Armed Forces Day Liverpool – A time to reflect on Britain’s murder of innocent Irish civilians

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This weekend Liverpool plays host to Britain’s annual armed forces day, a day that aims to celebrate and court support for the Britain’s armed forces ‘community’.

For the Irish community, the day is a time for remembrance and offer peaceful reflection on the victims of Britain’s armed forces. Between 1968 to the 1990’s literally hundreds of Irish civilians were mudered directly by soldiers of British Army Regiments, police officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary or more sinisterly by active collusion between loyalist paramilitaries, aided by inteligence and active support from Britain’s armed forces/police.

In recent years, several investigations by both the BBC and RTE have found mounting evidence of the extent of collusion between Loyalist paramilitaries and British State Forces Britain’s Secret Terror Deals (BBC) Collusion (RTE). June 2016 saw the publication of the Loughlinisland Report by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman which found active collusion between members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Ulster Volunteer Force which left 6 civilians shot to death as they watched the Ireland Vs Italy World Cup game in a bar in 1994 BBC News Report.

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On armed forces day the truth is starting to unravel for Britain and its collusion with loyalists to kill its very own citizens. Liverpool says: Time for Truth – Time for Justice.

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STATEMENT FOLLOWING YESTERDAY’S LOYALIST ATTACK ON IRISH PUB IN LIVERPOOL

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool is appalled by the incidents recorded yesterday in Liverpool involving a loyalist parade through Liverpool and distributed widely though social media https://youtu.be/as9y83ME9wE. It is clear that the organisers (Apprentice Boys Of Derry supported by Loyalist bands) lost control of their supporters when they targeted the Liffey Irish Bar on Renshaw Street. During the past 10 years this bar is annually targeted by loyalists during this specific parade as almost every band plays the ‘Sash My Father Wore’ as they pass by https://youtu.be/jPxeROwGsAA. Footage clearly shows loyalists (women and men) making determined efforts to enter the bar and the doors having to be defended and then closed to prevent violence and injury to the customers.

 Cairde na hEireann Liverpool asks that any person subject to racist or sectarian abuse to personally report it via the STOP HATE UK helpline 0800 138 1625.

 Cairde na hEireann is also concerned that yet again Loyalists are allowed with impunity to carry flags of proscribed organisations, with no intervention from Merseyside Police. Yesterday at least one band carried the flag of the outlawed Ulster Volunteer Force. At last week’s English Defence League demonstration in Liverpool the UVF flag was again carried without intervention from Merseyside Police, when local Loyalists supported the fascist organisation. As a parade organiser, Cairde na hEireann is regularly subject to continued scrutiny by Merseyside Police in relation to flags and emblems and in 2014 a ridiculous situation emerged where the flag of the historical Irish women’s patriot organisation Cumann na mBan was banned from being flown by Merseyside Police as part of a centenary parade through Liverpool www.anphoblacht.com/contents/2447 . Cairde na hEireann Liverpool calls on Merseyside Police to treat communities equally and apply the law equally. At present it is clear that Merseyside Police is far from impartial in the way it views and treats the Irish community and Irish community events.

 

CNAE Liverpool.

Communications Team.

Liverpool Irish pay tribute to Martin McGuinness

Last night we organised a short parade around the streets of the Liverpool Irish heartland, to remember Martin McGuinness in our own way. The following is a Statement read out on behalf of the Band & Cairde na hEireann Liverpool: 

‘ Martin McGuinness was born in 1950, in an Ireland forcibly partitioned by British Imperialism. Martin lived his life in the Bogside Estate, Derry, and grew up under the brutal sectarian Apartheid Orange State. This was a State where the Irish nationalist population were denied even basic rights to a vote, jobs and housing. Martin was active from his earliest youth, in the struggle for civil rights, which was brutally suppressed by Unionist police forces, paramilitaries and then directly by the British State. When armed struggle became the only means to defend the people and advance their rights, Martin lead from the front. When the huge sacrifices of IRA Volunteers, Republican activists and their families created the space for the Irish freedom struggle to be advanced by solely peaceful political means, Martin again led from the front.

In building a peace process based on equality and respect, Martin took great risks and developed many initiatives around outreach, reconciliation and shared understanding with the Unionist community in the north of Ireland, and in the rejection of bigotry and hate. Martin and his comrades built Sinn Fein as a progressive inclusive political party, which not only broke down the sectarian structures of the old Orange Statelet, but also prioritised the advancement of justice and equality issues for all communities. Martin never lost sight of the ultimate goal of a United Ireland, and his lifetime’s work hugely contributed to bringing us so much closer to that final outcome. Sinn Fein is on the rise across Ireland, and at the last Assembly Elections, it ended the Unionist overall majority at Stormont. The writing is on the wall, Irish Unity is coming.

Martin lived and died as a proud Irish Republican. His last social media comment, on 1st March, just before the Assembly Elections, stated:

‘’This election is about equality and respect for all our people, and integrity in the institutions. Vote Sinn Fein for the politics of hope not fear’’

The best way we can honour Martin’s legacy is to ourselves get involved in the political struggle for Irish freedom and Unity. The only fitting tribute to Martin is to build a United Ireland based on peace, equality and justice, an Irish Republic that in the words of the 1916 Easter Proclamation, ‘’Cherishes all the children of the nation equally.’’ ‘

Loughlinisland Massacre – Community Briefing by Relatives in Liverpool.

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool invites you to a special community briefing by members and relatives of the Loughlinisland campaign for truth and justice on Sunday 4th September 2016 12.30pm at St Michaels Irish Centre 6 Boundary Lane Liverpool L6 5JG. The briefing follows on from the previous days March and Rally through Liverpool highlighting Collusion in the deaths of hundreds of Irish nationalists.

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Families of the six men murdered by loyalist gunmen in a pub in Co Down recently welcomed a watchdog investigation that exposed significant police collusion with the killers for finally delivering “the truth”.

Northern Ireland’s Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire was damning in his assessment of the police role in the 1994 Ulster Volunteer Force massacre in Loughinisland, Co Down.

Two UVF gunmen burst into the packed bar at around 10.10pm on 18 June 1994 and fired at customers watching the Republic of Ireland play Italy in the World Cup in the USA.

Dr Maguire found that one man suspected of carrying out the mass killing in the Heights Bar was a police informant.

The ombudsman also said the murder squad had been involved in a number of other killings in the years beforehand, but had avoided arrest because the Royal Ulster Constabulary’s Special Branch intelligence unit had withheld evidence from RUC detectives investigating the crimes.

This is your chance to hear first hand the accounts of how the truth was finally revealed and how the search for truth and justice continues for hundreds of others killed by collusion between Loyalist paramilitaries and elements of Britain’s security services.

Collusion – Liverpool Says: Time For Truth & Time For Justice.

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool launches a new campaign to highlight the need for truth and justice for the families of hundreds of Irish Nationalists/Catholics murdered by loyalist paramilitaries aided by a variety of British State Forces from 1969 through to the 1990’s. The campaign will be launched by a March & Rally on Saturday 3rd September 2016. Assemble 12 noon Chinatown for march to Liverpool city centre for Rally.

In recent years, several investigations by both the BBC and RTE have found mounting evidence of the extent of collusion between Loyalist paramilitaries and British State Forces Britain’s Secret Terror Deals (BBC) Collusion (RTE). June of  this year saw the publication of the Loughlinisland Report by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman which found active collusion between members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Ulster Volunteer Force which left 6 civilians shot to death as they watched the Ireland Vs Italy World Cup game in a bar in 1994 BBC News Report.

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The truth is starting to unravel for Britain and its acts of collusion with loyalists to kill, what were in effect, its very own citizens. Join Cairde na hEireann Liverpool on Saturday 3rd September and show you support for Truth with Justice. More information to follow.

2016 Liverpool James Larkin March and Rally to remember Merseyside International Brigade Volunteers 80 years on.


wp-1465247659173.jpgOn Saturday 16th July, the James Larkin Society will hold its annual March and Rally. The March will Assemble at 12.30pm at Combermere Street (Larkin’s birthplace), off Park Road, Liverpool 8,  and proceed to the city centre for a Rally.  

The main theme of the event this year is to mark the start of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)in July 1936, and to honour all the Merseyside volunteers who enlisted in the International Brigade and fought against Fascism and to defend democracy in Spain.

Over 200 volunteers from Merseyside fought against Fascism in Spain. They included Communists, Socialists, Trade Unionists and Irish Republicans. Over 30 were killed in action. 

One of the most famous Merseyside volunteers was Jack ”James Larkin” Jones (1913-2009), a Liverpool docker who went on to become leader of the Transport and General Workers Union. Jack and his comrades saw the struggle in Spain in the context of battling Mosleyite Fascists more locally, and as a precursor to the struggle against Hitler and the Nazis in World War Two.  As he stated in an interview years later:
For many men who went, it wasn’t a sense of adventure by any means. It was a feeling we were on the right side – the side of justice. For us it was the battle against fascism, including our local Mosley crowd, and that inspired me and encouraged me to do what I could against it, even if it meant laying down my life for it”
The Liverpool March and Rally on 16th July will remember all the Merseyside volunteers of the International Brigade with pride and respect. 

In the context of the current rise of Far Right, racist and Fascist groups across Europe, the message of the International Brigades, of hope against fear, is more relevant than ever.

The James Larkin Society would like to encourage all Trade Unionists, and community groups to take part in the event, and to bring along their banners.

ENDS

Notes for Editors:
The James Larkin Society was formed in Liverpool in 2003, to celebrate the life and work of the Liverpool-born Irish Trade Unionist and Socialist, James Larkin (1876-1947), and to highlight the relevance of the message of his struggle and achievements to today’s world.



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Successful community effort see’s O’Donovan Rossa remembered in Liverpool

It took months to plan but in the end a unique aspect of Liverpool Irish history was successfully re-enacted in Liverpool yesterday when hundreds marched behind a replica funeral casket that held the coffin of Irish patriot Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, on the centenary year of the original landing of his body in Liverpool.

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Organised by Irish community campaigning group, Cairde na hEireann Liverpool (Liverpool Friends of Ireland), yesterdays event retraced the exact steps taken by the men of A and B Company’s of the Irish Volunteers in Liverpool in 1915, when they carried on their shoulders the funeral casket of O’Donovan Rossa from Princes Landing Stage to Nelson Dock nearly 2 miles away. The coffin escort was led at the time by Captain Frank Thornton, who along with many of the men of that day, was to later take part in the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule in Ireland.

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The day was made more special by the participation of members of the Irish community who dressed in period costume and replica Irish Volunteer uniforms.  The participants led the parade from Holy Cross in Liverpool, an area with strong Irish connections, through Liverpool city centre to meet the replica funeral casket at Pier Head, close to the original Princes Landing Stage. In line with the statement made by Captain Frank Thornton following the landing of the funeral casket in 1915, O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral casket was then carried on the shoulders of the re-enactors on the 2 mile journey to Nelson Dock supported by the 4 flute marching bands. At Nelson’s Dock the re-enactment was ended by the playing of Amran Na bFhiann (Irish national anthem).

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A function held later at St Michaels Irish Centre heard speeches from Seanna Walsh, Belfast Sinn Fein Councillor who outlined the crucial role that O’Donovan Rossa played in the fight for Irish freedom at the time and how his death and burial inspired a generation of Irish women and men to re-double their efforts to achieve Irish self-government and Irish sovereignty. Also heard was a reading delivered by local music artist Ian Prowse of the graveside oration given by the executed Easter Rising leader, Patrick Pearse during O’Donovan Rossa’s burial.

Yesterday’s successful re-enactment shows the important role that the Irish in  Liverpool played in Irish political history. It also shows the entitlement of todays Irish community in Liverpool to play its part in remembrance of its history and its heroes. As the Decade of Centenaries proceeds it is important that the rights of the Irish in Liverpool and the Irish across England, Scotland and Wales to commemorate its history is respected. In the coming years, Cairde na hEireann Liverpool plans further innovative projects with community participation to commemorate and remember key Irish historical events that involved members of the Liverpool Irish community.

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Final Preparations Made For Liverpool O’Donovan Rossa Coffin Escort Re-enactment

Final preparations are being made for next weeks re-enactment of O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral casket escort. The re-enactment will see a replica funeral casket of the famous Irish Patriot and Revolutionary being escorted and carried by volunteers from Pier Head to Nelson Dock In Liverpool. The re-enactment aims to trace the exact steps taken 100 years ago when 2 Company’s of the Irish Volunteers in Liverpool carried on their shoulders the body of Jerimiah O’Donovan Rossa on his last journey to Dublin, for one of Ireland’s greatest historic funerals.

Assembling on Cockspur Street, Holy Cross Liverpool at 12 noon on Saturday 10th October 2015, the re-enactment will consist of members of the public leading the parade dressed in period costume as it winds its way toward Pier Head Nelson Dock. The event will also see a re-enactment of Patrick Pearse’s famous graveside oration over O’Donovan Rossa’s grave delivered this time by local musician and song writer Ian Prowse.

For Cairde na hEireann Liverpool, O’Donovan Rossa’s body landing in Liverpool provides a great opportunity to re-live a previously unknown aspect of Liverpool Irish history and for our community to play a full and active role in remembrance, as we head toward 2016 and the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

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Call for volunteers for Liverpool O’Donovan Rossa Re-Enactment.

Today we are able to announce our plans  to stage a full re-enactment of the landing of Jeramiah O’Donovan Rosa’s funeral casket at Prince’s Landing Stage Liverpool during 1915 and then onto Nelson Dock. The Re-enactment is planned for Saturday 10th October 2015. Captain Frank Thornton ‘B’ Company Irish Volunteers Liverpool, provided us with an inspiring insight into this event in his statement to the Bureau of Military History:

“At the end of 1915, I got instructions to make arrangements with the old City of Dublin Steampacket Company to have their boat draw alongside the American liner “St. Paul” in the Mersey when O’Donovan Rossa’s body arrived there on that boat. The whole anxiety of our American friends of the Clann na Gaedheal and also of the I.R.B. and the Volunteers in Dublin was as to ensure that O’Donovan Rossa’s body did not touch English soil on its way back for burial to Ireland. All arrangements were made to have the City of Dublin boat alongside, but owing to the late arrival of the “St. Paul”, brought about by bad weather, this was not possible. However, we got over the difficulty in another way. We mobilised fifty members of our Volunteers in Liverpool both from “A” and “B” Companies and boarded the “St. Paul” at Prince’s Landing Stage, and carried O’Donovan Rossa’s body from Prince’s Landing Stage to Nelson Dock on Irish shoulders, and i think that by this means we carried out the wishes of everybody concerned.

We boarded the “St. Paul” at Prince’s Landing Stage on that day and carried O’Donovan Rossa’s remains right along the Dock Road, the journey being over two miles. I think it can be safely claimed that by this method O’Donovan Rossa’s body had landed in Ireland when we took it on our shoulders at Prince’s Landing Stage. The City of Dublin boats at that time were Irish owned and controlled and, on arrival at Nelson Dock, a guard was mounted which remained on duty after numerous reliefs until the boat arrived at North Wall. I was in charge of the party coming across and, on arrival at North Wall , we were met by the Dublin Volunteers, but still continued in charge of the remains which we brought to the Pro-Cathedral in Marlboro’ St. (I am arranging to get the names of all those who came across, later). We were on duty then later on at City Hall and took part in the funeral to Glasnevin”

This is an open invitation to anyone who wants to take part in the re-enactment and escort the funeral casket of O’Donovan Rossa from Pier Head to Nelson Dock in Liverpool. In particular, we would welcome any individuals who possess Irish Volunteer/Irish Citizen Army replica uniforms to be part of the carrying of O’Donovan Rossa’s coffin, or anyone wishing to wear period dress to take a full part in the event.. For Cairde na hEireann Liverpool, this provides us with a great opportunity to re-live a previously unknown aspect of Liverpool Irish history and for our community to play a full and active role in remembrance, as we head toward 2016 and the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information on cairdeliverpool@gmail.com.

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