" 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 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!

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 .......


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 .......


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 ....... "