Wednesday, July 04, 2007


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

On December 6 , 1957 , the Imperial Customs Post at Belleek , County Fermanagh, was demolished by Irish freedom fighters and the occupants removed to safety . An RUC-inspired statement that two young girls were removed from the danger area by the warning shouts of the Customs officials is untrue . The girls were in no danger at any time and were out of the danger-zone completely when the blast took place .

The Havies Bridge , about seven miles from Enniskillen on the Derrylin side , was also destroyed on December 6 , 1957 .

[END of 'Imperial Customs Bombed']
(Next : 'Are These Charges True?' - from the same source)


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

All of the marking of registers and forms that goes on at polling stations and count centres has little to do with the current election - it is being done for the next election and the one after that . It is possible for parties to get a fairly accurate picture of who voted for them , who voted against them , whose vote 'swings' , where these people live and what has to be done to keep or win their vote next time .

That is : a "fairly accurate" picture - in some constituencies the geniuses are so good that they get a precise picture , house by house . A poll a few years ago showed that about half of the electorate make their choice on the basis of constituency service (ie 'clientelism') - things such as policy , the 'talent' on offer (...with apologises to the creature pictured!) or the extent of crookedness of the party leader are subordinate .

The parties have for each constituency a precise profile of their strengths and weaknesses , of favours owed , of problems stroked and promises made . They have the resources of Leinster House , which is routinely used as part of the election machine . The extent to which the major parties are able to manipulate the electorate cannot be overestimated , but it's no good moaning about this - it is a fact of political life everywhere.......


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.

But... the entrepreneur is a shy person who will only emerge to multiply if what the business parties refer to as 'the economic climate' is encouraging : in other words if it doesn't cost the entrepreneur a great deal to borrow the money he or she needs , and if there's a good chance of making a lot of money . In short - low interest rates and low taxes .

The government borrows approximately sixty per cent of its requirements at home , so if public spending was cut that money would , in theory , be available for the entrepreneurs . Alas , the business of interest rates is not something over which the government can exercise much control . Still it can lower taxes , which will make the entrepreneur happy , making sure that he or she gets a fair reward for 'courage in the marketplace' . It would also mean that ordinary taxpayers will have more money to spend on the goods produced by these entrepreneurs and their 'grateful workers' - alas , in these days of 'free trade' , it cannot be guaranteed that the taxpayers will spend their money on home-produced goods .

So what about producing goods to sell abroad ? Well , for some reason your average Irish entrepreneur doesn't seem to be terribly good at this . Even if he or she is 'cute' , the tendency will be to set up or acquire enterprises abroad rather than developing the buiness at home - like Michael Smurfit, for example.......