" 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, August 09, 2006

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 .

Externally , there is little doubt that the move to involve this country (sic) with NATO or at least with an evolving European Defence Union is going on apace . Although Paddy Cooney has stated that it is the policy of Leinster House not to be allied militarily to any particular alliance , he regards this policy as one of expediency rather than principle -

" It is quite clear that though some commentators would see our neutrality as a matter of high principle , the majority of people and the historical evidence would suggest that it is a matter of expediency . It suits us to be militarily neutral . Our territory is not required or desired as a base by the Western alliance and we are in the happy position that , being ideologically and geographically allied to the Western block , we can confidently rely on it to protect our territory * should any state or combination of states hostile to the Western world threaten it . " ( * '1169...' Comment - Like Mr. Cooney and his small-minded colleagues in Leinster House , this "Western block" ignores the on-going "threat....to our territory.." from Westminster.)

Mr. Cooney continued : " Our economic , political and cultural interests lie very definitely with the Western world . This is entirely consistent with our historical stance and it is apposite to recall that during the emergency our neutrality was biased in favour of the Allies . " ('1169...' Comment - Apart from the very notion that politicians could be "...entirely consistent.." , there's this - "...our neutrality was biased in favour of the Allies .." - what hypocrisy ! Oscar Wilde probably had politicians in mind when he stated - " I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying ." )


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 .

The Hutchinson Case :
Liam Hutchinson was an emigre Kerryman who had spent 19 years in England . On Valentine's night in 1979 , he was approached by a Garda while looking into a shop window on his way home . The Garda engaged him in casual conversation - said he did'nt know him but had seen him about etc , and invited him to the Garda Station for 'a bit of a chat ' . It was 11.00 PM . Liam Hutchinson was surprised but , not wishing to be offensive , agreed .

On reaching the Garda Station , it became clear that the main topic of conversation was to be Hutchinson's hair and beard (both long) , his style of clothing and the possibility therefore that he might use drugs ! Liam Hutchinson took exception to these attitudes and made clear his desire to leave whereupon , he alleges , he received 'the mother and father of a beating ' . In fact , he alleges , he received a number of beatings in the course of the night involving at least six Gardai : in the morning he was charged with being drunk and disorderly !

But Hutchinson had at least ten years experience in England as a trade-union negotiator and knew his rights ; further , he was determined to see justice done . What happened subsequently was an astonishing series of adjournments at District Court level , concerning which Liam Hutchinson is deeply suspicious : on at least a dozen occasions , the Gardai applied for adjournments . Through an 'odd' conjunction of events , Hutchinson ended up missing the day of his trial - his solicitor then applied for an adjournment but was refused , and Hutchinson was found guilty in absentia and fined £2.00 .

But he would'nt leave it at that.......

From 'NEW HIBERNIA' magazine , March 1987 .

A worn wooden stairs leads up to a small landing area adjoining the kitchen , which is probably the homeliest place in the whole building. It is the only room that is heated . Rows of tables and benches , probably belonging to the former occupants , line the dining area . A handful of people sit around , talking and arguing . One or two sit alone . There is always a smell of food cooking .

The building itself is a fairly large one : at any one time there are fifty beds available , but not everyone who arrives to the shelter will get one - first come , first served . Some of them are quite content to sit around the kitchen/dining area all night . Simon is a popular shelter for Dublin's homeless people - it is free , you get three meals a day and they will even help you get resettled in a flat if they can .

Most of the other shelters in Dublin charge anything from 70 pence to £3.00 per night , which is a lot of money if you are fond of a 'few drops' . The hostel , however , only caters for people over the age of forty - it would be virtually impossible to have it any other way , even though it is hard to categorise the type of person that stays there : some have chronic drink problems , others have psychiatric problems and some are homeless because of domestic and financial reasons . One man , 'Tony' , the one who could take on ten Gerry Fulham's 'once upon a time' , has been with the Simon Community for almost five years - he drinks a lot and is fond of meeting his old friends . He prefers the old hostel down on Sarsfield Quay for the simple reason that if one got drunk down in that area , one of the locals would help you back to the hostel.......