" 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, November 10, 2006


Disgusting behaviour , once again , from the 'State guardians of law and order' : in July 2005 , Ruairi O Bradaigh issued a statement in support of the 'Shell To Sea' campaign in which , amongst other things , he said the following - " It would now appear that Bertie Ahern and his government are also willing to lock up its citizens whilst at the same time allowing Shell to dictate the energy and environmental policy of the 26 Counties ... "
Not only lock-up its citizens , but terrorise them into not protesting against injustices - Irish Republicans have been at the receiving end of such treatment for countless years : this corrupt and money-grabbing State , and the gombeen men and women that are presently in charge of it , now apparently feel confident enough to extend their terrorist tactics beyond the realm of attacking Irish Republicans . These career politicians must never be allowed to forget the injustices they have inflicted on the citizens of this State . Their God may forgive them , but we should'nt.......






THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

In the tunnel , Osgur Breathnach stated that Detective Garda Thomas Fitzgerald and Detective Inspector John Murphy attempted to pull his coat off , that he was slapped , punched , kneed , banged against a wall , that his arms were held , and that he was shouted at . He alleged further that his alleged part in the Sallins mail train robbery was being repeated over and over again to him .

When he was taken back upstairs to the Bridewell Garda Station , he alleged that Detective Garda Thomas Fitzgerald and Detective Inspector John Murphy pulled a chair from under him causing him to fall to the ground , and that he was pulled from one Garda Detective to another , that he was by this time dizzy , sore all over , confused , and had difficulty in breathing . He also alleged that he was beaten by other detectives whom he could not identify , that the statement he signed was not his own , but was concocted by the Gardai , and that he was forced to sign it in order to avoid further beatings .

The time on his statement is 6.00am on Wednesday , April 7 , 1976 - he had been in custody 41 hours at the time of his making a 'confession' . Dr. Noel Smith , who had been the Breathnach family doctor for some years , was asked by relatives to go to the Four Courts to examine Osgur Breathnach prior to the Habeas Corpus application on the afternoon of Wednesday , April 7 , 1976 : he examined Breathnach at 5.15pm that evening , just under 12 hours after the self-incriminatory statement had been signed . The report the doctor gave was shocking.......
(MORE LATER).



(Martin McGuinness , left , with Henry Kissinger , as usual , on the right ...)

DISARMING MARTIN .......
All (P)Sinn Fein leaders have a series of mantras and mini-speeches which they seek to get into every interview , regardless of the question .
The task of the journalist is to avoid setting off these reflex responses : the problem with Martin McGuinness is that he does it so pleasantly that it seems impolite to interrupt him .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1999 .
By John Waters .

The moment of truth is now upon us : as we spoke , at the start of the last week in February , the stalemate remained . And , while the word on the wind , ably assisted by UUP spin doctors , was that Tony Blair was preparing to back the Trimble position on decommissioning in the run up to the March 10th deadline , Martin McGuinness was laying much store on earlier indications from Mo Mowlam that , in the wake of the 'cross-community vote of determination' , she would move to trigger the d'Hondt mechanism which would automatically form the Six County 'executive' complete with two (P) Sinn Fein members .

As Martin McGuinness put it - " From here , it's over , effectively , to the British government , to Tony Blair and Mo Mowlam . The British government has the authority ('1169...' Comment - sic . What 'authority' does the British government have in Ireland ?) now to establish the shadow executive , and have indicated publicly that they would do that in the first few days of March , and that it's their intention then to have powers devolved from both Dublin and London around the 10th of March . Now , the question is : what are Ulster Unionists going to do to stop that , or do the Ulster Unionists want to stop that ? Or are they going to go ahead with that ? Or are they going to , as some people have speculated , bring a proposal before the assembly that (P) Sinn Fein be excluded , have that debate , lose the debate and then press on with the implementation of the agreement , blaming the two governments and so on ? "

That we have reached this state of deja vu is disturbing indeed , given in particular the manner in which the 'Good Friday Agreement' was greeted throughout the world , ('1169...' Comment - " greeted throughout the world " because the Establishments involved in promoting it did so in a misleading fashion ie 'the big lie' that it was 'the end of the age old conflict in Ireland' was pushed by all anti-Republican groups , including those who really should have known better : remember the 'Tri-colour car cavalcade' on the Falls Road ?) culminating in the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize jointly to John Hume and David Trimble.......
(MORE LATER).



GUNS TO BREAD AND BUTTER .......
EDDIE ROONEY looks at the transformation of the Official Republican movement from a revolutionary organisation run by its military wing to a social democratic electoral party .
From 'Fortnight' magazine , 1983 .

Thers is also the question of the lack of internal democracy inside the Workers Party : whether one labels the rigid internal control of members as 'military discipline' or 'democratic centralism' the effect can be stifling , and key decisions have been made over the heads of ordinary members .

Even the OIRA Convention , which traditionally decided which resolutions were to be passed at the Ard Fheis , has not yet been laid to rest . Despite formal democratic procedures , in practice there is little scope for change from below . It is likely only to be a matter of time before the new breed of members feel constrained by this . The problem with implementing more changes lies in the danger of alienating the remaining working-class members .

The Workers Party's recent history suggests that a move towards the 'middle ground' of North of Ireland politics represents a move away from their working-class supporters.......
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, November 08, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .


Upon his second release , Osgur Breathnach was again arrested under Section 30 and was detained until he was taken to the Richmond Hospital in Dublin , following a State High Court Habeas Corpus application : the following day , he was arrested at 'common law' .

The State Court of Criminal Appeal quashed Breathnach's conviction and ruled that his statements were inadmissible in evidence because of his having been brought to a "...menacing environment.." - a tunnel in the Bridewell Garda Barracks during his second period in detention , in the early hours of the morning , for an 'interview' , and failure to vindicate his right of access to a solicitor.

Upon his second arrest under Section 30, Osgur Breathnach was taken to the Bridewell Garda Barracks and placed in a cell . After 40 hours in detention , at approximately 5.20am on the Wednesday morning , he was taken down into a tunnel leading to the State District Court , and interviewed by Detective Garda Thomas Fitzgerald and Detective Inspector John Murphy : Osgur Breathnach alleged in evidence that he was questioned in this tunnel , and that he refused to answer questions without a solicitor . Then the two Gardai turned nasty.......
(MORE LATER).



(Martin McGuinness , left , with Henry Kissinger , as usual , on the right ...)

DISARMING MARTIN .......
All (P)Sinn Fein leaders have a series of mantras and mini-speeches which they seek to get into every interview , regardless of the question .
The task of the journalist is to avoid setting off these reflex responses : the problem with Martin McGuinness is that he does it so pleasantly that it seems impolite to interrupt him .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1999 .
By John Waters .

Martin McGuinness stated - " The decommissioning argument is all a bit of a nonsense , because over the years , the leading generals in the British army , and those in charge of the RUC , have all identified the home-made weapons that the (P) IRA have made as the most lethal weapons used against them . Things like fertiliser bombs , the rocket launchers that the (P)IRA made . All of these weapons were identified by leading military strategists as the most dangerous weapons of all . So , if the (P) IRA were totally cynical about this process , they could go tomorrow and decommission five tonnes of explosives and by the weekend make fifty tonnes ! ('1169...' Comment - ....and they could have , too , at one stage , before they also decommissioned the mindset to do so , that is . Besides - their objective of obtaining increased civil rights does not call for the use of explosives or other munitions .)

So for us in (P) Sinn Fein , more important than decommissioning is to decommission all of the injustice of the past * and to show people that there is a new future , and that politics actually works . Then we can effectively set about , in a very real way , taking all the guns out of Irish politics . " ('1169 .... ' Comment * - Claptrap ! Those "injustices of the past " were caused by the same people that are responsible for the 'injustices of the present'- Westminster . What "new future" can Irish Republicans secure by assisting Westminster in securing its 'writ' on this isle ?)

This , however , would seem to place the De Chastelain body in a political role , rather than the 'technocratic' one which it has been assumed it would adopt . But Martin McGuinness stated - " People like John De Chastelain and Senator George John Mitchell brought a much-needed wisdom to this process : these were people who were prepared to look at the global situation . They used very potent phrases , like , ' Decommissioning , if it happens , will have to be a voluntary exercise ... ' . ('1169...' Comment - .... Martin knew in his heart that his two new best friends , John and George , wouldn't let him down - they had only his best interests at heart . And this is the man the Provos chose to be their 'Chief Negotiator' ?) They (John and George , that is...) said that there should be no concept whatsoever of surrender or humiliation or defeat - for anybody . ('1169...' Comment - Picture the scene : Martin , the 'Chief Negotiator' , being interviewed by the media - " Mr McGuinness , do you feel that the Provos have surrendered ? Is the Provo organisation humiliated ? Have PIRA been defeated ... ? " Martin - " No . John and George tell me it didn't happen like that ..." !)

And those are the very emotions which the unionists and the securicrats within the British military establishment bring to all of this , because we are actually dealing with people , if the truth be told , who have never been able to come to terms with the fact that , in thirty years of struggle (sic) , they could not militarily defeat the IRA , and who have now set about , in a time of peace , trying to achieve that very objective ." ('1169...' Comment - Not so . Those people simply gave the Provos enough rope [from the Good Ship 'GFA'] to defeat themselves with .)
(MORE LATER).



GUNS TO BREAD AND BUTTER .......
EDDIE ROONEY looks at the transformation of the Official Republican movement from a revolutionary organisation run by its military wing to a social democratic electoral party .
From 'Fortnight' magazine , 1983 .

The position of long-term members of The Workers Party has become marginal , and for many of those supporters their continued support has been more due to a way of life* than to support for party policies . ('1169...' Comment * - ...which is where PSF are now : they are top heavy with 'wannabe' Chiefs and middle-management types , who , now that PSF are well on the road to 'respectability' , are elbowing each other out of the way to pick-up a salaried position within 'the party' . Their foot-soldiers [ie paper-sellers etc] are a rare sight in the pubs , clubs etc , except when they're having a few pints themselves ! It is obviously near-impossible for them to promote a political point of view of which they are not confident with themselves .)

This has been coupled with the attraction of some support centred around the academic world which has contributed to a small but growing new Protestant (sic) membership - there is , however , a considerable gap between the political rhetoric which has attracted such new members , and the reality of the party's organisation , which has retained many of its traditional features . ('1169...' Comment - the Provos , too - for now - have also 'retained many of their traditional features' , such as Easter Commemorations etc , and will continue to do so until such time as their membership has been 'churned-over' sufficiently to allow their leadership to drop said 'traditions' . After all , those commemorated did not give their lives in a fight to obtain the 'right' to implement British policy in Ireland !)

Although , symbolically , the Workers Party's present Springfield Road headquarters may seem like a world away from Cyprus Street , it is still well within Catholic (sic) West Belfast : there have been discussions concerning the possible relocation of party headquarters to a more 'central' area but so far there is no sign of a move . The party's recent considerable investment in new social clubs has been confined to republican strongholds.......
(MORE LATER).







Monday, November 06, 2006

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

Subsequently , new charges were preferred against four of the original accused : John Fitzpatrick and Michael Barrett were not charged , even though Fitzpatrick had signed a statement incriminating himself in the Sallins mail train robbery , which meant that there was precisely the same 'evidence' against him as there was against Nicky Kelly and Osgur Breathnach ! No reason was ever offered for this , and John Fitzpatrick was never called as a witness to confirm or deny allegations that it was he who beat up Brian McNally on the Wednesday night of the crucial remand from a special sitting of the State District Court , back into Garda custody .

The trial of the four was aborted on the fiftieth day on the death of one of the Judges , Judge John William O' Connor : a new trial was set , and in the first few days of this new trial , Michael Plunkett was acquitted : Breathnach , McNally and Nicky Kelly were found guilty and sentenced on December 13 , 1978 . Upon appeal , Breathnach and McNally had their convictions quashed on May 20 , 1980 . Nicky Kelly was unsuccessful in his appeal to both the State Court of Criminal Appeal and the State Supreme Court : he is still in jail , serving a 12 year sentence .

THE CASE OF OSGUR BREATHNACH :
Osgur Breathnach was arrested under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act , 1939 , at 3.15pm on the 31st March , 1976 . He was taken to the Bridewell Garda Barracks , Dublin , where his detention order was extended : he was released at 2.45pm on Friday , the 2nd of April , 1976 - he had spent forty-seven-and-a-half hours in Garda custody .

He was arrested again under Section 30 at 1.30pm on Monday , the 5th of April , 1976 , and taken to the Bridewell , where his detention order was again extended , and he was released at 1.30pm on Wednesday , the 7th of April , 1976 : a total of 48 hours in Garda custody . It was during the latter part of his detention that he alleges he was beaten and forced to sign a statement , incriminating himself in the Sallins mail train robbery.......
(MORE LATER).



(Martin McGuinness , left , with Henry Kissinger , as usual , on the right ...)

DISARMING MARTIN .......
All (P)Sinn Fein leaders have a series of mantras and mini-speeches which they seek to get into every interview , regardless of the question .
The task of the journalist is to avoid setting off these reflex responses : the problem with Martin McGuinness is that he does it so pleasantly that it seems impolite to interrupt him .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1999 .
By John Waters .

Martin McGuinness stated - " When you take away the reasons why people feel they have to fight , you can then be involved in a serious project which is about removing guns from Irish politics . ('1169...' Comment - ...time was , when , for Martin and his type , the only "serious project" in town was to do with removing from this island the un-wanted British military and political presence . Not trying to make a living from same.) But the mistake that's being made is that people look at this in the context that , in their view , there has to be a parallel approach to how you resolve that . And I actually don't think that can succeed .

The key objective of the peace process has to be showing people that politics works . I think John De Chastelain understands perfectly what the situation is . ('1169...' Comment - De Chastelain's "situation" , and that of his superiors and supporters, was to neuter the Provisionals . He must have been surprised at the level of assistance he received from the leadership of said grouping !) Now it's very important that people not misquote what's in the Good Friday Agreement , because right throughout this process we have worked on the basis that if we give our word we will keep it . ('1169...' Comment - A 'Gentlemans Agreement' , if you like , Martin . Between robber barons and those they have purchased .) We are not about leading anybody up blind alleys , (...except their own gullible supporters..) and that includes the (P) IRA and the other participants to the agreement . (....yet Martin and his colleagues were first out of the trap , whenever the PIRA were suspected of pulling a job , to tell all and sundry that 'the PIRA themselves never actually signed-up to the 1998 'agreement' !)

We had very forthright discussions with the Irish government (sic) about the decommissioning issue and we told them - 'We can't deliver decommissioning' . (...you and yours would deliver your granny on a platter , Martin , if you thought it would further your political careers !) So it's not that we signed up to decommissioning . We didn't ! What we were prepared to do was to work with all the other participants to try to bring that about within a two-year period....... "
(MORE LATER).



GUNS TO BREAD AND BUTTER .......
EDDIE ROONEY looks at the transformation of the Official Republican movement from a revolutionary organisation run by its military wing to a social democratic electoral party .
From 'Fortnight' magazine , 1983 .

In Craigavon , County Armagh , where The Workers' Party holds two council seats , (P) Sinn Fein's recent reorganisation has led to the emergence of a young and enthusiastic political machine , intent on removing Tom French and Paddy Breen from their seats .

Some senior Workers' Party members have interpreted (P) Sinn Fein's success as signifying the need to revive the party's radical 'republican' links : however , so far all that has emerged has been a renewed interest in commemoration ceremonies , a slightly stronger line on repression , and a sporadic slackening of the reins on the Official IRA - measures designed to retain the loyality of remaining republican-minded members rather than to attract broader support . On the other hand , the leadership's anti-nationalist line has been publicly reinforced and there are even signs of pressure from Southern members to sever links with the party in the North .

The success of (P) Sinn Fein is unlikely in itself to cause the political demise of the Workers Party in the North : hatred of the Provisionals remains one of the strongest bonds uniting Workers' Party members , and if nothing else , it is likely to retain a residual anti-Provo vote - but major long-term problems are likely to arise within the party , as many party members who would consider themselves 'radical republicans' , and who have not drifted away or been expelled , have for some time been disillusioned with the current leadership and its political stance ....... (.....history repeats itself..)
(MORE LATER).