" 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...!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Working within British 'law' with a vow NOT to use force against the British....... :



....... Ireland 1843 - 'famine' and emigration ; one million Irish people put on board emigrant ships - from 90 years of age to babe's in arms - no food or medicine , no light , no air , no room . Thrown overboard when death took them .......

It was around this time that a Mr. Nicholas Cummins , a Cork Magistrate , found himself in the village of Skibbereen , in Cork . The account of what he witnessed was published in 'The Times' newspaper -

- " I shall state simply what what I saw there : On reaching the spot I was surprised to find the wretched hamlet apparently deserted . I entered some of the hovels to ascertain the cause , and the scenes which presented themselves were such as no tongue or pen can convey the slightest idea of . In the first hovel , six famished and ghastly skeletons , to all appearances dead, were huddled in a corner on some filthy straw , their sole covering which seemed a ragged horsecloth, their wretched legs hanging about , naked above the knees .

I approached with horror , and found by a low moaning they were alive - they were in fever , four children , a woman and what had once been a man . It is impossible to go through the detail : suffice it to say that , in a few minutes, I was surrounded by at least 200 such phantoms , such frightful spectres as no words can describe , either from famine or from fever . Their demoniac yells are still ringing in my ears , and their horrible images are fixed upon my brain . My heart sickens at the recital , but I must go on ...

The same morning the police opened a house on the adjoining lands , which was observed shut for many days , and two dead corpses were found , lying upon the mud floor , half devoured by rats . A mother , herself in a fever , was seen the same day to drag the corpse of her child , a girl about twelve , perfectly naked, and leave it half covered with stones . In another house , within five hundred yards of the cavalry station at Skibbereen , the dispensary doctor found seven wretches lying unable to move , under the same cloak . One had been dead for many hours , but the others were unable to move either themselves or the corpse ......."

But even still , some tried to fight back .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......trying to get the RIC out of their barracks to investigate 'riots and civil strife' did not work anymore ; neither did walking up to their front-door and knocking on it ! A small group of us went out on a 'job' one night ......."

" .....we had the RIC barracks surrounded ; another group of IRA Volunteers got busy at their work of destruction - large quantities of petrol and paraffin had already been hidden near at hand . Since we had no explosives to spare and the building was immensely strong , we had decided on using petrol freely ; at that period of time the danger of handling such fuel was not generally appreciated . Among the IRA Volunteers engaged in the operation , however, it was well appreciated ; all had been thoroughly instructed on its dangers and the utmost precautions against premature ignition were taken . One-hundred-and-twenty gallons of petrol had been sprinkled on the woodwork ...

...in addition , several unopened barrels of paraffin oil stood on the Courthouse floor , one of which had been put in the dock for 'contempt of Court' by the IRA Volunteer on whose toe it had rolled over ! Our men had gone upstairs in the building to open or break the highest windows to create an upwards draught . How the accident happened was never established : with two other IRA men I was standing behind a wall near the gate of the barracks - a dull explosion , and the Courthouse became a fiery torch with every window jetting flame . Other explosions followed as the unopened barrels burst and threw on fresh fuel . In an incredibly short time the floors all collapsed together , and only the thick walls remained . Stout walls they must have been to have survived the intense heat and pressure .

But what of the four men on top of that inferno ? A figure approached from the Lawn Gate ; it was my brother Pat , our Commandant ; I hardly knew him - his face and hands were terribly burned ......."



Since 1947 , the CIA has been a powerful force in covertly executing American internal and foreign policy . A major book detailing the workings , methods and sometimes incompetence of the secret service - 'The Agency ; The Rise and Decline of The CIA ' , by John Ranelagh , has recently been published .

Gene Kerrigan examines the books findings and assesses the importance of 'The Agency' and the role it has played over the last 39 years .

First published in 'The Sunday Tribune' newspaper , Dublin , 24th August 1986 , page 11.

Re-produced here in 21 parts .

(3 of 21).

The (American) 'Office of Strategic Services' (the then CIA) had a proud history of bravery behind enemy lines during the war ; the CIA , established in 1947 , was full of ex-OSS agents and infected with the 'derring-do' tradition . The 'new enemy' was the Soviet Union , the 'new war' was a cold one but a 'war' nevertheless . U S Secretary of Defence James Forrestal had on his desk a card which read - ' We will never have universal peace until the strongest army and the strongest navy are in the hands of the most powerful nation .'

Forrestal pushed through a 'National Security Council' directive , 'NSC 4a' , in December 1947 , which authorised CIA covert activities ; he feared a left-wing victory in the Italian elections and the CIA was sent to stop it . Millions of dollars were pumped into the Christian Democrats in a successful bid to win the election .

The same was happening elsewhere .......