" 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!


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

'TAN WAR' REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPER - 'An tOglach' , 1918-1921.......

.......when ' An tOglach' Editor , Piaras Beaslai was 'arrested' by the Brits in March 1919 , he was succeeded in that position by Ernest Blythe , a TD and Minister for Trade and Commerce in the First (All-Ireland) Dail (32-County Irish Parliament).......

Ernest Blythe had some experience in editing a newspaper - two years previously (ie in 1917) he assisted in re-organising ' The Southern Star' newspaper in Skibbereen , West Cork - that was in January 1917 , and Michael Collins ( still an Irish Rebel at the time) came in as a shareholder . Then , in February that year (1917) Ernest Blythe was appointed Editor of 'The Southern Star' .

In November 1916 , 'The Southern Star' newspaper had been suppressed by the British , as its "...increasingly nationalistic tone " did not meet with the approval of the 'authorities' . The real authorities , meanwhile , were left to read the other Skibbereen-based newspaper , ' The Skibbereen Eagle' , and IT did not " meet with their approval " ; so they raided the premises - again ! At the time , ' The Skibbereen Eagle' was being run by local solicitor and (British) MP for West Cork , Jasper Wolfe ; a Mr. Eldon Potter had founded the newspaper in 1907 , but it never quite 'clicked' with the nationalist population . Thus the 'visits' it received from the then real authorities , the IRA .

However - (mini-tangent , that ...!) - Ernest Blythe was to go on to have even more experience in the Editor's chair : this time from the 'opposite side of the house .....'

(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.

RAIDS.......

".......my uncle and Jerrick Sheehan were a few feet in front of us , leaning against a fence - they were not aware that myself and 'Mick the Soldier' were there ; we were all watching for enemy trucks , hoping to avoid them . Jerrick had taken his pint of stout with him ......."

" Suddenly , I saw something gleam in Mick's hand - it was Jerrick's pint of stout being carefully withdrawn from its resting place ; he brought it back safely , turned towards me and , bowing gravely , raised it to his lips . I saw it tilt slowly and thought of its previous owners care for its safe transport . I judged that a third of it had gone when it was again lowered . Then it was raised and lowered a few times until finally it was empty , and raised for my inspection !

Gently , it was replaced on the flat stone and the 'operation' was complete ; although taking no active part in the 'operation' , I must get credit for not jeopardising it , for the struggle I had to make to smother laughter was indeed a hard one . We resumed our positions and waited , and soon we heard the noise of the departing British lorries . Then my uncle spoke - " They are going up Ard a' Bhona , Jerrick , I think we can adjourn . " " All right , Dan , wait 'till I get my pint . " A clink of glass on stone and then - " H'anam an Diol , Farmer , 'tis empty ! "

" You must have spilled it , Jerrick . " " No , no , I put it down on that stone there and there was not a drop spilled out of it . Someone must have drank it - it bate the devil . Or who could do that ? " A voice from the other side of the fence answered him : " Another ould soldier ! "

When British forces raided the homes of our people they naturally looked for some indication as to where the peoples' sympathies lay ; in many houses , prior to 1916 , a large picture of Robert Emmet hung on the wall on one side of the fireplace and was sometimes balanced , symmetrically , by a picture of Daniel O'Connell on the other side . A very poor balance it was , in my opinion . After 1916 , however , equilibrium was restored , for a picture of the executed leaders was substituted for that of the politician ....... "

(MORE LATER).


TINKER , TAILOR , HIGH RISK SPY .......
By Frank Doherty .

First published in ' New Hibernia ' magazine , May 1987 , pages 7 , 8 and 9 .
Re-produced here in 11 parts .
(2 of 11.)

Maurice Oldfield was a regular visitor to 'The Highwayman Lounge Bar' in Comber , County Down , and to Balloo House , a pub/restaurant several miles away at Killinchey , where his favourite drink was vodka and tomato juice , which he refused to call a 'Bloody Mary' . Maurice was still 'flashing' when two uniformed RUC men from 'Golf' Division walked into the toilets and arrested him , bringing an end not only to the career of the Ulster Security Co-ordinator (sic) but to an era in Irish history .

For 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield was not just a retired Secret Intelligence Service Chief (MI6) turned Mrs Thatcher's 'special crusader against the IRA ' , he was without doubt the most influential Briton in Ireland since 1971 . Oldfield's association with 'John Bull's other island' began in 1969 after British troops were put onto the streets by Harold Wilson . Oldfield was then Deputy Chief of MI6 in name , but in reality was the man who ran the spy service .......

(MORE LATER).