" 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!

Thursday, June 24, 2004


....... Ireland , 1823 - the potato blight which struck in 1817 had left its mark ; but the population was on the increase , those that 'rented' land from the British 'Landlords' had been evicted to make way for cattle , the Irish 'secret societies' were fighting back as best they could . Turbulent times .......

The British Government in Westminster was worried enough to at least ask - " Looking ahead to fifteen years or more , what must this increase in population without employment end in ? I do not know ; I think it is terrible to reflect upon . " The Irish people would be doing well to live long enough to see the following day , never mind fifteen years down the road ...

A baby was born to a wealthy Dublin business couple in April that year (1823) and , after his schooling , that youth , Martin McDermott , studied as an architect - he began an apprenticeship in that trade with Patrick Byrne , an old Irish Rebel , who had been active with the United Irishmen in 1798 . When he became qualified at his trade , Martin McDermott moved to England to earn his living , and settled in Birkenhead .

However , the skill of architecture was not all that young McDermott learned from his mentor , Patrick Byrne .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

1921 - The Big Round-Up.......

"....... Murt Twomey was on his way to visit Sean Jer when the Brits grabbed him and put him to work erecting their field tents ; he was hammering tent-pegs into the ground when the head of the mallet he was using flew off and smacked a Brit Sergeant on the head - the man grabbed his rifle ......."

" Murt thought his end had come ; but the British Sergeant cooled off and he and others contented themselves with telling Murt and his fellow-'workers' of the fun they would have in the evening when the IRA Column was brought in . Murt listened patiently , but said nothing . Presently , when that party had finished with their tents , they allowed their 'workers' to go . As he left the field , Murt saw a clip of ammunition on the ground , which he surreptitiously transferred to his pocket , and went towards home .

A few hundred yards ahead of him at the village cross he saw a British sentry ; dropping the ammunition clip into a convenient hole in the stone fence , he carried on . At the cross he was halted by the sentry and all his pockets were carefully searched . Soon , however , they got to know him and did not further trouble him - indeed , some of the British Tommies were anxious to open trade relations with him . One of them offered a fine pair of British Officer's leggings for three shillings ; Murt said he had no money about him , but credit was forthcoming and the gaiters were handed over . An appointment was made for the transfer of the hard cash .

However , each kept the appointment at a different rendezvous ; soon after , the Brit Tommy shocked and astonished some of the villagers as he went about inquiring for ".... that ****** Murt who had kept my three shillings . " Later on , Murt found him and the matter was amicably settled . Later on Sunday evening , I located the main camp of the enemy - it was situated very favourably relative to the Curragh Hill , I thought , as I went home in the twilight . I knew the ground well ; it would be easy , in the semi-darkness of the June night , to come down the western slope of Rahoona , slip across the Dubh-Glaise River and the road at Cathair Cearnach and , moving cautiously upwards over the eastern scrubby shoulder of the Curragh , approach to within four hundred yards of the huge growth of bell tents .

I might not succeed in doing much material damage , I reflected , but at least I would stir up the big hornet's nest ....... "



(First published in 'DUBLIN DIARY' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 3 , May 1989 , page 11.)

Re-produced here in 5 parts .

(4 of 5).

The 'Black convictions' and Christopher Black's word had been completely discredited ; the original convictions were overturned and all those imprisoned were set free . In other words , Paul Kane and his co-defendants had been wrongfully convicted and should never have spent a single minute in prison !

For Paul Kane , the nightmare is far from over ; having spent two years in prison awaiting trial , and a further three years inside after the escape , he is now sitting in Portlaoise Prison facing extradition purely for escaping from a jail he should never have been put in , in the first place . He has now spent the bulk of the last eight years in prison - all for nothing .

For himself , his wife , and three young daughters (one of whom was born while Paul Kane was living a fugitive existence in the South) the past eight years have been a living hell . The power to put an end to this nightmare and see justice done for this Irish family lies with the Fianna Fail Government ...