<img src=" ‘FERMANAGH AMBUSH’ …….
‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1958 .

RUC and B-Specials, along with the British military, scoured the South Fermanagh countryside on the day after the attack . Houses were searched and many people questioned . Tracker dogs were used in the search , and were also used in a British ‘security force’ sweep of the area bordering Lough Erne between Knockninny and Derrylin.

On the day before the attack B-Specials with tracker dogs had searched the entire area . After the attack it was also reported by Stormont that RUC County Inspector Reid was on the scene , but there is no truth in that story – he was photographed next day beside the fake Land Rover at the ambush site , surrounded by armed RUC guards.

Raids and searches in the Fermanagh area are now an almost daily occurrence ; many young men have been taken to Crumlin Road Jail where they have been subjected to rough treatment at the hands of the RUC . A taxi-driver from Swanlinbar in County Cavan was arrested in Enniskillen while doing a run , and was held for 48 hours and subjected to intense questioning . Children , too , are being stopped by these thugs…….

<img src="

From ‘Gralton’ magazine, August/September 1983.
Gene Kerrigan.

Political parties used to have wizards who knew every pocket in every constituency and who were valued for their knowledge . They knew that ‘that’ village was ‘for’ us and ‘ that other’ village was agin us ! They knew which streets to send the party cars to on polling day . These people are still around , but they have been augmented by the HQ WhizzKids: these are the full-timers who spend literally years assessing , probing and stroking each constituency .

They weed out troublesome members , promote the ‘useful’ ones , rig selection conventions , sabotage awkward potential candidates and allocate areas within constituencies for each candidate to ’till’ and ‘harvest’ . This is called – and they say it without a blush – “vote management” . These people don’t just have knowledge of constituencies – they also have files and floppy discs !

Their other purpose is to conduct regular secret polls of the electorate then , having found out what the voters want , they formulate the party programme accordingly – using very general terms , as most policies will later be reneged. This is a marketing technique , precisely the kind used to launch soap powders and bubble gum . At ground level there is constant ‘clinic’ work – doing personal favours for voters , or appearing to do so . There is also patronage – providing , or appearing to provide , jobs or influence for supporters…….

<img src=" CRISIS – WHICH CRISIS ?

This election is not about the ‘economy’ . It’s about the survival of sectional interests , clearly divided in a broader , simpler way than for many a long day . This election is not about the survival of the country (sic) : it’s about choosing who will bear the cost of that survival.

‘IN DUBLIN’ magazine, ‘Election Special’ , 1987.
By David McKenna.

” The major breakthrough of this election , “ wrote journalist/economist Paul Tansey in ‘The Sunday Tribune’ newspaper of 8 February (1987) , “…lies in the fact that every significant political party contesting it has recognised that the Irish economy is in the midst of a deep crisis.”

There’s another way of putting it : the taxpayers have their own political party now , unencumbered by history . The Progressive Democrats have helped spring Fine Gael out of the closet . It’s a straight fight – taxpayers versus unemployment , and the winner gets to govern the State . Democracy is not a religious business , it’s not about absolute moral , or fiscal , values . Sometimes Sunday newspapers try to play God , failing to recognise that they just represent the interests of their tax-paying readers . Still , it sells newspapers , and isn’t what’s good for business good for the State ?

Democracy is about sectional interests , people voting for themselves and their own survival , and why not ? At the best of times , survival is a matter of more than money . But not this time round . This election is not about making the exchange of information amongst women a criminal offence . It’s not about the emotional survival of partners in dead relationships . It’s certainly not about constitutional crusades , and even the Irish language has had to take a back seat . This is about money and the price of money…….

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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