" 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, July 14, 2006

Updated each Monday , Wednesday and Friday . The '1169...' crew will be heading off on our annual holiday today , July 14th , for about two weeks . 'Junior' considers himself "too old" to accompany old fogies like us but , if he finds time for the computer at all , it will be on 'Bebo/My Space' or the like . So whatever chance there is of him minding the house , there is absolutely no chance of him 'minding' the blog ! We should be back in late July , or possibly sooner - depends on the funds!


PADDY COONEY'S ARMY .......
Not since the earliest days of the State has the role of the Irish Army (sic) been under such intense scrutiny . And not since the war years has it had such a forceful political master as Patrick Mark Cooney .
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , 3 February 1984 .

Whilst Paddy Cooney was away representing the Dublin Administration at the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the wonderful State of Turkey , three of the enfants terribles helicoptered their way out of Mountjoy Prison in Dublin : this set a trend , and British agent Kenneth Littlejohn was the next to leave , followed by 19 more from Portlaoise Jail . Was it any surprise that a 'soft blanket' of paranoia seemed to settle over the State Coalition Administration ?

Organisations like Prisoners Dependents groups and Civil Rights organisations were accused of being fronts for the Provisional IRA : a hunger-strike in Mountjoy Jail 'merited' Free State troops being sent in . In 1975 , the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill was introduced and Paddy Cooney described as "...a fluke in our extradition laws.." the exemption from extradition for political offences : it should be noted that in 1977 , when Mr. Cooney failed to get re-elected , he described this as "...an electoral fluke.. " !

In the late 1970's , Paddy Cooney met members of the UDA in what he described as "...in a casual way.." and talked to British 'Northern Ireland' (sic) Secretary Merlyn Rees about the deployment of SAS units in South Armagh.......
(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.

It needs to be said at this stage , although it is a commonplace for Northern Nationalists , that the British shoot-to-kill tactic is nothing new in the arsenal of British repression in the Six Counties , and that - although it has been an on-going tactic at one level or another throughout the whole course of the present resistance in the North of Ireland - it is , like sectarian assassination campaigns run by British forces and their paramilitary puppets in Ireland , a 'tap' that can be turned on and off to suit British and loyalist needs in particular political situations .

Bloody Sunday in 1972 , when British strategists tried unsuccessfully to 'draw out' the IRA and teach civil rights protestors a sharp and brutal lesson in the process , provides one major illustration of this . Nothing fundamentally has changed since this , except perhaps that the British are generally prepared to let loyalist killer gangs carry out random attacks on Catholic civilians , while themselves preferring to engage in specific political assassinations against Irish Republican activists .

Even so , it has generally been the role of the SAS - as seen particularly in the South Armagh area during 1975 and 1976 when they assassinated IRA Volunteers John Green and Peter Cleary and , mistakenly for a Republican , Seamus Ludlow - to carry out covert killings with few or no questions asked , rather than regular British soldiers or the RUC : what has altered then is the political circumstances.......
(MORE LATER).


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

The Workers Party embraced Eoghan Harris and his 'marxist' policies , hungry as they were for political 'clothes' that would mark them off from the Provos and the Communist Party of Ireland and which would also enable them to replace a jaded (State) Labour Party in the future . Such feverish activity with great matters of State were beginning to cause problems in RTE : Harris was often away 'ill' or , more recently , on sabbatical leave . Last year (1984) an enraged senior executive attempted to remove Eoghan Harris from the payroll because he was not working on any project . Other less flamboyant programmers resent a man they see as a talented yet dilettante producer who can wander in and out of the station as he pleases !

Harris is currently working as a producer on the 'Mailbag' television programme , which hardly exercises his mind to the full...

Something that has not damaged Harris within RTE , however , has been his close relationship with Muiris Mac Conghail , now Controller of RTE 1 television and aspirant RTE Director General ; Harris and other Workers Party members moved a motion at the FWUI station-branch backing Mac Conghail in his tussle with RTE Authority Chairman Fred O 'Donovan earlier this year , but the move backfired when other producers objected to the Director General race being turned into a political football.......
(MORE LATER).


Holidays tomorrow , Saturday 15th July : we will be back in '1169 Towers' towards the end of July . However , having said that , I am reminded of an Oscar Wilde quote : " There is a fatality about all good resolutions . They are invariably made too soon . " Slan go foill anois , and remember : Ni Seoinini sinn go leir ! Sharon and crew .






Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Updated each Monday , Wednesday and Friday . The '1169...' crew will be heading off on our annual holiday this Friday , July 14th , for about two weeks . 'Junior' considers himself "too old" to accompany old fogies like us but , if he finds time for the computer at all , it will be on 'Bebo/My Space' or the like . So whatever chance there is of him minding the house , there is absolutely no chance of him 'minding' the blog ! We should be back in late July , or possibly sooner - depends on the funds!

PADDY COONEY'S ARMY .......
Not since the earliest days of the State has the role of the Irish Army (sic) been under such intense scrutiny . And not since the war years has it had such a forceful political master as Patrick Mark Cooney .
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , 3 February 1984 .

It was as Fine Gael spokesman on Justice that Paddy Cooney uttered those immortal words that few now will credit as having emanated from the mouth of the man - speaking on the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Bill , which allowed for a statement of belief by a Garda Chief Superintendent that a person was a member of an 'illegal organisation' to be adduced in 'evidence' , Cooney said -

" .....how can he (the State Minister for Justice) come into this Parliament (ie Leinster House) and ask it to support a Bill the like of which can only be found on the statute books of South Africa ? There is a limit to the measures a democracy is entitled to adopt in order to protect itself , and that limit is exceeded in this bill . It is repugnant to the basic principles of justice and liberty . " In one short speech , Paddy Cooney had become 'the Great White Liberal Hope of the Seventies' !

Less than three months later Paddy Cooney was appointed (FS) Minister for Justice by the incoming Fine Gael/Labour coalition administration , largely as a concession to the 'liberal wing' of the party ! Only then did the people discover the real Paddy Cooney.......
(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.

The text of the press communique issued by the Catholic bishops after their two-day conference read as follows - ".....it became clear that far more attention should be paid to voices of moderation in all sections of the Northern Ireland (sic) community . " This was clear in its call for acceptance of the status quo in the North of Ireland , including the RUC and their shoot-to-kill tactics , and was absolute in its rejection of those who daily experience that status quo , and that 'moderation' , and all the poverty , repression and death it entails .

The reaction of loyalists has been as predictable as that of the SDLP and the Catholic hierarchy , the shoot-to-kill policy answering the demands they have continually made for SAS-style assassination campaigns . Orange Order leader Thomas Passmore said -

" I call upon the (British) Secretary of State to remove the political shackles from our security forces . It is now high time for a review of the whole 'yellow card' procedure... " , while DUP leader Ian Paisley called for shoot-to-kill actions to be " ....repeated across the province. " But whether Paisley or other anti-Republicans spoke in favour of it or not , the Westminster shoot-to-kill policy was nothing new to Northern nationalists.......
(MORE LATER).


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

In late 1972 , Eoghan Harris wrote an unsigned article in the 'United Irishman' newspaper entitled - " What Is Imperialism? " , one of the most lucid expositions ever penned of the classic anti-imperialist position in Ireland . Two years later he wrote a document , ' From Civil Rights To Class Politics' , which argued that the Sunningdale Agreement had solved the civil-rights question * and that it was now time to polarise Irish workers against Irish capitalism . ( * '1169...' Comment - as far as Irish republicans are concerned , the "question" regarding British jurisdiction over any part of this isle has nothing to do with "civil rights" . It is not , as Republican Sinn Fein has repeatedly stated , a case of saying to Westminster 'stay if you want , just treat us better...' . However - those that fumble in the greasy till , for Sterling or Euro , would accept a so-called "civil rights" 'solution' . Irish republicans , on the other hand , are aware that such a 'solution' would simply postpone the conflict and curse future generations into dealing with this same issue .)

In 1977 , Eoghan Harris co-authored 'The Irish Industrial Revolution' in which he argued that Irish under-development was the result , not of British suppression , but of the unwillingness of Irish capitalists to industrialise . The more orthodox marxists of the Communist Party of Ireland tore this thesis to shreds in a pamphlet issued in reply , but it remained the theoretical guideline of the Workers Party until recently . The result of this approach is to identify virtually all things ethnic as 'reactionary' and 'obscurantist' : thus , Harris would see Irish republican ideology , the Catholic Church and rural "backwardness" as the three pillars of reaction in Ireland today .

In this scenario , foreign multinational company's are the agency of industrialisation and therefore , ultimately , the creators of a strong industrial working class . That such an ideology should pass itself off as 'marxist' is a reflection on the dearth of a marxist tradition in Ireland rather than a tribute to Eoghan Harris as a 'socialist theoretician' - but the Workers Party loved it .......
(MORE LATER).







Monday, July 10, 2006

Updated each Monday , Wednesday and Friday .
The '1169...' crew will be heading off on our annual holiday this Friday , July 14th , for about two weeks . 'Junior' considers himself "too old" to accompany old fogies like us but , if he finds time for the computer at all , it will be on 'Bebo/My Space' or the like . So whatever chance there is of him minding the house , there is absolutely no chance of him 'minding' the blog ! We should be back in late July , or possibly sooner - depends on the funds!


PADDY COONEY'S ARMY .......
Not since the earliest days of the State has the role of the Irish Army (sic) been under such intense scrutiny . And not since the war years has it had such a forceful political master as Patrick Mark Cooney .
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , 3 February 1984 .

Paddy Cooney is the first (Free State) Minister for Defence to be appointed who had previously held the 'Justice' slot in Leinster House , which explains why he finds himself more interested in local 'subversives' than foreign enemies .

Whilst soliciting in Athlone , County Westmeath , Generalissimo Patrick Cooney first threw his political hat into the ring by campaigning for his relation General Sean MacEoin in the State Presidential election of 1959 : at 28 years of age he was still a bright young thing , and in the following years ran no less than three times for election to Leinster House in the constituency of Longford-Westmeath .

On one count , he tied with former Provisional Sinn Fein President Ruairi O' Bradaigh , which may or may not go some way towards explaining why he said last December that he could not look at a member of Provisional Sinn Fein "...without a sense of loathing ." However , fourth-time lucky ; and in a by-election of 1970 , Paddy Cooney finally gained his reward for persistence .

Exactly one year later , Paddy Cooney became Fine Gael spokesman on Justice , a subject with which he has been politically connected ever since.......
(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.

In early January 1983 , the Catholic hierarchy signalled its political support for the RUC and its total lack of real sympathy even for the relatives of the RUC's victims : arriving in the North of Ireland on January 4th , 1983 , for a two-day visit for talks by leading members of the Catholic hierarchy in England with their Irish counterparts , Bishop James O' Brien from Hertfordshire said that he was satisfied with British government denials that a shoot-to-kill policy existed - " I accept the sincerity of the British government , " he said .

The following evening , when relatives of the six Armagh shoot-to-kill victims gathered outside Aras Coeli , Cardinal O Fiaich's residence in Armagh where the bishops were meeting , to talk to Bishop O' Brien about the uninformed stupidity of his utterances , he callously refused to see them , while Cardinal O Fiaich's secretary , Fr. James Clyne , told the relatives they were trespassing on private property and that the RUC would be called to move them if they did not leave !

Having refused to listen at first-hand to the anguished voice of relatives who knew only too well what ' the rule of law and order' meant to them , the text of the press communique issued by the Catholic Bishops after their two day conference was seen by 'their flock' to be a call to 'accept your lot'.......
(MORE LATER).



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

In late 1972 , Official Sinn Fein was at a crossroads : attempts to differentiate itself from the Provos meant that it had to forge a socialist ideology while still competing for republican support that was rapidly shifting towards the Provos .

Seamus Costello wanted to adopt a socialist , republican strategy backed by a military campaign : Sean Garland wanted to do likewise minus the armed struggle , as did Eoin O Murchu . Many Official Sinn Fein'ers wanted to maintain a Left alliance with the Communist Party of Ireland and the (Free State) Labour Party Left .

Eoghan Harris , however , decided it was necessary to dump Communists , Labour and republicanism and , along with Cathal Goulding , proceeded to purge the party of any taint of 'green' politics : Goulding was the organisational strategist while Harris provided the 'intellectual' muscle . The transformation of the party's politics could best be mirrored by Eoghan Harris's metamorphosis.......
(MORE LATER).