" 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!


Friday, September 24, 2004

'TAN WAR' REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPER - 'An tOglach' , 1918-1921.......

.......on 11th July 1921 a 'Truce' between the IRA and the British was signed ; then , on 6th December 1921 , Michael Collins accepted 'Dominion' status and an 'oath' which gave 'allegiance' to the new Irish Free State and 'fidelity' to the British Crown . He knew it was a mistake .......

Walking through the foggy London streets after signing the British document , Michael Collins stated -

- " When you have sweated , toiled , had mad dreams , hopeless nightmares , you find yourself in London's streets , cold and dank in the night air . Think - what have I got for Ireland ? Something which she has wanted these past seven hundred years ? Will anyone be satisfied at the bargain ? Will anyone ? I tell you this ; early this morning I signed my death warrant . I thought at the time how odd , how ridiculous - a bullet may just as well have done the job five years ago . " That 'Treaty' ripped Irish society asunder ; within six months a Civil War had erupted and , to this day , the issue remains unsolved . Other 'Treaty's ' , such as those entered into at Sunningdale , Hillsborough , Stormont and now Leeds Castle in Kent , England , will also fail , and for the same reason - the British claim of jurisdiction over any part of this island .

However - (Tangents aside ...!) - the 'An tOglach' newspaper , 'The Official Organ of The Irish Volunteers' , was not re-published after the 'Treaty of Surrender' in 1921 ; its first and last Editor , Piaras Beaslai , unfortunately followed the example of a previous Editor of 'An tOglach' , Ernest Blythe - he 'jumped ship ...' .......

(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 TRUCE.......

".......the 'Truce' was on ; ten feet apart stood four armed British Auxies and four armed IRA men - a Model T. Ford car was parked between them . The car used to belong to the Brits , but was now in the employ of the IRA . One of the British Auxies was adament that the car should be returned ; he squared-up to us and asked his colleagues to back him up ....... "

" "Sorry , old bean ," one of his colleagues replied , "there's a Truce you know . We were just going in across the way . Will you come ? " So saying , they turned away and , without looking back , made straight for the hotel . We stood motionless ; the British gunman held his ground for a few moments only then , putting his pride in his pocket , he started after his colleagues . As he passed by the front of the car on his way across the street , I passed by the rear of it . I could not forbear to fling at him a taunt - " Well , what about it ? " I said to him . " Some other time , " was the reply , as he continued on his way .

We resumed our journey ; again , we wondered how the next enemy group would receive us - a few miles to the west of Ballincollig we met them ; it was a lorry of British Auxiliaries , coming towards Macroom . They slowed down to have a look at the car - realising what we were , they waived gaily and shouted to us ! We waived back - that particular crowd was in good humour at any rate . At Ballincollig we got another friendly reception from the Brit Tommies ; every group and individual saluted us good humouredly , even the sentry at the gate . Arriving in Cork , we got a great ovation from the ordinary people who recognised us as IRA men , but the "shawlies" and "Echo" boys were especially embarrassing to us .

Wherever we stopped they gathered around us , and the " shawlies" would shout to their friends across the street - " Look at 'em , Mary Ann , look at 'em ! Ah, dere the lads dat knocked de stuffing outa d'ould Royal Irish and de Black-and-Tans . More power to ye , boys , more power to ye ! " The "Echo" boys examined our Model T. Ford , pointing out the scars of battle and weaving tales about its adventures ; it had dashed through enemy-occupied towns , overturned barricades and knocked out armoured cars ... !

Spoofers all , no-where to be seen when the fight was on ......."

(MORE LATER).


TINKER , TAILOR , HIGH RISK SPY .......
By Frank Doherty .

First published in ' New Hibernia ' magazine , May 1987 , pages 7 , 8 and 9 .
Re-produced here in 11 parts .
(9 of 11.)

Just how many of the various British 'initiatives' in Ireland were 'sired' by Maurice Oldfield is uncertain , but he was certainly behind the two sets of 'truce talks' with the Provos , in 1972 , when Sean MacStiophan , Gerry Adams ('1169...' comment - Gerry was only there to fetch drinking water for the participants - he must have been as , according to himself , he was never a 'member' ...) and others were flown to London to meet British politicians in an MI6 'safe house' and in the 1976 'incident centre' ceasefire .

Talks on that occasion were held in the MI6 Station at Laneside , conducted largely by Maurice Oldfield's people , led by James Allan . Ironically , the pick-up point for the two IRA representatives at some of those talks was at an MI6 house on Old Hollywood Road , Belfast , which, it later emerged, was also used for homosexual orgies , although not while the Provos were visiting . (!)

But it was in the long-term strategy which Maurice Oldfield and his colleagues in the 'Foreign Office' applied to Ireland that he left his mark .......

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, September 23, 2004

'TAN WAR' REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPER - 'An tOglach' , 1918-1921.......

.......when he was 'released' from Strangeways Prison in Manchester by the IRA on 20th October 1919 , Piaras Beaslai took over again as Editor of 'An tOglach' , and was also appointed as 'Director of Publicity' for the IRA .......

Under his stewardship , that Irish Republican newspaper which , since its inception in August 1918 had been published twice monthly , became a weekly publication . Each issue contained a leading article , Editorial notes and a 'War News' column , highlighting the activities carried out since its last issue .

It was a useful propaganda tool and a morale booster for all IRA Units throughout the island . The 'An tOglach' newspaper was published , at first, twice a month and then weekly , between August (15th) 1918 and July 1921 , when it was deemed, by the powers that were , that its job was done ; negotiations between the Irish Republicans and Westminster were underway .

Those negotiations were to lead to the 'Treaty of Surrender' being signed ; a 'Truce' between both sides was signed on 11th July 1921 and , on 6th December 1921 , at ten minutes past two in the morning , by signing the British document, the 'Free State' came into being - as did its minders (tenants?) , the Free Staters .

However , as he walked through the foggy streets of London having signed the 'Treaty' , Michael Collins had an inkling of what was to come.......

(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 TRUCE.......

".......I was the only one at the car when an armed British Auxie approached ; he looked at me , then at the Model T. Ford - " That car belongs to us ...." he said ......."

" " Belonged , would be more correct , " I said . " It will be ours again ," came his reply . " That depends on your ability to take it , " I answered . The Auxie looked me up and down ; his hands rested on his hips, the palms outwards . I watched him carefully - his guns were quite convenient in open holsters , and it would take him little time to get them out . But I had the advantage , for mine were already in my hands .

Suddenly he raised his right hand and beckoned - three more Auxiliaries crossed the street towards us : I waited until they came to him . They looked at him questioningly , and he started to explain what had been said between us . With this advantage I turned my head and shoulders quickly - my brother Pat was just coming out of a doorway , and I beckoned to him with my head ; he came quickly , the others behind him .

" What's this about ? " Pat asked , as he drew up in line with me . " That fellow " , I said , indicating the elite gunman , " wants the car back . " The four British Auxies now faced the four IRA men , ten feet apart . They heard Pat's question to me , and my reply . " Oh , well , " said Pat , generously , " you are welcome to it , " but then added " ...if you can take it . "

" Well , chaps , " said the first Auxie , loosening up , " will you stand by me ? " His colleagues looked at each other ......."

(MORE LATER).


TINKER , TAILOR , HIGH RISK SPY .......
By Frank Doherty .

First published in ' New Hibernia ' magazine , May 1987 , pages 7 , 8 and 9 .
Re-produced here in 11 parts .
(8 of 11.)

The Littlejohn brothers who bombed and robbed in the 'Irish Republic' ('1169 ...' comment - the Irish Republic has been declared but not yet established ; the author is referring to the Free State) in 1971 and 1972 had Maurice Oldfield as their ultimate boss . It was not their idea but his that Jack Lynch's Government (ie the then Fianna Fail FS Administration) should be pressurised into introducing internment by a series of phoney IRA incidents .

Oldfield was in charge also of the spying in Garda HQ which led to the Crinnion/Wyman Case , and was probably the man who arranged the deal that allowed both of them to walk free . While he had to complete with Martin Furnival Jones , the Director General of the British Security Services (MI5) until 1972 , and his successor , Michael Hanley , until 1978 , Maurice Oldfield still managed to retain his key position as ' Senior Advisor on Irish Affairs '.

In Whitehall , 'Irish Affairs' were regarded as largely a 'security matter.......'

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, September 22, 2004

'TAN WAR' REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPER - 'An tOglach' , 1918-1921.......

.......Liam Mellows wrote his last letter (to his mother) on December 8th , 1922 - he was then executed by a Free State Army firing squad . However , forty-six years after that execution (ie in 1968) more information regarding that deed was made public .......

In a letter to the media forty-six years after the execution of Liam Mellows (ie on April 24th , 1968) a Free State Army Captain , Ignatius O'Rourke , who was present at the execution of Liam Mellows and the other three men - Dick Barrett , Rory O'Connor and Joe McKelvey - wrote that , a few minutes before Mellows was shot dead he [Mellows] sent for the prison chaplain , a Father McMahon .

Captain O'Rourke wrote that "... a few minutes later .." he saw Father McMahon leaving the room (cell) "...accompanied by Liam Mellows , with his right arm around Liam's shoulders , and they walked along together leading the group as we all walked to the sandbags . Liam and Father McMahon appeared to be in deep , friendly conversation , with no sign of discord , disagreement or argument , just like two men discussing some point in a friendly fashion . They continued to talk until Father McMahon left Liam in the number one position at the sandbags ...."

However - (tangents ..!) - back to the 'An tOglach' Irish Republican newspaper ; when he was 'released' from Strangeways Prison in Manchester by the IRA on 20th October 1919 , Piaras Beaslai took over again as Editor of 'An tOglach' and was also appointed as 'Director of Publicity' for the IRA .......

(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 TRUCE.......

"...we drove into Cork City in a Model T. Ford , which we had previously taken from the enemy , and parked in Main Street . Three of us got out of the car and went into a shop , while I stood beside the car - the 'Truce' was on , we were in the uniform of the IRA , and an armed British Auxie stood yards away from me , staring at me and the car ......."

" Quite naturally , my hands slipped through the slip-pockets of my trench coat and closed on the butts of my Smith and Wessons ; he came striding up the roadway , straight towards the car . I knew , even at a distance , that he came looking for trouble . As the picture of a gunman he was the real thing - very tall , well built and sporting a moustache , which achieved the slightly sinister and military appearance he doubtless fancied .

His armament left nothing to be desired ; he was a two-gun man , with his holsters swung far below his waistbelt and strapped half way down his thighs , in 'cowboy' parlance , tied low . The riding breeches , putties and tunic he wore were well fitting , and the tasselled beret set off a handsome bravo . He halted in front of the car and gave it a general survey , then he leaned over the bonnet and examined the bullet holes around the wind-screen . Next he walked around it twice and , finally , stood up on the footpath straight in front of me .

" That car belongs to us ," he said . I said nothing . " I said that car belongs to us ," he repeated . I looked him in the eye ....... "

(MORE LATER).


TINKER , TAILOR , HIGH RISK SPY .......
By Frank Doherty .

First published in ' New Hibernia ' magazine , May 1987 , pages 7 , 8 and 9 .
Re-produced here in 11 parts .
(7 of 11.)

And on top of Maurice Oldfield being a child-molesting homosexual sadist , he was a disaster as a spy chief - for example , in attempting to crush the IRA (*) he introduced the 'Supergrass' system , a variation of the 'converted terrorist' idea used when he was fighting Communists in Malaya . As the present (ie 1987) upsurge in IRA activity ( (*) '1169...' comment - please note that in late 1986 the Provisional IRA had been disowned , and rightly so, by IRA Comdt. General Tom Maguire , from Cross , Claremorris , in County Mayo , who was then the last and faithful survivor of the Second (All-Ireland) Dail Eireann 1921 . This action was taken against the Provos because they had agreed to take seats in a British-imposed Administration in Ireland ie Leinster House ) has shown , the 'Supergrass' system backfired .

Court cases revealed enough information to the Provos about British security forces' intelligence gathering methods and sources to allow them to successfully purge their ranks and re-group in a manner which may take years to penetrate as far again . But perhaps the most misleading myth about Maurice Oldfield is that his influence on Ireland only began when he was made 'Security Co-ordinator' .

In fact , as the real head of MI6 from 1969 to 1978 (he was formally given the 'top job' in 1973 by Ted Heath whose Common Market negotiations were made easier by Oldfield's spying !) he was the master-planner of much that went on .......

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, September 21, 2004

'TAN WAR' REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPER - 'An tOglach' , 1918-1921.......

.......December 8th , 1922 - Liam Mellows , an IRA leader , was in Mountjoy Prison in Dublin , and was shortly to be shot dead by a Free State firing squad . He was writing his last letter , to his mother .......

' Through you , I also send another message ; it is this - let no thought of reprisal or revenge dominate Republicans because of our deaths . We die for the truth , vindication will come, the mist will be cleared away , and brothers in blood will before long be brothers in arms , against the oppression of our country and imperialist England .

In this belief I die happy forgiving all , as I hope myself to be forgiven . The path the people of Ireland must thread is straight and hard and true , though narrow ; only be following it can they be men . It is a hard road , but it's the road our Saviour followed - the road of Sacrifice . The Republic lives , our deaths make that a certainty .

I have had the Chaplain to see me . It is sad but I cannot agree to accept the Bishops' Pastoral , my conscience is quite clear , Thank God , with the old Gaels . I believe that those who die for Ireland have no need for prayer .
God Bless and Protect you ,
Your Loving Son Willie . '

That was the last letter that Liam Mellows , IRA leader , wrote . That was in 1922 ; however , 46 years later (ie in 1968) , a Free State Army Captain , an Ignatius O'Rourke , spoke of what happened next .......

(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 TRUCE.......

"...mid-year , 1921 ; an uneasy time . We were glad to be home , no need to 'duck and dive' , for now, anyway . We were summoned to an IRA Brigade meeting in Cork City ......."

" Paddy Donncha , our IRA Vice-Commandant , and Patsy Lynch , IRA Company Captain of Ballyvourney , had come over on a visit to us ; the four of us uncovered a Model T. Ford , once the property of the enemy . We found that , like 'Kempenfelt's ship' , " ...her timbers they were sound , and she would float again ! " She bore the marks of some of our bullets but none had penetrated her vitals ; we started her up and found her quite roadworthy .

About four o'clock in the evening we were on the road to Cork . We had read something about no ' provocative display of arms ' in the Truce terms , but we felt that it would be a very uncomfortable sensation travelling unarmed amongst the enemy and we therefore carried our revolvers inside our trench coats . We wore our brown gaiters and boots and so were complete in the uniform of the IRA . As we approached Macroom we wondered how the Brits and especially the Auxies would take to us .

It would be a new departure to meet and pass them by as non-belligerents ; our Model T. Ford rattled bravely down Pound Lane , and we would soon know what the enemy made of us now . We drove gallantly up Castle Street past the 'home' of the British Auxiliaries , and across the Square into the Main Street . Here we stopped .

Three of the lads went into a draper's shop a few doors away , while I stood on the kerb a few yards from the rear of the car . A few yards down the road stood a British Auxie - he was staring , looking for trouble ....... "

(MORE LATER).


TINKER , TAILOR , HIGH RISK SPY .......
By Frank Doherty .

First published in ' New Hibernia ' magazine , May 1987 , pages 7 , 8 and 9 .
Re-produced here in 11 parts .
(6 of 11.)

Only now (ie 1987) have British newspapers started to reveal , for example in 'The Observer' , that Maurice Oldfield liked to recall his days as an interrogator in the infamous Maadi Camp , in Cairo , when he "...talked cheerfully about beating (the Jews) up and pushing their heads under buckets of water ..."

Another of the myths about Oldfield is that his homosexuality was unknown - he was as notorious around Whitehall as his friend and fellow spy , Tom Driberg MP , who combined his political career with work for both MI5 and the KGB .

But 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield was not simply a homosexual ; he was a child molester and sadist . That is what the so-called 'rough trade' is all about ; he liked to pick up helpless youngsters and subject them to indignities and sexual assaults .......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, September 20, 2004

'TAN WAR' REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPER - 'An tOglach' , 1918-1921.......

.......Ireland , 1922 - the Free State 'Minister for Home Affairs' , Kevin O'Higgins , had agreed with his Free State Cabinet colleagues that four IRA prisoners - Rory O'Connor , Liam Mellows , Richard Barrett and Joe McKelvey - should be executed immediately . O'Higgins had a troubled mind because of that decision .......

At that Free State Cabinet meeting , which condemned the four IRA prisoners to death , Kevin O'Higgins interrupted proceedings and asked - " Is there no other way ...? " And well he may have felt guilty ; O'Higgins was the 'best man' at Rory O'Connor's wedding ...

At 5 AM on the morning of December 8th , 1922 , one of the men soon to be shot by the Staters , Liam Mellows , sat in his cell and wrote his last letter :

Mountjoy Prison , Dublin . December 8th 1922 , 5 AM.
My Dear Mother ,
The time is short and much I would like to say must go unsaid but you will understand in such moments heart speaks to heart . At 3.30 AM this morning , we (Dick Barrett , Rory O'Connor , Joe McKelvey and I) were informed that we were to be executed as a reprisal .
Welcome be the will of God , for Irelad is in His keeping despite foreign monarchs and treaties . Though unworthy of the greatest human honour that can be paid an Irishman or woman , I go to join Tone and Emmet , the Fenians , Tom Clarke , Connolly , Pearse , Kevin Barry and Childers . My last thoughts will be on God , and Ireland , and on you .

You must not grieve , Mother Darling . Once before you thought you had given me to Ireland . The reality has now come . You will bear this as you have borne all the afflictions the cause of Ireland brought you - nobly and bravely . It is a sore trial for you , but that great courageous soul of yours will rejoice for I die for the truth ; life is only for a little while , and we shall be returned hereafter .......

(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 TRUCE.

" Looking back on the Truce with the British in July 1921 , one regrets that it ever came about . For it was but the prelude to the Civil War in which we lost the best of our men , on both sides . That the Truce was brought about for that very motive I have no doubt . That the Civil War happened as a sequel to the Truce no one can deny , not even the 'wise men' - the 'statesmen and politicians' . I heard a prophecy made on May eve , 1921 , by a member of the IRA Flying Column , as we sat on a big stone near Paddy Sheehan's house at Inchamore , Ballyvourney : he foretold the coming of the Truce , the return of the politician and a civil war .

We welcomed the Truce for its immediate benefits ; it eased the strain on our people , especially on parents and old people who waited nightly for the loud knock at the door , that forerunner perhaps of murder . Now they could sleep soundly , happy in the knowledge that their children were safe with them also . It was a great joy to us to return home to our people and stay with them , not for a hurried and fearful half-hour , but indefinitely . I well remember the first evening at home , the joy of my mother , father and sisters , and the neighbours who rushed in to welcome us back .

For a few days we forgot everything in the delights of home ; then a dispatch came summoning my brother , our IRA Commandant , to an IRA Brigade meeting in Cork City . To get there , we had to travel through areas held by the British ; however , the 'Truce' was active....... "

(MORE LATER).


TINKER , TAILOR , HIGH RISK SPY .......
By Frank Doherty .

First published in ' New Hibernia ' magazine , May 1987 , pages 7 , 8 and 9 .
Re-produced here in 11 parts .
(5 of 11.)

Since he first came to the public eye in 1979 on his appointment by Mrs. Margaret Thatcher as 'Northern Ireland (sic) Security Co-ordinator ' , Maurice Oldfield had been surrounded by myths , almost all projected by himself ! In the British media he was represented as a dedicated bureaucrat , superbly efficient , apolitical ; the epitome of the 'noble spy' .

The reality is that 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield was a drunken old pervert , ruthless and vicious , who used his position as the man who knew where everybody's 'skeletons' were buried to manipulate people in much the way J Edgar Hoover used his job as FBI head to spy on generations of American politicians and keep himself in power . Oldfield was frequently drunk , as he was when arrested in Comber by the RUC.

He had been a heavy drinker since his days as a spy in the Middle East during the War ; he was an advocate of torture or " robust methods " as he preferred to call it , and of " terminating people with extreme prejudice " , as the British Secret Service calls assassination.......

(MORE LATER).