" 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 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Friday, September 29, 2006

LOTTERIES AND OTHER HOLD-UPS .......
From 'New Hibernia' magazine , April 1987.

The bank robbing was a bone of contention with all the relations : going out with the late Joe McGrath and Jack O' Sheehan to collect donations at the point of a revolver , and leaving some bank manager with a receipt signed by either de Valera or Michael Collins on behalf of the Irish Republic - ' When the country takes her place amongst the nations of the earth , then , and not till then , will you get your money...'

Jack could rob a bank as well as McGrath or O' Sheehan , but he didn't have the same head for business : Aunt Molly used to rock with laughter to recall the time four of them , McGrath , O' Sheehan , Archie Doyle and Uncle Jack , rolled up to rob a money shop in Dame Street in Dublin . Jack had been told to 'commander' a car , and the only one in Westmoreland Street that day was owned by a chap who said he would get the sack if the IRA took his motor .

" Well , " says Aunt Molly , " yeh know the soft touch yer uncle was . Good for any ould sob story . Lets yer man get away , so as he wouldn't lose his job , do ya understand ? In those days automobiles in Dublin were as rare as Christians in Belfast . What does he do ? Yer Uncle Jack ? What does he do ? He orders a cab ! Joe McGrath was fit to be tied . Couldn't believe it . Nobody in the history of the trade had ever hired a taxi to rob a bank . McGrath told yer Uncle Jack that he should have shot the other fella , that it would serve him right for not donating the loan of his car to the Cause . Joe always thought that people who didn't want to be free would be better off dead . "

And God knows , patriots haven't changed a great deal.......
(MORE LATER).



THE HEAVY HAND OF THE LAW .......
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.

Robbie Dawson (25) was brought to a room in Buswell's Hotel to be examined by a doctor : " A doctor took drawings of the bruises on my leg . They went from my knee to my hip . He wasn't impressed , let me tell you , " said Robbie . The report from the CPT was sent to Leinster House in December - they have been asked to respond to it within six months . Whether it is ever published is entirely within the discretion of Leinster House .

Michael McDowell says he has had "...a quick look.." at the report . " A number of things struck me , but I am not going to comment on them at this stage , " he says . He expects to bring the report to (the Free State) Cabinet between Easter and the summer recess . " The number of claims for damages against the Garda is not an insignificant problem by any means . It is pointless denying that there have been assaults . Gardai in executing the law have to act within it , that is a fundamental proposition . If you can't accept that you should not be in the force at all . "

Fr. Peter McVerry doesn't think "...that every garda is bashing up suspects in stations . But where it does happen , it's not seen as significant . Sadly , there is a culture of silence in the force . Other gardai are not going to rat on their fellow officers . May Day showed that there is a strong sense that the garda no longer see themselves as accountable . "

Grainne Walsh (scroll to Comment #18) feels "...braver.." for the action she took against the gardai - " I always remember when I was at school there was a guy in the class who was bullied . I never did anything about it . I was too scared myself . It is something I will always regret . I can't just turn a blind eye anymore . "
[END of 'THE HEAVY HAND OF THE LAW']
(Next - 'PASSPORTS , PLEASE' : from 1999)


THE YOUNGER BREED : TONY GREGORY .
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , February 1985 .

The collapse of C.J. Haughey's Administration in November 1982 was about the worst thing that could have happened to Tony Gregory : barely eight months as a TD (sic - he was then , and remains to this day , a member of the Leinster House partitionist assembly) he was wielding more power than anyone would have believed possible before the election the previous February .

For several years , Gregory and a closely-knit team of inner-city activists had been cultivating a political base ; the issues were stark - massive social problems , compounded by official disinterest .

Back in November 1979 , a local community worker , Fergus McCabe , had been jailed following a housing protest in Gardiner Street , Dublin : at that time , street protests were about the only way of highlighting issues . But Tony Gregory's election in February 1982 changed all that - even if only for a while . He just about scraped in on the fifth count on transfers from Workers Party candidate Michael White , in the Dublin Central constituency.......
(MORE LATER).