Grave problems in Tyrone

A row that has been bubbling away in Tyrone has surfaced in the press. This article on Francie Molloy appeared in the Tyrone Democrat:

“This year at the National Graves AGM in Galbally an attempt was made to hijack that organisation by dissident elements…

We now have a number of independent dissident organisations in association with National Grave Tyrone organising counter commemorations in some graveyeards. It is clear that these people just want to hijack commemorations”

Brian Cawley, Chairperson of Tyrone National Graves Association replied claiming SF attempted to take over the independent group and the ‘dissident’ tag is unwarranted:

“I am saddened by this personal attack on myself by Francie Molloy through the media and feel I have no choice but to respond. I have been involved in Tyrone National Graves since my release from Long Kesh in 1983. I have had the honour of chairing the association since the early 1990’s.I feel this attack has been timed in such a way as to blacken my name and the good name of Tyrone National Graves Association. I question the motivation of this attack and whose interest does it serve?

Tyrone National Graves Association has always been an independent organisation. Throughout the years, we have had a good working relationship with the Republican Movement. This represented the consensus among the families of fallen Volunteers and Republican activists. This consensus no longer exists. There is a wide variety of opinion among the families. I have always tried as chair to ensure that Tyrone National Graves Association reflects the feelings of all the families of the fallen Volunteers. Mr Molloy has said Sinn Féin have been excluded. This is not true. Sinn Féin members and supporters continue to play a valued role on our committee. A former member of Tyrone National Graves was recently voted off the committee for acting against the interests of the organisation by organising collections in direct opposition to the annual Tyrone National Graves Easter collection.

Over the last few years a number of families of fallen Volunteers, especially in the East Tyrone area, have approached the Tyrone National Graves Association on a number of issues including asking that their family graves are not used as party political platforms by any organisation and that PSNI policing board members do not lay wreaths on their loved ones graves. Other families had no problems with these issues. Last Easter, in the interests of republican unity, we attempted to facilitate those families which raised concerns by asking Sinn Féin to accommodate their requests. This was refused point blankly. We were told by local leadership that they and they alone would decide how commemorations were organised. On hearing this a number of families in Dungannon, Galbally and Coalisland decided to hold their own independent family commemorations where no political speeches were made. These families requested our assistance. Sinn Féin organised alternative commemorations in Edendork and Galbally.

At our AGM Sinn Féin mobilised all available members, including people from Monaghan, Armagh and Dundalk, to come and remove, by force of numbers, the existing Tyrone National Graves committee. Mr Molloy has tried to label people who attended our AGM as dissidents. The vast majority of people who spoke in favour of retaining the existing committee were families of the fallen Volunteers. Is Mr Molloy calling these families dissidents?

As chairperson of Tyrone National Graves Association I would ask that Mr Molloy should cease his attacks on our organisation and we will continue our work in maintaining the graves, monuments and memories of Tyrone’s Patriot Dead.

  • mayday

    I wonder could Francie Molloy explain to the relatives of Martin Hurson why Gerry Adams, Martin M and the IRA leadership conspired to allow Martin and 6 other hungerstrikers to die knowing that the British had offered a deal that would have ended the hungerstrike. Such an explanation would be a good start to solve some of the disunity problems.

  • Seems Tyrone Republicans are following a similar path chosen by their comrades throughout Ireland, by choosing to hold independent commemorations in honour of Ireland’s dead….

    However, once again PSF have issued smears and villification to describe those who no longer support as ‘dissidents’.

    A wholly wrong term and one in which criminalises decent Republican families, activists and former Political Prisoners. People who have dedicated their whole lives to establishing an Irish Republic!

  • Mark McGregor

    Mairtin,

    I agree with you on the lazy use of ‘dissident’ for anything not SF lead/controlled when it clearly conjures up supporting current armed struggle – the idea I’m sure.

    However, I also think it was unwise of your group to produce posters for the ‘Derry Independent Republican Graves Association’ with a large ‘Supported by Republican Network for Unity’ and your logo.

  • sdelaneys

    I admire the restraint shown by Brian Cawley in the face of such arrogance from Francie Molloy. It appears as if a substantial number of the Tyrone families of dead volunteers have had enough of the spin and the lies.

  • Mark McGregor

    On a personal level I find the tendancy to continue saying the rosary, particularly at the more rural commemorations, anachronistic and and clearly sectarian.

  • Michaelhenry

    i attented a commemoration today at coalisland county tyrone,a colour party was in attendence,there was three bands,about 500 people took part and a sinn fein m.l.a spoke at this event,there were no problems and nothing was amiss,the people of that area know this so they can not be bluffed.

  • Mark McGregor

    Michael Henry,

    Nothing amiss?

    500 people took part? (I assume as a supporter you’ll even be bolstering numbers in your account)

    The organisers notified an expected attendance of 2,000.

    Something seems a little out there.

  • Michaelhenry

    there was no other parade by anyone else mark,so they do not have to bolster anything,i said 5oo because that was about the number that attended.

  • ranger1640

    Seems the shinners have spent too much time with former US president George W Bush. Because they seem to be taking up his mantra, “if your not with us, your against us”.

    Now I understand where the shinners, get their cherished victim hood from, and don’t they like to where their cherished hard fought victim hood with such relish. And don’t they love to wear their victim hood like a badge of honour.

    They really are themselves alone, poor irrational obsessive nationalists. I used to think that they just came out with the same old diatribe, just to keep the faithful in line. But I’m starting to think even the shinners are starting to believe their own propaganda!!!

    Now every republican who has a differing view form the shinners, on the shinners long winding road to the perceived panacea of a united Ireland, is a rabid dissident.

    Even republicans who want to remember their dead terror comrades, in cold and lonely republican grave yards.

    Remember all you nasty republican descender’s, if you don’t march to the shinners tune to that grave yard, your now classified a dissident and an anti shinner.

  • old school

    So the Stalinists are now dictating how families should honour their dead?
    I remember a bagpipe player getting threatened by aaparacthiks, in Belfast a few years back, after he played a few notes at the funeral of an RSF activist.
    “We are prepared to administer British Rule in Ireland for the foreseeable future.”
    Franice Molloy. 1999.
    Is this what Francie was alluding to?

  • Mark McGregor

    Michael,

    The organisers expected four times as many people to attend as you estimate.

    Something seems wrong there. Your counting or their expectation? (admittedly I could believe you found counting difficult)

  • Ulick

    On a personal level I find the tendancy to continue saying the rosary, particularly at the more rural commemorations, anachronistic and and clearly sectarian.

    Unless of course those being commemorated were Catholics themselves, in which case they might be thankful of a few prayers. That is the point of Easter commemorations though isn’t it and not the political grandstanding wherever it may originate?

  • old school

    Michael, did the MLA read the Proclamation?
    Surely a contradiction of the GFA?

  • sdelaneys

    8.there was no other parade by anyone else mark,so they do not have to bolster anything,i said 5oo because that was about the number that attended Michael henry.
    You sure thetre was no other parade ? This is part of a report on ir.net
    “Today (Easter Saturday) at 12 noon over 300 people packed into the Coalisland cemetery to Commemorate the Irish Men and Irish Women who gave their lives for Irish freedom through out the years
    the chair Fergal O’Donnell spoke a few words on behalf of the families he said it had been a trying year for them with the aggressive tactics employed by Sinn Fein against the Tyrone National Graves and recently the attack by PSF against the family labelling the families dissidents he said the families were entitled to remember their dead as they seen fit and he on behalf of all the families in Tyrone involved with the commemorations called for a full public apology “

  • Mark McGregor

    Ulick,

    Well, no. They are not religious acts. These are commemorations and not just for individuals.

    Prayer is exclusive, Catholic prayer more so. Certainly not representative of the Proclamation and those that died for it.

  • Michaelhenry

    like i said sdelaneys there was no other parade throuh coalisland,the people on the ground know the truth.

  • old school

    I don’t see anything in the Proclamation about administering British Rule, Michael.
    I’ve checked again.
    Did you hear any turning noises in the graveyard?

  • Michaelhenry

    how can anybody administer british rule without swearing alliance to the crown old school,cant be done can it.

  • ranger1640

    i attented a commemoration today at coalisland county tyrone,a colour party was in attendence,there was three bands,about 500 people took part and a sinn fein m.l.a spoke at this event,there were no problems and nothing was amiss,the people of that area know this so they can not be bluffed.

    Posted by Michaelhenry on Apr 03, 2010 @ 09:19 PM

    http://www.paradescommission.org/parades/?parade=29852

    Michale,

    was this the same parade as the one set out in the parades commission web site.

    If it is why did they not full fill the proposed determination? You said there were 3 bands and the parades commission web site states there were only to be 2 bands taking part.

    I hope the PSNI are going to take the organizers to court for not carrying out the determination as set out. Or do these determinations only apply to Loyalists???

  • joeCanuck

    It should be obvious by now to most readers of SOT is a troll, maybe a tuv follower, maybe a 32 county something follower.

  • Mr Crowley

    i attented a commemoration today at coalisland county tyrone,a colour party was in attendence,there was three bands,about 500 people took part and a sinn fein m.l.a spoke at this event,there were no problems and nothing was amiss,the people of that area know this so they can not be bluffed.
    Posted by Michaelhenry on Apr 03, 2010 @ 09:19 PM

    Were you bused in from Belfast?

  • old school

    “How can anybody administer British rule without swearing allegiance to the Crown?”
    Michael.
    So who is overseeing the “Northern Ireland” Administration, Michael? The Krankies?
    I believe Gerry Fitt and Paddy Devlin did the same, without swearing to the Queen. But they were traitors and Francie isn’t.

  • Ulick

    Sorry Mark, I have to disagree, they are for the individual fallen, that’s why we read the roll of honour.

  • old school

    Who’s SOT, Joe??

  • sdelaneys

    Well,Michaelhenry, we’ll not worry about parades ‘through’ Coalisland. The important thing is that families like the O’Donnells had a commemoration which they felt comfortable at, not the one you attended, though. I always thought the commemoration was the important thing, but I see that Newry shinners are having a ‘talent competition’ and a £10.00 lunch as part of their Easter commemorations and that’s very republican, isn’t it?

  • Michaelhenry

    im an irish person who attended an irish commemoration mr crowley,the national flag was flown around the town for easter,there was also national flags flying on top of the redundant p.s.n.i station,made redundant because of the good friday agreement.

  • Michaelhenry

    gerry fitt did swear allegiance to the crown when he sat at stormount old school,sinn fein do not,know your history.

  • Mr Crowley

    im an irish person who attended an irish commemoration mr crowley,the national flag was flown around the town for easter,there was also national flags flying on top of the redundant p.s.n.i station,made redundant because of the good friday agreement.
    Posted by Michaelhenry on Apr 03, 2010 @ 10:24 PM

    So you were bused in to make up the numbers; thought as much.

  • joeCanuck

    old school,
    SOT is Slugger o’Toole. I left out the name Michael Henry after SOT.
    Apologies.

  • Michaelhenry

    not bused in,went by car,unlike previous years no foreign british soldiers were bused in.

  • joeCanuck

    Fighting over the rights of people to commemorate their dead, regardless of what anyone thinks of a particular deceased person, is pretty disgusting.
    Mark, what if anything did you hope to achieve with this blog? It’s not clear to me.

  • ranger1640

    This is like a school playground quarrel.

    There not your graves their mine, no there not their mine. I’ll get my da for you, well I’ll get our Gerry for you!!!

    Classic.

  • Mark McGregor

    Joe,

    I hope to achieve nothing other than putting issues into a space where they may or may not be discussed.

    Are you another suggesting silence?

  • Michaelhenry

    well said mark,dont let the begrudgers wear you down.

  • Mark a chara,

    Anti-GFA Republicans as a whole cannot aren’t in favour of armed struggle. Which was the same when the PIRA and PSF were fairly united….

    Regards the Easter posters, RNU rightly support the new Derry Graves Association, much in the same way we support the new Tyrone Assoc also.

  • old school

    Ardoyne Republican. Why didn’t the RNU and the families simply request assistence from the NGA based in Dame Street? They are non party political, and are the original NGA. They don’t allow party allegiances to steer their group.
    They refused to give support to the GFA which led to the Belfast /Joe Cahill led NGA.

  • joeCanuck

    Mark,
    You well know that is a difference between silence and censorship, even self-censorship.
    I believe in free speech, with the usual limits (shouting fire in a theatre when there is no fire, incitement to violence etc).

  • Los Lobos

    At last Molloy shows his and his partys idea of what a united Ireland will mean for people should it ever come to pass. It really is Orwellian in terms of an “Animal Farm” scenerio. The fact that Francy has a plum job as an agent of the British Government seems not to bother him as he admonishes those who would question whether the memories of their loved ones should be used to bolster the “machine”. The rot has set in all over the North but mainly in Tyrone. The people there bought into the project more than anywhere else in the North. They are now counting the return on their investment and its looking worse than those who invested in the PMS. It’s eveloution not revolution these days, that can only mean one thing for Francy and the rest of the bluffers in Tyrone – curtains.

  • Mark McGregor

    Joe,

    If you assume ‘incitement to violence’ in my blogs, there is clearly a comprehension problem on your part.

  • Mr Crowley

    Regards the Easter posters, RNU rightly support the new Derry Graves Association, much in the same way we support the new Tyrone Assoc also.
    Posted by Ardoyne Republican on Apr 03, 2010 @ 11:13 PM

    There is no new association in Tyrone, it is the same National Graves Association as has been in existance from the start. It is simply rededicated to the purpose for which it was intended as opposed to acting as a vehicle for party politics.

  • joeCanuck

    Mark,
    That’s twice in a few days that you have said something to me that’s fairly outrageous.
    I have never ever implied that you encourage violence. I read all your blogs and have never heard such a thing.
    Perhaps we both need to do a bit of recalibration.

  • Cynic2

    “they have left us our fenian dead”

    ….but that one’s mine not yours ’cause I am more fenian than you are

  • Rory Carr

    Joe Canuck’s right. This whole thread reads not so much more than the dialogue script for an episode of South Park.

    It’s as though Mark has single-handedly established a website that might best be called The Forum for Nationalist Disunity, promoting anything however scurrilous that might sow discord among nationalists and republicans.

    Way to go, Mark! Not!

  • Cynic2

    Rory

    I dont like his posts but to be fair he generally reports not sow…. there more than enough dissent and disunity around to satisfy them all.

  • Michaelhenry

    cynic2,there was a cynic4 the other day,how many cynics are there,did they all come from the same donor.

  • joeCanuck

    did they all come from the same donor

    Why do you need to ask that question, Michael? I understand you’re an expert on that topic.

  • Cynic2

    Awwww Michael ….. thanks for caring. We breed like rabbits which is appropriate at this time of the year. One day, when you are older, you will learn how to do that

  • joeCanuck

    Cynic2,
    Please do not encourage him or even think for a moment about letting him know how to do it. I don’t think I could survive two of him.

  • Dixie Elliott

    18.how can anybody administer british rule without swearing alliance to the crown old school,cant be done can it.

    Posted by Michaelhenry

    Like this perhaps? From the P&J Bill…

    The Minister of Justice is responsible for the process of appointing the Police Ombudsman (“PONI”) and for sponsoring his/her office (although the appointment is made formally by HM The Queen on the recommendation of the First Minister and deputy First Minister)…

  • Michaelhenry

    there is no swearing alliance to the crown in this statement dixie elliott,perhaps you should read it again,slowly this time.

  • sdelaneys

    Michaerlhenry, doing is more important than swearing and ‘doing’ the will of Westminster is what S.F are at nowadays.In other words they are administering British rule and getting well paid for it.

  • old school

    Can someone put up Martins Oath of Office. I can’t find it.
    I believe he uses the dreaded “Northern Ireland” term, and vows to uphold “law and order”.
    Which “law” and which “order” is that Michael?

  • old school

    Rory Carr, I believe it was Francie Molloy who brought this into the public domain.
    Would you decribe him as the fomentor of Republican disunity, as you did Mark?

  • Michaelhenry

    unlike a former female m.p,whom old school seems to suppurt,sinn fein does not swear alliance to the crown.

  • old school

    I’m sure Denis Donaldson didn’t take an oath either.
    But sure if thats the best loophole you can find to hide your shame, cling to it.

  • Alias

    Now that the British state has used its puppets to redefine Irish republicanism as support for British sovereignty and a rejection of Irish national rights, they’re very keen that those who don’t agree with its revised definition and prefer to stick with the unrevised definition of self-determination (given in Article 1 of Bunreacht na hÉireann and in Article 1 of the UN’s ICCPR and in Article 1 of the UN’s ICESCR) should also accept the British state’s revised meaning in the interests of “unity” – with all unified in rejection of their right to national self-determination and in support of the legitimcy of British rule and British vetoes and self-censorship of national identity.

  • Michaelhenry

    thats some loophole old school.

  • An Phoblacht Abu

    Francie Molloy has been suspected of being a british agent on more than one occasion, so should anyone be really surprised at his actions?

  • Dixie Elliott

    25.there is no swearing alliance to the crown in this statement dixie elliott,perhaps you should read it again,slowly this time.

    Posted by Michaelhenry

    Oh there is no swearing alliance to the crown Michaelhenry but and I’ll read or type it slowly for yourself…

    Here goes…

    Although…the…appointment…is…made…formally …by…[I like this part]…HM…The…Queen…on…the…recommendation….of…the…First…Minister…and…deputy…First…Minister)…

    So Marty has to recommend the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland [or the North in PSF saving face speak] to HM the Queen before she the HM the Queen of England, the UK FORMALY APPOINTS HIM?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Brilliant!!

  • Michaelhenry

    he does not swear allince,the queen is treated like an equal.unlike her law.

  • Dixie Elliott

    11.he does not swear allince,the queen is treated like an equal.unlike her law.

    Posted by Michaelhenry

    I just love the childish innocence MickyHenry…

    Marty told you P&J was putting control of policing in the hands of Irish men…Did he say women as well? I don’t know, you know that Marty even told lies to Saville…

    Well Is HM the Queen even Irish MichaelHenry?

  • bustermmcc

    the comments from michealhenry regarding the coalisland parade are nothing more than bare faced lies, i was in coalisland that day and attended the ‘familys commemoration’, standing at the corner of the square to see what type of crowd the shinners would get shocked me.
    An Ogra SF colour party wearing the old Army colour party clothes which was farcical, two (2)bands – one from scotland and one from south derry; not 3 bands and a small group down from derry along with ronnie mccartney; a total crowd in the region of 80 inclusive of the aforementioned colour party and bands.
    500? not a chance even the most ardent shinner must’ve been shocked at the small attendance.