" 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, April 08, 2005

DYING BY THE SWORD .......
By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(15 of 17).


After the hearing , Gwen Reed's family had to leave the North , and they are now in a witness-protection scheme in Britain . So just where was the 'compromise' in this man , Billy Wright , who talked of dearly wanting peace ?

The father of two girls and two boys , divorced and in a second relationship , who wished for his children that " ... there would be peace and reconciliation , and that the country (sic) would flourish . " It seemed what he really wanted was total victory and total peace ; he did'nt think so - he wanted the " constitutional issue solved " (within a British context) , he said , and felt that then " ... the parades issue and similar things like that could be settled without the underlying threat of it being more devious than it appears . "

(MORE LATER).


STONE COLD .......
Michael Stone is infamous for his attack on a republican funeral at Belfast's Milltown cemetery . By his own count , he has murdered four men and had a hand in the deaths of six others . He says his war is over - but he still expects to meet a violent end .
By Andrew Lynch .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , July 2003 , pages 34, 36 , and 38 .
Re-published here in 13 parts .
(2 of 13).


Michael Stone cannot enter a strange room without mentally scanning the exits . He rarely sees any of the nine children he has by his two ex-wives ; he spends most of his time utterly alone , waiting for his past to catch up with him ...

One day , he fully accepts, his luck will run out : " You'll turn on the radio one morning and hear that Michael Stone has been shot dead , " he says matter-of-factly . " That's how I expect to die , with a bullet in my head . I just hope it happens quickly and that none of my family or friends are around at the time . It'll be a soldier's death , because that's what I am . I'm a British Loyalist and proud of it . When I joined up for the cause at the age of 16 , I knew that death or prison were the only possible outcomes . And on March 16th , 1988 , I probably signed my own death warrant . "

On that date , Michael Stone wrote himself into history as one of the most notorious terrorists ever thrown up by 'the Troubles' ; the scene was Belfast's Milltown Cemetery , the occasion the funeral of three IRA members shot dead by the British SAS in Gibraltar .......

(MORE LATER).


NO COMPROMISE . (Editorial Comment).
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 4.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.


The Twenty-Six and Six County Parliaments were established by English force ; they were consolidated by the threat of immediate and terrible war . Since 1918 , the Irish people have not had the opportunity of expressing their desires or their opinions on the principle national issue of foreign interference and occupation .

Politicians motivated by fear of economic or political sanctions have confused the minds of the Irish people north and south ; personalities became more important than policies . Leinster House and Stormont are instruments of British government in Ireland . They are English in their conception and administration . To accept either as the fulfilment of Irish patriot aspirations would be a dastardly betrayal .

Sinn Fein Teachtai Dala (ie Sinn Fein members elected to Leinster House) will not accept and will not give either parliaments the appearance of NATIONAL validity by their presence in them . We do not claim a monopoly of Irish Nationalism ; we but follow the teachings of our National fathers . Apart from the principles involved (which preclude Irish Republicans and Separatists from accepting anything less than the complete separation of Ireland from England ) - as a matter of mere tactics and expediency it is futile for any Irishman or group of Irishmen to imagine that they can improve Ireland's economic condition while Ireland is divided and while England maintains her grip on Irish economy through her financial system .

Political impotence and futility inevitably follows entrance into either of these institutions ; Ireland has had enough of it . ('1169...' Comment - 1957 or 2005 ; true today as it was then ).

The days of mental reservations are gone . Honour must be upheld . Ireland is a Nation and will be united despite the power of England .

[END of 'NO COMPROMISE'].
(Monday - 'Letter to the Editor' from Ruaidhri O Bradaigh , Mountjoy Prison).







Thursday, April 07, 2005

DYING BY THE SWORD .......
By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(14 of 17).


Billy Wright felt the Irish (ie Free State) Constitution " ... justified the murder of British citizens , and having spent many years in the H-Blocks and listened to young nationalists singing their sings , believe me they draw their opinions because of their education , and because they are brought up to believe they have a right , because of that constitution , to take away this land . "

Wright was back in prison last year (1997) , listening to those songs ; he was given eight years for threatening to kill a Portadown woman , Gwen Reed , whom he'd known for 20 years . The incident happened in Portadown , just two weeks before I first met him - and heard his many denials of any involvement in violence .

What happened was that seven masked men , armed with sledgehammers and pickaxes , attacked the boyfriend of the woman's daughter , in a punishment beating . The woman's daughter , Nicola , tried to shield her boyfriend , and was injured . The next day , Billy Wright told Gwen Reed that " ... I'm going to fucking shoot you .. " after he'd also warned her son that " I'm coming after you . "

The judge said he found Wright's evidence " utterly unconvincing . "

(MORE LATER).


STONE COLD .
Michael Stone is infamous for his attack on a republican funeral at Belfast's Milltown cemetery . By his own count , he has murdered four men and had a hand in the deaths of six others . He says his war is over - but he still expects to meet a violent end .
By Andrew Lynch .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , July 2003 , pages 34, 36 , and 38 .
Re-published here in 13 parts .
(1 of 13).


Michael Stone is feeling the heat ; " God , it's desperate , " are the first words he says to me when he comes to the 'phone , his voice full of Belfast good cheer . " It's a really warm day here in London and I'm just stifling . "

He laughs mischievously : " Of course , I'm wearing heavy body armour like I always do - an old girlfriend of mine bought us a matching set of 'his and hers' . That does'nt help when you're walking around ! " Given that by his own admission he's murdered four men and played a hand in the killing of six others , you might think that Stone is lucky to be walking around anywhere .

On the other hand , the way he describes it , his does'nt sound like much of a life ; his homes in the English Midlands , Belfast and Northern France are crammed with surveillance devices and protected by steel bars . He eats only food he has prepared himself .

He cannot enter a strange room without mentally scanning the exits .......

(MORE LATER).


WHAT IS SINN FEIN ? - Sinn Fein spokesman gives exclusive interview to C.B.C. TV and Radio network .
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 3.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.


6. Q - Is Sinn Fein the political wing of the Resistance Fighters ?
A - Sinn Fein and the Resistance Fighters are two separate bodies working towards the achievement of the same end . Sinn Fein is an organisation of civilians confining themselves to political methods .

7. Q - If you have candidates elected , what do you propose to do and what are your hopes for the future ?
A - We will continue to organise so that we can give the people the opportunity of again electing a majority of Sinn Fein candidates with a mandate to establish a National Government having jurisdiction over all 32 Counties of Ireland . At the present rate of progress such an opportunity would not seem to be far ahead . Only an Irish Government based on Christian principles and traditions can save this country ultimately from all ungodly " isms " that afflict the world today .

[END of 'WHAT IS SINN FEIN '].
(Tomorrow - 'NO COMPROMISE' : Editorial Comment from the same source).






Wednesday, April 06, 2005

DYING BY THE SWORD .......
By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(13 of 17).


The Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 (ie the Hillsborough Treaty) and the publication of the Framework Document propelled Billy Wright away from his faith and back to violence . He saw the setting up of the Joint Secretariat at Maryfield and the role for the Irish government as a betrayal ; the man who told me that he was the " ... first leading loyalist to call for a loyalist cease-fire ... " believed that the Framework Document meant that " .. the unionist people were to go into a united Ireland . "

But what of the fact that , under the terms of the Framework Document , any unity could only ever happen if there was democratic consent for it ? " Now please don't insult us , " he replied , " we have the Framework Document , and we have calls for it to be imposed . Please don't tell us nothing will be imposed . "

The Irish Constitution was also one of his mantras .......

(MORE LATER).


WOMEN IN IRELAND'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM .......
By the late Cork Republican , Gearoid MacCarthaigh .


" Noirin Ni Liathain and many other Irish Republican women attended the meeting held later that evening ( ie 2nd November 1986 - after the Sinn Fein organisation had split over the issue of taking seats in Leinster House) in the West County Hotel at which Republican Sinn Fein continued on with the Ard Fheis .

I do not have to tell you of the great work being done by the women in the Head Office in Shaw Street , Dublin (RSF's then Head Office) . Only for them I doubt if there would be any Head Office .

Women have read the 'Statement from the Leadership' at many Easter Commemorations for the past number of years ; they are also very active in the work of all Cumann (Branches) in Ireland . I forgot to mention that since the 1970's women have provided Colour Parties at many funerals and parades in Ireland and continue to do so ; not because of a shortage of men but because it is their right as women to do so .

Ireland has every right to be proud of the part women have played in the Fight for Freedom and I know they will continue to do so until the fight is won and then I hope they will be suitably honoured for the part they have played and that a suitable memorial be erected in a prominent position in the capital city of Ireland , this to be dedicated to the memory of all women who died in the Fight for Freedom .

I will finish by paying a special tribute to women all over Ireland who provided billets for men on active service ; without those women and the services they provided there would have been no fight . "

GEAROID MacCARTHAIGH .

[END of ' WOMEN IN IRELAND'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM '].
(Tomorrow - 'STONE COLD' : interview with Loyalist cemetery-killer MICHAEL STONE ).


WHAT IS SINN FEIN ? - Sinn Fein spokesman gives exclusive interview to C.B.C. TV and Radio network .
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 3.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.


4. Q - Is Sinn Fein in existence in the Six Counties as well as in the 26 Counties ?
A - Since the last Imperial Election in the Six Counties , Sinn Fein has been declared an illegal organisation and membership means immediate imprisonment , but Sinn Fein does exist in the Six Counties ; evidence of this is contained in a British Army communique released recently and published in Northern newspapers which stated (after reporting military actions) - ' Green coloured pamphlets have been circulated in the Pomeroy and Stewartstown districts . On the top right-hand corner to represent the Six Counties is an orange square on which is printed 'Fight Your Corner' ; further down is an exhortation 'Join Sinn Fein' , and at the bottom - 'Don't Emigrate' ' .

5. Q - Some people think Sinn Fein a new Party ?
A - Sinn Fein is not new , it is representative of the oldest political tradition in Ireland . Sinn Fein was elected by a vast majority of the Irish people with a mandate to establish an Independent Irish Republic ; it was subsequent to that , that the present institutions of partition government were established by British intrigue and force and the threat of immediate and terrible war .

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, April 05, 2005

DYING BY THE SWORD .......
By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(12 of 17).


A real family irony for Billy Wright is that his own grandfather , a Presbyterian , is said to have suffered discrimination from fellow Protestants because he spoke out against Catholic discrimination and actually stood for election , as an Independent candidate , against the big Unionist party - and won !

The grandson , Billy , also 'put it up' to the Ulster Unionists , in a different way ; 'King Rat' took the violent path . He did two further spells in prison - in 1982 he was charged with murder and attempted murder , on the evidence of UVF supergrass Clifford MacKeown , and Wright spent a year in prison on remand .

But the charges were dropped when Clifford MacKeown retracted his evidence . It was in prison , however , that Billy Wright started reading the Bible , and when he was released in 1983 he decided to " ... live quietly through Christ . "

But two developments propelled him back to violence and away from his faith .......

(MORE LATER).


WOMEN IN IRELAND'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM .......
By the late Cork Republican , Gearoid MacCarthaigh .


" Hundreds of Irish Republican women have been imprisoned in the old Armagh gaol and in the new Womens gaol next door to the H-Block prison ; they have suffered hunger strike , they have suffered the indignities of the 'Dirty Protest' and strip-searches .

Many more are serving long sentences in English gaols and more , still , are in Free State gaols . In 1986 , when the latest desertion from the Republican Cause to the Free State took place , women were again prominent . When talk of the desertion first took place , Cumann na mBan issued a public statement condemning it .

Many women took part in the walk-out from the 1986 Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in the Mansion House and when the delegates walked-out they were met at the door of the Round Room by a member of Clann na Gael , in uniform , carrying the Clann na Gael flag , who led them out to the maim street ....... " ('1169...' Comment : That Clann na Gael member was Noirin Ni Liathain ; she had stood outside the Mansion House , in full uniform , that weekend ).

(MORE LATER).


WHAT IS SINN FEIN ? - Sinn Fein spokesman gives exclusive interview to C.B.C. TV and Radio network .
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 3.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.


1. Q - What is Sinn Fein ?
A - Literally , it means "ourselves" , but to the Irish Nation it is indicative of self-reliance , Independence , and Separation from England .

2. Q - What is the aim of your Party ?
A - Sinn Fein is not a 'Party' . It is a national organisation . Its aim is to end the entire British Imperial System in Ireland , to establish a National Government having complete and effective jurisdiction over the whole territory of the Nation unhampered or circumscribed by agreements conditioning its establishment .

3. Q - What is the immediate object of Sinn Fein ?
A - Sinn Fein contested all twelve seats in the Imperial Election in the Six Counties in order to give the people in the British Occupied area the opportunity to voice their objection to the continued aggression in Ireland . In two of the largest constituencies Sinn Fein candidates were elected . By British legal machinery , the two democratically elected representatives were deprived of their seats . In the general election in the 26 Counties , Sinn Fein is giving the people of 19 constituencies a similar opportunity to voice their objection to British interference in Irish affairs and to show to their fellow countrymen in occupied Ireland their anxiety to be united with them under an Irish Government .

(MORE LATER).






Monday, April 04, 2005

DYING BY THE SWORD .......
By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(11 of 17).


Seventy-nine-year-old Rose Anne Mallon , shot dead while answering the phone in her Dungannon home ; two teenage girls killed while serving in a mobile shop in a Craigavon housing estate , and the man who tried to help also gunned down ; two young schoolboys shot on their lunch break while in an amusement arcade in Armagh ; and the Foxes , a couple in their late seventies , killed in their isolated farmhouse in Moy .

What of their families ? " I can understand their feelings , " Billy Wright said , " and as a man who has buried three of his own family I can sympathise with them . Nevertheless , I hold my views dear to my heart , and I think , by and large , that the Unionist population has been the biggest victim in all of this conflict ....... "

(MORE LATER).


WOMEN IN IRELAND'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM .......
By the late Cork Republican , Gearoid MacCarthaigh .


" In 1968-1969 , when the Civil Rights riots started in the cities and towns of occupied Ireland , women took a very active part ; they were out on the streets and on the barricades , fighting alongside their brothers , their sons and husbands .

One name stands out from all the women of that period and later - the late Maire Drumm of Belfast , who was shot dead by Loyalist gunmen as she lay ill on a hospital bed in the Mater Hospital , Belfast .

At the IRA General Army Convention of 1970 , the Constitution of Oglaigh na hEireann was amended to allow Irish women to become members with full equality with the men . This was the greatest event that happened for Irish women since the foundation of the Irish Citizen Army in 1913 ; now women had full rights to take part in military operations on their own or in company with the men .

Many women have died on active service in occupied Ireland ; many more have been severely wounded ....... "

(MORE LATER).


SINN FEIN RALLY IN DUBLIN .......
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 3.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.


' Saoirse Dearle , the Sinn Fein candidate for Dublin South-West , called on the electorate " ... to return to their old ideas and beliefs ! " , and to vote for Sinn Fein candidates .

Continuing , Saoirse expressed the hope that this generation of Irish people would not be intimidated by British might or native corruption . Little publicity was given in the so-called 'National Press' to the GPO Rally or the Sinn Fein policy during the Election campaigns .

The owners and directors of those newspapers have their reasons for attempting to stifle public opinion ; we leave it to the Irish people to judge what their reasons might be . The Rally ended with the huge 15,000-strong crowd singing ' A Nation Once Again' and 'Amhrain na bhFiann' .

Three lusty cheers for the prisoners in gaol for Ireland was the grand finale .

[END of ' SINN FEIN RALLY IN DUBLIN '].
(Tomorrow - ' WHAT IS SINN FEIN ? ' ; American interview , 1957 , from the same source ).

READERS PLEASE NOTE - Re ' DVD format only ' : Friday was April 1st .......