Saturday, August 11, 2007


'Irish law —A considerable amount of testimony might be produced to prove that the Irish were and are peculiarly a law-loving people; but, in the words of the writer above-quoted, "a people cannot be expected to love and reverence oppression, because it is consigned to a statute-book, and called law." The truth is, that it was and is obviously the interest of English writers to induce themselves to believe that Irish discontent and rebellion were caused by anything or everything but English oppression and injustice. Even in the present day the Irish are supposed to be naturally discontented and rebellious, because they cannot submit silently to be expelled from their farms without any compensation or any other means of support, either from political or religious motives, and because they object to maintain a religion contrary to their conscience, and which is admitted by its own members to be "clearly a political evil.... "
(From here: an excellent website , highly recommended)

Friday, August 10, 2007


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

" England's chief weapon in her long struggle with Ireland is the English lie . Every Irish Nationalist knows this . Every Irish Nationalist ought to know it is a weapon for use , unscrupulous , treacherous , far-reaching and deadly . Most of us thought we had comprehended the English lie , and some of us prided ourselves on not under-estimating it .

But till Rossa died , not one of us had the exact measure of its possibilities ; and now we can only know that , as there are infamies in Hell which we cannot fathom , we henceforth must be ready against every surprise of Hell . For Hell is the source of the lie .

From the agony of his prison , Rossa cried out - 'They can lie like Hell...' . And even then with all the revelations that revolted the world we did not realise that this was literally and exactly true , that black and infamous as the pit from which their inspiration comes , they can lie like Hell . "

(Next : 'Street Talk' - from 1989)


Feminists and anti-imperialists in Ireland have often regarded each other's struggles with misunderstanding , mutual suspicion , and sometimes outright rejection . What then is the relationship between them ? Eibhlin Ni Gabhann surveys the emergence of women's liberation groups in Belfast and Dublin over the past decade or so , and some of the questions they have faced .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983.

The issue of women's liberation was slow to come to Ireland . By comparison , in America and England , the women's movement grew in strength during the early 1960's , raising the question of women's oppression on many fronts and challenging the male dominance of politics nationally and internationally .

In America , women activists in the Civil Rights Movement found that their fight for equal rights for black Americans did not expand to include equal rights for American women - white or black . Parallel to that , those women involved in the campaign against the war in Vietnam found that their male comrades were hostile to their emerging consciousness of women's oppression in the United States .

In England , women workers active in the trade unions began to organise themselves as women to fight for equal pay and equal employment opportunities . In 1970 , the first Women's Conference was held and four demands were agreed - free 24-hour nurseries , free contraception and abortion on demand , equal pay and equal education and employment opportunities . Also in 1970 , English feminists demonstrated at the 'Miss World'contest against the exploitation of women , resulting in six arrests and maximum publicity.......


From 'The Phoenix' magazine , January 2003.
(Note:as a result of our recent posts on this subject , a reader asked us to locate and publish this 'Phoenix' article . We are pleased to be able to do so.)

Mystery surrounds the death of Kerry Republican , John O' Shea , found unconscious outside his parents' house near Castlemaine around midnight on the October Bank Holiday weekend in 2001 .

The fact that State Pathologist , Professor John Harbison, changed his initial verdict as to the cause of death when he gave evidence at the inquest last month (ie December 2002) has only added to the mystery .

John O' Shea had been drinking in Tralee on the October Bank Holiday Monday , 2001 , and was arrested by gardai for questioning about a road traffic accident . After his release from Tralee Garda Station , he returned to Castlemaine , had a few more drinks and got a taxi home . Shortly after midnight , his parents found him outside the house , slumped on the ground . They dragged him inside but he was later pronounced dead.......

Thursday, August 09, 2007


The 'Royals'/UDA golf partners out for a stroll !

One wonders how Mary McAleese can find the time in her busy itinerary to open proceedings at a golf competition especially when , as far as we know , her husbands colleague , Jackie McDonald, was not present . One also wonders if Mrs McAleese will receive an extra allowance , on top of the €6,613 per week which her spokesperson stated she receives "...for entertainment and personal expenses . The substantial proportion of this allowance goes to meet the cost of food , refreshments and entertainment.." We may yet have to do a collection , readers ......
Incidentally , Mary McAleese did not have an agreed proposer or seconder in 1997 when she sought the nomination for the position of State President from Fianna Fail . As she said herself at the time - " Either of the candidates (Albert Reynolds and Michael O' Kennedy , left , holding a British trinket) could have got rid of me , there and then ; they would have been perfectly within their rights to insist that we follow the rules . That would have been the end of me and I would not have been a threat to whichever one of them was elected . I was very grateful for their generosity ."
Martin McAleese stated at the time , in relation to that same Fianna Fail nomination meeting : " When Rory O'Hanlon (Fianna Fail Chairperson at the time) told us about the new procedure (ie that Fianna Fail were willing to forgo proposer and seconder) , I couldn't believe that Albert had left the door open for her like that . I can only put it down to overconfidence on his part . If I was in his shoes , I'm afraid I would have insisted on party rules being obeyed ."
The McAleese's and their like , in Leinster House and in the Free State Senate , are non-productive leeches that are living beyond our means .

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Francis Wogan , Churchill , Enniskerry .
Seamus Costello, Dublin Road , Bray .
Michael Fortune , 5 Brennan's Parade , Bray .
Desmond Byrne , 41 O'Byrne Road , Bray .

Henry Goff , Killagoley , Enniscorthy .
Matt Finucane , Ballybrody , Ruane , was unconditionally released for eye treatment .

(Next : 'Terence MacSwiney Said' - from the same source)


From 'Wigmore' column , 'MAGILL' magazine, March 1986.

Censorship of letters apart , the natural conclusion to this is that every prisoner can go on hunger strike in all the prisons - Mountjoy, Limerick, Portlaoise - and fast to the death , and the (State) Department of Justice are obliged to tell nobody what is going on ! Body after body can come out of the prisons and the State Department may say that it was up to the prisoner concerned to tell his family .

That Department now obviously feel that they are under no obligation to tell a family when a prisoner goes on hunger strike : the inference to be drawn from this is that , although the Department are responsible for the welfare of prisoners , this obligation does not extend to anyone outside the prison ! It sounds as if the Department are heading back to the bad old days when Ernest Blythe was a State Minister .

His policy with regard to hunger strikers was quite simple - firstly , isolate them . Then impose a news blackout and if they died , bury them within the prison walls .

(Next : ' A Question Of Liberation' - from 1983)

From 'Wigmore' Column , MAGILL magazine, February 1986 .

British 'Lord' Denning stated - " If the six men win , it will mean that the police were guilty of perjury , that they were guilty of violence and threats , that the confessions were involuntary and that the convictions were erroneous . This is such an appalling vista that every sensible person in the land would say - 'It cannot be right that these actions should go any further' " . Two paragraphs later the good judge made the immortal remark - " This case shows what a civilised country we are ."

The Birmingham Six case was 'estopped' on the grounds that the matter had already been decided and the action would be an abuse of the courts . The Nicky Kelly case was 'estopped' on the same grounds ! State Justice O'Hanlon was acting on precedent established by British 'Lord' Denning , and once the State government brought its 'estoppel' action he had no choice .

That is how the law works , but for the government to use the notorious Birmingham Six case as a barricade to prevent Nicky Kelly reaching a jury , after its invitation that he take such a course , bespeaks standards that have no shame .

(Next : 'Kerry Death Mystery' - from 2003)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Bobby Sands, Belfast , 66 days, 5 May 1981.
Frank Hughes , Bellaghy (Derry) , 59 days, 12 May 1981.
Raymond McCreesh , South Armagh , 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Patsy O Hara , Derry , 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Joe McDonnell , Belfast , 61 days, 8 July 1981.
Martin Hurson , Tyrone , 46 days, 13 July 1981.
Kevin Lynch, Dungiven (Derry) ,71 days, 1 August 1981.
Kieran Doherty , Belfast , 73 days, 2 August 1981.
Tom McIlwee , Bellaghy (Derry) , 62 days, 8 August 1981.
Micky Devine , Derry , 60 days, 20 August 1981.


Monday, August 06, 2007

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Thomas Gill , Fattheen House , Nenagh .
James Slattery , Ballyanny , Nenagh .
Andy McDonnell , Gralla , Nenagh .
Dan Gleeson , Elmhill , Ballymackey , Nenagh .

Joseph McIlduff , Merchantstown , Omagh .

Patrick Harney , 11 Railway Cottages , Athlone .



From 'Wigmore' column , 'MAGILL' magazine, March 1986.

At the time of writing , Henry Doherty is 44 days on hunger strike in Portlaoise Prison . He is looking for wood that was destroyed during a search to be replaced , and open visits , in accordance with an agreement reached between the (State) Department of Justice and the prisoners last year .

On 14 February 1986 , when Henry Doherty was on hunger strike for 34 days , a query was put to the Department , asking if they could confirm that the man was on hunger strike ? Twenty-four hours later the answer came back - 'Yes' . However , no notification had been sent to his family , who only learned of the matter from a local radio station in Belfast on Sunday 16 February 1986 .

His sister telephoned Portlaoise Prison but they couldn't confirm that the hunger striker was in fact her brother , and refused to give her any information . To date , the family have not been offically informed that Henry Doherty is on hunger strike . The Department has claimed that it is up to prisoners themselves to let people know that they are on hunger strike : 'they have paper , they can write' , so the logic goes.......


From 'Wigmore'Column , MAGILL magazine, February 1986 .

The Birmingham Six case has become so notorious , so discredited , that British MP's , Labour and Conservative , want it reopened . Those in Leinster House have supported these calls .

Two of the Birmingham Six tried to take a civil case against those who beat them up (and there is irrefutable evidence that they were beaten up) but were 'estopped' on the grounds that the matter had been decided by the original trial . There is a section in a judgement given by 'Lord' Denning in this case which bears repeating . Younger readers are advised to make sure they are sitting down first -

" Just consider the course of events if this action were to proceed to trial . It will not be tried for 18 months or two years . If the six men fail , it will mean that much time and money and worry will have been expended by many people for no good purpose . If the six men win....... "