" 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 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!


Friday, March 24, 2006

The Simple Truth About The Irish Sugar Industry .

In the past week or so , the remains of the sugar industry in this State has again come under attack from outside interests : with this in mind , we re-print a document which was first published 17 years ago (1989) .

The Simple Truth About The Irish Sugar Industry .
Address by Ruairi O Bradaigh , Uachtaran , at a meeting of Comhairle na Mumhan (Munster Executive) ,Sinn Fein Poblachtach , in Killaloe , County Clare , on Sunday 19 February 1989 .......

Already there are fears about the impact of the closure of the Thurles Sugar Plant on the railway line from Waterford to Limerick ; fear , indeed , for what remains of an already truncated railway system . Sinn Fein Poblachtach , while standing firmly with the Tipperary people in their crisis will insist on a wider debate that will have to include the 'Single European Act' , lack of regional planning and indeed our whole relationship with the EEC now that the mirage of unending agricultural advance - always an illusion as we pointed out from the beginning - is finally being seen for what it is .

That debate has to begin with the simple reality of a 200,000 tonnes quota limit on Irish beet production - a deliberate attempt by Brussels to corner the market , despite the alleged commitment to market economics , and the effective handing over of the control of Irish destinies to Brussels by the time-serving politicians of Leinster House and their even more vulgularly well-heeled brethren in the so-called 'European Parliament' in Strasbourg .
[END of 'The Simple Truth About The Irish Sugar Industry']


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

So authoritarian had the Fianna Fail government become that , in 1947 , the Free State Cabinet agreed to a proposal from Sean Lemass (never implemented as it turned out) to make strikes illegal after the flour-milling workers threatened to come out on strike !

The Fianna Fail administration which had 'ruled' virtually unchanged in personnel since 1932 was replaced by the first 'inter-Party' government which took over after the 1948 general election .

De Valera was back in office from 1951 to 1954 and from 1957 to 1959 when he finally resigned as taoiseach : the 1950's had been a decade of deep conservatism and de Valera left the scene with his old protectionist economic policies in tatters as unemployment and emigration threatened completely to depopulate the country .

And , appropriately enough , his last administration went out on an anti-Republican note : it introduced internment without trial in response to the IRA's Border Campaign .

[END of 'FIANNA FAIL - THE MASK OF DE VALERA']
(Monday 27th - 'ALL AT SEA' ; a 'light-hearted' look at the S.E.A. legislation !)


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 : " After David Ervines statement saying that the loyalist cease-fire is close to breaking point , the Taoiseach in Dublin , John Bruton , said he would meet anybody who was'nt involved in violence . Would you be interested in meeting him ? "
Billy Wright : " No , no . I mean , John Bruton must examine the Irish Republic's (sic) Constitution . He must understand that that Constitution justifies republican violence and leads nationalist young men to feel that they have the right , because of that Constitution and that claim , to take the lives of our people . "

Emer Woodful : " But unity would only be with consent , so why do you feel so threatened ? "
Billy Wright : " Well , consent , now - come on . Lets be totally honest . We have seen the Irish Republic (sic) seal the border because of a cattle problem . Why did'nt they do it during the Troubles ? The Constitution justifies the murder of British citizens . And having spent many years in the H-Blocks and listened to young nationalists singing their songs , believe me they draw their opinions because of their education , and because they are brought up to believe that they have a right to take away (sic) this land . "

Emer Woodful : " I know you told me before that you were a religious preacher , and that you had to give it up , because you were afraid of the risk of public appearances . How do you marry your strong religious beliefs with , say , support in the past for the UVF ? "
Billy Wright : " Well , I'll say it again , when you look into the coffins of loved ones , who died at prayer , and died at work , and died for every reason you can think of , and then you're told by your security forces (sic) 'we can't stop this , nobody can stop this , but it's wrong also to defend yourself' , I have to say that people have the right to defend themselves . "
(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 Irish Civil War was fought by Republicans against the Free State , but due to the degeneration of the political organisation of the workers this was not a war of the working class against the exploiting class : the working class sympathised with the Republicans , many politically conscious workers fought on the Republican side , but the Republican Movement was not led by the working class .

This caused grave damage both to the cause of the Republic and to the cause of the working class - it damaged the Republic since it meant that the class differences on which the Civil War was fought were not antagonistic class differences . The war for the Republic could only have been fought to a finish if the interests of the class which led the Republican struggle were irreconcilable with the interests of the class which led the Free Staters .

In class terms it was a war of small property owners against large property owners : of petty bourgeoisie against bourgeoisie .......
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Simple Truth About The Irish Sugar Industry .

In the past week or so , the remains of the sugar industry in this State has again come under attack from outside interests : with this in mind , we re-print a document which was first published 17 years ago (1989) .

The Simple Truth About The Irish Sugar Industry .
Address by Ruairi O Bradaigh , Uachtaran , at a meeting of Comhairle na Mumhan (Munster Executive) ,Sinn Fein Poblachtach , in Killaloe , County Clare , on Sunday 19 February 1989 .......

The current crisis in Thurles only brings to a head in a particularly acute and sad way the inevitable logic of EEC policies and the stark reality that Leinster House is no longer in charge of even the main Irish public sector companies - apart of course from being 'allowed' to pour huge sums of tax-payers' money into 'rationalisation' in order to bring them to a point where they can be sold off to international capitalists who invite elected representatives on to their boards in order to maintain an 'inside track' on vital commercial decisions leading to the most strategic (ie cheap) take-over bids .

Some time-serving politicians have even attempted to parade this situation as a virture , seeking a mandate for "further integration" under the 'Single European Act' in next June's elections and offering nothing more consoling to endangered Irish workers and the quarter-of-a-million unemployed than some 'main-road' developments brazenly described as "integrated regional plans" .

Even in this area the full implications of shut-downs like the Thurles sugar plant are not being discussed - other industries will also suffer.......
(MORE LATER).



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

De Valera seen to it that IRA Volunteers were executed by firing squad or by hanging , were shot dead on the streets or died from ill-treatment or hunger-strikes in prison during the war : Fianna Fail came near to the aim , as expressed by Free State Justice Minister Gerry Boland , of completely annihilating the IRA . Much of this was kept from the public by the heavy war-time censorship of the press .

While the 26-County government was ' neutral in favour of Britain' de Valera's stature was nonetheless increased by his handling of 'the Emergency' as the War was called .

Fianna Fail lost its overall majority in 1943 but returned to government as the largest party ; it won a decisive victory in 1944 . This was , however , the last government of Fianna Fail's first 16-year reign . The conservatism of the Fianna Fail party was losing its support . The revelations in 1946 of the horrendous treatment of Belfast IRA leader Sean McCaughey who died on hunger and thirst strike in Portlaoise Prison damaged Fianna Fail .
(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 : " Do you support loyalist violence ? "
Billy Wright : " I have always supported the right of the unionist people to defend themselves . You know , when you have looked into the coffins of loved ones , like I have , and you've heard the feeble excuses coming from nationalists , when the gunmen were coming out of the Irish Republic (sic) and murdering people along the border , words were'nt good enough . But I say it again - both sides in this conflict have recognised that the only way forward is through dialogue , so that the IRA must call a permanent cease-fire . "

Emer Woodful : " You're saying you want talks , but you also say you understand how people support violence . Is'nt that you basically supporting violence ? "
Billy Wright : " I have looked into the coffins of protestant people who were shot because of their faith ('1169...' Comment : if so , it was by their 'own side' - Republicans are not sectarian) , shot because of their work , shot where they prayed , and I stood as the security forces (sic) stood and said - 'We can't do anything about this' . And I watched sincere Roman Catholic people break their heart , they could'nt stop it . Now really what is it that you are asking of unionists ? Are you asking them to sit back and be murdered , to have their country (sic) took off them , and for the security forces (sic) to say - 'We can't do nothing about it , and don't you do anything about it' ? "

Emer Woodful : " Have you ever killed anyone yourself ? "
Billy Wright : " No , not at all . "
(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 .

When the Citizen Army was marching to the GPO on Easter Monday , James Connolly told his men to hold on to their rifles after the British had been driven out , because they would need them in the war against Irish capitalism . But , when the time came for the Irish workers to fight a war against the Irish capitalists , class-conscious workers with rifles were few and far between .

James Connolly was dead ; the party he had organised to lead the workers in the fight for the workers' republic had degenerated and fallen into the hands of a mild English reformist called Thomas Johnson who supported the Treaty of Surrender , boasted that the Labour Party "stood aloof" from the violence that was going on in the country , and joined the Free State parliament four years before de Valera did !

The Irish Transport And General Workers' Union , which , under Larkin and Connolly , had put guns in the hands of the workers , now supported de Valera , and tried to disarm the workers . Jim Larkin was in jail in the United States and had been in jail there during de Valera's triumphant tour , accused of plotting to overthrow the government because he had taken part in the founding of the Communist Party of the USA .......
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Simple Truth About The Irish Sugar Industry .

In the past week or so , the remains of the sugar industry in this State has again come under attack from outside interests : with this in mind , we re-print a document which was first published 17 years ago (1989) .

The Simple Truth About The Irish Sugar Industry .
Address by Ruairi O Bradaigh , Uachtaran , at a meeting of Comhairle na Mumhan (Munster Executive) ,Sinn Fein Poblachtach , in Killaloe , County Clare , on Sunday 19 February 1989 .......

It is in that context that the fight for the Irish Sugar Company needs to be fought at a time when the C.A.P. agricultural bubble has also burst and farm incomes , due to be cut by 3 per cent this year , seem destined to a stagnant and uncertain future .

The simple truth about Comhlacht Siucra Eireann remains that a 200,000 tonnes quota for sugar-beet growing was agreed over a decade ago with the Brussels bureaucracy and that there is nothing the company or the politicians or any new private firm can do to change the situation as long as this very basic specific and clear-cut restriction to the march of Irish progress remains in place . That quota condemns all existing Irish sugar plants to death in the medium if not the short term .

Certainly it means that there is no room for more than one Irish sugar plant in the 1990's and that talk about Mallow and Carlow being any more 'viable' than Thurles or Tuam - both of which were making a profit at the time the decision to close them was taken - misses the basic point , which is the EEC 200,000 tonnes quota : this is not only a constant , but a basic fact , which almost the entire media as well as the political smoke-screen simply tend to ignore .......
(MORE LATER).



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

Irish Republicans had failed to show up de Valera's shortcomings on the national question and to rally support on social and economic issues : his 'Document Number Two' ideas and social conservatism were enshrined in the 1937 Constitution , endorsed by the electorate that year , which also saw Fianna Fail again returned to Office . The new constitution was opposed by Republicans and , as is often forgotten , by many women because of the second-class citizenship it gave to them .

Divorce was banned and the Catholic Church given special status ; opposition to partition was reduced to the pious aspirations of * Articles Two and Three 'claiming' jurisdiction over the Six Counties . (* '1169...' Comment : ....those two Articles were disposed off in 1998 , with the assistance of the Provos , who agreed not to object in return for a career and a pension . )

War broke out in Europe in 1939 and de Valera declared the 26 Counties to be neutral . The IRA launched a bombing campaign in England and de Valera took the opportunity to introduce the 'Offences Against the State Act' : his ex-comrades were now the target .......
(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 : " If you say you are not a member of any paramilitary organisation , why is the Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) issuing a death threat against you ? "
Billy Wright : " I live in a staunchly loyalist town , where there are many UVF men , and in other parts of mid-Ulster as well , and I can assure you they're not angry with me . "

Emer Woodful : " But why has the CLMC issued a death threat , then ? "
Billy Wright : " As I said before , I will not have a foreign type of politics imposed on me , and because I'm seen to be a loyalist , and because I will not align myself to that type of politics , it appears that I'm an embarrassment to certain people . "

Emer Woodful : " But is it because you support violence , is that why they don't want anything to do with you ? "
Billy Wright : " I beg your pardon . I would remind you that I took part in pre-negotiations , before the cease-fire . I was the first leading loyalist to call for a loyalist cease-fire . I describe that day as the happiest day of my life . I am totally for peace . However , to achieve peace we need a permanent IRA cease-fire . If that is not forthcoming , and if they continue to take British lives , and if the security forces (sic) don't handle them in the manner that they ought to , then I can understand why loyalist violence takes place . "
(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 nearness of victory split Sinn Fein and the IRA , and split them along class lines : Civil War followed . One section of Sinn Fein and the IRA , supported by their recent British enemy , made war on another . The Irish 'upper class' made war on the Irish 'lower class' ; the class interest of the Treaty faction , their greed , their determination to establish themselves as the ruling class in Ireland , their dread that the Republicans , by angering the British , would bring about a resumption of the Anglo-Irish war and so prevent them from becoming the ruling class , led them to commit atrocities against the Republicans in the Republican strong-hold of the South and West of Ireland , especially in Kerry , of a kind and on a scale that the British themselves had never attempted .

When the Dail of the Republic divided on the question of the Treaty in January 1922 , the pro-Treaty faction had a majority : those pro-Treatyites represented the Irish bourgeoisie in the 26 Counties : the anti-Treatyites , however , did not represent the working class , but the small property owners , 'the petty bourgeoisie' . And so although the opposing sides in the Civil War represented different class interests , they did not represent antagonistic class interests - accordingly , the Civil War was not fought to a finish but was called off halfway through , and the main body of the Republican side adopted peaceful methods which brought it to power ten years later .

The Civil War , tragically for the future history of Ireland , did not develop into a clear-cut class war between exploiter and exploited - it was a squabble between two property owning factions . De Valera , then and later , was supported by the workers , but he , no less than Michael Collins and Kevin O' Higgins , represented a propertied interest .......
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Simple Truth About The Irish Sugar Industry .

In the past week or so , the remains of the sugar industry in this State has again come under attack from outside interests : with this in mind , we re-print a document which was first published 17 years ago (1989) .

The Simple Truth About The Irish Sugar Industry .
Address by Ruairi O Bradaigh , Uachtaran , at a meeting of Comhairle na Mumhan (Munster Executive) ,Sinn Fein Poblachtach , in Killaloe , County Clare , on Sunday 19 February 1989 .......

The EEC is committed to unbridled capitalist exploitation of workers and resources across national boundaries ; indeed the current fashionable flavour '1992' aims specifically to intensify this process .

Once you accept this , and the SEA package aimed to bring it about , it is futile to complain when native Irish sectors are undermined . As futile as it is to try and promote ' Buy Irish' campaigns and to complain about emigration . The EEC and the SEA aim to make emigration easier .

There is no 'home market' anymore : German , Dutch , French and British big business has a 'right' - encouraged 'officially' - to buy out valuable Irish assets . ' Regional Policy' for islands like Ireland is little more than facilitating the further integration of our national wealth into the EEC conglomeration through the development of a minimal infrastructure - to facilitate the transport of goods and people in both directions . Next year , 1990 , sees the effective ending of the inadequate IDA industrial policy based on tax-holidays which has been operating since 1958 .

'New Industry' in the greater part of Ireland from then on will be confined to tourism and the development of golf courses as well as a few pickings in minority craft and natural resource areas .......
(MORE LATER).



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

In spite of his radical-sounding social and economic policies of 1932 and 1933 de Valera was careful never to threaten the wealthy ; his fostering of Irish industry behind tariff walls won the business people and industrialists to the side of Fianna Fail .

In his 1937 Constitution he enshrined the right of private property above the common good and rejected the radicalism of the First Dail's Democratic Programme . But the electorate saw no progressive alternative to Fianna Fail and its policies proved popular : its limited social welfare measures , job creation and housing provision broadened its appeal particularly among the urban working class . By 1943 it had won 45 per cent of the vote in Dublin .

By 1936 , de Valera felt strong enough to take on the IRA ; the military tribunal was revived , the IRA banned and Volunteers jailed in Arbour Hill Prison . Fianna Fail had swept the ground from under the IRA , politically , and retained its own popular image as a 'republican party' * : it would tolerate no challenge to its authority and the IRA was ruthlessly suppressed ....... ( * '1169...' Comment - ....and Fianna Fail , today , is still attempting to 'trade' on whatever little 'republican' credential it may have tripped over in its past . )
(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 : " But how do you feel about the way many members of the Catholic community have been treated by loyalist paramilitaries , for example ? "
Billy Wright : " I can understand their feelings , and as a man that has buried three of his own family , I can sympathise with them . Nevertheless , I hold my views dear to my heart and I think by and large that the unionist population has been the biggest victim in all of this conflict . "

Emer Woodful : " You say you lost three of your own family members . What are your feelings about the recent killings in mid-Ulster , like the brutal killing of Michael McGoldrick , the taxi driver from Lurgan ; the young tennis player Gareth Parker in Belfast ; and Niall Donovan , who went to a chipper in a Protestant part of Dungannon , who was brutally murdered and , I think , who's innards were actually taken out ? "
Billy Wright : " Well , I know like all other killings , I wish that they did'nt take place . "

Emer Woodful : " But would you condemn them ? "
Billy Wright : " I don't know the circumstances of them , but I could say that I do sympathise with the families , but having been through it myself , I hope and pray that the IRA will call a permanent cease-fire , and that death and destruction will be gone forever from Northern Ireland ( sic) . But I will take the Sinn Fein line and say there's no point in condemnation . "
(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 medium-sized Irish bourgeoisie deserted imperialism , joined the national movement and took control of it ; they had never asked for more than a modest degree of 'Home Rule' - they were now satisfied with the imperialist concession of Dominion Status (...like this shower of wasters) which would permit them to become the 'ruling class' within Ireland .

On the other hand , the nationally conscious workers and small farmers , who had done most of the fighting , demanded an independent Irish Republic and they were willing to resume the war if the British did not meet that demand . The British offered 'Dominion Status' , and combined the 'offer' with a threat to resume the war if Ireland continued to demand an independent Republic - the offer satisfied the larger Sinn Fein property owners but failed to satisfy the workers and smaller 'peasants' , and the threat of war gave the big property owners , anxious to safeguard what they had 'won' , a direct interest in quelling the Republicans , whose continued activity against imperialism would put what they had 'won' in jeopardy.

The Sinn Fein bourgeoisie were joined by the Anglo-Irish and by the 'large' Irish bourgeoisie .......
(MORE LATER).







Monday, March 20, 2006

The Simple Truth About The Irish Sugar Industry .

In the past week or so , the remains of the sugar industry in this State has again come under attack from outside interests : with this in mind , we re-print a document which was first published 17 years ago (1989) .

The Simple Truth About The Irish Sugar Industry .
Address by Ruairi O Bradaigh , Uachtaran , at a meeting of Comhairle na Mumhan (Munster Executive) ,Sinn Fein Poblachtach , in Killaloe , County Clare , on Sunday 19 February 1989 .

Sinn Fein Poblachtach supports the workers , farmers and general business community of North Tipperary in the struggle to retain their sugar factory in Thurles and hopes that the people will not be fobbed off on this occasion with the sort of vague promises about alternative employment that has led to such a sense of betrayal in the Tuam , County Galway sugar-beet area .

But in recalling the various promises made by Leinster House politicians on all sides over the years to retain the major plants of Comhlacht Siucra Eireann - one of our major efforts at public self-reliance within the limitations of the Free State development efforts - we feel it is necessary to remind all concerned that there is little the politicians can do for Irish sugar-growing or indeed for any other type of rural development based on the processing of native materials , once one accepts the EEC ground-rules that were set-out on entry into the multinational rich man's club in the 1970's.......
(MORE LATER).



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

The 'honeymoon' period between Fianna Fail and the IRA continued after de Valera formed his first government in 1932 with the passive support of the Labour Party . There were negotiations between Fianna Fail and the IRA to work out a common strategy but these foundered when de Valera demanded that the IRA disband ; one of the first acts of the new (Fianna Fail) State government had been to release the republican prisoners from Arbour Hill .

In the 1933 general election Fianna Fail won 77 seats and an overall majority : de Valera abolished the Oath and the Governor-General position and set about erecting tariff barriers to develop Irish industry - this and the with-holding of the land annuities provoked the British to begin an economic war against the Free State .

De Valera dismissed Eoin O' Duffy , the Garda Commissioner , who went on to found the fascist Blueshirts ; the right-wing , pro-British forces consisting of the Blueshirts , Cumann na nGaedhal , their rancher and big business backers briefly formed a loose alliance and virtually threatened a coup d'etat . But they were far too weak to carry out any such takeover . The threat of the Blueshirts was warded off with the help of the IRA and renewed repressive legislation .

This was soon turned on the IRA itself when the Blueshirts were dead .......
(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 : " You have been associated with Alec Kerr , who was expelled from the UDA in 1994 . How did you get involved with him ? "
Billy Wright : " I knew Alec when the war was on . He's a very articulate young man , and very presentable , and let me say that , prior to the cease-fire , Alec Kerr was one of the men who strove to try and bring about a settlement in Northern Ireland (sic) . However , he recognised , shortly into the process , that the IRA were not sincere , and when the production of the framework document came about , he understood like many loyalists that if the basis for peace was to be the framework document , then the unionist people were to go into a united Ireland . "

Emer Woodful : " The UVF leadership is obviously really angry with you . Earlier this month they stood down what they called one of the units in Portadown . Was that you they were referring to ? "
Billy Wright : " No , well , I'm not a member of any organisation , so they could'nt stand me down . "

Emer Woodful : " But then why do young loyalists look up to you so much as a hero if you're not a member of any organisation ? "
Billy Wright : " Well , I'm not conscious of anyone looking up to me as a hero . I think a lot of people see defiance in me , and I am defiant . I feel aggrieved at the way that the unionist people have been treated by the IRA and , indeed , by the governments . I'm very vocal on it , and I'm not going to be frightened into keeping quiet . "
(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 .

Sinn Fein , while nominally a non-class , National Party , was in fact a bourgeois National Party ; the fact that it included the bulk of the advanced workers did not make it any the less bourgeois in character : it represented bourgeois interests . Its non-class appearance , carefully cultivated by de Valera and Michael Collins , was a piece of camouflage behind which a dictatorship of the bourgeoise was established .

The contradictions which British imperialism exploited were those between the various classes in the national movement - those same classes were attracted to the movement because it served their class interests - but the interests of the different classes required different degrees of national independence than the interests of the smaller property owners . The class interest of the working class and small farmers alone demanded the total break with the 'Empire' .

The Anglo-Irish property owners never abandoned the imperialist side ; after the Treaty they supported Michael Collins and Cosgrave . The biggest Irish property owners did not as a rule support imperialism activity , nor did they support Sinn Fein although Arthur Griffith represented their interests ; after the Treaty they gave their active support to the Free State .......
(MORE LATER).