'You’ll Be Shot Dead By Christmas’: Volunteer Liam Ryan And British State Collusion In Tyrone – Murder At The Battery 25 Years On

Ahead of next weekend’s commemoration for Volunteer Liam Ryan in Ardboe, Sean Bresnahan, the 1916 Societies PRO, reflects on suspicions of state-involvement in Liam’s killing and the need for Britain to admit the truth of its terrorist crimes in Ireland. The piece featured in the website of the 1916 Societies.

Liam Ryan was 39 years old when shot dead by the UVF in the hallway of the Battery Bar, by the shores of Lough Neagh near Ardboe on 29th November 1989, 25 years ago in a matter of days.

The weapons used in Liam’s murder – and that of his friend Michael Devlin who died alongside him that dark winter’s night – were part of a South African contingent brought into Ireland by key agent of British Military Intelligence and prize asset in loyalist paramilitarism, the infamous Brian Nelson.

But not only did the Brits arm the death squads, who tortured Tyrone and Mid-Ulster all through those frightening years, they directed them and pulled the strings. We know from the myriad details disclosed and arising from the Nelson case itself they provided the targets, safe passage and whatever else it took – the killings at the Battery were no different.

Indeed Liam had been repeatedly threatened with assassination in the weeks and months leading up to his death, being told in a chilling forewarning by the local RUC ‘you’ll be shot dead by Christmas’. Despite the area being saturated with Crown forces throughout the day, by the time the killers arrived on the scene to do their foul deed, the roads, as always, had been cleared for them – a recurring phenomenon in many assassinations in Tyrone and the wider Mid-Ulster area.

This is no coincidence. The blood of Liam Ryan and Michael Devlin, as so many others, is ultimately on the hands of the Thatcher government in power in England at the time and their overlords the British Crown.

Liam and Michael’s heinous killings were not an isolated happening and formed part of a terrifying campaign of state-sponsored murder, orchestrated from the highest office of British state power in London. For years people said republicans were crazy – that the British would never behave like this – but the truth is slowly coming out now bit-by-bit, piece-by-piece. They are guilty of every charge laid against them and more; they know it and they are covering it up. We are not crazy.

The souls of Liam Ryan and Michael Devlin, of Tommy Casey, Kathleen O’Hagan and Roseanne Mallon, Dwayne, John, Malcolm, Tommy, Paddy Shanahan, Patsy Kelly, Phelim McNally, the dozens more who were victims of collusion, who were killed by proxies of a state up to its neck in the squalor of a systematic terror campaign waged against the ordinary people of Tyrone and beyond, their souls all demand justice and justice will be done.

Justice will be done because the families, the loved one’s of those murdered under such obscene circumstances, will never give up and we will never tire of standing beside them until they get the answers they deserve.

Britain will one day stand in the dock, its terrorist crimes in Ireland exposed for the world to see, and we will not rest until that’s the case – no matter how many years, no matter how long the struggle, no matter what obstacles they put in our way….


* * *

The family and friends of Volunteer Liam Ryan, assisted by the 1916 Societies on the Lough Shore and East Tyrone, are holding a series of commemorative events next weekend in Moortown and nearby Ardboe.

On Friday 28th November an exhibition focusing on Liam’s life and contribution to the struggle for freedom in Ireland will open to the public in the Kinturk Cultural Centre in Moortown, running from 6pm-10pm and open to everyone. It’s hoped the Relatives for Justice ‘Remembering Quilt’ – which features many of the victims of British state collusion with loyalist death squads – will be among the items present, along with contemporary newspaper cuttings and artefacts relating to the storied life’s-journey of Volunteer Liam Ryan.

The following morning, 11am Saturday 29th November, a short wreath-laying ceremony will be held at Liam’s grave in Moortown followed by the main commemoration, leaving the Diamond Corner in Ardboe at 2pm and proceeding to the republican plot at Ardboe Hall.

That Saturday evening an Irish Night has been arranged, again in the Kinturk Centre, with excerpts from a soon-to-be launched DVD on the life of Volunteer Liam Ryan to feature. The exhibition will also be available all day on the Saturday from 10am-10pm.

Everyone welcome and for more information contact us through our Facebook page, on our Twitter account, or here on our website, 1916societies.com.


  1. I always felt a bit hypocritical condemning the Brits for such tactics when we deployed them ourselves. The hypocrisy of the Brits always irritated me, when we targeted individuals we were terrorists, when they did it they were heroes or denied accountability. As for the Brits being held to account for their crimes that's not feasible. As long as the u.s, British, Israeli axis of evil exists the only people who will face jail for war actions will be the people who oppose them.

  2. "I always felt a bit hypocritical condemning the Brits for such tactics when we deployed them ourselves. The hypocrisy of the Brits always irritated me, when we targeted individuals we were terrorists, when they did it they were heroes or denied accountability."

    Yes David, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter.

    The difference is one of perspective; the terrorist/freedom-fighter qualification dependent on where one views it from.

    The adaptiveness of forgetting or remembering is influenced by current goals. Those who demand adversarial out-workings rather than agreed outcomes will advocate remembrance. Those aspiring to co-operative co-existence will see commemoration as maladaptive and have a tendency to shun it as such .

    That's the way the cookie crumbles!

  3. Thanks for carrying this Anthony and hopefully Saturday will see the people of Tyrone turn out in their thousands for the events in remembrance of Liam. Quickly in terms of David's point, I believe there is a qualitative difference in violence as practiced by the Brits and that of those who opposed them, that difference is found in the reactive nature of the Provisional campaign to the British onslaught against the civil rights movement and the wider nationalist people. John Hermon once said in an interview relating to Loughall 'they fired first, and I'd go no further than to say they fired first'. Well when you shoot 11 civilians dead on the streets of Belfast you're going to get a response amd once the genie's out of the bottle it's not easy putting it back in. Things degenerated, no doubt, but the blame lies with Britain - they fired first. Violence did not originate with the Provisional IRA... They responded to it in defence of the nationalist people and they'd every right to. No Brits - no conflict. They are and have always been the problem in Ireland

  4. I am giving a talk at Queen's on Tuesday night on State collusion and this is the case study I will be using. The article is a little disappointing as there is no new details or a wider discussion. You state that in all loyalist murders in East Tyrone at this time the roads were cleared for the gun teams, I disagree. In one of the murders you mention the gun team travelled a long way to kill their target and they were extremely paranoid about operational integrity, convinced the RUC were on to them. If stae collusion was widespread why were the jails full of loyalists? It seems that republicans see collusion everywhere, but there is a difference between individuals fingering people for assassination and a state polcy to remove people deemed to be a significant threat to law and order.
    The murders at the Battery Bar and Boyle's Pub I believe were carried out by British soldiers using UVF weapons and were clearly state sanctioned. The target was killed at Ardboe but the target escaped in Cappagh, the boys killed were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I doubt the UVF had the wherewithal to carry out these hits and they were part of a wider initiative to take out PIRA hawks who were trying to turn East Tyrone into the new South Armagh. Given the state's problems in administering South Armagh that was never going to happen. The PIRA in East Tyrone lost 24 volunteers shot dead by pro-stae elements between 87 and 92, no coincidence. What of the rumour that the gun team arrived at the Battery Bar by boat? What do the locals believe?
    You also don't put the murders into the wider context of what was happening at the time in this area, like 'flying column attacks' on Ballygawley, the Birches and Derryard or the targetting of off duty UDR men and people working in security bases. By my counting the PIRA in the 4 years leading up to Ryan's murder had killed 34 people. What happened in East Tyrone is a classic example of the futility of The Troubles, very sad for all involved on both sides.

  5. All the best with your presentation tomorrow night Peter.

    Perhaps you could publish an article here on your work?

    Indeed, looking back, it was surely futile and very sad for those injured or who lost loved ones on every side.
    And I agree let's not attempt to put grief in some sort of hierarchy.

  6. Peter,good luck with your talk on Tuesday night especially with the preconsieved idea in your head that there was not state collusion in all these murders. I knew it ,everyone in east Tyrone knew it even the dogs on the streets knew it you seem to be the exception. The British state was and is rotten to the core and the closer to the core you go the more rotten it becomes. I used to dread the sound of the helicopter at night especially after up to a week of ,security force,activity. Being stopped every few miles and searched. Then all of a sudden it would stop. Nothing,no cops no pigs . all gone. Then the inevitable. The murderers drive in do their deed and dissapear. Then for a few days our law enforcers would return and gloat about their chums good work. The collusion you are going to talk about happened and all the spin and theory's won't change a thing. The nationalist community were just a new form of 'fuzzy wuzzies'. One law for us and a different one for them. That is why the Brits will stretch out any inquiries into collusion for so long that anyone with any interest in justice for the victims will be long gone.
    As to the futility of the troubles there is no doubt but unfortunately when people are pushed so far there comes a time when they have no choice but to push back or so it may seem at the time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But sure the Brits knew this all the time. The murder of Liam Ryan and Mickey Devlin is just a drop in the ocean to what they have achieved throughout the ages. Hypocritical bastards.

  7. Thanks Henry Joy and Pat. No Pat I'm not saying there was no collusion in all the murders the difference is how high up it went. I think the Ryan murder went way up as a concerted attempt to degrade East Tyrone, other murders I very much doubt. In 87 the ET brigade killed 4 UDR men and one peeler, what response did they expect from people with the training and int? As I said, the jails were full of loyalists were they all working for the state or were they just being helped by state actors? We know how the British used the int in East Tyrone but where did it come from?

  8. Peter,as you may know the ordinary grunt wasn't paid to think. Theirs was not to reason why theirs was to do or die. If you are looking for answers start at the very top. A rotten system will do rotten things. Their survival depends on how ruthless they are prepared to be and the Brits never needed lessons on that score. They would eat their own children and then tell you it was for their own good. The gullable fools who do their dirty deeds are the ones I pity,as you said the cells were full of blood and thunder loyal loyalists whom the higherarchy didn't give two fucks about,or don't now either. As you know in their eyes we are all a bunch of troublesome paddies who they could do well without.

  9. ”what response did they expect from people with the training and int?”
    A presumption of innocence before any trial? Regardless of how the participants saws themselves (or their communities saw them) these people were still viewed by the state as civilians in legal terms. Armies (official or other) involved in the extrajudicial of civilians is called tyranny elsewhere.

  10. You're right DaithiD. Those murders were wrong. The ET brigade murdered 8 protestants at Teebane which resulted in 5 catholics being murdered in Sean Graham's bookies, 13 innocent people dead and for what? Looking back it was all madness. People on both sides were sick of standing at gravesides burying their friends and were radicalised. There can be no going back.

  11. The collusion thing may have been more subtle rather than full on. Billy Wright ran a gang and undoubtedly had intel from UDR personnel and RUC about patrol routines. He was in all probability a state agent too like Jackson.

    Once in a while a few 'braves' would be dispatched to jail keeping the big machine fed.

    Billy boy wasn't going to write his memoirs once the piss-process became a serious reality. He was placed where he could be taken out. Probably with state collusion there too. So, in the bigger picture, the Brits were running the entire show. lol

  12. BTW Peter, I too would like to see you put your paper here. I have no doubt it would be an intriguing read.

  13. Thanks for the comments Peter and Pat. I think Pat has dealt with the point at hand, collusion is a fact even if it hasn't been fully proven. I'm aware of the suspicions they used the Lough to make the getaway but the area was still vacated by the security forces to allow the operation to proceed no matter. I'm not an expert on collusion and would never claim to be, I don't know the ins-and-outs of how it was applied, but I believe that it happened and was a very real feature of British state policy in Ireland that went to the top - just like shoot-to-kill. I wrote the piece not as an expert on collusion but out of respect to big Liam, with his 25th anniversary commemoration being held this weekend. It was never intended as an academic exercise which is why it didn't address all you've touched on and your criticisms - it was written in 10-15 minutes whereas the type of discussion you hoped for would require something more indepth and researched than that. The other case you referenced, where they went into the village of Cappagh and killed those young lads and Tommy Armstrong, could never have have happened without British involvement, you couldn't have moved in Cappagh never mind the wider East Tyrone area without the Brits knowing it yet we're expected to believe the killers got in and out without coming across a roadblock or any other patrol - not a chance. They were allowed in to do the killing as the Brits couldn't get the opportunity themselves, although they had been trying. What I find fascinating in your comments is the idea the Brits carried out some of these killings themselves and used the UVF as a flag of convenienc. If you've any information on that I'd hope you'd share it with us, even if it's only opinion. For the record I agree we must strive to ensure this type of thing never happens again but, as I said earlier, we have to look to the source of the violence and that needs to be identified. Maybe if we can force them to admit their role in what they done here they might not get away with it a second time and that is what we should aim for at this point. The families of those involved deserve no less

  14. Sean Bres

    Thy will not admit to or divulge the extent of their dirty war. As far as the UK Government is concerned it was wrapped up with the Derry tribunal which I suspect was a one off favour for McGuinness. Families globally have been seeking closure for decades upon decades for British army dirty doings.

    If they all of a sudden 'come-clean' now where will that leave them regarding Iraq to name but one? Do you think their global menacing is finished yet?

    The hooded men will get no justice either just like Ballymurphy and Batang Kali. There may be a point for drawing a line under it all. If it is never to happen again, MOVE ON.

  15. The talk was a success I think. There is no paper, I used a powerpoint based on the chapter on East Tyrone in Maloney's Secret History, fleshed out with some anecdotes from conversations I had with UDR colleagues from there back in the day. Other presentations covered Finucane and Garda collusion with the South Armagh Brigade. The general conclusion was that it was a big, dirty, futile mess. A lot of good people died for nought and a lot of shysters got great careers, book deals and pensions.

  16. Peter,

    consider an article for the Quill; I wouldn’t mind reading what you had to say even a condensed version.

  17. Larry says move on. I agree.

    Human nature being what it is, there will always be a cohort who won't or can't move on.

    At a reactionary level we're all often attached to 'being right' or at least not 'being wrong'. Similarly we're sometimes attached to 'looking good' and avoid 'looking bad' or foolish.

    It takes a bit of courage and a small bit of education and/or personal development work to break out of such emotionally immature and reactive thinking.

    Unfortunately some haven't the capacity to do that ... and others just won't face the consequences of doing it (never mind the consequences of not doing it)!.

    Thankfully, the vast majority are happy the guns have been silenced.
    Those who want to keep them so are prepared to accept compromise.

    Its an imperfect solution.
    And it'll do for most of us.

  18. Henry Joy,were do you get them?,'a small bit of education','personal development'. You wouldn't be one of these new upwardly mobile educated types who will lead us all away from our dispicable pasts?. Could it be that your peers are all Eaton and Oxbridge educated that you would presume to look down your nose at us more common earthly types,the type who have borne the brunt of abuse from the invader? Some may be emotional and no doubt some immature but to attach the two to discribe anyone who may disagree with your West Brit attitude is quite frankly disgraceful. The Brit ruling class have a history of being 'educated' ,their legacy throughout the world,never meaning Ireland would undoubtly be something to aspire to, not.
    No one could be happier than I that the guns have been silenced and I pray they remain so but in all honesty I won't compromise my principles for anyone. That may be an imperfect opinion but it will have to do for me. With that said now let's move on.

  19. Hey ho, Patrick old chap ... Absolutely, lets move on. We're in complete agreement on that.

    Briefly and in the interest of clarity, given that we're both happy that the guns are silent ... and both you and I wish that they remain so ... which principles won't you compromise on for anyone?

  20. Long since learned to avoid 'the guru' Henry Joy Pat... Man's a complete bollocks with zero substance to his politics or his analysis. With THAT said let's move on, clowns like this troll have nothing to offer and exist to side-track debate behind a make-believe character they build for themselves. Palace Barracks for all we know

  21. Oh yeah Sean, keep personalising it!
    It deflects and avoids dealing with the substance of my contributions. That was a well established pattern with you until you decided I was a troll. Then you decided to implement a strategy of isolation. You couldn't even pull that off. You couldn't resist coming at me alongside pat murphy. My best guess is there's a right little bully in you.

    The 'clown' and 'bollocks' you project onto me is merely an enmeshment of your clown-like and bollocks-like qualities.

    With due respect I doubt if there's many who read your posts who expect much insight or novelty in terms of thinking or analysis ... I certainly don't. For a start you mostly come across as too angry to even think straight and secondly your comments often appear either uninformed or too constricted by outdated narrow ideology to warrant much thought or attention.

    As you say yourself, move on.

  22. I don't think anyone on here needs me or my comments to figure out the boul' HJ is full of complete mad-dog... You do the job yourself. No sense in getting any further into this with ye when no-one has the first clue who you are. The bottom line though is you're a shape-shifting troll who'll say anything to sound intelligent then change tune within the blink of an eye - it's plain for all to see. Was just giving Pat fair warning, don't take it personal, how could it be when I haven't a clue who you are! Good luck to ye, it's the price of posting here I suppose to endure your crap, feeding the trolls is just something that goes with the turf unfortunately. Add some of us on Facebook, Twitter or something, then we might be fit to judge whether you're genuine or just another half-wit

  23. Henry Jo,you are the one suggesting compromise,my reading from your gibberish is that you would expect people to change in some ways their beliefs and aspirations to maintain the so called peace. This to me seems like blackmail on your behalf. Do what I say or elce. I will not accept that a minority in my country can tell anyone what they should do. The Brits have tried that approach for hundreds of years with no success. To see yourself as irish is something you obviously don't understand, I contend that the small bit of education you seem to have gotten has not enlightened you very much. Maybe I should bend over to appease a few deluded biggotts who somehow feel that they have some godgiven right to walk over the likes of me?. This country belongs to the Irish people and that is the problem this fact I believe wholeheartedly and to deviate from this would leave me nothing more than a traitor. Maybe you can live with selling your principles for the queens shilling but I can't.
    No one but the Irish people have the right to decide what happens in Ireland. I have read a few of your posts and I am afraid to say you seem to be someone with very dodgy principles, I would hope I am wrong but I need convinced to the contrary. Might I suggest you consider the effect not having a set of balls will have on your state of mind in the future. I may be wrong in what I am promoting but I feel no guilt. Move on.

  24. Sean, your words and actions are mismatched.

    If you truly believe that my comments speak for themselves ... that they betray me, so to speak ... then why have you to constantly come with the invective?

    The site affords commentators the opportunity to remain anonymous; and sure I understand that can be frustrating for those who contribute under their real name. Though my opinions are often those of a contrarian they are rarely personalised.

    The fact that you find it necessary to personalise your comments so often will suggest to many that you are on the back foot on the relevant substantive issue.

  25. At the end of the day there's not much can be done but let you run on hard... Pat though has summed you up to a tee. Over and out, slan

  26. Pat,

    As you are free to choose your own thoughts and lifestyle I am free to choose mine. For me that's a basic principle. That's the type of society I want to live in, where one is allowed to choose their own thoughts and lifestyle.
    If it comes across that I'm imposing on you or others I apologise. I'm merely expressing my opinions rather than imposing my will. Those that are defensive are prone to confusing these two completely different positions.
    Freedom of expression is another basic principle I hold dear. I don't expect people to agree with everything I say though I claim my right to say it. Indeed you don't have to agree with anything I say but please afford me the courtesy of expressing my opinion. If you don't agree, then just say so ... and offer your own opinion if you so wish. If that can be offered without insult it will be more likely to be heard. If not expect not to be heard and to reap what you've sown.

    Pat I don't need to make you wrong for my opinion to be legitimate; few things in this world are black and white. Yes, life is still very challenging in the North, I know that from still occasional visits and I believe it will probably continue that way for the best part of another generation. In reality how can it be otherwise given our bitter history of conflict. I believe nothing but time can heal the deep wounds experienced on both sides. It could be unwise to push too hard and expect too much too soon. All comes to those who wait.

    The compromise I speak of is to recognise that; it will take time, patience and understanding. Yes all citizens are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect, all citizens are entitled to freedom of belief and aspiration. I agree wholeheartedly with you on those principles too.
    And in expecting those rights we must also be able and willing to afford them to the other side.

    Hope there's not too much gibberish in that.

  27. sean bres

    HeY 10/4 Good buddy. Slán abhaile (lol)!

  28. Henry,

    Wind your neck in and tell Sean your 20. If you want to CW mcCoy it, then join a convoy......

    @ Pat, a few few weeks ago I received an email from a poster that went along the lines... "Frankie, don't take Henry's bait and ignore his posts.." I've taken that advice..........

    @ Henry........ I aint no 'bear' I'm a Rockabilly from Ardoyne.. What about yourself?

  29. Henry Joy,thank you for your reply. Basically I must say you are correct in your statements. My main point is we in Ireland have experienced occupation for hundreds of years. Were the Brits went wrong was thinking they were somewhat superior to 'the bog men'. Maybe now they will begin to realise how wrong they have been. The Brits must realise they are a bastardrace scorned by not only the Irish but the vast majority of humanity. They attempted to subdugate the Irish throughout history thinking and hopeing paddy would lie down. Again how wrong they have been. They have tried to split the people of Ireland from day one but ultimately have failed and will continue to do so for as long as their obnoxious person remains were they are not wanted. To ultimately prevail we must stick together through thick and thin and not allow those who would,for their own selfish short sighted reasons, devide us as a people.
    Without the interference of the foreigner Ireland could once again take its rightful place in the world as a free and sovereign nation. God willing sooner rather than later. Then and only then will Liam and all his countrymen have not died in vein.

  30. Pat Murphy

    Stormont is rotten to the core and SF have surfed into the place on the back of 30 years of mayhem. They were able to stand for elections at any time.

    I watched the news last night and at the inquest of a British special forces soldier killed in Afghanistan the coroner was said to have wept at the families loss saying he was attacking a Taliban base near Kabul to keep 'us ' safe and to make the world a better place. Sentiments echoed by his family outside the hearing. Pure horse-shit but for some reason the require it to be told repeatedly.

    My point is not to compare Irish volunteers to occupying murdering professional soldiers in HM forces globally but to compare the delusional necessity to insist their sacrifice was not in vein. It was all totally in vein. The sooner this generation learns that and the following generations have it drilled into them with pictures of Adams and SF trash bags milking it to the hilt in STORMONT the better. Get the head straightened out. Any future political leadership has no reason to be less self serving than any of the countless others which have preceded it.

  31. Perhaps that's why the 1916 Societies, in many ways a fledgling successor movement to where many of us have come from, are committed to mechanisms that ensure such a leadership clique can't emerge again Larry and why we have a diffuse leadership model that vests all executive power in a democratic, accountable national structure that meets once a month and fully controls the decsion-making process. This forum is open to every last member of the organisation should they wish to attend - as many do. Obviously the Societies are a long way off being the type of force the Provisionals once were but who knows what can be achieved in time.

    The armed struggle was not in vain, I don't go along with that at all, even if it failed to achieve its primary objective of a British withdrawal. Regardless, it was an unfortunate but necessary phase in the ongoing liberation struggle in our country. What were those lads and lassies supposed to do, let the Brits walk all over the top of us, shoot our people down in the streets like dogs because they didn't say yes sir, no sir three bags full sir? The defence of the people was an absolute necessity and a task Volunteers like Liam Ryan were thankfully able to fulfil. While of course the struggle was about freedom and independence for our country we cannot ignore that we ourselves were under attack and those guys stood up to be counted - there was no failure in that.

    Bottom line is it's not over just because Gerry and Martin decided to sign on with the Brits and hoodwink the rest of us that it was somehow a magical strategy to take us to the promised land. Those days are over and republicans are regrouping, republicanism will come again. It's not over just because the forces ranged against us seem so great, because the crushing weight of the Good Friday Agreement suggests there's no getting out of its vice-like grip. What's the point in being defeatist or feeling sorry for ourselves, we've come back from worse and we'll do so again. Indeed if we look at events on the ground in the south of the country we can see that the political sands are shifting and an awakening is tsking place among the ordinary 5' 8" on the streets. Who's to say the next big push in the ongoing task of securing the Irish Republic will not come from the southern part of the country? I firmly believe it will

  32. Pat,

    thanks for your measured response. Yes it is true that we've endured a lot under the heel of our colonial masters.

    We're also in the process of working through the consequences. Thankfully no one will loose their lives over it today. I think we ought not overlook the significance of that. I also believe we need to make sure we don't go backwards into the abyss again.

    Those are my priorities rather than attachment to dogma. As Larry says it seems as all the deaths, suffering and jail-time were a waste.

    thanks for confirming what I already suspected. Nice little juvenile clique thing going on here, not though it matters much in the grand scheme of things anyway.
    It would be so hard to guess the author of said email (lol)!

  33. "an unfortunate but necessary phase in the ongoing liberation struggle in our country"

    So says Sean.

    Irish Republicanism achieved little of substance or worth over and above what would have probably unfolded anyway had the Home Rule Bill been implemented.
    We would in all likelihood find ourselves in pretty much the same place as we are now, a partitioned island with an independent country in the south and some northern counties as part of the UK.

    There's a possibility that ongoing reduced representation in Westminster by southern dominion representatives could have possibly exercised some influence on as to how Northern Nationalists were treated.

    I have belatedly and painfully come to the opinion that the whole militarist republican project of 1916 was ill-conceived ... and ultimately one of failure.

    The last moronic phase of terror resulting in the dropping of Southern aspirational constitutional articles for geographical unity and recognition in international law of partition. Great feckin' result lads!

    Better get used to the fact that for the majority the struggle is over.

  34. Larry,I'm afraid you are wrong. You seem to say that the two situations are somewhat similar. That could not be further from the truth. The SAS paid killer was killed invading someone else's country where he was not wanted and dispised. The volunteers who died here were defending their people from one of the most despicable powers the world has ever seen. I don't think it is delusional to say their sacrifice was not in vein. There sacrifice was made a necessity by the enemy as they had instigated hundreds of times before.
    As for the present shower in Stormont,all you have to do is open your eyes. Would sell out their own mothers,but sure in any sewer doesn't the scum always rise to the top?.

  35. maybe u can get a job with the sunday independent now henry.

  36. Sean it doesn't matter what you call yourself. Republican, fenian, United Irishmen. The 1925 boundary commission was shelved and the Free State sold the 6 counties for the scrapping of annuities and debts to Britain AND promised to encourage northern Nationalists to cooperate with and enter Stormont.

    That is where we are now. There will be no unity until the majority in the north agrees to it. The word republican does not give any advantage. Probably the reverse these days.

    Elections and mandate were supposed to be to quantify popular support for the armed struggle. Informers who sold out comrades were executed. Adams and McGuinness sold out and dismantled an entire army and got worshipped for it.

    People hardly need groundhog day republican movement...day 99 ffs.

  37. Suggested reading for some folks on here.

    Deikman, A. (2004) Them and Us:
    Cult Thinking and the Terrorist Threat. (With an introduction by Doris Lessing.) Bay Tree Publishing.

    Them and Us is an updated resentation of Deikman’s 1990 book, The wrong way home, and probably the best book on the ubiquity of cult phenomena, a way of thinking we all share in some measure. When we belittle others, shy away from dissenting views, rely on an inspiring leader, or simply go along with the group, we set ourselves on the path to cult thinking. Once we draw a clear line between Them and Us – whoever they are – we begin to lose our way, believing ‘we are the chosen ones’.

    The antidote, says Arthur Deikman, lies in recognising cult thinking in a wide range of institutions – corporate, political, religious, and educational – and in our personal responses. When we understand how easily we fall into patterns of defensiveness and accusation, we develop a more realistic view of the world and can respond more effectively to the attempted impositions of cult behaviour, hatred and terrorism.

  38. @Henry Joy.
    You are completely wrong about 1916.
    If it wasn't for 1916 Ireland would be no further down the road of Independence as Scotland is today.
    In fact the parallels with Scotland are apt in a number of ways.
    First I believe Scotland was promised Home Rule before World War One...and they got it in 1998..Well done the Scots eh?
    Do you think If there was a 1916 in Edinburgh they would have had to wait?
    As Mao says. Power comes from the barrel of a gun.
    Was he wrong?
    The other parallel with Scotland is that Under your system of waiting on the Brits. Ireland , namely County Cork would have been a base for Polaris and later Trident Nukes.
    I've heard that Home Rule shyte , so many times and from Fine Gael asshats too!!!!
    It wouldn't have worked.
    Ireland would have been dragged into World war two and the Cold War under the Brits and then the Yanks..
    They NEVER would have let Ireland go.

  39. not after the last guy u recomended, thanks.

  40. Fair enough 'grouch'.

    I wasn't particularly including you anyway amongst the 'some folk' ... you're way too much of an outlier to be sucked into the cult (Know you wouldn't join any group that'd have you as a member, lol)!

    You probably weren't included, for that very reason, in the mailing list (see Frankie's post 4.58 pm Nov 27th) from the controller general!

  41. Henry Joy, republicans have had at least two major ‘lines’ imposed on them, first with partition then with the GFA, those that find themselves together after repeated exiling you would besmirch as a cult? Is this a Henry Joy way of saying “you don’t want me in your gang, your gang is rubbish anyway” ?

  42. trolls are welcome in my cult.

  43. Thanks 'grouch', the best most of us can do is move from one trance state to another, to ameliorate existential angst ... one way trance can be easily attained is in a cult ... of course there are many other ways too.

    If I couldn't find any other respite bar cult membership I'd rather be a 'saordonian' than an Irish Republican.

    @ DaithiD
    I'm just over a year here on the quill ... the first time on, I locked horns with sean bres and AM over sean bres's denunciation of RSF for not naming one of their cumann after the Loughgall Martyrs ... there's a history to this! (sean bres screaming 'who de fuck are you HJ')

    I haven't bothered to scroll back to that post but if you do (Oct 2013) you'll find that, neither AM nor sean bres, previous to my comments appeared to grasp that it would be just as incredulous as to expect RSF to name a Cumann after the Loughgall Provisionals as it would have been to expect the 'Soldiers of Destiny' in 1926 to decide to honour Michael Collins by naming a Fiana Fáil cumann after him.
    Paraphrasing Tommy McKearney, after he arrived in the 'Kesh', 'it was hard to believe how few republicans I found there'!

    Nearly twenty years ago I did a 'rehab'. After I came out I was having a chat with my GP, a fellow republican (medic on-call for the cause) also an old drinking buddy, and he inquisitively asked me what went on during the re-hab process. I replied, 'it was 'all a trick with mirrors'.
    My journey here over the last 13/14 months has been somewhat similar. Irrational beliefs, judgements, condemnations and delusions I could not see in myself have been reflected back on me throughout various threads and brought me to a place where I have greater clarity as to how the republican neurosis operated in me too.

    Sean bres has a parallel article running on here about Carty, Crowley and Loughran. I knew Dermot Crowley and Carty's people too. I remember Dermot with fondness. He and I were of similar vintage.
    Thankfully I have come to a spot when I look at boys and young men (Dermot's fellow Corkonian Tony Aherne was only 16 when he died a few months previously handling a mine outside Roslea on the Fermanagh/Monaghan border) I can't but be repulsed by the practice of recruiting those of an impressionable and vulnerable young age to wage war.

    My journey is my journey ... your journey Dáithí is yours. I will no longer be a party to any enterprise or project which in the past encouraged youngsters onto a path which exposed them to the risk of long custodial sentences, the risk of grievous psychological and physical harm and/or the real risk of death.

    In withdrawing from the republican project there may be clearer mental processing or there may not. None the less it's the path I now choose.

    In-crowds and out-crowds are the stuff of younger or more immature men.

    So I'll dance my dance on here for as long as the 'censor offender' allows me.
    If some one benefits ... great; ... if not too bad.

  44. Henry Joy

    I personally find it a bitter sweet experience watching Sean Bres with his bottomless well of energy and enthusiasm. Whilst I respect him because I know exactly the purity of what is driving him, I look at how many times people like himself have ultimately fought and died in the good fight for what turned out to be a mission to push pigs noses within gobbling distance of the trough. Nothing more.

    You look at SF leadership and the exposed tramps within the top echelons for DECADES and the shamelessness of the ones like McGuinness and Adams who are still 'in place' and it is too much. They are a walking advertisement for a lengthy and very lucrative career in touting. Not a sign of anyone interested or able to purge or punish the fuckers.

    There's an article in one of the papers saying the Belfast IRA will select the replacement of Adams in its own time. Oh Fuck-Off and give us 'peace'. If they still exist they have selected to turn a blind eye to an RUC/Mi5 agenda for decades. So, screw them, they are filthy rotten at best.

    "In withdrawing from the republican project there may be clearer mental processing or there may not. None the less it's the path I now choose.

    In-crowds and out-crowds are the stuff of younger or more immature men".

    Afraid that nailed it for me. Tiz exactly where I am at myself.

  45. Thanks Henry Joy, if you have successfully done that rehab stuff you are total guru in my eyes, the best of all people.
    You know in financial models had a wrong assumption (among many!), (in lay terms) that humans evaluate a trade then act to take that which is profitable every time, they don’t. There is inherent risk aversion such that even when something is beneficial, there is a preference for stasis that needs to be factored in. It is probably why majority decisions and consensus are not the same thing validity or morality, and why those young men you think are wrong, might be onto something very ‘un moronic’ ?

  46. ozzy,

    I can't say with certainty how events would have unfolded, no one can. It's all conjecture really.

    However I'd like to draw readers attention to inaccuracies in your contribution;

    Scotland may have been promised whatever but The Irish Home Rule Bill had been passed and enacted with implementation deferred for the duration of WW1.
    So your comparison doesn't hold.

    As to the ports issue, which we've discussed on a previous thread, the fact remains that Britain did return the 'Treaty Ports' in 1938. Once again fact don't fit with your proposed narrative.

    Likewise as with WW2, the British didn't introduce conscription in N. Ireland so it's equally plausible that they wouldn't have forced it on the South.

    Anyway any notion of Southern Irish neutrality is a myth. Anyone who regularly moves through Shannon Airport, as I do, and is usually confronted by US troops in battle fatigues can attest to that. That's what we're allowed to see, feck knows what else went or goes on!

    As for Mao, he was a tyrant and a despot.

    Sure 'ozzy' it all conjecture but it's all too easy to venerate republican myth and lore and easier still to degrade and decry the efforts of constitutional Irish nationalism. No doubt about it nationalism is nowhere near as sexy and alluring as is republicanism.
    Therein lies part of our problem. It's difficult, damn near impossible, to kill an idea, especially mythical and heroic ones!

    That unfortunately is what 1916 achieved. And regrettably we still live with its legacy.

  47. Larry

    seems as if some of us are luckier than others ... to have escaped from the mind-trap.

    Pretty much in agreement with your comments.

    When I look at young kids, 16,17 and 18 year olds and think about what was foisted on them ... it nearly makes me sick. Several more links in the chain need to be broken.

    Yes, it is all bitter sweet for I too was that man, championing that very same cause. No more, no more, nor in my name.

  48. 'the republican neurosis' - really, u sound like eoghan harris now. in fact most ur comments sound like ur trying to get a job with that smug elitist shower of self loathing post colonial neurotics in the sunday independent.

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.”
    Abraham Lincoln - In a letter written to William Elkin

    "In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all."
    - Strobe Talbot, President Clinton's Deputy Secretary of State, Time Magazine, July 20th, l992

    we spend too much time obsessing about the ira sf etc etc. we all hav our heads up our arses about what has happened here. none of it is relevant to what is going on in the world now. republicans need to get wide to the bigger picture, ie - a once hidden but now increasingly open global technocratic elite intent on total domination. and dare i say it, give the brits a break for a while.

    “The money power preys on the nation in times of peace, and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes.” - Abraham Lincoln

    “A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the Nation and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world - no longer a Government of free opinion no longer a Government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.... Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” Woodrow Wilson - In The New Freedom (1913)

    i love this site, but there is not enough debate here about the central bank cabals who dominate almost every single government and media in the world and the republicans who copped onto them throughout history, especially the american founding fathers. are independent irish republicans going to debate these issues or are we always going to be scoring irrelevant points over shite that happened 40 years ago . i will leave u with a quote from the great gael mellows -

    “If the Irish people do not control Irish industries, transport, MONEY ( my caps) and soil of the country, then foreign or domestic capitalists will. And whoever controls the wealth of a country and processes by which wealth is attained controls also its government.”

    and finally a few verses from john lennon

    If you had the luck of the Irish
    You'd be sorry and wish you were dead
    You should have the luck of the Irish
    And you'd wish you was English instead!
    A thousand years of torture and hunger
    Drove the people away from their land
    A land full of beauty and wonder
    Was raped by the British brigands! Goddamn! Goddamn!
    Why the hell are the English there anyway?
    As they kill with God on their side
    Blame it all on the kids the IRA
    As the bastards commit genocide! Aye! Aye! Genocide!

  49. Larry I think there's plenty good we can look to in relation to republicanism and shouldn't let the poisonous antics of Adams, McGuinness, et al discolour our view of the Provisional IRA and its Volunteers. They were decent people worthy of respect and a worthy example to those who still aspire to change in this country - ourselves included. Yesterday in Ardboe John Crawley, a friend and comrade of Liam, described them sitting over breakfast in New York, with Pete and Laurence there also, and how it seemed incredible looking back on it how none were here today, all dead within a couple of years of that morning, the last they were to spend in each other's company I think he said. We should look to the Liam Ryan's of our time, the likes of Pete and Laurence, Jim and all the others, when considering the nature of the republican struggle. Those like McGuinness and Adams, the Decky Kearney's and the rest of the reptiles that surround them, can never take away what they stood for, what they fought for, what they died for, no matter the sorry state they've left us in. I'll try and get John's words uploaded, a brilliant analysis of where we're coming from, what happened and why - why British counter-insurgency strategy saw the necessity of removing the Liam Ryan's while preserving the pliant Belfast-Derry leadership. They knew what they were doing. The bottom line for me is we should look to these men when considering the worth of the republican struggle and not those who sold it out. While Ireland holds their graves, while Britain remains in our country in defiance of the popular will of the Irish people, then we have to keep going... There's simply no other way

  50. They are interesting quotes Grouch. I feel the republican analysis considers a sovereign republic to be more than removing the Brit political apparatus from our country, it's much more than that and frames sovereignty in the context of eliminating every vestige of their manipulative, self-serving system of control. That involves much of what you're referring to. As you rightly point out there is an unseen power at play in all of this that exercises hidden control over the functions of the deep state and not just in Ireland - they rule the whole plant. That is the enemy we need to confront, the enemy is imperialism, the highest state of capitalism. I don't see it as separate from the Brits though, the banking houses of London are where this whole, rotten scheme for total domination extends from. When you realise the power of what you're up against you can get a sense of just what an achievement it was on the part of the Provisional IRA to sustain such an intense campaign for over 25 years - especially when they developed the capacity to strike at the financial centre of this very monolith you're talking about. A crowd of farmers from South Armagh had these people running scared. They didn't give two hoots how many died on the streets of Belfast or Derry or anywhere else - not even Warrington or the like. These psychopaths would not bat an eyelid, why would they when they willingly oversaw the deaths of millions to sustain their hidden empire, they care only for themselves. But when the Provos hit the Baltic Exchange and Bishopsgate they were in major difficulty - it was at this point the 'peace process' became vital to their interests. The type of constitutional settlement espoused by some, along the lines of what we now see here, is about protecting the vital interests of the true power. So while you are right we must define this as our enemy and seek out strategies to confront it we also need to understand how and why it took us to where we are now at. Some of what we debate on here is critical to that in my opinion

  51. @ henry Joy.
    The treaty Port proves nothing.
    It was a mistake..a momentary lapse of judgement on the Brits part.
    And you take this as a sign of British good faith? Oh dear.
    What happened before the treaty ports were returned???
    Oh yeah, Ireland was at economic war with the Brits.
    So, either the Brits wanted to end that economic war at any price to ensure there food supplies from Ireland in the event of a war that many people saw as inevitable or else they made a blunder.just like the Munich conference of 1936. Peace in our time blunder.
    Churchill was furious about their return..You left THAT bit out.
    I don't buy the Irish neutral angle either..That wasn't what I was getting at.
    What I am getting at is that Home Rule was a dead end..a farce and the idea that it would have led anywhere is a farce.
    " we dont know what would have happened".
    Well we know what DID happen between 1918 and 1945.
    namely the Wall Street crash, The Depression and World War Two and the Cold War.
    in terms of the Wall Street Crash..You think the Irish with a broken promised Home Rule talking shop would have went up to the Brits like Oliver Twist asking for more powers.???
    What would the craven Irish media and the West Brit Priests in Maynooth , (paid for by the Brits) have said to that?
    Secondly World War Two the Atlantic battle and the subsequent Cold War would have revealed Ireland's Geo Strategic position to the full.
    And the USA would have leaned on the Brits and kept Ireland in the Brits orbit.
    Yes Ireland wasn't neutral..but you conflate Yankee troops at shannon to have nuclear weapons and US and RAF fighter/ bomber bases on Irish soil..because Mark my words under your Home Rule scheme Ireland would have had all that between 1939 and 1991 at the least.
    Read a book Blinds Mans Buff by Sherry Sontag.
    Shortly after WW2 ended two US navy Diesel submarines departed the Port of Derry.
    Their mission?? To spy on the USSR..It was the first mission of the US Navy against Russia.
    So, I beg to differ..We can surmise what Home Rule would have meant. It did mean the Brits keeping control of Taxes, the police and the foreign relations..And the idea that the Irish could have used this as a "stepping stone" against the history of events is laughable..Really and truly.
    And anybody who says different either has a massive blind spot or is under an agenda. John Brutal the Fine Gael asshat is under an agenda which includes getting Ireland to join NATO and be pals with the Brits.and the Neo Cons.
    BTW you think Scotland would have got devolution or a vote on Idependence during the Cold War?????
    I doubt it very much..In fact I rule it out completely..And the fact that Scotland never did get such a vote until after the Cold War is enough proof for me..And it lends the truth to your lies over Home rule.
    Without Violence Ireland would be under the Brit thumb. Baldonnel aerodrome and Shannon and/or knock would be RAF/US airbases even today and Cork would be a naval base for the Brits and/or the US navy.
    There would have been listening posts for SOSUS ( the Sound Surveillence System)along the Irish coast at least until the collapse of the USSR.
    So, no I am afraid you are completely wrong to state that Irish Republicans and 1916 achieved nothing that would not have happened anyway...BTW I would also like to mention Italy which had 50 years of the CIA choosing it's Governments for them..And state If it wasn't for 1916 the Irish could have looked forward to more of the same..50 years of asshats like Joan Brutal as leadrers of a Home rule parliament where they were "free" to decide whether to empty the bins on a Tuesday or a Thursday under the Union Jack...Ofc all those bins would be emptied by Brit private companies, too!!!!! Wonderful freedom that the Home Rule opportunity was.

  52. Sean Bres

    What will you do with this island in a national and global context if you did get your hands on the reigns? PLEASE don't give me a recital of the proclamation; it's no more relevant than the American constitution in 2014.

    Would you increase my dole? There are quality housing estates, 4 bedrooms some of them here in this town that have been trashed by the occupants, the poor downtrodden and oppressed. Will you go talk to them like Goulding told the IRA to do with loyalist mobs in '69? Is it them you 'struggle' for? I 'struggle' to make sense of why anyone, never mind dozens and dozens of people, would want to trash solid modern 4 bedroom houses.

    Whatever you do keep an eye over your shoulder for the 'charismatic figure' coming over the horizon behind you to perch him/herself upon the base you are creating, with full media assistance and the crowns shilling in their pocket. That is how it works. That is why all your heroes are DEAD Sean. Ireland has far more in the Judas ranks than it ever had or will have heroes to leech off. You are preparing a feast for a 'Gathering of the vultures'.

    Any new political party needs to recruit economists and number crunchers combined with researchers to put it up to the pigs at the trough rather than complaining about all and sundry. Unfortunately those educated guys have their flights out booked in advance and little wonder. I'd not be here myself, and I'm no economist, only for the fact my wife loves this shithole.

  53. bres, theres an interesting story on the net about the battle of waterloo and who won it. most people say the english won, but in fact they lost. skinny version - rothschild bankers had one of their agents close by the battle. when it was clear the brits had won, the agent legged it on a waiting boat to london and gave his report to rothschild. rothschild made it look as if the french won when he went to the stock exchange where he faked panic and began selling brit bonds. everyone knew about their vast intelligence outfit back then. hence everyone else began to sell, thinking the french had won. all the while his brokers were secretely buying them back at a fraction. by the time word had filtered back to london, it was too late. they soon took over the bank of england. this is how they roll. fund both sides, provoke both sides, and keep the money rolling. they are at it still. look what they did to ghadaffi(pushing for gold backed african currency), check out his speech from the UN if u get a chance. if u are brave enuf to take on these guys you will feel, and ur people, the full load of their evil. the political class in most countries know if they say anything about these guys its the end of their career, to put it mildly. there isnt one irish politician with a spine. not one. beir bua bres.

  54. 'ozzy' thanks for your detailed response.

    I don't known if we can truly say whether the Scots had a better over-all experience during the twentieth century than we Irish or not.

    The fact is that when afforded with an opportunity to withdraw from the Union they voted not to.
    This suggests that despite the international policy matters you've brought to notice a majority of the ordinary 5/8 Scots seemed happy enough with the arrangement.

    An alternative history for Ireland, within the Union, may have been 'good enough' for a majority of people on this island too. Instead we ended up with a failed mythical ideology, a fragmented country and the ensuing fall-out of deeply embedded division between citizens often manifesting in political violence.

    Yes 'ozzy' I get it, that for you such an alternative history would have been unacceptable ... others however might have readily run with it.

    Once again, mere speculation, only my musings.

  55. Peace offering for Sean and 'grouch'.

    For a good article on Perfidious Albion and international agreement on 'spheres of influence' see Athens 1944 - Britain's Dirty Secret.

    Towards the end of the in-depth piece an interesting Irish connection arises with reference to Sir Charles Wickham.

    Wickham was the first Inspector General of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, from 1922 to 1945.

    Subsequent to his time in Greece he ended up in Palestine.

  56. Sean Bres
    I think you look back at the Troubles through rose tinted glasses. The 'war' was not intense after the early to mid 70s. In fact large areas of land saw little to no violence for months on end. In the area geographically around Kilcoo the dozens of volunteers failed to pull off one attack in 90, 91, 92, 93 and half of 94. Other 'hard' areas like Lurgan and the Bogside went months without any attacks. The PIRA outside of South Armagh was riven with touts and splits as the Brit machine grinded down the 'struggle'. It is true that South Armagh were extremely effective and feared but the rest of the IRA was slowly squeezed into submission.
    In your opinion did the PIRA 'struggle' weaken partition or cement it? Did the 'struggle' unite Irishmen or further divide them? What would today's warriors do with power? It seems to outsiders like me that today's republicans have as many touts and splits as the previous generation, so what sort of government would they provide? You say that there is no other choice but to go on; on the contrary, violence has only harmed unification.

  57. Sean Bres

    Don't be thinking of the dead with saints wings and shamrock engraved harps. Raymond McCartney (near wrote Gilmore) Leo Green and Tom McFeely could all have died martyrs on the first hunger-strike. Ask yourself why you don't go idolising them today?


    I think informers, jockeying for the most tout money and security force overtime are the only danger today, a danger to the exchequer that is! Along with all the fraud at Stormont.

  58. You're right Larry. As I said before partition remains despite unionism not because of it. Similarly unification will happen despite republicanism not because of it. There are bigger forces at work than our parochial tribes!

  59. Peter

    In all fairness those who harp on about republicanism are trying to force a vehicle onto the entire island that cannot pass an MOT test. Devoid of imagination they cling to the assertion that it is 'right'. I see little else.

    If dissidents did pull off a 'spectacular' they are only giving money to the security forces. I view the recent statement that the dissos are planning a Christmas bombing blitz as a sick opportunistic and 'fraudulent' money earner by the RUC. Every bit as disingenuous and disgusting as those milking the budget at Stormont. Pure farce and shameless.

  60. Larry
    I think there is some truth to what you say. It suits Box to have the Dissies around. They get to keep practising their 'spycraft' by head fucking the bogwogs and a nice budget to boot.

  61. love and peace always