Monday, December 20, 2004

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

....... Voices were raised at a meeting to discuss the Boundary Commission , held on 2nd February 1922 ; the meeting broke down abruptly with no agreement reached . However , the Unionists claimed that the meeting was a success from their point of view , while Michael Collins (speaking for the Free Staters) claimed that that same meeting was a success from their point of view .......

The (pro-British) Unionists were told that the Boundary Commission was only set-up to ease the passage of the 1921 Treaty of Surrender amongst hesitant (soon-to-be , at the time) Free Staters who , in turn , were told by the Brits (and by Collins and other Free State leaders) that the Boundary Commission would eventually conclude that two or three of the (British partitioned and occupied) Six Counties would be 'returned' to the Free State thereby making the remaining (British occupied) counties unviable for Westminster to maintain , financially and militarily .

Indeed , the whole episode is somewhat reminisent , in this scribblers mind anyway , of Gerry Adams and the 'T.U.A.S.' document , which was issued (on behalf of the Provo leadership) during one of the many 'discussions' (in 1994 / 1995) with the Brits and the Free Staters : those latter two groups were told by Adams that the PIRA-approved 'T.U.A.S.' method meant seeking a United Ireland by a Totally Un-Armed Strategy , whereas Adams' own cannon-fodder , PIRA volunteers , were assured that 'T.U.A.S.' stood for Tactial Use of Armed Struggle !

Adams and his colleagues in the Provo leadership had learned well from their tete-a-tetes with their pay-masters ! However - end of that small 'tangent' ; when (pro-Brit) Stormont 'Prime Minister' , 'Sir' James Craig , heard of Michael Collins' boast (ie " We'll get back almost half of the Six Counties ...") he 'lost the head' - Westminster was told "... there will be bloodshed and chaos .." .......



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 .
(7 of 11).

June 12th , 1981 . Sarah Begley , 43 years of age , Unity Fats , Belfast . Shot by the RUC . Sarah was hit from close range . She suffered a broken jaw and sixty stitches to her face , and may lose her left eye if follow-up surgery is not successful . She was going in the door of her flat when hit .

June 17th , 1981 . Michael McAlorum , 10 years of age , Turf Lodge , Belfast . Shot from passing British Army armoured car . Michael was playing with his friends when hit . He received a depressed fractured skull in the incident .

June 25th , 1981 . McKevin family , Moyard , Belfast . A plastic bullet was fired into their home while they were sleeping .

July 8th , 1981 *: day of Joe McDonnell's death . Nora McCabe , 29 years of age , mother-of-three , Belfast . Her brother , Patrick Cosgrove , is in H5-Block , Long Kesh . Shot from passing RUC vehicle while walking near the Belfast National H-Block/Armagh Committee Office . Hit in the head at close range , Nora died afterwards . She was shot a hundred yards from her home and was not near any rioting .



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 .
(4 of 31).

Originally , NORAID was linked with an organisation called the 'Northern Aid Committee' , based in Belfast ; this , in turn , had been set-up by the Republicans in the wake of the riots in 1969 . Joe Cahill and another leading IRA man , Sean Keenan , from Derry , were its sponsors . It was supposed to handle the money sent from NORAID .

After a few years , the Belfast Northern Aid Committee was replaced by the Green Cross , which was part of An Cumann Cabhrach , the organisation for dependents of IRA prisoners . NORAID has always maintained that its relationship is with these organisations and not directly with the IRA . NORAID's purpose , insists Michael Flannery , - " was to help and clothe the people of the North . " But he says that " we have no stipulations as to how the money we send is to be spent . "

At the same time , he denies that the money goes to buy weapons for the IRA : " I am heart and soul behind the IRA , " he asserts easily , " we should be shouting IRA from every housetop . It's the only way peace will come to Ireland . " But he is quick to add - " At no time in the present have I had any connection with the IRA . " He admits he met with Daithi O Conaill and others , but only as representatives of Sinn Fein , the 'political wing of the IRA' , of which O Conaill was a Vice-President .......