" 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 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Saturday, August 25, 2007



26th ANNUAL HUNGER STRIKE COMMEMORATION AND MARCH TO TAKE PLACE IN BUNDORAN...

THE 1981 Hunger Strike Committee, Bundoran/Ballyshannon, will hold the 26th annual Hunger Strike Anniversary commemoration and March in Bundoran on Saturday, August 25 at 3p.m. Assemble at East End, Bundoran.Guests of Honour will be the Hunger Strike families - Sands; Hughes; McCreesh; O'Hara; McDonnell; Hurson; Lynch; Doherty; McElwee; Devine; Gaughan; Stagg, and Ward families.
Speakers will be Cathleen Knowles McGuirk (Dublin), Vice-President, Republican Sinn Féin; Bob Loughman (USA), Emerald Society New York Police Band and Ruairí White (Newry, Co. Down); Republican Sinn Féin.

Chief Marshalls: Mick Cullen (Bundoran); Jimmy McElhinney (Omagh).
Chairman: Joe O'Neill (Bundoran).

Honorees: Don Hurley; the Hunger Strike families.

Bands: New York Police Band; The Tunnel Pipe Band (Portadown); Glens of Antrim Pipe Band; Glens of Antrim piper; Kevin Lynch Memorial Flute Band (Dungiven).


Theme: Where there is an Occupation there can never be a true peace with justice.
This is still the case in Ireland. With the nominal end of “Operation Banner” and the associated fanfare, the fact remains that 5,000 British soldiers remain permanently garrisoned in Ireland - and can be called to support the RUC/PSNI as and when required. The remainder can be returned at short notice. At a time when countries including Iraq, Chechnya and Palestine make regular news owing to the Occupation, we must remind the world that Ireland too remains an illegally Occupied country. So long as there is Occupation, there will always be Resistance.






Friday, August 24, 2007

A MANIFESTO : BRITAIN MUST WITHDRAW HER FORCES.

This Manifesto was posted throughout Occupied Ireland during the week beginning December 6 , 1957 , and ending on December 12 .
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

" TO THE PEOPLE OF BRITISH OCCUPIED IRELAND :

On this , the first anniversary of the December 12 , 1956, Revolt against foreign tyranny and occupation we send you greetings on behalf of the heroic freedom fighters and the men and women of the Resistance . Your sacrifices during the past 12 months have proved to the world that the historic Irish Nation still lives ; that it has not accepted and will never accept British Imperial domination over the affairs of our country .

You have suffered in the cause of National Resistance . Your homes have been raided systematically by day and by night . Your sons have been jailed without charge or trial and when not jailed , unceasingly interrogated and intimidated . Intensified police terrorism has not broken your spirit . You have consistently stood up against this tyranny to the utmost of your power .

Be assured that the people of the 26 Counties and Irish exiles everywhere are slowly becoming aware of your sufferings for the cause of Irish liberty and unity . Be assured that victory will be ours in the end . Since this Revolt began seven of our comrades have made the supreme sacrifice. We shall not forget them . Their deaths have made us more determined to carry on the work for which they gave their lives . Their names will live on in the annals of our people while the flame of freedom burns among us......."

(MORE LATER).



A QUESTION OF LIBERATION .......

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 'Irish Women's Liberation Group' did take up issues that were important to women in the South : their most effective protest was the 'Contraceptive Train' to Belfast in May 1971 , when members of the group travelled North to buy up large numbers of contraceptives , which were illegal in the Free State , and publicly 'imported' them into the South . Their aim - maximum media coverage - was achieved and no action was taken against them .

Differences , however , surfaced within the group when some of the women who had been active in housing action groups wanted it to state an opposition to the proposed 'Forcible Entry Act' then going through Leinster House : that Act gave the gardai the 'right' to enter any building and evict the occupiers without a court order . Other women in the group did not see this as being particularly a 'woman's issue' .

However - since so many of the founding members of the 'Irish Women's Liberation Group' were journalists and women involved in the media , publicity for the issues they raised was not hard to get . The invasions of 'Men Only' pubs and bathing places got maximum coverage , and many women were attracted by the image of flouting authotity . Mary Kenny, in particular , who emerged as the principal spokesperson for the group , delighted in shocking Irish conventionality.......
(MORE LATER).



REPUBLICAN EVICTIONS.......

Known members of the INLA were recruited to carry out a forced eviction of tenants in a Dublin house.
By Liz Walsh.
From 'MAGILL'magazine, June 1998 .

At 8pm , Bart O' Connor let Gary Adams , Damien Bond and Thomas Murray off at a roundabout near Oaktree Drive , Castleknock , Dublin . After threatening the lodgers inside Number 8 , the three men tried to leave the house but were immediately surrounded by armed gardai . Special Branch detectives found Saoirse Mullen inside the door with a telephone in her hand . She was crying and shaking uncontrollably .

The following day , Thomas Gear was arrested at his jeweller's shop at the Parnell Mall in the Ilac Shopping Centre in Dublin on suspicion of being a member of the INLA. When questioned about the incident at his home the previous night , he said he first met Saoirse Mullen in April 1996 when she replied to his advertisement for lodgers . She and Thomas Gear had a cordial landlord-tenant relationship until July 23 ,1996 , the night he entered her room . He admitted trying to kiss her , but said he stopped when she made it clear that she wasn't interested . He admitted going to see Bart O' Connor to see about having his lodgers removed.......
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, August 23, 2007

1981-2007 : Annual H-Block Hunger Strike Commemoration -

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.


SHOW YOUR SUPPORT...






Wednesday, August 22, 2007

STREET TALK .......
The name Tony Gregory was virtually unheard of outside Dublin before 1982 when he was elected to Leinster House as an independent in Dublin Central , a post he still holds . He made the headlines with the famous 'Gregory Deal' in the same year when , in return for his support , the Fianna Fail government pumped £76 million into the redevelopment of inner city housing .
By Sean Ó Donáile .
From 'USI NEWS' , February 1989.

Tony Gregory on the Provisional IRA :
" I think the Provisionals are irrelevant for the reason that they have no real grasp of the socio-economic realities in Ireland today . If they had carried out a military struggle against military targets ('1169...' Comment : Is Mr. Gregory not aware that campaigns were carried out against economic and military targets ?) they would have a great deal more support . Enniskillen pales in comparison to some of their atrocities committed over the last twenty years . But when you condemn the Provisionals you ignore the root causes of their existence which is the military occupation of the six counties , and a struggle is inevitable because of that ."

On Emigration - a 'safety valve' ? :
From the infamous 'coffin ships' right up to the present day the Irish have left in droves ('1169...' Comment - ...not always voluntarily..) and a 'Paddy' can be found in every corner of the globe , be it 'The National' in Kilburn, the 'Corrib' in Boston or in the West Indies where they were brought in Cromwellian times to pick crops and were called 'The White Niggers'. Tony Gregory believes that emigration has , and is , been used as a safety valve :

" The huge emigration of the 1950's was used as such . It prevented any sort of radical political development in the country , because the people worst affected left . It has made the country more inherently conservative and now , not only are people leaving , but they are being encouraged to leave by politicians and their like ."

[END of 'STREET TALK']
(Next : ' A Manifesto - Britain Must Withdraw Her Forces' , from 1958)



A QUESTION OF LIBERATION .......

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.

Irish women have been brought up to model themselves on a certain image of 'the ideal woman' : a mixture of the passive and docile , and Pearse's Mother- stoic in suffering : " 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..."

A woman's role was in the background , raising sons for Ireland , yet the 'Irish Mammy' was a figure of fun . Marriage or the nunnery were for years the only real choices , and yet women who did devote their lives to the family were then caricatured . Added to this were the blatant anti-woman laws of the Free State , which denied women rights to property or indeed any identity but that of chattel .

When in 1970 an 'Irish Women's Liberation Group' was formed in Dublin , as in Belfast , they were mainly middle-class , journalists and students . Four of its prominent members - Nell McCafferty, Mary Maher, Mary Kenny and June Levine - were all working as journalists on Free State daily newspapers . As in Belfast , too , the resistance struggle in the North was left unmentioned - Republicanism was dismissed as 'male politics' , while women involved in the Republican Movement were seen as 'fighting a man's war.......'

(MORE LATER).



REPUBLICAN EVICTIONS.......

Known members of the INLA were recruited to carry out a forced eviction of tenants in a Dublin house.
By Liz Walsh.
From 'MAGILL'magazine, June 1998 .

Saoirse Mullen said she was 'so frightened by the incident' she asked her boyfriend Michael Murphy to stay in the house until she found other accommodation : " Each night I used to put the chest of drawers up against the door to avoid a repetition of this assault , " she said . Thomas Gear , the landlord , then moved out of the house and into a hotel when one of the other tenants , Marguerite Beggan , threatened to report the attack on Saoirse Mullen .

A week after the incident , Saoirse Mullen was in the house at 8.15pm , when the front door opened and three men wearing baseball caps appeared . One of them was holding a sheet of paper containing the names of the occupants - this man was later identified as Gary Adams, of Muirhevnamore Estate in Dundalk , County Louth . " Right , I've been given orders to clear this house , " he said . Turning to Saoirse Mullen , he said " Get your stuff packed , you're leaving now."

She said that she felt scared and threatened as the men were verbally aggressive . She asked for more time to get her things together , as she had furniture and belongings to remove . Warning her not to telephone anyone , Gary Adams replied - " Right . 11pm we'll be back , you better be gone by then." Unknown to the men , however , they had been 'tailed' going to the house by Special Branch detectives who received a tip-off that the INLA was planning a 'job' in Dublin that night . The Branch watched Gary Adams , Damien Bond and Thomas Murray as they drove to a house at Whitehorn Close , Beaumont , owned by Bart O' Connor , an associate of Damien Bond's . There they took baseball caps , dark jackets and a lump hammer out of the boot of Gary Adam's car . All four got into a blue van driven by Bart O' Connor and headed for Castleknock , making several 'u-turns' along the way , apparently to avoid surveillance.......
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, August 21, 2007

1981-2007.

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.


SHOW YOUR SUPPORT...






Monday, August 20, 2007

STREET TALK .......
The name Tony Gregory was virtually unheard of outside Dublin before 1982 when he was elected to Leinster House as an independent in Dublin Central , a post he still holds . He made the headlines with the famous 'Gregory Deal' in the same year when , in return for his support , the Fianna Fail government pumped £76 million into the redevelopment of inner city housing .
By Sean Ó Donáile .
From 'USI NEWS' , February 1989.

Tony Gregory on Education :

" Most of the children in my area never even get the chance to think of what type of education they want . Its a whole different world from those who grew up in an affluent background and those two worlds never meet . There is only one way to bridge that gap and that is by building a socialist state in this country . "

We asked him how would one go about doing that - will we not all turn into 'commie bashers' or should we keep 'the Reds under the beds' as we have been so often told ? He answered : " We must create an equal society and get rid of the privileges and wealth , currently in the hands of a minority . It's a matter of consciousness to create a more equal society and everybody plays a small part . It's a very slow process and because we are such a conservative people it will be slower here than elsewhere . We've been brainwashed into believing that what was going on in the socialist states was evil and bad , whereas the opposite was the case , the U.S. being the greatest tyranny in recent years . We must progress pragmatically and in a realistic fashion , step by step ."

But where do we begin the ascent of this ladder ? I continued to pry : " The National Question has to be resolved before getting anywhere near to a socialist solution in Ireland . It would be a major step forward to get the British out of Ireland , that is one of the primary steps ......."
(MORE LATER).




A QUESTION OF LIBERATION .......

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.

At the All-Ireland Women's Conference in 1978, the 'Women Against Imperialism' group organised a tour of women relatives of political prisoners throughout the South , and publicised the situation of women in the Northern ghettos facing British Army and RUC repression . Together with women in Sinn Fein they were instrumental in the early efforts to publicise the conditions of women prisoners in Armagh Jail, and eleven members of Women Against Imperialism were arrested at a picket outside Armagh Jail on International Women's Day in 1979 .

Two of those women , Margaretta D'Arcy and Liz Lagrua, eventually served short sentences in Armagh Jail themselves as a result of their refusal to pay fines arising from the arrests . However , not long after the campaign organised to highlight those arrests and the subsequent court case , the 'Women Against Imperialism' group dissolved . Some of the women involved believed that the way forward for the women's issue was to take it up directly within the main anti-imperialist grouping , the Republican Movement , and that circumstances now favoured this more than had previously been the case .

At any rate , many of the Women Against Imperialism group went on to join Sinn Fein or the IRSP and to raise the question of women there . Down South , it was perhaps even more difficult for women to take up the issue of women's liberation.......
(MORE LATER).



REPUBLICAN EVICTIONS.

Known members of the INLA were recruited to carry out a forced eviction of tenants in a Dublin house.
By Liz Walsh.
From 'MAGILL'magazine, June 1998 .

A Dublin businessman paid a leading INLA man to evict his tenants after a young female tenant spurned his sexual advances . The businessman , Thomas Gear, a middle-aged jeweller , is now facing possible civil action by his young victim , 'Magill' magazine has learned .

The alleged leader of the INLA in the South , Gary Adams, was recently jailed for twelve months for his part in the illegal evictions ; his co-accused , Thomas Murray and Damien Bond , were also sentenced for taking part . Because all three pleaded guilty in the Special Criminal Court in Dublin to unlawful intimidation , few details emerged . However , statements obtained by 'MAGILL' show that the INLA gang were recruited indirectly by Thomas Gear in July 1996 , after his lodger , Saoirse Mullen , rejected his sexual approaches .

On July 23 1996 , Saoirse Mullen was asleep in her room at 8 Oaktree Drive , Castleknock , Dublin , when Thomas Gear arrived home after playing badminton . According to M/S Mullen , he 'barged' into her room , threw himself on top of her in the bed and started to kiss her forcibly . " He kept saying he loved me . I put my hands around his neck to push him off me , " she said . " I was screaming for my friend Marguerite to come and help me to get away ." Marguerite Beggan was also lodging in the house at the time.......
(MORE LATER).

(Please Note : a brief report and some photographs of yesterdays Eamonn Ceannt Commemoration can be found here.)