Tuesday, January 18, 2005

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

....... in November 1920 , recruitment commenced for the 'Special Constabulary' ; three months later (ie January[23rd] 1921) , the RIC (pro-British 'police force') got a call telling them that a pub in Clones , County Monaghan , was being destroyed by armed men - the RIC , thinking it was an IRA Unit 'closing-down' the pub because it served and sheltered enemy forces , 'tooled-up' and hit the road .......

The RIC pulled-up outside the premises - and opened fire on those inside ! And what a pity that those RIC men were'nt better shots or more heavily armed , or both , for those inside the pub were members of the 'Special Constabulary' , doing what they did best : looting ! One of them was shot dead by the RIC gunfire .

Meanwhile , while the 'Specials' were out looting and the RIC (when not doing the same !) were mistakingly shooting at them , the 'Ulster Volunteer Force' (UVF) , a Loyalist paramilitary organisation , (from which group the 'Specials' came) were still active ; the new man in charge was British Colonel F.H. Crawford , who had played an active part in the Larne gun-running episode in 1914 .

Westminster estimated UVF membership at 20,000 armed men ; its leader , Crawford , is perhaps better known for signing his name in blood on 'Ulster's Solemn League and Covenant' , and was regarded by those who worked with him as 'a fanatic' .

But rather than be alarmed at this 20,000-strong UVF organisation , the Brits were considering using it for their own advantage - the RIC were known to be in favour of such a move .......


By Vincent Browne .

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

The support on the outside for the H-Block protest was minimal and Provisional Sinn Fein seemed unable to muster even a gesture of solidarity . Certainly they were not prepared to co-operate with individuals or organisations that were not also prepared to support the military struggle .

This has been one of the major issues of division within the Provisional Republican Movement for several years ; some of the die-hard elements don't want to co-operate with people who have reservations about the military campaign , while others are more aware of the need for a broad anti-imperialist front .

It was perhaps Bernadette McAliskey more than anyone else who convinced the die-hards within the Provos to co-operate with individuals and groups on a broad front ; she organised the 'Coalisland Conference' in early 1979 and while the Provos attempted to 'pack' the meeting and block votes on issues , it opened their awareness to the possibilities of a 'broad' campaign .

The 'Relatives Action Committee' included many non-Provo supporters and there had been several clashes within it over the question of support for the military campaign .......



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 .
(25 of 31).

According to sources close to the U.S. tour itself , the three relatives raised about a quarter of a million dollars - more than the INAC had been able to collect in any year since 1972 , at least according to its official returns .

But the INAC alleges that no more than $200,000 was collected for the whole year , and that the relatives' tour was only a small part of the overall campaign .

The question of how much money was contributed was to have other ramifications when it came to deciding how it should be divided up , and whether or not the INLA and its political wing , the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) , were entitled to a share .

The INLA's political wing , the IRSP , met with Sinn Fein and demanded a slice of the $250,000 'cake' that the IRSP claimed had been produced by the U.S. tour , but Sinn Fein reportedly told the IRSP that it must address its requests to the INAC .......