" 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!

Monday, September 25, 2006

From 'New Hibernia' magazine , April 1987.

No , no regrets . Nor none belonging to me . No anniversaries . Ireland has had more than her fair share of the past . No expecting her to think of the future . Let her catch up with the present . Happenings , not dates , are important in life .

Whenever anybody asked Aunt Molly to buy a Sweepstakes ticket , she'd cluck her tongue and look reproachfully at Uncle Jack , or in his general direction . Mention some fella like the adenoidal compere , Bart Bastable , or tell a story about a winning ticket being flogged by Lucky Coady's , and me poor uncle's name was taken in vain . Lost mass , he did . Always lost mass . Uncle Jack must have lost more mass than Martin Luther!

Aunt Molly used to say - " Don't talk to me about your Uncle Jack ! He's as useful as a hole in a bucket . He'd take a sieve to a well . Like Larry McHale's dog he'd walk a step of the road with anyone . And he never meets anybody but beggars . If he went out with a gypsy he'd come back with a tinker . Never knew anybody but dossers and tramps . 'Molly' , he'd say to me , ' I was in a fella's company tonight and honest to God , how he's not on the stage ! Such gas ! You'd have paid to hear him . An honour to buy him a drink .' " And of course Uncle Jack did . Buy the drink , that is.......

Allegations of Garda brutality only hit the headlines intermittently . But the problem may be much more widespread than most people imagine . Last year out-of-court settlements of cases involving members of the Garda cost the taxpayer over €1 million . What's going on ?
From 'MAGILL' magazine , April 2003 .
By Mairead Carey.

Dublin North-Central competes for its place at the top of the complaints league with Dublin South Central , which includes Pearse Street , Kevin Street and Donnybrook Garda Stations . Until this year (ie 2003) the Garda Complaints Board compiled statistics to show complaints per head of population . The two Dublin central divisions 'won' hands down ! In 2000 , Dublin North Central had 27.6 complaints per 10,000 people compared to 1.5 in Waterford/Kilkenny .

Less than one per cent of all complaints to the Garda Complaints Board , according to its last report , resulted in a criminal prosecution , although the figures will show an increase this year as a result of the May Day riots: seven gardai are facing charges as a result of clashes with protesters .

In 2001 , almost 200 complaints were passed on to the (State) Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) but because of delays in processing the complaints the vast majority were never acted upon . Summary prosecutions must commence within six months of the date of the offence . Even the Garda Complaints Board itself admits that increasingly it is failing to provide completed investigation files to the DPP within the time limit . In its latest report it acknowledged that "...in these circumstances the right of the DPP to consider whether a member of the Garda Siochana should be prosecuted arising from a complaint has effectively been removed . The situation cannot be regarded as satisfactory....... "

James Gogartys Tribunal reminiscences about the shooting dead of a Garda colleague have resurrected a long-lost story of justice miscarried .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1999 .

Harry White dived through a window into the night and shot his way through a garda cordon : hit twice in the leg , he collapsed in a clump of whins half-a-mile from the house . For two cold October nights he lay wounded under the stars . (Free State) Soldiers scoured the area ; a sympathrtic soldier found him , fed him , got him to shelter and finally escorted him by bicycle to Dublin .

It was October 1946 before Harry White was finally captured on a lonely mountain farm on the Derry side of the Sperrins . Four days later , he was 'released' from Crumlin Road Jail , bundled into an RUC car and driven to a bridge on the Armagh-Monaghan road : a Garda car stopped on the other side , and he was bundled across the border without the slightest pretence of judicial process .

Six weeks later , at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin , he was sentenced to death . Sean McBride was defence counsel . Under cross-examination , a detective admitted he and his companions had fired on three men in the passageway . Of thirty to forty bullets fired in the lane , only two were ever produced - neither of those was the bullet that killed State Detective Mordaunt . Instead , a pathologist claimed that the hole in Mordaunt's skull was too small to have been made by a shot from any of the Gardai's .45 revolvers , despite the fact there was evidence some had weapons of smaller calibre . Evidence was produced that Garda fire had hit targets well away from the lane.......