Irish Republican Information Service (no. 298)

Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill, 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
Phone: +353-1-872 9747; FAX: +353-1-872 9757; e-mail:
Date: 22 Meitheamh / June 2012
Internet resources maintained by SAOIRSE-Irish Freedom

In this issue:
1. Provisionals are part and parcel of British administration in Ireland
2. ‘Together we can build a nation’
3. Cynical attempt by British to normalise presence in Ireland
4. Fresh bid to clear Bloody Sunday victim’s name
5. Creggan parents allege ‘heavy handed’ policing
6. British Armed Forces flag to fly for six days at Belfast City Hall
7. Conviction quashed because of forced confession
8. Ballymurphy massacre families are told probe not in public interest
9. Councillor resigns from Provos
10. Vandals cut off GAA goalposts
11. 26-County minister defends use of ‘London’Derry in
Leinster House
12. Sentences appealed
13. Group seeks to restrain Eirgrid over power-link magnetic fields
14. Bord na Móna workers to stage a two-day strike
15. Protest in Manhattan at Queen’s Jubilee
16. Protest in Manhattan at Queen’s Jubilee
17. Unions complicit in job cuts at Pfizer
18. Turf-cutters protest in Galway as machinery is seized
19. Ann San Suu Kyi accepts Nobel Peace Prize 21 years late
20. Butcher’s Apron burned in Argentina
21. Marching for an end to Stop-and-Frisk
22. No to the European Union’s ESM bank bailout fund and the fiscal
23. Amnesty raps Olympic ‘chemical’ sponsor
24. Google concerned by rising content removal requests

1. Provisionals are part and parcel of British administration in

IN A statement on June 22 the President of Republican Sinn Féin,
Des Dalton, said:

“The upcoming meeting of British Crown Minister Martin
McGuinness with the Queen of England is merely a symbolic confirmation of
the fact that the Provisionals are part and parcel of the British
administration in Ireland. The reality of British Rule on the ground for
nationalists has not changed with arbitrary arrest and internment without
trial still used to secure British occupation.

“The continued internment of Martin Corey and Marian Price
tells us much about the true nature of British rule in Ireland. The fact
that nationalist communities in areas such as Lurgan and Craigavon are
under siege from the British colonial police force, the RUC/PSNI, again
underlines the colonial statelet which Martin McGuinness and the
Provisionals are prepared to administer under instruction from their
political masters in Westminster. The next step for the Provisionals will
of course be to sit in the British parliament at Westminster. Their
protestations to the contrary ring increasingly hollow.

“Irish Republicans will be opposing the visit of the Queen
of England to the Six Counties just as we opposed her visit to the
26-County State last year. The state of which she is head by its continued
occupation of Ireland denies “the right of the people of Ireland to
the ownership of Ireland”. The only basis for a just and lasting
settlement leading to a New Ireland is a British declaration of intent to
withdraw which will create the space within which the people of All-Ireland
can negotiate and debate the shape of a truly democratic Al-Ireland

2. ‘Together we can build a nation’

ON Sunday, June 10 Republicans from all over Ireland assembled in
Sallins village, Co Kildare for the annual pilgrimage to the grave of the
Father of Irish Republicanism, Theobald Wolfe Tone, at Bodenstown Cemetery.

Led by the National Colour Party, Cumann na mBan and Na Fianna
Éireann and the Pride of Éireann band from Co Armagh, the parade marched
to the Cemetery in broad sunshine. Chief Marshall was Seosamh Ó Maoileoin,
Iar Mhí.

Proceedings at the graveside were chaired by Frank Quigley,
Fermanagh, who called on Tess Moten, Tipperary to lay a laurel wreath on
the memorial on behalf of the Republican Movement. The Chief Marshall then
called on the band for a roll of the drums while the colour party dipped
the flags in memory of all those who died for Ireland.

An Cathaoirleach then called on Peig Galligan of the National
Graves Association to say a few words and she spoke movingly of the
sacrifice of the Forgotten Ten, including Kevin Barry who were hanged by
the British during the War of Independence.

He then called on Ard Chomhairle member Cáit Trainor, Armagh to
deliver the oration.

She said: “British Occupation is no more acceptable today
than it was in 1798, time does not normalise occupation nor can it erase
the natural injustices that go hand in hand with it. Once again we as proud
Republicans stand here today at the grave of Theobald Wolfe Tone, to honour
and commemorate him and all the Irish patriots and to show our continued
rejection and resistance to British rule.

“The normalisation of today stands in stark contrast to
Tone’s vision of what Ireland should be as a fully independent and
sovereign nation. Tone’s tactics did not include negotiating with the enemy
or compromise, he had a clear message „break the connection with England“.
His tactics where to lead men to the hillsides with pike in hand, with a
determination that Ireland should stand as an equal independent nation
among the nations of the world. Tone’s vision is our vision, Tone’s desire
is our desire, and
Tone’s determination is matched with our own. Tone had an aim to unite
Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter in the common goal of Irish
Independence. To this end his venture was successful for people from all
backgrounds did organise to end British tyranny. Britain, realising the
power of Irishmen uniting, inflamed sectarian division to further their own
imperial ends.

“The descendants of the Republican Irish Scots have been
systematically robbed of their noble Republican heritage by a vile
combination of British imperialism, unionism and Orange sectarianism, many
of their descendants fled to America to escape British oppression and
played an important part in the foundations of a Republican USA. It is sad
indeed to see descendants of such noble people subservient to monarchs and
imperialists, a notion so alien to their ancestors.

“Today we see the same age old tactics from the British
invaders, who are bribing and intimidating the nationalist people of
Ireland into accepting alien concepts, one such is the abominable UK City
of culture moniker that has been bestowed on Derry for 2013. Using native
collaborators to sell such an idea to the people, this shameful accolade
has been supported by many traditional Irish cultural and sporting groups,
the GAA and Comhaltas are two particular groups who have allowed themselves
to be reduced to snivelling servants, banging the tribal drums for the
foreign viceroy. The ‚UK City of Culture‘ title in an Irish city is an
insult to all Irish people. The British puppets who claim to represent
Republicans and nationalists, who fought so hard to win this disgusting
title, are no better than paid informers betraying the nation.

“Ireland today is one unrecognisable to the past, things we
have never thought possible happen day by day, those in power seem
determined to sell of our Country, be it to the acceptance of British
occupation or the handing over sovereignty to Europe. Just recently the
fiscal treaty that assures austerity for years to come and ensures the poor
get poorer was passed in the 26 Counties. Republican Sinn Féin was at the
forefront of opposing this treaty and indeed all the past European treaties
that make Ireland nothing more than a piece of land controlled by the
capitalist and banking elite.

“The treaty asked people to vote on economic measures not
yet decided, rendering the people powerless to make changes in future that
could see Ireland prosper. Ireland has lost control of its nationhood,
Republican Sinn Féin through ÉIRE NUA points the way to regaining our
independence including fiscal independence. ÉIRE NUA is the only positive
alternative, a framework for the future of an Independent Ireland. We need
to acknowledge that its concept is not widely known or understood. It is a
working document that provides for how an independent Ireland should be.
100 years on from the rising we need to speak to the people in layman’s
terms on our vision for independence, Lets forget fancy words and political
jargon and give the Irish Nation the confidence and knowledge it needs to
realise that our vision and ÉIRE NUA is the only position that can create
a peaceful and just Ireland for all.

“Recently a British minister in Stormont, Martin
McGuinness, suggested he wants to enter into talks with Republicans.
Republicans have always made it clear that we are not interested in
engaging with puppets of the British State. The only time we will be
interested in meeting representatives from the British government will be
to discuss their withdrawal from our country. Former Republicans should
understand they no longer hold influence among Republicans and we view them
as contemptible cogs of the British Establishment.

“In May 2011 the 26 Counties had a State visit from the
British Queen. Republican Sinn Féin led the way in opposing the
subservience and fawning that was seen by national organisations. On June
26 the British Queen will once again visit Ireland; again we will see
subservience and fawning. British Deputy First Minister in Ireland Martin
McGuinness will undoubtedly greet her in another shameful act of
capitulation to British imperialism. They have lost all claims to
Republicanism even in the anti-monarchist sense. Again Republican Sinn Fein
will oppose the British monarchy visiting any part of Ireland and I urge
you all to join in our protests.

“The last few months we have seen an upsurge in harassment
from State forces. House raids, arrests and communities under siege. This
harassment has been met with great resistance and courage from the
Republican people. These actions give truth to the lie that the people have
been bought. The RUC/PSNI is a force of occupation and no amount of
community outreach can change the basic reason they exist, their primary
purpose is to uphold British rule in Ireland. Young nationalists are told
times have changed, that you can join the RUC and still remain a
Republican. This is a dangerous lie that must be exposed; those who promote
it are putting the lives of young Irish people in jeopardy. As history has
shown the British police force has always been an enemy of the Irish people
and treated accordingly and they continue to be so.

“The ongoing arrests and trumped up charges amount to
nothing more than internment by stealth. Two such cases are Martin Corey
and Marian Price. Martin Corey’s case is so blatant there is not even a
known charge against him; he is simply interned for holding Republican
principles. Marian Price is currently very ill in Hydebank. The refusal of
the prison authorities to allow UN doctors into to see her is no surprise;
they don‘t want the world to know the injustice of her detention. Scores of
men are currently on a no wash protest in Maghaberry Jail in response to
invasive strip searching and other barbaric conditions. Compassionate
parole is used as a punishment against Prisoners of War. We must redouble
our efforts to highlight their plight. The valued efforts by prisoners who
are under lock and key to fight for their rights and thereby further the
cause of Irish Republicanism, must be reciprocated by us on the outside

“The media has stepped up its campaign of trying to
normalise us to British rule, protesters are vilified for using their
voice, politicians use words like pathetic and disgusting when citizens
stand up for themselves against harassment. Currently there is a British
propaganda advert making reference to all the wonderful things the Brits
have done for us. They state this is our place, our time! It’s a good
slogan, this is our place, its Ireland and this is our time, time for
change, time for freedom. There can only be one winner in this war and that
will be the Irish people, if our generation do not succeed there will be
generations to come who will.

“We must realise that each and every one of us must work
hard to end British rule. We are a Movement made up of individuals; your
single action can contribute to the success of the Movement. We are all
part of a bigger picture but that picture starts with you, our work or lack
of, can have a detrimental or monumental effect. I have heard it said when
people see injustice „why doesn‘t somebody do something about that?“ Who is
somebody? You are somebody, I am somebody and so we collectively are the
somebody who must do it. The power of the individual is as important as the
power of the Movement. We are all only as good as our last action,
sometimes we may feel that what we do has no bearing in the larger scheme
of things. I want to leave you with this thought. One person can make a
difference, 100 people can make real change but together we can build a

“Onwards to Victory.”

Following her well-received oration, the Cathaoirleach sung
Bodenstown’s Churchyard and the Chief Marshall called the parade back
to order for the march back to Sallins village where the National Anthem
was played and the commemoration ended.

3. Cynical attempt by British to normalise presence in Ireland

ON June 5 Republican protesters gathered outside Páirc Esler in
Newry, Co Down to highlight the Maghaberry prison situation.

Republican Sinn Fein said the protest held outside Páirc Esler
on the night of the Olympic Torch visit was to “highlight the torture
and ill treatment of political prisoners incarcerated in Maghaberry Gaol
and in Hydebank Women’s prison”.

A spokesperson said, “A protest against the torture and ill
treatment of political prisoners incarcerated in Maghaberry Gaol and in
Hydebank Women’s prison took place at the GAA grounds in Newry,
another blemish on the reputation of the Down County Board who have proved
to be supporters of the British occupation in Ireland. Only last year Down
was one of the only counties in Ulster to meet with, and welcome the Queen
of England to Ireland.”

The spokesperson said it was called to coincide with the arrival
of the Olympic torch from London. “The peaceful protest facilitated
by Republican Sinn Féin was well attended with more than 70 supporters who
braved the inclement weather.

“Republican Sinn Féin does not recognise that any area of
Ireland is part of the ‘UK’. The Olympic torch, which was
carried in the name of sport, is nothing more than a cynical attempt by the
British establishment to normalise their presence in our country.”

“As a symbol of protest against the British Olympic torch
Republicans lit their own torches of freedom as a symbolic gesture. Whilst
there is no objection to the Olympics per se, it is the host nation and
their human rights record in Ireland with which Republicans take issue. The
assembled crowd carried banners and placards calling for the restoration of
political status to republican prisoners currently incarcerated in
Maghaberry and Hydebank.

“Currently POWs find themselves living in squalid
conditions and having their human rights contravened with forced strip
searching and controlled movement within the gaols, they have been forced
on to a no wash protest as a result to the Prison authorities reneging on
the August agreement of 2010.

“Martin Corey is currently being held in Maghaberry without
charge or trial, he has previously served 19 years. Two years ago his
‘licence’ was revoked. Martin refused to sign a licence for his
release after 17 years and was subsequently held for a further two years,
so to say his licence has been revoked is a misnomer. Well known Republican
activist Marian Price is also suffering internment and at present is
seriously ill.

“It is most disturbing that a delegation of doctors from
the United Nations have been refused permission to see her, this coupled
with the torture endured by the rest of the prisoners needs to become a
matter of urgent public attention and concern. Republican Sinn Féin call
on all Republicans and those concerned with Human rights to unite and
support the POWs.”

4. Fresh bid to clear Bloody Sunday victim’s name

ON June 15 the Bloody Sunday Trust said it was launching a fresh
attempt to clear the name of a teenager shot dead in January 1972.

A report by Lord Saville found that Gerald Donaghey, 17, was
“probably armed with nail bombs but was not a threat at the time that
he was shot”. He was a member of Na Fianna Éireann, but witnesses
said he did not have any bombs on him.

The Donaghey family have always insisted the devices were planted
by the British army. They said they would not rest until his name was

Conal McFeely, the chairman of the Bloody Sunday Trust, said Lord
Saville’s conclusion did not make sense.

“How can he ignore the fact that the people who were with
Gerald Donaghey on the day didn‘t see nail bombs?” he
said.”Independent civilian witnesses that came to his aid, a doctor
who examined him, a British soldier, the people trying to take him to
hospital, all testified that they did not see nail bombs in his

Thirteen people were shot dead when soldiers opened fire on
marchers at a civil rights march on January 30, 1972. Another man died five
months later.

5. Creggan parents allege ‘heavy handed’ policing

IT was reported on June 9 that a group of parents held a meeting
in Derry over what they describe as „heavy handed“ policing.

The families said they intend to lodge nine complaints to the
British Police Ombudsman and the Committee on the Administration of

They include a father who claims his 12-year-old daughter was
manhandled by a member of the British colonial police at an anti-policing
protest during the Olympic Flame celebrations.

Meanwhile, another parent, Seana Canning, claimed her 13-year-old
son was also assaulted by n RUC/PSNI member in May.

“He was walking past the Creggan shops with his friends
when they were stopped by the police,” she said. “They were
stopped and he was put aside and put his arm behind his back.”

6. British Armed Forces flag to fly for six days at Belfast City

IT was reported on June 22 that the British Armed Forces Flag
will fly from Belfast City Hall for six days next week.

The British Ministry of Defence had requested that Armed Forces
Day should be marked by flying the flag for a full week.

A motion to fly the flag for six days was discussed at a special
meeting of Belfast City Council on June 21 and was supported by Alliance,
DUP and Ulster Unionist members.

General Sir David Richards from the MoD wrote to councils across
Britain asking them to fly the flag from Monday, June 25.

Although the letter was dated April 2, 2012, Belfast City Council
did not receive it until June 11.

The full council had not been scheduled to meet before June 30.

In previous years, Belfast City Council flew the flag for one day

7. Conviction quashed because of forced confession‘

ON June 21 the last man to be handed the death sentence in the
Six Occupied Counties had his conviction for murder quashed.

Liam Holden, 58, was sentenced to hang for the killing of a
British soldier in 1972. But he said he was water tortured, hooded and had
a gun put to his head by soldiers to extract a confession.

The Court of Appeal in Belfast made the ruling 40 years after his

Outside court, Liam Holden said: “I am delighted after 40
years that the conviction has been quashed. I am just sorry the parents are
not alive to witness it.”

The appeal was held against his conviction for the murder of
Private Frank Bell, 18, who was shot dead on foot patrol in Springfield
Avenue in West Belfast on September 17, 1972.

Liam Holden was found guilty on the basis of a confession that he
maintains was made under duress after being subjected to waterboarding.

He claimed he was pinned to the floor, a thick towel was held
over his face and the soldiers started pouring water on it.

The widowed father-of-two said he was also taken to another part
of Belfast and a gun was put to his head, at which point he agreed to sign
the confession.

His sentence was commuted to life in prison by then British
supremo in the Six Counties Secretary William Whitelaw. He served 17 years
behind bars before being released on licence in 1989.

Liam Holden said: “What the soldiers did to me … water
torture, hooding, putting the gun to my head, no one will ever get a real
feeling of what it is like, it is like a slow drowning sensation.”

He said he was delighted with the outcome.

Patrick Corrigan, Six-County programme director of Amnesty
International, said Mr Holden had finally received a measure of justice.

“But justice delayed so long is justice denied, and
meanwhile Mr Holden has lost seventeen years of his life to the inside of a
prison cell,” he added.

“A conviction, based on confession evidence apparently
extracted under torture, should never have been allowed to stand.

“Torture is a crime under domestic and international law
and we must now see action from the UK authorities to investigate and hold
to account those alleged to have carried out and authorised the use of
waterboarding and other forms of torture in Northern Ireland.

“The accepted but unlawful practice at that time for the
army, rather than the police, to detain and question suspects, also casts
doubt on other similar convictions of that period.”

8. Ballymurphy massacre families are told probe not in public

On June 20 the British government told the families of 11 people
killed by British troops in the case known as the Ballymurphy Massacre that
there will be no independent investigation of the deaths.

The relatives slammed the decision of British Secretary of State
Owen Paterson and pledged to continue their campaign.

The innocent civilians who died after being shot and beaten by
members of the Parachute Regiment in 1971 included a mother of eight and a
Catholic priest tending to the wounded.
The deaths occurred during a security operation in the Ballymurphy area of
west Belfast that stretched across August 9-11 following the introduction
of internment without trial.

British army claims at the time that the victims were armed
Republicans were discredited and the families have called for an
examination of the true facts of the case – which has been linked to the
killing of civilians by the same regiment on Bloody Sunday in Derry.

A spokesperson for the families said they are “deeply
disappointed” by Owen Paterson’s decision to turn down their request
for an independent investigation.

“Mr Paterson, in his letter, has stated that it ‚would not
be in the public interest‘ that an Independent Investigation be
established,” they said.

“We refute this assertion and believe that is clearly in
the ‚public interest‘ that the full facts relating to the circumstances of
the deaths of our loved ones and the role of the British Parachute Regiment
is fully established.

“This is especially so given the recent findings of Lord
Saville in relation to the events of Bloody Sunday and the disclosure of
official British Government documents which reveal evidence of immunity for
British soldiers involved in the murder of innocent civilians.”

9. Councillor resigns from Provos

IT was reported on June 10 that Ballymoney Councillor Anita
Cavlan had resigned from the Provisionals in May. An article in the May 24
Belfast-based Irish News quoted her as saying her resignation arose
“over concerns it is failing prisoners” and the failure of the
party leadership to address those concerns. She felt the Provos
“should be doing more to represent the prisoners” and that
calls for the urgent release of Marian Price had been “weak”.

She also criticised of the way in which the Provos had been
incorporated into the British political structures in the Six Counties. The
party, she said, had “lost direction” and this is what happens,
when “the guerrillas (become) the people in power”.

According to Cllr Cavlan, “[Provisional] Sinn Féin in my
opinion has been slowly sedated and now has been rendered unconscious by
the intoxication of an illusionary power to govern.”

10. Vandals cut off GAA goalposts

BALLYMARTIN GAC, Co Down was granted permission to use the
pitches at a council-run facility in Kilkeel while the club’s playing
fields are upgraded.

However, on June 12 it was found that the pitches had been
targeted for the fourth time and the tall metal uprights had been cut down
sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning (June 11 and 12).

The word ‚British‘ was also sprayed onto remaining part of the
posts at the Carginagh Road pitch, which opened earlier this month.

A union flag was also placed on the posts and, in an earlier
attack, sectarian graffiti was daubed on the clubhouse itself.

A spokesperson for the club said they were “disappointed
with the recent intimidating action of others”.

11. 26-County minister defends use of ‘London’Derry
in Leinster House

ON June 14 26-County Justice Minister Alan Shatter defended
his use of ‘London’derry in Leinster House by saying that it
was the name always employed by the Unionist community.

The use of the controversial name of Derry provoked an online
storm of criticism and on Twitter some posters called for his resignation.

“I would use either the term Derry or Londonderry
interchangeably – it’s used by the two different communities in Northern
Ireland,” he told the BBC. “The Catholic community refers to
Derry, the Protestant community refers to Londonderry.”

The reference to ‘London’derry was in the paper,
electronic and verbal versions of the speech.

Derry was founded in the sixth century by St Colmcille and was a
major monastic settlement for hundreds of years. After the Norman Invasion
it was used as a port by both Gaelic chiefs such as the O’Neills and
O’Donnells and the English administration, depending on the political

Following the Flight of the Earls in 1607 planters organised by
London livery companies through ‘The Honourable The Irish
Society’ as part of the Plantation of Ulster, built the city across
the Foyle from the earlier town, with walls to defend it from Irish
insurgents who opposed the occupation. The aim was to settle Ulster with a
population supportive of the English Crown.

In 1613, the city was granted a Royal Charter by King James
I and the “London” prefix was added, changing the name of the
city to Londonderry, a name never used or recognised by Irish nationalists
or Republicans. Derry city has a largely nationalist population and was the
victim of widespread gerrymandering under the Stormont regime brought down
by the people’s struggle in 1972.

12. Sentences appealed

ON June 18 it was revealed that the British DPP in the Six
Counties wants the sentences of both men convicted of murdering RUC member
Stephen Carroll, who was shot dead in Craigavon in March 2009, referred to
the Court of Appeal for being unduly lenient.

Brendan McConville, 40, of Glenholme Avenue, Craigavon, and John
Paul Wootton, 20, of Collingdale, Lurgan, were found guilty of the murder.
McConville was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years, while Wootton was told
he must serve at least 14.

At the end of May it was revealed that Wootton’s sentence
would be referred to the Court of Appeal, but there was no mention of

However, in a statement the Public Prosecution Service said:
“The Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory QC, today
confirmed that he has sought leave to refer the sentences imposed on both
John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville to the Court of Appeal on the
ground that the sentences are unduly lenient.

“The director has exercised his powers under section 36 of
the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (as amended by section 4 of the Justice
(Northern Ireland) Act 2002).”

13. Group seeks to restrain Eirgrid over power-link magnetic

A COMMUNITY group in Rush, Co Dublin is taking a case against
Eirgrid in a row over cables for the east-west interconnector going through
the town of Rush.
The action by Rush Community Council was admitted to the Commercial Court
for hearing during the month of July.

The link will connect the power system to the British grid via
undersea and underground cables and it is claimed will supply about 350,000
homes. It is set for completion later this year.

The legal action centres on a section of the interconnector that
comes to shore from under the seabed at North Beach in Rush to the
Rogerstown estuary. The group says it is close to homes.

Rush Community Council is seeking an order restraining Eirgrid
from operating the link in any way resulting in creation, production or
emission of time- varying magnetic fields. It is seeking a declaration that
if the link does create such a magnetic field, it is an unauthorised

14. Bord na Móna workers to stage a two-day strike

UP TO 1,500 Bord na Móna workers are to stage a two-day strike
on June 27 and 28 in a dispute over pay, it was announced on June 12.

This latest stoppage follows a one-day strike earlier this month.
The group of unions at the semi-state body – Unite, Siptu and TEEU
– says the 3.5 per cent pay increase on offer from the company is not
on the terms agreed at the Labour Court.

The company and unions were at the Labour Court in April over the
company’s offer of a one per cent pay increase.

The court recommended the workers had a valid claim to a 3.5 per
cent increase.
The company has, however, agreed to pay the 3.5 per cent only on condition
that part of the increase be performance-related and that it be

“This is a wholly new departure,” said Oliver
McDonagh, Siptu organiser and was rejected by the workers.

15. Protest in Manhattan at Queen’s Jubilee

ALMOST 30 protesters campaigning for the release of Republican prisoner
Marian Price gathered outside a Manhattan celebration marking the
Queen’s Jubilee on June 7.

One of the protest organisers, Sandy Boyer, explained why the
group decided to crash the Queen’s celebration.

“Marian Price is in prison in Northern Ireland at the
Queen’s discretion,” he told the Irish Voice. “It’s
very critical that we raise awareness here. If we can get some noise made,
some progress made in the United States, it can have a big effect over

A veteran Republican, Belfast-born Marian Price, 58, was jailed
for the IRA bombing of the Old Bailey in London in 1973. In May 2011 Price
and three Derry men were charged with encouraging support of the IRA after
a dissident Republican rally in Derry on Easter Sunday.

British supremo in the Six Counties Owen Paterson revoked her
license, claiming the threat that she posed to society had
“significantly increased.”

Two months later she was charged in connection to the murder of
two soldiers at Massereene Barracks. She is alleged to have supplied a
mobile phone which was subsequently used in a gun attack in which two
British soldiers were killed in March 2009.

The charges against Marian Price and three Derry men were later
dismissed at Derry Magistrate’s Court in May 2012.

She was the only female inmate at Maghaberry prison in Antrim
from May 2011 until she was moved to the hospital wing of Hydebank prison
last February.

16. Lia Fáil monument at Tara vandalised

A NATIONAL monument that is said to have served as the coronation
stone for the High Kings of Tara was vandalised, it was revealed on June

The attack took place on the Lia Fáil (stone of destiny)
Standing Stone, which is situated on the Hill of Tara in Co Meath.

The standing stone, which is believed to date from 3,500 BC, is
considered an extremely important national monument and features
extensively in ancient texts. The granite stone is associated with the
inauguration rites for the Kings of Tara and was moved to its current
position in the early 19th century.

The monument was reported to be damaged last weekend, but it is
unknown when the attack occurred.

An archaeologist from the National Monuments Service examined the
monument this week and concluded it had been struck – possibly with a
hammer or similar instrument – at 11 places on all four faces of the
stone. Fragments of the standing stone were also removed.

17. Unions complicit in job cuts at Pfizer

ON June 6, pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced the
elimination of 177 jobs at its operations in Cork, Ireland.

The layoffs will take place at two locations, Ringaskiddy and
Little Island, and are being justified due to the ending of patents for
several of Pfizer’s products, which will result in a drop in sales.

The announcement came as Irish unemployment reached a new high of
14.8 percent.

The Pfizer workers who will lose their jobs next year will be
confronted with the near certainty of unemployment, as the Fine Gael-Labour
coalition continues to intensify austerity measures that have led to the
loss of thousands of jobs since 2008. Cork has been hit particularly

The Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union
(SIPTU), which represents most of the workforce at the Cork plants, is
doing all it can to aid management in imposing the job cuts.

After the 177 layoffs were announced, SIPTU held talks with
management and then released a statement which fully accepted the
company’s position. SIPTU organiser Alan O’Leary stated,
“These job losses result from the expiry of the patent on the drug
Lipitor, which is produced at the Little Island plant, and dramatically
reduced volumes at the Ringaskiddy Plant.”

No call was made for the workforce, which approaches 1,000 at the
two affected plants and totals 4,000 at eight sites across Ireland, to take
any protest action, let alone strike, to defend their positions. Accepting
the redundancies as a fait accompli, O’Leary stated, “Pfizer is
a key employer in the Cork region and the union will be seeking support
from all stakeholders, including the Government, to retain as many jobs as
possible at both plants.”

SIPTU’s inactivity will allow Pfizer to impose cost-cutting
at all its Irish locations. The existence of such plans was indicated in
remarks by Séamus Fives, site manager at the Little Island and Ringaskiddy
plants. “Much greater competitiveness is required to compete with
generic medicines, meaning that the cost of manufacturing must be
reduced,” he stated. “Within the Pfizer global manufacturing
network, Ireland competes with much lower cost manufacturing locations and
continuous focus upon competitiveness is critical for the future.”

The lack of any defence of the Pfizer workers by SIPTU is in
keeping with the role of the trade union bureaucracy in the destruction of
jobs since the onset of the economic crisis of 2008. The Irish Congress of
Trade Unions (ICTU) has blocked any resistance by workers to the onslaught
launched against public spending by the previous Fianna Fáil-Green Party
government and continued by the current coalition.

Through the Croke Park Agreement, the unions have facilitated a
reduction of jobs in the public sector by over 10 per cent, with a further
37,000 jobs to go by 2015. The latest figures detailing the savings made
under Croke Park were presented to Leinster House on June 14, with fully
?1.5 billion (US$1.9 billion) in cost reductions made since 2010.

Conditions are favourable for an oppositional movement to develop
within the working-class, and it is for this reason that SIPTU fears
calling any action at Pfizer. In the local area there have been several
high-profile layoff announcements in recent months, including at
international games company Game. Cork was also the city in which 32 Vita
Cortex workers launched a five-month occupation of their factory after the
company refused to make redundancy payments. Lacking a political
perspective and isolated by SIPTU, the occupation was brought to an end
last month after 150 days with the workers failing to achieve their very
modest demands.

The despicable role of SIPTU at Pfizer has a long pedigree. In
2010, Pfizer revealed a plan to cut its global workforce by 6,000, with 785
of those job losses coming in Ireland. The reductions saw the closure of
nine of Pfizer’s 78 global facilities, and came in the wake of the
takeover of Wyeth, a market rival. Then as now, no opposition was offered
by the unions, who instead worked to ensure that as few of the cuts as
possible would take place at its Irish sites. Pfizer’s 2010 plan
stated that three factories in Ireland, two in Cork and one in Dublin,
would close by 2015. Other factory closures were announced in the United
States and Puerto Rico.

The global scale of Pfizer’s operations means the defence
of workers’ jobs can only be guided by an internationalist and
socialist perspective. But the unions made no call for Pfizer workers in
Ireland to build solidarity with their colleagues internationally. Instead,
SIPTU offered its services to Pfizer to aid in finding a buyer for the
three plants slated for closure, and urged the then Fianna Fáil-Green
party government to intervene on the side of the workers. O’Leary
stated at the time, “While the news is not very good for people and
there is a cloud of uncertainty, I think it is important to say
there’s a bit of time for this company to sell these plants. We would
be calling on the Government to use whatever means it can to support the

The sharp cost-cutting has allowed the company to maintain large
profits even as some of its products come off patent. Close to $3 billion
in cuts are being planned from the firm’s research budget globally,
including the closure of a research site in Britain.

These latest cuts deal a blow to claims embraced by the whole
political establishment that the multinational sector will form the basis
for Irish economic growth. Pfizer’s layoffs are just the first in a
broader wave of cuts across the pharmaceuticals sector, which has a large
presence in Ireland. Other areas have not been exempt, with Hewlett
Packard’s 4,000 workforce in Ireland expected to be reduced as part
of proposals to cut global staff by 27,000.

18. Turf-cutters protest in Galway as machinery is seized

A STAND-off between up to 200 turf-cutters, gardaí and officials
of the National Parks and Wildlife Services near Woodford in Co Galway
ended on June 21. Turf cutters staged an overnight protest on the bog.

Representatives of the Turf-Cutting Contractors‘ Association,
whose machine was seized by the NPWS yesterday, were allowed by gardaí to
remove the vehicle from the bog.

Afterwards, Association chairman Michael Fitzmaurice said the
local turf cutters had won the battle and would continue to cut turf on
their own bog.

Over 200 turf cutters from all over the country had gathered at
the bog which is located at Looscaun and there were loud cheers as the
machinery was taken away by the contractors‘ representatives.

They mounted the action at Clonmoylan Bog yesterday in an attempt
to stop the removal of turf-cutting equipment by gardaí.

The 26 Counties is required to protect and conserve important
peatland habitats on raised bogs under the EU Habitat’s Directive.

19. Ann San Suu Kyi accepts Nobel Peace Prize, Freedom of Dublin,
21 years late

IN Oslo on June 16 Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi
formally accepted the Nobel Prize she was awarded 21 years ago while under
house arrest by the Burmese military junta.

Awarding her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, the Norwegian Nobel
Committee stated: “Suu Kyi’s struggle is one of the most
extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has
become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression.”
The event was hailed as the “most remarkable in the entire history
of the Nobel prizes”.
In her speech, Aung San Suu Kyi said that humanity must continue to search
for peace “like a traveller in the desert fixes his eyes on one
guiding star”.

Her wide-ranging and personal lecture touched on several themes,
including her feelings of isolation under house arrest, the Buddhist
concept of suffering, human rights, her hopes and fears for Burma’s future,
and the importance of the peace prize itself.
“[The prize] did not seem quite real because in a sense I did not
feel myself to be quite real at that time. Often during my days of house
arrest it felt as though I were no longer a part of the real world.

“There was the house which was my world, there was the
world of others who also were not free but who were together in prison as a
community, and there was the world of the free; each was a different planet
pursuing its own separate course in an indifferent universe.

“What the Nobel peace prize did was to draw me once again
into the world of other human beings outside the isolated area in which I
lived, to restore a sense of reality to me. This did not happen instantly,
of course, but as the days and months went by and news of reactions to the
award came over the airwaves, I began to understand the significance of the
Nobel Prize. It had made me real once again.

“And what was more important, the Nobel prize had drawn the
attention of the world to the struggle for democracy and human rights in
Burma. We were not going to be forgotten.

“When the Nobel committee awarded the peace prize to me
they were recognising that the oppressed and the isolated in Burma were
also a part of the world; they were recognising the oneness of humanity
… The Nobel peace prize opened up a door in my heart.”

On June 18 she visited Dublin to receive the Freedom of the City
which she had been awarded 21 years before.

Geraldine McNamara, Republican Sinn Féin Publicity Officer, said
in a statement on June 16 that Aung San Suu Kyi was to be congratulated for
her continued defiance against oppression, and her struggle to see Myanmar
become a democratic society free from a government who imprison without
trial those who dare to speak against their regime.

Geraldine said that while this was a wonderful event, it must be
pointed out and highlighted that while the Dublin Administration welcomes
Aung San Suu Kyi’s achievements, the same administration stays silent when
Irish Republicans are imprisoned without trial in the Occupied Six Counties
of our country. Martin Corey and Marian Price are at present interned in
jails in the Six Counties and have no charges put against them, they are
interned simply because they have refused to accept that Britain has any
right to govern any part of Ireland.

“Irish Republicans believe that England does not have any
right to rule Ireland, nor will they ever have any right to rule Ireland.
We follow the teachings of Ulster Presbyterian and father of Republicanism
Theobald Wolfe Tone, whose goal was to break the connection with England.
Martin Corey and Marian Price are interned here in Ireland because they
will not accept a divided Ireland, and those who try and highlight this
situation are continually harassed and cannot picket or march on the
streets of the Occupied Six Counties without being charged with offences
against the British regime.

“Aung San Suu Kyi has been an inspiration to oppressed
people world wide and hopefully she will not now be used by imperialist
countries who oppress those who like Aung San Suu Kyi continue to speak
against tyranny in their native countries.”

Geraldine called for the immediate release of Martin Corey and
Marian Price and an end to the oppression of Irish Republicans.

20. Butcher’s Apron burned in Argentina

ANGRY Argentine protesters burnt the Union Jack flag outside the
headquarters of the country’s oil company in Buenos Aires, calling
for an end to the use of tankers carrying the British flag.

On Monday, June 11, a group of angry protesters gathered outside
the main offices of Argentina’s newly state-controlled energy company YPF
to protest against the violation of rules which are designed to punish
companies supporting offshore oil exploration near the Malvinas Islands.

In response to protests, YPF officials announced that they had no
plans to continue to use tankers carrying the British flag in order to
transport it energy.

“YPF only made an exception this one time, buying from a
British ship to guarantee the supply of oil and gas in Tierra del Fuego
ahead of the coming winter,” said the company in a statement.

The protests come one week after Argentina’s Ministry of
Foreign Affairs announced oil exploration by British-listed companies near
the Malvinas Islands was “illegal and clandestine”.

The dispute over the Malvinas archipelago between Argentina and
Britain has become heated with Britain ruling out the possibility of

On Monday, June 4, as the British Queen was celebrating her 60th
year on the throne, the Organisation of American States (OAS), which
includes the US, re-adopted a 2010 declaration which supports
Argentina’s call for talks over the islands.

Britain has ruled the archipelago since 1833 and Malvinas is
still one of the 16 territories on the UN Committee on Decolonisation’s
list of colonies awaiting liberation.

21. Marching for an end to Stop-and-Frisk

ON Sunday June 17, civil rights, faith and community groups held
a silent march in Manhattan to protest the New York Police
Department’s stop-and-frisk policy, which permits law enforcement to
confront people at will, question them and pat them down for weapons or

The march drew hundreds of diverse community and labour groups,
faith organisations and elected officials. It re-enacted an earlier march
in 1917, when the newly-formed NAACP silently marched down Fifth Avenue to
protest race riots and to foment national opposition to lynching.

That march, a powerful symbol of justice and strength, was led by
WEB DuBois. 95 years later on Father’s Day, NAACP President Benjamin
Jealous, together with 1199 SEIU President George Gresham and Rev Al
Sharpton of the National Action Network lead thousands down the same
avenue, calling for an end to racially-biased policing.
The NYPD has come under increasing scrutiny for this controversial
policy, raising concerns of the discriminatory targeting of minorities
throughout New York City.

In May, US District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that there was
“overwhelming evidence” that the practice has led to thousands
of illegal stops. She granted class-action status to a lawsuit challenging
the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices as being unconstitutional and
racially discriminatory; the ruling will allow anyone unlawfully stopped
and frisked since January 2005 to be a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

In May the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) published a
report underscoring the racial disparities that communities of color have
long been confronted with: hundreds of thousands of innocent New Yorkers
are being targeted and stopped each year by the NYPD, the vast majority of
whom are black or Latino.

Throughout the United States, discriminatory practices like
stop-and-frisk are particularly alarming to immigrant communities in light
of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) “Secure
Communities” program, which identifies and deports undocumented

For jurisdictions that participate in Secure Communities, local
law enforcement is required to provide ICE with the fingerprints of anyone
they arrest, regardless of how minor the charges are, and even if no
charges are pressed.

The NYCLU’s analysis shows that between 2004 and 2011, more
than 4 million New Yorkers were targets of street interrogation. 90% of all
individuals questioned and frisked were found to be engaged in no criminal
wrongdoing and were neither arrested nor ticketed. In 2011, about 85% of
those stopped were black and Latino residents — although they
comprise only about 23% and 29% respectively, of New York City’s
total population.

In recent months, the killings of unarmed teens Trayvon Martin in
Florida, and Ramarley Graham in the Bronx have drawn national attention to
the consequences of racial profiling of youth. Although young black and
Latino men account for only 4.7% of the city’s population, black and
Latino males between the ages of 14 and 24 accounted for over 40% of stops
last year. Nine of every 10 was found innocent. Even more alarming is that
the number of stops of young black men exceeded New York’s entire
population of young black men.

The NYPD’s policy of racial profiling violates the
constitutional rights of New Yorkers — namely, the Fourth
Amendment’s unreasonable search and seizure clause, and the 14th
Amendment’s equal protection clause.

The NYCLU, in alliance with Communities United for Safer Police
Reform, are fighting to pass the Community Safety Act, a series of City
Council civil rights bills that would strengthen the definition of
discrimination and more effectively ban profiling based on race and gender
identity. The legislation would also require NYPD officers to identify
themselves and explain their cause when conducting stop-and-frisks or other
related police activities.

In an effort to combat the practice NYCLU unveiled “Stop
and Frisk Watch”, a free smartphone app that will enable passersby
to monitor and report police activity in an effort to hold the NYPD
accountable for unlawful stop-and-frisks.
Laurie Smolenski is a freelance writer and community organiser for
immigrants in New York City. She has a master’s degree in
international relations with a focus on women’s rights.

22. No to the European Union’s ESM bank bailout fund and
the fiscal pact!

“WE are German workers and trade union members. We hold
trade union responsibilities at various levels. Some of us are politically
active in the traditional party of the German working class, the SPD, which
in recent years, as you undoubtedly know, has lost a large number of

“With this invitation we are taking an initiative which is
not customary. We are addressing all of our colleagues throughout Europe,
to whom we want to send this simple appeal. For us, this initiative is a
question of honour for German workers.

“We cannot remain inactive for a single day longer in the
face of an organised campaign that aims to terrorise the Greek people.
Pressure is being put on them to give up the demand for the cancellation of
the memorandum imposed on them by the Troika (made up of the European
Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank). And
yet the cancellation of the memorandum on the murderous programme of cuts
is the central demand, the mandate delivered in the elections on 6 May. It
must disappear.

“We declare war on this campaign against the Greek people.

“We invite you to a European Meeting to be held in Cologne
on June 30, with which together we will demonstrate our rejection.

“As German workers, we have our specific reasons for our
rejection. Because this campaign against the Greek people is being
organised in our name in a totally unjustified manner.

“Germany is being put forward as a wonderful example. The
German people are being held up as a model of “virtue”. Their
spirit of sacrifice and the “sense of responsibility” of their
trade union leaders are being praised to the skies and glorified in Europe.
As if that “sense of responsibility” had not been imposed on us
through a combination of pressure and deceit, and as if it has not led us
to a social disaster that has affected the very heart of the most powerful
economy in Europe: with an explosion of starvation wages and job
insecurity, the spread of poverty in families and for children, and the
financial bankruptcy of local administrations and hospitals.

“We state insistently: it is not with this result in mind
that the German people pulled down the Berlin Wall twenty years ago. It is
not with this result in mind that the German workers regained their unity
by re-establishing the unity of their DGB trade union confederation.

“Let it be us, in Germany, who put out this appeal, we
whose people are being presented falsely and with a deceitful objective as
being supporters of Merkel – out of fear of having to pay for other
peoples’ bankruptcy, as some people would have you believe. Let us
organise a joint struggle throughout Europe: in defence of the people of
Greece and against ratification of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)
treaty and the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG),
which would subject the peoples of Europe to the dictates of the
“debt brake”.

“Rest assured that they are lying to the peoples when they
say that the German workers blame the Greek people for Greece’s debt.

– As if we did not know how and for whose benefit Greece
went into debt!
– As if we did not know on what conditions Siemens sold its
submarines to Greece!
– As if we did not know how to make the link with the debt that is
crippling our own communities and regions for the benefit of the same
banking institutions that are holding a gun to Greece’s head!
– As if the majority of the workers and people of North
Rhine-Westphalia had not said in a loud voice on May 13, echoing the
removal from office of Sarkozy – Merkel’s most important and
closest ally in Europe – by the people of France: “Ten years of
this policy enough’s enough!”

“A hope is being born and growing in Europe: the hope of a
turn in the situation after 30 years of dictates from the EU. It is being
born out of events that are almost simultaneous: in Greece, with the demand
to cancel the memorandum; in France, where Sarkozy was driven from office;
and here in Germany, where Merkel has suffered a resounding defeat. It is
being born out of the general strike of 29 March that shook Spain, as well
as the public services strike movement here in the Spring, followed by the
strike movement by the metal workers.

“With this invitation, we want our colleagues in the
various countries of Europe to know that the German labour movement has
decided – despite the obstacles we are facing everywhere from among
our own ranks – to once again take our place in the joint struggle.
The German workers are present in the confrontations by the peoples to free
themselves from the constraints of the EU treaties, which are nothing more
than the expression of the dictates of finance capital in full crisis.

“We can say to you with certainty: the grand declarations
coming from certain countries, like the ones we are hearing from the SPD
leadership, will be met in Germany with absolute rejection; they would have
us believe that the disastrous consequences of the ESM and TSCG treaties
could be eliminated through a “growth pact”. Because the
workers have had more than enough experience of measures presented to them
as “favouring growth”, which in fact have resulted in a
retirement age of 67, in the Hartz IV social welfare cutbacks, in
widespread job insecurity and in more than 10 years of a systematic
lowering of wages!

“When we inform you that over 1,500 signatories addressed
an open letter to the SPD members of parliament to tell them to vote
“No” to the ratification of the ESM and TSCG/Fiscal Treaty , we
can also say that those colleagues, many of whom were strike organisers
this Spring, many of whom are also fighting within their unions for a
“No” to the dictate of the debt and competitiveness, represent
the opinion of thousands more. They do not accept having the SPD leadership
once again come to the aid of a Merkel government in its death-throes on
the pretext of a growth pact, and agree to vote in favour of the ESM and

“Let us organise together the common struggle against
ratification of those treaties.
Let us support each other in our mutual struggles.
Support the legitimate demands of the Greek people!
Support the Spanish workers in their struggle against the
“reform” of the labour market!
Say No to the ratification of the ESM and TSCG in France and Germany!

[The invitation is signed by representatives of many labour
The European Meeting will take place in Cologne at Bürgerzentrum
“Alte Feuerwache”, Melchiorstrasse 3, starting at 11am on June
30, 2012.
Contact: Henning Frey, Gleeueler Str. 67, 50931 Köln
Jean Pierre Barrois:”

23. Amnesty raps Olympic ‘chemical’ sponsor

AMNESTY International says the British government should
apologise for accepting Dow Chemical, which the Indian state minister for
Gas Relief and Rehabilitation described as “murderous” in
March, as an Olympic sponsor.

The American chemicals giant, which is sponsoring a £7 million
decorative wrap that will sheathe London’s Olympic Stadium, faces a £1.1
billion compensation lawsuit by the Indian Supreme Court over the 1984
Bhopal gas leak disaster in India, which is estimated to have killed 7,000
to 10,000 people immediately and another 15,000 in the past 20 years.

“Dow Chemical, a sponsor of this year’s Olympic Games, owns
the company responsible for the Bhopal gas leak which killed 7,000 to
10,000 people immediately, and a further 15,000 in the following twenty
years,” Amnesty International said.

“But Dow has never addressed the ongoing human rights
impact of the catastrophe it caused”.

The Bhopal disaster, the world’s worst industrial catastrophe,
occurred on the night of December 2/3, 1984 at the Union Carbide pesticide
plant in the capital of Indian Madhya Pradesh state.

The Union Carbide agreed a compensation settlement of £302
million with thousands of victims of the deadly gas leak in 1989 but
survivors and activists say Dow Chemical legal responsibilities are far
from over. The activists say the Bhopal gas disaster site remains to be
cleaned and children born to survivors of the catastrophe are born with
severe health problems including cancer.

India’s Supreme Court informed Dow Chemicals in February 2011
that it is holding hearings on a government-backed call for an additional
£1.1 billion in compensation for the victims.

Now, in the run-up to the Olympics, Amnesty International has set
up an email campaign to call on the games organisers to review their
unethical policy and boycott Dow.

24. Google concerned by rising content removal requests

On June 18 Google said it was concerned by the rise in the number
of content removal requests it is receiving from governments.

The internet search company released its fifth semi-annual
Transparency Report which provides information on take-down requests by
countries around the world.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Google senior policy analyst
Dorothy Chou said that since 2002 the number of governments censoring the
internet has increased from four to 42.

“It is concerning to us because it’s an issue of political
speech. When it comes to political speech it’s coming from countries that
we wouldn‘t normally expect.”

She pointed to Spain, for example, where the company was asked to
remove 270 search results.

Google’s report shows that the Irish government did not
submit any removal requests. The US, Germany and Brazil top the list of
countries asking Google to remove material.


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