" 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, September 13, 2003


A child born in Waterford in October 1588 grew up to become head of the Irish Franciscans in Rome , a position he used to draw attention to English mis-rule in Ireland .

The parents of Luke Wadding , Walter and Anastasia , had fourteen children in all , but noticed in Luke a propensity for study ; they helped him as best they could , but both parents were dead by the time Luke was in his early teens . At fourteen years young , Luke Wadding made his way to the Irish College in Lisbon , Portugal , and later entered the Franciscan Order . (MORE LATER....)

THE TRAGEDIES OF KERRY , by Dorothy Macardle - first published in 1924 .


.....a tailor in the Free State barracks , a Mr. Sugrue , would sometimes manage to smuggle a bottle of stout into the cells for the Republican prisoners , but was afraid to do more than that for them .....

" Oh lads ," the tailor said to the IRA prisoners on Sunday, "tis a bad story . I heard them picking a firing party tonight ." The next day he was beaming : " You're reprieved," he said to them . They knew what that meant ; they were hostages . When the next Republican military operation took place they would be shot . It was on the Wednesday , the seventh of March (1923) that they were wakened suddenly .

A soldier , mad with rage , was trying to break into their cell , swearing he would kill them . He was removed but a Free State Officer , almost equally excited , shouted to them to come out . They were scarcely given time to dress . "You'll do as you are," he said . It was not yet light . Outside they found six Free State Officers and a crowd of soldiers . Five prisoners were marched along the road in single file and over the fields . It was neither dark nor light in the fields ; there was a fine bright moon . Coffey looked at Stephen Buckley , and what he saw filled him with a horror that the thought of death could never bring ..... " (MORE LATER.....).


[from'The Sunday Business Post',5th March , 1995 , page 40]

..... On 'Prime Time Live', 'ABC's current affairs programme last week (ie March 1995) their chief correspondent Chris Wallace explained why Free State Passports are so popular with rich Americans --

--" Say 'Mr. Rich' has a net worth of one billion dollars . If he dies a U S citizen , roughly 550 million dollars goes to the U S government . But if he changes his citizenship to a tax haven , the entire one billion dollars can go to his heirs . The first step , becoming a foreign citizen , is easy . Favourite new homes include Ireland , Switzerland and especially the Caribbean ."

.....step forward the leeches we have in Leinster House , who spotted an opportunity for a nixer and let it be known that , if the price was right , any wealthy business person could be an overnight 'Irish Citizen'.

......FRIENDS -->

[from'The Sunday Times',26th February , 1995 , section 3 , page 4]

<-- Eoghan Harris , Fine Gael's comedy expert on earth , described himself "as someone who greatly admires the heroic history of the Northern planters ." !

Now that's funny .....

Friday, September 12, 2003


.....at seventy-nine years of age ,Archbishop William Walsh assisted in the formation of the'Irish White Cross' organisation , which looked after the dependents of Irish Republican prisoners .....

On 9th April , 1921 , at eighty years of age , Archbishop Dr. William Walsh died in Dublin , much to the relief of the British , who despised him . Had he lived , there is little doubt , if any , but that he would have supported those who rejected the 'Treaty of Surrender' (6th December , 1921) . He was opposed to British rule in Ireland , and would almost certainly have been against the British surrogates (ie the Free Staters) that they left "in charge" .

People of the calibre of William Walsh are badly missed from the Catholic Church of today ; those that would be prepared to say " NO " to the easy , comfortable and affluent lifestyle offered them by the establishment and stand up for that which they know to be moral . There are an awful lot of well-dressed , well-fed people walking around with heavy hearts ....


THE TRAGEDIES OF KERRY , by Dorothy Macardle - first published in 1924 .


.....the three IRA Volunteers had a 'dug-out' in Rathdrinagh and were sleeping there on March the third , 1923 .....

" The 'dug-out' must have been betrayed , for the Free State soldiers came straight to the spot and tore down the stones . They found two rifles with the three men . There were hundreds of soldiers surrounding the place , searching the hills . A boy named Shea , who was in the field , was arrested too . He saw Stephen Buckley beaten until he could not straighten his back . They were taken to Killarney together . "Up the Republic !" ,Stephen shouted as the lorry went in to the barrack gate .

People living in the market place heard terrible screams from the barrack during the evening . They thought the prisoners were being killed . Father Finbarr was leaving the barrack after hearing confessions that night and a soldier , when no one was watching , opened the door of a dark room and let him look in . Four prisoners were lying there , too weak to speak or move . He gave them conditional absolution - it was all he could do . There was a little Free State Army tailor working in the barrack : Sugrue was his name . He was greatly troubled about the prisoners , but dared not do much for them .

He would look round the door into the room where Coffey and Donoghue were , and put down , quickly , a bottle of stout . "For God's sake , hide it ," , he would say , terrified , "or I'll be plugged with yourselves !" " MORE LATER.

GOD'S WORD.......

[from'The Irish Times',8th June , 1995 - a Thursday , if memory serves - page 13]

....... " As an English churchman , I am aware of just how much we English need to ask forgiveness for our often brutal domination and crass insensitivity in the eight-hundred years of history of our relationship with Ireland . "

--Archbishop Carey , the then most senior-ranking member of the British establishment after the 'Royal' family , quoted on 19th November - a Friday , I believe - 1994 , in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin .

It may be a step in the right direction but , as well as the fact that the Brits did'nt heed the man , his use of the word "relationship" is hardly correct : try " dealing's " if you want to be diplomatic , Sir , or " interference " if you want to be honest .

Thursday, September 11, 2003


.....in May , 1919 , five men were on their way to a reception in Dublin's Mansion House when they were stopped by armed British troops ; the men , two Americans , two Irish Bishops and the then President of the Irish Republic , Eamon de Valera , were forced away from the area .....

In a statement issued to the media in relation to the incident , Archbishop Walsh condemned the British for their actions that day , and held the episode up "as the kind of government under which we are living in Ireland "; the statement went worldwide and , due to the fact that two U S citizens were accosted on an Irish street by armed British troops , caused great embarrassment to Westminster .

In 1920 , Archbishop Walsh was strident in his opposition to the then imminent so-called 'Government of Ireland Act' , which proposed the partition of Ireland , and actively campaigned against it - he was by this stage seventy-nine years of age and , although the body was weak , the mind was still sharp .

His last act was to assist in the establishment of the 'Irish White Cross' organisation with Cardinal Logue and Dr. Gilmartin , the Archbishop of Tuam ; the then Dail Eireann (32-County body) Minister for Finance (and IRA Director of Intelligence) Michael Collins worked closely with the organisation , which looked after the dependents of Irish Republican prisoners (a duty now being carried out by the CABHAIR organisation.) MORE LATER.

THE TRAGEDIES OF KERRY , by Dorothy Macardle - first published in 1924.


.....both of the IRA prisoners ,Tadgh Coffey and Jeremiah Donoghue were offered a commission in the Free State Army ; both men rejected the offer ......

" The Free State Officer got up , shouted a coarse insult , and went out , banging the door . Coffey wrote a letter to his people . Jeremiah was feeling too lonely to write . " I don't feel like it now ; I'll write later on ," he said . On Saturday night they met three prisoners who had been taken during the day in a dug-out ; they had been beaten , and were to be beaten again . They were Stephen Buckley of Rathdrinagh , Dan Donoghue of Lacca and Tim Murphy of Rathbrean . "You two and Dan and myself will be shot ," , Stephen said to them ; "but Tim's all right - he was not carrying arms."

Stephen Buckley was a man the people had a great love for in his own place . " Father Stephen " , he used to be called , laughingly , after what he did when Jim Daly was executed in Tralee . Father Brosnan refused to pray for Jim's soul in Kilcummen Chapel . At the end of the mass , when the people were leaving , Stephen Buckley rose and called to them to stay and , standing below the alter rails , he asked their prayers for the repose of James Daly's soul . He had brought no less than sixty recruits to join the Pioneer Temperance League , it was said . A friend asked the Volunteers in Milleen " Are you going to the mission ?" "No need" was the laughing answer . " Father Stephen is holding a mission for us here !"

"It is because he was good ," Father Dominic wrote , afterwards , to his mother , "that he was chosen to die ." They had a dug-out in Rathdrinagh - a small hollow cavity in the wide stone wall of a bohereen . The three were sleeping there on March the third . " (MORE LATER).


[from 'The Sunday Business Post' , May 19th , 1996 , page 10]

......According to Mary Ellen Synon , journalist and ex-member of the British House of Commons --

--"Facts come and go , opinions need never vary."

Good on ya , girl - never let the truth get in the way of a good quote !

......AND FICTION -->

[from 'Hot Press' magazine , 16th October , 1996 , page 24]

<-- In an interview , Gerry Adams stated --

--" And all I know is that the Irish political establishment , for all the criticism I would have of it , on other issues , have a good , emotional sense about the North and they genuinely want to see Irish unity restored ."

HAR ! , HAR !, HAR ! . OH STOP IT , GERRY : between yourself and Mary Ellen , I'm dying here ....

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


.....in May , 1917 ,Archbishop William Walshvoiced his support for a candidate in the Longford North by-election ; that candidate was Joe McGuinness , an IRA prisoner in an English jail . He won the election .....

He was to continue being a thorn in the side of the British ; in April 1918 , Archbishop Walsh led the hierarchical campaign against the British desire to impose conscription in Ireland and was instrumental in ensuring that the 'Maynooth Conference' , at which the issue of conscription was discussed , passed a motion declaring that forced conscription "was an oppressive and inhuman law ."

In May , 1919 , two members of the American organisation 'Friends of Irish Freedom' were in Ireland on a fact-finding tour and a reception was organised for them in Dublin's Mansion House ; the then President of the Irish Republic , Eamon de Valera , and two Bishops , accompanied both Americans to the reception , but the five men were stopped in the street by armed British troops and forced away from the area ...... MORE LATER



......IRA prisoner Tadhg Coffey was led into a room with four Free State Officers in it ; he was questioned regarding his IRA unit and the whereabouts of its arm's dump , but said nothing . A loaded rifle was then put to his head .....

" One of the Officers sprang up in fury then . There was a heavy iron poker in the grate . The man picked it up , made a lunge at Coffey and struck him with it across the back . The blow felled him . Kicking and beating began then , with pauses for the questions to be repeated . The prisoner became unconscious at last . The next night Coffey and Donoghue were charged , on Wilson's evidence , with being in possession of arms . They were sentenced to execution and put in the "condemned cell" .

What served as the 'condemned cell' was a small , dark cellar . The walls were moist and the blankets , the only thing in the cell , were soaking . They were left there until the following day when , in view of the priest's visit , they were brought up to a bright room with a fire . Father Finbarr visited them to hear their last confession . He was kind . Another priest came in and jeered at them . "How much nearer are you to the Republic now ! De Valera has run off to America and left you to get the punishment , and now the rope's round your necks !" , he said .

" I know one thing only : I took an oath to the Republic and I'll keep it ", Jeremiah replied . An Officer came in and sat down with them and offered them cigarettes . "You were in the Republican Police," he said to Coffey . "Little pay you got and little thanks . Were'nt you a fool ?" . He told them that commissions were offered to both of them if they would join the Free State Army . "We'll have nothing to do with your Army," they said . (MORE LATER).


[from 'The Irish News' , 22nd November , 1995 - a Wednesday , I believe- page 8]

......After the 'Williamite Wars' , the British divided Irish land up in the following way : 2,367,175 acres to soldiers who had served in the wars , 497,001 acres to forty-nine Officers , 707,321 acres to adventurers who had lent money to help fund the war , 477,873 acres to provisors to whom land had been promised , 257,518 acres to the Duke of Ormond and a Colonel Butler , 168,436 acres to the Duke of York and 31,526 acres to Protestant Bishops .

After the war , William also 'confiscated' a further one-and-a-half million acres and distributed them among the aristocratic plunderers who followed him , including eight 'Lords' , a doctor , a Colonel Hamilton , a Mr. Keilie and a Sir T. Pendergast . TIME UP , GENTLEMEN - YOU HAVE BEEN 'FREELOADING' FOR LONG ENOUGH .....

......AND CONQUER -->

[from 'The Evening News' , 5th June , 1996 - also a Wednesday , if memory serves - page 27]

--> Archives released under the 30-year rule show that Winston Churchill , the then British Prime Minister, wanted to cover Ireland in poison gas should the Germans invade during World War Two !

And he probably wanted to do it anyway ....

Tuesday, September 09, 2003


.....the appointment of WILLIAM WALSH as Archbishop of Dublin in 1885 was objected to by the British , but they were ignored . He soon proved to be a thorn in their side .....

He was a vocal supporter of the 'Land League' and refrained from using the pulpit to condemn those that were on the 'hit-list' handed down from Westminster. Indeed , another Archbishop , Thomas Croke of Cashel , in County Tipperary (the first patron of the GAA) backed Archbishop Walsh in his support for the 'Plan of Campaign' during the renewed 'Land War' (1886).

His was practically a lone voice after the 1916 Rising , in supporting the rebels , and he was not shy in criticising the British regime in Ireland . In May , 1917 , he used the fact that he was a well-known (or "notorious" , as the British would have it)cleric to obtain publicity for Irish Republican prisoner Joe McGuinness (who was incarcerated in Lewes Jail , in England , at the time); Joe was being run as a candidate in a by-election in Longford North , and Archbishop Walsh issued a statement to the media before the election in which he condemned British intractability and warned people that the Brits were seriously considering partioning the country .

Joe McGuinness won the election ! (MORE LATER).

THE TRAGEDIES OF KERRY , by Dorothy Macardle - first published in 1924 .


.....two young IRA Volunteers , and close friends , Jeremiah Donoghue and Tadhg Coffey , were captured in the Barleymount area by Free State troops on the 22nd of February , 1923 .....

" When the troops burst into the house , Donoghue was resting at the fire and Coffey was cleaning his gun . Wilson , who was in command , rushed at Coffey , shouting abuse , and began to kick and beat him violently ; his mother screamed , and Wilson struck her a blow that flung her across the floor . The soldiers rushed about the cottage smashing the crockery on the dresser , smashing the pictures in the room , spilling the milk and flour over the floor .

Coffey and Donoghue were put against a wall outside and threatened with instant death unless they would tell where the rest of their column and the dump of arms were to be found . The kicking and beating which followed their refusal was so brutal that one of the Free State soldiers began to cry out in distress , "God , God, aren't they prisoners ?" Donoghue was defiant . "I don't care if you skin me : 'tis for the Republic," he said . The Great Southern Hotel in Killarney was the barrack .

It was there they had murdered Bertie Murphy . It was there the prisoners were brought . The same night Coffey was summoned to a room where four officers were sitting by the fire . The questioning began again . "Very well," Wilson said , when Coffey refused to answer . "You'll get a few days more to be singing 'Another martyr for old Ireland' ." Lieutenant Mack became excited . "I'll blow your brains out," he shouted , lifting his rifle , "unless you tell." Bertie Murphy had been killed there for less , but the lifted rifle evoked no reply "..... (MORE LATER).


.....U S President Andrew Jackson's parents were born in Donegal and emigrated to the USA . As a boy , his mother , an Irish Republican , told young Andrew of the horrors the British committed on the Irish people , and she told him of how the Irish fought back . During the American Revolution , Jackson was taken prisoner by the British , who soon discovered that he had Irish roots . A British Officer ordered Jackson to shine boots and , when Jackson refused , the enraged Officer unsheated his sword and slashed young Jackson across the face , leaving a scar he would carry to his grave .

Throughout his life , Andrew Jackson despised the British . The U S again fought the British , from 1812-1814, and the war was fought to a standstill . A treaty was signed in England but it took thirty days to get word across the sea to America and the war waged on . The famous pirate , Jean Lafitte , an admirer of Jackson , got word to him that the war was over , but Jackson decided to ignore this until he got an official order ! His army , supported by Lafitte's pirates , were prepared to meet the Brits in battle , in New Orleans and , under a fog in the bayou , the British attacked ; the Americans , under Jackson , destroyed them .

The Brits lost over two-thousand soldiers and the Americans lost eight ! Later , when asked why the battle was fought after the war was over , Jackson claimed he had no official word that that was the position !

Way to go , Andy - the Brits 'waive the rules' when it suits them ....

Monday, September 08, 2003


.....the Brits were wary of the newly-elected President of Maynooth College , William Walsh,as he had refused to jump at their command in the past .....

Most of the Catholic Church hierarchy would be more 'obliging' to Westminster ; being loath to 'bite the hand that feeds' ; an easy decision as , for the most part , the recipient would be of the same mind-set as the establishment .

At forty-four years young , William Walsh was appointed Archbishop of Dublin ; however , due to his refusal to condemn the Fenian Movement as had his predecessors , the British objected to his appointment , but were ignored . Indeed , one of his predecessors in particular , a Cardinal Paul Cullen (Archbishop of Dublin between 1852 and 1878) was said to be all but sleeping with the British Queen , such was his devotion to the British 'Royals' and the system they lorded over !

Much to the dismay of the British and to those within the Catholic hierarchy , Archbishop William Walsh did not disappoint the policy-makers in Westminster ......MORE LATER

THE TRAGEDIES OF KERRY , by Dorothy Macardle - first published in 1924


" On the Countess's Bridge , in Killarney , there is an iron cross with a painted inscription -

" In memory of Jer Donoghue , Stephen Buckley , Daniel Donoghue and Tim Murphy , IRA , killed on this spot on March 7 , 1923. RIP."

Jeremiah Donoghue was a young , upright , keen-looking lad whose whole heart was in Ireland's fight . The enemy , whoever he was , should be defied outright , in the open ; you should stand in his path and challenge him - that was his idea of strategy . He was for every daring enterprise , reckless of danger , impatient of counting the cost .

His comrades laughed at his wild honesty , but loved him for it . Tadhg Coffey was his close friend . Both had been out against the Black-and-Tans ; both were out in the Killarney area in the winter of 1922 . They were captured in Coffey's home , in Barleymount , on the 22nd of February , 1923 ....." MORE LATER


[from 'The Irish News' ,15th of May , 1996 , page 7 - a Wednesday , if memory serves ....]

...... " I do not care if I never see a united Ireland ; nor do many of my fellow countrymen ."

--- so said Free State Senator Shane Ross , while addressing the 'North Down Conservative Association' , in Bangor , on Tuesday , 14th May 1996 .

When in Rome , Shane - 'cept our Shane says things like thatALLthe time : would'nt ya think he'd just ride off into the sunset of his British Empire .....

......AND COWGIRL -->

[from 'The Sunday Tribune' magazine , 19th May , 1996 , page 33]

<-- " I like some bony bits in personalities , some prickly bits , something you can argue with , because its only that way you get a solution . Diplomacy will not necessarily get you a solution ."

--- so said Margaret Thatcher , ex-British Prime Minister , and 'diplomat' of the 'Belgrano' !

Garret Fitzgerald would also agree with you , Maggie - remember 1985 : " OUT, OUT, OUT. "But it was'nt Fitzer saying that to the Brits ; it was Thatcher telling the Fine Gael leader which of his "aspirations" (ie 'crumbs') he could'nt have .....

Sunday, September 07, 2003


To be "condemned from the pulpit" is practically a weekly occurrence for Irish Republicans on this island . That has always been the case throughout the 800-plus years of the struggle for Irish freedom , and is something that Irish Republicans have come to expect , from the Catholic hierarchy especially , but not confined to that particular religious grouping .

Personally , when myself and my (present !) wife were making arrangements to get married ("Its never that long ago , sweetheart , is it ...?") , we postponed the happy event (!) for one week as , in doing so , the priest who was 'booked' for the wedding would be on his holidays ; that priest , now dead , was Fr. Michael Clery , a man who was so anti-Republican as to be almost pro-British ! To my regret I never told him why we did'nt want to be associated with him , not that it would have made any difference to his attitude .

Anyway - the priest who 'did the job' on us turned out to have a different type of 'sickness' ; his name is Fr Walsh , and he's in the news now because of that 'sickness' .... out of the frying pan etc !

William Walsh was born in Dublin in 1841 , and studied in Maynooth College ; as a student he was exemplarily , and soon rose up the 'ranks' to become President of Maynooth College . The Brits were wary of Walsh , as he was not one for jumping at their command ...... (MORE LATER).

THE TRAGEDIES OF KERRY , by Dorothy Macardle - first published in 1924 .


....the nine IRA prisoners were tied together , in a circle , around the land-mine ; the Free State soldiers moved away from them - the prisoners knew what was about to happen . Then the shock came , blinding , deafening and overwhelming .....

" For Stephen Fuller it was followed by a silence in which he knew that he was alive . Then sounds came to him - cries and low moans , then the sounds of rifle fire and exploding bombs . Then silence again : the work was done . He turned over ; he was not hurt : he was lying under a ditch in the wood . His clothes were scorched and torn to shreds ; cords with burnt and broken ends were knotted on both his wrists .

The explosion that killed the two men to whom he was bound had severed the cords and thrown him , uninjured , into the ditch . The Free State soldiers had no means of counting their victims . They went back to their breakfast , and Stephen Fuller crawled away to safety over the fields . The Military thought him dead ; his name was on one of the nine coffins which they sent out . There was madness among the people of Tralee . What prisoners were in those coffins ? No one could tell . The people opened them in the streets .

The frenzy that followed was terrible ; the women seemed demented ; Free State soldiers were stoned ; the funerals of those Republicans kindled a fire through Kerry that it would be difficult to subdue . The Free State Government issued a new regulation to their Kerry command -

" Prisoners who die while in military custody in the Kerry command shall be interred by the troops in the area in which the death has taken place. "

It was published in the Dublin press on the twenty-first of March (1923).



[from 'AP/RN' , December 1986]

.....President Desmond Hoyte of Guyana elected himself as Prime Minister , a move which everyone expected . But then he appointed himself as Chairperson of the Cabinet - again , most people in the country were not surprised , as he was simply ensuring that his power-base would be secured .

However , even his own cronies deserted him when he took the following positions -

Minister of Defence , Minister of National Security , Minister of National Services , Minister of Public Services , Minister of Regional Development , Minister of American-Indian Affairs , Director of Elections , Director of Industry , Director of Mining , Director of Foreign Affairs , Chairperson of the Water Board , Minister of State for Prisons , Chief Fire Officer , Chief Registrar for Births , Deaths and Marriages , and Controller of Licences !!

....no idea what the man got up to in his spare time !