" 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, October 18, 2004

JULY 29th , 1848 : RIC , Firearms , Pikes - and Five Children .......

....... one of those who escaped from the battle at the Widow McCormicks house at Ballingarry , County Tipperary , on July 29th , 1848 , James Stephens , had made his way to Paris , France , but eventually returned to Ireland . In Dublin , on Saint Patricks Day (17th March) in 1858 , he helped to found the 'Irish Republican Brotherhood ' (IRB).......

James Stephens had learned of a better way in which to organise a secret society - his 'stay' in France had been spent studying the structures of anti-government organisations there , and the IRB (Ireland) and the Fenian Brotherhood (America) were established to consist of 'closed circles' , in which only one member was allowed to know only one other member of any other 'circle' , and all 'business' was to be conducted in public venues ie bars , restaurants , sporting events etc , instead of holding same , as had been done , in a room in an hotel or in a members house .

The new system worked - only months after its inception (ie towards the end of 1858) a young man named Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa , who worked for the Irish Republican Brotherhood , was caught in Cork with three or four other men , whom the RIC alleged were acting suspicious ; it was actually a 'swearing-in' ceremony which the RIC had discovered but , due to their lack of information (their informers knew nothing about it) the RIC let the men go , believing , as they were told by O'Donovan Rossa , that the group were discussing the possible establishment of a political grouping , to be called ' The Phoenix Society' !

However - the failed 'Young Ireland' Rising of 1848 , which began on July 29th that year , was dismissed by the British as " ...a farce.." - but it was that which came from the attempted Rising that was to prove the British wrong in that description .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

AISLINGI .......

"....... arriving in London on Active Service for the Irish Republican Brotherhood , Isle-of-Wight -born Tom Clarke , in his mid-twenties , was arrested by the British and sentenced to penal servitude for life ......."

" For 15 years and nine months , in the prisons of Chatham and Portland , Tom Clarke endured imprisonment without flinching ; 15 years and nine months of an incessant attempt , by the British , to deprive him of his life or reason . This torture did not cease with daylight and recommence on the following day ; it was maintained during the hours of darkness when even the vilest criminal was entitled to sleep and rest . But Tom Clarke and his comrades got neither sleep nor rest .

Cunning devices for producing continuous disturbing sounds were erected over their cells - these are described in his book 'Glimpses of an Irish Felon's Prison Life' . The relentless brutality at length drove two of his comrades , Whitehead and Gallagher , hopelessly insane . With John Daly , they were released in 1896 ; Daly had been arrested a year after Tom Clarke , and had hitherto shared the same prisons with him ; though kept apart , they had managed to communicate with each other now and again . The release of his friend was a sore loss to Tom Clarke who , for a further two years , had to endure alone an even more intensified form of torture .

Released in 1898 , he spent a short time in Limerick with his friend John Daly before returning to America where , in 1901 , he married Kathleen Daly , John Daly's daughter . With Devoy , he founded the 'Gaelic American' newspaper and , as its Assistant Editor , worked in New York until 1907 . Then he returned to Ireland and opened a newspaper shop at Parnell Street , Dublin .

It quickly became the meeting-place for Padraig Pearse and all that valiant company of a new generation who had also seen the Aisling ....... "


First published in 'AP/RN' , September 5th , 1981 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
(3 of 5).

" Irish Republicans have periodically contested elections in both six and twenty-six county states ; in 1917 , 1918 and 1919 , before partition , and from then until the 1950's and in 1964 , republicans contested elections on an abstentionist ticket . There is no reason now , where practical , as it appears in West Belfast , that republicans should not oppose nationalist collaboration .

If Sinn Fein contests this election the IRA will obviously whole-heartedly support their decision . Sinn Fein spokespersons and prisoners' supporters have demanded Gerry Fitt's resignation over the hunger-strike when it was obvious that Fitt was totally out of step with those whom he purported to represent .

There is an obvious need to give the people of West Belfast the opportunity of showing whether they support the politics of Gerry Fitt , the benign unionism of the SDLP or a republican candidate ..."