" 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!


Friday, February 10, 2006

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND THE IRISH STRUGGLE .......
This article is based on a lecture delivered by Sean O Bradaigh in Dublin on January 21 , 1989 , marking the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the First (All-Ireland) Dail Eireann in the Mansion House on January 21 , 1919 , and the links between Irish and French Republicans - 'Partners in Revolution' 200 years ago .
Published in 1989 by Sean Lynch , Cleenrath , Aughnacliffe , County Longford , on behalf of the County Longford Branch of the National Graves Association .
By Sean O Bradaigh .
Liberte ! Egalite ! Fraternite ! Ou La Mort ! ( (Freedom ! Equality ! Brotherhood ! or Death!).
Unite Indivisibilite De La Republique !

The first meeting of the First Dail Eireann was a trilingual occasion ; the Teachtai spoke to their own people in Irish and English : to the world they spoke in English and French . Since the 17th century , French has been the language of diplomacy and in its written form often the language of treaties - this came about because diplomats appreciated its precision and clarity as a language .

The French Revolution of 1789 marks a significant date in the history of mankind : in France , it brought to an end the absolute power of monarchs , aptly expressed in the Latin phrase "Lex Rex , Rex Lex" , : "The Law is the King and the King is the Law ." The tyranny and abuses of King and aristocracy were ended and a new regime was inaugurated , based on the Republican and Democratic ideas enshrined in the motto ' Liberty , Equality , Fraternity ' .

On July 14 , 1789 , the populace stormed the Bastille , the state prison which symbolised the King's absolute power ; from that date on , nothing could stop the Revolution .......

(MORE LATER).



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 .

When 'British Soldier 127' summoned the RUC , the photographer and John Charteris ('Times' newspaper) , the nail-bombs were , literally , sticking out from Gerald Donaghey's pockets ! Charteris told the tribunal that he could see one of them clearly from outside the car , protruding from Donaghey's denin-jacket pocket : it is scarcely to exaggarate , and not at all facetious , to speculate that a 10-year-old of average intelligence could work out what happened here .

But 'Lord' Widgery concluded that the nail-bombs had probably been in Gerald Donaghey's pockets all along - ' Donaghey had probably been a nail-bomber . The paras had probably had the right to kill him ' . The demands of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign , drawn up early in 1992 , are for a clear declaration of the innocence of all the victims , the repudiation of the Widgery Report , and the prosecution of those responsible for the shootings . Campaigners stress that they are not out for personal revenge -

" I am not fixated on having a 60-year-old Brit put in prison for murdering my father , " says Tony Doherty , whose father , Patrick , was shot dead at Joseph Place , " ... what I want is the complete truth ." It is the demand for a formal renunciation of the tribunal's conclusions that raises the need for a new inquiry - " No matter what apology is made or what sort of 'review' is offered , until the British government formally repudiates Widgery's report , his findings will remain on the record as the official truth of what took place , " says Tony Doherty , "...that's an insult . We will not accept it . "

(MORE LATER).



INFORMERS : The RUC's Psychological War .......
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983.
By Sean Delaney.

'Black' propaganda and the 'psy-ops' war :
The arrest and subsequent 'breaking' of Christopher Black in November 1981 came at a time when the objective political framework in which informers could be used to testify in court had been prepared ; the British administration was prepared to sanction the granting of immunity to informers who had implicated themselves in activities of a serious nature . This was undoubtedly a powerful motivation in the case of Black , who after being 'broken' in Castlereagh faced a long jail term after being released from Long Kesh .

But the willingness to pay informers huge sums of money - sums mentioned by informers who later retracted , of £50,000 and £75,000 , have undoubtedly been exceeded in many cases - and the RUC's tactic of holding an informer in isolation from contact with family or friends or , as in some cases , abducting members of his family to be with him , has also gradually succeeded in psychologically 'turning' some informers , including Christopher Black , so that they have increasingly acted out of a sense of 'identification' * with the RUC , and have allowed their 'evidence' to be concocted and 'schooled' by the RUC in such a way as to maximise the chances of convictions being secured . ( * '1169 ...' Comment - That 'identification tactic' is still working for Westminster - the Free Staters in Leinster House 'identify' more with Tony Blair [or whoever happens to be in Westminster at the time] than they do with Irish Republicans , whom they persecute.)

A similar sort of psychological disorientation tactic , since refined * , was used against American GI's during the war in Korea . (* '1169...' Comment - 'Refined' indeed : now , instead of a slap around the head , the Brits offer a suit , a salary , 'respect' , a career and a pension ! )

(MORE LATER).







Thursday, February 09, 2006

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND THE IRISH STRUGGLE .
This article is based on a lecture delivered by Sean O Bradaigh in Dublin on January 21 , 1989 , marking the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the First (All-Ireland) Dail Eireann in the Mansion House on January 21 , 1919 , and the links between Irish and French Republicans - 'Partners in Revolution' 200 years ago .
Published in 1989 by Sean Lynch , Cleenrath , Aughnacliffe , County Longford , on behalf of the County Longford Branch of the National Graves Association .
By Sean O Bradaigh .
Liberte ! Egalite ! Fraternite ! Ou La Mort ! ( (Freedom ! Equality ! Brotherhood ! or Death!).
Unite Indivisibilite De La Republique !

Come! Rise in your might , O best of men ,
And muster your pikes in yonder glen ;
Your enemies smite , with sword and lance ,
And no laws you will own , but those of France!

The French Hill monument outside Castlebar , County Mayo , bears the inscription :
' In grateful remembrance of the gallant French soldiers who died fighting for the freedom of Ireland on the 27th August , 1798 . They shall be remembered forever . '

' O The French are on the sea
Says the Seanbhean Bhocht
The French are on the sea
Says the Seanbhean Bhocht.

O ! The French are in the Bay
They'll be here by break of day ...

And will Ireland then be free ?
Says the Seanbhean Bhocht
Will Ireland then be free ?
Says the Seanbhean Bhocht

Yes! Ireland shall be free
From the centre to the sea
Then hurray ! for Liberty !
Says the Seanbhean Bhocht .

(MORE LATER).



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 .

British 'Lord' Widgery heard evidence from two civilians who had carried the wounded Gerald Donaghey into the Glenfada Park home of Raymond Rogan , chairman of the local tenants' association - the two men described Donaghey's tight-fitting jeans and denim jacket , and said they saw no nail-bombs . Leo Young described searching Donaghy's jacket pockets for identification after they had laid him down in the Rogan home .

There had been no nail-bombs ; Donaghey was examined in the house by Dr. Kevin Swords of Lincoln Hospital , who had been in Derry visiting relatives : he gave evidence of loosening Gerald Donaghey's clothes to examine a gunshot wound in his abdomen and then "...going over his whole body .. " for other wounds . He noticed no nail-bombs .

Charlie Hazlett , a reporter with the 'Belfast Telegraph' newspaper for more than 20 years , sheltering in the Rogan home , said he watched closely as Dr. Swords examined Donaghey . He noted no nail-bombs . Raymond Rogan carried the dying Donaghey in his arms to his car and eased him into the rear seat . No nail-bombs . Leo Young sat into the rear seat and cradled Donaghey as they set off . Still no nail-bombs . At Barrack Street , the car was stopped by a British military patrol and Rogan and Young ordered out ; a British soldier drove the car to a first-aid post on Craigavon Bridge . Here , Donaghey was examined by a medical officer from the First Anglian Regiment , who gave evidence of examining the body before pronouncing Donaghey dead .

He noticed no nail-bombs .......

(MORE LATER).



INFORMERS : The RUC's Psychological War .......
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983.
By Sean Delaney.

The James Kennedy informer trial - also known as the M60 Trial because of the involvement of some of the accused Republicans in earlier successful machine-gun ambushes - took place in June 1981 , some ten months after James Kennedy had agreed to testify . But some of the verdicts were forestalled by the timely escape at gunpoint from Crumlin Road Prison of the seven main defendants , and another man from Ardboe in County Tyrone ('the Crumlin Road Eight') .

Six of the eight men were subsequently arrested in the Free State and sentenced under the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act to ten-year sentences . Two men are still uncaptured . Those of the remaining defendants in the Kennedy case who had not signed statements incriminating themselves were later acquitted , making the whole affair a grave embarrassment to the RUC .

Nevertheless , the precedent which had been initiated in the McWilliams case and followed up by James Kennedy's testimony , had firmly set the stage for future attempts to gain convictions against Republicans and supporters on the uncorroborated 'evidence' of paid informers .......

(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, February 08, 2006

THE DUBLIN COUNCIL OF TRADE UNIONS - founded on March 3rd , 1886 : 120 years ago this year .......
First published in 'AP/RN' , 27th February 1986 .

In recent years the DCTU has spearheaded the campaign against the PAYE taxation system - the peak of the campaign came in 1979 when the DCTU organised a 100,000-strong demonstration to Leinster House , undoubtedly one of the largest demonstrations ever seen in Dublin .

And the DCTU has'nt ignored its obligations towards the city's unemployed workers either ; Jerry Shanahan , Vice-President of the DCTU , says that four years of hard work will shortly bear fruit when Unemployed Centres will be set up in Tallaght , Bonnybrook and the North Inner City to act as a focus for local jobs campaigns and to provide 'drop-in' facilities , advice and assistance for the unemployed .

The history of the Dublin Council Of Trade Unions clearly shows that , while taking a leading role in defence of working-class economic interests , they never have lost sight of the importance of national liberation as part of the equation for social liberation .

[END of 'THE DUBLIN COUNCIL OF TRADE UNIONS' .]
(Tomorrow - ' THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND THE IRISH STRUGGLE' - from 1989.)



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 .

British 'Lord' Widgery hinted at his underlying approach to an inquiry into Bloody Sunday by his deadpan observation that "...there was no reason why they (British soldiers) should have begun to shoot unless they had come under fire themselves . " The same approach led to other crucial findings by Widgery , including that "... on the balance of probabilities .. " Gerald Donaghey , 17 , 'had four nail bombs in his pockets' when shot in Glenfada Park !

Much has been made of this 'case' by defenders of the Bloody Sunday operation and by those arguing there was 'blame on both sides' - it was the only case in which a 'weapon' of any kind had allegedly been 'found' on the body of a victim : all other 'weapons' had been 'spirited away' ... : the 'nail-bomb evidence' came from a British bomb-disposal Officer , 'Soldier 127' , who told 'Lord' Widgery that shortly after the shooting he had been called to Craigavon Bridge to examine a car containing a body .

'British Soldier 127' stated that he noted two nail-bombs protruding from the jeans pockets , and two from the jacket pockets of a dead youth : each of the nail-bombs , he said , was "...about the size of a cocoa tin .. " . He summounded an RUC photographer and a reporter from 'The Times' newspaper to note the nail-bombs : both gave 'evidence' confirming that the nail-bombs 'were in Donaghey's pockets' when they arrived at the car .......

(MORE LATER).



INFORMERS : The RUC's Psychological War .......
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983.
By Sean Delaney.

In at least one important respect , the treachery of a 23-year-old Andersontown taxi driver , James Kennedy , (subs required) provided a closer parallel than the Stephen McWilliams affair with the RUC's subsequent deployment of informers .

Kennedy , as well as receiving immunity from prosecution for his alleged role in providing a car for moving IRA Volunteers and arms on a number of occasions , was required to testify in court against 12 republicans on major charges , and a number of others on lesser charges , after being promised £25,000 .

It was this readiness - undoubtedly decided on at a senior political level - to provide relatively (and later , extremely) large sums of money , along with immunity , that hallmarked the way the British would subsequently convince informers , who had first been psychologically 'broken' during interrogation and incriminated themselves , to go through with their 'evidence' in court .

RUC propaganda , on the other hand , and prosecution counsels , would try to suggest that the motivation of informers was not self-interested and was based on a 'moral' disillusionment with the activities they were allegedly involved in .......!

(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, February 07, 2006

THE DUBLIN COUNCIL OF TRADE UNIONS - founded on March 3rd , 1886 : 120 years ago this year .......
First published in 'AP/RN' , 27th February 1986 .

Throughout the 1950's , the Dublin Council of Trade Unions and its rival organisation , the Dublin Trades' Union Council , were active on social issues , particularly unemployment , price increases and the provision of free public transport for pensioners . Various attempts to mount joint actions were fruitless until 1955 , when a combined James Connolly Commemoration was organised .

Congress re-united in 1959 but , due to various difficulties , it was'nt until 1960 that the two Dublin Trade Union Councils merged ; the new constitution of the ICTU severely restricted the role of trades' councils in the sphere of industrial relations and inter-union disputes . Correspondingly , the DCTU expanded its activities into an increasingly agitiational role and during the 1960's it played a prominent part in the campaigns of the Dublin Housing Action Committee . Demonstrations were also organised against EEC entry and for the retention of proportional representation .

When the North of Ireland erupted in 1969 the DCTU adopted a position supportive of the Civil Rights movement and when internment was introduced they opened a fund for internees' dependants . At this time , links between the DCTU and the Belfast Council were strengthened ; since 1969 , the DCTU has consistently adopted motions in support of the Nationalist people - it supported the 1981 H-Block hunger-strike and is currently active in the anti-strip-searches campaign .......

(MORE LATER).



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 .

British 'Lord' Widgery heard evidence from six civilians about events in the flats' courtyard - they were Father (later Bishop) Edward Daly ; Simon Winchester , a journalist then with the 'Guardian' newspaper ; Mary Bonnor , a resident of the flats ; Derrick Tucker , an Englishman living in Derry who had seen service with both the British Royal Navy and the RAF ; Joseph Doherty , an unemployed man from the Creggan Estate ; and Francis Dunne , a school-teacher , now headmaster of a large primary school . All were adamant that the British soldiers' account of gunfire was total fabrication - no shots had been fired at the paras , they had'nt had to take cover and so on .

Widgery professed himself "...entirely satisfied .. " that the British paras had come under fire and had fired back only in self-defence (!) , and that it was in these circumstances that Jackie Duddy had been shot dead and Michael Bridge , Michael Bradley , Peggy Deery , Patrick McDaid and Alana Burke wounded . Widgery stated :

" Such a conclusion is not reached by counting heads or by selecting any particular witness as truthful in preference to another . It is a conclusion gradually built up over many days * of listening to evidence and watching the demeanour of witnesses under cross-examination . " (* -three days , only !) No-where in his report does Widgery compare the two hugely conflicting stories : the reference to "...the demeanour.." of witnesses is his entire account of his process of 'reasoning' - he offers no explanation for the remarkable level of disagreement between the British soldiers .......

(MORE LATER).



INFORMERS : The RUC's Psychological War .......
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983.
By Sean Delaney.

The fourth defendant in the Stephen McWilliams informer trial , Kevin Mulgrew , then aged 24 , was acquitted , but remained in RUC custody on separate charges ; he had faced a long concerted effort by the British and their 'police force' , the RUC , to put him behind bars - arrested in 1973 and charged with the ludicrous offence of '... attempted (!) membership of the IRA .. ' , the charges were quickly dropped . In October 1976 he was again arrested and held for five months on remand on charges of carrying out a bombing but , once more , the charges were dropped .

A third time , in November 1977 , he was charged with a bombing and held for fifteen months on remand before being acquitted at his 'trial' in February 1979 . Five months later he was again arrested on the McWilliams charges , and although acquitted in March 1980 he was not released until after a third 'trial' on October 24th 1980 , in which he was acquitted of possession of a weapon with intent .

Ironically for Kevin Mulgrew , despite having faced and beaten no less than five frame-ups and spent almost three years out of seven remanded in custody , he was again to be arrested - in November 1981 - on the 'evidence' of another paid informer , Christopher Black , and held in custody , in what for him had become most definitely a process of internment by remand - indications that Black was deliberately slanting his 'schooled' 'evidence' against Kevin Mulgrew in particular , while testifying in January 1983 , in order to portray him as the prime instigator of acts of Republican resistance in North Belfast , made it certain that the RUC was determined that this time Mulgrew would not escape its clutches , and provided an insight into how the RUC cynically views the role of its informers .......

(MORE LATER).







Monday, February 06, 2006

THE DUBLIN COUNCIL OF TRADE UNIONS - founded on March 3rd , 1886 : 120 years ago this year .......
First published in 'AP/RN' , 27th February 1986 .

The 1930's and 1940's were dominated by the political rise and retention of power by Fianna Fail - * that organisation attracted widespread working-class support and generally had the support of the DCTU for its social and economic policies , particularly their policy of protection of native industries . ( * '1169...' Comment - It is only fair to acknowledge that , in its early days , Fianna Fail did stand for something ; they actually had a 'bottom line' then . But not now - they have been for years simply a political vehicle for snake-oil salesmen to climb aboard and attempt to etch out a career for themselves in . Their representatives and members are one-hundred per cent 'swop-able' with any other Leinster House party , and they with it .)

This period is also marked by the role the trades' council played in all major disputes in the Dublin area : builders' labourers in 1931 ; transport in 1935 ; the building industry for six months in 1937 ; municipal workers in 1940 ; and primary school teachers in 1946 . During this time the DCTU had many of the powers of the present-day Irish Congress of Trade Unions . The DCTU had the machinery for centralised wage bargaining and for handling inter-union disputes . It also took on a more militant political role and when Fianna Fail attempted to bring in a wages freeze and a trade union bill , the Council launched an opposition campaign - massive demonstrations were organised and a special paper , 'Workers' Action' , was produced .

The trades' Council was also in the vanguard of the Dublin movement against fascism and demonstrations were organised against O' Duffy's 'Blueshirts' .

The Irish Trade Union Congress split of 1944 (basically over the national question) had its mirror image in the DCTU and a rival grouping , the Dublin Trades' Union Council , was formed.......

(MORE LATER).



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 .

British 'Lord' Widgery's political objective is even clearer from looking at examples of his handling of the evidence that he did choose to hear - for example , relating to the key moment when British paratroopers opened fire in the courtyard of Rossville Flats and shot dead 17-year-old Jackie Duddy , the young man seen in a much-used film clip being carried dying through British Army lines by a group of men including Dr. Edward Daly .

British 'Lord' Widgery heard from eight members of 'Support Company' , 1 Para , who told of how they had 'come under fire' as they de-bussed from an armoured personnel carrier (APC) in the flats' courtyard , intending to 'arrest' "...hooligans.." - however , every soldier's account of the 'hostile fire' contradicted every other soldier's account ; the 'fog of battle' (!) hardly accounts for the discrepancies . British Sergeant 'O' told of around 80 shots being fired in this enclosed space in the course of two to three minutes from different calibre weapons ; British Lieutenant 'N' , on the other hand , could not recall any civilian gunfire at all .

British Major '236' described "...continuous firing .. " not for 'two to three minutes' but for ten minutes : British Lance Corporal 'V' heard only 'single-shot rifle-fire' . And so on . Some of those British soldiers 'took cover' behind the APC , a 'bulkier' vehicle than , say , a Ford Trasit van . But not only did the 'blizzard' of (incoming) bullets miss the sheltering British soldiers , it missed the APC as well .......

(MORE LATER).



INFORMERS : The RUC's Psychological War .......
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983.
By Sean Delaney.

But while changing circumstances were forcing the British administration to look to new methods of getting a flow of information from the nationalist ghettos , it was the McWilliams and Kennedy affairs that provided the 'dry run' for the later more widespread use of informers recruited to give 'evidence' in 'court' .

In March 1980 the 'trial' of four men , including North Belfast Republican Martin Meehan , took place , accused of conspiring to kidnap Stephen McWilliams from the New Lodge Road on July 11th 1979 and holding him against his will . McWilliams , a petty thief caught in the act of robbing a bar , had been recruited by the British Army some time earlier (in return for cash and not being prosecuted) to report on the movements of suspected local Republicans , including Martin Meehan .

At the 'trial' , McWilliams' testimony constituted the only 'evidence' for the prosecution , while monetary gain was shown to be his primary motivation for informing . Nevertheless , despite the evidence of defence witnesses , three of the men - Martin Meehan , Chris Doherty and Patrick Burnside - were convicted and jailed for twelve years . Meehan was later to protest his innocence in the H-Blocks by embarking on a 66-day hunger-strike that brought him close to death .

In November 1982 , Stephen McWilliams , abandoned by his British Army paymasters and in hiding in England , and apparently remorseful at his role in framing Martin Meehan and the others , wrote a letter to the 'Sunday World' newspaper confessing that he had deliberately perjured himself on British Army instructions to obtain the convictions .......

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