Monday, January 17, 2005

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

....... Joe Devlin was amongst those who objected to a Loyalist paramilitary organisation being armed by Westminster (the UVF) and being called a ' police force ' ; Devlin was a busy man - as well as other political jobs , he acted as General Secretary for the United Irish League (UIL)/Home Rule Party , from 1904 to 1920 .......

At 34 years of age , Joe Devlin served as the 'National President' of the Ancient Order of Hibernians , a position he held for 29 years (!) [until he died in 1934] , during which time he forged links between the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the United Irish League .

He first took a seat in Stormont in 1921 (at 50 years of age) [and stayed there until 1934] ; in 1928 (at 57 years of age) he founded , and Chaired , the 'National League of the North ' . Incidentally , he was not related to Bernadette Devlin or Paddy Devlin : end of that Joe Devlin 'tangent' !

Back to basics : in November 1920 , in Belfast , recruitment for the 'Specials' commenced ; the 'calibre' of these 'Specials' can be accurately gauged from an incident on 23rd January 1921 , when the RIC were called-out to investigate a claim that a pub in Clones , County Monaghan , was being destroyed by armed men .

Thinking it was an IRA Unit 'closing down' a pub because it served and sheltered enemy forces , the RIC 'tooled-up' and hit the road .......


By Vincent Browne .

From 'MAGILL' magazine , December 1980 , pages 26 and 27 .
Re-published here in 10 parts .
(1 of 10).

The H-Block issue has caused divisions in Irish society deeper than any exposed during the last decade of troubles in the North . Not alone are the unionist and nationalist communities now sharply polarised again , but there has arisen the spectre of a deep and hostile division between the nationalist community in the North and the vast majority of the people of southern Ireland .

The degree of support for H-Block protestors in the Catholic areas of the North has witnessed no parallel , certainly not since the Civil Rights demonstrations of the late 1960's . The Roman Catholic community's alienation from the Provisional IRA was thought to be almost complete following a succession of atrocities , culminating in the La Mons disaster , and the very obvious support given to the 'Peace People' in 1976 .

Yet it was during the 'Peace Peoples' most notable triumphs on the streets of the Falls and Shankill that the H-Block issue started to germinate .

It was that summer that young Kieran Nugent started on his blanket protest , which seemed doomed to failure and a wall of public indifference .......



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 .
(24 of 31).

Objections were raised to Liz O'Hara's presence on the tour ; could'nt someone with more pure 'republican' connections be found ? Ironically , at the same time that some of NORAID's leaders were expressing these objections , ' The Irish People ' newspaper was praising Patsy O'Hara as a martyr .

In the end , Malachy McCreesh and Bobby Sands' brother , Sean , refused to go on the U.S. tour unless Liz O'Hara accompanied them - whatever INAC's objections were , they had to be put aside in the interests of solidarity with the hunger strikers .

The vexing question of exactly how much cash was raised on that tour was made even more complex than usual with NORAID at this time : because it was in dispute with the U.S. Justice Department over the registration issue , the Committee was refusing to file its six-monthly financial returns . The last period for which those figures were available before 1984 , when the dispute was resolved , was January-July 1981 .

For this period , NORAID disclosed that it raised $92,800 , a startingly small sum considering the huge swell of support it was then getting .......