" 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, October 25, 2006

From 'Phoenix' magazine , April 1986 .

Michael O' Leary's credibility problem would , of course linger on , even in the PD's. But what are his options? Recent opinion polls have confirmed the message of last year's local elections - that there is no longer a Fine Gael seat in Dublin South West - and he has long since worn out the guarded welcome he received from the local Fine Gael Party organisation .

Unless he gambles on another double departure , the seventh and final age of Michael O' Leary could well be , as one colleague in the bar library put it - "...second childishness and mere oblivion.." : sans teeth , sans balls , and , worst of all , sans a seat in Leinster House !
(Next- 'The Seeds Of A Police State' : from 1983)

(Martin McGuinness , left , with Henry Kissinger , as usual , on the right ...)

All (P)Sinn Fein leaders have a series of mantras and mini-speeches which they seek to get into every interview , regardless of the question .
The task of the journalist is to avoid setting off these reflex responses : the problem with Martin McGuinness is that he does it so pleasantly that it seems impolite to interrupt him .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1999 .
By John Waters .

Martin McGuinness stated re Bertie Ahern's interview in a British newspaper - " Some people put his Sunday Times interview down to the fact that a vote on the determination was being taken and David Trimble was in difficulty and the feeling was that some of his people were going to jump ship . And some people believe that it was all part of Bertie's way of doing things . It certainly confused a lot of people . But I have spoken to the Taoiseach* , and he has told me - and I have no reason to disbelieve him - that he is rock solid behind the Good Friday Agreement and is not interested in rewriting it or renegotiating it ." (* '1169...' Comment : Wow! Martin can get an audience with 'the Taoiseach' ! One knows one has 'arrived' when that happens...)

All of which is perfectly sweet and reasonable . But later in the interview , in response to a different question , when McGuinness poses questions about what he perceives as the renewed opposition to (P) Sinn Fein from various quarters in Dublin , there is no sense that he is excluding from his criticisms the present leadership of Fianna Fail .

Place that beside the fact that he never mentions the former Fianna Fail leader , Albert Reynolds , without pressing his 'most-courageous-Taoiseach-since-the-foundation-of-the-State' button , and you have at least an interesting question about the subtext to present relationships within the 'pan-nationalist alliance' . ('1169...' Comment : such an 'alliance' was always on offer to Republicans - what was asked in return was that they abandon Republicanism and place their faith in constitutionalism . de Valera did so , as did MacGiolla and Adams . But not all can be bought. ).......

EDDIE ROONEY looks at the transformation of the Official Republican movement from a revolutionary organisation run by its military wing to a social democratic electoral party .
From 'Fortnight' magazine , 1983 .

In the heart of Belfast's Lower Falls , the Cyprus Street club is one of the few remaining buildings in a redevelopment wasteland : it used to be the Headquarters of the Official IRA's Northern Command and of its political wing , the 'Republican Clubs'.

It now houses the Lower Falls branch of the Workers Party - the club is one of the last relics of the Official Republican Movement , which has 'evolved' , through intermediate name changes , into 'The Workers Party' . On the wall beside the door to the main hall there is a mural portraying an armed man in silhouette flanked by the words ' Army Of The People' . On the far wall , an image of James Connolly overlooks a quote : ' The cause of Ireland is the cause of Labour ; the cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland'. Such nationalist and militarist sentiments are a long way from the public image currently being projected by the leaders of The Workers Party .

Yet it is from nationalist working-class areas such as the Lower Falls that 'The Workers Party' draws most of its membership - many have been associated with the 'Officials' for more than a decade , and many have seen the inside of prisons as a result of their political activities . These members are truly the party faithful , remaining loyal* through a period which has seen significant changes in the character of their movement's aims and strategy ( '1169...' Comment - * In other words , they followed [ "remained loyal "] to the man , not the Cause) .......