" 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!

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.......