Saturday, January 25, 2003

Author,poet,soldier , journalist and lawyer - a full life for any person , but this man,who was born at Brookhill, near Fethard in County Tipperary in 1805 , did not allow his own busy and prosperous life-style to blind him to the everyday struggle of those around him .
As a student of Gray's Inn , in London, Michael Doheny supported himself as a journalist until he was called to the Bar in 1838 . He returned to Ireland and settled in Cashel , from where he defended the poor in the courts against the excessive demands being made on them by local landlords . In 1842 , at the invitation of Thomas Davis , he joined the Repeal Association and became a regular contributor of articles and poems to the newspaper ' The Nation' . He was an effective speaker in Conciliation Hall , Lower Abbey Street, Dublin , where he spoke in favour of the policies of the Irish Confederates , a group of radical Young Irelanders who seceded from Daniel O'Connell's Repeal Association in January 1843 .
It was the sight of dozens of food-ships sailing out of the country in the midst of 'famine' which decided him on the necessity of an immediate rising and , in July 1848 , Michael Doheny , James Stephens and William Smith O'Brien attempted an armed rising ........(MORE LATER)....

A U S pilot lost his life in 1965 when his aircraft rolled off the aircraft carrier TICONDEROGA , which was heading for the Japanese port of Youkosuka . The plane sank in more than three miles of water , as did it's cargo - a Hydrogen bomb with the potential blasting power of one million tonnes of TNT ! For years the U S Navy refused to admit that the incident happened ~ the Pentagon listed the incident but claimed it occured 500 miles from land . Researchers for the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington placed the incident 70 miles east of the nearest Japanese island and 200 miles from the more heavily populated Okinawa . Documents which proved the incident took place were released under the ' Freedom of Information' laws in 1989 : twenty-four years after the event ! In 2027 , we may be told the truth as to why George Bush Jnr started a war with Iraq .....

Friday, January 24, 2003

.....Jemmy Hope was on an organisational tour in Ulster when the ill-fated rising broke out in Dublin . He escaped arrest and eventually , after the political amnesty of 1806, returned to Belfast and resumed work as a linen weaver . In the early 1840's , he assisted Dr. R.R. Madden , the historian of the United Irishmen , with detailed accounts of the events in 1798 and 1803 .
During the course of a long life he never changed his views on the rights of the working-class . His writings earned for him the title of "the first Irish socialist" in whose footsteps James Fintan Lalor and James Connolly were later to follow . A fervent adherent of the principles of the French Revolution and the United Irishmen to the very end , Jemmy Hope died in February 1847 , aged 83 . The man deserves to be remembered for that which he stood,and died,for .

'SPOT THE DIFFERENCE' Competition,part two -
"By God ,it is enjoyable being a Minister . This is what I like doing , taking decisions , and I had to take the decision to put the troops in while I was on the plane on the way back from Cornwall " ~ the then British Labour Party Home Secretary , James Callaghan ,in his diary , on the open deployment of the British Army in the Six Counties , August 14th , 1969 .

" I loath and detest the miserable bastards. Savage, murderous thugs. May the Irish ,all of them , rot in hell " ~ British Lord Arran , then a columnist in the 'London Evening News' , May 1974.

The only difference is the four different speakers : the sentiments expressed are similar .

Thursday, January 23, 2003

A poet , a revolutionary , a social reformer : perhaps briefly mentioned in passing in academic circles , and one of the many Irish heros that goes unsung ~ born at Templepatrick in County Antrim in 1764 , Jemmy Hope is all of the above .
Largely self-educated , Hope, the son of a Presbyterian, left school at the age of ten and was apprenticed to a linen weaver . Having served his time , he left his job and became a traveller and journeyman . The French Revolution had a profound effect on his life and he was influenced by the writings of Paine and Rousseau - the ideas of equality and of the rights to life , liberty and property . In 1795 , he joined the United Irishmen , and became a close associate of many of the leading United Irishmen , including Theobald Wolfe Tone , Henry Joe McCracken and Thomas Russell. He was sent to Dublin in 1796 to scout for the Society .
He returned to the North of Ireland in 1798 and took part in the Battle of Ballynahinch during the Rising that year and , following the collapse of same, he went ' on the run ' in Ulster for five months before making his way to Dublin , where he worked as a weaver in the Liberties area of the city . Hope supported Robert Emmet in planning the rising of July 1803 but was on an organisational tour in Ulster when .......(MORE LATER)...

" The Nationalist majority in the county Fermanagh stands at 3,640 . I would ask the meeting to authorise their executive to adopt whatever plans and take whatever steps, however drastic, to wipe out this Nationalist majority " ~ Unionist M P E.C.Ferguson , addressing a unionist convention in Enniskillen in 1948 .

" Now men , Sinn Fein has had all the sport up to the present , and we are going to have the sport now . You may make mistakes occassionally , and innocent persons may be shot , but that cannot be helped , and you are bound to get the right parties sometime . The more you shoot , the better I will like you , and I assure you , no policeman will get into trouble for shooting any man " ~ Colonel Smyth , RIC Divisional Police Commander for Munster , June 1920 .
Can't 'spot the difference' ? - wait 'till you see tomorrows two entries .....

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

.......were waiting with four cars to transport the escapees to safety , but they landed at the wrong spot ; approximately 500 yards away .The men realised their mistake and made their way to Queen's Road bus terminus where they commandeered a bus and drove across the city to the Markets area . During the journey , the bus was spotted by a British Army Land Rover which attempted to stop the vehicle ; however , the Brits backed-off when the bus entered the staunchly republican Markets district , which was then surrounded by British reinforcements . A search of the area was carried out by the British Army and RUC , but none of the escapees were found ~ the 'Magnificent Seven' were long gone to a different part of Belfast !
Eight years after Lemass and his ' we are for sale' statements (see yesterdays article) , the then Free State Foreign Affairs Minister , Patrick Hillery(Fianna Fail) said re EEC entry - " We would have to act closely in political as well as economic affairs and would have to participate in common action , even the defence of the new Europe " ; those that consider themselves this State's 'political elite' know the price of everything but the value of nothing .

In 1979 , the U S concluded a secret bilateral pact with Norway to allow nuclear munitions to be stored there under certain conditions , despite the wishes of the Norwegian electorate , expressed through a referendum . The secret pact was only accidentally discovered by the Oslo media five years after the event , 1984 . "Weapons of mass destruction" in Norway : So when you're finished with Iraq , George .....

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

....the day after the fifty men were transferred from the ship , the ' Magnificent Seven' escaped ~
One of the group had spotted a seal slip through a gap in the barbed-wire draped around the ship and it was decided that if the seal could come in , then they could go out !
The men used black boot polish to camouflag themselves and smeared each other in butter , to keep out the cold . They had already cut through a bar in a porthole which they now slipped through , and clambered down the Maidstone's steel hauser and entered the water . Several of them were badly cut by the barbed-wire , but they all managed to get through it . In single file , they swam the 400 yards through the ice-cold floodlit water to the shore : it took them twenty minutes , as some of the men could not swim and had to be helped by the others . On the bank , Volunteers of the Andersonstown unit of the IRA's Belfast Brigade were waiting with four cars to transport the escapees to safety , but ....(MORE LATER) ....
This State's intention re it's neutrality has not only been highlighted by the recent U S Army near take-over of Shannon -
In July 1962 , in New York, Sean Lemass stated~ " We are prepared to go into any integrated union without any reservations at all as to how far this would take us in the field of foreign policy or defence commitments" : also , while negotiating in Bonn for admission to the then EEC in October 1962 , Lemass said - " In the East-West conflict we are not neutral . We have made it quite clear that our desire is to participate in whatever political union may ultimately develop in Europe . We are making no reservations of any sort, including defence " .
Could someone out there please contact George Bush and tell him he's OK ; then contact Saddam and tell him he's welcome , too ~ after all , we have "no reservations of any sort" . Come one, come all .....

Monday, January 20, 2003

James Emerson Bryson , Tommy Tolan , Thomas Kane , Tommy Gorman , Peter Rodgers , Martin Taylor and Sean Convery : a group of Irish Republicans known as 'The Magnificent Seven' because of the nature of their escape from the Maidstone prison ship on January 17th , 1972 .
Of the 226 men detained following the introduction of internment in August 1971 , 124 were initially held in Crumlin Road Jail while the remainder were held on the Maidstone , a prison ship moored at the coalwharf in Belfast docks . The prison ship ,used as an emergency billet for British troops who arrived in 1969 , was totally unsuitable as a prison - it was cramped , stuffy and overcrowded , with the 'lock-up' section located at the stern below the deck , which was used twice a day for exercise . On January 16th , 1972 , fifty men were transferred from the ship to the new camp at Magilligan : this sudden move spurred on internees who were planning to escape .......(MORE LATER) ....
In 1883 , British Lord Salisbury declared - " Ireland must be kept , like India , at all costs; by persuasion,if possible , - if not, by force " . So the Brits purchased some of us and bullied the rest !
However , there's hope for us yet ~ On October 23rd , 1918 , Brit Lord Hugh Cecil stated - " We must accept the fact of Irish Nationality. It is regrettable , it is unhistorical ; in view of Ulsters feelings it is even absurd . But it is a fact : the majority of Irishmen do think Ireland a Nation and we must do the best we can in the circumstances "
"Unhistorical"? "Absurd"? Steady on , old chap .....
(Translation from Sunday - " Do not be breaking your shin on a stool that is not in your way").

Sunday, January 19, 2003

.....the entire nationalist population of Lisburn were driven out of their homes by the UVF and other loyalist mobs . Nationalist areas of Belfast again came under attack from loyalist gangs - there were burnings ,shootings and looting on a massive scale which lasted until the end of that month .
In the last ten days of the pogrom , 31 men and women were killed and hundreds of Catholics were burned out of their homes : property damage was put at one million pounds . Within a week of the ending of the pogroms , the British government invited members of the loyalist murder-gangs and the UVF to join the newly-formed 'B-Specials' ! The 1920 pogroms subsided after five weeks , on September 3rd of that year , and are rarely discussed these days ; and no wonder ~ a shameful episode in a long list of shameful episodes which the British introduced into Ireland .

On October 28th , 1986(a Tuesday,I think!) , Colonel Gadaffi of Libya was interviewed on RTE television's ' Today/Tonight' programme and , amongst other things, said - " If I were the leader of the South of Ireland I would consider that the North is colonised and I would fight to liberate that part of Ireland" : the Free State Industry Minister at the time (now ex-leader of Fine Gael) Michael Noonan declared that Gadaffi's comments " had sent shock waves through the board-rooms of America" , which indicated that Free State government policy is dictated in the "board-rooms of America" as much as in the meeting-rooms of Strasbourg , Brussels and Whitehall !
Witness the servile attitude by this States gut-less , arrogant and un-principled administration to Bush's use of Shannon .If (when?) it comes back to haunt them and , unfortunately ,by association , the rest of us , we will all regret they forgot the following -- " Na bris do loirgin air stol nach bhfuil ann do shlighe" .
(Translation later)....