" 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.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. Ah well! Thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again next year!

Saturday, February 14, 2004

JACKIE GRIFFITH , 1921 - 1943 ; A STAUNCH REPUBLICAN .......



.......Back in Dublin in the early 1940's , Jackie Griffith was a member of the Dublin Brigade IRA ; his involvement was known by the Free Staters .......


When he was 21 years young( in 1942) he was jumped-on by at least three men in Benburb Street , in Dublin - he fought with them as best he could but was overpowered eventually . They were from the Special Branch (political police) and they arrested him . The Branchmen were apparently aware that , a few days before they jumped him , Jackie Griffith had , on behalf of the IRA , purchased a number of weapons from a Free State soldier who had removed them from the Free State Army Barracks at Islandbridge in Dublin .

His grandparents house in Ringsend was raided and about forty revolvers and ammunition for same was found ; Jackie Griffith was prosecuted before a Free State Military Court in Collins Barracks and was sentenced to thirty-three years in Mountjoy Jail .

He was not the only Republican prisoner in that prison at the time - and all wanted out to carry on the fight . A plan of escape was put together ....... (MORE LATER).



WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


INCHIGEELA.......




".......We were on our way - through the meadow , pass the small bog , and out on to the Lios Bui road at Judy's Gully......."


" We kept to the road , and passed southwards to Ahacunna and crossed the Toon Road and river at Doire Airgid Bridge . That lovely road led upwards through the rocks and groves of Doire Airgid , through Cluan Siar and Cooleen of the hazel glens , until it brought us out on the main Macroom-Inchigeela road at Ros Mor . Near here we met the others , who had preceded us , and we all moved on to Carraigacurra . Here some were directed to cross the River Lee and go westwards by the fields until they reached positions immediately across the road from the RIC Barracks .

With these went my uncle and I . The others went on to the village to meet some men from Ballingeary and to close in from the north and west . Groups were detached to block roads and hold the barricades against enemy interference . The RIC Barracks , a detached building , stood on the road side , facing east . It overlooked a field across the road from it . We came from the southern side of that field and passed by the front of the barracks , sheltered by the road fence . With two others , I was allotted a position in a gateway , with a slanting view of the front of the barracks . My uncle was nearer the barracks , behind the road fence . We had got into our places silently and no one was the wiser .

It had been impressed on every man engaged in the actual encircling movement that no one was to make a move which would betray our presence to the enemy ......." (MORE LATER).



THE BUTCHER BOYS .



FROM THE BOOK ' The Shankill Butchers : A Case Study of Mass Murder ' , by Martin Dillon . Published by HUTCHINSON .

(Reviewed by Niall O'Flynn , and published in ' The Evening Press ' newspaper , Tuesday , 1st August , 1989 , page 6 ).

(3 of 16).



A murderer at the age of 20 , the use of a knife was to become the trademark of Hugh Leonard Thompson Murphy , the leader of The Shankill Butchers . A flamboyant womaniser , only five-foot-six tall , Lennie Murphy began his bullyboy 'career' early . Ironically nicknamed " Murphy the Mick " by his primary-school classmates on account of his Catholic-sounding surname , he was a belligerent child who , by the age of ten , was threatening other children and relieving them of their pocket-money at knifepoint .

He ran rackets even at school - threatening other pupils , stealing their meal tickets and selling them to other boys at a reduced rate . He first came to the notice of the RUC at 12 years of age , when he was convicted of shopbreaking and larceny ........


(MORE LATER).



Friday, February 13, 2004

JACKIE GRIFFITH , 1921 - 1943 ; A STAUNCH REPUBLICAN .......



....... At 17 years young , Jackie Griffith was a member of an IRA Unit in England , where he met Jack McCabe , one of the best (but lesser-known) fighters for Irish Freedom .......


Jack McCabe was one of the main explosives experts for the IRA at that time (ie early 1970's) and that was how he was to meet a gruesome death - he was mixing explosives in the garage of his house ( on the Swords Road , in Dublin ) when a spark from the shovel he was using set the mixture off . His eyes were blown out of his head and his testicles were blown off but , before he died (on 30th December 1971) he managed to devise a safe method of mixing explosives to ensure that the same mistake would not be made again . Even on his death-bed , and in great agony , Jack McCabe's thoughts were with those he knew would follow in his footsteps ....

However ; back to Jackie Griffith - he was active with Jack McCabe and others in the 1939 bombing campaign in England and , following the end of same , he returned to Ireland and lived with his grandparents in Ringsend in Dublin ; he got a job in the near-by bottle-glass plant and became involved in trade union matters within the factory . He was by now a member of the Dublin Brigade of the IRA .

His Republican activities were now known to the Free Staters ....... (MORE LATER).



WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


INCHIGEELA.......




".......We were about to leave my uncle's house to take part in an operation ; the moon was rising and there was snow on the ground . My uncle Dan was reminded of the ' Battle of Hohenlinden .......'"


" Underneath the verse in the grubby shopkeepers window was a parody on it , praising the quality of his rotten tea . I bought a pound of it and it nearly poisoned me ! Next time I was in town I went into his shop and quoted for him a parody I had made in the meantime :


" But thievish '-----' where e'er he go ,
the public shall the robber know .
And lower still the price shall go -
of tea that's rotting rapidly . "


It was time for us to go . Taking our guns , we went outside . Dan locked the door and , stooping , placed the key in a crevice of the old wall . It is remarkable how a small action is still fresh in the memory after the passage of years , while a major event is hardly remembered . The little incident impressed itself on my youthful mind . The man of fifty-five , leaving his comfortable house and excellent farm on a night of snow . Behind him his good fire and his books , his greatest pleasure . Before him , the rude elements of mid-winter , and the wrath of an empire whose reactions would be ruder still . He had already had ample experience of that rudeness . His offensive weapon now was a dilapidated fowling-piece , and his allies a few badly-armed youths ....

We went down the moonlit meadow , along the edge of a small bog , and climbed out on the Lios Bui road at Judy's Gully . We were not going back now ......." (MORE LATER).



THE BUTCHER BOYS .



FROM THE BOOK ' The Shankill Butchers : A Case Study of Mass Murder ' , by Martin Dillon . Published by HUTCHINSON .

(Reviewed by Niall O'Flynn , and published in ' The Evening Press ' newspaper , Tuesday , 1st August , 1989 , page 6 ).

(2 of 16).


A CATALOGUE OF HORROR -


* Thomas Madden : suspended by a rope from a wooden beam , a nine-inch double-bladed knife was used on his body as a sculptor would chip away at a piece of stone . In all , there were 147 stab wounds on his body , and a pathologist's report indicates that it was the work of one man , working clinically . A woman heard him screaming " Kill me , kill me ...."

* Francis Crossan : beaten with fists , feet and a wheel brace , Lennie Murphy (one of the 'Butchers') killed him by hacking at his throat with a knife , almost severing his head from his body .

* Sisters Frances Donnelly and Marie McGrattan / and teenagers Gerard Grogan and Thomas Osborne : all shot in cold blood in a robbery on a drink wholesalers . Murphy himself killed three of them , the two boys after hearing they were Catholics , and Marie McGrattan as she knelt on the floor .

* Student and songwriter Stephen McCann : dragged from his girlfriend , tortured at knifepoint , shot , and finally all but decapitated .

* Protestant Alexander Maxwell : killed for gatecrashing a party celebrating Lennie Murphy's release from prison . He was beaten and kicked . To kill him , Murphy drove a car over , and back over , the hapless victim .


(MORE LATER).


Thursday, February 12, 2004

JACKIE GRIFFITH , 1921 - 1943 ; A STAUNCH REPUBLICAN .......


....... Ireland , early 1930's ; Jackie Griffith would have been almost a teenager and would have been a witness to a country in turmoil . Civil War , shootings , street-rallies - he took an interest in Irish Republican politics .......



When he was 17 years young (in 1938) , Jackie Griffith moved to England with his family , as his father had a job waiting for him there ; the IRA bombing campaign in British cities was about to begin , and Jackie Griffith wanted to help - he joined the IRA in England , where he met a legend of the Republican Movement - a man named Jack McCabe .

After the campaign in England , Jack McCabe was ordered back to Ireland where he continued to dedicate himself to the Cause of Irish Freedom ; in late 1969 /early 1970 , Jack organised for a shipment of weapons to be brought in to help defend the Nationalist community in the Six Counties . Amongst the weapons landed was a Schmeisser machine-gun ....... (MORE LATER).




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


INCHIGEELA.......




".......Myself , my uncle Dan and a local Volunteer were in my uncle's house at Knocksaharing ; we had been told to wait for a half-an-hour and then head-off to meet up with the rest of our Unit . Dan was examinng his rifle......."


" Dammit , Mick , " he said , " try that front trigger spring . " I tried it and found it broken . " Could you fix it ? " he asked . " I could , " I answered , " but not now . The only thing I can do now is a makeshift job . " Finding a piece of elastic cord , I tied the trigger forward to the trigger guard . " It works all right , " he said , " but do you know what , we have damn bad tools to fight an empire with . " Then musingly , the while he regarded the old gun , he quoted : " Some one of us three , Herminius , shall ne'er again see Rome . " " No matter ," he added brightly , " have a look abroad , Mick , and see what of the night . "

I went to the door and looked out . " The moon is rising , Dan , and there's snow on the ground , " I reported . " Well , well , " he said , " 'twill be like the battle of Hohenlinden . I knew a bloody scut of a shopkeeper one time and he had the first verse of Hohenlinden printed on a card in his shop window - "


' On Linden when the sun was low ,
all bloodless lay the untrodden snow .
And dark as winter was the flow ,
of Iser rolling rapidly .' "

(MORE LATER).




THE BUTCHER BOYS .



FROM THE BOOK ' The Shankill Butchers : A Case Study of Mass Murder ' , by Martin Dillon . Published by HUTCHINSON .

(Reviewed by Niall O'Flynn , and published in ' The Evening Press ' newspaper , Tuesday , 1st August , 1989 , page 6 ).

(1 of 16).


In each country they occupied , the Brits have had their supporters - some of the natives wanted 'in' with the new establishment , in the hope that their new masters would leave them , if not in charge , then at least in a 'managerial' position ; others recognised an opportunity to " settle old scores , " or what they perceived to be " old scores ".......


Between 1972 and 1977 , the ' Shankill Butchers ' killed more people than any other mass murderers in Irish or British criminal history . That is the stark fact - more victims than the Yorkshire Ripper , more than the Moors Murderers . Selecting the targets at random from Belfast's Catholic ghettos , the Butchers dragged dozens of innocent victims to their homes , to their drinking holes and 'romper rooms' , sometimes just to darkened alleys , there to torture , humiliate , and finally , to kill them , slaughtering with butchers' knives .

But now (ie 1989) , ten years after the jailing of the butchers' inner circle , a new investigation has unearthed more than a dozen other murders committed by the gang and never before linked to them ....... (MORE LATER).


Wednesday, February 11, 2004

JACKIE GRIFFITH , 1921 - 1943 ; A STAUNCH REPUBLICAN .......



.......a victim of circumstances , a baby-boy born in Killester (North Dublin) in November 1921 was , for two reasons , to have a short and bloody life .......


Those same two reasons effected many others as well , and still do -- first , because of British interference in Irish affairs and , secondly , because of the failure of some Irish people in recognising that a 'truce' , a 'treaty' , or an 'agreement' will not end the conflict while the British claim of jurisdiction over any part of Ireland remains in force .

Jackie Griffith was born in the same year that a group of ex-rebels sold his freedom for what they mistakingly believed to be their own . The Black and Tans , Civil War , Free State troops on the streets ; mass-rallies , shootings and 'Irregulars' (Anti-Treaty IRA) openly parading in towns and cities - it was into that atmosphere that Jackie Griffith grew up .

Like most young lads of his age , he took an interest in the political situation that was unfolding around him and , again , like many other young lads , he came down firmly on the Irish Republican side ....... (MORE LATER).



WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


INCHIGEELA.......




".......Early January 1920 ; the Volunteers had full membership , but not all were suited to the task ......."


" Here I must say that credit is due to every man or woman who did his or her best , and went as far along the road as they were able . Some cannot endure what others can , nevertheless they must be honoured for having tried and failed . I always reserved my contempt for the jackeens who held aloof and never helped in any way . But I had the pleasure also of meeting young men and women who never joined the Volunteers but who , in an emergency , came forward and gave us valuable assistance . They were indeed the unknown warriors .

My uncle's house at Knocksaharing was the rendezvous for the men of Kilnamartyra and Ballyvourney that night . The old thatched house had often before been a meeting place , for Fenians as well as the IRA . Our objective was the Inchigeela RIC barracks . Our men had all turned up well before the appointed time , and had been directed to go on to a further point near the Macroom-Inchigeela road . My uncle , a local Volunteer and I were told to wait on for half-an-hour and then follow .

That half-hour was considerably shortened by Dan's humorous stories and comments . First he picked up his shotgun and , having looked through the barrels , tested all its action ......." (MORE LATER).



THE BEATLES AND IMELDA MARCOS - the beat and the beast.......

[From an article by Jackie Hayden , published in 'Hot Press' magazine , 1988].

(3 of 3).


When the 'Fab Four' got to the airport , the elevators and escalators had been turned off and the band and camp followers had to lug instruments , gear and luggage through a hostile mob of several hundred people , baying for blood and waving fists and hurling missiles at them . Six soldiers beat roadie Mal Evans to the floor . Brian Epstein got a sprained ankle and driver Alf Bicknell sustained a broken rib and a damaged spine . Ringo was floored with a punch , and only Paul McCartney escaped relatively bruise-free .

Finally aboard the plane , Brian Epstein was ordered off to be relieved of a large sum of money in "tax". Back at the Palace , Imelda Marcos probably threw out her Beatle -boots too .....


[END of - ' THE BEATLES AND IMELDA MARCOS - the beat and the beast.......].


Tomorrow - ..... The occupied Six Counties between 1972 and 1977 ; 'The Shankill Butchers'.......


Tuesday, February 10, 2004

JACKIE GRIFFITH , 1921 - 1943 ; A STAUNCH REPUBLICAN .



November 1921 - those sent to Downing Street in London by the then Irish Republican leadership were only weeks away from accepting a 26 County Free State , a decision which still has repercussion's to this day ( and that will continue to be the case until the issue is properly resolved by a full British military and political withdrawal from Ireland ).

When Michael Collins and others signed-up to become Free Staters (December 1921), a baby , just a few weeks young , turned-over in his cot ....

That baby was Jackie Griffith , who was born in Killester (North Dublin) in November 1921 and , for two reasons , lived a short and bloody life ....... (MORE LATER).



WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


INCHIGEELA.




" We started the new year , 1920 , badly . It is said that first attempts are always the worst , and certainly our first effort at the capture of an RIC barracks was a lamentable one . The sympathetic youth of today who question me about " battles long ago " say feelingly : " Ah , ye had very poor equipment compared with that of the enemy , and ye also lacked men . "

Well , on the night of January 2 , 1920 , our equipment was indeed poor , but quite good enough for the work in hand . Neither was it lack of men that caused the failure . The fact of the matter was that it was due to a surplus of indifferent men . Up to that time the numerical strength of the Volunteers had increased to a peak point . True , it had been higher because of the Conscription menace to the youth generally but , that scare having passed , it had dropped again .

Yet it needed a little taste of war to separate the chaff from the grain and to reduce further mere numbers to a fighting unit of quality . In plain words we had , up to that very night , been carrying a lot of 'passengers' ......." (MORE LATER).



THE BEATLES AND IMELDA MARCOS - the beat and the beast.......

[From an article by Jackie Hayden , published in 'Hot Press' magazine , 1988].

(2 of 3).


When questioned at their hotel by the military police regarding when The Beatles would arrive at the party , Brian Epstein did a casual " What party ? " doubletake and refused to wake the lads . Even the British Embassy failed to persuade him that their absence would be taken as an unforgiveable snub ....

Not surprisingly , the local media magnified the insult . An attempted apology by Epstein on national T V was cut off in mid-grovel . In the middle of the night , the police hauled tour manager Vic Lewis to the Manila 'Bridewell' (prison) . Next day , the hotel withdrew all services to The Beatles .

All their security was cancelled and there was no police escort to the airport ... (MORE LATER).


Monday, February 09, 2004

JOSEPH DENIEFFE , 1833 - 1910 : 'Irish Republican Brotherhood' Founder .......



....... Chicago , in the early 1860's ; Irish Rebel Joseph Denieffe found himself on a fund-raising tour when there was a falling-out between the Rebel leadership.......


He stayed in America , spreading the word and building contacts for the Irish Republican cause . In 1904 , at seventy-one years of age , he wrote a number of articles for the New York newspaper , ' The Gael ' ; those articles were later published as a book , entitled - ' A Personal Narrative of the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood ' , , and is a fantastic read for those interested in the history of the on-going struggle for full Irish freedom .

At 77 years of age , Joseph Denieffe died in Chicago , on 20th April , 1910 . He gave sixty-three years of his life to the Irish cause , working for the most part either in the background or underground , never seeking the limelight . He is not as well-known as he should be but , like all true Irish Republicans , his objective was to promote and further the Irish cause , not himself .


" This land of mine , the old man said ,
will be alive when we are dead .
My fathers words still ring divine -
"God Bless this lovely land of mine." "


[End of - JOSEPH DENIEFFE , 1833 - 1910 : 'Irish Republican Brotherhood' Founder .]



WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


A QUIET PERIOD.......




".......Two RIC men had waited outside the house , while the other two entered the kitchen . They were armed with revolvers and were curious as to who was in the house . Donncadh MacNeilus drew the hinged bolt on his Parabellum rifle and let it crash home with a wallop . The RIC Sergeant knew the sound ......."


" He turned pale , and for a few seconds stood motionless . Then , turning , he walked out of the kitchen , followed by his comrade . Quickly , the four RIC men reached the end of the short boreen , recovered their bicycles and rode away . They left in good time , as Donncadh , with a loaded .45 revolver , was edging forward to attack . That Sergeant appeared to have been gifted with no small share of commonsense .

Our programme for September was cancelled by GHQ , IRA . While they commended us for our enterprise , they advised that it was better to wait until other areas were ready for a more widespread operation ."


[END of - ' A QUIET PERIOD....... '].




THE BEATLES AND IMELDA MARCOS - the beat and the beast.......

[From an article by Jackie Hayden , published in 'Hot Press' magazine , 1988].

(1 of 3).


While Mark Chapman has gone down in ignominious history as the man who shot John Lennon , how many remember that Imelda Marcos came astonishingly close to causing the deaths of all four Beatles and their entourage ?

The near-fatal incident occurred during The Beatles' last world tour and involved a dangerous cocktail of oriental pomposity , Brian Epstein's carelessness and The Beatles' collective hostility towards authority . ('1169...' comment - tell that to 'Sir' Paul ...) With the 'Fab Four' scheduled to play two gigs at Manila's ' Araneta Coliseum ' , Imelda Marcos organised a party at the Malacanang Palace for three-hundred children and assorted Palace favourites to meet The Beatles .......

(MORE LATER).


Sunday, February 08, 2004

JOSEPH DENIEFFE , 1833 - 1910 : 'Irish Republican Brotherhood' Founder .......



....... March 1858 : Joseph Denieffe was back in America on a fund-raising tour , having played his part in establishing the Irish Republican Brotherhood in Ireland on St. Patricks Day , 17th March , 1858 . But all was not well between the Irish Rebels .......


James Stephens accused John O'Mahony and his people in America of being - " Irish tinsel patriots (who make) speeches of bayonets , gala days and jolly nights , banners and sashes , bunkum and filibustering , responding in glowing language to glowing toasts on Irish National Independence over beakers of fizzling champagne . "

It was in the middle of the above turmoil that Joseph Denieffe found himself in America in the early 1860's . Fund-raising in those circumstances was not possible , but he stayed in that country , perhaps hoping that , when things settled down .....

Joseph Denieffe never 'lost the faith'; he was now living in Chicago and was in his early-thirtys . He continued his work for Irish Freedom , even though the immediate momentum had been lost ....... (MORE LATER).



WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


A QUIET PERIOD.......




".......I was travelling the four miles , on my bicycle , to meet Donncadh MacNeilus and others ; I was almost there when I passed a four-man RIC patrol . I arrived at the meeting-house and was told of a near clash ......."


" A few minutes before , the lads had been seated in exactly the same positions . The RIC patrols had been the subject of discussion . " Traitors they are , " said the man of the house , " prowling about the country , dragooning the people like the old yeomen did . They should be shot at every door . "

Just then his wife entered the room . " There are two RIC men in the kitchen , " she said , " and two more outside . " So saying , she returned to the kitchen quickly . In all the old farmhouses , because of the big open hearth and chimney , a corridor called 'the entry' connected the parlour and kitchen . As our hostess returned to the kitchen , the RIC Sergeant stood just inside the kitchen door .

He could see into the parlour but could not see the table . Nevertheless , it was plain that he suspected from her hurried movements to and from that room that she had given warning to some party . Meanwhile , the other RIC men had moved further into the kitchen . At the warning , Donncadh MacNeilus had quickly arisen , a long Parabellum rifle in his right hand . Remembering that the gun had not a cartridge in its breech , he swiftly drew the hinged bolt with his left hand and let it home again with a crash .

That sinister sound smote on the RIC Sergeant's ear with telling effect ....... " (MORE LATER).



IT COULD HAPPEN TO A BISHOP.......


[From ' The Sunday Business Post ' newspaper , 16th February 1992 , page 22].


When John P. Hayden was Editor of 'The Westmeath Examiner' newspaper (which he was for seventy-two years !) he supported Charles Stewart Parnell during what became known as that man's 'Divorce Crisis'.

The then Bishop of Meath (not named in the article) objected to Hayden using the newspaper to support Parnell and a verbal row began between the two men . While the 'verbal's' were still being exchanged , a waterworks upgrade was proposed for the town of Mullingar , and the newspaper Editor and the Bishop again dis-agreed over the benefits or otherwise of the new water-works system .

The Bishop snapped - during his sermon at Mass the following Sunday , the Bishop told the congregation that he was now declaring it officially a sin for any of his flock to read The Westmeath Examiner !

......no doubt the old Editor and the Bishop clashed again over that one .......