" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016



..there lies a green grave

And wildly around it the winter winds rave

Small shelter is weaned from the cruel walls there

When the storm clouds blow down on the plains of Kildare

Once I stood on that sod that lies over Wolfe Tone

And I thought how he perished in prison alone

His friends unavenged and his country unfreed

Oh pity, I thought, Is the patriot's need

I was awakened from my dreaming by voices and tread

Of a band who came in to the home of the dead

There were students and peasants, the wise and the brave

And an old man who knew him from cradle to grave

This old man who saw I was weeping there said

We've come for to weep where young Wolfe Tone lies laid

We're going to build him a monument, too

A small one yet simple for the patriot true

My heart overflowed and I clasped his old hand

And I blessed him and blessed everyone in the band

Sweet sweet 'tis to find that such things can remain

To a man that's been long vanquished and slain

In Bodenstown churchyard there lies a green grave

And wildly around it let the winter winds rave

Far better it suits him the wind and the gloom

Until Ireland a nation might build him a tomb."

Those attending this RSF-organised Wolfe Tone commemoration are requested to assemble at 2.30pm in Sallins Village, Co Kildare, on Sunday June 26th, 2016, from where a parade will make its way to Bodenstown Churchyard.


By prisoners from E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison, 1999.


Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill.

First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O'Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.

BLACK AND WHITE. (By Pat Kelleher.)

I've lain awake days and nights

waiting for a sign, a flicker of light

a searching soul, a troubled mind

the scars of past and present.

Angels singing in the clouds

howling wolves and searching hounds

witches dancing in the storm

the sound of children laughing.

Facing long into the wind

heading towards shelter

being dragged from here to there

questions without answers.

And in your arms

I found sanctuary

a shelter from a nightmare

you give me hope and energy

magical wonderful creature.


Too much testosterone in Blogsville

too many males with space to fill,

and they're killing the dignity,

of our femininity.

Stepped out of my silence, hung up the phone,

armed with my keyboard, mouse and printer -

mother, warrior, freedom fighter :

female testosterone!

If you like what we do here in our wee corner of the internet, then please don't be shy - give us a vote! You will have to either log in or create an account before you can vote but we really would appreciate it if you did that for us. There is no charge, and it won't take up too much of your time - entries are open until the 26th June next and judging will start after that. And know this - if you don't give us a vote, we know where you live..!


Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone : our six occupied counties, a situation which a 'Brits Out of Europe' vote might help change. 'The devil we know' - ie EU membership - has done absolutely nothing in regards to ending or even weakening the British political and military claim of jurisdiction over that part of Ireland, so we're hoping that a Brexit win might be a step in that direction.

We have already set out our stall on this issue ("For what it's worth, this blog is firmly in the 'Brits Out' (ie vote 'Leave!') camp, for our own selfish (!) reason...") in keeping with we believe to be the republican position - we want Irish sovereignty to remain in Irish hands, regardless of whether the 'foreign' hands are based in London or Brussels, and that has been the republican position going back to, indeed, 1169, and is the reason why Irish republicans opposed the EEC Accession Treaty in 1972, the referendums on the Single European Act 1987, the Maastricht Treaty 1992, the Amsterdam Treaty 1998, the Nice Treaty 2001 (and 2002), the Lisbon Treaty 2008 (and 2009) and the Fiscal Stability Treaty of 2012. Not forgetting, of course, the Treaty of Surrender in 1921, the Hillsborough Treaty in 1985 and the Stormont Treaty in 1998.

Irish republicans will not accept any form of domination by London or Brussels, insisting instead that we revert to managing our own affairs and employing our own resources for our own use. A 'Brits Out of Europe' might help us to achieve a 'Brits Out of Ireland', politically and militarily. We will of course still give tourists a 'céad míle fáilte' but, equally, we'll give them short shrift if they arrive here with any political interference in mind. If you have a vote on Thursday, 23rd June 2016, use it wisely - Vote 'Leave'!


'Magill' magazine has unearthed new information which raises a grim but important question : were explosives from within this Republic used in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings? It is a question which, bizarrely, also encompasses the controversial Dónal de Róiste case. By Don Mullan, author of the book 'The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings'.

From 'Magill' magazine, February 2003.


A subsequent meeting of the 'Joint Security Committee' at Stormont on 18th November 1971 reported "..progress..on the possibility of marking explosives for identification purposes.." , and the RUC Chief Constable expressed hope that "..joint RUC/Garda discussions on the question of explosives control would be arranged at an early date."

The committee met again on 2nd December 1971 and the meeting was given details "of methods being adopted by manufacturers to identify explosives and wondered if an officer should not be appointed to try to trace the source of the traffic of explosives to Northern Ireland (sic)" but it is not yet known how these discussions and recommendations progressed. However, if the matters discussed at Downing Street and at Stormont in 1971 were successfully implememted, it seems certain that the British government, let alone the British Army, as alleged by Garrett Fitzgerald, would have known about Clonagh being a Provisional IRA explosives supply source.

His assertion, therefore, that "they preferred to use this leakage as a propaganda weapon against us than to save lives in Northern Ireland (sic) by stopping it" takes on an even graver meaning. (MORE LATER.)

32 MINUS 6 EQUALS 32? BUT ONLY IN 2036 OR 2046, IT SEEMS...

'Sinn Féin motion: That Dáil Éireann: notes that a majority of Deputies elected to the Thirty-second Dáil made clear pre-election pledges to end water charges;

and calls on the Government to:

— immediately abolish domestic water charges;

— establish a public water and sanitation board to deliver water on the basis of need; and

— set a date for a referendum to enshrine the public ownership of water services in the Constitution of Ireland.'
(From here.)

The preamble to that motion (linked, above) is very badly worded and is not something that any Irish republican would stand over, never mind release to the media, and the motion itself is the same - worded, no doubt, by a political 'newbie', a republican wannabe , a political careerist, who would feel just as politically 'comfortable' in The Workers Party, Fianna Fáil or the SDLP etc.

By "Dáil Éireann", the author was referring to Leinster House, which are two different institutions : the description of the current Leinster House assembly as being "the Thirty-second Dáil" is incorrect as the First and Second Dáil Éireann were parliaments of a 32-county republic whereas the 30th Leinster House institution now assembled is only a 26-county Free State assembly and there is no "Constitution of Ireland" (there is, however, a Free State constitution and a later 26-county document which purports to be 'the Constitution of Ireland').

The motion preamble is, as stated, also 'full of holes', as any Irish republican will confirm, and then there's the substance of the motion itself ie the issue of the imposed double-tax on the supply of water to households etc which, according to the author, the (Provisional) Sinn Féin party is opposed to. Now, that is, apparently, but that wasn't always their position. Like water, their grasp of republicanism has slipped through their fingers.

And then there's their willing involvement with that other British-imposed political assembly in Ireland - Stormont. As well as aping the Free State and copying its political mannerisms, Gerry Adams and his party have settled comfortably into their 'government' role in the six occupied counties - the Provisional Sinn Féin Stormont 'Minister for Infrastructure', Chris Hazzard is, like his party, doing his best to shore up not only the Stormont institution, but the bastard six-county State itself (click on pic to enlarge) :

Minister Hazzard speaks about "...building a successful region (and) building economic growth (for) the next 20-30 years.." which is not something you'd expect from a person committed, allegedly, to overthrowing the British writ over our six counties, especially when one of his party leaders is on record for claiming that he and his would obtain a united Ireland by this year! Unless, that is, Gerry, Martin, Chris and Co. are intending to have Ireland 'reunited' within their beloved 'United Kingdom'!

Incidentally, while we're on the subject of national sovereignty, I'd like to highlight an issue which I presume is puzzling more people than I know about (or at least I hope it is!) : it's in relation to this 'Euro 2016' competition, a sport that I have no real interest in but which has, apparently, grabbed the attention of most people I know, including other republicans. And the latter concerns me, because they should know better - we are seemingly 'allowed' two teams from Ireland to represent us in the competition, one from the so-called 'Republic of Ireland' (which is nothing of the sort) and one from 'Northern Ireland' (which, again, is nothing of the sort) and then there is England/the 'United Kingdom', which has a team in the game, despite assuring anyone that will listen that what it terms 'Northern Ireland' is part of the so-called 'United Kingdom'!

Should issues of national sovereignty take second place to sport? No, not in my opinion, anyway, and I am a wee bit disappointed that I haven't heard these concerns raised by many other people. But I suppose I shouldn't really be surprised at this geographical bastardisation, as it's well known that the 'company' behind this football competition has been linked to financial corruption (suspicions of "criminal mismanagement" and "[financial] misappropriation") so for it to be morally and politically corrupt as well is not, in my opinion, an 'offside' thought.



Well...not quite. We borrowed this gem from - as per above piece - politicians who consider themselves to be 'republican'. This time it's one of Fianna Fail's 'rising stars/wannabe', Donnacha Maguire, pictured, above right.

Donnacha was recently complaining (rightly so!) about his 'republican cousins' in this State, Provisional Sinn Féin, attempting to associate themselves with Irish republican leader Pádraig Pearse and, by God, he soon put manners on them with this tweet -

"Pearse after 1916 joined Fianna Fail..." - Donnacha Maguire, Fianna Fail.

Fianna Fail has somewhat (!) of a reputation as being well capable of fiddling numbers and figures but even they are going out on a limb to claim that a man who was executed (by the British) in 1916 joined their party in 1926! If he keep's that up, young Donnacha has a golden political future waiting for him in Gerry's party!


'..Irish Water is the new national water utility responsible for providing and developing water services throughout Ireland...incorporated in July 2013 as a company under the Water Services Act 2013, Irish Water has combined the public water and wastewater services of the 31 Local Authorities together under one national service provider...management of national water and wastewater assets... we can ensure sustainable water services for Ireland into the future...' (from here, although you'd be forgiven for thinking that a Provisional Sinn Féin script writer was behind it!) "National...throughout Ireland..services for Ireland into the future.." - this company has a 'remit' from the 26-County administration to operate within the State yet claims to be a "national water utility" company, but that is not the only field (of which there are four!) in which it is making an error. On the 2nd June last, Irish Water's 'Head of Customer Operations', Eamon Gallen, sent me a letter entitled 'Overdue Account' in which he stated "..our records show that your account is now overdue...the total amount now overdue is €324.64..".

Eamon's first mistake is in considering me to be a 'customer' of his company as I never signed up to the 'service' they offer and his second mistake is in omitting to take into account the fact that I have been paying for my water service for decades now through the general taxation system that operates in this State. There are a few household bills that I pay for through direct debit and if any one of those services sent me a bill through the post, having already deducted that money from my 'stopped-at-source' finances, I wouldn't pay it. And, for that reason, I won't be paying this 'Irish Water bill' either. So there you have it, Eamon - I don't owe you that money and you won't be getting it. And I'm looking forward to your next letter, as I presume it will be an apology...


By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

Biographical Note : Jim McCann is a community worker from the Upper Springfield area in West Belfast. Although born in the Short Strand, he was reared in the Loney area of the Falls Road. He comes from a large family (average weight about 22 stone!). He works with Tús Nua (a support group for republican ex-prisoners in the Upper Springfield), part of the Upper Springfield Development Trust. He is also a committee member of the 'Frank Cahill Resource Centre', one of the founders of 'Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh', the local Irish language primary school and Naiscoil Bharr A'Chluanaí, one of the local Irish language nursery schools.

His first publication last year by Glandore was 'And the Gates Flew Open : the Burning of Long Kesh'. He hopes to retire on the profits of his books. Fat chance!


Unfortunately, Lasher was busy in another part of the cage, becomming Timmy. No one answered Timmy. Arder was told by one of Timmy's guards that whether it was nerves or physiological in those few hours, Timmy had contracted acne. At about 10.45am a screw shouted into the cage "Johnson, time to go" - Lasher was ready, the transformation was incredible ; he had become Timmy Johnston, and tried to leave the cage as quietly as possible without drawing the screws' attention to himself. He left the cage and disappeared through the security gate of the hospital block, which sat across from Cage 11. The escape was on.

Back in the drying room, Timmy was still bound to the chair with his two guards in close attention. Unfortunately, at 11am, the sirens went off - the plan had failed. Screws stopped counting their wages and tried to contact the 'Prison Officers' Association' (POA) representative in an effort to find out about current danger money rates.

The blindfold was removed from Timmy's eyes long enough to remove the gag in his mouth, then the blindfold was put back over his head. "I'm in trouble," Timmy cried, "they'll never believe me." One of Timmy's guards assured him "They will - when they see all the blood." Just before Timmy could say "What blood?" , one of his guards gave him a severe punch on the nose and broke it. The pillowcase-cum-blindfold turned red with the volume of blood that squirted out of his nose.

As Lasher was being transported down to the Boards (Punishment Block) Timmy was being carried out of Cage 11 on a stretcher. As he was being taken out of the gate by the two screws at either end of his stretcher he looked over in our direction and blurted out "Thank you, boys, thank you..." Lasher made a number of other attempts to escape and Timmy was never heard of again. Even Timmy's inseparable 'chum', Lasher, never mentioned him again. (End of 'Thank You, Boys, Thank You' : next - 'Catch 22 - In Cage 22. In Memory of Ned Maguire RIP'.)


Glaine 'nar gcroi – Purity in our hearts. Neart 'nar ngeaga – Strength in our arms. Beart do reir ar mbriathar – Truth on our lips : Na Fianna Éireann, 1909 to date.

The Na Fianna Éireann organisation is still active to this day and, as in 1922, continues to support the republican position : Na Fianna Éireann (literally 'Warriors of Ireland') has had several subtitles in its history ; Irish National Youth Movement, Irish Republican Youth Movement, Irish Republican Scouts etc but its central ethos has never changed. It has always had the object of educating the youth of Ireland in national ideas and re-establishing the independence of the nation. The goal of the organisation on its foundation in 1909 was "...to re-establish the independence of Ireland by means of training the youth of Ireland to fight Ireland’s fight when they are older and the day comes..." . Members are trained in scouting skills and parade drill and receive education regarding republicanism and Irish history and heritage. In short, the NFÉ organisation instills a sense of pride, worth and value into those who join - worthy character traits which they carry with them into adulthood.

A fundraising function will be held in Dublin for the NFÉ on Friday, 1st July 2016, in Hanlon's Bar and Restaurant, North Circular Road. A fiver a head will get ye in, and the group on stage - Erin Go Bragh - will make ya wanna stay! Doors open at 8pm and a raffle will be held on the night. All supporters welcome!


On the 6th of April, 1921, two IRA men, Patrick Conroy and James Monds (a local Protestant farmer), who were friends and neighbours, were pulled out of their homes in Tarmon, County Roscommon, by an RIC/Black and Tan raiding party and executed. At that time in Roscommon, as across Ireland, the Black and Tans, the RIC and the Auxiliaries were running rampant - the sack of Balbriggan, the burning of Cork, the murder of MacCurtain in Cork and Father Griffin in Galway were among their worse atrocities. The so called 'Castlerea Murder Gang' consisted of British soldiers, RIC and Black and Tans who would act on information provided by informers and raid local houses late at night looking for their victims. The gang would arrive at the door with blackened faces and shine a light in the face of a suspect who would be identified by the informer. If the unfortunate person was wanted by the British he would be taken away and shot or beaten to death, as was the case with Volunteer Pat Conroy who was murdered the same night as James Monds.

James was a Volunteer of the Irish Republican Army and had been involved in land agitation. It is known that he refused to sing 'God Save The King' in church which may have singled him out as a republican or 'Shinner' to those loyal to the Crown. He was taken from his house on the night of the 6th of April 1921 and his bullet riddled body was found the next day. The 'Murder Gang' extracted no information from him regarding local Volunteers and they killed him despite him having 6 children.

It later transpired that the British troops raided the home of James Monds looking to remove his 17-year-old son, but the father pleaded with them to take him instead, and leave his son out of it. They did, which is about the only act of 'kindness' any republican could hope for, from a British mercenary. The next morning, the riddled body of James Monds was located at the end of the road. Incidentally, the man in charge of that particular British murder gang, RIC Sergeant James King, was infamous as a well-known thug in uniform in Ireland and then became 'famous' as the last member of the RIC to be killed during the War of Independence - "On the morning of the 11th of July (1921) Thomas Crawley was waiting. Sergeant King of the RIC was the principal man in the murder gang that was organised in the RIC in Castlereagh and was responsible for a number of killings around the area. He was badly wanted by us. On the morning of the Truce, the 11th July 1921, we made a final effort to get this man. Between 10a.m. and 11a.m. on that morning we proceeded into the town on this mission...we went into a shop to get a drink of lemonade and when only a few minutes there Sergeant King came out of his own house on the opposite side of the street and proceeded to get on his cycle as if to go to the barracks. We left the shop. Ned Campion and I let him have it. He died immediately. Although the truce took effect at 12 o' clock on that day, the enemy chased us until about 6pm that evening. We finally escaped them, however, by adopting the role of shepherds gathering up sheep..." (from here.)

King was struck in the chest by at least two of his attackers bullets and despite receiving prompt medical attention died at approximately 10.30am – less than two hours before the ceasefire was due to begin. Local IRA men later recounted how King and his gang burst into the Vaughan family home at Cloonsuck, County Roscommon, on the 22nd June 1921 - 95 years ago on this date - catching three IRA men unaware : the three republicans made a run for it, but two of them - Ned Shanahan and John Vaughan - were shot dead. The third IRA man, Martin Ganly, was captured and, during the search of the house, King battered (the deceased) John Vaughan's mother unconscious with his rifle butt and stopped on his way out of the house and shot the family's dog dead. A nasty and vindictive piece of work by all accounts, 'relatives' of whom wear a similar uniform today, in this country.


Martin McGuinness (pictured, left) greeting another 'internal tinkerer'.

The following quote was published in the 'Socialist Republic!' newspaper in September 1986 and records some of the words of Martin McGuinness from a speech he delivered on Bodenstown Sunday 1986 - 22nd June of that year, 30 years ago on this date. That publication was 'the newspaper of the Scottish Communist Republican Party (SCRP)' , both of which are now apparently defunct as separate entities as, indeed, is McGuinness himself, in relation to Irish republicanism. Less than six months after he delivered his "internal tinkering" comment, Martin McGuinness assisted other nationalists in splitting the Republican Movement.

Quote from Martin McGuinness, 22nd June, 1986, Bodenstown Sunday : "Despite the multi-million dollar hype of the (Hillsborough) Agreement, despite disinformation, despite the rewriting of Irish history by West Britons and British propaganda, more and more people are beginning to realise that internal tinkering with the six-county statelet solves nothing.." And he's right, of course - 'tinkering' with the British claim of jurisdiction (ie implementing that claim on Behalf of Westminster and doing so in a 'fairer' manner than that which Westminster itself would have done) will solve nothing. Not in regards to the 'bigger picture', anyway but, in the case of Martin and his colleagues, it solved one issue for them - how to make a political career for yourself from the British presence and still be considered, by some, to be 'an Irish republican'!



Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Monday, June 20, 2016



Unbelievable, but true! Of all the political faux pas left in their wake by false-flag 'republican' groups, this has to be one of the most notable. A ladder-climber who attached himself to a 'republican party' recently claimed that one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising joined his party after the Rising and used that 'fact' as a reason to verbally attack a different false-flag 'republican' group, one which, among other hypocrisies, actually assists in implementing the British writ in Ireland!

An inexcusable blunder, at any time, by that semi-political ladder-climber, but more so in this, the centenary year of the 1916 Rising, when the history of that period and of the 1916 leader in question have been brought to the fore and it has been continually highlighted that the 1916 leader in question was actually executed by the British after the Rising - a decade before the 'republican party' he was said to have joined was even founded!

Full story - and photographic proof - to be posted here on Wednesday, 22nd June 2016. See ya then!

Thanks for the visit, Sharon.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

32 MINUS 6 EQUALS 32? BUT ONLY IN 2036 OR 2046?

32 MINUS 6 EQUALS 32? BUT ONLY IN 2036 OR 2046?

Male testosterone and knowing where you live...Wolfe Tone Commemoration 2016...Portlaoise Prison and seeking shelter from a nightmare...Irish blog awards 2016 - this balaclava-clad girl says she knows where you live...The 'Clonagh Affair' - using a 'leak' as a propaganda weapon...

Check back here with us on Wednesday 22nd June 2016 for all the above, and more - including an invitation to meet the Irish Republican Youth Movement in Dublin in July 2016...

Thanks for your visit, Sharon.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016



(FBI description of Peter Roger Casement Brady / Ruairi O Bradaigh, from here.)

Three years ago on this date (8th June) the Republican Movement buried one of its founding fathers, a gentleman who, during his lifetime (born in Longford 2nd October 1932, died 5th June 2013) joined the then Sinn Féin organisation at 18 years of age and, one year later, joined the IRA. At 23 years of age he was the Officer Commanding during the Arborfield arms raid and, at 24 years young, he was second-in-command of the Teeling Column, South Fermanagh, which was lead by Noel Kavanagh.

In 1957, at 25 years of age, Ruairi was elected in Longford-Westmeath as a Sinn Féin TD (to an All-Ireland Parliament) and, the following year, he escaped from the Curragh Internment Camp in Kildare with Dáithí Ó Conaill, with whom he served in the IRA as Chief of Staff (between 1958 and 1959, and again between 1960 and 1962) and, in 1966, at 34 years of age, he contested a seat for the Movement in Fermanagh-South Tyrone. He was Sinn Féin President from 1970 to 1983 and again from 1987 to 2009 (which was a year after the organisation re-constituted itself as 'Republican Sinn Féin') and was the Patron of the Movement from 2009 until his untimely death in 2013. He worked throughout his life for economic, political and social justice both in Ireland and internationally and has now joined the other Patrons of the Republican Movement - Comdt-General Tom Maguire, Michael Flannery, George Harrison and Dan Keating.

'Forego tears for the glorious dead and gone; his tears if his, still flow for slaves and cowards living on...' RIP, Ruairi.


On the 13th June 1991, Tony Ruane died in Dublin’s Mater Hospital — he was 84 years of age. He was born in Bohola, Co Mayo, in 1907 and, in 1918, at only eleven years of age, he worked for Sinn Féin in the historic General Election of that year. For Tony, that campaign was to be his first experience of republican activity in a remarkable career to which he devoted the next 70 years of his life.

Before he was to reach his 14th birthday, Tony was militarily active in Mayo - he took part in the burning of the RIC barracks in Bohola, the capture of the RIC barracks at Ballyvarry and the taking of all the arms and ammunition there by the East Mayo Brigade of the then IRA. Before he was 15 years of age, he volunteered for active service in England and was sent to the St. Helen's area, near Liverpool — whilst he was there, the Treaty of Surrender was signed, but was rejected out of hand by Tony, and he continued the fight. His republicanism brought him to the attention of the British forces and, in 1926, at the age of 19, Tony fled to the United States, where he immediately joined Clan na nGael.

He threw himself in at the deep end in the United States, and worked in Irish republican circles alongside Pete Kearney of the West Cork Flying Column, Mick McLoughlin of the Third Western Division Staff, North Roscommon, Mayo-man Frank Colgan, John Snee, Michael Flannery and Michael Crowley — a formidable and dedicated team. In the United States, Tony joined the National Guard to continue his military training and rose to the rank of sergeant. In 1936, aged 29, he returned to Dublin and joined the Dublin Brigade of the IRA. Five years later, in 1941, at the age of 34, he was sentenced to two years by the Special Military Courts in Collins Barracks and served that term in Arbour Hill Prison. On his release in 1943 he was taken to the Curragh Camp and interned there until 1945.

On his release, at the age of 38, in 1945, Tony concentrated on political work and helped to start-up the Liam Mellows Cumann of Sinn Féin, in Dublin Central, working with Jack Guiney and Dinny Casey and, by 1947, the cumann was well established and extremely active in the area. In 1966, at 59 years of age, Tony was elected as the National Treasurer of Sinn Féin and, in 1970, following his retirement from the South of Ireland Asphalt Company, he worked full-time for Sinn Féin, firstly in Kevin Street and later in Parnell Square. In 1980, he retired from his position as National Treasurer, at the age of 73, but he did not retire from his Sinn Féin work, and, for the following eleven years of his life, he was a regular, constant and appreciated sight at Republican Sinn Féin functions.

He rejected compromise with the British and Free Staters in 1922, at which time he was on active service in England; he rejected compromise in 1926 when the Fianna Fáil group left the Republican Movement; he rejected the compromisers again in 1946 and fought back by helping to establish the Liam Mellows Cumann; he rejected the turncoats in 1969 who beckoned with him to leave the Movement with them and replied that not only was he staying with Sinn Féin but his intention was to work full-time for the Movement; he rejected the well-dressed and politically confused renegades who sought his assistance in turning the Republican Movement into a political party in 1986 and, when those misfits left the Movement in November that year, Tony Ruane, for the fifth time in his life, stayed with the Movement.

The Republican Movement will continue to remember Tony Ruane, East Mayo Brigade IRA Veteran, Honorary Life Vice-President of Republican Sinn Féin, a soldier, a father figure and a moral guide and example to all who remain true to a 32-County federal democratic socialist republic and true republicans will remain committed to obtaining Tony Ruane's goal — a British political and military withdrawal from Ireland. Tony's name is joined to the illustrious list of Ireland’s immortals from Tone down to this very day, his unselfish service with the IRA, his great courage, his splendid character, and like all the other great men who gave their service down through the years, he can only be an inspiration to the young men of today.

Those attending this commemoration on Wednesday 15th June next are asked to assemble at 7pm at the gates of Carlow Cemetery.


By prisoners from E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison, 1999.


Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill.

First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O'Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.

THE BIG HOUSE.[..continued.] (By Rita Kelly.)

Yes, the gantries swing high above the white mansion

they are putting in place, piece by piece.

There is no Mississippi Delta here

just one big gleaming Graceland

for all the poor boys

determined to do themselves

out of the uplift of an early summer's evening-

we are put to bed early

where the light and its unusual strength

taunts us at the window.

Sometimes we cried ourselves into the morning

and sometimes we just lay there and longed-

Always hung on the dichotomies, the old divisions,

the just and the damned.

The old dualities, the sun and the moon.

The bright and tantalising rise of Hesperus

spans a space between the curved moon and sun

which might have dropped off a huge orange tree

in Florida or Seville

colouring this quiet unwatered hinterland.

The just and the damned produce in the one

the idea of the other,

fashion out of the one

the figure of the other.

We make our way through the evening

not knowing what idea stands at the gate

ready to imprison us for our unlawfulness.

We are Socretes, refusing to hand ourselves the hemlock.

We still believe that we can call

a different narrative out of all the possible narratives

open to us in this profound narcotic state.

We hold on by the slimmest of tendrils

to the thin hope that we might appease ourselves and the world,

and not be carried out in a stream of black cadillacs

to clog the streets of Memphis

with talent.


On Saturday next (11th June 2016) the Éire Nua Committee, Dublin South-Central will host the first of what will be many 'Éire Nua Awareness' public meetings which will be held around the country with the aim of making Éire Nua a living and acting document across Irish society.

The most revolutionary proposals for real political change in Ireland are contained in the pages of the Éire Nua policy and the organisers hope to create substantive positive discussion about this document by engaging directly with the people. Three speakers are confirmed for Saturday, 11th June - an Uachtarán Sinn Féin Poblachtach Des Dalton, National PRO Seán Ó Dubhláin and Alan Byrne of Na Fianna Éireann. The meeting will take place on Saturday, June 11th 2016 at 4pm at the St. John Bosco Youth Centre, Davitt Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12 (map here). All are very welcome to attend and contribute thoughts, ideas and opinions.


'Magill' magazine has unearthed new information which raises a grim but important question : were explosives from within this Republic used in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings? It is a question which, bizarrely, also encompasses the controversial Dónal de Róiste case. By Don Mullan, author of the book 'The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings'.

From 'Magill' magazine, February 2003.


Responding to the revelations that the explosives used by British intelligence to bomb Dublin and Monaghan may have originated at the Clonagh factory, Angela O'Neill, who lost her father and had two young brothers seriously injured in the Parnell Street bombing, told 'Magill' - "This revelation is shocking and raises strong suspicions about how the Irish government responded to the attack, and why we, and all other innocent victims, were abandoned for over 25 years. An Garda Siochana have a lot of explaining to do in light of the Clonagh revelations.

This State walked away from us at the time and the question is 'Why?' This information may help us find answers. It certainly vindicates our long cry for a full independent judicial inquiry into the bombings. It is right and proper that Justice Barron investigates the British and UVF role in the bombings, but the Irish State must not be let off the hook either."

Derry solicitor Desmond Doherty represents a number of victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, including the O'Neill family, founder members of the 'Justice for the Forgotten' campaign. In 2001 Doherty came across documents marked 'Secret' which had been released by the 'Bloody Sunday Inquiry', concerning the matter of explosives being used in the North. Minutes from a meeting held at 10 Downing Street, on 4th November 1971, attended by British Prime Minister Edward Heath, the British Army's Chief of Staff General Sir Michael Carver and, amongst others, an unnamed intelligence co-ordinator, refer to a discussion about "..experiments..being made..with the view to incorporating into..explosive material some components which could be positively recognised after an explosion.." (MORE LATER.)


'WANTED : DEAD OR ALIVE. ANDREW JACKSON...responsible for the death of thousands of Native Americans..' (more here) and we are aware of his involvement with the 'slave trade' both of which issues would usually exclude a person from mention on our blog but, due to his Irish roots, the particular date involved (8th June) and this wee story featuring himself and the British, we have decided to make an exception.

Andrew Jackson was an American statesman who served as the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837. He died on this date - 8th June - 171 years ago, in 1845. His parents were born in Donegal and they emigrated to the USA. As a boy, his mother, an Irish republican, told young Andrew of the horrors the British committed on the Irish people, and she told him of how the Irish fought back. During the American Revolution, Jackson, at just 13 years young, was taken prisoner by the British, who soon discovered that he had Irish roots. A British Officer ordered Jackson to shine boots and, when Jackson refused, the enraged Officer unsheathed his sword and slashed young Jackson across the face, leaving a scar he would carry to his grave.

Throughout his life, Andrew Jackson despised the British. The U. S. again fought the British, from 1812-1814, and the war was fought to a standstill. A treaty was signed in England but it took thirty days to get word across the sea to America and the war waged on. The famous pirate, Jean Lafitte, an admirer of Jackson, got word to him that the war was over, but Jackson decided to ignore this until he got an official order! His army, supported by Lafitte's pirates, were prepared to meet the British in battle, in New Orleans and, under a fog in the bayou, the British attacked ; the Americans, under Jackson, destroyed them. The British lost over two-thousand soldiers and the Americans lost eight! Later, when asked why the battle was fought after the war was over, Jackson claimed he had no official word that that was the position...


Michael Gaughan (pictured, inset, left) , the eleventh Irish republican to die on hunger strike was four months away from celebrating his 25th birthday.

Immortalised in song by Seamus Robinson, Michael Gaughan was an IRA activist in England and, in December 1971, he found himself in front of a British judge in the Old Bailey, where he was sentenced to seven years in Wormwood Scrubs for taking part in a (fund-raising) bank raid in north London. Two years later, he was transferred to Albany Prison on the Isle of Wight and demanded that he be treated as a political prisoner. This was refused and he was placed in solitary confinement before being moved to Parkhurst Prison, also on the Isle of Wight. On the 31st of March, 1974, Michael Gaughan joined an on-going hunger-strike protest and, after 23 days, he was force-fed : the tube that was forced down his throat punctured his lung, killing him, in Parkhurst Prison, on the 3rd of June, 1974. His body was removed from London and on Friday and Saturday, 7th and 8th June 1974 - 42 years ago on this date - thousands of mourners lined the streets of Kilburn and marched behind his coffin, which was flanked by an IRA guard of honour, to a requiem mass held in the 'Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus' in Kilburn.

On that Saturday (8th June 1974), his body was transported to Dublin where, again, it was met by mourners and another IRA guard of honour who brought it to the Adam and Eve's Franciscan church on Merchant's Quay, where thousands filed past as it lay in state. The following day, his body was removed to Ballina, County Mayo. The funeral mass took place on the 9th June, at St. Muredach's Cathedral, Ballina, and the procession then went to Leigue Cemetery, Ballina. Gaughan was given a full republican burial and was laid to rest in the republican plot. Mayo republican Jackie Clarke (Seán Ó Clérigh) presided at the last obsequies, and the oration at his graveside was given by Dáithí Ó Conaill, who stated that Gaughan "..had been tortured in prison by the vampires of a discredited empire who were joined by decrepit politicians who were a disgrace to the name of Irishmen..." His coffin was draped in the same Tricolour that was used for Terence McSwiney's funeral 54 years earlier. He left a final message in which he stated - "I die proudly for my country and in the hope that my death will be sufficient to obtain the demands of my comrades. Let there be no bitterness on my behalf, but a determination to achieve the new Ireland for which I gladly die. My loyalty and confidence is to the IRA and let those of you who are left carry on the work and finish the fight."

And today, 42 years after Michael Gaughan was buried, republicans are still working towards that same objective.


By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

Biographical Note : Jim McCann is a community worker from the Upper Springfield area in West Belfast. Although born in the Short Strand, he was reared in the Loney area of the Falls Road. He comes from a large family (average weight about 22 stone!). He works with Tús Nua (a support group for republican ex-prisoners in the Upper Springfield), part of the Upper Springfield Development Trust. He is also a committee member of the 'Frank Cahill Resource Centre', one of the founders of 'Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh', the local Irish language primary school and Naiscoil Bharr A'Chluanaí, one of the local Irish language nursery schools.

His first publication last year by Glandore was 'And the Gates Flew Open : the Burning of Long Kesh'. He hopes to retire on the profits of his books. Fat chance!


The first Timmy knew that something besides twelve inches was afoot was when he was blindfolded, gagged and tied to his metal bed. His captors' first task was to scare the life out of him, and this was achieved by subjecting him to implied violence. No actual violence was used, but the threat of it never diminished - these were not 'Good guy, Bad guy'. For his own sake the next day, irrespective of how the escape went, his ignorance of before and after the fact had to be undoubtable.

If the screws and the RUC interrogators had thought for an instant that he was a willing participant to the escape he would have been in real trouble. The truth is Timmy hadn't a clue. Next morning, Timmy's captors heard the screws unlocking the huts for the day, which also included the first of the twice-daily head-count. A sinister voice whispered into Timmy's ear - "One peep outta ye, and I'll dig yer bloody head in." Timmy got the message. The screws went from cubicle to cubicle counting the lumps in the beds. "28 there, Mister," shouted the P.O. (Principal Officer) , "28 is correct, Sir," the screw answered. On completing this daily routine the screws left the cage and got back to what they love doing most. Counting their wages.

Not long afterwards, Timmy was permitted to go to the toilet (under guard) and then received some food and a cup of tea. After this he was moved to the drying room of the shower hut where he was to be bound to a chair and gagged once more. A pillow case was placed over his head and while waiting to be gagged he pleaded with his guards : "Please, boys, they'll think that I'm part of this. Don't do this to me, they'll never believe me! Can I speak to Lasher...?" (MORE LATER.)



If you like what we do here in our wee corner of the internet, then please don't be shy - give us a vote! You will have to either log in or create an account before you can vote but we really would appreciate it if you did that for us. There is no charge, and it won't take up too much of your time - entries are open until the 26th June next and judging will start after that. Think about it, anyway - this could be your opportunity to see me on stage. Cleaning it, afterwards...!


'Brexit' - in or out? That's the question that will be answered on Thursday, 23rd June 2016, by those of the British electorate that bother to vote, and there are plenty of stated reasons why those entitled to vote should do so in the first place and, indeed, why they should vote 'Stay' or 'Go' - food, health and animal rights, jobs, travel, workers' rights, economic benefits, immigration, bureaucracy, foreign affairs, sovereignty, security, trade, business, jobs, consumer goods and so on and on etc.

For what it's worth, this blog is firmly in the 'Brits Out' (ie vote 'Leave!') camp, for our own selfish (!) reason : we want the return of British Army checkpoints on their imposed 'border' in Ireland. We want to see a visible presence by the British military and customs and revenue 'suits' as they operate vehicle checks, passport checks and stoppages, and queries from armed British personnel directed at those travelling from one part of our nine-county Ulster into another part of same and at those travelling from the 26-county state into any of the six occupied counties, frustrated queues forming at every access/exit point etc - in short, we want visible reminders (for those that need same) that our country is still militarily and politically occupied and divided by Westminster. So if you have a vote on Thursday 23rd June 2016 - vote 'Leave!', give us back our visible 'border' and shake the complacent among us out of their slumber. Thanks!


...we won't be posting our usual contribution, and probably won't be in a position to post anything at all until the following Wednesday, the 22nd June ; this coming weekend (Saturday/Sunday 11th/12th June 2016) is spoke for already with a 650-ticket raffle to be run for the Cabhair group in a venue on the Dublin/Kildare border (work on which begins on the Tuesday before the actual raffle) and the 'autopsy' into same which will take place on Monday evening, 13th, in Dublin, meaning that we will not have the time to post here. But we'll be back, as stated above, on Wednesday 22nd June 2016, and I might even explain the 'girl with suitcases' pic, left, or I might leave mentioning same for another few weeks...!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016




Life here just hasn't been the same since those Goddam european bureaucrats and their pc buddies temporarily removed the British Army squaddies and their checkpoints from their imposed 'border' in Ireland and - call us 'old fashioned' if you want - we miss those days and want them back. And you can help, if you have a vote on the day...

The crowd have come to say farewell,

the church bell rings a low peeled knell,

regimental standards are lowered down

as the hero passed through the town...

...check back with us on Wednesday 8th June 2016. And have your Passport at the ready..

Thanks for the visit, Sharon.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016




Annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration, assemble at 2.30pm, Sallins Village, Co Kildare, Sunday, June 26th, 2016.

"We have come to the holiest place in Ireland: holier to us than the place where Patrick sleeps in Down. Patrick brought us life, but this man died for us. And though many before him and some since have died in testimony of the truth of Ireland's claim to nationhood, Wolfe Tone was the greatest of all that have died for Ireland whether in old time or in new. He was the greatest of Irish nationalists. I believe he was the greatest of Irish men. And if I am right in this I am right in saying that we stand in the holiest place in Ireland and that the holiest sod of a Nation's soil is the sod where the greatest of her dead lies buried..." - that is the first paragraph of the address delivered by Pádraig Pearse at Wolfe Tone's grave on June 12, 1913.

"From my earliest youth I have regarded the connection between Great Britain and Ireland as the curse of the Irish nation, and felt convinced that, while it lasted, this country could never be free nor happy. My mind has been confirmed in this opinion by the experience of every succeeding year, and the conclusions which I have drawn from every fact before my eyes. In consequence, I was determined to employ all the powers which my individual efforts could move, in order to separate the two countries. That Ireland was not able of herself to throw off the yoke, I knew ; I therefore sought for aid wherever it was to be found. In honourable poverty I rejected offers which, to a man in my circumstances, might be considered highly advantageous. I remained faithful to what I thought the cause of my country, and sought in the French Republic an ally to rescue three millions of my countrymen.." - Theobald Wolfe Tone. During his last speech from the dock, Wolfe Tone stated - "I mention this for the sake of others, for me I am indifferent to it. I am aware of the fate which awaits me, and scorn equally the tone of complaint and that of supplication. Whatever be the sentence of this court, I am prepared for it. Its members will surely discharge their duty ; I shall take care not to be wanting in mine..." and, finally, to quote just a line or two from his last letters to his wife : "..be assured I will die as I have lived, and that you will have no cause to blush for me. Adieu, dearest love, keep your courage as I have kept mine. My mind is as tranquil this moment as at any period of my life..."

One only has to read his last speech from the dock at his trial to see and understand the character of the man - just to quote a few lines is enough to convince any fair mind of the impossibility of Wolfe Tone committing any crime against the Cause he served : "Mr.President and gentlemen of the Court Martial : I mean not to give you the trouble of bringing judicial proof to convict me legally to having acted in hostility to the government of his Britannic Majesty in Ireland. I admit the fact from my earliest youth, I have regarded the connection between Ireland and Great Britain as the curse of the Irish nation and felt convinced that, whilst it lasted, this country could never be free nor happy..." and, regarding the French, Wolfe Tone said - "Attached to no party in the French Republic, without interest, without money, without intrigue, the openness and integrity of my views raised me to a high and confidential rank in its armies ; under the flag of the French Republic I originally engaged with a view to save and liberate my own country. For that purpose, I have encountered the chances of war, amongst strangers. For that purpose, I have repeatedly braved the terrors of the ocean, covered as I knew it to be, with the triumphant fleets of that power, which it was my glory and my duty to oppose. I have sacrificed all my views in life ; I have courted poverty, I have left a beloved wife, unprotected children I adored, fatherless. After such sacrifices, in a cause which I have always conscientiously considered as the cause of justice and freedom - it is no great effort, at this day, to add the sacrifice of my life. To the eternal disgrace of those who gave the order, I was brought hither in irons, like a felon.."

This proud Irish 'felon' will be commemorated by fellow republicans in Bodenstown Churchyard, Sallins, County Kildare, on Sunday June 26th 2016, at 2.30pm. All genuine republicans welcome!


By prisoners from E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison, 1999.


Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill.

First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O'Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.

THE BIG HOUSE. (By Rita Kelly.)

The moon rides high

in a clear sky above Portlaoise.

The sun is a huge burning orb

and spills red unto the windows of Portlaoise.

The Slieve Blooms lose their substance

and are miraged on the outer rim.

The town is burnished and bright

despite the incarceration.

The gantries swing high above this scene

and this condition.

In the fields the cattle graze and glow,

the people prosper having the sun and the moon


it waxes full.

The walls ride high and grey and hard,

hard as hell,

they hem in and overwhelm-

a place which feels itself strange and dangerous

a place of vaulted anger.

You can not hear the activity of the living

you can not hear life driving its articulated truck

you can not see the bright smile of the lads

heading into the snooker hall close to the Coliseum

or the women with the cranky little pomeranian.

You cannot smell that oil and salt sharpness

of the vinegar in its immediacy, as the young fellow

leaves the chipper, and rushes back to his thin wheeled tractor,

his hand diving into the fried-hot chips, bringing bits of pleasure to his mouth, watering...

knowing that he will spray more and more acres of corn

for hours, until bone-weary of a long day, the vistas

and the smell of the herbicide...

There is a grey in the faces of those you can see.


It is a grey which is reflected in the heaped, high up

texture of the local limestone, dug out of some

dank and dark hiding place to suppress the day.

We are tired and nervous for no apparent reason

and the air hangs heavy with the lives we have squandered

and the futures we have fucked up and funnelled into

this narrow place, this hole, this hell, this hindermost

position of all that is stagant.

(The rest of 'The Big House' will be posted here next week.)


'Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodation around the world..' (from here) - and what could be more "unique" than a new-build house or apartment that has been built on land 'acquired' from those that were born and bred on it but were 'encouraged' to vacate it by a savage 'neighbour'?

'Airbnb' is listing properties for rent in Israeli settlements that violate international law and occupy Palestinian land illegally and, by listing these homes, the listings company is directly helping legitimise the occupation of stolen land, contributing to a key piece of the Israeli government's decades-long policies of occupation, discrimination and dispossession. The 'new-builds' on offer to holidaymakers are literally built on the rubble of stolen homes, orchards and fields, and have resulted in the displacement of communities and families. At least 48,000 Palestinian buildings have been demolished to build homes where only Jewish Israelis are allowed to live - and now dozens are listed on 'Airbnb'.

'Airbnb' is a private, unlimited company and its Irish office is located at the Watermarque Building, South Lotts Road in Ringsend, Dublin 4. Its company directors are Aisling Hassell, Dermot Patrick Clarke and Eoin Michael Hession : contact details for same are terms@airbnb.com and https://www.airbnb.ie/help/contact_us. Palestinians are evicted from their homes, 'Airbnb' profits off stolen homes. 'Google' the company for other ways to contact them and/or use the above-mentioned contact details but, however you do it, please do do it. Register your disgust at that particular business practice and, hopefully, if enough of us do so, they will stop doing it. And maybe they'll even apologise to those most affected by it - the Palestinians.


'Magill' magazine has unearthed new information which raises a grim but important question : were explosives from within this Republic used in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings? It is a question which, bizarrely, also encompasses the controversial Dónal de Róiste case. By Don Mullan, author of the book 'The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings'.

From 'Magill' magazine, February 2003.


A Detective Ted Jones of the Garda Ballistic Squad did manage, however, to deliver small quantities of debris from Parnell Street, the first of the four bomb targets, to Dr James Donovan, then at the State Laboratory, on the 20th and 23rd May 1974 and, in his analysis of the debris, Dr Donovan detected "...the presence of two blackened prills of ammonium nitrate.."

On the 24th March 1999 I interviewed Dr Donovan, who made the following statement which, in the light of Captain Walshe's revelations, may have a profound significance. He said - "I feel that the ovide prills of ammonium nitrate, blackened as they were, must have had some significance or else somebody would have come and talked to me. But when my own authorities did not do so, I find that strange."

When asked if the apparent disappearance of the forensics related to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings for 11 days may be linked to the fact that someone in authority may have known that the source of the explosives was actually within the State, Garrett Fitzgerald responded - "I see the possible relationship between the two events, which is news to me. I was always thinking in terms of the explosives being used in the North. I hadn't related it back down here." Fitzgerald agreed it was right that these matters should be raised and expressed satisfaction that ex-Commandant Walshe had met with Mr Justice Barron, the man in charge of the long-running 'Independent Commission of Inquiry' into the bombings.

"It is a thesis to be explored," Fitzgerald told 'Magill', "and it is right that these matters be thoroughly explored. There is no case for covering matters up." (MORE LATER.)


By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

Biographical Note : Jim McCann is a community worker from the Upper Springfield area in West Belfast. Although born in the Short Strand, he was reared in the Loney area of the Falls Road. He comes from a large family (average weight about 22 stone!). He works with Tús Nua (a support group for republican ex-prisoners in the Upper Springfield), part of the Upper Springfield Development Trust. He is also a committee member of the 'Frank Cahill Resource Centre', one of the founders of 'Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh', the local Irish language primary school and Naiscoil Bharr A'Chluanaí, one of the local Irish language nursery schools.

His first publication last year by Glandore was 'And the Gates Flew Open : the Burning of Long Kesh'. He hopes to retire on the profits of his books. Fat chance!


A few months after Damien's release there had been a total physical change in the camp : Cage 17 along with a few inmates from old Cage 13 had become Cage 11. One of the inmates was one Timmy Johnson from the New Lodge Road - Lasher Beirne had been thinking about Timmy for about two months. In fact, Lasher had been thinking more about Timmy's impending release.

Just before Timmy's release the necessary gear to transform Lasher into Timmy had been secreted into Long Kesh and was placed in a secret dump. We don't know who dumped it because that was a secret,too! Timmy readied himself for his big day unaware that in smoke-filled cubicles in Cage 11 desperate men were making desperate decisions that could have desperate repercussions on Timmy's planned holiday a few days hence in Carnlough.

For those two months before his release Timmy thought that it was very good of Lasher to take such an interest in him. After all, Lasher had barely acknowledged Timmy's existence in the four or five months since the 'Fire of Long Kesh' had put them together in the same cage. They were inseparable. "That's what I like about Lasher," Timmy declared one day to 'another' friend, "Lasher's always there for me with a sympathetic ear. He's genuinely interested in everything about me..." If Timmy had taken a closer look he would have noticed that Lasher was starting to walk, talk and act like Timmy. On the day Timmy was getting released, Lasher was Timmy... (MORE LATER.)


In every country it occupied (and in every country it continues to either occupy or take an 'interest' in) Britain, like other imperialist forces, recruits a native 'workforce' which it uses to serve its interests (!) : in the mid-to-late 19th century in Ireland, for instance, Westminster decreed that the then Irish police force be re-named the 'Royal Irish Constabulary', a move which the then British 'queen', Victoria, was strongly in favour of, as a 'reward' to them in payment for the cruel manner in which they dealt with the Fenian rising : on the 1st June 1922 - 94 years ago on this date - (after Britain had partitioned Ireland) the paramilitary RIC outfit in the Six Counties was re-classified as the 'RUC' ('U' for 'Ulster' : sic - Ulster has nine counties , not six) and Britain's reign of 'official' terror in that part of Ireland continued, albeit by a 'different' paramilitary gang.

For instance, in June of 1982, the 60th anniversary of the formation of the RUC was marked by a series of commemorative events ; articles filled newspapers, editorials and letters from loyal correspondents heaped praise and glory on that force, church services, some attended by well-known catholic clergy, prayed for its members, and local councils passed motions of support and congratulations in their 'honour'. In short, 'respectable unionist society' paid its tribute to its 'police force', formed in its image - and 60 years of brutality, torture, murder and lies were brushed aside as the unionist establishment congratulated itself for the continuing existence of a paramilitary force which had maintained and safe-guarded its rule over the turbulence of those years. There were of course no prayers for young Michael McCartan, gunned down in cold blood in July 1980 by a plainclothes RUC man while painting 'Up The Provos' on a gable wall near his south Belfast home. Nor, doubtless, did any clergyman pause a moment in memory of 9-year-old Danny Rooney, shot dead by RUC men in August 1969 in his Divis Flats home ; or in memory of 42-year-old Samuel Devenney, beaten to death in his own home by those same 'guardians of peace' in April 1969.

There were no newspaper editorials recalling the hideous murder of trade union activist Brian Maguire at the hands of his RUC interrogators in Castlereagh in 1978. Or the 'disappearance' of Jackie McMahon on January 18th, 1978, after his arrest by the RUC, and the finding of his drowned body in the River Lagan months later. The columns of 'The Belfast Telegraph' establishment newspaper were empty of condemnations of the RUC killers of young Julie Livingstone in May 1981, and of those other nationalists murdered by the plastic bullet weapon which British rulers have equipped their RUC 'peace-keepers' with. And the local councils omitted to mention the torture centres such as Castlereagh and Gough barracks, or the Bennett Report, or the Amnesty International Report, or the European Court of Human Rights condemnation of torture techniques in 1971. The 'conveyor belt' from the nationalist ghettos to the H-Blocks and Armagh, in which the RUC play an integral role with their trade in torture , blackmail and perjury, was totally ignored.

The black history of the RUC is shrouded in a cloak of lies and false platitudes : although it was founded in June 1922, its roots, nonetheless, and its political nature, can be firmly traced back to the force which was established to maintain British rule in Ireland before partition. The 'Constabulary (Ireland) Act 1836', passed by the British government, created a constabulary of some 8,500 men but, by 1846, this was extended to 13,500 with, in addition, a large number of auxiliaries, specifically to protect the property of absentee landlords and to squeeze rent from impoverished peasants in the 'Great Hunger' period, or to seize the property they attempted to 'live' on. The 'Royal Irish Constabulary'(RIC) as it was known, effectively acted as the strong-arm of the landlords and the mill and factory owners, carrying out evictions against tenants who defaulted on 'rent' payments - if those who had been evicted decided to squat on the land (as they often did, because they had nowhere else to go) the RIC and/or the Auxiliaries would attack them again for doing so. If a 'street' or village attempted to defend their neighbour from eviction, the same State thugs would move-in to break-up what they considered the 'strike action'.

The Northern RIC was almost entirely composed of protestants : a British 'royal commission' reporting on the 1857 pogroms against Belfast catholics found that this overwhelmingly protestant para-military 'police' force had behaved in a sectarian fashion, and had actually led attacks on catholic homes and businesses - just as at Burntollet in January 1969, and in the lower Falls in August, when out-of-uniform and uniformed RUC men and 'B' Specials co-ordinated the attacks on catholics. That 'royal commission' recommended that 'a total change should be made in the mode of appointment and the management of the local police.". 112 years later, the Hunt Report commissioned by the British Government was still tinkering along the same lines of 'reform'. But just as in 1857, so in 1969 - nothing changed in the essential sectarianism of the 'police', and throughout the 19th century, attacks on nationalist homes and property continued unabated. On December 6th, 1921, the so-called 'Treaty' was initialed, soon to be ratified by the dominant Free State faction in the South of Ireland, and Ireland was partitioned. In the twenty-six counties the implementation of the new status was undertaken by Free State forces using British arms and equipment, and employing brutally repressive measures. In the Six Counties, the job of 'pacifying' nationalist opposition fell largely to the RUC.

A departmental committee established under the Stormont administration to enquire into the organisation of a force to replace the RIC, recommended (on March 31st 1922) that a 'new' force, the 'RUC', be set up comprising 3,000 men. Nominally, this force was to include one-third catholics in its number, but because of loyalist sectarianism and the force's political role in defending partition, it was from the outset an almost exclusively protestant and loyalist force.

The first priority of the newly-formed RUC was to eliminate the republican forces who still enjoyed popular support in the nationalist areas of the Occupied Six Counties. To achieve this, the 'Constabulary Act (Northern Ireland) 1922', incorporated the already established 'Special Constabulary' fully into the RUC. This 'Special Constabulary' had been set up in 1920 by the British administration to combat the increasingly effective IRA forces in the north-east of the island. The unionist leader, 'Lord' Edward Carson, had organised it, and it was composed almost entirely of former units of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) from the gun-running era. Within a year of its formation the 'Specials' - 'A', 'B' and 'C' classes (although only the 'B' Specials lasted long) numbered more than 30,000 men, and at the end of 1921 the Stormont administration assumed control over them from the British government. By the end of 1922 when they were incorporated into the RUC, the 'Specials' numbered 50,000 well-armed men.

Both the 'Specials' and the RUC proceeded to wage a terror campaign against the nationalist people, indulging in widespread pogroms : reports of atrocities were common place between 1922 and 1925 and the 'Murder Gang' (a 1920's version of the 'Shankill Butchers') was composed of ex-British soldiers, UVF men and RUC/'B' Specials, and typical of their atrocities was the McMahon Murders on March 24th 1922, which was organised and carried-out by RUC Detectives and District Inspectors J.W. Nixon and Harrison, in which all the male members of the McMahon family and a man employed by them were killed. In another incident around this time, two elderly sisters were killed when 'B' Specials threw a hand-grenade into the bedroom of their Thompson Street home in east Belfast's isolated nationalist ghetto of Short Strand. Perhaps the most sadistic killings took place in Tyrone in 1924 - four IRA Volunteers were captured by a large platoon of 'B' Specials and shot on the spot. Their genitals were cut off and placed in their mouths and obscenities about the Pope were written on the road with blood from their entrails. At the inquest, the 'B' Specials' Commander defended their actions by stating that his men "..had seen action in Palestine..". No action was taken against the perpetrators.

In the intervening years, the RUC came to reinforce its position as the institutional guardian of Orange sectarian privilege in the Occupied Six Counties, periodically (as in 1932 during the 'Outdoor Relief' strikes) repressing nationalists by extreme brutal force. Its importance in that institutional repression can be gauged by the fact that the RUC, through its advice and intelligence reports, were instrumental in operating the internment of nationalist opponents of the state, not just in 1971 but in every decade since the foundation of the state in 1920. The late 1960's saw this repressive role emphasised again, as RUC thugs continued to 'keep the peace' with their batons.

The late 1960's saw this repressive role emphasised again, as RUC thugs batoned civil rights marchers to the ground, first on October 5th 1968 in Derry, in full view of the television cameras. Despite the outcry no investigation took place. When on August 14th 1969 the RUC finally admitted defeat, faced with the undaunted nationalist resistance of the Battle of the Bogside, and British troops entered Derry and then Belfast to safeguard the status quo, the 'B' Specials gave full vent to their anti-nationalist spleen, shooting dead a bystander in Armagh and Francis McCloskey in Dungiven, while in Belfast 'B' Specials and RUC men led loyalist mobs on attacks into nationalist streets.

When the first flames died down and the nationalists counted the cost in terms of human tragedy, the British summoned 'Lord' Hunt to prepare a report on the RUC - like subsequent reports it was essentially a whitewash. August 1969 had revealed to the watching world that the RUC was a sectarian paramilitary force, and the British felt pressurised to act. Typically they summoned an academic, 'Lord' Hunt, to prepare a report which essentially would salvage the 'credibility' of the force : Hunt's report was issued on October 3rd 1969 and was announced as the 'reform' of the RUC. The 'reforms', however, were not real but apparent. The 'B' Specials were disbanded but were replaced by the 'Ulster (sic) Defence Regiment' (UDR), which were attached to the British Army rather than to the RUC. But 90% of all 'B' Specials in 1969 joined the UDR at its formation in 1970, meaning that 80% of the UDR was composed of former 'B' Specials.

Most of the few nationalists who joined the UDR, in an initial belief in the reality of the 'reform' (about 12% of the UDR in all) resigned when it soon became clear that the UDR was no more than a 'Special Constabulary' in khaki uniform. As a further concession to the 'pride' of the 'B' Specials, former members were allowed to keep their weapons! One other Hunt Report 'recommendation' was that the RUC be disarmed : this was implemented initially but, under loyalist pressure, the RUC soon resumed its traditional role as the armed paramilitary wing of loyalism. In fact, to suppress the militant nationalist population, the British administration actually strengthened the RUC in numbers and weaponry. In the history of nationalist and republican resistance to the Orange state, this better-armed, better-trained and numerically stronger RUC paramilitary force played a central and conscious role in the attempted repression of that struggle. Their 'contribution' in particular to the post-internment H-Block/Armagh 'conveyor belt', through the use of RUC-trained interrogators in Castlereagh and other torture centres across the North was a major factor in the torture, by physical or psychological methods, of the estimated 20,000 nationalists who have passed through these centres since the ending of political status in 1976. Over 80% of those subsequently convicted by non-jury Diplock courts were jailed solely on the basis of 'confessions' obtained while under interrogation in those centres.

The RUC's immunity from criticism in employing these methods is well illustrated by the Rafferty Case : James Joseph Rafferty, from Dungannon in County Tyrone, was arrested in November 1976 and held for three days in Omagh RUC Barracks where he was brutally beaten by RUC detectives from the 'Regional Crime Squad', which had only recently been established by the then RUC assistant chief constable Kenneth Newman, for just such purposes. Eventually, James Joseph Rafferty was released without charge and taken to hospital where he remained for several days. The evidence of the brutality used against him was clear-cut : he had multiple bruising, his scalp was covered with blood-red pin-pricks, and his backside was gashed. Doctors testified that these injuries could not have been self-inflicted. Nevertheless, after years of a stonewall conspiracy of RUC silence, which caused one member of the 'RUC Police Authority', Jack Hassard, to resign in disgusted frustration, James Joseph Rafferty's torturers were acquitted in 'court' and his claim for compensation was dismissed. As the ex-RUC 'Police Authority' member, Jack Hassard, said - "The bastards who beat up James Joseph Rafferty would stop at nothing, even killing..." And they didn't stop for Brian Maguire -

'In Castlereagh from day to day

The tortured know no rest,

And men don't sleep and men must weep

Until they have confessed,

Confessed to 'crime' for sentenced time

Though guilt they may not know,

But that is law, however raw,

So bear your cross of woe.' (Bobby Sands: 'The Crime of Castlereagh'.)

- On May 12th 1978 there were two funerals of particular relevance for the nationalist people : one was Jackie McMahon's, his body having been dragged from the River Lagan, the first time he had been seen since being taken into RUC custody four months earlier. The other was the funeral of 27-year-old Brian Maguire who, two days earlier on May 10th 1978, had been found hanging by a sheet from his cell ceiling, in Castlereagh Barracks. Brian Maguire was an electronics engineer at the Strathearn Audio factory in West Belfast, a branch secretary of his trade union , the AUEW(TASS), and a militant in the 'Trade Union Campaign Against Repression'. In November 1977 he had helped organise a march in West Belfast against repression, at which one of the speakers warned that unless Castlereagh were closed then somebody would be tortured to death. Brian Maguire was that somebody. His murder was, typically, 'offically' dismissed as suicide, physically an impossibility in the regime of constant supervision in Castlereagh . A key to what did actually happen to him, however, is given by the case of Phelim Hamill from West Belfast who was being held for questioning about the same matters as Brian Maguire. Phelim was 20 years of age when he was taken from his home on April 23rd 1978 : over the next two days he experienced the most severe physical and mental torture in Castlereagh, suffering ear damage, abdominal bruising and bruising to the kidneys and testicles. While being beaten by 'teams' of up to eight RUC men, he was made to stand against the wall spread-eagled for long periods. His RUC torturers also engaged in a specific type of mock strangulation which induced a drowning sensation : this is the last torture that is believed to have gone too far in Brian Maguire's case and led to his death.

In a statement taken before Brian Maguire's death, Phelim Hamill detailed this aspect of the torture : "My arms and legs were pinned down and a light-coloured towel was put over my head, obstructing my vision. The RUC tied the towel around my neck and choked me. While the towel was tied around my face a cup of water was poured down my throat and nose, giving me a drowning feeling." After surviving this terrifying experience, Phelim Hamill spent eleven months on remand before being released. Brian Maguire was not so lucky.

'Like withered leaf or side of beef

They hang you by the heels,

Then kidneys crunch with heavy punch

To tortured jiggling squeals.

Bones are bruised 'cos boots are used

To loosen up your tongue,

So men admit a little bit

When nothing they have done.' (Bobby Sands : 'The Crime of Castlereagh')

The RUC are* a bigoted and sectarian force, existing to perform the function they were set up to perform - the defence of the Orange state. The child-killers of 1969 are the torturers of Castlereagh and the plastic bullet assassins, and any number of years on the RUC are an unchanged and unchangeable paramilitary force. Their name spells repression and death to the nationalist community. That is why, for all the newspaper articles and editorials, and for all the middle-class prayers and council motions and, above all, for all the ambivalence and collaboration of the establishment towards them, there are not and never will be any birthday greetings to the RUC from the nationalist people. *On the 4th November 2001 , the RUC was renamed and rebranded as the 'PSNI' - another name change - but they remain the same : an armed wing of an unjust bastard 'State'.

(The above post is a re-edited version of an article we first published here in 2008.)


The foreign national, pictured left (with handgun), is known to have recently met-up with like-minded pro-British elements in Dublin and was caught in the act of assaulting an Irishman in a cemetery in Grangegorman, on the northside of Dublin.

The photograph in our link, above, clearly shows that the foreign national perpetrator , who is a guest in this part of Ireland, has meddled in the (political) affairs of this State despite his position being traditionally best served by staying out of domestic politics. He was not requested to attend that gathering in the cemetery to operate as 'security' but, by his own actions, he has now involved himself in Irish politics and has shown his support for the anti-republican elements who, like him, seek to silence the republican narrative in this State.

In our opinion, the man is not fit for purpose (or office) and should be recalled to his own country, where he can assault those he disagrees with to his hearts content ; we agree that he had no business in "...attacking an Irish Citizen who had every right to protest the fact that his relatives who died in the 1916 uprising were being remembered alongside those that did the butchering.." and we request our readers to support the 'phone-in-protest' that is taking place on Friday, 3rd June 2016 - details here. Bad enough that those of us who speak out against injustices are silenced by 'our own', without letting outsiders do the same to us. Make that call on Friday 3rd - let's 'get our man'.


'..it has long been claimed a high ranking paedophile ring preyed on vulnerable young boys in Kincora during the 1970s (and) it is further alleged the UK security services knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop it, instead using the information to blackmail and extract intelligence from the influential men, including senior politicians and establishment figures, who were the perpetrators..' (from here.)

The following piece was first published in 'FORTNIGHT' Magazine in May 1984, and was posted on this blog in 2005. It was apparently penned by a gay supporter of McGrath/TARA/Kincora Boys Home and we re-post it here to give you a taste of the 'spin' which some people attempted to put on that issue ; please read it with that in mind. This is a link to the 'objectives' of the TARA loyalist paramilitary organisation with which William McGrath and Roy Garland were associated.

'Gay people have watched the growth of the Kincora industry with fascinated horror : a number of sordid and petty crimes perpetrated against teenage adults have been presented as atrocities on a par with Bloody Sunday, Bloody Friday and every other bloody day of the Ulster week. Prejudices long dormant in the intelligent public have been gentled back into life ; homosexual people are underhand, sexually voracious and unusually interested in young people as sex partners, whether those young people are willing or not. This is how the crazed notion that a boy brothel could exist in a city the size of Belfast got off the ground. It could be taken for granted that gay men in particular would find such a set-up congenial and that we would close ranks to protect the people who would try to organise such a venture. William McGrath is the central figure in the Kincora 'stew' - he had ideas which were lunatic enough to pass for fascist, he was also homosexual and subjected his charges to distressing and unwanted sexual attentions. This, it is implied, is the crux of the matter so far as McGrath is concerned. Such an attitude is nonsensical ; William McGrath and his fellow defendants spent whole lifetimes building up images of familial rectitude. They never once said anything about their homosexual orientation. It is worth questioning whether they were entirely homosexual at all. No hint of their being gay ever seeped out into the gay community, much less the general community.

William McGrath's 'paramilitary' organisation, 'TARA', appears to have consisted of a smallish number of 'chiefs' and no 'indians' at all ; even Roy Garland, once his deputy, admits that all its invitations to other Unionist 'chieftains' to 'pow-wow' were always refused. This fits in with the image of a psychologically dislocated dreamer. Such people are often attractive to young people. Unionists in the early 1970's appeared to be 'girt' (ie 'be' and 'mix with') with cruel foes - and successful ones. The Unionist leadership did not have an idea between them. William McGrath had lots of ideas - all utterly impracticable - and the ability to put them across. Young Ulster (sic) protestants who had not caved in to self-hatred probably momentarily enjoyed the thought that they were the Vanguard of the Chosen Race : McGrath was a British Israelite. British Intelligence probably did know about McGrath and 'TARA' ; they probably also knew about his employment and they may have known that he was homosexual. So also did Ian Paisley, who told his informant, Valerie Shaw, that she should give thanks to God she "was not born a pervert". But it required journalists working for Ireland's leading quality newspaper to turn this into something sinister. We are asked to be outraged by the fact that Ian Paisley did not instantly assume that a homosexual must be sexually molesting his charges.

Sir George Terry, in his report into the affair, slates the press for their handling of it but does not mention the never-ending quality of the whole thing. For more than two years every single day every single medium regaled us with another Kincora fable - we very rarely got a fact. Public figures tumbled over themselves to prove that they were cleaner than clean. Meanwhile, the Social Services Department were in the grip of paranoia ; gay women and men went in fear of their livelihoods - some had their private lives insultingly closely scrutinised. A number were made to assent to humiliatingly intimate physical examination. Non-gay people were just as deeply affected as the suspicion was all-pervasive. Sir George Terry lays most of the blame for the actual events at the Kincora Home on the Eastern Health and Social Services Board, unjustly, one feels. This body could only be expected to work with the material to hand. This included that inherited from the Belfast Welfare Committee ; both bodies, like all such bodies, had to depend on the good will and the good faith of their employees.

'Welfare on the cheap' was what Belfast wanted - and that's what it got : in William McGrath's day you got a job in Welfare because you 'knew someone at City Hall', not because you were qualified for the job or even had an interest in the work. Sir George Terry is very lenient with the RUC ; he uses the excuse that in the mid-seventies the RUC were in the midst of a campaign of terror. However, they were not so busy that they could not resist arresting twenty gay people over a period of some months in 1976 and asking them questions about practically everything except Kincora. The 'Northern Ireland (sic) Gay Rights Association' will have no truck with a judicial inquiry, for a number of reasons - as there was no traffic in boys there is nothing to investigate . The consequences for gays would be dire - they would be driven out of any employment involving young people and they would be kept out of such employment for decades. This would lead to endless complications. Sexuality is not easily pinned down and codified ; instability would be endemic in teaching, welfare and many other fields. Gay people would be faced with repressing their sexuality or going through life lying and prevaricating at every turn. This would set up destabilising suspicions, and so on ad infinitum, until we had reached the pinnacle of Victorian rectitude, where nobody was honest about their sexuality.'

The main trust of this article was to attempt to dismiss all fears about Kincora, McGrath and others as 'nonsensical' and it was maintained throughout the piece that any investigation into said fears should be seen as an attack on the gay community as a whole. A truly sickening position to have held on that sordid episode in the history of this country and, even at this late stage, this issue needs to be properly resolved.



If you like what we do here in our wee corner of the internet, then please don't be shy - give us a vote! You will have to either log in or create an account before you can vote but we really would appreciate it if you did that for us. There is no charge, and it won't take up too much of your time - entries are open until the 26th June next and judging will start after that. Think about it, anyway - this could be your opportunity to see me on stage. Cleaning it, afterwards...!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.