Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government Chief Whip, presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (sic) on September 11, 1997. From ‘Magill’ magazine, October 1997.

“It is extraordinary that Deputy Smith, who had the pleasure of endorsing the suitability of the Masris from his intimate acquaintance with them, is still shy in telling us when and how he first met them and his knowledge of their personal and commercial background, those types of mundane administrative details as distinct from his more personal intimacy with the family. It is not too late to tax Deputy Smith’s powers of memory recall to answer that set of basic questions and the Department over which Deputy Smith presided is very assiduous in relation to one square foot of a new house grant.

The Reynolds family would not be selling pet food today had it not been for the soft loan given to them in exchange for two passports. I am happy that the company survived , and I pass the premises three or four times each week and externally it is as fine an industrial premises as one could get but, however, Deputy Reynolds , as Taoiseach, did state on 30th May 1994 that he
“had not been involved in any way in the running of the company for up to 14 years” yet, in June 1994, he delivered a speech in Portlaoise in which he explained that he had “required an arm’s length relationship with that company (C&D Petfood) since I took ministerial office so I cannot be accountable for, and have no knowledge of, its day-to-day business.”

Deputy Reynolds was Minister for Industry and Commerce and I have a letter from him dated 28th June 1992, written on notepaper headed with his home address of Mount Carmel House, Dublin Road, Longford, to a Mr Norman Spence, Pembrokeshire, Wales, in which he informs Mr. Spence that he can no longer be kept on the C&D pet food team. How is that for detachment? It is quite clear that Deputy Reynolds was not only involved in the business while Minister for Industry and Commerce, but sentences and messages were delivered in the name of the company not in terms of “we” or “the company” but in terms of “I regret”, “as I have said before”, “I must point out” and “I trust”. Deputy Reynolds was very involved in the most minute details of his family business.” (MORE LATER).


By Michael O’Higgins and John Waters. From ‘Magill Magazine’ , October 1988.

Subsequently, Asquez was approached by Mr Christopher Finch, the Gibraltar lawyer who was helping to collate evidence for the Thames documentary ‘Death on the Rock’. Mr Finch contacted Asquez and asked him if he would come to his office. Asquez arrived one or two days later and in a conversation with Finch repeated the allegations he had made in his earlier statement.

Finch took notes and later had them typed up in a draft affidavit form. There was never any real chance that Asquez would sign the form as he told finch that he did not want to give an interview or to be named on the programme and also told him that he was very worried and that the affair was affecting his health. Finch, however, went through the motions of having the affidavit drawn up on behalf of Thames, his clients. He handed this draft over to Thames because, though unsigned, and therefore of no legal value, it was still their property.

How this unsigned and unsworn statement came to be broadcast as fact is currently under investigation by Thames, but a subject equally worthy of inquiry is how someone who was able at the inquest to endure the humiliation of being called a liar over and over again – and yet stick to a story which was to make him the most infamous witness of the inquest – could possibly have yielded to the ‘pressure’ of a couple of phone calls from a retired army major. Asquez stood in the witness box as, time and time again, John Laws, for the Crown, accused him of making “a base and lying statement”, with all the inflexion his public school accent could muster. Up in the press gallery, reporters were taking notes which would ensure that , within a few hours, the entire world would know that Kenneth Asquez was a liar. This is ‘pressure’. (MORE LATER).


…’Totally Un-Armed Strategy’ if you’re explaining it to the political Establishment but translates as ‘Tactical Use of Armed Struggle’ if you’re selling it to your own crowd….” (“…we had to reach for language that could be interpreted in different ways by the two sides” and “For the Unionists it meant that the IRA would have to disarm before Sinn Fein could join the government, and for the Republicans it meant that the Unionists would have to demonstrate they would share power before the IRA would decommission their weapons“)

‘Double-Speak’ : much the same as that performed by Gerry’s pal, Martin McGuinness , when the latter was playing the part of ‘chief negotiator’ with/between the Staters, the Brits and the remnants of his own organisations, Provisional Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA – “The conflict is over but we need your advice on how to bring it to an end. We wish to have an unannounced ceasefire in order to hold a dialogue leading to peace. We cannot announce such a move as it will lead to confusion for the volunteers because the press will interpret it as surrender. We cannot meet the secretary of state’s public renunciation of violence, but it would be given privately as long as we were sure that we were not being tricked…..”

And they are still talking out of both sides of their mouth, albeit in much plusher surroundings – two of Gerry and Martin’s protégés were focussing on Fine Gael’s Phil ‘Need No Slogan’ Hogan and his campaign to secure a bigger pension in Brussels, but Matt and Michelle were ‘focussing’ in different directions and succeeded only in ambushing themselves, much to the delight of the now-EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and his backers. A ‘Totally Un-organised ASsault’ on their quarry, if you like, by the two PSF suits. And here’s another example of how not to employ ‘dirty tricks’ in ‘attacking your quarry’, especially when your target has access to the same ‘weapons’ and is capable of using them to expose your underhanded attempt to smear them. Mary Lou, Jason and Lynn should ask Gerry for a loan of one of his scriptwriters. He or she could hardly do a worse job!


Richard D’Alton Williams, Irish rebel, author and doctor, is born in Dublin , 8th October 1822.

In Dublin, on the 8th October 1822, a child was born to Mary Williams, wife of a Tipperary Count, Count D’Alton ; the child, Richard D’alton Williams, was reared at Grenanstown, Nenagh, County Tipperary and educated at St. Stanislaus School, Tullabeg, in County Laois, and at St.Patricks College, County Carlow, and also studied medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin. His first published poem was entitled – ‘The Munster War Song’ and it appeared in ‘The Nation’ newspaper on 7th January, 1843, under the pseudonym ‘Shamrock’ ; at the time of its publication, Richard D’alton Williams was in the process of moving from Carlow to Dublin, to study medicine in St Vincents Hospital.

‘The Nation’ newspaper received a great response to Williams’ poems, and ‘Shamrock’ became a regular contributor, with works such as ‘The Dying Gael’, ‘Sisters of Charity’ and ‘The Haunted Man’, which raised the profile and readership of the newspaper. As well as the poems, ‘The Nation’ published a series of humorous articles from Richard D’alton Williams, entitled ‘Misadventures of a Medical Student’ and described the author, ‘Shamrock’ (in its July 1851 issue), in the following terms – “His intellect is robust and vigorous, his passion impetuous and noble, his perception of beauty most delicate and enthusiastic ; his sympathies take in the whole range of human affections, and his humour is irresistible. We think, indeed, that ‘Shamrock’ excels all his contemporaries in imagination and humour.”

Richard D’alton Williams, now a member of the ‘Young Ireland’ Movement , put his medical training to good use during ‘The Great Hunger’ of 1845-1849, by helping to ease the suffering of hundreds of cholera victims ; he was by now a hardened opponent of British mis-rule in Ireland and had joined the ‘Irish Confederation’ group, which was founded in January 1847 by William Smith O’Brien and other ‘Young Irelanders’ who had disagreed with Daniel O’Connell’s ‘Repeal Association’. He was quickly elected to Council level in the ‘Confederation’. He was the driving force behind a short-lived newspaper called ‘The Irish Tribune’, which he published with the assistance of ‘Young Ireland’ leader, Kevin Izod O’Doherty ; the first issue was published in June 1848 but only five issues of the weekly newspaper made it on to the streets before it was suppressed by the British in early July that year and gave Westminster the pretence to arrest Williams and Kevin Izod O’Doherty – both men were charged under the ‘Treason-Felony Act’ with “intent to depose the queen and levying war”. A famous barrister of the time, Samuel Ferguson, defended both men in a trial which lasted five months and caused great embarrassment to the British.

Eventually, in November 1848, Williams and O’Doherty were acquitted ; Williams went back to studying medicine, and qualified as a doctor, in Edinburgh, in July 1849. In June 1851, he emigrated to America and, whilst in New Orleans, met and married an Irish woman, Elizabeth Connolly ; the couple moved to a town called Thibodeaux in Louisiana, where he wrote his last poem – ‘Song of the Irish-American Regiments.’

On 5th July, 1862, just shy of his fortieth birthday, Richard D’alton Williams died of consumption in Thibodeaux, Louisiana, in America. A patriot, a poet and a publisher, Dr Richard D’alton Williams is one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of almost unknown and/or forgotten Irish men and women that played their part in the on-going struggle to remove the British presence from Ireland.

They deserve to be remembered somewhere ……


Vincent Parker – in the ‘Bold Corner’!

‘To lose one ‘Special Adviser’ may be regarded as a misfortune ; to lose two looks like carelessness’. The man pictured, left, was, until recently, employed as a ‘Special Adviser’ in the Stormont office of Martin McGuinness, and was the Head of Provisional Sinn Féin’s ‘Equity and Human Rights’ department. He also played his part ‘for queen and country’ as a member of the ‘South Belfast District Policing Partnership’, is on the board of ‘IntertradeIreland’ and the ‘Féile an Phobail’ group, is the chairperson of the ‘Finaghy Crossroads Group’, is the holder of a masters degree from the Institute of European Studies, has a degree in history from Queens University in Belfast, a postgradute diploma in marketing from the University of Ulster and a masters degree from the the Institute of European Studies and before he began his political career he held management positions over a 10 year span, within the life science industry, and managed a team across Europe as Director of Marketing and PR, and more recently, in a Business Development Role within the public policy consultancy sector and apologies if I have left anything out!

This “moderate member of (Provisional) Sinn Féin” was, before he jacked it in for pastures greener, one of the eight ‘Special Advisers’ that are employed by McGuinness and Robinson (pictured here, with their employer) to assist them in running Westminster’s ‘parliament’ in Ireland. So that’s six reasons that they have now, rather than eight, not to object to the number of ‘Special Advisers’ employed by their fellow politicians…


Whether allegedly ‘confined to barracks’ or parading through our streets, Irish republicans remain adamant that British soldiers should not be on Irish soil.

The picture on the left was taken on Thursday 2nd October 2014 in Holywood , in County Down, in the occupied Six County area of Ireland. The British soldiers in that photograph are members of ‘The Royal Scots Borderers’ regiment and simply decided it would be “nice to conduct a parade” through the town, to announce their arrival. ‘Nicer’ still, without a doubt, were they to parade through all the Irish towns they currently infest to announce their departure. Quite apart from the fact that Irish people have had experience of the not-so-friendly side of Scottish soldiers in the British Army (see ‘Howth Gun-Running and Bachelors Walk Massacre Commemoration….’ post, here) their very presence is offensive regardless of whether they attempt to ‘entertain’ the locals or shoot at them. As they themselves would say – “Ye canna make a silk purse of a sow’s lug”.



This coming Sunday (12th October 2014) will not only bear witness to Estonia hammering the Brits on the football pitch and Lithuania losing to Slovenia (according to Anto, our driver!) but, more importantly, we girls get ‘offside’ again for another ‘Ladies Day Out’ in the raffle hotel to watch as the ladies football teams show the lads how to do it in a proper manner – Arsenal Ladies team will be doing the business with the girls from Everton, then there’s Birmingham City girls challenging the Notts County team and Liverpool up against Bristol as Man City Women square up to the girls from Chelsea and at least six other ladies teams will also be out on the day, as will myself and the usual raffle team as we are helping Cabhair to raise funds for Irish republican prisoners. We know from the last ‘Ladies Day Out’ that the day will be hectic (not many lads present to keep us in check!) but we also know that the effort will be well worth it, as all money raised goes direct to the Cabhair Central Committee and, from them, to the families of our prisoners. We usually post the names and ticket numbers of the winners on or before the following Wednesday but that won’t be possible for this raffle as we’re away off on a wee break….


…as the team here at ‘1169 Towers’ are heading to Galway on Friday 10th October for a looong weekend, and I’ll be the only one of the three of us who will be interrupting the break, on Sunday morning, to be brought back to the sports hotel on the Dublin/Kildare border to assist with the Cabhair raffle, following which I shall be rushed back to Galway by private jet Anto in his bus (!) to continue the short holiday. New York it ain’t but we haven’t had a break since June last and, as I’m unlikely to get back to an t-Úll Mór this year then I’ll be a ‘Galway Girl’ until such time as I can get back to Gotham with the gang!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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