" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."
(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)

Wednesday, March 04, 2015



Last month, 28 women who protested peacefully in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, against US President Ronald Reagan's visit to Ireland received £1000 each arising from their action for wrongful arrest. Gene Kerrigan recalls the weekend when another State determined Irish security requirements and details the garda action which could cost tens of thousands of pounds. From 'Magill' magazine, May 1987.


The arrangement was to meet near the Papal Cross in the Phoenix Park , then find a space within sight of Deerfield, the residence of the United States ambassador, to set up the 'Women for Disarmament' protest. It started on a Wednesday with a few women, all very light, no hassle. The next day, Thursday - the day before Reagan arrived - four women who had been up to the Park to look around were heading back into town in a van, going to a base provided by the 'Sisters for Justice', a group of nuns. At Dean Street, the van was pulled over by the Special Branch - the women had been followed from the Park - and asked the Branch men why they had been stopped. They were told they had been acting suspiciously and, after taking their names, they were let go.

The Special Branch has two functions : to gather low level intelligence, picking up scraps of information about who is in what group, where they live, their habits and beliefs etc, and the second function of the Special Branch is to intimidate - they regularly watch and beset 'dissident' groups, setting up their surveillance quite openly. They let the 'dissidents' know they are being watched.

In the Phoenix Park that Thursday, a couple of dozen members of the 'Women for Disarmament' group had gathered in a field about lunchtime, sitting in a circle and, as they sat there talking, an unmarked police car drove to within a few feet of them and stopped, maintaining a presence. Ronald Reagan wasn't even in the country yet. On Friday June 1st, at about 8.20am, Ronald Reagan arrived at Shannon Airport and, from the beginning, the US Secret Service agents set the pattern for the next three days. They took over security and publicity and unashamedly put the Garda Siochana in a subordinate position. On that Friday afternoon, the 'Women for Disarmament' were enjoying the third day of their protest in the Park, and there were a lot of children with them. It was a fine day and everyone was having great fun keeping the children entertained, singing songs, making decorations etc.... (MORE LATER).



Once a recruit is accepted by the IRA, he or she is taken along with three or four other recruits for training across the Border in the 'specialism', e.g. assassination, sniping, bombing, etc. that that cell will later employ. In contrast to the past when whole companies could be trained without firing a shot, all recruits are now trained using live ammunition. This has enabled IRA men to 'sight' sniping weapons more accurately, it is claimed, and this sort of practice accounts for the success of the M60 machine gun ambushes in Belfast. When the M60 appeared on the scene in 1978, it was considered a propaganda weapon and too cumbersome and inaccurate for urban use; in fact the M60 has been responsible for 8 'security forces'' deaths since then.

Recruits are also given anti-interrogation training on a scientific basis. Simulation is never employed, but IRA leaders have isolated a dozen CID interrogation techniques which they instill into their recruits. Cell members are also encouraged to adopt false identities and discouraged from habituating known Republican haunts.


The British Army reckons that the Provisional IRA campaign and related political activity now costs the organisation some £2 million a year. In 1978, General Glover estimated that it cost £780,000 and that income exceeded that amount by £170,000, which was all spent on arms and explosives. He drew the Provisionals 'profit and loss account' as follows : INCOME... theft in Ireland - £550,000 , racketeering - £250,000 , overseas contributors - £120,000 and Green Cross - £30,000 // EXPENDITURE....Pay (£7,500 pw) - £400,000, travel and transport - £50,000, newspapers and propaganda - £150,000 and prisoners welfare - £180,000 , leaving a surplus of £170,000. (MORE LATER).



"I look forward to hosting next week's event to mark Commonwealth Day and its theme of encouraging youth participation in our democratic system..." , announced Provisional Sinn Féin's Mitchel McLaughlin (pictured, left) , in a recent newspaper interview confirming that he will take up the position of President of the NI (sic) Assembly Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

This unashamedly pro-British Union 'establishment' organisation claims that - 'Commonwealth Heads of Government have recognised the Parliaments and Legislatures of the Commonwealth as essential elements in the exercise of democratic governance....(our) activities focus on the Commonwealth's commitment to its fundamental political values, including: just and honest government, the alleviation of poverty, fundamental human rights, international peace and order, global economic development, the rule of law, equal rights and representation for all citizens....' (...from here.)

Going from the above, it appears that Mitchel McLaughlin is of the opinion that "democratic governance" can exist in an area occupied militarily and politically by a foreign power and, again going from the above, it also appears that that foreign power, Britain, believes it offers those countries it 'keeps the peace in' '...democratic governance..fundamental political values..just and honest government..fundamental human rights..peace and order..(and) the rule of law..'. It is to be expected that Westminster will 'spin' its interference in other countries in the above fashion, but it is particularly pathetic to observe 'Commonwealth' natives, despite first hand experience to the contrary, allow themselves (for financial reward, in this case) to be used as 'propaganda pawns' to 'substantiate' those false claims. 'Pathetic' , but not really surprising : in a book entitled 'Provisional Irish Republicans-An Oral and Interpretive History', by Robert W.White, Mitchel McLaughlin, PSF Chairperson at the time, stated - " I wouldn't say never even in respect to Westminster...."

In accepting the 'CPA' offer, McLaughlin (and his Party) are sending out yet another signal to the cleaning staff in Westminster to get ready for some overtime....


Emmet Dalton (pictured, left) , Irish rebel-turned-Free Stater, was born in America on March 4th 1898 and died in Dublin on March 4th 1978 - his 80th birthday, and also the bicentenary of the birth of the man he was named after - Robert Emmet.

Dalton was educated at the O'Connell School in Drumcondra, Dublin, and as a young adult became interested in the political teachings of John Redmond , so much so that he joined the British Army, serving as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 7th Battalion of the Dublin Fusiliers. He would have been present at the Somme in September 1916 when over 4,000 Irish soldiers died (including his friend, Tom Kettle) and, indeed, won a 'Military Cross' for leading "...forward to their final objective companies which had lost their officers. Later, whilst consolidating his position, he found himself with one sergeant, confronted by 21 of the enemy, including an officer, who surrendered when he attacked them...." He further served the British 'war effort' in Palestine, where he trained a sniper patrol and also served as a British Army staff officer in France. He was demobilised (in Germany) in 1919, at the age of 21, and returned to Dublin, becoming the 'Director of Training' for the Irish Republican Army, but he sold out in favour of the 'Treaty of Surrender' in 1921 and made a (Free State) name for himself by attacking republican positions from the sea, actions that his British paymasters considered as having 'turned the tide' against the Irish republican resistance, and also led the Free State attack on the Four Courts in Dublin on the 28th June 1922.

Dalton was with Michael Collins on the 22nd of August 1922 when the latter was shot dead by republican forces in West Cork (Béal na mBláth) and is said to have propped up a dying Collins to place dressings on his wound. He resigned from the Free State Army shortly after Collins was killed, and was appointed as the clerk of the Free State Senate, but resigned from that, too, three years later, and opened a film production company, Ardmore Studios, near Bray , in Wicklow. He died, aged 80, on the 4th of March 1978, the same date and month that he had been born on, and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.


Grace Gifford Plunkett (pictured, left) was born on this date (4th March) in 1888, in Dublin. She attended art school here and in London and, in 1915, at the age of 27, she 'stepped out' with the then editor of 'The Irish Review' magazine, Joseph Plunkett , one of the founders of the 'Irish Volunteer' organisation. He was imprisoned in Kilmainham Jail in Dublin for his part in the 1916 Easter Rising and was condemned to death by firing squad : he asked Grace to marry him and, on the 3rd of May 1916, at 6pm, in Kilmainham Jail, Grace Gifford and Joseph Plunkett were married, with two prison officers as witnesses and fifteen British soldiers 'keeping guard' in the same cell. The couple were allowed ten minutes together, before Grace was removed from her husband. He was executed by the British hours later, on the 4th May, 1916.

Grace Gifford Plunkett was at that time on the Executive of the then Sinn Féin organisation, and spoke out against the Treaty of Surrender. Like all anti-treaty activists (then as now) she was constantly harassed by Free State forces and was no stranger to the inside of prison cells, and was on a 'watch list' by the Leinster House administration. She had no home, little money and was despised by the State 'authorities' - selling her drawings and illustrations gave her a small irregular income, as she moved from rented flat to rented flat and ate in the cheapest restaurants she could find. She died suddenly, and alone, on the 13th of December 1955, aged 67, in a flat in South Richmond Street in Portobello, Dublin, and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.

Rougher than Death the road I choose

Yet shall my feet not walk astray,

Though dark, my way I shall not lose

For this way is the darkest way.

Now I have chosen in the dark

The desolate way to walk alone

Yet strive to keep alive one spark

Of your known grace and grace unknown.....
(...from here.)


On this date in 1804, an uprising was held by the 'Castle Hill Convicts' in New South Wales, Australia, led by Irish rebel Phillip Cunningham, a Kerryman, born at Glenn Liath ('Grey Glen'), Moyvane. Although not a lot is known about this Irish hero, it is recorded that he moved to Clonmel, Tipperary, in the 1790's and worked as a stonemason, supplementing his income from same by opening up a small pub. Peter Cunningham and about two hundred other 'convicts' turned on the Redcoat soldiers who had imprisoned them, locked them up and broke into a weapons hut. Martial law was declared as a result, in the Sydney area, and residents in the town of Parramatta were advised to assemble at the docks, ready to flee the area if needed. The rebels had by now based themselves on a hilltop and declared it to be their Vinegar Hill. A Major George Johnson and his men from the New South Wales Corps and a detachment of fifty mercenaries from the 'Loyal Association' marched through the night and a short battle commenced in and around 'Vinegar Hill', ending the rebellion. Peter Cunningham was later executed without trial.

'The Sydney Gazette' newspaper covered(/coloured) the event (in its edition of the 11th March 1804) in the following manner -


Major Johnston on arriving at Toongabbee, received information that a considerable Body were on their way to the Hawkesbury: Notwithstanding the fatigue of his small Detachment in marching up from Sydney and the distance they had gone since, they immediately ran in good Order, with their followers, and after a pursuit of Seven Miles farther, Major Johnston and a Trooper, who had preceded the Detachment came up with the rear of the Insurgents at 11 o'clock, whose number have since been ascertained to be 233 men, armed with Musquets, Pistols, Swords etc., and a number of followers which they had taken from the Settlers.

After calling to them repeatedly they halted, and formed on the rise of a Hill: The Major and Trooper advanced within pistol shot, and endeavoured to persuade them to submit to the Mercy that was offered them by the Proclamation, which they refused. The Major required to see their Chiefs, who after some deliberation met them half way, between the Detachment and Insurgents, when by a great presence of mind and address the Major presented his pistol at the head of the Principal leader (Phillip Cunningham), and the Trooper following his motions, presented his Pistol also to the other leader's head, (Wm Johnston) and drove them into the Detachment without the least opposition from the body of the Insurgents....'
(...more here.)

That rebellion may very well have been shortlived and its leader, Peter Cunningham, almost forgotten in our history, but it, and he, live on in the memory of every Irish republican to this day. As it should be.


Robert Emmet was born on the 4th March, 1778, a son of Dr Robert Emmet and Elizabeth Mason. His father served as state physician to the vice-regal household but was a social reformer who believed that in order to achieve the emancipation of the Irish people it was first necessary to break the link with England. Robert Emmet (Jnr) was baptised on March 10th in St Peter's Church of Ireland in Aungier Street, Dublin, and attended Oswald's School in Dropping Court, off Golden Lane, Dublin. From there he went to Samuel Whytes School in Grafton Street, quite near his home, and later to the school of the Reverend Mr Lewis in Camden Street. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, in October 1793 at the age of fifteen and a half where he practiced his oratorical skills in the Historical and Debating Societies. One of his friends at TCD was the poet Thomas Moore.

There were four branches of the 'United Irishmen' in TCD and Robert Emmet was secretary of one of them but, after an inquisition, presided over by Lord Chancellor Fitzgibbon, Emmet became one of nineteen students who were expelled for United Irishmen activity. Although not active in the 1798 Rising, Robert Emmet was well known to the British authorities and by April 1799, when Habeas Corpus had been suspended, there was a warrant issued for his arrest, which he managed to evade and, early in 1801, accompanied by a Mr Malachy Delany of Cork, he travelled throughout Europe, and made Paris his headquarters - it was there that he replaced Edward Lewis as the liaison officer between Irish and French Republicans.

While in Paris , Emmet learned about rockets and weapons , and studied a two-volume treatise by a Colonel Tempelhoff which can be examined in the Royal Irish Academy, with the marginal notes given the reader some insight into Emmet's thinking. Following the signing of the 'Peace of Amiens' by France and England in March 1802 the United Irishmen that were being held as prisoners in Fort George were released and many such as Thomas Russell and Thomas Addis Emmet made there way to Paris. Emmet returned to Ireland in October 1802 and began to plan for a rising and in March 1803, at a meeting in Corbet's Hotel, 105 Capel Street, Dublin, Emmet briefed his key organisers. In April 1803 Emmet rented an isolated house in Butterfield Lane in Rathfarnham as a new base of operations and Michael Dwyer, a 1798 veteran, suggested his young niece as a suitable candidate to play the role of the 'housekeeper'. Born in or around the year 1778, Ann Devlin soon became Robert Emmet's trusted helper and served him loyally in the months ahead. Shortly afterwards he leased a premises at Marshalsea Lane, off Thomas Street, Dublin, and set up an arms depot there.

Arms depots were established in Dublin for the manufacture and storage of weapons for the incipient rising. Former soldiers mixed their practical skills with the scientific knowledge that Robert Emmet had acquired on the continent, and an innovative rocket device was produced. Elaborate plans were drawn up to take the city and in particular Dublin Castle: supporters from the surrounding counties of Kildare, Wicklow and even Wexford were pledged to assist. Emmet bided his time waiting for an opportune moment when English troops would be withdrawn to serve in the renewed war in France, but his hand was forced when a premature explosion on the evening of July 16, 1803, at the Patrick Street depot, caused the death of John Keenan. Though there was no obvious wide scale search or arrest operation by the British following the explosion, the leadership of the movement decided to set July 23, 1803 (the following Saturday) as the date for the rising. Emmet hoped that success in Dublin would inspire other counties to follow suit. Patrick M. Geoghegan, in a recent publication, says that "...the plan for taking Dublin was breathtaking in its precision and audacity. It was nothing less that a blueprint for a dramatic coup d'état. Indeed, over a century later, Pearse and Clarke would also refer to the plan for their own rising..."

Emmet's plan depended on two factors - arms and men and, as Geoghegan states, when the time came, Robert Emmet had not enough of either - events went dramatically wrong for him. On the appointed day his plans began to unravel ; Michael Dwyer and his promised 300 men did not get the word until Sunday July 24th and, the previous day, an excess of men had moved in to Dublin from Kildare and could not be concealed in the existing depots so they spread out around the city pubs and some started drinking. Others, after inspecting the existing arsenal and finding many pikes but few muskets or blunderbusses, went home unimpressed.

Because he had alerted other countries and still had the element of surprise, Emmet decided not to postpone the Rising thus , shortly after seven o' clock on Saturday July 23rd, 1803, Robert Emmet in his green and gold uniform stood in the Thomas Street, Dublin, depot and, to the assembled rebels, read out his proclamation, declaring that the Irish nation was about to assert itself in arms against foreign rule. But again events conspired to thwart the rebels - coaches commissioned for the attack on Dublin Castle were lost and erroneous information supplied that encouraged pre-emptive strikes, meant that confusion reigned. Also, the novel rocket signals failed to detonate. Emmet's own forces, who were to have taken the Castle, dwindled away and, throughout the remainder of that evening, there were skirmishes at Thomas Street and the Coombe Barracks but he decided to terminate operations and leave the city. For the English Army, which included Daniel O' Connell, it was then merely a mopping-up operation : in the aftermath, the English arrested and tortured Anne Devlin, even offering her the enormous sum of £500 to betray Robert Emmet - she refused.

Emmet himself took refuge in the Harold's Cross area of Dublin, during which he met with his mother and Sarah Curran but, on Thursday August 25th, 1803, he was finally arrested. 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 misfortunes 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! Emmet was tried before a 'Special Commission' in Green Street Court House in Dublin on September 19th, 1803. The 'trial' lasted all day and by 9.30pm he was pronounced guilty ; asked for his reaction, he delivered a speech which still inspires today. He closed by saying that he cared not for the opinion of the court but for the opinion of the future - "...when other times and other men can do justice to my character..." Robert Emmet was publicly executed on Tuesday September 20th outside St Catherine's Church in Dublin's Thomas Street. The final comment on the value of Robert Emmet's Rising must go to Séan Ó Brádaigh who states** that to speak of Emmet in terms of failure alone is to do him a grave injustice. He and the men and women of 1798 and 1803 and, indeed, those that went before them, set a course for the Irish nation, with their appeal to Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter under the common name of 'Irishman', which profoundly affected Irish life for more than two centuries and which will, we trust, eventually bear abundant fruit. (The above, in the main,is from a piece we first posted in 2007. The full text of Séan Ó Brádaigh's **speech can be read here.)

Finally, it was not only college-educated men and women like Robert Emmet (ie those who might be perceived as being 'upper class') who decided to challenge Westminster's interference in Irish affairs in 1803 : so-called 'working class' men and women also acknowledged the need for such resistance - Edward Kearney, carpenter, hanged, Thomas St / Owen Kirwin, tailor, hanged, Thomas St, September 1st 1803 / Maxwell Roche, slator, hanged, Thomas St, September 2nd 1803 / Denis Lambert Redmond, coal facer, hanged, Coalquay (Woodquay) Dublin, / John Killeen, carpenter, hanged, Thomas St, September 10th 1803 / John McCann, shoemaker, hanged at his own doorstep, Thomas St, September 10th 1803 / Felix Rourke, farm labourer, hanged, Rathcoole, Dublin, September 10th 1803 / Thomas Keenan, carpenter, hanged, Thomas St, September 11th 1803 / John Hayes, carpenter, hanged, Thomas St, September 17th 1803 / Michael Kelly, carpenter, hanged, Thomas St, September 17th 1803 / James Byrne, baker, hanged, Townsend St, Dublin, September 17th 1803 / John Begg, tailor, hanged, Palmerstown, Dublin, September 17th 1803 / Nicholas Tyrrell, factory worker, hanged, Palmerstown, Dublin, September 17th 1803 / Henry Howley, carpenter, hanged, Kilmainham Jail, Dublin, September 20th 1803 / John McIntoch, carpenter, hanged, Patrick St, Dublin, October 3rd 1803 - there are dozens more we could list here, but suffice to say that 'class' alone was not then, nor is it now, a deciding factor in challenging British military and political interference in this country. 'Justice' is the deciding factor in that equation.



And it will be, for me, over the next week or so - this Sunday coming (the 8th March) will find me and the raffle team in our usual monthly venue on the Dublin/Kildare border, running a 650-ticket raffle for the Dublin Executive of Sinn Féin Poblachtach ; the work for this event began yesterday, Tuesday 3rd March, when the five of us started to track down the ticket sellers and arrange for the delivery/collection of their ticket stubs and cash and, even though the raffle itself is, as stated, held on Sunday 8th March, the 'job' is not complete until the following night, when the usual 'raffle autopsy' is held. The time constraints imposed by same will mean that our normal Wednesday post will more than likely not be collated in time for next week (11th March) and it's looking like it will be between that date and the Wednesday following same before we get the time to put a post together. But check back here anyway - sure you never know what might catch our fancy between this and then!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015



Last month, 28 women who protested peacefully in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, against US President Ronald Reagan's visit to Ireland received £1000 each arising from their action for wrongful arrest. Gene Kerrigan recalls the weekend when another State determined Irish security requirements and details the garda action which could cost tens of thousands of pounds. From 'Magill' magazine, May 1987.

The march set the tone for the protests that would follow - peaceful, with the utmost cooperation given to, and sought from, the authorities. One of the ICARFP groups, 'Fast for Life' , intended staging a seven-day fast beside the Bank of Ireland's College Green building at the end of Westmoreland Street in Dublin, and they went to Pearse Street garda station and asked an Inspector for permission to erect a shanty-shack, symbolic of the poor in the third world. They were told they could put up the shack as long as they went around to the other side of the bank, into Foster Place, a little nook behind a taxi rank, out of sight of Reagan's route. And the group agreed.

'Women for Disarmament' , also associated with ICARFP, planned to set up a 'peace camp' in the Phoenix Park , and sought advice from the Board of Works about the rules governing behaviour in the Park. They went to a solictor several weeks before Reagan's arrival and again and again they discussed the legalities of their protest and, along with the solicitor, they examined and discussed the 'Phoenix Park Act 1925' and the 'Phoenix Park Bye-Laws 1926' - they were determined that their protest would be within the law.

With the most idealistic of intentions the protestors, and in particular the 'Women for Disarmament', were walking into a maelstrom of violence, wholesale suspension of civil liberties and a questionable use of the law which would end up costing taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds. The full legal bill for the court cases which have continued for three years has yet to be added up. (MORE LATER).



Although British Army sources claim that the IRA structure has now been penetrated in Belfast and East Tyrone, the successes the British security forces (sic) have had this year seem to be the result more of increased undercover surveillance and disruption of IRA communication and co-ordination than from information supplied by informers. Indeed, one 'security force' source complains that they haven't received one decent bit of inside information from the Northern IRA for more than a year.

A vital element in the new structures is recruitment. The old days when virtually anyone could join the IRA are seemingly over : one IRA leader says that vetting of potential recruits is now so thorough that only two out of every thirteen applicants are accepted and sent on for training and thence into the cell system. The IRA also says that the average age of new recruits is 18 or 19, an assertion that would seem to back IRA claims that the organisation has passed through the generation gap problem that has always spelled defeat for past campaigns.

However, it's clear from a number of recent arrests such as that of an M60 ambush team in Belfast this year that the IRA is still heavily dependant on what British General Glover called "the intelligent, astute and experienced terrorist". The IRA also claims that less than half of new recruits join up for the personal motive of seeking revenge for British Army violence and that most are politically committed to a socialist republic. Not even the IRA can know that for sure but if it is true then the policy of 'Ulsterisation', involving gradual withdrawal of troops from Catholic (sic) areas, will have less of an effect on the Provos than the architects of that policy hoped. (MORE LATER).



On this date (25th February) 43 years ago, Paul McCartney and Wings released as their debut single in England (followed a few days later by its release in America) a track entitled 'Give Ireland back to the Irish'. The single was immediately banned by the BBC, Radio Luxembourg , the ITA and all affiliated outlets, being referenced only as "a record by the group 'Wings'...". That action prompted Paul McCartney to declare - "From our point of view it was the first time people questioned what we were doing in Ireland. It was so shocking. I wrote 'Give Ireland Back to the Irish', we recorded it and I was promptly 'phoned by the Chairman of EMI, Sir Joseph Lockwood, explaining that they wouldn't release it. He thought it was too inflammatory. I told him that I felt strongly about it and they had to release it. He said, 'Well it'll be banned', and of course it was. I knew 'Give Ireland Back to the Irish' wasn't an easy route, but it just seemed to me to be the time. All of us in Wings felt the same about it. But Henry McCullough's brother who lived in Northern Ireland was beaten up because of it. The thugs found out that Henry was in Wings...."

In Ireland, the song took the 'Number One' slot, as it did in Spain, and peaked at number sixteen in the British singles chart and number twenty-one in the 'US Billboard Hot 100' listings, but it took attention away from the two 'Irish' songs that John Lennon released that same year (1972) , 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' and 'Luck of the Irish' ('...a thousand years of torture and hunger, Drove the people away from their land, A land full of beauty and wonder,Was raped by the British brigands! Goddamn! Goddamn...').

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today

Great Britian You Are Tremendous

And Nobody Knows Like Me

But Really What Are You Doin'

In The Land Across The Sea

Tell Me How Would You Like It

If On Your Way To Work

You Were Stopped By Irish Soliders

Would You Lie Down Do Nothing

Would You Give In, or Go Berserk

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today

Great Britian And All The People

Say That All People Must Be Free

Meanwhile Back In Ireland

There's A Man Who Looks Like Me

And He Dreams Of God And Country

And He's Feeling Really Bad

And He's Sitting In A Prison

Should He Lie Down Do Nothing

Should He Give In Or Go Mad

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today.

That song helped Paul McCartney to make an ever bigger name for himself back then, and maybe now is the time for him to re-release it....!


...(but) I campaign for human rights (and) try to raise the awareness of human rights around the world on behalf of the World Human Rights Foundation....."
- the words of ex-RUC/PSNI man, Richard Barklie (pictured, above) , now listed as a Director of the 'World Human Rights Forum' (WHRF) organisation, which he addressed, in conference, in 2013, during which he called for racial tolerance, quoting the words of Martin Luther King and Mohandas Karamchand ('Mahatma') Gandhi, and stating - "We must all keep working with a sense of compassion for each other in our hearts, with a sense of justice and equality we should banish from our hearts and minds prejudices of creed, colour, religion and gender. When we do this we will conceive a more harmonious and peaceful society..."

Yet this same ex-British 'policeman' and human rights advocate (!) , who shares the establishment viewpoint that the Irish are to blame for the political situation in Ireland, was recently caught on camera, accompanied by other football hooligans, as he racially abused a man on the Metro in Paris, France, obviously confused as to whether he was in uniform in Ireland, 'policing taigs' or off-duty in France, 'policing' the natives there. The sooner the better, for the sake of saving democracy, that Mr Barklie forgets about that 'human rights' nonsense and gets back in an RUC/PSNI uniform as his "sense of compassion" is badly missed here in Ireland. We miss him, and regret having to 'wave' him goodbye....


IRA funeral procession, 1940.

In late 1939, the Leinster House Free State political administration introduced an 'Offences Against the State Act' , incorporating a 'Special Criminal Court', which effectively re-classified republican prisoners as 'special criminals' rather than that which they were (and are), political prisoners. IRA prisoners in Mountjoy Jail vehemently objected to same and the following story of that particular period in our history, as recorded by Michael Traynor, was given to Republican Sinn Féin by Carmel McNeela, widow of Paddy McNeela and sister-in-law of Seán Mc Neela. Tony Darcy (a Galway IRA man and Officer Commanding of the IRA Western Command at the time, who began his hunger strike on 25th February 1940 and died on 16th April, in St Bricins (Free State) military hospital in Dublin, after 52 days on hunger strike) was sentenced to three months imprisonment for refusing to either account for his movements or give his name and address when arrested by Free Staters at an IRA meeting in Dublin. The POW's went on hunger strike after Meath IRA man, Nick Doherty, was imprisoned on the criminal wing in Mountjoy Jail and a request to transfer him to join his political comrades in Arbour Hill Jail was refused by the Staters. One week into the protest, the prison authorities made a move to take the IRA OC of the prisoners , Seán McNeela, for 'trial' before the 'Special Criminal Court' but he refused to go with them. Barricades were built and D-Wing was secured as best as possible by the IRA prisoners and they were soon attacked by armed Special Branch men, backed-up by the Dublin Metropolitan Police. Amongst the casualties were McNeela and Darcy, both of whom were beaten unconscious and suffered wounds that were never allowed to heal.

This is the account of that period, by Michael Traynor : "When Seán McNeela became CS (Chief of Staff) of the IRA in 1938 he immediately appointed Jack McNeela OC (Officer Commanding) Great Britain with the particular task of putting the organisation there on a war footing and amassing explosives and preparing for the forthcoming bombing campaign. After a few months of tense activity Jack was arrested and sentenced to nine months imprisonment. He returned to Ireland in 1939 and was appointed Director of Publicity. Jack was very disappointed with this appointment. He said he knew nothing about publicity and would have preferred some task, no matter how humble which would have kept him in contact with the rank and file Volunteers. However Publicity had to be organised and Jack threw himself to the job with zeal and energy. After two months, out of nothing, Jack had his Publicity Department functioning perfectly. Writers were instructed and put to work, office staff organised, radio technicians got into harness.

Another big disappointment at this time for Jack was the instructions he received about the raid on the Magazine Fort. He nearly blew up when he was told that he could not take part in the operation, that HQ staff could not afford to lose more than the QMG and the AG if the operation failed. He was a man of action and wanted to be with his comrades in time of danger. He repeatedly requested the AG for permission to take part in the operation but without success. But Jack was there, orders or no orders, and he did about ten men’s work in the taking of the fort and the loading of the ammunition. He was a very pleased man that night, for he, like all the rest of the members of GHQ knew that this ammunition was necessary to the success of the Army’s attack on the Border, which was planned to take place in the following spring.

He was arrested about three weeks later with members of the Radio Broadcast Staff and lodged in Mountjoy jail. He was OC of the prisoners when I arrived in the middle of February 1940. Tomás Mac Curtáin was there, and Tony Darcy, who was a very great personal friend of Jack’s, so was Jack Plunkett and Tommy Grogan. I was about a week in jail, life was comparatively quiet, great speculation was going on as to what would happen to the men arrested in connection with the raid on the Magazine Fort. The crisis developed when Nicky Doherty, of Julianstown, Co Meath was sentenced to five years penal servitude. Instead of being transferred to Arbour Hill (where other Republican prisoners had political status), Nicky was lodged in the criminal section of Mountjoy Jail. Jack, being OC of Republican Prisoners, interviewed the governor of the jail and requested that Nicky be transferred to Arbour Hill on the grounds that he was a political prisoner and that it was unjust and unchristian to attempt to degrade and classify as criminal a Republican soldier. The request was ignored. Jack and his prison council met to consider the situation: it was decided that a demand was necessary and with the demand for justice went the ultimatum that if he refused a number of prisoners (who were still untried) would go on hunger strike until the demand was accepted. A short time limit was set, but the demand was also ignored.

Jack, I remember well, was very insistent that the issue should be kept clear and simple. The hunger strike was a protest against the attempted degradation of Republican soldiers. There was no other question or issue involved. A simple demand for justice and decency. Seven men volunteered to go on hunger strike and when the time limit [February 25, 1940] of the ultimatum expired they refused to eat any food, although tempting parcels of food kept arriving every day from their relatives and friends. It was felt by the men on hunger strike that the struggle would be either a speedy victory or a long, long battle, with victory or death at the end.It was victory and death for Jack McNeela and Tony Darcy.

Seven days after the commencement of the hunger strike Special Branch policemen came to take Jack to Collins Barracks for trial before the 'Special Criminal (or was it the Military) Court'. Jack refused to go with them. They told him they’d take him by force. They went away for reinforcements. A hasty meeting of the Prisoners’ Council was held. They felt it was unjust to take Jack for trial while he was on hunger strike, and that everything possible should be done to prevent the hunger strikers from being separated. Barricades were hastily erected in the D-Wing of the jail. Beds, tables and mattresses were piled on top of each other; all the food was collected and put into a common store and general preparations made to resist removal of Jack, their OC. A large contingent of the DMP arrived together with the Special Branch at full strength. The DMP men charged the barricades with batons; the Special Branch men kept to the rear and looked on while the DMP men were forced to retire by prisoners with legs of stairs.Several charges were made but without success. Some warders and a few policemen suffered minor injuries. The governor of the jail came down to the barricade and asked the prisoners to surrender. They greeted him with jeers and booing.

After some time the DMP men returned, armed with shovel shafts about six feet long, hoping with their superior weapons to subdue the prisoners. After several charges and some tough hand-to-hand fighting the policemen again retired. The most effective weapon possessed by the prisoners was a quantity of lime, liquefied by some Mayo men, and flung in the faces of the charging DMP men. It was reminiscent off the Land League days and the evictions. Finally the fire hydrants were brought into use and the force of the water from these hoses broke down everything before them. The barricade was toppled over and the prisoners, drenched to the skin, could not resist the powers of water at pressure; they were forced to take cover in the cells. I got into a cell with Tony Darcy and Jack McNeela. We closed the door. After a few minutes the door was burst open and in rushed about five huge DMP men swinging their batons in all directions. Tony, standing under the window facing the door, put up his hand but he was silenced by a blow of a baton across the face that felled him senseless. Jack was pummelled across the cell by blow after blow. Blood teemed from his face and head. These wounds on Jack and Tony never healed until they died.

It lasted only a few brief minutes, this orgy of sadistic vengeance and then we were carried and flung into solitary confinement. Jack was taken away that evening and tried and sentenced by the Special Court. The next time I say Tony and Jack was in the sick bay in Arbour Hill. Jack Plunkett was also there with them. We exchanged experiences after the row in the 'Joy'.

Day followed day, I cannot remember any particular incident, except that regularly three times a day an orderly arrived with our food, which we of course refused to take. We were by now nursing our strength realising that this was a grim struggle, a struggle to the death. We jokingly made forecasts of who would be the first to die. Jack was almost fanatic about speaking Gaelic. Most of our conversation while in the Hill was in Gaelic. Tony used to laugh at my funny accent. While he couldn’t speak Gaelic he understood perfectly well all that was said and sometimes threw in a remark to the conversation. When conversation was general English was the medium. Jack Plunkett didn’t know any Gaelic at all. We were in the best of spirits. Rumours filtered through to us, I don’t know how, because we were very strictly isolated from the rest of the Republican prisoners in the Hill. We heard that one of our comrades had broken the hunger strike at the Joy; we didn‘t hear the name for a few days. The report was confirmed, we were inclined to be annoyed, but we agreed that it was better for the break to come early than late. It had no demoralising effect.

After Jack was arrested all the books he had bought (mostly Gaelic) were sent into the Joy. He intended to make good use of his spell of imprisonment. He kept requesting the Governor of the Hill to have them sent to him. After about three weeks a few tattered and water-sodden books were brought to him, all that remained of his little library, the others had been trampled and destroyed by the police in Mountjoy. Jack was vexed. He hadn’t smoked, nor taken drink and every penny he had went to the purchase of these books that he loved. We were, during all this time, as happy as men could be. In spite of imprisonment and all that it means we were not all despondent nor feeling like martyrs. Everyday, we reviewed our position; what we had done, our present state of health, the prospect of success. The conclusion we came to was that de Valera, Boland and Co had decided to gamble with us – to wear us out in the hope that we would break and therefore demoralise all our comrades and if we didn’t break, to give political treatment to all IRA prisoners when we were in the jaws of death. The issue, as we saw it, was of vital importance to us, but of practically no consequence to the Fianna Fáil regime. We knew of course that de Valera and the Fianna Fáil party hated the IRA, because we were a reminder of their broken pledged to the people.

On the eve of St Patrick’s Day we were removed to St Bricin’s military hospital. A few days later Tomás Mac Curtáin and Tommy Grogan joined us. We were terribly disappointed with their report from the 'Joy'. The men who had been sentenced were accepting criminal status instead of refusing to work as they had been instructed to do; that is another story, although it led directly to the death of Seán McCaughey six years later in Portlaoise jail. We were in a small hospital ward. Three beds on each side, occupied by six hungry men and every day was a hungry day. Every evening each of us would give the description of the meal he would like most, or the meal he had enjoyed most. Salmon and boxty loomed large in Jack’s menu. About this time we began to count the days that we could possibly live. The doctors who examined us, sometimes three times a day, told us that we had used up all our reserves and were living on our nerves; they tried to frighten us, assuring us that if we didn’t come off the hunger strike our health would be ruined. We all agreed among ourselves that the doctors were actuated by purely humane motives, although their advice if acted on by us would have been very satisfactory to their employers. After 50 days on hunger strike we were unable to get out of bed, or rather the strain of getting up was too great an expenditure of energy, which we were determined to husband carefully.

We did not see any change on each other. The change came so imperceptibly day after day. Jack, lying in the next bed to me, seemed to be the same big robust man that I had known before we were arrested, yet, we each were failing away. The doctors and nurses were very kind. We were rubbed with spirit and olive oil to prevent bedsores; all our joints and bony places were padded with cotton wool, for by now the rubbing of one finger against another was painful. None of us could read anymore, our sight had lost focus and concentration on material objects had become difficult. We were face to face with death; but no one flinched or if he did he prayed to God for strength and courage. On the 54th night of the strike, about midnight, Tony cried out (we were all awake): ‘Jack, I’m dying.’ We all knew that it was so. Jack replied, ‘I’m coming. Tony’. I felt, and I’m sure Jack and the others felt also that getting out of bed and walking across the room to Tony would mean death to Jack also. As well as I remember Mac Curtáin, Plunkett, Grogan and myself appealed to Jack not to get out of bed. But Tony’s cry pierced Jack’s heart deeper than ours so he got up and staggered across the room to his friend and comrade. Later that night Tony was taken out to a private ward. We never saw him again. He died the following night. A great and staunch and unflinching soldier and comrade; oh that Ireland had twenty thousand as honourable and fearless as he.

The day following Tony’s removal from the ward, Jack’s uncle, Mick Kilroy, late Fianna Fáil TD, came to see Jack. Alas, he didn’t come to give a kinsman’s help, but attacked Jack for "daring to embarrass de Valera" the "heaven-sent leader" by such action and demanded that Jack give up his hunger strike at once. Jack’s temper rose and had he been capable of rising would have thrown him out. He ordered him out of the room, so did we all. It was the first time in 56 days that we felt enraged at anything. The brutal treatment of the police after seven days’ hunger strike was trivial in comparison to this outrage. The next day Jack was taken out of the ward. We never saw him again. A few hours after his removal we received a communication from the Chief of Staff IRA. The following is an extract:

'April 19, 1940. To the men on hunger strike in St Bricin’s Hospital: The Army Council and the Nation impressed with the magnitude of your self-sacrifice wish to convey to you the desire that if at all consistent with your honour as soldiers of the Republic you would be spared to resume your great work in another form. We are given to understand that the cause you went on strike has been won and that your jailers are now willing to concede treatment becoming soldiers of the Republic. In these circumstances if you are satisfied with the assurances given you – you will earn still more fully the gratitude of the people – relinquishing the weapon which has already caused so much suffering and has resulted in the death of a gallant comrade.'

Jack had requested confirmation from HQ of the assurances given to us by Fr O’Hare, a Carmelite Father from Whitefriars Street, Dublin. Fr O’Hare had interviewed Mr Boland, the Minister for Justice in the Free State government and received his assurances that all republican prisoners would get political treatment. Naturally we did not want to die, but we could not accept any verbal assurance so we felt that written confirmation by our Chief of Staff was necessary. When the confirmation arrived Jack was out in the private ward. I was acting OC. We were reluctant, the four of who remained, to come off the hunger strike, with Tony dead and Jack at death’s door. Yet we had the instruction from HQ that our demands were satisfied. The doctors assured us that if the strike ended Jack had a 50-50 chance of living so I gave the order that ended the strike. I believe the doctors worked feverishly to save Jack’s life, but in vain. Jack McNeela, our OC and comrades, died that night and joined the host of the elected who died that Ireland and all her sons and daughters would be free from the chains of British Imperialism and happy in the working out of their own destiny."

NOTES: Nicky Doherty was found in possession of a quantity of ammunition seized in the raid on the Magazine Fort. He remained an active Volunteer until his death at an early age in the mid-1950s.Criminal section of Mountjoy: This was A-Wing. The Republicans on remand were housed in D-Wing. On sentence they were usually sent to Arbour Hill. Governor of the jail, Seán Kavanagh, a former Republican prisoner himself during the Tan War. DMP: Dublin Metropolitan Police, originally a separate force from the RIC. They were kept on after the Treaty and amalgamated with the Gardaí in 1925. They made a deal with the IRA in 1919 not to engage in 'military activities' and were removed from the list of legitimate targets. "G" Division, or Special Branch were not excluded. In 1940 they supplied the Riot Squad for Mountjoy. Tony Darcy, Headford, Co Galway, died April 16th 1940. He was OC Western Command, IRA at the time of his arrest. Seán McNeela, Ballycroy, Co Mayo, died April 19th 1940.

From 1940 to 1947, sixteen Republican prisoners were sent to Portlaoise prison where they were denied political status. For all seven years they were naked, except for the prison blanket. For three years of this they were also in solitary confinement. Finally - writing about the funerals of Tony Darcy and Seán McNeela , Brian Ó hÚiginn stated : "Hundreds of uniformed and plain-clothes police were sent into the two graveyards, while soldiers in full war-kit were posted behind walls and trees in surrounding fields, and armoured cars patrolled the roads...the lowest depths of vindictive pettiness was reached when mourners on their way to Seán MacNeela’s funeral were stopped by armed police and their cars and persons searched....even when they reached the cemetery many were locked out - the gates were locked - and those attempting to enter were attacked....." That was 1940, this is only two years ago, 2013, when another solid republican was buried. The 'establishment' harasses those it fears, even in death, and wines and dines those it has purchased, even though they, too, are 'dead' : morally and spiritually, anyway.


William O'Brien (2nd October 1852 – 25th February 1928, pictured, left) 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'.

While still little more than a boy he had helped in smuggling in the Fenian guns for the purchase of which Michael Davitt had gone to prison. This was rather surprising in one who had been reared an ardent admirer of O'Connell but the pitiable inadequacy of the Fenian effort caused William to base all his efforts on Conference, Conciliation, Consent using just one weapon - violent language. He started to earn his living as a journalist in Cork but very soon his obvious talent caused him promotion to 'The Freemans Journal' in Dublin. A series of articles "Christmas on the Galtees" brought the plight of Irish tenant farmers very vividly before the public and established William O'Brien as the unflinching champion of the tenants, which he remained to the end. He soon resigned his £600 a year job on 'The Freemans Journal' to become editor of the 'United Ireland' newspaper at £400 a year on the invitation of Charles S. Parnell. He quickly became 'The Chiefs' confidante and at the split, he was the only member of the Party to whom Parnell was willing to hand over the leadership which O'Brien declined....(...more here.)

He was a journalist, land agitator, and MP, but above all he was a nationalist. He was born the second son of James O’Brien and his wife Kate (née Nagle) in Mallow Co. Cork. His early education was at Cloyne Diocesan College where he developed the strong religious tolerance that would serve him well in his political life. He studied law at Queen’s College (later University College Cork), but never took a degree. Financial issues caused the family to move to Cork City in 1868. When his father died a year later, O’Brien became the breadwinner of the family. Always a prolific writer, he became a journalist with the 'Cork Daily Herald'. He would continue as a journalist for most of his life...(...more here.)

That William O'Brien was politically far-sighted and ahead of his time can be verified by his comments in regards to those that attempted to annihilate the Irish people - "When the framers of the penal laws denied us books, and drew their thick black veil over Irish history, they forgot that the ruins they had themselves made were the most eloquent schoolmasters, the most stupendous memorials of a history and a race that were destined not to die. They might give our flesh to the sword and our fields to the spoiler, but before they could blot out the traces of their crimes, or deface the title deeds of our heritage, they would have had to uproot to their last scrap of cultured filgree the majestic shrines in which the old race worshipped; they would have had to demolish to their last stone the castles which lay like wounded giants through the land to mark where the fight had raged most fiercest; they would have had to level the pillar towers, and to seem up the source of the holy wells....to look over the fence of the famine-stricken village and see the rich green solitudes, which might yield full and plenty, spread out at the very doorsteps of the ragged and hungry peasants, was to fill a stranger with a sacred rage and make it an unshirkable duty to strive towards undoing the unnatural divorce between the people and the land..."

Finally, he had this to say to those who would only support 'polite' opposition to Westminster interference in Irish affairs : "'Constitutionalism' in a country whose grievance is that it possess no constitution is an historical humbug. Parnell built up his movement, not by railing at Fenianism in the spirit of a professor of constitutional history, but by incorporating its tremendous forces in his ranks and acknowledging no criterium* of the rectitude of his political action, be it 'constitutional' or 'unconstitutional' except whether it was, in the circumstances, the best thing to be done for Ireland...." (*'competition between...')

And "the best thing to be done for Ireland" would be the removal of the British military and political presence - by whatever means necessary.


...Edward Daly (pictured, left) , one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, was born in Limerick. His father (also named Edward), a staunch Irish republican, died at only 41 years of age, five months before Edward (junior) was born, but his father's brother, John - who was imprisoned for twelve years for his republican activities during the 1867 rebellion against British rule - helped to raise the young child.

As a youth, Edward was considered somewhat lazy and easily distracted, more concerned with his appearance and a 'party lifestyle' than he was with the day-to-day poverty and related injustices that surrounded him, but he developed a social conscience to the extent that, at only 25 years of age, he was asked to take command of the First Battalion of the Irish Volunteers, leading raids on the Bridewell and Linenhall British barracks and seizing control of the Four Courts, before which he addressed the men under his command - "Men of the First Battalion, I want you to listen to me for a few minutes, and no applause must follow my statement. Today at noon, an Irish Republic will be declared, and the Flag of the Republic hoisted. I look to every man to do his duty, with courage and discipline. The Irish Volunteers are now the Irish Republican Army. Communication with our other posts in the city may be precarious, and in less than an hour we may be in action.....". On the 4th of May, 1916, 25-years-young Commandant Edward Daly was executed by firing squad by the British in Kilmainham Jail in Dublin and was buried in near-by Arbour Hill Cemetery. He was the youngest commander of the rebels and the youngest 1916 leader to be executed by the British.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015



Last month, 28 women who protested peacefully in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, against US President Ronald Reagan's visit to Ireland received £1000 each arising from their action for wrongful arrest. Gene Kerrigan recalls the weekend when another State determined Irish security requirements and details the garda action which could cost tens of thousands of pounds. From 'Magill' magazine, May 1987.


Ronald Reagan was due to visit Ireland on June 1st 1984, but the protests began a week earlier, on Saturday May 26th, with a march through central Dublin, from the Garden of Remembrance to the Department of Foreign Affairs in St. Stephen's Green. A large number of protests were scheduled for the following ten days - marches, rallies , fasts, a Penal Mass on the hills outside Ballyporeen and a 'Climb for Peace' up the Galtymore mountains.

There were two central organising bodies for the protests ; the 'Reagan Reception Committee' was made up of the hard left and the 'Irish Campaign Against Reagan's Foreign Policy' (ICARFP) was made up of about thirty organisations, including anti-nuclear groups, those opposed to American involvement in the Phillipines, Chile, El Salvador and Nicaragua, religious groups, the Committee for Travellers' Rights and the Irish Mennonite Movement. All of the demonstrations planned were discussed openly and were widely advertised, and all of the plans were for peaceful protests.

Many of the groups associated with ICARFP were non-violent not only in the negative sense of believing that violence would not achieve their aims but in the sense that they believed that a strategy of passive resistance in itself is one which will in the long run achieve world peace. Groups intending to take part in the May 26th 1984 march received notes from ICARFP - 'The gardai have extended their fullest cooperation this afternoon, many giving up a weekend. Please make their work and the work of stewards, who are all volunteers, as easy as possible.....(so that we can) express through this non-violent and peaceful protest a message of hope and confidence in humanity.' (MORE LATER).



The vehicle for these tactics is the new re-organised IRA. The process of re-organisation started, by some accounts, in the Spring of 1977 and according to one leading IRA source, is still going on. Belfast, where the successes of the RUC were most evident, was the first to be re-organised, largely under the direction of a former Belfast Commander and a former Brigade Adjutant. Most of the old companies were gradually dissolved and their least known members re-trained and passed into the new four man cells and were joined by new recruits. The old Battalion staffs were also dissolved and the Belfast Brigade assigned the task of coordinating the new cells. The Belfast Brigade still has three Battalions but they are composed of known IRA men who passed into the new civil and military Administration wing of the movement.

The other seven areas of IRA activity in the North - Fermanagh, East Tyrone, South Derry, South Down, North Armagh, Derry City and South Armagh - were with varying success re-organised during the latter part of 1977 and most of 1978. South Armagh, where the IRA had always operated what amounted to a form of cellular structure, was the last to be re-organised in the Spring of 1979. In fact little was changed in South Armagh, except the area's relationship to the new Northern Command. The captured British Army intelligence assessment of the IRA, which fell in to the hands of the IRA in January 1979 (it was studied for several months before release to the Press Association in May) demonstrated the dearth of information about the new structures in intelligence circles.

In 'a tentative order of battle', the document's author, General Sir James Glover, supposed that all the new cells were directly coordinated by the Northern Command. In fact it seems that there are a number of structures interposed between the Northern Command and the cells. Some areas, like Belfast, are coordinated by a Brigade staff. Other areas are coordinated by local Commands, a watered down version of a Brigade Staff. Some areas are so weak that they can only support one or two cells and they are directly coordinated by the Northern Command. One area still retains the Battalion structure, and the three Battalions in that area report to, and are co-ordinated directly by, the Northern Command.

It's a confused and mixed structure whose features seem to be determined entirely by area strength. The effect though is to make British Army and RUC penetration extremely difficult. Its principal advantage seems to be increased security and secrecy for the cells, but its Achilles heel is that it is highly dependent on good co-ordination at local Brigade and Command level, as well as at Northern Command level, what the British Army terms 'middle management'. The arrest and imprisonment of a small number of leaders would seriously impair the organisation - hence demands from senior British Army officers after Warrenpoint for the introduction of selective internment. (MORE LATER).


....is the date and time when a protest by anti-water tax campaigners will be held, in opposition to the arrests of , to date, 23 people who have protested against this double tax. The State and its 'Irish Water Police' believe they can intimidate protesters into compliance regarding this unjust tax and, on Saturday next , the 21st February 2015, we will have one of many opportunities to show them that that is not the case. See you there on Saturday !


'...PSNI chief reveals allegations against reinstated officers....in a written answer, Mr Hamilton said the allegations against the eight reinstated officers include: misconduct in public office....perverting the course of justice....driving with excess alcohol....death in custody.... sale of counterfeit goods....theft....disorderly behaviour....tampering with a motor vehicle (and) a further 18 PSNI officers remain suspended from all duties during the disciplinary process. "In light of the extraordinary budget cuts and pressing staff losses, the decision was taken to review all suspensions with a view to return any of the suspended officers to duty in a restricted capacity," Mr Hamilton added....' (from here.)

The 'chief' would no doubt share the position of those others that work within the British system in occupied Ireland that the above "officers" represent only a mere 'blip' - a stain rather than a spill, if you know what I mean - in regards to the conduct of his overall 'police force' in this country. But, "dark side" , as some would have you believe, or representative of British 'policing' and, indeed, the British presence itself in this country, as Irish republicans believe, the fact is that the British presence and those that enforce it here - regardless of whether they do so with a heavy hand ("the Dark Side") or with a softer touch (the 'reformed RUC') - are not wanted in Ireland and will never be acceptable to Irish republicans.


If, in order to be digestible and catch your attention, Irish history has to be presented to you accompanied by flashing 3D lights and images, a 33-week-long exhibition in a hired theatre in O'Connell Street and various re-enactments of events linked to that history, then you leave yourself open to the charge that you are perhaps more interested in the presentation than in that which is being presented.

At the very least, it will be the show/presentation itself which will be critiqued, at the expense of the events being commemorated and, on the particular occasion of the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the subject matter will be further confused by the fact that those planning the 'flyovers and fireworks' either assist in administering British rule in Ireland or 'just' politically support same from a distance. Those who prefer substance over 'style' - quality over quantity, that is - and who would much rather leave the flashy stuff to those who mistakenly equate 'style' with substance, will be given the opportunity to do so by keeping the date outlined here in mind. In the context of the centenary of the 1916 Rising as planned by those 'flyover and firework' merchants, 'style' equals 'spin' and, speaking of which, here's a few verses from 'Dadga' re same, courtesy of 'Facebook' :


It visits seeking approval

calling us by name,

Then blinds us from the chamber

and plays it's master's game.

It commemorates our fallen

but condemns those still engaged,

It visits our brave prisoners,

and pretends to be enraged.

It colours green the city hall and speaks our native tongue,

It proudly parades at Easter, but gave away our guns.

It lashes down on volunteers, attacking their reputations,

and in the night it travels, to local PSNI stations.

In years gone by it stood at our side, now viciously looks down,

It works tirelessly to tame us, but shakes hands with the crown.

The new breed renews the fight, to struggle on again,

As it walks, itself alone, along the road to fame.


"...when I became an Irish republican, I didn't become an Irish republican to retire at retirement age. I became an Irish republican to go to my grave as an Irish republican**....the British Queen is much much older than I am...I regard her, even though she is at an elderly stage of her life, as someone who sets a very powerful example to many backwards people who refuse to become involved in the conciliation process...." (from here :**the 'missed deadline' we mentioned in our headline, above.)

No surprise there, really, in that this is not by any means the first time that McGuinness has voiced objection to any suggestion that Irish republicanism has a part to play regarding the on-going military and political occupation of this country by Westminster and,in doing so, by extension, voiced his support for the 'kinder' , more media friendly and 'acceptable' face of that occupation. It's obvious from his words and mannerisms that he and his party, Provisional Sinn Féin, have achieved their objection - a vichy-type arrangement with the occupiers - and see it as their duty to 'persuade' others to join them at that particular trough. Yet, every Easter (and on other occasions) and, indeed, at Easter 2016, this man, and his Party, who consider Irish republicans to be "backwards", are (and will be) loud in their praise for those that politically and militarily challenged the 'right' of Westminster to govern any part of Ireland. As stated in the preceding piece - ' It colours green the city hall and speaks our native tongue,it proudly parades at Easter, but gave away our guns....' Martin McGuinness and his Party are not only physically unable to oppose the British political and military presence in Ireland, they are mentally and morally unfit to do so, as well.



- the words of Patrick Moran (pictured, left) , Adjutant of D Company Irish Volunteers, 2nd Battalion (Dublin), to his comrades Ernie O'Malley (who had passed himself off to the British as 'Bernard Stewart') and Frank Teeling as they were about to walk to freedom through a gate in Kilmainham Jail in Dublin, which they had forced open, on the 14th of February 1921. Patrick Moran believed he would be found innocent at his 'trial' and saw no reason why he should take the opportunity to escape. He was a 'dangerous man', as far as Westminster was concerned, and had been imprisoned in Dublin Castle on the 7th of January 1921 and charged with the 'murder' of two British Army/paramilitary gang members, Ames and Bennett, after been mistakenly identified as having been involved in the shooting dead of both men - Lieutenant Peter Ashmun Ames and British Army Lieutenant George Bennett (both of whom were in command of 'The Cairo Gang') on the 21st of November 1920 at 38 Upper Mount Street in Dublin. He stayed behind on the night of the prison break ,refusing to take part in same, having encouraged Simon Donnelly to go in his place, a decision which was was to cost Patrick Moran his life.

On the 15th of February 1921, he was put on 'trial' (during which sixteen people and an RIC man verified he was elsewhere!) but was, as expected, found 'guilty' and, three days later - on the 18th of February 1921, 94 years ago today - was transferred to Mountjoy Jail, Dublin. On Wednesday, 9th of March 1921, Patrick Moran was sentenced to death and he was executed by hanging five days later, on Monday, the 14th of March. He had defended the integrity of his country in Jacob's Factory Garrison during Easter week in 1916, where he served under Thomas MacDonagh, and had been imprisoned at Knutsford and Woorwood Scrubs in England, and in Frongoch Internment Camp in Wales. He was one of 'The Forgotten Ten' in that he, and his nine comrades, were 'forgotten' by the State but have always been remembered by the Republican Movement.

Finally, the planning and execution of the escape itself is worthy of a few paragraphs : On the 11th February 1921, Frank Teeling and Ernie O'Malley were joined in Kilmainham Jail by Simon Donnelly , who was taken into their confidence and told of the up-coming plan of escape. The peep-holes in the cell doors were three inches in diameter and, if one of the men could get his arm through it, it would be possible to open the door from the outside ; the plan then was to make their way to the yard ,as the men had noticed that the door leading from the prison to the yard was usually left closed-over, but not locked, and then cross the yard to a large iron gate on the west side of the jail, cut the bolt on same and escape. A 'Plan B' had been made in case the bolt cutter should fail - IRA Volunteers from 'F' Company, Fourth Battalion, Dublin Brigade, would take up positions outside the prison wall with a rope ladder and, awaiting an agreed signal, throw in the rope attached to the ladder, so that the prisoners could haul the ladder over to their side of the wall.

Oscar Traynor, IRA Dublin Brigade O/C, had secured a bolt cutter and that, along with two revolvers, were packaged and smuggled into the prison by a friendly British soldier. The prisoners were not sure that the bolt cutter would be up to the job but were determined to carry out the escape plan, as Frank Teeling was in line for execution ; on the night of February 13th, 1921, the three men made their way to the outer prison gate but, as the handles of the bolt cutter were incorrectly fitted, they were unable to cut the bolt. They went to 'Plan B', and gave the signal for their comrades on the other side of the prison wall to throw in the rope attached to the ladder - the rope jammed on top of the wall and snapped when the men outside attempted to pull it back to them. The three prisoners had no alternative but to return to their cells. The following day, the British soldier who was in on the plan repaired/adjusted the handles on the bolt cutter and, that night, at 6.30pm, the three prisoners decided to make another escape attempt.

The three Irish republican prisoners again made their way down to the gate and, this time, the bolt cutter worked. They used butter and grease, which they saved from their meals, to help ease the remaining portion of the corroded bolt out from its latch and two of the men got their revolvers at the ready as the third man pulled on the heavy door which creaked open sluggishly on its rusty hinges and the three men walked out! Simon Donnelly had tried to persuade Patrick Moran to join them, but Moran - who was not involved in shooting Ames or Bennett, and had what he considered the perfect alibi for that night - refused to leave the prison except by the front gate as a free man. Patrick Moran paid with his life for relying on British justice : not the first innocent man to be put to death by the British, and not the last Irish person to be punished by them in revenge.


"On my way to Knocksedan a little before mid-day I called at the Post Office in Lusk for stamps. The postmistress, whom I knew very well, asked me to accompany her to her sitting room. There she told me that she had just delivered a wire in code from Dublin Castle to the Lusk police sergeant. She was familiar with the code from frequent messages. This particular one to the police sergeant was to the effect that he was to make immediate arrangements for the arrest of Ashe and myself! I mention this incident because I think that similar messages were sent to various Volunteer centres in the country, and because it tends to show that the Rising leaders were right in their view that there was to be a general swoop by Dublin Castle on that day....

....the police attack was being directed by a District Inspector Smyth, an exArmy officer. At the other (southern or Cross Roads) end a County Inspector Gray was directing operations. Gray was severely wounded early in the fighting, leaving Smyth in sole command. Soon after Frank Lawless's arrival an intermittent duel began between his and Smyth's squad. Smyth was eventually mortally wounded by a shot from Lawless. This left the police without a leader with the result that they lost morale. Very soon after Smyth being knocked out, Lawless and his Volunteer squad came out on the roadway and, firing intermittently, moved at the double towards the motor cars. On seeing them some of the police peared from under cover of the cars with their hands up..."
(from here.)

- the above is taken from 'Document W.S.97' , a statement made on the 18th February 1948 by Dr. Richard Hayes, a medical officer and Commandant of the 5th Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers, as part of a questionnaire into Volunteer activities in north county Dublin during Easter Week , 1916. Hayes and his men were active in Donabate, Swords, Garristown and Ashbourne and, following the Rising, he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment but was released in June 1917. He was imprisoned again for republican activities between May 1918 and March 1919 and from November 1920 to July 1921.

However, he ruined his credentials by supporting the Treaty of Surrender and entered the Westminster-imposed Leinster House institution in 1922 and soon after joined the Free State 'Cumann na nGaedheal' party. He resigned from Leinster House in 1924 and turned his back completely on political life, perhaps because he realised that that which he fought for as a republican was not obtainable through the politics of the Free State and its 'parliament', Leinster House? He died on the 16th of June, 1958, in his 80th year.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.