" 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!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

First published in the booklet ' STRIP SEARCHES IN ARMAGH JAIL' , produced , in February 1984 , by 'The London Armagh Group' .
The Official Response.

" Anyone with long hair is ordered to gather her hair up in her hands and hold it on top of her head . This , say the women prisoners , makes the entire sordid affair seem like a slave trade market . When the strip-searching is finished , clothes are returned and we are allowed to dress .

Next , we are brought into an RUC van and from there on we are in RUC custody ; after arriving at court we make a brief appearance and , I should stress , have
no contact with the public . Most women are returned to Armagh Prison from the local court in Armagh in less than half an hour , and are again subjected to strip-searching .

The women are searched on their return to prison from court , even though they have been in RUC custody and have had no contact with the public - where would they get anything to conceal on themselves in a high security court ? Also , what could possibly be the justification for searching the women on
leaving the prison to go to court ?

Harassment , rather than security , is obviously the purpose ....... "


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 .

Bernard Fox ended his hunger-strike on September 25th , 1981 for health reasons , similar to the health issues suffered by Brendan McLaughlin . The hunger-strike finally crumbled as an effective weapon when all but one family of the remaining six hunger-strikers indicated that they would intervene eventually .

What the British and Free State governments had been unable to achieve , directly or through various 'official' bodies , the Catholic hierarchy had succeeded in bringing about - an unconditional end of the hunger-strike . The prisoners , in their October 3rd 1981 statement , were not slow to draw the lesson from the fact . Having won international recognition for their status as political prisoners , but having failed to wring the formal admission of that fact from an unyielding British government , the Republican prisoners were given their own clothes and promised some restoration of remission for 'good behaviour' .

About two-thirds of the prisoners are now on a 'no-work' protest , like their women comrades in Armagh Jail , and the rest have decided to conform to prison rules . It will take them months , maybe years , to overcome the emotional and physical strain of four-and-a-half years of gruelling protest and ill-treatment , and a year of hunger-strikes .......



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 :
Cork CMP Dairies raid - £10,000 : cont/d .......

During a raid on the Cork CMP Dairies , a handgun was discharged at a clerk , Maura Collins - she was wounded in the lower back . The Special Branch moved in on the premises and a gunfight ensued , resulting in the capture of the five raiders . Those five men were :
Thomas Patrick Cosgrave , Cork .
James Martin McKevitt , Newry .
Rory O' Hagan , Dundalk .
David Russell , Belfast .
Hugh Gorman , Newry .

Legal counsel for the men stated at their trial in the Special Criminal Court on October 9th , 1978 - " ...while there were members of the Official IRA (sic- "present" ?) the incident in question was of the nature of a maverick operation for themselves.. " .

That statement , which of course was given in good faith by the legal counsel , was designed to minimise the political embarrassment caused by the incident . It was , however , untrue , according to a variety of sources attached to the Official's . In addition , one of the men involved gave an alias - this man was a prominent operative for the Official IRA over the previous number of years .

(Tomorrow - raids on Allied Irish Bank Head Office and International Meat Packers , both in Dublin.)