" 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!

Thursday, August 11, 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 .

Andy Tyrie (UDA) agrees with the strong views of his 'chief lieutenant' , John McMichael , in an interview in March 1984 , in which he said that over the next five , six or seven years , the UDA had to ... "...get down to the nuts and bolts of preparing the Ulster (sic) Protestant community for a head-on collision to decide whether in fact it will survive as a people on this island . "

The UDA Commander points out that McMichael drew his conclusions from ... "...the fact that the SDLP have opted out of Northern Ireland (sic- the SDLP had/have no 'Party Branches' in Donegal) politics and Sinn Fein have no intention of ever going into them . ( ' 1169... ' Comment - not only did [P] Sinn Fein get "into" politics in the Six Counties , all the way to Stormont , but it "got" out of , and stopped supporting , other means of resistance.) So now you have the bulk of the nationalist groups saying there is no future for the Ulster (sic) Protestant community and their job is to destroy it .

If you're talking about the warring groups , the groups that are involved in the war - and you must see the SDLP in that , and after Cardinal Tomas O Fiaich's recent statements , you must see him as part of the war effort against the whole Protestant community ( ' 1169... ' Comment - sic : Republicans never declared , or carried out , war , "against the whole Protestant community .." ) - then there's a big build-up of everything that's opposing Ulster's (sic) survival . Based on all those facts ( "facts ..." ?) it does'nt give you much hope for a political solution at the end of the day . "

Andy Tyrie also thinks that Sinn Fein's Danny Morrison will defeat SDLP leader John Hume in the EEC election next month . He warns that his ' intelligence reports' indicated that the illegal 'Ulster (sic) Freedom Fighters' had re-grouped on a military basis and their attack on Gerry Adams - whom Tyrie called ... "...not only a member of its military council but also Commander-In-Chief of the IRA .. " - was the beginning of a trend that would continue .......


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 ' interview with Danny Morrison , Sinn Fein Director of Publicity :

Magill - " In the European elections in June (1984) , Sinn Fein failed to retain the 100,000 votes they had achieved in the Westminster election . It fell to 91,000 . Why ? "

DM - " Well , firstly we made a mistake in that we scientifically estimated that we would not out-poll John Hume or take the seat , sometime before the actual election . Then , inside the steering committee in the six counties , it was probably my bidding - because people like Gerry Adams , for example , were saying that we should'nt be pitching the stakes high - and I was arguing successfully with the majority that in order to enthuse our people we needed to give them an ambitious objective . And that ambitious objective was that we could out-poll Hume . Now , we believed that we would have held onto the 102,000 votes which we had achieved in June 1983 . We believed that as a result of ongoing constituency work we would have taken extra votes .

We thought that in the three constituencies which we did'nt contest in June 1983 , that we were bound to pick up some votes out of those three areas - that is , Strangford , North Down and East Antrim . So , even allowing for a lower poll we still believed that we would have taken an increased share of the nationalist vote . But we did'nt do it . In fact we held on precisely to the exact percentages as in June 1983 . Analysing why we did'nt even pull out the 103,000 - obviously a lot of soul-searching has to be done . And perhaps some unpalatable conclusions reached . To look at things over which we had no control : John Hume definitely had an advantage as a sitting MEP . In retrospect , not using the forum turned out to be as advantageous to him as if he had used it .

He fought it on European issues , he was the sitting MEP , and a lot of people , farming people , who classify themselves as our supporters - not all of them , obviously - but some people told me , yes , they voted for Hume . They voted for us in June , they voted for Hume this time because they saw the European election not as a crunch election , but as one concerned with their agricultural interests . So they opted for Hume ....... "


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 .

5. CHAOS .

The chaos within the Gardai spilled onto the streets , in front of the cameras , on March 22 , 1986 : the methods , tactics and attitudes of a decade were there . Had Detective Christy Power of the 'Task Force' not fired some shots , had the cameras not been there , the incident would not have assumed the proportions it has . Only the circumstances were unusual .

For over a decade the Garda Force has been allowed abuse its powers when it thought necessary . Usually there was no comeback - when public unease arose about garda conduct , as in the 'Kerry Babies Case' , a few individuals could be thrown to the 'liberal wolves' and the structural and systemic faults in the force could remain . As long as there were results , no one cared .

On March 22 , 1986 , several gardai had walkie-talkies and were thus susceptible to the chain of command . Nothing was done to halt their unlawful activities . No one could predict that we would all end up seeing the thing on TV . On past record , garda sources agree , a few individuals can be found to 'take the weight' ; Detective Christy Power , who was shot two years ago , is an obvious fall guy . Gardai point out that in this force , unlike most others , there is no counselling , no re-integration , for gardai who suffer the trauma of gunshot wounds .

In the wake of the chaos in Prince's Street in Dublin , both the 'Irish Press' newspaper and Charlie Haughey called for the resignation of the (FS) Minister for Justice , Alan Dukes (FG) .......