" 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.)

IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!

Saturday, January 11, 2003

.....after the split in the Republican Movement in January 1970 , Jimmy Steele , a member of the IRA's Belfast Brigade Staff and the Provisional Army Executive ( a post he held until his death) was active in Belfast re-organising and re-arming IRA units to defend Nationalist areas from attack by Orange mobs backed-up by the B-Specials and RUC . A founder member of ' Republican News' in June 1970 , the four-page weekly paper under the editorship of Steele soon had a circulation of 15,000 copies per week . Jimmy Steele was Editor of the 'paper when he died on August 9 , 1970 ,at 63 years of age : more than twenty of those 63 years were spent in jail . Steele by name , and Steele by nature - hard to break ......

Around the same time as Jimmy Steele joined the IRA , 1920 , the Black and Tan War was at its height .
Irishmen serving with the British Army in India mutinied in protest at the atrocities being committed in Ireland by the British . The three-day mutiny began on June 27 , 1920 , when 350 Irishmen gave in their arms and refused to soldier for England . The mutiny was confined chiefly to members of 'B' and 'C' Companies , 1st Battalion , Connaught Ranger Regiment , stationed at Wellington Barracks , Jullunder , Punjab, India . The men at Jullunder were led by Private Joseph Hawes and their protest was joined two days later by a detachment of 'C' Company at the hill-station in Solon , under Private James Daly , a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood . (MORE LATER) .....

Like Nixon , I ,too, had a dream last night .....
Henry Kissinger is wanted for questioning on human-rights abuses by courts in France , Spain , Belguim , Argentina and Chile .He supported the genocidal regimes of Pol Pot of Cambodia and General Suharto of Indonesia , and has questions to answer re his knowledge of the assassination of General Rene Shneider , the Commander of the Chilean Army in 1970 . Someone should have asked Dickie to investigate .....

Friday, January 10, 2003

.....Steele figured in two major operations during his brief period of freedom .....
..... in March 1943 , along with Liam Burke and Harry White , he organised and assisted in the escape of 22 IRA Volunteers from Derry Jail and , in April 1943 , he participated in the Broadway Cinema operation on the Falls Road when armed Volunteers took over the cinema and stopped the film while Steele and McAteer went on stage and read a statement from the IRA Army Council . The two men finished off the nights entertainment for the packed cinema by reading the 1916 Proclamation !
By May , Steele was back in jail, this time sentenced to twelve years .When he was released in September 1950 , he was the last Republican prisoner of that era to be freed , leaving Crumlin Road Jail empty of political prisoners for the first time since partition . During the following years , Steele edited two Belfast newspapers - ' Glor Uladh' and ' Resurgent Ulster' , and was the main author of two books published by the National Graves Association- ' Antrim's Patriot Dead' and ' Belfast Patriot Graves'. On December 21st 1957 , following the beginning of the IRA's Border Campaign , internment was once more introduced in the Six Counties and Steele was among the 167 Republicans interned in Crumlin Road Jail - he was released three years later and reported back to the Army . Steele was an outspoken opponent of the policies being pursued by the leadership of the Republican Movement and , in an oration at the re-interment of the remains of Peter Barnes and James McCormick (both executed in England in February 1940 ) at Mullingar , County Westmeath , in July 1969 , he severely criticised the leadership and in particular the running-down of the IRA .
Within six months (January 1970) the inevitable split in the Republican Movement occured...... (MORE LATER).....

" There is no art that one government sooner learns from another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people " -
Adam Smith, ' The Wealth of Nations' , 1776 : Smith lived in late 18th Century Edinburgh , and was shunned completely by society ; he was known to ramble around in a trance , not properly dressed , and was of a very nervous disposition ( ie he 'twitched' constantly) and spoke loudly to himself . His appearance was said to be that like a " worm with legs" . He never married and lived all his life with his mother . While ostracised by the establishment of the day , he certainly had their measure - " People of the same trade seldom meet together even for merriment and diversion but the conversation always ends in a conspiracy against the public " .
A far-sighted man , mentally ahead of those that considered themselves the superior class .....

Thursday, January 09, 2003

........ he joined the IRA .
Arrested twice , in 1923 and 1924 , he was held for several months in Crumlin Road Jail . Following his release later that year and the freeing of the internees in 1925 , he assisted with the re-organising of the IRA and Na Fianna in Belfast . On April 25 , 1936 , while attending an IRA court-martial in connection with the abortive Campbell College raid in December 1935 , at the rooms of the Craobh Rua Club at Crown Entry in Belfast , Steele and most of the Belfast Battalion Staff were arrested . On May 29 , 1936 , Steele was charged with ' treason felony' and , along with twelve others , was found guilty and sentenced to five years penal servitude in Crumlin Road Jail .
Released in May 1940 , he reported back to the Army leadership and continued on as before . While ' on the run' , he married Anna Crawford , a member of Cumann an mBan who came from a staunch Republican family ; unfortunately , married life in freedom was to be short-lived -- the following December he was re-arrested and sentenced to ten years in jail . In January 1943 , along with Patrick Donnelly , Ned Maguire and Hugh McAteer , Steele escaped from Crumlin Road Jail . Despite a reward of £3000 being offered by the Stormont government for his capture and his photograph being displayed throughout the Six Counties , he reported back for active service and was appointed Adjutant of the Northern Command Staff .
Steele figured in two major operations during his brief period of freedom ...... (MORE LATER) .

On September 4 , 2000 , BBC2 television broadcast a programme entitled ' Reputations' which , if memory serves , was a series of interviews with various politicians/'personalties/flavours of the month and used by same as an 'image-building' vehicle . The above-dated episode featured Henry Kissinger , who recalled being roused from his sleep , in the early 1970's , by a phone call from U S President Richard Nixon : Nixon ordered Kissinger to bomb Damascus !
Kissinger , however , probably experienced in such late-night 'phone calls , went back to sleep ....
The following morning , Nixon met Kissinger to discuss various issues but failed to mention the " bomb Damascus" order : and , sensibly , Kissinger said nothing either !
Considering that Nixon was U S President for almost six years , we can but speculate on how many countries ' Tricky Dickie' dreamed about .....

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

.....and was beginning a 20-year penal servitude sentence .
After serving nine years in various English prisons , he was released on condition that he went into exile until the period of his term of imprisonment had expired . He spent most of this time in Paris where he was visited in March 1879 by Charles Stewart Parnell and John Devoy to discuss Fenian business . He returned to Dublin and began writing his reminiscences , which were published in 1896 under the title of ' Recollections of Fenians and Fenianism' . He communicated the essentials of Fenianism to those who came after him and , through his example , his writings and his close association with Republicans during the last years of his life , he influenced a younger generation of rebels who would later lead the Easter Rising of 1916 . John O'Leary died in Dublin on March 16 , 1907 , having insured that the cause would live on .
Another man to be charged by the English with " treason felony" ( an archaic charge originally devised for John Mitchel , the Young Ireland leader , in 1848) was Jimmy Steele , who was born in Belfast on August 8 , 1907 : he lived his life as a soldier , writer , poet and devoted his 63 years in this world to the Republican Movement and the cause of Irish freedom .
At the age of 12 , he joined Fianna Eireann and was active with his young comrades in assisting the Volunteers in his own area , the New Lodge Road , during the Tan War . Following the Treaty of December 1921 , and the split in the Movement , Steele remained true to his republican principles and , in the early 1920's , he joined the IRA . (MORE LATER) .........

According to ' Ireland On Sunday' (March 12 , 2000 , page 34) a British Army GOC directive issued in 1997 stated that the British Army's objectives up to 2001 envisaged maintaining six resident battalions , six RIR battalions , a constant level of force troops and six 'roulement' battalions in the Six Counties - ie approximately ten thousand troops ! It was also stated that 80 cameras, codenamed "GLUTTON" , were installed in public sites , all camouflaged , in the Six North-Eastern Counties , and another 20 cameras were "located privately" ( perhaps on holiday-homes in Donegal ? .... ) .

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

A man born in Tipperary town in July 1830 went on to become one of the most prominent members of the Fenian movement : John O' Leary .
His parents enrolled him in Trinity College , Dublin , to study law , which he did , but he abandoned his studies when he discovered that barristers were required to take an oath of allegiance to the British crown .
At the age of 18 , he took part in the Young Ireland Rising of 1848 in Tipperary , after which he was imprisoned in Clonmel Jail for several weeks . In 1863 , at the age of 33 , John O 'Leary was appointed editor of the newly-established Fenian weekly newspaper ' The Irish People' , with Thomas Clarke Luby and Charles J.Kickham as his co-editors and chief contributors. Two years later , the paper was suppressed ( September 1865) and O'Leary , Luby , Kickham and dozens of other prominent members of the Fenian movement were arrested after being named to the English forces by the informer Pierce Nagle .
By December that same year , O' Leary found himself charged with " treason felony" and was beginning a 20-year penal servitude sentence ...... (MORE LATER) .

On March 18 , 2001 (page 6) ' The Sunday Business Post' wrote that British Army security documents from the 1970's entitled ' Military Appreciation of the Security Situation in Northern Ireland(sic) ' , revealed that special Brit Army units known as ' Q Squads' were set up to "mystify , mislead and destroy the terrorists(sic) " ~ no doubt ' steaknife' and his globetrotting comrades (when they're not in Donegal buying holiday-homes , that is) are knowledgable regarding the action of the ' Q Squads' , as I know their own members are "mystified" as to whats going on !
The objectives of the Provisional organisation have been so reduced that there is now no justification in an armed campaign to obtain them . Or are they going to wage war for a better Stormont ?

Monday, January 06, 2003

.....all was not as it first appeared.....
Fine Gael had indeed polled the Blanchardstown and Castleknock areas of West Dublin : ten-thousand ' Freepost ' cards were sent out to residents of the area , asking do they --
1) support the stadium; or
2) support a scaled-down version of the stadium ; or
3) reject the stadium .
Question 1) prevented the poll being classed as ' loaded ' and allowed Fine Gael to state that the poll was fair . The results (ie " 78.2 per cent of people" against the project) were trumpted far and wide ;
however , it later emerged that , of the 10,000 questionnaires sent out , only 355 (or 3.65 per cent) were returned !!
And of those , thirty-four were spoiled votes , leaving a valid poll of 321 :
13 per cent of which were in favour of the stadium ,
8 per cent favoured a scaled-down version , and
78.2 per cent ( 251 votes) were against the scheme .
Ten-thousand households asked to vote , 321 did so , and the result was propogated as the ' majority decision' !
Once again , as in the Stormont Treaty poll , the facts behind the head-lines are whats important ......

In June 1983 , the then leader of the Official Unionist Party (OUP) , James Molyneaux ( now Lord , or Sir/Madam or something in the Brit establishment) alleged that USSR submarines were landing guns , ammunition and explosives on remote beaches on the Free States Atlantic Coast , for use by Republicans ! He did not cite his source or his evidence for that claim ( see ' The Evening Press' newspaper , Tuesday June 21 , 1983) . In the same month , the bould Jim requested the RUC to find out who was responsible for putting up posters showing him inspecting a band of hooded men , carrying cudgels , done in an orange colour , with the caption-- ' Does Jim Support Separation Now? ' . The RUC found out that the Lisburn branch of the UDA were responsible and that the photo used in the poster was that of Molyneaux inspecting a UDA demonstration against the creation of a ' no-go' area in the Bogside , in 1972 .
I dunno , Jim - seems like a commie plot to me ......

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Bertie Ahern, the not-yet-superseded Fianna Fail leader and Free State Taoiseach , has been in the news here over the last three or four years in connection with the proposed stadium and sports campus which was to be built in Abbotstown , West Dublin , which is apparently not now going ahead . In December 2001 , the Fine Gael branch (they don't have ' Cumann ' - nor do the Tories) in West Dublin decided to do a poll on the views of those living in the Blanchardstown and Castleknock areas of West Dublin , to ascertain whether , like Fine Gael, the residents were of the opinion that the ' Bertiebowl ' should not be built .
The results of that poll , according to Fine Gael , showed that "78.2 per cent of people" were against the project going ahead - if the figures were accurate , and Fine Gael insisted they were , then that would indeed represent the majority point of view .
( and , as I stated here recently in relation to the false interpretation given to the results of the 1998 Stormont Treaty)
...........all was not as it first appeared . (MORE LATER)

In an interview with the 'The Sunday Business Post' newspaper on April 14 last year (page 3) , British nuclear consultant John Large , who was commissioned by the Russian Government to raise the Kursk submarine , was asked his views on the Windscale/Sellafield nuclear plant : he replied ~ " The plant should never have been allowed to get into this condition in the first place and now it's crammed with waste in every nook and cranny . Waste has been stored for decades in containers not designed for it , they have'nt been maintained , and people have just walked away " .
Sellafield seems to be heading for an ' Irish solution ' ~ something bad will have to happen before anything is done .