" 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!

Monday, November 20, 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 .

Brian McNally further alleged that during the period when he was being interviewed between 11.45pm and 1.00am on the Wednesday morning , that the door of the interview room was burst wide open and that four or five plain clothes detectives came in , one of whom he identified as Detective Garda Joseph Egan : McNally said that he was made to stand , that he was called a " Northern bastard.." , was slapped across the face with the back of the hand ; was pushed from one Garda to another ; was struck by Detective Sergeant Patrick Culhane : had his shirt torn , the wing of his glasses broken , and that he lost consciousness .

He also said he was lying on the floor and that he heard screams and that Detective Garda Michael Finn came into the room , in the company of another member of the Garda Siochana whom he couldn't identify - McNally said he was caught by the shoulders and kneed in the stomach , pushed around , hit on the head and the left eye , pushed against the table and beaten on the shoulders , lips , ribs , back and shoulder blades and hit between the legs with a black jack , punched on the head and eye and that he was crying and screaming like a child . He said that he had to be helped off the floor to go to the toilet .

He denied in court making any statement , and he alleged that the statement was already written out and that when he refused to sign it , he was threatened with the black jack again and therefore did so sign it in order to avoid a further beating , at 7.00am on the Wednesday morning .......

(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 - " If we're on to this debate about what's best - the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement or the collapse of the Good Friday Agreement , in terms of is republicanism or nationalism or the people of Ireland better off , I have to say to them , from my experience , that the best scenario is the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

Because there are no guarantees at all about what will happen on the other side of failure . Conceivably , we could be handing to our children effectively a scenario that has armed struggle , of whatever variety , continuing for thirty more years . ('1169...' Comment - sic : was McGuinness involved in a 'struggle' for 'civil rights from Westminster' which began in 1969 ?) And I'm not prepared to be part of that * . I'm not prepared to accept defeat on this issue ." ( '1169...' Comment * - McGuinness is more than "a part of that " : he is one of the main players in a process which , similar to that which Michael Collins led , guarantees that future generations will be born on this isle whilst part of it will still be under jurisdictional control from Westminster . He himself will forge a career in the greasy till , as will most of those who , like him , gave up the job for the easy way out , having learned nothing from our history . For shame. )

By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

The SDLP's credibility has been battered over the last few years by the election of Bobby Sands and then Owen Carron in Fermanagh-South Tyrone and by Sinn Fein's success in the Assembly elections but each time an excuse could be found . The Fermanagh by-elections in 1981 took place in a highly emotional atmosphere during the Long Kesh hunger-strike and , anyway , the SDLP didn't stand in that election so there was no direct clash .

The Assembly elections , when Sinn Fein got 64,191 votes and five seats - narrowly missing a couple more - to the SDLP's 118,891 votes and 14 seats , were harder to explain away , but eventually the pundits came up with some excuses ; there was still an emotional overspill from the hunger-strike / the election was under PR so people could register a protest vote for Sinn Fein without wasting their votes / Sinn Fein only got one third of the total nationalist vote and there had always been a maverick hard core in the nationalist community who never backed the SDLP .

This time those excuses won't wash so easily : the effect of the 1981 hunger-strike can't be 'blamed' for ever - this election is under the straight vote so nationalist voters will have to make a clear choice between the SDLP and Sinn Fein . And the 'maverick vote' argument will collapse if Sinn Fein get more than one third of the nationalist vote - as they confidently claim they will . In fact a close look at the Assembly election tends to demolish the 'maverick' argument anyway.......