News

Orfhlaigh Begley MP for Tyrone speaks at the Philadelphia Irish Society's dinner

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Orfhlaigh Begley MP for Tyrone speaks at the Philadelphia Irish Society's dinner on the 25th of October 2018. Pictured with Pat and Kathy Ghegan, Kathleen and Denise Doyle and Chris Chambers of the Irish Society. Orfhlaigh also met with Judge Vincent Furlong and visited the Philadelphia famine memorial.

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.”