Freedom For All Ireland Report – March 2019

by Martin Galvin

A chairde:


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’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 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. 


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.


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!   


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.

Martin Galvin

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 (
  • 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 (
  • 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
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 – or John Levendosky at

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

A chairde:


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.


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.


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.


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.

Martin Galvin

Freedom For All Ireland Report – May 2018

by Martin Galvin

A chairde:


A-False claims raise Legacy Consultation concerns- British Prime Minister Theresa May’s patently untrue claims that British crown forces were the only ones being investigated for legacy killings, sparked charges that she misled Parliament, and raised concerns about legacy bad faith. Statistically investigations of British killings amounted to less than a third. Unlike Republicans such as Gerry McGeough and Seamus Kearney, no British trooper has been jailed. May’s appointee Karen Bradley published a consultation paper for hundreds of legacy killings, outlining four devices: (1) Historical Investigations Unit-(HIU),taking over investigations done by the Ombudsman and Historical Enquiries Team; (2) Independent Commission on Information Retrieval (ICIR)for private requests by family members about the deaths of loved ones; (3) Oral History Archive (OHA) collecting research and new and existing oral history on the Troubles; (4) Implementation and Reconciliation Group (IRG) to review implementation. Bradley took plans Britain agreed in the 2014 Stormont House Agreement and put them up for renegotiation, then offered 150 million pounds in legacy funding, set aside years ago but never released. Bradley echoed May’s false claims and said “that is why we needed a consultation”.

Nationalists and human rights groups reacted angrily. Relatives for Justice and the Pat Finucane Centre took out a half-page ad in the GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER publicly charging that May had misled Parliament. She was even refuted by former Justice Minister David Ford, current Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson and PSNI constabulary statistics. May’s rhetoric raised questions about whether Britain intended the new legacy mechanisms to give truth to victims or cover to crown forces. A potential national security blanket, DUP veto, or quota on investigations of British killings which ignores collusion, provide opportunities for a state forces cover-up. Meanwhile the British have refused to stop veterans groups from instructing former troopers to ignore requests for cooperation by the Ballymurphy Massacre Inquest.

B-Foster wants military covenant as Stormont absence hits 500 days- Democratic Unionist Party head Arlene Foster wants the “military covenant” in the north as another concession to get talks restarted, 500 days since the collapse of the Stormont Assembly. The military covenant would give preference to former British troopers and Ulster Defense Regiment members in housing, school placements, and medical waiting lists etc. Martin McGuinness resigned over Foster’s refusal to stand aside while her Renewable Heat Initiative, “money to burn” scandal was under investigation. Foster approved a plan which pays a profit to burn fuel, costing 500 million pounds. She blames her advisors. Talks had ended in a Valentine’s Day breakup after a compromise that would have allowed an Irish language act with Ulster Scots and an overriding Respecting Languages Bill. That compromise dropped objections to Foster, despite the continuing inquiry. Now Foster wants more concessions. 

C-Corbin neutrality not enough for Unionists- Jeremy Corbin, of the British Labour Party made his first visit to the north since becoming leader of the opposition. He was slammed by unionists for saying he would be neutral in any border poll under the terms of the Good Friday agreement and that he regretted all deaths in the conflict, without one-sided condemnation of the IRA. Corbin, who had visited the north and Sinn Fein during the conflict, took pains to state that he was not advocating a border poll and that he was against all violence. He was merely saying he would abide by the agreement. However this even-handedness brought angry reaction from Unionists, led by Gregory Campbell of the DUP who wanted a special meeting with relatives of those killed by Republicans. Campbell is one of ten DUP MPs propping up Theresa May as Prime Minister.    

D-RUC partied in the back of Loughgall death van-A former member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary bragged about holding parties in the bullet-ridden van where IRA Volunteers were killed by the SAS in a May 1987 ambush. The revelation was posted on a Facebook page administered by former SAS members. It appeared alongside photographs of the van and slain Volunteers. Eight IRA members and a civilian were killed in the incident now due for a legacy inquest. Some members of this feared IRA Unit were believed shot after capture. The van was hit by 125 bullets. The post boasted that RUC members held parties in the van during continuity training in 1988, while a former SAS member posted underneath “it was one of the best nights of my career”. Relatives of the dead were shocked and hurt. A sister of one of those killed, Mairead Kelly said it was “depraved” and “no one with common decency would make fun of the dead”. Brian Arthurs said his brother Declan “gave his life in a struggle for the freedom of his country.” Meanwhile, the DUP continues to condemn dignified commemorations for slain IRA members.


Special congratulations to George McLaughlin, Seamus Boyle and all of those who helped dedicate headstones for Thomas Darragh and Robert Cranston, two of the six Fenians rescued in a great escape from imprisonment in Australia and brought safely back to America on the Catalpa. The ceremony took place on May 5, 2018 in Philadelphia.

Congratulations also to all those in Suffolk County who were responsible for the Thomas Clarke-Kathleen Daly Clarke and who were honored by the Tyrone AOH in Thomas Clarke’s hometown of Dungannon. A full account of the ceremony is posted on the New York State web site and am arranging to deliver their plaque from Ireland.

On 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, a United Irishman 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.


Having just returned from Ireland, I was deeply moved by how much our AOH FFAI work has meant to victims of British rule. At a meeting with Mark Thompson in Dungannon about a dozen families turned up. Each of them mentioned how important Mark’s Emergency Tour in January, the Congressional letter, and Congressional hearing were to them. They feel they have been told lies and stonewalled by the British for decades, when they ask for the truth about the murders of their loved ones. These families think that the British will use the DUP to cancel out any pressure for justice in the north, but that American pressure can make a difference.

These families, who have suffered so much, are grateful for our AOH FFAI help and are counting on us to continue. Mark is willing to return and also to enlist speakers from families of campaigns like the Ballymurphy Massacre which will be making headlines as the inquest begins this fall.

Every County who hosted an event last year had a tremendous success. I would like to host more tours and need your help for venues so I can propose something for our State President’s approval.

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.

Martin Galvin

Schenectady Freedom for All Ireland Fundraiser

Freedom for All Ireland (FFAI) Fundraiser

Please join us on October 6, 2018 at 5:30 pm for our Freedom for All Ireland (FFAI) Fundraiser event. Martin Galvin, National and State FFAI Chair will be the evening’s speaker. There will be a dinner with a choice of roasted sirlion or stuffed chicken with seasoned roasted potatoes, medally vegatables, and dinner roll with butter (see the flyer below for additional information).

A $20 donation is requested and will give you admission to this informative evening event.

Download the event flyer here

Freedom For All Ireland Report – February 2018

by Martin Galvin

A chairde:


A-Valentine’s Day break-up at Stormont Assembly talks- Talks between the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein to end the 13 month Stormont stalemate broke off, with Arlene Foster claiming “no current prospect” of any deal, and Michelle O’Neill saying the DUP collapsed the talks. The breakup came after British Prime Minister Theresa May and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar traveled to Belfast for an expected signing.

Between an understanding reached Friday, and the arranged signing on Monday, unionist hysteria over leaked proposals of an Irish language act made Foster and the DUP back out, later denying any draft agreement.

The thirteen page draft agreement was then published by journalist Eamon Mallie and can be read on his website. Sinn Fein would accept Foster as First Minister, despite the ‘money to burn’ heating scandal that caused Martin McGuinness’ resignation. An Irish language act would have been included as one of three language bills, alongside an overriding “Respecting Language and Diversity Bill” and Ulster-Scots Bill. Legacy inquest funding and legacy mechanism funding would be covered separately by the British government. The DUP now denies agreeing to anything and called on the British to implement direct rule. Eileen Paisley, widow of DUP founder Ian Paisley blamed current party leaders for “creating this mess.”

B-Time for Truth March in Belfast-Thousands of victims’ families and campaigners converged on Belfast City Hall, demanding truth about murders of their loved ones. Many of the marchers carried crosses or large pictures with the names of murdered loved ones. Marchers from a number of victims’ campaigns joined together to slam the British government for giving the DUP a veto on legacy justice. John Teggart of the Ballymurphy Massacre families said the rally was about “telling the Government that people’s right to the truth is not some bargaining chip for political talks.” He called on the crown to release inquest funding requested by Chief Justice Declan Morgan. Mark Thompson of Relatives for Justice, said it was wrong for the British government to say “if you guys can get a deal we will give victims their rights… these rights are obligations under the European Convention and Human Rights Act.”

C-Brexit border plan rejected by May and DUP- Legal proposals by the European Union to avoid customs and immigration barriers across the six counties after Brexit, were rejected by Theresa May and denounced by the DUP. The proposal by EU negotiator Michael Barnier in Brussels, was based on a December agreement between May and the European Commission President. The EU and Irish government want a common regulatory area with no internal borders and free movement of goods as a ‘backstop’ or ‘default’ arrangement, if a full trade deal or technological solution to the border could not be devised. May said no British “Prime Minister could ever agree to it” and Arlene Foster called it “economically catastrophic”. Ireland and the EU noted that the British still have no real alternative to a hard border.

DNewry parade battle for Irish flag-Following the successful fight against St. Patrick’s Day Parade bans on the Irish flag in Strabane and Derry, Newry has taken up the battle. Councillor Stephen Murney called the ban an “attempt to suppress and erode any display of Irish culture and heritage on a day of worldwide recognition of Irish culture”. In this heavily nationalist town marchers have been told that they are forbidden to carry the Irish national flag or even a flag with four provinces. Marchers are now threatening to defy the ban or boycott unless this ban is lifted.         


Rules of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade allow only two banners between the Irish and American flags. The only banners allowed are those identifying marching units and “England Get Out of Ireland”. These banners are a key theme of our parades. Once “Erin go Bragh” flags were used and were revolutionary. “Ireland forever” meant an Irish nation would exist and one day be free, outlasting British rule. This idea, often outlawed in Ireland, was carried proudly in American parades, where patriots among them Tom Clarke, John Devoy, O’Donovan Rossa etc would pledge to make it so and did.

Today the words “England Get Out of Ireland” signal our support for those still denied freedom for all Ireland. The words note that British rule serves English interests. Brexit, the DUP  veto, and the denial of legacy truth for those murdered by British crown forces or their agents are prime examples. 


 The 1916 Easter Rising and Proclamation of an Irish Republic on April 24,1916 was a historic event. This year Ireland will celebrate another centenary without which 1916 would have lost much of its meaning.

The British, joined by the Irish papers and establishment politicians of the day denied any popular support for the Rising or an Irish Republic. The Irish party leader at the time John Redmond even told Westminster that the Irish people regarded 1916 “with utter detestation and horror”. They hoped to make 1916 one more unsuccessful rising, to be forgotten. Over the next two years all of that changed utterly.

Events like the executions, brutal treatment of those interned, death of Thomas Ashe, campaigns for prisoner candidates, ballads, and poets would awaken Ireland to the true meaning of 1916 and the Proclamation. At the 1918 British General Election, Ireland voted a mandate for freedom, by choosing representatives who pledged to go a free Irish parliament or Dail Eireann instead of Westminster.

At our New York State Convention the AOH resolved to remember and commemorate Ireland’s 1918 mandate for freedom. FFAI encourages this theme for speakers at Easter Commemorations or other appropriate occasions. Under the leadership of our worthy New York State President Vic Vogel we are even hoping to get a formal recognition at the State Legislature.


Please contact me at MGALVINESQ@AOL.COM.

Martin Galvin

Freedom For All Ireland Report – January 2018

by Martin Galvin


Click to view event photos

Mark Thompson ended a week long emergency American tour which generated a new Congressional initiative, five public events and formal proclamations of support by the New York State Senate, Assembly and local governments. Sponsored by the New York State Board Ancient Order of Hibernians, the tour brought together other Irish American organizations, and commitments to help Relatives for Justice and the victims they represent break the deadlock on legacy truth.

The emergency tour was an AOH response to crown moves to give British troopers and constabulary an amnesty, while denying Inquest Courts and Ombudsmen investigators needed funding. Mark Thompson  made an emergency appeal for American help, noting that the AOH and Irish-American grassroots had been a driving force behind every American initiative for Irish justice.

Before his first public meeting, Mr. Thompson held the first of several prearranged telephone briefings, beginning with Congressman Richard Neal’s office. These briefings would climax  in a meeting with Congressman Joe Crowley and a proposal for a new Congressional initiative to support legacy victims.


Mark Thompson’s first public address took place at the Suffolk County AOH Hall, in Babylon, Long Island, hosted by New York State AOH President Victor Vogel. AOH officers including Past State President Jim Burke, Suffolk County President Jerry Belmont and Nassau County President Pete Begley packed the hall, alongside relatives of legacy victims. Chris Thompson of the Suffolk County Brehon Law Society, and noted MacBride Principles campaigner Patrick Doherty, now with New York State Comptroller DiNapoli’s office, also attended. Here RFJ received the first of many legislative Proclamations of support for its work, sponsored by New York State Senator Phil Boyle.

New York Freedom-for-all-Ireland Chair, Martin Galvin noted:

“the phrase to get away with murder was literally true of British policy. British crown forces, or their paid agents who colluded and carried out murders, were shielded. Now as Relatives for Justice threatens to use British justice mechanisms to get truth for these victims, the British are starving their own courts, inquest judges and Ombudsman investigations of funding while moving towards pardons dressed up as statutes of limitations.”


Mark Thompson began by saying that “Relatives for Justice was mandated to represent hundreds of families in the north whose loved ones, were not alone murdered but then slandered to justify their murders”. He pointed in the audience to relatives of Maura Meehan and Dorothy Maguire, killed by British troops in Belfast in 1971,and to relatives of John Boyle, shot by British SAS troops in 1978.He detailed the circumstances of these killings and the legal cover-up which followed, to explain how the British mistreated hundreds of families .

He said, “now as families get near truth after years pushing against a wall of deceit, the British want to use amnesties and a funding cut-off to lock the door on justice. Victims’ families want(a)no amnesty pardons for British forces,(b)funding for legacy inquests and Ombudsman inquiries, and (c implementation of the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House in 2015”.

He quoted an expression that “when America sneezes Britain catches a cold and we want Irish America to sicken the British with demands for legacy justice”.


The next night, Mr. Thompson spoke in mid-town Manhattan at an event co-hosted by Queens, Brooklyn, New York and Bronx AOH.

The crowd included, AOH national officers Jere Cole, Sean Pender  Dan Dennehy Jeff Nisler and Tom Beirne, State President Vic Vogel and Treasurer John Manning. Special thanks to Walter Cooper , Jim Sullivan, back from Florida and Parade Committee  Chairman Denis McCarthy. Hibernians were joined by Jennifer Frankola of the Brehon Law Society, and Leslie Cassidy of the Irish American Unity Conference.

Here RFJ received a State Assembly Proclamation of support sponsored by Assemblyman Dinowitz and  a Bronx Borough Proclamation presented on behalf of the Borough President by Gabriel and Patricia Megahey, friends of long time Bronx resident Liam Ryan. David Tubiolo presented a Proclamation from Westchester County. These Proclamations made special note of RFJ’s work for this American citizen, murdered in his native Tyrone.

This time Mr. Thompson pointed to Malachy McAllister, the proprietor of the Wolfe Tone Pub, who escaped an assassination attempt in Belfast, at the hands of British agents as well as the killing of Liam Ryan in Arboe County Tyrone. He explained the facts of these cases, how the British hid the truth and appealed for AOH and American help.


Mark Thompson then traveled to Rockland County for an event at the Hibernian House, arranged by Dermot Moore and co-chaired by Vincent Tyer and John McGowan.

Again Mr. Thompson met relatives and friends of victims killed by crown forces or crown agents. A cousin of Sam Marshall and friends of Rory and Gerard Cairns were in the audience. Mark Thompson started with an explanation of these killings as well as recent developments in the Loughall inquests. He used these specific cases to illustrate, the obstacles that the British have used to stonewall the families in the battle for truth.

One of the most emotional moments came when one relative asked whether the British would ever allow truth about these murders.

Mr. Thompson replied that “the families will never give up, have gained a lot of progress that once seemed impossible and it is important that RFJ and Irish America never give up supporting them”.

The event also included presentation of a Rockland County Legislature Resolution of support by Vincent Tyer, donations to RFJ and was attended by Past National President Brendan Moore.


Before traveling to Albany, Mark Thompson detoured to Queens and a formal meeting with Congressman Joe Crowley. He was accompanied by AOH members Sean Pender, Bob Nolan, Dermot Moore and Martin Galvin. Here Congressman Crowley agreed to lead a formal Congressional sign-on letter to the British government.

Mr. Thompson then headed to Albany and the AOH Hall in Albany where the prestigious Fr. Murphy award was presented to Ciaran Geraghty, Past NYS FFAI Chair by past State President Tim McSweeney. The event was co-chaired by Dolores Desch and John Levandosky, with National Director Liam McNabb as Master of Ceremonies, State President Vic Vogel piping the dignitaries in  and State Vice-President Tom Lambert among a host of State and National officers in attendance.

Here Mark Thompson explained that it was the anniversary of the murder of his brother Peter Thompson. The Thompson family had been laughed at, then threatened when they tried to find out the truth. He explained that that murder, that cover-up and that injustice was the driving force which had motivated him to help form and lead Relatives for Justice, and why he felt so deeply about other families put through the same grief.


Mark Thompson’s final public event at the Quiet Man Pub, Peekskill hosted by National Director Dan Dennehy, FFAI Chair Bob Bolbach, County President Brian Duffy, District Director Aidan O’Kelly Lynch and Division President Clive Cronin. Here Mark Thompson said he was overwhelmed at by support he had received night after night, from Irish America and the AOH. He noted again how grassroots Irish-America had spearheaded every initiative to help victims of British rule that had come from America. He found everywhere he had spoken, a tremendous willingness indeed desire to help. He said he victims’ families will be encouraged by the groundswell of support he found in America.  

State President Vic Vogel then presented Mr. Thompson with a special plaque, memorializing the five tour events where Mr. Thompson spoke. The State President, who had authorized the tour attended multiple events as did National officers, Jere Cole, Sean Pender and Dan Dennehy.


A- New British colonial secretary had never been in six counties

British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Karen Bradley to succeed James Brokenshire to preside over the six counties. Bradley had never even visited the north of Ireland before her appointment. Now she will preside over talks to restore Stormont power sharing despite her lack of interest, much less knowledge of Irish issues. She named former British trooper Kris Hopkins, as a Special Policy Advisor (Spad).Hopkins had survived IRA attacks in Belfast and South Armagh. The appointment was criticized by Mark Thompson of RFJ, who said the selection was made as the “Tory/DUP alliance seeks to push an amnesty for British soldiers through Parliament.”

B- UVF Commander and British Agent Gary Haggerty gets minimum sentence for 5 murders and 202 terror crimes

Former Ulster Volunteer Force loyalist killer and British informer Gary Haggarty, received a sentence in Belfast Crown Court that will free him for a new life under the PSNI/MI5.

The original sentence of 75 years for 5 muders,23 conspiracy to murder and 4 kidnapping counts among 202 terror offenses was reduced to six and one half, allowing Haggarty to walk free to his new life almost immediately. Among the murder victims was grandfather Sean McParland, shot dead in front of his children

two Catholic workman eating lunch on the job, Eamon Fox and Gary Convie, Sean McDermott and John Harbison. Fox’s son Kieran said he was “gutted” by the sentenc. “The man is a serial killer. He was a paid State informer. The RUC knew he was killing at will and let it continue.”

C- Free Tony Taylor calls after 700 days Interned by License

Derry Republican Tony Taylor has now spent over 700 days imprisoned in Maghaberry by order of British secretaries despite repeated calls for his release or due process. Mr. Taylor,a respected Derry Republican was jailed under procedures described as Internment-by-License. He served a sentence for possession of a weapon but was then jailed based on secret information that the British refuse to release to him or his lawyer for defense.

D- Battle to Ban Irish flag from St. Patrick’s Day Parades

While Irish flags are proudly carried around the world and in most of Ireland in St. Patrick’s Day Parades, an announcement was made that the Irish flag would be banned in the strongly Republican town of Strabane on the West Tyrone-Donegal border.

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council announced that the Council wanted a “cross-community” event that would be inclusive and promote reconciliation by banning flags.

When Independent Republican Councillor Paul Gallagher protested, he was told that Irish flags have long been excluded from St. Patrick’s Day Parades in Derry, Belfast, Newry and Downpatrick.

Councillor Gallagher challenged the ban at a Council meeting and is asking why British flags can be flown in events funded by unionist dominated councils but Irish flags can be excluded.

In Strabane the ban on Irish flags may rescinded but uncertainty continues as well as the status of the ban in Derry and Newry.

Special Thanks With Apologies

Brothers I want to thank each of you who helped make the Mark Thompson tour so successful. This tour through the events and publicity in Irish-American papers has gotten a great response, not only from those who attended, or read about it, but perhaps most important from the victims’ families in Ireland who welcome our AOH backing in their fight for truth and justice. We are now working on a Congressional letter and other initiatives including ideas for additional tours.

I apologize to everyone whose name is not included.

Please contact me at

Martin Galvin

Albany Freedom for All Ireland (FFAI) Night

AOH Fr. Henry Tansey Division 5 will be holding their Freedom for All Ireland (FFAI) Night on Saturday, January 13, 2018.  The goal of this annual event is to spread awareness of the social injustices and abuses that take place every day in the north of Ireland. 

This year honoree will be Past New York State FFAI Chairman, Ciaran Geraghty who will receive the Fr. John Murphy Award. This prestigious award is an annual recognition presented to the individual(s) who have, and continue to advocate for public awareness related to social injustices in the north of Ireland. Brother Geraghty, through his work as New York State FFAI Chairman and his continued advocacy, exemplifies a dedication to the cause and to the AOH Motto of “Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.” His work to end the plight of Irish-Catholics in the north of Ireland is well-known. 

The special guest speaker for the event is Mark Thompson from Relatives for Justice (RFJ), a support group formed in the mid-1990s in Dungannon, County Tyrone.  RFJ was founded in April 1991 by bereaved families affected by the conflict in the north who came together to support each other. RFJ identifies and attempts to address the needs of those who have suffered loss and injury through one on one contact, self-help, group support, outreach, counselling, therapy, welfare and legal advocacy.

Mark Thompson is a founding member and CEO of RFJ who fulfills the group’s mission in providing a proactive and holistic approach to support families affected by conflict and human rights violations. His continuing work provides effective support for redressing human rights abuses and providing a wide range of services and support for those affected in Ireland. 

Please support this FFAI event. See the event flyer and journal ad form for more information or contact:

John Levendosky
FFAI Chairman
Albany AOH Fr. Henry Tansey Division 5

Freedom For All Ireland Report – September 2017

by Martin Galvin

A chairde:


A-Catholic Families Forced to Flee Belfast Homes- Four Catholic families were forced to flee their homes after being told by the constabulary they were under death threat from loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force paramilitaries. The families were driven out of the Cantrell Close area in Belfast, a new Housing Executive project aimed at cross-community housing. The IRISH NEWS noted that “if similar threats happened anywhere else in Ireland or Britain or the western world, it would likely make international headlines.” UVF flags had already been draped around this estate since June to mark the area as UVF territory.

B-English Protests over British Trooper Prosecutions- Supporters of Dennis Hutchings, a former British trooper charged with shooting dead John Pat Cunningham in Benburb, marched in London protesting prosecutions of any former British troopers for Troubles murders. The victim, then 27 with learning difficulties and a fear of troopers, was shot in the back while running away. Because of new inquests, and investigations, a few rubberstamped killings by British crown forces are now being seriously investigated for the first time. Troopers fear facing charges. During the protest, speakers expressed outrage that Hutchings  at age 75 could be prosecuted for a 1974 killing. The angry protest took place one day after the crown announced it would proceed with charges against Belfast Republican Ivor Bell,80, for a 1972 incident despite Mr. Bell’s severe medical issues.   

C- DUP Demands Funds Cutoff for Relatives For Justice- Democratic Unionist Party MP Emma Little-Pengelly demanded that the victims’ group have its funding ended because RFJ representatives had attended an anniversary Mass for three Tyrone IRA Volunteers, killed by the SAS twenty-nine years ago. She pointed to an RFJ message that it was “privileged” to be at the Mass for Brian and Gerard Mullin and Martin Harte.RFJ said it would “support all victims and survivors without fear or favor.” Little-Pengelly is the daughter of Noel Little, a member of Ulster Resistance which helped to bring in South African arms for loyalist paramilitaries.

D-Orange Order Insulted by Reconciliation Efforts– Rev Mervyn Gibson, the Grand Secretary of the Orange Order branded efforts to persuade Unionists that they would be better off in a united Ireland as “insulting.” Rev. Gibson told the IRISH NEWS, that he “finds it insulting when people even try and convince me of a unionist place in a united Ireland”. He said claims of financial betterment were a “bribe” or “attempt to buy unionists”. Gibson also said that the Conservative Party-DUP deal might mean restoring Orange Order Parades in Drumcree and other nationalist areas where they had been blocked.


Mark Thompson of Relatives for Justice will be speaking at five New York AOH FFAI events in January, arriving on January 9th,returning to Belfast January 15th.

  • Wednesday, January 10th– Suffolk County co-sponsored by Nassau
  • Thursday, January 11th– in Manhattan co-sponsored by NY City counties
  • Friday, January 12th– Rockland
  • Saturday, January 13th– Albany
  • Sunday, January 14th– Peekskill

Mark is a great speaker who has given truth, hope and a small measure of justice to many families whose loved ones were murdered by the British directly or by their loyalist agents. If we can make this tour a success he is willing to return because he understands the importance of American and AOH pressure on the British.


Last month we noted that the AOH joined Congressman Crowley and other groups in demanding that a new Special Envoy be appointed for the north. The announced decision not to appoint one has been reversed with AOH support.

Hope to see some of you at the “Spirit of 1916 Awards” Bronx Fundraiser Sunday October 22nd at the Rambling House, Katonah Avenue in Woodlawn 3pm-7pm.In addition to honoring our National Secretary Jere Cole, Past NY County President Thomas Beirne, and Hugh McMorrow, we are honoring MacBride Principles champion, Pat Doherty. (914-589-7105)

Please contact me at MGALVINESQ@AOL.COM.

Martin Galvin,