" 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!

Wednesday, November 15, 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 .

Thus while the medical evidence on Osgur Breathnach's condition was inconsistent - although the doctors concerned insisted their evidence was not contradictory - there was nonetheless considerable medical evidence that Breathnach was suffering from injuries of some kind : at no stage throughout the trial was there any evidence to the effect that he could at any stage have inflicted these injuries on himself or have had these injuries inflicted , other than at the hands of the Gardai .

Non-medical evidence about his condition was even more compelling : Aidan Browne S.C. , who saw Osgur Breathnach in the State High Court before the Habeas Corpus application , said in evidence : " To me , he appeared to be somebody else - as distressed as anyone I have ever seen and to a degree that was frightening as far as I was concerned . It was an overall impression of somebody who was dehumanised , that the attributes of the human animal that distinguishes him from the non-human animal were missing from him . One other person that I had seen in custody , not in this jurisdiction - in Crumlin Road Jail in Belfast - where he had been lodged after sustaining seven or eight days of interrogation .... that was the parallel between the two persons that I made at the time . "

While the evidence from Aidan Browne S.C. was made to appear unspecific and vague under cross examination , his testimony was nonetheless powerful . Mr. Dudley Potter , a solicitor , also giving evidence at Osgur Breathnach's trial , said he saw the accused at twelve midday on the 7th of April , 1976 , and that there were marks and bruises on his body and that he appeared to be in a very distressed state . Taken all in all , therefore , the evidence in Osgur Breathnach's case was not just sufficient as to raise a reasonable doubt about the voluntary nature of his confession : the evidence was such as to suggest that in all probability he had in fact been beaten up . We look at the case of Brian McNally next.......
(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 .

An odd aspect of blaming the Provos for 'the-impasse-of-the-moment' in the 'peace process' is that , whereas republicans (sic- read 'provisionals' instead) all but invented what they call 'the republican peace strategy' ( this is one arm of the true 'Republican peace strategy') as a way of drawing their opponents into an inversion of the conventional wisdom that the only proponents of war were in the republican movement (sic - read 'the provisional movement' instead) , the very dynamic the process created has had the effect of eroding the efficacy of armed struggle , thus removing the main bargaining counter of republicanism . (The 'main bargaining counter of Irish Republicanism' has always been that there can be no true peace until the British withdraw , politically and militarily , from this island . The Provisionals are content to obtain increased 'civil rights' under British jurisdiction - a temporary 'solution' .)

On the one hand , Irish history has shown that without violence , very little movement occurs (the republican 'violence' in this case being used , in the main , in self-defence : one cannot expect to violently take-over a neighbouring country without expecting 'violence' to be employed in self-defence) but on the other hand , while violence remains , any form of final resolution stays tantalisingly out of reach . This paradox has always divided republicans (sic - read 'nationalists' : Republicans have always understood that , unfortunately , Westminster responds to nothing else) , making their objectives unrealisable by virtue of their methods . ( " Unrealisable by virture of their methods " ? Rubbish ! The objectives of [British] imperialism - in which violence is the main plank - have never proved to be "unrealisable by virtue of their methods" ie Westminster has no hesitation in using violence to obtain its objectives and has no hesitation in employing violence to maintain 'control' over its ill-gotten gains) But there is now another paradox , whereby armed struggle has become obsolete by virtue of the peace strategy , ( armed struggle will one day become "obsolete" on this isle - that date has yet to be decided on by Westminster) thus perhaps permanently weakening the republican hand .

In other words , one of the reasons republicans cannot say the war is over forever ( those that were the last to leave the Republican Movement have already said that , for them , "the war is over") is that this would leave them entirely at the mercy of those who seek to exclude them (....as indeed is now happening - the Provisionals constantly call on the Free State Administration to join with them in demanding that the British re-establish its Stormont 'parliament' in Ireland !) .......
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

' VOTE JOHN HUME FOR A BETTER LONDONDERRY' , says the mocking slogans in Derry's Bogside . ' SDLP= Stoop Down Low Party' , reads a wall-slogan near Free Derry corner . The SDLP denounce the Provisionals as fascists and mafia , embezzlers , thugs and kneecappers . (......the same 'tags' now used by the Provisionals against those they dismiss as 'dissidents' !) Bishop Cathal Daly of Belfast says a vote for Sinn Fein could be seen as a vote for violence , and Bishop Edward Daly of Derry calls on Catholics (sic) to examine their consciences before voting for candidates 'associated with violence' . (...including , no doubt , the Tories , DUP , UUP etc ..)

It is going to be a rough election in the North of Ireland and the real venom is between Sinn Fein and the SDLP : " We are out to replace the SDLP as the voice of the nationalist people in the North , " says Gerry Adams , the (then) Sinn Fein Vice-President and candidate for West Belfast . For the SDLP this is the most crucial election in their history - they have been remarkably successful up to this in holding together the fissiparous strands of Northern nationalism and fighting off challenges from within or without - weathering even the defection of Gerry Fitt and Paddy Devlin .

But this is the biggest challenge they have faced so far.......
(MORE LATER).