Monday, December 27, 2004

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

....... in 1924 , the Free Staters in Leinster House requested that Westminster set-up the Boundary Commission , as agreed by all sides in the 1921 Treaty of Surrender . The Unionists in Stormont stated that they would have no part in it , so Westminster decided that they would speak on behalf of Stormont ; an action which , in itself , broke that Treaty .......

However - the Brits turned to a friend of 'Sir' James Craig , a Mr. J.R. Fisher , and 'nominated' him as the Stormont representative to the Boundary Commission . Fisher was known by Westminster to be ' a safe pair of hands ' . It should be noted that Chairperson Feetham was also the Westminster nominee to the Boundary Commission !

The Free Staters in Leinster House choose Eoin MacNeill as their representative to that body ; MacNeill was the co-founder of the 'Gaelic League' in 1893 (with Douglas Hyde) , an organisation which grew within thirteen years to a huge size ; at least 100,000 members in 900 branches throughout the island . The same man was , in 1916 , the nominal head of the Rebels and was known as a good organiser - however , he was not known as a good , or aggressive , negotiator .

When Michael Collins and his supporters were attempting to 'sell' the December 1921 Treaty to their own side , they made a big deal of the Boundary Commission clause in that Treaty and in particular the part of it which stated that the 'border' could be adjusted " in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants ... " Now , three years later (on 6th November 1924) , Eoin MacNeill was sitting at the table of the newly-established Boundary Commission at its first meeting , which was held in London .

MacNeill stated that the majority of the inhabitants of Tyrone and Fermanagh , and possibly Derry , South Down and South Armagh would prefer their areas to be incorporated into the Free State rather than remain as they were ie 'on the other side of the border' , under British jurisdiction .

The two other members of the Boundary Commission , J. R. Fisher (a former Editor of 'The Northern Whig' pro-British newspaper) and Chairperson Feetham - both appointed by Westminster - then disputed with Eoin MacNeill what the term " in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants ... " actually meant .......


... and Maggie is still on their hit list .

Twenty years into their campaign against the British Army , the IRA is still as far from victory , or defeat , as ever . Now , its leaders talk exclusinely about their plans .
Margaret Thatcher is still a target , so are some members of the British Royal family , while attacks on British forces in continental Europe will continue . Peace is out , says a spokesman , there is nothing to be gained from a ceasefire .

By Derek Dunne .
First published in 'NOW' magazine , volume 1 , No. 4 , October 1989 , pages 5 and 6 .
Re-published here in 10 parts .
( 1 of 10).

Asked about the prospects of a ceasefire , the IRA spokesman said -

" Nobody is obsessed with the continuation of the armed struggle . The IRA leadership has the authority to call a ceasefire if it so wishes . The fact is that there is no demand and nothing to be gained from a ceasefire . There is no one who is opposed to ceasefires if they are productive , but the IRA is not responsible for the present log-jam , not responsible for the continuing presence of British troops on the streets .

The IRA is not responsible for differences between the nationalist community and the unionist community , and if the IRA was to call a ceasefire things would degenerate . The nationalist community would find themselves in a worse position . People would be demoralised and disillusioned , and the Brits would interpret it as a signal of defeat . So ceasefires don't feature on our agenda . We have already tried them and they have'nt worked .

They have'nt worked because the British were not sincere about wanting peace . Why don't the people who call upon us to have a ceasefire start calling on the British to ceasefire ? "

He said Margaret Thatcher is still an IRA target because of " the role she has played in British policy ; she has all the appearances of ruthlessly pursuing the British policy of occupation in the North and any person who is involved in the British establishment and has responsibility for what is happening in Ireland can consider themselves a target ....... "



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 .
(9 of 31).

NORAID's returns for the following six months - January 29th 1973 , to July 29th 1973 - show another decline , with only $123,000 reported , and the figures for 1974 show that NORAID collected $211,000 for the entire year , much less than fund-raising for only the first six months of 1972 .

Throughout the rest of the decade the returns filed showed a steady decline ; however , the accuracy of these figures remains a matter of dispute . Initially , the INAC sent the money to Ireland in cash amounts ranging from $1,500 to $11,000 . For instance , in the six-month period after Bloody Sunday , NORAID registered thirty disburseents , twenty-five of them marked as having been hand-delivered in cash to Joe Cahill .

The U.S. Justice Department maintains that such cash payments were only those that NORAID chose to register , and that many more were made that the Committee simply did not report .......