" 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, November 26, 2014



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.

"From this series of decisions, it can be seen that Deputy Albert Reynolds flagrantly overrode the Government decision he sought in Cabinet that morning. He did so in the absence of civil servants and, therefore, no minutes of the meeting were taken and there is no record of the decisions made. Deputy Reynolds played favourites in issuing export credit insurance. He favoured the Goodman companies, Hibernia Meats and Master Meats to the exclusion of other beef companies. He also provided exclusive advance information about future Government plans for export credit to the Goodman Group, which gave it the inside track and amounts, in effect, to insider dealing. The Goodman Group knew the price it could charge in Iraq because it knew it would receive cover. This is plain from the written evidence presented to the beef tribunal.

Other aspects of Deputy Reynolds' decision in respect of export credit insurance have been debated in the Dáil on a number of occasions. However, in light of the findings of the McCracken tribunal and if in pursuit of the money trail a personal money link is established between the favoured meat companies and the then Taoiseach, Mr. Haughey, the issue of export credit insurance already investigated by the beef tribunal would have to be re-investigated by the new tribunal. I believe that the infamous package in respect of the Goodman Group of companies forced on the IDA by the then Government will also have to be re-investigated.

The beef tribunal report shows that while Deputy Reynolds was the Minister responsible for protecting the statutory independence of the Industrial Development Authority he allowed the then Taoiseach to pre-empt the role of the IDA by meeting the Goodman Group in connection with details of its negotiations with the IDA without the knowledge of the authority. Deputy Reynolds allowed a press conference to be called in respect of the Goodman beef project before the grant agreement was signed and before the authority had met to decide whether to accept his decision. This completely compromised the statutory independence of the IDA, an independence which, as Minister for Industry and Commerce under the 1986 Act, the Deputy had overall statutory responsibility to protect. Before that he allowed the Goodman package to go straight before Cabinet over a weekend. This allowed the Department of Finance one working day to examine the package worth £120 million."

[END of 'Meat Exporters and Insurance' : NEXT - 'Garda Investigations' , from 'Magill' magazine, October 1998.]


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

Crown Counsel John Laws was in perky form. Throughout the inquest he had made no secret of his dislike for the media and, at one point when a witness remarked that he had read about a particular point he had made in evidence in the newspapers, John Laws remarked as an aside - "Somebody has to read them, I suppose". At the end of Paddy McGrory's summing up, the coroner had requested the media not to print or broadcast any of the material contained in it lest the jury read it before retiring to consider a verdict. Within an hour the material was broadcast in part by BBC Radio 4 and John Laws was on the attack, criticising the BBC but, he said, he did not want to make an issue of it as he had no wish to give this "dishonest and dishonourable spat" more attention than it deserved.

Now, as the court waited for those fifteen minutes to pass, John Laws turned to the press gallery, waved and smilingly said - "Have a nice day". He seemed confident about which way the verdict was going and, when the verdict was announced, there was an immediate rush from the press gallery. Felix Pizzarello had requested a policeman to go and get forms on which the jury were to formally record their verdict but, because of the noise of the press stampede, nobody remaining in the gallery had heard Pizzarello make this request. It was five minutes before the policeman returned and, in the interval, nobody in the court spoke a word. There was total silence. Nobody - at least nobody remaining in the press gallery - knew what they were waiting for in the middle of this long silence. It was as if a moment had been frozen in time. (MORE LATER).


The Film Centre cinema, O'Connell Bridge House, Dublin - it first opened for business in October 1966 and not only paved the way for other cinemas in Dublin, but was such a success that it also payed the way for a sister cinema in Dublin, the Cameo, 52 Middle Abbey Street, which opened in 1976 but closed its doors in 1990. Its 'parent', the Film Centre, went out of business in 1984.

On Sunday night, 26th November 1972, the Film Centre cinema in O'Connell Bridge House in Dublin was packed with about 156 customers, with 3 staff members on duty. Probably the last thing on the minds of any of those 159 people would have been the 'hot topic' of the day, which was being loudly debated in Leinster House and in the media - the 'Offences Against the State' Act, which sought to concern itself with the so-called 'Troubles' in the occupied six counties in the north-east of Ireland and which one particular 'cleric', Ian Paisley, was using to make a name for himself by creating fear and hatred in the minds of those who listened to him.

Paisley's fellow loyalists were not, however, content to just verbalise against those they considered the 'enemy' and, on that night and in the early hours of the following day, they planted an explosive device outside the rear exit door of the cinema, in a laneway which connected Burgh Quay to Leinster Market. The bomb exploded shortly afterwards, injuring about 40 of those inside the building, although, luckily, no one was killed. A lady injured in the explosion, Jacqueline Howlin, gave this account at the time : "Sometime between 1.30 a.m. and 2 a.m. on the 26th November 1972 there was a colossal bang on the right side of the hall quite close to where we were sitting. The force of the explosion lifted us out of the seats. I was thrown out onto the floor in front of where I had been sitting. I put my hands up to my face and screamed. I found blood oozing from my face and forehead. I had been wearing spectacles and the glass was broken and shattered. When I stood up I found my right leg numb from the knee down. My boyfriend Paddy shouted at us to get out quickly. Paddy helped me part of the way to the foyer and I think it was a Fire Brigade officer or Gardaí put me sitting on a table. I was taken straight away to the Mater Hospital where I was detained and treated for my injuries. My forehead was cut and my eyelids were also cut. All my face was marked either by the glass from my spectacles or flying splinters of wood. My right leg from the knee down was badly cut and opened. There was a piece of flesh missing from the lower calf. I had thirty stitches inserted in my leg at the Mater Hospital that morning...."

More details on this loyalist bombing in Dublin, on the 26th November 1972, can be read here (on page 22).


Our picture (left) should show Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes and it would, too, but he seems to be camera shy lately.....!

Brian Hayes operates, politically, in the Tallaght area of Dublin, just across the Naas Road from our base in Clondalkin and, as such, he would be as familiar to us as any of the other local and/or near-by career politicians, whether right-wing or not, and perhaps more so, as he is a bit more 'colourful' than most of them.

Hayes flirted, politically, with the 'Workers Party' at one stage in his career, and is known to have been impressed by Proinsias de Rossa and Eoghan Harris, and at one stage observers thought he was going to join the 'Democratic Left' grouping which was formed by some of the 'WP' membership. He is in favour of a 'Big Brother'-type of society even though he has divorced himself from 'the man on the street' to the extent that he believes he is suffering, financially,on an MEP's wage of just over €2000 a week, as much as everyone else, despite the fact that he is no stranger to the political 'big spenders' list!

Anyway - as he is a local politician, we occasionally receive 'flyers' and other self-serving leaflets from him and others, and one of which we received in the last few days - from his colleague, Emer Higgins - caught our attention because it featured a group photograph of the local Fine Gael 'team' - Emer herself, Kenneth Egan , Francis Fitzgerald, Derek Keating and Brian Hayes. Except, as per our 'pic' (top left) -

- Brian Hayes, although captioned as being present, was absent! The pictured 'team' would be advised to hold their next photo op on a payday, as Brian might just drop-by on that occasion....

SOMETIME AROUND THIS MONTH 221 YEARS AGO.....(or 'Wrong Dates re le Calendrier Républicain' !)

'This Day in History for 26th November...Historical Events....1793 - Republican calendar replaces Gregorian calendar in France.....' and 'Timelines of History.....Today in History - November 26....1793...Republican calendar replaced the Gregorian calendar in France.......' or 'The French Revolutionary Calendar (or Republican Calendar) was officially adopted in France on October 24, 1793.....'

- disagreement, as you can see, regarding the date as to when that republican calendar was introduced : '...this calendar was used for twelve years, from 24 October 1793 to 31 December 1805. (An attempt was made in 1871 to reinstate it, but this attempt failed.) However, it was back-dated to have begun on 22 September, 1792....' (from here) and then there's this - '...leap years were retained at the same frequency as in the Gregorian calendar, but it was enacted that the first leap year should be year 3, not year 4 as it would have been if the Gregorian calendar had been followed precisely in this respect. Each four-year period was to be known as a Franciade. The seven-day week was abandoned, and each 30-day month was divided into three periods of 10 days called décades, the last day of a décade being a rest day. It was also agreed that each day should be divided into decimal parts, but this was not popular in practice and was allowed to fall into disuse....' (from here).

However - no mistakes or wrong dates with this republican calendar -

- available from 223 Parnell Street in Dublin, 229 Falls Road in Belfast or any RSF member, for a fiver. Any republican would appreciate one as a Christmas present!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014



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.

"No additional jobs would result from the gift of £2.74 million to the Goodman organisation, because the Goodman group had the deal which was going to create the jobs in the bag for the previous two months. The Minister's actions were a clear and deliberate breach of a Cabinet decision and this has never been fully explained. The way in which Deputy Reynolds dealt with granting export credit to other companies was arbitrary and unfair. At the meeting on 8th September between Deputy Reynolds and Mr Paschal Phelan, the owner of 'Master Meats'. Mr Oliver Murphy, the owner of Hibernia Meats, was also present. Mr Murphy had been making representations, directly and indirectly, to Deputy Reynolds to no avail.

He was trying to get a piece of the action on export credit insurance cover which, until then, had been made exclusively available to the Goodman organisation. The difficulty was that Hibernia Meats was owed money by Iraq and the Minister had made it clear up to then that any company owed money by that country would not receive cover. However, at this remarkable meeting, to which no officials from the Minister's Department were invited to attend, out of the blue and without explanation, Deputy Reynolds did an about-face on the question of issuing export credit insurance cover to Hibernia Meats. Suddenly the Cabinet decision did not matter and Deputy Reynolds, at a meeting attended by himself and two others, but not by officials from the Department of Industry and Commerce or a representative of the insurance company ICI, decided to issue export credit insurance to Hibernia Meats.

At that meeting, Deputy Reynolds also agreed to give £10 million export credit insurance cover to Master Meats, the company of his friend, Paschal Phelan, who was also present. This was an amazing decision because there was no record of Master Meats having applied to the Minister or to the Department of Industry and Commerce or to ICI for export credit insurance cover in respect of Iraq. Master Meats had no contract to export beef to Iraq when it was offered the £10 million cover, and subsequently made little attempt to negotiate a contract. It must be remembered that, shortly after , a host of beef exporting companies which had negotiated contracts with Iraq were refused insurance cover. Master Meats did not use the cover provided by Deputy Reynolds , but transferred it to Hibernia Meats , and we do not know whether this was done at no cost or for a commercial consideration. However, the worth of what was transferred to Hibernia Meats in terms of cover in the marketplace amounted to £1.7 million. Master Meats never applied for cover however due to the attendance of its principal officer at the meeting in question it received such cover."


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

For a month, coroner Felix Pizzarello had demonstrated that patience was not just his virtue but his trademark. There was tortuous examination and re-examination of witnesses to make sure that even the smallest of details was clarified before a witness was allowed leave the box. At times it was tedious, but Felix Pizzarello, in the minds of everybody attending the inquest, showed a determination to be thorough and the time it took to do this was - quite correctly - irrelevant. Some of the witnesses had been in the box longer than the jury were out considering their verdict. The jury had to evaluate the evidence of over ninty witnesses and now Pizzarello, after five-and-a-half-hours (which included an hour's break for lunch) was telling them to hurry up. From this point on it was a stopwatch verdict.

Some inkling of what was going through Pizzarello's mind might well be gleaned from a conversation a senior official from the coroner's office had with a couple of journalists earlier that afternnon , during which the official seemed to favour a quick result. He quoted Cardinal Hume who once said that in matters of judgement it is well to have second thoughts but in matters of conscience there must be none.

The court resumed at 7pm - the pressure exerted on them had worked. They sent a message down to say they hoped to bring in a verdict in fifteen minutes. The stopwatch had run its course and it was now into extra time. The pressure which had been imposed on them favoured a lawful killing verdict. Two hours previously, the jury had been in favour of a lawful verdict by seven to four but, with the clock running, it was a lot easier to change the minds of two people in order to get a verdict of lawful killing than to change the minds of five others to get a verdict of unlawful killing. The packed court waited as the tension rose.... (MORE LATER).


Martina Anderson : 'Northern Ireland' description for the partitioned six-county area of Ireland is now acceptable to these 'republicans',apparently.

For any so-called 'republican' to allow the term 'Northern Ireland' to go unchallenged, in reference to the occupied six counties of Ireland, is just as unforgivable as referring to that same area as a "country" , which is what Martina's nemesis, Mike Nesbitt done in the same comment in which he highlighted her acceptance of the term 'Northern Ireland' in relation to the six north-eastern Irish counties under discussion.

If perchance one of her own attempts to reprimand her over her 'Northern Ireland' blunder she should ask why it's ok to describe Leinster House as "the Dáil" but not ok to describe the occupied six counties as 'Northern Ireland'. In for a cent, in for a pound, eh, Martina?


"...they persecute the most poor people and benefit the richest institutions..."

He has his demons, as have we all and, although I wouldn't be a fan of his (to the extent that I don't even know anyone that thinks he's 'cool') but, to be honest, he makes more sense re the proposed/enforced double-water tax in this State in these ten minutes than the political clowns in Leinster House that are trying to introduce the double tax. Also, his views on voting ("I have never voted. Like most people I am utterly disenchanted by politics. Like most people I regard politicians as frauds and liars and the current political system as nothing more than a bureaucratic means for furthering the augmentation and advantages of economic elites..") would be close enough to my own 'NOTA' viewpoint and, as such, I would be inclined to at least listen to the man when he speaks about issues like that. But there's no way I'd vote for him!


Born in Dublin on the 20th June 1763, he died in that same city 35 years later, on the 19th November 1798.

In September 1798, Wolfe Tone, a fighter for Irish emancipation, a leader of the 'United Irishmen' group, and a soldier in the French army, was taken prisoner by the British at Lough Swilly , Donegal and, at his 'trial' by court-martial in Dublin, on the 8th November 1798, he was found guilty of treason and was sentenced to be hanged as a traitor.

More so to state his reasons for his activity than in an attempt to place himself at the 'mercy' of that British 'court' (he was well aware that a death sentence awaited him) he stated - "I entered into the service of the French republic with the sole view of being useful to my country. To contend against British Tyranny, I have braved the fatigues and terrors of the field of battle; I have sacrificed my comfort, have courted poverty, have left my wife unprotected, and my children without a father. After all I have done for a sacred cause, death is no sacrifice. In such enterprises, everything depends on success: Washington succeeded – Kosciusko failed. I know my fate, but I neither ask for pardon nor do I complain. I admit openly all I have said, written, and done, and am prepared to meet the consequences. As, however, I occupy a high grade in the French army, I would request that the court, if they can, grant me the favour that I may die the death of a soldier......I have laboured to abolish the infernal spirit of religious persecution, by uniting the Catholics and Dissenters. To the former I owe more than ever can be repaid. The service I was so fortunate as to render them they rewarded munificently; but they did more: when the public cry was raised against me—when the friends of my youth swarmed off and left me alone—the Catholics did not desert me; they had the virtue even to sacrifice their own interests to a rigid principle of honour; they refused, though strongly urged, to disgrace a man who, whatever his conduct towards the Government might have been, had faithfully and conscientiously discharged his duty towards them; and in so doing, though it was in my own case, I will say they showed an instance of public virtue of which I know not whether there exists another example."

His speech/request from the dock, although listened to and commented on by the British judges,was not however acted on by them : two days later he was pronounced guilty and told he would be hanged in two days time. At that time in our history, suicide was considered by all the churches in Ireland to be a 'mortal sin' and a crime under common law, for which the punishment was that the person who killed themselves would be buried, with a wooden stake through the heart, at a crossroads (to signify that the soul of the person would never arrive at its 'destination'?) and his/her's possessions would become the property of the (British) State.It should be noted that the then 'powers-that-be' did not impose this punishment on Tone or his family.

What is, in our opinion, a propaganda theory that 'Tone committed suicide' is an issue which we wrote about on this blog in the past (see 'Murder Most Foul', here,from March 9th to March 18th - each post can be read by clicking on the 'Newer Post' button) and we ask that our readers at least point this position out to those who state positively that Tone killed himself.


This is what happens when a political administration reluctantly attempts to 'honour' the men and women who took up arms to prevent its birth, thereby allowing a group, consisting of relatives of the 1916 men and women and those who sit in the above-mentioned administration and who are not opposed to the institutions which were spawned from the defeat of the 1916 ideals, to try and organise their own gig. It's a confusing enough scenario for those who live here and who might not be republican-minded or inclined to find the lie of the land, so to speak, in regards to the finer points of this subject, never mind expecting on-lookers from abroad to be able to figure out what the heck is going on here in relation to the centenary of the 1916 Rising!

But not to worry - in order to ensure you are not inadvertently standing shoulder-to-shoulder with any of the many pretenders who are trying to wrap themselves in the Irish flag for the day, this is all you need to know. The crowd of on-lookers will be smaller than the State-financed event, it will not receive as much publicity as the State-financed event and a British 'queen' will not be present (or, indeed, welcome!) but you will be in the company of genuine republican-minded people. And that, rather than the (false) pomp and ceremony, is what it's all about.


The 'Black and Tans' , but not as you know them - by which I mean not only are they mislabeled as "...an old Irish rebel group.." , but there's something else about them, too - "IN JUNE 1974 a group of men decided to band together and make their mark.... they would leave a footprint that would forever change the way service, leadership and brotherhood would be viewed....(they) didn’t have a uniform. An Englishman walked passed the group and said, “Look who’s here. It’s the Black and Tans!”.........they formally changed the name to The Regiment of the Black and Tans....It’s purpose and objectives are to “foster brotherhood and be of service to the community”.......former and active civil servants, firefighters, reservists, and military men make up a large number of it’s membership.....It is a part of the fabric of our local community......" (more here, and here!)

Anyway : Irish republicans wouldn't be at all surprised at the claim made by Ian Bailey in relation to the shirt that the State cops gave him to wear as it would have come straight out of their uniform store. Just ask any protester, water tax or otherwise, how those State cops treat them when they are being 'policed' by them on the street. But don't ask the cops themselves, as you won't like or agree with the answer you get.....

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Sunday, November 16, 2014



On Wednesday, 19th November 2014, we will publish an exclusive report, complete with links to our sources, in relation to an up-to-now mostly unknown aspect of the Black and Tans - their fetishes regarding, amongst other issues, their uniforms, in which some of their members are directly quoted about how they interacted sexually with each other during events which they held over weekends when they were able to act out their "hot fantasies" and how those present were left "wet and drooling for more as they embraced their fetish"....!

Our piece will give access to pics [which we ourselves will not be directly posting - viewer discretion is advised] and, as stated, links to our sources, which we have established are genuine. All will be revealed (!) , here,on Wednesday 19th November 2014. Don't be the 'odd' one one - check back with us then!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014



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.

"First, he had granted a credit period of 18 months, whereas the Government had decided that the maximum period was one year. Second, he had awarded cover to Hibernia Meats, a company from whom claims had arisen in Iraq, and in respect of which payments were still outstanding. Six days later, on 14 September, Deputy Reynolds, as Minister, broke even more of the conditions set by the Government on 8th September, this time for the benefit of the Goodman organisation.

He agreed to give Goodman 80 per cent cover, whereas the Government conditions specified 70 per cent. He cut the claims waiting period for Goodman to six months, not the year specified at Government. He cut the premium charged to Goodman on the Iraqi contract to one per cent, as against the four per cent specified by the Government. This premium concession constituted on its own a gift of £2.74 million from the taxpayer to the Goodman organisation. This cut rate premium of one per cent contrasted not only with the four per cent being charged to other exporters within the scheme, but with a market rate premium of between 15 per cent and 24 per cent, which Mr. Goodman would have had to pay if he had insured his contract for Iraq on the commercial market. The Goodman organisation was getting a clear cash benefit as a direct consequence of Deputy Reynolds breaking the terms of the Cabinet decision.

This special four per cent premium was advanced in the memorandum for Government as one of only three arguments in favour of giving Iraq a larger share of the total amount of export credit available, almost half of the total market. Yet that argument was ignored within hours of the decision being taken....."


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

Seán Savage was a few feet behind Diane Treacy and one of the SAS soldiers a few feet in front. After the soldier fired she turned and saw Savage fall to the ground. Treacy then fled. Pizzarello then pointed out that she had agreed that she had not seen any more shots fired while Seán Savage was on the ground and while this is correct it was unfair to tell the jury this without pointing out that at the point Diane Treacy fled she had heard only between three and five shots fired. That leaves up to a dozen shots unaccounted for from the time she ran when Savage was on the ground.

There were other disconcerting elements to the coroner's charge ; one of the most important witnesses who gave evidence was the pathologist Professor Watson, and the reason why his evidence was so important was that its conclusions are based on science-there is no incorrect information arising from bad recollection or a witness telling lies. The evidence that Watson gave was highly suggestive that Mairead Farrell had been shot while on the ground, and he was one of the first witnesses to give evidence. There had been many contradictory accounts furnished in the meantime. Watson's independent and uncoloured testimony would not have been fresh in the minds of the jury at the end of proceedings.

Yet the coroner, Felix Pizzarello, dismissed it in a couple of lines and did not detail the main points that Watson had made. He merely told the jury that the pathologist had given opinions and it was the jury's discretion as to whether they wanted to accept those opinions or not. The jury retired at 11.28am to consider a verdict and were recalled at 5pm, to be told that they were entitled to a reasonable amount of time but they were now "reaching the edge of that time" and, in response to questions to the jury, the court heard that they had reached a verdict but did not have a sufficient majority. The additional information that the verdict they had reached was the same in all three cases, except for a slight difference in the case of one, made it clear that they were leaning towards lawful killing. Pizzarello told them to return to discuss the matter further and asked them if possible to return with a verdict by 7pm. This was an extraordinary request by any standards, but coming from Feliz Pizzarello it was bizarre. (MORE LATER).


A Clondalkin, Dublin, RSF member pictured outside the County Council offices in Clondalkin on Saturday 1st November 2014 at the anti-double water tax protest which assembled at that location.

On a very wet and windy Saturday afternoon in November 2014, a crowd of at least 500 anti-double water tax protesters, including RSF members and supporters, made their way from Clondalkin Village to the Arc Bar in Liffey Valley, on the Clondalkin/Ballyfermot 'border', a distance of about four kilometers. By the time the Clondalkin Village group arrived at their destination, they had been joined along the route by sufficient numbers to ensure that between three and four thousand people were now assembled outside the Arc Bar in a sign of clear defiance against the Leinster House-enacted and enforced double tax on household water. There was a 'mixed bunch' present, ranging from those who, like RSF, are totally opposed to any idea, in any form, that a service should be paid for twice to those who are seen to campaign against this unjust double tax but have themselves paid it anyway (!) (a position which, incidentally, has seen them publicly disagree amongst themselves and left them open for others to expose their hypocrisy , even if they eventually 'see the light' and attempt to back peddle - and more back peddling here ,in the opposite direction but for the same reason as Mary Lou and her PSF colleagues did it ie to try and curry favour, even at this late stage, with their electorate) to those who, thanks to a corrupt media (where the lie that up to now, 'water has been free' is being propagated unrelentingly, and not only by the media outlets owned/controlled/'guided' by this man) would be inclined to believe that the main quibble should be to do with the manner in which payment 'should be made'.

'Let them eat cake and drink rainwater' - Fine Gael's 'solution' to poverty.

However, diverse crowd notwithstanding, we distributed our 500 'leaflet packs' in less than fifteen minutes and had we had three or four times as many 'packs' we could have comfortably distributed them, too, a lesson which will be acted on, hopefully, in time for the next (similar) protest - the useless politicians in Leinster House are now about to tax the air that we breathe, and I await with interest Laura's opinion on what else we can breathe. Her political leader, Enda Kenny, meanwhile, is doing his bit, too, to help the great unwashed to get better value from water they have paid twice for. What a shower of contemptible wasters they are.


'Broad-shouldered' Churchill ("All I can give you..."), perhaps forecasting what he was going to inflict on the world.

On this date (5th November) 74 years ago, Britain's then top imperialist and war-monger in, for example, Ireland, Africa and India, and who also served as prime minster of that country, Winston Churchill, made a speech in the 'House of Commons' in which he spoke of his regret that Irish ports were no longer under the control of Westminster, but were now operated and controlled by Leinster House, his puppet parliament in Dublin (and had been so for the previous two years - a 'Bulldog' with a grudge, apparently!). He stated - "The fact that we cannot use the south and west coasts of Ireland to refuel our flotillas and aircraft and thus protect the trade by which Ireland as well as Great Britain lives, is a most heavy and grievous burden and one which should never have been placed on our shoulders, broad though they be..." Lest we forget (words hijacked by the British) , Churchill was the driving force behind the Black and Tans and was the 'father' of the hated Auxiliaries and, as well as overseeing the military damage caused here by his paramilitary gangs, he also arranged that, before handing the ports back to his minions in this State, more than £1,000,000 of State taxpayers money had to be spent to put the ports back in working order. A financial terrorist, too. You can read more about the man who placed such a heavy and grievous burden on the Irish on this link, which will give you a proper flavour of just how evil he was.


Born in Belfast on the 21st August 1861, died in his 92nd year on the 5th November 1952. His father, James, was a factory owner in Belfast (manufacturing starch) but Frederick struck out on his own, becoming an engineer with a shipping firm before taking to a military life, which brought him into the Boer War.

"From these settlers sprang a people, the Ulster-Scot, who have made themselves felt in the history of the British Empire and, in no small measure, in that of the United States of America....I am ashamed to call myself an Irishman. Thank God I am not one. I am an Ulsterman, a very different breed" - Crawford describing himself, echoing the misguided feelings of his friends in the UUC, UVF and the URC.

On the night of the 24th April, 1914, Frederick Crawford, the 'Director of Ordnance HQ Staff UVF' (who was cooperating re acquiring arms with, and for, the 'Ulster Unionist Council') and the main instigator in an operation in which over 25,000 guns were successfully smuggled into Ireland, witnessed his plans come to fruition - for at least the previous four years, he and some other members of the 'Ulster Reform Club' had been making serious inquiries about obtaining arms and ammunition to be used, as they saw it, for 'the protection of fellow Ulstermen'. Advertisements had been placed in newspapers in France, Belgium, Germany and Austrian newspapers seeking to purchase '10,000 second-hand rifles and two million rounds of ammunition...' and, indeed, between August 1913 and September 1914, it is known that Crawford and his colleagues in the UVF/URC/UUC obtained at least three million rounds of .303 ammunition and 500 rifles, including Martini Enfield carbines, Lee Metford rifles, Vetterlis and BSA .22 miniature rifles, all accompanied by their respective bayonets, and six Maxim machine guns (from the Vickers Company in London for £300 each).

The ads were placed and paid for by a 'H.Matthews, Ulster Reform Club' (Crawford's middle name was Hugh and his mother's maiden name was Matthews) an action which some members of the Club objected to, leading to Crawford resigning from that group (and describing the objectors as "a hindrance"): he described that period in his life as being "...so crowded with excitement and incidents that I can only remember some of them, and not always in the order in which they happened.." Crawford and his UVF/URC/UUC colleagues had ordered some munitions from a company in Hamburg, in Germany, and had paid a hefty deposit up front but, months later, as they had not heard from the company, Crawford was sent there to see what the delay was and discovered that the German boss , who was in Austria while Crawford was in Germany, had informed Westminster about the order and was asked by that institution not to proceed with same - the deposit would not be returned and the deal was off, as far as the company was concerned. Crawford tracked him down, in Austria, and called him and his company "swindlers" and was then told of a similar 'deal' involving that arms company regarding Mexican purchasers who also got swindled but, on that occasion, words and bullets were exchanged, the latter from gun barrels!

At 60 years of age (in 1921) he was named in the British 'Royal Honours List' as a 'CBE' (' Commander of the Order of the British Empire') and he wrote his memoirs in 1934 at 73 years of age. He died, in his 92nd year, in 1952 and is buried in the City Cemetery in the Falls Road in Belfast. The then British PM, 'Sir' Basil Brooke, described him as "...a fearless fighter in the historic fight to keep Ulster British.."

Whatever about his 'successes on the battlefield', he was apparently less successful in his family life - "What sort of man was my Father ? .....as a boy and as a man he was never very intelligent. He was an unconscious bully and for that reason unloved by his children. Each in turn left the home as soon as we became adults and were able to do so. The U.V.F rifles - I think about 15,000 were stored and kept in good condition in a shed in the grounds of Harland and Wolff where I once saw them. For legal reasons they were in my father’s name. After the retreat from Dunkirk Britain was desperately short of arms and wanted to purchase the U.V.F rifles. As you are now aware my father was not a very intelligent person and a hopeless business man. My father’s chartered accountant sent word to him to say that Sir Dawson Bates wanted to meet him about something important. Accordingly my father went to the accountant’s office where his old friend Sir Dawson Bates was waiting for him, “Ah Fred, so glad you’ve come”. The three, my Father, the accountant and Sir Dawson Bates sat down at a table.

There Sir Dawson carefully explained the desperate need Britain had for arms and asked my father, for patriotic reasons, to release the rifles – it would only be a simple matter of signing a prepared document. My father, in the presence of the Accountant and Sir Dawson Bates, for patriotic reasons, signed the document without reading it. It conveyed ownership of the rifles from my father to Sir Dawson Bates who sold them to the British Government for I believe £2 a barrel....an unholy Trio had been cheating him for years ; his Estate Agent who collected all revenues due to my father was keeping most of it. His Chartered Accountant was presenting false figures for income tax purposes and all this skulduggery was made legal by the co-operation of his trusted friend, his solicitor...." (from here.)

Colonel Frederick Crawford CBE proudly worked for, and aided and abetted, British imperialism only to be used, abused and cheated by that same system. A lesson (which will no doubt go unheeded) to be learned, even at this late stage, by those who, today, work that imperialist system in this country, north and south.


The reason why I don't wear yellow!

Yesterday (Tuesday 4th November 2014) the three of us began preparations for two major events that are taking place this coming weekend (Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th) for Irish republicans : the Republican Movement will be holding, in a Dublin venue, its (110th) Ard Fheis and, in Kildare, on Sunday, the Dublin Executive of RSF will be holding a 650-ticket fundraiser, for which all tickets have been sold. Each event takes at the very least days of preparation beforehand and, indeed, days of 'cleaning-up' afterwards and, while we have managed to do one or the other in the past without any serious adverse consequences on our other jobs, the fact that the two events have clashed means that we won't have the time to put a blog post together for next Wednesday, 12th November, but will be back here on Wednesday 19th, if not between both dates.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014



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...."


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).


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....!) .....


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!


'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.


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.


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



....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!


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).


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).


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.


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.


'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.


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!


....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!


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.


"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.