News

Richard Neal Lifford/Strabane Visit

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United States Congressman Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) visited the Lifford/Strabane border Wednesday, October 17th. He met with local elected representatives, residents and members of the Border Communities Against Brexit. Brexit is a danger to Ireland, its people, and a threat to the peace process and Good Friday Agreement.

British Shadow Minister for the North, Stephen Pound MP, discusses Brexit and the Irish border

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James Connolly Irish American Labor Coalition Event

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The James Connolly  Irish American Labor Coalition held a lunch in New York on Friday September 14th to promote the McGuinness Principles of Equality, Respect,Truth and Self Determination for Ireland.

The Principles are an Irish American initiative to raise support for the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement including a referendum on Irish reunification.

Over 150 Labor leaders, organisers and activists from the Building Trades,  Electricians, Plumbers and Pipefitters, Operating Engineers, Teamsters, Firefighters, Transport workers, Laborers, Hotel workers and more attended and were an upbeat and energetic audience.

Introducing the event, John Murphy, International Representative of the New York State Plumbers and Pipefitters welcomed the James Connolly Coalition initiative for providing a meaningful connection between Irish America and Ireland which supports issues of mutual interest.

John Samuelsen, International President of the TWU and JCIALC President urged those present to seize the opportunities presented by Brexit to support Ireland’s reunification.

He reminded the audience of the words in the Irish Proclamation read outside the General Post Office in 1916 declaring the republic; “supported by her exiled children in America”. He made clear to everyone in attendance, “we are the exiled children” and called for support of the McGuinness Principles named for the late Martin McGuinness.

John introduced Gerry Adams who asked the audience to add their voices to the growing calls for a referendum on unity and praised the the JCIALC ‘s promotion of the McGuinness Principles which are about implementing the Good Friday Agreement’s core issues. Adams said that Irish unity is being discussed widely and that now is the optimum time to raise the demand for a referendum.” Our job “ he said  “is to achieve these objectives in the shortest possible time with the maximum level of popular support. And we will achieve this sooner with the help and support of irish America.”

Also in attendance  were Mario Cilento,President NY State AFL-CIO, Vinny Alvarez, President NY City Central Labor Council, Bernadette Kelly International Representative of the Teamsters, Bill Lynn  Business Manager Operating Engineers and a group from Chicago headed by James Coyne, Business manager of the Chicago plumbers Union.

Praise for film shining light on Ballymurphy massacre

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Allison Morris. Irish News. Belfast. Monday, September 10, 2018

There has been huge online reaction to the network premiere of Massacre at Ballymurphy, the hard-hitting documentary by award-winning film-maker Callum Macrea which screened on Channel 4 at the weekend.

The film, which was previously premiered at Féile an Phobail, was shown on Saturday, with a reconstruction and forensic examination of the events which started on August 9, 1971.

The documentary contains personal stories from relatives of the 10 people shot dead in west Belfast by members of the parachute regiment over three days of horrific violence.

Paddy McCarthy, considered the 11th victim, died of a heart attack after British soldiers fired shots over his head.

Among the dead were mother-of-eight Joan Connolly and Fr Hugh Mullan, who was shot dead going to the rescue of another victim.

The film details a shocking re-enactment of the circumstances of Daniel Teggart’s death.

He was shot 14 times, and most of the bullets entered his back as he lay injured on the ground.

Following the programme Unionist Irish language activist Linda Ervine posted on Twitter: “Before watching #MassacreAtBallymurphy I had no knowledge of what took place all those years ago. A terrible wrong has been done”.

Another documentary maker, Seán Murray, said he hoped the screening of the film by Channel 4 “awakens the British public to the actions of their government during the conflict. Well done to my friend Callum Macrae and all involved”.

Journalist and broadcaster Eamonn Holmes tweeted in support of Mr Macrea, saying: “Regardless of your political persuasion or views on the Northern Irish Troubles, I would urge you to both hear what this man has to say and watch his film if you can. The year is 1971. The subject is the killing of civilians by the Parachute Regiment in Ballymurphy West Belfast.”

Ian Katz, director of programmes at Channel 4, said: “Ashamed to say I knew nothing about the Ballymurphy massacre – the 1971 killing of 11 men and women by the British army in Belfast – till I saw Callum Macrae’s meticulous and shocking reconstruction of it.”

Scottish political activist Tommy Sheridan said it was “absolutely shocking”.

“I am ashamed that despite my limited knowledge of British army atrocities in Northern Ireland I didn’t know about these state murders in Ballymurphy,” he said.

“No wonder the British Establishment have hidden such massacres from the general public for 47 years.”

Former soldier Glenn Bradley said he had “met the Ballymurphy families some years ago and have supported their call for truth since”.

“I watched Massacre At Ballymurphy and my lasting thought is how docile and compliant were the media then”.

Belfast boxer Michael Conlan said: “Watching Ballymurphy Massacre and listening to what families have gone through and still going through, my eyes are filling up, very sad stories to poor innocent families”.

Former Antrim football captain Anto Finnegan said: “This is not rewriting history, this is shining a light into that dark place those in power want to keep hidden.”

‘Dublin must assert rights of northern citizens’ - O’Neill

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Rather than simply bemoaning the lack of an Executive in the North, the Taoiseach should be asserting his government’s role as co-guarantor of previous agreements in order to help re-establish it, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill has said.

The Sinn Féin Vice President was responding to comments made by Leo Varadkar at the Fine Gael ‘think-in’ today in Galway.

She said: “It is disappointing to hear the Taoiseach bemoaning the fact that the North is still without an Assembly and Executive as if his government has no responsibilities for ensuring the right conditions are in place for a power-sharing administration to be re-established.

“The institutions of the Good Friday Agreement must be underpinned by the principles of equality, mutual respect and parity of esteem that are guaranteed by that agreement. That is not the case if the DUP, supported by the British Government, persist with denying rights and equality to citizens in the North.

“Leo Varadkar would not tolerate discrimination against the LGBT community, women, victims and Irish speakers in Dublin. He should not tolerate it in Belfast either.

“The Dublin Government should assert its full role as a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement in order to help restore the political institutions and address directly the core problem of the denial of rights.

“Leo Varadkar has pledged not to abandon northern citizens in the context of Brexit. He also has responsibilities to them in terms of rights and his government, rather than engaging in party political attacks, should be showing leadership in securing and defending rights which are routinely delivered everywhere else on this island.”

ENDS/CRIOCH