" 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 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

THE IRA : the new IRA is younger , more radical and has seen little of life other than violence.......
By Ed Moloney.
From 'Magill' magazine, September 1980.

IRA : " The British are sliding into their 1977 mistake of predicting our defeat . They're fighting a statistical war , we're not . We're fighting a political war . The Brits are saying the Provos are beaten , operations are down , that there's less poundage of explosives used , four British soldiers less have died this year etc . But that's a false confidence and that's OK with us because we will wreck that notion when we choose to ."

ED MALONEY : " Have the tough security policies of Charlie Haughey contributed to those "circumstances forced on you" ? "

IRA : " No . The majority of our operations are carried on by personnel who live within the Six Counties . Belfast , for instance , is the spearhead of our campaign . People there don't run back across the Border - the IRA Volunteers who set up road blocks in Carrickmore last October didn't run back across the Border . Our people are based in the North and our attacks occur there......."

'British Intelligence And Covert Action' , by Jonathan Bloch and Patrick FitzGerald. Published by Brandon/Junction ,1983. Reviewed here by Peter Hayes.

This book reveals , for instance , how the post-war Labour government in Britain set up an 'Information Research Department' to create 'grey' propaganda - a mixture of slanted facts and total fiction - against what it called "international communism" . As well as sponsoring publishing houses who would publish propagandist tracts , 'IRD' set up a number of news organisations in the Middle East that were little other than 'fronts' for MI6 . One of these , the 'Arab News Agency', became Reuters' sole news gathering agent in the Middle East between 1954-1969.

The shadowy use of supposedly 'retired' members of the SAS to 'stiffen the ranks' of mercenary forces recruited by 'security specialists' - a practice officially frowned on by the British Foreign Office - is perhaps one of the most illuminating areas covered by the authors Jonathan Bloch and Patrick FitzGerald .

The SAS are perceived primarily as a specialist assassination unit , and assassination - unofficially , of course - is an integral feature of British covert operations -MI6 , for instance, repeatedly plotted to kill the Egyptian premier Gamal Abdul Nasser, then regarded as the Ghaddafi of the Arab world , in the years after 1952.......

Anne and Eileen Gillespie were arrested in April 1974 following an explosion in a Manchester house where IRA Volunteers were preparing incendiaries , and were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for earlier bombing attacks in which they had no part , serving the bulk of their sentence in the maximum securuty wing of Durham Jail. Released at the end of last August , they talked to 'IRIS' about their experience , at their home in Gweedore , County Donegal .
From 'IRIS' magazine, August 1984.

As soon as we arrived in Manchester they tried to force us on to an identity parade , but we were determined not to do so before we had seen a solicitor , and physically resisted them . Eileen was struck on the head by a police officer while resisting and she was cut on the forehead . Eventually , having seen a solicitor , we went on the identity parade and soon after that we were charged with conspiracy , arson , and possession of explosives . But they had absolutely no evidence at all .

We were held at Risley remand centre for nine months before the trial started . From the moment of our arrest we were treated as Category 'A' maximum security prisoners and were kept in punishment cells in Risley all the time - these had cement floors and beds raised four feet off the ground . We were locked up for 23 hours a day in solitary confinement , and had to fight and argue with the Screws for the right to exercise , which was the only time we could see each other .

All the rights extended to other remand prisoners were denied to us . For example , we couldn't get food parcels or sets of clothing , of which we had only one . Every day at 4pm our cells were stripped of everything for the night and our one set of clothes removed . This went on for the full time we were at Risley.......