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.

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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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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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General Election 2015 and the Irish Community

On May 7th 2015, the people of Liverpool/Merseyside will have the opportunity to choose their local Member of Parliament. For the Irish community in Liverpool/Merseyside, this represents an ideal opportunity to directly challenge all candidates on their position regarding the rights and needs of our community, especially in the areas of social care, recognition, culture and sport.

We in Cairde na hEireann Liverpool believe that the result of the General Election will directly affect Irish people in Liverpool/Merseyside and that the votes of the Irish community should not be taken for granted by any parliamentary candidate. We do not advocate a vote for any particular candidate or party that they may represent. However, we do feel that candidates should be challenged on their views and their support for the following issues facing our community at present:

  • Support for the Irish peace process and full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
  • Support the setting up of public enquiries into the killing of solicitor Pat Finucane and the innocent civilians murdered by the British Army during the Ballymurphy Massacre 1971.
  • Support the rights of the Irish community to organise  events and parades that  commemorate our history, celebrate our culture and assert our political aspirations, free from the threat of attack from Far Right groups, including elements of the Loyal Orange Orders.
  • Support for Irish organisations in the city aiming to meet the welfare and social care needs of the Irish community including Irish elders and Irish Travellers.
  • Support and recognition for Irish community based organisations promoting the continuation of Irish traditional music, song and dance including support for Irish language groups.
  • Positive support for the maintenance and development of Gaelic games in the city including recognition of the needs of Irish organisations/groups promoting Gaelic sports in Liverpool.

While Cairde na hEireann Liverpool does not advocate on behalf of any particular candidate/political party and having recently seen the published list of candidates, we would offer the following caveat: There should be no votes for candidates linked to racist or far-right political parties. 

Cairde Na hEireann Liverpool notes that the list of candidates for Liverpool/Merseyside include the United Kingdom Independence Party. We believe that UKIP members were instrumental in the stoking up of racist and sectarian tensions that led to the direct attack on an Irish Community events during 2012 and 2013. UKIP and other right wing parties have nothing positive to offer the people of Liverpool and Merseyside except their own hate and prejudices that marginalises and divides the Irish community and other immigrant communities from the wider community.

We ask that our community take note of the above and ensure the needs of the Irish community are both recognised and acknowledged.

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Local commemoration remembers Liverpool volunteers of the Dublin 1916 Easter Rising.

easter1916-1016 imageA local commemoration and parade was held last Sunday in the strongly Irish area of Scotland Road in Liverpool. Organised by Cairde na hEireann Liverpool, up to a 100 local people along with the Liverpool Irish Flute Band (Banna Fluit Learpholl) remembered the Liverpool Irish women and men from the local areas of Vauxhall, Kirkdale, Bootle and Seaforth who participated in the rising against British rule in Dublin 99 years ago this week.

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The event also saw the launch of the Liverpool Easter Lily campaign which promotes the wearing of the Lily across the Irish community in remembrance of up to 60 volunteers of the Irish Volunteers and Cumann namBan who fought in the 1916 Easter Rising and in subsequent campaigns for Irish freedom and independence.

CBMTBkEW4AEUVheOrganisers stated that it was important that this part of Liverpool Irish history was remembered and commemorated with pride and the story of the Liverpool women and men who participated in the Rising and fought against British rule was an aspect of the Rising itself that needs to be highlighted, especially as next year marks the 100th anniversary of the rising itself. The role of the Liverpool Irish in the Rising provides a counter narrative to ongoing public events in Liverpool to commemorate World War 1. These Liverpool Irish participants in the Rising rejected the call of Britain’s ruling classes to fight in the fields of Flanders and its associated slaughter, but instead fought against an Empire that refused to grant Irish sovereignty and independence. The commemoration was addressed by Sean Oliver, head of Sinn Fein’s International Department and representative for England, Scotland and Wales who outlined his party’s plans to commemorate the Easter Rising in 2016.  Sean also outlined the central role that Sinn Fein was increasingly playing in Irish political life both north and south of the Irish border in leading the fight back against both the Conservative party’s austerity policies in the north and Fine Gael’s austerity policies in the south.

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Francie Molloy MP warns of dangers to Good Friday Agreement by anti-agreement axis at public meeting in Liverpool

Francie Molloy, Sinn Fein MP for Mid-Ulster, last night warned of the dangers facing those supportive of the Good Friday Agreement by a growing anti-agreement axis which includes Unionist parties such as the Democratic Unionist Party and David Cameron’s Conservative Party led government.

Speaking at a public briefing session organised by Cairde na hEireann Liverpool to Irish community activists, local politicians and trade unionists at St Michaels Irish Centre, Francie Molloy stated:

In summary, in the Six Counties we currently have a serious political impasse and an economic and budgetary crisis.

A political crisis caused by a growing unionist rejection of the Good Friday Agreement and its values. A refusal being facilitated by the London government.

And an economic and budgetary crisis caused by the austerity policies of that same government in London.

Including their demand that we implement welfare cuts.

We have seen the evidence of how works in this country and our party will not being inflicting that on  all our communities.

These crises have now converged. The economic and political situation is both untenable and unsustainable.

The Stormont talks are taking place in the absence of a credible process or the required political momentum. Sinn Féin believes both are required to ensure a comprehensive and successful outcome is achieved.

The backdrop to these talks over the last two years has been an undermining of power-sharing and partnership government; rejection of the Haass compromise proposals by the British Government and political unionism, increased political instability and street disturbances; British Government economic austerity policies and proposed welfare cuts; and the emergence of a unionist anti-agreement axis which has had a disproportionate and adverse influence over the political process.

Progress to date, has been hampered by

DUP preconditions, aimed at narrowing the talks agenda;

Negative mismanagement of the political process by the British Government since 2010, and attempting to act as a facilitator rather than a talks participant;

The passive approach of the Irish Government towards the political process in recent years, and failure to assert its status as a co-equal guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) since these talks commenced.

Consequently the political framework established by the GFA and other Agreements, the political process itself, and the viability of the actual political institutions are now directly threatened.

There is a real danger that the present impasse will be subsumed by a long-term political vacuum. In such circumstances political instability could become irreversible, with profound ramifications for the integrity of Irish democracy.

An urgent need exists for pro-agreement and democratic opinion to mobilise now in defence of the GFA and peace and political processes. A pro-agreement axis is necessary to encourage political momentum, and ensure a substantive and successful negotiation is achieved.

Sinn Féin is committed to a ‘Plan A Plus’ outcome predicated upon:

A substantial economic and fiscal reconstruction plan;

Unconditional support for power-sharing and partnership government based upon GFA principles;

And, the implementation of all extant commitments made under the GFA; all other agreements since, as well as the Programme for Government; to include

Implementation of a Bill of Rights

Implementation of Acht na Gaeilge

Reestablishment of a Civic Forum

Establishment of an All-Ireland Consultative Forum

Implementation of the Haass compromise proposals

These are essential to break the political gridlock, facilitate political progress, and to complete the transition to a shared future, and an end to sectarianism, segregation and division.

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Public Meeting Liverpool: Why we need to build support for the Good Friday Agreement

Why we need to build support for the Good Friday Agreement

Tuesday 9th December, 7.30pm, St Michaels Irish Centre, Liverpool. The meeting is hosted by Cairde na hEireann Liverpool.

Speaker: Francie Molloy MP (Sinn Fein)

This meeting will be an important opportunity to discuss the need to pro-actively support the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement at this crucial time, which has seen growing concerns about the current anti-Agreement axis which is stalling political progress.  It will also be a chance to discuss the current talks process to resolve outstanding issues, and to look at how pro-agreement voices in both Ireland and in Britain can make a positive contribution to taking us forward.

For more information, and to confirm your attendance please email: cairdeliverpool@gmail.com

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Disproportionate & Punitive: Merseyside Police threaten Irish Commemoration to Liverpool Irish women with Terrorism Act

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On the 12th March 2012 the British Prime Minister David Cameron and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny issued a joint statesman stating their view on how British-Irish relationships during the next 10 years should develop. Within the statement there was recognition of the Decade of Centenaries, that period of Irish history between 1913-1923 that saw huge revolutionary change and would now be remembered a hundred years from 2013 onwards:

“2012 also marks the beginning of a decade of centenary commemorations of events that helped shape our political destinies.  This series of commemorations offers us an opportunity to explore and reflect on key episodes of our past.  We will do so in a spirit of historical accuracy, mutual respect, inclusiveness and reconciliation.”

Today Merseyside Police literally tore the joint statement to pieces by its use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2000) which was used to place restrictions on this afternoons march and rally through Liverpool City centre to remember the Liverpool Irish women of Cumann na mBan (League of Women) who participated in both the Easter arising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence1919-1921. Organised by Cairde na hEireann Liverpool, the event had been advertised for several months and clearly stated its intention to remember in a dignified manner those women members of the Irish community in Liverpool who dedicated their lives to the cause of Irish independence and freedom between1913-1923 (statement)

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool as an Irish community organisation, dedicated itself in 2013 to ensuring that when forthcoming Centenaries were being commemorated in Liverpool, anniversaries of historic importance to the Liverpool Irish community would not remain untold and hidden but would be commemorated and remembered on par with both official and unofficial commemorations in Liverpool that have involved remembering the formation of the Ulster Volunteer Force (a proscribed organisation under the PTA), formation of the Liverpool Pals and start of World War 1.

On the 29th September we received correspondence from Assistant Chief Constable Martland (see below).

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Letter from Merseyside Police

In the meeting that followed between Merseyside Police and Cairde na hEireann Liverpool we reiterated the following:

General theme: To support the campaign for the reunification of Ireland by solely peaceful political means. This year’s specific theme: ‘’To celebrate the centenary of the formation of Cumann Na mBan (League of Women) in 1914, and in particular its members from the Liverpool Irish community.

This themed event is being held solely to remember the role of the specific historic organisation known as Cumann Na mBan (which is no longer in existence), during the time period known as the ‘Decade of Centenaries (1913-1923)’ of events in Irish history.

These events are being commemorated by all traditions, including here in Liverpool. Such commemorations are recognised as being significant and legitimate by both UK and Irish governments, as part of international agreements integral to the cementing of the peace process and the promotion of shared understanding).

The event on 11th October is NOT being held in relation to inviting support for ANY contemporary proscribed organisation under the terms of The Terrorism Act 2000.

The event on 11th October is NOT being held in relation to inviting support for ANY contemporary proscribed organisation going by the name of ‘’Cumann Na mBan’’, or indeed any other name contained within the list detailed in the Terrorism Act 2000.”

However, Cairde na hEireann Liverpool received a final piece of correspondence from ACC Martland stating that:

“I am writing to advise you that the CPS has confirmed that, by wearing an item of clothing or wearing, carrying or displaying an article in such a way or in circumstances as to arise reasonable suspicion that they are a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation commits an offence, contrary to Sect. 13(1) of the Terrorism Act, 2000.

I must advise you that, in light of the above, if there are grounds to believe that an offence has been committed at the procession, then Merseyside Police will take action that is appropriate in the circumstances.”

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool believes that Merseyside Police’s stance is a deliberate attempt to restrict the Irish community’s rights to commemorate our heritage and history. We view Merseyside Police’s stance on this matter as vindictive, disproportionate and criminalises a whole generation of Liverpool Irish women and men who contributed to the foundation of an independent Irish state. We are left with no other opinion than to believe that the actions of a few senior Merseyside Police officers in dealing with this matter could be seen in the context of institutional racism by effectively denying the Irish community the right to remember and commemorate while other communities in Liverpool and public bodies are allowed to do so. Cumann na mBan is an organisation that exists only within the text books of Liverpool Irish history and poses a threat to no one in the community.

Merseyside Police’s decision to threaten march organisers with arrest and prosecution now sees the likes of Nora Thornton, Kathy Doran, Francis Downey, Peggy Downey, Anastasia MacLoughlin, Kathleen Murphy and Rose Ann Murphy, Liverpool Irish women who participated in the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin as being a threat to the British State on par with the threat posed by Islamic State and Al Qaeda. 

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool thanks those marchers today who remembered with pride the brave Liverpool Irish women of Cumann na mBan and reluctantly agreed to adhere to the restrictions set out by Merseyside Police. Cairde na hEireann Liverpool will launch a campaign to challenge Merseyside Police’s attempts to both criminalise us as an Irish community organisation and the Irish community as a whole. Cairde na hEireann Liverpool will challenge any future attempt by Merseyside Police to demonise the Irish community as they have attempted to do so today. The right to be Irish in Liverpool/Merseyside and the right to express pride in our heritage and history will be central to our campaign.

Despite the actions of Merseyside Police today’s event was a huge success with several hundred in attendance and led by 6 flute bands through the city with a rally at Pier Head. The rally was dressed by Jennifer McCann MLA and Junior Minister for the Office for the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
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