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'Facts Wrong On Hunger Strike' - Joe O'Neill

category national | miscellaneous | other press author Friday May 19, 2006 15:36author by San Report this post to the editors

Speaking at a meeting of Republican Sinn Fin in Bundoran this week, Joe O'Neill said the leadership of Provisional Sinn Fin had sold out the ideals of the 10 hunger strikers who died in 1981 "with one stroke of a pen."

"Political Status. That's what they died for and that's what Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness destroyed in one act," Mr O'Neill said.

Mr O'Neill knew two of the hunger strikers, Martin Hurson, one of the youngest and Francis Hughes "one of the greatest guerilla war fighters of all time" personally and knew the families of all the other men who died.

As the 25th anniversary commemorations for the republican prisoners who died on hunger strike passed Mr O'Neill said, "I would like to point out the lies and the spin that Provisional Sinn Fin and the news media are putting on the hunger strikers of 1981," he told the meeting.

"Daith O'Connell, and not Jim Gibney was the man who who first proposed that Bobby Sands should fight for the Westminster seat in Fermanagh/South TirEoghan," he said.

"At a meeting in Clones around that time, Ruairi " Bradaigh had a very hard time getting Bobby Sands nominated because Gerry Adams and company did not want him to run. They weren't sure he would be elected by the people."

According to Joe O'Neill "In the lead up to nomination day, Noel McGuire had not withdrawn his nomination and Gerry Adams and Danny Morrison wanted Sands to withdraw his. They phoned across the border to " Bradaigh and Daithi O'Connell who were both wanted by the English authorities in the six occupied counties but they said 'no' Bobby Sands was not to be withdrawn," Joe O'Neill explained.

"And we all know who was right in the end," he added.

Mr O'Neill said he hoped the media would realise, once and for all, that newspapers, documentary makers and so-called historical books had their facts wrong, especially now on the 25th anniversary of Bobby Sands' death.

Mr O'Neill also said that Provisional Sinn Fin tried to dissuade republicans from fighting election in the 26 counties. He pointed to the fact four more Sinn Fin members were elected that year, including Joe Rice in Kerry, John Joe McGirl for Sligo/Leitrim, Gareth O'Hanlon in Monaghan and Ruair " Bradaigh in Longford --"all on republican policy," Joe O'Neill said.

"The difference between the elections of the 1950s and 1981 was the earlier elections were held in support of the fight for Irish freedom while Provisional Sinn Fin used the fight for Irish freedom to support them getting elected."

Moving on to the Peace Process, Mr O'Neill said, "The three biggest betrayals in the last century was 1921, 1986 and 1998 when the British wanted to talk and were prepared to pay anything to end the war in England. Since 1998, the English have paid wads of money to rehabilitate Provos, for Sinn Fin offices, Stormont wages and expenses so yes, the British paid off Provos."

Joe O'Neill also criticised the Good Friday Agreement as "the day of betrayal of the hunger strikers and what they died for".

"That day Provisional Sinn Fin threw away political status and signed away the rights of Irish men and women to fight for Irish freedom," Mr O'Neill said, "Margaret Thatcher could not break the spirit of the hunger strikers but, Adams and McGuinness did it with one stroke of a pen," he concluded.

Related Link: http://www.donegaldemocrat.com/story/6613
author by Padraigpublication date Fri May 19, 2006 15:43Report this post to the editors

I have to agree, it is about time people understand that the GFA got rid of political status.

Republican prisoners in Maghaberry now fight again for their rights to be treated not as criminals but as POW's. No Republican is a criminal, no matter how many pieces of paper the Provisionals sign.

author by hunger strike supporterpublication date Mon May 22, 2006 20:37Report this post to the editors

republicans seem to have real difficulty in understanding that Thatcher prevailed in the struggle over the criminalisation of not just the prisoners but the legitimacy of Irish self determination. 10 prisoners died and in a very short time republicans were being extradited across borders as criminals and in a relatively short time later the republican leadership were capitulating completely to Britain and the Irish governments offensive by accepting an imperialist settlement. The insistence that the hunger strikers won does not help in regrouping an anti imperialist movement and portrays the nationalist community in the 6 cos in a very strange and fickle light, they were prepared to endure great hardship and repression for decades only to capitulate after allegedly defeating the british state in a crucial battle of wills. Not likely, the gfa is the result of strategic shortcomings and defeat. An inability to recognise this and the need for an honest attempt to question the militarist /elitest strategy of republicanism that not only failed but allowed no questioning or acknowledgement of that failure is the single biggest obstacle to developement of a regroupment which can begin to construct a strategy for the huge task of defeating imperialism. A little bit more of militarism is totally irrelevant in the cirumstances.

author by Barry - 32csmpublication date Mon May 22, 2006 22:41Report this post to the editors

The fundamental lack of internal democracy within the Provisional movement not only greatly contributed to it but has served since then to obscure its reality . The nonsense of the organised "victory" celebrations in 1994 and the repeated assertions that " we won the war" have been of no service to the anti imperialist struggle in Ireland whatsoever. Its a delusional position , ludicrous when held up to the light of day .. No proponent of any strategy , whether military or political , should demand it cannot be questioned lest it benefits "the enemy" , no leadership or its flunkies should be permitted to demand immunity from constructive criticism and honest republican critique .

Any regrouping within the republican position though must firstly engage in rigorous self examination and critique , and top of the agenda must be a clear definition of what the republican seperatist position actually entails . What is the republican seperatist objective ? Any regrouping incapable of honestly addressing these primary tasks is doomed to failure . Republican seperatism holds that the British presence in Ireland is thoroughly illegitimate in every sense . This basic position which appears self evident has unbelievably been successfully obscured and abandoned in pratice . British rule has been given not only de facto but de jure legitimacy by the provisional leadership . That is the totality of the defeat . No defeat in Irish history was ever as complete .
Any successful strategy should also take on board the fact that the mere fact of the partition of Ireland alone is incapable in the current context of motivating the mass of opinion to seek its removal . Factors such as section 31 , the revisionist agenda adopted as the ideology of the mass of politicians and media pundits and their daily promotion of it as a mainstream position have caued major damage to the national psyche . The long war which at times through its cynical viciousness served only to confirm revisionist propaganda that "northerners" werent part of "Ireland" by virtue of their sheer vicious lunacy has been a major factor also . Rather it is the manner in which colonialism maintains its dominant position in Ireland , the practice of its undemocratic politics which must be focused on . It is this which has an adverse affect on everyone throughout the entire island and which has the potential to galvanise opinion and then action . The republican separatist strugle must be a national struggle which holds all undemocratic positions on this island to account and scrutiny and moves to challenge them on this basis. The various establishments cannot allow the focus of the national struggle to be confined to the north eastern corner of the country . Instead any successful strategy must concentrate on the practice of politics which deny us our sovereignty in its entirety , our resources , our neutrality , our territorial integrity . Which denies the Irish people full accountability and scrutiny of the vested interests in this country which uphold the entire undemocratic colonial mess accross the entire island .

It must also be capable of engagement with th unionist position which includes more than throwing green papers at them as the SDLP and provisionals have done , or pandering to the undemocratic nature of their position as the free state parties have done . Neither position is a democratic engagement .
Ilook forward with interest to see if discussion of this proposed project continues as it seems to be gathering pace and momentum as a concept . Will the concept become a reality ? Will the vehicle prove viable ?

author by baffledpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 00:23Report this post to the editors

At the end of all that, I am none the wiser as to what Barry actually advcocates as the way forward. The Provos have sold out, so therefore we must - what?

author by Troll spypublication date Tue May 23, 2006 11:44Report this post to the editors

who arent remotely amusing

author by Non-dissidentpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 12:27Report this post to the editors

Barry says:

'The various establishments cannot allow the focus of the national struggle to be confined to the north eastern corner of the country . Instead any successful strategy must concentrate on the practice of politics which deny us our sovereignty in its entirety , our resources , our neutrality , our territorial integrity . '

I confess, I haven't a clue what this means about the way forward. Does it mean war is ruled out? Does it mean that war is ruled in? Does it mean that politics on their own is in? If the latter, what form should it take? What EXACTLY does the 32CSM advocate as the way forward? Nobody seems to know. And Barry refuses to enlighten us.

author by Barrypublication date Tue May 23, 2006 13:00Report this post to the editors

. If you genuinely want to know what 32csms postion is go to their website . Which would be a good idea to do soon as the state bandwagon is rolling as regards having it shut down with the SDLP now joining the chorus for censorship of our political position.

I have pointed out to you before 32csm is an unarmed non military organisation and it does not advocate the use of force at anytime , yet you persist in claiming its does as well as insinuating I would have knowlege of arnmed activities. I dont and dont wish to engage with you any further on that topic . Thats why I referred you to its website.

Its also quite clear you persist in asking me what a certain armed organisations plans may be for the future when Ive made clear I have no knowlege of this . Id suggest the best way to find out would simply be to go and ask them in person . I cant help you on that score nor would I if I could . I also regard your assumption that I would know as extremely sinister . Please desist from trailing me around this site . Its evIdent you are from some agency Irish or British which wishes to know such things and I find your persistent harassment of myself on this site and your attempts to elicit such information that I have no knowlege of nor wish to have any of as quite sinister . Especially in the current climate of state activities towards our organisation and its individual members. Another reason why I will not be engaging with you . I

Id also strongly urge any republican activist not to engage with this poster in whatever guise he takes " amused , Barry spy , baffled , non dissident"

author by An Fear Morpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 18:07Report this post to the editors

I'm not surprised that the meeting was held in Bundoran. Hasn't Joe O'Neill a Pub there? Joe seems to have served Ireland from behind that bar counter.

author by Non dissidentpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 18:13Report this post to the editors

Barry, you have very strange standards. You are not shy of asking other people to describe their strategy. But when you are asked this question, you simply refer people to your dense website, while abusing them as 'trolls.' This is either evasion or hypocrisy, or both. Other people seem to be able to write a paragraph summarising where they are coming from. Not you. You can wax at tiresome length on the shortcomings of Sinn Fein and the perfidity of the British, but cannot summon up the energy to describe your own strategy. This rather suggests a poverty of thought, of the kind that denotes imbecility.

As to your relationship to the Real IRA and violence - well, you repeatedly express the view that the IRA campaign of the past was some great heroic effort against the British that failed only because it was sold out. This rather implies, to my mind, that you feel a resumption is warranted - if not now, then sometime soon. Your general enthusiasm for Ruairi O'B (with some mild and unspecified criticism) supports this view as well. It is difficult to read your eulogies for the armed activities of the past and then take seriously your assertion that you don't advocate violence - if you are at all serious, this would suggest you are a hypocrit or a liar, or both.

So - is there no relationship between the 32CSM and the real IRA? Again, a movement with your ideological credentials that does not encourage membership of the Real IRA (and therefore of more Omaghs) would be just a bunch of hypocrits, or liars - or both. So what is Barry - are you a liar? a hypocrit or simply an idiot? it is hard to know....

author by An Fear Morpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 18:32Report this post to the editors

So Gerry Adams pandering to Unionists and being made fun of is the way forward is it? The DUP are having a ball at the expense of Republicans.

author by Martin Collinspublication date Wed May 24, 2006 17:31Report this post to the editors

Who ate all the pies Barry?

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