Thursday, November 11, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......

....... declared an " illegal assembly " by Westminster in September 1919 , the all-Ireland Dail Eireann went 'underground' and continued to function .......

'Land Banks' were established , which lent money to 'tenant' farmers to assist them in buying their farms , and 'Land Courts' were set-up to deal with disputes . Also , 'Arbitration Courts' (also known as 'Peoples Courts') , which came to be known as 'Sinn Fein Courts' , were flourishing - it was estimated that as many as 900 Irish Republican Courts were by then in operation .

These Irish Republican Courts were used by the ordinary people who had by now stopped going to the RIC or to British 'Courts' . A British 'landlord' wrote of his attendance at one such 'Sinn Fein Court' , where a dispute between two men on 'his' estate had been referred for resolution -

- " Here is one instance of many . A man stole a lot of harness belonging to a small farmer in the neighbourhood . The Sinn Fein Court tried him , convicted him and sentenced him to restore the harness , carrying it all himself , and making him take off his shoes and stockings and perform the task walking over a very rough and stony road for five miles . "

The all-Ireland Dail Eireann , although forced by the British to operate 'in the shadows' , was going from strength to strength ; Westminster was aware of that fact .......


Why We Ended The Hunger-Strike .
The full text of the H-Block Blanket Men's statement announcing the end of the 1981 Hunger-Strike .

First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2, November 1981 , pages 23 , 24 , 25 and 26 .
Re-published here in 18 parts .
(6 of 18).

" On July 13th , 1981 , we were shocked and dismayed to hear that Martin Hurson had been violently ill and had died unexpectedly and prematurely . The next significant development was the British government-sponsored intervention of the 'International Red Cross' (IRC) , which tried to initiate direct dialogue between the Brits and ourselves - the Brits rejected this and suggested mediation based on their July 8th statement , which was aimed at defeating us and unproductive , and we rejected this as futile .

We pointed out to the IRC that , as the Brits were not interested in an honourable settlement , their interest in the IRC must logically be to use them ; a Red Cross delegate asked for a further break-down of our July 4th statement and was initially refused . However , after discussion , we complied and issued the August 6th statement and asked the British government , the Dublin government , the SDLP and the Catholic Church to respond to our statement .

Soon Kieran Doherty , Kevin Lynch and Thomas McElwee were to be murdered by Britain ....... "


Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(9 of 13).

When the case came before District Justice mcMenamin again in Donegal town on January 14th , 1987 , he again heard Defence Counsel Patrick Gageby question the validity of the Section 30 extension ; but Judge McMenamin dismissed the arguments and granted the extradition order . An appeal was immediately lodged in the High Court .

McIntyre's case was becoming something of a cause celebre ; on March 10th , 1987 , when the Dail (sic) met to elect a Taoiseach , Independent Donegal TD (sic) , Neil Blaney , demanded that the extradition arrangements between Britain and Ireland " ... be repealed so that in the interim a young county man of mine , by name McIntyre not extradited ."

But when the case came before Mr Justice Gannon in the High Court last month (ie May 1987), Defence Counsel Patrick Gageby had further 'ammunition' - as well as the ruling in the McShane , McPhilips , Eccles (Drumree) case which included this phrase in relation to the person issuing extension orders ... "... is bona fide suspected by him of being involved in the offence for which he was arrested ... " , Gageby had the additional support of a Supreme Court ruling of April 3rd last .......

('1169...' Comment - We would like to congratulate Republican Sinn Fein on its 100th Ard Fheis this weekend , Saturday 13th November and Sunday 14th November . It has been a long and hard road for RSF , but that's as it has always been ...)