" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)

IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!

Monday, January 30, 2006

THE DUBLIN COUNCIL OF TRADE UNIONS - founded on March 3rd , 1886 : 120 years ago this year .......
First published in 'AP/RN' , 27th February 1986 .

The trades' council saw its role as being "...a useful medium in settling of disputes.. " between employer and worker ; its Officers acted as arbitrators in disputes and were often successful . With this type of reputation , the DCTU rapidly expanded and by 1890 had trebled its affiliated membership to 81 unions and acquired large new premises in Capel Street , Dublin .

At the outset , the DCTU stressed that it was non-political yet , by its very nature , the Council found itself dealing with politicians in their role as employers and public representatives . The inevitable conflict which arose led to an increased radicalisation of the DCTU itself and a realisation that workers must be represented on public boards "...by workers instead of capitalists and seedy adventurers .. " .

This awareness led to a decision in 1898 to establish a Labour Representation Committee (LRC) with the objective of standing in election on a working-class ticket : LRC'S were also established in Belfast and Cork .......


On 30 January 1972 , 14 civilians were shot dead by the British Army . They had been taking part in a civil rights march in Derry , protesting against internment without trial .
British 'Lord' Widgery was highly selective in the 'evidence' he used in his 'official' report on the matter - and some of the accounts he chose to include were highly suspect. The victims' families have campaigned for justice ever since . Their case is too strong to ignore any longer .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 .
By Eamonn McCann .

Bloody Sunday has been a bitter and emotional factor in Northern politics for 26 years (ie : 1972 - 1998) , but it did'nt become a 'mainstream' issue or begin to figure in Anglo-Irish relations until the early 1990's - the relatives' organisation , the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign (BSJC) , was formed in 1992 , when activities around the 20th anniversary of the massacre brought representatives of the 14 families together for the first time .

Until then , the annual commemoration march , the upkeep of a memorial in the Bogside and sporadic propaganda activity had been organised by the Bloody Sunday Initiative , a loose group with a shifting , largely Republican membership . It was a measure of the difficulty of winning mainstream support until recently that when this writer travelled to Dublin in January 1992 with a number of relatives of the victims for the publication of the book 'Bloody Sunday in Derry' , written to mark the 20th anniversary , only one TD (sic - Leinster House member) , Tony Gregory , attended the launch in Buswell's Hotel , across the street from Leinster House , although every member of the (Free State) Oireachtas had been individually invited .

It has since been helpful that the founding of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign coincided with the inception of the peace process (sic- a true 'peace process' would require a date for British withdrawal) , which has required the Southern authorities to be seen representing the concerns of Northern nationalists . Interest in Bloody Sunday has been significantly boosted too , by new evidence that has come to light in the last two years . Thus the sense of momentum that has given some campaigners confidence that the truth is imminently to be acknowledged by the British authorities .......


INFORMERS : The RUC's Psychological War .......
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983.
By Sean Delaney.

In many cases the RUC has also consciously used informers to arrest and remove key political personnel in Sinn Fein ('1169...' Comment - ..... that is [re PSF anyway] , presumably , when those " key personnel " themselves are not in the employ of Westminister !) who have been involved either locally or nationally in reorganising the party since the hunger-strikes . Well over 250 men and women - mostly nationalists - have been remanded , many for long periods in custody awaiting 'trial' , on the uncorrororated 'evidence' of a string of informers , beginning with Christopher Black , who have been bribed with offers of immunity from prosecution for their own alleged involvement in republican or loyalist activities , and with promises of huge cash payments and a new ID in return for giving 'evidence' in court .

In addition to interning on remand large numbers of suspected republicans on the flimsiest of 'evidence' , the British administration has also successfully used the previously almost defunct 'Bill of Indictment' in an unprecedented manner to bypass judicial preliminary enquiries , after several informers took the opportunity of their first appearance in open court - temporarily freed from RUC isolation tactics - to retract incriminating statements made against those they had accused . As well as severely embarrassing the RUC , and exposing the coercive methods they had used to recruit informers , these retractions threatened the whole basis of their use .

The 'Bill of Indictment' , with the collusion of magistrates and the half-hearted 'opposition' of a small number of lawyers , effectively 'saved the day' ; to secure 'convictions' in informer 'trials' , the British administration must - assisted by the RUC , the Orange judiciary and the Diplock non-jury courts - secure another fundamental change in 'law' , removing the previous unwillingness of judges to accept the 'evidence' of an alleged 'accomplice' against an accused without corroborative 'evidence' . The outcome of the Christopher Black trial will undoubtedly have a critical bearing in this respect , although by no means a conclusive one .......