" 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, September 08, 2007

SUPPORT IRISH POW's IN MAGHABERRY JAIL !

EVE OF ALL-IRELAND RALLY , SATURDAY 15 SEPTEMBER 2007 :
Assemble at the Garden Of Remembrance,Parnell Square, Dublin , at
1.45pm for the Parade to the GPO.






Friday, September 07, 2007

DROGHEDA CORPORATION ON INTERNMENTS........
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Larry Grogan, the Sinn Fein candidate for Louth constituency in the election , who is at present interned in the Curragh Camp , was referred to by Alderman Peter Moore when he said that he was proud to say Drogheda had made its contribution to the Republican Movement and they now had this man in prison that - "...the latchet of whose shoe many of those who liked to talk of all they did for Irish Freedom are not worthy to loose."

Concluding the debate , the Mayor of Drogheda , Councillor Eugene Hughes , said - " As long as there is one British soldier on Irish soil , there will be young Irishmen willing to go out and sacrifice their lives for freedom."

[END of 'DROGHEDA CORPORATION ON INTERNMENTS']
(NEXT : 'Release Prisoners' - from the same source)


A QUESTION OF LIBERATION .......

Feminists and anti-imperialists in Ireland have often regarded each other's struggles with misunderstanding , mutual suspicion , and sometimes outright rejection . What then is the relationship between them ? Eibhlin Ni Gabhann surveys the emergence of women's liberation groups in Belfast and Dublin over the past decade or so , and some of the questions they have faced .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983.

Rita O'Hare stated : " Such reforms as have been achieved have often been hailed by middle-class women as progress , but in fact , as intended , have served so often to defuse rising feminist militancy , and to that end put back the struggle . Women's demands are revolutionary demands and can only be fully achieved in the aftermath of a revolutionary change in the system .

While many women in the North , open to all different types of oppression in addition to the over-riding burden of oppression as women , have seen this connection and reality , women in the South , perhaps beginning at the converse position - identifying their oppression as women first - have not always taken the logical and vital step of becoming involved in the mainstream struggle for Irish liberation .

Women in the Republican Movement have worked for , and welcomed , in recent years , the recognition by that Movement of the importance of building and developing a real policy on women's struggle and attempting to carry that out , just as it has realised the importance of developing the struggle in the labour movement , without which socialism cannot be built....... "

(MORE LATER).



THE LEFT BEHIND.......

Dick Spring and the Labour Party headed into this election campaign with four years of coalition government behind them . To observe them on the campaign trial you would never guess this , but there is , nevertheless , a noticeable resistence to them , especially amongst traditional Labour voters . Judging from Dick Spring's reception on the campaign trial it is almost certain that the party is in big trouble , at least in the Dublin area .

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine 'Election Special' , 1987 .
By Derek Dunne.

A young man tackles Dick Spring about the lack of funding for the Coolmine Drug Treatment Centre and the politician assures him that he will not find his Party wanting in that area . Ruairi Quinn had by now arranged for everybody to go to Grafton Street for another walkabout . There are people walking and talking on Grafton Street , minding their own business , when along comes Dick and shakes their hand and introduces himself and asks for the vote . It is clear that people recognise him but they are far too polite this early in the day to be rude .

Ruairi and Dick go into a hairdressers : it's a great scam and will give rise to loads of photos . So Ruairi combs Dick's hair and Dick pats Ruairi on the head . Sometime a few years ago , Ruairi had his hair parted by Moses and it hasn't been the same since .

Phil Coulter is on the amp system singing 'The Town I Loved So Well' as the bus reaches Landsdowne Road ; there are thirty-five workers engaged in work close to the river Dodder , developing a park . Needless to say , this is another of Ruairi's ideas . Some of the lads ask Dick for tickets to see a rugby match , and Dick replies 'see your man over there' , pointing at Comrade Quinn . There's very little really that can't be 'fixed up' if there's a will , a way and an election . It's lunch time , so we all head for Kitty O' Shea's.......
(MORE LATER).







Thursday, September 06, 2007

A FEW UP-COMING REPUBLICAN EVENTS...

POLITICAL STATUS PICKET -
Saturday , September 8 , 12.45pm , GPO , Dublin .

ANNUAL EVE OF ALL-IRELAND RALLY -
Saturday , September 15 : Garden Of Remembrance , Parnell Square , 1.45pm for parade to the GPO .

ANNUAL BOBBY SANDS LECTURE -
Monday , September 24 , 7pm-9.30pm , Wynn's Hotel , Dublin . Theme : 'The Fenians And The Manchester Martyrs' .

More details to follow...






Wednesday, September 05, 2007

INTERNMENTS/LIBERATION/LEFT BEHIND.

DROGHEDA CORPORATION ON INTERNMENTS........
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Alderman Peter Moore said he admired the stand taken by Councillor Harry Pentony and said that he , too , had his duties as an Irishman , and stated that the other Councillors were all aware of where he stood in relation to Internment - " We are the greatest nation of hypocrites in the world . The political parties in this country have perpetuated unemployment and emigration and we are worse off now than we were in 1922 ! The Republicans are the only consistent element in the country today. They stand to gain nothing and to lose all ."

Referring to the freedom movement in Occupied Ireland he said the young men involved were right and should be admired . They went out to attack the institutions of the British Government and the British Monarchy . Their ideals were the ideals of Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet and the men and women of 1916. Speaking on the internment of Irishmen without trial he said that the situation in the so-called "Free Ireland" could only be compared with that prevailing under the "Kadar Regime", in the Six Counties , and behind the 'Iron Curtain' .......
(MORE LATER).



A QUESTION OF LIBERATION .......

Feminists and anti-imperialists in Ireland have often regarded each other's struggles with misunderstanding , mutual suspicion , and sometimes outright rejection . What then is the relationship between them ? Eibhlin Ni Gabhann surveys the emergence of women's liberation groups in Belfast and Dublin over the past decade or so , and some of the questions they have faced .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983.

The Women's Centre in Dame Street , Dublin , opened on 'International Womens Day' in 1982 after a long fight to find funds and premises , and is struggling for its existence . Run by an ad-hoc committee it provides a meeting place for any women's group or individual woman : " We would only draw the line , " says spokesperson Ita Gannon , "...at fascists." Women meet and discuss items of interest at the Centre , which also provides typing and duplicating facilities as well as running a small cafe . There is , deliberately , no over-all policy so that all women's groups can meet here . The gap between the Women's Centre and the pampered 'Council for the Status of Women' group , in terms of their usefulness to campaigns on women's rights , is as glaring as the difference in their budgets .

Questions then must be raised in any feminist movement worthy of its name . What struggles can be interpreted as feminist ? Can issues which do not 'prioritise' women be considered as legitimate areas of concern for feminist groups ? Or alternatively , is any campaign which does 'prioritise' women a feminist campaign , irrespective of its political direction ?

Imperialism affects the lives of women in ways that may not be specific to them as women : women living in imperialist-dominated countries live in poverty , political repression and discrimination , but these are oppressions of both men and women - not of women specifically . Does this mean that they cannot then be supported ? Speaking at the Irish Women United conference in 1981 on the implications of this , Rita O' Hare, the head of the Sinn Fein Department of Women's Affairs , said : " Campaigning for women's rights under the capitalist and imperialist system is essential both in increasing awareness in women's situation and achieving whatever improvements can be wrung from the present system , and which are so urgently needed . But the capitalist system will inevitably , as in every other field of struggle , yield only the minimal reforms it can....... "
(MORE LATER).




THE LEFT BEHIND.......

Dick Spring and the Labour Party headed into this election campaign with four years of coalition government behind them . To observe them on the campaign trial you would never guess this , but there is , nevertheless , a noticeable resistence to them , especially amongst traditional Labour voters . Judging from Dick Spring's reception on the campaign trial it is almost certain that the party is in big trouble , at least in the Dublin area .

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine 'Election Special' , 1987 .
By Derek Dunne.

On Camden Street in Dublin , Dick Spring and Ruairi Quinn talk to the street traders - and are told that business is bad . This is the first real opportunity * they have had to talk to the traders since their last election four years ago and this fact is not lost on the women of Camden Street . ('1169...' Comment - *...rather it's the first time they have bothered , and even then only because it's election time again.) It was on Ruairi Quinn's initiative that South African fruit was partially banned from Ireland , but it would appear that the level of Mr Quinn's understanding is beyond that of those who trade in the 'forbidden fruit' .

The message as to why the fruit should be banned did not get across . In response to a question , one women says - " We'll sell anything we can get a living out of." And that is the general mood on the street - apathy . People are tired of politicians , politics and promises , and many belong to the 'don't-vote-it-only-encourages-them' school of thought . This , despite the fact that many politicians are of the 'don't-vote-it-suits-us' school of thought . One street trader remarks that 'you won't see them until the next time' , and her companion replies - 'That's it' . One old man says that business is terrible and , just then , a baby is pushed past in a pram and someone asks Dick Spring if he will do the 'decent thing' and kiss the baby . " No , " says Dick , "...we're not in that league . We kiss the mothers." Then the issue of drug abuse is briefly raised.......
(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, September 04, 2007

NOT WELCOME!





"Republicans throughout Ireland are strongly opposed to the impending visit by British Queen Elizabeth, who is also the British head of State, and will protest at this extravagant display of pomp and wealth.

But not alone for these reasons. Queen Elizabeth saw fit to award an OBE to Colonel Derek Wilford, Officer Commanding the Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday in Derry when they shot dead 14 unarmed civilians. Not exactly an inspiring role model for women? It matters not a whit that some of those armed forces are leaving Irish soil because their place will be taken by MI5 who are deeply embedded here.

There remains one huge obstacle to reconciliation between us and Britain and that obstacle is Partition. Part of the process of putting the past behind us and moving forward would be the removal of the illegal and unjust border that divides our country and our people. Have the courage Elizabeth Windsor and begin the process of handing back what has never belonged to you - the Six northeastern Counties. That would indeed be called a 'historic event'.

It has nothing to do with maturity on our part that we should welcome the Queen of England to our shores, rather it is the same slavish attitude that has always existed in Ireland. Being an occupied and colonised people for so long can make us willing participants in our own domination.

We reject the fraudulent claims of the English Queen to be 'Queen of Northern Ireland' ".

-statement from Cathleen Knowles McGuirk, Vice-President Republican Sinn Féin
June 26, 2007.

The Dublin Executive of Republican Sinn Fein intends to protest the visit of this English queen by holding a peaceful picket in Dublin on the day of her visit. This protest will take place at the GPO in O'Connell Street, and not on O'Connell Bridge as previously stated. Full details will be announced at a later stage. All welcome!
"There is always more brass than brains in an aristocracy."
- Oscar Wilde.






Monday, September 03, 2007

INTERNMENT/LIBERATION/LEFT BEHIND.

DROGHEDA CORPORATION ON INTERNMENTS.
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

The internment behind barbed wire fences in the Curragh Camp , of young men suspected of having been associated with the activities of freedom fighters in the Occupied territory of Ireland was the subject of strong protests at the December (1957) meeting of Drogheda Corporation .

The debate emanated from the reading of a letter from the Sinn Fein Publicity Committee protesting against the internment of the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle * ('1169...' Comment * - On 6 July, 1957 the fortnightly meeting of the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle was being held at the party’s Ard Oifig (Head Office) at 31 Wicklow Street in Dublin. The meeting was raided by the Garda Special Branch and seven members of the Ard Chomhairle were arrested and detained. This signalled the imposition of internment without trial by Éamon de Valera’s Fianna Fáil administration.
Among those arrested and interned were the President of Sinn Féin , Patrick MacLogan, the Vice-President Tom Doyle and the National Secretary Michael Traynor)
. Alderman Peter Moore and Councillor Harry Pentony spoke strongly against the 26-County government's policy in introducing the Offences Against the State Acts.

Councillor Harry Pentony said they had a right to protest against internment without trial , not only of the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle , but also of all the young men held in custody behind the barbed-wire fences of the Curragh Camp . None were safe under the present laws , he said , and even he could be interned for what he stood up and said there that night . " Is this freedom ? " , he asked.......
(MORE LATER).



A QUESTION OF LIBERATION .......

Feminists and anti-imperialists in Ireland have often regarded each other's struggles with misunderstanding , mutual suspicion , and sometimes outright rejection . What then is the relationship between them ? Eibhlin Ni Gabhann surveys the emergence of women's liberation groups in Belfast and Dublin over the past decade or so , and some of the questions they have faced .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983.

Irish Republicans aside , in the 26 Counties the women's movement is trying to re-organise following the collapse of the 'Irish Women United' group: most of those formerly involved in the IWU and the 'Irish Women's Liberation Group' were involved recently in campaigning against the 'abortion amendment' to the Free State constitution . Sinn Fein , too , although not involved in the campaign which implicitly recognised the 'legitimacy' of that 'constitution' , which republicans of course do not , condemned the hypocrisy of the amendment which was a piece of opportunist political gimmickry that will make no difference to the tragedy of thousands of Irish women forced to have secret abortions in England .

The Free State government-funded 'Council For The Status Of Women' perhaps points up best of all the relative failure and inconsequence of the women's movement in the South of Ireland . With a plush office in Dublin's fashionable Merrion Square and a budget of £90,000 , its brief is supposed to be to make recommendations to the Leinster House administration about women's rights , about the need to promote women in positions of authority , and to press for Irish women's demands , but its origins and nature prevents this .

Run exclusively by middle-class women ('1169...' Comment - so much so that it became known as 'The Council For Women With Status'!) whose outlook is at best reformist , it sees its limited demands being met by getting women elected to Leinster House . The total inadequacy of this is exemplified by the fact that it is , after all , a woman - Fine Gael Leinster House member Gemma Hussey - who has implemented education cuts affecting so many 26-County school children . Yet another Fine Gael Leinster House member , Nuala Fennell, was a member of the Irish Women's Liberation Group but has made no representation about women's rights while in Leinster House ! The 'Council For The Status Of Women' put thousands of advertisements in the newspapers during the last elections , calling on women to 'Vote for a Woman' but making no reference to the actual politics of the women candidates.......
(MORE LATER).



THE LEFT BEHIND.......

Dick Spring and the Labour Party headed into this election campaign with four years of coalition government behind them . To observe them on the campaign trial you would never guess this , but there is , nevertheless , a noticeable resistence to them , especially amongst traditional Labour voters . Judging from Dick Spring's reception on the campaign trial it is almost certain that the party is in big trouble , at least in the Dublin area .

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine 'Election Special' , 1987 .
By Derek Dunne.

Dick Spring provides as many photo opportunities as he can think of , to give him the chance to be seen to do as many different things as possible . Except he won't be doing anything at all ; he'll just be posing . His first stop of the day is at Guinness's Brewery in Dublin, where he poses with what looks like a suspended wheel in his hand : he has no idea what the function of this wheel is , but neither does anybody else . The newspaper people tell him where to walk , how to talk . The badge on his lapel says 'People Matter Most' . The really strange thing about all of this is that Dick Spring never once gets embarrassed about the carry on . Other people might want a break for a minute , but not Dick - he signs the visitors' book 'click-click-click-click-click' goes the cameras .

All of the above was very early in the day . Later , voters would tell Dick how fed-up with politics and politicians they really were . People have lost faith in Fine Gael, in Labour and the other parties that have been playing musical seats for the past seventy years . Dick is taken downstairs to see small engines that were used to transport Guinness in years gone by . He says they're "Fantastic" . It is then time to go on to Camden Street and tie-in with Ruairi Quinn, which is where the day got hi-jacked .

Just before the Labour Party bus reached Camden Street , a road worker did a cut-throat sign towards Dick Spring , twice , but Dick never noticed . Later on in the day , a driver gave him a single digit sign , which Dick noticed , and responded to in kind . At Camden Street , Dick is told to wait until everyone is out of the bus before he steps onto the street , as this will provide really good shots of Dick getting off a bus . When Comrade Quinn and Comrade Spring meet each other there is great hugging and kissing , in the Russian fashion , as if the two had not met in years . The Labour Party Office in Camden Street is a dump and looks like a bad squat . There are large bare rooms , some of which are in the process of being painted . Ruairi and Dick head off down Camden Street , and a handler attempts to introduce Dick to the public . An old woman brushes past , saying - " No . I'm not interested in meeting him......."
(MORE LATER).







Sunday, September 02, 2007

" IF FROM THE PATH YOU CHANCE TO STRAY..."

" I met the bravest of the brave this morning..."
Tom Williams , 12 May 1924 –2 September 1942.


“Williams was one of six IRA volunteers sentenced to death by hanging in 1942. A group of eight, including two women, had mounted a diversionary operation to take away attention from three republican parades held in Belfast to celebrate the 1916 Easter Rising. All such parades had been banned under the Stormont regime since the partition of Ireland and the introduction of the Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act of 1922. A police patrol managed to capture the group but not before an exchange of shots which resulted in the death of RUC constable Patrick Murphy. Although only 18 years old, Tom Williams was in charge of the unit and in a controversial statement to the police he assumed full responsibility for the shooting. Following a remarkable international reprieve campaign, the colonial Governor of Northern Ireland commuted five of the six death sentences to terms of penal servitude. But the British had decided that Tom Williams should hang....”
(From here)


'Time goes by as years roll onwards
But in my memory fresh I'll keep
Of a night in Belfast Prison
Unshamefully I saw men weep

For the time was fast approaching
A lad lay sentenced for to die
And on the second of September
He goes to meet his god on high

Now he's walking to the scaffold
Head erect he shows no fear
For on his proud and gallant shoulders
Ireland's cross he holds so dear

Now the cruel blow has fallen
For Ireland he has fought and died
And we the countrymen who bore him
Will love and honour him with pride

Brave Tom Williams we salute you
And we never will forget
Those who planned your cruel murder
We vow to make them all regret

So come all you Irish rebels
If from the path you chance to stray
Bear in memory of the morn, when Irelands cross was proudly borne
By a lad who lay within these prison walls.'

(From here)
For Tom , and all the other brave men and women .