" 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, October 01, 2004

JULY 29th , 1848 : RIC , Firearms , Pikes - and Five Children .......

.......the ' Loyal National Repeal Association ' had 'split' ; those that left formed ' The Young Irelanders ' and immediately called for an armed revolt against British mis-rule in Ireland . The Brits moved quickly .......

One of the leaders of 'The Young Irelanders' , John Mitchel , was 'arrested' for writing " ...wild and menacing words ..." then , in April 1848 , the 'Treason Felony Act' was introduced , followed by the suspension of 'Habeas Corpus' on July 25th , 1848 ; William Smith O'Brien recognised that the Brits were 'battening down the hatches' - with John Mitchel in a British prison , he was in command ; he called for an immediate Rising against the British .

A 'War Council' was appointed , comprising William Smith O'Brien , Thomas Francis Meagher and John Blake Dillon ; the latter was to come to the fore in the late 1870's when , as a member of the 'Irish National Land League' , which was formed in 1879 to protect the Irish 'tenantry' against the abuses of British 'landlords' , he led a campaign against a British 'landlord' who was buying-up lands from which Irish 'peasants' had been evicted .

As a result , a new word was to enter the English language .......

(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 were milling around the scene of the 'lake' incident when , out of nowhere , our gentlemanly Officer announced that he had "...a good expedient ..." to save the situation ....... "

" He jumped in to the flood waters ; we were stricken with complete but short-lived paralysis , which gave way to violent contortions , followed by sustained convulsions . The group holding on to the big horse let him go and he started to drown again - they held on to each other and by this means managed to save their lives . Dan MacNamara took hold of me and somehow we managed to reach the house ; Sean O'Hegarty , our IRA Brigadier , had come outside to meet us but we could tell him nothing ; we staggered indoors - Sean now started to swear at us since we would not tell him the joke . At length I managed to speak the Officer's name , and Sean heard it .

" Maybe he's drowned ? " , he enquired . " Well " , I said , " he was under water when we left . " Sean now became afflicted by this announcement ; at length we sat on chairs and waited , our eyes on the open door . By and by the procession arrived , headed by the 'victim ' ! The 'mourners' made an indecent scramble for position , determined to extract the full value from this unexpected windfall : Sean's face was as grave as the hanging judge's as his eyes assessed the depreciation . " You got wet then , Dick ," he commented dryly ......."

(MORE LATER).


PASSPORT SCANDAL....... !
By Patrick Murphy .

First published in 'New Hibernia' magazine , May 1987 , page 13 .
A 'skit' in five parts .
(3 of 5).

Meanwhile , at the opening of a new IDA (Free State 'Industrial Development Agency') sponsored passport-making factory at Tallaght , Dublin , yesterday , the new Minister for Women's Affairs , Mrs. Bridget Tehran Radio announced that passports have gone on sale to all newsagents and post offices throughout the country . Anyone who buys two passports with the same number stands to win £1,000 , plus two Iranian women , plus the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs or one million free passports !

The State Government has disclosed that the money raised by the sale will go towards funding social security benefits for the three million Irish citizens who now live in Tripoli .......

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, September 30, 2004

JULY 29th , 1848 : RIC , Firearms , Pikes - and Five Children .......

.......the British were not , and indeed still are not , shy about spilling blood in their 'conquests' and in holding on to the 'spoils' of same ; and not all Irish men and women were , or are , adversed to 'fighting fire with fire'.......

Even when Irish 'violence' was to be employed in self-defence , Daniel O'Connell's 'Loyal National Repeal Association' was against it ; this led to tension within that organisation , and a 'split' developed - those that left included William Smith O'Brien (a Member of the British Parliament , Harrow-educated , with an accent to match !) , Thomas Francis Meagher and John Mitchel - a new group was established ; 'The Young Irelanders' .

That new group's political position was outlined in there newspaper 'The United Irishman' : a call for immediate armed revolt against the British . Westminster was alarmed ; the 'Paris Revolution' , which had taken place that February (1848) must have helped to put the final 'wind' up the Brits , as they moved quickly -

- John Mitchel was accused of writing " wild and menacing words....."

(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.......

".......a whistle had sounded the alarm - myself and Dan MacNamara ran towards the sound to investigate ; recent heavy rain had created a 'lake' nearby , and Jer Carthy's horse and cart , carrying our supplies , was trapped in the flood ......."

" A few of our lads had partly stripped and now stood perilously on a submerged rock , holding up the horse's head . Others were engaged in salvaging some of the goods from the cart which was almost under water and was tilted dangerously . It was evident now , from soundings taken , that an isthmus , a small neck of land , ran out around the wreck and that it was easier to work from the lake side . A deep hole lay between the horse and the road . I stooped and started to remove my boots .

" Have sense man , " said Mac , " there are more than enough on the job . The horse is safe now - we'll go back and tell Sean . He'll be wondering what happened . Look , the whole lot are here now . " He was right ; men were fast hurrying to the scene and , as we turned to go , we heard a measured voice say - " I have just thought of what I think is a good expedient . " It was our portly and genteel Officer ; he passed in front of us and , reaching the edge of the deep hole , jumped into it and disappeared beneath the water . A gathering of flotsam half-way across to the horse had deceived him in the now failing light .

Everybody had paused , on hearing of the " ...good expedient , " to watch its implementation ; now , as well as I could see , it far exceeded their most hopeful expectations . It would need a medical man to describe their reactions ....... "

(MORE LATER).


PASSPORT SCANDAL....... !
By Patrick Murphy .

First published in 'New Hibernia' magazine , May 1987 , page 13 .
A 'skit' in five parts .
(2 of 5).

Speaking in Conamara Arabic , Mr. Mohammed Ali , the Minister for the Gaeltacht , said that people should not believe what they read in the newspapers and other newspapers should not believe what they read in the 'People' . Denying allegations that he was not Irish , Mr. Ali said that he was a descendant of a long line of Irish handball allies .

Continuing the debate on Kerry County Council's failure to repair the main road from Beirut to Damascus , the leader of the Progressive Democrats , Mr. Yasser Arafat , told the House that Ireland was not sending enough passports to the Third World ; he said that the 2,000 tons of passports which arrived in Ethiopia would not last for long .......

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, September 29, 2004

JULY 29th , 1848 : RIC , Firearms , Pikes - and Five Children .......

.......the 'Orange Order' was formally dissolved in 1836 , but was revived again around 1846 - the 'Battle of Dolly's Brae' was on the way .......

At an Orange Order 'celebration' in Castlewellan in County Down in 1849 , a number of Nationalists were set upon by the Loyalists and put to death . Hand-to-hand fighting broke out and British troops were sent in to put the Nationalists 'back in their box' .

However - the incident that this article is about ; July 29th , 1848 , had its roots two years earlier , in July 1846 - Daniel O'Connell's ' Loyal National Repeal Association' was simmering with discontent - not all in the leadership , or membership , agreed with O'Connell that " Irish independence was not worth the spilling of one drop of human blood ....." .

Then , as now , the Brits were not shy about who's blood they spilled in their 'conquests' and in holding on to the 'spoils' of same and , also , then as now , not all Irish men and women were adversed to 'fighting fire with fire .....'

(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 were in an IRA training camp when , in the distance , a warning whistle sounded - Dan MacNamara and I grabbed our guns and hurried out ......."

" Some little time before the whistle blew a big horse with a cart heavily laden might be seen coming up the boreen , the only road to the valley . The driver was Jer Carthy , a most useful man ; he was just now the 'mere driver' of the big horse , but that was only one of his duties . It was he who had loaded the bread , the home-made cakes , the meat for tomorrow , the tobacco and cigarettes - in fact , everything , on the cart .

But who had acquired them all ? The same man - who else could do it ? He had done it daily for the IRA Column ; everything could be bought or requisitioned but the home-made cakes - they could be had gratis and welcome , but it would need a small army to collect them . Jer alone could do it in no time . Someone tried to explain Jer's system to me one time , but I doubt if my mentor understood it himself !

However - Dan MacNamara and I went down the road at a sling-trot pace : we hardly expected the enemy but we knew from the whistle alarm that something had gone wrong . Rounding a corner , we came on the scene of the disaster - the road in front of us was under water , and to the left of it and well out in the newly formed 'lake' , the big horse's head only showed above the flood ......."

(MORE LATER).


PASSPORT SCANDAL !
By Patrick Murphy .

First published in 'New Hibernia' magazine , May 1987 , page 13 .
A 'skit' in five parts .
(1 of 5).

A Civil Servant in the (Free State) 'Department of Foreign Affairs' has been selling seats in the Dail (ie Leinster House) for up to £15,000 each ! That was the 'shock-horror' story which rocked Leinster House yesterday where the new Ceann Comhairle , Mrs. Abdula Ben Hassid , said it was all a load of lies .

Mrs. Hassid (Fianna Fail , Cavan/Monaghan) denied that seating in the 'Dail' chamber had been rearranged so that everyone faced Mecca - " There has been no worthwhile Mecca-nisation in the Dail for years , " she said .

The new Minister for the Gaeltacht , Mr. Mohammed Ali , said the incident had been blown up and if it had'nt it should be . Mr. Ali (Fine Gael , Kerry North) was elected only last week on the first count of £14,500. He was deemed elected without reaching the quota of £15,000 and he may have difficulty holding on to his seat at the next sale since Kerry North is now a 37-seater constituency .......

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, September 28, 2004

JULY 29th , 1848 : RIC , Firearms , Pikes - and Five Children .

Ireland , 1848 - the third successive year of the potato blight ; man-made 'famine' had put approximately one-and-a-half million men , women and children in early graves , and forced about another two million Irish people to emigrate (of whom thousands died in passage to America and Canada) .

That year (1848) was one year before the 'Battle of Dolly's Brae' in Castlewellan , County Down (or 'Dollis Bray' , as it was also known) ; in 1836 , the 'Orange Order' was formally dissolved but was revived again in about 1846 - the 12th July march was back , and trouble came with it ; deaths and riots at 'Dolly's Brae' .......

(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.......

".......during the 1921 'Truce' , we were at an IRA training camp at Coomroe , Valley Desmond ; one particular IRA Officer we met there was much older than the majority of us ....... "

" We liked him immensely as he was a thorough gentleman , decent in every way and a good comrade . But he was ponderous in his ways ; in his speech he chose each word with meticulous care , and often used a 'heavy' word where a 'lighter' one would have passed muster , with us at any rate . He always dressed correctly and never appeared without a white collar and tie properly assembled .

Only in these small matters and avoirdupois was he at variance with us , but you may have often noticed in your schooldays , and indeed perhaps much later on in life , that youth treats age and weighty matters lightly ! The day of this eventful evening had dawned fair and the morning had been very fine , but a fierce thunderstorm and rain burst over Valley Desmond and the 'thousand wild fountains' had come down and swollen the infant River Lee to the dimensions of a lake which lapped , and in places covered the boreen from Gougane Barra .

Late in the evening the rain stopped suddenly , and nearly all the lads cleared out for a walk ; with them went our gentlemanly Officer . Sean O'Hegarty , our IRA Brigadier , Dan MacNamara and I were left alone in Holland's kitchen . The IRA training camp was being kept a close secret for various reasons and we had been warned to be ready to meet a possible incursion of the enemy . As the three of us talked together a whistle sounded down the valley ; it was one of our whistles and it was repeated insistently .

" What's that about ? " asked Sean O'Hegarty . " We'll see , " said Dan and I , as, picking up our guns , we hurried out ......."

(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 .
[11 of 11.]

It is certain that 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield had an enthusiasm for murder , as in his plan to kill President Nasser and other Middle Eastern personalities , his role in Operation Ajax , which he first suggested and which led to the overthrow of Mossadegh , the Iranian leader , the imposition of the Shah as despot and ultimately the arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini in power , will be related eventually .

But whether the British media will ever get around to the thorny question of why the KGB never exposed Oldfield's weaknesses is another question . Should it prove that 'Sir' Maurice , the man who had such an enormous , although hidden, influence on Irish affairs during one of the most crucial decades in recent history was , like his friends Anthony Blunt and Tom Driberb , a Soviet double agent , then the incredibly bizarre course of British intelligence will have taken its most unusual twist ever .

[END of ' TINKER , TAILOR , HIGH RISK SPY...'].
(Tomorrow - 'PASSPORT SCANDAL !' - a skit from 1987 ...).






Monday, September 27, 2004

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

.......on 6th December 1921 , at ten minutes past two in the morning , a 'Treaty' was signed between the IRA and Westminster . The 'An tOglach' Irish Republican newspaper was not re-published after that 'Treaty' was signed .......

Its first and last Editor , Piaras Beaslai , took the side of the Free State and rose through the Free State Army to become a General ; the same man is credited with coining the description 'Irregulars' to describe the anti-Treaty IRA .

Piaras Beaslai died on the 21st June 1965 , at 84 years of age . And today , 39 years after his death and 83 years after the last copy of 'An tOglach' rolled off the presses , the conflict in Ireland remains unsolved - the British military and political presence is still in Ireland , and that countrys claim of jurisdiction over part of this island is still enforced .

'An tOglach' is gone , but you can still read about the continuing struggle for Irish Freedom here. Irish Republicanism needs your help : read the 'paper , take out a subscription - 'Play Your Part' .

[END of " 'TAN WAR' REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPER - 'An tOglach' , 1918-1921."].
(Tomorrow : 'July 29th , 1848 - RIC , Firearms , Pikes ; and Five Children ...').


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.......

".......on arriving in Cork , we met the 'shawlies' and the 'echo' boys - all 'spoofers' , no-where to be seen when the fight was on ......."

" The outcome of our visit to Cork was the formation of an IRA Brigade Officers training camp at Coomroe , Valley Desmond ; this lasted for a fortnight , and four men from each of the nine IRA Battalions of the Brigade attended . The training was intensive and the discipline rigorous ; we were routed out at five in the morning and until half-past seven were engaged at the most severe physical exercises . We then had breakfast .

The same regularity was maintained all day at the various military exercises - we had four hours off in the evening and went to bed at half-past ten and , after such a day , sleep came to us quickly but , almost immediately after sleep came we would hear Sean Murray shouting - " Show a leg - up ! " It was five o'clock again ...

The work was hard but it made us strong and healthy ; we thoroughly enjoyed our intervals of rest , as we had good story-tellers , singers and musicians to provide entertainment . But a simple incident or accident one evening caused more laughter than I ever remember - we had amongst us one IRA Officer , much older than the majority of us ....... "

(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 .
(10 of 11.)

According to one former MI6 man , Maurice Oldfield had been involved with two key men who worked with MI6 - Maurice Foley MP and Ronald Burroughs , in the Biafran-Nigerian war in 1969 . A year later , all three were heavily involved in bringing together the disparate nationalist MP's .

Ronald Burroughs , who was then in Belfast with the cover title - ' British Government Representative' , had prepared much of the groundwork for Maurice Foley MP since his arrival five months earlier . With 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield only now being exposed for what he was , it is still too early to predict how much more about him and his role in recent Irish history will emerge . His real persona was revealed because of the increasingly bitter internecine feuding between MI5 , MI6 and various factions within both , of which the Peter Wright affair in Australia and the Holroyd/Wallace revelations are just part .

How much more will be told remains to be seen .......

(MORE LATER).