" 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, June 23, 2006

Due to 'staff' (!) shortages here at '1169...' - because of some football matches or other , this Blog will only be updated every second day , for the next few weeks . In short , I have been abandoned by all but this machine ! Sharon . (PS - the exams are over , but now 'Junior' is distracted by the football ! What next - girls knocking on the door.... ?)

THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT : INSIDE THE NORTHERN IRELAND (sic) PEACE TALKS (sic).......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1997 .
By Fionnuala O' Connor .

The youngest 'Ulster Unionist Party' member , Jeffrey Donaldson , is the only party delegate of any significance whose 'engagement' others noted , on the subject of identity , Britishness and Irishness : but an approving (P) Sinn Fein soundbite brought immediate party denial - he had offered no more than clarification , through the chair . The exception pointed up the rule - David Trimble's habit of dipping in and out of sessions and rarely making a personal contribution sets the tone .

An official whose hallmark is understatement says : " Even though they're in the talks , it looks like the UUP have'nt worked out any clear strategy beyond registering disapproval of (P) Sinn Fein . " Another participant , not a nationalist , came to a despairing conclusion a year ago and sees no reason to change his mind : " They're a mess . They don't like each other or trust each other . I can't believe what a shambles they are close up . "

When the parties were meant to provide papers setting out their 'principles and requirements' in Strands One and Two of the talks , the UUP at first sent neither a paper nor the expected senior figure : next day , no paper but deputy leader John Taylor did stay for an hour ! When that stage ended , the UUP delivered their 'opening statement' - which everyone else had turned in on the first day of talks - and were challenged on same being "sloppy".......
(MORE LATER).



THE ROMAN REICH....... ?
Following the disbandment of the Dublin-based grouping , the NSIWP , a new right-wing organisation , believed to be linked with right-wing Catholic groups , has been formed . COLM KEENA reports .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , 1 October 1987.

The new 'group-within-a-group' , the 'Social Action Initiative' , says it is going to 'go public' in May of 1988 , and wants to be well organised around the country by that date - it has yet to decide on a public name . Referring to various strands of belief within extreme right-wing groups , the 'Editor's Note' in the latest issue of the 'Ar Aghaidh' bulletin reads -

' In these darkening days , all non-communists must pull together , under all circumstances . To do otherwise is to play the 'System's ' game for them . We are all nationalist , pro-Western civilisation , pro-family , pro-life and pro-Nature . Surely there is ample room for manoeuvre here ? '

Colm O Torain/Colm Tarrant/Colm O Torna (one-time leader of the 'Nationalist Socialist Workers' Party' in Ireland) was once the registered secretary of Aontacht Eireann , the party set up by the former Fianna Fail minister , Kevin Boland : Boland says that following his and most of his colleagues' withdrawal from Aontacht Eireann , it was taken over by a group of strongly pro-Catholic individuals . For a number of years , up to last year (ie 1986) , the party continued to register with the clerk at Leinster House , with the rights to take part in elections , which that registration 'allows'.......
(MORE LATER).


THE RIGHT TO SILENCE.......
Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act has just been renewed for another year by State Communications Minister Jim Mitchell , despite increasing protests and lobbying by the NUJ .
HELEN O'CONNOR examines the results of a recent NIHE survey of the attitudes of Dublin people on the issue and GERRY LAVERY looks back to the roots of Section 31 .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , February 1987 .

Dr. Garret Fitzgerald (Fine Gael , Dublin South-East constituency) rose to his feet in Leinster House to voice opposition to Fianna Fail pressure on the RTE Authority : Fitzgerald stated that he supported "...every word ,(of) which I heartily endorse.." of that which the State Labour Party's David Thornley had said by way of objection to Fianna Fail machinations .

Fitzgerald continued - " The government regarded this occasion as a means of getting control of RTE , of replacing it with a puppet Authority and preventing freedom of speech * . The real threat to this country is not the IRA but the threat to freedom of speech and this is a sinister plot on behalf of the government to get control . I do not know what kind of superhacks could be found to obey the whim of the minister . " ( * '1169...' Comment : the "threat to freedom of speech" , as represented by Section 31 and acknowledged as such by Fine Gael whilst in opposition , was never recognised as such by Fine Gael when they were in power!)

Despite Garret Fitzgerald's 'outspoken opposition' to Section 31 censorship , when he was returned as a member of the State coalition Administration after the 1973 election , he was not noticably in a hurry to restore the 'independence' of RTE - in fact the opposite was the case and Posts and Telegraphs State Minister Dr. Conor Cruise O' Brien quickly set about trying to refine Section 31 censorship and make it even more an instrument of government policy.......
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Due to 'staff' (!) shortages here at '1169...' - because of some football matches or other , and exams (you show 'em , Junior!) - this Blog will only be updated every second day , for the next few weeks . In short , I have been abandoned by all but this machine ! Sharon .

THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT : INSIDE THE NORTHERN IRELAND (sic) PEACE TALKS (sic).......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1997 .
By Fionnuala O' Connor .

In Stormont , there is agreement that the most positive and effective unionist voices come from the tiny parties who speak for the loyalist paramilitaries , in particular David Ervine of the 'Progressive Unionist Party' (PUP) and David Adams of the 'Ulster Democratic Party' (UDP). " It's kind of hackneyed now , " delegates from two other Unionist parties agreed , "people say it so often - if only the rest of us had that kind of leadership ."

Some are surprised at the comparative lack of impact to date of the 'biggest' names ; SDLP leader John Hume withdrawn , apart from a few 'effective interventions,' Gerry Adams slow , almost stumbling in what limited debate there has been - "Nervous , maybe..." , said several of those present . Martin McGuinness does better "...in an earthy kind of way , which I did'nt expect.." , said a delegate , not inclined to regard McGuinness as 'humourous' .

The 'stars' to date , by fairly wide consenus , have been the SDLP's deputy leader , Seamus Mallon , and senior SDLP negotiator , Mark Durkan .......
(MORE LATER).


THE ROMAN REICH....... ?
Following the disbandment of the Dublin-based grouping , the NSIWP , a new right-wing organisation , believed to be linked with right-wing Catholic groups , has been formed . COLM KEENA reports .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , 1 October 1987.

The Irish 'Christian Social Party' maintain that communists and freemasons have already infiltrated the ranks of Ireland's public representatives , and some are actually in government : the two sit happily beside each other , and are part of the same conspiracy , according to the 'Christian Social Party' . Garret Fitzgerald , because of his membership of the secretive Bilderberg Group , is in their view an especially suspect Irish politician .

Jim Keating said to 'In Dublin' magazine that he had never heard of the 'Social Action Initiative' , the name which those publishing the 'Ar Aghaidh' bulletin give themselves : he says his magazine "...wears several hats , including protesting about the eastern bloc , and civil rights issues there.."

'Ar Aghaidh' reproduces a poem , titled 'Non-racial' , in its October issue , "...with the author's kind permission.." - the poem is reproduced from 'Clarion' magazine and the author is Eoin O Maille , one of the leading members of the 'Christian Social Party' . The most interesting part of the 'Ar Aghaidh' bulletin is its letters page , where it prints correspondence relating how to organise and how to avoid interception of mail by the 'intelligence community' , and even communications from well-established European militant national socialist groups.......
(MORE LATER).


THE RIGHT TO SILENCE.......
Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act has just been renewed for another year by State Communications Minister Jim Mitchell , despite increasing protests and lobbying by the NUJ .
HELEN O'CONNOR examines the results of a recent NIHE survey of the attitudes of Dublin people on the issue and GERRY LAVERY looks back to the roots of Section 31 .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , February 1987 .

A 'crunch point' between the Jack Lynch State administration and RTE was clearly coming and it came when Kevin O 'Kelly of RTE Radio News interviewed Sean MacStiofain , regarded as Chief of Staff of the Provisional IRA : MacStiofain was arrested as he left O' Kellys house in the early hours of the morning , and there began a long process which was to include MacStiofain's hunger strike and charging in the 'Special Criminal Court' in Dublin with membership of the IRA , based on his interview with O ' Kelly .

Kevin O' Kelly was later to find himself subpoenaed to give evidence in the court : despite MacStiofain's arrest , RTE went ahead with a version of the interview on the 1pm Sunday Radio News - the State administration was furious and issued an ultimatum to the RTE Authority demanding an explanation ; the Authority refused to comply with the ultimatum and , on 25 November 1972 , State Minister Gerry Collins , acting under 'government directive' , sacked the entire RTE Authority ! 'Government control' over RTE had now been firmly established .

Speaking in Leinster House on 23 November 1972 after the ultimatum had been issued , but before the sacking of the RTE Authority , Labour Party member David Thornley said - " We cannot separate the freedom of the press from the freedom of TV journalists . When asked to comment on the matter by the 'Irish Independent' newspaper during the week , I said I hoped the RTE Authority would tell the Minister to go to hell . I hope they have done so . " Even Fine Gael objected.......
(MORE LATER).







Monday, June 19, 2006

Due to 'staff' (!) shortages here at '1169...' - because of some football matches or other , and exams (you show 'em , Junior!) - this Blog will only be updated every second day , for the next few weeks . In short , I have been abandoned by all but this machine ! Sharon .

THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT : INSIDE THE NORTHERN IRELAND (sic) PEACE TALKS (sic).......
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1997 .
By Fionnuala O' Connor .

Provo socialising in Stormont is not helped by the building's internal segregation , with separate unionist and nationalist floors and lack of " friendly corners" , as several people put it ; but the bar-cum-coffee room , once described as having all the charm of a standard hotel bedroom without the bed , now attracts people away from their own office television sets to watch the news together on 'big' days ('1169...' Comment .......by which we presume they mean 'pay days' , where they can share and compare the 'spoils' between them !) .

" That's been interesting . Watching John Hume watching himself when he decided against the (Free State) presidency , and the different re-actions to Mary McAleese's announcement that she was running , " said one un-named Stormont politician - then discretion returned and no details followed from him . However , both 'camps' have taken part in 'get-togethers' for major football fixtures , with an (again) un-named participant volunteering to bring in his 'Sky' subscriber's card for the purpose .

Underlying differences are unchanged but mutual appreciation is plentiful , and remarkably * unanimous : the loyalists and the 'Women's Coalition' are useful 'lubricants' of debate , say Stormont Officials , with most parties remarking on how effectively Martha Pope runs the American team , George Mitchell's 'courteous firmness' and the pace he is now setting , and the loss to the Irish 'side' of the wise and elegant Sean O h-Uiginn ........ (* '1169...' Comment - why would both 'camps' NOT be "remarkably unanimous" ? After all , they share the share objective in Stormont - the implementation of the writ from Westminster.)
(MORE LATER).


THE ROMAN REICH....... ?
Following the disbandment of the Dublin-based grouping , the NSIWP , a new right-wing organisation , believed to be linked with right-wing Catholic groups , has been formed . COLM KEENA reports .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , 1 October 1987.

Jim Keating is one of the Irish organisers of the U.S. group CAUSA , a group founded by the Moonie Cult leader (and tax fraudster) Sun Myung Moon , and supports the Contras in Nicaragua : Keating used to run a group called the 'Irish Council for European Freedom' , together with a man called Colm O Torain/ Colm Tarrant/Colm O Torna - 'Colm' was then the leader of the Nationalist Socialist Workers' Party (NSWP) , an anti-semitic , racist and right-wing organisation , operating from postal addresses in Dublin .

The new group which published the 'Ar Aghaidh' bulletin is said by sources in the rather bizarre world of the extreme right to have had discussions with James Keating and with a group of nationalistic Catholics who go by the name of the 'Christian Social Party', and operated from rooms at the top of 10 Lower Abbey Street in Dublin city centre . During the divorce referendum in this State , the 'Christian Social Party' put posters up around Dublin which had an infant in a nappy , with a sword descending on its head , and the inscription 'UNESCO' on the sword .

Up in 10 Lower Abbey Street , the 'CSP' have been producing policy documents on just about everything : they ran 'independent' candidates during the recent State election , but fared badly . The group fears world domination by communism , and also fears the work of the United Nations (UN), which it believes is preparing for world government : UNESCO , especially through its influences on the departments of education around the world , is playing an especially powerful role in this 'preparation for world government' , according to the Irish 'Christian Social Party'.......
(MORE LATER).


THE RIGHT TO SILENCE.......
Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act has just been renewed for another year by State Communications Minister Jim Mitchell , despite increasing protests and lobbying by the NUJ .
HELEN O'CONNOR examines the results of a recent NIHE survey of the attitudes of Dublin people on the issue and GERRY LAVERY looks back to the roots of Section 31 .
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , February 1987 .

The advent of the crisis in the North of Ireland in 1969 found RTE news camera crews free to investigate and feature interviews with whoever they pleased : some of the most telling news coverage of that period , including the Derry Civil Rights March and the 'Battle of the Bogside' , came from RTE news crews .

However , the rise of the Provisional IRA and the campaigns being waged by both them and the Official IRA gave rise to increasing concern on the part of the Jack Lynch administration in the 26-County State : the months immediately following internment in August 1971 was the high point of paramilitary activity and , on 1st October 1971 , the State Minister for Posts and Telegraphs , Gerry Collins , found it 'necessary' to issue a written directive to RTE which instructed them to "... refrain from broadcasting any matter that could be calculated to promote the aims or activities of any organisation which engages in , promotes , encourages or advocates the attainment of any political objective by violent means.. " . ('1169...' Comment - it should be noted that that 'directive' was not used against the British Army or its political representatives , both of which were given
free reign on RTE.)


It was a wide-ranging , not very specific 'directive' , but it was clearly aimed at members of the Republican Movement - RTE producers and the RTE Authority resisted pressure from the Lynch administration to exercise editorial control , and representatives from Sinn Fein were still interviewed , but the pressure was increasing . Delicate political negotiations were under way between the Lynch administration and Edward Heath's government in Westminster : the Republican Movement was perceived as a growing and dangerous political threat . Jack Lynch was showing increasing impatience with the failure of the RTE Authority to comply clearly with its 'directive' and , in May 1972 , P&T Minister Gerry Collins fired a warning shot across the bow of RTE when , as a result of the establishment of a 'Broadcasting Review Committee' , he decided to appoint the RTE Authority for only one year instead of the usual five years . Then 'that' interview took place - and all hell broke loose .......
(MORE LATER).