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 .......