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' .......


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 .

( Monday , 17th - ' THE POLITICS OF H-BLOCK ' : from 1980 ).


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 .......