Monthly Archives: June 2016



Marching, Brian Rowan


Every word will be scrutinised – when the fine detail of the north Belfast marching formula is revealed.

This is not just about unblocking a parading route from the Woodvale up part of the Crumlin Road – and it is not just about marching and protesting.

Think of the policing money that runs down the drain at this time every year and upon what else it could be spent – and think also of the battered image of Belfast and how this place, supposedly at peace, is undermined.

There is nothing dramatically new about the proposed agreement.

This idea of a return march to complete the banned 2013 twelfth parade has been on the table before – as a last return march.

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De-Bunking the Myth of the “Battle” of St. Matthews

De-Bunking the Myth of the Battle of St. Matthews.


Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th of June 1970 will live long in the memory of those who were witness to the horrific events that unfolded that weekend.  Of the two people and many others who were injured by the indiscriminate gunfire their families pain has been exacerbated in the intervening years as they have had to endure the ignominy of the perpetuated untruth that somehow this incident was some sort of glorious battle honour by the Short Strand IRA, and that their sectarian murderous attacks were in actual fact heroic defending of a ghetto under siege.  So much so that an erroneous moniker of “The Battle of Saint Matthews” was bestowed upon it.  However all right thinking citizens are well aware of the FACTS surrounding that day’s events and can quite easily debunk this theoretical falsehood.
Almost one year after the onset of “The Troubles” the Republican movement and the Belfast IRA in particular were in disarray.  In July and August of 1969 they, as a grouping had done little—in the eyes of the Catholic population in working class areas—to defend those communities from the “Loyalist hordes “.  The acronym now read I Ran Away.  Behind the scenes an idealistic shift was also taking place—a shift that would eventually –and inevitably lead to fractions within the movement, culminating in feuds and counter feuds.  The new hardliners—although many were seasoned veterans of the organisation–were making their presence felt.  Individuals like Francis Card—BillyMcKee—Joe Cahill-Seamus Twomey and Leo Martin.  McKee, as the Belfast Brigade commander knew that 
in order to make a statement and win back the affections of the disillusioned Catholic inhabitants he needed a victory—something that would announce the arrival of the new Provisional movement.

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He didn’t deny his Past… WILLIAM ‘PLUM’ SMITH 1954-2016

William Plum Smith

His life story spans the ‘war’ and the ‘peace’ of this place – a place of conflict that has now been given the chance of something better.

Yes, it is also a place still terrorised and traumatised by what we call The Past – the hell it has been through and in which many still live – a past understated and perhaps even trivialised in the oft-used term ‘the Troubles’.
We have all fallen into the way of that understatement, that easy and convenient use of a phrase that says nothing and means nothing.

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Sinn Fein Leader Credits ’08 Crash For Re-Think On Unity

The article below is taken from the latest online edition of The Detail, the web-based current affairs magazine and stablemate of Trevor Birney’s growing film production empire which recently released, via Fine Point Films, a docudrama about Bobby Sands called 66 Days.

I have read this piece several times. It is based on a speech given by SF MEP Matt Carthy and no matter how I hold it – up to the light, sideways, upside down or at various angles – it seems to be saying the same thing: the Good Friday Agreement is as good as it gets, folks!

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Will Stakeknife bring the house down?

By this time next week we should know the shape of the Stakeknife investigation.

Already, there has been one delay in the announcement. It had been expected today (Thursday June 2).
The waiting is for the new political members of the Policing Board to be in place.
Those nominations have now been made:

  • DUP 4 – Nelson McCausland, Brenda Hale, Joanne Bunting and Keith Buchanan.
  • Sinn Fein 3 – Gerry Kelly, Raymond McCartney and Jennifer McCann.
  • UUP – Ross Hussey.
  • SDLP – Nichola Mallon.
  • Alliance – Stephen Farry.

The time is overdue for the two governments to tell what they know about the Dublin-Monaghan and the Birmingham bombings


on 1 June 2016 , 10:40 am 0 | 1,055 views
Consider the latest developments about two atrocities, the Dublin and Monaghan UVF bombs in May 1974 and the Birmingham IRA pub bombs of November the same year. What they have in common is knowledge of the identities of what we must call the alleged perpetrators. The deep frustration caused to individuals and states has not gone away. Kieran Conway now a Dublin solicitor, then the IRA’s “director of intelligence.” has again confirmed what is so well known, that the identities of the IRA killers of Birmingham are in the public domain.

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Ireland Eye – John Coulter

Written By: John Coulter
Published: May 27, 2016 Last modified: May 24, 2016

Words of wisdom, or the way out to the wilderness – that’s how Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt’s announcement that his party will go into official opposition in the Stormont Assembly will be judged.

Unlike the Dail in Dublin, which after weeks of wrangling has finally agreed a minority Fine Gael government, the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein will dominate the Stormont power-sharing Executive with 66 seats between them out of 108 in the Assembly.

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