" 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, July 14, 2007

NOT WELCOME!





"Republicans throughout Ireland are strongly opposed to the impending visit by British Queen Elizabeth, who is also the British head of State, and will protest at this extravagant display of pomp and wealth.

But not alone for these reasons. Queen Elizabeth saw fit to award an OBE to Colonel Derek Wilford, Officer Commanding the Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday in Derry when they shot dead 14 unarmed civilians. Not exactly an inspiring role model for women? It matters not a whit that some of those armed forces are leaving Irish soil because their place will be taken by MI5 who are deeply embedded here.

There remains one huge obstacle to reconciliation between us and Britain and that obstacle is Partition. Part of the process of putting the past behind us and moving forward would be the removal of the illegal and unjust border that divides our country and our people. Have the courage Elizabeth Windsor and begin the process of handing back what has never belonged to you - the Six northeastern Counties. That would indeed be called a 'historic event'.

It has nothing to do with maturity on our part that we should welcome the Queen of England to our shores, rather it is the same slavish attitude that has always existed in Ireland. Being an occupied and colonised people for so long can make us willing participants in our own domination.

We reject the fraudulent claims of the English Queen to be 'Queen of Northern Ireland' ".

-statement from Cathleen Knowles McGuirk, Vice-President Republican Sinn Féin
June 26, 2007.

The Dublin Executive of Republican Sinn Fein intends to protest the visit of this English queen by holding a peaceful picket in Dublin on the day of her visit. This protest will take place at the GPO in O'Connell Street, and not on O'Connell Bridge as previously stated. Full details will be announced at a later stage. All welcome!

"There is always more brass than brains in an aristocracy."
- Oscar Wilde.






Friday, July 13, 2007

'CURRAGH CAMP/PAST PRISONS/HANDY'


'IN CURRAGH CONCENTRATION CAMP'.
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

The following is a list of Irish Republican prisoners held in the Curragh Concentration Camp :

ANTRIM :
John Duggan , Dunloy .
Thomas Montgomery , 20 St. James' Place , Donegal Road , Belfast .

ARMAGH :
Hugh and Brian O' Hagan , Lathbirget , Mullaghbawn .
Vincent Conlon , Drumsollen , Killylea .

CAVAN :
Patrick Duffy , Dernacrieve .
Francis O' Reilly , Bridge Street , Belturbet.
(MORE LATER).





THE PRISONS OF THE PAST.......
In a jail outside Belfast , republican prisoners have begun smearing their cells with excrement . They are demanding the right to political status . We have been here before.....
From 'MAGILL' magazine August 2003 .
By Niall Stanage.

There are , of course , real differences between the situation now and that which pertained in the run-up to the H-Block hunger strikes of 1980 and 1981 and , most importantly of all , there is peace - of a kind * - in the north , and heightened passions are much less likely to lead to bodies on the streets . ('1169...' Comment * - 'peace of a kind' in that the potential for conflict remains as long as Westminster continues to claim jurisdiction over any part of this island.)

Equally , 'dissident republicans' ('1169...' Comment - ...that is , those republicans who refuse to implement British policy on Irish soil) have very little support ('1169..' Comment - there is more support for us 'dissidents' in wanting to end the British connection than there is for wanting to continue same) : twenty-odd years ago , the PIRA was able to tap into a broad sympathy for its aims within the nationalist community but that kind of sympathy just doesn't exist for organisations like the RIRA and the CIRA . But any prison dispute in the north of Ireland will be , by its very nature , inflammatory .

There have already been stirrings of discontent within Provisional Sinn Fein about the party leadership's reticence on the issue . North Belfast Stormont member Gerry Kelly eventually put his head above the parapet to declare - albeit somewhat equivocally - his support for the prisoners' stand . ('1169..' Comment - the Provisionals have placed themselves between a rock and a hard place : their 'new friends' in Leinster House , Stormont and Westminster have hired them in the [mistaken] belief that , once the Adams Family are safely neutered then republican opposition will be , too but , aware of what happened to the Stickies [who 'turned' too quick] , the Provisionals are prepared to be seen playing both sides of the political fence until they are sure that their financial futures are secure and that they can take a large section of what remains of their support base with them into the political 'establishment' . However , Irish Republicans will not be
bought or intimidated into changing our position in regards to the unwanted British political and military presence on this island.)

(MORE LATER).





TAKING IT HANDY.

Provisional Sinn Fein are fighting this election as a party which has just emerged from seventy years of abstentionism. The party is banned from the airwaves and there is a strong apparent bias against the party in the press.
From 'In Dublin' magazine Election Special, 1987.
By Derek Dunne.

The first thing people notice about Gerry Adams is that he is a very tall man . Television has reduced everyone to the same size , so that the smallest looks the same as the largest . But in the flesh , Adams is tall , and people find themselves looking up into his face when they stop and meet him on the street . ('1169...' Comment - republicans , however , do not 'look-up' to the man at all...)

In Tallaght , Dublin, the cars got lost very early on : Adams was in one car , and workers and journalists were in other assorted vehicles of varying degrees of road worthiness . Getting lost in Tallaght can be fatal - it has the same population roughly as Limerick City and all the houses look similar , as on most housing estates . And , as with most housing estates , there is poverty . Urban housing estates are where the Provos expect to draw most of their support from in the coming years . Their policies will increasingly reflect the concerns of housing estates .

Adams and his election workers and journalists eventually find each other again , and the canvass starts at a shopping centre , where John Noonan and Christy Dunne are running . On the door-to-door canvass , Adams appears slightly embarrassed at interrupting people in their homes . There is something very personal about knocking on a door and being able to tell the person that answers it their name , which has been obtained from the register of electors . But the problem in Tallaght is that many have moved , therefore , in many instances , the register is inaccurate . Also , many people are still at work . Of those that answer the door , some say they will 'consider it on the day' and others will definitely give 'a number One' . John Noonan is well known in the area and he epitomises a genuine concern for the problems of the people in the constituency.......
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, July 12, 2007

TARA WAS OLD WHEN CHRIST WAS BORN....



"For many centuries, historians worked to uncover Tara's mysteries, and suggested that from the time of the first Celtic influence until the 1169 invasion of Richard de Clare, the Hill of Tara was the island's political and spiritual capital. Due to the history and archaeology of Ireland being not well-integrated, archaeologists involved in recent research suggest that the complete story of the Hill of Tara remains untold...."




In his excellent book 'WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN : war and peace in rebel Cork , in the turbulent years 1916-21'(published 1965), Micheal O'Suilleabhain wrote that Tara was abandoned in the second-half of the 6th Century , that 153 Irish Kings had reigned there before A.D.563 and that 400 Pikemen of 1798 are buried there.

Now a Free State combination of political self-serving money-grabbing leeches are attempting to destroy that area by building a motorway in the (too-near) vicinity :


Some of us are trying to stop them...









...and your assistance would be appreciated !






Wednesday, July 11, 2007

'CHARGES/PAST PRISONS/CRISIS'


'ARE THESE CHARGES TRUE....... ?'
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Such torture will not come as a surprise to veterans in the fight for independence ('1169...' Comment - the on-going fight for independence , that is...) here who have painful memories of what happened them when they fell to the 'tender mercies' of the Black and Tans.

These allegations are so serious that they warrant immediate investigation and if Stormont and the British occupation forces are to clear themselves in the eyes of the world they will expose the torturers or convincingly disprove the charges that have been levelled against them .

[END of 'ARE THESE CHARGES TRUE ?']
(Next : ' In Curragh Concentration Camp...' - from the same source)




THE PRISONS OF THE PAST.......
In a jail outside Belfast , republican prisoners have begun smearing their cells with excrement . They are demanding the right to political status . We have been here before.....
From 'MAGILL' magazine August 2003 .
By Niall Stanage.

There are currently over 500 prisoners in Maghaberry Prison : many of them are charged with , or have been convicted of , non-paramilitary offences : there are also a small number of so-called 'immigration detainees' (asylum-seekers) who are not charged with any crime . But also included in the mix are around 25 'dissident republicans' and a significantly larger number of loyalists .

One loyalist , Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair, is by far the prison's most 'famous' resident , though for him segregation has never been a problem - he is kept in isolation for his own safety .

The 'dissident republicans' complain that the prison authorities have been pressing them into closer and closer proximity with loyalists , and the loyalists are equally dissatisfied with this state of affairs . At the end of June (2003) eight prisoners staged a rooftop protest and , soon afterwards , the republicans began wrecking their cells . By early July , they began a 'dirty protest'- that is , they started to smear their cells with their own excrement . The protest continues at the time of writing.......
(MORE LATER).



CRISIS - WHICH CRISIS.......?

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.

This election is not about 'the economy' : it's about the survival of sectional interests , clearly divided in a broader , simplier way than for many a long day . On the one hand , there are those people , many of them writers and readers of 'quality' Sunday newspapers , who are in a position to ride out the consequences of the cuts in public spending which they propose .

And on the other , there are the people who would bear the brunt of those cuts . This election is not about the survival of the country - it's about choosing who will bear the cost of that survival .

[END of 'CRISIS-WHICH CRISIS ?']
(Next : 'Taking It Handy' : from the same source)






Monday, July 09, 2007

'CHARGES/PAST PRISONS/CRISIS'


'ARE THESE CHARGES TRUE....... ?'
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

A cloth soaked in a foul-smelling liquid was pushed against their faces while their noses were held . They were thrown on the floor , their arms pinioned , the cloth around the neck was woven tighter and tighter . Then it would be snapped and they'd be told "to confess" . It is also alleged that these men were beaten around the head and body with rubber truncheons , and that these beatings continued in different forms for a full day and until six a.m. the following day .

If there is any truth in these allegations , it is a shocking indictment of the Stormont regime; it is claimed that scores of young men have been arrested , interrogated , beaten , released , re-arrested - and the torture process repeated to force 'confessions' . This is something we would expect behind the Iron Curtain, but to think that such treatment is meted out in the name of British 'law' in the North of Ireland is simply astounding.......
(MORE LATER).





THE PRISONS OF THE PAST.
In a jail outside Belfast , republican prisoners have begun smearing their cells with excrement . They are demanding the right to political status . We have been here before.....
From 'MAGILL' magazine August 2003 .
By Niall Stanage.

" Tony Friel and Seamus Doherty , both from Derry , [stated] that they were political prisoners and as such should not be treated as criminals . The actions of the prison authorities were obviously designed to cause aggravation and ill feeling amongst the prisoners and to let them know that they were still going to be treated as common criminals . At seven o' clock the prison was said to have erupted..."

The language seems to belong to another era - an era of graffiti urging 'SMASH THE H-BLOCKS !', of television footage showing men with straggy beards across emaciated faces , of Bobby Sands and Margaret Thatcher and the Five Demands and 'crime is crime' .

But in fact those words come from a press release issued barely a month ago (ie July 2003) - it was authored by the Irish Republican Prisoners' Welfare Association, as they campaigned for the segregation of republican and loyalist inmates of Maghaberry Prison outside Belfast.......
(MORE LATER).



CRISIS - WHICH CRISIS.......?

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.

Fianna Fail, having absolutely no ideological background of any kind whatsoever , are promising a somewhat vague combination of all economic approaches ! Or to put it another way , while Fine Gael and the Progressive Democrats seem to have pretty well decided to plump for the taxpayers' vote , Fianna Fail are still making a play for both the taxpayers and the unemployed .

For the unemployed , deciding who to vote for could be difficult - in theory , the trade union parties are on your side but then neither of them stand a chance of forming a government , although thanks to the small wonder of proportional representation that doesn't leave them out of the picture entirely .

For someone who is unemployed to vote for Fine Gael or the Progressive Democrats would seem much like a turkey voting to have Christmas every Sunday : to be sure , both of those parties promise that sometime in the future everything will be stable , secure and blooming but , in the meantime , cuts in public spending is a nice way of saying that people will be hungrier , colder and even more up the walls than they are at the moment , that people will die because there aren't hospital beds available for operations and people will worry themselves sick because they can't afford to bring their children to the doctor.......
(MORE LATER).