These scans are from Devoid Media (No.1 Vol.1), a publication that came out of Trinity College Dublin in the early 1980s. The first issue of the mag included an interview with Larry from The Blades, which has already found its way online thanks to The Blades Fan Group on Facebook.
As well as plenty of coverage of the bands of the day, such as The Low, The Atrix and The Blades, the mag included an interesting little feature on the North City Centre Community Action Programme (NCCCAP), which was more popularly known as the ‘N- treble C-A-P’. They were receiving quite a lot of attention at the time, as local activist and TD Tony Gregory had just achieved the famous ‘Gregory Deal’ from Charles Haughey, which promised very significant investment in the north inner-city, an area that successive governments had totally ignored.
Over the following years, Gregory would use his Dáil seat and influence to highlight social issues and problems in the north inner-city, ranging from the spiraling drugs crisis to housing, and he was jailed for his involvement in solidarity activity around Dublin street traders. In Pushers Out: The Inside Story of Dublin’s Anti Drugs Movement, Andre Lyder notes that:
In 1986 Gregory supported protests by traditional Dublin women street traders, who were being relentlessly pursued by the Gardaí, on behalf of city centre businesses, for illegal trading. He was ordered by a judge to sign a bond that would have effectively precluded him from associating with the traders but went to prison rather than sign it. ‘The Gardaí’, he would often point out, ‘prefer to chase a few women with bananas in prams around the north inner-city than to chase heroin dealers.’
Yet while Tony Gregory was a remarkable activist, it’s important to note he was part of a broader network of people, that included activists such as his brother Noel, Fergus McCabe and Mick Rafferty. For Devoid Media, Fergus McCabe answered the questions.