" 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...!

Thursday, May 19, 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 .

Rose Dugdale was given prison sentences ranging from three to nine years for her part in the hijacking of a helicopter on January 24 , 1974 , and also for the theft of the Beit paintings , valued at £8 million , in County Wicklow . She gave birth to a son - Ruairi - in Limerick Prison . Marion Coyle and Martin McGuinness were the godparents .

By mid-'74 , the Provos knew that Eddie Gallagher was anxious to get Rose Dugdale out of prison ; in August , he got himself arrested with another famous escapee - Richard Behal - and having spent one day in Portlaoise Prison , helped eighteen others to blast their way to freedom . Kevin Mallon was amongst those who got away . As 1974 drew to a close , it was dawning on the Provos that the struggle in the North was going to be a long drawn out affair .

In January 1975 , Kevin Mallon was again arrested in a raid on a house in Foxrock ; the 37-year-old native of Coalisland , County Tyrone , was sentenced to ten years . Rose Dugdale was having her own problems in Limerick Prison - visiting conditions were stringent , and in April , she went on hunger strike . A cease-fire was called in the North early in 1975 ; Eddie Gallagher was opposed to the IRA leadership because of this . To him , they seemed incapable of organising anything but " ... pompous press handouts and their own appearances at Republican dinner dances .. " .

Eddie Gallagher continued to do military operations without the authority of the IRA leadership .......


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

Gerry Fitt blithely welcomed the defeat of Glasgow Rangers , heroes of the Shankill , by Glasgow Celtic , heroes of the Falls , shortly after his own Westminster defeat of the sitting Unionist MP for West Belfast - " We beat them in politics , now we've beaten them in football , " he told the Catholics who had come onto the Falls Road after the match . ' The Belfast Telegraph ' newspaper ran an editorial criticising him for being sectarian - " The editorial was a joke to us , " Paddy Kennedy recalled , " we'd never heard of sectarianism or ecumenism in those days . There were bigoted Protestants in Belfast as top dogs , and poor wee Catholics as under dogs . The only time the Catholics won anything was when Gerry (Fitt) was elected and the night Celtic beat Rangers .

I rang Gerry down at the pub to tell him and it did'nt mean a thing to him , because he backed horses , not football teams , but I said they were out celebrating on the Falls and he'd better come up . He was up like a flash and they carried him along the street since they could'nt carry the football team . Fans meant votes , and if football teams kept their spirits up , Gerry identified with the football team . It was just another way to keep the fight going against the Unionists . "

In Westminster , Gerry Fitt dispensed with football teams and flags ; he thought the facts would suffice . The (British) Queens speech , outlining the priorities for Harold Wilson's incoming government , had lain heavy emphasis on the Rhodesian problem , where Ian Smith's white government had just declared independence from a Britain that had been considering reforms for Rhodesia's black majority . There was an exact parallel to Ireland , Gerry Fitt argued , where a minority had used guns in 1912 to subjugate the majority and Northern Ireland (sic) had resulted .

As with so many of his subsequent speeches , he did not tease out the difficult abstract problem any further , but relapsed into telling stories .......


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.

The foregoing incidents are typical but by no means comprehensive ; much worse has been reported , but verification is difficult because of censorship and because the people fear reprisals . These things are happening in Ireland , not Cyprus , Algeria or even Hungary . If we have sympathy for export perhaps we can spare a little for our kith and kin at home .

A good beginning would be to aid the families or dependents of the men in jail - you can do that through the Republican Aid Committee , care of this newspaper . There are now 112 men in Crumlin Road Jail , Belfast , 7 men jailed in England and 55 men in Mountjoy Prison , Dublin .
Their Cause is your Cause : the Cause of Irish Freedom .


(Tomorrow - ' A DECADE OF CENSORSHIP ' - from 1983 ).