Wednesday, December 29, 2004

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

....... Eoin MacNeill , the Free State representative on the Boundary Commission , was having no luck convincing the other two Commission members ( J.R. Fisher and Judge Feetham) that the 'border' should be 'adjusted' .......

MacNeill was now being told that the Boundary Commission would NOT reduce the boundaries of the Six County 'State' unless a majority of the people in said (gerrymandered) 'State' wanted it to , regardless of the wishes of area's within that 'State' which had a Nationalist / Republican majority . Eoin MacNeill supposedly argued his corner as best he could ( in a forum that was loaded against him) and reported his concerns to his fellow Free Staters in Leinster House , who more or less said to him - ' Ah , sure , do your best .... '

Those in Leinster House were 'comfortable' by now ; they had status , careers and a bright (personal) future ahead of them ; the 1916 Rising had taken place eight years ago , the Treaty of Surrender had been signed three years ago and now the Stormont 'Prime Minister' , 'Sir' James Craig , was threatening 'to cause more trouble' if the Boundary Commission recommended change - Craig had stated that the Unionists would not accept change and would fight to 'defend their territory' : a definate upset for the Leinster House 'apple-cart' . Craig had warned that " Ulster" (sic) was prepared to fight against anyone who would take away " ... the loved soil of Ulster from any of the Loyalists who want to remain there ... "

Also , the then 'Minister for Education' in the Stormont administration , 'Lord' Londonderry , who had opposed the Boundary Commission from day one , reminded both Leinster House and Westminster of the statement he issued in December 1921 when a Boundary Commission was first mooted ; he practically threatened all and sundry with war if a change to the Six County-area was proposed .......


... 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 .
( 3 of 10).

Asked about the threat to former British Ministers at Stormont , the IRA spokesperson said -

- " There would be no point in attacking these people for revenge sake only . If some of these people were attacked it would have to be on the basis that it was going to advance the struggle . That is , that it would represent a blow to the British establishment . It would undermine their capacity to protect key personnel , even though they no longer had direct association with policy on Ireland .

It would further frighten anyone who would think of taking up such a position in the future . There would be family pressures on them ; that would be the criteria . We'll keep them guessing . "

Asked about recent attacks on British forces on the Continent , the IRA spokesperson was vague about the number of its members involved , but said that the point of the attacks was to demonstrate that the British were not on top of the situation and to reinforce demands in Britain for a withdrawal from Ireland .......



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 .
(11 of 31).

Prominent politicans like U.S. Congressman Mario Biaggi of the Bronx are frequent guests at the New York NORAID function ; ticket prices for one of the 120-plus tables range from $40 to $400 and are almost always sold out , according to the organisers . All the proceeds , they say , are sent to the Prisoners' Dependents' fund , the Green Cross .

NORAID took root in places as diverse as Butte , Montana , where many of Irish descent work in the copper mines ; Cleveland , Ohio , where Mayo emigrants prepared the ground for its growth ; and on the West Coast in San Francisco , San Diego and Los Angeles , California , with an Irish-American population of about two million , was soon ranking third behind Pennsylvania in amounts contributed to its NORAID Chapter .

In a report in the 'Los Angeles Times' newspaper on 2nd February 1981 , the President of the Los Angeles NORAID Unit , Mike Fitzpatrick , claimed that his group raised as much as $10,000 a year through " house parties " ; then there's the pub collections .......