" A wealth of information..."

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

'COMANCHE' SURVIVES ATTEMPTED BIGHORN MASSACRE. IRISH 'SOLDIER OF FORTUNE' DOESN'T.

THE PRICE OF PEACE......

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

Most of the women were from Dublin, some were from the North, a few from around the country. One was Italian, one American, one Scottish, and all of them had lived and worked in Dublin for some years. There were about three dozen women present. They were lifted into garda vans and driven out of the park and left outside the gates, where they regrouped and walked back into the park, being followed all the way by the gardai in cars and on motorbikes. A couple of hours later, at about 3am, the gardai again removed the women from the park, but this time they drove well away from the area, dumping the women in small groups in various parts of the city.

In the course of these 'evictions', the gardai made references to a "regulation" or "edict" signed by the Garda Commissioner which allowed the gardai to carry out the 'evictions'. The 'Women for Disarmament' group had already gone into the legalities of the garda action with solicitor Heather Celmalis, and they knew the law and were observing it - now the gardai were talking about some 'new law'. On Saturday morning the women sought through their legal representatives to find out what this "regulation/edict" was. Heather Celmalis retained Ruth-Anne FitzGerald BL , and the legal discussion revolved around whether it would be possible to obtain an injunction to prevent the gardai from evicting the women from the park. The women were back in the park at about noon on Saturday , 2nd June 1984.

FIRST ARREST , SECTION 30.

In Galway, some of the country's leading academics were queuing up to honour Ronald Reagan with a doctorate of law. A few others were protesting with a parallel 'de-conferring' exercise. Word had gone around about the eviction of the women and in the afternoon their ranks were swollen to about 80. Media representatives visited the site and there were many visitors wishing the women well. Plainclothes gardai were seen taking the registration numbers of visitors' cars. (MORE LATER).





THE IRA.

THE NEW IRA IS YOUNGER, MORE RADICAL AND HAS SEEN LITTLE OF LIFE OTHER THAN VIOLENCE..... By Ed Moloney. From 'Magill' magazine, September 1980.

An incidental factor resulting from re-organisation is that now less money strays into private pockets, or so it is claimed. In the past it was not unknown, and there are IRA men in jail to prove it, for O/C's and Adjutants in some areas of Belfast to send their men out unknowing, on 'unauthorised' robberies for their own enrichment. Equally, it was not unknown for those volunteers themselves to take a cut.

FOREIGN ADVENTURES.

Until 1978, the Provisional IRA had operated exclusively in Ireland and in Britain. But in that year there were bomb attacks at BAOR bases in Germany followed by more bombs the next year. In early 1979 the British ambassador to the Hague, Sir Richard Sykes, was shot dead and a Belgian bank official was also killed in mistake for the British ambassador to NATO.

This year, three British soldiers in Germany have been shot, one, a colonel, was killed by the same 9mm pistol used to kill Sykes. The bombings and shootings were the work of two separate IRA cells, who had travelled to the Continent in the guise of Irish building workers. Both have since returned to Ireland. Contrary to press speculation, the killings and bombings were not aided by the Baader-Leonhof gang, or other anarchist groupings, but a short term, and largely unsuccessful, attempt to arouse western European interest in the war in Ireland.

According to one British Army source, 'there are no operational links between the IRA and any of these groups'. By 'these groups', he meant not only the Baader-Meinhof group but also ETA, the Bretons and the Corsicans. The guns that come from those sources are few and far between. The IRA buys its weaponry in Europe and the Middle East from conventional black market sources who also supply training. (MORE LATER).





A 'NATION STATE' - 'WATER' MISNOMER.



Three of those pictured above have long let it be known that they consider the 'Northern issue' to have been 'settled' in 1998 (if, indeed, not in 1921!) and it is no surprise that they should equate the 26-county State as 'the nation', in poster (as above) and other formats, but one of them - ironically, on the far right in that pic - Dessie Ellis, a PSF member who sits in Leinster House, professes (as does the party he is a member of) to be still involved in seeking political reunification for this country. Yet he comfortably poses with a poster which seeks to present a 26-county-wide protest as a 'national demonstration' and sits with his PSF colleagues (and other Free Staters) in a State institution which classes itself as 'the parliament of Ireland', yet declares that it exercises jurisdiction over 26 counties only.

It seems that Dessie was fighting all along for an 'improved' Free State , so comfortable is he in operating, politically, within the confines of the Leinster House parameters, whereas Irish republicans still strive for a socialist and democratic 32-county Ireland (in which citizens won't be instructed to pay twice for any one service, and threatened for not doing so) . And when that objective is achieved, posters advertising a proper 'national demonstration' can then be held high instead of, as in that picture, at half mast.





ON THIS DATE (25TH MARCH) 95 YEARS AGO - MORE SCUM ARRIVES ON IRISH SHORES.

Two Black and Tans pose with their (uniformed) colleagues on an Irish street.

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' - because, 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, 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. 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.





IRISH LITTLE BIGHORN 'HERO' BORN ON THIS DATE (25TH MARCH) 175 YEARS AGO.

The temporary marker (pictured,left) 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 - Keogh, in black, standing beside General George Custer) 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', 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'.





ON THIS DATE (25TH MARCH) 169 YEARS AGO - FOUNDER OF 'LAND LEAGUE' ORGANISATION BORN.

Michael Davitt (pictured, left), was born in Straide, Mayo, on the 25th of March, 1846.

Born into poverty at the time of An Gorta Mór, the second of five children, Michael 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. His 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 joined the Fenian movement in England.

At 19 years of age he joined the IRB and about 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. He founded the 'Irish Land League' in Dublin, in October 1879, with Charles Stewart Parnell as its President and Davitt himself acting as Secretary, with the intention of obtaining set entitlements for Irish tenant farmers who, at that time, effectively had no rights - '...to bring out a reduction of rack-rents; second, to facilitate the obtaining of the ownership of the soil by the occupiers. That 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...'

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 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. The British were represented at his funeral by the 'Lord Lieutenant of Ireland', an indication, no doubt, that they no longer viewed the man in the same light as they had when he was a young man. 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.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

'UTILITY' COMPANY NEEDS STATE HIGH COURT ORDER AND OFFICIAL ENFORCERS TO KEEP OBJECTORS AT BAY.

THE PRICE OF PEACE......

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

At the 'Bank of Ireland' building in Dublin city centre, the 'Fast for Life' group were having problems - they had set up their shanty-shack with a sign saying that for millions in the Third World this was home, but now the gardai had arrived. The shack was to be taken down, they were told, but the group replied that they had received permission from a garda inspector to stage their out-of-the-way protest but the gardai said it had to come down. The group asked for time to discuss what they would do and the gardai said they would be back at 9pm.

They returned at 8pm and said their superintendent wanted the shack taken down and the 'Fast for Life' group stated that they would not themselves dismantle it but they would not resist if the gardai did so. The group stood aside and watched the gardai take it down. At that same time, Ronald Reagan was being welcomed at Shannon Airport. Later the group arranged a number of display boards in a circle and continued their protest from inside that construction. They had a kind of 'exhibition' on the boards, photos of Third World conditions and also had some posters expressing criticism of Ronald Reagan's policies towards the Third World and nuclear militarism. A Dublin Corporation official instructed them to remove "those particular (Reagan) posters..." .

EVICTION.

The gardai came for the women in the Phoenix Park that night, about an hour after midnight : the headlights of the gardai cars and motorbikes lit up the gathering of women under a tree, and a garda came forward and asked - "Nil aon mna Éireannach anseo?" ("Is there any Irish women here?") : it seems that the gardai assumed that the women were foreigners, outside agitators from Greenham Common or further afield. One of the women responded in Irish. (MORE LATER).





THE IRA.

THE NEW IRA IS YOUNGER, MORE RADICAL AND HAS SEEN LITTLE OF LIFE OTHER THAN VIOLENCE..... By Ed Moloney. From 'Magill' magazine, September 1980.

It's impossible to verify the British Army's claim that inflation has more than doubled the Provo's costs since 1978 ; one source says that one spin-off benefit from the slimmed down re-organisation was a saving of money. However, there are one or two errors in Glover's calculations which as a result seriously understate the amount the IRA has left for arms spending.

The first relates to income from theft. Since 1977, nearly £5 million has been stolen in the 26 Counties and nearly £1.5 million in the 6 Counties. According to reliable sources at least a third of the money goes in to Provisional IRA coffers, the rest to the INLA, freelance Provos and criminals. That would make the Provo's income on average during that period over £650,000 per annum. The second mistake relates to expenditure on newspapers and propaganda. According to a reliable Source, the Provo's newspaper, An Phoblacht/Republican News , which sells 34,000 copies each week and employs 12 full time staff, actually makes a profit. So the Provo's surplus for arms purchases could be as much as £300,000 more than Glover estimated.

This would accord with some quantifiable facts about arms shipments. The Towerstream consignment ('In December 1977, a massive consignment of arms sent by Palestinian sources was captured on the Towerstream ship in Antwerp....') , by General Glover's own reckoning, would have cost about £400,000, notwithstanding the cost of arranging it. The M60's, which came along with some 40 military Armalites stolen from the Danvers US armoury in Massachusetts in 1976, would have cost about £50,000. That's over £450,000 on arms spending in one year.

Other items in Glover's account, like money spent on pay, are confirmed by IRA sources, but others are impossible to check. The amount of money gained from 'racketeering' for instance, is an example. There's no doubt that numerous businesses, pubs, clubs, taxis, etc. in Republican districts do pay to the IRA. The money is collected by the 'IRA Civil and Military Administration' and can vary from £15,000 to £20,000 per annum, from a large club, to £2 per week form a corner shop. No one will say whether its 'protection' money or 'voluntary donations'. (MORE LATER).





ALREADY PAID FOR THROUGH GENERAL TAXATION - NOT PAYING TWICE FOR THE ONE SERVICE!

A protest against the unwarranted and unwanted double tax on tap water will be held in Dublin on Saturday next, 21st March 2015, at 1pm, and we can confidently declare that it will be supported by tens of thousands of people. There will be three separate marches which will all convene on O'Connell Street, with all of those marches having different assembly points - Connolly Station, Merrion Square and Heuston Station. 'Bills' from 'Irish Water' for between €160 and €260 will be desecrating hallways throughout this State in April and May but it has been made clear that those prices are 'introductory only' and cannot be guaranteed past 2019.

This pic (right) shows a 'warning notice' displayed on footpaths, driveways etc by those hoping to fit water meters outside a dwelling in a vain attempt to keep objectors away - the fact that proper utility suppliers (electricity, gas, TV cable company etc) have no need for 'warning signs' of that type (because those suppliers do not charge twice for their service) should tell you all you need to know about the scab-laden 'Irish Water' company and why it is that most of us object to its presence. And I, for one, will once again be objecting to that company and the product it wants to foister on us on Saturday 21st March 2015 in Dublin : if you can make it, please do, as together we can snap this thin edge of the wedge before it's used to hold open the door for more charges.





PDNUA : WHEN SOUNDBITES ARE JUST NOT ENOUGH!

Lucinda Creighton, pictured with her then Fine Gael hero, Enda Kenny, and a list of some of the broken political promises that they secured office with.

'Reboot' becomes 'Renua' - "...a political party designed for a new age....a modern, collaborative party, engaging the nation in a new conversation...." , according to its 'Twitter' account, that is, the author of which is confused re the difference between the 26 County State (which 'Renua' has confined itself to) and "the (Irish) nation".

The mentally of the Free State 'twit' behind this groups website also leaves a lot to be desired : 'RENUA is a political party designed for a new age....a modern, collaborative party, engaging the nation in a new conversation....RENUA is travelling around the country, hosting public meetings.....RENUA believes the primary role of the state is to keep the citizen safe. A state that fails to meet this criterion fails its people. Ireland must recognize self-reliance is a virtue rather than a necessity.....' - "the nation...the country.." equals the 26 County State, according to Creighton's Crew, who also declare that this State is in itself 'Ireland' and ironically talk in favour of "self-reliance" while at the same time ignoring the fact that a foreign country claims jurisdictional control over six Irish counties!

Ex-Fine Gael Leinster House member, Terence 'Cut the Dole' Flanagan, now a leading light in 'Renua', should be put in charge of both of the above-mentioned social media outlets as his media skills are outstanding, as can be verified here, in this clip from RTE Radio, if you have three minutes and forty seconds to spare. And we suspect he is already in charge of their 'Facebook' page, as it, too, is a car-crash of a job. Or, at least, based on Terence's proven public relations efforts, we presume that's the 'Renua' Facebook page. But whether Terence wrote it himself or not is another question - in 2008, when he was the Fine Gael Deputy spokesperson for the Environment and Housing, he delivered a political speech which was said to be similar to a speech which had already been given by Labour's Joan Burton. He at first denied that he copied the speech but after more enquiries by those who noticed the similarities he finally admitted plagiarism and apologised for his actions. Maybe he's at it again, this time making similar noises (!) to Simon & Garfunkel!

This group of right-wing political zealots remind me of the episode of 'The Simpsons' in which Homer decides he wants to make a living without having to work and decides that counterfeiting jeans is the easiest way to do it : "We've all thought about counterfeiting jeans at one time or another...these are the people who saw an overcrowded marketplace and said 'Me too!' " And that's what this 'Renua' outfit are - just another Leinster House-based gang of political counterfeiters who see the possibility of cushy political careers and have loudly declared 'Me too!'.



NOTHING COMPARES TO YOU. EXCEPT YOU! (Or 'Nothing Compares To UK'!)

"Oops! Did I say that....?" - Sinead O'Connor (pictured, left), who has said many a thing. And then contradicted herself.

"We need non-violent total civil disobedience. We have scaffolded and supported and continue to support a terrorist State which has never given a toss about children or women......we can't blame anyone but ourselves for this. We are cowards. Grateful for crumbs on tables and think we deserve nothing more. We are pathetic. An inexcusable disgrace to the courage of those who fought and died in 1916....ailing animals can have a compassionate death. People can't. What the fuck more evidence do you need? We are less than animals to the state and to the church who still run it....." (...from here).

"...I understand entirely why people would want to fight back. But I don't think it actually achieves anything. It doesn't bring back your lost people. I kind of like a peaceful life nowadays. I'd rather not get in trouble..." (...from here).

And now this : "Frankly, I wish England had never left (sic) Ireland. I think we would be a lot better off...." (...from here) , which perhaps helps to explain her recent application to join Provisional Sinn Féin - she, too, wants to work with (and for) the British in maintaining their military and political presence in this country. Incidentally, in relation to her 'Me, too!' application to Provisional Sinn Féin, she stated the following - "Extraordinarily supportive e mail from Gerry Adams yesterday. Saying far from it being the case he might be upset by conversations I have been instigating, Sinn Féin is a party which welcomes new ideas and that it is great to have members who wish to create debate as to how we might go forward as one country and that artists have an important role to play in such debates. He said someone will be in touch shortly in order to process my application to join...." (...from here.)

When/if Gerry sends someone around to your place to 'process' you, Sinead, you might be as well telling them that you 'went to the doctor...' and asking them to 'guess what he told you, guess what he told you'. At the very least, Gerry might arrange for a second opinion with his doctor or, recognising a kindred spirit, he might just invite you to go trampolining with him....





WOLFE TONE COMMEMORATION, 2015 : SUNDAY 14TH JUNE.

This annual RSF-organised commemoration will be held as stated, on Sunday 14th June 2015, at 2.30pm, in Sallins, County Kildare, and I hope that either the chairperson or the main speaker will highlight some of the lesser-known facts in relation to what myself and others consider to be the propaganda theory that 'Tone committed suicide', an issue we wrote about on this blog in the past. A lecture delivered to Dublin republicans by Joe Egan in November 1989 (who was a member of the RSF Education Department at the time) addressed that very issue :

'Theobald Wolfe Tone was born on June 20, 1763 - the exact time and date of his death are unknown. Wolfe Tone was sentenced to death on November 10th, 1798 ; on November 11th he was informed by his gaolers that he would be publicly hanged on the following day, Monday, at one o'clock. It is generally accepted that Wolfe Tone died on November 19, 1798 ; in fact, he could have been murdered at any time during the previous week, and there is no doubt, and none of us should be in any doubt, of his murder by British Crown agents. It is time now, once and for all, to bury the lie that Wolfe Tone took his own life. These false stories were put out at the time not just to cover up the murder but also as black propaganda to denigrate Tone and the Cause he cherished with all his being. The proof of their successes in trying to destroy Wolfe Tone's character is still evident today nearly 200 years later.

Yes, the British establishment was expert at that time at covering up their crimes, even more successful than they are today. Many historians to this day trot out the same British lies, as if they were gospel, that Tone committed suicide ; they quote all sorts of stories to 'back-up' their claims. They use the most abominable argument that especially as Wolfe Tone was of the Protestant faith it would not be repugnant for him to take his own life : I say here and now that this was and is the most objectionable of arguments. It was against everything Tone dedicated and gave his life for, namely, to substitute the common name of Irishman for the religious denominations. To spread the lie and imply that somehow being a Protestant made it acceptable to commit suicide is to be against all Wolfe Tone stood for. The argument is still going on with new books being written about Tone and praised and published by the present establishment who are as much against what Tone stood for as were the British establishment of the time. Why do the establishment, British and Irish, make such a case for Wolfe Tone's suicide? Because to face the truth might make people today see the light and not just follow Tone's teachings but practice them. It is often quoted also that Tone's son accepted his father's suicide ; even if this were true it is of no consequence as what he thought one way or the other has no bearing on the facts. How did Tone's son know how long his father lay dying? There was no way he could know, no more than anyone else - at no time were any visitors allowed into see Wolfe Tone. His father tried every possible move through the courts to get his son free. His lawyer applied for and was immediately granted a writ of Habeas Corpus by Chief Justice Lord Kilwarden. Major Sandy, in charge of the barracks, was recognised generally as being a man with scant regard for justice or truth. It has been stated as proof of Tone's suicide that a man of Sandy's calibre and his hirelings would'nt do such a botched murder that would take eight days for the victim to die.

How do we know how long Wolfe Tone took to die? It could very well have been eight minutes, not eight days. The only evidence ever produced to support the suicide verdict is an account from a French royalist, a Doctor Lentaigne, of whom little is known. This same doctor was by his being a royalist first, and working for the British Army, doubly opposed to all Wolfe Tone would stand for. How anyone with the remotest feeling for justice or truth could accept the word of such a man under the circumstances at the time is an insult to ordinary intelligence. But then as the old cliche says - "where ignorance is bliss it's folly to be wise." The secrets of a state prison at that period in history are seldom penetrated and even today would be virtually impossible. Abundant proof is available even today if a thorough search was to take place but we who wish to know the truth have only to know the man : he had dedicated himself to his principles and had seen his friends and compatriots, including his brother, hanged, and he would not let them or his country down by taking his own life.

Without knowing the man, even reading his last letters is enough to disprove the abominable lie that he committed suicide. Did he not write to his wife - "My mind is as tranquil this moment as at any period in my life." One only has to read his last speech from the dock at his trial to see and understand the character of the man. Just to quote a few lines is enough to convince any fair mind of the impossibility of Wolfe Tone committing suicide ; only the avowed enemies of truth and justice could dare say otherwise - "Mr. President and gentlemen of the Court Martial : I mean not to give you the trouble of bringing judicial proof to convict me legally to having acted in hostility to the government of his Britannic Majesty in Ireland. I admit the fact from my earliest youth, I have regarded the connection between Ireland and Great Britain as the curse of the Irish nation and felt convinced that, whilst it lasted, this country could never be free nor happy." Regarding the French, Wolfe Tone said - "Attached to no party in the French Republic, without interest, without money, without intrigue, the openness and integrity of my views raised me to a high and confidential rank in its armies ; under the flag of the French Republic, I originally engaged with a view to save and liberate my own country. For that purpose, I have encountered the chances of war, amongst strangers. For that purpose, I have repeatedly braved the terrors of the ocean, covered as I knew it to be, with the triumphant fleets of that power, which it was my glory and my duty to oppose. I have sacrificed all my views in life ; I have courted poverty, I have left a beloved wife, unprotected children I adored, fatherless. After such sacrifices, in a cause which I have always conscientiously considered as the cause of justice and freedom - it is no great effort, at this day, to add the sacrifice of my life. To the eternal disgrace of those who gave the order, I was brought hither in irons, like a felon...."

During his last speech from the dock, Wolfe Tone stated - "I mention this for the sake of others, for me I am indifferent to it. I am aware of the fate which awaits me, and scorn equally the tone of complaint and that of supplication. Whatever be the sentence of this court, I am prepared for it. Its members will surely discharge their duty ; I shall take care not to be wanting in mine." Tone's use of the word 'eternal' and 'his duty' are obvious references to God and posterity and he would have been fully aware and very careful about their use. Any study of the man and any understanding of him as a person to those who wish to see the truth can only draw the one conclusion. To quote just a line or two from his last letters to his wife : "...be assured I will die as I have lived, and that you will have no cause to blush for me. Adieu, dearest love, keep your courage as I have kept mine. My mind is as tranquil this moment as at any period of my life."

Are these the words of a man contemplating suicide? No! Wolfe Tone knew that suicide would have damned his reputation irreparably and consequently the cause he dedicated his life to. There is only one conclusion to be drawn knowing the man - murder by a person or persons unknown.'

This brave man will be suitably honoured by Irish republicans on Sunday, 14th June 2015 - all genuine republicans welcome!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

IT'S TUESDAY. 17TH MARCH 2015.....

LÁ FHÉILE PÁDRAIG SONA DAOIBH! ('Happy St. Patricks Day!')

Enjoy your day - ye are all Irish for this day, but some of us are blessed and will still be Irish tomorrow!

Happy Tuesday, folks - if we get home in one piece tomorrow (some time!) we'll post our usual offering. Thanks for dropping in, have a ball. We intend to!

Sharon.






Wednesday, March 11, 2015

RSF EASTER COMMEMORATIONS, DUBLIN, 2015.

KEEPIN' HER LIT!



This is an 'inbetweenie' post to keep y'all occupied (!) until we get back to normal next Wednesday (18th March) with our usual offering but, 'inbetweenie' or not, it's an important announcement , concerning next month's Easter commemorations in Dublin.

On Easter Sunday (5th April 2015), a commemoration will be held in Deansgrange Cemetery and those attending are requested to assemble at the cemetery gates at 12.45pm. On Easter Monday, republicans will be assembling at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square and will parade from there, at 1.45pm, to the GPO where the main Dublin commemoration will be held. And, as we're on the subject of Easter, a cautionary note - beware of whom you obtain an Easter Lily from, as there are charlatans....

...attempting to distribute same with permission of the Free State -

- that is, they actually see nothing wrong in applying for a permit/licence to distribute Easter Lily's from the same political institution that the men and women of 1916 fought against! Honestly - they take being ludicrous to new heights....

See you all next Wednesday!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.




Wednesday, March 04, 2015

TRUSTED BY THE IRISH REBELS BUT EMPLOYED BY WESTMINSTER - AN INFORMER IN IRELAND, 1803.

THE PRICE OF PEACE......

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

2. LOW LEVEL INTELLIGENCE.

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

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

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







THE IRA.

THE NEW IRA IS YOUNGER, MORE RADICAL AND HAS SEEN LITTLE OF LIFE OTHER THAN VIOLENCE..... By Ed Moloney. From 'Magill' magazine, September 1980.

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

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

BANKROLLING THE IRA.

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







"I'M THE PRESIDENT.....

...OF THE NI ASSEMBLY BRANCH OF THE COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION!"


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

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

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

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







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

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

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







ON THIS DATE (4TH MARCH) 127 YEARS AGO : "GRACE UNKNOWN...."

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

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

Rougher than Death the road I choose

Yet shall my feet not walk astray,

Though dark, my way I shall not lose

For this way is the darkest way.



Now I have chosen in the dark

The desolate way to walk alone

Yet strive to keep alive one spark

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







ON THIS DATE (4TH MARCH) 211 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, (Wm Johnston) and drove them into the Detachment without the least opposition from the body of the Insurgents....'
(...more here.)

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







ON THIS DATE (4TH MARCH) 237 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. (The above, in the main,is from a piece we first posted in 2007. The full text of Séan Ó Brádaigh's **speech can be read here.)

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







SOMETIMES 'MULTITASKING' IS JUST ONE TASK.....



...TOO MUCH!



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

Thanks for reading, Sharon.




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"RAPED BY THE BRITISH BRIGANDS. GODDAMN GODDAMN..."

THE PRICE OF PEACE......

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

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

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

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





THE IRA.

THE NEW IRA IS YOUNGER, MORE RADICAL AND HAS SEEN LITTLE OF LIFE OTHER THAN VIOLENCE..... By Ed Moloney. From 'Magill' magazine, September 1980.

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

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

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





"GREAT BRITAIN AND ALL THE PEOPLE SAY THAT ALL PEOPLE MUST BE FREE.....



...MEANWHILE BACK IN IRELAND, THERE'S A MAN WHO LOOKS LIKE ME."

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

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

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today



Great Britian You Are Tremendous

And Nobody Knows Like Me

But Really What Are You Doin'

In The Land Across The Sea



Tell Me How Would You Like It

If On Your Way To Work

You Were Stopped By Irish Soliders

Would You Lie Down Do Nothing

Would You Give In, or Go Berserk



Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today



Great Britian And All The People

Say That All People Must Be Free

Meanwhile Back In Ireland

There's A Man Who Looks Like Me



And He Dreams Of God And Country

And He's Feeling Really Bad

And He's Sitting In A Prison

Should He Lie Down Do Nothing

Should He Give In Or Go Mad



Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today



Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today.


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





"WE'RE RACIST, WE'RE RACIST, AND THAT'S THE WAY WE LIKE IT....

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

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





ON THIS DATE (25TH FEBRUARY) 75 YEARS AGO.

IRA funeral procession, 1940.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





ON THIS DATE (25TH FEBRUARY) 87 YEARS AGO : NOTED LAND REFORM AGITATOR DIES.

William O'Brien (2nd October 1852 – 25th February 1928, pictured, left) was an Irish nationalist, journalist, agrarian agitator, social revolutionary, politician, party leader, newspaper publisher, author and Member of Parliament (MP) in the 'House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland'.

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

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

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

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

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





ON THIS DATE (25TH FEBRUARY) 124 YEARS AGO....

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

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

Thanks for reading, Sharon.