" 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 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Friday, September 02, 2005

A GAY VIEW ON KINCORA .......
By Sean McGouran .
First published in 'FORTNIGHT' Magazine , May 1984 .
READERS PLEASE NOTE : This article was apparently penned by a gay supporter of McGrath / TARA / Kincora Boys Home . It is published here to give you a taste of the 'spin' which some people attempted to put on that issue ; read it with that in mind ..... Sharon. )
This is a link to the 'objectives' of the TARA loyalist paramilitary organisation with which William McGrath and Roy Garland were associated .

Sir George Terry , in his report into the affair , slates the press for their handling of it , but does not mention the never-ending quality of the whole thing . For more than two years every single day every single medium regaled us with another Kincora fable - we very rarely got a fact . Public figures tumbled over themselves to prove that they were cleaner than clean .

Meanwhile , the Social Services Department were in the grip of paranoia ; gay women and men went in fear of their livelihoods - some had their private lives insultingly closely scrutinised . A number were made to assent to humiliatingly intimate physical examination . Non-gay people were just as deeply affected as the suspicion was all-pervasive .

Sir George Terry lays most of the blame for the actual events at the Kincora Home on the Eastern Health and Social Services Board , unjustly , one feels . This body could only be expected to work with the material to hand . This included that inherited from the Belfast Welfare Committee ; both bodies , like all such bodies , had to depend on the good will and the good faith of their employees .......

(MORE LATER).




SINN FEIN ALONE .......
As Sinn Fein has become more active , members of the government parties have sought to isolate the Provos politically .
The record shows , however , that some of those politicians have for years sought support from Sinn Fein - and some continue to do so in so far as it is politically expedient .
By JOHN McHUGH .
First published in ' MAGILL ' Magazine , September 1984.

(FS) Minister of State Paul Connaughton (Fine Gael) feels that the two Sinn Fein Councillors and himself were elected to the same local authority and that in order to do his job as a local representative he has to attend meetings at which Sinn Fein members are present .

He is not so sure about his continued participation in the electoral alliance which has elected a member of Sinn Fein and members of Fine Gael to the position of Chairman in the past - he says that he would have to seriously consider the question of whether or not he would vote for one of the Sinn Fein Councillors for that position in the future .

He feels that the position has changed since 1979 and that Sinn Fein now has a much closer relationship with the IRA . He would , he says , talk to a delegation from the Council , with Sinn Fein members present , in Galway , so long as they were dealing with local issues .

However , if such a delegation were to try to meet him in Dublin the question of whether or not he would meet them would be a matter for Government and he would abide by that decision .......

(MORE LATER).




HUNGER-STRIKING AGAINST SHOW-TRIALS.......
From 'AP/RN' , 2 January 1986 .
No By-Line .

Most of Harry Kirkpatrick's 27 victims have already spent several years on remand . Gerard Steenson , detained on the word of a succession of paid perjurers , who later withdrew their statements , had been held in jail for almost four years before his trial .

The defendants fear that their appeals could be delayed for several years , even if the courts were eventually to release them for cosmetic reasons . Bobby Tohill , who was on remand for two and a half years , had earlier , in 1982 , been imprisoned without trial for six months on the word of paid-perjurer Jackie Goodman , but was released when Goodman retracted .

During Tohill's detention , his wife Cathy has had to cope with their four-year-old son , Michael , who has cystic fibrosis and requires daily medical care and has had numerous spells in hospital ; according to Cathy Tohill -

- " My husband could rot in jail for two and a half years waiting for his appeal the way the 'Black' defendants have . And then he would face the same system and could lose even though in England Kirkpatrick's evidence would'nt be accepted .... " .......

(MORE LATER).







Thursday, September 01, 2005

A GAY VIEW ON KINCORA .......
By Sean McGouran .
First published in 'FORTNIGHT' Magazine , May 1984 .
READERS PLEASE NOTE : This article was apparently penned by a gay supporter of McGrath / TARA / Kincora Boys Home . It is published here to give you a taste of the 'spin' which some people attempted to put on that issue ; read it with that in mind ..... Sharon. )
This is a link to the 'objectives' of the TARA loyalist paramilitary organisation with which William McGrath and Roy Garland were associated .

William McGrath's 'paramilitary' organisation , 'TARA' , appears to have consisted of a smallish number of 'chiefs' and no 'indians' at all ; even Roy Garland , once his deputy , admits that all its invitations to other Unionist 'chieftains' to 'pow-wow' were always refused . This fits in with the image of a psychologically dislocated dreamer . Such people are often attractive to young people .

Unionists in the early 1970's appeared to be 'girt' (ie 'be' and 'mix with' ) with cruel foes - and successful ones . The Unionist leadership did not have an idea between them . William McGrath had lots of ideas - all utterly impracticable - and the ability to put them across . Young Ulster (sic) Protestants who had not caved in to self-hatred probably momentarily enjoyed the thought that they were the Vanguard of the Chosen Race : McGrath was a British Israelite .

British Intelligence probably did know about McGrath and 'TARA' ; they probably also knew about his employment and they may have known that he was homosexual . So also did Ian Paisley , who told his informant , Valerie Shaw , that she should give thanks to God she "...was not born a pervert .. " But it required journalists working for Ireland's leading quality newspaper to turn this into something sinister .

We are asked to be outraged by the fact that Ian Paisley did not instantly assume that a homosexual must be sexually molesting his charges .......

(MORE LATER).




SINN FEIN ALONE .......
As Sinn Fein has become more active , members of the government parties have sought to isolate the Provos politically .
The record shows , however , that some of those politicians have for years sought support from Sinn Fein - and some continue to do so in so far as it is politically expedient .
By JOHN McHUGH .
First published in ' MAGILL ' Magazine , September 1984.

Fianna Fail's Ted Murphy was not happy with Dick Spring's 'no-show' ; he refused to meet Spring , whose letter , which expressed 'regret' at the 'annoyance' caused by the incident , was rejected at the council's next meeting . Murphy thinks the affair did not help the Labour Party locally : " I reckon they did'nt get ten votes from Midleton as a result of that . "

From bitterness to confusion : Galway County Council elected a Sinn Fein Chairman in 1979 . This election marked the installation of the first non-Fianna Fail Chairman since 1934 . To wrest this position from Fianna Fail , all the other members of the council had to band together . This alliance included members of Fine Gael , Labour , Sinn Fein and Independents , and it had a majority of one over the combined Fianna Fail vote . The alliance has since elected three Fine Gael members to the Chair .

There are two Ministers of State on Galway County Council - John Donnellan and Paul Connaughton ; Donnellan seconded Frank Glynn of Sinn Fein for Chairman in 1979 . Paul Connaughton is a member of Galway Committee of Agriculture , whose current Chairman is Patrick Ruane , also of Sinn Fein . Connaughton says he fully supports the government's position on Sinn Fein and as a Minister of State he would not meet public representatives who are members of Sinn Fein . Connaughton does not see any contradiction between this stance and his willingness to work with Frank Glynn , Sinn Fein , on Galway County Council and the Committee of Agriculture .

He distinguishes between his role as Minister and his role as a Councillor ....... ( '1169 ....' Comment - A typical 'Irish soilution to an Irish 'problem' ' : an 'issue' causes 'trouble' - the 'powers-that-be' introduce legislation to deal with that issue ; then carry-on as before . When it is pointed out to them that they have not 'solved' the problem , they point to the legislation and declare - " We have . Look - there's our solution to this problem ... !)

(MORE LATER).




HUNGER-STRIKING AGAINST SHOW-TRIALS.
From 'AP/RN' , 2 January 1986 .
No By-Line .

Representatives of the 27 nationalists convicted last month on the sole word of self-styled former INLA member Harry Kirkpatrick have begun a hunger-strike in the H-Blocks against the corrupt paid-perjurer system .

The hunger-strikers have said that the fast will continue until they are given an early date for appeal against their sentences and an urgent review of all cases of people convicted on uncorroborated evidence of alleged accomplices . The hunger-strike began on Thursday , December 19th 1985 , hours after the 102-day show-trial ended , when 27-year-old Bobby Tohill refused breakfast . Tohill , who was sentenced to life imprisonment , is married with a four-year-old son and comes from the New Barnsley area of West Belfast .

He was joined a week later , on December 26th 1985 , by 28-year-old Gerard Steenson , from the Falls Road area , who is serving life with a recommended ' minimum' 25 years . A third defendant , un-named as we went to press , is due to join the fast today ( ie Thursday January 2 , 1986) , and others at weekly intervals .

In all , ten of the 27 defendants face life sentences and the other 17 were sentenced to savage terms of up to 20 years , after trial judge Carswell pronounced that Harry Kirkpatrick was a " ...credible.. " witness ; earlier , the Unionist judge had admitted that Kirkpatrick was "... a man of bad character and low moral standards .. " who had lied in court .......

(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A GAY VIEW ON KINCORA .
By Sean McGouran .
First published in 'FORTNIGHT' Magazine , May 1984 .
READERS PLEASE NOTE : This article was apparently penned by a gay supporter of McGrath / TARA / Kincora Boys Home . It is published here to give you a taste of the 'spin' which some people attempted to put on that issue ; read it with that in mind ..... Sharon. )
This is a link to the 'objectives' of the TARA loyalist paramilitary organisation with which William McGrath and Roy Garland were associated .

Gay people have watched the growth of the Kincora industry with fascinated horror : a number of sordid and petty crimes perpetrated against teenage adults have been presented as atrocities on a par with Bloody Sunday , Bloody Friday and every other bloody day of the Ulster week .

Prejudices long dormant in the intelligent public have been gentled back into life ; homosexual people are underhand , sexually voracious and unusually interested in young people as sex partners , whether those young people are willing or not .

This is how the crazed notion that a boy brothel could exist in a city the size of Belfast got off the ground . It could be taken for granted that gay men in particular would find such a set-up congenial and that we would close ranks to protect the people who would try to organise such a venture . William McGrath is the central figure in the Kincora 'stew' - he had ideas which were lunatic enough to pass for fascist , he was also homosexual and subjected his charges to distressing and unwanted sexual attentions .

This , it is implied , is the crux of the matter so far as McGrath is concerned . Such an attitude is nonsensical ; William McGrath and his fellow defendants spent whole lifetimes building up images of familial rectitude . They never once said anything about their homosexual orientation . It is worth questioning whether they were entirely homosexual at all . No hint of their being gay ever seeped out into the gay community , much less the general community .......

(MORE LATER).




SINN FEIN ALONE .......
As Sinn Fein has become more active , members of the government parties have sought to isolate the Provos politically .
The record shows , however , that some of those politicians have for years sought support from Sinn Fein - and some continue to do so in so far as it is politically expedient .
By JOHN McHUGH .
First published in ' MAGILL ' Magazine , September 1984.

Ted Murphy , the Fianna Fail Chairman of Midleton UDC , was approached by two local Labour Party Officers , Eddie Allen and Billy Murphy , about arranging a 'Civic Reception' for Dick Spring , who was due to visit Midleton while touring the Cork area . Ted Murphy says he agreed readily .

Days before the visit , Dick Spring refused the offer of a 'Civic Reception' : the 'problem' was Charles Ronayne , a Sinn Fein member of the UDC , who would also be present . Ted Murphy was not impressed - " As an elected public representative himself it is disgraceful that Mr. Spring will not meet a fellow elected public representative . The Tanaiste (ie 'Tanaiste' - 'second-in-command' of the Free State Administration , as Dick Spring was at the time) , in refusing to meet the urban council , is acting like a dictator . "

The next day , Spring issued a statement saying - " I would not for the world have wished to offend the people of Midleton , or their elected representatives , in this way . " He pointed out , however , that for him to attend a function at which a Sinn Fein member would also be present would be in contravention of the government's decision not to deal with Sinn Fein .

He said he would be writing to the Urban District Council (UDC) to express his regret at the upset caused and to suggest a separate meeting with Ted Murphy - the latter , however , was not happy with that .......

(MORE LATER).




THE INTERROGATION OF STEPHEN MOORE ....... .
On 11 July 1986 , Stephen Moore , from Clones in County Monaghan , accepted £25,000 plus costs to settle an action out of court .
He had sued 'Ireland' and the Attorney General for injuries he had received in garda custody in Monaghan Garda Station in March 1983 .
In that same year , John Milne received £51,900 for injuries sustained at the hands of two named gardai in that same garda station . He was also awarded costs .
Despite the fact that more than £75,000 has been paid out as a result of garda activity in Monaghan Garda Station , no garda has been charged with a criminal offence . In fact , some of the gardai who were accused have been promoted .

At the same time as Garda Ted O'Mahony was transferred , his neighbour Stephen Moore was suing the gardai for injuries sustained while he was in garda custody . Eileen O'Mahony believes that the fact that her husband was friendly with Stephen Moore was the reason for his transfer .

When Stephen Moore was awarded £25,000 in an out-of-court settlement , the gardai immediately started an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his detention . On 19 July , Stephen Moore gave evidence of his ordeal to two Garda Superintendents ; ironically , the interview took place on a Saturday in a deserted garda building on Saint John's Road in Dublin .

The building is used mainly for scrapped garda cars ; at one point , it housed the Garda Technical Bureau , part of which includes the 'Investigation Section' from which sprung the alleged ' Heavy Gang ' of the 1973-1977 period . ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - Nothing "alleged" about the 'Heavy Gang' : they did exist , and were given a free reign by the Free Staters to operate outside 'normal' practice when it came to 'interviewing' Irish Republicans . )

The file was expected to be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for 'consideration' by 1 August .

[END of 'THE INTERROGATION OF STEPHEN MOORE ' .]
(Tomorrow - 'HUNGER-STRIKING AGAINST SHOW-TRIALS' : from 1986.)







Tuesday, August 30, 2005

17 VICTIMS OF BRITISH JUSTICE .......
Last month PATRICK MAGUIRE was released from an English jail after serving 10 years for a 'terrorist' crime he insists he did not commit . A wide range of prominent people , from Cardinal O'Fiaich to Sir John Biggs-Davison , believe him .
DAVID McKITTRICK , London Editor of 'The Irish Times' newspaper , re-examines the evidence .
From 'Fortnight' magazine , May 1984 .

One of the defendants , Guiseppe Conlon , was a particularly pathetic figure - aged fifty-two , he suffered from Chronic Tuberculosis and had not worked for eleven years .

He arrived at the Maguire house only hours before the police raid , on his first visit to England for seventeen years . He had come to inquire about his son Gerry , who had just been arrested . He died in prison in 1980 and on his deathbed asked Gerry Fitt to clear his name . Fitt promised that he would try .

The campaign to clear the Maguire's family name , and to achieve a posthumous pardon for Guiseppe Conlon , goes on . In a sense those jailed were victims of the IRA , for their 1974 bombings led to a great wave of anti-Irish hysteria in England and tremendous pressure on the police to catch the bombers . ( ' 1169 ..... ' Comment - Unfortunately , the fact that the police made a mistake in this case did not ensure that "tremendous pressure" was brought to bear on them to stop it happening again . )

Meanwhile , it stands to reason that the authorities will resist with determination any attempt to reopen any of these cases , for to do so would run the risk of having to grant up to seventeen pardons : such an admission of injustice would be to much for the system to bear . ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - ....and that remains the prevailing mindset within the British 'Establishment' regarding this country - its last colony . )

[END of '17 VICTIMS OF BRITISH JUSTICE' .]
(Tomorrow - 'A Gay View On Kincora' - from 1984.)



SINN FEIN ALONE .
As Sinn Fein has become more active , members of the government parties have sought to isolate the Provos politically .
The record shows , however , that some of those politicians have for years sought support from Sinn Fein - and some continue to do so in so far as it is politically expedient .
By JOHN McHUGH .
First published in ' MAGILL ' Magazine , September 1984.

During the last election , Patsy Wright , a Sinn Fein member of Athy UDC , met Alan Dukes (FG) and they had an argument about Section 31 of The Broadcasting Act : according to Patsy Wright , Dukes told him that Sinn Fein could go on the radio whenever they handed up their guns - Wright argued that Sinn Fein had no guns : " Would you ever fuck off , " Alan Dukes replied .

Six months later , however , in June 1983 , Joe Bermingham , (FS) Minister of State , invited Patsy Wright to the opening of a new Garda Station in Athy ; Wright declined the invitation . He said that he would not attend such an opening until there was a thirty-two county Republic . The Government's attitude towards Sinn Fein has hardened considerably over the past eight months . This hardening followed the Dublin Central by-election , the deaths at Ballinamore and the Harrods bombing .

The main result of this tougher approach is the embargo on dealings with elected public representatives who are members of Sinn Fein - this embargo was started by Labour Party Ministers and became Government policy on February 21 . It has caused intense bitterness and confusion .

There was , for example , the proposed Civic Reception for Dick Spring in Midleton , Cork , during the Euro elections .......

(MORE LATER).




THE INTERROGATION OF STEPHEN MOORE ....... .
On 11 July 1986 , Stephen Moore , from Clones in County Monaghan , accepted £25,000 plus costs to settle an action out of court .
He had sued 'Ireland' and the Attorney General for injuries he had received in garda custody in Monaghan Garda Station in March 1983 .
In that same year , John Milne received £51,900 for injuries sustained at the hands of two named gardai in that same garda station . He was also awarded costs .
Despite the fact that more than £75,000 has been paid out as a result of garda activity in Monaghan Garda Station , no garda has been charged with a criminal offence . In fact , some of the gardai who were accused have been promoted .

Doctor Michael Moloney found a two-inch bruise on John Milne's chest and left shoulder , and found that he was mildy agitated . Milne also complained of back pain and pain in his leg from time to time . A jury heard the case in November 1983 and after a two-and-a-half-hour deliberation , found that the two named gardai had assaulted John Milne . They made a £51,900 award , plus costs .

Stephen Moore was arrested a third time under Section 30 of The Offences Against The State Act : in June of 1984 , he became one of 2,216 people arrested under that Section , that year ! He was held for nine and a half hours - there was , this time , no questions , no interviews , no charges . He was fingerprinted and photographed . He lost a day's wages - at that time he started work at 4.30 pm and finished at 3am . He was arrested by his next door neighbour at 2.30pm - his neighbour , Garda Ted O' Mahony , had gone on duty half an hour earlier , and had been ordered to carry out the arrest .

The O'Mahony's and the Moores had been neighbours for eight years ; the two households got on well together . Last August , Garda O'Mahony was told that he was being transferred to Gorey , in Wexford , within two weeks . He appealed the decision to Commissioner Lawrence Wren - the appeal was turned down . He then appealed to the Garda Tribunal . Garda O'Mahony was well liked locally . He asked for an explanation as to why he was being moved , and was told that it was in the interests of the Garda force .

He was forced to take up duty in Gorey , by May 1 . He had spent 15 years in the gardai , almost eight of them in Clones , County Monaghan - he had never been disciplined . According to his wife , "...all he ever wanted was a reasonable explanation .. " ( ' 1169... ' Comment - The "explanation" was , obviously , that a 'cover-up' had begun , and people were being moved into , or out of , place . ) .......

(MORE LATER).







Monday, August 29, 2005

17 VICTIMS OF BRITISH JUSTICE .......
Last month PATRICK MAGUIRE was released from an English jail after serving 10 years for a 'terrorist' crime he insists he did not commit . A wide range of prominent people , from Cardinal O'Fiaich to Sir John Biggs-Davison , believe him .
DAVID McKITTRICK , London Editor of 'The Irish Times' newspaper , re-examines the evidence .
From 'Fortnight' magazine , May 1984 .

The defence called John Yallop OBE , an internationally-recognised authority on explosives ; he had spent thirty-two years as a (British) 'Home Office' explosives expert and was a former head of the British government's explosives laboratory .

He had written more than sixty scientific papers on explosives and related topics , and appeared in the courts as an expert witness on more than 400 occasions ; and he had actually invented the ' Thin Layer Chromtography ' (TLC) test !

The 'gist' of John Yallop's evidence was that the test , as conducted , had not conclusively proved the existence of nitroglycerine . He suggested that other substances could produce the same results in the test - household substances might do it .....

One of the defendants , Guiseppe Conlon , was a particularly pathetic figure ; aged fifty-two , he suffered from Chronic Tuberculosis and had not worked for eleven years .......

(MORE LATER).




THE IRA HAS TO DO WHAT THE IRA HAS TO DO .......
The Sinn Fein electoral wagon is slowing down . As a result , the IRA is likely to begin stepping up its war against the Northern State . GENE KERRIGAN reports from Belfast and also interviews Sinn Fein's DANNY MORRISON on the party's recent successes and failures .
From ' MAGILL ' magazine , September 1984.

'MAGILL' Magazine : " Is it still seen within the Republican Movement as a long war , another twenty years ? "

Danny Morrison : " There was some Republican criticism that the 1978 declaration of a long war actually led to some demoralisation and deterred people from joining the Republican Movement because they thought , " Gee , there's not going to be an amnesty for Christmas , if I go to jail I'm not getting out for Christmas , I'm going in for a long time . "

That's possibly true . The point is , I think , that the IRA has to say what it believes , it has to tell the truth of how it sees things . The fact is that the Brits are'nt going to get out tomorrow or next year . It is going to be a long struggle , and people who join the Republican Movement obviously are entitled to be acquainted with that belief .

It's only fair on them . I would say , yes - still in terms of five to ten years . "

[END of 'THE IRA HAS TO DO WHAT THE IRA HAS TO DO' .]
(Tomorrow - 'Sinn Fein Alone' - from 1984 .)



THE INTERROGATION OF STEPHEN MOORE ....... .
On 11 July 1986 , Stephen Moore , from Clones in County Monaghan , accepted £25,000 plus costs to settle an action out of court .
He had sued 'Ireland' and the Attorney General for injuries he had received in garda custody in Monaghan Garda Station in March 1983 .
In that same year , John Milne received £51,900 for injuries sustained at the hands of two named gardai in that same garda station . He was also awarded costs .
Despite the fact that more than £75,000 has been paid out as a result of garda activity in Monaghan Garda Station , no garda has been charged with a criminal offence . In fact , some of the gardai who were accused have been promoted .

Dr. Caraher examined Stephen Moore on three occasions while he was in garda custody in Monaghan Garda Station ; on the first occasion , there were no abnormalities present in the patient , on the second occasion he appeared to be anxious and he had burns to the hair and he was complaining of pains . On the third occasion , the burns were still present and he had extensive bruising to the groin and thigh .

But this was not the first time that a detainee at Monaghan Garda Station had been awarded damages as a result of injuries sustained in garda custody -

- on 6 May 1978 , there was a Long Kesh protest march in Monaghan . As the protestors were dispersing , two squad cars loaded with gardai arrived on the scene and proceeded to make arrests under Section 30 of The Offences Against The State Act 1939 ; John Milne was amongst those arrested - he was taken to Monaghan Garda Station where he said that he was kicked , punched and beaten for about fifteen minutes by Detective Garda John McCoy and Garda Eamonn Flynn .

He said he was frightened and speechless ; his wife saw him in a cell and called for a doctor . A local Priest , Reverend Kevin Cassidy , said in court that he visited John Milne in the garda station but that he got no reply when he tried to speak to him . Doctor Michael Moloney saw John Milne on May 8 , 1978 , two days after his arrest , and he said that Milne was complaining of headaches and a sore neck .......

(MORE LATER).