" 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.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Friday, November 03, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
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 .

The purpose of this article is not to examine the conduct of the judicial system in relation to this case , it is to examine the conduct of the Gardai . This examination requires an exhaustive presentation of the background and evidence in the case and we start with the stories of the three accused persons - Osgur Breathnach , Brian McNally and Nicky Kelly .

THE STORY OF THE ARRESTS
On the 5th , 6th and 7th days of April , 1976, there were in excess of twenty persons arrested under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act , 1939 , in connection with the robbery of the Sallins mail train which had taken place on the 31st of March , 1976 : the arrests were made in Dublin , Cork , Wicklow , Limerick and Carlow .

Among those subsequently charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and with actual robbery of the mail from the Cork-Dublin train on the morning of the 31st of March , 1976, were Osgur Breathnach , Brian McNally , Michael Plunkett , John Fitzpatrick , Michael Barrett and Nicky Kelly . Four of the accused signed statements whilst in Garda custody , incriminating themselves in the robbery : Breathnach , McNally , Fitzpatrick and Kelly .

They alleged that the statements , amounting to confessions , were signed in order to stop beatings they were receiving at the hands of the Gardai . All six charged were discharged by State Justice O hUadhaigh the following December, because of the failure of the prosecution to produce a book of evidence against the accused . But the State wasn't finished yet.......
(MORE LATER).



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

DISARMING MARTIN .......
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 .

The most likely scenario is that (P) Sinn Fein will 'use its influence' to ask the (P) IRA to decommission ; the (P) IRA will refuse * - end of obligation under the agreement . The guns will then remain in the dumps , and the issue unresolved . ('1169...' Comment * - that did not happen : instead , on August 8 , 2001 , the PIRA stated that it had agreed [with the British decommissioning body] " ...to put its arms completely and verifiably beyond use.." , then , on October 23 , 2001 , the PIRA implemented the scheme agreed with that British body to put its arms beyond use ! The PSF membership were told by their own people that the Adams leadership would "use its influence" with PIRA , which would then refuse , allowing Adams and company to 'play both sides of the fence' . The PSF membership were 'sucker-punched' by their own leadership , but most of them stayed , unwilling to admit even to themselves that they had been lied to .)

To the literal eye , unless David Trimble and Co. back off , this suggests an irreconcilable dilemma which can be met only by some form of fudge . But it's not that simple , according to Martin McGuinness - " The decommissioning section of the agreement dealt with the reality of the situation , which is that we were working against a background of the non-acceptance of all of the armed groups of the decommissioning issue . Now , against that background, an agreement was made that all of the participants would try and use whatever influence they had to try and make that happen within a two-year period . And we are absolutely committed to trying to do that . In fact , I have met John De Chastelain more often than all the other parties put together * . " ( '1169...' Comment * - ...winner of 'The Puppy Most Likely To Please Its New Master' Award !)

So , what do they talk about after the initial "no way!" and "right , so... " have been dispensed with , we asked Martin ? - " What I say is what I say to you in this interview . A conflict resolution situation in my mind is about taking away the reasons why people feel they have to fight * ....... " ('1169 ...' Comment * - those "reasons" do not include the 'objective' of obtaining 'better' civil rights and financial crumbs from a 'bad master' .)
(MORE LATER).



GUNS TO BREAD AND BUTTER .......
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 .

The Alliance Party appreciates the healthy trasfer of votes received from Workers' Party candidates : in 1974 , the Officials (WP/OIRA) described The Alliance Party as a "...bunch of political vagabonds....based on middle-class venality and cowardice.." . More recently , the Officials have complimented The Alliance Party on their "...progressive.." stand and their commitment to "...democracy.." !

The quest for 'political respectabilty' and the obsessive hatred for the Provisionals have led the Workers' Party into embarrassing situations . ('1169....' Comment - ....and that same quest has had that effect on the Provisionals - not only are they taking salaries and expenses from the State 'establishment' and from Westminster , but they see it as a badge of honour to be photographed on stage with the likes of Henry Kissinger !) Although they had been at the forefront of the original campaign for the introduction of special category status , they opposed the H-Block campaign for its re-introduction . ('1169...' Comment - ....much the same with the Provisionals - campaigned long and hard for political status for Irish republican prisoners , then signed that status away in 1998 in part-payment for their 'foot-in-the-door' part-admittance to 'respectable' politics.) Their own prisoners (OIRA) , however , retained their special category status .

Seamus Lynch's response to this was to publicly deny the existence of his own prisoners (....the Provisionals have done much the same - see #8 here) , a move which did little to promote his own credibility or that of his party in nationalist working-class circles . The electoral success of (P) Sinn Fein , which has adopted a rhetoric reminiscent of the Officials in their more radical days , has placed a major constraint on the Workers' Party - although their numerical vote has so far not dropped dramatically , it is clear that the already difficult task of translating votes into seats is going to cause even more problems for it in the future.......
(MORE LATER).