Wednesday, January 12, 2005

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

....... on 7th October 1924 , Stormont 'Prime Minister' , 'Sir' James Craig , delivered a speech in that institution in which he 'reminded' the Westminster Government that there were 40,000 armed men in the Six County 'State' who were , like him , not prepared to accept an " unfavourable " decision by the Boundary Commission .......

'Sir' James stated that he and his men would take any steps necessary " to defend their territory ... " (sic) ; he was referring to the 'Ulster (sic) Special Constabulary Association' , which was organised in three groups - the full-time A Specials , the part-time B Specials , and an 'on-call' (" loose category ") of C Specials .

The A Specials lived in barracks' and were used as re-inforcements for the RIC ; the B Specials concentrated on street-patrols and setting-up checkpoints , while the C Specials had no specific duties but were 'on call' as an armed militia .

Incidentally , when 'Sir' James Craig (Stormont 'Prime Minister') demanded the establishment of " a special Constabulary " for the Six County area (which he did , at a meeting in London on 2nd September 1920) he had only to wait six days for a reply - on 8th September 1920 , Westminster agreed that a force of " loyal citizens " should be raised - the then 'Ulster Volunteer Force' (UVF) , an armed pro-British paramilitary organisation in the Six Counties was , effectively , to become a ('legitimate') force of ' Special Constabulary ' - with a simple change of uniform !

It is arguably the position that this was the first instance of Westminster treating the Six County 'State' as a separate unit from what they alleged to believe was the 'United Kingdom' . However - the fact that Westminster was about to 'dress-up' a Loyalist militia as a ' Police Force ' , and arm same , sent shock-waves into the Nationalist community .......



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 .

( 3 of 5).

Alistair Logan received death threats from the 'National Front' and went to the police with them - they fell over laughing . He says they could have found out who had written the threats - they were posted in West Glamorgan and one of them indicated that one of the people responsible was related to one of those who had been injured in the pub in Guildford .

Friends and relatives have said to Alistair Logan that he has become " obsessive " about the case , but he would say it was a matter of conscience and determination . People , he says , tend to look at the case in hand rather than the wider issues : " If you are a believer in a democratic system and an impartial system of justice , cases of this nature are extremely important , because ultimately it depends on power and it's power which has caused these people to go into prison . "

In the event of the latest appeal failing , Logan would be prepared to go on doing it . At present , the case takes about one day out of every week , and he finances the entire campaign himself , flying to Ireland to attend meetings and so on .

" One of our battles is to keep the case in the public eye and it's very difficult to do that . There are so many other things going on ....... "



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 .
(21 of 31).

NORAID's lawyers and F.A.R.A. representatives met in court ; the battle was waged for four years - in 1981 , the courts found against NORAID , ordering it to register as an agent of the IRA . While appeals were heard , NORAID refused to file returns , in protest .

The wrangle lasted until the U.S. Justice Department threatened to sue NORAID for contempt of court in late 1983 ; early in 1984 , the court gave the Committee ninty days to comply with its ruling . Finally , something of a compromise was reached : NORAID agreed to file as an agent of the IRA , but with the stipulation that it be allowed to add that it had done so only under the court order .

The court agreed , and NORAID registered in the summer of 1984 , naming its " foreign principal " as the IRA " ... as ordered by the court ... " . During the period in which NORAID was facing the court order to file as an agent of the IRA , it was undergoing the greatest resurgence of sympathy and support it had ever experienced .......