" 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 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......

....... an interesting 'tangent' re the election of Tomas MacCurtain in January 1920 to the position of Lord Mayor in Cork ; on the 3rd January 1940 , Tomas MacCurtain Junior (Tomas Og) was jumped-on in Cork by Free State Branch men - a gunshot was fired in the scuffle .......

... a Free State Detective , by the name of Roche , fell to the ground - he was fatally wounded and died the next day . On 13th June 1940 , the Free State 'Special Criminal Court' sentenced Tomas Og MacCurtain to death - sentence to be carried-out on 5th July 1940 . An application for 'Habeas Corpus' was lodged and the execution was postponed for a week , but the Free State Supreme Court then dismissed the appeal .

The whole country was divided over the issue - some demanded that MacCurtain be put to death immediately as a 'sign' from the Fianna Fail administration that they were serious about 'cracking-down' on their former comrades in the IRA , while others demanded that he be released . Finally , on 10th July 1940 , the Free Staters issued a statement -

- " The President , acting on the advice of the government , has commuted the sentence of death on Tomas MacCurtain to penal servitude for life . " It has since been alleged that a sister of Cathal Brugha's widow had intervened on behalf of Tomas Og MacCurtain to get his death sentence overturned .......


By Vincent Browne .

First published in 'Magill' magazine , April 1982 , pages 4 and 5 .
Re-published here in 8 parts .
(2 of 8).

Nicky Kelly's own version , given in evidence , of what happened him in Garda custody is as follows ; we have deleated the names of the Gardai from his account -

- " (Garda A) rammed my head off the locker door . Some of the Brits treatment . Spreadeagled . Jabbed in ribs , slapped in face , legs kicked . Lights switched off . Placed behind door . Spreadeagled . Door pushed in . Collision . Ended up on ground . Once on floor refused to get up . Hair pulled . Hit on back . Frightened more than hurt . Taken upstairs by (Garda A) . Smell of drink off him .

Corner of cell . Toilet . Grabbed by hair . 'Tomorrow - long day'. Shoved head 5-6 times down toilet , did'nt wet face . Taken out of cell by (Garda A) . To wall - out of sight of cell . Short delay . Knee in groin . Caught in thigh . Spat in face . Back to cell . 5 minutes there . (Garda A) - 'Eventually you'll talk'.

(Garda A) hit me back of ears after wrong answers . Telephone ears 10 times . (Garda B) slapped in face and arms . (Garda C and Garda D) punched , punched . Fell to ground . (Garda D) hit me with chair - not much force ....... "


By Derek Dunne .
First published in 'Magill' magazine , October 1985 , pages 9,10 and 11.
Re-published here in 13 parts.
(4 of 13).

In November 1980 , John Patrick Quinn passed off more than £10,000 in travellers' cheques ; some of the cheques were passed off in Barclay's Bank in Russell Square in London . The money was passed on to a fellow member of the INLA , to which Quinn belonged at the time , for that organisation .

In April 1981 , Quinn's fingerprints were taken in Dublin - two months later , the travellers' cheques that had been passed in London were sent to the Fingerprint Section in Britain for examination . In March 1982 , a warrant was issued at Horseferry Magistrates Court for Quinn's extradition - the warrant was endorsed in Dublin and Quinn was arrested .

He then went into the High Court claiming that the offence was political and that he was exempt from extradition . The Supreme Court significantly altered its interpretation of the law - Chief Justice Finlay stated that " This court cannot , it seems to me ... grant immunity from extradition to a person charged with an offence , the admitted purpose of which is to facilitate the overthrow by violence of the Constitution and of the organs of state established thereby . "

This was in stark contrast to what the same Chief Justice Finlay had said about Fr. Brendan Burns , a priest who told the court he was holding 130 sticks of gelignite for the IRA .......