" 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!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Updated each Monday , Wednesday and Friday . The '1169...' crew will be heading off on our annual holiday today , July 14th , for about two weeks . 'Junior' considers himself "too old" to accompany old fogies like us but , if he finds time for the computer at all , it will be on 'Bebo/My Space' or the like . So whatever chance there is of him minding the house , there is absolutely no chance of him 'minding' the blog ! We should be back in late July , or possibly sooner - depends on the funds!

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 .

Whilst Paddy Cooney was away representing the Dublin Administration at the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the wonderful State of Turkey , three of the enfants terribles helicoptered their way out of Mountjoy Prison in Dublin : this set a trend , and British agent Kenneth Littlejohn was the next to leave , followed by 19 more from Portlaoise Jail . Was it any surprise that a 'soft blanket' of paranoia seemed to settle over the State Coalition Administration ?

Organisations like Prisoners Dependents groups and Civil Rights organisations were accused of being fronts for the Provisional IRA : a hunger-strike in Mountjoy Jail 'merited' Free State troops being sent in . In 1975 , the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill was introduced and Paddy Cooney described as "...a fluke in our extradition laws.." the exemption from extradition for political offences : it should be noted that in 1977 , when Mr. Cooney failed to get re-elected , he described this as "...an electoral fluke.. " !

In the late 1970's , Paddy Cooney met members of the UDA in what he described as "...in a casual way.." and talked to British 'Northern Ireland' (sic) Secretary Merlyn Rees about the deployment of SAS units in South Armagh.......

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

It needs to be said at this stage , although it is a commonplace for Northern Nationalists , that the British shoot-to-kill tactic is nothing new in the arsenal of British repression in the Six Counties , and that - although it has been an on-going tactic at one level or another throughout the whole course of the present resistance in the North of Ireland - it is , like sectarian assassination campaigns run by British forces and their paramilitary puppets in Ireland , a 'tap' that can be turned on and off to suit British and loyalist needs in particular political situations .

Bloody Sunday in 1972 , when British strategists tried unsuccessfully to 'draw out' the IRA and teach civil rights protestors a sharp and brutal lesson in the process , provides one major illustration of this . Nothing fundamentally has changed since this , except perhaps that the British are generally prepared to let loyalist killer gangs carry out random attacks on Catholic civilians , while themselves preferring to engage in specific political assassinations against Irish Republican activists .

Even so , it has generally been the role of the SAS - as seen particularly in the South Armagh area during 1975 and 1976 when they assassinated IRA Volunteers John Green and Peter Cleary and , mistakenly for a Republican , Seamus Ludlow - to carry out covert killings with few or no questions asked , rather than regular British soldiers or the RUC : what has altered then is the political circumstances.......

From 'The Phoenix' magazine , October 1985 .

The Workers Party embraced Eoghan Harris and his 'marxist' policies , hungry as they were for political 'clothes' that would mark them off from the Provos and the Communist Party of Ireland and which would also enable them to replace a jaded (State) Labour Party in the future . Such feverish activity with great matters of State were beginning to cause problems in RTE : Harris was often away 'ill' or , more recently , on sabbatical leave . Last year (1984) an enraged senior executive attempted to remove Eoghan Harris from the payroll because he was not working on any project . Other less flamboyant programmers resent a man they see as a talented yet dilettante producer who can wander in and out of the station as he pleases !

Harris is currently working as a producer on the 'Mailbag' television programme , which hardly exercises his mind to the full...

Something that has not damaged Harris within RTE , however , has been his close relationship with Muiris Mac Conghail , now Controller of RTE 1 television and aspirant RTE Director General ; Harris and other Workers Party members moved a motion at the FWUI station-branch backing Mac Conghail in his tussle with RTE Authority Chairman Fred O 'Donovan earlier this year , but the move backfired when other producers objected to the Director General race being turned into a political football.......

Holidays tomorrow , Saturday 15th July : we will be back in '1169 Towers' towards the end of July . However , having said that , I am reminded of an Oscar Wilde quote : " There is a fatality about all good resolutions . They are invariably made too soon . " Slan go foill anois , and remember : Ni Seoinini sinn go leir ! Sharon and crew .