" 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!


Monday, January 10, 2005

THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION , 1921-1925 .......
A British 'sleight-of-hand' which caused a mutiny within British forces in Ireland.......

....... with 'their man' on the Boundary Commission (Eoin MacNeill) gone from that body (and , indeed , gone from Leinster House as well !) the Free State President , William Cosgrave , and his 'Minister for Home Affairs' , Kevin O'Higgins , arrived in Downing Street in London for a meeting with British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and Stormont 'Prime Minister' 'Sir' James Craig - that was on the 25th November 1925 . Within nine days (ie by the 3rd December 1925) , the Free Staters had been 'sold' another 'pup' by the Brits ....... !


On the 3rd December 1925 , all those present at a meeting (ie all those mentioned in the intro.) agreed that the 'border' , as fixed 5 years earlier in the ' 1920 Government of Ireland Act ' and as stated in the 1921 Treaty of Surrender , would so remain , and an agreement was signed to that effect by those present . But the Brits , no doubt smelling fear and relief at the same time from the Free Staters , wanted more 'concessions' .......

.......they pushed for , and got , a separate agreement that the 'Council of Ireland' (a 'talking-shop' which the 1921 Treaty promised to set-up) be scraped (even though it had not , in fact , ever been established !) , and , as a final insult to the Free State muppets , the Brits demanded that they repay the compensation which Westminster had paid to them for damage which the Brits themselves had caused in Ireland during the Black and Tan War !

And , in for a (British) penny , in for a (British) pound - no doubt by now realising the 'calibre' of the men they were up against , the Brits also insisted , and again, got , a commitment from the Free Staters that they would continue to pay land annuities to the British Exchequer !

The British Government 'leak' of mis-information to the 'London Morning Post' newspaper (on 7th November 1925) had worked as intended ; put the fear of God into the Free Staters and paid handsome dividends to the Brits . That is , of course , unless you believe the Free State version of how that meeting went .......

(MORE LATER).


PASSIONATE FRIEND .

For the past thirteen years , British solicitor ALISTAIR LOGAN has pursued with dogged determination an almost single-handed campaign to prove the innocence of a number of Irish people convicted of bombings in Britain in the seventies .

DEREK DUNNE talks to him about his motivation and his experiences .


First published in ' IN DUBLIN ' magazine , No. 274 , 19th March 1987 , pages 8 and 9 .

Re-published here in 5 parts .

( 1 of 5).


In 1975 , eleven people were wrongly convicted of the Guildford and Woolwich pub bombings in Britain the previous year . In the past eighteen months , there have been numerous television programmes about the case and British Home Secretary Douglas Hurd has finally sent the convictions back to the Court of Criminal Appeal for reconsideration .

One man , solicitor Alistair Logan , was mainly responsible for that gain , but his single-mindedness has cost him dearly ; it is now generally accepted that the eleven people are innocent , and should not be in jail . But Alistair Logan did'nt even want the case in the first instance - " I was on the panel of legal aid solicitors and they rang me up one morning and asked if I'd take the case of the Guildford bombers - thats exactly how they put it - and I said 'No' . I was a sole practitoner at the time and I felt that a case of that size would be too big for me to handle .

And they rang me back two hours later and said nobody else would take the case , so I said 'okay'....... "

(MORE LATER).


NORAID'S UNTOLD MILLIONS .......

Irish-Americans have long had complex and contradictory relations with Ireland and the 'Irish Question' . On Saint Patrick's Day , all the ambiguities are apparent .
This year (ie 1987) , on Saint Patrick's Day , the latest book by Irish writer , Jack Holland was published in New York , exploring the tangled web of links between Irish-Americans and the Irish in Ireland , the IRA and the Irish government .

' The American Connection ' describes the activities of leading Irish-American politicians , of romanticising writers and of gun-runners .
In this edited extract , the author tells how Noraid was set up and how it has resisted pressures to disclose all the sources and uses of its funds .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1987 .
Re-published here in 31 parts .
(19 of 31).

Other NORAID activists were brought before the courts in places as far apart as Butte , Montana , and Baltimore to face weapons-smuggling charges ; on February 14th , 1974 , Federal Agents scored a 'coup' in New York - Treasury Department Agents arrested James Conlon and Michael Larkin , accusing them of conspiring to smuggle twenty thousand dollars' worth of arms , purchased at a Maryland gun shop owned by William Westerfund .

Westerfund was also arrested , as were two other Irish-American activists , Harry Hillick and Kieran MacMahon . Involved were one hundred Armalite rifles , which they were alleged to have obtained from William Westerfund .

All went to prison - James Conlon , who was in poor health , died soon after his release . From around this time , in the mid-1970's , NORAID's filings show a sharp decrease in funds . in 1975 , their returns reveal that for the first time the yearly collections dropped below $200,000 ; during 1975 , $174,000 was reported . The following year the amount fell to $119,500 , and the decline continued into 1977 , when the INAC registered collections of only $108,000 .......

(MORE LATER).
(If Mr. Peter Knox from Australia is reading this : I am unable to locate any further information on that person - I tried a number of times to contact you on the e-mail address you gave me , but my letters were , as Elvis would say , 'returned to sender' ! Sorry its not better news ; Sharon ).