Saturday, January 18, 2003

.....the campaign started with inconceivable ferocity on the night of July 19th , 1920 , when armed loyalist mobs attacked the Catholic areas of the city ~ setting fire to houses , shooting , looting ,and wrecking shops while the British military refused to intervene . The death toll after four days was 19(most of them Catholic) with over 200 wounded and thousands of pounds worth of damage caused to hundreds of nationalist homes . When the British Army finally intervened it was to fire upon IRA Volunteers who were attempting to drive back the loyalist mobs .
The following day , the entire Catholic workforce was driven at gun-point by the ' Belfast Protestant Association' out of the two shipyards , four main engineering works , the main building firm and a number of the linen mills in Belfast . A total of 10,000 men and 1,000 women were expelled . During a debate at Westminster , Carson defended the pogroms and expulsions of the nationalist workforce while the British government was denounced by nationalist MP's for callously and deliberately formenting the sectarian attacks in Belfast to justify their proposed partition scheme .
During August 1920 , the 'Ulster Volunteer Force' (UVF) openly re-organised in the North . On August 22nd , following the execution by the IRA in Lisburn of District Inspector Swanzy of the RIC (who was responsible for the murder earlier in the year of the Mayor of Cork, Tomas MacCurtain) , the entire nationalist population of the town were .....(MORE LATER)....

In May 1989 , the London magazine 'Time Out' uncovered a letter written in 1987 by Lord Marshall of Goring , then Chairperson of the Central Electricity Generating Board , which was at the time Windscales most important customer . The letter was written to the then Tory Energy Secretary ,Peter Walker , but was never sent . In it , it was conceeded that Windscales environmentalist opponents had been correct - "A major part of the past problems at Sellafield(Windscale) and a substantial part of potential problems in the future are due to the simple fact that Sellafield has the wrong technology" ; also ,(see 'The Sunday Tribune' Colour Magazine ,June 4th,1989, page 6) the letter stated that it had been "nothing less than a failure of policy-making (by BNFL) which had resulted in radioactive leaks at Sellafield and a loss of public confidence in that plant and in nuclear power generally" . BAD MENTAL PICTURE - Homer,Springfield ,DOH!

Friday, January 17, 2003

......the boycott was not sufficiently crippling , for though Belfast was the main distribution centre for large areas outside the Six Counties , the backbone of its economy was manufacturing industry , which exported the bulk of its products to Britain and her colonies . In addition , the industries where most of the expulsions had taken place(shipbuilding and engineering) hardly did any trade with the rest of Ireland . However , the boycott sent a clear message to the Loyalists and their British paymasters - the Six Counties had not been abandoned by the people in the rest of the country .
The pogroms that encouraged the boycott have their own tale to tell ~ During the summer of 1920 , with the British administration in Ireland virtually crippled by the IRA's guerrilla war , Belfast witnessed its worst pogroms for almost a century . In July , with the ' Government of Ireland' Bill being debated at Westminster and the partition of Ireland stated to be "inevitable" , the Loyalists were determined to secure , at the very minimum , a state comprising the six north-eastern counties of Ireland . Concerned that they might be left with a four-county state and , worse still , that the working-class Protestants might join ranks with the Nationalists in the poverty-stricken conditions of post-war Belfast , Loyalist bigots,urged on by the sectarian rhetoric of Edward Carson , began a series of systematic attacks and pogroms against the Nationalist population of Belfast ; the campaign started with inconceivable ferocity .....(MORE LATER)>

" Is it likely that we could have the British rail police , harbour police , Scotland Yard , all involved? Forensic people? The Jury? The Judges? And that each and every one of those had been 'got at'? I don't believe it is possible in the society that we have that this could happen " -- Ken Maginnis ,RTE's favourite Unionist, ' Hot Press' magazine ,February 9th, 1989 , page 20 , on the 'Birmingham Six' .
Well there ya go , Ken! And its not that the "rail police,harbour police,Scotland Yard" etc etc were "got at"~more like they volunteered.....

Thursday, January 16, 2003

.....the boycott got underway on a huge scale in early September 1920 when the Council of County Councils issued a recommendation that the boycott should be adopted throughout Ireland . At a meeting of Dublin Corporation several days later a committee was organised to put the boycott into immediate effect . During the following months, the boycott was strictly enforced throughout the country by the IRA , who were assisted by the Republican Police, Cumann na mBan and Fianna Eireann .
IRA Volunteers attacked lorries and trains carrying goods produced in Belfast , and a special ' Boycott Patrol' raided shops and warehouses in Dublin and other towns , seizing Belfast goods and taking action against firms which handled them . The population were given ' black lists' and were encouraged to boycott firms which dealth with Belfast and to withdraw deposits from Belfast-based banks . In January , 1921 , the Dail appointed Joseph McDonagh ,acting Minister for Labour while Countess Markievicz was in jail , as Director of the Belfast boycott and voted £72,500 for the campaign , which continued throughout 1921 until after the signing of the Treaty the following December .
Although the boycott was effective and harmed the Belfast economy , it failed to achieve its main object - the reinstatement of the expelled Nationalist workers in Belfast .......(MORE LATER).

On Saturday , November 1st , 1986 , 15,000 Scottish loyalists gathered in a Glasgow park to hear the Rev. Ian Paisley call for a "fight to the death" against the 1985 Hillsborough Treaty . The same crowd later heard the then OUP leader, James Molyneaux, say - " We are not here to organise or raise an illegal army. We are not here to entice young people to violence" ;
--- "fight to the death" but "don't use violence" ~ Scottish loyalists sure are different from their colleagues in this country ......

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

.....the Dail was divided on the issue .....
.....with the resolution initially opposed by many of the available deputies , including Countess Markievicz , Terence MacSwiney , Ernest Blyth and Arthur Griffith. Countess Markievicz was not convinced that a boycott of Belfast goods would be effective and warned - " to declare a blockade would be playing into the hands of the enemy and giving them an excuse for partition " , while Griffith felt that the resolution was practically a declaration of war by the Republican government on part of its own territory .
After much discussion , the Dail declared it illegal for employers to require religious tests as a condition of employment but postponed its decision on a boycott of Belfast goods . However , when pogroms against Nationalists were resumed in Belfast at the end of August 1920 (resulting in 31 deaths)the Dail agreed to implement a boycott and from September 1920 , a strict boycott of goods from Belfast , Lisburn and a number of other northern towns was begun .
The Belfast boycott started in August 1920 on unofficial lines when shops in Galway city refused to stock goods originating from Belfast but it got underway on a huge scale in early September when .......
...(MORE LATER)...

During the 'Great Hunger' in this country in 1848 , British Lord Londonderry made a contribution of £20 to relief-efforts and his wife donated £10 , while at the same time spending £15,000 renovating their house in Mount Stewart ; presumably so the poor wretches outside his estate would see something pretty before they died of hunger . During that same period , each British Landlord was responsible for paying the rates of every tenant who paid less than £4 in yearly rent , so those whose land was crowded with poor tenants were faced with huge bills . The tenants on their estates were too poor to pay anything , so they were evicted from their small plots and the land was re-let in bigger lots to people with more money : to do that anytime would be bad enough , but to do it while the tenants were in the state they were must require a certain 'stiff-upper-lipness' .

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

....the 'boycott' call was made in response to the anti-Catholic rioting and pogroms in Belfast in July 1920 , during which 19 people ,most of them Catholics, were killed and over 200 wounded , Thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused to hundreds of Nationalist homes , and the campaign of discrimination against Nationalists by Loyalist employers intensified , with those lucky enough to have a job being required to sign a declaration of loyalty to the British crown .
Sean McEntee , a native of Belfast and TD for South Monaghan in the 32-County Dail Eireann , urged the Dail to sanction a boycott of goods manufactured in Belfast. On August 6th , 1920 , McEntee , on behalf of four Sinn Fein members of Belfast Corporation , appealed for help in "the war of extermination being waged against us " and , in a resolution, called for a boycott of Belfast goods and a withdrawal of funds from Belfast-based banks by people in the rest of Ireland . At all times it was made clear that Protestants in other parts of Ireland would not be molested in any way on account of the actions of their co-religionists in Belfast.
However , the Dail was divided on the issue , with the resolution initially being opposed by many of the available deputies ..... (MORE LATER)>

A few days ago , Dublin was practically brought to a stand-still by the Irish Farmers Association , when thousands of farmers, driving tractors, headed for Dublin , and 300 of their number drove into the City Centre ; this reminded me of an earlier tractor blockade -- that which was organised by Ian Paisley in 1977 :
Paisley organised a tractor blockade of Ballymena , as part of an " all-out offensive" by the 'United Unionist Action Council' . The UUAC wanted the British Government to crack down harder on Republicans and to set up a parliament along the lines of the old Stormont . Paisley issued what he called a " solemn promise " to leave politics forever if the UUAC did'nt succeed - it did'nt and Paisley did'nt !
His own followers should have had the measure of the man from that stunt , but....did'nt !
Ah well- it was 26 years ago: no use crying.....

Monday, January 13, 2003

....and, in England , the mutineers suffered long periods of solitary confinement and ill-treatment during their fight for political status ( a fight which is still going on today) . They were later moved to Maidstone Prison and , on January 3rd, 1923, the remaining sixty mutineers were released and returned to Ireland.
In October 1970 , the remains of Daly , Smythe and Sears were brought back to Ireland : Smythe , a native of Drogheda, Co. Louth and Sears, from Neale , Co. Mayo , were buried in the Republican Plot in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin . James Daly , who was executed in Jullunder in India on November 2nd , 1920 , was re-interred in his native Tyrellspass .
If the English were'nt killing Irishmen in Ireland , they were killing them abroad .

In the same year that James Daly was executed , the First Dail Eireann made one of it's most controversial decrees - its decision , in the summer of 1920 , to implement a boycott of Belfast goods ...... (MORE LATER)........

Francis Hughes and the last will and testament of SAS man David Anthony Jones -- The issue was referred to the High Court in London in July 1980 . Delving into ancient preceendent ( one going back to the middle ages) , Mr Justice Arnold concluded that Jones had been engaged in active military service against " a conjuration of clandestine assassins and arsonists " and that was enough to validate his will , resulting in Anne Mannering receiving Jones' £3000 death grant and belongings ( despite bitter protest from Jones' mother) .
Judge Arnold was not , of course, required to delve into precedent on the reverse question , as to whether " a conjuration of assassins and arsonists" on active service were entitled to special status !!

Sunday, January 12, 2003

....... On June 30 , 1916 , following the deaths of Privates Patrick Smythe and Peter Sears in an attempt to capture the magazine at Solon , the mutiny ended . Seventy-five of the mutineers were arrested and taken to Lucknow where they were held until September when they were moved to Dayshai Prison to stand trial .
While awaiting trial ,the prisoners were subjected to such harsh treatment by the British that it resulted in the death of one of the men , Private John Miranda , a native of Liverpool . At the subsequent general court-martial , fourteen of the prisoners were sentenced to death and the remainder to terms of imprisonment varying from ten - twenty years . In mid-October , 13 of the fourteen death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment - the exception was Jim Daly , a native of Tyrellspass , County Westmeath . After six months , the mutineers were transferred to Portland Convict Prison in England , where they suffered ........(MORE LATER) >

Francis Hughes , an IRA Volunteer , was arrested on March 16 ,1978 , after a gun battle with British soldiers in a field in his native South Derry , in which a British SAS man , David Anthony Jones , was killed . Before he died , Jones told his colleagues that he wanted his girlfriend , Anne Mannering , whom he was planning to marry , to get - " all my stuff" . Under English law ,there are two circumstances in which a verbal ( as opposed to a written) last will and testament is binding - the first is if it is made by a sailor at sea : the second is if it is by a soldier during a state of war ......... (MORE LATER)