" 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, March 25, 2005

DYING BY THE SWORD .......
By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(5 of 17).


In his house in Portadown , in his neat sitting-room , in his fairly large detached house with a manicured garden , rich with flowers , and complete with a basketball hoop , sat Billy Wright . A trim 36-year-old then , who did'nt drink or smoke , who had tattoos , dressed in denim , wore a gold ear-ring , and talked about his little dog , Levi , who'd just had an operation .

All around were the little china religious plaques announcing things like ' Jesus' Name Is Sweet To Every Ear . ' In the Laura Ashley-style room , with bordered wallpaper , his partner serves coffee in pottery mugs . All so normal , except for a feeling of tight control and anger that sometimes seeps through the man who's said to have ordered the random killing of a Catholic man on 7th July , the day before the Drumcree stand-off .

Lurgan taxi driver Eddie McGoldrick had just had a new baby and had also just graduated from Queens University .......

(MORE LATER).


WOMEN IN IRELAND'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM .......
By the late Cork Republican , Gearoid MacCarthaigh .


" Many women were interned in Kilmainham Jail by the Free Staters during the years 1922-1923 ; the story of their treatment there is told in ' The Jangle of the Keys ' by one of them - the late Mrs Margaret Buckley . Aoife Taffe , who escaped from the jail , hid for several hours in a coal wagon which was parked on the nearby railway line until it moved off to safer places .

At Easter 1936 , Fianna Fail banned the sale of Easter Lilies for the first time - women all over Ireland were in the forefront defying this ban .

In 1936 also , the new City Hall in Cork City , which had been built on the site of the old City Hall and Public Library (which had been burned to the ground by the Black And Tans in 1920 ) was opened . The opening ceremony was to be performed by Eamonn de Valera ; Free State security was to be very tight for this event . Passes for admission were only given to very carefully selected people .

Six of those passes were given to an ex-British Army Officer who lived in Cork at that time ; he gave them to a member of the Brigade Staff of the 1st Cork Brigade , Oglaigh na hEireann ....... "

(MORE LATER).


SURVIVORS , SERVERS , AND SAVIOURS.......
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 1.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.


' In that same eighteenth century Ireland , there were sectarian parties in Ulster - the Protestant 'Peep of Day Boys' and the Catholic 'Defenders' ; religious animosity was more bitter than it is today . Violence was common and , after one bloody affray , the Orange Order was instituted .

Despite this unfavourable background , the Society of United Irishmen was formed in Belfast , mainly by Protestants ; the Catholic element in the Society grew rapidly in numbers and soon the mass of the 'Defender' organisation had been enrolled . This signified that the Catholics had been converted to the idea that their real enemy was not the Orangeman , but England .

The United Irishmen were able to convert some of the Orangemen to the idea that their fear of Catholic numerical superiority was unfounded , and that Ireland was big enough for all her children to achieve prosperity provided that the connection with Britain was broken . Britain saw that this was true , and she decided that a prosperous Ireland would endanger British commerce ; hence the barabarties of 1797 and 1798 ....... '

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, March 24, 2005

DYING BY THE SWORD .......
By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(4 of 17).

So just who was Billy Wright ? : " I am a mid-Ulster loyalist , and I can equate my feelings to 97 per cent of the unionist population , " he told me when I met him twice in the summer of 1996 . Wright , said to have been the former mid-Ulster Commander of the UVF , had just played a pivotal role in the Drumcree stand-off .

Our last meeting was on 29 August 1996 , the day before the expiration of the Combined Loyalist Military Command's death threat against him and Alex Kerr , the former UDA Commander in South Belfast .

The drill was that you phoned Wright , got picked up in a car park and were driven to his home , via a number of safety checks . The car slowed down at different houses , and a wave was given , and returned, from behind a curtain . Then , later , a mysterious wave , and a nod to a dark figure concealed in a big hedge , just at the entrance to his housing estate in Portadown .......

(MORE LATER).


WOMEN IN IRELAND'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM .......
By the late Cork Republican , Gearoid MacCarthaigh .


" Throughout 1922 and 1923 , as well as carrying out the same tasks as they had during the Black And Tan War , Republican women also carried out an intensive publicity campaign against the Free State .

One night a number of Cumann na mBan members were picked up by a Free State Army patrol while painting slogans on walls in Dublin ; they were placed in the back of an armoured car and taken to the Barracks . Luckily , their paint and brushes were put in as well - when the armoured car arrived at the Free State Barrack , the Staters discovered the inside of it covered with anti Free State slogans in white paint . The women had not been idle during the journey !

When the 'Cease-Fire-Dump-Arms' Order was issued in 1923 , women continued to play a leading role in the struggle ; in 1925 , the Easter Lily was introduced by Cumann na mBan as the National Emblem of Commemoration of Ireland's dead . The Easter Lily is still the property of Cumann na mBan and no other body has the right to claim it .

For a number of years past the National Commemoration Committee ('1169...' Comment - the NCC are now based at 223 Parnell Street , Dublin 1) have acted as distribution agents for Cumann na mBan . Many women were interned in Kilmainham Jail by the Free Staters during the years 1922-1923 ....... "

(MORE LATER).


SURVIVORS , SERVERS , AND SAVIOURS.......
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 1.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.


' Padraig Pearse had this to say to the 'Pacificators' :

: " A thing that stands demonstrable is that nationhood is not achieved otherwise than in arms . In one or two instances there may have been no actual bloodshed , but the arms were there and the ability to use them . Ireland un-armed will attain just as much freedom as it is convenient for England to give her ; Ireland armed will attain ultimately just as much freedom as she wants . There are many things more horrible than bloodshed : and slavery is one of them . "

The first duty we owe to Ireland is to unite all Irishmen and fill them with a patriotic fervour to serve those neighbours who are nearest in blood and tradition - there own people . It should never be forgotten that , at the end of the eighteen century , Ireland was rapidly becoming united and would have become completely so but for British interference .

The real author of the 'Orange Terror' etc was Britain ; our brother Irishmen were merely 'the master's puppets' . They certainly sinned , but we sin also if we fail to forgive them . Unity is not to be built on foundations of hatred , and sectarianism lacks charity ....... '

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, March 23, 2005

DYING BY THE SWORD .......
By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(3 of 17).


On New Year's Day , the Church of Ireland Primate , Robin Eames , said that 'Northern Ireland' (sic) " ... was at the beginning of a very dark and very dangerous period . "

What made Billy Wright stand out , however , was that he openly supported violence and was prepared to die for the union . He did strike a chord among loyalists who believe that the Republican Movement won concessions through violence and that loyalists should be following the same course .

Those loyalists believed that , regardless of any possible concessions , it was worth dying rather than deny the union anyway . Some commentators say he was nothing but a maverick ; yet he defied the Combined Loyalist Military Command's death threat against him in the summer of 1996 and , in doing so , he got the support of about 5,000 people .

The DUP's Willie McCrea supported Billy Wright at a rally in his hometown of Portadown : Wright struck fear into the hearts of Catholics . All the shops in Portadown , even 'Dunnes Stores' , closed obediently " ... as a mark of respect " for his funeral . His 'constituency' was not that of the Ulster Unionist middle classes but of the poorer , angry younger men .......

(MORE LATER).


WOMEN IN IRELAND'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM .......
By the late Cork Republican , Gearoid MacCarthaigh .


" I had the honour to meet Nurse Eileen O'Farrell on a platform in Middle Abbey Street in Dublin in December 1956 ; she stated publicly that night - " ... the young men of Oglaigh na hEireann who were fighting in occupied Ireland were the true successors of the men with whom I had served in 1916 ... " . Nurse O'Farrell died the following April (1957) while I was a prisoner in Mountjoy Jail .

Following the Surrender of 1916 , the women of Ireland were actively engaged in tending to the wants of the relatives of those who had died in the fight and raising funds for the relatives of the men in prison ; on the first anniversary at Easter 1917 women flew Irish tri-colours from many inaccessible positions around the country .

When the First Dail set-up Republican Courts in 1920 there were many women Justices appointed ; one life-long member of Cumann na mBan was a District Justice for the York Street district of Dublin .

During the Black And Tan War women played a vital role doing intelligence work , providing clothing and food for the men on-the-run as well as caring for wounded men , and also acting as couriers . During the Dail debates on the Treaty in 1922 not one woman TD voted for acceptance of the Treaty . When Free State forces attacked the Republic in June of that year (1922) Countess Markievicz joined the fighting in the Hammond Hotel where she fought under Cathal Brugha right until the end ....... "

(MORE LATER).


SURVIVORS , SERVERS , AND SAVIOURS .
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 2.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.


' How does she stand , this country of ours , in 1957 ? Those of us who are realists must admit that the possibility of national extinction weights upon our minds and torments our hearts . Ireland is sick , and the vultures are in the skies above her .

Look around you ! Look at what you see , and for what you cannot see . We have a declining and ageing population ; we have decadence in culture and inepitude in the management of our economy . External forces control the money we use , and the amount of it we use , the very life-blood of that economy . Small wonder , then , that our agriculture , fisheries and industries , flourish not .

Ireland is not yet one ; Ireland is not yet free . Through the influence of the radio , cinema and television , the atmosphere has become something which is foreign to our culture , while Patriotism has been much dishonoured . But all is not lost - corpse-like , Ireland breathes yet : she need not die . She will not die unless her children abandon her - she will not die if men will but listen to the voices that come from the past -

- to the voice of Padraig Pearse : " To every generation its deed ... " he cries , and he speaks for others as well as for himself ; " ... Ireland one and Ireland free . Is not this the definition of Ireland , a Nation .... ? " '

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, March 22, 2005

DYING BY THE SWORD .......
By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(2 of 17).


At a press conference announcing the Progressive Unionist Party's return to the talks process , its leader , David Ervine , said that "... a fine young man has lost his life , caused by some obscure group of headcases receiving political direction from anonymous but respectable politicians . "

Whatever about the long-term implications of the killing of Billy Wright , what we do know is that he was , for some , the working-class hero who represented the fear and alienation that many unionists feel about what they see as the threat to their culture , and a situation where the union would not be the same .

On New Year's Day , even the Church of Ireland primate , Robin Eames , spoke of the deep feeling of resentment among Protestants over the British government's handling of the peace process .......

(MORE LATER).


WOMEN IN IRELAND'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM .......
By the late Cork Republican , Gearoid MacCarthaigh .


" The Constitution of Cumann na mBan declares that they are an autonomous organisation and declares that the first of its aims is " ... to assist Oglaigh na hEireann by every means available to them in the fight for the Freedom of Ireland . "

When founded , Cumann na mBan were trained in military drill , first aid , communications , coding and de-coding . On Easter Monday 1916 , members of Cumann na mBan reported for duty at all positions held by Oglaigh na hEireann in Dublin . They were welcomed everywhere except at Boland's Mills where they were ordered to go home by de Valera .

They did not "go home " but reported to Padraig Pearse at the GPO ; they were welcome here and given plenty to do for the week . Nurse Eileen O'Farrell , on Pearse's orders , negotiated the surrender with British General Lowe at a British barricade in Parnell Street and when it had been signed , carried Pearse's order to surrender to all posts which were occupied in Dublin .

I had the honour to meet Nurse Eileen O'Farrell on a platform in Middle Abbey Street in Dublin in December 1956 ....... "

(MORE LATER).


A POTENT WEAPON OF AGRESSION .......
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 1.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.


' Part of Crumlin Road Prison in Belfast has been converted into a concentration camp and young men from all over the Six Counties are being rounded up and incarcerated there without trial .

In addition , Republicans who have completed terms of imprisonment are not given their release but are immediately 'lodged' in the camp - one of the latter is Leo McCormack of Dublin who has just completed a sentence of four years imprisonment in Belfast Jail . '

[END of ' A POTENT WEAPON OF AGRESSION .......'].
(TOMORROW : ' SURVIVORS , SERVERS, AND SAVIOURS ....' - from the same source .)







Monday, March 21, 2005

DYING BY THE SWORD .
By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(1 of 17).


It's New Year's Eve in Belfast ; the Christmas tree's winking , and we're all sitting at a big fire , popping open a bottle of champagne . We turn on the radio to hear the midnight chimes of Big Ben . And then the plummy Radio 4 newsreader announces the echoing , silencing news that a Catholic man has been shot dead in North Belfast .

Thirty-one-year-old Eddie Treanor , shot dead while out having a drink in his girlfriend's local , the Clifton Tavern , on Cliftonville Road . The second reprisal for the shooting dead in the Maze Prison , four days earlier , of LVF leader Billy Wright by two INLA men . His death won't be mourned by nationalists ; a sign daubed on a wall near the area of the killing said - ' King Rat : May He Rot In Hell . '

Then , ten days later , 28-year-old Catholic cross-community worker Terry Enright is gunned down outside a nightclub in Belfast , in the next LVF killing .......

(MORE LATER).


WOMEN IN IRELAND'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM .......
By the late Cork Republican , Gearoid MacCarthaigh .


" When the Irish Citizen Army was founded in 1913 women were entitled to become members with full rights of equality with the male members . In 1916 they joined in the fighting in all buildings held by the Irish Citizen Army ; they also participated in the attack on Dublin Castle .

Many of the women were wounded during the week's fighting - the Countess Markievicz was one of the first to join . She served as second-in-command to Michael Mullin in the College of Surgeons in Stephen's Green , and was sentenced to death with the other leaders of the Rising but this sentence was commuted to life imprisonment .

She was released with the rest of the prisoners in 1917 , and was elected to the First Dail in 1919 and became Minister for Labour . The Countess Markievicz was the first women in Ireland and England , if not in the world , to be elected a member of Parliament and a Minister of Parliament .

Shortly after the founding of Oglaigh na hEireann in 1913 the organisation of Cumann na mBan was founded ; they have been active in Ireland's fight up to the present day ....... "

(MORE LATER).


A POTENT WEAPON OF AGRESSION .......
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 1.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.


' Ireland has not escaped her share of this scourge ; at the start of the last world war , Mr. de Valera's Government set up a concentration camp in the Curragh , County Kildare and hundreds of Republicans were held there without trial for the duration of the war under the most appalling conditions .

In the Six Counties , too , during the war years , concentration camps were used to detain Republicans without trial , notably in Belfast and Derry and on the prison ship Al Rawdah . In 1943 a number of men escaped from the Derry camp ; making their way into the 26-County State for refuge , they were promptly rounded-up and arrested and thrown into the camp in the Curragh .

Today , too , the concentration camp throws its grim shadow on the Irish scene ....... '

(MORE LATER).