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"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, August 18, 2006

James Keegan died in Granard Garda Station last September (1986) . Earlier this month , an inquest was held in Longford to ascertain the cause of death.
The central question - how James Keegan managed to tear a blanket and hang himself within four minutes - still remains unanswered .
DEREK DUNNE reports.
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , February 1987 .

James Keegan had been hospitalised on several occasions for a heart condition and alcoholism . In September 1986 he spent three weeks in Lisdarn Hospital in Cavan for heart problems . On 25 September 1986 , he was just four days out of hospital ; on that day , he left his home , located about three miles from Granard , and went into town to collect the dole .

At around 3pm , James Keegan was seen by Ban Garda Mary Doogue outside McEvoy's Chemist shop : he went over to talk to her . She did not think he was drunk . James Keegan often talked to her when he saw her on the street . Half an hour later he climbed into a van belonging to Gerry Maguire who was delivering eggs . Maguire was afraid that James Keegan might fall in front of a car so he left him home . Later that day Keegan thumbed a lift back into Granard .

Around 10.15pm , Ban Garda Mary Doogue saw James Keegan again - this time he was standing at a corner with a bottle of stout in his hand . At 11.50pm , Garda Eugene Watters and Garda David Martin were driving in their patrol car and as they passed the Greville Arms Hotel , a man staggered out onto the road - he had a bottle of stout in his hands and , according to the Gardai , he was shouting a lot . Garda Eugene Watters arrested the man for being drunk and incapable , brought him to the Garda Barracks and handed him over to Garda John Boyle , who was the Station Orderly for the night.......


There is a crisis among the Gardai in Kerry and it is much deeper than one of morale . For years the Kerry Detective force has enjoyed a free hand in dealing with Section 30 cases in this heavily Republican county .
But the free rein given in these cases has had the inevitably corrupting effect . Now individual Gardai are being fingered for conduct that most of them had taken for normal : the heat is now on . Only the fall-guys remain to be named .......
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , February 1985 .

James Sheehan was handcuffed and dragged by the hair to another room in Tralee Garda Station , where the questioning continued . Shortly afterwards , a senior detective came into the room and , seeing the wound on Sheehan's hand , decided he needed stitches . Sheehan was brought , still handcuffed , to the hospital where he received three sets of stitches to his hand , and was then returned to the Garda Barracks in Tralee : he signed nothing and was released after 24 hours .

In the same year (1982) , another Irish Republican , Gerald Shea , was brought to Tralee Garda Barracks and he too managed to have an altercation with a window (!) in an upper-floor room of the building . Gerald Shea required a dozen stitches .

Mick Day was arrested under Section 30 in the summer of 1981 , in the Cahirciveen area of Kerry . He was taken to the local Garda station where he spent an hour before being taken all the way to Killarney : there , he alleges , he was subjected to severe brutality which was way beyond the 'norm' . Local Republicans estimate it as the worst beating since the 1970's . Mick Day signed nothing and was released after 48 hours . Two days later , he was admitted to hospital where he spent a week .
Next - 'THE AOH CASE.......'

From 'NEW HIBERNIA' magazine , March 1987 .

It is decided that I will go out with Peter and Anna and drive around the city looking for the people who are sleeping rough . Peter is the boss for the night - he is a tall , friendly Franciscan Brother living in Leopardstown , Dublin , while Anna is a warm and jolly person who works in a solicitor's office . They know exactly where to go , as word gets around very easily .

The people that sleep rough in Dublin are mainly very private people - very few of them will go into the shelter for the night as some of them stay away because they have drink problems , whilst others have serious psychiatric issues . It takes a great deal of time and patience to make friends with them and win over their confidence . Most of them have been on the streets for years , and anybody familiar with Dublin at all would recognise the faces .

Seeing them curled up like little babies and covered over with blankets in a doorway can be somewhat depressing , especially if it is 1.00 am and almost below freezing point.......