30 September 2004 Edition
Politics in the 1960s
I welcome the interest beginning to be shown in the attempts made in the 1960s by the movement to 'go political'. In our time in the 1960s we tried to pick up on the earlier experience of 1934, and we were able to invoke some inputs from George Gilmore.
I am in process of publishing my own memoirs of that period, via Academica/Maunsel in the US, with Lavis in Oxford as European distributor. I understand an Irish edition may later be on the publisher's agenda.
The book is called Century of Endeavour and attempts to span the recent century from the perspectives of my father Joe Johnston and myself, both of us having in our different ways contributed to the all-Ireland approach to Irish nationhood, from a radical Protestant angle.
My father wrote critically in 1913 of the Tory conspiracy to arm the Orangemen, which led to the Larne gun-running. His 1913 Civil War in Ulster was re-published by UCD Press in 1999. An overview of my own book can be seen on my website at http://www.iol.ie/~rjtechne/ where it heads the political group on the table of contents. I give contact-points for the publisher and distributor.
Enquiries regarding publication schedule etc should go to the publisher, firm orders to the distributor.
Roy H W Johnston,
Hugh Orde should stay out of politics
Instead of continuing to infiltrate himself into the political landscape of the Irish Peace Process, Hugh Orde ought to concentrate on doing his job of reforming the police service in the North of Ireland so that it conforms to the Patten recommendations and can earn the respect of all of the citizens of the Six Counties.
Orde, at his recent press conference on his assessment of cross-border organised crime, claimed that "provisionals were still heavily involved in smuggling, fraud and other money-making schemes". Once again, Orde is choosing a critical juncture in negotiations to point a finger at republicans, clearly in an attempt to perpetuate the same tired propaganda.
Joining the Orde chorus was Irish minister Michael McDowell, who for the past year has been beating the same anti-republican drum. Sinn Féin's huge successes in the recent Irish and European elections are proof that McDowell's rants and raves have been profoundly rejected by the Irish people.
If Orde and McDowell have proof of racketeering, let them proceed with prosecutions, if not then they ought to shut up. The reality both men face — if negotiations lead to permanent stability of the institutions — is their own obscurity as Sinn Féin moves forward transforming the political terrain of Ireland.
Paul Doris, National Chair
Irish Northern Aid, USA.
In search of Liam Mellows
Last month An Phoblacht carried a report announcing the extremely welcome news that a group of former republican POWs have republished Liam Mellows and the Irish Revolution. Sadly repeated attempts to obtain a copy at Sinn Féin shops have met with failure and a certain level of confusion among retailers as to how to get a copy. There is no sign of the book in any commercial stores.
The article also described how the prison authorities censored the book so that it was impossible for republicans to get a copy while in prison. Curiously, it seems no easier to obtain a copy for those of us on the outside in this day and age.