" 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...!

Wednesday, October 26, 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 .

RICHARD LONG of Comber , County Down , sentenced to life in May 1977 for conspiracy to kill Catholics .

TREVOR LYLE , jailed for one month (suspensed for two years) for illegal possession of firearms in June 1976 . Charge reduced from attempted murder .

JEFFREY LYNN of Tobermore , County Derry , jailed for six months in September 1976 for handling stolen property . Originally charged with September 1975 armed robbery of Knockloughrim Post Office - prosecution witness , William Millar , subsequently murdered by fellow members of LYNN'S '5th Batt. UDR' .

WILLIAM McCLANAGHAN of South Derry , sentenced to eight years in May 1978 for bombing a Catholic-owned shop in Draperstown .

WILLIAM McCOMB of Banbridge , jailed for 10 years in November 1976 for possession with intent and armed robbery on behalf of the UVF .



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 .

The election of another Sinn Fein candidate , William Cosgrove , in Kilkenny , by a two-to-one majority , led to more repression from the British ; arrests increased and during a period when some political commentators were noting that the lack of really positive Sinn Fein policies was giving rise to serious second thoughts among nationalist voters , the British governments ill-treatment of those arrested became known .

Over forty Irish Republican prisoners were being force-fed in an effort by the British to break a hunger-strike by the prisoners in pursuance of political status . The Republican prisoners , as part of their campaign , were refusing to work or to wear prison clothes - they had smashed their cell windows , demanded segregation from ordinary prisoners and were generally refusing to co-operate with the prisom regime .

Thomas Ashe died after force-feeding and the brutal details of that force-feeding plus the conditions in which the prisoners were being held were read by an outraged public ; Thomas Ashe was buried on September 30th , 1917 , following a funeral attended by some 40,000 people and marked by a day of mourning throughout nationalist Ireland .

All commentators agreed that a new and much needed stimulus had been given to the Sinn Fein Movement ; the British 'establishment' , and it's supporters in the London media , were startled by this turn of events .......


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 .

Having escaped to Limerick , Eddie Hogan and Fergal Toal hired a taxi to take them to Tipperary ; they passed through three or four garda roadblocks without incident . Just outside Tipperary the taxi passed another roadblock manned by Garda John Conway - they were waved on but Conway became suspicious and contacted a garda patrol car which then followed the taxi into Tipperary town ; that patrol car was manned by Garda Liam Walsh , Garda Tom Neville and Garda Dan Collins . In Tipperary , the gardai instructed the taxi driver to pull in . Garda Liam Walsh loaded his sub-machine gun .

The description that the Tipperary gardai had of Eddie Hogan and Fergal Toal did not match the two men in the taxi - both were searched and found to be un-armed . However , Toal was speaking with a fake Cork accent and traces of his northern accent were coming through ; both men were polite and co-operative but , because of the suspicions of the gardai and 'the state of the country at the time' , it was decided to take them to the garda station for questioning . The patrol car stopped forty feet from the station entrance ; as they were walking in , Eddie Hogan bolted ; Garda Neville threw his garda cap on the ground and ran after him . Gardai Walsh and Collins rushed Fergal Toal into the station and handed him over to the station orderly team , Garda Andrew Moriarty and Garda Fallon , in the presence of Garda Sergeant Patrick Merrigan .

Walsh and Collins shouted " Hold him ! Another man has escaped ... " : then they ran off to help Garda Neville to find Eddie Hogan , who had run down the road into the Clanwilliam Rugby Club - he ran the length of the pitch and crossed the goal line with Garda Neville in pursuit ; it was a 'good try' by Neville but Eddie Hogan had already disappeared behind the cover of trees beside the pavilion . He escaped over a wall and was gone . The Clanwilliam Rugby Team , who were training , formed an impromptu search party but without success .

Fergal Toal was now in Garda custody - but not for long .......