" 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!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

BAITING CROCODILES WITH HUMAN BABIES - AS BRITISH AS CRICKET.

IRELAND'S YOUNG WARRIORS.

'Glaine 'nar gcroi – Purity in our hearts. Neart 'nar ngeaga – Strength in our arms. Beart do reir ar mbriathar – Truth on our lips : Na Fianna Éireann, 1909 to date.

On the evening of Friday October 6th 1922, a young Dublin lady, Jennie O'Toole - a member of Cumann na mBan - was pasting republican leaflets on lamp posts on the Clonliffe Road in Drumcondra, Dublin and, when she got near the Distillery Road junction, she was shouted at repeatedly and verbally abused by a local man when he saw the nature of the material involved. That loudmouth was, according to information distributed in Irish republican circles at the time, Free State Army Captain Pat Moynihan, who lived on that same road. Moynihan, an Irish republican 'poacher-turned-gamekeeper', could very well have been watching that street as two of his nieces were expected home on that route from a date to a theatre which they had been on with two anti-republican State operatives, Nicholas Tobin and Charlie Dalton, who both worked for the Free State Army Intelligence Section at Wellington Barracks. When Charlie Dalton was the same age as one of the NFE youths mentioned in this piece - Joseph Rogers (16) - he was recruited by Michael Collins and joined the squad that Collins was then assembling : this IRA unit was permanently housed in Abbey St, Dublin, in a 'front' premises in which a 'legitimate' business operated from - 'George Moreland, Cabinet Maker'- and squad members were paid £4 10s a week to carry out assassinations on a full-time basis. Shortly after his 17th birthday, as a member of that Squad, Charlie Dalton took part in the executions of British Army Major C M Dowling and British Army Captain Leonard Price in their bedrooms in Baggot Street.

The distressed young lady, Jennie, encountered three young lads, members of Na Fianna Éireann, who offered to take over the work : Edwin Hughes (17), who lived at 107 Clonliffe Road, Drumcomdra, Brendan Holohan (17), 49 St.Patrick’s Road, Drumcondra and Joseph Rogers (16), 2 Upper St.Patrick’s Road, Drumcondra. It appears to be the case that Free State Captain Moynihan met Nick Tobin and Charlie Dalton and told them that republicans were in the area, pasting leaflets, and that Tobin and Dalton contacted a near-by Free State Army barracks for a search party and arranged to meet them in the area. Dalton could very well have known who he was hunting, as young Brendan Holohan and Joseph Rogers were near-neighbours of his and the nature of his job would have dictated that he familarise himself with local Republican activists.

The three young boys were still pasting leaflets on poles on that route which took them in the vicinity of Free State Captain Pat Moynihan's house when, shortly after 10.30pm on that Friday night, a Free State Army truck screeched to a halt beside them and they were violently thrown in to the back of it and taken to Wellington Barracks, where they were interrogated and released. Their Free State captors included Charlie Dalton and Nick Tobin. The next day - Saturday 7th October 1922 - the three young lads were lifted again by the Free Staters and soon found themselves standing in waste ground just off the Naas Road in an area known then as 'The Quarries', in Clondalkin, Dublin (near to the Naas Road/Monastery Road junction) : each of them was riddled with bullets and had a coup de grâce delivered to 'finish the job' - a shot to the head. The youngest of the three lads, 16-years-old Joseph Rogers, was the son of well know Dublin Bookmaker Mr. Thomas Rodgers and had served two years of his apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer. The remains of Edwin Hughes (17) was identified by his older brother, Gerald, 17-year-old Brendan Holohan's body was identified by his father Michael and Joseph Rogers (16) was identified by his older brother, Michael.

At the inquest, Dr Frederick Ryan, who performed the post mortem, described the wounds that killed them ; "Joseph Rogers' overcoat was saturated with blood. He had 16 wounds altogether. There was an entrance wound in the back of the skull, about an inch and a half from the ear. There was no exit wound. It was possible for a man to inflict this wound while both were standing. There was no singeing. In the left upper jaw there was an entrance wound, but no corresponding exit wound. There were superficial wounds on the left side of the body corresponding to the nipple, on the left side of the abdomen, a punctured wound on the left side of the nose, an entrance and exit wound at the base of the left index finger, superficial wounds on the left arm, an entrance and exit wound in the middle of the left thigh, a large contused wound on the left shin bone, and an incised wound on the left knee, probably caused after death. Regarding Brendan Holohan there was a bullet hole through the peak of his cap, but no mark on his head. The coat was torn on the right elbow, and there was a wound through the flesh of the arm, corresponding with the perforation in the sleeve. There were two entrance wounds, four inches from each other, in the right chest...(but no exit wounds). They were clean cut, such as might be made by an instrument of the same diameter as a pencil. The clothing was perforated at the place corresponding with these wounds. There was a wound over the right shoulder blade, which was an old one. There was an entrance wound in the lower portion of the abdomen, and a bullet lodged in the surface over the left hip bone and the shin. There was a wound in the back of the skull in the occipital protuberance, which took a downward direction into the neck and severed the spinal cord. This was sufficient to cause death immediately. If a man was standing on top of a ditch he could have been shot in the head, otherwise he must have been lying down."

In the case of Edwin Hughes (17), he said "The first wound, on the right-hand side corresponding to the second rib, took a horizontal direction and pierced the great vessels of the heart. There was no exit wound to it. There was no singeing. Another bullet pierced the overcoat on the right side, but there was no mark on the inner coat or vest. There were wounds in the abdomen and on the left thigh. On the right knee and right arm there were superficial wounds, such as might be caused by grazing bullets. The clothes were cut as if by barbed wire. The abdomen wound might possibly be caused by a prod of some instrument, but that was not probable."

But this crime did not go unnoticed - Dermot MacGiolla Phadraig, a Na Fianna Éireann training officer, was passing by the area at the time on Saturday 7th October 1922 and witnessed the executions and a Charles Byrne, an undercover man for the IRA in Oriel House, was also passing by and actually spoke to one of the Free State gunmen, Charlie Dalton and, in November 1922, an inquest was held at which the prosecution demanded that a verdict of murder be brought against Charlie Dalton but, apparently, the jury were 'reminded' by the State that they were living in 'exceptional times' and, following that and possibly other 'reminders', the jury declined to entertain the prosecution. In an effort to suggest that 'justice will be done', Dalton was then 'arrested' by his colleagues in the CID but was never charged with an offence related to the 'Quarrie Killings'. Incidentally, Nick Tobin, one of the Free State 'Quarrie Gunmen', was in charge of a Free State raiding party later on that same month (October 1922) when they went to kill more Republicans who, they were told, were operating an IRA bomb-making factory from house number 8 in Gardiner Place, in Dublin city centre: Nick never made it back to his Free State base that day, having been shot dead by 'accident' by his own colleagues.

The Na Fianna Éireann organisation is still active to this day and, as in 1922, continues to support the republican position : Na Fianna Éireann (literally 'Warriors of Ireland') has had several subtitles in its history ; Irish National Youth Movement, Irish Republican Youth Movement, Irish Republican Scouts etc but its central ethos has never changed. It has always had the object of educating the youth of Ireland in national ideas and re-establishing the independence of the nation. The goal of the organisation on its foundation in 1909 was "...to re-establish the independence of Ireland by means of training the youth of Ireland to fight Ireland’s fight when they are older and the day comes...". Members are trained in scouting skills and parade drill and receive education regarding republicanism and Irish history and heritage. In short, the NFÉ organisation instills a sense of pride, worth and value into those who join - worthy character traits which they carry with them into adulthood.

A video crew from the international 'Vice News' organisation, which has offices throughout Europe and America and "provides an unvarnished look at some of the most important events of our time (and) highlight under-reported stories from around the globe..." was in Dublin over the last few months and recently produced a twenty-minute video on the Na Fianna, which can be viewed here. Finally, if you would like to contribute, financially, to Na Fianna Éireann you can do so care of 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1. Go raibh maith agat!







THE PRICE OF PEACE......

Last month, 28 women who protested peacefully in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, against US President Ronald Reagan's visit to Ireland received £1000 each arising from their action for wrongful arrest. Gene Kerrigan recalls the weekend when another State determined Irish security requirements and details the garda action which could cost tens of thousands of pounds. From 'Magill' magazine, May 1987.

Monica Barnes tried to raise the issue of conditions in the Bridewell but was told by the Ceann Comhairle she could not - the Minister for Justice, Michael Noonan, was supposed to reply to the deputies, and he announced that he had read in the newspapers that the women might take legal action. Although the matter was not sub judice , he said, it might become so in the future so it would be "highly undesirable" for him to comment : "I am speaking in the shadow of a legal action".

Noonan would only offer the excuse that since the women were arrested on a Sunday and that the following day was a public holiday "the usual morning sitting of the court did not take place" : the District Court sits every day of the year except Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day, and there is always a court sitting on public holidays, from 10.30am, but neither the Chief Clerk's office nor the office of the President of the District Court have a record of whether the court sat that morning, but did say it would have been highly unusual if it did not.

On Sunday night, June 3rd, however, the gardai at the Bridewell were able to tell the 'Irish Times' newspaper that the women would be brought before the court on Monday afternoon. (MORE LATER).







"WE HAVE WORN DOWN THEIR WILL....."

Ed Moloney speaks to a leading member of the Provisionals who has been authorised to speak on behalf of the (P)IRA Army Council.

From 'Magill' magazine, September 1980.

Ed Moloney : What is the present attitude of the Army Council to 'Éire Nua' and federalism?

IRA : The position of the IRA on federalism is that for a long time we promoted it as the best way of solving the problem by marrying the Unionist tradition to the Irish tradition in a transitional situation. However, within these last number of years and especially since the loyalists started to promote 6 county independence which they had anyway for 50 years we began to examine federalism again and the dangers involved. It wouldn't break the back of loyalism in Ireland and get rid of the bar to solving the national question and opening the possibilities of establishing a democratic socialist republic. What we now advocate is a single national government, but with much decentralisation as possible. On the question of Éire Nua, we totally support the way Sinn Fein is progressing and the way it has handled these problems because certain people do cherish certain ideas and even though there are only minor differences between us, on the majority of points we are agreed.

Ed Moloney :Why did the IRA kill Sir Richard Sykes, the British ambassador to The Hague?

IRA :We have carried out bombings and shootings in Germany over the last two years as well. Last Spring, we executed Sir Richard Sykes. He was involved in intelligence gathering against our organisation, but he was also a leading propagandist in the same way as Peter Jay was in America. Sykes was also the man who conducted the investigation into our attack on the British ambassador to Dublin, Ewart Biggs. Sykes was a very important person. What that and other attacks have shown is the IRA's capability to operate abroad and against the enemy, not the host country, and gained our struggle attention there. (MORE LATER).







ON THIS DATE (29TH JULY) 132 YEARS AGO : INFORMER SHOT DEAD.

James Carey (left), a member of 'The Invincibles' who turned informer on his comrades. And paid the price for doing so...

In November 1881, a group was formed in Dublin with the objective of "removing all the principal tyrants from the country" ; they called themselves 'The Irish National Invincibles' and, within a few months, they were to make world headlines. The group consisted mainly of former Fenians and decided to announce their presence in a dramatic fashion - on May 6th, 1882, they assassinated two of Britains top officials in Ireland : Chief Secretary Lord Frederick Cavendish and Under Secretary Thomas F. Burke in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, just yards from the Viceroy Lodge. The British offered a reward of £1000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible and put their top man in Dublin, Superintendent John Mallon of the 'G Division' of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, on the case. He arrested dozens of 'suspects' and repeatedly questioned those who were known to be in the Phoenix Park that night , but to no avail.

Then, in November 1882, six months after the British lost their men, Superintendent John Mallon arrested a member of the Invincibles, Robert Farrell, and Mallon told him that they knew the identity of those that had carried-out the assassinations and advised Farrell to save himself - this was the same line that those previously arrested had been told but, unfortunately, Robert Farrell fell for it ; within weeks, twenty-six men were arrested. The 'G' man, John Mallon, needed additional witnesses and evidence to build a substantial case against the men and reverted to form - three of the twenty-six men ( Michael Kavanagh , James Carey and his brother, Peter) turned informers. In April 1883, in Green Street Courthouse in Dublin, Judge O'Brien began to hear 'evidence' against thirteen of the men. Five of the men - Joe Brady, Dan Curley , Michael Fagan , Thomas Caffrey and Tim Kelly - received the death sentence and the other eight men were sentenced to long periods of imprisonment (nineteen year-old Tim Kelly faced three 'trials' before eventually being convicted, the jury at the previous 'trials' having failed to agree on a verdict) . Joe Brady, Michael Fagan, Thomas Caffrey, Dan Curley and young Tim Kelly were hanged in Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin between May 14th and June 4th, 1883. One of the informers, James Carey, was shot dead on board the 'Melrose Castle' off Cape Town, South Africa, on his way to Natal to 'begin a new life' with his wife and children, on July 29th, 1883 - 132 years ago on this date - by Donegal-man Patrick O Donnell, who was caught and escorted back to Ireland , where he was executed on December 17th, 1883.

Carey knew he was being hunted by his old comrades and couldn't afford to let his guard down. A member of 'The Invincibles', Patrick O'Donnell, was on the same ship and, on Sunday 29th July 1883, words were exchanged between the two. Carey reportedly drew his revolver but O'Donnell already had his in hand and fired a shot at Carey, hitting him in the neck. Carey turned to flee and O'Donnell fired again, hitting the informer in the back, and fired again for good measure. Carey died and O'Donnell was arrested on board the ship, then held in British custody. His 'trial' (all two hours of it) was held at the 'Old Bailey' in London on the 30th November 1883, in front of Judge George Denman, a Liberal politician known to be in favour of public executions. Pat O'Donnell was found guilty of 'wilful murder', despite having the best defence team that money could buy - his supporters had raised and spent about fifty-five thousand dollars on legal representation for him, but then, as now, the British wanted their 'pound of flesh'. And they got it on the 17th December 1883 when they executed Patrick O'Donnell.

My name is Pat O’Donnell I was born in Donegal

I am you know a deadly foe to traitors one and all

For the shooting of James Carey I was tried and guilty found

And now upon the scaffold high my life I must lay down.



I sailed on board the ship Melrose in August ’83

James Carey was on board the ship but still unknown to me

When I found out he was James Carey we had angry words and blows

The villain swore my life to take on board the ship Melrose.



I stood a while in self defence to fight before I’d die

My loaded pistol I pulled out at Carey I let fly

I gave to him a second one which pierced him through the heart

I let him have a third volley before he did depart.



Then Mrs Carey came running up to the cabin where he lay

O’Donnell you shot my husband Mrs Carey she did say

O’Donnell you shot my husband Mrs Carey loud did cry

I only stood in self defence kind madame answered I.



The captain had me handcuffed and in strong irons bound

He gave me up as prisoner when we landed in Capetown

They turned me back to London my trial for to stand

And the prosecutors for the crown were Carey’s wife and son.



To all the evidence they swore I said it was a lie

The jury found me guilty and the judge he did reply

You’ll never more see Erin’s shore O’Donnell you must die

On the 17th of December upon the scaffold high.



If I had been a free man could live another year

All traitors and informers I would make them shake with fear

Saint Patrick drove the serpents from the our holy sainted land

I’d make them run before me like the hare before the hound.



Farewell to dark old Donegal the place where I was born

And likewise to the United States which ne’er was known for scorn

And twice farewell to old Gráinne Mhaol with her fields and valleys green

For never more around Erin’s shore Pat O’Donnell will be seen.









ON THIS DATE (29TH JULY) 167 YEARS AGO - 'YOUNG IRELANDERS' UPRISING.

The British dismissed the rebels as "a farce" and sneered at the attempt to challenge their hold on Ireland. But while they sneered, the Irish were learning from the failure...

Ireland, 1848 - the third successive year of the potato blight ; man-made 'famine' had put approximately one-and-a-half million men, women and children in early graves, and forced about another two million Irish people to emigrate (of whom thousands died in passage to America and Canada) . However : the incident that this article is about - the Uprising of July 29th, 1848 - had its roots two years earlier, in July 1846. Daniel O'Connell's 'Loyal National Repeal Association' was simmering with discontent - not all in the leadership, or membership, agreed with O'Connell that "Irish independence was not worth the spilling of one drop of human blood .....". Then, as now, the British were not shy about who's blood they spilled in their 'conquests' and in holding on to the 'spoils' of same and, also, then as now, not all Irish men and women were against 'fighting fire with fire'.

Even when Irish violence was to be employed in self-defence, Daniel O'Connell's 'Loyal National Repeal Association' was against it ; this led to tension within that organisation, and a 'split' developed - those that left included William Smith O'Brien (a Member of the British Parliament, Harrow-educated, with an accent to match!) , Thomas Francis Meagher and John Mitchel - a new group was established ; 'The Young Irelanders', and they outlined their position in their newspaper,'The United Irishman' - a call for immediate armed revolt against the British. Westminster was alarmed ; the 'Paris Revolution', which had taken place that February (1848) must have helped to put the final 'wind' up Westminster, as they moved quickly - John Mitchel was accused of writing "wild and menacing words" and was arrested by the British. In April 1848, the 'Treason Felony Act' had been introduced, followed by the suspension of 'Habeas Corpus' on July 25th that same year. William Smith O'Brien recognised that the British were 'battening down the hatches' - with John Mitchel in a British prison, he was in command ; he called for an immediate rising against the British. A 'War Council' was appointed (as was a 'Provisional Government of Ireland') comprising William Smith O'Brien, Thomas Francis Meagher and John Blake Dillon ; the latter was to come to the fore in the late 1870's when, as a member of the 'Irish National Land League' (which was formed in 1879 to protect the Irish 'tenantry' against the abuses of British 'landlords') he led a campaign against a British 'landlord' who was buying-up lands from which Irish 'peasants' had been evicted. As a result, a new word was to enter the English language ; 'boycott'.

At a meeting in July 1848 at Ballinkeale, County Wexford, it was agreed that a 'Provisional Government of Ireland' would be established, to operate from Kilkenny. The Young Irelanders 'War Council' sent its people out to all districts in the South of Ireland to organise any local resistance groups and to make a reconnaissance of enemy strength and movement. But the timing was wrong - the blight that became known as 'The Great Famine' (sic) was on the land ; the potato disease first hit, that time, in 1845 and, by 1846, every county on the island had been struck by it, with three-quarters of the potato crop destroyed. Typhus fever, diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery followed. It was in this atmosphere that the Irish rebels were attempting to organise a military challenge against British mis-rule in Ireland. But the RIC - 'the eyes and ears of Westminster' - had their informers at work against the 'Young Irelanders'. Westminster was made aware that armed men and women were gathering in Ballingarry, County Tipperary, and that William Smith O'Brien, James Stephens and Terence Bellew McManus were in that town, organising the insurgents. A patrol of forty-six RIC men, from Callan in County Kilkenny, were the first to arrive in Ballingarry on that day, the 29th July, 1848 (167 years ago,on this date) knowing that more British Crown re-inforcements were on the way. However, on seeing a rebellious crowd of about one-hundred people, armed with firearms and/or pikes, the RIC decided to retreat until their re-inforcements arrived ; but the Irish rebels had seen them and, as the RIC mob quickly headed out of the town, they were followed closely by the insurgents. The British 'policemen' headed east out of Ballingarry and took refuge in a two-storey grey-stone farmhouse on the top of a small hill (the house now boasts a plaque above its door, inscribed 'Remember 1848', and is known locally as 'The War House') .

At that time, a British 'warrant' had been issued for the arrest of William Smith O'Brien and, in all probability, the RIC detatchment from Callan, Kilkenny, were out to prove to their British paymasters that they were a trust-worthy bunch of loyal serfs, and decided that, by putting down a rebel rising and 'arresting' a wanted man, they could prove their worth to the Crown. But they were out-numbered by the rebels by about two-to-one, so they fled - but couldn't escape their pursuers. They forced their way into a house owned by the Widow McCormick, who was not at home at the time. But her five children were. An RIC Inspector, followed by about forty-five of his men, ran into the house shouting "British Grenadiers! British Grenadiers!" They then proceeded to thrash the dwelling, ignoring the cries of the children, and used what little furniture there was, and the debris they created, to block the doors and windows. On being told that there were five children in the siege house, rebel leader William Smith O'Brien offered the RIC hostage-takers the opportunity to surrender, making it clear that they would only lose their weapons, not their lives. But the offer was rejected. The RIC contingent inside the house realised that the rebels would not attack as long as the McCormick children remained in the house and they also knew that their RIC colleagues were on the way - so they 'got brave', refusing to release the child hostages or surrender. Trapped in a house, surrounded by their enemy, yet safe from attack. They cleared window-space in the house and readied their rifles and fired a volley at the rebels, killing two and wounding about a dozen. The McCormick children were by now hysterical, the rebels were in disarray as they couldn't attack but were under fire, and were about to be surrounded themselves : British Crown re-inforcements had arrived. They had to flee, and headed for the countryside. William Smith O'Brien, Terence Bellew MacManus and Thomas Francis Meagher were captured within days and sentenced to death by the British, but the sentences were later commuted (in June, 1849) to transportation for life to Tasmania.

Other leaders of the failed 1848 Rising - John O'Mahony, James Stephens and John Blake Dillon - escaped capture and left the country. John O'Mahony went to America and was one of the founders in that country of the American Fenian Brotherhood (or 'Clann na Gael', referred to in Ireland as 'The Organisation' or the 'IRB') , while James Stephens made it safely to Paris, France and, that being the time of Louis Napoleon, made contact with several 'secret societies' which existed in France at that time. Incidentally, eight years later (ie in 1856) , James Stephens was to go on a 3,000-mile 'tour' of Ireland, mostly on foot, organising opposition to British mis-rule in Ireland. On Saint Patricks Day in 1858 (17th March), James Stephens was one of those who took an Oath, in Dublin, "...in the presence of God, to renounce all allegiance to the Queen of England, and to take arms and fight at a moments warning to make Ireland an independent Democratic Republic, and to yield implicit obedience to the Commanders and Superiors of this Secret Society." That 'Secret Society' was the Irish Republican Brotherhood. James Stephens had learned of a better way in which to organise a secret society - his 'stay' in France had been spent studying the structures of anti-government organisations there, and the IRB (Ireland) and the Fenian Brotherhood (America) were established to consist of 'closed circles', in which one member was allowed to know only one other member of any other 'circle', and all 'business' was to be conducted in public venues ie bars, restaurants, sporting events etc instead of holding same, as had been done, in a room in an hotel or in a members house. The new system worked - only months after its inception (ie towards the end of 1858) a young man named Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, who worked for the Irish Republican Brotherhood, was caught in Cork with three or four other men, whom the RIC alleged were acting suspicious ; it was actually a 'swearing-in' ceremony which the RIC had discovered but, due to their lack of information (their informers knew nothing about it) the RIC let the men go, believing, as they were told by O'Donovan Rossa, that the group were discussing the possible establishment of a political grouping, to be called ' The Phoenix Society'!

However - the failed 'Young Ireland' rising of 1848, which began on July 29th that year, was dismissed by the British as 'a farce' but it was what came from the attempted rising that was to prove the British wrong in their description ; Westminster derisively described that attempted rising as "the battle of the Widow MacCormicks cabbage garden", but the fact that armed British military personnel practically kidnapped five Irish children that day, and held them hostage to save their own skins, was not talked about. The British would prefer that each Irish rising, each rebellion, should be dismissed as 'a farce', as the actions of an unrepresentative few 'malcontents'. That is, after all, how the 'Empire' was built and maintained ; and, for our part, this 'weblog' has no hesitation at all in cheering on those 'malcontents'!







POLITICIANS STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET (or 'more of this...'!).

Catherine Byrne (linked, above) didn't lick it off a stone, as we say here. The following information was recently collated by the 'RTE Investigations Unit' and was published in various outlets, including 'The Clondalkin Echo' (16th July 2015, P24).

Between March 2011 and December 2014 (inclusive) , if his two political pensions and two political lump sums had been paid weekly, Bertie Ahern would have pocketed €3947 a week, each week, for the 184 weeks mentioned above. But he didn't take his 'State entitlements' in that manner - in 2011 he was given a 'termination lump sum' of €16,404 and then a second amount of €159,873, on top of his weekly ministerial pension of €1690 which was paid to him on top of his Leinster House pension of €1110 a week! He obviously has a big biscuit tin.

If Brian Cowen had taken his 'political financial entitlements' for that same 184-week period on a weekly basis, he would have pocketed €3947 a week as well, every week but, like Ahern, he took two lump sums up front as well as pocketing the proceeds of two State political pensions each week. If he hasn't got a bank account to hold his fortune in, no doubt someone else is to blame!

If Mary Harney had taken her political retirement 'entitlements' on a weekly basis over the same 184-week period, she would have received €3518 each week but, like Bertie and Brian, she didn't, but she still managed to collect a total of €647,406 over that period. And I bet not one of the three of them spared a thought for the less well-off among us like, for instance, Fianna Fáil's Michael Woods : his 'entitlements' over the same period would have seen him collect €3440 a week had he not been given that €632,967 in a different manner.

I also have the figures relating to political payouts collected by Dermot Ahern, Mary O'Rourke, Rory O'Hanlon and John O'Donoghue, but I haven't got enough zero's left on my keyboard to write them here. But the money involved was well worth collecting, even though those collecting it were not, and are not - in my opinion - worth the money.







THE CRIMES OF BRITAIN.

'The report says: "We used to have a great sport in India going out after crocodiles with Hindu babies for bait..." ...and details that the parents of the babies were paid six cents per day and that sometimes, the parents would not even insist that the babies were returned safely. The officer also claimed that with one particular baby girl as bait, he had shot 100 crocodiles and that it was not possible to follow the same practice in Florida, in the United States, during the same period....several newspapers such as The Red Cloud Chief, The Helena Independent, Desert Evening News (and the) Roanoke Times referred to an advertisement titled 'Babies wanted for crocodile bait. Will be returned alive', which was published in a Sri Lankan newspaper named Ceylon Catholic Messenger....accounts in various newspapers indicate that the British thought that the crocodiles were attracted to the brown skin of the babies and were attracted to the shore by their cries. After shooting the reptile, the hunter would take possession of the skin and head and leave the rest of the flesh for the local people. One newspaper said: 'The baby is taken home to its loving parents, to be used for the same purpose the next day.' British colonialists also followed a similar practice in the United States where the babies of African-Americans were used as late as the early 20th century to hunt for crocodiles. A headline in the Oakland Tribune published on September 21, 1923 read 'Pickaninny bait lures voracious gator to death'. The report says that the babies of black parents were used as live bait for two cents. 'Pickaninny' is a derogatory term for blacks....'
Very interesting 'Twitter' site here which highlights some of the crimes against humanity which were committed by the British and which explains their arrogance to this day. If at any time in their sordid history they ever managed to temporarily leave the sewer they only ever got as far as the Sewel. The world would be a better place for their absence.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.