FRIDAY , 29 JULY 2005.

Fionnuala O’Connor on the struggle for the Loyalist leadership as the politicians and their paramilitary allies gear up for a strike .
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , March 1986 .

Alan Wright , from the ‘Ulster’ Clubs , stated ” We recognise there has to be a role for the minority (sic – the Nationalists are not a “minority” in Ireland) , there is a dire need for co-operation . But I firmly believe that the environment for proper politics is not here because of the real source of the poison – militant nationalism . It’s a cancer in our society ignored for fifteen years (sic – on so many levels !) . Our aims are to smash the (Hillsborough) Agreement and get the Loyalist people into a position of strength to face the authorities to create that environment .

It could probably be done eventually by sitting round a table . But that could take twenty years and another 2,000 dead . We have’nt the time . ” When Alan Wright speaks of “…positions of strength .. ” and a new environment , there are echoes of McMichael and the theories of the UDA’s political wing . At other times he seems to quote unconsciously from Peter Robinson’s pamphlets . He describes McMichael as “…a remarkable political thinker .. ” and Robinson as “…the soul of integrity .. ” . ( ‘1169….. ‘ Comment – “political thinkers (with) integrity” in the UDA/DUP ? Not likely .)

But when Wright speaks of the death-toll , he touches a personal tragedy : in 1979 , his father , Jim , six years out of the RUC Reserve , and his twenty-one year-old sister , got into the family car and began to move off from the house . An INLA booby-trap bomb killed his father and seriously injured his sister . Alan Wright was twenty-five at the time ” I did’nt join anything , I did’nt take up a gun . I did go out once to go down to the Tunnel area and spit in a republican’s face and I came near it , but the spittle dried in my mouth . I could not do it . I started clinging on in the hope that the (British) government would do something for the Protestant community .

I joined no organisation , I clung to that . But no – on the 15th November (1985) they sold me out again . ” The only organisation Alan Wright joined was the Orange Order …….


The Democratic Unionist Party would prefer a Civil War to acquiescence in a role for the Dublin Government in the affairs of the North of Ireland after the Anglo-Irish summit .
FINTAN O’TOOLE spoke to DUP activists about the depth of their opposition to the Anglo-Irish deal and their willingness to resort to violence .
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , November 1985 .

Jim Allister , the DUP Chief Whip , stated (re the 1985 Hillsborough Treaty) ” We may not have much confidence that we will achieve that end (doing away with that Treaty) by these methods (ie constitutional and democratic methods) but we have the avenue of trying to thwart and destroy the Treaty through parliament , and that can go out into the avenue of seeking to disrupt the parliamentary process , even to the nitty gritty of seeking to disrupt the (British) government’s timetable . Then there is our task of seeking to demonstrate that the community has rejected the Agreement , through petitions , by-elections , a referendum or whatever means we think appropriate . After that we begin the process of making the province (sic) ungovernable , both through learning the lessons of the 1974 Ulster Workers’ strike and through pulling out of even lowly local government .

The day Dublin civil servants arrive in any shape or form to administer this province (sic) is the day that we say ‘Right , do it on your own , we’re pulling out of every tier of government’ . If we have done all that and we are still rejected , then they would have rendered me redundant as a politician , but they would not have rendered me redundant as an individual Loyalist , and then I would act in concert with hundreds of thousands of other individual Loyalists in arming ourselves . No self-respecting individual is going to do anything but resist . In those circumstances there are no lengths to which Ulster (sic) men would not go to stop it . None . ”

According to Gregory Campbell , the Loyalists , having obtained what they regard as a mandate in a referendum or in by-elections , and having failed to stop Dublin involvement in the North of Ireland , would say “…we must form ourselves into a provisional government ; that provisional government must have a defence ; and that defence must be armed . The Protestant people must be armed . That is my own personal view of how the situation lies ahead . ” Gregory Campbell continued ” In the setting up of a provisional government there would be so much community tension that … well … I hesitate to use the words civil war … but there would be so much community tension that we would certainly have the kind of violence that we have’nt seen since the early 1970’s .

Even then it was contained to North Belfast , the Bogside , West Belfast , Armagh , Fermanagh . But , in this instance , the whole province (sic) would be embroiled . And there would be much more numerous deaths ……. ”


The Evelyn Glenholmes affair not only involved unlawful activity by gardai , it stemmed from the chaotic condition of the force which has resulted from ignoring the warning signs of the past decade .
By Gene Kerrigan.
First published in ‘ MAGILL ‘ magazine , April 1986 .

1. Shooting In The Streets .

Shortly after noon on Saturday March 22 , 1986 , Danny Morrison , a leading member of the Provos , was standing in Prince’s Street , Dublin , with a gun pointed at his chest . The gun was held by a garda who had just fired at least three shots across the crowded street .

The garda had been waving the gun around and although there were many garda in the vicinity , none intervened . A few yards away another garda had drawn his automatic gun and was involved in a bit of ‘pushing and pulling’ with a colleague before crouching down and running back to hide behind a car ; this garda , with the automatic , seemed to be frightened of the garda who had fired the shots .

Meanwhile , Danny Morrison was walking forward towards the garda who had fired the shots – a uniformed garda and a detective to his left tried to hold him back but he brushed them off . Morrison , wearing a brown sweater , his sleeves rolled up , obviously unarmed , walked forward and stood in front of the garda who had fired the shots , remonstrating with him for firing a gun in a crowded street . The garda put his gun away .

A few feet away , inside the BHS department store , Evelyn Glenholmes was being arrested ; a young man who was trying to enter the store was having his shins kicked by a uniformed garda . Against all the received truths about law and order , against all that most people would want to believe , what had happened was that a leading member of the Provos , at mortal risk to himself , had brought to an end a shooting episode in a crowded street .

In the period leading up to this incident , an extraordinary number of criminal and civil offences had been committed ; these were patently not offences committed for personal gain . They were politically motivated offences . They were committed by gardai …….


About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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