Martina Anderson joined the IRA in 1979 with a number of other teenage girls, initially hanging around in a small unit of older men some of whom – friends of mine – had already served prison sentences. At that time, they were all reporting to a well-known IRA Commander in Derry, nicknamed “Ducksie”.
Her older brother, Peter, had been a prominent republican a few years before and is shown in the 1975 Derry Brigade IRA Ceasefire Soccer team photo below, 5th from left, standing beside my mop of hair:
[For the record, from the left back row: John Coyle, Mickey Deery, Terry Crossan, The Writer, Peter Anderson, Bobby Sheerin, Thomas Ashe Mellon II, Stevie Stewart. Front row from left: ‘LT’ Willie Taylor, ‘Ducksie’ Doherty, Martin McGuinness, Frankie McFeely, ‘Atsy’ Edgar.]
Peter went on to become a Sinn Féin elected councillor and a prominent community representative, a Welfare Advisor in Dove House Community Resource Centre with posts on various worthy bodies such as the Gasyard Development Trust, Derry Investment Initiative, Derry Theatre Trust, Iona Enterprises and M Forum Trading.
I have no idea what other IRA “jobs” Martina Anderson got up to before she was arrested and charged with possession of a gun and causing an explosion in 1980 – she’s not telling.
She spent two months on remand in Armagh Prison before she applied for and was granted bail.
While on bail, she skipped bail and crossed and hid behind “the Border” with the Irish Republic – yes, the Border she and the IRA were otherwise campaigning to blow away…
If it hadn’t been for the barrier of the Border, Martina Anderson would have had to face her trial and serve her sentence.
The Border allowed Martina to be based, initially, in Buncrana in County Donegal only 14 miles from her family and friends, an area frequently used by ‘on the run’ IRA members during the previous decade because of its easy accessibility from Derry.
But of course, she didn’t have to stay in Buncrana, and she didn’t.
For ‘volunteers’ who sold their souls to the IRA, decisions about whether or not to skip bail and go on the run were made by those in command, never by the lowly volunteer.
There had to be a very good and compelling reason for the IRA to order a volunteer to skip bail and the reason offered by Martina in various interviews – that she felt she would not get a fair trial in a Diplock Court [such as the one that just granted her bail on a weapon and bombing charge] is a lie.
Truth is, Martina, it was never in your gift to make that decision.
The reason was that Martin McGuinness decided that Anderson’s skills would be better used in relation to the England bombing campaign and that is how Anderson came to meet England bombers Paul Kavanagh and Patrick Magee – otherwise she’d have been rotting in Buncrana, County Donegal.
Martina Anderson hand-picked by McGuinness
Some time before Martina’s arrest in Glasgow with an IRA unit of intending bombers, she must have been introduced to the GHQ persons responsible for bombing operations in England.
The person who would mostly likely have offered her services to GHQ was IRA Army Council veteran and mass-murderer, Derryman Martin McGuinness.
McGuinness was a kiddie pervert of a kind – he had been funneling kids from Derry into the IRA’s England bombing campaign for years entirely without regard to their own or others’ safety (making sure never to involve anyone from his own family).
Back in 1973 when I was 18 years old, he had pushed me into the arms of Kevin Mallon, the IRA Army Council’s Director of Operations in charge of the England campaign – and neither he nor Mallon cared whether I lived or died or, as it happened, got sentenced to life and 20 years thereafter.
Also in the early 1970s, McGuinness had gotten two Derry cousins involved also in IRA GHQ operations – Marlene Coyle who was later named on tabloid front pages as wanted in connection with the M62 Coach bombing along with Irish Guards’ deserter Kieran McMorrow, “Britain’s Most Wanted Man” for a time… [Among the victims of the coach bombing, a young mother and her two young children – irrelevant civilian casualties.]
And Marlene’s cousin, Marion Coyle, who had been with Mallon when he was re-arrested at a dance after his helicopter escape from Mountjoy Prison. Marion Coyle was later jailed along with Eddie Gallagher for the kidnapping of Dutch industrialist Tiede Herrema.
McGuinness had fed these into the maw of the IRA’s armed struggle.
McGuinness tried to get other Derry IRA volunteers to participate in bombings in England and they refused his offer.
One IRA friend of mine, while informing McGuinness that he wanted to leave the IRA and get a new life in the Republic of Ireland, was shocked to get a request from McGuinness to bomb England instead [which he refused]…
It was no surprise then – sometime after she skipped bail and went on the run in the Irish Republic – that McGuinness had Martina Anderson slotted into the England bombing campaign.
While Anderson was 14 miles from Derry city, and possibly crossing the Border back into Derry secretly as others had done for years, the Derry Brigade of the IRA murdered 29-year-old civilian Protestant mother Joanne Mathers in the Waterside for the capital offence of collecting census forms.
While Anderson claims that she “hasn’t a sectarian bone” in her body, she assented to this most sectarian murder and failed to object to it then or since and to all of the IRA’s other sectarian murders of innocent Protestants.
[You were right, Martina, there isn’t one sectarian bone in your body, there are skeleton loads of them.]
Martina Anderson’s Comrade Bombers
You don’t just walk into a bomb team – you have to earn its confidence and trust. Anderson would have had to spend some time with her fellow bombers and get to know and trust them – and they her – for some months and to earn her spurs in some kind of pre-Glasgow activities.
She knew very well that her co-defendant, Patrick Magee, had bombed the Grand Hotel in Brighton only 32 weeks before their joint arrest.
She knew very well that Magee had failed to murder Margaret Thatcher, but had succeeded in murdering five civilians, three women and two men [apart from maiming many others]:
- Jeanne Shattock
- Muriel MacLean
- Roberta Wakeham
- Eric Taylor
- Anthony Berry
There was insufficient evidence to identify a man who was seen in the hotel room with Magee at one point, and possibly also a woman – during the period that Magee was planting the Grand Hotel bomb in a wall between two adjoining bathrooms.
I don’t know if Anderson was directly involved in this bombing.
Another member of the IRA’s GHQ England bombing teams was Paul Kavanagh, whom Anderson got permission from the Home Office to marry while they were in separate top security prisons in England.
It’s fair to assume – since they got married in prison – that Anderson knew Kavanagh before they were both arrested.
In order to get permission to marry a Category ‘A’ prisoner in a different prison, Anderson would have had to prove to unsympathetic bureaucrats in the British Home Office that she had a prior relationship with Kavanagh and I have no idea how she proved this.
Assuming that she provided evidence to the Home Office proving her prior knowledge of him, Anderson was therefore courting or being courted by Kavanagh while he was engaged in his bombing campaign in England between 1981 and 1983/4.
As an IRA volunteer herself whose skipping bail had been ordered by Martin McGuinness, it is highly likely that she was introduced to the England bombing team and GHQ controllers immediately after she was told to flee Derry for the safety of the Republic of Ireland, sometime in late 1981 or early 1982.
Martina may well have been on operations with Kavanagh and/or with others such as Patrick Magee and may have managed to escape arrest and identification until her capture in Glasgow along with Magee and the other members of the Active Service Unit.
Only Martina can answer these matters honestly, but I doubt very much if she ever will. Veteran IRA cult members with their snouts deep in the trough of money now being provided by the IRA movement usually lie about their past activities.
Paul Kavanagh began his IRA career in Belfast some time before 1973 when he was captured with a gun and sentenced to 5 years in prison. After his release, his England bombing campaign began in late 1981, around the same time Anderson disappeared from Derry after skipping bail.
By the time of her capture in Glasgow, Anderson knew well that Kavanagh had exploded a number of bombs in London and that his bomb at Chelsea Barracks had murdered two civilians who were passing by:
- Norah Field, 59 yrs old
- John Patrick Breslin, 18 yrs old
Anderson knew that Kavanagh had murdered civilian bomb disposal officer Kenneth Howarth who died trying to defuse a bomb in an Oxford Street Wimpy Bar, while another of Kavanagh’s alleged bombs [an under car device] blew a leg off Sir Steuart Pringle as he drove it.
Kavanagh was arrested in January 1984 after a three-year bombing campaign, a few months after his co-accused Thomas Quigley was arrested.
Natalino Vella, a co-defendant of Kavanagh and Quigley, told police that Kavanagh and Quigley had also bombed Harrods’ shoppers shortly before Christmas in an attack that murdered 6 victims, three police officers and three civilians, one of them an American citizen:
- Philip Geddes, a journalist, 24 yrs old
- Jasmine Cochran-Patrick, 25 yrs old
- Kenneth Salvesen, 28 yrs old, American citizen
The police officers killed while trying to get civilians out of harm’s way were:
- Noel Lane, 28 yrs old, Sergeant
- Jane Arbuthnot, 22 yrs old, Constable
- Stephen Dodd, 34 yrs old, Inspector
A young woman was seen parking the car bomb and walking away from it.
If Martina Anderson did not drive and park the car bomb on the day, she must know which other female member of the IRA’s England bombing unit did in fact drive it.
Vella claimed that he had been sent to England to assume control of the weapons and explosives’ dumps of Kavanagh and Quigley and to tell them that they were to return to Dublin to explain the Harrods bombing which had allegedly garnered bad publicity across Europe and America – any citizen can be killed by the IRA except an American citizen…
I think Vella’s claims were fantasy.
The IRA never complained about any jobs that killed three police officers regardless of how many civilians were ‘stiffed’ and similar notions that the IRA had held courts martial for the Birmingham Bombers a decade earlier were pure lies for consumption by the dumb republican public.
Anderson knew that Kavanagh had – forgetting police and/or soldiers – murdered at least 5 civilians and had maimed many more, but cupid’s arrow apparently easily passed over this potential objection to their courtship and later nuptials.
Equally, Kavanagh was not put off his amour by her own unrepented bombing campaign.
Maybe it’s NOT surprising that a young Derry woman would not entertain a single doubt about marrying a man who had been a mass murderer.
Martina hated the Bloody Sunday Paras for their murders, but appeared to love her man for his murders.
Martina Anderson’s Glasgow Arrest
Martina Anderson was arrested in Glasgow with Patrick Magee, Gerald McDonnell [Maze escapee], Peter Sherry, Donal Craig, Ella O’Dwyer and Una Lowney on 24 June 1985.
A large cache of weapons, ammunition, detonators and explosives was discovered nearby.
Anderson had a loaded pistol in her handbag, cash, maps of London and the Underground, and a false passport in the name of Mary Webster. [This abuse of a passport did not prevent the Irish government from awarding her an Irish Diplomatic Passport in 2014.]
Their capture prevented what was called a ‘seaside bombing campaign’ which had planned to use bombs similar to the Grand Hotel bomb. A wave of such bombs was planned and police found a calendar showing the intended dates of the bombings. One already-planted bomb was found and defused in a hotel.
There is no doubt that if the bombs had exploded without warnings, as the Grand Hotel bomb did, many civilian casualties would have occurred.
Martina Anderson has the British police to thank for preventing her from killing and maiming a large number of civilians during her intended bombing campaign.
Along with the cache of rifles and hand guns was information showing that the IRA Unit intended to try to assassinate various military figures in shootings. [Similar IRA attempts to do this in Europe led to the murders of entirely innocent German and Australian civilians.]
Martina Anderson was a central player in one of the most experienced and deadly Active Service Units planning bombings and shootings in England.
The concepts of Human Rights, Civil Rights and innocent victims are grand sticks to beat others with, but they really cut no ice with sworn IRA cult members.
When challenged about her Human Rights’ record and innocent IRA victims, Martina turns on the IRA Army Council Think Tank-approved robotspeak – “I was born into a city of discrimination. I grew up in a city that saw the introduction of internment, Bloody Sunday – bla, bla, bla…”
Martina doesn’t want to discuss her precise Civil and Human Rights atrocities under any circumstances.
Her mass-murdering husband, Paul Kavanagh, uses the same tactic.
When Paul was challenged about his Martin McGuinness-gifted SPAD [Special Adviser to the Minister] job which was netting him something of the region of £90,000 per annum, he appeared annoyed and angry.
In press interviews, he trotted out the usual IRA Army Council Think Tank-approved robotspeak: “I grew up in troubled Belfast. I remember civil rights’ marches being beaten off the streets. I had a brother shot dead by the RUC [while he was on an IRA bombing operation]. I remember the Lower Falls Curfew – bla, bla, bla…” – the usual bullshit to avoid directly acknowledging that he has murdered not only what he might regard as legitimate targets – human beings like police officers and soldiers – but also quite a few civilians.
Paul complained rhetorically, “Would me being sacked benefit victims?” [Editor’s Note: Yes, Paul, it would and it did.]
Martin McGuinness was one of the first to use the Army Council Think Tank-approved robotspeak, but he regularly miffed his lines, often contradicting his previous claims about when he joined the IRA: “I grew up in a city of discrimination. When young people rose up against the British forces, I joined the IRA during/after the Battle of the Bogside/the introduction of internment/Bloody Sunday – bla bla, bla”…
In fact, McGuinness was an IRA volunteer long before the introduction of internment/Bloody Sunday – he couldn’t keep track of his own many lies.
Northern Ireland nationalist voters have happily voted for Martina in spite of her unwillingness to acknowledge that she is one of the IRA’s unapologetic Civil and Human Rights’ violators, unwilling and by now probably unable to come to terms with the Human Rights’ atrocities of her past.
Martina’s frequent fragile laughter and false jollity appear to me to be a cover for a wracked conscience, her face ravaged not by the exigencies of time, but by the failure to acknowledge her victims, by her failure to acknowledge the crimes in which she willingly participated and which she helped others to execute – there is no escaping your true past, Martina and you are haunted by guilt.
If you persist, as McGuinness did, in attempting to disappear your past Human Rights’ atrocities in this life, you may not succeed in doing so in the next one, if that possibility even matters.
Martina, Paul, Martin and Gerry have all disappeared their victims – from their consciences, from their ‘narratives’, from their interviews and – they hope – entirely from their political lives.
The very last questions Martina Anderson wants to face are:
What about your victims, Martina?
What about the victims of those you aided and abetted?
What about your comrade’s [and husband’s] victims, Martina?
They must matter – because you and your IRA comrades constantly remind us about British victims – the British are never allowed to forget their victims.
IRA Payback for Cult Servants
If you are paranoid and losing sleep thinking about the Freemasons, believe me, it’s time to wake up and smell the MAFIRA coffee.
The stolen Northern Bank millions could only go so far…
Martin McGuinness and the IRA Army Council strategists planned to make the British pay off their loyal servants and one of the methods they planned was to get their loyal England-bomber servants onto the most generous British Government gravy train payroll.
McGuinness got Anderson into a Junior Minister job first of all with her snout well into the money trough on approximately £60,000 annual salary.
He got Paul Kavanagh onto the same payroll as a SPAD [Special Adviser} on a salary of possibly up to £90,000 per annum until victims and others complained and Kavanagh was sent packing, but not before Kavanagh was gifted a severance payment possibly in the region of £60,000.
When Anderson was put forward as a Sinn Féin MEP, her take home loot, plus expenses, amounted to approximately £150,000 per annum.
At one point, the Kavanagh/Anderson partnership was bringing home just under a quarter of a mi££ion quid a year between them – not bad recompense for having been active participants in the IRA’s death squads and being sent to prison.
Prison wasn’t so bad either for Anderson and Kavanagh – it saved their lives and the lives of many civilian victims they might otherwise have murdered.
- The Brits paid for their Open University Social Science degrees.
- The Brits allowed them to marry while they were top security Category ‘A’ prisoners.
- The Brits transferred them back to Northern Ireland.
- The Brits released them under the terms of the Belfast Agreement.
- The Brits allowed Martina (and Ella, her Tipperary bomb partner in prison) to give press interviews from Durham prison while serving tea and biscuits.
One very sympathetic Guardian newspaper interviewer nevertheless recorded that as soon as either bomber Martina or bomber Ella were asked any serious questions, they both switched on SinnFéinspeak and spoke only in clichés, anything to avoid expressing anything sincere or personal, but their willing dedication to the death cult may have long since rendered honest, sincere and personal utterances quite impossible.
In this sense, Martina, Paul, Gerry and all the other cultists are still very much prisoners of their unacknowledged past crimes, constantly trying to push the spectres of their victims out of sight and out of mind, but one thing is for sure, Martina – your victims haven’t gone away you know, and they never will until long after you acknowledge them.
Among the many nationalities that came together in the European Parliament, Martina Anderson was unique in that she was a proud, unapologetic, remorseless and convicted member of an IRA death squad some of whose operators bombed targets across England and murdered, in the main, civilians.
Martina should count herself lucky that the British police stopped her from committing mass murder in the ‘seaside bombing campaign’ and that her appalling Human and Civil Rights’ records were no barrier to her voters’ support, to her participation in a democratic chamber, or to her taking home an enormous amount of Brit and EU loot since the IRA’s purchased surrender.
Journalist Nick Davies has an interesting article about the IRA members who organised the bombings in England – read it here.
For an article about the IRA’s Legacy of Lies, click here.
For an article about the IRA’s Use of Torture, click here.