‘Spotlight / Derry Besieged / Death And Mystery. ‘

<img src="‘TURN THE SPOTLIGHT’ ……..
‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1958 .

Colonel Topping is proud to boast that his RUC Commandos are a “…Black-And-Tan terror force..” . ‘The London Times’ newspaper can open an article on Occupied Ireland with the startling assertion : ” The Irish border owes its existence entirely to the determination of the Sinn Fein movement to break the link with Britain .” And yet politicians get away with the lie that it is the young men of Ireland today who are responsible for the present suituation .

‘The Irish Times’ newspaper (hardly an organ of Republican opinion) was closer to reality when it remarked editorially , while commenting on ‘The London Times’ article – “Throughout the free world , is there a solitary country in which a third of the electorate is solidly opposed to the regime , not merely , as in normal democracies , to the government , but to the whole conception of the State as it stands ?” And again , after quoting ‘The London Times’ sermon on the Six Counties’ “…resolution to remain under the Crown and to keep the Union Jack flying..” , ‘The Irish Times’ noted –

“Something similar might be said of Algeria’s resolution to remain part of Metropolitan France , but who would dare to say it ? And is there , outside Algeria , a case comparable to that of the North of Ireland on this side of the Iron Curtain ? “ Is there , indeed ? Isn’t it time the people of the 26-Counties woke up to this fact ? Isn’t it time they told their political leaders to stop being England’s policemen in Ireland ?
(Next : ‘SECRET ARRESTS AND TRIALS’ . From the same source.)


Derry , once the cockpit of the Northern Irish conflict , has become quarantined in apathy , grimness and deprivation , writes Seamus Deane , the Derry-born poet and writer . In a return look at his native city he finds that its demoralisation has disturbing implications .
From ‘FORTNIGHT’ magazine, 1983.

For as long as I can remember , Derry has been described as a dying city : everything that could be removed from it – docks , university , jobs , power , pride – has been taken away . It continues to die , because dying was given to it as its own form of life . The same could be said of Strabane or Newry , but there was still some form of cohesion within those communities . That has now all but vanished .

When the television aerials first sprouted in Derry , the city began to lose its sense of itself . Yet we have been told often enough that it was television which made an issue of the Northern crisis : well , it did . It made it an event . But it also made the event into TV fodder . Isolation was at first replaced by ‘coverage’ , but this exposure has led finally to a deeper isolation that had been there in the first place and , with the increasingly violent turn of events , and with the communities being driven back on their old positions , dissent became indistinguishable from betrayal and solidarity was maintained only by force or the threat of force .

The ‘troubles’ , or the rebellion , or ‘the crisis’ – whatever we may want to call the situation – have had a depressive effect upon the community . Nothing and no one has yet been ‘liberated’ …….

<img src="DEATH AND MYSTERY …….
John O Shea was a small farmer and republican . He died at his Kerry home in October 2001 within hours of being released from Garda custody . The inquest into his death raised more questions than it answered and now Kerry County Council has backed calls for a public inquiry . Did John O Shea die from natural causes or is there a more sinister explanation ?
Mairead Carey.
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine, May 2003 .

Michael McDowell’s statement is disingenous , according to local county councillor Billy Leen, who put forward the motion calling for a public inquiry into John O’ Shea’s death : ” I listened to Dr. Harbison giving evidence on both days of the inquest and he said the direct opposite . He (John O’ Shea) had a host of marks on his body which were not consistent with falls . One has to ask the question where the Minister (Michael McDowell) got his information from . In my opinion he is being misled and that just adds more fuel to the speculation that there is something drastically wrong in the handling of this investigation . “

” The Minister makes it sound like he was in custody 24 hours earlier when it was less than four . He offered no explanation as to why Dr. Harbison’s version of events didn’t tally with the gardai . He never mentioned the fact that the jury returned an open verdict . This needs to be investigated thoroughly . The O’ Shea family deserve to know what happened to John . They need to get to the bottom of it . “

The gardai in Kerry have no intention of re-opening their investigation into the death of John O’ Shea : the local Garda Chief Superintendent , Fred Garvey, told this magazine that “…as far as we are comcerned , the matter is closed . It’s not for me to speculate on how he died……. “

About 11sixtynine

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