" 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 15, 2006

This article is based on a lecture delivered by Sean O Bradaigh in Dublin on January 21 , 1989 , marking the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the First (All-Ireland) Dail Eireann in the Mansion House on January 21 , 1919 , and the links between Irish and French Republicans - 'Partners in Revolution' 200 years ago .
Published in 1989 by Sean Lynch , Cleenrath , Aughnacliffe , County Longford , on behalf of the County Longford Branch of the National Graves Association .
By Sean O Bradaigh .
Liberte ! Egalite ! Fraternite ! Ou La Mort ! ( (Freedom ! Equality ! Brotherhood ! or Death!).
Unite Indivisibilite De La Republique !

When the French Revolution happened , prayers of thanksgiving were offered in Belfast , songs of the French Revolution were published and the fall of the Bastille was celebrated each year . Henry Joy McCracken Junior had this to say :

" The exultation with which they hailed the downfall of civil and spiritual despotism in France in the year 1789 , affords a decisive proof of their disinterested solicitude for the universal diffusion of liberty and peace . Their joy was expressed by affectionate congratulations to the French patriots and by annual commemorations of the destruction of the Bastille , conducted with pomp and magnificence and calculated to impress in innumerable spectators a conviction of the vast importance which they attached to this glorious occurrence , and sensations of gratitude to the divine providence 'for dispersing the political clouds which has hitherto darkened our hemisphere' . "

In a memorandum to the French Government , Wolfe Tone described the Dissenters or Presbyterians as "...the most enlightened body of the nation ...enthusiastically attached to the French Revolution . The Catholics " , he added , " the great body of the nation , are in the lowest degree of ignorance and want , ready for any change , because no change can make them worse . "

From abroad , the American War of Independence inspired the freedom movement , but it was from France that the second and brightest beacon of all shone : Wolfe Tone became , in his own words , "...a diplomat , incognito , in Paris .. " . The Revolutionary Government listened to him .......

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 .

The British Public Records Act (1958) provides for a decision by the British 'Lord Chancellor' to release official papers at any time ; the current 'Lord Chancellor' , Derry Irvine , could , with the approval of Tony Blair , take an Executive Decision to order the publication forthwith of all papers relevant to Bloody Sunday . This , in itself , might go a long way towards answering the questions that must be disposed of before the relatives can put the grief of Bloody Sunday behind them .

On the other hand , publishing the papers might suggest - and a new inquiry might show clearly - why British 'Lord' Widgery averted his eyes from some of the evidence and distorted some of the rest so as knowingly to reach conclusions at variance with the truth .

The truth about Bloody Sunday , which the relatives desperately need to know , may go so deep into the heart of British politics and law as to be mortally dangerous to the authority of the State .

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

RUC Sergeant Thomas McCormick had recruited Anthony O' Doherty in 1971 as an RUC paid informer to report on Irish Republican activities , but gradually the two of them were alleged to have engaged in a series of bank and post office robberies to finance their lifestyles , eventually killing RUC Sergeant Joseph Campbell when he became suspicious . Shortly afterwards , McCormick and O' Doherty fell out , with O' Doherty being charged in 1980 and sentenced to 18 years .

British Justice Murray , however , refusing to accept O' Doherty's uncorroborated testimony at the 1982 trial , argued that : " O' Doherty has to be treated as an accomplice and it is dangerous to convict McCormick on all the offences on the evidence of O' Doherty alone . " He went on to criticise the regular visits made by the RUC to O' Doherty in jail to go over his evidence and to 'school' him in giving it .

Another problem for the RUC in subsequent informer cases was that several of those who initially 'broke' under interrogation and incriminated others , subsequently refused to give 'evidence' and retracted their original statements once either they were in jail , and freed of the RUC's isolation tactics , or , even when they had been spirited away to a hiding place in the North or in England , after they had had time to consider the enormity of their intended actions .......