Friday 16 January 2004

The Plough Vol 01 No 22

The Plough #22
16 January 2004

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1. Loyalist Violence Continues
2. North Belfast Shooting
3. North Belfast INLA Statement
4. IRSP Slam Bradley Comments as Cant and Hypocrisy
5. Garda Complaints
6. How The Other Half Live?
7. Republican Prisoners Face Removal to English Jails
8. Maghaberry POWs
9. Convention of the Left
10. What's On?


Loyalist Violence Continues

Loyalists riot and wreck part of the jail - loyalists attack the
graves of dead republicans in Milltown cemetery - loyalists attack
Catholic houses in Ligoneil - loyalists today, Friday, caused
widespread chaos in Belfast with hoax bomb scares some of which were
deliberately placed in nationalist areas - and the media soft pedal
in the reporting of all these events. This, all in a week that the
DUP say they will not negotiate with Sinn Fein because of their armed
wing, and are supported by the British Government in this stance.

While the political pressure is all on the PIRA to disarm and
disband, the great and the good - the media and the Brits, the
business classes, and the unionist bourgeoisie - choose to either
ignore loyalist violence or soft talk it.

But despite the best efforts of the spin-doctors, one cannot make a
silk purse out of a sow's ear. A pig is still a pig. A fascist is
still a fascist. A racist is still a racist.

Jackie McDonald, UDA supreme, and the person, without whose approval,
all of the above violent attacks by loyalists would not have
happened, is allowed to appear on TV and attempt to justify the
loyalist position. Fortunately he came across on the media as a
pathetic thug trying to justify the impossible. There is no
justification for the continued existence of the UDA. There never
was. It is a sectarian, racist, anti-Catholic, drug-dealing bunch of
bigots who prey on the protestant working class. They are the product
of a sectarian state. They are the lumpen proletariat - the
equivalent of the storm troops of Nazism. So long as the six county
sectarian state continues to exist so will the scum of the UDA
continue to thieve on fear on bigotry


North Belfast Shooting

The IRSP, having looked into the circumstances pertaining to the
shooting of a 14 year old in North Belfast, wish to place on record
its disapproval and condemnation of this action. We fully understand
the pressures and circumstances leading up to the shooting. Despite
the best efforts of both local community groups including CRJ and the
local Roman Catholic Church the family were unwilling to either
exercise control over the young boy or call a halt to the totality of
his anti-social behaviour, which terrorised the local community.

However experience of such punishments over the years has indicated
that they are counterproductive. We have been working to persuade
people that there has to be alternative approaches to major anti-
social and criminal activities in working class areas. We will
redouble our efforts to move people away from the use of rough

Statement on behalf of the Ard-Chomhairle, Irish Republican Socialist

John Martin - Political Secretary, IRSP


North Belfast INLA statement



The following is the text of a statement supplied to the Republican
Socialist Publicity Bureau:

Action taken against Ardoyne thug necessary - INLA

It was with great reluctance the North Belfast Irish National
Liberation Army took punitive action against Ardoyne RUC/PSNI
informer, thug and hood Eamonn Clarke for persistent and long term
attacks against his own community.

We would take this opportunity to set the record straight following
unfounded allegations by his family in the British gutter press
unfortunately repeated by some Irish newspapers who should know
better than to print unfounded allegations.

Eamonn Clarke apart from his final punishment was neither abused nor
tortured. If his family think that some how he is above any
responsibility to the local community for his actions let this be a
salutary lesson.



IRSP Slam Bradley Comments on Shot Antisocial as Cant and Hypocrisy

A member of the Ard-Chomhairle of the IRSP has rounded angrily on
Denis Bradley over comments he made to the BBC following the shooting
of an alleged teenage drug dealer in North Belfast on Friday. In his
comments to the BBC the former priest and political activist turned
Policing Board deputy had said: "The attack was animalistic. It won't
stop young people doing what young people do," he said. "All it does
is make the young person probably worse than what he or she was

"That's cant, and, more than that it's rank hypocrisy coming as it
does from Denis Bradley", the IRSP's Terry Harkin said. "Where was
Denis in 2003 when the INLA and IRSP exposed the use of, what was
then, a young boy as a paid agent of the PSNI? I reached out to Denis
then on behalf of the Republican Socialist Movement and the boy's
family, I phoned his office repeatedly, leaving detailed messages
with his secretary, over a three week period to ask him to help
this boy and all I got was one, very short message on my answer

"If Denis and the other agencies that should have provided support to
this young man and his family had acted when he was being abused by
the state and not waited to pontificate when something detrimental
happened to him, then we would have seen a much different outcome.
It's not as if nobody knew about the case, Sky News ran a 15 minute
segment every hour over a 24 hour period on him early last year, it's
still available on the Internet. Countless column inches and at least
three TV interviews have been done on this case in the last 12 months
alone. So people knew, and Denis knew, what was going on with this
young guy, why are they only crying foul now? And why did they not
help him when they could?"

"If Denis Bradley wants use his position as Number 2 on the Policing
Board to comment on this case, would it not be more fitting for him
to be asking the Police Ombudsman why no report has been published
into the recruitment, employment, payment and exploitation of this
boy as a state spy a year after the complaint was originally made?"


Garda Complaints

It has recently emerged that the Director of Public Prosecutions in
the 26 counties is unable to investigate the "vast majority" of files
that he receives from the Garda Complaints Board because the time
limit for summary prosecutions has already expired. The Gardai, the
police force of the Republic of Ireland, are a force without
credibility, public confidence or discipline.

Complaints against the Gardai have included forgery of signatures on
search warrants, perjury, corruption, the taking of bribes brutality
assault, the planting of evidence, the victimisation of political
activists and so on. The Garda Complaints Board has no control over
investigations into private complaints. By the time the DPP receives
the files on complaints the six months time limit has passed.

This appalling state of affairs has to be seen in the context of the
Gardai's treatment of asylum-seekers and immigrants and its negative
record in working class communities. Already a retired Circuit Court
Judge, Anthony Murphy has alleged that some Gardai committed perjury
in his court. In the past five years over 6 million euro has been
paid out to members of the public who suffered assault, unlawful
arrest etc. Two sisters arrested and manhandled by Garda in Grafton
street Dublin took a civil action against the Garda, received an
apology from the Garda and 80,000 euros. However the Garda involved
in the action were not punished and no action was taken against them.

We can confidently predict that the proposed reforms being brought in
by Michael McDowell, Minister for Justice, i.e. the introduction of a
Garda Ombudsman, will not solve the problem. While the new body will
be able to investigate allegations of poor conduct and corruption it
will only have a fraction of the funds and staff enjoyed by the
Northern Ireland Ombudsman.


How the Other Half Live?


(From Euobserver, Thursday 15 January 2004)

European Parliament President Pat Cox has come under pressure to stop
using private chartered flights. According to the Hamburg-based
magazine Stern, Mr Cox chartered a private plane five times in 2003
and three times in 2002. This is, however, not according to the
rules, reports Stern. One month ago the Parliament's administration
proposed to amend the internal rules on travel expenses to explicitly
allow for the hiring of charter planes and to take into account Mr
Cox's "current practice". But the Parliament's Questors rejected this
proposal unanimously. German Green MEP and substitute member of the
Budget Control Committee Heide Rühle said this "embarrassing"
practice should be stopped. Mr Cox said, according to Stern, he would
still continue to charter private flights, as this was the only
possible way of bringing him from his home in Cork in South-Eastern
Ireland to some far-away places in Eastern Europe.


Republican Prisoners Face Removal to English Jails

January 13, 2004

The British government is planning to expel remand and sentenced Six-
County Republican prisoners to jails in England, Wales and Scotland,
The new power is contained in the Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill
which is currently being debated by the Westminster parliament.

When this is passed into law any resistance by the prisoners to this
punitive regime could now result in their removal to jails in

Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill Clause 13. Transfer of prisoners.

2A. If it appears to the Secretary of State that

a) A person remanded in custody in Northern Ireland in connection
with an offence, or

b) A person serving a sentence of imprisonment in Northern Ireland;

should be transferred to England and Wales in the interests of
maintaining security or good order in any prison in Northern Ireland,
the Secretary of State may make an order for his transfer to England
and Wales, there to be remanded in custody pending his trial or, as
the case may be, to serve the whole or any part of the remainder of
his sentence, and for his removal to an appropriate institution

(From the Republican newspaper SAOIRSE)


Response by the Maghaberry POWs to the 'Compact Proposals for
Separated Prisoners'

Maghaberry POWs wish to draw public attention to our concerns
regarding future conditions at the gaol. Following recent protests
the prison authorities agreed reluctantly for a Republican Wing set
apart from those occupied by criminals and pro-British
paramilitaries. This decision was made in line with the government
sponsored Steele Report. Subsequently the 'Northern Ireland Prison
Service' has announced its intentions to launch a new regime for the
Republican Wing entitled "Compact for Separated Prisoners".

Bearing in mind the tendency of the British authorities to act in bad
faith when dealing with Republican prison protests, the POWs felt the
need to look upon the proposed regime with caution. On closer
inspection it appears our concerns were well founded. At the heart of
the compact document lies the prison authorities intention to deny
normal everyday activities such as education, recreation, exercise,
regular association, canteen facilities and even religious practice
to prisoners on Republican wings. The denial of these rights is to be
accompanied by daily cell and full body searches. It is our opinion
that these proposals amount to no less than punitive sanctions
against those Republicans who choose to live in safety on their own

Of equal concern is the prison service intention to enforce upon
Republican prisoners a rehabilitation scheme under the title "The
Home-Leave Resettlement Boards" as a pre-condition to successful
parole applications. The system will require prisoners to undergo
formal risk assessment, which will rely upon input from the PSNI,
Probation service and clinical psychologists and will look for
evidence that the prisoner has been "addressing his offending
behaviour while in gaol". This programme is mandatory for criminals
and sex offenders and to impose it on Republicans is no less than a
calculated insult to political prisoners who know full well they do
not need to be rehabilitated from anything.

In keeping with our integrity as Irish Republicans, the well-being of
future POWs, not to mention the sacrifices of past POWs on our
behalf, we reject the "Compact for Separated Prisoners" document.
Our men have been instructed not to sign any document in relation to
it. The onus will now be on the prison service to produce
arrangements, which will not attempt to criminalise us by the back
door, the intention of the compact proposal.

Any such attempt will as always be resisted.

PRO, Maghaberry POWs


Convention of the Left - Derry February 14th 2004

For everyone's information (from the SEA web site)

We are writing to invite you to a Convention of the Left to be held
in Derry on February 14th 2004. The purpose is to discuss a united
Left slate in the June 2004 European election.

We are writing to invite you to a Convention of the Left to be held
in Derry on February 14th 2004. The purpose is to discuss a united
Left slate in the June 2004 European election. The SEA sees it as an
imperative that there should be a left alternative in the field in
June. If no one else is willing to come along with us we are minded
to go forward on our own. In that circumstance, Eamonn McCann is
willing to stand.

However, we realise that a broad alliance covering the North would be
hugely preferable. We are very open to argument from others as to how
best we can jointly achieve this.

We envisage an electoral alliance of different parties, campaigning
groups and individuals offering voters a radical, anti-sectarian
alternative to parties based on one or other of "the two
communities." The results of the SEA interventions in Foyle and East
Londonderry by Eamonn McCann and Marion Baur make plain that a
credible, united left campaign can attract a level of support, which
cannot be derided or ignored. Without such an intervention, the
European election, for practical purposes, will amount to yet another
referendum" to determine who will champion each community vis-a-vis
the other. It will take a united, broadly based campaign to make a
Left intervention credible.

The issues bringing together socialists, environmentalists, defenders
of the public sector, anti-racists, women's rights campaigners and
anti-war groups in other countries affect us here too. Millions of
Europeans rallied to these issues in 2003, particularly in anti-war
demonstrations on February 15th. Our Convention marks the first
anniversary of those huge protests - which saw one of the biggest
ever marches in Belfast that did not reflect sectarian divisions.
We must break out of the circular argument, which holds that Northern
Ireland is so polarised along communal lines that there's no point
trying seriously to challenge its communal politics. A June campaign
would offer a chance to link day-to-day local concerns to major
issues being fought out at European level. Issues of water charges
and environmental protection cannot be understood other than in a
European perspective. The rise in racism on our streets is connected
to the "Fortress Europe" project. Local civil rights issues now arise
in parallel with the crackdown across Europe associated with the "war
on terror." Privatisation schemes in our schools and hospitals are
entangled with European directives on freeing market forces. And so

It is only in the context of the fight for a social Europe and
against a neo-liberal Europe that we can pursue these issues in
Northern Ireland. The notion that a better Northern Ireland and a
better Ireland is possible is an element in the broader notion that
another Europe is possible. As to when and by whom a serious
political effort is to be made to bring this about---if not now,
when? If not us, who?

The Convention will be held at the Verbal Arts Centre, located on the
City Walls at Bishop Street, Derry. A crèche will be provided. A
detailed Agenda will be issued shortly.

Yours sincerely
Marion Baur and Eamonn McCann


Republican Socialist Prisoners of War

Castlerea Prison
Declan Duffy [9 years-20 August 1973-Armagh/Dublin-April 2008]
Dessie O'Hare [Life-N/A-South Armagh-No Fixed Date]

Number 2, The Grove
Castlerea Prison
Castlrea, Co. Roscommon

Portlaoise Prison
Gerry Burns [5 years-7 October 1962-Dublin-May 2005]
Cathal Gartland [4 years-N/A-Dundalk-May 2007]
Kevin McLaughlin [4 years-13 November 1965-Belfast-August 2004]

Portlaoise Prison
Dublin Road
Portlaoise, Co. Laois

Letters, cards, birthday greetings, and so forth are welcome.


What's On?


Anti-Racist Network: There will be a demonstration at Belfast City
Hall on Tuesday 27th of January at 1pm {lunchtime rally} on Jan 27th
at the front of the city hall.


5.00 pm. All republican socialists are encouraged to attend

Bloody Sunday Commemoration 2004 - Sunday 25th of January

This year republican socialists throughout the North West are
mobilising again for the annual Bloody Sunday march and rally. The
IRSP in Derry are requesting all areas attend the first national
demonstration/commemoration of the year, and would also welcome
individual comrades from other areas to attend. Supporters are
welcome to join in also.

Floor space is already limited. However details of local cheap B&B's
are available for those travelling from afar or for the weekend of
events currently being organised by the BSC.

Members and supporters are requested to bring along a Starry Plough
flag for republican socialist solidarity section


A new 2004 full colour glossy calendar is available now on the RSM
online shop.

It celebrates the brilliant work undertaken by the Teach Na Failte
Memorial Committees this past year throughout the six counties with
full colour photographs on each page.

Just in time for Christmas and the New Year this calendar can be
viewed online by clicking the link below


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