recounts murder bid

 A west Belfast man badlybeaten by a gang of loyalists on Black Mountain
 earlier this week says he is lucky to be alive.

 James McCoubrey was one of five men who were protecting a 120ft by 60ft
 tricolour erected on the mountainside to coincide with Elizabeth
 Windsor's arrival in the north on Tuesday. The massive flag was visible
 from most of Belfast.

 A message in large writing above it read "Eriu is our queen". Eriu was
 the goddess queen  of Ireland in Celtic mythology.

 Mr McCoubrey said the 100-strong gang shouted "kill the Fenian b*****d"
 as he ran for his life. He was taking a nap in a nearby tent when the
 gang struck at around 5pm on Tuesday.  He said he thought he was going
 to die. His friends who were standing outside the tent managed to run
 to safety.

 The former republican prisoner suffered three fractured ribs, a broken
 nose and extensive bruising over his body during the incident.

 "I am lucky to be alive," he said. "I was in the tent and I heard
 cheering and thought it was my mates carrying out a prank.

 "Then a man shouted 'we've got a Fenian b**** *d here, we have one'.

 "Then a man hit me with a hatchet or a hammer. I fell back into the

 I then climbed under the side of the tent to get out and they started
 to beat me and were shouting things like 'don't let him get away' and
 some were shouting 'kill him'.

 "If you have ever seen the film Zulu, that's what it was like as I was
 surrounded. All I could hear was 'kill the Fenian b'*****d, kill him
 here' and 'throw him off the mountain'.

 Mr McCoubrey said after being beaten to the ground, he managed to roll
 down the mountainside to safety.

 "It was the rolling that saved my life," he said. "I rolled down the
 hillside and it was too steep for them to follow me."

 Mr McCoubrey was later treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital for his

 He said the protest was organised by people living in the Springhill
 area of Ballymurphy.

 "It was a peaceful protest organised by republican ex-prisoners and
 people living in the area," he said.

 "There were no political groups involved. I don't agree with the
 queen's visit and that is what it was about.

 "There was no intention to offend and there was nothing provocative."

 West Belfast Sinn Fein assembly member Pat Sheehan condemned the attack.

 "I am horrified and disgusted by this unprovoked attack that could have
 ended a lot worse than it did. It was a peaceful, dignified protest
 unconnected to dissident organisations and should have been allowed to
 continue," he said.

 Protesters bravely returned to their camp on Black Mountain on
 Wednesday despite the vicious loyalist attack.

 The protesters had vowed to remain at the west Belfast site until the
 queen left the North. Their numbers had swelled to around 50 people who
 vowed the flag, 120ft by 60ft, would remain on the hillside until the
 end of the historic royal visit.

 Among the protesters were Eirigi member Padraig Mac Coitir and veteran
 republican Tony Catney. Several representatives of the Ballymurphy
 Massacre families also joined the protest.

 Mr Catney said the protest had been a "peaceful and highly effective"
 way of highlighting opposition to the two-day visit by the British

 Crowds of republicans also gathered in separate protests at City Hall
 and on the Falls Road during the royal visit.


 >>>>>> Marian Price move linked to UN visit

 Jailed political dissident Marian Price was moved to an outside
 hospital last weekend without her consent, her family have said.

 Doctors from the United Nations were due to visit the interned west
 Belfast woman in Hydebank Wood prison on Monday.

 However, last Friday warders moved the former hunger-striker to a
 Belfast psychiatric care unit for treatment ahead of the visit.

 Prison authorities said they had done so on medical advice from

 Earlier this year, Ms Price was moved from an isolation cell at
 all-male Maghaberry Prison to Hydebank, also on medical advice.

 Her husband Jerry McGlinchey said that a prison doctor had already
 given evidence that "going to a secure hospital unit would compound
 Marian's acute illnesses and would mitigate against any beneficial

 Supporters and prominent human rights activist Bernadette Aliskey said
 the chief medical officer had overridden this evidence before the UN
 visit on Monday.  She said that "to transfer her to the psychiatric
 hospital without her informed consent added another dimension to the
 violation of her rights."

 Her family welcomed the intervention of the UN doctors who will visit
 Marian over the coming days.  Her husband said he hoped they would make
 a speedy report on her condition given the urgency of the situation.

 "The family hope that this move to a secure unit is not a cynical ploy
 on the eve of a visit by UN doctors to stymie any criticism of Marian's

 Although gaining a royal pardon in 1980, British Direct Ruler Owen
 Paterson ordered the former prisoners' welfare campaigner be returned
 to jail two years ago as he considered her to be a "threat". It was
 later claimed by the British her pardon document had been lost, or
 accidentally shredded.

 Lawyer Peter Corrigan of Kevin Winters law firm, who represent Ms
 Price, protested that his client had been moved without her consent and
 against medical advice.

 "While the aim is to receive proper medical care for our client all the
 doctors who have examined her to date have agreed that any treatment
 under a high security situation would be counter therapeutic," he said.


 >>>>>> New evidence in rubber bullet death

 An inquest has been ordered to be reopened after new evidence was
 uncovered about the death of the first child killed by a rubber bullet
 in the north of Ireland.

 Seventeen people have died in the north of Ireland at the hands of
 rubber or plastic bullets, including seven children, and hundreds
 injured.  The weapons continue to be used by the Crown Forces as a form
 of crowd control during 'public order' situations.

 Schoolboy Francis Rowntree, known to his family as Frank, died in 1972
 after being struck in the head with rubber baton round that it is
 believed had been 'modified' in order to make it more deadly.

 The 11-year-old from Lower Clonard Street in west Belfast sustained
 catastrophic head injuries after being hit as he played with a friend
 close to Divis Flats in April 1972.

 At the original inquest held in October 1972 the soldier who fired the
 fatal shot from the Royal Anglian Regiment, known only as 'soldier B'
 was not called to give evidence and instead a statement taken by
 military police was produced at the hearing.

 A witness has now came forward to say that within minutes of the
 shooting, the soldiers involved appeared to be searching the scene for
 the fatal round which was believed to have been hollowed out and a
 battery placed inside the rubber casing.

 Soldier B claimed the bullet ricocheted off a lamppost. However, a
 recent forensic reexamination of the fatal injuries by state
 pathologist Professor Jack Crane undermines this account and suggests
 that the child was shot directly at close range.

 A Historical Enquiries Team report into the shooting confirmed that he
 was an "innocent bystander who posed no threat whatsoever to the

 In a letter to the family, Six-County Attorney General John Larkin said
 that having considered all new evidence, "I have concluded that it is
 advisable that a fresh inquest beheld into the death of Francis
 Rowntree and I so direct".

 Frank's brother Jim said the family were relieved to hear that a fresh
 inquest would now be held. "Frank was just an innocent child and yet
 the army tried to blacken his name saying he was involved in a riot,"
 Mr Rowntree said.

 "My parents were told by a consultant in the Royal that his head had
 been crushed like an eggshell.

 "An apology would go a long way to healing the hurt. My Mum is 86 and
 so ifs important for her that we have this inquest now."

 The family's solicitor, Padraig O Muirigh, said the decision by Mr
 Larkin was a"significant step forward for the family's quest for

 "In 1970 an agreement was reached between the British army and the
 chief constable of the RUC, whereby the interviewing of soldiers
 involved in the death of Francis Rowntree was carried out by the Royal
 Military Police," Mr O Muirigh said.

 "There was nothing approaching a proper police investigation into the


 >>>>>> Feature: Interview with Bernadette Devlin McAliskey

 Hugh Hamilton (HH) of WBAI Pacifica Radio interviews Bernadette
 Devlin-McAliskey (BDM) about the imprisonment of Marian Price

 HH: Marian Price is a former Irish Republican militant who first gained
 international notoriety nearly forty years ago following her conviction
 in the 1973 bombing of London's Old Bailey.

 She was subsequently freed in 1980 when she was thought to be on the
 brink of death from severe anorexia nervosa and suffering multiple
 complications from hundreds of forced feedings while on hunger strike
 in prison.

 But now, her supports say that Ms Price, who is also known by her
 married name, Marian McGlinchey, has been illegally imprisoned in
 northern Ireland for more than a year on the basis of secret evidence
 that neither she nor her lawyers have been allowed to see. They say she
 is a political prisoner effectively detained without trial, sentence or
 release date.

 And unless the courts intervene she could spend the rest of her life in

 In fact just this past weekend the authorities issued a statement
 saying that she's been transferred to hospital on the advice of
 psychiatrists but remains in custody.

 Among those demanding justice for Marian Price and calling for her
 immediate release is the noted northern Ireland civil rights leader and
 former Member of Parliament Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey.

 Ms McAliskey was herself imprisoned for her part in defending a
 Nationalist ghetto which was under attach northern Ireland police and
 she's currently a leader in the campaign to free Marian Price. She
 joins us now. Good Afternoon, Ms McAliskey.

 BDM: Hi. How are you?

 HH: Very well, thank you and thank you very much for joining us. You've
 said of Marian Price that while she's not the only political prisoner
 who's being detained in this manner, her case is urgent and becoming
 critical. How so?

 BDM: Marian is not the only person in prison at the minute in violation
 of due process.

 And while that's important, it's important to set the context:
 following the peace process and the restoration of a democratic
 assembly in northern Ireland and the restoration of justice and
 policing to northern Ireland, all of these matters should be matters
 for due process of law and for the democratic process.

 However, running along side that, we have still got essentially secret
 policing, secret intelligence run directly by the military
 intelligence, MI5 in London, through the UK Secretary of State, who is
 a British appointment, and seems to over-ride the democratic authority
 of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

 And in Marian's case the urgency relates directly to the impact of this
 unwarranted imprisonment on her physical and emotional health.

 There are charges pending against her in that she is alleged to have
 supported a terrorist organisation by holding up a piece of paper at a
 rally in a rainstorm from which somebody else read.

 And she was granted bail on that charge.

 But the Secretary of State over-rode the court's decision to grant bail
 and ordered her detention in prison.

 And she's now been in there for over a year.

 HH: And what is her state of health right now? I've read that over the
 weekend - I think on Friday - she was moved to a hospital?

 BDM: The present position is that as the result of her deteriorating
 health and the refusal of the the Parole Commissioner, the Secretary of
 State or Minister of Justice to exercise their authority and restore
 her bail, an urgent alert was made to the United Nations Rapporteur on

 It's important to remember that when Marian was on hunger strike,
 unlike the later hunger strikes when people literally starved, Marian
 Price as a young woman was forced fed three times a day by having a
 tube pushed down a throat, she was forcibly restrained and liquid
 nutrition was poured down her throat three times a day.

 If she brought that up the process was repeated.

 And that experience is what led to her anorexia nervosa and eating
 disorders. And (it) also exacerbated a condition that had existed from
 childhood relating to tuberculosis and it's impact on her emotional and
 mental health because of the trauma of the re-incarceration in that

 So the was a UN alert and the UN Rapporteur on Health, Anand Grover,
 who's an Indian lawyer, an excellent, excellent defender of health, he
 sent a UN Inspector to the prison.

 And the UN Inspector was denied access to the prison.

 But had finally secured an inspection meeting for today.

 On Friday, the Chief Medical Officer of the prison issued a press
 statement that Marian had been transferred to hospital.

 But when the press statement was issued Marian was still in the prison.

 And she was fundamentally being coerced to agree to go to a psychiatric
 unit outside of the prison despite a medical report that she was not
 suffering from any form of psychosis - she was suffering from mental
 and emotional trauma directly as a result of her environment.

 And that medical report recommended that she be released to the care of
 her family to recover her health so that she could answer the charges.

 So it looked on Friday that the authorities were attempting to remove
 her from the prison environment to head-off the UN inspection.

 Or alternatively, attempting either to discredit Marian by putting her
 in a position where she would be refusing medical help.

 The other alternative to the prison authorities was of course to use
 use The Mental Health Act which would allow them to place her in
 psychiatric care against her will.

 But from their point of view, to have done that, to have used the
 Mental Health Act and forcibly placed her in a psychiatric unit, would
 then have undermined their capacity to charge her with any offence
 because she couldn't be both mentally incapable and mentally capable of
 being charged.

 So at present, Marian is in hospital we believe...but we are unsure, at
 this precise point, as to whether that's a temporary assessment within
 the prison regime.

 We're waiting today to hear the outcome of the United Nations medical

 And we have at this point no idea whether that will lead to a
 recommendation again that she be released that will be acted upon or
 whether she will be returned to the prison environment.

 It's very important that people do campaign and do contact,
 particularly those Irish-American and other politicians in America, who
 played such a role in setting up the peace process, to recognise that
 these violations are still going on.

 So, on the one hand we have Her Majesty the Queen feeling it's safe
 enough for her to stand on Irish soil and be greeted by the leader of
 Sinn Fein in the new assembly but it's not safe for Marian Price to
 stand on the same ground because she has no access to due process of

 HH: We're talking with the noted northern Ireland civil rights leader
 and former Member of Parliament, Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey.

 We're discussing the case of Marian Price who her supporters say has
 been illegally imprisoned in northern Ireland as a political prisoner
 for more than a year on the basis of secret evidence that neither she
 nor her lawyers have been allowed to see.

 There is growing international campaign, including here in the United
 States. In fact, on Wednesday there's going to be an evening in
 solidarity with Marian Price here in New York at O'Lunney's - I'll give
 you more information about that a little later on in the programme.

 But if you have questions about Marian Price or if you've got questions
 for Bernadette McAliskey will take them at 212-209-2900. (repeats

 Ms McAliskey, the question arises, particularly for those people who
 might not be very familiar with the situation in Ireland and in
 northern Ireland. The question arises...Why is this issue important?

 I've seen you as quoted as saying that: "Ms Price's case reflects the
 increasing powerlessness of global organisations, including the United
 Nations, to defend human rights."

 I'd like you to expand on that and explain why that is relevant to this

 BDM: Hugh, I'm losing your voice intermittently.

 HH: I was just asking, you're quoted as saying that - The Marian Price
 case: "It reflects the increasing powerlessness of global
 organisations, including the UN" and I'd like you to explain what you
 mean by that.

 BDM: Yes. I think what is very important for people to recognise that
 what is happening to Marian is not an isolated case.

 While it's happening here in northern Ireland and we have had to call
 upon the UN Rapporteur for Health to exercise his authority to examine
 it, the fundamental disrespect that the prison authorities here treat
 that, as if to say:" "what business is it of his?" and try to avoid
 their responsibilities is, although in a very small and certainly less
 traumatic than for example what is happening in Syria what is happening
 in Palestine, what happened in Egypt, what happened in Iraq, what goes
 on throughout the world is not only in unstable, if you'd like,
 political societies or clear dictatorships, but the confidence and the
 arrogance with which many of the western powers, who created the UN in
 the middle of the twentieth century, and actually undermine that
 organisation in both its protection of the UN Charter on Human Rights,
 on it's collective role for peace keeping, for democracy, for
 compliance with UN resolutions...

 I think Marian's case is symptomatic of those things we see every day:
 the impunity with which Israel flouts UN resolutions in regard to
 Palestine, the manner in which Syrians are now just massacring their
 own people, and the fact that Guantanamo Bay, despite the promises of
 Obama, is still there. That we still haven't had the truth on

 That people can still be imprisoned without due process and that many
 countries, particularly in the very powerful western alliances, feel
 that UN resolutions and UN protections are for protecting them from
 their enemies but not people from powerful states.

 And that's what I was saying. That Marian's case is not just something
 peculiar to the northern Ireland situation.

 The increasing confidence with which fundamental human rights and due
 process and protections are being ignored - I think is frightening.

 HH: We're talking with the noted northern Ireland civil right leader
 and former Member of Parliament Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey. We're
 discussing the case of Marian Price who her supporters say has been
 illegally imprisoned in northern Ireland for more than a year on the
 basis secret evidence that neither she nor her lawyers have been
 allowed to see.

 They say that she is a political prisoner effectively being detained
 without trial, sentence or release date and without the intervention of
 the courts could end up spending the rest of her life in prison.

 There's been some discussion and debate on this question of whether Ms
 Price was out on parole as we say in the United States or licence as
 you say in northern Ireland.

 There was an argument that said she wasn't out on parole at all but had
 in fact been granted a full pardon, The Royal Prerogative of Mercy,
 when she was released from prison in 1980.

 Are you in a position to clarify exactly which of those two

 BDM: Yes. There are two clear positions on that and there's a very
 clear legal position on it.

 Marian Price was released on a royal pardon.

 Now what the Secretary of State claimed when he imprisoned her was that
 she had been imprisoned on two separate charges and that she got royal
 pardon on one but was released on parole on the other.

 Now the likelihood of that is very small. That you would actually get
 out on a pardon... you know, half of you would be on pardon and the
 other half would be on parole... since it's only one person.

 But the law is perfectly clear and there's a lot of British case law to
 substantiate that. The law is perfectly clear:

 that if the information and advice provided to Marian Price at the time
 of her release was such as to give her a reasonable belief, that is to
 say the belief that any reasonable person would hold, that she had been
 released on royal pardon then the law must accept she was released on
 royal pardon.

 And that's where the legal battle is.

 So that there is a precedent in UK and European law.

 If she believed at the time of her release and ever since that it was a
 pardon, then she had a legitimate expectation that that's what it was.

 Now the matter could be readily resolved if the document of release and
 pardon or parole was produced.

 But when the northern Ireland Secretary of State was asked to produced
 it he said it had been mislaid. It had been lost.

 He claims it was lost in the period after which she was sent to prison.

 And it also appears that in the history of the British state, Marian
 Price's pardon, that is to say the physical document signed by Her
 Majesty, is the only one such document to ever have disappeared.

 And you have to really ask yourself questions about that.

 HH: The question arises: Why is this happening to Marian Price now?

 BDM: I think it's happening for a number of reasons.

 There are parts of it have very, for me, have resonance for the arrest
 of my own daughter and the context in which that happened at the
 beginning of the peace process. I think the normalisation and the peace
 process here has reached a position where the voices of Republican
 dissidents have, according to the state, to be silenced.

 There are many, many, particularly, in the present economic climate,
 there are many poorer people, particularly the youth who have not had
 any social, political or economic benefits from the peace.

 There are people of course who have had significant benefits.

 And overall there is an absence of war. There is political stability.
 There has been economic development.

 But large sections of the most impoverished people have not seen any
 economic or social benefits from the peace.

 And it's amongst those young people, many of whom suffer from
 trans-generational trauma of war, and many who fundamentally disagree
 with the politics of their former political leaders.

 That dissidence has steadily grown - fueled by the lack of economic and
 social opportunity, fueled by the lack of any understanding of that
 group of disaffected people or lack of any opportunity for them to
 articulate what their grievances are.

 So as the dissidence has grown, the repression has grown and the
 numbers of people in prisons have grown.

 And then with that we begin to see again the development of a prisoner
 support constituency.

 And I think the government has decided, which is fairly traditional
 here as well as elsewhere, to use repression as a means of stifling
 discontent and dissent.

 And Marian Price is therefore identifiable as a kind of flexing of the
 government's muscle - that they're not afraid to take on a woman -
 they're not afraid to take on a Republican of long standing.

 And the irony of course is: that the young man who went to London on
 the same bombing expedition with Marian Price is now a senior member in
 the government.

 HH: When this case was brought to my attention by my colleague, Sandy
 Boyer, and I asked him for some additional information, I was rather
 surprised by the volume of information that is out there and which had
 not yet come to my attention.

 And I'm wondering whether, in your estimation, the case of Marian Price
 is resonating as extensively as it should within the Irish-American
 community. The...

 BDM: No! I think there are two things happening there, Hugh.

 The first is: the degree of co-option, which to me is sad.

 The degree of co-option and, in my understanding of the word,
 corruption of people's principles that have come with their
 participation now in the administration of government.

 It is always harder to say that things are not going well -always
 harder to say things are wrong when you have a stake in the government
 as opposed to when you have no stake in that class.

 And Irish-Americans were very influential in helping to develop
 peaceful structures here, in helping to bring about political
 stability, but they have a stake in that stability so they now have a
 stake in the suppression of information.

 They now have a stake in that stability so they now have a stake in
 denying the imperfections.

 And I think that makes life very, very difficult then for principled
 opposition for highlighting these issues and it makes it all the more
 important for people whose principles are justice - regardless of its
 nationality. Whose demand is for peace - regardless of its geographic
 location - to stand up for the principles of due process and of human

 HH: So what's next in the international campaign for Marian Price?

 BDM: There are a number of groups supporting Marian locally.

 There's a Free Marian website which people can get to if you just go
 on... Marian Price... if you google Marian Price ...Free Marian...
 you'll get that website. I think it's

 The prison crises group of which I am a member is drawing the
 international parallels and seeking solidarity with other human rights
 organisations fighting against unjust imprisonment in other places. So
 we're building that. We have produced a pamphlet. There are a number of
 local rallies.

 We are building in the United Kingdom; I've just spoken in Glasgow.

 Sandy Boyer, as he has done for as long as I have known him - forty
 years - championed human rights in Ireland, continues to build in the
 United States and we are building across Europe as well.

 It is a long, slow process that sounds like we're doing great things.

 It's a slow process because many of those we would have relied on in
 the past are now in denial because of their stake in the current

 But we continue to highlight it. We continue to build. We continue to
 draw the levels of solidarity.

 And her very good legal team continues to challenge in the court.

 So we will await the outcome of the UN visit. We hope to have a
 judicial review of the Parole Commission's latest decision.

 And we just keep battling on until we have her released.

 The sadness is, that all that Marian Price is asking for, all she is
 asking for, is that she be granted the bail that she has repeatedly
 been given in the court.

 The original charge against her has in fact been dismissed by the court
 because of the violation of not bringing the case to trial for over a

 A new charge has been instigated for which no evidence has been
 produced - that's the one about the secret MI5 evidence. But she was
 granted bail on that charge as well.

 And she is demanding only so that she be released from prison and
 allowed to recover her health at home so that she defend herself
 against these charges.

 She is not asking to be released from prison and not charged with
 anything simply on the grounds that she's is ill.

 The position is that she has been charged without evidence. She has
 been denied bail.

 The incarceration in prison, for the greater part in solitary
 confinement, has re-traumatised her from the early experience and she
 asks only for her right to be released as the court has ordered so that
 she can go home, regain her health and answer the charges against her.

 HH: We've been talking with the noted northern Ireland civil rights
 leader and former Member of Parliament Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey.

 Ms McAliskey, thank you very much for elucidating this issue for us on
 the case of Marian Price. We will of course keep our listeners
 informed. I'll be announcing an event this weekend...

 BDM: Might I say thank you again to WBAI who for many years have helped
 tell the truth and defend democracy across the USA. I don't know where
 we would be without you.

 HH: Thank you very much indeed, Ms McAliskey.

 (Interview ends)


 >>>>>> Analysis: A cordial union

 ------------------------------------------------------------------- The
 following article by Gerry Adams (for Leargas) was written in advance
 of Wednesday's meeting between Martin McGuinness and the queen.

 The peace process has seen some strange and unexpected and remarkable
 developments in its almost 20 years. Sinn Fein leaders in Downing St
 and the White House; US Presidents shaking hands with Sinn Fein
 leaders; unionist leaders, who wouldn't sit in the same television
 studios or talk to us in the negotiations, now sitting in an Executive
 and all-Ireland Ministerial Council; and Martin McGuinness and Ian
 Paisley demonstrating that former enemies can be friends. And that work
 being continued by Martin and Peter Robinson. There has been much more.

 It is evidence of the success of the process in achieving change. Of
 course, it doesn't mean that unionists are now republicans and prepared
 to agree to a united Ireland or that republicans have become unionists.
 And there are still many issues of difference and concern between us.
 But we have a process, rooted in equality, which has the capacity to
 resolve these with patience.

 This week will see another historic moment. Martin McGuinness has
 received an invitation from Co-operation Ireland to attend an event in
 Belfast next week - unconnected to the Jubilee - to celebrate the arts
 and culture across Ireland. The event will also be attended by the
 President of Ireland, the Queen of England and by First Minister Peter

 Last Friday the Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle agreed that Martin could accept
 the invitation. This is a significant initiative involving major
 political and symbolic challenges for Irish republicans.

 As the record of the peace process demonstrates Irish republicans have
 frequently been prepared to take bold and historic initiatives and
 risks for peace to break stalemates and find agreements.

 We do so as activists whose primary political objective is the
 re-unification and independence of Ireland, and we have a coherent and
 viable strategy to achieve this.

 Key to uniting Ireland is our ability to persuade a section of
 unionists that this is the right decision for them. To make it work it
 has to be part of a genuine process of national reconciliation and

 I understand that a meeting between a Sinn Fein leader and the Queen of
 England is difficult for some republicans and for the victims of
 British state violence, even if the President of Ireland and the First
 Minister Peter Robinson is present and they are all participating as

 The Irish republican and nationalist experience with the British
 monarchy and the British state over centuries has been tragic and
 difficult and the vexed and unresolved issue of sovereignty remains

 But Irish republicanism is rooted in the ethos and philosophy of Wolfe
 Tone and the United Irish Society, who sought the unity of Catholics,
 Protestants and dissenters. We are about the work of building a new
 republic, a new Ireland. And that means demonstrating to our unionist
 neighbours that we are serious about creating a society on this island
 that they will be comfortable in.

 The British Queen has a unique place in the hearts and minds and
 sentiments of the unionists. As republicans we reject the idea of
 royalty or monarchy or elites or hierarchies but unionists have a
 different perspective. We have to understand that if our conversations
 are to have relevance and make sense to them.

 Last year, Queen Elizabeth II visited Dublin. Sinn Fein declined to
 participate. That was exactly the right decision. That visit marked a
 rapprochement in relations between that state and the British monarchy.
 That was a good thing. It took 100 years to achieve.

 In the course of her visit she made some important gestures and
 remarks, including an acknowledgement of the pain of all victims, which
 demonstrated the beginning of a new understanding and acceptance of the
 realities of past. I welcomed that at the time and said it should be
 built upon.

 This is a different visit -- in a different context.

 This week's meeting is a clear expression of the determination of Irish
 republicans to engage with our unionist neighbours and to demonstrate
 that we are prepared, once again to go beyond rhetoric, as we seek to
 persuade them that our new Ireland will not be a cold house for
 unionists or any other section of our people.

 Unionists don't need me to tell them that they have lived on this
 island for centuries. This is their home. It is where they belong and
 it is where they will remain.

 Our Protestant neighbours also have a proud history of progressive and
 radical thinking. The founders of Irish republicanism where mainly
 Protestant. They were for the emancipation of their Catholic neighbours
 and for equality.

 Republicans are democrats and the new republic we seek is pluralist. An
 Ireland of equals in which there is space for all opinions and
 identities. Sinn Fein is for a new dispensation in which a citizen can
 be Irish and unionist. Where one can also claim Britishness and be
 comfortable on this island.

 Our vision of a new Republic is one in which, in Tone's words, Orange
 and Green unite in a cordial union.

 The Sinn Fein decision reflects a confident, dynamic, forward-looking
 Sinn Fein demonstrating our genuine desire to embrace our unionist

 It also reflects the equality and parity of esteem arrangements that
 are now in place. It will also create new platforms and open up a new
 phase in our relationships and will be another important and necessary
 step on our collective journey.

 James Craig, the first unionist Prime Minister of the North recognised
 this when he said: "In this island we cannot live always separated from
 one another. We are too small to be apart or for the border to be there
 for all time. The change will not come in my time but it will come."

 It is clear that legacy issues have to be dealt with and Sinn Fein will
 continue to engage in that work.

 By our actions Irish republicans will be judged, as well as our
 beliefs. We have to change Irish society now, North and South, to
 accommodate the unionist population and their cultural identity. The
 meeting between Martin McGuinness and the Queen of England will assist
 in that process.

 If the peace process has taught us anything, it is that the process
 cannot remain static. It must continue to expand and we must constantly
 build on the progress that has been made.


 >>>>>> Analysis: Bridging the gulf between compromise and abandonment

 The following article by Anthony McIntyre (for the Guardian) was
 written in advance of Wednesday's meeting between Martin McGuinness and
 the queen.

 Tomorrow the former Provisional IRA chief of staff Martin McGuinness
 will shake hands with the British queen at the Lyric Theatre in
 Belfast. The event has been made possible by the earlier negotiated
 surrender of the IRA. Surrendering honourably is better than holding
 out to the last. The leaders of the 1916 Rising in Dublin chose to
 surrender rather than subject the city's population to further

 In politics as in other areas of life it is often necessary to
 compromise principles. But there is a gulf between compromise and
 abandonment that should not be bridged. Otherwise radical ideas and the
 notion of oppositional currents are devalued. What does it say about
 the plausibility of the adversarial position if the values espoused in
 opposition are jettisoned just to make it into office?

 McGuinness will not be standing in front of the British head of state
 on equal terms: as head of another state that had gained its
 independence from Britain. He is there as deputy head of a state over
 which the British hold unalloyed sovereignty and which he ostensibly
 spent much of his adult life trying to destroy.

 Peter Hain, the former secretary of State for the North of Ireland, has
 said that 'many Republicans will see it as a betrayal.' He is right.
 They will feel that McGuinness and Sinn Fein have not simply
 compromised core principles but abandoned them, principles that he and
 his colleagues in positions of leadership directed others to both take
 life and risk losing possession of their own mortal coil in pursuit of.
 In Derry where McGuinness is domiciled, graffiti has appeared on walls:
 'U Dare Marty' and 'Sinn Fein sellouts.'  At a rally in South Armagh on
 Sunday, where many British troops and policemen exhaled their death
 rattle, courtesy of the IRA campaign, McGuinness was denounced as a
 traitor who had persistently lied to his volunteers.

 Whatever about the intemperate language in which it is adorned, the
 substance of republican opposition to tomorrow's meeting hardly renders
 it the perspective of past-hugging dinosaurs. Plaid Cymru leader Leanne
 Wood recently declined to attend a service in the Queen's presence at
 Llandaff Cathedral which was laid on to mark the Diamond Jubilee. The
 Plaid Cymru Assembly member for South Wales West, Bethan Jenkins,
 described Martin McGuinness as 'naive' for going ahead with the
 meeting. Boycotting monarchy is a perfectly legitimate position for
 republicans to adopt.

 Irish republicans who express that dissent do so in the context of a
 British state which continues to behave badly: just last week it denied
 a public inquiry into the massacre of civilians in Belfast in 1971
 while continuing to seek prosecution of republicans they suspect of
 involvement in the IRA campaign. This week it is indulging in
 gratuitous flag waving by having the Armed Forces flag hoisted for six
 days at Belfast City Hall, riding roughshod over nationalist protests
 that such action is coat trailing triumphalism.

 The British monarchy in opting to shake the hand of McGuinness is
 hardly unaware of the perspective outlined in the Boston Globe: 'there
 are many law enforcement officials, Irish and British, who believe
 McGuinness was running the IRA or was at least on its ruling Army
 Council, when the plan to blow up Mountbatten was approved.'

 Yet it is the path the monarchy has decided to tread, even if holding
 its nose. Why? Norman Tebbit, who survived the Brighton bomb in 1984,
 explained it succinctly: McGuinness and Sinn Fein have 'now accepted
 the sovereignty of Her Majesty over Northern Ireland.' Strange
 bedfellows perhaps but The Daily Telegraph is not out of sync with
 peeved republicans when it proclaims 'the British establishment
 completes the decommissioning of Martin McGuinness.'

 Tomorrow's event will be tarted up in the discourse of the peace
 process, which invariably serves to mask essences and runs with the
 decoy of appearances. Despite much discursive massaging the matter has
 little if anything to do with reaching out to unionists. If Sinn Fein
 and McGuinness were really concerned with embracing unionist
 sensitivity they would desist from denying that the IRA carried out the
 Kingsmill massacre in 1976, an act on an ethical par with Derry's
 Bloody Sunday in Derry 1972.   The strategic thinking behind tomorrow's
 initiative is consistent with Sinn Fein's expansionist strategy in the
 South of Ireland where everything is gauged in terms of conquering
 electoral terrain, not creating ethical terra firma sufficiently
 fortified to bear the reconciled weight of two separate traditions.
 Sinn Fein's electoral ambitions, not reconciliation with unionism, is
 what fuels Martin McGuinness meeting the Queen.

 However, having scorned the opportunity during the royal visit to
 Ireland last year, Sinn Fein's transparently crass manipulation of
 tomorrow's event may end up alienating more votes than it attracts.

No comments:



Twitter follow



Facebook Badge





Fwicki - RSS Management, Multimedia Data Portals, Syndication Consulting Services





Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Search This Blog


Iraq Death Estimator

Iraq Deaths Estimator


NEWS you WON"T find on the BBC


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Music Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory


Watch favourite links


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Subscribe to updates

Share on Friendfeed

FriendFeed badge


Irish Blog Directory

My Headlines

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon



Irish Blogs

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

My Headlines

My Headlines

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    My Headlines

    Ireland Headline Animator



    My Headlines


    Follow Blog

    IrelandYouTube Headline Animator

    Subscribe Now: Feed Icon


    My Blog List


    Blog Archive