FRIDAY , 30 JUNE 2006 .

<img src=" Due to ‘staff’ (!) shortages here at ‘1169…’ – because of some football matches or other , this Blog will only be updated every second day , for the next few weeks . In short , I have been abandoned by all but this machine ! Sharon . (PS : the exams are over , but now ‘Junior’ is distracted by the football . What next – girls knocking on the door … ? )

<img src=" THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT : INSIDE THE NORTHERN IRELAND (sic) PEACE TALKS (sic)…….
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , November 1997 .
By Fionnuala O’ Connor .

No-one is more aware than David Trimble himself of how little personal loyality he commands among his parliamentary party , how unreconciled senior colleagues still are to his elevation by the despised rank and file of the 600-strong UUP Council .

In an informal setting , Trimble was once asked why did’nt he tell Orangemen that they must realise the damage done by their yearly equation of unionism with the ‘right’ to march past angry Catholics ; ” And if I did , ” said Trimble , ” would you find me another party to lead ? “

One veteran talks observer sounds an optimistic though disillusioned note – ” He does everything arse about face . It takes forever , he creates obstacles so he can claim concessions , and who knows what that does to his community . But bit by bit with a lot of pressure he’s moved in the right direction . And he’s still in there . “
[END of ‘THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT : INSIDE THE NORTHERN IRELAND (sic) PEACE TALKS (sic).]
(Next – ‘PADDY COONEY’S ARMY’ : from 1984.)

<img src="SHOOT TO KILL …….
The unchanging face of repression .
PETER HAYES examines reactions to the latest shoot-to-kill deaths .
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , March 1983.

On December 12th , 1982 , at the Mullaghcreevie Estate in Armagh City , two INLA Volunteers , Roddy Carroll and Seamus Grew , were gunned down in an RUC ambush that bore all the hallmarks of earlier shoot-to-kill operations and , again , the RUC claimed that the car in which Carroll and Grew were in had burst through a road checkpoint before they opened fire . All the evidence would later confirm that there were no checkpoints at any of the incidents , only RUC men lying in wait . The INLA Volunteers were not armed .

In Roddy Carroll’s case , he had only recently been released – to the RUC’s considerable annoyance – after an informer retracted ‘evidence’ he had initially agreed to give against him .

Since those six Armagh slayings in the space of one month , there has been further incontrovertible proof of a shoot-to-kill policy operating right across the Six Counties , aimed specifically at known republican activists but affecting also other members of the nationalist community found in what the RUC or British Army regard as suitably compromising situations : two men engaged in petty theft have been shot dead in Belfast – Patrick Elliott on December 27th , 1982 , by soldiers of the British Army ‘Black Watch’ regiment as he ran unarmed from an Andersonstown chip shop he had just robbed .

Francis McColgan , January 19th , 1983 , was shot dead after a car chase by the RUC , following a petrol station robbery by McColgan and two friends using an imitation pistol…….
(MORE LATER).

<img src="PILLARS OF SOCIETY : EOGHAN HARRIS .
From ‘The Phoenix’ magazine , October 1985 .

Not the least surprise of the recent Theatre Festival was the emergence into public view of the author of ‘Souper Sullivan’, one Eoghan Harris , who is better known as a TV producer and less known as a political activist . Harris is so given to secrecy that few people outside the media know of his deep influence within the Workers Party – in fact , more than anyone else , Eoghan Harris has been responsible for the transformation of the Workers Party philosophy from socialist republicanism to a bizarre blend of stalinist unionism .

But strangely , now that the Workers Party is breaking through into electoral politics , it is also shaking itself free from its hard-line mentors . There are new stars rising in the WP , more pliable , more compromising , and more intent on getting their bums onto seats in Leinster House . All of which leaves the moody Eoghan Harris somewhat isolated , somewhat bitter , and with time on his hands to write boring plays .

The son of a well-to-do Cork shop-keeper , Harris was originally an ardent republican ; those who remember him in University College Cork say his early republican persona was almost stage Irish…….
(MORE LATER).




About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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