" 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...!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ernie O'Malley, pictured during his arrest in Dublin Castle in 1921 . He was using the alias 'Bernard Stewart' .

Following the recent publication of O'Malley's third book 'Raids And Rallies', on the Tan War years 1920-1921 , Frances-Mary Blake , who edited the book and his earlier works , writes an appreciation of the man who wrote 'On Another Man's Wound' and 'The Singing Flame'.
From 'IRIS' magazine , July 1983.

During his 1928 working trip to America , Ernie O' Malley made his own way through that country , and Mexico , living hard in the depression years , but always bearing the historical image of Ireland , the desire for freedom and the inspiration of a heritage .

Titles of the poems he wrote at that time indicate his old and new concerns for the victims of oppression - 'From Two Islands' , 'Deirdre' , 'We Have Not Sought For Beauty' , 'Navajo Country' and 'Mountjoy Hanged 1921' . It was during semi-exile in the artists' colony of Taos, New Mexico, that he first set down his memories of what may well be the most spectacular IRA career of the period . " As thrilling as a cinema drama..." , reported a Dublin newspaper on his gun battle and capture by Free State soldiers in the exclusive Ailesbury Road suburb of Ballsbridge , Dublin , in November 1922 .

Any outline of his later life may well seem anti-climax , but somehow more individualistic and interesting than the government , business or professional careers of Civil War companions . He was not a conformist . His back scarred by a hail of bullets , wounded and injured about a score of times , he was also at home in the quiet world of books , welcomed in the spheres of artistic endeavours , remembered as a stimulating friend by a wide circle . He loved the wild Mayo coast and the islands of his childhood , and had a reserved humour , a delicate irony . As a man of action and a man of letters , his abiding influence was hard years of war in a national resistance campaign.......

AN OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE RUC . RUC brutality , torture , murder and lies were brushed aside as the unionist establishment congratulated itself for the continuing existence of a paramilitary force which had maintained and safe-guarded its rule in the Occupied Six Counties of Ireland.
From 'IRIS' magazine , July/August 1982.

In June of this year (1982) , the 60th anniversary of the formation of the RUC was marked by a series of commemorative events ; articles filled newspapers , editorials and letters from loyal correspondents heaped praise and glory on that force , church services , some attended by well-known Catholic clergy , prayed for its members , and local councils passed motions of support and congratulations in their 'honour' . In short , 'respectable unionist society' paid its tribute to its 'police force' , formed in its image .

60 years of brutality , torture , murder and lies were brushed aside as the unionist establishment congratulated itself for the continuing existence of a para-military force which had maintained and safe-guarded its rule over the turbulence of those years .

There were of course no prayers for young Michael McCartan, gunned down in cold blood in July 1980 by a plainclothes RUC man while painting 'Up The Provos' on a gable wall near his south Belfast home . Nor , doubtless , did any clergyman pause a moment in memory of 9-year-old Danny Rooney , shot dead by RUC men in August 1969 in his Divis Flats home ; or in memory of 42-year-old Samuel Devenney, beaten to death in his own home by those same 'guardians of peace' in April 1969.......

British Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Dewar of the Royal Green Jackets has served in Cyprus , Borneo and Malaya , as well as in the Occupied Six Irish Counties . He has written three previous books - 'Internal Security Weapons And Equipment Of The World' and 'Brushfire Wars' . The extracts reproduced here are from 'The British Army In Northern Ireland' , which was published by 'Arms and Armour Press' in 1985 . The underlined comments in this article are ours . This article reflects the operational thinking of a British military commander , more so than his political or ideological outlook.
From 'IRIS' magazine , October 1987.

The British Army lance-corporal had held the gunmen in his sights for only a few minutes , but for what must have seemed an age to him : fearing that his Sergeant would not return with the patrol in time and thinking that the gunmen were going to disappear he fired at about 9.55pm , fifteen minutes after they had got out of the car . He missed . The Volunteers took cover in the bunker area and returned fire .

Their bullets were striking the ground around the lance-corporal with a fair degree of accuracy as the rest of the British Army patrol took up fire positions beside him . The concentrated fire-power of the whole patrol , two LMG's and five rifles , soon forced the gunmen to seek cover or retreat . One was pinned down in the area of the bunkers where eventually he was lost to view , whilst the other three withdrew eastwards , two of them slowly and using all available cover towards House 'C' , which they reached some twenty minutes later .

The other man ran fast across an open field , but one of the LMG gunners chased him across the field with tracer , elevating the gun until he hit him . The gunman was seen to stagger and drop to his knees , managing only to crawl through a hedge near House 'A' . But he managed to escape while the gunner was changing his magazine . British Army helicopters were soon on the scene.......