DUBLIN 1980 : THE GLUE SNIFFERS…….
Pictures by Andrew McGlynn. From ‘MAGILL’ magazine September 1980.
Rule Number One : check your glue bag at the door . Eat and wash if you want to , then collect your bag on the way out . No point confiscating the bags as the kids just wouldn’t come back , and then wouldn’t get the chance to eat or wash . No one’s going to change that fact – these are Dublin kids , street smart , and they know the layout of the city . They will forage elsewhere for food and a wash , if they have to.
The Travellers have one culture , the settled community another : the two cultures share the same space , they clash sometimes , but the settled community have ‘ bigger sticks ‘ . The troubled kids have fallen into the crack between the two cultures .
Some of the children who visit the house are ill , obviously so . They refuse to stay alone in hospital , terrified of being on their own . Bring them in pairs and they are turned away from the hospital as “they cause trouble” . Tentatively , the Dublin Committee For Travelling People has been seeking ways of bridging the gap , bringing the children to the Jervis Street Drug Unit in twos and threes for counselling . Apart from the direct damage caused by the glue there is the danger of serious accidents – the kids chase one another through traffic , and at least one small girl has been knocked down twice by cars . Sometimes there are hallucinations , resulting on at least one occasion of one boy insisting that if he could just be left alone at the top of a building he could fly away from it . There have been no deaths . Not yet…….
HOPE IN THE SHADOWS…….
For some Northern nationalists the Anglo-Irish Agreement (‘Hillsborough Treaty’,1985) only makes their lives more dangerous , for others it offers hope on a road to nowhere. Fionnuala O’Connor visited a (Provisional) Sinn Fein advice centre in the Ardoyne and Seamus Mallon’s office in Newry.
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine, December 1986.
Tommy McGrath was sure that young prisoners had already been released ahead of time because ” representations” had been made , and that morning he had met a relative of a young Provo recently given a multiple life sentence . People like that had hopes of the Agreement too , he said , they wondered if it might produce an amnesty . ” Eventually that’s what I hope that the Provos would see the proper course is , through negotiations * , just as De Valera did in 1925 when he gave up the struggle – if that happened we’d have some movement on an amnesty. ”
Peter Barry’s praise for the RUC and commendation of it to young Nationalists wasn’t easy to assimilate , however : ” That was his personal view , ” said Frank Feely, to silence all around us in the room . ” We’re happy enough with the Dublin government ** . I’d put the blame on the British government for failure to deliver on the RUC and the judiciary – they’ll never have the co-operation of the nationalist people *** until there’s justice in the judiciary and the RUC , and the abolition of the UDR is brought about . If that doesn’t happen it will lead to the death eventually of the ‘Anglo-Irish Agreement’ (the Hillsborough Treaty) – a couple of years is as long as people will give it……. “
(‘1169..’ Comment * for “negotiations” read ‘if we give up the Struggle will you treat us better?’ , because that is ‘success’ to people like Tommy McGrath. ** “Happy enough” with those who politically , physically and morally work hand-in-glove with those “you blame” ? How can that ‘happiness’ be justified? *** Wrong! “nationalist co-operation” with Leinster House and Westminster is guaranteed , as ‘nationalists’ will ‘settle’ for being treated ‘better’ by Westminster , whereas Irish republicans seek to remove the British presence , not co-operate with it.)
A BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS…….
A look at issues raised by Liz Curtis’ recent book.
From ‘IRIS’ magazine, August 1984.
Review by Trisha Fox.
One programme which used these methods of manipulation in the crudest possible way was the Granada TV ‘World In Action’ programme transmitted in December 1983 , entitled ‘The Honourable Member For West Belfast’, which was a profile of Gerry Adams made by John Ware and Ed Vulliamy.
John Ware was already well known to republicans for his unethical standards of journalism . Several years ago he interviewed Danny Morrison for ‘World In Action’ , in a programme on which British ‘direct-ruler’ Humphrey Atkins was also to appear . When , however , Atkins insisted that Morrison’s interview be withdrawn as a precondition for his appearance , John Ware agreed .
Two years later , Ware got another opportunity : in his own words to his colleagues in London , the programme he was now putting together was conceived as a ‘hatchet job’ on Gerry Adams . ” I’m going to screw Sinn Féin and stitch up Adams , ” he said . Visiting Belfast , however , John Ware told Gerry Adams and Danny Morrison that the aim of the programme was to produce “…an in-depth analysis of the rise of Sinn Féin and the allied politicisation of the Republican Movement .. ” , but Sinn Féin had previously been warned by Ian Stuttard of Ware’s unethical intentions , and therefore declined to take part .