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.

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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.

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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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The Irish Community on Merseyside and Elections 2014

This Thursday 22nd May 2014 see’s voting in Local Authority and European Parliament elections across the Merseyside boroughs of Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral and Knowsley. Irish people across Merseyside will have a chance to vote for local candidates from a broad range of political parties.

Cairde na Eireann Liverpool has a simple message for the Irish Community: Dont vote for racists and fascist political parties or their candidates. Political parties such as the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), British National Party (BNP), National Front (NF) and the English Democrats , have in recent years on Merseyside fermented anti-Irish sentiment through their active support for street based fascist politics and at times supported direct attacks against Irish community parades in Liverpool.

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool urges a strong message be sent to these parties on election day that their message of hate and division is not something the Irish community supports and will be rejected. The Irish on Merseyside have a strong history of confronting and fighting fascism and racism. Please use your vote to send the racists and bigots packing, reject sectarianism and racism; promote diversity and tolerance.

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Cairde na hEireann Liverpool urges Irish support for Liverpool March Against Fascism.

Saturday 12th October sees the Unite the Union organised ‘March Against Fascism’ in Liverpool. Speakers at the rally include – Salma Yaqoob, Colette Williams (BARAC/Chair of Unite Community), Len McCluskey (Unite), Billy Hayes (CWU), Bob Crow (RMT), Paul Nowak (TUC), Christine Blower (NUT), Dave Prentis (Unison) and Weyman Bennett (UAF) and Joe Anderson (Mayor of Liverpool).

We in Cairde na hEireann Liverpool urge Irish community support for this important event that aims to send a message out to the haters that Liverpool is One Community and to reject the message of hate sent out by various fascist groups and individuals. The Irish community, more than any other community in Liverpool during the past 2 years, has faced an onslaught of attacks, threats and intimidation from far-right groups aimed at driving Irish community events/parades of the streets of Liverpool. These attacks were fully documented in our February 2013 launched document Under Pressure:  A Report Into Far-right And Loyalist Attacks Against Irish Community Parades/Marches in Liverpool During 2012.

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool urges members of the Irish community to join in with the Irish contingent on next week’s march and send a clear message that we as a community will not be cowered by the behaviour and threats of fascists and to remember with pride the very real anti-fascist tradition inherent within the Liverpool Irish history and identity.

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Irish Citizen Army 100th Anniversary Proudly Remembered in Liverpool

On Saturday 7th September 2013, Liverpool’s Irish community remembered the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Irish Citizen Army (ICA). Led by 7 Republican flute marching bands from Liverpool, Scotland and Ireland, the march followed a city centre route through Liverpool with an outdoor rally in the Holy Cross area.

In this Decade of Centenaries, the formation of the ICA of trained trade unionist volunteers by Liverpool-born Irish Trade Unionist James Larkin and Jack White was established in response to attacks by Police and gangs in pay of the employers during the Dublin Lockout of 1913. Other prominent members included James Connolly, Seán O’Casey, Constance Markievicz, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. In 1916, it took part in the Easter Rising – an armed insurrection aimed at ending British rule in Ireland.

The rally was addressed by both Steve Higginson, Secretary of the Liverpool-based James Larkin Society and Sinn Fein Councillor Micheal Mac Donncha of Dublin City Council. Clr Mac Donncha is author/editor of the recently published book ‘Lockout 1913 – Austerity 2013’. In his speech to the rally Clr MacDonncha made linked the current economic climate to the conditions faced by the Dublin working class of the early 20th century and the need for the formation of the ICA as a way of defending striking workers from both Police and Scab labour. Clr Mac Donncha also highlighted the fact that the irish in Liverpool are the first community/city to recognise the ICA and the positive role in Irish community life Cairde na hEierann Liverpool plays as it remembers the decade of centenaries.
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Liverpool Remembers Irish Citizen Army – 100th Anniversary March and Rally

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool are proud to announce details of our next event commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Irish Citizen Army (ICA). In this Decade of Centenaries, the formation of the ICA of trained trade unionist volunteers by Liverpool-born Irish Trade Unionist James Larkin and Jack White was established in response to attacks by Police and gangs in pay of the employers during the Dublin Lockout of 1913. Other prominent members included James Connolly, Seán O’Casey, Constance Markievicz, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. In 1916, it took part in the Easter Rising – an armed insurrection aimed at ending British rule in Ireland.

The sacrifice of the women and men volunteers of the ICA will be remembered with pride and dignity, as will their struggle for workers rights and the women and men of no property. It is right that we remember them and that they inspire us all to this day.

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The Liverpool Irish Community and a Decade of Centenaries.

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool wishes to state its commitment to ensuring that the Liverpool Irish community plays its role in remembering historic events associated with the ‘Decade of Centenaries’.

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Ireland 1912-1922 experienced a huge political upheaval associated with the ending of British rule in a majority of the counties of Ireland and foundation of an independent 26 county Irish state. Important events being commemorated during this period include the Centenary of the Ulster Covenant, the foundation of the Irish Volunteers, Irish Citizen Army, the Home Rule and Land Bills, the 1913 Lockout, the 1916 Easter Rising and many anniversaries relating to World War One including the Gallipoli landings, the Somme offensive and the battle of Messines Ridge. Also of note will be the Literary Revival, the suffrage movement, the struggle for workers’ rights and many other key events and themes of the period.

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Liverpool and the Liverpool Irish community played its part in the events associated with the Decade of Centenaries as witnessed by Irish National Party support in Liverpool for the Home Rule Bill, support for the 1913 Dublin Lockout, formation of the Irish Volunteers in Liverpool and participation in the Easter Rising, and Irish Republican Army in Liverpool 1919-1921.

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Cairde na hEireann Liverpool believes that the Irish community in Liverpool has a right to commemorate these important events in the spirit of historical accuracy, mutual respect, inclusiveness and reconciliation. The Irish community in Liverpool should be rightly proud of its support for Irish independence, workers rights and equality during this period in Irish history and it is right that its commemorations remember the individual women and men who’s histories often remain unwritten and forgotten. As stated previously, Cairde na hEireann Liverpool aims to remember these individuals and organisations during the coming years and that their sacrifices for Irish freedom and equality are justly remembered.ICA2