101 Uses for a Dermot Desmond

sider the possibility that they might make a ‘legitimate target’ of any member of rangers’ staff? It is such an absurd idea as to be laughable, but readers, this is where we are in 2011. By the accounts of those who know him well, Neil lLennon is a quiet, private, family-orientated Post-peace in the north of Ireland there are stillsome among us who cannot let go of such a individual. He is said to be thoughtful and intelligent in conversation. He is an open person deep and visceral hatred as that of ‘the taigs’ and their fitba team. There is nothing loyal to who has revealed his own battles with serious team, Queen or country about terrorising a footbouts of depression throughout his football ball manager and his family for simply being career. He would be the first to admit that he is no saint and should not be viewed as such. As a Catholics of Irish origin who happen to live and work in this country. If the bullies win and Neil player he was a robust and talented midfielder, Lennon decides to quit Celtic and Scotland it will an inspiring captain to those around him, and a determined winner. It is also said that as a player be a defeat for all of us who strive for equal rights and freedom. We know that Neil is made he could mix it with the best of them, although I of stronger stuff and has faced down the bigots can’t say that I ever saw him play the game ever since joining Celtic as a player, but this is unfairly, or try to cheat his opponents. What possible crime has Neil Lennon committed different,this is an intolerable situation that he,his partner and child have been placed in and they then that deserves the vilification and hatred, deserve the full support of the worldwide Celtic death threats and psychotic Internet campaigns against him? Who has he harmed or offended to family. Stand firm, don’t let the bigots win. We are with you Neil! the extent that his family have to be moved around ‘safe houses’, guarded around the clock, and fear what might be inside the next parcel WELCOME BACK! that drops through their letter box?


There is a serious rumour that a rogue element of a loyalist paramilitary group has actually discussed, let’s just say, ‘the Lennon issue’, to save their blushes(although it would take people who are capable of feeling shame and embarrassment to blush). Why would any loyalist paramilitary organisations be entertaining the possibility of assassinating the manager of Celtic? If there’s anything that demonstrates the higher ideals of republicanism and its goal of a united Ireland it is this ridiculous conspiracy of racists and religious bigots who call themselves ‘loyalists’ and ‘loyal (sic) rangers supporters’. Can you suspend belief for a moment and consider any republican faction going as barmy as to sit at a meeting of their organisation and con-

Welcome to another long-awaited edition of TÁL Fanzine. It’s been while since we last appeared so I’ll save you any excuses about or long absence from Celtic Park, suffice to say that most of the TÁL operation now exists in cyberspace through our website and online forum, as well as on facebook, bebo and twitter. In the process we have gathered together a new Editorial Group that is committed to bringing out this hard copy edition again on a regular basis. The initial plan is to produce two this season, so one more to come and endeavour after that to produce at least four editions of the fanzine per season. This is our 20th Anniversary year and we can promise at least another few freebies along the way. Hopefully we will be reacquainting ourselves with old readers of the fanzine and making new friends along the way.

Go raibh maith agat.

Fraser Forster: With the loss of the iconic Artur Boruc to Fiorentina, it was imperative that his replacement be at least as good between the posts as the Big Pole. Lukasz Zaluska’s performances as first choice were decidedly ragged and inconsistent enough for the coaching staff to look elsewhere for a replacement keeper. In Fraser Forster our loan signing from Newcastle United, we have the safe pair of hands we were looking for. We can only hope that Forster’s season long loan at Celtic will be successful and that his taste of life in Glasgow will have whetted his appetite for more of the same. Let’s hope the initial loan deal can be turned into a permanent stay for the big keeper. Efrain Juarez - Looked like a real player at the start of the season, he is good on the ball, has vision and can rough it with the best of them if the situation arises. He went off the tracks after the ‘Mexican Ladyboy Scandal’ which saw him banned by the Mexican FA from the international team for the season and his form, unsurprisingly, dipped. Neil Lennon managed to persuade him not to accept a loan deal in January reassuring the player that he was still part of the coaching staff’s plans. I think he has great potential and is definitely one player that I’d like to see the club hold on to. Daniel Majstorovic: When Big Danny joined us he made an immediate impact in shoring up an area of our defence that has been probEmilio Izaguirre: lematic for a few years now. The main problem Izaguirre looks like appears to have been in who to team Danny the find of the seaalongside in central defence. The best partnerson so far. His clevship so far appears to be alongside Thomas er interlinking play from the back, his vision and ability, have been a Rogne, but Charlie Mulgrew has performed well revelation. A complete unknown before he came when required, give or take a few basic errors to Celtic Park Izaguirre has been attracting admir- and gaffes. ers from the English Premiership and further afield who appear ready to flash the cash for this Mark Wilson – Before this season I never really rated Wilson too highly since he signed for Celtic. services. TAL’s main concern is the short-terHe has shown promise at times, but his tendency mism of the PLC who may see Izaguirre as an for injury has meant that he really didn’t show the ideal candidate to cash in on. Acquired for only £500,000 and reputed to be the lowest paid play- same form for Celtic that he did with Dundee United. However, this season he has been a rever in the current first team squad he looks like a elation. Perhaps the extra competition for places prime candidate for the PLC to turn over a quick at the back has spurred Mark into a more urgent and very juicy profit at the end of the season. approach to improving his game, whatever it is,


it’s working! Not only is he doing what is required of him at full back and occasional centre-back, he’s also popping up to score important goals, like the one he bagged against Scotland’s Shame FC.

sonably well in the position it’s hard for the manager to drop him and reinstate Rogne, but the best central defensive pairing at the club right now is Rogne and Majstorovic.


Cha Do-Ri – another player who was a relative unknown outside of Korea and Germany before Charlie Mulwe signed him, he is a tough and robust full-back grew - I was with a fast turn of pace and a good delivery of the happy to see Charlie return ball. Probably our best right-back in years, his absence from the team due to the Asian Cup to Celtic after failing to make Tournament means he has lost his place to Wilson for the time being, but I expect to see him the grade unback in the first team before too long. der Strachan but showing real promise while at Aberdeen. He did struggle to adapt to the bigger club again and his performances at left-back were lacklustre and if we’re honest, we started to see why it’s not always the best move to play a midfield player at full-back, because their focus is not necessarily always on defending. With the state of the Celtic back line in the last couple of seasons, having yet another defender who wasn’t very good at defending isn’t exactly what we were after. In saying that, I think Charlie has come good since his initial nervousness in re-donning the hoops. Filling in at Centreback when required has brought out the best in him in big games, although his concentration Freddie Ljunberg: The famous No.7 shirt was lacks the intensity of a full-time centre-back, given to Freddie when he was revealed as the which accounts for the gaffes. All-in-all though, ‘marquee signing during the January transfer winMulgrew is a very good squad player who will dow, and since acquiring the shirt he’s hardly continue to float in and out of the team as and kicked a ball. Signing Ljunberg now smacks of a when required. PLC marketing campaign. It maybe that, in spite of his public enthusiasm for the signing, that this Thomas Rogne – He would definitely be my first acquisition may not have been fully to the choice to play alongside Majstorovic in central manager’s taste, hence Freddie’s relegation to defence, where a good partnership was develop- the bench and reserve team outings. Maybe we ing before Rogne’s injury and displacement by will see more of Ljunberg in the closing few Charlie Mulgrew. Rogne is the player that we weeks of the season as injuries and suspensions thought we were getting when we signed Glen begin to take their toll on the first team regulars, Loovens, he is confident with the ball at his feet, but don’t hold your breath. This could be one of is not nervous under pressure and can defend the most ignominious of signings to wear that and tackle. Obviously with Mulgrew playing reafamous number 7 shirt, which is a pity because

Ljunberg is one of the game’s great players and it would have been nice to see him get a bit of success at the end of his career wearing the hoops.

wing. The acquisition of Kris Commons pushes him further down the pecking order. Kris Commons - Another player who has been a revelation since signing in January, Kris is in danger of becoming known as ‘the hammer of the huns’. He has ability by the sackload. He is also very good with free kicks and corners, which is why I think the management team should advise Ki against taking command at every deadball situation. Commons has more guile and is able to construct more from a free kick. Joe Ledley – Cardiff and Wales’s attacking midfielder with a nose for goal has had to adapt to playing a different type of midfield role at Celtic, but he has adapted his game with aplomb and, in my opinion, is one of the unsung heroes of our current midfield. A great acquisition and hopefully here to stay for a few more years. Ki Sung-Yong – Ki is a fine player with an abundance of skill and ability, although I would question whether he is as good at dead ball situations as he thinks he is. Ledley, Kayal and Brown would be the first 3 names in my midfield every week. After that, it’s between Ki, McCourt, McGinn and Forrest for the remaining place… Of course. Neil Lennon often sees things differently, but I’ll keep trying to put him right (ha ha!). Paddy McCourt – still the man who can light up a game, Paddy has proven his critics wrong this season. Those who questioned his stamina and his ability to go the full 90 minutes have been answered by the fine shifts that he’s put in, as well as the fantastic turn of skill that he occasionally shows to the delight of the crowd. One of the fans’ favourites and one of TAL’s too. Biram Kayal – THE SIGNING OF THE SEASON. Our Palestinian midfielder is probably the best midfield player to grace the Hoops since Paul McStay, Biram Kayal has been a fantastic bargain at £1.2m. He has everything; strong in the tackle, good on the ball, reads the game and

Scott Brown: Another player who, until Lennon’s appointment as manager, was the most infuriating and most criticised player in the squad. Most fans were very doubtful when Brown took the captain’s armband, not just because of doubts about his ability but also based on his neddish, ‘headless chicken’, on-field behaviour. I am the first to hold my hands up when a player proves me wrong and I have to say that Scott Brown has done the business this season. He is finally fulfilling the potential he showed at Hibs and turning into a real player. I can now see why we signed this player and why we shelled out £4.4m for him. He has led from the front this season, but it’s no accident that his return to form has coincided with Lennie’s appointment as manager and a shift of position within the midfield set-up that allows him a free role to move forward and link up with the strike force. Scott’s improvement owes much to the players around him in midfield, in particular to Joe Ledley and Biram Kayal Shaun Maloney – not much to say about Shaun except that he is crocked again. Looked good early on and may have established himself in Lennon’s plans, but he is injury prone and this dictates against him becoming a first team regular. Expect to see him quietly moved on at some point in the next couple of seasons. Niall McGinn – Solid when called upon, Niall can provide good runs, crosses and the occasional goal. Competition for places means that he has been up against Paddy McCourt and James Forrest for that occasional berth on the

can anticipate the opposition’s intent 3 or 4 passes in advance. He plays as the holding midfielder and playmaker, he is comfortable sitting in midfield and spraying the ball around, or trailing back to defend and break up the moves of our opponents. His willingness to have a shot at goal also indicates that we have another side of his game still to look forward to, one that will produce goals too. The real difficulty will be in hanging on to a player of his quality. James Forrest – Showed real maturity when he started the league match at Ibrox against Scotland’s Shame FC, James had done all that’s been asked of him this season whether in the starting line-up or coming on from the bench. He has all the attributes to secure a bright future at Celtic Park.

Keane in his first managerial job at Sunderland. Thankfully he got here in the end and has repaid us with a good tally of goals this season. I think Neil Lennon is playing Stokesie in the right way now and the partnership with Hooper is a mutually beneficial one, with both on course for at least 40 goals between them this season. Daryl Murphy - Was Dermot Desmond doing Niall Quinn a favour when we signed Murphy from Sunderland? No harm to you Daryl but you're never a Celtic player and why we spent in excess of a million quid on this fella still eludes me. Gary Hooper – I have to say that I raised an eyebrow when I heard that we’d paid £2.4m for a relative unknown striker from Scunthorpe United, but Hooper is a player-and-a-half with a real poacher’s eye for goal. He left Davie Weir for dust to score that goal against ‘The Shame’. The nose for goal of McDonald allied to the speed of a whippet, Hoops has all the makings of a great Celtic striker. The future looks bright with the shine of silverware for the team that Neil built! By TimTim

Giorgios Samaras- The Enigma that is Giorgios Samaras goes on. Without doubt, on his day, Samaras is probably the most gifted and talented payer at the club, bar none. However, his ‘day’ comes so infrequently that the fans often miss the good things that the big fella has contributed. There’s no doubting that Neil Lennon knows the worth of this player to the club and accepts the bad along with the good. His shrewd tactics in playing Samaras against rangers at The Reichstag paid off big time when Sami bagged the goals. I remember many Celtic fans that day groaning on hearing that Giorgios was playing from the start, but who would doubt Lennon’s wisdom after that performance? Certainly worthy of a new contract and a longer stay at the club. Anthony Stokes - A player who should have joined Celtic years ago when he was on loan from Arsenal at Falkirk, Anthony had his head turned at the thought of linking up with Roy

Coupled with actual threats of violence is a vile internet-based campaign of incitement and hatred against Lennon. What other country in the world would allow one of its own ‘citizens’ to be bullied and subjected to such a campaign of racial and religious hatred? (I am leaving aside the question of Irish identity and nationality for a moment to pose the question) If Neil Lennon was of any other ethnic group or religion, would we stand by and tolerate the hatred and bile that is being poured on him? Would not the press and politicians of any civilised society be offering public support and sympathy, as well as a ensuring a proactive approach by the police to seriously tackle the issues of violent antiIrish racism and anti-Catholicism. It’s time to challenge the poison of racial hatred and religious intolerance in Scotland, which is a particular problem among an extreme element of the rangers support,. One other question that must be seriously asked is: WHERE ARE THE DECENT RANGERS SUPPORTERS, HAVE THEY NOTHING TO SAY? Apart from both club’s being major employers and a source The test of a democratic nation is said to be the ability of its press to freely criticise its institutions and governof ample tax revenues (well, in our case anyway - have ments and to challenge injustice. While some Scottish they paid that bill yet?) are the police to be taken seriously politicians may be taking baby steps towards addresswhen they call for a ban on these matches, or should we ing the problem, the Scottish media have signally failed consider that they have an ulterior political motivation? to face up to the beast. Only one Scottish-based jourSure enough, a special police operation, the likes of which has not been seen for years at a Glasgow Derby, was imnalist has raised his head above the parapet to offer plemented at Celtic Park and arrest figures came close to unconditional support to, and publicly defend Neil Len300. Again, a staggering number of arrests not seen at the non. In his recent Scotland On Sunday article Andrew fixture in many years, close to ten times the average. After Smith made a brave call for the authorities to accept the match the call was raised to ban the fixture, play it beresponsibility for the situation and to properly address hind closed doors, etc... This before the supposed explothe bigotry, the racism and the threats that Lennon and sive Scottish Cup ties between the two clubs. This was a his family are enduring. The Irish journalist Phil MacGiseries of matches caught up in a political game, well beollabhain is the other voice of dissent in the press pack fore the avalanche of hatred was unleashed on Neil Lenand has garnered his own little pack of ‘Phil-haters’ in non. The police are embarking on a campaign to secure funding and the process. avoid the government cuts that are affecting other public servic- The rest have been litttle better than mealy-mouthed apologists for the lynch mob. One day offering sympaes. In the Strathclyde Police area Celtic and rangers have become hostages to fortune. This cynical politicking by the police thy for Neil and his family. and the next. printing back takes place against the background of the Celtic manager enpage poster-size headlines saying, ‘BLAME LENduring an organised campaign of hatred against himself and NON’!? Aye, where are the honest journalists?(see p3)

There is an ugly undercurrent in Scottish society that has yet to be faced down by our politicians and our media. The catch-all term ‘sectarianism’ is how it is labelled, but if any recent events demonstrated the inadequacy of that term it is surely the situation surrounding the Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Local rivalries on the pitch were subsumed by a political hullabaloo that completely ignored the real issue and, as a result, pointedly failed in its responsibilities to ensure equal rights and treatment for all of its citizens. There are a series of curious circumstances surrounding the build-up to recent matches between Celtic and rangers that merit some closer scrutiny. In the week running up to the last league match at Celtic Park, we had an intervention in the shape of a ‘report’ into the effects of the derby matches on domestic violence figures. This report was immediately backed by the police who went as far as calling at that point (in advance of any of the shenanigans that took place over 3 matches since) for the authorities to take into account the cost of these matches to the public purse in terms of policing and NHS resources and to seriously consider banning the Glasgow Derby!

cs of hate... The politi
his family; hatred that includes bullets through the post and the more recent and more sinister ‘hoax nail bomb’ addressed to Lennon and discovered at a Saltcoats sorting office.

A Rebel Journalist
Phil MacGiollabhain
www.lulu.com Buy online - £8.36
This book is a collection of Phil’s newspapers articles and blogs over the past two years (2008-2010) dealing with the stories that have been central to the Celtic family. From the racist “Famine song”, the controversy of the Poppy on Celtic shirts through to the honest mistakes of match officials culminating in the explosive “Dallasgate” revelations. It is the final story that has made Phil one of the best-known journalists writing on Celtic related matters. In this book Phil tells, for the first time, of how he broke that story. 10% of the royalties of this book will go to the Celtic Graves Society. Phil’s book provides indispensable information for all Celtic supporters who take an interest in the off-pitch

politics of Scottish football, in particular the goingson inside the SFA, sectarian undercurrents and the refereeing scandal. it is a meticulously researched exposé of corrupt practices which have their base in anti-Irish racism and sectarian hatred.It challenges the failure of the Scottish media to properly report issues around Celtic FC. ...

Scenes you seldom see...


A Blast from the past...
Why does Neil Lennon inspire so much hatred from opposition fans at every ground in Scotland? Why does every kick of the ball, every tackle, every minor incident, that this particular Celtic player is involved in, provoke such fury? Is it, as some in the media have argued, because he happens to be a particularly robust midfield player? And what is it about Lennon in particular that encourages such little sympathy or understanding from the Scottish press when he appears to be the victim of racial and sectarian abuse from the stands? Is it because he’s ‘an arrogant wee so-and-so’ as one newspaper hack described him recently on his BBC Scotland radio phone-in show? Or does this unprecedented level of bile against one footballer actually reveal a more sinister, darker secret about the Scottish psyche? In the days following the match it was only Graham Spiers of The Herald - alone among the Scottish presspack - who was prepared to offer a defence of Martin O’Neill’s right to speak out ‘against the racial and sectarian abuse’ of one of his players. He argued that O’Neill should be applauded rather than vilified. The denial of the true nature and extent of anti-Catholicism in Scotland culminates in a cover-up in which our politicians, churchmen, police and press are complicit. It is an institutionalised racism that covers its back by means of a sustained campaign to outlaw the culture and politics of an entire community.

Our songs, our pubs and even our right to describe ourselves as ‘Irish-Scots’ or ‘Scots-Irish’ are denounced as ‘sectarian’ by every politician & political party in Scotland’s parliament and local councils, from the farThe recent furore over Martin O’Neill’s public show of right to the far-left. support for the player could not in any sense be described as a legitimate public debate about the nature of It has long been the contention of this magazine that the abuse suffered by Lennon. It has amounted to little the use of the word ‘sectarianism’ in this context is in more than a demonstration of the political ignorance of itself a term employed to deliberately obscure the true the very same sports press corps that wrings its hands nature of the anti-Irish/anti-Catholic beast that maniwith anger and indignation about ‘sectarianism’ before fests itself at every level of society. Resistance is necand after every Celtic v rangers match. A press which essary because our cultural and political heritage whilst claiming to revile the ‘poisonous atmosphere’ of along with our community’s right to exist - is under an “Old Firm” game also appears to revel in it. attack.

Fascist Ultras Not Welcome
banner raised inside Celtic Park in solidarity with some Dinamo fans who are in dispute with their obnoxious right-wing chairman. While we can identify with any fan of any club who is dissatisfied with the way that their club is run, we do not believe that it is in the interests of Celtic fans or Celtic FC for our fans to make any kind of public solidarity with the Bad Blue Boys as long as the BBB is embarrassed by this extreme nationalist and Nazi element. We do not want Anti-Fascist Campaign Launched friendships or anything to do with fascist elements within the BBB, that is any BBB It was brought to the attention of Celtic Fans who still have anything to do with fascism, Nazism and extreme nationalism. Individual Against Fascism that there have been increasing numbers of Dinamo Zagreb's hooli- Dinamo fans who have nothing to do with fascism and extreme nationalism are welgan gang - the Bad Blue Boys - making visits to Glasgow and following Celtic in Eu- come, as are the individual anti-fascist suprope in recent seasons. Much of the informa- porters of any club. tion available about the Bad Blue Boys suggests that they are predominantly rightwing in political outlook and have an extreme nationalist and Nazi element among their support. On at least two separate occasions over the years the BBB have attacked our anti-fascist friends from St Pauli at Celtic's European matches (in Zagreb and Budapest). The attacks were politically motivated. The BBB know St Pauli's anti-fascist reputation and attacked them because of it.

Unfortunately, some misguided This anti-fascist principle applies equally to Celtic fans have any ultras group at any other club with a indulged rightfascist element still prominent in its stands wing members and terraces. Nazi Ultras - F*ck Off! of this group and made them Celtic Fans Against Fascism want to see a welcome at our change in the situation at Dinamo Zagreb ground and in and other clubs with a problematic fascist our pubs. This season saw a Dinamo Zagreb banner at Celtic Park earlier this season element. We offer our support and solidarity

ABOVE: Ultras from Dinamo Zagreb and Hadjuk Split formed this ‘human swastika’ in a match between Italy and Croatia. The match was played in ‘Red Livorno’, the city where the Italian Communist Party (CPI) was founded. The message of the Croatian Nazis was clear for all to see.

to anti-fascists among the BBB. We would welcome dialogue with anti-Nazis at Dinamo, but we have zero tolerance of fascism at Celtic Park. All who oppose racism and fascism are welcome.

Ballymurphy: When innocence it died
Well you’ve heard about Gibraltar & the ambush at Loughgall, Bloody Sunday up in Derry when fourteen sons did bravely fall. But this song is of a massacre that took place in Belfast Town, When in cold blood,eleven souls by soldiers were shot down.

We have decided to launch a campaign among Celtic supporters aimed at educating them as to the political nature of various ultras (the BBB being one example only) They burst onto our city streets with anger and with and mobilising Celtic fans against fascists rage, and extreme nationalists who may try to Into a brutal massacre these tyrants did engage. attach themselves to our club. Six hundred British soldiers came to take away our

sons, And took away eleven lives,shot down by British guns. They murdered Father Mullen as he went to others' aid, Taking no notice of the handkerchief that he did wave. And poor Joan Brigid Connolly that day she met her fate, Her husband left to grieve and raise a family of eight. Denied the basic human right,the right my friend to live, That’s why we never shall forget,and never shall forgive. No words could ever tell you of the pain we felt inside, On Ballymurphys’ bloodstained streets when innocence it died.

ABOVE: Fascists at Juventus (Viking Juve) raise a banner in solidarity with their Ustase loving friends among the fascists at Dinamo Zagreb. The Ustase was a local fascist militia, whose penchant for extreme violence against its opponents even managed to embarrass the mass murderers of the Nazi SS during WW2

The victims of this bloodshed in a makeshift morgue they lay, But still the British hide the truth don’t have the heart to say. To say that they are sorry,and admit their deeds were wrong, But justice will prevail in time,I pray it won’t be long. For Ballymurphys’ innocents,we’ll keep alive the flame, Expose the falsehood and the lies,and clear at last their names. No stone unturned we’ll leave then in our fight and in our quest, And Ballymurphys’ children dear ,in peace at last may rest. For Father Hugh,and Frank and Noel our love will never die, For Joan and Danny,though we never got to say goodbye. For Joseph Murphy,John McKerr, Eddie Doherty, Joe Corr, John Laverty and Paddy,we’ll remember evermore. We never will forget you for you’re with us everyday, We know you’re watching over us,to guide us on our way. No words could ever tell you of the pain we felt inside, On Ballymurphys’ bloodstained streets when innocence it died.
© ProvoRhino 29th January.2011.All Rights Reserved

Many groups on the extreme right in Europe will try to identify themselves as our ‘friends’ with Papal flags and friendly talk about the Irish struggle, don’t be fooled by it. Make sure that you know the politics of any group who would attach themselves to our club. In each subsequent issue of TÁL, we will present articles that give information about the politics of extreme right-wing ultras groups and hooligan mobs ALL racists and fascists should be booted out of Celtic Park.

Fascist Ultras Not Welcome At Celtic

"Why are you booing the soldiers?"
That was the question I was surprisingly asked at the end of the Emirates Cup tournament in London last summer, surprising because it came from another Celtic supporter. The soldiers were of course members of the British Army who had been invited to the match by Arsenal FC and were taking up position around the pitch, but mainly in front of our support -a provocative gesture in itself- as they prepared to set up the podium for the presentation of the trophy. Needless to say they received a hostile reception from the vast majority of Celtic fans but neither can it be ignored that unfortunately a significant minority in Green & White applauded their presence. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the collective British psyche began to regard its soldiers as 'heroes'. Was it post GFA, the second invasion of Iraq perhaps, prior to the invasion of Afghanistan or maybe during that ongoing campaign? But what is less ambiguous is that such a shift in attitude has taken place. So much so that there now appears to be almost unconditional support for the Brits which to my mind didn't exist when they were murdering and torturing Republicans and Nationalists during 30 years of occupation and oppression in Ireland. That is not to imply that there were huge demonstrations by concerned citizens objecting to the conduct of its soldiers in the six counties. However, neither were they cheered along the streets of garrison towns after a tour of duty in occupied Ulster, as happens now upon return from Helmand or Kabul. Indeed not since the end of the Malvinas War have such triumphalist parades by returning regiments taken place. Then why is it that British soldiers are now somehow regarded as heroes? How does a legacy of hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths across countries and continents result in 'hero' status being conferred upon those responsible? How does mass murder, rape, torture, humiliation, and widespread human rights abuses equate to respect and admiration for ? Whether it be Southern Iraq or South Armagh, Baghdad or Belfast, Kandahar or Coalisland, marauding British soldiers have left a trail of death, destruction and devastation behind them. That is an indisputable fact and yet here we are being expected by some -even some of our own- to applaud them for it! It seems there are those who would rather bury their heads in the sand than confront the reality of the atrocities perpetrated by British troops around the world. “Well I don't actually support the war in Iraq/Afghanistan but now that 'our boys' are out there...” How many times have you heard that old chestnut in recent years? As my good friend and fellow TALster Darren pointed out, it’s a bit like saying “well I don't support police brutality against black people but now that the truncheons are drawn...” It is a cowardly train of thought, bereft of moral courage, which allows the Brits to kill and maim with absolute immunity whilst also failing to challenge the political legitimacy of Britain’s role in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, you don't need me to tell you that such a mindset exists because it has been carefully

fostered by government propaganda and peddled through various media outlets and organisations such as Help For Heroes (there's that word again!) and the Poppy appeal. And if you think the point I make is an exaggerated one then consider the 'Poppy Fascism' of the British Broadcasting Corporation. There is little chance of anybody appearing on the BBC without the obligatory 'Poppy on lapel' during the two weeks either side of Remembrance Sunday!

consequence of Britain's desire to bring justice and stability to a volatile region. Sound familiar? Belfast 1969 maybe?

This is a perception that must be challenged by those who know all to well what the Brits are capable of and responsible for. But back to the original question as posed by my fellow Celtic supporter. So why did I boo those soldiers on that sunny afternoon in North London? I'll tell you why, for Bloody Sunday, Loughgall, BallymurNot even the grieving process is sacred when it phy and Gibraltar. For the Parachute Regiment, comes to political exploitation. Time and again the Black Watch, the KOSB, the UDR, the SAS the coffins of dead British soldiers, draped in and the reign of terror they brought to my land. 'Butchers Aprons' wind their way through WootFor Aiden MacAnespie, Pearse Jordan, Peter Mcton Bassett in glass-top hearses amid the full Bride, Karen Reilly, Martin Peake and many more. glare of the media spotlight. A sombre procession For internment, the Dublin and Monaghan bombwhich is less about paying respects and more to ings, shoot to kill and collusion. Need I go on? do with propagating the myth that the British Maybe now that I have answered that question I Army's role in Iraq or Afghanistan is simply a can ask one of my own... If you didn't boo the peace-keeping mission and the deaths and injusoldiers, WHY NOT? ries sustained by its soldiers merely a terrible

Fascism and Fundamentalism: Two Sides of the Same Coin
The English Defence League (EDL) claim to be a non-racist group opposed to Islamic Fundamentalism. They seem a reasonable response to demented religious fanatics such as Islam4UK. But this is a thin-cover for the racist nationalism that defines the far-right. Although it tries to hide the fact, the EDL was co-founded by BNP members and activists. Its demos are dominated by Nazi-saluting thugs and right-wing football hooligans. Chants of "dirty Muslim basWhen we do organise and fight back, the EDL betray their anti-worktards" and "we hate Pakis more than you" follow the group around er credentials. They brand organised workers as “communist traithe country. tors” and view standing up to job losses, pay cuts, and EDL members are singing from the same hymn sheet as fascist bigmanagement bullying as “criminal.” Like all fascists, they prefer the ots everywhere. By stirring up trouble between Asians and whites in working class to be docile and easily controlled. local communities, the EDL have taken nationalist politics back to the street. Two sides of the same coin for ever more repressive government powers to 'deal' with militant Islam. We've seen how so-called anti-terrorist laws are used against us all, to keep us under control. For the authoritarian state, the EDL is a gift. They divert our attention away from targeting the real enemies of the working class – the bosses, bankers and politicians – and distract us from organising for ourselves, as a class, to fight for control of our lives and communities.

False solutions to real problems
Like the BNP, the EDL have emerged against the backdrop of a political culture which has abandoned the interests of working class people. The mainstream parties have never really looked after our interests, and now the “left” has seemingly lost the will to fight. It’s no surprise that a pissed-off chunk of the white working class has turned to the EDL in search of a voice and a target for their anger. But, like the BNP, the EDL will not solve working class problems. Its demands back up right-wing media hysteria and strengthen calls

The EDL have far more in common with the religious lunatics they claim to oppose than with the rest of us. They are all small-minded bigots with a hatred for the traditional working class values of freedom, fairness and equality. Their racial, religious and cultural 'identity' politics are in complete opposition to our idea of a world where we can all reach our full and unique potential, and we reject them totally. The above text is from a leaflet distributed by Liverpool Anti-Fascists. TAL Endorses & supports the views expressed by L.A.F.

The first trip of the season for the BSL saw a group of 5 of us travel over for the home game v Torino on the 16th October. Unlike our last trip v Lazio, this trip would be a little bit more friendly all round! Arriving on the Friday our first port of call was to meet some old Livornese friends down at the port for a few beers and then head up to a nightclub owned by a communist collective known as Ex-Cinema Aurora. A former railwaymen's union cinema the building has been taken over and run by comrades in the city. There we met up with Torino fan "Pulici" known to many of us from a few Celtic Internet boards Still under decoration we were only in for a short while before heading for dinner at the Melafumo restaurant. This seafood restaurant is very popular with the ultras and political activists in Livorno and it didn't disappoint. Five course were brought before us and we were totally stuffed! We headed down to the seafront bars to finish the night off. Some of the madcap capers that took place down there are best left in Tuscany but let's just say one lad stumbling in the dark for the Gents was lucky not to find his wedding tackle in the soup as he was confronted by an angry chef with a steak knife!! Saturday was match day and we weren't sure whether to buy tickets because the V131TOR2 ultras had been staying away from games earlier in the season in protest at the Tessera del Tifoso. However this seems to have changed and they have to some extent gone back but are not having any organised banners or displays and just buying home tickets on a game to game basis. It left us little time to get tickets though when we realised at 2.50pm that everyone was going in. We needn't have worried. A few words in a few ears and next minute the gates were opened and we were waved through without charge! Now that's hospitality! We then attempted to buy those concerned a drink under the curva and again had drinks given to us! We were more than a little embarrassed. A wet afternoon was forgotten about though as Livorno won 2-0 and continued their climb up the table after a miserable start in September. After the game we headed to Centro Politico 1921, comrades we had befriended last season. This

evening's entertainment was to be provided by the folk from the Torino Askatasuna. An old friendship existed between the BAL and the Ultras Granata. When Livorno went to Turin they would have a drink in the Basque solidarity centre. When Torino came south they would use Cafe Godzilla (one floor below CP1921). Beforehand though we had a bit of business to do and handed over a donation of 100Euros, raised from our recent sale of LIVORNO SCOZIA polo shirts on our forum and through TAL. We also gave them a framed picture of Scottish Socialist Republican, John Maclean. The comrades were very happy at the gesture and thanked everyone concerned who bought a polo shirt. A fantastic evening followed of food and drink and we had to drag ourselves out at 2am as the next part of our weekend was just about to start... Three of us staggered onto the 7.30am train to Verona. We were heading up to meet Enrico and the guys from Virtus and Los Fastidios and to attend their match v Villafranca. Once again the hospitality was second to none. Virtus are very good friends of Livorno and we were shown free entry to the ground, given a new Virtus scarf and handed a Spritz drink! Virtus are a small club in Serie D but their fans are brave to take an anti-fascist position in a city like Verona where fans of Hellas dominate. The large amount of racists and fascists at Hellas is wellknown in Italy and beyond so fair play to the Rossoblu'! Sadly we could only stay one night but we will be returning again in April for a double header! By Fidel

It’s Not Pedigree Chums!
Wasn’t it Bobby Sands who said that “ANYONE, republican or otherwise has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small; no one is too old or too young to do something”? So many times I read obituaries or eulogies about someone being “from a good republican family” as if that were proof positive of their republican credentials. It often made me wonder if I could ever be as good a republican without such distinguished genes.

rural southern communities that had no political awareness or even an idea of what was suffered by their countrymen up north. Or even those in the diaspora, assimilated, separated culturally from the home country, surrounded by and even participating in the endemic anti-Irish racism.

has an MLA in Billy Leonard who has made the journey from being a RUC Reservist and Orange Order member, via the SDLP, to republicanism. The first organised Irish republicans were the United Irishmen who came from the Presbyterian tradition and I’m proud to say that several of our editorial board on TAL are also protestants. There seems a streak in Irish politics which forgets the lessons of a colonial past where our country was ruled by a system that belonged only to itself and it’s descendents, this streak gives us political dynasties still pervading from the poison of a civil war and beyond, the sort that allows Messrs. Cowen and Lenihan to produce sons that have sacrificed our nations sovereignty on the alter of brown envelope clad greed, the sort that allowed Eoin MacNeill’s grandson to become a vitriolic anti-republican Justice Minister and Tanaiste. Bobby Sands was right. It’s in your heart that matters, not where you were born or what school you went to. Everyone has a part to play if they want to, and whenever they are ready. Leave the dynasties to the Blueshirters and the Brown Envelopers.

As a reactionary teenager I went from having Anti-Nazi League posters in my bedroom to being a card carrying member of the Young National Front, all in the same school term. The irony only came home to me when my non-political father sent the local NF rep down the For those of us who were not road with a flea in his ear. I was born or reared to the republican too young to have noticed tradition it would not have been Bloody Sunday and let the Hunso easy to play any part. Of ger Strikes pass me by in a blur course if you were born to the of political apathy. We all have right family on the Falls Road or our own path to where we are. on the Bogside of Derry it would have been more difficult not to Our history is full of such peohave been a republican consid- ple. In Brian Dooleys book ering what you would have ex- “Choosing the Green” we were perienced and witnessed. It told that more than half of the would probably have been exvolunteers in the GPO at Easter pected that you would have 1916 had Scottish and English been what was termed “an acaccents. James Connolly was tive republican”. from Edinburgh, latter day republicans Seán MacStiofáin I don’t say that to in any way and Diarmuid O’Neill were Lonunderestimate the contribution doners,. Even now Sinn Fein made to the struggle over the years of such people, indeed many of our heroes and icons come from exactly that scenario. However for me it was often those who got to where they are politically through their own experiences, studies, and decisions that intrigued me the most. The people who saw through the bigotry experienced in their own lives, religious or political; the people who were born in

By Daithi O

The chairman speaks...


Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (MOJO)

Case Studies No.1: Mohammed Ullah
This is the first in a new series of case studies for Tal on Miscarriages of Justice Cases following on from the visit to the Green Room by Paddy Hill and John McManus of Miscarriages of Justice Organisation. We will look at a different case each issue giving some details of the ins and outs of each case. This incident happened in the morning prior to the baby’s death. Karen had taken her children to her mother’s house in the evening while she went on a night out. Mohammed picked the children up there at 10:30pm that evening after he finished work. Experts at Mohammed’s trial agreed that Kyle would have bled rapidly after he was injured, and died with in five or six hours. But Dr.Walters notes that none of the child’s arteries were damaged and says his bleeding may have been slow and intermittent. He says the Bleeding may have slowed or even stopped, only to start again as a result of jolting as Mohammed walked home with Kyle. He adds while experts agreed Kyle would have died with in six hours, other babies with similar injuries had survived longer.

Our first case is that of Mohammed Ullah convicted of murdering his 10-month-old Stepson Kyle in September 2004 and sentenced to life. Kyle died of injuries to his abdomen in January 2004. It is claimed by the prosecution that Mohammed inflicted the injuries sustained with a one single punch or kick while in a fit of temper. In sentencing Mohammed at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Carloway, said, “You have been found guilty of the murder of a defenceless infant, and Kyle’s Grandmother had said he was not feeding and I must proceed on the basis of the verdict of the jury” was unsettled while she looked after him. Mohammed However subsequent to his conviction respected pathol- tried to feed Kyle a couple of times when they got home ogist Dr.Glyn Walters casted doubt on the safety of the but the baby vomited and was so cold that he took the conviction. Dr. Walters his played a high profile role in baby to bed with him. Mohammed went to neighbours a number of Miscarriage Cases helping to free Dr. Sally when it became apparent to him that the baby was Clark in 1999 who had been wrongfully convicted of seriously Ill. On returning to the house they found the murdering her two sons. He also gave vital evidence in baby dead on the bed. the case of Ian and Angela Gay who were falsely Dr. Walters states that vomiting is consistent with the accused of poisoning their adopted son in2002. injury received earlier in the day. He also says that Dr.Walters states “there is no evidence,” that Mohammed Ullah killed baby Kyle. Dr.Walters suspects that the baby was fatally injured in a tragic accident, perhaps while playing with another child. Dr.Walters writes in his report that, “This would seem to me to be by far the most probable explanation.” He goes on to say also “There is no evidence that he (Mohammed) did anything that day that would have harmed the baby.” Dr.Walters also say that expert evidence given at Mohammed’s trial was “No more than conjecture.” The baby did not die from injuries sustained at, or around the time of death. But injuries sustained much earlier. There are statements from Kyle’s mother Karen Mutch that her four year old son had in fact accidently jumped from a couch in the family home on to the baby who was playing on the floor. Kyle did not appear to have sustained any noticeable injury so was not checked and not given any treatment at the time of the accident. This incident happened 12 hours prior to Kyle’s death. Mohammed’s actions would seem to be that of a caring Father. At his trial a distraught Karen was a main witness for the prosecution. She now supports Mohammed and is convinced of his innocence. She withdrew claims she made against Mohammed and said she had turned on him and made these claims because she felt threatened. She feared she would lose her two other children. She stated “The evidences I gave against him has been eating away at me ever since.” Mohammed is serving his time in HMP Dumfries. He has no family here other than Karen. He has very little interaction with the outside other than with his Lawyer and his support workers at MOJO. Mohammed who is Bangladeshi has limited English so finds it hard to make friends in prison this isolates him further. We would ask that anyone who has any contacts in the Bangladeshi community encourage them to write to him with letters of support or assist you in writing him a letter in his own language. Of courses we would ask that people write to Mohammed and send him messages of support.

rightly asserts that racist division among working class people only serves the interests of the bosses and ruling classes. This is a view that that has been stated in the pages of TAL and other anti-fascist publications many times in the past. Ciaran wears his anti-fascist politics on his sleeve and last year he performed at a benefit for Ireland AFA in Dublin. The horrific outcome of anti-Catholic sectarianism is described in the ballad of Michael McIlveen, a Catholic teenager who was brutally murdered by loyalists in Ballymena in 2006. My favourite song on the album is Nine Hours; the song is one of the slower tracks and tells the story of Ciaran being released from prison for a few short hours to attend his father's funeral. The song, in my opinion, shows the sacrifices that political prisoners have to face and the lyric "A cell door slams behind me just when I need him the most" would bring back painful memories for many current and ex-republican prisoners. The Ciaran Murphy is a singer songwriter from the song You Cried For Ten Men Dead is anothnorth of Ireland. I first became aware of him er one on the album about Ciaran's late father when he released his debut EP The Verbal and reflects upon many of the events in his Hand Grenade. The EP introduced his raw father's life. style and original thought provoking lyrics to a wider audience and marked his arrival to the Other songs on the album touch on a variety rebel scene. His first full album Once Upon A of issues in Irish society from culture to reliTime In Ireland has won him many new fans gion to the economy. In I Feel The Eyes of and it looks like Ciaran is here to stay and British Spies, Ciaran describes the many continuing to improve with every CD. ways the security services can and do spy of political activists. Although the line "Being The album kicks off with a hard hitting track paranoid is a healthy state of mind" could about the PSNI entitled They'll Always Be equally relate to us Celtic supporters! The RUC To Me, the song states that despite what he views as just an image revamp little In a time when some rebel bands could be has changed with policing and he will never accused of lacking originality and albums are accept or co-operate with what he views as a released consisting of old standards recorded British police force in Ireland. This is a view numerous times before, Ciaran Murphy is like that is shared by many within republican and a breath of fresh air to the scene. His rough nationalist communities in the north despite it singing style and lyrics causes debate and I being a number of years since Sinn Fein decid- have met as many critics of his music as ed to recognise the PSNI. Ciaran's republican admirers. However I believe political music politics are anti-GFA and he spent a few years should inspire us to discuss what we are in prison for activities with a militant republi- hearing and this is what I feel has been misscan group, this is reflected in his music. In the ing for a number of years. I would encourage track Rebel Song, Ciaran vividly describes our readers to buy this album, listen to it and the emotions and feelings felt by a volunteer make your minds up for yourselves. By Cibefore an attack. aran's own admission some of the songs on the album were rushed as he was pushed for As well as republicanism, the album deals with time to get the album ready for release. I racism and sectarianism in Ireland. In the would hope for future releases this won't be song A Word To The New Irish Racist, he attacks the hypocrisy of those Irish people the case and I look forward to hearing what who display racism against immigrants and he he does next.

Ciaran Murphy
Once Upon A Time In Ireland

grounds across the country were witnessing a shift in style by the way lads were dressing for Welcome to the first instalment of Terrace the match. Going out was the "scarves round wrist"/boot boy skinhead look, coming in was Trends, a new regular feature for TAL something completely different. It was the readers who are into their clobber. This Casual look.


column aims to give readers the lowdown on what is in fashion among football supporters and will give practical advice on “What to Wear” while following the hoops. Despite what you read in the tabloid press, football supporters who like to have their wardrobe full of good quality clothes rather than gear from the superstore are not automatically hooligans or thugs but ordinary supporters who follow Celtic as passionately as anybody else. If you follow the long tradition among football supporters on these isles who dress in their best and leave their scarf at home on a Saturday afternoon then this column is for you! Any feedback or suggestions for future articles; you can contact the team at terracetrends@hotmail.com For the first instalment we will give you a potted history of the different Terrace Trends through the years.

The birth of the Casual is largely credited to lads who followed Liverpool in the late seventies. Due to their great success in Europe, Liverpool fans had access to European sportswear that was unattainable on these shores. There are legendary stories of how Liverpool fans would loot sportswear shops in countries such as Italy, Germany, France and Switzerland. Brands such as Kappa, Fila, Sergio Tachinni and Lacoste would often be seen at Anfield in those days, matched of course by trainers by German manufacturer, Adidas. This look caught on across the country. Some may argue that it was lads following London clubs who sparked the Casual look, but in my opinion, it’s definitely a look born out of the Northwest of England. Lads were ditching club colours to avoid attention from police so they could infiltrate the "home ends" when visiting an opposing team. It seems almost ironic that these days someone at the match with colours on almost seems out of place. Aberdeen, undoubtedly, were the first in Scotland to go Casual, followed a few years later by Motherwell. Who followed next is an argument that will never cease to be debated. At our club, Celtic, the casual look didn’t kick in until '83/'84. Here is a brief rundown of the labels being sported at different times from the late seventies till the present day....

Where it all began
So where did this phenomenon of "dressing up" for the match begin? Ask ten different people and you will most probably get ten different answers. Over the last thirty years the fashion and looks being sported on the football terraces, and later football stadia has changed dramatically. From bovver boys to the country gent look, football grounds have seen them all. Saturday is catwalk day for working class lads. By the late seventies/early eighties, football

Late Seventies
Doc Martens would have been sported on the feet, donkey jackets, Harrington jackets, Crombie over-

coats. being spotted in those days would also have been flared trousers and platform shoes, complete with club scarf tied round the wrist.

be popular, along with Barbour. Lacoste is a timeless classic and has stood the test of time with lads, along with Ralph Lauren. Other labels have come and gone, others still remain and other labels will be sported. Going dressed to the match used to be about individualism, being a bit different and standing out. Things seem to have come full circle, and some of the sportswear worn in the eighties is now being sought after, don’t laugh too loud, but even Burberry is sneaking back in again. Keep on keeping on.................... Terrace Trends

This is the era which introduced us to the casual. Lads were sporting “Gentlemen’s” labels such as Aquascutum, Burberry, Lyle and Scott and Pringle, and then following their success in Europe, Liverpool lads started sporting labels such as Lacoste, Kappa and Fila and Sergio Tachinni. Lois jeans and cords were also a big hit with lads turning casual. Bennetton rugby tops were much sought after with the white and blue being the most popular, followed by the green and white. As the later part of the 80’s crept in, the bright sportswear and ski jumpers were being replaced with argyle knits paisley pattern shirts and lambs wool jumpers.

The start of this decade saw more expensive labels such as CP Company, Stone Island and Armani being worn at the match. Some lads even ditched the Adidas trainers in favour of Timberland moccasins. If you wore a CP Company Mille Miglia to the match, chances are you would have got a few admiring glances from the other lads. Checked shirts also came into play in this decade.

The Noughties
This decade brought the death of Burberry, as "Neds" adopted this look, especially the caps, a few years later Aquascutum followed suit. More lads were sporting Paul and Shark, other labels started to make their mark, such as 6876, One True Saxon, Zegna. In more recent times, Fjallraven has proved to

Paul Heaton - Sharp Blade
Former Housemartins and Beautiful South frontman Paul Heaton was a recent guest in the Green Room, TAL Forum’s interview area. Paul discussed music, football and politics with us in what turned out to be one of the best ever interviews given to TAL.
Will there ever be a Housemartins’ PAUL: From an early age I listened to Soul and reunion, even Spritz one-off Country and also was physically moved into joinand handed afor a bigdrink! gig? ing a band by Punk. Any music played well and rtus areAs small club in Serie D butsung well still inspires me. Ifanhad to choose one in their fans are brave to take I anti-fascist position PAUL: a far as the Housecity like Verona where fans of Hellas dominate. The large amount of racists and fascists martins are concerned, I don't individual person to sing with it would involve a Hellas is to wet T-shirts.Italy and beyond so fair play to the Rossoblu'! Blues singer. go back well-known in time machine and Memphis Slim, the

Vi a at

Can you give us an insight into the Lyrics of the song "Poppy" and the motivation for writing it? PAUL: It was roughly to say any imperial war is The Beautiful South had the fastest selling British always likely to be the home game v Torino on the The first trip ofwith 'Carry On Up The Charts', a group of 5 of us travel over for a case of hoodwinking the workalbum ever the season for the BSL saw how did ing little bit 16th October. Unlike to get a recording deal for your our last trip v Lazio, this trip would be a class. more friendly all round! you find it so hard latest album Friday our first port of call was Arriving on the with stats like that behind you? to meet some old Livornese friends down at of have run a few The bands that you've been part the port for as PAUL: then head up to a nightclub for little a communist collective known beers andUnfortunately history countsowned byin the collectives with all beingas Ex-Cinema Aurora. A former equal and getting an equal current climate. Otherwise it would just be me and railwaymen's union cinema the building has been taken over and runkindcomrades in the city. Thererecord up share, what by of reaction did you get from we met a series of Black Lace / Brotherhood of Man type companies and other Still under decoration we were with Torino fan "Pulici" known to many of us from a few Celtic Internet boards artists to that kind of socialist acts in the charts. Now we'd all want that wouldn't approach restaurant. only in for a short while before heading for dinner at the Melafumo in a band? This seafood restaurant is very we? PAUL: I've only ever Five greeted with bafflement popular with the ultras and political activists in Livorno and it didn't disappoint. been course were brought before us In regards to bands reforming Weyou think down to a seafront bars to finish the night off. Some of the madand we were totally stuffed! do headed this has the and patronisation when it comes to my politics. negative that took place down there are best left in Don't but let's just say one lad stumbling in walked cap capers effect on new music? Looking at last year’s Tuscany forget, during a Red Wedge meeting Ithe dark for Glastonbury line-up the headliners were almosttackle in the soup as he was Iconfronted by anthe record busi- a the Gents was lucky not to find his wedding all old- out because when suggested that angry chef with er knife!! ness should be nationalised I was shouted down. steakgroups Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, CSN, Madness, Specials, Blur, Nick Cave etc. Although there These are the artists that you thought had a socialSaturday was been the older crowd puller but now festi- to ist approach. has always match day and we weren't sure whether buy tickets because the V131TOR2 ultras had been vals away from games earlier in seems to me protest at the Tessera del Tifoso. However this seems to staying seem saturated by them and itthe season in a lack of ambition in promoting new music over the tried Are there many/any others who have the courage of have changed and they have to some extent gone back but are not having any organised banners or displays and tested big sellers/crowd pleasers. and just buying home tickets on a game to game basis. Ittheir us little time to get tickets though when we realleft convictions? PAUL: I absolutely agree with that even PAUL: There are, but their convictions have ised at 2.50pm that everyone was going in. though i am what you would call an older artist. There changed. Weseems no point in going to a festivalin a fewsee and next minute Red gates were opened and we Paul needn't have worried. A few words just to ears With regard to the Wedge, what do you think of were waved through without charge! Now that's hospitality! We then attempted to buy too close to Labour at thatunder what you can hear on a jukebox. Weller's politics, was he those concerned a drink the curva and again had drinks given to us! We were more than a has he shifted right or left since then? was fortime and little embarrassed. A wet afternoon gotten you a fan of any Spanish, or I suppose more broad- their climb up Weller has always swung from centre Are about though as Livorno won 2-0 and continued PAUL: Paul the table after a miserable start in Seply speaking, international groups that don't sing in Eng- right to centre left but remained a great writer. He tember. lish? Maybe when doing international festivals you will is never going to shift massively either way again, After thehad thewe headed to Centro Politico 1921, not but that's not a criticism. season. This evening's have game chance to see other groups that may comrades we had befriended last entertainment was thebe providedfamous folk from the Torino Askatasuna. An old friendship existed between be well known in to UK but are by the in their respecthetive countries? Ultras Granata. When Livorno went to Turin they would have seems to be moving onto danBAL and the Billy Bragg however a drink in the Basque solidarity centre. When Torinoof quite a bit they would use Cafe Godzilla (one floor below CP1921).recent arguments. PAUL: I am a fan came south of French hip-hop, gerous ground with some of his Rajan and Sajan we had the of business to do and Beforehand though Mishra, a bitSpanish band Edwin handed over a donation of 100Euros, raised from our Moses, particularly their Love polo You on our Any plans to play Glasgow soon and will you be cycling recent sale of LIVORNO SCOZIATurnsshirts Upside forum and through TAL. We also gave them a framed picDown album, and of course, Manu Chao. here? Can you tell us what the Pedals & ture of Scottish Socialist Republican, John Maclean. The comrades were very happy at the Beer Pumps gesture and Tour is about and where we can catch you on tour? thanked everyone concerned who bought a polo shirt. A fantastic evening followed of food and drink and we What bands influenced you growing up and if you PAUL: Details are on www.paulheatonmusic.co.uk had to drag ourselves out at 2am as the next part of our weekend was just about to start... up in Hull and You were born in Merseyside, ended could get to duet with anyone dead or living, who you're a heading up to what Enrico and the with would it be? Three of us staggered onto the 7.30am train to Verona. We were big Blades fan, meet is the connectionguys from

or bitterness in the music industry

Sadly we could only stay one night but we will be returning again in April for a double Have you ever encountered bias Is 'The Rising of Grafton Street' by the Beautiful South header!
in reference to the Easter Rising? PAUL: Not intentionally LOL - but we can claim it for Ireland anyway! PAUL: You certainly can!

By because of your political views? Fidel

PAUL: The Housemartins were removed from Number 1 at Christmas on the morning of the charts, directly in response to something I'd said live on radio 1 about Margaret Thatcher.

Virtus and Los Fastidios and to attend their match v Villafranca. Once again the hospitality was second to none. Virtus are very good friends of Livorno and we were shown free entry to the ground, given a new Virtus scarf

Sheffield United and what is the first match that you remember going to? PAUL: I moved to Sheffield when I was 4. My first United Match, 5-0 against Villa. All downhill from there! What was your first steel city derby match and what was the score? PAUL: Probably Gerry Young testimonial 1970 0-0 Who is your favourite Blades player of all time and current time. and why? PAUL: Geoff Salmons - style and grace Have you ever been to an "OF" match? PAUL: I’ve never been to an "OF" match, never been to a match in Scotland. I believe that you have watched football in countless countries, what is your favourite other team, and have you updated your Top 5 detested teams since 2005? If so what are they? PAUL: Lecce in Southern Italy… As for hated sides that changes every hour of every day. What got you into Italian football? PAUL: My Dad got me into Italian football, he had style and grace.

Ha ha! – No, I wasn’t. You are quoted as saying "everything is political", a view shared by most here. Has it led to many sticky situations for you? PAUL: No, not at all. I'm proud of my politics, I'm proud of a long line of political argument in this country and all over the world. There is nothing that unites me with a person, stranger or friend like a good discussion, argument or fall out over something that both people value. I read an interview you gave when you were playing in Ireland and you mentioned an instance in your Housemartin days where a man was wearing a 'Hang Nelson Mandela' t-shirt at the front of the gig, and you and the band took direct action against him. Were there any other notable instances of when the band took direct action against racists and was that sort of thing common at shows? PAUL: He wasn't wearing a t shirt, he was wearing a badge and I immediately noticed another badge stating 'kill a commie for mommy'. He was working as a roadie and I told him that I was a commie and what was he going to do about it? I then made him take the jacket off which he did and turned it inside out, spat on it and made him put it back on again. The only other time we had trouble with the vocal right was when somebody ‘sieg heiled’ at a Northampton gig, whereby I picked up my microphone stand and attacked him.

I hear you’re a good friend of Sheffield United’s BBC lads (Blades Business Crew). Did you ever get caught up in any trouble at the football with them, and if so what was the most memorable 'ruck' you were involved in? PAUL: There are those on the coach that tell As a Marxist and anti-fascist, what do you think is the jokes, there are those on the coach that fall best way to tackle the rise of fascism and the BNP in asleep, then there are those on the coach who Britland? like to fight. I was the one who told a joke that caused half the coach to fall asleep and the other PAUL: Firstly argument, secondly the bombing of the press and other medias, thirdly direct half to fight. No comment! physical action. Favourite Adidas Trainer? PAUL: Any Adidas Yoshimura, particularly black Following on from what you were saying about tackling anti-fascism… What are your opinions on the ones UAF and how they are tackling the situation with the What are your thoughts on the state of the modern 'EDL' - right approach, or wrong approach? game of football? PAUL: I would only repeat firstly the argument to PAUL: Footballers as the work force are surely them how many Muslims do you actually know? only the pimple, the beer gut, double chin of The answer is always none. How many radical what the industry itself is devouring. When those Muslims do you know? The answer is always in the upper echelons of this sport ask the lower none. Does your suspicion of the community of echelons "why have those representing the Islam arise from any first hand experience? The game become so bloated?" they have to look answer is always No. Finally, does your imprescarefully at the expensive swill that they have sion of Islam come from anything other than the offered as bribes and treats to the already bloatpaper you read and the television station you ed. Ha! Weren't expecting that were you? watch? These people in the EDL are not the peo-

ple who speak to Muslims they are not the people who socialise with Muslims they are the people who know the least, so why are these people the know alls of the Muslim community? Because they’re fed on the same swill that fed the English masses in the 70's and 80's about the Irish. I'm personally of the opinion that the UAF are giving far too much publicity to the EDL and are taking peoples eyes off what the BNP are doing. I'm also not sure that screaming 'racist' all the time helps... Antifascists working in the community to build against fascism is the most sensible way, don't you think? PAUL: Possibly UAF are doing that whilst the BNP thrive, but for the BNP and the EDL to thrive we have to not look at the UAF but to look at the Media and in particular the journalistic notions of the Mail, Sun Express Times Telegraph. Are these to be the establishments we trust with accurate information about racial harmony? My own daughters go to school with every single race you can imagine in perfect harmony. I often walk into the playground thinking, this is a BNP nightmare. If this is to be the one last question I answer tonight, I would say the BNP the EDL, the Mail, and their right-wing cohorts will forever be on the back foot. This next election maybe Blue, but the future is black, white and brown! What's your views in general about politics in Britain at the present time - what choices do the working class have now that every politician from local to national seems to have their nose in the trough and all the mainstream parties appear to have shifted to the right? PAUL: It's tempting as a working class voter to feel alienated, desperate and de-democratised, but this has always been the case. Any voter as old as myself or older will know that working class people have only at the very best of times been represented by 5 or 6 people in parliament. The time came a very long time ago, as it has again now, to question parliament, parliament’s existence and the very existence of democracy. What is you opinion on the current situation in Britain whereby you cannot cross the street, open a newspaper or watch TV without being faced with some 'tribute' to or collection for the British armed forces? PAUL: I'm absolutely gob smacked that the state and their army are blindly controlling millions of people to think that if you give a penny to troops in Afghanistan that they will give a fuck to you when your husband or wife attempts to raise an issue in parliament. By that I mean, when finally the parliamentarians tramp on every civil liberty we ever had, are these troop groups and ‘help for heroes’ going to come to our rescue, or are they

going to be propped up from the turrets outside the house of commons? Can you envisage a reunified Ireland in your lifetime, which is unfettered from Britain? It is for many on this forum the political question of all political questions… PAUL: Yes I can, for the very reason that if the empire of Britain finds a more pertinent thing to scratch they could easily leave the British in Ireland behind. It's worth remembering the most disloyal Britons are the ruling class and royalty. They will abandon Northern Ireland, and abandon Britain if and when a new carrot is dangled in front of them. Speaking of the Irish, what were your own views on the situation in Ireland when the IRA were at war with the British state? PAUL: My own views were gagged at the time. By that I mean interviews where I mentioned the republican struggle in a positive light 'disappeared'. Earlier on I was asked about a Housemartins reunion, and a previous question asked about my feeling on the current climate politically. Lets just say that when i look at the financial sector of the City of London, when I look at the baying politicians with their noses in the troughs of working class taxes, I say to you. P.I.R.A - couldn't you reform for one last gig? It would be a blast. Many thanks Paul, for coming on to the TAL Forum and speaking so freely to us about music, football and politics. It has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege. PAUL: Ok, I'll get going now and I want to thank you for all your questions, but mainly wish you all the best in your lives, your conversations, and where those lives and conversations take you. Up the Blades! And bless you all. X Thanks to all the Talsters who fired the questions: Sheaf, GRB, Victor J, Talman, Celtic Lhad, Greengo, Karl, Barney, Bandit, Ryanbhoy, Ruahri, Dreenan, GSI, Red Clydeside, Pilgrimbhoy, Big Moog.

Very special thanks go to Sheaf for arranging the interview with Paul Heaton.

The Corrib Gas Controversy
In 1996, Gas was discovered 80km off the coast of County Mayo in the Corrib Gasfields. Plans for the project were made public in local newspapers in April 2000. What should have been a simple case of extracting the resource for the benefit of the Irish economy and it's people, has been anything but. It has however, exposed the sinister methods of the Irish Government, An Garda Síochána, the media and a security firm hell bent on forcing this pipeline through North West County Mayo. Unfortunately, I won't be able to examine all the issues of this project in this piece, as it is far too complex, but hopefully I can give you a basic understanding of what is really happening behind the headlines in Co. Mayo. In 1987, former Fíanna Fáil TD, Ray Burke(who was jailed in 2005 for political corruption), introduced new licensing terms for offshore exploration and production. These new terms abolished state royalties, state participation and also offered a 100% tax write off for exploration and development costs. This has been a contentious issue throughout, especially now that the worlds resources are dwindling, prices are rising and more gas is being discovered in Irish waters all the time. The Irish economy could certainly benefit from some of that revenue now! In 2000, Enterprise Oil Ireland(now owned by Shell) applied for planning permission for a gas processing plant at Bellanaboy, 9km inland on peat bogland which was a Special Area of Conservation. After 10 months, Mayo County Council granted permission even though no permission had been granted by the An Bord Pleanála (Irish planning board) for the 9km high pressure pipeline to reach the plant. You have to wonder what kind of pressure was put on the Mayo Co. Council to grant planning for a processing plant even though no safe pipeline route had yet been agreed? Retrospective planning seems to be how the oil companies do business. An Bórd Pleanála appeal the planning and Shell finally get permission in October 2004. Works began on the plant in January 2005 and in June, 5 local men were imprisoned for 94 days for contempt of court for their refusal to not interfere with Shell's works. They became known as “The Rossport 5”, and they all owned land on the proposed pipeline route. The pipeline has been the main focus of the opposition over the last ten years. Shell will not consider a shallow water offshore platform to process the gas(which is normally how it is done), nor will they consider the remote site at Glinsk, which is on the seafront and would remove the need for such a high pressure and dangerous pipeline being laid in close proximity to houses. This is not just any ordinary pipeline. The yellow gas pipes we are familiar with under our streets transport treated gas at a pressure no more than 7 bar. By the time it enters your household gas appliance, it has been decompressed to 0.021 bar. Even at these pressures, gas is still extremely dangerous. But at least you can smell it if there is a leak! Untreated or Raw gas, is odourless. The large Transmission Gas lines that cross the country, carry treated gas at a pressure between 50 and 70 bar with a maximum pipe rating of 100 bar. The Corrib Gas pipeline was initially proposed to carry extremely volatile raw gas across 9km of of unstable bog at 345 bar. Something which has never been done on land anywhere in the world before, yet it was to pass within 70 metres of houses. Shell have never tested such a pipeline, therefore could not guarantee it's safety and still the Irish government were happy to give consent to the project and their full backing. Considering that the Irish State was to gain very little from this venture, why were they so eager to put their citizens at such risk? Surely they were not accepting money from Shell, were they? Ten years on and it seems that those opposed to the pipeline have been justified with their concerns over the project. Planning has still not been granted for the pipeline and when a Transmission line in Appomattox, Virginia, US, exploded in 2008, scorching an area of 350 metres in diameter, a pipeline of only 55 bar, the writing should have been clear on the wall. But they still persist, even though Shell now accept that 345 bar was unsafe and they have now reduced it to 144 bar. The people from groups such as 'Shell to Sea' and 'Pobaill Chill Chomáin' have repeatedly asked for reassurances and public meetings with representatives of Shell, but the only meetings they are interested in are off the record and unaccountable ones. Maybe it's simply a case that they think the local people are lunatic and backward cavemen opposed to change and modernisation? This is certainly the case that the Irish media has presented to the Irish public. Apart from Lorna Siggins of “The Irish Times”, all other newspapers have ran with a Pro-Shell agenda, some not so blatant and others extremely so. “The Irish Independent” has

been very active in trying to demonise the protesters, I suppose not surprising, considering that Tony O'Reilly, head of Independent News & Media, also has interests in gas and oil exploration in Ireland with Providence Resources Plc. RTE and TV3 have also followed suit with their documentaries and news coverage. When protesters are being arrested, their cameras are rolling, but when the cases are being thrown out of court for unlawful arrest, they are nowhere to be seen. Paul Williams, a so called investigative reporter, screened a documentary twice on TV3 called “The Battle for the Gasfields”. It's main purpose was to try and criminalize the protest and to claim that the whole opposition was being run by Republican paramilitaries. Just because republicans have supported the campaign and most famously, Jim Monaghan of the Colombia 3 and Éirigí, then the whole thing is being run by 'terrorists'. Of course it is Paul, well spotted!! It would have nothing to do with the socialist principles of republicanism. Why didn't he then play up the right wing connections to IRMS? IRMS(Integrated Risk Management Services) are the Irish government's own security company. They were employing unvetted security staff at the Shell site, the same company advertising “international armed and unarmed security”. Why were they not questioned about how five of their former staff in Mayo had ended up in Bolivia with a known right wing mercenary, Eduardo Flores, in an attempt to assassinate President Evo Morales? Morales had been nationalising oil and gas revenues at the time. Coincidence maybe!! So if you are looking for impartial journalism in Ireland, you are out of luck except for maybe “The Irish Times”. The policing of the opposition is another extremely difficult issue. From my own experience and from accounts of witnesses and even media quotations, it seems that the Gardaí have shown no impartiality in this case. They have completely turned a blind eye to the law breakers on Shell's side while focusing on the most trivial infringement of a protester. They have failed to investigate any criminal activity by IRMS or themselves. Even the Garda Ombudsman is fighting a losing battle as the DPP will not accept any case for prosecution. Some very strong cases I might add. When Willie Corduff was assaulted after coming out from under a truck by masked IRMS staff and then taken to hospital in a cervical collar and on a spine board, even though there were no Gardaí present, the Gardaí made up a pack of lies based on the word of Jim Farrell and Terry Downes(Directors of IRMS) who were present. The Garda Superintendent Michael Larkin stated that Mr Corduff “was escorted from the site and spoke to Gardaí and it was decided that in the best interests that he be transferred to a hospital

that he complained of feeling unwell” This does not match the ambulance and hospital reports. Also the IRMS staff had wildly varying accounts of what actually happened. In April 2010, Frontline, an Irish Human rights group, published a report complete with the hospital and doctors report and it showed it's findings that Willie Corduff's injuries were consistent with an assault, and have asked for the case to be reinvestigated by Gardaí outside of Mayo. Another incident of note was the sinking of Pat O'Donnell's boat in the early hours of the morning, shortly before the arrival of the pipe laying ship “Solitaire”. He claimed that masked men boarded his boat with handguns and sank his boat and sped off. He sent out a Mayday to the coastguard and called the Gardaí from his mobile phone to tell them his attackers had headed due north. The Gardaí later arrived from the south and made no attempt to trace the attackers. Since then the Gardaí have impounded his boats to keep them away from the area and they did so unlawfully. Is it any wonder that they are then viewed as just another wing of Shell's security? It's now 2011, we've seen more wrongful imprisonment, the processing plant is finished, the pipeline has reached high water mark at the shore and I have just read that Shell have finally been granted planning permission to lay the 9km onshore section of pipe on January 20th, at the third time of asking, coincidently the same day that Fíanna Fáil announce the election date, of March 11th. Is that their parting shot to the already crippled Irish economy? Maybe 8.5million Euros that will be given to Mayo County Council by Shell has something to do with it? It's time now for the Irish public to put pressure on the candidates looking for your vote. This deal needs to be renegotiated and that of all of our natural resources. We need to stabilise our future by taking back our resources to lift Ireland out of recession and give people job security. There are hundreds of billions of resources off our coast, belonging to the Irish state. This would be far more beneficial to our economy than borrowing more debt from the IMF or the European Central Bank. I have to wonder why the Irish Government were happy to sign away our economic and political sovereignty for a 90 Billion bailout, when they could be strengthening our sovereignty and independence by taking back our resources, which are loosely valued at five or six times that amount and rising? With Fíanna Fáil swept out of office in March, it is now up to us to ensure that those elected act to reclaim our resources from Shell.

Article by O’M www.shelltosea.com

The Story Behind The Song
The Ballad of Willie and Danny
December 2009 marked the 25th anniversary was not found until the 21st of December, of the passing of four brave Volunteers of the 1984. Both he and Mac Giolla Bhríghde were PIRA, all of whom were from the Derry area. buried with full military honours, despite harThree of these tragic deaths were as a result assment from the Royal Ulster Constabulary. of summary executions, carried out by the SAS However, it is the story of both William Flemregiment, further ing (Ciarán’s cousin) By Matty Bhoy confirming Britain’s and Danny Doherty “shoot to kill” policy in that is the focus in the occupied Six this edition of TÁL. counties. Volunteers Antoine Mac Giolla Bhríghde, Ciarán Fleming, William Fleming and Danny Doherty all died fighting for the freedom of Ireland in the first week of December, 1984. Mac Giolla Bhríghde and Ciarán Fleming had previously taken part in the “Great Escape” from Long Kesh prison in 1983. Both Volunteers were in the process of mounting an operation against British forces on December 2nd, 1984 near Drumrush, County Fermanagh; when Mac Giolla Bhríghde observed a vehicle, which he believed, contained civilians. He approached the vehicle to tell its occupants to clear out of the area. However, the vehicle contained undercover SAS members who opened fire on the unsuspecting Volunteer, wounding him. Plastic stays were used to handcuff him, before he was tortured and instantly executed where he lay. PIRA Volunteers immediately swarmed the area, engaging the SAS with heavy fire, wounding two soldiers and killing another. The Active Service Unit looked to make their escape across the swollen River Bannagh, where Ciarán Fleming, who was not a strong swimmer, was swept away and drowned. Tragically for the Fleming family, Ciarán’s body

Childhood and Early Years
William Fleming was born on the 23rd of March, 1964. He was the sixth child of Leo and Betty Fleming and was raised in the “Top of the Hill” area in the Waterside, Derry. This area was almost completely surrounded by Loyalist communities and the Fleming’s were always aware of the Unionist Death Squads that patrolled the area. During these turbulent times, Leo Fleming often struggled to secure employment, due in no small part to the discrimination shown towards those of a Catholic or Nationalist background. Despite this, Fleming had a happy childhood. William’s sister Lynn, a Sinn Féin Councillor, states: “Whilst William was not overly academic, he enjoyed school and he had a wide circle of friends. He enjoyed playing football and he loved music. He was also an avid reader”. “Our parents were apolitical. My father would have voted for the local nationalist candidate, Eddie Mc Ateer. That would have been the extent of my families’ involvement”. Things began to change however, after British paratroopers went on a murderous rampage in the streets of Derry on the 30th of January, 1972. “After the terrible events of Bloody Sun-

day many young men and women joined the ranks of the IRA and our family were no different”. “Our brother Paul was first arrested in 1972, aged 16. He was charged with possession of weapons and IRA membership but because of his age he was released on bail and subsequently went on the run. This was the beginning of years of constant harassment by the RUC and British Army. Our family home was raided on a weekly basis, one week we were raided 4 times on the same day! Paul was captured on the 6th June, 1974 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. My brother Archie was arrested in 1976 along with our cousin Ciarán, who was sentenced to life. Archie got 10 years. William Fleming was now 11 years old and he was very aware of what was going on. He would also frequently attend Long Kesh to visit Paul and Archie. At this time he had just started secondary school and he would have experienced daily harassment going to and from school”. At the age of 15, William joined Na Fianna Éireann. He displayed exceptional leadership qualities, rising to the rank of OC. At the age of 17 he moved to the ranks of Óglaigh na hÉireann... Danny Doherty was born on the 23rd of September, 1961. He was the fifth born out of ten children. The Doherty’s were raised in the Creggan Estate, which at the time was a “nogo” area for the British Army. As a boy Danny was interested in sport, with football and handball among his favourite pastimes. The back shed of the Doherty’s residence also contained Danny’s racing pigeons. His hero was the Chelsea legend, Peter Osgood. Danny attended Rosemount Primary School, before furthering his education at St Peter’s Secondary school. He was extremely skilled with his hands, excelling at woodwork and also finding the time to make his brothers homemade go-carts. Danny’s brother Kevin states: “It was a tough time to grow up, with running gun battles going on. Earlier in the troubles, there would be rioting or shooting while we were at school and we would have to get sent

home early. When we were getting older, we were constantly getting stopped on the streets, harassed and searched by the Brits”. The Doherty residence was raided a number of times by the British Army during this period. “They would bang on the door as early as 4:30am and we would all be dragged out of bed and made to sit downstairs while they searched the house,” he continued. “Once we even got raided three times in the one morning!” These raids would often culminate in family members being arrested and taken to the local barracks. Irrespective of the treatment shown towards his family, Kevin claims: “We still had a happy childhood, despite the troubles”. Like his future comrade, it was the events of Bloody Sunday that had a telling effect on Danny Doherty. One of the fourteen victims of that horrific day was Patrick Doherty, Danny’s uncle. “That made us sit up and take notice of what was happening in the North,” said Kevin. At the age of 14 Danny joined Na Fianna Éireann, and like William Fleming, rose to the rank of OC of Derry. In 1977, at the tender age of 16, Danny Doherty joined the ranks of Óglaigh na hÉireann, 2nd Battalion of the Derry Brigade. It is rumoured that Danny lied about his age in order to join; such was his determination to play his part.

Adulthood and Active Service
By 1981 William Fleming had committed himself to removing Britain’s occupation of Ireland by physical force. This was of course the year that the war moved onto a new battleground, the H-Blocks and the ensuing hunger strikes that followed. Fleming empathised with the conditions that his comrades were forced to live in. “William was very active during the hunger strikes of 1980 and ‘81 and he was very influenced by the sacrifice which Bobby Sands and his comrades made,” Lynn said. At this point in time, William was also working in a number of bars in and around Derry, a job suiting his jovial personality. Sadly it was also a year of loss for the Fleming family, with Leo Fleming succumbing to lung cancer in July, aged 50 years. Paul and Archie

Fleming were granted 24 hours compassionate parole to attend their father’s funeral. It was to be the last time that Paul and William Fleming would be together, outside of prison walls. Former comrades have described William as “an enthusiastic and reliable asset to the Republican struggle”. He was an extremely dedicated Volunteer, which often meant he was unable to continue any sporting endeavours and listen to rock music, another favoured pastime... In 1978, shortly after joining the PIRA, Danny Doherty and a comrade were on active service in the Irish Republic. The two Volunteers were travelling on a motorbike when they came across a roadblock controlled by the Garda Síochána. Fearing the worst, they blew through the roadblock, with the Guards in hot pursuit. The two Volunteers dumped the motorbike and took off on foot, crossing numerous fields in an attempt to escape. The Guards frantically gave chase, and eventually caught the pair. The Guard asked Doherty: “What were you up to on the motorbike?” Doherty looked straight at the Guard and without missing a beat, replied: “What motorbike?” There is every chance the two Volunteers may have got away... if Danny didn’t still have his motorbike helmet on! Despite being charged with possession of explosives and IRA membership, Doherty always managed to laugh about playing dumb with the Guards. Kevin Doherty remembers, “He refused to recognise the court and was sentenced to 5 years in Portlaoise jail. While in jail, he had political status”. Conditions in the jail were far from ideal however, as the POWs were subjected to beatings and strip searches. At one point, Doherty was unable to receive a visit for a 3-month period. Danny was imprisoned during the course of the hunger strike. His best friend, Volunteer Charles ‘Pop’ McGuire was in the Honour Guard at the funeral of Volunteer Francis Hughes. Tragically, within a month, McGuire himself would perish in an SAS ambush in the Creggan. Released in 1982, Doherty reported straight back to the PIRA for active service, such was

he dedication to the cause. The harassment from the Crown forces only intensified during this period. “Most Republican families during this time suffered at the hands of both the RUC and the British Army. It was just a way of life at the time... we all grew up with it and had no other point of reference to compare it to, so you just got on with it,” Kevin Doherty recalled. September 25th, 1983 saw a much needed boost to Republican morale when 38 PIRA Volunteers escaped from Long Kesh. It was the biggest escape in Europe since World War II. Ciarán Fleming was amongst the escapees. Lynn Fleming remembers the events that unfolded: “As a frequent visitor to Long Kesh I was amazed that anyone could escape from such a fortified prison... But for so many POW's to escape at the one time was unbelievable. I remember when it came on the news a few days later that Ciarán was one of those who escaped, William and I danced around the living room. I didn't know until many years after William and Ciarán died that they had met up at an IRA training camp in the summer of 1984, while Ciarán was on the run. I have to say that gave me a lot of comfort”.

At approximately 8:00am on the 6th of December, 1984 William Fleming and Danny Doherty, travelling on a motorcycle, entered the grounds of the Gransha Hospital in the Waterside area of Derry. Both men were taking part in an operation, with the target widely believed to be a member of the UDR, who also worked at the hospital. Unbeknownst to the two Volunteers, the SAS lay in wait, after receiving a tip off. In fact the SAS, a detachment of 14 Intelligence Company, had commenced a counter operation at the hospital a fortnight prior. An unmarked vehicle that was driven by an SAS member rammed the motorbike, dislodging Fleming immediately. Without chance to surrender, two SAS soldiers emptied the magazines of their 9mm pistols, before continuing with HK53 sub-machine guns. William suffered

four gunshot wounds to his head and 56 to his body. The motorcycle mounted the kerb and knocked Doherty, who had already been wounded, to the ground. Again, no attempt was made to arrest the Volunteer. Instead, the SAS soldiers continued to empty their rounds into his body. The coroner stated that Doherty had three gunshot wounds to the head area and 21 to his body. William Fleming and Danny Doherty had made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Fleming and Doherty had two handguns in the holdall of the motorcycle. The SAS later claimed that both men had the weapons in their hand, posing a direct threat. Following the shootings the RUC left the bodies lying as they had fallen for a period of five hours. Kevin Doherty continued: “Danny was on active service when he was killed. At this time the Brits, we believe, had a shoot-to-kill policy. He could have been arrested but instead was shot dead. We believe they were executed. As a family we are proud that he was our son and brother. He was a dedicated IRA Volunteer who believed in what he was doing and we supported him all the way”. Danny Doherty left behind his loving wife, Julie and his son Kevin Barry Doherty. Lynn Fleming also remembers her brother with pride. “William was a very loving son and brother who left us so many beautiful memories and we know that love was returned. Paul and Gary were refused compassionate parole when William died and that was very hard for us as a family. To this day any family gathering is always tinged with sadness because that special person is no longer with us”. The ambush caused outrage in Ireland and made headlines around the world. “In Northern Ireland, under British rule, it was the Army who set the ambush - it was an ambush, nothing else. No attempt to arrest was made. The men were shot dead without any chance to surrender,” claimed Peter Barry, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs. John Hume also commented in the House of Commons: “This raises very fundamental questions as to whether the authorities have abandoned the rule of law, and whether we are now in a war situation”.

The funerals of William Fleming and Danny Doherty were the largest Derry had seen since the death of hunger striker Patsy O’Hara. It is estimated that more than 3000 mourners attended. Both Volunteers were given full military funerals. Irish tricolours adorned their coffins and four Volunteers emerged from the crowd and emptied the magazines of their Armalite rifles in their honour. Martin McGuinness gave the graveside oration, stating: "We are an occupied country and those brave enough to fight repression deserve nothing but respect and unfailing support from us all. Only the IRA can bring Britain to the negotiating table." William Fleming and Danny Doherty were buried side by side in the Republican plot of the Derry city cemetery. In 2004 the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland ruled against any action to prosecute three of the SAS soldiers involved in the ambush. Mr Justice Girvin commented “In 2004 it is much too late for the applicant (Doherty’s wife) to seek effectively to re-open a decision made in 1986 and not challenged within a reasonable time thereafter." Pangur Bán’s Gerry Breslin penned the fantastic song “Willie and Danny” in their honour. It is a song that contains many emotions - defiance, anger and sadness to name a few. Such is its quality; nearly every artist on the Irish circuit has covered it. However William Fleming and Danny Doherty represent so much more than mere lyrics can describe. They were two men who made an extraordinary commitment to their community in an attempt to “right the wrongs”. William Fleming and Danny Doherty accepted the ultimate test and family, friends and Republicans will forever remember them with love, pride and the utmost respect.

Willie And Danny
Try to sing some songs of glory, Sing some songs of peace, But in the end it's the same old story, They're both so hard to reach. People tell me they're sick and tired, Of seeing this place run down, Well I say: Take your blindfolds off, you hypocrites, And help us to get off the ground.

Please say it isn't so, Why Willie and Danny had to go, The reasons very clear, They're laying down their lives for us year after year. Seventy shots between their bodies, Not one of those bullets missed, For every trigger pulled that morning, A volunteer will enlist. For five long hours they left them lying there, The priest was turned away, So another step lower for those SAS bastards, We'll never forget the day. The funerals were to prove their worthiness, Thousands thronged the streets, While those Borstal Boys hovered helplessly overhead, The 'RA came out to salute. They emptied their magazines over each coffin, Defiantly the crowd were sent, So another day dawns and the guns will be out again, ‘Cause Willie and Danny had friends.