" 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, November 01, 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 .

BRIAN ROBERTS , sentenced to life in January 1983 for killing of Liam Canning at Alliance Avenue on August 9 , 1981 . The killing was claimed at the time by the 'Ulster Freedom Fighters' (UFF) .

THOMAS SIMPSON of Belfast , jailed for 18 months in April 1976 for illegal possession of two rifles and 40 rounds of ammunition . Known to be a member of the UVF .

WILLIAM SMITH of Belfast , sentenced to nine months (suspended) for illegal possession in March 1973 .

DAVID STONE of South Derry , jailed for 12 months in February 1974 for using a gun to intimidate a woman into with-holding from the RUC the names of people involved in an assault .

LAURENCE TATE of Moygashel , County Tyrone , jailed for 12 years in December 1975 for bombing a Catholic pub in Dungannon .


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 political atmosphere in Ireland to the British 'Conscription Act' meant that tolerance to IRA activities increased , and increased still further when the British Government arrested Sinn Fein leaders on the 'strength' of a 'German Plot' , which the British Government declared in a sensational proclamation " ...would be put down .. " .

Sinn Fein , having been given notice of the pending arrests through an IRA contact in Dublin Castle , simply made its political leadership open for arrest , while those with military associations went 'on the run' . The result was as they had correctly anticipated and in a by-election in East Cavan , Griffith , back in prison , won easily with a majority of 1,204 .

Continued arrests and harassment increased the popular prestige of Sinn Fein and the Volunteers while the anti-conscription campaign permitted a vehicle for recruitment and spreading Republican influences . The British , temporarily abandoning their conscription idea , initiated a voluntary recruiting campaign and one indication of the weight of nationalist opinion of the old 'Redmonite' school was that , despite an efficient counter campaign by Sinn Fein , 14,013 voluntary recruits were secured for the British Army . The winning over of such nationalist votes was to be the principle task which faced Sinn Fein in the General Election called for December 1918 .

Sinn Fein faced many diverse disadvantages in this election , including censorship and the arrests of consecutive Sinn Fein election directors . But the quickness with which the election was called was certainly in its favour , as was the greatly enlarged new register which almost trebled the previous Irish electorate and the extension of the vote to all males over twenty-one and to women over thirty .......


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 gone to ground ; two days later , on November 8 , 1987 , he resurfaced in Dunleer , County Louth , at around 8.30 PM ; he had been driving through the town with his wife when he decided he wanted a mineral drink . He went into Lorchide's Chip Shop and ordered a tin of coke , attracting the attention of a number of customers who thought he looked a nervous wreck . Suddenly O' Hare threw the can of Coke on the ground ; across the road , Claire O' Hare was out of the car and making a run for it . Dessie O' Hare pulled out a gun and fired a shot from inside the chipper , then he ran out the door and fired down the road , shouting " Come back you bitch ..." .

Dessie O' Hare then went over to the car and took out a shotgun - he fired a shot into the chipper where astonished customers were looking on . A passer-by was told to " ...get out of the fucking way .. " if he did'nt want the same . Meanwhile , Claire O' Hare had run for cover into the Millrace Pub - Dessie jumped into the car and , as the proprietor of the pub came out to the door to investigate , O' Hare fired more shots at the pub from the car , shouting " Get the fucker out .. " - he fired one or two more shots into the pub before driving away . Claire O' Hare was hysterical . Later she was taken to Our Ladys Hospital in Drogheda for treatment , from where she was arrested under ' Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act ' and taken to the Bridewell Station in Dublin .

There was another meeting of the (Free State) Cabinet Committee on Security , this time attended by the (FS) Minister for Finance , Ray MacSharry : there were fears , given the state of his mind , that Dessie O' Hare might make an attempt to kill John O' Grady . The Cabinet sub-Committee offered a £100,000 reward for the capture of Dessie O' Hare .......