Tuesday, January 25, 2005

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

....... December 1925 : Westminster decided to get rid of the (5 year-old) 'A' and 'C' Special Constabulary , but to hold on to the 'B' Specials ; 'Sir' James Craig (Stormont 'Prime Minister') was given £1,200,000 to 'buy' them off and , on 10th December 1925 , the 'A' and 'C' men were offered two months pay each - the offer got a bad re-action .......

When the 'A' and 'C' Special Constabulary realised that they were to lose their jobs , on the mouth of Christmas (10th December 1925) and with unemployment running at over 20 per cent , whereas the 'B' Specials were to be kept on , discontent in the ranks grew . The 'A' and 'C' Specials held meetings between themselves and , on 14th December 1925 , they mutinied !

'A' and 'C' members in Derry 'arrested' their own Officers (!), as they did in Ballycastle - two days later (ie on 16th December 1925) a demand from the 'A' and 'C' 'rebels' (!) was handed over to 'Sir' Richard Dawson Bates , the Stormont 'Minister for Home Affairs' , a solicitor by trade , who was also Secretary of the 'Ulster Unionist Council' , a position he had held since 1905 . 'Tangent' here , re 'Sir' Bates -

- ... the man 'made his name' in 1921 when , at 44 years of age , he ordered the RIC to close down the Offices of Tyrone County Council - 'Sir' Bates did'nt like the way they were doing their business .......


By Vincent Browne .

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

The Provisional IRA leadership on the outside has been apprehensive about this protest for a long time and were fervently opposed to the hunger-strike . Contrary to the frequently asserted belief , the Provo leadership have always tried to dampen down prison protests for these have consequences to the conduct of the military campaign which are entirely unpredictable and , in any event , often conflict with the immediate strategic plans of the IRA Headquarters Staff .

They have been more apprehensive about this present protest and hunger-strike than ever before , recognising that if the protest fades out or is beaten , then the 'loss of face' for the Republican Movement as a whole is almost catastrophic .

They have of course attempted to 'steer' its course - for instance , it was the IRA leadership which managed to hold off the hunger-strike until October 27th and they have had a say on which prisoners were to join the strike , but in no sense could the Provisional IRA leadership be accused of cynically exploting the situation in H-Block for its own advantage .......



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 .
(30 of 31).

The traumatic months of the hunger strikes fused Irish-American emotional sympathy with the IRA's struggle against Britain in the North of Ireland . NORAID went through a resurgence that saw an immediate increase in the number of members . Martin Galvin claims that from that time onward NORAID has been able to raise about $150,000 every six months , double or triple what it was collecting in the years before the protest .

He also notes that now , for the first time , the number of American-born NORAID members exceeds those of Irish origin . The organisation keeps no recruitment figures , so it is not known exactly how many people are involved .

Of its founding members , only Michael Flannery is still alive . He remains steadfast in his identification with the IRA , even when they carry out attacks , such as that outside Harrods department store in London , in which innocent people die . His attitude is -

- " I wait to hear what the IRA have to say . When it happens in London it's good propaganda . I've no qualms when they take the war to England . Innocent people get killed in all wars . ......"