" 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, December 15, 2007


Almost 12 months since it was 'only' thirty years.....

(UPDATE : this swim now has its own 'Jewellery Range'! And , as with all top-class pieces of jewellery , it has a 'history' attached to it...)

It began - properly structured and organised - in 1976 ,as a 'fundraiser with a difference' combined with the need to gain extra publicity for a situation which was then - as now - making world headlines . Those that sat down together in early September 1976 to tighten-up the then 'hit-and-miss' affair were a dedicated team who fully understood that to fail in their business would not only bring derision on them and the issue they sought to highlight , but would give their enemy a publicity coup which they would exploit to the fullest extent . With that in mind , the team persevered - favours were called-in , guarantees were secured , provisions obtained and word dispatched to like-minded individuals in the near-locale . At the appointed time on the agreed day - 12 Noon , Christmas Day 1976 - a soon-to-be 31-years-young event was 'born'.......
The CABHAIR Christmas Day Swim is , thankfully , still going strong and will be , as mentioned , 31-years-young on December 25th next!
Photographs of last years event can be viewed here and , if you can't make it to the actual swim itself , you might consider posting a donation to the following address :
CABHAIR
Irish Republican Prisoners Dependants Fund
223 Parnell Street,
Dublin 1.
Ireland.

Thank You,
Go Raibh Maith Agat,

Sharon.






Friday, December 14, 2007

THE CATHOLIC HIERARCHY - PROPPING-UP THE ORANGE STATE........

At a press briefing on May 3rd, 1983, Bishop Cathal Daly declared that a vote for Sinn Fein was 'a wasted vote' , and that people should think seriously before risking being seen as 'supporting violence' . As polling day approached , the rising crescendo of calls from Bishop Daly and other members of the Catholic hierarchy became increasingly explicit in their support for the SDLP. Against the background of this intervention into the arena of nationalist party politics , Patricia Collins sketches the role played by the leadership of the Catholic Church over the past fourteen years against nationalist resistance .
From 'IRIS' magazine , July 1983.

Against the political upheavals of the late 1960's and 1970's , the Catholic hierarchy was often left confused : some priests who spoke out against internment in 1971 were swiftly moved to remote country parishes , yet in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday dozens of clergymen flocked to Derry to be among the mourning crowds .

Bishop William Philbin rarely made any statements on the political crisis , despite the trauma of events for nationalists , except to unilaterally condemn IRA actions . In September 1969 he had asked Belfast nationalists to pull down the barricades and they followed him , but after 1969 he repeatedly urged his flock to 'stop supporting violence' , but this time with little success . However , while Bishop Philbin was consistent in his unashamedly pro-British stance , other clergymen tried the subtle approach : in 1976 , a team from the Irish Council Of Churches, chaired by Dr Cahal Daly (then Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise) , published a report entitled 'Violence In Ireland' in which that word is defined thus - " It is essential to distinguish between the lawful use of force and the unlawful use of force , which is violence."

The State , argued Daly's report , "...has the right to use such force as is necessary to restrain wrong-doers , for anyone else to use force is unlawful and therefore constitutes 'violence' . There is no justification in the present situation in Ireland * for the existence of any paramilitary organisations . The Churches jointly remind their members that they have a prima facie moral obligation to support the currently-constituted authorities in Ireland against all paramilitary powers . " ('1169...' Comment : *throughout our on-going centuries-long struggle for full independence , the 'establishment' [whether represented by collar , suit or uniform] has never failed to fall back on the imperialist mantra that 'there is no justification for using violence against the State...' : as similarly-oppressed people the world over will confirm , the mere presence of an agressive , corrupt imperial power is justification enough.)
(MORE LATER).



THE POLITICS OF REPRESSION .......

Repression is not just bullets and the kick on the door at dawn. Repression is an integrated imperialist policy to deal with a risen people which encompasses all facets of social and political life.
From 'IRIS' magazine , July/August 1982.

Every border crossing to the 26 counties is controlled by a fortress-like checkpoint ; the inshore coastal zones and Lough Neagh are patrolled by minesweepers and fast patrol boats , and dozens of helicopters equipped with sophisticated surveillance equipment are constantly in the air over nationalist areas , day and night . 'Phantom' jets regularly fly over the whole North-East , taking high-altitude photographs which can show up arms dumps etc .

Every nationalist townland , village or housing estate has a permanent British garrison protected by massive fences and anti-rocket meshes . Armoured jeeps and heavily armoured personnel carriers cruise through the little streets of Belfast , Derry and other nationalist areas . On the border , Saracen armoured cars, which are more resistant to landmines , are used . This vast panoply of armed repression is matched by a series of control measures directed at the nationalist population as a whole . Most adults in the nationalist community have been held for some time by the British forces - thousands of young men and women have passed through prison since 1969 and for those outside there is a daily round of harassment and intimidation by the forces of the State .

Tens of thousands have had their homes raided or destroyed . Most of those arrested have been psychologically abused , brutally assaulted or tortured in the notorious 'interrogation centres' . The intelligence agencies are highly active and the amount of information collected on nationalist areas is quite staggering in its sheer volume and detail . In this area the new technology of political control is vitally important because it allows the British Army to wage a counter-insurgency war within the tighter constraints of a mainly urban European situation quite different from its previous colonial campaigns . A computerised intelligence system is less visible but even more effective than the purely brutal methods employed by the British in their long history of colonial wars * . ('1169...' Comment * : that 'long history' encompasses a bloody trail left behind by the British in more than 56 countries and includes the approximate six million native people murdered by the British for resisting . And that 'long history' is not over yet...) In fact the whole fabric of social life in the occupied area of Ireland has been torn apart . The nationalist people live under a permanent state of siege.......
(MORE LATER).





REPUBLICAN MOURNERS DEFEAT RUC.......
Between December 1983 and May 1987 , over 25 republican or nationalist funerals were systematically attacked by the RUC as a matter of deliberate British policy . The objective was to drive mourners off the streets so that later Britain could claim dwindling support for republicanism as 'evidenced' by the small numbers attending IRA funerals . As Jane Plunkett reports , the opposite happened . More and more people came out to defend the remains of republican dead , the RUC were exposed as being as brutal and sectarian as ever , and these two factors , combined with damaging international news coverage , eventually forced the British government to reverse its policy of attacking republican funerals .
From 'IRIS' magazine , October 1987.

On December 8th , 1984 , the RUC deployed in massive numbers to obstruct the funerals of IRA Volunteers Willie Fleming and Danny Doherty in Derry. ('1169...'Comment : apologises for the sight of certain pro-system politicians in that link : those same useless , conniving and treacherous politicians are now calling on people to inform to the British forces on those whom , like Volunteers Willie Fleming and Danny Doherty , refuse to accept British mis-rule in Ireland.) In the vicinity of the Fleming family home in the tiny Gobnascale area , the RUC fought hand to hand with heavily outnumbered mourners but , later , in the Creggan area , when faced with a determined thousands-strong crowd , the RUC stayed cautiously well back and the funeral passed off without further incident . The protection of the crowd enabled the IRA to fire a rifle salute and to provide a uniformed Guard of Honour for their fallen comrades .

Sights such as these undoubtedly enraged British ministers and unionist politicians, since they contradicted British efforts to present the IRA as a 'criminal conspiracy' and claim that the bankrupt Six-County state was returning to 'normal' . ('1169...' Comment : surreal now to witness the Adams Family attempt to 'normalise' the British presence as they dismiss present-day anti-partition militants as part of a "criminal conspiracy" !)

But the IRA presence at those funerals was not the cause of the RUC offensive at same - the RUC attacked mourners on many occasions when they knew quite well that an IRA Firing Party salute had already taken place , or would not be taking place . The funeral of IRA Volunteer Seán McIlvenna is a prime example of RUC thuggery after the fact.......
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, December 13, 2007

WHERE DOES THE TIME GO....?

On A Walk Through Rebel Dublin with the Patriot and Heroine Anne Devlin and Charles Stewart Parnell ,
Charlie Kerins , Charlotte Despard, and Che Guevara , we talked ,with A Servant of the Queen , about A Compact History of Ireland .

It was a Courious Journey, this Oral History of Ireland’s Unfinished Revolution and many of the Milestones in Irish History were discussed , as we passed through Dublin Tenement Life . We had No Faith in the System , so we agreed on a Secret Map of Ireland but promised that , despite the Partition of Ireland and all of the ensuing Raids and Rallies , we would not strive for same On Another Man’s Wound....
.....see what else is available here!
Finally - in answer to the question asked at the top of this post -
keep an account of next years time with one of these -
(Front[right] and back of the RSF 2008 Calendar)
- a 2008 Republican calendar,available from here for a fiver (Euro or Sterling) !
Calendars, books, pamphlets, CD's, tapes, T-Shirts etc - all of a Republican 'flavour' - make great 'stocking fillers' and , indeed , make great presents all year round. Visit the Dublin shop at 223 Parnell Street ('phone 01-8729747) or the Belfast shop at 229 Falls Road ('phone 90319004) to make your choice .
Thanks !
Sharon.






Wednesday, December 12, 2007

THE CATHOLIC HIERARCHY - PROPPING-UP THE ORANGE STATE........

At a press briefing on May 3rd, 1983, Bishop Cathal Daly declared that a vote for Sinn Fein was 'a wasted vote' , and that people should think seriously before risking being seen as 'supporting violence' . As polling day approached , the rising crescendo of calls from Bishop Daly and other members of the Catholic hierarchy became increasingly explicit in their support for the SDLP. Against the background of this intervention into the arena of nationalist party politics , Patricia Collins sketches the role played by the leadership of the Catholic Church over the past fourteen years against nationalist resistance .
From 'IRIS' magazine , July 1983.

Sinn Fein's rising profile has been seen to pose a threat not only to the SDLP- it was also seen by the Catholic hierarchy to be a threat to their influence on the nationalist community . At the end of 1982 , Fr Denis Faul made this revealing declaration - " The Provisionals are now posing as politicians ....they are competing with the Church as moral spokesmen for the Catholic community.." The Church's declared 'battle for the hearts and minds' of half a million nationalists was on !

In the occupied six counties , the Catholic church has often been described as a 'quasi-state within the state' : in urban areas especially , unemployed Catholics could spend their entire lives having little contact with the institutions of the Orange state other than signing on the dole and being harassed by the RUC .

From baptism to burial , the Catholic church was at the centre of a network which includes charities , credit unions , residents' associations and youth groups , and the Catholic hierarchy has tried its best to maintain that system , by fighting to retain control of Catholic schools and displaying increasing awareness of the problems of poverty and unemployment . Bishop Cahal Daly's condemnation , in his 1983 Lenten Pastoral , of "...the great injustice all around us ....(the) bad housing (and) the masses of unemployed and their dependants.." is a far cry from the suggestion his predecessor , Bishop William Philbin, made to a meeting of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in 1965 , that the Catholic church "...helps people who , although their incomes were adequate , found themselves in distress due to mismanagement of their household budgets.."
(MORE LATER).



THE POLITICS OF REPRESSION .

Repression is not just bullets and the kick on the door at dawn. Repression is an integrated imperialist policy to deal with a risen people which encompasses all facets of social and political life.
From 'IRIS' magazine , July/August 1982.

Every single policy executed by the British state in the North of Ireland is geared towards their over-riding objective - to defeat the PIRA and 'normalise' the situation . ('1169...' Comment : how ironic that matters developed to the point where the PIRA surrendered , changed into 'suits' and joined with their foe in an attempt to normalise the British presence !)

We cannot separate 'reform' from 'repression' as though they were the carrot and the stick - both are part and parcel of the politics of repression . ('1169...' Comment : that statement was , at the time , aimed at the Workers Party , the SDLP and Fianna Fail : it was used to point-out to supporters of those parties the futility of attempting to 'use' Stormont as a 'stepping stone' to Irish unity . However , the 'preacher' turned...) Since British troops were deployed on the streets of the North in 1969 until today , there has been an expansion and refining of military operations against the nationalist people . In a very real sense , Ireland has become a 'laboratory of repression' for Western imperialism as a whole - a place to test weapons , surveillance equipment and counter-insurgency tactics generally .

Including its local forces of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and Ulster (sic) Defence Regiment (UDR) , the British government has 35,000 armed personnel at its command to 'control' a nationalist population of 500,000 - that is a ratio of 1 soldier/RUC member to every 15 people.......
(MORE LATER).





REPUBLICAN MOURNERS DEFEAT RUC.......
Between December 1983 and May 1987 , over 25 republican or nationalist funerals were systematically attacked by the RUC as a matter of deliberate British policy . The objective was to drive mourners off the streets so that later Britain could claim dwindling support for republicanism as 'evidenced' by the small numbers attending IRA funerals . As Jane Plunkett reports , the opposite happened . More and more people came out to defend the remains of republican dead , the RUC were exposed as being as brutal and sectarian as ever , and these two factors , combined with damaging international news coverage , eventually forced the British government to reverse its policy of attacking republican funerals .
From 'IRIS' magazine , October 1987.

Events at the funeral in Magherafelt of IRA Volunteer Antoine Mac Giolla Bhrighde on December 4th , 1984 , suggested that the aim of British policy was nothing less than the banning from funerals of every symbol of the national struggle . As Antoine MacGiolla Bhrighde's coffin , covered only with a Tricolour , was carried from the family home , scores of RUC men kicked and punched their way to the front of the house in an unsuccessful attempt to seize the flag .

On the wishes of the dead man's distressed mother , the Tricolour was removed in the hope of preventing further incidents and injury , but the RUC showed that they had no interest in coming to an accommodation with the bereaved families , and that instead their aim was to impose their 'control' , their 'power' , on Irish republican funerals - for even after the Tricolour was removed , they continued to harass mourners and used their jeeps to 'split' the crowd of mourners and used one of their vehicles to ram the car in which the family of Antoine MacGiolla Bhrighde was travelling in - this was an attempt by the RUC to cut in directly behind the hearse . At this point the family bravely halted the funeral and , after a 20 minute delay , the RUC thugs withdrew in their Land Rovers.

On the 10th December , 1984 , the Bishop of Down and Connor , Cahal Daly, made a well-publicised speech proclaming the 'legitimacy and rightness' of what he termed "..the British dimension in Northern Ireland..."
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Almost 12 months since it was 'only' thirty years.....

(UPDATE : this swim now has its own 'Jewellery Range'! And , as with all top-class pieces of jewellery , it has a 'history' attached to it...)

It began - properly structured and organised - in 1976 ,as a 'fundraiser with a difference' combined with the need to gain extra publicity for a situation which was then - as now - making world headlines . Those that sat down together in early September 1976 to tighten-up the then 'hit-and-miss' affair were a dedicated team who fully understood that to fail in their business would not only bring derision on them and the issue they sought to highlight , but would give their enemy a publicity coup which they would exploit to the fullest extent . With that in mind , the team persevered - favours were called-in , guarantees were secured , provisions obtained and word dispatched to like-minded individuals in the near-locale . At the appointed time on the agreed day - 12 Noon , Christmas Day 1976 - a soon-to-be 31-years-young event was 'born'.......
The CABHAIR Christmas Day Swim is , thankfully , still going strong and will be , as mentioned , 31-years-young on December 25th next!
Photographs of last years event can be viewed here and , if you can't make it to the actual swim itself , you might consider posting a donation to the following address :
CABHAIR
Irish Republican Prisoners Dependants Fund
223 Parnell Street,
Dublin 1.
Ireland.

Thank You,
Go Raibh Maith Agat,

Sharon.






Monday, December 10, 2007

THE CATHOLIC HIERARCHY - PROPPING-UP THE ORANGE STATE.

At a press briefing on May 3rd, 1983, Bishop Cathal Daly declared that a vote for Sinn Fein was 'a wasted vote' , and that people should think seriously before risking being seen as 'supporting violence' . As polling day approached , the rising crescendo of calls from Bishop Daly and other members of the Catholic hierarchy became increasingly explicit in their support for the SDLP. Against the background of this intervention into the arena of nationalist party politics , Patricia Collins sketches the role played by the leadership of the Catholic Church over the past fourteen years against nationalist resistance .
From 'IRIS' magazine , July 1983.

" The gravest danger which has been created for Belfast Catholicism for half a century. " These were the words chosen by Dr Cahal Daly , Bishop of Down and Connor, on January 18th , 1983, to describe 'republican violence' . The occasion was the funeral of Judge William Doyle , executed by the IRA a few days earlier . However , the danger which Bishop Cahal Daly saw the IRA as creating was not of a religious or theological nature - according to this bishop , the IRA has no moral right to use force against British occupation .

Its methods are therefore 'illegal' and 'evil' . According to the Catholic hierarchy , in fact , in Bishop Daly's own words , IRA violence is the "...greatest evil.." in Irish society . But what of the violence of the British Army , the RUC and the UDR - of which there were plenty of examples in the winter of 1982/3 - ? On November 27th , 1982 , at another funeral - that of young Michael Tighe, gunned down by the RUC in Lurgan -the Catholic Bishop of Dromore , Dr. Francis Brooke , spoke in massive contrast of the RUC's "...most difficult and dangerous responsibility.." and of their job of "...restoring law and order in the Province (sic).." . It would certainly seem that in the eyes of the Church there are two distinct types of violence , only one of which is to be condemned .

During this latest phase of the struggle , Northern nationalists have continually been subjected to political haranguing and preaching by the Catholic hierarchy , which has used all the means at its disposal , from the pulpit and the school assembly halls to the newspapers and television screens , to hammer home its message - 'renounce armed resistance , turn away from the Republican Movement'.......
(MORE LATER).






TOXIC WASTE IN KILL,COUNTY KILDARE .......
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , May 1983.

While it is almost impossible to establish the origins of particular cancers or leukaemia , and while still-births and miscarriages are by no means exceptional , the fear of a possible relationship to the illegal and lethal dump is one that has sprung to not a few minds .

Both the County medical officer and the local doctor have , however , discounted any relationship between these cases and the dump : as in all such circumstances , only time will tell . It would , however , help to allay these fears and potential alarm if the authorities were to explain to the people of Kill , County Kildare , precisely the present dangers of the dump .
[END of 'TOXIC WASTE IN KILL,COUNTY KILDARE']
(NEXT : 'The Policy Of Repression' , from 1982)





REPUBLICAN MOURNERS DEFEAT RUC.......
Between December 1983 and May 1987 , over 25 republican or nationalist funerals were systematically attacked by the RUC as a matter of deliberate British policy . The objective was to drive mourners off the streets so that later Britain could claim dwindling support for republicanism as 'evidenced' by the small numbers attending IRA funerals . As Jane Plunkett reports , the opposite happened . More and more people came out to defend the remains of republican dead , the RUC were exposed as being as brutal and sectarian as ever , and these two factors , combined with damaging international news coverage , eventually forced the British government to reverse its policy of attacking republican funerals .
From 'IRIS' magazine , October 1987.

In July 1984 , the British offensive was escalated again at the funeral of PIRA Volunteer William Price in Brockagh , County Tyrone . At least 12 mourners were injured , some requiring hospital treatment , after RUC men jostled and trampled mourners . A number of the wounded suffered blows to the head from plastic-bullet guns or batons . The crown forces' operation involved hundreds of RUC men dressed for a riot , backed-up by a similar number of British soldiers and scores of armoured Land Rovers . As Volunteer William Price's coffin left the family home , mourners linked arms and successfully prevented any RUC incursion .

On August 8th , 1984 , the funeral took place in Newry of PIRA Volunteer Brendan Watters who was killed in a premature explosion . The RUC tried to rush the Tricolour-draped coffin as it was carried from the family's Derrybeg home but , once again , a massive display of British military might and firepower was frustrated by hundreds of unarmed mourners who linked arms to form a human barrier .

The crown forces were well aware that the PIRA had paid their final salute to their fallen comrade two nights before - nevertheless , the RUC made several violent attempts to scatter mourners and to seize the Tricolour from Brendan Watters' coffin , giving up only after the determination of the mourners to stop them had proved unshakeable . Other events in the weeks ahead , at Republican funerals , was proof that Westminster had ordered that any perceived symbol of nationalism at a funeral would be a target.......
(MORE LATER).







Sunday, December 09, 2007

The 13 prizes in the CABHAIR draw held in Dublin this weekend.

The above photograph shows the 13 prizes which were offered in a raffle for CABHAIR which was held this weekend in a Social Club in Dublin .The envelopes contain cash prizes , ranging in value from €200 to €20.
The event went without a hitch , save for there being a shortage of tickets , and the CABHAIR crew are to be congratulated for their work , time and patience in putting such an event together and seeing it through without a fault! Thanks to John and Liam for 'working' the drum ,to Georgina , Paddy and Tony for doing the result sheets and to Antoinette , George , Anne , Tommy and John C. , amongst others, for helping to sell tickets and making themselves available on the day to help out. Much appreciated!
The winning ticket numbers are - 611/379/459/452/522/404/293/431/319/444/086/069 and 564. Go raibh maith agat agus slán go fóill anois!
Sharon.