" 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, October 07, 2015



By prisoners from E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison, 1999.


Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill. First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O'Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.


"What time is it"

trying to catch my mother's attention,

And she looking at the old carriage clock

as it lay on the timber mantle piece

above the black range fireplace,

where she would cook the food

we got on a good day

"Time you were in bed," she replied

with the hint of humour

she usually gave

though she tried to be serious,

I stayed on in bed that morning

and missed school with some excuse

she threatened me with the wrath of my father

now she still tried this

though she knew it was no good,

she wasn't a stern woman

yet at times I avoided her

"Time for bed for you

I won't tell your father this time

but believe me I will the next,

on now and off to bed!"

Paul Dillon.

(Next : 'My Feathered Friend', by Paul Dillon.)


A POW-support picket and an information stall, including a petition, will be seeking your support on Saturday, 10th October 2015, at the GPO in O'Connell Street, Dublin, between 12.45pm and 1.45pm. The objective is to further publicise the 'August 2010 Agreement' and to demand that it be implemented, as agreed :

'Maghaberry, 12 August 2010 :

A. Agreement Reached on Dispute at Roe House in Maghaberry Prison -

Following a protest by Republican prisoners in Roe House, the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) and the prisoners agreed to engage in a facilitation process. A Joint Facilitation Group (Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Creggan Enterprises and Dialogue Advisory Group) met both parties on a number of occasions over the past several weeks. The discussions were underpinned at all times by the following principles:

B. Fundamental Principles ;

1. Arrangements are predicated on mutual respect;

2. Prisoner and staff safety must not be put at risk;

3. Arrangements should comply with human rights and equality requirements;

4. Revised arrangements and procedures should be achievable and sustainable;

5. Staff should be able to carry out their work professionally, free from harm, intimidation or threat;

6. The security of the establishment should not be diluted; and 7- The arrangements must strengthen public confidence in NIPS.

C. Prisoner Forum :

An effective Prisoners’ Forum will be established, in addition to existing processes for complaints and requests. This should provide a meaningful mechanism to address issues of mutual concern and is designed to build trust.

D. Full body searching ;

1. No random full body searching will take place on the way to domestic and legal visits and the videolink or from the SSU.

2. No "rubdown" searching internally, within Roe 3 and 4.

3. NIPS will introduce a new search facility and revised search policy for separated prisoners. The new facility will be located within the Bush and Roe complex and subject to CCTV and audio coverage. It will incorporate a combination of the latest technologies which will remove the requirement for routine full-body searching of separated prisoners within the prison. The search process for all separated prisoners entering the separated complex will be:

• outer clothing, metal objects, belts and shoes removed and passed through scanner;

• all prisoners undergo scanning by hand held metal detector;

• all prisoners undergo thorough rub-down search; and • prisoners required to sit on BOSS chair (where outer clothing contains metal, prisoners may be required to remove this).....'
[more here.]

Your presence and/or support and/or signature on the day - Saturday 10th October 2015, GPO Dublin between 12.45pm and 1.45pm - would be greatly appreciated by those present and by our prisoners. All genuine republicans welcome!


The following piece was published in the 'Socialist Republic!' newspaper in September 1986.

The Chilean people have recently created an armed wing of their struggle against the Pinochet dictatorship - the 'Manuel Rodrigues Patriotic Front'. Although very little has been published in the press, their often spectacular actions of sabotage and attack on the regime forces have proven very successful. The following is a testimony of one of the fighters in the aftermath of one such operation.


"About two o'clock in the afternoon they take me to the military prosecutor's office and tell me that I'm being moved to the barracks of the carabinieri because the CNI has gone to get reinforcements to take me from the hospital by force. They say that they are saving me, because the CNI has the habit of blaming them for all the murders they commit themselves.

My move to the prosecutor's office is guarded by a strong contingent of police. They behave relatively well and don't provoke, treating me with a certain respect and deference. After the operation my body feels very weak and an NCO helps me all the time to get out of the van and climb the stairs. I'm handcuffed all the time. Then the interrogation begins. It's hard. The prosecutor is furious and he threatens me and my family. I can only think of my wife and children but I am sure that I never gave their address. Then they move me to a city jail but the carabinieri are told that the prison hasn't the facilities for keeping me there and I'm taken to Santiago prison.

The priest had given me trousers that were much to big, and most likely belonged to someone who had died there. I have socks and the upper part of my body is covered by a surgical gown. All this travelling from the hospital, the barracks of the carabinieros, the military prosecutor's office, public jail and prison hospital I do in these clothes, without shoes. In the prison hospital I spend 10 days in isolation. It is a horrific time ; the desperation of not knowing about my family drives me mad. At the prosecutor's, in spite of my condition, they keep me sitting for an hour. Just before the interrogation I ask for water because the journey took so long. I am in such a bad state that I don't know whether I'm in the CNI barracks or where. Neither can I tell whether the water is drugged."


The British publishing group 'Macmillan' must have been sorely disappointed by the media's reaction, or lack of it, to the launch last month of Paul Foot's book 'Who Framed Colin Wallace?'

By Eamonn McCann, from 'Magill' magazine, June 1989.

However, a read through the book reveals one reason why a large number of journalists might have wanted as little weight as possible given to it. By and large, and with the usual stipulation about honourable exceptions, journalists don't come well out of the Colin Wallace story.

The early chapter describe how Wallace was able to plant phoney stories in the media, even in the 'quality' newspapers and 'serious' programmes, in the early 1970's. Later chapters explain how journalists - in some cases the same journalists - were duped in the 1980's into carrying phoney stories designed to discredit Wallace. Journalists who lapped up Wallace's lies later lapped up lies against him and what Paul Foot shows is that at each stage these were lies which suited the establishment line at the time. This may well be the main reason so many journalists reacted with silent hostility, and a good reason the rest of us should make sure to read it.

[END of 'Stunning Silence' ; next - 'Conditions In English Jails', from 1982.]


"...don't let them beat you. I need to hear those voices. They anger the monster. It retreats. The voices scare the devils. Sometimes I really long to hear those voices. I know if they shout louder they will scare the monster away and my suffering will be ended. I remember, and I shall never forget, how this monster took the lives of Tom Ashe, Terence MacSwiney, Michael Gaughan, Frank Stagg and Hugh Coney, and I wonder each night what the monster and his black devils will do to me tomorrow. They always have something new. Will I overcome it ? I must. Yes, I must..."

On this date - 7th October, in 1978 - an article by Bobby Sands entitled 'I Fought a Monster Today' was first published :

I fought a monster today and once more I defeated the monster's army. Although I did not escape, I survived to fight another day. It was hard. Harder today than ever before, and it gets worse every day. You see I am trapped and all I can do is resist. I know some day I will defeat this monster, but I weary at times. I think and feel that it may kill me first.

The monster is shrewd. It plays with me; it humiliates me, and tortures me. I'm like a mouse in comparison to this giant, but when I repel the torture it inflicts upon me I feel ten feet tall for I know I am right. I know that I am what I am, no matter what may be inflicted upon me, and it will never change that fact. When I resist it doesn’t understand. You see it doesn’t even try to comprehend why I resist. Why don’t you give in to me, it says. Give in, give in to us, the monsters army jibes. My body wants to say yes, yes, do what you want with me, I am beaten, you have beaten me, but my spirit prevails.

My spirit says no, no, you cannot do what you want with me. I am not beaten, you cannot do what you want with me. I refuse to be beaten. This angers the monster. It goes mad, it brutalises me to the point of death, but it does not kill me. I often wonder why not, but each time I face it, death materialised before me. The monster keeps me naked, it feeds me, but it didn’t feed me today, because it had tried so hard to defeat me and failed, this angered it once more. You see I know why it won’t kill me. It wants me to bow before it, to admit defeat. If you don’t do as I say, I will never release you. I refuse.

My body is broken and cold. I'm lonely and I need comfort. From somewhere afar I hear those familiar voices which keep me going: we are with you, son. We are with you. Don’t let them beat you. I need to hear those voices. They anger the monster. It retreats. The voices scare the devils. Sometimes I really long to hear those voices. I know if they shout louder they will scare the monster away and my suffering will be ended. I remember, and I shall never forget, how this monster took the lives of Tom Ashe, Terence MacSwiney, Michael Gaughan, Frank Stagg, and Hugh Coney, and I wonder each night what the monster and his black devils will do to me tomorrow.

They always have something new. Will I overcome it? I must. Yes, I must. Tomorrow will be my seven hundred and fortieth day of torture - an eternity. Yes, tomorrow I’ll rise in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh. Yes, tomorrow I’ll fight the monster and his devils again!"

The sectarian realities of ghetto life materialised early in Bobby's life when at the age of ten his family were forced to move home owing to loyalist intimidation even as early as 1962. Bobby recalled his mother speaking of the troubled times which occurred during her childhood ; "Although I never really understood what internment was or who the 'Specials' were, I grew to regard them as symbols of evil". Of this time Bobby himself later wrote: "I was only a working-class boy from a Nationalist ghetto, but it is repression that creates the revolutionary spirit of freedom. I shall not settle until I achieve liberation of my country, until Ireland becomes a sovereign, independent socialist republic..."(..from here.)

The fight for the same Cause that Bobby Sands died for in 1981 is on-going today, as six Irish counties remain under the jurisdictional control of Westminster, which enforces that control with political and military occupation.


1924, Ireland : 'Sir' James Craig (pictured, right) , the British-appointed 'Prime Minster' of the Stormont 'government' in the occupied Six Counties, was in a foul mood, as usual and, as usual, his temper tantrums could be traced back to a certain clause in the then three-year-old 'Treaty of Surrender' - the clause ('Article 12' of that treaty) which established a boundary commission re the imposed artificial border between 26 Irish counties and six other Irish counties, and which was agreed to by the British reluctantly (under protest, if you like). The agreed terms of reference for that commission was 'to determine in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants so far as may be compatible with economic and geographic conditions, the boundaries between Northern Ireland (sic) and the rest of Ireland..'

That body consisted of three members, one from each political administration - Dublin, Stormont (the representative for which, Joseph R. Fisher, was put in place by Westminster!) and Westminster, and was 'Chaired' by Justice Richard Feetham, a South African Judge (and a good friend of the British 'Establishment'). The British (in the guise of 'Sir' James Craig) were determined that the 'Boundary Commission' "...would deal only with minor rectifications of the boundary.." while Michael Collins claimed that the Free Staters would be offered "...almost half of Northern Ireland (sic) including the counties of Fermanagh and Tyrone, large parts of Antrim and Down, Derry City, Enniskillen and Newry..." , to which the then British 'Colonial Secretary to Ireland', Winston Churchill, replied, stating that the possibility of the 'Boundary Commission' ".. reducing Northern Ireland (sic) to its preponderatingly Orange (ie Unionist) areas (is) an extreme and absurd supposition, far beyond what those who signed the [1921] Treaty meant..."

Eoin MacNeill, the Free State representative on the commission, stated that the majority of the inhabitants of Tyrone and Fermanagh, and possibly Derry, South Down and South Armagh would prefer their areas to be incorporated into the Free State rather than remain as they were ie 'on the other side of the border', under British jurisdiction, but the other two (Westminster-appointed) members of the commission, Fisher and Chairperson Feetham, then disputed with MacNeill what the term 'in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants' actually meant. When MacNeill reported back to his Free State colleagues and voiced concern over the way the 'Boundary Commission' was doing its business, he was more-or-less told to just do his best - his colleagues were 'comfortable' by then ; they had status, careers and a bright (personal) future ahead of them. The 1916 Rising had taken place eight years ago, the Treaty of Surrender had been signed three years ago and now the Stormont 'Prime Minister', 'Sir' James Craig, was threatening 'to cause more trouble' if the Boundary Commission recommended change. The Staters thought it best just to be seen going through the motions, regardless of whether anything changed or not, especially when they considered the threat from the Stormont 'Minister for Education', 'Lord' Londonderry - "If by its findings any part of the territory transferred to us under the Act of 1920 is placed under the Free State, we may have to consider very carefully and very anxiously the measures which we shall have to adopt, as a government, for the purpose of assisting loyalists whom your commission may propose to transfer to the Free State but who may wish to remain with us, with Great Britain and the Empire."

Then, on the 7th October 1924 - 91 years ago on this date - 'Sir' James Craig (the Stormont 'Prime Minister') took to the floor in Stormont and made a speech directed at Westminster - Craig knew his British 'friends' well enough to know that they would not hesitate to 'cross' him : he stated in his speech that an "unfavourable" decision by the commission would see him resign as Stormont 'Prime Minister' and take charge of at least 40,000 armed men who were of similar mind with him , and that they would not rule out any steps necessary "to defend their territory".

Eoin MacNeill had his 'concerns' further added to when the 'Boundary Commission' stated that, in actual fact, the Free State should transfer some of its territory to the Six County 'State'! He finally resigned in disgust on the 21st November 1925 and, in a parting shot, the British claimed that, before he resigned, he had agreed that the Free State should cede some territory to the 'Northern Ireland State', a claim which may or may not have prompted him to also resign (on the 24th November 1925) from the Free State administration. Within days (that is, on the 3rd December 1925) , all those that were still involved with the 'Boundary Commission' farce agreed that the 'border', as fixed 5 years earlier in the '1920 Government of Ireland Act' and as stated in the 1921 'Treaty of Surrender', would so remain, and an agreement was signed to that effect by all concerned. Those representatives also agreed that the 'findings' of that body should be kept hidden and, indeed, that paperwork was only published for the first time 44 years later, in 1969!

The Free Staters in Leinster House could (and should) have taken a legal case stating that the Boundary Commission was not properly constituted, as per the agreed 1921 Treaty, thereby highlighting, on an international stage, British duplicity - but that would have required 'balls', excuse the language, and the Free Staters, then, as now, have none.


Na Fianna Éireann members (pictured, left), three of whose Dublin members, all under 18 years of age, were executed by Free State forces in 1922.

On the evening of Friday October 6th 1922, a young Dublin lady, Jennie O'Toole - a member of Cumann na mBan - was pasting republican leaflets on lamp posts on the Clonliffe Road in Drumcondra, Dublin and, when she got near the Distillery Road junction, she was shouted at repeatedly and verbally abused by a local man when he saw the nature of the material involved. That loudmouth was, according to information distributed in Irish republican circles at the time, Free State Army Captain Pat Moynihan, who lived on that same road. Moynihan, an Irish republican 'poacher-turned-gamekeeper', could very well have been watching that street as two of his nieces were expected home on that route from a date to a theatre which they had been on with two anti-republican State operatives, Nicholas Tobin and Charlie Dalton, who both worked for the Free State Army Intelligence Section at Wellington Barracks.

When Charlie Dalton was the same age as one of the NFÉ youths mentioned in this piece - Joseph Rogers (16) - he was recruited by Michael Collins and joined the squad that Collins was then assembling : this IRA unit was permanently housed in Abbey St, Dublin, in a 'front' premises in which a 'legitimate' business operated from - 'George Moreland, Cabinet Maker'- and squad members were paid £4 10s a week to carry out assassinations on a full-time basis. Shortly after his 17th birthday, as a member of that Squad, Charlie Dalton took part in the executions of British Army Major C M Dowling and British Army Captain Leonard Price in their bedrooms in Baggot Street.

The distressed young lady, Jennie, encountered three young lads, members of Na Fianna Éireann, who offered to take over the work : Edwin Hughes (17), who lived at 107 Clonliffe Road, Drumcomdra, Brendan Holohan (17), 49 St.Patrick’s Road, Drumcondra and Joseph Rogers (16), 2 Upper St.Patrick’s Road, Drumcondra. It appears to be the case that Free State Captain Moynihan met Nick Tobin and Charlie Dalton and told them that republicans were in the area, pasting leaflets, and that Tobin and Dalton contacted a near-by Free State Army barracks for a search party and arranged to meet them in the area. Dalton could very well have known who he was hunting, as young Brendan Holohan and Joseph Rogers were near-neighbours of his and the nature of his job would have dictated that he familarise himself with local Republican activists.

The three young boys were still pasting leaflets on poles on that route which took them in the vicinity of Free State Captain Pat Moynihan's house when, shortly after 10.30pm on that Friday night, the 6th of October 1922, a Free State Army truck screeched to a halt beside them and they were violently thrown in to the back of it and taken to Wellington Barracks, where they were interrogated and released. Their Free State captors included Charlie Dalton and Nick Tobin. The next day - Saturday 7th October 1922, 93 years ago to date - the three young lads were lifted again by the Free Staters and soon found themselves standing in waste ground just off the Naas Road in an area known then as 'The Quarries', in Clondalkin, Dublin (near to the Naas Road/Monastery Road junction, not far from what is now the 'Red Cow Roundabout') : each of them was riddled with bullets and had a coup de grâce delivered to 'finish the job' - a shot to the head. The youngest of the three lads, 16-years-old Joseph Rogers, was the son of well know Dublin Bookmaker Mr. Thomas Rodgers and had served two years of his apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer - his body was identified by his older brother, Michael. The remains of Edwin Hughes (17) was identified by his older brother, Gerald, and 17-year-old Brendan Holohan's body was identified by his father Michael. Their bodies were taken to Tallaght Aerodrome on the Belgard Road in Tallaght, Dublin, and the inquest into their deaths was later held in Clondalkin Library.

At the inquest, Dr Frederick Ryan, who performed the post mortem, described the wounds that killed them ; "Joseph Rogers' overcoat was saturated with blood. He had 16 wounds altogether. There was an entrance wound in the back of the skull, about an inch and a half from the ear. There was no exit wound. It was possible for a man to inflict this wound while both were standing. There was no singeing. In the left upper jaw there was an entrance wound, but no corresponding exit wound. There were superficial wounds on the left side of the body corresponding to the nipple, on the left side of the abdomen, a punctured wound on the left side of the nose, an entrance and exit wound at the base of the left index finger, superficial wounds on the left arm, an entrance and exit wound in the middle of the left thigh, a large contused wound on the left shin bone, and an incised wound on the left knee, probably caused after death. Regarding Brendan Holohan there was a bullet hole through the peak of his cap, but no mark on his head. The coat was torn on the right elbow, and there was a wound through the flesh of the arm, corresponding with the perforation in the sleeve. There were two entrance wounds, four inches from each other, in the right chest...(but no exit wounds). They were clean cut, such as might be made by an instrument of the same diameter as a pencil. The clothing was perforated at the place corresponding with these wounds. There was a wound over the right shoulder blade, which was an old one. There was an entrance wound in the lower portion of the abdomen, and a bullet lodged in the surface over the left hip bone and the shin. There was a wound in the back of the skull in the occipital protuberance, which took a downward direction into the neck and severed the spinal cord. This was sufficient to cause death immediately. If a man was standing on top of a ditch he could have been shot in the head, otherwise he must have been lying down."

In the case of Edwin Hughes (17), he said "The first wound, on the right-hand side corresponding to the second rib, took a horizontal direction and pierced the great vessels of the heart. There was no exit wound to it. There was no singeing. Another bullet pierced the overcoat on the right side, but there was no mark on the inner coat or vest. There were wounds in the abdomen and on the left thigh. On the right knee and right arm there were superficial wounds, such as might be caused by grazing bullets. The clothes were cut as if by barbed wire. The abdomen wound might possibly be caused by a prod of some instrument, but that was not probable."

But this crime did not go unnoticed - Dermot MacGiolla Phadraig, a Na Fianna Éireann training officer, was passing by the area at the time on Saturday 7th October 1922 and witnessed the executions and a Charles Byrne, an undercover man for the IRA in Oriel House, was also passing by and actually spoke to one of the Free State gunmen, Charlie Dalton and, in November 1922, an inquest was held at which the prosecution demanded that a verdict of murder be brought against Charlie Dalton but, apparently, the jury were 'reminded' by the State that they were living in 'exceptional times' and, following that and possibly other 'reminders', the jury declined to entertain the prosecution. In an effort to suggest that 'justice will be done', Dalton was then 'arrested' by his colleagues in the CID but was never charged with an offence related to the 'Quarrie Killings'. Incidentally, Nick Tobin, one of the Free State 'Quarrie Gunmen', was in charge of a Free State raiding party later on that same month (October 1922) when they went to kill more Republicans who, they were told, were operating an IRA bomb-making factory from house number 8 in Gardiner Place, in Dublin city centre: Nick never made it back to his Free State base that day, having been shot dead by 'accident' by his own colleagues.

The Na Fianna Éireann organisation is still active to this day and, as in 1922, continues to support the republican position : Na Fianna Éireann (literally 'Warriors of Ireland') has had several subtitles in its history ; Irish National Youth Movement, Irish Republican Youth Movement, Irish Republican Scouts etc but its central ethos has never changed. It has always had the object of educating the youth of Ireland in national ideas and re-establishing the independence of the nation. The goal of the organisation on its foundation in 1909 was "...to re-establish the independence of Ireland by means of training the youth of Ireland to fight Ireland’s fight when they are older and the day comes...". Members are trained in scouting skills and parade drill and receive education regarding republicanism and Irish history and heritage. In short, the NFÉ organisation instills a sense of pride, worth and value into those who join - worthy character traits which they carry with them into adulthood, and they will continue to do so, regardless of how many 'Charlie Dalton'-types try to 'persuade' them otherwise.


The 'Monster Meetings' (pictured, left) held by Daniel O'Connell were a great success, despite all the 'misfortunes' (as the British would have it) that the Irish people were suffering in their daily lives ; the desire, the demand, for a British withdrawal had not gone away. But, after the Tara 'Monster Meeting' (held on the 15th August 1843) the British decided such meetings were not to the benefit of the 'Union' and were not to be allowed. A 'Monster Meeting' planned for Clontarf, in Dublin, which was to take place on Sunday, 8th October, 1843, was, on Saturday 7th October - 172 years ago on this date - banned by the British authorities ; the day before the event was due to take place.

Daniel O'Connell and others in the leadership of 'The Loyal National Repeal Association' quickly lodged a complaint. They protested at the banning and were arrested by the British and sentenced to a year in prison for 'conspiracy', but this judgement was then reversed in the 'British House of Lords'. When, on that Saturday, the 7th of October 1843, O'Connell noticed that posters were being put up in Dublin by the British 'authorities' stating that the following days meeting had been banned (those posters were issued from Dublin Castle and were written by the 'Prime Minister of Britain and Ireland', Sir Robert Peel, who called the proposed meeting [for the restoration of the Irish Parliament, abolished in 1801] "an attempt to overthrow the constitution of the British Empire as by law established") and O'Connell backed down ; in this scribblers opinion he should have 'stuck to his guns' and ignored the British 'writ' - he should have went ahead with the Clontarf 'Monster Meeting' thereby 'putting it up' to the British but 'moral force only' won the day ; O'Connell issued his own poster that same day (ie Saturday 7th October 1843) as well as spreading the word through the 'grapevine' that the meeting was cancelled. That poster makes for interesting reading -


WHEREAS there has appeared, under the signatures of E.B. SUGDEN, C DONOUGHMORE, ELIOT F BLACKBURN, E. BLAKENEY, FRED SHAW, T.B.C. SMITH, a paper being, or purporting to be, a PROCLAMATION, drawn up in very loose and inaccurate terms, and manifestly misrepresenting known facts ; the objects of which appear to be, to prevent the PUBLIC MEETING, intended to be held TO-MORROW, the 8th instant, at CLONTARF, TO PETITION PARLIAMENT for the REPEAL of the baleful and destructive measure of the LEGISLATIVE UNION.

AND WHEREAS, such Proclamation has not appeared until LATE IN THE AFTERNOON OF THIS SATURDAY, THE 7th, so that it is utterly impossible that the knowledge of its existence could be communicated in the usual official channels, or by the post, in time to have its contents known to the persons intending to meet at CLONTARF, for the purpose of petitioning , as aforesaid, whereby ill-disposed persons may have an opportunity, under cover of said proclamation, to provoke breaches of the peace, or to commit violence on persons intending to proceed peaceably and legally to the said meeting. WE, therefore, the COMMITTEE of the LOYAL NATIONAL REPEAL ASSOCIATION, do most earnestly request and entreat, that all well-disposed persons will, IMMEDIATELY on receiving this intimation, repair to their own dwellings, and not place themselves in peril of any collision, or of receiving any ill-treatment whatsoever. And we do further inform all such persons, that without yielding in any thing to the unfounded allegations in said alleged proclamation, we deem it prudent and wise, and above all things humane, to declare that said MEETING IS ABANDONED, AND IS NOT TO BE HELD.





RESOLVED - That the above cautionary notice be immediately transmitted by express to the Very Reverend and Reverend Gentlemen who signed the requisition for the CLONTARF MEETING, and to all adjacent districts, SO AS TO PREVENT the influx of persons coming to the intended meeting. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

The British had put pressure on their 'rebel pet', O'Connell, to enforce their ban, and had ordered a number of gunboats and land-based artillery pieces to train their weapons on the Clontarf area ; two British warships, the Rhathemus and the Dee, were already in Dublin Harbour, carrying around 3,000 British troops from the 24th and 34th regiments to ensure the mass rally in favour of repeal of the 'Union' did not take place. The nationalist newspaper, the 'Freeman’s Journal', stated that the troops had been summoned to "cut the people down (and) run riot in the blood of the innocent". Daniel O'Connell was aware that thousands of people would already be on their way to the Clontarf meeting (some having left their homes on the Friday, or earlier, for the walk to Dublin) so he sent his marshals out from Dublin on horseback, urging the crowds to return home : it was that or challenge Westminster, but that wasn't an option, as far as he was concerned.

O'Connell and his 'Loyal Association' had painted themselves into a corner ; they fell into a trap of their own making. He had publicly and repeatedly vowed to work "within the law" (ie British 'law') which could have at any time been used, as it eventually was, to ban his agitation and he had vehemently ruled out the use of force in any circumstances in challenging the British. One of the results of the decision by Daniel O'Connell to cancel the Clontarf 'Monster Meeting' was that the public lost faith in him and in the 'Loyal National Repeal Association' ; when he realised that he had lost that support, he expressed the view that "repeal of the Union" could not be won. The 'Young Irelanders' denounced him and the manner in which he had directed the 'Repeal' campaign, and stated that his leadership had failed to address the threat "of the decay of Irish culture, language and custom" under British influence and interference. One of the many who left O'Connell's side to lead the 'Young Ireland' Movement, John Mitchel, the son of a Northern Presbyterian Minister, called on the Irish people to strike back against the British - "England! All England, operating through her government : through all her organised and effectual public opinion, press, platform, parliament has done, is doing, and means to do grievous wrongs to Ireland. She must be punished - that punishment will , as I believe, come upon her by and through Ireland ; and so Ireland will be avenged..."

The 'Loyal National Repeal Association' managed to limp along for a further four years but when O'Connell died in 1847 it fell into disarray and dissolved itself in 1848 proving, not for the first time in our history, that 'moral force' alone , when dealing with a tyrant, will not win the day.


...we won't be posting our usual contribution, and probably won't be in a position to post anything at all ; this coming weekend (Saturday/Sunday 10th/11th October) is spoke for already with a 650-ticket raffle to be run for the Cabhair organisation in a venue on the Dublin/Kildare border (work on which begins on the Tuesday before the actual raffle) and the 'autopsy' into same which will take place on Monday evening 12th October in RSF Head Office on Parnell Street and then it's straight back to the preparations for the RSF Ard Fheis, which will be held in November, in a Dublin venue. And that's the position - between the three of us we're booked up solid with our 'pay-the-bills/day-job' work and the raffle and the Ard Fheis work and can't see ourselves being able to get back to posting here until Wednesday 21st October next. And then it'll be time to finalise work on the Cabhair Christmas Swim and loads of other stuff which one committee or another will no doubt be looking to have done! But it's all for a good Cause and we don't mind helping out!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Monday, October 05, 2015



"The police take me to the military prosecutor's office and tell me that I'm being moved to their barracks because the political police have gone to get reinforcements to take me from the hospital by force. They say that they are saving me, because the political police have the habit of blaming them for all the murders they commit themselves..."

This man had gathered crowds of hundreds of thousands to support him yet backed down immediately when instructed by the British to do so....these three young lads were lifted off the street by the Free Staters and their bodies were found later that same day - each had been shot in the head.... see 1169 blog, Wednesday 7th October 2015.

Thanks for dropping by, Sharon.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015



By prisoners from E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison, 1999.


Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill.

First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O'Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.


At the rectangular window I look

cracked squares of plain glass obscure my full vision,

the early May evening is beautiful

brightness has entered my place of confinement

and I contemplate

how anyone can stand this doghouse

without losing some of their sanity

is a treasure indeed

in someway or other it takes its toll

maybe not consciously, but it erases some tissue.

A cell to remove cells, a place of isolation

a futile experience to rehabilitate

a mockery to the taxpayer

The evening stretches and I am still here physically

the quietness has laboured

apart from the odd radio, here or there

a shadow has descended, on the left side of the window

another day has almost passed

I stretch and relieve myself

another part of this inhuman, degrading locker

my brain is disassociated from confinement

again I have travelled.

Paul Dillon.

(Next : 'Time', by Paul Dillon.)


The following piece was published in the 'Socialist Republic!' newspaper in September 1986.

The Chilean people have recently created an armed wing of their struggle against the Pinochet dictatorship - the 'Manuel Rodrigues Patriotic Front'. Although very little has been published in the press, their often spectacular actions of sabotage and attack on the regime forces have proven very successful. The following is a testimony of one of the fighters in the aftermath of one such operation.


"The priest moves me to the hospital where they prepare to operate. I wake up hours later in the convalescent ward. I see the doctor and then a policeman interrogates me. He asks my name and angrily screams "Terrorist!" and continues to insult me. The woman doctor comes to my defence and asks the policeman what he would do if a son or a brother of his was in my condition, because to any one of them the same could happen.

Hours later the finger-print people arrive and they try to interrogate me. The woman doctor throws them out, telling them that the patient is her charge and as long as that is the case she will make sure he isn't disturbed. After a while instructions come from the hospital administrator that I am being moved to a new ward. This is a manoeuvre to allow the agents to interrogate me without being disturbed ; I'm moved and the interrogation begins. They insult me and to frighten me they load their guns, then they threaten me about my wife and children but that brings no results, so they threaten me with the CNI and torture.Two days later the CNI arrive.

They bring photographs of my relatives, taken from my sister's house , and use them to put pressure on me to talk. When they start to take me to one of their secret headquarters so that they can torture me at will, the carabinieros in the room load their guns and stop them, managing to throw them out of the hospital.

Hours later, with the agreement of the hospital administrator and the carabinieri, I'm taken to the barracks. I'm not being threatened any more, although the interrogation continues..." (MORE LATER).


The British publishing group 'Macmillan' must have been sorely disappointed by the media's reaction, or lack of it, to the launch last month of Paul Foot's book 'Who Framed Colin Wallace?'

By Eamonn McCann, from 'Magill' magazine, June 1989.

Whatever about the credibility of the story's subject - Colin Wallace - Paul Foot's track record in such matters ought to have made the publication worthy of mention at least. His 1971 book 'Who Killed Hanratty' demolished the evidence on which teenager James Hanratty had been sent to the gallows for the 'A6 murder'. His 'Helen Smith Story' challenged official accounts of the still-mysterious death of a British nurse in Saudi Arabia. 'Murder at the Farm' was instrumental in persuading (British) Home Secretary Douglas Hurd to send the case of three men convicted of the murder of newsboy Carl Bridgewater back to the courts for re-trial.

Paul Foot was named Journalist of the Year by Granada Television's 'What The Papers Say' in 1972 and Campaigning Journalist of the Year in the British Press Awards in 1980. The fact that he was joining his own credibility to that of Colin Wallace ought in itself to have made the story interesting, particularly to his fellow-journalists. (MORE LATER).


Michael Flannery (pictured, left) - born in North Tipperary in 1902, died in New York on the 30th September 1994, age 92. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1916 (as did his brother, Peter) and often recounted how, as a teenage POW in a British prison in Ireland that year, he stood on a bucket at the window in his cell and watched the storm clouds gather over Dublin as the men of the Rising were executed.

He had three brothers and three sisters but spent his youth separated from them and the rest of his family - he was constantly 'on the run' from the British and, still only in his early teens, was known as a skilled guerrilla fighter, having learned to kill enemy forces "...without regret and without bitterness. I felt anger but not bitterness towards them. I hated their actions but always said 'God have mercy on your soul' as they died." One of those who served with him, Jack Moloney, described him as "..cool as a cucumber under fire. He had brains to burn, and he never got angry. You couldn't shake him."

He stayed through to the Republic and fought for the Anti-Treaty side but, on the 11th November 1922, he was captured in Tipperary by Free State soldiers and spent nearly a year and a half in Mountjoy Prison (C Wing) during which time he witnessed the execution of IRA men like Dick Barrett, Joe McKelvey, Liam Mellowes and Rory O'Connor. His internment was interspersed with periods of solitary confinement and culminated in a 28 day hunger strike during which he was transferred to the Curragh prison camp in Kildare (Tintown camp #3, prisoner #886). He was eventually released on the 1st May 1924 and went to America in 1927 on behalf of the Republican Movement, sailing from Cobh in Cork and arriving in New York on the 14th February of that year. His job and intention was to help to organise, firstly, those in New York who, like himself, had remained true to Irish republicanism. He married Margaret Mary Egan ((known as 'Pearl') in Rockville Center, New York in 1928, and settled in Jackson Heights in that city, earning a wage as an insurance actuarial. Tipperary-born Margaret was a research chemist, educated at University College Dublin and University of Geneva. The couple had no children, but helped to raise and educate fourteen of their nephews and nieces both in Ireland and America.

As part of his work for the Movement, he formed the 'Congress for Irish Freedom', and then the New York-based 'Irish Northern Aid Committee' ('Noraid') . In 1982, Michael Flannery and four other Noraid officials (Thomas Falvey, Daniel Gormley, George Harrison and Patrick Mullin) were charged in New York of gunrunning to the I.R.A. but were subsequently acquitted. The trial of the 'Brooklyn Five' ran from 23rd September to 5th November, during which the defence reportedly asserted that the men were acting at the behest of the Central Intelligence Agency. He died in New York on the 30th September 1994 and is buried in Mount Saint Mary's Cemetery in Flushing, New York with his wife Margaret, who died on the 12th November 1991. The 'National Irish Freedom Committee' ('Cumann Na Saoirse Náisiúnta') , which he co-founded in 1987, hold an annual testimonial awards dinner in Astoria, New York, every spring at which the 'Michael Flannery Spirit of Freedom Award' and the 'Pearl Flannery Humanities Award' are presented.

Finally, I couldn't mention Michael without also commending those who, already referenced, above, worked alongside him in supporting the Cause of Irish republicanism - Pat Mullin, George Harrison, Tom Falvey and Danny Gormley. Legends all!


Gerry Adams ( aka 'Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead'), pictured, left, looking at his "national responsibility".

"Since the partition of Ireland, successive Dublin governments have run away from the Northern problem and thus have been part of the problem. Now it must become part of the solution. Dublin must assume its national responsibility" - from the Provisional Sinn Féin newspaper 'AP/RN', 30th September 1993, page 6, 'editorial column'. The Leinster House administration ('Dublin government') claims jurisdiction over the 26-county State only ; since when has it had a "national responsibility"?


On the 30th September, 1979, Pope John Paul II ,the spiritual head of the Catholic Church, became the first Pope to visit Ireland. Those half-hoping that such an influential person might use the occasion to highlight the many injustices inflicted by Westminster on the Irish were to be disappointed : instead, we got the opposite - a pro-establishment, pro-Westminster/Free State and anti-Republican rant, during which, in an address to the Irish nation, the man said - "On my knees I beg you to turn away from the paths of violence and return to the ways of peace..."

No mention of the British military and political presence in Ireland ; no reference to the continuing claim of British jurisdiction over six Irish counties ; not a word about "the paths of violence" which lead to and from Number 10 Downing Street. Condemnation, only, for those attempting to resist foreign occupation. However , we salute those who wear a similar collar and are not afraid to speak the truth - "Sometimes, I'm jealous of the Palestinians. They have one enemy, the Israelis. The Israelis are stealing Palestinian land and the Palestinians are resisting it and so they fight..." If that particular institution had more people like that active within it, it might not be in the troubled position it's in today. However, better late than never - that particular religious leader has about three years in which to prepare a speech highlighting the continuing British interference, politically and militarily, in this country. Those thinking that he might just do so haven't a prayer...


Ireland, 1942 : IRA Volunteers Paddy Dermody (who was the then Commanding Officer of the IRA's Eastern Command) and Harry White were both on the run from the Free Staters and, on the 30th September, 1942 - 73 years ago on this date - decided to 'take a day off' and attend a wedding reception in a house near Mount Nugent in Cavan : Paddy's sister, Jane, was getting married that day to Michael Tuite, a small farmer (their union produced eleven children - nine sons and two daughters). The house reception was in full swing when an armed Free State raiding party burst in, acting on information from two of their own type who had been observing proceedings and had seen the two IRA men enter the house. A gun battle said to be reminiscent to that of any such encounter during the 1920's ensued and one of the musician's, a man named Finnegan, was shot in the leg. A Free State Detective, a Mr. M.J. Walsh, was in the house and moved past a window when one of his colleagues outside mistakingly fired at him, a wound from which he died later, in hospital. At the same time, Paddy Dermody was killed instantly by a bullet in the back, just as he and Harry White were about to try and escape through a different window.

Harry White was on his own now, in a house which was surrounded by armed Staters, some of whom were coming in. He dived through a window into the night and shot his way through an armed cordon : hit twice in the leg, he collapsed in a clump of whins half-a-mile from the house. For two cold October nights he lay wounded under the stars as Free State soldiers scoured the area for him. A sympathetic soldier found him, fed him, got him to shelter and finally escorted him by bicycle to Dublin - he was back on active service for the IRA.

Later on that same month (October, 1942) as part of what the Free Staters called 'an ongoing investigations into major criminal activity',a detective Garda Mordaunt was one of a number of armed Free Staters who went to house number 14 on Holly Park in Donnycarney, Dublin, to arrest a group of wanted men. Just prior to the arrival of the Gardai the men escaped from the house and during the course of a search for them detective Garda Mordaunt became separated from his colleagues. It was a short time later that he was missed, and on a search being made for him, his body was discovered in the garden of a house in an adjoining street - he had been fatally wounded by a firearm and Harry White was one of those considered to be responsible.

It was October 1946 before Harry White was finally captured on a lonely mountain farm on the Derry side of the Sperrins. Four days later, he was 'released' from Crumlin Road Jail, bundled into an RUC car and driven to a bridge on the Armagh-Monaghan road : a Garda car stopped on the other side and he was bundled across the border without the slightest pretence of judicial process. Six weeks later, at the 'Special Criminal Court' in Dublin, he was sentenced to death. Sean McBride was his defence counsel and, under cross-examination, a detective admitted he and his companions had fired on three men in a passageway near the house. Of thirty to forty bullets fired in the lane, only two were ever produced - neither of those was the bullet that killed State detective Mordaunt . Instead , a pathologist claimed that the hole in Mordaunt's skull was too small to have been made by a shot from any of the Gardai's .45 revolvers, despite the fact there was evidence some had weapons of smaller calibre. Evidence was produced that Garda fire had hit targets well away from the lane. The State Appeal Court reduced Harry White's conviction to 'manslaughter', on the basis that the Gardai had not identified themselves as such before opening fire...(...more on this event can be read here.)


The funeral procession in Dublin, 30th September 1917, (pictured, left) for Thomas Ashe, an IRB leader who died on the 25th September that year, after being force fed by his British jailers - he was the first Irish republican to die as a result of a hunger-strike and, between that year and 1981, twenty-one other Irish republicans died on hunger-strike. The jury at the inquest into his death found "..that the deceased, Thomas Ashe, according to the medical evidence of Professor McWeeney, Sir Arthur Chance, and Sir Thomas Myles, died from heart failure and congestion of the lungs on the 25th September, 1917 and that his death was caused by the punishment of taking away from the cell bed, bedding and boots and allowing him to be on the cold floor for 50 hours, and then subjecting him to forcible feeding in his weak condition after hunger-striking for five or six days.."

Michael Collins organised the funeral and transformed it into a national demonstration against British misrule in Ireland ; armed Irish Republican Brotherhood Volunteers in full uniform flanked the coffin, followed by 9,000 other IRB Volunteers and approximately 30,000 people lined the streets. A volley of shots was fired over Ashe's grave, following which Michael Collins stated - "Nothing more remains to be said. That volley which we have just heard is the only speech which it is proper to make over the grave of a dead Fenian ."

The London-based 'Daily Express' newspaper perhaps summed it up best when it stated, re the funeral of Thomas Ashe, that what had happened had made '100,000 Sinn Féiners out of 100,000 constitutional nationalists.' The level of support shown gave a boost to Irish Republicans, and this was noted by the 'establishment' in Westminster - 'The Daily Mail' newspaper claimed that, a month earlier, Sinn Féin, despite its electoral successes, had been a waning force. That newspaper said - '..It had no practical programme, for the programme of going further than anyone else cannot be so described. It was not making headway. But Sinn Féin today is pretty nearly another name for the vast bulk of youth in Ireland...'

Thomas Patrick Ashe’s activities and interests included cultural and physical force nationalism as well as trade unionism and socialism. He also commanded the 5th Battalion of the Dublin Brigade who won the Battle of Ashbourne on the 29th of April 1916. Born in Lispole, County Kerry on the 12th of January 1885, he was the seventh of ten siblings. He qualified as a teacher in 1905 at De La Salle College, Waterford and after teaching briefly in Kinnard, County Kerry, in 1906 he became principal of Corduff National School in Lusk, County Dublin. Thomas Ashe was a fluent Irish speaker and a member of the Keating branch of the Gaelic League and was an accomplished sportsman and musician setting up the Roundtowers GAA Club as well as helping to establish the Lusk Pipe Band. He was also a talented singer and poet who was committed to Conradh na Gaeilge.

Politically, he was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and established IRB circles in Dublin and Kerry and eventually became President of the Supreme Council in 1917. While he was actively and intellectually nationalist he was also inspired by contemporary socialism. Ashe rejected conservative Home Rule politicians and as part of that rejection he espoused the Labour policies of James Larkin. Writing in a letter to his brother Gregory he said "We are all here on Larkin's side. He'll beat hell out of the snobbish, mean, seoinín employers yet, and more power to him". Ashe supported the unionisation of north Dublin farm labourers and his activities brought him into conflict with landowners such as Thomas Kettle in 1912. During the infamous lockout in 1913 he was a frequent visitor to Liberty Hall and become a friend of James Connolly. Long prior to its publication in 1916, Thomas Ashe was a practitioner of Connolly’s dictum that "the cause of labour is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland is the cause of labour". In 1914 Ashe travelled to the United States where he raised a substantial sum of money for both the Gaelic League and the newly formed Irish Volunteers of which he was an early member.

Ashe founded the Volunteers in Lusk and established a firm foundation of practical and theoretical military training. He provided charismatic leadership first as Adjutant and then as O/C (Officer Commanding) the 5th Battalion of the Dublin Brigade. He inspired fierce loyalty and encouraged personal initiative in his junior officers and was therefore able to confidently delegate command to Charlie Weston, Joseph Lawless, Edward Rooney and others during the Rising. Most significantly, he took advantage of the arrival of Richard Mulcahy at Finglas Glen on the Tuesday of the Rising and appointed him second in command. The two men knew one another through the IRB and Gaelic League and Ashe recognized Mulcahy’s tactical abilities. As a result Ashe allowed himself to be persuaded by Mulcahy not to withdraw following the unexpected arrival of the motorised force at the Rath crossroads. At Ashbourne on the 28th of April Ashe also demonstrated great personal courage, first exposing himself to fire while calling on the RIC in the fortified barracks to surrender and then actively leading his Volunteers against the RIC during the Battle.

After the 1916 Rising he was court-martialed (on the 8th of May 1916) and was sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to penal servitude for life. He was incarcerated in a variety of English prisons before being released in the June 1917 general amnesty. He immediately returned to Ireland and toured the country reorganising the IRB and inciting civil opposition to British rule. In August 1917, after a speech in Ballinalee, County Longford, he was arrested by the RIC and charged with "speeches calculated to cause disaffection". He was detained in the Curragh camp and later sentenced to a year's hard labour in Mountjoy Jail. There he became O/C of the Volunteer prisoners, and demanded prisoner-of-war status. As a result he was punished by the Governor. He went on hunger strike on the 20th September 1917 and five days later died as a result of force-feeding by the prison authorities. He was just 32 years old. The death of Thomas Ashe resulted in POW status being conceded to the Volunteer prisoners two days later. Thomas Ashe’s funeral was the first public funeral after the Rising and provided a focal point for public disaffection with British rule. His body lay in state in Dublin City Hall before being escorted by armed Volunteers to Glasnevin Cemetery. 30,000 people attended the burial where three volleys were fired over the grave and the Last Post was sounded. While imprisoned in Lewes Jail in 1916, Thomas Ashe had written his poem 'Let Me Carry Your Cross for Ireland, Lord' which later provided the inspiration for the Battle of Ashbourne memorial unveiled by Sean T. O'Kelly on Easter Sunday, 26th April 1959 at the Rath Cross in Ashbourne :

Let me carry your Cross for Ireland, Lord

The hour of her trial draws near,

And the pangs and the pains of the sacrifice

May be borne by comrades dear.

But, Lord, take me from the offering throng,

There are many far less prepared,

Through anxious and all as they are to die

That Ireland may be spared.

Let me carry your Cross for Ireland, Lord

My cares in this world are few,

and few are the tears will for me fall

When I go on my way to You.

Spare Oh! Spare to their loved ones dear

The brother and son and sire,

That the cause we love may never die

In the land of our Heart's desire!

Let me carry your Cross for Ireland, Lord!

Let me suffer the pain and shame

I bow my head to their rage and hate,

And I take on myself the blame.

Let them do with my body whate'er they will,

My spirit I offer to You,

That the faithful few who heard her call

May be spared to Roisin Dubh.

Let me carry your Cross for Ireland, Lord!

For Ireland weak with tears,

For the aged man of the clouded brow,

And the child of tender years;

For the empty homes of her golden plains,

For the hopes of her future, Too!

Let me carry your Cross for Ireland, Lord!

for the cause of Roisin Dubh.
(from here.)


The current crisis concerning asylum seekers/refugees/migrants has grabbed some people's attention to the extent that they have offered their spare room and/or living-room sofa as shelter for those unfortunate people in a generous but, in my opinion, a misguided and short-term 'solution' which seeks to temporarily address one of the symptoms of the issue at the expense of ignoring and/or not addressing the cause of same. This 'Indymedia Ireland' post caught my attention as it reflects my own opinion on this divisive issue -

what exactly is "our fair share"

author by dupedpublication date Sun Sep 27, 2015 21:21Report this post to the editors

what exactly is "our fair share" of refugees anyway?

we didn't start the wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan

or support corrupt regimes in nigeria and other african countries

which we wanted oil, coltan and other raw materials from

And we didn't sell everyone loads of weapons to kill each other with.

So why are we expected to clean up after other warmongering psychopaths that did this stuff? Last I heard, there is plenty of room in america, Saudi arabia, france, UK.

Give em all green cards and UK/french/saudi passports. If you break it you own it. we are already living with a chronically inefficient and underfunded health service and education system and have a huge unemployment and housing problem. The government has no money for special needs assistants for disabled people, or for the mentally ill.

So where are we expected to get the money to support thousands of new subscribers to these systems all of a sudden? And if these people are placed in the already unfit for purpose asylum system, how will that affect those already suffering in it at present if we pile thousands of people in with them? And these people will be our responsibility for generations. Have people worked out the total multi generational cost of taking these folk on? No, I thought not.

What is the agendas here? I know the likes of Peter Sutherland are up to no good, and that they couldn't give a flying fuck about poor brown people, just low wages, engineering a lack of social cohesion and hence weakening resistance to corporate edicts such as TTIP

Germany needs young people to keep it's economy going, but we don't. So why should we help them solve a problem of their own making here. They didn't break their asses trying to help us when we needed it. They just blackmailed us into bailing out their banks bad gambling debts

Cold and callous or calling it as it is? The theme of the post -'responsibility' - is accurate and, in my opinion, should be heeded as the forced displacement of populations by greedy and imperialist forces is only starting. And, as heartbreaking as it may be, there just isn't enough spare rooms and sofas to go around.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


...in a house which was surrounded by armed Staters, some of whom were coming in. He dived through a window into the night and shot his way through an armed cordon : hit twice in the leg, he collapsed in some bushes half-a-mile from the house. For two cold October nights he lay wounded under the stars as Free State soldiers scoured the area for him. Then an armed Free Stater stumbled on him...

Check back here on Wednesday, 30th September 2015.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015



By prisoners from E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison, 1999.


Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill.

First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O'Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.


Most of them pretend they are deaf

until they hear the till

the Judge shouts from the bench

Yes! they will

"That's right, My Lord

there's a ringing in my ears,

it wasn't there before I joined the army

but now it's my greatest fear

I can't concentrate on what I do

I argue with the wife,

this message that lies between my ear drums

plays havoc with my life

I'm cross with the kids

people think I'm lying,

they don't realise at times

all I'm doing is crying"

On the field of fire

the bullets whizzed in and out,

the Captain said he called for hours

I wondered why he didn't shout,

"You've been disobeying orders lately

do you know that, McGuire?"

I pondered to myself

was he calling me a liar...?

Paul Dillon.

(Next : 'Physical Confinement', by Paul Dillon.)


The following piece was published in the 'Socialist Republic!' newspaper in September 1986.

The Chilean people have recently created an armed wing of their struggle against the Pinochet dictatorship - the 'Manuel Rodrigues Patriotic Front'. Although very little has been published in the press, their often spectacular actions of sabotage and attack on the regime forces have proven very successful. The following is a testimony of one of the fighters in the aftermath of one such operation.


"I get up and when I turn the corner I see a CNI car with two people inside. I take a deep breath and try to walk as normally as possible. One of those in the car says 'That one, with the jacket' and they get out of the car with their guns ready to shoot and they corner a young lad against the wall. He appears to be a student. I carry on walking for another block and I meet the main cordon. I am unable to go back so I carry on walking straight toward them. I go past the cars and the agents standing there - they take no notice and I keep going. I cross the street.

Seven blocks further on I feel faint. I see the sky falling in on me, then the trees, the houses and the ground. Sometime later I wake up in a church. The people's hands have delivered me from the enemy." (MORE LATER).


The British publishing group 'Macmillan' must have been sorely disappointed by the media's reaction, or lack of it, to the launch last month of Paul Foot's book 'Who Framed Colin Wallace?'

By Eamonn McCann, from 'Magill' magazine, June 1989.

While engaged in his job as 'press officer', Colin Wallace became aware that action to end the homosexual abuse of adolescent boys at Kincora was being blocked by the intelligence services, presumably in the hope of using the situation for blackmail or information-gathering purposes. When Wallace finally baulked at these malpractices he was first transferred out of the North of Ireland and then forced out of the British Army, and then a most elaborate effort went into framing him for the killing of a friend in Sussex in 1980.

Wallace's tale has been covered piecemeal in the past in both British and Irish media and this is the main explanation offered by a number of likely journalists for their attitude that notwithstanding the mildly dramatic manner of its publication, there wasn't much news in Paul Foot's book but, actually, there is significant new matter in it - hitherto unpublished details of what was happening in Kincora and 'raw' data about the operations against 'unsound' politicians, as well as much the most detailed and meticulous examination so far of the evidence on which Wallace was convicted of manslaughter.

Paul Foot draws the strands of this untidy tale together for the first time and puts the story in the context of other recent revelations about the British secret services, such as the Pointing, Wright and Massiter events. (MORE LATER).


Ireland, 1970's : turmoil in the country, due to the then-as-now unwanted political and military interference here by Westminster. The Leinster House administration was headed-up at the time by Fine Gael's Liam Cosgrave , and among the many harsh laws introduced, enforced and 'improved on' by the Blueshirts was a censorship act, 'Section 31'.

The then Free State President was a Fianna Fail man, Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh , said to be a compromise candidate by the powers-that-be at the time, as he fitted the requirements dictated by the 'establishment' (ie 'a safe pair of hands') - he was previously the Free State Attorney General and Chief Justice of the FS Supreme Court, and was given the Office, unopposed, in 1974, following the death of Erskine Hamilton Childers. But it was that legal training which raised a red flag with him in relation to a piece of legislation which the Blueshirt Leinster House administration wanted him to 'rubber stamp' - the 'Emergency Powers Act', and the fact that Ó Dálaigh and Cosgrave didn't agree with each other, socially or politically, came into play : Ó Dálaigh refused to simply 'sign off' on the 'EPA' without first testing its constitutionally.

On the 23rd of September, 1976 - 39 years ago on this date - Ó Dálaigh spent four hours consulting with a bunch of posh suits known as the Free State 'Council of State' on whether or not it would be best practice to refer the legislation to the Free State Supreme Court to test its constitutionality before he could declare it to be 'the law' and it was decided that that would be the best thing to do, a decision which annoyed the Blueshirt administration. Just over three weeks later (ie on the 15th October 1976) the FS Supreme Court declared that the 'EPA' was a legitimate piece of legislation and it was only then that Ó Dálaigh deemed it necessary to sign-off on it, which he did, reluctantly (or so it was alluded at the time) but that 'victory' wasn't enough for Cosgrave and his people - they considered themselves to have been disrespected by the actions of Ó Dálaigh and, three days later (ie on the 18th October 1976) , they could contain themselves no longer : it was on that date that the Free State Minister of Defence, Paddy Donegan, was opening a new Free State army barracks in Mullingar, County Westmeath (having, seemingly, forgot that Ó Dálaigh was the Commander-In-Chief of said army!) that he made a remark (he was concussed at the time, he later claimed!) which was to haunt him for the rest of his life. He 'kicked himself up the transom' , if you like, which wouldn't have caused as much damage as firing a shotgun over dwellings in which people lived - more about that 'eccentric' (!) Free State politician can be read here...



The raffle was held on Sunday, 13th September last, after the usual five day preparation period and, as expected, it was a busy few days for those of us involved and a very successful one for the Dublin Executive of Republican Sinn Féin : all 650 tickets were sold, €440 was handed out in prize money and most of the tickets for the October raffle were distributed. The hotel was packed, as usual, and the fifty tickets that we managed to hold on to for sale on the day were bought up within twenty minutes of us having arrived on site. And that's gonna cause problems for us at the next raffle, which will be held on Sunday 11th October - the hotel will be standing-room only, as the football team from this State are playing a match against Poland on that same date and a team representing the Six Counties are playing against Finland. Plus, Scotland are up against Gibraltar, Denmark are taking on France and, amongst other such fixtures, Serbia are playing against Portugal. A 'full house' in the raffle hotel is always good for business for them, once they have a good supply of food and drink to sell and the same goes for us - it would be good for our 'business' if only we had a good supply of tickets to sell, which we don't, unfortunately. But we're working on solving that problem...!

The 'Eve of All-Ireland Rally', which has been held in Dublin since the 1950's (if not before), took place on Saturday 19th September last, on the traffic isle facing the GPO in O'Connell Street and was, as usual, extremely well organised by the RSF committee behind it as, indeed, it was in the 1950's : 'One of the largest public rallies seen in Dublin for years was held by Sinn Féin at the GPO on the eve of the All-Ireland Football Final . Headed by a Colour Party and a pipe band , a parade of more than 2,000 people marched from Parnell Square through the main city thoroughfare as a protest against the continued unjust imprisonment of Irishmen without charge or trial . Contingents from all over the country took part and many carried banners and placards including groups from England and Scotland . In the Ulster section was a strong representation of the Derry supporters who thronged the capital city for the Final . One placard they carried asked - ' Why are Six-County Nationalists interned in the Curragh?' .....' (From 'An tÉireannach Aontaithe/The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1958.)

The event was Chaired by Josephine Hayden and two RSF members - Des Dalton, President, and Geraldine McNamara, PRO - spoke from the lectern as did one uniformed member from Na Fianna Éireann.

Three-hundred-and-fifty 'leaflet packs', comprising 1,200 printed items of a republican nature, were distributed on O'Connell Street before and during the proceedings and were eagerly accepted by the public, as were the words of Des Dalton in relation to the recent Free State hijacking of a republican icon : "The hijacking of the remains of the executed 1916 leader Thomas Kent by the 26-County Administration is a blatant attempt by that discredited administration to claim ownership of the legacy of the 1916 Rising for its own political advantage. The Irish people will see through this for the empty charade that it is. However, it shows scant respect for the memory of our patriot dead.

The 26-County State came about through the suppression of the All-Ireland Republic proclaimed in 1916; its foundation moment lies in the passage of the Government of Ireland Act of 1920 through the British Parliament at Westminster and not the reading of the Proclamation at the GPO on Easter Monday 1916. They have no legitimacy in commemorating 1916; the 26-County State is a negation of everything that the All-Ireland Republic stood for as articulated in the 1916 Proclamation. In their haste to lay claim to the memory of Thomas Kent and the other patriots of 1916 the Leinster House establishment have accused Irish Republicans of 'hijacking 1916'. How can republicans hijack something they have never abandoned? Irish republicans have faithfully commemorated the events of 1916 since 1917, at times they have faced imprisonment and harassment at the hands of the 26-County State for doing so. Infamously the Leinster House regime banned the 1976 commemoration, prosecuting the daughter of James Connolly, Nora Connolly O’Brien ,for her participation in the commemoration at the GPO as well as Fiona Plunkett, sister of Joseph Plunkett, another of the signatories of the 196 Proclamation.

Consequently these latest attempts ring hollow while the hijacking of the remains of our patriot deed is a distasteful act of political opportunism. 1916 belongs to the Irish people and those who are faithful to its ideals and vision of a New Ireland."

A full report and more pics will be published in the October 2015 issue of 'Saoirse', which goes to print on Wednesday, 7th of that month.


Tá Facebook ag glanadh ainmneachaí Ghaeil, agus pobail mionlaigh eile, ón suíomh acu faoin bpolasaí "fíor ainm" agus ag iarraidh ar dhaoine cáipéisí a thaispeáint ag cruthú nach "bréag ainm" atá á n-úsáid acu. Is ionsaí é seo ar chearta bunúsacha teanga agus féiniúlacht dhaoine! Beidh agóid ann ag ceanncheathrú Facebook i mBÁC 2 ar an 7ú Deireadh Fómhair @ 2 i.n. ('Facebook are deleting the accounts of Irish speakers, and other minority communities, from their site under their misguided 'real name' policy and demanding people show documentation proving they are not using 'fake names'. This represents an attack on basic language rights and people's identities! There will be a protest at Facebook HQ in Dublin 2 on Wednesday 7th October at 2pm.')

As Pádraig Pearse stated - "Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam" ('A country without a language is a country without a soul').

"Facebook is where people come to make real connections with the people they care about. An important part of this is being able to express your true self. We recognise that some people want to be able to define their true gender identity beyond the definitions of just 'male' or 'female' in order express themselves authentically. Following feedback from our community in Ireland and successful launches elsewhere, we are proud to announce the launch of a custom gender option to help people from Ireland better express themselves on Facebook..."(..from here.) "Better express themselves" on 'Facebook' provided they don't attempt to do so in their own name, in their own language, it seems. Fair play to all who assemble at FB HQ on Wednesday 7th October next to tell the Zuckerberg's of this world to póg mo thóin...!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.