" 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!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Fionnuala O'Connor on the struggle for the Loyalist leadership as the politicians and their paramilitary allies gear up for a strike .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1986 .

James Molyneaux watches the intense and emotional Harold McCusker , once a contender for his 'throne' , and he watches the coldly ambitious MEP John Taylor , who wheeled out the remains of the Official Unionist Party 'fur-coat' establishment brigade to take the European selection off McCusker , the 'working-class boy ' . And when there is time , no doubt , Jim Molyneaux also watches the perpetually ambitious Orange Order leader the Reverend Martin Smyth . The Official Unionist Party leader could not be said to take a vital part in the joint working-party .

No more , in fact , than his co-leader , who has his own 'boys' to keep an eye on , and none 'hungrier' than Peter Robinson , and the Ballymena barrister Jim Allister . Ian Paisley's remarkable preoccupation with Unionist unity in this campaign has left Robinson free to cultivate the 'Ulster' Clubs , to make the noises on the ultimate place for the violence that Paisley usually specialises in .

Ian Paisley has 'toned down' the rhetoric , veterans of his campaigns think , because the failure of the 1977 strike still haunts him . As one of his men put it - " He thought he could do it on his own (but) the Official Unionist Party swung in against him and the power-workers did'nt pull the plug . He's not going to make that mistake again . We can only ask the people to do this after everything else . Morally we had to have the elections , the council thing , the Assembly had to be put at risk - because then we can say , as the politicians have done everything , now it's the turn of the Clubs ... " Often Unionist political figures do not finish that sentence , but this was a frank DUP man .

Even he was'nt specific about what happens next , but there was no mistaking his relish for the imminent exhaustion of constitutional means , nor his approval of the 'Ulster' Clubs .......


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 .

The DUP is implacably opposed to any role whatsoever for the Irish government (sic) in the running of Northern Ireland , (sic) even if that role is minor , 'consultative' and cosmetic - they see it as the beginning of the end , the road to Armageddon : " While we are interested in the fine print of an agreement , and we will study it carefully , the fact that for the first time the Dublin government are going to be given an input in any way , that will be enough to trigger off all of our opposition , whatever the fine print , " says the DUP's Gregory Campbell .

" If Tom King were to say to us - 'Look , we're only consulting Dublin about the colour of the lamp-posts ' , that is sufficient for us to say that for the first time Dublin has a toe in the door . It's only a few months or a few years from advising us on the colour of the lamp-posts , to telling us what way we will conduct the traffic , to what way we will dress the police , to what way we will arm them . If Dublin is to have a say in any respect , if they are to have a say in that the ' Flags and Emblems Act ' is to be repealed , because Peter Barry and Garret Fitzgerald have said it is offensive to nationalists and must be repealed , something that is regarded as small beer , then the British government will be sitting down and listening to the views of the Dublin government .

Sovereignty is sovereignty . You either are sovereign over a part of a country (sic) or you are not . You either have absolute control or you do not . If Dublin has a consultative role , that is the beginning of the end . I would see the final day had arrived whereby Ulster (sic) had finally been sold , and we would have no other option but to exhaust the constitutional process and then proceed as quickly as possible to arming ourselves and to fighting .

Lets not forget that Charles Haughey is waiting in the wings and if Garret Fitzgerald were to put his toe in the door , Haughey will be coming through the door . Fianna Fail are'nt going to be content with the colour of the lamp-posts or of the police uniforms or with the 'Flags and Emblems Act' . They are going to demand a more meaningful role and subsequent summits will increase that role ....... " ('1169... ' Comment - Fianna Fail continues to 'comment' on how Westminster 'governs' the Six Counties ; however , Fianna Fail never queries Westminster's jurisdictional control over those Six Counties . The Unionists and their 'paymasters' in Westminster have nothing to fear from Fianna Fail - or any other group of Free Staters .)


Last month , BRENDAN McFARLANE was ordered by a Dutch court to be extradited back to the North to serve out a sentence of 25 years . He is appealing the decision . His companion GERARD KELLY had his plea accepted that his offences were political . BRENDAN McFARLANE has been on the run since he led thirty-seven men in an escape out of the MAZE PRISON in September 1983 . In an exclusive interview with MAGILL at Bylmerbages Prison in Amsterdam , McFARLANE talks about his life , his youth and upbringing , and his involvement with the ARMED STRUGGLE in the North .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1986 .

Brendan McFarlane is not very optimistic about his own future ; he believes that he will be extradited back to the North of Ireland - " When they lock me up , they'll throw away the key . I don't want to go back to H-Blocks , or any prison for that matter . But if they do send me back it's a small price to pay for the political victory we have scored in Holland . I think it's very significant - they recognise that the struggle is political . It was an achievement beyond all expectations . It was also unprecedented in so far as there were two IRA Volunteers in front of cameras for the first time in quite a number of years . "

He was amused at the last court hearing when he was told that he could make a claim for various items that were taken from him when he was arrested , such as jewellery and cassettes : " I was also told that I could claim for the 'equipment' found nearby ! I told them if they were so disposed regarding the found 'equipment' , they could forward it to the Republican Movement ... " It should be noted that Brendan McFarlane has not been charged with any offence in Holland .

He is totally isolated in the Amsterdam prison - he has no association with any of the other prisoners .......


(Please Note - the '1169...' crew will be 'shutting up shop' today , Friday 15th July for at least/about/hopefully (!) one week [maybe two - if the cash stretches... !] - we are off to the 'Sometimes Sunny Southeast' ; Waterford , for a bit of a break . Leave your e-mail address (on the back of a €50 note !) in the 'Guestbook' and we might send you a postcard . And you might also get spammed ... - Sharon :)