" 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. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Wednesday, May 13, 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.

ED MALONEY : " Do the negotiations over the H-Blocks between Cardinal O Fiaich and Humphrey Atkins involve the Republican Movement ? "

IRA : " No . But these negotiations are causing a lot of anxiety although by the time this interview appears in print there might be some conclusion to those negotiations .

It is for the men in the H-Blocks and their comrades in Armagh Prison to decide . It's not even up to us to decide. They are the sole negotiating body . They are undoubtedly political prisoners . In February and March this year we privately decided to suspend attacks on prison warders but the beatings meted out by them to the republican prisoners continued .

It wasn't until June this year after prisoners had been continually beaten , after there was no progress in O Fiaich's 'initiative' that we decided to resume those attacks . Since June there has only been one IRA attack on the warders but we have said it is open season on them again . We want the H-Blocks settled , we don't want to see warders killed. The H-Blocks are of no propaganda purpose to us. Our people in the jails are suffering real deprivations and we want that resolved."

[END of 'THE IRA']
(Next : 'DUBLIN 1980 - THE GLUE SNIFFERS')


HOPE IN THE SHADOWS.......

For some Northern nationalists the Anglo-Irish Agreement ('Hillsborough Treaty',1985) only makes their lives more dangerous , for others it offers hope on a road to nowhere. Fionnuala O'Connor visited a (Provisional) Sinn Fein advice centre in the Ardoyne and Seamus Mallon's office in Newry.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, December 1986.

Sitting in his chair below the 'Death or Victory' IRA poster , Tom Fleming lit another cigarette and leaned a little closer to the electric heater . " If the SDLP can maintain things even at the present level and keep on promising - that, plus the Catholic Church's attitude to (P) Sinn Fein and it's support (*) for the IRA - they can hoodwink a lot of people." ('1169...' Comment * - "support" then, condemnation now for those in Ireland who militarily challenge the British political and military presence!)

I stopped three people on a midweek morning to ask the way to Seamus Mallon's Newry office and all three were from Dublin , up doing their shopping! In his office , the new SDLP MP's two staff - young and paid - had brought in those elected to speak for the party : local councillor Tommy McGrath and Frank Feely, elected to the defunct 'Assembly' .

We were straight into the question of "I" voters , at least 800 of them in Newry town , they said , at least twice that number in the local government area , and every one of them annoyed for years because they could vote in Westminster elections but could not vote for their local council ! Guess who they'd vote for once the Anglo-Irish Agreement (Hillsborough Treaty) finally did the right thing by them.......?
(MORE LATER).



A BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS.......
A look at issues raised by Liz Curtis' recent book.
From 'IRIS' magazine, August 1984.
Review by Trisha Fox.

While a handful of TV producers such as Colin Thomas- who resigned from the BBC in protest at cuts made to his 1978 documentary about daily life in Derry - have taken a protest stance , most consciously choose to work within the system and to get their material transmitted , while acknowledging the limitations of their practice.

'Acceptable Levels', a recent film made for Channel 4 , dealt with this issue of 'self-censorship' by TV producers . The film's storyline is about a crew making a liberal documentary about the effects of 'the troubles' on children from both communities . Towards the end of the crew's film-shooting , a nationalist child gets shot with a plastic bullet and the crew are thrown into a dilemma as to whether they should incorporate this material into the final film , which would change the original (and pre-conceived) concept of the documentary . Inevitably , they decide to omit it .
(MORE LATER).