" 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. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Returning to Cork after her release , Mary MacSwiney virtually ran the republican headquarters in the city, but had to leave Cork in a hurry as the Free Staters were looking for her . She was arrested in Dublin on November 4th that year (1922) and was imprisoned in Mountjoy Jail - she immediately went on hunger-strike for release and was eventually freed on the 25th day of her fast , due to the huge international publicity her case received .
She was elected to the Executive of Cumann na mBan in 1926 and , in October that same year, was also elected as Vice-President of Sinn Fein at that organisations Ard Fheis , which was held six months after the split with de Valera . Along with other prominent republicans, including Brian O'Higgins , she resigned from the party in 1934 over the decision of Sinn Fein to allow members to receive IRA pensions from the new Fianna Fail administration .
( There can be no doubt of how she would react to the salaries , offices, perks and holiday-homes that the Adams Family are in receipt of , and not only from the Free State....)
Mary MacSwiney was one of the last surviving loyal members of the Second Dail who transferred their authority to the Army Council of the IRA in December 1938 .
She supported the IRA bombing campaign in England but poor health prevented her from playing her usual active part in the Movement.
Mary MacSwiney died in March 1942 , at 70 years of age, thirty-four of which she devoted to socialism and republicanism - the MacSwiney name will live on as part of the Irish struggle.

" Occasionally , I'm afraid , something has gone wrong, a bomb has landed in the wrong place " ~ British commander General Sir Peter de la Billiere , on civilian casualties in the 1990 Gulf War. ( You mean the damn civvies were in the wrong place , eh, Peter...?)

" Warfare is not that precise a business " ~ U S Commander in the Gulf War , Norman Scwarzkopf . (Translation= ' The bombs may be smart , but we're not ')

" It is difficult to look at the ground and tell what a civilian target is and what a military target is " ~ Lt. General Thomas Kelly , Operations Director of the U S Joint Chiefs of Staff .
( Translation= 'The bombs may be ...............................).
(Above three quotes taken from page 40 of ' The Sunday Tribune' , February 10th , 1991) .

Friday, March 14, 2003

In 1917 , Mary MacSwiney joined Sinn Fein following the adoption by the party of a more republican separatist policy . Following the death of her brother Terence , who died on hunger-strike in October 1920 (at the height of the Tan War) Mary MacSwiney visited America and gave evidence before the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland regarding the campaign of terror being waged against all sections of the nationalist population by the British forces of occupation .
Elections to the Second Dail were held in May 1921 , and Mary MacSwiney was elected a TD for Cork ; in December that year she spoke in opposition to the Treaty which she described as " the grossest act of betrayal that Ireland ever endured " and stated that if the Treaty was passed she would use her influence as a teacher to spread rebellion against the proposed Free State .
In the Civil War that followed , Mary MacSwiney was a formidable and unyielding opponent of the Free State and made no secret of her support for the republican side . She was imprisoned for a brief period in July 1922 , following the surrender of the Four Courts garrison in Dublin . Returning to Cork after her release ...... (MORE LATER)>>

This month , in 1976 , the first appeal for the ' Birmingham Six' was held under Judges Widgery , Lawton and Thompson . These three judges found that the ' forensic tests' used to convict the men were not "of great importance" ( ! ) ~ however , only a year earlier , Judge Nigel Bridge ruled that the tests were one of the two " absolutely critical " parts of the prosecution case .
Widgery and his two buddies gave those that cared to listen a taste of what was to come .....

The Austrian journalist , Guenther Nenning , claimed that Hitler could have been stopped by political means , or at least by minimal force if used in time : he could have been stopped if democratic parties had united against him , if the French had blocked the re-occupation of the Rhineland , or if the 'Allies' had stood up for Austria or launched an offensive in 1939 when Hitler had his hands full with Poland .
Will our children look back and say " Hussein could have been stopped by political means if only ..." ?

Thursday, March 13, 2003

On March 27th , 1872 , a baby girl was born in London , was moved to County Cork and reared and educated there , at Queens College : that baby was Mary MacSwiney , who grew up to be an uncompromising republican and one of the most outstanding republican personalities of the 1920's and 1930's .
The young Mary MacSwiney trained as a teacher and returned to London for work until a suitable post was available in Dublin . A supporter of the suffragette movement , she joined the Munster Womens Franchise League (MWFL) in 1908 and , during the following years, campaigned for the franchise to be extended to women . She left the MWFL in 1914 as a result of that organisations support for Britain in the first ' World War' . After its formation in April 1914 , Mary MacSwiney joined Cumann na mBan and was appointed to its Executive Committee ; at the same time , she was a member of a number of other Nationalist organisations , including the Gaelic League .
After the 1916 Rising , she was arrested and imprisoned , and was dismissed from her teaching post ; after her release some months later , she founded a school , St Ita's , modelled on Padraig Pearse's school , St Enda's . Her sister Eithne and her brother Terence were also involved in the setting-up of the school . In 1917 , Mary MacSwiney joined Sinn Fein ...(MORE LATER)>>

A United States General , Norman Schwarzkopf , made his name in the 1990 Gulf War ("Stormin' Norman") ~
His father , a former New Jersey detective who rose to the rank of General in the U S Military Police in the 1940's , helped put the Shah of Iran on his throne and trained the Shah's police forces in the fine art of keeping a despot in power . The Shah's secret police , the ' Savak' , tortured and killed hundreds of opponents while Iran functioned as the U S's closet ally in the Gulf , policing the oil-rich region for a quarter century before the Shah was toppled in 1979 by his own people .
The U S magazine ' Newsweek' reported that Stormin' Norman wanted to start the Gulf War by exploding a nuclear device over Iraq , but Bush Senior would not allow it !
( " Aww go on , George- just a small one......)
The bould Norman stated on the last day of the war that " there is a lot more purpose to this war that getting the Iraqi's out of Kuwait" , but did not elaborate.
The war ended on February 28th , 1991 - 210 days after the invasion and 43 days after Bush Senior ordered military action " to liberate Kuwait" : on that same Thursday , the first full day of ' freedom' in Kuwait , an opposition leader was gunned down by masked men " unbothered by Kuwait Army patrols "--
lawyer Hamed Al-Jouaan had been an outspoken critic of the Sabah(ruling) family .

How many more critics of the establishment will die this time , and which U S Army 'hard-man' will make his name on the strength of those killed ?

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

...it was agreed to commence the ' S-Plan ' campaign in January 1939 and to stage 'tester' attacks along the border before the January deadline ~ on November 28th ad 29th , 1938, a number of British customs posts along the border were demolished but , on the eve of the attacks, three IRA Volunteers-Jimmy Joe Reynolds(Leitrim) , John James Kelly(Donegal) and Charlie McCafferty(Tyrone) were killed when a mine exploded prematurely in a house at Castlefin , County Donegal .
In late December the Stormont regime introduced internment but many of the northern leaders escaped arrest. Also , that same month, Sean Russell announced in the ' Wolfe Tone Weekly ' that Count Plunkett , J J O'Kelly('Scelig') , Mary MacSwiney , Brian O'Higgins , Cathal O'Murchadha , Tom Maguire and Professor William Stockley , the last surviving faithful members of the Second Dail Eireann elected in 1921 and usurped by the Treaty of Surrender , had transferred their authority as the legitimate government of Ireland to the Army Council of the IRA . This was to be held in trust for the nation making the Army Council the de jure government of the Irish Republic and thereby giving the IRA the right to use force and levy war . The surviving members of the Second Dail Eireann signed over their authority to the IRA Army Council on December 8th , 1938 ~ thirty-one years later , in 1969 , the IRA split and the last and still faithful survivor of the All-Ireland Dail stated that the Provisional IRA was the successor of the 1938 body ; similarly , following the 1986 division , Tom Maguire nominated the Continuity IRA as the legitimate IRA . Comdt. General Tom Maguire died in 1993 , aged 101 .
The PIRA has existed since 1986 as the military wing of a Leinster House-registered political party - if they return to their military campaign it will only be to obtain better conditions from the British ie a better Stormont ! Not " Brits Out " anymore ~ the slogan now is " stay if you want just treat us better" . It was never about that - never about so-called ' civil rights' only .......

" In front of us a curious figure was standing , a little crouched, legs straggled , arms held out from his sides . He had no eyes and his whole body , nearly all of which was visible through tatters of burnt rags, was covered with a hard black crust , speckled with yellow pus . He had to stand because he was no longer covered with a skin , but with a crust-like crackling which broke easily " ----
Journalist Rene Cutforth , describing his first sighting of a Napalm victim in Korea .
That was then , this is now ~ how have the military ' improved ' their chemical weapons.... ?

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

.....but, in January 1937, Sean Russell was suspended from the IRA for embarking on his American tour without Army Council permission. He stayed out of Dublin until October 1937 , when he approached the IRA leadership in an attempt to convince them that the campaign in England should go ahead .
In April 1938 an IRA General Army Convention was held , and Russell and his supporters secured enough support to get a majority on the Army Executive and to get him re-instated in the organisation , and elected to the Army Council . He was later appointed Chief of Staff . During the summer of 1938 , training classes in explosives were organised throughout the country.
IRA Volunteers were vetted for active service in England ,chemicals and explosives were stockpiled , safe houses and dumps were secured by IRA units in major British cities and a courier and intelligence network was built up .
By early Autumn that year ,the organisation was ready - it was agreed to commence the campaign in January 1939 and to stage ' tester ' attacks along the border before the January deadline ..... (MORE LATER)>>

It could have been one of the Leinster House politicians he was describing ~
In his satirical ' Devils Dictionary' , 19th Century humorist Ambrose Bierce described a bandit as " A person who takes by force from 'A' what 'A' has taken by guile from 'B' !!
..... and the bandits were like that back then , too .....
The same writer described a Christian " as one who thinks the Bible is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbour " !
...we have that ' do as I say and not as I do' - type here as well - unfortunately , people keep voting for them .....

Monday, March 10, 2003

.....the objective was to disrupt basic installations such as electricity, water and train services and , at 6am on January 16th , 1939, there were seven major explosions in the English cities of London , Manchester and Birmingham ; the next day many pylons were damaged by bombs and cable bridges and street electricity mains were hit in a widespread series of attacks .
The years leading up to the introduction of the ' S-Plan ' have been somewhat overshadowed by the campaign itself ~ In 1934 , the leader of Clan na Gael in America, Joseph McGarrity , proposed that the IRA organise a bombing campaign in English cities . His proposals were not adopted by the IRA leadership but the then IRA GHQ Quartermaster General, Sean Russell, supported the plan and , in July 1936, ( one month after the banning of the IRA by de Valera's Fianna Fail administration) he visited the U S in an attempt to obtain arms and to enlist the support of McGarrity and the Clan for an all-out war on England .
Russell was a veteran of the 1916 Rising and was active during the Tan War and, as such, was held in high esteem by the Clan . McGarrity promised money and resources , but in January 1937 Russell was suspended from the IRA for .......(MORE LATER)>>

Around the same time as the Free State applied to join the United Nations in 1946 , the then Free State Taoiseach , Eamon de Valera (Fianna Fail) stated in Leinster house - " If the Security Council decides that action should be taken against a particular state , and that action leads to war , we must participate in that action and enter the war " .
So there ya go , Bertie - retrospective approval from one of your hero's !

Sunday, March 09, 2003

...... the January 12th , 1939, ultimatum from the IRA Army Council to Lord Halifax , the British foreign secretary, continued ... " Our Government reserves the right to appropriate action without further notice if upon the expiration of this period of grace , these conditions remain unfulfilled " .
On January 16th , with no reply from the British, a proclamation was posted in public places throughout the 32 Counties , declaring war on England . That January 16th document was written by Joseph McGarrity , leader of Clan na Gael in America , and was signed by six members of the Army Council ~ Stephen Hayes , Patrick Fleming , Peadar O'Flaherty , George Plunkett , Larry Grogan and Sean Russell . The seventh Army Council member, Mairtin O'Cadhain , refused to sign as he believed the IRA was not ready to begin the campaign . McGarrity's Proclamation also highlighted events since the 1916 Rising and declared that the fight for Irish freedom was not over , that Ireland was still unfree and that only military action would ever make the English withdraw from the country .
The 1939 bombing campaign began on January 16th : its objective was to disrupt basic installations such as electricity , water and train services and , at 6am that morning ......( MORE LATER)>>

An E-mail campaign doing the rounds at the moment asks recipients to vote for Ian Paisley as the least favourite Brit , or some such : I would imagine that Paisley would get the vote of the Lyons family -
Ian Paisley made the headlines in the ' Maura Lyons Affair' in 1956 ~ the proselytising of a young Catholic girl from the Falls Road , who disappeared from her parents home for days . The girl finally returned , and eventually abandoned her new-found Free Presbyterian faith . Apparently , Big Ian thought he could save the girls soul by converting her , even if she did'nt ' want to be saved' herself !
In that same year (1956) , Ian Paisley formed ' Ulster Protestant Action' (UPA) with John McQuade and Desmond Boal , a young barrister . Boal drafted the UPA constitution - " to keep Protestant and loyal workers in employment in time of depression , in preference to their fellow Catholic workers " ! The UPA fell asunder within three years - probably because they did'nt 'convert' enough Catholics ........