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The Craigavon 2

Craigavon 2 Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton (the Craigavon Two) were convicted by a non-jury Diplock court for the killing of a member of the RUC/PSNI in March 2009. The case underlines the unchanging nature of British injustice in Ireland. The situation the Craigavon Two find themselves in shows that the infamous ‘conveyer belt’ non-jury Diplock Court system initially put in practice in 'Northern Ireland' in the early 1970s remains in place and continues to imprison innocent Irish men and women on  the basis of evidence that could not withstand legal scrutiny in other jurisdictions. This case is eerily similar to the cases of the Birmingham six and the Guilford

Irish people from the nationalist community cannot receive justice at the hands of a non-jury system that is purpose built to  deliver verdicts on the basis of political decisions and the imperatives of the British State, rather than norms of legal due process. Despite claims to the contrary the case of the Craigavon 2 indicates that British ruled 'Northern Ireland'  is an  artificial & undemocratic statelet that can only be  held in place by use of draconian laws, non jury courts and political prisons. 

We call for the unconditional release of the Craigavon Two and urge concerned individuals to contact civil liberty and human rights bodies and speak out against this latest miscarriage of justice, one in a long litany of such cases experienced by the Irish people at the hands of the British Judicial system. Please visit the following website for more information about this miscarriage of justice.

Brian Mor's Cartoons

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20th Flannery Dinner held in New York

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh book launched in USA

 The 20th Annual Flannery Dinner was held on October 17, 2015 in Yonkers, NY. At the dinner, the American Edition of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s writings was launched by Dieter Reinisch. This was followed by successful book launches at the Terance MacSwiney Club in Jenkintown, PA, and Waterbury, CT.

This year’s 20th Annual Michael Flannery Testimonial Dinner served as the book launch of the American Edition of “Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, Selected Writings & Speeches”. While Lita Ní Chathmhaoil launched the history of Cumann na mBan at last year’s Michael Flannery Dinner, this year’s special guest was Dieter Reinisch. He is historian and the editor of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s writings. The book launch at the Michael Flannery Testimonial Dinner was followed by successful public events at the Terance MacSwiney Club in Jenkintown, PA, and Waterbury, CT, organised by Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta (NIFC).

The Michael Flannery Testimonial Dinner was held on Saturday, October 17, at Rory Dolans in Yonkers, NY. In the afternoon, Dieter Reinisch had spoken with John McDonagh and Sandy Boyer on the Radio Free Éireann show on WBAI about the book launch, his interest in Irish history and politics, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, and announced the 20th Annual Michael Flannery Testimonial Dinner.

Floor manager during the dinner was Jane Enright who called on Mary Tohill Costello to speak on the NIFC Centennial Banner project. In the course of her speech, Mary Costello said:

“At Easter 2016, Irish people worldwide will solemnly observe the centenary of Ireland's historic Easter Rising in 1916. The National Irish Freedom Committee (NIFC) will commemorate this one hundreds anniversary of the Rising with an ongoing project. The “1916-2016 Easter Rising Centennial Banner” project. The Centennial Banner project will enhance the NIFC's objective of pursuing the Rising's unfulfilled promise of a Gaelic, inclusive, gender-equal and sovereign 32-County Irish Republic. The project's emblem will be a unique banner designed by Tomás Costeloe featuring the names of the patriot men and women who gave their lives for the Irish Republic during the Rising as well as the names of the organisations that took part. The banner has its first public showing tonight.

“To encourage participation in the project, the NIFC will offer individuals the opportunity to sponsor a patriot whose name appears on the banner. Each sponsor will receive a certificate acknowledging their participation in this project. The copy of each certificate will be displayed in a leather-bound book which will be on view wherever the banner will be displayed.

“For generations to come, this book will serve as an account of those who joined in this worthy endeavour. The sponsor fee is $ 500. It is payable over five years in the time-lapse from 1916 to 1921 when the [Anglo-Irish] Treaty got signed. The fee is applicable for an individual sponsorship or a group sponsorship for up to and including five persons. A five year payment plan is available.

“The payment plan works as follows. An individual sponsor will pay $ 100 per year for five years. We can be very accommodating with these payments. You can make five payments each $ 20 or two payments each $ 50 as long as you give $ 100 per year and you give your commitment to pay that for five years. The group sponsors up to and including five persons will pay $ 20 per person per year for the five years.

“After all expenses are covered, monies will be used in support of Cabhair, the Irish-based group that supports the families of Irish Republican prisoners. Also, and very definitely here in America, we are going to support Éire Nua as far and as wide as we can.

“It is an Irish-authored plan for a free and united Ireland. If we Irish Republicans do not take up the cause of Éire Nua, the history of this plan for Irish unification will not be told.

“The men and women listed on this banner gave their lives for the love of their country. Their aims then are our aims now, unchanged and unchangeable.

“When I see fading pictures of those great patriots of the Rising and the images of the fading flag that hung over the GPO on Easter Monday, I am humbled, I am truly humbled by the sacrifices these men and women made. Please, each of you, reach out and join us in honouring the patriots of 1916 and helping to fulfil their dream that Ireland will one day, finally and forever throw off the subjugation of England so the Irish people themselves will have unfettered control of their destinies. As in 1916, again Ireland summons her children to her flag, I invite you to be part of that history. Please help us in our quest to promote Éire Nua.”

The speech was followed by the unveiling of the 1916-2016 Centennial Banner.

Jane Enright then introduced Maggie Trainor, chairperson of Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta, who was the moderator during the presentation of the awards and the rest of the evening. The three honourees at this year’s Michael Flannery Testimonial Dinner were Kenneth Tierney, who was awarded with the Joseph Mary Plunkett Centenary Award; Sue Miskill Kramer, who was awarded with the Sister Sarah Clarke Human Rights Award; and Jack Ó Brien, who was awarded with the Mike and Pearl Flannery Spirit of Freedom Award.

Ken Tierney was born in Dublin in 1926, was raised in a strong nationalist area in Co Galway and became involved in Irish Republicanism while working in London. In 1954 he moved to New York. His life was torn asunder when in 1972, he was imprisoned for an alleged conspiracy to smuggling arms to the IRA. Never formally charged, his case became known as the Fort Worth Five. Ken Tierney is a life-long supporter of Irish Freedom.

Sue Miskill Kramer was born to an Irish-American family in Hartford, Connecticut. Sue Kramer is an active supporter of the Republican POW’s in Maghaberry prison. She is an active supporter of the Freedom of All Ireland Committee in Waterbury, CT.

Jack Ó Brien is a native of Washington, DC, born to an Irish-American family and he is member of the Typographical Union 101 and the Irish American Club. He was founding member of the original Washington DC St Patrick’s Day parade 44 years ago; in 2015, he served as Grand Marshall of the parade. He furthermore belonged to the Irish Cultural Society, Irish Northern Aid, Irish National Caucus, Glucksman Ireland House NYU, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

After the dinner break, Maggie Trainor introduced special guest Dieter Reinisch, editor of “Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, Selected Writings and Speeches” who launched the American Edition of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh speeches. In his lecture, Dieter Reinisch spoke about the history and links of American and Irish Republicans since the 18th century, the support from the USA for the Irish Republican Movement in the 1970s, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s engagement with the Irish American community and the visa ban, as well as the contents of the book, the 1916 Centenary, and the tasks for Irish Republicans in the 21st century on both sides of the Atlantic. The speech was interrupted twice by spontaneous rounds of applause and followed by lengthy standing ovations from the audience.

Following the speech, those in attendance had the opportunity to get their copy of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s Writings signed by the editor Dieter Reinisch.

The dinner in Rory Dolans, Yonkers, was sold out and attended by more people than in previous years. Among those in attendance were Radio Free Éireann hosts John McDonagh and Sandy Boyer, Leslie Cassidy, Dominick Bruno and Christy Deryn, and Máirín Ó Dubhda, the wife of the late Séamus Ó Dubhda, their three daughters and grandchildren. Mike Costeloe of Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta told SAOIRSE that this year’s Michael Flannery Testimonial Dinner was one of the best dinners in many years.

On Sunday, October 18, NIFC organised a book launch of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s Writings at the Terance MacSwiney Club in Jenkintown, PA. The Terance MacSwiney Club is one of the oldest and most historic Irish-American Clubs in the USA, found in 1925. During this event, James Kelly was awarded this year’s Cabhair Testimonial Award by Maggie Trainor on behalf of Cabhair. The Cabhair Testimonial Awards 2015 were held in Dublin on May, 23; however James Kelly, a life-long supporter of Irish Republicanism in Philadelphia, PA, could not travel to Ireland for this event, instead his award was presented to him at the MacSwiney Club on October 18.

Following the award ceremony, Maggie Trainor introduced Dieter Reinisch who delivered a well-received speech in front of a packed hall in the Terance MacSwiney Club. Then, Pat Williams, NIFC, presented Matt Reagan, the President of the Terance MacSwiney Club with a handkerchief made and signed by the Republican POW’s in Maghaberry and thanked him and all the members of the MacSwiney Club for organising this successful event.

Two days later, on Tuesday, October 20, Waterbury AOH and Freedom For All Ireland, New Haven, CT, organised another book launch with Dieter Reinisch. The public event was held in the Waterbury AOH hall and proceeded by Peadar MacMaghnuis, Co-chair of the Éire Nua USA Campaign Committee. Peadar MacMaghnuis first welcomed those in attendance, introduced the Éire Nua programme and the work of the Éire Nua USA Campaign Committee; then he spoke about Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s life, the launch of the American Edition of his writings, and introduced Dieter Reinisch who delivered the main speech of the evening. The speech was followed by a lively and controversial Q&A session. Chaired by Peadar MacMaghnuis, those in the audience asked Dieter Reinisch questions about the current situation both in the 26 Counties, as well as the 6 Counties, furthermore issues such as political violence, the unification of Ireland, Éire Nua, and the similarities between the American Revolution and the proclamation of the Irish Republic were discussed.

This year’s Michael Flannery Testimonial Dinner, as well as Dieter Reinisch’s appearance on Radio Free Éireann and the book launches of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s writings in New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut were a great success. Forty the years after the revoking of the multiple entry visa by the US government, the launch of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s writings in America is certainly a historic event for the Irish Republican Movement in the USA and abroad. This series of events organised by NIFC show the existing support for the Irish Republican Movement in the USA.


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Ruairí Ó Brádaigh & Irish America

Speech by Dieter Reinisch delivered at book launches in the USA, October 2015.

This is the speech given by Dieter Reinisch, Editor of the American Edition of “Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, Selected Writings & Speeches, Vol I, Cló Saoirse: New York 2015” at the 20th Annual Flannery Dinner on Saturday, October 17, in Yonkers, NY. An adapted version of this speech was also given at book launches in the Terence MacSwiney Club, Jenkintown, PA, on Sunday, October 18, and in Waterbury, CT, on Tuesday, October 20.

It is a great honour to be invited to launch the American Edition of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s Selected Writings and Speeches at this year’s Michael Flannery Dinner here in New York. The launch of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s writings is indeed an important event in the history of Irish Republicanism and the Irish American community. It is six months to go until the Irish Republican Movement around the world will commemorate the centenary of the glorious Easter Rising of 1916 and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. However, while the All-Ireland Republic was proclaimed in 1916 and Irishmen and Irishwomen fought a courageous war of independence against colonial rule, in 1921 the Irish people were betrayed by activists from within the Republican Movement. Since then, the Irish people have been betrayed so many times by former Irish Republicans, in 1927, in 1948, in 1969, and again in 1986. As a consequence, today in 2015, Ireland remains unfree and partitioned. The Northern 6 Counties are ruled by England, while the Southern 26 Counties are ruled by a corrupt political establishment not loyal to the Irish people but instead loyal to their masters in Brussels, Berlin, Paris, and Frankfurt.

Contrary to the people of Ireland, the American people were successful in their fight for independence and the establishment of this glorious Republic. The differences between the success of the American Revolution and the Irish Revolution was firstly, the strength of the British Empire during these revolutionary periods and secondly, the distances of America on the one hand and Ireland on the hand to their colonial oppressor, England. While America and England was divided by the Atlantic Ocean, there is merely the tiny Irish Sea dividing Ireland and England. As a consequence, the American people succeeded in the establishing if their Republic while the Irish people failed in their attempts. The struggle fought by the Irish Republican Movement today is therefore still the same struggle as the one fought by the women and men of Easter Week 1916 and it is still the same struggle fought by the revolutionaries of America, the French Republicans and the United Irishman in the late 18th century.

It is this situation, the partition of Ireland, the foreign rule, the social inequality, the racism against migrants, the sectarianism in the North, the walls dividing the communities in Belfast, the daily house raids, repressions, harassments, and the mere existence of over one hundred Republican prisoners on the island of Ireland that make the writings of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh we are launching today relevant for Irish Republicans in the 21st century.

Additionally, there is a second crucial aspect that makes the publication of an American Edition of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s writings indeed a historical event. When the Six Occupied Counties of Ulster erupted in the late 1960s, the Irish Republican Army fought a war in defence of the Irish nationalist minority and Sinn Féin campaigned for the implementation of the Éire Nua programme, it was once again Irish America who stood by their brothers and sisters in Ireland. Among those activists were noble Irish-American Republicans like Michael Flannery who formed the Irish Action Committee (IAC), later re-named Irish Northern Aid Committee (INAC), and established contact with Ruairí Ó Brádaigh in 1970.


This month in Irish and

Irish-American history

Fenians invade Canada

 On October 3, 1871 - an American based Fenian Army under the command of Gen. John O'Neill invaded Canada at Pembina

Irish Brigade of France

On October 4, 1693 - two years after the Treaty of Limerick, Sarsfield’s Irish Brigade of France fought the first of many battles at Marsaglia in Italy, in the cause of France. 

Wolfe Tone Captured
On October 12,1798 - Theobold Wolfe Tone the leading figure in the 1798 United Irishman Uprising entered Lough Silly with a French invasion fleet off Donegal aboard the flagship Hoche The fleet was intercepted and Tone was captured when the Hoche surrendered. 

Sean Treacy
October 14, 1920 - Sean Treacy of the 3rd.Tipperary IRA Brigade and one of Irelands greatest heroes in the War of Independence, was killed in a gun battle by plainclothes RIC men in Talbot Street, Dublin

Ladies' Land League in New York.
 On October 24, 1880 - Fanny Parnell and her sister Anne established the Ladies' Land League in New York. Known as the Patriot Poet, Fanny Parnell whose brother was Charles Stewart Parnell became the leading spokeswoman throughout the United States for the organization

Terence MacSwiney
 On October 25, 1920 - Terence MacSwiney Irish Republican leader and the Mayor of Cork, died in Brixton Prison in London after 73 days on hunger strike.
After the murder of Tomás Mac Curtain, the Lord Mayor of Cork on 20 March 1920, he was elected Lord Mayor of Cork.

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