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Greater Ardoyne Residents' Collective would like to express our
sadness at the passing of our friend Colleen Lagan.
Colleen was a well known and respected member of our community, and
played a positive role through her work with the John Paul II Youth Club
and as a founding member of Shamrock Ladies FC, empowering local
youth and women respectively.
Colleen was also an opponent of injustice in Ardoyne, and from a young
age stood against the State and Loyalism. Since GARC's foundation and
before Colleen, along with her family, have been a constant presence at
protests and pickets. As a result she was harassed and intimidated,
as well as convicted, by the State for her courage.
While the community will undoubtedly miss her, Colleen will be missed
most by her parents Gerard and Kate, her siblings Gerard Jr, Deaglan,
Brendan and Caitriona, and her wider large family circle. To the Lagan
and Montgomery families we send our condolences and offer any
support needed in the time ahead.
Slán Colleen, it was a pleasure for all of us to have known you.
Dee Fennell being targeted in Stop & Search
As we approach the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916, Ardoyne
people will rightly be remembering Seán Mac Diarmada in particular, who
lived for a period of time in Butler Street in the district. Local Republicans
erected a memorial mural in his honour near his home.
There will be commemorations organised this year by both the 26 County
Administration and parties involved in the Stormont Executive.
Here is what the Mac Diarmada family thought on the occasion of the
50th anniversary in regards to anyone attempting to commemorate Seán
that supported or upheld partition and legitimised the unionist veto.
Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, Workers Party, etc - take note.
On 5th January , Pastor James McConnell
was found not guilty after facing a trial for
a sermon he gave relaying his opinions in
relation to Islam.
At previous hearings he was supported by
members of the DUP, UUP and TUV.
As his trial began, both Sammy Wilson
and Jim Allister were there - "supporting
Pastor McConnell's right to free speech."
At the same time, Ardoyne activist Dee Fennell is currently on
bail for a speech he gave at an Easter Commemoration last year,
where he gave his personal opinion on the existing political
context in Ireland in relation to occupation, partition and the
denial of Irish self-determination.
Unlike McConnell, his arrest was demanded by DUP, UUP, TUV,
UVF, UPRG and Orange Order. Unlike McConnell, he was
arrested at home and taken to Antrim Serious Crime Suite.
Unlike McConnell, he was subsequently charged with two offences under "terror legislation".
Unlike McConnell, he served almost two months on remand.
Unlike McConnell, he will face no jury of his peers but a non-jury
Diplock Court with only a judge deciding his "guilt".
Unlike McConnell, since being bailed he is banned from all public
speaking, from speaking to the media and from posting online or
on social media. Unionist demands for "the right to free speech"
seem to be conditional and for those like Pastor McConnell who
would seemingly like to spread opposition to Islam.
Or Ruth Patterson, who was supported after saying nationalist
politicians being killed would not be a bad thing. "Free speech" is
also supported when Loyal Order spokesmen spew their bigotry in
public, or when unionist politicians stand applauding Billy Wright
on platforms, or behind UDA members firing automatic rifles.
The list is endless. Unionists don't want free speech for anyone
who can coherently articulate injustice in Ireland, and build opposition to the status quo.
Their supposed support for "free speech" is a farce, a PR stunt, at
best, and a grotesque demonstration of their false sense of
supremacy, at worst.
Following on from the farcical exhibition of political policing that will undoubtedly prolong the isolation and degradation policy
being imposed upon IRPWA prisoner Gavin Coyle, Tyrone Republican Davy Jordan appeared in Dungannon Magistrates
Court charged in connection with the same incident.
The PSNI Detective Sergeant claimed in Court submissions that they are attempting to connect Davy to the charges as a result
of car identification near to the scene, "traces of explosives in a car seized" in 2008 and his previous political imprisonments.
When challenged by Davy's solicitor, Peter Corrigan of KRW Law, the Detective admitted a number of discrepancies in their
case, at this early stage.
These include the admittance by the PSNI:
- that a car seized in 2008 was not, and never had been, registered to Davy Jordan.
- that an expert car vehicle analyst had submitted, in an official report to the PSNI, that the car captured on CCTV
could be any one of three possible models of car. The car seized could not be definitively and positively identified
as the make and/or model captured in CCTV images near the scene.
- that even if it was the same make and model as the car seized by the PSNI, there is no guarantee that it is the
same car seized. Nor is there any proof whatsoever that the car seized was in that area at all. Even if it could be
proven that it was, there is no proof that the car was there for "illegal activity".
- that there is no facial identification from any captured CCTV image that links Davy Jordan with being the driver
of the car pictured.
- that while small traces of nitro-glycerine were found in the car seized by the PSNI in 2008, this substance can
be the result of innocent activities - as proven in the case of the Birmingham Six.
- that even so, no traces of nitro-glycerine were found by forensics as part of their investigation into the incident
connected to the charges, the explosive used was Semtex - a totally different explosive.
- that no DNA, facial identification, witness statements or tracking evidence existed that could link Davy Jordan to
the incident connected to the charges.
- and that having been arrested and interviewed about this incident in 2008, and released without charge,
there is no new evidence being produced that wasn't available then.
Despite all this, the Magistrate Judge stated she was convinced that the PSNI had connected Davy Jordan to the charges and
remanded him to Maghaberry Gaol, in one of the clearest incidents of internment by remand seen in Ireland in recent years.
Despite the counter claims of collaborators and quislings, internment by remand is continuing to be used against Irish
Republicans by the MI5-directed PSNI and State Judiciary, supported by the Stormont SF/DUP Coalition. The case of
Gavin Coyle and Davy Jordan should be highlighted by all as a disgraceful abuse of process, especially in the context
of the continuing targeted isolation of Gavin - who having been in solitary for almost five years and nearing release,
now sees himself facing further charges that could ultimately prolong his nightmare for a number of further years.
End Political Policing. End Internment By Remand.
End The Political Show Trials of Gavin Coyle and Davy Jordan!
As the Irish Nation approaches the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916, it is of the utmost importance that
commemorations marking this historic landmark event highlight the principles and ideals contained within the
proclamation of the Irish Republic.
The centenary should also serve as an opportunity for those
who legitimately continue to struggle for Irish Freedom, by
whatever means necessary, to re-dedicate ourselves to the
ongoing fight to end the British occupation of our country and
the establishment of a 32 County Democratic Socialist
With this in mind, revolutionary Republicans committed to
resisting foreign imperialism and native capitalism have
established the National Republican Commemoration
Committee, made up of activists from across the country.
Our intention is to commemorate with dignity and pride the
fallen of 1916 and those from previous and subsequent generations who made the ultimate sacrifice for Irish Freedom.
The Ireland of today bears absolutely no resemblance to the vision that the men and women of 1916 cherished.
While they obligated themselves to cherishing all the children of the nation equally; one hundred years on, our
cities have the highest levels of child poverty in Europe. The gap between rich and poor has never been greater
and two anti-Republic administrations oversee the implementation of austerity agendas that are directed by
foreign capitalists. Successive regimes have consistently attacked the working class and unwaged. At the same
time, toothless trade unions have abandoned Connolly and embraced capitulation to capitalism.
The Ireland of today is an Ireland divided; torn in two by those who abandoned the Republic proclaimed in 1916
and perpetuated by subsequent betrayals of the Socialist Republic by former comrades. Two illegitimate
assemblies that uphold the undemocratic injustice of partition continue to suppress the sovereignty of the nation.
It is shameful that parties claiming the legacy of Connolly, Pearse, Mellows, Carney and Sands have consented to
a unionist veto over the reunification of our country.
The Ireland of today contains men and women imprisoned for their continued dedication to the ideals of the 1916
Proclamation and the establishment of a Socialist Republic. Those administering British rule on behalf of the same
party that oversaw the deaths of the H-Block Martyrs claim that these Republican Prisoners are ‘traitors to
Ireland’. The truth is that current Republican POWs have been incarcerated for asserting the Irish right to national
freedom and sovereignty by arms – a fundamental right enshrined in the 1916 Proclamation. Continual attempts
to criminalise our comrades have failed due to their collective resistance and continue to fail.
What all of the above and more serves to confirm; is that the Easter Rising of 1916 is an unfinished revolution,
armed and otherwise. While we have listened to the opinions of those who state that the time is not right for a
continuation of revolution by any and all means, it is our opinion that while the denial of national self-determination
and British occupation continue, so too will armed revolution. Those who remain true to the ideals and principles
of the 1916 Proclamation, need to publicly re-dedicate ourselves to the achievement of that vision.
Therefore, collectively and by politically organised and other means, the fight against occupation must continue.
The fight against capitalism must continue. The fight within our communities against collaborators, conformists,
criminals and corruption must continue.
Those of us who remain willing to fight for the Socialist Republic by all means should not permit those who have
abandoned it to use the memory of fallen volunteers for their own political ends; especially when their current
political objectives run contrary to the very values they purport to commemorate. ‘State-Run 1916
commemorations’ in either statelet are, by their very definition, contradictions in terms – given that both statelets
are complicit in the suppression of the Irish Socialist Republic. Likewise, former comrades who now welcome the
commander in chief of the British occupying forces to Ireland and endorse British law and state agencies in
occupied Ireland, are also unworthy of any claim to the legacy of 1916.
The National Republican Commemoration Committee hereby invites all Revolutionary Socialist Republicans
committed to the continuing fight for Irish Freedom to join with us to commemorate our martyred dead in
Coalisland on Easter Sunday 2016. The historical significance and symbolism of gathering in Coalisland,
where northern volunteers assembled in 1916, will not be lost on the Republican base. Our parade will provide
an opportunity for all principled Republicans to collectively commemorate our fallen volunteers and demonstrate
our continued dedication to the establishment of the Socialist Republic.