" 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. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Monday, May 07, 2007

United Irishman 1958 /Young Bloods /Death And Mystery.

'INSIDE THE CURRAGH CONCENTRATION CAMP'.
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

' The following is part of a letter to his family from a Republican in the Curragh Concentration Camp :

You will have seen in the debate in Leinster House that we would be appearing to have no grounds at all for complaint and that the standard of cleanliness is very high . Well , first of all , if the standard of cleanliness is high it would be well for them to remember that we clean and keep the Camp in order and it is due mainly to the high standard of discipline and co-operation among our lads that the place is so clean .

As for being perfectly housed , anyone who has lived in huts with poor fires and bad turf will know all about that . For months past we have been looking for treatment for eyes and teeth and although the staff here have recommended treatment it has been stopped or delayed or stymied up the line somewhere .

The result is that there are many here who have had treatment prescribed for them months ago and for whom nothing has been done.......'

(MORE LATER).


THE YOUNG BLOODS : CLARE DALY.......
Swords (Dublin) councillor , Clare Daly , wiped a tear from her eye in the (State) High Court after being sentenced to one month in Mountjoy Prison for contempt of Court in defying an injunction on her blockading bin lorries.
From 'The Phoenix' magazine, September 2003 .

Clare Daly first stood (unsuccessfully) for election to Leinster House in 1997 in Dublin North when she got 2,971 first preference votes - 7 per cent of the total vote . She also (unsuccessfully) contested the by-election (ie 'local council') in that constituency later in that same year . However , in 1999 she succeeded in getting onto Fingal County Council in the five-seat Swords area with 1,287 first preferences (14 per cent of the vote) . She came in second after Sean Ryan (Labour) and ahead of Anne Devitt(Fine Gael) and Michael Kennedy (Fianna Fail).

She had her council photocopying privileges withdrawn in 2002 by county manager , Willie Soffe, for "...undermining council policy.." by copying leaflets critical of the council itself , and has regular clashes with other councillors - especially Fine Gael's Anne Devitt - on planning issues , accusing them of bowing to the agendas of privatisation and property developers . She is said to remain 'aloof' from the other councillors ("...shame-faced hypocrites.." , she calls them on the double bin-tax issue) at meetings and not to socialise with them , probably because they are the enemy . However , she is feared in the debating chamber because of her debating skills and because her regular political 'rants' are often too much for some to take .

Her skill has been to latch onto populist local issues and break them down in terms of us versus them - the workers vs the bosses - and feed on that same arms-folded , 'sure they're all on the take' indignation that surrounds the tribunals.......
(MORE LATER).


DEATH AND MYSTERY .......
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 .

John O' Shea had just turned 40 at the time of his death . He was a small farmer , with a holding of 18 acres and 14 cows . He was a member of (Provisional) Sinn Fein . There was a republican colour party at his funeral . He had no convictions and was never in any real trouble with the law , according to his family . " He was very quiet and shy , but when he had a few pints in him he had courage all right . He was a binge drinker . He could go on the batter for a few days and be off it again for a few weeks , " says his brother , Michael .

He died during the October bank holiday weekend in October 2001 . He had left his home in Castlemaine , County Kerry, around lunchtime that Monday with a neighbour , John Thorney O' Shea . The duo ended up drinking in Tralee , 17 miles away . At around 7pm , John rang his sister-in-law , Chris , saying that his car had been crashed and asking if she would come and pick him up . The car had hit a 'Yield' sign , but O'Shea told her someone else was driving it at the time . She later gave the man's name to the gardai but the man in question has told this magazine that he was never interviewed by them . It is not certain if O'Shea was actually in the car when it crashed .

O'Shea arranged to meet his sister-in-law outside a pub near Tralee , but when Chris and her husband , Michael (John's brother) , arrived there was no sign of John . They rang him on his mobile phone to be told that he had been arrested.......
(MORE LATER).