" 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!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Last month PATRICK MAGUIRE was released from an English jail after serving 10 years for a 'terrorist' crime he insists he did not commit . A wide range of prominent people , from Cardinal O'Fiaich to Sir John Biggs-Davison , believe him .
DAVID McKITTRICK , London Editor of 'The Irish Times' newspaper , re-examines the evidence .
From 'Fortnight' magazine , May 1984 .

There are two main types of Irish prisoners in British jails - those who say they are members of the Provisional IRA and those who say they are innocent . The recent release from Wakefield Prison of Patrick Maguire will focus attention on the second type .

The phenomenon of prisoners who go on protesting their innocence is virtually unknown in the North of Ireland and the 26 Counties , with the obvious exception of the Nicky Kelly case . Yet in Britain three separate sets of Irish people have been jailed on murder or bombing charges , who for almost a decade have maintained that they were wrongfully imprisoned .

In ten years of reporting in Northern Ireland (sic) , I never found a case where an innocent man or woman was sentenced to imprisonment . There were , of course , many criticisms that could be levelled at the justice system , but locking up the wrong people was not one of them . ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - How many of the so-called 'Supergrass Trials' did the author attend ... ? None , apparently ... )

In England , however , serious doubts surround the convictions of a total of 17 people jailed in connection with the IRA bombing campaign of 1974 - six for the Birmingham pub bombings , four for pub bombings in Guildford and Woolwich , and seven in the 'Auntie Annie's Bomb Factory' case .......


The Sinn Fein electoral wagon is slowing down . As a result , the IRA is likely to begin stepping up its war against the Northern State . GENE KERRIGAN reports from Belfast and also interviews Sinn Fein's DANNY MORRISON on the party's recent successes and failures .
From ' MAGILL ' magazine , September 1984.

Danny Morrison : " Britain has dictated the political complexion of the 26 Counties . It's a neo-colony . You've got them talking , for instance , about 'National Wage Agreements ' - they're not 'national ' , they're 26 counties . The 'nation' stops at Dundalk . You've this attempt to become insular and to try and create a nation out of 26 counties - which is a bigger contradiction than we face . ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - ...and now we have Mr. Morrison and his colleagues sitting in , and/or supporting those that sit in , an assembly in this Free State which refers to itself as ' the Parliament of Ireland' : Leinster House . Note that 'Ireland' , for that 'Parliament' at least , "stops at Dundalk.. " . )

Sinn Fein faces massive problems in the 26 counties because obviously if the public considers the institutions of the State as being legitimate , and you're trying to appeal to the public , surely you have to follow suit . And that's a big problem for us , because our republican tradition says that we can't follow suit - and I quite honestly don't know how we are going to overcome the problem , but I just know that , as revolutionaries , as republicans , who have the responsibility to plot a political way forward ... I think that we will do it , but we will do it by degrees . " ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - ...or it could be done by securing the votes of new members ; you know - the 'militant nationaists' we mentioned earlier ... )

'MAGILL' Magazine : " To what extent is Sinn Fein embarrassed by the IRA's activities in the South - the kind of thing that the majority of people disagree with , armed robberies and the like ? "

Danny Morrison : " The IRA , in doing things , has the potential to electorally hurt Sinn Fein . Having said that , the IRA has to do what the IRA has to do . For example , in the abduction of Don Tidey - which obviously arose because the IRA needed finances to wage struggle in the North , it was directly related to the struggle in the North . If Dublin governments were proving to the ordinary people in the Six Counties that there is a constitutional , or a pacifist , negotiable way out of this crisis - well then , surely they would be undermining the IRA ? But they don't do that . They ignore what's going on in the North , they are part of the problem , they have actually perpetuated the problem by collaborating and giving the Brits hope that there can be a repressive method of killing this political crisis . ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - "..collaborating and giving the Brits hope ... " - like sitting in Stormont , you mean ? Like stating your intention that you are ...." prepared to administer British rule in Ireland for the foreseeable future ... " , as your colleague Francie Molloy did , in 1999 ? "...revolutionaries.. " , Danny ?)

And so therefore , you have the nationalist people in the North , you have the IRA linked in to their interests and fighting for them - the IRA has to find funds somewhere and it's obvious that it's going to try and raise money in the 26 counties . It's obvious ....... "


On 11 July 1986 , Stephen Moore , from Clones in County Monaghan , accepted £25,000 plus costs to settle an action out of court .
He had sued 'Ireland' and the Attorney General for injuries he had received in garda custody in Monaghan Garda Station in March 1983 .
In that same year , John Milne received £51,900 for injuries sustained at the hands of two named gardai in that same garda station . He was also awarded costs .
Despite the fact that more than £75,000 has been paid out as a result of garda activity in Monaghan Garda Station , no garda has been charged with a criminal offence . In fact , some of the gardai who were accused have been promoted .

Stephen Moore ; two Detectives : in his own words , this is what happened ...

" My solicitor , Plunkett Taaffe , called for a doctor . She came . Examined me . She saw my hair was burnt and the state I was in . She gave me tablets , told me that I should be put back in my cell , that I should'nt be interrogated anymore . I was put back in my cell . A Detective who had hit me earlier came into my cell and he asked me would I see a doctor representing them . I said yes , of course . A doctor came in . Just as he was about to start the examination , I said to him that Doctor Caraher had been in a few minutes beforehand . He did'nt start the examination . He picked up his bag and he left . As far as I'm concerned , he did'nt want to be put in the position of conflicting doctors' reports . When he left , I had no more interruptions . I was left in my cell .

On Monday morning , I was brought out of the cell . My father was at the station . They gave me breakfast . I went to the toilet . I noticed bruising to my groin and left thigh . I immediately called for Doctor Caraher again . She came and examined me . She saw the bruising . After the examination , she left . After she left , they said I could go . They wanted me to sign for my possessions that they had taken , which I refused . They gave me back my watch , my shoes , money , and released me without charge . That was roughly around half ten or that . "

Stephen Moore was in the charge of at least 19 gardai during his arrest and detention . These included eleven Detectives . Some of those who assaulted him he can definitely identify . In other instances , he could , he says , put names to faces if he saw them again . Stephen Moore was never charged with anything . He had spent about 40 hours in custody under Section 30 . The gardai could have held him for 48 hours . He had been arrested once before , under Section 30 - that was during the H-Block hunger strike and around the time Bobby Sands MP died , in 1981 . He was arrested in Clones , County Monaghan , and held for 14 hours .

At that time , the gardai were making widespread arrests under Section 30 . Stephen Moore was not charged with any offence .......