" 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!

Friday, July 30, 2004

JULY-DECEMBER 1921 : Revenge Attacks on Republicans During The 'Truce' .......

....... the British had , as they done in every country they 'kept the peace' in , set-up killer gangs to do their bidding on a "nothing-to-do-with-us" basis . In Ireland , there Loyalist killer gangs were active during the 'Truce' .......

A 21-years young Irishman , Murtagh McAstocker , was to the fore with other members of IRA 'B' Company , Belfast , in pushing the Loyalist killer gangs back out of Nationalist/Republican areas ; on 24th September 1921 , as Murtagh McAstocker was walking on Clonallon Street , going towards the Newtownards Road , he was shot dead by a Loyalist gang . He was buried on 27th September in Milltown Cemetery , Belfast , with full IRA honours .

Then (ie 1921) as now , following the 1994 (P)IRA 'Truce' and the signing of the Stormont Treaty ('GFA') in 1998 , the Brits are not standing still ; in 1921 they claimed jurisdiction over the whole island of Ireland - in 1998 (and now) they claim jurisdiction over our six north-eastern counties . 'Truces' , Treaties , Agreements etc will never work until they include a definite date for a British military and political withdrawal from Ireland .

Otherwise , the paper-work only gives the Brits time to re-group , and to put a new coat of varnish on 'the Irish Question' .

[END of - 'JULY-DECEMBER 1921 : Revenge Attacks on Republicans During The 'Truce'...].
(*Tomorrow - 'Working within British 'law' ; from Daniel O'Connell to the Provos').


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

BURNINGS.......

".......the 'Great House'where the 'Landlords' lived were usually located within walking distance of the local RIC barracks , for security reasons ......."

" ...soon the driveway ends at an arched gateway , beyond which is the yard and rear entrance to the 'Great House' . In front of it and to the left a gravelled walk leads up to the front door . To the right of it , and actually attached to it , a square tower with crenellated parapet looms up . The windows are protected by vertical iron rods , one inch in diameter , set in heavy iron frames , while iron shutters , half-an-inch thick and loopholed for musketry , open outwards on heavy hinges . The basement is a dungeon with small barred windows and stone stairway inside . An outside stone stairs leads up to the next floor which is also of stone , arched and flagged .

That floor is the 'courthouse' , where 'justice' (generally in small quantities) is periodically dispensed to the people of the district . The other floors overhead are the quarters for a British garrison in times of emergency , and were so used during the Fenian period of 1867 . Truly an ensemble reminiscent of Torquilstone and the gentle 'Front-De-Boeuf' .

It was the spring of 1920 ; that year had opened with a general attack on RIC barracks throughout the country - some had been captured and destroyed , some made untenable . The attacks continued and soon the British 'authorities' decided to withdraw the garrisons from certain small barracks remote from centres of relief . Some hundreds of RIC barracks were evacuated and , on the night of 2nd April 1920 , all burned simultaneously ......."

(MORE LATER).


THE CIA : REAGAN'S SECRET ARMY .

Since 1947 , the CIA has been a powerful force in covertly executing American internal and foreign policy . A major book detailing the workings , methods and sometimes incompetence of the secret service - 'The Agency ; The Rise and Decline of The CIA ' , by John Ranelagh , has recently been published .

Gene Kerrigan examines the books findings and assesses the importance of 'The Agency' and the role it has played over the last 39 years .


First published in 'The Sunday Tribune' newspaper , Dublin , 24th August 1986 , page 11.

Re-produced here in 21 parts .

(1 of 21).

Two months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour (which occured on 7th December 1941) , a Mr. Adams of the town of Irwin , Pennsylvania , wrote to the President of the United States . The President should know , he wrote, that the Japanese were simply terrified of bats : on 9th February 1942 , Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed the letter on to William Donovan with a covering note saying - " This man is NOT a nut ..."

No one checked out the 'bat theory' : it was untrue . William Donovan was 'Mr. U S Intelligence ' ; he headed the 'Office of Strategic Services' (OSS) , forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). For the next several years he organised the dropping of bats on Japan ; sometimes the bats were just slung out of bombers , other times they were dropped by parachute !

When you throw bats out of a plane at high altitude they freeze to death . There is no record of what the Japanese thought of this carry-on.......

(MORE LATER).





(* NOTE - our 'JUNIOR' has deserted his post here at '1169.... Central' , for a 'mini-holiday' (...just can't get good staff these days ...) ; affairs of the heart , dontcha know ... he has assured us (by text !) that the above-mentioned article (*) is under lock and key in his room : when meself and SHARON climbed (!) in there , we could'nt be sure that 'JUNIOR' himself was'nt in the room , never mind find the 'almost finished' copy , such was the state of the gaff !! So bear with us , folks , if we're a bit late with the next post.......and that includes YOU , 'Saer' ! ).

Thursday, July 29, 2004

JULY-DECEMBER 1921 : Revenge Attacks on Republicans During The 'Truce' .......

.......Ireland , 1921 , during the 'Truce' ; covert assassinations were carried out by British forces against the IRA , 'shoot-outs' took place between the IRA and the Brits , and IRA Volunteers also died while on drills and in training camps .......

A year before the above-mentioned deaths and assassinations , the IRA in Belfast had been re-organised as 'B' Company , 2nd Battalion , following a meeting in Ballymacarret (in 1920) ; one of its members , 21 years young Murtagh McAstocker , was known by the Brits to be militarily opposed to them ...but he was now 'protected' by the 'Truce' .......

However , as little (and begrudgenly and reluctantly) as the British forces were 'bound' by the 'Truce' , their comrades in the various Loyalist militia (formed , supported , financed and armed by the British Army and their political leaders in Westminster) were not stalled at all by it .

The six-month 'Truce' (July - December 1921) was an opportunity for the Loyalist paramilitary gangs to 'ethnicaly clean' 'their' areas of Catholics/Nationalists , more so than they had been doing prior to the 'Truce' .

And young Murtagh McAstocker was on their list .......

(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.

BURNINGS.

" It is still the same . If you come from the east the half-mile long avenue of lime trees will lead you there . You are at the Mills , Ballyvourney . The hotel where the stage coach stopped on its way between Cork and Killarney still flourishes , though the stage coach has long since passed on , enveloped in the dust of time .

The old bridge which spans the Sullane River is as sound and as picturesque as ever , and, hard by, the Mill buildings are exactly the same , though renovated . And certainly the bloom of the rhododendron and the murmur of the river have not changed . Behind the scene , however, some important changes did take place not so long ago . Up to our own time , Ballyvourney , hardly large enough to be described as a hamlet , was completely overshadowed by a unique feudal machine which functioned there .

A high wall along the main road was pierced by the Lawn Gate which gave access , by a short drive, to the Great House ; let us assume that one day in the bad old times , one has passed through the Lawn Gate on some legitimate business , say paying the 'rent' - he notices that , a few yards to his right , another road runs parallel to his . It leads to the RIC Barracks , which is conveniently near to , but of course not on the same plane as , the Great House . Naturally , it gives him a sense of security to know that the 'law' is behind him as he faces towards the buildings on his left ......."

(MORE LATER).


' COLONEL OLIVER NORTH WOULD'NT DO ANYTHING THAT REAGAN DID'NT APPROVE ' .......


'The chain of events that has become known as IRANGATE is circling ever tighter around President Reagan . Sean Cronin draws together some of the links in the bizarre story'


First published in 'The Irish Times' newspaper , Tuesday , February 10th , 1987 , page 14 .

Re-produced here in 12 parts.

[12 of 12].


An updated memorandum in Colonel Oliver North's files - written around April 4th , 1986 - " provided that $12 million of the residual funds from an arms transaction would be used to purchase critically needed supplies for the Nicaraguan Democratic Resistance Forces ," according to the U S Senate Intelligence Committee report .

Colonel North told the Attorney General , Edwin Meese , that the $12 million figure was " based on what he was told by the Israelis and that he did not know how much was moved to the Nicaraguans - the Israeli (NIR) decided the amount given to the resistance , with no involvement by the CIA or NSC ....." On September 12th , 1986 , the Israeli Defence Minister, Mr. Yitzhak Rabin , offered " a significant quantity " of captured Soviet-bloc arms to the U S for the Contras . The arms were to be picked up on the week of September 15th and delivered to the insurgents .

U S Admiral Poindexter discussed the matter with President Reagan ; Yitzhak Rabin denies that he made such an offer . The report also reveals that Ronald Reagan held 17 meetings with Oliver North , and that others were present at those meetings . At one of them , the CIA Station Head in Costa Rica was with Colonel North . One's conclusion , unsupported by conclusive evidence , is that President Reagan , through his National Security Council staff , was fully briefed on everything taking place regarding Iran and the Contras .

" According to Robert McFarlane , Oliver North stated that McFarlane knew North would'nt do anything that was not approved ," the report says .

[END of - ' COLONEL OLIVER NORTH WOULD'NT DO ANYTHING THAT REAGAN DID'NT APPROVE ....'].
(Tomorrow - 'THE CIA : REAGAN'S SECRET ARMY' - from 'The Sunday Tribune' newspaper , 1986.)






Wednesday, July 28, 2004

JULY-DECEMBER 1921 : Revenge Attacks on Republicans During The 'Truce' .......

..........the Brits could not always find the patience to set-up covert assassinations in their desire to take revenge on Irish Republicans during the 'Truce' ; gun-battles broke out on occasion between the IRA and British forces .......

A number of IRA Volunteers died in those shoot-outs ; Luke Killian , from Crith in County Roscommon , in August 1921 / Belfast-man Fred Fox , shot dead in a gun-battle , that same August / Christy McEvoy , a Dublin man , died in early November 1921 / Declan Hurton , from Ardmore in Waterford , shot dead by the Brits on 9th November 1921 and Belfast man David Morrison , who died in a shoot-out on 27th December 1921 .

Other IRA Volunteers died in that same year (1921) but not as a direct result of British military activity ; the following is a list of IRA activists that we know of that died on drills , in training camps or elsewhere -

- County Tipperary man Mossie (Maurice) Magarth (July) ; Patrick Tubridy , a Limerick man , died 21st August ; Dublin men Michael O'Brien and James Henry Doyle (8th September and 11th November respectively) and Newry men Hugh O'Hare (22nd October) and Harry McKigney , 7th November 1921 .......

(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 CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

".......we had been hours in hiding , waiting to ambush the Brits who were , we felt, not now going to show . We wanted to take the fight to them now , as they were not apparently coming to us ......."

" In vain we asked for permission to rush the British soldiers at the Castle gate and , at least, shoot up the Castle as some small compensation for our crippled condition . As I picked up my Lewis-Gun I envied Sean Rua an Ghaorthaigh and his old musket . His single successful shot at the candle had also wrecked the peace of mind of his enemies and cheered him on his way up Sleibhin .

He had made his presence felt , while we had come and were now retiring unknown to our enemies . A plea for mercy had saved the Loyalist's house from the flames , and stopped our operation .

Well , "...it blesseth him that gives , and him that takes ....." . "

[END of - ' THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .......'].
(Tomorrow - 'BURNINGS....').


' COLONEL OLIVER NORTH WOULD'NT DO ANYTHING THAT REAGAN DID'NT APPROVE ' .......


'The chain of events that has become known as IRANGATE is circling ever tighter around President Reagan . Sean Cronin draws together some of the links in the bizarre story'


First published in 'The Irish Times' newspaper , Tuesday , February 10th , 1987 , page 14 .

Re-produced here in 12 parts.

11 of 12.



On May 15th , 1986 , American President Ronald Reagan approved the 'McFarlane mission ' , and the delegation flew to Europe and Israel on May 23rd-25th . With Robert McFarlane were Colonel Oliver North and another member of the NSC Staff , Howard Teischer . A CIA Officer , George Cave , served as interpreter ; the discussions ran from May 25th to 28th - nothing was accomplished and the 'McFarlane mission' returned home empty-handed .

There is little hard information on the diversion of funds to the Contras ; the first mention in the U S Senate Intelligence Committee report has of it is in January 1986 during discussions between Colonel Oliver North and the Israeli Prime Minister's adviser , Amiram Nir . Colonel North mentioned support for the Contras and Mr. Nir said funds from the arms sales to Iran could be used for that purpose .

Oliver North turned down Amiram Nir's suggestion that " ...U S funds to Israel or Israel's own funds could be used ..." to support the Contras .......

(MORE LATER).





(Sharon's on her way to getcha , 'SAER' - told ya we can organise housecalls !! The rest of ya can just check out the 'GUESTBOOK' to see what I'm on about.....and , while you're there - sign the bleedin' thing .....)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

.......continued from Friday , 16th July last .........Great to be back - FAILTE !

JULY-DECEMBER 1921 : Revenge Attacks on Republicans During The 'Truce' .......

.......ordered not to take military action against the IRA while the 'Truce' was in effect , British troops , the Black and Tans , the Auxiliaries and the RIC/RUC were 'chomping at the bit'; they wanted revenge on Irish Republicans , but could not take it 'Officially' or 'Legitimately'.......


The Brits took to assaulting civilians in the hope that the IRA would , at least in a local area , break the 'Truce' - when this tactic failed , the British forces in Ireland went 'underground' ie revenge attacks on known IRA Volunteers , with no claim of responsibility .

In Limerick , on 15th August 1921 , IRA Volunteer John Pigget was shot dead by British forces ; on 31st October 1921 , IRA Volunteer Walter Coen was shot dead in Ballinrobe , County Mayo and , on 26th December 1921 , IRA Volunteer James Hickey was shot dead in Knocknagoshel in County Kerry . In less clandestine operations , that is, when the Brits could'nt be bothered setting-up covert assassinations , they broke the 'Truce' quite openly and gun-battles ensued ...

...a number of IRA Volunteers died in those shoot-outs :

(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 CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

".......we were going to set fire to a pro-Brit loyalists house near the Castle in order to draw the enemy out ; the Auxiliaries partied in that same house almost every night , so the owner had it coming ......."


"............we hoped that a strong group would leave the Castle to try and save the house - in that event we would take action ; if a large party left , and conditions looked favourable , we would try to seize the Castle itself . Let the party be large or small - we would seize the gate in any case , and hold it against them on their return . At the same time we would keep the garrison of the Castle indoors .

Arrangements had been made for the Macroom men and a section of our IRA Column to attack outside the gates . For hours we waited motionless , watching for that glow in the sky : it never appeared . Midnight came and with it the order to retire . We were never nearer mutiny ....

....we all wanted to take action of some sort against the enemy ......."

(MORE LATER).


' COLONEL OLIVER NORTH WOULD'NT DO ANYTHING THAT REAGAN DID'NT APPROVE ' .......


'The chain of events that has become known as IRANGATE is circling ever tighter around President Reagan . Sean Cronin draws together some of the links in the bizarre story'


First published in 'The Irish Times' newspaper , Tuesday , February 10th , 1987 , page 14 .

Re-produced here in 12 parts.

10 of 12.


From March to May 1986 , arrangements were made for a high-level meeting of American and Iranian Officials . This was the one led by Robert McFarlane , who carried an Irish passport bearing the name 'Sean Devlin' . Iran now wanted Harpoon and Phoenix missiles but America was not willing to sell . Manucher Ghorbanifar , the Iranian arms dealer , as the 'go-between' , asked for spare parts for the Hawk missile system , promising that when the delegation arrived in Tehran with them , all the hostages would be released .

At one of these meetings the Americans discussed with Ghorbanifar what passports they would carry . It was also arranged how payment would be made and where it would go ; Iran would pay $17 million into an Israeli account , of which $15 million would be moved into " a private U S corporation account ." Of that amount , $3.65 million would go to the CIA to cover the Hawk missile parts .

Several hours after the arrival of the American delegation in Tehran , the hostages would be released ; eight hours later , the Hawk parts would be delivered ........

(MORE LATER).






Sunday, July 25, 2004

1169 AND COUNTING.......

Irish history , Irish politics ; from today and yesterday - all 32 Counties !


Bhi an saoire caite inne (the holiday was over yesterday). We're back from Contae Phort Lairge (County Waterford) and rarin' to go ....... (...almost !)


The '1169....' crew are back in Dublin after a week in County Waterford and we are .... not quite 'rarin' to go ' ! That's the trouble with holidays - ya need a few days to recover from them ! Sharon is doing her 'Dido' thing (ie 'Sand in My Shoes') and Junior took-up with some young-one in Tramore (ironically , she's from Dublin , too!) and the texts are flying between them !

So he's doing his 'Osmonds' thing (ie '....and they call this puppy love ...') and..... me? - well.. Sharon misses the beach (and , therefore , so must I) and Junior's floating around on a cloud humming 'chucky's in love ...'.


I have to console the pair of them (wimps!) and ease them gently back to get the 'blog' up and running . Won't be long now ; any complaints , leave them in the 'Guestbook' but remember - we know where ya live , and we know people who do house-calls .....!


Good luck ...for now . Back soon !