" 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, September 20, 2004

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

.......Ireland , 1922 - the Free State 'Minister for Home Affairs' , Kevin O'Higgins , had agreed with his Free State Cabinet colleagues that four IRA prisoners - Rory O'Connor , Liam Mellows , Richard Barrett and Joe McKelvey - should be executed immediately . O'Higgins had a troubled mind because of that decision .......

At that Free State Cabinet meeting , which condemned the four IRA prisoners to death , Kevin O'Higgins interrupted proceedings and asked - " Is there no other way ...? " And well he may have felt guilty ; O'Higgins was the 'best man' at Rory O'Connor's wedding ...

At 5 AM on the morning of December 8th , 1922 , one of the men soon to be shot by the Staters , Liam Mellows , sat in his cell and wrote his last letter :

Mountjoy Prison , Dublin . December 8th 1922 , 5 AM.
My Dear Mother ,
The time is short and much I would like to say must go unsaid but you will understand in such moments heart speaks to heart . At 3.30 AM this morning , we (Dick Barrett , Rory O'Connor , Joe McKelvey and I) were informed that we were to be executed as a reprisal .
Welcome be the will of God , for Irelad is in His keeping despite foreign monarchs and treaties . Though unworthy of the greatest human honour that can be paid an Irishman or woman , I go to join Tone and Emmet , the Fenians , Tom Clarke , Connolly , Pearse , Kevin Barry and Childers . My last thoughts will be on God , and Ireland , and on you .

You must not grieve , Mother Darling . Once before you thought you had given me to Ireland . The reality has now come . You will bear this as you have borne all the afflictions the cause of Ireland brought you - nobly and bravely . It is a sore trial for you , but that great courageous soul of yours will rejoice for I die for the truth ; life is only for a little while , and we shall be returned hereafter .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


" Looking back on the Truce with the British in July 1921 , one regrets that it ever came about . For it was but the prelude to the Civil War in which we lost the best of our men , on both sides . That the Truce was brought about for that very motive I have no doubt . That the Civil War happened as a sequel to the Truce no one can deny , not even the 'wise men' - the 'statesmen and politicians' . I heard a prophecy made on May eve , 1921 , by a member of the IRA Flying Column , as we sat on a big stone near Paddy Sheehan's house at Inchamore , Ballyvourney : he foretold the coming of the Truce , the return of the politician and a civil war .

We welcomed the Truce for its immediate benefits ; it eased the strain on our people , especially on parents and old people who waited nightly for the loud knock at the door , that forerunner perhaps of murder . Now they could sleep soundly , happy in the knowledge that their children were safe with them also . It was a great joy to us to return home to our people and stay with them , not for a hurried and fearful half-hour , but indefinitely . I well remember the first evening at home , the joy of my mother , father and sisters , and the neighbours who rushed in to welcome us back .

For a few days we forgot everything in the delights of home ; then a dispatch came summoning my brother , our IRA Commandant , to an IRA Brigade meeting in Cork City . To get there , we had to travel through areas held by the British ; however , the 'Truce' was active....... "


By Frank Doherty .

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

Since he first came to the public eye in 1979 on his appointment by Mrs. Margaret Thatcher as 'Northern Ireland (sic) Security Co-ordinator ' , Maurice Oldfield had been surrounded by myths , almost all projected by himself ! In the British media he was represented as a dedicated bureaucrat , superbly efficient , apolitical ; the epitome of the 'noble spy' .

The reality is that 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield was a drunken old pervert , ruthless and vicious , who used his position as the man who knew where everybody's 'skeletons' were buried to manipulate people in much the way J Edgar Hoover used his job as FBI head to spy on generations of American politicians and keep himself in power . Oldfield was frequently drunk , as he was when arrested in Comber by the RUC.

He had been a heavy drinker since his days as a spy in the Middle East during the War ; he was an advocate of torture or " robust methods " as he preferred to call it , and of " terminating people with extreme prejudice " , as the British Secret Service calls assassination.......