" 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!


Friday, December 02, 2005

" DON'T LET THEM BREAK YOU , LOVE " .......
First published in the booklet ' STRIP SEARCHES IN ARMAGH JAIL' , produced , in February 1984 , by 'The London Armagh Group' .

The prison Governor states that strip-searches are carried out on a " spot-check" basis ; my repeated ordeals denied that as true . The ordeal of being strip-searched continually had a pronounced and adverse effect on many of its victims , both physical and psychological .

I saw girls being physically ill on the morning of their court appearance and I saw others biting back tears upon their return , and heard them stifling their sobs in the 'privacy' of their cells . I saw their anger and their revulsion , and I felt their pain .

Within a few months I was released from Armagh Jail , when the British Crown 'witness' became unwilling to perjure the lives of so many innocent people . Within me I carry the memory of the Armagh women , their joy when we heard that the British government would have to release me : I think of Marie , who felt everyone's troubles of any nature .

I think of Siobhan , five feet of sheer resilience : I think of all the women who maintain their dignity throughout each assault upon their bodies .......

(MORE LATER).



THE HEROIC PRISON STRUGGLE .......
1981 was dominated by the grim and heroic struggle of Republican prisoners for political recognition - which they undoubtedly received from millions all over the world , yet which few governments , least of all London or Dublin , would grant them .
From 'AP/RN' , 31st December 1981 .
By Teresa Kelly .

A member of Na Fianna Eireann , John Dempsey , was shot dead by British soldiers in Belfast and a young housewife , Nora McCabe , was fatally wounded by an RUC plastic bullet .

On Friday July 10th , 1981 , as Joe McDonnell was being buried with full military honours , British soldiers and RUC men attacked the mourners and the IRA Firing Party both with plastic and live bullets , coming close to creating another 'Bloody Sunday' . The premature death of Martin Hurson after forty-six days of fast , on July 13th 1981 , further stunned the relatives and supporters of the prisoners .

Six of their comrades had now died , yet the prisoners battled on , with grim and heroic determination ; the British government's last attempt to give the illusion of progress and demoralise the prisoners took place as Kevin Lynch and Kieran Doherty were entering the critical stage of their fasts , and involved the International Red Cross (IRC) . The IRC delegation was given a 'brief' by the British government - this 'brief' was so thin as to be invisible , but the prisoners condemned this new ploy and the IRC people faded away to prepare some vague report on ' Northern Ireland (sic) Prisons ' .

On August 1st 1981 , Kevin Lynch died after seventy-one days of fast . Then , on August 2nd 1981 , Kieran Doherty , TD for Cavan/Monaghan , died after seventy-three days .......

(MORE LATER).



IN THE SHADOW OF A GUNMAN .......

The aspirations of SINN FEIN THE WORKERS PARTY towards socialist respectability are undermined by the continued military operations of the OFFICIAL IRA and that Party's own ideoligical contortions .
From ' MAGILL' magazine , April 1982 .
By Vincent Browne.

Bank Levies , SFWP style :

Glens of Antrim , £229,997 .
On April 26 , 1977 , a Securior van was halted on its way from Limavady to Coleraine by a spiked chain thrown across the road . Twenty-three bags of money were taken from the van by five armed men - this gang was later arrested by an RUC patrol as it was packing the bags of money into meat carcasses in a disused quarry , four miles from the scene of the robbery . Those five men were convicted of the robbery at Belfast City Commission on December 14 , 1977 - four were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and one to four years .

The convicted men were - James Michael Feeney of Seapark , Banbridge : Hugh Murphy of Richmont Gardens , Lurgan : John Paul McGeown of Ridgeway , Craigavon : Andrew Murnin of Drumbeg North , Craigavon : and William Barr of Belmont , Derry . The latter , William Barr , was the manager of Securicor Ulster Ltd , in Derry . Feeney and Murphy admitted to being members of the Official IRA .......

(MORE LATER).