<img src="Updated each Monday , Wednesday and Friday . The ‘1169…’ crew will be heading off on our annual holiday today , 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 .
Whilst Paddy Cooney was away representing the Dublin Administration at the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the wonderful State of Turkey , three of the enfants terribles helicoptered their way out of Mountjoy Prison in Dublin : this set a trend , and British agent Kenneth Littlejohn was the next to leave , followed by 19 more from Portlaoise Jail . Was it any surprise that a ‘soft blanket’ of paranoia seemed to settle over the State Coalition Administration ?
Organisations like Prisoners Dependents groups and Civil Rights organisations were accused of being fronts for the Provisional IRA : a hunger-strike in Mountjoy Jail ‘merited’ Free State troops being sent in . In 1975 , the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill was introduced and Paddy Cooney described as “…a fluke in our extradition laws..” the exemption from extradition for political offences : it should be noted that in 1977 , when Mr. Cooney failed to get re-elected , he described this as “…an electoral fluke.. ” !
In the late 1970’s , Paddy Cooney met members of the UDA in what he described as “…in a casual way..” and talked to British ‘Northern Ireland’ (sic) Secretary Merlyn Rees about the deployment of SAS units in South Armagh…….
It needs to be said at this stage , although it is a commonplace for Northern Nationalists , that the British shoot-to-kill tactic is nothing new in the arsenal of British repression in the Six Counties , and that – although it has been an on-going tactic at one level or another throughout the whole course of the present resistance in the North of Ireland – it is , like sectarian assassination campaigns run by British forces and their paramilitary puppets in Ireland , a ‘tap’ that can be turned on and off to suit British and loyalist needs in particular political situations .
Bloody Sunday in 1972 , when British strategists tried unsuccessfully to ‘draw out’ the IRA and teach civil rights protestors a sharp and brutal lesson in the process , provides one major illustration of this . Nothing fundamentally has changed since this , except perhaps that the British are generally prepared to let loyalist killer gangs carry out random attacks on Catholic civilians , while themselves preferring to engage in specific political assassinations against Irish Republican activists .
Even so , it has generally been the role of the SAS – as seen particularly in the South Armagh area during 1975 and 1976 when they assassinated IRA Volunteers John Green and Peter Cleary and , mistakenly for a Republican , Seamus Ludlow – to carry out covert killings with few or no questions asked , rather than regular British soldiers or the RUC : what has altered then is the political circumstances…….
The Workers Party embraced Eoghan Harris and his ‘marxist’ policies , hungry as they were for political ‘clothes’ that would mark them off from the Provos and the Communist Party of Ireland and which would also enable them to replace a jaded (State) Labour Party in the future . Such feverish activity with great matters of State were beginning to cause problems in RTE : Harris was often away ‘ill’ or , more recently , on sabbatical leave . Last year (1984) an enraged senior executive attempted to remove Eoghan Harris from the payroll because he was not working on any project . Other less flamboyant programmers resent a man they see as a talented yet dilettante producer who can wander in and out of the station as he pleases !
Harris is currently working as a producer on the ‘Mailbag’ television programme , which hardly exercises his mind to the full…
Something that has not damaged Harris within RTE , however , has been his close relationship with Muiris Mac Conghail , now Controller of RTE 1 television and aspirant RTE Director General ; Harris and other Workers Party members moved a motion at the FWUI station-branch backing Mac Conghail in his tussle with RTE Authority Chairman Fred O ‘Donovan earlier this year , but the move backfired when other producers objected to the Director General race being turned into a political football…….
<img src=" Holidays tomorrow , Saturday 15th July : we will be back in ‘1169 Towers’ towards the end of July . However , having said that , I am reminded of an Oscar Wilde quote : ” There is a fatality about all good resolutions . They are invariably made too soon . ” Slan go foill anois , and remember : Ni Seoinini sinn go leir ! Sharon and crew .