" 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. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Saturday, April 24, 2004

'THE IRISH PEOPLE' ; an Irish Rebel Newspaper , 1863 - 1865 ........



.......Even the 'Establishment' media sat-up and took notice of this Catholic-Church banned Rebel funeral .....



An 'Establishment' newspaper , which had a large and influential readership at the time , the ' Freemans Journal ' , (a 'Castle-Catholic' paper , known to be "constitutionally minded") which , incidentally , had an issue on the streets each week for 161 years - from 1763 to 1924 (!) reported that - " the (funeral) demonstration owed its origins and its magnitude to the cause with which (Terence Bellew) MacManus was identified . "

High praise indeed from an 'Establishment' newspaper - but not good enough for James Stephens , the IRB/Fenian leader . The imagination of the population had been captured by the MacManus incident ; James Stephens , in a move which Terence Bellew MacManus himself would have been proud of , organised a small crew around him and set-off on a recruitment drive throughout Ireland .......

(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.

THE FLYING COLUMN .



" The Flying Column in war is as old as war itself . It was used by armies , large and small , all over the earth , from the earliest times to the present day . It travelled on foot , horse or camel in the old days . In modern times it is mechanized and when air borne attains its true literal meaning . Its function remains always the same . In guerrilla warfare , the flying column is the army .

The more columns there are , and the more widely scattered they are , the longer will they last . I am , of course , assuming that the guerrilla forces are small and weak compared with those of their enemies . With such a discrepancy , it would be madness to gather together the forces of the weak and to pit them against those of the strong in one pitched battle . Commonsense would indicate the wisdom of breaking up into small groups , each in its own native area , and , by the judicious use of time and place , wage on the enemy a prolonged and harassing war .

Such wars have been successfully fought ; on such a pattern was fought the guerrilla war in Ireland , which brought about the 'Truce' with Britain in July 1921 ....... "

(MORE LATER).




In this 'FREE' STATE , the 'political elite' in Leinster House have demanded that the taxpayer pay twice to have their household rubbish collected ;
they are now 'flying a kite' to ascertain how the same taxpayer would feel if certain major (minor to follow?) roads were fitted with a toll-bridge -
(- prices to increase each year ? Twice a year ?)... this after said taxpayer has already paid to have the road built in the first place !

....but , in the old days - well , they just wanted to put a tax on lakes , and ponds , and canals .......

ROD LICENCE CAMPAIGN DETERMINED TO RESIST .
By Richard Douthwaite .

(This article was first published in ' ALPHA ' Magazine , 27th April , 1989 , page 7).
Reproduced here in 8 parts .

(5 of 8).



And why do the people think that the politicians want the lakes ? So that they can allow the fish farming companies to moor cages on them in which the salmon parr will grow until they turn into smolts . The statement by Liam Keilthy of the State-owned salmon hatchery ' Aquahatch ', as reported in the last issue of 'ALPHA' magazine , that it will not be possible to avoid using some of the larger lakes for this if the industry is to expand as projected , has added fuel to the fire .

So the Anti-Rod campaigners have taken it upon themselves to attack fish-farming in every way possible . They have taken RTE (State television and radio broadcaster) to film dead salmon on public tips . They asked the most pointed questions at last fortnight's ' An Taisce' conference on aquaculture and the environment ....

(MORE LATER).







Friday, April 23, 2004

'THE IRISH PEOPLE' ; an Irish Rebel Newspaper , 1863 - 1865 ........



....... The 'Irish Republican Brotherhood' organised a 'colour-party' and dozens of uniformed IRB men on horse-back for the funeral of Terence Bellew MacManus ; approximately 20,000 people came out on to the streets to watch the proceedings .......



This huge procession took over Dublin on the day of the funeral , and the coffin containing the remains of Terence Bellew MacManus arrived , eventually, after the cortege had wound its way through Dublin , at Glasnevin Cemetery in the north of the city .

The huge crowd entered the Cemetery and watched as a Catholic Priest (one of the few not willing to be dictated too by his fine-robed bosses) stepped forward and officiated at the graveside . The funeral incident received widespread publicity within Ireland and abroad .

A popular newspaper of the day , the 'Freemans Journal' , which had a large circulation in 'Establishment' circles , gave the MacManus funeral top coverage .......

(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 HARVEST DAY IN 1920 .......



".......The work was done and , as usual, a village dance had been organised . It was obvious to me that my presence was not wanted . On my way home , alone, I stopped and turned back ......."



" The dance was being held at Jack Lehane's house . There were three houses in the yard and it was his turn for that year . I reached the door unnoticed ; the kitchen was packed with dancers , and men were standing close together just inside the doorway . The door was open , so I stepped in . After a while the set ( ie- that particular song ) came to an end . There was a pause , then I heard the music and words of an old Rebel song - ' The Rising of The Moon ..... '

Someone with perhaps some latent bit of patriotism ; I moved in , the better to hear that fine old song , which I liked and knew well . 'Aililiu' , as my grandmother used to say , I was seen ! Soon , I had plenty of room for myself - the people left in ones and twos . I was indeed the 'spectre of the feast' .

In a short time I was seated beside Jack at the fire , discussing Ireland's wrongs and rights , with nothing to interrupt us save the crickets . At half-past ten that night I left him and started uphill again for the Cross and home . Alone ."

[END of - ' A HARVEST DAY IN 1920 .......'].

(Tomorrow - ' The Flying Column '...)



In this 'FREE' STATE , the 'political elite' in Leinster House have demanded that the taxpayer pay twice to have their household rubbish collected ;
they are now 'flying a kite' to ascertain how the same taxpayer would feel if certain major (minor to follow?) roads were fitted with a toll-bridge -
(- prices to increase each year ? Twice a year ?)... this after said taxpayer has already paid to have the road built in the first place !

....but , in the old days - well , they just wanted to put a tax on lakes , and ponds , and canals .......

ROD LICENCE CAMPAIGN DETERMINED TO RESIST .
By Richard Douthwaite .

(This article was first published in ' ALPHA ' Magazine , 27th April , 1989 , page 7).
Reproduced here in 8 parts .

(4 of 8).



The decision of the court case against Mr. Jim Clancy had damaging implications for others as well . Whereas in the past the water and bed of a lake or river had been considered to be common property , the State High Court had now handed them over to whoever 'owned' the fishing 'rights' . No one else could do anything on , near , with or in the water , at all !

What the anti-rod licence campaigners think the State is trying to do through the licensing mechanism is to take over the fishing 'rights' on the major lakes in the West - including Corrib , Mask , Carra , Conn and Arrow - which are in the public domain .

As a result of that decision , the people of the area , who have fished on the rivers and lakes , swum in them and drawn water from them for generations , will lose their rights to continue unless they have the consent of the State Minister . They are determined not to give those rights up .......

(MORE LATER).







Thursday, April 22, 2004

'THE IRISH PEOPLE' ; an Irish Rebel Newspaper , 1863 - 1865 ........



.......Arrangements were being made in Ireland to bury the remains of Terence Bellew MacManus , who had died in America ; but the Catholic Church intervened .......



The Catholic Church issued statements , and not only from the pulpits , in which they " decried the glorification of a man who had risen in arms in unlawful rebellion " (ie - a "dissident") ; the use of ' Church property ' in MacManus's funeral was forbidden - the Brits were pleased . However , the 'Irish Republican Brotherhood' was prepared for that , and 'Plan B' was put into action .

James Stephens and the IRB used the publicity generated by the refusal of the Catholic Church to their own advantage : a 'colour-party' of Rebels was organised , and IRB members on horse-back , dozens of them , in uniform , all wearing black arm-bands and carrying batons , were mobilised ....

...this military display by the Irish Rebels brought an estimated crowd of twenty-thousand people on to the streets .......

(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 HARVEST DAY IN 1920 .......



".......Both lorries passed-by without incident . The farm-workers came out of hiding ......."


" The work was resumed , the day passed , the corn was threshed . At the time I heard , or rather overheard , about the dance . It was discussed in whispers , with furtive glances in my direction . I thoroughly understood . I had fitted badly into the scheme of things in 'Happy Valley'. It was reasonable to assume that distance would considerably improve my relations with its inhabitants . Accordingly , when I announced that I was about to look for my cap to go home , I was forestalled by numerous helpers who not only found my own cap for me , but several other caps as well . Relations had already shown a considerable improvement ...

I walked uphill again , on my own , on the road home . Reaching the first level , I stopped and looked back ; it was dark and I could see nothing . I sat down on a mossy stone and lit a cigarette . I thought on the events of the day and especially on the recent anxiety to get rid of me . Resentment stirred in me ; I got up to face homewards . The strains of music came to my ears : I stopped , and turned around to go back to 'Happy Valley'......."

(MORE LATER).



In this 'FREE' STATE , the 'political elite' in Leinster House have demanded that the taxpayer pay twice to have their household rubbish collected ;
they are now 'flying a kite' to ascertain how the same taxpayer would feel if certain major (minor to follow?) roads were fitted with a toll-bridge -
(- prices to increase each year ? Twice a year ?)... this after said taxpayer has already paid to have the road built in the first place !

....but , in the old days - well , they just wanted to put a tax on lakes , and ponds , and canals .......

ROD LICENCE CAMPAIGN DETERMINED TO RESIST .
By Richard Douthwaite .

(This article was first published in ' ALPHA ' Magazine , 27th April , 1989 , page 7).
Reproduced here in 8 parts .

(3 of 8).



The court case was heard over five days . The upshot was that Mr. Clancy (the owner of fifty acres of land on the banks of Lough Inagh) was told that neither he , nor any other owner , had the right to take water from a river or lake whether for himself or for his farm animals .

If he put a boat on the lake , swam in the lake , or even crossed over one of the streams that run down the mountainside to the lake , he would be breaking the law ! Walking by the lake was forbidden , since he might disturb the fish ...

Not only did Mr. Clancy lose the action , he had its £80,000 punt costs awarded against him (Euro 101,579) and will pay the last £10,000 punt instalment (Euro 12,697) in June 1989 . The court refrained from ruining him entirely , however -...

- ... a £200,000 punt (Euro 253,947) claim for damage he was alleged to have done to the fishery was struck out .......

(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, April 21, 2004

'THE IRISH PEOPLE' ; an Irish Rebel Newspaper , 1863 - 1865 ........



....... Charles J. Kickham and the ' Irish Republican Brotherhood ' were not only up against the Brits - they also had to contend with the Catholic Church and the 'Establishment' of the day . The 'Propaganda War' , for 'hearts and minds' , was taking place behind the scenes .......



The Irish Catholic Church Hierarchy were , once again , to prove their value to their British 'Society' friends - in 1863 , Terence Bellew MacManus died in San Francisco in America ; he was an old Irish Rebel who had cracked many an English skull in 1848 , when he challenged , with other members of the ' Young Ireland ' Movement , the British 'Empire' .

His comrades in America , apparently in keeping with the man's last request , made preparations to have his remains buried in Ireland and contacted Irish Republican Brotherhood leader James Stephens in relation to burial arrangements for MacManus in Ireland .

However , true to form , the Catholic Church intervened .......

(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 HARVEST DAY IN 1920 .......



"....... The British Auxiliaries were now only a few feet away from me . I was on my own at the gate . The Brits gave me a good coat of looking-over......."



" The first man nearest the driver raised his hand in salute , while still watching me intently ; I returned the salute . He smiled . Then all the Brits saluted me . The driver raced his engine , and they moved off again . My attention was now drawn from them to the second lorry . Exactly the same thing happened . The change of gears , the stop , the scrutiny , the salute , the smile at my salute , and the general salute from all the men facing me . Then finally the tail of the second lorry disappeared around the corner .

I remained in the gateway , listening . I could tell by their gear changes all the steps and levels of the stair-like road to the top of Ard a' Bhona . Then I turned about to meet the onset of my uncle Patsy who , white-faced , again appeared on the scene . I veered towards the side-car the while I removed my coat . The sight of the guns again restored his speech . " Mighty save us above , " he gasped , " things were not bad enough without going to the gate . What were you going to do if they came in , and what were we all going to do ? "

" Ah , Patsy , " I said , " they would not come in at all . " " And what was to stop them ? " asked uncle Patsy . That finished my diplomacy - " I was to stop them , " I replied sharply . " Did you think or do you think now that I was going to run from that riff-raff ? By the way , where are your own auxiliaries ? Are you going to thresh your corn today ? " I again put my guns in the 'well' with my coat on top , and , running past Patsy , climbed to the top of the haystack . Seizing a pike again , I used it vigorously to add to the heap on my neighbour's stack .

Then , leaning on the pike , I watched with interest the gradual return of those who had " studied their safety in flight ......." "

(MORE LATER).



In this 'FREE' STATE , the 'political elite' in Leinster House have demanded that the taxpayer pay twice to have their household rubbish collected ;
they are now 'flying a kite' to ascertain how the same taxpayer would feel if certain major (minor to follow?) roads were fitted with a toll-bridge -
(- prices to increase each year ? Twice a year ?)... this after said taxpayer has already paid to have the road built in the first place !

....but , in the old days - well , they just wanted to put a tax on lakes , and ponds , and canals .......

ROD LICENCE CAMPAIGN DETERMINED TO RESIST .
By Richard Douthwaite .

(This article was first published in ' ALPHA ' Magazine , 27th April , 1989 , page 7).
Reproduced here in 8 parts .

(2 of 8).



The first skirmish in the Rod War was fought in the (State) High Court in November 1986 . 'P.J. Carroll and Co. Ltd,' the tobacco manufacturers , were in the early stages of their diversification into fish farming and wanted to buy (!) Lough Inagh and Lough Derryclare as sites for a salmon hatchery .

Jim Clancy , who owns fifty acres on the banks of Lough Inagh and has an outdoor pursuits centre there , had been using the lake to teach canoeing . If Carrolls and Company did not stop him using it before they 'bought' the lakes , he would have acquired the right to continue .

Carrolls therefore got the vendors of the property to seek a court injunction requiring him to stop before they completed the purchase . The case went to court .......

(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, April 20, 2004

'THE IRISH PEOPLE' ; an Irish Rebel Newspaper , 1863 - 1865 ........



....... Catholic Bishops and Priests - bad politicians and worse Irishmen ! So stated Charles J. Kickham in the 'The Irish People' newspaper - a taste of what was to come .......



Ireland 1863 ; the 'Irish Republican Brotherhood' was five-years young . The British laid claim to jurisdictional control of the island of Ireland , and enforced that illegal and immoral claim through force of arms . As always , the Brits met with opposition from Irish Rebels ( or 'dissidents' , as they were called then as well !). Another war was on-going , behind the scenes - the propaganda war .

It was that 'second war' which prompted the "..... our only hope is revolution .." speech (see yesterday's article , Monday April 19th) from Charles J. Kickham , in the then new ' The Irish People ' newspaper . The Church (in this case , the Catholic one) sided with the 'Establishment' (in this case , the British one) in order , as always, to preserve and ensure their own place in the 'pecking order' - there may well be (and , indeed, in the Irish case , there have been) individual members of religious orders who operate at 'ground-level' and remain in tune with the people .

But , at Hierarchal level , politics rules . As the Brits themselves might say - " One does not secure ones place in Society by making enemies in that Society " ! .......

(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 HARVEST DAY IN 1920 .......



".......All the farm-workers were looking at me - the British Auxiliaries were closing fast : I was expected to run for my life ......."



" I would not run . I pushed my pike slowly down through the haystack . I sat down carefully and slipped gracefully to the ground . I walked at a dignified pace to the horse-cart , removed the cushion , the well-cover , and took out my guns . I put them on like a coat and carefully closed the waist-belt . All this I did in an unhurried manner and even delayed with the final adjustment of my coat . I was ready ...

I put back the well-cover and cushion carefully , while my ears kept telling me how near the enemy were . I walked to the gateway and leaned my left shoulder against the pillar ; then I looked around at my fellow workers . It took them an appreciable time to realise that it was time for them to get busy again - that the time had come for them to run . I heard the first change of gears and the increased whine of the leading lorry , then the 'snarl' of the second gear-change . I looked back to see how fared my fellow workers - but could not see them . The bonnet of the leading lorry appeared ; I noticed the sound of its engine failing - then I saw the whole of the lorry .

A 'battery' of eyes were on me ; they drew abreast and , just almost opposite me , the driver made the third gear-change and stopped exactly opposite the gate . The road was narrow . The British Auxiliaries , with their rifles , towered and branched out over my head . Very carefully each man caught and held my eyes in turn ......."

(MORE LATER).




In this 'FREE' STATE , the 'political elite' in Leinster House have demanded that the taxpayer pay twice to have their household rubbish collected ;
they are now 'flying a kite' to ascertain how the same taxpayer would feel if certain major (minor to follow?) roads were fitted with a toll-bridge -
(- prices to increase each year ? Twice a year ?)... this after said taxpayer has already paid to have the road built in the first place !

....but , in the old days - well , they just wanted to put a tax on lakes , and ponds , and canals .......

ROD LICENCE CAMPAIGN DETERMINED TO RESIST .
By Richard Douthwaite .

(This article was first published in ' ALPHA ' Magazine , 27th April , 1989 , page 7).
Reproduced here in 8 parts .

(1 of 8).



The duck-fly is up on Lough Corrib and every 'Guest House' and 'Bed and Breakfast' in Oughterard , County Galway , ought to be filled with anglers . Instead , although there is an odd boat on the lake , the place has a depressed , deserted air , enlivened only by posters on every telephone pole , protesting against the rod licence .

Pat Higgins , of Sweeney's Hotel , saw his takings drop nine per-cent last year because of the row . His profits were cut even more drastically , forcing him to borrow from the bank for annual repairs . Even so , he believes the anti-licence campaigners are right -

- " I explain the situation to foreign visitors this way , " he says ; " In Ireland , there are three types of fishing rights - private , State-owned and public-domain . This dispute arose because the State is trying to take over the public-domain fisheries surreptitiously . "

(MORE LATER).







Monday, April 19, 2004

'THE IRISH PEOPLE' ; an Irish Rebel Newspaper , 1863 - 1865 .



" Our only hope is in revolution ; but most of the Bishops and many of the Clergy are opposed to revolution . We have over and over declared it was our wish that the people should respect and be guided by their Clergy in spiritual matters .

But when priests turn the altar into a platform , when it is pronounced a "mortal sin" to read the 'The Irish People' newspaper , a "mortal sin" even to wish that Ireland should be free , when Priests actually call upon the people to turn informer , when , in a word , Bishops and Priests are doing the work of the enemy , we believe it is our duty to tell the people that Bishops and Priests are bad politicians and worse Irishmen . "


-- Charles J. Kickham , writing in the 'The Irish People' newspaper .

(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 HARVEST DAY IN 1920 .......



"....... The British Auxiliaries , two lorries of them , were less than three-hundred-yards from the farm-workers and myself . If I ran , the workers would be shot as suspected Rebels ; if I stayed , I could be recognised by the Brits ......."



" One thing was certain , and that was that the haggard and every man in it would be searched . That would be the least misfortune - worse might happen . If a man ran and was seen running , he was shot down . He could possibly be shot , too , for standing still ! That was the order of the day . Nobody doubted it , not even the inhabitants of the ' lost valley '.

I looked at the farm-workers . I knew them all . Most of them had gone to school with me . Not a Volunteer among them . All physically fit , and a good few athletes among them ; no good or harm in them , excepting some who covertly sneered at us . I thought of my comrades who had suffered and died and who were still doing so daily , and made a quick comparison . There was a great difference .

Suddenly I made up my mind - why were the workers watching me ? The time to do something was very short ... Ah , I know - they were waiting for me to run . Of course they were . Now they would see , they thought , this IRA man running out of sight before the British lorries reached the gate . Then the workers would be model industrious citizens in the eyes of John Bull's terrorists , and , after being searched and interrogated , all would be well again .

Very clearly , in their eyes , it was my duty to do the running . They were to be disappointed ......."

(MORE LATER).




THE STALKING OF JOHN STALKER ;
Derek Dunne (journalist) traces the background to the 'STALKER AFFAIR' and details the weekend that JOHN STALKER flew to IRELAND as a hero .

(This article was first published in the 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , on 18th February 1988 , pages 14 , 15 and 16 ; we reproduce it here in 12 parts ....)

[12 of 12].



When the Civil Rights marches started twenty years ago (ie 1968), the six men killed in Armagh would barely have been born . Some were'nt even born . At the '68 Conference' , there was a feeling that very little had changed , that the RUC now were the same as the B-Specials .

The issues now were more complex , but some things were clear - the RUC had killed six unarmed men . John Stalker had come to investigate the RUC . He got co-operation from the relatives of the dead men and Irish nationalists generally . He was stalled by the RUC . Then he was removed from his investigation and silenced .

And then the British Government said that nothing further would take place , that the matter was closed . " What else did you expect ? " asked one man in Coalisland . " The British will never do anything that threatens themselves . How can we expect justice from a British peeler ? "

[END of -' THE STALKING OF JOHN STALKER .....'].

( Tomorrow - from 1989 ; a tax on fishing water ..... ).







Sunday, April 18, 2004

The Irish-American 'GROWL' ; the 'AARIR'- 'American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic ' .......



....... 1926 - de Valera left the Irish Republican Movement and formed Fianna Fail ; the 'AARIR' , already weakened by the 1921 Treaty of Surrender , was now operating practically in name only , and was but a shadow of its former self .......



The 'AARIR' (the 'GROWL') was an organisation established by Eamon de Valera and others to assist the Irish Republican Cause , but it was to be allowed to drift and die by de Valera because that was the fate he hoped would befall Irish Republicanism - that it would drift and die .

Yet , 84 years after the establishment of the 'AARIR' , and 78 years after it faded , Irish Republicanism still exists . And its objective is the same - a full British military and political withdrawal from Ireland , and the establishment of a true 32-County Federal Democratic Socialist Republic .

Even if it takes another 835 years .......


[ END of - ' The Irish-American 'GROWL' ; the 'AARIR'- 'American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic ' ].




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

A HARVEST DAY IN 1920 .......



".......I was enjoying the break on my uncle Patsy's farm - a working holiday ! All was going well ... but then silence : all the other workers were looking to the south . The Black-and-Tans were coming ......."



" I knew where to look for them and where they were heading for . There was only one road from the south and that was past the haggard gate . The haggard was on a plateau overlooking the road along which they were coming . They would have to move along in front of us and beneath us for four hundred yards and through a right-angle and come sharply uphill to the haggard gate . There they would be higher than we and from the added height of the lorries would be looking down on us .

I saw the lorries - first one , then the other , fifty yards behind the first . They were coming fast on the level and were less than three-hundred-yards from the corner . The time was short ; I had to make a quick decision . In any other place there would have been only one course for me - I would have slipped off the haystack , run to the horse-cart , torn off the cushion and the cover of the well , taken the guns and perhaps leaving the coat , which had nothing in its pockets , run back through the haystacks to the cover of a fence with a hedge on top . This would safely lead me to rough ground where I would quickly be lost to them .

I took my eyes off the lorries . I had identified the Brits - They were the Auxiliaries from Macroom Castle . A tough crowd ; I knew them well . I had seen them jump walls with their rifles in their hands , hampered by their revolvers and other equipment . They travelled by night and day on bye-roads , and came from totally unexpected directions . I had plenty experience of their physical fitness when I had to run from them on several occasions , and when, were it not for darkness, they would have caught me .

But here - things were different . I looked from the lorries to the men who had been working with me . Now that they were sure , like myself , of the coming of hostile forces , they turned their eyes on me ......."

(MORE LATER).




THE STALKING OF JOHN STALKER ;
Derek Dunne (journalist) traces the background to the 'STALKER AFFAIR' and details the weekend that JOHN STALKER flew to IRELAND as a hero .

(This article was first published in the 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , on 18th February 1988 , pages 14 , 15 and 16 ; we reproduce it here in 12 parts ....)

(11 of 12).



On Sunday , the day after John Stalker flew out of Ireland , there was a meeting in Coalisland , County Tyrone , in St. Patricks Hall ; this meeting was called the '68 Conference'. Bernadette McAliskey chaired it . Twenty years earlier , as Bernie Devlin , she had been involved in civil rights marches . The Civil Rights Movement had asked for reasonable and moderate demands - one man , (sic) one vote ; one man , (sic) one job ; one man , (sic) one house . They were batoned off the streets by the B-Specials .

Twenty years on , the '68 Conference' was called to remember those twenty years and to find out if there was now a way forward . There were 250 people there . Coming from the South of Ireland , cars were stopped at checkpoints by RUC men . At one roadblock , there were between fifteen and twenty RUC men each of whom carried a rifle , always at the ready , and a handgun in a holster by his(sic) side . Cars were stopped , and each person in each car was asked for identification . Each person was asked their home address , their destination , their business at that destination , their date of birth , their occupation , and so on .

There was a palpable air of fear in each car ; people were held up , and felt that it was a deliberate attempt to keep them late for the meeting . Indeed , one RUC man , moving around each car , kept saying - " You'll be late for the meeting at this rate ....... "

(MORE LATER).