" 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, November 07, 2007

THE COALISLAND STORY : British Torture In Ireland.
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Torture stories are not new . But the inhuman treatment meted out to young Irishmen in the name of British law in our Occupied Six Counties may be news to the majority of the Irish people .

The unwritten orders of the RUC are that a 'confession' must be got at any price . And this 'confession' must not only involve the youth who is being interrogated but many others also . Near Coalisland , in County Tyrone , an RUC Sergeant named Arthur James Ovens was killed in an explosion in a disused house at Brackaville , in August 1957 . The Stormont authorities had publicised a scheme of rewards for information leading to the capture of Irish freedom fighters and , accordingly , British military and RUC guides were rushed to Brackaville after being told by telephone that young men had been seen entering the disused house . RUC Sergeant A.J. Ovens was killed when a mine exploded .

The British authorities have , since then , turned East Tyrone into a terror-area . Uniformed British thugs have rounded-up scores of young men.......

A PORTRAIT OF IRELAND , by Saoránach.......
First published in the Republican Bulletin - Iris Na Poblachta , November 1986.

Ellen Hazelkorn wrote : " There is a growth of cynicism and alienation from politicians and the political process , but political debate has not shown any significant alteration in style , content or ideological level .

The Workers' Party and sections of the Labour-left have occasionally succeeded in raising debate onto a more ideological plane , but change will not be easy or automatic . For them to operate in constituencies through clinics could be politically disastrous in the long-term ; suggestions that their councillors/TD's can be as effective as others in acquiring services or information will likely reinforce the traditional vertical/clientele links , and negate the horizontal/class ties which they ideologically favour .

In Ireland , clientelism is not merely a cultural or historic feature of rural life now appendaged onto the urban political scene , nor has its existence and persistence been merely the result of successful interventions by politicians - it is used by the State to deflect incipient conflict....... "



Margaret McKearney looks at the life and death of one of Ireland's most enduring heroes.
From 'Fourthwrite' magazine, Autumn 2003.

Robert Emmet's trial - on September 19 , 1803 - in Green Street Courthouse in Dublin - lasted all day and by 9.30pm he was pronounced guilty ; asked for his reaction , he delivered a speech which still inspires today . He closed by saying that he cared not for the opinion of the court but for the opinion of the future , "...when other times and other men can do justice to my character ." Robert Emmet was publicly executed on Tuesday September 20 outside St Catherine's Church in Dublin's Thomas Street .

The final comment on the value of Robert Emmet's Rising must go to Séan Ó Brádaigh who states that to speak of Emmet in terms of failure alone is to do him a grave injustice . He with the men and women of 1798 set a course for the Irish nation , with their appeal to Protestant , Catholic and Dissenter under the common name of Irishman , which profoundly affected Irish life for more than two centuries and which will , we trust , eventually bear abundant fruit .

(NEXT : 'The Eamonn Byrne Case' - from 'Phoenix' magazine , 1983)