" 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...!


Saturday, April 07, 2007

1916 EASTER RISING COMMEMORATION , DUBLIN , 2007 .

The Fool
by Padraic Pearse (Patrick Henry Pearse [Padraic Mac Piarais]).

"O wise men, riddle me this: what if the dream come true?
What if the dream come true? and if millions unborn shall dwell
In the house that I shaped in my heart, the noble house of my thought?
Lord, I have staked my soul, I have staked the lives of my kin
On the truth of Thy dreadful word. Do not remember my failures,
But remember this my faith
And so I speak.
Yea, ere my hot youth pass, I speak to my people and say:
Ye shall be foolish as I; ye shall scatter, not save;
Ye shall venture your all, lest ye lose what is more than all;
Ye shall call for a miracle, taking Christ at His word.
And for this I will answer, O people, answer here and hereafter,
O people that I have loved, shall we not answer together?"


A Commemoration to honour the men and women of 1916 will be held this Easter Monday (9th April) in Dublin : those wishing to attend should assemble outside the Garden Of Remembrance in Parnell Square at 12.45pm , for a Parade to the GPO.
Organised by the Republican Movement. Details of other Republican Easter 1916 Commemorations can be found here.
All Welcome!






Friday, April 06, 2007

WHICH WAY FORWARD IN THE FREE STATE....... ?

In the wake of Sinn Fein successs in the North , republicans are increasingly having to confront the problem of building a realistic strategy for the very different political situation that exists in the 26 Counties . In this controversial analysis , Sinn Fein ard comhairle ('National Executive') member Paddy Bolger , argues that the Sinn Fein concept of an 'Economic Resistance Movement' , put forward in 1971 and expanded eight years later , is seriously over-optimistic , and that the national question remains the central revolutionary issue on which Free State workers can be mobilised in a painstaking and gradualist approach .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .

Unemployment in the 12 month period up to August 1983 increased by 36,000 to a total of 192,000 , yet despite this increase the most notable feature is the high turnover on the register . For example , from December 1982 to April 1983 , while 66,000 went on to the unemployment register , 48,000 came off it . Currently , only 46,000 (or approximately 25 per cent of those on the register) have been receiving unemployment benefits for longer than 15 months .

This figure represents roughly 5 per cent of the total potential workforce and actually compares favourably with the 7 per cent to 8 per cent level of long-term unemployment which was the norm during the 1960's .

In the supposedly explosive Dublin area there are currently 18,000 recent school leavers on the dole - yet they are concentrated in relatively few areas of the city , such as Finglas and Ballyfermot , which have traditionally experienced high levels of deprivation . Outside of Dublin , the scattered nature of the Industrial Development Authority - sponsored industrial base means that with few exceptions (e.g. Dunlop , and potentially Ford's at Cork) no great concentrations of industrial workers exist in any one area which could provide a strong impetus for anti-unemployment action . This is despite the harsh reality that more industrial workers are currently unemployed than are in work , and that traditionally major sources of jobs - such as the construction industry - are in collapse.......
(MORE LATER).



A SEGREGATED JAIL .......
Formerly Sinn Fein's national organiser , 28-year-old Belfast republican Jim Gibney has been imprisoned on remand since last January , one of many who have been held solely on the word of an RUC informer . Most of this period on remand has been spent in Belfast's Crumlin Road Jail.
In this article , smuggled out of Crumlin Road , Gibney outlines the daily routine in the jail , in which segregation between republican and loyalist prisoners -one of the hunger-strikers' five demands- plays a central , if 'officially' unrecognised , role .
From 'IRIS' magazine ,November 1982 .
By Jim Gibney .

All prisoners are locked up from 12.30pm to 2pm ; then , at 2pm , loyalists have an opportunity for exercise , following which they have their tea in the canteen . Again all prisoners are locked up between 4.15pm and 5pm . Republican prisoners get two hours' association starting at 5pm , one hour of which is spent in the yard and the second hour in the canteen . On alternate days , this procedure is reversed and operated in the loyalists' favour .

As can be seen , the routine is a cumbersome one to operate , especially when between 100-200 prisoners are in each wing . It could not be worked without the full co-operation of the prison administration but the 'official' acceptance - at the prison administration level - of the need for segregation , does not stop at the day-to-day running of the prison only . At the weekly remand courts on Tuesdays and Fridays , republicans and loyalists are segregated , and even in the area of education classes in Crumlin Road Jail, segregation has been implemented - a development which was unheard of prior to the hunger-strike .

As recently as September last (1982) , during discussions between the Board of Visitors and republican representatives , the Board agreed that segregation did exist and that they would argue for improvements within this established procedure . Republicans , however , regard the Board of Visitors as a toothless animal.......
(MORE LATER).


GLOSSARY OF THE LEFT IN IRELAND : FROM 1960 TO 1983.......
These notes attempt to record the left-wing organisations which have existed in Ireland since 1960 . No attempt has been made to record purely local organisations outside Dublin and Belfast , or microscopic groups which never reached double figures . The larger organisations have been presented in more detail .
From 'GRALTON' magazine, 1983.
By John Goodwillie.
(NOTE : Links in the following article are as accurate as possible - not all the groups mentioned left a discernible 'footprint' .)

LEFT ALTERNATIVE: An alliance between the Communist Party Of Ireland, Official Sinn Fein and the Liaison Committee of the Labour Left. Formed in 1975 , it produced two economic manifestos and operated quietly in various areas but collapsed in 1976 because the participants had other priorities .

LEFT REVOLUTIONARY GROUP: Formed in 1976 as a breakaway from People's Democracy on the basis of stronger support for the military struggle and an analysis of the Loyalists as fascist . Changed its name to the Red Republican Party.

LIAISON COMMITTEE OF THE LABOUR LEFT: Formed in 1971 to re-group those left-wingers in the Labour Party who had not defected to the Socialist Labour Alliance. The 'Committee' collapsed in 1977 when the majority of leading members participated in the events which led to the formation of the Socialist Labour Party.
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, April 05, 2007

EASTER MONDAY COMMEMORATION , DUBLIN , 2007 :

" The people were tired of the RIC and their overbearing , strutting tyranny . The 'Law' and the 'Force' . Yes , and the Crowbar and the Battering Ram . The Torch and the Buckshot . The Bayonet and the Bullet and the Baton . These tools had been always associated with the 'Law' . The 'Force' was the eyes and the ears and the power behind the 'Law' . This is how my mother taught me the English alphabet :
A for the Army that covers the ground ,
B for the Buckshot we're getting all round .
C for the Crowbar of cruel ill-fame ,
D for Davitt , a right glorious name...... "


...an extract from Micheal O'Suilleabhain's book , 'Where Mountainy Men Have Sown', (Anvil Books , 1965).

It is in memory of , and to pay respectable homage to , the men and women of that era and , indeed , the men and women of today and of each generation over more than the last eight centuries , that the Republican Movement has organised , in Dublin , an Easter Monday Commemoration (9April 2007) : those wishing to attend should assemble outside the Garden Of Remembrance in Parnell Square at 12.45pm , for a Parade to the GPO.
All Welcome!






Wednesday, April 04, 2007

WHICH WAY FORWARD IN THE FREE STATE....... ?

In the wake of Sinn Fein successs in the North , republicans are increasingly having to confront the problem of building a realistic strategy for the very different political situation that exists in the 26 Counties . In this controversial analysis , Sinn Fein ard comhairle ('National Executive') member Paddy Bolger , argues that the Sinn Fein concept of an 'Economic Resistance Movement' , put forward in 1971 and expanded eight years later , is seriously over-optimistic , and that the national question remains the central revolutionary issue on which Free State workers can be mobilised in a painstaking and gradualist approach .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .

Just as the Republican Movement can , with hindsight , be accused of naivity in the early 1970's in its confident assertions that each coming year would be 'Freedom Year' , it may well be that we are now assuming naively that the Free State establishment faces a politically insoluble economic crisis , and that all that is needed to spark the crisis is the touch-paper of republicanism's socialist ideology .

Let us begin by accepting honestly that we are not currently a major political force in the Free State - except in the reflective context of events in the North - and look briefly at the areas of unemployment (of youth in particular) , the trade unions , women's rights and EEC withdrawal as issues on which we can potentially mobilise :

Unemployment .
One frequent assertion by republicans is that the effect of the seemingly endless rise of unemployment will be to alienate the working class , and the young in particular , from the capitalist system. By the beginning of 1984 - most observers agree - the toll of jobless in the Free State will top 200,000 , or about 22 per cent of the working population - but where is the expected bubbling ferment of disillusioned youth ? A look at the annul live register goes some way to providing an answer........
(MORE LATER).


A SEGREGATED JAIL .......
Formerly Sinn Fein's national organiser , 28-year-old Belfast republican Jim Gibney has been imprisoned on remand since last January , one of many who have been held solely on the word of an RUC informer . Most of this period on remand has been spent in Belfast's Crumlin Road Jail.
In this article , smuggled out of Crumlin Road , Gibney outlines the daily routine in the jail , in which segregation between republican and loyalist prisoners -one of the hunger-strikers' five demands- plays a central , if 'officially' unrecognised , role .
From 'IRIS' magazine ,November 1982 .
By Jim Gibney .

Those in charge of prison policy at the 'NIO, such as 'Lord' Gowrie, know and accept that a system of segregation is being operated : their 'official' denial of such a reality , in typical British double-talk , claiming that it is the prisoners themselves who work this set-up and not the administration , is theoretically right but in actual practice is far removed from the truth . A look at an ordinary working day in Crumlin Road Jail shows clearly that peace exists because the prison administration operates a limited system of segregation -

- the day begins at 7.30 am when prison warders arrive on the landings . Prisoners awaken to a shout from a senior prison warder to the effect that either the 'RC's' (republicans) or 'Prods' (loyalists) are in the canteen for their breakfast . If it's the republicans , we will then eat our breakfast in the canteen while the warders supervise the 'slopping out' of those prisoners remaining in their cells . Then , when the republicans return from the canteen , we 'slop out' while the loyalists are washing and showering . At 9am exercise begins for the non-political prisoners , who are now located in 'B' wing : this , in itself - keeping non-political prisoners in a separate wing - is further evidence of the administration voluntarily operating a form of segregation .

The exercise session for the non-political prisoners ends at 10am and is followed by republicans exercising from 10am to 11.15am and , while we are exercising , loyalists continue to wash and 'slop out' . They then collect their dinner from the canteen and eat it in their cells , while republicans eat in the canteen . 'Lock Ups' are next on the agenda.......
(MORE LATER).


GLOSSARY OF THE LEFT IN IRELAND : FROM 1960 TO 1983.......
These notes attempt to record the left-wing organisations which have existed in Ireland since 1960 . No attempt has been made to record purely local organisations outside Dublin and Belfast , or microscopic groups which never reached double figures . The larger organisations have been presented in more detail .
From 'GRALTON' magazine, 1983.
By John Goodwillie.
(NOTE : Links in the following article are as accurate as possible - not all the groups mentioned left a discernible 'footprint' .)

LABOUR YOUTH: Formed in 1979 as the youth movement of the Labour Party. MILITANT quickly established itself as the dominant influence .

LEAGUE FOR A WORKERS' REPUBLIC: Formed in 1968 as a hard Trotskyist breakaway from the Irish Workers' Group. Affiliated to the Organising Committee for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International (known as 'Lambertists', and then 'Fourth International', and then 'International Committee For Reconstruction'. ) The 'League' played an important role in the Young Socialists, and following the failure of the Socialist Labour Alliance re-oriented itself to the Labour Party in 1976 . Some members participated in the Socialist Labour Party in 1977-1978 .

LEAGUE FOR WORKERS' VANGUARD: Trotskyist organisation formed in 1970 as a breakaway from the League For A Workers' Republic on the basis of support for the International Committee Of The Fourth International (known as 'Healyites') . The 'Vanguard' group changed its name to Workers' League in 1971 .
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, April 03, 2007


EASTER 1916 COMMEMORATION , MONDAY 9th APRIL 2007, Dublin .

The Mother .

" I do not grudge them : Lord , I do not grudge
my two strong sons that I have seen go out
to break their strength and die , they and a few ,
in bloody protest for a glorious thing ,
they shall be spoken of among their people ,
the generation shall remember them
and call them Blessed :

But I will speak their names to my own heart
in the long nights ;
the little names that were familiar once
round my dead hearth .

Lord , thou art hard on mothers ;
we suffer in their coming and their going :
and tho' I grudge them not , I weary , weary ,
of the long sorrow .
And yet I have my joy ; my sons were faithful , and they fought . "


- PH Pearse , written hours before his execution , May 3 , 1916 .

It is in memory of , and to pay respectable homage to , the men and women of that era and , indeed , the men and women of today and of each generation over more than the last eight centuries , that the Republican Movement has organised , in Dublin , an Easter Monday Commemoration (9 April 2007) : those wishing to attend should assemble outside the Garden Of Remembrance in Parnell Square at 12.45pm , for a Parade to the GPO.
All Welcome!






Monday, April 02, 2007

WHICH WAY FORWARD IN THE FREE STATE....... ?

In the wake of Sinn Fein successs in the North , republicans are increasingly having to confront the problem of building a realistic strategy for the very different political situation that exists in the 26 Counties . In this controversial analysis , Sinn Fein ard comhairle ('National Executive') member Paddy Bolger , argues that the Sinn Fein concept of an 'Economic Resistance Movement' , put forward in 1971 and expanded eight years later , is seriously over-optimistic , and that the national question remains the central revolutionary issue on which Free State workers can be mobilised in a painstaking and gradualist approach .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .

The Sinn Fein 'Eire Nua' document asserted with optimism : " It remains to indicate the lines along which Sinn Fein may win the support of the majority of the Irish people for the realisation of its objectives . It is clear that resistance to the British forces of occupation in the Six Counties is alone insufficient . It will be necessary to develop the unity of the people around a programme of economic resistance to the non-military aspects of imperialist interference in Ireland .

By this means it will be possible to safeguard the livelihood of the people , to frustrate the plans for a completely export-orientated , dependent , industrial economy on the East coast , and at major sea ports , with the rest of the country a depopulated 'tourist paradise' and to build up an institutional structure which will foreshadow certain state organs of the future Republican Government . " While this aspiration - with its primary intended application obviously being in the 26 Counties , rather than the North - is undoubtedly correct , it is increasingly necessary to look critically at the short and long-term feasibility of Sinn Fein building such 'extra-constitutional' mass agitation along the lines of the 'Economic Resistance Movement'.

In so analysing , it is essential not to look through the rose-tinted spectacles * of republican enthusiasm , but in the cold and uncomfortable light of the actual political situation in the Free State....... ('1169...' Comment * : Irish Republicans never owned a pair of "rose-tinted spectacles..." between them ! They are aware , from their own history , of the uphill nature of the path they have chosen . However , as in all such Struggles , there are , equally , those who ignore their own history and , wearing said "rose-tinted spectacles" , convince themselves that they have found 'friends' amongst their adversaries .)
(MORE LATER).



A SEGREGATED JAIL .......
Formerly Sinn Fein's national organiser , 28-year-old Belfast republican Jim Gibney has been imprisoned on remand since last January , one of many who have been held solely on the word of an RUC informer . Most of this period on remand has been spent in Belfast's Crumlin Road Jail.
In this article , smuggled out of Crumlin Road , Gibney outlines the daily routine in the jail , in which segregation between republican and loyalist prisoners -one of the hunger-strikers' five demands- plays a central , if 'officially' unrecognised , role .
From 'IRIS' magazine ,November 1982 .
By Jim Gibney .

The first significant shot in this protest was fired in November 1981 , not by Irish Republicans , but by Loyalists who are also demanding segregation : they took their protest on to the roof of the top security 'A' wing of Crumlin Road jail, having systematically wrecked the wing . Following this incident , loyalist politicians have periodically called publicly for segregation , claiming that loyalist prisoners ' are out-numbered and under threat from republicans' .

But warnings from both republican and loyalist camps of impending trouble between the prisoners , and as a consequence between prisoners and warders , have fallen on deaf ears at the 'Northern Ireland Office', which continues to issue statements proclaiming that it is not government policy to segregate prisoners according to their political beliefs . The comparison between this statement and the existing reality in the prisons , particularly Crumlin Road, shows it to be nothing other than a blatant lie .

For over six years , indeed since July 12th 1976 when a riot occurred in the canteen of 'C' wing between republicans and loyalists , the prison administration has operated a policy of segregating remand prisoners during meal-times , association and exercise periods , and while cleaning out their cells . The only time in Crumlin Road Prison that loyalist and republican prisoners 'mix' is when they are going to and from visits , and this practice existed even before political status was withdrawn in 1976 .......
(MORE LATER).



GLOSSARY OF THE LEFT IN IRELAND : FROM 1960 TO 1983.......
These notes attempt to record the left-wing organisations which have existed in Ireland since 1960 . No attempt has been made to record purely local organisations outside Dublin and Belfast , or microscopic groups which never reached double figures . The larger organisations have been presented in more detail .
From 'GRALTON' magazine, 1983.
By John Goodwillie.
(NOTE : Links in the following article are as accurate as possible - not all the groups mentioned left a discernible 'footprint' .)

LABOUR PARTY: Formed in 1930 by the division of the Irish Labour Party and the Trade Union Congress into its constituent parts . Throughout the period the Labour Party has been the largest organisation numerically , although this strength was possibly rivalled for some time by Sinn Fein - this does not imply any great level of activity on the part of ts members , who are obviously heterogeneous in the level of activity and commitment . The election of Brendan Corish as leader in 1960 was followed by a cautious move leftwards and the adhesion of a radical layer of 'intellectuals' .

This development was helped by the entry of the National Progressive Democrats in 1963 , which raised the combined 'left' strength in Leinster House to 17 . But the 1969 general election was outwardly disappointing , reducing the strength from the 22 of 1965 to 18 , despite the vote increasing from 15.4 per cent to 17 per cent . The aftermath was the adoption of a coalitionist policy in 1970 and the departure of the most left-wing elements .

Through the period of the Cosgrave coalition (1973-77) and the first FitzGerald coalition (1981-82) and the following Fianna Fail governments , the Labour Party vote steadily declined and seats declined from a peak of 19 in 1973 . The 1977 general election also saw an outflow of left-wingers from the party .
(MORE LATER).







Sunday, April 01, 2007

WAL*McG and PSFCO.......




Through one of our many contacts in the political sphere - who , themselves , have regular dealings with people they describe as "...movers and shakers.." in the business world , we have learned that the Provisional Sinn Fein organisation is at the centre of a proposed take-over by one or other of the above-pictured supermarket chains .

Although late was the hour when our source confirmed this historic (!) news to us , we nonetheless , eventually , managed to contact a spokesperson for the Provos who , on hearing the amount of information we already had on the take-over,decided it would be in the produc....eh...party's best interest to "...bring a degree of clarity to this important and historic occasion , least the truth be submerged in a tissue of mis-direction from the securocrats who , as we all know ...etc etc " Anyway - just before blood started seeping from our ears - we managed to get the following sentence from that spokesperson : "....and , yes - going forward , and in the best interests of those whose votes we borrowed , I can confirm that we have once again sold ou...eh....arranged for closer cooperation between ourselves and one of the supermarket chains you mentioned . I cannot , however , confirm which supermarket chain ,as to do so would break the financial packag...em...agreement which our Gerry has entered into with said best-value multi-national confectionary-and-other-top-class-product retailer.."

Meanwhile.....

.....a part-time student , recently employed (on a temporary contract) by Tesco to round-up errant trollies in the local supermarker car park told us that "...the whole bleedin' gaff is wired with the buzz of the Provies takin' over here , so it is... " Sporting a rather naff pale green 'uniform' , Mickser pointed to the logo affixed to same - it read 'PSFCO' , accompanied by the legend (in small print) - 'if you shop elsewhere you will ruin this whole process'. In a foretaste of what may be to come , Mickser pleaded with us not to use his full name in our article as to do so could well render him to the 'Damaged Goods' section.....

WAL*MART , for its part ,told us that there is "...not a Gawd-damn thing wrong in big business buying a poo-lit-acal partee . I sure as Hell dunno how the syss-tim works in yer neck 'o the woods , Sonny Jim , but that there is the way we do business here.."
The spokesman continued on to tell us that his company's Board of Directors decided on purchasing the Provos after they had witnessed , over the past 21 years , how the leadership of that party had managed to sell all types of crap to its own people.
" Yep ! Sure thing ! If Jerrie A-dams can sucker-punch his own buddies like that , just think what he can do for us !! YEEHAW! "
This blog will post updates as they happen , although we do admit to suffering from a collective headache and sore eyes , no doubt due to repeatedly witnessing the same old rubbish being repackaged in bright new plastic boxes and sold to gullible punters.......

('1169...' Comment : normal service will resume tomorrow , April 2nd.....)