" 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, May 26, 2006

ANNUAL WOLFE TONE COMMEMORATION :
Sunday , June 11 , 2006 , Sallins , Co. Kildare .


A bus for this Commemoration , which is organised each year by the Republican Movement , will leave from outside the old McBirneys/Virgin Megastore site on Dublin's Aston Quay at 12.45PM on the day : the Commemoration itself starts at 2.30PM .

The same bus will leave Bodenstown at 5.30PM that afternoon on its return to Dublin city centre . The fare is ten Euro per person .

For information on the death of Wolfe Tone , scroll through this piece (article starts on March 9 on that page) which was published on this blog last year .
"To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never-failing source of all our political evils and to assert the independence of my country- these were my objectives. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter - these were my means." -Theobald Wolfe Tone .


MacGIOLLA's GUERRILLAS .......
Fifteen years ago , the leadership of the 'Official Republican Movement' (now 'The Workers' Party') stated that their armed wing , the 'Official IRA' , went out of existence .
Today , the 'Official IRA' is alive and well and living mainly in Belfast and Newry . In the days when both organisations were operating in an overt way , the leadership of 'The Workers' Party' and the 'Official IRA' overlapped to a certain degree .
Tomas MacGiolla , the man who led the 'Official IRA' for the last twenty-five years has always maintained the position that the 'Official IRA' went out of existence in 1972 . But the 'Official IRA' still march on , not an army fighting the British , but as a fund-collecting agency .
DEREK DUNNE traces the roots of the 'Official IRA' and 'The Workers' Party' .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , October 1987 .

In December 1985 , five men , including a Mr. Anthony McDonagh , pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud the Inland Revenue in the North : McDonagh was described in court as an Official IRA Commander . The scam involved securing tax-exemption certificates with the intention of making deductions from employees on building sites : it was not the intention of those operating the fraud to pay the money over and the company involved , Broadmine Ltd , would have been 'folded' before the time came to settle with the Revenue people .

There is plenty of evidence available to the public that the Official IRA are still in existence ; embarrassingly , Official IRA people are still making appearances in court on charges , almost exclusively relating to money-gathering activities .

In 1985 , Peter Halpenny and Benny Holden hi-jacked a taxi and kidnapped the driver in an attempted £10,000 robbery at the Larne ferry : both were Official IRA men and were members of Official drinking clubs in Belfast . In December 1985 , Newry businessman Brendan McNamee wrote to Tomas MacGiolla and Prionsias De Rossa at Leinster House : Mr. McNamee had a story to tell about money that was loaned .......
(MORE LATER).



SHANE ROSS : PLAYING THE ORANGE CARD .......
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , February 1984 .
No By-Line.

The young Shane Ross was sent , quite properly , to Rugby public school for some character building : after a colourful stay during which , by his own admission , he "...twice narrowly avoided expulsion for drinking and gambling .. " he took his assorted talents to Trinity to study history . Here he met and befriended two people who were to play crucial roles in the construction of Ross's now substatial public platform - Paul Tansey (the former 'Irish Times' and now 'Sunday Tribune' economics guru) and Ruth Buchanan (whom he married) .

Not that these relationships served to mellow Ross in any way - if anything , he became wilder than ever and his reputation as a ranter survives within the hallowed portals of TCD to this day . Ironically , some of those who now feature most prominently among the supporters of Shane Ross for the Seanad seat were the first to disown him as 'a waster' in College ! But Shane did find time for some preliminary political activity - he ran for auditor of one of the prestigious debating societies but failed by three votes . After that , he turned to the Student Representative Council (the forerunner of the current Students Union) where he was Secretary and PRO , but was beaten in election for 'President' by Paul Tansey , who actually got in thanks to Ross's transfers : Tansey was to repay this 'favour' handsomely in the years to come .

Having moved into the rarified world of stockbroking with Dillon and Waldron of Anglesea Street in Dublin , Ross began to gear himself up for a challenge on political office .......
(MORE LATER).


" WE ARE ALL PART OF THE SAME STRUGGLE ....... "
MARGARET WARD , author of a recent book 'UNMANAGEABLE REVOLUTIONARIES' , on the role of women in the national struggle , argues critically that republicans need to develop a non-elitist attitude of support for the feminist movement as an integral part of the liberation struggle .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .
No By-Line.

To the outsider , it sometimes appears as though the setting up of separate Women's Departments becomes a mechanism which allows men to escape from the necessity of having to think or do anything about the problems facing women . Feminists within organisations are thereby 'penned in' and contained - or at least , the more reactionary elements can hope this will be the case . But solidarity begins at home , brother !

We have only to look back on our history to see how much women are capable of , and how much more we will achieve when we have developed a strong , unified Movement : we threaten male power and male power does not reside only in the ruling elite of our society - all men benefit from women's domestic labour within the home and from her unequal position within the workplace......
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, May 25, 2006

ANNUAL WOLFE TONE COMMEMORATION :
Sunday , June 11 , 2006 , Sallins , Co. Kildare .


A bus for this Commemoration , which is organised each year by the Republican Movement , will leave from outside the old McBirneys/Virgin Megastore site on Dublin's Aston Quay at 12.45PM on the day : the Commemoration itself starts at 2.30PM .

The same bus will leave Bodenstown at 5.30PM that afternoon on its return to Dublin city centre . The fare is ten Euro per person .

For information on the death of Wolfe Tone , scroll through this piece (article starts on March 9 on that page) which was published on this blog last year .
"To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never-failing source of all our political evils and to assert the independence of my country- these were my objectives. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter - these were my means." -Theobald Wolfe Tone .


MacGIOLLA's GUERRILLAS .......
Fifteen years ago , the leadership of the 'Official Republican Movement' (now 'The Workers' Party') stated that their armed wing , the 'Official IRA' , went out of existence .
Today , the 'Official IRA' is alive and well and living mainly in Belfast and Newry . In the days when both organisations were operating in an overt way , the leadership of 'The Workers' Party' and the 'Official IRA' overlapped to a certain degree .
Tomas MacGiolla , the man who led the 'Official IRA' for the last twenty-five years has always maintained the position that the 'Official IRA' went out of existence in 1972 . But the 'Official IRA' still march on , not an army fighting the British , but as a fund-collecting agency .
DEREK DUNNE traces the roots of the 'Official IRA' and 'The Workers' Party' .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , October 1987 .

In 1983 , the Free State gardai discovered plates at the Workers' Party Headquarters at Gardiner Place in Dublin which could have been used to print 'Irish Life' chequebooks and car tax books . The garda raid at Gardiner Place was to the ground floor , a space occupied by Repsol Ltd ., a printing company : the directors of Repsol are Tomas MacGiolla , Sean Garland , Cathal Goulding , Michael Ryan and Patrick Yeates : all are or have been closely associated with the Official Republican Movement .

The raid at Gardiner Place followed another garda raid at a warehouse in Ringsend , Dublin , where £1.7 million in forged fivers were found : the gardai wished to interview Brian Lynch , a Repsol employee , in relation to the find , but he was unavailable . Brian Lynch was spotted recently (ie 1987) at the Munster Hurling final in Thurles , County Tipperary . However , there was never any explanation as to how 'Irish Life' and car tax plates came to be in Gardiner Place .

But if the Official IRA had moved away from military activity aimed at the British by the early 1980's , there were still plenty of signs that the organisation was alive and keeping well.......
(MORE LATER).


SHANE ROSS : PLAYING THE ORANGE CARD .
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , February 1984 .
No By-Line.

Shane Ross first entered Seanad Eireann ( '1169...' Comment - sic : that 'Senate' does not represent the island of Ireland , regardless of that which it calls itself) in October 1981 . The timing was most appropriate as it coincided with the launching of Garret Fitzgerald's corny 'constitutional crusade' , amid a flurry of pious pluralist platitudes . The rhetoric was ideally suited to our Shane , and indeed Garret could not have wished for a more insistent preacher of his secular society in the months that lay ahead .

Trouble is , that 'crusade' is now a dead duck : the message and rhetoric were finally laid to rest last year (ie 1983) when the referendum fever took over , but it seems that Shane has'nt got the message yet , because he's still spouting on , ever so eloquently , about just what a nasty bunch of insular , doctrinaire old Taigues (ie Catholics) we really are .

Shane Ross comes from solid , conservative , Merrion Square , professional , Unionist stock : his father , John N. Ross , was a Senator for Trinity in the 1960's and is a partner in the top-crust Dublin law firm of Matheson Ormsby Prentice . So the precedent was set for young Shane to dabble in politics when he came of age . But first he had to sow those wild oats.......
(MORE LATER).



" WE ARE ALL PART OF THE SAME STRUGGLE ....... "
MARGARET WARD , author of a recent book 'UNMANAGEABLE REVOLUTIONARIES' , on the role of women in the national struggle , argues critically that republicans need to develop a non-elitist attitude of support for the feminist movement as an integral part of the liberation struggle .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .
No By-Line.

If a political movement that claims to represent the aspirations of the Irish people decides not to confront the reactionary might of the Catholic Church , not to add its considerable weight and political experience to a campaign desperately in need of all the support it can muster , because of a fear that it might alienate some of its supporters , can it expect the unconditional support of women in the future ?

At the very least , this failure to support women provides feminists with over-whelming confirmation of the wisdom of their insistence that women must continue to organise separately in their own interests , that they cannot automatically expect other political organisations to come to their defence .

We are all part of the same struggle , with its many layers of oppression . Women , gays , children , tenants , prisoners , claimants , pensioners - who can decide on the most worthy categories for attention ? We are all oppressed and we are all struggling for our freedom . Women's groups and women's caucuses in trade unions and political organisations cannot take on the burden single-handedly of fighting for women : while they can formulate policy to be adopted by their organisations , those policies should be taken seriously and fought for by all members - male and female.......
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, May 24, 2006

ANNUAL WOLFE TONE COMMEMORATION :
Sunday , June 11 , 2006 , Sallins , Co. Kildare .


A bus for this Commemoration , which is organised each year by the Republican Movement , will leave from outside the old McBirneys/Virgin Megastore site on Dublin's Aston Quay at 12.45PM on the day : the Commemoration itself starts at 2.30PM .

The same bus will leave Bodenstown at 5.30PM that afternoon on its return to Dublin city centre . The fare is ten Euro per person .

For information on the death of Wolfe Tone , scroll through this piece (article starts on March 9 on that page) which was published on this blog last year .
"To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never-failing source of all our political evils and to assert the independence of my country- these were my objectives. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter - these were my means." -Theobald Wolfe Tone .


MacGIOLLA's GUERRILLAS .......
Fifteen years ago , the leadership of the 'Official Republican Movement' (now 'The Workers' Party') stated that their armed wing , the 'Official IRA' , went out of existence .
Today , the 'Official IRA' is alive and well and living mainly in Belfast and Newry . In the days when both organisations were operating in an overt way , the leadership of 'The Workers' Party' and the 'Official IRA' overlapped to a certain degree .
Tomas MacGiolla , the man who led the 'Official IRA' for the last twenty-five years has always maintained the position that the 'Official IRA' went out of existence in 1972 . But the 'Official IRA' still march on , not an army fighting the British , but as a fund-collecting agency .
DEREK DUNNE traces the roots of the 'Official IRA' and 'The Workers' Party' .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , October 1987 .

During the Hunger-Strikes of 1980 and 1981 , the Workers' Party came out against the strikers - in the late 1970's , Tomas MacGiolla had stated that his organisation had 'no prisoners' : the political change in the Officials had seen less people serving time , but when political status was first abandoned in 1976 , 'The Plough' newspaper in Newry stated - ' Merlyn Rees wants to have political trials but no political prisoners and with all the grace and arrogance of a seasoned dictator , that is what he has decreed . The ending of political prisoner status is another pillar of the repressive state which has been built up against the working class people of the Six Counties during the past five (sic) years . It is not until these basic , democratic demands are conceded by the British that we can talk about the ending of political prisoner status . '

The Official IRA carried out numerous robberies throughout the late 1970's and early 1980's :
April 1977 - £229,997 taken in a robbery from a Securicor van in the Glens of Antrim .
November 1978 - £150,000 taken from the CIE Office at Inchicore in Dublin .
May 1980 - £60,000 taken in jewellery robbery from Dundalk jewellers .
November 1983 - £250,000 in cash and cheques taken from a Securicor van in Newry .

Dublin Official IRA Commander Jim Flynn was shot dead by the INLA who said that it was he who killed Seamus Costello in 1977 : following the death of Flynn , the Official IRA in Dublin drifted apart - they are still active in Dublin , but not to the same extent .......
(MORE LATER).


EOGHAN HARRIS : OUT OF THE SHADOWS .......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1997 .
By Brenda Power .

Eoghan Harris is convinced that "...maybe 50 per cent of the people in the Republic (sic) are unhappy with the Hume-Adams agenda that Mary McAleese represents , the blurring of moral boundaries between Constitutionalism and the physical force tradition ... " , and goes on to say that those people will despatch her and her 'Bad Politics Supporters' on polling day .

Eamonn McCann says - " Harris cannot accept that you might disagree with him other than in bad faith . He does'nt believe that you could calmly consider his theories and find them a heap of shite . He genuinely believes he is the most fascinating person you have ever met , and that just gets boring . "

Harris himself states - " If I am wrong , if I am just some eccentric , why am I being denounced ? I know why I don't get a right of reply in RTE - I could name 22 Provos in the radio centre - but could it be they suspect that what I'm saying makes sense ? If McAleese wins she'll be a lame duck President , and I don't believe she'll get more than 40 per cent first preference votes . I believe in the people's 'Secret Fatwa' on Sinn Fein supporters , and if I'm wrng I'll retire . I really fucking will . "
[END of 'EOGHAN HARRIS : OUT OF THE SHADOWS']
(Tomorrow - 'SHANE ROSS : PLAYING THE ORANGE CARD' ; from 1984)

" WE ARE ALL PART OF THE SAME STRUGGLE ....... "
MARGARET WARD , author of a recent book 'UNMANAGEABLE REVOLUTIONARIES' , on the role of women in the national struggle , argues critically that republicans need to develop a non-elitist attitude of support for the feminist movement as an integral part of the liberation struggle .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .
No By-Line.

Can there be socialism without the liberation of women , can national liberation be more than an abstract phrase , if women remain oppressed within the new nation state ? There are many instances , Iran being the most recent , where a national revolution was accompanied by the increased enslavement of women . If we are to have a fully human society , it cannot contain within it the restricting , deformed remnants of old ideologies . We must have the courage to break free , to develop now - in however limited a manner - our new vision of the future .

This will entail encouraging people to fight for their own interests within their communities , not to take them over , to impose a leadership , but to provide comradely support . It will involve recognising the legitimacy of other organisations - women's groups , claimants' unions , tenants' organisations , prisoners' action groups - and working with them .

It will involve a principled commitment to human liberation that challenges the power of church and state . It should have involved active participation by Sinn Fein in the anti-amendment campaign , which was one of the most important challenges to the ruling class and church power to have emerged in Ireland . The defeat of the anti-amendment campaign is a terrible defeat for Irish women and for all who have fought for a more just society - one based on compassion , not dogma , on freedom , not fear . The demoralisation that has resulted from this defeat will have serious repercussions unless a mass movement can be re-grouped , particularly if the victorious Right now decide to campaign against the limited freedoms that do exist in the 26 Counties , such as the contraceptive law .......
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, May 23, 2006

ANNUAL WOLFE TONE COMMEMORATION :
Sunday , June 11 , 2006 , Sallins , Co. Kildare .


A bus for this Commemoration , which is organised each year by the Republican Movement , will leave from outside the old McBirneys/Virgin Megastore site on Dublin's Aston Quay at 12.45PM on the day : the Commemoration itself starts at 2.30PM .

The same bus will leave Bodenstown at 5.30PM that afternoon on its return to Dublin city centre . The fare is ten Euro per person .

For information on the death of Wolfe Tone , scroll through this piece (article starts on March 9 on that page) which was published on this blog last year .
"To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never-failing source of all our political evils and to assert the independence of my country- these were my objectives. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter - these were my means." -Theobald Wolfe Tone .



MacGIOLLA's GUERRILLAS .......
Fifteen years ago , the leadership of the 'Official Republican Movement' (now 'The Workers' Party') stated that their armed wing , the 'Official IRA' , went out of existence .
Today , the 'Official IRA' is alive and well and living mainly in Belfast and Newry . In the days when both organisations were operating in an overt way , the leadership of 'The Workers' Party' and the 'Official IRA' overlapped to a certain degree .
Tomas MacGiolla , the man who led the 'Official IRA' for the last twenty-five years has always maintained the position that the 'Official IRA' went out of existence in 1972 . But the 'Official IRA' still march on , not an army fighting the British , but as a fund-collecting agency .
DEREK DUNNE traces the roots of the 'Official IRA' and 'The Workers' Party' .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , October 1987 .

In the late 1970's , about eighteen people from Newry - all Official IRA - went to jail for 'fund raising' activities : there followed a period of reflection in the Officials . Also in the late 1970's , four people were 'sent down' (ie locked up) for doing a robbery and the word went out that they had done it for themselves .

These men were released within the last couple of years and immediately initiated a procedure which resulted in the deposing of the leadership of the Officials in Newry just over a year ago (ie mid-to-late 1986) ; the old leadership had degenerated , and much of their activities involved salting away the money for personal use . The Official IRA today is a different organisation from that of the early 1970's , or even the early 1980's : the people now involved have made a career out of being 'professional soldiers' , and using the gun .

But now they do not point the guns at the British Army or the RUC : their guns are pointed in the direction of people who they wish to intimidate or threaten ....... ('1169...' Comment : History repeats itself - the PIRA are now tasked , by both Westminster and Leinster House , with keeping 'the dissidents' [ie those that seek to change the constitutional position regarding the Six Counties] in 'check' : a certain amout of activity from them in relation to that task will be tolerated by the 'Establishment' in this State and in Westminster , provided their 'efforts' stay focussed on the 'dissidents' .)
(MORE LATER).



EOGHAN HARRIS : OUT OF THE SHADOWS .......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1997 .
By Brenda Power .

Dun Laoghaire (Dublin) Fianna Fail member Betty Coffey says she got a phone call and a strategy from Eoghan Harris - "...out of the blue . And it was brilliant advice . I admire him very much . " Adi Roche's campaign received some early encouragement from Harris , but he lost interest when reports of her brother's alleged Irish Republican sympathies made the headlines . Fergus Finlay stated - " Harris rang and said she'll have to repudiate her brother completely , which she would not do . He could'nt see that her brother's politics were not hers . "

Eoghan Harris said - " I wanted her to dump the brother , because it meant she had unfinished business on the National Question . And I believe the Irish people pronounce a secret fatwa on people who are soft on Sinn Fein : it may not show up in the polls , but Mary McAleese is holed below the water line , and it will sink her . I don't hate McAleese - in fact I admired her , she has great courage - I liked that 'in-your-face' Northern thing , she knows politics is a big boys' game played by big boys' rules , not a daisy chain like Adi Roche , she was thrilled to see myself and John Caden getting caught with our fingers in the pie . And she is far and away the sexiest woman in the race . But I never rated her as a reporter , she was a typical whingeing Northern grievance-monger and I consider that she is one of the armchair generals of the Nationalist community , the ones who did well out of positive discrimination but who keep on whinging : if they get to be Vice Chancellor of Queens they want to be Chancellor , then Chief Justice .

Sinn Fein are'nt into that kind of shit , any advancement they get is through the polls or the gun - I don't agree or respect that , but at least I understand it ! Compare her to somebody like David Irvine in his cheap shirt , coming from a little red brick house , going to a dreary miserable little UDP hall , doing his best to hold the peace . He's my hero . " The admiration is probably mutual : the November 1997 edition of the 'Orange Journal' newsletter compliments Eoghan Harris on his " ...support for the Unionist cause.. " , and Harris himself is also said to have claimed , to a senior Fianna Fail figure , that he has advised the Orange Order on publicity .......
(MORE LATER).



" WE ARE ALL PART OF THE SAME STRUGGLE ....... "
MARGARET WARD , author of a recent book 'UNMANAGEABLE REVOLUTIONARIES' , on the role of women in the national struggle , argues critically that republicans need to develop a non-elitist attitude of support for the feminist movement as an integral part of the liberation struggle .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .
No By-Line.

Feminists are inspired by the ideal of a future society in which there is no oppression , no exploitation , no forms of domination . But the ultimate achievement of such a society cannot be separated from the process of its making : if full democracy does not exist in the struggle today , how can there be in the future ?

It won't drop from the sky , it can only come , slowly and painfully , from ourselves . Feminists also believe that , because of the specific gender oppression of women , we must have an independent political movement so that we can develop our own strengths and decide upon our own demands . In other words , a movement that defines itself , that is 'autonomous' , but one which does not shut itself off from other struggles taking place .

The experience of organising as women increases our self-confidence , heightens our feelings of solidarity and enriches our participation in all political activities . It also gives us the strength to assert our own demands within the wider political context ; if this sounds irrelevant to readers of 'IRIS' , then let us take concrete examples to make the point more strongly.......
(MORE LATER).







Monday, May 22, 2006

ANNUAL WOLFE TONE COMMEMORATION :
Sunday , June 11 , 2006 , Sallins , Co. Kildare .


A bus for this Commemoration , which is organised each year by the Republican Movement , will leave from outside the old McBirneys/Virgin Megastore site on Dublin's Aston Quay at 12.45PM on the day : the Commemoration itself starts at 2.30PM .

The same bus will leave Bodenstown at 5.30PM that afternoon on its return to Dublin city centre . The fare is ten Euro per person .

For information on the death of Wolfe Tone , scroll through this piece (article starts on March 9 on that page) which was published on this blog last year .
"To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never-failing source of all our political evils and to assert the independence of my country- these were my objectives. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter - these were my means." -Theobald Wolfe Tone .



MacGIOLLA's GUERRILLAS .......
Fifteen years ago , the leadership of the 'Official Republican Movement' (now 'The Workers' Party') stated that their armed wing , the 'Official IRA' , went out of existence .
Today , the 'Official IRA' is alive and well and living mainly in Belfast and Newry . In the days when both organisations were operating in an overt way , the leadership of 'The Workers' Party' and the 'Official IRA' overlapped to a certain degree .
Tomas MacGiolla , the man who led the 'Official IRA' for the last twenty-five years has always maintained the position that the 'Official IRA' went out of existence in 1972 . But the 'Official IRA' still march on , not an army fighting the British , but as a fund-collecting agency .
DEREK DUNNE traces the roots of the 'Official IRA' and 'The Workers' Party' .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , October 1987 .

In 1977 , there was a major increase in militarisation within the Official IRA in Newry : the Provos called the Officials 'Rustyguns' on account of their ancient weapons . The OIRA got Kalashnikov AK47s in 1977 and had enough weapons to arm all their members and lots to spare . Long-term weapon dumps were established , using large concrete pipes buried deep in the ground : ten , twenty and thirty weapons were buried in grease , ready to be brought out in the event of a doomsday situation developing .

One such doomsday scenario might have involved a shoot-out with either the Provos or the INLA : in 1975 , the Provos had made an all-out attack on dozens of Officials on the same day . The Official IRA and Official Sinn Fein (The Workers Party) always considered itself a cut above the rest - they were 'politically motivated' , as distinct from the Provos who were 'only interested in carrying out military campaigns' . There were many people involved with Official Sinn Fein who had no knowledge of the Official IRA : the organisation as a whole pursued a policy of 'the ballot box in one hand and the gun in the back pocket' : their vote held up across the North right up to the end of the 1970's , because they were still seen as being 'republican' in some sense .

But after the Hunger Strikes (of 1981) , their vote collapsed ; by that time also , the Provos had shown that you could be quite open about the gun and still hold support . If you were keeping the gun 'hidden' it showed that you thought that there was something wrong with having it in the first place .......
(MORE LATER).



EOGHAN HARRIS : OUT OF THE SHADOWS .......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1997 .
By Brenda Power .

Fergus Finlay questions Eoghan Harris' involvement in the 1990 election of Mary Robinson - " He (Harris) wrote a very intelligent and rational letter to Mary Robinson outlining strategy , but I'm not convinced that he was the first person to suggest those points . " Speaking about Mary Robinson , Eoghan Harris stated - " She did not do the decent thing by me - I said I wanted credit rather than cash for advising her , writing her speeches : I never get paid for that work , by the way , I do it just to keep track on how good a spin doctor I am *. But she never gave me the credit . " ( * '1169....' Comment : the Harris-inspired Fine Gael 'Twink' sketch comes to mind ... !)

Eoghan Harris' next target was John Bruton and Fine Gael - a former RTE producer stated : " When I saw him move in on Fine Gael , I wondered if it was because he reckoned the party would be as easy to take over as the old WUI . " Though Phil Hogan claimed that Bruton and Harris were "...old college friends.. " , this seems unlikely since they were'nt educated in the same college , or even the same city ! Harris went to UCC and Bruton went to UCD . Eoghan Harris ceased to be 'flavour of the month' in Fine Gael around April 1991 when he devised the tasteless 'Twink Sketch' for Fine Gael's Ard Fheis , in which the 'comedienne' camped-up the toilet roll 'Ad Lady' and lampooned , amongst others , Una Claffey .

Harris is truly profligate with unsolicited advice to candidates he admires - regardless of which party they belong to .......
(MORE LATER).



" WE ARE ALL PART OF THE SAME STRUGGLE . "
MARGARET WARD , author of a recent book 'UNMANAGEABLE REVOLUTIONARIES' , on the role of women in the national struggle , argues critically that republicans need to develop a non-elitist attitude of support for the feminist movement as an integral part of the liberation struggle .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .
No By-Line.

The struggle for a new society takes many forms : the struggle against British rule in Ireland , campaigns on behalf of prisoners , workers' struggles in factories , community struggles around issues such as housing and tenant rights , the campaign for nuclear disarmament , for the right of women to have freely available abortion * . The list is endless . But , for feminists especially , our personal relationships with family and friends , and the fight against women's subordination within the family , at work , in political groups , is an integral part of this struggle . (* '1169...' Comment : "freely available abortion... " ? As in as a method of birth control , perhaps ? That particular sentiment would need to be defined in detail before it could be agreed with.)

In a most fundamental sense , 'the personal is political' , and a political movement that fails to recognise the importance of developing non-hierarchical , mutually supportive relationships , both within the movement itself and in the wider society , will find itself perpetuating the same injustices and oppression ; and this stark fact cannot be dismissed as some 'middle-class luxury' , to be enjoyed solely by the privileged while the masses struggle to combat the ravages of British harassment , poverty and despair .

There is violence in the home as well as on the streets , and violence in the streets comes not only from the British Army and RUC: men rape women and that ever-present threat diminishes the freedom of all women.......
(MORE LATER).