" 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!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

FIANNA FAIL AND THE IRA CONNECTION .......
By Breasal O Caollai .
First published in ' New Hibernia ' Magazine , December 1986/January 1987 .

The Irish (sic- Free State) Army's main role after August 15 , 1969 , became one of gathering information about events and people in the North ; the special Garda squads , operating on both sides of the border , had their input , too . The (FS) Government's refugee camps along the border were used as sources of information .

With the trouble dying down in Belfast , the (FS) Director of Army Intelligence , Colonel Hefferon , met the (FS) Minister for Finance , Charles Haughey , in McKee Barracks in Dublin and talked about the requirements on the intelligence front for the future as regards the North of Ireand ; at this meeting the idea developed of using a centre in Monaghan , which had been set up to deal with relief , for intelligence gathering . It was agreed to subsidise the activities of the office and the first £100 was paid over on September 9th , 1969 .

The objective was to pay the cost of maintaining the office and staff and help publish a weekly news-sheet , which would generate contacts in the North and so gather information . At the same time (FS) government employee Seamus Brady had produced a booklet entitled ' Terror in Northern Ireland' for the Central Citizens Defence Committee (CCDC) in Belfast ; Brady had been chosen to infiltrate the CCDC and this publication launched him nicely into his work . The full costs of producing the booklet were paid by the Dublin Government's 'Information Bureau' .

Hugh Kennedy , the Bord Bainne representative in Belfast , was known to Seamus Brady from journalistic work carried out for the Bord , which was then under the control of the (FS) Minister for Agriculture , Neil Blaney . Mr. Blaney was also a member of the Leinster House Government's sub-committee on the North .......

(MORE LATER).



NA FIANNA EIREANN .
Their courage and daring , their discipline and determination are an inspiration to their older comrades in Sinn Fein , the IRA and Cumann na mBan .
Each Easter the ROLL OF HONOUR is published ; a list of those who have died in the service of their country in this phase of the struggle for Irish Freedom .
Among those names are the names of eighteen young martyrs - members of NA FIANNA EIREANN . They gave their young lives at different ages (the youngest was twelve , the oldest was eighteen ) and in different ways .
From 'IRIS' Magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

Na Fianna Eireann is the youth organisation of the Republican Movement , the revolutionary vanguard of Irish youth . Throughout its long history , longer indeed than that of either Sinn Fein or the IRA , it has been called upon to play an often vital role in the fight for national liberation .

The organisation was founded by Countess Markievicz in 1909 "...to train the youth of Ireand to fight Ireland's fight when they are older .. " . A Gaelic renaissance was sweeping Ireland at the time and the Fianna were to be an Irish and Gaelic answer to the pro-British Baden-Powell scouts : indeed the National Youth Council of Ireland cites Na Fianna Eireann as the first national Irish youth Movement .

Na Fianna looked on the mythological Fianna of Fionn MacCuamhail as their exemplars , and took their motto , " Glaine 'nar gcroi neart 'nar ngeaga agus beart do reir ar mbriathar " (" Purity In Our Hearts , Strength In Our Arms And Truth On Our Lips ") as their own . The legends of old Ireland extolled the courage and the daring , the discipline and the determination of the country's defenders of Cuchulainn and the Red Branch Knights , and of Fionn and the Fianna .

Their own courage and discipline were soon to be tested in the great lock-out of 1913 , the training of the Irish Volunteers throughout 1914 , 1915 and 1916 , and the Easter Rising .......

(MORE LATER).



23 DAYS IN HELL : THE STORY OF THE O'GRADY KIDNAPPING .......
The Gardai had in their possession a clue which could have led them to the O'Grady kidnappers and their captive some ten days earlier .
A card found in a rucksack after the Midleton shoot-out led them directly to the gang once they checked it out - but this was ten days later , by which time John O 'Grady had lost two of his fingers .
First published in 'MAGILL' Magazine , May 1988 .
By Michael O'Higgins .

Garda Gerard O'Donoghue and two of his colleagues knocked on the container but got no reply ; they went to an adjacent house where an elderly woman , a Mrs O'Neill , lived : she told them she had not noticed any suspicious activity , so they returned to Midleton Garda Station . The matter might have ended there but for the fact that at 3PM Garda O'Donoghue received new information - on the basis of this O'Donoghue was convinced he had located the kidnap gang .

Garda Superintendent Murray arrived into Midleton Garda Station to take charge at 3.30 PM - he acted quickly ; he telephoned surrounding garda stations to request back-up assistance , and then telephoned Commandant Grey of Collins Barracks in Cork City . Murray briefed Grey and requested a Company of troops and emergency lighting to assist him ; Grey's reply was that it would take two hours to mobilise troops . Twenty minutes later , however , Commandant Grey rang back to say that a Captain Kenneally would be in Midleton in three-quarters of an hour with a party of nine soldiers .

By this stage Garda Detective Inspector Carey had arrived from Union Quay Station in Cork ; over the next twenty minutes Murray and Carey cobbled together a plan - there were sixteen armed gardai of various ranks detailed to implement this plan . The Detectives split into three teams : 'Team One' was to take up a position in a field directly across the road from the container , whilst 'Team Two' and 'Team Three' were to approach the container from two directions behind . The ditches in the fields around the container were to give the surrounding party cover .

The purpose of the plan , according to Superintendent Murray , was merely to contain the gang until the soldiers arrived and roadblocks were set up . Each team was instructed to abandon their transport on farms half a mile away from the target .......

(MORE LATER).