THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION , 1921-1925 .......
A British 'sleight-of-hand' which caused a mutiny within British forces in Ireland.......
....... on 9th November 1921 , the Divisional Commissioner of the RIC in the Six Counties , a Lieut.-Colonel 'Sir' Charles Wickham , sent a 'secret' circular to his men stating that Westminster was considering hiring more UVF men to work as 'Special Constabulary' ; a copy of his circular ended up in the hands of Michael Collins who threw it at the Brits during the Treaty of Surrender negotiations (on 23rd November 1921) and told them that that circular , alone , could end the Negotiations - so the Brits instructed 'their' man in the Six Counties , 'Sir' James Craig (the Stormont 'Prime Minister') to withdraw and dis-own Wickham's circular .......
'Sir' Charles Wickham had an interesting background - he spent 23 years as the man in charge of the 'B' Specials , and was also Head of the RUC for a period . He was born in 1879 , in England , and was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst , where he no doubt picked-up his 'stiff upper lip' . At 20 years young he joined the British Army and served in the Boer War and in the 'First World War' .
Between the years 1918 and 1920 he served as a Lieutenant-Colonel with the British military 'mission' in the Russian Civil War , following which (at 41 years young) he was the 'Divisional Commissioner for Ulster' in the RIC , from 1920 to 1922 .
It was at that time in his 'career' that he helped to establish the Ulster Special Constabulary . At 43 years young he was appointed as the Inspector-General of the RUC , a position he held until 1945 when , at 66 years of age , his paymasters in Westminster formed the opinion that the 'johnnies' in the 'colonies' would benefit from a spot of ' Wickham-ism ' .......
THE POLITICS OF H-BLOCK .......
By Vincent Browne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , December 1980 , pages 26 and 27 .
Re-published here in 10 parts .
(4 of 10).
Perhaps the most important of these has been has been the failure of successive political initiatives on the part of the British Government . An indication of the Catholic frustration with the stalemate is the refusal of the SDLP to participate in another round of elections for another convention or assembly which does'nt offer them guaranteed power-sharing . Also the renewed interest by the SDLP in the all-Ireland dimension . Whatever else the SDLP may be , it is a good barometer of feeling within the Catholic community , even if it lags behind on the more hard line issues , such as H-Block .
Then , of course , there has been the continued tale of brutality and torture emanating from Castlereagh - it was'nt difficult to link this with the H-Block issue , as virtually all the prisoners of H-Block have graduated through Castlereagh and many of them have undoubtedly been brutalised and made to sign forced confessions .
And finally there was the apparent reasonableness of the demands of the prisoners ; whatever else the Catholic community thinks of the Provisional IRA , they know that there is a political motivation involved in their campaign and the refusal to acknowledge this by the authorities seems merely vindictive .......
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 .
(27 of 31).
While Sean Flynn , an IRSP Belfast City Councillor , was in America , he undertook a tour of his own , organised by a small left-wing support group , the H-Block Armagh Committee , based in New York . Outside the INAC circuit , Sean Flynn spoke to mainly small , radical groups , not prime fund-raising sources . However , INAC people would occasionally show up .
On one occasion , on the West Coast , Flynn met a NORAID supporter who was a millionaire warehouse owner ; the wealthy Irish-American at first assumed that Flynn was just another IRA or Sinn Fein activist on the 'stomp' looking for dollars , not realising his left-wing background . Flynn mentioned the need for funds to cover the funeral expenses of two of the hunger strikers , and the millionaire generously offered to write a cheque out the following morning for whatever the cost was .
Flushed with this offer , the IRSP spokesman invited the would-be patron along to hear him speak that evening : the millionaire showed-up , only to find himself in the company of radicals , blacks , and various leftist politicos . He was appalled when Flynn spoke , comparing North of Ireland Catholics and their struggle with that of the blacks in South Africa .
The millionaire got up to leave - he told Sean Flynn their morning appointment was cancelled . Shocked , Flynn asked why . " I don't like niggers , " he was told .......