" 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!

Friday, February 03, 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 rise of Sinn Fein after 1916 caused division within the trades' council's ranks : in 1917 , the DCTU refused to participate in the Sinn Fein Convention , arguing that they would only attend a labour movement convention . William O' Brien and Thomas Farren were sent to explain the DCTU's attitude but instead stayed and made a significant contribution to the Sinn Fein conference .

Other trades' councils attacked them for this and a train of events was set in motion which eventually led to a split in March 1919 , with William O' Brien establishing the rival 'Dublin Workers' Council' . The split was a tragedy for the working class and the great possibilities that were wasted are evident by the fact that in early 1919 , the trades' council won support from Dail Eireann for the advanced 'Democratic Programme' .

The split continued until the late 1920's and the two sides were not reconciled until 1928 ; by this stage the differences had become irrelevant in the face of a 'successful' employers' onslaught and a decline in the number of union members : the re-united council affiliated itself to the Irish Trade Union Congress (ITUC) and the Labour Party , but by 1930 the political and industrial wings of the labour movement voluntarily parted .......


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 .

Channel 4 television and Don Mullan separately presented expert evidence from the post-mortem results that at least three of the victims had been shot from a height and not from ground level ; Widgery also rejected an offer of evidence from former Derry Mayor Dr. Raymond McClean , who had pronounced four of the victims dead in the Bogside and attended all 13 post-mortems at Altnagelvin Hospital - he would have given his opinion that at least one and possibly two others had been shot from high above .

Widgery completed his 'mission' with remarkable dispatch ; the hearing of evidence and legal submissions was completed in under 100 hours , spread over 17 days between 21 February and 14 March 1972 : he 'heard' 114 witnesses - 37 people from Derry , including 7 priests , 21 journalists/photographers , 5 named and 35 un-named British soldiers , 8 RUC members , 6 doctors or forensic experts and two other civilians , including British 'Lord' Fenner Brockway , one of the scheduled speakers at the intended Guildhall Square rally .

Widgery delivered his report to British Home Secretary Reginald Maulding on 10 April 1972 ; it was published on 18 April 1972 - 71 days after the incident under investigation . It runs to 39 pages . All this can be taken as indicating a cavalier approach to his task by a man who , far from high-mindedly seeking out the truth , regarded himself as being on a political mission and had his mind already made up how best to accomplish the objective .......


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

The IRA pointed out (see AP/RN January 28 1982) that although informer Christopher Black's 'evidence' had a dramatic effect in terms of the number of Nationalists he was prepared to testify against , a year or two earlier he would have been told to report back to the IRA and subsequently to pass on information over a long period of time that might eventually have caused considerably more damage .

The IRA January 1982 amnesty , therefore , despite its timimg , was not , as media pundits speculated , a hurried response to a 'new breed' of informers , of which Black was the first , but had been decided on prior to Black's arrest to obviate the unfortunate necessity of dealing harshly with informers * remaining at large within the Nationalist community . (* '1169...' Comment : the Provisionals have now put themselves in a position where they are unable to "deal harshly with informers" as to do so would upset their new-found 'friends' in Leinster House and Westminster , not to mention their 'wanna-be' 'friends' in the Loyalist groups : in short , how they run their 'campaign' is being dictated to them by anti-Republican elements.)

Notwithstanding , therefore , the serious new use to which informers , from Black onwards , were being put , the increasing effectiveness of the IRA's internal security procedures had heavily reduced the ability of the RUC's Special Branch to operate high-grade informers secretly within the nationalist community , (sic- see above link) as they had done previously , in some cases for years ('1169...' Comment - and as they are obviously still doing).......