" 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 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Friday, June 11, 2004

JOHN SADLEIR and WILLIAM KEOGH - 19th Century Irish Turncoats .......


....... Six-and-a-half million people on the island of Ireland , supported mostly by the potato crop , which allowed for a 'better' standard of 'living' for the "Irish peasant farmer" . The British 'Landlords' , too , noticed this 'improvement' .......


... 'Rents' were increased at the same period that land was scarce (due to the population increase); the 'rent' for a 'holding' quadrupled between 1760 and 1815 , so the 'holding' (ie small farm) was sub-let , usually to the farmers sons , so that the 'rent owed' for that patch of soil could be shared by the family .

Pressure from the so-called 'Landlords' , over-crowding , poverty , hunger , depression , desperately bad 'living' conditions - such was the scene which a well-known philosopher of the day , Berkeley , witnessed in Ireland in 1750 , prompting him to ask " whether there be upon the earth any Christian or civilised people so beggardly wretched and destitute as the common Irish ? "

I wonder did Berkeley 'philosophise' as to why "the common Irish" were in that position in the first place ? And while we're on the subject of what 'our betters' thought of us , the British Viceroy at the time was also fond of kicking people while they were down.......

(MORE LATER).


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

KNOCKSAHARING.......


".......We all agreed that the British Auxiliaries were most likely heading for Renanirree to break-up a Sinn Fein Court , which we knew to have been postponed - we were also in agreement that the Brits would most likely return to their base by the Knocksaharing route ......."


" The seven of us were rushing out the door , through the haggard gate-way , over a fence and making a bee-line for Knocksaharing . A few days before we had heard of the capture , by the enemy , of a bag containing some documents . It was said to belong to a Judge who was on a Circuit of Sinn Fein Courts . In the bag was a reference to the Court which was to have been held at Renanirree on that very day ; needless to say , it was not now being held . But now we had a reasonable clue to the movements of the Auxies . They had gone to see if the Sinn Fein Court was being held at the appointed time . They would not delay there , and since it was not a routine visit they would be of the opinion that there would be no danger in returning by the same road .

Our time was short - to intercept them at the nearest point we would have to travel two miles over hedges and ditches . Renanirree was but three miles from that point . My uncle's house was straight across our path and we found him , with two other local IRA Volunteers , at Carraig a' Radhairc ; they had with them two service rifles from an arms dump and the three of them accompanied us . My uncle's house stood a hundred yards south of the upper Renanirree Road ; we crossed this with some little caution , and went swiftly upwards to the ridge of Knocksaharing , passing by the Mass Rock of Carraig a' tSagairt . Then we quickly descended the northern slope , through small fields of every shape with their big stone fences , which generations had made at a terrible cost of murderous toll .

Soon we reached the spot we sought , a corner of one of these little fields ; it sloped steeply towards the lower Renanirree Road , and was a bad corner to get out of , if one had to . But it commanded a long stretch of the road to Macroom , and was back from it only thirty yards . We had not a long view of the on-coming enemy , and that was one of our fears : if some of the rear lorries stopped to the west of us , the British Auxiliaries could work up an easy gradient and come down on us in the pocket we were in ......."

(MORE LATER).



ETHIOPIA - A Brief History .

(First published in 'HOT PRESS' Magazine , 6th May 1988 , Volume 12 , No. 8 , page 28).

Re-produced here in 10 parts .


(1 of 10).



Ethiopia has been at war for 26 years . In the world's longest-running guerilla struggle , the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) have fought to regain the independence of the province since it was subsumed into the Ethiopian state by Haile Selassie in 1962 . The tragedy is that neither side appears capable of a conclusive military victory - or of gaining sufficient control of the territory to allow unhindered relief operations .

While the soldiers battle , famine victims come eyeball to eyeball with the grim reaper . The war grinds on , pitilessly . The EPLF shelter in impregnable highland strongholds , hiding elaborate underground tunnels to escape the strafing Ethiopian planes : the mountains offer ideal protection for guerrila fighters . Thus the rebels deny the government control of the countryside . The cities , however , remain in government hands .

The Eritreans are firm in their conviction that the war can be won , believing that government conscripts cannot match the passion and commitment of their volunteers indefinitely . But for the government , defeat cannot be contemplated - Eritrean commands Ethiopia's only coastline , making it strategically vital in terms of supply routes . And besides , the concession of independence could only encourage Sudan , Somalia and the Tigreans in the potential dismemberment of Ethiopia ...

(MORE LATER).