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Vol Martin Doherty died to save lives in Widow Scallan's – Crowe

22 May, 2011


Speaking at the grave of IRA volunteer, Martin Doherty on Saturday (21 May), Sinn Féin's Deputy Sean Crowe, TD praised the bravery of the young man, who died 17 years ago to save the lives of the patrons of the Widow Scallan's pub in Pearse Street, Dublin.
Martin Doco Doherty intervened when a loyalist gang tried to bring a bomb into the crowded pub on 21 May 1994.
“During the week, coinciding as it did with the English monarch's visit to Dublin, Sinn Fein TDs raised the issue of British involvement in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings,” he said, referring to the Dáil motion proposed by the party, calling for the release of the intelligence files related to the atrocity.
“Twenty years later, and almost to the day of that terrible event, the UVF returned to Dublin determined to bring more death and destruction,” he said.
“Their attempt to inflict mass carnage on people socialising in the Widow Scallan’s pub was only prevented by the quick thinking of Doco.
“His bravery and quick action was to cost him his life, but his sacrifice undoubtedly saved hundreds of others.
“Oglach Martin Doco Doherty, a proud Dublin republican, died defending the lives of his friends and all those other innocents who gathered or lived in close proximity to the Widow Scallan's Pub in Pearse Street.
“Questions surrounding his death remain unanswered to this day,” he said, adding that similar questions are being asked by the loved ones of those who died in Belturbet, Dundalk, Dublin and Monaghan.
“And the undeniable facts are, that despite the horror and carnage, the killings in 1974 and in Doco’s death 20 years later, there was no attempt to investigate these murders properly,” he said.
“The UVF were directed and allowed to travel to Dublin in 1994, in the middle of negotiations towards a ceasefire and a peace process.
It shows how deeply sinister the real motives of the British securocrats, who directed, sanctioned and ultimately authorised the attack on the Widow Scallan's Pub, he said, adding that: “They failed to destroy the chance of peace.”
“I firmly believe as we stand here at his grave, that the uncovering of the truth will also lead to the establishment of conditions that will prevent similar killings ever happening again in our country.
Surely that reason alone is enough for the British files to be released so proper, open and transparent investigative inquiries can be held into these deaths,” he concluded.
Ends


Note to editors: The full text of Deputy Sean Crowe's speech is provided below.

This month marks the 17th anniversary of the death of Óglach Martin ‘Doco’ Doherty and today we gather at his grave to honour his life and recall his sacrifice.

A Dublin Republican, an Irish Patriot.

We gather to remember a friend, and a comrade.


It is hard for the many of us who knew him, to believe that it is 17 years since Doco’s death.

Is it just me, or do you find it strange, that while the image of many others fade, and become less clear and that is understandable, if not welcome, as we get older, the picture in my mind of Doco is still crystal clear.

It’s as if, it was only yesterday, that we laughed, shared a joke or had a pint.

During the week, coinciding as it did with the English monarchs visit to Dublin,
Sinn Fein TD’s raised the issue of British involvement in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

Putting forward our motion with all Party support, we called for full disclosure and the release of all the British files on these bombings

Republicans gathering here today know that this state and its establishment have in the past ignored or airbrushed the reality behind the British legacy of collusion and state sponsored murder.

We know that this policy did not only affect people in the Six Counties, but that on the 17th May, 1974, the same organisation responsible for Doco’s death, the UVF, planted car bombs on the streets of Dublin and Monaghan, which resulted in the highest number of deaths on a single day during the conflict.

Thirty three dead, including a pregnant woman and over three hundred injured.

20 years later, and almost to the day of that terrible event, the UVF returned to Dublin determined to bring more death and destruction.

Their attempt to inflict mass carnage on people socialising in the Widow Scallan’s pub was only prevented by the quick thinking of ‘Doco’

His bravery and quick action was to cost him his life, but his sacrifice undoubtedly saved hundreds of others.


Oglach Martin ‘Doco’ Doherty a proud Dublin republican died defending the lives of his friends and all those other innocents who gathered or lived in close proximity to the Widow Scallans Pub in Pearse Street.

Questions surrounding his death remain unanswered to this day.

Similar questions are shared by the loved ones of those who died in 1974 and the other UVF bombings and assassinations in Belturbet, Dundalk, Dublin and Monaghan.
Questions like.

Who supplied the material and know how to make the bombs?

Where did the weaponry come from?

Who arranged safe and easy passage to loyalist murder gangs coming south?

Was there a closer, than appropriate relationship between the RUC and An Garda Siochaná,?

Did that relationship prevent an effective investigation into Martin Doco Doherty’s death?

Surely it is reasonable to ask why?

Why were families of the people who fell victim to Unionist Murder Squads treated with such contempt by successive governments of this State and who seemed determined to deny them truth and justice?

We now know there is overwhelming evidence that throughout the conflict Unionist Death Squads were controlled directly and indirectly by the British State.

We know that this policy was sanctioned at the highest levels of Government and implemented by its State organisations such as MI5, RUC Special Branch and the Force Research Unit (FRU).

And the undeniable facts are, that despite the horror and carnage, the killings in 1974 and in Doco’s death 20 years later, there was no attempt to investigate these murders properly.

The victims and their family’s basic rights as Irish citizens’ were denied by the failure of this State to mount an effective investigation into the activities of Unionist paramilitaries and their handlers.

The UVF were directed and allowed to travel to Dublin in 1994, in the middle of negotiations towards a ceasefire and a peace process.

It shows how deeply sinister the real motives of the British securocrats, who directed, sanctioned and ultimately authorised the attack on the Widow Scanlon’s Pub.

They failed to destroy the chance of peace.

Scores of many innocent people, most of whom had no connection with republicanism whatsoever, have been killed at the behest of these securocrats.

Terrible events have happened throughout the decades of conflict and people are still trying to deal with the loss of loved ones, all over these Islands.

To their shame, successive Irish Governments have adopted a ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil’ attitude to the activities of Unionist paramilitaries in this state and the direct collusion in such activity by Britain.

Over 50 people have been killed in this state by unionist paramilitaries since the early 1970s, yet not a single individual has been made accountable.

The European Convention on Human Rights states that all deaths must be thoroughly investigated.

The festering scandal of collusion will not go away and attempts to cover it up or limit the scope of inquiries only serve to confirm its existence.

Both Governments must confront these legacy issues and work towards full disclosure.

As we honour Doco here today, we want to see a new beginning so that families, and indeed the wider public, get a commitment by the British government that they will never again arm loyalism.

That we get a public acknowledgement of their role, direction and active support of those death squads.

The emphasis now needs to be on finding the truth and dealing with the legacy of the conflict in an independent way.


This process should begin with the opening of the files on the Dublin Monaghan bombings – a modest and fair request from these families – and a proper investigation into the events that surrounded the bombings and include the death of Martin ‘Doco’ Doherty.

The British must confront this issue and release their files.

That is our single demand here today.

Martin ‘Doco’ Doherty died 17years ago.

The truth about what happened to him and others in the past will not change it but would contribute to a healing and reconciliation process.

I firmly believe as we stand here at his grave, that the uncovering of the truth will also lead to the establishment of conditions that will prevent similar killings ever happening again in our country.

Surely that reason alone is enough for the British files to be released so proper, open and transparent investigative inquiries can be held into these deaths.

ENDS

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