" 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!

Friday, January 20, 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 .

The leadership of the Republican Movement was obsessed with the Commission and getting its recommendations adopted , and preparations for the defence of our people did not receive the necessary attention . This was an underlying reason for the 'walk-out' : despite repeated warnings from last May on , sufficient priority was not given to this matter , with results too well known to require enumeration .

We will not dwell at length on this matter since it is self-evident to any observer of the Northern scene . We might add that we feel particularly strongly on this point ; we find absolutely incomprehensible from any Republican stand-point the campaigning in favour of retaining the Stormont parliament in August , September and October last when it was in danger of being abolished altogether by the British government .

In any future struggle for freedom it would surely be preferable to have a direct confrontation with the British government on Irish soil without the Stormont junta being interposed . In any event , the taking away of the Orange Order's power-bloc would surely be a step forward rather than backward . The line of policy adopted at the time was , of course , yet another product of the 'policy-makers' who by this time must have felt really secure and able to dictate.......

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BLOODY SUNDAY.
On 30 January 1972 , 14 civilians were shot dead by the British Army . They had been taking part in a civil rights march in Derry , protesting against internment without trial .
British 'Lord' Widgery was highly selective in the 'evidence' he used in his 'official' report on the matter - and some of the accounts he chose to include were highly suspect. The victims' families have campaigned for justice ever since . Their case is too strong to ignore any longer .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 .
By Eamonn McCann .
(Note - on Saturday 28th January next , a Commemoration to mark the 34th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday will be held at the GPO in Dublin between 1PM and 3PM . All Welcome.)

The British government has two closely related problems in dealing with Bloody Sunday : the first has to do with political motivation and responsibility for the massacre , the second with the possibility that a subsequent cover-up was organised at the highest level within the British political and legal establishments .

The facts suggest as a likelihood that the military operation was approved in advance by representatives of both the North of Ireland and British governments and mounted in order to shore up the Stormont administration headed by Mr. Brian Faulkner and that , thereafter , the lord chief justice of England conspired for political reasons to conceal or distort the truth and thus to pervert the course of justice .

There are no foreseeable circumstances in which a British government would sanction an inquiry that it was aware might establish these likelihoods as fact ; in other words , there is currently no possibility of the key demand of the families of the victims being met . Twenty-six years on (ie 1972-1998) , the 'Bloody Sunday' issue is as far from resolution as ever .......

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ENTERING LEINSTER HOUSE - A VETERAN SPEAKS .......
By Comdt. General Tomas Maguidhir (Thomas Maguire) , October 1986.

Tom Maguire :
Comdt. General Tom Maguire was Officer Commanding of the South Mayo Brigade of the Irish Republican Army in the Black-and-Tan war .

He led the Brigade Flying Column in the Kilfall and Tourmakeady ambushes and in the latter action was seriously wounded . In May 1921 he was elected Sinn Fein T.D. for South Mayo-South Rescommon and was later appointed General Officer Commanding , Second Western Division IRA . In January 1922 in the Second Dail Eireann he voted for the All-Ireland Republic and against the Treaty .

At various times during the 1920's he was a member of the IRA Executive . In October 1922 he was captured by Free State forces and interned in Athlone Barracks . In January 1923 he was one of six men set aside for execution : the other five men faced the firing squad .......

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Thursday, January 19, 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 .

We have already dealt with the Sligo case and that of Cumann na mBan , but Northern Republicans were not to be exempt - Jimmy Steele of Belfast , who has suffered almost 20 years of imprisonment in Crumlin Road Jail for the Republican Cause , was expelled last July because he dared to criticise ultra-left policies in his oration at the re-internment of Peter Barnes and James McCormack in Mullingar .

Sean Keenan of Derry City , another veteran Republican who was Chairman of the Derry Defence Association last August and has been very active on behalf of Civil Rights in the North , was expelled in December last while on a tour of America . His first notification of this action came when a friend showed him a four days' old copy of the 'Irish Times' newspaper which contained a news report of his expulsion from the Republican Movement . These are but the most notable cases .

There is no doubt that all this formed part of a plan to push out certain members who opposed the 'master-minds' - in other words , those who showed they had minds of their own - and replace them with others . Around the country some people of mature years who had displayed no interest whatever in the Republican Movement heretofore , now joined its ranks and were quickly promoted to positions of influence . Such individuals had invariably had previous connections with the 'radical groups' already mentioned .

The basic method of procedure was stated to be that the ultimate objective was the only principle - everything else was merely a tactic ; truth and justice and many other things were to go 'by the board' , apparently . At the Ard Fheis itself elaborate precautions were taken regarding the admission of delegates known to be opposed to 'recognition' . Where a Sinn Fein Organiser would report a Cumann to be in favour or indecisive , receipts for affiliation fees and delegates cards were forwarded , even up to the eve of the Ard Fheis but the affiliation fees of long-standing Cumainn , well-known to be 'against' , were returned with the excuse that they were too late .

In Belfast , three Republican Clubs were denied representation on the 'grounds' that they had been "...inactive.." since August last . We leave it to the public to assess the validity of this last subterfuge , bearing in mind the circumstances of Belfast for the past six months . It seems hardly likely that any Republican would be 'inactive' . In all this harassment of the delegates opposed to 'recognition' , many of the full-time paid officials of the organisation were unduly active .......

(MORE LATER).



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

The irreversible trend of family interventions which Fr. Denis Faul had nursed , cajoled and nourished with emotional and moral exploitation , distortion of truth , vilification and downright political hostility to the hunger-strike and the achievements of the prisoners' demands , was in the ascendency .

The coup de grace to the hunger-strike was achieved at a meeting in the Lake Glen Hotel in Belfast where all but one of the families attending a meeting there with Faul indicated that they , too , would seek medical intervention . Challenges from the O'Hara and Fox families about the implied slurs and the baseless moral pressures which utterances of Faul's had subjected the mothers of those families to were waved aside with the same arrogance as when on previous occasions Faul had been exposed as untruthful .

Once again Fr. Denis Faul trotted out the rubbish of external authorship of prisoners' statements , and perhaps sensing 'victory' , embellishing his point by referring to members of Sinn Fein as "...thugs.. " and to the National H-Block/Armagh Committee as "...cowboys.." .

All that was left after that was the formal announcement by the Republican prisoners of the ending of the hunger-strike at 3.00PM on Saturday October 3rd , 1981 .

[END of 'FR. DENIS FAUL : A CONNIVING AND TREACHEROUS MAN' .]
(Tomorrow - ' BLOODY SUNDAY : 30 JANUARY 1972 - 14 CIVILIANS SHOT DEAD' . )



ENTERING LEINSTER HOUSE - A VETERAN SPEAKS .
By Comdt. General Tomas Maguidhir (Thomas Maguire) , October 1986.

" There is no difference between entering the partition parliament of Leinster House and entering a partition parliament of Stormont . I speak as the sole surviving Teachta Dala of the Second Dail Eireann and as the sole surviving member of the Executive of the Second Dail Eireann .

In December 1969 , as the sole surviving member of the Executive of the Second Dail Eireann , I recognised the Provisional Army Council , which remained true to the Irish Republic, as the lawful Army of the Thirty-Two County Irish Republic . I do not recognise the legitimacy of any Army Council styling itself the Council of the Irish Republican Army which lends support to any person or organisation styling itself as Sinn Fein and prepared to enter the partition parliament of Leinster House .

The majority of delegates to a recent IRA Convention purported to accept the Leinster House partition parliament and , in so doing , broke faith and betrayed the trust placed in their predecessors in 1969 . The Irish Republic , proclaimed in arms in Easter Week 1916 and established by the democratic majority vote of the people in the General Election of 1918 , has been defended by Irish Republicans for several generations . Many have laid down their lives in that defence . Many others have suffered imprisonment and torture . I am confident that the Cause so nobly served will yet triumph " .

' If but a few are faithful found , they must be all the more steadfast for being but a few' - Terence MacSwiney in 'Principles of Freedom' .

Dated the 22nd day of October , 1986 .
Signed - Thomas Maguire.
Tomas Maguidhir
Comdt.General.

(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, January 18, 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 .

It is of interest to note that the entire Cumann na mBan organisation was expelled from the Republican Movement because it objected to these 'radical groups' with their banners taking part in the Bodenstown parade of 1968 . The Sligo town Cumann of Sinn Fein , which included the Mayor , the late Councillor Norbert Ferguson , was disbanded in 1969 because they objected to the local Connolly Youth Movement marching as a body in uniform , in the annual Easter Commemoration parade .

After those Republicans were thrown out without their side of the case being heard , a 'new' Cumann of Sinn Fein was formed consisting almost entirely of the Connolly Youth members . We leave it to the people of Ireland to draw their own conclusions in regard to this point : we know that in other countries which have come under the control of organisations similar to these 'radical groups' , totalitarian dictatorship has been the outcome . We have no reason to believe that the result would be any different in Ireland. We believe that the delegates who 'walked out' had long been disgusted with the internal methods in operation in the Republican Movement for some time and indeed with the general atmosphere at the Ard Fheis .

In 1966 , the entire North Kerry Comhairle Ceantair of Sinn Fein , embracing 13 Cumainn and 250 members and including three local councillors and leading figures such as Miss May Daly (sister of Charlie Daly , executed at Drumboe , Donegal , in 1923 ) , John Joe Rice , Sinn Fein T.D. , 1957-1961 and John Joe Sheehy , veteran Republican and Kerry footballer , were ousted from the organisation . The underlying issue was the uncompromising stand of Kerry in refusing recognition to Westminster , Leinster House and Stormont . Others in Cork and Kildare resigned in disgust at what was happening .......

(MORE LATER).



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

On Saturday , 26th September 1981 , a statement was issued by the Republican prisoners who were on hunger-strike :

" From recent experience we have found Fr. Faul to be a conniving , treacherous man , not in the least shy about twisting the truth to achieve his own ends . Once he decided to oppose the continuation of the hunger-strike , he threw himself into a vigorous campaign to discredit both we prisoners and the National H-Block Committee .

Realising the futility of such a campaign , he turned his attention to the hunger-strikers' families , who are under tremendous pressure as it is , and he actively set about increasing the pressure on them . He has insinuated that those mothers who so courageously stood by their sons were somewhat less than 'loving mothers' ; and we utterly deplore such devious manipulation of emotional words to maximise the pressure on families , and especially on mothers , to go against their sons' expressed wishes .

At one stage , Fr. Faul was seen to be a sincere cleric who was genuinely concerned about the attainment of justice for prisoners , but now he has forfeited that moral standpoint on justice and emerged as the best friend the British government has . " (End of Statement.)

The prisoners' statement was in reality no more than putting their view on the historical record .......

(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 .

If the Free State administration does not believe that the basic 'security structures' of the Six Counties can be reformed in the absence of a united Ireland , then there is no point in calling , as Charles Haughey has done , for the disbandment of the UDR before a united Ireland is achieved .

A cosmetic level of constitutional 'progress' which consists in no more than the establishment of a 'consultative process' achieves only the worst of both worlds , giving a validity to discredited 'security forces' and at the same time risking an escalation of loyalist violence . What is needed is real and tangible progress towards finding acceptable institutions of justice .

Without it , all the talks of "...historic objectives and a united Ireland .. " is just so much verbiage .

[END of 'THE 1985 ANGLO-IRISH AGREEMENT - THE SHADOW OF THE GUNMEN' .]
(Tomorrow - 'ENTERING LEINSTER HOUSE - A VETERAN SPEAKS' : from October 1986.)






Tuesday, January 17, 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 .

Ex-members of the Irish Workers' Party who joined Sinn Fein and who were in a position to do so , made sure that the historical background to the Movement and the fundamental Republican position* were , needless to say , not part of the education courses which they were in charge of , so that for four or five years many young people came into the Republican Movement without knowing many of the basic tenets of Irish Republicanism ; by 1969 the process of infiltration and take-over was nearing completion , as will be seen . ('1169....' Comment - * Today , Provisional Sinn Fein refer's to its "30 year campaign" against the British , deliberately choosing to ignore its own history . It prefers its new members to be politically ignorant of that part of its past .)

There is no doubt that an extreme form of socialism was being pushed on the Movement by the 'policy makers' referred to and their aides ; this was a further reason for the 'walk-out' . While we ,who went to Parnell Square , believe in a Democratic Socialist Republic for all Ireland , it seems certain that the ultimate objective of the leadership which remained at the Intercontinental Hotel is nothing but a totalitarian dictatorship of the Left . It was admitted that the 'National Liberation Front' would eventually involve a merger and amalgamation with the 'radical groups' mentioned , since all would be working for "...the same ultimate objective.." .

Meanwhile , it was stated , joint educational classes involving members of the Communist Party of 'Northern Ireland' and the Irish Workers' Party could be held : " While we were strong on practice and weak in theory , the reverse was true of them and they could educate us on theory .. " , was how this was put . Furthermore , in the opinion of the 'master-minds' , there was no need for establishing a Republican youth organisation when the Connolly Youth Movement existed , nor was there any need for the Republican 'Clann na hEireann' organisation in Britain since the Connolly Association was there . The 'master-minds' also turned their attention to the Cumann na mBan organisation .......

(MORE LATER).



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

On Friday 4th September 1981 , Matt Devlin's family sought medical intervetion to prevent him from dying on hunger-strike ; he had gone fifty-two days on his fast . Two days later , on Sunday 6th September 1981 , Laurence McKeown's family did likewise - he had fasted for seventy days .

On Friday 25th September 1981 , Bernard Fox dropped out of the hunger-strike after thirty-two days because of a serious , premature deterioration which would have caused death within days . On Saturday 26th September 1981 , Liam McCloskey came off the hunger-strike after fifty-two days when his mother , accompanied by a Fr. McIldowney , convinced him that she would intervene in the event of him lapsing into a coma .

On that same day the prisoners issued a statement calling on Fr. Denis Faul to cease his hunger-strike breaking activities and to mind his own business by staying out of their affairs . That statement verbally lashed Faul , describing him as , amongst other things , "...the best friend the British government has.. " .......

(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 .

Where Charles Haughey is wrong is to link this demand for the disbandment of the UDR with a rhetorical repetition of the demand for a United Ireland ; such a stance not only fuels the paranoia which it is in the interests of those who would manipulate Loyalist reaction to build up , it also ignores the fundamental problem of unity by 'consent' - the 'winning' of the consent of both communities in the Six Counties . That 'consent' can only be built on the basis of certain basic agreed structures of law and justice * and those structures need to be given time to work in the absence of the kind of strife and violence which the 'threat' of a United Ireland will provoke (ie - to the Loyalists). ('1169...' Comment - * 'Consent' can also be 'obtained' [and indeed, was so obtained] by , in this case , the enemy [Westminster] securing control of the leadership of what once was the
opposition . Doing a 'Scap/Donaldson/?/' , some might call it ... )
.

The 26-County administration either believes that the basic security structures of the North can be 'reformed' in the absence of a united Ireland or it does not - if it does , then the emphasis in any deal it can do with the British government needs to be on the radical overhaul of the 'security' machinery , and not on a 'consultative role' which involves responsibility without power....... ('1169....' Comment - The Dublin administration will do all in its power to assist Westminster to 'run' the occupied Six Counties : Leinster House may occasionally make noises to the contrary , especially around election time , but it long ago 'washed its hands' of any desire to re-unite this island . And that is one of the 'trump cards' which Westminster knows it holds .)

(MORE LATER).







Monday, January 16, 2006

(Still here.....!)


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

The recommendations of the Sinn Fein Commission which were made , were two in number :
(A) ' That the relationship with "other radical groups" involving co-operation for the achievement of limited objectives be now brought a stage further ; that it be formalised into an alliance to be known for the sake of convenience as the 'National Liberation Front' ' .
(B) ' That , subject to certain conditions etc , Republican elected representatives should participate in Westminster , Leinster House and Stormont . '

Some of those who came into the Republican Movement from the Irish Workers' Party were prominent on both the Conference of 1965 and the Commission of 1968-1969 ; in point of fact , by 1969 they had , with the aid of a few long-standing members , become the 'master minds' and policy makers of the Republican Movement .

One of them in particular had been in charge of an 'Education Department' for the stated purpose of educating new members and re-educating older members into certain social and economic policies . ('1169....' Comment - a dangerous position for the Movement to have placed those people in . As we will see ...).......

(MORE LATER).



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

On Sunday August 23rd 1981 , Fr. Denis Faul eventually rectified the scurrilous and baseless assertions made in the 'Irish News' newspaper on August 14th 1981 , villifying hunger-strike supporters outside the prison and implying manipulation of the hunger-strikers - but it took a blistering row with Brendan McFarlane and other Republican prisoners to achieve that .

Emerging from the prison after saying Mass there on Sunday , August 23rd 1981 , Faul put the public record straight on that score - still declaring the hunger-strike situation as "...hopeless.." he nevertheless said that the prisoners "...insisted that the chain of command on the hunger-strike is inside the prison and they are not taking commands from outside . They asserted , very strongly , that all statements issued in their name do , in fact , come from them.. "

The public record was one thing - enforced as it was by a confrontation with the prisoners who needed a public response from Faul to satisfy them but , privately , as part of his on-going campaign of undermining and vilification , Faul was to adhere to his untruthful claims about the authorship of prisoners' statements in order to wean the hunger-strikers' families to his own ends . And his more subtle and less dramatic tactics paid off in the end .......

(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 .

As symptoms , the behaviour of the UDR and the behaviour of the RUC have also been massive irritants in preventing the evolution of basic structures of law and justice which could win even a temporary and contingent consensus of 'Catholic' and 'Protestant' support ; Charles Haughey is again right to identify the disbandment of the UDR as a central pre-requisite to a meaningful agreement .

All but a handful of the 7,500 members of the UDR are Protestants and the increasing role that that British regiment has played in 'security' in the North has meant that through it and the RUC one 'community' has been given the task of 'policing' the other - 'security' has been hopelessly compromised as part of a sectarian apparatus , and much of the hatred and disgust which Catholics feel at the operation of the 'State' in the North has been directed at the UDR , a disgust quite properly strengthened by the role of UDR members in sectarian crimes .

This is not in itself the problem as John Hume says * , but the disbandment of the UDR would be an achievement which would give the Northern Nationalist 'community' reason to believe that the Southern government was acting as an effective guarantor ** of its immediate interests . Without the disandment of the UDR what can the Southern government hope to achieve by being 'consulted' about the operation of an innately sectarian 'security' system .......?
('1169...' Comment - * As far as Hume and his SDLP are/were concerned [and , indeed , the Church hierarchy and the rest of the 'Establishment'] , the "problem" was not the British presence , but those that opposed that presence [which is now the PSF line , too] ! ** The bastard Free State administration in Leinster House has always been an "effective guarantor" to the British - it never had , in the first place , a 'back' to turn to Republicans . And , regardless of its composition - it never will .)
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