" 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!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dublin Fine Gael Councillor Therese Ridge : 'Do a door-to-door collection for money if you want your kids with learning disabilities educated in school...'
(UPDATE - photo of article and more comment here.)

'Flying a kite' for her Fine Gael party bosses ? Or genuinely out of touch with the 'man on the street'?
In an interview with the 'Clondalkin Echo' newspaper (entitled 'Collection For Child Services' , issue dated 25 February 2009) local Fine Gael Councillor and State Senator Therese Ridge declared that she had "read with horror" the news that her fellow career politicians in Leinster House had cut special teaching posts in the 'Budget Extra' - " If they don't get the support now these children will need even more help and care when they get older . This is just anti-child and anti-family ," she said . And rightly so , we feel . "The Minister must be mad to take this away," the good Councillor and State Senator added. Right again , we feel.
When asked what could be done about it , Therese replied that if this cutback is not reversed then something would have to be done about it -
" Could there be some sort of national* collection ? Surely we could do something about this ? I don't think anyone would mind giving to something like that ? " Now that's not right , we feel. A "collection" (on-going, as it happens) is already taking place - it's called 'income tax' and 'VAT' and , in a good few cases , a 'Pension Levy' . The parents of those children are paying tax and/or VAT and/or an increased 'pension levy' every day/week/month into State coffers , out of which a portion is supposed to be removed to pay for the educational requirements of children . Most people resent paying these taxes (not least because they are squandered by those who collect them as it appears that this money is diverted to keep them in the fine lifestyles to which they believe they are entitled) but they have no choice but to pay up as this 'collection' is stopped at source. Wealthy politicians like Therese Ridge see nothing wrong in being part of a corrupt system which takes this money out of your pocket , and which will grab even more from you if it can , whilst giving you little or nothing in return for it, and then knocking on your door with a collection bucket and , whilst practically filling their back pockets and brown envelopes with your money , telling you that if you want your kids educated at school then you'd better put even more of your money in their bucket! Unbelievable.
We find it impossible to believe that this lady sees nothing wrong in her 'plan' , which leads us back to the two questions we asked at the beginning of this post - is she 'flying a kite' for her Fine Gael party bosses on this issue , in the hope of obtaining Party brownie points for herself or is she genuinely out of touch with the 'man on the street'? Either way , such a remark shows the contempt which those wealthy political leeches hold the rest of us in. They should all be stripped of their ill-gotten wealth and deported to a small island and left there. Their greed and short-sightedness is more than we can afford.

(*"National" - by which this Fine Gael representative would mean the 26 Counties,as per her party's website.)
Sharon.






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......."
(MORE LATER).



SPIES UNDER A SPOTLIGHT.......
'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.......
(MORE LATER).



TEN YEARS IN ENGLISH JAILS.......
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.......
(MORE LATER).







Sunday, February 22, 2009

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 21st 2009 IN DUBLIN : RSF MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS PICKET , PROTEST AND PARTY...



.....the usual monthly picket for Irish political prisoners was held at the GPO in O'Connell Street ; the starting time , which was set for 1.45pm , was brought forward one hour to allow some of the participants to take part in the ICTU-organised anti-pension levy/'golden circle' protest which was also being held in Dublin on that afternoon , with the remainder of the 30-odd group remaining at the GPO.


'LEINSTER HOUSE - THE GOLDEN CIRCLE YOU CAN BANK ON!'

'Bodies'(!) assembling for the protest , Sat Feb 21st , 2009.

Getting ready to move off.

As stated above , Republican Sinn Féin members and supporters took part in the ICTU-organised anti-pension levy/'golden circle' protest march through Dublin city centre: we were proud to be part of the almost 200,000 people (including on-lookers , who lined the entire parade route , clapping and cheering) and were the first political organisation to 'set-up shop' in the city that day - RSF members first assembled at 11.30am at the Parnell Monument , facing the Ambassador Cinema , and held their ground there until 3pm . Incidentally , the lead banner passed us at that monument at 2.05pm and the very last banner passed us at 3.05pm !


'Ballad Session' sign outside 'The Village Inn' pub in Finglas.

The main raffle prize - a signed Celtic jersey.

And finally : we finished up the day by having a few drinks and a good yap with our friends from the 'North Inner City Celtic Supporters Club' at the fund-raising ballad session they had organised in 'The Village Inn' in Finglas last night , and had a ball! It was a fantastic way to finish-off a busy day , and Kevin and the Crew spoiled us rotten - we had the best seats in the house , table service and some hot food . In fact it was so good that it was after 4am this morning before I got home , and I can still hear the ballads and the Celtic Anthems in my poor head ;-).... !
Back to the
leaba now for an hour or two for me : click-off gently when you're finished , and I'll be in touch during the week!
Thanks for reading!
Sharon.