" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!


Saturday, April 26, 2003

On November 19th, 1920, at the height of the Black and Tan War in Ireland, the 'American Commission of Inquiry on Conditions in Ireland' was due to hold its first session : this body, which successfully focused international attention on the campaign of terror being waged by the British forces against the people of Ireland, was launched in August 1920 by Dr WJ Maloney and Frank Walsh who, in turn were supported by the 32-County Dail Eireann .
Its objective was to ensure that the British would be reluctant to use excessive force in Ireland because to do so would, with the ensuing world-wide publicity, mark them out as the thugs they are. The Commission comprised prominent clergymen , U S Senators and Congressmen, newspaper editors, trade union leaders and members - about 150 people in all; they picked five of their number to act as the Court of the Commission , and were given legal powers to request the attendance of witnesses representing English and Irish opinion, and was to take its evidence at public sessions in a Washington office. (MORE LATER)>>


In a profile of Boris Yeltsin by William Millinship , which was published in 'The Observer' newspaper on June 16th, 1991(page 19) , it was stated that, as a schoolboy during the war, he broke into a church which was being used as an ammunition store, and stole a couple of hand-grenades. Wondering how they worked, Boris 'examined' one of them with a hammer and lost two fingers on his left hand in the explosion !
On February 19th, 1991, he went on television and called for Gorbachov's resignation, and in March he departed from the prepared text of a speech and called for a declaration of war on the country's leadership.....
Are'nt our lot dull in comparison.....
(.....and not only in comparison to Yeltsin ).

Friday, April 25, 2003

.....Alan Bell,the British'Resident Magistrate' in Ireland, was determined to confiscate the funds belonging to the Republican Movement and had already seized over £71,000 ; the IRA was determined to stop him ......

Michael Collins, the then IRA Director of Intelligence, had instructed his men to observe Bell's routine,and a plan to execute him was drawn-up ...
On March 26th, 1920, Collins ordered that the plan be acted on ; on that morning, Bell was joined on the packed tram at Dalkey Station by three armed IRA men and, as the tram arrived at the corner of Simmonscourt Square at Merrion Road to take on and let-off passengers , another IRA man held it there; the three IRA men on board rose from their seats and told Bell to step off the tram with them - he refused and repeatedly called on the other passengers to help him . Only one of the passengers on the packed tram attempted to help Bell, but he was quickly convinced to stay out of it . Bell was then dragged off the tram by the three IRA men and, when they stepped onto the road, they were met by three other armed IRA men - the six Volunteers pushed Alan Bell across the road where he was shot three times in the head and died instantly .
The Dail Eireann National Loan recorded £357,000 in its account at the end of 1920. Dublin Castle had to continue to use its own money to pay its lackies in Ireland to do its bidding......


In June 1991, Amnesty International released a 674-page document reporting on British human rights abuses in the Six Counties, which condemned Britain for same. The then John Major Conservative government responded by saying that it was "necessary in war to have secrecy" . Tory backbencher Ivor Stanbrook MP stated- " Britain is a democracy at war with bloodthirsty terrorists and it is our duty to protect British citizens.We are at war and thats why we use secret tribunals and inquiries. Why should we give our enemies free information ? We have high standards, a record that is better than any other in the world " !
"High Standards"? Probably referring to how well paid their Loyalist hit-squads are....

Thursday, April 24, 2003

..... Alan Bell,the British 'Resident Magistrate' in Ireland, organised a raid on February 27th, 1920, on Sinn Fein's Harcourt Street Offices in Dublin, and seized over £71,000 belonging to the Movement ; he suspected there was more than that and he wanted it ........

.... days later he issued an order to all bank managers instructing them to appear before his Commission of Inquiry to be questioned by his Office and to bring with them all files, paper-work, receipts and other similar documentation relating to transactions between their bank and persons acting on behalf of certain named organisations and individuals.

Michael Collins, the then IRA Director of Intelligence, realised that it was only a matter of time before Bell's Office would be in a position to seize all the funds belonging to the Movement, and decided to remove the 'Resident Magistrate' before he could do so ; Collins ordered his Intelligence Officers to trace Bell and work out what, if any, routine he followed- it soon emerged that Bell travelled to work at Dublin Castle from his Dalkey, Dublin home by tram . A plan to execute Alan Bell was drawn-up ....... (MORE LATER)>>


From 'The Sunday Tribune' newspaper,June 9th,1991, page 6 -
In 1975, a British soldier killed a County Tyrone farmer, Patrick McElhone,a civilian, as he ran away from a military patrol. The soldier was charged with murder but acquitted- the trial judge said that although McElhone was an innocent person, the soldier had reason to believe he was a fleeing terrorist and because of the "war or quasi-war situation" in the Six Counties , the British soldier was justified in shooting him !
The British 'Law Lords' later stated- "If he (McElhone)got away (he) was likely sooner or later to participate in acts of violence" .....
.... Anyone out there seen the film 'Minority Report' ?

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

When the British sent their 'Black and Tan' thugs into Ireland to smash the IRA , they also attempted to hit Republicans by another, perhaps less well known, method - by confiscating funds belonging to the 32-County Dail Eireann.

As a young man in the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) , a man from Banagher in County Offaly, Alan Bell, had helped his British pay-masters to investigate the Land League funds during the 1880's. As a reward for his efforts, Bell was appointed as a 'Resident Magistrate' (RM) and served in Athenry, Ballinrobe, Lurgan and Belfast, during the last decade of the 19th Century and the early years of the 20th Century.

Bell rose through the ranks, and was promoted to membership of the British Staff at Dublin Castle in 1920, and worked with British Intelligence where, in February that year, he was put in charge of confiscating the monies built up by the successful Dail Eireann Loan Fund , and any other cash he could find which belonged to Sinn Fein. Alan Bell organised a raid on the then Sinn Fein Offices in Harcourt Street in Dublin on February 27th, 1920 , and seized over £71,000 belonging to the Movement; his information at the time was that there was at least four times that amount in Republican coffers, and he vowed to have it all ...... (MORE LATER)>>


After the Brit establishment lifts its collective jaw from the ground and re-groups in an attempt to 'spin' and/or cover-up the extent of its collusion with Loyalist death-squads in the Six Counties, they should seek out the writings of one Albert 'Ginger' Baker and throw said material on a bon-fire ;
'Ginger' was an ex-British soldier who operated in Belfast in the early 1970's. The gang he led was responsible for the 'Romper Room' murders where Nationalists were beaten, tortured, then mutilated before being shot. Baker was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1974 for a number of those killings, and also admitted his role as a British agent. He said the killings "were designed to fit into a British Intelligence plan to terrorise the Nationalist community and push off support for the IRA" .
'Black-Ops' , I think the Brits call it- but always denied it operated such a policy in Ireland .
Liar,Liar ......

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

.....James Crossan's friend, Sean Reilly, was asked by the barman if he would drive him and the two Fermanagh men to the border , and he agreed .....

Sean Reilly parked his van about 100 yards from the border and about 300 yards from Mullan British Customs post in Fermanagh ; James Crossan and the young McHugh got out with the three northerners and all five walked towards the border . With the few drinks on him and the time of the day it was - about 3am - Sean Reilly fell asleep in the van.
The sound of gunfire woke him up some time later and he saw flares lighting-up the sky and the area in which he was parked; he got out of the van and saw two RUC men about 30 yards in front of him- they were running towards the British Customs post. It later transpired that the five men (Crossan, McHugh, the barman and the two Fermanagh men),all unarmed, parted company on the Cavan side of the border at about 3.30am and, as Crossan and McHugh were walking back to the van, Crossan was shot dead by a group of RUC men who had positioned themselves on the southern side of the border. Ben McHugh was arrested, and Crossan's body was taken to Enniskillen.
The RUC claimed that they had come across an IRA reconnaissance mission of Mullan British Customs post, which was a total fabrication ; at the inquest (held in Enniskillen) no witnesses were called and no attempt was made to investigate the circumstances of the shooting. The coroner simply justified Crossan's death as "justifiable homicide" .

Baunboy, County Cavan man, James Crossan, was assassinated by the RUC in County Cavan on Sunday , August 24th, 1958.


A book by Shelby Foote, entitled 'The Civil War', gives a fascinating insight into the American Civil War -

Almost three million men fought in the war ; in the Union armies more than one in four were casualties , in the Confederacy more than half suffered the same fate. One in ten able-bodied Northerners were dead or maimed by the end of the war , and one in four Southerners the same. At Cold Harbor, 7,000 men fell in twenty minutes ; in the first post-war year, one-fifth of the Mississippi state budget went to pay for artificial limbs for its returning veterans ! At Shiloh , one hundred-thousand men fought and a quarter of their number were killed or wounded. The musketry was thick enough to denude the trees in a blossoming peach orchard , covering the dead and dying with petals and , by one account, suffocating some of the wounded in flowers ; and where lightning broke the night , it illuminated wild hogs devouring the dead.
Foote's book conjures up a lasting image of what a soldiers lot was like at that period in time ; sad but riveting reading....

Monday, April 21, 2003

At the height of the IRA's border campaign,the RUC,acting on its own information and details believed to be given to it by British Intelligence, targetted Sinn Fein members living close to the border.....
One man that that British police force were particularly interested in,and whose story is perhaps not as well known outside his native County Cavan as it should be, is James Crossan. A native of Baunboy in Cavan, and a prominent Sinn Fein Organiser in the border area, James Crossan and one of his neighbours , Sean Reilly, were in a van on their way to Swanlinbar to finalise details for a meeting to be held the next day, Sunday August 24th, 1958: the meeting was to be held in Ballyconnell.
Having done their business in Swanlinbar,the two men, and a local youth and Sinn Fein member,Ben McHugh, decided to go for a pint ; in the pub they met up with two friends from County Fermanagh. Near the end of the night, the barman asked James Crossan's friend, Sean Reilly, if he would drop him and the two men from Fermanagh to the border, and Reilly agreed ...... (MORE LATER)>>


In an article in the 'The Sunday Telegraph' on 19th May , 1991, (page 20, I think....) , then columnist Geoffrey Wheatcroft wrote - "Fifty years ago Serbs and Croats were massacring each other on a scale that makes the Ulster problem seem as trivial as it indeed is ...." !

In the same article (entitled 'Why division is good for Ireland') Mr/Sir/Lord Wheatcroft also wrote- " Partition has been the greatest boon and benefit Ireland has enjoyed this century. It is the essential condition without which the southern state could not have survived as it has " !
Well , its not cricket, but any of you chaps on for a round of 'Trivial Pursuit' or 'Lets Pretend' ?
You're a gas man , Geoff......

Sunday, April 20, 2003

.....it should be noted that, during the 1940's, the Republican Movement was in a bad way, virtually decimated, following the years of internment; the executions and funerals of the six men boosted the Movement and dramatically improved the organisations recruitment capabilities . A terrible price had been paid by Irish Republicans but the Movement re-grouped , once again, and continued the struggle. Today, sixty-odd years after the events outlined above, the Provisionals are crawling over many a spinning grave in an attempt to surrender and apologise to the British and Free Staters in the hope that they may grab a career for themselves from the greasy till; they do so in their own name only - Irish Republicans don't want a reward for doing their duty and don't need words of encouragement from Bush, Blair or Ahern. The 'Adams Family' have put theselves outside the fold, just as Dev and, later, the Stickies , did before them. And if there is any justice , history will record it so .


In November 1975, the British Government announced its intention to withdraw 'Special Category' (ie Political Prisoner) status from POW's sentenced after March 1st, 1976; Special Category status was conceded by the Tory government in 1972 after a hunger-strike by republican POW's. When the then Catholic Cardinal, Tomas O'Fiaich,visited the prison in July 1978 , he announced - " One would hardly allow an animal to remain in such conditions, let alone a human being. The (British) authorities refuse to admit that these prisoners are in a different category from the ordinary, yet everything about their trials and family background indicates they are different. They were sentenced by special courts without juries. The vast majority were convicted on allegedly voluntary confessions obtained in circumstances which are now placed under grave suspicion " .
That was said 25 years ago ; the same problem exists today - the case of 'The Limerick Seven' (see'SAOIRSE', April 2003 issue) which has been described as a "garda driven prosecution" inspired by a political agenda . Unfortunately , as long as the British claim of jurisdiction remains in force re the Six Counties, this type of case will always be with us .