Wednesday, September 04, 2019



"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people..." - the chilling words of Henry Kissinger, in relation to Chile, but directed at Salvador Allende (pictured), in particular.

In 1964, four million dollars was a huge amount of money ; that was the year, and that was the amount, that the CIA spent in securing the election of the 'Christian Democrats' in Chile. However, six years later, it looked like a change of leadership was on the way - the socialist, Salvador Allende, was ahead in the polls, prompting the above-mentioned quote from Henry Kissinger.

American interests in Chile were worried, as was the CIA ; two US multi-national firms, I.T.T. and Anaconda Copper, offered the CIA $1,500,000 to stop Allende - the CIA told them to start an 'anti-Allende' campaign themselves with that money, as the Agency had its own 'war-chest' for just such a purpose. However, US money and propaganda against him or not, on the 4th September 1970 - 49 years ago on this date - Salvador Allende won the election ('..he won the 1970 Chilean presidential election as leader of the Unidad Popular ('Popular Unity') coalition..on 4 September 1970, he obtained a narrow plurality of 36.2% to 34.9% over Jorge Alessandri, a former president, with 27.8% going to a third candidate (Radomiro Tomic) of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC)..' - from here.) His victory was to be verified by the Chilean Congress on the 24th October 1970, prompting the CIA to increase their anti-democracy efforts. They tried to bribe the Chilean Congress with $250,000, but failed ; they knew that the head of the Chilean Armed Forces, a General Rene Schneider, would not support unconstitutional means to remove Salvador Allende from 'play', but the CIA shipped guns into the country anyway, in a diplomatic bag - and Schneider himself was removed from the scene!

Three years later, and after spending $8 million dollars, the CIA were successful - Allende and thousands of his supporters were tortured and killed and a (U.S. friendly) military junta was installed in Chile. Salvador Allende is gone, but American political arrogance is alive and well. It's too late now to properly repair the damage that Donald Trump has done, but perhaps future Office holders will take heed of the words of American poet, Maya Angelou ;

'History, despite its wrenching pain,

cannot be unlived,

but, if faced with courage,

need not be lived again'.


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.

"The Irish people have been given in the last few weeks statements from the leaders of all the political parties in Ireland, North and South, on their attitude and policy in regard to the British occupation of a portion of our country which they euphemistically call 'partition'. Now that all have spoken it appears to those whose task it is to guide the Irish Republican Army that the Irish people are entitled to a statement from them on their principles and policy and on the view they take on the continued presence on Irish soil of a British army of occupation.

'The Better Government of Ireland Act', passed in Westminster in 1920, divided our country in two and left Britain in direct control, and in military possession of, our six north-eastern counties.

No Irishman of any shade of political view voted for that Act. The military powers of defence of the Six Counties were reserved to Britain so that the continued occupation of that territory was assured no matter what type of government might evolve in the area, as Mr Lloyd George made quite clear in a letter to Lord Craigavon - "Ulster, whether she wills or not, must not be allowed to merge with the rest of Ireland." The Act, which divided Ireland into two States, set up the Free State of 26 counties and 'the State of Northern Ireland', composed of the six north-eastern counties..." (MORE LATER.)


"It will be our duty, and we will set about it without delay, to disorganise and break up the Irish Constabulary that for the past 30 years have stood at the back of the Irish landlords - bayonet in hand. The pay of these men, which is taken out of the pockets of the Irish tenants, is voted yearly in the English Parliament, and not an Irish member could be found to protest against it. Let us now see that, instead of the twelve hundred thousand pounds a year which is devoted to pay the Irish Constabulary, that not one hundred thousand will go for that purpose : then I would like to see the landlord who would face the Irish tenant. I tell you that the hour we take away the bayonet of the Irish policeman that hour the landlords will come to ask us for a settlement of the land question..." - John Dillon (pictured), 1880.

John Dillon was born on the 4th September 1851 - 168 years ago on this date - and was educated at Trinity College Dublin and the Catholic University of Louvain, before studying medicine and eventually qualifying as a surgeon. He was active in the Land League and was among those who organised a campaign whereby tenants paid their rents to the League instead of their landlords and, if the tenants doing so were evicted, they would receive financial assistance from a general fund established for that purpose. As a result of his involvement in this campaign, he spent a number of months in jail.

In 1880, he was elected as an M.P. for Tipperary but resigned from that seat in 1883 for health reasons ; he was elected again in 1885 for the East Mayo area, an area which he spoke up for, politically, until 1918, when he lost his seat in the election held in December that year ; Éamon de Valera outpolled him by 4,461 votes.

He was torn between his heart and his head in regards to the 1916 Rising ; he couldn't bring himself to support the 'dissidents' but neither could he fully condemn them - "I say I am proud of their courage and, if you were not so dense and so stupid, as some of you English people are, you would have had these men fighting for you, and they are men worth having...ours is a fighting race...the fact of the matter is that what is poisoning the mind of Ireland, and rapidly poisoning it, is the secrecy of these trials and the continuance of these executions. I do not think Abraham Lincoln executed one single man, and by that one act of clemency, he did an enormous work of good for the whole country. Why cannot you treat Ireland as Botha treated South Africa - victims of misdirected enthusiasm and leadership? (The rebels showed..) conduct beyond reproach as fighting men. I admit they were wrong ; I know they were wrong ; but they fought a clean fight, and they fought with superb bravery and skill, and no act of savagery or act against the usual customs of war that I know of has been brought home to any leader or any organised body of insurgents.."

He died, aged 76, on the 4th of August, 1927, and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin.


Colm Keena reports on a new survey on low pay and talks to workers caught in the trap.

By Colm Keena.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 1987.

John and Maire have been married for four years and live in a privately rented flat in the centre of Dublin. The flat is small, and a fireplace in the sitting room is the only source of heating. Recently, the health authorities deemed their flat to be unsuitable for families, being damp, cold, dark and crowded. John and Maire's two-year-old child is often sick, and has twice been to hospital. They pay £15 per week for the flat.

John works in a furniture warehouse ; it's a small business, with a total workforce of seven. After tax, he has only a little over £100 to support himself and his family and, because he's working, he's not eligible for a medical card. Marie has developed a skin rash from the damp accommodation, and the medical bills for her and their baby make a serious dent in the family purse. John has no prospect of improving his earnings, there is no contributory pension and no opportunity for saving.

Rita also lives with her husband in privately rented accommodation in Dublin's city centre. Her husband works in the coal business and his income varies considerably. Rita, who is in her late forties, works for a number of hours each evening in a contract cleaning firm, 'International Contract Cleaners' of Ringsend, cleaning offices in the Pearse Street area... (MORE LATER.)


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

In Dublin, on December 11th last (1954), 2,300 students marched through the principal streets pledging support for the republican prisoners in what was undoubtedly the most forceful student demonstration ever staged in this country. Chanting anti-British slogans and singing national songs, the demonstrators marched behind a coffin draped with the Union Jack and borne along on the shoulders of six six-foot, determined, young men, to a mass meeting in O'Connell Street.

The Meeting : Seamus Soraghan BL, Chairman, opening the meeting, referred to the rally as the biggest he had ever seen and congratulated the students on their magnificent demonstration in support of a cause worthy of the highest praise. Referring to the heroism of the prisoners, he said that their bravery in battle and noble dignity in the dock had won the respect of their most bitter enemies.

Billy Flynn, medical student, UCD, asked the meeting to reflect soberly on the ideals which the prisoners held - "No government is entitled to deny to any man the right of fighting for his country. Those men were the disciples of Padraig Pearse and the cream of this generation. The ideal of Ireland free had so consumed their minds that these men were prepared to sacrifice life if necessary in its attainment. Let their bravery and their principles be our guide in the struggle ahead."

Brendan O' Dubhghaill, UCD Arts, read the 1916 Proclamation after which he led the huge meeting in singing 'A Nation Once Again' and then Seosamh Mac Criostail, UCD Law, said what a pity it was that Earnest Blythe, Lionel Booth and other political leaders were not on the platform to see and hear the answer that young Ireland was giving to the insults and the denunciations which those men had levelled at the IRA... (MORE LATER.)


...we won't be posting our usual contribution, and probably won't be in a position to post anything at all until the following Wednesday (18th September) ; this coming weekend (Saturday/Sunday 7th/8th September) is spoke for already with a 650-ticket raffle to be run for the Dublin Executive of RSF in a venue on the Dublin/Kildare border (work on which begins on the Tuesday before the actual raffle) and the 'autopsy' into same which will take place on Monday evening, 9th September, in Dublin, meaning that we will not have the time to post here on Wednesday 11th. But we'll be back, as stated above, on Wednesday 18th September with, among other pieces...well..we don't know, yet, 'cause we're too busy trying to explain to wannabe punters why they can't actually have a ticket for Sunday 8th because there ain't any LEFT!!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.