" 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, February 04, 2005

'THE PRESS' Newspaper , October 1797 - March 1798 .
Too Radical for the Radicals .......

....... Ireland , January 1792 ; the first issue of the 'United Irishmen' newspaper , 'The Northern Star' , was published . Westminster did'nt like the look of it and set about closing it down : five years later (ie 1797) they sent in a 'heavy-gang' .......


In 1797 , the five-years-young newspaper ' The Northern Star ' was finally put out of business when its Offices and printing-press were destroyed by pro-British militia ; please note that this 'blog' already covered , in far greater detail than the above two posts , 'The Northern Star' newspaper (see 'Archives' list) .

However - within a few months of the closure of ' The Northern Star ' newspaper , a new 'star' (!) was born ; 'The Press' newspaper . The two 'main movers' behind the new newspaper were Arthur O'Connor ( a nephew of British 'Lord' Longueville ) and 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald (whom we have mentioned on this blog before) .

Both those men were known by other members of the United Irishmen organisation , and by its leadership , to be amongst the more militant element in that group .

Arthur O'Connor was born in Cork in 1760 (or 1765 - different dates given by different sources) to the Conner family ; Arthur later changed his surname , put himself through school , became a barrister and , later , an M.P. in Westminster - and , along the way , he joined the United Irishmen .......

(MORE LATER).


HOW THE GAY LIFE KILLED MOUNTBATTEN.......
Encounters with youths exposed him to IRA.
BY FRANK DOHERTY.

First published in 'NOW' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 4 , October 1989 , page 37 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
[5 of 5].

'Lord' Mountbatten was particularly attracted to boys in their early teens ; it was this characteristic which made him especially vulnerable to the IRA , because he needed to slip away from his personal bodyguards to keep dates with such boys , some of whom came in contact with IRA men .

His vice habit was similar to that of the former British Secret Service Chief , 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield , who was appointed ' Ulster (sic) Security Co-Ordinator ' by Margaret Thatcher in the wake of the Mountbatten assassination .

'Sir' Maurice also slipped away from his 'personal protection detail' - a team of handpicked , plain-clothes British 'Royal' Military Policemen - on various occasions while he was living in Stormont House , beside Stormont Castle in Belfast . But a plan by the IRA to kill him during one such expedition into County Down failed when he was unexpectedly moved back to London .

[END of ' HOW THE GAY LIFE KILLED MOUNTBATTEN ' ].
(Monday 7th - ' A STICKY END ; THE OFFICIALS ' , from 1981 ).


HAMMER AND TONGS.
'Survivors' : collected by Uinseann MacEoin .
Reviewed by Tim Pat Coogan.

First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , December 1980 , page 53.
Re-published here in 7 parts .
(1 of 7).

My judgement on this book can be summed up in two words - get it ! Apart from being produced with fine illustrations by Colman Doyle , large print and so on , at the contemporary market level for hard cover books it is reasonably priced . It is a " good read " in itself and a thoroughly significant collection of memoirs which , though they deal (as the title suggests) with survivors of the Anglo/Irish War and Civil War period , also throw a very significant light , or shadow , depending on how one looks at the predominantly Republican viewpoint of the survivors , on the present Northern situation .

For instance , one of the most formidable guerrilla fighters of the Tan War was Tomas O Maoileoin of Westmeath , better known as Sean Forde , Commandant General of the IRA . A couple of his reminiscences give the calibre of the man -

- " At that moment the tongs , reddened in a fire , was carressed along my back . I fell forward with the shock and pain . Struggling to my feet , I let them have the weight of my tongue for treating a prisoner so . They forgot the tongs and lunged at me instead . I received a rain of blows before I collapsed again ....... "

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, February 03, 2005

'THE PRESS' Newspaper , October 1797 - March 1798 .
Too Radical for the Radicals .


In January 1792 , the 'United Irishmen' organisation published the first edition of their newspaper , ' The Northern Star ' ; it was published in Belfast , and edited by Samuel Neilson .

It is believed to be the first instance of an Irish newspaper being 'controlled' by what was , in effect , a 'Board of Directors' which , in turn , appointed a 'sub-committee' to oversee the running of the newspaper .

However - within one year of its start-up , the Brits attempted to close it down ; but they failed . They then began a campaign of harassment against those that worked on 'The Northern Star' newspaper and eventually extended that campaign to include those that bought it , too !

It took the Brits five years but , in 1797 , they got their way - a gang of 'bully-boys' was sent in to deal with the 'problem' .......

(MORE LATER).


HOW THE GAY LIFE KILLED MOUNTBATTEN.......
Encounters with youths exposed him to IRA.
BY FRANK DOHERTY.

First published in 'NOW' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 4 , October 1989 , page 37 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
(4 of 5).

The IRA bomb which killed 'Lord' Mountbatten was detonated from a car parked on the shore ; a pulse-coded transmitter of a type not used before was brought in from South Armagh because the IRA believed that British security officers may have fitted ECM (Electronic Counter-Measure) equipment in Classiebawn Castle which would have prematurely detonated any radio-bomb they attempted to plant .

The IRA spent nearly two months setting-up the assassination , relying on information from 'Lord' Mountbatten's homosexual contacts to track his movements . Mountbatten was an uncle of both (British) 'Queen' Elizabeth and her husband , 'Prince' Phillip , and was interested in what homosexuals call " the rough trade " and liked to have 'contacts' with 'working-class' youths .

He was particularly attracted to boys in their early teens .......

(MORE LATER).


DE VALERA AND THE AMERICAN CONNECTION .......
By Micheal MacGiolla Phadraig .
From 'NOW' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 4, October 1989 , pages 28 and 29 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
[6 of 6].

In 1925 , the 'Republican Daily Press Fund' was set-up , with Austin Stack as Chairperson and Molly Childers , widow of Erskine , as Treasurer .

During de Valera's fund-raising visits to the U.S. in 1922 , 1927 , and 1929 , when he solicited money for the organisation which was known at various times as 'Cumann na Poblachta' , 'The Republican Party' and then 'Fianna Fail- The Republican Party' , it was made clear that the funds being raised were for the setting up of a party newspaper - 'The Irish Press' .

The question must then be asked : who are the real owners of 'Irish Press Plc' ? That's one that may be answered eventually either in Dublin or in the United States , one way or another .

[END of ' DE VALERA AND THE AMERICAN CONNECTION '] .
(Tomorrow : ' Hammer and Tongs - Survivors' ; from 'Magill' magazine , December 1980 ).







Wednesday, February 02, 2005

THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION , 1921-1925 .......
A British 'sleight-of-hand' which caused a mutiny within British forces in Ireland.......

....... in December 1925 , the pro-British 'A' and 'C' Special Constabulary (in the Six-Occupied Counties) had mutinied and taken their own Officers as hostages ; they were about to become unemployed (and , for most of them , unemployable !) and wanted a better deal . On 16th December 1925 , they handed in their demands to the Stormont 'Minister for Home Affairs' , 'Sir' Richard Dawson Bates , who was not impressed with their conduct .......


The 'A' and 'C' Specials were looking for more money ; they demanded a £200 tax-free 'bonus' for each member that was to be made redundant . Two days later (ie on 18th December 1925) 'Sir' Bates replied to the Special 'Rebels' (!) that not only would they not be getting the £200 'bonus' but if they did'nt back down immediately they would loose whatever few bob they were entitled to for being made redundant !

That message was delivered to the 'mutiniers' on 18th December 1925 ; on 19th December 1925 the 'rebels' all but apologised to Bates , released their hostages and signed on for the dole - the 'hard men' of the 'Specials' had been put in their place by a bigger thug than they were ! By Christmas Day , 1925 , the 'A' and 'C' Sections of the 'Ulster (sic) Special Constabulary Association - the 'Specials' - were disbanded . A sort of ' Peace on Earth' , if you like !

And , regarding the other group of 'hard men' on this island - the Free Staters - let us not forget their 'contribution to World Peace' in that same Christmas month in 1925 ; for it was on the 3rd December in that year that they sold-out to the Brits once again by agreeing that the conclusions of the Boundary Commission should be ignored and the Commission itself be abolished .

And they have been selling-out to the Brits ever since .

[END of ' THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION , 1921-1925 '].
(Tomorrow - 'The Press' newspaper : October 1797-March 1798 ; Too Radical for the Radicals ... ?).


HOW THE GAY LIFE KILLED MOUNTBATTEN.......
Encounters with youths exposed him to IRA.
BY FRANK DOHERTY.

First published in 'NOW' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 4 , October 1989 , page 37 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
(3 of 5).

Author 'Richard Deacon' , whose real name is Donal McCormick , quotes an unnamed former CIA Officer as saying - " What we could never understand was how Mountbatten , a known homosexual and therefore a security risk , managed to achieve the kind of promotion and jobs he got . " 'Deacon' says - " It was known inside the (British) Navy long before World War Two that he was a homosexual , sometimes even risking such conduct in his cabin when at sea . "

The author describes 'Lord' Mountbatten as " ... devious and egotistical . "

The IRA bomb was detonated from a car parked on the shore as 'Lord' Mountbatten sailed past a couple of hundred feet away .......

(MORE LATER).


DE VALERA AND THE AMERICAN CONNECTION .......
By Micheal MacGiolla Phadraig .
From 'NOW' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 4, October 1989 , pages 28 and 29 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(5 of 6).

When the Anglo-Irish Treaty (the 'Treaty of Surrender' - 6th December 1921) was signed , Anti-Treaty Dail Deputies formed a new political group ; Cumann na Poblachta - the Republican Party . Both the English and Irish versions of its name were used interchangeably .

One of its main concerns was the effect on public opinion which the pro-Treaty establishment press was having . Five years later ( in 1926 ) Fianna Fail was founded and incorporated in its title the name " The Republican Party " : this was taken to be a sign that it wished to continue as the reformed Cumann na Poblachta , since the title " Republican Party " is not a translation of Fianna Fail .......

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, February 01, 2005

THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION , 1921-1925 .......
A British 'sleight-of-hand' which caused a mutiny within British forces in Ireland.......

....... in 1935 , 'Sir' Richard Dawson Bates' friends in the Orange Order called his bluff (between 23rd and 27th June that year) after forcing him to either take them on or 'back down' - he choose the latter . But he was still arrogant ; he introduced internment for Republicans in 1938 .......


'Sir' Bates was born in 1877 , and was a solicitor (in Belfast) by profession . He was Secretary to the Ulster Unionist Council at 28 years young , and held that position until he was aged 44 (ie from 1905 to 1921) . In 1921 , he was elected to Stormont and was appointed as the 'Minister of Home Affairs' , a position he held for 22 years (ie from 1921 to 1943) .

At 66 years of age (in 1943) he retired to the 'back benches' , where he stayed until 1945 . He died four years later (in 1949) at 72 years of age , having been a 'proud Orangeman' for all his adult life .

And this was the man to whom the 'A' and 'C' Specials , who had mutinied and taken their own Officers as hostages had , on 16th December 1925 , handed their letter of demands to : 'Sir' Bates was not impressed .......

(MORE LATER).


HOW THE GAY LIFE KILLED MOUNTBATTEN.......
Encounters with youths exposed him to IRA.
BY FRANK DOHERTY.

First published in 'NOW' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 4 , October 1989 , page 37 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
(2 of 5).

'Lord' Mountbatten regularly slipped away from his Irish Special Branch guards for homosexual encounters . The IRA had expected his cabin cruiser to be used for such a meeting with a teenage boy on the day he died .

They planted a radio-controlled bomb in the engine compartment on the boat , killing 'Lord' Mountbatten and three others , including a 15-year-old Enniskillen boy ; the bombing brought widespread condemnation and an immediate crack-down on the IRA on both sides of the Border .

It came on the same day as 18 British Paratroopers were killed at Narrow Water , near Warrenpoint , County Down , in an IRA double ambush .

The new book , ' The Greatest Treason' by Richard Deacon , claims that Mountbatten passed secret information to the Russians ; Deacon , whose real name is Donal McCormick , is an ex-intelligence Officer who was a close friend of the former head of the British Secret Service , 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield .......

(MORE LATER).


DE VALERA AND THE AMERICAN CONNECTION .......
By Micheal MacGiolla Phadraig .
From 'NOW' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 4, October 1989 , pages 28 and 29 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(4 of 6).

Thousands of subscribers were involved , many having given only tiny amounts of around three dollars each . De Valera , with an astuteness for which he had already become famous , announced that any subscriber who wished to have his Dail External Loan bonds converted into cash to help a new Irish Republican venture could do so ; that venture was a new national daily newspaper - 'The Irish Press' .

Dev followed this up by making a fund-raising tour of the U.S. in 1929 , appealing for money to give the Republican Movement its own voice , needed in the face of a hostile establishment press in Ireland .

Throughout his time in America , de Valera used the term " ... the Republican Party ... " when referring to the organisation behind the newspaper idea . The Judge in the New York court case also referred in his summing up to ".. the Republican Party in Ireland . "

The terminology is crucial to Fianna Fail's claim to ownership of ' The Irish Press' .......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, January 31, 2005

THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION , 1921-1925 .......
A British 'sleight-of-hand' which caused a mutiny within British forces in Ireland.......

....... in Ireland in 1935 , the Stormont 'Minister for Home Affairs' , a 'Sir' Richard Dawson Bates , apparently believed he could walk on water - on 18th June that year (1935) he issued an 'Order' banning all parades ; his friends in the Orange Order objected immediately , and told him that they would be holding a parade on June 23rd (1935) . 'Sir' Bates was not amused .......


Bates put his troops on notice , and repeated his 'banning Order' . On the 23rd June (1935) , the Orange Order took to the streets , as intended - and the RUC , and 'Sir' Bates , stood and watched !

At that parade , the then Orange Grand Master , a 'Sir' Joseph Davison , 'put it up' to his friend , 'Sir' Bates - " You may be perfectly certain that on the 12 July the Orangemen will be marching throughout Northern Ireland (sic) . I do not acknowledge the right of any government , Northern or Imperial , to impose conditions as to the celebration . "

Four days later (ie on the 27th June 1935) 'Sir' Bates backed-down and lifted the 'ban' . Three years later ( on 22nd December [1938] ) 'Sir' (or 'Master' ?) Bates introduced internment for Republicans , saying - " The (Stormont) Government decided there was no alternative other than to arrest and intern well-known leaders and prominent members of this illegal organisation (IRA) . " No 'backing-down' on that one ...

'Sir' Richard Dawson Bates was a 'product' of the times and 'class' he was born into ; he could not help but be arrogant .......

(MORE LATER).


HOW THE GAY LIFE KILLED MOUNTBATTEN.
Encounters with youths exposed him to IRA.
BY FRANK DOHERTY.

First published in 'NOW' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 4 , October 1989 , page 37 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
(1 of 5).

'Royal' uncle 'Lord' Louis Mountbatten was killed because of his homosexuality , according to Irish Republican sources ; 'Lord' Mountbatten died in August 1979 when his boat was blown up at Mullaghamore , County Sligo , by the Provisional IRA .

A book to be published in Britain next month (ie October 1989) by a former British Intelligence Officer will give details of 'Lord' Mountbatten's gay life and claim that he was a risk to British State security ; but , ironically , 'Lord' Mountbatten proved to be a bigger threat to his own security ...

It was his liaisons with three young Irish boys which led to his assassination - it was information obtained indirectly from one of the boys which drew the attention of the IRA to 'Lord' Mountbatten's presence in Ireland . The same source provided details about his movements .......

(MORE LATER).


DE VALERA AND THE AMERICAN CONNECTION .......
By Micheal MacGiolla Phadraig .
From 'NOW' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 4, October 1989 , pages 28 and 29 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(3 of 6).

The orgins of The Irish Press can be traced to the early years of the Irish State ; in a bid to raise money for the Rebel Government set up by the First Dail (32-County body) , an 'external loan' was authorised . Eamon de Valera , Bishop Fogarty and James O'Mara were appointed trustees for a $5,800,000 loan which was raised in the U.S. , collected mostly by Irish-American organisations .

More than half the money was sent to Ireland , the rest - about $2,500,000 - was lodged in New York banks to act as a reserve for the fledging State .

When the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in 1922 , the Cosgrave Government and the anti-Treaty side both laid claim to the New York funds , with de Valera and O'Mara claiming the money had been subscribed for the Irish Republican cause . In 1927 , the New York State Supreme Court ruled that the money belonged to neither side - and ordered that it be returned to those who had given it .......

(MORE LATER).