Monday, August 27, 2012

Open Letter from O’Hara and Devine families to Adams, Morrison, Gibney, McGuinness, Hartley and McFarlane

We welcome the fact that Danny Morrison has broken his silence and has given some insight into the events of the first week of July 1981 concerning the hunger strike in Long Kesh. In that light we would like to ask a few questions in the hope of getting answers that may finally put to rest the events surrounding the tragic deaths of our loved ones.
Danny has stated that he relayed the contents of an offer to the PIRA prison OC, Bik McFarlane, on July 5 1981.
Richard O’Rawe, the prison PRO, has said that Bik sent him down a comm detailing what was on offer, and that he said to Bik “Ta go leor ann” (There is enough there). This has been verified to some of our families by two ex-Blanketmen who had been there on the wing and heard the words. Also, Bik himself, in a press interview in 2009, finally admitted he had had a conversation with Richard, and that he thought the Brit offer was “amazing.” In light of this, we must assume that Bik made his and Richard’s views known to their outside leadership. What we would like to know is:

Q1: Why was this offer not accepted?

Q2: Who, on the outside overrode Bik’s authority?

Q3: Why was the Hunger Strike allowed to continue, on direction from the outside (not the POWs)?

Q4: Mrs McDonnell asked Gerry Adams to save her son’s life and put an end to the Hunger Strike by ordering the POWs off it. Mr Adams’ reply was that he did not have the authority to do this. Who had the authority (Brendan McLaughlin was ordered off it due to his medical condition)?

Q5: Why was the IRSP (who were joint participants in the Hunger Strike) not informed about the offer through Mountain Climber?

Q6: The British sent you their offer (to be released upon the ending of the Hunger Strike) in the form of dictated statements on the 6th and 20th of July. Why were these statements never shown to the POWs?

Q7: Who took the decision to withhold the statements from the hunger strikers and the prison leadership?

Q8: On the 29th of July, Gerry Adams told the mother and father of Kieran Doherty, and the hunger strikers, that ”there was no deal on the table, no movement of any sort” despite him being at the centre of ongoing communications/negotiations with the Brits from July 4th to July 20th.

Why did Adams deliberately mislead the hunger strikers? Did he think that they might call off their fast if they found out what was really happening? We should not forget that four of those men who listened and joked with Adams, went on to die horrible deaths in total ignorance of what the British were offering.
In Danny Morrison’s recent letter he spoke of the “families’ pain”‘. Danny can’t even hope to imagine the pain felt by some of our families. We, the undersigned, believe that the Hunger Strike was prolonged when an honourable settlement was available, a settlement that would have saved the lives of six brave men.
We called for an independent inquiry three years ago, asking all those involved in this matter to attend. Only Richard O’Rawe and the late Dr. Garrett FitzGerald said they would attend.
We once again call for on Gerry Adams, Danny Morrison, Jim Gibney, Martin McGuinness, Tom Hartley, and BikMcFarlane to attend. The least we deserve, is a reason why they won’t attend, and failing that, they could provide answers to our questions.

Is sinne
Peggy and Tony O Hara, Michael and Louise Devine.


I have written about this issue before and I am in contact often with my good friend and Hibernian Brother Joe McCloskey from AOH Derry Div. #1. Joe is a brother of Peggy O’Hara and uncle of Tony and his brother Patsy, who died on Hunger Strike in 1981. Michael and Louise Devine are the son and daughter of Mickey Devine, the last hunger striker to die. If anyone has a right to full disclosure of the facts regarding the deaths of those ten valiant young Irish patriots, it is without doubt their families, some of whom very obviously still harbor serious doubts about the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their loved ones. May God Bless those troubled families and grant them the peace that they deserve. As far as others are concerned, we must form our own opinions based on available information while keeping an open mind to further information that may become available at a later date.  

Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America

Saturday, August 25, 2012

President's Tea Party 'smackdown' goes viral


A TWO-YEAR-OLD clip featuring President Michael D Higgins deriding a conservative US talk show host took on a new lease of life and went “viral” yesterday. By late last night it had been viewed more than one million times.
There has been huge reaction to it from users of social networking sites in the United States where it was described yesterday as a “Tea Party smackdown”.
The clip dates from 2010 when a debate took place on Newstalk radio between Mr Higgins, then a Labour Party TD, and the Boston talk show host and Tea Party advocate Michael Graham. In the clip from a debate about foreign policy on George Hook’s programme, Mr Higgins tells Graham to “be proud to be a decent American rather than being just a w**ker whipping up fear”.

The sudden spike in traffic for the clip is linked to social network sharing site On Wednesday it posted the clip with the headline, “a Tea Partier decided to pick a fight with a foreign president. It didn’t go so well.”
In the post, Mansur Gidfar of Upworthy wrote that Michael D Higgins was “fed up with over-the-top Tea Party rhetoric, and he isn’t afraid to show it. Listen to him call out radio host Michael Graham on everything from healthcare to foreign policy. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this.”
By last night the story had received over a million unique page views (1,041,032) on the Upworthy site and had become the site's most widely viewed post ever, a spokesman told The Irish Times. The Upworthy story was shared 60,184 times on Facebook and 28,230 times on Twitter, he said.

A link to the clip was also retweeted by some influential American tweeters, with some 50,000 followers, including actor Mia Farrow, Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi and author Jeffrey Feldman.
Half a million followers received the link in a tweet from evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins describing Mr Higgins as “no ordinary president”. The clip was posted on YouTube in February 2012 by a pro-Obama blogger. “It made the rounds on a couple of political blogs a few months back but never gained any significant traction,” Gidfar told The Irish Times yesterday. “It was a great clip, though, so I thought it was worth trying to send it viral again,” he added.
“For a lot of Americans, it’s incredibly rare to hear someone emphatically reject Tea Party talking points so straightforwardly in a media setting,” he said.
Yesterday, Graham tweeted: “If opposing Arab terrorists and supporting Israel’s right to self-defence still means I’m a ‘w**ker’, nothing’s changed.”
A spokesman for Mr Higgins had no comment to make.
To listen to Mr Higgins debate with Graham, go to

If there was ever any doubt about this Marxist/Socialist political “hanger on”, this rant should clear up that doubt. He has hung around on the fringes of Irish Labour Party politics for decades and managed to get elected to various low level political offices while spewing his anti American rhetoric and involving himself in demonstrations against American foreign policy, two Presidents of the United States of America, and the reprehensible protests which were specifically designed to ridicule the valiant men and women of our American military who were passing through Shannon Airport. He has the unmitigated nerve to call somebody else “a wanker”, I submit to you that Mr. Higgins was then and is now nothing more than a sniveling little anti American politician whose very offensive opinions and remarks we, in the United States of America, could do very well without.

Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Proud Citizen of the United States of America and Ireland

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Irish President Michael D Higgins is asked “Why should Americans visit Ireland now?”

In advance of The Gathering, Ireland’s President speaks out to the 42 million Irish Americans (as long as they are not wearing the uniform of our U.S. armed forces).

CATHY HAYES, - IrishCentral Staff Writer - 14 August  2012

As Ireland gears up for The Gathering Ireland 2013, Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins is calling on Americans to visit the “Old Country” and celebrate their Irish roots.
 Recently the President spoke to travel blog,about his time spent in the US, his affinity to the country, and Ireland’s rich resource, its Diaspora.
The site forthrightly asked the President, “Why should Americans visit Ireland now?”
His response was to the point and went directly to what the consumer / traveler is truly concerned about - value for money, finding their roots, and that world famous Irish charm.
Higgins said, “They would find Ireland a great value right now. In my memory, I've never seen such values on hotels and guesthouses and so forth as there is right now. It's also great value because part of the excesses of the Celtic Tiger years has been blown away.”
With over 42 million Irish Americans it’s not surprising that Ireland has become a major destination for genealogy vacations.
He said, “By now the original census materials from the 19th and 20th centuries have been put up online and digitized. So it'll be possible for people to trace where their ancestors came from - even on a brief holiday.”
Finally he touched on the famous Irish welcome from the country of Cead Mille Failte (“A hundred thousand welcomes”).
Ireland’s new president ended by saying, “There's incredible warmth towards people who come from the United States to experience Ireland (as long as they are not wearing camos). And it's a beautiful country to visit and the people have time to stop and talk to you. With the Celtic Tiger, there was a certain emphasis on getting things done, but now we've gone back to the best of ourselves and I very much welcome that.”

This is how Mr. Higgins welcomed our American heroes to Ireland. Hypocrisy is thy name, Uachtaran.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Proud citizen of the United States of America and Ireland
 An Uachtaran -Wee Michael D.

Michael D. Higgins  – The most anti-American head of state in the western world. This fact is sure to do wonders for American business and tourism.


He protested against the US Presidential visit to Ireland in 1984.


He protested against the US Presidential visit to Ireland in 2004.

Michael D. Higgins has always been Ireland's No.1 participant in anti-American protests and demonstrations