" 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!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The following is the statement which was issued subsequent to a meeting of the Caretaker Executive of Sinn Fein on January 17th 1970 :

We , the Caretaker Executive of the Sinn Fein organisation , wish to explain to the Irish people why almost half of the delegates to the recent Ard Fheis 'walked out' from the Intercontinental Hotel ('1169.... ' Comment - ...now 'Jury's Hotel' , Ballsbridge , Dublin 4) on Sunday January 11th 1970 , and resumed the Ard Fheis in the Kevin Barry Hall , 44 Parnell Square , Dublin . There they elected us as a Caretaker Executive pending the re-convening of a full Ard Fheis .

There are five major reasons for the walk-out : each is explained in detail in the following paragraphs :

The Sinn Fein organisation , since its foundation in 1905 , has consistently denied the 'right' of the British Parliament to 'rule' in Ireland . Similarly , Sinn Fein has refused to recognise the two partition parliaments at Stormont and Leinster House , forced on the Irish people under the British Government of Ireland Act 1920 , and the Treaty of Surrender of 1921 .

Sinn Fein's alternative to those British institutions of government was the All-Ireland Republican Dail which it assembled in January 1919 ; it remains the task of Sinn Fein today to lead the Irish people away from British , 6-County and 26-County parliaments and towards the re-assembly of the 32-County Dail which will then legislate for and rule all Ireland .......


First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

On Friday , August 14th 1981 , Fr. Denis Faul launched a public attack on the IRA and the hunger-strike , daubing the latter as "... hopeless.. " and "...a situation of dispair .. " . More interestingly he did not confine his attack to further instilling defeatism , but at one point in an attack on the aims of the hunger-strike , which is indicative of his own political attitudes and which cannot be isolated from his political attitude to the hunger-strike and his activities therein , Faul suggested that maybe the real issue was "...the control of the voice of Irish Catholic Nationalists .. "

This was a ridiculous suggestion to be posing to Republicans , who were opposed to the hunger-strike from the start because of the personal tragic consequences for their comrades and their families but which must surely counterpose the question - were Fr. Faul's hunger-strike breaking activities aimed at ensuring that its political consequences , by default on the part of the Nationalist 'establishment' as much as anything else , did not lead to the total erosion of that 'establishment's' influence over the Nationalist people .......?


As the Anglo-Irish talks reach their conclusion , FINTAN O'TOOLE talks to activists of Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party and hears that they would prefer civil war to an accommodation with Dublin .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1985 .

The evidence of 1912 , of 1920 and of 1972 , argues against the belief that 'the Protestants' are bluffing ; in each of those years tens of thousands of ordinary Protestants joined 'official' or 'unofficial' paramilitaries - the UVF in 1912 , the 'A' and 'B' and 'C' Specials in 1920 and the UDA in 1972 , when Stormont was prorogued .

Both in the early 1920's and the early 1970's substantial numbers of Catholics were brutally murdered ; in 1972 , as now , there was no immediate threat to the position of 'Northern Ireland' in the 'United Kingdom' , but the response was none the less vicious . There is no reason to believe that it would be different in 1985 if the Loyalists perceive a threat , and it is clear that they do perceive such a threat even in a relatively innocuous consultative machinery involving the Dublin government .

The strategy of Ian Paisley's DUP for defeating an Anglo-Irish agreement involves a carefully-staged series of moves , from parliamentary opposition to the engineering of electoral contests to civil disobedience and finally to armed conflict and the declaration of a Provisional Government . Whether or not all of these stages actually come into force , it is clear that the opportunity for the DUP to build up tension , with a consequent open invitation to the sectarian killers to go to 'work' , is there to be exploited .

However loathsome the DUP's 'ballot-box-in-one-hand-and-armalite-behind-the-back' strategy , it has obvious political advantages for them in their attempt to establish themselves as the political spokesmen for Ulster Loyalism and it has to be taken seriously .......