" 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, March 04, 2005

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

....... in February 1798 , the representative of the United Irishmen leadership , Arthur O'Connor , was arrested by the Brits in Margate , England , whilst on his way to France to help organise assistance for the Rebel Cause in Ireland . He was 'tried' with 'sedition' (in May 1798) - but found 'not guilty' ! He was immediately re-arrested , transported to Kilmainham Jail in Dublin and charged , again , with 'sedition' : but not given a 'trial' this time . He was just simply locked-up in Kilmainham - then , after seven months (ie in January 1799) he was brought before the prison administration .......


He was told he was to be moved to Fort George Prison in Scotland ; he was incarcerated there for three years and two months (ie until March 1802) and was only released , as stated earlier in this piece , because the French 'named' him under the 'Peace Of Amiens' Treaty which was signed between the French and the British on 25th March 1802 to bring their war to an end . On his release , Arthur O'Connor was deported to France and enlisted in their Army .

Within two years (ie by 1804) he was appointed General-Of-Division by Napoleon ; on 25th April , 1852 , at 92 years of age (or 87 , depending on your source - I believe it was the former) Arthur O'Connor died . However (before that small 'tangent' !) - after his 'arrest' by the Brits (in February 1798) , Westminster was aware that his colleague , 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald , was still free and they knew he was capable of using 'The Press' newspaper as a 'tool' with which to rally the thousands of United Irishmen who supported Fitzgerald and O'Connor in their call for an immediate armed Rising ...

... - so Westminster ordered their uniformed thugs in Ireland to 'visit' the Offices of 'The Press' newspaper .......

(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 .
(12 of 20).

Edward Langley , a 'PR' man with the General Electric group , travelled America with Ronald Reagan in the mid-1950's :

: " Gradually , and only he knows precisely when , he came to share the 'Middle American' views of his audiences . Reagan , then as now , was a consummate crowd-pleaser who loved the applause and the interplay with his listeners . Eventually , from whatever mixture of performing instinct and new conviction , he started taking his audiences' opinion for his own , and telling them what they wanted to hear . "

In 1964 , Reagan gave his now famous " Islands of Freedom ... " speech for the ill-fated Republican Presidential candidate , Barry Goldwater - " We stand here on the only island of freedom that is left in the whole world , " he told a national television audience , " there is no place to flee to , no place to escape to . We defend freedom here or it is gone ... "

Contributions poured in after his address - still , Goldwater lost by a landslide .......

(MORE LATER).


DEATH LIST 1989 .......
Two RUC Officers and two British soldiers , one based in West Germany , were killed by the IRA since mid-May , while a Catholic barman was shot by the UFF bringing the total death toll to 39 this year .
No by-line.
From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1989 , pages 22 and 23 .
Re-published here in 14 parts .
(8 of 14).

19th March : David Braniff (63) , a father of 13 , was shot dead at his home in Alliance Avenue , Belfast , as he knelt with his wife and one daughter reciting the rosary . Two loyalist gunmen burst into the house and killed Mr. Braniff despite an attempt by his wife to save his life .

20th March : Chief Superintendent Harry Breen (51) from Banbridge , County Down , and Superintendent Bob Buchanan (55) from Moira , County Down , died when the car they were travelling in was attacked by an IRA Unit near Jonesboro in South Armagh . The two men had just crossed the border from the south on an unapproved road when they encountered an IRA checkpoint . They had been attending a meeting with Chief Superintendent John Nolan at Dundalk Garda Station where 'cross border security' was discussed . Chief Supt. Breen was Commander of the RUC's 'H' Division which includes Newry , South Armagh and Armagh City , while Supt. Buchanan was in charge of RUC 'liaison' with the Gardai , a key post in the RUC hierarchy .

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, March 03, 2005

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

....... a disagreement was taking place within the United Irishmen organisation between those who wanted immediate armed action against British mis-rule in Ireland and those who wanted to wait for French assistance : the latter won the day . It was agreed that a representative of the United Irishmen leadership be sent to France to help organise whatever assistance was on offer .......


Arthur O'Connor was chosen by the leadership to travel to France and , in February 1798 , as he was travelling through Margate , in England , he was stopped and arrested by the Brits ; he was 'tried' in May 1798 in Maidstone , England , charged with 'sedition' (ie " talk or action exciting discontent or rebellion ... " against the Westminster Administration ) - but found not guilty !

In typical British arrogance , they had not bothered to 'back-up' their 'case' against O'Connor , believing that their opinion alone should be enough to gain a conviction .

Arthur O'Connor walked .... a few yards , anyway : he was immediately re-arrested , transported to Kilmainham Jail in Dublin and charged , again , with 'sedition' . But this time - no 'trial' ; the Brits were 'once bitten , twice shy ' - he was held in that prison for seven months (ie until January 1799) when he was brought before the prison administration .......

(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 .
(11 of 20).

By 1951 , Ronald Reagan's acting career was fading ; then , in 1954 , he received the biggest break in both his showbusiness and political career - General Electric , with plants all over the United States , paid him $125,000 dollars a year to host a new TV series and to travel around their plants boosting company morale .

Reagan went on the road from eight to sixteen weeks a year , sometimes giving fourteen speeches a day to GE employees . Mostly he talked about Hollywood , but when they started asking his opinion on current events Reagan was somewhat surprised to hear himself starting to form a political philosophy in his answers .

Although for all practical purposes Reagan was a conservative by this time , he still considered himself a Democrat - now even that was changing ; Edward Langley , a public relations man for GE who travelled with Reagan during those years , remembers the metamorphosis .......

(MORE LATER).


DEATH LIST 1989 .......
Two RUC Officers and two British soldiers , one based in West Germany , were killed by the IRA since mid-May , while a Catholic barman was shot by the UFF bringing the total death toll to 39 this year .
No by-line.
From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1989 , pages 22 and 23 .
Re-published here in 14 parts .
(7 of 14).

14th March : Thomas John Hardy (48) , a part-time UDR man , was shot dead at the Granville Meats plant , Dungannon , County Tyrone . Mr. Hardy , from Dungannon , was shot dead after he drove into a loading bay at the company premises on the Augnacloy Road . He joined the UDR on its formation in 1970 .

16th March : John Irvine (49) was shot dead on the street outside his shop on Skegoneill Avenue in North Belfast . The IRA , who claimed the killing , said that Mr. Irvine , who was a defendant in the Budgie Allen supergrass trial some years ago , was an active member of the UVF , a charge denied by that loyalist organisation .

17th March : Niall Davies (42) , a Catholic Senior Civil Servant , was shot dead in front of his wife and daughter at their home in Glengormley , North Belfast ; loyalist attackers used a sledgehammer to break down a door at the Davies home on Church Road and then shot their victim at least three times in the chest . Mr. Davies worked in the North's 'Department of Health and Social Services' .

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, March 02, 2005

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

... the Irish Rebel newspaper 'The Press' was founded in 1797 by two of those in the leadership of the United Irishmen organisation - Arthur O'Connor and 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald .......


Others in the leadership of that organisation (notably Thomas Addis Emmet and Dr. William James MacNeven) were worried that 'The Press' newspaper was promoting too militant an agenda .

Emmet and MacNeven were concerned that the revolution being openly called-for in the pages of 'The Press' would only encourage the political 'establishment' (ie Dublin Castle ) to investigate with a renewed vigour the organisation with which that newspaper was associated - the United Irishmen .

The more 'moderate' (if you like) leadership of the United Irishmen considered it preferable to , as they put it , " calm the peasantry ... " while the Rebel Army was being recruited and organised . Thomas Addis Emmet convinced the leadership that the French were prepared to assist the Irish Rebels in an armed rising and it was agreed that one of those in leadership position in the United Irishmen be sent over to France to enter into liaison with the French Administration .

Arthur O'Connor packed his bags - but it was not to be .......

(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 .
(10 of 20).

After the war , as newly elected President of the Screen Actors' Guild , Ronald Reagan had to grapple with labour problems that threatened to shut down Hollywood ; Reagan believed that the problems were instigated by the communists who were trying to " .. take over the motion picture business for a grand , world-wide propaganda base . "

His liberal friends' opposition to the McCarthyism exposed to him , he later said , the " seamy side of liberalism . " Most accounts give his growing absorption in Guild politics as the reason for his divorce from Jane Wyman in 1948 .

In 1951 he met a young starlet named Nancy Davis ; they were married a year later . Her father was a prominent Chicago surgeon and a staunch right-wing Republican , and Reagan's friends say Dr. Davis was a strong influence on him .......

(MORE LATER).


DEATH LIST 1989 .......
Two RUC Officers and two British soldiers , one based in West Germany , were killed by the IRA since mid-May , while a Catholic barman was shot by the UFF bringing the total death toll to 39 this year .
No by-line.
From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1989 , pages 22 and 23 .
Re-published here in 14 parts .
(6 of 14).

7th March : Leslie Dallas (39) , Ernest Rankin (72) and Austin Nelson (62) were killed when an IRA Unit attacked a garage in Coagh , County Tyrone , which they claimed was being used by the loyalist UVF to prepare sectarian attacks on Catholics in the area and specifically on Republican supporters .

8th March : British soldiers Private Miles Daniel Amos (18) and Private Stephen Jeffery Cummins (24) died after a massive landmine blew their landrover off the Buncrana Road in Derry near the Donegal border checkpoint . The second of two vehicles in the British Army patrol was completely destroyed and six other British soldiers were injured , two seriously .

10th March : Mr. James McCartney (39) was shot dead outside the Orient Bar on the Springfield Road in West Belfast where he worked as a security man . Another man was seriously injured when the loyalist attackers shot into the crowded bar in one of a number of attacks on nationalists over a twenty-four hour period in Belfast .

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, March 01, 2005

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

....... in July 1798 , seventy-six Irish political prisoners - including Dr. William James MacNeven , Arthur O'Connor and Thomas Addis Emmet - entered into an 'agreement' with their British jailers that , in return for certain information , the Brits would stop the on-going slaughter of the now-leaderless United Irishmen organisation and release the 76 prisoners , allowing them to be exiled to a country of their own choice . The 'trade-off' began .......


However : once the Brits had got the information they wanted , they changed their mind ! They assembled the 76 Irish political prisoners but , instead of allowing them to go and to be exiled to a country of their own choice , as per the 'Treaty of Newgate' agreement , they shipped them off to a Scottish prison , Fort George ! That was in 1798 ; four years later (ie 1802) Dr. William James MacNeven and the other 'Treaty of Newgate' prisoners were finally released - they went to France .

The majority of them , led by MacNeven , enlisted in the 'Irish Brigade' of the French Army in the hope that the French military leadership could be persuaded to launch an invasion of Ireland to help remove the British presence . After three years 'pushing' the Irish agenda within the French Army , MacNeven realised that it was'nt going to happen ; he resigned his Commission in 1805 (he was by then a Captain) and left France for New York .

He practised his medical skills in that city on the poor Irish wretches that landed there , having been forced to leave their own country . On 12th July 1841 , at 78 years of age , Dr. William James MacNeven died in New York . He is buried on Riker Farm , in Queens .

However (tangents , tangents !) - back to the Irish Rebel newspaper that Arthur O'Connor and 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald founded ; 'The Press' .......

(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 .
(9 of 20).

In 1942 , Ronald Reagan joined the United States Army , though despite his 'hawkishness' in later years he never himself went into battle - becoming a Captain with a film unit in Hollywood . Up until his army years , Reagan was a card-carrying liberal : " I was a near helpless hemophiliac liberal . I bled for causes . I had voted Democratic , following my father , in every election . "

Reagan's father was a first-generation Irish Catholic ; his mother a Scots-English Protestant . He ascribes his love of politics , as well as his early liberalism , to his background - " As a first-line Irishman , I relish it . There seems to be something blarney-green in the blood of most sons of the old sod that gives zest to the shillelagh psyche . " ('1169...' Comment - apologises to our readers for that .... !)

Unlike most candidates today , Ronald Reagan does not wear his religion or ancestry on his sleeve and that bit of 'green hokum' is the only nod he gives to his Irish background .......

(MORE LATER).


DEATH LIST 1989 .......
Two RUC Officers and two British soldiers , one based in West Germany , were killed by the IRA since mid-May , while a Catholic barman was shot by the UFF bringing the total death toll to 39 this year .
No by-line.
From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1989 , pages 22 and 23 .
Re-published here in 14 parts .
(5 of 14).

26th February : Joseph Fenton (35) from Sawel Hill , Andersonstown , was shot dead by the IRA in Bunbeg Park , Lenadoon . A claim by the IRA that Mr. Fenton was working as an agent for the British Army and RUC was immediately denied . However , later in the week the dead man's father , Patrick Fenton , said that he accepted the IRA's claim having been given evidence that his son had worked as a paid informer since 1982 . His information had lead to the capture of several IRA Volunteers and the seizure of arms and explosives by the RUC . Mr. Fenton left behind four children .

28th February : Retired RUC Inspector Gabriel Mullaly , of Kirkliston Park , Belfast , was killed when a bomb exploded under his car at the junction of North Road and Upper Newtownards Road . The IRA claimed responsibility for the killing .

(MORE LATER).
(Sorry for the delay in posting today , Tue 1st March : the 'Blogger' 'PUBLISH' button was down until recently - Sharon .)






Monday, February 28, 2005

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

....... in March 1798 , Dr. William James MacNeven was one of the 15 leaders of the United Irishmen organisation that were 'arrested' by the British at the home of Oliver Bond , in Dublin . The now leaderless Irish Rebel Army was easy pickings for the Brits - they began slaughtering the Irish fighters , showing no mercy .......


The men in prison had to do something to stop the butchery of their followers outside ; in July that year (1798) , Dr. William James MacNeven , Arthur O'Connor , Thomas Addis Emmet and 73 other Irish political prisoners agreed a compromise with the British - this became known as the 'Treaty of Newgate' and , under it , the Irish Rebels agreed to outline the aims and the objectives of the United Irishmen organisation and to give certain details of its contacts with other countries ; both sides agreed that individuals involved , at home or abroad , would not be named .

In return , the Brits would stop the slaughter of the Irish Rebels ; those prisoners that gave such information to the British would be allowed to exile themselves to a country of their choice . Dr. William James MacNeven was later to say , re the 'Treaty of Newgate' -

- " It was the best service they could perform to save the country from the cold-blooded slaughter of its best , its bravest , its most enlightened defenders . "

And so the 'trade-off' began ; however - once the Brits got as much information as they could from the 76 Irish political prisoners , they assembled those men in one area .......

(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 .
(8 of 20).

The response to Ronald Reagan's first political speech - in the late 1920's , in support of a student strike - left an impression on the young Reagan ; " I discovered that night that an audience has a feel to it and , in the parlance of the theatre , the audience and I were together . When I came to actually presenting the motion , there was no need for parliamentary procedure : they came to their feet with a roar . Even the faculty members present voted by acclamation . It was heady wine . "

Graduating in 1932 , Ronald Reagan got a job as a sportscaster with an Iowa radio station ; while covering a baseball game on the west coast he got a screen test at Warner Brothers and was given a contract at 200 dollars a week . Between 1937 and 1951 he made fifty-one movies , most of them forgettable .

" The studio " , he says , " did'nt want the pictures good , it wanted them Thursday ....... "

(MORE LATER).


DEATH LIST 1989 .......
Two RUC Officers and two British soldiers , one based in West Germany , were killed by the IRA since mid-May , while a Catholic barman was shot by the UFF bringing the total death toll to 39 this year .
No by-line.
From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1989 , pages 22 and 23 .
Re-published here in 14 parts .
(4 of 14).

18th February : Stephen McCrea (36) of Ebor Street , off the Shankill Road , died two days after being seriously injured in an attack by the IPLO on the Orange Cross Social Club on the Shankill Road . The IPLO claimed that several recent loyalist assassinations of nationalists had been planned in the club and that loyalist killers were present at the time of their attack . An off-duty UDR man was also seriously injured in the attack . Stephen McCrea had served a lengthy prison sentence for his part in the murder of Catholics some years ago .

20th February : Patrick Feeney (32) of Tullylish , Gilford , County Down , was the second member of his family to be killed by random loyalist attack . In 1975 his uncle John was shot by the UVF in Portadown . Patrick Feeney was manning a security gate at the Ewart Liddell Linen Mill in Donaghcloney five miles from his home where he had worked for ten years when he was shot dead just before 9.00pm .

22nd February : Lance Corporal Norman Duncan (27) was shot dead by an IRA Unit as he drove from Ebrington Barracks in Derry to the nearby Ebrington Primary School to collect the children of British soldiers in a school bus . He was a native of Craigellanchie in Scotland .

(MORE LATER).