Tuesday, February 12, 2019

FREE STATERS ATTEMPT TO BURY REPUBLICANISM UNDER CONCRETE.

ON THIS DATE (12TH FEBRUARY) 43 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF AN IRISH REPUBLICAN WHO WAS 'BURIED' BY FREE STATERS UNDER SIX FEET OF CONCRETE.

'Exhumed in glory a November moon was drifting

And freedom's light aglow

When some IRA had gathered in a graveyard in Mayo.

Those brave Irish Freedom fighters

Who came together in the West

Had come to fill the promise to lay Frank Stagg at rest.'


'Frank Stagg was the seventh child in a family of thirteen children, born at Hollymount near Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, in 1942. Stagg was educated to primary level at Newbrooke Primary School and at CBS Ballinrobe to secondary level. After finishing his education, he worked as an assistant gamekeeper with his uncle prior to emigrating from Ireland to England in search of work. In England, Frank was employed as a bus conductor and later qualified as a bus driver. In 1970 he married Bridie Armstrong from Carnicon, Co Mayo. He joined Sinn Féin in Luton in 1972 and shortly afterwards joined the IRA. Frank remained in touch with home and spent his annual holidays in Hollymount up to the year of his arrest and imprisonment in 1973. In the words of his mother, "he never forgot he was Irish..." ' (From here.)

Frank Stagg had begun his fourth (and final) hunger strike in late 1975 - having been convicted under the notorious 'British Conspiracy Laws' - as it was the only 'weapon' he had at his disposal with which to impress on his British captors his desire to be repatriated to Ireland. He died, blind and weighing just four stone, in Wakefield Prison on 12th February 1976, after 62 days on hunger strike.

His remains were hijacked by suited, uniformed and armed members of the State, acting under orders from FS Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave and his 'Justice' Minister, Paddy Cooney - the airplane carrying his coffin was diverted from Dublin to Shannon and, when it landed, the Special Branch surrounded it and forcibly removed the coffin and buried it, supported by an armed escort, under six feet of concrete in Leigue Cemetery in Ballina, County Mayo, in a grave purchased by the Free Staters and which was located about 70 meters from the Republican Plot in that cemetery ; on that day - Saturday, 21st February, 1976 - the Requiem Mass was boycotted by almost all his relatives.

For the following six months, armed State operatives maintained a heavy presence in the graveyard to prevent Irish republicans from affording Frank Stagg a proper burial but they were not the only group keeping a watch on the grave : the IRA were aware of their presence and, after the Staters withdrew, the IRA made their move : on the night of the 5th of November, 1976, the IRA disinterred Frank Stagg's remains and reburied them with his comrade, Michael Gaughan.

When questioned in Leinster House about this sordid affair, its 'Director', Paddy Cooney, stated - "The persistent attempts by members of an unlawful organisation and their associates to exploit the situation that arose are well known and, indeed, notorious. Because of this and because also of certain obligations of confidentiality, I must decline to make any comment on the question of the choice of burial place.."The "question of the choice of burial place" was, thankfully, not one that was left to Cooney and his thugs to decide. Frank Stagg, aged 33, had three funerals and two burials. One funeral had no body and one burial was done in darkness. In his final message to his comrades in the Republican Movement he wrote : "We are the risen people, this time we must not be driven into the gutter. Even if this should mean dying for justice. The fight must go on. I want my memorial to be peace with justice." That objective has still to be obtained and those in Leinster House, Stormont and Westminster are still working against it, still pouring 'concrete' on Irish republicanism. Shame on them.

Thanks for reading , Sharon. Back with a full post on Wednesday, 20th February 2019.






Wednesday, February 06, 2019

DUBLIN BARRISTER FOR SALE TO BOTH SIDES AT THE SAME TIME.

ON THIS DATE (6TH FEBRUARY) 142 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF AN IRISH PATRIOT.

'Imposing Military and Civic Demonstration in New York. The Remains En Route to Ireland - The Irish people of New York paid the last tribute of respect to the memory of the late Colonel John O’Mahony (pictured) on Tuesday of last week in one of the most imposing funeral demonstration that has been witnessed in this city since the obsequies of Terence Bellew McManus ; and by the time this issue of our paper reaches some of its more remote readers, the body of the dead Fenian leader will be upon the soil of his native land, as the “Dakota” by which it is being conveyed, is remarkable for making rapid and successful voyages.

The body of Colonel O’Mahony laid in state at the armory of the 69th Regiment until the morning of the 13th inst., and was viewed there by thousands of our citizens, the throng at times being so great as to entirely block up all the approaches to the building. A guard composed of a full Company of the 69th and detachments from the “Irish Legion” and the “Irish Brigade” and other national military organizations, was constantly on duty while the body lay at the armory ; and from the number of floral decorations that were from time to time sent in by sympathizing admirers of the deceased, the room in which the body was placed might have been taken for some fragrant parterre, if the character of the emblems were not suggestive of the somber presence of death. There were floral harps, with broken strings; shattered columns, and memorial crosses; as well as other designs of a more figurative nature and endless variety.

The coffin was draped with the handsome Irish flag sent to the 69th Regiment by the people of Tipperary, until the morning of the funeral, when the regimental flag of the 99th Regiment, NYSM, was substituted for it, and remained on the coffin to the end of the ceremonies. At an early hour on Tuesday morning, the remains were taken from the officers’ room in the armory, and placed in a handsome plate glass hearse, through the transparent panels of which the casket was plainly visible, covered by the regimental flags, and with the military cap, sword and belt of the deceased resting on the lid. Escorted by the guard of honor, the body was conveyed to the church of St. Francis Xavier, West sixteenth st., where preparations for the celebration of the last solemn offices of religion had been made by the Jesuit Fathers. The coffin was placed on a black draped catafalque in front of the high altar, which, as well as the body of the church, was dressed in mourning. On either side were three tall candlesticks ; and the numerous floral decoration were placed about the catafalque or on the lid of the casket. The Casket itself was of solid oak, covered with black cloth, and ornamented with silver bar-handles and mouldings, having a silver plate on the lid, on which was the following inscription:

“Colonel John O’Mahoney. Died Feb. 6, 1877; Aged 61 years.”

About half past eight o’clock, the church doors were opened, and though arrangements had been made to admit the congregation by tickets, so great was the throng that in a few minutes the spacious edifice was packed in every portion, nave, aisles and galleries...' (...from here.)

But then, as now, all was not well between those who struggled against British imperialism in Ireland - James Stephens who, along with Joseph Denieffe and Thomas Clark Luby had established the 'Irish Republican Brotherhood' in Peter Lanigan's timber yard, Lombard Street, Dublin, on St. Patricks Day in 1858, did not agree with the way John O' Mahoney got things done, and famously described O'Mahoney and his supporters as "...Irish tinsel patriots (who make) speeches of bayonets, gala days and jolly nights, banners and sashes, bunkum and filibustering, responding in glowing language to glowing toasts on Irish National Independence over beakers of fizzling champagne.." However - in our opinion, both were good men who shared a common objective but differed in how to obtain it, and both deserve to be remembered for the time and effort they gave to the cause of Irish freedom.





'TREASON FELONY'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



There was a dramatic turn in the trial of the eight men charged in connection with the Omagh action, at the Winter Assizes in Belfast on November 30th, when 'Lord Chief Justice' McDermott addressed the Grand Jury on a new charge against the men - 'treason felony'.

This latest charge is a throw-back to the old days and proves more conclusively than ever that the struggle against the British forces remains fundamentally the same old struggle. 'Treason' connotes rebellion by one owing allegiance and this latest charge seems a fitting rebuttal of the oft-boasted claim by Leinster House that 'this part of Ireland is free'.

The address of 'Lord' McDermott substantiates and upholds the stand which the Republican Movement has always maintained. He said - "The days have passed when war is necessarily a matter of large armies or uniforms...if the evidence satisfies you that there was intent to compel her Majesty to change her councils for example by removing or causing her to remove her troops from Northern Ireland (sic) you would be justified in finding that ingredient present. If you find evidence of intention to remove Northern Ireland (sic) from the United Kingdom and so deprive her Majesty of her right and title you would be justified in finding a true Bill."

'Lord' McDermott's words above definitely accept that the attack on Omagh Barracks was an act of war against the British forces - but the prisoners are not being treated as 'prisoners of war'! Why not? Apparently 'the Crown' wants it both ways. Yes - it's the same old enemy with the same old ways!

(END of 'Treason Felony'. Next, from the same source : 'British Forces Must Go, demands Sinn Féin President').








ON THIS DATE (6TH FEBRUARY) 119 YEARS AGO : IRISH "FIGHT-FOR-ENGLAND" NATIONALIST ELECTED 'LEADER OF THE PACK'.

John Redmond (pictured), the leader of the 'Irish Parliamentary Party', was born into a 'Big House'-type Catholic family on the 1st September in 1856 and, after a 'proper' education (in Clongowes College in Kildare and Trinity College in Dublin) he became a political 'player' in the British so-called 'House of Commons', where he supplemented his income as a clerk. He was only 25 years-of-age when he was first elected as an MP, having worked his way up the establishment ladder, and was elected as the leader of the 'Irish Party' on the 6th February, 1900 - 119 years ago on this date.

He was an Irish nationalist (small 'n') politician who, occasionally, campaigned for his followers (and anyone else that would listen to him) to join the British Army in its fight against Germany, and did so infamously, and unashamedly, in a public speech he delivered in Woodenbridge in County Wicklow on the 20th September in 1914, where he stated - "The interests of Ireland - of the whole of Ireland - are at stake in this war. This war is undertaken in the defence of the highest principles of religion and morality and right, and it would be a disgrace for ever to our country and a reproach to her manhood and a denial of the lessons of her history if young Ireland confined their efforts to remaining at home to defend the shores of Ireland from an unlikely invasion, and to shrinking from the duty of proving on the field of battle that gallantry and courage which has distinguished our race all through its history. I say to you, therefore, your duty is twofold. I am glad to see such magnificent material for soldiers around me, and I say to you : 'Go on drilling and make yourself efficient for the work, and then account yourselves as men, not only for Ireland itself, but wherever the fighting line extends, in defence of right, of freedom, and religion in this war..".

And, unfortunately, in the months that followed his 'call to arms', tens of thousands of Irishmen joined his 'Cause' and fought alongside imperialism to the extent that one of his modern-day political mirror-images (...who called for Irish people to join and support the British 'police force' in Ireland!) all but called Redmond a traitor for encouraging such folly. Other political leaders did not agree with John Redmond and, among them, was James Connolly, the Irish Trade Union leader, who was also in command of the Irish Citizen Army - he answered Redmond's call thus :

'Full steam ahead, John Redmond said,

that everything was well, chum ;

Home Rule will come when we are dead,

and buried out in Belgium'.


Also, some of John Redmond's own men disagreed with his pro-British 'call-to-arms' ; Eoin MacNeill, who was then in a leadership position within the 'Irish Volunteers', was of the opinion that the 'Irish Volunteers' should only use force against the British if* Westminster first moved against them ; a bit 'watery', definitely, but he was, however, against fighting with the British (*if having your country occupied by a foreign power cannot be considered a 'first move against us' then Mr MacNeill had a different understanding of the English language than we have!).

Just over a year after Mr Redmond had delivered his 'join imperialism'-speech in Woodenbridge, a British Army Major-General, 'Sir' Lovick Bransby Friend (..perhaps his parents never bonded with him?) the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in Ireland, said that 1,100 recruits were needed from Ireland every week "to replace wastage" (!) of existing Irish soldiers. The comments were made at a private conference on recruiting in Ireland that was held under the presidency of the 'Lord' Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Wimborne, at the Viceregal Lodge in Dublin's Phoenix Park, where it was also stated that approximately 81,000 Irishmen had 'heeded Redmond's call-to-arms'. The political mirror-image, mentioned above, had a point : if a call to assist the foe comes from 'the right quarters', it will - unfortunately - be heeded by those who should know better.

Anyway : the 'fight-for-England-for-Ireland' man died on the 6th March 1918, after a medical operation that month to remove an intestinal obstruction ; the operation appeared to progress well at first, but then he suffered heart failure and died a few hours later at a London nursing home. But his party lived on, albeit with a name change..!





'TRAITORS TO THE CROWN'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.



A crowded courtroom in Belfast town. Armed 'police' stand shoulder to shoulder on guard. The courthouse is packed with the forces of the invader and her satellites - British military officers and soldiers, CID, RUC, B Specials and loyal civilians. On the judges bench a white-wigged figure sits dressed in robes of scarlet, representing the 'law' and force of the invader.

Before him in the dock stand eight young Irish republicans, cheerful and carefree in their captivity. They stand arraigned on the charge of 'treason-felony' ; over a century ago the 'Treason-Felony Act' was enacted to make sure of the conviction of Newry's patriot Presbyterian, John Mitchel. In that pro-British, hostile atmosphere, the men in the dock affirm their allegiance to Ireland - her unity and independence and protest against the assertion that a citizen of Ireland could be guilty of treason against a foreign queen.

"Our war is not waged against Irishmen of any creed or class", states Eamon Boyce, "but against a foreign queen who has no right whatever to have forces on our soil."

And young Philip Clarke spoke as well - "We are Irishmen, our Fatherland is Ireland, and it is to the Fatherland we owe allegiance. It is against all reason, all justice, and every tenet of democracy that we should be convicted of treason against a foreign queen to whom we owe no allegiance..." (MORE LATER).






'INFORMING' ON A FUND-RAISING RAFFLE!

We won't be posting next Wednesday (13th February) as we'll be busy until at least next Monday/Tuesday (11th and 12th) putting the finishing touches to a Cabhair fund-raising raffle, which will be held in a hotel on the Dublin-Kildare border on Sunday, 10th February 2019.

One of our intended posts for the 13th was to do with a two-legged rat who caused serious damage to the Irish republican cause in the early 19th century and, as we won't be 'on air' then to give this despicable character a mention, we reckoned we should do it now.

'Leonard McNally, playwright, barrister, United Irishman and an Informer died on this day. He was born in Dublin in 1752, and became a barrister in England before returning home to practise at the Irish Bar. He was one of the original members of the Society of United Irishmen and came to and defended many of its members in the Courts. He turned informer in 1794 following the arrest of the French agent the Rev Jackson. The general opinion is that his nerve snapped under threats during interrogation but the exact circumstances that led to his decision to become a tout remain unclear.

His play Robin Hood (1784) was playing in Dublin on the night in 1798 when Lord Edward Fitzgerald was captured on foot of information he had provided. . During 1798 and in 1803 he found himself in the bizarre situation of taking money both from revolutionary defendants before the Courts and from Dublin Castle for providing them with information that would compromise his clients...some of his associates had their doubts, and indeed one ‘doubter’ sent him a snake in a parcel from America as a token of gratitude! However his dark secret remained hidden until his death in 1820. Ironically he was given a Patriots funeral. It was only when his family demanded from the British government that his pension of £300 per annum should be continued that his secret life as a traitor was exposed...' (from here.)

And exposed he was, but not before he had 'earned his keep' for the British administration in Dublin Castle - while being hunted by the British, Robert Emmet took refuge in the Harold's Cross area of Dublin, during which time he met with his mother and Sarah Curran but, on Thursday August 25th, 1803, he was finally located and 'arrested' by the British. It has been stated by others that a £1000 reward was paid by Dublin Castle to an informer, for supplying the information which led to his capture. Robert Emmet's bad luck did not stop on his arrest : he had the misfortune to be defended by one Leonard McNally who was trusted by the United Irishmen. However, after McNally's death in 1820 it transpired that he was a highly paid government agent and, in his role as an informer, that he had encouraged young men to join the rebels, betrayed them to Dublin Castle and would then collect fees from the United Irishmen to 'defend' those same rebels in court!

This tout is alleged to have died on the 13th February, 1820, but he is also listed as having died in June that year : 'Hereunder lyeth the body of William NALLY, of [illegible], in the county of Dublin, Gent. who departed this life October 7th, 1669." [Mr. D'Alton mentions him as William MALLY, of Roebuck. His descendant, Leonard Mac Nally, was here interred 8th June, 1820...' The confusion arises because his son, Leonard (Jnr), also a solicitor, died on the 13th February that year and was buried in Donnybrook on the 17th February. His father, Leonard Snr, actually sent a legal missive to 'Saunder's Newsletter', on the 6th March that year, looking for financial 'compensation' for the "severe injury caused by the circulation of my death"! Ever the snake in the grass -trying to make money out of the death of his own son.

Anyway - this parasite died, as stated, in June, 1820, and was buried in Donnybrook on the 8th of that month, and, in his memory, we post the following 'tribute' :

VULTURE.

A sheepman in the Mournes observed it first

Gorging on the entrails of a still-born

Lamb; next it was disturbed plucking the heart

From an aborted human foetus unborn

For better things elsewhere and on the third

Day poachers stoned it from the corpse of

an Informer they found gagged with a dragon's turd And testicles.




But it grew weary on

Such rich fare, scavenging the abattoirs

Of hate until, enormous, gross, and fat

With the viscera of the dove and rat,

Sated yet home-sick for the heat and flies,

It bore South again, smelling a sweeter war,

Where God died long ago of tribal lies.
(From here.)







'A NEW THEORY OF RELATIVITY', by Pat Rabbitte.

From 'Magill' magazine, February 1998.

In the Christmas edition of 'Garda Review', the editorial records that "..despite our many detractors, the Garda Síochana can be justifiably proud that as a police force it is winning the battle against criminal elements in this country (sic) .." It would be interesting to know precisely who the 'detractors' in mind are. Certainly, it can't include politicians, because only a maverick breaks the unwritten rule that politicians don't criticise the gardaí. Yet there is not a single politician of any party representing an urban constituency who, over the past four or five years, has not been privately sharing stories of worrying criticism of policing in his or her own constituency.

This criticism usually falls into two categories - firstly, prior to 'Operation Dochas' being introduced in late autumn 1996, a policing vacuum was allowed to develop in areas most severely ravaged by the drugs epidemic. This vacuum was almost inevitably filled by elements untroubled by the dictates of natural justice. Besieged parents sickened with fear for their children's welfare couldn't afford to withhold support from the 'self-policing' of their communities. Secondly, residents' associations in middle-class areas experienced unprecedented criticism of policing effectiveness and garda responses.

How much of this criticism was the result of legislators not doing their job, low morale, for whatever reason, in garda ranks or outdated management techniques in the upper echelons of the garda, or a combination of all three, is difficult to say...

(MORE LATER).


Thanks for reading, Sharon.






Wednesday, January 30, 2019

SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT SUPPORTS 1921 TREATY OF SURRENDER.

ON THIS DATE (30TH JANUARY) 138 YEARS AGO : EVE OF 'CONSTRUCTION' FOR MILITANT IRISH LADIES.

On the 30th January 1881 - 138 years ago on this date - Charles Stewart Parnell's sisters, Anna and Fanny, put the final touches to a new organisation which they officially launched the following day : they established a 'Ladies Land League' which, at its full strength, consisted of about five hundred branches and didn't always see eye-to-eye with its 'parent' organisation, the 'Irish National Land League'.

In its short existence, it provided assistance to about 3,000 people who had been evicted from their rented land holdings) to assist and/or take over land agitation issues, as it seemed certain that the 'parent' body was going to be outlawed by the British and, sure enough, the British Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone, introduced and enforced a 'Crimes Act' that same year, 1881 (better known as the 'Coercion/Protection of Person and Property Act') which made it illegal to assemble in relation to certain issues and an offence to conspire against the payment of rents 'owed' which, ironically, was a piece of legislation condemned by the same catholic church which condemned the 'Irish National Land League' because that Act introduced permanent legislation and did not have to be renewed on each political term.

And that same church also condemned the 'Ladies Land League' to the extent that Archbishop McCabe of Dublin instructed priests loyal to him "..not to tolerate in your societies (diocese) the woman who so far disavows her birthright of modesty as to parade herself before the public gaze in a character so unworthy of a Child of Mary..." - the best that can be said about that is that that church's 'consistency' hasn't changed much over the years, and that it wasn't only a religious institution which made an issue out of women being politicised - 'In the year in which the Ladies' Land League was formed, Ireland was first mentioned in the 15 January 1881 issue of the 'Englishwoman's Review'. Tellingly, this was a report headed 'Women Landowners in Ireland' (and) there was also a small report of a 'Catholic Charitable Association' being formed 'by a number of Irish ladies for aiding the families of poor or evicted tenants'.

The addition of the phrase "It is distinctly understood that the society shall take no part whatever in political agitation.." reveals the disapproval felt by the journal for those engaged in that agitation *. The formation of the Ladies' Land League was then noted : 'In anticipation of Government action against local branches of the Irish National Land League, arrangements are being made for the establishment of a Ladies' Land League throughout Ireland. Such a movement has already been organised in America, where Mrs Parnell, the mother of the Member for Cork, is the President, and Miss Fanny Parnell and Mr John Stewart, the sister and brother of Mr Parnell, MP, are acting as organisers. The Irish movement will be led by the wives of the local leaders of the existing league, and will devote themselves to the collection of funds...' ** (from here).

* / ** - That periodical was assembled and edited by, and for, middle-class women of the day (late 19th/early 20th century) and, while it did cover and promote economic independence for women, occupation outside of the home for women, the need for better educational facilities for women to enable and encourage women to seek employment in 'the male professions' ie politics and medicine, it was truly of its day in that it was felt to be a bridge-too-far to call for women to take to the streets for the right to be more than 'just' fund-raisers. In short, the authors were, in effect, confining themselves to be further confined.

In October 1881, Westminster proscribed the 'Irish National Land League' and imprisoned its leadership, but the gap was ably filled by the 'Ladies Land League' until it was acrimoniously dissolved on the 10th August 1882, 19 months after it was formed.





"WE ASK FOR NO MERCY AND WE WILL MAKE NO COMPROMISE" - TERENCE MacSWINEY.

An edited version of this speech was published in 'The United Irishman' newspaper in October 1954. This is the speech in full ; on the 13th March, 1920, Terence MacSwiney (pictured) was unanimously elected as the 'Lord Mayor of Cork' by that city's Corporation. He donated his salary for the position to an outside organisation and received no salary for the other position he held at that time - Brigadier of the No. 1 Brigade, Cork IRA.

"But it is conceivable that they, our enemies, could interrupt our course for a time ; then it becomes a question simply of trust in God and endurance. Those whose faith is strong will endure to the end and triumph. The shining hope of our time is that the great majority of our people are now strong in that faith. To you, gentlemen of the minority here, I would address a word. I ask you again to take courage and hope. To me it seems — and I don't say it to hurt you — that you have a lively faith in the power of the devil, and but little faith in God.

But God is over us and in His divine intervention we have perfect trust. Anyone surveying the events in Ireland for the past five years must see that it is approaching a miracle how our country has been preserved. God has permitted this to be, to try our spirits, to prove us worthy of a noble line, to prepare us for a great and noble destiny. You amongst us who have yet no vision of the future have been led astray by false prophets. The liberty for which we today strive is a sacred thing, inseparably entwined as body and soul with that spiritual liberty for which the saviour of men died, and which is the inspiration and foundation of all just government. Because it is sacred, and death for it is akin to the sacrifice on Calvary, following far off but constant to that divine example, in every generation our best and bravest have died.

Sometimes in our grief we cry out foolish and unthinking words : 'the sacrifice is too great'. But it is because they were our best and bravest that they had to die. No lesser sacrifice could save us. Because of it our struggle is holy, our battle is sanctified by their blood, and our victory is assured by their martyrdom. We, taking up the work they left incomplete, confident in God, offer in turn sacrifice from ourselves. It is not we who take innocent blood but we offer it, sustained by the example of our immortal dead and that divine example which inspires us all for the redemption of our country. Facing our enemies we must declare our attitude simply. We ask for no mercy, and we will make no compromise. But to the Divine Author of mercy we appeal for strength to sustain us, whatever the persecution, that we may bring our people victory in the end. The civilised world dare not continue to look on indifferent. But if the rulers of earth fail us we have yet sure succour in the Ruler of Heaven ; and though to some impatient hearts His judgements seem slow, they never fail, and when they fall they are overwhelming and final."

(END of 'We Ask For No Mercy And We Will Make No Compromise'. Next - 'Traitors To The Crown', from 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.)








BORN ON THIS DATE (30TH JANUARY) 174 YEARS AGO : HISTORY-MAKER KATHARINE WOOD.

Born in 1846, on the 30th January - 174 years ago today - Katharine Wood (pictured) matured into an unwitting femme fatale, said to be practically solely responsible for 'the most notorious scandal of the late Victorian Age' - the downfall of Charles Stewart Parnell and the split which followed in the 'Home Rule Movement' -

'Kitty' was a name she would have hated, as it was slang for a woman of loose morals. In fact, she only loved two men in her life and married both of them, though the marriage to Parnell was to prove tragically short-lived as he died in her arms after a few brief months of happiness. She was born Katharine Wood in 1845, and was known as Kate to her family. Her father was a baronet, a member of the British aristocracy and her brother a Field Marshall, although their grandfather had started life as an apprentice and was a self-made man.

The Woods were closely linked with the Gladstone family and Katharine often acted as a go-between with William Gladstone when Parnell was trying to persuade the British government to grant Ireland independence. She had married William O'Shea at the age of twenty-one, not long after the death of her father, and the marriage had produced a son and two daughters. O'Shea neglected his wife and pursued his own pleasures while she was often left to bring up the children alone, while also looking after her elderly aunt. She played the part of a dutiful wife, however, and hosted dinner parties to help her husband's career. Parnell, an important figure in Irish politics, was always invited, always accepted and yet never showed up.

Annoyed and perplexed by these apparent snubs she went to confront him in person at his office in Westminster in July 1880. The effect was immediate ; "This man is wonderful and different," she was to write later. Parnell was a bachelor who had once loved and been rejected, and never took an interest in women again until he met Katharine. It was a suicidal love as she was married to a fellow Irish MP and was a respectable wife and mother. The power of the attraction between the two, however, was impossible to resist and before long they were living together in her home in Eltham in the suburbs of London. They had an illicit 'honeymoon' in Brighton and Katharine was to bear three children to Parnell while still married to O'Shea, the first of whom died soon after being born. It is even thought that she bore Parnell a son who could take his name after they finally married, although this child was stillborn. O'Shea knew of the relationship but turned a blind eye to it. Then the Aunt died and left Katharine a large inheritance and he decided to divorce his wife and shame Parnell publicly. The ensuing scandal ruined Parnell's career and his health.

His traditional supporters in Catholic Ireland turned away from him when they learned he had been living with a married woman even though he and his beloved Katharine became man and wife after they married at Steyning register office in Sussex, the county where they made their home. In an attempt to revive his flagging fortunes, Parnell went to Ireland and spoke at a public meeting in County Galway. He was caught in a thunderstorm and developed a chill from which he never recovered. Seriously ill, he returned to be with Katharine and died soon afterwards. They had been married for only four months. It is estimated that half a million people lined the streets of Dublin to pay their respects to Parnell as his coffin was taken to Glasnevin cemetery to be buried near Daniel O'Connell. Later Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins were also laid to rest nearby. On the granite stone above his grave lies just one word – 'Parnell', enough to identify Ireland’s flawed hero whose dream of a free and united country at peace with Britain was destroyed by his love for a married woman.

And what happened to Kitty, as the world now knew her? It was all too much for her and she lived out her days quietly in Sussex. She never married or fell in love again but looked after her children and died at the age of seventy-five. When she was buried, only her immediate family came to the funeral and on her grave monument were the names of both her husbands with that of Parnell, the great love of her life, above that of O'Shea who gave her the name she is known by. There is no sign of 'Kitty', however. By the gravestone is a plaque placed by the Parnell Society with Parnell's promise to her: "I will give my life to Ireland, but to you I give my love..." (from here.)

Katharine Wood died on the 5th February 1921, at 75 years of age, in Littlehampton in Sussex, England, and is buried there.





'SAVINGS LAW SHOULD BE CHANGED' : a letter sent to 'The Irish Times' newspaper by a Dr. Lucey.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

"No other country in the world, as far as I am aware, hands over its savings in this way to a foreign country. Why should we keep on doing this? How can we employ our people at home, if we send their savings to be spent abroad?"

Dr Lucey added that local savings should as far as possible be spent locally, not abroad or even for general national (sic) purposes. Last year, the 'Cork Savings Bank' handed over £309,000 of Cork money to the (State) Minister of Finance. The 'Post Office Savings Bank' in Cork sent him most likely much more. Why was this money - Cork's money - not handed over to the Corporation in Cork for housing? Were the Corporation to get this money at the rate the Minister got it there would be a saving of 2% in the interest rates on housing loans, and the rent of a £1,500 house would be 12 shillings less in consequence.

(END of 'Savings Law Should Be Changed'. Next - 'Treason Felony', from 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.)






ON THIS DATE (30TH JANUARY) 160 YEARS AGO : A FUTURE SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT IS BORN.

'Edward Martyn, playwright, co-founder of Irish Literary Theatre, and Sinn Féin president, is born in Tulira, Co. Galway.

Martyn was descended from Richard Óge Martyn (c.1604 - 1648), a leading Irish Confederate, and Oliver Óge Martyn (c.1630 - c.1709), a Jacobite who fought in the Williamite War in Ireland. Yet by his lifetime, the family were unionists. Martyn's outlook began to change in the 1880's after studying Irish history, as well as living through the events of the Irish Land War. He came out as an Irish republican when he famously refused to allow "God Save The Queen" to be sung after a dinner party at Tullira. By this stage he was involved with the political work of Maude Gonne and Arthur Griffith, and was a vocal opponent of the visit of Queen Victoria to Ireland in 1897.

He also protested the visit by Edward VII in 1903, this time as chairman of the People's Protection Committee. He was the first president of Sinn Féin from 1905 to 1908 (the party only taking that name in the latter year) (but) in 1908 he resigned from the party and politics in general to concentrate on writing and his other activities. He became close friends with Griffith, Thomas MacDonagh, Joseph Mary Plunkett and Patrick Pearse, and deeply mourned their executions in the aftermath of the Easter Rising. A parish hall and church that he founded at Labane, near Tullira, were burned by the Black and Tans. He supported * the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921...' (from here.)

( * - indeed, a close friend of his, Isabella Augusta Persse ['Lady' Gregory] stated, after one of her visits to him [on the 14th January 1922] that he declared to her that "he is all for the Treaty..")





ON THIS DATE (30TH JANUARY) 47 YEARS AGO : BRITISH ARMY MASSACRE IN DERRY.

After a peaceful Civil Rights march on January 30th, 1972 - 47 years ago on this date - from Creggan to Free Derry Corner, units of the British army Parachute Regiment opened fire with automatic rifles and shot dead 13 unarmed civilians, injuring many more, one of whom died later. It was later revealed that some days prior to the massacre, the British soldiers involved had been briefed to "shoot to kill" at the march.

"This Sunday became known as 'Bloody Sunday' and bloody it was. It was quite unnecessary. It strikes me that the (British) army ran amok that day and shot without thinking of what they were doing. They were shooting innocent people. They may have been taking part in a parade which was banned, but that did not justify the troops coming in and firing live rounds indiscriminately. I would say without reservations that it was sheer unadulterated murder. It was murder, gentlemen" - the words of British Major Hubert O'Neill, Derry City Coroner, at the conclusion of the inquests on the 13 people killed by the British Army on that day.

The British Army are still in Ireland and Westminster continues to claim jurisdictional control over six Irish counties - the potential for another 'Bloody Sunday' still exists. That threat can only be removed when Westminster removes itself from Ireland, politically and militarily.





'A NEW THEORY OF RELATIVITY', by Pat Rabbitte.

From 'Magill' magazine, February 1998.

When it comes to comment on garda performance, I am a bit sceptical, but understanding, of most security correspondents. The fact is that the Garda Síochana have emerged from a difficult period in their impressive history - damage has been done by the bitter and prolonged internal dispute about who speaks for rank-and-file gardaí.

The image of Gardaí importing 'security' to protect themselves from other gardaí* has lodged in the public memory. At one stage it seemed to many people that the response of certain personnel in the 'Garda Representative Association' was overtly political, with a large 'P'. Happily, that dispute seems to be about to finally resolve itself.

The emergence as lead advocate for the new combined representative organisation of some of the common-sense spokesmen who fronted the breakaway federation would greatly help the process of restoring public confidence. The gardaí themselves are clearly sensitive to, if not bitter about, criticism of their own performances... ( *...or to assist them in evictions ordered by banks) (MORE LATER.)


Thanks for reading, Sharon.






Wednesday, January 23, 2019

THE ENGLISH 'GENTRY' IN IRELAND - "LIVED A LIFE OF CRUELTY, DECEPTION AND EXTREME VIOLENCE".

"WE ASK FOR NO MERCY AND WE WILL MAKE NO COMPROMISE" - TERENCE MacSWINEY.

An edited version of this speech was published in 'The United Irishman' newspaper in October 1954. This is the speech in full ; on the 13th March, 1920, Terence MacSwiney (pictured) was unanimously elected as the 'Lord Mayor of Cork' by that city's Corporation. He donated his salary for the position to an outside organisation and received no salary for the other position he held at that time - Brigadier of the No. 1 Brigade, Cork IRA.

"Gentlemen, you have paid tribute to him on all sides. It will be my duty and steady purpose to follow that line as faithfully as in my power, though no man in this Council could hope to discharge its functions with his ability and his perfect grasp of public business in all its details and as one harmonious whole.

I have thought it necessary to touch on this normal duty of ours, though — and it may seem strange to say it — I feel at the moment it is even a digression. For the menace of our enemies hangs over us, and the essential immediate purpose is to show the spirit that animates us, and how we face the future. Our spirit is but to be a more lively manifestation of the spirit in which we began the year — to work for the city in a new zeal, inspired by our initial act when we dedicated it and formally attested our allegiance, to bring by our administration of the city, glory to our allegiance, and by working for our city's advancement with constancy in all honourable ways, in her new dignity as one of the first cities in Ireland to work for and if need be to die for.

I would recall some words of mine on that day of our first meeting after the election of Lord Mayor. I realised that most of you in the minority here would be loyal to us, if doing so did not threaten your lives ; but that you lacked the spirit and the hope to join with us to complete the work of liberation so well begun. I allude to it here again, because I wish to point out again the secret of our strength and the assurance of our final victory. This contest of ours is not on our side a rivalry of vengeance, but one of endurance — it is not they who can inflict most but they who can suffer most will conquer — though we do not abrogate our function to demand and see that evil doers and murderers are punished for their crimes..." (MORE LATER).





BLOODY SUNDAY PICKET, SATURDAY, 26TH JANUARY 2019, GPO, DUBLIN, 12.45PM TO 1.45PM.

After a peaceful Civil Rights march on January 30th, 1972 - from Creggan to Free Derry Corner - units of the British army Parachute Regiment opened fire with automatic rifles and shot dead 13 unarmed civilians, injuring many more. It was later revealed that some days prior to the massacre, the British soldiers involved had been briefed to "..shoot to kill.." at the march.

"This Sunday became known as 'Bloody Sunday' and bloody it was. It was quite unnecessary. It strikes me that the (British) army ran amok that day and shot without thinking of what they were doing. They were shooting innocent people. They may have been taking part in a parade which was banned, but that did not justify the troops coming in and firing live rounds indiscriminately. I would say without reservations that it was sheer unadulterated murder. It was murder, gentlemen" - the words of British Major Hubert O'Neill, Derry City Coroner, at the conclusion of the inquests on the 13 people killed by the British Army on that day. On Saturday January 26th next, a picket to mark the anniversary of that massacre will be held at the GPO in Dublin, from 12.45pm to 1.45pm. All welcome!





ON THIS DATE (23RD JANUARY) 216 YEARS AGO - DEATH OF THE 'GUINNESS BLACK PROTESTANT PORTER' MAN!

'Arthur Guinness disapproved of the United Irishmen's Rebellion of 1798. Because of this, the new brew became known as 'Guinness's black Protestant porter'. Catholics and nationalists boycotted the drink for a time, but far from damaging his trade, Guinness used the opportunity to set up a lucrative export trade with England...' (from here.)

I don't drink the stuff meself (..much more refined than that, so I am..!) but that drink, and the family associated with it - Guinness - have an 'interesting' history. Henry Grattan (to whom the Guinness family were related, through marriage) and Arthur were both vocal critics of the then taxation system which imposed tariffs on, among other goods, beer and, while both men were 'sympathetic' towards the suffering of the Irish, both were prepared to accept and, indeed, campaigned for, less than complete Irish freedom from the British 'crown'. Arthur was not only against full independence for Ireland but was politically opposed to those who were to the extent that, in republican circles, he was considered to be an informer, collecting and passing information to 'crown' agents - the 'Union Star' newspaper described him as "..a brewer at James's Gate, an active spy. United Irishmen will be cautious of dealing with any publican who sells his drink..."

Arthur is on record for being 'directly opposed to any movement toward Irish independence (and wanting) Ireland to remain under English control', to which end one of his family members, 'Lord' Iveagh, donated £10,000 to the UVF arms fund in 1913. As employers, they were decent enough to most of their employees - 'While they maintained their reputation as good employers and philanthropists, their unionist politics left them out on a limb in independent Ireland (sic) , although they quickly adjusted to doing business with the new Free State. In many respects they were the ultimate business pragmatists: the union was important to them because so much of their stout was sold in Britain and the empire. When a trade war threatened in the 1930s they finally activated plans that had been drawn up when Home Rule looked likely before the first World War and moved their headquarters to England...' (from here.)

'In the run-up to the Easter Rising, members of the Irish Volunteers who worked in Guinness' were discouraged from openly parading. Frank Henderson, a captain in the Irish Volunteers who took part in the Howth Gun Running and the Easter Rising, said Guinness' staff were wary that they may be victimised in their workplace...the company took a hard line with anybody displaying any form of support for Irish republicanism or nationalism. Following the 1916 Rising, Guinness was one of a number of companies that dismissed its staff suspected of involvement in the rebellion or sympathetic to those who took part. During the fighting in 1916, trucks used by Guinness' were converted into improvised armoured fighting vehicles by the British Army and used against republican forces. One such Guinness truck used by the British was made by bolting four boilers onto the rear of a Guinness flatbed truck. These were believed to have been the first armoured cars used in Ireland. There are conflicting reports over whether these vehicles were commandeered by the British Army or donated to them by Guinness & Co...' (..more here.)

In the 1980's, one of the management team in the company, Edward Guinness, referenced the conflicts in the occupied six counties of Ireland and in the Malvinas and spoke about how he didn't agree with the attitude from Leinster House in regards to not (publicly) supporting Westminster in its 'endeavours' in those two areas of conflict (see text graphic, above), opining aloud that he was "..no longer sure the association with Ireland was helpful.." and stating that it may be opportune to "..emphasise facts such as that Guinness was an English company.."

It is indeed "an English company" ; in 1997, that company further integrated itself into its 'English (business) Empire' when it and the 'Grand Metropolitan' company merged to form 'Diageo'. Guinness could have been better to the Irish, just as the Irish were good for Guinness. But I'll stick to my cider, anyway, as I raise a pint to Arthur Guinness, who died on this date - 23rd January - in 1803.

Up ya Boy, ya - and here's to the Wild Rover...!





'SAVINGS LAW SHOULD BE CHANGED' : a letter sent to 'The Irish Times' newspaper by a Dr. Lucey.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

"I urge most strongly that the law governing savings be changed so that the local community may be allowed to benefit by the thrift of its own members" said the most Rev Dr Lucey, Bishop of Cork, when presiding at the annual meeting of the 'Cork Savings Bank' in Cork recently.

Dr Lucey said that the 'Cork Savings Bank' and the 'Post Office Savings Bank' were bound by law to deposit all their income with the Minister for Finance, and much of it was invested in British Government Securities in London. According to his latest report, of July 16th last year, no less than £27,000,000 of Irish savings was so invested. The rest, he said, was used at home, some being in our own State, and municipal loans.

"Dublin, incidentally, has £4,750,000 of it compared with a mere £240,000 to Cork, and the rest - roughly £30,000,000 - used as advances to the Exchequer etc. In a word, our savings are either exported to England, lent out by the State at, perhaps, 5%, to local authorities or used to finance State expenditure.." (MORE LATER).





'A NEW THEORY OF RELATIVITY', by Pat Rabbitte.

From 'Magill' magazine, February 1998.

There is a further reason why the men and women of the Garda Síochana ought to be properly paid - they ought not be driven out of necessity into double-jobbing. It is difficult to know how widespread the phenomenon is - there are no figures available - and it is hard to divine how much is due to gardaí being unable to raise their families on basic pay and how much is due to good old-fashioned greed. Some of it is quite harmless and nobody's business, but some of it seems to regard the day job as a distraction.

Where large-scale entrepreneurial talent is constrained in a garda uniform, should it not, as a matter of policy, be released into the private sector? What is the policy on the matter? For example, why should a garda moonlighting a couple of nights a week as a 'bouncer' be subjected to severe disciplinary action while another member of the force can, with impunity, devote himself to the business of his (sic) choice?

I turned eagerly to the recently published 'Report of the Steering Group on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Garda Síochana' for guidance on this and other questions. In other words - quis custodies custodiet? To my surprise , the question seems not to have been addressed. How is it possible to examine the 'efficiency and effectiveness of the Garda Síochana' and not address such a question? Or is it that the subject was discussed but no conclusions are reflected in the published report? No amount of 'Irish Times' reports or expansive pieces by 'security correspondents' on the 'comprehensive' nature of the report can reassure me on this point... (MORE LATER).





ON THIS DATE (23RD JANUARY) 64 YEARS AGO : JUST ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL...

"Only four per cent of the 450,000 pupils attending primary schools could get secondary education, while only eight per cent of secondary students could afford to go to a university.." - so said Dr Noel Browne, on the 23rd January 1955.

In February 1955, 'The United Irishman' newspaper quoted the above comment and (rightly) described it as "..a damning indictment of not merely Leinster House policy, but nineteen years of Fianna Fáil supremacy in that House..", and informed its readers that Dr Noel Browne was a Fianna Fáil Executive member who joined that party in 1953 but lost his Leinster House seat in the 1954 state election and was later expelled from that political party. Since then, however, not only have Fianna Fáil and their colleagues in Leinster House not fixed the education system in this State, but they have 'dumbed down' the health service to match it. Maybe in the hope/belief that if you leave school 'under-educated', you won't notice the shambles that the health service, and every other 'service' in this corrupt State, is in.





ON THIS DATE (OR THEREABOUTS!) 245 YEARS AGO : IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED...

'Our domestic news is first the death of Lord Sydney occasioned by a dose of Danish poison. His lordship to render himself agreeable to his lady upon their marriage stopped two issues he had in his thighs but found no ill effects until the 13th inst. when, after a night of great exercise by dancing, his temper and reason as appears since, was in some sort affected ; however, not so much as to make those about him immediately suspect it or the consequence. He complained of indisposition and sent for a physician. He republished his will leaving his estate to Capt. Cosby of the Navy and added a codicil leaving the jewels he bought for his wife (whom in his delirium he was jealous of) and the family china to his sister Lady Farnham, after which being disappointed in an attempt to shoot himself and one to poison himself, he took on (this date) the dose which was sufficiently strong to carry him off in a few hours..' - from a newspaper report of the time.

Dudley Cosby [pictured] ('Baron Sydney'), an MP for Carrick, was born in that part of Donegal in 1730 into a well-to-do family and, as expected, was groomed for, and accepted, a 'diplomatic' lifestyle - at 33 years of age he took a position in the 'Irish House of Commons' as a political representative and was, that same year, appointed by his political peers as a 'Minister Resident' to Denmark. He was elected to the Irish House of Commons as one of two representatives for Carrick in 1763 (a seat he held until 1768). That same year (1763) he was also appointed 'Minister Resident to Denmark', where he was to assist the aged 'Envoy Extraordinary', Walter Titley. He arrived in Copenhagen in February 1764, but returned to Britain already the following year. In 1768 he was elevated to the Peerage of Ireland as Lord Sydney, of Leix, Baron Stradbally and, like many English 'diplomats' in Ireland, he came from a 'troubled' family and was himself actually described as insane in diplomatic correspondence from the time!

At least one of his relatives, Francis, was known to be a thug who repeatedly murdered and abused the native Irish to enforce his writ and publicly robbed, cheated and blackmailed anyone who could improve his financial position - "...he was a law unto himself who terrorised and butchered the native Irish. He acted in his own best financial interests, and when he wasn't just plain killing people he was swindling, blackmailing and double-crossing them (and) proved himself a prolific slayer of the Irish in the battles around the Pale..he was given the previous Franciscan religious house in Stradbally by Queen Elizabeth I in 1562, as a reward for his enthusiastic suppression of the natives...his entry in the 'Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography' describes him as living a life of cruelty, deception and extreme violence...he set to work on his main local rival, the Laois Gaelic chief Ruairí Óg Ó Mórdha and they began their ill-fated relationship by running lucrative protection rackets together (but) they fell out when Cosby's brother-in-law executed two of Ó Mórdha's cousins.

In retaliation Ó Mórdha kidnapped Cosby's son, Alexander (and) a peace summit was called in Mullamast, in Co Kildare. But when 70 or so of Ó Mórdha's men turned up, Cosby's forces killed them, in an event that became known as the 'Massacre of Mullaghmast'. In 1580, Cosby was on a campaign against Irish rebel forces in Wicklow, an encounter that became known as the 'Battle of Glenmalure'. It is believed that Cosby was killed by his own men during the battle.." (From here.)

Anyway - the (other!) insane family member, Dudley, who was born in 1730, died at forty-four years of age in 1774 on, according to various sources, either the 22nd or 23rd January. And Francis probably had something to do with that as well..!





ON THIS DATE (23RD JANUARY) 121 YEARS AGO : 'DISSIDENT' GROUP FORMED.

'The United Irish League was launched in January 1898 (and) by early 1900 it had spread across most of Ireland, and was to have major implications for the future course of Irish nationalism. Its methods were partly a consequence of a cumulative experience from the past, focused particularly on its immediate predecessors, the Land League of 1879–82, the subsequent Irish National League, and the Plan of Campaign in the latter half of the 1880s. Its political and agrarian purposes were to an unusual degree clearly articulated, thereby enabling a more precise analysis of the way in which particular methods of protest were related to objectives..' (from here.)

'Its principal architect was William O'Brien, a member of Parnell's Parliamentary Party in the 1880's and of the anti-Parnellite majority faction after 1891. After withdrawing from his parliamentary seat in 1895, O'Brien worked locally in west Mayo in facilitating and influencing the development of a new agrarian agitation focused on the plight of evicted tenants, on hostility to "land grabbers," and against the graziers occupying land that would otherwise have been available for tillage farming. With the help of others, especially the Parnellite MP T. C. Harrington and the veteran founder of the Land League, Michael Davitt, O'Brien directed his energies toward "a great accumulation of national strength".

'The organization that resulted, the United Irish League, had three interconnected objectives. The first, and most incidental, of these was to capture an initiative on the celebrations of the centenary of the 1798 United Irishmen's rebellions, then at risk of passing to the advocates of physical force ('1169' comment - surely, as that 1798 rising was an action of 'physical force', those who supported that action could better 'lay claim' to it than those who were opposed to such an activity?) . The second objective was to infuse into national politics an enthusiasm that, "drawing an irresistible strength and reality from the conditions in the west," would make impossible continuation of dissension and factionalism between Parnellites and anti-Parnellites. And the third, most tangible and practical objective, was to secure from Parliament a measure enabling tenant farmers to acquire ownership of their land..' (from here.)

William O'Brien was born at Bank Place in Mallow, County Cork, in 1852 ; he died, aged 76, in 1928. He was an Irish nationalist, journalist, agrarian agitator, social revolutionary, politician, party leader, newspaper publisher, author and Member of Parliament (MP) in the 'House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland', and was particularly associated with the campaigns for land reform in Ireland during the late 19th and early 20th centuries - more here. Due to policy disagreements and splits, the 'UIL' was mostly active in the Ulster area in its latter years and had disappeared altogether by the mid-1920's.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.






Wednesday, January 09, 2019

FROM TORY UNIONISM TO 'HARD LINE REPUBLICAN' IN 1916.

ON THIS DATE (9TH JANUARY) 97 YEARS AGO : RESIGNATIONS OVER THE TREATY OF SURRENDER.

"In view of the vote that was taken here on Saturday and which I had definitely to oppose as one that was tending to subvert the Republic which I was elected to my present position to defend and maintain ; and as it appeared to me also to be a vote which would tend to subvert the independence of the country, I could no longer continue — as I was beaten in that - I could no longer continue in my present office feeling I did not have the confidence of the House. I therefore wish to place my resignation in the hands of the Assembly ; and I think it is not necessary to say any further words in doing so, but simply to resign my office and the responsibilities of it and the members of the Cabinet all go with my resignation" - Eamon de Valera (pictured) stepped down from that position on the 9th January 1922 because of the 'Treaty of Surrender', which had been accepted by Michael Collins and others (Arthur Griffith, Riobárd Bartún [Robert Barton], Eamonn S Ó Dugáin [Eamonn Duggan] and Seoirse Ghabháin Uí Dhubhthaigh [George Gavan Duffy] had also appended their names to that vile document) on the 6th December, 1921, in London - at ten minutes past two on that Tuesday morning (6th December 1921), those men accepted 'dominion status' and an oath which gave "allegiance" to the Irish Free State and "fidelity" to the British Crown - within six months a civil war was raging in Ireland, between the British-supported Free Staters and the Irish republicans who did not accept that 'Treaty'.

De Valera had already stated, on the 18th December 1921, that he was against that 'Treaty' - "We were elected by the Irish people and did the Irish people think that we were liars when we said that we meant to uphold the Republic. I am against this Treaty because it does not reconcile Irish national aspirations with association with the British Government. I am against this Treaty not because I am a man of war, but a man of peace. I am against this Treaty because it will not end the centuries of conflict between the two nations of Great Britain and Ireland. It gives away Irish independence ; it brings us into the British Empire.." ('1169' comment - yet the same man had no problem with working on behalf of that 'empire' in the years following that 'not acceptable' speech!)

He had offered to resign on the 6th January, 1922, but the offer was not accepted at the time - but, on the 9th, it was accepted by 60 votes to 58 votes, following which Arthur Griffith (another Free-Stater-in-waiting) stated - "Before another word is spoken I want to say : I want the Deputies here to know, and all Ireland to know, that this vote is not to be taken as against President de Valera. It is a vote to help the Treaty, and I want to say now that there is scarcely a man I have ever met in my life that I have more love and respect for than President de Valera. I am thoroughly sorry to see him placed in such a position. We want him with us."

Others objected to the 'deal', and among them were Austin Stack, who stated his intention to fight on "even if this rotten document be accepted", and Erskine Childers, who complained that the 'Treaty Ports' section of the document would prevent the Free State from pursuing an independent foreign policy. The seven women members of the Dáil opposed the Treaty on the grounds that lives had been lost in pursuit of an Irish Republic, which the document subverted. Many, such as Margaret Pearse, Mary MacSwiney and Kathleen Clarke had lost close relatives in the struggle for independence and stated that such an outcome was not what they and others had fought for. And, one week later (on the 16th January), Michael Collins and his Free State comrades were given the seat of British injustice in Ireland - Dublin Castle - from which to continue the campaign against Irish republicans from.

Máire Nic Shuibhne [pictured] (Mary MacSwiney) stated her objection to the 'Treaty' - "I claim my right, before matters go any further, to register my protest, because I look upon this act worse than I look upon the Act of Castlereagh. I, for one, will have neither hand, act, nor part in helping the Irish Free State to carry this nation of ours, this glorious nation that has been betrayed here to-night, into the British Empire — either with or without your hands up. I maintain here now that this is the grossest act of betrayal that Ireland ever endured. I know some of you have done it from good motives ; soldiers have done it to get a gun, God help them! Others, because they thought it best in some other way. I do not want to say a word that would prevent them from coming back to their Mother Republic, but I register my protest, and not one bit of help that we can give will we give them.

The speech we have heard sounded very beautiful — as the late Minister of Finance can do it ; he has played up to the gallery in this thing, but I tell you it may sound very beautiful but it will not do. Ireland stands on her Republican Government and that Republican Government cannot touch the pitch of the Free State without being fouled ; and here and now I call on all true Republicans ; we all want to protect the public safety, it is our side that will do its best to protect the public safety. We want no such terrible troubles in the country as faction fights. We can never descend to the faction fights of former days. We have established a Government, and we will have to protect it.

Therefore, let there be no misunderstanding, no soft talk, no ráiméis at this last moment of the betrayal of our country, no soft talk about union. You cannot unite a spiritual Irish Republic and a betrayal worse than Castlereagh's, because it was done for the Irish nation. You may talk about the will of the Irish people, as Arthur Griffith did ; you know it is not the will of the Irish people, it is the fear of the Irish people, as the Lord Mayor of Cork says. And tomorrow or another day when they come to their senses, they will talk of those who betrayed them today as they talk of Castlereagh. Make no doubt about it. This is a betrayal, a gross betrayal, and the fact is that it is only a small majority, and that majority is not united. Half of them look for a gun and the other half are looking for the fleshpots of the Empire. I tell you here there can be no union between the representatives of the Irish Republic and the so-called Free State."

And today, on the 9th January 2019 - 97 years after the Westminster and Free State-enforced partition of Ireland - Irish republicans remain adamant that there can be no political union between "the representatives of the Irish Republic and the so-called Free State".





"WE ASK FOR NO MERCY AND WE WILL MAKE NO COMPROMISE" - TERENCE MacSWINEY.

An edited version of this speech was published in 'The United Irishman' newspaper in October 1954. This is the speech in full ; on the 13th March, 1920, Terence MacSwiney (pictured) was unanimously elected as the 'Lord Mayor of Cork' by that city's Corporation. He donated his salary for the position to an outside organisation and received no salary for the other position he held at that time - Brigadier of the No. 1 Brigade, Cork IRA.

"I shall be as brief as possible. This is not an occasion for many words, least of all a conventional exchange of compliments and thanks. The circumstances of the vacancy in the office of Lord Mayor governed inevitably the filling of it. And I come here more as a soldier stepping into the breach, than as an administrator to fill the first post in the municipality. At a normal time it would be your duty to find for this post the councillor most practical and experienced in public affairs. But the time is not normal. We see in the manner in which our late Lord Mayor was murdered an attempt to terrify us all. Our first duty is to answer that threat in the only fitting manner by showing ourselves unterrified, cool and inflexible for the fulfillment of our chief purpose - the establishment of the independence and integrity of our country — the peace and the happiness of our country. To that end I am here.

I was more closely associated than any other here with our late murdered friend and colleague, both before and since the events of Easter Week, in prison and out of it, in a common work of love for Ireland, down to the hour of his death. For that reason I take his place. It is, I think, though I say it, the only fitting answer to those who struck him down. Following from that there is a further matter of importance only less great — it touches the efficient continuance of our civic administration. If this recent unbearable aggravation of our per­secution by our enemies should cause us to suspend voluntarily the normal discharge of our duties, it would help them very materially in their campaign to overthrow our cause. I feel the question of the future conduct of our affairs is in all our minds. And I think I am voicing the general view when I say that the normal functions of our corporate body must proceed, as far as in our power lies, uninterrupted, with that efficiency and integrity of which our late civic head gave such brilliant promise.

I don't wish to sound a personal note, but this much may be permitted under the circumstances — I made myself active in the selection of our late colleague for the office of Lord Mayor. He did not seek the honour and would not accept it as such, but when put to him as a duty he stepped to his place like a soldier. Before his election we discussed it together in the intimate way we discussed every­thing touching our common work since Easter Week. We debated together what ought to be done and what could be done, keeping in mind, as in duty bound, not only the ideal line of action but the practical line at the moment as well. That line he followed with an ability and success all his own..."

(MORE LATER).











'A NEW THEORY OF RELATIVITY...', by Pat Rabbitte.

From 'Magill' magazine, February 1998.



Whoever is responsible, 'relativity' has certainly caught on in Ireland - some have done relatively well from it. Others not so well. There is no doubt it has been expensive for the Irish taxpayer (sic - he means 'State taxpayer'). Charlie McCreevy may prefer a chat with his caddy at the 'K Club', but there is no doubt that when it comes to 'relativity', the finance minister agrees with the Liberty Hall porter ; he warned in his budget-day speech that 'relativity is something up with which he will not put'. Well, the gardaí have news for Mr McCreevy - their 'relativity' claim is well advanced and coming down the tracks at a fierce pace. I support the gardaí.

It is important that members of the Garda Síochana are fairly remunerated for the impartial and effective discharge of their important duties. The manner in which they serve the citizenry to a considerable extent defines the character of our democracy. We are regularly reminded that for many gardaí their job is becoming increasingly dangerous and they are expected to risk life and limb so that the citizen can sleep safely in his or her bed.

Insofar as is reasonable - and it is not possible in absolute terms to reflect that nobility in pay terms - the gardaí in turn have a right to expect a fair day's pay for a fair day's work...

(MORE LATER).





We won't be posting here on the 16th January next as we'll only be just about coming out of the aftermath (!) of the monthly 650-ticket fund-raising raffle, which will be held on Sunday, 13th January, in a venue on the Dublin/Kildare border, but we couldn't let the 16th pass without mentioning a remarkable Irish republican woman who, to our shame, is practically forgotten about today. The following piece will hopefully encourage some of our readers to want to find out more about this dedicated Irish republican 'dissident' -

'DEATH OF PATRIOT IRISHWOMAN'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.



The death of Gobnait Ni Bruadar (Albina Broderick), pictured occurred on the 16th January last (1955), at her residence in Ballimeoona, Castlecove, in County Kerry. This splendid woman remained constant in her loyalty to Ireland and was actively associated with the Republican Movement until she died in the 93rd year of her life.

She was educated in England and spent most of her early life there, was 'presented at the Court' and knew only the 'society life' of a 'Lady' in England. Yet this did not prevent her from seeing the ills which existed in Ireland under the system of the absentee landlord nor the injustices being perpetrated by the English conquerors of the native Ireland she loved.

And for her, love was shown by deeds, not words - she gave up the easier way of living and took up one decidedly less attractive in the Republican Movement. She became a member of Cumann na mBan and remained in that organisation while she could continue to take an active part. In her last years, when too old to be actively militant, she still continued to help in every way she could, particularly in raising funds. The dependents of the republican prisoners were always a special care of hers. Her life was an inspiration to all who knew her and the Republican Movement has great reason to regret her death.

(END OF 'DEATH OF PATRIOT IRISHWOMAN' : next post [23rd January 2019], from the same source - 'SAVINGS LAW SHOULD BE CHANGED', a letter sent to the 'Irish Times' by a Dr. Lucey).



Also, regarding the 16th January date (...this post dictated by the in-house requirement for gender balance!) we want to give a brief mention to a perhaps lesser-known figure from Irish republican history, who was born on the 16th January 1822 -
"From the time I came to what have been called the years of discretion, my entire thought has been devoted to Ireland. I believed the course I pursued was right ; others may take a different view. When the proceedings of this trial go forth to the world, the people will say that the cause of Ireland is not to be despaired of, that Ireland is not yet a lost country — that as long as there are men in any country prepared to expose themselves to every difficulty and danger in its service, prepared to brave captivity, even death itself if needs be, that country cannot be lost..." - Thomas Clarke Luby (pictured) was born in Dublin on this date (16th January) 197 years ago.

His mother was of a different religious persuasion from his father (a Tipperary-born Church of Ireland clergyman) and both parents were determined that their son, Thomas, should be 'successful' in life : he was educated at Trinity College, in Dublin, from where he graduated in 1840, then studied law at 'The Temple', in London. However, he became more interested in journalism than in practising law and, as a 'toff' with a solid social conscience, he joined the 'Repeal Association' but came to the opinion that that organisation was not prepared to go far enough in defending Irish society from the ravages inflicted on it by Westminster and joined a more radical organisation, the 'Young Irelanders' and was active in the 1848 Rising. When that rebellion was put down by the British, Luby and other 'dissidents' established a new revolutionary organisation, the 'Irish Democratic Association' ('IDA') and once again challenged British misrule in Ireland - but, once again, they failed in their endeavours.

Shortly after that failure, Luby went to France in the hope of improving his military tactics and then to Australia, where he stayed for about a year, before returning to Ireland. He made his living through journalism (mostly working for, and with, 'The Tribune' newspaper) and, in 1858, he helped establish the 'Irish Republican Brotherhood', known as the 'Fenians,' with the avowed and same purpose of that of his previous efforts - to overthrow British rule in Ireland and establish an Irish Republic. Such were the times he lived in - including the period in our history when the 'Irish National Invincibles' struck a blow for Irish freedom - and Thomas Clarke Luby supported and/or was involved in every such effort. He died in Jersey City, at 79 years of age, in 1901, from paralysis, on the 29th November, 1901, and is buried, with his wife, in Bay View Cemetery in that city, under a headstone which reads - 'Thomas Clarke Luby 1822–1901. He devoted his life to love of Ireland and quest of truth.'

His objective remains unfulfilled.

Thanks for reading ; we'll be back on Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019. Sharon.