" 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 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Saturday, March 03, 2007

IRISH BLOG AWARDS , SATURDAY MARCH 3 , 2007.

Congratulations to all those attending the Award Ceremony in The Alexander Hotel in Dublin today !

We were almost there ourselves but were fouled by the opposition (ie they got more votes than we did!) but intend to use this non-award time in the best possible way - by working on Monday's blog ! In the words of a favourite author of mine - " Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend , but it requires a very fine nature - it requires , in fact , the nature of a true individualist - to sympathise with a friend's success ."

Once again , Bloggers - enjoy your day !

Sharon .






Friday, March 02, 2007

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GERRY ADAMS.......

The recent strike by BBC journalists over the 'REAL LIVES' programme and the dispute at RTE over the interview with NORAID representative MARTIN GALVIN have focused world attention on Sinn Fein once again .MICHAEL KELLY spoke to Sinn Fein president GERRY ADAMS at interviews in Dublin and Belfast , conducted over the course of the past month .

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, August 1985 .

MICHAEL KELLY : " On that point , how can you justify supporting the IRA's violence ? "

GERRY ADAMS : " Well , first of all , Sinn Fein's position is much more honest and logical than Fianna Fail's position . If Charlie Haughey says to you - ' The six county state is not a viable social or economic entity , the British government have no right to be there and British troops should leave ...' , the honest and logical conclusion to that is : ' If you live there * and you want to have a clatter at them , I wouldn't object ' . ('1169...' Comment - why confine "having a clatter at them" to those that live in the Six Counties ? It's an issue which effects everyone on the isle .) Now we take the view that the Irish people have the right to national self-determination . We think that people around the world , which includes the Irish , have the right to decide their own tactics (....once Messers. Ahern , Blair , Bush and Paisley approve , of course..) and to use armed struggle if need be. Other parties say its all right to do it in El Salvador , Nicaragua , Palestine or South Africa , but 'you can't do it in Ireland' . We say it's not only ok for all those people , but it's also ok for Irish people. "
(MORE LATER).



THE ACCUSING FINGER OF RAYMOND GILMOUR.......
By NEIL McCAFFERTY.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, August 1983 .

Raymond Gilmour's sister stood up in the court : " Your honour , can my mother not speak to Raymond ? She hasn't seen him for a year . " The RUC moved quickly to where she was standing : " Your honour " , she repeated , clearly and not shouting , " can my mother not speak to Raymond ?" The RUC were on top of her by now , grabbing her , pulling her , pushing her , and she shouted in protest and one of them lifted her bodily off the bench and stumbled with her down the aisle , and she was pulling his hair and his cap was falling to the ground and her splayed body was horizontally blocking the doorway but RUC reinforcements pushed and shoved and punched her through the doorway , with great noise .

The second sister was by now on her feet , pleading that her younger sister be left alone , the plea turning into shouted fear and anger , and even as she shouted the RUC were rushing towards her , descending on her , coming at her from both sides , pushing and punching , not able to grab her whole body because she was in the middle of the row , with friends on either side , but for one long dreadful moment her arms were tugged out on either side of her , like a crucifixion without a cross or nails and then she was pulled head first over the benches and down , over the head of the third sister who had by now risen to her feet too , and was trying to stop the passage of her sister's body above her , but she was also grabbed by the RUC and the two of them were beaten in a melee of RUC uniforms out of the door.

Meanwhile , John Gilmour , the eldest boy in the family , was on his feet in the courtroom.......
(MORE LATER).



NEW DEPARTURES FOR SINN FEIN....... ?
Sinn Fein's recent election success in the North of Ireland have focussed attention on the Provisionals' new turn to political activity at local level . There have been parallel developments in the organisation in the 26 counties .
'GRALTON' magazine spoke to Paddy Bolger , Ard Comhairle member and National Organiser for Sinn Fein ,with special responsibility for Dublin , about the changed perspective .
From 'GRALTON' magazine , August/September 1983 .

'GRALTON' magazine : " Are you consciously grooming candidates at this stage , a year ahead of the earliest possible date for the local election ? "

PADDY BOLGER : " All of the candidates we'll be running in Dublin have been selected locally . They haven't yet been ratified by the Dublin Comhairle Ceanntair but that's really a formality , as it would be a formality at Ard Comhairle level . We have six advice centres , one of which is full-time . We're currently buying caravans which would be mobile advice centres , and have already ear-marked eight definite areas in Dublin that we'll run in . We haven't ruled out running in more , or in all , if organisational improvements allow . "
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, February 28, 2007

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GERRY ADAMS.......

The recent strike by BBC journalists over the 'REAL LIVES' programme and the dispute at RTE over the interview with NORAID representative MARTIN GALVIN have focused world attention on Sinn Fein once again .MICHAEL KELLY spoke to Sinn Fein president GERRY ADAMS at interviews in Dublin and Belfast , conducted over the course of the past month .

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, August 1985 .

MICHAEL KELLY ('IN DUBLIN' magazine) : " The so-called 'northern question' is one of the main planks of Sinn Fein's policies . But do you think , Gerry , that people in the twenty-six counties either know anything about it or , more importantly , care about it ? "

GERRY ADAMS (politician) : " Well , it depends on what part of the country you're in , but there's absolutely no resentment towards us . I have canvassed extensively in Dublin and found no antagonism against Sinn Fein at all . There are people who disagree with us - but with only two exceptions , I haven't come across any rudeness . For example , we were getting a good response in Dun Laoghaire, which is a traditionally Fine Gael area . The point that I've been making is that people think we have two heads and when they discover we haven't it comes as a pleasant surprise . Now that doesn't mean they become enthusiastic republicans but it does mean that there's no problem in Sinn Fein coming along and saying - 'Yeah , we support the IRA' . I think we have come to the stage where there is no abhorrence , but neither is there wild enthusiasm . "
(MORE LATER).



THE ACCUSING FINGER OF RAYMOND GILMOUR.......
By NEIL McCAFFERTY.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, August 1983 .

Martin McGuinness, elected (abstentionist) Sinn Fein Assembly member for Derry , had earlier escorted Mrs Gilmour to a seat which afforded a relatively central view of her son , whom she had not seen for twelve months . Everybody else including her other son and three daughters was herded into a section against the wall , well to the blind side of , and behind , the witness box . The RUC had been posted one to each end of the vacant rows , in the other section , like recalcitrant theatre-goers refusing to let people pass once the show has started . McGuinness and Mrs. Gilmour , though excepted , were immediately marooned in a sea of green uniforms . ('1169...' Comment - .....and , once again , McGuinness finds himself 'marooned' with the RUC for company . But this time he's on their side .)

Mrs. Gilmour rose now as her son spoke , stepped past McGuinness , past the RUC , out into the ailse , down the stairs and then turned left to the exit door . Her son was gazing at a spot below the magistrate's bench . She was gazing at the door , their backs to each other . " Raymond , " she called softly over her shoulder , but not looking over her shoulder , " Raymond , son , you know I'm here . I can't listen anymore to you saying them things about your friends . " Her head drooped , but even as it drooped and the door opened before her , he was on his feet , on his way out without a backward glance , out by his own 'special door' , which had also opened , accompanied by his two Special Branch minders , the three of them moving in perfect stepped unison , like men who had practised barracks 'square drilling' , and Raymond Gilmour was gone from the courtroom in perfect timed tandem with his mother , though in an opposite direction .

The British magistrate sat as unregarded as any priest on the altar who has watched the congregation walk out before he had given 'permission' . But then Raymond Gilmour's sister stood up and broke that silence.......
(MORE LATER).



NEW DEPARTURES FOR SINN FEIN....... ?
Sinn Fein's recent election success in the North of Ireland have focussed attention on the Provisionals' new turn to political activity at local level . There have been parallel developments in the organisation in the 26 counties .
'GRALTON' magazine spoke to Paddy Bolger , Ard Comhairle member and National Organiser for Sinn Fein ,with special responsibility for Dublin , about the changed perspective .
From 'GRALTON' magazine , August/September 1983 .

'GRALTON' magazine : " You referred earlier to the need to take steps to prevent the rapid influx of people with political expectations you couldn't meet , perhaps looking for some instant success (? ? ?) . Has Sinn Fein had a problem with the turnover of members since those periods , notably during the hunger strike, when it was the focus for young people in Dublin who were looking for action ? Are you now consciously looking for a different kind of recruit ? "

PADDY BOLGER : " Particularly after Francis Hughes died on hunger strike (....even in death the British RUC/PSNI would not let the man rest) there was a lot of young people , particularly from the poorer districts of Dublin , coming on to the demonstrations . Most of them accepted the republican position about keeping the demonstrations peaceful , about keeping militancy controlled . Most of them then went away again when the hunger strike ended . It wasn't all that different from the North , except that up there we have been able to give that support a political focus - because of our dominance in so many areas , to turn it into the beginning of a mass political movement .

The problem in the South is that we haven't been able to provide that focus . A lot of young people who did join the campaign as activists , and not just for the demonstrations , were driven away by the police . We suffer greatly from police harassment. Most of the people we have now as activists are essential activists , the same people as we had in 1977 who weren't scared away by the repression under the Coalition Leinster House administration. Many of the H-Block action groups which might have developed into Sinn Fein cumainn - and that would have been a natural progression - were broken up by police action . Since the successes in the North and since the realisation that we might become a serious political force down here , some of the best of those people have started to come back .

We are quite convinced that if we could make ourselves credible electorally - well , at least initially , electorally - a lot of the support the hunger strike had in Dublin would come to us . The next local government elections are our immediate targets in that regard . "
(MORE LATER).







Monday, February 26, 2007

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GERRY ADAMS.......

The recent strike by BBC journalists over the 'REAL LIVES' programme and the dispute at RTE over the interview with NORAID representative MARTIN GALVIN have focused world attention on Sinn Fein once again .MICHAEL KELLY spoke to Sinn Fein president GERRY ADAMS at interviews in Dublin and Belfast , conducted over the course of the past month .

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, August 1985 .

The medium doesn't match the message at Sinn Fein's offices in Dublin but , having survived the rough and tumble of republican politics in Belfast , this is no bespectacled revolutionary in front of you .

Thirty-three year-old Gerry Adams was born in Leeson Street in the Falls but grew up in Ballymurphy - " That's a large housing estate on the outskirts which would roughly correspond to Tallaght in Dublin, with even fewer facilities , if that's possible " , he says with a wry smile . Aside from politics , his main interests are music and sport : " I'm still waiting for Antrim to win a football All-Ireland, " he says .

Gerry Adams was involved in the civil rights campaign ('1169...' Comment .........and obviously believed that that was what it was all about!) and was interned during the early 1970's. Now President of Sinn Fein ('1169...' Comment .....up until 1986 , when he helped to lead a group of dissident nationalists out of the Movement and in to Leinster House..) , he gave the following interview to 'IN DUBLIN' magazine last month . His growing up in his early years in the West Belfast area are chronicled along with local history in his book 'Falls Memories' (Brandon 1983).

The Sinn Fein vote hovers at around ten per cent in the Six Counties but was under five per cent in Dublin in the local elections in June this year (1985), one of the issues we discussed in the following interview.......
(MORE LATER).



THE ACCUSING FINGER OF RAYMOND GILMOUR.......
By NEIL McCAFFERTY.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, August 1983 .

A defence solicitor comes to his feet and says that he cannot hear the witness . He can't see him either ! The same solicitor had made the same point two weeks previously about Michael Quigley , another Derryman , who had also informed on Derrymen , many of whom were now in the dock once more , accused by Raymond Gilmour . On that past occasion , British Magistrate John Petrie had disallowed the plea , and Quigley had remained hidden behind his Special Branch 'minders', for " ...reasons of security.." .

Michael Quigley , fully visible only to the press , had given evidence from eleven in the morning until five in the afternoon , and he had kept his eyes trained on a spot below the magistrate , never deviating , and had kept his arms folded , sitting well back in his chair , only unfolding his arms four times during those six hours . The informer Michael Quigley had been under fierce taunting during cross examination and his face had been as immobile as an identikit picture . Raymond Gilmour , though not now under cross examination , sat forward when the solicitor protested and looked at him , and one of his 'minders' moved back into the aisle whilst the other stepped slightly aside so that everybody in the court could see him clearly , if only in profile .

Gilmour did not look beyond or around the protesting solicitor : he said something , his face turned back to the magistrate , so it is certain that he did not see his mother stand up from her seat.......
(MORE LATER).


NEW DEPARTURES FOR SINN FEIN....... ?
Sinn Fein's recent election success in the North of Ireland have focussed attention on the Provisionals' new turn to political activity at local level . There have been parallel developments in the organisation in the 26 counties .
'GRALTON' magazine spoke to Paddy Bolger , Ard Comhairle member and National Organiser for Sinn Fein ,with special responsibility for Dublin , about the changed perspective .
From 'GRALTON' magazine , August/September 1983 .

'GRALTON' magazine : " Were you influenced at all by the fact that Ranks is a multi-national and that there was an implicit issue of sovereignty in the dispute ? Would your response have been the same if it had been a local company ? "

PADDY BOLGER : " Local companies don't exist on the same scale , at least not with the same relationship to distribution and to imports and exports . I think our response would have been the same if it had been an Irish-owned company . Ranks symbolises what is wrong with the economic strategy in the 26 Counties and there are political lessons to be learned from the dispute . What's happening there is an indication of the insecurity of the current economic structures , with foreign companies being invited in with bigger concessions than they would get over in Sri Lanka or Mexicio and without any concept of state planning in relatuion to them . We're opposed to multi-nationals in principle as a pattern of development , because of their threat to sovereignty .

Even in a purely capitalist sense they have nothing to offer in terms of economic development . But we should be careful not to exaggerate our role in this area - we have a lot of militants who are republican in their political work and republican in their trade union work . They're not 'zany' , but are as thoughtful as any decent trade unionist . They introduce the republican questions when it's appropriate and when the opposition doesn't block it . They're now getting some general direction from the organisation . But our work as Sinn Fein is still largely limited to individual , specific actions , for instance in support of strikes . We believe that industrial work is not of itself enough to change working class consciousness . We have to carry out the local work as well . "
(MORE LATER).