Wednesday, April 01, 2020

"CUT THE GUTS OUT OF THEM..."

CONTAMINATED EASTER LILY'S -

Please be careful where you get your Easter Lily's from, as Free State fraudsters are attempting to distribute State licenced (!) versions of the Lily.

And no - this is NOT an April Fool's joke!







ON THIS DATE (1ST APRIL) 99 YEARS AGO...

'In 1917, Sean Corcoran called on me and requested me to organise a company of Volunteers and a Sinn Féin Cumann in Bohola. I arranged for a meeting to be held in Staunton's workshop in Bohola. Sean Corcoran attended the meeting and about 40 young men joined the company. I must state here that they were as fine a bunch of lads as could be found anywhere. Two names were proposed for the position of company captain, mine and P.J. Clarke. I was elected by a substantial majority. P.J. Clarke was elected 1st Lieut. Tom Carroll, 2nd Lieutenant; John Clarke, adjutant and Joe Colgan, quartermaster. A Sinn Féin Cumann was also formed at the meeting and I was elected secretary...' (from here.)

'On 1 April 1921, Sean Corcoran, O/C of the IRA's East Mayo Brigade, was shot dead by British soldiers after a short gunfight at Crossard crossroads (6 km north of Ballyhaunis). A high cross marks the spot where Corcoran died. Later that same day, a member of the British Black and Tans was killed by a sniper. In retaliation, the Black and Tans executed Michael Coen, a man who was later believed not to have taken part in fighting of any kind. A monument to Coen was placed on the Cloonfad/Galway road from Ballyhaunis...' (from here.)

'Commandant Sean Corcoran has been shot dead by a policeman during a routine search at Crossard, Ballyhaunis. Prior to the fatal shooting the District Inspector went into a house to search it with a party of men. Two policemen were ordered to remain on the road outside. While the search was in progress one of the policemen saw two civilians coming along the road towards him, each pushing a bicycle. There were two members of the Argyles and Sutherland Hylanders with the policemen. When the policemen saw the civilians approaching him he took his bicycle and called on one of the Hylanders to come with him. They then mounted their bicycles and went to meet the civilians. The civilians were walking together and appeared to be conversing. As they approached one of the civilians was about ten yards in front of the other. The policeman passed the first man and told the second man to halt. The man, Sean Corcoran, drew a pistol from his pocket and fired at the policeman. The policeman returned fire with his revolver and Corcoran fell fatally injured. Heavy fire was then opened on the police and military. They took cover. The firing lasted about ten minutes and the attackers ran away. Corcoran's fellow traveller is said to be seriously wounded. He is Michael Mullins son of a local teacher. The 'Freeman's Journal' say "little hope is entertained" for his recovery, but local sources say he is not that seriously wounded...' (from here.)

'1921 Apr 1. Received a First class favourable report for his conduct at Crossard Co Mayo Ambush. Sean Corcoran, O/C of the East Mayo Brigade, was shot dead by British soldiers after a gunfight at Crossard crossroads (6 km north of Ballyhaunis). Tom Waldron, Crossard, Co. Mayo says - "Seán was killed as he was walking uphill, away from Crossard Crossroads with Commandant Maurice Mullins when a Crossley Tender of Black & Tans came over the rise in front of them. Corcoran drew his revolver while Mullins, who was unarmed was unable to react. The Tans opened fire killing Corcoran and wounding Mullins who was then captured and taken to Ballyhaunis RIC Barracks." The Argyll & Sutherland Highlander's 'War Diary' of the 2nd Battalion Operations while based in Claremorris reported it was their Troops accompanied by RIC who shot and killed Seán Corcoran after he had opened fire on them from behind a ditch/wall. Corcoran died instantly and his body was brought to a nearby school...' (from here.)

'Following the killing of Constable Stephens in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo (see 29th March) , armed and masked men enter the house of Volunteer Michael Coen at Lecarrow outside Ballyhaunis. He is dragged outside and badly beaten before having his throat cut with a bayonet. His body is left some 120 yards from his house where his father finds it the following morning...' (from here.)

'Sean Corcoran, O/C East Mayo Brigade IRA killed near Crossard, six miles outside Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo. He was walking with Maurice Mullins when they run into a joint RIC/British Army patrol which was searching a house. Corcoran is shot by Constable Bernard Fitzpatrick and Mullins is captured. Fitzpatrick is awarded the Constabulary Medal and RIC DI Wilkins, of Claremorris, received a Favourable Record Citation...' (from here.)

'Peadar O’Donnell, O/C 2nd Donegal Brigade (which included east Donegal, Inishowen and Derry City) arrives in the city and mobilises the IRA. One group is sent to attack the RIC Barracks on Lecky Rd., and this results in the death of an RIC man. (Constable Michael Kenny). Another group is sent to the attack the Strand Road RIC Barracks. A third group (including Séamus McCann) is sent out in pairs – one of these spot an RIC sergeant (Sgt John Higgins) on the Creggan Rd. and he is shot dead. (A British private, J Whyte, is killed when a weapon is accidentally discharged.) The casualties for the night are two members of the Crown Forces killed and four wounded. Two civilians are also wounded in cross fire. O’Donnell and McCann leave Derry the next night and, despite the fact there was little by way of retaliation from the RIC for these killings, there was much bad feeling in the Derry IRA because of O’Donnell actions which is made known to GHQ. Some time later, the IRA in Derry city was made an independent battalion and no longer part of Donegal 2nd Brigade...' (from here.)

'Hugh Corry (or Duffy), an army pensioner from Rockberry, Co. Monaghan, is found dead with a notice saying “Spies and Informers Beware”. He may have been a B Special...' (from here.)





'CORK CEREMONY...'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



Sinn Féin National Collection In Cork : during the collection, now in progress, the police have, in Ballincollig, Cobh, Mallow and Fermoy, attempted to stop proceedings and demanded the names of our collectors. We congratulate the members of the Brian Dillon Cumann on their stand in Mallow and Fermoy, and take this opportunity to thank all those who have already subscribed for their generous response both in the city and county.

Cork Sinn Féin Concert : A concert will be held in the Opera House under the combined auspices of all the City Cumann at 8pm on Sunday 12th December (1954). We appeal to all Cork republicans to give this venture their full support. Prominent artists are being engaged and an enjoyable evening's entertainment is assured.

Sinn Féin Public Meeting in Waterford : Arrangements are being made to hold a public meeting in Broad Street, Waterford City, at 8.30pm on Saturday night, 11th December. Speakers from Cork City will address the meeting and the Cork Volunteers Band will attend.

Glasgow Sinn Féin - Sinn Féin Connolly Cumann, 150 Gorbalo Street, Glasgow : The juvenile dancing competitions organised by the cumann have been a tremendous success. The young competitors from all parts of the city maintained a high standard throughout the competitions. The thanks of the committee are extended to all those who participated in these competitions, also to those who gave their services as adjudicators. A successful concert was held in aid of the republican prisoners, and the cumann are making a new drive for the Republican Prisoners Association... (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (1ST APRIL) 98 YEARS AGO : 'REVENGE MURDERS' BY CROWN FORCES.

'1922 – The 'Arnon Street Massacre' took place in Belfast. Five Catholic civilians were assassinated on Arnon street by uniformed Police after the IRA killed a Constable.

On the evening of April 1, RIC constable George Turner is patrolling the Old Lodge Road when he is killed by a sniper.

About ten police officers in Brown Square Barracks, upon hearing of Turner’s murder, take a Lancia armoured car and begin touring nationalist areas. When they dismount their vehicle, witnesses hear them shouting "Cut the guts out of them for the murder of Turner." Their first victim is John McRory who lives on Stanhope Street, just across the road from where Constable Turner had been shot. The police break into his house and shoot him dead in his kitchen. In Park Street, Bernard McKenna, father of seven, is killed while lying in bed. Finally, the police arrived at Arnon Street.

William Spallen, who lives at 16 Arnon Street, has just returned from the funeral of his wife who had also been killed in the conflict. His 12-year-old grandson, Gerald Tumelty, witnesses his death - "Two men came into the room, one was in the uniform of a policeman. They asked my grandfather his name and he said William Spallen. The man in plain clothes fired three shots at him. When I cried out he said 'lie down or I will put a bullet into you.'" Tumelty says the killers then take £20 that his grandfather had to pay for his wife’s funeral.

The attackers then use a sledgehammer to break into the house next door, where they find Joseph Walsh in bed with his seven-year-old son Michael and his two-year-old daughter Bridget. Joseph Walsh is bludgeoned to death with the sledgehammer while Michael Walsh is shot and dies from his wounds the next day. Another son, Frank, is shot in the thigh, but survives. Later that evening another Catholic, John Mallon, is shot dead in Skegoneill Avenue.

The unionist press, the Belfast Newsletter and Belfast Telegraph, condemn the killings but do not identify the killers as police. The Dublin-based Irish Independent writes that “never even in the worst state of terror in the west and south has the state of affairs which now prevails in the Northern capital been experienced.” Michael Collins sends an angry telegram to Northern Ireland Prime Minister James Craig, demanding a joint inquiry into the killings. No such inquiry is set up...' (from here.)





ILLEGAL ARMS : IN BAD COMPANY...

A man suspected of being one of the world's biggest dealers in illegal weapons was a director of two companies based in Ireland.

By Annamarie Comiskey.

From 'Magill' magazine, July 2002.

Civil war between the government forces and revolutionaries in Sierra Leone for the past 11 years has left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands more displaced as refugees in neighbouring countries. Both sides of the conflict have been ably supplied with weapons from rogue arms dealers, despite the UN arms embargo.

Sophisticated military technology is not needed - the fighting is on the grounds, face to face. Kalashnikov rifles are the weapon of choice and easy hardware for a dealer to get his hands on in Eastern Europe. Leonid Minin allegedly sourced his supplies from stockpiles managed by corrupt military officials who were left to their own devices after the Soviet military was split up.

There is no evidence that Minin brokered arms deals from Ireland, but this could become a new area to exploit here when the latest UK legislation on arms exports comes into effect ; the bill aims to control the activities of arms brokers by making them register, but this only applies to British arms brokers based in the UK. Nothing would stop a broker crossing the Irish Sea to trade from here instead... (MORE LATER.)





'RESURGENCE...'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1954.

Another striking feature is the effect that recent events have had on the people - they have responded to the generous sacrifice of these men, their nobility of character, their purity of purpose ; their selflessness has struck the Irish heart and in one voice they are acclaimed by all. Not now a tacit acceptance that somehow they are right, but a whole-hearted applauding of their sentiments and actions.

Again old men are heard to talk of deeds that were done 'in their day', to show that they too once grappled with the 'conqueror' in open combat. Younger men square their shoulders, proud of the mettle in their generation, and they come to volunteer their services, considering it a privilege to give. And the still-younger make secret vows that they, too, will be soldiers of Ireland - and this is good, for they, too, will be needed soon.

Ireland lives on, her people step with a more bouyant step and a new manliness, eyes flash with a new awakening, a great spirit is abroad. We wait and hope with a trembling expectancy, we pray that in God's name it will not be necessary for a sacrifice of the blood of the few who are bravest, before all the fighting men and women of Ireland shake off the torpor and join the Republican Movement. We want to strike together and at once in the same cool deliberate way of which we have been shown in this great example.

(END of 'Resurgence' ; NEXT - 'The Epic Of The Water Tower', from the same source.)

Thanks for reading - Sharon and the '1169' team. Stay safe!








Wednesday, March 25, 2020

AN IRISH 'HERO' WHOSE HORSE WAS BETTER REMEMBERED.

ON THIS DATE (25TH MARCH) 174 YEARS AGO : 'FATHER OF THE IRISH LAND LEAGUE' BORN.

The Irish 'dissident', Michael Davitt (pictured) was born on this date - 25th March - in 1846, in Straide, County Mayo, at the height of 'An Gorta Mór' (the attempted genocide) of the Irish people, and the poverty of those times affected the Davitt family - he was the second of five children and was only a few months older than four years of age when his family were evicted from their home over rent owed and his father, Martin, was left with no choice but to travel to England to look for work.

Martin's wife, Sabina ((nee Kielty), and their five children, were given temporary accommodation by the local priest in Straide. The family were eventually reunited, in England, where young Michael attended school for a few years. His family were struggling, financially, so he obtained work, aged 9, as a labourer (he told his boss he was 13 years old and got the job - working from 6am to 6pm, with a ninty-minute break and a wage of 2s.6d a week) but within weeks he had secured a 'better' job, operating a spinning machine but, at only 11 years of age, his right arm got entangled in the machinery and had to be amputated. There was no compensation offered, and no more work, either, for a one-armed machine operator, but he eventually managed to get a job helping the local postmaster.

He was sixteen years young at that time, and was curious about his Irish roots and wanted to know more - he learned all he could about Irish history and, at 19 years young, joined the Fenian movement in England. Two years afterwards he became the organising secretary for northern England and Scotland for that organisation and, at 25 years of age, he was arrested in Paddington Station in London after the British had uncovered an IRB operation to import arms. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, on a 'hard labour' ticket, and served seven years in Dartmoor Prison in horrific conditions before being released in 1877, at the age of 31, on Wednesday, December 19th.

He returned to Ireland and was seen as a hero by his own people, and travelled extensively in his native Connaught, observing how, in his absence, nothing had improved for the working class. He realised that if the power of the tenant farmers could be organised, it would be possible to bring about the improvements that were badly needed, and he arranged a convention in August of 1879 ; the result was a body called the 'National Land League of Mayo' :

'This body shall be known as the National Land League of Mayo and shall consist of farmers and others who will agree to labour for the objects here set forth, and subscribe to the conditions of membership, principles, and rules specified below.

Objects: The objects for which this body is organised are —

1) To watch over the interests of the people it represents and protect the same, as far as may be in its power to do so, from an unjust or capricious exercise of power or privilege on the part of landlords or any other class in the community.

2) To resort to every means compatible with justice, morality, and right reason, which shall not clash defiantly with the constitution upheld by the power of the British empire in this country, for the abolition of the present land laws of Ireland and the substitution in their place of such a system as shall be in accord with the social rights and necessities of our people, the traditions and moral sentiments of our race, and which the contentment and prosperity of our country imperatively demand.

3) Pending a final and satisfactory settlement of the land question, the duty of this body will be to expose the injustice, wrong, or injury which may be inflicted upon any farmer in Mayo, either by rack-renting, eviction, or other arbitrary exercise of power which the existing laws enable the landlords to exercise over their tenantry, by giving all such arbitrary acts the widest possible publicity and meeting their perpetration with all the opposition which the laws for the preservation of the peace will permit of. In furthernance of which, the following plan will be adopted : — a - Returns to be obtained, printed, and circulated, of the number of landlords in this county ; the amount of acreage in possession of same, and the means by which such land was obtained ; farms let by each, with the conditions under which they are held by their tenants and excess of rent paid by same over the government valuation. b - To publish by placard, or otherwise, notice of contemplated evictions for non-payment of exorbitant rent or other unjust cause, and the convening of a public meeting, if deemed necessary or expedient, as near the scene of such evictions as circumstances will allow, and on the day fixed upon for the same. c - The publication of a list of evictions carried out, together with cases of rack-renting, giving full particulars of same, names of landlords, agents, etc, concerned, and number people evicted by such acts. d - The publication of the names of all persons who shall rent or occupy land or farms from which others have been dispossessed for non-payment of exorbitant rents, or who shall offer a higher rent for land or farms than that paid by the previous occupier. The publication of reductions of rent and acts of justice or kindness performed by landlords in the county.

4) This body to undertake the defence of such of its members, or those of local clubs affiliated with it, who may be required to resist by law the actions of landlords or their agents who may purpose doing them injury, wrong, or injustice in connexion with their land or farms.

5) To render assistance when possible to such farmer-members as may be evicted or otherwise wronged by landlords or their agents.

6) To undertake the organising of local clubs or defence associations in the baronies, towns, and parishes of this county, the holding of public meetings and demonstrations on the land question, and the printing of pamphlets on that and other subjects for the information of the farming classes.

7) And finally, to act as a vigilance committee in Mayo, note the conduct of its grand jury, poor law guardians, town commissioners, and members of parliament, and pronounce on the manner in which their respective functions are performed, wherever the interests, social or political, of the people represented by this club renders it expedient to do so.'

Thus began the land agitation movement. On the 21st October 1879, a meeting of concerned individuals was held in the Imperial Hotel in Castlebar, County Mayo, to discuss issues in relation to 'landlordism' and the manner in which that subject impacted on those who worked on small land holdings on which they paid 'rent', an issue which other groups, such as tenants' rights organisations and groups who, confined by a small membership, agitated on land issues in their own locality, had voiced concern about.

Those present agreed to announce themselves as the 'Irish National Land League' (which, at its peak, had 200,000 active members) and Charles Stewart Parnell who, at 33 years of age, had been an elected member of parliament for the previous four years, was elected president of the new group and Andrew Kettle, Michael Davitt, and Thomas Brennan were appointed as honorary secretaries. That leadership had 'form' in that each had made a name for themselves as campaigners on social issues of the day and were, as such, 'known' to the British authorities - Davitt was a known member of the Supreme Council of the IRB and spoke publicly about the need "..to bring out a reduction of rack-rents..to facilitate the obtaining of the ownership of the soil by the occupiers..the object of the League can be best attained by promoting organisation among the tenant-farmers ; by defending those who may be threatened with eviction for refusing to pay unjust rents ; by facilitating the working of the Bright clauses of the Irish Land Act during the winter and by obtaining such reforms in the laws relating to land as will enable every tenant to become owner of his holding by paying a fair rent for a limited number of years.."

Davitt realised that the 'Land League' would be well advised to seek support from outside of Ireland and, under the slogan 'The Land for the People', he toured America, being introduced in his activities there by John Devoy and, although he did not have official support from the Fenian leadership - some of whom were neutral towards him while others were suspicious and/or hostile of and to him - he obtained constant media attention and secured good support for the objectives of the organisation but he died before he could accomplish all he wanted to, at 60 years of age, in Elphis Hospital in Dublin, on the 30th of May 1906, from blood poisoning : he had a tooth extracted and contracted septicaemia from the operation. His body was taken to the Carmelite Friary in Clarendon Street, Dublin, then by train to Foxford in Mayo and he was buried in Straide Abbey, near where he was born. The 'Father of the Irish Land League' was gone, but will not be forgotten.





'CORK CEREMONY...'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



Michael McCarthy, from the Tomas MacCurtain Sinn Féin Cumann in Cork, paid a moving tribute to the three men who died in Manchester and to all who followed in their footsteps down to the present day. He appealed for recruits for the Republican Movement, saying that there is only one way to drive the British troops out of Ireland and that was with rifles and Thompson guns.

It is to be hoped that many other places in which commemorations in honour of Allen, Larkin and O'Brien were held annually in the past will follow the example of the people of East Cork and revive those parades. Ladybridge last Sunday demonstrated if demonstration be needed, that republican Ireland is on the march - our latest 'felons' have not sacrificed their liberty in vain.

Cork City Commemoration - the annual commemoration in honour of those three heroes, under the auspices of the Cork City Manchester Martyrs Commemoration Committee, representative of all republican organisations, was held at 12 noon on Sunday 12th November 1954. In the morning the wreaths were laid on the grave of Brian Dillon at Rathcooney Cemetery, on the Republican Plot in St. Finbarr's Cemetery and at St. Joseph's Cemetery. Padraig Cullinane, who spoke of the martyrdom of the three men, asked those present to come into the Republican Movement to complete the task of freeing our country. A film was made of the ceremonies and also of the Ladysbridge Commemoration, which will shortly be shown in the Thomas Ash Memorial Hall. Seamus Farrell, of the commemoration committee, and Michael McCarthy were also on the platform... (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (25TH MARCH) 180 YEARS AGO : IRISH LITTLE BIGHORN 'HERO' BORN.

The temporary marker (pictured) erected at the site of the battle of the Little Bighorn, in 1876, where Irishman Myles Keogh died.

Myles Walter Keogh was born in Orchard, Leighlinbridge, Carlow, on this date (25th March) in 1840, to parents that were not on the breadline. He was one of 13 children, being the youngest of five boys and seven sisters. As a 'soldier of fortune', he fought with Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (pictured, here) against the native American population and was killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn on the 25th June, 1876, in Montana, by those he sought to annihilate. He was known to be an excellent horseman and had an apparently deserved reputation as a brave soldier even if, in my opinion, he was fighting on the wrong side. However, he is regarded as a 'hero' by some (homage to the man, here, penned by an Irish 'comedian') while 'neutrals' might declare that 'one man's terrorist...' etc. The remains of Myles Keogh were disinterred from the Bighorn site in 1877 and he was buried in Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York.

Incidentally, the horse that Myles Keogh rode into battle on that fateful day, 'Comanche' (pictured), was the only living survivor of the fight (other than the victorious native americans, obviously!), having been found, barely alive, with bullet wounds and seven arrows in his body : four on the back of his shoulder, one on each of his back legs and one which pierced a hoof. The poor animal died on the 7th of November, 1891 - 15 years after 'Bighorn' - at Fort Riley, in Kansas, going into his 30th year in these pastures and is one of only two horses to be buried with full military honours. This horse was actually the subject of a 'HQ 7th US Calvary General Order' issued on the 10th of April, 1878 :

'(1.) The horse known as 'Comanche,' being the only living representative of the bloody tragedy of the Little Big Horn, June 25th, 1876, his kind treatment and comfort shall be a matter of special pride and solicitude on the part of every member of the Seventh Cavalry to the end that his life be preserved to the utmost limit. Wounded and scarred as he is, his very existence speaks in terms more eloquent than words, of the desperate struggle against overwhelming numbers of the hopeless conflict and the heroic manner in which all went down on that fatal day.

(2.) The commanding officer of Company I will see that a special and comfortable stable is fitted up for him, and he will not be ridden by any person whatsoever, under any circumstances, nor will he be put to any kind of work.

(3.) Hereafter, upon all occasions of ceremony of mounted regimental formation, 'Comanche,' saddled, bridled, and draped in mourning, and led by a mounted trooper of Company I, will be paraded with the regiment.

By command of Colonel Sturgis, E. A. Garlington, First Lieutenant and Adjutant, Seventh Cavalry.'

Shame that those people didn't show the same respect to their 'quarry'.





ILLEGAL ARMS : IN BAD COMPANY...

A man suspected of being one of the world's biggest dealers in illegal weapons was a director of two companies based in Ireland.

By Annamarie Comiskey.

From 'Magill' magazine, July 2002.

Ireland was getting a reputation as a good place to launder the proceeds of drug dealing and other illegal activities, tax free. The UN backed this up in a 1998 report on tax havens - thousands of companies were opened up by non-resident individuals or holding companies, with their business activity often described as 'other'.

Were Leonid Minin's companies still in existence, they would have to pay tax to the exchequer, provide documentation to the Company Register Office and have a clearly defined activity, or face being struck off. The Italian magistrate, Dr Walter Mapelli, is now trying to piece together the Ukrainian's international business interests and is frustrated by the diversity of national laws. He told journalists after Leonid Minin was charged a second time - "Each State is very jealous of its own sovereignty and its own prerogatives within its borders*. The consequence of this is that each State only sees one little segment of the whole business. I hope that a successful outcome in this case against Leonid Minin will mean that such international smugglers can no longer feel they can exploit the legal differences between countries for their purposes."

The Italian case will be the first time a court prosecutes an international criminal for committing crimes outside its territory. Dr Walter Mapelli is trying the case on the grounds that Leonid Minin allegedly broke a UN arms embargo ; the sale of illegal arms to Africa is regarded as the second most important impediment to economic development in the region after government corruption. The influx of small arms from the former Soviet bloc countries is blamed for fuelling ethnic conflicts. Illegal arms dealers have been known to supply both sides of a conflict, thus keeping their order books busy.

(*Not so - this corrupt State places economic and political considerations above that of its sovereignty and its own prerogatives ; those in Leinster House sell themselves to the highest bidder at the expense of its citizens.)

(MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (25TH MARCH) 100 YEARS AGO - MORE ARMED BRITISH SCUM ARRIVE IN IRELAND.

Ireland, 1920 : a report in the 'Daily News' newspaper in March 1920, which was penned by Erskine Childers, stated - 'Take a typical night in Dublin. As the citizens go to bed, the barracks spring to life. Lorries, tanks and armoured search-light cars muster in fleets, lists of objectives are distributed and, when the midnight curfew order has emptied the streets - pitch dark streets - the weird cavalcades issue forth to the attack. A thunder of knocks ; no time to dress or the door will crash in. On opening, in charge the soldiers - literally charge - with fixed bayonets and in full war-kit...'

The 15th January 1920 municipal and urban elections not only saw an Irish republican Lord Mayor elected in Cork - that same political office was also conferred on Michael O'Callaghan in Limerick and Tom Kelly in Dublin ; on 6th March, 1921, Michael O'Callaghan was shot dead in his house by the Black and Tans, in what became known as 'The Curfew Murders' and, on that same night (6th March 1921), the then serving Lord Mayor of Limerick, a Mr. George Clancy (and his wife) were also shot dead in their own house (Tom Kelly took the Free State side after the 1921 Treaty of Surrender, and died in April 1942).

Westminster had hoped that, between the new voting system of proportional representation and their 'banning' of the Sinn Fein organisation, plus the introduction of martial law and the imprisonment and deportation of Irish Republican candidates, that Sinn Fein would do poorly at the 15th January 1920 Elections - but that was not how things turned out.

The republican administration had secured the allegiance of practically all the local councils since the elections (1918 and 1920) and the law courts (pictured), legal system and police force operated by the Irish republican administration had now virtually supplanted those of the British Crown and the IRA was also scoring notable successes in its guerrilla war against the British military.

Westminster responded by recruiting mercenaries in England for use in Ireland ; the Black and Tans and The Auxiliaries, and the first batch of these British 'peace-keepers' landed in Ireland on the 25th March 1920 - 100 years ago on this date. The 'Tan's' consisted of unemployed (and unemployable) ex-British servicemen and convicts, who were given guns and a 'uniform' of a Khaki outfit with a black RIC-type cap and belt, while the brutal and equally undisciplined actions of the other gang of rabble, the Auxiliaries, actually led to its Commanding Officer in Ireland, a Brigadier F. P. Crozier, resigning in protest at their conduct in this country!

Both groups of these British thugs were in Ireland between 1920 and 1922 - more than seven-thousand Black and Tans and approximately one-thousand-five-hundred Auxiliaries, all of whom caused havoc in Ireland until the 18th of February 1922, when both outfits were disbanded and sent back home to the dole queue. But there are still thousands of their ilk in our six north-eastern counties and Westminster continues to claim jurisdictional control over that part of Ireland. The struggle for self-determination is not over yet.





'RESURGENCE.'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1954.

The action of the Army which took place in Omagh on the early morning of Sunday, 17th October 1954, is the talk of the entire countryside. And this is very natural because, apart from its real significance, the intelligence, bravery and skill of our soldiers were almost mythical in their magnificence.

The recent action in Armagh was so perfect that people wondered if the thing actually happened at all! There, a detachment of men entered the barrack in broad daylight, carried out their objective and withdrew exactly according to plan. The first reaction to this was not so much amazement as amusement at the coolness of the operation. The country laughed.

But when we settle down to the real significance of the Omagh engagement what are the thoughts which strike us? Probably the first is that, after more than thirty years, our men have answered the taunt of British guns with actual shots, and have proved themselves superior by far as soldiers. They are well trained - we have an army - in spite of the endeavour to kill the spirit in us, not only by the foreigner, but much more subtly by some of our own countrymen. We have an army of well-trained Volunteers, and this Army has had two encounters with the army of occupation and in both they came out best. A very heartening thought... (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (25TH MARCH) 282 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF TURLOUGH O'CAROLAN, IRISH HARPER.

'Turlough O'Carolan (Toirdhealbhach Ó Cearbhalláin, pictured) was born in 1670 near Nobber, County Meath and died March 25th, 1738 at the home of his patron Mrs. MacDermott Roe, in Alderford, County Roscommon. He was one of the last Irish harpers who composed and a significant number of his works survive in single line melody. Carolan's fame was not due to his skill with the harp (having started at 18), but to his gift for composition and verse.

His father, John, was either a farmer or a blacksmith (who) moved his family to Ballyfarnon when Carolan was fourteen to take employment with the MacDermott Roe family. Mrs. MacDermott befriended the boy and gave him an education. Around the age of 18 he was blinded by smallpox.

Even before his illness Carolan had shown talent for poetry and may have been taught, even before his illness, by a harper Named MacDermott Roe (possibly Ruari Dall who lived with the MacDermott Roes). He studied for three years at the end of which Mrs. MacDermott Roe gave him a harp, a horse and some money to begin his career as an itinerant harper. For forty-five years Carolan would travel throughout Ireland composing tunes (planxties) for his patrons.

His first patron, George Reynolds, of County Leitrim, suggested he try composing (and) with this encouragement he composed Sheebeg and Sheemore. Thereafter he composed tunes for his patrons, usually composing tunes on his journeys. He travelled widely throughout Ireland, (but) in 1738, feeling ill, he returned to the home of Mrs. MacDermott Roe. After several days he called for a drink and repeated these lines to his first patron :

'Mary Fitzgerald, dear heart,

Love of my breast and my friend,

Alas that I am parting from you,

O lady who succored me at every stage.'


His final composition was to the butler, Flinn, who brought him his last drink (and his) funeral was widely attended ; in fitting tribute to the man, the wake lasted four days...' (From here.)





ON THIS DATE (25TH MARCH) 81 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF A DODGY 'SHAMROCK PIMPERNEL'.

'Jim 'Just call me the Shamrock Pimpernel' McCann is wanted all over the world for a variety of crimes, and is regarded as a colourful figure in the underworld. The reformed cannabis smuggler Howard Marks wrote in his autobiography that McCann mixed with unsuspecting IRA men and Hollywood actors like James Coburn during his heyday in the 1980s.

McCann, originally from Belfast, in 1971 became the first man in decades to escape from Crumlin Road jail, where he was on remand for petrol-bombing Queen's University. In the intervening period he linked up with international cannabis dealer Marks, while still trading on his reputation as a revolutionary. In 1977 he was arrested in France for extradition to Germany for allegedly bombing a British Army base in Moenchengladbach.

A subsequent case failed, thanks largely to protests by French political radicals. Next he turned up in Naas, when Gardai caught him with nearly £100,000 worth of cannabis. When arrested, he would only say: "My name is Mr Nobody. My address is The World."

McCann was later freed by the Garda on a technicality. He was last seen in Argentina...' (From here.)

This man was born on the 25th March, 1939, had dual British and Irish citizenship but mostly used his Free State passport. He was not the first unsavoury character to latch-on to Irish republicanism and, unfortunately, probably won't be the last. Had he persevered in his 'political' endeavours, he could now well be sitting in Leinster House with other dodgy 'republicans'.

Thanks for reading. And take care of yourself and your family and friends etc ; in these uncertain medical and (enforced) financial times, please don't fully depend on this corrupt State and those incompetents who oversee it to have your back. They haven't, nor will they - you and yours are not their concern, except on a voting day.

Sharon and the '1169' team.








Wednesday, March 18, 2020

THE SEED BURIED WITH THE DUST OF OUR DEAD.

ON THIS DATE (18TH MARCH) 99 YEARS AGO : 'BURGERY AMBUSH' INITIATED.

"...it is very difficult to describe this as an 'ambush' in the strict sense of the word, as there were several smaller engagements within the main attack and, furthermore, the main attack did not take place at the position planned, but was just a hurried interception of British Forces, and shortly beforehand the Volunteers did not know that there was going to be a fight.

In order to interrupt communications between Cloncoskerine, which was a military post, and Dungarvan, it was decided, on the 18th March (1921), by the Abbeyside and Dungarvan IRA Companies, to demolish Tarr's Bridge. The A.S.U. were to act as a protection party for the demolition squad. Earlier that night, 5 members of the A.S.U. had gone to Dungarvan to attack an R.I.C. patrol, which they did and, after an exchange of shots, they withdrew, and rejoined the main body of the A.S.U. at Ballycoe as previously arranged. While they were discussing about the demolition, motors were heard and their lights were seen coming from Dungarvan and going in the direction of Cloncoskerine. This was about 11.30 p.m. It was learned afterwards that there was a hostage in a lorry and that they were going, not to Cloncoskerine, but to Garranbane, where they arrested a Volunteer. With the A.S.U. at Ballycoe were the demolition party from local companies, armed with pickaxes, crowbars etc.

When the enemy lorries were observed going towards Cloncoskerine a hurried consultation took place between the IRA officer at Ballycoe Cross and, as it was nearly always the custom of the enemy not to return by the same route which they had taken going out, it was thought that the enemy would return by Ballycoe, and for this reason it was decided to place some of the A.S.U. on the road at the Burgery, and the remainder took up position on the Military road at Ballycoe.

At about 2.30 a.m. on the morning of 19th March, the enemy party (20 men, 1 officer) which consisted of a Crossley tender and a motor car were returning, it was seen that, on arriving at Tarr's Bridge, they took the main road into Dungarvan. The Volunteers at Ballycoe proceeded with all haste to join their comrades at the main road at the Burgery. Before they reached them, fire had been opened on the leading car by the party already in position, while some of those who came from Ballycoe attacked the lorry, others rushed to the attack of those in the car (which) had proceeded, after being attacked, a short distance towards Dungarvan, and then stopped. The occupants got out, and returned to the assistance of those in the lorry.

Fighting took place on the main road, and the enemy retreated and then ran pursued by some of the Volunteers and were caught after a short chase. Among those captured was O/C enemy troops in Dungarvan – Captain Thomas and also an R.I.C. Sergeant named Hickey, who had been acting as a guide, as well as some private soldiers.

Hickey was afterwards shot, as he had been warned on a number of occasions previously to refrain from certain activities and he had failed to do so. Meanwhile the enemy in the Crossly lorry had given up the fight and had retreated across the fields, leaving behind them their lorry and some equipment. The lorry and the car were then destroyed...at Kilgobinet it was decided to send back a number of Volunteers to the scene of the ambush, to collect any arms, ammunition or equipment left behind in the darkness during the fight of the night. They proceeded across country, and were approaching the Burgery when fire was opened on them by an enemy party that had come to try to retrieve what was left of their transport.

The Volunteers were now in an open field without any cover, whereas the enemy were lined on the road firing from the cover of the fence. The Volunteers returned the fire and a sharp fight took place, until eventually the enemy retreated back to town. During the fighting, Sean Fitzgerald, Captain of Killrosanty Company was killed, and Pat Keating of the Comeragh was wounded. When Keating was hit, George Plunkett left his position while still under heavy fire and carried Keating to some cover. It is interesting to note here that Plunkett did a similar brave act, when, during Easter Week, 1916, he dashed out of the G.P.O. and went to the assistance of a British officer, wounded during the fighting.

Their first concern now was to have Pat Keating attended to, and this was done by two ladies of Cumann na mBan. He was taken to Monarud, where he received medical aid from Dr. Hackett of Dungarvan, but he died later that evening at about 5 p.m. Considerable enemy reinforcements now arrived from Waterford City, with armoured cars and lorries, and carried out widespread searches in the district, but by then the Volunteers had gone to the safety of the Comeragh Mountains." (From here, by Domnall O'Faolain.)

One of those present, IRA Volunteer Jack O'Mara, stated that, after the capture of RIC Sergeant Hickey... "..our party, consisting of ten or twelve men, halted at Kilgobnet, where the officers held a council of war to decide the fate of Sergeant Hickey...a court martial ensued and because of his activities in assisting the British to hunt down I.R.A. men he was sentenced to be shot. Sergeant Hickey was taken away by others up the boreen...and was never afterwards seen alive..." After he was executed by the IRA, a sign stating 'Police Spy' was fixed to his uniform. A local priest made arrangements for his body to be placed in an unmarked grave which was owned by his fiancée's family at St. Mary's Church in Dungarvan in County Waterford.

The tough times that were forced on Irish republicans by the British and their Free State proxies left republicans with no choice other than to meet force with force.





'CORK CEREMONY.'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



'The Manchester Martyrs' were fittingly commemorated in Ladysbridge, County Cork, at 3.30pm, on Sunday, November 21st last. A parade of very large dimensions, led by the Cork Volunteers Band, Cork City Fianna Éireann, Cumann na gCailini and Cumann na mBan, and consisting of a Colour Party drawn from the Cork No. 1 Brigade IRA, the East Cork Manchester Martyr's Committee and the various City and County IRA units.

The following Sinn Féin Cumainn were also present - Cumann Daithe Ceannt, Cumann Mick Fitzgerald, Cumann Tomas MacCurtain, Cumann Brian Dillon, Cumann Tomas Aghas and Cumann Joe Murphy. Those representatives of the local national bodies and the general public marched from the monument in Ladybridge to the grave of Captain Willie Cox, IRA, and here a wreath was laid on the grave of a worthy successor to Allen, Larkin and O'Brien. The 'Last Post' and 'Reveille' was sounded by buglers of Na Fianna Éireann as the Brigade Colours dipped in salute and slowly rose again to flutter in the gentle breeze.

After this simple but moving ceremony the parade marched back to Ladysbridge to the strains of 'The First Cork Brigade'. On approaching the Manchester Martyrs Memorial, the Cork Volunteers Band played the 'Dead March' and the parade slowly moved into position in front of the Monument, where Miss Kitty O'Callaghan, representing Cumann na mBan, recited a decade of the Rosary for the repose of the souls of the three Martyrs.

A wreath was placed on the Monument, the 'Last Post' and 'Reveille' were sounded by buglers from Na Fianna Éireann and then Tomas Foley, representing Cumann Dáithí Ceannt, Sinn Féin, announced the speaker Michael McCarthy... (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (18TH MARCH) 99 YEARS AGO : "ONE CONSTABLE DIED FROM HIS WOUNDS.."

On Friday, 18th March, 1921 - 99 years ago on this date - an enemy foot patrol consisting of seven armed pro-British 'policemen' were ambushed in the Cork village of Castletownroche. One of their number, 'Constable' William Elton, from Middlesex in England (RIC reference 76391; LDS 2094/140B/71220), who was two weeks away from his 24th birthday, was badly wounded in the attack and died the next day.

'A large party of Volunteers under the command of James O'Neill ambushed a police patrol (consisting of one sergeant and six constables) at 'The Close' in Castletownroche on 18 March 1921. Constable William Elton was mortally wounded and died on 19 March. His colleague Constable Crowley was wounded in this attack. Former Volunteer John C. Regan, who had fought with the Castletownroche Battalion column, provided a detailed account of this incident :

"About mid-March 1921 I moved with Tim Fay, Jackie Sullivan, Jimmy O’Mahoney, and Danny Shinnick of the column into Castletownroche to ambush a patrol of Tans and R.I.C. which moved regularly about the village each night. We were assisted by representatives of the Castletownroche and Killavullen companies, who performed scouting and outpost duties.

It was proposed to open fire on the patrol when it reached the gate of 'The Close’'— this was the name of a house which marked the end of the area usually patrolled. It was within 60 yards of the RIC post (and) Jackie Sullivan, Tim Fay, and Jack O’Brien were in prone position at the gate of 'The Close', while some of the locals were posted in various other positions. The scouts who were to report the position of the enemy returned to the gate of 'The Close' while they were being followed by the enemy patrol. This apparently made the enemy suspicious and they called on the scouts to halt. The party at the gate then decided that it was time to open fire and did so. Two of the patrol were wounded and the others escaped to the barracks. One of the members of the patrol died from wounds."

The wounded man was, as stated, 'Constable' William Elton, who had worked in his own country as a labourer before he joined the British Army ; he left that branch of the Crown Forces to join a different contingent of same - the RIC - in Ireland, in around late December 1920. He died, in a country foreign to him, about three months later, at 23 years young. For 'King and Country', or otherwise in the service of imperialism, it was a self-inflicted waste of a young life.





ON THIS DATE (18TH MARCH) 38 YEARS AGO : SUNK BY HIS OWN 'STEPPING STONE'.

Paddy Smith (pictured) was born near Bailieborough in County Cavan on the 17th July, 1901 and, at 16 years young, joined an IRA flying column. Within three years he was one of that organisations youngest Commandants. He was active during the 1916 Rising and was captured by the British in 1921 and interned, then charged with 'treason' (a death sentence) but was released in the 'Treaty Truce' of 1921. He took the republican side in the resulting split, stating that Collins and the other 'negotiators' did not push their case hard enough - "They (Collins and his team) gave us stepping stones but they would not walk on them."

However, in 1926, when de Valera left republicanism and founded the Fianna Fáil party, Smith also abandoned those so-called 'stepping stones' with dev and withdrew from republicanism, into the new party. He remained a Leinster House politician for Fianna Fáil until 1977 and died, as a solid FF man, on the 18th March, 1982 - 38 years ago on this date. His funeral oration was delivered by the then newly-elected Free State 'Taoiseach' Charlie Haughey, who, like Paddy, 'had done the State some service' .





ILLEGAL ARMS : IN BAD COMPANY...

A man suspected of being one of the world's biggest dealers in illegal weapons was a director of two companies based in Ireland.

By Annamarie Comiskey.

From 'Magill' magazine, July 2002.

One of Leonid Minin's Irish companies, 'Limad Invest', was set-up by Irish formation agents in 1996 for a firm of UK accountants. The agents then sold the company back to the accountancy firm in 1997, a standard practice at the time. Minin and Irina Najda Sylam then took over as company directors. Leonid Minin now joins other international undesirables, such as Marko Milosevic and Victor Bout, who found it useful to use Irish companies ; Marko Milosevic, son of Slobodan Milosevic, had several 'brass plate' companies in Dublin, and allegedly used them to launder the proceeds of his illegal trade in drugs and tobacco, and Victor Bout from Tajikistan, the UN claims, was at the centre of an international illegal arms smuggling ring that used Renan Airways to fly cargos to Africa.

Renan Airways used aircraft owned by Balcombe Investments Ltd, a Dublin-registered company, but the named directors of that company, which was dissolved in the year 2000, denied, in 2002, any knowledge of the activities of Renan Airways. Garda sources say that Europol or Interpol has never requested the force to assist in an international investigation related to illegal arms deals and money laundering. When it is so easy to check the directorships of companies registered here, it is surprising that the Garda is not tempted to have a look.

'Brass plate' companies have brought Ireland into disrepute ; the same year that Leonid Minin's companies were dissolved, the government started to crack down on companies set up by non-residents... (MORE LATER.)





'THOUGHTS AFTER OMAGH...'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1954.

The freedom of Ireland is worth every sacrifice that we may be called on to make ; so thought the greatest and best of all past generations, and so think the young men and women of today. New leaders have arisen in Ireland, inspired with the cause of justice and right ; Ireland will be free and undivided, and will be prosperous. Her people will be industrious and happy ; the seed buried with the dust of our dead leaders has come to its miraculous ripening - Ireland be proud. Rejoice!

Eight men were arrested after the Omagh Raid - they have left dependants. Will you help to provide for these dependants and thus give the greatest comfort you can to the prisoners? Subscribers and those willing to become collectors should write to : An Runaidhe, An Cumann Cabhrach, c/o United Irishman Office, 94 Seán Treacy Street, Dublin.

('1169' comment - unfortunately, there are still republican prisoners, and they have dependants. If you can help, financially or otherwise, please note that that POW aid group have since changed their name and their address and you should now contact Cabhair at 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1. Thanks!)

(END of 'Thoughts After Omagh'. NEXT - 'Resurgence', from the same source.)

Thanks for reading, Sharon.








Tuesday, March 17, 2020

ST. PATRICKS DAY 1858 AND THE IRISH STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM.

ST. PATRICKS DAY 1858 AND THE IRISH STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM.

Joseph Denieffe (left) , one of the founders of the 'Irish Republican Brotherhood'.

Born in Kilkenny City in 1833 , Joseph Denieffe grew up to become a tailor by trade ; still in his early teens , he witnessed Daniel O'Connell's campaign for the 'Repeal of the Act of Union' and would have been just ten years young when approximately one million people assembled at what was known in its day as a "Monster Meeting" at the Royal Hill of Tara in County Meath on 15th August 1843. The young Joseph Denieffe would have heard , on that day , the speech delivered to that vast crowd by Daniel O'Connell, who stated - "We are at Tara of the Kings - the spot from which emanated the social power , the legal authority , the right to dominion over the furthest extremes of the land . The strength and majority of the national movement was never exhibited so imposingly as at this great meeting. The numbers exceed any that ever before congregated in Ireland in peace or war. It is a sight not grand alone but appalling - not exciting merely pride but fear. Step by step we are approaching the great goal of Repeal of the Union , but it is at length with the strides of a giant."

Imagine the scene as a ten-years-young child must have seen it : shoulder-to-shoulder with people packed together as far as a child could see ; one-million people , defiantly cheering and clapping at a lone figure on a wooden platform as he shook his fist and shouted rebelliously in the direction of Westminster. It was a day that was to have a life-long effect on young Joseph Denieffe , and thousands of other young boys and girls , and men and women. When he was twelve years young , Joseph Denieffe would have witnessed the 'Great Hunger' (1845 - 1849) when an estimated one million people died on the land and another one million people emigrated in 'coffin ships'. He would have noticed how Daniel O'Connell and the other career politicians did not suffer, how the Church leaders would bless the dead and pray for the dying before retiring to their big house for a meal, after which they would sleep contently in a warm bed. And a million people died around them.

Others noticed that injustice, too. William Smith O'Brien, a follower of Daniel O'Connell's , was one of the many who had grown impatient ; he helped to establish the 'Young Ireland' group, with the intention of organising an armed rising against the British. Joseph Denieffe joined the 'Young Ireland' group in 1847 (the year of its formation) - he was fourteen years young. He worked with William Smith O'Brien (who , as an 'English Gentleman', was an unusual Irish Rebel - he had been educated at Harrow , had a fine English accent and actually sat in Westminster Parliament for a good few years!) and others for the following four years when , at eighteen years of age(in 1851), the economics of the day dictated emigration. He ended up in New York, and contacted a number of Irish Fenians in that city, including John O'Mahony and Michael Doheny. When he was twenty-two years young in 1855, he assisted in the establishment of an Irish Republican group in America - the 'Emmet Monument Association' - which sought to raise an army to force England out of Ireland. The 'Emmet Monument Association' decided to send Joseph Denieffe back to Ireland to organise a branch of the 'Emmet Monument Association' there ; by 1856 , a small , active branch of the Association was up and running in County Kilkenny. Its membership included such well-known Irish Rebels as Thomas Clark Luby, Peter Langan and Philip Grey. On hearing of the establishment of the 'Emmet Monument Association' in Ireland and America , another Irish Rebel, James Stephens, returned to Ireland.

James Stephens had taken part in military action against the British in 1848, with William Smith O'Brien , in the town of Ballingarry in Tipperary , and had fled to Paris to escape an English jail sentence, or worse. He returned to Ireland and , by 1857, had set-up a branch of the Emmet Monument Association in Dublin. The leadership of the Emmet Monument Association in America , John O'Mahony and Michael Doheny, then sent one of their most trusted men - Owen Considine - to Ireland to assist in organising a fighting-force in the country. In December 1857 , Joseph Denieffe returned to America on a fund-raising mission ; he stayed there until about March in 1858 and , having raised eighty pounds - a good sum of money in those days - he came back to Ireland. On St Patricks Day that year (17th March , 1858) , Joseph Denieffe made his next move.

Joseph Denieffe , Thomas Clark Luby and James Stephens met, as arranged , on St. Patricks Day in 1858 ; the three Irish Rebels then founded the 'Irish Republican Brotherhood', a military organisation whose aim was to overthrow British mis-rule in Ireland. The following day , Joseph Denieffe returned to America to continue his fund-raising activities - but political trouble was brewing in America , too. Talk , and fear , of a civil war was everywhere. To make matters worse for Joseph Denieffe's fund-raising efforts , James Stephens and John O'Mahony had fallen-out over the direction that armed resistence to the English was going. America was now home to literally millions of Irish men and women who had been forced to leave Ireland because of British interference and the Great Hunger yet , as far as James Stephens was concerned , John O'Mahony and the American leadership had failed to harness the support amongst the Irish for an armed campaign against the British.

James Stephens accused John O'Mahony and his people in America of being "....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....." . It was in the middle of the above turmoil that Joseph Denieffe found himself in America in the early 1860's . Fund-raising in those circumstances was not possible , but he stayed in that country , perhaps hoping that , when things settled down .....

Joseph Denieffe never 'lost the faith'; he was now living in Chicago and was in his early thirtys. He continued his work for Irish Freedom , even though the immediate momentum had been lost. He stayed in America , spreading the word and building contacts for the Irish Republican cause. In 1904, at seventy-one years of age , he wrote a number of articles for the New York newspaper , 'The Gael' ; those articles were later published as a book , entitled 'A Personal Narrative of the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood' (link here) ,and is a fantastic read for those interested in the history of the on-going struggle for full Irish freedom.

At 77 years of age , Joseph Denieffe died in Chicago , on 20th April, 1910. He gave sixty-three years of his life to the Irish cause ,working for the most part either in the background or underground, never seeking the limelight. He is not as well-known as he should be but , like all true Irish Republicans , his objective was to promote and further the Irish cause , not himself.

"This land of mine , the old man said ,

will be alive when we are dead.

My fathers words still ring divine -

"God Bless this lovely land of mine."

Thanks for reading. We'll be back tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March 2020 with, among other pieces, a sad story about a young Englishman who worked as a labourer in his own country, in the 1920's, before he joined the British Army, leaving same to join a different contingent of same - the RIC - in Ireland. He died as a result of that decision three months later, at 23 years young. For 'King and Country', or otherwise in the service of imperialism, it was a self-inflicted waste of a young life.

See you tomorrow, Sharon.






Wednesday, March 04, 2020

DID THE BROTHER OF A VICIOUS CHILD KILLER SHOOT MICHAEL COLLINS?

BORN ON THIS DATE (4TH MARCH) THE SAME DATE THAT HE DIED, AND NAMED AFTER AN IRISH HERO WHO WAS BORN ON THAT SAME DATE 120 YEARS BEFORE HIM!

Emmet Dalton (pictured, on the right, with Michael Collins), 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, and whose Cause he belittled - 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 (his brother, Charlie, stayed on and made an equally bad name for himself), 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. Rumours persist that Dalton himself shot Collins dead, as per instructions from Westminster...?







ON THIS DATE (4TH MARCH) 242 YEARS AGO : 'DARLING OF ERIN' BORN.

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.

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.







'IRA CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY - A CONSPIRATOR SPEAKS AND IS BOOHED...'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



Strange Fog?

About the same time as Mr Ernest Blythe was voicing his opinion on criminal conspiracy, forgetful presumably of his own past, the President of UCD, Mr M Tierney, was uttering the following warning ; "We are living in Ireland in a strange fog of unreality which seems at the moment to have penetrated into every corner of our national consciousness and which we feel no more than the inhabitants of the Hebrides feel the fogs of winter."

Hear, hear, Mr Tierney, you are in a position to see the fog that enshrouds our national conscience, and which is merely the smokescreen (akin to a fog) which has been thrown out by the politicians in carrying out their various criminal conspiracies since December 1921. But for all that it is not a 'strange fog' - it is only strange to those who will not appreciate its source. I do not wish to be cruel, but I would suggest to the UCD Literacy and Historical Society that they should henceforth carry out 'Operation Fog' by refusing to give a platform to any person who has taken part in 'Operation Criminal Conspiracy'.

In case, Mr Editor (or my young readers), you may have any doubts as to my bona fides or my right to challenge the blithe and the not so blithe politicians, I want to inform you that I place myself in the category of 'Veteran', having been a member of the IRB up to the time it was 'taken over' by the first set of conspirators, a GHQ Staff Officer in 1921, a Battalion Commandant in 1922, a Brigade Commandant in 1923 and still acknowledging the republican stand.

Yours,

Ben Doyle.

(End of 'IRA CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY - A CONSPIRATOR SPEAKS AND IS BOOHED' ; Next - 'CORK CEREMONY', from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (4TH MARCH) 132 YEARS AGO : "GRACE UNKNOWN...."

Grace Gifford Plunkett (pictured) 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.)







ILLEGAL ARMS : IN BAD COMPANY...

A man suspected of being one of the world's biggest dealers in illegal weapons was a director of two companies based in Ireland.

By Annamarie Comiskey.

From 'Magill' magazine, July 2002.

In July last year (2001), Leonid Minin was charged by Italian magistrate Dr Walter Mapelli with dealing in illegal arms. He is now in prison near Milan awaiting a second trial, which could end with a 12-year sentence. Shortly before his arrest for possessing drugs, magistrate Walter Mapelli claims that Minin chartered a plane in Ukraine to fly 113 tonnes of bullets to the Ivory Coast in West Africa ; the year before that, according to the magistrate, Minin allegedly sent 68 tonnes of small arms to the same country, which were then re-routed to Sierra Leone, a country under a UN arms embargo, by his private plane. He denies knowing that his plane was used for this purpose.

Leonid Minin's empire is backed-up by a web of companies in the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, to name just a few of the off-shore havens he used. The magistrate is investigating this paper trail to find out if Minin was laundering the proceeds of illegal arms trafficking and his Irish interests may come under scrutiny. Limad Invest Ltd, an investment company registered at 3 College Green, Dublin 1, was incorporated in 1996 and dissolved in 1999 - Minin was one of the directors. The company had a share capital of twelve-thousand Euro's and filed annual accounts in 1997 though no trade took place. No annual accounts were filed in 1998, 1999 or 2000.

At the same address, Minin held a directorship of another company, 'Limad Energy', set-up with a meagre share capital of two-thousand four hundred Euro's ; it was also dissolved in 1999 and, again, annual accounts were filed in 1997 but not thereafter. Records show that Leonid Minin described himself as a 'businessman', with Israeli nationality and an address in Tel Aviv. He also holds passports from Germany and Ukraine. The other director, Irina Najda Sylam, described herself as a 'director', with German nationality, and living in Monaco. Mysteriously, there is no information on record of what the companies did after 1997... (MORE LATER.)





'THOUGHTS AFTER OMAGH'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1954.

The Irish, like all other people, are only human. They shape their lives on the pattern of their leaders and, when the leaders are noble and heroic, the people are also noble and heroic. But when the leaders are mean, cowardly, corrupt and cynical, so also are the people.

Ireland has passed through its period of meanness and cynicism. A new spirit is abroad throughout the land ; "What can I do" is the watchword replacing the old "What do I get", that has dominated Irish life and politics for the past thirty years*. It is natural and noble for a people to desire freedom ; freedom denied and subjection enforced by the might of arms is a gnawing irritant on the national life that cannot be placated by rhetorical orators or resounding resolutions.

To become free is very difficult. It cannot be achieved by wishing for it - a great effort has to be made, by the nation and by individuals, to become disciplined in preparation for the sacrifice, if necessary, of personal liberty, life, property and loved ones... (MORE LATER.)

( * '1169' comment : that 'new spirit' might very well have surfaced in the 1950's (I wasn't around then!) but it has long since disappeared and a vicious 'mé féin' attitude is, unfortunately, thriving in this corrupt State. The political system here encourages the scenario that it's 'every one for themselves' and that outlook will not change until the political system here changes. Or is changed, by whatever means necessary.)





ON THIS DATE (4TH MARCH) 216 YEARS AGO - 'CONVICTS' REVOLT : 'VINEGAR HILL' NSW UPRISING.

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 -

'REBELLION AT CASTLE HILL.

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 (William 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.







ON THIS DAY NEXT WEEK (WEDNESDAY 11TH MARCH 2020).....



...we won't be posting our usual contribution, and probably won't be in a position to post anything at all until the following Wednesday (18th) ; this coming weekend (Saturday/Sunday 7th/8th March) is spoke for already with a 650-ticket raffle to be run for the Dublin Comhairle of RSF in a venue on the Dublin/Kildare border (work on which begins on the Tuesday before the actual raffle) and the 'autopsy' into same which will take place on Monday evening, 9th, in Dublin, meaning that we will not have the time to post here on Wednesday 11th. But we'll be back, as stated above, on Wednesday 18th March 2020. Thanks for checking in with us, and we'll see ya then!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.