" 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, July 02, 2007


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

In western Fermanagh , children who must cross the border to go to school are searched daily , their schoolbags turned inside out . The same treatment is meted out to workmen - in one case a man's boots were taken off .

In another case , two Franciscan priests were held for some time and closely searched by the RUC- an ordination card would not be taken as proof of identity .

(Next : 'Imperial Customs Bombed' - from the same source)


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

Most of this 'clinic and patronage' work is routine by now , well known to the comrades with the calculators and way beyond their resources . And this bad news is only beginning.....

When people vote there are several party supporters sitting near the ballot box with copies of the electoral register - they mark off the name of everyone who votes . Nominally this is to guard against personation- and it does have some minor function in that regard . However , personation is usually just a game to keep the troops happy . They cancel each other out and it's a dying art , anyway . The real purpose of these supporters is to provide the parties with a list of everyone who has voted and the polling boxes in which they have voted .

At the count , the parties provide their supporters with pre-printed forms ; on these they fill in the number of each polling box as it is opened . There is an unwritten understanding that the party workers will be able to see each vote as it is unfolded and stacked . From this they mark in how many first preferences each candidate gets from each box , giving the parties a list of names and addresses - perhaps three or four hundred - of people who have voted in each box . They also have a list of how these votes were cast in that box , along with very detailed lists compiled by canvassers , which give indications of how individual voters lean . Their knowledge is not merely based on one election but is accumulated from several decades of elections.......


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 price of money is high , these days , and international interest rates have gone up because the United States has been borrowing a lot of money to get its industry going again . So there's less money left to borrow , therefore the price of what's left is high , and if the price of money on the international markets is high then the price rises at home as well and we get high interest rates .

Entrepreneurs don't like high interest rates . Too much of any money they make has to be paid back to the lender . Then there's tax : the government finances its public spending - on health , education , social welfare etc - through taxation . That's the theory and up to about thirty years ago , it was in Ireland the reality : then we started borrowing for capital expenditure for day-to-day costs like social welfare payments etc whilst , at the same time , the government were collecting an ever-increasing proportion of income in tax . And entrepreneurs don't like high tax .

No worker likes high tax , but according to the business parties such as Fine Gael , The Progressive Democrats and Fianna Fail, the entrepreneur is the solution to all our problems , the 'answer' to what it takes to get the system going again . He , or she , thinks up some great idea , borrows the money to set up a factory to turn the idea into reality , creates employment , buys a house in Spain and lives happily ever after . As do the grateful workers . But.......