" 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. Ah well! Thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again next year!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The (political) blind leading the (politically) short-sighted.....

" Powersharing was the genesis of the conflict in the first place ."
- so declared Mitchel McLaughlin , Provisional Sinn Fein , speaking on 'Newstalk' radio , Dublin , just before 10 AM this morning (Saturday , 13 January 2007) .
"Powersharing" was never "...the genesis of the conflict.." on this isle as far as Irish Republicans are concerned : the British claim of jurisdiction over any part of this isle is the real "...genesis of this conflict.." regardless of what watery nationalists such as McLaughlin and his ilk claim .
As John Horan , from this blog , has stated over the years - " It was never a case of saying to the British - 'Stay if you want , just treat us better...' " The Republican position remains , as always , the demand for complete British military and political withdrawal from this isle . We have been relentless in that pursuit for over 830 years and will remain relentless in that pursuit for as long as it takes .
Finally ; our files show that , on April 20 , 1995 , Mitchel McLaughlin was quoted in his own party's newspaper , 'AP/RN' (page 6) , as stating (whilst speaking at an Easter Commemoration on Easter Sunday in New Lodge in North Belfast) - " We have confronted the monster of the British Empire and defeated it." !
McLaughlin , and those like him , would feel equally politically 'at home' in the SDLP or Fianna Fail : he is a weak-kneeded 'nationalist' , who will accept 'better treatment' in return for the 'trappings of political office'. He and his type should be avoided at all cost by true Republicans . They are a cancer on this Struggle .






Friday, January 12, 2007

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

The most senior Garda officer involved in the Sallins mail train robbery , Chief Superintendent John Joy , said in evidence that he did not institute any enquiries into allegations of ill-treatment even after the Osgur Breathnach Habeas Corpus hearing , but he did ask Superintendent Casey , who was also involved in the case , to make informal enquiries after the (State) District Court hearing on Thursday , April 8 , 1976 , when Michael Plunkett (one of those arrested) , speaking on behalf of all four accused , said that they had been beaten up .

Garda Superintendent Casey made informal enquiries of two Gardai , both of whom were the subject of very serious allegations in the case and on hearing from these that there was nothing to the allegations he reported back to Chief Superintendent John Joy that there was nothing to be worried about. And that was the extent of the Garda enquiries into the affair from that day to now .

At any time Chief Superintendent John Joy or any of his superiors in the Garda Siochana could have instituted a sworn enquiry on their own initiative into the allegations but that was never done : were it the position that only in this particular case was it alleged that the Gardai ill-treated persons in detention then the allegations might be treated with greater reserve . But that is not the case......
(MORE LATER).



SPORTING NATIONALISM .......
A look at the political origins of the GAA .
By 'Celt' .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .

THE PARNELL SPLIT :
Over the next twenty years the fortunes of the GAA were closely to follow the political events in the country : the 'Parnell Split' saw the GAA lining up on both sides , with active and well-known leaders of the association openly in confrontation at the meeting of the Irish Party in 1890 which met to decide Charles Stewart Parnell's fate as its leader . But as Parnell's fortunes declined , the GAA as a body threw its weight behind him .

At his funeral in 1891 it is reported that over 2,000 GAA members carrying hurling sticks draped with back flags followed the cortege . The same year was to see an even more public demonstration of the GAA's political involvement when the entire central council followed the funeral cortege of Patrick Nally , who had died under peculiar circumstances in Mountjoy Jail in Dublin after serving a ten-year sentence for treason . Thus , by its avowed aims and ideals of consolidating an Irish identity in the field of games , language and culture , the GAA was distinctly and undeniably separatist in its philosophy . ('1169...' Comment - ......then , perhaps , but not now ,unfortunately.)

And so , in the early 1900's , with the growth of the new Sinn Fein movement , the GAA was again to find itself caught up in a new era of the struggle for national independence : Sinn Fein members had gained important positions on many county boards of the GAA - Austin Stack in Kerry , Harry Boland in Dublin and Chris Holland in Limerick . It was quite apparent that James Nowlan , then President of the GAA , was himself an ardent supporter of Sinn Fein . If then , political alignment had become the reality for the GAA from its earliest origins , what of the attitudes towards that sort of alignment on the part of those whose contribution was central to the association's development...... ?
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

It is a two-horse race for the nationalist vote : the other parties are irrelevant . Gerry Fitt's political career ended the day he denounced the hunger strikers in the British House of Commons - he is likely to get between 3,000 and 4,000 votes in West Belfast , well behind the SDLP . The Alliance Party and The Workers Party will get a maximum of 2,000 - 3,000 in their best areas .

Both the SDLP and Sinn Fein are very wary of predicting how many seats they will get because of the vagaries of the straight vote and the fact that they are faced with a single Unionist candidate in three of the five key constituencies . The SDLP are confident that they will win Foyle and Martin McGuinness would have to increase his vote dramatically to even put John Hume in danger from the Unionist candidate . The SDLP claim confidence in Armagh-Newry as well but if Jim McAllister holds his vote , never mind increasing it , Seamus Mallon (SDLP) will be hard put to win against a single Unionist candidate .

Sinn Fein is fairly confident in West Belfast especially since there are two Unionist candidates in the field , Gerry Adams should have little difficulty increasing his vote and taking the seat there . The SDLP privately concede they have no chance in Fermanagh-South Tyrone and they will come a poor third there but the nationalist majority against a single Unionist candidate is so small that the SDLP intervention is almost certain to cost Owen Carron his seat.......
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, January 10, 2007

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

Under cross examination , Alan Martin admitted that he was arrested and detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act , 1939 , and that he had been asked questions in relation to the Sallins mail train robbery . He further admitted that he had previous convictions including one for housebreaking .

He said that he couldn't sleep because of all the screaming and shouting and crying that was going on , and that it seemed to have gone on for hours but that finally he managed to get to sleep . He said also that the following morning , the person who gave out the breakfasts said that the occupant of the cell nearby was not able for his meal , and gave him a double portion . He stated that all the commotion was going on when he was trying to get to sleep , and further denied that his evidence was fabrication .

Only the Most Cursory Investigation :
The senior Garda Officers involved in the case acknowledged in court that they were aware of the allegations being made at the time about the ill-treatment of those held in connection with the Sallins mail train robbery . There was press coverage given to those allegations , as there were several press conferences held by members of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), to which most of those held belonged , to publicise these allegations . In addition , there was of course the Habeas Corpus hearing in the State High Court of Osgur Breathnach , where allegations were made public and as a result of which Breathnach was sent to hospital by order of the court . Apart from that , the Gardai would have been aware from an early stage of the medical evidence that had been accumulated in the case . Yet only the most cursory enquiry was held into these allegations.......
(MORE LATER).



SPORTING NATIONALISM .......
A look at the political origins of the GAA .
By 'Celt' .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .

By 1886 , the Fenian element within the GAA was extremely strong : P.T. Hoctor , a renowned IRB leader from Tipperary , was elected vice-president , and in the same year an invitation was offered to the Fenian , John O' Leary , just returned from exile , to become one of the GAA's patrons .

Other invitations to become patrons had been accepted by Maurice Davin and the Archbishop of Cashel , Dr. Croke : Davin was an outstanding athlete and was driven by a concern to preserve Irish games from alien influences * . Dr. Croke's patronage saw the Catholic Church recognising the growing strength of the GAA , and the Archbishop himself was to act as mediator as the growing dissent between political factions for control of the GAA continued with vigour . ('1169...' Comment* : We can only presume that Maurice Davin , amongst others , are turning in their graves over the fact that the GAA now welcomes 'officials' of those 'alien influences' - the British 'security forces' - as members of its organisation. For shame....)

The annual convention of 1887 was indicative of this power struggle - the IRB had managed to pack the meeting with its members , and foremost among them were P.T. Hoctor and P.N. Fitzgerald . Forced to wait in the streets outside , with only a few of their supporters inside the convention , the 'clerical brigade' and 'National Leaguers' , led by Fr. John Scanlan , tried to storm the meeting : amidst fist fights the press stand was wrecked by a group led by Fr. John Scanlan himself ! Having been repelled by stewards , Scanlan and his colleagues withdrew to hold a splinter meeting . Meanwhile , inside the convention itself , the IRB candidate , E.M. Bennett of Ennis , County Clare , defeated Maurice Davin by 316 to 210 votes.......
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

Once the immediate backlog of social deprivation in the ghettos is tidied up a bit , constituency work , especially on local councils , will involve compromises and choices between priorities which are likely to lead to sharp divisions in an organisation aiming at revolutionary socialism . ('1169...' Comment : the Provisional Sinn Fein [PSF- 'Please Stoop Lower'] Party are currently experiencing those "sharp divisions" over how best to implement British policy in Ireland on behalf of their leadership in Westminster . As did 'The Workers Party' before them : some of Adams' people , unlike him , are only prepared to bow the head so far - their leader , and those immediately surrounding him , have no 'bottom line' and will do whatever it takes to secure their own political and financial wellbeing . They are politically and morally corrupt and , as such , are well suited to the corridors of Leinster House , Stormont and Westminster.)

And , if Sinn Fein does succeed in winning substantial support outside the republican ghettos , tension will grow between the political and military wings of the movement as the politically involved confront the 'adverse effect' of much of the IRA's activities on the population at large . ('1169...' Comment - the then IRA's "activities" were not focussed on "the population at large " : rather , the response to those activities by the Staters and the British Administration was focussed on that population , in the hope that , by 'squeezing' same , pressure would be brought to bear on Irish republicans to call off their campaign.) It looks as if Sinn Fein is more likely to have to cope with the problems of success than of failure : they look as if they will substantially increase their total and probably approach the 90,000 or 45 per cent to 50 per cent of the nationalist vote they are aiming at .

In the five nationalist-majority constituencies they should do even better , beating the SDLP in three - West Belfast , Fermanagh-South Tyrone and Mid-Ulster , and they may well pull ahead of the SDLP in the five taken as a whole.......
(MORE LATER).







Monday, January 08, 2007

Great to be back ! We enjoyed the break and managed to catch-up on a few jobs around '1169...' Towers , attend the usual Republican functions and commemorations and still have some time for ourselves ! Hope you enjoyed your Christmas and New Year break , too , and we are glad to have you back with us !

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

One of three men who happened to be in the Bridewell Garda Station at the same time as those arrested for the Sallins mail train robbery , Peter Harrington , spent the night in a cell with George and William Royale : under cross examination , Peter Harrington admitted that he had a number of previous convictions including ones for receiving and stealing , robbery with violence , breaking and entering , and also with stealing a car . This last was in the English jurisdiction and he was convicted in London . He denied that he fabricated his evidence .

William Royale gave evidence at Brian McNally's trial to the effect that he had spent the night in a cell with his brother George , and Peter Harrington : he said that around midnight on the Tuesday , he heard shouts and screams in the Bridewell , and the sound of someone who was obviously in pain and frightened . He claimed he banged on the cell door to try and get the noise stopped , but that he was told he would be better keeping out of it and that it had nothing to do with him - he said that he had been in the Bridewell many times since that night in relation to the same case , and admitted under cross examination that he had a number of convictions including housebreaking , malicious damage , larceny , and interfering with a car .

Alan Martin , giving evidence at Brian McNally's trial , said that he was brought into the Bridewell Garda Station on Tuesday night at around midnight and that he had never been in there before - he said that he heard screams and shouts in the cell next to his own and that these lasted for one-and-a-half to two hours . He also said that he had been in Garda custody three or four times and that he could not remember another incident like it.......
(MORE LATER).



SPORTING NATIONALISM .......
A look at the political origins of the GAA .
By 'Celt' .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .

A teacher by profession , from County Clare , Michael Cusack had founded his own academy in Dublin and moved in the prolific literary circles of his day , being an acquaintance of both Douglas Hyde and James Joyce. He was fond of the popular practice of letter writing to the national press , using their columns as a springboard for debate on national and cultural issues .

However , less than two years after becoming the figurehead of the emergent GAA , Michael Cusack found himself in open conflict with other members of the Executive and was subsequently voted from office : the issue which enveloped the GAA , and was to do so again and again , was the conflict between the nationalist lobby within it who favoured constitutional agitation , and those separatists who favoured physical force .

Two of the original seven founding members of the GAA - Joseph Kevin Bracken and John Wyse Power, were also members of the revolutionary Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), and it was obvious before long that the IRB had worked diligently at ground level in many parts of the country , to further their aim of using the GAA as a training ground.......
(MORE LATER).



THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX .......
By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

On the positive * side , the SDLP is putting great stress on the All-Ireland Forum , due to open with great pomp and ceremony soon , on John Hume's 'achievements' in the European Parliament and on the possibility that they could hold the balance of power at Westminster . ('1169...' Comment * 'Positive' , that is , for the SDLP and others like them , but not for Irish Republicans , as the 'All-Ireland Forum' did not address the issue of the actual British presence itself.)

Apart from the unlikelihood of the last , the points they stress indicate that they are losing touch with grassroots feeling - the 'All-Ireland Forum' , Westminster and the EEC cut little ice in the Falls , Bogside or Crossmaglen where the burning issues are repression , housing and social security - the ones Sinn Fein is concentrating on .

The election is nearly as crucial for Sinn Fein as it is for the SDLP - their new political strategy still sits uneasily on the advocates of pure physical force : indeed , however loyally the Sinn Fein candidates defend it , the Ard Fheis resolution on support for the armed struggle looked very like an attempt by 'the militarists' to put a curb on the 'politicians' in the Republican Movement , and a set-back in the election could well lead to a backlash against the new 'political strategy' ; but even 'success' could have its problems - Sinn Fein sees its involvement in constituency work as central to its new socialist development , and Gerry Adams talks of trying to involve the people in solving their own problems , but the Republican Movement has never found it easy to work with other groups and organisations .

There is also a narrow line between what they would term 'principled' constituency work and the sort of clientilism practised by Leinster House members and county councillors in their constituency clinics.......
(MORE LATER).