Random Ramblings from a Republican
Friday, September 24, 2004
  8th Anniversary of the Murder of Diarmuid O'Neill

On September 23rd, 1996, Provisional Irish Republican Army Volunteer Diarmuid O'Neill was shot in cold-blood by the two officers from Scotland Yard's tactical firearms group, SO19. As undisputable evidence, an audio tape of the RUC raid exposes the police version of events as a lie and leads only to the conclusion that Diarmuid O'Neill was slain. Thru-out the tape, O'Neill is clearly complying with all requests by the British police, and is seen by the police to be unarmed. Then why the need to shoot him six times?, an inquisitive person might ask.

This is a question that eight years later, is not much closer to being answered. Diarmuid's brother Shane, in 2001 said, "We want to know why, when Diarmuid could clearly and repeatedly be heard to be giving himself up and that he was unarmed, an order was given to open fire. My brother was shot six times at close range as he was in the process of surrendering."

This seems to be just a plain old sectarian murder by those in uniform. Also, the treatment of Diarmuid, after being shot, should be questioned as well. Photos of smeared blood on the steps in the front of house would seem to show that Diarmuid O'Neill was dragged, fatally wounded, down the steps to the sidewalk, rather than being treated where he was or removed on a stretcher by trained paramedics.

Also, it has been alleged that O'Neill was denied medical condition for nearly half an hour while police harassed the mortally wounded man; standing on his head and spouting verbal abuse while he lay on the floor bleeding.

The mainstream news stories immediately jumped on the story of a bomb factory and a gun battle between the Scotland Yard scum and the IRA Volunteer. But the fact remains that there were no weapons and no explosives found on the premise, even after extensive searches.

Gerry Kelly, a man who was in Diarmuid's position 25 years earlier, said of the situation: "One of the reasons that is given not to give a public inquiry is that Diarmuid was an IRA Volunteer. But people need to know - I mean all people need to know - that this is a very proud thing to be. I was proud to be in the IRA. This young man could have had a different life. He made a decision to go away and fight for other people. He gave up his life in the end, but he was prepared to give it up when he made that decision. I think it is important to understand that young people who make such decisions make them from a position of compassion, not of hate. They want to help other people."

It is a shame that such a bright young man had to die, and it is an even bigger and more enraging shame that he died the way he did. RIP Vol. Diarmuid O'Neill. May you soul be at rest. Your murderers cannot evade justice forever, be it in this world or the next.

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Ta ar la anois.

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