" 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.)

Thursday, July 08, 2004

JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......

....... 1.30pm , Thursday , 15th July 1976 - a loud explosion blew the gates of Green Street Courthouse off their hinges and five Irish Republican prisoners ran through the gap - and into a scene of confusion ; rubble , dust-clouds . people running and screaming . The five men could'nt find the get-away cars and had'nt time to look for them ; they took off on foot .......

.....but the area was quickly filling-up with Gardai and armed Special Branch . Within minutes , three of the men - John Hagan , Jim Monaghan and Joe Reilly - were pulled-in by the Special Branch on Granby Place and re-arrested . Meanwhile , the other escapee , Michael O'Rourke , was by now on O'Connell Street getting into a taxi...

Michael O'Rourke was taken safely out of the State and put-up in a safe-house in America , but was arrested in 1980 ; a four-year legal battle began but , in 1984 , Michael O'Rourke was extradited to Ireland and imprisoned in Portlaoise Prison .

The break-out made international headlines and embarrassed the then Dublin Administration , led by Fine Gael's Liam Cosgrave . It also proved , once again , to the Free Staters , that the spirit of Irish Republicanism cannot be incarcerated .......

[END of 'JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' ...].
(Tomorrow : 'JULY-DECEMBER 1921 - REVENGE ATTACKS ON REPUBLICANS DURING THE TRUCE ').


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

"....... Macroom Castle should at least have been rendered uninhabitable , but was'nt ; in August 1920 , the British Auxiliaries moved in - these were men who had seen service in the 1914-1918 war , now in Ireland for the money and the 'adventure' ......."

" On the evening of 1st November 1920 , the Auxiliaries raided the Village of Ballymakeera , in the parish of Ballyvourney , Cork , in our area ; one of their number entered a house where lived a quiet , inoffensive married man named Jim Lehane . He had just returned home after his day's work as a labourer - he was not an IRA Volunteer and had no martial characteristic or inclination . He was talking to his wife the while he filled his pipe : the Brit Auxie asked him his name , Jim told him , and the Auxie said - "Follow me."

The poor man followed across the road to the village cross and a few yards down the road beyond it ; here the Brit turned and emptied a revolver into him at close range . Unsuspectingly , Jim Lehane had walked to his death . It was just a cruel and callous murder without the slightest justification , near or remote . And it was only one of many .

There is a saying that a blackguard will be found in every crowd - and the converse is also true ; you will find a decent man among a crowd of blackguards . A small incident will illustrate this . One evening in the harvest of 1920 , my brother Pat and I had come home . Dusk had fallen heavily and the critical time for a raid had , we thought , gone by . But we were wrong ..."

(MORE LATER).


' COLONEL OLIVER NORTH WOULD'NT DO ANYTHING THAT REAGAN DID'NT APPROVE ' .


'The chain of events that has become known as IRANGATE is circling ever tighter around President Reagan . Sean Cronin draws together some of the links in the bizarre story'.


First published in 'The Irish Times' newspaper , Tuesday , February 10th , 1987 , page 14 .

Re-produced here in 12 parts.

1 of 12.


The Iran arms scandal now shaking the Presidency of Ronald Reagan is made up of plots and sub-plots , puzzles within puzzles , and enough sinister agents and freelance adventurers to fill a dozen thrillers by Graham Greene . Four Governments are involved in one way or another , as well as the Sultan of Brunei , who gave 10 million dollars to Nicaragua's Contras .

A select committee of the US Senate , a select committee of the US House , a special counsel chosen by three judges , and a three-member panel of "wise men" , headed by the former Texas Republican , Senator John Tower , are all trying to discover what happened , and why , and who broke the law and should be tried and possibly go to prison .

The Congressional Committees will hold public hearings as soon as they can get themselves organised , which may be later this month (ie February 1987)...

(MORE LATER).