" 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, October 29, 2014

BRITISH PROPOSE TO OFFER 'TRUSTEESHIP FOR BACKWARD PEOPLES' !

MEAT EXPORTERS AND INSURANCE.

Michael Noonan (left), the Fine Gael spokesperson on Finance and former (State) Minister for Health, spoke on the export credit insurance issue. His remarks were based largely on John Bruton's speech (in Leinster House) in September 1994. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1997.

"On September 8th, 1987, the Cabinet agreed to raise the ceiling on export credit insurance to Iraq to £150 million. In doing so, it left the overall limit for export credit insurance generally unchanged at £300 million worldwide. Therefore, the Cabinet had decided that Irish exporters to markets other than Iraq were to be denied cover because so much of the cover was now to be concentrated on Iraq, a market in which the risk of non-payment was exceptionally high.

This serious Cabinet decision was proposed by Deputy Albert Reynolds on the basis of a memorandum circulated by him at the Cabinet meeting on September 8th, 1987 - this memorandum set out the special conditions on which this extra cover for Iraq was to be granted : (a) a maximum of 70 per cent cover would only be allowed for any contract , (b) a maximum credit period of one year as opposed to the normal six months for low risk countries, (c) a claims waiting period of 12 months as opposed to the normal six month period for low risk countries, (d) a minimum premium rate of four per cent of full contract value as opposed to the usual 0.04 per cent for good risk countries and (e) (e) cover would be provided only to exporters for whom claims because of non-payment had not arisen in Iraq, or who had subsequently been paid.

The increased cover for Iraq was specifically agreed by the Government on those five conditions on 8th September, yet that very afternoon Deputy Reynolds, as Minister, started to break the conditions of the Cabinet decision. At 4 p.m. that day he met Mr. Oliver Murphy of Hibernia Meats and Mr. Paschal Phelan of Master Meats, a man who was not unknown to him. At that meeting he awarded £10 million cover to Hibernia Meats with a credit period of 18 months. By doing so, he had, within hours, broken two of the conditions on which the Cabinet had on that morning agreed the extra cover for Iraq...."
(MORE LATER).



THE ANATOMY OF AN AFTERNOON : THE STORY OF THE GIBRALTAR KILLINGS........

By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

(Robin) Mordue had been a nervous witness and lacked self confidence and had to be recalled a second time to give his evidence from the start. The most controversial aspect of his evidence had to do with whether he was able to say if Seán Savage had been shot on the ground. He gave his account to the coroner and then was cross-examined (twice) by Michael Hucker for Soldiers A-G, John Laws for the Crown and Paddy McGrory for the relatives of the deceased. Because Robin Mordue appeared to change his account in relation to where Seán Savage was when the second fusillade of shots was fired, it was suggested that his account was unreliable.

But close inspection of the evidence he gave, and on which he was subject to stringent cross examination, shows that his account did not change from the original version he tendered. Mordue did not see Seán Savage being shot on the ground, and it was this which both the Crown and soldiers' lawyers sought to bring out in cross-examination. However, what he did say was that shots rang out, that he was pushed to the ground, that out of the corner of his eye he saw Seán Savage fall to the ground as well.

On the ground, Mordue struggled for a few seconds. Savage, whom he had seen falling, had already been shot a number of times and it is most unlikely - and it was never suggested - that he tried to get up again. Mordue then heard a second round of shots as he struggled to get up, and the only inference that can be drawn from Mordue's evidence was that Seán Savage was then on the ground as the second round of shots was fired. Yet, Felix Pizzarello's charge to the jury was that Robin Mordue's evidence had been that no shots were fired while he was on the ground. A similar misinterpretation was placed on the evidence of the other civilian eyewitness to the shooting, Diane Treacy..... (MORE LATER).



"WE HAVE RECEIVED YOUR IRISH WATER APPLICATION FORM...."

This pic shows one of the recent protests held in Clondalkin, Dublin (on Thursday 9th October 2014), against the double-tax on water supply, at which 'Irish Water' company 'Application Packs' were burned.

I burned the 'Application Pack' that that company sent to me by post (unrequested) at the above-mentioned protest, at which over 500 people were present and dozens of 'packs' were burned. Those who actually filled-out the pack/forms and sent them back to the company are now receiving 'confirmation' letters from a Mr Paul O'Donoghue in which he states "....we have received your Irish Water application form.." which reads to me , and others, that Mr O'Donoghue and the company he now represents (he previously held a management position in Bord Gáis Energy, the parent company of the outfit he is now employed by) are of the opinion that, because you filled in the paperwork they sent you and sent it back to them, that you have, in effect, applied for the 'service' they offer ie that you are now legally a 'customer' of theirs and, as such, they are entitled to fit a water meter on your house and charge you, a second time, that is, for your household water, as per the reading on that meter. Mr O'Donoghue can be contacted here, should you wish to correct him re you being a 'customer' of the company he now works for or, alternatively, you can contact one or more of the directors of the 'Irish Water' company via this link. I'm sure those directors wouldn't mind hearing from their 'customers'.....

Meanwhile, the trade union SIPTU , the leadership of which is linked to and supports the State Labour Party (which fully endorses the double tax on water) has issued what could at best (ie being generous to them) only be described as a watery/fence-sitting statement in relation to this double tax in which, amongst other sickening half-way-house utterances, they suggest that other ways be found to "implement the water charges" and practically ask people to cooperate with the scabs that are attempting to build the infrastructure (meters, pipe work etc) via which this double tax will be enforced, which is not surprising, as those scab workers are apparently represented by SIPTU in their dealings with 'IW' management re their terms and conditions - "In a statement, Irish Water said it was "fully engaged" with SIPTU officials on a monthly basis and that workers would be paid in line with the construction industry registered agreements...." (from here.). As Jim Larkin (in whose footsteps Siptu has the nerve to claim they are following - "The Union remains committed to Larkin’s dictum that ‘An injury to One is the Concern of All’ and pursuing its twin objectives of Fairness at Work and Justice in Society....") put it : "The employers cannot carry on industry nor accumulate profits if they have not got the good will of the workers or their acquiescence in carrying on such industry." The Siptu leadership and their equally well-fed and suited 'comrades' in the State Labour Party would do well to heed those words.

Finally, for this post, anyway (as this issue is far from over), myself and some other RSF supporters and members from Clondalkin and near-by areas will be taking part in this local anti-double-water-tax protest on Saturday 1st November 2014 and others still will be attending a bigger water tax protest in Dublin city centre that same day. RSF Head Office has , we are told, prepared 500 'leaflet packs' (each containing three leaflets) -

RSF 'leaflet packs' for distribution on Saturday 1st November 2014.

...for distribution at the Clondalkin protest, one of which in each pack will advertise the following event, which will be, as usual, taking place less than a kilometer from the Clondalkin area (and apologises to all for mentioning it now, as it's still only October as I write this....!) .....



.......38TH SUCCESSIVE CABHAIR CHRISTMAS MORNING SWIM!

If , like me, you are a parent of children of any age (I have three daughters for my sins!) then you'll know why I dread Christmas and won't be dwelling on the issue just yet (if at all!) but this event deserves to be highlighted. And that's enough about Christmas for now!



ON THIS DATE (29TH OCTOBER) 64 YEARS AGO : PROPOSER OF GIVING "TRUSTEESHIP FOR BACKWARD PEOPLES" RESIGNS.



'Sir' Stafford Cripps : born 1889, resigned 1950, died 1952.

The above-mentioned racist proposal was put forward by a British politician, 'Sir' Stafford Cripps, at a 'Peace and Empire' conference in London in 1938, in relation to Africa and its citizens and, truth be told, a similar remark was most likely made by Cripps or some or other British political colleague in relation to Ireland and, indeed, this country did feature at that time in the circles that Cripps moved in - 'The Cripps mission to secure Indian cooperation in the war effort had a more obvious Irish parallel since this had been the very purpose of Malcolm MacDonald's secret missions to de Valera on behalf of the British government in the early summer of 1940, when he offered Irish unity in exchange for immediate entry into the war on the Allies' side. One of de Valera's reasons for refusing this offer was his belief that, once the wartime emergency was over, the offer of unity would be reneged upon. It was a view shared by Gandhi, who famously called the Cripps offer 'a post-dated cheque on a failing bank'. Their scepticism about Churchill's sincerity was borne out by his later contemptuous comment on the Cripps offer that 'we made [it] when in a hole and can disavow it because it was not accepted at the time'....' (from here.) His efforts in India on behalf of 'the British war effort' failed because his boss, Churchill, considered them to be giving too much and Gandhi considered the 'offer' to be too little.

'Sir' Cripps obtained high office within his 'empire', being appointed to positions such as Solicitor-General, Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Lord Privy Seal, Leader of the House of Commons, Minister of Aircraft Production, President of the Board of Trade, Minister of Economic Affairs, Chancellor of the Exchequer and he also found time to head-up two 'missions' (ie the British were seeking cannon-fodder and/or war materials and/or other resources) to India, but remains relatively unknown to this day, in that his name would not, I believe, be in the 'top ten' answers in any political quiz to a question along the lines of 'who served the empire in a number of different high-profile political positions in the 20th century'.

The man never had much luck with his health, suffering from colitis, which can be aggravated by stress and in 1950 he resigned from political life for health reasons and, incidentally, his seat in Westminster (for Bristol South East) was then won by Tony Benn. 'Sir' Cripps died two years later, in 1952, from cancer. More information on the man can be had here.



ON THIS DATE (29TH OCTOBER) 92 YEARS AGO - 'GUN-RUNNER' BORN.

Neil T. Blaney, born 29th October 1922, died 8th November 1995.

On November 10th 1966, when Sean Lemass resigned as Free State Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fail, George Colley and Charles J.Haughey made known their desire for that position. Neil Blaney entered on the nomination of another Fianna Fail Minister, Kevin Boland, but Haughey and Blaney withdrew when Sean Lemass nominated Jack Lynch. George Colley stayed in the contest and was defeated by 53 votes to 19 ; the Colley-Haughey power struggle began to develop, but all concerned (George Colley, Haughey, Boland, Neil Blaney and Jack Lynch) continued to cooperate with each other within the confines of the Fianna Fail 'TACA' group. Neil Blaney was interested in the workings and objectives of the 'Civil Rights Association' in the Six Counties but let it be known that he didn't consider them to be hardline enough and tried to steer Fianna Fail away from having too much to do with them, a position which some seen as a challenge to Free State Taoiseach Jack Lynch, and more so with each speech Blaney made in which he verbally attacked a politician favoured by Lynch, Six County (British) 'Premier', Captain Terence O'Neill (who was also under attack by Ian Paisley). Blaney actually advised nationalists in the Six Counties not to support 'Premier' O'Neill.

However, for the sake of party unity (a State-wide general election was due in June 1969), Neil Blaney softened his tone in public but tension remained high between him, George Colley and Haughey, although Jack Lynch tried to avoid taking sides. Seamus Brady, a Fianna Fail 'spin doctor' and a linkman between Blaney and the media of that time, was a well-respected Fianna Fail activist in the Dublin North-East area and was friendly with Blaney, who maintained his contacts in the Six Counties even though the Fianna Fail party itself, officially, did not bother to keep in touch too much with the few remaining contacts it had in the North, a position it regretted finding itself in as the Six County area was in open turmoil. Jack Lynch made a speech on television in which he stated - "The Stormont Government is evidently no longer in control of the situation...the Government of Ireland (sic) has requested the British Government to apply to the United Nations for urgent despatch of a peace-keeping force to the Six Counties ....many injured do not wish to be treated in Six County hospitals, so Irish Army (sic) authorities have been instructed to establish field hospitals in Donegal and other points on the border... " and the State Minister for External Affairs, Patrick Hillery, flew to London (where he was told to mind his own business) before flying off to America and the UN, where he was to raise the Six County issue at the Security Council.

Leinster House decided that money would have to be provided to deal with 'distress' in the Six Counties and wanted any such funds spent in a way which would win friends and influence people for the Fianna Fail Government : £100,000 from State exchequer funds was agreed and a special sub-committee of the State Cabinet was appointed to deal with the whole Northern 'problem'; elected to that sub-comittee were Padraig Faulkner, Joe Brennan, Neil Blaney - their constituencies were on the border - and Charles J.Haughey, who was (FS) Minister for Finance and had strong Northern connections, his father having come South to join the Free State Army in the 1920's. The objectives of that 'Northern sub-committee' were outlined by Charles Haughey at the 'Arms Trial'- "We were given instructions that we should develop the maximum possible contacts with persons inside the Six Counties and try to inform ourselves as much as possible on events, political and other developments - within the Six County area." This 'Northern Sub-Committee' made contact with the Belfast IRA, with Saor Éire elements through the Citizens Committee located in a house in Kildare Street in Dublin (now demolished) the use of which was made available by the New Ireland Assurance Company, and contact was also made with Cathal Goulding, the IRA Chief Of Staff, with the objective of using every possible contact to influence decision making in the Northern nationalist community. Leinster House was not prepared to be 'compromised' by the decisions taken in either the Civil Rights Association or the IRA. Neil Blaney's friend, Seamus Brady, was appointed (on the 15th August 1969) by Haughey to the 'Propaganda Corps' attached to the State sub-committee and he was sent into the Six Counties and, later on that month, gave a report to Jack Lynch which concentrated on the strength of the IRA in the area.

Brady had produced a booklet entitled 'Terror in Northern Ireland' for the Central Citizens Defence Committee (CCDC) in Belfast - he had been chosen to infiltrate the CCDC and this publication launched him nicely into his work. The full costs of producing the booklet were paid by the Leinster House-established 'Information Bureau', and a jointly-written booklet by Seamus Brady and local Civil Rights activist Aidan Corrigan was produced, entitled - 'Eye Witness in Northern Ireland' ; this too was financed by the 'Information Bureau' and was printed - 5,000 copies - at the Cityview Press in Dublin despite its imprint stating - 'Published and printed in the Province of Ulster'. The booklet was launched at a press conference in Dublin's Jury's Hotel on October 5th,1969 (the same month in which Neil Blaney, speaking at celebrations for his 21st year in Leinster House, said - "...the Fianna Fail party has never taken a decision to rule out the use of force if the circumstances in the Six Counties so demand .......") ,at an event organised by Brady who, along with Neil Blaney (the then State Minister for Agriculture) had had a meeting with an IRA staff officer, in Dublin (in Blaney's office in 'Government Buildings'!), the previous month (ie September 1969).

Neil Blaney's political career also encompassed ministerial sackings, the 'Arms Trial' ,an inquiry by the State 'Committee of Public Accounts' into exactly how a sum of money* (£100,000) was spent and power struggles in the Fianna Fail party, and I hope our few paragraphs, above, can give a flavour of Neil Blaney's involvement re the occupied six counties. (*for instance - on the 14th November 1969, a bank account was opened (by a person operating on behalf of Charles J. Haughey, State Minister for Finance at that time) in a Baggot Street, Dublin, bank, in the name of 'Ann O'Brien', and the money in same was used mainly for the running and promotion of a newspaper called 'Voice of The North', which was based in an office in Monaghan and which pushed the views of Fianna Fail on 'the Northern Question'). The 'Gun Runner' died on the 8th of November, 1995, in his 74th year.



BEIRIGÍ BUA! RSF TO HOLD ITS 110TH ARD FHEIS IN NOVEMBER 2014.

Congratulations to the Republican Sinn Féin organisation on its up-coming Ard Fheis - its 110th such gathering - which will be held in a Dublin venue on Saturday 8th November and Sunday 9th November next. A total of 107 motions will be discussed and either passed or rejected by the delegates, including such topics as political and electoral policy, prisoners, social and economic matters and international affairs. Also, a ballad session will be held on the Saturday night (8th) in the complex, starting at 8.30pm, ten Euro admittance per person. But a few of us probably won't make it to either the Ard Fheis (definitely not the full event, anyway) or to the ballad session (well..maybe not!) as we will be helping the Dublin Executive of RSF to run a fund-raising 650-ticket raffle in Kildare that same weekend. HATE it when good gigs clash!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.




Wednesday, October 22, 2014

'JOHNNY-COME-LATELY' HAS A CLASH (!) WITH HIMSELF.....

AND....

....we enjoyed our 'long weekend' (Irish style, that is - it lasted a week!) in Ballyconneely (not far from Clifden) in Galway , in a self-catering bungalow and, while it was nice knowing that we had nothing to do and all day to do it, and were surrounded by breathtaking scenery, I kept finding myself making comparisons with my last holiday where I was surrounded by concrete and steel and constant noise and grime and traffic and fumes , smells and crowds. And I just know that I wouldn't last for three weeks in any rural or semi-rural setting, but would give almost anything for another three week holiday where I feel I belong. In short - Galway for a break, New York for a holiday!



PASSPORTS FOR INVESTMENT....

Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government Chief Whip, presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (sic) on September 11, 1997. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1997.

"It would be commendable that Deputy Reynolds was very involved in the most minute details of his family business had he not been Minister and the major shareholder in the company, had he not been the beneficiary of a softer that soft loan, and had he not denied his retention of his involvement with the company. These questions are not vexatious and they are certainly not trivial , nor are they asked out of simple curiosity. They should be asked and, despite being asked in the past, they have not been answered. There is too much involved here to allow them go unanswered any longer, too much doubt, ambiguity , evasiveness and contraction."

(That is the end of the 'Magill' magazine piece 'Passports for Investment' : the same issue of that magazine also carried a piece, by Fine Gael's Michael Noonan, entitled 'Meat exporters and insurance' , in which the bona fides of Albert Reynolds was again questioned. That article will be posted here, beginning on Wednesday 29th October 2014.)

('Meet Exporters and Insurance' next).



THE ANATOMY OF AN AFTERNOON : THE STORY OF THE GIBRALTAR KILLINGS........

By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

Felix Pizzarello took just over an hour and a quarter to charge the jury. It was a fair and comprehensive address , in which he explained that there were five sets of circumstances in which they could bring in a verdict of unlawful killing. In three of these instances the persons responsible - the jury were expressly prohibited from pointing the finger of blame at anybody - would be guilty of murder. The most simple example of murder and which would lead them to return a verdict of unlawful killing would be if the jury found that the SAS soldiers went out that day with the specific intention of killing and that the arrest procedure worked out with the police was only a facade.

The coroner also told the jury that if they believed any of the three were shot while on the ground to finish them off then this too was murder, but the third situation was more complicated - here the jury would have to conclude that there had been a high level plot to kill the three once they were trapped inside Gibraltar. In this instance responsibility for the murder would rest with the most senior officers of the SAS and British Intelligence 'Office O'.

There were two other situations where a verdict of unlawful killing could be arrived at. These depended on the degree of force used. If the British soldiers believed it was necessary to use force to apprehend Mairead Farrell and Daniel McCann and no force was necessary, or if the force used was excessive , an unlawful killing verdict could be returned. Notwithstanding the obvious efforts the coroner made to be fair and comprehensive there were shortcomings, particularly in relation to his summing up of the evidence of eyewitnesses to the shooting of Seán Savage. These were crucial. In the case of the evidence of Robin Mordue the coroner stated categorically "that there were no shots fired after Savage is on the ground". This was a gross misunderstanding of the evidence tendered by Robin Mordue.(MORE LATER).



COMING TO A TOWN NEAR YOU THIS MONTH....

As stated on the poster, on Friday , Saturday and Sunday , 24th , 25th and 26th (respectively) this month (October 2014) , Irish republican supporters will be highlighting the plight of Irish republican political prisoners by holding street events in Ireland (in Wexford, Dublin, Drogheda and Belfast,so far) and abroad : Scotland, Manchester, London, Vienna, Germany, Utrecht (in the Netherlands), France, Italy, America, Albuquerque (New Mexico) and Australia,to date, will witness protests and/or pickets on one or more of the three dates mentioned above. A similar event was successfully held last year in nine countries on three continents, and the theme remains the same for this event, the fourth such annual set of protests/pickets to be held. If you can make it to one or more of these, please do so : more details here.



ON THIS DATE (22ND OCTOBER) 94 YEARS AGO....

The actual site of the Toureen Ambush, at the house which was then owned by the Roberts family.

Mr. Pennefather (related to this family?) '...asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland what steps have been taken, or will be taken, to increase the number of armoured cars for the use of the military in Ireland, and to equip them with quick-firing guns in order to prevent, as far as possible, repetitions of what happened to soldiers of the Essex Regiment on Friday last....?' to which Mr. Churchill replied - "My right hon. friend has asked me to reply. The question of the provision of armoured cars for use in Ireland is very seriously engaging the attention of the military authorities. Large numbers, armed with machine guns, are already in Ireland, and steps are being taken to effect a considerable increase in these numbers...."

The above verbal exchange took place in The House of Commons in London in the days after five British soldiers were killed in Ireland, in an IRA ambush in the Cork area on the 22nd of October in 1920, in a military engagement that became known as 'the Toureen Ambush'- 'The IRA men moved from behind the gate out on to the road. They now faced the Essex, whose shooting appeared to be wayward. Volley after volley was fired by the volunteers. Captain Dickson (sic) was shot through the head as he fired his revolver and soon more British soldiers were hit, some fatally. Before long the remainder of the British surrendered, raising their hands over their heads. Immediately the whistle to cease fire was blown and an order was given to divest the enemy of their arms and equipment....'

Six days later, Westminster held a military court of inquiry into the IRA ambush which stated that... '....the deceased, Lieutenant Alfred William Dixon (sic- the man's name was William Alfred Dixon) MC, Suffolk Regiment, attached 1st Essex Regiment, died at a spot midway between Innishannon and Ballinhassig, at about 1000hrs on Friday 22nd October 1920, as a result of gunshot wounds inflicted at the aforementioned time and place, and that the said deceased met his death whilst in the execution of his duty, at the hands of some person or persons unknown. They further stated that "such person or persons aforesaid are guilty of wilful murder".....'

British Army Lieutenant Dixon died as a result of the part he played in assisting with the military occupation of a country he should not have had any dealings with except, perhaps, as a tourist. He was shot dead whilst attempting to kill or wound those defending their own country from the military (and political) occupation that he, Dixon, enforced ; to state he was 'murdered' is incorrect.



ON THIS DATE (22ND OCTOBER) 79 YEARS AGO : DUBLIN-BORN UVF LEADER DIES.

'Lord' Carson was born in Dublin in 1854 and died at 8am on the 22nd October 1935 on the Isle of Thanet in Kent, England. His beloved empire had conveyed the title of 'Right Honourable The Lord Carson KC PC' on him , a prefix he was delighted to take with him to his grave.

"We must proclaim today clearly that, come what will and be the consequences what they may, we in Ulster will tolerate no Sinn Féin- no Sinn Féin organisation, no Sinn Féin methods. But we tell you (the British Government) this : that if, having offered you our help, you are yourselves unable to protect us from the machinations of Sinn Féin, and you won't take our help ; well then, we tell you that we will take the matter into our own hands. We will reorganise, as we feel bound to do in our our defence, throughout the province, the Ulster Volunteers. And those are not mere words. I hate words without action" - the words of then soon-to-be (anti-republican) paramilitary leader Edward Carson ('Lord Carson of Duncairn') at an 'Orange' rally in Finaghy, Belfast, County Antrim.

He was a staunch supporter of the Irish (pro-British) Unionists who, at 38 years young, was elected as a Unionist MP (to Westminster) for Dublin University and, again at that same age, was appointed (British) 'Solicitor General for Ireland' and served as the 'Solicitor General for England' from 1900 to 1905. He was also an Irish Barrister, a judge and politician, and the leader Of 'The Irish Unionist Alliance' and 'Ulster Unionist Party'. At 57 years of age (in 1911*) he was elected leader of the 'Ulster Unionist Council' (UUC) and helped to establish the 'Ulster Volunteer Force' (UVF), a pro-British militia (*he wrote to his friend James Craig re his UUC leadership that he intended "....to satisfy himself that the people really mean to resist. I am not for a game of bluff and, unless men are prepared to make great sacrifices which they clearly understand, the talk of resistance is useless...") .

On the 3rd of September 1914, in an address he delivered in Belfast to the 'UUC', he stated - "England's difficulty is not Ulster's opportunity. However we are treated, and however others act, let us act rightly. We do not seek to purchase terms by selling our patriotism...." A lesson there, without doubt, for all the gombeens that inhabit the Leinster House institution!

From 1915 to 1916 he served as the British Attorney General, and was appointed as the 'First Lord of the Admiralty' in 1916 (until 1917) and was a member of Lloyd George's War Cabinet from 1917 to 1918. Westminster thought so highly of him that they offered him an even bigger 'prize' - that of the 'Premiership' of the new Six County 'State' - but he refused, and retired from public life in 1921, at 67 years of age. In June 1935, at 81 years of age, Carson contracted bronchial pneumonia but, even though he recovered his health somewhat within weeks, a few months later his strength weakened again and he died on the 22nd of October, 1935.



SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO......?

Johnny Doodah (!) ,a Dublin city councillor (and company director) for Provisional Sinn Féin apparently felt that members of his own party were spreading rumours about him and announced that he was to quit the party and vacate his council seat, then stated that he was going to resign from the party but hold on to the council seat and, finally (for now, anyway!) has announced that he intends to hold on to both - party membership and the council seat!

This attitude will, I believe, help him to make a name for himself within his party and could possibly even mark him out as suitable party material for Stormont, Westminster or Brussels, as his party leadership have, in the recent past, voiced their opposition to the State property tax , but then paid same themselves, and have expressed outrage at the double-water tax but have paid same themselves. Johnny Doodah's liking for attempting to ride two horses at the same time will no doubt bring him favourably to the attention of his party leadership who without question view such a trait as a necessity if one is to progress in the world of constitutional politics. And they'll give him a fancy nickname, as the media love that!



AND, IN COMPLETE CONTRAST TO 'ZIPPEDY', ABOVE ....

....a recent report in the 'Connacht Sentinel' newspaper referenced a councillor with a clear direction , unlike those who are unburdened by political principles : Sinn Féin Poblachtach (Republican Sinn Féin) Galway councillor Tomás Ó Curraoin was recently advised by a political representative of the Fianna Fáil/State establishment to contact 'the Dáil' regarding a query he made and, to his credit, Tom replied - "That's not my Dáil. My Dáil finished in 1922. That's Llyod George's Free State..." , a comment which, I imagine, would go right over the head of 'Doodah' and most of those in his party, as that type of political education/knowledge is of no value/best forgotten when your aim is to forge a political career for yourself within the confines set down by "the Dáil" mentioned above. Tomás is not associated with an organisation which is funded by the same institutions which it professes to detest and, as such, he does not have to refer back to his head office for guidance before he can comment on any one of those institutions. Republicanism as it should be!



10 OUT OF TEN FOR THESE 10-FOUR'ERs !

It is heartening to see any working class person stand up for fair treatment in their workplace and all the more so when the cause of unfair treatment cannot be laid at your employers doorstep but can be fairly said to be as a direct result of greed and short-sightedness on the part of those who 'lay down the law' to your employer. Such is the case in this State in relation to, amongst other industries, haulage firms which, by nature of the fact that we are an island nation, are of vital importance to the employment prospects of thousands of workers. Yet that industry and those that work in it are being scandalously squeezed out of existence to the point that, for financial reasons, they are being forced to register themselves and their vehicles in the Six Counties rather than in the State where they reside and draw their work from ; at least 2,000 owner-drivers have done that so far and estimates suggest that as many as 5,000 more owner-drivers will do so next year, due to the difference in, for instance, road tax, between this State and the Six County area.

This very issue came to a head again this week when truckers protested at Dublin Port as the president of their association, Eoin Gavin, released a statement in which he stated - "While the Department state that there is an inter-departmental Working Group in place the Association is concerned with the complete lack of evidence that this group has made any progress on the matter...there is no substance to the statement made by the Department this morning and it will not influence our strategy going forward. The industry needs the Government to fast track efforts to overhaul road tax for trucks in the south. They have been talking about changing the road tax system for the last four years and to date have produced nothing which assists the haulage operator at ground level. The industry has had enough, we need action now, not more of the same old message from the Department....operators, where possible, are 'reflagging' to other jurisdictions to avoid the excessive road tax levels but that is not an option for everyone and quite frankly why should an indigenous haulage operator be forced to relocate because the Government departments are doing nothing to alleviate this difficulty...?" , which prompted Free State finance minister, Michael Noonan , to respond - "(We have to...) respect each others difficulties...I don't think they should have protested (as) they interfered with an awful lot of hard-working people trying to get to work..." ignoring completely, of course, the fact that he and his cronies in Leinster House are 'interfering with hard-working truckers' who are just trying to make a living and pay their bills.

It is to be hoped that this industry will use its size and its might (ie huge big trucks!) to bring this State to a physical lockdown and hoped again that other industries will join them in challenging not just an unfair taxation system but an unfair and immoral political system, operated and enforced by a useless and lazy institution.



FINE GAEL POLITICIAN (ALMOST) CLAIMS THAT WATER IS MAN-MADE!



"Water just doesn't fall from the sky...." - the words of Fine Gael State Senator Martin Conway, speaking on the TV3 'Tonight' television programme on Monday 20th October last and, after he was ridiculed for that claim, he hurriedly replied- "What I should have probably said was that purified water doesn’t fall out of the sky. Anybody with any kind of a brain at all will understand what I meant...", completely ignoring the fact that 'anybody with any kind of a brain at all' would not have claimed, in the first place, that "water just doesn't fall from the sky".

The good Senator is the spokesperson in the State Senate for his party on equality and disability issues and, as such, should be aware that if you venture outdoors without an umbrella on a rainy day it can be a disability in that you will get wetter than if you had an umbrella to shelter under, thus putting you on an equal footing with those who, like you, had journeyed without one and proving that water does indeed "fall from the sky".

The same gentleman is a founder member of the 'AHEAD'organisation ('Association for Higher Education Access and Disability') and probably hasn't enough time left on his hands to educate himself to the fact that should you venture outdoors on a wet day (ie when water is falling from the sky) you will get wet unless you access some form of shelter ; basic cop-on would make you aware of that, no need at all to have a higher education to know that much. But perhaps an allowance should be made for Martin, as he might have picked up the dumb bug from one of his friends and is now 'power'-less to even discuss the weather without making a fool of himself. Although the fact that he is where he is means that we're the fools for not objecting loud enough about the idiots that claim to be speaking on our behalf.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.




Wednesday, October 08, 2014

FREE STATE PASSPORTS EXCHANGED FOR DOG FOOD FACTORY !

PASSPORTS FOR INVESTMENT....

Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government Chief Whip, presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (sic) on September 11, 1997. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1997.

"It is extraordinary that Deputy Smith, who had the pleasure of endorsing the suitability of the Masris from his intimate acquaintance with them, is still shy in telling us when and how he first met them and his knowledge of their personal and commercial background, those types of mundane administrative details as distinct from his more personal intimacy with the family. It is not too late to tax Deputy Smith's powers of memory recall to answer that set of basic questions and the Department over which Deputy Smith presided is very assiduous in relation to one square foot of a new house grant.

The Reynolds family would not be selling pet food today had it not been for the soft loan given to them in exchange for two passports. I am happy that the company survived , and I pass the premises three or four times each week and externally it is as fine an industrial premises as one could get but, however, Deputy Reynolds , as Taoiseach, did state on 30th May 1994 that he
"had not been involved in any way in the running of the company for up to 14 years" yet, in June 1994, he delivered a speech in Portlaoise in which he explained that he had "required an arm's length relationship with that company (C&D Petfood) since I took ministerial office so I cannot be accountable for, and have no knowledge of, its day-to-day business."

Deputy Reynolds was Minister for Industry and Commerce and I have a letter from him dated 28th June 1992, written on notepaper headed with his home address of Mount Carmel House, Dublin Road, Longford, to a Mr Norman Spence, Pembrokeshire, Wales, in which he informs Mr. Spence that he can no longer be kept on the C&D pet food team. How is that for detachment? It is quite clear that Deputy Reynolds was not only involved in the business while Minister for Industry and Commerce, but sentences and messages were delivered in the name of the company not in terms of "we" or "the company" but in terms of "I regret", "as I have said before", "I must point out" and "I trust". Deputy Reynolds was very involved in the most minute details of his family business." (MORE LATER).



THE ANATOMY OF AN AFTERNOON : THE STORY OF THE GIBRALTAR KILLINGS........

By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

Subsequently, Asquez was approached by Mr Christopher Finch, the Gibraltar lawyer who was helping to collate evidence for the Thames documentary 'Death on the Rock'. Mr Finch contacted Asquez and asked him if he would come to his office. Asquez arrived one or two days later and in a conversation with Finch repeated the allegations he had made in his earlier statement.

Finch took notes and later had them typed up in a draft affidavit form. There was never any real chance that Asquez would sign the form as he told finch that he did not want to give an interview or to be named on the programme and also told him that he was very worried and that the affair was affecting his health. Finch, however, went through the motions of having the affidavit drawn up on behalf of Thames, his clients. He handed this draft over to Thames because, though unsigned, and therefore of no legal value, it was still their property.

How this unsigned and unsworn statement came to be broadcast as fact is currently under investigation by Thames, but a subject equally worthy of inquiry is how someone who was able at the inquest to endure the humiliation of being called a liar over and over again - and yet stick to a story which was to make him the most infamous witness of the inquest - could possibly have yielded to the 'pressure' of a couple of phone calls from a retired army major. Asquez stood in the witness box as, time and time again, John Laws, for the Crown, accused him of making "a base and lying statement", with all the inflexion his public school accent could muster. Up in the press gallery, reporters were taking notes which would ensure that , within a few hours, the entire world would know that Kenneth Asquez was a liar. This is 'pressure'. (MORE LATER).



"NO, GERRY! ONCE AGAIN - T.U.A.S. STANDS FOR.......

...'Totally Un-Armed Strategy' if you're explaining it to the political Establishment but translates as 'Tactical Use of Armed Struggle' if you're selling it to your own crowd...."
("...we had to reach for language that could be interpreted in different ways by the two sides..." and "For the Unionists it meant that the IRA would have to disarm before Sinn Fein could join the government, and for the Republicans it meant that the Unionists would have to demonstrate they would share power before the IRA would decommission their weapons...")

'Double-Speak' : much the same as that performed by Gerry's pal, Martin McGuinness , when the latter was playing the part of 'chief negotiator' with/between the Staters, the Brits and the remnants of his own organisations, Provisional Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA - "The conflict is over but we need your advice on how to bring it to an end. We wish to have an unannounced ceasefire in order to hold a dialogue leading to peace. We cannot announce such a move as it will lead to confusion for the volunteers because the press will interpret it as surrender. We cannot meet the secretary of state's public renunciation of violence, but it would be given privately as long as we were sure that we were not being tricked....."

And they are still talking out of both sides of their mouth, albeit in much plusher surroundings - two of Gerry and Martin's protégés were focussing on Fine Gael's Phil 'Need No Slogan' Hogan and his campaign to secure a bigger pension in Brussels, but Matt and Michelle were 'focussing' in different directions and succeeded only in ambushing themselves, much to the delight of the now-EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and his backers. A 'Totally Un-organised ASsault' on their quarry, if you like, by the two PSF suits. And here's another example of how not to employ 'dirty tricks' in 'attacking your quarry', especially when your target has access to the same 'weapons' and is capable of using them to expose your underhanded attempt to smear them. Mary Lou, Jason and Lynn should ask Gerry for a loan of one of his scriptwriters. He or she could hardly do a worse job!



ON THIS DATE (8TH OCTOBER) 192 YEARS AGO....

Richard D'Alton Williams, Irish rebel, author and doctor, is born in Dublin , 8th October 1822.

In Dublin, on the 8th October 1822, a child was born to Mary Williams, wife of a Tipperary Count, Count D'Alton ; the child, Richard D'alton Williams, was reared at Grenanstown, Nenagh, County Tipperary and educated at St. Stanislaus School, Tullabeg, in County Laois, and at St.Patricks College, County Carlow, and also studied medicine at St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin. His first published poem was entitled - 'The Munster War Song' and it appeared in 'The Nation' newspaper on 7th January, 1843, under the pseudonym 'Shamrock' ; at the time of its publication, Richard D'alton Williams was in the process of moving from Carlow to Dublin, to study medicine in St Vincents Hospital.

'The Nation' newspaper received a great response to Williams' poems, and 'Shamrock' became a regular contributor, with works such as 'The Dying Gael', 'Sisters of Charity' and 'The Haunted Man', which raised the profile and readership of the newspaper. As well as the poems, 'The Nation' published a series of humorous articles from Richard D'alton Williams, entitled 'Misadventures of a Medical Student' and described the author, 'Shamrock' (in its July 1851 issue), in the following terms - "His intellect is robust and vigorous, his passion impetuous and noble, his perception of beauty most delicate and enthusiastic ; his sympathies take in the whole range of human affections, and his humour is irresistible. We think, indeed, that 'Shamrock' excels all his contemporaries in imagination and humour."

Richard D'alton Williams, now a member of the 'Young Ireland' Movement , put his medical training to good use during 'The Great Hunger' of 1845-1849, by helping to ease the suffering of hundreds of cholera victims ; he was by now a hardened opponent of British mis-rule in Ireland and had joined the 'Irish Confederation' group, which was founded in January 1847 by William Smith O'Brien and other 'Young Irelanders' who had disagreed with Daniel O'Connell's 'Repeal Association'. He was quickly elected to Council level in the 'Confederation'. He was the driving force behind a short-lived newspaper called 'The Irish Tribune', which he published with the assistance of 'Young Ireland' leader, Kevin Izod O'Doherty ; the first issue was published in June 1848 but only five issues of the weekly newspaper made it on to the streets before it was suppressed by the British in early July that year and gave Westminster the pretence to arrest Williams and Kevin Izod O'Doherty - both men were charged under the 'Treason-Felony Act' with "intent to depose the queen and levying war". A famous barrister of the time, Samuel Ferguson, defended both men in a trial which lasted five months and caused great embarrassment to the British.

Eventually, in November 1848, Williams and O'Doherty were acquitted ; Williams went back to studying medicine, and qualified as a doctor, in Edinburgh, in July 1849. In June 1851, he emigrated to America and, whilst in New Orleans, met and married an Irish woman, Elizabeth Connolly ; the couple moved to a town called Thibodeaux in Louisiana, where he wrote his last poem - 'Song of the Irish-American Regiments.'

On 5th July, 1862, just shy of his fortieth birthday, Richard D'alton Williams died of consumption in Thibodeaux, Louisiana, in America. A patriot, a poet and a publisher, Dr Richard D'alton Williams is one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of almost unknown and/or forgotten Irish men and women that played their part in the on-going struggle to remove the British presence from Ireland.

They deserve to be remembered somewhere ......



THE MAN FROM BALMORAL SAYS "NO!".

Vincent Parker - in the 'Bold Corner'!

'To lose one 'Special Adviser' may be regarded as a misfortune ; to lose two looks like carelessness'. The man pictured, left, was, until recently, employed as a 'Special Adviser' in the Stormont office of Martin McGuinness, and was the Head of Provisional Sinn Féin's 'Equity and Human Rights' department. He also played his part 'for queen and country' as a member of the 'South Belfast District Policing Partnership', is on the board of 'IntertradeIreland' and the 'Féile an Phobail' group, is the chairperson of the 'Finaghy Crossroads Group', is the holder of a masters degree from the Institute of European Studies, has a degree in history from Queens University in Belfast, a postgradute diploma in marketing from the University of Ulster and a masters degree from the the Institute of European Studies and before he began his political career he held management positions over a 10 year span, within the life science industry, and managed a team across Europe as Director of Marketing and PR, and more recently, in a Business Development Role within the public policy consultancy sector and apologies if I have left anything out!

This "moderate member of (Provisional) Sinn Féin" was, before he jacked it in for pastures greener, one of the eight 'Special Advisers' that are employed by McGuinness and Robinson (pictured here, with their employer) to assist them in running Westminster's 'parliament' in Ireland. So that's six reasons that they have now, rather than eight, not to object to the number of 'Special Advisers' employed by their fellow politicians...



THEY HAVEN'T GONE AWAY, YOU KNOW.

Whether allegedly 'confined to barracks' or parading through our streets, Irish republicans remain adamant that British soldiers should not be on Irish soil.

The picture on the left was taken on Thursday 2nd October 2014 in Holywood , in County Down, in the occupied Six County area of Ireland. The British soldiers in that photograph are members of 'The Royal Scots Borderers' regiment and simply decided it would be "nice to conduct a parade" through the town, to announce their arrival. 'Nicer' still, without a doubt, were they to parade through all the Irish towns they currently infest to announce their departure. Quite apart from the fact that Irish people have had experience of the not-so-friendly side of Scottish soldiers in the British Army (see 'Howth Gun-Running and Bachelors Walk Massacre Commemoration....' post, here) their very presence is offensive regardless of whether they attempt to 'entertain' the locals or shoot at them. As they themselves would say - "Ye canna make a silk purse of a sow's lug".



CABHAIR TO SCORE BIG IN NORMAL TIME!

"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN YOU HADN'T GOT TIME TO GET OUR TICKETS....??"

This coming Sunday (12th October 2014) will not only bear witness to Estonia hammering the Brits on the football pitch and Lithuania losing to Slovenia (according to Anto, our driver!) but, more importantly, we girls get 'offside' again for another 'Ladies Day Out' in the raffle hotel to watch as the ladies football teams show the lads how to do it in a proper manner - Arsenal Ladies team will be doing the business with the girls from Everton, then there's Birmingham City girls challenging the Notts County team and Liverpool up against Bristol as Man City Women square up to the girls from Chelsea and at least six other ladies teams will also be out on the day, as will myself and the usual raffle team as we are helping Cabhair to raise funds for Irish republican prisoners. We know from the last 'Ladies Day Out' that the day will be hectic (not many lads present to keep us in check!) but we also know that the effort will be well worth it, as all money raised goes direct to the Cabhair Central Committee and, from them, to the families of our prisoners. We usually post the names and ticket numbers of the winners on or before the following Wednesday but that won't be possible for this raffle as we're away off on a wee break....





NO POST NEXT WEDNESDAY, 15TH OCTOBER 2014....



...as the team here at '1169 Towers' are heading to Galway on Friday 10th October for a looong weekend, and I'll be the only one of the three of us who will be interrupting the break, on Sunday morning, to be brought back to the sports hotel on the Dublin/Kildare border to assist with the Cabhair raffle, following which I shall be rushed back to Galway by private jet Anto in his bus (!) to continue the short holiday. New York it ain't but we haven't had a break since June last and, as I'm unlikely to get back to an t-Úll Mór this year then I'll be a 'Galway Girl' until such time as I can get back to Gotham with the gang!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.




Wednesday, October 01, 2014

BANANA REPUBLIC : STATE COPS PROTECT SCAB WORKERS AND ASSIST IN 'PROVIDING A UTILITY SERVICE' THAT REMAINS UNWANTED.

PASSPORTS FOR INVESTMENT....

Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government Chief Whip, presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (sic) on September 11, 1997. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1997.

"I would like to know whether the rumour is correct that either Deputy Ray Burke or Mr Charles Haughey personally delivered the passports and/or the certificates of naturalisation to the gentlemen in question at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin? All of this begs a number of questions to which answers must be supplied. Why did Deputy Burke take such an extra special interest in the passport applications of these two wealthy, but suspect, gentlemen? Did he personally oversee the details and the arrangements leading up to the granting of the passports? Who were the three people who provided the character references in the case of each of the eleven applicants?

In view of the manifest wealth of the individuals in question, and of Deputy Burke's hands-on involvement in the issue of the passports, what level of investment were the individuals to make in return for the passports and certificates of naturalisation , and what was the nature of that investment? Was the investment to be a global figure for all eleven applicants, or was there to be an individual investment by each? Was there ultimately any figure invested in a project here? If so, what was that figure and what was the project concerned? Did the individuals whose names were listed in the 'Iris Oifigiúil' as having the passports ever visit this country or live here and, if they did, what was the duration of their stay? Who approached Deputy Ray Burke initially to encourage him to personally steer the passport applications through his Department?

These are legitimate questions which must be answered. The refusal to answer them not only shows a brazen defiance but a contempt for the legitimate right to know if proper procedures were in place. It also leads to a quite justifiable suspicion that something serious was amiss. The questions simply will not go away. At what stage did responsibility for the issue of passports transfer to the then Taoiseach, Mr Haughey's, Department? Who was the official within that Department with particular responsibility for this issue? "
(MORE LATER).



THE ANATOMY OF AN AFTERNOON : THE STORY OF THE GIBRALTAR KILLINGS........

By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

Eyewitness evidence that the three IRA members were shot on the ground was not as forthcoming at the inquest as was previously indicated it might be. However, it should be noted that 'Officer I' said categorically in court that he did see shots being fired at Mairead Farrell and Daniel McCann after they had fallen. Other witnesses, by the time they gave evidence, were less sure than they had been when they gave previous accounts of what they had seen. It must be remembered that while the official witnesses were mostly trained surveillance people, with presumably eyes and memories for detail, the civilian witnesses did not have any such training or experience.

Official witnesses, too , had the comfort of knowing that their accounts were each part of a big picture, of which each one intimately knew his or her own part. Civilian witnesses stood alone and had to rely entirely on their own private recollections - this factor may have had some bearing on the bizarre case of Kenneth Asquez , the young bank clerk who first told Thames Television in a written statement that he had seen Seán Savage shot on the ground "three or four times at point blank range" , by a man who had his foot on Savage's throat. At the inquest, Asquez said that he had made this statement up because of pressure from Major Robert Randall, the man who took an amateur video of the aftermath of the shootings. Asquez claimed that Randall had harassed him by constantly phoning him at work and said that he made up the statement to get him off his back. He also alleged that Randall had offered him money.

Major Randall was in America at the time of the inquest , but in a sworn affidavit to the court told a very different story of his dealings with Asquez in that, he said, it was Asquez who had first brought up the subject of the shootings with him, in a conversation at the bank where Asquez worked. He had offered the account of what he had seen , completely voluntarily and without prompting. Some days later Randall says he got in touch with Asquez on behalf of Thames TV who were looking for witnesses to the shootings. Without revealing the name of the witness involved to the television people, Randall had contacted Asquez to ask him if he would be prepared to make a statement, and says he made only one such call and that the outcome was that Asquez arrived at his office some days later and gave him a statement in his own handwriting for Thames TV. Randall said that at no time had there been any suggestion of a payment in return for the statement, as alleged by Kenneth Asquez.(MORE LATER).



"(POLITICAL) VIOLENCE PROBABLY DOES WORK.....
....IT MAY NOT WORK QUICKLY AND MAY NOT BE SEEN TO WORK QUICKLY, BUT IN THE LONG RUN, ONE HAS TO LOOK BACK AND SAY IT DID WORK."

The words of James Prior (British 'Secretary of State for Northern Ireland' [1981-1984] and now known as 'Baron Prior of Brampton in the County of Suffolk') in a recent interview with the BBC.

Apart from the obvious - that is, who would know more about 'political violence' than a British cabinet politician - I think 'Baron' Prior's comments should be seized upon by the current Free State 'Justice and Equality' Minister , Francis Fitzgerald, and he should be pursued vigorously with the view of taking a case against him under the new legislation which has been championed by her ie "....we stand with our European colleagues in doing everything in our power to ensure that there are no gaps in our law that can be exploited by those who would inflict terror and mayhem on innocent people at home or abroad....there can be no hiding place in a democratic society for those who encourage, recruit or train others to carry out acts of terrorism and we must never relent in our determination to use all resources at our disposal to root them out..." (from here). The comments, above, from the 'Baron' would indicate that, while he may not actually be condoning 'political violence' he could be said to be "encouraging" same, thereby leaving himself open to being charged with 'incitement'. Over to you, Francis....



ON THIS DATE (1ST OCTOBER) 1,055 YEARS AGO : PEACE(ABLE) ANNOUNCED....

'Edgar the Peaceable' becomes 'King of All England' on the 1st October 959.

....but it was all downhill for them after that : Britain has fought more wars than any other state since the Roman Empire. Since its defence against the Spanish Armada in the 16th century, it has had no occasion to fight a war of defence. All its wars since then have been wars of choice, the expected outcome when you mix capitalism with imperialism. Just our misfortune to be living next door to them!



ON THIS DATE (1ST OCTOBER) 263 YEARS AGO....

Landlord, landlord, My roof has sprung a leak. Don't you 'member I told you about it way last week?

Landlord, landlord, These steps is broken down. When you come up yourself It's a wonder you don't fall down.

Ten Pounds you say I owe you? Ten Pounds you say is due? Well, that's Ten Pounds more'n I'll pay you 'till you fix this house up new.

What? You gonna get eviction orders? You gonna cut off my heat? You gonna take my furniture and Throw it in the street?

Um-huh! You talking high and mighty. Talk on-till you get through. You ain't gonna be able to say a word If I land my fist on you.

Police! Police! Come and get this man! He's trying to ruin the government and overturn the land!

Copper's whistle! Patrol bell! Arrest. Precinct Station. Iron cell. Headlines in press: MAN THREATENS LANDLORD TENANT HELD NO BAIL JUDGE GIVES IRISHMAN 90 DAYS IN COUNTY JAIL!

(From here - with apologises for the 'tweaking' to Langston Hughes!)

So-called 'Landlords' have, for the most part, a deserved bad reputation, but at least one of them (!) did attempt to improve the lot of those that paid him rent - a Cornelius Bolton (see family pic, above left) , born in Waterford on the 1st October in 1751, 'inherited' an Irish estate from his father in 1779, consisting of about 4,700 acres in Waterford and other lands in Wexford and he was, by all accounts, not the worst of those that lived in a 'Big House'. He built Faithlegg House in 1783 and then financed the build of a fishing port at the village of Cheekpoint , and established a textile factory and a hotel in the same area. He expanded his operations further by opening a cobalt mine but, in 1819, he was declared bankrupt, a situation believed to have happened because he lost his fortune trying to build a new village, complete with factories and a ferry port, which he wanted to name 'Bolton'.

When he married Elizabeth McDonnell (he was then 38 years of age) in 1789, he was already in debt, but was managing to keep on top of it - at that time he owed £22,176 13s. 4d but, within a decade, he owed various creditors about £35,000. This 'gentle Back and Tan landlord' died in 1829, at 78 years of age, leaving a good character reference in his wake. More about the Bolton family can be accessed here.



ON THIS DATE (1ST OCTOBER) 253 YEARS AGO....

A photograph alleged to have been taken in Ireland in the early 1930's, showing two 'Whiteboys'.

"To be true to each other and our friends, to attend all meetings when warned, no cause to excuse absence but sickness, of which sufficient proof must be given, to keep all secrets, to suffer until death rather than betray each other or whatsoever may be seen or heard of our cause, and to stand by each other at all fairs and patrons" - an oath taken by the 'Caravat' group, which was part of/closely aligned to the 'Whiteboy' organisation (aka 'The Levellers') , which publicly announced itself on the 1st October, 1761, having being prompted into existence by the Mathew/Maude incident, which had its roots in the elections held that year in Ireland.

One of the candidates, 'Sir' Thomas Maude (Tipperary), 'exposed' (!) one of his competitors, Thomas Mathew, as a Catholic "in all but name" and objects to him contesting the election. The election agent for the bigot Maude, a man named Dan Gahan, challenges Mathew's election agent, Thomas Prendergast, to a duel and wins the fight, but Mathew won the election anyway. The defeated candidate, the bigot Maude, a rich 'gent' with connections, objects in all the right places and eventually obtains a legal writ declaring that Thomas Mathew was "not duly elected" and fills the now-empty seat himself!

This skullduggery was the last straw for hundreds if not thousands of poorly paid and housed workers and for those that couldn't get work, and they organised themselves as best they could, most successfully in Waterford, Cork , Limerick and Tipperary, although they had activists in other counties,too. They were not per se campaigning against the political administration (in Westminster) but rather against the unfair treatment they were suffering at the hands of 'landlords' and had organised themselves to such a level that their agreed 'uniform' consisted of a white shirt worn over whatever other coats they had.

The 'landlords' and other middle-class (and wealthier) citizens, in reply, established a (smaller) grouping called the 'Shanavests' (who wore old waistcoats as a 'uniform'!) and clashes between the two groups were vicious, such as an incident that took place in June 1834 on Ballyveigh Strand in Kerry - 'It had been rumored that a faction fight was going to happen. On 24th of June, 1834, on the occasion of the Ballyeagh strand horse races on St. Johns Day, the Lawlors/Mulvihills encountered the Cooleens. The battle was fought with special sticks called Blackthorne sticks or cudgels. Some were weighted with lead and were not used free swinging but were held in the middle to protect the elbow. An estimated 1,200 of the Cooleens crossed the Feale in boats from the north and were then in what was considered Mulvihill/Lawlor territory and was in itself considered provacative. They Cooleens attacked the Mulville/Lawlor people who were generally imbibing with poteen and whskey. The invaders came forward in lines with about 20 women on the sides with aprons full of stones. The authorities tried to stop them from coming but were unsucessful. At first the Cooleens got the upper hand since half of their adversarys were still in their tents having a good time with their whiskey. Gradually the Mulville/Lawlor faction got organised and about 1,500 of them counter-attacked. They drove the invaders back into the water and won the day....'

This feud, as with most such instances of political and social unrest in Ireland, can be linked back somewhere in its history to British interference in this country and that scenario will continue for as long as Westminster maintains a jurisdictional claim in any part of this country. This offers the best solution for all parties concerned , regardless of shirt or waistcoat colour!



SUPPORT FOR GREYHOUND WORKERS REITERATED.

In a press release entitled 'The Spirit Of 1913 Lives On', issued on Sunday last, 28th September 2014, E.de Bothún, the PRO for RSF Comhairle Chúige Laighean (Leinster Executive) stated -

'The ghost of William Martin Murphy has resided in Clondalkin for the past 14 weeks. The sight of locked out workers at the gates of Greyhound Recycling has drawn sickening parallels to the infamous lock out in the year 1913. 101 years on and Scab labour, cuts in wages and extended working hours remain a reality for the workers.

As is common place in modern Ireland, employers make employees feel they are 'lucky to have a job' and under this ideology they then impose disgraceful terms and conditions on the employee. This is the cornerstone of the economic warfare being waged on working individual's right across the 32 counties. Greyhound Recycling has been an excellent example of this, in recent years workers have been forced to work 10 extra hours a week for no extra pay. Untrained casual labour has also been used in attempts to break workers right to union membership.

Agreement has been reached between the employers and the employees, however all will be in vain if guaranteed rates of pay are not introduced for the waste industry. Unions and the Joint Labour Commission in the Free State have the responsibility to make this a reality. The issue of agency workers simply must be tackled and all workers should have equal rights. The abuse of agency workers is rampant in Ireland and has rightly come to the fore in this dispute.

In its mission statement Greyhound Recycling claims "Greyhound has been built on the back of generations of experience and a simple philosophy that has not changed despite our technological advances...". A more accurate synopsis would be to say that the Buckley family has made profit off the backs of its employees for forty years in Ireland. The spirit of William Martin Murphy is alive and well in them, and those of their ilk. Workers must stand together and smash such vile treatment, the courage of the Greyhound workers proves this can be done. They should hold the admiration of workers countrywide.

"The cause of labour is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland is the cause of labour" – James Connolly.'


A good statement, and not one that any working-class person could disagree with. But, apparently, members of the political leadership in this State and their hirelings in the 'security services' do disagree, to the extent that the former have instructed the latter (who have performed the task all too willingly) to , in the Greyhound case, protect and secure the 'rights' of scab labour and, in the case of the above-mentioned water tax issue, to protect water meter installers from the protestations of the general public, who never requested that which they seek to impose. Incidentally, this 'Irish Water' company, if it lasts, will serve as yet another corporate entity that bent politicians can use to promote their colleagues and to provide them with a salary 'for doing the State some service'. But, sometimes, that placement alone does not bring financial reward fast enough for the 'political friend' and a second 'job' has to be invented for that same 'safe pair of hands' (or twelve such jobs!).

However - when a political administration believes it has a right to protect scab labour and to assist a company to impose a 'service' on citizens - and when the majority of the citizens allow that to happen - then the latter are morally sicker than the former. Finally, for now - in relation to the water tax - not gonna burn my bra, but.....

....am gonna burn an envelope containing an 'Application Pack' which the 'Irish Water' company sent me , unrequested, in the post last week. I'll be doing this, in a bathtub, outside the County Council offices in Clondalkin Village, Dublin, on Thursday night, 9th October 2014, at 7pm. Come along and watch and/or, better still, bring your own 'Pack' with you and join me!







AND FINALLY......

THE MIDDLE EAST : AN EXPLANATION. IN 5 EASY PARAGRAPHS.....

"...so, some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting our other enemies, whom we don’t want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win....."(from here).

Talk about being bamboozled! And, now that we're on the subject, wasn't it Carl Sagan who hit the nail on the head re that word when he referenced the effect of being 'bamboozled' - "....If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back..."

It's another debate altogether, of course, in relation to the question of whether, 'having given a charlatan power over you' , you deserve to get that power back? Especially when , as with this corrupt State, power is repeatedly given to the charlatans....

Thanks for reading , Sharon.