" 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, August 11, 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 .

As well as Mr. Paddy Cooney , there are many others in Fine Gael , and of course in the (State) Army , who would like to see this country (sic) tied into NATO : Paddy Cooney has not gone that far yet , but his performance over Poppy Day last November showed that he is determined to impose his political will on the perceived role and involvement of the (State) Army with one particular member of NATO ; when a group of high-ranking former (State) Army Officers came out publicly against the parading of State troops to the Union Jack flag , Generalissimo Paddy Cooney chose to dismiss their objections as "...the bigoted reaction of a coterie of retired army officers..." !

That "...coterie.." in fact included such 'stars' in the Pantheon of Irish (FS) Army 'greats' as Lt-Gen. Sean MacEoin and Lt-Gen. Costello , and it can hardly be forgotten that the Commander-In-Chief of the (State) Army , (FS) President Patrick Hillery , similarly declined to participate in the ceremony a year earlier .

Paddy Cooney's insistence on the Poppy Day turn-out split the (FS) Army right down the middle and it is not without significance that the new (FS) Chief-Of-Staff , Gerry O' Sullivan , was foremost among those who answered the call to attention in St. Patrick's Cathedral on Poppy Day in November 1983 . Slowly , very slowly , the (State) Army is assuming an ever-increasing role in the maintenance of 'law and order' in this State.......


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 .

Liam Hutchinson was not pleased with the outcome of his court case , and an appeal was lodged immediately . Once more , adjournment followed adjournment . Eventually , Hutchinson approached both Bench and media in open court and , suggesting that his day in court was long overdue , requested that a date be fixed . That same day he was charged by the Gardai with assault !

However - at the Circuit Court , a Dr. Spring gave evidence that Liam Hutchinson's injuries were not consistent with his being restrained , which was the Garda case - another doctor gave evidence that he had not been drunk , as claimed by the Gardai . It took the jury five minutes to decide that Hutchinson was right and six Gardai wrong : the conviction was quashed .

Would he take a civil action ? No chance ! It had taken Liam Hutchinson two years , at least 30 court appearances (with consequent loss of wages ) and £600 in straight legal fees to get that far . End of story as far as Liam was concerned . The next case involving Kerry Garda is to do with a State Minister for Justice , a car crash and the transfer of two Garda Superintendents.......

From 'NEW HIBERNIA' magazine , March 1987 .

The staff in the hostel are about the friendliest bunch of people you are likely to meet : they make all the residents feel welcome and work tirelessly day in , day out for the homeless of Dublin . They all have an enormous sense of humour and indeed they would want to , judging by some of the 'carry-on' of the residents . They get a meagre £28 per week (about €35) and they are not entitled to any form of social welfare , and the hours are long - working three days on and two days off .

All in all there are nine full-time workers , who all sleep in one small cramped room that doubles also as a store for medical supplies , and which is painted in an overpowering red and black . A long strip spanning the length of one wall bears the words ' Sex and drugs and country and western .' In addition to the full-time staff there are part-time voluntary staff , or co-workers as they are known : these will ensure that the full-time workers get their well deserved break and that the hostel will be staffed 24 hours a day - most co-workers have their own nine-to-five jobs as well .

As 7.00pm draws nearer the smell of roast meat wafts through the cold corridors . Tonight it is roast beef , boiled potatoes and mashed carrots with parsnips . The beef is intervention beef and Simon are absolutely delighted to get it . At this stage most of the people who will get beds have arrived back to the shelter - indeed , some of them never even left it that morning . They have a rule that if you leave it in the morning you can't come back until 6.30pm . The ones that do leave are very often the people who will go off and get drunk for the day and then arrive back in time for dinner and of course a bed.......