" 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!


Saturday, December 16, 2006

30 YEARS UNDERWATER !

As confirmed here and here , a sponsored swim in the Grand Canal at Inchicore in Dublin will be held this Christmas day at 12 Noon !
This event has been held on every Christmas Day since 1976 , and has , as usual , been organised by the Cabhair group (details here) , an organisation which seeks to assist the families and dependants of Irish Republican prisoners . The swim , which will be held in the Grand Canal opposite the Blackhorse Inn ('Kelly's on the Bridge') pub at , as stated , 12 Noon , has been known to attract upwards of 200 on-lookers and the organisers supply a turf fire , music , and some food and 'light refreshments' for all those present !
If you can swim , come along on the day and earn your place at the turf fire or at least , perhaps , watch others doing so and maybe even donate a few shillings for their efforts . CABHAIR is an organisation run by voluntary effort and would not accept donations or subscriptions from the State (nor has it ever looked for same) and , as such , would greatly appreciate any financial assistance you can offer .
Go ráibh maith agat , agus Nollaig Shona !






Friday, December 15, 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 .

In the absence of any attempt at all , let alone any plausible attempt , to explain the reasons for this extraordinary remand into Garda custody , the presumption must be that there was an ulterior motive on the part of the Gardai for taking this exceptional course of action : that ulterior motive , in the circumstances , could only be that they wanted to delay a medical examination and/or they wanted to construct an alibi which would explain how the accused persons came to be suffering from injury .

In any event there is the difficult case of Osgur Breathnach to answer : he was not placed in a cell with anyone before he was medically examined and removed to the Richmond Hospital and before he was seen by Aidan Browne SC - the evidence of Garda ill-treatment in his case is clear cut , and leads further suspicion to the Garda motives for remanding John Fitzpatrick , Brian McNally , Nicky Kelly and Michael Plunkett into Garda custody , following the preferment of charges in the District Court on the night of Wednesday , April 7 , 1976 .

There is additional reason for concern about this issue arising from the unexplained delay in charging the four accused - as the only evidence against any of them was their self-incriminating statements , there was no reason to delay charging them once they had been assembled together in the Bridewell Garda Station , literally yards from the Bridewell District Court .......
(MORE LATER).


Veteran Irish Republican , LILY MOFFATT , interviewed.......
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .
By John Doyle .

In 1919 , Lily Moffatt joined Cumann na mBan - " All round here joined when the Tans came . We were taught first-aid by Nurse Anne Horan from Slata . We used to carry messages and we drilled with .303's and colts in the bogs upon Curraghroe , instructed by Brian Nangle and Andy Feeney . They're all gone but myself . We did our drilling up at Nangle's house . We could see the Tans passing along the main road from our house . There was a short-cut through fields near where we lived and I used to help men escape down through the back lanes . "

IRIS magazine - " Did the male Volunteers respect you ? "
Lily Moffatt - " Lord , yes . They were very good , like brothers . They had every respect for us . We used to have dances in houses for funds to help the lads . The terrible thing was that some of them later went Free State and came back and raided us ."

IRIS magazine - " What do you think of women today being on active service in the IRA ? "
Lily Moffatt - " I think the women in the North are great . If I could go with them now I would . We were never asked to shoot or anything like that as girls , but we would have done anything . It's better now that women can take a full part . "
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

Fermanagh-South Tyrone .
Owen Carron (SF) : Elizabeth Flanagan (SDLP) : Davy Kettyles(WP) : Ken Maginnis(OUP).

This constituency has lost a few thousand votes in the Dromore-Trillick area of Tyrone to Mid-ulster , and gained some in Dungannon . The result may be to reduce the already small nationalist majority .

This is the seat that elected Bobby Sands and then Owen Carron - before that it returned Frank Maguire as a republican-leaning Independent . The SDLP has never been strong here and the constituency is the home of tactical voting - nationalists vote for the strongest candidate on their side to keep the Unionist out and vice versa .

The SDLP candidate is not well-known and Owen Carron , the sitting MP , will have no difficulty beating her . He would need about 85 per cent of the nationalist vote to beat the single Unionist candidate , however , and that isn't very likely , although he is playing down the Sinn Fein label and campaigning under the slogan - ' Save the Seat' .

Ken Maginnis , the Official Unionist candidate , is likely to take the seat .

By-Election , April 1981 (Westminster) - Bobby Sands (H-Block) 30,943 / Harry West (OUP) 29,046 .
By-Election , August 1981 (Westminster) - Owen Carron (H-Block) 31,728 / Ken Maginnis (OUP) 29,048 / Seamus Close (Alliance) 1,930 / T. Moore (WP) 1,132 / Others 339 .
Assembly Election 1982 (First Preferences) - All Unionists 27,990 , three seats / Sinn Fein 16,725 , one seat / SDLP 12,000 , one seat / Workers' Party 1,394 / Alliance Party 1,171 .
Next : South Down.......
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, December 14, 2006

30 YEARS UNDERWATER !

As confirmed here and here , a sponsored swim in the Grand Canal at Inchicore in Dublin will be held this Christmas day at 12 Noon !
This event has been held on every Christmas Day since 1976 , and has , as usual , been organised by the Cabhair group (details here) , an organisation which seeks to assist the families and dependants of Irish Republican prisoners . The swim , which will be held in the Grand Canal opposite the Blackhorse Inn ('Kelly's on the Bridge') pub at , as stated , 12 Noon , has been known to attract upwards of 200 on-lookers and the organisers supply a turf fire , music , and some food and 'light refreshments' for all those present !
If you can swim , come along on the day and earn your place at the turf fire or at least , perhaps , watch others doing so and maybe even donate a few shillings for their efforts . CABHAIR is an organisation run by voluntary effort and would not accept donations or subscriptions from the State (nor has it ever looked for same) and , as such , would greatly appreciate any financial assistance you can offer .
Go raibh maith agat , agus Nollaig Shona !






Wednesday, December 13, 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 .

At the sitting of the District Court at which John Fitzpatrick , Brian McNally , Nicky Kelly and Michael Plunkett were charged took place at 10.30pm and was over in a matter of minutes , there is no logistical explanation for their being kept in Garda custody overnight - the fact is that :
A) A remand into Garda custody is almost unique in the Dublin area :
B) There was no exceptional circumstances in this case which could possibly justify a remand into Garda custody :
C) In any event the remand applied for and obtained was into Garda custody , a highly unusual procedure .

There has been at no stage any official attempt to explain why the remand into Garda custody took place in this instance - no attempt either at the trial or on any other occasion . But there is a very obvious explanation and it is the following - if the prisoners were suffering from injuries received within the previous 24 hours at the hands of the Gardai , then the longer their committal to prison could be postponed the better , for no medical examination was likely to take place until then .

But there was an even more 'attractive' reason for remanding the prisoners back into Garda custody : by placing them back in the Bridewell Garda Station and by placing them two to a cell a scenario was being created whereby it would be maintained later that the injuries which they would undoubtedly be found to be suffering from , were either 'self-inflicted' or 'mutually inflicted'.......
(MORE LATER).



Veteran Irish Republican , LILY MOFFATT , interviewed .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .
By John Doyle .

" The IRA are no different today than in our time . They just have more up-to-date equipment ! " - Lily Moffatt .

Now living in Dromod , County Leitrim , at the age of 81 , life-long Irish republican Lily Moffatt (nee Freyne) is a glowing example of the full role played by women in the militant and political traditions of Irish republicanism , and an apt comparison with today's women IRA Volunteers .

Born at Aughoo , Rooskey , in County Roscommon , on March 10th , 1901 , it was no surprise that she grew up sympathetic to republicanism - " I was brought up in Fenianism , my uncle was a Fenian poet , all belonging to me were Fenian . It was all I heard at home . " Lily's first public involvement was during the election campaign in Roscommon successfully contested by Sinn Fein's Count Plunkett in 1917 , where she worked as a Sinn Fein election sub-agent on polling day .

In 1919 , Cumann na mBan was being organised in the area . Lily Moffatt was among the first to join.......
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

ARMAGH-NEWRY :
Jim McAllister(SF) : Seamus Mallon(SDLP) : Tom Moore(WP) : Jim Nicholson(OUP) .

The old Armagh seat , which included all county Armagh , had a Unionist majority : now the mainly unionist North Armagh area has been transferred to the new seat of Upper Bann , while the nationalist Newry town area has been added on from South Down . The result is a nationalist majority of between six and ten per cent but with a single unionist candidate and a split nationalist vote the outcome is doubtful .

The SDLP took two-thirds of the nationalist vote in the Assembly elections and their candidate , Seamus Mallon , is deputy leader of the party and identified with its 'greener' wing .

The fact that he was deprived of his Assembly seat because of his membership of Seanad Eireann (sic - Free State Senate) will do him no harm but , unless he can actually win votes from Sinn Fein , the Official Unionist candidate , Jim Nicholson , is likely to take the seat .

Assembly Election 1982 :
(First Preferences) All Unionists , 33,318 , four seats : SDLP , 15,630 , two seats : Sinn Fein , 8,224 , one seat : Workers' Party 2,806 : Alliance 1,806 .
Next : Fermanagh-South Tyrone.......
(MORE LATER).







Monday, December 11, 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 .

MAGILL' magazine asked the (State) Department of Justice if there had been any other such cases of a remand from the District Court to Garda custody : the Department referred us to the Garda press office where , at first , we were informed by Sergeant Jim Quinn of the press office that " ....adult prisoners are never remanded back into Garda custody . We can't hold a prisoner for longer than is absolutely necessary . If we have occasion to interview a prisoner further , then we go into the prison to see him . " That seemed unambiguous .

But then , three days later , another official of the Garda press office , Breege Wymes , went to considerable pains to make contact with 'MAGILL' to offer additional unsolicited comment - she maintained that remands into Garda custody were commonplace , it happened every day , she said . We contacted Sergeant Jim Quinn again and asked for clarification as to the point at issue and for an explanation as to why we should be told such contradictory stories : he reverted to us following enquiries and explained that remand into Garda custody did take place in the circumstances outlined above (ie in remote areas) but although he had been stationed for a while in the Bridewell Garda Station in Dublin he was unaware of any occasion in which this had taken place !

Lawyers , dealing with criminal cases to whom we have spoken , said that the procedure was unheard of in the Dublin area . As Sergeant Jim Quinn had suggested to us that a remand into Garda custody might take place if the District Court had sat very late at night and Mountjoy Prison was closed , we contacted that prison and enquired up to what time they would admit prisoners - they replied that they would admit prisoners up to midnight and later if necessary if they were given notice that this was going to take place.......
(MORE LATER).



BEYOND BREAKOUTS AND SUPERGRASSES .......
From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine , October 1983 .

Among the abuses of the judicial process in the North of Ireland is the mass trials at which the only link between the charges against the defendants is that they are based on the word of the same supergrasses : that RUC 'witnesses' are allowed to cite statements from former supergrasses which have since been retracted : and the absence of a defence of entrapment against RUC informers who themselves recruit people into illegal organisations and encourage them to commit 'terrorist crimes' .

Many Nationalist lawyers have lost what faith they had in the 'fairness' of the Diplock non-jury court system in the light of such abuses . The alienation among the IRA's potential supporters in the urban Nationalist ghettos and country areas must now be almost total . How can Jim Prior even begin to contemplate any further political initiative to win moderate nationalist support for the North's institutions when the right of so many ordinary nationalists to a fair trial , surely one of the foundation stones of any democratic society , is under such unprecedented threat ?

As one visiting New York lawyer remarked earlier this month , the British seem to have become like the Americans in Vietnam - they seem intent on destroying democracy here in order to 'save' it !
[END of 'BEYOND BREAKOUTS AND SUPERGRASSES']
(Next : Interview with veteran Irish Republican , Lily Moffatt - from 1982.)


THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

MID-ULSTER :
Denis Haughey (SDLP) : Dr. Aidan Lagan (Alliance Party) : Danny Morrison (SF) : Rev. William McCrea (DUP) : Tommy Owens(WP) : William Thompson (OUP) .

This is Bernadette McAliskey's old seat : it used to have a nationalist majority of about 3,000 but was held by a Unionist because of a split nationalist vote . It has lost nationalist Strabane to Foyle and the mixed Magherafelt area to East Derry and has gained a republican area around Dromore in Tyrone from Fermanagh-South Tyrone .

It is now absolutely marginal in 'religious' terms but with a split Unionist vote , a nationalist may win . The SDLP had a small majority over Sinn Fein in the Assembly elections but Sinn Fein may be able to reverse that this time and Danny Morrison may win .

Assembly Elections 1982 :
(First Preferences) SDLP 15,244 , two seats : DUP 14,426 , two seats : Sinn Fein 12,690 , one seat : OUP 10,689 , one seat : Alliance 2,872 : Workers' Party 2,054 .
Next : Armagh-Newry.......
(MORE LATER).