" 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...!

Tuesday, August 30, 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 .

One of the defendants , Guiseppe Conlon , was a particularly pathetic figure - aged fifty-two , he suffered from Chronic Tuberculosis and had not worked for eleven years .

He arrived at the Maguire house only hours before the police raid , on his first visit to England for seventeen years . He had come to inquire about his son Gerry , who had just been arrested . He died in prison in 1980 and on his deathbed asked Gerry Fitt to clear his name . Fitt promised that he would try .

The campaign to clear the Maguire's family name , and to achieve a posthumous pardon for Guiseppe Conlon , goes on . In a sense those jailed were victims of the IRA , for their 1974 bombings led to a great wave of anti-Irish hysteria in England and tremendous pressure on the police to catch the bombers . ( ' 1169 ..... ' Comment - Unfortunately , the fact that the police made a mistake in this case did not ensure that "tremendous pressure" was brought to bear on them to stop it happening again . )

Meanwhile , it stands to reason that the authorities will resist with determination any attempt to reopen any of these cases , for to do so would run the risk of having to grant up to seventeen pardons : such an admission of injustice would be to much for the system to bear . ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - ....and that remains the prevailing mindset within the British 'Establishment' regarding this country - its last colony . )

(Tomorrow - 'A Gay View On Kincora' - from 1984.)

As Sinn Fein has become more active , members of the government parties have sought to isolate the Provos politically .
The record shows , however , that some of those politicians have for years sought support from Sinn Fein - and some continue to do so in so far as it is politically expedient .
First published in ' MAGILL ' Magazine , September 1984.

During the last election , Patsy Wright , a Sinn Fein member of Athy UDC , met Alan Dukes (FG) and they had an argument about Section 31 of The Broadcasting Act : according to Patsy Wright , Dukes told him that Sinn Fein could go on the radio whenever they handed up their guns - Wright argued that Sinn Fein had no guns : " Would you ever fuck off , " Alan Dukes replied .

Six months later , however , in June 1983 , Joe Bermingham , (FS) Minister of State , invited Patsy Wright to the opening of a new Garda Station in Athy ; Wright declined the invitation . He said that he would not attend such an opening until there was a thirty-two county Republic . The Government's attitude towards Sinn Fein has hardened considerably over the past eight months . This hardening followed the Dublin Central by-election , the deaths at Ballinamore and the Harrods bombing .

The main result of this tougher approach is the embargo on dealings with elected public representatives who are members of Sinn Fein - this embargo was started by Labour Party Ministers and became Government policy on February 21 . It has caused intense bitterness and confusion .

There was , for example , the proposed Civic Reception for Dick Spring in Midleton , Cork , during the Euro elections .......


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 .

Doctor Michael Moloney found a two-inch bruise on John Milne's chest and left shoulder , and found that he was mildy agitated . Milne also complained of back pain and pain in his leg from time to time . A jury heard the case in November 1983 and after a two-and-a-half-hour deliberation , found that the two named gardai had assaulted John Milne . They made a £51,900 award , plus costs .

Stephen Moore was arrested a third time under Section 30 of The Offences Against The State Act : in June of 1984 , he became one of 2,216 people arrested under that Section , that year ! He was held for nine and a half hours - there was , this time , no questions , no interviews , no charges . He was fingerprinted and photographed . He lost a day's wages - at that time he started work at 4.30 pm and finished at 3am . He was arrested by his next door neighbour at 2.30pm - his neighbour , Garda Ted O' Mahony , had gone on duty half an hour earlier , and had been ordered to carry out the arrest .

The O'Mahony's and the Moores had been neighbours for eight years ; the two households got on well together . Last August , Garda O'Mahony was told that he was being transferred to Gorey , in Wexford , within two weeks . He appealed the decision to Commissioner Lawrence Wren - the appeal was turned down . He then appealed to the Garda Tribunal . Garda O'Mahony was well liked locally . He asked for an explanation as to why he was being moved , and was told that it was in the interests of the Garda force .

He was forced to take up duty in Gorey , by May 1 . He had spent 15 years in the gardai , almost eight of them in Clones , County Monaghan - he had never been disciplined . According to his wife , "...all he ever wanted was a reasonable explanation .. " ( ' 1169... ' Comment - The "explanation" was , obviously , that a 'cover-up' had begun , and people were being moved into , or out of , place . ) .......