" 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...!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

In this article we are attempting to show that there is substantial evidence of a great deal of collusion between individual Gardai in the presentation of their evidence , notably in their statements in the Book of Evidence and that this suggests strongly that there was in fact a conspiracy among some Gardai to commit perjury ie to subvert the course of justice .

We further seek to show that at no stage did the Gardai or any other authority attempt to investigate these matters , in spite of the persuasive nature of the evidence involved . And we seek to show that those recommendations to ensure that these abuses could not happen again have been entirely ignored by successive Dublin governments . The case raises the most serious questions about the character of the Garda Siochana , especially the failure to hold any investigation into the affair.

Of course there are serious inferences in respect of the courts - the (State) Special Criminal Court , the (State) Court of Criminal Appeal and even the (State) Supreme Court - as well . All these courts failed to come to grips with essential evidence in the case , notably the extraordinary circumstances whereby the accused persons were remanded into Garda custody having been charged in the (State) District Court on the evening of April 7 , 1976 : it was that remand which created the sceanario whereby the Gardai could claim that the injuries suffered by the accused were mutually inflicted.......

(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 - " Quentin Thomas and Stephen Leach , from British Intelligence , were , in my view , always the two people who had invented decommissioning , and effectively gave the weapon to John Major as a plausible reason why he shouldn't involve himself in negotiations with (P) Sinn Fein . And the agenda , obviously , was to stop negotiations and to prevent (P) Sinn Fein's participation , and to effectively rebuff the juggernaut of the Irish government , (sic) the SDLP , (P) Sinn Fein , Irish-America , supported by the international community ie - the peace process (sic) . "

" But there is also another military dimension to it , which is absolutely about people injecting an issue into the process that they knew hadn't a snowball's chance in hell of ever succeeding *. Because the very people who invented the decommissioning issue knew the mindset of the (P) IRA better than anyone else in the equation . And while it had both a military and a political objective in preventing negotiations taking place , it was always my view that this was an issue about dividing republicans (sic - McGuinness was referring to fellow constitutional nationalists , as he lost the right to speak on behalf of republicans in 1986 : * .....but succeed it did , with the same Martin McGuinness leading the charge for the PIRA to decommission !) and causing confusion . "

While there is no doubt that no precondition exists in the agreement* (*the 1998 Stormont Treaty) requiring (P) Sinn Fein to achieve (P)IRA decommissioning in advance of being admitted to the Stormont Executive , there is , however , a difficulty in that some process of decommissioning is envisaged . The (P) IRA has said , unambiguously , there will be no decommissioning - ever ! ('1169...' Comment - the PIRA has , since then , not only decommissioned its arms and munitions, but also its mindset of active opposition to British interference in Irish affairs . They now implement British policy on this isle as Michael Collins , amongst others , did , before them . It remains to be seen if they will get the same 'reward' as Collins did ).......

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 .

Immediately after the 1975 feud between the Officials and the Provisionals , sweeping changes were brought in to bring the Official organisation in the North of Ireland fully into line with their more 'moderate' comrades in the South of the country . 'Militants' within the ranks were condemned at the Ard Fheis (the annual conference) in January 1976 , and a decision was taken to set up the 'Irish Democratic Youth Movement' (IDYM) as a replacement for Na Fianna Eireann , considered to be the IRA's youth movement . Billy McMillen had taken a great personal interest in the development of the Fianna , and they had remained committed to his brand of socialist thinking .

The 'IDYM' was carefully vetted by the leadership of the Officials and never really got off the ground : in one move, the Officials in effect wiped out their own youth wing in the name of ideological conformity . In the North , the members were told to prepare themselves for "... a period in the wilderness.. " while attention was focussed on building up the political wing in the South .

The new mood was embodied in the name changes and the publication of 'The Irish Industrial Revolution' , a thoroughly confused document which reflected the end of the Officials' anti-imperialism and their emergence into the arena of social democratic reformism . Seamus Lynch portrays the new image of the Workers' Party - more 'working-class-kid-made-good' than explicity middle-class : he had earned the respect of those once considered his main enemies . Gerry Fitt has recently listed seeing Seamus Lynch's future political success among his remaining ambitions....... !