The weapons used in Liam’s murder – and that of his friend Michael Devlin who died alongside him that dark winter’s night – were part of a South African contingent brought into Ireland by key agent of British Military Intelligence and prize asset in loyalist paramilitarism, the infamous Brian Nelson.
But not only did the Brits arm the death squads, who tortured Tyrone and Mid-Ulster all through those frightening years, they directed them and pulled the strings. We know from the myriad details disclosed and arising from the Nelson case itself they provided the targets, safe passage and whatever else it took – the killings at the Battery were no different.
Indeed Liam had been repeatedly threatened with assassination in the weeks and months leading up to his death, being told in a chilling forewarning by the local RUC ‘you’ll be shot dead by Christmas’. Despite the area being saturated with Crown forces throughout the day, by the time the killers arrived on the scene to do their foul deed, the roads, as always, had been cleared for them – a recurring phenomenon in many assassinations in Tyrone and the wider Mid-Ulster area.
This is no coincidence. The blood of Liam Ryan and Michael Devlin, as so many others, is ultimately on the hands of the Thatcher government in power in England at the time and their overlords the British Crown.
Liam and Michael’s heinous killings were not an isolated happening and formed part of a terrifying campaign of state-sponsored murder, orchestrated from the highest office of British state power in London. For years people said republicans were crazy – that the British would never behave like this – but the truth is slowly coming out now bit-by-bit, piece-by-piece. They are guilty of every charge laid against them and more; they know it and they are covering it up. We are not crazy.
The souls of Liam Ryan and Michael Devlin, of Tommy Casey, Kathleen O’Hagan and Roseanne Mallon, Dwayne, John, Malcolm, Tommy, Paddy Shanahan, Patsy Kelly, Phelim McNally, the dozens more who were victims of collusion, who were killed by proxies of a state up to its neck in the squalor of a systematic terror campaign waged against the ordinary people of Tyrone and beyond, their souls all demand justice and justice will be done.
Justice will be done because the families, the loved one’s of those murdered under such obscene circumstances, will never give up and we will never tire of standing beside them until they get the answers they deserve.
Britain will one day stand in the dock, its terrorist crimes in Ireland exposed for the world to see, and we will not rest until that’s the case – no matter how many years, no matter how long the struggle, no matter what obstacles they put in our way….
COLLUSION IS NO ILLUSION.
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The family and friends of Volunteer Liam Ryan, assisted by the 1916 Societies on the Lough Shore and East Tyrone, are holding a series of commemorative events next weekend in Moortown and nearby Ardboe.
On Friday 28th November an exhibition focusing on Liam’s life and contribution to the struggle for freedom in Ireland will open to the public in the Kinturk Cultural Centre in Moortown, running from 6pm-10pm and open to everyone. It’s hoped the Relatives for Justice ‘Remembering Quilt’ – which features many of the victims of British state collusion with loyalist death squads – will be among the items present, along with contemporary newspaper cuttings and artefacts relating to the storied life’s-journey of Volunteer Liam Ryan.
The following morning, 11am Saturday 29th November, a short wreath-laying ceremony will be held at Liam’s grave in Moortown followed by the main commemoration, leaving the Diamond Corner in Ardboe at 2pm and proceeding to the republican plot at Ardboe Hall.
That Saturday evening an Irish Night has been arranged, again in the Kinturk Centre, with excerpts from a soon-to-be launched DVD on the life of Volunteer Liam Ryan to feature. The exhibition will also be available all day on the Saturday from 10am-10pm.
Everyone welcome and for more information contact us through our Facebook page, on our Twitter account, or here on our website, 1916societies.com.