IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......
....... Ireland , January 1919 - two RIC men had been shot dead in Tipperary by an IRA Unit - the 'Establishment' closed ranks and loudly condemned the killings , while the IRA and its political supporters were themselves divided over the operation . The Brits could have moved in , using that division against the Republican Movement .......
....... but they did'nt ; instead , they used a 'sledgehammer' where a 'pin hammer' would have yielded better results for them . They cracked-down all over the place : certain newspapers were banned , Sinn Fein meetings were broke-up , and speakers and members of the public at same were 'arrested' - in short , they attempted to 'bully' the population into turning their back on the Rebels but the people , in turn , disgusted with the Brits, went to the Movement for protection . The Brits were themselves 'setting the stage' for their own downfall in the local elections which were then less than a year away .
Local elections were held every three years in Ireland , with those elected forming an 'area' Council which administered the amount of rates etc to be levied in return for services for that particular town or city ; these 'area' (or 'Local') Councils reported to the British 'Local Government Board' , a Department within the British Dublin Castle Administration which , in turn , took its orders (and any 'shortfall' in funds !) from Westminster .
Westminster realised that public opinion was running against them in Ireland , but did not want to 'fan' those feeling's by cancelling or postponing the Local Elections - so they went with 'Plan B' : the 'Proportional Representation' (PR) system of voting , which , they hoped , would secure victory for their preferred candidates .......
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 .
(9 of 18).
" The situation exists at present that a considerable majority of present hunger-strikers' families have indicated that they will intervene and under these circumstances we feel that the hunger-strike must , for tactical reasons , be suspended .
We feel that it is of paramount importance that the political revelations , lessons , and consequences of the hunger-strike are recognised and perpetuated in the minds , the hearts and demeanour of the nationalist population of Ireland .
One of the primary lessons to emerge from this second hunger-strike is that the nationalist community is politically inconsequential and impotent in the context of the six-county statelet .... "
ONE THAT GOT AWAY .......
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 .
(12 of 13).
As Patrick McIntyre says - " The situation I'm in now prevents me from walking around in this country . I am not wanted for anything in this jurisdiction ; I am being sought for things related to the British administration . If the Birmingham Six were in the 26 Counties now , they could and would be extradited . If the British issue warrants for any person's extradition , the request will come before the Irish courts and the person opposing it must pay his own costs . "
The free legal aid scheme does not apply to extradition cases ; costs in the Patrick McIntyre case , expected to run into several thousand pounds , will be paid by Sinn Fein .......