" 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!


Saturday, March 10, 2007

EASTER SUNDAY COMMEMORATION , DUBLIN , 2007 :

" The people were tired of the RIC and their overbearing , strutting tyranny . The 'Law' and the 'Force' . Yes , and the Crowbar and the Battering Ram . The Torch and the Buckshot . The Bayonet and the Bullet and the Baton . These tools had been always associated with the 'Law' . The 'Force' was the eyes and the ears and the power behind the 'Law' . This is how my mother taught me the English alphabet :
A for the Army that covers the ground ,
B for the Buckshot we're getting all round .
C for the Crowbar of cruel ill-fame ,
D for Davitt , a right glorious name...... "


...an extract from Micheal O'Suilleabhain's book , 'Where Mountainy Men Have Sown', (Anvil Books , 1965).

It is in memory of , and to pay respectable homage to , the men and women of that era and , indeed , the men and women of today and of each generation over more than the last eight centuries , that the Republican Movement has organised , in Dublin , an Easter Sunday Commemoration (8 April 2007) : those wishing to attend should assemble outside the Garden Of Remembrance in Parnell Square at 12.45pm , for a Parade to the GPO.
All Welcome!






Friday, March 09, 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 : " So what you're saying is - 'The raison d'etre for Sinn Fein wouldn't be gone in a united Ireland '? What would its function be ? "

GERRY ADAMS : " Once the people win independence , it's up to them to decide who they want to govern them . In those circumstances , I think you would have a re-alignment of Irish politics on a left-right basis . You have at the moment a division north and south of the working class and also within the north , and partition affects class politics in Ireland or the lack of them . You have the complete mystification of the people who call themselves the Labour Party: for all the faults of the Labour Party in England, it doesn't go into coalition with Thatcher. It never ceases to baffle me how Dick Spring, or whoever is in charge , can do such a thing. When James Connolly went into the GPO the Labour Party never came out ." ('1169...' Comment : Likewise , there was no constitutionalist nationalists in the GPO in 1916 , fighting for increased civil rights from Westminster!)
(MORE LATER).



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

Raymond Gilmour's Special Branch minders drew aside , like a curtain , and Gilmour turned to face the people he had grown up with : if the British magistrate were to believe his 'evidence' , and return them all for formal trial , and if they were subsequently convicted , they would go to jail for life for murder of RUC members , or fifteen years , or ten years , or five years if the charge was relatively minor , like membership of the IRA . He would have to point them out of course , point his finger at them - " That man there ," he said , conversationally , pointing : "...the man on the left , with the yellow tee-shirt .... that girl there , sitting in the second row , between the RUC men..."

Others he could not spot quite so easily , for they were in the second row of the dock , behind the first crowded row . Besides which , he would not know them all intimately , if his evidence was correct , because they operated in separate secret units and he might only meet a person from another IRA unit once , on a joint operation . One man would not wait to be pointed out , and stood up - " Is it me you're looking for , Gilmour ? " " Yes , that's you , " he replied , and then moved on to the next person . And the next ....

A further name was mentioned and as Gilmour's expressionless gaze travelled their faces slowly from far left to middle , the named man on the far right was already on his feet , himself pointing at Gilmour , whose glance arrived at him finally , and the informer pointed his finger at this man , so that they were pointing at each other , but the named man stayed accusingly silent , and Raymond Gilmour had to say his name.......
(MORE LATER).



GLOSSARY OF THE LEFT IN IRELAND : FROM 1960 TO 1983.
These notes attempt to record the left-wing organisations which have existed in Ireland since 1960 . No attempt has been made to record purely local organisations outside Dublin and Belfast , or microscopic groups which never reached double figures . The larger organisations have been presented in more detail .
From 'GRALTON' magazine, 1983.
By John Goodwillie.
(NOTE : Links in the following article are as accurate as possible - not all the groups mentioned left a discernible 'footprint' .)

ANARCHIST BOOKSHOP COLLECTIVE: A shortlived group in 1980 who can be regarded as successors to Dublin Anarchist Group and predecessors of Dublin Anarchist Collective.

ANARCHIST WORKERS' ALLIANCE: Formed in 1978 , A Libertarian Marxist organisation formed by ex-members of the Dublin and Belfast anarchist groups . Ceased to function in 1982 .

BELFAST ANARCHIST COLLECTIVE: Formed in 1978 , and disbanded as an organisation in 1983 .
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, March 07, 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 : " Leaving aside the morality of killing people , do you think the IRA campaign against the 'Crown forces of occupation' , as An Phoblacht calls them , will be effective ? Within the limits of your main aims - will it make the British leave ? "

GERRY ADAMS : " Well , not on its own . I mean first of all under the heading of tactic . The British have cut their regular force from about twenty-two thousand to about eight thousand but replaced them with the RUC and the UDR, and the reason there are more RUC men and UDR men being killed is because they are being pushed into the front line . If the IRA wasn't there , it wouldn't even be an issue . The IRA are the cutting edge, in that they are the people who make the whole business go , there wouldn't have been a Forum Report, for what it was worth , without the IRA . Having said that , not on its own : the IRA is only a small force which is facing a very powerful force in terms of military strength , and also a very powerful government .

The IRA does what it does as discriminately and intelligently as possible . I think it can bring about a situation where British withdrawal becomes inevitable . The British are here for a number of strategic reasons and we keep getting back to what Birkenhead said when he justified the British withdrawal from the twenty-six counties , by saying it was to defend British interests with an economy of British lives . The proof of that is in the existence of the twenty-six-county State . But I don't think that the bloody struggle for the past fifteen (sic) years would be worth it if the new united Ireland had a twenty-six-county ethos or economic philosophy . "
(MORE LATER).



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

Proud Derry memories of civil rights resistance to the RUC left the British courtroom with the Gilmours : a few involuntary shouts from the public gallery and the docks , a few bodies jerked inexorably to their feet , a few faces streaming with silent tears , had marked the removal of the Gilmours by the RUC , but no one had gone to their help .

If the court had been emptied , Raymond Gilmour would have been under no pressure at all while giving evidence - the Republican prisoners and their relatives have been instructed for months now to hold themselves in check , to suffer any and all indignity in order that they might remain in court to pressurise the informer Raymond Gilmour . The press , too , is trained to go against human nature and stand aside in the interests of maintaining the written record thus , denatured , the court resumed amid the silence . The door in the wall opened and the two Special Branch minders and Raymond Gilmour entered and resumed their positions : he did not look up into the gallery and took up at once , without prompting , where he had left off , and the typewriter went '...clack...clack...' and the sun shone in through the windows . It was as though the waters had heaved and erupted and then closed calmly again over some monstrous thing .

Raymond Gilmour was in the High Flats , in Derry's Bogside now , trying , with his IRA unit , he said , to plant a bomb beside the British Army lookout post on the roof of the flats: he pretended to court a female member of the IRA unit , in the stairwell of the flats, while keeping an eye out for British troops : the rest of the unit came back to report that the trapdoor onto the roof was beyond their reach , so they despatched a man to the nearby 'Rocking Chair Bar', run co-operatively by ex-prisoners , for a tall stool . The stool arrived , was mounted , and the bomb was planted . They returned the stool and retired from the eight floor to a flat in the fifth floor and waited for it to go off . They waited for hours . It did not go off . Back up to the bar for the stool , back up onto the roof for the bomb , recover the bomb , return the stool , and away home , to their various homes . It was almost funny listening to Gilmour , if it wasn't so serious .

That part of the 'evidence' was now concluded , the British prosecuter said , and he must now ask Raymond Gilmour to identify the people he had named , if they were present in court . All eyes fixed on the informer.......
(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 : " Do you believe that it will be necessary to establish more clearly in the minds of members that part of the price of a higher political profile is having to accept criticisms from people with whom you are also co-operating ? "

PADDY BOLGER : " People will have to realise that hitting the opposition , or even the slightly friendly middle ground , over the head with a hammer is not on : only by convincing people that our policies are thoughtful will we advance . Stridency is no replacement for sound argument - a lot of us are turned off by pub republicanism , which is generally not indulged in by our own activists but by people who become patriots in drink . We're quite determined that we're not going to go hammer-headed at people . What we're concerned to do is on the one hand , build a general attitude in the 26 Counties that the British have to withdraw and , on the other , work with other progressive forces , without immersing ourselves, to build up an alternative socialist ideology among the people . "
[END of ' NEW DEPARTURES FOR SINN FEIN...?']
(NEXT - 'GLOSSARY OF THE LEFT IN IRELAND- 1960 to 1983' : from 1983)






Monday, March 05, 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 : " It's ok talking about the rest of the world , but what about Ireland in particular , or even Dublin ? What about the young , the unemployed , living in the suburbs ? "

GERRY ADAMS : " Look . I'll just explain what happened in my own area . Ballymurphy is a housing estate which was built for ex-British servicemen . There was no national consciousness - it was a soccer-playing area . They probably knew they were nationalist but they were more Catholic than nationalist . All of a sudden , on the backs of the civil rights struggle, which was about the right to vote , the right to have a house , OK ? All of a sudden this strange group of people came in , took over the GAA pitch and the local church , and built a gigantic fort on the local industrial estate , Whiterock Enterprises . They then proceeded to go around at gunpoint to question people and to raid homes and arrest people .

Now if that happened in Cork tomorrow or even Dublin 4, there would be reprisals . I mean if I exploit you and subdue and repress you , all in the name of a foreign power .... these are the reasons people have the right to use force if they wish . And what happens in some districts is , say a lad goes out for a cup of coffee or a pint , he gets stopped by a British soldier who knows him , a lad about his own age . And say the Brits are out in a one-hundred-strong patrol , he gets stopped on this street by the first member of the patrol , on the next street by the tenth soldier and so on .

And what I'd say is that if anybody from Dublin wants to come to Belfast , all they need is their train fare . We'll find a house to put them up in and they won't have to listen to any republican propaganda , right ? They can go out and have a pint and come back in a month then they will be able to say that they understand what's going on . And if you want to make that the last prize in a competition , you can do so . "
(MORE LATER).



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

John Gilmour , eldest boy in the family , had meanwhile risen to his feet away up near the back of the courtroom : his mouth was wide open , but no sound came from him . His fists were clenched to his side , his whole frame was still and taut and straining , but he said nothing and did not move , because if he moved or spoke - even as the RUC beat his three sisters - he would be removed from the court and there would be no family member present to recall his brother , Raymond , however silently , back to his house . The court was suddenly quiet again , the sisters gone but he was still on his feet , agony in his features . The RUC gathered below him , not touching him .

" What are you looking at ? I'm not doing anything , I'm not saying anything , " he said , trembling visibly from the strain of doing and saying nothing . The RUC looked at him , and took a step towards him , because he was not seated as one should be seated in an 'orderly' courtroom , and then they halted , and we all - magistrate , press , defendants , relatives , Special Branch , prison guards - gazed frozen upon this spectacle : John Gilmour looked like a man at bay , a rabbit in headlights , both these things ; then the door swung open again and the yells and screams of his sisters and 'knockabout' noises came from the passageway beyond . There issued then from the mouth of John Gilmour a sound that bore no resemblance to the spoken word . It was a loud long bellow , and as it came forth he launched himself headlong into the scrum of RUC members below him .

They caught him and 'passed' him over to the aisle , but he regained his feet there and stood bursting against them , resisting their downward pull , and there were seven RUC men draped somehow , anyhow , about his person , two on their knees clasping his legs , two around his waist , two on his arms , and one behind him pulling his neck back in a fore-arm lock . The eight men tumbled , punching each other , down the stairs and out the door . All the Gilmours were then gone.......
(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 : " What we've talked about so far is a strategy for building Sinn Fein as a party . But in relation to issues in which other organisations come into play , do you have any guiding strategy in co-operation with these ? How do you decide on your possible involvement in such campaigns as the anti-amendment movement and the Nicky Kelly defence campaign ? "

PADDY BOLGER : " We don't only work with those who agree with us on the North , or who share our views of economic and industrial questions . In the Nicky Kelly campaign , for instance , most of the best activists were our members or very immediate supporters . We are opposed to the constitutional amendment but , as much for organisational reasons as any other , we didn't throw ourselves into the campaign . We're not sure what we might have contributed anyway because of the line-up of forces in that very broad campaign . But we have no objection in principle to taking part in a campaign , say , on divorce or on contraception or on housing in Dublin or on taxation .

We do not have an exclusivist position - we might have been guilty of this in the past . But we do not believe that single-issue campaigns are the basis for building a revolutionary organisation . You must build on your politics . "
(MORE LATER).







Sunday, March 04, 2007

THE IRISH BLOG AWARDS WERE HELD ON SATURDAY MARCH 3 , 2007.......

Congratulations to all those who attended the Award Ceremony in The Alexander Hotel in Dublin and 'Well Done' to those who left with a little more than some of us did !

We were almost there ourselves but were fouled by the opposition (ie they got more votes than we did!) but have used the enforced 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 - 'winners' and 'losers' - well done on doing what you do best : getting your point of view 'out there'
And 'Thank You' , Damien , for the time and effort you put in to get the show on the road . No doubt I'll catch ya around the airwaves again.... !

Sharon .