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Gibraltar 3 remembered at Queen's University

category antrim | miscellaneous | news report author Tuesday March 11, 2008 00:13author by Republican Student - Ógra Shinn Féinauthor email osfnational at yahoo dot ie Report this post to the editors

Last Wednesday 5 March, Sheena Campbell Ogra Shinn Fein hosted the opening event to remember the 20th anniversary of the Gibraltar 3, at Queens University Belfast.

It began with a black flag vigil outside the university front gates for 30 minutes as a mark of respect to those killed in Gibraltar and Milltown.

Following the vigil there was a talk and a showing of a film in Queens University.

The speakers at the event were Seamus Finucane, partner of Mairead Farrell when she was tragically killed, Jennifer McCann MLA, who was a close comrade of Mairead having been imprisoned with her in Armagh Gaol, she was also a close friend of Dan McCann, and West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff who was a student at Queens, at the time of the Gibraltar 3’s death.

Ogra activist Eunan Carlin, chaired proceedings.


All 3 speakers talked about the significance of the Gibraltar and Milltown killings, and give a personal account of the individuals. They all spoke of Mairead as confident, educated and articulate women, driven by her passion for freedom. Having already been imprisoned in Armagh, Mairead on her release immediately got re-involved in the struggle and also took up studying at Queens.

They spoke of Daniel McCann being a very capable and dedicated volunteer, who was massively respected amongst Belfast republicans, and Sean Savage who was only 23 when he was killed was said to have possessed great leadership skills.

They spoke about the bravery of those who pursued Michael Stone in Milltown cemetery when he launched that murderous attack. Their selfless actions saved the lives of dozens of others.

Barry McElduff also recounted the student takeover of the Chancellor’s Office at Queen’s when Mairead was killed. He talked about it being common practice for Queen’s University to lower the flag to half mast when a student died; they refused to do so for Mairead because they claimed she was a ‘terrorist.’ So a number of defiant students including Barry McElduff and the late Michael Ferguson proceeded to take over the Chancellor’s office and lower the flag themselves.

The event was very emotional, informative and deeply inspiring, the engaging film, and the personal accounts captured the audience and ensured everyone left the event better educated of the tragic events of 20 years ago.

Related Link: http://www.osf.ie



author by Davepublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Michael Stone was on a mission to assassinate Adams, McGuinness and other senior Sinn Fein members probably on the orders of British intelligence controllers. According to his own account of the events he chickened out as the Sinn Fein entourage entered Milltown because he knew he would be instantly captured, bundled away, tortured and then shot. Two undercover members of the British Army who involved in a surveillance operation which possibly might have included another assassination attempt on the Republican leadership met exactly this fate when they drove into crowd of mourners.
Instead he attacked the graveside from a distance throwing grenades and then firing shots at his pursuers as he fled because he had a better chance of fleeing
The tactic of attacking republican funerals or commerations was nothing new.
In 1970's members of the Shankill butchers planted a bomb on the route of a republican procession intending to kill senior republicans. The bomb exploded prematurely and killed a young boy. The bomb was planted in a oil drum that replaced a concrete filled oil drum that formed part of a barricade.
If Stone had succeeded in his operation he would have been a hero to not just to the violent loyalists but to middle class mainstream unionists who would have been otherwise disgusted at loyalist violence perpetrated in their name.
The 26 county government and the political, security and media establishment who set the agenda would have been outwardly disgusted but also have been secretly pleased.
If the Shankill Butchers had succeeded in killing senior republicans rather than the unfortunate boy then they would have been considered heroes and untouchable - they were already used as an instrument of British oppression - Lenny Murphy had the protection of senior loyalists and the patronage of British intelligence in orchestrating a counter terror campaign against the Catholic community hoping to encourage the IRA to abandon military targets and indiscriminately kill Protestant civilians in response.
The "safe" political environment of Southern Ireland and mainland Britain meant that paramilitary organisations and counterinsurgency that involved assassination and counterassassination was totally alien and was classed as "murder."
The naive and willfully ignorant would claim that the "Troubles" (what a euphemism!) was matter of "law and order" - supposedly criminal gangs of self-appointed republican "liberators" and loyalist "defenders" with a benevolent state cracking down on both sides with scrupulous impartiality.
The "Troubles" were a WAR - in war any means necessary however vicious, however cruel, is allowable either to liberate or to oppress.
The Brits and the Hun had to accept that if they wore a Crown uniform they were legitimate targets whether on duty and armed or off duty and unarmed.
The sentimental attitude that shooting an off duty RUC or UDR member was murder is totally laughable.
The idea that shooting local construction workers who were working on British and RUC bases is the murder of civilians is laughable.
The idea that commerical and infrastructure targets in Britain should not have been bombed because civilians were going to be killed and maimed is laughable.
The idea that elected members of the British and Irish government who were prosecuting the war against the IRA should not have been targeted and "murdered" by the IRA is laughable.

Equally laughable is the idea that counterinsurgency is not a legitimate tactic.

Either side in every war reserves the right to hit back in whatever way they deem necessary.
Rubbish about "human rights" "war crimes" and the "Geneva convention" is just that - Rubbish.

IRA volunteers like the Gibraltor Three knew exactly what they signed up for.
In the line of duty or off duty they could expect to be killed at anytime.
When the SAS shot dead Republicans it was exactly what Republicans would have done and did do to British troops when they had the chance.
Andy McNab, the ex-SAS soldier who was involved in the 14 Intelligence Company and several shoot-to-kill incidents for this reason hides his indentity.
When Brits and loyalists could not defeat the IRA militarily they sought to undermine Republican morale by targetting innocent Catholic civilians. That is a legitimate tactic - the morale of the Catholic communities did suffer and there were calls to end the IRA campaign by the useful idiots in the South and in the SDLP.
The bombing of the Shankill Road was designed to kill leading loyalist who used the room above the fish shop as a meeting place.
The loyalist leaders were not killed but the deaths of Protestant civilians served its purpose, in distabilising British rule and making unionist community feel insecure. If Protestant civilians could be made to believe they could be killed at anytime if they persisted in denying equality to the Catholic community then they bomb served its purpose.
The Gibraltor Three were heroic and their deaths were simple in the line of duty.
Only the naive would believe it was murder but the propanda coup of publically claiming it was "murder" was a legitimate tactic.
Post war we just have to move on a forget about the past.
I object to mythology and sentimental hogwash.
All the people who died in the war were victims of circumstance, whether Protest civilians, Catholic civilians, British Army, RUC, Loyalist paramilitary, Republican paramilitary, Free State politicians or British politicians.

Natually dissident republicans and dissident loyalist might start up the war again.

Sinn Fein is now an establishment party and as a supporter I would understand the tactics of dissidents - the Omagh bombing for example - or the indiscriminate killing of Catholics by the loyalists.

That's war.

If we can use the cloak of government legitimacy and the moral high ground to defeat these threats to the peace process so be it.

We will.

Let the best man (or woman) win.

author by reality checkpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dave quote :

"Brits and the Hun had to accept that if they wore a Crown uniform they were legitimate targets whether on duty and armed or off duty and unarmed"

Why is Dave allowed to post using racist and sectarian language ?

Hun is a sectarian name for Protestants.

No different then the sectarian term for Catholics..taig.

author by Davepublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A word is just a word.

I suppose you watch WW2 movies with out the words "nip" or "kraut" "yank" "limey" or "ivan" used.

Engage my arguments not my methods of communicating my arguments.

I suppose everyone is supposed to be clean shaven with their hair parted at the left side in your cotton wool universe.

author by WTpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All these recent so called commemorative events should be seen for what they are, a sham to try and ease growing discontent among grassroot $hinners and supporters. After a disastrous year which started with the rejection of the Southern electorate, continued with the periodic outing of high level touts, the Thatcherite stance taken in regard the classroom assistants, the degrading of the Irish language, the Maze stadium being scuppered by the DUP and most recently the sycophantic and mealymouthed praise of Paisley by Adams and The Deputy when everyone else was describing him as he is.
They realize that the felling of Big Ian by the DUP is a sign of a stiffing of attitude among their leadership towards $F and that the gravy train in Stormont could be coming to a halt, therefore they have decided to claw back some vestige of Republicanism before the rot really sets in.
A sign of this was the attempt to highjack the funeral of the Dark and their praise of him when in the past they tried to destroy his reputation and shunned him. Why it wasn't that long ago that they ignored the death of the War of Independence veteran, Dan Keating.
Are all the grassroot members of $F really that naive? It seems they are.

author by southern comfortpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nobody declared war on us in the south, Dave. SF of every variety managed to wreck tourism and the economy down here in the 1970s, gave Ireland a really bad name abroad, and generally 3,000 peoples' lives were lost for nothing at all. Including the Gibraltar three.

You have to work to get on with your "Hun" neighbours, and all get on with your lives instead of living in the past.

author by WTpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 13:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

about the DUP forcing them to support the PSNI/RUC and urge people to become Denis Donaldsons and their silence on the MI5 headquarters.
Phew! It leaves you breathless.

author by Davepublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 13:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Nobody declared war on us in the south, Dave. SF of every variety managed to wreck tourism and the economy down here in the 1970s, gave Ireland a really bad name abroad, and generally 3,000 peoples' lives were lost for nothing at all. Including the Gibraltar three."

Naturally when the south got independence they decided to forget about the republican population in Northern Ireland and ignored the oppression of Catholics for the sake the their own peace and quiet.
That's human nature.
When the violence in Northern Ireland threatened the political and economic stability of the south of course the people in the south were no so much worried about the fate of the people of the North (they might as well have been on the back of the moon) as they were about the peace and stability of the 26 county state.
Again that's human nature.
A Northern republican would have to be incredibly stupid to imagine things would have been any other way.
As regards 3,000 people dying, of course it would have been brilliant if it never happened, but why ask if things could have been any other way? There are not some other way. There are this way.
For a time it appeared was a chance that the Civil Rights movement would have succeeded but pent up resentment had been building for decades and there was no slow release valve.
Republicans wanted one thing and Unionists wanted another so inevitably there was collision and there are very few instances in human history where things were sorted out peacefully.
That's life unfortunately.

"You have to work to get on with your "Hun" neighbours, and all get on with your lives instead of living in the past."

Sure absolutely.
War was inevitable before peace came along.

My hope is world peace one day, a united globe and everybody getting along.
But only if each nation and tribe and individual is garanteed freedom and that unity is not a kingdom imposed from on high but a unity agreed by democracy.

Wouldn't that be nice.

Until then I'm afraid human beings are going to sort things out using violence more often than not.

Sad really?

author by who???publication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

there are murmurs of another tout about to be outed maybe thats why the chuckies are in such a tizzy

author by Davepublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And he'll get an air vent behind the ear too.

author by southern comfortpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 16:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No Dave, nothing like war is inevitable. Particularly the weak suffer the most, if you hadn't noticed.

The outcome here is that probably most people in the south wanted national unity in 1969, but now we want you to sort things out with your neighbours first. That will be a bit harder now because of the "war". Then maybe we'll agree to unity, and it won't be because of SF (all varieties) but in spite of SF's delaying tactics since 1969.

author by johnpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 16:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in case you forgot, it was the state who attacked the bogside and the falls rd. The IRA had disarmed discontintued training and set it's self well on a political path by 1969. It was unprepared for the level of chaos paislys counter protests to the civil rights movement would create as where the brits and the southern political establishment. The only difference was the IRA vowed not to be caught of side twice. SF and the resurgent IRA are a consequence not the cause of the difficulty in th north. If you are really that dispised by them do what the southern establishment didn't do pre 1969 and make sure theres no need for a future IRA

author by Working class Republicanpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 16:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One of the subjects of conversation during Dark's funeral was about those who had since become millionaires. I see that one of those mentioned was speaking at the Queen's event. Did he have a member of Ogra washing his 4x4 while he was speaking?

author by Southern Man without a cross - nonepublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 21:35author address noneauthor phone noneReport this post to the editors

In reply to Dave's Michael Stone and the Gibraltar three
I probably would have found Daves wording a little contraditory some years back when $F knew what side of the fence they stood on. These days they seem to be losing themselves in a muddle of words that try to please everyone just so that they remain popular and pull in the votes. Dave writes that .......''The 'safe' political environment of Southern Ireland and mainland Britain...........MAINLAND BRITAIN ? what sort of Republican would use such terminolgy ? Maybe one who takes the Saxon shilling ?

Sorry Dave for hopping off you again, but in your re: Southern Comfort you said ''Republicans wanted one thing and the Unionist wanted another so ineviltably there was collision''
You forgot to mention the British, I believe they had some hand in all the 'trouble'/War

To WT, Could you please tell me more about Dan Keating. Was he thrown on the scrap heap by $F as well ?? Is there a related link ?

author by R.I.Ppublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 02:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Links about Dan Keating 1902 - 2007

Life long Fenian ,IRA Veteran and RSF Patron
IRBB announcement of his death


Eamonn McCann on Dan Keating

SAOIRSE tribute to Dan

video interview taken by the NIFC


The above is an excellent video in which Dan recounts ambushes talks of his time in the Curragh, splits down the years, attacks on the blueshirts, buying arms off of British soldiers, provos and the GFA.

author by RSF is Sinn Feinpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 15:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just finished watching that video posted above with the late Dan Keating, the wee provo posting about arm chairs would be wise to watch it and take a good hard look at the mixture of disgust and heartbreak that comes over his face at the mention of the Provos, and after watching that video from start to finish he should then take a hard long look at himself and wise up.

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