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6731John O'Reilly and Ta Power: Fallen Comrades of the IRSM

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  • Danielle Ni Dhighe
    Jan 19, 2013
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      Fallen Comrades of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement

      *******

      John O'Reilly
      Chief of Staff - Irish National Liberation Army
      Assassinated on 20 January 1987

      John O'Reilly, a 26-year-old from Eliza Street in South Belfast, began
      his career as a republican activist in the 1970s as a member of the
      Official Irish Republican Army's youth wing. As an adult he joined the
      INLA, where he was instrumental in securing its European arms supply
      network and eventually succeeded Dominic McGlinchey as its chief of
      staff.

      In 1986, individuals who had resigned or been purged from the Irish
      Republican Socialist Movement came together as the Irish People's
      Liberation Organisation to attack the IRSM.

      O'Reilly, along with Thomas "Ta" Power and two other INLA members,
      went to Drogheda to meet with representatives of the IPLO to discuss
      avoiding conflict between the two organisations. Under a flag of
      truce, the IPLO attacked the four INLA members, killing O'Reilly and
      Power.

      http://www.irsp.ie/Background/fallen/oreilly.html

      *******

      Thomas "Ta" Power
      Staff Officer - Irish National Liberation Army
      Assassinated on 20 January 1987

      Thomas "Ta" Power, age 34, was from Friendly Street in the Markets
      area of South Belfast. He was a member of the Official Irish
      Republican Army before joining the INLA in 1975 while in the Long
      Kesh prison camp. His brother Jim was an INLA staff officer who was
      killed in 1981.

      Noted for having spent the longest time on remand (four years and four
      months) based on the testimony of informer Harry Kirkpatrick, he had
      been released from Crumlin Road Gaol in North Belfast a short time
      before he was killed.

      He was widely respected in republican circles as a thinker and a
      theorist, having drawn up a plan while in prison for the
      reorganisation of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement. This
      ambitious plan, known as the Ta Power Document, called for the INLA
      to be subordinate to the political direction of the Irish Republican
      Socialist Party. It was adopted by the INLA shortly before his death
      but wasn't fully implemented until 1995.

      He was assassinated in Drogheda, along with INLA chief of staff John
      O'Reilly, by the Irish People's Liberation Organisation, an
      organisation composed of individuals who had resigned or been purged
      from the IRSM and then came together to attack it.

      The Ta Power Document:
      http://www.irsp.ie/Background/history/tapowerdoc.html

      http://www.irsp.ie/Background/fallen/tpower.html

      *******

      A memorial to O'Reilly, Power, and two other comrades was unveiled in
      the Markets area of South Belfast on 11 May 2003.

      Article about the memorial unveiling:
      http://tinyurl.com/29dqu83

      They died as they lived: as Republican Socialists. Remember them with
      honour and pride.
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