Monday, July 31, 2006


....but hard to get going again ! We enjoyed our break in Tramore , County Waterford - too much of this , perhaps (it was , on a 'guessitmate' , between 27 and 30 degrees on most days!) , just the right amount of this and , as always , not enough of this !
This blog will be updated every Monday , Wednesday and Friday : if you have any comments please keep them to yourself . Or leave them in our 'Guestbook' !

Thank You . Sharon .

Not since the earliest days of the State has the role of the Irish Army (sic) been under such intense scrutiny . And not since the war years has it had such a forceful political master as Patrick Mark Cooney .
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , 3 February 1984 .

In the late 1970's , Paddy Cooney busied himself not making deals with Gallagher and Coyle in relation to the Herrema kidnapping and criticised both the Provisional IRA and the Official IRA as "... the two sources of subversion in Ireland * springing from a debased nationalism and a Sino-Hibernian version of the Communist Manifesto. " (* '1169...' Comment : typical freestate mindset - no mention of the British presence as a "source of subversion" on this isle .)

This was one of the first indications that the 'Red Scare' was on the way . Then , in 1976 , the British Ambassador to this State , Christopher Ewart-Biggs , was assassinated , the Fine Gael and Labour State Administration declared an Emergency and rushed through seven-day detention . Surprise , surprise , allegations of brutality against plain clothes members of the Gardai began to pop up everywhere ; newspaper reports appeared which alleged that there was in existence within the Gardai a 'Heavy Gang' , whose main function was to force self-inflicting statements from those held in custody . Calls for an Independent Complaints Tribunal were met with the usual enthusiasm .

Paddy Cooney said that those who called for adequate legal counsel and medical attention for suspects held in custody should also demand access to hairdressers , dentists and opticians if they were to be consistent . ('1169...' Comment - an arrogant , sneering and 'elitist' response from a career politician - this time a Fine Gael one - directed at those that Cooney and his type most probably view as 'worthless' . On this occasion , however , Cooney let his guard down and spoke his mind - and he was , then , commenting on "suspects" , not those actually convicted of an offence.)

In any event , 22 charges of Garda brutality were referred to the State Director of Public Prosecutions ; eight Gardai were charged , but the charges were all dismissed in court . 'Internal disciplinary action' was taken in four cases . Somewhere in there , the Sallins train was robbed and the fall-out from that one is still around.......

The unchanging face of repression .
PETER HAYES examines reactions to the latest shoot-to-kill deaths .
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983.

The British Government correctly believes that the main body of Northern Nationalist opinion is now , in the wake of the hunger-strikes and as seen partly in the Stormont Assembly elections , so totally alienated and polarised from British 'solutions' that it cannot be further polarised nor can it be wooed by velvet glove * tactics . (* ' 1169...' Comment : Westminster commenced their tried and trusted 'Plan B' scenario : 'woo' the in-coming new leadership of the 'trouble-makers/dissidents/terrorist community' ie Adams and Company and use those that have been so 'wooed' to convince their followers that a 'respectable' way forward is possible . Then finance that new leadership and relax , then remove , restrictions on them . And in Adams , McGuinness , Kelly and others , they found willing 'wooables' .)

In those circumstances the British Government believes that its present tactical interests are served by satisfying increasingly outrageous loyalist demands for 'greater security' - which means further repression of nationalists - and for more drastic methods , and by attempting to sicken and terrify nationalists with a revamped 'tough image' RUC . Westminster also no doubt hopes , foolishly , to inflict a psychological wound among Irish republican activists by creating the impression that , given an opportunity , they will be shot on sight , in an attempt to intimidate them . Yet their own analysis should perhaps best teach them of the shortcomings of such a strategy against a nationalist people that has grown up in the face of such repressive terror tactics and has been hardned and steeled by them .

The killings in Lurgan and Armagh of Irish Republican activists had emotional repercussions right across the usual spectrum of nationalist opinion in those towns , and elsewhere in the North-East of Ireland , arousing an anger that the transparently futile calls for more Widgery-like whitewash enquiries did nothing to allay.......

From 'The Phoenix' magazine , October 1985 .

In 1980 , Eoghan Harris tried to mobilise RTE producers against the mooted appointment of John Kelleher to Muiris Mac Conghail's slot as Controller of Programmes ; since then , however , Harris's star has waned inside the trade union as members have recoiled from the manipulative methods of Workers Party activists who wield a disproportionate influence inside the RTE complex .

Eoghan Harris can look back on 20 years in which he has pioneered a new intellectual and political framework for the force of ' moderninism' (or pro-imperialism , depending on your point of view) inside RTE and the Workers Party . But the Workers Party has moved away , politically if not militarily , from its obsessive secrecy - party members now seek open identification as the Workers Party now makes its bid to displace the Labour Party electorally . The methods of Harris were more geared to the infiltration of organisations : the unions , RTE , the Union of Students in Ireland and even the IDA .

Harris is an unusual phenomenon on the Irish political scene : he is an intellectual who is not an academic and a politician who does not seek public office : he is interested in political power but it is a power without responsibility or at least accountability .......