" 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!

Monday, November 15, 2004

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

....... on 21st January , 1919 (the same day that the 32-County Dail Eireann met for the first time) , two RIC men were shot dead in an 'unauthorised' IRA attack in Soloheadbeg in County Tipperary ; the IRA Active Service Unit involved was led by Dan Breen and Sean Treacy - Breen was called in front of the leadership to explain his actions .......

Dan Breen recalled that meeting , and said that he explained to the leadership that the target that day was the cartload of gelignite , not the RIC men who were guarding it . He later told his comrades -

- " If we were to have waited for orders from Headquarters or Dail Eireann , nothing would ever have happened . We had had enough of being pushed around and getting our men imprisoned while we remained inactive . It was high time that we did a bit of the pushing . We considered that this business of getting in and out of jail was leading us nowhere . "

The response to the shooting of the two RIC men was mixed - Michael Collins stated - " The sooner fighting is forced and a general state of disorder created throughout the country , the better it will be for the country . Ireland is likely to get more out of a general state of disorder than from a continuance of the situation as it now stands . "

Dan Breen himself wrote - " The clergy , the public and the press had unanimously condemned our action . At this time , scarce a word would be heard in our defence . Our former friends shunned us . Even from the Irish Volunteers , who were now known as the Irish Republican Army , we got no support . " ('1169 ...' comment - this scribbler , for one , is genuinely puzzled as to why anyone would take that attitude with a person who had 'had a go' at the enemy ; either in those days [ie 1919] or today ; same enemy , same issue , and the same way of dealing with it ...)

At that particular moment , had the Brits exploited the situation , ie 'played it smart' , they could have used those divisions within Irish Republicanism to their own advantage - but did they ? .......


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 .
(8 of 18).

" On August 20th , 1981 , Owen Carron was elected (to fill Bobby Sands' seat) with an increased majority as proxy political prisoner MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone . Even so , the British premier , Margaret Thatcher , again spurned this mandate for we political prisoners and with encouragement from Dr. Garret Fitzgerald (Free State 'Taoiseach') she went further , by refusing even to meet with Owen Carron MP to discuss the continuing spiral , and gruesome spectre , of death .

On August 20th , 1981 , Micky Devine was the tenth hunger-striker to die ; mounting pressure and cleric-inspired demoralisation led to further intervention and , at present , five hunger-strikers have been taken off their fast . We accept that it is almost a physical and pyschological impossibility to recommence hunger-strike after intervention ; also , two men ended their fast to avoid a premature , non- hunger-striking death . "


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 .
(11 of 13).

Patrick McIntyre is on the run ; we meet in a nondescript suburban room . McIntyre's physical appearance has not altered since the Donegal court hearings - maybe he is a little less fidgety , but he speaks in a soft voice which frequently quivers . The sentiments are resolute .

He was sleeping when the gardai came to the house in south Donegal , he says : " I gave the surname of the people who own the house but they did'nt believe me . They said I was Patrick McIntyre . "

Yet the evidence given by gardai in court suggested that the prisoner was not positively identified until solicitor John Murray named him in Ballyshannon garda station . It was also stated that the detectives went to Kilcar after a 'tip-off' that an armed man or men had been seen in the area . It appears the gardai were not aware they would find Patrick McIntyre in the house ...

It has not been possible to establish whether they knew him by sight ; they seem to have 'struck lucky' - and then got the procedure wrong .......