Kevin Hannaway Speaks…….

From The Broken Elbow Youtube footage of Kevin Hannaway speaking at an Eirigi event in Derry last year.

Thanks to a German reader for sending these YouTube links to a talk given by Kevin Hannaway, at a conference in Derry hosted by Éirigi last year to mark the anniversary of the 1971 internment swoop. As the reader commented, it is clear that he has been a member of the ‘dissident universe’ for some while. Getting arrested, allegedly for that sympathy, puts things on a different level however.

Here are the three videos. Enjoy:

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

7 comments to ''Kevin Hannaway Speaks……."

  1. Ed

    There is a prejudicial danger here in labeling KH a dissident before he is convicted of anything. About 95% of the clips you provided is about KH recounting his life up to and including being interned and tortured in the early 70's. So your German friend's comment that "it is clear that he has been a member of the ‘dissident universe’ for some while" is disturbing.

    These tapes do not in any way indicate that KH is a dissident. In the last few minutes of the last recording KH explains how the IRA objective have not been achieved. You have been making the same point in a number of your recent blogs -can we conclude from that that you too are a dissident just like KH?

    Éirigi is supposed to be a non violent Republican organisation unaligned with any of the violent dissident groups. Although Éirigi's credibility on that is not entirely clear, there are undoubtedly a significant number of Republicans (Old Guard or not) who do not support or agree with SF but that does not make them dissidents -they remain the same Republicans that they have always been -that is what KH was explaining in very matter of fact way.

    I have no knowledge one way or the other about the validity of the current charges against him but your tapes are meaningless as evidence that he is a dissident. If there are real grounds for the charges against KH and given his prestige could we be looking at an IRA/SF split rather than KH has aligned himself with the alphabet soup brigades of dissident factions?

  2. Diplock Court,

    I am not sure that is the only interpretation that can be put on it. I have long said I am a dissident. Being a dissident is not the problem, but the inflection that has been put on it.

  3. Diplock Court,

  4. AM

    I was aware of you identifying yourself as a dissident before. There is something to be said of adopting the label that one's opponents put on you -we can get the nuance of when a black man might refer to himself as a 'nigger' but I don't think it is quite the same for a Republican doing it.

    The reason SF use the term is to strip opposing Republicans, with a legitimate counter position, of their republican identity -in doing so they maintain their position as the 'legitimate voice' of Republicanism against some 'other'. I think when you adopt the term you kinda put yourself on the back foot and create an unnecessary argument for yourself that dissidents are [R]epublicans too and 'not by the way' [r]epublicans also incidental to being dissident. Personally I think you should re-claim your Republican identity as your only identity and not adopt SF labeling of being lesser because you do not support them. Dissident in the Irish context is intended as a dirty label and if you don't adopt what your enemies call you then you need not waste time having to defend your integrity or identity or having to explain that 'dissidents are also a Republican', and in your case, 'I'm a dissident but I don't support the violent ones'.

    Listening to KH on the tapes I heard a Republican talking and not a dissident. I certainly did not hear him advocating violence which has become a term more synonymous with dissidents. We have seen how easy it is for people to face serious charges once they have been negatively labeled and de'republicanised.

  5. It's clear from the clips KH was sharing his experiences as a life long republican
    the charge of assisting an proscribed organisation sounds weak to me, does it mean
    one can't speak at a rally not supported by sinn fein? I do agree Eirigi seem to sit on
    both sides of the fence in regards to armed actions, with d acception of Steven murney
    they were very quick to deny that Duffy, Shannon ect was not acting on there behalf
    when arrested.There credibility in this regard should
    be questioned, considering some of there founding
    members were involved in the provisional movement
    When the end of the armed campaign, decommissioning
    and support for policing happened.

  6. Diplock Courts,

    I was referred to and employed the label dissident long before it became a terms of abuse by SF.

    I think a republican must by necessity be a dissident.

    However, we did not refer to ourselves as dissidents when we were part of the PIRA dissenting from the British and that means we are depicted as being dissident in that it is SF we dissent from.

    I see it differently. We dissent from the Treaty that SF embraced much as Ernie O'Malley and Liam Lynch, Liam Mellows et al dissented from a similar treaty.

    I think the mistake here is not in wearing the dissident tag (it is not a yellow star) but in failing to work to retrieve its meaning from those who have distorted it and applied it pejoratively.

    That said, it takes up a lot of energy explaining the tag, and life would be easier without it.

    When Sakharov and Co were on the go Dissident in the West was a laudable description. Shows how language is used and meaning is positional.

  7. AM

    "I think a republican must by necessity be a dissident." My thought exactly and I was going to refer to the controversial 'renegades and mavericks' led by Tommy Kearny.

    As we have seen in legal history, tarnish or brand someone's name with a form of social leprosy and it is easier to convict them. And yes for Republicans like yourself life would be easier without it so why do SF's work for them by perpetuating it? Perhaps you should reclaim your Republican identity which you have earned -and there are no mistakes about your challenging (dissenting) voice and if there are you are pretty good at making yourself crystal clear -its one admirable talents.


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