The Irish People, Vol. 3, No. 10
Organisation: Sinn Féin [Official]
Publication: The Irish People
Issue:Volume 3, Number 10
Friday, March 7, 1975
Type:Publication Issue
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document
Subjects: Seán Garland

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

15th February 2024

Many thanks to Fergus White who forwarded this to the Archive.

This copy of the Irish People from Official Sinn Féin joins others in the Archive.

This edition has the headline ‘Why Was Garland Shot?’ This, of course, references the then recent attempt to assassinate Seán Garland – at the time National Organiser Official Sinn Féin.

On Saturday night last Radio Elreann began to record a 35 minute Interview between Malachy McGurran of the Six County Republican Clubs and Seamus Costello of the newly-formed Irish Republican and Socialist Party at the curiously late hour of 10.00 p.m.

During the Interview, which concerned Incldents In the North Including the death of Republican Club member Sean Fox, Seamus Costello made a point of asking for “peace talks” with the Republican Movement.

At precisely the time the interview was being recorded masked gunmen lay in wait to assassinate Sinn Fein’s National Organiser Sean Garland. About twenty minutes past eleven Sean Garland and his wife drove home to their Ballymun flat. As Sean locked his car his wife Mary went on ahead to press the bell for the lift. As she put her finger on the bell button she heard the staccato noise of shooting and rushed out to find her husband lying in a pool of blood near his car. He had been struck by six bullets from two guns.

Quick action by local Ballymun people helped save Garland’s life as the race to the hospital began.

The piece argues that:

The Republican Movement has set its face like flint against a policy of military adventurism n the North confining itself to one of defence and retaliation against the oppression of ordinary working people. At the time of the breakaway by the Provisionals in 1970 Garland stood solidly with the Movement on the issue of avoiding any actions which would promote sectarianism in the North and divide the people. Consistently since then the Republican Movement condemned the civilian bormbing campaign of the Provisionals.

And it continues:

Dissent from this policy within the Movement was led by Seamus Costello who was consistently outvoted in his attempts to alter policy. Dismissed for breaches of the democratic processes within the Movement Costello had the dismissal raised at the Ard Fheis of last December and had it confirmed by a delegate Vote of 197 to 15.

In conjunction with Bernadette McAliskey Costello then formed the l.R.S.P. initially to support the Provisional campaign and subsequently after the Provisionals ordered a ceasefire, to try to break down the overallceasefire position.

The editorial by contrast focuses on recent byelections in the Republic and argues:

The elections have come and gone; the T.D.s and Senators returned· to their respective Dublin suburbs and the problems of rural Ireland safely stowed away, for resurrection at the next election. Has anything changed?

Two more posteriors to warm the seats of the Dail and business as usual.

Other pieces include articles on poor working conditions in café’s, one on new legislation in the Oireachtas seeking to reveal company donations to political parties and mention of a new National Anti-EEC Committee ‘which has been re-organised’ following the referendum in favour of Irish entry to the EEC ‘and has [been] planning a series of activities to express public disatisfaction with he outcome of membership.’ This notes that the Committee ‘enjoys wide-ranging support and has the backing of branches and individual members of the Labour Party, Sinn Fein, the Liaison Committee of the Left, Irish Sovereignty Movment, Resources Protection Campaign, USI, NATO, Farmers Defence Association and the Car Workers Committee’.

Interesting to note the photograph on the last page which shows members of the [UK] National Union of Students and the Troops out Movement picketing the Ulster Office, Berkeley Square, London, ‘part of an international campaign of picketing British embassies’.

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