" 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, June 29, 2007


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

RUC and B-Specials, along with the British military, scoured the South Fermanagh countryside on the day after the attack . Houses were searched and many people questioned . Tracker dogs were used in the search , and were also used in a British 'security force' sweep of the area bordering Lough Erne between Knockninny and Derrylin.

On the day before the attack B-Specials with tracker dogs had searched the entire area . After the attack it was also reported by Stormont that RUC County Inspector Reid was on the scene , but there is no truth in that story - he was photographed next day beside the fake Land Rover at the ambush site , surrounded by armed RUC guards.

Raids and searches in the Fermanagh area are now an almost daily occurrence ; many young men have been taken to Crumlin Road Jail where they have been subjected to rough treatment at the hands of the RUC . A taxi-driver from Swanlinbar in County Cavan was arrested in Enniskillen while doing a run , and was held for 48 hours and subjected to intense questioning . Children , too , are being stopped by these thugs.......


From 'Gralton' magazine, August/September 1983.
By Gene Kerrigan.

Political parties used to have wizards who knew every pocket in every constituency and who were valued for their knowledge . They knew that 'that' village was 'for' us and ' that other' village was agin us ! They knew which streets to send the party cars to on polling day . These people are still around , but they have been augmented by the HQ WhizzKids: these are the full-timers who spend literally years assessing , probing and stroking each constituency .

They weed out troublesome members , promote the 'useful' ones , rig selection conventions , sabotage awkward potential candidates and allocate areas within constituencies for each candidate to 'till' and 'harvest' . This is called - and they say it without a blush - "vote management" . These people don't just have knowledge of constituencies - they also have files and floppy discs !

Their other purpose is to conduct regular secret polls of the electorate then , having found out what the voters want , they formulate the party programme accordingly - using very general terms , as most policies will later be reneged. This is a marketing technique , precisely the kind used to launch soap powders and bubble gum . At ground level there is constant 'clinic' work - doing personal favours for voters , or appearing to do so . There is also patronage - providing , or appearing to provide , jobs or influence for supporters.......


This election is not about the 'economy' . It's about the survival of sectional interests , clearly divided in a broader , simpler way than for many a long day . This election is not about the survival of the country (sic) : it's about choosing who will bear the cost of that survival.

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, 'Election Special' , 1987.
By David McKenna.

" The major breakthrough of this election , " wrote journalist/economist Paul Tansey in 'The Sunday Tribune' newspaper of 8 February (1987) , "...lies in the fact that every significant political party contesting it has recognised that the Irish economy is in the midst of a deep crisis."

There's another way of putting it : the taxpayers have their own political party now , unencumbered by history . The Progressive Democrats have helped spring Fine Gael out of the closet . It's a straight fight - taxpayers versus unemployment , and the winner gets to govern the State . Democracy is not a religious business , it's not about absolute moral , or fiscal , values . Sometimes Sunday newspapers try to play God , failing to recognise that they just represent the interests of their tax-paying readers . Still , it sells newspapers , and isn't what's good for business good for the State ?

Democracy is about sectional interests , people voting for themselves and their own survival , and why not ? At the best of times , survival is a matter of more than money . But not this time round . This election is not about making the exchange of information amongst women a criminal offence . It's not about the emotional survival of partners in dead relationships . It's certainly not about constitutional crusades , and even the Irish language has had to take a back seat . This is about money and the price of money.......