" 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, May 18, 2007

'The Men of 1922 / Derry Besieged / Death And Mystery.'

'THE MEN OF 1922.......'
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

' Let every man in Fianna Fail who still thinks of himself as a Republican answer these questions for himself . Rory , Liam , Dick and Joe never collaborated with Britain , never answered the English whip , never jailed a young Irish Republican .

Let us be fair to the dead at least . '

[END of 'THE MEN OF 1922']
(Next - ' TURN THE SPOTLIGHT' : from the same source)


Derry , once the cockpit of the Northern Irish conflict , has become quarantined in apathy , grimness and deprivation , writes Seamus Deane , the Derry-born poet and writer . In a return look at his native city he finds that its demoralisation has disturbing implications .
From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine, 1983.

The people of Derry are , in effect , locked into their city and its history . Ringed by the border , they are cut off from Donegal to which the majority Nationalist population looks as its natural hinterland . Ringed by the walls and by the zones of their housing estates , they are cut off from one another .

The county of Derry beyond is looked to by the minority Unionist population as its natural hinterland . The geographical location and the historical background of the city confirm this oppressive sense of siege , one shared by both communities . Each regards itself as surrounding and being surrounded by enemies . Although Belfast presents this mentality also , Derry , being smaller , provides a more concentrated and easily apprehensible example .

A peculiar feature of the effects generated by modern conditions on this mentality - conditions such as are associated with political violence , the welfare state , unemployment , television and modern housing - is that they supply ready-made arguments for and against capitalism , for and against socialism , for and against nationalism , radical revolution , reformist gradualism and any one of half a dozen other competing ideologies . Such a society appears , at times , to be a well run laboratory or prison , from which escape is sometimes granted for good behaviour (within the educational system) , but in which most inhabitants are serving a life sentence.......

John O Shea was a small farmer and republican . He died at his Kerry home in October 2001 within hours of being released from Garda custody . The inquest into his death raised more questions than it answered and now Kerry County Council has backed calls for a public inquiry . Did John O Shea die from natural causes or is there a more sinister explanation ?
By Mairead Carey.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, May 2003 .

Local hackney driver Denis Brosnan was the last known person to see John O' Shea alive : he picked up a group of people at the centre of the village at 12.45am . John O' Shea was among them . In a statement to the inquest he described O' Shea as a "...reasonably regular customer . I observed him coming to the bus and he was steady enough but appeared tired . From observing his condition , I was not concerned that he needed to be separated from the others because of the two usual reasons , namely that he was in danger of getting sick and that he was in an argumentative mood . He was in a fine , placid mood that night . "

John O' Shea "...had dozed off.." and the driver woke him up when he arrived at his home . " I could see that he had no marks on his face or on his left hand as I held his left hand to support him as he was getting out . His condition to me seemed more due to tiredness than drink . He was groggy but was alert to what was going on . As I left the yard , his back was turned to me and he was facing the door . He was in quite an alert state and I had no worries for his safety . "

John O' Shea lived with his mother , Kate , who is in her early 70's , in a stone cottage overlooking the sea . " He was a baby to her . She lived for him . She always protected him, " says Chris O' Shea . The mother , Kate , heard the minibus arrive and leave , but when her son hadn't appeared ten minutes later she went to investigate . She found him outside on a low step , slumped to one side . There was a mark on his face and blood on the ground beside him . She called her husband to help her and between them they dragged him into the house . They removed his trousers and shoes , laid him on a sheet on the kitchen floor and put a blanket over him . They lit the fire to keep him warm.......