**Wow! Can you believe this? What a coincidence!

"Gerry Adams accurately reflects our position" - IRA

The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann released a statement on Tuesday welcoming the speech made by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, saying it accurately reflected the army's position.



Here are 2 links to some Republican forums you should consider joining. My favourite is the IRBB.

"Irish Republican Bulletin Board (IRBB)

The Irish Republican Bulletin Board (IRBB) is one of the most popular Irish Republican forums on the internet. We welcome all views as long as they adhere to the rules of the forum. The board is maintained by Na Fianna Éireann and can be accessed at the link below."


The second board is one which has been offline for awhile but is now back, the Republican Bulletin Board (RBB). Membership is more limited, however.

"This board is a free, open forum for current subscribers to
Republican News and invited participants, subject only to the
discretion of the moderator. The moderator's role is to
facilitate exchanges on this board by maintaining a suitable
environment for open debate and discussion."

Republican Bulletin Board

Pressure me and I quit, says General
Daily and Sunday Express
23 October 2003

The head of Northern Ireland's decommissioning body warned the
Government he would quit if he was forced to reveal the extent of
IRA disarmament.

A spokesman for the Independent International Commission on
Decommissioning confirmed that General John de Chastelain and his
fellow commissioners would resist any pressure from Downing Street
to end their confidential agreement with the Provisionals.

The spokesman said: "With regards to confidentiality, if the
commissioners were forced to disclose the inventory without the IRA
agreeing to it, they would judge their position to be untenable."

Pressure has been mounting on General de Chastelain and his
colleagues to reveal more information about the third IRA
disarmament act than he gave on Tuesday when moves designed to
bolster the peace process backfired spectacularly.

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble put on hold a series of
choreographed moves involving Sinn Fein, the IRA, the British and
Irish Governments because he was unhappy with the lack of clarity
around the decommissioning act by the IRA.

In the House of Commons on Wednesday Prime Minister Tony Blair told
Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith that the decommissioning
legislation had enabled the IRA to exercise a confidentiality clause
which prevented General de Chastelain from revealing what exactly
happened with the IRA's weapons.

He also implied that he was party to more information about the
IRA's arms move which, if it was in the public domain, would have
helped the peace process.

"That is the arrangement that they entered into with General de
Chastelain, who, for perfectly obvious and honourable reasons, feels
bound by it," he told MPs.

"He gives certain information - not the full information, but
certain information - to us, as the two Governments.

"Although we are not at liberty to disclose that information without
his permission, we are working hard to try to find a way in which we
can do so, because I believe, on the basis of what we know, that
people would be satisfied if they knew the full details."

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2003, All Rights Reserved.

Blair seeks way to reveal details of IRA weapons

Rosie Cowan and Michael White
Thursday October 23, 2003
The Guardian

Tony Blair was desperately seeking a way to reveal details of weapons destroyed by the IRA, as he battled to overcome the deadlock threatening the Northern Ireland peace process yesterday.

The deal to restore devolution at Stormont collapsed on Tuesday when David Trimble, the Ulster Unionist leader, rejected a return to power-sharing with Sinn Fein because he was not given an inventory of the arms decommissioned.

The independent disarmament chief, General John de Chastelain, confirmed that a "considerably larger" amount of guns, bombs and bullets had been destroyed than in either of the previous two acts.

But unionists were dismayed at the general's tight definition of the confidentiality agreement between himself and the Provisionals, despite last minute arm-twisting by Mr Blair and Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahern, who yesterday admitted that he had had serious misgivings.

However, Mr Blair said yesterday he was "working hard to find a way to try and disclose" more facts. He felt the public would be satisfied if they knew what the two premiers knew.

"We are not at liberty to disclose that information, but we are working hard to find a way to try and disclose it," he told the Commons.

The prime minister could now try to press republicans to either supply more details themselves or allow General de Chastelain to do so. Or he might give a fuller picture himself, after examining the legislation governing decommissioning.

A government source said: "The irony is that we now have more than we've ever had from republicans, a very serious act of decommissioning, but we can't tell people why we believe that is the case. People need to know how many AK-47s, how many rocket launchers."

The government insisted the election planned for November 26 will go ahead. But unless the row can be patched up in the next few days there is little prospect of a new administration.

Yesterday, the cracks behind the seemingly perfect deal were exposed, with unionist and republican interpretations predictably at odds. Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president, insisted all sides had reached an agreement and he still did not understand why his party had been "left at the altar".

"All of the parties to that agreement, contrary to what they say, were aware, generally speaking of what was to happen," he said. "Why would I have said what I said, why would the IRA have done what it did? But now I've heard a lot of people in the republican community saying 'Sure, what's the point?'"

Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein's chief negotiator, said the IRA had allowed General de Chastelain to say much more than on previous occasions and anyone with a "titter of wit" would not underestimate the importance of the latest decommissioning move.

Mr Trimble maintained that republicans were well aware of the "transparency and clarity" needed by unionists. But others were fiercely critical that, despite hours of one-to-one negotiations with Mr Adams, he had failed to extract a commitment to reveal the catalogue of arms destroyed.

Ian Paisley, the Democratic Unionist leader, who vehemently opposed the Good Friday agreement and will use the election to try to overtake Mr Trimble's party, accused the Ulster Unionist leader of being "totally incompetent".

Mr Ahern admitted he had been reluctant to travel to Hillsborough on Tuesday because of reservations about the decommissioning report.

"I always felt there was going to be a difficulty, for immediately people would say you need more clarity and more details," he told the Dail [Irish parliament] in Dublin yesterday.

He had tried unsuccessfully to contact the general on Monday night to discuss how the problem could be minimised. It is understood the general was out of Belfast for almost 24 hours, being taken to a secret location somewhere in Ireland where he witnessed arms being destroyed.

At Westminster, Conservative MPs questioned why the election had been announced before "all the ducks were lined up in a row".

One Tory ex-Northern Ireland minister asked: "Why wasn't the decommissioning 36 hours before the event, instead of 12 hours, so there would be time for de Chastelain to brief the two prime ministers properly?"


No Ordinary Women
Irish Female Activists in the Revolutionary Years 1900–1923
Sinéad McCoole
With historical introduction by Margaret Ward

Spies, snipers, couriers, gun-runners, medics

Women in the fight for Ireland's independence risked loss of life and family for their cause. Here are the biographies of sixty-five women activists, along with lists of those imprisoned after the 1916 Rising and the more than seven hundred women arrested during the Irish Civil War. They came from every class in society-titled ladies, shop assistants, doctors, housewives, laundry workers, artists, and teachers. Some were married with children, others widowed, and some were mere schoolgirls.

Using historical records, interviews with survivors and their families, and the women's own prison diaries, memorabilia, and writings, Sinéad McCoole vividly recreates the characters, personalities, and courage of these extraordinary women, many of whom served time in Ireland's most notorious prison, Kilmainham Gaol.

Sinéad McCoole is the author Hazel and Guns and Chiffon: Women Revolutionaries and Kilmainham Gaol. She has scripted a series of short films and curated historical and art exhibitions for Dúchas, (Ireland's heritage service) and for Dublin's Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. She lives in Dublin and works as a researcher and lecturer at the Kilmainham Gaol Museum.

Co-published with the O'Brien Press, Dublin

book order info


Posted at the IRBB by Ailín / mural photo by CRAZYFENIAN

Brian Stewart

>>Large view of Brian Stewart mural


The following article is a sampling of some of the statements of area residents and witnesses in the killing of Brian Stewart (age 13) outside of his home by the British Army regiment known as the King's Own Scottish Borderers at Turf Lodge (housing complex), Belfast in October 1976. The Nationalist people of Northern Ireland now refer to this regiment as the King's Own Scottish Murderers.

56 Norglen Crescent (Housewife).

On Monday 4th October, 1976 at 6:15 pm I called over to Mrs. Stewart's house. Brian aged 13 years was sitting in the living room with his sister. She was helping him with his homework. Just at 6:20 pm Brian went off to the bathroom, first calling into the working kitchen to his mother. When he came out of the bathroom, someone had called at the door. I left Mrs. Stewart's directly after, at around 6:30 pm. I was back into my own living room, had lifted my dinner and was on my way back into the living room when Mrs. Stewart came running in. It was only 6:35 because the music of Crossroads had just come on. She said Brian had been hit in the face with a bullet. She was hysterical and crying. I put her into the living room and said I would go and
see how Brian was and get the details. I got into the street and everyone said the boy had been taken to Mrs. Mulvenna's house. I went there. He was in a pretty bad way. He was unconscious and vomiting badly. The house was full. While I was there Mrs. Mulvenna phoned a second time for the ambulance. It came shortly afterwards. I accompanied him to the hospital. His sister had meantime joined me in the ambulance. We arrived at the R.V.H. (Royal Victoria Hospital) and went to reception and gave Brian's particulars to them. Brian meantime had been moved into the ambulance room. We waited for quite a while. The nurse came out and told me that Brian had a fractured skull. I asked was there any danger and he said not at that particular time but that there could be complications later, e.g. a blood clot might form. After that they took Brian up to the ward. We stayed, some time later we were joined by his father who had rushed down. His father also saw the surgeon who told him the same as he told us. The father signed a consent form in case an operation should be necessary. We then came home.

Signed: Mrs. Mary Dobbin

Monagh Crescent

At 4:45 pm October 4, 1976 I saw soldiers on foot patrols (of eight or ten men). They were walking up and down Monagh Road and Norglen Drive. Earlier on at 3:30 pm the children were saying the soldiers were firing rubber bullets at Holy Trinity School when they were coming home. This aggression from the soldiers continued until teatime around 6:30 pm, even after Brian Stewart was shot by a rubber bullet. (Note: It
was actually a PLASTIC bullet.) One of my sons aged 10 ran into the house to me shouting that Brian had been shot. I ran down to the street with my husband. They were lifting Brian off the street. The women took him into Mrs. Magee's house. All the time rubber bullets were still being fired even though people were on the street. I would say at least a hundred bullets were fired. I saw three other boys limping away. The soldiers were running backwards into a field towards the Fort Monagh Army Base. The whole district was out, everyone was angry about Brian being shot and seriously wounded. I was very upset. I was trying to keep my children out of the way. Most of the mothers were trying to do the same as they did not want their children to witness the state Brian was in. They were also afraid of their children getting hit by the rubber bullets. My daughter Christine told me that she saw Brian getting shot with a bullet. She said "Mommy, it was the the same soldier that shot a child round at the flats". (Probably Divis Flats) This was when she was at the shops for me. Brian could not have been throwing stones as he had just gone to the corner. Also as the mothers were so frightened, they were bringing in the children; so it is a lie to say that 400 children were rioting. In this estate (housingcomplex) every time the Army do something on the people, they try to justify it by telling lies right away.

Signed: Mrs. Mary Murphy
Witness: Rita Mullan

Monagh Crescent
5 October 1976

On Monday 4th October, 1976 I was standing at my front door around 6:30 pm. There were about six or eight boys in the street, not together in one group but interspersed. Suddenly I heard a shot and then I saw one boy fall. I did not know who it was but I ran towards him. When I got there there was a soldier. He was pulling the boy by the feet to take him away. A crowd of people were converging on the spot. A little girl was trying to pull the boy away from the soldier. The soldier kicked or pushed her. I shouted at him to leave the child alone. The soldier made another attempt to get the child. The crowd had now got to the spot and they took the boy further up the street. A boy named David Magee lifted him and carried him into his own house.

Signed: Mrs. Margaret Fisher
Witness: Kate McQuillan

Monagh Crescent (Housewife)
5 October 1976

Shortly after 6 pm on Monday 4 October, 1976 I was standing at at the door of my home at the above address. There is a shop next door and a boy was standing there. I recognised him as he was a boy who played with my own children sometimes. There were two girls in his vicinity but they were not specifically with him. I saw a foot patrol walking backwards along Norglen Road which runs along the bottom of my street. I saw the patrol go by; then one soldier came back. He was a very tall soldier, broad in build. He had a thick moustache. As he came back he took aim at the boy and fired. The child fell to the ground. The same soldier came over to the boy and lowered his hand to the boy's legs. The girls at the spot had run forward and one of them seemed
to be remonstrating with the soldier but I could not hear what was said. I saw the soldier move towards the girl but I don't know whether he just pushed her or not. I could just see an arm raised. The child was lifted then and taken away.

Signed: Mrs. B. Irvine
Witness: Elizabeth F. Murray

Norglen Road

At around 6:20 pm on October 4, I was standing at my own door-way which is approximately 30 yards from the corner of Monagh Crescent. A foot patrol was moving down Norglen Road (four men). There were no more than 10 children in and around Monagh Crescent corner. They were not in a group. The soldiers were walking backwards down Norglen Road. I heard a plastic bullet being fired. I saw a young boy falling to the ground on the footpath at the corner of Monagh Crescent and Norglen Road. A member of the patrol ran up to him and attempted to pull him by the leg down the street. There was a couple of children around the boy. I feel the soldier who attempted to pull the boy away saw the blood pouring from the boy's head and realising it was very serious, he retreated and backed down to his patrol. I ran over to the corner and other neighbours lifted and carried him into Magee's house in Monagh Crescent. I went into the house with the child. I could see he was seriously wounded on the left temple. It was an open wound approximately 2 inches above his left ear. The top part of his left ear was black. Right above his left ear there was an immediate swelling. We tried to stop the blood flow until the arrival of an ambulance. The child never spoke a word at all although his eyes were opening and closing. He did not appear to be conscious. The boy appeared to be in a fit. His legs and arms were twitching and he was vomiting continuously until he was carried into the ambulance. The ambulance man looked into the boy's eyes and said "I think this lad has a fractured skull." As far as I am concerned this is a true version of what happened at my corner. I already appeared on BBC television news today stating that I did not see any stone-throwing prior to the boy being shot.

Signed: Frank Diamond
Witness: Rita Mullan


Brian Stewart (age 13) of Turf Lodge died in the Royal Victoria Hospital this morning. He died as a result of a fractured skull and massive brain damage caused by a plastic bullet fired by a British soldier on Monday last. The grief of his family has been increased by the lies told by the British Army about the killing:

The soldiers were under attack from 400 (later raised to 500) rioters when they fired on Brian Stewart.

There are at least 5 reliable witnesses who are prepared to testify that there was no crowd, much less a riot, in the street at the time of the incident. Television camera crews failed to find any evidence of a riot when they arrived.

The soldier who killed Brian Stewart fired a plastic bullet at the identified ringleader of the attacking group.

A woman visiting the Stewart home is prepared to testify that Brian had left his home only minutes before he was fatally injured. He had no time become involved in anything much less the ringleader of a non-existant riot.

A soldier who went to render first aid was attacked and had to retreat.

A soldier tried to drag the injured boy away by the heels. When a young girl at the scene remonstrated with him and held on to the child, the soldier threatened to shoot her.

The Mothers of Turf Lodge will not be deflected by this detestable incident from their goal of protecting their children from the murders of the British Army and mourning in a dignified way the death of Brian Stewart.

Our demands still stand:

1. The immediate retraction of British Army lies.
2. The charging of the soldier who fired the plastic bullet with
3. The charging of the officer who ordered the bullet to be fired with
conspiracy to murder.
4. The immediate and permanent withdrawal of the British Army from
Turf Lodge.

Two of our children, Leo Norney and Brian Stewart, have been murdered; Sandy Lynch has been seriously injured by British soldiers. We are determined that these murderers will not be allowed back into Turf Lodge.

Sunday October 10, 1976


BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | IRA statement in full

IRA statement in full

The IRA has signalled a move on arms

The leadership of the IRA welcomed today's speech by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams in which he accurately reflects our position.

He also referred to the issue of weapons.

The IRA leadership is committed to resolving this issue.

In line with our stated position, we have authorised our representative to meet with the IICD with a view to proceeding with the implementation of a process to put arms beyond use at the earliest opportunity.

We have also authorised a further act of putting arms beyond use.

This will be verified under the agreed scheme.

Signed P O'Neill

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | PM insists elections 'will go ahead'

PM insists elections 'will go ahead'

Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair said talks would continue
Assembly elections will go ahead as planned next month despite the Ulster Unionist Party's rejection of the IRA's latest act of decommissioning, the prime minister has said.

>>>> Flash: Large tranche of IRA arms destroyed <<<<

The IRA has completed a bigger act of decommissioning than
ever before, General John de Chastelain reported today.

The head of the international arms body confirmed he had
witnessed a third act in which the mainstream IRA had put
weapons beyond use.

Automatic guns, ammunition, explosives and explosives material
had all been taken out of circulation, he said.

The move is part of republican efforts to finally secure the
implementation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The Irish
and British governments, as well as the Ulster Unionist
leader David Trimble, are due to make significant statements
of their own later today.

In a press conference a short time ago, General de Chastelain
said: "The commission has witnessed a third event in which IRA
weapons have been put beyond use, in accordance with
government schemes and regulations."

Gen de Chastelain said the decommissioning was "considerably
larger" than previous disarmaments.

"The quantity of arms involved is much larger than the
quantity put beyond use in the previous event," he said.

He said the arms decommissioned comprised light, medium and
heavy ordnance and associated munitions including automatic
weapons, ammunition, explosives and explosives materiel.

The General and his colleagues on the Independent
International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) discussed
their report after briefing Prime Minister Tony Blair and
Irish premier Bertie Ahern at Hillsborough Castle.

The disarmament group said they had assured themselves that
all the weapons put beyond use were in operational condition.

They intended to add an inventory of the explosives material
to a list from the previous act of decommissioning and provide
the full list to the two governments.

The amount of arms rendered permanently unusable "could have
caused death and destruction" if it had been used, Andrew
Sens, one of General de Chastelain's assistants added.

Earlier this afternoon, the IRA issued a second statement
confirming that more weapons had been put beyond use.

The one-paragraph statement said:

"The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann can confirm that a
further act of putting arms beyond use has taken place under
the agreed scheme.

P O'Neill."

RM Distribution


Assembly elections on 26 November

Downing Street has confirmed this morning that fresh Assembly elections will take place on 26 November.

The announcement came as a flurry of activity gets underway to shore up the peace process.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is to speak at 10.30am on Tuesday about the latest concessions by republicans and on the future of the peace process.

It's believed his statement will be followed by an announcement from the Decommissioning Body which may outline full details of a new act to put arms beyond use by the IRA.

Completing the jigsaw will be statements from Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble and the two governments - Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern are expected in Hillsborough later today.

This morning, Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey said the scene was now set for further political progress. He said negotiations over recent weeks had been intense. Alex Attwood of the SDLP welcomed the election move but said the public would be seeking republican endorsement of the PSNI.

Journalist:: Aidan Crean


A number of media outlets have stated that the twice-cancelled elections for the Belfast Assembly will take place in the North on Wednesday the 26th of November.

Hopes of a breakthrough in the peace process have been rising steadily through the past few days.

The extent of the deal is expected to be revealed tomorrow, but it is widely expected to involve, on some scale, a peace move by the IRA in return for the continued implementation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The head of the international decommissioning body, General John de Chastelain, has resumed contact with the IRA on arms, it has been reported.

The Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, and the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair are expected to travel to Hillsborough Castle outside Belfast tomorrow for an offical announcement.

The decision comes after a series of talks between Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionist Party to secure agreement on issues crucial to creating a climate for elections.

Earlier, Bertie Ahern said that further progress has been made in the Northern peace talks.

He confirmed that he had a lengthy telephone conversation with the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, this morning and he is due to talk to him again this evening.

The Taoiseach said that the next 24 hours would be crucial and that there was a deadline of Wednesday morning for talks.

Mr Ahern said the key issues were the stability of the
institutions on the one side and the endgame of paramilitarism on the other.




The above link is to a weblog I am trying to make, filled with nothing but things about Bobby Sands, as he is my hero. I admire him for the fortitude he had, the strength of character he showed, his skill at expressing himself and his concern for his comrades, even when he himself was dying. It will be a collection of sources already on the net, but I will give you each source link. I also hope to put up more of his writing than is available now. It is not my intention to hijack other peoples' work but to bring it together in one place for those of you like me who like to read about Bobby.

MONDAY 20/10/2003 16:19:44 UTV
Co Louth body identified as Jean McConville

Remains discovered in County Louth in August have been positively identified as those of IRA murder victim Jean Mc Conville.

The Belfast mother of ten had been abducted from her home and killed by the IRA in December 1972.

Her remains were found by a man out walking at Shelling Hill in north Louth on the twenty second of August this year after two previous searches had failed to find any trace of her remains at nearby Templetown beach nearCarlingford


IOL: Hopes rise for pre-Christmas Assembly election

Hopes rise for pre-Christmas Assembly election
19/10/2003 - 11:06:44

Politicians in Northern Ireland were today anxiously waiting to learn if there will be moves over the next five days involving unionists and republicans to secure a pre-Christmas Assembly election.

Hopes of a breakthrough in the peace process rose after Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble signalled to the IRA he needed “a sense that paramilitarism is coming to an end soon“.

However as talks sources responded positively to the speech, they also cautioned against assuming a deal between Sinn Féin and the Ulster Unionists was “in the bag“.

One said: “We are moving in the right direction.

“The mood music has been good and [yesterday’s] speech has added to that.

“However things could still fall flat. Nobody is taking this for granted.”

In a direct appeal to republicans, Mr Trimble told his party conference in Armagh they needed to address the desire among unionists and nationalists for clarity on whether the war is over.

The Upper Bann MP argued: “Neither the government’s formula nor ours say that everything must be done first.

“Rather both envisage a sense that paramilitarism is coming to an end soon.

“And perhaps the most important aspect of that sense is an acknowledgement by republicans that the Belfast Agreement is a settlement – that it provides the full and final closure of the conflict.”

Mr Trimble also said he was not opposed to the transfer of policing and justice powers from Westminster to Stormont in the lifetime of the next Assembly - a key demand of republicans in the current round of negotiations with the UUP.

But he told republicans his party could not support the devolution of policing “until Sinn Féin has resolved to support the police and the IRA has taken the inevitable step, consequent on such support, to wind up or transmute its organisation into something entirely peaceful and democratic.”

Talks sources also noted the positive response of Sinn Fein’s chairman Mitchel McLaughlin to the speech.

Mr McLaughlin, who was attending a Sinn Féin conference also in Armagh, said republicans were encouraged by the speech.

“Now we have ended the war in our streets,” he said.

“Let’s now deal with the legacy of that conflict and do it in a measured way as quickly as possible.”

Speculation is mounting that, if a deal is struck between unionists and republicans, prime ministers Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern will fly to Northern Ireland next week to mark the event.

Parties are also expecting the announcement of an Assembly election, possibly in the last week of November.

The leader of the loyalist Progressive Unionists, David Ervine, added to the mood of cautious optimism by saying he believed Gerry Adams was on the verge of securing a huge IRA commitment that could transform the peace process.

“Gerry Adams is going to be responsible for something that changes this process forever,” the PUP leader told his party conference in east Belfast.

“He is going to take the IRA where they have never been before. The question is will David Trimble respond as never before.”

Another Stormont source was also hopeful.

He told PA News : “The choreography could roll out pretty quickly within the next 48 hours if a deal comes together.

“That would mean an election announcement and then generous moves from republicans and unionists.

“This period is really critical if this is all going to work.”

With in-fighting among the Ulster Unionists continuing, Mr Trimble warned three rebel MPs – Jeffrey Donaldson, David Burnside and the Reverend Martin Smyth – who resigned the whip in June in a row over policy, that they needed to toe the line or quit.

His speech angered Jeffrey Donaldson who accused the UUP leader of softening his line on paramilitary decommissioning and IRA disbandment in preparation for a deal with republicans.

Mr Donaldson claimed: “David Trimble is going to go for another half-baked deal with republicans that will fall short of unionist requirements but this time the electorate will have their say on the deal and I believe it will be comprehensively rejected.”

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