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Page 1 Starry Plough Nov/Dec 1983
The Irish Republican Socialist Party totally condemns sectarianism!

Whether at Darkley, Bessbrook, Whitehouse or Lurgan. Our response is the same
-           Total opposition!

We view sectarianism as a device whereby Britain is enabled - through disunity and strife - to maintain is presence in Ireland.
The shooting at Darkley only benefits Britain and the Loyalists. It gives the Loyalist murder gangs an excuse for their actions and it conceals the source from which most sectarian acts stem.

This is the British Government.

Britain has, through the years, used sectarianism in order to divide Catholic and Protestant. Playing the Orange Card, creating the B.Specials, the same B.Specials in the guise of the U.D.R. - all are geared towards sectarianism.
It is notable that the media has been whipped up into a hysterical campaign following Darkley, but the more numerous victims of Loyalist murder gangs are ignored. This is not to excuse the Darkley killings - for such killings cannot be excused. But it does expose the hypocrisy of the media and of establishment politicians.
Britain through its attempts to foist the most sectarian force in Europe, the U.D.R. on the Nationalist Community, and through the U.D.R. involvement in U.V.F. and U.D.A. murder squads has openly pursued sectarian policies.
These policies are part of its age-old policy of 'Divide and Conquer'. By stirring dp fear and hatred through its sectarian ism and the resulting carnival of reaction, Britain seeks to justify its presence as peacemaker and categorise the war of national liberation as a sectarian war.

Republican Socialists have a duty in the struggle against sectarianism. They must continually oppose those who take the emotional and "easy options"

They must expose the British and Loyalists for what they are - the real forces of sectarianism. And they must ensure that Britain's presence on this island is' ended. For the ending of imperialist rule in Ireland will put an end to the cause of sectarianism.


Page 2 Starry Plough Nov/Dec 1983

The proposed Criminal Justice Bill is the gravest threat to civil liberties in recent years.

The Free State government would have us to believe that it is in the interests of all that basic democratic rights be curtailed. They would also try to lead us to believe that the police will not abuse their extra powers.

This is nonsense!

The removal of basic rights like the right to silence and to bail signal regression towards a police state. The measures proposed will do nothing to remove the cause of most crime.

The Bill will not tackle poverty and the lack of social services. It will not cause a redistribution of wealth.

The promises that the Gardai will not abuse the law ring hollow. And trade unionists, socialists and democrats should not allow themselves to be conned into believing otherwise.

The Gardai daily abuse the Offences Against the State Act. They even abused it against a campaigner in the recent constitutional amendment. Likewise they abused the Forcible entry Act using it against trade unionists involved in industrial action.
It is in the interest of all workers that this Bill be defeated - that the men of property be denied further power to oppress.
Oppose the Criminal Justice Bill!

Page 2 Starry Plough Nov/Dec 1983

There was an excellent turnout at the annual Seamus Costello Commemoration, which was held on Sunday October 9th at St Peters Churchyard, Little Bray.
The commemoration which was organised by the Seamus Costello Memorial Committee was one of the largest held i~ recent years and was attended by members of the IRSP from al] over Ireland as well as members of Sinn Fein, Conradh na Gaeilge and members of the Costello Memorial Committee. At the graveside, Tony Gregory T.D. chaired the proceedings. Speaking in Irish he paid tribute to Seamus Costello and his contribution to the cause of freedom and justice in Ireland.
After reading a message of support and solidarity from Jim Lane, IRSP Chairperson and messages from IRSP cumann and support groups in London, Manchester, Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Canada and Australia, Mr. Gregory introduced the first speaker, Mick Ahern, editor of the Starry Plough and member of the IRSP Ard Comhairle.
In his oration, Mr. Ahern said:
"We honour Seamus, the outstanding revolutionary of our time; Seamus who stood in the tradition of Connolly and Mellows; Seamus who was both a thinker and a man of acti6n and who gave clear leadership on the unity of the anti-imperialist and socialist struggle - until his brutal murder by the Workers Party.
And while we can derive satisfaction that Seamus Costello's murder is avenged -his killer executed by the INLA, we realize that much remains to be achieved, much to be fought for in order to achieve our objectives - and those of Seamus."
He continued: "To the bankrupt policies of partition and subservience - the IRSP courterposes the alternative of national unity with full political and economic sovereignty.
We realise that all of this will take time and effort; that it will mean the further development of our party."
We take as our example, our founder Seamus Costello, who through his 'tireless efforts and determination, almost single handedly built the party.
He concluded by extending greetings to all Irish political prisoners in British and Irish jails and by paying tribute to those comrades who have died in the struggle for Irish freedom.
There followed a lament played by Cormac Breatnach dedicated to the memory of Seamus Costello. Mr. Gregory then introduced James Daly who spoke on behalf of the Costello Memorial Committee.

"Their inspiration like that of Seamus Costello was one of humanity, justice, human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity. It was not inhuman materialism, greed, conformism and cowardice of hypocrites who preach injustice in the name of religion. They would have been in solidarity with the Christians and priests who are in the forefront of the struggle for Justice and freedom from racialism and imperialism in Nicaragua, El Salvador and the Philippines.
In conclusion he said:
"Like James Connolly, Seamus Costello has shown the way and calls to us to take up the unfinished task and carry it to success. JSO Prisoners in Irish jails, north and south and the organisation of resistance and political mobilisation, such as the Release Nicky Kelly Campaign, in spite of the unprincipled use of so called super grasses, show that that call has been heeded and accepted by the heroism of the bravest and best of our nation and our class."
There followed the laying of wreaths from the Costello family, the Costello Memorial Committee, the IRSP and the INLA.
Page 3 Starry Plough Nov/Dec 1983



The Irish National Liberation Army blitzed a Strabane public house used by members of the RUC on the night of Friday, November 4th. Several off duty members of the R.U.C. were among those injured. The bar, Jacks Pub which is at the junction of Patrick street and Abercorn Square is frequented by off duty R.U.C. men. An Active Service Unit (A.S.U.) of the I.N.L.A. placed a van containing high explosives outside the bar on the Friday night.  The bomb was a. shaped charge directed at the bar - tamped with two sand bags to direct the charge.
Shortly before the car bomb exploded, a large party of R.U.C. men left the bar leaving some of their colleagues behind. One local nationalist had earlier been ejected from the bar at gun point by the R.U.C. having been told that the bar was off limits to all except those known to the R.U.C. The RUC told him that this was for their own security.
In a statement, the I.N.L.A. claimed responsibility for the attack saying that it was part of its overall operations against the R.U.C. The attack was condemned by loyalist politicians and by Sinn Fein Assembly member Martin McGuinness.  The operation was welcomed by local republicans.
In an interview with a local Starry Plough correspondent, a spokesperson for the I.N.L.A. explained the operation.
"It is part and parcel of our attacks on the crown forces and their native hire-lings. We have said that the R.U.C. are a legitimate target and have warned civilians to stay clear from R.U.C. personnel wherever they might be. We have warned publicans not to serve the forces of occupation and their collaborators.  We are not responsible if these warnings are ignored"
Asked if it was a mistake not to give a warning, the I.N.L.A. spokesperson replied "No way. How can we punish the RUC, UDR and British Army if we give them advance warning?"
When asked about the reaction of Martin McGuinness, the I.N.L.A. man replied: "This was a curious reaction. I'm sure that Mr. McGuinness realizes that his condemnation was a mistake. If he was worried about no warning in Strabane, then why was he not concerned with no warning given by the Provos when they bombed the R.U.C. in Belfast on the same day. Is there a difference between the LN.L.A. attack and an I.R.A. attack? Most Provisional supporters welcomed the INLA attack as did INLA supporters welcome the IRA attack. Maybe Mr. McGuiness was thinking in terms of supplanting John Hume in the EEC Parliament next year. Anyhow the contradictions in Mr. McGuinness's thought are for him to sort out."
"For our part we will continue to attack the forces of imperialism whenever, wherever and however we can."



In a spectacular operation, the Provisional IRA exploded a bomb in the Ulster Polytechnic at Jordanstown on Friday, November 4th.
The immediate outcome was that an RUC inspector and a sergeant were killed and 33 other police officers and civilians were injured.
The attack was condemned by British and Loyalist politicians.




The Staff and Volunteers of the Irish National Liberation deeply regret the loss of Vol. Joe Craven, murdered by Loyalist assassins.
We extend deepest sympathies to his family.

The Ard Comhairle and Cumainn of the IRSP view with sadness the assassination of Joe Craven, Belfast INLA volunteer. Shot down by Loyalist Imperialist forces. Fuair se bais ar son na h-Eireann.

Joe Craven, volunteer INLA murdered by Loyalist thugs. Sadly missed by his comrades in the Bawnmore-Greencastle INLA.  Tiocfaidh Ar La!

Staff and volunteers of the Irish National Liberation Army remember with pride Volunteer Colm McNutt, murdered by SAS thugs in his native Derry City.
The fight will go on until victory.

The Ard Comhairle, Cumainn and supporters of IRSP at home and abroad remember with pride Seamus Grew and Roddy Carroll who gave their lives for Irish freedom. Beir Bua.
Page 3 Starry Plough Nov/Dec 1983
The Green Mole


Meals For Wheels

Hungry pensioners, unemployed persons and underpaid workers can take comfort that their "betters in Dail Eireann don't share their plight. For in addition to the 'huge pay rises (tax free!) Dai! Deputies recently awarded themselves the boyos in the Dail are on to another "good thing". For it has been disclosed that the annual subsidy to the Dail restaurant is to be increased by a 50,000 special grant. This brings this subsidy to 250,000 per year. And as you look at your miserly pay slip or pension book, or count your dole money you can console yourself that the boys in the Dail are okay!


The Irish Times of November 12th featured an "article" on deteriorating relations between republicans, which if true would lead one to believe that the I.N.L.A. and the Provos could soon be at each other throats. This mixture of lies and rumours was concocted by one Padraig Yeats . . . a person who would like nothing better than to have republicans fighting each other. For Padraig is a leading member of the Workers Party for years his function has been to peddle anti republican propaganda in such sticky publications as "the Irish People" and "Workers Life". Now it seems that this "secret Sticky" is promoted to peddling his rubbish in the Irish Times.

In the aftermath of the escape from Long Kesh republican and republican socialist prisoners have been subjected to brutal and in. human treatment from the warders.

Contrary to the report issued by the NIO that none of the prisoners were physically assaulted after the escape many were badly beaten and seventeen prisoners suffered from dog bites.

The orderly who happened to find himself in the food lorry, which was taken and used in the escape, was stripped naked by the screws along with three other men, badly beaten and his front teeth smashed yet none of these men received medical treatment for nearly a week. The rest of the prisoners in 117 who did not participate in the escape were stripped and then handcuffed individually to two screws. They were then made to run a gauntlet to H-Block 8 through a line of screws who savagely batoned them. Dogs were also let loose and many men were bitten, mostly on their sides and backs.

According to one prisoner who was in H7 at the time:
"After the escape I was given a quick cell search to ascertain if I was still in the wall, and searched and threatened with the dogs. The cell and any belongings were completely wrecked. The next time that they came back was at nine o'clock. I was again dragged- from my cell and this time stripped naked and forced to run the gauntlet of screws. I was then allowed to put on my jeans before I was handcuffed and forced to run barefoot over the gravel strewn aground from H7 to H8. We were not given any clothes for four days and any exercise we did get was taken bare-foot and in most cases half-naked."

For one whole week, none of the prisoners received any medical treatment. This was obviously a ploy by the prison authorities who hoped by that stage that any bruising would have nearly disappeared. But because of the severe dog bites, the Medical Officer was forced to give the prisoners tetanus injections and this then had to be written down in their medical records. Some of the prisoners have subsequently taken legal advice and will be suing the prison authorities for their injuries -

To punish them even further, they were all subjected to closed visits with a partition of glass between them and their visitors.

Many prisoners were dragged by their hair from their visits when they tried to tell their loved ones of the injuries they had suffered. Despite having closed visits the prisoners were further humiliated by having to undergo a body search before the visit in front of their family and a search after the visit was over.

One prominent clergyman from Derry, Bishop Edward Daly had the nerve to tell a prisoner's mother who had rung him up enquiring about the condition of her son and his comrades, that he had it on good authority that none of the prisoners had been touched. When she asked him about a priest who had been in to the H Blocks and who had seen for himself the bruising and dog bites, he told her that it was gross exaggeration and hysteria. Furthermore he didn't see it as a priority to go and visit his own parishioners and see for himself.

In the light of these events, the IRSP calls on the immediate removal of the Governor and the arrest of those screws who were responsible for assaulting the prisoners.
Page 5 Starry Plough Nov/Dec 1983


The Irish National Liberation Army has denied direct involvement in the killing of three men attending religious service in Darkley, Co Armagh on Sunday November 2Oth.

However the I.N.L.A. has admitted that one of the weapons used may belong to them.

The killings occurred when a number of men burst into the Pentecostal Church in Darkley and opened fire on those present - killing three and injuring several others. Responsibility for the killing was claimed by a group called the Catholic Reaction Force.
This force was linked with the I.N.L.A. by the media when the R.U.C. claimed that one of the weapons used in the killings - a Ruger rifle - has been used previously in operations claimed by the I.N.L.A.

The I.N.L.A. disclaimed responsibility for the operation and launched an investigation into the possible use of its weapons by the Catholic Reaction Force.

Some members of the Nationalist community felt that the killings were in retaliation for the murder of Catholics in the Armagh area by Loyalists. Others felt that the killings might well be the work of a dirty tricks department of the British Government to create a climate for further repression As Fr. Des Wilson said, "We are keeping an open mind on who was responsible". He referred to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings by those wanting to push repressive legislation pushed through the Dail.
The killings were condemned by republican socialists. The Irish Republican Socialist Party condemned the killings as sectarian pure and simple, saying that such actions had nothing in common with Republican Socialism.


Meanwhile, the I.N.L.A. issued the following statement to the Starry Plough:

"The LN.L.A. denies direct involvement in these killings. We are conducting an investigation into the possible use of I.N.L.A. weapons or personnel in this action.
"To date, we have discovered that a Ruger rifle was allocated for an operation against a leading UVF member, in the Portadown area who had been involved in sectarian assassinations. The weapon was given to an INLA member for this operation but seems' to have been used instead for the Darkley killings.

"We are continuing our investigation into any involvement and the miss-use of the weapon. When this investigation is complete, we shall take the necessary disciplinary action".
"The action at Darkley is indefensible and cannot be justified by anti-imperialists."



The I.N.L.A. has claimed responsibility for shooting two thugs in the legs at Divis Flats, Belfast.
In a statement the I.N.L.A. said that 'the action was taken after constant pleas from local people".
The individuals concerned had led a gang of criminals engaged in theft and hijacking of cars. They had driven the cars through the Divis complex at high speed endangering the lives of residents and their children.
In their statement the I.N.L.A. warned against criminal activities.   "These criminal elements have attempted to terrorise residents in order to use Divis as a base for their activities.
-           "The shooting is a warning that this will not be tolerated. We give notice to all those involved in criminal activity in the Lower Falls to immediately desist or suffer the consequences.



In days past John Mulcahy played an honourable role in Irish Journalism. As Editor of Hibernia he put forward his liberal and slightly (ever so slightly) republican opinions.

Among these opinions was the right of a person to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Now it seems that Mr Mulcahy abandoned his liberal conscience when he abandoned Hibernia for the Nov. 11th issue of this gossip magazine, Phoenix contains a blatant piece of felon setting on Dominic and Mary McGlinchey. The article, riddled with inaccuracies, presumes the Mc Glincheys guilty of various actions. A strange departure for John who seems to have borrowed more than the format of the right wing Private Eye magazine.

Certain journalists however believe that Mulcahy was set up . . . that the piece was written by either someone with a score to settle or as a deliberate piece of  'disinformation" in order to lay blame for the activities of others on the McGlincheys.  This person is presumed to be sympathetic to a different organisation.

Either way it would be interesting to get the real story behind this piece of mud slinging.


The wife of one Special Branch man was heard shouting to her husband as he headed out the door on his way to work.
"I hope you're wearing clean underwear in case you meet McGlinchey and get stripped.  I'd hate for anyone to think I let you out dirty".
Page 6 Starry Plough Nov/Dec 1983


Further evidence has emerged of collaboration between the Six County Special Branch and the prison service, in the British Government's frantic attempts to induce prisoners to become informers.
It stems from the Special Branch tactic of putting pressure on certain prisoners who are serving life sentences, especially those who are married with families.
The Special Branch are willing to exploit any situation.  They look for any extra pressure that they can apply to the prisoners and thereby make the inducements proffered look attractive. To do this they need an up to date case history, which provides information on the morale of the prisoner and of any factor, which may be disturbing him.
This information is not ready available to the special branch as prisoners refuse naturally to talk with them. Instead the vital information is compiled by members of the prison service.


The most valuable source of such information are the prison welfare officers. These officers provide the branch with confidential information. on the prisoners. The Branch then are in a pQ5ition to select candidates for informers - putting psychological pressure on the prisoners and offering alternatives.
One example of this method was the case of a. Tyrone prisoner, Tommy Mc Crystal who was serving life impris6nment. He was offered a reduction in sentence and was guaranteed that he would serve no longer than seven years if he "co-operated with the Special Branch." All he had to do was to turn Queens Evidence against men who were on remand in Crumlin Road Gaol . . . repeating against them what the Special Branch would instruct him to say. It was not the first time that this tactic was tried;
The method used also highlights other collaboration between the Special Branch and the prison administration.
Prisoners have been taken from custody to Castlereagh where they have been subjected to psychological pressure, beatings and verbal abuse.  Sentenced prisoners can be taken to Castlereagh on orders from the Northern Ireland Office. They can refuse to see the R.U.C. This and other "rights" are made clear to them before they leave this prison.
This whole procedure is "farcical". The men are supposed to be in the custody of screw escorts at all times and must be returned by 9.00 p.m. to the prison. But once in Castlereagh no laws or rights are recognised. The screw escort is despatched elsewhere and the prisoner is
at the mercy of the Special Branch. This type of collaboration between the prison authorities and the Special Branch cannot be prevented.
The prisoner cannot refuse to go to Castlereagh; if he does he will be taken forcefully. The authorities cannot guarantee the safety of men who are under what is known as a  "production order".

The collaboration is blatant. Any interviews carried out in Castlereagh against the prisoner's wishes are illegal.
Whether a word is spoken or not, a branch man can maintain in the courts an interview did take place -under the supervision of the prison authorities and with the defendants consent. Whose word will be accepted? The judges in the Diplock Courts are puppets under the control of the N.I.O., they collaborate with the whole sham as much as the prison authorities.
The Irish Republican Socialist Party and Relatives for Justice have expressed their determination to expose and campaign against the abuse of prisoners by the Special Branch and their British overlords.

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