" 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.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Thursday, June 02, 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 .

RUC 'supergrass' John Grimley had been convicted on various theft charges in the North of Ireland and in London in the late 1950's , when he was still a teenager . For a time he was confined in a mental hospital ; between 1963 and 1971 he did his best to become a British soldier .

First he joined the Irish Guards , then the Royal Irish Fusiliers , finally the Royal Pioneer Corps - he was discharged from all three British regiments , on psychiatric and disciplinary grounds . In 1973 he was convicted in the Republic (ie the 26-County State) on various robbery and assault charges , including beating-up his common-law wife . In 1975 he lost a job with the 'Goodyear' factory in Craigavon after being convicted of theft from the company .

Then John Grimley joined Sinn Fein ; he lasted five years with the Provos , his conduct becoming increasingly bizarre , until they expelled him in 1980 for "...irrational behaviour.. " . Then he joined the INLA - incredibly , they accepted him and made him a recruiting officer . Shortly after this , having done just about everything else , John Grimley threw his lot in with the RUC and became an informer . He was recruiting people for the INLA and informing on them to the RUC at £25 a go !

Eventually , he 'graduated' to 'supergrass' , fingering twenty-two people .......

(MORE LATER).




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

There had been increasing ambiguity among all shades of Nationalist opinion about how best to defend Catholics against attacks from the RUC and loyalists , especially in Belfast . Whole shifts of population were occuring there as Catholics and Protestants retreated into the safety of the ghettoes , but Gerry Fitt warned on August 7 at a meeting in Trinity College , Dublin , that the swopping of houses was not a mutually polite arrangement . Catholics were being forced out of their homes , he said , and "...the people .. " (whom he did not specify) did not like it -

- " The time is coming when they will change their tactics and instead of moving people elsewhere under these circumstances they will have to protect them in their homes . The RUC are messenger boys of the UVF . " More was needed than a telephone network against the arrival of the RUC and the UVF in the area , he warned , but he did not specify what .

In Derry that August the 'Citizens Defence Committee' had been set up alongside the 'Civil Rights Association' , with overlapping Executive membership , and community halls were used to store petrol bombs ; no elected representatives shouted 'stop' . On August 12 Orangemen marched in the city centre , a few desultory stones were thrown at them , and the RUC and the Bogsiders re-acted as to a referee's whistle starting a football match - both sides running onto the 'pitch' under the High Flats , in the heart of Catholic territory . The set piece battle lasted for three days and Belfast street fighters came out in support in an effort to siphon off RUC strength .

Guns were used on both sides in Belfast . People died . Jack Lynch (Free State 'Taoiseach') moved his troops up to the border , four miles from Derry . Harold Wilson (Westminster PM) moved British soldiers onto the streets of the North of Ireland .......

(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 .

Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act is a political act suppressing political opinion ; in order to be non-political , to do their job in presenting facts uncoloured by political bias , RTE journalists should take direct action against Section 31 . And the NUJ should defend them - otherwise admit that they are taking a political stand - admit that they are anti-republican , pro-Free State establishment and pro-British . There can be no excuse for them any longer .

Eamonn McCann , author of ' War and an Irish Town ' , former 'Sunday World' newspaper columnist and now a freelance journalist , has always opposed Section 31 and is a member of the 'Freedom of the Press and Broadcasting Committee' . In this interview with 'IRIS' magazine he talks about the effects of Section 31 on the coverage of events by RTE , and how it should be actively opposed -

- " Any journalist should be instinctively opposed to state control of the media . Section 31 is clearly against the code of conduct of the NUJ and against their stated policy . It has proved impossible to have union policy implemented on RTE and has led to a situation where RTE news and current affairs programmes are quite unable to give an accurate account of what is happening in the North .

The effect of Section 31 is not just to cut republicans out of coverage , but it also seriously distorts the coverage itself because in effect it is impossible to report the political views of the Catholic working class . That is an absolutely incredible thing for journalists to allow to happen - even journalists who are personally hostile to Sinn Fein ....... "

(MORE LATER).