Saturday, April 19, 2003

.....the remains of Charlie Kerins, Maurice O'Neill and Thomas Harte were released from Mountjoy Jail; the funerals made their way towards Dublin city centre .....
The hearse carrying the remains of Tom Harte turned left at Dorset Street to go North, to his native Lurgan in County Armagh: the other two hearses, carrying Charlie Kerins and Maurice O'Neill, made their way to Christ Church Cathedral where they were joined by the remains of George Plant. The funeral of Paddy McGrath , escorted by an IRA guard of honour and followed by thousands of republicans, took place from the Franciscan Church on Merchants Quay in Dublin, to Glasnevin Cemetery , where the oration was delivered by Brian O'Higgins (Editor of the 'Wolfe Tone Annual') - McGrath was then re-interred with full military honours in the Republican Plot.
At St. Johnstown Cemetery, near Fethard in County Tipperary, the remains of George Plant were buried following an oration by John McGrath; at the same time, two funerals were taking place in County Kerry- Charlie Kerins was buried in Rath Cemetery , in the Tralee Republican Plot, following an oration by Tomas MacCurtain(son of the assassinated Mayor of Cork) ; and Maurice O'Neill , who was buried in the Republican Plot in Cahirciveen after an oration by Sean Ryan. The remains of Tom Harte were re-interred in the Republican Plot at St.Colemans Cemetery in Lurgan, County Armagh , following an oration by Ruairi O'Drisceoil.

It should be noted that, during the 1940's , the Republican Movement........ (MORE LATER)..

In an article on the 1981 Hunger-Strikers , published in 'An Phoblacht/Republican News' on May 2nd, 1991 (page 7), Brendan 'Bik' McFarlane stated- " Accommodations with British-designed frameworks fly in the face of true justice and freedom" . Over to you, Brendan; speak up, now......
"Constitutional nationalists should, by now, have realised that there is no British solution, there is no partitionist solution and that a new and imaginative approach is required " - Gerry Adams,'AP/RN', May 30th,1991 (page 14) .
------- like Leinster House , Gerry ? or Stormont? Do us all a favour and stay away from Republican graves this Easter, Gerry : you could use the time you save to improve on your "British....partitionist solution" ......

Friday, April 18, 2003

The remains of the six men were only released because public opinion began to go against Fiann Fail - thousands of republicans met the remains of their comrades as they emerged through the prison gates , while tens of thousands of people lined the routes to pay their last respects as the funerals made their way to different parts of the country. The remains of Richie Goss were released on the morning of Saturday , September 11th, 1948; his coffin was handed over to his relatives at Portlaoise Prison. Thousands of republicans followed his Tricolour-draped coffin , which was flanked by an IRA guard of honour, as it made its way through Dublin and Drogheda on its way to Dundalk. On Sunday, September 12th, 1948, after mass in St Patricks Cathedral, he was buried with full military honours in the family grave in St Patricks Cemetery, Dundalk, County Louth.
The remains of the other five executed republicans were also handed over to their relatives - in the same week that the remains of Richie Goss were released, a coffin containing the body of George Plant was released from Portlaoise Prison and taken to Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, while those of Paddy McGrath were handed over to his family at Mountjoy Jail , and removed to the Franciscan Church, Merchants Quay, in Dublin. Also , that same September in 1948, the remains of Charlie Kerins, Maurice O'Neill and Thomas Harte were released from Mountjoy Jail in Dublin, and handed over to their relatives. Escorted by IRA guards of honour and followed by thousands of republicans, including many who had served with them in the IRA, and contingents of Fianna Eireann, Cumann na mBan, Clan na Gaedheal and Cumann na gCailini, the funerals made their way towards Dublin city centre....... (MORE LATER)>>

On April 27th, 1916(three days after the Rising started),the so-called 'newspaper of record', the establishment newspaper,' The Irish Times' , said in an Editorial - " How many citizens of Dublin have any real knowledge of the works of Shakespere ?" ! The 'paper suggested that its readers use the "enforced domesticity" caused by the Rising to renew the mans work.
Yet the same newspaper was'nt shy about reporting the US/British war in Iraq; perhaps it all depends on how big your guns are ......

Thursday, April 17, 2003

......George Plant was then brought before the Free State Military Tribunal charged with shooting an informer and was sentenced to death........

The sentence was carried out by a six-man firing squad on March 5th, 1942 ; his remains were reinterred in Fethard in September 1948 .

Maurice O'Neill,a County Kerry man(Cahirciveen) was staying in a house in Donnycarney in Dublin with Harry White, when they were attacked by Staters(November 1942) ; Harry White escaped, but O'Neill was captured and brought before the Military Tribunal , charged with firing on Free State forces. He was sentenced to death and was shot by a Free State firing squad in Mountjoy Jail on November 12th, 1942. His remains were reinterred in Cahirciveen in September 1948.

Charlie Kerins, from Tralee in County Kerry, was IRA Chief of Staff when he was arrested in June 1944, and accused before the Military Tribunal with the shooting of Dinny O'Brien in 1942. No evidence was offered to the Tribunal by the Free State, and non was needed- the Tribunal delayed sentence until later in the day to allow Kerins to make an application to it whereby he might avoid the capital sentence ie plead for his life: Charlie Kerins replied- "You could have adjourned for six years as far as I'm concerned, as my attitude towards this Court will always be the same". He was sentenced to death by hanging. When no Irish person would take the job, De Valera and Boland hired an English hangman; Kerins climbed the scaffold on December 1st, 1944, the last Republican soldier to die on the gallows for Ireland. His remains were reinterred in Rath Cemetery in the Tralee Republican Plot in September 1948.
The remains of those six men were only released because public opinion began to go against Fianna Fail.......(MORE LATER)>>>

On March 2nd, 1993 (a Tuesday, if memory serves....) the then British 'Direct Ruler'for the Six Counties,Patrick Mayhew,stated- "The (British) government will, as I said in December, warmly,solemnly and steadfastly uphold Northern Irelands(sic) status. We are not indifferent, we are not neutral" .
WHAT?? Not a neutral,peace-keeping force? Not indifferent?
Not in Ireland, not in Iraq, and not in any of their other 'adventures' in other countries.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003 his last letter before facing a Fianna Fail-organised firing squad (September 6th, 1940) , Tom Harte wrote, to his mother - "I am writing my last letter to you, because I thought more of you than any other person on earth .... you know I was always strongly Republican , was always thinking out ways and means of furthering Republican ideals...if I fought for my country, it was for the poor downtrodden people of Ireland... I knew I never showed my feelings much at any time , but you were always loved just the same ....I am going to finish now, asking you to remember me as a son you can be proud of. Say farewell to all for me. Goodbye and God bless you all, your loving son, Tom " .
At 24 years of age , Lurgan-born Tom Harte was shot dead by a Free State firing squad on September 6th, 1940.

Richie Goss was one of the most active IRA members of his time ; when he was arrested in the Casey home in Longford he was Divisional O/C of the North-Leinster/South Ulster area. When he was brought before the Free State Military Court, charged with firing on Free State soldiers, he was sentenced to death: transported from Mountjoy Jail in Dublin to Portlaoise,and made to sit on his own coffin all the way, Richie Goss was shot by a Free State firing squad on August 9th, 1941. His remains were reinterred in Dundalk in September 1948.

George Plant was from Fethard in County Tipperary and had been active in the Tan and Civil Wars ; he was one of the last prisoners to be released by the Free State and emigrated to America. He returned to Ireland in 1939 to take part in the struggle but was arrested in 1941. De Valera ordered that George Plant be taken before a non-jury court to be charged with shooting an informer, but the charges were dropped; he was then brought before the Military Tribunal on the same charge and was sentenced to death ..... (MORE LATER)>>

In February 1993, the then British Minister responsible for the environment and countryside, David MacLean, used the unusual means of a written answer to a parliamentary question to release figures showing that, in one day in February 1993, through one discharge stack, Sellafield had released nearly ten times as much plutonium as is usually discharged in a year ! MacLean described the plant officials' failure to inform the local MP,who was visiting the site at the time of the leak, as "a rather extraordinary discourtesy" !
......there is no truth in the rumour that "the local MP" gave up politics and is now employed as a street lamp.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

....Paddy McGrath was brought to a shop in Rathgar Road in Dublin on August 15th 1940 by the then IRA Chief of Staff Stephen Hayes , for a meeting with Tom Harte and Tom Hunt ; the meeting was raided by Free State forces .....

The Free State raiding party, the 'Broy Harriers', was led by ex-IRA man Dinny O'Brien . Paddy McGrath escaped but, instead of making a run for it which he could have,he went back to comfort his friend who had been shot, Tom Harte . The two of them were arrested together and were later put to death together by a Free State firing squad . McGrath was known to be an uncompromising Irish Republican who rejected 'positions of power' which were offered him by De Valera. In 1960, the National Graves Association erected a fine monument to his memory in Glasnevin , which was unveiled by the late Tom Doyle .

Far dearer the grave or the prison
Illum'd by one patriot name,
than the trophies of all who have risen,
on liberty's ruins to fame.

Tom Harte was born in Lurgan on May 14th 1916 , and had three brothers and two sisters. He received his primary education in St Peters School in Lurgan and, on leaving there, became an apprentice painter to Charlie McIntyre. He joined the IRA and went to England as part of the 'Expeditionary Force' to take part in the bombing campaign- he was in London in 1939 with Arthur Conway when he was pulled in for questioning by the British police. He told them his name was Tom Green , from Baileborough in Cavan but was still deported to Dublin . Once back in Ireland, he worked as an Organiser for the GHQ Staff of the IRA . He was wounded when the Staters raided a shop on Rathgar Road in Dublin (August 15th, 1940) and was executed by a Fianna Fail-organised firing squad on September 6th, 1940. In his last letter, which was addressed to his mother, he wrote ...... (MORE LATER)>>

The THORP nuclear plant took fifteen years to build and cost stg£2.8 billion . It was finally finished in 1992 and contains more than a quarter of a million tonnes of concrete , and covers an area twice the size of the Wembley arena. 'Greenpeace' said that every four-and-a-half years , Sellafield and Thorp combined will release into the environment as much radioactivity as the Chernobyl meltdown ! That's two-and-a-quarter Chernobyls so far, and no world headlines ......

Monday, April 14, 2003

The last of the sentenced IRA prisoners were released in April 1948 - three years after the formal ending of the IRA's bombing campaign in England and the Six Counties . However , the remains of the six republican prisoners that were executed by the Free State Military Tribunal were still being held by the Staters in Mountjoy and Portlaoise prisons.
The six men were : Paddy McGrath , Tom Harte , Richie Goss , George Plant , Maurice O'Neill and Charlie Kerins . Paddy McGrath was born into one of the old Dublin Republican families and took part in the 1916 Rising , as did two of his brothers . He was sent to Frongoch Internment Camp after the Rising and served his time there with, amongst others, Michael Collins, Gerry Boland(who signed the execution order on Paddy in 1940) and Dinny O'Brien (who, years later, as a member of the Free State 'Broy Harriers' , was to lead the raid on Rathgar Road in Dublin , in August 1940, in which Paddy McGrath was arrested). Following the Treaty of Surrender in 1922, Paddy took the Republican side , as he did in the Civil War; indeed, he carried a bullet in his chest from a British soldier, when he was shot at the GPO in 1916 - it was too close to his heart to be removed. He undertook a hunger-strike in Mountjoy Prison with Dick MacCarthy, Jer Daly and Jack Lynch to obtain political status and they were released, after 42 days,unconditionally. Paddy was brought to a shop in Rathgar Road in Dublin on August 15th 1940, by the then IRA Chief of Staff, Stephen Hayes , for a meeting with Tom Harte and Tom Hunt; the meeting was raided by Free State forces ...... (MORE LATER)>>

Speaking in Japan in October 1989 , Margaret Thatcher declared- " It is improper for any country to acquire territory through war " ; she did'nt say anything about the kettle and the pot ....
Peggy Noonan , former speech-writer for Ronald Reagan , said of him- "The battle for his mind was like trench warfare in World War One. Never have so many fought so hard for such barren terrain " ! So that's why Maggie and Ronnie got on so well..

Sunday, April 13, 2003

....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 ....
The Fianna Fail 'Justice minister', Gerry Boland, in a statement, warned that Arbour Hill "was no longer(sic)going to be a holiday camp or hotel for republican prisoners". Conditions in the prison were grim- Free State military guards kept the republican prisoners in solitary confinement and they were punished for trying to speak or otherwise communicate with each other ; the prison was said to be like a tomb, and the system was intended to drive men insane and in some cases succeeded. Several men never recovered from their months of solitude even if they did manage to preserve their sanity. These were the conditions that drove Sean Glynn , who had been in perfect mental health prior to his arrest, first insane and then,on September 13th 1936, to take his own life.
A subsequent inquest and commission of inquiry into his death found that he had been driven insane by the 'silent-system' in Arbour Hill. After his death, somewhat more humane(but by no means pleasant) conditions prevailed for the remaining prisoners. Two days after his death, Sean Glynn was buried in the Republican Plot in Mount St Laurence's Cemetery in Limerick. He was born into a strong republican family in 1911 and, on leaving school, he began work as a labourer. In 1930 he joined the IRA. A committed Volunteer, he rose through the ranks and soon became O/C of 'B' Company of the Mid-Limerick Brigade, a position previously held by his father, John Glynn, during the early 1920's .
At 25 years of age, he was driven to take his own life on September 13th, 1936, by a Fianna Fail administration.

A poem by Brendan O hEithir , entitled 'The Gentle Black and Tan', comes to mind when I attempt to figure out why it is that Free Staters, even today, consider the Brits as a 'neutral' player in the Six Counties :

' Come all you staunch revisionists
and listen to my song,
Its short and its unusual
and it won't detain you long;
its all about a soldier
who has carried historys can,
who dodged Tom Barry and Dan Breen-
the gentle Black and Tan ' .

It's no surprise that the good Rev. J O Hannay once stated that "reading Irish history was a fatal thing to anyone wishing to remain a sound unionist " (ditto for anyone wishing to remain a sound Free Stater ....).