" 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, May 26, 2007

WOLFE TONE COMMEMORATION , JUNE 2007 .

ANNUAL WOLFE TONE COMMEMORATION :
Sunday , June 10 , 2007 , 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 , and return to Dublin at 5.30PM.

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 two years ago .
" From my earliest youth I have regarded the connection between Great Britain and Ireland as the curse of the Irish nation , and felt convinced that , while it lasted , this country could never be free nor happy . My mind has been confirmed in this opinion by the experience of every succeeding year , and the conclusions which I have drawn from every fact before my eyes . In consequence , I was determined to employ all the powers which my individual efforts could move , in order to separate the two countries .
That Ireland was not able of herself to throw off the yoke , I knew ; I therefore sought for aid wherever it was to be found . In honourable poverty I rejected offers which , to a man in my circumstances , might be considered highly advantageous . I remained faithful to what I thought the cause of my country , and sought in the French Republic an ally to rescue three millions of my countrymen " . -Theobald Wolfe Tone .







Friday, May 25, 2007

'Spotlight / Derry Besieged / Death And Mystery' .

'TURN THE SPOTLIGHT' ........
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Colonel Topping is proud to boast that his RUC Commandos are a "...Black-And-Tan terror force.." . 'The London Times' newspaper can open an article on Occupied Ireland with the startling assertion : " The Irish border owes its existence entirely to the determination of the Sinn Fein movement to break the link with Britain ." And yet politicians get away with the lie that it is the young men of Ireland today who are responsible for the present suituation .

'The Irish Times' newspaper (hardly an organ of Republican opinion) was closer to reality when it remarked editorially , while commenting on 'The London Times' article - "Throughout the free world , is there a solitary country in which a third of the electorate is solidly opposed to the regime , not merely , as in normal democracies , to the government , but to the whole conception of the State as it stands ?" And again , after quoting 'The London Times' sermon on the Six Counties' "...resolution to remain under the Crown and to keep the Union Jack flying.." , 'The Irish Times' noted -

"Something similar might be said of Algeria's resolution to remain part of Metropolitan France , but who would dare to say it ? And is there , outside Algeria , a case comparable to that of the North of Ireland on this side of the Iron Curtain ? " Is there , indeed ? Isn't it time the people of the 26-Counties woke up to this fact ? Isn't it time they told their political leaders to stop being England's policemen in Ireland ?
[END of 'TURN THE SPOTLIGHT']
(Next : 'SECRET ARRESTS AND TRIALS' . From the same source.)


DERRY : CITY BESIEGED WITHIN THE SIEGE .

Derry , once the cockpit of the Northern Irish conflict , has become quarantined in apathy , grimness and deprivation , writes Seamus Deane , the Derry-born poet and writer . In a return look at his native city he finds that its demoralisation has disturbing implications .
From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine, 1983.

For as long as I can remember , Derry has been described as a dying city : everything that could be removed from it - docks , university , jobs , power , pride - has been taken away . It continues to die , because dying was given to it as its own form of life . The same could be said of Strabane or Newry , but there was still some form of cohesion within those communities . That has now all but vanished .

When the television aerials first sprouted in Derry , the city began to lose its sense of itself . Yet we have been told often enough that it was television which made an issue of the Northern crisis : well , it did . It made it an event . But it also made the event into TV fodder . Isolation was at first replaced by 'coverage' , but this exposure has led finally to a deeper isolation that had been there in the first place and , with the increasingly violent turn of events , and with the communities being driven back on their old positions , dissent became indistinguishable from betrayal and solidarity was maintained only by force or the threat of force .

The 'troubles' , or the rebellion , or 'the crisis' - whatever we may want to call the situation - have had a depressive effect upon the community . Nothing and no one has yet been 'liberated' .......
(MORE LATER).



DEATH AND MYSTERY .......
John O Shea was a small farmer and republican . He died at his Kerry home in October 2001 within hours of being released from Garda custody . The inquest into his death raised more questions than it answered and now Kerry County Council has backed calls for a public inquiry . Did John O Shea die from natural causes or is there a more sinister explanation ?
By Mairead Carey.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, May 2003 .

Michael McDowell's statement is disingenous , according to local county councillor Billy Leen, who put forward the motion calling for a public inquiry into John O' Shea's death : " I listened to Dr. Harbison giving evidence on both days of the inquest and he said the direct opposite . He (John O' Shea) had a host of marks on his body which were not consistent with falls . One has to ask the question where the Minister (Michael McDowell) got his information from . In my opinion he is being misled and that just adds more fuel to the speculation that there is something drastically wrong in the handling of this investigation . "

" The Minister makes it sound like he was in custody 24 hours earlier when it was less than four . He offered no explanation as to why Dr. Harbison's version of events didn't tally with the gardai . He never mentioned the fact that the jury returned an open verdict . This needs to be investigated thoroughly . The O' Shea family deserve to know what happened to John . They need to get to the bottom of it . "

The gardai in Kerry have no intention of re-opening their investigation into the death of John O' Shea : the local Garda Chief Superintendent , Fred Garvey, told this magazine that "...as far as we are comcerned , the matter is closed . It's not for me to speculate on how he died....... "
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, May 24, 2007

165 REASONS TO SPOIL YOUR VOTE....

LOUD AND CLEAR.....




Make a noise that 165 people will hear....

" Man is least himself when he talks in his own person . Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth ." - Oscar Wilde.
Use the anonymity of the polling booth as your 'mask' and tell the truth about the political system in this corrupt State and about those that are so eager to operate that corrupt system : that it , and they , will continue without your support .
MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT - SPOIL IT !

Today , Thursday May 24th , a 'general election' will take place in this 26-County State to elect and/or re-elect 165 time-serving place-seekers who will sit in a plush building in Kildare Street in Dublin city centre , pay themselves a basic salary of €2013 a week (...whilst , at the same time [in some cases], paying themselves up to €1572 a week 'expenses' on top of their salary!) and wash their manicured hands of responsibility for their continued and repeated failures to those voters that previously would have considered them 'worthy' enough to sit in that institution .

In this election we encourage those of our readers who are entitled to vote to SPOIL THAT VOTE ! Go to your polling station , claim your vote and deliberately and purposely SPOIL IT ! We ourselves , from this blog , will be writing - " Release All Political Prisoners!" on our voting ballot , but any message you decide to write on your ballot will have the same effect ie that vote will be deemed 'spoiled' .
A 'spoiled vote' is the only proper option open to those of us who wish to declare that we view the whole political system , as it now stands , as a corrupt , money-grabbing 'mé féin' and morally bankrupt system , run , operated , controlled and maintained by useless self-servers .

IF YOU HAVE A VOTE TODAY , THURSDAY 24th MAY 2007 , USE IT TO MAKE A PROTEST. SPOIL IT !






Wednesday, May 23, 2007

'Turn The Spotlight / Derry Besieged / Death And Mystery' .

'TURN THE SPOTLIGHT' ........
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Do the citizens of the 26 Counties even know what is happening here ? Among our tourist attractions we can now boast of a Concentration Camp at the Curragh , County Kildare: we may not have a plan to end unemployment or emigration but we have a Concentration Camp . And we have semi-secret 'trials' . Indeed , that is not the end of the list of the things we have - we have a secret police force working in conjunction with Britain's security forces in Occupied Ireland .

We have given the power to some minor police official to seize newspapers and to haul men off to jail for the 'crime' of putting up posters demanding the release of political prisoners. And we have the shameless hypocrisy of men who pay tribute to our Republican dead while they hound and jail our Republican living . There are men in this country with influence in high places who know these things but who haven't the moral backbone to stand up and condemn them . There are men who march in processions under banners proclaiming their part in the struggle against the Black-and-Tans almost forty years ago .

Have they spoken out for the youth of this generation who have taken over from where they left off ? Some , perhaps , have . But too many who march in processions to honour the dead of forty years ago appear to have closed their eyes and stuffed their ears to the sights and sounds in Occupied Ireland.......
(MORE LATER).



DERRY : CITY BESIEGED WITHIN THE SIEGE .......

Derry , once the cockpit of the Northern Irish conflict , has become quarantined in apathy , grimness and deprivation , writes Seamus Deane , the Derry-born poet and writer . In a return look at his native city he finds that its demoralisation has disturbing implications .
From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine, 1983.

The architecture was then remarkably organised to picture forth the situation . The handsome and plain architecture of the Protestant cathedral made an appropriate contrast with the pseudo-Gothic pretentiousness of its Catholic counterpart . Even coming up the Strabane Road was then a lesson in political perspective , for the two cathedrals , which from six miles away appeared to be on the same side of the river , gradually seemed to separate as the distance decreased until they were seen to be on opposite sides .

The Protestant cathedral was girded by the city walls , Governor Walker's monument towered over the small , huddled houses of the Bogside: one proclaimed the defence of the Protestant tradition , the other the authority of the Roman tradition . There were , then , many such examples of what seemed to be a perfectly organised symbolism . Marches , bonfires , schools , accents , gardens - all contributed to it . But this shining clarity has now become muted and has in some instances almost disappeared .

Derry's loss of charisma is ominous for the whole area , for it represents the loss of possibility which was once there . I don't say this in any exclusive or sectarian spirit ; it is not only the Catholic community which has lost its rebellious radiance , the Protestant community has also lost its defending radiance : each has been replaced by a woeful grimness . Each community has seen the disappearance of its respective hopes for total change or for total preservation but both communities retain the will to behave as though these hopes had not disappeared.......
(MORE LATER).



DEATH AND MYSTERY .......
John O Shea was a small farmer and republican . He died at his Kerry home in October 2001 within hours of being released from Garda custody . The inquest into his death raised more questions than it answered and now Kerry County Council has backed calls for a public inquiry . Did John O Shea die from natural causes or is there a more sinister explanation ?
By Mairead Carey.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, May 2003 .

After examining Garda photographs , the jury pointed out that John O' Shea also had marks on his neck : Dr. John Harbison said he hadn't noticed them and couldn't explain them or other marks on the body . The laceration on the bridge of his nose could have been caused by falling on a pointed object or by being struck with a pointed object , he said .

Listowel , County Kerry , Fine Gael councillor Jacqueline Barrett was one of the jurors at the inquest - " What made us suspicious were the markings on him , particularly on his neck . There were no explanations for them . We weren't satisfied with the answers we got to some of our questions . I certainly had doubts, " she said . Another juror , who did not wish to be named , told this magazine that she believed someone had killed John O' Shea and suggested that someone may have been waiting for him when he got home .

Jacqueline Barrett believes the case should be reopened - " The exact cause of death has still to be determined . For everyone's peace of mind , it should be an independent inquiry as opposed to a Garda one ." But the State Minister for Justice , Michael McDowell, speaking in Leinster House , ruled out such an inquiry , stating that John O' Shea's injuries were "...consistent with a number of falls with no evidence of assault.." . McDowell stated that the circumstances of John O' Shea's death were "...exhaustively investigated.. " , first by the Garda and then at the inquest , according to McDowell . " I should mention that the person in question had been released from Garda custody the previous day , but I am not aware of any evidence that his unfortunate death was in any way connected with this , " he added .......
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Unprincipled Callous Politicians.......

A Fine Gael election promise , May 2007 . However , should those children grow up to be adults with special needs , this is what they can expect (...more here) .
And it's not only Fine Gael that are that callous - all their career colleagues in Leinster House are , in our opinion , equally untrustworthy .Which is why we offer the following advice.......

MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT - SPOIL IT !

This coming May 24th a 'general election' will take place in this 26-County State to elect and/or re-elect 165 time-serving place-seekers who will sit in a plush building in Kildare Street in Dublin city centre , pay themselves a basic salary of €2013 a week (...whilst , at the same time [in some cases], paying themselves up to €1572 a week 'expenses' on top of their salary!) and wash their manicured hands of responsibility for their continued and repeated failures to those voters that previously would have considered them 'worthy' enough to sit in that institution .

In this election we encourage those of our readers who are entitled to vote to SPOIL THAT VOTE ! Go to your polling station , claim your vote and deliberately and purposely SPOIL IT ! We ourselves , from this blog , will be writing - " Release All Political Prisoners!" on our voting ballot , but any message you decide to write on your ballot will have the same effect ie that vote will be deemed 'spoiled' .
A 'spoiled vote' is the only proper option open to those of us who wish to declare that we view the whole political system , as it now stands , as a corrupt , money-grabbing 'mé féin' and morally bankrupt system , run , operated , controlled and maintained by useless self-servers .

IF YOU HAVE A VOTE THIS MAY 2007 , USE IT TO MAKE A PROTEST. SPOIL IT !






Monday, May 21, 2007

'Spotlight / Derry Besieged / Death And Mystery' .

'TURN THE SPOTLIGHT' .
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Democracy cannot operate in secrecy . Dictators and would-be dictators and little men with totalitarian leanings know this well : they do their utmost to control the press , stifle public opinion , develop spinelessness , buy-off opposition - all the better to work out their scheming in the dark where the people will have no chance of checking on them . We are perilously close to that situation in Ireland to-day .

It was an American statesman who said : ' You can't be crooked in the light.' It is high time the Irish people understood this : it is time they made up their minds to end the crookedness in the dark. They still have the power - for how long they will have it we would not like to guess .

We think if the truth were known about what is happening in Ireland to-day there would be an outraged cry from the Irish people . But the truth is not known . It is buried . Or else it is labelled 'propaganda' . Consider these things : our people in the North of Ireland are being persecuted and crucified , whole areas are being turned into terror-zones , prisoners are being tortured , young men are in arms against tyranny . How much of this story is known ? We would hazard a guess that Americans and others know more about what is happening in the North (albeit from biased sources) than the average citizen in the South.......
(MORE LATER).



DERRY : CITY BESIEGED WITHIN THE SIEGE .......

Derry , once the cockpit of the Northern Irish conflict , has become quarantined in apathy , grimness and deprivation , writes Seamus Deane , the Derry-born poet and writer . In a return look at his native city he finds that its demoralisation has disturbing implications .
From 'FORTNIGHT' magazine, 1983.

Derry , in other words , is , like the North , in 'quarantine' . It suffers from an illness which no-one can cure but with which many are willing to experiment . Until the illness is cured , the quarantine cannot be lifted . Yet , of course , it never will be lifted because the illness is the state of quarantine itself . It is not just a particular political structure , it is a deep-seated mentality . It is not surprising that the best-known structure in the North is Long Kesh, a prison in which modern technology is used to create the segregated conditions which are natural to the whole society , in a particularly pure and cruel form .

Derry , then , manages still to achieve its own peculiar symbolic importance in Northern society . Its 'two names' - 'Derry/Londonderry' : its two communities : its history of siege : its absorption of the effects of violence and economic demoralisation along with economic subsidy : the contrast between its beautiful setting and its ruined cityscape : and above all , its isolation , allow a visitor-native like myself to see it as a place , small enough to be understood and big enough to be typical of others , as the North's , maybe the whole island's , exemplary town .

Thus the charisma , if I might call it that , which it possessed in the early days of the crisis , when Free Derry, or the Bogside, or even Bloody Sunday, were names of resonant places and events , was generated by the clarity with which the society's oppositions were represented in the place , down to the smallest detail.......
(MORE LATER).



DEATH AND MYSTERY .......
John O Shea was a small farmer and republican . He died at his Kerry home in October 2001 within hours of being released from Garda custody . The inquest into his death raised more questions than it answered and now Kerry County Council has backed calls for a public inquiry . Did John O Shea die from natural causes or is there a more sinister explanation ?
By Mairead Carey.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, May 2003 .

John's father , James O' Shea , already believed his son was dead . His wife wouldn't accept it . She washed the blood off his face and went out and cleaned the step . For the next three hours she stayed with him . Her other son , Michael , says she was afraid to call him "...for fear I would give out about his drinking.." . At around 5am she eventually called for help . " When I saw him I said to myself - 'This man has been murdered' " , said his brother . The local doctor also thought his death was suspicious and told the family to call the gardai .

State pathologist John Harbison originally said that John O' Shea had a number of minor injuries suggesting falls shortly before his death , and that he did not appear to have been beaten up . He gave hypothermia as the cause of death . But neither the jury nor Michael Finucane were satisfied with his evidence , and he was dramatically called back to Kerry on the second day of the inquest to explain himself further . He withdrew his opinion that hypothermia had been a cause of death , explaining that his initial decision had been influenced by information given to him by gardai that John O' Shea had been lying outside the house half naked for a long time . The gardai denied ever saying as much to Mr Harbison .

Among the injuries listed in the pathologist's report were abrasions and bruising on his forehead , a laceration on the bridge of his nose , an abrasion on his chin and on the back of his right hand . He had an abrasion on his penis , a group of abrasions on his left thigh , a more marked group of abrasions on his right thigh and matching abrasions above both knees.......
(MORE LATER).