Wednesday, November 05, 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.

"First, he had granted a credit period of 18 months, whereas the Government had decided that the maximum period was one year. Second, he had awarded cover to Hibernia Meats, a company from whom claims had arisen in Iraq, and in respect of which payments were still outstanding. Six days later, on 14 September, Deputy Reynolds, as Minister, broke even more of the conditions set by the Government on 8th September, this time for the benefit of the Goodman organisation.

He agreed to give Goodman 80 per cent cover, whereas the Government conditions specified 70 per cent. He cut the claims waiting period for Goodman to six months, not the year specified at Government. He cut the premium charged to Goodman on the Iraqi contract to one per cent, as against the four per cent specified by the Government. This premium concession constituted on its own a gift of £2.74 million from the taxpayer to the Goodman organisation. This cut rate premium of one per cent contrasted not only with the four per cent being charged to other exporters within the scheme, but with a market rate premium of between 15 per cent and 24 per cent, which Mr. Goodman would have had to pay if he had insured his contract for Iraq on the commercial market. The Goodman organisation was getting a clear cash benefit as a direct consequence of Deputy Reynolds breaking the terms of the Cabinet decision.

This special four per cent premium was advanced in the memorandum for Government as one of only three arguments in favour of giving Iraq a larger share of the total amount of export credit available, almost half of the total market. Yet that argument was ignored within hours of the decision being taken....."


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

Seán Savage was a few feet behind Diane Treacy and one of the SAS soldiers a few feet in front. After the soldier fired she turned and saw Savage fall to the ground. Treacy then fled. Pizzarello then pointed out that she had agreed that she had not seen any more shots fired while Seán Savage was on the ground and while this is correct it was unfair to tell the jury this without pointing out that at the point Diane Treacy fled she had heard only between three and five shots fired. That leaves up to a dozen shots unaccounted for from the time she ran when Savage was on the ground.

There were other disconcerting elements to the coroner's charge ; one of the most important witnesses who gave evidence was the pathologist Professor Watson, and the reason why his evidence was so important was that its conclusions are based on science-there is no incorrect information arising from bad recollection or a witness telling lies. The evidence that Watson gave was highly suggestive that Mairead Farrell had been shot while on the ground, and he was one of the first witnesses to give evidence. There had been many contradictory accounts furnished in the meantime. Watson's independent and uncoloured testimony would not have been fresh in the minds of the jury at the end of proceedings.

Yet the coroner, Felix Pizzarello, dismissed it in a couple of lines and did not detail the main points that Watson had made. He merely told the jury that the pathologist had given opinions and it was the jury's discretion as to whether they wanted to accept those opinions or not. The jury retired at 11.28am to consider a verdict and were recalled at 5pm, to be told that they were entitled to a reasonable amount of time but they were now "reaching the edge of that time" and, in response to questions to the jury, the court heard that they had reached a verdict but did not have a sufficient majority. The additional information that the verdict they had reached was the same in all three cases, except for a slight difference in the case of one, made it clear that they were leaning towards lawful killing. Pizzarello told them to return to discuss the matter further and asked them if possible to return with a verdict by 7pm. This was an extraordinary request by any standards, but coming from Feliz Pizzarello it was bizarre. (MORE LATER).


A Clondalkin, Dublin, RSF member pictured outside the County Council offices in Clondalkin on Saturday 1st November 2014 at the anti-double water tax protest which assembled at that location.

On a very wet and windy Saturday afternoon in November 2014, a crowd of at least 500 anti-double water tax protesters, including RSF members and supporters, made their way from Clondalkin Village to the Arc Bar in Liffey Valley, on the Clondalkin/Ballyfermot 'border', a distance of about four kilometers. By the time the Clondalkin Village group arrived at their destination, they had been joined along the route by sufficient numbers to ensure that between three and four thousand people were now assembled outside the Arc Bar in a sign of clear defiance against the Leinster House-enacted and enforced double tax on household water. There was a 'mixed bunch' present, ranging from those who, like RSF, are totally opposed to any idea, in any form, that a service should be paid for twice to those who are seen to campaign against this unjust double tax but have themselves paid it anyway (!) (a position which, incidentally, has seen them publicly disagree amongst themselves and left them open for others to expose their hypocrisy , even if they eventually 'see the light' and attempt to back peddle - and more back peddling here ,in the opposite direction but for the same reason as Mary Lou and her PSF colleagues did it ie to try and curry favour, even at this late stage, with their electorate) to those who, thanks to a corrupt media (where the lie that up to now, 'water has been free' is being propagated unrelentingly, and not only by the media outlets owned/controlled/'guided' by this man) would be inclined to believe that the main quibble should be to do with the manner in which payment 'should be made'.

'Let them eat cake and drink rainwater' - Fine Gael's 'solution' to poverty.

However, diverse crowd notwithstanding, we distributed our 500 'leaflet packs' in less than fifteen minutes and had we had three or four times as many 'packs' we could have comfortably distributed them, too, a lesson which will be acted on, hopefully, in time for the next (similar) protest - the useless politicians in Leinster House are now about to tax the air that we breathe, and I await with interest Laura's opinion on what else we can breathe. Her political leader, Enda Kenny, meanwhile, is doing his bit, too, to help the great unwashed to get better value from water they have paid twice for. What a shower of contemptible wasters they are.


'Broad-shouldered' Churchill ("All I can give you..."), perhaps forecasting what he was going to inflict on the world.

On this date (5th November) 74 years ago, Britain's then top imperialist and war-monger in, for example, Ireland, Africa and India, and who also served as prime minster of that country, Winston Churchill, made a speech in the 'House of Commons' in which he spoke of his regret that Irish ports were no longer under the control of Westminster, but were now operated and controlled by Leinster House, his puppet parliament in Dublin (and had been so for the previous two years - a 'Bulldog' with a grudge, apparently!). He stated - "The fact that we cannot use the south and west coasts of Ireland to refuel our flotillas and aircraft and thus protect the trade by which Ireland as well as Great Britain lives, is a most heavy and grievous burden and one which should never have been placed on our shoulders, broad though they be..." Lest we forget (words hijacked by the British) , Churchill was the driving force behind the Black and Tans and was the 'father' of the hated Auxiliaries and, as well as overseeing the military damage caused here by his paramilitary gangs, he also arranged that, before handing the ports back to his minions in this State, more than £1,000,000 of State taxpayers money had to be spent to put the ports back in working order. A financial terrorist, too. You can read more about the man who placed such a heavy and grievous burden on the Irish on this link, which will give you a proper flavour of just how evil he was.


Born in Belfast on the 21st August 1861, died in his 92nd year on the 5th November 1952. His father, James, was a factory owner in Belfast (manufacturing starch) but Frederick struck out on his own, becoming an engineer with a shipping firm before taking to a military life, which brought him into the Boer War.

"From these settlers sprang a people, the Ulster-Scot, who have made themselves felt in the history of the British Empire and, in no small measure, in that of the United States of America....I am ashamed to call myself an Irishman. Thank God I am not one. I am an Ulsterman, a very different breed" - Crawford describing himself, echoing the misguided feelings of his friends in the UUC, UVF and the URC.

On the night of the 24th April, 1914, Frederick Crawford, the 'Director of Ordnance HQ Staff UVF' (who was cooperating re acquiring arms with, and for, the 'Ulster Unionist Council') and the main instigator in an operation in which over 25,000 guns were successfully smuggled into Ireland, witnessed his plans come to fruition - for at least the previous four years, he and some other members of the 'Ulster Reform Club' had been making serious inquiries about obtaining arms and ammunition to be used, as they saw it, for 'the protection of fellow Ulstermen'. Advertisements had been placed in newspapers in France, Belgium, Germany and Austrian newspapers seeking to purchase '10,000 second-hand rifles and two million rounds of ammunition...' and, indeed, between August 1913 and September 1914, it is known that Crawford and his colleagues in the UVF/URC/UUC obtained at least three million rounds of .303 ammunition and 500 rifles, including Martini Enfield carbines, Lee Metford rifles, Vetterlis and BSA .22 miniature rifles, all accompanied by their respective bayonets, and six Maxim machine guns (from the Vickers Company in London for £300 each).

The ads were placed and paid for by a 'H.Matthews, Ulster Reform Club' (Crawford's middle name was Hugh and his mother's maiden name was Matthews) an action which some members of the Club objected to, leading to Crawford resigning from that group (and describing the objectors as "a hindrance"): he described that period in his life as being " crowded with excitement and incidents that I can only remember some of them, and not always in the order in which they happened.." Crawford and his UVF/URC/UUC colleagues had ordered some munitions from a company in Hamburg, in Germany, and had paid a hefty deposit up front but, months later, as they had not heard from the company, Crawford was sent there to see what the delay was and discovered that the German boss , who was in Austria while Crawford was in Germany, had informed Westminster about the order and was asked by that institution not to proceed with same - the deposit would not be returned and the deal was off, as far as the company was concerned. Crawford tracked him down, in Austria, and called him and his company "swindlers" and was then told of a similar 'deal' involving that arms company regarding Mexican purchasers who also got swindled but, on that occasion, words and bullets were exchanged, the latter from gun barrels!

At 60 years of age (in 1921) he was named in the British 'Royal Honours List' as a 'CBE' (' Commander of the Order of the British Empire') and he wrote his memoirs in 1934 at 73 years of age. He died, in his 92nd year, in 1952 and is buried in the City Cemetery in the Falls Road in Belfast. The then British PM, 'Sir' Basil Brooke, described him as "...a fearless fighter in the historic fight to keep Ulster British.."

Whatever about his 'successes on the battlefield', he was apparently less successful in his family life - "What sort of man was my Father ? a boy and as a man he was never very intelligent. He was an unconscious bully and for that reason unloved by his children. Each in turn left the home as soon as we became adults and were able to do so. The U.V.F rifles - I think about 15,000 were stored and kept in good condition in a shed in the grounds of Harland and Wolff where I once saw them. For legal reasons they were in my father’s name. After the retreat from Dunkirk Britain was desperately short of arms and wanted to purchase the U.V.F rifles. As you are now aware my father was not a very intelligent person and a hopeless business man. My father’s chartered accountant sent word to him to say that Sir Dawson Bates wanted to meet him about something important. Accordingly my father went to the accountant’s office where his old friend Sir Dawson Bates was waiting for him, “Ah Fred, so glad you’ve come”. The three, my Father, the accountant and Sir Dawson Bates sat down at a table.

There Sir Dawson carefully explained the desperate need Britain had for arms and asked my father, for patriotic reasons, to release the rifles – it would only be a simple matter of signing a prepared document. My father, in the presence of the Accountant and Sir Dawson Bates, for patriotic reasons, signed the document without reading it. It conveyed ownership of the rifles from my father to Sir Dawson Bates who sold them to the British Government for I believe £2 a unholy Trio had been cheating him for years ; his Estate Agent who collected all revenues due to my father was keeping most of it. His Chartered Accountant was presenting false figures for income tax purposes and all this skulduggery was made legal by the co-operation of his trusted friend, his solicitor...." (from here.)

Colonel Frederick Crawford CBE proudly worked for, and aided and abetted, British imperialism only to be used, abused and cheated by that same system. A lesson (which will no doubt go unheeded) to be learned, even at this late stage, by those who, today, work that imperialist system in this country, north and south.


The reason why I don't wear yellow!

Yesterday (Tuesday 4th November 2014) the three of us began preparations for two major events that are taking place this coming weekend (Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th) for Irish republicans : the Republican Movement will be holding, in a Dublin venue, its (110th) Ard Fheis and, in Kildare, on Sunday, the Dublin Executive of RSF will be holding a 650-ticket fundraiser, for which all tickets have been sold. Each event takes at the very least days of preparation beforehand and, indeed, days of 'cleaning-up' afterwards and, while we have managed to do one or the other in the past without any serious adverse consequences on our other jobs, the fact that the two events have clashed means that we won't have the time to put a blog post together for next Wednesday, 12th November, but will be back here on Wednesday 19th, if not between both dates.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.