" 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!

Friday, November 05, 2004

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

....... in the 1918 General Election in Ireland , Nationalist/Republican candidates won almost three-quarters of all the Irish seats in Westminster .......

Many of those elected were still in British prisons after the 'German Plot' arrests earlier that same year (ie May 1918) . John Redmond's 'Irish Parliamentary Party' won only six seats , despite the 'backhanded' assistance given to that Party by the then British Prime Minister , Lloyd George -

- he had instructed the British Army 'Election Censors' to cut sections out of the Sinn Fein Election Manifesto , seized their leaflets and posters , 'arrested' Sinn Fein speakers and declared that the 47 imprisoned Sinn Fein candidates , including the Party leader , Eamon de Valera , should remain behind British prison bars . Before the 1918 General Election , Ireland was 'represented' in the Westminster 'House of Commons' by 103 members ,
comprising 68 'Home Rulers' (Irish Parliamentary Party , also referred to as 'The Irish Nationalist Party') , 18 members of the 'Unionist Party' (as the name suggests , in favour of the 'Union' between Ireland and England) , 10 'Independent' members and 7 Sinn Fein members .

After the 1918 Election , the political scene in Ireland was transformed .......

(MORE LATER).


Why We Ended The Hunger-Strike .
The full text of the H-Block Blanket Men's statement announcing the end of the 1981 Hunger-Strike .

First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2, November 1981 , pages 23 , 24 , 25 and 26 .
Re-published here in 18 parts .
(2 of 18).


" On March 1st , 1981 , Bobby Sands embarked on hunger-strike ; on April 9th , 1981 , 30,492 people in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency elected him as their MP and by doing so they recognised him as a political prisoner and demanded that the British Government respect the mandate given by them and by the entire nationalist community on the streets by implementing the five demands -
1 No prison uniform .
2 No prison work .
3 Free association .
4 Full remission .
5 Visits , parcels and recreational/educational facilities .

The British Government , caught in the hypocrisy of their own " democracy jargon " , ignored the people's wishes and mandate . On April 23rd , 1981 , Charles Haughey , the Dublin premier , met relatives of Bobby Sands and by playing on their distress convinced them that the intervention of the ECHR ('European Commission on Human Rights') could , and would , solve the issue .

Bobby Sands' sister , Marcella , acted on Charlie Haughey's advice and signed an intervention document . The ECHR delegation came to Long Kesh and Bobby Sands said he would meet them ......."

(MORE LATER).


ONE THAT GOT AWAY .......
Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(5 of 13).

Shortly after eight o'clock on the morning of 6th January 1987 , Aiden Murray and other armed Detectives raided a house in Cashlings , West Donegal ; inside , they roused a young man from his sleep - he was wearing pants only and , when asked his name , he hesitated before telling them he was 'Colm McGuire' .

He requested to see a doctor and solicitor and refused to answer any further questions . Detective Aiden Murray promptly arrested 'McGuire' on suspicion of being a member of the IRA . The Gardai were back at base in Ballyshannon with their prisoner soon after nine o' clock ; they still had no official identity for him and , in accordance with his wishes , a local solicitor was sent for .

A Solicitor , John Murray , arrived and after consulting with the man in the cell , told gardai during a casual conversation that the prisoner was Patrick McIntyre of Ard O'Donnell , Letterkenny . The gardai say that minutes afterwards they received information which possibly linked McIntyre to a robbery in Ballyshannon immediately before Christmas and that they began questioning him about this crime .

By mid-morning the word was out in Donegal : Paddy McIntyre had been collared and the prospect of extradition loomed . By that afternoon , a Belfast solicitor , Pat Finucane , was contacting a colleague in Dublin .......

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, November 04, 2004

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

....... in September 1914 , the 'Irish Volunteers' split - the majority (about 160,000 men) agreed with their leader John Redmond that they should assist the Brits in the war with Germany , while about 12,000 men dis-agreed and left with Eoin MacNeill and other figures in the leadership .......

The British had their hands full with 'World War One' and , in an unusually astute decision , decided to turn a blind eye to the marches and parades being carried out by those that had left with Eoin MacNeill , a group now known as the 'Irish Volunteers / Sinn Fein Volunteers' ; as the then British Chief Secretary for Ireland , Augustine Birrell , put it -

- " To proclaim the Irish Volunteers as an illegal body and put them down by force wherever they appear would , in my opinion , be a reckless and foolish act and would promote disloyalty to a prodigious extent . " Damned if they do (because the population would resent them even more for doing so) and damned if they did'nt (as it gave the Rebels 'breathing space') . Even when the Brits are playing it 'smart' , they are'nt !

But Westminster did attempt to use the talk , the threat and the issue of conscription to their own advantage - they claimed that was the reason why the 1918 General Election returned the results it did ie 'Conscription Act' introduced in April 1918 , General Election held in December 1918 . That 1918 Election was the first 'General Election' in the 'United Kingdom' since 1910 , and new 'elements' had been added - the electoral register , for instance , was three times larger than it had been in 1910 , and included , for the first time , women over thirty and all men over twenty-one .

The Sinn Fein victory was overwhelming ; nearly three-quarters of all the Irish seats (in Westminster) were now in Nationalist / Republican hands .......

(MORE LATER).


Why We Ended The Hunger-Strike .
The full text of the H-Block Blanket Men's statement announcing the end of the 1981 Hunger-Strike .

First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2, November 1981 , pages 23 , 24 , 25 and 26 .
Re-published here in 18 parts .
(1 of 18).

" We , the protesting Republican prisoners in the H-Blocks , being faced with the reality of sustained family intervention , are forced by this circumstance , over which we have little control at the moment , to end the hunger-strike .

After four years of continual protest , and after the failure of the Cardinal O'Fiaich / Humphrey Atkins talks , and having exhausted all other means of protest to bring about a settlement , we embarked on hunger-strike on October 27th , 1980 .

That hunger-strike ended on December 18th , 1980 , when the British Government intimated to the hunger-strikers that they would implement a workable and just solution which was forwarded to the hunger-strikers on 18th December 1980 .

In the course of the immediate post - hunger-strike period it became increasingly clear that the British Government had reneged on their commitment to implement that solution and so we were back in a pre- hunger-strike predicament and thus forced to go back on hunger-strike ....... "

(MORE LATER).


ONE THAT GOT AWAY .......
Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(4 of 13).

Re-captured within two days after the September 1983 jail-break , Patrick McIntyre had to wait three years and three months to get a second chance ; with less than six months of his original sentence left , he was due three days ' rehabilitation parole ' as Christmas 1986 approached . The prison authorities opposed his release because the trial of the Maze escapers was pending , but McIntyre defeated their objections before the courts .

The Provisionals approved his absconding - they believed the recently introduced ' rehabilitation ' gimmick was geared to cause divisions in their structures within the prisons . By December 20th , 1986 , the RUC were looking for him but he was over the border , in Donegal , getting his hair timted !

On the twisty main road between Killybegs and Kilcar , in West Donegal , there is a white flat-roofed dwelling in the townland of Cashlings ; some Gardai consider it ' a safe house ' . Raymond 'The Rooster' McLaughlin , a well-known IRA activist , was suspected of stopping off there not long before he drowned , accidentally , in a pool , in County Clare , in 1985 . Shortly after eight o'clock on the morning of 6th January 1987 , Aiden Murray and other armed Detectives raided the house .......

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, November 03, 2004

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

....... some of those within the 'Irish Volunteers' did not agree with the pro-British 'call-to-arms' statement of its leader , John Redmond ; Eoin MacNeill , who was in a leadership position in that organisation , was one of them .......

However , in 1916 (two years after John Redmond's 'call-to-arms' to assist the British war effort) , Eoin MacNeill did something just as bad himself - he was then a Professor of Early Irish History and co-founder (with Douglas Hyde) of the 'Gaelic League' (in 1893) . MacNeill issued the " Manoeuvres Cancelled " order , regarding the 1916 Rising , which was published in 'The Sunday Independent' newspaper the day before the Rising .

MacNeill believed that the Brits were about to make a move against the 'Irish Volunteers' and this apparently swayed him into supporting an Easter 1916 Rising , but he was , for the most part , reluctant to follow that path . On hearing that the weapons on board 'The Aud' would not now be available to the Irish Rebels , and that Roger Casement had been 'arrested' by the British , he reverted to his anti-Rising position . His "..Cancelled .." Order caused great confusion within the ranks of the Rebels and , although Padraig Pearse , James Connolly and other Rebel leaders immediately issued an Order that the 'manoeuvres' which had been 'cancelled' would now go ahead twenty-four hours later (ie at 12 noon on Easter Monday) , the damage had been done - less than one-thousand armed men turned out on the day .

However - end of that particular 'tangent' ! : as a result of John Redmond's pro-Brit 'call-to-arms' (in September 1914) , the 'Irish Volunteers' split - about 160,000 men stayed with Redmond , calling themselves the 'National Volunteers' , and at least 12,000 men , who dis-agreed with the 'lets-help-the-Brits' plan , left with Eoin MacNeill and other leaders , keeping the original name of the 'Irish Volunteers' : it was this (smaller) organisation which soon became known as the 'Sinn Fein Volunteers' , a 'loose term' used at the time to describe anyone , or group , who refused to help in the British war effort .......

(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.

Some details about the Author , Micheal O'Suilleabhain -

The people successfully resisted the efforts to impose a foreign tongue on themselves and their children , and they countered the proselytising attempts by ardently and intensively preserving the Irish language , music , songs , games and pastimes . Micheal O'Suilleabhain is of his people - bone and tissue . Brought up in their tradition , he was a member of the Volunteers at the age of thirteen and had just reached his fourteenth birthday when the men and women of 1916 wrote the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Ireland and of the entire British 'Empire' .

During the years that immediately followed the Easter Rising he and his comrades were destined to fight a guerilla war on their native mountainsides , that was to become an important part of the pattern of the nation-wide fight for freedom . Through mountain passes and along the beds of creeks , Micheal O'Suilleabhain takes us to attack an armed 'police' patrol or to plan a large-scale engagement against the elite of Britain's specially recruited fighting forces in Ireland - the infamous Auxiliaries , all ex-commissioned Offices and , to a man , much decorated veterans of 'World War One' .

The rank smell of cordite and the smoke and dust of battle on rock-bordered roads are in this book . But in it , too, is heard the beating of the hearts of the mountainy men ; through it rings the gay laughter of its comely young women and the warm affection of parents , sons and daughters , in the mountain homes of Muskerry .

It was inevitable that Micheal O'Suilleabhain and his people should rally to the armed struggle for freedom with an all-embracing dedication . They comprehended , perhaps better than most areas in the country , the fundamental causes that led to 1916 and to the War of Independence . And from the ranks of their fighting men has come a chronicler of competence and talent to tell their story as few others could have told it .

[END of 'WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN ... - Some details about the Author'].
(Tomorrow - from November 1981 : 'Why we ended the Hunger-Strike').


ONE THAT GOT AWAY .......
Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(3 of 13).

After 14 months on remand in the North , Patrick McIntyre came before a judge ; he was in deep trouble , as he had signed a statement admitting involvement in the attempted 'murder' of a UDR member ('Ulster[sic] Defence Regiment' - a pro-British militia) near Castlederg in County Tyrone , in late 1977 . McIntyre refused to recognise the court , was convicted and given a fifteen year jail sentence ; Jim Clarke was also jailed for the Castlederg attack - he got eighteen years .

The first part of their detention was spent in Crumlin Road Prison - Patrick McIntyre says he was locked-up for twenty-three hours each day . A different source says " ...conditions in the Crum were relatively calm because , soon after , Republicans in Long Kesh were breaking every stick of furniture in their cells . " Patrick McIntyre amd Jim Clarke were transferred to the Kesh at a time when the campaign for retention of political status was intensifying ; they took part in the Blanket Protest and were still there during the 1981 Hunger-Strike .

The two men were together , too, among the 38 inmates who escaped from the prison in September 1983 ; sticks and screwdrivers and handguns were used and a Prison Officer , James Ferris , was killed during the break-out . Patrick McIntyre managed to stay loose for two days ; cameramen were alerted to film him and another escaper , Joe Corey , being recaptured near Castlewellan , County Down . He would have to wait three years and three months before he got a second chance to escape .......

(MORE LATER).
(Readers please note - we will publish critical comments in the 'Guestbook' , providing same contains no foul language . Go raibh maith agat , agus slan go foill - Sharon . ).






Tuesday, November 02, 2004

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

....... as the leader of the 'Irish Volunteers' , John Redmond called on Irishmen to join the British Army and help in the war against Germany ....

On 20th September , 1914 , John Redmond stated - " It would be a disgrace forever to our country , and a reproach to her manhood , and a denial of the lessons of her history , if young Ireland confined her efforts to remain at home to defend the shores of Ireland from an unlikely invasion , and shrank from the duty of proving on the field of battle that gallantry and courage which has distinguished our race all through its history . " ('1169 ...' comment - what a warped sense of history and a misguided view of 'gallantry' and 'courage' that man had !)

Others , obviously , did not agree with Redmond - amongst them was James Connolly , the Irish Trade Union leader , who was also in command of the Irish Citizen Army , who answered Redmond's call thus -

' Full steam ahead , John Redmond said ,
that everything was well , chum ;
Home Rule will come when we are dead ,
and buried out in Belgium . '

Also , some of John Redmond's own men dis-agreed with his pro-British 'call-to-arms' ; Eoin MacNeill , who was then in a leadership position within the 'Irish Volunteers' , was of the opinion that the 'Irish Volunteers' should only use force against the British if Westminster first moved against them ; a bit 'watery' , definately , but he was , however , against fighting with the British .

Eoin MacNeill was to come to prominence again , two years later , in 1916 ; in a move which outraged Irish Republicans ...

(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.

Some details about the Author , Micheal O'Suilleabhain .

The Planters who drove our people from the good lands followed them into the rocky mountain valleys and formed the hard-won little holdings into 'estates' on which 'rents' were levied for the benefit of 'landlords' who lived abroad .

Even the bodies of the mountainy men and women were commandeered at the whim of the 'masters' . The wild birds of the air and all the ground game were decreed the 'property' of the 'overlords' ; a native Irishman whose greyhound chased a hare or who took a shot at grouse or snipe ran the risk of being shot by a 'gamekeeper' .

The constant struggle against the twin forces of nature and an alien 'law' , both formidable and unrelenting , failed , however , to break the spirit of the people . It destroyed neither their capacity for simple social enjoyment nor their determination to throw off the yoke of serfdom ; rather did the long years of endurance foster in them a strong tradition of resistance to oppression .......

(MORE LATER).


ONE THAT GOT AWAY .......
Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(2 of 13).

Two of the seven men detained were from Letterkenny in County Donegal ; Patrick McIntyre of Ard O'Donnell and his pal , Jim Clarke . Patrick McIntyre is the fifth of a family of nine , who did his 'Leaving Certificate' (school examination) in 1976 and , after taking a six months AnCo (state work-training ) course , started working on a building site in Letterkenny . John McIntyre , his father , is the Editor of the 'Donegal People's Press' newspaper ; he is a large man with a passion for ice-cream and the card-game 'bridge' , who has managed to go through life without making a single enemy .

As a youth , Patrick McIntyre was , as friends describe him , a 'withdrawn kind of a lad' . His involvement with the IRA was to surprise the entire family . But he had been impressed by the 1916 plaque in Saint Eunan's College , by the sight of Derry refugees taking shelter in Letterkenny , of the (Free State) Army on stand-by near the border , by emotive speeches by politicians and by the 'Arms Trial' .

He mixed with Official Sinn Fein members in the early 1970's : they held meetings in a room over a pub in Letterkenny where local issues were discussed . But he always stayed clear of public displays - and not a word was said at home .......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, November 01, 2004

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

....... in 1941 , the Brits were considering the 'introduction' of conscription in the Six Occupied Counties of Ireland . The (pro-British) U.S. Ambassador in the Free State , a Mr. David Gray , knew it would be a mistake ; in a letter to his 'boss' , the American Secretary of State , he wrote (on 24th May 1941).......

".... Eighty thousand Irish Volunteers in the British Army will be disaffected , there will be no material number of Nationalist conscripts , a government, a popular majority and an army inclined to be friendly to Great Britain rather than to the Axis will become definitely hostile , possibly giving active aid to Germany and most important of all the pro-British opposition will be helpless and the opportunity for dividing the country on the question of the ports will be lost for the duration .

The effect on Irish-American opinion at this juncture is not for me to estimate . This is a grave situation . " Shortly afterwards , Churchill wrote -

- " .... the (British) Cabinet is inclined to the view it would be more trouble than it's worth to go through with conscription . No immediate decision will be taken and in the meantime the less made of the affair the better . " It took , as usual , the threat of force , or force itself , before the British realised that there would be a re-action to their action . And it still does today .

However - 'tangents' as always ! : back to the earlier part of the 20th Century in Ireland - the 'Irish Volunteers' , under the leadership of John Redmond , called for Irishmen to join the British Army and help in the war against Germany .......

(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.

Some details about the Author , Micheal O'Suilleabhain -

Against a striking backdrop of mountain , rock , river and lake , Micheal O'Suilleabhain sets the story that he has to tell . There is in his tale an interlacing thread of high drama that is neither intentional nor contrived . It comes with an articulate voice and forcible impact out of the land and the people about whom he writes .

His people live in three parishes that cover almost eighty square miles ; in this area , the small sloping fields that now grow crops and help to support livestock were won from the stony ground by hard unremitting physical labour . The quality of the soil is not good and all the fields have been reclaimed from the rock , the marsh , the bog , the heather and the brake .

The work of reclamation was done , with the worst of tools , by men and women who were driven , long ago, from the fertile inland by successive plantations . But their labours were rewarded only by further confiscations by the Planters .......

(MORE LATER).


ONE THAT GOT AWAY .
Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(1 of 13).

On Easter Sunday morning of 1978 , seven raw County Donegal Provo recruits crossed the border to Derry City ; they had been chosen to form the Colour Party for the Easter Commemoration ceremony that afternoon , leading the Easter Parade through the Creggan and Bogside where Daithi O Conaill delivered the oration .

The 'show' over , the Colour Party members went into the Rossville Street flats , stripped off their paramilitary clothes and dark glasses and got into casual clothes . The back road from Creggan to the border had been checked and cleared , they were assured .

Some of the seven men wanted to go for a few pints and then take the bus home . Under protest , they all piled into the one car and were driven off . The joint British Army/RUC patrol which intercepted them minutes later already had photographs of all seven men taken from a helicopter during the Easter Parade .

IRA membership would be easy to prove .......

(MORE LATER).