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"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!

Monday, November 19, 2007

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

A father and son arrested in Fermanagh within the past month were both brutally treated by the RUC : the father is now in the Omagh Mental Hospital . A youth arrested in Kilkeel , County Down , had to be shifted to a mental hospital after his release from the RUC . A noted brain specialist has testified to his condition .

James Donnelly , Leo McGarry , James Hackett , Paddy Timony and Denis Cassin , of Armagh City , who were arrested on December 7 , 1957 , were kept in tubs of cold water for four hours , were then taken out and , while still naked , had their feet stamped on and their bodies punched . Later they were beaten with rubber truncheons . These things are happening in Occupied Ireland . The Coalisland youths may be put in the dock any day now on capital charges but , as yet , they are held uncharged and untried .

In Fermanagh , youths arrested during the last 'round-up' are also uncharged and untried , but this has not prevented Stormont declaring that four of them will be charged and will receive stiff sentences . British 'justice' in Ireland now follows the rule - '...announce the sentence first and then charge and try them.. ' Willing stooges rejoicing in the name of 'judges' are ready to dispense the required sentence whenever called upon.......


Dessie O'Malley would expect to draw his support almost exclusively from middle-class areas , but if he is to succeed in getting the twenty seats he hopes for that support base would also have to include working-class areas , especially in Dublin . On the evidence of one day spent with PD leader O'Malley ,that working-class support is unlikely to be forthcoming.
By Derek Dunne.

In the South Inner City of Dublin , about half-a-dozen anti- Section 31 protestors emerge as if from the woodwork : Dessie's handlers are panicked . One young protestor stands in the doorway in front of O' Malley demanding to know his view of Section 31 . The entire world and his wife knows Dessie's view on Section 31 . The handlers push Dessie forward , and another handler bursts his trousers when he tries to kick the young protestor who , eventually , is hoisted backwards to disappear from view . Dessie is shook by the affair . It is claimed on the news that he got his suit torn , even though there is no evidence of this . Not one protestor laid a hand on him - he was pushed only by his own people .

He goes on with the canvass : he enters a workshop where there are kids doing all sorts of 'wurk' , but none of them are old enough to vote . Still , it's a great photo opportunity . He moves on to the Winstanley Shoe Co-Op , where he declares that he is very much in favour of self help . He and his team go on what is known as a 'walkabout' in the factory - this is another opportunity for him to meet the people and impress them .

By now , the gardai are on the scene . Here and there people avoid Dessie . Women run into a shop away from him . The reception he gets is anything but friendly and the image of him going to meet the people with a garda escort hardly conforms to the image that the PD's would like to project . One of his handlers remarks ruefully - " People are turning their backs and walking away..." Dessie then goes off to lunch with a priest from the locality , never one to forget the power of prayer . When he emerges , it's with hairbrush in hand , which he sneaks to a handler before anyone can get a photo of it . Another photo opportunity missed ! One woman wishes him the best of luck . The handlers are constantly pushing the other PD candidates into the picture line-up so that they will get their faces across . Most of them are completely unknown.......

Eamon Byrne , a 19-year-old Dubliner , was shot dead by a garda detective during an attempted robbery at the B+I terminal in November 1982 . For his family , obtaining justice , or simply the truth , could be a long and expensive process.
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , July 1983 .

The outcome of the inquest on Eamon Byrne hardly came as a surprise . Five years ago , an inquest on 16-year-old Aidan White , who died of meningitis after being illegally detained in garda custody for nearly a week , absolved the garda officers concerned of any responsibility for his death : the jury on that occasion rejected riders from counsel representing the dead boy's mother and the ICCL calling for clearer guidelines on the arrest and detention of juveniles in custody .

In Eamon Byrne's case , the jury also rejected riders from counsel for the dead man's wife and the ICCL , calling for an examination of the procedures for equipping and training garda in the use of firearms . For Elizabeth Byrne , obtaining justice , or simply the truth about her husband's death , could be a long and expensive process .

(Next : 'Republican Mourners Defeat RUC' - from 1987)