Tuesday, November 30, 2004

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

....... Ireland , 1920 - local (ie Council) elections were about to be held (15th January that year) ; the British claimed that the victory secured by the Sinn Fein organisation in the 1918 General Election would not be repeated . The Rebels were confident it would be .......

The result of the 15th January 1920 local elections proved Westminster wrong - Sinn Fein won control of 11 out of 12 cities and boroughs , and the 'outlawed' (underground) Dail Eireann (32 County body) directed all local council's in Ireland to break their connection with the (British) Dublin Castle system of local administration and , within months , most of the local councils in the country were reporting to the Republican administration .

The only municipal council in all Ireland left under Unionist control was in Belfast ; out of 206 Councils elected on the island , 172 now had a Republican/Nationalist majority . In Cork , Tomas MacCurtain was elected 'Lord Mayor' ; an interesting 'tangent' here - Tomas MacCurtain Junior [ the son of the previously-mentioned Republican Lord Mayor] was as involved in Irish Republican activities as his father was .

In Cork one day (3rd January 1940) , Tomas Junior (Tomas Og) was jumped-on by a number of Free State Special Branch men , who had decided to 'arrest' him - he fought with them and , in the scuffle , a gunshot was fired . A Free State Detective , by the name of Roche , fell to the ground .......


By Vincent Browne .

First published in 'Magill' magazine , April 1982 , pages 4 and 5 .
Re-published here in 8 parts .
(1 of 8).

Nicky Kelly , of Arklow , County Wicklow , is currently serving a 12-year jail sentence in Portlaoise Prison for an offence he did not commit , the Sallins mail train robbery in March 1976 . He is likely to go on hunger strike in prison within the next few weeks in protest against his conviction and , given his current mental state , he is very likely to at least do himself very considerabe damage , if not actually starve himself to death .

We hope to be able to publish in Magill within the next few months , proof of Nicky Kelly's innocence by showing how a group with which he was not associated were responsible for the robbery , but at this stage we wish to highlight some of the disquieting features of the police enquiry and the judical conduct of the case .

We have published on a number of previous occasions the evidence of Garda ill-treatment which Nicky Kelly and his co-defendants , Osgur Breathnach and Brian McNally allegedly suffered .......


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

Currently , an extradition treaty between Britain and the US is the subject of Senate hearings ; should the treaty be passed , it will have significant repercussions for IRA men claiming political asylum for offences committed against the security forces in the North . The basic requirement in American extraditions - that a 'prima facie' case exists - does not extend to the Extradition Act 1965 .

Absolutely no evidence need be shown to link the accused to the crime ; this glaring anomaly became particularly apparent earlier this year following the extradition of John Patrick Quinn to London . Quinn walked free from Horseferry Magistrates Court in London when all the charges for which he had been extradited were dismissed . The Director of Public Prosecutions in Britain immediately went into the High Court looking for what is known as a 'Voluntary Bill of Indictment'.

That 'Bill' would have allowed John Patrick Quinn to be put on trial in the Old Bailey . It was granted , and detectives rushed to arrest Quinn , and alerted all air and sea ports . They were ten minutes late : Quinn was already on a plane back to Dublin and thereafter to his home in Ballina .

The story of how John Patrick Quinn came to have the charges dismissed against him paints a picture of extraordinary bungling on the part of the British police .......