Friday, 23 July 2010


(L-R) Dr. Ruari OHanlon TD, Martin McAllister, (Chair, Armagh Fianna Fáil Forum)
An Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Margaret Conlon TD
© Joe ÓNéill

Crowds welcome An Taoiseach in the square at Crossmaglen
© Joe ÓNéill

An Taoiseach Brian Cowen faces the press at Crossmaglen
© Joe ÓNéill

Hundreds of people gathered in the square of the Irish northern town of Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh, last night, to welcome Irish Taoiseach, (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen.

An Taoiseach, was on a visit to the town to officially open a constituency office of the Armagh Forum of Fianna Fáil. A dinner in his honour was held in the Cross Square Hotel which was attended by over two hundred invited guests. Local border TD Margaret Conlon, (Cavan, Monaghan) accompanied An Taoiseach to the event. On his arrival he was greeted by another Cavan - Monaghan TD and member of the Northern Strategy Committee, Dr. Ruari OHanlon, and chairman of the Armagh Fianna Fáil Forum, Martin McAllister. Ministers, Éamon ÓCuiv, (Minister for Social Protection) and Dermot Ahern, (Minister for Justice) also members of the NSC, attended the event, as well as many local border county councillors.

Before the IRA ceasefire, in this staunchly republican Co. Armagh town, and the surrounding border area, which was termed ''Bandit Country'' by the British media, British troops and police, billeted in the town's GAA sports ground, were under constant attack, and had to have their supplies airlifted in by helicopter.

Fianna Fáil northern forums have been accredited in counties Armagh, Down, and Fermanagh, and Antrim will launch in September.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

John Fogarty RIP - A Proud Irish-American

(L-R) Jimmy Smyth, H-Block escapee, and John Fogarty.
At rally in support of H-Block escapees in San Francisco
fighting extradition from USA to Northern Ireland.
© Joe ÓNéill

It is with a sad heart that I have learned of the death of my friend John Fogarty.

John was a proud Irish-American, who never forgot his roots, and was a committed activist in support of those fighting injustice and prejudice.

Your tireless efforts on behalf of Irish unification, and your community activism, will be remembered by your many friends on both sides of the Atlantic.

Joe ÓNéill

In Memory Of John P. Fogarty

SAN FRANCISCO - John Fogarty, longtime Irish American activist died Wednesday July 7,
2010 in Stockton, California, after fighting a long battle with cancer.

Fogarty was born in Bronx, New York, 1946 to William and Helen Fogarty. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Carol.

He is survived by his sons John Lynch, Sean Fogarty and Keith Phillips and his daughters Shana Fogarty, Meghan, Heather (Tony) and Whitney MacKenzie. Two brothers Kenneth and William Fogarty and one sister Rita Angelopoulas.

A staunch union supporter, John was a member of Local 510 Sign & Display for over twenty years.

Fogarty moved to San Francisco in 1968. He had been a long time activist for peace and reconciliation in Ireland. John had served locally, regionally and nationally in the Irish American Unity Conference, but it was his work on behalf of the H-Block Four that made him a well known figure within the San Francisco Irish community as well as Irish American communities across the country.

A true friend to everyone. A caring father, a loving grandfather. John was very respected and now will be mourned and missed by all who knew him.

Condolences can be sent to the Fogarty Family,
c/o Heather MacKenzie, 3126 Potomac Way, Stockton, CA 95201.

Monday, 12 July 2010


On the eve of the July 12 parade by Orangemen in Belfast, violence erupted in the west and north of the city which left 27 police injured, three from a shotgun blast. The confrontations occurred in the New Lodge and Broadway districts.

This morning's parade of the Orangemen, who celebrate the victory of the Protestant King William of Orange, over Catholic King James, at the ''Battle of the Boyne'' in 1690, passed off peacefully. The Orangemen will gather on the outskirts for a rally and political speeches before returning to the city and their neighbourhoods.

It remains to be seen if the peace holds later this evening as many of the marchers make their way past interface areas bordering Nationalist and Loyalist neighbourhoods.

All photos
© Joe ÓNéill

Sunday, 4 July 2010