A Brother in need is a Brother indeed

Source: A Brother in need is a Brother indeed

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A Brother in need is a Brother indeed

Today i remember the 78th birthday of my big brother Billy a man of great courage capable of great love,/ understanding, but always of a very high standards, a man who dedicated his life to the cause of Irish freedom and justice for the nationalist /republican  people of  the north, he gave his all and asked nothing in return.

We came from a large family and as is in big families brothers and sisters always have a favourite I had two my sister Rita and my brother Billy,  on a personal level he was my big brother, who protected me, guided me, advised me, understood me, but most of all loved me and I him.

In the late 70s when I was in real trouble and not knowing what to do or what to think  I turned to Billy for help , and to this day I will always remember what he said , you have a 50% chance of a good result and a 50% chance of a bad result but if i was you i would take my chances as the case is very weak go home and face them down , I swallowed hard as this not what I wanted to hear, but I followed his advice and he was right I did face them down they lost I won !!!

A few years later I had to make a real big big decision which was going to change my life for ever again I turned to Billy and again his advice was spot on and my life changed for the better as i married the greatest woman in the world and after 36 years we are still together, Billy was my best man who on the day of my marriage we both cried tears of happiness, i was saved and he was happy for me .

There are lots of stories to be told about Billy how he in 1958 as an internee in crumlin road jail he tried to escape by trying to dig a tunnel from “D” wing into the grounds of the mater hospital  and it is said that he was down the tunnel when it was discovered a riot ensued and he was got out of the tunnel back onto the wing !!

His next exploit was the attempt to free 400 republican prisoners from “A” wing in the same prison  when he got the IRA to buy a house at the side of jail wall from where they started to dig a tunnel into the jail from the kitchen in the house the where less than 100 feet from the wing when it was discovered by the British and even tho there was 10/12 IRA volunteers in the house at the time they all made good their escape and the brits where  left with a big load of muck on their faces  it was only a matter of days when they transferred all republican prisoners to long kesh!!!!

As for escapes Billy’s greatest was the helicopter and mount joy jail organised and executed by him   as the song says up up and away

On a more serious note it was as commander of the 3rd battalion of the Belfast brigade in 1969/70/71/72 where he was responsible for the protection of the people of ardoyne the bone the markets and the short strand where he with others defended the area and St Matthews church from the attack of the uvf /uda who where determined to burn the church to the ground and drive the nationalist /catholic community from their homes, They did not succeed and to this day the people of the short strand stand tall and proud

I only mention a few of things that Billy did and the amount of respect in which he was/ is held was when he passed his family where overpowered by the support and love shown to them by the local community and from the many many people across Ireland  who knew or had any dealing with him

Today i was on a sinn fein canvass in my adopted home here in Mayo when i met up with  some people from Omagh these were young people in their late twenties who came down to help out , when they found out that i was Billy Kelly’s brother they all said the same thing he is a legend and a man to be admired they never knew Billy, but the did know of some of his exploits !!

In a final note this past few weeks we as  a family put at rest his beloved wife and best friend Kathleen and I can imagine him standing on the other side of that line we will all cross singing “I will take you home again Kathleen” a song he always sang for her but one thing I am really sure of is, that once again Billy and Kathleen are at home with their son Ciarian and still looking down with pride on a job well done as their children and grandchildren have proved , as well as the changes he helped to bring about to a downtrodden community

For me he was only one thing, my brother and adviser and after my father died  my guardian angel and for that i am privileged and blessed

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1960 just after he was released from interment with me at the front jimmy to my right and oliver to my left with billy at the back

Rest In Peace big brother Billy

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Billy my wife Catherine and myself at my wedding 1985

Des O Hagen ex political prisoner 1955/1960

Philip Kelly Ireland.com

des ohagen

I first met Des when he was released from Crumlin Road Jail after serving a sentence for attempting to steal guns from a British army cadet  base in the Malone Road Balmoral area of South Belfast  when he came to visit our home to thank my mother and father for all the help given to support the prisoners in the jail, Des became a regular visitor to our home and was very well liked , we a were all in awe of his academic achievements while in prison  and his determination to further his academic career, i will always remember him telling both me and my older brothers Oliver and Jimmy  that education was the only way to win freedom as it gave you the tools to argue the stupidity of the orange case and the very existence of the orange state of Northern Ireland.

At this time the IRA…

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The peace process at risk by the actions of British Prime Minster on an ego trip

  • downloadcameronGerryAdamsWeb3001images (1)mmcgSince 1985 Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness  have been in conversion and negotiations with the British government of both types, labour and conservative, they as all records show have worked in good faith and honesty at all times and did at the early stages of the peace process put their lives on the line to try and achieve a  proper settlement, a situation accepted  by and praised by John Major the British prime minister of the time and Bill Clinton the president of the united states of america  amongst others, at every step they have been honourable and trust worthy and delivered all that was asked from the Irish  Republican Movement.

    We then had to swallow hard,going into Stormont, Decommissioning, Accepting the PSNI, removal of Ireland’s claim article 42 of Irish  Constitution, Disbandment of IRA, they have put their lives and lives of their  family on the line.as witnessed last week, all done to support a British government who wanted a peace deal with honour because let them know the republican movement could have went on for years and the IRA could have destroyed, London, Manchester, Birmingham,and Liverpool,costing them billions of pounds in lost businness, as they where going to bring the war to them at what ever cost and they knew that

    But what did we get for all of this comprise and good will well below I show you how the British have acted in total bad faith and dishonesty, especially the British conservatives who are now convening with the      D U P to under mine the Good Friday Agreement, and have now today added salt to their insults and arrogance by bringing  forward these proposals below;

    New NIO minister Ben Wallace MP sought to justify murder of Peter Mc Bride in 1992 by Scots Guards. Speaking in Commons in 2005 Wallace said Guardsmen Wright & Fisher ” shot dead a man who they genuinely thought was about to carry out an act of terrorism.” He went on to describe the convicted murderers as ‘fine Guardsmen’. PFC is calling on Secretary of State Teresa Villiers to clarify if Wallace stands by these shameful remarks and if so to send him packing back to the Britain.
    Speaking today PFC spokesperson Paul O’Connor said,” Wright and Fisher would NOT have been convicted of murder had the court accepted that they believed Peter to be about to ‘carry out an act of terrorism’. The court rejected this defence as a pack of lies. Either Wallace doesn’t understand how the criminal justice system works or he is seeking to justify the shooting in the back of an unarmed teenager by soldiers from his former regiment-the Scots Guards. Elected representatives should demand that Wallace clarify his comments or leave his post. Email the Secretary of State at sos@nio.x.gsi.gov.uk We suggest the following text -Does NIO Minister Ben Wallace accept that Peter Mc Bride was murdered by two members of the Scots Guards Regiment?

    Pat Finucane Centre's photo.

    One of the groups associated with the DUP and loyalist 

    Earlier this year the group posted a message saying “When you see someone out with a GAA kit on, remember that they might as well say I am a republican and support the IRA . . . the GAA is the sporting wing of Sinn Féin/IRA.”

    Cameron and the Tories put the peace process at risk grave risk

    Northern Ireland’s committee on the administration of justice says human rights are essential to the Good Friday agreement
    GUARDIANSHIP|BY HENRY MCDONALD

     STATEMENT BY GERRY ADAMS 

    Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today warned that the British Conservative government’s plans to repeal the Human Rights Act is a direct attack on the Good Friday Agreement and the international Treaty that gives effect to it in law.

    Speaking in the Dáil today, the Sinn Féin leader called on the Taoiseach Enda Kenna, as co-guarantor of the Agreement along with the British government, to urgently raise this matter with the British Prime Minister David Cameron.

    Mr Adams said: “Following their election victory last week, the Conservatives have said that they plan a fundamental change to human rights legislation, including repealing the current Human Rights Act and replacing it with a new Act.

    “Part of their focus is to end what they describe as the ‘excessive influence of the European Convention on Human Rights’.

    “Under the Tory’s plan, the ECHR would no longer be able to make binding decisions over the British Supreme Court or force the government to introduce laws to bring them into line with Europe.

    “The implications of the Tory plans to repeal the Human Rights Act and reject the current oversight role of the European Convention on Human Rights are enormous for the administration of government, for justice, policing, and equality in the north.

    “It is also a direct and scandalous attack on the Good Friday Agreement and the international treaty signed by the British and Irish governments which gives legal affect to the Agreement.

    “This would be a grievous breach of the Good Friday Agreement.

    “Under the terms of the treaty between Ireland and the Britain, which incorporates the Good Friday Agreement into law, and is lodged with the United Nations, the British government is obliged to complete the incorporation into law in the north of the European Convention on Human Rights.

    “The Agreement also commits to safeguards to ensure that the Assembly and public authorities in the north cannot infringe the European Convention on Human Rights.

    “These safeguards also apply to policing.

    “The Tory government proposal is a clear and significant breach of the Good Friday Agreement and of the International Treaty that underpins it. There is an onus on the Irish government as a co-guarantor of the Agreement to raise this matter as a matter of urgency with the British government.”

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A lesson to be learned by Fine Gael and the Labour Party

Philip Kelly Ireland.com

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pictures above (1) Bill Craig (2) Gerry Fitt  (3) Civil Rights March

As i read about the government deciding to take water charges from social welfare payments, it brings back a memory of 1971 just after interment,
A huge demonstration was held in the Falls Park  Belfast at the band stand I was a steward at this demonstration, one of the speakers was Austin Curry SDLP along with other prominent speakers from the civil rights movement , when Curry spoke he called for a campaign of civil disobedience, pay no rent, pay no rates, pay no electricity, until interment was abandoned and all internees released no releases no payment the crowd all clapped and cheered knowing that the IRA would never allow any one from the government into the areas and especially west Belfast north Belfast and all the local authority estates around the six counties from Derry to Fermanagh…

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A lesson to be learned by Fine Gael and the Labour Party

images (1)faulkner

0006379e-560gerry fitt resizeimage

pictures above (1) Bill Craig (2) Gerry Fitt  (3) Civil Rights March

As i read about the government deciding to take water charges from social welfare payments, it brings back a memory of 1971 just after interment,
A huge demonstration was held in the Falls Park  Belfast at the band stand I was a steward at this demonstration, one of the speakers was Austin Curry SDLP along with other prominent speakers from the civil rights movement , when Curry spoke he called for a campaign of civil disobedience, pay no rent, pay no rates, pay no electricity, until interment was abandoned and all internees released no releases no payment the crowd all clapped and cheered knowing that the IRA would never allow any one from the government into the areas and especially west Belfast north Belfast and all the local authority estates around the six counties from Derry to Fermanagh to North Antrim, We had risen and all was well we were all united or so we thought,

Come 1974 and the power shearing agreement of Sunningdale between Cosgroves Irish government , the sdlp led by Gerry Fitt, John Hume , Paddy Devlin and Austin Curry, and Brian Faulkners unionist party along with the British government.

Curry was made minister for housing and Devlin (who was member of the Northern Ireland Labour Party) minister of social welfare. They were not long in office when the thunderbolt hit, Curry and Devlin decided that all the out standing monies not paid on the civil disobedience campaign were going to be deducted from the social welfare payments of people who had not paid !!!!! after the fall of the government Curry decamped to the Free State and joined the Fine Gael party Devlin was evicted from his home in West Belfast and left public life

This was the beginning of the end for the sdlp  and so it will also be the beginning of the end of FG/ lab if they are stupid enough to do this to the people of Ireland !!!!

Des O Hagen ex political prisoner 1955/1960

des ohagen

I first met Des when he was released from Crumlin Road Jail after serving a sentence for attempting to steal guns from a British army cadet  base in the Malone Road Balmoral area of South Belfast  when he came to visit our home to thank my mother and father for all the help given to support the prisoners in the jail, Des became a regular visitor to our home and was very well liked , we a were all in awe of his academic achievements while in prison  and his determination to further his academic career, i will always remember him telling both me and my older brothers Oliver and Jimmy  that education was the only way to win freedom as it gave you the tools to argue the stupidity of the orange case and the very existence of the orange state of Northern Ireland.

At this time the IRA border campaign had been called off, this was due mainly to the fact that the nationalist / republican population in Northern Ireland did not support the campaign and in general felt that we republicans where a load of clowns and stupid ones at that, that is not to say that they did not admire us but felt it was a lost cause, because the Irish Fianna Fail Government of De Valera  and  Lemass would not support our plight and nor were they going to stand up to the Unionists  as a matter of fact they had interned republicans to undermine the efforts of republicans campaign,  we were on our own and so the emphasis must be on trying to improve our living conditions under the unionist regime and ignore the belief that we could achieve a United Ireland by the use of force  

This was the first time I heard the words Civil Rights we need to claim our Civil  Rights they were spoken by Des O Hagen 

Des went off the the London school of economics to continue his studies and it was at this point we lost contact with him for a few years.

My next encounter with him was in 1964 when Sinn Fein ran the late Liam Mc Millen as their candidate for West Belfast in the Westminster election Which was to become the start of the efforts of Northern Ireland republicans to claim our civil rights as people and not 2nd/3rd class citizens  within our own country it was the start of the fight back, and Des O Hagen was the main driving force within the Republican Movement to achieve that change.

Unfortunately the events of 1969 where to change all that as the unionist politicians and their paramilitary police force (R U C) backed up by their paramilitary militia the B Specials launched an offence against the Nationalist/ Republican  community which led to the burning of catholic homes and what we would call today ethnic cleansing of over 3000 catholic families in the Belfast area alone as well as the concerted attack on the Catholic community in the Bogside of Derry.

These events where to lead to the eventual split in the Republican Movement and the formation of the Provisional IRA and Provisional Sinn Fein, the leaders of what was by then the disgraced leadership where  removed, who then went on to form Sinn Fein the  Workers Party later to become the Workers Party, Des remained with them. I have often thought, what if what if Des O Hagen had of stayed with the provisionals , what contribution would/ could he have made?  will we ever know ? In my opinion I feel we in the Provisional Movement lost what would have been a great political asset to our struggle for freedom