" 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!

Wednesday, November 29, 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 .

Nicky Kelly stated that the Gardai then 'spreadeagled' him against a wall and kicked his legs apart , causing him to fall to the ground . They jabbed him in the ribs when they were doing this , and Detective Garda Thomas Ibar Dunne is alleged to have cursed at Kelly throughout the ordeal .

The last alleged assault on that Monday (April 5th 1976) was when Detective Garda Michael Finn brought Nicky Kelly up to a cell and shoved his head into a toilet bowl five or six times ; Kelly was taken to the Bridewell Garda Station at approximately 1.00am on the Tuesday morning , where he rested the night in his cell .

On that Tuesday morning (April 6th , 1976) , Nicky Kelly said that Detective Garda Thomas Ibar Dunne shook him and that Detective Garda William Maher pushed him about and , later on , a Detective Garda Lawlor and a Detective Garda Boland pushed him from one to the other , and shouted at him . At one stage , Kelly fell to the floor and , he alleged , Detective Garda Boland hit him with a chair - further , he alleged that Detective Garda Lawlor and Detrective Garda Boland punched him on the arms and slapped him on the upper body . There was to be no let-up for Nicky Kelly after the lunch break.......

From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine , October 1983 .

In Britain , criminal trials are heard before juries and it is the legal duty of the presiding judge to warn jurors of the dangers of relying on uncorrobrated accomplice evidence : in the North of Ireland , however , 'terrorist' cases are tried by non-jury 'Diplock Courts' where the only comparable safeguard is the bizarre practice of the judge warning himself - in 1982 , Mr. Justice Murray refused to convict Charles McCormick , an RUC Special Branch Officer charged with the murder of an RUC colleague , on the grounds that the only evidence against McCormick was that of an accomplice ! Judges in the supergrass trials have tended not to follow suit . Indeed there is little evidence to show that they have taken any heed of their own warnings .

The prominence of supergrasses in the North of Ireland's criminal justice system can only be properly understood as the latest instalment in a long line of 'security policies' which have failed to eliminate political violence from this society . In the UK , with the exception of the drive against organised crime in London in the late 1960's and early 1970's , informers have appeared in a much more random manner and have not been fashioned into the cutting edge of a deliberate law enforcement strategy .

The claim that the supergrass phenomenon will contribute to the pacification of the violence in the North of Ireland must be treated with considerable scepticism.......

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

The name 'Londonderry' is as offensive to North of Ireland nationalists as 'Rhodesia' was to blacks in Zimbabwe - or 'Kingstown' to the people in Dun Laoghaire , Dublin . Even the 'Derry Journal' newspaper , which normally supports the SDLP , attacked them for "...sadly misreading public opinion.." over the Derry City Council 'Derry-name' change issue .

Sinn Fein made hay out of the SDLP's gaffe , sticking up mocking posters about the 'Londonderry branch of the SDLP' all over the Bogside. It was a small issue but to a lot of nationalists it symbolises what they see as the SDLP's tendency to play down nationalist grievances to appease British , Unionist and even Southern media opinion . ('1169...' Comment- ...the Provos , on the other hand , blow loud ,long and hard about nationalist grievances : at this stage in their political 'career' they have to , in order that they may keep their own people on board . But that will change in time.)

There has only been one test of electoral strength between the SDLP and Sinn Fein since last October - in a local council by-election in Carrickmore in Mid-Ulster : it was not an SDLP stronghold , and the vacant seat had been held by the more nationalist IIP , but in the by-election in March Seamus Kerr of Sinn Fein won , with 2,289 votes to 654 for the SDLP candidate who came third , after 'The Alliance Party': but Carrickmore is not typical - it has a long republican tradition and the size of the Sinn Fein majority over the SDLP is not likely to be reproduced elsewhere but , significantly , Seamus Kerr claims that Sinn Fein increased its vote substantially over its total in the (Six-County) Assembly elections : if that trend is repeated , even on a smaller scale , in other areas , the SDLP must be very worried . And there is reason to think it may be.......