" 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, October 13, 2007

LEST WE FORGET...

Thomas Ashe, Kerry, 5 days, 25 September 1917 (force fed by tube , died as a result).
Terrence McSweeny, Cork, 74 days, 25 October 1920.
Michael Fitzgerald, Cork, 67 days, 17 October 1920.
Joseph Murphy, Cork, 76 days , 25 October 1920 .
Joe Witty, Wexford , 2 September 1923.
Dennis Barry, Cork, 34 days, 20 November 1923.
Andy O Sullivan , Cork, 40 days, 22 November 1923.
Tony Darcy, Galway, 52 days, 16 April 1940.
Jack 'Sean' McNeela, Mayo, 55 days, 19 April 1940.
Sean McCaughey, Tyrone ,22 days, 11 May 1946 (hunger and thirst Strike).
Michael Gaughan, Mayo , 64 days, 3 June 1974.
Frank Stagg, Mayo , 62 days, 12 February 1976.
Bobby Sands, Belfast , 66 days, 5 May 1981.
Frank Hughes , Bellaghy (Derry), 59 days, 12 May 1981.
Raymond McCreesh , South Armagh , 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Patsy O Hara , Derry , 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Joe McDonnell , Belfast , 61 days, 8 July 1981.
Martin Hurson , Tyrone , 46 days, 13 July 1981.
Kevin Lynch, Dungiven ( Derry) ,71 days, 1 August 1981.
Kieran Doherty , Belfast , 73 days, 2 August 1981.
Tom McIlwee , Bellaghy (Derry) , 62 days, 8 August 1981.
Micky Devine , Derry , 60 days, 20 August 1981.



"Dear Christ! the very prison walls
Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
My pain I could not feel."

('The Ballad of Reading Gaol', by Oscar Wilde, written after his release from Reading prison on 19 May 1897.)






Friday, October 12, 2007

THEY ARE HELD IN BELFAST JAIL .......

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

DETAINED FOR POSSIBLE TRIAL :

J. Campbell , Belfast , County Antrim .
M.P. Cassidy , Maghera , County Derry .
H. Cassidy , Maghera .
J. Cassidy , Maghera .
R. J. Cunningham , Newry , County Down .
P. Smith , Newry .
S. Maguire , Belfast .
I. McGovern , Dungannon , County Tyrone .
L. Lavery , Cookstown , County Tyrone .
M. McLoughlin , Dundalk , County Louth .
J. F. Lee , County Fermanagh .
P. Brewster , County Fermanagh .
F. Carey , County Fermanagh .
J. McEvoy , Lurgan , County Armagh .
E. Matthews , South Armagh .

(MORE LATER).



ECONOMY IN CRISIS - An Historical Perspective.......

By any standards the economy of Ireland , North and South , can be described as being in a sorry mess with crisis , recession and imminent bankruptcy the most constant themes of economic discussion , intermittently over the last decade and ceaselessly in the last three years . In this article , Peter Graham surveys the factors which have produced this economy , and the historical role of foreign and native Irish capital.

From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982.

Efforts to control foreign food imports , guarantee farm prices and divert ever-increasing amounts of public money into agriculture did not have the effect of stimulating development but , rather , because of the ability of big farmers to profit from these schemes , had the effect of transforming wealth to them at the expense of the small farmers .

The protectionism of Free State government economic policy , which continued right up until the late 1950's , did not get any major response from Irish capital : rather than risk his money in creating industry , the wealthy Irishman invested in Britain . The high interest rates guaranteed by the Free State government for scarce investment money became another burden on public spending , as under-financed industries rose and soon collapsed .

What small industries did grow behind the tariff walls were geared to the small home market , while the resultant high costs made any foray into the export market wholly unrealistic . The Second World war , too , left its mark.......
(MORE LATER).




PRISONERS RIGHTS - the mark of a civilised society .

From 'Fourthwrite' magazine, Autumn 2003.
By Siobhan O'Dwyer.

Republican prisoners in Maghaberry Gaol are in the sixth week of a dirty protest as part of their campaign for segregation from Loyalist prisoners and for political status. The very words 'dirty protest' and 'political status' invoke bitter and sad memories of the late 1970's and early 1980's .

However , the republican prisoners and their families today are facing a very different set of political circumstances than pertained then - that of the political and military defeat of 'mainstream republicanism' ('1169...' Comment - ....by which the author means the Provisional organisation) . The prisoners are faced with a situation where they are sharing wings and landings with loyalist prisoners , which has led to a number of incidents of republican prisoners being beaten , scalded and having their food tampered with . A number of death threats have been made against them .

The Stormont Prison Service continue to deny that the prisoners are subjected to beatings or have anything to fear but their words mean nothing , as they also denied the brutal treatment meted out to the Blanket Men. The setting up of a Commission to 'look into the situation in Maghaberry Prison' , while welcome , does not fill me with any confidence that Britain has any real interest in resolving the situation......
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, October 10, 2007

THEY ARE HELD IN BELFAST JAIL .......

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

DETAINED FOR POSSIBLE TRIAL :

F. Cullen , Coalisland , County Tyrone .
J. Cullen , Coalisland .
P. McGee , Belfast .
L. McKinney , Derry City .
T. McCool , Derry City .
W. Robinson , Tyrone .
P.J. McGorry , Mountjoy , County Tyrone .
J. Robinson , Mountjoy .
F. T. Donnelly , Armagh .
K. Carson , Enniskillen , County Fermanagh .
F. Goodwin , Enniskillen .
E. Goodwin , Enniskillen .
D. Cox , Enniskillen .
E. Mulholland , Lurgan , County Armagh .
E. Murphy , Dublin .
P. Gillespie , Magherafelt , County Derry .
J. Kavanagh , Belfast .
P. Kavanagh , Belfast .

(MORE LATER).



ECONOMY IN CRISIS - An Historical Perspective.......

By any standards the economy of Ireland , North and South , can be described as being in a sorry mess with crisis , recession and imminent bankruptcy the most constant themes of economic discussion , intermittently over the last decade and ceaselessly in the last three years . In this article , Peter Graham surveys the factors which have produced this economy , and the historical role of foreign and native Irish capital.

From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982.

Far from putting into practice the self-sufficiency of Arthur Griffith's Sinn Fein doctrines , with the logical attempt to create industrial capitalism behind tariff walls , fed by the rural hinterland , the new Free State government concentrated its limited economic stimulation on increasing the cattle and diary export trade which was the foreign money earner . Food , demanding tillage for its production , continued to be imported .

The nettle of import tariffs to foster home capital-inspired industry was left to the de Valera government to grasp , and grasp it he immediately did : once again , the national issue becomes entangled in the Irish economy with the introduction of tariffs becoming embroiled in the withholding of land annuities from Britain, and the economic war which ensued .

In the six years until its settlement , the economic war damaged mainly the agricultural cattle trade but also , by impoverishing the rural population , it reduced the home market for developing industries . Nevertheless , even this pressure from an economic nationalist campaign did not see the switch from cattle to tillage which was necessary for the attainable self-sufficiency in food ......
(MORE LATER).



DIVIS FLATS : Building Towards A Demolition Campaign .......
Divis Flats , at the bottom of the Falls Road in West Belfast , have acquired a reputation for 'trouble' - of all kinds - and social deprivation ever since they were built in the 1960's . They have also endured some of the severest British repression meted out during the past 14 years , and replied with some of the fiercest resistance . Local resident and community activist Jim Faulkner examines the new resurgence of morale in the flats complex and the prospects it faces in its biggest battle yet - for total demolition .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .

There is a need now for a new demolition campaign led by Divis residents themselves : the first task of the campaign must be to confront the Stormont administration on its policy for Divis , and to use the Sinn Fein public representatives , whom Divis people helped to elect , to apply whatever political pressure is at their disposal if that administration refuses to agree to further demolition .

Surveys have indictated that half the people want to stay where they are - but in houses , not flats , and that the other half might be prepared to move if there was somewhere to move to . What this means is that the demand for new building at Poleglass and elsewhere in West Belfast is of as much concern to the people of Divis as it is for other West Belfast nationalists .

There is certainly a need for Divis Residents' Association to co-ordinate its campaign with other groups , such as the newly-formed West Belfast Housing Action Group which is currently campaigning for better housing throughout the West Belfast area . There is , then , great hope for the future of Divis , and it is up to the people of Divis themselves to transform this hope into reality which decent two-storey houses can offer them and their children - in a future community of a new Pound Loney.

[END OF ' DIVIS FLATS : Building Towards A Demolition Campaign']
(NEXT : 'Prisoners Rights - The Mark Of A Civilised Society' , from 2003.)






Monday, October 08, 2007

THEY ARE HELD IN BELFAST JAIL .......

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

HELD WITHOUT CHARGE OR TRIAL :

H. O' Neill , 9 California Street , Belfast .
P.E. Davey , 8 Upton Street , Belfast .
J.J. Martin , 11 Kildare Street , Belfast .
J. Sullivan , 13 Ward Street , Belfast .
James McParland , 63 Ballymurphy Road , Belfast .
Séan McParland , 63 Ballymurphy Road , Belfast .
G. Maguire , 50 Alexandra Street West , Belfast .
Dominic Adams , 8 Varna Street , Belfast .
James Drumm , 12 Glassmullin Gardens , Belfast .
S. Gibson , 127 McDonnel Street , Belfast .
Séan McNally , 14 Glenview Street , Belfast .
Jimmy Steele , 20 Clondara Street , Belfast .
P.J. Larkin , 126 Ardilea Street , Belfast .
Frank Maguire , Main Street , Lisnaskea , County Fermanagh .
M. O' Reilly , Coa , Ballinamallard , County Fermanagh .
Leo McCormack , Dublin
(After four years sentence) .
G. Higginbotham , Dublin .

(Next : a list of those 'Detained For Possible Trial')
(MORE LATER).



ECONOMY IN CRISIS - An Historical Perspective.......

By any standards the economy of Ireland , North and South , can be described as being in a sorry mess with crisis , recession and imminent bankruptcy the most constant themes of economic discussion , intermittently over the last decade and ceaselessly in the last three years . In this article , Peter Graham surveys the factors which have produced this economy , and the historical role of foreign and native Irish capital.

From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982.

Once in power , the attention of the 'new ruling class' was not merely concentrated on the oppression of republican militarists : in 1923 the wages of a wide range of workers , from dockers to manufacturing employees , were cut to levels below those of the pre-1913 lock-out . In the North , the new unionist administration followed suit .

The trade union movement throughout Ireland was effectively attacked to the extent that , within five years of the establishment of the two partitionist states , its membership was reduced by one third , social welfare considerations were given the minimal attention and social conditions in general enforced a solution to unemployment in the thousands who emigrated throughout the 1920's .

The world depression of 1929 saw a major slump in the North of Ireland's export industries , particularly the biggest ship-building and linen firms . The Free State situation was not as seriously affected initially , being agriculture-based , and prices generally holding up . But the agricultural economy itself had remained stagnant since the foundation of the Free State (and was to remain so for decades) .......
(MORE LATER).




DIVIS FLATS : Building Towards A Demolition Campaign .......
Divis Flats , at the bottom of the Falls Road in West Belfast , have acquired a reputation for 'trouble' - of all kinds - and social deprivation ever since they were built in the 1960's . They have also endured some of the severest British repression meted out during the past 14 years , and replied with some of the fiercest resistance . Local resident and community activist Jim Faulkner examines the new resurgence of morale in the flats complex and the prospects it faces in its biggest battle yet - for total demolition .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .

The 'street-party' success of the Divis Residents' Association was short-lived , its main problem being that it failed to attract the active participation of a representative cross-section of the Divis community and focussed largely on the personality and leadership of Fr. Pat Buckley himself , and when he was transferred to another parish early this year (1983) the Divis Residents' Association became very much a shepherdless flock .

The activities engaged in by the Association in its heyday were essentially geared towards a restoration of morale but had no lasting effect , and its AGM in the autumn of 1982 attracted only a handful of Fr. Buckley's helpers .

However , developments outlined in this article which have taken place since the elections augur well for the group's future , with this year's AGM approaching and the likelihood of a more broadly-based committee of residents being elected.......
(MORE LATER).