" 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.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Tuesday, February 07, 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 .

Throughout the 1950's , the Dublin Council of Trade Unions and its rival organisation , the Dublin Trades' Union Council , were active on social issues , particularly unemployment , price increases and the provision of free public transport for pensioners . Various attempts to mount joint actions were fruitless until 1955 , when a combined James Connolly Commemoration was organised .

Congress re-united in 1959 but , due to various difficulties , it was'nt until 1960 that the two Dublin Trade Union Councils merged ; the new constitution of the ICTU severely restricted the role of trades' councils in the sphere of industrial relations and inter-union disputes . Correspondingly , the DCTU expanded its activities into an increasingly agitiational role and during the 1960's it played a prominent part in the campaigns of the Dublin Housing Action Committee . Demonstrations were also organised against EEC entry and for the retention of proportional representation .

When the North of Ireland erupted in 1969 the DCTU adopted a position supportive of the Civil Rights movement and when internment was introduced they opened a fund for internees' dependants . At this time , links between the DCTU and the Belfast Council were strengthened ; since 1969 , the DCTU has consistently adopted motions in support of the Nationalist people - it supported the 1981 H-Block hunger-strike and is currently active in the anti-strip-searches campaign .......

(MORE LATER).



BLOODY SUNDAY.......
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 .

British 'Lord' Widgery heard evidence from six civilians about events in the flats' courtyard - they were Father (later Bishop) Edward Daly ; Simon Winchester , a journalist then with the 'Guardian' newspaper ; Mary Bonnor , a resident of the flats ; Derrick Tucker , an Englishman living in Derry who had seen service with both the British Royal Navy and the RAF ; Joseph Doherty , an unemployed man from the Creggan Estate ; and Francis Dunne , a school-teacher , now headmaster of a large primary school . All were adamant that the British soldiers' account of gunfire was total fabrication - no shots had been fired at the paras , they had'nt had to take cover and so on .

Widgery professed himself "...entirely satisfied .. " that the British paras had come under fire and had fired back only in self-defence (!) , and that it was in these circumstances that Jackie Duddy had been shot dead and Michael Bridge , Michael Bradley , Peggy Deery , Patrick McDaid and Alana Burke wounded . Widgery stated :

" Such a conclusion is not reached by counting heads or by selecting any particular witness as truthful in preference to another . It is a conclusion gradually built up over many days * of listening to evidence and watching the demeanour of witnesses under cross-examination . " (* -three days , only !) No-where in his report does Widgery compare the two hugely conflicting stories : the reference to "...the demeanour.." of witnesses is his entire account of his process of 'reasoning' - he offers no explanation for the remarkable level of disagreement between the British soldiers .......

(MORE LATER).



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

The fourth defendant in the Stephen McWilliams informer trial , Kevin Mulgrew , then aged 24 , was acquitted , but remained in RUC custody on separate charges ; he had faced a long concerted effort by the British and their 'police force' , the RUC , to put him behind bars - arrested in 1973 and charged with the ludicrous offence of '... attempted (!) membership of the IRA .. ' , the charges were quickly dropped . In October 1976 he was again arrested and held for five months on remand on charges of carrying out a bombing but , once more , the charges were dropped .

A third time , in November 1977 , he was charged with a bombing and held for fifteen months on remand before being acquitted at his 'trial' in February 1979 . Five months later he was again arrested on the McWilliams charges , and although acquitted in March 1980 he was not released until after a third 'trial' on October 24th 1980 , in which he was acquitted of possession of a weapon with intent .

Ironically for Kevin Mulgrew , despite having faced and beaten no less than five frame-ups and spent almost three years out of seven remanded in custody , he was again to be arrested - in November 1981 - on the 'evidence' of another paid informer , Christopher Black , and held in custody , in what for him had become most definitely a process of internment by remand - indications that Black was deliberately slanting his 'schooled' 'evidence' against Kevin Mulgrew in particular , while testifying in January 1983 , in order to portray him as the prime instigator of acts of Republican resistance in North Belfast , made it certain that the RUC was determined that this time Mulgrew would not escape its clutches , and provided an insight into how the RUC cynically views the role of its informers .......

(MORE LATER).