" 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 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Friday, November 05, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......

....... in the 1918 General Election in Ireland , Nationalist/Republican candidates won almost three-quarters of all the Irish seats in Westminster .......

Many of those elected were still in British prisons after the 'German Plot' arrests earlier that same year (ie May 1918) . John Redmond's 'Irish Parliamentary Party' won only six seats , despite the 'backhanded' assistance given to that Party by the then British Prime Minister , Lloyd George -

- he had instructed the British Army 'Election Censors' to cut sections out of the Sinn Fein Election Manifesto , seized their leaflets and posters , 'arrested' Sinn Fein speakers and declared that the 47 imprisoned Sinn Fein candidates , including the Party leader , Eamon de Valera , should remain behind British prison bars . Before the 1918 General Election , Ireland was 'represented' in the Westminster 'House of Commons' by 103 members ,
comprising 68 'Home Rulers' (Irish Parliamentary Party , also referred to as 'The Irish Nationalist Party') , 18 members of the 'Unionist Party' (as the name suggests , in favour of the 'Union' between Ireland and England) , 10 'Independent' members and 7 Sinn Fein members .

After the 1918 Election , the political scene in Ireland was transformed .......

(MORE LATER).


Why We Ended The Hunger-Strike .
The full text of the H-Block Blanket Men's statement announcing the end of the 1981 Hunger-Strike .

First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2, November 1981 , pages 23 , 24 , 25 and 26 .
Re-published here in 18 parts .
(2 of 18).


" On March 1st , 1981 , Bobby Sands embarked on hunger-strike ; on April 9th , 1981 , 30,492 people in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency elected him as their MP and by doing so they recognised him as a political prisoner and demanded that the British Government respect the mandate given by them and by the entire nationalist community on the streets by implementing the five demands -
1 No prison uniform .
2 No prison work .
3 Free association .
4 Full remission .
5 Visits , parcels and recreational/educational facilities .

The British Government , caught in the hypocrisy of their own " democracy jargon " , ignored the people's wishes and mandate . On April 23rd , 1981 , Charles Haughey , the Dublin premier , met relatives of Bobby Sands and by playing on their distress convinced them that the intervention of the ECHR ('European Commission on Human Rights') could , and would , solve the issue .

Bobby Sands' sister , Marcella , acted on Charlie Haughey's advice and signed an intervention document . The ECHR delegation came to Long Kesh and Bobby Sands said he would meet them ......."

(MORE LATER).


ONE THAT GOT AWAY .......
Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(5 of 13).

Shortly after eight o'clock on the morning of 6th January 1987 , Aiden Murray and other armed Detectives raided a house in Cashlings , West Donegal ; inside , they roused a young man from his sleep - he was wearing pants only and , when asked his name , he hesitated before telling them he was 'Colm McGuire' .

He requested to see a doctor and solicitor and refused to answer any further questions . Detective Aiden Murray promptly arrested 'McGuire' on suspicion of being a member of the IRA . The Gardai were back at base in Ballyshannon with their prisoner soon after nine o' clock ; they still had no official identity for him and , in accordance with his wishes , a local solicitor was sent for .

A Solicitor , John Murray , arrived and after consulting with the man in the cell , told gardai during a casual conversation that the prisoner was Patrick McIntyre of Ard O'Donnell , Letterkenny . The gardai say that minutes afterwards they received information which possibly linked McIntyre to a robbery in Ballyshannon immediately before Christmas and that they began questioning him about this crime .

By mid-morning the word was out in Donegal : Paddy McIntyre had been collared and the prospect of extradition loomed . By that afternoon , a Belfast solicitor , Pat Finucane , was contacting a colleague in Dublin .......

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, November 04, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......

....... in September 1914 , the 'Irish Volunteers' split - the majority (about 160,000 men) agreed with their leader John Redmond that they should assist the Brits in the war with Germany , while about 12,000 men dis-agreed and left with Eoin MacNeill and other figures in the leadership .......

The British had their hands full with 'World War One' and , in an unusually astute decision , decided to turn a blind eye to the marches and parades being carried out by those that had left with Eoin MacNeill , a group now known as the 'Irish Volunteers / Sinn Fein Volunteers' ; as the then British Chief Secretary for Ireland , Augustine Birrell , put it -

- " To proclaim the Irish Volunteers as an illegal body and put them down by force wherever they appear would , in my opinion , be a reckless and foolish act and would promote disloyalty to a prodigious extent . " Damned if they do (because the population would resent them even more for doing so) and damned if they did'nt (as it gave the Rebels 'breathing space') . Even when the Brits are playing it 'smart' , they are'nt !

But Westminster did attempt to use the talk , the threat and the issue of conscription to their own advantage - they claimed that was the reason why the 1918 General Election returned the results it did ie 'Conscription Act' introduced in April 1918 , General Election held in December 1918 . That 1918 Election was the first 'General Election' in the 'United Kingdom' since 1910 , and new 'elements' had been added - the electoral register , for instance , was three times larger than it had been in 1910 , and included , for the first time , women over thirty and all men over twenty-one .

The Sinn Fein victory was overwhelming ; nearly three-quarters of all the Irish seats (in Westminster) were now in Nationalist / Republican hands .......

(MORE LATER).


Why We Ended The Hunger-Strike .
The full text of the H-Block Blanket Men's statement announcing the end of the 1981 Hunger-Strike .

First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2, November 1981 , pages 23 , 24 , 25 and 26 .
Re-published here in 18 parts .
(1 of 18).

" We , the protesting Republican prisoners in the H-Blocks , being faced with the reality of sustained family intervention , are forced by this circumstance , over which we have little control at the moment , to end the hunger-strike .

After four years of continual protest , and after the failure of the Cardinal O'Fiaich / Humphrey Atkins talks , and having exhausted all other means of protest to bring about a settlement , we embarked on hunger-strike on October 27th , 1980 .

That hunger-strike ended on December 18th , 1980 , when the British Government intimated to the hunger-strikers that they would implement a workable and just solution which was forwarded to the hunger-strikers on 18th December 1980 .

In the course of the immediate post - hunger-strike period it became increasingly clear that the British Government had reneged on their commitment to implement that solution and so we were back in a pre- hunger-strike predicament and thus forced to go back on hunger-strike ....... "

(MORE LATER).


ONE THAT GOT AWAY .......
Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(4 of 13).

Re-captured within two days after the September 1983 jail-break , Patrick McIntyre had to wait three years and three months to get a second chance ; with less than six months of his original sentence left , he was due three days ' rehabilitation parole ' as Christmas 1986 approached . The prison authorities opposed his release because the trial of the Maze escapers was pending , but McIntyre defeated their objections before the courts .

The Provisionals approved his absconding - they believed the recently introduced ' rehabilitation ' gimmick was geared to cause divisions in their structures within the prisons . By December 20th , 1986 , the RUC were looking for him but he was over the border , in Donegal , getting his hair timted !

On the twisty main road between Killybegs and Kilcar , in West Donegal , there is a white flat-roofed dwelling in the townland of Cashlings ; some Gardai consider it ' a safe house ' . Raymond 'The Rooster' McLaughlin , a well-known IRA activist , was suspected of stopping off there not long before he drowned , accidentally , in a pool , in County Clare , in 1985 . Shortly after eight o'clock on the morning of 6th January 1987 , Aiden Murray and other armed Detectives raided the house .......

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, November 03, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......

....... some of those within the 'Irish Volunteers' did not agree with the pro-British 'call-to-arms' statement of its leader , John Redmond ; Eoin MacNeill , who was in a leadership position in that organisation , was one of them .......

However , in 1916 (two years after John Redmond's 'call-to-arms' to assist the British war effort) , Eoin MacNeill did something just as bad himself - he was then a Professor of Early Irish History and co-founder (with Douglas Hyde) of the 'Gaelic League' (in 1893) . MacNeill issued the " Manoeuvres Cancelled " order , regarding the 1916 Rising , which was published in 'The Sunday Independent' newspaper the day before the Rising .

MacNeill believed that the Brits were about to make a move against the 'Irish Volunteers' and this apparently swayed him into supporting an Easter 1916 Rising , but he was , for the most part , reluctant to follow that path . On hearing that the weapons on board 'The Aud' would not now be available to the Irish Rebels , and that Roger Casement had been 'arrested' by the British , he reverted to his anti-Rising position . His "..Cancelled .." Order caused great confusion within the ranks of the Rebels and , although Padraig Pearse , James Connolly and other Rebel leaders immediately issued an Order that the 'manoeuvres' which had been 'cancelled' would now go ahead twenty-four hours later (ie at 12 noon on Easter Monday) , the damage had been done - less than one-thousand armed men turned out on the day .

However - end of that particular 'tangent' ! : as a result of John Redmond's pro-Brit 'call-to-arms' (in September 1914) , the 'Irish Volunteers' split - about 160,000 men stayed with Redmond , calling themselves the 'National Volunteers' , and at least 12,000 men , who dis-agreed with the 'lets-help-the-Brits' plan , left with Eoin MacNeill and other leaders , keeping the original name of the 'Irish Volunteers' : it was this (smaller) organisation which soon became known as the 'Sinn Fein Volunteers' , a 'loose term' used at the time to describe anyone , or group , who refused to help in the British war effort .......

(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.

Some details about the Author , Micheal O'Suilleabhain -

The people successfully resisted the efforts to impose a foreign tongue on themselves and their children , and they countered the proselytising attempts by ardently and intensively preserving the Irish language , music , songs , games and pastimes . Micheal O'Suilleabhain is of his people - bone and tissue . Brought up in their tradition , he was a member of the Volunteers at the age of thirteen and had just reached his fourteenth birthday when the men and women of 1916 wrote the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Ireland and of the entire British 'Empire' .

During the years that immediately followed the Easter Rising he and his comrades were destined to fight a guerilla war on their native mountainsides , that was to become an important part of the pattern of the nation-wide fight for freedom . Through mountain passes and along the beds of creeks , Micheal O'Suilleabhain takes us to attack an armed 'police' patrol or to plan a large-scale engagement against the elite of Britain's specially recruited fighting forces in Ireland - the infamous Auxiliaries , all ex-commissioned Offices and , to a man , much decorated veterans of 'World War One' .

The rank smell of cordite and the smoke and dust of battle on rock-bordered roads are in this book . But in it , too, is heard the beating of the hearts of the mountainy men ; through it rings the gay laughter of its comely young women and the warm affection of parents , sons and daughters , in the mountain homes of Muskerry .

It was inevitable that Micheal O'Suilleabhain and his people should rally to the armed struggle for freedom with an all-embracing dedication . They comprehended , perhaps better than most areas in the country , the fundamental causes that led to 1916 and to the War of Independence . And from the ranks of their fighting men has come a chronicler of competence and talent to tell their story as few others could have told it .

[END of 'WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN ... - Some details about the Author'].
(Tomorrow - from November 1981 : 'Why we ended the Hunger-Strike').


ONE THAT GOT AWAY .......
Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(3 of 13).

After 14 months on remand in the North , Patrick McIntyre came before a judge ; he was in deep trouble , as he had signed a statement admitting involvement in the attempted 'murder' of a UDR member ('Ulster[sic] Defence Regiment' - a pro-British militia) near Castlederg in County Tyrone , in late 1977 . McIntyre refused to recognise the court , was convicted and given a fifteen year jail sentence ; Jim Clarke was also jailed for the Castlederg attack - he got eighteen years .

The first part of their detention was spent in Crumlin Road Prison - Patrick McIntyre says he was locked-up for twenty-three hours each day . A different source says " ...conditions in the Crum were relatively calm because , soon after , Republicans in Long Kesh were breaking every stick of furniture in their cells . " Patrick McIntyre amd Jim Clarke were transferred to the Kesh at a time when the campaign for retention of political status was intensifying ; they took part in the Blanket Protest and were still there during the 1981 Hunger-Strike .

The two men were together , too, among the 38 inmates who escaped from the prison in September 1983 ; sticks and screwdrivers and handguns were used and a Prison Officer , James Ferris , was killed during the break-out . Patrick McIntyre managed to stay loose for two days ; cameramen were alerted to film him and another escaper , Joe Corey , being recaptured near Castlewellan , County Down . He would have to wait three years and three months before he got a second chance to escape .......

(MORE LATER).
(Readers please note - we will publish critical comments in the 'Guestbook' , providing same contains no foul language . Go raibh maith agat , agus slan go foill - Sharon . ).






Tuesday, November 02, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......

....... as the leader of the 'Irish Volunteers' , John Redmond called on Irishmen to join the British Army and help in the war against Germany ....

On 20th September , 1914 , John Redmond stated - " It would be a disgrace forever to our country , and a reproach to her manhood , and a denial of the lessons of her history , if young Ireland confined her efforts to remain at home to defend the shores of Ireland from an unlikely invasion , and shrank from the duty of proving on the field of battle that gallantry and courage which has distinguished our race all through its history . " ('1169 ...' comment - what a warped sense of history and a misguided view of 'gallantry' and 'courage' that man had !)

Others , obviously , did not agree with Redmond - amongst them was James Connolly , the Irish Trade Union leader , who was also in command of the Irish Citizen Army , who answered Redmond's call thus -

' Full steam ahead , John Redmond said ,
that everything was well , chum ;
Home Rule will come when we are dead ,
and buried out in Belgium . '

Also , some of John Redmond's own men dis-agreed with his pro-British 'call-to-arms' ; Eoin MacNeill , who was then in a leadership position within the 'Irish Volunteers' , was of the opinion that the 'Irish Volunteers' should only use force against the British if Westminster first moved against them ; a bit 'watery' , definately , but he was , however , against fighting with the British .

Eoin MacNeill was to come to prominence again , two years later , in 1916 ; in a move which outraged Irish Republicans ...

(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.

Some details about the Author , Micheal O'Suilleabhain .

The Planters who drove our people from the good lands followed them into the rocky mountain valleys and formed the hard-won little holdings into 'estates' on which 'rents' were levied for the benefit of 'landlords' who lived abroad .

Even the bodies of the mountainy men and women were commandeered at the whim of the 'masters' . The wild birds of the air and all the ground game were decreed the 'property' of the 'overlords' ; a native Irishman whose greyhound chased a hare or who took a shot at grouse or snipe ran the risk of being shot by a 'gamekeeper' .

The constant struggle against the twin forces of nature and an alien 'law' , both formidable and unrelenting , failed , however , to break the spirit of the people . It destroyed neither their capacity for simple social enjoyment nor their determination to throw off the yoke of serfdom ; rather did the long years of endurance foster in them a strong tradition of resistance to oppression .......

(MORE LATER).


ONE THAT GOT AWAY .......
Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(2 of 13).

Two of the seven men detained were from Letterkenny in County Donegal ; Patrick McIntyre of Ard O'Donnell and his pal , Jim Clarke . Patrick McIntyre is the fifth of a family of nine , who did his 'Leaving Certificate' (school examination) in 1976 and , after taking a six months AnCo (state work-training ) course , started working on a building site in Letterkenny . John McIntyre , his father , is the Editor of the 'Donegal People's Press' newspaper ; he is a large man with a passion for ice-cream and the card-game 'bridge' , who has managed to go through life without making a single enemy .

As a youth , Patrick McIntyre was , as friends describe him , a 'withdrawn kind of a lad' . His involvement with the IRA was to surprise the entire family . But he had been impressed by the 1916 plaque in Saint Eunan's College , by the sight of Derry refugees taking shelter in Letterkenny , of the (Free State) Army on stand-by near the border , by emotive speeches by politicians and by the 'Arms Trial' .

He mixed with Official Sinn Fein members in the early 1970's : they held meetings in a room over a pub in Letterkenny where local issues were discussed . But he always stayed clear of public displays - and not a word was said at home .......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, November 01, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......

....... in 1941 , the Brits were considering the 'introduction' of conscription in the Six Occupied Counties of Ireland . The (pro-British) U.S. Ambassador in the Free State , a Mr. David Gray , knew it would be a mistake ; in a letter to his 'boss' , the American Secretary of State , he wrote (on 24th May 1941).......

".... Eighty thousand Irish Volunteers in the British Army will be disaffected , there will be no material number of Nationalist conscripts , a government, a popular majority and an army inclined to be friendly to Great Britain rather than to the Axis will become definitely hostile , possibly giving active aid to Germany and most important of all the pro-British opposition will be helpless and the opportunity for dividing the country on the question of the ports will be lost for the duration .

The effect on Irish-American opinion at this juncture is not for me to estimate . This is a grave situation . " Shortly afterwards , Churchill wrote -

- " .... the (British) Cabinet is inclined to the view it would be more trouble than it's worth to go through with conscription . No immediate decision will be taken and in the meantime the less made of the affair the better . " It took , as usual , the threat of force , or force itself , before the British realised that there would be a re-action to their action . And it still does today .

However - 'tangents' as always ! : back to the earlier part of the 20th Century in Ireland - the 'Irish Volunteers' , under the leadership of John Redmond , called for Irishmen to join the British Army and help in the war against Germany .......

(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.

Some details about the Author , Micheal O'Suilleabhain -

Against a striking backdrop of mountain , rock , river and lake , Micheal O'Suilleabhain sets the story that he has to tell . There is in his tale an interlacing thread of high drama that is neither intentional nor contrived . It comes with an articulate voice and forcible impact out of the land and the people about whom he writes .

His people live in three parishes that cover almost eighty square miles ; in this area , the small sloping fields that now grow crops and help to support livestock were won from the stony ground by hard unremitting physical labour . The quality of the soil is not good and all the fields have been reclaimed from the rock , the marsh , the bog , the heather and the brake .

The work of reclamation was done , with the worst of tools , by men and women who were driven , long ago, from the fertile inland by successive plantations . But their labours were rewarded only by further confiscations by the Planters .......

(MORE LATER).


ONE THAT GOT AWAY .
Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(1 of 13).

On Easter Sunday morning of 1978 , seven raw County Donegal Provo recruits crossed the border to Derry City ; they had been chosen to form the Colour Party for the Easter Commemoration ceremony that afternoon , leading the Easter Parade through the Creggan and Bogside where Daithi O Conaill delivered the oration .

The 'show' over , the Colour Party members went into the Rossville Street flats , stripped off their paramilitary clothes and dark glasses and got into casual clothes . The back road from Creggan to the border had been checked and cleared , they were assured .

Some of the seven men wanted to go for a few pints and then take the bus home . Under protest , they all piled into the one car and were driven off . The joint British Army/RUC patrol which intercepted them minutes later already had photographs of all seven men taken from a helicopter during the Easter Parade .

IRA membership would be easy to prove .......

(MORE LATER).