" 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!

Monday, November 06, 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 .

Subsequently , new charges were preferred against four of the original accused : John Fitzpatrick and Michael Barrett were not charged , even though Fitzpatrick had signed a statement incriminating himself in the Sallins mail train robbery , which meant that there was precisely the same 'evidence' against him as there was against Nicky Kelly and Osgur Breathnach ! No reason was ever offered for this , and John Fitzpatrick was never called as a witness to confirm or deny allegations that it was he who beat up Brian McNally on the Wednesday night of the crucial remand from a special sitting of the State District Court , back into Garda custody .

The trial of the four was aborted on the fiftieth day on the death of one of the Judges , Judge John William O' Connor : a new trial was set , and in the first few days of this new trial , Michael Plunkett was acquitted : Breathnach , McNally and Nicky Kelly were found guilty and sentenced on December 13 , 1978 . Upon appeal , Breathnach and McNally had their convictions quashed on May 20 , 1980 . Nicky Kelly was unsuccessful in his appeal to both the State Court of Criminal Appeal and the State Supreme Court : he is still in jail , serving a 12 year sentence .

THE CASE OF OSGUR BREATHNACH :
Osgur Breathnach was arrested under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act , 1939 , at 3.15pm on the 31st March , 1976 . He was taken to the Bridewell Garda Barracks , Dublin , where his detention order was extended : he was released at 2.45pm on Friday , the 2nd of April , 1976 - he had spent forty-seven-and-a-half hours in Garda custody .

He was arrested again under Section 30 at 1.30pm on Monday , the 5th of April , 1976 , and taken to the Bridewell , where his detention order was again extended , and he was released at 1.30pm on Wednesday , the 7th of April , 1976 : a total of 48 hours in Garda custody . It was during the latter part of his detention that he alleges he was beaten and forced to sign a statement , incriminating himself in the Sallins mail train robbery.......
(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 .

Martin McGuinness stated - " When you take away the reasons why people feel they have to fight , you can then be involved in a serious project which is about removing guns from Irish politics . ('1169...' Comment - ...time was , when , for Martin and his type , the only "serious project" in town was to do with removing from this island the un-wanted British military and political presence . Not trying to make a living from same.) But the mistake that's being made is that people look at this in the context that , in their view , there has to be a parallel approach to how you resolve that . And I actually don't think that can succeed .

The key objective of the peace process has to be showing people that politics works . I think John De Chastelain understands perfectly what the situation is . ('1169...' Comment - De Chastelain's "situation" , and that of his superiors and supporters, was to neuter the Provisionals . He must have been surprised at the level of assistance he received from the leadership of said grouping !) Now it's very important that people not misquote what's in the Good Friday Agreement , because right throughout this process we have worked on the basis that if we give our word we will keep it . ('1169...' Comment - A 'Gentlemans Agreement' , if you like , Martin . Between robber barons and those they have purchased .) We are not about leading anybody up blind alleys , (...except their own gullible supporters..) and that includes the (P) IRA and the other participants to the agreement . (....yet Martin and his colleagues were first out of the trap , whenever the PIRA were suspected of pulling a job , to tell all and sundry that 'the PIRA themselves never actually signed-up to the 1998 'agreement' !)

We had very forthright discussions with the Irish government (sic) about the decommissioning issue and we told them - 'We can't deliver decommissioning' . (...you and yours would deliver your granny on a platter , Martin , if you thought it would further your political careers !) So it's not that we signed up to decommissioning . We didn't ! What we were prepared to do was to work with all the other participants to try to bring that about within a two-year period....... "
(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 .

In Craigavon , County Armagh , where The Workers' Party holds two council seats , (P) Sinn Fein's recent reorganisation has led to the emergence of a young and enthusiastic political machine , intent on removing Tom French and Paddy Breen from their seats .

Some senior Workers' Party members have interpreted (P) Sinn Fein's success as signifying the need to revive the party's radical 'republican' links : however , so far all that has emerged has been a renewed interest in commemoration ceremonies , a slightly stronger line on repression , and a sporadic slackening of the reins on the Official IRA - measures designed to retain the loyality of remaining republican-minded members rather than to attract broader support . On the other hand , the leadership's anti-nationalist line has been publicly reinforced and there are even signs of pressure from Southern members to sever links with the party in the North .

The success of (P) Sinn Fein is unlikely in itself to cause the political demise of the Workers Party in the North : hatred of the Provisionals remains one of the strongest bonds uniting Workers' Party members , and if nothing else , it is likely to retain a residual anti-Provo vote - but major long-term problems are likely to arise within the party , as many party members who would consider themselves 'radical republicans' , and who have not drifted away or been expelled , have for some time been disillusioned with the current leadership and its political stance ....... (.....history repeats itself..)
(MORE LATER).