Wednesday, June 06, 2018

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN AN ENGLISH AWARD-WINNING SINGER AND AN IRISH 'DISSIDENT' SHOT DEAD BY A BRITISH SOLDIER.

ON THIS DATE (6TH JUNE) 97 YEARS AGO : "I ORGANISED AN AMBUSH OF EIGHT RIC MEN.."

Broad Street, Waterford (pictured) - the scene of the delivery point for a strong message from the IRA to Westminster :

"On 6th June, 1921, I organised an ambush of eight R.I.C. men in Broad Street, Waterford, the ambush to take place about 8pm when the patrol of the R.I.C. men used usually pass down by the Cathedral, Broad Street, from their Barracks at Lady Lane, Waterford.

I had assembled about seven men all armed with revolvers in J.K. Walsh's public house nearby. The names of some of the men were Jim Conway, Phil Sheehy, Willie Nugent, Jack Ivory and Stephen Ambrose. Just as the patrol of R.I.C. men were due to put in an appearance the operation was called off by Vice-Brigadier William Keane who informed us (as far as I can recollect) that there was a meeting of I.R.A. G.H.Q. officers being held in Waterford that night and that our proposed ambush might result in the capture of these officers, as the British would be certain to carry out intensive searches following the attack on the R.I.C. patrol. I am not quite certain now, but I think that Vice-Brigadier Keane was subsequently reprimanded for his action on that occasion by Brigadier Paddy Paul who was very anxious that there should be more activity by the I.R.A. in the City at that time..."

- a statement given in 1955 by IRA Captain Daniel Ennis (aka 'Dan Power'), a Wexford man, 'A' Company, 4th Battalion, East Waterford Brigade. Later that same month (June 1921), Captain Ennis and two other IRA men were instructed to shoot an RIC Sergeant named O'Grady, who had done some "dirty work" and marked himself out as more of a target than he otherwise might have been. O'Grady lived in William Street, in Waterford, near to a public park, which was where the IRA men laid in wait for him, with a scout on the road outside - for three consecutive nights. But the RIC man never showed himself and, on sensing that all was not as it should have been, an IRA inquiry came to the conclusion that one of their own men, who was 'stepping out' with one of O'Grady's daughters, had told her of the plan and she, in turn, had warned her father.

That IRA man was court-martialled and advised to leave the area, which he did. More here but not, alas, in relation to the RIC man or if the romance between his daughter and the IRA man ever bore fruit, poisonous as it would have been.





''SINN FÉIN IS EVERYTHING ITS NAME IMPLIES - GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE....!'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, October 1954.

FREE STATEISM.

An Irish-American who had taken an active part in the War of Independence and had been a consistent worker for the Movement in the United States, after a few months holiday here during which he had travelled extensively all over the country, gave as his view of the present situation in the country : "The national spirit is almost dead, dead, especially in the South. It is not so bad, though it is weak enough, in the North. But the South is very bad.

And in my opinion, the reason is that it has been deliberately killed, stifled, by the politicians. When the Free State was first accepted it was a very bad blow, but those in control then had to force it down the people's throats. A worse blow came when the Fianna Fáil party decided to accept the Free State and to persuade or force others to do likewise. Recently the Clann na Poblachta Party, former republicans, have gone the same way. Each in their turn, while keeping up the outward pose of republicanism, have done their utmost to undermine and destroy the national movement. Had they openly declared themselves Free Staters they would have been more honest and entitled maybe to some little respect.

As it is they are a much greater danger to the cause of Irish unity and independence than ever Basil Brooke and the Orange junta could be." (Next - 'NOTE WELL WHAT MR. E. KELLY SAID IN 1916', from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (6TH JUNE) 97 YEARS AGO - "I SAW HIM FALL, SHOT DEAD, THROUGH THE BACK..."

"On the 6th June, 1921, we heard that a cycling column of soldiers had come in to Stradbally and it was decided to ambush the column at a place called Kilminion, about three miles west of Stradbally on the main Dungarvan road. Thomas Keating of Comeragh, a brother of Pat Keating previously mentioned by me, was in charge of the ambushing party, which numbered about thirty men. The British column was about the same in number.

Before the ambush came off I protested against it being held as our men were very badly armed, having only a few rusty old rifles and some shotgun with very little ammunition. I myself had a shotgun and five rounds of buckshot. We lay in ambush for a few hours on either side of the main Dungarvan road at Kilminion, when word reached us from scouts that the British were taking the coast road, via Ballyvoile, back to Dungarvan. We hurriedly made across country and had just reached Ballyvoile when I heard shots and saw some of our lads running to take up their positions.

I then saw two soldiers going quickly up the road towards where our men were. (They had seen one of our chaps crossing the road and that's how they knew we were there).The two soldiers I have referred to fired on Jack Cummins of Ballyvoile as he was climbing over a wire fence on the railway embankment. I saw Cummins fall. He was shot dead, through the back. I fired on these soldiers, forcing them to take cover..." - the words of Michael Cummins (no relation to Jack), Adjutant Stradbally Company, IRA Fourth Battalion, West Waterford Brigade.

The 'dungarvanmuseum.org' website (not available, at the time of writing) has the following descriptive passage on its website, in connection with the death of Jack 'John' Cummins - 'Ballyvoile (6th June 1921). On the 6th June 1921, a military cycling column of about 30 men were ambushed at Ballyvoile. Tom Keating of Comeragh, a brother of Pat's who was killed at the Burgery was in charge of the ambushing party. It was first decided that the enemy should be attacked at Kilminion, near Stradbally, where the County Council quarry now operates. They lay in waiting for a time, but then received word that the British were returning by the lower Coast Road. The Volunteer party hurriedly made their way across country and had just reached Ballyvoile, when a volley of shots rang out. Evidently the (British) military had seen them moving into position. Two of the soldiers moved into higher ground and opened fire again, and this time, Jack Cummins of Stradbally was shot just as he was getting over a barbed wire fence. The Volunteers returned the fire forcing the (British) military to take cover.The fight lasted about half an hour and then the Volunteers had to withdraw due to lack of ammunition. A plaque to the memory of Jack Cummins can be seen at Ballyvoile..'

Jack 'John' Cummins was only 23 years of age when a British soldier from the 'Kent Regiment' '(known as 'The Buffs') shot him in the back, on Irish soil, on the 6th June 1921 - 97 years ago on this date. A song about the Ballyvoile Ambush, written by Jack Daly, the grandfather of English singer Kate Bush, can be heard here. Kate's mother, Hannah, was born just across the valley from this location and her grandfather wrote many local songs.

IRA Volunteer Jack Cummins now sleeps 'Among Angels'. Rest in Peace.







APPEAL TO THE PRODIGAL...

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

The sacrifice? Yes, many a sacrifice must be made : you may lose a war pension, you may lose your job. You may be a member of an ex-servicemen's club where they will jeer or assault you. You may even have to forfeit your life.

You will be doing your duty and all you will receive in return is honour. Is it worth it? I am addressing only you who have doubts, and you who perhaps have had no doubts but are sincere of nature, and I know your reply - "Honour and duty are worth any sacrifice." Then is it not honourable to strive for the freedom of your country, is it not your duty to do so?

In all sincerity you may disagree with me. However, you will agree that it would be impossible to treat this subject fully in a short article, therefore let me reiterate - study what has happened and what is happening to your country. Be fair in your judgement and act accordingly. If you have been or are a British serviceman, please read these few lines again. They have been written by a man who, like you, served, fought and was prepared to die for England.

(NEXT - 'News, Comments etc', from the same source.)






VIEW FROM THE HILLTOP CAFE...

A cafe at Drumcree and the insights it offers into the Orangemen who frequent it. Carl Whyte paid a visit. From 'Magill' magazine, July 2002.

Arlene and May operate the cafe seven nights a week. Inside, there are about ten people, all members of the Orange Order or from families with Orange links, and all are in an angry mood - "We're going to get down this year and if we don't there'll be trouble." Sam, a farmer from nearby Dungannon, is mellow in his opinions. He can't understand why those who don't like the parade couldn't just close their curtains and turn their backs while the parade took place - "It's only a ten-minute church parade. Why can't they just let it pass? But what about the anti-Catholic songs often belted out by Orange bands? "Oh no," came the reply, "they only play hymn tunes on a Sunday. They (the objectors) shouldn't be offended with what they play on other days. It's only natural that other songs are played.."

A young girl, no more than 16, expounds the faults of the Good Friday Agreement ; referring to it as 'the Belfast Agreement', she claims that "..it showed that terrorism paid." She can't understand why Catholics are anti-Protestant and anti-British and also why they vote for Sinn Féin... (MORE LATER).






HOW TO BE IN THREE PLACES AT THE ONE TIME...

Over the next few days, we're gonna have to figure out how we can make three of ourselves - we have this here wee corner of the blogosphere to get ready for next Wednesday, 13th June 2018, we have a 650-ticket fundraising raffle for the Cabhair organisation to get ready and then to 'present' it on the 10th June and we would love to be able to attend the annual Bodenstown Commemoration, also on Sunday 10th June. But something's gotta give, as we obviously can't attend to all three events and, after an emergency meeting here in '1169 Towers', we decided to concentrate our efforts on the Cabhair raffle, our decision having been arrived at with no consideration at all given to the fact that that event is held in a nice, bright and warm indoors location with a (free for us!) restaurant and a bar within easy reach.

For now it's looking like it'll be Wednesday 20th June before we 'put pen to paper' here again, with an even longer absence to come in the near future : myself and the four girlfriends have been besieged by requests/demands to get ourselves back to New York to meet up with the gang that we haven't seen since 2016 - and a couple of weeks ago, we all five of us finally got our act together (...only been working on it since August 2016!), and we're a-headin' State Side in a few weeks time for one month. Only! And had we not got jobs, kids (and grandkids!), partners etc etc, we would have taken up all the offers we got and stayed for two months. And that's something we seriously intend to work on.

But anyway - our next post here should be on Wednesday 20th June 2018. If New York doesn't intrude too much between now and then, that is...!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.





Wednesday, May 30, 2018

'FAKE NEWS' FROM AN IRISH BATTLEFIELD, 220 YEARS AGO.

ON THIS DATE (30TH MAY) 220 YEARS AGO : "INSURGENTS TAKE POSSESSION...".

"Nothing can exceed the melancholy aspect of this place. The insurgents in our neighbouring county of Wexford are so numerous as to have taken possession of and destroyed the town of Enniscorthy not a house remaining ; men, women, and children murdered and burnt, particularly the clergy. A gentleman has informed me that he saw the bodies of Mr. Hayden, a clergyman past eighty years of age, and of Mr. Nun, a very respectable rector, lying unburied in the street, the day after their entrance, with 400 more dead bodies. Some detachments sent from hence have been defeated : from one under the command of General Faucett, they took two fieldpieces.

The rebels amount to 15 or 16,000 ; march in a disciplined manner, have a squadron of cavalry, and fire their cannon with precision. These circumstances I give on the authority of officers who have been beaten back*. Every tide brings us in boats full of wounded and fugitives. Yesterday the rebels were in possession of Wexford ; thus a port is open to the French, but it is a very bad harbour. At New Ross, ten miles from hence, about 1000 troops and some artillery are got together : the insurgents are around Wexford, about twenty-eight miles from thence. As yet, from the spirit of the principal inhabitants and clergy uniting to guard it, this city has not risen..." - a letter written by a Doctor Christopher Butson, the 'Dean of Waterford', on the 31st May 1798. While 'the rebels' had indeed taken over, the "not a house remaining ; men, women and children murdered.." etc (information supplied to the good 'Dean' by British officers) would today be dismissed as ('Kitsonian') 'fake news', as it should be.





''SINN FÉIN IS EVERYTHING ITS NAME IMPLIES - GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE....!'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, October 1954.

FIANNA NOTES.

Would all Company OC's please take note that we have moved into a new GHQ : our new address is 45 Upper Mount Street, Dublin.

CORK : The Department of AG received a letter from Mill Street, Cork, previous to our removal from Blessington Street. The letter, which contained a stamp for reply, was mislaid during our removal to the new GHQ - would the person please write again as soon as possible.

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE : All Companies who have not forwarded their annual affiliation fee of 10/- send the said amount on as soon as possible. This applies to Companies who have a membership of 12 scouts or over. (Next - 'FREE STATEISM', from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (30TH MAY) 211 YEARS AGO : 'FIGHTING' FOR ELECTION!

'Irish elections can be boisterous and violent affairs but none more so than the Co.Wexford election to the British House of Commons in 1807, just a few years after the Act of Union...two of the candidates, William Congreve Alcock and John Colclough, fight a duel in front of the county sheriff, 16 magistrates and a large crowd of spectators. Alcock shoots Colclough dead ; he is elected ; he is also tried and acquitted for killing Colclough, but his mind is badly affected ; two years later, he will be confined in an asylum for the insane.

Among the contestants..were two local grandees, William Congreve Alcock and John Colclough. Colclough's brother, who gloried in the traditional Irish monicker of 'Caesar', had been the local MP but was a prisoner of war in France. The Colclough's, who were generally popular landlords, had lived at Tintern Abbey, a former monastery, since the mid-16th century.

The election campaign was a bitter one, polling was due to take place on 1 June but with just two days to go Alcock took exception to what he alleged was an attempt by Colclough to steal the support of tenants obligated to vote for him in what was, by today’s standards, a slightly democratic election. In what appears like a piece of egregious over-reaction, he challenged Colclough to a duel and in the encounter that followed Alcock shot his political opponent dead. As the MP for Athlone, George Tierney observed tartly, "that’s one way of getting an election". As duelling was still socially acceptable in early 19th century Ireland, Alcock was acquitted of murder and allowed to take his seat in the House of Commons. But he was not to continue in office for long – two years after the duel he was committed to an asylum. The Irish judge and memoirist, Jonah Barrington wrote of Alcock that "..alas! The acquitted duellist suffered more in mind than his victim had done in body. The horror of the scene, and the solemnity of the trial, combined to make a fatal inroad on his reason! He became melancholy ; his understanding declined ; a dark gloom enveloped his entire intellect ; and an excellent young man and perfect gentleman at length sank into irrecoverable imbecility."

But there is an interesting postscript to this sad tale. Not all those affected by the duel came out of it badly : Colclough's estate at Tintern Abbey was managed by his steward, one James Kennedy. Because of the absence of Caesar Colclough in France Kennedy continued to run the estate until his Caesar’s return in 1815. During that period something of the order of £80,000 disappeared. Nobody could pin it directly on the steward but in 1818 Kennedy was dismissed at the behest of Caesar Colclough’s wife, Jane Stratford Kirwan. The money remains unaccounted for. There are, however, persistent rumours that at least some of it may have been used a generation later to fund the migration to the USA of the Kennedy family in the 1840s, and perhaps even to set up the Boston saloon that became the basis of the family fortune. A descendant of James Kennedy, by the name of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, went on to become President of the United States of American in 1961. Was the Kennedy fortune based on the tragic outcome of a tragic confrontation between two Irish aristocrats..?' (from here.)

Whatever about the alleged/possible(probable?) Kennedy connection regarding the missing £80,000 (or part thereof)- highly unlikely, we believe, as professional, career politicians would run a mile from tainted money of that sort (!!) - the 'tenants (being) obligated' to vote for their 'landlords' is a position that, mentally and morally, still exists in this warped State : the 'landlord' ie the 'distinguished' [temporary] occupant of the 'Big House' accepts it as a given, morally, that 'his tenants' (constituents) will vote him/her back in for another term in office while the voter/tenant/serf accepts it as a given that he/she is 'obligated' to vote for someone from the 'Big House'. And that's 'progress', Irish style.





APPEAL TO THE PRODIGAL..."

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

Do not be afraid of knowledge. Do not be indifferent to it. If you are sincere, if you have doubts about the righteousness of your stand, read the history of Ireland. Above all, learn the truth of what has happened in recent years and what is happening in Ireland - in your land, today. Read republican literature constantly, until you can say that you have honestly sought the facts. Then drown your pride and let truth come to the surface, and shine the light of your new-found knowledge on your former course. You will see that you have been going astray.

You know the art of war, you are experienced and you are no coward. You have been brave for England. I ask you to consider if it was for love of her? Do you not love Ireland, has she no claim to your allegiance? Will you not offer your experience and determination to your country? Surely you can see that your motherland has a mother's right to claim your aid - to ask you to be brave for her. You gained knowledge of tremendous importance when you helped the occupation forces. Now you can use that knowledge to drive those forces out of your country. (MORE LATER).






ON THIS DATE (30TH MAY) 112 YEARS AGO : 'FATHER OF THE IRISH LAND LEAGUE' DIES.

Michael Davitt was born on the 25th March, 1846, in Straide, County Mayo, at the height of An Gorta Mór ('the Great Hunger') and the poverty of those times affected the Davitt family - he 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 work.

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.

He returned to Ireland and was seen as a hero by his own people, and travelled extensively in his native Connaught, observing how, in his absence, nothing had improved for the working class. He realised that if the power of the tenant farmers could be organised, it would be possible to bring about the improvements that were badly needed, and he arranged a convention in August of 1879 ; the result was a body called the 'National Land League of Mayo'. Thus began the land agitation movement. 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. That leadership had 'form' in that each had made a name for themselves as campaigners on social issues of the day and were, as such, 'known' to the British authorities - Davitt was a known member of the Supreme Council of the IRB and spoke publicly 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.."

Davitt realised that the 'Land League'would be well advised to seek support from outside of Ireland and, under the slogan 'The Land for the People', he toured America, being introduced in his activities there by John Devoy and, although he did not have official support from the Fenian leadership (some of whom were neutral towards him while others were suspicious and/or hostile of and to him) he obtained constant media attention and secured good support for the objectives of the organisation.

He died before he could accomplish all he wanted to, at 60 years of age, in Elphis Hospital in Dublin, on the 30th of May 1906 - 112 years ago on this date - 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. The 'Father of the Irish Land League' was gone, but will not be forgotten.





VIEW FROM THE HILLTOP CAFE.

A cafe at Drumcree and the insights it offers into the Orangemen who frequent it. Carl Whyte paid a visit. From 'Magill' magazine, July 2002.

Drumcree Hill, on the outskirts of Portadown. The theatre for some of the worst civil disturbances witnessed in the recent history of the six counties. Traditionally, the Church of Ireland at Drumcree has invited the local Orange Order to hold a service in the church on the Sunday before the 12th of July, a service which has been the catalyst for widespread disorder.

Since 1998, the 'Parades Commission' has refused permission for the Orangemen to return to Portadown via the Garvaghy Road after the service. Orangemen gathered in their thousands in 1998 but despite the fact that authorities had previously banned parades and then permitted their passage, that particular year no such permission was given. The 'District Grand Master', Harold Gracey, swore that he would stay at the hill until the parade was allowed to march.

Four years later (ie 2002) the Orangemen still maintain a presence at the hill. Evolving from a caravan and car boots, there now exists a small cafe with the motto ' Here we stand, we can do no other' emblazoned across the front. Windowless, it offers the traditional Ulster soda bread and bacon with tea to any visitors. Mid-evening on a June Friday, it is a bustling place ; suitably decked out with bunting ("for the Jubilee", as everyone is keen to point out), the interior is an oasis of that uniquely loyalist brand of 'Britishness', with in-your-face union flags, portraits of 'Her Majesty' and that other colossus of Northern Protestantism, "Our own Dr. Paisley"... (MORE LATER).
Thanks for reading, Sharon.





Wednesday, May 23, 2018

THE IRA FOUND A NOTEBOOK IN THE SPY'S POCKET...

ON THIS DATE (23RD MAY) 264 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF A 'UNITED IRISHMEN' FOUNDING FATHER.

"Nor one feeling of vengeance presume to defile

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


- the words of William Drennan, 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, 264 years ago on this date.

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.)

William Drennan died on the 5th February 1820, at 66 years of age, and is buried in Clifton Street Graveyard, Belfast.





''SINN FÉIN IS EVERYTHING ITS NAME IMPLIES - GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE....!'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, October 1954.

PEARSE AS OUR GUIDE.

Sinn Féin will undo the conquest in all its phases, and build a united and prosperous Ireland on solid foundations and, in pursuing the material welfare of our people, we will be mindful of the words of Pádraig Pearse : "Do the millions that make up the population of modern nations, the millions that toil and sweat from year's end to year's end in the factories and mines of England, the Continent, the United States, live the life intended for man?

What are the hero-memories of the past to them? Are they one whit better because great men have lived and wrought and died? Were the destiny of the Gael no higher than theirs, better for him would it have been had he disappeared from the earth centuries ago!"

(Next - 'FIANNA NOTES', from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (23RD MAY) 97 YEARS AGO : DISAPPEARANCE OF A BRITISH 'RFAIO' IN IRELAND.

'A British Army Officer (2nd Lt Seymour Livingston Vincent) disappeared, presumed killed, in Co Cork. Casualty of the Great War, Captain Vincent served with the Army Educational Corps- he "disappeared at Fermoy",while working for the Intelligence services*, presumed abducted and murdered (sic) by the IRA- body exhumed 1926...originally of the 1/13th London Regiment (Kensingtons) (he) was evacuated from Le Havre on 5th July 1916 suffering from shell shock and shrapnel wounds to the right foot and left arm. He returned to France in May 1917 and served in Salonika with the 82nd Company, Machine Gun Corps. He was was born in 1890 and lived in Loughton, Essex. He was seconded to the 168th Machine Gun Company on 16th March 1916. He died in strange circumstances in May 1921. He had been transferred to the 2nd Brigade, RFA, in December 1920 and had been serving at Fermoy in County Cork. He had applied for a transfer to the Army Educational Corps, before the war he was a teacher, and had then asked to resign his commission. He then disappeared without trace on 23rd May 1921 (97 years ago on this date). It was not until an anonymous letter was sent to the British Government in June 1924 containing details of the burial of a British officer in Lenihans Bog, Glenville, Co. Cork, that further investigations took place.

At the time of his disappearance, the Colonel commanding the 16th Infantry Brigade based at Fermoy basically accused Vincent of lying about his intentions of going on leave but, within a week, another report, regretting several errors in the first, was issued, which noted that Vincent had appeared somewhat disorientated before going on (approved) leave. It went on to report that five days after he left, three members of the 2nd Brigade of the IRA raided Fermoy Station and, breaking into the office there, had stolen various items from Vincents luggage, including a service revolver. Although the Royal Irish Constabulary were informed nothing was ever discovered about his whereabouts. It is thought that he, and possibly another man, were murdered (sic) by the IRA and buried at Lenihans Bog. Vincents body was later re-interred in Glenville Church of Ireland, Glenville, Co. Cork...' (from here.)

*The IRA found a notebook in Royal Field Artillery Intelligent Officer Vincent's pocket in which he had listed the contact details of locals that were opposed to the struggle for independence - he was gathering intelligence on where 'friendly houses' were located and probably attempting to convince the local 'friendlies' to forward any information in connection with the 'dissidents' on to him. As a teacher by profession, his was a lesson hard learned.





"TO EVERY GENERATION ITS DEED..."

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

SINN FÉIN NOTES.

APPEAL TO THE PRODIGAL.

Are you an Irishman who has served or who is now serving with the British forces? It is unlikely that you are, but it's possible - if so, bear with me a moment.

There are men doing wrong who know what they do yet continue to do it. There are others doing wrong who tend towards regret but allow pride to restrain them. There is a third group who are upright, guiltless men and, though they be doing wrong, they sincerely believe they are right - indeed, they are often convinced that their actions are not only just, but noble.

It is to you men of the latter two groups that I am writing. I put it to you that it is not right that an Irishman should join the British forces, whether he serves in China, Africa or Ulster - he is supporting the British occupation of his country. It is a self-evident truth that directly or indirectly he is killing his fellow countrymen. This is fact - face it, for there is no way around it... (MORE LATER).






A BLANK CHEQUE FROM THE TAXPAYER TO THESE POLITICAL TIME-SERVERS...

..and if you feel that that's in your best interest, then vote 'Yes' for it on the 25th May next. Leo and Co. will have moved on to the EU Parliament or some-such cushy and over-paid 'job' by the time you realise that your 'Yes' vote will have helped to secure such a 'promotion' for the career politicians in this State who will do whatever it takes to secure their own financial future, even at the expense of future generations. If, on the other hand, you 'cherish all the children of the nation equally' then vote 'NO' - show them that some children should not be cherished more than others. Your children will thank you for it in later years. Literally.





GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.

By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

DID WE WIN?

Somewhere from the bowels of the canteen a crazed scream went up - "You Sticky bastards, ye's are all WASTERS!" The debate stopped abruptly, such was the violent tone of the scream - the 'screamer', Owen, a volunteer from the Falls Road, was asked what his problem was. "What's my problem?? Are you deaf or what? Did you not hear them Sticks getting into us?"

"What Sticks, Owen?" 'Lightning' Barnes inquired, They're our ones pretending to be the Republican Clubs and the SDLP," he said, pointing out that if you have a line you can sometimes catch people with it. "But you can't seriously hope to shoot down their argument just by calling them names. You have to make a better argument. Hopefully, the next time we have this debate the 'Shinners' will make a better argument."

Owen was still shaking with rage when he was led away by his comrades. An hour later, I'm glad to say, the arguments of the 'Republican Clubs' and the 'SDLP' were dismantled by the main body of the 'audience', to my personal satisfaction. We went in to see if Owen had cooled down and when we got to where he was sitting,the first thing he asked was 'did we win?' "It's not over yet," came the reply...

(END of 'GROWING UP IN LONG KESH' : Next - 'VIEW FROM THE HILLTOP CAFE', from 'Magill' magazine, July 2002.)


Thanks for reading, Sharon.





Wednesday, May 09, 2018

AN ALIEN GOVERNMENT TO BE OVERTHROWN.

ON THIS DATE (9TH MAY) 190 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF AN IRISH REVOLUTIONARY, NOVELIST, POET AND JOURNALIST.

Charles Joseph Kickham (pictured), an Irish revolutionary and a leadership figure in the Irish Republican Brotherhood, was born on this date - 9th May - in 1828, 190 years ago. He was born in a Tipperary town called Mullinahone into a Fenian family - his father, John, was in the clothing business and was a well known, and well respected Irish patriot, and his mother, Anne, came from the O'Mahony stock.

He had shown interest in a medical career but, when he was only 13 years of age, an accident with damp gunpowder (it exploded when he was trying to dry it out) left his hearing in a poor condition and almost rendered him blind, weaknesses that he carried with him for the rest of his life but, although injured, he maintained his interest in politics and, at just 20 years young, took part in the 'Young Irelanders' Rising, following which he was forced to go 'on the run'.

At about 22 years of age, he began contributing poems and opinion pieces to 'The Nation' newspaper and it was through journalism that he became friends with John O'Leary who, in 1863, at the age of 33, was appointed editor of the newly-established Fenian weekly newspaper 'The Irish People', with Thomas Clarke Luby and Charles J.Kickham as his co-editors and chief contributors (Kickham also wrote poems and ballads for other Irish national periodicals, such as 'The Irishman', 'The Celt' and 'The Shamrock', sometimes using the pseudonym 'Momonia'), and it was through his writings that he became associated with John Daly, who had joined the IRB at the age of 18 (in 1863) - John and his brother Ned led the Limerick city company of the IRB in the raid on Kilmallock RIC Barracks, during the Fenian Rising in March 1867, in one of the few actions which took place outside Dublin. He was a prominent member of the reorganised Fenian Movement and, following the collapse of the 1867 Rising, he went to the United States where he played an active role in the IRB. During the Land War of 1879-'82, he returned to Ireland as a member of the Supreme Council of the IRB and took on the role as Organiser for Connacht and Ulster.

Charles Joseph Kickham was one of the Irish representatives at the 'Chicago Convention' in 1863 and is on record for declaring that the IRB would take action against the British forces when the time was right for them to do so and, In 1865, when 'The Irish People' newspaper was suppressed himself, O'Leary, Luby and dozens of other prominent members of the Fenian movement were arrested after being named to the English forces by the informer Pierce Nagle. It was in that same year - 1865 (on the 11th November) - at only 37 years of age, that he was found guilty of 'treason' and sentenced to fourteen years penal servitude in Pentonville Prison but was released early, in 1869, under partial amnesty, because of his bad health, which also forced him to curtail his activities somewhat, allowing him to concentrate on his writings : his better-known pieces include 'Knocknagow', 'The Irish Peasant Girl' and, of course, 'Slievenamon' -

'I grieve my saying that that day's slaying

should have gone on, Gaels in their hundreds dead,

because the stranger is making game of us

saying pikes for them hold fear nor dread.




Our major came not in time of day break

we weren't prepared with our pikes as one,

but as wild sheep nearing a shepherd shearing

on the sunny side slopes of Sliab na mBan.'


The years between his late forties and his early fifties were not easy for him, health-wise or financially, but his comrades rallied to his aid as best they could and, in 1878, presented him with the proceeds of a collection they had organised on his behalf : the IRB was known then to be about 35,000 members strong, and each contributed whatever they could afford. He was at that stage mostly confined to bed and/or indoors and, at only 52 years of age, in 1880, he was unfortunate to be knocked off his feet and ran over in College Green, in Dublin, by a jaunting car, breaking a leg in the process.

At 54 years of age he had a stroke and died within days, on the 22nd August 1882. About ten thousand mourners accompanied his coffin to 'Kingsbridge Station' (now Heuston Station) in Dublin and he was buried, on Monday 28th August 1882, in his own parish, Mullinahone, in Tipperary, without any input from local church figures - he was a devout Catholic but the church hierarchy had instructed that he should be ostracised by them unless he renounced the Fenians. He refused, declaring - "Nothing would please us better than to keep clear of the vexed question of priests in politics if we could do so without injury to the cause which we were endeavouring to serve. But the question was forced upon us. We saw clearly that the people should be taught to distinguish between the priest as a minister of religion and the priest as a politician before they could be got to advance one step on the road to independence.."

His funeral was attended by, among many others, John Ryan (London), John Torley (Scotland), Dr Mark Ryan (one of the Connacht representatives), Robert Johnson (Belfast), John Dillon, Tim Healy and Tom Sexton. The oration was given by John Daly, from Limerick, who finished with the statement - "Surely in some distant time when Irishmen visit the shrines of their illustrious dead this lonely Tipperary grave will not be forgotten, for here reposes in death Ireland's purest, bravest and best loved son..."

"Concessions to Ireland have always been the result of Fenianism in some shape or other. The English Government, however, while making concessions, always expected to get something in return. Not only have they stipulated upon getting prompt payment indeed, but they also contrive to get a large instalment in advance. English rule in Ireland is on its trial. The Government admit the existence of a widespread conspiracy, both in Ireland and America. This only shows that the treatment of Ireland by England has been judged and condemned. I regard alien government of this kind as a thing to be overthrown by the methods everywhere recognised as the most efficacious for such a holy purpose. This is my vindication, my justification for the attitude I have taken..." - Charles Joseph Kickham, 9th May 1828 – 22nd August 1882.









''SINN FÉIN IS EVERYTHING ITS NAME IMPLIES - GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE....!'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, October 1954.

UNDOING THE CONQUEST.

Finally, we could sum-up all the work of Sinn Féin in the words 'the undoing of the conquest' - this of course includes the restoration of our native language to its proper place in the daily life of the people, and its use in all public and legislative institutions.

Concomitant of Gaelic games and pastimes which the British have always been at pains to crush, from the time of the Statutes of Kilkenny onwards. Sinn Féin in general will foster all Gaelic activities which will serve to preserve our national individuality and act as a bulwark against evil British influences which seek to undermine and destroy the Irish nation. (Next - 'PEARSE AS OUR GUIDE', from the same source.)







ON THIS DATE (9TH MAY) 102 YEARS AGO : 1916 LEADER EXECUTED BY WESTMINSTER.

"If the Germans landed in Ireland, taking it by force of arms, they would have just as much right to it as England...fight for Ireland and be buried in consecrated ground, not dying like those in France, to be thrown into a *bode.." - Thomas Kent, 2nd January 1916. (* 'borehole/hole in the ground')

Thomas Kent was born on the 29th August, 1865, in Bawnard House, Castlelyons, in Cork, the fourth of seven sons and two daughters, for David and Mary Kent. The Kent family had a long tradition of fighting against social and political injustices : 'His family were squeezed off their land by the British Crown's incremental rate increases. Thomas Kent left for Boston in the United States, but returned to Ireland several years later, owing to illness. Himself and his three brothers became radicalised, and were often jailed for their political activities, chiefly their support for the Land League and their membership of the Irish Volunteers. When the Easter Rising kicked off in April 1916, Thomas Kent, then 50 years of age, and his brothers, obeyed Eoin MacNeill's countermanding order and stayed home, Kent having planned to head to Dublin to fight. In a swoop for known republican sympathisers, however, the RIC made a dawn raid on the Kent family home in Castlelyons.

The Kents resisted arrest and had a shoot-out with the RIC, which lasted four hours. The RIC's head constable was killed, his face blown off, before the Kents surrendered. When they arrested Kent..he was paraded through the town of Fermoy a bit like Jesus Christ. His hands were tied and he had no shoes — he wasn't allowed wear any boots. He was humiliated...his mother was 89 and she was cooling down the guns and supplying her sons with ammunition during the raid. (The RIC) humiliated her as well. She was too old to walk so they put her on a cart with her dying son, the youngest son, Richard. He suffered from his nerves, as they said in those days. He had mental issues...he was terrified when he was arrested and he ran away and was shot in the back. He was dying. He died about a day later from his wounds...' (from here.)

Thomas and his brother, William, were charged by the British with 'armed rebellion' - the brother was acquitted, but Thomas was found guilty and sentenced to death. Another brother, David, was 'found guilty' of the same charge and received a death sentence, but this was commuted to five years penal servitude. On the 9th May 1916 - 102 years ago on this date - Thomas Kent was put to death by firing squad and his body was placed in a hole in the ground of Cork Prison, where he lay for 99 years : in 2015, the Free State administration, still attempting to associate themselves with those who fought against British rule, shamefully re-buried that Irish republican in a televised display of pomp and ceremony and it and the 'establishment' it spawned practically crawled over themselves to be seen to be associated with such a man.

After their taxpayer-funded meal and drinks, they reverted to condemning those who continue to fight for the freedom of this country. Disgusting.



"TO EVERY GENERATION ITS DEED..."

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

SINN FÉIN NOTES.

THE FELONS OF OUR LAND.

Cathal Goulding, Dublin (Stafford) - 8 years' penal servitude.

Séan Stephenson, London (Wormwood Scrubs) - 8 years' penal servitude.

Manus Canning, Derry (Wormwood Scrubs) - 8 years' penal servitude.

Joseph Campbell, Newry (Crumlin Road) - 5 years' penal servitude.

Leo McCormack, Dublin (Crumlin Road) - 4 years' penal servitude.

JP McCallum, Liverpool (Stafford) - 6 years' penal servitude.

Kevin O' Rourke, Banbridge (Crumlin Road) - 5 years' penal servitude.

Eamon Boyce, Dublin (Crumlin Road) - 12 years' penal servitude.


Philip Clarke, Dublin (Crumlin Road) - 10 years' penal servitude.

Paddy Kearney, Dublin (Crumlin Road) - 10 years' penal servitude.

Tom Mitchell, Dublin (Crumlin Road) - 10 years' penal servitude.

John McCabe, Dublin (Crumlin Road) - 10 years' penal servitude.

Séan O' Callaghan, Cork (Crumlin Road) - 10 years' penal servitude.

Séan Hegarty, Cork (Crumlin Road) - 10 years' penal servitude.

Liam Mulcahy, Cork (Crumlin Road) - 10 years' penal servitude.

Hugh Brady, Lurgan (Crumlin Road) - 3 years' penal servitude.


"I pray that our comrades in the Irish Republican Army will have the strength and courage to carry on until such times as the last British soldier is driven from the shores of Ireland. Long live the Republic!" - Tom Mitchell. (Next - 'APPEAL TO THE PRODIGAL', from the same source).








GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.

By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

DID WE WIN?

At the height of this dialectic, diarrhoeic diatribe, passions were rising amongst the chic, closet Marxists in our midst, instantly recognisable because of their habit of carrying a copy of Che Guevara's book, sticking out of the back pocket of their jeans, which was always a dead giveaway.

I could've sworn I heard the collective whisper going up from them in the cage canteen - 'we want tractor factories' (for everyone, of course). However - they were swept away on a river of endorphin-induced emotions and one hundred CC's of 'big words' and rhetoric. The greatest challenge faced amongst the 'Trendy Left' at that time was how to get the word 'anti-disestablishment-tarianism' into a sentence, any sentence. That was no mean feat, but was usually achieved with ease by any determined 'lefty'. Such are the vagaries of youth!

The 'Republican Clubs' then launched an attack on nationalism, specifically Irish nationalism. They held nothing back and, of course, their argument (which created more heat than light) ended in semantics and deteriorated into a tirade of abuse against anything nationalist and the Republican Movement in particular... (MORE LATER).






ON THIS DATE (9TH MAY) 79 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF THE STANDARD INCORRIGIBLE FREE STATER.

Happy Birthday, Pee! (pictured, with his daughter, Bev) - 79 today, and probably still able to get around to all of your houses, meaning - lucky you - that each set of housekeepers and staff will throw a birthday party for you. But no doubt you'll quickly forget it ever happened : 'Mr Flynn told the tribunal he was not aware his wife had opened a bogus off-shore account with the Gilmartin money and when he learned of it, he asked her to close it. He could not explain how his signature appeared on the documentation, giving a false London address. Similarly, he could not remember being given a cash withdrawal of £25,000 by his daughter, or what he had done with the money. Details of his wife's venture into farming and forestry were equally unclear...' (from here.)

What is 'clear', however, is that Bev's 'venture' will ensure that her dad can have a holiday each year, even if he's spent more than we can afford on housekeepers, staff and houses (!) - the lady owns a chipper in Marbella , which enables her to top-up her tan whilst checking the accounts of her customers, some of whom may not realise that, on 'leaving' Leinster House, she received a top-up to help her on her way : a lump-sum payment of €186,000, hardly enough, these days, to put fish and chips on the table. But not to worry : 'Class Act' Bev also receives a weekly State pension, courtesy of her services to those that had elected her to Leinster House, of €697 a week, every week, for the rest of her life. Birthdays included. Which must feel like every day.





ON THIS DAY NEXT WEEK (WEDNESDAY 16TH MAY 2018)...

..we should be just about finished our multitasking job - this Sunday coming (the 13th May) will find me and the raffle team in our usual monthly venue on the Dublin/Kildare border, running a 650-ticket raffle for the Dublin Executive of RSF : the work for this event began yesterday, Tuesday 8th May, 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 13th May, 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 (16th) and it's looking like it will be between that date and the Wednesday following same before we get the time to put a post together. But check back here anyway - sure you never know what might catch our fancy between this and then, time permitting...! And here's another republican event which occurred on the 13th May - 99 years ago, on that date. Check back with us on Wednesday, 23rd May next, and maybe even between this and then!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.





Wednesday, May 02, 2018

"GREEN BLACK AND TAN MURDERERS".

ON THIS DATE (2ND MAY) 224 YEARS AGO : PRISON ESCAPE BY AN IRISH REPUBLICAN, WHO LIVED FOR HIS COUNTRY, AND DIED FOR HIS FAMILY.

'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 my 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 (pictured, 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 - 224 years ago on this date - 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.





''SINN FÉIN IS EVERYTHING ITS NAME IMPLIES - GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE....!'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, October 1954.

PASSIVE RESISTANCE.

The role of a civil organisation like Sinn Féin in time of war is a most important one. Again we have the lessons of the past to guide us. Sinn Féin provided the means of organising the whole civillan population against the outrageous decrees of the British military government.

We have the classic example of how the Castle banned all assemblies for Gaelic games and how, through its vast organisation of over 1,600 cumainn, Sinn Féin could arrange that at a certain hour on a certain day there would be a hurling or football match in almost every parish and townland in Ireland - the matches were played and the Castle was vanquished!

The potential value of such an organisation in promoting civil disobedience is enormous, and for final victory the people must ignore the foreign institutions and support the native ones. (Next - 'UNDOING THE CONQUEST', from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (2ND MAY) 61 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF A REBEL PRIEST.

'While many clerics have supported the armed struggle of the IRA since 1916, the Capuchin Friars have been particularly noted for their republicanism. One such Capuchin was Fr Aloysius Roche, the son of an Irish father and English mother, born in Scotland in 1886. He studied for the priesthood and, following his ordination, he was transferred to Dublin where he was attached to the Capuchin Order in Church Street.

During Easter Week 1916, Fr Aloysius along with Frs Albert, Augustine and Dominic brought spiritual aid to the Volunteers in the numerous garrisons and outposts throughout Dublin. Following Pádraig Pearse’s surrender on Saturday, 29 April 1916, Fr Aloysius spent the next day carrying the surrender order to the main garrisons on the south side of the city. In the early hours of the morning of 3 May, Fr Aloysius administered the last sacraments to Pearse, MacDonagh and Thomas Clarke, the first three leaders of the Rising to be executed.

On 7 May, he met John Dillon, a leading member of the Irish Parliamentary Party, who agreed to do all in his power to persuade the British government to stop the executions. And it was largely due to his efforts that Dillon, five days later, during a debate on the rising in the House of Commons, launched a blistering attack on the British government’s handling of the situation in Ireland. Earlier that day, Fr Aloysius accompanied James Connolly by ambulance from Dublin Castle to Kilmainham Gaol for execution and stood behind the firing squad as they fired the final volley. During the Tan and Civil Wars he was an enthusiastic and practical supporter of the national struggle and continued his republican allegiance throughout the following decades...' (from here.)

Incidentally, the 'Fr Dominic' mentioned, above, was Fr Dominic O'Connor (Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, pictured, being led away by Free Staters from 'the battle of the Four Courts', in 1922) - it is recorded that the then 'President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State [aka 'Taoiseach']', WT Cosgrave, did not agree with the political outlook voiced by the Capuchins and he wrote to the Archbishop, Edward J Byrne, to voice his objections and, in one such letter, actually accused Fr Dominic of "treasonous acts"!

Fr Dominic was, at the time, the chaplain to the local IRA Cork Brigade, and is on record for a reply he gave to the church hierarchy in relation to their anti-republican/pro-British sermons : "Kidnapping, ambushing, and killing obviously would be grave sins or violation of Canon Law. And if these acts were being performed by the Irish Volunteers as private persons, they would fall under excommunication. But they are doing them with the authority of the Republic of Ireland. Hence the acts performed by the Volunteers are not only not sinful, but are good and meritorious...therefore the excommunication does not affect us. There is no need to worry about it. There is no necessity for telling a priest in confession that you went to Mass on Sunday, so there is no necessity to tell him one is in the IRA, or that one took part in an ambush or killing etc".

In another letter of complaint he sent, Cosgrave referred to a different priest, a Fr John Costello, and complained to the Archbishop that that priest had made it his business to approach Free State troops, in 1922, and called on them to lay down their arms ; when they declined to do so, he would call them "murdering green Black and Tans"! As 'Lord Cosgrave' probably said, in private - "It rings in my ears as kind of what miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord and president be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric? Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?"(!)





"TO EVERY GENERATION ITS DEED..."

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

SINN FÉIN NOTES.

PROGRAMME.

The Sinn Féin 'Social and Economic Programme' and the 'National Unity and Independence Programme' is a must have for every Irish man and woman. Copies can be had from the Secretaries, 3 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin, price 9d, including postage.



LETTERS.

Richard O'Sullivan QC, Crown Prosecutor at the trial of Barnes and McCormack in 1939 lectured to a Dublin audience recently at the request of the St Vincent de Paul Society. A letter (quoted below) was sent by the Ard Comairle of Sinn Féin to the Society and an unsigned answer (also below) was received. It was agreed by the Ard Comairle that Sinn Féin would neither picket the hall nor interfere at the lecture but, in passing, we say 'Lord have mercy on the souls of these two, and help us to carry on their work.'

(From) Sinn Féin,

Oifig an Ard Runaidhe,

3 Lower Abbey Street,

Dublin.


(To) The Secretary,

St Vincent de Paul,

64 Grafton Street,

Dublin.


A Cara,

We have been informed that Mr Richard O'Sullivan QC has been invited by your Society to lecture in the Aberdeen Hall on Sunday 9th January, 1955.


We understand that this Mr O'Sullivan was the Crown Prosecutor when Barnes and McCormack were sentenced to death in Birmingham in 1939. You will appreciate that if this is the same person, there will be a large number of people in Dublin who will object very strongly to his public appearance on any platform in Ireland. We trust that this matter will receive your urgent attention.

Is mise le meas,

Maire Ni Gabann,

M. Treinfear,

Ard Runaidhte.




(From) The Society of St Vincent de Paul (Particular Council of Ireland),

64 Grafton Street,

Dublin C 2.

5th January 1955.


The Society has received a communication, of which a copy is attached, upon your notepaper.

The basis of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, it should be explained, is entirely spiritual and the lecture referred to, which has been advertised for a considerable while back, is being promoted by one of the Dublin Conferences in order to foster devotion to a Saint and at the same time to raise funds, which are sorely needed indeed, for the activities of the Conference among the poor.

Any objection to the forthcoming function would inevitably cut across the charitable work of the Conference and of the Society and it is confidently believed that nobody would contemplate this, in the foregoing circumstances and particularly having regard to the religious nature of the occasion.



(From Sinn Féin) Letter to British Home Secretary.

The Home Secretary,

H.M. Government,

Whitehall,

London.


Sir,

We have been instructed to inform you that at our recent Ard Fheis it was unanimously decided that we demand, in the name of the republican people of Ireland, the return by the English Government of the remains of the Irish republican patriots interred in English jails.

Sincerely yours,

May Smith,

Michael Traynor,

Secretaries. (Next - 'THE FELONS OF OUR LAND', from the same source).






WHY WE'RE VOTING 'NO' IN THE ABORTION REFERENDUM.

"Violence is not a solution.." - a remark constantly put to republicans in relation to the on-going campaign against the British political and military presence in this country (...with no acknowledgement that 'violence' employed in self-defence is completely different to the violence of an aggressor). Abortion is a violent act which is not done in self-defence and, with the safe-guards which are available today, it's an unnecessary act, but the State and the many 'social agencies' ('quangos') it establishes and promotes (mostly to provide 'jobs-for-the-boys' for themselves and their political colleagues) have not lectured those in favour of abortion about 'violence not being a solution'.

And their is more than one type of 'violence' : the 'State Claims Agency' ('SCA') is a State body with the given agenda of defending the politicians against the damage caused by their own incompetence and carelessness, and of that there can be no doubt : "..to ensure that the State's liabilities in relation to personal injury and property damage claims, and the expenses of the SCA in relation to their management, are contained at the lowest achievable level (and) to reduce the costs of future litigation against the State..." - nothing there about fair play or taking responsibility for medical or other errors made by the State. It's a political body, assembled, financed and nurtured by the same politicians that want you to 'trust' them in regards to the most vulnerable section of this society - our children not yet born.

This is how the 'Establishment' in this State deal with those who are 'uppity enough' to challenge them after falling victim to the incompetent 'health service' that those in Leinster House oversee and operate 'on behalf of the public', all funded with taxpayers money, here's how they used to look after women (..here's how they do it today) and this is an example of how they 'support' children. If you believe that those professional politicians are trustworthy and honest enough to have the best interests of mother and child at heart then vote 'Yes' on Friday, 25th May 2018 but if, like us, you have your doubts (to put it mildly), then vote 'No'. Your children will thank you for it in later years. Literally.





GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.

By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

DID WE WIN?

The ten minutes allocated to the 'Shinners' for their argument wasn't needed - they mentioned the names Theobald Wolfe Tone and Padraig Pearse and one and one-half minutes after they started they were finished. They received a massive partisan round of applause, of course.

The 'SDLP team' then did their thing : they came across as all things to all men and were more concerned about what loyalists would do as opposed to what we could do and should do. To be honest, they didn't put much into it and made very little impact on the debate, whereas the 'Republican Clubs' immediately went on the attack with a blistering dialectic on the failure of capitalism and the benefits of the Workers State (all very well if you're a Stalinist) but too far removed from Marx (unless of course they were referring to Groucho) to be relevant.

The image of the not so emaciated down-trodden worker, free of his fetters, striding barrel-chestedly through the factory gates with a sledgehammer in his hand to smash the means of his exploitation, his shirt opened to the navel, sleeves rolled up to his neck, revealing a chest and arms that Sylvester Stallone could only dream about, and singing the 'Volga Boat Song', as with Stalinism, completely fooled the not very politically aware in the audience. (MORE LATER).


Thanks for reading, Sharon.