" 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, November 07, 2012

'GATHERING' BYRNE(D) : A GOOD SCRIPT !

'THERE WILL BE ANOTHER DAY.....' By Peadar O'Donnell ; first published in January 1963.

I do not know whether that experience helped me now, but suddenly I knew ; maybe my father with his uncanny , charitable insight, saw into the heart of the problem at that moment and the vision leaped from his mind to mine. Maybe I caught it from some flash in the woman herself, but suddenly I knew. I still stood with my hands on the top rail of the chair , as she faced me on the hearth of the fireplace : "I am a lot more on your side than you think" , I told her, "a lot more. So let us sit down and talk about it." She went to her corner , and one could not but pity her. Ever since the first day she put a foot on this floor, this woman must have worried over the uncertainty and insecurity of her position, the wife of the younger brother who was not the tenant of the holding. In some twisted way she saw in the Land Commission threat to sell out the holding on account of the arrears a chance to grab at security, for now it was not as if her man were doing his brother a hurt. This was a way for her husband to save his brother from himself. I mentioned again that we had traced the seized cattle, but I put no great strain on her patience for I soon asked the tenant if it never entered his head to arrange with whoever of his nephews was to come into this place later on, to become joint tenant with him now, or in some way make it clear to him that this place would be his, so that he might have that in mind if he thought to set up his own home and he in Scotland. The other agreed eagerly, but he wondered would the Land Commission agree to the like now on account of the arrears ? I told him I would talk to a solicitor and see how best to arrange it, but that arrange it we would. (MORE LATER).

FEAR AND LOATHING IN SOUTH ARMAGH......


The inside story of a personal feud that has left one man dead and tarnished the reputation of the PIRA's most fearsome brigade.

From 'Magill' magazine , April 2003.

By John Keane.

While the IRA claimed Keith Rodgers as a member , it also stated, significantly, that he was not on active service at the time of his death. The intended victim of the botched ambush was Kevin O'Callaghan (48) , who suffered a gunshot wound to the leg , and a third casualty was shot in the head and seriously wounded. O'Callaghan's brother, Patrick , publicly condemned the kidnapping as an act of "criminal gangsterism" , and he also made public the fact that he and his brothers were in a land dispute with Murphy, though he stopped short of directly blaming him for the Cullaville attack. What made this public denouncement all the more remarkable is that Patrick O'Callaghan is one of the most senior republicans in the area and is also believed by security experts to have been at one time the IRA's director of finance and, as such, he would have worked closely with Tom Murphy and would have been involved in most of the major IRA initiatives which originated in South Armagh. The South Armagh brigade played a pre-eminent role in the (P)IRA's 25-year armed struggle : it was in farmsheds tucked below the craggy hillocks that blindside the numerous but inadequate British Army observation posts that the IRA developed its most devastating weapons technology , radio-controlled bombs, barrack-busting mortars and mobile sniper platforms. The terrain, the clan-like family structures and the ambiguous attitude towards smuggling that typifies this community allowed Thomas 'Slab' Murphy , arguably the IRA's best general since the War of Independence, to turn South Armagh into a virtual 'liberated zone'. (MORE LATER).

ON SATURDAY 10TH NOVEMBER 2012 VOTE 'NO' FOR NO MORE OF THIS.......

14-years-young Tracey Fay.

"It was around 6.30pm on 12 May 1998 and Tracey Fay had no home to go to. She was in a shopping centre on the northside of Dublin, in the company of a social worker who had been assigned to her case. Tracey had officially been placed in care that day. She was a few weeks shy of her 15th birthday. Her mother, with whom she had a fractious relationship, was going back to England, to be with a partner who had been violent to both mother and daughter. Tracey was now officially in the care of the State. Naturally, she was fearful and nervous. The depth of her loneliness can only be guessed at. An out-of-hours social worker was due to attend to Tracey that evening. Tracey had never met this person. She asked her assigned social worker to stay with her until the out-of-hours worker showed up. The social worker said this was not possible.......her body was found in a coal bunker in Dublin's inner city on 24 January 2002. She had died of a drugs overdose. Last Thursday evening in the Dáil, an emergency debate was held following the publication by Fine Gael of the HSE report into Tracey Fay’s life and death. There were fewer than a dozen deputies present as children’s minister Barry Andrews opened the debate. The empty rows re?ected the priorities in the political system....." (From here.)

"We've paid lip service to child protection. It is entirely wrong that we criticise the (Catholic Church) hierarchy for concealing instances of sex abuse, while the State conceals incidents of children dying in the care of the State." - Fine Gael Leinster House member Alan Shatter ( in so-called 'opposition' at the time to the then Fianna Fail and Green Party Free State Administration, now FS Minister for 'Justice') : if passed on 10th November, this change to the FS Constitution will , by default, make it even easier for the State to conceal such incidents as the sentence ".....by proportionate means as provided by law..." will further encourage/allow State representatives to invoke 'FOI' legislation as the reason why the occurrence should not be publicised (ie '...as per the law , for the sake of the child involved..').

"I was a good mother to my daughter. The worst thing I ever did was let her into care. I am sorry I let social services get their hands on my Tracey. If I could turn back the clock I would have dragged her to England with me." - Doreen Curley , Tracey's mother. This corrupt State has no interest whatsoever , apart from lip-service 'concern' , in the well-being of its citizens , unless that citizen has money enough to 'go private' and pay for health service. To presume that they are capable or even interested in looking after the needs of those without money is pure folly ; the proposed changes to the FS Constitution will make it even handier for State reps to wash their hands of responsibility in this regard. Since the year 2000 , 196 children died in State care and over 200 more went missing. There are many 'quangos' in this State and most, if not all of them, are calling for a 'Yes' vote but to do otherwise would be like cutting off the nose to spite the face : the more legislation that is on the State Statute Book the more 'employment' there is for those groups and the more self-important they become - plus, of course, their work within an already bloated system ensures that they make the necessary contacts to practically guarantee their own survival and whatever they can do re the welfare of injured and/or at risk children quickly becomes a side-issue/'by-product' of what they see as their main function - their own economic survival.

This State and its agents (and agencies) simply cannot be trusted with the power it already has in regards to issues of this nature and a 'Yes' vote on the 10th November 2012 will backfire badly on those of us who are trying to do our best : don't let this morally bankrupt State into your family home any more than you have to - this time you have a choice , next time you may not be so lucky. VOTE 'NO!' ON 10th NOVEMBER 2012.

BUSIER-THAN-USUAL WEEKEND COMING-UP........

A multi-tasking weekend : three kids to pawn off, an Ard Fheis to attend , a 'NO' vote to cast and a 650-ticket raffle to help run...!

As previously mentioned , this coming weekend is going to be hectic : first thing on the agenda is to find a babysitter for at least two of my three daughters (all three, if I can help it, but the eldest one now takes it as an insult that I still consider it necessary to ask an adult to keep an eye on her !) but I have good family support and equally good neighbours so I don't think that will be too big a job. Then there's the RSF Ard Fheis , for which I have been asked to assist with the paper-work re delegates and visitors (...in itself practically a full-time job!) and then, after voting 'NO' in the so-called ' Children Referendum' , there's the 650-ticket raffle run by the Dublin Chomhairle of RSF and, as well as being present in the hotel venue for that particular gig (on Sunday 11th), there is also quite a lot of paper work involved in that job , as each ticket has to be traced from printer to drum and a report re the raffle has to be presented to the committee the next day and arrangements put in place for the following months raffle.

The Ard Fheis and the raffle almost run themselves at this stage , such are the quality and the expertise of the teams involved with each event, but kids (/'young adults') can be unpredictable and, whilst my three girls are well-mannered and treat each other (and others) with respect, none of them suffers fools gladly (or silently!) and have been taught and encouraged to speak their mind , a trait which can (and has!) occasionally led to 'misunderstandings'. All-in-all, I have a feeling that the coming weekend is going to be interesting.....!

ROBBED TO THE POINT OF DESTITUTION BY MEMBERS OF YOUR OWN FAMILY : LEFT WITH 3 EURO AND TWENTY CENTS.

A woman in her mid-80's , recently widowed (after 57 years of marriage) and now living on her own in a small bungalow. An easy target for thieves and an even easier target for unscrupulous family members....

This has left me seething with anger, even more so than I was before , having read other posts on that blog. As I mentioned in a previous post in regards to those two women , I live in the same area that they do and I use the same shops that they committed the crimes in but I'm glad I don't know them and I hope, for their sake, that I never do get to put a face to them. Because I wouldn't trust my reaction towards them if I were to meet them face-to-face. It's as simple as that.

"That last robbery left just €3.20 cents in my Nana's pension account. Three Euro and twenty cents. My Nana was then 84 years old and had, a few months earlier, buried her husband, my Grandad , after 57 years of marriage. And all she now had in her pension account was €3.20 cents. How could two women do that to their own mother ? "

I cried and cried when I read that part of the post , mostly in anger. I hope I never meet the women involved. For their sake.

PADDYWHACKERY AT ITS FINEST !

Irish actor Gabriel Byrne , reading from a good script!

A POORLY (YET EXPENSIVE) CONCEIVED SIDE-SHOW TO TRY AND DISTRACT US FROM THE REAL SITUATION.

This lifted my spirits a wee bit , and full marks for Gabriel for giving a 'Byrne Ultimatum' (!) type reply, when asked his feeling on this so-called 'celebratory' event that the Free State ponces have called 'The Gathering': "People are sick to death of being asked to help out in what they regard as a scam... most people don’t give a shit about the diaspora [in Ireland] except to shake them down for a few quid...." (from here).

It's hard not to be insulted and embarrassed by this 'Gathering' codology , as it seeks to link the overall population of this State with the morally bereft mindset of the greedy 'Establishment' here and depicts all of us as snake-oil salespeople and gombeens. So thank you , Mr Byrne - you have made this 'Little Woman' (!) a bit happier today !

EDENTUBBER MARTYRS COMMEMORATION , HELD ON SUNDAY 4TH NOVEMBER 2012 -



Despite the intimidatory tactics and unwelcome presence of armed Free State political police , the Edentubber Martyrs Commemoration went ahead as advertised , and a very fitting oration was delivered to the large crowd by Seán Dolan, a member of the Seán Costello / Martin Hurson Cumann of Republican Sinn Féin ,Co. Westmeath. You can watch proceedings on this video and the full transcript of Seán's oration can be read here.

'THE POOR DEAR MIGHT GET EVEN MORE UPSET THAN HE USUALLY IS. LET HIM SIT IT OUT FOR THIS ONE....'
Lord McGuinness receives his just deserts from his queen, for 'Services Rendered...'

" Mr Black was gunned down by suspected dissident (sic) republicans at high speed on a motorway as he drove to work at the high-security Maghaberry prison on Thursday. It is understood Mr McGuinness, Northern Ireland`s (sic) Sinn Fein (sic) Deputy First Minister and Mid Ulster MP, offered to attend the funeral but that was declined by the family...." (From here.)

A sensible move on the part of the family concerned (and one not objected to by Stormont or Westminster) - a pet can easily develop bad habits (ie a sense of its own self worth / that it is 'in charge' and/or is as 'good' as its Master) if its owner allows it to accompany him everywhere. One must have rules and one must know their place.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.