From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1958 .

There are now approximately 250 persons jailed in the Crumlin Road Prison in Belfast . It is impossible to be precise about the figures for they change from day to day . The Stormont Home Affairs Minister , Walter William Buchanan Topping, said on November 29 , 1957 , that 166 persons were being held without charge or trial and were interned : that 27 are being “detained” meaning that charges may be brought against them . W.W.B. Topping said 13 would definitely be charged and the question of charges against the remaining 14 was under consideration . Another 49 prisoners were serving sentences after conviction .

The 49 men sentenced since December 12 , 1956 , had been condemned to a total of 272 years imprisonment . British Minister Topping said that the intention of these young men was to “…blast Ulster (sic) out of their way..” He is wrong . What these young men – and some of them are not so young – are demanding is a free and united Ireland with the shadow of British Imperialism removed forever from the land . Irishmen and women at home and abroad salute the courage of these gallant men . We list here , firstly , the details of those sentenced to ‘Penal Servitude…….’

ECONOMY IN CRISIS – An Historical Perspective.
By any standards the economy of Ireland , North and South , can be described as being in a sorry mess with crisis , recession and imminent bankruptcy the most constant themes of economic discussion , intermittently over the last decade and ceaselessly in the last three years . In this article , Peter Graham surveys the factors which have produced this economy , and the historical role of foreign and native Irish capital.
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , November 1982.

Every economic indicator tells its own story . Unemployment , officially put at more than 250,000 throughout the country , has never been higher . Growth in the Free State , by virture of its dependency on international investment , summarily pulled out by the Western world’s recession , is stagnant . The North’s economy , similarly , dependent almost totally in recent years on British government public spending , is crumbling as a result of monetarist policy decisions which demand cut-backs in state spending .

Whilst in the North the tight fiscal policies of the British government have brought inflation painfully down to single figures , the Free State – now separated by its independent punt in the European Monetary System – suffers inflation that soars uncontrollably each year by around twenty per cent .

In simple human terms , the economic statistics are translated into the depression of joblessness , either for those losing jobs or those never having had one in prospect . As a result too , come the cuts in real wages of those employed , decimating living standards . Adding to the misery is the severe drop in public services of all kinds , at a time when needed most , and the prospect of further cut-backs as the governments’ response to the ‘crisis’…….

Dick Spring and the Labour Party headed into this election campaign with four years of coalition government behind them . To observe them on the campaign trial you would never guess this , but there is , nevertheless , a noticeable resistence to them , especially amongst traditional Labour voters . Judging from Dick Spring’s reception on the campaign trial it is almost certain that the party is in big trouble , at least in the Dublin area .
From ‘IN DUBLIN’ magazine ‘Election Special’ , 1987 .
By Derek Dunne.

The reception everywhere to Dick and Ruairi is similar : one man with a child refuses to stop and passes by . ” He doesn’t care , he’s a Sinn Fein man …” , says someone else , pointing to the child . ” Did you see the funny man going by ? “ he asks the child , ” Did you see the man with the moustache …” All of those belonging to the Labour Party camp-circus ignore the man and the child .

Supermarkets ! You look after the kids all day and then you go out shopping . Now it’s getting on towards evening and you’re tired . You’re pushing the trolley along wishing you were at home . As you reach for that tin of beans , your hand is grabbed , and a Dick is there pumping it up and down , telling you who he is , introducing people to you , asking you for your vote . It rarely dawns on anybody that this man has been Deputy Prime Minister for the last four years . You’re so surprised you just stand there and say nothing . Stalking between the shelves of supermarkets looking for innocent voters to accost is pretty safe because of the element of surprise . Dick wonders if it is of any benefit at all .

One woman says she won’t be voting at all as she doesn’t believe in politics . Another shopper says she wore a blueshirt and is not afraid to say so . A third woman tells Dick that she has been living in uninhabitable conditions for twelve years and , for Dick , this suddenly becomes a priority . Something will be done, he says . But not just now , alas , as it’s time to move on to the hotel . Dick spots a building site across the road from the hotel…….
(Patrick K – thanks for the favourable comment ; much appreciated!)


About 11sixtynine

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