" 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 20, 2007

BLOODY SUNDAY PICKET , SATURDAY JANUARY 27, 2007 .

After a peaceful Civil Rights march on January 30 , 1972 - from Creggan to Free Derry Corner - units of the British army Parachute Regiment opened fire with automatic rifles and shot dead 13 unarmed civilians , injuring many more . It was later revealed that some days prior to the massacre , the British soldiers involved had been briefed to "...shoot to kill.." at the march .

" This Sunday became known as 'Bloody Sunday' and bloody it was . It was quite unnecessary . It strikes me that the (British) army ran amok that day and shot without thinking of what they were doing . They were shooting innocent people . They may have been taking part in a parade which was banned , but that did not justify the troops coming in and firing live rounds indiscriminately . I would say without reservations that it was sheer unadulterated murder . It was murder , gentlemen . "
- the words of British Major Hubert O'Neill , Derry City Coroner, at the conclusion of the inquests on the 13 people killed by the British Army .
On Saturday , January 27 next , a picket to mark the 35th Anniversary of that massacre will be held at the GPO in Dublin , from 12 Noon to 1.45pm . All welcome !






Friday, January 19, 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 following has been established so far -

* That the Garda applied for a remand back into Garda custody , in spite of the fact that senior officers were aware that very serious allegations were being made about Garda ill-treatment of these men over the previous few days .
* That the application for remand into Garda custody was highly unusual as was the application for a remand for one day .
* That the only plausible explanation for the remand into Garda custody was to establish a scenario whereby it could be alleged later that the accused came by their injuries other than at the hands of the Gardai .

Our contention is that there is persuasive evidence that Osgur Breathnach , Nicky Kelly and Brian McNally were ill-treated by Gardai - the evidence goes far beyond raising a reasonable doubt about the 'voluntary nature' of their self-incriminating statements , and it is in the light of this established contention that the evidence of the Gardai in the course of this trial in the (State) Special Criminal Court must be viewed . In the course of the trial a total of 82 Gardai gave evidence ; we name those Gardai , and give their rank at the time.......
(MORE LATER).



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

On the topic of Irish unity , the GAA says : " Since she has not control of all the national territory , Ireland's claim to nationhood is impaired . Until complete nationhood is achieved , the association must continue to maintain an all-embracing , patriotic spirit . This national side of the GAA , and its dedication to the ideal of an Irish-Ireland , must be kept to the forefront at all times .

To the youth of Ireland , a knowledge of the circumstances in which the GAA was founded , of the part it played in the years before the Rising of 1916 , of the share its members had in the fight for freedom , is merely knowledge of their own inheritance and should not be withheld from them . "

Is the GAA then purely a sporting body for activities like running , hurling and football ? Emphatically not ! Both historically and by its own declaration it has aligned itself with the cause of full national sovereignty . What future role it may play in the present liberation struggle is a subject of speculation , but its members have not been slow in years gone past * to direct their energies in the cause of freedom . ('1169...' Comment * .... "in years gone past.." , yes . But , today , the GAA gives the impression that it feels itself to be in 'hock' , financially and morally , to the State administration and the assorted suited leeches and 'yes men' that comprise the so-called 'establishment' in this corrupt State . The GAA has sullied its own name in that regard .)
[END of 'SPORTING NATIONALISM']
(Next - 'A PEOPLE'S ARMY' : from 1982)



" COMRADES , BROTHERS AND SISTERS ."
Kerry Dougherty talks to Michael O'Riordan about fifty years of Irish Communism.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, June 1983 .

The Communist Party of Ireland celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this month in its headquarters in the 'New Books' Shop, near Parliament Street in Dublin . In the half century of its existence the party has presumably made some gains in membership - although numbers are secret - but it has failed to stand a single successful candidate in general elections North or South and has had little impact on the political , economic or social life of Ireland .

Why has the party remained so small and insignificant while other socialist parties have been born , grown and even elected candidates to Leinster House ? "The question should be , how did we survive at all over the past fifty years , " says Michael O' Riordan, the 66 year-old General Secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland, who has been a member since 1934 : " When you look at the Cold War - the years from 1948 until just about five years ago - it is a wonder we were able to exist at all . "

Placing his considerable bulk into a wobbly office chair in the meeting room behind the party book store , Michael O' Riordan recalled the dark days when the United States and the Soviet Union seemed poised for war and when 'communist' was a dirty word . Ireland then had its own form of 'red-baiting' in the guise of the Catholic Church.......
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, January 18, 2007

BLOODY SUNDAY PICKET , SATURDAY JANUARY 27, 2007 .

After a peaceful Civil Rights march on January 30 , 1972 - from Creggan to Free Derry Corner - units of the British army Parachute Regiment opened fire with automatic rifles and shot dead 13 unarmed civilians , injuring many more . It was later revealed that some days prior to the massacre , the British soldiers involved had been briefed to "...shoot to kill.." at the march .

" This Sunday became known as 'Bloody Sunday' and bloody it was . It was quite unnecessary . It strikes me that the (British) army ran amok that day and shot without thinking of what they were doing . They were shooting innocent people . They may have been taking part in a parade which was banned , but that did not justify the troops coming in and firing live rounds indiscriminately . I would say without reservations that it was sheer unadulterated murder . It was murder , gentlemen . "
- the words of British Major Hubert O'Neill , DerryCoroner City , at the conclusion of the inquests on the 13 people killed by the British Army .
On Saturday , January 27 next , a picket to mark the 35th Anniversary of that massacre will be held at the GPO in Dublin , from 12 Noon to 1.45pm . All welcome !






Wednesday, January 17, 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 1977 Amnesty International report into alleged Garda mistreatment of 'suspects' meant that in no sense could the allegations of Osgur Breathnach , Brian McNally and Nicky Kelly be regarded as unique : there was a good deal of evidence that the Gardai were ill-treating 'suspects' almost as a matter of routine at the time .

In fact a delegation of senior Garda officers went to Garret FitzGerald in 1977 - he was then (State) Foreign Minister . They told him about their concern about what was happening and FitzGerald then raised the issue with the then (State) Taoiseach , Liam Cosgrave, but nothing more was done , although FitzGerald did threaten to resign .

SUMMARY OF THE CASE SO FAR :
The following has been established so far -
* That Osgur Breathnach suffered injuries and he could have come by those injuries only at the hands of the Gardai , for he was not in the company of anybody else during his period of detention in Garda custody , and his injuries could not have been self-inflicted .
* That Nicky Kelly and Brian McNally suffered injuries while in Garda custody but there was an opportunity for them to have inflicted injuries on themselves or have had them inflicted by colleagues as they were remanded into Garda custody , following their being charged in the (State) District Court on the evening of April 7 , 1976 .
* That there was independent evidence of there having been screaming in the Bridewell Garda station during the period in question.......
(MORE LATER).



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

The funerals of the 'Young Ireland' leader , Gavan Duffy, and the Fenian leaders , James Stephens and John O' Leary, were well attended by GAA personnel marching in military formation , carrying hurling sticks as substitutes for rifles .

With the establishment of the Irish Volunteers in 1913 , the GAA was again to play an active role : typically , one of those at the inaugural meeting of this organisation - which , within three years , was to take the fight to the British crown forces - was the then Secretary-General of the GAA , Luke O' Toole. This political contribution , and the GAA's distinctly political separatist philosophy , is well reflected in the introductory remarks to the GAA's official rule book : " Those who play Gaelic games and organise its activities see in the GAA a means of consolidating our Irish identity . The games to them are more than games - they are part of the full national ideal which envisages the speaking of our own language , the buying of Irish goods and the promotion of native music and dances ."

The GAA - at that time , at least , if not now - held strong views on the issue of Irish unity , and was not afraid to voice those views.......
(MORE LATER).



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

Both the SDLP and Sinn Fein seem assured of one seat each - in Foyle and West Belfast . Both have a good chance of a second seat - in South Down and Mid-Ulster , and the SDLP has some chance of a third seat in Armagh-Newry . But one - or two - seats and a half share of the nationalist vote will satisfy Sinn Fein .

Sinn Fein have come a long way in the two years since Bobby Sands won a Westminster seat and died three weeks later, and they are making progress towards their objective of ousting the SDLP by 1985 .

Officials in London and Dublin will have to start thinking seriously about what they will do if , in two or three years time , they have to deal with Sinn Fein , rather than the SDLP , as the majority voice of the nationalist population in the North of Ireland .

[END OF 'THE PROVOS AT THE BALLOT BOX']
(Next - ' Comrades , Brothers and Sisters' : from 1983)






Monday, January 15, 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 fact is that throughout 1976 and the early part of 1977 allegations of Garda brutality were common-place and the names of certain Gardai cropped up again and again in these allegations ; Amnesty International sent a team to Ireland in 1977 - they examined a total of 28 cases , seven of which related to persons arrested in connection with the Sallins mail train robbery . In its report to the Irish Government (sic- Leinster House) Amnesty stated :

" Allegations common to every case examined are that the victims were at various times beaten and punched , the most common targets being the ears , stomach and groin ; knocked or thrown against walls or furniture ; thrown from one officer to another ; kneed in the stomach and kicked . It was also commonly alleged that victims were pulled or swung by the hair ; had their arms twisted behind their backs while they were punched ; were spreadeagled against a wall and had their legs kicked apart so that they fell to the ground . In five cases detained persons alleged they were beaten with objects .

The consistency in the nature of allegations from persons arrested at different times and in different parts of the country must , in the opinion of Amnesty International , lend weight to their validity , as must the fact that during the past 18 months and longer the same (Garda) officers have been mentioned as being involved in maltreatment of suspects in reports made at different times in different parts of the country . "

Indeed , some members of the Gardai itself were uneasy enough about what was going on to raise their concerns with those higher-up the chain.......
(MORE LATER).



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

In his letter agreeing to bestow patronage on the GAA , Dr. T. W. Croke (Archbishop of Cashel) wrote - " One of the most painful , let me assure you , and at the same time one of the most frequently recurring reflections that , as an Irishman , I am compelled to make in connection with the present aspect of things in this country , is derived from the ugly and irritating fact , that we are daily importing from England not only her manufactured goods , which we cannot help doing since she has practically strangled our own manufacturing appliances , but her fashions , her accents , her vicious literature , her music , her dances , her games also - to the utter discredit of our own grand national sports . "

Placing this sentiment in a clearly nationalist context , Dr. Croke continued - " Indeed if we continue travelling for the next score years in the same direction that we have been going in for some time past , condemning the sports that were practised by our forefathers , effacing our national features as though we were ashamed of them , we had better at once and publicly abjure our nationality , clap hands for joy at the sight of the Union Jack , and place 'England's bloody red' exultantly above the green . "

IRISH VOLUNTEERS :
It was then in keeping with the founding philosophy of the GAA's figureheads that the association continually demonstrated support for the nationalist cause , with the revolutionary nationalist tendency in the GAA a strong , and often dominant , element.......
(MORE LATER).



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

Mid-Ulster will be the real cockpit of this election : it has only a tiny nationalist majority but the fact that the Unionist vote is split between the Official Unionists and the DUP means it can still be won . The SDLP had a majority of 2,754 over Sinn Fein in the Assembly election but it was in Mid-Ulster that Sinn Fein so dramatically improved their vote in the Carrickmore by-election .

The SDLP candidate , Denis Haughey, is not the popular candidate they could have picked - he works in John Hume's MEP office and is about to join the Forum Secretariat : he is more of a bureaucrat than a local politician . Sinn Fein's Danny Morrison must have at least a fighting chance of replacing Owen Carron as Sinn Fein's MP west of the Bann .

There is one other constituency where the SDLP has a good chance of picking up a seat - South Down : it has been changed by the boundary commission but almost certainly has a small Unionist majority . For once a split vote may benefit the Nationalist camp . The DUP have nominated a candidate against the Official Unionist , Enoch Powell, and this was Sinn Fein's weakest constituency in the Assembly elections ; if the SDLP's candidate , Eddie McGrady, can hold most of the 84 per cent of the Nationalist vote which his party won in October he should take the seat and put an end to Enoch Powell's parliamentary career.......
(MORE LATER).