" 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, June 30, 2006

Due to a 'balls-up' with our staff (!) , this blog will publish only on Mondays , Wednesdays and Fridays .
Until .......


THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT : INSIDE THE NORTHERN IRELAND (sic) PEACE TALKS (sic).......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1997 .
By Fionnuala O' Connor .

No-one is more aware than David Trimble himself of how little personal loyality he commands among his parliamentary party , how unreconciled senior colleagues still are to his elevation by the despised rank and file of the 600-strong UUP Council .

In an informal setting , Trimble was once asked why did'nt he tell Orangemen that they must realise the damage done by their yearly equation of unionism with the 'right' to march past angry Catholics ; " And if I did , " said Trimble , " would you find me another party to lead ? "

One veteran talks observer sounds an optimistic though disillusioned note - " He does everything arse about face . It takes forever , he creates obstacles so he can claim concessions , and who knows what that does to his community . But bit by bit with a lot of pressure he's moved in the right direction . And he's still in there . "
[END of 'THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT : INSIDE THE NORTHERN IRELAND (sic) PEACE TALKS (sic).]
(Next - 'PADDY COONEY'S ARMY' : from 1984.)

SHOOT TO KILL .......
The unchanging face of repression .
PETER HAYES examines reactions to the latest shoot-to-kill deaths .
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983.

On December 12th , 1982 , at the Mullaghcreevie Estate in Armagh City , two INLA Volunteers , Roddy Carroll and Seamus Grew , were gunned down in an RUC ambush that bore all the hallmarks of earlier shoot-to-kill operations and , again , the RUC claimed that the car in which Carroll and Grew were in had burst through a road checkpoint before they opened fire . All the evidence would later confirm that there were no checkpoints at any of the incidents , only RUC men lying in wait . The INLA Volunteers were not armed .

In Roddy Carroll's case , he had only recently been released - to the RUC's considerable annoyance - after an informer retracted 'evidence' he had initially agreed to give against him .

Since those six Armagh slayings in the space of one month , there has been further incontrovertible proof of a shoot-to-kill policy operating right across the Six Counties , aimed specifically at known republican activists but affecting also other members of the nationalist community found in what the RUC or British Army regard as suitably compromising situations : two men engaged in petty theft have been shot dead in Belfast - Patrick Elliott on December 27th , 1982 , by soldiers of the British Army 'Black Watch' regiment as he ran unarmed from an Andersonstown chip shop he had just robbed .

Francis McColgan , January 19th , 1983 , was shot dead after a car chase by the RUC , following a petrol station robbery by McColgan and two friends using an imitation pistol.......
(MORE LATER).


PILLARS OF SOCIETY : EOGHAN HARRIS .
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , October 1985 .

Not the least surprise of the recent Theatre Festival was the emergence into public view of the author of 'Souper Sullivan', one Eoghan Harris , who is better known as a TV producer and less known as a political activist . Harris is so given to secrecy that few people outside the media know of his deep influence within the Workers Party - in fact , more than anyone else , Eoghan Harris has been responsible for the transformation of the Workers Party philosophy from socialist republicanism to a bizarre blend of stalinist unionism .

But strangely , now that the Workers Party is breaking through into electoral politics , it is also shaking itself free from its hard-line mentors . There are new stars rising in the WP , more pliable , more compromising , and more intent on getting their bums onto seats in Leinster House . All of which leaves the moody Eoghan Harris somewhat isolated , somewhat bitter , and with time on his hands to write boring plays .

The son of a well-to-do Cork shop-keeper , Harris was originally an ardent republican ; those who remember him in University College Cork say his early republican persona was almost stage Irish.......
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Due to a 'balls-up' with our staff (!) , this blog will publish only on Mondays , Wednesdays and Fridays .
Until.......

THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT : INSIDE THE NORTHERN IRELAND (sic) PEACE TALKS (sic).......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1997 .
By Fionnuala O' Connor .

DUP presence in talks , which has begun to seem possible since the recent warm exchange between Ian Paisley and Mo Mowlam , would nonetheless further un-nerve the clearly jittery UUP. The occasional proposition by a few London editorial writers that David Trimble is biding his time , edging his 'troops' forward , meets with derision among talks' participants and a unanimous shaking of heads - however , few predict a Trimble walkout : one delegate put it , gloomily , - " If the Paisley menace revives though , and he stops the thing in its tracks further down the line by starting on again about decommissioning , that would be no surprise . "

Whatever Gerry Adams and the (P) Sinn Fein leadership face in the future , it is the Unionist dilemma which grabs attention now - unionist posturing , mirrored perfectly for one watcher in David Trimble's jerky body language , invites mockery but offers the slightest of hopes - " He can't sit down and the others seem nearly as restless . Perhaps that represents the mood in their community at the moment . Who knows where it might lead ? On good days I think there might be a speeded-up versioin of the shift that brought republicans this far . "

Inside the talks some sympathise with David Trimble's predicament : only a remarkable leader could present the likely outcome of negotiations for unionists as anything other than defeat . Trimble could in theory of course say , as a scornful former colleague puts it - "...this is a process I neither like nor trust , the Shinners are a devious bunch , but I'm staying because my people will go unrepresented if I don't , and I'll argue as hard as I can for a settlement that underwrites the British dimension of Northern Ireland (sic) , no matter what happens to unionist numerical superiority . " That David Trimble who owes his election as leader to his performance at Drumcree 1995 , however , is on past form not the man to make such a pitch.......
(MORE LATER).


SHOOT TO KILL .
The unchanging face of repression .
PETER HAYES examines reactions to the latest shoot-to-kill deaths .
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983.

At around 9.35PM on the night of Thursday , November 11th last year (1982) , 31-year-old Gervase McKerr left his home in Lurgan's Teghnaven estate accompanied by Eugene Toman and Sean Burns , both aged 21 . All three were IRA Volunteers in the North Armagh Brigade , all three were unarmed .

Less than ten minutes later they lay dead or dying on a darkened road less than half-a-mile away , Gervase's Ford Escort car riddled with more than 50 bullets in an RUC ambush . Less than two weeks later , on November 24th 1982 , not far away from the scene of the earlier killings , at a farmhouse between Lurgan and Craigavon , 17-year-old Michael Tighe was shot dead and his 20-year-old friend critically wounded in a second RUC stake-out operation . Neither were members of a republican organisation , yet the RUC claimed that a routine patrol had opened fire when the youths had pointed weapons at them . The 'weapons' the RUC produced were three 60-year-old rifles of German and Italian origin , believed to have belonged to the late husband of the elderly woman who lived at the farmhouse - he was a republican veteran of the Black and Tan war .

There was no ammunition with the rifles and considerable evidence that an RUC unit had staked out the farm for some time before the shooting : Martin McAuley , wounded in the attack , was subsequently charged in his hospital bed with 'conspiracy to murder' , in a transparent attempt to cover up the RUC's cold-blooded killing .......
(MORE LATER).



THE RIGHT TO SILENCE.......
Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act has just been renewed for another year by State Communications Minister Jim Mitchell , despite increasing protests and lobbying by the NUJ .
HELEN O'CONNOR examines the results of a recent NIHE survey of the attitudes of Dublin people on the issue and GERRY LAVERY looks back to the roots of Section 31 .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , February 1987 .

In a 1977 directive to RTE , Conor Cruise O' Brien spelled out exactly what organisations were to be banned from the airwaves :

' RTE is hereby directed to refrain from broadcasting any matter which is : an interview or report of an interview with a spokesman for any one or more of the following organisations , namely -
a) the organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army .
b) the organisation styling itself Sinn Fein .
c) the organisation styling itself the Ulster Defence Association .
d) the organisation styling itself the Irish National Liberation Army . '

To that list has now been added Republican Sinn Fein .

The question of electoral broadcasts was contested during the 1982 elections by Sinn Fein candidate Sean Lynch : he won his case in the State High Court , but the State appealed to the Supreme Court , where Judge O' Higgins ruled that the Minister was not acting 'ultra vires' (' outside of his jurisdiction') , by restricting Sinn Fein from taking part in electoral broadcasts , no matter how many candidates they put up .
[END of 'The Right To Silence']
(NEXT : 'Eoghan Harris - Pillars Of Society' , from 1985)






Monday, June 26, 2006

Due to 'staff' (!) shortages here at '1169...' - because of some football matches or other , this Blog will only be updated every second day , for the next few weeks . In short , I have been abandoned by all but this machine ! Sharon . (PS : the exams are over , but now 'Junior' is distracted by the football . What next - girls knocking on the door ... ? )


THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT : INSIDE THE NORTHERN IRELAND (sic) PEACE TALKS (sic).......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1997 .
By Fionnuala O' Connor .

The 'Ulster Unionist Party' were challenged on their 'sloppy' paper-work ; they shrugged and replied - " You know us , always late ... " - however , some suspect the real reason is dread of 'position papers' leaking to Ian Paisley (DUP) or worse , falling under the forensic knife of one-time UUP member and longtime foe , barrister Bob McCartney .

One delegate stated , in language echoed by several others - " It's the absence of McCartney that's made this place more relaxed . When he was there it was like a school with a great big bully and you never knew if it was you that was in for the ritual humiliation . You hoped it would be someone else . Almost everyone felt it , but he hated the UUP worst ; you could see the relief on their faces when McCartney turned on the British government instead of them . " A disloyal colleague said - " David's still looking over his shoulder at Bob , even though he's not there . "

By comparison , the ageing Paisley's thunder has lost some of its intimidatory charge : yet , in the absence of Paisley and Robert McCartney , who between them won 43 per cent of the unionist vote in 1996's Forum Election , the UUP can only claim to speak for a narrow majority of unionists with the support of the tiny loyalist parties , not the most comfortable position for a party which shuns (P) Sinn Fein as indistinguishable from the IRA.......
(MORE LATER).



THE ROMAN REICH....... ?
Following the disbandment of the Dublin-based grouping , the NSIWP , a new right-wing organisation , believed to be linked with right-wing Catholic groups , has been formed . COLM KEENA reports .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , 1 October 1987.

In July of last year (1986) , 'In Dublin' magazine published an article on the National Socialist Irish Workers Party (following which the magazine received a number of threatening letters , and even a fish's head!) which revealed that the owner of the house in Eugene Street , Dublin 8 , which was being used as a postal address for rascist and anti-semitic material distributed in Ireland and abroad , was a Hazel Etherington , married name Deevy , who lives in Stamer Street , Dublin 8 : M/S Deevy told 'In Dublin' that she was not a member of the NSIWP , and that she simply rented the house to them .

That property has since been put up for sale , as has another property on Daniel Street , Dublin , which is also used by members of the same right-wing organisation . The NSIWP has now been 'absorbed' into a similiar group called the National Socialist Party (NSP) , whose leader is an Allen G. Glenhill , who lives in Warrenpoint , County Down : the NSP says there is 'no love lost' between themselves and the 'Social Action Initiative' , the group which publishes the 'Ar Aghaidh' bulletin , and say they are looking forward to see who will 'win out in the end' , when the 'Social Action Initiative' goes public in 1988 .

Both the NSP and the SAI have political lines which are anti-multinationals , anti-communist , pro-nationalism , and anti-non-EEC foreign nationals : the alternatives to capitalist democratic slavery and world communist tyranny is national socialist liberation , they believe .
[END of 'THE ROMAN REICH']
(Next : ' SHOOT TO KILL ' - from 1983.)


THE RIGHT TO SILENCE.......
Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act has just been renewed for another year by State Communications Minister Jim Mitchell , despite increasing protests and lobbying by the NUJ .
HELEN O'CONNOR examines the results of a recent NIHE survey of the attitudes of Dublin people on the issue and GERRY LAVERY looks back to the roots of Section 31 .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , February 1987 .

A new RTE Authority was appointed and on 16 November 1974 , the 'Irish Press' newspaper commented : ' Since it took up office the present Authority has been asserting itself in an area of management which previous authorities left to the administrative and executive employees of RTE . It has insisted on being represented on interview boards for example , and its tentacles have reached down deeper and deeper into the day by day decision making areas and programme making areas of the organisation . '

In 1976 Conor Cruise O' Brien introduced the Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) which stated - 'Where the Minister is of the opinion that the broadcasting of a particular matter or any matter of a particular class which would be likely to promote , or incite to crime , or would tend to undermine the authority of the state , he may by order direct the Authority to refrain from broadcasting the matter or any matter of the particular class , and the Authority shall comply with the order . ' That amendment included the controversial and highly ambiguous phrase '...tend to undermine the authority of the state..' .

And just in case he had'nt made himself clear , in 1977 O' Brien issued a directive to RTE in which he spelled out exactly what organisations were to be banned from the airways.......
(MORE LATER).