<img src="Updated each Monday , Wednesday and Friday .
The ‘1169…’ crew will be heading off on our annual holiday this Friday , July 14th , for about two weeks . ‘Junior’ considers himself “too old” to accompany old fogies like us but , if he finds time for the computer at all , it will be on ‘Bebo/My Space’ or the like . So whatever chance there is of him minding the house , there is absolutely no chance of him ‘minding’ the blog ! We should be back in late July , or possibly sooner – depends on the funds!
<img src=" PADDY COONEY’S ARMY …….
Not since the earliest days of the State has the role of the Irish Army (sic) been under such intense scrutiny . And not since the war years has it had such a forceful political master as Patrick Mark Cooney .
From ‘The Phoenix’ magazine , 3 February 1984 .
Paddy Cooney is the first (Free State) Minister for Defence to be appointed who had previously held the ‘Justice’ slot in Leinster House , which explains why he finds himself more interested in local ‘subversives’ than foreign enemies .
Whilst soliciting in Athlone , County Westmeath , Generalissimo Patrick Cooney first threw his political hat into the ring by campaigning for his relation General Sean MacEoin in the State Presidential election of 1959 : at 28 years of age he was still a bright young thing , and in the following years ran no less than three times for election to Leinster House in the constituency of Longford-Westmeath .
On one count , he tied with former Provisional Sinn Fein President Ruairi O’ Bradaigh , which may or may not go some way towards explaining why he said last December that he could not look at a member of Provisional Sinn Fein “…without a sense of loathing .” However , fourth-time lucky ; and in a by-election of 1970 , Paddy Cooney finally gained his reward for persistence .
Exactly one year later , Paddy Cooney became Fine Gael spokesman on Justice , a subject with which he has been politically connected ever since…….
In early January 1983 , the Catholic hierarchy signalled its political support for the RUC and its total lack of real sympathy even for the relatives of the RUC’s victims : arriving in the North of Ireland on January 4th , 1983 , for a two-day visit for talks by leading members of the Catholic hierarchy in England with their Irish counterparts , Bishop James O’ Brien from Hertfordshire said that he was satisfied with British government denials that a shoot-to-kill policy existed – ” I accept the sincerity of the British government , ” he said .
The following evening , when relatives of the six Armagh shoot-to-kill victims gathered outside Aras Coeli , Cardinal O Fiaich’s residence in Armagh where the bishops were meeting , to talk to Bishop O’ Brien about the uninformed stupidity of his utterances , he callously refused to see them , while Cardinal O Fiaich’s secretary , Fr. James Clyne , told the relatives they were trespassing on private property and that the RUC would be called to move them if they did not leave !
Having refused to listen at first-hand to the anguished voice of relatives who knew only too well what ‘ the rule of law and order’ meant to them , the text of the press communique issued by the Catholic Bishops after their two day conference was seen by ‘their flock’ to be a call to ‘accept your lot’…….
In late 1972 , Official Sinn Fein was at a crossroads : attempts to differentiate itself from the Provos meant that it had to forge a socialist ideology while still competing for republican support that was rapidly shifting towards the Provos .
Seamus Costello wanted to adopt a socialist , republican strategy backed by a military campaign : Sean Garland wanted to do likewise minus the armed struggle , as did Eoin O Murchu . Many Official Sinn Fein’ers wanted to maintain a Left alliance with the Communist Party of Ireland and the (Free State) Labour Party Left .
Eoghan Harris , however , decided it was necessary to dump Communists , Labour and republicanism and , along with Cathal Goulding , proceeded to purge the party of any taint of ‘green’ politics : Goulding was the organisational strategist while Harris provided the ‘intellectual’ muscle . The transformation of the party’s politics could best be mirrored by Eoghan Harris’s metamorphosis…….