" 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. Ah well! Thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again next year!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

1169 And Counting - Irish history , Irish politics : from today and yesterday : all 32 Counties !

We believe we may be taken 'off line' in the next few days .
On Thursday night last , January 12th , at approximately 10.10PM , the house belonging to myself , John Horan , in Clondalkin , Dublin , and at which the equipment used to publish the '1169...' blog is housed , was visited by four members of the 'Special Branch' , this States 'political police' force .
From past experience of such events (with this house and with houses belonging to our colleagues) this seems to have been a 'dry run' by those State operatives . We therefore expect to be raided in the near future and , as is usual in such events , computer equipment , discs , mobile phones etc will be removed from the premises .
If/when this does happen , we will obviously be unable to 'post' any articles for ... a while ! But we will get 'up and running' as soon as possible ! It is a small price to pay when one considers what those that went before us paid .


Slan go foill anois ,

John , Sharon , 'Junior' .
1169 And Counting .......

Friday, January 13, 2006

WHERE SINN FEIN STANDS.......
The following statement was issued subsequent to a meeting of the Caretaker Executive of Sinn Fein on January 17th 1970 .

In the years 1964 and 1965 certain persons came into the Republican Movement from the Irish Workers' Party and the Connolly Association in England and , early in 1965 , a ' .....conference to discuss political tactics , policy and internal organisation (and make recommendations).. ' was established .

Most of the ten points which emerged (from the Conference) were turned down at an Extraordinary Ard Fheis in June 1965 , notably one which sought to have Sinn Fein recognise Westminster , Stormont and Leinster House . Another - which was also turned down but was later accepted by a further Ard Fheis - looked for "...co-operation with other radical groups.." in pursuit of limited objectives : these groups included the Communist Party of 'Northern Ireland' on one side of the 'border' , the Irish Workers' Party and Connolly Youth Movement on the 'other' side of the 'border' , and the Connolly Association in England .

Fifteen months ago , after the 'parliamentary' idea had been rejected at an IRA Convention by a majority of three to one and the continuation of "...co-operation with the other radical groups .. " already named , carried once more by a slender majority , a Commission was set-up to examine again all the policies of the Republican Movement and make recommendations - this Commission was to tour the country and take evidence at local centres .

In spite of the developments North of the 'border' since October 5th 1968 , in Derry , and the escalation of events throughout the Six Counties all through the first half of 1969 , the Commission remained blind to what was obvious to even outside observers . The terror of August 1969 in Belfast , Derry , Armagh , Dungannon and other places was not foreseen when the Commission reported finally in July 1969 , nor was anything of the kind considered or provided against .......

(MORE LATER).



FR. DENIS FAUL : A CONNIVING AND TREACHEROUS MAN .......
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

From Thursday August 20th 1981 , an insidious campaign of moral exploitation took place involving clerics who not only adopted Bishop Daly's recommendation of family intervention but posed it as a moral duty for Catholic mother's to do so .

So conspiratorial were they in their endeavours that when three Belfast men - Pat Sheehan , Jackie McMullan and Bernard Fox - joined the hunger-strike consecutively , on August 10th 1981 , August 17th and August 24th , respectively , it drew the somewhat neurotic response from Fr. Denis Faul that this was a deliberate ploy aimed at making their families more amenable to 'ghetto discipline' !

The reality of the situation was , however , that as Belfast men constituted the biggest percentage of all the H-Block prisoners it was unavoidable that at some stage a geographic spread of hunger-strikers from throughout the Six Counties could not be maintained by the prisoners : what Faul was in fact decrying was that he believed Belfast families to be less amenable to his influence . Faul was to have a blistering row with the Republican prisoners after which he backed-down , but only reluctantly so .......

(MORE LATER).



THE 1985 ANGLO-IRISH AGREEMENT - THE SHADOW OF THE GUNMEN .......
As the Anglo-Irish talks reach their conclusion , FINTAN O'TOOLE talks to activists of Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party and hears that they would prefer civil war to an accommodation with Dublin .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1985 .

Charles Haughey's 'sleight-of-hand' should not be allowed to obscure , as it has to date , the debate about the 'consultative role' which the 26-County government is to have after the signing of the Hillsborough Treaty : for it is * possible to isolate the demand for legitimate and agreed institutions for policing 'Northern Ireland' and for administering justice from the demand for a United Ireland . (* '1169...' Comment - In our opinion , the two cannot be separated : the claim of 'jurisdictional control' from Westminster throws a shadow over any attempt to do so successfully .)

And it is clear that a 'consultative role' which comes into effect only before the institutions of 'the Northern State' have been reformed is meaningless . If the 26-County government is to be involved in overseeing the operation of (British) 'security forces' which have not been fundamentally reformed , then they will be in an even weaker position than they are at the moment in seeking to represent the point of view of northern Nationalists with regard to those 'security forces' .

They may find theselves unable to exert any control over the RUC and the UDR , and at the same time unable even to protest publicly about the behaviour of the RUC and the UDR because they are locked into a 'consultative process' . John Hume argued at the SDLP conference that the UDR , the RUC and their behaviour were not the 'Northern Ireland' problem ; Hume said that "...they were symptoms of a deeper problem , which is division .. " . This is of course true * , but it is not an excuse for entering an 'agreement' which leaves the position of the UDR and the RUC fundamentally unaltered ....... (*' 1169...' Comment - ...as usual with the SDLP , they sold themselves short with that comment : they should have asked who fostered that "division" , and laid the blame at that doorstep . But those with a 'Free State' mentality will never do that - it is easier not to . And certainly safer .)

(MORE LATER).







Thursday, January 12, 2006

WHERE SINN FEIN STANDS.......
The following statement was issued subsequent to a meeting of the Caretaker Executive of Sinn Fein on January 17th 1970 .

Those who remained in The Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday January 11th 1970 sought to reverse this basic principle of the Sinn Fein organisation down the years and to participate in all three existing parliaments . That sitting and participating in the affairs of these assemblies constitutes recognition of them , all reasonable people will agree without hesitation .

Those who walked out stand by the Constitution and Rules of the Sinn Fein organisation ('1169....' Comment - ....as , indeed , they did in 1986 when others [including those working for British Intelligence] attempted to constitutionalise the organisation) and claim the historic name of Sinn Fein , while those who remained sought , without success , to alter that Constitution and change a National Movement into yet another political party seeking votes at all costs ; having failed to secure the necessary two-thirds majority to effect these changes they then pressed on the Ard Fheis (ie - the Organisation's 'AGM') a resolution requiring a simple majority only viz : "...expressing allegiance to the IRA leadership.." which had , prior to the Ard Fheis , adopted recognition of Westminster , Stormont and Leinster House as policy.

This the delegates loyal to a 32-County parliament could not tolerate and since the resolution in question seemed likely to be carried , they took the only action open to them if they were not to be compromised - they walked out and resumed the Ard Fheis elsewhere ( in the Kevin Barry Hall , Parnell Square , Dublin) . The background to these events is not as well known as the events themselves : we refer to the years 1964 and 1965 .......

(MORE LATER).



FR. DENIS FAUL : A CONNIVING AND TREACHEROUS MAN .......
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

In an attack on the hunger-strike and on Republicans in general , Fr. Denis Faul , indicative of his general as well as specific political attitude to the hunger-strike , Faul defended the 'Establishment' , whose continuing co-operation with the British government , Republicans had correctly pinpointed as the chief buttress of its intransigence : " It is not a 1916 situation . People have not changed their political consciousness to any great degree . It is foolish to expect salvation from an increased effort from the Dublin government , the hierarchy and the SDLP ... "

Prominent among his other ludicrous assertions was that the statements issued by the Republican prisoners were written by people on the outside ! But more serious was the implication of external manipulation of the hunger-strikers , inherent in that ridiculous assertion . Overall , the purpose of Fr. Denis Faul's attack was to further instill defeatism , defend the 'Establishment' which reflected his own political views and vilify the prisoners' supporters .

On Thursday , August 20th 1981 , Micky Devine , the tenth and final hunger-striker to give his life for political status , died at 7.50 AM after sixty days on hunger-strike . The Nationalist people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone cast their votes to elect Owen Carron as the prisoners' candidate that day also . Early that evening , Mrs. Pauline McGeown sought medical intervention to prevent her husband , Pat - at that stage forty-two days on hunger-strike - from dying .......

(MORE LATER).



THE 1985 ANGLO-IRISH AGREEMENT - THE SHADOW OF THE GUNMEN .......
As the Anglo-Irish talks reach their conclusion , FINTAN O'TOOLE talks to activists of Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party and hears that they would prefer civil war to an accommodation with Dublin .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1985 .

Loyalist opposition to a Dublin voice will focus on the consultative machinery involving the Dublin Government and on any secretariat from the South which is based in Belfast . There is a tendency to assume that those aspects of an agreement would of themselves be enormously significant for nationalist aspirations , but a clear look at the consequences of such a 'consultative' machinery suggests otherwise - Charles Haughey has good reason to regard a 'consultative role' which gives responsibility without authority as potentially "...disastrous.. " .

In many ways a 'consultative role' is a diplomat's dream - the prospect of continuing , open-ended discussion , of an endless series of 'nods and winks' and behind-the-scenes 'bargainings' has innate attractions for the professional diplomats who have negotiated the substance of the deal . It sets up a machinery which is self-generating and ultimately self-'justifying' ; there is always plenty to consult about and consultation is always sufficiently vague to be seen as an end in itself ! ('1169...' Comment - 'Talks about Talks' , anyone ... ?)

The point , however , is the institutions which this machinery is meant to oversee , and it is those institutions themselves which have created the immediate problems which the Anglo-Irish process is supposed to tackle . Mr. Charles Haughey has engaged in some 'sleight-of-hand' in this regard - the term 'alienation' which has been used so often to sum-up the plight of the Northern nationalist is deeply ambiguous - it implies at once an alienation from 'the United Kingdom' , which can only be overcome by the institution of a United Ireland , and a more specific alienation from the machinery of security and justice , which can be overcome in the absence of a United Ireland - Haughey has used these senses of 'alienation' interchangably , allowing him to move imperceptibly from criticising any arrangement which does not tackle the alienation of the nationalists from the 'security forces' and
the 'Courts' to maintaining that there is no solution short of a United Ireland ....... ('1169...' Comment - We have had over eight centuries of 'solutions' imposed on us , and all have failed . Though it pains us greatly here on this blog to do so (for other reasons) , we would have supported Haughey in his supposition regarding the 'United Ireland' solution . Having said that , we do recognise that Haughey was simply 'playing the green card' - the man is a Free Stater at heart . ) .......

(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, January 11, 2006

WHERE SINN FEIN STANDS.
The following is the statement which was issued subsequent to a meeting of the Caretaker Executive of Sinn Fein on January 17th 1970 :

We , the Caretaker Executive of the Sinn Fein organisation , wish to explain to the Irish people why almost half of the delegates to the recent Ard Fheis 'walked out' from the Intercontinental Hotel ('1169.... ' Comment - ...now 'Jury's Hotel' , Ballsbridge , Dublin 4) on Sunday January 11th 1970 , and resumed the Ard Fheis in the Kevin Barry Hall , 44 Parnell Square , Dublin . There they elected us as a Caretaker Executive pending the re-convening of a full Ard Fheis .

There are five major reasons for the walk-out : each is explained in detail in the following paragraphs :

RECOGNITION OF PARLIAMENTS .
The Sinn Fein organisation , since its foundation in 1905 , has consistently denied the 'right' of the British Parliament to 'rule' in Ireland . Similarly , Sinn Fein has refused to recognise the two partition parliaments at Stormont and Leinster House , forced on the Irish people under the British Government of Ireland Act 1920 , and the Treaty of Surrender of 1921 .

Sinn Fein's alternative to those British institutions of government was the All-Ireland Republican Dail which it assembled in January 1919 ; it remains the task of Sinn Fein today to lead the Irish people away from British , 6-County and 26-County parliaments and towards the re-assembly of the 32-County Dail which will then legislate for and rule all Ireland .......

(MORE LATER).



FR. DENIS FAUL : A CONNIVING AND TREACHEROUS MAN .......
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

On Friday , August 14th 1981 , Fr. Denis Faul launched a public attack on the IRA and the hunger-strike , daubing the latter as "... hopeless.. " and "...a situation of dispair .. " . More interestingly he did not confine his attack to further instilling defeatism , but at one point in an attack on the aims of the hunger-strike , which is indicative of his own political attitudes and which cannot be isolated from his political attitude to the hunger-strike and his activities therein , Faul suggested that maybe the real issue was "...the control of the voice of Irish Catholic Nationalists .. "

This was a ridiculous suggestion to be posing to Republicans , who were opposed to the hunger-strike from the start because of the personal tragic consequences for their comrades and their families but which must surely counterpose the question - were Fr. Faul's hunger-strike breaking activities aimed at ensuring that its political consequences , by default on the part of the Nationalist 'establishment' as much as anything else , did not lead to the total erosion of that 'establishment's' influence over the Nationalist people .......?

(MORE LATER).



THE 1985 ANGLO-IRISH AGREEMENT - THE SHADOW OF THE GUNMEN .......
As the Anglo-Irish talks reach their conclusion , FINTAN O'TOOLE talks to activists of Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party and hears that they would prefer civil war to an accommodation with Dublin .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1985 .

The evidence of 1912 , of 1920 and of 1972 , argues against the belief that 'the Protestants' are bluffing ; in each of those years tens of thousands of ordinary Protestants joined 'official' or 'unofficial' paramilitaries - the UVF in 1912 , the 'A' and 'B' and 'C' Specials in 1920 and the UDA in 1972 , when Stormont was prorogued .

Both in the early 1920's and the early 1970's substantial numbers of Catholics were brutally murdered ; in 1972 , as now , there was no immediate threat to the position of 'Northern Ireland' in the 'United Kingdom' , but the response was none the less vicious . There is no reason to believe that it would be different in 1985 if the Loyalists perceive a threat , and it is clear that they do perceive such a threat even in a relatively innocuous consultative machinery involving the Dublin government .

The strategy of Ian Paisley's DUP for defeating an Anglo-Irish agreement involves a carefully-staged series of moves , from parliamentary opposition to the engineering of electoral contests to civil disobedience and finally to armed conflict and the declaration of a Provisional Government . Whether or not all of these stages actually come into force , it is clear that the opportunity for the DUP to build up tension , with a consequent open invitation to the sectarian killers to go to 'work' , is there to be exploited .

However loathsome the DUP's 'ballot-box-in-one-hand-and-armalite-behind-the-back' strategy , it has obvious political advantages for them in their attempt to establish themselves as the political spokesmen for Ulster Loyalism and it has to be taken seriously .......

(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, January 10, 2006

TIME MARCHES ON .......
The Easter Commemoration Parades took place this year in the North as usual . At the regular venues - Belfast , Derry , Crossmaglen , Newry - the same Proclamation was read , the usual speeches were made and the routine Army Council message was delivered to the faithful .
The only difference this year was that by Good Friday the North's death toll since 1969 had reached 2,500 and Ireland's longest period of civil disturbance appeared no nearer an end .
Behind much of the violence stands the Provisional IRA , organisers of most Easter Parades and , by their own claims , direct lineal descendants* of the men of 1916 . But how strong are they and for how long can they continue the military and political struggle ?
PATRICK MURPHY reports from Belfast .
First published in 'NEW HIBERNIA' magazine , May 1987 .
(* In 1986 the Provisional IRA abandoned that lineage and offered their support to what was to become a Leinster House-registered political party.)

Like any 'business' , the Provisional IRA intend to stay in operation and like any organisation they have made efforts to maximise their efficiency and to therefore produce a high level of 'satisfaction' for their 'members/shareholders' ; it may sound a callous analysis of what has produced tragic human consequences * in the North of Ireland , but then war - guerilla or otherwise - is a callous 'business' and when all the analysis has been done 'murder' is still the name of the political 'game' . (* '1169 ...' Comment : The root cause of those "tragic human consequences" can be laid firmly at Westminster's doorstep . )

All that stands against the PIRA is the Anglo-Irish Agreement (Hillsborough Treaty) which is rapidly falling into disrepute through its vague terms and ambiguous promises ; like all British initiatives in the past 75 years (sic - even then [ie 1987] , it was over 800 years of 'failed British initiatives') it has produced nothing but violence . The long-term solution in the North of Ireland may be difficult to visualise at the moment , but the short-term solution * is simply to live with the problem . (* '1169....' Comment - The 'long-term solution' is to remove the British military and political presence from Ireland , while the 'short-term solution' is for Irish Republicans to continue fighting for that to be implemented.)

That 'task' falls mainly to the RUC at present and their plea for help to the community shows that they do not relish the prospect . And the 'sad' thing is that nobody , apart from their wives and family , really cares . Like the Provos , most people in the North of Ireland have become 'cost/benefit' conscious and the name of the 'game' is survival.

[END of 'TIME MARCHES ON' .]
(Next - ' WHERE SINN FEIN STANDS' - from January 1970.)



FR. DENIS FAUL : A CONNIVING AND TREACHEROUS MAN .......
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

The McElwee family's involvement prior to and during Thomas' hunger-strike had brought them almost to the point of exhaustion .

It was suspected that Fr. Denis Faul viewed each meeting about the on-going hunger-strikes as a potential nucleus for an anti-hunger-strike movement ; however , the families of all the prisoners rallied behind those on hunger-strike . After one such meeting , on Friday August 7th 1981 , the families issued a statemrnt which was read by Mrs. Eilish McDonnell , mother of dead hunger-striker Joe McDonnell , which said :

" It is unknown in Irish history for eight young men to die on hunger-strike for the principle of human dignity . We , the prisoners wives , fathers , mothers , brothers and sisters welcome the statements from the protesting prisoners in the H-Blocks and Armagh of July 4th and August 6th . We find them clear , responsible statements . We find the British government guilty of the most callous cruelty and lack of responsibility , care and compassion in the present hunger-strike crisis . We , the relatives , stand in full support of the protesting prisoners and the hunger-strike . "

Fr. Denis Faul was instrumental in having an attack on the Free State government , the SDLP and the Catholic hierarchy deleted , saying that it was all too much for one statement . Thwarted for the time being (by failing to have the whole statement squashed) Fr. Faul's offensive , in the public arena at least , was dormant for a week ; but he 'bounced' back , in full flight , on Friday 14th August 1981 .......

(MORE LATER).



THE 1985 ANGLO-IRISH AGREEMENT - THE SHADOW OF THE GUNMEN .
As the Anglo-Irish talks reach their conclusion , FINTAN O'TOOLE talks to activists of Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party and hears that they would prefer civil war to an accommodation with Dublin .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1985 .

That there are dangers in any Anglo-Irish deal is obvious , but not so obvious that it goes without saying . That there are dangers in not pursuing an agreement is equally obvious . The task at hand for the British and Irish political establishments is to weigh the dangers against the possible gains .

For the Irish (sic) government in particular , compelling reasons have to be found for running the risk of massively increased civil unrest in the North and possible violent action aimed at the South . The political pressure on the administration to 'pull a rabbit out of the hat' and the public relations challenge of presenting the same proposals in two different ways to two different audiences are not sufficient justification for a deal that does not tackle the immediate problems of the North of Ireland . ('1169....' Comment : as far as Irish Republicans are concerned , those "immediate problems" all stem from Westminster's continuing occupation of part of this island.)

In spite of the evidence in history and the repeated statements of Loyalist political leaders , there has been an abiding assumption among Nationalists that the threat of Loyalist violence in 'response' to anything they see as threatening their position in the 'United Kingdom' is a bluff . In this issue of 'MAGILL' we probe the deep psychological disposition towards a violent 'response' by the semi-constitutional party of 'Ulster' Loyalism - the Democratic Unionist Party , which represents nearly half of the Protestant population . The evangelical , often apocalyptic , turn of mind of the DUP gives little ground for hope that they can be swayed by an appeal to rational , pragmatic calculations .

The evidence of 1912 , of 1920 and of 1972 also argues against the belief that the Protestants are bluffing .......

(MORE LATER).







Monday, January 09, 2006

TIME MARCHES ON .......
The Easter Commemoration Parades took place this year in the North as usual . At the regular venues - Belfast , Derry , Crossmaglen , Newry - the same Proclamation was read , the usual speeches were made and the routine Army Council message was delivered to the faithful .
The only difference this year was that by Good Friday the North's death toll since 1969 had reached 2,500 and Ireland's longest period of civil disturbance appeared no nearer an end .
Behind much of the violence stands the Provisional IRA , organisers of most Easter Parades and , by their own claims , direct lineal descendants* of the men of 1916 . But how strong are they and for how long can they continue the military and political struggle ?
PATRICK MURPHY reports from Belfast .
First published in 'NEW HIBERNIA' magazine , May 1987 .
(* In 1986 the Provisional IRA abandoned that lineage and offered their support to what was to become a Leinster House-registered political party.)

Recent killings prompted the RUC to issue a unique statement in which they asked for support from the public (!) ; it is only this type of support which can counter the PIRA operations , but it is unlikely to be forthcoming from all Nationalists in the foreseeable future and thus the bullet in the back of the head strategy is likely to be with us for some time to come .

Logistically , it is but one step up from shooting UDR men at or near their homes or at other so-called ' soft targets' in their place of work or recreation . Militarily , the PIRA operations are simple , and represent the first serious 'cost/benefit' analysis by the Provos in recent years and they provide a unique form of 'occupational therapy' for what would otherwise be a bored standing army .

Politically they do neither harm nor good in the context of support for (P) Sinn Fein ; Gerry Adams will be returned as MP for West Belfast no matter how many RUC/UDR men live or die . The deaths simply keep the political pot boiling , and represent a challenge to the Hillsborough Treaty (the 'Anglo-Irish Agreement') - the killings maintain the high level of sectarian fear within which the Provos can continue to operate . ('1169...' Comment - any 'sectarian fear' on this island was 'introduced' , maintained and , indeed , encouraged , by the British for their own purpose ie to allow Westminster to claim themselves as 'neutral peace-keepers' in Ireland.)

And the PIRA can continue to operate indefinitely because militarily they cannot lose * : equally true is the fact (?) that they cannot win , but if you were Chief of Staff of the Provisionals what would you do ? Fight on or give up ? There is only one alternative open to the Provos because to give up is to disband .......
(* "...cannot lose.. " ? The Provisionals 'lost' to themselves : any organisation , which has elements within its leadership who work for over two decades for the alleged enemy , is bound to 'lose' . )
(MORE LATER).



FR. DENIS FAUL : A CONNIVING AND TREACHEROUS MAN .......
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

On Friday July 31st 1981 , Paddy Quinn's mother authorised medical intervention to save her son's life because she could not bear "...the sight of him kicking and screaming in so much pain.. " Paddy had prematurely slipped into a coma after forty-seven days on hunger-strike .

Bishop Daly of Derry lost no time in exploiting the situation by recommending Mrs. Quinn's action to the mothers of all the hunger-strikers . At 1.00AM on August 1st 1981 Kevin Lynch died after seventy-one days on hunger-strike . That evening , at a meeting which was attended by , amongst others , Cardinal O'Fiaich , Fr. Faul , Bernadette McAliskey (of the 'National H-Block/Armagh Committee' and a staunch defender of the prisoners) and Belfast solicitor Oliver Kelly , the 'monitoring committee' proposal was formally dropped and in its place the 'Help the Prisoners Committee' was formed . All that was missing was the actual words '...to help themselves..'

This Committee issued a statement supporting the prisoners' July 4th position - that was one of only two statements issued by that Committee to find its way into print . On Sunday August 2nd 1981 Kieran Doherty TD died at 7.15PM after seventy-three days on hunger-strike . His father , Alfie Doherty , who , along with Kieran's mother , Margaret , had been exhaustingly active in the hunger-strike campaign , had verbally attacked Fr. Denis Faul for putting pressure on the prisoners and their families instead of on the British . Then Fr. Faul announced a meeting of relatives of all protesting prisoners to take place in Clonard Hall , Belfast , on Friday August 7th 1981 : the idea for such a meeting came from Mrs. Alice McElwee , mother of Thomas McElwee , who viewed it as a means of mobilising all the
families of H-Block prisoners to involve themselves in the hunger-strike campaign .......
(MORE LATER).



THUGGERY : THE UGLY FACE OF SINN FEIN THE WORKERS PARTY .......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1982 .

In early April 1982 , members of Sinn Fein The Workers Party seriously injured an American reporter outside McEnaney's Pub beside Andersonstown RUC Barracks and left him unconscious on the footpath . His 'offence' was to be in the company of a woman who was selling the IRSP newspaper .

The brother of a well-known SFWP member was present during the beating of the reporter and then walked by saying that he had seen nothing . In 1973 a former member of SFWP was beaten by two very prominent members of SFWP in a bar in Belfast for 'indiscipline' - they cracked his ribs and broke his nose . One of the people involved in this beating is a very prominent spokesperson for SFWP in Belfast .

Later this same victim was kneecapped by the Official IRA having been enticed to Dundalk , County Louth .
[END of 'THUGGERY : THE UGLY FACE OF SINN FEIN THE WORKERS PARTY' .]
(Tomorrow - 'THE 1985 ANGLO-IRISH AGREEMENT : IN THE SHADOW OF THE GUNMEN' : from 1985.)