" 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.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Saturday, May 31, 2003

.....on 16th February 1875,the Irish rebel John Mitchel won a seat in the British parliament , representing Tipperary - however , the British House of Commons had other ideas on Mitchel's victory ......

The British declared that Mitchel's election was void as he was a felon,and stated that a new election to fill the Tipperary seat would be held on 11th March , 1875 . John Mitchel , not being in the best of health, canvassed locally and, as the 'ex-MP' , drew huge crowds, while his election team covered the neighbouring counties ; at the Theatre Royal in Cork , for instance,the following statement was read to a packed house on his behalf - "The first and greatest good which I see in that election is , that it was a magnificent pronouncement in favour of the national right of Ireland , and against the usurpation of the British parliament. The people of Tipperary elected me as the most implacable enemy of British tyranny " .
The (2nd) election results were announced on 12th March, 1875 (the day after the election) ; ...... (MORE LATER)>


THE WOMAN CRIED

Six days he fought
midst dying piles of gory mutilated heroes,
And the English cannon roared
Upon the ghosts of Celtic bones,
a nation's blood was poured.

Thousands fell in screaming bloody terror
whilst the informer hid cowering close by,
But there were none left amongst that bloody fray
to hear the woman cry.

------- Bobby Sands.

From 'The Evening Press', 14th November 1986 (a Friday, I think...) , page 3 --

On 13th November, 1986 (possibly a Thursday) Ronald Reagan confirmed he undertook eighteen months of secret diplomacy with Iran and sent over "small amounts" of weapons in order "to improve relations" ie for Iran to exert pressure to ensure that U S citizens were not kidnapped and held hostage in the Lebanon ! And the U S agents that delivered the "small amounts" of weapons travelled on passports issued by the Free State administration in Dublin .....
..... so we had U S agents (probably CIA) delivering weapons to Iran with the aid of Free State passports in an apparent attempt to bribe the authorities in Iran to put pressure on a militia in Lebanon not to kidnap U S citizens !
See - we play on the world stage with the big boys ; no wonder Bertie is the Statesman he so obviously is !

Friday, May 30, 2003

.....in July 1874 , John Mitchel returned to Ireland after an enforced absence (by the British) of twenty-six years and stated that he would stand for election to the British Parliament if a vacancy arose , but on one condition - that he would not take his seat , if elected ; he then returned to America .....

Shortly afterwards, a vacancy occurred in Tipperary , and his name was put forward as a candidate - his friend, John Martin, went to print with John Mitchel's election address , which he had left in Ireland for just such an occasion , and which finished with the declaration ; "I am in favour of Home Rule- that is, the sovereign independence of Ireland" (which was not what the British understood by the term!). Because he had been nominated to contest the election (due to take place on 16th February 1875) , John Mitchel again left America for Ireland and landed in Cork ; on his arrival , he was greeted by friends and supporters and was told that the election was over and he had been successful - he was now MP for Tipperary . The English House of Commons, however, had other ideas on Mitchel's victory ..... (MORE LATER)>


THE WOMAN CRIED

Cold black water lashed and splashed
and played around a tattered reed,
By dying embers, to God a woman prayed
that the Gael might but succeed.


The silver nails of a rugged boot
scarred a lonely lifeless stone,
'Cross rambling hill he marched afoot,
to fight along with Tone.

----- by Bobby Sands; final two verses tomorrow.


In October 1986 , Fine Gael's Garret Fitzgerald gave an interview to the 'Belfast Telegraph' , in which he said - "The fact is that, over the past year, Northern Nationalists have seen the judicial system operating in a manner .... that is equitable and fair.They have seen the security forces being even-handed in the way they have handled very difficult problems with great courage and dedication. They have seen progress in the willingness on the part of the British Government to tackle more effectively the problems of discrimination which remain " . Asked about the Dublin administration's 'meddlesome interference in the affairs of another country' (or some such similar 'Telegraph'-loaded question) , the Fine Gael man answered- " We have no desire to be involved in the process of Northern Ireland(sic) any more than is necessary to tackle the problem of the IRA and eliminate it " ! .... NOW, NOW , folks- don't be too harsh on Fitzer; he was only speaking his mind(and that of those in Leinster House.....)

Thursday, May 29, 2003

In 1875 , when the results of an election held in Ireland did'nt suit the British Government , they did what they do best - they 'waived the rules' .... and then , within weeks, they done it again ....

In that year , 1875, the 'Young Ireland' leader , John Mitchel, was twice returned as MP for Tipperary - and was twice disenfranchised by the Brits !
When his newspaper 'The United Irishman' was suppressed by the British in May 1848, John Mitchel was arrested and charged with treason felony - he was sentenced to transportation to Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) for 14 years but escaped to America in 1853 (see archives). Still viewed by the British as a 'convicted felon' and liable to arrest, he landed in Ireland in July 1874 , after an enforced absence of twenty-six years ! He stated that he would stand for parliament if a vacancy arose , but on one condition - that the electorate be made aware that he would not take his seat in the House of Commons if elected ; he then returned to America . Shortly afterwards , a vacancy occured in Tipperary ...... (MORE LATER)>


THE WOMAN CRIED

From humble home in dead of night
a flitting shadow fled,
The yellow moon caught sharpened pike
where the night shades danced and played.

A bramble clawed at trembling hand
and a night owl watched unseen,
Through bog and glen a United man
marched out to win a dream.

(.... a six-stanza poem by Bobby Sands, published in 1981 : more later).


From 'The Sunday Tribune', 2nd November 1986, page 21 -

After U S Marines invaded Grenada in 1983 , Duane Clarridge, the CIA Organiser of the Contras, drove around Grenada with a car-bumper sticker saying - "Nicaragua Next" ! Clarridge was questioned by a U S Congressional Committee in relation to what he knew about the then situation in Nicaragua , and eventually admitted that - "civilians and Sandinista Officials in the provinces, as well as heads of co-operatives , nurses, doctors and judges " had been killed by the (U S-backed) Contras .
State-sponsored terrorism ; the Brits do it in Ireland , and .......

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

....by 1645 , Owen Roe O'Neill had a professional Irish Army of five-thousand men armed , trained and prepared for battle .....

The English Army General , Munroe, issued orders in June 1646 that the three Anglo-Scottish armies in the North of Ireland were to converge - his plan was to march south to invade Leinster ; O'Neill had his own plan .....

He moved his men from Cavan to Benburb in County Tyrone , on the River Blackwater, and positioned his army on a hill , with his flank protected by a bog on one side and the rivers Blackwater and Oona on the other side . When O'Neill heard that Munroe was marching on his position , he sent word for Brian O'Neill and Owen O'Doherty , with their men, to follow Munroe and his Army . On 5th June , 1646, Munroe and his men were facing O'Neills forces and by now must have realised that the other O'Neill and O'Doherty were behind them - they were trapped.
Owen Roe O'Neill gave the order to charge and Munroe's army panicked ; the two groups behind Munroe attacked at the same time and the English forces scattered- some tried to cross the Blackwater , others ran for the River Oona ,but most perished in the marshes nearby .The Irish rebels surged into the remainder of the invaders (from two directions) and won the day - Munroe lost more than three-thousand soldiers while the Irish suffered around seventy dead. 'The Battle of Benburb' was a total triumph for the Irish ; however, the victory was only enjoyed for three short years - in August 1649 , Oliver Cromwell got the revenge that the English craved.


"The concrete floor was so cold that to pace the floor would be impossible in one's bare feet. Three small flimsy blankets and lying upon a damp mattress would not provide enough warmth for escape through sleep. This night will be another night, huddled up in the corner, fighting the intense cold amidst despairing thoughts when pain and depression become almost overwhelming . The wind is rising and growing angry ; it will carry the blankets of falling snow in through the paneless windows. I am very, very cold now. I can stand here and freeze at the window gazing upon this barbed-wire jungle of colour and whiteness , or I can retreat to my little den in the corner of my tomb ...... " (continued tomorrow..) .
----'The Writings of Bobby Sands', April 1981 (first published in 'Republican News', 20th January 1979).


....'loyal' shipyard workers from Harland and Wolff physically prevented a rally for Labour candidates in the May 1921 elections from taking place in the 'Ulster Hall' , terming them "Bolsheviks" . At Stormont , Prime Minister Craig (later Lord Craigavon) moved an amendment saying- " The employment of disloyalists (meaning Catholics, in H+W) is prejudicial to the state and takes jobs away from loyalists" .Between January 1975 and December 1979, British governments paid out £103 million in grants and loans to H+W . The Thatcher administration came to power in 1979 , supposedly committed to strict 'no lame-ducks' criteria and to cuts in public spending - however, H+W went on to receive a total of £291 million from public funds !
In 1980 , a £42.5 million hand-out was partly paid for by a temporary suspension of housing repair work and an extra cut-back in welfare services , hitting the North's unemployed the hardest .
...." a cold house " indeed .

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

' The Battle of Benburb ' was fought in County Tyrone, in Ireland, on 5th June, 1646 ; the English lost more than three thousand soldiers- the Irish lost around seventy ......

Two Irish Chiefs, Rory O'More and Phelim O'Neill, recognised an opportunity to strike-out for Irish freedom in 1641 ; in the winter of that year, civil war was imminent in England between King Charles and the English Parliament . O'Neill and his army took control of Ulster , joined up with Rory O'More and his army and marched south into Louth and Meath ; their success was noted and within months uprisings took place in Munster and Connaught .
Owen Roe O'Neill (an Irish Chief) and his men had been exiled by the English , and had served with distinction in the Spanish Army ; in July 1642 , he returned to Ireland with his troops to join in the fight against English domination : he organised the Irish forces in a professional manner and , by the winter of 1645, had established a base of some five thousand trained soldiers in County Cavan ...... (MORE LATER)>


MODERN TIMES

As the bureaucrats, speculators and presidents alike
pin on their dirty, stinking,happy smiles tonight,
The lonely prisoner will cry out from within his tomb,
and tomorrow's wretch will leave its mother's womb !
----- Bobby Sands , 1979 .

(NOTE- there are still Irish Republican prisoners in jails today while so-called republicans meet with the "bureaucrats , speculators and presidents ",in their quest to build a career for themselves).


The Belfast shipyard 'Harland and Wolff' has made the headlines many times since the British partitioned this country (indeed, they not only partitioned the country, but also partitioned Ulster ie from nine counties to six); but the shipyard's 'protestant state for a protestant people'-ethics pre-dates partition :

In 1864 , approximately six-hundred shipyard workers armed with muskets , pistols, axes and other weapons attacked Catholic 'navvies' who were excavating new docks . Neal Fagan, a Catholic, was axed to death. In a similar attack in June 1886, Seamus Curran was murdered. In 1911 , out of a total of 6,809 shipyard workers, only 518 were Catholics , and expulsions were organised to get rid of the Catholics ; in 1912, 1920 , 1935, 1939 , 1969 and 1970 , they were forced to leave . In the May 1921 elections , a massed crowd of "loyal shipyard workers" physically prevented a rally for Labour-party candidates from taking place in the Ulster Hall, terming them "bolsheviks" ....... (MORE LATER)>

Monday, May 26, 2003

....the IRA prisoners planning to escape from Strangeways Prison in Manchester, England, had decided on how to escape and passed details of their plan to the IRA leadership in Dublin ; before they were locked-up for the night , the prisoners were allowed out to exercise in a small yard which itself was enclosed by a railings which, in turn , was surrounded by a forty-foot wall ....

On 15th October 1919 , at around 4.30pm , the six IRA prisoners were let out to the exercise yard as usual - but this time they overpowered the warder and climbed over the railings; they then signalled over the forty-foot wall to their comrades on the other side , who then threw over a rope-ladder . The six men were met on the other side of the prison wall by about thirty IRA Volunteers who had placed themselves at both ends of the street and held captive everyone on the street at that time . 'Safe-houses' in Manchester had already been arranged and the six men were lodged in same and left there for a number of days; they were then moved to Liverpool and put on a B+I steamer - all arrived safely in Dublin .
For the second time within a year , the IRA had used practically the same plan to escape from their captors : a fact which compounded British embarrassment .


MODERN TIMES

And while fat dictators sit upon their thrones
young children bury their parents' bones,
And secret police in the dead of night
electrocute the naked women out of sight.


In the gutter lies the black man, dead
and where the oil flows blackest, the street runs red,
And there was He who was born and came to be
but lived and died without liberty.

----- Bobby Sands, 1979 (last verse tomorrow).


Dr. John Austin Baker, the then Anglican Bishop of Salisbury , England, stated (in 1994) - " No British government ought ever to forget that this perilous moment, like many before it, is the outworking of a history for which our country is primarily responsible. Our injustice created the situation ; and by constantly repeating that we will maintain it so long as the majority(sic) wish it , we actively inhibit Protestant and Catholic from working out a new future together. This is the root of violence " .

-----and the "perilous moments" , the "injustice" and the "root of violence" will remain as long as the British claim of jurisdiction over any part of Ireland remains in place . Dr. Baker , and others, must realise that.....

Sunday, May 25, 2003

.... Austin Stack contacted IRA GHQ Staff in Dublin and outlined his plan of escape from Strangeways Prison in Manchester , to them - they approved of the plan....

In September 1919 , Rory O'Connor and Peadar Clancy were sent over to England to help organise the break-out . Messages were sent out from inside Strangeways , to O'Connor and Clancy by the IRA prisoners themselves as they were released , and those still inside the prison were kept up to date by messages passed on by visitors and notes concealed in food parcels . By late September 1919 , only six IRA prisoners remained in Strangeways ; Austin Stack , Piarais Beaslai , Dr. Patrick Walsh , Paddy McCarthy , Con Connolly and Sean Doran . The prison routine was common knowledge now with the prisoners and the IRA on the outside - the prisoners were locked-up in their cells for the evening each day between 5pm and 5.30pm ; before being locked-up,however, they were allowed out to exercise in a small yard which itself was enclosed by a railings which , in turn, was surrounded by a forty-foot wall ...... (MORE LATER)>


MODERN TIMES

It is said we live in modern times
in the civilised year of 'seventy-nine,
But when I look around, all I see,
is modern torture, pain and hypocrisy.


In modern times little children die
They starve to death but who dares ask why ?
And little girls without attire,
Run screaming, napalmed, through the night fire.

---- five-stanza poem written by Bobby Sands , 1979.
(more tomorrow....).

As Dublin's Lord Mayor at the time, Sean Haughey (yes-its him; his old man has a shirt fetish)was interviewed by 'Hot Press' magazine (see same,February 23rd,1995, page 24) during which he stated - " And, generally, in Fianna Fail, we're not inclined to perpetuate privilege. It's not what we stand for as a republican party " . What Sean meant was that Fianna Fail will "perpetuate privilege" if they are sitting when the 'Privileged One' calls.....(and don't get me going on the claim to be a "republican party" ....).Anyway , young Sean went on to complain that the noise outside the Mansion House, from traffic, -"kept me awake at night" ! ( or was it the people shouting "resign, you f#*&£r, resign...? and/or (wha?) was it his conscience that kept him awake ?)
He also stated - "I was'nt allowed to go to see 'In The Name Of The Father' , which is a film I'd loved to have seen.(My wife) heard it was distressing so that was that " !
And proper order too ! (NOTE - No sexist comment/ macho drivel here.....).