Tuesday, April 7, 2015

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Republican Prisoners' Welfare Highlighted @ Duleek Commemoration

Thomas Lynch gives a brief overview of the Duleek 1916-1981 Monument Committee-hosted Easter Commemoration held in the village on Good Friday. It was penned on 3 April immediately after the event. Included is a statement from the Duleek 1916-1981 Monument Committee.

There was a large turnout this evening in Duleek for the annual Independent Easter ommemoration hosted by Duleek 1916-1981 Monument Committee.
Wreaths were laid in memory of all those who sacrificed their lives for the cause of Irish freedom including Vol Joe Coombes, Vol Noel Gallagher and Vol Harry McCormick.

The Monument Committee Easter statement was delivered by Ex-POW Tommy Gallagher and the main speech by Ex-POW Anthony McIntyre. Dave McSweeney read the proclamation.

During the monument committee statement Tommy Gallagher sent Easter Greetings to POW's in Maghaberry and Portlaoise Gaol's and to women POW's Sharon Rafferty and Christine Connor in Hyde Bank and Ursula Ní Sheanáin in Mountjoy Gaol.

The monument committee statement particularly highlighted the comparrisons between the injustices in the 70's with the conviction of innocent people in the Birmingham and Guildford bombings in England and the conviction of John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville for the killing of PSNI officer Stephen Carroll in Craigavon in 2009. Duleek 1916-1981 Monument Committee appealed to those present to join the campaign to get the two men released as they are innocent of any wrong doing.

 Duleek 1916-1981 Monument Committee Statement.

Duleek 1916-1981 Monument Committee welcome you here today on this the 99th anniversary of the 1916 Easter rising. We remember with pride the sacrifice of the men and women of 1916 and all republicans who gave their lives in the hope that Ireland would be free of British occupation and that all the children of the nation would be treated as equals.

We salute the sacrifice of the 22 hunger strikers to whom this monument was erected and we remember with pride Volunteer Joe Coombes, Volunteer Noel Gallagher and Volunteer Harry McCormick whom the memorial garden has been named after.

We send Easter greetings to republicans at home and abroad especially the forgotten “On-The-Run’s and their families. We ask you to spare a thought for republican prisoners at this time of year as we send greetings to POW’s in Portlaoise and Maghaberry prison. We also ask you to spare a special thought for three female P.O.W’s, Sharon Rafferty, and Christine Connor in Hyde Bank and Ursula Ní Sheanáin in Mountjoy Gaol.

Comrades, over the past four years we have highlighted that conditions in Maghaberry Gaol in which POW’s are been held are unacceptable. Strip searches and brutal attacks by the prison riot squad are a daily occurrence. Prisoners have received serious injuries and then these injuries have gone untreated. Unfortunately, we have to inform you again this evening that these acts of brutality continue.

A chairde, it is at events like this this-evening that republicans and republican supporters get to know about the on-going harassment by the Crown forces. The media censorship prevents us from highlighting injustices been imposed on the republican community in the occupied six counties of our country with the support of the castle catholic’s in Stormont. Internment of republicans continues in 2015 in the same way as it did in 1971.

It was wrong in 1971 and it is still wrong in 2015. Republicans are been held in prison on trumped up charges for up to three years only for charges to be withdrawn or they would be found not guilty because of low grade evidence or in most cases no evidence at all. The reality is nothing has changed for genuine republicans who refuse to bow or surrender.

Many people here this evening will remember the awful miscarriage of justice which occurred in the 70’s when a total of ten people were found guilty of the Birmingham and Guildford bombings in England. The ten people spent 16 years behind bars for an act they were completely innocent of. It took many years before people took to the streets to protest for the release of these ten who became known as the Birmingham 6 and Guildford 4. Giuseppe Conlon died in a prison cell before his good name was cleared. The remaining 9 were also found not guilty and cleared of any wrong doing.

Comrades two republicans are imprisoned two hours down the road in Maghaberry Gaol today, found guilty of the murder of PSNI officer Stephen Carroll shot dead in Craigavon in 2009. It was evident at their trial that evidence had been fabricated yet John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville were found guilty and sentenced to 14 and 25 years respectively. On their appeal the evidence was so flimsy it is unbelievable that any court could not over turn their conviction. However the court they were in front of is not any court but a British court in occupied Ireland. These courts are designed to rail road any republican into Gaol who challenges the British system in Ireland.

We appeal to everyone here tonight to join the campaign to get these two innocent men released. You can join “JUSTICE FOR THE CRAIGAVON 2” or contact any member of the Duleek 1916-1981 Monument Committee for information. Don’t stand idly-by and allow these two men languish in a prison cell in the same way as the Birmingham 6 and Guildford 4.

Chairde, the British Government has managed to divide another generation of republicans. They have turned republicans against republicans to an extent where some are encouraging the public to tout information to the Crown forces on former comrades.

Both the British Government and their allies in Leinster house control the media who print rubbish propaganda stories about republicans. On some occasions these media lies result in comrades been interned or murdered in collusion with state forces. Sadly members of the public believe the lies and former comrades pedal the stories to beat us with knowing quite well what is being printed is untrue.

Republicanism is at a place where it has never been before, splintered in many directions. If we are to achieve the goals set out in the proclamation of 1916 by Clarke, Mac Diermada, Mac Donagh, Pearse, Ceannt, Connolly, Plunkett and their comrades who died during the Easter rising and those who have given their lives for the cause of Irish freedom since, we need to regroup, rebuild and unite as one.

Our message as you leave here today is nothing has changed. The free Ireland envisaged by those in 1916 remains. The fight fought by those in 1916 will continue as the cause is the same and has not yet been achieved. Help us get to that goal and join in the struggle for freedom.

Finally, we would like you to spare a thought for Brendan Carlan, Duleek and John Joe Jordan, Dunshaughlin who have sadly passed away since we were here last year. Both men have attended commemorations here in the past. May they rest in peace.


Duleek 1916-1981 Monument Committee


Sean Smith said...

Great speech and very true that republicans need to build a unified approach to achieve our objectives. Thoughts are with the prisoners at this time, great to see ursula get a mention by yous something her supposed comrades did not do at their commemorations in Dublin i will let her know it will be much appreciated by her.