Gerry Bradley

You have to ask yourself - are they (the leadership) the only ones allowed to write books? Is history never to be recorded properly? It's no coincidence that Gerry felt compelled to write his book. And bear in mind, Gerry Bradley put no one in prison - Richard O’Rawe.

As each year closes it opens up a space in which to reflect on those who took their leave of us in the one about to face the final curtain. On the last day of 2010 my thoughts were on the late IRA activist Gerry Bradley who ended his own life in October. Tomorrow morning when Gerry Bradley’s children wake up it will be the first year ever that they have stepped into without him. That is how final it is.

Gerry Bradley is someone I never got to meet in person or speak to. I feel the less fulfilled for that. Like most others who travelled on the circular Provisional journey from old partition to new partition, I knew of him. It was hard not to. His formidable reputation as one of the IRA’s more efficient operators travelled before him. I was in the public gallery in Belfast's Crumlin Road Courthouse the day he was sentenced for his part in an operation against a top RUC commander. I was friendly with two of his co accused and went to the court, where I had so often stood handcuffed in previous years, just to be there for them.

I thought at the time it took a lot of commitment to be doing what he was doing at his age and twenty plus years into his IRA career. So many others had found safe niches in the ‘don’t go to jail departments.’ How many who joined the IRA in 1970 were coming into jail in 1994?

I first found myself writing about Gerry Bradley when he published a book detailing his life in the IRA. In the wake of publication he quickly found himself subject to the hostility of people who thought that books were something to be burned rather than read. Although I had not yet read his book it irked that a writer should be hounded. I could instantly identify with him and, so, wrote in support of him.

When I did get around to reading Insider: Gerry Bradley’s Life in the IRA, which he co wrote with Brian Feeney, I was pleased to discover that it was a great read. It was an IRA book, written by an IRA activist with an IRA frame of mind. There was no guff in it nor was it the self serving fictionalised account of a life long peace activist. It was a no-frills IRA book, raw without being raucous. The effort that went into it fitted with the description later provided to me by someone who knew both he and his family well: ‘a very wise man who was sharp and shrewd and although he had little or no schooling, once the conflict started, he was extremely intelligent.’

Unfortunately, as the former IRA hunger striker Gerard Hodgins pointed out,

Gerry Bradley's mistake was he wrote a book without going to them and asking their permission … If you wanted to write a book, they would expect to be presented with a copy for them to censor before it goes to publication.

The ‘them’ Hodgins referred to was the Provisional leadership, some of who put out a lot of books lacking in the candour featured in the work of Gerry Bradley.

As he was soon to find out the journey from Insider to Outsider can be one that covers a lot of ground in extra quick time. When Gerry Bradley became the outsider what he was forced outside of was a shrinking group of people who shared a weird belief system despite an abundance of evidence that had long punched holes in it. There was no end to partition or British rule. Ireland United was the stuff of poetry not life in Belfast. Gerry Bradley knew it and said as much. His outsider status did not mean however, that he stepped outside either his circle of genuine friends or the love of his family. They all remained intensely proud of him. They have every reason to. His children, whom he was intensely proud of in turn, were harried into education by him. At his insistence each of them stayed on at school. He instilled socialist values in them and urged them to look after each other no matter what. I guess that helped get them through the trauma of his death.

Gerry Bradley was a strong and determined man but succumbed to despair in large part because as an ex-combatant his intense combat activity had ultimately resulted in very little substantive change. A person who knew him well framed his state of mind at the time of his death in that experience.

if this could happen to him it could happen to anyone. I'm looking at the faces of ex-prisoners and volunteers and I see the same despair there. I didn't notice it to the same extent before, although I knew it was there on some level.

Said to be a very private person there was, in spite of some sensationalised headlines, little room for marvel at his decision to have his wake and funeral a strictly family affair. He had a disdain for the wider funeral industry in which he saw people out of pocket trying to cover the costs of death insertions in papers and who struggled to ‘buy over priced flowers that would wilt and die within days.’ Nor had he any wish for IRA trappings. For long he had carried the IRA and did not need it to carry him on his last journey.

At no point did Gerry Bradley regret writing his memoir. He took the precaution of seeking legal advice before it was published. Not for his own sake but to ensure that no-one would ever go to court or even be questioned because of it. As his fellow hounded writer, the irrepressible Richard O’Rawe stated, ‘Gerry Bradley's book resulted in no one doing a minute in jail.’

Yet, as someone he confided in explained, he regretted the pain unintentionally caused to his friends ‘who got hurt after reading the press around it before they actually read the book. That was never his intention. He wanted to pay homage of sorts to them.’

And pay homage he did. Not that the idiots, the intimidators, the whisper weasels, the Johnny Come Lately types could discern anything like that. They who fired many liquid shots down their throats for the IRA but no lead ones elsewhere, all queued up to smear Gerry Bradley as a tout. As persuasive as labelling the Pope a protestant. So impotent was their rage that they were denied the braggadocio that would have gone with claiming they drove him to end it all. Their smearing, vicious and squalid as it was, had no input into his death. Gerry Bradley was determined that this life was no longer for him. He did not end his life because of the fall out over his book. As was concisely explained to me, ‘he simply wanted to write his book before he died.’ His mind was made up.

For his decision to write we remain grateful.


  1. A very moving piece. SF leadership no longer represent the Republican opinion. They are shameful. They are surrounded by youthful dreamers/fantasists and self servers.
    They confirm the historian Froude's assertion that the Irish, unlike the Americans, did not want to fight for their freedom; merely to whinge enough to force the English to grant them concessions. And also that the Irish leaders merely wished to turn Irelands woes to their own personal advantage.
    Will order his book tomorrow in Easons, and Richards. I hope the money goes to his kids.
    SF 'thinking' would likely have us believe mcguinness and co. are playing politics while the PSNI is laced with taigs awaiting the moment to become David Nelligan's and Broys...and the party faithful would buy it. When reality shows they [ mcguinness adams donaldson and scap etc ] are the Nelligans in reverse.

  2. Well said Anthony,when Gerry,s book was first published and discussed here on the Quill I was critical of something Gerry had written in his book.without going into detail as its outside my remit to talk about the individual mentioned,I can say that the family were deeply upset at the news of Gerry,s death and as true republicans expressed their sorrow to Gerry,s family,as you said GerryS book was a testament to his life of a volunteer in the republican movement,and what makes it all the more important is that it was undiluted and no "leadership "prints on it.yourself Anthony, Richard, and Gerry have shown the way ,hopefully more will follow.I do know that the Armagh women exprisioners have been collating their stories which will be published in book form hopefully in the coming year,and will be well worth reading, Nuala should be able to maybe give us more detail.I think the best tribute we can pay the likes of Gerry, the Dark, and those who have stood against tyranny be it Brit or Republican is to get the truth out to the people.sin e

  3. Im being my honest- not smart

    I have a different take on this book if former comrades were named
    for doing jobs if their permission
    was not asked-


    I think in his last few seconds he
    had regret's -
    there are plenty of jonny come latelys who now show there chests to the armed brit army who have left the stage [ im not talking about anyone on the Quill- yous know that ]


    If you are on the pain-killers don't worry- i will drink for both of us-

    good luck to all here- may the debate's and arguments continue.

  4. A fine tribute Anthony. RIP Whitey

  5. very well written, Anthony. I read Gerry Bradley's book and found it to be a powerful read. And even though I never met him personally, I felt a sense of sorrow when Gerry died. Sorrow, especially, for all his internal pain & all that he suffered. Gerry Bradley has left an indelible mark on my soul. May he rest in peace

  6. Mickeyboy what a mate! when I dump these painkillers a cara I have a few bottles of the plum poteen and several bottles of Jacobs creek that will need emptied, and I intend to give the walls a talking,i,ll raise a glass to you and Robert when I,m able as men who stood their ground!Anthony have you come across a writer by the name Don Akenson,I,ve been given his book AN IRISH history of civilization vol1 and 2 and there,s quite a bit of reading in them?

  7. Mackers,
    A very poignant piece. Gerry Bradley had the courage of his convictions and as many of us are currently aware that type of courage is no longer in vogue.
    Gerry Bradley was a very active member of the IRA, therefore he was well placed and perfectly entitled to say his piece.
    However, his book contained one fatal flaw and that was the truth.
    Gerry Bradley told the truth, not Sinn Fein or the so called IRA version of the truth, but his truth which was borne out by experience and actual events.
    He paid a high price for the truth, they (mainstream republicans) castigated him, they ostracized his family.
    Assholes that never did anything more than wave a flag and made sure they waved it at a very safe distance, amusingly saw fit to give a running and less than flattering commentary on the book.
    As a soldier which he was, Gerry Bradley clearly found it incredibly hard to reconcile himself to the sellout, he stuck to his guns (no pun intended) to the end and hopefully he has been rewarded by finding peace.

    Lovely comment by Rosemary.
    I hope Gerry does not mind me using this space to take issue with some of the stuff you wrote Larry.
    'Froude's assertion that the Irish, unlike the Americans, did not want to fight for the freedom; merely whinge enough to force the English to grant them concession.
    If you mean James Anthony Froude, the English nineteenth century historian? How the hell would he know? Hardly a military man and considering he would have been writing around the time of the United Irishmen, he was writing about people who created history not commentated from a safe space.
    In other words Larry he could not have laced their boots.
    Just as those who castigated Gerry could never have laced his.

  8. Larry, who was he writing about then?
    Fail to see the connection, so no I do not get your drift.

  9. Larry, if he was not speaking about the United Irishmen who was he speaking about? I am not trying to split hairs genuinely curious to know.

  10. AM

    You are at your very best when you write about comrades who served in the army. When I first read Gerry Bradley's book I found it difficult to understand why the SF leadership found it so offensive. His co writer Brian Feeney does a fine job in setting out what life was like for a volunteer during the period in question.

    I am certain if he had so wished Gerry could have written a book which was far more damaging for some senior members of SF, but he chose not to.

    I wonder if it was the length of service Gerry saw; which in some ways was on a par with those British Tommy's who served through WW1; and became known as the old contemptibles. It was these men who stood in the way of the political elites who after the war ended, wished to portray WWI as a glorious,just war. They were the lions who were led by ruling class donkeys and were not slow in pointing this absolute fact out.

    It has become increasingly clear over the last decade that the same type of individuals are re-writing the history of the PIRA insurgency.

    Far from condemning Bradley's work 'all' Republicans should have encouraged and treasured it. Instead a section attempted to hide it away in the darkest recess, why? Perhaps they thought it might encourage others to put pen to paper, appall their new found friends, who knows, who cares, for what I do know is they shamed themselves and the struggle they served by doing so.

  11. Very haunting to read those last few lines. HAdn't read his book in about a year. Decided to reread it this morning and although only a third of the way through its even better the second time. His book was a classic in that it brought an account of how operations were prepared/planned, the ASU structures etc. It was something new. A refreshing take that distinguished itself from all the other books written on the war.

  12. I am far from convinced that obituaries are the place for off the topic discussions and disputes. Any other place but them. All comments are welcome but there are other pieces that such issues can tag onto.

  13. Erin,My Lovely Erin

    Oglach Robert kehoe-
    ...'the last words of Oglach Padraig Parle before he killed himself in a premature explosion in Edentubber were 'Erin my Lovely
    Erin,farewell my Lovely Erin'.

    The Mother

    I do not grudge them: Lord, I do not grudge
    My two strong sons that I have seen go out
    To break their strength and die, they and a few,
    In bloody protest for a glorious thing,
    They shall be spoken of among their people,
    The generations shall remember them,
    And call them blessed;
    But I will speak their names to my own heart
    In the long nights;
    The little names that were familiar once
    Round my dead hearth.
    Lord, thou art hard on mothers:
    We suffer in their coming and their going;
    And tho' I grudge them not, I weary, weary
    Of the long sorrow—And yet I have my joy:
    My sons were faithful, and they fought

  14. Marty,

    That was a nice account. Gerry vaulted the wall of censorship and some were determined he would not have a soft landing. The Armagh book should be interesting if it is not controlled.


    That was a very nice comment. His book impacted on many who read it.


    So true.


    Thanks for that comment. Much appreciated. It seems we both now are writing a lot of obituaries about comrades. On our way back from the fair.

  15. Thank you both for your kind words, Nuala & Anthony. Like very many who have lived in west Belfast, I knew of Gerry Bradley. He was quite the legendary figure. But I lived in Andersonstown and never did personally meet him, as I said. His story is made so much more tragic given the way his so called "friends" behaved towards him & his family. I have no other word to decribe their behaviour other than despicable. Unfortunately, the powers that be in SF have behaved in this manner of late towards just about everyone who disagrees with them (yourself, Anthony; Dark; Gerry; Richard O'Rawe and my dear friend Hodgies are just a few who come to mind here). It takes a very, very strong person to be able to tolerate and withstand that type of behaviour and not let it beat them down. Especially when this behaviour--the ostracism, the condemnation, etc--continues unabated. Codes of honour did not exist here. These people essentially "kicked" Gerry with their treatment of him, and when he was down they "kicked" him even more. As I said, Gerry has indeed left an indelible mark on my soul. And as for those cowards who helped to destroy him, I have no words...

  16. Anthony that generation of Armagh ex prisoners are not the type that would be easily controlled, can you imagine trying to muzzle our Nuala,well multiply her by the bakers dozen,I pity anyone who would try.these women dont polish their teeth ....they sharpen em!!!!!

  17. I have read this Obituary several times because like everything that is written pertaining to ‘The Troubles’ these days has a nasty tendency to throw up more questions than answers.

    As the sands of time march towards the 30th anniversary of the ’81 Hunger Strike, surely it is time for all the current elements of 21st century Irish Republicanism to take stock with a proper sense of realism, honour and humility. There must be a blanket halt called to the egotistical driven bickering, vicious recriminations, malicious Chinese whispers etc, etc. ~ ‘Divided We stand, United We Fall!’~

    The act of Hunger Strike dates back to Brehon Law and throughout Ireland’s colonial rule has been a highly effective tool of last resort in bringing the fight to the British, galvanising the Irish people as well as raising global awareness towards the Irish cause. One thing that we can agree on is that the ’81 Hunger Strike catapulted the current PSF leadership into the corridors of Stormont where they remain in 2011. For the sake of their comrades and their fellow Irishmen and Irishwomen, ‘The 10 Brave Men’ took the fateful decision to swallow NO food, deep in the knowledge that certain death awaited them. Not only did they sacrifice their lives for their fellow Irishmen and Irishwomen but they entrusted that their fellow comrades would carry the cause forward with the same conviction and servitude as they had demonstrated. 30 years on, is it to much ask for some of these very people who ‘The 10 Brave Men’ entrusted with their hopes and aspirations to NOW swallow their pride?????

    The Obituary reminds me of the famous quote by Fidel Castro;

    ‘I began revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and plan of action’

    I have no doubts that the likes of Gerry Bradley, Brendan Hughes et al could be described as having had the attributes of the 10 or 15 fore-mentioned. I think Castro’s quote has also poignant and tragic relevance to the quote by a friend of Gerry Bradley’s that you inserted above:

    ‘if this could happen to him it could happen to anyone. I'm looking at the faces of ex-prisoners and volunteers and I see the same despair there. I didn't notice it to the same extent before, although I knew it was there on some level’.

    Suffice to say, one cannot begin to fathom the inner turmoil that people with such absolute faith and plan of action must be going through when they witness the systematic destruction of a cause that they devoted their lives to and watched their comrades die for (i.e. the current Anglo/Irish Act of Criminalisation of 40 Years of Struggle’).


    Finally, there is the thorny issue of whether or not former combatants should write about their experiences during the war. Yet again this issue has divided sentiment. One simplistic rebuke could be that Gerry Adams has by now completed writing his very own ‘Enclopedia of Irish Republicanism’. But then Gerry's writings may not be a good example since he was never in the IRA was he???

    On a serious note, we cannot forget that there was a 40 year ‘Dirty War’ waged here. Whilst, the writing of such books may be viewed by some as opportunistic, self-serving etc, do we have the right to deny future generations of Irish Republicans access to the truth and hence the opportunity to learn from our mistakes?

    "Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul." ~ Mark Twain~

  19. @Michael Henry:

    'there are plenty of jonny come latelys who now show there chests to the armed brit army who have left the stage'

    PSF always make a big issue out of the fact that they got brit troops of the streets. The simple fact is that there was no need for a VISIBLE sign of Brit troops once the PSF leadership got the provos to decommission. Also, brit troops levels have not left the proxy war stage, they are currently at pre-1969 levels...that is one fact that PSF spin machine (borrowed from Tony blair) can't bluff off.

  20. the rebels yell
    good piece. Be nice at the end of the SF road trip when electioneering hits a dead end if Adams and co. had to leave the stage in shamed silence as former comrades stared at them. The oportunists and kiddies who support them will be left confused and bewildered then, like many others along their self serving journey.

  21. AM-

    This could be a little of topic for
    here but im just returning the

    the rebels yell-

    You quote fidel castro as some kind of hero, this is a man who has allowed the american army to have a military base and prison on
    cuban soil-his soil,
    thats why he only wanted 10 or 15 people- so he would only do a half ass job,

    You say that there is no need for
    brit soldiers because the Provo's
    put their weapon's beyond use- thats a good one- what about the 3
    armed hardline [ laugh ] dissident groups -

    There have been plenty of pre 1969
    barracks which have been removed from Irish soil- i know i know you are opposed to this- shout, protest
    complain all you want but you wont
    stop the peace process-

  22. the surrender process michaelhenry. u desrve a holiday in dysneyland.

  23. Michaelhenry,

    nothing is being policed on the issue and it is up to a person how they wish to comment. Larry pulled his own contributions and that is up to him. I did not request it. I just have a preference for leaving obituaries a battle free zone unless there is something about the obit that needs commented on or critiqued. There are a range of other posts where the various points of contention can be carried across to. But ultimately it is up to those who comment where they wish to comment and what they wish to say.

  24. Michaelhenry

    It is good to see you are following the current Sinn Fein trend of knit picking around the peripheral and ignoring the core issues.

    ~so he would only do a half ass job, ~

    First of all as regards Castro he has seen no fewer than nine American presidents come and go. The quote I used is Castor’s public response to the failed attack by him and 100 of his followers on the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba. He then was exiled to Mexico and set up the 26 July Movement and did not fail on his second attempt to over throw the Batista regime!!! I.e. he was not afraid to publicly acknowledge the failure of his first attempt. I think Michaelhenry the quote is self explanatory as regards the dedication required to REALLY revolutionise a country/region.

    ~ What about the 3 armed hardliner [ laugh ] dissident groups ~

    The following quote is from a recent article by Suzanne Breene with Brian Arthurs, former commander of the Tyrone Brigade when he said:

    "No one can deny that there have been changes in the North but it is an equality agenda being pursued. People did not die; they did not take up arms, for equality. They did so for Irish freedom.”

    Also interviewed in the same article was Peter McCaughey, brother of Martin who was gunned down along with Dessie Grew by the SAS in 1990. He had the following to say regarding your illustrious PSF DFM, MMcG,:
    “Was my brother a 'conflict junkie', a 'neanderthal' or a 'traitor to the island of Ireland'? That is what Martin McGuinness would call him if he was killed on active service today. My brother was a freedom fighter. He fought for a united Ireland. That goal is still there and remains deeply cherished by republicans in Tyrone………….We were disgusted when Martin McGuinness stood at the gates of
    Stormont with the chief constable of the PSNI after Massereene and demonised republicans. He did not speak for us."

    While you may scorn the very existence of militant Irish Republican opposition to British presence on Irish soil, the pendulum has always swung between peaceful and militant methods of upholding the ideals of the 1916 Proclamation and Irish national self-determination. James Connolly believed in constitutional action in ordinary times, revolutionary action in extraordinary times…

    ~There have been plenty of pre 1969 barracks which have been removed from Irish soil~

    I was talking about Brit troop levels not the physical structures that housed them!!!!! Of course these structures were moved and replaced with bigger, more fortified and intimidating ones…. Since your much vaunted GFA, the 5,000 Brit troops present have also been joined by a£100m MI5 building in Belfast and a most recently a special Brit intelligence unit in Derry.

    Finally, I am not wishing the pseudo peace process to fail it is imagining to achieve that on its own….

    ‘Keep the Faith and spread it’ ~Oglach Brian Keenan~

    Beir Bua

    P.S. Apparently, laughter is medical proven to be a sign of nervousness, embarrassment or when we are unsure of ourselves- might be worth getting it checked out ….

  25. Cheers Larry,

    I have to agree, I reckon back in the day the PSF leadership must have got too much into listening to The Who's 'Magic Bus'!!! I am sure their hallucinatory bubble will soon burst abit like NI Water, and no doubt when it inevitably happens it be a shock horror event followed by who other than us can we blame other than 'ourselves alone'...

  26. Mickeyboy I dont see what your beef is with Fidel,after all el presidentie the bearded one has no problems visiting Cuba and by all accounts loves the place ,he has nominated it as one of his favourite holiday destinations, and Mickeyboy when it comes to holidays the bearded master know the heap!you could be getting yourself a visit from psf thought police if you keep talking outside the box mo cara.

  27. The Rebels Yell Said...

    The act of Hunger Strike dates back to Brehon Law and throughout Ireland’s colonial rule has been a highly effective tool of last resort in bringing the fight to the British, galvanising the Irish people as well as raising global awareness towards the Irish cause. One thing that we can agree on is that the ’81 Hunger Strike catapulted the current PSF leadership into the corridors of Stormont where they remain in 2011


    Fasting was used as a method of protesting injustice in pre-Christian Ireland, where it was known as Troscadh or Cealachan. It was detailed in the contemporary civic codes, and had specific rules by which it could be used. The fast was often carried out on the doorstep of the home of the offender. Scholars speculate this was due to the high importance the culture placed on hospitality.{In
    ancient eire it was illegal to not
    invite someone into your home and offer them food regardless of who
    they were}Allowing a person to die at one's doorstep, for a wrong of which one was accused, was considered a great dishonor.

    The Brehon Law Code also had a law
    about shame.If you shamed a person
    in public,and made them blush,it
    was considered an offence if you
    couldnt justify the reason you
    made that person blush.The 'guilty'
    person would have to pay compensation to the 'innocent'.

  28. The Rebels yell-

    Good to see that you are following
    the past and current anti Sinn Fein
    crusade of ignoring the core issues

    You think that castro really won his war- his revolution allowed the
    armed american army and its prison
    to stay on cuban soil- yet you complain about the 4460 armed brit
    soldiers kept inside there barracks in Ireland [ the r.a.f pulled out ]you support the cuban system put not the Irish one.

    I think that you have to check some facts out your-self old hand-

    At the special ard fheis on policing arthurs voted yes that day
    its all on camera-

  29. Marty-

    It might be a shock to you but their is a lot of discussion at Sinn Fein meetings- if any of the leadership were present and this topic came up i would say the same as i wrote-

    What Gerry Adams thinks about cuba is his own business and good luck to him- but i have my own thoughts.

  30. Believe me Mickeyboy I,ve been to more psf meetings than I wish to remember,and yes there was a lot of discussion ,but even at cumainn,and comhairle ceantair level I found that the decisions had already been taken ,and I watched and participated in making sure the wishes of the leadership were voted through at Ard Comhairle,and Mickeyboy if you wish to remain a member of the party faithful you will refrain from expressing opinions not in keeping with the party leadership,which in itself can be very difficult as these views change on a daily basis,failure on your behalf not to stay in tune ,in other words say nothing untill Gibney, or trickey dickey Mc Auley clears it,or you may be visited by one of Dennis Donaldsons successors and mo cara theres a lot of them !so if as you say you are a independant minded person and I dont doubt you are,then life in psf must be very lonely,

  31. Michael Henry

    So I take it you don't have a problem with 4460 soldiers - Really!!! I suppose if they are stationed here to help PSF rule Norn Irony as part of the United Kingdom you are probably wanting/begging them to stay to keep the brown enevelope and dodgy diesel cross border Republic going that the Brits allowed you to keep for services rendered!!!.

    From the fore-mentioned article by Suzanne Breene McCaughey is quoted as saying:

    "Two years ago, it reached the point that we couldn't stay," McCaughey said. "We were told at a meeting in Tyrone that Sinn Féin's support for the PSNI wasn't just a written policy, we had to implement the strategy in full or leave. So we left."

    ~ the past and current anti Sinn Fein crusade~ you say plzzzz less of the melodramatic and patronising poor us we are on a pedestil BS because we liberated you tone... who do you think you are kidding Mr Henry??? Do you really think such a pathetic bow your heads and tip your cap to us OLDHAND IRISH attitude works anymore??? There is only one core issue and that is WHEN will Ireland be a 32 county socialist Republic. PSF cannot provide their electorate a British withdrawal date can they???

    You rant on there about me avoiding the core issues YOU have not mentioned one of many saliant points that I mentioned in my previous posts. The PSF leadership and brain washed minions like yourself are on a crusade to ram down their doctrinal crap to the rest of us.... its akin to the Hitler youth movement to be honest...painting letter boxes green to save Irleand my ar*e...go and read a recent book published on Na Fianna and get a proper Fenian GROUNDING...

    Finally, Brian Arthurs is well able to speak for himself I am well sure... but the camera bit you mentioned makes you sound like an RUC Special Branch i.e. we will use this in evidence against you if you don't comply...

    If you want to begin to learn about proper Irish Republicanism then start with 'The Rights of Man'(1971) by Thomas Paine. In the mean time you can start by digesting the fore-mentioned article by Suzanne Breene here is the link.....

  32. Continued...
    As regards the American base I take it you are referring to Guantánamo??? I take it if you ahd of researched the topic you would have not made such flipant remarks..

    Rosevelt forced a lease agreement on the Cuban government which was signed on February 16 1903, granted the U.S.

    "the right to use and occupy the waters adjacent to said areas of land and water… and generally to do any and all things necessary to fit the premises for use as coaling or naval stations only, and for no other purpose."

    The returning Guantánamo to Cuba is complicated by the agreement signed by Batista in 1934i.e. the legacy of a dictator that Castro removed.

    Batista's agreement states: "Until the two Contracting Parties agree to the modification or abrogation of the stipulations of the agreement in regard to the lease to the United States of America of lands in Cuba for coaling and naval stations… the stipulations of that Agreement with regard to the naval station of Guantánamo shall continue in effect."

    To the U.S. this means an "open-ended duration" that can only be terminated by mutual agreement. To Cuba it means that Guantánamo Bay is "occupied territory."

    On June 14 2002, at the United Nations General Assembly, Cuba demanded that Guantánamo territory be returned to the island.

    And for your information the US government has sent a cheque every year to the Cuban governement for the lease amount and NOT ONE CHEQUE HAS EVER BEEN CASHED.... no 12 pieces of silver there Michaelhenry!!!!

  33. The rebels yell- and yell you can

    There goes the civil comments

    you said that the brits give me brown envelope's- you want to imply
    something-you want to repeat that

    you also said i was brain washed
    you also want the last brit to leave date made public

    Even you admit now that the americans still have occupied territory in cuba- are you happy with this-

    No 12 pieces of silver- just armed american troops on cuban soil
    the revolutionary movement is about
    removing the bad laws not to keep them

    when the last of the brit army goes
    the american army will still be in cuba.

  34. There Are Things Stronger Than Parliamentary Majorities-Bonar Law

    The Rebels Yell..
    James Connolly believed in constitutional action in ordinary times, revolutionary action in extraordinary times....
    There is only one core issue and that is WHEN will Ireland be a 32 county socialist Republic. PSF cannot provide their electorate a British withdrawal date can they???NO THEY CANT

    WHEN?...The only class of people capable of bringing about a 'socialist republic'are the working-class.It has no real and
    immediate value to any of the other class's.

    Mickeyboy said...I think that you have to check some facts out your-self old hand-...

    Eamonn Gilmore{Sinn Fein Workers
    Party,Labour Party,New Agenda}-
    'James Connolly beleived in constitutional politics'
    No.James Connolly said that a socialist should go into the council chambers as a socialist,or not into the council chambers at all.Connolly was a revolutionary who believed in Gealic Communism.
    He believed in an Irish Socialist
    Republic who's mere mention would
    act as a beacon of light to the oppressed of the world.That's a
    million miles from the position of todays Labour Party.Or any of the
    Political Parties.North or South.
    East or West.

    You see,Mickeyboy,Bonar Law was Right.There are things stronger
    than Parliamentary Majorities.

  35. Thank you AM for this article and for pulling no punches.

  36. A Chairde,

    Anyone who questions Fidel Castro's revolutionary credentials or mentions the current non-leadership in the same breath, is an absolute eejit, pure and simple !

    beir bua,


  37. Well that was no surprise-
    that wit brian clarke supports the
    american troops and all that they are doing on cuban soil

    its time for him to realise what he
    write's- don't just criticise
    say your own arguments- that is what the Quill is for.

  38. just got Gerry Bradleys book today and Richard O'Rawes, Royal Mail is very efficient [ thanks Mrty ]
    Have a feeling my exam on Monday has had all the prep' it needs.

  39. I measc laochra na ngael go raibh a nainmeacha,éíre óg.

  40. Michaelhenry

    Civilised comments are for a civilised society and believe me the Partitioned Ireland of Ireland is far from it!!

    My use of the term 'brown envelope' seems to have hit quite a raw nerve!! Personally, it is entirely up to you what implication to draw, I am not a big fan of pedantics!! You see mo cara when you join a political party/political system (in your case PSF) then you personally become part of that collective system, therefore YOU and YOUR party become inextricably linked to the good/bad/ugly elements of that very system. i.e. when a member of a party brings shame on themselves, then they inadvertently bring shame on their party and their entire political system. ‘The Profumo Scandal’ (1963), ‘The Fake Suicide Scandal’ (1974), ‘Watergate Scandal’ (1970’s) and most recently Berlusconi ALL involved a handful of people but had the propensity to destroy (and did eventually) their respective political systems.

    When I used the term ‘brown envelope’ I am including anything accepted by a member of a political party/organisation for information that is detrimental to those people that they are affiliated to and/or represent. .i.e. bungs, payments for privileges, ‘supergrass’ activities etc. Even Wikileaks is now under the umbrella of the ‘brown envelope’ (LINK: ). When I used it in my previous statement in conjunction with dodgy diesel I was paraphrasing a speech by one of Ireland’s greatest ever and ground breaking Socialists, Bernadette Devlin, in a speech she gave at a James Connolly commemoration. (LINK: )
    Her exact words were:
    “small farmer, small swindler and brown envelope Republic that we have in the South or a smuggled cigarette and dodgy diesel Republic that I think we are heading for in the North.”

    So since you are a member of PSF which is a self professed party of the ‘Partitioned Island of Ireland’ I was merely picking one example from each side of the border.

    You and your party profess to be following a purely democratic path YES??? Well let’s take an example of Denis Donaldson which I think is entirely appropriate for this thread. Donaldson was a SELF CONFESSED ‘supergrass’ where as Gerry Bradley was dogged by unfounded accusations because he decided to tell the truth about his entire life’s dedication to upholding the ideals of the 1916 Proclamation and Irish national self-determination. He was not giving any trade secrets away because lets face it thanks to Donaldson et al I doubt there were few secrets left that the Brits needed!

    Donaldson is famously photographed along with MMcG and GA in a photo I like to call ‘The Irish Republican Trilogy’. The repercussions of his ‘touting’ given his position within YOUR party, should have resulted in a political scandal and ramification similar in magnitude to those fore-mentioned for WE THE PEOPLE.

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. The rebels yell-

    Here comes more mitigating evidence

    One of Irelands greatest ever and
    ground breaking socialists-
    bernadette devlin- yeah- she who
    swore allegiance to the anti catholic crown 4 times
    time for you to read and know your history

    Going by you comment every liverpool supporter has to take the blame along with there manager
    [ i know AM ]
    every irsp person has to take the blame for the wrongs of a few

    You sound like you are a loner
    nobody can bring shame on-to you-
    except your self.


    So if YOUR party and Norn Irony’s political system is so democratically motivated where was the political fall-out???? Instead, Donaldson appeared at a sheepish, last minute press conference and then was whisked away to Donegal where he met his inevitable end. Surely, the Donaldson Affair should have resulted in the biggest shake up within PSF since its formation??? Furthermore, your party waves the Democratic flag in one hand and seems to wield the authoritarian club in the other when it comes to its internal running, if former party member comments are anything to go by. E.g. Christy Burke (Dublin), John Dwyer (Wexford) and most recently Pat Cox (F & ST) to name just a few etc.
    With due respect to yourself, as an avid PSF member your comments reflect the lack of FREE thinking that seems to be non permitted PSF. All through this discussion you have steered away from confronting the issues. Your whole approach to this discussion reminds me of a barrister dissecting a plaintiff’s statement, looking for the tiniest scrap of mitigating evidence. They are glaringly lacking in the vital ingredient to proper debate which are critical thinking skills. REAL democratic political debate has feck all to do with semantics, it is about exploring and formulating open-minded ideas, articulating them and having a proper understanding of rhetoric!!!!

    Let me make it categorically clear Michaelhenry, that I was not questioning or slurring your personal integrity with my comments because if I thought that of you personally I would not have invested so much time in these responses mo cara!
    However, the treachery of Donaldson et al to WE THE PEOPLE cast a dark suspicious cloud over the PSF leadership and each and every member in our psyche. Until YOUR party shows proper accountability and transparency then WE THE PEOPLE will continue to do so!!!

    ~the people have the right to abandon the party, the party does not have the right to abandon the people’ ~Bernadette Devlin McAliskey~

  44. Michaelhenry,

    "The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race." ~Charles Bradlaugh~

    You never cease to amaze. I think your both your latest and previous comments speak volumes about your level of understanding of your country's struggle. I was wondered how long it would take you reach the level you just did and yet again you did not fail to disappoint! But mo cara, I don't blame you are only reflecting the social traits of your indoctrinated political outlook.

    You have the audacity to speak about Bernadette Devlin taking an oathe, whilst MMcG and Co. sold out EVERY ounce of their Republicanism just so they could join the rest of the fockers on Hill to administer the Queen's cuts on Irish soil...

    Insinuate what you want mo cara but I would prefer to educate myself out of the myre rather than be dragged back down by the masses.

    "Are we amateurs & not professionals? We know the lessons of history, we know the mistakes and we either act accordingly or collapse. Salvation lies in clarity & the courage to implement change" ~ Thomas 'Ta' Power - INLA ~

  45. michaelhenry and the rebel yells
    sssshhhh quiet lads for goodness sake yiz will waken hearts in me throat.

  46. I wouldn't call Adams mi6 Martin and Donaldson the Irish Republican Trilogy I'd call them the Unholy Trinity. Altho I recon most shinners are well dodgy.

  47. Larry,

    The trilogy was a typo and I had meant trinity but with my battles with this commenting system on long comments I decided to leave well enough alone. Trilogy works in the sense of 3 very individual paths that got us to this point. But unholy trinity is defo way better...

    We know who the unholy spirit of conflicts past is, but not sure about which of the other two would get the respective father and son titles. maybe Marty since he was described as the 'IRA godfather of godfathers' and the bearded one the son given his dah's IRA background????

  48. "Are we amateurs & not professionals? We know the lessons of history, we know the mistakes and we either act accordingly or collapse. Salvation lies in clarity & the courage to implement change" ~ Thomas 'Ta' Power - INLA ~
    was in on a supergrass trial same time as Ta Power and all the other, many supergrass accused in the early eighties. Great guy.

    Banks and people who were in the Dail for 30 and 40 yrs a time have no interest in learning the lessons of history any further than awaiting the next 'bubble' to line their already stuffed pockets.
    Makes me sick the electorate keeps voting the same trash back in. ALL the parties in the Dail knew what was going on. They are all responsible.

    I won't comment on the Cuba debate, michaelhenry cannot see past his own propoganda..pointless.

    I believe the entire SF leadership and anyone it it know exactly where they are coming from, WHITEHALL.

  49. Larry dont worry about Nuala,when I mentioned to her that you were coming up to Belfast on a visit. she said she had to hurry home and prepare the oven for another turkey,whatever that meant mo cara!

  50. Marty
    i'm more afrain of Fionnuala than a week in gough barracks!!

    I'm 2/3rds the wat through Gerry Bradleys book, great read. I'll bring both books to bshaft when i come, cheers mucker.

  51. Yeah Larry be afraid be very very afraid,and then there,s Marie and the rest!you can be gratefull that Helen and St Mary Hedgehog are far far away mo cara!

  52. Michael

    You would have to dig back through the articles the Cuba land lease was already discussed in one of the articles I can’t remember who I had discussed it with. Not that I am a fan of Castro as one dictator looks like another over the years I have got to know a few Cuban exiles and their accounts of the revolution sound more honest.

  53. The Rebels Yell!!

    You might have to yell a bit louder as our Mickey is a wee bit corn- beef and relies on the PSF trinity of see no truth hear no truth and speak no truth.

  54. Tain Bo
    just read Bradleys book and am 2/3 the way through O'Rawe's. Hear no, speak no, see no TRUTH is bang on the money with SF.
    Our lecturers in History tell us 'originality' is a point scorer, that has us confused as we're supposed to be relating historical fact. However, i'm feeling these books could be the source of an extremely enlightening 'original' little dissertation from me next year.

    do i need bullet proof vest and crash helmet then?

  55. It occurs to me that a newspaper add in the run-up to the elections in Louth etc from Hungerstrikers families saying their loved ones did not die for Adams to sit in the Dail might be appropriate.

  56. Larry the press could do us all a favour and put a public health warning with all the political election material in the run up to the forthcoming elections,"voting for these f##kers WILL seriously damage your future and health!

  57. I haven't been as attentive to media output as I possibly should have over the last decade or more. Lost all interest. Got a feeling nothing even remotely 'off track' from supporting the GFA was being heeded. Media coverage just seemed a closed shop.
    Maybe it's just me, but it seems minimal coverage has been given to O'Rawes revelation about the treachery over the mountain climber. Also, just how low SF have actually sunk in search of popularity is ignored.
    Anyhow, I enjoyed those books and it was great to see all those familiar names who were hero's to me half my lifetime ago. Just a pitty bout the context they were being read in.
    Was good to see big Storey was man enough to be decent to O'Rawe. I liked that. You think of the needless deaths and guys like Davy Glennon and the likes of Paddy McGlinchey who did huge sentences back to back almost, and plenty like them. Then look at where SF ended up and worse still the route they took.
    I can't speak for the fantastic guys involved in the blanket protest or those who did huge time, but i can speak for myself. Adams McGuinness Gibney and co. are like the bankers, smug scumbags who believe they got away with the biggest scam in history. In my opinion that is.

    Marty, wont be long now...mines a pint of harpic yabhoy-ya.

  58. Larry
    The only original line from the great party would be they won by losing. As for historical fact anyone who dares critique their failure is simply labeled anti peace no matter how well or factual individual accounts are PSF just banish them to the new hell for their blasphemy against the one true great party unholy bible accounts of the struggle.
    Fair play to you if you do get the time to pen an analysis you will be in good company of those exposing the myths and lies.

    Here is a link to an interesting site about the hunger strikes.

    When you do go up north stop by Mickey’s house he will lend you some riot squad gear as the cops rent it out now that way you should survive your visit with Nula and if you’re lucky Marty might share some of his holy fire water.

    Slan mo chara

    All anti PSF history shall be erased in 2016 when the dictator takes over Ireland soon to be named Gerry ‘land.

  59. Tain Bo
    just opened up the site there. Seems full of info. I'll make a cuppa char, brows through it; give me an hour break from study.

    I'm no expert or authority on the jail issues at the time, better men than i were involved in that. I entered the fray in the supergrass era.

    Get the distinct impression Adams contempt for Army Council proceedure at the time was a precursor for his antics throughout the 'surrender' process and decomissioning.

    cheers for the site, i think it's important that facts are recorded not fiction written, i mean what objective historian can swallow the Adams line he was never in the IRA? History is not propoganda.

  60. Gerry Bradley


    ‘Anthony that generation of Armagh ex prisoners are not the type that
    would be easily controlled, can you imagine trying to muzzle our
    Nuala,well multiply her by the bakers dozen,I pity anyone who would try.these women dont polish their teeth ....they sharpen em!!!!!’

    Good for that. Nuala seems to have gone AWOL on us. Hope the Master doesn’t have her in on of his secret plots.

  61. hope she's not diggin anythin up in advance of my foray to bshaft!!

  62. Anthony I think Nuala may finally have fallen foul to one of Alberts out of date specials, or,they have been caught running the eleccie of the street lamppost again!the worst possible scenario is she has had her vino " Spiked", We did see the xxxlarge{ one to many mince pies} Bob doh put a large bundle wrapped up in a carpet into his boot the other day, No matter what dreadful fate has befallen our beloved Nuala unless a silver bullet or a steak through the heart has been used ,then in the words of Arnie "she,ll be back "twice as deadly and three times as lovely!

  63. Larry,

    O'Rawe's account has been well documented in the media to the point that you will find very few in the media who now accept SF's account. It is simply not a plausible narrative. The motives behind rejecting the offer that O'Rawe refers to can be debated further but that an offer was made which the prisoners accepted and were overruled on by the leadership is pretty much accepted as correct.

    Adams even said on an RTE featured documentary he had never heard of the Mountain Climber until recently. Falsehoods like that hole the case beneath the waterline.

    'biggest scam in history' - certainly in republican history

  64. Mackers,
    The book which was Eileen Haddock's/Hickey's brain child is still a work in progress.
    The book which belongs to all the women is currently being written by some of the women, it has and hopefully will remain untainted.

  65. Good to see you back on Fionnuala, looking forward to reading that book and hope it remains free from the hands of SF and what they view as permissible. I heard Mary Kennedy has passed away. RIP

  66. Anthony, Danny Morrison in April 2009 said there was an offer from the British but that "the hunger strikers told (him) that they wanted a representative of the British government to come in and stand over what was on offer."

    He also said "Now, what the British were offering fell short of the five demands but whether it would have been enough to end the hunger strike was never put to the test because the British refused to meet the hunger strikers and stand over their offer. So there was never a deal."

    I can't help wondering that if there was a legitimate offer to end the second hunger strike surely it would have been accepted: Sinn Fein would have gained electorally by showing their skill in dealing with the British and the prisoners' demands would have been met. If there was a deal and it was rejected for no good reason surely the British would publicly have disclosed this to the detriment of Sinn Fein and Republicanism as a whole. It would have been a bigger coup than the more risky Anglo-Irish Agreement and a more efficacious remover of support for Republicanism.

  67. On the original post I found Gerry Bradley, from reading "Insider", to be a man of integrity as his account seemed free of malice. It was honest and modest.

    I still can't comprehend his death as I read his book shortly before he died. The fact that the person, who came across as very real and likeable to the reader, is dead is hard to understand.

  68. Nuala,

    ‘The book which was Eileen Haddock's/Hickey's brain child is still a work in progress. The book which belongs to all the women is currently being written by some of the women, it has and hopefully will remain untainted.’

    I hope so too. What use would it be if they all told us they were never in anything?


    The issue of the hunger strike has been exhaustingly addressed elsewhere. I think if you read Afterlives, if you have not already, you will find as compelling a case as you are likely to come across.

    There is no longer really a serious dispute (if we rule out the dog ate my homework type of defence) about an offer being made and rejected by the leadership. The remaining room for serious discussion is to be located in the realm of motive. There is a school of thought which feels it was to ensure Carron get elected. I remain unconvinced. But in the absence of any convincing case being put by those opposed to O'Rawe the Carron angle probably holds poll position.

  69. Great Guy,True Republican who`s only crime was to despair at the lack of Leadership within the RA.Gerry Bradley/Glasgow.