" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Friday, March 31, 2006

ALL AT S.E.A....... !
A light-hearted look at the 'Single European Act' legislation .
From 'The Very End' column , 'New Hibernia' magazine , May 1987.
By Patrick Murphy.

When asked how everyone in Middle Ireland was doing yesterday , a spokesman for the new state said that they were all "middling" .

And in a news story just in it has been revealed that the government has just sold off the Constitution at an auction in Sotheby's in London ; Articles 1 and 2 were sold to a British museum for £2 million and the remaining articles were sold to the National Gallery of Belgium where they will be on permanent display in Brussels .

In return for Articles 1 and 2 the government will get an EEC grant to employ two people in a factory in Mayo . Mr. Haughey said last night that he thought that two jobs was a fair swop for the Constitution . And here is the late result : Supreme Court 3 , High Court 2 . The winners will play in Europe next season .
[END of 'ALL AT S.E.A!']
(Monday , 3 April - 'THE EXTRADITION SELL-OUT' : from 1987.)

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 : " Most people would find it hard to understand that if a death threat has been issued against someone , that you'd be very nervous , but you're sitting here this afternoon , watching Oprah Winfrey , and you seem very relaxed . "
Billy Wright : " Well , if you think you're right , then you're right . And I have done nothing wrong , except express an opinion that is the prevalent opinion of the people of Northern Ireland (sic) , and I will always do that , dear , no matter what the price . "

Emer Woodful : " Are you prepared , then , to die for this ? "
Billy Wright : " 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 . "

Emer Woodful : " But do you feel personally driven to this , that you see no option , that it's worth dying for ? "
Billy Wright : " Well , I mean , if every time I had been threatened , I had given in , then I guess I would have been an Irish nationalist ! I'm not gonna be a PUP supporter simply because people threaten me . "
(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 first document from Liam Mellows , dated 26th August 1922 , read as follows -

" GENERAL SITUATION : We are as much in touch with this as the 'newspapers' and 'Poblacht' and 'Bulletin' permit . I am strongly of the opinion that the republican political and military outlook be co-ordinated . No doubt this has been done , but I mention it because during the past six months we suffered badly because responsible Officers , in their desire to act as soldiers , and because of an attitude towards 'politicians' , acquired as a result (in my opinion) of a campaign directed towards this end by old GHQ , could only judge of the situation in terms of guns and men .

Even from a military point of view it ought to have been apparent to such men that every situation and advantage - no matter of what nature - should be availed of to gain victory . However , I am not going to write an essay on this . Naturally we are thinking hard here , though the place and atmosphere is not conducive to thought : however - the net results of my cogitations are :

1 A Provisional Republican Goveernment should be set up at once even if it is unable to function , or to function only in a most limited way . This is to be done apart from the question of the Dail . The advertisement in todays newspaper regarding postponement of the Dail is inserted by the Provisional Government ; the impression the press and the Provisional Government want to create is that the next Dail is the 'Provisional Government' called for by the terms of the Treaty .
If at a meeting of the Dail this is not cleared up , and it is of 'Provisional Parliament' and not the 'Government of the Republic' - then the necessity of a 'Provisional Republican Government' is most urgent . "
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, March 30, 2006

ALL AT S.E.A....... !
A light-hearted look at the 'Single European Act' legislation .
From 'The Very End' column , 'New Hibernia' magazine , May 1987.
By Patrick Murphy.

The Government in Dublin has just announced that since people living within 15 kilometres of the border do not have to spend 48 hours in the North to take advantage of EEC tariff concessions , there will now be a ' Northern Ireland ' , a 'Southern Ireland' and a 'Middle Ireland' .

The new state of 'Middle Ireland' will be the 15 kilometre zone south of the border . People living there will speak Middle Irish and will pursue middle of the road policies .

The main occupation in the new State will be that of 'middle men' who will pass goods from one part of Ireland to another .......
(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 talk about the unionist family . There are obviously huge divisions in that family . You have a death threat from the CLMC . I mean , who do you represent ? "
Billy Wright : " I don't claim to represent anyone . I'm a mid-Ulster (sic) loyalist . My feelings are the same , I'm positive on this , as the loyalists from mid-Ulster (sic) , and at the end of the day my feelings I can equate to 97 per cent of the unionist population , because they vote in a similar fashion to me . "

Emer Woodful : " Are you saying , then , that the UVF , UDA and the PUP are totally out of touch with what the majority of unionists want ? "
Billy Wright : " Well , I would imagine that the UVF exists right across Northern Ireland (sic) , and I firmly believe that there are differences of opinion within that movement . If you ask me do I differ in politics from the PUP - yes , I do . "

Emer Woodful : " But it's not just a political difference between you and the UVF . The UDA and UVF say we disagree with you so much that we are going to kill you . "
Billy Wright : " Well , I find it incredible that they did'nt feel that they had to go out and take military action against the IRA . "

Emer Woodful : " Well , that shows how strongly they feel against you , surely . "
Billy Wright : " I think the unionist community will be bewildered at that . And , going by the amount of people , absolutely disgusted with them . I think they have made a great mistake . "
(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 .

Liam Mellows was among the leaders of the Republicans who occupied the Four Courts ; he was captured when the building fell to Free State artillery (on loan from the British) at the end of June 1922 and jailed in Mountjoy . In August 1922 he smuggled out two documents comprising notes and observations on policy : later , these fell into the hands of the Free Staters and were published in a Free State ' Blue Paper' with the title - 'Correspondence of Eamon de Valera and Others' .

The 'others' are Mellows , Austin Stack , P.J. Ruttledge , Ernie O' Malley , Robert Brennan , Patrick Little and Charles Murphy . The core of the 'Blue Paper' is Mellows' 'Notes' - the point of publishing them was to brand Irish Republicans (including de Valera) as 'Communists' .

Mellows' 'Notes' , which were addressed to Austin Stack with a slightly abridged version to Ernie O' Malley , are contained in full in the excellent book , ' Liam Mellows and the Irish Revolution' , by Desmond Greaves . Those notes and documents make for interesting reading .......
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, March 29, 2006

ALL AT S.E.A....... !
A light-hearted look at the 'Single European Act' legislation .
From 'The Very End' column , 'New Hibernia' magazine , May 1987.
By Patrick Murphy.

Meanwhile it has been revealed that people from the North of Ireland can come down and vote provided they stay here for more than 48 hours ; this will allow them to take back two 'YES!' votes on the Single European Act , four 'NO!' votes in the Pro-Life Amendment and six bottles of 'DON'T KNOWS!' in the 'Divorce Referendum' .

Northern Customs Authorities yesterday seized two lorry loads of 'NO!' votes near Newry after they had been smuggled in from the South ; it is believed they would have been added to the thousands of 'ULSTER SAYS NO!' votes already in the North and Unionists along the border have recently complained that they can sell very few 'NO!' votes in view of the large numbers of them being imported from the South .

But as bus-loads of Northern voters queued to visit Dublin yesterday they scrambled for bargain 'NO!' votes throughout the city , and authorities in the North are worried that political jobs there may be lost if the trend continues .......
(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 : " It seems to me what you are looking for at the end of the day is total victory and total peace . "
Billy Wright : " No. Now what is total victory ? No one's looking for total victory . What we're looking for here is recognition of the democratic rights of the majority (sic) of people in Northern Ireland (sic) . All these people are asking for is to co-exist with the Irish Republic (sic) . "

Emer Woodful : " What threatens you so much ? "
Billy Wright : " Well now , please ! We now have two foreign governments interfering - we have the American and we have the government of the Free State sitting in Stormont . And that's an insult to the unionist people . We have seen our culture gradually eroded , with no benefit * . I mean the denial of our culture without benefit * , ( * '1169...' Comment - Is loyalist 'culture' for sale if the 'price' is right ... ?) you must understand , that that to the unionist people is an insult . We have watched the IRA and Sinn Fein being pandered to , watched senior politicians in the South actually making excuses for the murder of British citizens . How do you really think that we feel ? How do you think we feel ? "

Emer Woodful : " But on the other hand , if you take someone like Gusty Spence , who was in the past a paramilitary and now is in the democratic process , and we have to move on ..... "
Billy Wright : "...Now I think there's a vast difference between the approach to peace by the loyalists and by republicans - loyalists entered this process with honesty and integrity . I mean , the same cannot be said for the Republican Movement . "
(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 struggle for national independence became at a certain point a struggle for socialism ; the struggle for socialism had always involved struggle for national independence . The point was reached in 1921/1922 - from this point no further progress could be made towards the achievement of an independent Republic on a 'classless' basis (which of course meant a capitalist basis) - all further progress depended on the proletariat becoming the leading force in the Republican Movement .

Michael Collins had become the political representative of Irish capitalism in December 1921 , from which time his influence on Irish affairs was reactionary . De Valera also decided for capitalism and subjection to Britain , but his fall into deep reaction was delayed for a few years by the fact that his desire for independence , or his political ambition , carried him beyond Collins , who actually became the representative of the Anglo-Irish and the bigger Irish bourgeoisie : de Valera became the representative of the small businessman and the aspiring 'peasants' .

The working class did not become the leading force in the Republican Movement , cursed as it was with a reformist and subservient leadership ; but some Irish Republicans came to an awareness that their struggle was no longer a national struggle of all classes against the British , and that the success of the fight for the Republic depended on its being transformed into a war of Irish workers against their class enemy , the Free State , and its imperialist master . The most clearsighted of these Republicans was Liam Mellows .......
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, March 28, 2006

ALL AT S.E.A....... !
A light-hearted look at the 'Single European Act' legislation .
From 'The Very End' column , 'New Hibernia' magazine , May 1987.
By Patrick Murphy.

Throughout the country families were immediately divided on the issue : some urged ' Vote Yes On Thursday' while others put up posters reading ' Vote No On Thursday' . Interviewed on RTE television last night , Thursday said that it thought it was a great day for Ireland and it felt honoured that a referendum should be held on it .

But the question remains : is Thursday in breach of the State Constitution ? In a special interview with the 'Irish Press' newspaper yesterday , former State President Eamon de Valera said that he was dead and that he could be of no further assistance . But in an exclusive opinion poll commissioned by this magazine we can reveal exactly what the electorate is thinking - firstly , a man in County Clare who would not give his name thinks that Kerry will never win another all-Ireland match and there is a woman in Limerick who thinks that the weather is not bad for this time of year .

When asked what they think on Thursday , ninty-seven per cent replied that it is generally the same as they think during the rest of the week : this shows that thinking is in breach of the Constitution and the Government may now have to hold a referendum on thinking in which the country will be asked what it thinks .......
(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 : " Moving to Drumcree - what did you say to David Trimble there ? "
Billy Wright : " Very little . David Trimble asked me to use my influence , if I had any , to make sure there was no violence . And what little influence I had , I tried to use . But such was the gravity of the situation , and the depth of the feeling of the unionist people , that my voice was rendered useless . "

Emer Woodful : " You're not in the Orange Order , so what were you doing there ? "
Billy Wright : " Well , how dare you , dear , how dare you ! I live here , my family are buried in Drumcree . I'll go to Drumcree Church , and I will not let you , I will not let any nationalist tell me where I can or cannot go , or that I cannot speak to my MP , at a time when your government is speaking to the IRA or its representatives , or when John Hume can talk to Gerry Adams , and you would condemn me or your community would condemn me for talking to my local MP ! What is is that you want me to be denied of ? "

Emer Woodful : " What I'm saying is there was quite a lot of surprise in Britain as well that you were talking to David Trimble . "
Billy Wright : " What surprise ? I'm not allowed to talk to my local MP ? I'm not allowed to walk to a church that I have been going to for years ? What form of life is it that you would like to see imposed upon people from the unionist community ? "
(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 .

In 1921 , Ireland could have achieved either an independent workers state or a dependent bourgeois state - either a workers' Republic or a capitalist neo-colony . A capitalist state could not be independent since Irish capitalism did not have within itself the potential to establish itself as a capitalism independent of British imperialist capitalism .

Irish capitalism could have become independent of British imperialism only by becoming imperialist itself ; but the development of Irish capitalism had been retarded for so long by a stronger British capitalism that it had become incapable of ever reaching 'maturity' . It was pathetically weak against full-blown British imperialism ; it was weak even against its own working class , and could survive only as the agent of British imperialist capital against Irish labour .

A workers' State would have to be independent since British imperialism would not tolerate it on any terms : it could only establish itself against the total opposition of British imperialism . Britain gained definite advantages from the Treaty of Surrender - if it came to it she could tolerate the political unity and independence of Ireland as a capitalist state since she would have the ruling class under her thumb economically , as Churchill pointed out at the time . But a workers' State in Ireland would be a challenge to the existence of British imperialism which would necessarily lead to the destruction of one or the other of them .......
(MORE LATER).







Monday, March 27, 2006

ALL AT S.E.A. !
A light-hearted look at the 'Single European Act' legislation .
From 'The Very End' column , 'New Hibernia' magazine , May 1987.
By Patrick Murphy.

The government is to hold a referendum on Thursday . That was the shock horror news which rocked everyone to sleep last night as the electorate tried to make up its mind whether it is for or against Thursday .

Already a strong pro-Thursday lobby has emerged in Leinster House and the government has announced that if there is not a massive pro-Thursday vote all the days of the week may have to be re-negotiated .

Fine Gael has revealed that it is very strongly in favour of Thursday but the Labour Party has said that while it supports Thursday morning it still has no policy on Thursday afternoon . The problem has arisen over a recent Supreme Court decision which was made on Friday . This , of course , clarified the position of Friday but it still leaves a referendum on Thursday and the question now arises as to whether the entire week is in breach of the Constitution .......
(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 : " What exactly does that mean ? " (ie that "people have the right to defend themselves")
Billy Wright : " Well , if people in the past took up arms to defend their community , because of IRA violence , well I won't be condemning them . "

Emer Woodful : " Tell me how important your religion in your life is to you . "
Billy Wright : " I have a number of my family that are missionaries . I understand the right way in life . However , I don't practice it . And I believe that true Protestantism is about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ . You are quite correct to say that if you were practising that faith then you could not align them to your other beliefs . "

Emer Woodful : " So you don't practice anymore , because of that dilemma you see yourself ? "
Billy Wright : " That's correct . "
(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 .

In Ireland in 1922 the smaller property owners were potentially a greater social force than the largest property owners - this was due to the specific historical development of Ireland which caused those Irishmen who had become large businessmen under British rule to look towards Britain as towards the sun , and caused them to be regarded as an alien , anti-national force by the great majority of the people of Ireland .

De Valera , the political leader of the Irish Republicans in the Civil War , based himself on the small property owners ; he took responsibility for , but discouraged , the military actions of his followers . He ended the Civil War at the earliest possible moment . He organised a political party based on the small property owners , who brought him to power within ten years . As those small property owners grew bigger , their interests came closer to those of the Free State/Fine Gael Party , until today they are almost identical .......
(MORE LATER).