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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Fionnbarr Ó Dochartaigh and the Captain Kelly Campaign


Liam O Comain • 29 July 2004

The idea of seeking redress for the Kelly family which led to the developing of the campaign via the internet and the press conference in Derry germinated in the mind of Fionnbar O'Dochartaigh, a veteran Derry republican. This being aside from Captain Kelly's own family's campaign for what they see as the need for justice in relation to the negative treatment bestowed upon their father and husband by the Government in Dublin. However it would appear that both ventures has coalesced into one as witnessed at the press conference in Derry.

One knows the reasoning behind the Families campaign but one wonders about the reasoning for Fionnbar's campaign on behalf of Captain Kelly. For Captain Kelly was the leading agent on behalf of the Dublin Government working to split and use the Republican Movement via the recruitment of dissenting elements who were against its socialist policies. Dissenters with no interest in the civil rights struggle in the north or the struggle against the ground rents in the south coupled with the neglect of the ordinary working class both north and south by the powers that be. In truth a strategy formulated by the republican leadership to help generate a revolutionary consciousness in the Irish people. Fionnbar supported the latter policies as a member of the movement at the time. In fact our relationship goes away back even to the birth of the James Connolly Republican Club- which was a catalyst in the birth of the present struggle.

Now I am aware that Fionnbar has the ability to promote causes with others but also by himself alone for I recall a public meeting in Derry at the beginning of the civil rights struggle organised by a body called the James Connolly Society in which the main speaker was Gerry Fitt. Well in truth there was no such society but the meeting did take place and a friend of Fionnbar and myself at the time informed me humorously that at an imaginary meeting of the Connolly Society after the Derry rally saw Fionnbar fulfilling many roles as he discussed the successful outcome of the event.

I mention this because he has a Machiavellian capability of generating myths such as the Connolly Society and I have no doubt that through this behaviour via the internet he has recruited people for the Kelly campaign. For in truth he has a number of ventures on the internet which I have communicated with such as the Anti- Partition League, the Stormont Watch, and perhaps he is the main individual behind the new Captain Kelly site. The Stormont Forum is where I would have made some contributions but not for sometime since I became a victim of censorship by its administrator. Incidentally the censorship related to the Kelly campaign for I have been critical of Fionnbar's involvement in it due to the past damage done to the republican cause by the late Captain. For let's face the truth, the objective of the Republican Movement was and is to break the connection with Britain and this involved British administrative and military withdrawal which implied the immediate disestablishment of both the 26 and the 6 county statelets and their replacement with The Republic proclaimed and declared prior to the creation of the illegal statelets. Therefore as an agent of the 26 county statelet Captain Kelly was an enemy of the republican objective for he served the status quo, a status quo in the south who would use and did use all means in defence of their jurisdiction not only in latter years but since its origins. And that included internment and executions of members of the Republican Movement by military tribunals. That is truth, not a created myth like that put out by Fionnbar when he equates the Kelly issue with that of the Dreyfuss affair. !

Here I must also take issue with Fionnbar when he implied to the press that as he was near to the leadership in Derry at the time of Captain Kelly's intrigue and therefore he would have known if what Johnny White claimed to have happened did happen. Yes Fionnbar would have been a member of the movement at the time but in NO way was he privy to anything relating to the IRA Brigade Staff business especially to something so sensitive as a request for the removal by execution of certain of the leading socialist republicans in the City, of which I was one. I base this contention upon the fact that I was a full time organizer for the Republican Movement in the west of the province at the time which included Derry City. As such I represented the IRA Headquarters Staff as did the late Malachy McGurran as an organizer in the east of the province.

The sad part of all of this is that Fionnbar has implied that Johnny White is a liar and in reality he is calling one of his best friends and comrades a liar but Fionnbar knows that the ex OC of the Derry Brigade is a person of integrity. This implication shows how desperate Fionnbar is when he stooped to such a level. If Fionnbar had been privy to what was going on at the time of the Kelly contact with Johnny White he would have known that the dissenters within the movement in Derry and Belfast plus Fianna Fail members in Donegal saw Derry as an important place to control if their overall plans were to be realized therefore they made contact with Fianna Fail sympathizers in the city as well as the late Sean Keenan who incidentally had been part of the intrigue from the beginning through contact with the late Jimmy Steele of Belfast. Did Fionnbar ever ask himself why so called No. 10 became the centre of defence committee activity in the city? There lies the Fianna Fail connection inspite of what anyone might say to the contrary. Of course I have no doubt that many non movement people were acting in good faith when they co-operated with Captain Kelly because of the threat of invasion by the Brits and equally I have no doubt that there were those who were manipulated as part of the plan to control the Republican Movement. In fact the threat of the Brit invasion of so called ' free nationalist areas' was used by Captain Kelly on behalf of the southern Governments plan arising from their increasing concern about the growth in and activity of the Republican Movement at the time. I believe much to support this matter will in due time be released in what can only be termed 'sensitive Government Papers' by the Dublin Government or perhaps the public inquiry called for by the Derry journalist, Frank Curran.

Finally I must object to the slanderous statements appearing on the Stormont Watch Forum about the character of Johnny White. If they have not been removed by now they are there to be seen and I wonder why Fionnbar permitted such statements to appear. For anyone to attack the integrity of a person via anonymous statements especially implying that a person's behaviour, in this case Johnny White, arises because of alcoholism is as evil minded that one can get. He may deny being the sites administrator and if so he is equally at home with Martin McGuinness who said that he left the Provisionals military wing in the early seventies or with Gerry Adams who claimed that he was never a member of that wing. But then perhaps Fionnbar would also deny that he is not the 'Bogsider' who contributes to the forum nor the user of a few other Machiavellian pseudonyms on Stormont Watch. Equally he would claim that there must be freedom of speech but there is a difference between freedom of speech and suir mentality released for the sole purpose of personal assassination and integrity mauling. In fact I remember contacting the Stormont Watch in the past when Fionnbar was appealing for funds for the Kelly campaign. It related to the following statement from the RSM:

"Stormont Watch is a discussion site based in Derry and run by one man called Finbar O'Doherty. Finbar is using this site to attack among others the Republican Socialist Movement. We do not mind political criticisms but we do object to down right lies and slanders. . . . Finbar is a former member of the IRSP. Indeed he is a former member of a lot of organisations. He is currently a member of a number of front organisations which we believe only contain one member - Finbar himself. We do know that no member of the IRSP who knows Finbar well would make any financial contribution to any of these front groups. "

Of course we all know that those who resort to such tactics have already lost the argument. Nevertheless there has to be responsibility when one administers a public forum for the latter in this context is to serve the truth not the sputterings of political malcontents.

As stated one finds it difficult to understand Fionnbar's participation in the Kelly campaign. Was it a case of just having something to do as like myself we enter the twilight years? Or as some of his dislikers would claim an ego trip in that when the Kelly family receives justice and no doubt this will happen Fionnbar will receive glory as being on the back of a cert. Or will the old cliché of 'civil rights' continue to be used? Any way I acknowledge the contribution that the Finn has made in the past but on this occasion his undoubted energy would have been better used on behalf of the republican prisoners languishing in British controlled prisons.

I must state that I have not been in contact with Fionnbar O'Dochartaigh nor Johnny White for months prior to this piece. May I also state that a piece released by myself recently, a copy of which appeared in The Blanket, entitled 'The Kelly Affair' has yet to see the light of day on Stormont Watch, although they received it at approximately the same time. I think its administrator should follow the example of The Blanket for there is no censorship in that area.







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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

19 August 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Rathenraw Threat
Anthony McIntyre

Troubled Waters
John Kennedy

International Conference Misled by Sinn Fein
Francie Mackey

Rearming the Provos with Picket Signs
Marty Egan

Richard Wallace

Fionnbarr Ó Dochartaigh and the Captain Kelly Campaign
Liam O Comain

Imperfect Peace: Terence O'Neill's Day Has Come
Anthony McIntyre

16 August 2004

Repression in Rathenraw
Anthony McIntyre

Beating the Wife
Kathleen O Halloran

Fan Abuse
Sean Smyth

Save the Black Mountain
Davy Carlin

Parallels and Paradoxes
Liam O Ruairc



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