" 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, September 08, 2006

THE WALLACE AND HOLROYD FILE .
These files are now coming under the scrutiny of the 'authorities' . Heads will role . But whose ?
From 'New Hibernia' magazine , April 1987 .

Last August , Lt Col John Morgan of G2 (Security) Section of Irish (Free State) Military Intelligence obtained a file listing detailed allegations about the co-operation of members of the State security forces with dirty tricks carried out in the Irish Republic (sic - the 26 county State/Free State) - the dossier named three serving detectives in the Garda Siochana , an assortment of British military and civilian intelligence men , and a Garda officer who claimed : " We (the gardai who were co-operating with British intelligence) are more afraid of our own politicians . They're the ones you can't trust . "

Last week , six months after the allegations that named individuals who had conspired in murder , kidnaps and probably committed treason , not one of them had been interviewed about the claims which came from Captain Fred Holroyd and Captain Colin Wallace , two former intelligence men in the North of Ireland . The names of four men alleged to be behind the Dublin bombings of 1974 and the RUC detective sergeant who co-operated with them were also in the file obtained by G2 . None of these had been interviewed by last week , yet the then (Free State) Justice Minister , Fine Gael's Alan Dukes , had dismissed the Wallace/Holroyd claims .

Now an investigation has been ordered by (Free State) Taoiseach Charles Haughey (Fianna Fail) : its purpose - to find out who stopped the investigation last August , and why the Wallace/Holroyd claims have been dismissed in State ministerial briefings despite the failure to investigate . There is a distinct fear in some security circles in Dublin that when the riddle of the Wallace/Holroyd File is solved , more than one head will role and that some detectives could end up behind bars.......
(MORE LATER).



THE HEAVY HAND OF THE LAW .......
Allegations of Garda brutality only hit the headlines intermittently . But the problem may be much more widespread than most people imagine . Last year out-of-court settlements of cases involving members of the Garda cost the taxpayer over €1 million . What's going on ?
From 'MAGILL' magazine , April 2003 .
By Mairead Carey.

Few of those cases ever make the headlines : what happened to Grainne and Ciara Walsh (scroll to post #18) was an exception .

The two sisters were walking up Grafton Street in Dublin with friends in the early hours of 25 April 1998 when an unmarked Garda car reversed towards them ; in an attempt to alert the gardai , one of the sisters , Grainne , a fashion designer from Castleknock in Dublin , banged on the boot of the car . She was arrested and thrown into the back of a Garda van and , when her sister objected , she , too , was arrested . On the journey to Pearse Street Garda Barracks , Grainne Walsh claimed she was held by her hair , while a garda knelt on her back . She claimed the garda continuously moved her , shook her , lifted her up by the hair and banged her down again .

She claimed that when the van stopped , the garda put one hand on her head and , as the door opened , pushed her head forward suddenly as he let go of her wrists , ensuring that she had no chance of using her feet to step down from the van . She alleged that she fell head-first to the ground and landed on her chin . She also claimed that she was then pulled by the arms through the doorway to the garda station , that she was on her knees and that she ripped her trousers as she was pulled . Friends of the sisters , who had witnessed the incident, immediately went to Pearse Street Garda Barracks to complain . One was offered a lift to the garda station by a sympathetic garda .

In the station , the sisters were put in the same cell by a garda sergeant , who apologised to them , and assured them that no charges would be brought : a doctor was called to look at Grainne Walsh's injuries . The duo were released after a few hours . But that was not the end of the matter as far as the Gardai were concerned.......
(MORE LATER).




VINCENT BROWNE : PILLARS OF SOCIETY .......
Vincent Browne is the nearest thing to Robert Maxwell that Ireland has got - in style , if not in scale .
From 'PHOENIX' magazine , 1985.

Vincent Browne's biggest scoop came in the celebrated interview with Dominic McGlinchey over a year ago : that particular exclusive was on his desk some days before Browne conducted his own interview with McGlinchey , and came from a journalist who had interviewed the INLA boss earlier in the month . But the editor disapproved of the interview or , more particularly , he did not like the byline on the piece - it was not his own !

'Mad Dog' Browne wanted to face 'Mad Dog' McGlinchey himself : in the event , McGlinchey and friends were incensed with the piece which , although relatively flattering , was regarded as felon setting . Then , fearing that Vincent Browne might be subpoena'd to give evidence in Dublin's Special Criminal Court if Dominic McGlinchey was acquitted in the North of Ireland , the IRSP denied that the interview ever took place . The INLA went further and telephoned Browne , advising him that an appearance in court , North or South , would be positively unhealthy .

Those journalists who do enjoy Browne's approval are guaranteed maximum coverage in the newspaper as well as a 23-hours-a-day workload : others have been shunned and either have left out of disillusionment or have rotted away at their desks. The restaurant cleavage in the staff has left the editor surrounded with a few acolytes and the rest who either fear or dislike him . Only the regular and dramatic confrontations with the NUJ chapel unite the editorial staff ! The 'top tier' in the newspaper did not escape , either.......
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, September 07, 2006




Two failed , useless but wealthy politicians announced their decision to resign as party leaders today . Speculation continues that both of those political careerists were 'leaned on' by other careerists in their respective organisations to move on : 'new' failed and useless politicians wish to further enrich themselves in that particular trough .

Blair had the opportunity to make final amends for the damage he and his type have caused on this isle : his political majority in Westminster was more than enough to allow him to steer his party towards accepting the necessity to withdraw politically and militarily from Ireland , but the man lacked the courage to do so .

Harney , a Galway woman , left the west after it 'woke' and she herself stayed firmly asleep in relation to the Six County issue . She was the first woman to become auditor of TCD's 'Historical Society' , but must have slept her way through the modules which referred to Britains political interference on this isle . She will be replaced by another PD pro-'Establishment' clone , with the blessing of the 'Establishment' , and will then retire to the back-benches in Leinster House , where she will be able to sleep to her hearts content .
A disturbing feature of her press conference today was the fact that , at the end of same , the assembled media representatives rose to their feet and gave her a standing ovation . Sickening .

" High hopes were once formed of democracy ; but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people . " - Oscar Wilde .






Wednesday, September 06, 2006

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS .......
James Keegan died in Granard Garda Station last September (1986) . Earlier this month , an inquest was held in Longford to ascertain the cause of death.
The central question - how James Keegan managed to tear a blanket and hang himself within four minutes - still remains unanswered .
DEREK DUNNE reports.
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , February 1987 .

James Keegan's family was represented at the inquest . There was also a Garda Superintendent there who intervened from time to time . And the gardai had another solicitor : at times , the representative of the (State) Attorney General was interrupted on the grounds that his questions were considered irrelevant .

It has been said that inquests raise more questions than they answer - the inquest into the death of James Keegan would appear to be no exception , despite the attempts by the representative of the (State) Attorney General to put as broad an interpretation as possible on the rules of the inquest , to wit : who died , where did they die , when did they die and how did they die . As the jury brought in their verdict , one observer remarked " Why did'nt the guards just bring him home...?
[END of ' MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS ']
(Next - 'THE WALLACE AND HOLROYD FILE' : from 1987)


THE HEAVY HAND OF THE LAW .......
Allegations of Garda brutality only hit the headlines intermittently . But the problem may be much more widespread than most people imagine . Last year out-of-court settlements of cases involving members of the Garda cost the taxpayer over €1 million . What's going on ?
From 'MAGILL' magazine , April 2003 .
By Mairead Carey.

As a compromise between this magazine and the 'Information Commission' (which supervises the workings of the 'Freedom of Information Act') , 'Magill' magazine was given details of two sample incidents which appeared on last year's list in return for dropping a case to the Office of the Information Commissioner , which could have taken over a year .

The first of these claims against the Gardai occurred in the Bridewell Garda Station in Dublin - the total bill to the taxpayer was almost €100,000 : the events which led to the settlement were as follows ;

" The plaintiff , while under arrest , claimed that he was pushed on the way into the Garda station and that his head went through one of the glass panels in the door . The four Garda members who witnessed the incident stated that the plaintiff lunged at the door with the intention of inflicting an injury to himself . The case was settled on the advice of senior counsel and the Office of the Attorney General ." The amount of the settlement was €57,138 and 50 cents , but legal costs brought the claim up to €99,457. No disciplinary procedures were brought against any of the gardai involved and no complaint was made to the Garda Complaints Board .

A second incident involved four gardai from the Bridewell , Store Street and Fitzgibbon Street stations . The plaintiff alleged that the gardai broke in the door where he resides with his parents and assaulted him during a raid . He also alleged that he was harassed by the gardai . The gardai explained the incident by saying officers were following up a report of a possible burglary when they noticed somebody who looked like the plaintiff leaving a house holding something in his hand . " The members requested him to stop , and when he failed to do so , they went in pursuit . One of the members chased the plaintiff into the house , which required the member to push the door open , damaging the lock . When the other occupants - the plaintiff's parents - came from the kitchen it was acknowledged that the plaintiff was not one of the people the gardai were looking for ."

In that instance , the plaintiff and his parents sued but the case never went to court ; the plaintiff settled for €31,743 and 61 cents , his parents each received half that amount , and costs in the case were €56,087 . A complaint was made to the Garda Complaints Board but was not upheld . No disciplinary proceedings were ever taken against the gardai involved.......
(MORE LATER).




VINCENT BROWNE : PILLARS OF SOCIETY .......
Vincent Browne is the nearest thing to Robert Maxwell that Ireland has got - in style , if not in scale .
From 'PHOENIX' magazine , 1985.

Vincent Browne told a shocked staff early last year that Guinness Peat Aviation boss , Tony Ryan , had threatened "...to beat the shit.." out of him at a Board meeting in the GPA boss's house !

The row with Tony Ryan underlined most of Browne's and The Sunday Tribune's problems ; Tony Ryan was willing to fund a loss-making operation for one , two or even three years , but he wanted to know to what end his losses were being put , and so insisted , in spite of Browne's tantrums , on installing his protege , Eugene O' Neill , as Managing Director . Vincent Browne , however , had become accustomed to the multiple role of editor , managing director and financial controller . This meant that none of those functions were being carried out properly . As one journalist at the time remarked - " The 'Tribune' is like Dallas , except that Browne's editorial style is like JR , and his business acumen is closer to that of Cliff Barnes . "

Tony Ryan soon decided to cut his losses and quit , albeit with a financial stranglehold over the company's future in the form of a secured claim for half-a-million pounds : the radicals on the newspaper's staff were not happy to see their big , bad capitalist depart , as they were left with a small , bad one with no money to guarantee future jobs . Having persuaded his long-standing friend and colleague , Gordon Colleary , head of USIT travel company , to fund the paper's weekly losses for a few months , Browne got down to editing the paper . The Tribune's political and investigative features have improved markedly since then , and the paper has began to develop a definite character . But even when Vincent Browne performs journalistically , as only he can , feathers are ruffled and enemies are made.......
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Annual Eve-Of-All-Ireland Rally -
DATE - Saturday 16th September 2006 .
Assemble at the Garden Of Remembrance at 2pm , for parade to the GPO .
Also , on this same Saturday (16th) , Republicans will be holding a 12-hour fast at the GPO in support of Irish Republican political prisoners .






Monday, September 04, 2006

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS .......
James Keegan died in Granard Garda Station last September (1986) . Earlier this month , an inquest was held in Longford to ascertain the cause of death.
The central question - how James Keegan managed to tear a blanket and hang himself within four minutes - still remains unanswered .
DEREK DUNNE reports.
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , February 1987 .

It was self-evident to the inquest that , taking both Jack Mahon's evidence , along with that of Dr. John Harbison , at least ten minutes had elapsed between the time the tearing of the blanket took place and the time of death .

Garda John Boyle made three statements about the death : in the first he made no mention of the fact that he had taken a three-quarters of an hour break . Neither did he mention that the prisoners had been searched in his first statement . It was in his third statement that he clarified matters further by stating that he had checked the prisoners from the doorway . Garda Eugene Watters made three statements also about the death , while Garda David Martin made two statements .

The jury of three women and five men took just a few minutes to bring in a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence . They also added a rider to their verdict , which was aimed at the (State) Department of Justice , to the effect that the quality of blankets in cells could be improved to prevent further similar tragedies . The (State) Attorney General , in a highly unusual move , was represented at the inquest in order , he explained to the court , that events would be seen to proceed fairly.......
(MORE LATER).



THE HEAVY HAND OF THE LAW .
Allegations of Garda brutality only hit the headlines intermittently . But the problem may be much more widespread than most people imagine . Last year out-of-court settlements of cases involving members of the Garda cost the taxpayer over €1 million . What's going on ?
From 'MAGILL' magazine , April 2003 .
By Mairead Carey.

Last year (ie 2002) the taxpayer footed a bill of over €1 million in out-of-court settlements involving members of the Garda . On the list of these cases provided to 'Magill' magazine by the (State) Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act , no names are mentioned , no Garda stations listed . In fact , there is more information blacked out than revealed .

In the opinion of the deciding officer in the (State) Department of Justice , there are "...no public interest factors (requirement for openness , exposure of wrongdoing/corruption , mismanagement of public funds) in favour of release which outweigh the right to privacy of the individual to whom the information relates . " Claims for assault and wrongful arrest are common , but no information is available to show whether or not the same gardai or even the same stations feature in different settlements .

Some of the largest claims apparently don't warrant any description at all . The action by 'Claimant 65' in the year 2000 cost the taxpayer £225,000 but no information is given as to why that money was paid out.......
(MORE LATER).




VINCENT BROWNE : PILLARS OF SOCIETY .
Vincent Browne is the nearest thing to Robert Maxwell that Ireland has got - in style , if not in scale .
From 'PHOENIX' magazine , 1985.

Vincent Browne's manner of handling awkward trade-unionists was best exemplified last week when he gave NUJ President-elect , Ray McGuigan , a shoulder-charge , followed up by a right hook to the body . Minutes earlier , a dismayed Sunday Tribune financial controller , Martin Dobey , had pulled Vincent Browne off Ray McGuigan , who had pleaded with Browne to re-enter negotiations on staffing-levels and back-monies promised to the paper's journalists .

But the near-hatred that Vincent Browne engenders in many of his journalists and Dublin NUJ members is matched by bottomless admiration from many in the business world . The commercial staff of 'The Sunday Tribune' , too , venerate Browne who is seen as the dynamic saviour of a perpetually threatened newspaper .

The mini-magnate of Irish publishing is either loved or loathed , with most colleagues experiencing both emotions at different times depending on Browne's vagaries or the prevailing circumstances . Guinness Peat Aviation boss , Tony Ryan , was at first enamoured of the editor's tough , independent and dynamic character , and sank almost half a million pounds into the newspaper before relations between the two deteriorated almost to the level of last week's encounter with Ray McGuigan.......
(MORE LATER).