" 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 01, 2005

FETCH ....... !
By Gene Kerrigan .
Four years ago this month the RUC began trying to put JOHN O' REILLY away . Four 'Supergrasses' failed to do the job . O' REILLY is now in Michael Noonan's custody . The RUC have demanded that Noonan "...bring him forthwith .. " to answer the accusations of HARRY KIRKPATRICK .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1986 .

John O' Reilly was held that evening (October 9 , 1985) in Portlaoise Garda Station . He was questioned , fingerprinted , had a hair sample taken and his hands were swabbed . He was also photographed . He was told the RUC were interested in him ; a Garda Detective read from a pink folder labelled 'Office No. 6' . John O' Reilly , he noted , had failed to appear in a Belfast court on January 28 , nine months earlier .

John O' Reilly is 26 this month (ie February 1986) . He was born in Belfast . He was arrested by the RUC at around six in the morning of February 5 , 1982 , the day after his 22nd birthday - he was taken to Castlereagh Interrogation Centre and held for seven days . Two 'supergrasses' , Robert McAllister and Sean McConkey , had accused him of involvement in possession of firearms and armed robbery on behalf of the INLA . O' Reilly claimed he was in jail when the offences were committed .

That affair lasted seven weeks ; then Robert McAllister and Sean McConkey , who had accused a number of people of various crimes , retracted . The charges against John O' Reilly were withdrawn ; he was immediately re-arrested and again taken to Castlereagh - he had been 'fingered' by two more 'supergrasses' , Jackie Goodman and John Grimley . One of the other people they named was a Harry Kirkpatrick . That was in March 1982 ; O' Reilly remained in jail , awaiting trial . In September , Jackie Goodman retracted the accusations he had made against thirty-six people , including John O' Reilly .

But O' Reilly remained in jail : he still had to answer the accusations of John Grimley , the other 'supergrass.......'

(MORE LATER).




TO WESTMINSTER AND BACK .......

The Life And Times Of Gerry Fitt.

By Nell McCafferty .

First published in ' MAGILL' magazine , July 1983 .


Bernadette Devlin MP arrived at Westminster to help highlight the death of Sammy Devenney : " The publicity was unbelievable ; Gerry Fitt had booked me into the Irish Club , and I sat there in my mini-skirt and the press just drooled ! If I had been older or wiser or just more thoughtful or even courteous or machiavellian , I would have ended every remark with a reference to Gerry Fitt who was sitting , ignored , in the room . "

The 'alliance' , in any case , was doomed from the start , she says - " It was a matter of emphasis . Gerry Fitt would plead for reform , saying the RUC and later the British soldiers were only making martyrs by their handling of what was called 'security' . I would stand there saying - 'you've tried everything down the centuries , from hanging , drawing and quartering , to straight bullets . And the Croppy will never lie down ' " . ('1169...' Comment - "Gerry would plead for reform .... " : sounds familiar !)

There was also the acute difference of the socialist approach : " I appeared on every left-wing platform in England , speaking on gypsies rights , defending the Dagenham strikers against Harold Wilson , and I spoke in Trafalgar Square in defence of the PLO . Paul Rose took the Israeli side and wrote me a letter criticising my stand . I released it to the newspapers and the split with Labour widened . There was them and Gerry Fitt ; and there was me . "

And then there was the Battle of The Bogside in August 1969 , which brought the British Army into the North , with a resultant quagmire of political and armed struggle into which Gerry Fitt was to hopelessly flounder .......

(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 .

On September 28 , 1983 , on RTE's current affairs programme ' Today Tonight' , Fr. Denis Faul and Unionist MP Harold McCusker were interviewed at length on the use of paid perjurers in the North of Ireland ; there was no representative of Sinn Fein interviewed , although there were repeated references to Sinn Fein's 'motives' in opposing the use of perjurers .

There was not even a mention that Sinn Fein would deny the charge that they were using the campaign against show trials for "...their own ends .. " . Was this not selective and distorted , as well as untrue (re NUJ 'rules') ? Section 31 of course is not just about the suppression of the views of Sinn Fein ; it is about suppression of the views of the working-class Nationalist community in the North ; it is denying information to people in the South not just about Sinn Fein policies but about the beliefs and aspirations of a significant section of the Irish population .

By contrast , Section 31 has not been used to deny access to RTE by the UDA , despite that organisation's massive involvement in sectarian murders of Catholics in the North - not to mention its bombing of Dublin and Monaghan in 1974 when 31 civilians died . The majority of RTE journalists justify their implementation of Section 31 by saying that they have to abide by the law - but it is surely not for journalists to do the Free State government and RTE Authority's political dirtywork for them when it flagrantly contravenes their own code of conduct .

For instance , why did the 'Today Tonight' production team not interview a Sinn Fein spokesperson on September 28th and leave RTE to cut out the interview , rather than themselves censoring Sinn Fein in the first place ? Why did'nt they do that during the elections ....... ?

(MORE LATER).