" 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.)

Wednesday, October 08, 2014



Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government Chief Whip, presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (sic) on September 11, 1997. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1997.

"It is extraordinary that Deputy Smith, who had the pleasure of endorsing the suitability of the Masris from his intimate acquaintance with them, is still shy in telling us when and how he first met them and his knowledge of their personal and commercial background, those types of mundane administrative details as distinct from his more personal intimacy with the family. It is not too late to tax Deputy Smith's powers of memory recall to answer that set of basic questions and the Department over which Deputy Smith presided is very assiduous in relation to one square foot of a new house grant.

The Reynolds family would not be selling pet food today had it not been for the soft loan given to them in exchange for two passports. I am happy that the company survived , and I pass the premises three or four times each week and externally it is as fine an industrial premises as one could get but, however, Deputy Reynolds , as Taoiseach, did state on 30th May 1994 that he
"had not been involved in any way in the running of the company for up to 14 years" yet, in June 1994, he delivered a speech in Portlaoise in which he explained that he had "required an arm's length relationship with that company (C&D Petfood) since I took ministerial office so I cannot be accountable for, and have no knowledge of, its day-to-day business."

Deputy Reynolds was Minister for Industry and Commerce and I have a letter from him dated 28th June 1992, written on notepaper headed with his home address of Mount Carmel House, Dublin Road, Longford, to a Mr Norman Spence, Pembrokeshire, Wales, in which he informs Mr. Spence that he can no longer be kept on the C&D pet food team. How is that for detachment? It is quite clear that Deputy Reynolds was not only involved in the business while Minister for Industry and Commerce, but sentences and messages were delivered in the name of the company not in terms of "we" or "the company" but in terms of "I regret", "as I have said before", "I must point out" and "I trust". Deputy Reynolds was very involved in the most minute details of his family business." (MORE LATER).


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

Subsequently, Asquez was approached by Mr Christopher Finch, the Gibraltar lawyer who was helping to collate evidence for the Thames documentary 'Death on the Rock'. Mr Finch contacted Asquez and asked him if he would come to his office. Asquez arrived one or two days later and in a conversation with Finch repeated the allegations he had made in his earlier statement.

Finch took notes and later had them typed up in a draft affidavit form. There was never any real chance that Asquez would sign the form as he told finch that he did not want to give an interview or to be named on the programme and also told him that he was very worried and that the affair was affecting his health. Finch, however, went through the motions of having the affidavit drawn up on behalf of Thames, his clients. He handed this draft over to Thames because, though unsigned, and therefore of no legal value, it was still their property.

How this unsigned and unsworn statement came to be broadcast as fact is currently under investigation by Thames, but a subject equally worthy of inquiry is how someone who was able at the inquest to endure the humiliation of being called a liar over and over again - and yet stick to a story which was to make him the most infamous witness of the inquest - could possibly have yielded to the 'pressure' of a couple of phone calls from a retired army major. Asquez stood in the witness box as, time and time again, John Laws, for the Crown, accused him of making "a base and lying statement", with all the inflexion his public school accent could muster. Up in the press gallery, reporters were taking notes which would ensure that , within a few hours, the entire world would know that Kenneth Asquez was a liar. This is 'pressure'. (MORE LATER).


...'Totally Un-Armed Strategy' if you're explaining it to the political Establishment but translates as 'Tactical Use of Armed Struggle' if you're selling it to your own crowd...."
("...we had to reach for language that could be interpreted in different ways by the two sides..." and "For the Unionists it meant that the IRA would have to disarm before Sinn Fein could join the government, and for the Republicans it meant that the Unionists would have to demonstrate they would share power before the IRA would decommission their weapons...")

'Double-Speak' : much the same as that performed by Gerry's pal, Martin McGuinness , when the latter was playing the part of 'chief negotiator' with/between the Staters, the Brits and the remnants of his own organisations, Provisional Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA - "The conflict is over but we need your advice on how to bring it to an end. We wish to have an unannounced ceasefire in order to hold a dialogue leading to peace. We cannot announce such a move as it will lead to confusion for the volunteers because the press will interpret it as surrender. We cannot meet the secretary of state's public renunciation of violence, but it would be given privately as long as we were sure that we were not being tricked....."

And they are still talking out of both sides of their mouth, albeit in much plusher surroundings - two of Gerry and Martin's protégés were focussing on Fine Gael's Phil 'Need No Slogan' Hogan and his campaign to secure a bigger pension in Brussels, but Matt and Michelle were 'focussing' in different directions and succeeded only in ambushing themselves, much to the delight of the now-EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and his backers. A 'Totally Un-organised ASsault' on their quarry, if you like, by the two PSF suits. And here's another example of how not to employ 'dirty tricks' in 'attacking your quarry', especially when your target has access to the same 'weapons' and is capable of using them to expose your underhanded attempt to smear them. Mary Lou, Jason and Lynn should ask Gerry for a loan of one of his scriptwriters. He or she could hardly do a worse job!


Richard D'Alton Williams, Irish rebel, author and doctor, is born in Dublin , 8th October 1822.

In Dublin, on the 8th October 1822, a child was born to Mary Williams, wife of a Tipperary Count, Count D'Alton ; the child, Richard D'alton Williams, was reared at Grenanstown, Nenagh, County Tipperary and educated at St. Stanislaus School, Tullabeg, in County Laois, and at St.Patricks College, County Carlow, and also studied medicine at St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin. His first published poem was entitled - 'The Munster War Song' and it appeared in 'The Nation' newspaper on 7th January, 1843, under the pseudonym 'Shamrock' ; at the time of its publication, Richard D'alton Williams was in the process of moving from Carlow to Dublin, to study medicine in St Vincents Hospital.

'The Nation' newspaper received a great response to Williams' poems, and 'Shamrock' became a regular contributor, with works such as 'The Dying Gael', 'Sisters of Charity' and 'The Haunted Man', which raised the profile and readership of the newspaper. As well as the poems, 'The Nation' published a series of humorous articles from Richard D'alton Williams, entitled 'Misadventures of a Medical Student' and described the author, 'Shamrock' (in its July 1851 issue), in the following terms - "His intellect is robust and vigorous, his passion impetuous and noble, his perception of beauty most delicate and enthusiastic ; his sympathies take in the whole range of human affections, and his humour is irresistible. We think, indeed, that 'Shamrock' excels all his contemporaries in imagination and humour."

Richard D'alton Williams, now a member of the 'Young Ireland' Movement , put his medical training to good use during 'The Great Hunger' of 1845-1849, by helping to ease the suffering of hundreds of cholera victims ; he was by now a hardened opponent of British mis-rule in Ireland and had joined the 'Irish Confederation' group, which was founded in January 1847 by William Smith O'Brien and other 'Young Irelanders' who had disagreed with Daniel O'Connell's 'Repeal Association'. He was quickly elected to Council level in the 'Confederation'. He was the driving force behind a short-lived newspaper called 'The Irish Tribune', which he published with the assistance of 'Young Ireland' leader, Kevin Izod O'Doherty ; the first issue was published in June 1848 but only five issues of the weekly newspaper made it on to the streets before it was suppressed by the British in early July that year and gave Westminster the pretence to arrest Williams and Kevin Izod O'Doherty - both men were charged under the 'Treason-Felony Act' with "intent to depose the queen and levying war". A famous barrister of the time, Samuel Ferguson, defended both men in a trial which lasted five months and caused great embarrassment to the British.

Eventually, in November 1848, Williams and O'Doherty were acquitted ; Williams went back to studying medicine, and qualified as a doctor, in Edinburgh, in July 1849. In June 1851, he emigrated to America and, whilst in New Orleans, met and married an Irish woman, Elizabeth Connolly ; the couple moved to a town called Thibodeaux in Louisiana, where he wrote his last poem - 'Song of the Irish-American Regiments.'

On 5th July, 1862, just shy of his fortieth birthday, Richard D'alton Williams died of consumption in Thibodeaux, Louisiana, in America. A patriot, a poet and a publisher, Dr Richard D'alton Williams is one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of almost unknown and/or forgotten Irish men and women that played their part in the on-going struggle to remove the British presence from Ireland.

They deserve to be remembered somewhere ......


Vincent Parker - in the 'Bold Corner'!

'To lose one 'Special Adviser' may be regarded as a misfortune ; to lose two looks like carelessness'. The man pictured, left, was, until recently, employed as a 'Special Adviser' in the Stormont office of Martin McGuinness, and was the Head of Provisional Sinn Féin's 'Equity and Human Rights' department. He also played his part 'for queen and country' as a member of the 'South Belfast District Policing Partnership', is on the board of 'IntertradeIreland' and the 'Féile an Phobail' group, is the chairperson of the 'Finaghy Crossroads Group', is the holder of a masters degree from the Institute of European Studies, has a degree in history from Queens University in Belfast, a postgradute diploma in marketing from the University of Ulster and a masters degree from the the Institute of European Studies and before he began his political career he held management positions over a 10 year span, within the life science industry, and managed a team across Europe as Director of Marketing and PR, and more recently, in a Business Development Role within the public policy consultancy sector and apologies if I have left anything out!

This "moderate member of (Provisional) Sinn Féin" was, before he jacked it in for pastures greener, one of the eight 'Special Advisers' that are employed by McGuinness and Robinson (pictured here, with their employer) to assist them in running Westminster's 'parliament' in Ireland. So that's six reasons that they have now, rather than eight, not to object to the number of 'Special Advisers' employed by their fellow politicians...


Whether allegedly 'confined to barracks' or parading through our streets, Irish republicans remain adamant that British soldiers should not be on Irish soil.

The picture on the left was taken on Thursday 2nd October 2014 in Holywood , in County Down, in the occupied Six County area of Ireland. The British soldiers in that photograph are members of 'The Royal Scots Borderers' regiment and simply decided it would be "nice to conduct a parade" through the town, to announce their arrival. 'Nicer' still, without a doubt, were they to parade through all the Irish towns they currently infest to announce their departure. Quite apart from the fact that Irish people have had experience of the not-so-friendly side of Scottish soldiers in the British Army (see 'Howth Gun-Running and Bachelors Walk Massacre Commemoration....' post, here) their very presence is offensive regardless of whether they attempt to 'entertain' the locals or shoot at them. As they themselves would say - "Ye canna make a silk purse of a sow's lug".



This coming Sunday (12th October 2014) will not only bear witness to Estonia hammering the Brits on the football pitch and Lithuania losing to Slovenia (according to Anto, our driver!) but, more importantly, we girls get 'offside' again for another 'Ladies Day Out' in the raffle hotel to watch as the ladies football teams show the lads how to do it in a proper manner - Arsenal Ladies team will be doing the business with the girls from Everton, then there's Birmingham City girls challenging the Notts County team and Liverpool up against Bristol as Man City Women square up to the girls from Chelsea and at least six other ladies teams will also be out on the day, as will myself and the usual raffle team as we are helping Cabhair to raise funds for Irish republican prisoners. We know from the last 'Ladies Day Out' that the day will be hectic (not many lads present to keep us in check!) but we also know that the effort will be well worth it, as all money raised goes direct to the Cabhair Central Committee and, from them, to the families of our prisoners. We usually post the names and ticket numbers of the winners on or before the following Wednesday but that won't be possible for this raffle as we're away off on a wee break....


...as the team here at '1169 Towers' are heading to Galway on Friday 10th October for a looong weekend, and I'll be the only one of the three of us who will be interrupting the break, on Sunday morning, to be brought back to the sports hotel on the Dublin/Kildare border to assist with the Cabhair raffle, following which I shall be rushed back to Galway by private jet Anto in his bus (!) to continue the short holiday. New York it ain't but we haven't had a break since June last and, as I'm unlikely to get back to an t-Úll Mór this year then I'll be a 'Galway Girl' until such time as I can get back to Gotham with the gang!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014



Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government Chief Whip, presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (sic) on September 11, 1997. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1997.

"I would like to know whether the rumour is correct that either Deputy Ray Burke or Mr Charles Haughey personally delivered the passports and/or the certificates of naturalisation to the gentlemen in question at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin? All of this begs a number of questions to which answers must be supplied. Why did Deputy Burke take such an extra special interest in the passport applications of these two wealthy, but suspect, gentlemen? Did he personally oversee the details and the arrangements leading up to the granting of the passports? Who were the three people who provided the character references in the case of each of the eleven applicants?

In view of the manifest wealth of the individuals in question, and of Deputy Burke's hands-on involvement in the issue of the passports, what level of investment were the individuals to make in return for the passports and certificates of naturalisation , and what was the nature of that investment? Was the investment to be a global figure for all eleven applicants, or was there to be an individual investment by each? Was there ultimately any figure invested in a project here? If so, what was that figure and what was the project concerned? Did the individuals whose names were listed in the 'Iris Oifigiúil' as having the passports ever visit this country or live here and, if they did, what was the duration of their stay? Who approached Deputy Ray Burke initially to encourage him to personally steer the passport applications through his Department?

These are legitimate questions which must be answered. The refusal to answer them not only shows a brazen defiance but a contempt for the legitimate right to know if proper procedures were in place. It also leads to a quite justifiable suspicion that something serious was amiss. The questions simply will not go away. At what stage did responsibility for the issue of passports transfer to the then Taoiseach, Mr Haughey's, Department? Who was the official within that Department with particular responsibility for this issue? "


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

Eyewitness evidence that the three IRA members were shot on the ground was not as forthcoming at the inquest as was previously indicated it might be. However, it should be noted that 'Officer I' said categorically in court that he did see shots being fired at Mairead Farrell and Daniel McCann after they had fallen. Other witnesses, by the time they gave evidence, were less sure than they had been when they gave previous accounts of what they had seen. It must be remembered that while the official witnesses were mostly trained surveillance people, with presumably eyes and memories for detail, the civilian witnesses did not have any such training or experience.

Official witnesses, too , had the comfort of knowing that their accounts were each part of a big picture, of which each one intimately knew his or her own part. Civilian witnesses stood alone and had to rely entirely on their own private recollections - this factor may have had some bearing on the bizarre case of Kenneth Asquez , the young bank clerk who first told Thames Television in a written statement that he had seen Seán Savage shot on the ground "three or four times at point blank range" , by a man who had his foot on Savage's throat. At the inquest, Asquez said that he had made this statement up because of pressure from Major Robert Randall, the man who took an amateur video of the aftermath of the shootings. Asquez claimed that Randall had harassed him by constantly phoning him at work and said that he made up the statement to get him off his back. He also alleged that Randall had offered him money.

Major Randall was in America at the time of the inquest , but in a sworn affidavit to the court told a very different story of his dealings with Asquez in that, he said, it was Asquez who had first brought up the subject of the shootings with him, in a conversation at the bank where Asquez worked. He had offered the account of what he had seen , completely voluntarily and without prompting. Some days later Randall says he got in touch with Asquez on behalf of Thames TV who were looking for witnesses to the shootings. Without revealing the name of the witness involved to the television people, Randall had contacted Asquez to ask him if he would be prepared to make a statement, and says he made only one such call and that the outcome was that Asquez arrived at his office some days later and gave him a statement in his own handwriting for Thames TV. Randall said that at no time had there been any suggestion of a payment in return for the statement, as alleged by Kenneth Asquez.(MORE LATER).


The words of James Prior (British 'Secretary of State for Northern Ireland' [1981-1984] and now known as 'Baron Prior of Brampton in the County of Suffolk') in a recent interview with the BBC.

Apart from the obvious - that is, who would know more about 'political violence' than a British cabinet politician - I think 'Baron' Prior's comments should be seized upon by the current Free State 'Justice and Equality' Minister , Francis Fitzgerald, and he should be pursued vigorously with the view of taking a case against him under the new legislation which has been championed by her ie "....we stand with our European colleagues in doing everything in our power to ensure that there are no gaps in our law that can be exploited by those who would inflict terror and mayhem on innocent people at home or abroad....there can be no hiding place in a democratic society for those who encourage, recruit or train others to carry out acts of terrorism and we must never relent in our determination to use all resources at our disposal to root them out..." (from here). The comments, above, from the 'Baron' would indicate that, while he may not actually be condoning 'political violence' he could be said to be "encouraging" same, thereby leaving himself open to being charged with 'incitement'. Over to you, Francis....


'Edgar the Peaceable' becomes 'King of All England' on the 1st October 959.

....but it was all downhill for them after that : Britain has fought more wars than any other state since the Roman Empire. Since its defence against the Spanish Armada in the 16th century, it has had no occasion to fight a war of defence. All its wars since then have been wars of choice, the expected outcome when you mix capitalism with imperialism. Just our misfortune to be living next door to them!


Landlord, landlord, My roof has sprung a leak. Don't you 'member I told you about it way last week?

Landlord, landlord, These steps is broken down. When you come up yourself It's a wonder you don't fall down.

Ten Pounds you say I owe you? Ten Pounds you say is due? Well, that's Ten Pounds more'n I'll pay you 'till you fix this house up new.

What? You gonna get eviction orders? You gonna cut off my heat? You gonna take my furniture and Throw it in the street?

Um-huh! You talking high and mighty. Talk on-till you get through. You ain't gonna be able to say a word If I land my fist on you.

Police! Police! Come and get this man! He's trying to ruin the government and overturn the land!

Copper's whistle! Patrol bell! Arrest. Precinct Station. Iron cell. Headlines in press: MAN THREATENS LANDLORD TENANT HELD NO BAIL JUDGE GIVES IRISHMAN 90 DAYS IN COUNTY JAIL!

(From here - with apologises for the 'tweaking' to Langston Hughes!)

So-called 'Landlords' have, for the most part, a deserved bad reputation, but at least one of them (!) did attempt to improve the lot of those that paid him rent - a Cornelius Bolton (see family pic, above left) , born in Waterford on the 1st October in 1751, 'inherited' an Irish estate from his father in 1779, consisting of about 4,700 acres in Waterford and other lands in Wexford and he was, by all accounts, not the worst of those that lived in a 'Big House'. He built Faithlegg House in 1783 and then financed the build of a fishing port at the village of Cheekpoint , and established a textile factory and a hotel in the same area. He expanded his operations further by opening a cobalt mine but, in 1819, he was declared bankrupt, a situation believed to have happened because he lost his fortune trying to build a new village, complete with factories and a ferry port, which he wanted to name 'Bolton'.

When he married Elizabeth McDonnell (he was then 38 years of age) in 1789, he was already in debt, but was managing to keep on top of it - at that time he owed £22,176 13s. 4d but, within a decade, he owed various creditors about £35,000. This 'gentle Back and Tan landlord' died in 1829, at 78 years of age, leaving a good character reference in his wake. More about the Bolton family can be accessed here.


A photograph alleged to have been taken in Ireland in the early 1930's, showing two 'Whiteboys'.

"To be true to each other and our friends, to attend all meetings when warned, no cause to excuse absence but sickness, of which sufficient proof must be given, to keep all secrets, to suffer until death rather than betray each other or whatsoever may be seen or heard of our cause, and to stand by each other at all fairs and patrons" - an oath taken by the 'Caravat' group, which was part of/closely aligned to the 'Whiteboy' organisation (aka 'The Levellers') , which publicly announced itself on the 1st October, 1761, having being prompted into existence by the Mathew/Maude incident, which had its roots in the elections held that year in Ireland.

One of the candidates, 'Sir' Thomas Maude (Tipperary), 'exposed' (!) one of his competitors, Thomas Mathew, as a Catholic "in all but name" and objects to him contesting the election. The election agent for the bigot Maude, a man named Dan Gahan, challenges Mathew's election agent, Thomas Prendergast, to a duel and wins the fight, but Mathew won the election anyway. The defeated candidate, the bigot Maude, a rich 'gent' with connections, objects in all the right places and eventually obtains a legal writ declaring that Thomas Mathew was "not duly elected" and fills the now-empty seat himself!

This skullduggery was the last straw for hundreds if not thousands of poorly paid and housed workers and for those that couldn't get work, and they organised themselves as best they could, most successfully in Waterford, Cork , Limerick and Tipperary, although they had activists in other counties,too. They were not per se campaigning against the political administration (in Westminster) but rather against the unfair treatment they were suffering at the hands of 'landlords' and had organised themselves to such a level that their agreed 'uniform' consisted of a white shirt worn over whatever other coats they had.

The 'landlords' and other middle-class (and wealthier) citizens, in reply, established a (smaller) grouping called the 'Shanavests' (who wore old waistcoats as a 'uniform'!) and clashes between the two groups were vicious, such as an incident that took place in June 1834 on Ballyveigh Strand in Kerry - 'It had been rumored that a faction fight was going to happen. On 24th of June, 1834, on the occasion of the Ballyeagh strand horse races on St. Johns Day, the Lawlors/Mulvihills encountered the Cooleens. The battle was fought with special sticks called Blackthorne sticks or cudgels. Some were weighted with lead and were not used free swinging but were held in the middle to protect the elbow. An estimated 1,200 of the Cooleens crossed the Feale in boats from the north and were then in what was considered Mulvihill/Lawlor territory and was in itself considered provacative. They Cooleens attacked the Mulville/Lawlor people who were generally imbibing with poteen and whskey. The invaders came forward in lines with about 20 women on the sides with aprons full of stones. The authorities tried to stop them from coming but were unsucessful. At first the Cooleens got the upper hand since half of their adversarys were still in their tents having a good time with their whiskey. Gradually the Mulville/Lawlor faction got organised and about 1,500 of them counter-attacked. They drove the invaders back into the water and won the day....'

This feud, as with most such instances of political and social unrest in Ireland, can be linked back somewhere in its history to British interference in this country and that scenario will continue for as long as Westminster maintains a jurisdictional claim in any part of this country. This offers the best solution for all parties concerned , regardless of shirt or waistcoat colour!


In a press release entitled 'The Spirit Of 1913 Lives On', issued on Sunday last, 28th September 2014, E.de Bothún, the PRO for RSF Comhairle Chúige Laighean (Leinster Executive) stated -

'The ghost of William Martin Murphy has resided in Clondalkin for the past 14 weeks. The sight of locked out workers at the gates of Greyhound Recycling has drawn sickening parallels to the infamous lock out in the year 1913. 101 years on and Scab labour, cuts in wages and extended working hours remain a reality for the workers.

As is common place in modern Ireland, employers make employees feel they are 'lucky to have a job' and under this ideology they then impose disgraceful terms and conditions on the employee. This is the cornerstone of the economic warfare being waged on working individual's right across the 32 counties. Greyhound Recycling has been an excellent example of this, in recent years workers have been forced to work 10 extra hours a week for no extra pay. Untrained casual labour has also been used in attempts to break workers right to union membership.

Agreement has been reached between the employers and the employees, however all will be in vain if guaranteed rates of pay are not introduced for the waste industry. Unions and the Joint Labour Commission in the Free State have the responsibility to make this a reality. The issue of agency workers simply must be tackled and all workers should have equal rights. The abuse of agency workers is rampant in Ireland and has rightly come to the fore in this dispute.

In its mission statement Greyhound Recycling claims "Greyhound has been built on the back of generations of experience and a simple philosophy that has not changed despite our technological advances...". A more accurate synopsis would be to say that the Buckley family has made profit off the backs of its employees for forty years in Ireland. The spirit of William Martin Murphy is alive and well in them, and those of their ilk. Workers must stand together and smash such vile treatment, the courage of the Greyhound workers proves this can be done. They should hold the admiration of workers countrywide.

"The cause of labour is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland is the cause of labour" – James Connolly.'

A good statement, and not one that any working-class person could disagree with. But, apparently, members of the political leadership in this State and their hirelings in the 'security services' do disagree, to the extent that the former have instructed the latter (who have performed the task all too willingly) to , in the Greyhound case, protect and secure the 'rights' of scab labour and, in the case of the above-mentioned water tax issue, to protect water meter installers from the protestations of the general public, who never requested that which they seek to impose. Incidentally, this 'Irish Water' company, if it lasts, will serve as yet another corporate entity that bent politicians can use to promote their colleagues and to provide them with a salary 'for doing the State some service'. But, sometimes, that placement alone does not bring financial reward fast enough for the 'political friend' and a second 'job' has to be invented for that same 'safe pair of hands' (or twelve such jobs!).

However - when a political administration believes it has a right to protect scab labour and to assist a company to impose a 'service' on citizens - and when the majority of the citizens allow that to happen - then the latter are morally sicker than the former. Finally, for now - in relation to the water tax - not gonna burn my bra, but.....

....am gonna burn an envelope containing an 'Application Pack' which the 'Irish Water' company sent me , unrequested, in the post last week. I'll be doing this, in a bathtub, outside the County Council offices in Clondalkin Village, Dublin, on Thursday night, 9th October 2014, at 7pm. Come along and watch and/or, better still, bring your own 'Pack' with you and join me!



"...so, some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting our other enemies, whom we don’t want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win....."(from here).

Talk about being bamboozled! And, now that we're on the subject, wasn't it Carl Sagan who hit the nail on the head re that word when he referenced the effect of being 'bamboozled' - "....If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back..."

It's another debate altogether, of course, in relation to the question of whether, 'having given a charlatan power over you' , you deserve to get that power back? Especially when , as with this corrupt State, power is repeatedly given to the charlatans....

Thanks for reading , Sharon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014



Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government Chief Whip, presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (sic) on September 11, 1997. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1997.

"Sultan Khalid S Bin Mahfouz and Haroon Rashid Kahlon, together with the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia , were sued by liquidators of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International in relation to the BCCI collapse. In July 1992 both men faced charges in the United States that they conspired to steal more than $300 million from BCCI depositors. These charges were dropped in late 1993 following a plea-bargaining settlement of $225 million.

Haroon Khalon pleaded guilty to the charge that he failed to register as a broker, for which it was agreed by the US authorities that he would not be jailed. Here we have the biggest banking scam and scandal in history, involving two principals who were accorded Irish citizenship on foot of references from three Irish citizens, who presumably testified to the effect that they had an "intimate acquaintance with the applicant" and could vouch for their good character, but the (State) Department of Justice still refuses to divulge the 'who, when or where' surrounding these applications.

The applicant is required to provide on the application form particulars of any proceedings, civil or criminal, taken against him or her in courts of law in this State or elsewhere. Was this information supplied and, if so, was it supplied accurately? The normal procedure for the issue of certificates of naturalisation is that they are signed by an Assistant Secretary in the (State) Department of Justice , yet in the case of Messrs. Mahfouz and Kahlon, the certificates were signed personally by the then Minister for Justice, Deputy Raphael P. Burke...."


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

Soldiers have always been identified in court by letters of the alphabet, and cross examination has been curtailed by Crown solicitors making frequent objections to questions on grounds of "security". The SAS statements, too, he has found, invariably follow a pattern, with the same phraseology turning up with monotonous regularity - soldiers invariably say they opened fire because they believed their lives were in danger, this being indicated by "sudden moves" on the part of the victims or the "sound of shots" (where only the SAS themselves had fired any shots). In some cases, says Father Murray, these "movements" have taken place while the victims were on the ground.

Following such killings, the SAS are invariably interviewed only in the presence of British Army lawyers, and generally speaking there is a pattern whereby these statements are not made for some time after the killings. In the Gibraltar case, the British soldiers involved left the Rock on the evening of the killings and did not make any statements until March 15th , in London. Such inquests in the North of Ireland go mostly unreported and ignored, because the families of the victims cannot afford to hire lawyers to ensure a thorough examnation of the facts. Whatever about the verdict, there is no doubt that Paddy McGrory's spotlight on the SAS methodology in Gibraltar has opened a lot of people's eyes to the role of the regiment in relation to Ireland and the IRA. (MORE LATER).


(Similar words to those which Mr Kenny might utter, seen here seated at the same table as his queen.)

On Thursday last , 18th September 2014, Scottish voters apparently decided to keep its existing political relationship with Westminster , a fate that was sealed when financial issues were used as a tactic by the pro-union camp, which also put in place its 'Plan B': the manipulation of the votes that were cast.

Whatever way that vote would have gone it would not have impacted on the Irish republican point of view in relation to our situation here in Ireland regarding the jurisdictional claim which Westminster enforces in our six north-eastern counties as our 'constitutional position' requires no discussion or vote as Ireland is one country, all 32 counties, no 'ifs' or 'buts' about it. Not so, as expected, with nationalist constitutionalists , one of whom stated - "....the Good Friday Agreement provided for a Border Poll. It is time for the people who share this island to have a respectful and informed debate with regard to Irish Unity or continued partition....the people here, like our Scottish cousins, should be provided the opportunity in a Border Poll to determine the constitutional position....that is the democratic way forward.....". The "democratic way forward" is for the British to finish their political and military withdrawal from Ireland, and not for any Irish person, regardless of political creed, to try and use the Scottish vote to 'gain improved terms and conditions' from Westminster, as former republicans want to do. However, there is no such confusion in the Irish republican camp, and nor should there be.


Des Dalton , Seán Dolan and Fergal Moore at the Eve of All-Ireland Rally in Dublin on Saturday 20th September 2014.

The Rally was Chaired by RSF President Des Dalton, who also said a few words from the platform, and the orations were given by Seán Dolan and Fergal Moore. It was a busier than usual affair, as about three thousand protesters against the water tax were also at the GPO at the same time and were, as expected, supported in their protest by the RSF , Na Fianna Éireann and Cumann na mBan members present.

RSF Colour Party, Cumann na mBan and Na Fianna Éireann representatives at the GPO, Saturday 20-9-14.

Both speakers, and the Chairperson, made reference to the recent Scottish independence vote and all noted (as we have mentioned ourselves in this blog post) how it appears not to have been above board and how money issues were abused by both official and unofficial anti-independence groupings, and it was stated from the RSF platform that Irish republicans have also experienced setbacks in our struggle for independence but that we have bounced back from same each time and, hopefully, Scottish 'Yes' voters and supporters will do the same.

Seán, the Piper, takes a breather!

Seán Dolan delivering his oration.

A young Na Fianna Éireann member at the Rally.

Des Dalton and Fergal Moore.....

...and, finally, a view from the left!

The orations in full will be published in the October 2014 issue of 'Saoirse' , which goes to print on Wednesday 8th of that month. We happily mingled with the anti-water tax protesters and they with us , and took a few pics to prove it -

Absent! RSF crew taking a break with the protesters.

Girl Power - taking no crap!

Watching him watching us....

....as we have a sit-down protest outside the GPO. The cop didn't join us!

We had a great day out in O'Connell Street , and 'killed two birds with the one stone' - we reminded thousands of people that the conflict in the six counties is not yet over and reminded the leeches in Leinster House that the conflict re their water tax is not yet over, either, regardless of how much pressure they put on us not to take to the streets, and even if RTE continues to ignore us -

- we ain't going away!


From the 17th June 2014 until 22nd September last, a picket had been placed on the Greyhound premises on Crag Avenue in Clondalkin by 78 employees who objected to their terms and conditions being unilaterally changed overnight by their management. The dispute has now been settled but it has left a lot of bad blood in the company, with some of the strikers about to find themselves working alongside employees who not only didn't support them but, in some cases, actually held placards opposing them. Some of the workers, from both 'sides', live in the Clondalkin area and/or have family there and a strained atmosphere is noticeable in parts of the neighbourhood but this has not yet resulted in any incidents that we are aware of. But, considering that the 1913 Lock Out still manages to raise the ire in this State between workers and bosses, the 2014 Lock Out will raise it between worker and worker. And divided we fall....


"....suddenly Bartholomew Teeling broke from the Franco-Irish forces and charged forward on his horse. One may imagine the scene: the British at first watch incredulously, then a scattered fire of muskets. Teeling is unharmed, galloping onwards. The British sharpshooter by the cannon coolly takes aim. Teeling eyes him and suddenly swerves his horse; the shot goes past him. The sharpshooter curses and reloads. Another ragged volley from the infantry and again they miss....the French and the Irish are cheering but they can’t believe he will make it. Teeling’s horse leaps a ditch and gallops on past the infantry, foam flying from the animal's body – the sharpshooter looks up at him, loses his nerve and fumbles the charging of his musket. Teeling is up at the gun, he has drawn his pistol and shoots the sharpshooter dead. He draws another pistol and shoots the gunner. The Irish and French are ecstatic and charge forward. The British are stunned; some stand but most of the British infantry flee from the superior numbers and leave the cannon in the hands of the insurrectionist forces, as well as 60 dead and 100 taken prisoner....." (from here.)

Another author wrote, re the above scene, which took place at the Battle of Collooney - "...this was the turning point of the battle. The troops despatched from Knockbeg had reached Beal Ban and were already rushing down on the British flank. The other column was advancing at a rapid pace against the front. There was no safety for Verecker from this double danger except in retreat; and as the Ballysadare road was no longer practicable, he ordered his men to cross the river and make for Sligo....."

Bartholomew Teeling (pictured, above) was only 24 years of age when he was captured at the Battle of Ballinamuck , Longford, as were another 500 or so Irish and French fighters. The French soldiers were treated as POW's but the Irish soldiers were executed - Teeling was hanged by the British on the 24th September 1798 at Provost Prison on Arbour Hill, Dublin, before his body was dumped into the 'Croppy Pit'.

He attempted to read the following statement from the scaffold, but was not permitted to do so: "Fellow-citizens, I have been condemned by a military tribunal to suffer what they call an ignominious death, but what appears, from the number of its illustrious victims, to be glorious in the highest degree. It is not in the power of men to abase virtue nor the man who dies for it. His death must be glorious in the field of battle or on the scaffold. The same Tribunal which has condemned me — citizens, I do not speak to you here of the constitutional right of such a Tribunal — has stamped me a traitor. If to have been active in endeavouring to put a stop to the blood-thirsty policy of an oppressive Government has been treason, I am guilty. If to have endeavoured to give my native country a place among the nations of the earth was treason, then I am guilty indeed. If to have been active in endeavouring to remove the fangs of oppression from the head of the devoted Irish peasant was treason, I am guilty. Finally, if to have striven to make my fellow-men love each other was guilt, then I am guilty. You, my countrymen, may perhaps one day be able to tell whether these were the acts of a traitor or deserved death. My own heart tells me they were not and, conscious of my innocence, I would not change my present situation for that of the highest of my enemies. Fellow-citizens, I leave you with the heartfelt satisfaction of having kept my oath as a United Irishman, and also with the glorious prospect of the success of the cause in which we have been engaged. Persevere, my beloved countrymen. Your cause is the cause of Truth. It must and will ultimately triumph."

Bartholomew Teeling , Irish Rebel , 1774-1798.


....on Saturday next, 27th September 2014 - those attending are asked to assemble at the Courthouse in Limerick City at 2pm. The 'Éire Nua' policy document can be read here and the history behind that particular policy can be read here (and here). No need to cloud the issue when it comes to British interference in Irish affairs - there is only one proper solution, and 'Éire Nua' points the way to it!

Thanks for reading , Sharon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014



Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government Chief Whip, presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (sic) on September 11, 1997. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1997.

Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government (Leinster House) Chief Whip presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (Leinster House) on September 11th (1997). 'Iris Oifigiúil' of September 4th, 1992, lists 11 Saudi Arabian and Pakistani nationals who were granted certificates of naturalisation dated December 8th 1990 and all gave Glenmore House, Clonee, County Meath, as their Irish address. Local people in Clonee confirmed in 1994 that nobody had lived in the house since 1990.

In his speech, Jim Higgins stated - "The awarding of a passport is supposed to be directly linked in the case of investment to a specific job-creating scheme. The supposed project in the case of these 11 passports was, according to the IDA , linked to investment in the equestrian industry : what the IDA was doing meddling in the horse industry is a mystery to me. Yet, four years later, Meath County Council was in a position to confirm that no application had been made to it for such a development.

Each application must be accompanied by character references from three Irish citizens. The (State) Department of Justice , when asked to provide the names of those who proposed the 11 individuals or the group in question for naturalisation, either collectively or individually, refused to supply the information. The Department was also asked how much investment was made, and where and when it was made, but again refused to supply the information. The (State) Minister for Justice in 1990 was none other than Deputy Raphael P. Burke and , when asked about the scheme, he declined to give any details other than to say that 'there was a government scheme in place at the time...' .

Two of the 11 people to whom Irish citizenship was granted were involved in the biggest banking scandal in history....."


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

The SAS regiment's 'Standard Operational Procedures' instruct that soldiers employ a shooting technique known as 'double tapping' , which involves firing first into the head of the target person in order to destroy the brain's motor function, thus stopping all body movement. There was a double reason for firing at the head on this occasion, since the soldiers' own case is founded on the fact that they believed the IRA members were carrying a remote control device with a button, which presumably could as easily be triggered off by a bullet as by anything else.

It was reasonable to expect that any such device might be concealed in the torso area of the body but the fact that they also fired several times into the back of each victim indicates that it is most unlikely that they were thinking any such thing. Despite assertions by the SAS at the inquest that the regiment's track record shows a ratio of seventy-five arrests to twenty-five kills, nobody who has monitored the history of the SAS involvement in the North of Ireland in recent years can think of a single instance where prisoners were taken by them.

Father Raymond Murray, who is based in Armagh, is currently researching a book on the activities of the SAS in the North over the past twelve years. Since 1976, he says, there is evidence of SAS involvement in forty-seven killings in the North, and there may be many more in what he describes as the "murky" period before that. He has not come across any examples of arrests, and sees many similarities between the evidence which emerged at the Gibraltar inquest and that given to inquests in the North into deaths in which there had been an SAS involvement. (MORE LATER).


'Only one country in Europe, Kosovo, manages its household waste collection services in the manner we do (in this State). [Everywhere else] it is either organised on the basis of contracts awarded by the relevant local authority using competitive tendering or it is provided by directly employed public service workers. Our system is not sustainable....' - from a letter sent to union members in late July 2014, by SIPTU.

As well as treating their workers in what many of us consider to be an illegal manner, it now appears that other legal issues are beginning to surface in relation to the overall legality of its operations, including the apparent lack of a suitable company registration certificate, site drawings not being up to accepted standards, queries re planning permission, issues re emissions and noise from machinery and questions re ambient monitoring. In any other State or country in Europe (except Kosovo, apparently!) the owners of such an apparently dodgy operation would keep their heads down and hope to get away with operating a profitable business in such a hap-hazard and sloppy manner but here, in this morally bankrupt entity, they draw attention to themselves by attempting to increase their profits at the expense of their workers. All of us, whether working or unemployed, pay tax and, whatever about the financial/tax liabilities of the Greyhound bosses, their employees had their income taxes stopped at source, like the rest of us that are somehow still in employment. They, at least, have clean sheets in that regard and would soon be 'put out of business' by the powers that be were that not the case. But, it seems, wealthy businesspeople are allowed to continue to trade, in apparent dodgy circumstances, trouble free until, that is, they foolishly bring themselves to public attention? Is that a sign of arrogance or stupidity, I wonder....?


Martin McGuinness has not only succumbed to the 'VIP/career politician' lifestyle to the extent that he considered the religious bigot Ian Paisley to be his "friend", but he also bought into the 'Yes Minister' gobbledygook speak so much so that he allowed himself to believe that the description 'Chuckle Brothers', which was used to describe him and Paisley, was a positive one (!) - "I think it was done in a way that was to demean both of us but I think it backfired. I think people liked it...." It wasn't done so much as to "demean" them as much as to sum-up the way their carry-on actually embarrassed those of us who didn't buy the political bullshit they were trying to peddle. In the old days, back when he was a militant nationalist, Martin McGuinness would probably have at least thought twice before tearfully describing Paisley as his "friend" and, had he not been diverted (as had become clear in later years) from fighting for 'civil rights' from Westminster, this 'half-a-prime-minister' might even have said something nearer the truth re Paisleys passing. But probably not.

Anyway - to our EXCLUSIVE!! : this blog has it from solid sources that Paisley is to be reinterred to a grave in this State and we have obtained a copy of the speech to be delivered by the surviving chuckle brother on the occasion. Try and not hum along, please, as this is a sombre moment, especially the part where Martin reminisces about the physical attributes of his recently departed friend - "My man is six foot tall, six foot tall, six foot tall, my man is six foot tall, he likes his sugar candy...." Pull yourself together, readers, and read the rest of this historic reinterment speech here....


"Does the world even have heroes like Ireland's Thomas Francis Meagher anymore? After fighting for Irish independence ("I know of no country that has won its independence by accident"),then condemned to death, pardoned and exiled, Thomas Francis Meagher escaped to America,where he became a leader of the Irish community and commanded the Irish Brigade during the Civil War. General Meagher’s men fought valiantly at some of the most famous battles of the Civil War,including Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. After the war, Meagher served as Acting Governor of the Montana Territory. In 1867, Meagher disappeared on the Missouri River ;his body was never found..."(from the poster, pictured, left.)

The defining day of the The Battle of Antietam/Battle of Sharpsburg was September 17th, 1862, which was the bloodiest day of not only the American Civil War but the bloodiest single day in all of American history. The battle took place between the town of Sharpsburg in Maryland and Antietam Creek, and it ended General Robert E. Lee's first invasion of a northern state, and was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. The combined tally of dead, wounded, and missing stands at 22,717 soldiers of which the Irish Brigade, under the command of Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher, who recruited soldiers from among Irish immigrants for the Union side, lost over 60% of its men in an area that came to be known as 'Bloody Lane'. We have previously mentioned Meagher's involvement in the Irish struggle on this blog (here and here , for instance) and this piece is just by way of a short acknowledgement of his contribution to a struggle in a land he found himself exiled in.


Jan the Man :"At the pre-emptory request of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last nine years and ten months past of San Fransisco, California, declare and proclaim myself the Emperor of These United States.... ...and with those words a new 'royal family' came into being, although it took the man - Joshua Abraham Norton - ten years after his 'anointment' to abolish some of the 'opposition', which he did (!) in 1869 by declaring - "Being desirous of allaying the dissension's of party strife now existing within our realm, (I) do hereby dissolve and abolish the Democratic and Republican parties, and also do hereby degree the disfranchisement and imprisonment, for not more than ten, nor less than five years, to all persons leading to any violation of this our imperial decree...."

JAN was his own man, with his own currency!

Anyone of that 'character' is bound to have left a few choice words in his/her wake and the Emperor is no exception - "We, Norton I, do hereby decree that the offices of President, Vice President, and Speaker of the House of Representatives are, from and after this date, abolished......now, therefore, the Directors of the company are hereby ordered to see that precautions are taken to make travel on said railroad perfectly safe by using a screw with at least twenty-four inches diameter.....it is my desire that, in case Maximillian will surrender, he be sent here a prisoner of war, but that in the event of his continuing the war, or refusing to surrender, then he be shot.....we do hereby command the Leaders of the Hebrew, Catholic and Protestant Churches to sanctify and have us crowned Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.....we further decree that the Senate of the United States elect a prominent Democrat as their presiding officer, to act as President until the next election, and to reconstruct the Cabinet according to our wishes hereafter to be declared...."

This English-born 'royal' proclaimed himself as '(his) Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, Emperor of the United States of America and Protector of Mexico' on the 17th of September 1859 and has been variously described as being both (and between!) eccentric and barking mad. Nevertheless, when he died in 1880, at 61 years of age, about 30,000 people turned out for his funeral and the cortege was two miles long! More about Jan the Man can be had here. And it is hereby declared a violation should you not click on that link!


'A report showed that in 2004, a senior (British) royal aide had asked for a handout from a 60-million-pound energy-saving fund....(complaining)...that the 15-million-pound government grant to maintain the Queen’s palaces was inadequate....' (from here) - and those that wish they, too, were 'royal', are also bloodsuckers when it comes to taking money from the British working and unemployed classes : '...originally established with the intention of supporting small farmers and reducing Europe’s reliance on food imports, the CAP, which accounts for 43 per cent (€55bn) of the EU budget, has become a slush fund for assorted dukes, earls and princes...' (from here.)

Desiderius Erasmus had this to say about so-called 'royalty', which encapsulates my feelings on those human leeches and saves me from putting too much time into this post, as they're just not worth it : "Picture the prince, such as most of them are today: a man ignorant of the law, well-nigh an enemy to his people's advantage, while intent on his personal convenience, a dedicated voluptuary, a hater of learning, freedom and truth, without a thought for the interests of his country, and measuring everything in terms of his own profit and desires."

May they crumble, in public, and in a most humiliating fashion.


'Therefore go on brave Irish! and never fear,

Although your case may seem dark and drear,

Put your trust in Ireland, for she is strong;

And ye will gain your Freedom before very long....'




Well....so much for our Ladies Day at the raffle : we girls not only didn't have one winner, but we didn't even sell one of the winning tickets :-( !

The Sisterhood was out in force on Sunday last, 14th, as predicted, with the same excuse that has been used on us for decades - 'just popping out to watch the match. I'll be back for dinner.....' But it's usually supper time with they get back! Anyway - it was our time last Sunday to 'just pop out' and we did so in our dozens to the sports hotel to have the craic and a chit-chat....but the five of us were there to work, not to pretend to be watching football on the telly!

A local lad who we know as 'Tapper Owen' scored twice (....but only on the raffle!) when one of his customers, Frank, pocketed €200, having won the first prize on ticket 086 and one of his other customers, Johnny 'Mack S', won the last prize, €20, on ticket 106. The Tapper fella soon forgot that the lounge was full of women as himself, Frank and Johnny retired to the bar and got one of the barmen to 'pull' for them! On the other hand, Luke, from Meath - a much more cool-handed (!) chap - remained calm and collected as he strolled up to our table to collect the second prize - €100 - which he won on ticket 271, but he showed a wee bit of emotion when he came up the second time as the winner of the sixth prize (€20, stub 280) but that was probably due to the girls in the immediate vicinity telling him he looked like Paul Newman in his prime!

Two lads, Anto and Paul, had to share a ticket (....hope the raffle committee are reading this!) such was the shortage : our regular seller, Anto the bus man, had only got the one ticket left to sell so the two lads bought it between them - and won €40 , third prize, with stub 025. A chap named Denis Victory, from Bluebell in Dublin, claimed the fourth prize, €20 (148) having bought his ticket from our Andy, who also sold ticket number 347 to Tom Cull, who won the fifth prize, €20, on ticket 347. Prize number seven (ticket 248), worth €20, was sold by pub regular Martin Reilly to a chap called 'Sweeney' who shouldn't have been left on his tod(d) even if he hadn't won a prize as his resemblance to Johnny Depp was uncanny. We girls shouldn't be let out on our own.....!

We stayed on afterwards for a bite to eat and a few drinks, merrily encouraging each other to email some football association or other to request that they organise more ladies football matches , preferably for dates that coincide with our raffles. But only if Paul and Johnny are available.....!

Thanks for reading , Sharon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


By Peadar O'Donnell ; first published in January 1963.

The British struck back by the 'economic war', but the Fenian countryside saw this as an aspect of the anti-imperialists' struggle and bore its burden - they saw Fianna Fáil safely through it. It was the end of a long chapter.

Fenian Ireland, the Ireland of the poor, came to the very doorstep of a struggle for power twice in ten years - in 1922 and again in 1931. In each case it failed to achieve a leadership to correspond with its needs and was driven back in confusion. It has paid a heavy price in mass emigration for those failures but has gained sharp, political lessons. The lesson of 1922, even only half-learned, is apparent in the IRA search for a policy in 1931. Other men, in other days, will contemplate those mistakes, for of course the Ireland of the poor will be back.

There will be another day.

[END of 'There Will Be Another Day'.]

(NEXT - 'Passports For Investment' , from 'Magill' magazine, 1997.)


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

In his summing up, the coroner pointed out to the jury that if they were to find that any of the three IRA Volunteers had been shot on the ground after being effectively put out of action, "that would be murder if you come to the conclusion that the soldiers continued to shoot to finish him off". On the basis of this, together with the evidence of the Crown pathologist Dr. Watson and the evidence of Soldiers 'A' and 'B' themselves, the conclusion that this precise act of murder was carried in the case of Mairead Farrell seems inescapable.

The precise sequence of events leading up to this is disputed but there are, nevertheless, a number of eyewitness accounts which suggest that a more likely scenario was as follows : Mairead Farrell and Daniel McCann , walking past the Shell station, are approached from behind by Soldiers 'A' and 'B'. Soldier 'A' is directly behind, on the footpath, and Soldier 'B' is standing out on the road (Officer 'M' / Officer 'I' / Stephen Bullock/ Carmen and Maxie Proetta/ PC James Parody/). Farrell hears a police siren behind and looks around (Proettas/ PC James Parody) as Soldier 'A' or 'B' shouts a warning. Soldier 'B' opens fire from the road (Proettas/ PC Parody) - he fires first at Farrell's face (Proettas/ Professor Watson, the pathologist/ various witnesses who say that Farrell was the first to fall) and she raises hands to her face (Proettas) , having been only superficially wounded (Professor Watson) , and is hit again in the face, falling to the ground face down (various).

Daniel McCann , having moved to protect Mairead Farrell, is himself hit once or twice in the head (Professor Watson) and falls also. Soldier 'B' stops shooting, having fired seven rounds, two hitting each Farrell and McCann, the others ricocheting off petrol pumps number four and five. Soldier 'A' moves in and fires five shots from close range - three into the back of Mairead Farrell and two into the back of Daniel McCann as they lie on the ground (Officer 'I' / Proettas / Josie Celecia). Not only do many of the facts and eyewitness accounts support this version, but the known modus operandi of the SAS does also. (MORE LATER).


A scab 'Greyhound Recycling' driver attempting to bully his way through peaceful protesters.


- all workers, that is, not just those employed by that company. And this is why that will be the case, if it happens. It would be comforting to think that if/when such a scenario comes about - when other greedy employers think that they, too, should be entitled to ride roughshod over the working terms and conditions of their employees - that the 'tipping point' will have been breached and the workers will defend themselves as a unified body. But, unfortunately, I don't believe that that will happen - the workers are far too dependent on a trade union movement which is led by lambs and which is far too quick to compromise.

The Buckley Brothers, Greyhound, and Fine Gael's Brian Hayes, centre.

And, actually, truth be told, most workers themselves haven't got the balls (pardon the language) nowadays that they had in previous years, being so demoralised by wage cuts, USC tax, bin taxes, household tax, property tax, water tax etc etc that they take the hit in their pocket and, for a short time, will complain louder than they did the last time they were 'hit'. But this feeling of powerlessness will pass, in time, and those that are being punished now for the greed, crimes and misdeeds of others will eventually fight back, en masse. Shame that it seems they will have to be squeezed further, financially, before that day will dawn.


Tom Kettle was born in Artane, in Dublin, in 1880 into a nationalist family (his father, Andrew, was involved in the Land League and his brother-in-law was Francis Sheehy-Skeffington - Tom was one of twelve children) and was educated at North Richmond Street Christian Brothers' School, Clongowes Wood College and University College Dublin (UCD). He became a barrister at the age of 25 (the same year in which he edited 'The Nationalist' newspaper for a brief period) and worked in that field until, at 28, UCD appointed him as its (first ever) Professor of National Economics, in between which he was elected as the (nationalist) MP for East Tyrone (on the 25th August 1906 [winning his seat by 16 votes!] and again [with an increased vote] in 1910, the same year in which he resigned his seat) .

He was the first president of the Young Ireland Branch of the United Irish League (Home Rule) (mentioned here) and was on the board of management of the Theatre of Ireland with, amongst others, Edward Martyn, Thomas MacDonagh and Patrick Pearse. He established and chaired the 'Peace Committee' during the Lock-Out Strike of 1913, the same year in which he helped to establish the 'Irish Volunteers' and assisted in the purchasing of weapons for that group. The following year (1914) he joined the 'Royal Dublin Fusiliers' and, when he returned home from 'active service' later that year, he made it his business to attend, in his British Army uniform, as many anti-recruiting meetings as he could and argued in favour of the recruiting process! He was, apparently, of mixed emotion as, during his college years, he protested against the playing of the British national anthem and publicly attempted to persuade those interested in fighting in the Boer War not to join up, yet he himself joined the British Army 'to fight for the freedom of small nations'. He answered queries about his inconsistency re these issues by explaining his belief that "England could not fight for liberty in Europe and Junkerdom in Ireland..." and, I presume, intended to use his time 'in the belly of the beast' to give it indigestion (much like the confused souls today who consider such a thing possible) !

He worked for a spell as the war correspondent of the 'Daily News' newspaper and, in his 36 years on this earth, added 'journalist' to his CV, which included economist, barrister, writer, poet, soldier and politician. He died in the battle of the Somme on the 9th of September 1916, but his body was never recovered.


"The elected Parliament and Government of the Irish Republic pledged the active support of the Irish Nation in translating into deeds the principles enunciated by the President of the U.S. at Washington's tomb on July 4th, 1918, and whole-heartedly accepted by the people of America during the war. We are eager and ready to enter a World League of Nations based on equality of rights, in which the guarantees exchanged neither recognise nor imply a difference between big nations and small, between those that are powerful and those that are weak. We are willing to accept all the duties, responsibilities, and burdens which inclusion in such a League implies" (from here) - the words of Michael Collins, delivered to a meeting of (the 32-County) An Chéad Dáil (the First Dáil, 1919-1921) in April 1919, in relation to the then-probable formation of a 'League of Nations' organisation (which was formed in January 1920) .

The British forcibly partitioned Ireland in December 1922 and, on the 10th September 1923, the then three-years-old 'League of Nations' organisation accepted the Free State (a 26-county entity) as a member of the club - had that grouping been called the 'League of States' rather than the 'League of Nations' then I would not be writing this piece but for any so-called 'organisation of nations' to accept a request for membership from a landmass that contains a little more than three-quarters of its own land brings to mind the Groucho Marx quote - "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member"! And, in a further twist of logic, 'Time' magazine stated - "Ireland was admitted into the sacred circle of the League of Nations by unanimous vote. On all sides there were spontaneous manifestations of good-will toward Ireland. In eloquent speeches, representatives of Britain, France, China, Persia and other countries extended felicitations to the Free State representative...." again confusing the Free State as being 'Ireland', rather than part thereof.

Incidentally, this very issue caused a rift between U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and the then leader of the Clann na nGael organisation in America, Judge Daniel Cohalan - the Judge was known to be of the opinion that the 'League of Nations' was a ploy by the British to integrate themselves into American society. It was he and the Clann organisation that financed the opposition to Wilson's 'League of Nations' proposal - indeed, of the estimated $900,000 dollar 'war fund' that the Clann had, only $115,000 dollars was spent in Ireland ; the other $785,000 dollars was spent in attacking the 'League of Nations ' or "Britains League" , as Judge Daniel Cohalan and John Devoy called it. But that's a story for another date!


"The destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilized community life throughout Germany [is the goal]....it should be emphasized that the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives; the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale; and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories...." - Air Marshal Arthur Harris, Commander in Chief, Bomber Commander, British Royal Air Force (from here).

On the 10th of September 1942, 100,000 incendiary bombs were dropped on Dusseldorf, Germany, by 476 British Royal Air Force bombers - the objective was as stated above by one of Britain's more infamous 'mad bombers', a psychopathic mass murderer who, along with the man who issued him his instructions (and agreed that the first wave of RAF bombers should drop explosives thereby opening up the infrastructure for the second wave, incendiary bombs) , Churchill, should have been tried for war crimes, along with Goebbels and Himmler, amongst others. Yet the British continue to propagate the myth that they are 'peace keepers' and here, in Ireland, they have found a gaggle of willing fools to assist them in spreading that myth.


"The British wanted to understand the harm that atomic explosions caused, and it was decided to use Australians, without their full knowledge and consent, as human guinea pigs. Australians were there simply to provide the labour, the bodies needed to get the tests done, the land to explode the bombs on, and, as it was later revealed, to function as lab rats for the British scientists......" (from here.)

On the 10th September 1956,the British, not content with the carnage they inflicted in Dusseldorf 14 years earlier, wanted to see if they could blow things up quicker and kill even more people with less effort, and hundreds of British nuclear 'trials' took place in South Australia, about 800 kilometres north-west of Adelaide, between 1956 and 1963, at the Maralinga site, part of the Woomera Prohibited Area. A total of seven major nuclear tests were performed,along with hundreds of minor trials, with approximate yields ranging from 1 to 27 kilotonnes of TNT (4.2 to 113.0 TJ).

Frank Walker, the author of the above-pictured book, came across the minutes of a meeting held on the 24th May 1957 between members of the 'UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment', chaired by Professor Ernest Titterton, during which the group agreed to continue its testing programme to determine the long-term effects of nuclear explosions on Australian citizens and also agreed to continue secretly testing the bodies of dead babies, infants, children, teenagers and young adults (of which the known total examined was given as 21,830!) for radiation contamination. This violation of the dead apparently started innocently enough , with testing carried out on soil samples, graduating from that to tests on dead animals and then to its final phase - tests on dead humans, to discover "...if Strontium-90 is entering the food chain and getting into humans..."

'The site was contaminated with radioactive materials and an initial cleanup was attempted in 1967. The McClelland Royal Commission, an examination of the effects of the tests, delivered its report in 1985 and found that significant radiation hazards still existed at many of the Maralinga test areas. It recommended another cleanup, which was completed in 2000 at a cost of $108 million. Debate continued over the safety of the site and the long-term health effects on the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land and former personnel. In 1994, the Australian Government paid compensation amounting to $13.5 million to the local Maralinga Tjarutja people...' (from here.)

A 'small price' to pay, I'm sure, for such invaluable knowledge - how to kill people quicker than you had done before. 'Progress' indeed.


- on Saturday next (13th September) Irish republicans in Belfast will be holding a picket in support of Irish republican prisoners, and their comrades in Dublin will be holding a picket of their own. If you are able to attend one or the other, please do so as the public will not be made aware of this situation by the mainstream media and the more people there are on the picket line the more this message will be spread.


"One of the largest public rallies seen in Dublin for years was held by Sinn Féin at the GPO on the eve of the All-Ireland Football Final. Headed by a Colour Party and a pipe band, a parade of more than 2,000 people marched from Parnell Square through the main city thoroughfare as a protest against the continued unjust imprisonment of Irishmen without charge or trial. Contingents from all over the country took part and many carried banners and placards including groups from England and Scotland. In the Ulster section was a strong representation of the Derry supporters who thronged the capital city for the Final. One placard they carried asked - 'Why are Six-County Nationalists interned in the Curragh?' ....." (From 'An tÉireannach Aontaithe/The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1958.)

On Saturday 20th September next,the Annual Eve of All-Ireland Rally will be held in Dublin, at 2pm at the GPO in O'Connell Street. Those attending are asked to assemble at the Garden of Remembrance from where, at 1.45pm, a parade will leave to make its way to the GPO. All genuine republicans welcome!


...if experience is anything to go by : this Sunday, 14th September 2014, will see the Ladies football club from Durham take on the Ladies from London (the 'Bees'), the girls from Sunderland will be up against Watford, the Doncaster Rovers Belles will hope to 'ring' (!) a victory from the Ladies football team from Yeovil and Lionesses from Millwall hope they won't be roaring 'FOUL!' at the Ladies from Aston Villa. And there's more 'girl-on-girl' action (!) on that same Sunday - Blackburn Ladies team will be on the pitch against the girls from Derby, Stoke girls will be doing battle with the not-so-quiet female team from Coventry and Lewes Ladies will be dealing with the girls from Charlton - and, so we have been told, about another six or seven female teams will be taking to the pitch on a day which always guarantees the girls here a day out - all over Ireland, himself at home will be juggling with the kids, the dinner, the last of the homework, the cleaning etc etc and herself and her friends will take a day off. And head to the pub, for a chit-chat, a meal and a few drinks and a bit of craic - and maybe even win a few Euro on a raffle, which is worth twice as much when himself and the kids don't know about it!

And that's where myself and the other girls come in ; we'll be on hand that Sunday in the sports hotel venue,on behalf of RSF, with about 50 raffle tickets to share the day with the sisterhood and hopefully give one or more of the girls a secret stash to take home with them. But, win or lose on the raffle, a day out like that is a 'prize' in itself and is something that we girls could get to like - and not only on Sundays! And, if I feel like it afterwards, I'll write a few words about our adventure and post them here. Or not! ;-)

Thanks for reading, Sharon.