" 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, July 29, 2005

Fionnuala O'Connor on the struggle for the Loyalist leadership as the politicians and their paramilitary allies gear up for a strike .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1986 .

Alan Wright , from the 'Ulster' Clubs , stated - " We recognise there has to be a role for the minority (sic - the Nationalists are not a "minority" in Ireland) , there is a dire need for co-operation . But I firmly believe that the environment for proper politics is not here because of the real source of the poison - militant nationalism . It's a cancer in our society ignored for fifteen years (sic - on so many levels !) . Our aims are to smash the (Hillsborough) Agreement and get the Loyalist people into a position of strength to face the authorities to create that environment .

It could probably be done eventually by sitting round a table . But that could take twenty years and another 2,000 dead . We have'nt the time . " When Alan Wright speaks of "...positions of strength .. " and a new environment , there are echoes of McMichael and the theories of the UDA's political wing . At other times he seems to quote unconsciously from Peter Robinson's pamphlets . He describes McMichael as "...a remarkable political thinker .. " and Robinson as "...the soul of integrity .. " . ( '1169..... ' Comment - "political thinkers (with) integrity" in the UDA/DUP ? Not likely .)

But when Wright speaks of the death-toll , he touches a personal tragedy : in 1979 , his father , Jim , six years out of the RUC Reserve , and his twenty-one year-old sister , got into the family car and began to move off from the house . An INLA booby-trap bomb killed his father and seriously injured his sister . Alan Wright was twenty-five at the time - " I did'nt join anything , I did'nt take up a gun . I did go out once to go down to the Tunnel area and spit in a republican's face and I came near it , but the spittle dried in my mouth . I could not do it . I started clinging on in the hope that the (British) government would do something for the Protestant community .

I joined no organisation , I clung to that . But no - on the 15th November (1985) they sold me out again . " The only organisation Alan Wright joined was the Orange Order .......


The Democratic Unionist Party would prefer a Civil War to acquiescence in a role for the Dublin Government in the affairs of the North of Ireland after the Anglo-Irish summit .
FINTAN O'TOOLE spoke to DUP activists about the depth of their opposition to the Anglo-Irish deal and their willingness to resort to violence .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1985 .

Jim Allister , the DUP Chief Whip , stated (re the 1985 Hillsborough Treaty) - " We may not have much confidence that we will achieve that end (doing away with that Treaty) by these methods (ie constitutional and democratic methods) but we have the avenue of trying to thwart and destroy the Treaty through parliament , and that can go out into the avenue of seeking to disrupt the parliamentary process , even to the nitty gritty of seeking to disrupt the (British) government's timetable . Then there is our task of seeking to demonstrate that the community has rejected the Agreement , through petitions , by-elections , a referendum or whatever means we think appropriate . After that we begin the process of making the province (sic) ungovernable , both through learning the lessons of the 1974 Ulster Workers' strike and through pulling out of even lowly local government .

The day Dublin civil servants arrive in any shape or form to administer this province (sic) is the day that we say 'Right , do it on your own , we're pulling out of every tier of government' . If we have done all that and we are still rejected , then they would have rendered me redundant as a politician , but they would not have rendered me redundant as an individual Loyalist , and then I would act in concert with hundreds of thousands of other individual Loyalists in arming ourselves . No self-respecting individual is going to do anything but resist . In those circumstances there are no lengths to which Ulster (sic) men would not go to stop it . None . "

According to Gregory Campbell , the Loyalists , having obtained what they regard as a mandate in a referendum or in by-elections , and having failed to stop Dublin involvement in the North of Ireland , would say "...we must form ourselves into a provisional government ; that provisional government must have a defence ; and that defence must be armed . The Protestant people must be armed . That is my own personal view of how the situation lies ahead . " Gregory Campbell continued - " In the setting up of a provisional government there would be so much community tension that ... well ... I hesitate to use the words civil war ... but there would be so much community tension that we would certainly have the kind of violence that we have'nt seen since the early 1970's .

Even then it was contained to North Belfast , the Bogside , West Belfast , Armagh , Fermanagh . But , in this instance , the whole province (sic) would be embroiled . And there would be much more numerous deaths ....... "


The Evelyn Glenholmes affair not only involved unlawful activity by gardai , it stemmed from the chaotic condition of the force which has resulted from ignoring the warning signs of the past decade .
By Gene Kerrigan.
First published in ' MAGILL ' magazine , April 1986 .

1. Shooting In The Streets .

Shortly after noon on Saturday March 22 , 1986 , Danny Morrison , a leading member of the Provos , was standing in Prince's Street , Dublin , with a gun pointed at his chest . The gun was held by a garda who had just fired at least three shots across the crowded street .

The garda had been waving the gun around and although there were many garda in the vicinity , none intervened . A few yards away another garda had drawn his automatic gun and was involved in a bit of 'pushing and pulling' with a colleague before crouching down and running back to hide behind a car ; this garda , with the automatic , seemed to be frightened of the garda who had fired the shots .

Meanwhile , Danny Morrison was walking forward towards the garda who had fired the shots - a uniformed garda and a detective to his left tried to hold him back but he brushed them off . Morrison , wearing a brown sweater , his sleeves rolled up , obviously unarmed , walked forward and stood in front of the garda who had fired the shots , remonstrating with him for firing a gun in a crowded street . The garda put his gun away .

A few feet away , inside the BHS department store , Evelyn Glenholmes was being arrested ; a young man who was trying to enter the store was having his shins kicked by a uniformed garda . Against all the received truths about law and order , against all that most people would want to believe , what had happened was that a leading member of the Provos , at mortal risk to himself , had brought to an end a shooting episode in a crowded street .

In the period leading up to this incident , an extraordinary number of criminal and civil offences had been committed ; these were patently not offences committed for personal gain . They were politically motivated offences . They were committed by gardai .......


Thursday, July 28, 2005

Great to be back .... !! Bhi an saoire caite inne ('the holiday was over yesterday') and we hope that this post will signify a return to 'normal service' on '1169 And Counting..... ' . But we are not quite sure that we have shaken-off the holiday 'cobwebs.....' : so check back tomorrow , as well , and see how we are doing ....... ;-) . Sharon .

Fionnuala O'Connor on the struggle for the Loyalist leadership as the politicians and their paramilitary allies gear up for a strike .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1986 .

Ask Unionists , either political or paramilitary , or anywhere on the spectrum in between , to explain the 'Ulster' Clubs and they talk first of Carson's legacy , the 'Ulster' Clubs of 1912 , and next of how remarkably naive but sincere Alan Wright is . He resents the pointed queries about the UDA's position in his organisation , and is tired fending off suggestions that he might be easy to manipulate : " No one's behind Alan Wright except the Lord . "

It's an odd habit , referring to yourself in the third person . On the same theme , his independence , he told ' Fortnight' magazine ... " ...Alan Wright's a thirty-one year old man from Portadown ... " , with no political axe to grind . But he does have a religious axe and he keeps it sharp . He's a Salvationist , a Salvation Army man - " At the end of the day my politics are not divisible from my faith . It's Protestantism versus Rome . "

Like all convinced evangelists he speaks of matters spiritual and in his case matters politico-spiritual with complete unselfconsciousness . Basically , it's a harsh message all the more startling for being delivered in an 'unpolished' way . You feel as if you've stumbled on someome completely untried , rehearsing their lines . Smashing the Hillsborough 'Agreement' is his first and prime aim but the Clubs will not go out of existence once that 'Agreement' is scrapped . There can only be peace when a new environment is created : " Militant Nationalism must be addressed . You can't kill the dream but you can remove the dreamer . The Ulster (sic) Clubs are not anti-Roman Catholic for the sake of being anti- Roman Catholic and anyone who smashes a Roman Catholic's windows , say , will have us to deal with , let me tell you . But we are anti-Nationalist...".......


The Democratic Unionist Party would prefer a Civil War to acquiescence in a role for the Dublin Government in the affairs of the North of Ireland after the Anglo-Irish summit .
FINTAN O'TOOLE spoke to DUP activists about the depth of their opposition to the Anglo-Irish deal and their willingness to resort to violence .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1985 .

Gregory Campbell , DUP , stated (re Fianna Fail) - " What they are beginning is a process . John Hume calls it a healing process ; well , as far as we are concerned it is to open a wound , to fester the wound and to rub salt in the wound . We will find ourselves at the very end of the constitutional road and we will find ourselves in the very same position as Carson found himself in at Balmoral in 1912 , where we will have to get every able-bodied man in Ulster (sic) armed as best we can , whether it is with guns or sticks . Once the ink is dry and the unionists acquiesce in any way to Dublin involvement , then we are finished . "

Sammy Wilson , DUP , stated - " You don't give a consultative role if it does'nt mean anything . Once that role is conceded , nationalists on both sides of the border would want to work on it and develop it , and what might seem innocuous initially could be the embryo for a huge monster which would eventually gobble us up . Our case is this : that when it comes to the internal arrangements in this province (sic) , to the devolving of powers , the (British) government requires that there be widespread acceptance of any changes . Yet when it comes to a much more major constitutional change , that is giving an outside government (by which he meant Dublin) a role in Northern Ireland (sic) , the (British) government is not prepared to concede that it requires the measurable widespread acceptance of this community . "

According to Jim Allister , the DUP Chief Whip at the Assembly , Unionists have a carefully planned strategy of opposition to the Anglo-Irish package : " If it gives a role to the Dublin government it is unacceptable , no matter how innocuous it may seem . Assuming that that is the case , then we set ourselves on a course of seeking to undo that process . Our first bounded duty is to exhaust each and every constitutional and democratic facility we have ....... "


Last month , BRENDAN McFARLANE was ordered by a Dutch court to be extradited back to the North to serve out a sentence of 25 years . He is appealing the decision . His companion GERARD KELLY had his plea accepted that his offences were political . BRENDAN McFARLANE has been on the run since he led thirty-seven men in an escape out of the MAZE PRISON in September 1983 . In an exclusive interview with MAGILL at Bylmerbages Prison in Amsterdam , McFARLANE talks about his life , his youth and upbringing , and his involvement with the ARMED STRUGGLE in the North .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1986 .

In prison in Amsterdam , Brendan 'Bic' McFarlane has no association with any of the other prisoners ; he cannot attend Mass with the other men and he is only allowed one hour's fresh air a day , taken separately . In relation to the appeal , he says that he's " ...prepared for the worst , so that when it happens , you're better prepared to deal with it . "

He has a colour TV in his cell , which costs nine guilders - seventy cents a week . But he gets 'paid' three guilders ( eighty cents) a day - just to be in prison . He is very critical of the " ...misinformation .." that is being "..put about.. " regarding the North of Ireland - " People here are educated and they think that there's two religions fighting it out and the poor Brits are stuck in the middle . The BBC version of events always comes across . When an eleven-year-old schoolgirl gets blown away by a plastic bullet , the British Army version comes across . "

When asked if he ever thought of stopping his activity through pressure , he says - " ...you have to soldier on . If you sit down you'd collapse under that pressure . You have to fight . " ('1169..... ' Comment : But , of course - that was 'then' , this is 'now' ; no more fighting for 'Bic' and his colleagues [not against the Brits , anyway...] . Instead , 'concerns' will be raised in Stormont and Leinster House . And Westminster to follow , no doubt . And those same 'concerns' will also , no doubt , be raised on the so-called 'Policing Boards' in the Six Counties when the Provisionals eventually take their seats on same . "Soldering on ... " , Brendan ..... ?)

(Tomorrow - ' CHAOS IN THE GARDAI ' - from 1986 . )

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

1169 AND COUNTING.....
Irish history , Irish politics : from today and yesterday - all 32 Counties !
....back tomorrow (Thursday 28 July '05) after our short break .
We will be continuing on from where we left off on Friday 15 July last .