Saturday, June 30, 2007


" The failure to break with the colonial past is illustrated by the State’s habit of imitating British practices and conventions. The names and structures of government agencies are copied direct from England: the ‘Special Branch’, the ‘Director of Public Prosecutions’, the ‘Ombudsman’ and so on. Even the forms used in tax assessment are direct copies of those used in Britain. (Originally the Department of Finance wanted to call itself ‘The Treasury’ but this was vetoed by Westminster: there could only be one Treasury and it wasn’t in Dublin!)
It is reflected too in uniforms: the uniforms worn by military personnel, by Civil Defence, even by traffic wardens. As for the police force, it is nominally unarmed but about 25% of it is plain-clothes and armed with Uzis. The Uzi is an Ingram-type machine pistol manufactured in Israel, probably out of re-cycled sardine cans or the like: it is a scatter-fire weapon favoured by security forces in countries where if a few by-standers are mown down then it is of no consequence. The Gardai also have stocks of CS-gas and plastic bullets, though these have only rarely been deployed.

It is often claimed that the State originates in the 1916 Rising and subsequent struggle for freedom. This is of course nonsense. The Free State destroyed and replaced the Republic declared in 1916 and is a continuation of the previous colonial regime by other means. It was established by an act passed at Westminster and it inherited the administrative machinery (and most of the personnel) of Dublin Castle. The State has continued to be ruled by a system of laws devised for a totally different society. British war memorials and the graves of Black-and-Tans are maintained by the Office of Public Works: Republican graves and memorials at private expense...."

(More here....)

Help us to break that 'colonial status...' .

Friday, June 29, 2007


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

RUC and B-Specials, along with the British military, scoured the South Fermanagh countryside on the day after the attack . Houses were searched and many people questioned . Tracker dogs were used in the search , and were also used in a British 'security force' sweep of the area bordering Lough Erne between Knockninny and Derrylin.

On the day before the attack B-Specials with tracker dogs had searched the entire area . After the attack it was also reported by Stormont that RUC County Inspector Reid was on the scene , but there is no truth in that story - he was photographed next day beside the fake Land Rover at the ambush site , surrounded by armed RUC guards.

Raids and searches in the Fermanagh area are now an almost daily occurrence ; many young men have been taken to Crumlin Road Jail where they have been subjected to rough treatment at the hands of the RUC . A taxi-driver from Swanlinbar in County Cavan was arrested in Enniskillen while doing a run , and was held for 48 hours and subjected to intense questioning . Children , too , are being stopped by these thugs.......


From 'Gralton' magazine, August/September 1983.
By Gene Kerrigan.

Political parties used to have wizards who knew every pocket in every constituency and who were valued for their knowledge . They knew that 'that' village was 'for' us and ' that other' village was agin us ! They knew which streets to send the party cars to on polling day . These people are still around , but they have been augmented by the HQ WhizzKids: these are the full-timers who spend literally years assessing , probing and stroking each constituency .

They weed out troublesome members , promote the 'useful' ones , rig selection conventions , sabotage awkward potential candidates and allocate areas within constituencies for each candidate to 'till' and 'harvest' . This is called - and they say it without a blush - "vote management" . These people don't just have knowledge of constituencies - they also have files and floppy discs !

Their other purpose is to conduct regular secret polls of the electorate then , having found out what the voters want , they formulate the party programme accordingly - using very general terms , as most policies will later be reneged. This is a marketing technique , precisely the kind used to launch soap powders and bubble gum . At ground level there is constant 'clinic' work - doing personal favours for voters , or appearing to do so . There is also patronage - providing , or appearing to provide , jobs or influence for supporters.......


This election is not about the 'economy' . It's about the survival of sectional interests , clearly divided in a broader , simpler way than for many a long day . This election is not about the survival of the country (sic) : it's about choosing who will bear the cost of that survival.

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, 'Election Special' , 1987.
By David McKenna.

" The major breakthrough of this election , " wrote journalist/economist Paul Tansey in 'The Sunday Tribune' newspaper of 8 February (1987) , "...lies in the fact that every significant political party contesting it has recognised that the Irish economy is in the midst of a deep crisis."

There's another way of putting it : the taxpayers have their own political party now , unencumbered by history . The Progressive Democrats have helped spring Fine Gael out of the closet . It's a straight fight - taxpayers versus unemployment , and the winner gets to govern the State . Democracy is not a religious business , it's not about absolute moral , or fiscal , values . Sometimes Sunday newspapers try to play God , failing to recognise that they just represent the interests of their tax-paying readers . Still , it sells newspapers , and isn't what's good for business good for the State ?

Democracy is about sectional interests , people voting for themselves and their own survival , and why not ? At the best of times , survival is a matter of more than money . But not this time round . This election is not about making the exchange of information amongst women a criminal offence . It's not about the emotional survival of partners in dead relationships . It's certainly not about constitutional crusades , and even the Irish language has had to take a back seat . This is about money and the price of money.......

Thursday, June 28, 2007



" It was a time of trouble-executions,
Death, searches, nightly firing, balked escapes –
And I sat silent while my cellmate figured
Ruy Lopez' Gambit from the 'Praxis'. Silence
Best fitted our mood: we seldom spoke.
'I have a thought,' he said, tilting his stool.
'We prisoners are so many pieces taken,
Swept from the chessboard, only used again
When a new game is started.' 'There's that hope,'
I said, 'the hope of being used again.
Some day of strength, when ploughs are out in March,
The dogs of Fionn will slip their iron chains
And, heedless of torn wounds and failing wind,
Will run the old grey wolf to death at last'.
He smiled, 'I like your image. My fat kings,
And painted Queens, and purple-cassocked Bishops
Are tame, indeed, beside your angry dogs! "

(....taken from here.)

- Written by Joseph Campbell, interned in the Curragh, 1923-24.

Read the above , follow the links and read what they offer . Then , read this link and see if you can help.......
Go raibh máith agat , from the '1169...' Crew .

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Armoured Car Hit and Abandoned by Crew .

A heavily armoured car was put out of action and badly damaged after a land-mine exploded at Cassidy's Cross near Kinawley in County Fermanagh, following an ambush by guerrillas on December 1 , 1957 . A second armoured car sped on when the explosion occured .

The RUC issued a false statement claiming that a 'Land Rover' had escaped damage : a 'Land Rover' did appear on the scene , but it was after the armoured vehicle had been towed away and photographers were told that was the car hit by the land-mine ! Pictures appeared in the media showing the 'Land Rover' as Stormont attempted to minimise the damage caused .

The ambushers hit the second armoured car in the two-car patrol as it crossed over a culvert . The leading vehicle paused long enough to take the injured occupants to safety - the IRA guerrillas did not fire on them as they were removed from the armoured vehicle . The injured RUC men are believed to have been taken to Enniskillen Hospital: the RUC did not attempt to engage their attackers , being distracted as they were by the huge crater which the explosion blew in the roadway.......


From 'Gralton' magazine, August/September 1983.
By Gene Kerrigan.

The 'X-Every-Five-Years' cliche was finally killed-off by 'The Great Capitalist Plot Against Socialist Cliches of 1981/1982' , which involved staging three general elections within eighteen months . The other reason for the decline of the cliche was the greater readiness of the Left to intervene in elections : no count centre was complete without the comrade with the calculator -

" Okay .... ," the comrade would say , "'s the way I see it . If 93% of the Fine Gaeler's surplus goes to the Labour guy , and if we get 34 votes from his surplus - which puts us above Sean Sugarloaf Mountain O' Looney (Ind) so that he gets eliminated first - and then if the Labour guy is elected next and we get 97% of his surplus , then we'll come within 800 votes of saving our deposit..."

The purpose of this article is not to revive the should we/shouldn't we argument about electoral politics . Most of us long ago answered that one - " It depends." But it is worthwhile , for the benefit of the comrades with the calculators , drawing a map of the electoral territory in which they are operating , and pointing out the hostility of the natives.......


From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, 'Election Special' , 1987.

Politics isn't just about winning elections and holding onto power , it is also about a country's sense of self . We expect our leaders to reflect us as well as represent us . We are an interesting and enigmatic people and we deserve a similar kind of leader and they don't come any more interesting and enigmatic ('1169...' Comment - try 'devious' and 'arrogant'..) than Charles J. Haughey .

Frightening , too , maybe . But the relationship of a people to its leader should , like a love affair , have an element of risk , of danger , to it . This has been missing for a long time . We have no choice : let us embrace our destiny .

[END of 'What Rough Beast Is This , It's Hour Come Round At Last?']
(Next : 'Crisis - Which Crisis?' : from 1987)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The Hill Of Tara.

From this..... this -

The alleged 'Green' part of this Leinster House administration obtained their vote for the most part due to their oft-stated opposition to , amongst other political crimes mooted by their new-found colleagues in that institution ,the destructive plans for the Hill of Tara . By their inaction , future generations will condemn 'the Greens' for washing their hands of the issue in exchange for political career-building . They are indeed well-suited to Leinster House .

" To me the life of the businessman who eats his breakfast early in the morning , catches a train for the city , stays there in the dingy , dusty atmosphere of the commercial world , and goes back to his house in the evening and , after supper , to sleep , is worse than the life of the galley slave - his chains are golden instead of iron. "
- Oscar Wilde.

Monday, June 25, 2007


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Colonel Topping had this to say about the press release from the Irish Republican Publicity Bureau- " I do not think I will be giving very much away when I say that for once they are not very far out in the picture they paint . "

The British Colonel also quoted an unnamed Newry man , whom he called 'a prominent member of the minority' , as writing to him stating that " ...if a plebiscite were held in the town of Newry very few would opt out of Northern Ireland (sic) ." Perhaps Colonel Topping should substantiate his statement by giving us the name of this 'prominent member of the minority' , and perhaps he might also test the truth of the alleged statement by holding a plebiscite in Newry ?

(Next : 'Fermanagh Ambush' : from the same source)


From 'Gralton' magazine, August/September 1983.
By Gene Kerrigan.

There used to be a great cliche on the political Left that always came into use at meetings with titles like 'Socialism -The Way Forward!' or 'Socialism - Making The Links!' or 'Socialism - Drawing The Lessons!' . That cliche was about parliamentary democracy and , like much of the rhetoric , it was an imported cliche . It read - " Capitalist democracy consists of putting an X beside someone's name once every five years! "

We even worked it out scientifically : if it took one minute to mark the X , the speaker might say , and you voted in every general election for fifty years , that meant you had ten minutes of democracy in your whole lifetime ! " Huh! ..." said the speaker - "...some democracy . The alternative we're proposing here tonight is the mass democracy ...etc etc etc......proletariat .....etc etc etc.....workers vanguard...etc etc.....memory of the class...etc etc......forward........make the links.....draw the lessons.....and hope you can come to our next meeting in a fortnight's time on 'Socialism - What Is To Be Done...' "

The 'X-every-five-years' cliche took a bit of a hammering when someone pointed out that it was a fine cliche for the British comrades , but over here we had PR voting and you got to mark 1-2-3 every five years . Okay , maybe the political point was the same , but it didn't sound as snappy , and that particular cliche went out of style.......


From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, 'Election Special' , 1987.

If Charles Haughey were to put his 'abrasiveness' to good use in foreign financial circles on our behalf ('1169..' Comment- .....we now know that he put his brass neck to 'good use' in 'foreign financial circles' for his own benefit..) he could be forgiven for a lot . We don't need a pussy cat as Taoiseach , and Haughey is certainly no pussy cat . In government he will be a one-man show , but no single other Irish politician has been tested so hard and come up winning . ('1169...' Comment -.....he did indeed "come up winning" , but it was at the taxpayers expense.)

He could be the one to hold this country's (sic) head up high for the first time in a long time ; as John Healy keeps saying , you don't have to like Haughey , you just have to realise that , as of now , there is no possible alternative - the Left is cannibalising itself left , right and centre , and the Right - in the form of Dessie O'Malley and John Bruton- is standing by with jackboot at the ready . The media have depicted the recent struggle for the leadership of Fianna Fail as a personality issue , but in reality it was a struggle between two opposing ideologies or notions - Charlie Haughey's patronage against Dessie O' Malley's monetarism . I'll take Haughey's patronage any day.......