" 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...!


Monday, May 30, 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 .


Eddie Gallagher is currently spending twenty-three hours a day in his cell - he does a lot of physical exercise . He stands on the bed -end and he can see prison life through the bars on the windows . He says that prison life has made him more patient and circumspect .

Some years ago , he used do a lot of study and some reading in his cell . Now most of the sight is gone from one eye and the other one is weak . He does'nt bother any more .

[END of 'A ROUGH DEAL'].(Tomorrow : ' FETCH ! ' - John O'Reilly and four 'Supergrasses' )



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

The British Labour Government had commissioned Lord Cameron to report on the events and marches preceeding and following October 5 , and assign reasons . This Report , which Harold Wilson and the entire British Commons accepted , stated that Gerry Fitt " ...must clearly have envisaged the possibility of a violent clash with the police as providing the publicity he so ardently sought . His conduct , in our judgement , was reckless and wholly irresponsible in a person occupying his public position . "

From that moment on Gerry Fitt was effectively rendered impotent at Westminster . Back in the North of Ireland the high terrain of anti-unionism was about to be occupied by a whole new batch of articulate , pragmatic political operators who swept into Stormont in the spring of 1969 , on a civil rights wave which had drowned out the old Nationalist Party ; Hume , Cooper , O'Hanlon and Paddy Devlin waved no flags and did not gaze hopelessly into the Celtic mist : Austin Currie had long abandoned green fields for street smarts .
('1169... ' Comment - those are the words of Nell McCafferty , and are not shared by the writers of this blog . Currie proved himself to be a useful 'native employee' for the Brits .)
Gerry Fitt abandoned his own party ; he had been campaigning for a republican Labour councillor from Belfast who wanted a run at a seat - any seat - and Fitt had sent him off to fight in mid-Ulster . They addressed a small crowd after the ten o' clock mass , and hung around to see how their opponent Ivan Cooper would do after the eleven o' clock mass : Cooper attracted a massive crowd to his ' Independent Civil Rights' tag - Gerry Fitt got up on the truck and spoke in support of Cooper !

These Civil Rights guys wanted to slug it out toe to toe with the Unionists and they were men after Fitts' involved 'gurrier' heart ; he was no longer alone . He was in fact surrounded and obscured as they marched people all over the areas west of the Bann - in Newry , Armagh , Mid-Ulster , Fermanagh and Derry . Besides which , Bernadette Devlin had arrived at Westminster : together they should have made a colourful picture - the sailor home from the sea and the maiden in from the hills .......
(MORE LATER).




A DECADE OF CENSORSHIP .......Bernadette Quinn looks at the development of SECTION 31 of the Broadcasting Act , used by the Free State government to suppress the Republican viewpoint on state radio and television - and extended by Radio Telefis Eireann itself into a regime of self-censorship . From ' IRIS ' magazine , November 1983 .

The song ' The Men Behind The Wire' topped the music charts in the Free State for weeks during the 1970's but was never played on RTE ! More recently , Christy Moore's song ' On The Blanket ' was banned , as was his song about Nicky Kelly , ' The Wicklow Boy ' . Even traditional rebel songs are no longer played .

Most of the banned songs are never specifically banned by 'directive' or 'guidelines ' , but RTE presenters - in the atmosphere of fear that pervades RTE - do the censoring themselves .

During the last Westminster elections , in June 1983 , the Free State coalition government refused a request from RTE to lift the ban on Sinn Fein members for the purposes of election coverage . Charles Haughey , Fianna Fail leader and Free State 'Taoiseach' , opportunistically issued a statement saying that he "...had always taken the view that elected representatives should have the fullest possible access to the public media .. " - although it had earlier been Fianna Fail who refused Owen Carron MP and Sinn Fein's five Assembly elected representatives access to RTE ! (' 1169... ' Comment - typical Fianna Fail and Free State obfuscation : Republicans know , from experience , to 'watch what they do , not what they say ' . Those that leave the Movement not only forget that maxim , but become part of the group that has to be watched , not listened to . )
In protest at the refusal by Jim Mitchell (Fine Gael) , the Free State Minister for Posts and Telegraphs , to lift the ban , RTE journalists covering the election in the North of Ireland said they would refuse to interview any of the other candidates . They kept this stand for one week only ....... !
(MORE LATER).