Vicious attack on Republican family
At 11.20pm on Sunday, 28 June, the Provisionals sent five of its party militia to attack the Donnelly family in their home in Derry city.
Michael Donnelly (49), his wife Martina (47), and two of their children, Niamh (10) and Caoimhe (6) arrived at the house at 11.10pm. Five minutes earlier they had been stopped by members of the British colonial police (RUC) and interrogated at length as to their movements that night, and in particular, if they would be going home soon.
Michael's son Deaglán (22), described the subsequent attack to SAOIRSE:
"My parents and sisters returned from a trip to buy milk. My other sister Úna (11), my fianceé Tina (22) and I were also at home and we were all in the living room. Exactly ten minutes later four masked men wearing combat clothing burst into the room and one shouted ‘IRA Provisionals'. One sprayed ‘mace' tear gas into my mother's eyes and into my little sisters' faces and started to beat my father.
"They had baseball bats studded with nails and iron crowbars. Niamh climbed on top of the armchair and jumped on one of the thugs to protect her Daddy, but he threw her to the ground and clubbed her on the leg with a nail-studded baseball bat.
"Úna then jumped across her father to protect him and her back was badly beaten. Caoimhe was still sitting on his knee and she was also beaten by the Provisional thugs.
"Despite the ferocity of the attack, my father made it to his feet and was able to tackle three Broy Harriers while I grabbed the fourth's iron bar and fought back. We were beating them out of the room towards the front door, but one pulled a revolver and fired a shot. We turned to protect the children and as my father stood over the girls they beat his back.
‘You cost us a seat, you bastard'
"We fought them out to the kitchen where they beat my father to the ground. One was shouting "you cost us a seat you bastard." I was still fighting the fourth one, but he pulled another revolver and shouted ‘stop or you're shot'.
"A fifth Broy Harrier, also carrying a baseball bat, then came into the kitchen. He was obviously the driver and was worried that the others were taking so long — they weren't expecting a fight. He came after me, along with the one who pulled the gun on me and another, but I got away and raised the alarm.
"They went back into the kitchen and all five cease-fire soldiers went about beating one unrepentant Republican, as he lay on the ground, for refusing to surrender his ideals. Although my father was now lying on the floor with a broken leg he wrenched a crowbar from one of them and kneecapped him with it. My mother tried to intervene, but one of them stuck his arm in her face and said ‘IRA Provisionals, fuck off'. Tina got to the phone and raised the alarm, the Broy Harriers left.
"Although five members of the Provisionals' party militia walked into our house two of them had to be carried out. Some of them fell on the driveway and one injured himself badly on some building blocks by falling on them. The blocks were covered in blood.
"The fascists escaped in a hijacked taxi which they dumped in Shantallow. Local people saw the car and have told us that its seats and floor are covered in blood. The Broy Harriers' blood shows the Provisionals' party militia have failed to break my father and it is common knowledge in Derry that they will never defeat Michael Donnelly, neither physically or politically.
"In 1971 my father was singled out for special torture by British police and the SAS. He was one of the longest serving internees and the last of the original internees of August 9, 1971, to be released. They failed to break him then.
"The new British policemen who attacked our family on June 28 learned the hard way that Michael Donnelly will not surrender to any British agent, whether that Brit be foreign born or a native imperialist.
"The Republican Sinn Féin boycott campaign was very successful and in Derry it lost the Provisionals one seat that they thought would easily be theirs, Gerry O'Hara's, while Mary Nelis only got in on the eight count. What saved her seat was the fact that she was in the SDLP until 1983 and got second preferences from SDLP voters. That is why they attacked our family.
"The Republican Movement is beating them politically and is exposing them as the British agents and quislings that they are."
McGuinness confronted by Martina Donnelly
The night following the attack Michael Donnelly's wife, Martina, confronted the Provisionals' leader in Derry, Martin McGuinness. Thinking that Martina had come to plead for clemency McGuinness naively invited Martina into his house but instead she questioned him about the fascist attack on her family on his own doorstep, in full public view.
McGuinness opened his door but stepped back into his hallway on recognising Martina. When she asked him why five members of his party beat her children and her husband with iron bars and baseball bats studded with nails, McGuinness replied, significantly, "I wasn't here."
He then stepped forward in what an eyewitness described as "an absolutely threatening manner" and proceeded to point his finger into Martina's face. He then said "Your husband has been calling me a traitor all around this town for the past twelve months".
After a slight pause Martina said "Oh, so that's why you did it". McGuinness did not deny this accusation and Martina said "Sure, that's all you are, Martin – a traitor and a collaborator. On Wednesday you'll be sitting with the British government in their assembly. In fact, you'll be part of the British government there."
McGuinness replied, "Keep your voice down. My children are inside" while his wife, Bernie shouted "Just shut the door on them". Martina then asked, "What about my children? You sent five masked men to spray gas into my children's eyes and to beat them and their father up." McGuinness then declared "I'm not listening to this" and slammed his door violently.
Martina then addressed him loudly through his open window repeating "child-beater", "collaborator" and stated "Sure, you'll be running the place for them on Wednesday".
On Wednesday, July 1, three days after the Provisionals attacked the Donnelly family in their home, Martin McGuinness signed himself into the British parliament at Stormont where he is now a colonial assemblyman.
Provisionals issue further threats
Since the Provisionals' vicious attack on the Donnellys the family has been harassed by the British colonial police (RUC) and the Provisional police. This harassment includes a threatening telephone call, made by a woman whose identity is known to Republican Sinn Féin.
Deaglán Ó Donghaile has also received threats, one issued by two individuals from the Provisional office in Creggan.
They stated that if they had gone to carry out the attack "Deaglán would not be walking now. But that doesn't matter because he is next anyway."
Both cease-fire soldiers went on to celebrate the fact that Michael's children had been sprayed with teargas and beaten, saying that "they deserved it for getting in the way".