" 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!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Five members of the 'Ulster Defence Regiment' , formerly based at Drummad Barracks in Armagh , have been charged with murder , and the recent visits to this barracks by both the Duke of Edinburgh and Mrs Thatcher caused an uproar in the North . But how exceptional are the 'Drummad Five' ? Just how many 'rotten apples' are there in the 'Ulster Defence Regiment' , which is now the principal back-up force to the RUC in the North of Ireland ? We have chronicled herewith almost one hundred cases where members of the 'Ulster Defence Regiment' (UDR) have been charged with serious offences , mostly involving firearms or explosives . It is a directory of Dishonourable Discharge that is unmatched in the 'security forces' of any country in Europe and probably not even in South America . And even this list does not claim to be exhaustive .From 'The Phoenix' magazine , 30 March 1984 .
SAMUEL COOKEY of Belfast , sentenced to life in March 1977 for possession of home-made machine gun , sawn-off shotgun , 10 short-arms , a SLR and 3,089 rounds of ammunition . Member of UVF .
BASIL CORBETT of Fermanagh , sentenced to two years in March 1983 for 15 sectarian offences including issuing death threats to local Catholics .
GEORGE HENDERSON CORRY of Portadown , fined £50 in June 1975 for being drunk in charge of a gun .
TREVOR CRAIG of Antrim , suspended sentence in June 1978 for attempted armed robbery .
RAYMOND CRAINEY of Armagh , jailed for six months in March 1973 for illegal possession of a pistol and firing it while drunk .
THOMAS CROSSEY of The Maze area , jailed for 18 months in June 1973 for possessing a loaded pistol in suspicious circumstances .
IVAN DALGLEISH and THOMAS CANAVAN of Belfast , each jailed for nine years in March 1974 for bombing a Catholic pub in County Down .
MICHAEL DOHERTY of Belfast , sentenced to four years in February 1984 for illegal possession of three rifles , a silencer , six magazines and 101 rounds of ammunition .


ELECTION INTERVENTIONS.......Despite the fact that SINN FEIN has been contesting local elections in the 26 counties for more than two decades , much comment has been passed and incorrectly interpreted about Republican involvement in elections - north and south of the British-imposed border - in the past several months . Here we review Republican interventions in the electoral process for the past century and more . From 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

Essentially , Charles Stewart Parnell was not a Republican . That such opposite positions governed the land agitation issue and that the entire Fenian leadership was not in agreement on the land issue is a key to the national question and speaks volumes on how it was possible for such a compromise to be forced upon the radical Republican activists .
The inevitable result was the integration of many ex-Fenians into conventional Parnellism . Involvement with constitutionalism had badly divided the IRB and when Parnell's party itself split in 1887 , the IRB split too . Up to this time regardless of the official IRB attitude there had been a considerable Fenian involvement in constitutional politics - in fact , 21 out of 83 listed Parnellite MP's are believed to have been Fenians , 4 were believed to be Fenian supporters and 2 were regarded as ex-Fenians .

The conditions for a withdrawal from Westminster of Irish MP's to set up an Irish Parliament with massive 'peasant' support had been removed when Gladstone defused the land movement with his 'Land Act' , which had detached a sufficient number of Land Leagues to make the project impossible and anyway Charles Stewart Parnell had never embraced such a policy .
For many prominent Fenians the failure of even partial 'New Departure' policies was taken as an endorsement of their total reliance on a purely physical force strategy - there had been a number of significant physical force actions during the period covered here - and left the Fenians facing yet another bout of Irish/American factionalism as well as on-going problems about finances and war materials . But , as stated earlier , the whole period was to serve as a school of sedition for the next generation .
Republican intervention in the British electoral process in this century dates back to February 1917 .......


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 .

Dessie O' Hare had made it abundantly clear to Dr. Austin Darragh that John O' Grady would suffer further if Darragh informed the gardai about the ransom demand ; now it was all over the front page of 'The Irish Independent' newspaper .
Back in the patrol car the two Detectives made small talk with Gerry Wright about boxing and scuba diving , both sports in which Wright had a passionate interest . Gerry Wright was hoping against hope that the gang would have left when they reached his house .

At the house , Gerry Wright made a point of rattling the keys in the lock when opening the door ; as he had walked from the patrol car to the house Wright started to change the original story he had given to the gardai in Parkgate Street - he told them there were a couple of people staying in the house but they would be out on an AnCO course . The rattling of the keys gave the gang the briefest of notice of the gardai arriving . They were forewarned and forearmed .
Eddie Hogan grabbed his shotgun and ran in under the stairs beside John O' Grady ; Tony McNeill ran upstairs and jumped into bed , fully clothed . Fergal Toal went to the rear of the house . Gerry Wright led the Detectives into the living room , spread his hands out and said - "See , there is nothing here ." The Detectives looked around the room - there was a two-bar electric fire on as well as a fire in the grate , and the television was on . On one of the chairs there was what looked like a walkie-talkie .
At that moment Fergal Toal walked into the room .
Gerry Wright told him the two men with him were Detectives , who were looking around , and asked him why he was'nt at his AnCO course . At this point , Detective Martin O' Connor went upstairs with Wright ; Detective Henry Spring asked Fergal Toal what AnCO course he was doing - "Labouring , " , came the reply . Detective O' Connor found Tony McNeill in bed , and asked Wright who he was while shaking the bed . "This is one of the lads from AnCO . He must not have gone to school ." O' Connor asked Tony McNeill to get up . He noticed that McNeill was fully clothed - he felt the bed and noted there was no heat from the bedclothes .
John O' Grady was still unaware the gardai were in the house - immediately after the rattling of the door Eddie Hogan had landed in beside him . Hogan was armed and was breathing heavily .......