Wednesday, February 19, 2020

1922 - FREE STATE ARMY GENERAL KIDNAPPED BY THE IRA.

ON THIS DATE (19TH FEBRUARY) 76 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF A REBEL POACHER-TURNED-FREE STATE MILITARY GENERAL.

'JJ O'Connell (pictured) joined the Irish Volunteers in 1914, becoming Chief of Inspection in 1915. He travelled the country organising volunteer corps, as well as contributing to the Irish Volunteer's journal and delivering lectures on military tactics to both the Volunteers and Na Fianna Éireann. He also delivered a series of lectures about the famous Irish battles to the Gaelic League in Dublin (but) was not a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood as he believed that soldiers should not be a part of secret societies...

At the time the 1916 Easter Rising, O'Connell was operating in Dublin under instruction from Joseph Plunkett. He was dispatched to Cork by Eoin MacNeill to try to prevent the Rising. Following the Rising, he was arrested and held in Frongoch internment camp from April to July 1916. In 1918 he was again arrested and interned, spending time in Wandsworth Prison with Arthur Griffith for the alleged involvement in the fabricated German Plot. During the Irish War of Independence, he was a member of the Irish Republican Army headquarters staff, as Assistant Director of Training and, after the killing of Dick McKee, as Director of Training. He coordinated, and was the principal lecturer, for a training course for military officers. The course was run clandestinely in the premises of the Topographical Society on Gardiner Street in Dublin. A sympathetic doorkeeper allowed O'Connell's group in at night when the society was not present. Topics delivered by O'Connell included tactics, ordinance and engineering. In the IRA split after the Anglo-Irish Treaty was ratified, O'Connell took the pro-Treaty side...' (from here.)

On the 26th June, 1922, Leo Henderson and a group of 'Irregulars/Dissidents' left the then republican-occupied Four Courts, which had been taken over on the 14th of April by anti-treaty forces '..and arrived at Ferguson's garage on Dublin's Baggot Street, accusing them of doing business with Belfast ; this was, they said, in violation of the boycott the IRA had placed on the city due to violence against nationalists there. Leo Henderson, their leader, seized a number of cars at gunpoint, and was on the point of driving back to the anti-Treaty stronghold of the Four Courts when he was arrested by pro-Treaty/Free State troops. Henderson's comrades in the Four Courts in response arrested a pro-Treaty General, JJ O’Connell and, within 24 hours, Free State artillery was battering at the walls of the Four Courts in central Dublin. The first shots of the Irish Civil War were caused by a row over selling cars to Belfast...' (from here.)

Not altogether the full story, although the 'bones' of what actually happened are there ; Harry Ferguson's garage (pictured) was a well-known Belfast automobile company, with a branch on Baggot Street, in Dublin. It was known to be unsympathetic to the 'Irregulars' and had blatantly ignored an overall directive from the IRA that for-profit business dealings with Belfast should cease until business bosses in that city took steps to ensure the safety of their nationalist workforce. Leo Henderson and his men commandeered about 15 cars which had been sent, for sale, to Dublin from Belfast - the IRA's intention, as well as to be seen enforcing the 'Belfast Trade Boycott', was to use the vehicles, as part of the war effort, against the continuing British political and military presence in the Six Occupied Counties and in their campaign to overthrow the then-fledging Free State political administration.

Leo Henderson was captured by the Staters, with ex-IRA man Frank Thornton in command of them and, when the IRA leadership heard that Henderson had been 'arrested', they discussed abducting Collins himself or Richard Mulcahy in retaliation, but decided instead to seize Free State General Jeremiah Joseph (JJ) 'Ginger' O'Connell, who was Richard Mulcahy's Deputy Chief-of-Staff. At 11.15pm on the night of Tuesday, 27th June, 1922, 'Ginger' was arrested in Dublin by the IRA after an evening out with his girlfriend - the couple had gone to the theatre and, after the girlfriend was dropped home, 'Ginger' went to McGilligan's Pub in Leeson Street for a few pints. As he left the pub, the IRA seized him and held him in the republican-occupied Four Courts ; Ernie O'Malley actually telephoned Free State General Eoin O'Duffy, who was in Portobello Barracks, and told him that 'Ginger' will be returned to the Staters in exchange for Leo Henderson.

The republicans knew that 'Ginger' was valued by Collins and his renegades - he was one of the few that eagerly conveyed the 'cancel-the-Rising'-order from Eoin MacNeill in 1916 and both Collins and Mulcahy regarded him as a safe pair of hands. Collins's political and military bosses in London were notified about 'JJ Ginger' being held in republican custody and made it clear to Collins that if he and his Free State colleagues didn't take steps to remove the republicans from the Four Courts, they would - the Staters had already decided to attack their former comrades in the Four Courts and had already accepted the offer from Westminster of equipment with which to carry-out the task ; British artillery, aircraft, armoured cars, machine guns, small arms and ammunition were by then in the possession of Collins and his team, who then used the 'JJ kidnap'-incident as a further 'reason' to press ahead with the assault.

At 3.40am, on Wednesday, 28th June 1922, the republican forces inside the Four Courts were given an ultimatum by Collins - 'surrender before 4am and leave the building'. The republicans ignored the threat and held their ground and, less than half-an-hour later - at about 4.30am - the Staters opened fire on the republicans with British-supplied 18-pounder guns and practically destroyed the building (pictured), an act which was recently described as "..a major national calamity..an assault on the collective memory of the nation..such actions are considered as war crimes..a cultural atrocity.." The IRA held out for two days before leaving the building, but fought-on elsewhere in Dublin until early July, 1922, with Oscar Traynor (who later joined the Fianna Fáil party) in command.

'JJ Ginger' was rescued by his Stater colleagues on Friday, 30th June 1922 when they finally managed to enter the then shell of a building where the Four Courts once stood and, within months, was demoted from a Lieutenant-General to a Major-General and then to a Colonel, a position he was to remain at. He got married in 1922 and, between 1924 and 1944 (he died, aged 56, in the Richmond Hospital in Dublin from a heart attack on the 19th February of that year - 76 years ago on this date), he was shifted around like a pawn on a chess board : chief lecturer in the FS Army school of instruction, director of Number 2 (intelligence) bureau, OC equitation school, quartermaster-general and director of the military archives. We wonder did he consider himself to be the man who helped give 'credence' to the Civil War...?





THERE ARE THREE KINDS OF LIES : LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND STATISTICS!

The spoof, the spin, the ignorance, the deliberate misdirection and the smoke and mirrors dished-out by various candidates and their Head Offices and, indeed, by their political 'opposition', since the 8th February 2020 election in this State, has been breathtaking. As expected. And as usual.

Mary Lou McDonald declared after the results were known that "Sinn Fein (sic) has won the election..." (from here) and "It's official. Sinn Fein (sic) won the election.." (from here.) Yet, as 'winners', they are unable to form an administration without the help of the 'losers'!

Statistics to 'prove' that the winners (!) are/are not winners and that the 'losers' (!) are/are not really losers are ten-a-penny on the internet and in the newspapers etc, with the different authors spinning the percentages and the comparisons etc to suit their own needs. Although we have seen that type of political codology since then, we were reminded of the 1998 Stormont Treaty ('Good Friday Agreement') onslaught by Leinster House and its affiliates in regards to that particular sell-out : when the Stormont Treaty was voted on here in May 1998, one of it's main 'selling-points', according to the State establishment that were promoting it - Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, Provisional Sinn Féin, the various Church's, media etc - was that the British Government would legislate for the creation of a united Ireland if a majority within the Six Counties desired same. This was said to be a major development and, on it's own, worth voting 'YES' for.

However, that 'commitment' from Westminster was contained in the 'Ireland Act' of 1949, the 'Northern Ireland (sic) Act' of 1973, Section Five of the Sunningdale Agreement and the opening section of the 1985 Hillsborough Treaty! It was a deliberate mis-representation of the facts by the pro-treaty side, which repeatedly claimed that a peaceful end to the North-Eastern conflict depended on a majority 'YES' vote in the referendum, thereby insinuating that those who voted 'NO' were pro-war.

In 1922, Liam Mellows said of the 1921 'Treaty of Surrender' - "This is not the will of the people ; it is the fear of the people". The conflict continued after that Treaty, and continues today. In 1973, the political establishment here and its hangers-on were amongst those telling republicans that the Sunningdale Agreement was the "solution" to the North. In 1985 they did the same with the Hillsborough Treaty. In 1998 they did the same with the Stormont Treaty.

Those responsible for the 'GFA' - Bertie Ahern, Bill Clinton, Gerry Adams, Tony Blair, John Hume, John Major etc etc were experienced enough to have recognised it for the 'false dawn' it was - and is - but were more interested in puffing-up/re-building their political 'careers' and would have attempted to sell any so-called 'settlement' to anyone foolish enough to listen to them. Indeed, such maneuvering was rife in the period leading up to, and after, that 1998 vote (it was signed-off on the 10th April 1998 by the politicians involved and put to a vote on the 22nd May that year) -

Bertie Ahern, quoted in 'The Sunday Business Post' newspaper on the 3rd May 1998, page 16, said it means that "Britain is out of the equation", AP/RN editorialised, on the 10th of September, 1998, on page 9, that the vote was "the will of the electorate in both partitioned states..", 'The Sunday Business Post', on the 13th February 2000, on page 18, said that the Stormont Treaty ('GFA') institutions were set up "as a direct result of a vote of all the people of this island...the will of the entire people of Ireland..", the 'Ireland on Sunday' newspaper, on the 28th March 1999, on page 14, said it was "the wish of almost every last man and woman in this country..".

And the codology didn't end there - AP/RN, on the 20th May 1999, on page 9, said it was "endorsed by a huge majority of this country's people..", Tim Pat Coogan, in his 'Ireland On Sunday' column on the 24th September 2000, on page 32, said that "more than 90 per cent of the people of this island voted for it..", Niall O Dowd, in his 'IOS' column on the 13th February 2000, on page 31, said that it was "the democratic wish of 95 per cent of the population in the Irish Republic and 72 per cent in the North..", Piet De Pauw, the Belgium lawyer and human-rights expert, said, in December 2000, that "the majority of the people on this island voted for it", AP/RN, on the 11th March 1999, on page 12, said "it was endorsed by 85 per cent of the people of Ireland.." and Tim Pat Coogan, again - this time in his 'IOS' column dated 7th May 2000 (page 34)- said that its institutions "were voted for by an overwhelming majority on this island..".

In the edition of 'The Sunday Business Post' newspaper that was published on the 12th April 1998 - just two days after the Stormont Treaty was signed - the editorial referred to the proposed amendments to Articles 2 and 3 of the Free State Constitution as "well meaning drivel", saying that the treaty would make us become "the laughing stock of Europe", and described that treaty as "a rescue operation for unionism". But, six weeks later - on Sunday, 24th May 1998 - the paper had changed its tune : the editorial in that edition declared that "clearly the vast majority of people on this island are prepared to invest their hope and trust for the future in what is, by any standards, a complex agreement." A 'laughing stock' indeed!

However, an examination of the actual outcome of that vote reveals the true figures, and confirms that the establishment and its supporters will still attempt to purposely distort the facts and mislead those who are foolish enough to simply take them at their word - in this State, the turnout for the 1998 Stormont Treaty poll was 56.3% and, of those, 1,442,583 (94.4%) voted 'YES' and 85,748 (5.6%) voted 'NO'. But 43.97% of those entitled to vote in the State did not do so!

In the Six Counties, the turnout was 81% and, of those, 676,966 (71.12%) voted 'YES' and 274,879 (28.88%) voted 'NO' . But 19% of those entitled to vote in the Six Counties did not do so!

The claims that 'the majority voted for it' and that it represents 'the democratic wish of 95% of the population' etc etc is a deliberate falsehood put about by those that would attempt to convince the Irish people that the struggle to achieve a just and permanent settlement has been achieved. That finality can only begin when the British give a date for their withdrawal from this country - it has not been a war of over 850 years only to say to the British that which the Stormont Treaty leads them to believe - 'stay if you want, just treat us better..'. That was never the republican objective, regardless of how well dressed and presentable those are that travel the globe claiming, in effect, that so-called 'civil rights' was the objective all along.

The same spoofery, the same spin, the ignorance, the deliberate misdirection and the same smoke and mirrors are being dished-out again in relation to the 8th February 2020 election held in this State, so much so that, in reply to Mary Lou's "We won!" statements, Fine Gael's Simon Harris was able to use the same election results to claim, correctly, that "..not everybody voted for Sinn Fein...you’d think by listening to some of the commentary that everybody voted Sinn Fein...76% of people did not vote for Sinn Fein to be in government.." (from here.) As we said at the start of this piece - the 'winners' are not allowed to collect their 'prize' unless the 'losers' permit them to do so!

Incidentally, the 8th February 2020 election was to elect members to the 31st Leinster House assembly and not, as declared by all and sundry, to "the 33rd Dáil Éireann". That latter term is a spoof, a spin, ignorant of the true position, deliberate misdirection and smoke and mirrors, like the outcome of the election itself.





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

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



Normally one would not pay any attention to the abnormal utterances of Earnan De Blagdh, as he is known when associated with the Gaelic League or the Abbey Theatre - otherwise Mr. Ernest Blythe. But when he assumes the responsibility of speaking on behalf of the IRA veterans it is time to join issue. The veterans themselves know Mr. Blythe too well, but the young republicans of today may not be sufficiently acquainted with his career as a republican.

Figuring in his early years as an IRB (Irish Republican Brotherhood)-cum-Volunteer-cum-Gealic League organiser, Mr. Blythe did trojan work on behalf of these organisations. With his election to Leinster House ('the government of the Irish Republic') his political life began, and the blithe enthusiastic Volunteer was transformed into the compromising partition-builder whom we know today ; the first conspiracy (criminal, in the eyes of Irish republicans) which came to light was that by which the IRB engineered the signing of the Treaty of Surrender in 1921, and later put it over on the Irish people, Mr. Blythe playing a prominent part.

The second criminal conspiracy was that by which the so-called government (Provisional) and the IRB borrowed 18-pounders and other guns from Lloyd George and the British Government with which to crush the IRA and the Irish republican government, Mr. Blythe again playing his part... (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (19TH FEBRUARY) 97 YEARS AGO : IRA VOLUNTEER SHOT DEAD BY RENEGADE IRA MAN.

On this date, 19th February, in 1923, IRA officer Thomas O'Sullivan, of Ballineanig, Kerry, was shot dead by a Free State Army officer near Dingle, in that same county. The Stater who shot him was an ex-IRA man who had been expelled from the Republican Movement for misconduct and, as such, must have felt right at home with his new comrades.

This account of the death of Thomas O'Sullivan is taken from Dorothy Macardle's book 'The Tragedies Of Kerry' -

' "I had twelve children, but I had none like him," Mrs. O'Sullivan says. Tom was twenty-two years old when he was killed ; he was a teacher of Irish and a fisherman, and he was a Volunteer since the Black-and-Tan time ; he was Commandant of his Battalion when he died. They (Free Staters) came raiding for him in December, with their lorries, but his mother got him away. He was going fishing and had his hand on the kettle, going to make himself a cup of tea, when she ran in with the warning and he made out through the back door. She lifted a bucket and went up the road towards them thinking to hold them awhile in talk.

"Who's that man running?", the officer shouted to her, and she called back "I don't know at all.." "You know well, you devil!" he answered, "'Tis your son, Tom," and he went down on his knee and fired. The bullet slit Tom's jersey, but Tom was not hurt. But the danger to him seemed more than she could bear.

"Wisha, give me your gun," she said to Tom that night, "and I'll carry it into town for you." "No, mother," he answered, "that's what I'll never do. I didn't take my oath to break it," he said. "I know what's before me, and I'm satisfied to face that."

He used to come home sometimes, never to sleep, but maybe to change his clothes. He came in on the eighteenth of February (1923). His mother thought he looked troubled. "Have you any letter from Dan?" he asked her at once. Dan, his brother, was in jail. She gave him the letter and he read it under the lamp.

"Dan's all right," he said with relief in his voice, and gave her the letter again. Then he said, "Come down with me now." She went with him down the bohereen. It was getting dark and she could not well see his face. Suddenly he put his arms round her. "Goodbye, mother," he said. "Why do you talk like that, Tom," she said, half-crying, "and you always so brave?" "Ah, mother," he answered, "I'll be under locks from you soon." He took her hand then and they walked together a little further on. He was going to sleep in a house across the fields, where he'd be safe, he said. He started to go but came back to her again : "You're not ashamed of me, mother?" he asked her. It was in Irish, the speech of her heart, that she answered him.

In the dark of the night a man came to her door. It was Bob McCarthy, Tom's friend : she knew him well. "'Tis pity to be disturbing you," he said, "but the Staters are in the fields below. Where's Tom?" She told him and he ran out. She was on her knees praying when she heard a shot fired. She started up and drew the bolt and ran out. She stood, crying out her prayers and blessings, against the gable of the house when she heard another shot and another again.

The man who was with Tom hiding in a hollow knows what happened then, but he is a prisoner, sentenced to fifteen years. Only the little that he told to a fellow-prisoner, since released, is known - "They were hiding and spoke to one another, not thinking the enemy were near, but they heard a voice call out suddenly : "That's O'Sullivan! I know his talk." They knew the man who spoke. He had been expelled from the Volunteers for misconduct and was a Free State Officer now. His kind were the most vindictive, always. Tom O'Sullivan must have known that this was death. The man saw him and fired , and Tom fell. He was badly wounded and put his hands up as he lay on the ground. "I surrender to you," he said. "Get a priest for me before you do any more." The man fired again and Tom moaned, "O Jesus and Mary come against me" and died.

Bob McCarthy evaded the enemy that night. He had another month to live. It was he who came to Mrs. O'Sullivan to tell her that her son was dead...'

That Free State officer, and other sleveen's of his type, still reside in, and operate from, Leinster House, morally and physically. And republicans continue to operate outside that institution, parasite free.





'WOMEN AIDING WOMEN...'

From 'USI News' magazine, February 1989.

When acknowledged, it often gives rise to an 'us and them' mentality which can easily become crystalised along class lines. It is much more comfortable to think about domestic violence in terms of it 'never happening to me', If the people it 'happens' to are from very different backgrounds. But this requires a deeply held belief that the women it does 'happen' to somehow let/make it happen, that they are somehow at fault. They are, therefore, not to be trusted.

This conflict is, at its root, a class one, between women from vastly different backgrounds. The powerless women are those using the refuge - they are powerless in their lives and are further being denied power in the place that they have come to for refuge. It is a poor reflection on the 'Women's Movement', a movement based firmly in the middle class, that potential solidarity between women in a very basic struggle against male oppression is made impossible by an unwillingness to share/give away power.

(END of 'Women Aiding Women'. NEXT - 'Illegal Arms : In Bad Company', from 2002.)





ON THIS DATE (19TH FEBRUARY) IN 1919 AND 1921...

On the 19th February 1919 (101 years ago, on this date), British Army Private T. Kennedy died in Dublin from Bronchitis ; he was attached to the 'Royal' Welsh Fusiliers // Lance Corporal Herbert Richard Roper, 22 years of age, attached to the Norfolk Yeomanry, died in Ballinasloe from pneumonia // Lance Corporal Charles Matthews, 24 years of age, Northumberland Fusiliers, died in Belfast from pneumonia // Private John Daly, 42 years of age, from the 'Royal' Defence Corps, died at the Military Hospital in Athlone, from bronchitis, and a Sergeant Percy Dawson, 'Royal' Scots Regiment (service number 47225) died, aged 32, in Ireland, from influenza. We are not sure of how much trouble they caused in this country before they died.

On the 19th February 1921 (99 years ago, on this date) three British soldiers (privates) of the Oxford Regiment were found by IRA men, unarmed and wearing civilian clothes near Feakle, Co Clare. The soldiers said they were deserters but the IRA suspected they were spies, shot them and dumped their bodies near Woodford ; 'There had been a number of cases in the area of British soldiers posing as deserters to gather intelligence..' (from here.) 'On 22nd February 1921, during the War of Independence, the bodies of three British soldiers - Privates Williams, Walker and Morgan of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry - were discovered by a farmer on the Woodford to Cahir road near the shores of Lough Attorick at Poolagoond near the Clare – Galway county border. The three soldiers had been executed by the I.R.A.'s East Clare Brigade, each been shot in the head. One of them had a label hung around his neck which read "Spies. Tried by courtmartial and found guilty. All others beware..." (from here.)

It would have been best for those men had they, and their political leadership, not come to Ireland at all.





'IRA PRISONERS REMANDED : ELABORATE SECURITY PRECAUTIONS BY NORTHERN 'POLICE' '.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1954.

Mr. Roy, the court clerk, addressing Seán Hegarty, told him that he could be brought back in 14 days or, if he so wished, on the 2nd November ; eight days, as suggested, to which Seán replied - "Tomorrow week." The Magistrate then stated - "When he does not consent, there is no point in asking the other prisoners."

As the prisoners were led handcuffed into the two Black Marias, through an avenue of police guards, eight police vans were drawn up on the High Street, with three police tenders and four police radio cars. The streets were cordoned off as the prison vans and their escorting convoy moved off from the courthouse at 11.15am for the 70-mile journey back to Belfast. The convoy was headed by a police traffic radio car and a field radio car, then two Lancia cars with armed police, the two Black Maria prison vans, two more police vans, then two other police radio cars and two further police vans.

The police in towns through which the convoys passed were 'on guard' and police cars also patrolled road junctions leading into the provincial towns on the route and around Cookstown. A Royal Air Force spotter plane flew low over the countryside, reporting 'all clear', and the movement of traffic to the pilot radio car. Special security precautions were in operation also in Belfast in the vicinity of the jail.

It is possible that further hearings will take place in Belfast ; a senior police officer stated last night - "We do not wish to run any risk of losing these men."

(END of 'IRA Prisoners Remanded : Elaborate Security Precautions By Northern 'Police' '. NEXT - 'Greater Love', from the same source.)

Thanks for reading, Sharon.








Wednesday, February 05, 2020

'NEW OIL' IN A SEIZED 'ENGINE'.

ON THIS DATE (5TH FEBRUARY) 98 YEARS AGO : REBEL WOMEN SAY 'NO!'.

"As things developed in 1922, we could see that the Free State was toeing the line for Britain. Nearly all the girls stayed republican, but the men seemed to waver...we offer no apology to the rulers North or South of this partitioned land in asserting our rights as freeborn Irish women to repudiate that Treaty and the Imperial Parliament of partitioned Ulster. We fight for an Ireland where the exploitation of Irish workers by imported or native capitalists will be ruthlessly exterminated. (We will) put an end for all time to that state of chaos and social dis-order which is holding our people in unnatural bondage..." - Eithne Coyle, Cumann na mBan President.

On the 5th of April 1914, in Wynn's Hotel in Abbey Street, Dublin, the inaugural meeting of the newly-established 'Cumann na mBan' organisation took place, with Kathleen Lane-O'Kelley in the Chair. Its constitution made no secret of the fact that it was not opposed to the use of force to remove the British military and political presence from Ireland and the organisation also declared that its primary aim was to "advance the cause of Irish liberty (and) teach its members first aid, drill, signalling and rifle practice in order to aid the men of Ireland." It was the first female military force in Ireland.

In 1918, Westminster threatened to conscript Irishmen into its armed forces and the then four-year-old Cumann na mBan organisation campaigned to such an extent against that conscription that its ranks swelled and it found itself ideally placed to assist the then Sinn Féin organisation in its election campaign in December that same year. At this time, Cumann na mBan had approximately 600 active branches in the country, with the majority of its members aged from their late teens to their mid-30's, and all were active on the republican side during the War of Independence that followed, in which an estimated 10,000 women played an active part. In October 1921, the Cumann na mBan leadership recorded that it had at least 12,000 active members in 800 branches.

However, when the 'Treaty of Surrender' was signed in December 1921 (resulting in partition and the creation of two bastard States) the republican forces, including Cumann na mBan, effectively split into three groups - supporters of the Treaty, those who opposed it and those who withdrew in a neutral stance. A group of Treaty-supporting activists left Cumann na mBan and formed themselves into a new group, 'Cumann na Saoirse' and, five years later, when the Fianna Fail party was founded, more Cumann na mBan members left the organisation to join Eamon de Valera in his new party. Also, in the mid-1930's, yet another group from within Cumann na mBan left to form 'Mna na Poblachta' but the Cumann na mBan organisation itself stayed true to its republican principles in 1970 and again in 1986, when opportunists again left the Republican Movement to seek their political (and financial) fortunes in constitutional political assemblies.

Today, the Cumann na mBan organisation remains affiliated to the Republican Movement and can be contacted at 223 Parnell Street in Dublin and/or 229 Falls Road in Belfast. The email for getting in touch with the organisation is sfp1916@gmail.com.





PUTTING (ALLEGED) 'NEW OIL' INTO A SEIZED 'ENGINE'.

You would know not to do that, wouldn't you? If the engine is seized, then 'new' oil won't fix the problem, even though a shyster mechanic might tell you otherwise.

In this corrupt State, Leinster House is the 'engine' and all the candidates beseeching you for your vote in the 8th February 2020 'general election' are the self-declared 'new oil' that 'can fix the engine' and, with your vote, they will 'fix' that 'engine' - for themselves, that is, financially. One term in Leinster House is all they need to secure an income for themselves for life and/or to make business contacts which will ensure for them a paid position in either Brussels or on the Board of some NGO/Quango but the collapsing health service and housing situation etc in this State will continue in a downward spiral. The Leinster House institution is only fit for one purpose - the cutting of deals and throats ; the deals favour those inside that venue and the throats belong to those of us on the outside who, through our taxes (and votes), pay for the life of luxury enjoyed by those inside those gilded walls.

Compromise with George Carlin (pictured, above) - on the 8th of February next, claim your ballot paper and write 'NONE OF THE ABOVE' on it and place it in the ballot box. Don't fall for the slick words of a shyster mechanic.





ON THIS DATE (5TH FEBRUARY) 200 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF A 'UNITED IRISHMAN' FOUNDING FATHER.

"Nor one feeling of vengeance presume to defile

The cause, or the men, of the Emerald Isle..."


- the words of William Drennan (pictured), physician, poet, educationalist political radical and one of the founding fathers of the 'Society of United Irishmen', who was born on the 23rd May in 1754.

As well as his involvement with the 'United Irishmen', William Drennan will be forever associated with the descriptive term 'Emerald Isle' being used as a reference for Ireland, although he himself stated that that expression was first used in an anonymous 1795 song called 'Erin, to her own Tune'.

When he was 37 years of age, a group of socially-minded Protestants, Anglicans and Presbyterians held their first public meeting in Belfast and formed themselves as 'The Belfast Society of United Irishmen' (the organisation became a secret society three years later), electing Sam McTier as 'President', strengthing the link that William Drennan had forged with that revolutionary organisation - Sam McTier was married to Martha, who was a sister of William Drennan.

'..he was born on May 23, 1754, at the manse of the First Presbyterian Church, Rosemary Street, Belfast, where his father was minister. A doctor by profession, he became one of the pioneers of inoculation against smallpox. Drennan became one of the founder members of the United Irishmen, and upon moving to Dublin in 1789 was appointed its chairman...after he was tried and acquitted of sedition in 1794, he withdrew from the movement and emigrated to Scotland (but remained) committed to radical politics..he married Sarah Swanwick in 1800, and they had four sons and a daughter...' (from here.)

'When Erin first rose from the dark-swelling flood,

God blessed the green island, he saw it was good.

The Emerald of Europe, it sparkled and shone,

in the ring of this world, the most precious stone.

In her sun, in her soil, in her station thrice blest,

With her back towards Britain, her face to the West,

Erin stands proudly insular, on her steep shore,

And strikes her high harp 'mid the ocean's deep roar...'
(from here.)

William Drennan died on the 5th February 1820 - 200 years ago on this date - at 66 years of age, and is buried in Clifton Street Graveyard, Belfast. His coffin was carried by an equal number of Catholics and Protestants, and clergy from different denominations were in charge of the ceremony, as per his request.





'A SACRED TRUST...'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



In this period, coming up to Christmas, we especially appeal to you on behalf of An Cumann Cabhrach, to aid the prisoners' dependents. Christmas means so much to all of us in Christian Ireland, and our patriotism has always been so closely linked with our faith, let us not forget our boys in prison.

Send us a subscription, but do a little more ; get your friends to do likewise. If possible, form a small committee and write to An Runaidhe, An Cumann Cabhrach, and obtain collection cards. Small weekly subscriptions from many people will ensure the continuance of the fund, without throwing too great a strain on the pocket of any individual. God knows the demands on the pocket of the working man are manifold, but remember this - every penny you contribute is another blow at British domination in Ireland, and the results even in our own day may reach beyond our wildest dreams.

All subscriptions and communications to : An Runaide, An Cumann Cabhrach, c/o 94 Sean Treacy Street, Ath Cliath.

(END of 'A Sacred Trust' ; NEXT - 'IRA Criminal Conspiracy - A Conspirator Speaks And Is 'Boohed' ', from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (5TH FEBRUARY) 99 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF AN UNWITTING FEMME FATALE.

Kitty O'Shea (pictured), was born as Katharine Wood in 1846, on the 30th January ; she matured into an unwitting femme fatale, and is said to be practically solely responsible for 'the most notorious scandal of the late Victorian Age' - the downfall of Charles Stewart Parnell and the split which followed in the 'Home Rule Movement'.

'Kitty' was a name she would have hated, as it was slang for a woman of loose morals. In fact, she only loved two men in her life and married both of them, though the marriage to Charles Stewart Parnell was to prove tragically short-lived as he died in her arms after a few brief months of happiness. She was born Katharine Wood in 1845, and was known as Kate to her family. Her father was a baronet, a member of the British aristocracy and her brother a Field Marshall, although their grandfather had started life as an apprentice and was a self-made man.

The Woods were closely linked with the Gladstone family and Katharine often acted as a go-between with William Gladstone when Parnell was trying to persuade the British government to grant Ireland independence. She had married William O'Shea at the age of twenty-one, not long after the death of her father, and the marriage had produced a son and two daughters. O'Shea neglected his wife and pursued his own pleasures while she was often left to bring up the children alone, while also looking after her elderly aunt. She played the part of a dutiful wife, however, and hosted dinner parties to help her husband's career. Parnell, an important figure in Irish politics, was always invited, always accepted and yet never showed up.

Annoyed and perplexed by these apparent snubs she went to confront him in person at his office in Westminster in July 1880. The effect was immediate ; "This man is wonderful and different," she was to write later. Parnell was a bachelor who had once loved and been rejected, and never took an interest in women again until he met Katharine. It was a suicidal love as she was married to a fellow Irish MP and was a respectable wife and mother. The power of the attraction between the two, however, was impossible to resist and before long they were living together in her home in Eltham in the suburbs of London.

They had an illicit 'honeymoon' in Brighton and Katharine was to bear three children to Parnell while still married to O'Shea, the first of whom died soon after being born. It is even thought that she bore Parnell a son who could take his name after they finally married, although this child was stillborn. O'Shea knew of the relationship but turned a blind eye to it. Then the Aunt died and left Katharine a large inheritance and he decided to divorce his wife and shame Parnell publicly. The ensuing scandal ruined Parnell's career and his health.

His traditional supporters in Catholic Ireland turned away from him when they learned he had been living with a married woman even though he and his beloved Katharine became man and wife after they married at Steyning register office in Sussex, the county where they made their home. In an attempt to revive his flagging fortunes, Parnell went to Ireland and spoke at a public meeting in County Galway. He was caught in a thunderstorm and developed a chill from which he never recovered. Seriously ill, he returned to be with Katharine and died soon afterwards. They had been married for only four months.

It is estimated that half a million people lined the streets of Dublin to pay their respects to Parnell as his coffin was taken to Glasnevin cemetery to be buried near Daniel O'Connell. Later Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins were also laid to rest nearby. On the granite stone above his grave lies just one word – 'Parnell', enough to identify Ireland’s flawed hero whose dream of a free and united country at peace with Britain was destroyed by his love for a married woman.

And what happened to Kitty, as the world now knew her? It was all too much for her and she lived out her days quietly in Sussex. She never married or fell in love again but looked after her children and died at the age of seventy-five. When she was buried, only her immediate family came to the funeral and on her grave monument were the names of both her husbands with that of Parnell, the great love of her life, above that of O'Shea who gave her the name she is known by. There is no sign of 'Kitty', however. By the gravestone is a plaque placed by the Parnell Society with Parnell's promise to her: "I will give my life to Ireland, but to you I give my love..." (from here.)

Katharine Wood died on the 5th February 1921 - 99 years ago on this date - at 75 years of age, in Littlehampton in Sussex, England, and is buried there.





'WOMEN AIDING WOMEN...'

From 'USI News' magazine, February 1989.

The worker's joined a trade union several months ago in an effort to enter negotiations with management concerning the running of the refuge.

They have, to date, met with no cooperation from management on this front - they have had no response whatsoever from the committee to their strike action in support of Wenda Edwards, the sacked refuge co-ordinator. It appears that the major problem the management committee had with Wenda was her commitment to putting the interests of the residents of the refuge first. She refused to follow their lead in a number of cases - management wanted the number of times a woman could come back to the refuge limited ; they also wanted the number of women housed by the refuge to be held to a strict limit, and they didn't want the workers contributing to the 'Women And Poverty' tribunal on the grounds that poverty has nothing to do with domestic violence!

There were other indications of a conflict of interests - the refusal by management to take up the proposal from the workers that they each spend two hours per month in the refuge getting to know the conditions and needs of the women who use it, suggests a lack of interest on their part in the lives of the women coming to the refuge. The overall issue is about more than democracy. Perhaps the most fundamental issue at stake is that of power ; who has the power to run the refuge? Who should have that power? Should the women with direct experience of domestic violence be empowered to change their lives or should they have 'charity' dispensed to them?

The kind of life experience that can result in a woman (and her children) becoming a victim of battering and mental or physical mutilation by her 'life partner' is something which is not just alien to a lot of other women who have never had contact with such a person - it is something which a lot of women refuse to acknowledge for fear of admitting their own vulnerability... (MORE LATER.)





'IRA PRISONERS REMANDED : ELABORATE SECURITY PRECAUTIONS BY NORTHERN 'POLICE' '.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1954.

Elaborate security precautions were taken by 'the police' when eight men arrested after the raid on Omagh military depot appeared on remand at Omagh, yesterday, on a charge of attempting to murder Fusilier John Callaghan on October 25th (1954).

They were taken from Belfast Prison in two motorised convoys, at the head of which rode plain-clothes policemen on motorcycles, provided with wireless. At Omagh, 120 policemen, some armed with Sten guns, surrounded the Courthouse and all traffic was stopped and streets sealed off. Only reporters were allowed into the court. The republican prisoners were handcuffed in pairs, and they in turn were handcuffed to a policeman on either side.

The accused men are Thomas James Mitchell (29), Eamonn Boyce (29), Philip Clarke (21), Patrick Joseph Kearney (28), John McCabe (33), all from Dublin, and Seán O'Callaghan (21), Seán Hegarty (20) and Liam Mulcahy (22), from Cork. Seven of them were dressed in British Army fatigue uniform and wore brown gymnasium slippers. Eamonn Boyce wore a grey sports coat, brown flannels and a white shirt.

The court proceedings lasted six minutes - Head Constable McQuaid said that he had not completed his inquiries. The magistrate, Mr. W. McC. Miller, asked the accused men if they had any questions to put to the court and Patrick Joseph Kearney asked "Do we have to recognise the court to ask questions?" and Mr. Roy, the clerk, replied "I am afraid it would amount to that", to which the magistrate stated -"It is not a matter for me, but for yourselves."

When remand in custody for eight days was decided upon, the magistrate inquired if it could not be made longer than that and District Inspector O'Brien said that if the accused men agreed they could make it 14 days, but if it were not agreed then it must be eight days... (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DAY NEXT WEEK (WEDNESDAY 12TH FEBRUARY)...

Our graphic shows the Luas, pulling-up outside Wynn's Hotel in Mid-Abbey Street in Dublin, and yer man is happy 'cause he just won one of the eight prizes in the Cabhair raffle...!

..we should be just about finished our multitasking job - this coming Sunday (the 9th February) will find myself and the raffle team in our usual monthly venue on the Dublin/Kildare border, running a 650-ticket raffle for the Cabhair organisation : the work for this event began yesterday, Tuesday 4th February, when the five of us started to track down the ticket sellers and arrange for the delivery/collection of their ticket stubs, cash and unsold tickets (yeah, right!) and, even though the raffle itself is, as stated, to be held on Sunday 9th February, 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 Wednesday (12th) and it's looking like it will be between that date and the Wednesday following same (the 19th) before we get the time to put a post together but, if you're missing us that bad (!), then drop in and say 'Howya!' on Saturday, 15th February next, in Wynn's Hotel in Mid Abbey Street in Dublin, between 12 Noon and 4pm, for the 'Year Of Revolution' seminar. Sure we might even sell ya a raffle ticket for the March gig..!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.








Wednesday, January 29, 2020

'FOLIO 4782/9/76 LB' AND LOYALIST DEVIANTS IN IRELAND.

ON THIS DATE (29TH JANUARY) 226 YEARS AGO : UNSUNG HERO CHARGED WITH DISTRIBUTING "A SEDITIOUS PAPER".

Archibald Hamilton Rowan (pictured), a United Irishman, was 'tried' on a charge of distributing 'a seditious paper' ; on the 16th December, 1792, Rowan (and Napper Tandy, among others) were present at a political meeting/protest in Dublin at which pamphlets entitled 'Citizen Soldiers, To Arms!' were distributed (...but, incidentally, Rowan himself wasn't distributing them, nor was he the author of the pamphlet). Rowan was brought to 'trial' on the 29th January 1794 - 226 years ago, on this date - at the old Four Courts, near Christ Church, Dublin, for this 'offence' and was sentenced to be fined £500, imprisoned for two years, and to "find security for his good behaviour".

'Little about Archibald Hamilton Rowan's beginning in life suggested that he would become a leading political revolutionary...conceived in Killyleagh Castle in Co Down, he was born in 1751 and grew up in England surrounded by wealth and privilege...he lived a charmed and adventurous life, travelling in Europe and America, and lived for a time in France. He could be reckless at times, lost a lot of money at the gaming table, became involved in duels, and 'had scrapes with married women'. He came under the influence of the celebrated radical John Jebb, who held that no man should suffer persecution for his religious and political opinions and that the people have a right to resist tyrannical forms of government.

Rowan married Sarah Dawson in France in 1781, and thereby gained the lifelong love of a steadfast comrade. On his return to Ireland in 1784, he fought an unforgiving ruling class in the pursuit of justice for the poor. He championed the cause of Mary Neal, a child who was raped by the Earl of Carhampton, and denounced the military for the shooting dead of tradesmen in Dublin who were engaged in bull-baiting (...for which, in our opinion, the [British] military should have been commended, not condemned).

In 1794 Rowan landed on the French coast in the run-up to the naval slaughter that became known to history as the 'Glorious First of June'. Such was the tense disposition of the French forces at this time that he was immediately imprisoned as a suspected English spy. From his cell window he watched many men with their hands pinioned carted to the guillotine. At the height of the Terror he was fortunate to escape the guillotine himself. Within days of his release his boots were stained with the blood of revolutionaries guillotined by their erstwhile comrades.

Rowan was a founder of the United Irish Society, and was imprisoned, this time in Newgate Prison, in the Cornmarket area of Christ Church, in Dublin. When he was implicated in a plot initiated by the Committee of Public Safety in Paris to bring a French revolutionary army into Ireland, Rowan successfully escaped from the prison ('1169' comment - he paid a prison officer £100 to allow him out of prison to visit his wife (and sign some paperwork) in near-by Dominick Street and, on the 2nd May 1794, he escaped from custody by jumping out a back window of his house and then laid low for about three days in the Lusk area of Dublin). Had he not escaped he would almost certainly have been hanged. He sailed to Roscoff in a small fishing craft, enduring 11 years of hardship as a political exile in France, America and Germany. Fortunately for Rowan, his wife, Sarah, successfully secured his pardon, and he returned to Ireland in 1806. Without Sarah's tenacity, Rowan would almost certainly never have set foot in Ireland again...' (from here.)

He maintained his quest to free Ireland and continued his fight for justice for the working class but lost heart somewhat when his wife died, in her seventieth year, in late February 1834 ; they were married for 53 years, and were a 'team'. His sorrow was compounded in August that same year when his son, Gawin William, 51 years of age, died, and the poor man never recovered from the pain those deaths caused him : he died, aged 83, on the 1st November that same year, and was buried in the churchyard of St Mary's Church, on the corner of Mary Street and Jervis Street, in Dublin :

"My dear children,

Whilst (in residence) at Wilminoton on the Delaware, in the United States of North America, not expecting to return to Europe, and unwilling to solicit my family to rejoin me there, I was anxious to leave you some memorial of a parent whom in all probability you would never know personally. Under that impression I commenced the following details, uninteresting except to you, who have requested me to transcribe them, that each of you should have a copy.

It was not at that time, nor is it now my intention to vindicate the act which occasioned (my) then exiled situation ; though I felt a strong self-justification, in the consciousness that if I had erred, it had been in common with some of the most virtuous and patriotic characters then in Ireland..." (from here.)

One of our less-sung heroes, without a doubt.





'A SACRED TRUST...'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



What of their families and dependents? What is to become of them? What if it be our turn tomorrow?

There is only one answer to these questions, and it rests with you and I ; these people are a sacred trust to the Irish people, and a generous people will not be unmindful of the depth of the sacrifices being made for them. We are not appealing for aims, for it would be unworthy of those gallant men (...and women) that their dependents should have to beg their bread. It is a duty on each one of us to ensure that none of these are in want because the breadwinner is imprisoned by the foreigner.

As the struggle develops many more will be imprisoned or may fall in battle, and the strain on our resources will be heavy. But we must shoulder the burden if we are determined to carry the day. Money, unfortunately, is a dire necessity in the National Movement, as it is in every other undertaking. In time of war it is even more urgent ; money for guns and ammunition, money for food and clothing, money for publicity and administration, money for the alleviation of distress.

Yes, once again, we are appealing for funds, for ours is the Army of the Irish people, and must be sustained by them. Appeals were never made in vain in the past and we know that this appeal shall not be in vain... (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (29TH JANUARY) 38 YEARS AGO : LOYALIST DEVIANT SHOT DEAD IN BELFAST.

John Dunlop McKeague (pictured), who had been a prominent Loyalist activist, and an 'activist' in other areas, too, was shot dead by the 'Irish National Liberation Army' (INLA) in his shop on the Albertbridge Road, Belfast, on the 29th January, 1982 - 38 years ago on this date. That he survived as long as he did is testament to his colleagues in the War Office in Westminster, who only 'threw him to the wolves' when they feared he was about to do the same to them.

'Loyalists have harboured within their ranks some of the most notorious deviants in Northern Ireland's (sic) history. These include John McKeague, who led the Red Hand Commando terror group for a short time in the early Seventies. British military intelligence was aware of McKeague's taste for young boys and used it to blackmail him into becoming an informer...he was aware through his links with other loyalist paedophiles, particularly the Orangeman William McGrath, of the child abuse going on at Kincora's boys' home in east Belfast.

In 1982 McKeague was about to go public about the role of British intelligence in blackmailing paedophiles like McGrath, Kincora's housemaster, when he was shot dead by the INLA...when McGrath's regime of abuse became public, he was allowed to retire to the outskirts of loyalist east Belfast. None of the loyalist paramilitary groups took any action against him...' (from here.)

'In a British intelligence document called 'Folio 4782/9/76 LB', McKeague was supposedly the mastermind of the Protestant Unionist plot to launch a coup d'état in Northern Ireland (sic). A key aide of Paisley was being blackmailed over personal problems which caused him to be depressed causing his wife to have a nervous breakdown...using Paisley's aide there was active recruitment to a new loyalist paramilitary force among former members of the B Specials. Rather than being under DUP authority the group would be under the control of McKeague himself. The DUP aide met with the UDA who were also to take part in the coup and the meeting was tape recorded secretly so to blackmail the DUP if they contemplated pulling out. At the time Paisley and the DUP were organizing a strike with other unionists and loyalists under the 'United Unionist Action Council' umbrella.

McKeague was good friends with William McGrath who was a fellow rapist and sex abuser of young boys at Kincora. McGrath, a preacher who once accompanied Paisley to meet Chichester Clark in 1969 to form a 'People's Militia', was the founder of Tara, a bizarre group of British Israelites who recruited many young loyalists who believed in an Armageddon uprising by the Catholic population...' (from here.)

The Westminster 'establishment' and its political camp followers, including its 'royal family', in England and elsewhere, is overflowing with perverts and misfits who use insider knowledge against one another for political advantage ; in Ireland, and its other colonies, the British political 'top table' use such information to organise 'murder gangs' to carry-out politically-based killings. John McKeague, an evil individual, was 'encouraged' in that manner and was protected by Westminster until he became too hot to handle. His 'licence' was withdrawn on the 29th January, 1982 - 38 years ago, on this date.





'WOMEN AIDING WOMEN.'

From 'USI News' magazine, February 1989.

On January 25th last (1989), the workers in the Dublin Women's Refuge went on strike. Claire Casey looks at the reason why and the implications involved for all women :

At the time of going to press there is a very serious situation prevailing in a Dublin Women's Aid Refuge. The workers in the refuge served maximum strike notice on the management which expired without settlement on January 25th (1989) ; the workers are now on strike. 'Women's Aid' is an organisation which provides refuges all around the country for victims of domestic violence and their children. These refuges are run by women and are in very heavy demand and any disruption of the invaluable service they provide must be a grave cause for concern.

This is the type of issue that risks being oversimplified - there is a lot at stake and it is important to bring to light some of the facts of the situation. The immediate and glaring reason that the workers at the refuge have given for the strike is the dismissal of the refuge co-ordinator, Wenda Edwards, who has worked at the refuge for 14 years. Her co-workers believe her to be eminently competent in her job ; the management committee who fired her say that two former residents of the refuge had made complaints about her. This committee is made up of 9 women out of a maximum of 12, and it hasn't held an AGM of the organisation in over 20 months. It has blocked committee membership for two ex-residents of the refuge on the grounds that one woman would need good "social contacts" and the other would have to commit herself to raising £40,000 to £50,000 per year - this from a committee which does not raise any funds... (MORE LATER.)





'OMAGH'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1954.

Thou are not conquered yet, dear land, thou are not conquered yet ;

on this I stake my very soul,

on this my life I bet.

The sacred blood that flowed today

on Omagh's virgin plain

from Heaven fell to sanctify

the ancient cause again.




The British lion is rampant now

and loudly grow his roars,

while lurking 'mid the Ulster hills

he licks his latest sores ;

His savage claws are raised again

in wounded pride and hate,

and only streams of Irish blood

his hellish thirst can sate.




Oh Ireland, take them to your heart -

those men who love you best,

who've grappled with the Saxon crew

in freedom's endless quest ;

let traitorous knaves and cringing slaves

go whimpering on their way,

but let the free hail liberty - with them, the IRA.
(By M. Ó Cinnéide.)

(END of 'Omagh' : Next - 'IRA Prisoners Remanded. Elaborate Security Precautions By Northern 'Police' '. From the same source.)

Thanks for reading, Sharon.








Wednesday, January 22, 2020

THE 'MORAL COURAGE' OF A DE VICHY ADMINISTRATION.

ON THIS DATE (22ND JANUARY) 97 YEARS AGO : THREE REPUBLICAN PRISONERS EXECUTED BY THE FREE STATERS.

Three Anti-Treaty IRA Volunteers ('Irregulars', as the Staters called them), who had been captured by Free State forces on the 7th January, 1923, and 'found guilty' of having arms and ammunition in their possession "without proper authority", were executed on this date (22nd January) in 1923 - James Melia (pictured), aged 20, of 2 Bridge Street Dundalk, Thomas Lennon, aged 19, from Dowdallshill, Dundalk and Joseph Ferguson, aged 27, of Giles Quay, Bellurgan, Dundalk.

"Considerable moral courage, not to speak of physical courage, was required of anyone having anything to do with Sinn Féin and the IRA here...their task would have been more pleasant if it had to be carried out in the heart of England itself because treachery and the very bitter hatred that was part and parcel of the Irish loyalist would not be encountered, or at least would be expected and prepared for..." (from here.)

That the three young men mentioned above (and, indeed, tens of thousands of other men and women) were brave and had the moral courage to make a stand against both British and their proxy forces in the Free State is without question. Also without question is that those who sought to destroy the republican struggle and its (on-going) objectives had, and have, the 'moral courage' of a de Vichy administration.

'MacDonagh and MacBride

And Connolly and Pearse

Now and in time to be,

Wherever green is worn,

Are changed, changed utterly :

A terrible beauty is born...'


The struggle continues.







'A SACRED TRUST.'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



"The whole of this wooden building is reeking with plum-pudding. I hear a distant sound of loud applause and stamping of feet, reminding me of Conciliation Hall...I wish them all a merry Christmas, and many happy returns of the same. But I doubt if it will ever return to me. I am sitting all day, shrunk together in my cell, dismally ill, and wrapped in coats, like a man on the box-seat of a coach..." - it is a gloomy picture that John Mitchel paints of his first Christmas in an English prison.

To those of us who have not spent a Christmas in prison or, in fact, have never been in prison at all, it is hard to imagine the state of mind of those who must endure it. Particularly hard is it for those who have families and dependents, who face a cheerless Christmas bereft of their loved ones.

It is no new thing in Irish history for the men to be in prison, and this generation, and this year, are no exception but, despite cynicism and slave-mindedness, there are still men to be found who will sacrifice all - family, position and friends - to serve the ideal of 'Ireland a Nation'. Do not think that these men have not counted the cost, or have set out lightly on the hard road to freedom. Do not think that they are fools or fanatics, or both. They are ordinary men of all walks of life, who have put into practice the principles so many of us affirm... (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (22ND JANUARY) 48 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF A POACHER-TURNED-GAMEKEEPER.

"Garda Special Branch - Britain’s lackeys : Gombeen men lured down from the mountains of Kerry by the smell of fresh meat.." - so summarised Brendan Behan the men of Special Branch over 50 years ago. Some things have changed since then, they now have the odd female detective and on rare occasions you may even hear a Dublin accent from the men in the (Ford) Mondeo. To republican activists they are synonymous with harassment and thuggery..." (from here.)

Col. Eamon Broy, who died on Saturday at his home, Oaklands Drive, Rathgar, Dublin, aged 85, was a former Commissioner of the Garda Siochana. During the War of Independence he was one of Michael Collins’s three 'contacts' among the detective force in Dublin Castle and played a leading part in breaking the secret information system there. A native of Rathangan, Co. Kildare, he joined the old D.M.P. in his youth and was attached to G Division – the secret service arm of the British administration in Ireland. During this period he and his police colleague, David Neligan*, formed the heart of Collins’s intelligence service. Between 1917 and 1921 they fed him with vast amounts of highly classified information and warnings.

Col. Broy was arrested by the British in February, 1921, and imprisoned in Arbour Hill until the Truce. He was subsequently secretary of the then (Free State) Department of Civil Aviation and later adjutant of the first Irish Air Corps, with the rank of commandant. On his promotion to colonel he was made OC of the ground organization of the corps.

In 1922 he became secretary to the D.M.P. and on the formation of the Dublin Metropolitan Garda in 1925 he was appointed chief superintendent. In 1929 he was transferred to the Depot, Phoenix Park, as commandant. In February, 1933, he became chief of the Detective Division in succession to Col. David Neligan and inside a month was appointed Commissioner of the Garda Siochana to replace General Eoin O’Duffy who had been dismissed by the Government.

In the same year Col. Broy established a new force attached to the Special Branch, to deal with the situation arising from the refusal of some farmers to pay rates during the period of the Blueshirt movement. The members were drafted to parts of the country (sic) where the no-rates campaign was in progress. They escorted bailiffs on cattle seizures and were involved in many violent incidents...he retired in 1938...and died on the 22nd January, 1972, aged 85... (from here.)

(*David Neligan was another poacher-turned-gamekeeper ; he was a particularly vicious Free State operative who 'made his name' in the fight against republicans in Kerry during the Civil War. His overall intention was to wreak havoc on the Republican Movement and he had no hesitation in turning his weapon on those he had once fought alongside.)

We have wrote about those 'poachers-turned-gamekeepers' before - here, and here, for instance - and, in time, there will be many other opportunities (and requirements) for other writers to do the same.





'SIMON CALL FOR IMMEDIATE STATE ACTION ON HOMELESS CRISIS.'

From 'USI News' magazine, February 1989.

In its pre-budget submission launched in January 1989, the Simon Community demand that the issue of homelessness be treated as a political priority. At its press conference, Brian Harvey of 'Simon' described homelessness as one of the most avoidable social problems of modern times. However, because successive Irish governments (sic) have failed to adopt a practical approach to the issue, the problem has steadily worsened. Brian Harvey estimated the number of homeless people at between three to five thousand.

In their submission, 'Simon' have outlined a comprehensive programme of action for the homeless, including reinvestment in housing, a responsible level of social welfare payments, realistic help for voluntary organisations, adequate funding for community health services, an integrated system of housing benefit and the repeal of archaic discriminatory laws.

(END of 'Simon Call For Immediate State Action On Homeless Crisis' ; NEXT - 'Women Aiding Women', from the same source .)





'SEÁN TREACY LOOKED DOWN WITH PRIDE'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1954.

On Sunday, 17th October (1954), the 34th anniversary of Seán Treacy's death was commemorated at the cemetery in Kilfeackle, County Tipperary, in the presence of many of his old comrades. Comdt. Seán Treacy of the Third Tipperary Brigade led the first attack on the British forces in the 'Black and Tan War' at Soloheadbeg and, from then until his death in October 1920, his career was one of unceasing struggle against the enemy.

He had one purpose - to hit the invaders as hard and as often as possible, and he carried out that purpose relentlessly until his death in action alone against two lorry loads of British military and auxiliaries in Talbot Street in Dublin ; the street which is now well known by his name, in spite of some traders' opposition.

On the morning of the commemoration an even more fitting tribute was paid in his memory - this time in Omagh, County Tyrone. The raid on the British military barracks was an action after his own heart ; he would have delighted in it, would have exulted in the chance once again to hit and hit hard the enemy occupation forces still in our land. We may be sure that Seán Treacy's spirit looked down in pride and eager sympathy on the men who (after 30 years of futility) were once again getting down to the vital, fundamental issue - to get the invaders out, completely and as quickly as possible.

(END of 'Seán Treacy Looked Down With Pride' ; NEXT - 'OMAGH', by M. Ó Cinnéide, from the same source.)

Thanks for reading, Sharon.