" 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, January 30, 2013

'POLITICAL INTERFERENCE IN DECIDING AND PRIORITISING HOSPITALS....'

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

I was brought before District Justice Cussen and I observed the usual IRA formula - I refused to recognise the court. The State asked for a remand for a week and Cussen, the kindly man, took the unusual step of asking to see my wife after the court adjourned to say he didn't like the idea of sending me to Mountjoy Jail and would she please explain to me that all he wanted from me was my word that I would turn up there that day week. No bail , just my word.

I could not avail myself of this neighbourly offer, so Mountjoy Jail again it had to be , and ghost-rich 'D Wing' at that : it was to this Wing that the Four Courts Garrison was brought in 1922. I found the experience of sharing the prison van that shuttled from the jail to the district court and back , with men on remand on a great variety of charges, intensely interesting ; occasionally strangely disturbing. Scared men are pathetic and the man in trouble for the first time for an act not sanctioned from within himself is a scared man.

There were those who took things lightly , of course, but each man was pretty well alone with his thoughts , and there was no buoyancy left in any of them to sustain him in the presence of the jailer. By and by they would find odd ways of sharing life together , but the numbness of the early days had to wear off first , as there is a climate of oppression which derives from the sense of defeat in the prisoners themselves.....(MORE LATER).

THE WRONG ARM OF THE LAW......

Roisin McConnell claims she was abused, called "a murdering bitch" , "Satan" and "the Devil". She claims gardai told her that her child would be taken away, that her husband was having an affair, that she would "do seven years in jail" and that she was "going to get stabbed". A named garda told her that when this happened, he would spit on her grave, she says.

By Sandra Mara.
From 'Magill' Annual 2002.

Roisin, wife of Mark McConnell , was also arrested , despite the fact that several gardai at a pre-arrest conference in Letterkenny Garda Station had expressed their concern about their powers of arrest of the wife of a suspect "after the fact" and indeed, about the legality of her arrest.

On the morning of the 4th December 1996 , Roisin McConnell , the 36-year-old mother of a young baby, left home at Tullyvinney, Raphoe, to go to work. A workmate, Lorna O' Donnell from Rusky, gave her and another friend, Marie Pearson, a lift. All three women headed off to work at the 'Fruit of the Loom' factory in Raphoe and, as they drove along the road they approached Raphoe Garda Station, close to the McConnell family home.

They were surprised to see around 20 gardai and detectives on the roadway. Lorna O'Donnell's car was stopped and Garda 'A' told Roisin McConnell , who was seated in the back of the car, - "You're under arrest for the murder of Richie Barron." She was taken from the car and put into the back of a Garda car, surrounded by four gardai. Garda 'A' sat in the back with McConnell and another garda.......(MORE LATER).

30TH JANUARY 1972 - 30TH JANUARY 2013.
Derry, 1972 : seeking only civil rights as opposed to a British withdrawal...

According to British Army 'evidence' , 21 soldiers fired their weapons on 'Bloody Sunday' and shot 108 rounds between them. Two soldiers were responsible for firing a total 35 bullets - Soldier 'F' fired 13 shots and Soldier 'H' fired 22 shots and both soldiers were in the area of Glenfada Park at the time of the shooting.

The fatal shooting on 'Bloody Sunday' began at approximately 4.10pm when soldiers entered the Rossville Street area of the Bogside. However, before the fatal shooting began two people were shot and wounded in William Street at about 3.55pm. The two people were Damien Donaghey (15) and John Johnson (59). The soldiers involved, Soldier 'A' and 'B', claimed that they had come under attack from nailbombs. No other witnesses, civilian or military heard any nailbombs explode at 3.55pm. Johnson was shot twice in the incident and died on 16th June 1972. His family is convinced that he died prematurely and that his death was due to the injuries received and trauma he underwent on 'Bloody Sunday'.

Most of those shot dead on 'Bloody Sunday' were killed in four main areas: the car park (courtyard) of Rossville Flats; the forecourt of Rossville Flats (between the Flats and Joseph Place); at the rubble and wire barricade on Rossville Street (between Rossville Flats and Glenfada Park); and in the area around Glenfada Park (between Glenfada Park and Abbey Park). The following accounts look at the shootings in each of these areas in turn. It is not possible to give the exact time of any particular shooting or the exact order in which all 13 people were shot dead.

As soldiers of the Parachute Regiment entered the Bogside a number of their Humber Armoured Vehicles ('Pigs') drove into the car park (courtyard) of Rossville Flats. Alana Burke (18) and Patrick Campbell (53) were run down by two different Army vehicles as they fled across the car park. In addition to Jack Duddy (17), who was shot dead in the car park, four people were wounded by shooting: Margaret Deery (37, the only woman shot and injured on 'Bloody Sunday'), Michael Bridge (25), Michael Bradley (22) and Patrick McDaid (24).

John 'Jack' Duddy (17): Jack Duddy was killed by a single shot that passed through his upper chest from right to left and slightly forward. Four witnesses, Edward Daly, then a Catholic priest, Mrs Bonner, Mrs Duffy and Mr Tucker, all stated that Duddy was unarmed at the time he was shot and that he was running away from soldiers when he was shot. Three of these witness stated that they saw a soldier take deliberate aim at Duddy as he fled across the courtyard of Rossville Flats. Jack Duddy was probably the first person to be shot dead on 'Bloody Sunday'.

As the shooting intensified a group of people became caught in the area between Rosville Flats and the maisonnettes of Joseph Place. Pat Doherty (31) was among them and was shot as he tried to crawl to safety. Barney McGuigan (41) heard the calls of Doherty and left the relative safety of the side of Rosville Flats to go to his aid but McGuigan was shot dead within a couple of paces of where he had been. Two other people were shot and wounded in this area, Daniel McGowan (37) and Patrick Campbell (53).

Patrick 'Pat' Doherty (31): Patrick Doherty was shot from behind while trying to crawl to safety in the vicinity of the forecourt of Rossville Flats, between the Flats and Joseph Place. He was shot once and died at the scene. The bullet entered his right buttock and travelled forward and upward through his body before exiting from the left of his chest. Patrick Doherty was photographed by Gilles Peress moments before he died. The photographs showed that he was not armed. Lord Widgery concluded that he had probably been shot by Soldier 'F' (who was in Glenfada Park at the time) who claimed that Patrick Doherty had a pistol in his hand. The Saville Inquiry concluded: "3.65 ... We are sure that Lance Corporal 'F' fired at and shot Bernard McGuigan and Patrick Doherty and it is highly probable that he was also responsible for shooting the other two casualties."

Bernard 'Barney' McGuigan (41): Barney McGuigan was going to the aid of Patrick Doherty and was signalling with a white handkerchief held in his hand when he was shot dead by a single bullet through the back of his head. The bullet entered close to his left ear and exited through his right eye travelling forward and upward through his skull. He died where he fell near the corner of Rossville Flats between Rossville Street and Joseph Place. A number of eyewitnesses stated that he was unarmed.

Hugh Gilmour (17): Hugh Gilmour was shot by a single bullet that passed through his body and through his left forearm as he was running away from soldiers in Rossville Street. The bullet travelled from right to left through his chest travelling horizontally and slightly forward. A photograph of Gilmour, taken seconds after he was hit, showed that he was unarmed a fact confirmed by a number of witnesses. Gilmour was shot close to the rubble barricade but managed to run for several meters before falling to the ground at the side of Rossville Flats.

Kevin McElhinney (17): Kevin McElhinney was shot from behind, probably by Soldier 'K', as he was attempting to crawl to safety in the Rossville Flats. The bullet entered his left buttock and travelled up through his body exiting near his shoulder. Two eyewitnesses, including a Catholic priest, testified that McElhinney was unarmed. He was shot close to the front entrance of Rossville Flats, near to the rubble barricade, and was dragged inside by some people who were already sheltering there. He died almost immediately.

Michael Kelly (17): Michael Kelly died from a single shot to his abdomen, probably fired by Soldier 'F'. The bullet entered from the front and travelled backward and downward. He died within a few minutes of being shot. He was shot near the rubble barricade in front of Rossville Flats. Lord Widgery accepted that Kelly was not armed but concluded that he must have been standing close to someone who had discharged their weapon because of lead particles on Kelly's right cuff. This finding ignored the strong likelihood of contamination from soldiers who handled the bodies when they were taken to the morgue (this was true in the case of many of those killed).

John Young (17): John Young was killed by a single shot to the head at the rubble barricade on Rossville Street. The bullet entered close to his left eye and travelled backward and downward before exiting through his ribs on the left side of his back. Two eyewitnesses gave evidence to the Widgery tribunal that Young was unarmed when he was shot.

William Nash (19): William Nash was killed by a single shot to his chest near the rubble barricade in front of Rossville Flats. The bullet entered his right upper chest from the front and travelled backward and downward exiting from his lower back. He was possibly shot by Soldier P. He was killed at almost the same time and in the same circumstances as John Young. Eyewitness accounts state that Nash was unarmed and was going to the aid of someone else when he himself was shot.

Michael McDaid (20): Michael McDaid was killed by a single shot to his face at the rubble barricade in front of Rossville Flats. He probably died immediately he had been shot.

James Wray (22): James Wray was shot dead in Glenfada Park. James was shot twice, the first bullet travelled 'superficially' from right to left across his body, the second bullet entered his back and travelled from right to left. Two eyewitnesses gave evidence to the Widgery Tribunal that Wray was shot and wounded and then was shot dead, from close range, while he lay on the ground. A number of people, who were not called to give evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, stated that Wray was complaining that he was unable to move his legs when he was shot a second time and killed.

Gerald Donaghey (17): Gerald Donaghey was shot once in the abdomen, probably by Soldier 'G', but did not die at the scene. He was trying to run to safety between Glenfada Park and Abbey Park when he was shot.

Gerald McKinney (35): Gerald McKinney was also shot dead in Glenfada Park. He had been part of the group of people who were caught in Glenfada Park and who were trying to get to safety towards Westland Street. He decided to make a run for it at the same time as Gerald Donaghey who was just ahead of him. Donaghey was shot and McKinney must have seen the soldier. Two eyewitnesses stated that McKinney then raised his arms in surrender and shouted, "Don't shoot!, Don't shoot!". The trajectory of the bullet through his chest from left to right is consistent with this evidence. Had McKinney's arms not been raised the bullet would have passed through one or both arms.

William McKinney (26): William McKinney was shot dead after he left the safety of cover to try to assist Gerald McKinney (not a relation) who had been shot moments before. He was shot from behind, as he was bent over Gerald McKinney, and the bullet travelled through his chest from right to left and then through his left wrist.

As stated in the caption of the picture at the top of this piece, that Derry march was held seeking civil rights, not a British withdrawal : the former request is acceptable to some whilst others rightly demand a more sustainable solution - that of a British withdrawal.

DOLOURS PRICE 1951-2013.

REST IN PEACE.


"It is not enough to say we were born to be Republicans, it’s more precise to say Republicanism is part of our DNA....." - Dolours Price.

I met Dolours three times in the past number of years - once in Dublin , once in her native Belfast and once in Derry - and , on each occasion, I was in the company of different members of the Republican Movement and we bumped-into each other at protests/pickets in connection with three separate issues. But the one 'constant' was Dolours : a deeply committed and resolute republican activist with a sharp instinct and a genuine grá for her passion - Ireland.

The sentiments I was going to express here have already been expressed in a far more eloquent manner by another stalwart supporter of Irish Republicanism , Ruairí Ó Brádaigh , and I am proud to re-post them here :

"The untimely passing of Dolours Price is a moment in Republican history. Born into a staunch Republican household in Belfast she came under the influence of her father, Albert Price, who was active in the 1940s and was imprisoned, and her aunt Bridie Dolan who was severely injured when a grenade she was handling exploded prematurely.

With the birth of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, Dolours was to the fore in all activities. When the struggle escalated and internment without trial was brought in, she and her sister Marian joined the Republican Movement. There followed activity in London and prolonged imprisonment and hunger strike. This last development was met by force-feeding for more then 200 days until demands for relocation to the Six Counties were met, but were not implemented for more than two years.

It is certain that the brutality of the protracted force-feeding had grievous effects on Dolours both mentally and physically. It surely brought about an early release for both sisters. Dolours rejected what she saw as a ?surrender process? from the outset. When the Stormont Agreement was signed in 1998, she visited the Ard-Oifig of Republican Sinn Féin in Dublin and made her position clear. By attending the subsequent Ard-Fheis of Republican Sinn Féin she nailed her colours to the mast.

When attending the 25th anniversary in Ballina of the death on hunger strike of Frank Stagg in 2001, she spoke at the grave of an old friend and comrade, Jackie Clarke. Here she made her stand once more.

In more recent times she publicly attacked what she saw as deceit, hypocrisy and public lying in high places. She exposed it relentlessly. She saw all that as a contradiction to the mountain of sacrifice that had been made over the decades. She herself had contributed more than her share and she was outraged at the developments. Never did she participate in deceit, hypocrisy or public lying. She will be remembered :
cuimhneofar ort, a Dholours.You have triumphed in the end. Sincere sympathy is expressed to her sisters Marian and Clare and to her two sons, Danny and Oscar." Slán go foill anois, a Dholours.

' THERE WAS POLITICAL INTERFERENCE IN DECIDING AND PRIORITISING HOSPITALS....'

But how much does he charge for journeys to hospitals....?
Oh Really Reilly : we have mentioned the antics of Mr James Reilly before (as have others) but it seems the man still has a reckless desire to pad-out his own future by (ab) using not only his political position but taxpayers money, too. It has been remarked in some left-wing political circles that the man's political desire and his machinations to further secure his own financial future in so blatant a manner is puzzling considering that he is already a millionaire but the only element of it that I find 'puzzling' is why anyone of a socialist inclination would find it surprising that a millionaire Fine Gael/right wing politician would seek to increase his 'stakeholding' , thus ensuring an even more luxurious lifestyle and retirement for himself than he had already secured ?

The answer , in my opinion, is because of an absence of ethics on the part of the afflicted person ie greed , described by theologian Thomas Aquinas as "...a sin directly against one's neighbour, since one man cannot over-abound in external riches without another man lacking them..." . Mr Reilly probably never heard of Thomas Aquinas as there is no profit to be gained by him in doing so. We live in a sad society , as is so remarkably demonstrated by Mr Reilly and his ilk.

DEMOCRACY AT WORK : MORE OF THIS IS NEEDED.

Taxpayers in Cork demanding a voice in how their tax money is spent.

Better late than never : hopefully this protest is a sign of things to come and it will become a regular occurrence to witness citizens directly challenge their employees (ie politicians) in regards to the manner in which they pompously and arrogantly waste taxpayers money on themselves and only then consider using the left over coin to supply public services. Until such time as the corrupt political system in this State is changed for the better we need to do this. Congratulations to the organisers and to all those who took part - to quote Oscar Wilde : "Yes , I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

It would be reassuring to think that this protest and, hopefully, future protests like it, will herald a 'new Dawn'.

HORSE AND BULL FROM A COLOUR-BLIND SHIT STIRRER !

Not 'FAIR' , Willie - inverted flag and Balaclaved Burgers conspire against our Hero....

This wee blog wishes continued success (!) to the (much-deserved) misunderstood Champion of All that is Good and Proper , Willie Frazer, whom we have mentioned before in this lil' corner of cyberspace. In an attempt to capitalise on 'BurgerGate' .....



......our Willie claimed that the PIRA was ultimately responsible for that culinary terrorism (...and for a lot of other things, too, apparently..) - Interviewer : "The (P)IRA were involved with putting horsemeat into beef products?"

Willie Frazer : "Yes. Basically old fat cows that are 30 months old have been put into the food chain because the republicans have the means of getting it in....." (From here)

It was probably whilst choking on one of the offensive burgers that poor Willie confused his colours and almost set his gang of thugs on the teachers , staff and pupils of a school which he described as "....the junior headquarters of IRA youth..." . If nothing else, in securing the headlines that he does, Frazer is a prime (!) example of the embarrassing human flotsam left behind when a wreckage of an 'empire' seeks to extract itself from an area in which it can no longer use barbarism to control without having its use highlighted. His 'Best Before' date is long gone.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.