" 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, January 14, 2005

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

....... in September 1920 , Westminster decided to arm " well-disposed citizens " in the Six County 'State' (ie those that were pro-British) , give them uniforms and call them a 'police force' - these were the 'Special Constabulary' , consisting of members of the UVF , an anti-Irish Loyalist paramilitary organisation .......


In October of 1920 , a Mr. J.R. Clynes of the British Labour Party voiced his concern , in Westminster , that the British Government were actully " arming the Orangemen " to " police their Catholic neighbours ... " in the Six County 'State' , while Joe Devlin ('United Irish League' - UIL) pointed out that 300 of the 'Special Constables' from the Lisburn area , had already " resigned in protest " because their " fellow Constables " would not stop looting their (Catholic) neighbours !

Mr. Devlin stated - " The Protestants are to be armed . Their pogrom is to be made less difficult . Instead of paving stones and sticks they are to be given rifles . " Joe Devlin led a busy life , but died young , at 63 years of age , in 1934 . A barman and journalist at the start of his working life , he was elected as a 'Home Rule MP' (British Parliament) for North Kilkenny in 1902 , at 31 years young , and held his seat until 1906 , when he was elected again , this time for the West Belfast area .

He was that area's representative in Westminster until 1922 ; he acted as General Secretary for the 'United Irish League' (UIL) / Home Rule Party , from 1904 to 1920 , and was also involved with the 'Ancient Order of Hibernians' .......

(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 .
[ 5 of 5].

When Alistair Logan goes in to see Paul Hill or Gerry Conlon or Patrick Armstrong or Carole Richardson in prison , he says - " They will put their arm around my shoulder and say ' Don't worry , Alistair , the truth will come out .' Now , they are people who are serving an unending sentence for something they have'nt done . And at the moment , they have'nt the remotest prospect of being released .

And yet they have this belief in the truth which is totally at odds with the situation in which they find themselves . When you see the way they behave , you feel ashamed about the comfortableness of your life and the comfortableness of your belief's . "

Alistair Logan has spent the last thirteen of his forty-four years involved with the case ; now , there are very senior 'establishment' figures such as Cardinal Hume , Lord Devlin and Lord Scarman on his side . This intimidates people who hitherto would have tended to put him down and as a result they give Logan a lot of respect these days because they are wary of what he might be able to achieve .

Even people who believed that he was wrong in 1974 and 1984 , have now come to believe that this case has been a miscarriage of justice .

[END of ' PASSIONATE FRIEND ... '].
( Monday , 17th - ' THE POLITICS OF H-BLOCK ' : from 1980 ).


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 .
(23 of 31).

The 1981 Hunger Strike brought feelings to a pitch ; as sympathy increased in the spring of 1981 , NORAID organised a tour by the relatives of the starving men . Bobby Sands' immediate successors on the hunger strike were Francis Hughes , Ray McCreesh , and Patsy O'Hara : Hughes died on May 12th , McCreesh and O'Hara nine days later .

Sands' brother Sean , and Malachy , the brother of Ray McCreesh , were available to come to the United States , and Patsy O'Hara had a sister , Liz , an attractive and vivacious woman who was at the same time outspoken and articulate .

Liz O'Hara was , on the surface , an ideal person to tour the United States ; however , there was a complication : like Bobby Sands , Ray McCreesh and Francis Hughes were both members of the IRA , but Patsy O'Hara belonged to the smaller , left-wing Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) .

Left-wing connections were a liability in Irish-American circles - some INAC activists feared that the 'Marxist' taint would counteract the kind of support the hunger strike was producing .......

(MORE LATER).