Tuesday, December 30, 2014



"Dáithí came from a strong Cork Republican family. His uncle Michael O’Sullivan (17), along with five of his comrades, was bayoneted to death by British Crown forces in March 1921. He joined Sinn Féin at the age of 17 during the local elections in 1955. By the end of the following year he was on active service as a Volunteer in the Irish Republican Army , serving as an organiser under GHQ staff in Co Fermanagh.

On January 1, 1957 he was second-in-command of the Pearse Column during the attack on Brookeborough RUC barracks which resulted in the deaths of two of his comrades, Fearghal Ó hAnluáin and Seán Sabhat. Four others were wounded including the column commander. At 18 years of age Dáithí took command and led a successful withdrawal back across the border – evading 400 RUC, B-Specials, two helicopters and the British army – where they were forced to retire. He was then imprisoned in Mountjoy and the Curragh Concentration camp from where he escaped with his friend and comrade Ruairí Ó Brádaigh in September 1958. He returned to active service and for a period was Director of Operations. He was critically wounded in an ambush by the RUC and B-Specials in Arboe, Co Tyrone on the shores of Lough Neagh in November 1959. He made his escape but was forced to seek help because of loss of blood and his weakened condition. He was captured by Crown Forces and was sentenced to eight years which he served in Belfast’s Crumlin Road Jail. Following his release in 1963 he reported back to active service.

In 1969/70 he again made his talents available to the Republican Movement. Ruairí Ó Brádaigh said of him he possessed the 'ablest mind in the Republican Movement for over 20 years'. The sheer breadth of his ability and intellect was evidenced by his service to the All-Ireland Republic both militarily and politically. He had a central role in framing ÉIRE NUA and remained a tireless advocate of it right up to his death in 1991. Dáithí Ó Conaill never equivocated on what was the cause of the war in Ireland or what was required to deliver a just and lasting peace for all of the Irish people. Speaking in Belfast at Easter 1973 he said: 'Today, the central issue in the war is one of conflict between Ireland’s right to freedom and England’s determination to keep us in subjection. All other issues are subordinate to this basic point. There can be no compromise on the fundamental issue as to who should rule Ireland: the British Parliament or the Irish people. We have had 800 years of British ineptitude in ruling Ireland; we have never known rule by the Irish, of the Irish, for the Irish. Until we do, we shall never enjoy peace and stability in our land.' "
(From here.)

The commemoration will be held, as stated, on New Year's Day in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. Those attending are asked to assemble at the main gates at 12.45pm. Go raibh maith agat.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Sunday, December 28, 2014



Santa and one of the Cabhair swimmers, pictured on site at the Grand Canal in Inchicore, Dublin, on Christmas Day 2014, delivering a message. Mr. Claus made his appearance dressed in 'civvies' as he didn't want to alarm any of the children present - the poor man had fractured his left arm shortly after making his last house call earlier on that morning (but some of us suspect it was a ruse in case he was asked to swim...!)

We had a lucky break with the weather on both Christmas Eve and Day - the miserable, damp, rain, darkness and all-round gloom that had been a feature of December 2014 vacated the scene for those two days, leaving a crisp, frosty blue-sky replacement atmosphere for those who insisted on frollocking in and around the Grand Canal at Inchicore, Dublin. And at least fifty-seven people done just that - five swimmers, about fifty onlookers and two from Harcourt Terrace who were there, uninvited and unwanted, to observe proceedings on behalf of the State.

Christmas 'goodies' , supplied by local shops , pubs etc, and for which fifty-five people were very grateful. Two poor souls, meanwhile, looked sick and weren't allowed to sample the wares, being advised instead that a good sup of canal water might cure them.....

...and this mysterious 'Man In Black' appeared, as if from nowhere, to ensure that the 'Unauthorised' did not have a mince pie and a bottle of beer. A shady looking character, without a doubt, and we suspect he may have pushed Santa off the roof earlier on that day. Little does he know it, but we very nearly had six swimmers for the event!

The 'Speech from The Lock' was given by John Horan, Clondalkin,Dublin, who thanked almost all for attending and reminded all present that this was the 38th successive year of the swim, and gave a brief history of the event from 1976 to date, mentioning that in two years time republicans will witness the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising and the 40th anniversary of the POW Swim.

The swimmers get ready to earn their keep....

...as a brave female mistakenly wanders in to the male 'dressing room'....

...which encourages three of them to make a run for the 'diving board', from where they watch...

...as one of their own swims to safety...

...as their fifth colleague looks on, wondering what all the fuss is about!

Panic ensues, as the female 'intruder' chases after them....

....causing 'each-man-for-himself' mayhem in their ranks...

...so much so that this swimmer feels he'd be safer staying in the canal!

Order restored - and four of the five dry off at the fire....

....then get dressed, whilst thinking of some words of encouragement to entice their fifth colleague to leave the safety of the water and join them at the fire!

Anyway - this 38th-in-a-row Cabhair Swim was a resounding success, with much-needed finance secured for the republican prisoners and their families, all of whom are in our thoughts, and not just at this time of year. A full report with more pics of this and the other 25th December 2014 Cabhair Christmas swims will be carried in the January 2015 issue of 'Saoirse', which goes to print on Wednesday, 14th of that month. Finally, thanks to almost all who joined with us on the Grand Canal on Christmas Day, to the many on-lookers on the bridge, to the motorists who sounded their car horns in support and to the local businesses for their many offerings. Appreciated, one and all!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Monday, December 22, 2014



Garda to appear in court on assault charges this month. By Liz Walsh, from 'Magill' magazine, October 1998.

Two prisoners, John Quinn and Jeremiah Sheehy, who were arrested as part of the police investigation into the murder of Detective Jerry McCabe in 1996 and subsequently charged with IRA membership and firearms offences, alleged that they were ill-treated while in custody in Henry Street Garda Station. The alleged ill-treatment of Jeremiah Sheehy was investigated by Chief Superintendent Seán Camon of the 'National Bureau of Criminal Investigation' and the results of that investigation were submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1997 who decided there was no evidence with which to prosecute.

At his first court hearing on June 12, John Quinn's lawyer alleged that Quinn had received a number of injuries to his head and body while in custody. Quinn complained initially to the Garda Complaints Board but did not pursue it. According to republican sources Quinn refused to make a signed statement to the Board and it's expected that both men will raise allegations of ill treatment during their forthcoming trial in January.

(END of 'Garda Investigations'. Next : The Real IRA - "We will not disband" , from 'Magill' magazine, October 1998.)




The mortar fell short of its target and blasted a five foot hole in the RUC station wall - a second mortar followed but exploded in mid-air breaking the leg of a teenage boy and injuring 25 civilians and 2 RUC men. None of the other mortars went off. It was an insane but calculated gamble by the PIRA ; if the mortars had fallen short they would have ploughed into a row of terraced houses killing and maimimg dozens of people but, on the other hand, had the attempt succeeded as planned the mortars would have caused carnage inside the RUC station. Afterwards, British Army bomb experts reckoned that up to 40 RUC men and soldiers could have been killed - almost enough, as one British Army source put it, for the PIRA 'to blast their way back to the negotiating table'.

A faulty firing mechanism had prevented the PIRA from inflicting on the northern security forces (sic) their heaviest casualties yet in their ten year long campaign. If the Newry mortaring had succeeded it would have put the Warrenpoint massacre of August 1979, in which 18 British soldiers were killed, into the shadows. It would also have transformed 1980 security statistics into a grim catalogue of death and sent flurries of foreign journalists over to Ireland for yet another series of lengthy analyses of Europe's longest surviving guerrilla army.


That the Provisionals have survived to remain that sort of threat not only to the British Army and RUC but to any hope that the British government has of creating a peaceful internal settlement is due in the main to a massive re-organisation of the republican movement that was carried out from 1977 onwards. Without that re-organisation the IRA would in all probability now be a spent force and its leaders in jail or back home at their fireplaces dreaming of what had been or what might have been.


38 Years underwater!

It began - properly structured and organised - in 1976 ,as a 'fundraiser with a difference' , combined with the need to gain extra publicity for a situation which was then - as now - making world headlines. Those that sat down together in early September 1976 to tighten-up the then 'hit-and-miss' affair were a dedicated team who fully understood that to fail in their business would not only bring derision on them and the issue they sought to highlight , but would give their enemy a publicity coup which they would exploit to the fullest extent. With that in mind, the team persevered - favours were called-in, guarantees were secured, provisions obtained and word dispatched to like-minded individuals in the area. At the appointed time on the agreed day - 12 Noon , Christmas Day 1976 - a soon-to-be 38-years-young event was 'born'. The CABHAIR Christmas Day Swim is, thankfully, still going strong and will be, as mentioned, 38-years-young on December 25th next!

Sponsored Swim * Christmas Day * 12 Noon * Grand Canal * 3rd Lock* Inchicore* Dublin*



You can indeed bribe and twist,

Thank God, the Irish journalist,

But seeing what he or she will do

unbribed, there is no need to.
(...apologies to Humbert Wolfe)

Paddy Murray, who wanted to be a journalist but instead settled for writing a weekly column for the 'Sunday World' State propaganda sheet, was up to his usual right-wing ranting in a piece he wrote in that 'newspaper' on Sunday, 14th December last. Under the heading 'Pay the water charge so the homeless and carers can all benefit' , the bishops brother* stated - "Every country pays for water. It's not free. We're not paying twice. Once we're paying 'Irish Water' we won't be paying through general taxation and that money can go to help others, the homeless, carers, mental health, suicide charities..." Lol! Typical of the man - going completely overboard in a further attempt to appease his employer and integrate himself with the 'establishment' that his employer 'mixes' with.

Paddy would be only too aware that the majority of us who object to this new form of taxation are doing so because we have already paid for that service and are not prepared to pay twice for any one service but, if by writing such obfuscating nonsense, he can muddy the waters (!) in favour of those who pay his way then he will at least feel that he's earning his keep. To declare that general taxation will decrease for those who pay the separate 'Irish Water' bill is again an attempt to muddy water and his claim that if we do pay that extra tax "...the homeless, carers, mental health (and) suicide charities.." will be better financed by the State is simply incredible - any extra money of that nature that surfaced in the State kitty would more likely go straight into the pension fund of the same politicians that Paddy seeks to defend and befriend.

*And, true to form, it's not only double-water tax 'defaulters' (as he would see us) that he lashes out at, but has also 'had a go' at journalists - "My anger at members of my own profession (yet another attempt to link himself to a grouping that is way out of his reach!) , for their utter failure to check facts and for publishing stories, which were utterly and patently false, is intense...." , Paddy once wrote, in defence of his brother, but the bishop was suitably reprimanded by a man who did know what he was talking about!


'Last month, a high-level strategy meeting was convened at the Dublin offices of law firm Mason, Hayes and Curran. Accompanying Bregman were former junior minister Ciaran Cannon, Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) manager Captain John Steel and a representative from the IDA, among others. The agenda: to make Ireland the drone capital of Europe'...."I've been spending a lot of time in Ireland looking at this," said Bregman. "This is the perfect country (sic) in which to do it. You have good technology talent here and some really good places where you can test the technology. You also have a government and officials that seem to me much more open than other countries in this regard....." (from here.)

Of course those in Leinster House would be "much more open" to yet another way of monitoring the actions of the citizens of this State ; the on-going protests over the proposed double-water tax rattled their cages enough to make them concerned regarding their chances of being re-elected at the next State-wide general election in early April 2016 (if not before then) but they remain unconcerned at the actual imposition itself of that double tax, despite verbal utterances to the contrary from some of them.

These drone devices are already in use in part of Ireland (by a British 'security force') and are widely used in American cities - 'The FBI uses drones to watch specific targets within the United States, bureau Director Robert Mueller revealed.....(he) said he wasn’t certain whether the FBI had any official agreements with other agencies — such as the Department of Defense or the DHS — to receive assistance in using drones.....' (from here) and will be put to use in this State to frighten people into staying away from protests, street meetings, pickets etc and to build legal cases against those who continue to challenge the 'authority' of the State establishment to reduce them further into poverty. It was George Orwell who said 'To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself' - even if you can't afford the water to clean up in afterwards.


"For preventing disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction, by reason of some still observing such festivals, as were superstitiously kept in other countries, to the great dishonor of God and offense to others: It is therefore ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing labour, feasting, or any other way upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending, shall pay five shillings as a fine to the county..."

Seizing on the fact that a reference to Christmas apparently didn't make it into 'scripture', the Puritans decided that it must be an 'anti-Puritan' celebration and banned the event wholesale! With the backing of Oliver Cromwell, the group also deemed that Easter should be no more and ordered that other occasions of 'special church service' be brought to a finish in order to 'purify' society, the same reason given for their dislike of drama, religious music and certain types of poetry. Their Christmas ban extended to compelling town criers to patrol the streets shouting "No Christmas today, No Christmas today..." , and their society was organised in such a fashion that each 'parish' would be held responsible to God for any 'transgression' as, too, was each individual in that 'parish'. Those who didn't subscribe to their beliefs and who refused to convert were 'asked to leave' the area. That 'law' was enforced for 22 years (1659-1681) meaning that, had such items existed back then, you would have had 23-year-olds playing with 'Frozen' dolls. Almost as weird a concept as banning Christmas (and possibly a reason for doing so) !

NOLLAIG SHONA DAR LEITHEOIRI ! Ar eagle an dearmaid .... Ba bhrea an rud e siocháin bhuan bunaithe ar an gceart a bheith againn in Éireann . Is i an bronntanas is fearr a d'fheadfaimis a thabhairt duinn fein agus dar gclann. Coinniodh an ceart agus an tsiocháin uainn le breis agus ocht gcead bliain , de bharr ionradh , forghabhail agus miriaradh na Sasanach. Socrú ar bith a dheantar in ainm mhuintir na hÉireann agus a ghlacann le riail Shasana agus a dhaingnionn an chriochdheighilt , ni thig leis an ceart na an tsiocháin bhuann a bhunu.

Ni dheanfaidh se ach la na siochána buaine a chur ar an mhear fhada agus an bhunfhadb a thabhairt do ghluin eile . Tharla se seo cheana nuair a siniodh Conradh 1921 agus cuireadh siar ar mhuintir na hÉireann e in ainm na siochána . Is mór ag Sinn Féin Poblachtach Éire a bheith saor agus daonlathach , an cuspoir ceanna a bhi i gceist ag Wolfe Tone agus ag na Poblachtaigh uile anuas go dti 1916 agus an la ata inniu ann.

Rinne a lan fear agus ban croga iobairti mora , thug a mbeatha fiu, ar son na cuise uaisle seo.

A PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS TO OUR READERS ! Least we forget .... A just and permanent peace in Ireland is most desirable. It is the greatest gift we could give to ourselves and our children. We have been denied justice and peace for more than eight centuries, because of English invasion, occupation and misrule of our country. Any arrangement which, in the name of the Irish people or otherwise, accepts English rule and copperfastens the border, will not bring justice and lasting peace. It will only postpone the day of permanent peace, handing over the basic problem to another generation.

This happened before when the Treaty of 1921 was signed and was forced on the Irish people in the name of peace. Republican Sinn Féin cherishes the objective of a free, democratic Ireland, as envisaged by Wolfe Tone and all Republicans down to 1916 and our own day. Many brave men and women sacrificed a lot, even their lives, for this noble objective.

(From the '1169...' Crew , December 2014. PLEASE NOTE : we are on a short break from normal posting , although we will post details of how the CABHAIR swim went and possibly a few other posts. We will return to 'normal' early in the New Year. Go raibh maith agat, and thanks for reading! Sharon.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014



Garda to appear in court on assault charges this month. By Liz Walsh, from 'Magill' magazine, October 1998.

Another internal garda inquiry is still ongoing into the handling of a murder investigation in which a Dublin man confessed to two murders he did not commit. Dean Lyons, a 24-year-old heroin addict and drifter, originally from Tallaght in Dublin, was arrested for questioning about the murder of two psychiatric patients, Mary Callinan and Sylvia Shields, in Grangegorman in Dublin in 1997. During questioning in the Bridewell garda barracks in Dublin, Dean Lyons told detectives , on video, that he killed the two women but, within a month , another man admitted to the murders.

The internal inquiry, led by Assistant Commissioner Jim McHugh, subsequently exonerated Dean Lyons and he was released from custody last March. However, the separate question of how the confession of an unreliable and vulnerable character such as Lyons led to him being charged with murder has not yet been resolved.

A European human rights organisation recently visited six garda stations and three prisons during its 10-day Irish visit - the 'European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment' (CPT) visited six of the eight garda stations suggested by the 'ICCL', which was concerned that the Pearse Street, Fitzgibbon Street and Finglas stations in Dublin and the Immigration Service and garda station both in Shannon and Henry Street in Limerick are not equipped to hold prisoners detained for extended periods under anti-terrorist or drugs legislation. (MORE LATER).




At 9.30 on the morning of Saturday 19th April this year a car containing five armed and masked men drew up outside the home of a farmer not far from the South Armagh village of Crossmaglen. The men got out of the car and went into the house where the farmer and his family were just finishing breakfast. They demanded and got the keys to his tipper lorry parked outside and while two of the men stayed with the farmer's family the other three men drove the lorry back, where they had come from, across the border.

Two miles across the southern side of the border along the windy roads of county Monaghan the lorry drove into a farmyard and stopped. The men got out and were joined by several others who had been waiting nervously for them in a number of outbuildings. Over the next two hours the farmyard was a scene of intense activity as the men screwed into position on the back of the lorry ten long mortar tubes, which were then loaded with home made mortar bombs, each containing five lbs of commercial explosives packed into beer gas cylinders.

The mortars were improvised IRA devices, called Mark 10's by British Army technical experts who had learned to fear them since exactly a year before when a shower of Mark 10's had devastated Newtownhamilton RUC barracks , killing a British soldier in the process. After the complicated firing mechanism for the mortars had been set, the lorry was driven to Caulfielf Place in Newry, about 100 yards from the town's RUC station, and parked. Five minutes later the first of the mortars went off......


On this date (10th December) 94 years ago, Westminster declared martial law in four Irish counties : Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary.

In May 1920 the British Foreign Secretary, 'Lord' Curzon, proposed vigorous 'Indian measures' to suppress the rebellion in Ireland and he and other British imperialist 'gentlemen' formulated a policy with that objective in mind. On the 9th August 1920, the British 'Lords Commissioners' announced that 'Royal Assent' had been granted for the following 14 items -

1. Overseas Trade (Credit and Insurance) Act, 1920.

2. Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920.

3. Restoration of Order in Ireland Act, 1920.*

4. Aberdeen Corporation Order Confirmation Act, 1920.

5. Pilotage Orders Confirmation (No. 3) Act, 1920.

6. Local Government Board (Ireland) Provisional Orders Confirmation (No. 3) Act, 1920.

7. Ministry of Health Provisional Order Confirmation (Chesterfield Extension) Act, 1920.

8. Mid-Glamorgan Water Act, 1920.

9. Wallasey Corporation Act, 1920.

10. Life Association of Scotland Act, 1920.

11. Uxbridge and Wycombe District Gas Act, 1920.

12. Exmouth Urban District Council Act, 1920.

13. North British and Mercantile Insurance Company's Act, 1920.

14. Lever Brothers, Limited (Wharves and Railway) Act, 1920.

On the 19th October, 1920, the British 'Chief Secretary for Ireland' , Lieutenant-Colonel 'Sir' Hamar Greenwood (who later threatened to resign his position if Westminster agreed to a ceasefire with Irish republicans before they had surrendered their weapons!) stated, re the British 'law and order' campaign in Ireland - "The outrages against the police and military forces since the 1st January last, which I regret to say include the loss of no less than 118 lives, are as follows: police killed -100, military killed -18, police wounded -160, military wounded -66. There have been 667 attacks on police barracks, resulting in most cases in their complete destruction. There has been an organised attempt to boycott and intimidate the police, their wives and relations. The hon. Member will realise that I cannot publish the steps that are being taken to cope with the campaign of murder, outrage and intimidation, but I can assure him that the means available to the Government for protecting all servants of the Crown in the discharge of their duties, and for bringing to justice those who commit or connive at outrages, are steadily improving. The Royal Irish Constabulary is rapidly increasing in numbers owing mainly to the flow of recruits from ex-officers and ex-service men who served in the Army or Navy during the War. The effective strength of the Force is now higher than it has been for the last 15 years. In the last three weeks alone there have been 194 trials by Court Martial under the 'Restoration of Order in Ireland Act 1920', and 159 convictions. The Forces of the Crown are now effectively grappling with the organised, paid and brutal campaign of murder in Ireland...."

*The 'Restoration of Order in Ireland Act' was a 'legal' item through which the British could authorise, in Ireland, '....the issue of Regulations under the Defence of the Realm Consolidation Act, 1914, for effecting the restoration and maintenance of order in Ireland where it appears to His Majesty in Council that, owing to the existence of a state of disorder, the ordinary law is inadequate for the prevention and punishment of crime, or the maintenance of order.The Regulations have been rendered necessary by the abnormal conditions which at present prevail in certain parts of Ireland, where an organised campaign of violence and intimidation has resulted in the partial breakdown of the machinery of the ordinary law and in the non-performance by public bodies and officials of their statuary obligations. In particular it has been found that criminals are protected from arrest, that trial by jury cannot be obtained because of the intimidation of witnesses and jurors, and the Local Authorities and their officers stand in fear of injury to their persons or property if they carry out their statuary duties.

The Order in Council provides among other things - 1)For the putting into operation of many of the existing Defence of the Realm Regulations for the purpose of the restoration or maintenance of order. 2)For the trial of crimes by Courts Martial or by specially constituted Civil Courts, and for the investment of those Courts with the necessary powers. 3)For the withholding from Local Authorities who refuse to discharge the obligations imposed upon them by Statute of grants which otherwise would be payable to them from public funds and for the application of the grants so withheld to the discharge of the obligations which the Local Authority has failed to fulfil. 4)For the holding of Sittings of Courts elsewhere than in ordinary Courthouses, where these Courthouses have been destroyed or otherwise made unavailable. Although the Regulations are not, in terms, restricted to any particular part or parts of Ireland, it is the Government`s intention that they shall not be applied in substitution for the provisions of the ordinary law in places where the judicial and administrative machinery of the ordinary law are available, and are not obstructed in their operations by the methods of violence and intimidation above mentioned.

For instance, under the Regulations an ordinary crime can only be tried by a Courts Martial or by a specially constituted Civil Court, if the case is referred to the Competent Naval or Military Authority. Instructions will be issued by the Irish Executive to ensure that such cases will not be referred to the Competent Naval or Military Authority except where the prevalence of actual threatened violence or intimidation has produced conditions rendering it impracticable for them to be dealt with by due process of ordinary law...'

Greenwood stated the above, as mentioned, on Tuesday, 19th October 1920 and, the following day, a young (19 years old) IRA Volunteer, from Fleet Street in Dublin, Kevin Barry, became the first person to be tried by court martial under the new 'Restoration of Order in Ireland Act 1920' which,among its other trappings,allowed for the suspension of the courts system in Ireland (bad and all as that system was) and the establishment of military courts with powers to enforce the death penalty and internment without trial. On the 10th December 1920 martial law was proclaimed in Counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick, and Tipperary and, in January 1921, this order was extended to include Clare and Waterford. The 'ROIA' was widely used by the British against Irish republicans and, indeed, was used as a 'tool' to impose censorship on the media of the day, an imposition which was challenged, sometimes succesfully so - 'In 1921 a ROIA court-martial convicted the proprietors and editor of a Dublin newspaper for violating ROIA press regulations. At the end of the trial, a military detachment acting without a written order from the military court arrested the defendants and conveyed them to a civil prison. The prisoners petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus on the ground that a transfer from military to civil custody based merely on oral statements of anonymous soldiers was unlawful. The Crown argued that since the defendants were subject to military law, they could be moved from military to civil confinement without a written order. Finding this contention to be "quite untenable," the King’s Bench put on record its desire "in the clearest way possible to repudiate" the doctrine that a civil prison could detain a king’s subject without proper written authority: "To sanction such a course would be to strike a deadly blow at the doctrine of personal liberty, which is part of the first rudiments of the constitution." Moreover, the court-martial’s failure to issue an order left the civil jailer "without the protection of any written mandate" and therefore exposed to the risk of a lawsuit. Declaring that there was "no vinculum or bond of union between the military and the civil custody," the King’s Bench issued the writ of habeas corpus. Ostensibly protecting the liberty of civilians against overreaching by the Army, the court equally protected a civil institution from subordination to military command....' (from page 443, here.)

And today, more than ninty years after the introduction of the 'ROIA', the British and their political colleagues in Stormont and Leinster House, are still attempting to use 'laws' of that nature, and media censorship, to destroy Irish republicanism. But it didn't work then and won't work for them today, either - we are in this for the long haul!


It seems unbelievable that any political administration/department could introduce/enforce a writ whereby said body could seek to control, for tax purposes, how people might benefit from rainfall, yet that is precisely what is being instructed in the 'Harvesting Rainwater' notification from the 'Irish Water' company, below -

'All rainwater harvesting systems must be approved in advance. If you would like to discuss your options for rainwater harvesting system(s) please contact Irish Water....'

With that in mind, there is an indication here of where exactly this '..must be approved in advance...' edict will lead to because, despite the many differences between Oregon and this 26-county State, the political class are the same : self-serving careerists who are aware that they have a short 'window of opportunity' in which to financially secure their future and, even though they themselves are not fit to earn an honest living via an honest job, they find themselves - for a short time, anyway - in a position whereby they can 'lawfully' molest, financially, those that are not as powerful as they are. Rainwater falls the same no matter where you live and equally as predictable is the conduct of political establishments worldwide - get 'caught out' by either and your health will suffer.


Interesting figures came to light three days ago (in 'The Sunday Times' newspaper) in relation to how much some of the political parties in Leinster House are given by the State administrative system, from taxpayers money, to keep themselves in operation. The figures relate to the amount taken by each party in the last eight years, and show that Fine Gael paid itself, on average, €9234 a week over that period (and quoted that Party as stating that it employs 30 staff in its "national office") , Fianna Fáil took €8296 a week from taxpayers in the same period (and employs a staff of 24) , the Labour Party granted itself €5169 a week (and has a staff of 34) and Provisional Sinn Féin raided the State coffers for €2567 a week, every week, for the last eight years (and has a staff of "more than 92" , none of whom "are paid more than €60,000" a year) !

You have to ask yourself why any of the above-mentioned political parties, each of which claim they want 'to change the system', would want to change a system which is so financially favourable to them?


As a mother of three, I know only too well how expensive and nerve-wrecking Christmas can be, but it always seems to sort itself out in the end, empty purse and frayed nerves notwithstanding! And, as much as I'd like to see it revert to a less commercial holiday (if indeed it ever was such!) I wouldn't altogether (!) agree with the steps that the then communist political leadership took in Hungary on the 10th of December 1951 - they banned Santa Claus and associated images and attempted to propagate the idea (as far I can decipher, anyway) that farm workers/workers in general should celebrate that time of year, as a reward for their labour, to the extent that the sleigh was visually replaced by the image of a tractor!

And while there won't be a sleigh or a tractor on site on the day, Santa himself will be present, as usual. And let's not forget another republican steadfast gig that will have its last outing for 2014 this month : the 650-ticket raffle, which will be held this coming Sunday, 14th December, in a venue on the Dublin/Kildare border and at which tickets for the first such 2015 gig will be distributed. And, it being East Kildare, a tractor or two could very well be in the vicinity, too!


The Dublin-based O'Connell Sands Cumann of Republican Sinn Féin are once again doing a collection this month for the homeless and have asked us to mention to our readers that they can make a donation of clothes or foodstuff etc to this worthy effort by getting in contact with an RSF/cumann rep on 018729747 or 0851457286. Arrangements will be made with each caller for the collection of whatever it is they can spare. 'There but for the grace of God...'. Go raibh maith agat.


At the time of writing, it's not looking like we'll be able to post here next Wednesday, 17th, as time will not allow - our usual routine has been upset by raffle work usually carried out by two others that are on holidays, meaning that myself and another '1169...' crew member will be out collecting ticket returns and cash on Thursday and Friday evenings and then most of Saturday is spoke for with associated paperwork and more stub collections, then the actual raffle itself on Sunday afternoon, then the usual Monday evening raffle meeting in Dublin city centre. And somewhere, in between that lot, will be a hangover from one too many pints of cider at the gig! We will get another post in before Wednesday the 24th , so do check back with us before then!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014



Garda to appear in court on assault charges this month. By Liz Walsh, from 'Magill' magazine, October 1998.

A former garda is due in court later this month, charged with assaulting a prisoner in his custody in the Bridewell Garda Station in Dublin last February. The 25-year-old garda was on probation when the alleged assault took place - he was dismissed from the force on 10th September and will appear in Dublin District Court on 28th October. According to an informed source, the garda was observed by two prison officers, allegedly beating the prisoner in a cell in the Bridewell station. The prisoner was being held there while waiting to appear in the nearby district court on charges.

The two prison officers reported the incident to the garda authorities who then began a criminal investigation. This resulted in the probationary garda being charged with assault and, according to sources close to the case, the alleged victim is considering taking a civil action for damages against the individual garda and the garda authorities.

Meanwhile, an internal garda investigation is underway into the recent death of a man in custody in Tallaght garda station : 24-year-old Francis Brooks from Fettercairn in Tallaght was arrested in a stolen car on 18th September and was placed in a cell in Tallaght Garda Station where he was found dead some hours later. The garda authorities are awaiting the results of the post-mortem and, in the interim, they appointed Detective Superintendent Cormac Gordon from Fitzgibbon Street to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

Gibraltar is a very small town. Carmen Proetta's stepbrother is the Police Commissioner. Stephen Bullock, a lawyer, was one of the main eyewitnesses and the firm he is employed by was retained by Kenneth Asquez to represent him when he took the stand to retract his alleged eyewitness account. As with a lot of other small towns its people do not have much time for the niceties of law.

The official from the coroner's office may well have fingered a pulse when he distinguished between the moral and legal position outlined in the quote by Cardinal Hume. Most Gibraltarians welcomed the verdict.

The taxi driver who drove a 'Magill' reporter to the frontier was delighted with the verdict and, asked why, if there had been an intention only to make arrests, Seán Savage had been shot sixteen times, he replied - "Probably because the soldier who shot him ran out of bullets". [END of 'THE ANATOMY OF AN AFTERNOON : THE STORY OF THE GIBRALTAR KILLINGS' . NEXT - 'THE IRA' , FROM 'MAGILL' , 1980.]


A not unusually large crowd of interested individuals gather outside the Mansion House, in Dublin, in 1921, waiting for word on the discussions being held within regarding the British-imposed 'Treaty of Surrender'.



(a) Mr.Griffith in favour of Treaty. Refused to break on question of Crown and thereby hand to Ulster the position from which she had been driven.

(b) Mr.Barton of opinion that England's last word had not been reached and that she could not declare war on question of Allegiance. The Treaty would not give Dominion Status nor any guarantee re Ulster. Would vote against acceptance.

(c) Mr.Gavan Duffy agreed with Mr.Barton that England was bluffing and that the Irish proposals, with small reservations on Defence etc, could be obtained. Would like the Treaty to be rejected by An Dail and sent back amended. Said 'No' definitely to Treaty.

(d) Mr.Duggan agreed with Mr.Griffith. Believed Treaty to be England's last word and would not take responsibility of saying 'No'.

(e) Mr.Collins was in substantial agreement with Messrs. Griffith and Duggan. The non-acceptance of a Treaty would be a gamble as England could arrange a war in Ireland within a week. Sacrifices to N.E. Ulster made for sake of essential unity and justified. With pressure further concessions could be obtained on Trade and Defence. Oath Allegiance would not come into force for 12 months - question was, therefore, would it be worth while taking that 12 months and seeing how it would work. Would recommend that Dail go to country on Treaty, but would recommend non-acceptance of Oath.

(f) Mr.Childers of opinion that Par. 6 of Treaty would give Ireland no national status. Sec. 7 (b) was important also as it meant that when England went to war she would bring Ireland with her. (g) In reply to a question by Minister of Defence as to who was responsible for the splitting of the Delegation so that two Members (Messrs. Griffith and Collins) did most of the work and that the other members were not in possession of full information it was stated that the British Government was responsible for the arrangement but it had the approval of the whole delegation. The Minister of Defence here remarked that the British Government selected its men. On the motion of Mr. Griffith this remark was withdrawn.....'
(from here.)

On the 3rd December 1921, in a heated all-day debate in the Mansion House in Dublin, the then Irish republican delegation was once again at odds regarding the treaty which Westminster sought to impose on Ireland : the Irish Minister for Defence, Cathal Brugha, just managed to stop short of describing two of his then colleagues, Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith, as traitors ("...the British government selected its men..") whilst de Valera declared he himself might have been flexible on either one of the descriptive terms 'Irish unity/unconditional independence' but did not believe that compromise should be accepted on both ("...you got neither this nor that..") and, indeed, such was the falling out that three of them (Barton, Childers and Duffy) travelled to London that night from the North Wall and the other three (Collins, Griffith and Duggan) left for London via Dun Laoghaire ['Kingstown', as it was known then].

Collins and Griffith (both pro-Treaty) pressurised their colleague, Richard Barton (the Irish Minister for Economic Affairs) to accept the Treaty of Surrender, telling him that if he did not sign then he would be responsible for "Irish homes (being) laid waste and the youth of Ireland (being) butchered" and, at about 11pm on Monday, 5th December 1921, Barton signed the document. Ten days later (ie on the 15th December) he had this to say in relation to that eventful day - "I want first of all to say we were eight and a half hours on that Monday in conference with the English representatives and the strain of an eight and a half hours conference and the struggle of it is a pretty severe one. One, when I am asked a question like that, "Was it or was it not?", I cannot give you an answer. But as regards particular aspects of that question, which I cannot take on oath, I can only give you my impression. It is in my notes that the answer is given, and it is there because it was my impression of that conference. It did appear to me that Mr. Lloyd George spoke to me and I had an impression that he actually mentioned my name; but I could not swear on oath that he mentioned my name, or actually addressed me when he spoke. It appeared to me that he spoke to me. What he did say was that the signature and the recommendation of every member of the delegation was necessary, or war would follow immediately and that the responsibility for that war must rest directly upon those who refused to sign the Treaty..."

The Treaty was signed in London at about 2.20am on Tuesday, 6th December 1921 (Lloyd George, the then British Prime Minster, had threatened "war, immediate and terrible", if they did not sign it) and, on the 7th January 1922,the political institution in Leinster House voted to accept it, leading to a walk-out by then-principled members who, in effect, were refusing to assist in the setting-up of a British-sponsored 'parliament' in the newly-created Irish Free State. The British so-called 'House of Commons' (401 for, 58 against) and its 'House of Lords' (166 for, 47 against) both ascribed 'legitimacy' to the new State on the 16th December 1921 - the IRA, however, at an army convention held on the 26th March 1922 (at which 52 out of the 73 IRA Brigades were present,despite said gathering having been forbidden by the Leinster House institution!) rejected the Treaty of Surrender, stating that Leinster House had betrayed the Irish republican ideal.

On the 11th July 1924, the Treaty was registered at the 'League of Nations' by the Free State authorities which, in my opinion, would have been the ideal occasion for a legal challenge to it, based on the fact that, when Michael Collins and his supporters were attempting to 'sell' it to their own side, they made a big deal of the Boundary Commission clause and in particular the part of it which stated that the 'border' could be adjusted '....in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants ..', which is precisely why Westminster 'took' only six of the nine Ulster counties ; a built-in 'majority'. Also, the British actually took it on themselves to amend the 1921 Treaty to allow themselves (ie Westminster) to unilaterally appoint a representative to speak on behalf of the Stormont 'Parliament'. That Boundary Commission clause ('Article 12') was not properly adhered to by the signatories of the 1921 Treaty thereby , legally , negating the Treaty itself but deep pockets would be required to take such an action. And the only grouping in this State in a position to mount a challenge like that is the same (Free State) grouping which benefited then and continues to benefit today from that Clause and that which spawned it.

Finally, although the above post is centered around the political happenings on this date (3rd December) 93 years ago, repercussions from those events are still being felt today and will continue to be felt until Westminster withdraws completely, militarily and politically, from Ireland. And there is no 'clause' required to guarantee that fact.



Cork IRA Volunteers, pictured in the 1920's : it was men like these, and the organisation and objective they fought for, that Westminster wanted to kill.

'In November 1920 two soldiers from the Essex Regiment dressed in civilian clothes were arrested by the I.R.A. in West Cork. The pair claimed they were deserters who wanted help to get back to Britain. One of the soldiers claimed that his brother was a sergeant in the Essex Regiment stationed at Bandon Barracks who was also eager to desert and would be willing to supply intelligence information which could be useful for a raid on the barracks. When arrangements were made for three I.R.A. officers, Captain John Galvin, Lieutenant Jim Donohue and Section-Commander Joe Begley to meet this sergeant on December 3rd they were surprised by soldiers from the Essex regiment and shot dead. According to the local I.R.A. leader Tom Barry his comrades had been killed in a trap which the two deserters had set- "Of course, the two pseudo-deserters were spies. Acting under instructions to treat them as such, their I.R.A. escort had lodged them under guard, not in friendly houses but in British loyalist homes. Despite the vigilance of the guards , one of them dropped a note giving the particulars of the Brigade Column Commander’s appointment near Bandon. This was conveyed by the loyalists to the enemy and hence the deaths of the three Bandon Volunteers. Some time after the two British spies were brought to Kilbree, Clonakilty and there they were executed...." (from here.)

In his book 'Guerrilla Days in Ireland', Tom Barry says he interviewed the two British Army 'deserters' on the 25th November 1920 as he, and his IRA column, wanted to get into the British barracks in Bandon and remove all the weapons. He set up the meeting with the Essex sergeant, said to be the brother of one of the 'deserters'. Barry later stated - "One of the oldest ruses in war is to send spies, posing as deserters into enemy lines. The classic example is, I think, the American Civil War, when hundreds of these pseudo-deserters were discovered as spies by both armies and dealt with as such....."

And "dealt with as such" they should be ; in those days spies,informers and turncoats had to be weeded out as they attempted to blend-in with their enemy and tried to appear to be on the same side as those they secretly conspired against. But not so today - they openly present themselves in public and, indeed, are lauded by the political establishments that employ them. We need more 'Guerrilla Days' in this whole country....


"(Our) past was as the nationalist historical narrative told it. Anciently, it had owned its entire land in freedom; spoken and written its own language; was illustrious for its learning and art and saints and missionaries. Then for long centuries it was blocked by an external intrusion against which it struggled repeatedly, and under which it suffered much and in great part abandoned its native ways and language....." (from here.)

Desmond Fennell was born in Belfast in 1929, and learned Latin and Greek in Dublin, and excelled, also, in French and German. He entered UCD with a scholarship in classical languages and there, and in Trinity College, he studied history, economics and languages and, in Bonn University, he researched his MA thesis in modern history. He was awarded a D. Litt in humanities by the National University of Ireland in 1991 and, during his years living and working in Spain, Germany, Sweden, the USA and Italy, he learned three more languages!

He lived in Conamara for about ten years (from the late 1960's) and was very active in the Irish language movement, and taught history and politics in UCG from the early 1980's to the early 1990's, during which time he was involved with English writing classes at DIT. He has this to say in relation to the 'Éire Nua' republican proposal :

"Now a structure of government for all Ireland, I will remind you straight away, you probably all have seen this. That’s was the first bit, the restricting of Ulster, 9 county Ulster, a region of Ireland. Now I would like to give you the background to it, then came Connacht and then came Munster, maps like that were distributed. The whole point was to make the offer being put forward by Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin desired to have a United Ireland practical and attractive to the Ulster British as I call them, the Ulster Protestants in the North, to show them that they could have joined in the government of Ireland on dignified terms. Now I must give you some of the background of these times, the early '70s and already in Ireland, I was not a member of Sinn Féin. I was one of a number of people who were pressing within the Republic for decentralised government because since the foundation of this state in 1922 we have had the most centralised government in all of Europe.

Some of you have noticed maybe on the continent in Italy or in Spain or in Germany when you travel that you can be in a town that has its own local government. Recently we had the appalling thing of 105 town councils being abolished. Now I was living for ten years in a town in Italy with 15000 inhabitants and it had its own local government where you dealt with many of the affairs of the state but through it. It handled the state’s business in that town. So people who wanted this type of remodelling of Irish government in the Republic, Charles McCarthy was the first to come out "Regionalise the Republic". The father of it all was Tom Barrington, a dear friend who was director of the Institute of Public Administration in Dublin, he wrote books and he was a passionate pusher out of government from the centre to the regions and I was involved in that. I was living at that time in the Connemara Gaeltacht on an island called Muínis, joined by a bridge to the mainland at Carna and I was involved in that because added to that the Gaeltacht revolution was in full throttle and the Gaeltacht wanted self-government for the Gaeltacht, not only in Connemara which was the core of the revolution. When I say revolution I mean the popular movement that brought about Raidió na Gaeltachta. That got Udaras na Gaeilge from Dublin to Connemara, that’s to say the body that looked after industrial development in the Gaeltacht shifted from Dublin to Connemara and also got Oireachtas na Gaeilge instead of being always in Dublin it was moved to a different Gaeltacht district each year.

This was going on as well as the thing for the entire Republic. That was a movement of a few people whose names I have mentioned. So it was in that context that Ruairí Ó Brádaigh came to me in Connemara and said will you help us in this. Dáithí Ó Conaill was the source in Sinn Féin of the whole plan under the influence of him having lived in Switzerland and in Switzerland as you probably know it’s a country of Cantons. These Cantons are self-governing units within the country so that inspired Daithi to press for a similar proposal for Ireland. The first product of it was this document called 'New Ulster', which shows Ulster divided into West Ulster, East Ulster and South Ulster. Three regions and again within that district councils looking after districts and Belfast was to be reorganised like that with borough councils in different parts of the city instead of just one government. The general spirit of the thing was to give everyone a share. In this East Ulster would have been largely, I’m not going to say Unionist as that word would have lost meaning, I’m going to say what I call an Ulster British part of Ulster, largely Protestant.

Now Ruairí came many times to our house in Muinis and sometimes he was accompanied by Dáithí and became a good friend of mine and at that time we were working out a similar map and plan for Connacht. Leaflets were brought out for Connacht, the same kind as for Ulster but I haven’t one of them here. Maybe some of you still have it but I later put out this booklet 'Sketches of the New Ireland', of a series of maps which I incorporated the plan for New Connacht and New Connacht would have had North Connacht and South Connacht as its two regions and they would have been self-governing regions within the four provinces of Ireland. I and my children have very good memories of him. Indeed my wife used to go swimming in Muinis Strand, she being a great swimmer and he not a bad one. Nollaig O Gaira, probably some of you knew Nollaig O Gaira, he was involved in this Connacht end of planning Éire Nua and my wife became chairperson of Comhairle Connacht when it was set up. Now Comhairle Connacht like Comhairle Uladh was a preparatory body that went around and held public meetings in different places to prepare the ground for to convince the people that this was a good idea. The same that was going on in Ulster was now going on under my wife Mary’s chairmanship in Connacht. It was a very exciting time politically. This was all while the struggle was going on in the North. Our aim was to provide a convincing blueprint of what the Ireland would be when the goal was achieved, a British withdrawal and a united Ireland. I went once with a northern MP, Frank McManus, as some of you probably remember and we went to meet Desmond Bull a prominent unionist lawyer who had an open mind on the Ireland question and we presented the Éire Nua thing to him and he found it very sensible and said that he would consider it but it was part of this general persuasion attempt that was going on at the different levels and at different ways into the unionist camp.

I was particularly gratified when during Ruairí's visits to us he got to know Matt Mylet who was a prominent publican in Cearna village. Now Matt Mylet was a Fine Gaeler and he was the centre of Fine Gael power in the village and he had the hotel there, Mongan’s Hotel that some of you might have heard of in the old days, which was a very prominent hotel. Prominent people from all over Ireland came there to end their summer holidays. Matt was delighted to meet Ruairí and took him into a back room to find out what was really going on and when Ruairí was gone I said "You are a Fine Gaeler, why did you find so much in common with Ruairí, because the two of you fairly cloistered yourselves for a few hours there to get to the bottom of it all", and he said "Well you must not forget in Fine Gael there are what we call 'Collins men'". Interesting discovery, 'Collins men', a term obviously used among themselves inside Fine Gael.

So that really outlines my connection with Éire Nua and how it was promoted and it’s during that time that I became a close friend of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh."

It's heartening to see someone of the calibre of Desmond Fennell take an interest in the 'Éire Nua' document as it might bring the issue to the attention of those who would not otherwise be bothered to inquire into the subject. One can only hope.




This annual republican event has been given a boost by this decision - at the time of writing, four swimmers, all sponsored, have been confirmed (subject, as usual, to a 'health check' immediately beforehand) and Mr Claus will be on site. The 'lemonade' from Donegal has already arrived and is safely tucked away in a secure storage area (!) and all seems to be shaping-up nicely. Two table loads of 'goodies' have been collected locally from the pubs and shops etc (a big 'Thank You' to Bernard and the lads and lassies for that!) and turf , logs and other firewood is being held for Cabhair in a near-by yard. We will post more updates re the swim on this blog as we receive same - if you can make it on the day you will be most welcome and if you can't get there, you might consider sponsoring one of the swimmers or simply dropping a small envelope (with a few bob in it!) into 223 Parnell Street in Dublin. Your support will be appreciated, thanks!


Nationalist Six County 'Policing Board' member (and one of the leaders of Provisional Sinn Féin) Gerry Kelly once again showed his 'establishment' credentials in a recent interview and, even though he didn't say anything new ("...I am not against the use of informants and I’ve never said that...of course police services operate on the basis that they gain information...(I have called for)people to bring forward information so it would be a complete contradiction for me to say I am against people giving information...whether you are a covert human intelligent source or otherwise...") , for one reason or another it proved a bridge too far for one of his fellow nationalists (and party member) Frank McGirr (Colm's brother) who stated that he was.... "...so annoyed with Gerry Kelly. I am a member of Sinn Féin no longer from today. I don’t support informers. Informers are low lives. Thirty-one years ago my youngest brother Colm was murdered by the SAS on December 4 at Clonoe and that was due to police informers..." (from here.)

Where the hell has Frank been living for the last 28 years? Kelly and his Provo teammates have been singing an anti-republican tune of one type or another, albeit sometimes in a lower key, since 1986, to such an extent that anyone with a republican pulse would know to avoid them. Perhaps in another 28 years Frank will come to the conclusion that 'Kelly's Heroes' are not, in fact, attempting to achieve the same objective that his brother died for. Perhaps...

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014



Michael Noonan (left), the Fine Gael spokesperson on Finance and former (State) Minister for Health, spoke on the export credit insurance issue. His remarks were based largely on John Bruton's speech (in Leinster House) in September 1994. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1997.

"From this series of decisions, it can be seen that Deputy Albert Reynolds flagrantly overrode the Government decision he sought in Cabinet that morning. He did so in the absence of civil servants and, therefore, no minutes of the meeting were taken and there is no record of the decisions made. Deputy Reynolds played favourites in issuing export credit insurance. He favoured the Goodman companies, Hibernia Meats and Master Meats to the exclusion of other beef companies. He also provided exclusive advance information about future Government plans for export credit to the Goodman Group, which gave it the inside track and amounts, in effect, to insider dealing. The Goodman Group knew the price it could charge in Iraq because it knew it would receive cover. This is plain from the written evidence presented to the beef tribunal.

Other aspects of Deputy Reynolds' decision in respect of export credit insurance have been debated in the Dáil on a number of occasions. However, in light of the findings of the McCracken tribunal and if in pursuit of the money trail a personal money link is established between the favoured meat companies and the then Taoiseach, Mr. Haughey, the issue of export credit insurance already investigated by the beef tribunal would have to be re-investigated by the new tribunal. I believe that the infamous package in respect of the Goodman Group of companies forced on the IDA by the then Government will also have to be re-investigated.

The beef tribunal report shows that while Deputy Reynolds was the Minister responsible for protecting the statutory independence of the Industrial Development Authority he allowed the then Taoiseach to pre-empt the role of the IDA by meeting the Goodman Group in connection with details of its negotiations with the IDA without the knowledge of the authority. Deputy Reynolds allowed a press conference to be called in respect of the Goodman beef project before the grant agreement was signed and before the authority had met to decide whether to accept his decision. This completely compromised the statutory independence of the IDA, an independence which, as Minister for Industry and Commerce under the 1986 Act, the Deputy had overall statutory responsibility to protect. Before that he allowed the Goodman package to go straight before Cabinet over a weekend. This allowed the Department of Finance one working day to examine the package worth £120 million."

[END of 'Meat Exporters and Insurance' : NEXT - 'Garda Investigations' , from 'Magill' magazine, October 1998.]


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

Crown Counsel John Laws was in perky form. Throughout the inquest he had made no secret of his dislike for the media and, at one point when a witness remarked that he had read about a particular point he had made in evidence in the newspapers, John Laws remarked as an aside - "Somebody has to read them, I suppose". At the end of Paddy McGrory's summing up, the coroner had requested the media not to print or broadcast any of the material contained in it lest the jury read it before retiring to consider a verdict. Within an hour the material was broadcast in part by BBC Radio 4 and John Laws was on the attack, criticising the BBC but, he said, he did not want to make an issue of it as he had no wish to give this "dishonest and dishonourable spat" more attention than it deserved.

Now, as the court waited for those fifteen minutes to pass, John Laws turned to the press gallery, waved and smilingly said - "Have a nice day". He seemed confident about which way the verdict was going and, when the verdict was announced, there was an immediate rush from the press gallery. Felix Pizzarello had requested a policeman to go and get forms on which the jury were to formally record their verdict but, because of the noise of the press stampede, nobody remaining in the gallery had heard Pizzarello make this request. It was five minutes before the policeman returned and, in the interval, nobody in the court spoke a word. There was total silence. Nobody - at least nobody remaining in the press gallery - knew what they were waiting for in the middle of this long silence. It was as if a moment had been frozen in time. (MORE LATER).


The Film Centre cinema, O'Connell Bridge House, Dublin - it first opened for business in October 1966 and not only paved the way for other cinemas in Dublin, but was such a success that it also payed the way for a sister cinema in Dublin, the Cameo, 52 Middle Abbey Street, which opened in 1976 but closed its doors in 1990. Its 'parent', the Film Centre, went out of business in 1984.

On Sunday night, 26th November 1972, the Film Centre cinema in O'Connell Bridge House in Dublin was packed with about 156 customers, with 3 staff members on duty. Probably the last thing on the minds of any of those 159 people would have been the 'hot topic' of the day, which was being loudly debated in Leinster House and in the media - the 'Offences Against the State' Act, which sought to concern itself with the so-called 'Troubles' in the occupied six counties in the north-east of Ireland and which one particular 'cleric', Ian Paisley, was using to make a name for himself by creating fear and hatred in the minds of those who listened to him.

Paisley's fellow loyalists were not, however, content to just verbalise against those they considered the 'enemy' and, on that night and in the early hours of the following day, they planted an explosive device outside the rear exit door of the cinema, in a laneway which connected Burgh Quay to Leinster Market. The bomb exploded shortly afterwards, injuring about 40 of those inside the building, although, luckily, no one was killed. A lady injured in the explosion, Jacqueline Howlin, gave this account at the time : "Sometime between 1.30 a.m. and 2 a.m. on the 26th November 1972 there was a colossal bang on the right side of the hall quite close to where we were sitting. The force of the explosion lifted us out of the seats. I was thrown out onto the floor in front of where I had been sitting. I put my hands up to my face and screamed. I found blood oozing from my face and forehead. I had been wearing spectacles and the glass was broken and shattered. When I stood up I found my right leg numb from the knee down. My boyfriend Paddy shouted at us to get out quickly. Paddy helped me part of the way to the foyer and I think it was a Fire Brigade officer or Gardaí put me sitting on a table. I was taken straight away to the Mater Hospital where I was detained and treated for my injuries. My forehead was cut and my eyelids were also cut. All my face was marked either by the glass from my spectacles or flying splinters of wood. My right leg from the knee down was badly cut and opened. There was a piece of flesh missing from the lower calf. I had thirty stitches inserted in my leg at the Mater Hospital that morning...."

More details on this loyalist bombing in Dublin, on the 26th November 1972, can be read here (on page 22).


Our picture (left) should show Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes and it would, too, but he seems to be camera shy lately.....!

Brian Hayes operates, politically, in the Tallaght area of Dublin, just across the Naas Road from our base in Clondalkin and, as such, he would be as familiar to us as any of the other local and/or near-by career politicians, whether right-wing or not, and perhaps more so, as he is a bit more 'colourful' than most of them.

Hayes flirted, politically, with the 'Workers Party' at one stage in his career, and is known to have been impressed by Proinsias de Rossa and Eoghan Harris, and at one stage observers thought he was going to join the 'Democratic Left' grouping which was formed by some of the 'WP' membership. He is in favour of a 'Big Brother'-type of society even though he has divorced himself from 'the man on the street' to the extent that he believes he is suffering, financially,on an MEP's wage of just over €2000 a week, as much as everyone else, despite the fact that he is no stranger to the political 'big spenders' list!

Anyway - as he is a local politician, we occasionally receive 'flyers' and other self-serving leaflets from him and others, and one of which we received in the last few days - from his colleague, Emer Higgins - caught our attention because it featured a group photograph of the local Fine Gael 'team' - Emer herself, Kenneth Egan , Francis Fitzgerald, Derek Keating and Brian Hayes. Except, as per our 'pic' (top left) -

- Brian Hayes, although captioned as being present, was absent! The pictured 'team' would be advised to hold their next photo op on a payday, as Brian might just drop-by on that occasion....

SOMETIME AROUND THIS MONTH 221 YEARS AGO.....(or 'Wrong Dates re le Calendrier Républicain' !)

'This Day in History for 26th November...Historical Events....1793 - Republican calendar replaces Gregorian calendar in France.....' and 'Timelines of History.....Today in History - November 26....1793...Republican calendar replaced the Gregorian calendar in France.......' or 'The French Revolutionary Calendar (or Republican Calendar) was officially adopted in France on October 24, 1793.....'

- disagreement, as you can see, regarding the date as to when that republican calendar was introduced : '...this calendar was used for twelve years, from 24 October 1793 to 31 December 1805. (An attempt was made in 1871 to reinstate it, but this attempt failed.) However, it was back-dated to have begun on 22 September, 1792....' (from here) and then there's this - '...leap years were retained at the same frequency as in the Gregorian calendar, but it was enacted that the first leap year should be year 3, not year 4 as it would have been if the Gregorian calendar had been followed precisely in this respect. Each four-year period was to be known as a Franciade. The seven-day week was abandoned, and each 30-day month was divided into three periods of 10 days called décades, the last day of a décade being a rest day. It was also agreed that each day should be divided into decimal parts, but this was not popular in practice and was allowed to fall into disuse....' (from here).

However - no mistakes or wrong dates with this republican calendar -

- available from 223 Parnell Street in Dublin, 229 Falls Road in Belfast or any RSF member, for a fiver. Any republican would appreciate one as a Christmas present!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.