Wednesday, 4 March 2015


They say life is stranger than fiction but some of the stuff that's happening in South Armagh, is straght out of the Murphy's Law, textbook. A year ago today, one of Willie's Frazer's cult followers, was minding his own business, when one of Murphy's Sin Fein councillors brought his attention to two Irish tricolour flags, that were also minding their own business, in trees at the edge of lake in Bessbrook. Murphy's councillor brought Oswald Bradley's attention to the flags and said the Irish tricolours should come down. Sin Fein made the following statement at the time, calling for their removal, saying they were "overtly sectarian, intimidating and threatening," Well Willie Frazer's cult follower became enraged and emboldened by Sin Fein rhetoric, he started to have some very strong feelings about the presence of the Irish flags on the island on Mill Pond. So being a Willie Frazer man, he put a Union Jack flag in his pocket and started to swim out to replace the flags with the Union Jack, as Sin Fein had advised, when the poor man, got into trouble while swimming across to the flags.

The tricolours erected in Bessbrook

Oswald Bradley, a stout Orangeman in his 70s, entered the water at Bessbrook Mill Pond at 5pm and after getting into fierce difficulties, was pulled by the Orange Order and Sin Fein from the water. Despite all sorts of mouth to mouth resusitation to revive him, poor Oswald could not be saved and kicked the bucket. After the tragedy Sin Fein representatives arranged for a canoeist to go out in the lake and retrieve the Union Jack flag which was floating on the pond. Sin Fein also removed the two tricolours, which were doing nobody any harm at all, from trees on the pond island.

Pastor Barrie Halliday, a member of the Pentecostal Church and also a member of Willie Frazer's outfit, said Mr Bradley was also a member of Willie's organisation, and as a result of the Sin Fein controversy, that Oswald was upset about the presence of the Irish flags in the mixed village. He said Mr Bradley considered the recent erection in the village, an insult. Murphy's people in the area had attempted to swim out to remove the Irish flags, in days previous to the tragedy but found it too tough and turned back, leaving poor 70 year old Willie to die in the lake. He also said: "Ossie was a very down-to-earth man and he saw these flags as an act of cruelty."

Now you would think by the law of averages, that would be that for a while, but this is South Armagh Occupied Ireland and last week, Murphy sent another crew to remove something, that was offending them, up a pole that promptly exploded and blew Murphy's man back down again, giving him a pair of black eyes and a very bloody nose. There was fierce weeping and gnashing of teeth about it altogether and Murphy took off to London to get away from it all, all expenses paid by Her Majesty the Queen of England of course. 

So a couple of nights ago, some republican stalwarts in Bessbrook, who hadn't forgotten about the Sin Fein removal of their tricolour a year previously, decided to erect a new tricolour and keep watch with camera on what would happen. Well last night a pickup came down the road crawling.  It's not clear if it was one of Willie Frazers or Murphy's mob, with the intention to remove the tricolour. As they watched from an upstairs window, camer in hand, they could see one of their young fellows climb up the pole to remove it, when all of a sudden, there was an almighty blast and a bang, that blew him back down the pole again. 

His brethern came to his rescue, gave him mouth to mouth resusitation and put him in the back of the pick-up and drove off again. Now none of the media are covering the matter, so there appears to be a cover-up about the incident, because of embarrassment following events just a week earlier. The republicans being the gentlemen that they are, decided to remove the tricolour for dry cleaning, to prevent further cruelty to the eyes of South Armagh, at least for the time being.

Now all of this takes me back to when Provisional Sinn Fein first participated in Assembly elections in South Armagh in 1982, and we were intending to drive through the mixed village of Bessbrook, in a motorcade through the village. Taxi Hughes from Newry and myself were to head the motorcade, with a tricolour, in a pickup not too different from the one last night. We weren't the owners, the Murphys would know who owned it. Of course the Newry lads had to do the dirty work and lead the motorcade, with the tricolour. The Murphys were way back, being soldiers of the rearguard. 

Well the sectarian RUC stopped us and apparently they regarded the Irish Flag, as cruelty to both their eyes and to some residents of Bessbrook. So Taxi and myself, bought as much time as we could, delaying the issue as best we could, until we got some support from the Murphy's behind. Well into the proceeding, I looked behind for the support but Lo and Behold! there wasn't a sign of the Murphy's. Well the two of us were well outnumbered by numerous angry RUC men, we held our ground as best we could but we couldn't breach their ranks, as our backs weren't covered. The lesson I learned that day, was always remember to have your back covered, by people you can definitely trust. Now of course the Murphy's will deny this but if you don't believe me, you can go into Newry and ask Taxi Hughes, a dacent man who did time for his country, who stood by the Irish Triolour. 


Come all ye bold teetotallers and list' to me a while,
And if you close attention pay I'll cause you to smile;
No story of Grecian queen, nor tale of Trojan say
But a tale of woe that happened so with whiskey in me tay.

I was a bold teetotaller for three long years and more,
The neighbours all respected me and decent clothes I wore,
My family were fond of me till one unlucky day
Just like a child I was beguiled with whiskey in me tay.

I only took the smallest sup when up the ructions rose,
I saw that I was put upon and slaughtered friends and foes,
A Polisman surrounded me and hauled me up next day,
The charge was read and duly pled, 'twas whiskey in me tay.

From Carrickmacross to Crossmaglen the polisman(?) did vow
There are more rogues than honest men as any will allow,
It isn't rogues or honest men the Justice then did say,
We deal with now, but a drunken row from whiskey in his tay.

This man he was a sober man for three long years or more
The neighbours all respected him and decent clothes he wore,
The story is an ancient one the justice did say,
He'll pay up bail or go to gaol for whiskey in his tay.

So all bold teetotalers if sober you would be
Be careful of your company and mind what happened to me,
It wasn't the lads from Shercock or the boys from Ballybay,
But the dealing men from Crossmaglen put whiskey in me tay.

Letter from the Craigavon Two

An open letter written by miscarriage of justice victims Brendan McConville and John-Paul Wootton, followed by a recent synopsis of the case.

We acknowledge with interest the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the murder of Michael Tighe by the RUC in 1982.This was clearly a case of injustice in which vital evidence (a recording device) was destroyed to cover the realities of an RUC shoot-to-kill policy.

It would be difficult to ignore the glaring parallels that exist between this case and our own with regard to the destruction of key evidence. This is especially so given the conclusion reached by a director of the company responsible for manufacturing the device which contributed to our wrongful convictions. At the trial he stated that the wiping of data “would not have been something that could have happened purely accidentally”.

The question must now be asked: how can Mr McGrory attach such significance to the wiping of evidence in the Tighe case while at the same time ignoring similar misconduct in our case?

Mr McGrory’s expressed concern that the case of Michael Tighe could potentially undermine the credibility of the Public Prosecution Service could equally apply to our case.

In denying the truth Mr McGrory’s predecessors withheld justice from the family of Michael Tighe for more than 30 years. Does he intent to mimick what he now condemns and wait for his successor to address his current wrongs or is he now prepared to accept that justice was similarly perverted in a case in which he continues to be instrumental?

Injustice and the Craigavon 2 (by Thomas G Maher)

In 2012, John Paul Wooten and Brendan McConville were convicted of the 2009 killing of PSNI Constable Steven Carroll in Craigavon, County Armagh. Both men have maintained their innocence since the day of their arrest and interrogation by the PSNI.

John Paul Wooten was 17 at the time of his arrest and imprisoned at Maghaberry Prison, which is the adult committal prison for male prisoners in Northern Ireland. Brendan McConville at the time of his arrest was 38 years old and had previously served his community by being elected to Craigavon Borough Council.

The trial was placed under the jurisdiction of the juryless court system in Northern Ireland, formerly known as “Diplock Courts”. A jury-less court in NI is established under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Act of British Parliament) and can try a case with a single judge presiding and hearing evidence.

The evidence which the prosecution brought before the court was, as many legal experts have described, insufficient to be admissible as evidence, evidence was insufficient to carry a conviction and that the security services doctored the evidence. The evidence given by “Witness M” was only presented to the PSNI 11 months after the date of the murder. This witness placed Brenden McConville at the scene, however has admitted he (Witness M) was “intoxicated at the time”. However since then a family member of witness M, has come forward and given a statement questioning the statement of witness M and his ability to identify Brenden on the night of the murder. Since coming forward witness M has benefitted financially and has been placed into the witness protection programme. Witness M gave his testimony over tv link to the court.

At the time of the murder John Paul Wooten had been under surveillance by the British Army and a tracking device had been affixed to John Paul’s car. After the arrest of both men on the same night, the tracking device was then removed from the car and brought back to an army base and the data on the device was retrieved and then the device was wiped clean of all data. This happened six days after the date of arrest which has been questioned by the defence as unacceptable to be admissible as evidence to court. Questions have also been raised as to the device’s ability to give accurate readings in GPS format and that it has been proven data has gone missing from the device which the defence argues should never of been allowed to be presented to court.

These two pieces of evidence were the basis of the prosecutions case. It placed both suspects at the scene; made use of the corroborated evidence rule (requiring 2 pieces of evidence to be presented before any evidence is deemed to be admissible); both Brenden and John Paul were involved in republicanism (also covered by the “Hearsay rule” in English Law).

The use of the juryless court system has been called into question by Amnesty International, the Irish Human Rights Council and by previously and current serving members of the Dail, Stormont and Westminster.

To be tried under a juryless court is to be denied the very basic right under criminal law, to be tried by a jury of your peers. This right is the right of any person charged with a criminal offence and designed to give a fair balance of justice regarding the power of the state and allows for the person charged to be judge by the tested standards of the public and not that of the legal profession or the security services.

In our society a miscarriage of justice is deemed to be the failing of the law to protect the rights of the individual under the legal system and therefore any conviction or sentence can be defined in law as “invalid”. This case has many parallels in The Republic of Ireland, most notably Ian Bailey, where the State’s agents and by definition the State, allegedly doctored evidence, perverted the course of justice and committed perjury in court by corroborating the evidence which is presented in court.

At the very heart of this case is the juryless court system and its ability to give a fair and balanced trial. The Craigavon 2 have had their basic human rights under criminal law denied to them by the state, have been given life sentences based on questionable evidence and have had the appeal by the Court of Appeal in Belfast reserved with the convictions and sentences upheld.

The next step for Brenden and John Paul is the Supreme Court in London.

For more information on the Craigavon 2 go to

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Martin McGuinness, says he likes the Queen and his work is inspired by her. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, if you are a Royalist but he and his party claim to be Irish republicans and whatever way you put it, that simply does not cut it. His party who claim to be Sinn Fein, are now recruiting informers for British Occupation Forces in Occupied Ireland, while not so long ago, they were killing scores and scores of them. Their party President, who survived a child rape home, spends his free time, naked in his back garden, cavorting with his naked dog on a trampoline and hugging his tree. His  warlord Murphy in South Armagh put one of his lieutenants up the pole in South Armagh last week. There was something at the top of the pole, that blew him back down again and he was reportedly taken to hospital with a miscarriage. As a result, Willie Frazer is scouring South Armagh with his binolculars and has ordered the natives to 
leave the poles alone. Willie forbids hugging the poles and trees or sticking their box of tricks up them, like Gerry Adams. The Orange Order is partipating in the Sin Fein party conference this year, while most of their Republican volunteers are banned, for security reasons.

Martin McGuinness
I haven't done anything that I'm ashamed of.


from Urban Dictionary

Intellectual activity that serves no practical purpose.
We debated and created a perfect system of government, but it was all just mental masturbation, really.

intellectual jizz
marmot teasing

the act of engaging in intelligent and interesting conversation purely for the enjoyment of your own greatness and individuality. Subjects range from obscure lp's to cultural movements in preindustrial societies. Either delivered through grand monlogues or subtle conversation orientation, it links large words and random references resulting in nothing acually being communicated.
Though the influence of Ric Okasisk was quite evident within Weezer's blue album, rivers coumo domination of the lyrical form seem quite evident in Pinkerton

The act of engaging in useless yet intellectually stimulating conversation, usually as an excuse to avoid taking constructive action in your life.
Guy 1: "If only I had taken Cindy to my high school prom, I could have fucked her instead of that loser Jeff and then now she would be my girlfriend."

Guy 2: "Dude, stop that mental masturbation right now and go out and meet a new girl!"

Intellectual activity that serves no practical purpose. Excessively theoretical, and therefore a distraction from more practicable matters.
Dr. Richard Dawkins, noted biological theorist, in response to a student's philosophical question about skeptical attitudes towards science and reality, cited the following anecdote:

James Boswell asked, "... nothing really exists unless there's somebody there to see it. How do you refute that?" Samuel Johnson replied, "I refute it thus!", and kicked a stone out of his way.

Dr. Dawkins, commenting on Boswell's question, and critiquing the attitude: "If you want to mess about with that sort of mental masturbation, thats fine, but, ... but the science of reality is what gets you through the day, ... and makes things work!"

Overly intensive self gratifying procrastination, thought and contemplation for a subject not necessarily warranting such effort.

"Let's quit the mental masturbation here, its a waste of time..."

Term used by visionless people for the groundbreaking ideas that will shape the future.
What? A box that can carry voices on a wire to another box on the other side of the world? Dude, that is just mental masturbation.

This is usually announced or thought of after seeing a girl who is distractingly attractive. The act of explaining you like the looks of a girl enough to masturbate too.
See, she's hot dude I'm going to ask her out.

Yea I'm masturbating in my head to her.

I fucking hate you.

I'm still masturbating in my head to her. Still not done, not done, Alright I'm done. I'm going to go make a sandwich. Good Mental Masturbation. Actually, you want to go to Chipotle?

Not with you.

Thats douchey.

The act of engaging in impractical/nonproductive mental exercise / thinkings / writings / etc., through which a practitioner only comforts oneself mentally. Such acts don't lead to any constructive results what so ever in the real world; some might even imagine oneself being transformed into superman, or simply the opposite sex, etc.
In short, it's just bs/crap.

Guy1: My boyfriend went abroad so I can take over all his stuff and start anew.
Guy2: Dude, you're the same person all along; stop that mental masturbation and get the hell out of my sight.

Guy1: I think biological evolution is bull, but mankind can evolve to become God.
Guy2: Dude, you're all fucked up; you can go on with your mental masturbation, but stop bordering me anymore.

mental masturbation
To perform some activity, typically IT related, where performing the activity gives the performer almost sexual pleasure while doing it, yet nothing of any value or lasting value is produced. Mental masturbation is reasonably acceptable in the privacy of the performer's home, but not on their employer's time. Mental masturbation may be the reason for overly complicated and hard to understand solutions being implemented in one company, despite simpler and more commonly understood solutions being used at a number of other companies in the same industry.
To workmate, on Monday morning, "Guess what I did over the weekend! I rewrote Linux in FORTAN! Cool huh!"
Workmate, unimpressed, "That sounds like mental masturbation to me."

mental masturbation
The act of engaging in impractical/nonproductive mental exercise/thinkings/writings through which a practitioner only comforts oneself mentally. Such acts don't lead to any constructive results what so ever in the real world; some might even imagine oneself being transformed into superman, or simply the opposite sex, etc.
In short, it's just bs/crap.
Guy1: My boyfriend went abroad so I can take over all his stuff and start anew.
Guy2: Dude, you're the same person all along; stop that mental masturbation and get the hell out of my sight.

Guy1: I think biological evolution is bull, but mankind can evolve to become God.
Guy2: Dude, you're all fucked up; you can go on with your mental masturbation, but stop bordering me anymore.

mental masturbation
1. In academics it is the practice of using faulty premises to draw a conclusion.

2. The pretense of superior knowledge or intelligence by claiming conjecture, theory, feeling or opinion as fact.
The facts used to describe the cause of Global warming is an exercise in mental masturbation.

Mental Masturbation
The term coined by the promising new hope of psychology. Christopher, the surefire future of psychological theory, defines this term as the psychosexual pleasure that one receives from playing mind games with others. Christopher is a godsend to psychology.
I am, however, at the point in my life where I do not need to subject myself to the “mental masturbation” which envelopes your games.

mental masturbation
To perform some activity, typically IT related, where performing the activity gives the performer near sexual pleasure while doing it, yet nothing of any value or lasting value is produced. Mental masturbation is reasonably acceptable in the privacy of the performer's home, where their time is free (in money terms), but not on their employer's time. Mental masturbation can be the cause and reason for overly complicated and hard to understand IT solutions being implemented in one company, despite simpler, more commonly understood and tried and tested solutions to the same problem being used at a number of other companies in the same industry.
To workmate, on Monday morning, "Guess what I did over the weekend! I rewrote Linux in FORTAN! Cool huh! Next weekend I'm going to rewrite it in COBOL!"
Workmate, unimpressed, "That sounds like mental masturbation to me."

Mental Masturbation
The act of figuring out why the world is fucked up, but that you can't do anything about it... but bitch and moan!!!

I know what to do about the middle east situation

Dude stop. That is just Mental Masturbation.

Fascism is Coming Alive Again
By Eric Margolis

February 28, 2015 "ICH" - The wildly exaggerated threat of so-called Islamic terrorism is being shamelessly used by some western governments to boost their flagging fortunes at a time of economic malaise.

Marketing fear is a sure-fire political ploy, as the Bush administration showed. But if you think promotion of “terrorism” hysteria in order to curtail democratic freedoms is something new, have a look at Germany, 1933.

In that year, Germany’s democratic Weimar republic was foundering under economic depression, mass unemployment and raging hyper-inflation. The Reichstag, or parliament, was deadlocked between bitterly feuding parties, including the minority National Socialists, led by Adolf Hitler, the Catholics, Socialists, and Communists.

In Berlin, on the night of February 23, 1933, the Reichstag was burned down by a massive fire set by an arsonist. A young Dutch Communist found on the premises was charged with the arson attack. Germany was outraged and horrified by the crime – as much as was America after 9/11.

The Communists, of course, quickly blamed the National Socialists (or Nazis, for short). But the most likely culprit was indeed the Dutch Communist.

Five days later, Weimar President Paul Hindenberg, a conservative and war hero, signed a new act known as the Reichstag Fire Decree that suspended free speech and assembly and many legal protections. It gave government the right to arrest “terrorists” under a state of emergency.

In early March, Hitler promulgated the Enabling Act that used the threat of so-called “terrorism” to give him virtual dictatorial powers. This coup was made possible by the support of the conservative Catholic Party which, having seen the slaughter of Catholics in Russia and Ukraine by Communists, decided the Nazis were a lesser evil than the Communists.

A few weeks later, arrests of Socialists, Communists and Jews began. Hitler had come to near absolute power by democratic means thanks to national hysteria and fear over so-called terrorism, an utterly meaningless but evocative propaganda term.

The Weimar republic was swept away – perfectly legally – within months. Germans, stampeded by claims of “terrorism,” disgusted by their politicians, did not mourn Weimar.

Today, we see a number of western democratic governments using some of these same shameless scare tactics to drive their nations to the right and, in some cases, keep their leaders in power.

The Charlie Hebdo spectacle in Paris was an egregious example. Before the Paris shootings, bedraggled President Francois Holland’s popularity rates had fallen to a microscopic 8%. After the giant “free speech” jamboree in Paris, his ratings have skyrocketed to close to 50%. In the case of France, “free speech” meant the right to attack and mock Muslims.

Isolated criminal acts by mentally unhinged men in Canada, Denmark, and Australia were similarly inflated into massive national scares that boosted previously unpopular governments assailed by economic problems. So too were “plots” concocted by security police using dimwits or youngsters. Just as al-Qaida fear was fizzling out, along came ISIS to scare the daylights out of westerners.

We must be very careful. Islamophobia and terror hysteria fit worryingly into the template created by former Columbia University Professor Robert Paxton in his brilliant analysis, “The Anatomy of Fascism.”

Paxton sharply defines fascism, a dreadfully over and misused term, as distinct from conservative regimes. For example, he terms 1930’s Italy and Germany as Fascist states, but Franco’s Spain as conservative.

Hallmarks of fascism:
“a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of any traditional solutions;
belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment that justifies any action without legal or moral limits, against its internal and external foes;
need for authority by natural leaders (always male) culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny; and superiority of his instincts over abstract and universal reason.”

Other traits of Fascism: militarism and historical triumphalism; glorification of war as a purification and nation-building process.

Intense propaganda about inflated military “heroes.” Sending small numbers of troops or warplanes to fight or bomb miscreant Arabs in the Mideast is a reliable Viagra for small nations with feeble military budgets.

If patriotism and nationalism are the last refuge of scoundrels, they are also the first platform of fools.
We see the right demonizing enemies who supposedly threaten the entire nation, be they anarchists, socialists, Masons, communists, Jews, or Muslims. Purging the media of free-thinking journalists is a basic step. This has happened in the US and Canada.

In Paxton’s words, “mobilizing passions…form the emotional lava that set Fascism’s foundations.” To see this, just look at fans of Clint Eastwood’s loathsome “American Sniper” film. A fascist fiesta for low-IQ Americans.

ISIS is another example of a small but murderous group whose reach and danger has been wildly hyper-inflated for western domestic political reasons. Fanatical, adept at public relations and social media, ISIS has stolen the limelight from al-Qaida and gladdened the hearts of western militarists, hard rightists, and arms makers.

In fact, ISIS appears to go out of its way to make itself hateful and repulsive to westerners. But the danger it poses outside the Mideast is so far negligible. Before we launch any more crusades against ISIS, let’s be aware that this bunch of killers originated in the US-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and was primarily financed by Saudis. ISIS thrives in the chaos and ruins caused by George W. Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq and later campaign to subvert Syria.

George W. Bush was re-elected thanks to Midwestern soccer moms who feared Osama bin Laden was about to swoop down from the Hindu Kush and make off with their little Johnnies.

Something similar is happening again in North America, Australia and New Zealand. Many fear ISIS is outside Peoria or Winnipeg. Scared people readily accept dictators.

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia.
© 2015 Eric Margolis


Loyalists to join Sin Fein

Loyalist bandsmen will participate in a Sin Fein Ard Fheis with the Loyalist Londonderry Band's Forum to make a presentation at the annual conference, in what McGuinness calls Londonderry, but which Irish Republicans call Doire, this weekend.

Loyalist Derek Moore, who is the co-ordinator, said, "We are taking the opportunity to speak for ourselves and to raise issues that are important to bands."
The two-day Ard Fheis is being held in the Millennium Forum in Derry.

It is just the second time Sin Fein's annual conference has been held in British Occupied Ireland. In 2011, Rev David Latimer, a former British army chaplain from Derry, who served with the British Army in Afghanistan, was the principal speaker, when the Ard Fheis was in Belfast's Waterfront Hall.

The Loyalist bandsmen will address the issue of educational under achievement, among young working-class Protestants. Derek Moore said, "We will be speaking about the educational under-achievements of young protestants. Only 20% of them are leaving school with enough qualifications to get an interview. It is a big issue."

Martin McGuinness welcomed the loyalist contribution, stating "I warmly welcome the fact that the Loyalist Londonderry Bands Forum will this weekend make a presentation to the Sin Fein Ard Fheis in the city. I think that leadership has been shown in the city of Derry, and is something that could be followed everywhere."


Director General's attempts to silence and cover-up Exposed

Sue McAllister's latest letter in The Irish News (25-02-15) with its usual plethora of 'safety and security' rhetoric is laced with deliberate inaccuracies and downright lies. In relation to Republican prisoners being assaulted in Roe House around the start of February, she claimed that there were no injuries inflicted during the incident, and that this was witnessed by a nurse. What she fails to disclose though is that the same nurse has been referred to in previous articles by us (Substandard Healthcare Oct. 2014) as a result of her unhealthy relationship with the very Riot Squad which continues to forcibly strip-search Republican Prisoners; the same Riot Squad that beat Martin Kelly. The S.E.T. and the Jail Administration are also presently dealing with a number of related complaints from us regarding her, some dating back months. The Republican wing had a regular nurse that day who was accompanied by another S.E.T. member. Why then was the Riot Squad's choice of nurse used in this instance?

Two jail staff members, identified in our subsequent statements and complaints, witnessed the results of Martin's injuries. Furthermore, Sue McAllister, along with Colin Ward (Governor), intervened and impeded a court decision to allow an independent doctor to examine him. This is an established practice within British Prisons in order to let injuries heal without being viewed by impartial and independent doctors. For all the hundreds of Republican Prisoners who have been beaten over the years, some being awarded considerable compensation, not one prison officer has ever been arrested, never mind charged. "Nor Meekly Serve My Time" would be an informative read for those who doubt prison brutality.

Another deliberate fabrication from Sue is on the issue of legal visits only being cancelled on Tuesday 3-2-15 because of a security alert. Solicitors were stopped from entering but were able to use video-link; however, Governors over-ruled staff that came to Republicans' cells to bring them to the legal visit area. Where was the 'security' issue in a video-link consultation? Did the Jail Administration not want first-hand accounts getting out? Also, on Monday 1-2-15 a number of legal visits were denied to us, with solicitors intentionally lied to (numerous solicitors can confirm this), stating that Republican Prisoners refused them. Why would we do this at a time when we were doing all possible to get the truth out; the Prisoner Ombudsman being one such avenue which was availed of via up-to-minute phone calls as events unfolded?

Sue refers specifically to the Independent Assessment Team (IAT) and their recent Stocktake which she points to in a bid to supplant the August 2010 Agreement. The IAT have stated that the work which has taken place since their Stocktake, which has led to the recent spikes in tensions and complaints, "is not what was envisaged in the Stocktake". Sue McAllister and NIPS have officially stated that this work was to "assist prisoner movement", yet David Ford contradicted this in his opening statement during a debate in Stormont on 3-2-15 stating: "NIPS will continue to pay the closest attention to Roe House and take action to protect staff. A clear example of the action that has been taken is the physical changes on the landing that were introduced for that purpose."

Sue is correct in that there are a number of bodies overseeing prisons. The CJINI is one, however; it has repeatedly labelled the regime in Roe House as excessively restrictive since 2005. There has been the criticism also by HMCIP, and by the Anne Owers’ Review Team who commented on the excessive security in comparison to maximum security units in England which hold suspected suicide bombers. Pauline McCabe, the former Prisoner Ombudsman, slated the Jail Administration repeatedly, and created voluminous reports and recommendations sign-posting the way forward. The current ombudsman has criticised the regime frequently, and has commented on DUP interference while exasperatingly stating that the situation "is political and needs a political solution". It must be remembered that the above bodies are not Republican bodies; they are all governmental bodies with the same paymaster as Sue.
In her reference to forced strip-searches taking place across the democratic world, it must be remembered that they do indeed take place, but they have also been condemned by human rights groups all over the democratic world. An alternative to strip-searching was found (as part of the August Agreement), and accepted, in the form of the BOSS chair in 2010, yet never fully implemented.

Sue McAllister is attempting to silence critics and return Maghaberry to the safety of freedom from public scrutiny. She is committed to subterfuge, conflict and cover-ups, not a safe environment. A Conflict-Free Environment will only be achieved by the full implementation of the August 2010 Agreement.

Republican Political Prisoners
Republican Roe House

Monday, 2 March 2015


Provisional Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams addressed a small crowd outside Crossmaglen yesterday afternoon, after they called on people to come out in force, for a massive show of support, for 31-year-old Frank McCabe, who they put up the pole, that blew him back down again. Unfortunately for the Provos, the meeting was poorly attended, which suggests the people of South Armagh, do not approve of their call, for people to become informers to British Occupation Forces in the area, after their party, executed approximately forty informers in the area already, before Murphy and Adams did their U-turn and became informers to the British themselves, while recruiting for the British in the area.

Adams kept a straight face, while saying that Murphy republicans, are not involved in criminal actions along the border or indeed anywhere else. No republican is involved in fuel laundering or the destruction of our environment through the dumping of toxic sludge. No republican is engaged in smuggling tobacco or any other product, In recent times a section of the media, the SDLP, the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and the Taoiseach Enda Kenny have engaged in a deliberate campaign of vilification against Sinn Féin, and the communities of north Louth and south Armagh. He said, he had met senior police officers from both sides of the border to discuss criminals gangs."

The problem for the Provos, is that they lack credibility and even Willie Frazer's goat doesn't  swallow it. while the few ethical members.left in their party are resigning in increasing numbers because they cannot handle the sheer hypocrisy of it all. Ex-members of his party, know precisely where Murphy got his election resources in the area and are prepared to go public about it, unless Sinn Fein, cease recruiting informers, for British Occupation Forces in Ireland. Sinn Fein has also recently revealed, that they get their inspiration for their political work, from the Queen of England, as explained by Martin McGuinness. Other members who were disgusted by their party's cover-up of the child rape saga, have resigned, when Adams admitted to  cavorting naked, with his dog in his back garden on a trampoline, in his free time and questions are being asked, if like Willie Frazer, he is also engaged in a spot of bestiality.

Former members of Sinn Fein, who underwent deep interrogation by the British in Gough Barracks and were shown disturbing, sexual, photographs, while protecting the Murphys, are also considering going public, after Murphy and Sinn Fein called on the public to become informers to the British. It is also rumored, that Sinn Fein have plans, for the near future, to instruct its voters, to join the British Army. It is also understood that when Sinn Fein becomes a junior party with Fine Gael, after the nest election in the south of Ireland,  they also plan to instruct voters there, to also join the British Army. Murphy was not available for comment in Mullaghbawn to Irish Blog, because he is believed to be currently engaged, in some sort of secret activities in London with the British.

The good news is Ireland bet England yesteday, while using their heads for once under the coaching of a South African, while playing players from every part of Ireland, from every denomination as a United Ireland team.

Sunday, 1 March 2015


In 1933, Fascist Eoin O'Duffy made a speech in South Armagh in which he ordered the Murphy's "Give 'em the lead !"

Eoin O¹Duffy ... his life and legacy

Probably one of the most controversial Irishmen of all time was born at Cargaghdoo, near Lough Egish, in the parish of Aughnamullen East, on 30th October 1892. He was Eoin O¹Duffy, later better known as general Eoin O¹Duffy, and he would become one of the most prominent figures in the history of the GAA, not just in Co. Monaghan, but throughout Ulster, and also the ŒLeading Light¹ in the ŒStruggle for Independence¹ of the 1919-21 period in his native Co. Monaghan. By Seamus McCluskey.

Completing his primary, secondary and third level education, O’Duffy became an engineer and worked as a surveyor for Monaghan County Council in the Clones area. Following the formation of the Volunteers and the 1916 Rising, he became one of the movement’s most active members, and his organisational abilities were soon to become very evident during the ensuing War of Independence. By September 1918 he was already a Brigade Officer in the IRA and became the foremost organiser in the county. Jailed in 1918, he was released in 1919, and soon threw himself completely and wholeheartedly into the work of gaining independence for his country.

He had already been very active in GAA circles and he would now use that organisation as a recruiting ground for his Volunteers.
Starting with his GAA activities, Eoin O’Duffy became secretary of the Monaghan Co. Board in 1912, when he was a mere youth of twenty, and his organisational abilities here led to his then being elected Secretary of the Ulster GAA Council the following year. He would remain as Ulster Secretary right up until 1923, and would then become Treasurer from 1925 until 1934.

During all this period his GAA and Volunteer activities went hand-in-hand.
One of his most unusual exploits in 1918 was on the occasion of ‘Gaelic Sunday’, 4th August of that year. The 1918 Ulster Final on 7th July had had to be cancelled when British soldiers occupied the Cootehill venue and banned the playing of Gaelic Games. To defy the ‘ban’, all nine counties organised challenge matches for Sunday 4th August, and the GAA Central Council followed suit. No permits were applied for anywhere. It would be called ‘Gaelic Sunday’ and over 100,000 took part, leaving the authorities totally helpless.

The ‘proclaimed’ game at Cootehill on 7th July had a unique sequel. Ulster secretary O’Duffy, along with Dan Hogan of Clones, who was to have refereed the Final, and about thirty others, all cycled home from Cootehill towards Newbliss, but were followed by a party of RIC men on their heavy bicycles. O’Duffy knew they were being followed and led the unfortunate RIC men on a fifteen miles wild-goose chase over the by-roads around Newbliss. The sweltering heat and the heavy official uniforms, made matters extremely unpleasant for the pursuers, who must have lost a lot of sweat trying to push their cumbersome machines in such conditions.

The first major event of the War of Independence in the county, in which O’Duffy was involved, was the ‘Siege of Ballytrain’ RIC barracks on 13th February 1920. O’Duffy himself led the attack, in which thirty Volunteers formed the assault party, drawn from companies in Monaghan, Donagh, Clones, Wattlebridge and Corcaghan. The other companies of the county were involved in blocking roads and dismantling telephone wires. The RIC garrison eventually surrendered and O’Duffy’s pattern of attack was soon imitated in later attacks on several other RIC barracks throughout the country.

On the following 17th March (1920) the Ulster GAA Convention was held in Conlon’s Hotel in Clones and O’Duffy, now very much a ‘wanted man’ by the British Authorities, had to enter the meeting in disguise, as RIC spies were waiting outside to arrest him. However, O’Duffy had already departed when the police eventually raided the hotel. The ‘Adjourned Convention’ was held in Armagh on 17th April 1920 and O’Duffy, now even more wanted by the police, again attended, but this time without a disguise. Quickly arrested, it became obvious that O’Duffy actually wanted to be arrested on this occasion as it was his intention to organise a hunger-strike among the Monaghan Prisoners then being held in Crumlin Road jail in Belfast. This he duly did, and very successfully too, and all the Monaghan prisoners were later released.

O’Duffy realised the importance of getting arms for his Volunteers and, consequently, he organised a major raid on several Unionist houses throughout North Monaghan to obtain them. Many guns were captured in these raids but four Volunteers lost their lives that same night, while several others were wounded when stiff resistance was offered. The ‘Night of the Raids’, as it became known, took place on 31st August 1920 and was the brainchild of O’Duffy.

Because of these activities and the continuing ’Troubles’, as they were called, all GAA competitions in Ulster fell very much into arrears. The 1921 Ulster Final was not played until October 1923, as several of the Monaghan players had been arrested by ‘B Specials’ at Dromore, Co. Tyrone, when on their way to play Derry, in Derry, for the original fixture. All of them were ‘O’Duffy Men’, and O’Duffy was instrumental in obtaining the later release of all ten. The 1922 Final was not played until April 1923, and the 1923 Final on 2nd September. The 1923 Ulster Convention had been held in Clones on 17th March, when O’Duffy was replaced as secretary.

One of the great memories of that same year, however, was the Official Opening of Breifne Park in Cavan on 22nd July, the name having been suggested by Eoin O’Duffy.

Following the cessation of hostilities and the Treaty of 1921, O’Duffy rose in the ranks of the Irish Free State army, becoming chief-of-staff in 1922. Fortunately, there was very little activity in Co. Monaghan during the unfortunate Civil War that then ensued and lasted for ten months in 1922-23. Now O’Duffy could concentrate more on his GAA activities but, unfortunately, he was unavoidably absent from the 1929 Ulster Convention held in March 1929.

With the setting up of the new Irish Free State and the establishment of the Garda Siochana in 1922, O’Duffy was put in charge with the rank of Commissioner. Here he again showed remarkable ability in the establishment of our first national police force, and was Chief Marshall at the Catholic Emancipation Centenary celebrations in 1929 and again at the Eucharist Congress of 1932. However, he then incurred the disfavour of the new Taoiseach, Eamon DeValera, and was dismissed from his post on 22nd February 1933.

The Army Comrades Association was founded in 1933 and was basically a welfare organisation for former members of the Irish Free Stage army.

Political meetings of Cumann na nGaedheal, the pro-Treaty party, were frequently disrupted by IRA and the Association adopted the role of protecting these meetings from interference. Members wore a blue shirt and black beret, and became known as ‘The Blueshirts’. Eoin O’Duffy joined the Blueshirts in 1933 and was soon promoted to the post of Leader of the movement, which then became known as the ‘National Guard’. A proposed ‘March on Dublin’, however, was banned by the Government of the day, and the name was duly changed again, this time to ‘Young Ireland Association’. Rallies were held throughout Ireland, one of the largest taking place in Monaghan town on 20th August 1933.

O’Duffy’s recruiting abilities continued and the ranks of the Blueshirts duly swelled. He held a parade of over two hundred in Ballybay in November 1933 and another two hundred in Newbliss three months later. His greatest show-of-strength, however, was in Monaghan on 18th February 1934. O’Duffy had come to Monaghan as President of Fine Gael on 19th November 1933, and the aforementioned rallies and parades then followed. O’Duffy’s unquestionable popularity in the county since his Sinn Fein days, and the fact that he was a native of the county, probably accounted for the remarkable rise of the Blueshirts throughout the county.

Despite his absence from Ulster Convention in February 1934, O’Duffy was still the central figure. He had been the most tireless worker for the GAA in Ulster for the previous twenty-two years, first as secretary, and later as Ulster Delegate on the Central Council, where he proved himself a fearless fighter for the Ulster cause, particularly since the National Games were so vehemently opposed by a majority in the northern province. However, when he became embroiled in party politics, and with his involvement as leader of the Blueshirts, this created a position where many of his former associates now became his enemies. GAA rules also make it quite clear that involvement in controversial politics would preclude him from membership. By 1933 it was generally accepted that O’Duffy had resigned, but by the time of the 1934 Convention, this resignation had still not yet been officially received. No wonder there was a record attendance, and there was a tense atmosphere throughout the entire proceedings.

A letter from O’Duffy proved somewhat ambiguous and did not clearly indicate that he was withdrawing from the post of Treasurer, so his name had to be allowed to go forward. Even Co. Monaghan had nominated an opponent to O’Duffy in the person of Michael Markey, while Gerry Arthurs of Armagh also allowed his name to go forward. Arthurs proved a decisive victor in the ensuing vote at this unique Convention, which heralded the end of O’Duffy’s official association with the GAA, and it was held in Dungannon on 28th February 1934.

In 1936 Eoin O’Duffy recruited and formed an ‘Irish Brigade’ to go to the assistance of General Franco in the Spanish Civil War. 700 strong, they contributed to the success of the Catholic leader of Spain and were even blessed by Irish bishops prior to their departure for what was a most unusual expedition, and which has been vividly described by O’Duffy’s himself in his ‘Crusade in Spain’.

Eoin O’Duffy was later elected President of the NACA, the body controlling Irish athletics, and held this post until his death on 30th November 1944. On the 2nd December 1944, Eoin O’Duffy was given a full military funeral and was then laid to rest in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, alongside his friend and ally, Michael Collins.

Taken from Monaghan's Match
December 2004

Eoin O'Duffy Becomes Leader

In January 1933, the Fianna Fáil government called a surprise election, which the government won comfortably. The election campaign saw a serious escalation of rioting between IRA and ACA supporters. In April 1933, the ACA began wearing the distinctive blue shirt uniform.Eoin O'Duffy was a guerrilla leader in theIRA during the Irish War of Independence, a National Army general during the Civil War, and the police commissioner in theIrish Free State from 1922 to 1933. After de Valera's re-election in February 1933, Valera dismissed O'Duffy as commissioner, and in July of that year, O'Duffy was offered and accepted leadership of the ACA and renamed it the National Guard. He re-modelled the organisation, adopting elements of European fascism, such as the Roman straight-arm salute, uniforms and huge rallies. Membership of the new organisation became limited to people who were Irish or whose parents "profess theChristian faith". O'Duffy was an admirer of Benito Mussolini, and the Blueshirts adopted corporatism as their chief political aim. According to the constitution he adopted, the organisation was to have the following objectives:

To promote the reunification of Ireland.
To oppose Communism and alien control and influence in national affairs and to uphold Christian principles in every sphere of public activity.
To promote and maintain social order.
To make organised and disciplined voluntary public service a permanent and accepted feature of our political life and to lead the youth of Ireland in a movement of constructive national action.
To promote of co-ordinated national organisations of employers and employed, which with the aid of judicial tribunals, will effectively prevent strikes and lock-outs and harmoniously compose industrial influences.
To cooperate with the official agencies of the state for the solution of such pressing social problems as the provision of useful and economic public employment for those whom private enterprise cannot absorb.
To secure the creation of a representative national statutory organisation of farmers, with rights and status sufficient to secure the safeguarding of agricultural interests, in all revisions of agricultural and political policy.
To expose and prevent corruption and victimisation in national and local administration.
To awaken throughout the country a spirit of combination, discipline, zeal and patriotic realism which will put the state in a position to serve the people efficiently in the economic and social spheres.

Because of the later attraction of the group's leader Eoin O'Duffy to authoritarian nationalist movements on the European Continent, the Blueshirts are sometimes compared to the MVSN(Blackshirts) of Italy and to some extent performed a similar function.[8][9] Some of the Blueshirts later went to fight forFrancisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War and were anti-communist in nature, however historian R.M. Douglas has stated that it is dubious to portray them as an "Irish manifestation of fascism".
March on Dublin

The National Guard planned to hold a parade in Dublin in August 1933. It was to proceed to Glasnevin Cemetery, stopping briefly on Leinster lawn in front of the Irish parliament, where speeches were to be held. The goal of the parade was to commemorate past leaders of Ireland,Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and Kevin O'Higgins. It is clear that the IRA and other fringe groups representing various socialists intended to confront the Blueshirts if they did march in Dublin. The government banned the parade, remembering Mussolini's March on Rome, and fearing a coup d'état. Decades later, de Valera told Fianna Fáil politicians that in late summer 1933, he was unsure whether the Irish Army would obey his orders to suppress the perceived threat, or whether the soldiers would support the Blueshirts (who included many ex-soldiers). O'Duffy accepted the ban and insisted that he was committed to upholding the law. Instead, several provincial parades took place to commemorate the deaths of Griffith, O'Higgins and Collins. De Valera saw this move as defying his ban, and the Blueshirts were declared an illegal organisation.
Fine Gael and the National Corporate Party[edit]

In response to the banning of the National Guard, Cumann na nGaedheal and theNational Centre Party merged to form a new party, Fine Gael, on 3 September 1933. O'Duffy became its first president, with W. T. Cosgrave and James Dillonacting as vice-presidents. The National Guard changed into the Young Ireland Association, and became part of a youth wing of the party. The party's aim was to create a corporatist United Ireland within the British Commonwealth. The 1934 local elections were a trial of strength for the new Fine Gael and the Fianna Fáil government. When Fine Gael won only 6 out of 23 local elections, O’Duffy lost much of his authority and prestige. The Blueshirts began to disintegrate by mid-1934. The Blueshirts floundered also on the plight of farmers during theEconomic War, as the Blueshirts failed to provide a solution. Following disagreements with his Fine Gael colleagues, O'Duffy left the party, although most of the Blueshirts stayed in Fine Gael. In December 1934, O'Duffy attended theMontreux Fascist conference inSwitzerland. He then founded the National Corporate Party, and later raised an "Irish Brigade" that took General Francisco Franco's side in the Spanish Civil War.

Eoin O'Duffy - A Cautionary Tale
Eoin O'Duffy - A Self-Made Hero

by Fearghal McGarry, Oxford University Press,

Fearghal McGarry first made his mark as a historian with Irish Politics and the Spanish Civil War (1999), described by me as "the definitive textbook on the subject" in the Fall 2003 issue of Irish Literary Supplement. This was in the context of a review of his second book, Frank Ryan (2002), a biography criticised as both disappointing and sensationalist, with little evidence of the depth of research and analysis required to do justice to its subject. The hope was nonetheless expressed that the author's future work would demonstrate a return to the "high standards of scholarship, balanced presentation and conscientious evaluation" that he had previously shown.

How then does McGarry's third book, a biography of the Irish fascist leader Eoin O'Duffy, measure up to such hopes? The author states that he has attempted to explain rather than condemn such a life, but that he has uncovered little to warrant revision of previous negative assessments of O'Duffy. But this is not for the want of trying. In contrast with his previous biography, this work is meticulously researched. It is the story of a one-time avowed champion of democracy who had fought to vindicate the will of the Irish people in the 1918 election, being transformed into a convinced fascist who sought to crush the will of the Spanish people after their 1936 election; of a highly disciplined and impressive military leader who had led by selfless example during the War of Independence, becoming the high-living commander who selfishly abandoned his own troops during the Spanish Civil War.

McGarry begins by portraying the younger O'Duffy's devotion to duty through tireless work on behalf of the Gaelic Athletic Association. His leadership qualities would subsequently come to the fore as IRA leader in his native County Monaghan during the War of Independence. In contrast with much latter-day writing of Irish history, it is to the author's credit that he begins by clarifying the essential character of that war: "Established by democratic means, the Republic would be defended by violence". And when O'Duffy personally led the attack on Ballytrain RIC barracks in February 1920 he took the opportunity to give the police the following lesson in democracy: "At the general election the people had voted for freedom. The police were acting against the will of the Irish people. He appealed to them to leave the force and join their brother Irishmen."

A year later, in January 1921, there was a sharp escalation in the Monaghan war. McGarry conscientiously chronicles the complexity of such a war in an Ulster border county that not only had a 25 percent Unionist minority, but also a sullen hardcore of defeated Redmondites, which ensured that local hostility to the Republic amounted to as much as a third of the population. The minority was furthermore a very powerful one, in terms of property, influence and guns. McGarry describes the town of Clones as "a Protestant stronghold", while there were as many as 1,800 UVF members throughout Monaghan county as a whole.

In such a frontier society it was inevitable that there would be an inter-ethnic aspect to the conflict. McGarry, however, does himself an injustice by comparing his own detailed narrative of the war in Monaghan with Peter Hart's earlier approach to Cork in The IRA and the Enemies (1998), although he does acknowledge that other historians have questioned the accuracy of Hart's research. But it should also be pointed out that Cork was no border territory. The minority of Cork Loyalists who supported Britain's war against the Republic were against self-government for any part of Ireland. In contrast, the two Ulster communities involved in a conflict of nationalities in County Monaghan can be viewed, at least in retrospect, as having been engaged in creating their own de facto Boundary Commission, through a struggle to determine on which side of a future border they would lie. That this was essentially a conflict between two national allegiances rather than a religious war was underscored by O'Duffy's willingness to embrace an Ulster Protestant like Ernest Blythe who had crossed over from his own community in order to give his allegiance to the Irish independence struggle.

It was, of course, a conflict that could very easily have degenerated into something far more ugly. McGarry writes that "Republican violence in Monaghan was inevitably more sectarian than much of the rest of the country", but he also gives credit to O'Duffy for "the relative restraint demonstrated by the IRA during this period." In terms of the ruthless pursuit of informers, the author recognises that "order could not be maintained without discipline." He concedes that notwithstanding the high proportion of Protestant targets, "few, if any, people were shot solely because of their religion." And where he does speak of "questionable murders", it is to his credit as a historian that he presents the pros and cons of each individual case surveyed, allowing the reader to come to different conclusions than his own. For this reviewer there is just one such killing that remains questionable as to whether the motivation might have been less a suspicion of informing and more a desire to eliminate a vociferous political opponent who had disrupted a local authority vote of sympathy on the death of Cork Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney. However, that particular victim had not been some Unionist opponent but rather a Redmondite Hibernian one; not at all a Protestant Orangeman but a Catholic "Molly Maguire".

Eoin O'Duffy emerged from the War of Independence with a well-deserved reputation that his Civil War opponent Ernie O'Malley described as "energetic and commanding". How then, in the years before his death in 1944, did O'Duffy end up being described in intelligence reports as the "representative of the Axis powers in Ireland" and a "potential Quisling, suffering from acute alcoholic poisoning"? McGarry retells the story of O'Duffy's disastrous 1937 intervention on behalf of the fascist side in Spain that "cost Franco a small fortune - and killed more of his own soldiers than the enemy." He presents some new research in this area, notably O'Duffy's recently found diary of that escapade, and he quotes the description of O'Duffy as an "Operetta General" penned by one of Franco's own generals. McGarry concludes that Spain destroyed O'Duffy's reputation as a man of action, as previously "the General's reputation as a politician had been destroyed by his leadership of Fine Gael." But how had this degeneration come about?

McGarry devotes a lot of attention to O'Duffy's position as a protégé of IRB President Michael Collins, who would eventually promote him to Treasurer of that body's Supreme Council. While the IRA itself was a democratically structured organisation, the continued existence within its ranks of a secret society like the IRB was to have a profoundly destabilising effect, both North and South. Collins hailed O'Duffy as "the coming man", proceeding in July 1921 to pull off a stunt behind the back of Minister for Defence Cathal Brugha by unilaterally making O'Duffy Deputy Chief of Staff of the IRA for the post-Truce period. Collins brought O'Duffy with him to London for the start of the Treaty negotiations and it was O'Duffy who would obtain the artillery from Britain's General Macready in order to commence the Civil War in July 1922.

Meanwhile the IRB leadership was the behind-the-scenes manipulator of another little war. In the summer of 1921 O'Duffy had already explicitly criticised deValera for suggesting that counties with a Unionist majority should be allowed to opt out of a unified Ireland if Britain would agree to a Republic for the rest of the country. With Collins by his side, O'Duffy delivered an inflammatory speech in Armagh in September 1921 in which he threatened the majority of people in Belfast that, if they were not going to accept being part of the Irish nation, "they would have to use the lead against them." Such bombast only had the effect of intensifying the horrific Orange pogroms against that city's Catholic minority, just as in the post-Treaty month of March 1922 the murder of the McMahon family followed a Collins/O'Duffy military offensive in West Ulster. Without the knowledge of the Free State cabinet, O'Duffy and Collins were to be responsible for yet another failed Northern offensive during the month of May that ended in further disaster for Northern Ireland's Catholic minority. O'Duffy had indeed subdued the Unionist minority in his native Monaghan, but to ham-fistedly dream of similarly taking on the Unionist majority in Antrim and Down was quite a different proposition.

During the course of the Civil War, as well as in his capacity as Commissioner of the Garda Síochána for the first decade of its existence, O'Duffy continued to employ the rhetoric of democracy in his public utterances. McGarry, however, also highlights O'Duffy's cultivation of a highly orchestrated personality cult on his own behalf, at the same time as the Commissioner's private reports to Cabinet were complaining that "the Irish public is rotten." The General even began to alarm his own ruthless Minister for Home Affairs Kevin O'Higgins who, in the months prior to his 1927 assassination, had been on the point of sacking O'Duffy.

Knowing the threat that O'Duffy had come to pose to their own regime makes the Cumann na nGaedheal leadership all the more culpable in their attempt to bring down the Fianna Fáil Government in 1933 with a strategy of installing Blueshirt leader O'Duffy as the first President of Fine Gael. McGarry provides chapter and verse to demonstrate just how thoroughly fascist-minded and anti-democratic O'Duffy's own personal philosophy had become at this stage. And while quibbling with a statement of my own in a 1984 study - that anti-semitism had also come to form an integral feature of O'Duffy's personal ideology - he nonetheless provides year-by-year examples of such anti-semitism that actually confirm my conclusions. But McGarry does not always get his facts right. When he quotes Seán MacEntee's accusation that one particular Blueshirt had personally murdered a Dublin Jew, he states in a footnote that this had occurred during the Civil War. It had not. It had occurred six months after the conclusion of that particular conflict, in November 1923, and the subsequent escape to America of the army officer charged with that murder had been facilitated by both Garda and Free State Army authorities.

The very last words of McGarry's narrative sum up O'Duffy's biography as "a cautionary tale". What makes it all the more so is the author's determination to demonstrate that O'Duffy was not just some solitary freakish individual. He highlights how the Cumann na nGaedheal leadership's own virulent propaganda had already begun to publicly question the legitimacy of the Fianna Fáil Government's election victories of 1932 and 1933, before they ever came a-courting O'Duffy to become the leader of their blueshirted second coming. But McGarry also says a lot more. In the first history of that movement, The Blueshirts (1970), Maurice Manning of Fine Gael had expressed some disquiet at one or two of Ernest Blythe's 1933 utterances. Blythe's importance as an ideologist of the corporate state was more specifically highlighted by Mike Cronin in The Blueshirts and Irish Politics (1997). McGarry, however, takes research in this area very much further by providing a systematic narrative of the highly racialist and violently anti-democratic hate-propaganda penned by Blythe throughout the course of 1933 and 1934.

O'Duffy's own personal pietism has sometimes led to a far too simplistic classification of Blueshirt fascism as being little more than an excess of Catholic zeal. Blythe, of course, also knew how to opportunistically play the Papal encyclical card, but he himself never ceased to be an Ulster Protestant. Blythe's fascism was profoundly political and was in many ways much more alarming than that of O'Duffy, because it was all the more coherently thought out. McGarry notes that Blythe's fascism continued unabated throughout the war years and that Irish military intelligence also viewed him as another potential Quisling. Blythe surely merits a biography in his own right. Having produced such a comprehensive biography of O'Duffy, one hopes that Fearghal McGarry might be motivated to do just that.

Manus O'Riordan