" 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!

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).