Monday, November 29, 2004

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

....... the 'PR' system of voting was intended to confuse the 'uneducated Irish' ; Westminster assumed that 'Paddy' would not bother voting at all , or would do so wrongly and spoil same by mistake . But it did'nt work out like that .......

'Paddy' learned the new system , and spread the word . But the Brits did not just bank on the Irish being 'too stupid' regarding the 'Proportional Representation' voting procedure in the election - they used their 'old methods' , too ; the Sinn Fein organisation had already been banned (on 3rd July 1918) and the country was under martial law .

Those who were declared as Sinn Fein candidates were , if caught by the British , 'arrested' and deported out of the country . Leaflets and posters belonging to Sinn Fein candidates were confiscated and newspapers were notified that they would be put out of business should they publish Sinn Fein statements , manifestos etc . The British had a lot to lose - since the victory for Sinn Fein in the 1918 General Election , the British had claimed that it was their introduction of the 'Military Services Bill' (conscription - on 16th April 1918) which had turned people against them and into the 'arms' of Sinn Fein .

Westminster further stated that the 1918 election victory did not give the Irish a mandate to establish their own parliament and that the IRA war against British forces in Ireland went against what the majority in Ireland wanted . The then up-coming 15th January 1920 elections were to be pivotal for both sides .......


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 .
[18 of 18].

" We pay a special tribute to the families of our dead comrades - you have suffered greatly and with immense dignity . Your loved ones , our comrades and friends , were and would be very proud of you for standing by them . No tribute is too great .

Also , we give a special mention to those families who could not bear to watch their loved ones die in pain and agony ; we prisoners understand the pressure you were under and stand by you . We thank the National H-Block/Armagh Committee , the H-Block movement , the nationalist people of Ireland , and all those who championed our cause abroad - we are indebted to you and ask you to continue your good work on our behalf .

Lastly we reaffirm our committment to the achievement of the five demands by whatever means we believe necessary and expedient . We rule nothing out . Under no circumstances are we going to devalue the memory of our dead comrades by submitting ourselves to a dehumanising and degrading regime . "

[END of 'Why We Ended The Hunger-Strike...'].
(Tomorrow - ' Release Nicky Kelly ...' - from 1982.)

By Derek Dunne .
First published in 'Magill' magazine , October 1985 , pages 9,10 and 11.
Re-published here in 13 parts.
(2 of 13).

Dominic McGlinchey is currently appealing his conviction for the murder of Hester McMullan in County Antrim in March of 1977 . Part of the evidence used to convict him was his affidavit used in High Court hearings in the 'republic' ; these were handed over to the RUC without the knowledge of McGlinchey or his legal advisers .

Another extraditee , Seamus Shannon , was handed over to the RUC in July 1984 ; at a bail hearing in the High Court , Detective Inspector McGann of the RUC in Belfast said that the Book of Evidence against Seamus Shannon " has been prepared " and that the " authorities are in a position to proceed . " Fourteen months later , the case has still not come to trial .

No evidence was presented in the 'republic' to link Shannon with the offences he was wanted in connection with - the killing of Sir Norman Stronge and his son James in County Armagh in January 1981 .......