Thursday, December 16, 2004

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

....... the British Prime Minister , Lloyd George , stated (in December 1921) that the Boundary Commission might very well find that two of the partitioned Six Counties in Ireland , Fermanagh and Tyrone , should join the Free State ; the Unionists were outraged . The brother of the Stormont 'Prime Minister' replied to Lloyd George .......

... " Our Northern area will be so cut-up and mutilated that we shall no longer be masters in our own house . The decision of that Commission may be a matter of life and death to us . I submit to the Prime Minister that he had no right to do that and that he was in honour-bound not to allow such a Commission to appear in this document by the promise he had given to the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland . "

The Stormont ' Minister for Education ' , British 'Lord' Londonderry , the 'Marquis of Londonderry' (a 'landowner', who was also involved with coal-mines [as an owner , not a worker!] in Durham , England : he was later to become 'Leader' of the British 'House of Lords') stated (in the 'House of Lords') -

- " All that I would say now is that it may be necessary for the government of Northern Ireland (sic) to refuse to nominate a representative on the proposed Boundary Commission and that , if by its findings any part of the territory transferred to us under the Act of 1920 is placed under the Free State , we may have to consider very carefully and very anxiously the measures which we shall have to adopt , as a government , for the purpose of assisting Loyalists whom your Commission may propose to transfer to the Free State but who may wish to remain with us , with Great Britain and the Empire . "

At a meeting between Michael Collins and the Stormont 'Prime Minister' , British 'Sir' James Craig , on 2nd February 1922 , voices were raised over this issue .......



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 .
(5 of 11).

May 21st , 1981 . Day of deaths of Patsy O'Hara and Ray McCreesh ; Margaret McElorum , 15 years of age , New Lodge , Belfast . Shot by British soldier . Wounded in small of back . Margaret was just approaching an open-air prayer meeting when shot .

May 21st , 1981 . Marie McKernan , 15 years of age , Markets , Belfast , and Kathleen Hanna , 24 years of age , mother of two - both shot by British soldiers in same incident . Marie suffered bruising to her chest , Kathleen received twelve stitches to her head .

May 21st , 1981 * . Harry Duffy , 45 years of age , Creggan , Derry . Hit by two bullets fired by British soldiers while coming home from local bar . His skull was split wide open by the second bullet . He suffered a massive coronary due to the loss of most of his blood . Harry was buried on the day his three youngest children made their holy communion .

May 22nd , 1981 . Tommy Cupples , 32 years of age , Short Strand , Belfast . Shot three times by RUC . Wounded in eyes , arms , thighs and buttocks . Thirty stitches in head . Suffered subsequent epileptic fits .

May 22nd , 1981 . Rosaleen McGee , mother of three , Grosvenor Road , Belfast . Shot by RUC . Her right arm was shattered . Rosaleen was taking part in a peaceful protest when shot .

May 22nd , 1981 . Margaret McDonald , Falls , Belfast . Shot from two yards by RUC . She was wounded in her stomach and will require a skin graft .

May 22nd , 1981 . Brendan McNally , Markets , Belfast . Arrested after bullets were fired through the door of his home . The next night his wife and children were threatened by British Army soldiers armed with riot guns .



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 .
(2 of 31).

Daithi O Conaill arrived in New York in late 1969 / early 1970 ; his history of IRA involvement went back to 1955 , when , at the age of fifteen , he first joined the Republican Movement . As with Joe Cahill , there was no doubt about which course O Conaill would take when the choice had to be made between preparing for an active military campaign or following the political road .

The aims of building a support network and re-activating the arms supply were kept separate ; they had to be - fund-raising is a public activity , for it needs to appeal to as broad a base of support as possible . The IRA men had in mind an organisation rather like the 'Friends of Irish Freedom' , which had collected money and gathered support for the IRA during its war against the British from 1919 to 1921 . When Daithi O Conaill came to New York in the spring of 1970 he wanted to meet Irish Americans who would be able to help build such an organisation .

One of the first he spoke with was Michael Flannery .......