Freedom For All Ireland Report – September 2019

               FFAI ISSUES UPDATE

September 2019

Martin Galvin
NYAOH FFAI Chair
National AOH FFAI Chair

A chairde:

A-Boris Johnson suspends Parliament brings on Brexit crisis-In a move called a “constitutional outrage” by Speaker of the House John Bercow, and compared to Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentary purge by Irish Minister Michael D’Arcy, Boris Johnson will prorogue or suspend Parliament for 5 weeks until October 14th, hoping to bulldoze Brexit through, by the Halloween, October 31st deadline. His plan backfired as Brexit opponents, including  21 members of his own party, banded together with opposition parties to stop Johnson from crashing out of Europe and forcing a hard border across Ireland. The combined opposition inflicted a series of major defeats on the new prime minister. They passed  a law which mandates he must ask the European Union for another delay if he cannot get a new deal by October 19th. Johnson then  expelled or “removed the whip” from 21 members of his own party who voted against him. His Tory party will try to depose the Speaker,(who applies rules and procedures impartially in the British system). Boris’ own brother resigned from the cabinet. Johnson said he would rather “be dead in a ditch” than ask the EU for more time to negotiate. Labour Party member John McDonnell said opposition parties “do not believe that we can pin him down and I do not trust him an inch. I do not think anyone does.” Another leading Labour Party member, Baroness Chakrabarti  said “every tin pot dictator … has used the excuse of having the people on their side to break the law, to shut down Parliament and the rest of it.” There is a real fear that Johnson will flout the law and bring on a Constitutional crisis. He no longer has a Westminster majority even with 10

 

 

Unionist DUP MPs. He had hoped that by suspending Parliament , he could run out the clock on effective opposition or force a snap election in which he held the upper hand. Ireland will be collateral damage in this crisis because Brexit would make the six counties Europe’s land border with Britain, requiring customs, import and immigration checks. The EU was offered to allow the north to remain in the customs union, with customs, immigration controls etc beginning in the Irish sea, (meaning at entry points into England, Scotland or Wales).The Tory Party, needing DUP votes at Westminster, vetoed any “backstop” or safety net as the DUP demanded. The “backstop” would only take effect if a full trade agreement was not reached by the end of 2020.

BTrooper’s murder of Derry teen ruled unjustified after 47 year   fight- Seamus Bradley’s family finally heard a Coroner’s Court Judge rule that British troopers had no justification for shooting the unarmed Derry teen and watching him die without medical treatment. Judge Patrick Kinney rejected British Army cover stories that the nineteen year old had been firing a machine gun from a tree when shot on July 31,1972, sustaining additional injuries from a fall. He ruled that the unarmed youth was running away from members of the Royal Scots Regiment, when troopers got out of a tank like Saracen armored personnel carrier, then shot him four times. The judge ruled that Seamus Bradley had clearly been unarmed, posed no threat and was no danger to troopers, which would have justified opening fire. The family submitted medical and photographic evidence that Seamus Bradley had been tortured after his capture, which contributed to his death. While the judge would not make a finding of torture, he did rule that Seamus Bradley was not given medical treatment which would have saved his life. Kinney said the original inquest was flawed and inadequate. Nine months before Seamus Bradley’s murder, British Brigadier General Frank Kitson said “law should be used as another weapon in the government’s arsenal… little more than a  propaganda cover for disposal of unwanted members of the public.” Behind this propaganda cover, the crown legally rubber-stamped the ‘disposal’ of Seamus Bradley, Ballymurphy Massacre victims, Springhill-Westrock victims and so many others. Meanwhile they lauded British troops and the Royal Ulster Constabulary, for using “minimum force” only “within the rule of law” to “uphold law and order.”The coroner sent a copy of the file to the Crown Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration of criminal charges.

C-Loyalist flute band taunts Derry Bloody Sunday victims-The members of the Clyde Valley Flute Band, from Larne, wore a British Army Paratroop Regiment insignia with the letter “F” on their shirts to parade in Derry, where 14 Bloody Sunday victims were murdered by the Parachute Regiment. The letter “F” honored the trooper from the regiment charged with murdering two civil rights marchers and wounding two others.( His name has not been made public and he is referred to in Court documents only as “Soldier F.”) The emblem was sewn into uniform sleeves for the Apprentice Boys of Derry parade on August 10th,despite a pledge from parade organizers to local residents not to display any provocative symbols. The emblem was viewed as an insult to Derry, since there is no connection between the Paratroopers and the city except Bloody Sunday. Residents had met with the parade organizers before the parade and expressed concerns about the possibility of offensive displays of support for the trooper facing murder charges. Tony Doherty, the son of Bloody Sunday victim Patrick Doherty called the insignia “deliberately insulting and provocative”. Meanwhile several leading Democratic Unionist Party members including MP Gregory Campbell, and Stormont Assembly members Edwin Poots and Gary Middleton, posed for photographs under a banner bearing the Parachute Regiment insignia, in Derry before the parade. While that banner did not bear any specific reference to murder accused “Soldier F,” the meaning seems obvious.

D-Tyrone man faces trial for taking down UVF terror banner –

 Sixty-five year old Frank McGirr, will face a criminal trial, charged with taking down a banner paying tribute to notorious Glenanne gang member Wesley Somerville. Somerville was one of  the Dublin-Monahan bombers and Miami Showband murderers. Frank McGirr, whose brother Colm was murdered by the British Army’s SAS along with Brian Campbell in 1983,is being prosecuted for removing a banner honoring Somerville from a public lamppost in Moygashel, County Tyrone in June 2017. Somerville was a member of the British Army’s Ulster Defense Regiment, the illegal Ulster Volunteer Force and the infamous Glenanne Gang. He was part of the UVF gang which planted 4 bombs in Dublin and Monaghan, on May 17,1974, killing 33 people. Somerville was himself killed when the bomb he and Harris Boyle were attempting to put in a minibus being driven by the Miami Showband went off prematurely. Somerville with other UVF members wearing British Army UDR uniforms had set up a fake checkpoint outside Newry on the main road to Dublin. They stopped the minibus and ordered band members to stand at the side of the road. Somerville was attempting to place the bomb under the driver’s seat when it went off. The other UVF members opened fire on the 5 musicians killing 3 of them. The loyalist Moygashel Residents ‘Association said they wanted the banner because “Somerville was very much a part of the Protestant culture of Ulster.” 

 

         MALACHY MCALLISTER DEPORTATION FIGHT

Malachy McAllister’s fight against deportation is nearing another critical point. He is an example of Britain’s policy of making political points with Irish victims. Malachy has multiple grounds which should entitle him to legal permanent residence under American law. He is a prominent AOH member, key member of the National FFAI Committee, and respected member of the Irish-American community.  He was a political prisoner decades ago in a war that is long over, after being targeted by British agents within loyalist paramilitaries.  

 

We need AOH members, particularly those represented by Republican Senators or Congressmen to take action. Already a Call to Action, from our National President, was answered by state chairs in Texas and South Carolina, and gotten important support.

 

The AOH was able to accomplish this because AOH members in local districts contacted representatives and said Irish Americans in their constituency wanted them to take a stand and support Malachy. If we can get Congressional or Senate support especially in the Judiciary Committee we can move the bill forward and keep Malachy McAllister here!!!

 

   MARK THOMPSON TOUR AGAINST JOHNSON’S LEGACY COVER-UP

 

Last November Carmel Quinn’s tour for the Ballymurphy Massacre victims was a heralded success for the Ballymurphy families, for the AOH and for getting crucial American support for legacy justice. Proceedings like the Bradley or Ballymurphy inquests are rewriting lies with truth and destroying British fairytale myths about their dirty war in Ireland. Alongside Brexit, Boris Johnson and the Tories are vowing to end what they call “unfair prosecutions” of British troopers for murdering the Irish, where the word unfair should read any. They want to stall or weaken any mechanisms which might give families justice. The AOH will try to combat Britain’s legacy cover-up by bringing back Mark Thompson, of Relatives for Justice, in mid-November. Our National VP Danny O’Connell, National Director Denny Parks and National FFAI Committee member Sean O’Dowd are setting up events in Chicago and Ohio. We are trying to bring Mark to Washington, Philadelphia, Albany and the Bronx with more locations being added and the schedule still being put together.

 

 Mark’s visit to Washington can be another step in building up a network of Congressmen, who are aware of key FFAI issues and the importance of Irish issues to voters in their district. Brothers living in Congressional districts across the country, are a key part of building that network. Ask your Congressman to meet Mark Thompson in Washington and get a briefing on Boris Johnson’s legacy cover-up!

 

            FFAI TOUR-CHRISTMAS APPEAL PREMIUMS

 

We have just received the special premiums or gifts for $1000 donors to the Christmas Appeal. This year the premium is a mounted bodhran, specially made for AOH or LAOH donors by Tyrone ex-prisoners. Your FFAI contributions mean a great deal and these specially made premiums show how highly we are regarded !  

 

 

                 FFAI MONTHLY BULLETIN

 

 Please read the monthly FFAI Bulletin in the AOH national email  blasts, or on  the New York State and National AOH web sites. We want to give you monthly updates on key events in the north with short analysis and explanation.

                             MGALVINESQ@AOL.COM.                             

                                

Freedom For All Ireland Report – August 2019

               FFAI ISSUES UPDATE

Martin Galvin
NYAOH FFAI Chair
National AOH FFAI Chair

A chairde:

A-Boris Johnson threatens Ireland and European Union with “no deal Brexit” unless new deal concessions –After becoming British Prime Minister without any general election, popular mandate or Westminster majority , Boris Johnson began by threatening a no deal Brexit disaster on October 31st, unless the EU renegotiates the Withdrawal Agreement to his liking. He is gambling that the EU will bow to threats and offer major concessions to stop Britain  from crashing out of Europe and forcing a hard border across Ireland. Johnson in his first Westminster speech as Prime Minister promised a “golden age”, ushered in by an October 31st withdrawal ” no ifs, no buts”. He said the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the British government under Theresa May was something “no country that values its independence and indeed its self-respect could agree” and its terms for the Irish border, a “monstrosity” “unacceptable”, “anti-democratic.” Johnson boasted that his regime was “turbocharging” preparations for a no deal Brexit crash out, if Europe refused to abolish the backstop. He snubbed Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, by not phoning him for six days.(Customarily incoming British Prime Ministers make a courtesy call to the head of the Irish government within a day of taking office).Johnson then clashed with Varadkar, saying the backstop must be abolished. Varadkar replied that the emergency measure was made necessary by British decisions. Ireland’s Tanaiste or Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney described  Johnson’s strategy as “give me what I want or I will burn the house down for everybody.”  He said if Johnson wants to “tear up” the existing Withdrawal Agreement with the EU

 “we are in trouble” and charged the British Prime Minister with deliberately putting Britain on a “collision course” with Ireland and the European Union. Johnson said he would not meet with French and German leaders unless they agree in advance to “abolish the backstop”.

 The “backstop” was agreed by Britain and the EU as part of the 599 page Withdrawal Agreement to avoid a disastrous hard border across Ireland. Brexit would make the six counties Europe’s land border with Britain, requiring customs, import and immigration checks. The EU invited the north to remain in the customs union, with customs, immigration controls etc beginning in the Irish sea, (meaning at entry points into England, Scotland or Wales). Brexiteers within the Tory Party, backed the DUP, to veto a “backstop” or safety net that would only begin if a full trade agreement was not reached by the end of 2020.

Johnson took over for Theresa May after winning a contest within the Conservative Party. There was no general election and he needs 10 DUP votes for a majority in Westminster. Alliance Party head Naomi Long said “we need a statesman not a showman.” SDLP head Colum Eastwood said “Johnson coasted into Downing Street on a wave of Brexit bluff and bluster”. Michelle O’Neill said Sinn Fein would “engage Johnson on the fact that there is nothing good to come from Brexit”.

 BNew amnesty moves for British troopers meet Congressional challenge-In the closing days of the contest for Tory Party leadership, Boris Johnson vowed to end “unfair prosecutions” of British troopers for murders committed in the north between 1969-98 with a statute of limitations. (Read ‘unfair” as ‘any’  murder prosecutions of troopers). He quickly created a post of British Army veterans minister and named Johnny Mercer, the most vocal advocate of trooper amnesty at Westminster, to head it. The move would make a mockery of British claims that its troopers and constabulary were not “above the law” or did not act with impunity in the north. Only a handful of British troopers were ever imprisoned for murders like Ballymurphy or Bloody Sunday. There are growing British worries about prosecutions of former troopers, because proceedings like the Ballymurphy Massacre Inquest reveal how British troopers committed brutal murders which were white-washed by the crown. Six Members of Congress joined in a bipartisan letter to Deputy British Ambassador Michael Tatum, citing American concerns about state force amnesty in legacy killings and Britain’s failure to implement agreed legacy mechanisms. The bipartisan Congressional initiative, joined by Representatives Peter King, Eliot Engel, Chris Smith, Brian Fitzpatrick, Nita Lowey and Brendan Boyle. The initiative also follows a recent AOH sponsored tour by Mark Thompson of Relatives For Justice and Edge Hill University Professor Mark McGovern, author of Counterinsurgency and Collusion in Northern Ireland. The British government repeatedly claimed that it was opposed to amnesty for killings by British military, including in a formal letter by then Ambassador Kim Darroch to Members of Congress on May 18,2018.An amnesty in the form of statute of limitations was overwhelmingly opposed by those who responded to the British government Consultation on legacy, announced earlier this month. However this policy was summarily discarded by the new Tory leader. Legacy mechanisms were agreed and published by the British government as part of the Stormont House Agreement of 2014. These mechanisms, which include a Historical Investigations Unit into Troubles killings, have never been implemented. Many nationalists believe that the HIU would bring charges against crown forces for killings or collusion with loyalists in murders.

C-Julian Smith, named six county secretary  snubs Derry nationalists-Julian Smith replaced Karen Bradley as Britain’s six county secretary. He was met by Bloody Sunday and Irish language protestors as he arrived in Derry for his first day in the new post. Smith who had been applauded on the stage as a “friend of the party” at the Democratic Unionist Party conference 2017, had been a key figure in keeping the DUP MPs propping up Theresa May. He visited a number of unionist landmarks, including the Apprentice Boys of Derry Siege Museum, the Apprentice Boys Walker’s Monument and the city walls. He avoided nearby nationalist sites such as the Bogside, Museum of Free Derry or Free Derry corner. Smith then said he would speak with all political parties in the north and treat them equally. However he is viewed as the DUP’s choice for the post, carrying  out policies set by Boris Johnson who seems willing to sacrifice  Irish interest for Westminster political gains. Meanwhile talks to restore the devolved Stormont Assembly, which has not sat since January 2017 continue. There is no agreement on key issues       

 

 

 

 

 including an Irish Language Act, implementing legacy mechanisms, the Renewable Heat Initiative and social issues. Last year a DUP-Sinn Fein agreement fell apart on Valentine’s Day, when the DUP reneged on a compromise proposal allowing an Irish language Act along the lines of Scotland and Wales.

D-Bonfire threats by loyalists force City Council retreat –July is not only marked by triumphal Orange parades across the north but also by hundreds of huge July 11th night bonfires. Many of these bonfires are topped off with posters of nationalists, KAT signs( meaning kill all Catholics), or Irish symbols which are publicly burned to cheers and sectarian songs as part of the celebrations. This year the most sinister example was a bonfire built in the parking lot of a Belfast City Council owned leisure center at Avoniel. When local residents called for the bonfire materials to be removed from the city owned property, a crowd connected to the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force formed a barricade at the entrance to the parking lot. They made threats to staff and forced the facility to be closed. Belfast City Council made a formal complaint to the PSNI constabulary about “aggravated trespassing” and hired contractors to remove the bonfire materials. The names of the contractors were leaked to loyalists. Threatening graffiti naming the contractors was painted on the walls, with slogans like contractors “attack loyalism at your own risk!” Instead of enforcing the City’s right to remove the materials, constabulary  warned there was a risk of “serious violence” using firearms if council workers made any attempt to dismantle the bonfire. Belfast City Council then gave up efforts to remove the bonfire.

 

 

    AOH BUILDING CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT FOR FFAI

 

 This past week anyone reading the daily papers in the north, the nationalist IRISH NEWS or the unionist BELFAST TELEGRAPH or anyone reading the Irish American papers, the IRISH ECHO and IRISH VOICE, read about AOH supporting victims’ families in the north by getting a major Congressional letter on legacy justice to the British Ambassador. We got many phone calls and email messages from Ireland, thanking the AOH, and telling us that American Congressional initiatives have a major impact on the British and are a morale boost for those fighting for justice.

 

The AOH got word on Friday afternoon that Congressman Peter King agreed to take the lead. Over the weekend we were able to get five more co-signers, including important committee chairs.

The AOH was able to accomplish this because AOH members in local districts have contacted representatives and said Irish Americans in their constituency wanted them to take a stand and support us on the key issue of legacy justice.

 

We want to build up a network of Congressmen, who are aware of key FFAI issues and the importance of Irish issues to voters in their district. Brothers living in Congressional districts across the country, are a key part of building that network.  

 

 

 

             FFAI MONTHLY BULLETIN

 

 Please read the monthly FFAI Bulletin in the AOH national email  blasts, or on  the New York State and National AOH web sites. We want to give you monthly updates on key events in the north with short analysis and explanation.

Unquiet Graves: The Story of the Glenanne Gang

Alan Brecknell from the Pat Finucane Center will present the documentary Unquiet Graves: The Story of the Glenanne Gang which details how members of the RUC and UDR, (a British Army regiment) were centrally involved in the murder of over 120 innocent civilians during the recent conflict in Ireland.  It will detail how these members worked hand in hand with known sectarian murderers in the targeted assassinations of farmers, shopkeepers, publicans and other civilians in a campaign aimed at terrorizing the most vulnerable in society. Now known as the Glenanne Gang, the group of killers rampaged through Counties Tyrone and Armagh and across into the Irish Republic in a campaign that lasted from July 1972 to the end of 1978.

The film is narrated by academy award nominated actor Stephen Rea and directed by award winning director, Seán Murray.
Admission is free and open to all.  Doors open at 7pm for a meet and greet with the film presentation at 7:30. Documentary is 1 hour and 15 minutes.

AOH FFAI Presents: Counterinsurgency and Collusion in Northern Ireland

Please join and hear Mark Thompson and Mark McGovern as they launch
‘Counterinsurgency and Collusion in Northern Ireland’

Monday, June 3rd, 2019
O’Lunney’s Time Square Pub
145 West 45th Street, NYC
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

~ Suggested donation $10.00 | Signed books will be available for purchase.

For More information please contact: Tim Myles, timtam614@aol.com 516-660-7456 or Tom Beirne, tomeBeirne4@hotmail.com 646-584-1918

FFAI Update: Counterinsurgency and Collusion in Northern Ireland

Brothers,
Here is  just one of the articles that has already broken in IRISH American papers.
Plus a link to Gerry Adams review of the book and why its revelations about British killer gangs in Tyrone are so important.
 
 
I know that people in Tyrone were so impressed by the launch there, that some of them are contacting American relatives to support our events!
 
Please try and attend our event on June 3: 

Counterinsurgency and Collusion in Northern Ireland

 
Slan,
Martin Galvin
MGALVINESQ@AOL.COM

Freedom For All Ireland Report – May 2019

by Martin Galvin
NYAOH FFAI Chair

A chairde:

FFAI ISSUES UPDATE

A- Six month deportation reprieve for Malachy McAllister-Less than 48 hours before his scheduled deportation, Senators and Congressmen supporting Malachy McAllister  were told that Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan would grant a six month stay. Belfast born Hibernian and key member of the AOH National FFAI Committee, Malachy McAllister was scheduled to be deported on April 30th, after 23 years, in America. He was ordered deported because he had been jailed as a Republican political prisoner for his alleged role in an attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The reprieve, achieved after intense campaigning led by National President Jim McKay and Treasurer Sean Pender, will end in six months without legalization before the deadline. Malachy McAllister had fled to America after a British agent led loyalist attack on his home. He became, as Senator Chuck Schumer described, “a valued member of the Irish American community who has done nothing but productive things since seeking asylum following an assassination attempt on him and his family.”

Because he arrived in America after the original list of Irish political deportee cases, he was omitted from the cases settled by Clinton’s Attorney General Janet Reno in 1997.Ironically the immigration judge who denied McAllister’s claim for asylum in 2000,was current President Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry. She implored the Attorney General to use his discretion to allow the McAllister family to stay in America. McAllister has had his deportation stayed multiple times in response to  Senate and Congressional bills. Senator Lindsay Graham as head of the Judiciary Committee  made a request for Malachy to be granted a six month stay but DHS refused. This refusal was followed by Congressional and Senate campaigning for Malachy, helped by the Irish government and Cardinal Dolan. Senators Schumer and Menendez, along  with Congressmen Engel, Pascrell, King, Smith and Neal were in the forefront of a bipartisan effort. McAllister had to submit an airplane ticket to Ireland to DHS on April 15th and was making final preparations for his family when Senators and Congressmen were notified that McAleenan would give the six month stay. This is a temporary reprieve not a permanent solution. AOH Immigration and FFAI are working with other Irish American groups get a permanent legal status for Malachy. A possibility, suggested by AOH Immigration Chair Dan Dennehy would be a “TRIG Exemption,” exempting the actions for which Malachy was imprisoned from barring him from staying in America. His acts were part of a conflict that ended more than 21 years ago. Terrorism Related Inadmissibility Grounds (TRIG) can be exempted for the Irish conflict by the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security in consultation with the Attorney General. 

BNew Stormont Talks follow tragic Derry death-British Prime Minister Theresa May and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadker made a joint statement setting up new talks to restart the Stormont Assembly, dormant since January 9,2017. The announcement came after both heads of government attended the funeral of respected young journalist Lyra McKee, along with many Irish party leaders. Ms. McKee had been tragically killed in Derry by members of the New IRA ,who had fired at the PSNI constabulary during rioting. Her death inspired an outpouring of grief and anger and an emotional appeal at her funeral by Fr. Martin Magill. Stormont collapsed after the late Martin McGuinness resigned over the refusal of First Minister Arlene Foster to stand aside during an inquiry into the Renewable Heat Initiative scandal. Last year an apparent DUP-Sinn Fein agreement collapsed on Valentine’s Day 2018,when the DUP reneged on a compromise proposal allowing an Irish language Act along lines of similar measures in Scotland and Wales. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney held a follow-up press conference with British Secretary Karen Bradley. Some of the difficulties with talks immediately surfaced. DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr. demanded that Dublin should “butt-out” if they want to see talks succeed while members of the Ulster Unionist Party complained that “Dublin seem to be getting more information than we are.”      

C-May gets Halloween extension to avoid “no deal” Brexit- The European Union granted Britain’s plea for more time before  its exit from the European Union. Brexit, set for March 29th was given a new deadline of October 31st. The postponement allows Britain six additional months to avoid a “no deal” Brexit, without any trade or customs agreements. May was forced to ask the EU for a more time after Westminster voted down her 599 page Withdrawal Agreement with the EU. The EU is not expected to redo this agreement, reached only after lengthy negotiations. She requested a longer postponement but the EU granted 6 months.  May is now in talks with the opposition Labour Party to get votes for her Withdrawal Agreement. “Brexiting” after May 22nd will require  Britain to elect candidates to the European Parliament. Britain could also cancel Brexit by revoking their Article 50 withdrawal notice. May faces continued calls to step down. Brexit threatens economic disaster for Ireland. The Withdrawal Agreement, included a “backstop” to avoid a disastrous hard border across Ireland. Brexiteers within Prime Minister Theresa May’s Tory Party, joined with the DUP, to oppose the “backstop” or safety net that would have only begun if a full trade agreement was not reached by the end of 2020.

D-Threat to bring Britain to a standstill over trooper charges- With as many as 200 former British Army troopers and Royal Ulster Constabulary members now under investigation for Troubles’ murders, former troopers are now threatening to bring Britain and the north to a standstill unless Westminster gives them an amnesty. The threats were made at a rally outside Belfast City Hall, called in support of the single British paratrooper charged for the Bloody Sunday murders. The rally was attended two DUP MPs Jeffrey Donaldson and Gavin Robinson. Donaldson called investigations of British troopers a “witch hunt”. Meanwhile Tory back-benchers are now preparing a bill for an amnesty in the form of a statute of limitations to include Troubles killings in the north along with killings in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time the mother of a Derry child shot dead by the RUC with a plastic bullet in 1981, has been told that the file on her 15 year old son will be sealed until 2059. Helen Whitters appealed to British Secretary Bradley to open her son Paul Whitters’ file now saying that “I will not be alive and no one who actually knew Paul will be alive” in 2059. Also the Ballymurphy Massacre Inquest heard testimony from a trooper who had married a woman from Ballymurphy and was in the area on leave. He said British troopers made up “ghost gunmen” to justify opening fire. He had been threatened by a British Army Captain, called a traitor and assaulted at his home by members of the Parachute Regiment to silence him. The inquest continues.

MARK THOMPSON-MARK McGOVERN BOOK LAUNCH TOUR

Mark Thompson and Professor Mark McGovern are launching a new book COLLUSION- COUNTERINSURGENCY in NORTHERN IRELAND in May   and are planning to do an American launch from June 1st to June 10th. This groundbreaking book will put the lie to the claim that Britain forces were responsible for only about only 10% of the north’s killings and expose how they armed, directed, paid and protected their loyalist agents to carry out hundreds of  killings then denied any blame.  They have asked AOH help to plan and organize this tour.

I have a personal interest in the book because my close friend Liam Ryan, who lived near me in the Bronx and was murdered at the Battery Bar in Ardboe, (a site visited during the FFAI tour) is one of the cases of collusion included in the book.

I am asking for your ideas and help to set up the most effective schedule for them including book launch venues-political support-colleges-embassy receptions etc along with events where we can bring in people and help defer expenses. 

FFAI TOUR-CHRISTMAS APPEAL RECIPIENTS

The following groups received donations from your contributions to the Christmas Appeal. These groups and amounts were based on written applications and recommendations from the National FFAI Committee with final determination by our National officers. Every designated donation to approved groups was honored and groups named for designated donations got additional monies because we wanted contributions to reflect your feelings.

  1. Relatives for Justice-supports the relatives of those killed or injured in the conflict-fights for legacy justice-provides counseling and support services with offices in Belfast and Dungannon-involved with campaigns like Ballymurphy inquest-, headed by Mark Thompson, and Carmel Quinn is one of the trustees.
  2. Pat Finucane Centre-Human Rights Advocacy group-based in Derry named after slain civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane – headed by Paul O’Connor, and connected to campaigns like Bloody Sunday.
  3. Holy Cross Ardoyne-headed by Fr. Gary Donegan, is actually the Houben Centre dedicated to peace with justice in the sectarian flashpoint of Ardoyne.
  4. EALU-(means Escape in Irish)is a center for Republican ex-political prisoners located in Dungannon, East Tyrone, we visited their offices and they provide an array of services including job training ,counseling for ex-prisoners and families, legacy issues, education classes in Irish culture, language and history.
  5. Greater New Lodge Commemoration Committee-maintains a memorial garden and commemorations for IRA Volunteers and Republicans who were killed by the British in the New Lodge area of Belfast.
  6. Conway Mill Trust-located in Pittsburgh funds 8 community based organizations in the north including one in the Garvaghy Road, four in Belfast and three in Derry.
  7. Tyrone AOH– foster Irish history ,culture, language and issues  in an area of Tyrone where all things Irish were suppressed-they hold a special memorial for a local Hibernian killed in 1916,campaign against the environmental destruction of the Mass Rock and Sperrins area and also assist on legacy issues and other issues.
  8. Cairde Strabane-serves Republican ex-political prisoners in West Tyrone which provides job training, education, counseling, and a historical museum.
  9. St. Patrick Centre-cross community charity and exhibition, and cultural centre about St. Patrick in Downpatrick.
  10. Duchas Oiriall-South Armagh organization promoting and studying the unique culture and history of South Armagh.
  11. Bridges beyond Boxing-cross-community boxing club based in Belfast.
  12. Down Patriot Graves-maintains graves,organizes commemorations and promotes history of Irish patriots in South Down.
  13. Green Cross-provides money and help to the families who lost loved ones during the conflict.
  14. Belfast National Graves-to commemorate and maintain the graves of those who gave their lives for Irish freedom.
  15. Omagh Basketball-cross-community basketball team in Omagh.
  16. Omagh Choir-cross-community choir.

These donations were presented during the tour which meant that a number of AOH and LAOH members handed out checks and showed that these contributions represent funds raised by a national organization. The reception we received is a credit to each member of the AOH-LAOH who works on FFAI or contributed to the Christmas Appeal. Your work matters and is deeply appreciated!  

FFAI MONTHLY BULLETIN

 Please check for the monthly FFAI Bulletin on the New York State and National AOH web sites. We want to give you monthly updates on key events in the north with short analysis and explanation.

Slan,
Martin Galvin
MGALVINESQ@AOL.COM

Freedom For All Ireland Report – March 2019

by Martin Galvin
NYAOH FFAI Chair

A chairde:

FFAI ISSUES UPDATE

A- Brexit chaos as Westminster rejects May deal-Britain’s exit from the European Union, Brexit, due March 29th was delayed as Westminster vetoed Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal with the EU. Multiple parliamentary defeats made May ask the EU for an extension. No one knows what will happen next. Had Britain accepted  May’s withdrawal deal with the EU nations, Brexit could have gone ahead on May 22nd. Brexit could go ahead without any deal on April 12th or Britain could ask for more time and even renegotiations. Exiting after May 22nd, would require Britain to elect candidates to the European Parliament. Britain could also cancel Brexit by revoking their Article 50 withdrawal notice.

May survived a no-confidence vote within her own party two months ago, after pledging to step down before the next British election or further Brexit negotiations. Alternative Brexit plan were voted down in “indicative votes.” May’s defeats in Parliament have prompted renewed pressure to replace her now.

Meanwhile Brexit chaos continues to threaten economic disaster for Ireland. The EU and May negotiated a 599 page Withdrawal Agreement, including a “backstop” to avoid a disastrous hard border across Ireland. Brexiteers within Prime Minister Theresa May’s Tory Party, joined with the DUP, to oppose the “backstop” or safety net that would only begin if a full trade agreement was not reached by the end of 2020.

No deal Brexit would make the six counties Europe’s land border with Britain, requiring customs, tariff and immigration checks. The EU invited the north to remain in the customs union, with customs, immigration controls etc beginning in the Irish sea, (meaning at entry points into England, Scotland or Wales). This favored position would benefit the north. However the DUP rejected the backstop proposals as a “backstab” denouncing even preferences for the north as a slippery slope towards a united Ireland.

B-Token prosecution for Bloody Sunday as Bradley says crown force killings were not crimes-Only one British trooper will be  prosecuted for 13 murdered and 15 wounded by British troops on Bloody Sunday. Up to 18 troopers were expected to be charged. The trooper, identified only as British “Soldier F”, was charged with the murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murders of Patrick O’Donnell, Joseph Friel, Joe Mahon and Michael Quinn. The families of the other victims were described as “heartbroken” and “devastated.” Derry author Eamon McCann renewed his charge that no officers, or commanders were charged for murder or cover-up.

The announcement came days after Karen Bradley, Britain’s six county administrator told Westminster that fewer than 10% of conflict killings were at the hands of the British Army or Royal Ulster Constabulary and these killings “were not crimes. They were people acting under orders and under instruction and fulfilling their duty in a dignified and appropriate way”.

James Wray’s brother Liam said that while his family was relieved, he was “very saddened for the other Bloody Sunday families who have not got justice here and whose hearts must be broken”.

On Bloody Sunday, January 28, 1972,the British Army paratroop regiment responsible for the August 9-11 “Ballymurphy Massacre” opened fire on a civil rights march against Internment without charge or trial. It convinced many civil rights supporters that a regime which answered civil rights marchers with bullets would never give justice. The killings were judicially whitewashed by the Widgery Tribunal but after decades and the Saville Inquiry, Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that the killings were “unjustified and unjustifiable.” However only one token prosecution has been initiated. Meanwhile former British troopers are planning protests against any prosecutions and flags have appeared in Carrickfergus and other loyalist heartlands supporting the paratroopers and British “Soldier F.”

C-Finucane Supreme Court victory– Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that the crown failed to carry out any effective investigation as required by European law into the state’s involvement in the murder of civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane. The De Silva inquiry  where Judge Desmond de Silva reviewed written reports instead of calling and hearing witnesses, did not satisfy the crown’s obligations to protect the right to life under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. They ruled that there had never been any state investigation which could establish the key facts or the guilt of those responsible for the murder.

Pat Finucane was a Belfast civil rights lawyer, who represented   Bobby Sands and also testified in American political asylum cases for Sean Mackin and was scheduled to testify for Gabriel Megahey. Because of his success in British non-jury Diplock Courts,he received threats from the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Republicans who requested him as counsel were told that they should ask for someone who would be alive to finish the case. British MP Douglas Hogg threatened him under privilege in Parliament.

On February 12,1989,loyalists entered Pat’s home and murdered him in front of his wife and children. Republicans realized that British crown forces were involved but the British crown denied any complicity and their Ambassador accused me personally of being a “scurrilous liar” for briefing members of Congress about collusion in the murder and getting a Congressional protest letter. The Ambassador said the crown “would never stoop to such methods”. It has since been proven that British agents were in fact directly involved.

The family campaigned for a full public inquiry and Pat’s murder was included in the Cory Report as part of the Good Friday negotiations. Finally in 2004, the British Secretary for the north promised a public inquiry in a parliamentary statement. Prime Minister David Cameron invited the family to London but announced the Da Silva review instead of the expected public inquiry.

D-Loughinisland Film Journalists interrogated by Constabulary-Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey the prominent Belfast journalists who produced the documentary “NO STONE UNTURNED” were brought in for interrogation by constabulary in what is viewed as a further attempt to silence and intimidate anyone  who investigates collusion by British crown forces. Six victims in Loughinisland were murdered while watching Ireland play Italy in a World Cup soccer match in 1994. The film names and shows  the murderers, and reveals that besides  evidence available from the car, weapons, and clothing the wife of one of the gunmen had telephoned and written confessing her involvement and naming the gunmen. Despite everything, no one was ever charged. The two journalists were arrested last August and charged with stealing documents. They were forced to appear and be interrogated in an attempt to make them to name confidential sources.

Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International said “when police are arresting journalists who have investigated police collusion in the killing of civilians, rather than the killers and those who helped them get away with murder, people everywhere should be worried”. 

MALACHY MCALLISTER DEPORTATION FIGHT

Malachy McAllister’s fight against deportation is still at a critical point. He is an example of Britain’s policy of making political points with Irish victims. Malachy has multiple grounds which should entitle him to legal permanent residence under American law. He is a prominent AOH member, key member of the National FFAI Committee, and respected member of the Irish-American community.  He was a political prisoner decades ago in a war that is long over.

Malachy is a pawn in an old British game of criminalization. The British think they can brand anyone who dares oppose them as a criminal. That was true of the patriots they shot in 1916. That was true of George Washington who himself said to the “Patriots of Ireland” in 1788 “had I failed the scaffold would have been my doom.”It was true of Bobby Sands and the Hunger Strikers who suffered torture and death rather than be masqueraded as criminals for Margaret Thatcher.

The British want America to brand Malachy a criminal by  deporting him. The human cost to Malachy and his children does not matter to Britain. The AOH, led by our National President Jim McKay, Treasurer Sean Pender, Immigration Chair Dan Dennehy and FFAI, together with other Irish American organizations are fighting back. Already a Call to Action, answered by state chairs in Texas and South Carolina, has gotten important support.

Things are moving quickly. The AOH-LAOH will need to respond quickly and I urge everyone to check the national web site, FFAI updates respond to Calls for Action. We have to win for Malachy and his family!

MARK THOMPSON BOOK LAUNCH TOUR

Mark Thompson and Professor Mark McGovern are launching a new book COLLUSION – COUNTERINSURGENCY in NORTHERN IRELAND in April  and are planning to do an American launch from June 1st to June 10th.

This groundbreaking book will put the lie to the claim that Britain forces were responsible for only about only 10% of the north’s killings and expose how they armed, directed, paid and protected their loyalist agents to carry out hundreds of  killings then denied any blame. 

They have asked AOH help to plan and organize this tour.

I have a personal interest in the book because my close friend Liam Ryan, who lived near me in the Bronx and was murdered at the Battery Bar in Ardboe, (a site visited during the FFAI tour) is one of the cases of collusion included in the book. I am asking for your ideas and help to set up the most effective schedule for them including book launch venues-political support-colleges-embassy receptions etc along with events where we can bring in people and help defer expenses. 

EASTER COMMEMORATIONS AND DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

A century ago representatives elected in the 32 county election of 1918, assembled as a National Parliament in 1919, and voted Ireland’s Declaration of Independence. An important theme for this year’s Easter Commemorations is the mandate the Irish people gave to the Easter Rising and 1916 Proclamation first by their votes in the British controlled general election and second by ratifying 1916 in the Declaration of Independence. The British instead of recognizing the democratic will of the Irish people responded with Black and Tan terror and ultimately partition. Speakers are encouraged to include the Declaration of Independence and its historic import in all Easter Commemorations.

FFAI TOUR-CHRISTMAS APPEAL

Anyone who doubts the importance of the AOH-LAOH to people in the north should read the full FFAI tour report in the upcoming Hibernian Digest, or speak to any of the 37 Hibernians who attended. We were met by leading figures in Belfast, Derry, Tyrone and Dublin. They met us because they regard us as their voice, as our National President says the “voice of the Irish in America.”

They count on us to put pressure on the British, to highlight injustice and for our donations to key groups. The reception we received is a credit to each member of the AOH-LAOH who works on FFAI or contributed to the Christmas Appeal. Your work matters and is deeply appreciated!   

FFAI MONTHLY BULLETIN

After getting behind because of the Christmas Appeal and FFAI tour, I am trying to get the FFAI Bulletins back on a monthly schedule. I held this to include the latest news on Brexit. Please check for the monthly FFAI Bulletin on the New York State and National AOH web sites. We want to give you monthly updates on key events in the north with short analysis and explanation.

Slan,
Martin Galvin
MGALVINESQ@AOL.COM

Carmel Quinn Ballymurphy Massacre Appeal

Schedule of Events
November 11 – 19, 2018

Read the October 28, 2018 press release

  • Ms. Quinn’s first public address will take place in Philadelphia on Sunday, November 11th at the FOP Lodge 5 Ballroom, 11630 Caroline Road, Philadelphia, beginning at 3pm.organized by Gerry McHale and Pearse Kerr (267-767-7854).
  • On Monday, November 12th, she will speak in New Jersey at the Bayshore Catholic Center 12 Rt. 36, Middletown at 7PM, organized by Sean Pender, Malachy McAllister and Rich O’Brien (vp@njaoh.com).
  • On Tuesday, November 13th, Ms. Quinn will be at the Suffolk County AOH Division 2 Hall, 27 Locust Avenue, Babylon, at 8pm, hosted by New York State AOH President Victor Vogel and County President Jerry Belmont (jnlcbel@verizon.net).
  • Ms. Quinn will travel to Washington DC for a series of key Congressional briefings on Wednesday, November 14th.
  • She will speak in Albany on Friday, November 16th at the AOH Hall, 375 Ontario Avenue, Albany where the prestigious Fr. Murphy award will be presented.
  •  The Midwest will host her Saturday, November 17th, at the Cleveland West Side Irish-American Club, 8559 Jennings Road Olmstead Turnpike, organized by Danny O’Connell, Marilyn Madigan and Roger Weist (216-235-1551).
  • Carmel Quinn will be honored alongside Congressman Joseph Crowley and The Irish Echo Editor, Ray O’Hanlon at Rory Dolan’s, on Sunday, November 18th by Bronx County AOH at 3pm, hosted by Bob Nolan  (347-880-1403).
  • Rescheduled Event:  Join us in New York City– O’Lunneys, 145 West 45th Street November 19th. 7:00-9:00pm.  

Event Flyer
RESCHEDULED EVENT
Join Us on Monday, November 19th
Same time, same place!

Albany Freedom for All Ireland Night

You are invited to the Albany LAOH and AOH 2018 Freedom for All Ireland Night on Friday, November 16, 2018. This year we will be honoring:

Martin Galvin, National and State AOH FFAI Chairman 
Recipient of the 2018 Father Murphy Award

Our special guest of the evening will be:

Carmel Quinn
Relatives for Justice – Belfast

Doors open at 6pm – Event starts at 7pm – Price $30.00 which includes Dinner. There will be raffles and door prizes.

The event will take place at:

Albany Hibernian Hall
375 Ontario Street
Albany NY 12208

For more information contact: Dolores Desch – laohdolores@yahoo.com or John Levendosky at j.levendosky@gmail.com

Download the event flyer  |   Download the journal ad contract

Freedom For All Ireland (FFAI) is a National AOH/LAOH initiative that promotes One Island, One Ireland with peace, justice and equality for all. All proceeds raised by this event are donated to over a dozen worthy charities/causes throughout the North of Ireland.

Freedom For All Ireland Report – June 2018

by Martin Galvin
NYAOH FFAI Chair

A chairde:

FFAI ISSUES UPDATE

A-Pat Finucane family in Supreme Court appeal-The family of murdered civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane, took the fight for an independent judicial inquiry to the Supreme Court in London. Pat Finucane battled for justice in the British non-jury Diplock courts which replaced Internment, despite threats by British Minister Douglas Hogg, and Royal Ulster Constabulary members telling clients “Finucane would not be alive to finish your case”. Brutally murdered in front of his family on February 12,1989,British Army and RUC agents who were involved had warned crown officials of the planned murder. The case broke open denials of collusion. The family has been fighting for a public inquiry, where their lawyer could question witnesses, instead of a crown appointed judge merely reviewing documents.  Counsel Barry MacDonald called it “murder by proxy whereby the state engaged in terrorism through loyalist paramilitaries”. Geraldine Finucane pledged her family “had come for an inquiry and for justice. We will never stop”. A decision is expected in the fall.

B-Choice of Drew Harris as Garda Commissioner alarming-Civil rights and legacy groups are critical of the choice of the crown’s Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris as Garda Commissioner heading Irish police in the 26 counties. Harris was a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary before its name was changed to Police Service of Northern Ireland and worked closely with MI5 British intelligence. His father was a high ranking RUC officer killed by the IRA. Harris has been a major obstacle on legacy truth. Mark Thompson of Relatives for Justice said “Drew Harris has had a stranglehold on legacy and has acted partially and with vested interest at all times not least concerning incidents of shoot-to-kill and collusion carried out by the state during the conflict”. The Irish government thought Harris’ appointment would be favorably received by unionists. Harris oversaw the decision to arrest, rather than interview former Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and veteran Republican Ivor Bell in connection with the Jean McConville case. Because Ivor Bell refused to inform on Adams, he still faces charges despite serious medical issues.

C-British troopers stonewall Ballymurphy Inquest- There are fears that the inquest into eleven Ballymurphy murders, scheduled to begin on September 11th,may be further delayed because British trooper witnesses refuse to comply. The “Ballymurphy Massacre” took place over a three day period, beginning on August 9, 1971. Ten people were fatally shot including Catholic Priest Fr. Hugh Mullan, and mother of eight Joan Connolly. An eleventh victim died from a heart attack after a mock execution. Victims were shot as many as 14 times. The British crown blamed all killings on the victims, claiming the Paratroopers were under fire, despite no British casualties nor IRA weapons found. British news broadcast crown accounts. Some troopers took part in Bloody Sunday, 5 months later. British troopers and veterans groups are trying to delay the inquest, crying “witch-hunt”, and refusing legal requests for testimony or contact information. Families of the victims have been fighting almost 47 years for a chance to prove their loved ones innocent.

D-Orange marching season hinders Stormont moves– While the Stormont Assembly deadlock continues, attempts at new talks will be hindered by the onset of the Orange marching season. The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, after an eleven year interval, will meet on July 25th.This meeting would allow the governments to publish suggestions for new talks. The Orange marching season, extending through the summer will include huge bonfires where Irish flags, pictures of the Pope and various nationalist politicians are burned. British and loyalist flags fill towns and more than 4,000 parades will be held. This year the Mid-Ulster District Council, with its nationalist majority will be a special target. The Council voted to add signs in Irish to Council properties and wants to regulate bonfires located on council land. Loyalists responded by distributing specially made Mid-Ulster Council flags to be burned atop bonfires across the six counties. Last February the DUP backed out of an agreement, which would have put Arlene Foster back as First Minister, merely because it included an Irish language Act subject to a Respect for Languages Act and in tandem with an Ulster Scots Act. This was too much for unionists. No DUP compromises are expected in this political atmosphere.

EMMET MONUMENT REDEDICATION

The words “Emmet Monument” have a special place in Irish history. In the nineteenth century when all hope of freedom seemed to have been crushed, Emmet Monument Societies were created. The subtle joke was clear to any Irishman or woman. Robert Emmet told Norbury, known as the “hanging judge”, that he wished his epitaph to be inscribed on his tombstone only after Ireland “takes its place among the nations of the earth.” Emmet Monument Societies meant freeing Ireland from British rule, and became the forerunners of the Fenians and other patriot groups which made 1916 a reality.

On Sunday July 22, 2018 the anniversary of Robert Emmet’s rebellion, there will be a special rededication and unveiling of a monument to the Emmet family in Beechwood Cemetery, New Rochelle at 3pm.

The family plot includes the graves of Thomas Addis Emmet, an exiled United Irish leader, among other family members who were patriots of Ireland, as well as the United States. There will be a reception afterwards at the Heritage on McLean Avenue. For information call-718-877-0345.

Many of the organizers are young AOH members who started a new Division. This should be a great event.

TOM CLARKE-KATHLEEN DALY CLARKE MEMORIAL

During the Suffolk County meeting on July 18th, the framed certificates from the Tyrone AOH in appreciation of the Tom Clarke -Kathleen Daly Clarke Memorial will be formally presented to our State President Vic Vogel and to the Suffolk County members who built and maintain this great memorial.

NATIONAL CONVENTION

Looking forward to the National Convention, meeting FFAI leaders from around the Country and sharing some of the ideas that have worked for us in New York with other states!

Please contact me at MGALVINESQ@AOL.COM.

Slan
Martin Galvin