" 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!


Friday, July 02, 2004

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

.......towards the end of 1975 , the Brits announced (through their spokesperson Merlyn Rees) that as of from March 1976 , political status for political prisoners was being withdrawn . Republican POW's referred the Brits back to the aftermath of the 1916 Rising when Thomas Ashe went on hunger-strike over the same issue and died after being force-fed .......

Michael Collins organised the funeral of Thomas Ashe and transformed it into a national demonstration against British mis-rule in Ireland ; armed Irish Republican Brotherhood Volunteers in full uniform flanked the coffin , followed by 9,000 IRB Volunteers and approximately 30,000 people , who lined the streets . A volley was fired over Ashe's grave , following which Michael Collins stated -

- " That volley which we have just heard is the only speech which it is proper to make over the grave of a dead Fenian . " The London -based 'Daily Express' newspaper perhaps summed it up best when it stated , re the funeral of Thomas Ashe , that what had happened had made " 100,000 Sinn Feiners out of 100,000 constitutional nationalists . " Another Irish hunger-striker of that period , Terence MacSwiney (who was imprisoned for possessing 'anti-British' documents) summed it up for the Irish people in a famous short , sharp statement he issued to the Brits .......

(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.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .

" The Castle of Macroom stands on the banks of the Sullane , a few miles beyond the eastern boundry of our area . Yet it is relevant to speak of it , since it played a part , and not a helpful one , in the lives of our people . Again , Macroom was our nearest or home town . The Castle was first built by the O'Flynns in the twelfth century ; later it came into the possession of the MacCarthys - in 1602 it was besieged and damaged by 'Sir' Charles Wilmot .

This must have been its last stand as an Irish Castle - it was burned down in 1641 . Donogh MacCarthy restored it and the Papal Nuncio , Rinuccini , stayed in it for a short time in October 1645 , while on his way from Kenmare to Kilkenny . Cromwell , in 1656 , 'gave' it to Admiral 'Sir' William Penn . MacCarthy got it back on the Restoration , but finally lost it in 1691 .

The 'Hollow Sword Blade Company' of London bought it by auction and sold it , at a profit, of course, to Judge Bernard , ancestor of the Earls of Bandon....... "

(MORE LATER).


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
7 of 12 .

By 31 January 1975 , the British had suggested that the key to progress lay in keeping "off principle" and getting on with practical arrangements . Towards this end , they handed over two formal documents ; one was a comprehensive system of liaison involving two alternative schemes , the other was a questionnaire regarding the running of proposed Incident Centres .

In the process of reporting back to London , the initial impression was that there was welcome for the constructive discussions that had taken place . But work on the two schemes , the proposals for Incident Centres to monitor a Truce , and other matters , continued into February 1975 - on the third of that month , the British added four points to the 12-point document which the Republicans had prepared , and which formed the ultimate basis of the bilateral ceasefire .

Three of these new points concerned the types of paramilitary activity in which the IRA could not engage during a cessation of hostilities : the fourth new point promised that "the rate of release will be speeded up with a view to releasing all detainees" as soon as violence had come to a complete end .......

(MORE LATER).