" 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...!


Thursday, December 23, 2004

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

....... a row had broken-out between the Irish and British negotiating teams who were attempting to put together the 1921 'Treaty of Surrender' - the disagreement was over the form of words to be used in an 'Oath of Allegiance' which the Brits had demanded that the Irish should take . Both sides submitted proposals , but this led to further rows ; eventually , one of those on the Irish side , Gavan Duffy , could take no more .......

Gavan Duffy stood up at the negotiating table and stated - " Our difficulty is to come into the Empire , looking at all that has happened in the past . " With that , one of the Brits , Austen Chamberlain , is reported to have leapt to his feet and shouted " That ends it ! " ; negotiations closed down . That was around early/mid October 1921 - 'feelers' were put out by both camps , and the talking started again , and continued until Monday 5th December 1921 when the then British Prime Minister , Lloyd George , announced to the Irish side that he had written two letters , one of which would now be sent to his people in Ireland ; one letter told of a peaceful outcome to the negotiations , the other told of a breakdown in the negotiations - Lloyd George stated that if he sent the latter one " ... it is war ,
and war within three days . Which letter am I to send ? "

That 'War Letter' meeting took place on the afternoon of Monday 5th December 1921 ; at around 7pm that same evening , the Irish team left that Downing Street meeting to discuss the matter between themselves and returned to Downing Street later that night - at ten minutes past two on the morning of Tuesday 6th December 1921 , Michael Collins and his team accepted 'Dominion status' and an Oath which gave " allegiance " to the Irish Free State and " fidelity " to the British Crown - the Treaty was signed . Within six months a Civil War was raging in Ireland , between the British-supported Free Staters and the Irish Republicans who did not accept that 'Treaty' . And , today , 83 years after that signing , the struggle continues ...

However - that was the 1921 Treaty of Surrender - included in which , under Article 12 , was an 'agreement' to establish a Boundary Commission .......

(MORE LATER).


PLASTIC BULLETS.......

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 .
(10 of 11).

August 21st , 1981 . Martin O'Neill , 9 years of age , Ardoyne , Belfast . Shot by RUC at twenty-five yards range . Martin was struck in the face ; luckily , the plastic bullet only grazed him and he 'escaped' with a large graze and acute shock .

August 21st , 1981 . Dermot Gallagher , 11 years of age , Twinbrook , Belfast . Shot by British soldier ; Dermot was nowhere near a riot but was returning home from his local shop . His skull was fractured by the bullet .

August 21st , 1981 . Moya Quinn , 15 years of age , from Dermott Hill , Belfast . Shot by RUC ; Moya was badly bruised about the neck .

August 28th , 1981 . Paul Corr , 12 years of age , Beechmount , Belfast . Shot by British Royal Marine Commandos from a passing open-back landrover . The downward-travelling plastic bullet hit Paul on the side of his nose tearing part of it off and carried on down to the roof of his mouth , shattering and ripping out his pallet and driving his teeth down into his mouth . Paul was coming home from his local sweet shop when shot . There was no riot going on in the area .

Most of these people , young and old , were shot in non-riot situations ; many more are hit and receive treatment secretly because of fear of harassment . Thousands survive with lesser but painful injuries - thousands more are lucky enough not to be hit . Many British soldiers and RUC men 'doctor' their plastic bullets by inserting razor blades , jagged bottle tops and slivers of glass .

Most people are shot with these terrible weapons in a casual manner - no British soldier or RUC man has ever been charged for misuse of these weapons .......

(MORE LATER).


NORAID'S UNTOLD MILLIONS .......

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 .
(7 of 31).

When NORAID registered with FARA initially it named the Northern Aid Committee , Belfast , as its principal . But as NORAID's activities in America increased throughout the early 1970's , the 'Justice and State Departments' adopted a more stringent attitude towards it , and stepped up their investigation of the Committee in order to demonstrate that it was in fact acting under the control of the IRA .

According to Michael Flannery , NORAID " spread like wildfire ... " in the first years of its existence . However , its initial effort to get money across to Ireland was marred by failure ; the first cheque , for $2,500 , was sent through a New York bank - it never arrived . NORAID claims the bank destroyed it because it was told the money was for " subversive purposes ... " .

The Committee collected clothes as well as money ; Aer Lingus transported the clothes - " They took tons of clothes for us , " according to Michael Flannery , " hundreds of blankets , baby clothing direct from the manufacturers . " But he explains that the Aer Lingus clothes shipments stopped after some of the garments were damaged because the airline had the cargo fumigated .

(MORE LATER).