Wednesday, June 05, 2019

POLITICALLY HOSTILE NEIGHBOURS AND LOST FREEDOMS.

ON THIS DATE (5TH JUNE) SIX YEARS AGO - DEATH OF A STAUNCH IRISH REPUBLICAN.

"A national security threat, a dedicated revolutionary, undeterred by threat or personal risk.." - FBI description of Peter Roger Casement Brady / Ruairi Ó Brádaigh (from here).

Six years ago on this date (5th June [2013]) the Republican Movement lost one of its founding fathers, a gentleman who, during his lifetime (born in Longford 2nd October 1932, died 5th June 2013) joined the then Sinn Féin organisation at 18 years of age and, one year later, joined the IRA. At 23 years of age he was the Officer Commanding during the Arborfield arms raid and, at 24 years young, he was second-in-command of the Teeling Column, South Fermanagh, which was lead by Noel Kavanagh.

In 1957, at 25 years of age, Ruairi was elected in Longford-Westmeath as a Sinn Féin TD (to an All-Ireland Parliament) and, the following year, he escaped from the Curragh Internment Camp in Kildare with Dáithí Ó Conaill, with whom he served in the IRA as Chief of Staff (between 1958 and 1959, and again between 1960 and 1962) and, in 1966, at 34 years of age, he contested a seat for the Movement in Fermanagh-South Tyrone. He was Sinn Féin President from 1970 to 1983 and again from 1987 to 2009 (which was a year after the organisation re-constituted itself as 'Republican Sinn Féin') and was the Patron of the Movement from 2009 until his untimely death in 2013. He worked throughout his life for economic, political and social justice both in Ireland and internationally and has now joined the other Patrons of the Republican Movement - Comdt-General Tom Maguire, Michael Flannery, George Harrison and Dan Keating.

'Forego tears for the glorious dead and gone ; his tears if his, still flow for slaves and cowards living on...' RIP, Ruairi.









'GLASGOW SINN FÉIN'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.

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 and the thanks of the committee are extended to all those who participated in these competitions, also to all 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', the results of which will be published in our next edition. An open meeting was held on the afternoon of November 28th and a 'Manchester Martyrs' commemoration was held in the hall at 8pm. We wish to extend a hand of welcome to the new cumann in Dundee - good luck to you in the East!

The cumann have increased their membership in the past few months but there is room for a lot more. So, exiles in Glasgow, give Sinn Féin your support!

Finally, we wish to thank all who gave their services to the sale of 'The United Irishman' newspaper, which the Glasgow Cumann sell 62 dozen copies off each issue!


(END of 'Glasgow Sinn Féin'. Next - 'Sinn Féin Candidates', from the same source.)








ON THIS DATE (5TH JUNE) 151 YEARS AGO - JAMES CONNOLLY BORN.

James Connolly was born on June 5th, 1868 - 151 years ago on this date - at 107, the Cowgate, Edinburgh, Scotland. His parents, John and Mary Connolly, had emigrated to Edinburgh from County Monaghan in the 1850s. His father worked as a manure carter, removing dung from the streets at night, and his mother was a domestic servant who suffered from chronic bronchitis and was to die young from that ailment.

Anti-Irish feeling at the time was so bad that Irish people were forced to live in the slums of the Cowgate and the Grassmarket which became known as 'Little Ireland'. Overcrowding, poverty, disease, drunkenness and unemployment were rife - the only jobs available was selling second-hand clothes and working as a porter or a carter. James Connolly went to St Patricks School in the Cowgate, as did his two older brothers, Thomas and John. At ten years of age, James left school and got a job with Edinburgh's 'Evening News' newspaper, where he worked as a 'Devil', cleaning inky rollers and fetching beer and food for the adult workers. His brother Thomas also worked with the same newspaper. In 1882, aged 14, he joined the British Army in which he was to remain for nearly seven years, all of it in Ireland, where he witnessed first hand the terrible treatment of the Irish people at the hands of the British. The mistreatment of the Irish by the British and the landlords led to Connolly forming an intense hatred of the British Army.

While serving in Ireland, he met his future wife, a Protestant named Lillie Reynolds. They were engaged in 1888 and in the following years Connolly discharged himself from the British Army and went back to Scotland. In 1890, he and Lillie Reynolds were wed in Perth. In the Spring of 1890, James and Lillie moved to Edinburgh and lived at 22 West Port, and joined his father and brother working as labourers and then as a manure carter with Edinburgh Corporation, on a strictly temporary and casual basis. He became active in Socialist and trade union circles and became secretary of the Scottish Socialist Federation, almost by mistake. At the time his brother John was secretary ; however, after John spoke at a rally in favour of the eight-hour day he was fired from his job with the corporation, so while he looked for work, James took over as secretary. During this time, Connolly became involved with the Independent Labour Party which Kerr Hardie formed in 1893.

In late 1894, Connolly lost his job with the corporation. He opened a cobblers shop in February 1895 at number 73 Bucclevch Street, a business venture which was not successful. At the invitation of the Scottish Socialist, John Leslie, he came to Dublin in May 1896 as paid organiser of the Dublin Socialist Society for £1 a week. James and Lillie Connolly and their three daughters, Nora, Mona and Aideen set sail for Dublin in 1896, where he founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party in May of 1896. In 1898, Connolly had to return to Scotland on a lecture and fund-raising tour. Before he left Ireland, he had founded 'The Workers' Republic' newspaper, the first Irish socialist paper, from his house at number 54 Pimlico, where he lived with his wife and three daughters. Six other families, a total of 30 people, also lived in number 54 Pimlico, at the same time!

In 1902, he went on a five month lecture tour of the USA and, on returning to Dublin he found the ISRP existed in name only. He returned to Edinburgh where he worked for the Scottish District of the Social Democratic federation. He then chaired the inaugural meeting of the Socialist Labour Party in 1903 but, when his party failed to make any headway, Connolly became disillusioned and in September 1903, he emigrated to the US and did not return until July 1910. In the US, he founded the Irish Socialist Federation in New York, and another newspaper, 'The Harp'. In 1910, he returned to Ireland and in June of the following year he became Belfast organiser for James Larkin's Irish Transport and General Workers Union. In 1913 he co-founded the Labour Party and in 1914 he organised, with James Larkin, opposition to the Employers Federation in the Great Lock-Out of workers that August. Larkin travelled to the USA for a lecture tour in late 1914 and James Connolly became the key figure in the Irish Labour movement.

The previous year, 1913, had also seen Connolly co-found the Irish Citizen Army, at Liberty Hall, the headquarters of the ITGWU. This organisation, the ICA, was established to defend the rights of the working people. In October 1914, Connolly returned permanently to Dublin and revived the newspaper 'The Workers' Republic' that December following the suppression of his other newspaper, 'The Irish Worker'. In 'The Workers' Republic' newspaper, Connolly published articles on guerrilla warfare and continuously attacked the group known as The Irish Volunteers for their inactivity. This group refused to allow the Irish Citizen Army to have any in-put on its Provisional Committee and had no plans in motion for armed action. The Irish Volunteers were by this time approximately 180,000 strong and were urged by their leadership to support England in the war against Germany. It should be noted that half of the Provisional Committee of the Irish Volunteers were John Redmonds people, who was the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party. The Irish Volunteers split, with the majority siding with Redmond and becoming known as the National Volunteers - approximately 11,000 of the membership refused to join Redmond and his people.

However, in February 1915, 'The Workers' Republic' newspaper was suppressed by the Dublin Castle authorities. Even still, Connolly grew more militant. In January 1916, the Irish Republican Brotherhood had become alarmed by Connolly's ICA manoeuvres in Dublin and at Connolly's impatience at the apparent lack of preparations for a rising, and the IRB decided to take James Connolly into their confidence. During the following months, he took part in the preparation for a rising and was appointed Military Commander of the Republican Forces in Dublin, including his own Irish Citizen Army. He was in command of the Republican HQ at the GPO during Easter Week, and was severely wounded. He was arrested and court-martialled following the surrender. On May 9th, 1916, James Connolly was propped up in bed before a court-martial and sentenced to die by firing squad - he was at that time being held in the military hospital in Dublin Castle. In a leading article in the Irish Independent on May 10th, William Martin Murphy, who had led the employers in the Great Lock-out of workers in 1913, urged the British Government to execute Connolly.

At dawn on May 12th, 1916, James Connolly was taken by ambulance from Dublin Castle to Kilmainham Jail, carried on a stretcher into the prison yard, strapped into a chair in a corner of the yard and executed by firing- squad. Connolly's body, like that of the other 14 executed leaders, was taken to the British military cemetery adjoining Arbour Hill Prison and buried, without coffin in a mass quicklime grave. The fact that he was one of the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation bears evidence of his influence.

"The odds are a thousand to one against us, but in the event of victory, hold onto your rifles, as those with whom we are fighting may stop before our goal is reached." - James Connolly's words to the Irish Citizen Army on the 16th April, 1916, and those words hold the same value today.





PATRICK COSGRAVE...

Born on a Dublin council estate, supporter of the British Army in Ireland and an admirer of Thatcher.

By David Thorpe.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 2002.

Patrick Cosgrave was a dedicated Zionist, and several of his books concerned Israeli foreign policy and those works, among others, highlighted his habit of writing to suit his own opinions and this, along with his volatile temperament, prevented him from ever achieving the political status or newspaper editorship that seemed the destiny for a man of his talents*.

He was married three times, first to the journalist and author Ruth Dudley Edwards, and second to Norma Alicia Green, who ended up finding him "impossible". His persistent ill-health eventually got the better of him and he died in October 2001, survived by his third wife, Shirley Ward, and a beloved daughter, Rebecca, from the marriage to Norma Green.

There were many warm tributes paid, of course, but the one most appropriate had come 36 years earlier, when his term of office as auditor of the 'L&H Society' at UCD came to an end : one fellow member recalled how he got a very particular ovation from his fellow students - a rousing rendition of 'God Save the Queen'.>br>
('1169' comment * "A man of his talents"? He was, politically, a right-winger who attempted to integrate himself with wealthier right-wingers in the hope that he, too, would be placed in a financially secure position from which he could propagate their shared 'values'. That's not "talent", it's the actions of a servile parasite.)

(END of 'PATRICK COSGRAVE' : Next - 'ONE IN FOUR ON LOW PAY', from 'Magill' magazine, May 1987.)










"I'M NOT A STUPID, COLONIAL IMPERIALIST IDIOT..."

"I am so sick to death of politicians, especially British politicians..I am sick to death of Brexit..there’s a new cereal called Brexit - you eat it and you throw up afterward. I don’t think people in Britain were told the truth to start with - they were promised something that was completely ridiculous and wasn’t economically viable. I am a European, I am not a stupid, colonial, imperialist English idiot. I am ashamed of my country for what it has done. It has torn people apart..." - Elton John, from here.

And you should be "ashamed" of your country, Reg - not only for what your country has done in the past, but for what it is continuing to do, in that regard - 'tearing people apart' - here in Ireland, among other countries ye 'have kept the peace in'. And while you and yours are 'educating' the natives in your colonies and ex-colonies, don't forget to look after your own people, even if they haven't got oil and other resources to be plundered.

Incidentally, we noticed how, rightly, in our opinion, you previously described Donald Trump as "a barbarian" and couldn't help notice that you done so at a concert you were performing in. That particular gig was a fund-raising rally for Hillary Clinton, who is ever-so righteous about her support for American colonialism and imperialism! Pot, kettle, Elton - sure you'd wanna be a 'stupid idiot' not to see the hypocrisy involved!





'POLAND AND OURSELVES'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

It is interesting to note in a recent newspaper report that the Polish Underground is being re-organised to fight the Russian armies of occupation. Calling themselves the 'White Army', they are carrying out a programme of sabotage against industrial centres and communications. Unfortunately a cloak of silence has covered the affairs of Poland since the end of the war mainly, we must suppose, because Poland was betrayed by her erstwhile allies when their own aims were achieved.

When one considers that the invasion of Poland was the immediate cause of the Second World War, one is rather perplexed that her sufferings under foreign oppression now causes no stir ; the history of Poland is in some respects somewhat like our own ; many times her borders have been crossed by hostile neighbours and her freedom lost for long periods, but fidelity to her culture and traditions, and a burning faith in final liberation, has always brought her safely through the dark years. The sufferings of Poland today are much akin to those endured by the Irish people during the Penal Days - her people are being persecuted both for their nationality and their faith.

As we know, during the war, Poland was invaded from the West by the Germans and from the East by the Russians. Between the devil and the deep blue sea scarcely expresses her position... (MORE LATER.)








ON THIS DAY NEXT WEEK (12TH JUNE 2019)…

..we'll be recovering from a 650-ticket fund-raiser for the Cabhair organisation, which we're actually working on now and which will keep us busy until at least Monday evening, 10th June 2019. The event will, as usual, be held in a fancy hotel on the Dublin/Kildare border on Sunday, 9th June 2019 and, such is the size of the gig and the logistics involved behind the scenes, we're not gonna have the time to put a post together for Wednesday the 12th. And we're not only behind the scenes, either - we'll be out front, at our usual table, selling the last few tickets (...and lamenting the fact that we haven't got enough tickets to satisfy demand..) and booking all 650 tickets 'in and out', preparing the result sheets and notification texts and emails etc - phew! But we're well used to it by now, and we enjoy the craic and the way the staff look after us and most of all we enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that it's for a good cause!

We'll be back here on Wednesday, 19th June 2019 with, among other pieces, a few words about the 'royals' in Dublin and their connection with the art of husbandry..!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.








Wednesday, May 29, 2019

'CLAUSE THREE , NATIONS DIVIDED : IRELAND NOT INCLUDED'.

ON THIS DATE (29TH MAY) 297 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF A LEINSTER HOUSE MAN!

'Kildare House', pictured, left (now known as 'Leinster House', and used as an administrative building by Free State political regimes), was built between 1745 and 1748 under the instructions of James Fitzgerald, and against the advice of his colleagues in the 'establishment' of the day - he was advised by his colleagues that that part of town was 'dangerous and unfashionable' but, so sure was he of his 'standing' within his societal ranks, that he declared that "..wherever I go, fashion will follow me.." ('1169' comment - a statement made for a 'sheep' metaphor, considering that the 'sheep' are still following the inhabitants of that House!)

James Fitzgerald (pictured) was born on this date - 29th May - in 1722, to Robert Fitzgerald (the '19th Earl of Kildare') and 'Lady' Mary Fitzgerald (a daughter of William O'Brien, the '3rd Earl of Inchiquin') and, one presumes, they divided up their time visiting their estates in Waterford and Maynooth, among others, but still managed to find the time to ensure that young Jimmy would become and/or be anointed/appointed to the positions of 1st Duke of Leinster, 20th Earl of Kildare, 1st Marquess of Kildare, 6th Baron Offaly, 1st Earl of Offaly, Viscount Leinster of Taplow and Lord Justice of Ireland!

Have to admire their chutzpah and, indeed, their time-management skills, a 'gift' they obviously passed-on to James : at 25 years of age, Jimmy married the 15-years-young 'Lady' Emily Lennox, who was descended from 'King' Charles II and was therefore, obviously (!), a distant fifth cousin of 'King' George III, for it would take some time-management skills to parent the nineteen children that the couple had (Yes! - 19 children ; nine sons and ten daughters!), enough kids, if one were to be cynical about it, to say that the House Staff were kept busy with that task alone!

And James left them to it - he died in Kildare/Leinster House, in 1773, on the 19th of November, at 51 years of age, from 'unspecified causes'. Exhaustion, probably...!







'SINN FÉIN NATIONAL COLLECTION IN CORK / CORK SINN FÉIN CONCERT / SINN FÉIN PUBLIC MEETING IN WATERFORD'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.

Sinn Féin National Collection in Cork - during the National Collection now in progress, the police have, in Ballincollig, Cobh, Mallow and Fermoy, attempted to stop the collection and demanded the names of our collectors. We congratulate the members of the Brian Dillon Cumann on their stand in Mallow and Fermoy. We should like to 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 1954. Speakers from Cork City will address the meeting and the Cork Volunteers Band will attend.

(END of 'Sinn Féin National Collection in Cork', 'Cork Sinn Féin Concert' and 'Sinn Féin Public Meeting in Waterford' : NEXT - 'Glasgow Sinn Féin', from the same source.)










ON THIS DATE (29TH MAY) 135 YEARS AGO : A "MISUNDERSTANDING" OCCURS BETWEEN OSCAR AND CONSTANCE!

"The proper basis for marriage is a mutual misunderstanding.." - Oscar Wilde (pictured, with his wife, Constance Lloyd) was born on the 16th of October, 1854, into a middle-class family who lived at Westland Row in Dublin : his father, 'Sir' William Wilde, was a doctor and his mother, who was known to be 'unconventional' for the times that were in it - Jane Francesca Agnes (née Elgee aka 'Lady' Wilde ['Speranza of The Nation']) - was a poet who mixed in artistic and intellectual circles, and was left-leaning in her political beliefs. The child was christened 'Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde' : Oscar Wilde.

Oscar was educated in Trinity College in Dublin and then in Magdalen College in Oxford, England, and won a 'double-first' in 'Mods' (one of the hardest examinations ever devised!) and the Newdigate Prize for Poetrty but, nonetheless, had to revert to lecturing and freelancing for periodicals to make a living. However, he persevered and, in his mid-30's, made a name for himself with 'The Happy Prince', followed three years later with 'Lord Arthur Savile's Crime' and, in that same year, 'A House of Pomegranates'.

He then took the world by storm and ensured for himself a place at the top table of literary giants with his works 'Lady Windermere's Fan', 'A Woman of No Importance', 'An Ideal Husband' and 'The Importance of being Earnest'. But 'life' intervened - being, as Oscar Wilde was, a gay man in the Victorian era brought with it even more dangers than for a heterosexual who 'played the field' : his affair with (and letters to) his boyfriend lead to him serving two years in prison, after which he wrote 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol' -

"Dear Christ! the very prison walls

Suddenly seemed to reel,

And the sky above my head became

Like a casque of scorching steel ;

And, though I was a soul in pain,

My pain I could not feel."
('The Ballad of Reading Gaol', by Oscar Wilde, written after his release from Reading prison on the 19th May 1897, at 43 years of age)

He then went into exile and died, three years later, in Paris, on the 30th November 1900 ; he was then sixteen years married to Constance Lloyd (they had that "misunderstanding" on the 29th May, 1884 - 135 years ago, on this date) and, while they were on 'good terms', their marriage was a strained one...





PATRICK COSGRAVE...

Born on a Dublin council estate, supporter of the British Army in Ireland and an admirer of Thatcher.

By David Thorpe.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 2002.

A bombshell hit Patrick Cosgrave when his idol, Margaret Thatcher, stormed to power - he was suddenly dropped by the Tories. It could have been because he was drinking prodigiously at the time, or because he was famously stubborn and not a man who took orders easily. Whatever the case, the glamour that surrounded him when he was at the centre of political influence in Britain soon dissipated and, except for a brief period as editor-in-chief of Tiny Rowland's newspaper group, he spent the rest of his days leading the more isolated existence of a freelance writer.

Cosgrave followed in his father's footsteps as a spendthrift, and was often generous beyond his means. Not with everyone, though - he dealt with the demands of the Inland Revenue by ignoring them and, after he failed to attend several court hearings, he was declared bankrupt in 1983. That same year he turned up on 'The Late Late Show', calling for the British Army to be given its head in the North of Ireland, for the border between the North and the Republic (sic) to be sealed off and for all Irish people in Britain who refused a British passport to be deported back to Ireland!

A childhood bout of rheumatic fever meant that he suffered from a weak heart all his life, something not helped by his drinking and the fact that he was an inveterate smoker. These, combined, caused ill health for much of his later life but, despite this, he continued to produce high-quality journalism, contributing to a swathe of literary and political publications in Britain and Ireland. He also wrote 14 books, including works on Churchill, socialism, and leading Tory Richard Austen ('RA') Butler, as well as three minor spy/thriller novels... (MORE LATER.)








ON THIS DATE (29TH MAY) 221 YEARS AGO : FATHER MURPHY OF BOOLAVOGUE STRIKES FOR FREEDOM!

'One of a tenant farmer’s five children, John Murphy (pictured) was born near Ferns in 1753. He was educated at a hedge school and by a local parish priest, Dr. Andrew Cassin SJ, who had a great influence on him. He grew up speaking Irish and English and later learned Spanish, Latin and Greek. A splendid horseman, he excelled in athletics and handball. He was described as "a good-looking man, stout but rather low-sized and well built".

At that time, students for the priesthood were ordained before they went to study at colleges in continental Europe, as seminaries were still forbidden by penal laws in Ireland. John Murphy was ordained by Bishop Sweetman of Ferns before leaving to study at a Dominican college in Seville in southern Spain in 1780. Sweetman was an ardent nationalist who had once been imprisoned in Dublin Castle on a charge of gunrunning.

Returning home five years later, Fr. Murphy was made curate in Kilcormuck, better known as Boolavogue, where he had a thatched chapel. Catholic churches were forbidden in some Wexford parishes by local landlords. He lodged with a tenant farmer and travelled round the parish on horseback. Bishop Sweetman was meanwhile succeeded by Dr. James Caulfield, who held very different political views. He stated - "Loyalty to the good gracious King George III ; submission to His Majesty’s government ; and observance of the laws are to be a religious and indispensable duty to every Catholic."

Ireland was then a British sectarian colony, with political and economic power controlled by Protestants. Catholics could not even vote, let alone sit in the Dublin parliament. But influenced by the success of the British colonists’ revolt in the 1776 American War of Independence and the 1789 French Revolution, some liberal Irish Protestants began to campaign for independence from Britain and freedom for Irish Catholics. With these aims they founded the United Irishmen in 1791. The rebellion they planned for May 1798 was a failure in Dublin, where most of its leaders were arrested at the start. Elsewhere in Leinster it had little success. In Wexford, Bishop Caulfield was regarded as "a government man" and a collaborator with the British. He ordered all Catholics to surrender their arms and be loyal to George III, "the best of kings." At first Fr. Murphy urged his people to do so. He and 757 of his parishioners even signed an oath, demanded by their local landlord, that they were not United Irishmen.

The country was then under martial law, which was ruthlessly enforced by the army with the help of two new armed auxiliary forces, militia and yeomen. Both imposed a reign of terror on the people. On 26 May, twenty-eight local men were taken into Carnew and shot dead by the yeoman. When Fr. Murphy and his people heard this and also learned that the yeomen planned a raid on Boolavogue, they decided to resist. Armed with one gun and a few pikes, he and about thirty local men intercepted the yeomen, led by a Lieut. Bookey, as they began burning the houses in Boolavogue. When Bookey and another yeoman were killed, the rest fled. The Wexford Rising had begun..." (from here.)

During the 1798 Rising, Wexford had 85 priests, of whom only 11 joined the rebels, including Fr Murphy of Boolavogue. He was captured, flogged and hanged in Tullow, Co Carlow, on the 2nd of July, 1798, aged in his mid-forties. One of the few decent priests, recognised as such by the British and dealt with accordingly by them : 'At Boolavogue as the sun was setting o'er the bright May meadows of Shelmalier

A rebel band set the heather blazing and brought the neighbors from far and near

Then Father Murphy from old Kilcormac spurred up the rock with a warning cry

"Arm, arm," he cried, "For I've come to lead you, for Ireland's freedom we'll fight or die..."






MICHAEL DAVITT TV PROGRAMME, TG4, 9.30PM, WEDNESDAY 29TH MAY 2019.

Michael Davitt was born into poverty in Straide, Mayo, on the 25th of March, 1846 - at the time of the forced hunger/attempted genocide known as 'An Gorta Mór' - was the second of five children, and was only 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 a job.

Martin's wife, Sabina, 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 December 19th.

Almost immediately, he took on the position as a member of the Supreme Council of the IRB and returned to Ireland in January 1878, to a hero's welcome. At the Castlebar meeting he spoke 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..."

The new organisation realised that they would be well advised to seek support from outside of Ireland and, under the slogan 'The Land for the People', Michael Davitt 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 Land League. Michael Davitt died 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.

Should be worth watching tonight, especially as it's a TG4 programme, and (hopefully!) not the usual anti-republican/pro-British RTE-type of propaganda - 'Michael Davitt - Radacach : The story of the land activist'.







'IRELAND NOT DISCUSSED IN WASHINGTON'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

Ireland was not mentioned in his recent talks with President Eisenhower in Washington, Sir Winston Churchill told Mr Cahir Healy, Irish Nationalist MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, in the House of Commons recently.

Mr Healy had asked the British Prime Minister whether the case of Ireland was discussed between himself and President Eisenhower before signing the recent statement on the principle of unifying countries whose people desired it ; Churchill replied - "The case of Ireland was not discussed between the President and myself.." (interruptions, shouts of "Why not?") "..I thought all that was settled happily a long time ago.." (interruptions, laughter).

Cahir Healy : "Do you not consider that clause three - namely, the case of nations divided against their will - fits the case of Ireland like a glove? Would it not be a strange omission not to consider the views of 2,000,000 Irish voters whose swing-over contributed to the Republican victory last year, and resent the partition both of Ireland and Korea.." (interruptions, laughter) "..are the principles of democracy to be applied only to nations abroad?"

During the pause, before Churchill stood up, there were loud shouts of "Answer!", and much laughter. Then Churchill replied - "The principles of democracy, subject to their usual qualifications, are of general application.." (interruptions, laughter). ('1169' comment - "the principles of democracy" are there only on paper, as far as Westminster is concerned, and are to be invoked only when it suits Westminster, whatever the year - 1955, or before then, or now, in 2019. That's "the general application", as far as the British 'establishment' are concerned.)

(END of 'IRELAND NOT DISCUSSED IN WASHINGTON' : Next - 'Poland And Ourselves', from the same source.)


Thanks for reading, Sharon.








Wednesday, May 22, 2019

NAMING THE LOSERS IN ELECTIONS NOT YET HELD.

EXCLUSIVE !! WE NAME THE LOSERS IN THE 24TH MAY 2019 COUNCIL AND EUROPEAN ELECTIONS...

..YOU!

There are thousands of candidates that would like you to vote for them on the 24th of this month (May, 2019) to ensure that they stay as financially comfortable as they are, or become ever wealthier, or obtain a position through which they can sell their political soul for the opportunity to become wealthy ; in the council elections alone, one or more of just under 2,000 wannabes are trying to convince you to gift them one of the 949 seats in councils throughout the State. The 'winners' will receive a seat in a political institution which purports to represent the views of 'the electorate' but which, in reality, represents the view of the highest bidder.

We again name 'the losers', regardless of who 'wins' - YOU, the voters! Or, at least, those of you who claim your ballot and fill it in in the manner that is expected of you.

But there is a way by which you can claim your ballot, fill it in - and exclude yourself from the 'Losers Circle' : by purposely spoiling it! Write a 'message' on it, such as 'NOTA', or something stronger, and place it in the ballot box. If enough of us do it, it will register with the 'powers-that-be' and, hopefully, force them to recognise that enough of us are not willing to participate in a faulty political system in which morally and politically-bankrupt 'blank canvas' party people do the bidding of their party bosses in the hope that, someday, they, too, will become party bosses.

'Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me' - don't get fooled (again) - vote 'NONE OF THE ABOVE' in the State elections on Friday, 24th May 2019 : you don't owe anything to those candidates, so give them just that : nothing.







'CORK CEREMONY'...

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.

The speaker, Michael McCarthy, from Cumann Tomas MacCurtain, paid a moving tribute to the three men who died in Manchester, the 'Manchester Martyrs', 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 the 'Manchester Martyrs' - 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.

The annual commemoration in honour of 'the Martyrs', 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. 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 Allen, Larkin and O'Brien, 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 Ladybridge Commemoration, which will shortly be shown in the Thomas Ashe Memorial Hall. Seamus Farrell, from the Commemoration Committee, and Michael McCarthy, were also on the platform.

(END of 'Cork Ceremony' ; Next - 'Sinn Féin National Collection in Cork', 'Cork Sinn Féin Concert' and 'Sinn Féin Public Meeting in Waterford', from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (22ND MAY) 87 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF A 'POACHER-TURNED-GAMEKEEPER' WHO 'TURNED' THE RIGHT WAY.

Isabella Augusta Persse Gregory ('Lady Gregory', pictured), was born on the 15th March, 1852 (the youngest daughter of Dudley and Frances Presse), in a 6,000-acre estate (which, incidentally, was mostly destroyed in a fire in 1921) known as Roxborough House, near Loughrea in County Galway, and was schooled at home by a nanny, Mary Sheridan, who obviously passed-on her interest in Irish history to her pupil. On the 4th March, 1880, at 28 years young, Isabella married 'Sir' William Henry Gregory who was 63 years of age and 'owned' a large estate at Coole Park, near Gort, in County Galway, thus conveying on her the title 'Lady'. The couple had one son, Robert, born on the 20th May, 1881, who was killed while piloting a warplane during the 'First World War', a death marked by WB Yates in two poems - 'An Irish Airman Foresees His Death' and 'In Memory of Major Robert Gregory'.

As a 'Lady of Leisure' who now found herself in the 'Big House' she availed of the large library and, when not reading, accompanied her husband on business trips throughout the world. Her education, the library and her foreign travels sparked within her a love of the written word, and she quickly became a published author. Her husband died when she was 41 years of age but she continued to live in 'the Big House', where her interest in all things Irish was nurtured, to the point that she practically converted the house into a 'retreat' for those who, like her, were smitten by Ireland and its troubled history - Edmund John Millington Synge, William Butler Yeats (and his brother, Jack, a well-known painter), George Bernard Shaw (who described her as "the greatest living Irishwoman") and Sean O'Casey were amongst those who visited regularly and, indeed, she was believed to have had romantic connections with the poet Wilfrid Blunt and a New York lawyer, John Quinn.

Despite her privileged lifestyle or, indeed, perhaps due to it, as it afforded her the time to 'look within her soul', Isabella Augusta Persse Gregory, who had a regular 'audience' with the 'Upper Class' of the day, loudly declared to all and sundry that it was "..impossible to study Irish history without getting a dislike and distrust of England..".

A 'poacher-turned-gamekeeper' but, unusual in our history, one who 'turned' the right way. She died in that 'Big House' on the 22nd May 1932 - 87 years ago on this date - at 80 years of age, and is fondly remembered by those of us who share her convictions and agree with her "..impossible to study.." declaration. Incidentally, the 'Big House' scenario still exists in Ireland today, and continues to be a topic of heated conversation, and will hopefully remain so after the British withdraw, politically and militarily, from Ireland.







ON THIS DATE (22ND MAY) 214 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF A 'YOUNG IRELANDER'.

'TO GENERAL JAMES SHIELDS, UNITED STATES SENATOR, ETC.

DEAR SIR,

In dedicating to you this narrative, I have been influenced by one consideration only. I have no title to your friendship. I cannot claim the most remote affinity with your career in arms. There is nothing connected with this sad fragment of history, either in fact or hope, to suggest any association with your name or achievements. But as my main object is to show that Ireland’s failure was not owing to native recreancy or cowardice, I feel satisfied that of all living men, your position and character will best sustain the sole aim of my present labour and ambition.

In past history, Ireland holds a high place ; but her laurels were won on foreign fields, and the jealous literary ambition which raised adequate monuments to these stormy times denied to her swords the distinction they vindicated for themselves in the hour of combat. The most brilliant, unscrupulous and daring historian of France degraded the niggard praise he accorded them by making it the medium of a false and contemptible sneer. “The Irish soldier,” says Voltaire, “fights bravely everywhere but in his own country.”

Without pausing here to vindicate that country from such ungrateful slander, it is enough to say that you were not placed in the same unhappy position as the illustrious exiles from the last Irish army — soldiers of fortune in the service of a foreign prince. You were a citizen of this free Republic, and a volunteer in its ranks ; it was your country, and you and your compatriots who followed the same standard did no dishonour to those who were bravest among the brave on the best debated fields in Europe.

In the wreck of every hope, all who yet cherish the ambition of realising for Ireland an independent destiny, point to your career as an encouraging augury, if not a complete justification for not despairing of their country. It is because I am among those that I have claimed the honour of inscribing your name on the first page of this, my latest labour in her cause.

I remain, dear Sir,

Very respectfully and sincerely yours,

MICHAEL DOHENY.

New York, Sept. 20, 1849.


'Who was Michael Doheny? For most of us he was the author of the neglected work 'The Felon’s Track'. For some he was the man who fled from the fiasco in Ballingarry in that bad summer of 1848 to walk 150 miles across Munster to little place called Dumanway, where he hoped to raise help in his efforts to escape from Ireland. Some others will know him as the writer of such hyperbolic verses as :

'I’ve tracked for thee the mountain side,

And slept within the brake,

More lonely than the swan that glides,

O’er Lua’s fairy lake...'


And for those with nationalist interests, he will be known as one of the prime movers in the 1840’s Confederacy in Ireland, and later one of the leading founders, in the United States, of the Fenian movement...' (from here.)

The Irish 'dissident', Michael Doheny, was born on this date (22nd May) in 1805 - 214 years ago - near Fethard, in County Tipperary, and became known as a poet and a writer. He was a member of the 'Young Irelanders', and was instrumental in establishing the 'Emmet Monument Association' in America. After a lifetime in the service of Ireland, he died on the 1st April in 1863, aged 58, in New York, and is buried in Calvary Cemetery, in Maspeth and Woodside, Queens, in New York.

'What fate is thine, unhappy Isle,

When even the trusted few

Would pay thee back with hate and guile,

When most they should be true!

’Twas not my strength or spirit quailed,

Or those who’d die for thee -

Who loved thee truly have not failed,

A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!






PATRICK COSGRAVE...

Born on a Dublin council estate, supporter of the British Army in Ireland and an admirer of Thatcher.

By David Thorpe.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 2002.

Patrick Cosgrave went from St. Vincent's to studying history at UCD. He excelled academically, graduating with a first in history and a highly commended MA, and threw himself into university life, becoming auditor of the Literary and Historical Society and it was there, 'famously', that he persuaded the Society to adjourn to mark the death of Winston Churchill, one of Patrick Cosgrave's great heroes. With Professor Anthony Clare, he won 'The Irish Times National Student Debating Trophy' in 1962 and 1963, as well as the 'International Observer Mace' debating trophy in Britain. Professor Clare remembers Cosgrave as having "a great love for well-reasoned debate".

Patrick Cosgrave progressed to Peterhouse College in Cambridge, where he earned his PhD, his thesis being on the foreign policy of Sir Edward Grey in the Balkans between 1914 and 1918. He then moved into journalism and started by freelancing as RTE's London correspondent between 1968 and 1969, and began writing regularly for 'The Spectator' magazine, then as now a scion of the Tories. His hectoring style and the posh British accent he had affected since childhood meant he was the target of vitriol from certain quarters back home, as critics threw his poor Irish background in his face. It was a background he never denied but quickly shed, taking a British passport and attending Church of England services. He was proud to be known as a 'West Brit'.

His work for 'The Spectator' and a critical biography of the American poet Robert Lowell marked him as an outstanding young talent, and he would be appointed political and deputy editor of the magazine by the age of 29. A year before, though, in 1969, he was recruited by the Tories - he adored Margaret Thatcher from the start, taking every opportunity to raise her profile and viciously attack Ted Heath at the same time, through 'The Spectator'. When Thatcher became party leader in 1975, Patrick Cosgrave was recruited as a speech-writer and political advisor, and even wrote a tome on the Baroness in 1978, although it is fair to say this work belongs more to the genre of propaganda than of academia. But then came the bombshell... (MORE LATER).







'THEIR ONE QUEEN'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

"We owe no allegiance to a foreign Queen", said the Omagh prisoners :

'One Queen, I own, and one alone

commands my meek obedience ;

No sovereign named by human law,

from her, draws my allegiance.




For her I live,

for her I strive,

and shall, 'till my life is ended.

And with my latest parting breath

her name it will be blended - 'Cathleen',

your dear name will be blended.




I love God's peace upon our hills

and fain would not destroy it ;

I love sweet life in this fair world,

and long would I enjoy it.




But when my Sovereign needs my life

that day I'll cease to crave it,

and bear a breast for foeman's steel,

and show a soul to brave it - Cathleen,

for your sweet sake to brave it.




O, glorious death on battle plain,

our foeman oft has battled ;

And proudest lovers of Cathleen

have Holy made the scaffold ;

not mine to choose, nor mine to care -

the Cause the manner hallows -

I'll court the steel or kiss the cord,

on green hillside or gallows.

Cathleen,

for you I'll woo the gallows.




My life is then my Queen's to leave,

to order or to ask it ;

This good right arm to fend or strike,

this brain is hers to task it.

This hand that waits, this heart that beats,

are hers when she shall need 'em -

and my secret soul is burning for her trumpet call to freedom -


Cathleen :

Oh, sound the call to freedom.'

( Written by Seamus MacManus [Seumas MacManus?] )

(END of 'Their One Queen'; : next, from the same source - 'Ireland Not Discussed In Washington'.)

Thanks for reading, Sharon.






Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A DECENT BREAK (BUT HOLIDAY NEEDED!)

NEED A (PROPER) HOLIDAY AFTER THAT 'BREAK'...!

AND WE'RE BACK!

Worn out, wrecked, wondering why we put ourselves through that after the lessons learned on our last 'staycation'. Myself and my four buddies had a really 'mixed bag' for the two weeks, during which we managed to entertain (and be 'entertained' by) between a combination of ten and fifteen 'young adults' (as they like to think of themselves as!) and younger kids, with a helping-hand every so often from our husbands and, sometimes, from the boyfriends and girlfriends of the 'young adults' that were with us.

We had two days in Wicklow, in the beautiful village of Kilmacanogue, which is built for relaxation, unlike kids and 'young adults', who want excitement and 'something to do' and who don't want a mountain walk and a picnic. Then home to try and prepare ourselves for a trip to Dublin Zoo, preparation for which actually took a day but was more or less worth it ; twelve of us went, but only ten came back! The other two 'young adults' (a girl and boy in their late teens) went 'awol', both mobile phones switched off and no contact with or from them until later that evening - they had gone off exploring the zoo on their own, both of the opinion that they were too 'old' to be seen with older or younger people, and made their own way home later in the evening, oblivious to the heart-attacks they had left behind.

And we enjoyed two days, too, in County Meath, at a holiday home, into which we managed to squeeze fifteen people, of various ages,most of whom enjoyed the scenery and the peace and quiet but some of whom were 'bored, nothing to do, no wi-fi..' etc and hadn't much interest in exploring the woods beside us but, still, the fresh air done us all good. We were also in the Phoenix Park and Corkagh Park twice, and Stephens Green as well and, in between the outings and the madness, some of us enjoyed the diversion that was offered by the RSF Comhairle in Dublin, whom we assisted in running a very successful 650-ticket fund-raising raffle for, which was held on Sunday, 12th May last. Anyway - as a break away from the normal it scored 100% but, as an actual holiday ...well, a 'staycation' will never rival what we find in NYC!

We'll be back on Wednesday, 22nd May next with, among other pieces, a few paragraphs about an Irish 'dissident' who walked 150 miles across an Irish Province to escape a pursuing British military force, a 'poacher-turned-gamekeeper' who turned the right way and every Irish republican's 'Queen'.

See you on the 22nd - and thanks for checking in with us today!

Sharon.




Wednesday, April 17, 2019

AN IRISH REPUBLICAN EASTER IN IRELAND, ENGLAND AND AMERICA.

A REPUBLICAN EASTER - IRELAND, LONDON AND NEW YORK.

Between Thursday, 18th April 2019, and Easter Monday (22nd April), RSF members and supporters in the Dublin area will be distributing 1,500 leaflets of a republican nature which have been collated into various size 'packs' (see pic), each containing between three and five items.

The main Dublin commemoration will be held on Easter Monday, and those attending are asked to assemble at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square, from where the parade will leave at 1.45pm, to make its way to the GPO in O'Connell Street, for 2pm but, if you can't make it your business to get to that one, here's a list of other Easter commemorations for your perusal(!) - and if you feel like sponsoring myself and four other young wan's to get to the New York commemoration, we'll gladly take you up on the offer!

Full list of all events occurring over the Easter Weekend, and all are welcome to attend :

ANTRIM - Easter Sunday, Belfast, Republican Plot, Milltown Cemetery, assemble 11.45am at home of James Connolly, Falls Road.

ARMAGH - Holy Saturday, Lurgan, Edward Costello Memorial Garden, 1pm and, also that same day, Armagh city, assemble Republican Plot, Sandyhill Cemetery, for wreath-laying ceremony, 4pm.

CARLOW - Holy Saturday, wreath-laying ceremony, Republican Plot, St Mary’s Cemetery, Carlow town, 2pm.

FERMANAGH/CAVAN - Easter Sunday, wreath-laying ceremony at Republican Sinn Féin Memorial, Mullan, Swanlinbar, on Cavan/ Fermanagh border, in memory of Vol Pat McManus and James Crossan, 2pm. Other wreath-laying ceremonies throughout the counties organised locally.

CLARE - Easter Sunday, Wreaths will be laid at the Manchester Martyrs Monument and the Holocaust ('famine') Monument in Kilrush and at the grave of Connaught Ranger Joseph Hawes ; in Kilmurry McMahon at the grave of Martin Calligan ; in Doonbeg Cemetery in honour of Capt Michael McNamara, Comdt Willie Shanahan and Vol Patrick O’Dea, and Kilmihill Cemetery at the grave of Seán Breen.

CORK - Easter Sunday, wreath-laying at Republican Plot, St Finbarr’s Cemetery, Cork.

DERRY - Cúchulainn Memorial, City Cemetery, Derry City, Easter Sunday, assemble at 12 noon. Wreath-laying ceremonies at the following on Easter Sunday morning : The Loup Cemetery, 9am, at the grave of Brigadier Seán Larkin; and the grave of Tommy Toner in Dungiven, 10.15am at the graves of Vols Kealy, O’Carolan and Kilmartin and hunger striker Kevin Lynch.

DONEGAL - Wreath-laying ceremonies at Doneyloup, Castlefin, Clady Bridge will take place over the Easter weekend and Drumboe, Easter Sunday, assemble at the Old Fire Station, Stranorlar for march to the Drumboe Martyrs Memorial, 2.15pm.

DOWN - Easter Sunday 10.30am, Assemble St. Mary’s Cemetery, Newry for wreath-laying ceremony.

DUBLIN - Easter Sunday, laying of wreath and the reading of the 1916 Proclamation at the Éamonn Ceannt Monument, Sundrive Park, Crumlin, at 12 noon, followed by commemoration at Deansgrange Cemetery, 1pm and Easter Monday ; assemble Garden of Remembrance, 1.45pm for march to GPO, O'Connell Street, for 2pm.

GALWAY - Good Friday, wreath-laying ceremony at the Workhouse, Tuam, 5pm. Holy Saturday, wreath-laying ceremony, Kilcummin Cemetery, Oughterard, 7pm. Easter Sunday, Galway City, assemble at Cathedral at 11am for parade to Liam Mellows Monument, Eyre Square. Easter Sunday, commemoration Republican Plot, Donaghpatrick, Headford, assemble Queally’s Cross, Cahirlistrane, 3pm.

KERRY - Holy Saturday, wreath-laying ceremony, Republican Plot, Castleisland Cemetery. Easter Sunday, Cahersiveen, assemble 2.30pm at the Monument, The Square. Tralee, Easter Sunday, assemble at Denny Street at 1.45pm for parade to Republican Plot, Rath Cemetery. Easter Sunday, Killarney, wreath-laying ceremony at Republican Monument. Easter Monday, Republican Plot, Listowel, wreath-laying ceremony, assemble at graveyard gates, 2pm, and wreaths will be laid at Republican graves throughout the county.

KILDARE - Holy Saturday, wreath-laying ceremony, Grey Abbey, 12 noon.

KILKENNY - Holy Saturday, wreath-laying ceremony, Rathciaran, Mooncoin.

LEITRIM - Holy Saturday, 3pm, Bornaculla.

LIMERICK - Easter Monday, wreath-laying ceremony, Republican Plot, Mount St Lawrence Cemetery.

LONDON - Easter Monday, Hendon Cemetery, Holders Hill Road, Hendon at the grave of Paddy Hartigan. Meet at main gate, 1pm.

LONGFORD - Easter Sunday, commemoration at the grave of Paddy Farrell, Fox Hall Cemetery, Leagan, 3pm.

LOUTH - Wreath-laying ceremony at the Republican Plot, St Patrick’s Cemetery, Dundalk.

MAYO - Kilkelly, Easter Monday, 12 noon, assemble at Church gate and parade to East Mayo Brigade Memorial on main Sligo-Galway Road.

MEATH - Easter Sunday, wreath-laying ceremony at grave of Vol George McDermott, Ardbracken, 2pm.

MONAGHAN - Easter Sunday, Urbleshanny Cemetery, Scotstown, at grave of Vol Seámus McElwaine, 2pm.



NEW YORK - Easter Rising commemoration and Flannery Award Presentation, Sunday, April 28, 2019 : 9.30am Woodlawn Cemetery and 10.30am Keane’s Restaurant. On the closest Sunday to the date of the April 24th, 1916 Easter Rising, CnSN/NIFC will commence its 2019 Easter Commemoration at the grave of CnSN/NIFC co-founder and unrepentant Fenian, Joe Stynes, in Woodlawn Cemetery, Webster Avenue and 233rd St., Bronx, NY 10470, at 10.00am. Grave location: Rose Hill Plot, North Border Road, corner of Elder Ave. Please feel free to bring your family and friends. This year’s theme is the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence at the first Dáil Éireann. The commemoration will begin at 9.30am sharp. An Irish brunch buffet will follow at 10:30am at Keane’s Bar and Restaurant, 4340 Katonah Avenue, Bronx, NY 10470. Tickets are $25 and are available at the door. Children under 14 are free. At Keane’s we will present the 2019 Michael and Pearl Flannery Spirit of Freedom Award to Gary Delaney. A souvenir journal is being produced to mark the event. For more information, contact Jane at 718-683-6903 or Maggie at 845-492-7198.

OFFALY - Wreath-laying ceremonies throughout the county.

ROSCOMMON - Easter Sunday, Tibohine Cemetery, near Frenchpark, at the grave of John McGowan, shot dead by Crown Forces in 1920, also commemorated will be Thomas McDonagh, killed in action in Ratra Ambush, September 1920. Parade will form up at Tibohine NS at 3.30pm and proceed to cemetery headed by colour party and Raheen Pipe Band. Wreaths will be laid, Roll of Honour read, 1916 Proclamation and Easter Statement will be read, and a graveside oration will be delivered. A wreath-laying ceremony will also take place at the Republican Monument in Ballinlough after 12 noon mass on Easter Sunday.

SLIGO - Easter Sunday, wreath-laying ceremony at Republican Plot, Sligo Cemetery.

TIPPERARY - Easter Sunday, commemoration, Hunger Strike Memorial, Banba Square, Nenagh, 10am. Easter Sunday, wreath-laying ceremonies at the graves of Joe Mangan and on the Old Barrack Wall to four republicans who were shot in front of a Free State firing squad on the January 15th, 1923, Frederick Burke, Ileigh, Martin O’Shea, Borrisoleigh, Pat Russell, Thurles, and Patrick McNamara, Ballina.

TYRONE - Holy Saturday, 5.15pm, wreath-laying ceremony, Carrickmore.

WATERFORD - Holy Saturday, wreath-laying ceremony at Statue on Quay, Waterford city.

WESTMEATH - Good Friday, commemoration at grave of Paddy Dermody, Fore, 7pm, and wreaths will be laid throughout the county.

WEXFORD - Easter Sunday, 11am, wreath-laying ceremony in Crosstown Cemetery at the Republican Plot, 10am and, at 3pm, assemble at Old Dunne’s car park, Crescent Quay, Wexford, for a march to the Republican Garden of Remembrance, Hill Street for the commemoration.

And, finally - please be careful not to support non-republican organisations at any time, especially not over the Easter. Not one Irish republican campaigned, fought or died for this corrupt Free State, never mind to end-up applying to it for 'permission' to honour the men and women that it, and its parent administration in London, executed.

Thanks for reading - we'll be back in May, with possibly a few words between this and then. Sharon.






Wednesday, April 10, 2019

ARMY FIGHTS FOR FREEDOM, POLITICIANS FOLLOW.

ON THIS DATE (10TH APRIL) 96 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF IRA GENERAL, LIAM LYNCH.

'Liam Lynch was born in Barnagurraha, Co Limerick. He joined the Irish Volunteers after witnessing the arrests of the Kent family by British forces after the failed Easter Rising of 1916. Two of the Kent brothers, David and Richard were shot during their arrest. Richard would later die of his wounds and a third brother, Thomas, was executed by Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC).

During the Irish War of Independence Lynch helped to reorganise the Cork IRA, becoming commandant of the Cork No. 2 Brigade. He was arrested by the RIC in August 1920 in Cork City, along with Terence MacSwiney, who would later die in Britain during a hunger strike. Lynch was not recognised by RIC officers and was released. Lynch continued to prove his leadership abilities throughout the war including the capturing of the Mallow Barracks in September 1920 with Ernie O’Malley. In April 1921, the IRA was re-organised into divisions and Lynch was made Commander of the 1st Southern Division. He would hold this post until the truce in July 1921.

Lynch opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed on 6 December 1921. Much of the IRA, of which Lynch was Chief-of-Staff, was opposed to the treaty. As the country moved towards civil war in 1922, the majority of the republican forces elected Lynch as Chief of Staff of the republican forces at a Dublin convention...' (From here.)

Liam Lynch was born in Barnagurraha, on the Cork-Limerick border, on the 9th of November, 1893, into a republican family - his mother was the secretary of the Ballylanders branch of the Ladies Land League, and his uncle John was one of a party of Volunteers who assembled in Kilmallock on Easter Sunday morning in 1916 to play their part, locally, in the Rising but, due to Eoin MacNeill's 'Countermand Order', the intended insurrection there never happened. Throughout his life, Liam Lynch had no faith in politicians and is on record for declaring that "...the army has to hew the way to freedom for politics to follow.."

And his preference for a military solution ie to 'fight fire with fire' to remove the British military (and political) presence from Ireland was known to the enemy in Westminster, so much so that London instructed their 'Cairo Gang' mercenaries to concentrate on admired soldiers like Lynch and, in their rush to do so, a Sinn Féin councillor, John Lynch, was shot dead by 'Cairo' member Lieutenant Angliss, (aka 'McMahon'- he had been recalled from spy work in Russia for the 'Cairo Gang' job in Dublin) : the British assassin is said to have believed that John Lynch was Liam Lynch, or related to him, but expressed no remorse when his mistake was pointed out to him. The Ciaro man was playing billiard's in Dublin after he killed John Lynch when the IRA shot him, but he was only wounded. He wanted revenge - and the 'Cairo Job' gave him that opportunity, he thought ; in November, 1920, he was in lodgings at 22 Lower Mount Street in Dublin when two of the 'Twelve Apostles' entered his room. He reached for his revolver but was shot dead before he could get to it.

'...the dramatic headlines of the papers told the story in graphic form ; "Leaders meeting surprised, Irregular Chief taken near Clonmel, fight in the hills". The text went to say - "Liam Lynch was severely wounded and captured in a fight south of Clonmel yesterday. His death was announced in the following report, recieved from Army G.H.Q. this morning- "Liam Lynch died in Clonmel at 8.45 last evening". Further down the page under the heading "Liam Lynch Dead" and "Mr. De Valera" Narrow Escape", it gave further details and also a short biography of the dead leader.

At the inquest in Clonmel on Wednesday the last wish of Lynch was told by a witness - "In conversation with me, deceased asked to be buried in Fermoy along with Fitzgearld, and told me he was Liam Lynch". Liam Lynch had been shot in the right side of the body with the exit wound on the left side, said Dr Raymond Dalton, military M.O. There was a fair amount of external and considerable amount of internal hemorrhage, and he was suffering severely from shock...' (from here.)

IRA General Liam Lynch died on the 10th of April, 1923, in Clonmel, Tipperary - 96 years ago on this date.





'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 21 with 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 Martyrs Committee, the various Cork City and County IRA units and the following Sinn Féin Cumainn - Cumann Daithe Ceannt, Cumann Mick Fitzgerald, Cumann Tomas MacCurtain, Cumann Brian Dillon, Cumann Tomas Aghas and Cumann Joe Murphy.

The representatives of the local national bodies and the general public marched from the monument in Ladybridge to the grave of Captain Willie Cox, IRA Volunteer, and a wreath was laid on the grave of this worthy successor to Allen, Larkin and O'Brien, the Martyrs. The Last Post and Reveille was sounded by the 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 and Miss Kitty O'Callaghan, from 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 and the Last Post and Reveille was sounded by Fianna buglers. Tomas Foley, a member of Cumann Daithi Ceannt, announced the speaker, Michael McCarthy, from Cumann Tomas MacCurtain... (MORE LATER).






PATRICK COSGRAVE.

Born on a Dublin council estate, supporter of the British Army in Ireland and an admirer of Thatcher.

By David Thorpe.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 2002.

Patrick Cosgrave was born on a council estate in Dublin but on 'The Late Late Show' called for the British Army to be given its head in the North. He was the quintessential Irish hard-drinker, and adored Maggie Thatcher. Although an Irishman, he became the most unlikely of Conservative crusaders. Brilliant, learned and profoundly loveable, complicated and difficult, impossible : the range of opinion on him is testimony to his unpredictable nature. Hugely talented, his early career was one of immense distinction, but a combination of his drinking and the whims of his political masters meant that, when he died last year, he had long since faded from public view. Those closest to him would argue he deserved much better.

Patrick Cosgrave was born in Finglas in 1941, and was only ten years of age when his spendthrift father, a builder, died, plunging the family into poverty. To keep the family afloat, his mother worked as a cleaner in Dublin Castle.

Cosgrave was educated by the Christian Brothers at St Vincent's School in Glasnevin, and was known to be a keen reader. It was this latter interest that, perhaps, contributed most to a boy of common Irish background becoming an ardent Anglophile - he spent much of his childhood reading tales of British imperial glories, which helped influence his eventual decision to make his life in England, as well as to the political views which played a key role in both his rise and fall. He also began affecting an upper-class British accent, and quite what his peers made of this is unknown... (MORE LATER).






'THE PEELER AND THE GOAT'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

At Lackey Bridge, near Clones, in County Monaghan, a member of the RUC went off his beat slightly, crossed into the Twenty-Six Counties and ran into trouble : the river running under the bridge represents the Border line, but the 'policeman' had to cross the bridge to get to a salient of Six-County territory. No sooner had he crossed into the Twenty-Six Counties than a goat running from a field struck his bicycle and tossed him from it. The goat then tried to butt him and he was obliged to jump on his bicycle and retreat to the Six Counties to avoid further injury. For almost an hour afterwards, the goat patrolled the road in the vicinity of the bridge before being put back into the field by its owner. (Copied from a recent edition of 'The Evening Herald' newspaper.) ['1169' comment - reminds us of this...!]

'DID THEY PLEDGE FOR YOU?'

Mitchel, 1848 -"I have acted in all this business, from the first, under a strong sense of duty. I do not repent of anything I have done, and I believe that the course which I have opened is only commenced. The Roman, who saw his hand burning to ashes before the tyrant, promised that three hundred should follow out his enterprise. Can I not promise for one - for two - for three - aye, for hundreds..?"

O'Callaghan, 1954 -"As a soldier of the Irish Republican Army I am honoured to be allowed to play a small part in the object of that organisation. This is a great privilege and I am delighted to have done what I have done. It is a great weight off my shoulders that I will be rewarded by God for service to my country and also that my place in the ranks of the IRA in which a vacancy will be caused by my imprisonment - it is a great pleasure to know that that vacancy will be filled ten-fold by more Irishmen in the near future!" (END of 'PEELER' and 'PLEDGE'. Next - 'THEIR ONE QUEEN', from the same source.)






ON THIS DATE (10TH APRIL) 152 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF AN IRISH POET, ARTIST AND MYSTIC.

George William Russell ('AE') was born on April 10th, 1867 - 152 years ago on this date - in Lurgan, County Armagh. He made his living as a poet, an artist and a mystic, and was a leading figure in the Irish literary renaissance of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was during a proof-reading session by one of his assistants that he adopted a new pseudonym, 'AE', when his then pseudonym, 'AEon' (meaning 'life/vital force') was mentioned by the proof-reader.

He became friends with the poet William Butler Yeats when the two of them were attending the 'Metropolitan School of Art' in Dublin - both men were interested in the occult and mysticism, and also shared an interest in the Irish language. To supplement his income, 'AE' Russell worked in the accounts department in a drapery shop but left that position to work with, and in, the agricultural business. At 27 years young, in 1894, he published his first work, 'Homeward : Songs by the Way' and it was during those years in the editor's chair that he published his 'Collected Poems', in 1913 and 1926.

And it was also during those same years that Terence MacSwiney, the Commanding Officer of the IRA, died, on the 74th day of his hunger strike, in Brixton Prison, in England, on the 25th October in 1920, a death which inspired 'AE' Russell to pen the following tribute -

'See, though the oil be low more purely still and higher

The flame burns in the body’s lamp! The watchers still

Gaze with unseeing eyes while the Promethean Will,

The Uncreated Light, the Everlasting Fire

Sustains itself against the torturer’s desire

Even as the fabled Titan chained upon the hill.




Burn on, shine on, thou immortality, until

We, too, have lit our lamps at the funeral pyre;

Till we, too, can be noble, unshakable, undismayed:

Till we, too, can burn with the holy flame, and know

There is that within us can triumph over pain,

And go to death, alone, slowly, and unafraid.




The candles of God are already burning row on row:

Farewell, lightbringer, fly to thy heaven again!'


George William Russell ('AE') died on the 17th of July, 1935, in Bournemouth, Hampshire, in England, in his 69th year.





FUND-RAISING, EASTER COMMEMORATIONS AND 'STAYCATION'...

We do want to take a vacation

NYC Traffic jams are not a frustration

No bed bugs with our fine accommodation

And no bad food with adulteration.




We'll stay here for our vacation

But we'll miss the airport humiliation

And the lost luggage aggravation

With no hidden charge in summation..!


(From here, tweaked a bit!)

We won't be posting here next Wednesday, 17th April 2019, because, as you read this, we are two days into rounding-up the 650 tickets which have been distributed since last month for the usual monthly raffle (this one is for the Cabhair organisation), which will be held on Sunday, 14th April next and - more bad news here for ya (!!) - we won't be posting on Wednesday, 24th April either, as we'll be helping out in the background with various Easter Commemorations between when the raffle ends for us - on Monday evening, 15th April - and the weekend following that Monday, which is Easter weekend. And we won't be in Dublin, anyway, on that Wednesday (the 24th), because, immediately following the main Easter Commemoration in Dublin (Easter Monday, 22nd April - assemble at the Garden of Remembrance at 1.45pm, from where the parade will leave, at 2pm, for the GPO) myself and the four girlfriends will be heading off for a two-week break but not, alas, to our usual destination, New York. All five of us couldn't manage the timing for a month-long (or longer!) visit to that extraordinary city, and we are all fully in agreement that the two-week timing that worked for all five of us just simply wasn't long enough for a holiday in NYC - to go there, knowing that we only had two weeks, would annoy all five of us, so we have decided to 'go local' instead.



Myself and the rest of the 'Girl Gang' will be accompanied during our two-week 'break' (!) by between about eight and fifteen kids of various ages (our children and our grandchildren, girlfriends/boyfriends of same etc!) and, so far, we have booked one 'away-job'- a two-day overnighter, in County Wicklow (for eleven of us, God help us!) - and two trips to a holiday home owned by one of our number in County Meath (thirteen of us going!). Other than that, we'll be visiting Stephens Green, the zoo in the Phoenix Park, the playgrounds in Corkagh Park and a few other as-yet unplanned outings. We'll make our own craic, no doubt, but it'll be rather more refined than what the five of us get up to in NYC, where we have free rein, no husbands, kids, grandkids etc to restrain us - and BY GOD do we need restraining sometimes (?!) over there!

I'll probably still post a few bits and pieces on 'Facebook' and/or 'Twitter', but the '1169' crew are taking a break ; this will be our last post here until at least the middle of May 2019 but, if it's any consolation to ya, I'll bring you back a stick of rock. If the kids and grandkids leave us alone for long enough to do a bit of 'retail therapy', that is...!

Thanks for reading, Sharon - we'll be back in May, after our break!