" 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 09, 2005

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

In response to the many letters of protest sent by concerned members of parliament , members of the European Parliament , local councillors , members of the public and concerned women and men from elsewhere in the world , this official version of the strip-search procedure has been faithfully reproduced , together with further comforting phrases :

" The (British) government is satisfied , having gone into the whole matter very carefully , that there is a need for the present procedures and that they are carried out in as sensitive a manner as possible by the staff concerned . To describe what is done as 'inhuman' is a gross exaggeration . " Compare this with the following , which actually happened - " Eight screws were present , standing silently , waiting to see , hoping to see , another one break . Then the dreaded words - "Right ! Strip !" "

And this - " She is briefly visually examined while still in the cubicle to ensure that she has not 'hidden' any item on her person .....as I felt a hand slowly moving down the calf of my leg my flesh crawled . They were'nt content to jibe at my naked state , they had to 'search' me . A 'skin-search' , aye . It sounds ridiculous , but it is true... "

The British government is "...satisfied.. " , despite the fact that metal detectors , which are available , are not used to search prisoners at Armagh , that these degrading procedures are "...necessary.. " . The British government is also "...satisfied .." that sometimes as many as 28 strip-searches a month are "...necessary.. " to make sure that one prisoner is not smuggling anything into the prison or out of it .

Yet , if the British government is concerned about 'security' why do they not use the metal detectors ? Surely the imposition of anything so traumatic as the strip-searches , which are unnecessary , constitutes 'inhumanity' and is a contradiction of British 'Lord' Gowrie's 'principle' of "...proper consideration.. " ?

(Monday , 12th - 'British Justice' : from 1984.)

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 .

On the outside , the Irish 'establishment' has been exposed and lost credibility and electoral ground . British 'criminalisation' policy has been smashed . Anti-imperialist feelings have been awakened from their slumber throughout Ireland . The struggle for Irish freedom has gained world-wide publicity . And , more important perhaps for the future , the youth of Ireland stood up to be counted .

Some joined the ranks of the IRA , others worked tirelessly in their action groups , organising pickets , drafting leaflets , painting wall murals , the photographs of which went all over the world , as the most beautiful proof of the existence of a living popular struggle . All this was , first and foremost , what Bobby Sands and his comrades were in jail for , and what they died for .

(Monday , 12th - 'Fr. Denis Faul ; A Conniving , Treacherous Man.' From 1981.)


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 :

This robbery took place in 1977 when the AIB headquarters was under construction . Two armed men forced their way into the site office of Crampton's , the builders , and got away with £6,000 - a third man was waiting for them in a car opposite the Royal Dublin Society building in Ballsbridge , Dublin . Specific details of this robbery were not available from Crampton's - the foreman at the site at the time was able to remember only the above details . Sources connected with the Official IRA have informed us that they were responsible for the robbery .

This , according to the Gardai , was "...a particularly well organised job .. "
The payroll arrived in the factory on Lower Grand Canal Street , in Dublin , at 9AM on Friday , July 22nd , 1977 . Forty-five minutes later two raiders , dressed in white coats and protective helmets (the uniform of workers on the site) arrived ; they held up the cash office at gunpoint as the staff there were in the process of filling out wage packets . They opened fire on a member of the staff who pursued them , and got away in a white Ford Cortina which had been stolen and was later found abandoned .
(Monday , 12th - 'CIE Train Robbery'.)