Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A BRITISH 'LANDLORD' AND 'LAND AGENT' IN IRELAND IN THE 19TH CENTURY.

ON THIS DATE (19TH JUNE) 84 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF A SOCIALLY-CONSCIENCED JOURNALIST.

It says a lot about the state-of-play in this corrupt State when a journalist that does his/her job stands out from among a crowded workplace for simply doing their job ie informing the public of how the lie of the land is rather than putting an establishment-favoured spin on the truth, which is what most of her colleagues still do, as they are political activists masquerading as 'journalists'.

Although we here in '1169 Towers' had our differences with Mary Holland (pictured) in relation to her pro-abortion outlook (she had endured such a procedure herself), we couldn't fault her for the way in which she highlighted the effects of the unwanted (and on-going) British military and political presence in the North-East of this country.

Mary was born in Dover, in Kent, England, on the 19th June, 1935 - 84 years ago on this date - but was practically raised in Ireland, and was said to be an inquisitive child who not only asked 'why?', but 'why not?'. As a young adult, she worked for a while for 'Vogue' magazine, reporting on fashion trends, which brought her to the attention of 'The Observer' newspaper, which employed her (in 1964) and where her observations on the political situation in Ireland were published. Her Irish articles were considered to be 'hard hitting' by the political establishment in London, as she tended to stray from the 'British peacekeepers in Ireland'-type of printed commentary, which was prevalent among British and Irish journalists (/political activists) at the time (and, to a large extent, still is today).

In 1977, Conor Cruise O'Brien (pictured) was appointed editor-in-chief of 'The Observer' newspaper and his new position afforded him the opportunity to extend his anti-republican/pro-British political beliefs and to further integrate himself with those in Westminster that he admired - he sent a memo to Mary Holland stating "..it is a very serious weakness of your coverage of Irish affairs that you are a very poor judge of Irish Catholics..that gifted and talkative community includes some of the most expert conmen and conwomen in the world and I believe you have been conned.."

The writing was on the wall, Mary knew it and, true enough, she was sacked by O'Brien in 1979 : O'Brien claimed he was "personally ashamed" by the (truthful/accurate) articles that she was writing and he referenced one in particular - a piece in which she highlighted the issues and problems faced by women in the Six Counties when visiting loved ones in Long Kesh prison. But Mary wasn't out of work for long - she was almost immediately appointed as the Irish Editor of 'The New Statesman' magazine and assisted Vincent Browne in establishing 'Magill' magazine, was a columnist for 'The Irish Times' and returned to 'The Observer' newspaper after O'Brien left in 1981.

The following piece was written by Nell McCafferty and published in 'Magill' magazine in July, 1983 :

'In the North of Ireland, a dossier of irrefutable information was being painstakingly compiled by the 'Campaign for Social Justice', fore-runner of the Civil Rights Movement : it was just a matter of presenting it to the Wilson government in Westminster and getting them to move on it. But the British government did not want to know the facts - in 1967, a party of Stormont Nationalist MP's were received in Westminster by Roy Jenkins, then Chancellor of the British Exchequer. After they had presented their case and left, a horrified aide said to Roy Jenkins "something will have to be done." Jenkins replied that nothing would be done because any Englishman who set foot in Northern Ireland (sic) affairs would be setting a foot in his political grave.

Mary Holland, a journalist in 'The Observer ' newspaper at that time, heard the story from the aide after she had been persuaded by Gerry Fitt to break the 'paper wall' on the North that existed in the British media at the time ('1169' comment - hard to believe that a Conor-Cruise-O'Brien-wannabe like Fitt would be worried about something like that!). In the summer of 1968 she had been writing a series of articles entitled 'Them And Us', in which she detailed cases of discrimination against individuals : "A lot of it had to do with the difficulties experienced by black people, whose problems in England were then attracting a lot of attention. I got a phone call from Gerry Fitt, saying Catholics were undergoing the same discrimination in Northern Ireland (sic). It's a measure of our ignorance in England at that time that I asked him if he was sure he could prove his case. I'd had a lot of difficulty establishing actual discrimination against black people, given the subtleties of bureaucracy, and I was about to drop the series and accept promotion to a position as 'Arts Columnist' on the Observer."

Gerry Fitt was insistent and she agreed to meet him for lunch ; "I named a restaurant in Soho - Wheeler's - and then there was something about his accent and his way of talking that made me add by way of caution 'it's very fashionable and it only serves fish dinners.' "Ah Jaysus, Mary," he said, "I want a real dinner. We'll go to the Irish Club and eat meat." When she arrived there, Gerry Fitt ordered drinks and opened a suitcase of documents and cuttings from the Irish News newspaper, gospel of Belfast Catholics, and The Skibbereen Eagle newspaper, of everything Unionists had ever done anywhere in the North against the Nationalist population. He held her spellbound for several hours : "I couldn't believe it" she says, of the things she heard that afternoon. Fitt cajoled and charmed and bullied and lured her across the Irish Sea. Three days later, on Tuesday October 1st, 1968, the reluctant would-be arts columnist found herself in the Fitt home on the Antrim Road - "It was a complete culture shock. I sat in the room he uses as a clinic on the ground floor - the basement underneath was the kitchen where his family spent their time. He had a wife and five daughters. Everytime he wanted a cup of tea he'd stamp three times on the floor, and up from the basement beneath would come a woman with a tray. I sat there and listened to him and the stream of constituents who called into the room to see him. They were still calling well after midnight."

Next day she hired a car and drove him to Dungannon to see Austin Currie (pictured, on the left), Stormont Nationalist MP. Gerry Fitt (pictured, on the right) didn't know the way and it took them ages. His lifelong refusal to learn how to drive, which made him dependent on someone who could, and his ignorance of areas west of the Bann were to be major factors in his later political career. Paddy Kennedy ('Republican Labour Party') said - "When he first started operating out of Dock, the Falls Road was Outer Mongolia to him!" Politically, Dungannon must have seemed beyond Mongolia to Mary Holland. Austin Currie told her of the house allocated to the single unmarried female secretary of the local Unionist party branch, and the dozens of large Catholic families on the waiting list. Currie had squatted in the house in protest and the RUC had evicted him.

Gerry Fitt whirled her onto Derry that evening ; she was worried that they hadn't made appointments - "Ah, not at all," he said, "you just arrive in the City Hotel and it all happens." They arrived, she ordered tea and sandwiches, he went out into the street for a few minutes and returned with Eamonn McCann, Ivan Cooper, and the future Brigade Staff of the Official IRA, Provisional IRA and the INLA. On that night, though, they were no more than what they represented themselves to be - young militant civil rights activists. Ivan Cooper was the 'radical mascot', a Protestant who had defected from the Unionist Party. They were going to march in Derry that coming weekend.

Mary Holland flew back to England on Wednesday with her story, which she had titled 'John Bull's Political Slum'. It was scheduled as a major feature on the inside pages of 'The Observer' newspaper for Sunday 6th October, 1968. Gerry Fitt came on the phone again pleading with her to return to Derry for October 5th, "just to see, just to see..". Three Labour Party MP's had agreed to come - "Ah come on Mary, for Jaysus sake.." : 'The Observer' agreed, and sent over a photographer as well. He was the only photographer from a British newspaper. The picture he took of Gerry Fitt being batoned on the head by the RUC and the blood spurting down his shirt went all over the world, accompanied by RTE film. Was she frightened? - "I was outraged ; this was a part of Britain (sic) and the police were hitting a Westminster MP over the head.."

Mary Holland phoned the story in from a fish and chip shop in Duke Street, dictating amid the screams and shouting, and standing in a crush of bodies drenched with water from the RUC cannons and blood from their wounds. The proprietor of the fish and chip shop handed her his card, hoping for a mention - there was a sense that the North was about to attract journalists on expense accounts...' ('1169' comment - it is not only the journalists who are on expense accounts : some of the republican activists at that time are now in receipt of a regular stipend from Stormont/Westminster and/or Leinster House. And their tastes have evolved from fish and chips.)

Mary Holland, born on the 19th June, 1935 - 84 years ago on this date - died, from the tissue disease 'scleroderma', in her 69th year, on the 7th June, 2004.







'SINN FÉIN CANDIDATES'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.

Sinn Féin candidates for the Westminster elections have been chosen for ten of the twelve constituencies ; they are as follows -

Armagh - Tomas MacCurtain, Cork.

South Down - Kevin O' Rourke, Banbridge.

North Down - Joe Campbell, Newry.

North Antrim - John Dugan, Loughguile.

Mid Ulster - Tom Mitchel, Dublin.

Fermanagh/South Tyrone - Phil Clarke, Dublin.

West Belfast - Eamon Boyce, Dublin.

East Belfast - Liam Mulcahy, Cork.

North Belfast - Frank McGlade, Ardoyne.

South Belfast - Paddy Kearney, Dublin.

Candidates have yet to be selected for Derry and South Antrim constituencies.

(END of 'Sinn Féin Candidates'. Next - 'One Dance', 'A Generous Gesture', 'Prisoner Elected Vice-President Of NCAI' and 'Art for ? Sake', from the same source.)






ON THIS DATE (19TH JUNE) 122 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF AN INFAMOUS BRITISH 'LANDLORD'.

Caricature of Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott, as published in 1881 -

From 'Harpers Weekly', 1880 - 'At present the miserable constructions on Irish farms are a source of amazement to a visitor who knows that he is among a people that pretend to live by agriculture. In vain he looks for specimens of the quadrangle straw yard, with surrounding buildings, which distinguishes most English farms. Except on the few large holdings, there are no straw yards at all, and no farm premises beyond the small thatched houses or hovels which are here honoured with the designation of barns, cow-houses, and stables- usually joined on to the farmer's dwelling-house, with manure heaped just outside the doors.

The one or two cows and their calves on each holding are in the field all winter - a treatment which the mildness of the climate renders possible, though the loss in the milk producing capability of the country from this measure must be enormous. The calves are shut in at night and fed with hay, and they are not in first-class condition in the spring when sold as yearlings to the large grazing farmers. The occupiers could make good use of cattle sheds and food houses if they had them; in fact, improved husbandry in root-feeding and manure-making- the very basis of proper agriculture- is prevented by this pitiable absence of any reasonable description of farm buildings. It is a puzzle how the tenants on hundreds of farms manage to shelter their live stock, including the active well-fed ass which so commonly pulls their little cart to market with produce or turf for sale.'

Evictions (pictured) were common-place in Ireland then (and are still occurring in this Free State today) ; on the 21st October 1879, a meeting of concerned individuals was held in the Imperial Hotel in Castlebar, County Mayo, to discuss issues in relation to 'landlordism' and the manner in which that subject impacted on those who worked on small land holdings on which they paid 'rent', an issue which other groups, such as tenants' rights organisations and groups who, confined by a small membership, agitated on land issues in their own locality, had voiced concern about. Those present agreed to announce themselves as the 'Irish National Land League' (which, at its peak, had 200,000 active members) and Charles Stewart Parnell (who, at 33 years of age, had been an elected member of parliament for the previous four years) was elected president of the new group and Andrew Kettle, Michael Davitt, and Thomas Brennan were appointed as honorary secretaries.

As the then President of 'The Irish National Land League' (also known as 'The Land League of Ireland'), Parnell was advocating a different method other than 'violence', by which 'tenants' could strike-back ('1169' comment - It should be noted that the 'violence' referred to by Parnell was, in the opinion of this blog, used in self-defence, as is the 'violence' used today by the Irish in connection with that whole issue) ; at a meeting in Ennis, County Clare, in 1880, Charles Stewart Parnell stated - "Now what are you to do with a tenant who bids for a farm from which his neighbour has been evicted? Now I think I heard somebody say "Shoot him!", but I wish to point out a very much better way, a more Christian and more charitable way. You must show what you think of him on the roadside when you meet him, you must show him in the streets of the town, you must show him at the shop counter. Even in the house of worship, by leaving him severely alone, by putting him into a sort of moral 'Coventry', by isolating him from the rest of his kind as if he were a leper of old, you must show him your detestation of the crime he has committed... ". That became known as the 'Boycott Campaign', after the name of the first British 'Land Agent' (in County Mayo) against whom it was applied.

Charles Cunningham Boycott was born on the 12th March, 1832, in Burgh Saint Peter, in Norfolk, England and, as well as being a 'landlord' in Ireland - family money allowed him to hold a 31-year 'lease' on three-hundred acres near Lough Mask - he was employed as an English 'land agent' and operated in that position in the Mayo area, from his base in Loughmask House. A known gambler on the horses, he was also known to be vicious in his dealings, 'legally' and socially, with Irish 'tenants' on the land he managed for his English masters. Before taking up his 'land agent' work, he had been an officer in the British Army 39th Regiment, a position which brought him to Ireland to 'keep the peace/maintain law and order'. After retiring from his 'peace keeping duties' here in Ireland, this English 'landlord' also worked as a 'land agent' for 'Lord' Erne, a major 'landlord' in the Lough Mask area of County Mayo, who lived off the exorbitant rents he charged tenants. Boycott was kept busy, and all his actions consisted of the use of force, whether necessary or not, and resulted in bloodshed and homeless families. The 'Boycott Campaign' hit him hard, so much so that he complained to the then 'Times newspaper' about "...people collecting in crowds upon my farm and ordering off all my workmen. The shopkeepers have been warned to stop all supplies to my house. My farm is public property, I can get no workmen to do anything, and my ruin is openly avowed as the object of the Land League unless I throw up everything and leave the country.."

And leave the country he did, eventually (under an armed military escort, in an ambulance, supplied to him by the English political administration, for his own safety), as a result of his own vicious actions against 'the natives' in Ireland ; a shaken man, he went on a holiday to America and then returned to England, where he was employed as a 'land agent' in Suffolk for Hugh Adair. Charles Cunningham Boycott, a piece of English vermin, died, aged 65, in Flixton, Suffolk, in England, on the 19th June, 1897 - 122 years ago on this date.





ANNUAL WOLFE TONE COMMEMORATION : SUNDAY, 23RD JUNE 2019, SALLINS, COUNTY KILDARE.

A bus for this commemoration, which is organised each year by the Republican Movement, will leave from outside the old McBirneys/Virgin Megastore site on Dublin's Aston Quay at 12.45PM on the day : the Commemoration itself starts at 2.30PM. The same bus will leave Bodenstown at 5.45PM that afternoon on its return to Dublin city centre. The fare is ten Euro per person.

For information on the death of Wolfe Tone, scroll through this piece (article starts on March 9th on that page) : "To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never-failing source of all our political evils and to assert the independence of my country - these were my objectives. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter - these were my means..." - Theobald Wolfe Tone.





ON THIS DATE (19TH JUNE) 221 YEARS AGO : "THIS IS THE HEAD OF WATTY GRAHAM, THE CRATHUR.."

Watty Graham (pictured), and his father, James (from Glenwherry, in County Antrim) were both supportive of, and active in, the 1798 Rising against British political and military interference in Ireland and both were 'wanted for questioning' by British forces in Ireland ; James managed to escape to America but Watty wouldn't travel with him, as he was owed a large sum of money, which he knew would be needed for their new life in America - 'An award of five hundred pounds was put on the head of Watty Graham for information relating to his capture. When he became aware of this he set off to try and get to America leaving the Crewe and his father, mother, wife and two children. He made out for Magilligan intending to cross to Moville where a passage had been arranged for him. On his way he stopped at a house of people named McKenna where he was given food.

The soldiers were hot on his trail and when they did not get answers to their satisfaction they burned the house to the ground...Walter Graham continued his journey and again stopped at the Rectory of (Tamlaght) Magilligan with the intention of collecting four hundred pounds of a debt owed to him by a Reverend Church. This man, 'Church', once came from the Maghera area and was inclined to be a tout for the soldiers. Mr. Church saw a way to get out of his obligation to Watty Graham and also enrich his own purse. He told Watty he had to go to Maghera to collect some money he was owed. So off he went, gloating about the reward he could get...' (from here.)

As happened before and after in situations like this, the tout 'done the dirt' ; Watty Graham was 'arrested' by the British and he was hanged, on the 19th June, 1798 - 221 years ago on this date - in Coleraine, from a tree which stood beside the gate of the local rectory, then he was beheaded. After the deed was done, a servant from the rectory was forced to parade through the streets of Maghera, displaying the severed head on the end of a pike -

'Each community remembered the particular horrors of the executions in its own locality. In Maghera, County Derry, local tradition recalled the beheading of Walter (Watty) Graham : When Graham’s body was removed from the tree, a Roman Catholic named Cassidy was ordered to strike off the head of the corpse and carry it on a pike through the town proclaiming to all that ‘This is the head of Watty Graham, the traitor’. Cassidy, an orphan, had been reared with the Grahams and when the halberd was placed in his hand he fainted, on which one of the soldiers served the head. When Cassidy recovered he was compelled to carry a pike with the gruesome burden, but the proclamation that he tearfully made through the empty street was 'This is the head of Watty Graham, the crathur..' Graham was beheaded on the threshold of the ruins of the old Abbey Church and a mark was until recently shown on the wall where the soldiers played ball with his bleeding head...' (from here.)

Watty Graham was originally buried in Culnady, a small village near the town of Maghera, but his remains were later moved by his comrades and re-buried in St Lurach's graveyard, in Maghera. Incidentally, the tree from which Watty was hanged was brought down in a storm in 1945 ; the British political and military presence 'still stands', and touts still exist...





ONE IN FOUR ON LOW PAY.

Colm Keena reports on a new survey on low pay and talks to workers caught in the trap.

By Colm Keena.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 1987.

Martina and Edel are in their late teens, working in a clothing factory in Dublin. They are both seamstresses with 'Shamrock Apparel', a Hong Kong-owned company based in Coolock, North Dublin, which set up here in 1985 with the support of £7.5 million in IDA grants. Young, female and working in the clothing industry, theirs is the classical profile of the low paid worker in the Irish economy.

But a survey of low pay commissioned by the 'Irish Congress of Trade Unions' and due to be published later this month, concludes that 23 per cent - or nearly one quarter of the workplace - can be considered as low paid. 'Shamrock Apparel' is not the 'typical' small sweatshop of the traditional 'rag trade' ; it is a new enterprise, employing 600 people, and exporting its products.

Martina and Edel are given a job to do, perhaps to sew in pockets or waistbands, and have to complete a certain number of such jobs per day or risk being suspended or fired. The factory produces skirts, trousers, shirts and jumpers, but they do not know what the brand names are, as they rarely see the finished products - "They don't let you talk, if they see you talking they tell you to stop. The place is stuffy, dusty, and there are no windows. They can sack you if you are not doing your quota of work, or if you do something wrong, like not tie up your bundle, when the bell goes at five." Martina, who has been with the company for two years, is paid £75 per week for her forty hours work but, after deductions, she gets "about £60". Edel receives £67 per week, or, again, "about £60", after deductions. Edel has been with the company for one year... (MORE LATER.)








'POLAND AND OURSELVES'...

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

Space will not permit a description of the activities of the Polish Underground ; their story, like that of the IRA, is an epic in the struggles of small nations against the forces of tyranny. For those who are interested, this story is told by the commander of the underground, Colonel Bor Komorowski, in his book 'The Secret Army'.

While they were unfortunate in the outcome, during the struggle itself they were constantly supplied with up-to-date equipment and munitions from the armouries of their allies. We in Ireland have always had to rely on our own resources.

Just as the Civil War in Ireland bereft us of our most loyal leaders, and completely disrupted the National Movement, the Polish Underground lost most of her most energetic fighters when they came out of hiding to assist the advancing Russian Army and were arrested by the Russian secret police. But now we see that fresh leaders have come to the fore and the struggle is being resumed against present occupation forces. Although the strategic position is entirely different in Ireland, we may gain courage from the story of the achievements of those heroic men and women and nerve ourselves for the resumption of the struggle against our own traditional enemy.

We should not forget that the zeal and patriotism of those men and women is due to the motivating power of their native language and traditions, which influences each new generation, and imbues it with a love of liberty which death and dungeon cannot destroy. (END of 'Poland and Ourselves' ; next - 'The Old Story', from the same source.)


Thanks for reading, Sharon.








Wednesday, June 05, 2019

POLITICALLY HOSTILE NEIGHBOURS AND LOST FREEDOMS.

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

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

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

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

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









'GLASGOW SINN FÉIN'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.

Sinn Féin Connolly Cumann, 150 Gorbalo Street, Glasgow.

The juvenile dancing competitions organised by the Cumann have been a tremendous success. The young competitors from all parts of the city maintained a high standard throughout the competitions and the thanks of the committee are extended to all those who participated in these competitions, also to all those who gave their services as adjudicators.

A successful concert was held in aid of the republican prisoners and the cumann are making a new drive for the 'Republican Prisoners Association', the results of which will be published in our next edition. An open meeting was held on the afternoon of November 28th and a 'Manchester Martyrs' commemoration was held in the hall at 8pm. We wish to extend a hand of welcome to the new cumann in Dundee - good luck to you in the East!

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

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


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








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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





PATRICK COSGRAVE...

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

By David Thorpe.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 2002.

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

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

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

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










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

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

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

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





'POLAND AND OURSELVES'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

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

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

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








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

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

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

Thanks for reading, Sharon.








Wednesday, May 29, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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







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

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.

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

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

Sinn Féin Public Meeting in Waterford - Arrangements are being made to hold a public meeting in Broad Street, Waterford City, at 8.30pm on Saturday night, 11th December 1954. Speakers from Cork City will address the meeting and the Cork Volunteers Band will attend.

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










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

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

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

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

"Dear Christ! the very prison walls

Suddenly seemed to reel,

And the sky above my head became

Like a casque of scorching steel ;

And, though I was a soul in pain,

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

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





PATRICK COSGRAVE...

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

By David Thorpe.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 2002.

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

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

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








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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

Michael Davitt was born into poverty in Straide, Mayo, on the 25th of March, 1846 - at the time of the forced hunger/attempted genocide known as 'An Gorta Mór' - was the second of five children, and was only four years of age when his family were evicted from their home over rent owed and his father, Martin, was left with no choice but to travel to England to look for a job.

Martin's wife, Sabina, and their five children, were given temporary accommodation by the local priest in Straide. The family were eventually reunited, in England, where young Michael attended school for a few years. His family were struggling, financially, so he obtained work, aged 9, as a labourer (he told his boss he was 13 years old and got the job - working from 6am to 6pm, with a ninty-minute break and a wage of 2s.6d a week) but within weeks he had secured a 'better' job, operating a spinning machine but, at only 11 years of age, his right arm got entangled in the machinery and had to be amputated.

There was no compensation offered, and no more work, either, for a one-armed machine operator, but he eventually managed to get a job helping the local postmaster. He was sixteen years young at that time, and was curious about his Irish roots and wanted to know more - he learned all he could about Irish history and, at 19 years young, joined the Fenian movement in England. Two years afterwards he became the organising secretary for northern England and Scotland for that organisation and, at 25 years of age, he was arrested in Paddington Station in London after the British had uncovered an IRB operation to import arms. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, on a 'hard labour' ticket, and served seven years in Dartmoor Prison in horrific conditions before being released in 1877, at the age of 31, on December 19th.

Almost immediately, he took on the position as a member of the Supreme Council of the IRB and returned to Ireland in January 1878, to a hero's welcome. At the Castlebar meeting he spoke about the need "...to bring out a reduction of rack-rents..to facilitate the obtaining of the ownership of the soil by the occupiers...the object of the League can be best attained by promoting organisation among the tenant-farmers ; by defending those who may be threatened with eviction for refusing to pay unjust rents ; by facilitating the working of the Bright clauses of the Irish Land Act during the winter ; and by obtaining such reforms in the laws relating to land as will enable every tenant to become owner of his holding by paying a fair rent for a limited number of years..."

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

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







'IRELAND NOT DISCUSSED IN WASHINGTON'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

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

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

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

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

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


Thanks for reading, Sharon.








Wednesday, May 22, 2019

NAMING THE LOSERS IN ELECTIONS NOT YET HELD.

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

..YOU!

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

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

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

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







'CORK CEREMONY'...

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.

The speaker, Michael McCarthy, from Cumann Tomas MacCurtain, paid a moving tribute to the three men who died in Manchester, the 'Manchester Martyrs', and to all who followed in their footsteps down to the present day. He appealed for recruits for the Republican Movement, saying that there is only one way to drive the British troops out of Ireland and that was with rifles and Thompson guns. It is to be hoped that many other places in which commemorations in honour of the 'Manchester Martyrs' - Allen, Larkin and O'Brien - were held annually in the past will follow the example of the people of East Cork and revive those parades. Ladybridge, last Sunday, demonstrated, if demonstration be needed, that republican Ireland is on the march - our latest 'felons' have not sacrificed their liberty in vain.

The annual commemoration in honour of 'the Martyrs', under the auspices of the 'Cork City Manchester Martyrs Commemoration Committee' - representative of all republican organisations - was held at 12 noon on Sunday 12th November. In the morning the wreaths were laid on the grave of Brian Dillon at Rathcooney Cemetery, on the Republican Plot in St. Finbarr's Cemetery and at St. Joseph's Cemetery.

Padraig Cullinane, who spoke of the martyrdom of Allen, Larkin and O'Brien, asked those present to come into the Republican Movement to complete the task of freeing our country. A film was made of the ceremonies, and also of the Ladybridge Commemoration, which will shortly be shown in the Thomas Ashe Memorial Hall. Seamus Farrell, from the Commemoration Committee, and Michael McCarthy, were also on the platform.

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





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

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

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

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

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







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

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

DEAR SIR,

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

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

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

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

I remain, dear Sir,

Very respectfully and sincerely yours,

MICHAEL DOHENY.

New York, Sept. 20, 1849.


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

'I’ve tracked for thee the mountain side,

And slept within the brake,

More lonely than the swan that glides,

O’er Lua’s fairy lake...'


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

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

'What fate is thine, unhappy Isle,

When even the trusted few

Would pay thee back with hate and guile,

When most they should be true!

’Twas not my strength or spirit quailed,

Or those who’d die for thee -

Who loved thee truly have not failed,

A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!






PATRICK COSGRAVE...

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

By David Thorpe.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 2002.

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

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

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







'THEIR ONE QUEEN'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

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

'One Queen, I own, and one alone

commands my meek obedience ;

No sovereign named by human law,

from her, draws my allegiance.




For her I live,

for her I strive,

and shall, 'till my life is ended.

And with my latest parting breath

her name it will be blended - 'Cathleen',

your dear name will be blended.




I love God's peace upon our hills

and fain would not destroy it ;

I love sweet life in this fair world,

and long would I enjoy it.




But when my Sovereign needs my life

that day I'll cease to crave it,

and bear a breast for foeman's steel,

and show a soul to brave it - Cathleen,

for your sweet sake to brave it.




O, glorious death on battle plain,

our foeman oft has battled ;

And proudest lovers of Cathleen

have Holy made the scaffold ;

not mine to choose, nor mine to care -

the Cause the manner hallows -

I'll court the steel or kiss the cord,

on green hillside or gallows.

Cathleen,

for you I'll woo the gallows.




My life is then my Queen's to leave,

to order or to ask it ;

This good right arm to fend or strike,

this brain is hers to task it.

This hand that waits, this heart that beats,

are hers when she shall need 'em -

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


Cathleen :

Oh, sound the call to freedom.'

( Written by Seamus MacManus [Seumas MacManus?] )

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

Thanks for reading, Sharon.