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Denis Donaldson: Ombudsman launches new investigation

Could we launch ANOTHER investigation about WHO ELSE might be a paid British informant of many, many years?

And THEN, could we launch an investigation to make sure that the passing of Dolours Price was, you know, an actual accident?

GERRY MORIARTY, Northern Editor
Irish Times
30 Jan 2013

Joe McCann – Photo from THE LOST REVOLUTION: THE STORY OF THE OFFICIAL IRA AND THE WORKERS PARTY by Brian Hanley & Scott Millar

The killing of Official IRA commander Joe McCann, who was shot dead by British paratroopers in the Markets area of central Belfast over 40 years ago, was not justified, according to an inquiry by the North’s Historical Enquiries Team (HET).

McCann was viewed as a leading IRA member by the British army and RUC. Aged 24, he was shot as he was running away from British soldiers in April 1972 after being spotted by RUC Special Branch officers. He was in disguise and unarmed at the time.

‘Should have been arrested’

His wife, Anne, and four children yesterday acknowledged that he was a senior IRA figure but asserted the HET report established that he could and should have been arrested rather than shot. “He should have been arrested at the time,” said Ms McCann, who now lives in Galway.

McCann was something of an icon among republicans in the early days of the Troubles.

He took the Official rather than the Provisional IRA side as the IRA split into two factions in 1969/1970. He was involved in the 1972 attempt on the life of the then unionist Stormont minister John Taylor, now Lord Kilclooney, who survived to lead an active political and business life.

The interim HET report noted how RUC special branch officers recognised him in the Markets area and sought the assistance of British paratroopers who were nearby. When confronted, McCann ran, and evidence at the time from a police officer, soldiers, an anonymous witness and a local shopkeeper “was that they shouted at Joe to stop or they would open fire”.

The HET report continued: “One of the soldiers then fired two warning shots into a wall above his head. He did not stop and all three soldiers fired at him as he ran, hitting him with two or three bullets.”

As he lay dying he said to the soldiers who were searching him words to the effect, “ ‘you’ve got me cold, I’ve no weapon’,” the report added.

The HET found that the original investigation into the killing was “flawed” and overall they ruled: “Even though one of the soldiers said he thought Joe was leading them into an ambush the HET considers that Joe’s actions did not amount to the level of specific threat which could have justified the soldiers opening fire in accordance with . . . standard operating procedures.”

RTÉ News
28 Jan 2013

The anniversary march was the first since the PSNI said it was opening a new investigation into Bloody Sunday

Up to 3,000 people have attended a march in Derry to mark the 41st anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when 14 civilians were killed after British army paratroopers opened fired on a civil rights demonstration in the Bogside area.

At Free Derry Corner the crowds were addressed by Bernadette McAliskey, who had been the main speaker at the Bloody Sunday rally in 1972.

This was the first commemoration in Derry since the PSNI confirmed last month that it is opening what it says will be a lengthy and complex investigation into the events of 1972.

That decision by the police followed the Saville Public Inquiry into Bloody Sunday and after an apology was given to the victims and their families by British Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons.

Earlier, on the other side of Derry city, several hundred people attended a loyalist protest linked to the ongoing Union flag controversy.

This weekend also marks the 8th anniversary of the killing of Robert McCartney.

He was an innocent man who was attacked when attempting to intervene in a row in a Belfast bar.

The clientele there include a group who had earlier attended a Bloody Sunday commemoration in Derry.

Nobody has ever been brought to justice for Mr McCartney’s murder.

BreakingNews.ie
28 Jan 2013

Up to 500 republicans from across Ireland attended the funeral of Old Bailey bomber Dolours Price today.

Her sister, Marian, who is in prison accused of dissident republican activity, was not at the service at St Agnes Church in Andersonstown, west Belfast.

Price, 62, was an unrepentant republican hard-liner who fell out with Sinn Féin after the party endorsed the peace process, encouraged the IRA to give up its guns and embraced power-sharing with unionists at Stormont.

No public representatives from the mainstream republican movement were at the ceremony.

In his address, Father Raymond Murray, who had been prison chaplain at Armagh jail, told mourners that Price and her sister were like bosom twins.

He said: “Dolours’ family can relate her nature and her talent, both of which is outside the knowledge and understanding of those who did not know her personally.

“She was clever and witty, full of fun and held people enthralled by her conversation.

“She was very devoted to her parents. Her mother, Chrissie, died on February 1, 1975.

“Their mother never saw Dolours or Marian back in Ireland. They did not get compassionate leave from prison in England to attend her funeral.

“A week afterwards they were repatriated to Ireland but that grief of not seeing her mother meant she never found closure.”

Price’s father, Albert, had also been a prominent IRA member and was interned by the Irish Government at the Curragh Camp during the 1950s.

Black flags were erected on lampposts across Andersonstown today.

There was also a visible police presence in the area.

Price, the former wife of actor Stephen Rea, was convicted and jailed along with her sister for the 1973 car bomb attack on London’s Central Criminal Court in which one man died and more than 200 people were injured.

She spent eight years in jail including several weeks on hunger strike before being released in 1980.

In recent years she clashed with Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams over her allegations that he had been her IRA Officer Commanding during the early 1970s.

Among those who took part in today’s funeral service was Hugh Feeney, who was also jailed in connection with the Old Bailey bombing.

Price consistently claimed that Mr Adams, now a Louth TD, ordered the kidnap and killing of Jean McConville in 1972.

The Catholic mother-of-10 was among dozens of people – later known as the Disappeared – who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republican militants during the Troubles.

Mr Adams has always denied being a member of the IRA. He said he was saddened by Price’s death.

Although Ed Moloney maintains that Dolours Price never once mentioned Jean McConville by name in her Boston College taped interviews, as the following link from Slugger O’Toole explains:

‘Dolours Price’s death does offers the opportunity for her taped testimony and interviews with Anthony McIntyre to finally be released and published in book or documentary form in the short to medium term.’

For the article with many relevant links to other sources, please go here:

Death of Dolours Price… at Slugger O’Toole

Gardaí investigate after former IRA veteran, 62, dies at home

Henry McDonald
Guardian
24 Jan 2013

Dolours Price, left, with her sister Marion in Belfast in 1972. (Photograph: PA Archive/Press Association Image)

Dolours Price, the IRA Old Bailey bomber who later became a bitter critic of Sinn Féin’s peace strategy, has been found dead at her home in north Dublin.

The Garda Síochána are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of the former Irish republican icon in her apartment in Malahide, although she had been in general ill health.

Republican sources confirmed to the Guardian that the former IRA veteran, 62, who was once married to the Hollywood actor Stephen Rea, had died at her home.

Price was involved in a car bombing at the Old Bailey in 1973, which injured more than 200 people and may have led to one person’s death of heart failure. The ex-IRA prisoner, who went on hunger strike with her sister Marion in the 1970s and was subjected to force feeding in English prisons, had struggled with alcohol problems later in life.

She became an arch critic of Gerry Adams, claiming the Sinn Féin president had ordered her to have one of the most famous victims of the IRA – Jean McConville – abducted from her west Belfast home, murdered across the border in the Republic and buried in secret in 1972.

Price alleged that she was given the task of driving McConville, a widow, away from her 10 children in the Divis flats complex to her death on the Co Louth coast. McConville became the most famous of the “Disappeared” – IRA victims whom the organisation killed and buried in secret during the Troubles.

Price claimed Adams had set up a secret IRA unit in Belfast to weed out informers both in its ranks and within the nationalist community who were helping the security forces. The Sinn Féin Louth TD, one of the key architects of the Northern Ireland peace process, has consistently denied her allegations.

In an interview with CBS television in the United States last year, Price repeated her claims about Adams and McConville. She said: “I drove away Jean McConville. I don’t know who gave the instructions to execute her. Obviously it was decided between the general headquarters staff and the people in Belfast. Gerry Adams would have been part of that negotiation as to what was to happen to her.

“I had a call one night and Adams was in a house down the Falls Road and she had been arrested by Cumann [the IRA’s female unit] women and held for a couple of days. She got into my car and as far as she was concerned she was being taken away by the Legion of Mary to a place of safety.

“It wasn’t my decision to disappear her, thank God. All I had to do was drive her from Belfast to Dundalk. I even got her fish and chips and cigarettes before I left her.”

Price was unrepentant about her alleged role in the disappearance and death of McConville.

Marion Price, also a fierce critic of the direction the IRA and Sinn Féin took during the peace process, is in Maghaberry prison in Northern Ireland, where she is facing terrorist-related charges.

By Ken Foy and Cormac Murphy
Independent.ie
24 January 2013

CONVICTED republican terrorist Dolours Price has died suddenly at her Co Dublin home.

Gardai are investigating after the veteran republican – and former wife of well known actor Stephen Rea – was found dead from a suspected drugs overdose in Malahide, north Co Dublin.

It is understood that the body of Ms Price (62) – was found at her home on St Margaret’s Road in Malahide at around 10pm.

Gardai say that there is nothing to indicate suspicious circumstances in relation to the sudden death of the well known Republican activist who had been in bad health for some time.

Price – who is believed to have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder – was a convicted IRA car bomber who took part in a bombing attack on London’s famous Old Bailey Court in 1973 in which more than 200 people were injured.

A senior source said: “She was found unconscious on her bed last night by her son. She has taken overdoses before so that is what is being looked at.”

A post mortem is due to take place on her body at the Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown later today.

Dolours’ sister, Marian Price, is a known associate of murdered Real IRA boss Alan Ryan.

The two sisters joined the IRA following the reintroduction of internment in 1971.

Marian Price (58) served seven years in prison for the 1973 Old Bailey bombings but was released in 1980.

Dolours was sentenced to life in 1973, but released on compassionate grounds in 1980.

In 1983, Dolours married the actor Stephen Rea, who was one of the voices dubbed over that of Gerry Adams during the 1980s broadcasting ban in Britain.

The couple, who have two sons together, divorced in 2003.

She remained politically active and during the late 1990s spoke out against the Good Friday Agreement.

Price later claimed to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of being force-fed in jail and attempted suicide on a number of occasions.

Dolours herself was a convicted IRA bomber who more recently accused Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams of personally ordering abductions.

She had made numerous claims relating to Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams alleged IRA membership and terrorist activities.

Mr Adams was forced to deny claims made by her that he was a central figure in an IRA decision in the early 1970s to launch a bombing campaign in Britain.

She believed the Louth TD betrayed the republic movement by supporting the Northern Ireland peace process.

Former IRA bomber Dolours Price described how Mr Adams ordered her to ferry captives, including Ms McConville, across the Border to be murdered.

Though Mr Adams vehemently denied the claims, Ms Price also spoke about how he approved the IRA’s bombing campaign in mainland Britain.

Ms Price came from a staunch republican background — her father Albert was interned by the Irish government in the Curragh Camp in the 1950s for IRA activity.

Her aunt, Bridie Dolan, was also an active republican who was blinded when explosives she was handling went off prematurely.

**Imagine my surprise after reading this interesting tribute to Arthur Quinlan by Roy Greenslade in the Guardian to find that an article I had re-posted over 8 years ago from the Scotsman via the I.R.B.B. was one of the sources Mr Greenslade listed. I was delighted, since I often ask myself why I have spent almost a decade re-posting news. The simple answer is that it has been a sure-fire way for me to educate myself as well as to make sure that many of the articles are still available when sites disappear, move abruptly, delete things or go behind paywalls. I don’t post much anymore because it seems history is unfortunately repeating itself and people appear to have learned nothing from the past, which makes me sad. If something interests me, however, I put it up. This article by Mr Greenslade interested me.
_____

On the evening of March 13 1965, a man whose face was soon to become one of most famous in the world walked unrecognised into Hanratty’s Hotel in Limerick.

Che Guevara, for it was he, had been forced to spend a night in Ireland when his plane made an unscheduled stopover at Shannon airport after developing mechanical trouble. He had been flying with Cuban government officials and friends from Prague to Havana.

Though a writer in Ireland’s (now defunct) Sunday Tribune described the surprise visit by the Latin American revolutionary as “one of the great missed scoops of Irish journalism” one reporter was on hand to interview Guevara. That was Arthur Quinlan, the self-styled “Shannon airport correspondent” who died, aged 92, just before Christmas. And his story duly appeared on the front page of the Limerick Leader.

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