" 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, December 16, 2005

BRITISH 'JUSTICE' : THE EMERGENCY LEGISLATION AND THE INFORMER SYSTEM.......
First published in the booklet ' STRIP SEARCHES IN ARMAGH JAIL' , produced , in February 1984 , by 'The London Armagh Group' .

Some of the recent victims of the British forces' 'shoot-to-kill' strategy had , prior to their deaths , complained of such threats while in RUC custody . Informers are offered the inducement of a lifetime's immunity from prosecution or a reduced sentence if they will inform on others .

Often , they are also offered large sums of money (up to £100,000) and told they will be set up in a new country with a new identity , a job and a home for themselves and their family . The money offered comes from the 'Northern Ireland (sic) Office' and MI6 makes the international security arrangements .

The 'NIO' denies that such sums are involved and the British Attorney General has given an undertaking that any sums paid to an informer during a 'trial' will be made public - such details have , however , not yet been made available , and it is particularly important to note the reference ' ...during a trial..' , which precludes information being given about financial settlement after a 'trial' .

Once a prisoner has agreed to the 'deal' , he names the people on whom he is going to inform.......

(MORE LATER).



FR. DENIS FAUL : A CONNIVING AND TREACHEROUS MAN .......
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

It is only fair to deduce that , given the Catholic hierarchy's total support of the Alison/ICJP agreement , and their total lack of response to the prisoners' appeals , that they were , in fact , politically opposed to the granting of the five demands .

It was on this basic premise of broad political agreement with the Catholic Church hierarchy's political attitude - despite his own declaration of support for the five demands , which never manifested itself in actively mobilising similar support within the Catholic Church - and against a background of Free State and SDLP slavish co-operation with Westminster - that Fr. Denis Faul set about actively mobilising against the hunger-strike .

A prelude to Fr. Faul's first major offensive against the hunger-strike - on July 28th 1981 - took place the previous week : a meeting with Sinn Fein , at Fr. Faul's request , took place during that week ; present were Fathers Faul and Murray (chaplain to Armagh Jail) , a member of the ALJ , and Eamonn McCrory of Sinn Fein . Though inconsequential in itself , the meeting and its immediate aftermath were indicative of what was to follow .......

(MORE LATER).



THUGGERY : THE UGLY FACE OF SINN FEIN THE WORKERS PARTY .......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1982 .

THE BILLY WRIGHT MURDER , OCTOBER 2 , 1975 :
Although in no sense was this an authorised Official IRA operation we are including it in this list because it arose directly out of an Official IRA robbery in Heuston Station in Dublin in September 1973 , when £17,000 was stolen .

Billy Wright was accused of having taken part in this robbery but was acquitted ; however , he later made a statement to the Gardai in connection with the robbery and in this statement he implicated a very prominent member of the Official IRA who had been Officer Commanding of the Dublin Unit OIRA and who had also been prominent in the 'research division' of the OIRA set up by Cathal Goulding in 1972 .

This person had absconded to the Continent following the robbery but , it is widely believed by the Gardai among many others , that he returned specifically to 'even the score' with Billy Wright .

Wright knew he was in trouble once he made the statement : " I am a dead man .. " . On October 2 , 1975 , he was mowed down in a hail of machine-gun fire in his barber's shop on Cabra Road , Dublin . He died in hospital on October 19 , 1975 .
(Monday , 19 December : 'Official IRA/Provisional IRA Feuds' .)
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, December 15, 2005

BRITISH 'JUSTICE' : THE EMERGENCY LEGISLATION AND THE INFORMER SYSTEM.......
First published in the booklet ' STRIP SEARCHES IN ARMAGH JAIL' , produced , in February 1984 , by 'The London Armagh Group' .

The 1978 'Amnesty International' report on physical torture of detainees by the RUC and the subsequent international reaction caused the halt of routine physical abuse ; the sexual abuse of women , however , continued and would seem to be escalating .

The Diplock Courts and the bulk of emergency legislation remain . Since 1980 , the RUC and the British Army have turned to the use of informers to secure the 'convictions' they are told to achieve . They have refined their psychological techniques to the point where selected people are used to give 'evidence' against their peers .

The use of informers in what have become known as 'Show Trials' is the latest and current phase in the British government's attempt to contain dissent in the North of Ireland : most informers are recruited after having 'broken' under interrogation and incriminated themselves , in many cases of things they have not done , or after being told there is sufficient evidence against them to convict them on long sentences .

Some have agreed to inform under the threat that members of their family would be arrested , framed or shot if they refused to co-operate .......

(MORE LATER).




FR. DENIS FAUL : A CONNIVING AND TREACHEROUS MAN .......
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

The Catholic hierarchy's attitude to the hunger-strike campaign was stated on March 1st , 1981 , the day Bobby Sands embarked on hunger-strike , by Bishop Edward Daly of Derry .

At a conference on Catholic youth held in Derry city he attacked the hunger-strike as not being "...morally justified .. " and urged the nationalist youth not to support hunger-strike protests by H-Block action groups unless such groups dissociated themselves from "...groups which have a policy of guerilla warfare .. " .

Bishop Edward Daly also attacked the continuation of the no-wash protest , which , when it coincidentally ended the next day , drew no commendation from him , or immediate call on the British administration to reciprocate . On several occasions throughout the hunger-strike both Cardinal O' Fiaich and Bishop Daly called for an end to the hunger-strike whilst of the British government they asked only "...flexibility.. " or the implementation of the Alison/Irish Commission for Justice and Peace (ICJP) agreement .

That agreement , reached in early July 1981 , which they knew to be far short of the prisoners' five demands , but which , indicative of the Catholic Church's political attitude , was the agreed position on the hunger-strike of the Irish political 'establishent' .

Despite appeals from the hunger-strikers on several occasions to the Irish Catholic hierarchy to support their five demands , no response was ever forthcoming .......

(MORE LATER).



THUGGERY : THE UGLY FACE OF SINN FEIN THE WORKERS PARTY .......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1982 .

THE LARRY WHITE MURDER , JUNE 10TH 1975 :
One of those convicted of this murder was Barry Doyle who had been Sinn Fein The Workers Party Organiser in the Munster area .

The others convicted were Bernard Lynch of 30 Charles Day Road , Togher , County Cork ; David O' Donnell of 147 Rosewood Estate , Ballincollig , County Cork ; Larry White , associated with Saor Eire in Cork , having previously been involved with the Official Movement .

There was a great deal of aggro between Larry White and Sinn Fein The Workers Party members ; it is not clear whether this murder was authorised by the leadership of the Official IRA .

(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, December 14, 2005

BRITISH 'JUSTICE' : THE EMERGENCY LEGISLATION AND THE INFORMER SYSTEM.......
First published in the booklet ' STRIP SEARCHES IN ARMAGH JAIL' , produced , in February 1984 , by 'The London Armagh Group' .

From 1975 onwards , large numbers of people were arrested and taken to interrogation centres at Castlereagh and Gough Barracks ; here , women were sexually abused , both verbally and physically , and often threatened with rape . Men were tortured : the 'confessions' thus extracted were used to convict them .

In the Diplock Courts , set up under the Emergency Powers Act , trial for 'scheduled offences' (ie political offences) is before a single judge sitting without a jury ; statements made involuntarily are admissable as 'evidence' , provided they are not made as a result of "...torture , inhuman or degrading treatment.. " . It is notoriously difficult to prove that a statement was made as a result of coercion . In England , Scotland and Wales , trial for serious offences is always by jury , and statements made involuntarily are inadmissable as 'evidence' .

During the late 1970's , 94 per cent of cases brought before juryless Diplock Courts concluded with a prison sentence , and between 70 and 90 per cent of these convictions were based upon self-incriminating statements obtained during interrogation . Independent evidence is rarely used by the prosecution . Note that for 1976-1979 , the average acquittal rate for contested jury trials was 58 per cent , compared to the average acquittal rate for contested Diplock trials of only 19 per cent .......

(MORE LATER).



FR. DENIS FAUL : A CONNIVING AND TREACHEROUS MAN .......
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

The deaths of all the hunger-strikers and all the other evils which have flowed from the partition of Ireland lie squarely on the shoulders of imperial Britain . But the Irish 'establishment' , whose craven acquiescence in the British partition of Ireland , and its maintenance , have made - are making - and will continue to make a major contribution to the general evils of partition as well as to the specific circumstances whereby Westminster was permitted to murder ten young Irishmen in the hospital wing of the H-Blocks rather than make five simple concessions to them .

It was against this background of slavish acceptance by the Irish 'establishment' of Britain's 'right' to do what it will in Ireland , and after the deaths of six prisoners on hunger-strike , that the campaign of demoralisation , instilling of defeatism , undermining the prisoners and vilification of their supporters , got underway in July of that year (1981) .

'Chief Advocate' of that campaign was Fr. Denis Faul , an assistant chaplain to Long Kesh and civil rights activist , who is prominent in the activities of the respected 'Association for Legal Justice' (ALJ) : however , his hunger-strike breaking activities cannot be ascribed to those of an individual . Faul , like Fianna Fail leader , Charles Haughey , or Sinn Fein President , Ruairi O' Bradaigh , cannot be viewed as having taken unilateral action on this most acutely political situation in isolation from the body of which he is a prominent member , the Irish Catholic Church .......

(MORE LATER).



THUGGERY : THE UGLY FACE OF SINN FEIN THE WORKERS PARTY .......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1982 .

The Official IRA/INLA Feud , 1975 :
It is impossible to apportion blame in such incidents but because the Official IRA was then the largest organisation and its interests most immediately threatened , it is not unreasonable to assume that it was the major culprit in this feud .

Certainly the Official IRA was the first to kneecap an opponent and then it was the first to murder a member of the opposing party , Hugh Ferguson . The 'final tally' ended up with two deaths on each side .

Then the Official IRA Officer Commanding , Billy McMillan , was shot dead by the INLA on the Falls Road in Belfast ; this shooting took place after a truce had been negotiated .......

(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, December 13, 2005

BRITISH 'JUSTICE' : THE EMERGENCY LEGISLATION AND THE INFORMER SYSTEM.......
First published in the booklet ' STRIP SEARCHES IN ARMAGH JAIL' , produced , in February 1984 , by 'The London Armagh Group' .

When internment became politically impossible , the British government substituted it for the policy of 'criminalisation', which continues today . Those suspected of involvement in political resistance are processed through the courts , but RUC and court procedure are governed by emergency legislation that has substantially changed the rules of British 'justice' .

Many of the traditional principles that safeguard the civil rights of the citizen have been taken away in the emergency legislation , such as the right to silence and the right to trial by jury . The first phase of 'criminalisation' has come to be known as the 'conveyor belt' system of 'justice' : under the 'Emergency Powers Act' you can be arrested and held for three days without being suspected of any specific offence , other than "...(suspected of) being a terrorist.. " .

Under the 'Prevention Of Terrorism Act' , the 'suspicion' must be of a particular offence - then you can be held for seven days . A detainee has no right to see a solicitor .......

(MORE LATER).



FR. DENIS FAUL : A CONNIVING AND TREACHEROUS MAN .......
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

The actual and intended medical intervention by their relatives precluded both the threat and the actuality of on-going deaths in the H-Blocks , removed the pressure being maintained on the British government , and negated the effectiveness of hunger-strike as a prison protest weapon .

But ten prisoners had already died on hunger-strike and their families had not intervened ; their relatives loved them at least as much as did the families who did intervene or declared their intention to do so . Their families wanted to prevent their deaths at least as much as the families whose actions and intentions did prevent the death of their loved ones .

Not one of those twenty families was not fully behind and actively supportive of the hunger-strikers five demands . So why did a situation arise where those families did take the steps which effectively brought an end to the hunger-strike by nagating its value as a protest weapon ....... ?

(MORE LATER).



THUGGERY : THE UGLY FACE OF SINN FEIN THE WORKERS PARTY .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1982 .

The image which Sinn Fein The Workers Party presents to voters in the South of Ireland as the party of "...peace , justice and class politics .. " and as "...the party you can trust.. " is very different to the reality of the Official IRA , which has been responsible for some of the most horrific atrocities in the North in the past decade .

Below we list the most salient examples of thuggery for which the Official IRA have been responsible . We list only those incidents , apart from the murder of David Walker , that have taken place since 1975 ; this is because the Official IRA seemed intent on a ceasefire since that time .

The Murder Of David Walker , June 21 , 1973 :
We are including this incident in our list of Official IRA atrocities because of its particular awfulness , even though it happened before the effective end to the Official IRA military campaign . David Walker was aged 16 and was mentally handicapped ; he was kidnapped by the Official IRA on his way to school at about 8.35AM and was found with gunshot wounds in his head and chest at 11.25AM . He died 20 minutes later .......

(MORE LATER).







Monday, December 12, 2005

BRITISH 'JUSTICE' : THE EMERGENCY LEGISLATION AND THE INFORMER SYSTEM.
First published in the booklet ' STRIP SEARCHES IN ARMAGH JAIL' , produced , in February 1984 , by 'The London Armagh Group' .

Women come to be prisoners in Armagh Jail via a judical system which is substantially different from that whereby women living in England , Scotland and Wales can be convicted of offences and imprisoned .

Since Partition in 1922 , which set-up 'Northern Ireland' as a 'State' , its people have always been controlled by emergency legislation which severely compromises civil and human rights . The 'Special Powers Act' of 1922 was replaced in 1973 by the 'Emergency Powers Act' and the 'Prevention of Terrorism Act' was introduced in 1974 . The 15 years since 1969 have seen internment without trial , juryless courts and routine physical , sexual and psychological torture of detainees .

During the most recent period of the British Army being in Ireland there have , since 1969 , been three distinct phases in the strategies used by the 'security forces' and judiciary to repress political strife . First , internment ; secondly , criminalisation using 'confessions' obtained by beatings ; and thirdly , criminalisation using informer 'evidence' .

Internment was introduced in 1971 and , for the next four years , thousands of Irish people , mainly Catholic men , were held without trial in Long Kesh ; the often flimsy 'evidence' against them went unchallenged since they were never brought to court .......

(MORE LATER).



FR. DENIS FAUL : A CONNIVING AND TREACHEROUS MAN .
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

The hunger-strike begun by Bobby Sands on March 1st , 1981 , ended two-hundred-and-seventeen days later on October 3rd , 1981 .

Between 1.17AM on Tuesday May 5th 1981 and 7.50AM on Thursday August 20th 1981 , ten young Irishmen - the youngest , 23 : the oldest , 30 - died on hunger-strike . Their sacrifice was as much aimed at gaining for their comrades on the blanket protest the overt physical conditions of political recognition as it was individually a personal testimony of their refusal to be branded 'criminal' by the foreign and oppressive British regime which occupies the six north-eastern counties of Ireland by armed might .

The hunger-strike ended after four families had intervened medically to prevent their loved ones from dying and six other families had intimated that they would do likewise . The prisoners had not entered into the hunger-strike protest lightly ; they fully realised that only their deaths or the threat of their deaths would create the political conditions which would force the British government into conceding their five just and reasonable demands .......

(MORE LATER).



IN THE SHADOW OF A GUNMAN .......

The aspirations of SINN FEIN THE WORKERS PARTY towards socialist respectability are undermined by the continued military operations of the OFFICIAL IRA and that Party's own ideoligical contortions .
From ' MAGILL' magazine , April 1982 .
By Vincent Browne.

Bank Levies , SFWP style :

CIE TRAIN ROBBERY :
This happened on Thursday February 5th , 1981 but where we are not exactly sure . Neither do we know what , if anything , the raiders got .

Two train hold-ups occurred on the same day ; one on the Dublin-Belfast train , which left Connolly Station in Dublin at 17.30 . It appears that there were just two women involved in this raid and they held-up five crew members on the train and threw out 5 mail bags onto the tracks . These bags were later found by Gardai on the line between Skerries and Balbriggan , County Dublin .

While at least some of the bags contained registered mail , it is not known what , if anything , of value , the raiders may have got . Incidentally , the two female raiders got off the train when it came to an unscheduled halt at Balbriggan.

The other train hold-up occurred later that same night at Ballybrophy , County Laois on the Dublin-Cork mail train . It appears that there was no money on this train and the raiders left the scene in a state of some agitation . The Gardai linked the two incidents together , believing that the same organisation was responsible . However , we have discovered that one of the raids was conducted by the Official IRA and the other by the Provisional IRA , but we are not sure which was responsible for which .

[END of ' IN THE SHADOW OF A GUNMAN ' .]
(Tomorrow - 'Thuggery : The Ugly Face Of SFWP' .)