" 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, February 01, 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 forum for the radicalisation of the labour movement during these years was the Dublin Council of Trade Unions , and the progressive grouping around Jim Larkin (which included James Connolly) meant that the nature of the DCTU was utterly changed . Its emergence as the campaigning voice of workers frightened the employers and William Martin Murphy responded by setting up an employers' organisation , the ' Dublin Employers' Federation' .

In August 1913 , the employers tried to suppress Jim Larkin's militant union by refusing to employ any members of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union - this led to a 'Lock-Out' which lasted six months and saw a period of untold hardship and misery for Dublin workers which was marked by street violence , sympathetic strikes and the espousal of revolution by James Connolly . While the struggle was led by the ITGWU , the trades' council played an important co-ordinating role : a strike committee was established to which all unions reported and through which funds and supplies were channelled .

At the height of the Lock-Out , the DCTU's President , W.P. Partridge , accompanied Jim Larkin to England on his 'Fiery Cross' Campaign to rally English workers in support of the Irish union's fight .......


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 .

Edward Heath (British Prime Minister) is recorded as saying that the Derry Guildhall building would be unsuitable as a venue for tribunal hearings as it " ..was on the wrong side of the River Foyle .. " (ie - the 'Catholic/Nationalist' side) . British 'Lord' Widgery himself stated that he "... saw the exercise as a fact-finding exercise ; it would help if the inquiry could be restricted to what actually happened in those few minutes when men were shot and killed . This would enable the tribunal to confine evidence to eye witnesses . " ('1169...' Comment - ....in other words : to restrict evidence to as few people as possible.)

In the event , Widgery confined himself to the evidence of some eye-witnesses , refusing to hear the evidence of others . In writing his report , he then ignored much of the evidence that he had heard and distorted a great deal of the rest : an examination of the text rules out the possibility of this having come about through mis-understanding , carelessness or unconscious bias .

In the days after Bloody Sunday , the 'Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association' (sic) gathered more than 700 eye-witness statements from civilians in Derry ; copies of these were presented to British 'Lord' Widgery on 9 March 1972 but , instead of welcoming this reservoir of relevant information , Widgery , according to an internal tribunal memorandum dated 10 March 1972 , "...considered that the statement had been submitted at this late stage to cause him the maximum embarrassment .. " . In fact , the three-inch-thick file of statements had been delivered to the British Treasury Solicitor's Office in London on 3 March 1972 - 34 days after the event and 17 days before the tribunal's final public sitting .

A delay of about a week had been caused by disagreement among relatives and others about whether to co-operate with the tribunal at all .......


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

Deprived first of the 'soft option' of internment and then of the 'luxury' of a comprehensive and unhindered policy of interrogation using torture , and faced with Republicans who , successfully for the most part , adopted a policy of strict silence while under interrogation , the RUC and their political overlords were forced to examine other methods to ensure the imprisonment and sentencing of suspected Republicans .

As always in the Six Counties , the 'primacy' of the 'rule of law' came a distinct second to the entirely pragmatic business of using whatever methods 'necessary' to lock up Republicans . And , for their part , too , the RUC Special Branch faced other problems as well - over the years they had successfully operated a number of low-paid informants within Nationalist areas , keeping them supplied with low to high grade information , reporting the movements of known Republicans etc .

In addition , when occasionally the RUC did succeed in 'breaking' an IRA Volunteer under interrogation , he was sometimes persuaded , in return for non-prosecution by the IRA , to return to active involvement within the IRA and to pass on information on a regular basis . In one notorious incident , a North Belfast IRA Volunteer , Maurice Gilvarry , who had 'broken' and being recruited by the RUC in 1977 , passed on information about a planned IRA operation which resulted in the stake-out/assassination of several of the IRA Volunteers involved .

The IRA , however , had established an Internal Security Department * which had largely succeeded in stemmimg the flow of high-grade information and discovering leaks ....... (* '1169...' Comment - As we now know , any "stemming of information" and "leaks discovered" by that 'Internal Security Department' was done with the permission of Westminster .)