" 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.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

At this time of year , newspapers , magazines , blogs , websites etc take a look back 'at the year that was' : but here , in '1169....' Towers , we take a look forward at 'the year that will be' :

A fitting end , in new employment , for those that left the Republican Movement in 1986 : however , our proud history of resistance and struggle has ensured that true Irish republicans are not surprised with , or dejected because of , the actions of those who seek to build 'political careers' for themselves within the 'establishment' they once fought against . We now have - once again - ex-colleagues wearing the uniform of the enemy and using the 'authority' of said uniform to hunt down their old comrades . It failed in the past and will fail now , too . The Provos are setting themselves up to be guardians of a flawed establishment and , in doing so , have forgot that it is not the job of the occupied to provide security for the occupier .
Ni Seoinini Sinn Go Leir !






Friday, December 29, 2006

Another Cabhair success !

Photographs and comments regarding the 2006 Cabhair Christmas Day swim can be found here, here and here. Meanwhile , the '1169...' crew are not yet finished their turkey and mince-pie : see you all in the New Year !






Monday, December 25, 2006



NOLLAIG SHONA DAR LEITHEOIRI !

Ar eagle an dearmaid ....

Ba bhrea an rud e siochain bhuan bunaithe ar an gceart a bheith againn in Eireann . Is i an bronntanas is fearr a d'fheadfaimis a thabhairt duinn fein agus dar gclann .

Coinniodh an ceart agus an tsiochain uainn le breis agus ocht gcead bliain , de bharr ionradh , forghabhail agus miriaradh na Sasanach . Socru ar bith a dheantar in ainm mhuintir na hEireann agus a ghlacann le riail Shasana agus a dhaingnionn an chriochdheighilt , ni thig leis an ceart na an tsiochain bhuann a bhunu .

Ni dheanfaidh se ach la na siochana buaine a chur ar an mhear fhada agus an bhunfhadb a thabhairt do ghluin eile . Tharla se seo cheana nuair a siniodh Conradh 1921 agus cuireadh siar ar mhuintir na hEireann e in ainm na siochana . Is mor ag Sinn Fein Poblachtach Eire a bheith saor agus daonlathach , an cuspoir ceanna a bhi i gceist ag Wolfe Tone agus ag na Poblachtaigh uile anuas go dti 1916 agus an la ata inniu ann .

Rinne a lan fear agus ban croga iobairti mora , thug a mbeatha fiu , ar son na cuise uaisle seo .

CEART . SAOIRSE. DAONLATHAS .


A PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS TO OUR READERS !

Least we forget ....

A just and permanent peace in Ireland is most desirable . It is the greatest gift we could give to ourselves and our children . We have been denied justice and peace for more than eight centuries , because of English invasion , occuption and misrule of our country .

Any arrangement which , in the name of the Irish people , accepts English rule and copperfastens the Border , will not bring justice and lasting peace . It will only postpone the day of permanent peace , handing over the basic problem to another generation .

This happened before when the Treaty of 1921 was signed and was forced on the Irish people in the name of peace . Republican Sinn Fein cherishes the objective of a free , democratic Ireland , as envisaged by Wolfe Tone and all Republicans down to 1916 and our own day . Many brave men and women sacrificed a lot , even their lives , for this noble Cause .

JUSTICE . FREEDOM . DEMOCRACY .

The '1169 And Counting... ' crew are on a short break but will be back at their desks in '1169 Towers' in early January . Between this and then take care of yourselves and don't forget about your Irish friends , colleagues and comrades on this isle as we enter into the 838th year of British occupation .
Beannachtai na Nollag agus slan go foill anois !


30 YEARS UNDERWATER !

As confirmed here and here , a sponsored swim in the Grand Canal at Inchicore in Dublin will be held this Christmas day at 12 Noon !
This event has been held on every Christmas Day since 1976 , and has , as usual , been organised by the Cabhair group (details here) , an organisation which seeks to assist the families and dependants of Irish Republican prisoners . The swim , which will be held in the Grand Canal opposite the Blackhorse Inn ('Kelly's on the Bridge') pub at , as stated , 12 Noon , has been known to attract upwards of 200 on-lookers and the organisers supply a turf fire , music , and some food and 'light refreshments' for all those present !
If you can swim , come along on the day and earn your place at the turf fire or at least , perhaps , watch others doing so and maybe even donate a few shillings for their efforts . CABHAIR is an organisation run by voluntary effort and would not accept donations or subscriptions from the State (nor has it ever looked for same) and , as such , would greatly appreciate any financial assistance you can offer .
Go ráibh maith agat , agus Nollaig Shona !






Saturday, December 23, 2006

30 YEARS UNDERWATER !

As confirmed here and here , a sponsored swim in the Grand Canal at Inchicore in Dublin will be held this Christmas day at 12 Noon !
This event has been held on every Christmas Day since 1976 , and has , as usual , been organised by the Cabhair group (details here) , an organisation which seeks to assist the families and dependants of Irish Republican prisoners . The swim , which will be held in the Grand Canal opposite the Blackhorse Inn ('Kelly's on the Bridge') pub at , as stated , 12 Noon , has been known to attract upwards of 200 on-lookers and the organisers supply a turf fire , music , and some food and 'light refreshments' for all those present !
If you can swim , come along on the day and earn your place at the turf fire or at least , perhaps , watch others doing so and maybe even donate a few shillings for their efforts . CABHAIR is an organisation run by voluntary effort and would not accept donations or subscriptions from the State (nor has it ever looked for same) and , as such , would greatly appreciate any financial assistance you can offer .
Go ráibh maith agat , agus Nollaig Shona !






Friday, December 22, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

James Lalor , who was in the Bridewell Garda Station at the same time as those arrested for the Sallins mail train robbery , gave evidence at Brian McNally's trial to the effect that he heard shouting and screaming in the Bridewell around midnight on the day in question : he said that he banged on the door of his cell in an attempt to get the disturbance stopped , and that a Garda whom he could not now identify told him to "...mind his own business.." .

At the time of the trial in October 1978 , James Lalor was serving a 12 month sentence in Mountjoy Prison , Dublin , having been convicted of pick-pocketing . Lalor further stated under cross examination that he had appeared in the District Court the morning after hearing the screams and shouts , and that he had received a 12 month sentence . He had not been contacted about the incident until almost two years after the event .

At the time of his giving evidence , Peter Harrington was serving five years penal servitude for armed robbery and had served a year and a half of his sentence ; he gave evidence at Brian McNally's trial to the effect that he had been re-arrested , along with his co-accused who included George and William Royale , outside the Bridewell , after their case had been thrown out of court . He admitted that he had been in the Bridewell thirty times . When questioned about what he heard in the Bridewell on the Wednesday morning , he said that he heard screams and shouts and the sound of something banging off a door , and that it lasted for about two hours . He also said that he had been in the Bridewell on a number of occasions since that night but had never heard anything like it since.......
(MORE LATER).



SPORTING NATIONALISM .
A look at the political origins of the GAA .
By 'Celt' .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .

Almost 100 years old (ie 1884 - 1982) , the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)- the largest and most influential sporting body in Ireland - has from its inception to the present day been considerably influenced by political events in its ideals and policy . In recent years , concerted attempts to curb the intensely nationalist beliefs of many GAA members and some clubs have hinged on the demand that the GAA observe the gulf between 'sport' and 'politics' . This article argues that in the history of the GAA no such gulf ever existed .

The earliest driving force behind the GAA was provided by Michael Cusack , who founded the Association in Hayes' Hotel in Tipperary , during 1884 . A pioneer of Irish language revival and a founder member of the Gaelic League , Michael Cusack was inspired by the ideal of restoring pride in the national games of hurling and football , and - through them - instilling hope and determination among Irish manhood in their ability to control their country's destiny .

The cruel hardships of the Great Hunger , less than forty years earlier , bringing death and emigration to two-and-a-half million people , had shattered the national strength . Traditional games like hurling and football - prohibited under law by police and magistrates deeply suspicious of any organised activity which could act as a front for nationally-minded bodies - had been severely disrupted or extinguished altogether in many areas . Restoring these was the end to which Michael Cusack's efforts were directed.......
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

The important thing as far as this election - and the next - is concerned is that Sinn Fein's housing and welfare blitz is likely to win them support outside the republican ghetto and bite into the SDLP's traditional support , but the SDLP are hitting back as hard as they can - they are hammering away at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis resolutions passed after the Assembly elections and committing future candidates to "...unambivalent support for the armed struggle.." (' 1169...' Comment - there is no need now for such a declaration from PSF candidates as their objective - reform of the Six County 'state' - is not worth waging an armed campaign for.) .

The SDLP are pointing hard at the killing of a British soldier's wife in Derry who was shielding her husband , and at the breaking of a man's hands with concrete slabs , also in Derry , as examples of the effects of that armed struggle . The Catholic Church has weighed in with its strongest condemnation of Irish republicans since the Civil War : these attacks may hurt Sinn Fein since , to beat or even draw level with the SDLP , Sinn Fein will have to reach out well beyond those who support the IRA's military campaign and the Sinn Fein leaders admit they are unsure of the effect the Catholic bishop's onslaught may have .

But the attacks on Provo violence could be a two-edged weapon : if the Catholic Church and the SDLP escalate their attacks too much they may seem to be ignoring the violence from the loyalists and the 'security forces' which most North of Ireland Nationalists see as the root of the problem . ('1169...' Comment : as far ar Republicans are comcerned , 'the root of the problem' is the British presence , not how they 'behave' whilst here .) And , if they stress too strongly that 'a vote for Sinn Fein is a vote for violence' , they will have a lot of explaining to do if half the Nationalist population does vote for Sinn Fein.......
(MORE LATER).

PLEASE NOTE : The '1169...' crew will be taking a wee break from operations today , Friday 22 December 2006 . We will return in early January to continue on from where we left off . We trust our many readers will have a peaceful and happy Christmas , and that you will continue to support , in whatever manner you can , the struggle of Irish Republicans in our quest to bring a lasting peace to all on this isle .
Go raibh maith agat .
John , Sharon and 'Junior' .






Thursday, December 21, 2006



NOLLAIG SHONA DAR LEITHEOIRI !

Ar eagle an dearmaid ....

Ba bhrea an rud e siochain bhuan bunaithe ar an gceart a bheith againn in Eireann . Is i an bronntanas is fearr a d'fheadfaimis a thabhairt duinn fein agus dar gclann .

Coinniodh an ceart agus an tsiochain uainn le breis agus ocht gcead bliain , de bharr ionradh , forghabhail agus miriaradh na Sasanach . Socru ar bith a dheantar in ainm mhuintir na hEireann agus a ghlacann le riail Shasana agus a dhaingnionn an chriochdheighilt , ni thig leis an ceart na an tsiochain bhuann a bhunu .

Ni dheanfaidh se ach la na siochana buaine a chur ar an mhear fhada agus an bhunfhadb a thabhairt do ghluin eile . Tharla se seo cheana nuair a siniodh Conradh 1921 agus cuireadh siar ar mhuintir na hEireann e in ainm na siochana . Is mor ag Sinn Fein Poblachtach Eire a bheith saor agus daonlathach , an cuspoir ceanna a bhi i gceist ag Wolfe Tone agus ag na Poblachtaigh uile anuas go dti 1916 agus an la ata inniu ann .

Rinne a lan fear agus ban croga iobairti mora , thug a mbeatha fiu , ar son na cuise uaisle seo .

CEART . SAOIRSE. DAONLATHAS .


A PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS TO OUR READERS !

Least we forget ....

A just and permanent peace in Ireland is most desirable . It is the greatest gift we could give to ourselves and our children . We have been denied justice and peace for more than eight centuries , because of English invasion , occuption and misrule of our country .

Any arrangement which , in the name of the Irish people , accepts English rule and copperfastens the Border , will not bring justice and lasting peace . It will only postpone the day of permanent peace , handing over the basic problem to another generation .

This happened before when the Treaty of 1921 was signed and was forced on the Irish people in the name of peace . Republican Sinn Fein cherishes the objective of a free , democratic Ireland , as envisaged by Wolfe Tone and all Republicans down to 1916 and our own day . Many brave men and women sacrificed a lot , even their lives , for this noble Cause .

JUSTICE . FREEDOM . DEMOCRACY .

The '1169 And Counting... ' crew will be taking a break soon but will be back at their desks in '1169 Towers' in early January . Between this and then take care of yourselves and don't forget about your Irish friends , colleagues and comrades on this isle as we enter into the 838th year of British occupation .
Beannachtai na Nollag agus slan go foill anois !


30 YEARS UNDERWATER !

As confirmed here and here , a sponsored swim in the Grand Canal at Inchicore in Dublin will be held this Christmas day at 12 Noon !
This event has been held on every Christmas Day since 1976 , and has , as usual , been organised by the Cabhair group (details here) , an organisation which seeks to assist the families and dependants of Irish Republican prisoners . The swim , which will be held in the Grand Canal opposite the Blackhorse Inn ('Kelly's on the Bridge') pub at , as stated , 12 Noon , has been known to attract upwards of 200 on-lookers and the organisers supply a turf fire , music , and some food and 'light refreshments' for all those present !
If you can swim , come along on the day and earn your place at the turf fire or at least , perhaps , watch others doing so and maybe even donate a few shillings for their efforts . CABHAIR is an organisation run by voluntary effort and would not accept donations or subscriptions from the State (nor has it ever looked for same) and , as such , would greatly appreciate any financial assistance you can offer .
Go ráibh maith agat , agus Nollaig Shona !






Wednesday, December 20, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

There was evidence of mistreatment given by five people who were being detained in the Bridewell Garda Station during that same time -
Mr. George Royale gave evidence in Brian McNally's trial to the effect that he heard shouts in the Bridewell around 1.00am on the morning in question : later on , he said he heard screams and shouts coming from the tunnel under the station , the tunnel leading to the District Court , and that he heard a question being roared - "...who was driving ? " He also gave evidence to the effect that Peter Royale , his brother , and Peter Harrington banged and kicked on the cell door after hearing screams , and that a member of the Gardai came down and told them to shut up or they would get the same .

He further said that when they complained later on , they were told that they were better off keeping their mouths shut , that it had nothing to do with them . George Royale admitted under cross examination that he had seven convictions against him , including ones for housebreaking , shop breaking , assault , and possession of a firearm . He denied fabricating his evidence and could not identify the person who allegedly had told him to ' keep his mouth shut ' . He further said that he had been in the Bridewell on a number of occasions before but had not heard anything like the shouts and screaming he had heard that night and , as a result of what he heard , he joined the Prisoners Rights Organisation and took part subsequently in a picket on the Bridewell .

He denied that either he or his brother were founder members of the Prisoners Rights Organisation but admitted that he knew some of its officers , and also stated under cross examination that he had spent three months in Mountjoy Jail on remand for something for which , in the end , a nolle prosequi was entered . There was another witness who also spoke of hearing "...shouting and screaming.."
(MORE LATER).



Veteran Irish Republican , LILY MOFFATT , interviewed.......
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .
By John Doyle .

IRIS magazine - " What do you think of the Free State today ? "
Lily Moffatt - " Not much . " (Fergal , a 7-year old relative chimes in - " They're worse than the Brits! ") " It's awfully short of the Republic . And when I think of Liam , Rory , Richard and Joe shot in cold blood by the Staters... The people in the North are right to fight the British , they're our enemy . Now the Free Staters are more British that the British themselves . The people that died in my young days would have no regard for the Free State . Our culture , even our Irish dancing , is forgotten . "

IRIS magazine - " Do you agree with the present IRA's methods ? "
Lily Moffatt - " Yes , they are no different than in our time . In the North today they just have more up-to-date equipment . They are right to fight . I hate to see people killed but England never knew any language but the language of the gun . I wouldn't begrudge anything to get the Brits out . "

IRIS magazine - " Finally , Lily , what would you say to the girls and women who see this interview ? "
Lily Moffatt - " Do all you can for the good of your country . You could do nothing better . My one longing is not to die before the Brits get out . I'd die happy in the morning if we got rid of them . "

('1169...' Comment : Regrettably for Lily and thousands more like us , the Brits continue to maintain a political , military and jurisdictional unwanted presence on this isle , supported by those same Staters that Lily fought against . But the struggle for a re-united Ireland continues...)

[END of ' LILY MOFFATT INTERVIEWED']
(Next - 'Sporting Nationalism' : from 1982)


THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

All of this 'election campaign business' used to be the SDLP's bread and butter - even at times when feeling ran high against the SDLP over issues like internment they held votes because of their constituency work . But they seem to have grown complacent and they can't compete with the effort Sinn Fein is putting in now .

The SDLP had no office in West Belfast until a few weeks ago - John Hume had an MEP's office in Derry but it didn't deal with purely local issues and there was no party office in the city . Even those SDLP councillors who do work hard simply haven't the time and can't call on the back-up and support Sinn Fein have .

Some of the SDLP mutter darkly about not having access to unlimited funds from bank robberies to pay all those full-time workers : Senator Brid Rogers , the SDLP's general secretary , even suggests the British administration may be going out of its way to facilitate Sinn Fein constituency work as a way of enticing the Provisionals away from violence....... ('1169...' Comment -....now the Provisionals are paid a salary to 'entice them away from violence' : but there is really no need , as the Provos themselves realise that their objective of 'constitutional reform' is not worth organising an armed campaign for.)
(MORE LATER).

PLEASE NOTE : The '1169...' crew will be taking a wee break from operations soon - our last post this side of the new year will be on Friday 22 December next . We will return in early January to continue on from where we left off .
Go raibh maith agat .
John , Sharon and 'Junior' .






Tuesday, December 19, 2006

30 YEARS UNDERWATER !

As confirmed here and here , a sponsored swim in the Grand Canal at Inchicore in Dublin will be held this Christmas day at 12 Noon !
This event has been held on every Christmas Day since 1976 , and has , as usual , been organised by the Cabhair group (details here) , an organisation which seeks to assist the families and dependants of Irish Republican prisoners . The swim , which will be held in the Grand Canal opposite the Blackhorse Inn ('Kelly's on the Bridge') pub at , as stated , 12 Noon , has been known to attract upwards of 200 on-lookers and the organisers supply a turf fire , music , and some food and 'light refreshments' for all those present !
If you can swim , come along on the day and earn your place at the turf fire or at least , perhaps , watch others doing so and maybe even donate a few shillings for their efforts . CABHAIR is an organisation run by voluntary effort and would not accept donations or subscriptions from the State (nor has it ever looked for same) and , as such , would greatly appreciate any financial assistance you can offer .
Go ráibh maith agat , agus Nollaig Shona !






Monday, December 18, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

John Fitzpatrick , Brian McNally , Nicky Kelly and Michael Plunkett were in the Bridewell Garda Station in Dublin from 11.30am on Wednesday , April 7 , 1976 , following Nicky Kelly's return from the trip to Ballymore Eustace and Bray : thus the question arises why it took a further 11 hours to have them charged . No adequate explanation for this was forthcoming during the trial .

But there was a further suspicious twist to the case - the rules of the Bridewell specify that persons held on the same charge should not be placed in the same cell together - asked by Seamus Sorohan , State Counsel , if he believed that what was done to Nicky Kelly and Brian McNally was in contravention of the rules of the Bridewell , Detective Inspector Ned Ryan said in evidence - " I believe it does , my Lords , contravene those regulations . " However , later in the trial , Ryan contradicted his earlier testimony on that point : he said - " I am not aware of it (ie the rule in question) . I think if that is there it is a new one . "

Independent Evidence of Screaming in the Bridewell .
But before we leave the very persuasive evidence that Brian McNally , Osgur Breathnach and Nicky Kelly were beaten up in the Bridewell , there is further independent evidence that there was something untold going on in the Bridewell during the period in question.......
(MORE LATER).



Veteran Irish Republican , LILY MOFFATT , interviewed.......
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .
By John Doyle .

IRIS magazine - " You have been active in support of the republican women in Armagh jail , and you have been in jail yourself . Can you tell us about that ? "
Lily Moffatt - " I was first in prison for two months in 1923 , but nothing was as bad as Armagh . I was arrested by Free State soldiers in March 1923 in Rooskey , County Roscommon . The night before , the local garda barracks had been soaked in petrol by the IRA , but the Staters arrived before it could be burned down . I was bundled off to Longford barracks and then taken to the Castle barracks in Athlone . The bed sheets were as black as your boots . We got two sheets and two blankets each , but that wasn't much for March . We pushed our beds together , two girls from Sligo and me , and shared our heat and covers .

My brother Michael was being held too in the same barracks , and we could see him passing each morning . One day when I was looking out , the soldiers fired at us . We couldn't get Mass either . One day we complained to the prison chaplain , but it made no difference . They wouldn't give us Sunday Mass , only Mass on the odd weekday . We had to kneel on rough cement , but one of our guards had a cushion to save his knees , which we robbed on him ! "

IRIS magazine - " You didn't take the Free State pension , given to republicans involved in the Tan war by the newly-elected Fianna Fail Administration ? "
Lily Moffatt - " No , why should I ? We were all Volunteers . " ('1169....' Comment - ...follow that link and judge for yourself the calibre of 'Volunteers' in the Provisional organisation now .)
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

SOUTH DOWN -
Patrick Forde (Alliance Party) : Patrick Fitzsimmons (SF) : Cecil Harvey (DUP) : Eddie McGrady (SDLP) : Margaret Magee (WP) : Enoch Powell (OUP) .

This has always been a fairly closely-balanced seat , religious wise , but the unionists have always held it up to this . It has lost the nationalist Newry area and the unionist Banbridge area to neighbouring seats , probably leaving a small unionist majority .

The split unionist vote gives the SDLP's Eddie McGrady a fair chance of winning , but only if he holds the lead the SDLP had over Sinn Fein in the Assembly election . It is one of Sinn Fein's weakest areas , however , so it looks as if Enoch Powell will have to go back to Birmingham .

Assembly Election 1982 : (First Preferences) SDLP 20,610 , three seats ; OUP 18,371 , two seats ; DUP 11,349 , two seats ; Alliance Party 3,646 ; Sinn Fein 3,393 ; Workers Party 1,676 .
(MORE LATER).

PLEASE NOTE : The '1169...' crew will be taking a wee break from operations soon - our last post this side of the new year will be on Friday 22 December next . We will return in early January to continue on from where we left off .
Go raibh maith agat .
John , Sharon and 'Junior' .






Saturday, December 16, 2006

30 YEARS UNDERWATER !

As confirmed here and here , a sponsored swim in the Grand Canal at Inchicore in Dublin will be held this Christmas day at 12 Noon !
This event has been held on every Christmas Day since 1976 , and has , as usual , been organised by the Cabhair group (details here) , an organisation which seeks to assist the families and dependants of Irish Republican prisoners . The swim , which will be held in the Grand Canal opposite the Blackhorse Inn ('Kelly's on the Bridge') pub at , as stated , 12 Noon , has been known to attract upwards of 200 on-lookers and the organisers supply a turf fire , music , and some food and 'light refreshments' for all those present !
If you can swim , come along on the day and earn your place at the turf fire or at least , perhaps , watch others doing so and maybe even donate a few shillings for their efforts . CABHAIR is an organisation run by voluntary effort and would not accept donations or subscriptions from the State (nor has it ever looked for same) and , as such , would greatly appreciate any financial assistance you can offer .
Go ráibh maith agat , agus Nollaig Shona !






Friday, December 15, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

In the absence of any attempt at all , let alone any plausible attempt , to explain the reasons for this extraordinary remand into Garda custody , the presumption must be that there was an ulterior motive on the part of the Gardai for taking this exceptional course of action : that ulterior motive , in the circumstances , could only be that they wanted to delay a medical examination and/or they wanted to construct an alibi which would explain how the accused persons came to be suffering from injury .

In any event there is the difficult case of Osgur Breathnach to answer : he was not placed in a cell with anyone before he was medically examined and removed to the Richmond Hospital and before he was seen by Aidan Browne SC - the evidence of Garda ill-treatment in his case is clear cut , and leads further suspicion to the Garda motives for remanding John Fitzpatrick , Brian McNally , Nicky Kelly and Michael Plunkett into Garda custody , following the preferment of charges in the District Court on the night of Wednesday , April 7 , 1976 .

There is additional reason for concern about this issue arising from the unexplained delay in charging the four accused - as the only evidence against any of them was their self-incriminating statements , there was no reason to delay charging them once they had been assembled together in the Bridewell Garda Station , literally yards from the Bridewell District Court .......
(MORE LATER).


Veteran Irish Republican , LILY MOFFATT , interviewed.......
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .
By John Doyle .

In 1919 , Lily Moffatt joined Cumann na mBan - " All round here joined when the Tans came . We were taught first-aid by Nurse Anne Horan from Slata . We used to carry messages and we drilled with .303's and colts in the bogs upon Curraghroe , instructed by Brian Nangle and Andy Feeney . They're all gone but myself . We did our drilling up at Nangle's house . We could see the Tans passing along the main road from our house . There was a short-cut through fields near where we lived and I used to help men escape down through the back lanes . "

IRIS magazine - " Did the male Volunteers respect you ? "
Lily Moffatt - " Lord , yes . They were very good , like brothers . They had every respect for us . We used to have dances in houses for funds to help the lads . The terrible thing was that some of them later went Free State and came back and raided us ."

IRIS magazine - " What do you think of women today being on active service in the IRA ? "
Lily Moffatt - " I think the women in the North are great . If I could go with them now I would . We were never asked to shoot or anything like that as girls , but we would have done anything . It's better now that women can take a full part . "
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

Fermanagh-South Tyrone .
Owen Carron (SF) : Elizabeth Flanagan (SDLP) : Davy Kettyles(WP) : Ken Maginnis(OUP).

This constituency has lost a few thousand votes in the Dromore-Trillick area of Tyrone to Mid-ulster , and gained some in Dungannon . The result may be to reduce the already small nationalist majority .

This is the seat that elected Bobby Sands and then Owen Carron - before that it returned Frank Maguire as a republican-leaning Independent . The SDLP has never been strong here and the constituency is the home of tactical voting - nationalists vote for the strongest candidate on their side to keep the Unionist out and vice versa .

The SDLP candidate is not well-known and Owen Carron , the sitting MP , will have no difficulty beating her . He would need about 85 per cent of the nationalist vote to beat the single Unionist candidate , however , and that isn't very likely , although he is playing down the Sinn Fein label and campaigning under the slogan - ' Save the Seat' .

Ken Maginnis , the Official Unionist candidate , is likely to take the seat .

By-Election , April 1981 (Westminster) - Bobby Sands (H-Block) 30,943 / Harry West (OUP) 29,046 .
By-Election , August 1981 (Westminster) - Owen Carron (H-Block) 31,728 / Ken Maginnis (OUP) 29,048 / Seamus Close (Alliance) 1,930 / T. Moore (WP) 1,132 / Others 339 .
Assembly Election 1982 (First Preferences) - All Unionists 27,990 , three seats / Sinn Fein 16,725 , one seat / SDLP 12,000 , one seat / Workers' Party 1,394 / Alliance Party 1,171 .
Next : South Down.......
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, December 14, 2006

30 YEARS UNDERWATER !

As confirmed here and here , a sponsored swim in the Grand Canal at Inchicore in Dublin will be held this Christmas day at 12 Noon !
This event has been held on every Christmas Day since 1976 , and has , as usual , been organised by the Cabhair group (details here) , an organisation which seeks to assist the families and dependants of Irish Republican prisoners . The swim , which will be held in the Grand Canal opposite the Blackhorse Inn ('Kelly's on the Bridge') pub at , as stated , 12 Noon , has been known to attract upwards of 200 on-lookers and the organisers supply a turf fire , music , and some food and 'light refreshments' for all those present !
If you can swim , come along on the day and earn your place at the turf fire or at least , perhaps , watch others doing so and maybe even donate a few shillings for their efforts . CABHAIR is an organisation run by voluntary effort and would not accept donations or subscriptions from the State (nor has it ever looked for same) and , as such , would greatly appreciate any financial assistance you can offer .
Go raibh maith agat , agus Nollaig Shona !






Wednesday, December 13, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

At the sitting of the District Court at which John Fitzpatrick , Brian McNally , Nicky Kelly and Michael Plunkett were charged took place at 10.30pm and was over in a matter of minutes , there is no logistical explanation for their being kept in Garda custody overnight - the fact is that :
A) A remand into Garda custody is almost unique in the Dublin area :
B) There was no exceptional circumstances in this case which could possibly justify a remand into Garda custody :
C) In any event the remand applied for and obtained was into Garda custody , a highly unusual procedure .

There has been at no stage any official attempt to explain why the remand into Garda custody took place in this instance - no attempt either at the trial or on any other occasion . But there is a very obvious explanation and it is the following - if the prisoners were suffering from injuries received within the previous 24 hours at the hands of the Gardai , then the longer their committal to prison could be postponed the better , for no medical examination was likely to take place until then .

But there was an even more 'attractive' reason for remanding the prisoners back into Garda custody : by placing them back in the Bridewell Garda Station and by placing them two to a cell a scenario was being created whereby it would be maintained later that the injuries which they would undoubtedly be found to be suffering from , were either 'self-inflicted' or 'mutually inflicted'.......
(MORE LATER).



Veteran Irish Republican , LILY MOFFATT , interviewed .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .
By John Doyle .

" The IRA are no different today than in our time . They just have more up-to-date equipment ! " - Lily Moffatt .

Now living in Dromod , County Leitrim , at the age of 81 , life-long Irish republican Lily Moffatt (nee Freyne) is a glowing example of the full role played by women in the militant and political traditions of Irish republicanism , and an apt comparison with today's women IRA Volunteers .

Born at Aughoo , Rooskey , in County Roscommon , on March 10th , 1901 , it was no surprise that she grew up sympathetic to republicanism - " I was brought up in Fenianism , my uncle was a Fenian poet , all belonging to me were Fenian . It was all I heard at home . " Lily's first public involvement was during the election campaign in Roscommon successfully contested by Sinn Fein's Count Plunkett in 1917 , where she worked as a Sinn Fein election sub-agent on polling day .

In 1919 , Cumann na mBan was being organised in the area . Lily Moffatt was among the first to join.......
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

ARMAGH-NEWRY :
Jim McAllister(SF) : Seamus Mallon(SDLP) : Tom Moore(WP) : Jim Nicholson(OUP) .

The old Armagh seat , which included all county Armagh , had a Unionist majority : now the mainly unionist North Armagh area has been transferred to the new seat of Upper Bann , while the nationalist Newry town area has been added on from South Down . The result is a nationalist majority of between six and ten per cent but with a single unionist candidate and a split nationalist vote the outcome is doubtful .

The SDLP took two-thirds of the nationalist vote in the Assembly elections and their candidate , Seamus Mallon , is deputy leader of the party and identified with its 'greener' wing .

The fact that he was deprived of his Assembly seat because of his membership of Seanad Eireann (sic - Free State Senate) will do him no harm but , unless he can actually win votes from Sinn Fein , the Official Unionist candidate , Jim Nicholson , is likely to take the seat .

Assembly Election 1982 :
(First Preferences) All Unionists , 33,318 , four seats : SDLP , 15,630 , two seats : Sinn Fein , 8,224 , one seat : Workers' Party 2,806 : Alliance 1,806 .
Next : Fermanagh-South Tyrone.......
(MORE LATER).







Monday, December 11, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

MAGILL' magazine asked the (State) Department of Justice if there had been any other such cases of a remand from the District Court to Garda custody : the Department referred us to the Garda press office where , at first , we were informed by Sergeant Jim Quinn of the press office that " ....adult prisoners are never remanded back into Garda custody . We can't hold a prisoner for longer than is absolutely necessary . If we have occasion to interview a prisoner further , then we go into the prison to see him . " That seemed unambiguous .

But then , three days later , another official of the Garda press office , Breege Wymes , went to considerable pains to make contact with 'MAGILL' to offer additional unsolicited comment - she maintained that remands into Garda custody were commonplace , it happened every day , she said . We contacted Sergeant Jim Quinn again and asked for clarification as to the point at issue and for an explanation as to why we should be told such contradictory stories : he reverted to us following enquiries and explained that remand into Garda custody did take place in the circumstances outlined above (ie in remote areas) but although he had been stationed for a while in the Bridewell Garda Station in Dublin he was unaware of any occasion in which this had taken place !

Lawyers , dealing with criminal cases to whom we have spoken , said that the procedure was unheard of in the Dublin area . As Sergeant Jim Quinn had suggested to us that a remand into Garda custody might take place if the District Court had sat very late at night and Mountjoy Prison was closed , we contacted that prison and enquired up to what time they would admit prisoners - they replied that they would admit prisoners up to midnight and later if necessary if they were given notice that this was going to take place.......
(MORE LATER).



BEYOND BREAKOUTS AND SUPERGRASSES .......
From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine , October 1983 .

Among the abuses of the judicial process in the North of Ireland is the mass trials at which the only link between the charges against the defendants is that they are based on the word of the same supergrasses : that RUC 'witnesses' are allowed to cite statements from former supergrasses which have since been retracted : and the absence of a defence of entrapment against RUC informers who themselves recruit people into illegal organisations and encourage them to commit 'terrorist crimes' .

Many Nationalist lawyers have lost what faith they had in the 'fairness' of the Diplock non-jury court system in the light of such abuses . The alienation among the IRA's potential supporters in the urban Nationalist ghettos and country areas must now be almost total . How can Jim Prior even begin to contemplate any further political initiative to win moderate nationalist support for the North's institutions when the right of so many ordinary nationalists to a fair trial , surely one of the foundation stones of any democratic society , is under such unprecedented threat ?

As one visiting New York lawyer remarked earlier this month , the British seem to have become like the Americans in Vietnam - they seem intent on destroying democracy here in order to 'save' it !
[END of 'BEYOND BREAKOUTS AND SUPERGRASSES']
(Next : Interview with veteran Irish Republican , Lily Moffatt - from 1982.)


THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

MID-ULSTER :
Denis Haughey (SDLP) : Dr. Aidan Lagan (Alliance Party) : Danny Morrison (SF) : Rev. William McCrea (DUP) : Tommy Owens(WP) : William Thompson (OUP) .

This is Bernadette McAliskey's old seat : it used to have a nationalist majority of about 3,000 but was held by a Unionist because of a split nationalist vote . It has lost nationalist Strabane to Foyle and the mixed Magherafelt area to East Derry and has gained a republican area around Dromore in Tyrone from Fermanagh-South Tyrone .

It is now absolutely marginal in 'religious' terms but with a split Unionist vote , a nationalist may win . The SDLP had a small majority over Sinn Fein in the Assembly elections but Sinn Fein may be able to reverse that this time and Danny Morrison may win .

Assembly Elections 1982 :
(First Preferences) SDLP 15,244 , two seats : DUP 14,426 , two seats : Sinn Fein 12,690 , one seat : OUP 10,689 , one seat : Alliance 2,872 : Workers' Party 2,054 .
Next : Armagh-Newry.......
(MORE LATER).







Friday, December 08, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

The Remand : The Case Gets Curiouser and Curiouser :
There are circumstances in which accused persons are placed in Garda custody after being charged in the District Court but these circumstances are very unusual , especially in the Dublin area . The reasons generally relate to the lateness of the hour at which the charges are made and the distance from a prison .

Thus if a person is charged with an offence in a remote area and remanded in custody , either by a District Justice or by a Justice of the Peace , then they may be held in Garda custody overnight , pending their removal to a prison the following morning , but this is rarely necessary in the Dublin area . In any event the extraordinary procedure was taken in this case of specifically getting a remand into the custody of two named Gardai - this procedure is virtually unheard of , although provided for under Section 25 of the Criminal Procedures Act 1967 .

In fact during the course of the Sallins mail train robbery trial the issue arose during the cross examination of the station Sergeant of the Bridewell Garda Barracks who was on duty on the night of April 7 , 1976 - he , Sergeant Padden , admitted that he could not recall any other case in which an accused person had been remanded into Garda custody . One of the senior Garda officers involved in the case , Detective Inspector Ned Ryan , was unable to explain during the course of the trial why the remand into Garda custody had occurred at all.......
(MORE LATER).



BEYOND BREAKOUTS AND SUPERGRASSES .......
From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine , October 1983 .

One of the tasks of any ' Anglo-Irish Council' could be the expansion of the Irish (sic - should read 'State') Senate to allow for elected northern representation , thus going some way towards satisfying northern nationalist aspirations * while at the same time ensuring a permanent forum to discuss the possibilities of eventual condominium , joint sovereignty or federalism . ('1169...' Comment * ... "northern nationalists" may indeed 'aspire' to sit in a talking-shop with other suits , discussing the fortunes of their shares etc , but Irish Republicans would view such an 'aspiration' as aiming far too low.)

An all-Ireland economic development body should be set up , perhaps funded by a cross-border co-operation tax raised in Britain and both parts of Ireland (sic - Ireland has only one 'part' as it is a single entity) , which could help to channel capital , both foreign and local , private and public , to the North's areas of greatest need . ('1169...' Comment - in this humble blogs opinion , the " North's areas of greatest need " is to end British interference in that part of Ireland .)

And most immediately something has to be done to end the serious abuses of the North's judicial process which have been brought in * by the use of supergrass 'evidence' ('1169...' Comment * - not " brought in " , but exacerbated by , the use of such 'evidence ' ) - those abuses include convictions on the basis of uncorrororated and highly dubious 'evidence' of self-confessed criminals and perjurers and the use of the 'Bill of Indictment' procedure to avoid supergrass 'witnesses' having to confront those they are accusing at preliminary hearings.......
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

FOYLE :
Gregory Campbell(DUP) : John Hume(SDLP) : Martin McGuinness(SF) : Eamon Melaugh(WP) and Gerry O'Grady(Alliance) .

The old Derry constituency had a Unionist majority , but now much of unionist North Derry has been hived off into the new East Derry seat and the solidly nationalist town of Strabane has been taken from Mid-Ulster and added to Derry city to 'make up' Foyle .

It now has a safe nationalist majority and John Hume should win here but if Martin McGuinness increases the Sinn Fein share of the vote it could worry Hume . However , if John Hume is beaten , the SDLP might as well pack up and go home .

Assembly Election 1982 :
(First Preferences) - All Unionists 30,783 , four seats ; SDLP 20,279 , two seats ; Sinn Fein 8,763 , one seat ; Alliance 3,663 ; Workers' Party 974 . Next - Mid-Ulster.......
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, December 06, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

Dr. Sean O' Cleirigh gave evidence of the injuries he found on examining Nicky Kelly -

" There was bruising between the middle and the lower third of the thigh . That is about two-thirds of the way between the hip joint and the knee joint on the left thigh , which was approximately two inches in diameter . There were also two small bruises on the front of the body , one just below the breast bone - the sternum - about an inch below the sternum : the other about three inches above and one inch outside the line of the left nipple . They would have been at most one inch in diameter - like small bruises .

He had extensive bruising of the left ear itself and behind the left ear . In other words , the discolouration extended from the ear itself . It extended for a couple of inches but it also extended down below the level of the ear . There was discolouration behind the right ear - it was a light brown . I describe it as 'browning'....... "


Referring again to the left ear , Dr. O' Cleirigh said - " I discovered that there was a swelling there and some discolouration and it was tender . He was in a state of very acute anxiety . I have quite a clear recollection of Kelly being particularly stressful . "

Dr. Sean O' Cleirigh was further questioned by Mr. Seamus Sorohan , State Counsel - '...those various injuries present ...matters that you noticed...distressful state ....what were all those matters consistent with in your opinion as a doctor...? ' Dr. O' Cleirigh replied - " They were consistent with beating of the type which he (Nicky Kelly) had described to me ." The doctor further put the ages of the bruisings found at one to three days : his evidence was corroborated by Dr. Sean Magee , who also examined Nicky Kelly at the same time.......
(MORE LATER).



BEYOND BREAKOUTS AND SUPERGRASSES .......
From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine , October 1983 .

The UDA and the UVF recognise that the IRA is* a revolutionary organisation ('1169...' Comment* - ....at least it was then (1983) : in 1986 the PIRA became the military wing of a Leinster House-registered political party , and remains so to this day ) - with all the long-term dedication and 'fanaticism' such a term entails . Loyalists believe that the revolutionary violence of the IRA has to be fought with the 'defensive violence' of a united loyalist community .

We (ie 'Fortnight' magazine) believe that is the way to bloody sectarian civil war : we must believe that there are still political moves the (British) government can make * which could begin to create an atmosphere in which the nationalist working class could be weaned away from Sinn Fein ('1169...' Comment - ...as it was then , in 1983) , and support for the IRA's campaign could be correspondingly reduced . ('1169...' Comment * -...the only such "political move" would be an announcement from Westminster of a date for political and military withdrawal from this island.)

The British government - or even better , all the British parliamentary parties in a joint statement - should make clear once and for all that there will never be any return of powers to a Stormont Assembly until there is guaranteed nationalist (not 'Catholic') participation in any devolved administration . ('1169...' Comment -....by which , then [1983] , was meant that the SDLP and the then Sinn Fein organisation would both have to implement British policy in that part of Ireland . And the Provos are now attempting to do so.) A 'formal' three-tier 'Anglo-Irish Council' , with its own budget and officials , should be set up as quickly as possible and charged with specific political and economic tasks *....... ('1169...' Comment*...a salaried 'talking-shop' , in other words , as that proposed body would be tasked with implementing British policy rather than finding ways of ending same.)
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

The Battleground .
There are six constituencies where the SDLP or Sinn Fein have a chance of winning a seat :
West Belfast -
Candidates : Gerry Adams (SF) : Gerry Fitt (IND) : George Haffey (DUP) : Dr. Joe Hendron (SDLP) : Mary McMahon (WP) and Thomas Passmore (OUP) .

Once a fairly marginal seat in 'religious' terms , the new boundaries have given this seat a solid 'Catholic' majority, removing the Unionist Shankill and Donegall Road areas and adding the Nationalist Lenadoon Estate .

It is based on the Falls Road , Andersonstown and Ballymurphy/Turf Lodge : with a split Unionist vote , Gerry Adams , who topped the poll in the Assembly elections , should have no difficulty winning the seat .

Assembly Election 1982 : (First Preferences) SF 10,367 , one seat : SDLP 8,368 , one seat : OUP 4,505 , one seat : DUP 4,394 : Alliance 2,733 , one seat : Workers' Party 2,493 : Progressive Unionist Party 1,255 : PD 144 .
(MORE LATER).







Monday, December 04, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

Dr. Sean O' Cleirigh , the independent medical witness , examined Nicky Kelly at Dublin's Mountjoy Jail at 7.30pm on Thursday , the 8th of April , 1976 : Dr. O' Cleirigh said in evidence -

" He had bruising over the left arm covering approximately the upper three quarters of the left arm and he had a similar type of bruising over approximately the middle two-thirds of the right arm - from the tip of the shoulders to about three-quarters way down the arm. There was also a large area of bruising , I call it 'ecchemosis' , that was an area approximately six inches over the left shoulder , at the back of the left shoulder on the back of the trunk ... "

Dr. O' Cleirigh said there was discolouration over the arms - "...a black blue discolouration . " He said - " The whole area was black blue . Over the back, there were areas where the discolouration was much fainter , and he also had bruising over both buttocks . I want to describe the area where it was - it was below the crest of the illium - the crest of the illium is what we would normally call the hips . It was on the upper crest of the pelvic bone , and this extended down for about two inches. It was right across the back . I called it 'linear bruising' because there were little lines through it . It was a slatey blue colour .

Over the left thigh , there was an area of slight bruising , where the discolouration was very slight , and this was approximately two inches by four inches . It extended from the tuborsity - the prominence at the top of the hip bone - the tuborsity , to the femor - the bone between the hip joint and the knee , and this was tender. By what I mean , when I palpitated it , there was pain present . It was roughly triangular in shape . The base was roughly two inches and the sides were roughly four inches . " Another detailed list of injuries was to follow.......
(MORE LATER).



BEYOND BREAKOUTS AND SUPERGRASSES .
From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine , October 1983 .

In the middle of September it looked as if this was turning out to be the authorities' (sic- ie by which the author means those paid , placed and/or 'authorised' by Westminster) best year in the fight against the Provisional IRA since Roy Mason's time , largely thanks to the emergence of the 'supergrass' phenomenon : a high point had been reached with the revelation that the RUC's latest 'converted terrorist' , Robert Lean , had allowed them , for the first time since the 'supergrasses' started to emerge at the end of 1981, to penetrate the West Belfast heartland of the IRA leadership.

Everyone was expecting some spectacular IRA action to rally the morale of its battered troops , but the stroke the Provisionals pulled was a particularly unexpected and humiliating one for the British government - in an operation of military-style precision and planning , 38 prisoners got out of the Maze Prison , trumpted as the highest security prison in these islands . It was the largest escape in British prison history , and at the time of writing 19 of the escapers are still free .

The reaction among Loyalists was interesting : while Ian Paisley and his ilk predictably screamed for Jim Prior's head and made unsubstantiated allegations about Irish Republican 'moles' inside the prison , some loyalist paramilitary leaders were the first to admit that the ability to pull off such spectacular strokes was one of the things that gave the IRA their credibility , both within the nationalist working class and among a growing number of politicians and media people in Britain , Europe and America.......
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

Sinn Fein have five advice centres or political clinics in West Belfast , four in Derry and one in Strabane , five in Mid-Ulster , four in Fermanagh-South Tyrone and three in Armagh-Newry .

Most of the city ones and at least one in each of the rural areas are open full-time ; the rural constituencies have a hard-core of four or five full-time workers each , as well as the Stormont Assembly members - West Belfast and Derry have about 15 full-time workers each , all of whom deal with arrests , raids , prisoners' welfare and other traditional Republican concerns , but they also deal with complaints about repairs to 'Housing Executive' houses , social security benefits and even roads and agricultural grants .

In West Belfast they have set up specialised housing and welfare departments , with full-time staff , to get to know the regulations inside out . In some areas , instead of waiting for complaints to come in ,they have gone round the doors with a check-list of possible repairs or benefits - like beds , blankets or rent rebates - to which the people might be entitled . Then they have submitted the claims en bloc to the 'Housing Executive' or the (Six County) Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS), already broken down into the various categories used by the Department itself .

Gerry Adams claims this has forced the 'Housing Executive' and the DHSS to increase their staff in West Belfast and to issue new instructions to their officials to be more co-operative and less aggressive towards claimants.......
(MORE LATER).

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Friday, December 01, 2006


"....em....it's just that , George....eh......I just want to be sure , to be sure..."

....the forceful words of our esteemed leader , Bertie Ahern , on how he sought clarification from George Bush that Washington was not using Shannon Airport as a facility to assist them in their oil war in Iraq .
This is the same political clown (Bertie , we mean...) who , when asked in September last about political appointments to State Boards replied - " I might have appointed somebody but I appointed them because they were friends , not because of anything they had given me . " !!
When Bertie Ahern has to think for himself - ie on the occasions when he believes the paid lackys around him who , for a laugh , tell him that he is actually intelligent enough to answer questions and make minor statements without their assistance - the above two quotes are more recent examples of just how politically moronic and immature the man is . An earlier example of Mr. Ahern's political incompetence can be had from his speech to the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis in April 1997 , when , no doubt having been advised by his lackeys to do so , he spoke on the issue of political corruption within the Fianna Fail party - " No-one , no-one , is welcome in this party if they betray the public trust . I say this and I mean this with every fibre of my being. "
This from the man who signed blank cheques (see 'Cheque-Mate' , here) for the political criminal Charlie Haughey and who , more recently , was caught taking money from his business pals in Manchester !

To conclude : we ask readers who are not familiar with the Irish people , and/or those who have reasonably competent politicians to elect , not to confuse the political and moral calibre , or lack of , of these clowns with the Irish people as a whole . The political careerists in that chamber are a blight on those of us who live in the real world - any impression given , taken or implied that there is a political , moral or mental connection between 'us' and 'them' is erroneous and such thoughts should immediately be discarded . Those political clowns have embarrassed the rest of us into apologising to sensible people everywhere on their behalf as , in their privileged and sheltered world , only the weak apologise . We are genuinely sorry for the impression given by Bertie Ahern and his colleagues in Leinster House that 'the Irish are fools'. Sorry .






THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

After lunch , Nicky Kelly alleged , Detective Garda Michael Finn was responsible for him falling off a seat and stood behind him asking questions , slapping him on the ears when he gave 'unsatisfactory answers' : by late afternoon , Kelly alleged , Detective Garda Thomas Ibar Dunne punched him on the arms and suggested to him roles that he played in the Sallins mail train robbery .

Between the hours of 9.00am on the Tuesday (6th April , 1976) and 5.30pm on the Wednesday , Kelly underwent continuous questioning during which time he alleged that he was shouted at by Detective Garda Dunne and punched repeatedly on the arms by him , and that he was also beaten by a number of detectives whom he could not identify . Detective Garda Michael Finn and Detective Sergeant Patrick F. Cleary were accused by Nicky Kelly of beating him on three separate occasions with a black jack - Kelly alleged he was beaten under the arms and from the legs to the knees , that he was being punched and shouted at to sign a statement , and that Detective Garda Michael Finn threatened to break his nose .

On the third occasion when he alleged he was beaten with the 'black jack' by Detective Sergeant Patrick F. Cleary , a statement had already been written out , and it was his refusal to sign it which brought on the third , and according to Kelly , the worst of the beatings with the 'black jack' . He also alleged that during this period Detective Garda Egan slapped and punched him about the arms , ears and face , and that Detective Sergeant Culhane shouted and roared at him , and that Culhane punched him , causing him to fall to the ground . After the third beating with the 'black jack' , Nicky Kelly said he signed a statement at 5.15am in order to stop further beatings.......
(MORE LATER).



THE SEEDS OF ANOTHER BITTER HARVEST .......
By STEPHEN GREER .
From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine , October 1983 .


The supergrass development has undoubtedly damaged the paramilitaries for the time being , but the long-term results could easily prove to be counterproductive as far as the establishment of peace , justice and stability is concerned . ('1169...' Comment - In relation to being "counterproductive as far as the establishment of peace justice and stability is concerned..." , one need look no further than the continuing claim of jurisdiction from Westminster over six Irish counties , and the enforcement of that claim by political and military methods . Any 'treaty' which disregards that fact serves only to prolong the struggle .)

The parallel with internment is disturbingly close : in the early 1970's , detention without trial was seen by those who advocated it as a potential panacea for the mounting disorder - it is now widely recognised , however , that this 'security initiative' served only to incarcerate many innocent men , thus further alienating large sections of the nationalist community from the legal process , and that this in turn dramatically increased the flow of recruits to the IRA and added fuel to an already bitter civil conflict . The supergrass strategy contains the seeds for a similar harvest .
[END of 'THE SEEDS OF ANOTHER BITTER HARVEST']
(Next - ' Beyond Breakouts And Supergrasses' : from 1983)


THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

'The Credibility Factor' :
Before October the Sinn Fein candidates and their policies were little known outside republican circles - ('1169....' Comment : ....as intended by those who introduced , supported and maintained political censorship) as their South Armagh Assembly member , Jim McAllister , puts it : " A lot of people thought we were just wild men , only good for shouting 'Brits Out!' ... " Since then ,they have got a lot of TV and press coverage in the North , emerging as just as articulate and able as their SDLP counterparts . A lot of the 'bogeyman effect' has been dissipated , just by public exposure .

'The Registration Factor' :
The (Six County) Assembly elections revealed that thousands of people had no votes : electoral officers have admitted that in a few areas like South Armagh up to 30 per cent of the population were unregistered - many of these were republican supporters who saw no point in voting or were suspicious of all forms of 'officialdom' . More were alienated youth . Sinn Fein have put in a big effort to get these people registered and it should have some effect on this election and a bigger effect in 1984 or 1985 .

The most significant factor in increasing the Sinn Fein vote , however , is likely to be constituency work ; they had gradually been getting interested in social and economic issues for some time but it has really taken off since the October 1982 elections , with Advice Centres/Clinics having been opened and staffed in West Belfast , Derry , Strabane , Fermanagh-South Tyrone and Armagh-Newry.......
(MORE LATER).