‘All Members of the European Parliament (MEP’s) receive an *extra* €4,342 a month that goes straight to their bank account of choice…the money is supposed to pay for a regional office and their phone bills. But no-one checks how they spend it. Some MEP’s use it properly. But an investigation revealed that 1 in 3 MEP’s don’t even have a regional office on the record. And we’re still sending them €4,342 every month – no questions asked. The journalists behind the investigation took the European Parliament (EP) to court for a lack of transparency and the President of the EP committed to introducing concrete proposals for reform by the end of this year. But he hasn’t yet done so….’ (From here, the ‘WeMove.EU’ group, ‘..a citizens’ movement campaigning for a better Europe (and) for a European Union committed to social and economic justice, environmental sustainability and citizen-led democracy…’)

For the last three (soon to be four) years, this bent little State has been paying more money into Brussels than we have been getting out of it, a fact that is mostly glossed over by political commentators here and, to the best of our knowledge, has never been mentioned at all by the MEP’s from this Free State. What that translates as, in effect, is that any ‘grants’ received by farmers, builders etc here is money that we ourselves paid in, only to have it recycled and, minus ‘commission’, returned to us! And EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger is on record for stating, more-or-less, that we Paddy’s ain’t seen nothin’ yet in that regard, as we’re gonna have to accept less of a ‘pay out’ from his crowd but will have to pay more into their (our?!) coffers in the near future and, considering that Westminster hands over to Brussels about twelve billion euro every year more than it takes out and that that ‘pay in’ will come to an end with ‘Brexit’ then, no doubt, the political muppets that are, for now, in power here, will soon be ‘explaining’ to us why we should be proud to fill that financial gap!

This blog not only supports the Brits in their ‘Brexit’ decision (…and please, Theresa [‘F’ off!], don’t forget our ‘pay out’ for said support…!) but we call for an ‘Irexit’. For these reasons, among others…



UNITY! ON WHAT BASIS? asks Sinn Féin President. From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, October 1954.

Speaking at a public meeting held by the Austin Stack Cumann, Sinn Féin, at Elverys Corner in O’Connell Street, Dublin, on Saturday 25th September (1954), Tomas O Dubhghaill said – “We in Sinn Féin are being repeatedly asked why don’t you unite with such-and-such a group, why don’t you co-operate with so-and-so party? We of Sinn Féin are all for unity, our greatest hope is to bring together all sections and groups in the country for the benefit of the Nation as a whole. But we must achieve that unity on a proper basis, on the basis on which it was attained before.

That basis is the Republic of All Ireland, the re-assembly of the Republican Parliament for all 32 Counties, the putting into effect of the Declaration of Independence issued by the First Dáil Éireann in January 1919. On that basis our people stood united in face of a reign of torture and terror until the disasterous Treaty in 1922. On that basis they can be again united, and can take up the struggle from where it was left off then, and carry it to victory!”

Sinn Féin propose to tackle this task in three stages. First we will contest all twelve seats in the Six-County area in the next Westminster election. There is no question of attendance at Westminster – Sinn Féin candidates will go forward seeking election to the Republican Parliament of all Ireland – they will take part in nothing less. Secondly, we must end the farce of men allegedly representing sections of the Irish people, either at Stormont, in Corporations, County Councils etc, taking an oath of allegiance to a foreign monarch.

We deny the right and we oppose the claim of any outside power to rule Ireland or any portion of Ireland and no Irishman owes or should swear allegiance to anyone but the Irish Nation. Thirdly, we will put forward candidates in the 26-County elections, again seeking election to the Republican Parliament of all Ireland. The various political parties in the South assert that they aim to secure the unity and freedom of the country. Their actions over the last thirty years contradict their words. Idle empty phrases will no longer satisfy us – we will call their bluff and force them to take their stand openly either on the side of Ireland or on that of the invader, England. Despite all their protests to the contrary they have in practice helped to strengthen the grip of the robber Empire on our country. We know that this is against the will of the great majority of the people who unthinkingly support these parties… (MORE LATER).



Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty (left), as pictured in ‘The Sunday Times’ on the 22nd October last, page 3. She was one of the speakers at the Blueshirts ‘Presidential Dinner’ in Dublin on Saturday, 21st October and, apparently (we weren’t there, invite lost in post..!) used the occasion to show her ‘sense of humour’ by making political jokes (Fine Gael-type joke here..) and barbs about other political misfits, including the outfit she herself is affiliated to. We’ll spare you the ‘jokes’ but if you’re determined to see ‘the lighter side’ of the political ‘elite’ who, for a (good) living, make your purse/wallet lighter (BOOM BOOM!) then click on the pic to enlarge it – doing so won’t make the ‘jokes’ any funnier, but at least you’ll be able to read them without squinting. But you’ll squint afterwards, believe me..!

Anyway – Regina ‘The Joker’, and her colleagues in the venue with her that night (..before, during and since that night, actually), obviously missed the biggest joke of the evening – the wording on the stage graphic behind her, as seen in our pic, above, which insinuates that those present are representative of the ‘Government of Ireland’. Ho! Ho! Those in Leinster House are part of a political entity which claims to have jurisdiction over a 26-county State, whereas this country consists of 32 counties, therefore they are not representative of a ‘Government of Ireland’ and need new scriptwriters and graphic artists. If any of them had a sense of humour, they’d laugh at their own brass neck for claiming otherwise.



“AFTER 32 YEARS – AN OPEN LETTER,” by POW Philip Clarke. From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, February 1955.

‘Under the title ‘After 32 Years – an open letter’, the following article was written for ‘THE UNITED IRISHMAN’ newspaper by Philip Clarke (pictured, right), shortly before his arrest in connection with the Omagh Raid on October 17 last (1954). The circumstances surrounding the arrest and trial of Phil Clarke and his comrades are ample proof that there are young men in Ireland today who have taken the words of Pearse to heart : “It is not enough to say merely ‘I believe’, one must also say ‘I serve’ “.

As you are only too well aware, England, thirty-two years have now passed since last the manhood of Ireland denied in arms your ‘right’ to politically domineer any part of this country – a passage of time which, though spanning almost the lifetime of our dominion rule politicians, manifests merely the breathing space of the Irish separatist nation. During all this time an uneasy truce has reigned supreme, intermittently shattered by a Coercion Act in the North, or a savage jail sentence in the South.

A world war has come and gone, countries have been subjugated, others uplifted from tyranny, but still you have managed to maintain the accursed connection between Ireland and England.

During this ‘constitutional’ epoch in our history, while we in the South have been busy exploring the measure of freedom you so unwillingly ceded us, you, through your administrators in Stormont, have strengthened your stranglehold on our industrial North. We in the South now unabashedly use your language and your monetary system and make believe that we are free men. You in England utilise our produce and our emigrated manhood and know we are still your slaves. We talk about partition, its rights and wrongs, and take the ‘decisive’ stand of non-cooperation with the Atlantic Alliance until the question is settled by them. You, in turn, maintain your armed soldiery in the Six Counties and induct our exiles into ‘Her Majesty’s’ forces to ensure that Irishmen will assist in cementing a disintegrating British Empire. After all our fathers’ sacrifice, then, are we doomed to remain forever your slaves? (MORE LATER).



Joseph Murphy (left of pic) and Terence MacSwiney : both men died on hunger-strike on this date – 25th October – in 1920, 97 years ago.

In his book ‘History of the Irish Working Class’ ,Peter Beresford Ellis wrote : “On October 25th, 1920, Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney – poet, dramatist and scholar, died on the 74th day of a hunger-strike while in Brixton Prison, London. A young Vietnamese dishwasher in the Carlton Hotel in London broke down and cried when he heard the news – “A Nation which has such citizens will never surrender”. His name was Nguyen Ai Quoc who, in 1941, adopted the name Ho Chi Minh and took the lessons of the Irish anti-imperialist fight to his own country.”

Terence MacSwiney, his wife Muriel and their daughter, Máire, photographed in 1919.

He was the Commandant of the 1st Cork Brigade of the IRA and was elected as the Lord Mayor of Cork. He died after 74 days on hunger strike in Brixton Prison, England, on the 25th October, 1920, and his body lay in Southwark Cathedral in London where tens of thousands of people paid their respects.

‘Joe Murphy (pictured, left) was born in Lynn, Massachusetts in the USA. He had 14 siblings, with only 5 surviving (and) was one of 3 children born in America, but he did not have American citizenship. The Murphy family returned to their native Cork and settled in Pouladuff Road, in the suburbs…he joined H Company, 2nd Battalion of the Cork No.1 Brigade of the IRA in Cork city (and) would eventually rise to the rank of Commandant..but would be expelled from the IRA for “bringing the army into disrepute”, although it’s not clear what the exact reason for this was. Joe would later be arrested by the British for possession of a bomb to be used in an attack on British forces (but) it is likely these were trumped-up charges by the British even though Murphy was not a member of the IRA at this time…’ (from here.)

Two gallant Corkmen who perished on hunger strike on October 25th 1920 – 97 years ago on this date.




By Jim McCann (Jean’s son). For Alex Crowe, RIP – “No Probablum”. Glandore Publishing, 1999.

Biographical Note : Jim McCann is a community worker from the Upper Springfield area in West Belfast. Although born in the Short Strand, he was reared in the Loney area of the Falls Road. He comes from a large family (average weight about 22 stone!). He works with Tús Nua (a support group for republican ex-prisoners in the Upper Springfield), part of the Upper Springfield Development Trust. He is also a committee member of the ‘Frank Cahill Resource Centre’, one of the founders of ‘Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh’, the local Irish language primary school and Naiscoil Bharr A’Chluanaí, one of the local Irish language nursery schools.

His first publication last year by Glandore was ‘And the Gates Flew Open : the Burning of Long Kesh’. He hopes to retire on the profits of his books. Fat chance!


The plan was laid out in front of us. The head of Cage Ten’s escape committee, called Tommy, addressed the would-be escapees. As with all captured soldiers, I was eager to escape and become famous. Cage Ten at that time, befor the H-Blocks were even thought about, was almost plumb in the centre of the Kesh – the closest the Cage was to the perimeter wire was about 200 yards.

When Tommy said the word ‘tunnel’, my heart hit my boots. The amount of dirt coming out of a 200-yard tunnel could reclaim a small lake ; disposing of it would be a logistical nightmare, not to mention a physical impossibility. I asked him if it was an ego thing (always a danger) on his part or had he come up with a new way of disposing of the dirt. He gave me a dirty look and said “If you’re not interested, then leave and let the ones who are interested get on with it.” I closed the door quietly behind me.

Over the next few days a series of security measures were implemented to facilitate the diggers in the tunnel. Pipe-smokers and non pipe-smokers alike tapped pipes on the sides of huts when a screw approached within range of the diggers at work. Men with ‘The Irish News’ newspaper made over the top gestures with their papers when the sound of pipe tapping reached their ears. Perfectly healthy young men started coughing their lungs up on seeing ‘The Irish News’ being waved wildly down the line. Finally, a heavy thump on the floor of the study hut at the sound of someone retching brought an end to the digging until the danger had passed… (MORE LATER).

Thanks for reading,



About 11sixtynine

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