" 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.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. Ah well! Thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again next year!

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Author,poet,soldier , journalist and lawyer - a full life for any person , but this man,who was born at Brookhill, near Fethard in County Tipperary in 1805 , did not allow his own busy and prosperous life-style to blind him to the everyday struggle of those around him .
As a student of Gray's Inn , in London, Michael Doheny supported himself as a journalist until he was called to the Bar in 1838 . He returned to Ireland and settled in Cashel , from where he defended the poor in the courts against the excessive demands being made on them by local landlords . In 1842 , at the invitation of Thomas Davis , he joined the Repeal Association and became a regular contributor of articles and poems to the newspaper ' The Nation' . He was an effective speaker in Conciliation Hall , Lower Abbey Street, Dublin , where he spoke in favour of the policies of the Irish Confederates , a group of radical Young Irelanders who seceded from Daniel O'Connell's Repeal Association in January 1843 .
It was the sight of dozens of food-ships sailing out of the country in the midst of 'famine' which decided him on the necessity of an immediate rising and , in July 1848 , Michael Doheny , James Stephens and William Smith O'Brien attempted an armed rising ........(MORE LATER)....

A U S pilot lost his life in 1965 when his aircraft rolled off the aircraft carrier TICONDEROGA , which was heading for the Japanese port of Youkosuka . The plane sank in more than three miles of water , as did it's cargo - a Hydrogen bomb with the potential blasting power of one million tonnes of TNT ! For years the U S Navy refused to admit that the incident happened ~ the Pentagon listed the incident but claimed it occured 500 miles from land . Researchers for the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington placed the incident 70 miles east of the nearest Japanese island and 200 miles from the more heavily populated Okinawa . Documents which proved the incident took place were released under the ' Freedom of Information' laws in 1989 : twenty-four years after the event ! In 2027 , we may be told the truth as to why George Bush Jnr started a war with Iraq .....

Friday, January 24, 2003

.....Jemmy Hope was on an organisational tour in Ulster when the ill-fated rising broke out in Dublin . He escaped arrest and eventually , after the political amnesty of 1806, returned to Belfast and resumed work as a linen weaver . In the early 1840's , he assisted Dr. R.R. Madden , the historian of the United Irishmen , with detailed accounts of the events in 1798 and 1803 .
During the course of a long life he never changed his views on the rights of the working-class . His writings earned for him the title of "the first Irish socialist" in whose footsteps James Fintan Lalor and James Connolly were later to follow . A fervent adherent of the principles of the French Revolution and the United Irishmen to the very end , Jemmy Hope died in February 1847 , aged 83 . The man deserves to be remembered for that which he stood,and died,for .

'SPOT THE DIFFERENCE' Competition,part two -
"By God ,it is enjoyable being a Minister . This is what I like doing , taking decisions , and I had to take the decision to put the troops in while I was on the plane on the way back from Cornwall " ~ the then British Labour Party Home Secretary , James Callaghan ,in his diary , on the open deployment of the British Army in the Six Counties , August 14th , 1969 .

" I loath and detest the miserable bastards. Savage, murderous thugs. May the Irish ,all of them , rot in hell " ~ British Lord Arran , then a columnist in the 'London Evening News' , May 1974.

The only difference is the four different speakers : the sentiments expressed are similar .

Thursday, January 23, 2003

A poet , a revolutionary , a social reformer : perhaps briefly mentioned in passing in academic circles , and one of the many Irish heros that goes unsung ~ born at Templepatrick in County Antrim in 1764 , Jemmy Hope is all of the above .
Largely self-educated , Hope, the son of a Presbyterian, left school at the age of ten and was apprenticed to a linen weaver . Having served his time , he left his job and became a traveller and journeyman . The French Revolution had a profound effect on his life and he was influenced by the writings of Paine and Rousseau - the ideas of equality and of the rights to life , liberty and property . In 1795 , he joined the United Irishmen , and became a close associate of many of the leading United Irishmen , including Theobald Wolfe Tone , Henry Joe McCracken and Thomas Russell. He was sent to Dublin in 1796 to scout for the Society .
He returned to the North of Ireland in 1798 and took part in the Battle of Ballynahinch during the Rising that year and , following the collapse of same, he went ' on the run ' in Ulster for five months before making his way to Dublin , where he worked as a weaver in the Liberties area of the city . Hope supported Robert Emmet in planning the rising of July 1803 but was on an organisational tour in Ulster when .......(MORE LATER)...

'SPOT THE DIFFERENCE' Competition -
" The Nationalist majority in the county Fermanagh stands at 3,640 . I would ask the meeting to authorise their executive to adopt whatever plans and take whatever steps, however drastic, to wipe out this Nationalist majority " ~ Unionist M P E.C.Ferguson , addressing a unionist convention in Enniskillen in 1948 .

" Now men , Sinn Fein has had all the sport up to the present , and we are going to have the sport now . You may make mistakes occassionally , and innocent persons may be shot , but that cannot be helped , and you are bound to get the right parties sometime . The more you shoot , the better I will like you , and I assure you , no policeman will get into trouble for shooting any man " ~ Colonel Smyth , RIC Divisional Police Commander for Munster , June 1920 .
Can't 'spot the difference' ? - wait 'till you see tomorrows two entries .....

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

.......were waiting with four cars to transport the escapees to safety , but they landed at the wrong spot ; approximately 500 yards away .The men realised their mistake and made their way to Queen's Road bus terminus where they commandeered a bus and drove across the city to the Markets area . During the journey , the bus was spotted by a British Army Land Rover which attempted to stop the vehicle ; however , the Brits backed-off when the bus entered the staunchly republican Markets district , which was then surrounded by British reinforcements . A search of the area was carried out by the British Army and RUC , but none of the escapees were found ~ the 'Magnificent Seven' were long gone to a different part of Belfast !
Eight years after Lemass and his ' we are for sale' statements (see yesterdays article) , the then Free State Foreign Affairs Minister , Patrick Hillery(Fianna Fail) said re EEC entry - " We would have to act closely in political as well as economic affairs and would have to participate in common action , even the defence of the new Europe " ; those that consider themselves this State's 'political elite' know the price of everything but the value of nothing .

In 1979 , the U S concluded a secret bilateral pact with Norway to allow nuclear munitions to be stored there under certain conditions , despite the wishes of the Norwegian electorate , expressed through a referendum . The secret pact was only accidentally discovered by the Oslo media five years after the event , 1984 . "Weapons of mass destruction" in Norway : So when you're finished with Iraq , George .....

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

....the day after the fifty men were transferred from the ship , the ' Magnificent Seven' escaped ~
One of the group had spotted a seal slip through a gap in the barbed-wire draped around the ship and it was decided that if the seal could come in , then they could go out !
The men used black boot polish to camouflag themselves and smeared each other in butter , to keep out the cold . They had already cut through a bar in a porthole which they now slipped through , and clambered down the Maidstone's steel hauser and entered the water . Several of them were badly cut by the barbed-wire , but they all managed to get through it . In single file , they swam the 400 yards through the ice-cold floodlit water to the shore : it took them twenty minutes , as some of the men could not swim and had to be helped by the others . On the bank , Volunteers of the Andersonstown unit of the IRA's Belfast Brigade were waiting with four cars to transport the escapees to safety , but ....(MORE LATER) ....
This State's intention re it's neutrality has not only been highlighted by the recent U S Army near take-over of Shannon -
In July 1962 , in New York, Sean Lemass stated~ " We are prepared to go into any integrated union without any reservations at all as to how far this would take us in the field of foreign policy or defence commitments" : also , while negotiating in Bonn for admission to the then EEC in October 1962 , Lemass said - " In the East-West conflict we are not neutral . We have made it quite clear that our desire is to participate in whatever political union may ultimately develop in Europe . We are making no reservations of any sort, including defence " .
Could someone out there please contact George Bush and tell him he's OK ; then contact Saddam and tell him he's welcome , too ~ after all , we have "no reservations of any sort" . Come one, come all .....

Monday, January 20, 2003

James Emerson Bryson , Tommy Tolan , Thomas Kane , Tommy Gorman , Peter Rodgers , Martin Taylor and Sean Convery : a group of Irish Republicans known as 'The Magnificent Seven' because of the nature of their escape from the Maidstone prison ship on January 17th , 1972 .
Of the 226 men detained following the introduction of internment in August 1971 , 124 were initially held in Crumlin Road Jail while the remainder were held on the Maidstone , a prison ship moored at the coalwharf in Belfast docks . The prison ship ,used as an emergency billet for British troops who arrived in 1969 , was totally unsuitable as a prison - it was cramped , stuffy and overcrowded , with the 'lock-up' section located at the stern below the deck , which was used twice a day for exercise . On January 16th , 1972 , fifty men were transferred from the ship to the new camp at Magilligan : this sudden move spurred on internees who were planning to escape .......(MORE LATER) ....
In 1883 , British Lord Salisbury declared - " Ireland must be kept , like India , at all costs; by persuasion,if possible , - if not, by force " . So the Brits purchased some of us and bullied the rest !
However , there's hope for us yet ~ On October 23rd , 1918 , Brit Lord Hugh Cecil stated - " We must accept the fact of Irish Nationality. It is regrettable , it is unhistorical ; in view of Ulsters feelings it is even absurd . But it is a fact : the majority of Irishmen do think Ireland a Nation and we must do the best we can in the circumstances "
"Unhistorical"? "Absurd"? Steady on , old chap .....
(Translation from Sunday - " Do not be breaking your shin on a stool that is not in your way").

Sunday, January 19, 2003


.....the entire nationalist population of Lisburn were driven out of their homes by the UVF and other loyalist mobs . Nationalist areas of Belfast again came under attack from loyalist gangs - there were burnings ,shootings and looting on a massive scale which lasted until the end of that month .
In the last ten days of the pogrom , 31 men and women were killed and hundreds of Catholics were burned out of their homes : property damage was put at one million pounds . Within a week of the ending of the pogroms , the British government invited members of the loyalist murder-gangs and the UVF to join the newly-formed 'B-Specials' ! The 1920 pogroms subsided after five weeks , on September 3rd of that year , and are rarely discussed these days ; and no wonder ~ a shameful episode in a long list of shameful episodes which the British introduced into Ireland .

On October 28th , 1986(a Tuesday,I think!) , Colonel Gadaffi of Libya was interviewed on RTE television's ' Today/Tonight' programme and , amongst other things, said - " If I were the leader of the South of Ireland I would consider that the North is colonised and I would fight to liberate that part of Ireland" : the Free State Industry Minister at the time (now ex-leader of Fine Gael) Michael Noonan declared that Gadaffi's comments " had sent shock waves through the board-rooms of America" , which indicated that Free State government policy is dictated in the "board-rooms of America" as much as in the meeting-rooms of Strasbourg , Brussels and Whitehall !
Witness the servile attitude by this States gut-less , arrogant and un-principled administration to Bush's use of Shannon .If (when?) it comes back to haunt them and , unfortunately ,by association , the rest of us , we will all regret they forgot the following -- " Na bris do loirgin air stol nach bhfuil ann do shlighe" .
(Translation later)....