" 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!

Monday, March 06, 2006

From 'AP/RN' , August 10th , 1989 .
(No 'By-Line')

For most of the life of the 26-County State one party has completely dominated politics there : it has held office for a total of over 40 years and has never lost two elections in a row and , on two occasions , it ruled for a 16 year stretch . For most of its existence the party and the State were dominated , and even formed , by the ideas of one man : the man was Eamon de Valera and the party was Fianna Fail .

The history of Fianna Fail is divided into two distinct eras : the first saw its emergence as the political creation of de Valera and its rise to power with the overwhelming support of workers and small farmers on a Republican platform - through consummate political skill de Valera used the populism of his party to create a machine built for winning elections and guaranteeing that Fianna Fail would remain the only party capable of forming a government on its own ; like all such groups and political leaders which use populism to rise to power Fianna Fail , once power was achieved and consolidated , betrayed those who had given it birth ('1169.....' Comment - sounds familiar) .

The conservatism of de Valera himself , and the big business and big farmer interests who backed Fianna Fail as soon as they felt it safe to do so , combined to make the party a right-wing force which ultimately held back progress towards both national and social freedom : the great advantage on its side was that it managed to retain broad popular support at election after election ('1169 ....' Comment - again : sounds familiar) - central to that success was Fianna Fail's attitude to the national question .......

ByMartin Calligan.
(No year of publication.)

There's a sacred spot in Dublin
It's a place called Arbour Hill ,
Where sleeps our noble Martyrs ,
Their message rings out still .

To you their message calling ,
As called that Easter day ,
When they flew the flag of Freedom
And proclaimed the IRA .

They march , these men , in Dublin -
And for Ireland struck a blow ,
They raised the flag of Freedom
O'er Dublin's G.P.O.

Traitors tried to sell that Cause ;
Traitors they may be ,
But Connolly had one in mind ,
Old Ireland's Liberty -
They followed Tone and Emmet
And faced a Martyr's grave ,
That you may take their message
If our Nation we must save .

Six counties subjected
Are held by England still -
Wake up and show devotion
For the men of Arbour Hill !
(Tomorrow : '1913 - 75 YEARS AFTER THE LOCK-OUT' . From 1988)

A poem by Thomas Kinsella , written after Bloody Sunday .
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983 .

Your democracy insists you must'nt talk with terrorists !
White and yellow , black and blue ,
have learnt their history from you :
divide and ruin , muddle through - not principled , but politic .

In strength , perfidious ; weak , a trick
to make good men a trifle sick -
we speak in wounds : behold , this mess ;
my curse upon your politesse .

Another ghost stood forth , and wet
dead lips that had not spoken yet :
" My curse on the cunning and the bland ,
on gentlemen who loot a land -
they do not care to understand -who keep the natives on their paws
with ready lash and rotten laws .

Then if the beasts erupt in rage
give them a slightly larger cage -
and , in scorn and fear combined ,
turn them against their own kind .