" 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 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Friday, October 22, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......

.......the British 'Military Services Bill' (the 'Conscription Act') was 'introduced' to Ireland by Westminster in 1918 ; the then leader of the Irish Volunteers , John Dillon , warned the Brits that it would cause further trouble for them in Ireland .....

Two days after Conscription was 'introduced' into Ireland (16th April 1918) , a meeting was held in the Mansion House , in Dublin (on 18th April) , at which representatives of all political opinion (and none) turned up . A statement was issued to the media following that meeting -

- " Denying the right of the British Government to enforce compulsory service in this country , we pledge ourselves solemnly to one another to resist conscription by the most effective means at our disposal . " The 'natives' were stirring ... and 19 days later , the Brits struck back : on the night of 7th May , 1918 , the British 'Lord Lieutenant of Ireland' , Field Marshal 'Lord' French , sent out his armed thugs and 'arrested' the leadership of the then Sinn Fein organisation - 73 people in all .

This 'round-up' by the Brits became known as the 'German Plot' arrests . However - those 'arrests' backfired on Westminster ; Sinn Fein had been 'tipped-off' in advance about them .......

(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.

AISLINGI .......

" Padraig Pearse , Roger Casement , Jim Daly - all knew the 'Aisling' , and all had their spirits raised by it . As did James Fintan Lalor , who made the following resolution ....... "

" That of natural right , on the grant of God , the soil of Ireland belongs to the people of Ireland , who therefore have a clear vested right of property in the soil to the extent of full , comfortable , and secure subsistence therefrom , which never could or can be parted with , pass or perish .

And which no power on earth , nor any length of adverse possession can take away , annul , bar , or diminish . That the people of Ireland have for ages been deprived of their natural right to property in their own soil , that their right has been in practical effect , utterly defeated and diverted , and that it now requires to be asserted , enforced and established . "

The all-encircling ocean is the boundary of their heritage . Let the thoughts wander like fleeting cloud-shadows over the land ; they will pause , here and there , above the dust of our illustrious forefathers , and over that of the great men and women of our own time . All are now part of the spirit-world of the Gael , an invisible but potent force . When we think of the past , we think of places like Tara and Clonmacnois ....... "

(MORE LATER).


Communication from BOBBY SANDS , Long Kesh H-Blocks , early December 1978 .......
As published in 'IRIS' magazine , November 1981 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(2 of 6).

" At present , and with the coming of Christmas , the prison administration here have set about and are carrying out an escalated and massive torture offensive aimed directly at breaking the blanket protest . Within the past week here the prison administration have claimed that an epidemic of head lice has broken out in H-Block 3 , and using this as an excuse - with the backing of their own medical cronies - they have dragged blanket men from their cells , beat them senseless , threw them into baths of disenfectant , forcibly scrubbed them , cut their hair and shaved their beards off with a razor .

This is simply another blatant brutal attempt to brutalise us into submission ....... "

(MORE LATER).
(Please note - the 'Long Weekend' starts today , Friday , 22nd October - the coming Monday is a Bank Holiday here in the 26 Counties ie the whole State practically shuts down ! Our 'Junior' is off with his 'moth' , so we may or may not be here on the Monday . If not , Tuesday will be business as usual -Sharon ).






Thursday, October 21, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......

....... 1918 ; Sinn Fein declared by the Brits to be "...an illegal organisation ...." , as was the Irish Volunteers and the Gaelic League . 'The Great War' ('WW1') was going badly for Westminster , and conscription was made law in England in 1916 - now the Brits were looking towards Ireland ...

Since the outbreak of 'The Great War' in August 1914 , tens-of-thousands of Irishmen had fought , and were fighting , side-by-side as volunteers in the British Army , having answered the call by British 'Lord' Kitchener to help defeat "...the dastardly Hun ..to protect small nations ....." . But the 'Conscription Act' worked against the British - even the then leader of the Irish Volunteers , John Dillon , was against it .

It should be noted that that same organisation (Irish Volunteers) , then under the leadership of John Redmond , had , in 1914 , backed the British war machine , which led to a split in the Irish Volunteers . However - John Dillon stated , in the British 'House of Commons' , as he was leading his members in a walk-out from that institution in protest over the Conscription Act - " All Ireland will rise against you ."

He was to be proved right .......

(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.

AISLINGI .......

"....... those with the 'Vision' were not 'contented serfs' , happy with their lot as long as their bank account eased their conscience . But the Ireland which Padraig Pearse envisaged was not yet established ....... "

" Padraig Pearse wanted an Ireland " ...not Gaelic merely but free as well ; not free merely but Gaelic as well . " Some progress has been made , but there is yet much to be done . What has been achieved was the result of great sacrifice and hard work by good Irishmen and women ; the ranting of politicians had no part in it , and it is not to be expected ever will have in future progress . It is Irish men and women , educated to the true meaning of freedom , who will one day achieve it .

The 'Aisling' of the Ireland of the future , as seen by the greatest as well as the most humble among her lovers was simply a picture of the people , happy , prosperous and Gaelic-speaking , back on the good land from which they had been driven to make room for the bullock and the sheep . This condition once achieved , the prosperity of the towns and cities was assured . The old virtures , culture and pride of race would soon return ; the politicians say that such a movement was begun soon after the Treaty of 1921 : its progress is not perceptible . The people are still in the waste places where they were driven to die , while the bullock and the sheep live on the fat of the land .

Our people must go up again to the mountain and look out over their splendid heritage and into the mighty past ; there they will see an 'Aisling' that will raise their hearts and cause them to make certain resolutions . Some of these will be the resolutions of James Fintan Lalor ....... "

(MORE LATER).


Communication from BOBBY SANDS , Long Kesh H-Blocks , early December 1978 .
As published in 'IRIS' magazine , November 1981 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(1 of 6).

This communication was written by Bobby Sands in early December 1978 . At that time he was the PRO of the protesting Republican prisoners . This 'comm's' contents say more of the conditions which the prisoners were subjected to in the H-Blocks than any external publicist of the H-Block protest ever could and is an explanation in itself of the conditions and the political commitment of the prisoners which eventually forced them to use the hunger-strike weapon as their last alternative means of protest having exhausted every other method .

" In the past 27 months , we republican prisoners of war on the blanket protest for political status , in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh , have been subjected to continual and extreme torture to break our resistence and protest . We have faced untold and constant brutalities , indignities and torture from the prison administration ...whose daily aim is to break our resistence ...

Not a single day passes in these hell blocks without several blanket men being beaten unconscious . We are hosed down , forcibly bathed until the skin is scrubbed from our backs . We are constantly moved from wing to wing and made run , naked , a gauntlet of merciless screws . We are spread eagled across a table to have intimate parts of our bodies probed and examined . Young lads , some barely 17 and 18 years of age , are punched senseless .

Such injuries as a broken nose , split head and multiple bruising are common place ... "

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, October 20, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .

13 months after the landslide 1918 General Election results for the then 13-years-young Sinn Fein party , the British and pro-British elements in the country were still 'sore' about the outcome ; it was in that same year (1918) that the 'Military Services Bill' (Conscription) was 'introduced' in Ireland by Westminster (on April 16th) .

The Sinn Fein organisation was declared by the British to be " illegal " , as was the 'Irish Volunteers' and the 'Gaelic League' (all 'outlawed' on the 3rd July , 1918) . Conscription had been law in what Westminster referred to as "the United Kingdom" since 1916 , but 'The Great War' was going badly for the Brits and they needed more 'front-line fodder' ...

... so they looked to 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.

AISLINGI .......

" 'Roisin Dubh' ; 'the Old Woman' ; the 'Aislingi' : Visions . Of an Ireland free from outside interference . Padraig Pearse had that 'Vision' , as did Tom Clarke . So , too , did Roger Casement and Jim Daly ....... "

" Roger Casement , who returned a 'Knights Insignia' , and Jim Daly of the Connaught Rangers who removed his tunic so that the bullets of the British firing-party might not pierce his body through a British uniform had that same 'Vision' . It thrills one to think that such men belong to Ireland ; their bodies were destroyed in foreign lands but their indestructible spirit came home to live for ever in the hearts of their race .

There still live among us some of those who described Padraig Pearse and his comrades as " visionaries , " " dreamers ," " rainbow-chasers , " etc ; that type deserve no credit for their descriptive efforts , though they were literally correct . They forget that the vision precedes the reality - their own vision was one which was very remote from the Aisling ; it was that of an ever-increasing bank account , to be added to regardless of the humiliating slavery which bound their country , and their people . " Stability " was one of their favourite catchwords - to gather-up the goods of the world and live the lives of contented serfs , to fawn on their oppressors and to decry the actions of those who would break their chains , was its meaning for them . They called Padraig Pearse " ...a fool ....." , but he had anticipated them -

- " A fool that in all his day hath done never a prudent thing ,
Never had counted the cost , nor reckoned if another reaped
the fruit of his mighty sowing , content to scatter the seed . "

The Ireland which Padraig Pearse envisaged has not yet been realised ....... "

(MORE LATER).


THE IRA ATTITUDE TO ELECTIONS .......
First published in 'AP/RN' , September 5th , 1981 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
[5 of 5] .

" There is room for republicans to examine if the struggle for independence can be improved by an intervention in the electoral process in order to show clearly that people support radical republicanism and resistance to the British presence more than they support any other (sic) collaborationist tendency .

There is fundamentally a need for Irish Republicans to bring about conditions whereby the Irish people may seize political and economic control of their own destinies ; whether this can be assisted by an intervention in the electoral process should be the basis for discussion within republican circles . What should not be the basis for discussion is whether this intervention means a run-down of the armed struggle : it patently does not . ('1169...' comment - should the Provos re-commence their armed struggle , it will only be to secure a better deal in Stormont for themselves , and/or to ensure that no other armed organisation will challenge the British militarily in the occupied Six Counties . Such is the 'price' of Provo acceptance by the 'Establishment'.)

We must fight on many fronts and the armed struggle has been historically and contemporarily shown to be the most important . It must be coupled , of course , with political and economic resistance . "

[END of ' THE IRA ATTITUDE TO ELECTIONS .......'].
(Tomorrow - ' Communication from BOBBY SANDS , Long Kesh H-Blocks , early December 1978 .)






Tuesday, October 19, 2004

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

....... the British were quick to dismiss the failed 'Young Ireland' Rising of 1848 as "...a farce .." ; but , while the Brits were sniggering at the failure , the Irish were learning from it ...

The British derisively described that attempted Rising as "...the battle of the Widow MacCormicks cabbage garden .." ; the fact that armed British military personnel practically kidnapped five Irish children that day , and held them hostage to save their own skins , was not talked about . Incidentally , ten years after the Brits 'distinguished' themselves that day , 29th July , 1848 , in Ballingarry , County Tipperary , Irish Rebel veterans from that campaign , who had re-grouped , set-up the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) (ie in 1858) .

James Stephens had organised the IRB in a 'cell' system (which he learned while 'on the run' in France after the 1848 Rising) and John O'Mahony used his enforced 'stay' in America , again after the 1848 action , to obtain material resources and support from the Irish community there to have another go at the Brits . With 'thanks' to the British themselves , it can be seen that the 1848 Young Ireland Rising led to the establishment of the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1858 .

But the British would prefer that no link be made , that each Rising , each Rebellion , be dismissed as "...a farce .." , as the actions of an unrepresentative few 'malcontents' . That is , after all , how the 'Empire' was built and maintained ; and , for our part , this 'weblog' has no hesitation at all in cheering on those 'malcontents' !

[END of ' JULY 29th , 1848 : RIC , Firearms , Pikes - and Five Children .......'].
(Tomorrow - ' Ireland , January 15th 1920 - Elections'.)


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

AISLINGI .......

" .......in 1907 , at 49 years young , Irish Rebel Tom Clarke returned to Ireland and opened a newspaper shop in Parnell Street , in Dublin . Padraig Pearse was amongst those who were frequent visitors ..... "

" They sought the help of the man who had for so long been tested in the crucible of suffering and had been found unbreakable ; nor did he fail them . In 1916 , they repaid him by insisting that his should be the first signature to the Proclamation of the Republic ; it was the greatest day of Tom Clarke's life , though well he knew it meant for him the end . He was shot on 3rd May 1916 , at 58 years of age . Of those only eighteen had been spent in Ireland .

A man is judged by the life he has led ; I know of no more splendid figure than Tom Clarke ; the onset of the years chills the blood of most men - add to this the incredible physical and mental torture which he had endured for almost sixteen of those years . Most of the remainder were years of hardship and disillusionment . His father's influence and his early environment militated against his faith yet , like Padraig Pearse , he turned his back on 'the beautiful vision of the world' , and set his face to the road before him , the road indicated by 'the Old Woman...'

It would be easy to give many more examples from amongst the elite of the followers of Roisin Dubh , as 'the Old Woman' is sometimes called , but space would not allow it . Our own time produced many heroic men and women of a standard that could not be excelled ; some of the greatest came from the least-expected direction - the British service . I will mention only two : Roger Casement and Jim Daly ....... "

(MORE LATER).


THE IRA ATTITUDE TO ELECTIONS .......
First published in 'AP/RN' , September 5th , 1981 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
(4 of 5).


" For those who would be concerned that such an intervention in the West Belfast election is a new tendency , or departure , they can be assured that the military struggle will go on with all the energy at our disposal and , in fact , victory would actually be hastened with the development of a complementary radical political offensive . ('1169...' comment - the Provo military struggle , against the British , at least , is over , and their "radical political offensive" now involves sitting in Stormont and Leinster House - the more things change etc .)

Our attitude to constitutional politics is quite simple and clear cut - there is no such thing as constitutional politics in this country ; the last legitimate constitutional forum in Ireland , Dail Eireann , was proclaimed "illegal" and subverted by the British and the Free Staters . Outside of a thirty-two county sovereign , independent , democracy the IRA will have no involvement in what is loosely called 'constitutional politics ' . " ('1169...' comment - "...no involvement ...in constitutional politics ..." Stormont ? Leinster House ? )

(MORE LATER).






Monday, October 18, 2004

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

....... one of those who escaped from the battle at the Widow McCormicks house at Ballingarry , County Tipperary , on July 29th , 1848 , James Stephens , had made his way to Paris , France , but eventually returned to Ireland . In Dublin , on Saint Patricks Day (17th March) in 1858 , he helped to found the 'Irish Republican Brotherhood ' (IRB).......

James Stephens had learned of a better way in which to organise a secret society - his 'stay' in France had been spent studying the structures of anti-government organisations there , and the IRB (Ireland) and the Fenian Brotherhood (America) were established to consist of 'closed circles' , in which only one member was allowed to know only one other member of any other 'circle' , and all 'business' was to be conducted in public venues ie bars , restaurants , sporting events etc , instead of holding same , as had been done , in a room in an hotel or in a members house .

The new system worked - only months after its inception (ie towards the end of 1858) a young man named Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa , who worked for the Irish Republican Brotherhood , was caught in Cork with three or four other men , whom the RIC alleged were acting suspicious ; it was actually a 'swearing-in' ceremony which the RIC had discovered but , due to their lack of information (their informers knew nothing about it) the RIC let the men go , believing , as they were told by O'Donovan Rossa , that the group were discussing the possible establishment of a political grouping , to be called ' The Phoenix Society' !

However - the failed 'Young Ireland' Rising of 1848 , which began on July 29th that year , was dismissed by the British as " ...a farce.." - but it was that which came from the attempted Rising that was to prove the British wrong in that description .......

(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.

AISLINGI .......

"....... arriving in London on Active Service for the Irish Republican Brotherhood , Isle-of-Wight -born Tom Clarke , in his mid-twenties , was arrested by the British and sentenced to penal servitude for life ......."

" For 15 years and nine months , in the prisons of Chatham and Portland , Tom Clarke endured imprisonment without flinching ; 15 years and nine months of an incessant attempt , by the British , to deprive him of his life or reason . This torture did not cease with daylight and recommence on the following day ; it was maintained during the hours of darkness when even the vilest criminal was entitled to sleep and rest . But Tom Clarke and his comrades got neither sleep nor rest .

Cunning devices for producing continuous disturbing sounds were erected over their cells - these are described in his book 'Glimpses of an Irish Felon's Prison Life' . The relentless brutality at length drove two of his comrades , Whitehead and Gallagher , hopelessly insane . With John Daly , they were released in 1896 ; Daly had been arrested a year after Tom Clarke , and had hitherto shared the same prisons with him ; though kept apart , they had managed to communicate with each other now and again . The release of his friend was a sore loss to Tom Clarke who , for a further two years , had to endure alone an even more intensified form of torture .

Released in 1898 , he spent a short time in Limerick with his friend John Daly before returning to America where , in 1901 , he married Kathleen Daly , John Daly's daughter . With Devoy , he founded the 'Gaelic American' newspaper and , as its Assistant Editor , worked in New York until 1907 . Then he returned to Ireland and opened a newspaper shop at Parnell Street , Dublin .

It quickly became the meeting-place for Padraig Pearse and all that valiant company of a new generation who had also seen the Aisling ....... "

(MORE LATER).


THE IRA ATTITUDE TO ELECTIONS .......
First published in 'AP/RN' , September 5th , 1981 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
(3 of 5).

" Irish Republicans have periodically contested elections in both six and twenty-six county states ; in 1917 , 1918 and 1919 , before partition , and from then until the 1950's and in 1964 , republicans contested elections on an abstentionist ticket . There is no reason now , where practical , as it appears in West Belfast , that republicans should not oppose nationalist collaboration .

If Sinn Fein contests this election the IRA will obviously whole-heartedly support their decision . Sinn Fein spokespersons and prisoners' supporters have demanded Gerry Fitt's resignation over the hunger-strike when it was obvious that Fitt was totally out of step with those whom he purported to represent .

There is an obvious need to give the people of West Belfast the opportunity of showing whether they support the politics of Gerry Fitt , the benign unionism of the SDLP or a republican candidate ..."

(MORE LATER).