" 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!

Friday, February 18, 2005

'THE PRESS' Newspaper , October 1797 - March 1798 .
Too Radical for the Radicals .......

....... 'The Press' newspaper was judged by the Brits to be a militant publication , as it should have been ; however , some within its own 'camp' were wary of it , too , for much the same reason .......


A typical Editorial in 'The Press' newspaper ran (from Tuesday , 3rd October 1797) -

- " In a country really independent , the laws and policy originate within its own bosom and are calculated to extend the advantages of the state... (but) ... the government of this country has almost uniformly proposed to itself , as the ultimate end of its policy , the maintenance of an English interest as erroneously contra-distinguished from the interests of Ireland ..... "

Supporters of 'The Press' newspaper and the people behind that publication believed that they should strike a blow for freedom regardless of whether any assistance was promised from elsewhere or not - others within the United Irishmen leadership were opposed to such a move , notably Thomas Addis Emmet and a Dr. William James MacNeven , believing that they should wait for assistance from the French .

Thomas Addis Emmet was born in Cork on 24th April 1764 ; when he was 14 years young , his mother gave birth to another boy , Robert , who became more closely associated with the 'Emmet' name than Thomas Addis .......

(MORE LATER).


LIGHTS , CAMERA , REAGAN .......!
By John Dean.
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , October 1980 , pages 30, 31, 35, and 37.
Re-published here in 20 parts .
(2 of 20).

In January 1970 , I questioned California Governor Ronald Reagan about new drug laws ; when I finished , I waited for him to question me , as had the other governors : he had no questions . So I asked him a few more questions but backed off very quickly for I realised that he had no idea what I was really talking about . Governor Reagan made a few banal remarks about drugs and then changed the subject to the speech he would soon be delivering , " .. on television " . It was clear the speech was far more 'important' than anything I had to offer , so I quickly ended the meeting .

Within the inner circles of the Nixon Administration , Reagan was considered a 'lightweight' , so I was not surprised at our meeting ; nor was John Mitchell when I reported back - " Reagan's into images and only images , " said Mitchell . And over the years I was struck by how attractive that image was and is .

Off-camera , the Reagans look good but they also look their years . On-camera , they look like an ad agency's conception of the perfect older couple , which is to say not old at all , even though today he is 69 and she is 57 .......

(MORE LATER).


BIG BROTHER HAS ARRIVED .......
An investigation into the extent of telephone surveillance in Ireland shows that with the aid of new technology , telephone tapping has reached alarmimg proportions and most of it is done illegally .
By Frank Doherty .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , December 1980 , page 19.
(4 of 6).

One of the most audacious interceptions was organised by the Official IRA and controlled by the late Liam McMillan ; the operational telegraph network of the British Army in the North was tapped and its signals sent into the telex machine of the 'Cork Examiner' newspaper's Office , to which the Officials had a key .

At that time , in 1971 and 1972 , reporter Walter Ellis , the 'Examiner's ' sole employee in the North , arrived at the one-room office in Lombard Street only at predictable times - to telex his copy to Cork . At other times the teleprinter spewed out requests for 'Q cars' for undercover intelligence from the tactical Headquarters of various British battalions , request lists to British Army 'Northern Ireland' (sic) Command , Lisburn , for permission to raid specified houses for named individuals .

Also , at midday , an intelligence precis of the previous 24 hours , which was broadcast to all British units , would be printed-off by the telex machine .......

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, February 17, 2005

'THE PRESS' Newspaper , October 1797 - March 1798 .
Too Radical for the Radicals .......

....... there was hardly any activity by the 1798 Rebels in the county of Tipperary and , in order to keep it that way , the Brits covered that county with threatening posters .......


NOTICE

TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE TOWN AND NEIGHBOURHOOD OF TIPPERARY
IT IS ORDERED
That should a Shot at any Time be fired on the Military
from
any House or Cottage whether in the Town or County,

EVERY SOUL WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION found within
will be
PUT TO THE SWORD AND THE HOUSE DESTROYED

That should the Daringness of the disaffected lead
them
to Outrage or Cruelty on the Properties or Families of
the
peaceable and well-disposed the WHOLE
NEIGHBOURHOOD
WILL BE LAID WASTE

T.H. FOSTER
Colonel , Louth Regiment

British Colonel T.H. Foster was , by all accounts , the 'Sir' Richard Dawson Bates of his day ...

However - Arthur O' Connor and 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald were the two 'main men' behind ' The Press ' newspaper ; it was based in Dublin , and published an issue twice a week , selling for 2d a copy .

Its Editorials annoyed not only the Brits , but some within the United Irishmen organisation as well .......

(MORE LATER).


LIGHTS , CAMERA , REAGAN !
By John Dean.
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , October 1980 , pages 30, 31, 35, and 37.
Re-published here in 20 parts .
(1 of 20).

When I was ushered into Governor Ronnie Reagan's Office I was mildly shocked ; he was wearing lipstick , a heavy coat of pancake makeup on his face and rouge on his cheeks . He looked as if he could have been in drag moments before my arrival , but had slipped out of his dress and into a well tailored, navy blue suit for our meeting ...

" Oh , this makeup " , he began with a nervous laugh , " well , you see , I've got to deliver my 'State of the State' message to the legislature this morning ... " . I nodded my understanding and proceeded to give my pitch about drug laws , which had become a nice little speech since by this time I have given it to a dozen governors .

It was January 1970 , and I went to see Ronald Reagan , then Governor of California , at the request of then Attorney General John Mitchell , who wanted me to visit with the governors of all the large states to convince them to adopt new drug laws consistent with a Federal Law being proposed by the Richard Nixon Administration .......

(MORE LATER).


BIG BROTHER HAS ARRIVED .......
An investigation into the extent of telephone surveillance in Ireland shows that with the aid of new technology , telephone tapping has reached alarmimg proportions and most of it is done illegally .
By Frank Doherty .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , December 1980 , page 19.
(3 of 6).

The IRA eavesdropping network was found only because of the arrest of Brian Keenan , the Provos' Director of Operations in Belfast . The discovery was identical to one made in 1973 when Brendan Hughes (now on hunger strike in one of the H-Blocks) was arrested in a house in Myrtlefield Park , off Belfast's Malone Road .

Besides IRA contingency plans for a Doomsday situation - which Harold Wilson read in the British House of 'Commons' - searching British Army troops found a huge quantity of recording tapes containing conversations of senior Civil Servants and British Army Officers , including Lt. General 'Sir' Timothy Creasey's predecessor as British GOCNI , Lt. Gen. 'Sir' Harry Tuzo .

Also recovered from the garage of the house was a Frequency Changer - a 'scrambler' device which allowed the Provos to decode conversations on ' VIP lines ' they tapped .......

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, February 16, 2005

'THE PRESS' Newspaper , October 1797 - March 1798 .
Too Radical for the Radicals .......

....... the informer Thomas Reynolds had done his 'job' well - in March 1798 , the Brits (under the command of a Major Henry Sirr) raided the home of Oliver Bond in Bridge Street , Dublin , and 'arrested' most of the leadership of the United Irishmen organisation . Edward Fitzgerald was not amongst them , and a 'bounty' of £1,000 for information leading to his capture was offered by the Brits .......


'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald went 'on-the-run' but , two months later (ie May [19th] 1798) Major Sirr's men raided a house on Thomas Street , in Dublin , where Fitzgerald was staying ; a struggle ensued , during which Edward Fitzgerald shot one of his attackers dead but was himself shot in the arm - he died , apparently from that wound , in Newgate Prison on 4th June 1798 , at 35 years young .

Incidentally , during the 1798 Rising , the county of Tipperary was particularly 'quiet' , with little or no Rebel activity ; in order to keep it that way , the Brits put up hundreds of copies of a poster , describing the level of retribution those taking part in " the Outrage ... " (the Rising) or assisting the Rebels in any way could expect .......

(MORE LATER).


A STICKY END.......
Rise and decline of the 'Officials' .
No by-line.
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 2 , November 1981 , pages 76 and 77.

Re-published here in 8 parts .
[8 of 8].

The ' Sinn Fein - The Workers Party ' 'solution' was to call in the multi-national corporations ; for the 26 County State anyway , because the North must be allowed its devolved (Orange) government . Only " terrorism " from the ' starry-eyed Hibernian Nationalists ' prevent this wonderful scenario from materialising . If it was not so sad this would be funny ; even their long time allies in the Communist Party were forced to issue a heavily critical pamphlet on this disgraceful document .

So - what happened between 1968 and 1978 ? This current emerged from Republicanism with an imported version of 'socialism' known as the 'stage theory' (apparently invented by Stalin) which said - 1) Democracy in the Six Counties : 2) National Unification : 3) Socialism . However , they seem to have got stuck at the first stage , ignoring that in the real world the tasks of all three are posed simultaneously .

Republicanism is the Irish revolutionary thought answering to the needs of the Irish people . The lesson of this current , today a mere trickle , should be that you get lost if you leave that tradition . ('1169....' Comment - and where better to "get lost... " than on a seemingly 'gold-paved' alleyway between Leinster House , Stormont and Westminster ... ?).

[END of 'A STICKY END...'].
(Tomorrow - 'Lights , Camera , Reagan ! ' - from October 1980 ).


BIG BROTHER HAS ARRIVED .......
An investigation into the extent of telephone surveillance in Ireland shows that with the aid of new technology , telephone tapping has reached alarmimg proportions and most of it is done illegally .
By Frank Doherty .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , December 1980 , page 19.
(2 of 6).

More sophisticated interceptions by the IRA have been discovered only by chance ; the latest was mentioned in a Belfast Court in June 1980 when it was stated that the RUC had uncovered " sophisticated electronic equipment used to decode British Army messages . " 'The Sunday Times' later revealed that among the British Army messages mentioned were the decoded conversations of Lt. General Sir Timothy Creasey , the General Officer Commanding 'Northern Ireland' and messages arranging an SAS ambush which later went wrong .

What the IRA had done was to intercept dozens of 'phone lines in the city at roadside connection boxes (called cabinets) and 'shunt' them into a safe house by running a special cable from the local distribution point .

Such an operation presents little difficulty for a Post Office engineer or former engineer .......

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, February 15, 2005

'THE PRESS' Newspaper , October 1797 - March 1798 .
Too Radical for the Radicals .......

....... on 27th December 1792 , at 29 years young , 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald married 19-years-young Pamela de Genlis . Pamela's mother was , by most accounts , Mme de Genlis and her father was thought to be the 'Duke' of Orleans - a 'family connection' that was to be raised later .......


In 1796 , 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald travelled to Basel , in France , with Arthur O'Connor and Wolfe Tone - but he got a 'frosty' reception from the French because his wife was considered to be connected to the 'Royalists' ! However , the honesty of his political conviction became obvious to the hosts , and his statement to them (the 'French Directory') that the strength of the United Irishmen organisation stood at approximately 280,000 armed men helped convince them to send assistance - the 'Hoche Expedition' , already mentioned in this piece .

Edward Fitzgerald was not with the rest of the leadership of the United Irishmen organisation in March 1798 at the home of Oliver Bond in Bridge Street , Dublin , when the Brits raided and 'arrested' those within , acting on information sold to them by the informer Thomas Reynolds .

When British Major Henry Sirr realised that Fitzgerald was not amongst those captured , he offered a 'bounty' of £1,000 for information leading to his capture ; Edward Fitzgerald went 'on-the-run' .......

(MORE LATER).


A STICKY END.......
Rise and decline of the 'Officials' .
No by-line.
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 2 , November 1981 , pages 76 and 77.

Re-published here in 8 parts .
(7 of 8).

'Sinn Fein - The Workers Party's' politics , such as they are , can best be seen in the remarkable document 'The Irish Industrial Revolution' (Repsol , 1978) ; the main aim is to pin the blame for Ireland's problems on the Nationalist 'middle class' - " They refused to industrialise . They refused to create a modern society . They refused to spend their money . "

This is all a bit simplistic but , worse than that , it totally ignores the role of imperialism which is recognised by most historians as the cause of Ireland's failure to industrialise in the 19th Century . Anyone working on the land is also automatically a reactionary , according to this document , thus writing-off the small farmer at one stroke .

The 'way out' is simple - call in the multi-national corporations , a 'progressive force' , and build-up the State sector .......

(MORE LATER).


BIG BROTHER HAS ARRIVED .
An investigation into the extent of telephone surveillance in Ireland shows that with the aid of new technology , telephone tapping has reached alarmimg proportions and most of it is done illegally .
By Frank Doherty .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , December 1980 , page 19.
(1 of 6).

The difficulty in uncovering tapping operations is shown by the lack of success the authorities have shown against illicit interceptions which have been carried out extensively by the Provisional IRA and various other organisations during the last ten years .

In July 1973 a night telephonist employed at a Posts and Telegraphs Exchange in Dublin was prosecuted for recording conversations for the IRA during a period between September 1972 and April 1973 .

An interception of this sort - where an operator uses TKO selectors to switch in on a temporary basis - is a 'hit and miss' affair which depends on the eavesdropper dialling up the line at a time when there was a worthwhile conversation in progress . It is also hazardous , as events proved ...

...TKO equipment causes a distinct 'click' as it brings the listener into the line , and it is easy for investigators to walk along 'final selector racks' in a telephone exchange and find a TKO Selector which is being mis-used by a particular operator .......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, February 14, 2005

'THE PRESS' Newspaper , October 1797 - March 1798 .
Too Radical for the Radicals .......

....... as M.P. for Kildare , the 'Rebel Lord' , Edward Fitzgerald , attended a political 'Dinner Party' one night ; his refusal to hide his 'rebel streak' had an immediate effect on his 'career' .......


At that dinner party he joined in a toast to the abolition of hereditary titles and was , shortly afterwards , 'cashiered' (ie "discharged with ignominy") from the British Army (and from the 'Establishment' ie - 'those that dinner-partied' !) by way of punishment !

He went to Paris in 1792 , at 29 years young and , two days after Christmas that year , he married a 19-years-young girl , Pamela , thought to be the daughter of Mme de Genlis . It was generally accepted that Pamela's father was the 'Duke' of Orleans - a 'family connection' which was to re-bound on Edward Fitzgerald a few years later ... (Incidentally - while in Paris , 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald stayed with a certain Mr. Thomas Paine.)

In 1793 , Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald returned to Dublin and lived in Frascati House in Blackrock ; three years later (ie 1796) , 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald travelled to Basel in France with Arthur O'Connor and Wolfe Tone to seek assistance with an armed Rising against the British ; but his above-mentioned 'family connections' were raised at a meeting with the French military .......

(MORE LATER).


A STICKY END.......
Rise and decline of the 'Officials' .
No by-line.
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 2 , November 1981 , pages 76 and 77.

Re-published here in 8 parts .
(6 of 8).

It is the height of political bankruptcy to blame one's failure on an assault from " the ultra-left ... " and " the right... " at once ! But then the 'Sticks' always did slander the Republican Movement in precisely this way . The truth is that the Nationalist people of Belfast showed their determination to fight British imperialism and support the hunger-strikers . There is nothing " ultra-left" or "right" about this , it is just a resurgence of Republican resistance .

The 'Officials' were now so far away from that tradition that they could not recognise the fact .......

(MORE LATER).


HAMMER AND TONGS.......
'Survivors' : collected by Uinseann MacEoin .
Reviewed by Tim Pat Coogan.

First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , December 1980 , page 53.
Re-published here in 7 parts .
[7 of 7].

The 'Survivors' are part of the heritage of the community they shape and leave behind them and they have an obligation to tell that community , for which the men mentioned above in particular shed their own and others' blood , endured incredible privations , bitterness and dissention , what it was that motivated them to take the decisions and courses they did . The proper study of man is man .

We can learn guidances for our own actions by studying the actions of others ; it is many years since I researched my IRA book , in the 1960's to be exact , when I first discovered that in many parts of the country it was the example and in some cases the direct encouragement of some of the figures mentioned above in 'Survivors' (who , in turn , often were influenced firstly by their mothers) which had brought some of the figures I was then interviewing into 'the Movement' .

They in turn later brought others in . The existence of economic deprivation , the British Army and the sectarian assassins have in turn ensured that as long as this country is divided there will be 'Survivors' .

[END of ' HAMMER AND TONGS - 'Survivors' '].
(Tomorrow : 'BIG BROTHER HAS ARRIVED' - from 1980 ).