27 September 2001 Edition

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Mála Poist

Worrying times in Kilrea

A Chairde,

In June past a leading member of the UDA was seen in Kilrea Town. A week later the UDA had a statement in the Sunday Life, a Belfast-based newspaper, the main content being that in the event of the IRA cessation ending, the UDA had their targets picked.

Prior to the IRA cessation, three republicans, Gerry Casey, Tommy Donaghy and Danny Cassidy, were murdered in the Kilrea area by the UDA, while a fourth man, Malachy Carey, was murdered in Loughgiel.

Three others republicans in the general Kilrea, Dunloy, Loughgiel area survived murder attempts although they were injured. Paddy McErlane of Dunloy was shot in the leg. Stephen Kennedy of Kilrea received eye injuries in a booby trap bomb while John O'Kane, also of Kilrea, suffered injuries when a booby trapped hay bale exploded.

Pipe bombs have been left at three homes in Kilrea, two of them in the last month. On 22 September, the RUC Special Branch visited a home in the Kilrea area and warned the occupier, who is not in any organisation, that he was on a loyalist death list, and advised him to leave his home on that day.

During the past month there has been a huge step up in crown forces activity in the Kilrea area. British soldiers have been staking out Catholic houses at night and have been mounting random roadblocks for the first time in years, while helicopter activity, especially at night, has increased a dozen fold.

This area is at present reminiscent of the collusion years of the late `80s and early `90s.

Johnny Donaghy

PRO McGinn/Rodden/Donaghy Sinn Fein;in Cumann


Co Derry

Point scoring in the face of tragedy

A Chairde,

In the aftermath of the appalling tragedy in New York, it appears that certain English (and Northern Ireland) papers and commentators are seizing the opportunity to liken the efforts of Osama Bin Laden and his ilk to those of the IRA and anyone who professes a belief in Irish nationalism.

I would like to make it clear that I, and many other people in England find this type of political point scoring in the face of this tragedy deeply offensive and inappropriate. I applaud the efforts of John Hume, Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams and all others involved in the peace process and I pray that they can succeed in their aims.

Please be aware that most people in this country do not support the actions or rantings of so called ``loyalists'' who see fit to terrorise young girls attempting to go to school, or to turn this current disaster to their own ends. I am sure that they will all now be shouting as loudly as anyone about the need to eradicate terrorism, secure in the belief that they themselves are guiltless of such a despicable crime (although one glance at the face of a terrified four-year-old should enough to disabuse them of this belief!).

I am neither a Catholic, nor a supporter of the IRA's past methods of achieving their goal. I am, however, an admirer of men like McGuinness (and indeed Trimble) who have the vision to rise above old enmities and to try to build a future for their country and its children. I hope and pray that men like this will not be deflected from their course by the misguided rantings of the semi-sentient scribblers who currently appear to have control of our media.

Dave Heaven

Floiridiú an uisce

Tá mé thar a bheith feargach go bhfuil Brian Mac Uaid ag insint bréaga faoi floiridiú an uisce sa Phoblacht. Ní medicament é seo ach substaint a bíos sa chuid is mó den uisce go nadúrtha. Tá sé ag déanamh maitheas iontach d'fhiacla na ndaoine agus don sláinte ghinearálta. Iarr air na tuarascálana a cuireadh amach ar fud an domhain faoin mhaitheas a déanann seo.

Nach féidir cosc éigin a chur ar cranks mar Bhrian a bhfuil dúil acu eagla a chur ar an phobal agus nach bhfuil suim dá laghad acu i sláinte na ndaoine. Cad atá sé ag déanamh faoin tobac agus alcóil?

Ruairí Ó Bléine

Sinn Féin Councillor Pat McGeown

A Chairde,

At this time of the 20th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike, we in the Upper Springfield area remember the anniversary of Pat McGeown and our loss of a true friend and a tireless community worker who cared far more for the general good than his own wellbeing. Pat is known and spoken of locally as the eleventh Hunger Striker after he passed away through an illness brought on by the Hunger Strike and the treatment meted out to himself and other prisoners during his incarceration in the H Blocks.

Pat, one of our committee members, will continue to teach us and inspire us; he was not only an elected councillor dedicated to the Peace Process but also one of the first who saw the need to reach out to our fellow citizens on the other side of the Peace Line.

He was a very deep, private person. The day he was elected to Belfast City Council, his supporters made him ``walk the line'' all the way up Springfield Avenue, with music blaring from a local house. He was - as they say - ``scundered''.

Pat worked tirelessly in the Upper Springfield to make it a better place for all who live and work here. He made great contributions to everything that was going on in the area, he was dedicated to the provision of jobs, better education and training opportunities, access to sports, arts, culture and environmental programmes for young people and ex-prisoners.

Pat is still greatly missed and we shall always carry the memory of such a good man in our hearts who will forever be an inspiration to us all to carry on that work.

``It's hard to believe he's gone,'' said one young person from the Upper Springfield days after Pat's funeral. ``We still expect him to walk into one of the many meetings he attended and chaired, or phone to ask if there is anything urgent that needs doing.'' Five years have passed and we still feel Pat's absence.

Tommy Holland,

Upper Springfield Development Trust

Help wanted for Tyrone book

A Chairde,

A fresh initiative has been undertaken by Tyrone National Graves Association to produce a memorial book to commemorate all those who gave their lives in the struggle for Irish freedom throughout the county.

It is our view that it should be a quality production - a book that would be a fitting tribute to those who died and something that will be treasured with a sense of pride by the people of Tyrone and beyond.

To achieve this objective, we are asking for assistance from anyone who can make a contribution towards research and production of a book. We are open to all ideas and suggestions. If you can assist us in this worthwhile project, please forward any informationto myself at the following address:

Larry McLarnon,

Sinn Féin Advice Centre,

60 Irish Street,


Co Tyrone,

BT70 1DQ.

Telephone/Fax: (028) 87722776

In particular we are appealing for quality photographs relating to any aspect of the republican struggle in County Tyrone. We can give an assurance that all personal photos and documents will be copied with the originals promptly returned to the owner.

Larry McLarnon

Our forgotten massacre

A Chairde,

Many right-wing political and media critics have been cynically trying to link the deliberate killing of innocent people in the USA with Irish republicans to try to put pressure on Sinn Féin and halt its increase in support. However, not one of them noticed that those well co-ordinated, accurately timed, multiple attacks against uninvolved civilians were most reminiscent of the Dublin/Monaghan Bombings of 1974, which were also an attempt to kill as many innocent civilians as possible. Isn't it strange that not one of the many ``objective'' commentators trying to make Irish links with the US atrocities failed to see the most obvious comparison? Then again, perhaps not.

For many years, the families of the Dublin/Monaghan victims have been trying to find out who was really behind this massacre for which there have been no convictions, no charges, not even a single arrest. But the British Government has failed to provide information to the Barron Inquiry into the bombings, strengthening the relatives' belief that there was British Intelligence involvement. Maybe that explains why, just like 27 years ago, this worst mass murder in the history of the Irish state is still the ``Forgotten Massacre''.

Cllr Dessie Ellis,


Dublin 11

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1