The following statement was issued subsequent to a meeting of the Caretaker Executive of Sinn Fein on January 17th 1970 .

We call on those who would follow a leadership which flies in the face of all reason and experience of Irish conditions : we say to them – ” Think again . The road to Westminster , Stormont and Leinster House is paved with the good intentions of erstwhile Republicans . Tomorrow may be too late . Give your support now to the Republican Movement which will last . Do not throw your efforts away on yet another parliamentary debacle .”

We have the support of Republicans in almost all the country outside of sections in Dublin and Wicklow and a small number of scattered individuals elsewhere . We are going ahead and one of our first steps is the launching of a new Republican monthly newspaper which will be called ‘An Phoblacht’ , the first edition of which is expected on February 1st (1970) . For a number of years now those involved in the take-over bid have traded on the good name of Sinn Fein – a name respected for honesty , integrity , sincerity and national ideals by Irishmen everywhere . Now that the ‘umbrella’ has been removed from them , they stand exposed and the Irish people in their own way can now form their judgement . We are content to leave it at that .

(Tomorrow – ‘The Dublin Council of Trade Unions’ : from 1986.)

On 30 January 1972 , 14 civilians were shot dead by the British Army . They had been taking part in a civil rights march in Derry , protesting against internment without trial .
British ‘Lord’ Widgery was highly selective in the ‘evidence’ he used in his ‘official’ report on the matter – and some of the accounts he chose to include were highly suspect. The victims’ families have campaigned for justice ever since . Their case is too strong to ignore any longer .
First published in ‘MAGILL’ magazine , February 1998 .
By Eamonn McCann .
(Note – on Saturday 28th January next , a Commemoration to mark the 34th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday will be held at the GPO in Dublin between 1PM and 3PM . All Welcome.)

A meeting of the Stormont Joint Security Committee , chaired by Brian Faulkner , had been attended by the General Officer Commanding British troops in the North , Lieutenant General Harry Tuzo , RUC Chief Constable Graham Shillington , Junior British ‘Home Affairs’ Minister John Taylor and a British government Official . It is likely , to put it no higher , that the handling of the Derry March had been the main item on the agenda .

In London , Mr. Faulkner addressed a meeting of industrialists on the ‘investment attractions’ of the North , and then met for more than an hour with British Prime Minister Edward Heath at Downing Street before flying home ; on the following morning , Friday 28 January 1972 , Edward Heath presided at a meeting of his cabinet’s Defence and Overseas Committee , attended by British Home Secretary Reginald Maulding , – responsible for ‘Northern Ireland’ Affairs – British Defence Secretary ‘Lord’ Carrington , Leader of the British Commons William Whitelaw , and the ‘Joint Chiefs of Staff’ .

This group , minus the Joint Chiefs of Staff , also constituted the British Cabinet’s ‘Northern Ireland Committee’ – it is likely that the Derry March featured at this meeting , too : during the British Commons debate in April 1992 on presentation of the Widgery Report , Edward Heath was to reveal that “…(British) Cabinet Ministers.. ” had been aware of the plans for ‘handling’ the Derry March . The next day , 29 January 1972 , the RUC and the British Army issued a joint statement : ” Experience this year has already shown that attempted marches often end in violence and (sic) must have been foreseen by the organisers . Clearly , the responsibility for this violence and the consequences of it must rest fairly and squarely on the shoulders of those who encourage people to break the law . The security forces (‘1169…’ Comment – sic) have a duty to take action against those who set out to break the law . ” (‘1169….’ Comment – As we now know , that joint RUC/BA statement , issued on the eve of what became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ , was a clear signal from Westminster that carnage was on its way to Derry ….)


INFORMERS : The RUC’s Psychological War .
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , March 1983.
By Sean Delaney.

1982 was a remarkable year for the Republican struggle in two respects – on the positive side , the hard lessons and re-appraisals that followed the hunger-strikes produced an increased politicisation among the Nationalist community and a growth in political maturity among Republican activists . The fruits of this , in terms of reflecting popular support for Republican resistance and a significant rejection of SDLP constitutional ‘reformism’ , were seen by the October 20th Assembly elections which marked a real advance politically for the Republican Movement , posing yet another threat to the British administration’s grip on the North .

Less fortunately on the other hand , 1982 was also memorable for the large number of paid RUC informers whose testimony has resulted in lengthy imprisonments on remand for scores of nationalists and some loyalists , has prompted widespread raids and house-wrecking across the North , and has left the usual catalogue of trauma and family suffering in its wake . The RUC’s use of the ‘informer tactic’ has been facilitated by the enticement of massive financial rewards and immunity from prosecution for informers and by fundamental changes in legal practice in the Six Counties .

As the trial of 38 North Belfast people on the ‘evidence’ of informer Christopher Black draws to a conclusion , Sean Delaney takes a look at recent informer cases and argues that they should be viewed in terms of a massive psychological propaganda offensive against the Nationalist community by the RUC , and as part of a tactical change in the way that community’s political resistance is repressed . Failing to understand that , or becoming demoralised , is dangerously to swallow that propaganda …….


About 11sixtynine

A mother of three and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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