Northern Ireland

The Blue Skies of Ulster ...

  • 1 November 1981
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"The dark eleventh hour draws on and sees us sold, To every evil power we fought against of old. "

Kilrea, Co. Derry lies fifteen miles south of Coleraine and almost exactly halfway between Belfast and Derry city. It is a small market town with a population of 1500 people and an electoral ward of 3,000. The Troubles notwithstanding, Kilrea continues to function successfully as a market town and on the average Wednesday the liveestock sales will handle approximately 600 cattle and 500 pigs.


Oxford Street will be in chaos at least once each day between now and Christmas", said a leading member of the Provisional IRA in reference to the resumed English bombing campaign. This was stated in the course of an interview with Magill at the beginning of November.

The Dail hinges on H-Block

The 120 supporters of H-Blocks groups in counties Cavan and Monaghan who gathered in Clones on 30 September did not fit most people's image of those who make or break governments. They were roughhhewn dairy farmers, red-faced co-op workers, a couple of publicans, the odd teacher, some ex-prisoners. They were the hard core of the H-Block activists whose campaign last June outtpaced that of the major parties and secured hunger striker Kieran Doherty's election to the Dail. By Brian Trench

Fear and Loathing in Fermanagh

Just after 6.00 pm on a dry April evening of last year, Victor Morrow left his home on the outskirts of Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh to walk the mile or so into town. Morrow worked as a machine operator at the Sir Richard Arkwright plastics factory 'in nearby Lisnaskea. He was working on the night shift and was walking, lunch box under his arm, into town to get a lift with one of his workmates. The Newtownbutler to Clones road along which he walked is a typical Fermanagh country road.

A Month of Murder

The basic problem of Northern Ireland continues to be the existence of the state itself


The intractability of the Northern Ireland problem was as well demonstrated in the first month of 1981 as at any other time in the last 60 years. Blatant bias was displayed in the courts in favour of British soldiers who had brutally murdered two farm workers in October 1972, with the senior soldier involved, Captain Snowball, being freed having pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact - an offence which would merit any republican at least 12 years imprisonment.

The Politics of H-Block

The H-Block issue has caused divisions in Irish society deeper than any exposed during the last decade of troubles in Northern Ireland. Not alone are the unionist and, nationalist communities now sharply polarized again, but there has arisen the spectre of a deep and hostile division between the nationalist community in the North and the vast majority of the people of southern Ireland.


The O'Malley-Haughey meeting

The Berry Papers reveal that the purpose of the secret meeting between Desmond O'Malley, then Minister for Justice, and Charles Haughey, then a defendant in the arms trial, on September 9, 1970, was for the purpose of getting Mr. Peter Berry to withdraw his evidence against Mr. Haughey. The Papers disclose that Mr. Haughey enquired of Mr. O'Malley if Mr. Berry could be "induced", "directed" or "intimidated" into not giving evidence.

The Arms Crisis Dail Debate

The following questions are framed to assist deputies in the forthcoming Arms Crisis debate in Dail Eireann and also journalists and members of the public who may have occasion to put these questions to the people involved.