" 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 09, 2005

Ten years ago this month the ' ULSTER WORKERS COUNCIL' strike brought down the power-sharing executive of BRIAN FAULKNER and GERRY FITT .
ANDY POLLAK talks to UDA leader ANDY TYRIE , one of the men behind the 1974 work stoppage , and GEORGE SEAWRIGHT , one of the new breed of hard-line Loyalist spokesmen , about the outlook for Northern Ireland's (sic) Protestants in the 1980's .
From ' FORTNIGHT ' magazine , May 1984 .

The UDA decided that the best way for it to get 'friendly' with all the Unionist and Loyalist groupings was to establish a 'front' group ; the organisation within an organisation that it started to build has become known as the 'Ulster (sic) Defence Force ' : Andy Tyrie is understandably reluctant to admit to its existence , preferring to say that "...it could exist with a bit of hard work .. " .

But he admits that over the past two-and-a-half-years the UDA has been trying to build up an 'Officer Corps' , which will be different from ' the big Protestant mob' which the UDA was seen as in the 1970's , which felt all it needed to do to make the British listen was to put on shows of strength in the street . Andy Tyrie also concedes that elements of gangsterism and racketeering discredited the UDA in the eyes of working-class Protestants . ( '1169.... ' Comment - .. "gangsterism and racketeering " is still rife within not only the UDA ; as I type , the 'UVF' and the 'LVF' [other Loyalist militia] are having a shooting match with each other over territory . Because territory equals extra drug sales . The 'UDA' was political when it was first established in 1971 , but now it is just a large drugs gang .)

Tyrie says - " We do have a lot of weaknesses regarding people who can work out tactics , finance , planning - the things you'd expect an Officer to know - we've been working very hard to change that . The Loyalist people always want a Loyalist army beyond what they see as the established , controlled groups . Because they feel that quite a lot of our security (sic) forces are bought . If there was a united Ireland tomorrow they would adjust very rapidly to becoming a branch of the Garda or any other branch of the security forces . It's only a job to them . The Loyalist community feel that people like us , who are volunteers in a sense , would be prepared to go to extremes which the people who have been bought over would'nt go to . ( '1169.... ' Comment - Andy Tyrie need'nt have worried - the British Army , RUC , RIR etc were just as vicious as the UDA and others . )

It's all right talking about compromise , but we can't compromise . We have nothing to compromise with because every move we make in the sense of compromise is a step nearer a united Ireland . We won't be bought by anyone . We feel there's so many people within the present society in Ulster who would possibly go into a united Ireland . We feel that it's going to be necessary to have our army so we can say to the British government - ' Don't forget about us ....... ' "


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.

The electoral campaign was never seen by the Provos as being central to their strategy . The belief is firmly held that only a prolonged and inexorable military campaign will force political concessions from the British government . Unfortunately (!) , there is all too much historical evidence both here and internationally to substantiate that belief . The nature of the conflict is such that the Provisionals have little leeway in changing military tactics . (' 1169... ' Comment - now they have no 'military tactics ' - just political tactics . They have neutered themselves .)

The Provisionals are limited to killing members of the security (sic) forces individually , usually off duty ( ' 1169.... ' Comment - those people were never 'off duty' - in the pub , or socialising elsewhere , they became the 'eyes and ears' of the State) , and mounting disruptions of the normality which the British seek to claim . It is these circumstances which have provoked discussion within the IRA on the stepping-up of the war against the State . Only the fear that massive disaffection by current sympathisers could lead to an obvious defeat in the 1985 local elections - which would be as much of a psychological blow as the previous victories have been a psychologist boost - could put the brakes on this .

Already , however , there is a belief that the electoral ceiling has been reached and that the intricacies of the electoral system will work against the Provos next year . The Provisionals believe that in the 1985 local elections they will be harassed and hampered by the amendment to the 'Representation of the People Act ' brought in after Bobby Sands won the Fermanagh-South Tyrone seat in 1981 .......


The Evelyn Glenholmes affair not only involved unlawful activity by gardai , it stemmed from the chaotic condition of the force which has resulted from ignoring the warning signs of the past decade .
By Gene Kerrigan.
First published in ' MAGILL ' magazine , April 1986 .

In the wake of the 'Kerry Babies Case' , four gardai were chosen for sacrifice ; there was absolutely no evidence of wrong-doing by Gerry O'Carroll , P.J. Browne , Joe Shelly and John Harrington . The criticisms of the garda by Mr. Justice Kevin Lynch did not include anything done by those four gardai - it was crystal clear to everyone that the four were being punished , but the garda authorities found a form of words which blocked three of them from gaining a review of the case .

The 'Kerry Babies Case' , even after the controversial 'Lynch Report' , presented the authorities with an opportunity for a re-assessment . The individual gardai were cleared of the Hayes' allegations by the Tribunal , there need be no singling out of individuals , the kind of thing which would provoke opposition from the garda representative bodies . There was simply needed an acknowledgement that the garda techniques and procedures , whatever about the actions of individual members , produced watertight but false confessions .

In that light there could have been a re-assessment , one which the gardai involved could have co-operated with . However , the government's 'Complaints Bill ' was up and running , an artificially-created compromise , gerrybuilt to push through the' Criminal Justice Act ' . The four scapegoats would suffice ! By then there was conflict even within the garda representative bodies ; on October 31 , 1985 , less than a week after the 'punishment transfers' , Garda Commissioner Wren had a meeting at Garda Headquarters with members of the Executive of the 'Garda Representative Association' - legal threats were made at this meeting .......