Friday, July 13, 2007


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

The following is a list of Irish Republican prisoners held in the Curragh Concentration Camp :

John Duggan , Dunloy .
Thomas Montgomery , 20 St. James' Place , Donegal Road , Belfast .

Hugh and Brian O' Hagan , Lathbirget , Mullaghbawn .
Vincent Conlon , Drumsollen , Killylea .

Patrick Duffy , Dernacrieve .
Francis O' Reilly , Bridge Street , Belturbet.

In a jail outside Belfast , republican prisoners have begun smearing their cells with excrement . They are demanding the right to political status . We have been here before.....
From 'MAGILL' magazine August 2003 .
By Niall Stanage.

There are , of course , real differences between the situation now and that which pertained in the run-up to the H-Block hunger strikes of 1980 and 1981 and , most importantly of all , there is peace - of a kind * - in the north , and heightened passions are much less likely to lead to bodies on the streets . ('1169...' Comment * - 'peace of a kind' in that the potential for conflict remains as long as Westminster continues to claim jurisdiction over any part of this island.)

Equally , 'dissident republicans' ('1169...' Comment - ...that is , those republicans who refuse to implement British policy on Irish soil) have very little support ('1169..' Comment - there is more support for us 'dissidents' in wanting to end the British connection than there is for wanting to continue same) : twenty-odd years ago , the PIRA was able to tap into a broad sympathy for its aims within the nationalist community but that kind of sympathy just doesn't exist for organisations like the RIRA and the CIRA . But any prison dispute in the north of Ireland will be , by its very nature , inflammatory .

There have already been stirrings of discontent within Provisional Sinn Fein about the party leadership's reticence on the issue . North Belfast Stormont member Gerry Kelly eventually put his head above the parapet to declare - albeit somewhat equivocally - his support for the prisoners' stand . ('1169..' Comment - the Provisionals have placed themselves between a rock and a hard place : their 'new friends' in Leinster House , Stormont and Westminster have hired them in the [mistaken] belief that , once the Adams Family are safely neutered then republican opposition will be , too but , aware of what happened to the Stickies [who 'turned' too quick] , the Provisionals are prepared to be seen playing both sides of the political fence until they are sure that their financial futures are secure and that they can take a large section of what remains of their support base with them into the political 'establishment' . However , Irish Republicans will not be
bought or intimidated into changing our position in regards to the unwanted British political and military presence on this island.)



Provisional Sinn Fein are fighting this election as a party which has just emerged from seventy years of abstentionism. The party is banned from the airwaves and there is a strong apparent bias against the party in the press.
From 'In Dublin' magazine Election Special, 1987.
By Derek Dunne.

The first thing people notice about Gerry Adams is that he is a very tall man . Television has reduced everyone to the same size , so that the smallest looks the same as the largest . But in the flesh , Adams is tall , and people find themselves looking up into his face when they stop and meet him on the street . ('1169...' Comment - republicans , however , do not 'look-up' to the man at all...)

In Tallaght , Dublin, the cars got lost very early on : Adams was in one car , and workers and journalists were in other assorted vehicles of varying degrees of road worthiness . Getting lost in Tallaght can be fatal - it has the same population roughly as Limerick City and all the houses look similar , as on most housing estates . And , as with most housing estates , there is poverty . Urban housing estates are where the Provos expect to draw most of their support from in the coming years . Their policies will increasingly reflect the concerns of housing estates .

Adams and his election workers and journalists eventually find each other again , and the canvass starts at a shopping centre , where John Noonan and Christy Dunne are running . On the door-to-door canvass , Adams appears slightly embarrassed at interrupting people in their homes . There is something very personal about knocking on a door and being able to tell the person that answers it their name , which has been obtained from the register of electors . But the problem in Tallaght is that many have moved , therefore , in many instances , the register is inaccurate . Also , many people are still at work . Of those that answer the door , some say they will 'consider it on the day' and others will definitely give 'a number One' . John Noonan is well known in the area and he epitomises a genuine concern for the problems of the people in the constituency.......