Francis Hughes pictured with fellow IRA volunteer Ian Milne in the 1970s.

Francis Hughes pictured with fellow IRA volunteer Ian Milne in the 1970s.

A true guerilla fighter – Francis Hughes (Ian Milnes Tribute to his comrade)
– ON Good Friday 1977, a car-load of RUC men who overtook and flagged down a car travelling along the Moneymore Road in South Derry, were suddenly confronted by armed IRA Volunteers, Two RUC men were killed and one injured in the ensuing shoot-out, and the Volunteers withdrew safely from the area despite a further shoot-out a hundred yards up the road.
– This typically daring operation was one among many during several hugely successful years of republican activity in South Derry. Which enemy forces correctly believed was masterminded by Francis Hughes. The RUC subsequently took the extremely unusual step of issuing a ‘Most wanted’ poster of three republicans from the South Derry village of Bellaghy: Francis Hughes, Dominic McGlinchey and lan Milne — describing them as their ‘most wanted men in the North’.
– Here, one of the ‘wanted’ trio, Ian Milne, now on the blanket protest in H-Block, describes Francis Hughes, the republican he knew both as a fellow activist and as a good friend.

[Pic not very clear]

POSTED ON BEHALF OF :  Irish Republican History & Remembrance.



Óglaigh Lawrence Montgomery and Frankie Donnelly. Belfast Brigade, 3rd Battalion.

On January 5 1979, two IRA Active Service Units were mobilised in Ardoyne by the local Commander. Amongst the Volunteers called up, were two seasoned operatives, Frankie Donnelly (24) and Lawrence Montgomery (24).
In spite of being virtually unknown in republican circles outside of North Belfast. Lawrence was intensely security conscious and preferred to keep a low profile. This secrecy greatly added to strengthen local attacks in the war against British occupation. That also helped the ranks of the 3rd Battalion cope against counter-revolutionary operations by the Crown Forces.

Like Frankie, Lawrence was also married and the father of two young children. Frankie’s wife, Rosemary was expecting their first child. Both men had been active in the IRA since they were teenagers. Frankie was interned on two separate occasions. The first time for six weeks, from March to April 1973, and then from February 1974 until internment ended in December 1975. He continued his involvement in the Republican Movement after his release.

Throughout the night the Squad was repeatedly briefed on the mission. It was important, given that it had only been seven months since three unarmed comrades were brutally executed by the undercover British SAS and RUC during a tragic Operation.

The target on this occasion was a British Army troop carrier docked in Belfast Harbour. According to Republican intelligence, the ship was laden with weapons, vehicles and around five hundred soldiers. The Volunteers were to travel to the Docks with armed back-up and plant large incendiary bombs on board the boat, before safely returning to base. 

Shortly after 7.30am the following morning. Frankie and Lawrence began transporting one of the bombs to a nearby car, parked in Northwick Drive. When the device exploded prematurely, killing both Volunteers instantly.

The esteem in which both men were held by the local community was evident in the massive turnout at their funerals. As the cortege passed through Ardoyne, Óglaigh Na hÉireann fired a three-volley salute.

After leaving North Belfast, the funeral was stopped by the RUC, who demanded the National flag, berets and gloves be taken off the two coffins. After some argument and unnecessary anguish caused to their relatives, wreaths were put around the Tricolours and the funeral proceeded unhindered. At the bottom of the Falls Road 60 uniformed IRA Volunteers, Cumann na mBan, Cumann na gCailíní and Fianna Éireann filed behind the funeral car, which was led by two pipers.

At the Republican Plot in Milltown, their oration was given by Veteran Republican Charlie McGlade. During the course of his address, he said: ‘When these troubles began, Lawrence and Frankie were only boys at school. They saw what the people had to go through, the burnings and shootings under the RUC and B-Specials, and they said ‘Enough is enough….we shall not stand for this any longer! They are two brave examples, and by their self-sacrifice, by their example, others will come forward into this – the generation of victory. How can we lose with young men like these, who would risk everything, go through hardships and risk and suffer death for the freedom of the people. The republican people of Belfast are proud of them; the people of Ireland will be grateful to them’.

POSTED ON BEHALF OF :  Irish Republican History & Remembrance.


Sean South and Fergal O’Hanlon entered the realms of history and song when an IRA raid on a Co Fermanagh RUC barracks went dramatically wrong 56 years ago today – on January 1 1957. Southern correspondent Valerie Robinson reports.

On a cold overcast New Year’s Day in 1957 an IRA unit launched an ill-fated attack on an RUC barracks, sparking a bloody battle that has reached almost mythological status in Irish history.

Limerick man Sean South (28) and 20?-year-old Fergal O’Hanlon, from Monaghan, had been members of the 14-strong IRA unit, led by Sean Garland, that set out that morning in an attempt to storm the Brookeborough RUC barracks in the Co Fermanagh village.

The assault had been planned as part of Operation Harvest – the IRA’s Border Campaign between 1956 and 1962, which intended that flying columns would cross the border from the Republic and attack military and infrastructure targets within the North of Ireland.

An IRA document found in 1956 stated that the aim of the campaign was to “break down the enemy’s administration in the occupied area until he is forced to withdraw his forces”.

IRA members had travelled from as far afield as Cork, Dublin, Wexford, Galway and Limerick to take part in the New Year’s Day assault. But their plan to bomb the barracks went dramatically wrong.

– In his book Sean South of Garryowen, author Des Fogerty says that about a week earlier the RUC had received intelligence that a border station would be attacked. Officers at Brookeborough were well-armed while the station had been sandbagged and equipped with a radio telephone to call for reinforcements if needed. The fateful gun battle began within seconds of an RUC officer discovering by chance the IRA man Phil O’Donoghue attempting to lay a bomb at the barracks door. Two devices failed to detonate and a grenade bounced off the barracks and injured O’Donoghue instead.

Seven men were injured in the attack. Five would survive but Sean South had received a fatal wound to the lower back while Fergal O’Hanlon was bleeding badly after being struck in the legs.

The unit fled the scene, taking temporary shelter in a cow-house where O’ Hanlon lay dying. It is likely that South was already dead.

The survivors eventually managed to make their way back across the border to a farmhouse.

The wounded were later taken to hospital while the others were arrested.

An inquest would find that South had been beyond help when the unit had entered the cow-house but that O’Hanlon’s life could have been saved by first aid – a finding that has been disputed over the decades.

Sean South had lived a quiet but industrious life with his mother and two brothers in Limerick before the raid.

His brother Ger, aged 21 at the time of the Brookeborough attack, recalls how the killing of the man they had known as a hard-working timber yard clerk, scout leader and Irish-language enthusiast had a lasting effect on the family.

“We had all been unaware of the depth of his involvement in the IRA at the time,” Ger South said.

“We first learned of what was happening shortly after he went to the north and used me as a conduit for communicating with the family. We realised that he had been working away while training with the IRA in the mid-west.

“We’ll never be fully sure what motivated him to take the line he did. We lived together. We slept in the same bed. We were very close. But when he was away from here nobody would know where he was. He was obviously out training.

“He’d always loved books and would buy some every week when he got his wages.

“It was after his death that we looked at what he’d been reading and got some insight into what he was thinking.

“There were books on economics, how wealth was dispersed in society, the Irish language and Irish organisations.”

Ger South remembers that his brother had “seen a lot of life” in the years before his death. He had joined the FCA (An Forsa Cosanta Aitiuil or army reserve) and An Rialt, an Irish-speaking wing of the Legion of Mary. As a scout leader, he had encouraged local youths to speak Irish.

“But after Sean died there were a lot of changes. Our house had always been full of chat and craic but my mother Mary refused to live there and we moved to a corporation flat. There were too many memories.”

Over the decades, Ger South has heard “all strands of the republican movement” claim they would have had his brother’s support.

He remains convinced Sean would not have taken his decision to join the IRA lightly.

“He would never do anything in a foolish or haphazard way,” he said.

“Everything was thought through. He obviously had studied [the situation in the north] to the extent he felt it was the only thing to do. It annoys me when people think they know what he would or would not want today.”

Fergal O’Hanlon had worked as a clerk and local authority draughtsman. He spent his spare time going to dances and playing Gaelic football and handball in his native Monaghan.

His sister Padraigin Ui Mhurchadha, aged 15 at the time of his death, describes him as a “wonderful son and brother” who had many friends and was “great to everybody in the family”.

While the South family had been taken by surprise at news of Sean’s IRA activities, the O’Hanlons had been been brought up in a “very republican house”.

“He would have grown up with Irish as his first language. We lived in a border county so we were very aware about what was happening in the six counties. We knew that Catholics were enduring terrible intimidation and suffering.

“Although I was young and it wouldn’t really have been discussed in front of me, I would have sensed that Fergal was involved in the [border campaign] but we believe [Brookeborough] was his first military activity.”

Ms Ui Mhurchadha, a Sinn Féin Monaghan town councillor, had been visiting a relative’s house when the radio reported that two men had been killed in the north.

“We had known Fergal was away because he had said goodbye to us all. He had taken his leave of my mother Alice and when we heard the news she felt straight away he had been killed.

“The next morning we were asked by the gardai to go to Monaghan Hospital and were told by the men being treated there that Fergal was dead.

“I remember all the sounds – the knock on the door by the guards, Daddy telling Mammy, her crying.

“He was a month off 21. We were very proud of Fergal. He had been fighting for Ireland but we were heartbroken when he died.

“We received many many visitors, letters and telegrams of support. It was incredible. Thousands attended the funeral. Fergal and Sean’s deaths had caught the imagination of the whole country.”

However, for the unionist community, the men had simply been “terrorists who had attacked us and were caught in a gun battle”.

Retired Fermanagh Ulster Unionist Party MLA Sam Foster was a member of the Ulster Special Constabulary in 1957, assisting the RUC in patrols and searches.

“It was a very watchful time, patrolling the area during what was regarded as a terrorist campaign. We got a bad name but I was in the force for 20 years and I never gave offence to anyone. I just did my duty. We were there to guard the province. We contended we were British and that was our right.

“Obviously, the station [in Brookeborough] was in the centre of a village and it had to be defended and that was how South and O’Hanlon got killed.”

Crowds lined the route to the border to pay a final tribute to South and O’Hanlon as their bodies were carried from Enniskillen to the cathedral in Monaghan, where they lay in state overnight. Thousands more attended the funerals in Monaghan and Limerick.

POSTED ON BEHALF OF :  Irish Republican History & Remembrance.


Óglach Pearse Jordan. On November 25th 1992

Óglach Pearse Jordan.
On November 25th 1992, an undercover RUC squad rammed Pearse Jordan’s car. Having emerged from the car and staggered across the road, Pearse, who according to the civilian witnesses, was unarmed and made no threatening actions, was shot three times in the back at close range. No warnings were issued. The four independent civilian witnesses have also testified that, whilst Pearse lay dying on Belfast’s Falls Road, he was verbally abused, searched, kicked and had his face pushed into the ground.

POSTED ON BEHALF OF :  Irish Republican History & Remembrance.


Oppose British Sectarian Policing




POSTED ON BEHALF OF :  Padraig FreePows

This is the work of the so-called “community police”


This is the work of the so-called “community police”. This youth was walking home throught Ardowen on Saturday night when the RUC beat him with batons. He has only let people know today what happen. TAKE NOTE, THE RUC-PSNI ARE BEATING INNOCENT YOUTHS IN THE CRAIGAVON AREA EVERY WEEKEND!

POSTED ON BEHALF OF :  Ciaran O Coilean