" 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 17, 2006

(Apologises for the late posting - issues with 'Blogger' .)

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh! ('Happy St. Patricks Day!')


FIANNA FAIL - THE MASK OF DE VALERA .......
From 'AP/RN' , August 10th , 1989 .
(No 'By-Line')

In 1932 , the IRA called for Irish Republicans to support Fianna Fail to " Put Cosgrave Out " and took an active part in the election campaign .

With its promise to dismantle the Treaty , abolish the Oath and the position of 'British Governor-General' , repeal repressive laws and release the Republican prisoners , retain the land annuities and develop native industry and agriculture to provide employment , Fianna Fail reflected the radicalism of the Republican masses who brought it to power .

But its programme was still limited by the conservatism of de Valera and his 'Document Number Two' concept of the national question . Fianna Fail had won the leadership of the anti-imperialist struggle but it stopped that struggle far short of its objectives . The IRA attempted throughout the 1930's to find a political and military direction for itself and to win back the initiative from de Valera but it found neither while Fianna Fail consolidated its position and the Republican Movement went into decline . Having got what it wanted from its 'colleagues' in the IRA , Fianna Fail began to turn into that which it once opposed ....... ('1169...' Comment : a lesson here for others.)
(MORE LATER).



BILLY WRIGHT , LOYALIST VOLUNTEER FORCE .
" I have been prepared to die for long many a year . I don't wish to die , but at the end of the day no one will force their opinion down my throat . No one . "
On August 29 , 1996 , shortly before the 'Combined Loyalist Military Command's' death threat against him expired , EMER WOODFUL interviewed LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT in his Portadown home .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 .

Emer Woodful : " How did you hear about the death threat ? "
Billy Wright : " Well , I was aware of a conspiracy after Drumcree . I had been informed from Belfast that my name was to be blackened , and an excuse sought to execute me . So this has been an ongoing process since I took my stand with the Orange Institution at Drumcree . "

Emer Woodful : " And who tipped you off ? "
Billy Wright : " Well , I'm not going to say that . But what I can say is that I have a lot of fine friends in Belfast , and further afield , and there are a lot of fine loyalists in Belfast . "

Emer Woodful : " Why do you think this death threat was issued against you ? "
Billy Wright : " I have been very vocal in my opposition to the form of politics that the PUP has espoused . Now , I respect their right to hold their point of view , but if they claim to monopolise the opinion of loyalists and claim to be speaking on behalf of people that vehemently disagree with them , and then try to impose a silence , well I think that's morally wrong , and I will not allow people to impose their form of politics on me . And I most certainly would'nt try to impose my politics on them . "
(MORE LATER).



LIAM MELLOWS AND THE IRISH CIVIL WAR .......
This is the bulk of a public lecture given at University College , Galway , by Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle member and Deputy General Secretary of the 'Local Government and Public Services Union' , Phil Flynn , on December 8th 1982 , the 60th Anniversary of the Free State's execution of Liam Mellows .
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983 .

The political party which James Connolly had formed to be the political arm of the working class - the Labour Party - stood aloof * from the national struggle and thereby condemned itself to a barren existence . (* '1169....' Comment : .....and the Labour Party , today , having fallen off the fence , can be found firmly on the anti-Republican side of the equation . They are nothing short of a disgrace in respect of their 'republicanism' .)

In the second rank of Sinn Fein leadership there were many whose republican idealism made them genuinely thoughtless of class questions , and who , when the crisis came in 1922 , would have gone with any class which stood clearly for the Republic . But the Sinn Fein leaders , the men who held the power , were bourgeois . Arthur Griffith had never concealed the fact that he represented the interest of the large Irish bourgeoisie ; he had sided with the Dublin employers against the Dublin workers in 1913 when almost every other nationalist had criticised the employers . De Valera had in 1918 coined the famous phrase , " Labour must wait " .

It is often denied that Michael Collins represented the capitalist interest , but it is clear from his book 'The Path to Freedom' , that he never envisaged an Ireland which was not capitalist ; writing of the land struggles of 1880 he said that " ... the killing of landlords would have been murder .. " if it had not furthered the national Cause . And writing about his 'New Ireland' he said that Labour would be an "...element in the life of the nation .. " and would be free to "...play the part that belongs to it .. "
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, March 16, 2006

FIANNA FAIL - THE MASK OF DE VALERA .......
From 'AP/RN' , August 10th , 1989 .
(No 'By-Line')

Speaking in Leinster House in 1929 , Eamon de Valera said - " Those who continued on in that organisation (the IRA) which we have left can claim exactly the same continuity that we claimed up to 1925 . "

Sean Lemass had earlier described Fianna Fail as a "...slightly constitutional party .. " and , in 1931 , a year before the first Fianna Fail government took Office , the two organisations marched together to Bodenstown which had been ringed by Free State troops ; the same year the Free State government introduced its most repressive measures of all when it set-up a military tribunal with power to impose the death penalty .

This was accompanied by a 'red scare' when the State Administration , the Catholic hierarchy and the media combined to denounce the IRA , the newly-banned Saor Eire (an IRA-founded party with socialist policies) and Fianna Fail as 'communist' : Fianna Fail's newspaper 'The Irish Press' (founded by de Valera in 1931) was prosecuted before the military tribual for "...seditious libel.." . It was the broad opposition to this regime which swept Fianna Fail to power in 1932 - with the help of the IRA .......
(MORE LATER).



1913 : 75 YEARS AFTER THE LOCK-OUT .......
From 'Liberty News' , March/April 1988 .
(No 'By-Line' )

The 1913 Lock-Out tried to outlaw a culture which was counter to capitalism ; it failed partly because it was so crude and ham fisted . Today's attack is more subtle and all the more dangerous because of it .

To honour the memory of 1913 we must begin , on an individual basis , to commit ourselves to trade union activity , not just trade union membership . We must once again set out the task of regenerating a nation on the shoulders of a people industrially free .

[END of '1913 : 75 YEARS AFTER THE LOCK-OUT'].
(Tomorrow : 'BILLY WRIGHT - PREPARED TO DIE.....' : from 1998.)

LIAM MELLOWS AND THE IRISH CIVIL WAR .
This is the bulk of a public lecture given at University College , Galway , by Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle member and Deputy General Secretary of the 'Local Government and Public Services Union' , Phil Flynn , on December 8th 1982 , the 60th Anniversary of the Free State's execution of Liam Mellows .
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983 .

British imperialism destroyed the Republic by exploiting the contradictions that existed within the national movement ; these were class contradictions .

The Republic , as it existed from 1919 to 1921 , was a 'One-Party State' : Sinn Fein was 'the Party of the State' and , according to its leaders , it was a classless Party which was fighting purely in the interests of the Irish Nation . The reality however was that many classes were to be found within Sinn Fein and the IRA .

Medium-sized Irish businessmen (national bourgeoisie) ; small businessmen - shopkeepers , tradesmen etc (the petty bourgeoisie) ; peasants , large and small ; and workers , both urban and rural . From 1918 to 1921 no nationalist group of any significance existed outside the Sinn Fein/IRA organisation : all nationalist groups - the Citizen Army , the Irish Volunteers , the Irish Republican Brotherhood , the old Sinn Fein , the Gaelic League , the GAA , etc had merged to produce the Sinn Fein/IRA organisation .

The most significant merger was that of the Irish Citizen Army - the army of the Irish working class - with the Irish Volunteers - the army of the Irish nationalist bourgeoisie , to form the IRA .......
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, March 15, 2006

FIANNA FAIL - THE MASK OF DE VALERA .......
From 'AP/RN' , August 10th , 1989 .
(No 'By-Line')

In July 1927 a General Election was called and Fianna Fail won 44 seats to Cosgrave's 47 : de Valera's policy was not to enter the Free State parliament until the Oath of Allegiance to the British monarch was removed .

Then in July 1927 , Kevin O' Higgins was assassinated and the Free State government passed a law which would force future Leinster House candidates to swear on their nomination that they would take the Oath of Allegiance : in August 1927 , de Valera led the Fianna Fail elected representatives , many of them with revolvers in their pockets , into Leinster House and signed the Oath of Allegiance document .

A second General Election was held in September 1927 and Fianna Fail increased its vote , winning 57 seats : the Sinn Fein party from which de Valera had split was virtually wiped out and ceased to be a relevant political force . De Valera's departure from Sinn Fein by no means meant that he was irrevocably split from the IRA which remained independent of both parties . The relationship between Fianna Fail and the IRA in these years was very close ; their members campaigned in common against the repression of the Cosgrave regime whose legitimacy they did not recognise . Indeed - de Valera was , then , full of praise for the IRA .......
(MORE LATER).



1913 : 75 YEARS AFTER THE LOCK-OUT .......
From 'Liberty News' , March/April 1988 .
(No 'By-Line' )

The new 'documents' are the beliefs in privatisation , deregulation , public expenditure cuts and increasing appeals to individualism . Trade union values are being dismissed as "...old fashioned.. " or "...belonging to the nineteenth century.. " but in fact they were never more necessary if we are to win the struggle for control of our destinies and management of our own economic , social and political affairs .

The lessons are that we must learn from 1913's solidarity between different trade unions , national and international . The trade union movement fought for the whole of the working class not just the organised sectors . The 'Irish Worker' newspaper through its mass readership countered the employers message through the bosses' servant press . The trade unions provided social and cultural activities for its members as well as industrial and political leadership .
(MORE LATER).


PLUS CA CHANGE .......
Charles Haughey and Charles Stewart Parnell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 .
By Vincent Browne.

A correspondence was entered into between Cecil Rhodes and Charles Stewart Parnell that purported to link the donation to an undertaking from Parnell that the Irish Party would continue to support the retention of Irish members in the (British) House of Commons once 'Home Rule' was granted : but the Rhodes biographer dismisses the correspondence -

- " A close examination of this correspondence reveals that Parnell had made no real commitments . It is hard to disagree with an eminent contemporary biographer , who dismissed the Rhodes-Parnell letters as 'mere verbiage' designed to obscure the fact that Rhodes had bought the Irish Party support for £10,000 . "
[END of 'PLUS CA CHANGE' .]
(Tomorrow - ' LIAM MELLOWS AND THE IRISH CIVIL WAR' : by PHIL FLYNN , from 1982.)






Tuesday, March 14, 2006

FIANNA FAIL - THE MASK OF DE VALERA .......
From 'AP/RN' , August 10th , 1989 .
(No 'By-Line')

In 1925 the IRA further emphasised its independence when it withdrew its allegiance from the underground Second Dail Republican government reluctantly headed by de Valera and elected a new Army Council .

That same year de Valera's argument for entry into the Free State parliament was strengthened when that body debated the Boundary Agreement between the Free State Government and the British . This finally sealed the partition boundary in its present form ; if the Sinn Fein TD's had taken their seats they * could have defeated Cosgrave's Cumann na nGaedhal on the vote . (* '1169....' Comment : it should be noted that this article was written three years after the Provisionals decided to take seats in Leinster House - in short , they were [and are!] still attempting to justify that decision to themselves and to Republicans outside their political party . It is now twenty years [ie 1986-2006] since Adams and his group deserted the Republican Movement for a career in Free State politics - and partition remains in place .)

At the 1926 Sinn Fein Ard Fheis , de Valera argued for an end to abstentionism but was defeated by 223 votes to 218 : he resigned and led his supporters away to form his new party , Fianna Fail , in May of that year : that party leadership immediately began the task , at which it was to become adept in the years ahead , of building a strong centrally controlled organisation geared to winning elections . It was helped by the increasing reactionary policies of Cumann na nGaedhal , who had introduced a repressive 'Public Safety Act' and had concluded another agreement with Britain to collect and repay the land annuities and had also cut public spending .......
(MORE LATER).



1913 : 75 YEARS AFTER THE LOCK-OUT .......
From 'Liberty News' , March/April 1988 .
(No 'By-Line' )

1913 was , in fact , a marvellous victory drawn from the jaws of defeat ; the trade union and labour movement was soon to become an essential and important part of the new State and , in general terms , society came to accept the broad tenets of social democracy , if not socialism .

The broad values of society reflected the need to extend care to the underprivileged groups in society : but the battle was not won in 1913 , and progress since has been uneven . Despite tremendous growth in numerical terms in the size of the trade union movement in the 1970's , working-class organisation has not been reflected in political gains . In terms of a social audit of Dublin today as compared to 1913 can we really claim to be 'in credit' ? Certainly extreme poverty * has gone but things are relative to the times . ( * '1169....' Comment : "extreme poverty" has , for the most part , simply been replaced by 'bread/border-line poverty' and pushed into its own areas in the cities . It is usually only seriously [briefly] addressed and/or recognised when it 'spills-out' from those areas into neighbouring middle-class estates .)

We still have acute housing problems , unemployment , emigration , attacks on hard-won health , education and social services and new problems of urban decay , drug abuse , vandalism and crime in the alienation of our youth . Regrettably there is now a gathering attack on trade unionism and the essential collective values that it represents and to which the whole of Irish society owes many of its freedoms .......
(MORE LATER).



PLUS CA CHANGE .......
Charles Haughey and Charles Stewart Parnell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 .
By Vincent Browne.

Charles Stewart Parnell was unable to account for either the £1000 John Morrogh donation or £5,000 of the monies received from Cecil Rhodes : it would appear that this 'great Irish leader' appropriated for his own uses about £375,000 in present-day terms .

But that is not all - in the present issue (ie February 1998) of the 'Bar Review' magazine , Rory Brady SC quotes from a biography of Cecil Rhodes - ' Rhodes : The Race for Africa' , as claiming that the donation by Rhodes , of £10,000 , was intended to buy the support of the Irish Party for chartered companies . In 1889 , Cecil Rhodes was seeking support in the British House of Commons for a charter for his corporation , the British South Africa Company , to develop Bechuanaland , and he needed the support of Charles Stewart Parnell and the Irish Party .......
(MORE LATER).







Monday, March 13, 2006

'1169....' was represented at the 'Irish Blog Awards' ceremony on Saturday last , 11 March , in The Alexander Hotel in Dublin .
And we made a 'record' (of sorts!) of our own at same - we were the only blog that walked into the Awards ceremony with two spot-prizes [2 framed 1916 Proclamations to be given away during the raffle] and left the Awards ceremony with two spot-prizes [2 passes for a film premier in Dublin] !
It was a great night , enjoyed by all : well organised by Damien Mulley and ably presented by Rick O' Shea . Congratulations to all the winners , and 'Thank You' to all the sponsors . We here at ' 1169 And Counting....' are looking forward to the next one . Especially now as we have a whole new list of people to hassel for votes .... !


FIANNA FAIL - THE MASK OF DE VALERA .......
From 'AP/RN' , August 10th , 1989 .
(No 'By-Line')

It was under the names of Eamon de Valera and Frank Aiken (IRA Chief of Staff in succession to Liam Lynch and later a leading Fianna Failer) that the 'Dump Arms' order of 1923 was issued , ending IRA actions against the Free State forces .

In the year that followed , as Republicans re-grouped and re-organised , there was intense debate on the way forward : de Valera was to emerge the victor in that debate . There were roughly three schools of thought ; firstly , there was the section of the IRA leadership which , after the Treaty betrayal , was intensely suspicious of all 'politicians' and which saw the re-organisation of the IRA in preparation for a renewed military campaign as the only way to restore the Republic .

Secondly , there were those who believed that opposition to the Treaty should be rallied around the Republican members of the Second Dail which they recognised as the only legitimate government in the country . The third was that of de Valera who believed that Republicans should enter the Free State parliament and 'reverse the Treaty from within' : all three broad strands of opinion were represented in the IRA which at the same time maintained its independence from them and was committed primarily to the task of military re-organisation .......
(MORE LATER).



1913 : 75 YEARS AFTER THE LOCK-OUT .......
From 'Liberty News' , March/April 1988 .
(No 'By-Line' )

The workers also began to defend themselves through the formation of a Citizen Army : intellectuals and many middle-class sympathisers rallied to the workers' side , shocked at the awful conditions and horrified at the pig-headedness of the employers : however , the Catholic Church was less sympathetic and positively hostile to the notion of Dublin's starved youngsters going to the 'Godless' homes of English sympathisers for the duration .

James Connolly wondered why souls were of greater concern than bellies ! In the face of uneven odds the Lock-Out began to crumble in January 1914 as the Building Labourers' Union returned , as many others were to do , without signing the offending document . Some stuck it out until May 1914 but , in the end , the employers could and did claim victory as resistance collapsed - but they lacked the strength to enforce their victory , as the Irish Transport and General Workers Union survived ; in defeat , the ITGWU had gained many adherents and , more significantly , had laid the foundations that led James Connolly to conclude :

" From the effects of this drawn battle both sides are still bearing heavy scars . How deep those scars are , none will ever reveal . But the working class has lost none of its aggressivness , none of its confidence , none of the hope in the ultimate triumph . No traitor amongst the ranks of that class has permanently gained , even materially , by his or her treachery .

The flag of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union still flies proudly in the van of the Irish working class , and that working class still marches proudly and defiantly at the head of the gathering hosts who stand for a regenerated nation , resting upon a people industrially free . "
(MORE LATER).



PLUS CA CHANGE .
Charles Haughey and Charles Stewart Parnell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 .
By Vincent Browne.

Charles Haughey was not the first 'great Irish leader' whose reputation has been besmirched by allegations of financial corruption . Charles Stewart Parnell was the subject of the most serious allegations of financial impropriety , and the substance of these allegations has been added to by evidence that has emerged . In 1883 , the then huge sum of £40,000 ( in present-day terms , about £2.5 million) was collected from around the country to enable Parnell to get out of financial difficulties .

This donation was open and its purpose clear , so that his acceptance of it is not questionable - what is questionable , however , are two other huge donations that Parnell received : £1000 (about £62,500 in present-day terms) from a Mr. John Morrogh and a massive £10,000 (£600,000 in present-day terms) from the South African imperialist Cecil Rhodes .

It would seem clear that both of these donations were intended for the Irish Party ; however , when challenged about these donations after the split over the O'Shea divorce case ,Parnell was unable to account for certain items .......
(MORE LATER).