" 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...!


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

THE DEATH OF FRANK HAND .......
On February 10 , 1986 , the courts turned down the appeals of three men sentenced to hang . The men now face , on commutation of sentence by the (Free State) government , 40 years in prison without remission , for their involvement in the Drumree robbery and killing .
By GENE KERRIGAN.
First published in ' MAGILL' magazine , March 1986 .

Mary Gilsenan , Michael's mother , was in the family bungalow about 60 yards away ; she had heard the shots , so she rang the post office to find out what was happening . The receiver was lifted immediately and Michael shouted - " DIAL 999 ..... " then the phone was slammed down . She dialled 999 three times before being put through to Dublin Castle .

The money and guns were by now dumped in the Opel Ascona and the red Mercedes and both cars sped off . Just before the second car left the leader said - " If that fucking bastard moves , fucking shoot him , shoot him ! " Then the cars were gone . Detective Michael Dowd did'nt know if any raiders remained behind . James Gorman , who lived about 50 yards on the other side of the post office , had already seen the activity , and heard the shots ; he got 999 and was put through to the gardai , his son David was watching the events unfold and shouting information to his father , who in turn passed it on to the gardai . He saw the cars speed away .

Detective Dowd , lying on the ground beside the garda car , looked across at J.J. Bell lying face down - " Are they all gone ? " Things were very quiet . Donal Brady came out from the shed behind the post office ; " Are you alright , J.J. ? " , he called to Bell . Detective Dowd looked around and under the car at his partner - " Are you alright , Frank ..... ? " The ambulance came from Navan ; it arrived after almost half an hour , around 8.35am . Nurse Olivia Reilly felt for Detective Frank Hand's pulse but could find none .

It was 8.05am : Seamus Lynch , the Provo in Kentstown , had gone to Joe Gargan's house , went up to his bedroom and Gargan had given him the keys to his yellow Ford Escort . Lynch was now arriving at the field at Rathfeigh ; Noel McCabe was waiting in his 'borrowed' blue Ford Cortina , at the crossroads where he was to pick up 'the lads' . The red Mercedes , driven by Tommy Eccles , came speeding along , on its way from Drumree , past McCabe , who followed it to the field at Rathfeigh . The yellow Escort was already there .

There was panic in the field ; the men from the Mercedes were shouting and arguing about the shooting of the garda , running around in circles . The money , guns , boiler suits and walkie-talkies were dumped in the boot of the yellow Escort and Seamus Lynch drove it away to Kentstown . Petrol was thrown on the Mercedes and it was set on fire .......

(MORE LATER).




FIRE AND BRIMSTONE .
The Democratic Unionist Party would prefer a Civil War to acquiescence in a role for the Dublin Government in the affairs of the North of Ireland after the Anglo-Irish summit .
FINTAN O'TOOLE spoke to DUP activists about the depth of their opposition to the Anglo-Irish deal and their willingness to resort to violence .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1985 .

Ivan Foster , erstwhile Commander of the Reverend Ian Paisley's 'Third Force' , believes he may be living in the 'Last Days' . An evangelical minister living in Fermanagh , on the border with the Republic , he reads dark signs in his bible these days - " I turn to the New Testament where in the words of Christ , of Paul and Peter , very clear predictions are made regarding the 'End of The Age' times . And it paints a picture of increasing lawlessness , and I recognise therefore that that which is prophesied in scripture is beginning to take place .

Prophesying is a prediction , it's not a revelation that must happen and therefore we need not bother fighting it . It is merely a revelation to me that this is the trend that is going to take place and if you wish to avoid the consequences of such trends in your generation , you resist every move that leads towards that . " ('1169...' Comment - gobbledygook and claptrap , mouthed by Paisley and his like to 'impress' those that are easily impressed . )

Ivan Foster is the Democratic Unionist Party member of the 'Northern Ireland' (sic) Assembly for Fermanagh ; in the Anglo-Irish Agreement (ie the 1985 Hillsborough Treaty) , as in the 'moral depravity' all around him , he sees the signs of the apocalypse and hears the sound of marching feet . Gregory Campbell , DUP Assemblyman from the Waterside area of what he always calls 'Londonderry' (sic) , also takes his guide from his reading of the Bible - " I look at the scriptures and see in bible times what a people done where a government had forfeited the right to govern , where a people had been put in a position where they had no alternative but to take up arms .

And I can only see that in those same scriptures that say you must love your neighbour , that having done all we can in a peaceable legitimate fashion , then there is no alternative but to resort to arms ....... " ('1169...' Comment - "...having done all we can .. " : except to treat your neighbours like fellow human beings . )

(MORE LATER).



THE LONG KESH ESCAPE - SUNDAY 25th SEPTEMBER 1983 .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .
No 'By-Line' .

" We perceived the escape as a military operation from beginning to end . It could not have been achieved in any other way , and the ASU - as Volunteers in the Irish Republican Army - were under strict orders throughout from an Operations Officer whose judgement was crucial and whose every order had to be obeyed . Every Volunteer was under a tight brief . "

It was this precision of planning , exclusively revealed to 'An Phoblacht/Republican News' in a detailed interview by key ASU personnel involved , that lay behind the almost incredible escape of 38 Republicans on Sunday 25th September 1983 from what is generally believed to be the most secure prison in Western Europe - the H-Blocks of Long Kesh .

At 2.15pm that day , three IRA Volunteers carrying concealed pistols fitted with silencers , which had been smuggled into the prison , moved into the 'Central Administration' area (the 'Circle') of H7-Block on the pretext of cleaning out a store . Fifteen minutes later they were joined by a fourth armed Volunteer ; control of the 'Circle' , with its numerous alarm bells , was vital for the escape's success and had to be carried out simultaneously with the overpowering of prison Screws in the four wings of H7-Block .

Minutes later three other Volunteers - armed with pistols , hammers or chisels - took up key positions near Screws positioned by alarm buttons , on the pretext of carrying out orderly duties , while Brendan 'Bic' McFarlane (the H-Block Officer Commanding during the hunger-strike) was allowed through two locked grilles into the hall of the Block on cleaning duties - his job was to arrest the Screw there .......

(MORE LATER).