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).......