" 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, July 10, 2004

JULY-DECEMBER 1921 : Revenge Attacks on Republicans During The 'Truce' .......

....... Ireland 1921 - TRUCE ! ...but all was not what it seemed . In America , the 'Truce' was projected as the end of the issue . Irish-American supporters of the struggle were led to believe that the Irish 'Question' had been resolved .......

....and that was a ploy pushed by the Brits in all media outlets which owed them favours . The issues of Home Rule , self-determination , dominion status , partition , devolution etc were brushed aside in favour of the sound-bite , the 'big lie' - 'Victory !' , 'British Withdrawal' ! , 'Irish Independence!' ... Indeed , the 'Establishment' in both England and Ireland made much the same claim in 1973 for the Sunningdale Agreement , again in 1985 for the Hillsborough Treaty and , more recently , in 1998 , for the Stormont Treaty ('GFA') - all were classed as a form of 'stepping-stone' ie "freedom to achieve freedom ," which they were not .

All four Treaties did , however , 'succeed' on one level - that of allowing the (anti-Republican) 'Establishment' to publicly 'wash their hands' of the 'Irish Question' and mutter , albeit , for the most part under their breath - ..."sure what more do the Irish want ?" Meanwhile , the Brits themselves were re-grouping in the background , while spreading 'the big lie' that the 'Irish Question' was ("almost") resolved .

However , for those that bothered to look for themselves , the truth was just under the surface .......

(MORE LATER).


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

".......the British Auxies were outside - it was a surprise raid . My brother and I , both of us armed , were hiding in the garden . Then we heard a loud whisper ......."

" "Georgie ! Georgie ! Get on with your men . Quick ! " Three tall forms approached us from the gate and stopped at the front door . One stepped forward from the gravelled path and on to a low wide step outside the doorstep proper . He knocked with his left hand on the open door , a gentle knock . Soon we heard the kitchen door opening and a diffused light fell on the three men ; we knew that my mother had brought the table lamp with her to the hall . We heard her voice , speaking as if to friends as yet unknown to her - " Good evening , boys ," she said gently .

" Oh ! good evening , madam ," a cultured voice replied . " Are the boys at home , madam ? " " No , the boys are not at home , " my mother replied . " I am very glad indeed , madam , very glad indeed . I am very sorry for disturbing you . Good evening , madam ! Good evening ! " So saying , this decent man turned away and walked quickly back to the gate , followed by his comrades . A man like him is all too rare in the world , for undoubtedly he must exert a powerful influence for good , even on the worst companions . His gentlemanly behaviour most probably was the means of saving our lives , his own and those of some of his men .

For , armed as we were , it is not likely that we would stand idly by if he were otherwise than the courteous gentleman we had heard addressing my mother . As it was , we managed to get outside their circle without clashing with them ..."

(MORE LATER).


' COLONEL OLIVER NORTH WOULD'NT DO ANYTHING THAT REAGAN DID'NT APPROVE ' .......


'The chain of events that has become known as IRANGATE is circling ever tighter around President Reagan . Sean Cronin draws together some of the links in the bizarre story'


First published in 'The Irish Times' newspaper , Tuesday , February 10th , 1987 , page 14 .

Re-produced here in 12 parts.

3 of 12.


The Senate Intelligence Committee decided to withhold its findings because there were too many gaps and no conclusions ; there were so many leaks that the new Senate Intelligence Committee reversed the decision . It called its statement a "preliminary report" and found "no evidence" that Mr. Reagan knew of the Contra connection but no evidence to the contrary either .

It did find that Mr. Reagan's main interest in the arms sales was to win the release of U S hostages in Lebanon . This report is the most authoritative account we have of the affair . After Mr. Reagan's "deep concern" for the hostages - one of whom was William Buckley , CIA Station Chief at Beirut , who was later tortured and killed by the Iranians - the second driving force in the affair was "Israel's strong and continuing interest in furthering contacts with Iran ."

A third factor in the Iran initative was pressure by "international arms dealers and others" , who were used as messengers mainly.......

(MORE LATER).
(Ni bheimid anseo De Sathairn , 17/7/04 : We won't be here on Saturday , 17/7/04 .
HOLIDAYS ! The '1169....' crew are taking a break in the sunny south-east of Ireland (Waterford) for at least one week - and possibly longer , if the few bob holds out !
I've been outvoted on this issue , folks - Sharon and 'Junior' can be very persuasive ; when the pair of them first started on about wanting out of the '1169....' Office I stood my ground -
"Bi go maith anois . Na bi am' chra , stad den amaidi " , says I ("Be good now . Don't be annoying me , stop the nonsense .") But - DAMMIT ! - Sharon's Irish is better than mine , and 'Junior' can work this PC thingy better than either of us . So.....

...holiday's it is ! Beginning on Saturday , July 17th next , so I'm told.......
).






Friday, July 09, 2004

JULY-DECEMBER 1921 : Revenge Attacks on Republicans During The 'Truce' .

Ireland 1921 - the 'Irish Bond' drive was into its second year (having started in January 1920) and was doing well ; certificates were sold on a guarantee of exchange for Irish Republican Bonds after the Irish Republic (all 32 Counties) was recognised .

Approximately $5.5 million dollars was in the kitty already from sales in America alone ; unfortunately , also in America , the fact that a Truce between the Brits and Irish Republican forces had come into effect in July that year (1921) sent a wrong signal to Irish Republican supporters ...

... they were led to believe that the 'Irish Question' had been settled .......

(MORE LATER).


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

"....... the British Auxiliaries were known to be blackguards ; to kill even if for no reason . One evening in 1920 , my brother and I went home - it was dusk , and we considered ourselves safe from a British rading party ; we were wrong ......."

" It was one short screech from brake drums that gave us warning - the Auxies had inaugurated a new technique to take us by surprise . Coming over the hill from the north , they had cut off the engines and slipped downhill noiselessly to our gate ; they had already tried this method , but on the night in question they had improved on it . Stopping the lorries further uphill they had dropped a number of men who , passing through the school grounds , had surrounded the house on the west and north sides .

We were now in a trap since the south side was completely blocked by the high and blind wall of a neighbouring house . The noise of the brake drums had found us in the kitchen talking to our mother ; a bright lamp , just lighted, stood on the table . Very swiftly but silently we passed from the kitchen to the hallway , closing the door behind us to cut off the light . Guns in hand we went through the front door which was open and , turning right , we were soon at the corner of the house and in a small garden . Here we stopped . North of us we could hear men trying to get over the school wall which had a coping of rough and pointed stones .

To the west , and facing us , others were trying to scale an earth fence with a strong whitethorn hedge on top . We listened and narrowly watched the intervening ground where gooseberry bushes and small apple trees grew . Then we heard a loud whisper from the gate ......."

(MORE LATER).


' COLONEL OLIVER NORTH WOULD'NT DO ANYTHING THAT REAGAN DID'NT APPROVE .......'


'The chain of events that has become known as IRANGATE is circling ever tighter around President Reagan . Sean Cronin draws together some of the links in the bizarre story'


First published in 'The Irish Times' newspaper , Tuesday , February 10th , 1987 , page 14 .

Re-produced here in 12 parts.

2 of 12.


President Reagan says he has told the country all he knows of the 'Irangate' affair and is as anxious as everyone else to find out what really happened . But his public statements are contradictory and most people suspect that he is lying . He keeps playing down the scandal and says the country should drop it - or at least put it in the past .

Last month (ie January 1987) the outgoing Senate Intelligence Committee summoned witnesses to private hearings to tell what they knew of the case . Three key figures refused to talk least they incriminate themselves ; they are Vice Admiral John Poindexter , the Presidents National Security Adviser until November 25th 1986 /
Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North , a staff officer of the National Security Council staff / and Major General Richard Secord (retired) who organised the Contra-supply airlift which became public last October (1986) when a plane was shot down over Nicaragua , three of the crew were killed , and a fourth , Eugene Hasenfus , was captured , tried and sent home for Christmas by the Sandinistas .......

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, July 08, 2004

JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......

....... 1.30pm , Thursday , 15th July 1976 - a loud explosion blew the gates of Green Street Courthouse off their hinges and five Irish Republican prisoners ran through the gap - and into a scene of confusion ; rubble , dust-clouds . people running and screaming . The five men could'nt find the get-away cars and had'nt time to look for them ; they took off on foot .......

.....but the area was quickly filling-up with Gardai and armed Special Branch . Within minutes , three of the men - John Hagan , Jim Monaghan and Joe Reilly - were pulled-in by the Special Branch on Granby Place and re-arrested . Meanwhile , the other escapee , Michael O'Rourke , was by now on O'Connell Street getting into a taxi...

Michael O'Rourke was taken safely out of the State and put-up in a safe-house in America , but was arrested in 1980 ; a four-year legal battle began but , in 1984 , Michael O'Rourke was extradited to Ireland and imprisoned in Portlaoise Prison .

The break-out made international headlines and embarrassed the then Dublin Administration , led by Fine Gael's Liam Cosgrave . It also proved , once again , to the Free Staters , that the spirit of Irish Republicanism cannot be incarcerated .......

[END of 'JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' ...].
(Tomorrow : 'JULY-DECEMBER 1921 - REVENGE ATTACKS ON REPUBLICANS DURING THE TRUCE ').


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

"....... Macroom Castle should at least have been rendered uninhabitable , but was'nt ; in August 1920 , the British Auxiliaries moved in - these were men who had seen service in the 1914-1918 war , now in Ireland for the money and the 'adventure' ......."

" On the evening of 1st November 1920 , the Auxiliaries raided the Village of Ballymakeera , in the parish of Ballyvourney , Cork , in our area ; one of their number entered a house where lived a quiet , inoffensive married man named Jim Lehane . He had just returned home after his day's work as a labourer - he was not an IRA Volunteer and had no martial characteristic or inclination . He was talking to his wife the while he filled his pipe : the Brit Auxie asked him his name , Jim told him , and the Auxie said - "Follow me."

The poor man followed across the road to the village cross and a few yards down the road beyond it ; here the Brit turned and emptied a revolver into him at close range . Unsuspectingly , Jim Lehane had walked to his death . It was just a cruel and callous murder without the slightest justification , near or remote . And it was only one of many .

There is a saying that a blackguard will be found in every crowd - and the converse is also true ; you will find a decent man among a crowd of blackguards . A small incident will illustrate this . One evening in the harvest of 1920 , my brother Pat and I had come home . Dusk had fallen heavily and the critical time for a raid had , we thought , gone by . But we were wrong ..."

(MORE LATER).


' COLONEL OLIVER NORTH WOULD'NT DO ANYTHING THAT REAGAN DID'NT APPROVE ' .


'The chain of events that has become known as IRANGATE is circling ever tighter around President Reagan . Sean Cronin draws together some of the links in the bizarre story'.


First published in 'The Irish Times' newspaper , Tuesday , February 10th , 1987 , page 14 .

Re-produced here in 12 parts.

1 of 12.


The Iran arms scandal now shaking the Presidency of Ronald Reagan is made up of plots and sub-plots , puzzles within puzzles , and enough sinister agents and freelance adventurers to fill a dozen thrillers by Graham Greene . Four Governments are involved in one way or another , as well as the Sultan of Brunei , who gave 10 million dollars to Nicaragua's Contras .

A select committee of the US Senate , a select committee of the US House , a special counsel chosen by three judges , and a three-member panel of "wise men" , headed by the former Texas Republican , Senator John Tower , are all trying to discover what happened , and why , and who broke the law and should be tried and possibly go to prison .

The Congressional Committees will hold public hearings as soon as they can get themselves organised , which may be later this month (ie February 1987)...

(MORE LATER).






JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......

....... 1.30pm , Thursday , 15th July 1976 - a loud explosion blew the gates of Green Street Courthouse off their hinges and five Irish Republican prisoners ran through the gap - and into a scene of confusion ; rubble , dust-clouds . people running and screaming . The five men could'nt find the get-away cars and had'nt time to look for them ; they took off on foot .......

.....but the area was quickly filling-up with Gardai and armed Special Branch . Within minutes , three of the men - John Hagan , Jim Monaghan and Joe Reilly - were pulled-in by the Special Branch on Granby Place and re-arrested . Meanwhile , the other escapee , Michael O'Rourke , was by now on O'Connell Street getting into a taxi...

Michael O'Rourke was taken safely out of the State and put-up in a safe-house in America , but was arrested in 1980 ; a four-year legal battle began but , in 1984 , Michael O'Rourke was extradited to Ireland and imprisoned in Portlaoise Prison .

The break-out made international headlines and embarrassed the then Dublin Administration , led by Fine Gael's Liam Cosgrave . It also proved , once again , to the Free Staters , that the spirit of Irish Republicanism cannot be incarcerated .......

[END of 'JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' ...].
(Tomorrow : 'JULY-DECEMBER 1921 - REVENGE ATTACKS ON REPUBLICANS DURING THE TRUCE ').


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

"....... Macroom Castle should at least have been rendered uninhabitable , but was'nt ; in August 1920 , the British Auxiliaries moved in - these were men who had seen service in the 1914-1918 war , now in Ireland for the money and the 'adventure' ......."

" On the evening of 1st November 1920 , the Auxiliaries raided the Village of Ballymakeera , in the parish of Ballyvourney , Cork , in our area ; one of their number entered a house where lived a quiet , inoffensive married man named Jim Lehane . He had just returned home after his day's work as a labourer - he was not an IRA Volunteer and had no martial characteristic or inclination . He was talking to his wife the while he filled his pipe : the Brit Auxie asked him his name , Jim told him , and the Auxie said - "Follow me."

The poor man followed across the road to the village cross and a few yards down the road beyond it ; here the Brit turned and emptied a revolver into him at close range . Unsuspectingly , Jim Lehane had walked to his death . It was just a cruel and callous murder without the slightest justification , near or remote . And it was only one of many .

There is a saying that a blackguard will be found in every crowd - and the converse is also true ; you will find a decent man among a crowd of blackguards . A small incident will illustrate this . One evening in the harvest of 1920 , my brother Pat and I had come home . Dusk had fallen heavily and the critical time for a raid had , we thought , gone by . But we were wrong ..."

(MORE LATER).


' COLONEL OLIVER NORTH WOULD'NT DO ANYTHING THAT REAGAN DID'NT APPROVE ' .


'The chain of events that has become known as IRANGATE is circling ever tighter around President Reagan . Sean Cronin draws together some of the links in the bizarre story'.


First published in 'The Irish Times' newspaper , Tuesday , February 10th , 1987 , page 14 .

Re-produced here in 12 parts.

1 of 12.


The Iran arms scandal now shaking the Presidency of Ronald Reagan is made up of plots and sub-plots , puzzles within puzzles , and enough sinister agents and freelance adventurers to fill a dozen thrillers by Graham Greene . Four Governments are involved in one way or another , as well as the Sultan of Brunei , who gave 10 million dollars to Nicaragua's Contras .

A select committee of the US Senate , a select committee of the US House , a special counsel chosen by three judges , and a three-member panel of "wise men" , headed by the former Texas Republican , Senator John Tower , are all trying to discover what happened , and why , and who broke the law and should be tried and possibly go to prison .

The Congressional Committees will hold public hearings as soon as they can get themselves organised , which may be later this month (ie February 1987)...

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, July 07, 2004

JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......

.......a final meeting had been held on Wednesday , July 14th , 1976 , to re-check the rescue operation ; all seemed in order . The next morning , the IRA Unit took up their positions around Green Street Courthouse .......

At 1.30pm , a loud explosion lifted the locked gates off their hinges and crumbled most of the walls either side of where the gates had been - at that time, too , the five Republican prisoners had broke free from their captors and were running towards the remains of the gates - one of the prisoners , Donal Murphy , was dazed by the explosion and lost his bearings ; he ended up in the actual Courtroom , was recognised and jumped on and held by the Gardai .

The other four escapees - Jim Monaghan , Michael O'Rourke , John Hagan and Joe Reilly - ran into a scene of total confusion ; the gates were smoking and still rattling on the ground , bits of concrete and brick were still flying through the air , a dust-cloud made it near impossible to see more than a few yards and people were running in all directions .

The escapees could'nt locate the get-away cars and made off on foot ; but by now the immediate area was filling-up with Gardai and armed Special Branch and , within minutes , things went wrong .......

(MORE LATER).


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

".......the party of British 'toffs' and armed militia had spent a long , weary and fruitless day searching the brushwood and swampy forest for Sean Rua an Ghaorthaig - they gave up the hunt and retired to Macroom Castle for supper . They were about to eat when a musket ball blew the candle beside the 'Lord' of the Manor to pieces ......."

" A stunned silence followed ; the shot had sounded well forward from the front of the castle , not from near the window ; 'Mine Host' had turned pale , but was the first to recover himself - "That was Sean Rua," he said . His voice loosened other tongues , and there were many admonitions to 'Mi'Lord' to move clear of the window , some suggestions for the immediate evacuation of the dining-room , others for the pursuit of Sean Rua , vivid descriptions of the latter and of the ultimate accommodation which they heartily wished him . But 'Mi'Lord' , with a wave of his hand , silenced them all -

- " The man who shot out that candle could , much more easily , have shot me ," he said . And never again did he chase down Sean Rua ...

Someone had blundered by allowing the castle to stand unoccupied and in good working order while smaller mansions in less strategic positions had been destroyed ; such was the case , however , and, in August 1920 , the building was occupied by the Auxiliaries - they numbered one-hundred and fifty men , all ex-Officers who had served in the 1914-1918 war . They had been attracted to Ireland by the good pay , the prospect of adventure and the assurance of an easy discipline . I cannot say whether the rate of pay and the degree of discipline during their sojourn at Macroom were up to their expectations , but I am certain that they had no cause for complaint in the matter of adventure .

For when the Truce of 11th July 1921 brought hostilities to an end , their casualties had reached half their original number . Unfortunately for themselves , as well as for their victims , they added cold-blooded murders to their ordinary activities ......."

(MORE LATER).


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
12 of 12 .


For the second time within three years , the British Government had negotiated a cease-fire with the Provisional IRA - this time it was with a Labour Government whose Prime Minister , Harold Wilson had hinted throughout his long political career at the need to set the wheels in motion towards ultimate British dis-engagement from Ireland .

That , and the fact that an elaborate monitoring-system had been agreed , meant that this second attempt had a better chance of survival . Negotiations about the more specific issue of British dis-engagement from Ireland continued for almost a year before the entire exercise collapsed . But that is another story which , hopefully , Merlyn Rees will outline in some detail when his book of memoirs is published .......

[END of ' TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS....... '].
(Tomorrow - ' Colonel Oliver North would'nt do anything that Reagan did'nt approve ....' : from 'The Irish Times' newspaper , 1987).






Tuesday, July 06, 2004

JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......

.......the escape plan was , on paper at least , well-organised , and it was decided to run with it . At an agreed time , the five Irish Republican prisoners were to force their way into the courtyard of Green Street Courthouse and run towards the gates - where the explosives were .......

Seconds before the men were to have started their run , the gates were to have been blown off their hinges by an explosives charge . The confusion caused by the explosion would , it was expected, allow the five men to make it to the cars which would be waiting for them , and then driven to pre-arranged safe-houses . The explosion at the gates of Green Street Courthouse was to be timed for 1.30 PM , lunch-break , because it was known that security would be slacker than usual .

On Wednesday , July 14th , 1976 , about one dozen IRA men held a last meeting to finalise the next days action ; the Dublin Brigade QM and Engineering Officer , the Brigade Adjutant and the Intelligence Officer were present , and each man re-checked their role in the job . Satisfied that they could do no more , the men went their separate ways .

Early on Thursday morning , July 15th , 1976 , the plan came together ; the IRA Unit met-up , as arranged, and took up their positions . And waited .......

(MORE LATER).


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

".......one of our old Irish Rebels , Sean Rua an Ghaorthaig , lived for years in a brushwood forest and used guerrilla tactics on the enemy ; he beat a local British Sergeant in a shooting contest , disguised , but let it be known afterwards that it was he that won ......."

" The Sergeant wanted revenge , and a determined effort to eliminate Sean Rua was decided on - starting at the dawn of a mid-summer day all the 'Gentry' and the British militia surrounded the Gaortha and , gradually and thoroughly , they beat the cover as they contracted their circle . Towards evening they had some indications of success when shots were fired , and some parties alleged that they had actually seen Sean Rua and thought that they had wounded him . But when the twilight deepened over that place of gloom , all had to consider the day's work over and retire to terra firma without delay .

The 'Lord' of the Manor had invited a number of the 'gentry' to dine with him that evening . Mounting their horses , they reached the castle after sunset ; the day had been a strenuous one , wading and struggling through water , mud and undergrowth . Riding equipment was discarded , and the company sat down to dine . The night was warm , windows stood open here and there in the dining room , and 'Mine Host' sat opposite one wide-open window , but well back from it in the deep room . A tall candle stood beside him , and other lighted candles stood beside the guests .

A musket ball passing through the open window knocked the 'Lord' of the Manor's candle to bits ......."

(MORE LATER).


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
11 of 12 .

The then British Secretary for 'Northern Ireland' (sic) , Merlyn Rees , stated that they (the Brits) would continue "to explain British Government policy" to Sinn Fein , and "to outline and discuss the arrangements that might be made to ensure that any ceasefire did not break down ." He also outlined details of the 'Incident Centres' which had been set up "to ensure that any ceasefire did not break down ." The Provisional IRA , on Sunday 9th February , 1975 , issued its statement as follows -

- " In the light of discussions which have taken place between representatives of the Republican Movement and British Officials , on effective arrangements to ensure that there is no break-down of a new truce , the Army Council of Oglaigh na hEireann has renewed the order suspending offensive military action . Hostilities against Crown Forces will be suspended from 6.00 pm , February 10th , 1975 ."

For the second time within three years , the British Government had negotiated a cease-fire with the Provisional IRA .......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, July 05, 2004

JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......

.......time was short to free the five Irish Republicans from Free State custody ; a second meeting to discuss the operation was held on 6th July 1976 , as the IRA GHQ Staff were not satisfied that the job could be done successfully .......

The Intelligence Officer of the Dublin Brigade IRA was at the 6th July meeting , as was the Adjutant of the Dublin Brigade , the Acting-Adjutant General , the IRA Director of Intelligence , the IRA Director of Finance , and a GHQ/Dublin Brigade Officer . Detailed plans of the lay-out of the inside of Green Street Courthouse had been acquired , as had the roster by which the Gardai on duty worked too.

The five prisoners themselves had been contacted re the rescue attempt and were prepared to take part in it , so the 'go-ahead' was given for an agreed date : 12th July 1976 , a Monday , although this was later changed to Thursday , 15th July 1976 , for reasons unknown to this scribbler .

The plan called for simultaneous action by the five prisoners and the IRA Unit - at an agreed time , the five men were to force their way into the courtyard of Green Street Courthouse and run towards the gates , where the explosives were .......

(MORE LATER).


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

".......beaten down by disease and poverty , some natives tended to 'doff their cap' to the denizens of the Castles , and stare in awe as they passed in their finery ......."

" Not everyone bowed the head ; even in the worst times , when all organised opposition to tyranny had been crushed , an individual arose and struck a blow for the motherland "to show that still she lives ." My father often told me of one of those warriors , a stout fellow known as Sean Rua an Ghaorthaig ; true , he was known as an outlaw or 'rapparree' to 'the powers that were' and to most 'respectable' people , but in Irish history he would be classed with Redmond O'Hanlon and Eamonn an Chnuic . In England he would be with Robin Hood or Locksley - history would be very poor stuff , in any country , without such men !

To the south of Macroom Castle and immediately in front of it Sleibhin Hill rises green and fairly steep - its other side, also green and steep , overlooks the Gaortha , a low-lying area of a few square miles in extent , covered with brushwood , mostly alder, and water-logged by innumerable channels of the River Lee . Here it was that Sean Rua retired from his enemies and for many years baffled all their attempts to dislodge him . He made his own gunpowder for his firearms , and it was said to be practically smokeless . He did not spend all his time hiding and inactive in the Gaortha ; now and again he sallied forth and exacted tribute from some Planter . Often did the 'Gentry' muster against him with all the available local yeomanry and militia , but Sean Rua always managed to elude them in the sheltering tangle of his natural fortress .

Sean Rua an Ghaorthaig was a crack shot - once , in disguise , he competed at a Yeomanry musketry test in Macroom : a local Sergeant , an expert shot , tied with him for the final . The 'unknown Yeoman' , from a distant company , beat the Sergeant and great was the chagrin when , too late , it was discovered that Sean Rua had gone home with the prize . Sean had a high sense of humour and was prepared to run risks to gratify it ; but the Sergeant wanted his revenge .......

(MORE LATER).


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
10 of 12 .

Because the Provisionals did not wish to apply for permits to the RUC it was necessary for the British to give "a personal assurance" from the 'Northern Ireland (sic) Office' that "if all that stands between us and the successful conclusion of our present arrangement is 24 permits , we shall find a way around that difficulty ." ('1169...' Comment - the Provisionals now request permits from the Brits and the Free Staters to carry-out Easter Lily collections , to hold parades and street demonstrations : for shame , applying to those that put brave Irish men and women in their graves for 'permission' to 'remember and honour' those same men and women put there by the same foe . If that is 'success' , we want no part of it ...)

The break-through came on 7th February 1975 , and the next day the formulae of words to be issued by both Mr. Rees and the Republican Movement on the coming into operation of the new Cease-Fire were agreed . In his statement , Mr. Rees recalled a previous statement about the talks , confirming that they had taken place but being very vague about details , either of what had been agreed or what the talks would involve in the future .......

(MORE LATER).






Sunday, July 04, 2004

JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......

....... Five Irish Republicans were in Free State custody in connection with an alleged 'bomb factory' which was 'found' in Donabate , North County Dublin in mid-January 1976 : Jim Monaghan , Donal Murphy , Michael O'Rourke , John Hagan and Joe Reilly . The (then) IRA wanted the men out .......

At the end of June 1976 , it became known that the 'trial' of the five men would see them together in the one building for a short time during the following month , July 1976 ; the then IRA's Acting Adjutant General and the Adjutant of the IRA's Dublin Brigade held a meeting - it was known that the 'trial' would be over by mid-July 1976 , and it was then the end of June 1976 .

Things would have to move fast . However , the IRA GHQ Staff asked if a successful rescue operation could be mounted in such a short period of time and another meeting was arranged ; this was held on 6th July 1976 , and those present from IRA GHQ Staff asked for detailed plans on how the rescue attempt would proceed . The requested details were handed over by the Intelligence Officer of the Dublin Brigade IRA and discussed between the group .......

(MORE LATER).


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

"....... Irish Castles were used by the 'Landlord' class and the rest of the invaders to monitor the 'natives' and demoralise them into submission ......."

" The main gateway to the Castle of Macroom opens on to the Square of the town ; it is a 'feudal' gateway , arched and battlemented . The main building stands back from it , just far enough for respectability and defence . A strong-walled , plain , rectangular , three-storied house , it had a flat roof with crenellated parapet . Its ground extended for one mile along the River Sullane . A high wall , of course, enclosed them ; the denizens of these places claimed to be exclusive in their ways and fastidious in their tastes .

Yet , for years, they managed to tolerate the sight of three heads impaled on the spikes on the highest point of the Bridewell , which overlooked the castle gates . But I think that Irish heads , artistically arranged , appealed to their aesthetic natures . Not until less than a hundred years ago was the practice discontinued - the people were themselves responsible for the lapse of this uplifting branch of the arts . They never appreciated it properly even though it was , for them, part of a system of 'higher education' . I think there is nothing so melancholy to contemplate as a mental picture of those times that are past ; the groups that stand on the Square to watch the carriages and their escorts as they enter or leave the castle .

Most of them came to get a glimpse of the 'Lords' and 'Ladies' - the 'Gentry' , well fed and well dressed aliens . A few serfs actually doff their caps as they pass - the people have sunk to the lowest depth in the mire of slavery . But they are not yet altogether lost : among them are a few who sigh deeply and turn away in sorrow and disgust . They belong to the 'Hidden Ireland' , which is found everywhere , a fragment here and there , even in the most unexpected places . Above this sordid scene three heads stare disdainfully into space - they can see far and away beyond the range of the poor mortals who abridged their earthly vision . For now the road of time stretches interminably before them . A very short distance down that road they can see happening events that bring them joy .

The flames of the castle and the poorhouse light their way for many a long and mortal year ......."


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
9 of 12 .

On the question of 'Free Movement' for all Provisional IRA people , the legal issue of "immunity" was recognised , but resolved , by a promise of 'Incident Centres' , and an assurance that " the British Army will be pulled back , the RUC will not enter designated areas and the Republican Movement can check , in advance, through the liaison system , regarding the position of specific Republican personnel .

The right of Republicans to bear arms , even short arms for their personal protection , was also a major difficulty ; this was resolved by a written British response which stated that "The law provides for permits to be granted for people to carry arms for self-defence . The issue of firearms permits will take account of the risk to individuals . The need to protect individuals who may be at risk of assassination is recognised ."

(' 1169...' comment - Irish Republicans applying for 'permits' from the Brits ....?)

(MORE LATER).