" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A ROUGH DEAL .......


Ten years ago EDDIE GALLAGHER went to prison for his part in the kidnapping of TIEDE HERREMA . He is still there , even though he did a deal which promised him only four years in jail . His accomplice , MARION COYLE , has been released . DEREK DUNNE reports on GALLAGHER's maverick relationship with the IRA , on the negotiations which led to the release of TIEDE HERREMA and on the roots of GALLAGHER's involvement .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , January 1986 , pages 6 , 7 , 8, and 9 .


At first , Marion Coyle was not directly involved in military operations ; she acted as a 'lookout' and ran errands . She was known within the Republican Movement as a woman with a lot of nerve who did not fold under pressure . In August 1972 , when the British Army tore down the barricades separating ' Free Derry' from the rest of the world , she led six men safely across the border into Donegal , one at a time , by pretending to be their girlfriend .

In January of the following year , she was acquitted on a charge of possession of a rifle ; Leo Martin admitted full responsibility for the weapon and was given three years . The Provos sent her first to Buncrana and then to Leitrim . She was'nt attached to any particular Active Service Unit of the IRA . Eddie Gallagher , meanwhile , was jailed for twelve months in the Curragh for IRA activity .

It was around this time that Marion Coyle met Kevin Mallon - increasingly , she looked to him for guidance and a close platonic friendship grew up between the two . She admired his political clarity . Coyle moved to Dublin and returned to Derry at weekends . The raids on her home in Derry became more frequent , so the visits had to be curtailed . Increasingly , she was spending her time with the same people she worked with . In September of 1973 , Kevin Mallon was arrested in Monaghan and given twelve months for membership .......

(MORE LATER).




TO WESTMINSTER AND BACK .......
The Life And Times Of Gerry Fitt.
By Nell McCafferty .
First published in ' MAGILL' magazine , July 1983 .

Gerry Fitt's 'trust' in the Brits to do the 'right' thing in Ireland earned him the sobriquet ' Fitt The Brit' , applied with such bitterness to him now by Northern nationalists who have suffered under direct rule from England since 1972 , could have been applied with equal accuracy but a lot more affection in 1966 and more before that .

For many of Gerry Fitt's generation and background , religious and political , England offered an escape and refuge from the direct rule of the Unionist Party in Northern Ireland . Back in the North , Fitt told his Westminster audience on that first day , Catholics could'nt get homes , could'nt get jobs , could'nt even get the vote . They could'nt even get a hearing in the Stormont parliament , where a contrived Unionist majority turned a deaf ear to such as him , the democratically elected Stormont representative for Dock . " No matter what pleas I made to the Unionists , I would'nt get anywhere . "

Born in Belfast in 1926 , Gerry Fitt got out quick : his father died when he was eight and his mother was left to bring up the children in the depressed 1930's ; he ran away from home to become a fifteen-year-old cabin boy , in the British merchant navy , in 1941 , and sailed in wartime convoys to Russia . After the war , during a port call to London , he met his future wife Anne Doherty , from County Tyrone , who was then working as a clerk in the Conservatives Ladies' Club : " I used shout 'Vote Labour' during elections and they were annoyed ," she remembers .......

(MORE LATER).




IT HAPPENED IN IRELAND . From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 8.(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.


If we had a national Press worthy of the name our people would be aware by now of the conditions in occupied Ireland ; the Americans and the English are much better informed because their Press coverage of events in the North is so much more extensive . Most of it - coming as it does from British sources - is biased of course but unlike the 26 County population they get a view of things even if that view is slanted .

We are not aware of the terrorism by British military , police and armed B-Specials ; we are not informed of the treatment handed out to captured men by these forces . We should make it our business to get the facts for the victims involved are young Irishmen fighting for our freedom . Tony Cooney and his two comrades taken at Torr Head , County Antrim , were fired on by police while they held their hands in the air and later were threatened with murder .

Seamus Heuston was beaten into insensibility by B-Specials near Armagh ; they smashed his head and broke his arm . Shots were fired at John Kelly and his comrades after they were taken in County Tyrone ; a Belfast Det-Sgt held a grenade from which the pin had been withdrawn and threatened them as they stood facing a wall with their hands up .......

(MORE LATER).