" 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 31, 2007

EASTER 1916 COMMEMORATION , MONDAY , 9 APRIL 2007, Dublin .

'The Mother'.

" I do not grudge them : Lord , I do not grudge
my two strong sons that I have seen go out
to break their strength and die , they and a few ,
in bloody protest for a glorious thing ,
they shall be spoken of among their people ,
the generation shall remember them
and call them Blessed :

But I will speak their names to my own heart
in the long nights ;
the little names that were familiar once
round my dead hearth .

Lord , thou art hard on mothers ;
we suffer in their coming and their going :
and tho' I grudge them not , I weary , weary ,
of the long sorrow .
And yet I have my joy ; my sons were faithful , and they fought . "


- PH Pearse, written hours before his execution , May 3 , 1916 .

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 Monday Commemoration (9 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 30, 2007

WHICH WAY FORWARD IN THE FREE STATE ?

In the wake of Sinn Fein successs in the North , republicans are increasingly having to confront the problem of building a realistic strategy for the very different political situation that exists in the 26 Counties . In this controversial analysis , Sinn Fein ard comhairle ('National Executive') member Paddy Bolger , argues that the Sinn Fein concept of an 'Economic Resistance Movement' , put forward in 1971 and expanded eight years later , is seriously over-optimistic , and that the national question remains the central revolutionary issue on which Free State workers can be mobilised in a painstaking and gradualist approach .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .

The most regularly-drawn contrast in relation to Sinn Fein's position is that between the situation that existed for the party in the North prior to 1981 and the massive increase in Sinn Fein's influence and credibility in the North that has occurred since then .

But what about the other major contrast , as massively relevant to republican strategy as the Northern electoral interventions - the contrast between the state of the party in the North and in the Free State ? While few people would challenge the strong possibility of Sinn Fein securing majority electoral support among Northern nationalists * in the not so distant future , would anyone venture a comparable optimism about Sinn Fein's prospects in the 26 counties ? Undoubtedly not . ('1169...' Comment * It was actually those that left the Republican Movement in 1986 with Gerry Adams that "secured majority electoral support..." , but they done so by 'out-stooping' the Stoops, an 'opportunity' that was always available to Irish Republicans but which was only ever taken-up by those that left the Movement .)

And yet , the current social and economic situation in the South is almost identical to that projected in the Sinn Fein policy document adopted in early 1980 - ' Eire Nua : the Social , Economic and Political Dimensions ' (a revision of the 1971 Social and Economic Programme) . That document urged the immediate forging of an 'Economic Resistance Movement' centred on the trade unions and co-operatives and mobilising the people for national aims around issues such as unemployment , women's rights , youth , withdrawal from the EEC etc.......
(MORE LATER).



A SEGREGATED JAIL .
Formerly Sinn Fein's national organiser , 28-year-old Belfast republican Jim Gibney has been imprisoned on remand since last January , one of many who have been held solely on the word of an RUC informer . Most of this period on remand has been spent in Belfast's Crumlin Road Jail.
In this article , smuggled out of Crumlin Road , Gibney outlines the daily routine in the jail , in which segregation between republican and loyalist prisoners -one of the hunger-strikers' five demands- plays a central , if 'officially' unrecognised , role .
From 'IRIS' magazine ,November 1982 .
By Jim Gibney .

One year after the ending of the hunger-strike in the H-Blocks, the British government continues to refuse to concede some of the outstanding demands which prompted it .

Principal among these demands are the issues of segregation between republican and loyalist prisoners , and a full restoration of remission lost by prisoners during the six-year protest . Although the relationship in the North's prisons - Long Kesh, Armagh, Magilligan and Crumlin Road, which contains remand prisoners - between prisoners and prison warders has improved , this is due more to the ending of the no-wash and blanket protests by the prisoners which in turn led to the warders ending their physical assaults and the internal body searches than to any enlightened handling of the prison situation by the self-avowed 'liberal' prisons' minister , 'Lord' Gowrie.

More than enough time has passed since the hunger-strike ended on October 3rd 1981 for the necessary changes to be implemented if the British government was genuinely interested in preventing yet another major challenge to their prison policy , which was derailed last year when they were forced to concede the political prisoners' right to wear their own clothes . Since then , the focus of attention has switched to the issue of segregation - one of the original five demands which the British government has said it will not implement.......
(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' .)


LABOUR AND TRADE UNION CO-ORDINATING GROUP: Formed in 1974 with the participation of members of Militant to campaign for a mass party of labour in the North of Ireland . Changed its name to Labour and Trade Union Group in 1979 .

LABOUR AND TRADE UNION GROUP: (See above) . With the participation of members of Militant, this organisation worked for a mass party of labour in the North of Ireland .
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, March 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 : " What about the allegations that Sinn Fein infiltrated the anti-drugs movement? "

GERRY ADAMS : " That's a nonsense . You don't have to infiltrate anyone . If someone comes to you for advice that's not infiltration . I mean if there were Sinn Fein people in Dolphin's Barn or in St. Teresa's Gardens and they give a hand that's not infiltration . Sinn Fein couldn't have done it on its own , it did not do it on its own - it just provided a wee bit of assistance and helped people to organise themselves . I think it was marvellous what the people did , but I will say one thing : if there was as much political will to stop the drug-dealers as there is against the IRA they could be stopped . "

[END of 'THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GERRY ADAMS']
(NEXT - 'Which Way Forward In The Free State?' - from 1983)


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

Lunch was over and people trooped back in to the courtroom to listen , disbelievingly , while Raymond Gilmour continued to inform . Fifty-five more people will face his accusations when the present 'lot' are done with .

'How could he do it...' , they kept asking . How could Michael Quigley, too , have done it ? Quigley had already provided his own answer : he was not an informer , he told his cross questioner in court - he was 'a converted terrorist' . When had he 'converted' , the defence team asked him ? " On the road to Castlereagh Prison...." , he replied , his immobile face an identikit mask.

[END of 'THE ACCUSING FINGER OF RAYMOND GILMOUR']
(NEXT : 'A Segregated Jail' : from 1982)


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' .)


IRISH WORKERS' PARTY: Changed its name from the Irish Workers' League in 1962 . The major communist organisation in the State , it achieved little except some influence in the trade union movement . It merged into the Communist Party Of Ireland in 1970 .

IRISH WORKERS' UNION: Formed in 1960 ; some of its members came from Saor Uladh, a Republican offshoot to the left and more willing to work within State structures . After it ceased to function in about 1964 , some of the same people were involved in the Irish Communist Group.

IRISH YOUNG SOCIALISTS: Youth movement of the League for Workers' Vanguard, later the Workers' League.
(MORE LATER).







Monday, March 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 .

MICHAEL KELLY : " Community work is one of the ways in which you have been building up your vote in Dublin . Why did Sinn Fein choose this method ? "

GERRY ADAMS : " First of all , it means that the party which puts forward the candidate has to be in the area helping the people and not just at election time . Secondly , it's easy enough to take short-cuts and to get involved in street opportunism , latching yourself onto a tenants' association and getting your picture in the paper and it might look genuine to people outside the area , but people in the area will know it isn't .

Hopefully it will enable us to put our views on the national question across and then on the British presence and to 'republicanise' the community . I think that there's a difference between a principled involvement in working with the people and opportunistically exploiting what's going on for electoral purposes . "
(MORE LATER).



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

Conversation turns from the RUC to court room procedure : the solicitors want to save cross examination until the formal trial next year . There's no point giving Raymond Gilmour a 'dry run' now , they argue - 'You're just giving the RUC time to prepare him..' . The RUC already know all the dirt there is to know about him , comes the counter argument - ' You can be sure they've broken him already , and remoulded him . Why give them more time . Throw stuff at him now , while he's still vulnerable...'

But is he vulnerable , they wonder then ? This is not the Raymond Gilmour some of them knew . Is that how they brainwashed people in Korea , in Vietnam ? " Never mind Gilmour , " said one woman , " ... look how the solicitors are brainwashed . A lot of money , for appearing in court , and they'll uphold any system . They should have withdrawn from the courts long ago . You wouldn't find informers being tolerated in an English system ."

Those words fall like stones on some hearts - one woman present has a son in the dock , and a solicitor son among defence counsel . The son in the dock is not allowed to sit beside his wife , of eighteen months , also charged . She got bail because she was pregnant , the child having since been born . If her husband is convicted of the killing of which he has been accused , her child-bearing years will be over by the time he gets out . Assuming her body is not destroyed in Armagh Jail, where she will probably be sent if Gilmour is believed . The young woman's mother keeps vigil in court , from her wheelchair.......
(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' .)

IRISH WORKERS'GROUP (Mark 1) : This group changed its name from the Irish Communist Group in 1965 . An organisation in the Trotskyist tradition , it ceased to function in 1968 following the secession of the 'League for a Workers' Republic', but many of its members were already involved in the Labour Party or the Young Socialist Alliance.

IRISH WORKERS' GROUP (Mark 2) : Formed in 1976 following a breakaway from the Socialist Workers' Movement in the direction of a more rigorous adherence to Trotskyist doctrine . This group had close relations with the British Workers' Power Group.

IRISH WORKERS' LEAGUE: Formed in 1948 when the Communist Party Of Ireland had divided on a North/South basis in 1941 . It changed its name to the Irish Workers' Party in 1962 .
(MORE LATER).







Sunday, March 25, 2007


EASTER MONDAY 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 Monday Commemoration (9April 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!