" 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 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION , 1921-1925 .......
A British 'sleight-of-hand' which caused a mutiny within British forces in Ireland.......

....... the Boundary Commission was to consist of three members - one from each Administration ; Dublin , Stormont and Westminster .......

The Westminster representative was to be the Chairperson of the Boundary Commission and , because of this and its circumscribed ' terms of reference ' it was a 'toothless' body but , even so , the Unionists were incensed - the (pro-British) Stormont 'Prime Minister' , 'Sir' James Craig (a 'landowner' and shareholder in the family whiskey business , ' Dunvilles Distillery ') wrote to the British Prime Minister , Lloyd George , on 14th December 1921 , completely rejecting any notion of a Boundary Commission as said body might judge that two of the Six partitioned Counties , Fermanagh and Tyrone " ... might be lost to the North.." due to a strong 'headcount' of Republicans / Nationalists in those two counties .

Lloyd George defended the Boundary Commission , saying - " There is no doubt , certainly since the Act of 1920 [ ie the so-called 'Government of Ireland Act' - two 'Home Rule Parliaments' for Ireland] that the majority of the people of the two counties prefer being with their Southern neighbours to being in the Northern parliament . Take it either by constituency or by poor law union or , if you like , by counting heads , and you will find that the majority in these two counties prefer to be with their Southern neighbours .

If Ulster (sic) is to remain a separate community , you can only by means of coercion keep them there and , although I am against the coercion of Ulster , (sic) I do not believe in Ulster (sic) coercing other units . "

That set 'the cat among the pigeons' ; the Unionist leadership were outraged at Lloyd Georges' comments , no doubt seeing them as Westminster preparing to 'wash its hands' of the 'troublesome Irish' or at least sending a signal (to the Free Staters) that it was of a mind to do so : the brother of the Stormont 'Prime Minister' was first with a reply to that statement by Lloyd George -

- and , in his reply , he spoke of a " matter of life and death " and challenged the authority of Westminster to do as it apparently intended to do .......



First published in 'IRIS' Magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .
In April 1981, 1,955 plastic bullets were fired - a rate of one every 20 minutes over the month . This was more than in the whole of 1980 .
Plastic bullets do not arouse the indignation that normal bullets excite . Over 7,000 have been fired since the death of Bobby Sands (ie May 1981 - November 1981) .
The intent of the British is that the mass protests can be shot off the streets without international opinion responding , as it would to news of large numbers of civilians being shot-up with buck shot or live rounds in , for example , South Africa .

Cases since April 1981 ; ' * ' denotes plastic bullet death .
Re-published here in 11 parts .
(4 of 11).

May 15th , 1981 . Paul Lavelle , 15 years of age , Ardoyne , Belfast . Shot at point-blank range in the head after being dragged up a side street by British soldiers . Serious head injuries .

May 15th , 1981 . Joseph Mullan , 11 years of age , Ballymurphy , Belfast . Shot from rear of British armoured car .

May 15th , 1981 . Damien McKenna , 19 years of age , Beechmount , Belfast . Shot by British soldier , received ten stitches in right ear . No riot was going on in the area .

May 17th , 1981 . Sarah Wildy , grandmother , St. James , Belfast . Shot by British soldier from armoured car . Severe bruising to stomach .

May 19th , 1981 . Kevin McLoughlin , 13 years of age , Whiterock , Belfast . Shot from British armoured car . Suffered severe head injuries . Kevin was sitting on a fence near his home when shot .

May 19th , 1981 * . Carol-Ann Kelly , 12 years of age , Twinbrook , Belfast . Shot by British soldiers from rear of jeeps . Carol-Ann was knocked unconscious by the plastic bullet . The British Army delayed the arrival of an ambulance for fifteen minutes ; due to the resultant loss of blood Carol-Ann died three days later in hospital . She was shot while carrying messages home for her mother . A neighbour , Kathleen Robinson , said - " This young child was shot for absolutely no reason . There was no trouble in the area at the time . "



Irish-Americans have long had complex and contradictory relations with Ireland and the 'Irish Question' . On Saint Patrick's Day , all the ambiguities are apparent .
This year (ie 1987) , on Saint Patrick's Day , the latest book by Irish writer , Jack Holland was published in New York , exploring the tangled web of links between Irish-Americans and the Irish in Ireland , the IRA and the Irish government .

' The American Connection ' describes the activities of leading Irish-American politicians , of romanticising writers and of gun-runners .
In this edited extract , the author tells how Noraid was set up and how it has resisted pressures to disclose all the sources and uses of its funds .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1987 .
Re-published here in 31 parts .
(1 of 31).

The only hint of vanity about Michael Flannery is the rather incongruous slick of sandy hair that curls above his forehead . He is set very much in the mould of a Catholic stoic . He neither drinks nor smokes , and he attends mass every morning at eight in his local church in Jackson Heights , Queens , in New York .

A former life-insurance salesman , Michael Flannery goes about his business in a quiet and undemonstrative way ; when ideological troubles shook James Heaney's organisation , the 'American Congress for Irish Freedom ' in the late 1960's , Flannery left to form his own organisation , the ' Irish Action Committee ' . Like many similar Irish-American organisations preceding it , this committee set out to raise support for the increasingly embattled Irish nationalists .

In late 1969 , both factions of the IRA wanted to win support in America ; it was the leaders of the Provisional wing which made the greatest inroads , however , and utilised the potential energy beginning to emerge among Irish Americans anxious and angry at the course of events . In late 1969 and early 1970 two leading IRA men came to America - they had two aims : to meet with influential Irish Americans who were sympathetic to the Cause and who would help raise money for it , and to re-activate the arms network that had atrophied since the 1950's . Daithi O'Conaill and Joe Cahill were veterans of the IRA's struggle ; Cahill , a Belfast man , was the older , with an IRA record going back to the late 1930's .......