" 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, December 10, 2004

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

....... it took a few months before British General 'Sir' Nevil Macready realised that Westminster had given him a ' poisoned chalice ' by appointing him as the 'Commander-in-Chief' of the British Forces in Ireland .......

On 24th May 1921 , Macready sent his political boss in London a memorandum in which he stated that a full British military victory in Ireland , against the guerilla troops of the IRA " was almost an impossibility ... " . The Brits were apparently of the opinion that if 'Sir' Nevile could'nt do it , then it could'nt be done .

So , on 22nd June 1921 , British 'King' George V , who was in Belfast to open the new 'Home Rule Parliament' at Stormont , issued the following statement -

- " I speak from a full heart when I pray that my coming to Ireland today may prove to be the first step towards an end of strife amongst her peoples , whatever their race or creed . In that hope , I appeal to all Irishmen to pause , to stretch out the hand of forebearance and conciliation , to forgive and forget and to join in making for the land which they love a new era of peace , contentment and goodwill . "

Things moved quickly after that signal from the Brits - on 9th July 1921 , Eamon de Valera led an Irish Republican delegation in a pre-arranged meeting with , amongst others , British General Macready and his Under-Secretary , Andy Cope .......

(MORE LATER).


PLASTIC BULLETS.

First published in 'IRIS' Magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .
In April 1981, 1,955 plastic bullets were fired - a rate of one every 20 minutes over the month . This was more than in the whole of 1980 .
Plastic bullets do not arouse the indignation that normal bullets excite . Over 7,000 have been fired since the death of Bobby Sands (ie May 1981 - November 1981) .
The intent of the British is that the mass protests can be shot off the streets without international opinion responding , as it would to news of large numbers of civilians being shot-up with buck shot or live rounds in , for example , South Africa .

Cases since April 1981 ; ' * ' denotes plastic bullet death .
Re-published here in 11 parts .
(1 of 11).

APRIL 22nd , 1981 . * Paul Withers , 15 years of age , Derry . Shot from three yards by British soldier . Suffered massive fracture of skull and died later . Paul was shot near the scene of a minor riot .

April 23rd , 1981 . Brendan Kelly , 21 years of age , Dungiven , Co. Derry . Shot at close range by RUC . Lost his right eye , seventeen stitches to head , teeth loosened by impact . No riot was going on at the time .

May 5th , 1981 - day of Bobby Sands death ; Martin Hamill , 15 years of age , Turf Lodge , Belfast . shot at close range by British soldier . Hit by two bullets . Severe damage to face . He was walking home with a friend when shot . No rioting in area .

(MORE LATER).


THE EXTRADITION FIASCO .......
By Derek Dunne .
First published in 'Magill' magazine , October 1985 , pages 9,10 and 11.
Re-published here in 13 parts.
(11 of 13).

Those wishing to claim the " political " exception from extradition , must first therefore admit to the 'crime' ; this poses a particularly acute problem for those who are completely innocent . There guilt or innocence cannot be an issue in extradition proceedings as the law now stands . And in order to have even an opportunity of exempting themselves from extradition , they must incriminate themselves and plead guilty .

Dominic McGlinchey , Seamus Shannon and John Patrick Quinn could all have been charged in the 'Republic' with the 'offences' they were wanted for in the North and Britain under the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act 1976 ; however , the British authorities chose not to proceed along those lines .

Robert Russell is wanted by the RUC in the North for " escape from lawful custody " ; he was one of the 38 Maze escapees in September 1983 . Russell , 27 , was interned when he was 16 . In 1976 , he was arrested and charged with a killing but the charges were later dropped . In 1982 , he was sentenced to 20 years for the attempted murder of Superintendent Drew in Belfast ; he was also convicted of wounding with intent , and having firearms and ammunition .

He was granted a retrial but the conviction was upheld . In 1984 , another escapee , Philip McMahon , was granted an order by the Supreme Court restraining his extradition .......

(MORE LATER).
( To the " descendant of P.McG " : thank you for the comments - much appreciated . / Annabel ; that site is 'down' for now , but keep checking - I'm sure they will be able to help you - Sharon . ).






Thursday, December 09, 2004

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

....... in 1980 , a Black and Tan member spoke about why he and thousands like him joined that group ; political motivation had nothing to do with it .......

" ... the pay in the [French] Foreign Legion was only ten centimes a day for a five-year period . On going back to my room - where I lived - I happened to pick-up a current edition of ' The Daily Mail ' newspaper and I saw in it this advert for recruits wanted for the RIC with good pay , danger money , prospects for promotion and a pension at the end .

So I thought to myself ; why should I risk my life and perhaps my limbs for ten centimes a day when I could join the RIC for good money ? So I decided to join up there and then .

And , of course , there was good money [in the RIC]. It was £6 per week and I think I'd been getting 28 shillings (£1.40) a week when I'd finished up in the (British) Army . The average wage in the RIC was about two to three times what the men could have earned in England . "

However - Westminsters 'Plan B' , General 'Sir' Nevil Macready , and his band of unstable looters , the Black and Tans , were fought every inch of the way ; by May 1921 (on the 24th of that month) the 'penny dropped' for 'Sir' Nevile Macready - he finally realised that westminster had handed him a 'poisoned chalice' .......

(MORE LATER).


RELEASE NICKY KELLY .......
By Vincent Browne .

First published in 'Magill' magazine , April 1982 , pages 4 and 5 .
Re-published here in 8 parts .
[8 of 8].

The Sallins robbery took place at the height of the Coalition's hysteria about 'law and order' - a time when the Gardai would have been most encouraged to believe that the authorities would stand behind them in whatever they did to stamp out " subversive crime . "

As stated above , the handling by the Special Criminal Court of the case was less than satisfactory and the Court of Criminal Appeal has proved entirely unprepared to deal with the issues which the court throws up . At the end of it all Nicky Kelly is in Portlaoise Prison doing a 12-year sentence ; apart from the material fact that he is entirely innocent , there is the point that the processes whereby he has ended up serving this sentence have proved entirely unsatisfactory .

There is only one correct course of action now - Release Nicky Kelly and then institute an enquiry into the entire background to the case .

[END of ' RELEASE NICKY KELLY '].
(Tomorrow - 'PLASTIC BULLETS' : from 1981).


THE EXTRADITION FIASCO .......
By Derek Dunne .
First published in 'Magill' magazine , October 1985 , pages 9,10 and 11.
Re-published here in 13 parts.
(10 of 13).


Sources close to the (FS) government deny that there is any embarrassment over the John Patrick Quinn-extradition affair and say that there are " no plans to change the law " in relation to the production of prima facie evidence in Irish courts for people wanted in the North and Britain . Nonetheless , Quinn's case is bound to have a bearing on the cases now due before the courts in the Republic. The fact that the law had been altered significantly in the case , and then all charges dismissed , is bound to be an issue .

For three years , John Patrick Quinn had the threat of prosecution and charge hanging over him ; and then on the day , the British authorities could not apparently produce enough evidence in court to proceed with their case . The fact that the British police were taking steps to acquire Quinn's affidavit also shows that they did not have the proof required to proceed .

This fact assumes a new importance when one considers that in the Shannon judgement last year (ie 1984) , the Supreme Court intimated that the motive of those committing 'criminal acts' was an important consideration in whether or not the 'crimes' were political and thus exempt from extradition . Those wishing to claim ' political exception from extradition ' must first therefore admit to the 'crime' .......

(MORE LATER).
(Annabel - you could try posting your request here ; you will have to register first , but its free , quick , and cheerful ! I hope they can help you out - Sharon .)






Wednesday, December 08, 2004

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

....... on 29th December 1920 , in Midleton , County Cork , three RIC/Tan members were killed in a gunfight with the IRA ; on 3rd January 1921 , 'The Cork Examiner' newspaper printed a statement from the Brits , outlining their position , and intentions , regarding that IRA attack .......

That British statement declared that the " Authorities " were going to destroy some nearby houses " ... as the inhabitants were bound to have known of the ambush and attack , and they neglected to give any information either to the military or police authorities . "

Seven houses were chosen ; the families in them were given one hour to remove any money or valuables , but not furniture . The houses were then destroyed . Four months before those January 1921 'reprisals' in Cork (ie in September [20th] 1920) , four pubs in Balbriggan , County Dublin , were looted and then burned-down by the Black and Tans who , for good measure , raided and wrecked 49 houses in the neighbourhood and , before withdrawing , bayoneted two 'suspects' to death .

Those armed thugs and ruffians had no political motivation - in an interview with author Taylor Downing , in 1980 , a Black and Tan told him the following :

: " I came back from the First War and I thought that anything was better that standing in a queue . There were so many millions out of work . And then I saw this advertisement for the Royal Irish Constabulary and it said apply to Scotland Yard and I joined , and then I had to do down to Chelsea to pass a test which I did . The next night I caught the train from Euston and I was in Dublin the next morning .

I had a flare for a little adventure , and I was about to join the (French) Foreign Legion . But on enquiring , I found that the pay was only ten centimes a day ......."

(MORE LATER).


RELEASE NICKY KELLY .......
By Vincent Browne .

First published in 'Magill' magazine , April 1982 , pages 4 and 5 .
Re-published here in 8 parts .
(7 of 8).

Nicky Kelly's appeal was turned down by the Court of Criminal Appeal ; the technical grounds for his appeal differed from those in the cases of Osgur Breathnach and Brian McNally , and he was returned to Portlaoise Prison . The Appeal Court have allowed an appeal to the Supreme Court on a technicality but it will be possible there to argue the point whether the Appeal Court should examine the basis for the admission of statements in evidence - the point at the heart of the Nicky Kelly case , which was entirely ruled out of contention by established practice by the Court of Criminal Appeal .

The entire Sallins robbery case had proved to be a major national scandal - at one point Gerry Collins , then spokesperson on 'Justice' for Fianna Fail , demanded an enquiry into the actions of the Gardai in the case but when he became Minister he not alone did'nt institute an enquiry but promoted several Gardai who were prominent in the affair .......

(MORE LATER).


THE EXTRADITION FIASCO .......
By Derek Dunne .
First published in 'Magill' magazine , October 1985 , pages 9,10 and 11.
Re-published here in 13 parts.
(9 of 13).

In the weeks following the release of John Patrick Quinn , the ' London Evening Standard ' newspaper said that he " had been on the point of giving valuable information about bombings and assassinations , and appeared to be about to turn informer . Now he has fled to Dublin and what he could have told about the INLA and its organisation will never be known . He flew to Dublin where he is now staying at a secret address .... " Quinn was living openly in Ballina , County Mayo , and had not been interviewed by Special Branch detectives since his arrival in London .

His solicitor , Michael Fisher , says that " following his release , Scotland Yard tried to cover-up their embarrassment by blaming the Magistrate and alleged that he was on the point of giving information to the Special Branch about INLA activities . This was a lie and black propaganda and dangerous to Quinn ." Fisher further added that the case " was dismissed because the police lied in court , both orally and in a witness statement . I had no doubt that Quinn's case was selected by lawyers in both countries in order to change the extradition laws without anyone realising what was happening . This squalid manouvre deserves to fail ....... "

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, December 07, 2004

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

....... a British 'hardman' , General 'Sir' Nevil Macready , went to 'great lengths' (!) to ensure that the local Irish people that he was about to terrorise could prepare themselves for his " punishment " ; he gave them one hours notice ....... !

It was British policy that those to be " punished " would be given one hour " to remove any valuable foodstuffs , hay or corn , but not furniture ... " from their homes , which were then reduced to rubble by the use of explosives . However , generous to a fault as the Brits are/were , a slightly different variation of this " punishment " was applied to those who lived in terraced houses - the furniture was to be removed from the dwelling and burned in the street !

On 3rd January 1921 , in Middleton , Cork , the Brits reduced seven houses to rubble " in Official reprisal ... " for an IRA ambush carried-out in the area , on 29th December 1920 , in which three RIC/Tan members were killed . 'The Cork Examiner' newspaper carried a report of that particular IRA operation -

'Attack on Police at Midleton ,
Followed by Ambush ,
Two constables dead .

Closing on to ten o'clock at night when the police patrol standing at a corner of the main street were attacked by a large number of men who fired on them from three directions . The firing was of rapid but short duration . The ten policemen were considerably outnumbered , and taken as they were , completely by surprise , they had little time to put up a defence .

One of them , Mullen , was shot by one of the first few shots discharged . He was killed instantly . A telephone call was made to Cork , and some lorries of police and ambulances set out and had nearly got to Midleton by 11.30 pm .

The procession of lorries and ambulances , it is stated , had their way further impeded about two miles from the town , by obstacles , such as heavy branches of trees , lying on the roadway . They were just within two miles of the town , at a point where boreens cut off the main road , when fire was opened on the last lorry .

A sharp encounter ensued . In all , three policemen died as a result of the shooting . '

It was also on that same date (ie 3rd January 1921) that 'The Cork Examiner' newspaper printed a statement from the Brits , in which they outlined their position , and intentions , regarding that IRA attack .......

(MORE LATER).


RELEASE NICKY KELLY .......
By Vincent Browne .

First published in 'Magill' magazine , April 1982 , pages 4 and 5 .
Re-published here in 8 parts .
(6 of 8).

That the Court of Criminal Appeal should consistently refuse to look behind the decision of the Special Criminal Court on such matters is a matter for considerable disquiet , for it means that there is effectively no check on the Special Criminal Court's inevitably prejudiced predisposition towards the Gardai .

Nicky Kelly's two co-defendants , Osgur Breathnach and Brian McNally , were discharged on appeal on technical grounds ; by that time Kelly had absconded to Canada - he had jumped bail before the verdict in the Special Criminal Court . However , once his co-defendants were acquitted by the Court of Criminal Appeal he returned to Ireland and gave himself up to the Gardai .

He was immediately imprisoned in Portlaoise Prison and he had considerable difficulty in winning a right to appeal his conviction , not having lodged his appeal within the statutory period .......

(MORE LATER).


THE EXTRADITION FIASCO .......
By Derek Dunne .
First published in 'Magill' magazine , October 1985 , pages 9,10 and 11.
Re-published here in 13 parts.
(8 of 13).

One month later , the prosecution wanted the case delayed until after a High Court hearing in Dublin , scheduled for July , in which John Patrick Quinn's affidavits would be a matter for legal argument . Senior Treasury Counsel for the prosecution , Roy Amlot , said that the 'speciality rule' - a rule which allows for an extradited person to be charged only with the offences for which they were extradited - would apply .

Amlot also said that this was an agreement " reached between the Irish Attorney General and the British Attorney General ... " - but 'sources close to the [Dublin] Government' have denied that such an " agreement " was ever reached . All charges were dismissed against Quinn and he returned to Ireland .

In the weeks following his release , the 'London Evening Standard' newspaper and the 'Daily Express' newspaper carried unattributed stories about John Patrick Quinn .......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, December 06, 2004

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

....... when they failed to get the results they wanted in the 15th January 1920 Elections in Ireland , Westminster went to 'Plan B' - they called-in British Army General 'Sir' Nevil Macready .......

Macready was appointed ' Commander-in-Chief' of the British Forces in Ireland ; he was known to be in favour of martial law and the imposition of a complete military dictatorship on the island . In December 1920 , 'Sir' Macready told his political masters in Westminster that his " military governors " in Ireland had been given 'permission' " to inflict punishments ..." on the local population following any IRA operation in that same area -

- " Punishments will only be carried out on the authority of the Infantry Brigadier who , before taking action , will satisfy himself that the people concerned were , owing to their proximity to the outrage or their known political tendencies , implicated in the outrage . " ('1169...' comment - this was , in effect , 'carte blanche' to the British military to do as they liked in Ireland .)

Macready continued - " The punishment will be carried out as a Military Operation and the reason why it is being done will be publicly proclaimed . " However , as a 'PR stunt' , in the belief that he could portray himself as something other than the vicious bastard he was , Macready implemented a policy by which those to be " punished " were given one hours notice ....... !

(MORE LATER).


RELEASE NICKY KELLY .......
By Vincent Browne .

First published in 'Magill' magazine , April 1982 , pages 4 and 5 .
Re-published here in 8 parts .
(5 of 8).


In spite of this persuasive evidence of Garda ill-treatment a statement made by Nicky Kelly , while in custody , was held by the Special Criminal Court to have been made voluntarily (!) ; the Court accepted Garda evidence that there had been no ill-treatment of any of the defendants and insinuated that any injuries they received must have been self-inflicted .

On the basis of a statement made by Nicky Kelly while in Garda custody and on that evidence alone Kelly was convicted of charges in connection with robbery and sentenced to 12 years penal servitude .

The Special Criminal Court's acceptance of Garda assurances that statements were given voluntarily , when there is substantial evidence to show that there was a considerable degree of coercive pressure involved is not unusual .

It is one of the major defects of that court and , to a large extent , an inevitable defect - for the repeated exposure of Justices to Garda 'evidence' versus " subversive " claims , conditions the members of the court in favour of the Gardai .......

(MORE LATER).


THE EXTRADITION FIASCO .......
By Derek Dunne .
First published in 'Magill' magazine , October 1985 , pages 9,10 and 11.
Re-published here in 13 parts.
(7 of 13).

A copy of an affidavit , purporting to be John Patrick Quinn's affidavit in the High Court in Dublin was produced ; no application had been made to the High Court to have this made available . Legal counsel for Quinn , Michael Fisher , immediately took steps to ensure that the British authorities should not have access to the original affidavit without both parties being present .

Quinn applied for bail and was granted it on two sureties of £2,500 each ; Detective Barnes objected to bail on the grounds that Quinn would commit further offences and he would be unlikely to turn up for his hearing . Magistrate Norma Negus responded to this argument by telling Detective Barnes - " We're not in Dublin now . We're dealing with the Bail Act . " The prosecution were accused of " acting in bad faith , abusing the process of the court and inexcusable procrastination . "

Michael Fisher expressed fears at that point that John Patrick Quinn would be charged with offences other than those he had been extradited to face .......

(MORE LATER).