" 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!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

UPCOMING REPUBLICAN EVENTS :


Annual Bobby Sands Commemorative Lecture -
VENUE - Wynns Hotel , 35 Lower Abbey Streey , Dublin 1 .
DATE - Tuesday , 22nd August 2006 .
TIME - 7.30pm .
SPEAKER - Peig Galligan .
No Admission Charge ; ALL WELCOME !



Annual H-Block Hunger Strike Commemoration -
VENUE - Bundoran , County Donegal .
DATE - Saturday 26th August 2006 .
SPEAKER - Mary Ward .
Assemble at East End , 3pm .


A picket in support of the prisoners in Maghaberry Prison who are currently fighting for political status will be held at the GPO, Dublin on Saturday, September 2nd 2006 at 12:45pm .


Annual Eve-Of-All-Ireland Rally -
DATE - Saturday 16th September 2006 .
Assemble at the Garden Of Remembrance at 2pm , for parade to the GPO .
Also , on this same Saturday (16th) , Republicans will be holding a 12-hour fast at the GPO in support of Irish Republican political prisoners .






Friday, August 18, 2006

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS .......
James Keegan died in Granard Garda Station last September (1986) . Earlier this month , an inquest was held in Longford to ascertain the cause of death.
The central question - how James Keegan managed to tear a blanket and hang himself within four minutes - still remains unanswered .
DEREK DUNNE reports.
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , February 1987 .

James Keegan had been hospitalised on several occasions for a heart condition and alcoholism . In September 1986 he spent three weeks in Lisdarn Hospital in Cavan for heart problems . On 25 September 1986 , he was just four days out of hospital ; on that day , he left his home , located about three miles from Granard , and went into town to collect the dole .

At around 3pm , James Keegan was seen by Ban Garda Mary Doogue outside McEvoy's Chemist shop : he went over to talk to her . She did not think he was drunk . James Keegan often talked to her when he saw her on the street . Half an hour later he climbed into a van belonging to Gerry Maguire who was delivering eggs . Maguire was afraid that James Keegan might fall in front of a car so he left him home . Later that day Keegan thumbed a lift back into Granard .

Around 10.15pm , Ban Garda Mary Doogue saw James Keegan again - this time he was standing at a corner with a bottle of stout in his hand . At 11.50pm , Garda Eugene Watters and Garda David Martin were driving in their patrol car and as they passed the Greville Arms Hotel , a man staggered out onto the road - he had a bottle of stout in his hands and , according to the Gardai , he was shouting a lot . Garda Eugene Watters arrested the man for being drunk and incapable , brought him to the Garda Barracks and handed him over to Garda John Boyle , who was the Station Orderly for the night.......
(MORE LATER).



KERRY GARDA CRISIS .......

There is a crisis among the Gardai in Kerry and it is much deeper than one of morale . For years the Kerry Detective force has enjoyed a free hand in dealing with Section 30 cases in this heavily Republican county .
But the free rein given in these cases has had the inevitably corrupting effect . Now individual Gardai are being fingered for conduct that most of them had taken for normal : the heat is now on . Only the fall-guys remain to be named .......
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , February 1985 .

James Sheehan was handcuffed and dragged by the hair to another room in Tralee Garda Station , where the questioning continued . Shortly afterwards , a senior detective came into the room and , seeing the wound on Sheehan's hand , decided he needed stitches . Sheehan was brought , still handcuffed , to the hospital where he received three sets of stitches to his hand , and was then returned to the Garda Barracks in Tralee : he signed nothing and was released after 24 hours .

In the same year (1982) , another Irish Republican , Gerald Shea , was brought to Tralee Garda Barracks and he too managed to have an altercation with a window (!) in an upper-floor room of the building . Gerald Shea required a dozen stitches .

THE MICK DAY CASE :
Mick Day was arrested under Section 30 in the summer of 1981 , in the Cahirciveen area of Kerry . He was taken to the local Garda station where he spent an hour before being taken all the way to Killarney : there , he alleges , he was subjected to severe brutality which was way beyond the 'norm' . Local Republicans estimate it as the worst beating since the 1970's . Mick Day signed nothing and was released after 48 hours . Two days later , he was admitted to hospital where he spent a week .
Next - 'THE AOH CASE.......'
(MORE LATER).



A HARD 'OUL STATION : LIFE ON THE STREETS .......
From 'NEW HIBERNIA' magazine , March 1987 .

It is decided that I will go out with Peter and Anna and drive around the city looking for the people who are sleeping rough . Peter is the boss for the night - he is a tall , friendly Franciscan Brother living in Leopardstown , Dublin , while Anna is a warm and jolly person who works in a solicitor's office . They know exactly where to go , as word gets around very easily .

The people that sleep rough in Dublin are mainly very private people - very few of them will go into the shelter for the night as some of them stay away because they have drink problems , whilst others have serious psychiatric issues . It takes a great deal of time and patience to make friends with them and win over their confidence . Most of them have been on the streets for years , and anybody familiar with Dublin at all would recognise the faces .

Seeing them curled up like little babies and covered over with blankets in a doorway can be somewhat depressing , especially if it is 1.00 am and almost below freezing point.......
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, August 17, 2006

UPCOMING REPUBLICAN EVENTS :


Annual Bobby Sands Commemorative Lecture -
VENUE - Wynns Hotel , 35 Lower Abbey Streey , Dublin 1 .
DATE - Tuesday , 22nd August 2006 .
TIME - 7.30pm .
SPEAKER - Peig Galligan .
No Admission Charge ; ALL WELCOME !



Annual H-Block Hunger Strike Commemoration -
VENUE - Bundoran , County Donegal .
DATE - Saturday 26th August 2006 .
SPEAKER - Mary Ward .
Assemble at East End , 3pm .



Annual Eve-Of-All-Ireland Rally -
DATE - Saturday 16th September 2006 .
Assemble at the Garden Of Remembrance at 2pm , for parade to the GPO .
Also , on this same Saturday (16th) , Republicans will be holding a 12-hour fast at the GPO in support of Irish Republican political prisoners .






Wednesday, August 16, 2006

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS .
James Keegan died in Granard Garda Station last September (1986) . Earlier this month , an inquest was held in Longford to ascertain the cause of death.
The central question - how James Keegan managed to tear a blanket and hang himself within four minutes - still remains unanswered .
DEREK DUNNE reports.
From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine , February 1987 .

Jimmy Keegan lived with his brother three miles outside Granard , a small town in north County Longford : he was fifty-four years old and had been a cattle drover all his life . In the 1940's , '50s and '60s there was a good living to be made from cattle droving but , as marts began to replace fairs , Jimmy Keegan found that his livelihood was being eroded .

Some cattle drovers bought lorries and became more professional - others , for one reason or another , did not , including James Keegan . He was fond of drink and spent most of his money in that way . As a degree of prosperity made itself apparent in the 1960's he was left behind . In the 1970's and 1980's he survived by what he got from the dole and by selling ash plants to farmers at the local mart for one pound at a time . Locals regarded him as 'harmless' - he might make a nuisance of himself by singing in bars or on the street but he was never considered nasty or violent .

He was occasionally barred from pubs in Granard for his tendency to sing and generally create annoyance and he was well known to the gardai in the town . Sometimes they would pick him up and leave him home , or leave him in the garda station to sober up . He suffered from alcoholism , and he had a heart condition.......
(MORE LATER).



KERRY GARDA CRISIS .......

There is a crisis among the Gardai in Kerry and it is much deeper than one of morale . For years the Kerry Detective force has enjoyed a free hand in dealing with Section 30 cases in this heavily Republican county .
But the free rein given in these cases has had the inevitably corrupting effect . Now individual Gardai are being fingered for conduct that most of them had taken for normal : the heat is now on . Only the fall-guys remain to be named .......
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , February 1985 .

KERRY'S SHERCOCK ?
Rathmore schoolteacher Noel O' Sullivan died on the 28th of December 1981 after a visit to Kenmare Garda Station in the south of the county of Kerry . This case is now being openly spoken of as Kerry's Shercock .

According to the report of Cork City coroner , Con Riordan , Noel O' Sullivan's death was as a result of "...extradural haemorrhage and contusion of the brain due to fracture of the skull caused by trauma to the head " . The position at the moment is that civil proceedings were begun in January 1983 and are still awaiting trial .

THE SHEEHAN CASE :
James Sheehan was arrested under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act in the summer of 1982 . He had 12 or 13 previous arrests : he was taken to Tralee Garda Station where , he alleges , local detectives told him they wanted 'yes' answers to a series of questions . He alleges they beat him and that , in the course of the beating , a window was broken and his hand was cut . He was then handcuffed and dragged by the hair to another room . The questioning continued.......
(MORE LATER).



A HARD 'OUL STATION : LIFE ON THE STREETS .......
From 'NEW HIBERNIA' magazine , March 1987 .

At around 7.45pm some of the co-workers arrive for their shift , and the full-time workers have a chance to go off for a pint or whatever until they come back again at 11.30pm . Again , like the full-time workers , the co-workers (part-timers) are a friendly bunch . A good many of the residents have gone off to bed at this stage , some of them are still sitting around in the kitchen area , chatting amongst themselves , and others are just sitting there looking on with blank expressions on their faces .

Downstairs in a small room another group of co-workers have arrived in to give up some of their time to the Simon Community . They will go out on the streets and visit people who are sleeping rough and give them soup and sandwiches . The 'soup run' takes place every night between 10.00pm and 2.00am and those working on it have full time jobs during the day - they are mainly young people and are drawn from all walks of life . They will split up into small groups , depending on the number of cars that are available , and some of those groups will visit people living in flats that Simon have managed to find for them while another group will seek out people sleeping rough .

The co-workers will arrive in the shelter anytime after 8.30pm to make the soup and the sandwiches : tonight it is beef , cheese and egg sandwiches as well as French onion soup and tea . One of the residents who seems to have been wandering around the shelter all day sits down and looks at the assembled night crew who , before they actually set off , are being 'paired' and having their destinations designated . On the way out one of the girls smiles and says to the rest " Let's be careful out there..." Too right - Dublin's Buckingham Street and its environs may not be like Hill Street but it sure is a tough area.......
(MORE LATER).







Monday, August 14, 2006

PADDY COONEY'S ARMY .......
Not since the earliest days of the State has the role of the Irish Army (sic) been under such intense scrutiny . And not since the war years has it had such a forceful political master as Patrick Mark Cooney .
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , 3 February 1984 .

The State Army have been handed the excuse to assist in the maintenance of 'law and order' in the State by the incompetence of the Gardai , by the excesses of armed gangs within the State and by the paramilitary overflow from the North .

The present State Minister for Defence welcomes this extension of the State Army's role and would even like them be involved in "...curing the national (sic) malaise." Such developments coincide with very serious economic difficulties , unprecedented levels of unemployment and a burgeoning of the population . It all adds up to a trend towards authoritarian government , a trend that has become all too familiar in other parts of the world .

Is this what lies ahead for Paddy Cooney's Army ?
[END of 'PADDY COONEY'S ARMY']
(Next -'MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS' : from 1987.)


KERRY GARDA CRISIS .......

There is a crisis among the Gardai in Kerry and it is much deeper than one of morale . For years the Kerry Detective force has enjoyed a free hand in dealing with Section 30 cases in this heavily Republican county .
But the free rein given in these cases has had the inevitably corrupting effect . Now individual Gardai are being fingered for conduct that most of them had taken for normal : the heat is now on . Only the fall-guys remain to be named .......
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , February 1985 .

DONAL DUNNE FALLOUT :
Another conflict at the highest level inside the Gardai was followed by the transfer of the State's two most senior officers early last year .

Following the crash of the State car of the then State Minister for Justice , Sean Doherty , in Ballyduff 18 months ago , statements from the State Administration in Leinster House , the 'Government Information Service' and the Garda Press Office all stated that the driver , Detective Donal Dunne , had been driven straight to the Mount Brandon Hotel where Sean Doherty was staying .

At Dunne's trial the following June , prosecuting officer Garda Michael O' Donovan flatly contradicted this account and said he had driven the driver of the State car , Detective Donal Dunne , to Tralee Garda Station . At the time of the accident , Garda Michael O' Donovan had given his account of the incident to Superintendent John Riordan : Chief Superintendent John Doyle was also aware at the time that Garda Michael O' Donovan was at the scene of the crash .

Within 12 months of the trial , Superintendents John Doyle and John Riordan had been transferred to Dublin and Mallow (Cork) respectively .

Next - a case involving a schoolteacher became known as 'Kerry's Shercock' * (* see 'Chaos In The Gardai' , here.) .......
(MORE LATER).



A HARD 'OUL STATION : LIFE ON THE STREETS .......
From 'NEW HIBERNIA' magazine , March 1987 .

The workers dish out the dinner , but the soup does'nt seem to be too popular tonight , and not everyone wants dinner either . A woman who has just arrived in drunk and oblivious to all and sundry dances around the floor on her own . A quiet and refined-looking gent sits in the corner on his own eating his dinner and stares on in amazement . The woman who is dancing comes over to Simon Project Leader Gerry Fulham who is eating his dinner with the rest of the residents . She wants to talk to him privately - he is like a father figure to them all .

One man does'nt want anything but potatoes - lots of them . He is a northerner and looks at one of the workers in amazement ; he is not too sure if he recognises her . In the end he takes one mouthful of potato , leaves the rest and staggers off to have a look at the television in an adjoining room . By 7.30pm he is fast asleep . The man who could take on ten Gerry Fulhams staggers off to bed saying that if anybody snores in his room tonight , he will throw them out the window . The rooms are cold , but to heat them would cost far too much - and the Simon Community has'nt got the money . A sufficient number of blankets make up for it and if anybody needs more all they have to do is ask .

Some of the rooms are single , others have two or three or sometimes four beds . Again a stale stench emerges from most of the rooms but , for the residents , it is a million times better than sleeping rough , something most of them would have experienced at some stage or other.......
(MORE LATER).