" A wealth of information..."

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

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



IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!


Friday, February 16, 2007

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GERRY ADAMS.

The recent strike by BBC journalists over the 'REAL LIVES' programme and the dispute at RTE over the interview with NORAID representative MARTIN GALVIN have focused world attention on Sinn Fein once again .MICHAEL KELLY spoke to Sinn Fein president GERRY ADAMS at interviews in Dublin and Belfast , conducted over the course of the past month .

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, August 1985 .

A wet morning in Belfast . The passengers who boarded the eight o' clock train in Dublin turn up their collars against the stubborn drizzle . The drivers of the big black taxis cluster in the concourse of Central Station looking for business - but not my sort of business : " The Falls, that's where you want to go ? " replies one taxi driver on hearing my destination . " Hang on a minute , we'll see if anyone will take you..."

Finally , after a careful examination , one of the dozen drivers agrees to take me there . Sammy , chatty but alert , says few other drivers would take you to West Belfast, and none operate there except the drivers of the Catholic taxis who operate a shuttle service up the Falls Road . Ten minutes later he drops me off with directions on how to reach the city centre on my return and where the best value is for shopping - " You want to watch out , you could get shot around here " , he says , joking . I think .

Sinn Fein's offices in Belfast are in a squat concrete building at 51-53 Falls Road , surrounded by steel grilles and barbed wire . The first step to entering is through an electrically-opened gate then , having been examined , through a heavy steel door . Down the hall there is a room with the notice - 'Ciuneas : rang ar siul' on the door . There the elderly drivers inspect the racing pages while they wait for parcels to be handed in to be brought to Long Kesh for IRA prisoners . Relatives bring newspapers and other items daily . Murals cover the walls of the office showing men in balaclavas and combat jackets carrying machine guns and tributes to 'the men behind the wire' are fixed to the wall beside them.......
(MORE LATER).



THE ACCUSING FINGER OF RAYMOND GILMOUR.
By NEIL McCAFFERTY.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, August 1983 .


Magistrate John Fyffe said dispassionately - " If there is any disruption by any member of the public , or any relative - any person guilty of disruption or harassment will be excluded from the court ." He sat back and the door in the wall to his right , a few steps up , opened : three men in civilian clothes came out and down , quickly , smoothly , and were in place below the magistrate , still on his right , within seconds . The third man was Raymond Gilmour.

He could not easily be seen from the body of the court . He sat into the chair in the witness box , effectively at ground level , and the two 'civilians' , members of the RUC Special Branch, stood shoulder to shoulder with their backs against the box , staring out and up into the body of the courtroom . The 28 prisoners in the raised dock , and their relatives packed into benches behind them - that rose even higher like seats in a football stand - were faced with a human curtain.......
(MORE LATER).



NEW DEPARTURES FOR SINN FEIN....... ?
Sinn Fein's recent election success in the North of Ireland have focussed attention on the Provisionals' new turn to political activity at local level . There have been parallel developments in the organisation in the 26 counties .
'GRALTON' magazine spoke to Paddy Bolger , Ard Comhairle member and National Organiser for Sinn Fein ,with special responsibility for Dublin , about the changed perspective .
From 'GRALTON' magazine , August/September 1983 .

'GRALTON' magazine : " Do you not recognise that this concern for electoral achievement imposes certain patterns of work and obligations to engage in 'service politics' ?* Is that a price you reckon you have to pay ?" ('1169...' Comment * ie 'Clientelism' , where a local political representative promises , for example , that he/she can get the street light outside your house fixed faster than the political rep from the other party : in other words , 'jobs' that can be organised by the house-holder themselves if they could be bothered . All Leinster House parties depend on 'Joe and Josephine Soap' NOT being bothered .)

PADDY BOLGER : " The problem that the left here and through-out Europe has to face is that in a non-revolutionary situation - and that's what we have in the 26 Counties - you can't always advance as far along the lines of your programme as you would like . We are very conscious of the dangers of slipping into reformism. At the moment , we are providing in Dublin what could be called a 'clientelism service' , but it is better and more principled (translation: '....we get it done quicker than the other crowd..' !) than the service which the other parties are providing , including the Workers' Party. We see this simply as a means of establishing our presence and our credibility in the areas . People are extremely cynical of all parties .

We do not believe that revolutionary sloganising , however correct its content , will produce results . ('1169...' Comment : depending on how you rate 'playing the constitutional game' [ie a 'success' or a 'distraction from the main issue'] this could or could not be described as "getting results" . We view it, and those pictured , as 'distractions' .) We are now building up our organisation to get ourselves accepted as a credible and locally informed organisation . But we see that only as the basis to build up agitational politics and would also hope to build a base for propaganda work , through publications , seminars and surveys at 26-County level . Our education programme is geared to preventing an influx of new members who don't have a definite ideology (...it didn't work!) but might be attracted to us because of the Northern successes .

We want to prevent such an influx blunting our revolutionary edge, but we have no fantasies about the possibilities for red revolution in the 26 Counties . We know it's a hard slog - the clientelist work is a principled service ('1169...' Comment - a "principled service" to assist in returning the 'server' to power!) , people are in need and even if we only provide a better service than the rest we will be accomplishing something . We need to develop , as the major left parties in Europe have done , an alternative constituency , a body of the working class who just don't accept the strategy that the other parties offer . "
(MORE LATER).

(Please note : we have had to enable the ' Captcha Settings' in our 'Guestbook' , by which we mean that those wishing to leave a comment in same must first verify that comment by copying text from a graphic and placing said text in a small box on the form . We have been plagued , in the last few days especially , by thousands of spam messages - mostly from car companies - and can find better use for the time it took us to delete those 'messages' . Apologises for any inconvenience caused....)






Thursday, February 15, 2007

Shameless 'PLUG AND PLEAD' Post .....!

'1169 And Counting....' has been nominated in the 'Best Political Blog' category of the 'Irish Blog Awards' competition : if you , the reader , deem us worthy of such a nomination , we would ask that you consider visiting this page and voting for us in said category . Voting closes at 5pm this Friday , February 16th . Also , a big 'Thank You!' to the Administrative panel and the members of the IRBB for the thread on that Board in support of our campaign (on the 'Alternative' part of the Board : 'log-in' required) : much appreciated ! Go raibh maith agat !






Wednesday, February 14, 2007

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

It is important for us to state that we are not alleging that any one of these Gardai were in any sense guilty of any wrongdoing , but we are drawing attention to the fact that these promotions took place without any enquiry whatsoever taking place into the very serious and convincing case that some of those Gardai may have been guilty of having ill-treated people in custody and participated in a plot to subvert the course of justice by conspiring to commit perjury .

The fact that the Gardai may have beaten up some people in custody is not of enormous significance to the 'body politic' , nor is even the likelihood that an innocent person (ie Nicky Kelly) may be in jail as a result of irregular Garda procedures : nor is the significance of the case in that a significant number of Gardai engaged in a plot to subvert the course of justice by planning to commit perjury - the primary significance of this case is that brutality , perjury and conspiracy could occur without any investigation taking place whatsoever or without any political controls being place on the Gardai as a result !

The conclusion must be that the Gardai are effectively outside normal political controls , able to engage in illegalities , even criminalities , without investigation , without restriction , even without censure . It has all the makings of a police state , if only in embryonic stage .
[END OF 'THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE']
(Next - 'THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GERRY ADAMS' : from 1985)


A PEOPLE'S ARMY .......
'IRIS' magazine talks to two active women Volunteers in the Irish Republican Army about their involvement , their political attitudes , and their observations on the role played by women in the liberation struggle. Both Volunteers are from the Free State , where they live , and are in their twenties . 'Mary' comes from a country area and has been in the IRA for six years ; 'Anne' comes from the city and joined the IRA about a year ago .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982.

'IRIS' magazine : " Finally , what do you say to feminists who regard the national struggle as a diversion from their own struggle for women's rights ? "

MARY : " I suppose most of those who use that argument feel that the war in the North is not geared to getting the support and involvement of all women , they feel that we alienate a lot of women . To a small degree that's true , but I believe that the fight for women's rights cannot be separated , in Ireland , from the fight against imperialism , which has generated the oppression of Irish women . It's part of the system of social domination we've inherited from a foreign enemy ."

ANNE : " So women have a dual role to play in the Movement : to fight imperialism and to educate the men . We're gradually breaking down these attitudes but it's a slow process breaking down several hundred years of mental oppression . "

[END of 'A PEOPLE'S ARMY']
(Next - 'THE ACCUSING FINGER OF RAYMOND GILMOUR' : from 1983)


NEW DEPARTURES FOR SINN FEIN....... ?
Sinn Fein's recent election success in the North of Ireland have focussed attention on the Provisionals' new turn to political activity at local level . There have been parallel developments in the organisation in the 26 counties .
'GRALTON' magazine spoke to Paddy Bolger , Ard Comhairle member and National Organiser for Sinn Fein ,with special responsibility for Dublin , about the changed perspective .
From 'GRALTON' magazine , August/September 1983 .

'GRALTON' magazine : " How would you measure success for this strategy a year from now ? Given that it is long-term , what would be a reasonable aspiration in your view ? "

PADDY BOLGER : " The aspirations are internal as well as external . We would hope in Dublin to be well organised in every local government constituency and we are organising at the moment on that basis . We are already organised reasonably well at cumann level in about two thirds of Dublin city and county . A couple of corporation seats in Dublin and Cork we would see as a major step forward . We don't expect to make a great big splash because of the hegemony of the other parties . We see the Workers' Party as a problem but not a major blockage . Working class support for Fianna Fail on the national question and trade union acceptance still of Fianna Fail's project for the economy are our major problems ."
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Shameless 'PLUG AND PLEAD' Post .....!

'1169 And Counting....' has been nominated in the 'Best Political Blog' category of the 'Irish Blog Awards' competition : if you , the reader , deem us worthy of such a nomination , we would ask that you consider visiting this page and voting for us in said category . Voting closes at 5pm this Friday , February 16th . Go raibh maith agat !






Monday, February 12, 2007

THE SEEDS OF A POLICE STATE .......
There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

Not alone was there no investigation of any kind into the very compelling prima facie evidence that Osgur Breathnach , Nicky Kelly and Brian McNally were beaten up by the Gardai and that a significant number of Gardai conspired to subvert the course of justice by plotting to commit perjury , but no safeguards were instituted to ensure that it would not happen again . This in spite of very specific recommendations by a (State) government-appointment commission .

But the story does not end there - of the 19 members of the Garda Siochana against whom allegations of ill-treatment were made in connection with the Sallins mail train robbery , the following is a progress report on some of their careers since then :

Detective Garda Thomas Ibar Dunne is now a Detective Sergeant ; Detective Sergeant Francis Campbell is now a Detective Inspector ; Detective Garda Thomas Boland is now a Detective Sergeant ; Detective Sergeant Patrick Culhane is now a Detective Inspector ; Detective Sergeant John J. McGroarty is now a Detective Inspector ; Detective Inspector Edward Ryan is now a Detective Superintendent ; Detective Sergeant Cavanan is now a Detective Inspector ; Detective Inspector Courtney is now a Detective Superintendent and Detective Garda Michael Finn and Detective Sergeant Patrick F. Cleary have not been promoted .

Thus at least eight of the 19 Gardai against whom allegations were made were promoted subsequently.......
(MORE LATER).



A PEOPLE'S ARMY .......
'IRIS' magazine talks to two active women Volunteers in the Irish Republican Army about their involvement , their political attitudes , and their observations on the role played by women in the liberation struggle. Both Volunteers are from the Free State , where they live , and are in their twenties . 'Mary' comes from a country area and has been in the IRA for six years ; 'Anne' comes from the city and joined the IRA about a year ago .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982.

'IRIS' magazine : " Do you think that the war in the North of Ireland has led to the reduction of male domination in nationalist society , because of the role women have played ? "

MARY : " That's hard to answer , living here in the Free State , but from what I've seen of it , yes - it has . Women in the North have been liberated and involved of necessity . They've just woken up and found that their husbands have been arrested or imprisoned , and they have had to adapt themselves . Down here in the 26-counties there hasn't been the same progress . "
(MORE LATER).



NEW DEPARTURES FOR SINN FEIN....... ?
Sinn Fein's recent election success in the North of Ireland have focussed attention on the Provisionals' new turn to political activity at local level . There have been parallel developments in the organisation in the 26 counties .
'GRALTON' magazine spoke to Paddy Bolger , Ard Comhairle member and National Organiser for Sinn Fein ,with special responsibility for Dublin , about the changed perspective .
From 'GRALTON' magazine , August/September 1983 .

'GRALTON' magazine : " (...question continued..) You refer to 'the public' and to 'the people' . Do you have within the three-and-a-half million population strategic targets you are trying to reach ? "

PADDY BOLGER : " (...answer continued..) .....the rest of that class is probably at this stage , through the development of Fine Gael , committed to anti-national and , currently , monetarist positions . But there are sections of the people who could not be described as working class or small farmer who would not be reactionary on economic issues . Fianna Fail have , through mild social democratic policies , maintained that broad constituency of working class , petit bourgeois and small farming support .

That is the base that we would we be aiming at as well , primarily because they are the people who need to be given a project for a political and economic independence , with a socialist programme - not an ultra-Left programme , but a thoughtful socialist programme with a long-term objective . "
(MORE LATER).