" 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!

Friday, August 19, 2005

GEORGE SEAWRIGHT , the tough-talking Scotsman and self-proclaimed "honest bigot" from the Shankill Road , is a DUP member of both Belfast City Council and the Northern Assembly . He is also the politician most closely associated with the Loyalist paramilitaries .
He believes that the rise of Sinn Fein has made an armed confrontation between the forces of Loyalism and Republicanism inevitable .
From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine , May 1984 .

George Seawright (DUP) believes one of the clearest signs that the two sides were now irreconcilable was the low vote received by 'The Workers Party' in Nationalist working-class areas - " This signifies to Protestants the rejection by the Roman Catholic and Nationalist community of non-sectarian Socialism , an old-fashioned Republicanism - if you could call it that - based on the ideals of Wolfe Tone and company which believed that Socialism could be implemented in Ireland accommodating Protestants and Catholics alike . ('1169.... ' Comment - We presume Mr Seawright was simply being mischievous in linking the Stickies ('WP') with Wolfe Tone ...)

Provisionalism is dramatically different ; it is something rising up and saying quite clearly that there can be no real accommodation for Protestants or for a people who wish to live as a separate entity on this island - their culture , their identity , would not be recognised in the event of the Provisionals taking over . " ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - ...again : another incorrect 'assumption' by George Seawright - he no doubt used this line to 'encourage' loyalists to attack their nationalist neighbours ie ''get them before they get you " . Seawright and his type were part of the problem - not part of the solution . He went on to claim that the 'Brits Out!' slogan , as used by Irish Republicans , was directed at ordinary unionists and loyalists as well as at the British military and political presence - yet another incorrect 'assumption' . )


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.

' MAGILL ' Magazine : " Getting involved in electoral politics necessitates explaining and arguing politics , things get more complicated , the old simplicities are not enough . Have these developments not created a gap between the leadership and its older rank and file , particularly in the South ? "

Danny Morrison : " I think Sinn Fein in the South has undergone a lot of developments as well . It's not just a paper-selling organisation and collecting for prisoners . It has started to get involved . Our successes are probably more marked in Dublin than in other places . But there has been an influx of new members , especially as a result of the European election , new cummain flourishing in different areas and that's good for the organisation .

Now , the social content of the organisation has not changed . Although there have been a lot of people coming in who don't directly come from Republican families , who have never been in jail - I mean , I would be afraid that too much of an influx of that type of people would upset the balance inside the Republican organisation . ( ' 1169 .... ' Comment - ....and that is exactly what happened : the 'new members' were not educated on the politics of the Movement - they were 'militant Nationalists' more so than 'Republicans' and , within a few years of this interview , the Provisional Sinn Fein leadership 'pointed' those new members towards a 'nationalist solution' (ie like the SDLP and Fianna Fail) and were then able to declare , to the objectors within - ' ....but that's where the members want to go ..' . A sleight of hand operation . )

And you would have people coming in who would perhaps be 'trendy' , who would not have had that long history of involvement that's actually the anchor of our stability and our consistency . And that might push things too quickly . ( ' 1169 .... ' Comment - ....so it was apparently acceptable to "push things..." slowly ... ?) The leadership can't get ahead of the grassroots . It has to bring the grassroots along with it . We face many problems in the 26 Counties : the policy of abstentionism obviously handicaps our potential for gathering votes . ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - ...but not , apparently , regarding Westminster , it seems ... !) But abstentionism has been a very important issue with the Movement down the years . You don't change abstentionism as a result of all these new people coming in and getting a majority - ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - ...you 'should'nt ' , Danny . Not "don't " or 'can't ' ... ) that's why you can't allow people to come in and change the social content of the organisation . ( ' 1169 .... ' Comment - ...unless the leadership themselves are in favour of such a move , of course ....)

Any difficult issues which we face in the months and years ahead , we're going to have to resolve them on the basis of being completely united and with almost total agreement about how you go forward . " ( ' 1169 .... ' Comment - ...two years after those fine words , Mr Morrison was one of those who opened the doors at the 1986 Sinn Fein Ard Fheis to let the terms "completely united .. " and "...with almost total agreement .. " escape . )


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 parents arrived Sunday evening around 5 PM . I had a half-hour visit with them . I was interviewed by two guards from Clones before my parents arrived . They were extremely nice . They said more or less that I was an embarrassment to my family and "...you can't get away with this sort of thing around Clones .. " . They asked me if I wanted to see my parents and I said "yes" . When my parents left , the interview continued .

There was no ill-treatment whatsoever . The interview lasted until about half six/seven o'clock , as far as I can remember . Two other Detectives came in that I did'nt know . They did'nt stay very long . There was no ill-treatment . I was put back in my cell then . Sometime around eight o'clock , a Detective came into the cell . He told me to get up and follow the other Detectives that were outside the door . He turned left and went up a stairs . There was a young Detective in front of me on the way up the stairs . When I was going up the stairs the older Detective behind me hit me a slap across the back of the head .

I had an idea something was going to happen , I knew they were'nt taking me up the stairs for nothing . It was the first time during the time I was in Monaghan Barracks that I was being taken upstairs . I was brought to a small box room . The minute I got into the room , they started kicking and punching . They started leathering into me . They had a statement written out and they wanted me to sign it . The beating that them two fellows gave me went on for about one and a half hours . In that space of time , they placed a cardboard box over my head when they kicked me and punched me . I did'nt know where it was coming from . One would twist my arm up my back while the other would hit me .

When they'd hit me , I'd move - one of them would grab me and twist my arm up my back to keep me in the one position where I could'nt avoid being hit . They had a pen and placed it into my hand and one would grab my hand and force it down on the statement , to try and make me sign it . They kept referring to "..we've had harder men in here .. " and they gave names of people who , they say , broke ....... "