Saturday, April 12, 2003

A 25-years young Irish Republican Army prisoner in Arbour Hill Military Prison wrote a letter to his mother which ended- " I feel I cannot stand this any longer. I have been subjected to cruel treatment since I was arrested". The young man, Sean Glynn, from Pennywell Road in Limerick city , then killed himself.

The 1936 Fianna Fail administration , led by Eamonn de Valera, had turned viciously on those it once fought beside; in June that year, the IRA had been declared an "unlawful association" and the annual republican commemoration to the grave of Wolfe Tone at Bodenstown in County Kildare was banned. It was in that atmosphere that Sean Glynn and more than two dozen other republicans boarded a bus in Limerick on Bodenstown Sunday morning to travel to the 'banned' commemoration : the bus was stopped at Dunkerrin, County Offaly, and all passengers were arrested. The following month(July 1936) those arrested on the bus were brought before a Free State military tribunal where eighteen of them, including Sean Glynn, were sentenced to nine months imprisonment on a charge of IRA membership, and were taken to Arbour Hill Military Prison in Dublin - (MORE LATER)>>

In 1991 , when Fianna Fail's Frank Fahey was Free State Minister of State at the Department of Education, with responsibility for Sports and Youth Affairs( a good 'all-rounder', is our Frank!) he gave an interview in 'Hot Press' magazine (April 4th, 1991, page 40) in which he stated - "I feel strongly about this, that Ireland in the future is going to be a country unique as a holiday destination and unique for the creative abilities that we have here. Our economic future is not in manufacturing industry. It's in our ability to become an attractive location for tourism and our ability to be upfront in sport and particularly in music " .
"An attractive location for tourism...a holiday destination (with) sport and music" but with no "manufacturing industry"; let's sit on our pony and traps , doff our caps at the paying visitors and greet them with "top o'the mornin' to ya". Sure would'nt that be grand,Frank.....

Friday, April 11, 2003

....the arrest , in November 1865, of Fenian leaders and, in particular, James Stephens,meant that a planned uprising had to be postponed; the Irish Republican Brotherhood decided to break him out of Richmond Jail ,as he was that organisations military strategist . John Devoy, the IRB's Organiser, put an escape plan together: Ellen O'Leary(John O'Leary's sister) had agreed to mortgage her home and use the money to bribe two somewhat sympathetic warders in Richmond Jail to hand over a set of keys which would enable James Stephens to simply let himself out of the prison! The plan worked; within weeks of his incarceration in Richmond Jail, Stephens had his own set of keys to the place and, on the night of November 24th, 1865, used them successfully- he was met on the outside , as arranged, and taken to a safe house. In the early hours of the 25th , his absence was noticed and the prison was searched but, as O'Donovan Rossa was to recall in his recollections of prison life- it was too late; "the bird had flown" .
The British offered what was then a small fortune - £300 - for information on James Stephens and on how he escaped , but to no avail . Within months he was in Frace , where he continued his work for the Fenians and the IRB .

The health service in this State is constantly under fire from those of us who are reliant on it - no beds, not enough staff, disorganised etc ; those that can afford it go private, the rest of us struggle on as best we can . A report from the 'El Tiempo' newspaper in Columbia , from February 20th, 1991, brought to mind a comparison of how they were then and how we are now - Speaking at a conference on South American medical authorities , a Dr Alaos Miguel Carlo said- "We are in the hands of mad politicians. Over one thousand complaints have been made about the service at Columbia's General Hospital. This famous institution has been officially opened six times by six different party leaders , but it is still not in service because the electricity has not been turned on . At the same time, the six 'opening's' cost over six million pesos, mostly for nibbles and drink" !
Must be South American blood in Leinster House.......

Thursday, April 10, 2003

On the night of November 24th, 1865, the head of the Fenian movement and founder of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, James Stephens, escaped from Richmond Jail in Dublin .
Weeks before his imprisonment, the British had been involved in an all-out offensive against the Fenians; their newspaper 'The Irish People' had been suppressed and Fenian leaders John O'Leary, Thomas Clarke Luby and Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa had been arrested. They were charged with 'treason felony' , which was later changed to 'high treason' , and were put in Richmond Jail , off the South Circular Road in Dublin, to await 'trial'. In November 1865, more leaders of the Fenian movement were arrested- Charles J. Kickham , Edmund Duffy , Hugh Brophy and, perhaps most damaging of all, James Stephens : his detention not only hindered the work of the Fenians, but also slowed development of the IRB , which he had founded in Dublin on St.Patricks Day, 1858 . Stephens had built-up the organisation to such an extent that, by 1865, it was ready to rise up against British rule . (MORE LATER)>>

In 1947, the British government resettled some 8,000 men of the SS Galizien Division in Britain ; they were Ukrainians who supported the Nazi's because of their hatred of the Soviets . So,if, for example, you are a Palestinian who fought with the Iraq's because of your hatred of the United States - you know where to go.
In 1979, John Taylor , OUP , (now Brit Lord somethingorother) was returned in the European elections as one of the three MEP's for the Six Counties. In the European Parliament, he initially joined the British Conservatives in the European Democratic Group(EDG) . However, he left the EDG in 1987 because it supported the (1985) Hillsborough Treaty (2 years on the fence-a sore thing!) and he then joined the European Right Group(ERG) headed by French National Front leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen . At the time , Taylor insisted that he had made the right move , and boasted that the ERG made him their spokesperson because "I controlled their political expression". He later left the ERG(because he found its links with the neo-Nazi German Republican Party an "embarrassent" !) and joined the European Peoples Party (EPP) , the so-called 'Christian Democrat' grouping to which this state's Fine Gael party also belongs.
There is no truth to the rumour that John, having almost run out of groups to join, is to start his own and call it the 'Galizien Group' ......

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

......indeed, many of the IRA Volunteers that took on the British in a guerrilla war during the 1919-1921 period learned their trade in Frongoch Internment Camp in North Wales. The Irish Republican Brotherhood used their time in the camp to re-organise , and Michael Collins formed his deadly 'Dublin Squad' from those same internees ; his country-wide intelligence network was said to have been as efficient as it was because of the training its operatives received in Frongoch.
On December 23rd, 1916, the last 600 internees in the camp and the two remaining female internees in Aylesbury Jail, Winifred Carney and Helena Moloney , were released ; the sentenced prisoners, including Constance Markievicz, were held in English prisons until the general amnesty in June 1917. Frongoch, the 'Republican University' in North Wales,was first opened to receive Irish'students' on June 9th, 1916. And we're still 'learning' ......

Following the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Kurdistan was established by the League of Nations in 1920 as an independent nation for the then 25 million Kurds, whose homeland it was for well over a thousand years. In 1921, Britain set up the state of Iraq, and annexed the southern half of Kurdistan , while she was at it. Meanwhile, France was drawing up the borders of Syria and the Kurds lost the western part of their country. A year later, Kemal Ataturk founded the Turkish Republic , and took over the northern portion . Iran and the then Soviet Union swallowed up what remained . In that same period of time, Britain divided both Ireland and Mesopotamia, keeping control in each nation of the most industrialized and profitable area ; Ireland was partitioned and Mesopotamia was made into the kingdoms of Iraq and Kuwait .
Now the Brits are back, militarily, in that part of the world and would have us believe that their objective is to "restore democracy" : a word of warning to the 'pro-democracy' (ie puppet) administration that Bush and Blair will set-up ----- watch your backs; before you know it, you'll be the new "Axis of Evil"........

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

In early June 1916, 1,850 Irish Republicans were brought to Frongoch Internment Camp in North Wales ; this was the first use by the British of an internment camp for Irish political prisoners . Frongoch was divided into two sections , the South Camp(capable of holding 1,000 men) and the North Camp(850 men approximately) - the internees in each camp organised themselves into units, comprising a Camp Commandant, chain of command structures and group and hut leaders . By August 1916 ,there had been a large number of releases and all remaining internees were moved to the South Camp; however, the men insisted that if they were to continue to be held in Frongoch then it should be in the smaller North Camp, which had 'better' accommodation and, on October 21st, they were transferred there. The South Camp was then used as a 'punishment centre' only.
Frongoch became known as the 'Republican University' because,as it allowed for lengthy periods of free association , the internees organised lectures,debates and training sessions on a daily basis and those that were released left as disciplined military and political activists; indeed, many of those that took on the British in a guerrilla war during the 1919-1921 period learned their trade in Frongoch. (MORE LATER)>>

The Six-County area cut off in 1920 had never existed before as an entity in history, or politics, or economics. Craigavon, deputy-leader of the Unionists in the British Parliament, explained on March 29th, 1920, why only six of the nine counties of Ulster could be brought under a Belfast parliament - "The three excluded counties contain some 70,000 Unionists and 260,000 Sinn Feiners and Nationalists and the addition of that large block of Sinn Feiners and Nationalists would reduce our majority to such a level that no sane man would undertake to carry on a parliament with it. We quite frankly admit that we cannot hold the nine counties" (HANSARD, Volume 127,Col.991). The above is too big to fit on a placard, but perhaps someone will remind Tony Blair of it, and point out that the 'Irish problem' created by the English still exists- and then maybe Tony will pass it on to George, who might then ask his daddy what to do about it ......

Monday, April 07, 2003

It has been estimated that around 1,650 men and women took part in the 1916 Easter Rising yet, in the days following its collapse, 3,430 men and 79 women were arrested by the British ; of these, 1,424 men and 73 women were released almost immediately. Fifteen men were executed ; one-hundred and twenty-three men,who were sentenced to penal servitude ranging from two years to life and one woman,Countess Markievicz(who was sentenced to life imprisonment) were all deported to various English prisons , while 1,519 men and five women were interned. English prisons like Knutsford, Wakefield, Stafford and Wandsworth were used to house the male internees with the five females (Maire Perolz, Brigid Foley, Nell Ryan, Winifred Carney and Helena Moloney) sent to Aylesbury Prison. Shortly after being interned , 650 men were released and returned to Ireland - however, almost two thousand men were served with internment orders under the British 'Defence of The Realm Act' .
In early June 1916 , Frongoch Internment Camp in Merionethshire, North Wales, having being cleared of all German prisoners, was opened for Irish prisoners and about 1,850 men were brought there by rail from the various jails . This was the first use by the British of an internment camp for Irish political prisoners ....... (MORE LATER)>>

And the Adams Family has called on people to protest against the visit of George Bush Junior in Belfast today(not Tony Blair's visit,however- he pays for their Donegal holiday-homes) and at the same time the bould Gerry is due to break bread with the man! We are told it is necessary as Baby Bush has to be kept 'on-side' due to his support for what the establishment describes as"the Irish peace process" ; Bush, we are told, is a guarantor that, eventually,the Nationalists in the Six Counties will be treated with "equality": well, run this up the flagpole,George --- we "got equality" with Catholic emancipation in 1829 , and again in 1969 with Terence O'Neills reforms, and again in 1973 with the Sunningdale Agreement and again in 1985 with the Hillsborough Treaty ...... which brings us back to the Stormont Treaty of 1998 and it's promise of "equality" .
We've had a bellyfull of'equality' , George , so have a quick word in Tony's ear and suggest that he take the best option - withdrawal.
Because Gerry certainly won't do it........

Sunday, April 06, 2003

It was a member of the British Parliament , Lord Gifford, who compared the English 'supergrass' trials with those in the Six Counties and found that in England no-one was convicted without corroborative evidence - in the six North-Eastern counties of Ireland "57 per cent of those found guilty in the ten supergrass trials to date in Northern Ireland(sic) were convicted by the presiding judge on uncorroborated accomplice evidence" . The authors of the book 'Abolishing the Diplock Courts' stated- "We believe that even at its strongest , all the relevant data falls far short of the calibre of evidence which should be required before a legal right, so fundamental to the legal tradition of Britain and Ireland, as jury trial for serious offences can legitimately be even 'partially' or 'temporarily' suspended " .
The two men responsible for the book(Steven Greer and Anthony White), which was published, as I stated, around 1986 or 1987 have, in my opinion,ignored (wilfully or otherwise)the political 'reasons' for Britains use of non-jury courts; the authors looked at their subject matter without realising that the British Government considered the process of law as one element amongst many that needed to be 'tweaked' by them when dealing with what they called "the Irish problem".The British parliament and judicial system assisted the Westminster administration to that end. That said , however, the book did at least signal at the time a sense of unease with the way the politicians were conducting matters in the Six Counties and helped to draw attention to that judicial issue and other matters which Thatcher, Major etc would rather have swept under the carpet . For that alone it did the Irish cause a small favour .

In a letter to Karl Marx , Frederick Engels wrote - "The worst about the Irish is that they become corruptible as soon as they stop being peasants and then turn bourgeois. True, this is the case with most peasant nations , but in Ireland it is particularly bad " . Like most readers, I would have my differences with both Marx and Engels , but the latter , in his letter, sure knew us better !
........ The American revolutionary Benjamin Franklin once said , on finding some of his comrades willing to strike a 'deal' with the British - "Those who would trade freedom for peace will have neither" - there are many in this country for whom the absence of war means peace ~ never mind that the cause of the conflict remains.......